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.