Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Will the WoW Token Hurt the Game?

In case you had missed it blizzard is releasing a new game time token which people can buy with real life cash and sell in game for gold with the next coming patch, tentatively 6.1.2.  Of course something like this has people talking and I am no different.

I would love to share more information on the topic but there is little available to share.  We do not know how much real life cash the token will cost and we do not know what the in game exchange for selling it will be.  None of that has been set yet. 

What we do know however is that these will not be sold on the free market.  Meaning that the in game sale price will be set by blizzard.  No buying and selling and undercutting on the market at all.  Just a simple as you buy it with real cash and it enters the sale pool with everyone else that purchased one for a preset price.  When yours sells from that pool, you get the gold.

As an added plus people who have expired accounts will be able to buy this off the auction house.  While normally the auction house is off limits to someone with a trail account you will be able to buy this one item off the auction house.  So if you had some gold reserves last time you played you can log in even without a current subscription and buy this item with gold and now have an active warcraft account with absolutely no cash out of pocket.

Part of the idea as presented is that this will allow people with more free cash than free time to effectively buy gold in game legally with their disposable income and those with more free time than free cash can make gold in game to buy this item off the auction house so they can effectively play with no out of pocket expense.

From a business standpoint I see this as a huge plus for blizzard.  They could very well end up with more paying players.  The people with cash effectively paying for multiple 30 day passes each month and the people without cash buying those months in game for gold.  Everyone playing will be a paying customer even if player A pays with gold and player B pays with cash someone paid for those 30 days somewhere along the line.  So it seems that for blizzard this could be a huge win.  Adding the ability to buy the game time for gold while not even having an active account is even better.  It allows people that might want to come back but have not the chance to do so to be capable of coming back with no out of pocket cost if they had the gold reserves from the last time they played.

So from a business standpoint, as I said, I think this is a huge plus for blizzard.  But will it hurt the game for us the players?  Lets face it. As much as I want the business end of blizzard to do well so they keep making the game I enjoy the bottom line is I want to keep enjoying it.  If adding this to the game somehow negatively effects my game play either directly or indirectly than no matter how good it is for blizzard the business it could be bad for warcraft the game.

So do you think it will hurt the game?

After they announced this the other day I did a quick google search for gold sellers.  I wanted to see, in terms of the current market for gold, what the 15 dollars would get me if I were to buy it from a gold seller.  Prices varied but the average seems to be that 15 dollars would get me around 20,000 gold.

In the grand scheme of things 20,000 gold is not really a lot of gold in the game.  Sure it would have been a small fortune when I was new or even a few years back but from where I stand in game now 20,000 is really nothing special.  I can make that each week just logging in and doing my follower missions and nothing else.  20,000 is nice of course, but I am not exactly sure if it would be worth 15 dollars to buy it.

We do not know what price blizzard is going to set the tokens at, and they will be setting the price, not us, but I would not be surprised if they, like me, look at what the current fair market value for gold currently is and find that 20,000 will be the starting price.

I fit neatly into the category mentioned earlier of the person with more free cash than free time.  So this should be something that appeals to me.  But at 20,000 per 15 dollars it surely doesn't.  For me personally at least.  Add a zero there and blizzard just got me to waste a few bucks.   But there is a balance, who is really going to have 200,000 to buy 30 days time, very very few.  As a matter of fact, even at 20,000 very few people would be able to afford it if the warcraft wealth numbers are to be believed.

But putting my own greedy desires for large numbers of gold for my cash aside and saying that it will move at fair market value and with the majority of the player base considering 20,000 as a lot of gold, I can see many people using this as a way to make gold.

And that is where the question comes, will this hurt the game.

We have already established that to someone like myself, with both cash in life and in game that I will participate on either end.  I will pay for my own game time and and I will not be selling these.  So it should not affect me at all right?

I don't think so, and that is what worries me.  It should not impact me at all as I am not participating in it but I fear it will have an impact on me in a major way.

Blizzard has already stated that they will be "adjusting" items for sale in game such as those that come from the black market auction house and raid drop bind on equip gear.

I believe the reason they are doing this is to keep the game from turning into what some might consider a "pay to win" sort of game.  If they had great gear coming from the black market auction house and bind on equip items for a fair amount of gear slots people might feel as if they "had to" buy them meaning they would feel like they need to sell game time to make the gold to buy them.

So by limiting the number of BoEs and top items on the BMAH they will push away the idea of the game becoming "pay to win".  In theory anyway.

I have two issues with that, the first being I really do not care if someone uses cash to buy gear.  I couldn't care less if someone was capable of buying full mythic gear in game.  I will still wipe the floor with most of them.  Gear just increases potential, if someone does not play well they can have all the gear in the world and still be preforming at LFR levels anyway.  But me not caring about people buying their gear is more a matter of opinion only of course and another topic all together.

The second thing I worry about is that same BoE gear.  The game already removed valor gear.  Right now the only thing I have to offset my dreadfully horrible luck in game with concern to drops are BoE drops, which I am currently wearing 3 of.  Four if you count the fact I did get the BoE neck to drop off a boss, but still I liked the idea that if I needed it I could have visited the auction house to get it. 

As it stands I did not pay for any of them, they were all trash drops I farmed with guild but knowing that if they did not drop there was always the option of visiting the auction house was a nice thing and now that will be gone.  So how is someone with bad luck to get at least some pieces of gear if they want to remove BoE raid drops, or severely limit them, because some misguided fan boys might cry the game is turning "pay to win".

So as you see, these tokens, even if I will not be buying or selling them already will have an impact on my game play.  Blizzard already took away my chance at ever raiding mythic again by changing it to 20 man strict content and unless I am willing to switch servers, guilds and friends I will never raid mythic again and they took away my net for bad luck called valor gear but now they want to strip the possibility of getting gear from the auction house as well because they are afraid someone might call the game "pay to win".  I am not exactly liking this at all.

And that is only one way that the game tokens could, or might, change the game.  It would be a change which, in my opinion at least, is hurting the game.

But that is not the only way it could hurt.  While some are yelling it will destroy the economy without fully understanding that it isn't actually adding any gold to the game they still might have a point even if they are crying for the wrong reasons.

If a player on server A which has a very robust market which allows him to make gold left and right starts to buy his time for gold and a player on server B which is a dead server in terms of gold this basically allows the shifting of gold from server A to server B.

While it is true that no one will know where their gold is going it is completely possible that moving gold from one server to another this way can have a profoundly negative impact on the economy of some servers.  So even if no gold is being added to the game, gold is being shifted from the gold rich servers to the gold poor servers by process.

This becomes yet another thing that could impact my game play even if I do not intend to take part of it on either the buying or selling end.  It is something that I will never have any interaction with and it is already lining up to being something that could have a large impact on my enjoyment of the game possibly.  Not exactly an exciting prospect from where I stand right now, not at all.

I have only begun to think about this and all the aspects of the game that could be impacted by it for better or worse.  But in the end I think this will actually hurt the game even if I do believe it will help blizzard.  Call me selfish if you will, but I don't care if it helps blizzard if it hurts the game in the process.  Or could hurt the game, maybe. 

We still do not know what to expect as all the information is not out on it yet.  So all we can do now is speculate, guess, and just wonder while we think about it.  Who knows, maybe they can find a way to settle my worries on the situations I already mentioned.  We can surely hope.

Care to speculate?  Do you think the WoW token will hurt the game?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Is Highmaul Old Content?

Roughly a month ago Watcher made a post on the battle net forms that had a few lines in it I really wished to write a post about but they somehow kept getting pushed away and I never had the chance to write about it.  I drifted back to the idea of the post and went on a search for the comment, so I can lead off this post with a frame of reference.

I remembered what the comment was and why it originally motivated me to write in response to it but you know how our minds sometimes play tricks on us as time passes and you begin to misremember things.  This was another reason I wanted to find the post first.  To make sure I was actually talking about what my mind had me thinking I was talking about.

After reading it I can say for certain, I did remember it correctly, Watcher really did say exactly what I remembered him saying.  The comment that brings up this post, and shows how clearly out of touch the blizzard designers are is as follows, "we intended Foundry to complement, rather than supplant, Highmaul"  You can find his full reply in all its glorious PR spinning falsehoods here.

So the question here is as the title suggests, do you consider highmaul as old content?

I personally do, but that does not mean I want to just throw it away yet and I really dislike what blizzard has done making blackrock such a better raid in terms of rewards based on itemization and item level.  For me as a hunter the trinket off butcher is still a great trinket and if I could get lucky enough to snag a mythic version like a fellow guild mate got, with a gem slot to boot, it would be my best in slot, even better than anything BRF drops.  But outside of that, and for many other classes, there really seems to be no reason to go back there.  If that does not show a raid was been supplanted, I am not sure what else could.  You following that line of thinking yet watcher?

I think the problem stems from a few specific things, trinket withstanding.  Watcher mentioned one word in the snip I took out of that post that is the key.  The word is "intended".  We could look at this two ways.  They either failed, because it sure as hell is not a sister raid, or they did not even try to make them sister raids and him saying so is just spin.  I believe it is the latter.

Lets look at what I personally believe are the mistakes on why HM is now old content instead of the sister raid it was "intended" to be.  Here are the few specific things I mentioned the problem, or failure if you will, stems from.

Timing:

The fact that BRF came out two months after HM did make it feel less like a sister raid and more like the next tier.  Sure, a new tier coming only 2 months after another raid would be unprecedented for sure but it is not impossible.  Blizzard had once before rushed out a new tier before people really had time to sink their teeth into the previous tier.  You must remember the best raid that blizzard ever made only lasted 3 months as current content itself and ToC was surely a new tier after Ulduar.  So mistakes like that are not unprecedented.

The gap between the two raids was way to large to be something that could ever connect them as sister raids.  If they are going to stagger raid releases than I personally believe 2 weeks to maybe even a month, stretching it to the max, is more than enough time for two sister raids to be released.

If blizzard really "intended" for these two raids to be sister raids they would have not made the gap between them closer to the gap between ulduar and ToC than what would be reasonable to a sister raid release.

Tier Sets:

Some could argue that because there were no tier sets in HM that HM could not be considered a raid tier of its own.  There is some logic to that, logic which I actually agree with.  But a tier set does not a raid tier make.  Blizzard could release another raid tier in six months and it have no tier gear in it and people will still accept it as a new raid tier.

Tier gear is a bonus, it is not a symbol of something being, or not being, a raid tier.  However, in this case, being there were two raids that were "intended" to be sister raids being one has tier gear and the other does not it makes one vastly superior to the other, without question.

Being the power that tier sets normally offer it means that them being in the new raid almost completely devalues the previous raid.   Not something a sister raid should do to its sister one could say.

Item Level:

If these raids were to be sister raids they would have had the same item level.  Argue with me all you want but you will lose every step of the way.  The raid with the highest item level will always be the raid people want to do.  Sure you have people like me that realize that something from HM is actually better for me, but the majority of the player base would take the haste trinket off gruul before the multistrike one off butcher as survival based off item level alone.  They would be wrong, but item level does influence people a great deal, the vast majority of people I would say.

This is why if they honestly and truly "intended" for these raids to be sister raids there would not have been different item levels to them.

Both raids should have been the same item level and just itemized differently if their true intention was the make them sister raids.  However, even if they did that, the fact one contained tier gear and the other didn't, even with equal item level, it still would have made HM dated content.

If they really wanted to make them sister raids than two tier items would have been in HM and the other three would have been in BRF.  It is really that simple, that is a design for a sister raid.  Like last expansion, HoF and ToES were sister raids, MV was the "pre" raid.

This makes two expansions in a row that blizzard has made the mistake of completely devaluing a raid that should be current content.  Now it seems HM is old content when it really shouldn't be.

Do you consider highmaul to be old content now?

As watcher said, maybe blizzard did actually "intend" for them to complement each other, but based on the facts, it doesn't seem at all like they tired to actually do what they say they intended to do by having the releases so far apart, tier gear in only one of them and an increased item level in that one with tier gear.  Not sure about you, but to me those three things add up to mean a new tier to me.  Time, tier and item level.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- I found what the in game group finder is great for.

- The little things, like finding a quick pick up of the daily trader or harrison jones or what have you.

- It is so nice to see people making groups with the instant invitation option on that lets us just go in and get the quest.

- I always say thank you in /raid when I am done picking up the quest.

- Even if they are AFK I still think it is the polite thing to do.

- There are groups there offering use of their daily person, their enchanters study, heck even their bank so you can join theirs and get bank access without needing to go back to your ashran hub.

- My faith in the community was somewhat restored.

- Noticed that "somewhat" part?

- One group I joined to get to their trader had a mole machine right on top of it.

- I managed to click the trader and not the machine, but really now, do people actually think that is cool?

- It is not cool, it is not fun, and it really shows that the person at the keyboard is a very sad individual in real life if this is what they consider "fun".

- I would love for someone to catch the person that dropped it and them get a 3 day ban for it.

- Really wish blizzard would be more active in punishing the people that take a good thing and try to use it to grief.

- But still over all the group finder is great for things like this.

- I have an active guild and all, but I hate bugging someone to invite me and then they have to actually be in their garrison so I can get to the person.

- I think blizzard needs to fix that, so the person does not need to be in their garrison so you can see their daily person.

- I feel like I am intruding on their game play time asking them to wait for me or to invite me on a bunch of characters.

- So if someone is on that char I might go but otherwise I am using the group finder for it.

- I know I would not want my game time disrupted.

- Yet there are some people in guild it seems that live to disrupt my game time.

- The other day I posted in guild, anyone need the dust vendor.

- Just as I logged in, so I knew at worst I would be doing all my garrison stuff so there was time for people to come and get access to it.

- I had no nibbles, even though I said I had it a few times, in case someone missed it.

- I then posted, last call, heading out of my garrison soon, if you want the dust trader let me know.

- Five minutes later I headed out to do some of my mount soloing to try and get some of those ones that are still eluding me.

- Made it to ashran, then to the stormwind portal, than to the portal to uldum and was on my way flying to throne of the four winds when someone asked for an invite.

- I said, I already left, but give me a second and I will port back.

- I landed, used my garrison heartstone and then invited them to group.

- They said, they are not in their garrison and their hearth is on cooldown, could I wait another 6 minutes.

- Couldn't you tell me this before hand?

- I could have made it to the throne and cleared it in 6 minutes and then went back.

- You wasted my time.

- I do not like wasting my time.

- I did not say that, but I really wanted to.

- While I was waiting we talked about it in guild.

- Someone did not understand what these new traders were so I was explaining it all about how you get one visitor a day and sometimes it could be a trader and so forth.

- All this while waiting for that persons hearth to come off cooldown.

- She asked questions, I answered, explained, etc.

- He finally got back to his garrison, came in and used the trader, and left.

- I said, before I leave again, does anyone else need the dust trader.

- I heard crickets.

- I go to ashran again, to the stormwind portal again, to the uldum portal again and am almost to throne of the four winds when the person I was explaining it too asks for an invite.

- Are you F'N serious?

- I asked, multiple times, I said I was leaving, multiple times, I said I would not be able to get back again, multiple times, and now you want me to head all the way back there for you?

- Again, I did not actually say that but I sure as hell wanted to.

- I am just not a rude person like that.

- I try to be nice to everyone, even more so a guild mate that is just learning.

- Hey, we all need to start somewhere, but I think learning to be considerate of anothers time should be a lesson all learn early in an MMO.

- I told them as soon as my hearth was off cool down I would come back so they could get access to it.

- They said cool.

- I went in and soloed throne but did not head over to DS like normal, I waited for my hearth to come off cooldown and just flew around uldum looking for a camel.

- While waiting we talked in chat, I explained more about the types of vendors that come and what you needed for each.

- When I finally could hearth back again that person that I came back for disappeared.

- I was talking to her just 2 minutes earlier.

- I waited, waited and waited.

- Finally I said screw it.

- I was not going to head back out to try and get to DS again.

- I just logged off.

- Last thing I want is to try and head out again and someone else ask for an invite.

- That was the last time I will ever offer a vendor in my garrison to guild.

- From now on if someone asks for one I will tell them if I have it, but I will not offer.

- I hate wasting my time and I hate people that waste my time.

- Twice I went back just to help someone out.

- Both times it wasting my time when they could have come earlier when I was there and asking.

- Next time I will tell them use the group finder because expecting someone to drop what they are doing to help you out is very inconsiderate of another persons time.

- Being I did not solo DS on my hunter this week it meant one less chance for the mounts.

- I did however end up with the 250 mount achievement when the patch came out.

- Remember how I said I had 267 mounts alliance side but it only told me I had 249 that counted for the achievement?

- For some reason it finally understood that 267 does not equal 249 and 267 is over 250.

- So I got the achievement finally in a rather anticlimactic way.

- Would have been cool actually getting it with a mount drop.

- I did solo DS on my rogue this week however.

- No drops but it did finish the legendary quest line on that character.

- Shadowstep is my bane in that place.

- I wiped on one of those bosses to a misstep shadowstep.

- I've wiped to the trash so many times by shadowstepping to it and going underground, but this was the first time I did it to a boss.

- I have to remember to unbound that key.

- It is a habit to hit it and even if I know there are disconnecting issues there I hit it too often out of habit.

- Used the advice of someone from last week and picked up shuriken toss for the trash before ultraxion and it worked wonders.

- Even on 25 the dragons went down in one shot.

- So much nicer than using throw and starting the fight with drakes all over the place breathing fire on me or near me.

- I like anticipation.

- I would guess most poor skilled rogues like me like that because it can cover up for combo point mismanagement some.

- But I figured one fight without it won't hurt.

- But between the drakes and the boss coming I had time to switch back to it.

- Awesome.

- Now that is going to be so much easier on my rogue.

- Sadly I have no reason to do it on my rogue any longer.

- Was only doing it for the daggers.

- If I got a mount drop it would have been bonus.

- But I guess if I ever wanted to do it on multiple characters I could still do it on him as well.

- Most of my mount hunting is done on my hunter however.

- Except pandaria world bosses at the moment, I do those on my druid.

- Have not even tried on my hunter but at least I know even if no one comes to help my druid can solo them all.

- Well, all but sha, need some outside assistance with that one, but I've learned with cross realm there are always people around and if I start fighting it people will come and help.

- The is one of the very few things good about cross realm, but it is also something bad about it.

- I have not seen a warbringer in ages.

- There are always people camping them and if they spawn there are usually 5 or 6 people fighting over the tag.

- This is one of those reasons that cross realm needs to go.

- It is hard enough to find the things on one server, but add merged servers, more people being able to solo them, and the lack of content in WoD meaning more people to go back and farm these things, they would still be near impossible to get even without cross realm.

- Now add cross realm and you will never get one.

- You have to fight your fellow players and then fight the RNG gods.

- Two fights I do not want to be fighting.

- I wanted to yell out for the entire world to see "get off of my server".

- All I want to do is go to pandiara, do the rounds, kill all the warbringers and move on.

- I do not want to "camp" them.

- I do not want to "fight for the tag".

- I do not find any of those things "fun".

- Not exactly sure why blizzard does.

- I think blizzard and I have two completely different concepts of fun.

- That is a post in its own.

- I find it "fun" to kill stuff.

- I do not find it "fun" to wait for it to spawn or to fight with 20 other people for the tag.

- Sadly it is their game to make and they have all rights to do it anyway they want.

- Doesn't mean I have to like it.

- I did the BRF LFR on a few characters that had not stepped into it yet this weekend.

- I know, LFR is a dangerous place to be on the weekend.

- Never the less for me on two characters I am very low skilled on.

- Don't so much mind being on a character when I can carry a group with like my hunter, a healer or a tank, but on two melee DPS when I suck at melee DPS is another story all together.

- Oddly enough I had very few issues.

- Wipes on the last bosses of each section each time of course, but those bosses are way over tuned for the audience LFR is aimed at.

- Hey, at least they are still better than the maze game in ToT LFR.

- Tried to solo that boss this week, just too much damage for me being my pet refused to hold aggro, maybe with some more gear I can manage it later this expansion, but I digress.

- My rogue was pitiful.

- Currently a 643 item level thanks to mostly garrison mission rewards and one drop I could use on those six bosses I did.

- The one drop was a weapon and I can tell you even with my limited skill the difference between a 630 and a 650 weapon is noticeable.

- Sadly I was only doing around 15K, after the weapon upgrade, which would mean I don't even match my own requirements for highmaul normal.

- I ask for 15K from the DPS.

- But I feel more of my lack of skill comes from lack of play.

- Each fight I did better.

- My warrior, which I went in with second as melee DPS did better because of the practice of the rogue doing it as melee first.

- Practice does make you a better player, anyone that says otherwise is either delusional or an idiot.

- I got a lot of whispers concerning my gearing, spec and so forth in LFR, more than usual.

- Someone asked me, why assassination, it is so far behind.

- I said, because this is a rarely played alt and it is an easy spec I already know how to play so being I am only doing LFR there is no need to play the top spec, might as well just play what I am used to playing.

- They said, fair enough.

- Another one asked me "is that cloak still any good" as I am wearing the legendary one still.

- Don't think he was trying to troll, think he was trying to see if I happened to know something he didn't.

- I said no, it is not, because it does not proc any more, I have just not gotten a better drop yet.

- He said I know that feeling.

- So it was not like they were rude or bad whispers and even if we wiped a bit the groups did not get violent like some do.

- Things did get a little heated up on blast furnace, no pun intended, but otherwise it was not so bad over all in my rogue runs.

- My warrior had some fun because he is gladiator spec.

- Most of the fun was people not realizing that a warrior can DPS with a shield on.

- On the last boss of the second wing someone asked me why I was in tank spec, in raid chat, not in whisper, and I said I was in gladiator stance.

- Gladly most of the raid seemed to know what that meant even if the tank accusing me of being in tank spec did not.

- Then the raid, oddly enough, instead of taking about our 3 wipes already on the boss started to talk and debate about if gladiator stance was a viable spec to raid in.

- One person said, You are arguing over viability of spec in the LFR?  Just be happy he isn't AFK.

- That was such a great answer.

- But for the record, based on the debate over my spec in that LFR it was concluded that gladiator was a viable raiding spec even if not the best.

- I keep it simple, gladiator is my spec because I am a tank first and foremost and I do not want to collect a second set of gear for a role I only play in mixed groups because I don't tank for random people.

- That is why I am gladiator stance in LFR.

- Simply put, I don't tank LFR and I won't tank LFR until every fight can be solo tanked.

- I've seen way to many fights go bad because of tanks not taunting when they needed to.

- It would be better off if you only needed one tank that had a clue.

- If I ever needed to actually raid with this character I would create a DPS set for another spec that was the "best".

- Or I would do what I do now.

- If I am needed to tank a fight I do it on my warrior, if I am needed to DPS a fight I switch to my DPS spec, it is called a hunter.

- No need for dual specs being the raids are not boss locked any more.

- If I really need to switch on a fight I will just bring in my hunter.

- It would be better than my warrior anyway.

- My warrior had the best of luck and the worst of luck.

- 6 bosses, 3 coins, 5 pieces of gear.

- That pretty much rocks right?

- I have 5 slots where something LFR would have not been an upgrade.

- The five pieces I won were for those 5 slots.

- Meaning I won nothing.

- What are the odds of that?

- I did do better on my warrior than my rogue, pulling 16-18K, but still not really comfortable with gladiator stance.

- I also had the advantage of just having done the fights as melee on my rogue so I had the moves fresh in mind.

- Not to mention my warrior is 10 item levels higher than my rogue.

- Went back to do highmaul heroic the other night.

- Could not get past butcher.

- Funny part was it was not for the main reason we wiped there the first time.

- When we first did it we were pushing the enrage timer, now our healers could just not keep up.

- Had no regular healers so used a couple of non raiders and a main on his alts off spec to try and heal it.

- Was not happening.

- We were wiping at the end, sub 5%, but with 5 people over 35K we were no where need the enrage timer any more.

- I love fights like that after you get some gear.

- Fun for progression trying to squeeze everything you can out of your gear and class.

- Then once you start getting gear you can have fun trying to see how much you can do and how fast you can do it.

- Some people hate patchwork fights, I love them.

- Because they are "fun".

- But as I said, we all have a different definition of fun.

- I plan on making a post about that.

- In search of... what does blizzard consider fun?

- Have a great day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

For Love and Hate of the Hot Fix

Warcraft is always evolving, adjusting, making changes as needed to try and keep thing working as intended.  Sometimes that means hot fixing a talent, a mechanic, an achievement, what have you.  This is all done with us, the players, in mind.

Sometimes you love a hot fix.  Say your raid group is having issues with a boss because it was harder than intended and suddenly they reduce the health of the adds, like what they did on horridon on 10 man which helped out many guilds.  It is one of those things where if you beat the fight already it doesn't matter to you, you are already past it and can pass it again easily but if you were one of those guilds stuck behind the wall it is a welcome fix that helps you move along.

That is what hot fixes are for.  To try to keep things moving along, to let players feel as if they are progressing.  After all we all need to keep moving forward or the game becomes stagnant and that is when people start to give up, lose interest, or just flat out quit.  Hot fixing is usually in the best interest of the game.

How we as players react to the hot fixes however is basically what our personal opinions are.  As with the example I gave above.  There were some people that did not like the fix to the horridon fight.  They called it a nerf.  The difference is a hot fix is to fix something that was harder or easier than intended and a nerf is just to make things easier over all.  The dragon soul or icecrown citadel  5% buff/debuff was a nerf, the scaling of adds on horridon in 10 man was a hot fix.  But that would not change the minds of some people who would think otherwise.

Bottom line is with each hot fix you will either love it or hate it.

I've been hating on most of the achievement hot fixes this expansion thus far personally.  I hate them because of when they came mostly, not because they happened.  I can understand why they happened, well, some of them at least.

So that all brings me to the hot fix that is coming that made me think to write about them.  There is going to be a hot fix coming for getting the Harrison Jones follower that I am hating on right now.  Why you might ask?  Glad you did because I was planning on telling you even if you didn't.

To get the follower you had needed to do the 6 new relic hunter quests that come to a garrison near you on a daily basis as well as do all the follower missions associated with them.  The fix is that you no longer need to do the missions, you only need to do the 6 quests to get him now.

While this means it will be easier and faster to get him for many it also means yesterday I wasted a ton of time and resources.  As you might know, I am not a fan of wasting my time.  That means, I hate this hot fix.  See, for me, I only hate hot fixes that make me feel as if I wasted my time.  Things that if I knew they were coming I would have done things differently.  That is why I hate this hot fix.  If I knew it was coming, even more so coming this quickly, I would have done things differently.

What I did was take advantage of the fact you could speed along the missions by buying something from the archeology vendor which would give you a relic hunter mission for 5 restored artifacts.  I used all my stashed restored artifacts for them.  I did not stop there either, I also went through my collection of characters on my server that had motes of harmony and spirits of harmony and sent them all to my hunter.  I had 16 characters on that server that had some, so needless to say I had a lot.

I then went to the shrine and at a rate of 3 spirits of harmony per restored artifact I spent every one I had to get a nice stash of restored artifacts.  I then went back and bought more things to start the missions.  In the end I spent a lot of time, all my spirits, sacrificed turning the crates in for tol'vir fragments which is what I had been doing to try to get the damn mount and pet that still elude me, all in an effort to speed up getting Harrison Jones as a follower.

It required a lot from me to try to get the follower, hopefully, by the 6th day when I do the 6th daily, baring no repeats.  And now I don't need to do the missions!!!

Can you see why I am pissed?  I can somewhat under stand hot fixing some achievements because they need it.  I was upset with the change to the draenor money one going down from 10,000 to 2,500 because I had already done the 10,000 version, but I can deal with it.  I was actually happy with the change to savage friends to only needing 1 exalted reputation instead of 3 because it made more sense even if I already had the 3 at exalted.  I even support the change to the engineer building only needing to test some of the toys and not all even if it does annoy me that they made that change the day after I finally had used all of them and got the achievement, but it was a needed one as I see it.

But this change?  It just came out.  What is it, 2 days old in the UK and 3 days old in the US.  Was it really needed to fix it that quickly?  It did not even have any time to see if it was indeed broken. 

In time everyone would have managed getting all the missions without even trying, the missions would come to them in their garrison.  If they really wanted it they could rush it the way I did.  It was not a hard achievement to get or a big deal to begin with.  You still needed to wait 6 days no matter what because you had to do the six dailies and in those six days you could have easily gotten enough restored artifacts, like I did, to get all the missions you needed if you wanted to speed it up.  Why change it?  There was no need for this, even more so that there was a way already built in game to speed it up and make it even easier than it already is.

That is really a hot fix I am feeling the hate for. 

Do you want to know which achievement I would love to see fixed and made easier like that?  The bigger bags one.  I spent so much time on 20+ characters on the timeless island.  I killed every rare there at least 100 times and most likely much more and the process is account wide and I still do not have that achievement.  Why don't they change that one to only needing 80% of the items collected?  That one makes sense to fix.  Harrison Jones does not.  Bigger bag was hard because it involves RNG, Harrison Jones is not because all it requires is time.  Yet they fix the one that doesn't need it and leave the one that does need it alone.   For the love and hate of hot fixes indeed.

Have there been any hot fixes you hated?

Have there been any hot fixes you loved?

How has blizzards hot fix crazy ways of this expansion been treating you?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What If: Blizzard Had Subscription Packs?

I was reading through some posts on the forums and got to the no flying post in which I love reading the debates.  It really is a circular argument that has been going on for a while, not much new has been added to it in ages, you either want flying back or you don't, simple as that.  So no one really said anything specific that made me think of this idea but none the less something popped into my mind that I think would be interesting to see what people would think about.

Lets say, for example, if blizzard offered different levels of their monthly subscription service and one of them included flying as a perk.  Would you be willing to pay for flying?

What we pay now would be called the silver package.  For our $15 a month we would get access to everything we currently have.

Now lets makes one package higher for $20 a month and one lower for $10 a month.  Not going to add a lot or remove a lot, just going to keep it super simple.

Gold: $20 a month

All current access we have in game.
Flying.

Silver: $15 a month

Game as it currently is.

Bronze: $10 a month

No access to "top" end game experiences. (mythic and arena)
Full access to all else.

Now I am sure there could be more differences between the different levels of subscription and I can see a hell of a lot of the player base, most likely well over 80%, that would be happy with the lower $10 per month package as most players never step into mythic or arena.  But how many of us would be baited by the flying in draenor to pay $20 a month.

I know I would be willing to pay an extra $5 a month for the ability to fly.  Maybe not just that but with some other small bonuses too, like being able to get the "first dungeon" bonus twice per day or other little things like that.

So I have three questions for you, the reader.

1) As listed, would you upgrade, downgrade, or stay the same?

2) What would you need as a perk to get you to pay $5 a month more?

3) How much would you sacrifice to save $5 a month?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6.1 Impressions, Observations, Opinions and Gripes

6.1 was released and as I mentioned yesterday I had a lot of plans on what I would check out.  Sadly the most important thing to me I was not able to do.  Boo, bad form blizzard.

Profession Traders:

Don't know what it was like on your server but the only profession trader anyone on my server had was the fur trader.  Sure I know the idea now is to get people to make "friends" and if they do not have the particular visitor they want they can go to a friends garrison to get it.  My tailor did not have the fur trader which meant I needed to visit a friend.  Of my seven level 100 characters the only one to have the fur trader was my warrior.  How many warrior tailors are there out there?

Bad form blizzard, seriously bad form.  Sure random is random but how can no one on the entire server have the ore trader or the leather trader?  I was really looking forward to upgrading my ring and gun as soon as I logged on and was told by blizzard "sucks to be you".  Not a good feeling at all.

Personally I believe there should have been one trader that sold all items and it should have been in every garrison.  Being that did not happen, the least you could have done is not make it share a spawn with the raid quest giver, dungeon quest giver, relic hunter quest giver or world quest giver.  Every garrison should have had some vendor of some sort and they should have not all been the exact same one, fur vendor in my case.  Once again I must say, bad form blizzard, bad form.

If they were going to have the vendor appear in only some garrisons it should have sold all the patterns.  That is my opinion on the matter.

Missions:

I got my BRF mission on my main after getting 2 characters to 660.  A few others in guild told me they had the same experience.  So it seems you need 2 of the appropriate item level to trigger it.  I can live with the change, not a huge one, but I think it would have been better if they left it at only needing one.

Two of my other characters however did not get a BRF mission at all.  Maybe I needed to raid to get it?  I did not need to raid to get the HM missions.  Sure if I wanted better gear on those alts from those missions raiding would be advisable but at least I still got those missions.  On two characters I got at least 2 followers to 660 I did not get a BRF mission at all.  Can we say bad form again?  Apparently it is either bugged or you need to raid to open them up.  Kind of defeats the purpose of having them to help my alts that are not raiding if I need to raid to get them doesn't it?

I should note for some that might not have noticed but you can over level garrison missions as well.  My three 660s on my main only had a 92% chance to complete the mission but when I upgraded them all to 670 they had a 100% chance.  So even if it advises 660, having higher does help.  This is certain as I saw it yesterday.

The work rush order missions appeared on a few of my characters.  Those are nice little additions.  For those that are wondering, if you are on the legendary quest line using the rush order can get you items toward its progression.  I will repeat, yes you can get legendary pieces from the rush orders.  I did.  Now that is good form blizzard.  Finally a plus one for you.

The archeology missions are a nice way to get some quick fragments, I like them.  My main did not get a selfie camera mission but two of my alts did.  So that is 2 out of 7 got the camera mission, so I guess it will not be a first day thing.  One character got a mission for savage blood, one got a mission for 20 primal spirits, one got a mission for a bag of spec specific augment runes, these are all new missions and a nice addition.  I am sure there are other good ones out there, can't wait to see them all.

Pets and Pet Battles:

I could have sworn I read somewhere they were making the pet battles easier?  Not like they needed to be as I personally have a team that can beat any trainer usually with little or no trouble, so I figured this would make them easier.  Boy oh boy was I wrong.

Pet battles have been made harder.  Since when does harder mean easier?  Maybe in blizzards bizarro world harder means easier.  I'll give just one example. 

The trainer in the vale was always a great one where you could level up a new pet, even from level 1.  Have your idol put up sand storm and your level one takes no damage.  Don't work that way now apparently.  No more leveling level one pets that way.  Thanks blizzard, that surely made pet battles easier.

I did not get to try any of the raids for new pets yet but I do have one new pet to report.  After buying the new cooking patterns I went and made myself over 300 of the multistrike food and finally managed to get the lil leftovers pet.  Woot woot, go me.

A free level 25 pet thanks to a stone?  I don't see how anyone would not like that.

Jukebox:

Okay first things first.  Why is this not account wide blizzard?  Seriously I can leave this as the entire comment on this topic and it would say it all but you know me and I won't.  I am quite long winded that way.

I can see needing to go through the beginning quest on all characters to get it on your garrison, I am fine with that, but why are the scrolls not account wide?  Haven't you learned that things which could be considered collections are better off being account wide.  Pets, mounts, heirlooms, toys.

It would have been nice if they did not make the same mistake they made with the blue prints from the garrisons and make them a per character thing.  Guess they did not learn from that.  Even simple little collections like this would go over better, in my opinion, if they were account wide.

I really do not want to travel the world and waste my time on every single character to change the music in my garrison.  I will do it on one and I might even use it, but I am not going to waste my time on alts.  I will do the opening quest just to get the damn quest marker off my screen but the collecting scrolls can go screw itself.  I am not collecting this on every single character blizzard, and I should not have to.  Bad form blizzard, bad form.

I also wonder what is with blizzard and trying to promote PvP with things like this. The alliance need to basically go hug the banshee queen whereas the horde need to stand in front of tyrande and hope she is in a forgiving mood for their intrusion.

Does blizzard really think this is a good way to get people into PvP?  Sending them into an area where they are sure to be slaughtered just for something silly like a song to play in your garrison.  People doing this either want the song or are completion nuts like me that just want to have them all.  They do not want to get into PvP.  If anything I think this would leave a bad taste in someones mouth in terms of PvP having to go into enemy territory and get slaughtered for something like a song.  Seriously blizzard needs to stop adding PvP into things like this.  It has no place what so ever.

Heirlooms:

I cycled through my lowbie characters until I had enough for the 35 heirloom achievement and then stopped looking for them.  I am currently at 40 and I know I have many more once I get around to them.  I think most veteran players like myself will probably have no issue getting the 35 achievement.

Love the mount, it is funny having someone drive you around.  Sucks it does not scale with mount speed, really no use using it outside of that pre 20 level.  But still a fun little mount I guess.

Did you see the prices to upgrade that stuff?  I feel bad for the people that did not have most of it already.  Ouch.  I bet there will be more people that will be siding with me now saying they want the return of justice points.  It will cost someone a mini fortune to get all those things if they wanted them and never had any.  Hope you are good at making gold my friend.

Stacks and Numbers:

It was nice to see stack sizes increased greatly on many things like primal spirits.  That was a great update.  I do have one request however, how about making all warlords based crafting materials stack to 1000 as well.   It is needed, really really needed.  My mains bank is filled with herbs, my secondary alchemists bank is filled with herbs and my third is just starting to fill his.  And that is not even counting the stack or so every other character hangs on to in case it is the trading post material of the day.  Yes, stacks of all warlords based crafting materials being increased to 1000 would be most welcome.  You did it with some things, now do it right and do it with everything from warlords.

Have you noticed that now when you go to craft something it does not show your commodities listed like **/20 but 8.7K/20.  That is freaking awesome.  I love it.  Such a simple change and it really made my day to see that.  Little things matter and this one was a great change, one I did not even see mentioned.  Please do not tell me that I am the only person that notices things like this and the only person that loves the change as simple as it is.  Someone else out there has to be a weirdo like me.

Work Orders:

There was one major change to work orders.  A button to do all at once instead of hitting it over and over and that is a good change.  Nothing else to say there.  Or maybe there is.

You can now get missions that reward you rush orders to rush complete 5 orders.  You can also buy rush orders for garrison resources if you happen to have a fair deal of them.  This too is pretty nice if you happen to be flush with supplies.  Even more so knowing you can get some of the items needed for the legendary quest line through rushing, but still at the very low chance, so it is not really a reliable way to do so.  But it surely is something worth doing if you happen to get the rush orders for free from a mission.  Don't know if I would ever go so far as buying rush orders trying to move the legendary quest alone.  Unless of course I ended the week needing one.  Then I might.

Twitter:

What is this twitter you speak of?  Best thing I have to say about this is that I never even noticed it was added to the game and that is absolutely fantastic on every level.  Not only did I not notice it was added but at no point ever while playing did the game try to push me to activate it or even let me know it was there.  Nice move here blizzard, not shoving stuff like this down our throats.  I appreciate that a lot.

BRF LFR Wing 2:

While not actually a part of 6.1 as it is 6.0 content being time released slowly but being it came out at the same time 6.1 did I will comment on it here.

We are back to the days of LFR being a nightmare.  Sorry folks but blizzard learned nothing from HM wing 1 where everyone, including me, loved the LFR and was willing to do it because it was as it should be, face roll even with horrible players.  We are back to nightmare city.

The last boss should be receiving a nerf soon, very soon, I can sense it.  Actually I would not be surprised if they already nerfed it and being I did not check before writing this I had not noticed it.  We wiped and wiped and wiped.

I must admit our first wipe was my fault too.  I own up to my mistakes and I made one huge mistake.  But it was not just me, it was a few others as well.  When we all got grabbed I had myself positioned in a good place for maximum barrage coverage.   Just like a good hunter should right?  Well, not in LFR at least.  I hit barrage and broke out nearly everyone almost instantly and wiped half the raid.  Who knew the hands would shatter so quickly if you sneezed on them.  I apologize to everyone that I was in that raid with.  It was not my intention to kill you all.

We wiped because of that phase multiple times.  After the first time I behaved myself.  I knew I could break people out easy so I did not attack until his cast was almost done.  Sure I broke people out quickly, but we all still died because apparently this LFR is like all others and carried on the backs of healers and the healers could not keep us up taking the constant damage in the hands.  On well, determination fixed it.  That is the only reason we got it down.  Had to wait until determination was high enough for the healers to help us survive that phase.  The first time we made it through that phase with minimal losses we finished it.

Yeap, this needs to be nerfed, huge.  One decent geared player can wipe the group by breaking people out to quick and poor healers will ensure you need lots of stacks of determination before you can survive it.

Bag Space:

I must make a note of another issue I have with the additions.  So many more things to fill our bag space, really?  All the different mission things alone have to be worth 20 or so bag spaces if you happen to have them all.  Blizzard, thanks for all the space you gave us this expansion, but it is already all used, stop giving us more junk to take up space.  Please please please.  Or just give us more space again.

Invasions:

I have not had one yet so I will leave this just as a comment on it and to ask if anyone got platinum and how was it?  Did they increase spawn rate.  I sure hope they did.  Some are hard enough to get gold on sometimes with bad RNG for spawns.

I did a shadowmoon the other day to help a friend and we did not get gold.  I've been getting golds even with 2 weak players since the expansion came out.  What it seemed to be was we had bad RNG.  We had me and two other really strong players.  We were killing things the second they spawned.  The entire run we were all just standing there waiting for things to spawn.  Nothing lived more than 3 seconds when it spawned.  We only managed a 958.  We had killed everything offered to us.  It was 100% impossible to get gold.  We got unlucky with mobs not spawning, no big mobs to attack buildings, and no scared people.  Nothing, so we did not get 1000.

I sure as hell hope they major league increased the spawn rate of the mobs in these things and stuff like that does not happen.  If RNG can keep us from gold, how the hell could we ever make platinum.  Someone suggested to me, next time don't kill them so fast.  Makes sense, but isn't that the idea?  To kill them fast so you get more to kill?  I hope blizzard fixed problems like this otherwise platinum will be more about RNG and not about skill.  It will be "if" you get enough mobs to kill for it and sorry, but that is bad design.

Endnote:

For me the main "content" of this patch was the fact I would be able to upgrade two pieces of gear when it came out.  As I was not able to do so because of the horrible design of the profession vendors as far as I see it 6.1 was a complete failure.  If you can not upgrade your gear when the upgrades come out, seems like a failure to me.  My opinion only, I will get them in time and I don't really need them now with the content I am pushing, but it should not have been left up to RNG if I can upgrade or not.  I am so very not happy about that.  I am never very happy with anything that is about RNG, more so new stuff like this that many people like myself were looking forward too as the only thing that excited us with 6.1.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

6.1 Patch Day, What Do You Expect To Do?

While we are all aware that 6.1 is very light in terms of content, as in none, it is not without things to do at all.  There are a lot of updates to what is already in game.  While nothing new in terms of content it does still leave us with something to do.  Or if you are like me and thinking about it, a lot of somethings to do.

For me my plan of attack with the 6.1 patch is as follows.

First and foremost I need to handle my main, a hunter of course, and his one piece of crafted gear.  I will be upgrading that to the 4th level immediately.  I will also be finally making a weapon.  I kept saying "I'll wait for a drop" but after pugging any weapon boss I could get into and using all my coins on weapon bosses I still am stuck with a crap weapon. 

It made some, but not a ton of, sense to make myself the crafted gun but as I had a 655 since the week HM opened changing it to a 660 even with the right stats seemed like a small upgrade.  Even more so when I am sure my luck would not be that bad and I would get one that was better.  As it turns out, that never happened.  So now that I can make it 670 with the right stats it is a huge upgrade over the 655.  And think of it this way, worst case scenario is what always happens.  I make it and then I get a drop.  So if the drop is better I switch and if it is not I don't, simple as that.

So with those two gear issues out of the way I will be upgrading one of my followers to a 660 item level ASAP.  I will not send my followers immediately out on missions either after doing that.  My hopes are that I will trigger the BRF mission, as it should, having one level 660.  So I will do some other little things before I send away my followers on missions to see if I can bait the mission out.

I then plan on doing the LFRs.  As it turns out the two wings that are open are the two wings we do second and last.  We do the other wing first because, for us at least, they are easier bosses.  Still collecting runes so by running those LFRs if we only manage to down the three in the other wing this week on our one night I will still get the maximum stones I can with the exception of the last boss.

I also will be buying all the new cooking patterns and making lots and lots of food while I am waiting in queue most likely.  My main has every cooking recipe in the game and can't stop now.  I even have some removed from game like them kicking chimaron chops.  Even still have some made on an alt in their bank because I am sentimental silly that way and you can not even get the meat to make them any more. 

But this is for the new 125 stat food.  And as I knew what I would be needing for it, I've been fishing it up the needed fish like a made elf.  I have well over 2000 fish that need to be turned into multistrike food thank you very much.  And I bet I will still not get the darn pet from cooking.  Has anyone got it from cooking yet?  I must have cooked over 5000 things so far trying to get it and no luck, but that is another story all together.

While in LFR I will also do my apexis daily, something I really do not do daily any more as there is no need for apexis crystals any more.  Had been none for a very long time.  However I am doing it to trigger an invasion.  Have to try to start getting them again because there are platinum invasions and achievement associated with them to get now.  Admittedly the only rewards I want from them are the mount because the gear rewards are still blah.  Really, platinum should reward at least 670 gear and more like 680 gear now.  Why add such low gear rewards?  Blizzard makes no sense some times.  Do you honestly think that any group that will be capable of easily getting platinum would actually need a 660?  I think not.  Think next time blizzard.  Most people that can easily get platinum probably do not need 670 either.

I'll be surfing the trade chat trying to pick through the trolls, the political arguments, the racist rants, and the other brain rotting crap that it is filled with to look for raid boss garrison invasions.  Again, for achievement sake and because I dig that sort of stuff and want to do it.

Then I will move on to cycling thought other characters.  My shaman and my paladin will now be able to add another piece of crafted gear because shields are no longer counting toward the crafted three.  So I have to decide which ones to do.

I plan to log into all my lower level characters or any characters I might have some heirlooms on just to add them to the tab.  I will surely have more than the 35 needed for the achievement for the mount.  I had a full set for all classes, doubles and triples of most.  So 35 will in no way be an issue.

My rogue will start soloing BT again for the pets that now drop from it.  At least it gives me the motivation to get there as I still need the other warglaive.  Maybe I will get lucky while going there and kill two birds with one stone.  Get my drop and get my pets all at once.  I have always been a huge fan of doing things that have multiple purposes. 

As that seems to be the theme of going to these old raids to get the new pets then my priest will surely have to be the one doing mount hyjal.  She has been after a piece for transmog off the last boss since last expansion.  Ah, love it when I can do two things at once.  Try to get the piece I want and get pets means putting my time to best use.

As far as the pets go, yes I want them all and yes I want the achievement, but first things first.  People over pay, as in over pay insanely, for pets on my server when they are new.  I plan to sell every single pet I get.  I will even run the raids on multiple characters.  If things go as they had in the past and I have a little luck, I can see me making well over 500K over the next week just on pets.  Even more if I take some time to level them first.  Once the pets start to settle down in price, which will probably be after the weekend when everyone is soloing old content, I will keep one of each for myself.  If they are drops, as they are, they will come easy enough in time so I have no issue selling the early ones I get.  Also, I am in no rush.

Speaking of being in no rush.  I realized something I do absolutely love about 6.1 and it is going to sound weird.

There is no content in 6.1.

I hate it and I love it.

I have no new quest hubs that I feel I need to get done.  I have no new dungeons I want to venture into as soon as possible.  I have no new gear to grind.  No new quest lines to follow.  Nothing.  I have absolutely nothing but filler crap that I am in no rush to complete.  I kind of like that. 

I will get to all my heirlooms sooner or later as I log into those characters.  I will get all the pets some day.  I will get all the music rolls at some point, probably on a weekend when I am bored.  I will get the camera and take pictures of myself just for achievements sake.  I'll kill bosses with pepe on my head.  None of this is anything I would rush to do.  It is all junk content, filler content.  And right now I kind of like that nothing actually worth doing is being added.  Because if I feel like logging off right after I upgrade my gear on my main tonight, I can.  I won't feel like I am missing something, I won't feel like I am not trying my best, I won't feel like I am neglecting my main.  There is nothing I feel I need to do.  As weird as that sounds, I am kind of liking that right now thinking about it.

What are your 6.1 log in plans?