Monday, November 30, 2009

Leveling as a tank

I decided to pretend I am a tank with my horde character. I say pretend because leading groups doesn't come naturally to me. Being a healer I spent vanilla WoW not really knowing what instances looked like because of "stay back here and I'll pull" thing.

I have no plans to become a raid tank. I raid on my alliance character and that's more raiding than I feel like doing as it is.

I just plan on tanking for the random 5-man pug, get a few upgrades and admire how my character turns out.

Killing stuff is slower, but I like that I'm able to do some group quests without a group.

I'm only tanking instances that are below my level which makes it easier on the healer and all involved. Don't know what I'm going to do when I hit 80. Maybe I'll stick to the easier instances. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Yane the Pilgrim

I got Pilgrim on two characters. I vowed I wouldn't chase after world event achievements on anything but my main alliance character. But the ability to level up cooking on my newer horde character was too good to pass up.

The "hardest" parts were sitting at enemy tables on both factions. Undercity and Stormwind weren't pleasant. I also wasn't sure how to easily get to the Alliance cities via horde.

But I'm going back to my vow and try not to pursue too many achievements on my horde character. Sounds crazy, but my horde character is my hobby, while my alliance character feels more like my workhorse. My alliance one does raids and tries to get more achievement points. My horde character "pvps" and is happy when a quest green is better than something I'm already wearing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leave the nest

Greedy Goblin's blog is changing focus a bit. He's covered just about everything there is to be covered on making gold. I imagine there is nothing you can ask that you can't just do a search and find the answer somewhere. I feel like he is saying "leave the nest little birdies and find your fortune. I've given you the tools its up to you to use them".

As a horde reroll in need of gold I recently followed his advice to level my mining up to the point I could mine ore in the areas I was questing in.

This was a rough, "I want to play not mine!" I said. But each time I went back to an area to quest I heard GG's voice (it sounds like a goblin) "Don't be a M&S!". So for several hours I mined ore in lower levels, riding round and round until I got my mining up to my quest level.

The great thing is now I'm actually able to mine mats to have some armor crafted. Win-win.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pilgrims Aplenty

Thankfully, pun intended, this Thanksgiving world event can be reasonably finished without worry of RNG screwing you up. Of course, this event doesn't count toward a meta, but I'm sure it won't stop you from trying to finish it all. I know I plan to.

Pilgrim's Peril - sitting at the dinner table in enemy territory was indeed perilous. I managed to get it done, but not without losing a few of my nine lives.

The Turkinator - has surprisingly only got one long thread of responses on the WoW forums. It's definitely one that you may be worried you might not complete, but I always feel if I can do it anyone can.

It will probably take some time for me to find all of the rogues, but that and a visit to Sethekk Halls is the only thing I have left.

Also if you have alts (or a main) that needs to level up their cooking - get it done with the quests. All you need is some coin and ability to travel to the major cities. They provide the food and the fire!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Alterac Valley

It's unbalanced in favor of Alliance.





We never knew!!!!

Okay, okay this isn't news to anyone. But it didn't really see all the little things until I played Horde for myself.

But the biggest Aha! moment for me was realizing it is more fun to go on offense than to stay on defense.

Now this concept isn't new either. I'm one of those players who try to defend a flag in Arathi Basin even when I'm not equipped to do so. I realize being able to just keep someone from flipping the flag for a few seconds can make all the difference.

However the entire map of Alterac Valley is made for Horde to have to defend. Guess how tiring that gets?

I know that more people can easily switch sides for the cost of 25 bucks I imagine more won't be able to deny what they already knew.

Are they going to change it, at the point how many years has AV been out? I doubt it, but I do wonder if more alliance defectors complaining about it will make a difference.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

They must have had my guild in mind

"In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time."

So maybe now instead of abandoning an instance before its finished with the only hope being to go back and outlevel it in the next expansion, maybe my scrub guild will actually clear something for a change.

Life as an alt

I have no idea why, but I hope the trend continues. My first 70-79 AV was more organized than any previous ones I've been in.

A friend of mine has also found renewed interest in playing from being on an alt just like I am.

He's actually finding it easier to get in pug groups than it is guild groups. Makes sense, you have a much larger population to pull from if you use lfg than our smallish guild. He was suprised by it though, and I'm happy he's having fun again.

And I think Blizzard is once again hitting on the pulse of what at least its customers like. Getting loot fairly easily.

I read reviews of Torchlight and the same comments kept popping up, you get lots of loot (so much so you have a pet that can run errands of selling your loot for you).

It is impressive that Uber Guild X got the Glowing Saber of Superiority. But in the end more players are happy to get their hands on the Slightly Inferior Fist Weapon.

Some players complain getting loot is too easy. But that's why players enjoy.

And before you say it will get old. As soon as you've easily geared up one alt, you can easily gear up another. Blizzard gets this. A lot sooner than we actually do/did.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Leveling through Vanishing Azeroth...battlegrounds

I continue to level my horde character in battlegrounds. Sometimes I do pve quests to mix it up, but when bg queue times are low I just jump into whatever I can get into first.

I failed at seeing all of the horde side I could possibly see. I should have leveled up 1 horde and 1 alliance at the very beginning of release. Back then it would have been fun to do pve with other players. Now you see a few people now and then, but I have more "player" interaction in Dragon Age: Origins than I do leveling up in WoW.

So battlegrounds is where I spend most of my time. I'm high enough to mix in Alterac Valley and Eye of the Storm.

For the first time since I starting playing horde, I'm at the point I wish I was max level with the hopes players starting cooperating more. Because last night I heard my first "I'm just here for the xp".

I want to win every bg I enter, even if it makes it last longer. I don't like rolling over and playing dead.

I haven't kept a tally, but it seems horde wins more Arathi Basins than it loses as expected. It wins more Alterac Valleys than I expected it to (when I played Alliance it seemed like we always won). And Warsong Gulch has been a surprise. Alliance side at least at 80, horde seem to always win, but leveling up it goes both ways. Eye of the Storm for the sake of equality being a symmetrical map is proabably the most boring bg of them all. I think horde loses more than it wins, I can't really tell.

Being the underdog I like playing AV. It's one of those bgs horde can win, just by playing smart. Of course there's the rub. Alliance can win by playing dumb. Guess which side wins the most.

I'm looking forward to hitting 80, although I heard the 70-79 bg is sparse. I'm, to my own surprise, am not looking forward to questing Northrend if I have to. So at this point I don't know if I'll ever hit 80 anytime soon.

Gearing up alts does not help progression

I felt this topic deserved its own post.

I'm going to give my reasons why gearing up alts (while fun for those on their alts) does not help progression and can actually hurt it.

1) As soon as you bring one alt in you are immediately handicapped.
The alt while familiar with the fight, is probably not familiar with the fight on his alt.

2) Alts can potentially take gear away from mains who can swap specs for you.

3) An alt will require more support because they'll have less health, less hit, less everything.

4) In the end, when new content is released, mains drop their alts like a bad habit anyway.

5) If you have the chance to gear up and alt, you may not focus on gearing up your main to its fullest potential.

6) One person bringing an alt just makes 5 other people want to bring theirs. If you are handicapped by one alt, what are you by bringing 5?

Doing what's right for me

I'm stepping back from raiding with my guild a bit.

There has been some mention about running old content to help new raiders get gear. There is also mention of alts running with mains to get gear.

This is a red flag to me. I can feel the heat from the burnout before it even reaches me. When we start farming placing like Naxx and Ulduar while there is still new content we haven't downed I know I'm in the wrong place.

It's not that we can't work on the new content, but we have just enough people not interested that we never can get ahead. It's easier to do old content, no risk of wiping, and pass out gear and those getting gear are happy campers. However those of us, who don't raid on alts, are bored out of their skulls.

And I don't care what anyone says, gearing up alts does not help with progression. I'll save this for another post.

I'm not going to look for a new guild, I'm just going to cut back on raiding.

I realize this is where I should suck it up and keep raiding for the good of the guild. However I know for a fact, I will get sick of raiding the same stuff to the point of quitting altogether.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mini-transactions, Micro-transactions, Micro-payments

Other than initial additional purchases (Collector's Editions, etc.) I have had the willpower to not spend money on games other than their subscription fees.

I tried Wizard 101 and Free Realms and Runes of Magic, and when, with greater frequency, I started to meet up with things that required a purchase I didn't pony up, instead I quit.

I admit the randomness of winning something through the Trading Card Game made it easy for me to not spend money trying to get a turtle mount or spectral tiger or even one of the easier things to get - various tabards. But I also give credit, on pun intended, to the fact I simply don't want to spend more money on a game I'm already spending money on.

I played City of Heroes a few months ago and was tempted to purchase the additional costume packs, because the original costumes had become dated since I first played. A big part of CoH is the costuming. It would be like purchasing additional quests in WoW. It felt wrong to have to pay for something that should be free. So I didn't give in to temptation.

Now Blizzard will be adding a store where you can buy a non-combat pet directly from them.

I don't think I'll spend any money on those either. There is a crack in my willpower but its sealed by the fact there are pets I still don't have in game. I'll just spend time trying to get those instead if I want a new pet.

I pay $15 a month for WoW. It's cheap entertainment but that doesn't mean I want to throw more money at it to keep it fun.

Another Life

I've started another blog titled "Life in Ferelden" since I started playing Dragon Age: Origins. Perhaps starting a blog about it is overkill. But I've gotten somehow revitalized by the fact I'm embarking on a journey that will end in the foreseeable future.

I wondered why I was so giddy given DA:O is a fantasy with elements just like every other fantasy, and I've decided it was because of that one thing - "an ending".

MMORPGs have worn me out. It is hard for me to enjoy them anymore because I have this nagging feeling that whatever I do is only a grain of sand on a beach and the game expects me to move that beach elsewhere using a bucket. Do you know how babies are content when wrapped tight in swaddling cloth and uncomfortable when they are flailing about naked? That uncomfortableness is the feeling I get when thinking about playing another MMORPG.

Thanks to the intarweb I was able to easily find an article that describes what is wrong about MMOs for me now. This article is about the series Lost. And how at first it was extremely popular, but as each season ended, you started to feel drug along and drug out.

The author suggests shows like Lost be "reimagined". Instead of a regular television series make it a limited-run show from the get-go.

When it comes to how I feel about MMOs, I couldn't have said it better myself - "Puzzles are meant to be solved, not prolonged. You can only tease viewers so long before they feel like they’re being mocked."

I know DA:O is going to end and I'm all the more engaged in the story because of it.

Edit: Here is a link to an opinion that is just the opposite of mine. The Angry Gamer doesn't want to play a game where what he does won't be lasting. AG says "The problem is that MMO’s have spoiled me to the point where I feel like if I play a single player game I am getting NOTHING accomplished."

When achievements were introduced, I too felt as if I weren't on my main "achieving" I wasn't getting anything done. But what I and AG are both doing is painting ourselves into a corner.

If AG is truly having fun "getting SOMETHING accomplished" by playing WoW that's what its all about.

But if AG is avoiding doing something else fun, at the risk of doing more of the same I say free yourself!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What classes can you "just not get into"?

This is a topic from the WoW forums. It's easy to say you don't like this or that class because it owns you in pvp, but I thought it was interesting to see why other players who have actually tried other classes and found out they didn't like them.

No surprise, pretty much every class was mentioned. Least mentioned was druid. The class that kept coming up early on was rogues (warriors seemed to be mentioned a lot too).

Here are some of the reasons given for not liking rogues:

*I can't get into 'em. Maybe I just don't have the manual dexterity to play one efficiently :)

*I can't play anything that doesn't have a blue bar.

*I haven't been able to get a rogue/warrior past 20.

*Never got one past 15. The Combo Point 90s Fighting Game mechanic just leaves me cold, as it always has.

*I've created three or four of them thinking, each time, that I'd totally enjoy it. I'm wrong each and every time.

*warrior/Rogue/priest/mage are a pain in the ass. Rogues and warriors only got bandages and pots

*I cant play a non caster.

*Rogue...I've tried and it's just too stupid. They're faceroll at everything.

*Rogue. Sneakily and skillfully filling your target feels horribly slow and boring after the 3rd mob or so. I've had one that has moved from level 35 to 42 over the course of 3 years.

*Everytime I am absolutely murdered in a BG by a rogue I think "wow, I really should create a rogue, it looks like so much fun....." I think the highest I ever got one was 18 before I cleared bags, removed gold and deleted toon swearing I'll never create one again.

*Rogue's cause of the missmissdodgemissparrymissmissdodgeparymissmissmiss after the get duel-wield.

*That pretty much nails down my views on Rogues as well. Tried many times, each thinking "It'll be different this time", only to approach lvl 20 & find myself painfully bored with the class...just like all the other times.

*In theory, I should love playing rogues. but the fact of the matter is that I simply can't get into it. I blame combo points, to monotonous.

*I can't play anything that can't heal themselves.

*Rogues. I tried leveling one like three times thinking I can finally open those damn lockboxes myself, but I could never get one enough to leave the newbie zone. Just not really my style I guess.

*Rogue. They are fun, but just not my style. I don't like to sneak up on things.

*I just can't seem to have fun playing a Rogue.

Just as someone mentioned, I've often dreamt about playing a rogue and sharing the sorrow inflicted upon me by one. I also wish my druid could play like one, but then it wouldn't be a druid would it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nothing much

Nothing much going on lately.

I finished all of my Hallow's End achievements for the meta last year. So what was left for me were masks and a Headless Horseman mount. I had no desire to log on every hour and trick or treat the innkeeper for a chance at 20 masks and while I did a few days of HH runs I grew tired of finding a group or putting a group together and traveling to SM. It's not that much effort at all, but I wasn't really in to doing it, so I said "meh".

Our raid has reached somewhat of a roadblock. We have to sit people for regular mode, but then immediately following we have a lack of signups for hard modes. Once again I don't care enough to go shopping for another guild. But with this lack of participation, we run out of things to do even with our extremely limited raiding schedule.

Over the weekend Ensidia managed to clear the entire place without a single death and we can't muster up enough enthusiasm to kill Beasts.

It makes me want to quit raiding until Icecrown is released.

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

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