Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I need to regain my sanity

There is a saying that the "definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

I do not like raiding during the week. I work, so getting off work to raid feels like leaving one job to head to another. And you have less free hours in a work day so after raiding you feel like your whole day disappeared when it's over.

I had no plan to raid until the weekend, yet I fell for the trap that was Ruby Sanctum. RS will be here next week and the next. I had no reason to be in a rush, yet there I was inside a new dungeon that didn't look exceptionally interesting fighting a boss that didn't look exceptionally new and from what I understand drops loot that isn't exceptionally any better than what I already have. The fight seems to be another stand-out-of-this, move-away-from-that. Not exceptionally ground breaking mechanics.

I ended the evening irritated and annoyed that I bothered.

So why did I bother? The only answer is I must be insane.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Positional good

There's an economic concept known as a positional good in which an object is only valued by the possessor because it's not possessed by others. The term was coined in 1976 by economist Fred Hirsch to replace the more colloquial, but less precise "neener-neener".
~Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In The Summertime

In the summertime when the weather is high,
you can stretch right up and touch the sky,
when the weather's fine,
don't have worgen and no goblins on your mind.

Have a drink, have a drive,
go out and see what you can find.


I'm going to keep posting, just a little less.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lord Ahune doesn't need a tank

I was in a group where someone said this. I find it funny, because if a mob is on you you're "tanking" it. Just because you may be ill-equipped for it doesn't mean for a brief moment you're weren't performing the role.

I think quite often people forget how hard things hit because they aren't usually the ones getting hit.

I secretly like when someone pulls something off one of my tanks and summarily see their health drop. The player usually watches their aggro the rest of the run.

A salute to addons

Every once in a while I see a thread about healing addons. Someone asking if others use them. Someone asking which one is better. Someone asking the developers to get rid of them.

Every single time someone responds they don't use healing addons and the default ui is just fine. Someone else responds they always use them. Someone else responds that addons are a crutch. And someone else says you can't perform as well without them. Every single time.

I love addons. I use them. I feel like they make me a better player in some cases. I admit I don't really believe players who only use the default ui perform as well as those who use it. For instance does the default ui keep track of HoTs and incoming heals from other players? However I'm sure they perform okay and for the majority of us that's good enough.

But my real reason for this post is I decided to accumulate a bunch of blossoms (fire festival currency) for one of the (current world event) Midsummer Fire Festival rewards. I didn't want to bother with figuring out all the places I should go. Several areas you visit give you blossoms either for "honoring" your faction's bonfire or "desecrating" the opposite faction's. I did it last year and kinda enjoyed it then, however I wasn't looking forward to doing it again this time. But I wanted that darn reward! For the past few days I tried to mount up and do a few and ended up logging off because I just couldn't get into it.

Enter "TourGuide - Alliance Midsummer Fire Festival Guide" addon! I consider it my Triple A triptik to visiting all the places I need to. Now what was going to be a chore will be a nice checklist to work off of.

I was irritated. I thought to myself if I'm irritated by this I know someone else out of 12 million (probably more by now) is too and has written a mod for it. Well maybe they weren't irritated but just wanted to be helpful. Either way I was right.

Thanks addon author Rahnlin! You made my day!

/salute to you and others

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RealID - oh there you are!

I've given one person my RealID and I already feel I've given out too much.

I trust my friend. RealID is perfect for us - I play on different realms and different factions. He refuses to even try horde and says he doesn't have time to roll on a different server. We'll be able to keep in touch easier this way.

However I still feel as if my ability to do something on my own without someone knowing about it is gone. It's not about needing to keep something secret. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's like some days I like to go to the park. Does that mean I'd like my friend to have me on gps following my every movement? There's nothing to hide but there's nothing that needs to be shared either.

Anyone else understand what I mean?

Saving us from ourselves

During this year's Midsummer Fire Festival you have a chance at getting a pet from the satchel you're given for completing the Lord Ahune event. You can only get a satchel once per day for your character. A pet collector friend of mine said they were happy about that because otherwise he would run the instance multiple times each evening. He said he was concerned he may not get it, but didn't seem overly so.

For Cataclysm the plan is to have one lockout for 10-man and 25-man raids. People are QQing about this saying they won't be able to raid as much. But apparently, through forums or some other method, the developers heard many complaints that players felt they had to raid both even when they didn't want to.

Limited attempts for raids led guilds to level multiple alts that would give them the tries they needed to stay competitive (and ultimately "win"). One high profiled guild said enough is enough I decided to quit raiding in the type of environment that required that. But apparently not enough followed suit and I don't think they are going to develop limited attempt raids in the future.

And almost forgotten by many, in PvP, you could play the game 24 hours a day at an attempt to reach High Warlord or Grand Marshal and Blizzard removed that honor grind because not enough players could control themselves to not do so.

"Remember to take all things in moderation (even World of Warcraft!)" is a tip that is sometimes displayed on the zone-in screen of the game.

I appreciate Blizzard's attempt to be responsible purveyors of their...craft. They may have to do so with us kicking and screaming but in the end let's hope we realize it was for the best.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do the top guilds in the world do strict 10-man raiding?

I can't say why top guilds do what they do. For challenge? Glory?

I would suspect they like to be the first to do a thing.

I would suspect they like to perform at the highest level.

They couldn't do the strict 10-man raiding currently because they had to focus on 25-man. They couldn't be the first if they wasted time on side projects.

And are you performing at the highest level wearing subpar gear?

Would Paragon or Ensidia beat Phoenicis or From Chaos if they made it their goal to focus on 10-man strict raiding?

Plans for Cata

My plan for Cata is to not have much of a plan at all.

For Wrath I rushed to 80. I did so because in Burning Crusade I got...burned. I leveled at a good clip in BC, but I didn't take off from work to do so while some in my former guild did. They started raiding before many of us had even reached cap and I played catch up and didn't truly ever catch up for that whole expansion. I planned not to make that mistake again.

This time I don't have any lofty raiding goals. I have no reason to rush. Also if getting decent gear via heroics is possible in Cata, I'll have something to do that doesn't require raiding as soon as possible.

Playing the game in a relaxing manner? Like its a game instead of a sport?

This has me looking forward to Cataclysm.

10 or 25 or nothing?

With my recent decision to place limits on efforts I make in WoW it makes me think about Cataclysm and its changes to 10-man and 25-man raiding. Placing them on the same lockout and having them offer the same rewards (in varying quantities).

When I returned to raiding the last time 10-mans afforded the chance to get a few drops quickly and got me caught up to the minimal level. However it was 25-man that got me the most gear but only because my guild had been raiding for a while at that point and a large amount of gear got defaulted to me.

What do I prefer performance-wise? In 10-mans I feel I have more responsibility. My biggest personal triumphs have occurred in 10-mans. In 25s I do my part but obviously less falls on individual shoulders when 24 others are present.

On the other hand, sometimes I like showing up to raids not having to worry about being totally relied upon.

Success-wise? I still say accomplishing something in 25 is harder than 10. If I got something done in 10-man I would still want to get it done in 25 at some point because I feel 25 is the pinnacle.

But the developers are removing this. If I get something done in 10 I'll be done period. I won't be able to do it on 25 (at least not with some extra tangible reward tied to it) and vice versa.

I like taking extended breaks from raiding. 25s allow for this much easier than 10s.

And now with my new rule of not dedicating myself to any specific raiding goals, should I bother with raiding at all?

I just don't know at this point.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Some interesting things to read later

Adding this to take a look at later.

Hindsight is 10/25

I just have to link this again (How to Wipe on the LK) because it is so spot on and now, for me, it is so much easier to laugh about it.

I cannot remember a time where I was personally involved in a raid encounter where mistake after mistake were learned from and progress was made. This is exactly what makes a raid memorable and after you beat it you feel you've accomplished something.

The thing is this was only on 10 and only on normal...and with a huge buff. Easy stuff yes? Yet for our band of amateur raiders it was if we had performed like Paragon. From the very beginning where we tried to use someone who had never tanked before to a priest insisting they could do better if they were specced holy instead of disc we were faced with challenges "professional" guilds simply do not have to put up with.

We made adjustments in strategy all along the way and things got easier. We inched toward the end. Much to my chagrin, we ended up succeeding with the "necessary" classes. We had a warlock to cheat death, a paladin tank healer, a new priest (who stayed disc) and a shaman for heroism. Would we have done it without one of these? I'm not so sure. Actually, on the kill we pretty much had to take what we could get but it turned out to work in our favor.

In a way, like women forget the pain of labor once their baby is born, the encounter seems easy enough looking back on it. You move here for this and there for that. You do your best to do all the things you're there to do and you hope everyone else does the same. And you hope something screwy doesn't happen along the way.

However while I was in the thick of the learning curve several times I felt it was impossible. The biggest reason was because we simply could not get the same group to show up each time. So each time we had someone new and each time we went through the errors the rest of us had become all well too familiar with. A few times the "experienced" of us focused so much on new guys not messing up we took our own dives. It worked better when we trusted each other to do their jobs.

We lucked up on some players who either learned from their mistakes quickly or weren't put in the circumstances that would allow them a chance to fail. Better performers than us sell Kingslayer by telling the person to fall of the edge immediately and running it without them there to cause issues. We rolled the dice with some pugs at a chance of getting a dropper full more of dps or heals and instead I think they performed better than we did overall.

I doubt we'll giterdone on 25 normal. I'm okay with that. I'm willing to at least put some time in trying. But I have no delusions of doing this on heroic in any form. I'm a 3K Fun Run & Walk type of player not a world-class marathoner.

I'll end this by saying it was a time to remember, definitely up there in my top five. Thanks WoW.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The start of a new chapter

The time has come for me to start a new chapter in my book title World of Warcraft.

I'm not quitting or anything drastic like that. But it is time for me to become even more casual (at least raiding-wise) than I've ever been since I stepped foot in Molten Core. *shiver*

In order to accomplish the latest thing I did in WoW (Kingslayer) I had to specifically dedicate extra time on top of the extra time I was already dedicating to it. And along the way it ceased making sense to continue, yet I felt I had put so much time in I didn't want to stop.

I do not want to place myself in that type of situation ever again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We need you so much we don't want you

The ratio of tanks and healers to dps is very lopsided. Tanks and healers are desired but its become resented (if my previous posts about pug attitudes is any indication).

I've seen these suggestions before:

1) Tank and healer NPC henchmen
2) And getting rid of tanks and healers altogether

The second one I find interesting because thenoisyrogue suggests players can alternatively be responsible for mitigating damage (no healers present) and "locking down" an enemy (no tanks present) while the rest dps.

Where I think this falls flat is this is what PvP is. PvP for all its arenas, battlegrounds and world crop-ups is quite often a one on one affair where the player is responsible for keeping themselves alive long enough to kill the other person.

Do you remember the complaints about the "PvP" portion of ToC and Magister's Terrace? I'm not sure what the specific complaints were but I imagine they had something to do with not being able to have stuff tanked while healers healed and dps dpsed.

As a healer you don't know how many times I've buffered someone's failure to be their own holy trinity. I've seen mages try to tank, rogues miss interrupts, hunters forget to feign death.

Very few people like the burden of personal performance causing success or failure placed on them. Controlling a cube didn't require tanks or heals (did it? I can't remember) but how many people failed at that.

Players do not want to do those very things that make healers a little less necessary. Even things like maximizing their dps instead of being happy at #9 could put many of us out of job.

And let's not forget since folks like to stand in fire I've been invited to things as soon as I log on.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I still don't get it

I cannot fathom why players feel like it's okay to be rude to one another.

I kinda get it when it comes to PvP, when tempers run high. Knifey Kniferson running off and doing his own thing and Bluddy Bludgeon not paying attention to the flag. (I feel like the next generation is all going to end up on high blood pressure medication at the tender age of 30 the way they seem to snap during battlegrounds.) But that doesn't make it okay.

I really don't understand what could make someone say the stuff they do in PvE. When we're all supposedly working together toward a common goal. There are some dps able to kill stuff so fast they don't need a tank. I can count on my fingers how many I've grouped with (one guy had Shadowmourne) that have that kind of dps. Even then they need a tank for most bosses.

So when you queue up with a tank, someone you need. Someone people have been paying gold to get. Why in the world...of warcraft would you treat them like camel dung?

I'm not going to take the abuse being given to me any longer. No, I'm not going to grow a thicker skin. No, I'm not going to laugh it off. I'm going to drop group. Yes, I feel bad for those in the group that haven't said a word. But I'm not going to continue to tank when apparently the person I'm tanking for thinks I'm a "retard" or their personal Alaskan husky in some Iditarod dungeon run with their "gogogo". An emblem is not worth being called "stupid" just because in this anonymous world its deemed okay.

Friday, June 11, 2010

And you tell two friends and you tell two friends

This is a blog post spawned from another blog post spawned from another blog post. Does it stop there? I didn't go any further to find out because I imagined it never ended as I'd jump from link to link to link.

Anyway. Reading about individual performance mattering over at pwnwear made me think about what I'm facing currently.

Basically talking about a type of raid/raider and what makes its difficult. For instance I'm focusing on Type C.

# Type A: challenging the strongest. Example is tank and healers, everyone else could screw up and it doesn’t matter so much (Patchwerk)
# Type B: challenging the average, where everyone needs to pull their weight, for example due to enrage timers or to stay alive (Heigan)
# Type C: challenging the weakest, where one person can wipe the raid, for example flame wreath in Kara, the Bomb on Geddon, or Thaddius or the Lich King himself

This is why I've always said 25-man raids are inherently harder than 10.

The odds that your average 25-man raid is going to consist of weak links is high.

The odds that your average 10-man raid is going to consist of weak links is lower. Because since the individual responsibility for better performance is higher, you usually pinpoint the weak links and start removing them as you move along.

25-mans manage to progress in spite of weak links. 10 mans don't fare as well and as a result end up stronger and more capable of moving forward.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm going to tape a four leaf clover to my headset

First of all I'm glad I had something to make me laugh.

I'm going to try really hard to maintain a positive outlook for the Lich King fight.

Although this isn't Algalon and we're not fighting far away out in some celestial plane, I do feel as if the planets *must* be perfectly aligned in order to defeat this guy.

People have done it
. People have done it when it was more complex. People have done it when they were weaker than anyone else.

But I am not fathoming how I am going to get it done. I'm not going to think about it anymore until closer to our next attempts because it has taken up to much of my brain space.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Profession reflections

As I slowly level up leatherworking on an alt, I think about how fun (read profitable and useful) Jewelcrafting was.

JC didn't seem to be any more expensive to level up than anything else, I was able to craft trinkets to use the whole time while I was leveling and then you can make enough gold to carry you from day to day - not to mention make tons of gold if you actually put extra effort into it.

And if you read the Profession forums for a while you would think Engineering is the worst thing ever. Apparently you can't please folks, because I leveled up engineering and found it useful the entire way.I was able to make a helicopter mount (cool!) very easily and plan on saving up to make my very own choppa. I was able to craft some incredible 80 level goggles that you can wear at 72. And HELLO! an Auction House in Dalaran?!?!? Why didn't anyone tell me about that? I think engies were trying to keep it a secret so they could keep whining about how engineering needs improvement.

But leatherworking? Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not sure what helpful things you can make while leveling and Northrend had this thing, one material - borean leather (Tailoring is worse - one material - frostweave cloth) that you make everything with that makes crafting even more simplistic than it already is. And since I'm using bgs to level I don't come across much leather, so I purchase it off the warehouse, which leads me to believe the only people leatherworkers (well skinners) make money off of are other leatherworkers.

While JC makes money off of everyone, as does Inscription to an extent. And engineering is just plain useful. I feel like professions like LW and Blacksmithing need an upgrade.

When someone takes up a profession if its fun enough it doesn't have to be profitable (engineering) and if its profitable enough it doesn't have to be fun (enchanting). But why not make them all both?

Add the ability to make mounts from each. Players have come up with some great ideas, although I see they are as stuck as I am when it comes to what makes sense for a leatherworking mount -(Alchemy : Potion that creates glowy sparkly wings,Enchanting: Flying Broom,Leatherworking : Hot Air Balloon,Inscription : Hang-Glider or Paper Airplane (as suggested above),Blacksmithing : Ground Tank ). Maybe a saddle for a special horse?

And I think other professions should be easily recognizable just as engineers are in their goggles. The models are already available for alchemy because of Royal Apothecary Society and their ilk. Chefs have chef hats, once again I'm stuck on what leatherworkers could have...

But anyway! I think non-gathering professions, unlike races and classes, are a place where it's better when they are homogenized. I should have as much fun and profit leveling any profession I choose.

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

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