Monday, January 29, 2007

A good problem to have?

I'm sure this is a result of playing so much, but over the course of a weekend, I upgraded my cloak 3 times.

As soon as I put one cloak on my back, I finished another quest and they gave me another - slightly better, but better so I took it.

When I first started questing in Hellfire Peninsula, it seemed like every reward was a cloth robe. I really had a hard time decided which one was better. And for someone indecisive like me, it was a pain! Should I get this one or that one, this one or that one, this one or that one!?!?!

I'm glad there are so many quests and so many rewards.
But being bag-challenged I can't just keep them all. And it just feels weird vendoring something you've only had for a few hours.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The meaning of MMORPG

One thing that the release of BC has impressed on me is we are not playing a single player game. I think only during new releases do you really feel how massively multiplayer a game is.

Between the first release and the second, you usually come across a slew of players in a major city. But once you were out questing I'd hardly ever come across someone questing in the same area as I was.

Normally an NPC gives you a quest to kill Mob Y, you travel to the area, hunt Mob Y and kill it, return to the NPC and you're done.

Well right now, little more than a week after release, an NPC gives you a quest to kill Mob Y, you travel to the area and you either see Mob Y already dead or you see other players waiting for Mob Y to spawn so they can kill it before you do. Players with instant casts are able to tag it first and get credit and you may be waiting for a while before you get your chance.

As we tried to find one of these mobs the friend I level with said "Why can't I just pick up my quest and finish it without having to fight someone over mobs!"

This is what multi-player means. Your world is affected by what other people do. And we don't even play on a PvP server, so those around you can have even a bigger affect on what you can get accomplished.

Within alliance it is easy to ask someone to join us for a kill instead of trying to beat them to tagging it first. With horde its tougher, but I've had /wait work.

While it can get annoying and you definitely wouldn't want to be the victim of griefing, I like to think it is neat that someone else affects my gameplay. It adds variety to "kill 10 x". After all these are the same "someone else's" that if I find a mob I can't kill by myself will be the ones I ask for help.

Are you the type of person who tags first whether you were there first (come on admit it!) or not? Do you try to work with the people around you to finish the quest? Or do you just leave and come back later when there are less spawn campers?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How do you level?

In an attempt to enjoy all the content BC has to offer I am trying to complete every quest (within reason) I have before moving on to the next area.

Now of course from the start this may not be a very good plan of action, considering hundreds of other players are vying for the same mobs I am. I'm looking at you Hellfire Peninsula!

Some of my guildmates simply skipped Hellfire altogether and didn't spend much time in Zangarmarsh either, just to get away from the crowds. But I have a tendency not to go back and do old quests if I didn't do them the first time around.

WoW seems to do a good job of having NPCs move you on to the next area when its appropriate. So I usually have a few quests in the next area before I finally finish up the previous one.

Some players just grind on mobs only doing quests if they include the mobs they are grinding on. I did that when I was trying to "powerlevel" an alt. Doubt I'll do that again - its really boring.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Just like millions of other gamers I was eager for the Burning Crusade to be released.

Unlike many gamers, once I stepped foot in Outlands, I didn't know what to do!

Well, I didn't know what to do first. Create an alt? Blood Elf or Draenei? Work on hitting Level my 61 on this character or that character? Try out jewelcrafting? Continue leveling up an existing profession? Explore?

Even though I had been in beta I was still at a loss for what to do. Its a bit overwhelming for me at the moment. And you know what? That is okay by me. I'm so glad to have options again - so many new options!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Someone hit 70 already

In no small feat a little gnome mage named Gawell with the help of his french guild Millenium hit level 70.

Of course there are the badmouthers, saying Blizzard will nerf xp and the normal "no life" jab. But I say if players enjoy pushing the limits of this game - then by all means do so.

Apparently it took a lot of planning - not just I'm going to get a pack of mt. dews and stay up all night.

Still I do want to say "Don't try this at home!" Enjoy leveling at your own pace! Remember all that time you complained there was nothing to do at 70. Well 2 years later now you have it - enjoy it and make it last!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The reason I'm respeccing to shadow

I came across this accurate representation of What it's like playing a priest at Mischiefblog.

Multiply those bars by 8 and you have what it's like to be a raiding priest.

When I step foot into the Outlands, it will be as a shadow priest.

Blizzard WAS prepared?

I haven't had a chance to experience the game during server peak times, but for the few moments I was able to log on and from what I heard about the Europe and America Burning Crusade openings things started off smoothly!

If this is true, gg Bliz!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Too soon to tell

The announcement that WoW would be moving from a 40-man raid model to a 25-man was made several months ago. Some successful raid guilds felt as this player did and were unhappy with the idea. How do you decide who will get cut from the roster? Will your guild run two 25-mans? Will there be an A team and a B team?

Some players and smaller guilds felt finally they would have a chance at being autonomous yet be able to progress as well as larger raid guilds or alliances. Their problem wasn't finding the time to play, but finding 39 other people to play with.

Until recently, my guild's raid leaders hadn't said much on the matter. Finally, with BC upon us, they gave their plans to push 25-man content: Grind fast to 70 and forming alliances with other guilds who have players at 70. In other words there are no plans to wait on slow levelers in our own guild before tackling the new dungeons.

This is what I think separates a raid guild from a regular guild. A raid guild is less about playing with people you like than playing with like-minded players.

While it is too soon to tell what will happen with the guild, I can speculate. If you don't get to 70 soon you will quickly be left behind. Guild ties will not hold you a spot.

That leads me to make a decision. Do I focus on grinding or leveling at a more relaxed pace? Do I focus on enjoying the quests and content, or do I grind instances over and over again for rep and xp gains. More simply, do I want to be a raider or not in BC?

Are any of you facing that decision? What will you do tonight?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hurry up with the BC already!

As I mentioned in Life in Azeroth: The Ant and the Grasshopper I didn't really want to spend much time getting prepared (take that Illidan!) for BC. So I'm in the position of not really having to rush around and do anything beforehand.

I've been playing a rogue that I initially made to be a twink but never did. I have no plans on getting this character to 60 so I'm not worried about what mobs I can kill for the highest xp gain. Happily, I'm still finding things in the game I never noticed. I purposely have been going to areas that in the past I skipped for whatever reason. I'm also taking more time to read the quests I'm given and I'm actually keeping grey quests and taking the time to complete them, instead of skipping them because they won't give xp. I've done several quests that I never have done - or maybe I don't remember doing - and generally having a good time.

And yet.....I'm itching for BC.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I came here to whine!

Invasions, release day, everyone by now should know the servers (or specific areas on the servers) will be overpopulated.

Yet we still rush to be there, because no one wants to miss it!

I think during the ringing of the very first AQ gong (the opening of the Ahn'Qiraj gates) so many players came from other realms it crashed (or so the story goes) and GMs started removing anyone under a certain level.

I heard how bad the Dark Portal invasion is (aoe tagging of all the mobs for the quest - pvp server bloodbaths) so I didn't bother going.

Hopefully I'll still have time to go see what its all about, preferably once the hub-bub has died down but not to the point I miss the immersion of battle.

One thing I won't do is go there during peak hours then run to the forums or to my blog to complain about lag.

If you already know what a slide show-fest events like this cause - why not embrace them and not whine about it?

Blizzard has no way of stress testing anything to the extent of what happens when things go live. 7 million customers and all that. I know I sound like a fanboy but there it is.

I plan to be there on opening day...watching my log in screen...wondering if I'll make it to the character creation screen...hoping once I get there it won't boot me back out...crossing my fingers that I finally get in...then waiting to move a few inches...not getting anything done...asking everyone is there lag as bad as mine...and in a few months or years looking back and saying "Remember how bad things were on BC release day!?!?"

If things work out better than expected - I'm a winner either way.

Monday, January 8, 2007

WoW Resolutions

If I could sum up my 2006 WoW experience in one word it would be raiding. The majority of my time in game this past year was spent raiding.

Even with its low points (even wanting to quit the game altogether because of it) I can say overall I'm happy that I got to partake in what I consider what is unique of MMORPGs. See, I never played EQ so I didn't know anything about raiding. I'm sure some old EQ players will say I still don't. *smile*

Well, because of this past year I have a few WoW resolutions, I may add more as I think of them.

In no particular order:

1) Go to bed at a decent hour. I've lost count how many times I've stayed up wiping on a boss by choice or because I was asked to stay for "just one more try". I don't know if the final solution will be to find a new raiding guild that is closer to my own schedule or what.

2) No more catassery*. I wish I could find the blog that made me include this. That blogger said they quit WoW as soon as they realized it required catassing.

*Term as described on Urban Dictionary "Some one who plays a Online game and excludes everything else. Often used to describe when some one has a lot of time to spend in a online game.
Came from a article in a newspaper on Everquest. The player they interviewed played so much Everquest he forgot to change his cats littler box, leading the reported to comment his house smelled like "a cats ass""

I use it to describe a much less smelly experience but still along the same vein - anything that requires a lot of time and I mean A LOT of time to do, you don't necessarily find fun, and by the time you finally get the end reward you think to yourself "Was that really worth it?" In the past that would include the GM grind. Grinding for a Wintersaber mount also comes to mind, or pvping not because you enjoy pvping but because you want the pvp reward.

I think alot of people did these things out of boredom, but with the Burning Crusade out there will be more things to occupy our time. I'm hoping I won't resort to catassery or if it gets to that point again, I hope I have the frame of mind to finally uninstall the game.

3) No more chasing after sets or one particular weapon. One way I made the game grind on my own was pining after a full set of this or that. One of my friends was worse than I when a set piece seemed to become an obsession. I continued to go to old dungeons long after I was extremely sick of them just for a chance at an old set piece I was missing. And when it didn't drop I dreaded going back. If I can't get a piece after a few visits (few in WoW is relative of course!) I'm going to keep moving on.

4) Learn to say no AND not feel bad about it. As a priest this is a toughie. I chose a priest to be helpful. As a result it has always been hard for me to say no when asked to help with something - although I really didn't want to. (100th UBRS run anyone?)

These are the ones I have off the top of my head.

Now the question becomes, will this fall to the wayside like many resolutions? Or will I hold strong!

Stay tuned in 2007...

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"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"

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