This blog has moved!

12 03 2009

Hi all, I’ve moved my blog over to !

Please update your links! :)

I’m just getting settled in, and my blogroll didn’t copy over for some reason, so I’m fixing that up and my header image is a little dodgy right now – it’s just a temporary filler!

See you guys there! :D

So, you want to get carried.

10 03 2009

I have nothing to post but a short message…

Hello, Arrogant Tank from this morning:

If you’re a blue-geared tank without enchants and only a handful of green gems, then you have no right to demand what people’s spellpower is and refuse them an invite.

I was more than adequately geared for the very simple starter heroic I enquired about, and in fact my gear is of a higher standard than your gear. I have put more work into gems and enchants, rep and crafted gear than you.

Having a single Naxx 10 epic doesn’t make you geared, sorry to say – but your attitude sure makes you a wanker.

There’s a reason you were in LFG all night – nobody wants to carry someone who isn’t willing to give anyone who doesn’t ridiculously outgear the instance a try. Furthermore, there are many, many upgrades to your gear that are very easily available.

Had you dropped the attitude and given it a try, you would have found that I had a geared healer friend with me and all we needed was a couple of DPS. Your low health and overall mediocre gear would have probably meant a couple of near-deaths, but hey, I’ve played a freshly-dinged tank before. It’s a nuisance to get gear. Thankfully, I didn’t have the attitude you do, so I did end up scoring some nice gear.

Heroic Utgarde Keep, guys. A very serious instance.

I’d just like to remind people that not having full 25 man epics doesn’t mean a person doesn’t know how to play or perform well in an entry-level heroic. We could all benefit from remembering that.

(Also, my God, is it hard to get a group for any of the normal level 80 dungeons. Nobody’s interested :(.)


6 03 2009

I found myself discussing the impact my mother-in-law would have on World of Warcraft.

God help the kid who ninja loots from her.

You little shit, how dare you? Does your mother know you’re out here in Hellfire Ramparts at 10 on a school night? Put her on please. Put her on right now, I want to speak to her.

Some time later, and with a few more colourful expressions thrown in, I imagine…

Good evening, Motherinlaw, this is Game Master Violarisa. I have recently received a petition regarding your ingame language. Do you have a moment to speak with me about this issue?

Hmm, maybe we shouldn’t introduce her to WoW.

Your name deters me.

4 03 2009

Your character name is a funny thing. We’ve all made a random alt out of boredom – maybe our realm is offline, so you decide to muck around on a Draenei because you’ve never had one before. So you give it some completely ridiculous name – because, hey, it’s just to play for an hour while you wait for your realm.

Then something unfortunate happens. You start to really enjoy little “Lulzipwnjoo”. You could reroll, but you’re already level 10, you have your professions started and everything! Plus this character seems pretty lucky – by level 6, you’d looted two little bags.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and little Lulzipwnjoo isn’t exactly little anymore – he’s your new level 80. You spent the weeks ditching your guild’s raids to keep levelling, you’ve lovingly maxed his professions and collected his gear.

It’s a pity about his name, you think daily, but it’s just a name after all and you’re not paying cash to change something stupid like that!

You’re pretty fond of your new realm – so you decide to take a break from Lulzipwnjoo’s heroics and roll another new alt. I mean, you’d really love to have your own Jewelcrafter/Blacksmith/whatever on this realm. At the character screen, you think a little more carefully about your name – you’re pretty sure, after Lulzipwnjoo, this new character might just be for keeps, too. So you carefully pick him out a very normal, subtle, mature – hell, even slightly RP – name and start playing. Let’s call him Malandris.

Sitting in trade one day on Malandris, you see someone advertising they need someone to craft something for them. They have their own mats and a tip waiting for you. Quickly, you message them: “I can make that, let me just relog!”

You relog Lulzipwnjoo and message the person again. They respond, and you invite them to party. Strangely, the person suddenly becomes unresponsive. You decide to head out to them, and on your way notice that they’ve gone offline. They don’t end up coming back.

So, guys, if this happened to you this morning – it was me! I was trying to get something crafted. I’d carefully gathered and double-checked all the mats, then started advertising in Trade. A guy messaged me on one character, with a nice normal name, saying he could relog. I agreed, and a few moments later was messaged by his “Lulzipwnjoo”. I responded at first, and then went silent, thinking. Do I really want my character, who I have carefully named and whose gear I have carefully tended to, running around wearing stuff that says <Made by Lulzipwnjoo>?

I didn’t need the crafted item straight away. I mumbled some lame excuse to the guy and logged out on him. Afterwards, I felt something between completely ridiculous and that I’d made the right choice.

Which got me thinking about names – all my characters nowadays have carefully chosen, inoffensive, ‘RP’ type names. In many cases I’ve gone out of my way for their name to suit their race or class.

If I’m looking for someone to invite to my instance group, wherever possible, I’ll choose the guy with the somewhat “sensible” name. I’m not going to invite the Hunter called Lulzipwnjoo when I could invite the Hunter called Lanissara. It’s not exactly fair, but… Well, it’s just a habit that I’ve developed and I find it really difficult to break.

I was just wondering what you guys think – ridiculously pedantic or understandable? ;)

I had to remove this title due to excessive cursing.

3 03 2009

I’m pretty pissed off right now. I don’t even know if this is true, but the posts in this thread have me worked up enough (consider me trolled?).

The thread begins with someone asking for a legendary to be attainable in 10 man Ulduar. The second post, by the MvP Crepe, says this:

Legendary items are intended to be extremely rare. As such, I don’t think they’re going to put them into anything but the 25-man.”

I’m sorry, what? Can 10 mans not have an item with an incredibly low drop chance? What the hell does ‘extremely rare’ have to do with the size of your raid? If it’s so much of a problem, why not give the 10 man raid a slightly smaller % chance to drop the item?

Which is followed by a level 80 Balance druid claiming this:

First you casuals want to lower the value of raiding, now you want to lower the value of Legendaries.

Either play a different game that’s at your skill level such as My Little Pony: Playtime or stop trolling with these idiotic requests.”

No. You moron. Having 15 more people in your raiding team does not make you a better player. Remove your head from your ass, please – don’t you need to surface to breathe? Congratulations, your team of officers is able to coordinate 15 more people. Don’t be such a dickhead, that’s your only claim to being “better” or more “skilled” than anyone else.

If 10 man raiding is of such a low skill level, why haven’t you done all the 10 man achievements? I guess you can’t handle it without having your big raid to carry your pompous ass?

This jerk thinks that the number of people in the raid automatically determines whether or not you’re a bad player:

I agree, the term casual is stupid. In reality, “bad player” is a more accurate description. People who lack skill just don’t want to admit it’s them.

My guild is a progressive and skilled guild. On a good night every 25-man boss (Sarth is a 3 drake) is down in 4 hours. Sometimes if we’re slacking it takes 6 hours. 6 hours over the course of two nights leaves plenty of time to engage in healthy social activity. You probably watch TV more than 3 hours a day.

No, 10 mans should not have access to legendary items. Bad players don’t deserve good gear.”

Yeah, true. Wanting to run with 9 friends instead of 9 friends and 15 randoms definitely makes people bad! You stupid shit. Also, making a careful point about how you have a life on the WoW forums probably indicates that you don’t ;). Good try though!

This summarises it nicely:

it’s not about skill, it’s about numbers, @%%@. that said, 25 mans are still carrying scrubs while 10 mans need people that aren’t completely retarded. i’m sick of getting the short end just because i chose to challenge myself with less people.”

Post #43 goes even further:

I hope, in your infinite amount of arr… sorry, intelligence, that you realize there are far, far more reasons why people run 10 mans than just “skill level”. In fact, in some cases the 10 man content is harder. Let’s use your logic for a second. Let’s assume the reward for 3 drakes was a legendary. Using your logic, it’s only place would be in the 25 man version, right? Yet, it’s a widely known and accepted fact that 25 man 3D is a %%!*ing joke compared to 10 man.

Better yet, to extrapolate off the OP. Let’s make the legendary drop off the 10 man 3 drake equivalent in Ulduar (Freya?). Do you like this idea? Probably not, because it doesn’t directly cater to yourself and/or e-peen. Are you just mad that a bunch of people with less dedication to this game (your life) are getting rewarded on the same level as you? If so, that’s sad. If not, then what do you care? “

Unfortunately, we then go back to sheer stupidity:

if you cant get 25 people together you dont deserve a legendary. nuff said.”

Okay, if we’re going to be stupid and live by this rule – only your officers & raid leaders can receive this legendary. You know, the few people in your guild that have put the work into recruiting, organising and keeping 24 other people happy enough to regularly raid. You, the random guy in the guild who turns up to raids and pewpews, receives loot and leaves, have unfortunately not put in any more effort than someone doing the same thing in a 10 man. Unfortunately, you don’t deserve a legendary either. ‘Nuff said, right?

Finally another realistic poster:

Some fights are harder in 10, and same are harder in 25. The fact that there is less room for error in 10s only add to the fact that they’re, at some fights, harder. Infact, 3 drake 10 sarth is the hardest encounter in the game at this time. But, you know, only baddies run 10s, right?”

Having a bigger guild, and therefore a bigger raid, already entitles you to better gear than smaller guilds can get. Why? To be honest, I’m not even sure. When my guild finally made the switch from 10 mans to 25 mans, it was all just a zerg fest. Hell, we made a point of bringing people with very ordinary gear. Compared to the 10 mans, it was a cake walk. A few fights are harder on 25 mans, but it’s pretty balanced – some fights are ridiculously easy on 25s compared to 10s.

Stop being eltitist wankers. Nobody is impressed. I’ve been raiding since level 60, and your shit is getting old.

I can live with the better gear in 25 mans. Sure, whatever. The fact there’s no way to exchange, say, 5 (or 10, or whatever) Emblems of Heroism for 1 Emblem of Valor is a mistake. And if Crepe is right, and this legendary gets restricted to 25 mans only, that is a huge mistake. Why are we treating people worse simply because they choose to raid with 9 friends instead of 24 randoms? Put the damn legendary in, and tune it for 10 mans. I don’t care what these elitist morons say anymore – top raiding guild? Been there, done that. The game has changed – get over yourself and your assumption that you deserve better.

All I can say is, I hope that this is all just nonsense trolling. And for those saying “Waaah, don’t devalue legendaries, waaah!” – what the hell do you think level 70s going back and getting Thunderfury did?

If I were a new player, I wouldn’t be a player at all

3 03 2009

I recently read someone commenting that people’s preference generally goes something like this:

> If you started playing Pre-BC, it will be your favourite content – and you will quite likely not be a fan of BC

> If you started playing during BC, you will dislike old world content, but greatly enjoy BC.

I fit into the first category perfectly – I played for a long time pre-BC (just after launch, actually) and I hated Burning Crusade from the very start. Not just disliked, hated.

Well, Wrath of the Lich King was released a few months ago, and what has it done for the game?

To begin with, I enjoy Wrath. The end-game is currently a little boring, and I’m actually playing the game less and less and less. But the levelling was a great improvement. Quests that were actually fun, and involved more than “Go sift through this guy’s poop and find some cool item” (Ugh, Outland, I hate you. Hate hate hate hate HATE!!!)

But there’s one pretty big problem with WoW right now.

Why would a new player bother? I log onto my druid, knowing the game, knowing how to play and what awaits me. I know that if I just relog onto my main, I’ll have dozens of people to chat to, do things with, etc.

If I were actually a new player, on this Druid, my playtime would consist of:

– Log on.

– Figure out what to do for my quests.

– Attempt to solo a group quest (Redridge quests are in fact actually still challenging – the group quests would definitely not be soloable, especially for a new player). Realise I have no hope of killing quest mob alone, ask for help in General chat (assuming I know how to use General chat by then).

Usually, I’d get no answer (it took me nearly a week to get help for the Redridge quests, and I just happened to be allowed to tag along while an 80 ran a level 20 through). And I had tried everything – General Chat, LFG chat, Trade chat, the LFG tool.

It got me wondering – how do genuinely new players do it? I mean, I even rolled on a ‘Recommended’ realm. Yet I have only been able to do a few instances – Deadmines a few times and Stockades once – and I have some things stacked pretty heavily in my favour:

– I’m a healing class who is happy and even volunteers to heal

– I actively look for groups in all possible places – chat channels, LFG tool, /who etc

– I start my own groups and advertise them actively

Every Stockades run I have done has been accompanied by a level 58+. It feels like nearly every time you make a group, somebody says, “Pass leader, my friend’s going to come help” and they promptly invite a level 80.

So – a newcomer would find it difficult to find anyone to help with group quests and even more difficult to run a proper, appropriate-level instance. But there’s more…

The Auction House is that badly inflated that a newcomer could probably never afford to purchase anything. And while it isn’t necessary to purchase BOE gear, it’s something that made my first levelling experience fun. Keep in mind, on a first character, you probably haven’t got professions levelled and even if you do, you’re not going to be a pro at playing the AH anyway. I received one of the very ordinary parrots from Deadmines, checked the AH – over 25g for one. I remember parrots being one of those pets most people had – you either looted one in Deadmines, or your friend gave you one, or you bought one off the AH for 20s. Not anymore. (And yes, I actually did successfully sell a parrot for 25g.)

Blizzard’s response to the horrible state of the old world seems to be “Rush everyone through it”. But how is a truly new person supposed to? I could roll an alt on my main realm, deck her out with all the bind-on-account gear, get her the highest quality enchants available for her level and have friends run me through any instance I want. I could take it a step further – refer myself and take advantage of the ‘Refer-a-Friend’ triple experience bonus.

I think the old world needs to be played – yes, played, not zerged. Am I the only one who remembers what this game used to be? When you did every instance on the way to cap, when people talked in General (talked, not argued), when you ran into the same people all the time because you were levelling at around the same pace. When logging in was actually exciting, and questions about quests or looking for help weren’t met with “rofl u noobz omg my mom could solo that hahaha u suck”.

You know where we learnt to play? I learnt to PvP out in the world. Roaming Azshara for herbs, defending Southshore, hiding from high levels in Stranglethorn Vale. Similarly, I learnt to PvE in Zul’Farrak, Sunken Temple, Blackrock Depths. You learnt not to be greedy because you could only have one blue per run – if you wanted another one, you had to pay the /roll winner for it.

If you decide to be a jerk and ninja, it mattered. We all had realm-wide reputations – “Don’t gank him, he’s the alt of —“, “Yeah invite that guy, he knows what he’s doing”, “That guy stole a weapon from UBRS don’t invite him!”.

My earliest memory of playing with a random was a guy who I joined up with to complete some early level quest. He had already started when I arrived, and said about halfway through, “OK, I’m finished”. I immediately said, “OK thanks, I’ll go get my five more.”

His response, without falter, was “No – that’s not the way it works. I’ll help you finish yours too.”

Except, for the most part, that is the way it works now. I have levelled several alts through the starting-Utgarde-Keep-Nexus-levels, and there are just so many terrible players. They have no concept of even basic party rules – no threat management, no waiting for mana, no checking if people are ready, no fairness on loot. Most don’t even check what to do for boss fights, and then act surprised if we wipe. I can handle all of these things – after all, even at level 60 most of us were pretty terrible for a while. We were all learning. It’s the attitudes I can’t handle. The rudeness, the refusal to play as a team, the zero consideration for anyone. That’s the stuff that really grates on my nerves.

Blizzard is actually making this problem worse. If people can’t get groups for anything, they will have no idea how to function in a party. Then all of a sudden, they will hit level 68 and, hey, there’s groups for Utgarde Keep! And The Nexus! They’ll be grouped with people who have been playing for a long time, know the ropes, and have no patience for a “newbie”, particularly one who has made it all the way to level 68 and yet doesn’t realise to wait for a healer’s mana…

Why would most people bother levelling the old-fashioned way? You can refer yourself, and get triple the experience and two characters to level 60. You could then turn around, roll an alt to level 30, and grant yourself the rest of the levels to 60. Outland is riddled with Death Knights LFG, but only a handful of them are willing to tank, and healers are few and far between – again, legitimate runs rarely happen.

Trying to level an alt without your main’s help is boring. Having a log full of group quests (dungeon or otherwise) that you can’t solo and you can’t find groups for sucks.

Why are we trying so hard to forget the content is there? OK, so people don’t want to level yet another alt through the same old content – yet you want to be cap level and do the same content there? Is this why we have such an influx of cap level players who are completely clueless?

But to get back to where this post started – why would a first time player even want to play this game? The old world is like playing a half game – nobody much to talk to, very little PvP (no, a level 80 roaming Duskwood killing everything on sight is not real PvP), over inflated auctions, people who can’t be bothered helping even with simple, genuine questions… I mean, why play?

Sure, if you have friends or family who play, I can understand the motivation there – they probably give you some gold, help you out with bags, run you through an instance now and then. And most importantly, you want to catch up to them and hang out with them.  I just can’t see myself picking WoW up for the first time, giving it a go, and sticking with it.

But, what can Blizzard do? It’s obvious why they introduced RaF. More profit, and it gives seasoned players a feature they’ve been asking for – faster levelling, a way to get to max level without having to redo all the content they’ve done six times before. The BoA items are a nice idea, but again, the biggest feature of them is to zerg levelling even faster (although as far as I am aware, RaF does not stack with rested exp., or the bonus from BoA gear).

Improving the loot was a good step, but didn’t impact things much. People get their high level friends to run through, and then leave.

Maybe there’s some way to make available instances more obvious once you reach the appropriate level. “Congratulations, you have now reached level 16! Did you know you can run the instance Deadmines?” With Deadmines perhaps being a link to a small “display tip” with a couple of items shown, a small summary of a few quests for the zone? There could be two buttons to close this box – “Yes, please find me a group!” or “No thanks”. The ‘Yes’ button would queue the player in the LFG system (which needs a revamp, but that’s a whole other post).

Locations are a huge problem. I would love to run Shadowfang Keep on my alliance Druid, but nobody really wants to make that run at level 20. New players would never realise it existed, and would certainly have no clue how to even begin getting there. What about some kind of ‘orb of translocation’ idea? Perhaps a very small quest chain introduced for each low level instance that grants some sort of key, which enables you to port to the summoning stone? I’m not really a fan of ‘dumbing down’ the game and making everything too easy, but something needs to be fixed or else these instances – some of which are fantastic – won’t get seen by new players.

How about an experience boost for a group who kills the end boss with a group of appropriate-level players only? Improved loot for those who do the runs legitimately? Hell, keep the loot the same, but perhaps instead of one blue dropping, make two drop. Award a token that can be turned in for some nifty levelling gear – trinkets are hard to come by, why not a simple trinket? It doesn’t need to be overpowered, it could even be for a novelty. To keep it fair for everyone (after all, a novelty trinket only being available to low levels is a little unfair to those who have already levelled), grant the same thing to any high level who completes the instance solo. This makes it impossible for people to be run through, but also enables cap level players to go back and grab some of the fun stuff. Make it slightly inferior to twink gear so that twinks can’t complain.

Most importantly, make instances, groups and features something new players are made aware of very early on. Make it an exciting feature, and put in something even seasoned players want to do.

Make the LFG tool a little less clunky – although how, I’m not entirely sure. The global LFG channel we used to have was a lot better than the stupid thing we have now.

I went off on a lot of tangents here, so it’s ended up being a mix of thoughts I’ve been having lately. Apologies :).

MEWG#1 – Winner!

27 02 2009

Just a quick update for the first MEWG (Miss Elf Weekly Game).

The game: I post a quote, you guys guess what the original poster is talking about. The quote for this week was:

“The pain that this has caused is global, and I am simply wondering what else has caused this much drama in the past, and if all the complaining ever actually saw a response.”

The Pixelated Executioner wins with a guess of: “It’s either the Brew of the Month requirement for the Brewfest part of the meta-achievement, or Be Mine for the Love is in the Air part.”

The original source of this quote is this thread, post #13 by Fieldgoal of realm Vek’Nilash.

You heard it here first – not being given the “Love Fool” title for free is an urgent issue of global pain.

Next quote for MEWG#2 coming over the weekend – thanks for playing! ;)


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