Monday, April 30, 2007

My last priest whine post

I promise! This time 2 for 1.


Someone on the official WoW forums suggested free or cheaper respecs. Not only did a Blue say the answer was no (which I guess ends this before it started), many other players agreed it was a bad idea. The latter is what I just don't get.

Supporters said the following:
  • Free/cheaper respecs allows scarce players like tanks and healers the option to swap to dps specs and enjoy other areas of the game besides instance grouping

The opposition included the following comments
  • It is easy to earn gold in BC you don't need to respec
  • Making a decision to spec a certain way should be a heavy one, and one not taken lightly by offering free respecs
  • You get raid spots so you should have it hard when you solo and pvp
What is odd is it is easy to earn gold WHEN YOU ARE ABLE TO FARM WITH YOUR DPS SPEC.

Making a decision that few players do to tank and heal and only be able to do that isn't taken lightly. Yet if you split grouping, pvp and farming into 3. Tanks and healers really only enjoy or do well 1/3 of the game. If anyone is taking anything lightly its the players who take a easy spec that can joy all of the game and not just part of it.

And lastly when I last checked every raid includes healer, tanks and dps. People complain about getting raid spots, but besides the main tank, everyone has a shot at raiding if they are reliable, self-sufficient with consumables and good at what they do.

My problem is how little dps knows how it is to be a tank-healing class in a dps world. I'm tired of them not caring.

#2) I heard they are nerfing the shadoweave set.

Supposedly it was making shadow priests overpowered in raids.

After playing a healer for so long, I was looking forward to being uber. But it was taking me a long time to craft the set. Turns out the set will more than likely be nerfed before I ever get to make it and use it.

Life in Azeroth and the Outlands as a priest is all its cut out to be.

This just in! They decided to not nerf the set after all. The joke being passed around is, since priests and warlocks share the same set, that Blizzard didn't want to nerf their precious warlocks!

Friday, April 27, 2007

YANE the Wary

You know why starting something from scratch, something new is fun besides the obvious reasons?

Because your improvements come quicker. For me to improve upon something as a level 70 in WoW, it will take me several hours, if not weeks.

Lately when I was logging off from WoW, I would say "Well I'm one turn-in closer to my goal", "I'm one primal closer to my crafted item", "I'm one hundred gold closer to my epic mount". Which felt good to say I guess, but was a bit of a let down and sometimes made (and still makes) it hard to even want to log on. Everyone says anything worth something involves work, effort and time. But darn it, sometimes I want my game to involve play, less effort and time!

And that's what new games provide. In my very first sitting of LOTRO, I was able to achieve a title. Actually you can choose a title from the start, sharing your place of origin with everyone. But by reaching level 5 without dying I attained the title "the Wary".

I thought that was pretty neat, titles are something that City of Heroes already has, but compare this to WoW's pvp titles which pver's don't care about and the scarcer titles Scarab Lord (already in game) and Justicar (to be added in the next patch):

In order to get "Scarab Lord" you had to finish a long quest line (including quest objectives that could only be finished with a 40-man raid) which involved banging the gong to open the Ahn'Qiraj gates, a one-time event. In other words, if you don't have it already, you probably won't get it. I think on my realm - one of the most heavily populated - we have 2 or 3 I think. On new realms there is hardly a reason to join the war effort, let alone have a guild who wants to raid old instances to propel you through the quest line.

And the easier to obtain "Justicar" title just involves being exalted with Alterac Valley, Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch factions. Yeah, easy. There will be many players able to have this title, since it doesn't involve raiding. But there will be even more without it.

While it is very cool for only certain people to have certain things (cool for them I guess) in the MMORPGs we play, it goes a long way to have things that everyone can obtain reasonably. Does it water down the meaning? Would it mean less if everyone that was able to make it to the opening of the gates got the title of Scarab Lord? Well only the players who finished the quest line were able to choose from some epic rewards that were the best in the game before BC. I don't see why not handing out some more titles would have hurt.

Titles don't affect gameplay, I'm not stronger as a result of obtaining a title. But just being able to bring up a list and choose a new title put a smile on my face. I didn't have to spend a few months for a title that someday someone will ask "what's a AQ?" Instead, now I wonder will I get a title for making it to 10 without dying? All I know is I'm going to play a bit more carefully now just in case! And that's the difference, it gives me something to look forward to, instead of looking at something I'll never get.

A old new world

I have become one of the denizens of Middle-Earth. I'll share a few things.

I spent some time, as I usually do, at the character creation screen playing around with the looks of my human, elf and hobbit. I lean toward female characters, so I made one of each (there are no female dwarves.) However choice-wise, the men seem to have the most...well character. I guess its the facial hair!

I kept thinking my human male looked like Lance Armstrong, which while not a bad thing - I knew I wouldn't be able to find bikes in Middle-Earth - so I gave him some red full hair.

My first female hobbit looked too much like a precocious child, and while extremely cute - once again not a bad thing - also not something I wanted to portray.

I ended up playing my human female first. I played a small bit of beta, so what I've done so far was familiar.

Once I reached archet (I assume the starter area for man and hobbit) what are the first names I see?

Ferealz and Nickxx

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What is happening?

I believe I missed the release of LOTRO.

Tonight I was thinking I could order it, got all the way to the "place order" button and couldn't bring myself to click it.

In the back of my mind I'm thinking its like WoW and I'm tired of WoW, so that has it going against it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Small update

Well its been a few weeks since I quit raiding regularly. I have gone on a few raids on the weekends, but I'm almost to the point I don't want to do that either. Guess that's a good thing, if I'm wanting to cut back my time in WoW. Especially if raiding had become something done out of habit and not out of actual enjoyment. Yet its hard to say goodbye to something you've been involved with on almost a daily basis for so long.

Maybe that's why I want something to fill its space, why I'm playing EQ2, so I won't have that void.

But I've already cancelled my EQ2 subscription (again, this time I've got about a month left to play). As I've probably mentioned before I can't pinpoint what's wrong with EQ2. Well I shouldn't say wrong, just...something isn't right about it for me. And that's disappointing because players in the chat channels are very helpful. There is actual roleplaying occuring and I haven't seen much rudeness. Some players have gone out of their way to help and that's something you won't find often in WoW, not from strangers.

EQ2 is a game I want to like, unfortunately I don't. I wish I could figure out why.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Someone said it better....

"The game is designed in such a way that, after an initial phase, the entertainment it provides is exponentially related to the amount of time you put into it." (I've added the blog link to the side bar under "Farewell, Azeroth")

The curve is too steep for me now.

Slowly walking away

I still have my subscription to WoW. But I'm entertaining the idea of canceling.

I'm playing EQ2 but its not going to be a permanent replacement. I feel like I'm not truly enjoying the game. Instead its like I'm playing something something.

And maybe that's why I haven't flat out canceled my account. Because maybe one day, just to play something I want to have WoW as option. But in the back of my mind, I know WoW isn't doing it for me anymore. And eventually that reason isn't going to be enough to justify paying the monthly fee.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Nerf - PTR 2.1

PTR 2.1 is out. And as you can imagine when there are any changes to a class good (the class is happy, other classes are mad) or bad (the class is unhappy, the other classes don't care) someone is upset.

Well its not that maybe they don't care, they are probably focused on their own class and little world...of warcraft.

Take me for example, I hardly ever know what is going on with rogues. But I knew there was a problem, because (unlike many rogues say) I try to heal them.

I hardly know what is going on with druids. But for a while after release I knew my friend who played a druid was very happy.

And I never knew exactly what changed from 60 to 70 for paladins to make them the new uber healers. But I knew that they were. And they seemed to do it without the mana conservation restraints that priests are placed under.

On the WoW forums, people would tell priests they needed to L2P (as usual). As if suddenly all the priests who had been healing for the past 2 years suddenly forgot how to. And all paladins had become more skilled at what they do.

Luckily for some priests, like my goodbye-holy-hello-dark-side self, shadow priests worked extremely well with paladins. We became "mana batteries".

On one end, shadow priests were now not only viable but actually sought after. On the other end, there were murmurings of holy priests being pushed aside for paladins. I thought that was unfair, but heck I didn't want to heal anymore anyway. (I still did, but that's for another post.)

DPSing priests, Healing paladins and just after BC release, tanking druids. Word was they were all overwhelmingly good.

But anything that seems to be overwhelmingly good is always prime for a nerf.

Sad thing is, it seems like our time in the sun was cut short.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just when I thought I was out

they pull me back in.

Well maybe. I've been slowly drifting away from WoW. Even been dabbling in EQ2 while trying to get into LOTRO.

And then comes news that more content is on the horizon. Things of note for the casual, non-raider:

The patch is also introducing a great deal of new solo and 5-person content, with new rewards, factions, outdoor bosses, and items.

*Players in good standing with the Consortium will be tasked to deal with the most recent activities of the nefarious Ethereum. With new quests, items, and content for the solo and small-group level 70 player, the Ethereum Prison will be the proving grounds for many aspiring to greatness.

*The Skyguard, Sha’tari warriors specializing in their command of the skies above Shattrath, have taken the offensive directly to the Arakkoa capital city, Skettis. Perched high in the mountains of Terrokar, and only accessible with use of a flying mount, Skettis holds new and exciting content for the solo or small-group level 70 player. All new quests, 5-person bosses, rare and epic items, and a new type of flying mount await those willing to lend their sword or stave to the battle.

*The Netherwing faction and quest line continues and the long awaited Nether Drake becomes available. The Nether Drake is a special 280% speed epic flying mount that is obtainable through solo and small-group play. The quest to obtain one will be difficult, but the reward will surely show your dedication to the Netherwing cause as you soar through the skies of Outland on your very own ethereal drake. (Okay not so casual...)

*The Ogre plateau of enlightenment opens to those who prove their worth in Blade’s Edge Mountains. Level 70 players will be able to help the Ogres of Ogri’la battle invading forces and engage in new and exciting quests, such as a repeatable and ever popular bombing-run, this time using your own flying mount but with a dangerous twist! Featuring tons of new quests, the Ogri’la faction, 5-person bosses, and rare and epic items, Ogri’la is a place we’re hoping all will aspire to enter.

Good stuff, and I'm surprised to hear it, I wasn't expecting more content (except Zul'Aman) until a new expansion.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Lost in Norrath

I tried several times to get into LOTRO over the weekend. The servers were closed. I don't know if its because I'm not a founder (players who preordered lifetime subscriptions) or if the servers were down, or if the servers were full.

WoW has me kinda just running around aimlessly at the moment, so I logged into EQ2. It has been a long time since I played, and I felt like I had started a brand new game. I tried playing my original character which had made it to what I recall as Antonica, but felt so lost that I ended up creating new characters and just staying on "newbie island".

I have to stop myself from creating a healer-type. I still see other players at low health and want to cast a heal on them, or wish I had a buff to give them as they run by. I've been trying out the mage-types - Illusionist, Necromancer and Conjurer. I guess its too soon to tell what the differences are. I wish I had some other pet besides a beetle (Conj) and a bat (Necro).

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Zone loading screens

I decided to take advantage of a 7-day trial offered by EQ2. Its for the expansion Echoes of Faudwer, where you are given the option to play a faerie in addition to the other characters. I think this expansion was first released back in September. I wasn't actively looking for something else to play besides WoW then.

I played the original EQ2 (funny to see software only a few years old being sold as EQ II Classic, and hearing people call Azeroth "vanilla WoW") right before WoW was first released. I had a decent computer back then, but not good enough to play EQ2 without the graphics set low. Well I could set them high but at the risk of performance. I would join groups for instances - thus causing more lag and I had to set my settings so low, I couldn't see my way around in caves.

I remember thinking, what's the purpose of having such wonderful graphics if your players can't enjoy them. I read that EQ2's graphics were made to be years ahead and playing it now 2 years later on a newer computer I see that it was true.

I spent some time making a Fae and I spent some time making a high elf. Since I had played before, the part I've done so far I've already experienced. But the graphics looked better so I spent a little time appreciating that.

I was surprised to see others in the starter area. Perhaps that's as a result of the free trial, but it was nice that it wasn't empty. I did a search and about 10-15 people were listed, I came across about 5-6.

I still like collecting things and I decided to try out a mage class instead of sticking to the healer class I have a love/hate relationship with. I figure the chance of me grouping would be slim, so I might as well pick a class that solos better. I tried to read up on what classes would be best, but mostly read things like "all classes can solo". "Soloing with determination" isn't my idea of fun anymore - one of the reason's I won't level up a WoW paladin.

One little thing that I noticed that bugged me is the delay in messages. When I finished killing something or gathering something there was a long enough delay to think I hadn't met the quest objective or been successful. When I mouse over a spell, it would take a few seconds to display. You think a few seconds wouldn't matter but it was enough to annoy me. I don't know if that's how the game is, or my computer performance.

What I sadly remembered from the last time I played 2 years ago, were the zone loading screens. I made the mistake of zoning out of the tradeskill area, then logging out and the 2 combined took long enough for me to have time to think "yeah this will get old fast".

Like all MMORPGs, EQ2 has lots of things to do. But I can organize my dvd collection (very small) if I want something to do. I want something fun to do. Something that compels me to continue. I did have that when first playing EQ2 and I had it for a very long time playing WoW. I'm jonesing for that feeling again.


Tobold's comment in this post:
"Fortunately these complaints have come from the top raiding guilds, which are the only customers Blizzard is listening to."

made me think about all the comments I've seen about Blizzard focusing on raiding. Here are a few I came across with a quick search:

"95% of the work at Blizzard is probably about fine tuning all these en

"The game is going downhill. They've done the exact same thing that EQ did in catering to the top 1% in order to reduce subscription cancellation due to boredom by those 1%."

catering to Raiders and refusing to have a viable end game for Non-Raiders was the single most idiotic move Blizzard made, and yes it cost them many subscribers, they came back because Blizzard changed end game focus."

And that made me think about Naxxramas. A lot of focus is on the end-game because Blizzard wants its players to keep playing of course. Do they really put that much focus on raiding? I tend to disagree, but it does seem counter-productive to focus on an instance the majority of the players would never step foot in.

Due to the current complaints about Serpentshrine Cavern trash, and its buggy encounters, many players are lamenting the bygone days of Naxxramas. It is being mentioned as the best designed instance in the raiding game.

Unfortunately, and this is where it seems I support Tobold's statement, I only got the chance to see a small part of it at the right level. I could go back now, but as a guild officer told me "it doesn't matter now".

I remember saving crafting materials so I could help those in my guild make their T3 pieces, in the end only about 4 or 5 people actually got one piece of T3. I remember thinking we would have to get busy working on our frost resistance, sadly we got no where near Sapphiron. I remember the only way I would see loot from Naxx was on the backs of other players on the battleground after they installed cross-realm pvp.

Although my burnout on raiding leaves me without the most positive attitude about it, I wish I had experienced what many are saying how raid instances should be designed (without the required pot consumption I assume!)

Now the only chance I'll have to do Naxx, is as a level 70 (the tuning requirements are too steep for my level 60 alt to bother) with the challenge toned down and the loot too easily replaced. Naxxramas diminished to the category of Deadmines. That's a shame.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Something new?

I found myself searching for a new game last night. I did a few quests in WoW, but I felt like I was just doing them out of habit.

There was some talk about LOTRO in guild chat, a few are trying it out. I tried to log in and found that its closed to only those who pre-ordered. I think it opens back up to everyone else on the 6th.

Giving LOTRO a go is appealing at the moment. Instead of gathering 2,000 basilisk eyes, sinking 15 hours of raiding or spending 3 weeks of farming - I like the idea of starting something new, where getting an upgrade is only 5 wolf paws away or a quick visit to the farmer down the road.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

If that isn't hardcore, what is?

Either more players are reaching a ripe raiding age (groups needing fill-in players) or more raiders are quitting (groups needing replacement players) because I've seen several raid recruitment threads lately, at least on my realm. And not just for healers are usual, this time every class is sought after.

One I came across said "we're not hardcore", but later said "we raid weekdays seven to midnight".
I've never considered myself hardcore, although I raided more hours than I'm willing to admit here.

I'm starting to think we raiders have a very skewed idea of time invested.

I have no idea how much time some of the top raiding guilds in the world put in per day. But when I think of hardcore I think of them - the raiders who have cleared Karazhan, Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon, Serpentshrine Cavern, etc. When I compare myself to them, I'm not "hardcore" at all. Yet for the past year, I've put more time into raiding than probably anything else besides my job.

If that isn't hardcore, what is?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Helping your guild

Someone mentioned to me how sick they are of no one helping them in our guild.

We were talking about heroics at the time. You have to get revered with a faction in order to obtain a key to run a given heroic (heroic is a dungeon difficulty mode where the mobs and bosses are harder than your regular mode.)

For example, you have to hit revered with Honor Hold before you can purchase the key to enter heroic Hellfire Citadel instances.

I found myself empathizing and not sympathizing. I know exactly how it feels to ask for help and get no answer. I know how it feels to see the guild progress while I lag (hahah pun) behind. But what is the guild supposed to do exactly? Form a run for them each night until they hit revered? There are like 5 of them - not to mention any personal rep goals like Consortium some players may have. And after we do that, what about the next person who levels up, what about the person who levels up a month from now? 2 months from now? Who's job is it to make sure they have a group to hit revered with the Sha'tar?

It would be great if everyone would help one another with whatever is needed, but it is that type of attitude that led me to despise places like UBRS. That type of attitude led me to create alts that no one knew about just so I could play and not be asked to heal a Baron run.

Most of the guild is already like that when it comes to Black Morass, people want to be attuned for Karazhan, yes - but anyone who did it a month or more ago has run it so many times its just not that appealing to run again. When someone mentions it, all you hear are crickets chirping and see tumbleweeds rolling by in guild chat.

Everyone has their own agenda when they play. It helps that the your agenda matches others so that what you do benefits both. And that's what I think is the problem, the so-called "stragglers" are asking other to do things that don't necessarily benefit them so they are reluctant to help. I'm exalted with Shadow Labyrinth, sorry you need Murmur for a shoulder piece, I don't want to go back to that place (I'm not btw this is just an example.)

I don't know what the solution is. I'm not entirely fond of my own stance on the situation but it is one I live by - ask the guild for help, if they help you great, if they don't pug it. But don't sulk about it. Everyone has to get the same amount of rep (except those darn humans!), so its not like you have to do extra work, it will just take you a bit longer.

YANE note: I was reluctant to post this, because I think it comes off sounding selfish. But all the more reason to mention it.

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

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