Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quickie: Y'ever Notice...?

It's no secret I read MMO-Champion often, keeping up on the news and rumors and such, plus finding out what's going on in the wacky World of Warcraft playerbase as a bonus. Some things I've noticed...

PvP servers and primarily-PvP players have horrible spelling habits and a lack of PvE knowledge, something I've discovered in great detail when I group with them of course, but reading their posts on MMO just make me shake my head. Note, I do PvP, but it's not why I play the game, and I don't care if you play the game to PvP, the game is based in a PvE universe. PvP is only an added bonus component, meaning you will always be second class, especially to me.

It's funny to read most blue posts being tracked. A great majority of them that have been locked have been started by an Alliance player who can't seem to spell/capitalize/punctuate/etc, and when I try to read them I get a headache because they're so horribly written, not to mention the fact the topic tends to be inane and pointless if thought about for 5 seconds with the use of common sense. Shoo, stupid Alliance players, and you too you Alliance transfers who can't form a complete thought. You can even take our bad Horde players with you. The Alliance transfers that legit-ly realized they started out on the wrong faction and have brain cells + maturity can stay.

And before this turns into a complete Alliance bash, as it's too easy to do as such, I'm going to stop here.

Okay, I lied. One small note - I don't mind if you're Alliance, if you don't want to kill me and don't have completely skewed thoughts and unfair bias against my faction's races. I can co-exist with a Nelf just fine, heck I'd like to chat with one, assuming they didn't hate my guts needlessly. I'd make my Draenei Horde if I could, considering I want to play him but can't stand Alliance. Hate the faction, not the races.

Edit 8-20 : I do realize that there are a lot of bad Horde spellers and such, don't get me wrong there. I guess when I read those posts from those Alliance folks I fat-finger-pointed out, the ol' stereotype pops into my head, about how only kids play Alliance, how they're usually underage and such, because we all know kids are the ones who netspeak liek dis and use 4 instead of for and go out of their way to skip using one or two vowels or consonants to make a word and so on. I kid you not when I say it tends to be Alliance folks that start a thread only to have it locked. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

4.1, the Return of the Trolls

(Yes, this is way past relevancy, but I may as well touch on it.)

So for those of us who played back in Vanilla and BC, chances are you got to experience good ol' Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. The Cataclysm hit though, and ZG was abandoned by the Gurubashi, while the Amani stayed holed up in the Ghostlands.

Until the Zandalar tribe, the highest of Troll empires, decided the time had come to bring all the Troll empires together with the belief that to survive, they had to work together, but not only that - to retake what other races had taken from them, they so believed. Only the Darkspear, led by Vol'jin, rejected this notion, this offer. Why? They had separated themselves from the other tribes because they didn't follow or accept the traditions and bad habits that had been taken up, and despite recent events, they were still loyal to the Horde. That said, they couldn't stand by and let the Zandalari simply do as they pleased. Alerting the Horde and the Alliance alike, Vol'jin spearheaded the efforts in ZA while Darkspear and Booty Bay members went to ZG. Only you know if those efforts were a success or a failure...

Personally, how do I feel about these instances, redone as they've been? I think ZA didn't change a whole lot, which is fine, though the Zandalar mobs added new challenge to it, and being someone who wasn't able to get a bear in the day, it's nice to have a chance to get another one. No, I still haven't gotten one, but it WILL happen... someday. Now ZG? That's another story. Completely redone, and in a lot of cases, tough, very tough, if you're not used to it OR are just having a clumsy off-night. It's also a good idea to have a good Archaeologist in the party to do the Cache of Madness, not unlike needing an Alchemist to make Gurubashi Mojo Madness in the old ZG.

The redone gear isn't too shabby either. If it wasn't for the gear, I wouldn't have found out Enhancement is MUCH better than Elemental for me, which makes my solo and Tol Barad questing efforts MUCH easier. Heh heh.

Unfortunately, doing either as a random tends to be... tricky at best. Sometimes it's smooth as silk. Sometimes it's like grinding yer face on a brick wall. A few nights ago, myself and a good friend were the DKs in a 2 DK, 3 Druid run, and despite the complete lack of CC and dispels, it was nearly a faceroll. It would have been completely, but Malacrass got to have fun with all those stolen Lifeblooms. We 2 shot him, no matter the case.

In short, it's a nice slice of the good ol' days. And along with the new Bear, there's also a new Raptor mount off Mandokir, and there's a new Panther mount to replace the beloved and often-farmed Tiger. So, if you have the patience, relive the old days, but if you're a new player, welcome to a crash course in how you REALLY do an instance. CC, patience, and situational awareness.

And with that, another post comes to a close.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Semi-OT but related - Rift

Alright, so, chances are that you have seen something about Rift, the latest MMO to hit the market, be it a banner ad, review, or what have you. One of the banner ads that I've seen on both Wowhead and Curse Client says "We're not in Azeroth anymore!" which obviously means to say "We're gunning for World of Warcraft, fear us, rawr." If you believe the mini movies and the banner ads and such, you might just believe they have a chance.

Honestly? They're not taking down Deathwing anytime soon. Does it mean they've got nothing? Hardly.

First thing to note, if you can trial run it, do so, both to see how you like it and to see if you can run the beast. In my case, my Dell Dimension 5150 with a Pentium D, 2 gigs of generic ram, and 7600 GT 256 meg video card ran it on the lowest settings. I didn't try to hike 'em up 'cause I had the second half of a weekend trial run, if that. Have 10 gigs free on your hard drive too. My DSL took around 16 hours supposedly, at around 140k a second for download speeds. And don't pause or stop it either if you don't have more than 10 gigs to work with. If you pause it and restart it, it will look at your current hard drive space, and if you are over its space requirement, it'll restart fine. If you're under, it won't, even if you have, let's say, 5 gigs finished downloading. Start with 12, pause with 7 gigs still free, nope, won't resume, gotta get past that minimum install threshold again. Lesson learned, have a free space buffer on your hard drive if you happen to be like me and have a stuffed drive.

So what about gameplay, anyway? What I really say? For the computer I played it on, the graphics were good, the gameplay was, I felt, a little numb, a little groping to get the proper things done, not unlike City of Heroes and Champions Online. Was it bad gameplay? Certainly not. If you get used to it, you're gonna be just fine. As far as things like gear and stats go, it's the typical, familiar stuff, a few vague stats and a few obvious good stats. One thing I did love was the talent trees. It was fun to figure out which combos work the best. In my case, I played a shaman, and I was makin' a mess of baddies. I forget which combo I was using, but I know druid was part of the trio. Since I started writing this a couple of months ago on my phone, the game has come down in price, extremely so. I'm seeing $20 prices in general, and I've actually got a price of $5 because of my former trial period. Since then, the friends I know have played the game have stopped or aren't playing at the moment, save for one, and those friends are still playing good ol' WoW. That said, it's not bad, but it's no WoW killer. I would play it again, but I don't really wanna pay to play when I play WoW and don't plan on stopping for the obvious immediate future.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The PuG, or, Why I Hate Randoms

*Blows the dust off his blog, and sneezes!* Ach, 'scuse me. *Pulls out an extra-strength Goblin hankie, and turns away, blowing his nose good and hard*

Eech, so yeah, long time no post, huh. I know, I know, sorry for being lazy. Lots has happened in my corner of Azeroth, heh.

So, like the title says, this is gonna focus on something we either suck up and deal with, or we avoid however possible - the PuG, or pick-up group for those who aren't familiar with the term. As of last night, there's another change coming, presumably with patch 4.1, called Call to Arms. In short, DPS is throwing fits 'cause they have to wait a half hour or more, most times, to do randoms, usually to do with tanks in short supply, so Blizzard's throwing the tank types(they say it's good for all classes, but...) a bone to get them to run randoms - a goodie bag with things like gold, flasks, maybe a rare combat pet, or even a super rare mount of some kind.

Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah. Remember The Oculus? The place in Wrath where you had to ride dragons, do sections of the instance, and so on? Back in Wrath, they put a goodie bag in the Cache after you beat Ley-Guardian Eregos. It had rare-quality gems, money, I think 2 extra badges, and a chance at a blue drake normally gotten from Malygos 10. The reason? People were whiny and lazy group-droppers because they didn't have the patience to do the place. Personally, it didn't bother me, but that's just me. So yeah, now it's happening again.

I'll be frank, it bugs the heck out of me. Why?

Lemme give you a short run-down of things that tend to happen in PuG groups, most often because of, who else, but tanks.

Example 1: Disconnects or abrupt group drops. Most often either a DPS or a tank, the latter especially as a pull happens, leaving the DPS to die, or after a boss fight where they're looking for something to drop and it doesn't. Personal admission, I've dropped group when looking for a particular item to drop and it didn't, but I politely said I was sorry for dropping and wished them luck, most recently as my Shammy.

Example 2: Rudeness. Ask a question or note something is needed from a particular boss, get flat out ignored, no response. DPS pulling mobs when they shouldn't be. Tanks or heals or DPS getting flippant with another party member or members. Tanks and healers from the same guild getting an attitude or simply trolling because they can. Parts of example 1 also fit into this, as do parts of the next example.

Example 3: Drops. Tank needs a tank item, DPS needs too, and wins over the tank. Or the DPS loses a DPS item to a tank. Or a healer rolls need on Tear of Blood, loses it to a Boomkin. Note, that happened to my shammy, heh. Or, getting an item, and then dropping group, whether it was needed, or a complete ninja. Or it's the hunter winning a strength ring. Don't laugh. I'm not kidding here.

And so on. You get my point now about this, I hope. The long and short of it is the fact that I am tired of PuGs being so God-awful, in attitude and in build. I don't want to deal with big-shot tanks acting like they're too good to tank for the rest of us, more than they already do. Don't give them rewards they don't deserve. I don't believe it'll improve anything. The 30 minute drop penalty doesn't avert anything these days, especially for the fact it only works if there's a drop before the first boss fight.

In short, this is simply a band-aid for a gushing wound. I will simply continue to prefer guild runs over randoms. If a call to arms needs heals, maybe I'll try it, but currently, it's always the tanks in short supply. And let's face it, people still complained about Oculus. It's such a vivid memory, I know that if folks were forced to kill every boss in Halls of Origination, they'd drop from it too. I hate skipping bosses most times, I really do. But naturally, I'm not the tank, so who cares what I think? If I play stubborn, I'll just get vote kicked.

Why yes, yes I do have some bitterness over random groups. Wait 30 minutes as deeps, get in, people drop, group fails, waste of my time. Go in and kill bosses, piece I want drops, someone else needs on it and doesn't deserve it, gets it, runs off. Advise CC targets or say "Mana, one sec", and get ignored. Clue by four, tanks, you're not the only one that gets hurt by Neferset Plaguebearers. And it isn't hard to clear the other pack by General Husam either, don't be lazy.

Seriously, Blizz, stop giving the trolls(not the blue two-toed Rastamen) more reasons to troll. Thanks.

And now, I feel my soapbox giving way. Getting this all out feels good though. And now... deep breath.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Testing out something new...

So, it seems that I either missed the Blogger app on the Android Market, or it's a new thing that just came out since the last time I looked, a couple of months ago. Either way, I find myself using my phone these days for a lot of little tasks instead of my computer, most notably e-mails and Twitter through Seesmic, and I always find myself having little streams of inspiration, so from now on, I'm going to use my phone to get out my RP moments and post little entries from my different characters, or just get out random OOC lore thoughts or what have you. And yes, this entry is being written all with my Intercept.

/block of text

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Clarification to Make

I've been reading some posts from WoW.com this morning, and something I felt needed saying just kinda popped into my head, and it really does kinda put everything into perspective when you think about it.

It's not the people that make the Alliance bad, to me, it's the Alliance that makes the people bad.

Truth be told, I know the Alliance follows the lead of their King *spit* just like we follow the lead of Garrosh, for better or worse. Calling on the thought of that third faction deal... if I could, I would co-exist with folks traditionally Alliance, if they could do the same with me. Members of the Alliance that do me harm? They'll get what's coming to them. Folks that actually realize that skewed perspective breeds ill-fueled hatred and want no part of it? That's who I want to be around. I'm quite sure tensions would exist for awhile, and there WOULD be folks who end up trying to stir up trouble, but... ultimately, I could see myself hangin' out with Dwarves, Night Elves, and so on. How is this possible? My Shaman, in my mind, is an extended member of the Earthen Ring. You see Dwarves and Draenei in there. And Druids? Cenarion proves that Tauren, Night Elves, and even Trolls at some point, can also cohabitate.

There will always be mutual hatred, and there will always be mutual respect. Humans and Orcs will never completely get along. In comparison, members of the Earthen Ring respect and care about each other because they have a mutual respect and care for things involving the world and the elements. When you gravitate on a central goal, you learn that prejudice is nothing more than a fabricated hindrance.

Thrall says it right at the beginning of Cataclysm. "Cast aside your prejudices." Frankly, I would love nothing more than to do that.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Cataclysm Survival Guide

Alright, so, Cataclysm, the expansion where everything you know and do changes so drastically, you may find yourself lost with where to go, what to do, what spec to choose, which factions to get exalted with first, ad nauseum. Well, having leveled three 85s so far and getting ready to do more of them in my spare time, here’s a few handy recommendations, because hey, I did the hard work already. Someone had to.

1. Pick a character you’re going to enjoy raiding with or focusing your time most on. 2 of the three I leveled were because I enjoyed the characters. The third was less fun, but still fun no less, but it was also because I needed a Blacksmith who could do things for the first of those three.

2. Set your Hearth to Orgrimmar, or have an easy way to get back if you forget. Bilgewater Harbor for Kalimdor makes flights back from Hyjal a reality, and the Sandy Beach is your only choice in Vashj’ir.

3. If you can be spec flexible and have the gear, do it. Got a decent tank set and have around 60k buffed? Go ahead and try Blackrock Caverns. Got a decent amount of epics from Icecrown Citadel and could heal Rotface and Festergut decently? Feel free to give it a try early on. You don’t have to, necessarily, but it may cut down on your queue times and you may find yourself better than you expected.

4. Check your add-ons and try new ones out. Personally, my main addons consist of Perl Classic, SexyMap, RatingsBuster, Omen, DBM, Bartender4 and Dominos(depending on my class), Auctioneer(still has bugs with the buffs and right-clicking for whatever reason), Flototem Bar, Itemrack, Identity2, Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text, or MSBT, Gatherer, Ackis Recipe List, and for healing, Grid + Clique. Experiment with what’s out there.

5. When you hit the Twilight Highlands, have a buddy to help you out with the quests. I don’t know what you Alliance folks will have to breeze through with, but doing the Wildhammer quests at 84 is a pain, even as a plate wearer. Doing it as my Shaman was murder, so I’m scared to think of clothies.

6. RESEARCH the different factions to maximize your rewards and get in the habit of dailies. Level 12 and higher guild members will have a much easier time with the 10% Mr. Popularity perk(250 base, 275 with 10%, on average), but even then it’s still annoying. Hyjal has something for everybody and has the caster head enchant, Dragonmaw has your strength head enchant, Earthen Ring has healer and caster gear and the tanking head enchant, Therazane takes a bit to unlock but they’re your shoulder enchant faction, and if you do enough of a certain daily, you’ll get Pebble. What’s Pebble? You’ll find out. There’s also Hellscream’s Reach, and Ramkahen, which has the agility head enchant.

7. This correlates with #2, but be careful when choosing your starting zone. I started in Hyjal. Sure, Vashj’ir is pretty nice and has a bit of lore to it involving the Naga and all, but Hyjal has a lot more lore, a lot more drama, a lot more Ysera, a lot more Hamuul, bear cub tossing and trampoline bouncing, and the best example of when phasing is amazing.

8. Bagspace. This speaks for itself. Heck, make sure your quest log isn’t stuffed.

9. Put on that Bilgewater tabard ‘til you start running things like Halls of Origination, Grim Batol, and Lost City of the Tol’Vir, when you’ll be able to get rep for the Cataclysm factions that matter.

10. Make a Wowhead account, and install the Wowhead Looter. Pet tracking, quest tracking, gear searches, mount tracking, and so on.

11. Chaos Orbs – if you see them on your need/greed, need on them. Crafters who can or will be able to use them will be the only ones able to see them, and they are Bind-on-Pickup, plus they are non-tradable. I was personally scolded by guildies for passing TO them, so yes, just need the things. Sometimes you’ll be the only one.

12. Finally… Uldum. Do the zone. Don’t skip anything. Why? I’m not telling, just do as I say.

I’m sure there are plenty more tips to be listed here, but the simple fact is, trial and error. These are just good things to keep in mind.

And now, bed.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cataclysm, after the first month, and a week or so...

Been awhile since I've written in here... a couple weeks or so, yep. Been a tad busy in-game, getting raid prepped and all sorts of lovely things like that. I've been wanting to get back to writing in here, but hey, when life keeps you busy, or you keep busy with life, be it real, Azerothian, or what have you, things get pushed back. Either way, I think I'm going to take the time to write up some suggestions on what to do and how to survive in this new world, at some point here in the next few days, but for now... on with the commentary.

Well, I can definitely say at this point, with the exception of archaeology and the 50-60 grind, I have seen most of what can and will be seen by the casual player. As for the deep end of the raiding pool, raiding is a bit on the tough side right now, to be sure.

Just starting out in Cata, it was required you had to do every zone, and just about every quest, to get yourself to 85, but not only that, you've got something else you're leveling - your guild. Right now, most guild should be sitting on Mobile Banking as their newest perk, with the next being Mr. Popularity, yay more rep gains. With the current guild perks that've already been earned along with the new instances you may find yourself grinding to get new gear, leveling has gotten much easier and lets you be a bit more flexible with your alts on where and how you want to level, though your options are still somewhat limited. Without looking over my older posts, I don't recall if I said this, but a 6th zone would have been helpful to be honest. Either way, the leveling process is thankfully less of a grind than it was at the start, especially if you have alts or guildies who can toss you cheap gear or tradeskill supplies to help you get ahead of the curve.

Speaking of professions... holy frig they're painful this time around, so far. I've mostly been focused on Blacksmithing, as nt Paladin is one and the fact I play a lot of plate wearers, but now that I've gotten to the steep end of it, with those BoP, untradable Chaos Orbs and whatnot, I've started to work on my Death Knight's Inscription and my Priest's Jewelcrafting. On another server, I've been trying to work on Leatherworking, something that just seems to get rougher with every expansion to level. I never hit 450 in Wrath, and even at 85, my Shaman's only just gotten to 490 or so, and that was after I took some time and just went skinning and buying leather from the Auction House. With a few stacks of herbs from friends and some ink trading, my DK's Inscrption is up to 500, letting me make use of those wonderful shoulder enchants when needed, and my Priest's JC is somewhere over 475 just from cutting green gems and making a few rings and necks. My next goal is my Druid's Alchemy, which will be a bit easier with him also being an Herbalist. Truegold is becoming a much-needed commodity for my Blacksmithing, so it's a smart thing to get to that point, though it'll be a task and a half, considering, unless I'm mistaken, you need 525.

One definite bonus in this expansion is the money that rolls in. It's not hard to get a big pile of gold, though it also has a profound effect on the economy. if you're on a server where there's a good faction ratio, you won't be completely screwed over. And in the case of quest earnings, I've been able to do things I'd have never done in Wrath, particularly getting a Mechano-Hog, getting 280% flight on a couple of characters, and definitely planning to do so with a couple of others who still need it.

In the end though, to be perfectly honest, in terms of content added for the 80-85 crowd, aside from all the old world changes, there isn't a whole heck of a lot to do, and I've found myself bored at times with the current stuff. I've leveled my alts a bit, with three 85s at this point, though it's been tough to focus sometimes because of the simple fact it can, and will, get monotonous sometimes for folks like myself. If there is one flaw with Cataclysm, this is it - for those who hate to level new characters, they will not see the new old world content, and they won't get to see the new zones, the new lore... all they will see is the new 80-85 content, and they will get bored with things quickly. Of course, if they're motivated enough, they'll level something new and get an eyeful of the new content for 1-60.

My brain's been a bit scattered tonight, so I'm not satisfied with this post, but eh. Soon, I'm gonna post that survival guide and make a few observations... but for now, I'm gonna simply scamper back on out and get to work on that Shaman of mine.