Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Feast of Winter Veil!!!

I'm just about finished with all of the Winter Veil achievements. The ones I have left depend on randomness and time. I need mistletoe from revelers, which there is a chance you'll get holly or snowflakes from them instead. I need a crashin' thrashin' robot, which I think you can't get until tomorrow. And I need to open a present, which of course you can't get until tomorrow!

Happy Holidays!

Dual specs

Whether what I've been hearing is true or not, the dual spec feature sounds like it will be the answer to many prayers.

Disclaimer: the following is either rumor, hearsay, or even when quoted from blue "subject to change".

Dual spec feature is supposed to allow you to have 2 specs that you can switch in and out. There is a cost involved with setting up the specs at first. But after that you should be able to switch in major cities.

I've even heard you'll be able to switch them in instances for a minor cost. Not sure how that will work. A talent trainer at the summoning stones?

What's also good news is they are taking it a step further, so when you swap your spec

"It will swap your talents, glyphs and the position of buttons on your action bars.

Note you actually have to buy the glyphs for both specs first."

Being able to switch into a dps spec will allow me to enjoy the game when I'm not healing. At this point I spend time doing things that don't involve killing anything.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A few more heroics - this time with guild

Since I normally pug heroics, I try not to do them on weeknights. The time it takes to find one and get it going and get it finished seems to eat a whole evening up. And the chance for frustration is high.

However, last night I broke my no-heroics-during-the-week rule because some of my guild wanted to run some. Not only did I get one cleared, we did three. Instead of ending the evening grumbling about a waste of time, I came away with some more achievements under my belt and more badges saved.

The nice thing about guild runs is not only are you getting gear, you're actually improving your gear for the 10 and 25 man dungeons. Instead of some random person getting an upgrade and you never seeing them again, your fellow guild member will show up next time a few stats better. So, if one person in your heroic gets gear, even if its not you, its essentially better for you as well.

It really builds a strong case against pugs and that's a shame.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Healer Mechanics

There was a nice thread in the newish Healing forums about Healing Mechanics. I was going to only paste a snippet but the post bears listing in full (with my comments in bold):

Can we have a discussion about healing mechanics? No QQ, no 3.0.8 distress, just a raw mechanics discussion. I'm not talking about class balance here, just the raw mechanics of what does and does not work as a healing implementation. Let me give you a few examples of things I think are overall issues with healing mechanics.

Healer Competition:
While most of PvE is cooperative, raid healing is stupidly competetive with poor support mechanics for multiple healers healing the same damage. It also creates an environment where faster spells are artificially more valued because it means your heal actually works. To overcome this with communication and mods takes an unproportional amount of effort. Playing two different healers in two different "ages" I can say this is unfortunately true. In the end everyone says they don't care how you heal someone as long as enough players stay alive to beat the encounter. So my attempts to keep healing fun by trying out different heals, usually ends up with me finding the best, most efficient heal to spam. No matter how many times we say healing meters don't matter or how skewed they can be (how do you get a dot heal off when a circle of healing will overwrite it; what do paladins do in the age of aoe damage, etc) someone will always look at the meter and assume the top person is the best. It will be interesting to see how things pan out with the circle of healing, wild growth nerf.

Healer Reduction:
Start 25-mans with 7 healers (or even 8 in some cases). Drop down to 4 healers as content becomes farmed. Start new content - need 7 healers again. This seems to be the place where hybrids can shine, when you need healers use your dps paladins, shaman, druids and priests. I don't think this is much of an issue. But if you like healing, having to dps would be a pain (yeah you won't read that anywhere else).

Bored Healers:
1 healer can pull over a million in healing on the right fight. Fights like Noth might have 200k in healing total. You can only heal as much damage as the raid takes. (This definitely leads to burnout, a healer kinda reaches a plateau, while dps always have more to strive for.)

Great DPS makes the fight short. Great tanks keep everything locked down. Great healers ... make everyone else think the fight just isn't that hard. Underlying mechanics mean that spectacular healers don't shine anywhere near as well as spectacular dps/tanks. This is why sometimes I like doing 5-mans more than anything, there is no one else doing the healing but me, so your contribution stands out more. Also priests can shine when crap hits the fan, but that usually requires players making multiple stacked mistakes. A situation if you're smart you try not to find yourself in very often (pugs).

Lag Double Dip:
While everyone in the raid has to react to events during encounters, for example Thaddius' polarity shifts. But while other roles have to do this a few times per encounter or as often as once every 30s, healers do this on every single cast. This makes healing more dynamic than other roles in most cases. It also means lag (link latency or server lag) affects healing roles twice as much as DPS/tanks.(Not sure what is being said here, have to review it later.)

UI/Interface Issues:
The base Blizzard UI is terrible for healing. A lot of encounters are easier if you're staring at the boss and see a cast start (for example: Loken) rather than staring at health bars. Having to either get a mod or macro every single ability is dumb.(It is amazing Blizzard has done nothing to improve the raid ui since original launch.)

Healers have a PvE spec, a PvP spec, and a DPS/questing/dailies spec. Dual-spec suggests that healers are only supposed to do 2 out of those 3 things. It should not be unreasonable to allow PvP healers to have a tri-spec option.(I wholeheartedly agree with this but I'm jonesing so much for dual spec I'm trying not to be greedy.)

Healer's Fault:
Stand in a fire? It's the healer's fault. Get crit while tanking and die? It's the healer's fault. Not enough DPS so the healers run out of mana? It's the healer's fault. Trying to do an instance in mediocre gear with no CC? It's the healer's fault. If a mechanic is supposed to be a gauge of skill, there are other ways to handle it than making healing really really hard. Thaddius is a successful solution - a nice exception to the rule. (Sigh, other than dps simply being more fun than healing, I think this has to be the second reason players quit healing. Healers are held accountable for things that aren't really their responsibility. I can only assume progression, hardcore guilds don't put up with the crap that healers are at fault for everything. But in the 11 million player world the majority either assume or expect healers are there to make up for their shortcomings. As you can imagine its not a fun place for healers' to be - especially when you're blamed for it instead of thanked or at the very least (and would be fine with me) just not blamed.)

Loot Distribution:
DPS casters are rolling on every single piece of caster gear. Healers are excluded from anything with +hit on it. The heavier the armor you wear, the more loot you can roll on.(Sometimes games expect players to do the right thing, to share, think of others and be considerate, but as we all know this is farthest from reality. In a short time of grouping again I've been b*tched at for rolling on hit gear although I requested to only be considered if dps didn't want it in the first place. Apparently hit gear should rot if no dps is there to roll on it. Never mind some hit gear have all the other stats a healer could use.)

From Cafooh - Healer Exhaustion:
As a healer, you have to pay 100% attention 100% of the time. Even 5-10 seconds of talking to your roommate or trying to answer a phone call can and will cause wipes and deaths. The ramifications of anything less than 100% of attention are faaaaaaar less severe as a DPSer (or even as a tank, as I am finding with the DK). You are constantly staring at the screen and reacting instantaneously for hours and hours. No other role is even close to as demanding or as straining as healing.(I think this is less prevalent now that 40 mans are gone, but I always like to share how as a priest I felt I couldn't look away for a moment for months of raiding, only to find out later a dpser would go afk for dinner for at least 30 minutes every raid - he had a buddy let him go on auto-follow.)

Leaving issues of class balance aside, if there was one thing you would change with regards to healing mechanics, did I list it? If not, what would it be?

Some of these things I feel as a healer you decide yourself to put up with them. For instance you should know you have to have a good attention span. And deciding to do it for hours and hours is all on you. But some things where a dpser not flipping out that you share their gear, or dpser/tanks realizing what steps they need to take to be more responsible for themselves would be a nice change that wouldn't even take much effort on their part. The ui is all on Blizzard. They've got fine examples, would it screw up too much performance to include them? But in the end if you end up bored or burned out, nothing helps but quitting at least for a while. At least that was the case for me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Problem with PUGs

Pugs have a bad rep. But deservedly so.

I leveled fairly quickly. Not very quick compared to my own guild, but in general fairly quickly. 95% by questing, my favorite part of the game. I didn't jump right into instances, because I felt I had 2 years, give or take, to do them.

Boy, did I make a mistake. By the time I felt like running the majority of my guild was not only done with all the regular instances they were done with running them on heroic! They had started doing 10 and 25 man runs which had better.

So I set aside time to do instances on my own. I've spent most of the time in "Looking for Group" which I secretly feel gives you a stigma of "if you were any *good* you could find a group in your own guild". Maybe it's just me.

I feel like I'm a decent player, with decent gear and considerate. If I'm looking for pug groups surely other players like me are looking also. And there were. However, you can have 5 players with a mish-mash of those qualities and it only takes ONE missing one of them and your pug becomes a pain.

Many times I've read posts about pug experiences and although I have a history of my own experiences I still think "No way! They couldn't be *that* bad! Could they?"

Well over the past week, I've come across that ONE in just about every group I've been in.

1) Considerate player, decent gear, not a decent player: One dpser couldn't kill a level one critter. Last boss was dps intensive. We couldn't defeat it.

2) Decent gear, decent player, inconsiderate: More than one tank decided to go afk for an extended period of time.

3) Decent player, considerate, lacking gear: I've seen enough of my share of dpsers below the tank on the damage meters.

I'm used to all of these things, but doing a week of pugs was a bad idea. And I hate it too because I know what it's like to look for a group for something and not be able to find anyone interested. Which leads me to what I believe to be my biggest gripe about pugs.

You, dear player, are looking for a group. Apparently you, yes you, have decided to join LFG. And you, no I didn't stutter, have decided you want to run this instance.

I'm looking your squarely in the eye. Can you please answer this question for me? Why do you join a group and then take 10-15 minutes to get to the instance.

This is my biggest gripe. Because you finally have the group you've been looking for! Yet you decide to keep doing your quest, or finish up your battleground, or go cut a stone for someone, or check the auction house, or generally shoot the breeze until someone summons you.

Maybe in a few days or weeks I'll realize there is something in an instance I want and I won't be able to find anyone in guild to help me and I'll pug again. But for now I'm done with them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to AFK for dinner while I'm NOT in an instance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Every day is a slow news day for the hardcore

I have to admit I miss the days of reading about what encounters the hardcore guilds have completed. Lately the only thing you'll find is Sartharion with 3 drakes up. From what I've heard there are 10 man achievements that are the pinnacle of raiding at the moment. It seems the hardcore are clamoring for something that makes them stand out.

I mentioned a while back that Blizzard should implement varying degrees of accomplishments, and obviously they've already done that to an extent. No surprise, but they may be onto something here. If you make it challenging they will come. They may as well make it Sartharion with 10 drakes up. There are guilds out there that will attempt to reach it. I guess the problem is running out of rewards to give them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lack of healers

I find it funny that groups at 80 complain about lack of healers. Who has the easiest time of leveling? DPS. You rushed to 80, most likely not helping out any healer you passed by on your way to the end. What did you expect?

As someone still fairly new to the dps side, I see firsthand how it is now. We have it easy in the leveling department. Our gear is made for maximum dps, our spec is, our class is. So Mr. Warlock, quit pressuring Mr. Priest to hurry up and level. Instead invite him to one of your killing sprees. Mr. Rogue are you doing a quest you could solo? See if a healer has that quest too. Or has spending hours in LFG left you uncharitable?


Lack of posting means Wrath is upon us. The good kind.

Quick list of what I like about WotLK:

Cutscenes, interesting quest lines, new types of quests, the visuals.

The addition of cutting away to further the story line is a nice addition. New twists on kill x quests in the form of "vehicle" quests. Ones where you jump in a tank, into a plane or onto a rocket. At some point I even wished there were more kill x quests! BC was interesting visually, but Northrend has the Outlands beat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You're not as good as you think you are*

*Disclaimer: I don't think I'm good at all.

This statement made by Tobold has got to be a joke just to provoke discussion:

The hardcore raiders often talk of raids being all about "skill checks", or even "idiot checks". But if every guild suddenly gets much further in the raid circuit after the nerf, it proves that much of the raid difficulty is strictly numerical. The bosses all still have all of their abilities, they just have 30% less health. So if guild which couldn't kill them before now can kill them, it is hard to argue that these guilds suddenly acquired a lot more skill, or that they were "idiots" before to not be able to kill that boss. One good example for a pure gear check is the first boss in Black Temple, who hits the whole raid for 8,500 damage. If you don't have 8,500 health, there is nothing you could do, you simply need the gear with the stamina that gives you enough health to survive. Of course there are other cases where you can compensate lack of gear by playing better. But I haven't seen any encounter yet which can't be made trivially easy by being much overgeared.

I keep re-reading it and yeah this has to be a joke that he really believes this.

Using a very simplistic example, but I figure one more players would be familiar with. How did we use to defeat General Drakkisath in UBRS at level 60 in blues? We had to have an actual "strategy" that involved first killing the Beast so we had kiting space, then have someone kite him while we killed the guards. You also may have wanted someone to be able to pick up Drakkisath when the tank was conflagged. These things are what I would compare to skill, idiot check.

Later with more gear you skipped the Beast, and just killed them all where they stood. Because you had enough stamina to tank them and enough dps to kill them. You didn't have to do the other things involved. It doesn't prove that you are (or aren't) skilled/idiot.

That's what I meant by all the guilds cheering about Kil'Jaeden kills, and how they went into places and one shot bosses on their first tries. I bet my precious gold if you removed the nerf, put one of these guilds in the same gear competitive guilds had they would fail. Because it does require skill, organization, awareness, attention, etc. all those things that guilds like to believe they have and would be able to do just as well as top guilds if they "just had time and/or gear".

It's not meant to be a slam toward anyone, but I just never imagined anyone in their right mind would face nerfed content and think suddenly they conquered the same thing SK Gaming faced months ago.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ranking achievements

Can we surmise from achievement points what Blizzard thinks is "important" to do in-game?

I imagine the level of time or difficulty went in to deciding how many achievement points an achievement would reward for completion.

Completing 3,000 quests garners you 50 achievement points. While completing a litany of arena requirements nets you the same.

Achievements involving questing, pvping, raiding, exploring and doing lots of seasonal events all can get you 50 points. So no surprise, this useless exercise proves all areas of the game are equally important. :)

Down the beaten path

I spent this past weekend sinking a sickening amount of time chasing a few achievements. One I didn't complete at all and one (a 2-part achievement) I finished only one part of. Each of these achievements depend on random drops.

Essentially it is possible I could never complete them, ever. Yet there I was staring at the screen hoping this time I'd get lucky... as hour after hour ticked away.

I saw the fun achievements could bring, I truly enjoyed taking part in them and now I've already sensed the irritation it can cause (of my own doing I freely admit).

Some achievements you'll reach by simply playing the game but others require that dogged obsessiveness that saps the amusement out of the overall activity.

Of course one could choose to not pursue these activities, but the activities are what this game is. And, at least for me, playing for only a small amount of hours makes me feel like I might as well not play at all. Because in the scheme of things you just can't get much done with only a few hours of play (the initial achievements, yes - but not most of the rest). You can quit smoking cold turkey, you can't quit eating cold turkey so to speak.

So once again, I feel like I should not purchase Wrath. My ambiguity made evident by my lack of pre-ordering. A friend of mine on the other hand has pre-ordered the Collector's Edition, no doubt spurred on by the various achievements you can reach only by being an owner of the CE.

Would I like playing Wrath of the Lich King? Without a doubt. Will I purchase it? I'm wavering once again. In the back of my mind I keep thinking about Adam Betts' comment as he quit back in 2006, "It attracted you with fun then turned it into a job."

Friday, November 7, 2008

To deserve an achievement

There is a really nice reward from the achievement "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been", a violet proto-drake with 310% flight speed. Other than A'lar and the gladiator pvp reward mount I don't think any other mounts are this fast coming in at 280%.

No one will be able to get the reward for a year, because the achievement depends upon you completing seasonal events over the course of a year.

In theory it should only ever take anyone a year to complete this regardless of when they start playing. However since the seasonal Brewfest achievement - Brewmaster includes an achievement Brew of the Year which, surprise, lasts over the course of a year. If you missed this year's Brewfest you have to wait two years to get the proto-drake.

Over at the General Forums many have said you are simply undeserving of getting the reward within a year if you missed taking part in this years Brewfest. Mention of "poor planning", "no preparation" and "lack of research" keep popping up. Those commenters think either you should have been aware of what getting a proto-drake entailed and forgoing all and any obstacles completed the Brewmaster achievement or that perhaps you may not have known about the reward but should have completed the Brewmaster achievement for its sake alone and thus you are undeserving of a proto-drake if the only reason you wanted to do the achievement was for the proto-drake.

Many runners run with no intention whatsoever of being first, second or third. However I think achievement rewards in WoW are not gold medals and oversized checks, instead rewards are more like the t-shirt everyone gets simply because they paid way more than an actual t-shirt costs in their entry fee.

I don't raid on a consistent basis anymore, haven't for a while now. Yet, over the course of a few days, I was able to join some runs through some Azeroth instances like BWL and AQ40 and get the Classic Raider achievement. I didn't help learn any of the fights on my character in particular. I didn't spend hours and hours over the course of weeks and months and years. Did I really "deserve" the achievement?

That's why I think we need to get out of this line of thinking that any of us should be deserving of things in-game. At least not when it comes to making an argument for why someone should or shouldn't get something.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baron mount

Baron Rivendare's mount used to arguably be the rarest drop in the game:

Just to get an idea of how rare this is.. (taken from the WoWhead comment)

As of 2/2/2008, Wowhead has only seen 1 drop out of 5290 kills...

(1/5290) * 100% = 0.019%

For one run of a given instance, the odds are higher that...

Ashes of Al'ar drops (90x more likely)
Swift Razzashi Raptor drops (63x more likely)
Swift Zulian Tiger drops (31x more likely)
Baron's Runeblade drops (9x more likely)
You are audited by the IRS
You die from slipping in a bathtub
You have a life

Personally I've been playing on and off since release and have only seen it twice across two servers. I've seen the black bug mount (the reward for a lengthy quest line involving 40 man raids at the time) more than that.

Well recently they changed it to be 1 out of 100 chances. Since then I know of 2 people that have gotten it to drop. Now people are farming it like they'd farm herbs. I've tried a few times, don't know if I have it in me to keep at it. I believe it's an achievement as well so that will make it more popular.

I can see now whatever they make an achievement they tend to want to make it more possible that people can nibble the carrot. If you keep it on a pole on a string too far away players just get angry.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Some lament one thing missing from virtual worlds is the fact most of what happens has no lasting impact.

You kill the abomination wreaking havoc over a small town only to come back later to see it there again.

You kill a dragon and go back next week and kill it again.

WoW has changed, Dalaran and Naxxramas have "moved" for the expansion. But everything is pretty much the same since when you started.

So it is with a surprise I see complaints and even threats of cancellation due to the recent zombie invasion!

I must admit I grumbled as I searched for an npc to turn in a quest only to find out it had been zombified and died. It was a minor annoyance as I waited a few minutes and it appeared again. What should have been the Black Plague was a cold. God forbid you couldn't put peacebloom up for 5 gold a stack because your auctioneer had fallen victim.

It really made me think we've forgotten what is fun. Are our playing habits so ingrained we can't take a break from quest, raid, pvp rinse and repeat for a few days and enjoy something that probably won't occur again?

And honestly the "remove this or I'll quit" is a bit of a weak threat. Blizzard has just passed 11 million subscribers worldwide.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Achievements: The end of alts

I wanted to cut back on playing my army of alts in an attempt to cut back playing WoW so much.

But now my alts are getting neglected because of the introduction of achievements. Why level up my alt by running Razorfen Downs when my main needs to run through it for an achievement? Why bother getting some "easy" gear for an alt by going on to Karazhan when my main needs more rep with the Violet Eye?

So far I've heard two players specifically tell me they aren't interested in achievements. The rest of us are running around doing things we probably never would do for our dose of daily ding.

Maybe I'll play an alt after I become an Loremaster.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nerfed content and Achievements

I'll search through my blog later (maybe) because I'm sure I talked about this before.

Blizzard should adopt a policy of creating really hard raid content with the intent on nerfing it on a schedule.

This would, perhaps, keep hardcore players and less hardcore players happy alike.

The reason why I thought of this again was because of the enjoyment guilds are having currently at finally killings some new bosses. This is occurring because of the massive nerf of TBC instances.

One common sentiment I see is along the lines of "Yes it is nerfed content but it felt good to kill X!"

It is easy to giggle at the guilds who assumed they could have done this even without the nerf. But why rain on their parade, all you uber guilds just give them a soft pat on the head and let them have their fun.

I think boss achievements should look something like
Be first to Defeat Kil'jaeden in Sunwell Plateau Worldwide
Be first to Defeat KJ EU, USA, etc
Be first on your server
Be first Alliance or Horde on your server
Defeat KJ within week of 1st kill
Defeat KJ within month of 1st kill
Defeat KJ within (1st nerf)
Defeat KJ within (2nd nerf)
Just Defeat KJ at some point.

Okay that may be overkill with the variety of achievements from one single kill. But Achievements come with points and the higher up on the list could get your more points. Or maybe a boss appropriate title and/or 310% mount?

It's along the lines of being rewarded something regardless of what pace you play. But those who progress faster would still get something more. I'm not sure this would keep the really hardcore happy because I think one of the major complaints is their boredom between raid releases.

My point is to make a earlier planned schedule of nerfing content. I imagine the content was nerfed because of Wrath.

But why not nerf it earlier? From what I've seen if you are going to kill the boss in its first incarnation, you'll kill it and relatively speedily within the first few months. But it is almost like it isn't until a nerf that a few more guilds flow through the floodgate. And it isn't until it is massively nerfed that the rest of the guilds are able to come out and play.

I guess I want a playground for all. If the less hardcore don't mind knowing they are making castles in the kiddie sandbox and the hardcore don't mind sharing their courts it might work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back to WoW....again

I uninstalled Warhammer. My main reason was the choppy play on my low end computer.

I'm playing WoW again. Running around chasing achievements. At first I jumped from one to the other. I fell victim to "guild chat syndrome". Anytime a guild member's achievement popped up in guild chat, I clicked on it and felt the urge to try to do whichever achievement it was. I think I've finally reined myself in, instead making my own list of achievements that mean something to me (from a roleplay aspect or some other made up reason) and trying to tic off* that list.

*I've been trying to not use the word work. As in I'm working on my achievements. I'm working on my list.

Maybe keeping the game of WoW a game involves consciously not treating it like a job.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In case I hadn't mentioned it

I unsubscribed from Lord of the Rings Online for the second time. I'm pretty sure this time it is for good.

My friend doesn't like the combat and has probably logged less than an hour with me total out of all the months we've both paid for. Here's what's interesting he doesn't want to unsubscribe because he wants to support the game. As I mentioned before he's the LotR fan, not me. Too bad neither of us just couldn't find it fun enough to stick with.

And now with Warhammer I'm thinking I'm not going to subscribe to any more months either. :/

Yet there's WoW calling me back with it's siren song.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Decision 2004

Let's forget about the presidential election for a second and take a look back to Decision 2004 when gamers were deciding between World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 along with Kerry vs. Bush.

As the then preview mentions:
*400,000 players, the count the original Everquest had at the time was considered massive.

*EQ was the "one to beat" and the "front runner" as none of the other games came close. Just like WoW now, people wonder who would be the "EQ killer"

The writer compared 5 areas, PvP, Challenge, Combat, Game world and Game mechanics.

EQ2 at the time didn't offer any kind of PvP, so WoW won that round. Funny now considering some PvPers consider WoW lacking and flocked to Warhammer.

As far as challenge the write gives point to EQ2. At the time no one really knew what WoW's endgame would be like so he was basing it on leveling. WoW definitely went the easy route. But in the end "challenge" (if you go by subscription numbers) was not what most wanted.

Combat: Heroic opportunities in EQ2, mimicked in LotRO I think gave EQ2 the edge. I'd say they were about the same, although its been a long time since I've played EQ2 but I can't remember complaining about combat like I do with LotRO and WAR.

Game world. Writer said it was too close to call. From what I've read, EQ has a larger world and I assume EQ2 would as well. But I never got to max level to know for sure. I've felt WoW's world was small.

Game Mechanics. Writer said it was up to the player. I think WoW took existing mechanics and improved upon them. I personally think WoW won that round.

Tradeskills. EQ2 had "depth and utility". But if you'd taken part in it, you realize sometimes too much is too much. WoW's professions are pretty simplistic and could use a boost, but not to the extent that EQ2 took it.

Solo playability. Writer said it perfectly "WoW allows for that experience to be a lot less painful". Arguably though, that same solo playability has made wow a less social game and perhaps that's a bigger loss to this genre than talked about.

Quests. The author gives WoW the win on this one. Did wow originate the symbol over and npc's head to let you know whether there is a quest or not? I don't know but there is no going back.

And Community. The author said this remains to be decided. A smaller community can be more close-knit. But the last time I went back to EQ2 it was so dead. Small doesn't always equal good. WoW's reputation isn't the best if you base it on General forums, Barrens chat and Trade chat. But when a new game comes out and someone goes back to wow they usually say it was because of their friends and guild.

The article ends saying the final result is too close to call, but 4 years later WoW won overall no contest.

One of the reader's comments unwittingly foreshadowed WoW's success: "The game is fundamentally flawed for anything but casual people with very little time on their hands."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

*My* Life in Azeroth

Continuing on with my "thinking about wow too much" line of thought...

One thing that is missing from World of Warcraft's armory and achievements and I believe Warhammer's tome of knowledge or Lord of the Rings Online's deed log are dates. Dates when you accomplished something. WoW's armory has your date of last logon. And Everquest's character sheet goes as far to show how much you've played.

But as far as I know there is nothing that shows a history of your character. And what I mean by this is, there is no easy way to tell a 4-year old WoW character from a 30-day old WoW character. There is no stardate for when you first looted a green upgrade, or when you killed the Baron within the time limit. Yes achievements are covering some of the bases here. But what about doing something pre-nerf or level appropriate, dates would take care of that.

Warcraft realms is the closest you'll come to having a time line.

There would be costs for maintaining that data I'm sure. And the risk of being able to stand apart due to time played is bad for overall business when it comes to recruiting players (Sure *you* have 150 AAs, but that looks like Mt. Everest to a new player).'s not something players have been clamoring for.

So maybe it's not such a great idea. I'm just an "old" player pining about the days when I first started playing. Ought Four 'twas.


Maybe it is too soon to throw in the towel, but I don't think Warhammer is going to be the methadone I was hoping it would be.

I often think how it would be easier to just jump back into WoW and I don't immediately remember the reasons I decided to quit.

I've been thinking about resubscribing, luckily refer-a-friend doesn't work for renewing old accounts or I probably already would have. My excuse was going to be that I wanted to give my friend a Zhevra.

I toyed with the idea of coming back with the next patch because some WotLK things are going to be included. Namely Inscriptions. Then I went back to wondering if I should wait until WotLK to come back.

Yet in the back of my mind, I still have a part of me saying I should never go back. It's been over a month since I quit but it feels longer. WoW needs to be flushed out of my blood stream completely before I make any decisions about coming back.

I hate that this all sounds so like an addict talking. It makes me a bit ashamed.

To paraphrase Bender, "I don't need to play, I can quit anytime I want!" Took me forever to quit if I count how far back it was I started first thinking about it. And now it's taking me a while to really move on from it.

I don't mean for this to be an act of accountability, but maybe it would serve me well. I honestly can't say in the upcoming months if I won't read this post again while donning woolies in Northrend.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Warhammer: Second Impressions

It's okay.

I haven't thought about it too much to give any concrete reasons.

Maybe I'm not enough of a pvper to enthusiatically enjoy it.

Maybe the days of an MMORPG knocking my socks off are gone forever.

Maybe (most likely) the feel of combat is off. LotRO had this issue for me too.

Maybe I haven't found the niche (right guild) to give it that "This is awesome!" feel.

Maybe (most likely) I need to upgrade my computer or buy a new one (no plans to make this happen any time soon) to fully enjoy what WAR has to offer.

Maybe it's just me.

But it should be telling that I'm making this post instead of playing at this very moment.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm bitter with World of Warcraft at the moment. How could I be resentful of a game I'm not even playing?

Well I still have ties to the game through a close friend who still plays. I'm kept abreast of the goings on in Azeroth. For example Brewfest: I hear you get a chance at getting your own kodo for Alliance. And achievements that if you don't get them during the seasonal event you won't be able to unlock again until next year. Makes me kinda want to play it again - NOW - or I'll miss out. You will not suck me back in Blizzard.

It is messing up my other gaming experience as well.

Warhammer is a decent game, but it has a few bothersome little bugs.

Why do I keep seeing certain messages twice. "You are logging out. You are logging out." "You have been killed by X. You have been killed by X."

I blame Blizzard for being successful and making money and fixing issues. I've come to expect my character's body will not run around twisted with her legs facing one way, her face yet another direction like the medical malady that has befallen my Witch Elf on occasion

Are these gamebreaking issues? Of course not, these bugs will most likely get fixed with time, but it is annoying to go from a polished game to a game that locks up every time I exit.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Warhammer Public Quests

I like the idea of public quests. However there is a drawback and I didn't expect to experience it so soon. If there isn't a "public" around you can't finish the public quests.

I'm logging into full servers but the low levels areas are sparse. I'm sure everyone is pushing toward the higher level stuff. But for someone like me who isn't playing much I'm unable to keep up with the herd. I'm still haven't hit the teens yet.

I guess it's not a big deal, because you don't *have* to do public quests to advance. However not being able to even take part in something considered innovative is a let down.

Friday, September 12, 2008

PvE to PvP transfers

WoW is allowing them now.

The move was obvious according to some, as you'll be allowed to create level 55 deathknights on any server you want regardless of whether your qualifying character is on a pve server currently or not. So the whole notion of needing to level from the ground up was thrown out of the window anyway.

Good idea on Blizzard's part because, whatever the cost, it may get some to think twice about spending money on warhammer around the same time they'll spend money to transfer.

This was one of a few holdouts Blizzard's given in on though. If I were to name the posts that receive the most Blue "we aren't considering it at this time","we have no plans to change this at this time" it would be:
1)Respec Costs
2)Flying Mount Costs
3)PvE to PvP transfers

Not that one has anything to do with the other, but forum prepare thyself for the onslaught of "You changed your mind on xfers, now lower the cost of flying mounts".

Warhammer concern

As I waited for a scenario to begin the other evening I got a furrowed brow. How in the world...aww I can't use my meme here...will Warhammer keep populations balanced? How are they going to manage to keep players on both sides so the larger side won't have horrific queues and the smaller side won't get zerged all the time? Warhammer touts itself as a PvP game. It is much more important to have a plan for how to handle this than it would be in WoW where battlegrounds were initially an afterthought and is a subset of the entire game.

The WoW killer

I don't think anyone really expects Warhammer to be the WoW killer not even Warhammer. But my lack of being able to get a friend to try out Warhammer with me got me to thinking about games like Ultima Online and Everquest back when WoW was first released.

I don't have a long history before WoW so I personally don't know what it was like. Did players back then say "WoW will kill Everquest!" "Wow is the DAoC killer"? Did the majority of players leave en masse or did they trickle away?

As my friend continues to play WoW which is still popular I wonder what it would be like to keep playing a dying game while all your friends leave to play something new? At what point did you jump ship? Or are you on the other end of the spectrum - an early adopter willing to try anything when it's first released?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Life in

At one time I considered changing my blog name to Life in Outland or something like that once The Burning Crusade was released.

Although, I never once thought about changing it to Life in Middle-Earth, with me trying out Warhammer I thought maybe I should change it to Life in Warhammer World (I don't know enough about the game to say where it is taking place :/)

But I don't have plans to stick with warhammer for years like I did WoW. Not that Warhammer doesn't have potential, but as someone said, WoW has burnt many players out on MMORPGs.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Warhammer: first impressions

I like it.

Please take note my highest character is level 3 or 4. So I haven't done much or ventured very far. Also this post isn't orderly, I just wanted to get some thoughts out there.

I was able to join a scenario (think WoW battleground) almost immediately after creating my character. The scenario instance bumped me from my rank (level) 1 you up to 8. The highest I faced was a level 11 which allowed me to run around and not just get slaughtered. Nice feature.

Since WoW's PvP was an afterthought, your goal is to level/gear up first *then* participate. With WAR you can jump right in. Not sure if twinking will/can occur, but so far I like being able to PvP right away.

What can I say about quests? They are straight-forward. Kill x of this, get y of that. And while we might complain about collecting 10 bear asses, honestly how would *you* revolutionize questing? Post your ideas here. I'll wait.

Yeah its not as easy as you think.

One thing warhammer does differently than I've seen before is show the area on your mini-map where your quest objective can be found. I know some will say this is dumbing it down, but before I left WoW I had come across mods that essentially did the same thing and I have to say they were pretty friggin' sweet. The only difference in warhammer you don't have to add a mod for it.

And that's what I'm noticing about this game. It's like they took ideas from WoW mods/addons and put them in. Simple things like cooldowns showing on the icons are already in the game instead of you having to download from curse gaming. If people really hate it maybe they'll add an option to not show it.

People have begged (don't understand the appeal myself personally but I'm also on the side of "do we *really* need housing") for dying armor in WoW. LotRO has it and so does warhammer.

I get this feeling that Warhammer figured it can't beat WoW so it would focus on the stuff WoW doesn't have. I mean really focus on it. One of the first tooltips you get is about dying armor. Good grief it isn't that important. And no one is going to leave WoW because they can dye armor in another game.

This isn't meant to devolve into a WoW vs. WAR discussion. It's not fair to WAR. I'll just say it again, I like it so far. Hmm what do most people post about.

Performance - I haven't reached in huge skirmishes, but so far the game is playable on my computer. For comparison I didn't even dare to try out AoC and I lagged during the beginning of lotro when everyone was trying it out. I also lag in Shattrath. I expect to lag, but haven't felt too much of it...yet. Definitely not enough to make me log off in disgust.

Graphics - Good (since its subjective). Someone complained about the graphics and I really don't get what they're talking about. I think the game looks great. It doesn't have that cartoonish feel that many people complain WoW has (never bothered me).

Combat - This was what worried me. LotRO combat doesn't feel right, hard to explain but it just doesn't. I heard similar grumblings about WAR but so far it seems okay to me.

Community - I think people are too busy playing to fill up chat with garbage. And I was jumping around from server to server too much to say what the community will be like. Although in scenarios people are already complaining (what?!?! say it ain't so!?!?!) about healers not healing. That gets SO old. Why don't people just give up on expecting people to heal? If someone is playing a healing class and not healing you they are not going to be pressured into healing just because you whine about it. They will
A) either ignore you
B) heal you, but if they do it's because they were already doing so, so your whining doesn't help, instead it does just the opposite! It makes us feel like apparently the healing we *have* been doing is going unnoticed.
C) reroll a non-healing class so they can join the crowd that moans about not getting heals.

Whew sorry about that tangent*. Disclaimer: That rant applies to all games.

Anyway, if things stay like what I've experience so far, Warhammer appears to be a game you can jump in play a little and enjoy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Warhammer: Choosing a side

I've already read that the Destruction (read Horde) side is the most populated.

I came across some funny posts concerning choosing a side for RvR in Warhammer.

I think we will be faced with what I call the Richard Hatch phenomenon. Richard Hatch was the first winner of the Survivor series. Richard craftily formed voting alliances, which was ingenious at first but then was copied for seasons to come.

Many players started playing WoW without thinking about PvP. Many, not coming from a gaming background, didn't know much about the game at all. Those in the know, and those focused on PvP chose Horde. Those not in the know suffered and usually since you don't find out how bad things are until max level, you've made friends, good guilds, find it hard to start over.

But with the knowledge of things from WoW will you choose blindly (read prettily)? Or have you learned from the master(s) that choosing a side for looks isn't the best choice when you want to (or have to) compete. Sure the people in the first Survivor were blind-sided by Hatch's cunniness, but what excuse did all the remaining Survivor tribes have?

The big difference is PvP was only a part of WoW. PvP is Warhammer, so perhaps both sides have good pvp racials if there is such a thing. And perhaps both sides will balance out as far as populations are concerned. (How will they balance populations anyway???)

I'm going to admit that I haven't learned anything and that I'll probably choose whatever seems "cool" to me first. But I'm not going to think twice about switching if things turn out as they did in WoW*.

*Please remember my decision to take a break from WoW and try something else had nothing whatsoever to do with PvP.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

LotRO: Found some fun

Fellowships. It is so much fun to quest in a fellowship.

Of course it isn't possible to do so, but if I could spend most of my time in a fellowship group (is that redudant?) I wouldn't have as many complaints about the game as I do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The benefit of playing a popular class

"Hunters are populated with bad players", "Rogues can't find a raid slot". Here are 2 phrases you're likely to hear in WoW. In LotRO the popular classes are also hunters, as well as champions (guess they are like warriors).

After leveling up and finding it hard to get in groups and raids, some players decide to play a healer instead. But as someone mentioned on the lotro forum, if healing was so fun why aren't there more of them. Some players want to raid bad enough they switch to healing.

So when it comes to playing a new game, latecomers ask "what is the most needed class?" "I don't want to be like the hundreds of other hunters running around". Inevitably people say "we could always use tanks and healers".

It makes me wonder if warhammer has manage to make being a tank or a healer as fun as dps.

Recently I thought about how it must have been rough playing a rogue or hunter or any other highly populated class pre-arenas and especially pre-BC because the best gear was inside dungeons and the dungeon could only allow for some many yellow and green slots.

But with arenas and pvp gear the best gear could be had by mostly anyone without raiding. So all of a sudden not only do you get to play your fun class you also are able to get good gear for it now.

It was a win-win for the popular classes.

People whine about rogues now, but I can't imagine WoW changing (much) how things are because you would alienate a large percentage of your player base.

People snicker at FOTMs, but who doesn't want to play a class that has inherent advantages?

I'm drawn to playing support classes because of my personality. Due to their playstyle and lack of "you are the hero" mentality, support classes are relatively scarcer. But as I ponder picking up warhammer, I think I may be best served by picking a popular class for a change.

Popular classes are popular because they are argumentatively easier or simply more fun.

I've heard of ret paladins who have stuck with the class trying their hardest to make them work (rumor has it wrath has given them some love). Begrudgingly healing just so they have a chance at some better drops.

Why not choose a popular class that developers focus their energies on, something that will have a leg up as soon as I enter the "create character" button? Something I don't have to work extra at just to match up?

I feel a little dirty about following the herd to the popular class. But hey I'm just saving myself heartache later right?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

LotRO: Where is the fun?

As I searched to figure out what is wrong with lotro for me. I came across some suggestions that the game would get better at 20. I also read it would get better in the 30s.

Of course bookend that with mention the endgame at lotro is lacking....where is the fun? Only between levels 30-50? What makes it so fun for those levels and not up to 30?

I've cancelled yet again, but just like WoW my account won't kick me out for a few months. That gives me plenty of time to find out if things really get better.

I want to give it a chance because I remember starting a druid in WoW wasn't all that fun. I tried leveling 2 before the 3rd stuck. I hit 20 or so and never looked back, ending up with a L70 eppiced druid that I wouldn't mind leveling some more in WotLK.

So maybe something will happen in LotRO, some magic level will make me powerful and I'll start having some fun and desire to continue on.

One problem could be lack of kinship and community. Many say they don't miss Barren chat or trade channel, but LotRO chat is so bare you almost think you're playing a single player game. And that is a huge problem. Yes everyone likes the ability to solo, but grouping with people, playing against other people or simple interacting with a PC instead of a NPC is the draw of MMORPGS.

I found out I can transfer to another highly populated server for 25 bucks but do I really want to pay that to find out things aren't any better? The sad thing is I haven't enjoyed playing enough to just level a brand new character to 20 just to save myself the 25 dollars. I could just put that toward one of the existing single player games.

I see several players on the forums who have 3 or 4 capped characters. I'm amazed. How could they stand leveling twice, let alone three or four times?

I can and did do that in WoW, but I can't fathom it in lotro.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Simpsons did it

I forgot what tv show - Family Guy? Robot Chicken? - had the joke about any story line that exists now "The Simpsons" has already done it. The Simpson probably did the joke.

Anyhoo, I read somewhere that public quests are something new in warhammer that you haven't seen elsewhere. I assume the idea of distribution at the end is the new part.

Because when WoW introduced the Shattered Sun Offensive quests everyone could get credit for a killed Emissary of Hate (anyone could place a banner through his corpse whether or not they killed him themselves or not). Also in the Kazzak area, everyone could increase their Living Flare whether they killed the elemental or not as long as you were close by when it died.

And I remember back when TBC was released thinking wouldn't it be nice if everyone could get credit for killing those voidspawns over at the edge of Hellfire Peninsula, since we were all in a bunch there anyway trying to be the first to get a shot off as they spawned (hunter *surprise* were usually first to finish their quest and move on).

So the idea of public quests is a very cool addition, but WoW kinda already did it. Well maybe Warhammer is actually a chip off the old behemoth - taking and idea and improving on it.

What I miss in WoW...

...that's not in lotro. (Yes I'm trying out lotro again while waiting on warhammer - never thought I'd say that).

What I miss from WoW that Lord of the Rings Online doesn't have is all the stuff outside of the game. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough yet, but I don't remember having to look very hard when it came to WoW.

1) Mods and Addons - many agree mods and addons are a mini game in itself. WoW's ui isn't horrible, but getting to change it around and make it something more useful or simply look different, customize it just to your liking is fun.

So many times I found something in the game not exactly how I'd like it only to find an addon that took care of it easily.

In PvMP raid settings I miss things like Grid for the same reason I liked using it in WoW. A way to see a lot in smaller screen real estate.

2) Thottbot, wowhead - how many times have I wanted somethng simply because I read that what others had said about it. I didn't even have a rogue and thought getting a barman shanker would be cool. It was a way to look forward to things you could get - like window shopping!

Yes, I have imagined how much longer it would take for me to play wow if I couldn't look up the quests on thott. But now I don't feel like I'm "exploring" while running around in circles for a quest item, instead I feel like I'm wasting time I no longer and willing to waste. I also miss some of the funny comments people make. In lotro its like rock is at 15.5x, 40.68y zzzzzzzz.

3) Forums - for as much of a cess pool people say wow forums are, lotro forums are not only tame but boring in comparison.

4) Celebrities - Leeroy Jenkins became well enough known outside of the game that it was a Jeopardy question (okay college Jeopardy but still). You'll never see Mr. T advertising for lotro, but what about Sir Ian McKellen? Okay Billy Boyd then if he's too busy. My point WoW has reached beyond the game itself and that makes it even more fun.

Maybe games were never meant to be so all encompassing, but that's the path WoW has lead us down and I kind of expect it now with other games. I hope Warhammer has some of the things I mentioned here it just adds to the enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've never really followed games too far ahead of release. So the only things I'd heard about Warhammer are from the WoW forums. I mostly ignored them because many WoW forum posters have a bias one way or the other to where you're not sure you're getting any information objectively.

I also heard it was going to be focused on pvp and given my experience with WoW I had a feeling of exasperation I wasn't willing to pursue in another game.

Yet for some reason, I want to try out Warhammer Online now. Maybe I'm already bored not playing WoW.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm not lazy

One of the things you can read quite often on the forums is how lazy "casuals" are. And how easy things are made so "casuals" can participate. And "casuals" aren't willing to put in the work for rewards.

For one brief moment I almost started to believe them - "I *do* want things easy, I'm lazy and don't want to work for rewards!".

But it isn't true. I'm not lazy. I could, and have, spent months where I spent consecutive hours raiding for rewards. I could, and have, spent months where I have run battlegrounds for rewards.

But those activities ceased to become fun for me. So, because I choose to not participate in tedious, boring activity I'm lazy?

I think we have our descriptions or expectations wrong.

Doing quests is a fun activity for me. I know some players who skip quests and either instance or grind to max level. Are they lazy because they've skipped a ton of quests?

I know some players who only log on to compete in arenas. Are they lazy because they don't raid? Are raiders lazy because they don't compete in arenas?

I hope achievements give "hardcore" players the recognition they desire. That recognition that sets them apart from others who decide what they like doing should be rewarded in some better way. Maybe that would make them happy and they can quit finding time to label the rest of us.

I want...

I added another cautionary tale to my blog. This blogger, Boatorious, has listed why he quit WoW and what he wants from Warhmammer Online.

I agree with many things on his list, like the following:

I want to take a break from RvR when I want to take a break -- not because I ran out of potions, need attunements or need to go PvE for gear.

I want the best gear in the game to be RvR gear that can be earned without requiring 20 hours of scheduled play every week.

I want to log on and play the "end game" anytime I want.

I want to log on any given night and play the "end game" with my guildies.

I never want to spend three hours in a PvE instance, ever.

I want it to be easy to find a group for PvE instances and easy to find public quests being completed.

I never want to fight with my guild over loot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tier pressure

A good friend of mine recently told our guild he wanted to take a very short break from raiding to do something else. He would be able to log on every now and then, but instead of joining the raid then dropping he'd just rejoin full force later.

One person quickly commented that he should reschedule the "something else" and still raid.

Later on, during the break, someone else tracked him down on an alt and asked him was he going to raid.

Comments like these are the peer pressure raiders feel to raid constantly.

I've taken more vacation time from work than some raiders have from their raid schedule.

I'm not trying to knock raiding. Then again maybe I am. It just seems insane sometimes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Resolution List Revisted for the 2nd time

I'm playing less, let's see if my list helped me:

1) Play a needed class. One common refrain to the shortage of tanks posts is "there is no shortage of tanks, just a lack of tanks wanting to pug". And this is where I sit. It's not because my gear is great and I feel above pugs, I just realized I don't like being the "leader" often. And that's what most pugs required, someone to lead them through instances. For instances I felt comfortable with (usually stuff I outgeared) I was okay with it. But if I'm struggling to tank I don't want to have to tell everyone what they need to do. So in the end I quit doing 5-man instances for the most part.

2) Focus on one role. Well if catbear is a role I focused on one. As I mentioned in #1 I quit pursuing 5-man instances so focusing a role didn't matter. I was 99% cat and 1% bear (Galvanger and Drek'thar). If you don't group you don't have to be a bear much.

3) Do not raid. The Kara group I raided with had a better geared druid come back (for badges) and I ended up sitting out enough that I quit showing up. The Gruul/Mags impromptu raids disappeared.

4) Do not pick up a crafting profession. I'm still a gatherer. I want to mess around with inscriptions but that's not until WotLK.

5) Get loot through crafting, reputation and pvp. I grew tired of the pvp "welfare" gear grind. I don't even see myself going through it in wotlk if Blizzard decides to keep that type of stuff in the game.

6) PvP marginally. See #5

7) Grind reputations that only give rewards I can't easily get anywhere else. Haven't done anymore reputation grind except Scryer because I was so close to finishing.

8) Give up on fun frivolities I'm not sure why I listed this one in the beginning, what is this game but a fun frivolity? I have the most fun questing with a friend. But sadly I think we've run out of most of the quests we can do as a duo. Pretty much what is left is only group and raid quests.

So I'm playing less but I don't think its as much a result of following this list as it is just how things have worked out.

Done until WotLK

I came across the first random "raiding has been called off until WotLK" announcement. The guild I'm in is still going strong, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more of this.

It just must be too much of a pain to keep people motivated. The expansion will be a bit of a gear reset and wiping on Sunwell content with better options on the horizon is a tough option to choose. But if you are in a raiding guild, wouldn't raiding be the only option you'd be happy with? Or is it more important to prepare for raiding in Wrath?

My deadline is looming and I didn't get all the things I said I would done, but I'd rather spent my last days playing now instead of preparing to play later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Responding to a comment on my previous post led me to expound on why I enjoy playing my druid so much.

If you mention druids need buffs on the forums you will be met with Druids are OP in the arena!

But, whether this is true or not, they most likely mean restoration-specced druids. And they also mean in 2v2s (and 3v3s?) So in a small subset of the world...of warcraft...druids are OP. If you pin them in a corner you might get them to admit feral druids aren't awesome in arenas. However this is not meant to be a PvP post so I'll leave it at that.

What I was getting at is there are things I feel are missing for a cat druid in pvp, but in reality I only do arenas as a "something to do" and not to be competitive so I have no complaints in that arena (I'll quit apologizing for the puns one day).

I don't participate in the higher heights of progression raiding, so my dps not matching a rogues, or 90% of a rogues, or whatever percentage rogues would be happy with ferals doing, doesn't matter much to me.

I'm able to tank Gruul level bosses, and as I mentioned I don't do anything higher so my bear is content.

For the purpose of my druid (the occasional 2-hour raid, 5 mans, quests, yucky alliance bgs, dailies, welfare arena) the class is almost perfect.

Wrath: Rerolling, DK or sticking with main?

Since I've pretty much decided I'm going to play the next WoW expansion, I'm thinking about what my plans will be when I come back.

I still have fun playing a druid and at this point no other class appeals to me so much that I'm willing to start at 1 and level up to 80. So I'm sticking with my main.

I do want to play a deathknight as Blessing of Kings suggested.

Will I stick with it? Most likely no. It would have to really turn out to be a fun playstyle for me. And it would have to sway me away from my druid altogether. Because I have no plans to level up multiple characters anymore.

It is doubtful a DK would make me turn my back on my druid. Because the things I like about playing a druid cannot be replaced by a DK. But a druid and DK can both tank and dps you say! Ah, but the real joy I get out of playing a druid are some very simple things.

Stealthing and instant cast swift flight. Yep that's it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I continue to wean myself off of WoW.

I've been selling bank stores on the AH, yet still holding on to certain things just in case I decide to come back.

Yeah it seems I just can't make that clean break.

The more I think about it the more I want to lean toward not coming back for WotLK. I think I used the idea of resubscribing for the expansion as a way to make quitting not seem so final.

I spent a lot of my gold (I didn't have much in today's standards) on buy reputation mats. I then spent the next few days doing dailies and earning it back.

I made a game out of how fast I could do dailies, thinking about what order would have been faster. But once again doing a bunch of dailies over and over, or a bunch of anything (re: achievements) over and over is what I have to step away from.

If it sounds like I'm trying to talk myself out of playing it's because I am. I can't seem to find another game to take WoW's place to make things easier. :(

Monday, July 21, 2008

WotLK release date speculations

We all have them. Here's mine.

Based the previou beta period of about 3 months I want to say they may shoot for an October release.

However maybe they'll try to push for November 23, 2008, celebrating the 14th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. That will also give them the Thanksgiving holiday period were people will have some extra free time to play and advertise to their friends.

Then again maybe they'll want to take advantage of releasing it near Christmastime.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Longest Countdown Ever

No not until the WotLK expansion is released, but when my subscription runs out!

I still have well over a month before I logout for good, and I still find ways to stay busy in-game.

But now that there is mention of achievements that you can only obtain *before* WotLK is released, it makes me wonder...just in case...should I attempt to wrap up more things before I call it quits?

And this is the same web I'm caught in spun by WoW's addictive spider. What about all the goals I never completed??? What about the goals I don't even know about that I want to complete?!?!

It is a nasty web. Nasty, nasty thing. I didn't sign up for beta on the chance I get stuck in *that* cocoon!

The NDA has been lifted from what I've heard. I still like reading all about it and seeing the screenshots. But no! This fly wants its freedom!

*buzzes away*

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The announcement about Achievements got me excited about Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

I think EQ already has this, but the achievements actually improve your character. These are more like maybe LOTRO things like exploring several places will give you a "World Explorer" achievement.

I was excited and at the same time sad. Because the things that are stopping me from playing soon - spending too much time in-game, well Achievements make it sound like I'd be on acid.

I never ran out of things to do really, I just ran out of things I considered fun. And achievements sound like a ton of fun things to chase after.

Exactly what would keep me playing hour after hour after hour.

I look forward to them adding it. Not for myself. But for other gamers who don't have a problem with their slash played. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

L2P terribad scrub

I guess I'm getting all the ugliness that is part of a mostly anonymous social gathering we call MMORPGs out of the way as my time winds down.

With the addition of arenas and the armory it is hard to have opinions on the WoW forums without your opinion's validity, accuracy and importance being called in to question based on how well you have performed and what gear you have acquired.

What puzzles me most is how often WoW players like to point out that WoW is extremely easy to play. And if you aren't a top rating arena pvper or Sunwell gear donning pver or even both there is no hope for you - you know because the game is SO easy! Yet, in usually in the same breath, we are expected to sit at their knee for achievements gained in this realm.

It's like learning to spin out on a big wheel, and looking down on another kid because they couldn't. Aren't you all high and mighty! Oh wait...all you've done is learn to spin out on a big wheel.

This is really only directed to those players who have let their "accomplishments" somehow go to their head.

I guess good sportsmanship is the term I'm looking for here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Why is it okay here?

For some strange reason I was thinking about griefing the other day. "Griefing" - going out of your way to ruin someone else's time.

In what other games and hobbies is griefing okay?

Killing someone in PvP fine. But corpse-camping them? Going out of your way to wait until they rez only to kill them again?

I remember why I was thinking about it now. Someone went out of my way to say some nasty things to me.

At least I got over it quickly, but it makes me wonder why that behavior is tolerated.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Playing to the end

So what will I be doing for the next 2 months as my subscription nears expiration?

I find it interesting that if I choose to not do certain things because I'm quitting its almost like quitting anyway.

For instance, I went on a shopping spree like most players when Season 4 started. If I happened to already have enough materials to enchant a few of the new stuff I purchased I easily did so. However when it came to purchasing gems off of the Auction House I struggled with whether I should even bother. Because I would need to farm for more gold.

Do I want to spend my last days farming for primals? Or do I want to jump into a battleground?

The answer is an easy one. And I find myself still running around with a several un-gemmed, un-enchanted items.

But the question I've pondered the most is should I bother getting the best enchants/gems if I'm going to quit?

Which leads to should I bother getting honor and arena points or running instances for gear if I'm going to quit?

Which leads to if I don't PvP or PvE I might as well not log on.

But I want to play and knowing I have a time limit encourages me to decide what is most important (read fun) to me. And quit playing for what is going to happen down the line.

A recipe dropped and I collect recipes, so instead of passing I rolled for it. Who cares if I'm not going to play tomorrow. Today I added to my recipe collection and that is part of having fun in the game to me.

What would you do if you knew you only had 6-months left to play? 3 months? 1 month?

I remember a guild member quit raiding because he knew down the line he would have to quit. He didn't want to take gear that other players would need and he also didn't want to take a slot that could be used to train his replacement. So as a result he ended up quitting raiding long before he quit the game.

I don't really want to do that. I don't want to pass on things and quit earning things and stop enchanting things because I know I'll be quitting. I don't want to be left standing around in Ironforge until my subscription runs out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Following AoC

Back in May I blogged about new Age of Conan fansites.

Can you tell how well a game is doing just by the amount of blogs that exist for it?

You can at least get a few ideas what the game is like from them. Of course they will be biased according to the blogger.

What brings me to this is the end of a AoC blog nearly before it began.

Apparently the blogger had high hopes for the game, but yet we see within less than two months this gamer has decided AoC isn't engaging enough.

As I blog this with the feeling of passing by an accident, I wonder did I want to see AoC fail? No, not at all. I wanted another game to pull me from WoW. And now that I'm canceling WoW I desired an alternative.

Maybe because I felt my pc couldn't run it, I wanted to feel like I'm not missing out anything anyway.

In all fairness, revisiting the blogs I came across back then, one of them mentioned they are having so much fun they haven't had a chance to blog. Then again, they also haven't reached max level.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"See you next week"

People post "I'm quitting!" and the usual response is "Can I have ur stuf?" but also a common response is "See you next week".

I've known several people in my guild who posted what sounded like definitive goodbyes only to pop up again months later. I'm not talking about the ones who decided to take a break for the summer, but the ones who say "It's been great knowing everyone and I'll never forget the fun we had".

I thought about this as I found myself unwilling to actually delete my characters even though I plan on quitting for good.

If that's my plan why do I need to hold on to my characters...just in case? I also want to get rid of most of my banked materials and gold, yet I want to hold on to a few things....just in case.

I don't even really want to come back for WotLK, so why can't I do a mass mailing of all my stuff to friend and do a youtube delete?

Is it because I'll realize I really miss wow and end up re-subscribing a week later?

No, I think it is because I just want to hold on to something I've spent so much time with -- as virtual as the thing may be. I would have bought a Figure Print if it weren't for having to win a drawing for it and also because the quality of the Figure Print is a bit lacking not to mention sometimes gifts are burdens (link to Penny Arcade here).

It is weird thinking about not wanting to lose ownership of my virtual loot. I've heard of people selling their accounts with legendaries on it and here I sit unwilling to part with my characters who were never at the pinnacle of any area of WoW be it PvE or PvP.

I rationalize it by saying I wouldn't get much if I tried to sell my account anyway and if I delete my characters I could always get a GM to restore everything.

So when my subscription expires my characters will still be there waiting for me, whether my break is a week or a month or a year.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Now or later

Maybe I just had a bad evening of play, but I'm toying with the idea of quitting before my actual cancellation is up.

I'll probably feel better when I get a chance to sleep on it. Goodnight internets.

One thing I won't miss about WoW...

Penny Arcade "summed" it up quite nicely here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No more mmorpgs for me?

I received a reminder about buying Age of Conan. I finally unsubscribed to the "newsletter" because I have no plans to ever subscribe.

The main reason is most likely the fact my computer can't run the game, but another reason is I think mmorpgs and me maybe aren't the best fit anymore. At least not to the extent I've played a few.

I don't strive to be the very best, but I do like attempting to do lots of things in the game. I feel like you can't do a lot of things without spending a lot of time. And, like many WoW players realize (some much sooner than 4 years later), a lot of that time can be better spent elsewhere.

I'm quitting mmorpgs while circumstances make it easy to do so. Given my compulsive nature for mmorpgs, I'm lucky my pc won't run AoC well, Wrath of the Lich King nor Warhammer have mentioned any plans of releasing any time soon.

I'm setting my sights on some single player games with 40 hours of play or something like that. Something that will give me a sense of completion that is fleeting in WoW.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fire Festival

I participated in some of the events like Lord Ahune mostly at the request of guildmates (our series of runs yielded the enchant and elemental pet but no scythe). But fortunately I don't feel excited or compelled to farm 350 blossoms to purchase something.

Believe me, last year I would have.

Monday, June 16, 2008

But for how long?

I canceled my WoW account today.

Well I have a recurring subscription so I have over a month left of play.

I don't plan on quitting immediately and if I end up having unexpected fun before my time is up I'll resubscribe.

My reason I gave Blizzard was "I play too much." And it is true.

Back when I was having a blast playing WoW I didn't care that I played a lot. I'm having a little fun now, but not enough to justify how much time I put into it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Raid guild disbands

I'm curious about why the top raiding guilds are disbanding now instead of before Sunwell was released.

Maybe they had been holding out to see what would happen?

Just sticking a post here to look at later.

Monday, June 9, 2008

List revisited

It's only been little over a month since I last looked at this list. But looking at it now and then could help me stay on track check off list.

1) Play a needed class. I haven't grouped for an instance in weeks. You just don't need three tanks and sometimes you don't even need two. I'd probably have more luck as resto. But I simply refuse to go that route. If I end up trying out resto out of curiosity fine. But I'm not going to respec a role I don't want to play just to instance places I've already been for loot I already have. Downside? I miss the social aspect.

2) Focus on one role. I stuck to this and was lucky to get cat gear while all the while focusing on bear gear. Unfortunately even though I found myself doing anywhere from #1-3 dmg while in cat, I wouldn't get slotted if there was already tanks around (see #1). I'm just a tiny bit bitter about this. But I'm satisfied enough with my situation that I'm not going to respec resto and start trying to amass healing gear.

3) Do not raid. I've done a few of the short 25-mans. But I'm hardly raiding at all. Which is fine with me (see #1 and #2).

4) Do not pick up a crafting profession. I've stuck with this one, but I'm feeling the pull to go backwards. I'm trying to keep it in my mind that I'd rather not take up a crafting profession until the expansion when Inscriptions are introduced.

5) Get loot through crafting, reputation and pvp. Still working on this. I could always make a goal to get all of the badge loot. But the idea of grinding all those badges hasn't been appealing. I've gotten one expensive piece so far. So I have an idea how long it takes.

6) PvP marginally. No new battlegrounds makes this easy to stick to. Even with arenas I'm surprised more pvpers aren't complaining this.

7) Grind reputations that only give rewards I can't easily get anywhere else. I didn't stick to this. I've been grinding other reps.

Check off list

I came across another blogger who had a list of New Year's resolutions and it reminded me of the list I made a while back.

There is so much to do in WoW it is easy to lose track. That's not necessarily a bad thing. But having set goals is a good thing if you find yourself wandering aimlessly in the land of Azeroth.

I was going to make a check off list (things to do before the expansion) but I quickly changed my mind. I don't want to find myself grinding toward an unknown date.

I do plan on revisiting my personal list from time to time so I've added it to the side.

Friday, June 6, 2008

AoC classes - no surprises?

I decided to sneak a peak over at the Age of Conan class forums.

Keep in mind this is a HIGHLY scientific study (please note sarcasm):

The Assassin forum, which sounds like a rogue to me, is the most popular.

Followed by Ranger, which I assume are similar to hunters.

The least popular class forum is Priest of Mitra (uhm like priests?).

And a little less popular are Conqueror, which from what I could tell are tanks.

No surprises there, the most popular classes are dps and least are healer/tanks.

I know many players enjoy playing healers and tanks. I'm one of them.

But will there every be an MMORPG that breaks away from having healer/tank classes?

Age of Conan - the $300 game

I mentioned earlier that with my system I wouldn't be able to play AoC. I went on to talk about how excited and hopeful the new AoC blogs sounded and listed a few fan sites.

Well already one of them has found out they can't run the game either with their system.

Call me a wanna-be-gamer, but when I purchase a game I don't necessarily want to have to buy new video cards and ram and the like.

Everyone likes reporting gloom and doom but honestly that cannot sit well for AoC.

From another world...of warcraft

Just a second ago I was over at Blessing of Kings discussing raid schedules.

Someone mentioned they had quit their 5-6 night a week raid for a "guild that only raids 4 nighs a week and 4 hours a night."



Although I've done it myself in the past, all of a sudden this sounded like something completely foreign to me!

It was like listening to a player from another world.

My guild's website, which has become more of the raid guild's forum now, is less frequented by me. I'm not raiding so I don't care about sign up sheets and who's in line for what and strategies.

I like keeping track of world first boss kills, but even the race wasn't really a race with gates along the way and several of the best guilds disbanding.

And while it was cool to hear about the new legendary bow, it's extremely hard to get excited about new raid loot. Given my decreased level of participation, I'll never access it.

Maybe I'm coming full circle, back to being the player who didn't know what a raid was and listening to players talk about it like it was some other planet with a totally different culture.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blog activity level

I get a disappointed when I click on a blog only to find out it hasn't been active in a year.

It is bound to happen, especially with niche gaming blogs because it's common for people to quit playing the game and moving on to a new one.

I'm going to try to add the last time a blog was updated on my blogroll or maybe a type of activity level (defunct, low, moderate, high).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kil'jaeden kil'led.

The last boss in Sunwell Plateau instance was defeated over the Memorial Day weekend.

So what's that? 2 months from the first boss to the last including the gate pacing stopgaps.

Illidan was first downed on June of 2007. 8 months or so of no content for players at this level and now they've finished the new stuff.

The good news is, if you believe the rumors of the November release date for Wrath of the Lich King, there will only be 5 or 6 months of farming this time around.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Is it Time to Quit Raiding?

I finally quit raiding by choice and by force although I don't have an exact date when it officially happened. It was a tough decision because I like raiding. Matticus came across a questionnaire that could have been helpful to me a while ago.

Here are the questions and my answers (mixed with how I would have answered them in the past and how I'd answer them now):

1. What are the goals I have for this game? Have I achieved what I set out to do? See content the majority of players don't get to see. When I first heard about raids it seemed like this elite thing to do. Once I got involved I realized that was true and even more so.

2. Am I even interested in raiding anymore? Yes, when I was trying to quit I was still interested I just couldn't put up with the schedule anymore. I eventually grew to be less interested, but I wasn't like that at first.

3. Am I getting personal satisfaction from raiding? Yes, I enjoyed learning fights and finally beating bosses.

4. How many raids have I attended in the last 60 days? How many mandatory raids have I missed? I can't think of a time I ever missed a raid that I said I would attend. I had over 90% attendance and even raided when I was asked to on the nights I had scheduled off (which led to one of the nails in my raiding coffin).

5. Do I have the time to dedicate myself to raiding so that I don’t hinder the progress that is being made by them? Like #4 when I raided I dedicated myself to it. I didn't even like the idea of cutting back my days of raiding just to continue raiding because that's not really dedication in my book.

6. Am I satisfied with how raiding is being handled? Meh, what's not to like.

7. Are my contributions being noted or appreciated? As a healer it's hard to say, you're always wanted. I guess being chosen over other healers is being noted and appreciated so I'd say yes.

8. Did I give this guild’s raid groups enough time to stabilize and progress?

9. Where does this Guild expect to be in raiding a month from now? 6 months from now? A year from now? Yes they are still raiding, even more hardcore than in the beginning.

10. Do I have conflicts with the leadership that cannot be resolved in a way I’m satisfied with? No conflicts related with raiding.

11. Will I still be raiding in 6 months or will real life activities take over? (School, work, etc.) I couldn't see myself still raiding and I didn't.

12. Is this guild dying? No, on the contrary this guild has become more of a raid guild with each passing boss kill.

13. Am I getting tired from raiding? Is it sapping my energy and cutting into my life responsibilities? YES. YES and Yes. This one question was really the only question that needed to be asked in my case.

14. Am I an asset to this Guild’s raid? You're kidding right? I'm a healer.

15. Could I be doing anything else other than raiding right now?Yes. This was one of my main problems with raiding. If you have any other responsibilities in life and you decide to raid, you pretty much can only raid. Because it requires time outside raiding to support it.

16. How will my departure affect the guild? Will they survive without my presence? As many long-time raiders quickly and sadly realize after quitting, raids survive without you. There may be a rough week or so as they try to replace you. But as soon as they do, you are less remembered than Garr's loot table.

I'm purple! Shouldn't I be happy?

I can still remember where I got my first epic. A world drop. I remember a guild mate told me to sell it because he could craft me better. But it was epic....EPIC!

So I equipped it and happily used it. I remember other players actually asking me about it. I still have it although I've long since quit playing that character. Epics were really rare back then.

Fast forward to this year, where I finally decide to level an alt I'd had for almost 2 years to max. Within 2 months of hitting 70 I find myself wearing mostly all epics and as a druid this is in cat and bear form. And this is from me playing the least amount I've ever played since starting back in 2004. Yet this is by no means a record of some sort nor an exceptional feat.

You are able to craft your own epics with relative ease now and you can get "welfare epics" from badges and pvp. Not to mention epics from faction grinding. You can get a full set of epics without ever setting foot in an instance.

Epics are common now and less meaningful. Heck even legendaries almost seem common now - our guild recently asked some of the raid members to list items they wanted and the rogues wrote down Warglaives like they drop every day.

So it's no surprise that I log on to my character dripped in the color of royalty and feel like I haven't really accomplished much. My character is much beefier and deadlier than any character I've ever had probably. But I have no stories to tell about how I ran Stratholme 100 times for Beaststalker pants, because there were no alternatives better. No tales about how I pvped my way to a rank 10 Lieutenant Commander's Leather Helm, because that separated the men from the boys.

I don't miss those days, but I kinda wish there was a happy medium. Where things take some effort to get, but don't sap your life energy out of you. This is as hard to do as balancing classes for pvp. Everyone's level of effort is different. What seems like easy grinding to me may make someone else say I don't have a life. What seems like a monumental effort to me, may make the next person think I'm casual.

Either way, what I've done felt really easy and leaves me a little unfulfilled. I try to think what my first character with her epic sword she was so proud of would think about my spoiled alt brat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Making up things to do

The other day I found myself making a list of "new" things to do that would give me a reason to log on more. Along the lines of "grind for an azure whelping". Making the list turned out to be more fun than actually attempting to do any of it.

I'm doing some 10-man raiding here and there. Lucky for me there is a wait list, so I don't always get in. Lucky I say because I don't want to find myself raiding 3 or 4 times a week again.

So I look at having to find things to do as a good thing. I'm more inclined to not log on at all. WoW is weaning me off WoW.

I know without checking that I don't have the machine needed to run Age of Conan. So I'm not going to bother with it. Once again fortunate for me.

I am curious how I got to this point. I've done several hundred things ad naseum in WoW, why is it now that I'm bored with it when I wasn't before?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Games n' Blogs

I started my WoW blog after I had leveled my second character to 60 (then the max). Never had a game been so much a part of my life, so it obviously never occurred to me to blog about it but it fit. I had actually started the blog as I was weaning myself off of raiding.

Many of the WoW blogs I read have players taking breaks, saying goodbye to WoW, but more often coming back. Many blogs are about their adventures in the game, links to loot, disgruntlement, fun and boredom.

It made me wonder why other people start blogs about their gaming experiences. And also how innocent blogs must start out when games are still fresh and new.

So that sent me searching for blogs about Age of Conan, the closest new MMORPG on the horizon. The first blog seems like a company sponsored advertisement fansite. I finally found a few that seems to be a legitimate fan fansites.

Of course it is too soon for these bloggers to have that much to say. But I wish them well as they begin their love affair with a new game. I miss that feeling.

Gimme Gimme more

A link I used to visit so much I put it on my side bar but hadn't visited much recently. So I was surprised to see a goodbye to WoW, for now from Relmstein.

Well not too surprised. While it appears that his reasons for taking a break are because he primarily pvps and without Season 4 (which I imagine is more of the same of Season 3 which was more of the same of Season 2 which is...yeah you get the picture) to look forward to.

Playing different players is more dynamic and new "content" in its own right. And talk about return on investment! Create an empty room, put a pillar or bridge or moat in it has got to be the lowest development cost ever! That players enjoy it so much has got to be a happy surprise for Blizzard.

But exactly how many seasons of the same will pvpers put up with? Pillars aside, there really isn't anything new introduced to arena play.

And as someone mentioned (can't remember where I read this) arena really takes the massively multiplayer out of WoW.

I remember someone saying they didn't need an epic mount because all they did was log on, get summoned into a 25-man instance, raid, and log off. I imagine the same can be said for a lot of people who hang out in Shattrath or Nagrand or Stormwind or wherever a battlemaster is and log on with their 4 other friends, arena, and log off.

And with the tournament server you don't even have to spend time leveling!

Even if they release the date of Season 4 I expect more WoW players to start asking for more. Blizzard needs to start delivering more content faster. It is it's own worst enemy. Being a fun game you play a lot thus you run out of things to do faster.

I hit exalted with Shattered Sun Offensive, ran Magister's Terrace several times and now all that is left is to do the same on alts??? Bleh.

I personally haven't left it for another game, but I am playing LotrO alongside it just because WoW isn't giving me anything new to do. I feel like I need to take breaks from it so that when I come back to doing the same ol' thing it's not so stale.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

LotRO re-visited.

I subbed to Lord of the Rings Online again.

Unlike suspected, my characters were still there.

And unlike I promised myself, I picked another healer character - a minstrel.

After reading all classes solo fair in LotRO so this time around I figured what they hey. I hadn't leveled any of the characters very far at all the first time around. Yet I still wanted to try something different and a minstrel was left.

I quickly reached level 10 due to being familiar with all the quests in the hobbit starter area and noticed I unlocked Monster Play. Monster Play is where Free People "Freeps" (any hobbits and elves, etc level 40-50) fight "Creeps" (automatically max level orc kind, wargs, etc.)

I admit my blog is on the pessimistic side due to MMORPG grind burnout, and I really wanted to enjoy it (who doesn't pick a game to have fun in it!) but I have to remain honest and say Monster Play got old quickly. Actually working together with a group to take back keeps was great fun, but when I realized I needed to do 250 quests to get maps (think portals to all the bunkers in Alterac Valley) to really enjoy PvMP (Player vs. Monster Player) my enthusiasm sank like a stone. And a lot of this activity is PvE. On top of that repetitive PvE. As a creep, imagine logging on inside AV and never being able to leave. You are always in AV and the only way you improve your character is to do AV quests and kill horde who may not always join your battleground.

I liked finding out what it was about. But it's like doing a series of quests, having fun figuring them all out then someone saying - okay do that same thing 100 more times.

As I said the saving grace is how LotRO players, at least the world I play on, actually work together to defend or take back keeps. But this organization is due to a small, small player base. Once again, to put it in perspective, remember how Alterac Valley used to be before cross-realm battlegrounds. You see the same names on each evening, but in the vent I've joined for example, you already hear rumblings of jumping ship for Age of Conan.

I'll continue to play it simply because I need something besides WoW to play in order to keep it fresh. When I get tired of LotrO after a week, I can go back to WoW and so on. Not an optimal solution, but I really don't see any alternatives.

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

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