Thursday, November 29, 2007

I don't like the people I raid with...

Actually I do.

But I got this sentiment off the General Forums from the official WoW site.

Apparently raiders are upset that epics are so easy to get from PvP they are slowly running our of people to raid with. Someone bemoaned the fact that all the people who only raided for epics are gone because they could get their epeens enlarged elsewhere through arenas.

My question was do they really miss these people?

And then it dawned on me, people have been raiding with people they don't particularly like or care in the name of progress since raiding began. Of course. And that's why you have raiding guilds who won't put your Aunt Charlotte in that last dps spot.

The desire for epics have fueled the raiding machine for years. But people are refusing to pay the high cost of fuel in form of repairs and only a chance at an epic versus the guaranteed epics at the end of a few weeks or months of arenas and battlegrounds.

Someone else finally started another thread stating the problem isn't PvP "welfare epics", but raiding itself is what is turning raiders away. The randomness of drops, the trash and trash respawns, the repair and consumable costs.

With Patch 2.3 PvP rewards supposedly better than what you can get out of the hardest raid dungeons, I'm guessing it isn't just epeen chasers that are asking why am I bothering to raid.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Season 1 PvP Armor 4 Sale

I think today you can purchase the S1 Arena armor for honor points instead of arena.

Being able to do this makes more and more sense to me.

Those who are able to achieve the rating required to get the gear when it means the most are able to. Those who aren't are given the opportunity to do so 2 seasons later.

Those who couldn't kill bosses back at their original "hard setting" are able to once the bosses are nerfed. Once again, much later when it doesn't rank on some boss killer website.

I think the term elitist applies when you don't ever, ever, ever want someone to have what you had. This way of thinking fails when it comes to gaming, especially in a never-ending game.

I will be able to purchase something many players have long since sharded, sold, deleted, or stuffed in their bank. Why those people care, I have no idea.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's a myth

Zero pressure raiding?

Yes ontherocks you're right, I can do better. But it was more of a bookmark for me, to come back to later.

And, here I am.

In that post I saw the history of raiding in the guild I'm in:

*Finding out if many in the guild want to go the direction of end-game raiding
*Discovering which ones really mean it - by always being prepared
*Discovering those who don't - by being late, no consumables
*The break down of the so-called "relaxed, friendly atmosphere"
*Having to choose certain class mixes, some tried and true members falling by the wayside
*Hearing comments of how the "guild has changed"
*For those who decide to stay and thrive, the camaraderie of working as a team
*For those who stay and struggle, watching from the sidelines

And where I've struggled personally
*Deciding "not being quite casual enough but succeeding at group content is better for most guilds than being too casual and failing."

Why I say its a myth? I just think you can't be casual, not really. What I've heard people call casual (imagine spending 3-4 hours a night, 3-5 nights a week bowling or softball or soccer) really isn't.

"Winning" with a stacked team

I play on a server where it was a while before any guild killed Illidan. The first, like many guilds, had recruited from off the server. Recruits were players who had already been to BT/Hyjal. When they listed who got drops, none of the names were recognizable. When giving out grats it was like cheering complete strangers on. A few weeks later guilds of server veterans downed Illidan too. We could actually give personal congratulations.

For PvP, players wanted to go where the action was, so many flocked to Battlegroup 9. A group of servers know known for having the best pvp teams. I guess we're lucky so many are confined to one battlegroup. And I feel sorry for any casual players, how often do they get owned?

Battlegroups made queues much, much shorter for alliance on servers like mine, and they did so by introducing names we had never seen before. Rivalries tried to form - "Our server is better than yours!" But without specific names to taunt, they fizzled as quickly as they arose. There are no pvp heroes anymore, because no one knows anything about the battles they have fought and won. When someone won the arena mount (for being in the top percent of arena players) they only way many of us knew was because the player themselves kept posting about it, not because any of us had fell at his hands on the battlefield.

When Karazhan was released there was mention of intra-guild friendly rivalry. Groups formed around cliques, families and schedules. As it happened, color me shocked, those with freer schedules and extra hours to spend, kept going at it until it was clear. There was no competition. The rest of the groups eventually cleared on their own timetables. Something I envy now. Yes I was in the first group.

Recently a few people were cherry picked from the normal groups that had done Karazhan for the past months, to form a "supergroup" to clear Zul'Aman. In the past when the guild accomplished first kills I felt some sense of guild pride. But what obstacles did this supergroup overcome?

It just seems the strategy for winning du jour is stacking teams. Not just in the best guilds where its expected, but for the mom-and-pop guilds who aren't supposed to care as much about progression.

With 25-mans, several guildmates were pushed aside for "better" players, with the intent of bringing them back in when we had a better handle on the new dungeons. Needless to many of those players decided not to come back. Is this how its supposed to be done?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Will ZA be a hit?

Tigole the lead designer in WoW has said "Karazhan has been a big success and I think a lot of players really dig the 10 man raiding size."

Will Zul'Aman continue with that success?

I say yes. Players like having that alternative to 25-man raiding. Aside from heroics, Karazhan and Zul'Aman are the only games in town.

It's also on a 3-day reset which will allow for more swapping in and out of people.

And so far, from what I've seen the trash is minimal. They seem to reward you for your efficiency of getting through trash.

But I think its going to be a bit bumpy. For one there is no attunement. While people cry about attunements, they forget what attunements are. They are a way of preparing you for what lies ahead. Some groups, like hardcore guilds don't really need attunements and they look at it as a speed bump to their progression. But on the other end, you have players who think if you can get inside an instance you should be able to do the instance - regardless of gear, preparation or organization.

With Karazhan you had to run a few instances to get keyed, by getting keyed you at least got some gear and practice with a few encounters that weren't just tank and spank. But with ZA you don't need any kind of key. I wonder how many fresh 70s will try to find a group for ZA, simply because they can, when it has already been said that ZA is Prince/Nightbane starting difficulty (meaning it gets harder from there).

I think tackling ZA in less than average gear is going to be met with some surprise. I hear that people are going in with blues - I'm interested to know how far they are getting.

In the chat channel, people were looking for more to pug ZA. Perhaps my view of pugs are a little bit low. But I wouldn't pug ZA with a 10-foot amani hex stick.

Our group first night in, one of the many groups our guild fostered, was decently geared for ZA (Kara and T4 mostly) and we made it through a few bosses. We kept ourselves to only spending a few hours there. So I look forward to experiencing the rest in the future.

As long as you don't go in expecting to fly through it and take it for what I think it is, I think players will like it. If you clear it under the timer the first night out, this content is not for you. Unless farming for badges counts for content.

It's a new area for those either done or pretty much done with Karazhan, yet perhaps not willing (due to scheduling) or able (due to guild size) to tackle all of 25-man SSC/TK.

The gear in ZA and from heroic badges (which drop from Kara and ZA now in addition to heroics) may also get you better geared up for SSC/TK battles if you're so inclined.

Remember I've only been through some of it, so this is speculation. My guess is it's a good fit.

Oh, don't forget to pick up the quest to get a 20-slot bag.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Patch 2.3 & Zul'Aman

It was announced that, baring any unexpected issues, the next patch will be released next Tuesday. This includes the opening of the next 10-man instance Zul'Aman.

I have been looking forward to ZA since I first heard about it. I tried to spend time "casually" raiding 25-mans and even that is a chore. In order to be able to raid sometime, you pretty much have to be prepared to raid all the time. Which was more work than I realized I wanted to do.

Since 25-man raids exist and Zul'Aman is 10...there the whole matter who fitting square pegs into round holes again. Before I had the common goal of Karazhan just being a step toward 25. But this time around I'm treating 10-mans as my endgame.

What I foresee this meaning is me not being able to find a place to do 10-mans, if all the 25-man raiders group up. I never thought it would be an issue. But things change.

For the first time in a long while, I'm wondering should I find another guild. I just need something my speed, more conducive to WoW being less of a time commitment.

Its very easy to stay up late when everyone around you is doing the same. Its easy to think raiding for as many hours as I have in the past as being normal when everyone I play with pretty much does the same thing.

Lately, I thought about how I'm the same gamer, just the raiders in my guild are pushing to raid longer and more often. This...just when many raiding guilds have broken up or were merged into other guilds. I get the feeling our guild wants to play catch up more than just go at their own pace.

They don't really seem to care if I make that push with them, and maybe that's telling in itself. If Zul'Aman doesn't work out how I've been hoping it does - a more casual raiding opportunity - perhaps a change of surroundings is in order.

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

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