Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You'd Be a Good Player if You Had Some Gear

The title was something that someone whispered me the other day in an LFR.  He was in mostly mythic HFC gear and I was keeping up with him on the fights with my awesome 670 tier set.  One day I would like to get gear, I want to be the good player he says I can be.  That line was sarcasm if you had not guessed, well, not the wanting to get gear part.

It was after the second boss when he said that.  He was rocking the charts.  Did 88K on the first boss, I did 68K.  Second boss he did 96K and I did 83K.  During the trash to the next boss he sent me that whisper "You'd be a good player if you had some gear".

I was not exactly sure what to make of it.  Was it an offhand insult because he beat me?  Was he saying that if I had the same gear he had I would have beaten him?  Was he saying because I do not have good gear it means I can not be a good player?

I inspected him to see his gear and that is where I saw his gear was pretty sweet and made me a little jealous, well, a lot jealous really.  He had three mythic tier pieces and one heroic warforged one with a gem slot.  I have one normal tier piece I can not even use until I get three more.  Insert sad face here.

I was trying to think what I could reply to the guy without sounding like a jerk.  If I wanted to be honest I could have replied, "I am already better than you" because with his gear lead he should have been beating me by a lot more than he was.  But that was when I thought he meant it as an insult.

I saw that there were other people from his guild there and they were all doing fairly well, so maybe he was making an offer.  Heck, I've recruited people I found in an LFR before, so maybe that is what he was doing.  Maybe he wanted to talk to me to try to recruit me.  Not saying I would go, but I would entertain the idea if it were bought up.

In all truth, recruiting from LFR is a great way to recruit.  There are often some good people in them that just never found a raid team.  If you can grab one of those people and get them into a raid you could get yourself a new regular sometimes.   Not saying it always works, it doesn't more than it does, but it could, and has for me in the past.

I ended up replying, "Thanks, I am doing pretty good today, thought I could take you that first fight but you pulled away at the end."

I had him for almost the entire fight.  He jumped past me and skyrocketed at the end.  have no clue how but he went from being behind me the whole fight to moving over 100K and settling at the 88K mark he ended at.

He did not reply again.  The rest of the trash passed by, the boss died.  At the end of the run I hung around in the group a bit to see if he said anything, as he was hanging around too, same with his guild mates.  But he said nothing.

Maybe he did say it as an insult, a shot at me of some sort, or maybe I came off as arrogant in my reply.  Either way our exchange was just those two things, the line he said to me and the line I said to him.

This morning I was thinking about the line he said and how wrong it really was.  If you break it down it makes it sound like he was of the school of thought that gear makes the player.

I don't agree with that, never have and never will.  Gear increases a players potential.  Having good gear does not mean you are a good player and having bad gear does not mean you are a bad player.  So saying if you had some gear you would be a good player is actually wrong.  A good player is a good player no matter what.  Having gear just means you are increasing the potential of said good player.

It seems to be the thought that the higher the item level a player has the better that player is and that is flat out false.  It just means that the player with higher gear has more potential.  They still need to play the class to the best of their ability to get something out of it.  Sure, at some point even a piss poor player will beat a good player thanks to gear and gear alone, but that is not the point.  That person, even with gear, would still be considered a bad player.  So someone with less gear that does well should still be considered a good player right?

The time walker dungeons are the perfect place to test this theory out.  Everyone is equal in terms of gear and with the exception of if one person has some gem slots and the other doesn't, two players will be equals.  Skill matters more than gear there.

Two people in equal gear have a competition based on skill (and luck), but two people of extremely different item levels can not be compared looking at the numbers.  The one that did more should always be the one with the higher item level gear because gear increases potential.   The one with the better gear should do more.  It is simple math.  If someone in much lower gear is beating, or even competing, with someone that out gears them by more than 30 item levels that just means the person with more gear is not the better player.  Not even a good player.

Was it an insult?  Maybe it was, I will never know.  But one thing is for sure and that is this, the guy thought gear made the player, because he thought gear would make me a good player.  That right there shows he is not a good player.  A good player knows that gear increases the potential of the player, but the player still need to do well to get the most out of it.  Maybe he just phrased it wrong.  If he wanted to say what he intended to say, if it were not an insult, he should have said, "I'd like to see what you could do with more gear."  To me, that is a compliment, no misunderstanding that one.

Remember, what you do matters more.  Follow mechanics, avoid the avoidable, and rock the charts.  Even if you finish behind someone like that who really out gears you, know that you are still better than them.  Just do the best you can do.

Gear does not make the player, the player makes the gear.

Blizzard Lies

This will be an extremely short post, for me at least.  I also put it under the header of humor because I think it has to be one of the funniest things I have heard from blizzard all expansion long.

I saw a question and answer highlighted on the front of MMOC regarding the extremely long queue times for the LFR recently.  After reading it my mind was blown.  I had to read it a second time to make sure I did not misread it.

Someone asked on twitter
"time in queue 1h 30min.. this isn't very fun gameplay"

For this warcraftdevs had a two part answer
(1) We have a fix in the works that should improve LFR queue times
(2) We’re currently giving too much weight to class diversity in forming groups


I found this funny partly because they have a "fix in the works" because it should have never been like this to begin with and should not need a fix.  But the real reason this had me laughing was the second reason they gave, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that blizzard lies.

Two weeks ago I queued up for the BFR wings on my horde hunter, I get into a group and it has 15 hunters in it.  You are aware there are only 18 damage dealer spaces to begin with right?

Last week, horde hunter again, BRF again, 12 hunters in the group.

Monday before reset, wanted to get the first two bosses on my druid, because I only tanked from the 3rd on, so I queue up as a healer for the first HFC.  Guess how many druid healers we had?  5 druid healers.  Let me give you a reminder how many healers LFR uses, it uses 5.

So I have to say "(2) We’re currently giving too much weight to class diversity in forming groups"  has to be both the most blatant lie blizzard has told us all expansion and probably the funniest one too.

If having 5 out of 5 healers being a druid and 15 out of 18 damage dealers being a hunter is diversity in the eyes of the people that work at blizzard, I now completely understand why they are having all the problems they are.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things I Liked About Warlords... and Hope They Never Do Again

The title might hard to swallow.  How could I like something and not want to see it again.  I can most definitely see why people might consider it weird that I would even suggest something like not wanting to see something in game that I really liked.  But like it or not, there are some things in the game I really hope do not follow us forward.  Maybe after you see what I post you will understand better why I do not want to see these things moving forward and maybe you too might say, now I get it, and have something you liked about the game you would be happy to see not follow us forward.

Herbs and Ore For All:

What I liked about it:

What is there not to like about it really.  I could not even imagine the countless hours I spent out in the world farming materials for raid, for friends, for profit, what have you, in the past, it was a pretty big part of my game, time wise.  I used to spend near full days on weekends on my miner or herbalist gathering my heart out.

I loved the idea that I could just cycle through my characters now and get all the ore I could ever want and all the herbs I could ever imagine to have.  Thing is I have not picked from my garden or mine on any of my characters in months and I still have thousands of each.

Why I do not want to see it again:

And that is the problem.  They flooded us with them.  Not that I really mind having all those supplies and never needing to go farm them but that is part of the problem.  Farming them, like it or not, was content.  It gave me something to do as silly as that might sound.  Having them right there with no competition in your own little world whether you are a miner or an herbalist or neither flooded the market and made them worthless.  It also gave the feeling, at least for me, that I "had to" do it each day where in the past I farmed when I wanted to farm, not when I "had to" farm or I would lose  a days production.

In the future:

If they decide to do something like garrisons again I would not mind if my miners had the mine and my herbalists had the garden but for everyone else without those professions they should just be decorative.  Giving us some without competition or any major effort is fine and dandy, giving us thousands was too much.  People should have to go out to gather.

Professions at Level 1:

What I liked about it:

I took advantage of it to switch a couple of characters professions.  I usually level with 2 gathering professions and then power level the profession(s) I want on them when they hit max level.  This expansion I did not need to worry about that.  I could craft everything at level 1.  The skill of my crafter did not matter at all.   I could make everything and level my profession in the process, or not level them at all, because level did not matter.

Why I do not want to see it again:

I feel it completely devalued professions as a whole if any tom dick or harry could switch to a profession and craft the same things as someone who actually worked to level their profession.   It is not a case of "I worked hard to level so you should have to as well".  It is a case of you can switch professions whenever you want and there is no downside.  Professions mean nothing like this.

I could make my hunter an engineer, make the gun and level it up to max level, switch to leather working, make a belt and level it up to max level, then switch to inscription to make myself a trinket and level it up to max level before going back to whatever profession I feel like walking around with.  Sure, it sounds awesome to do that, but it completely devalues professions which I do not like.

In the future:

What I would like to see are some things being something you can catch up with.  Like the lower item level stuff and the reroll items.  Those are fine for level 1.  Also the daily cooldown I have no problem with being level 1 to do it.  As it stands in game now you could level your profession with just the things I mentioned, and I am fine with that, but the max level gear should be for max level crafters.  Or at least crafters with a professions level that is in that expansions range.  Which means for any of the gear this expansion someone should have needed to be 600 skill level to make it.  Make it low, yes, but low for the expansion, not low over all.

Bring Grounded:

What I liked about it:

It made the world seem a lot larger than it really is.  On my main, while I did not like it I could easily kill most things easily, sometimes in one shot and now at this gear level sometimes without even attacking it because my pet will one shot it.   As much as I hate being grounded I'll admit finding all the special places was fun, finding ways to get places you know you were not intended to go was also fun.  There was some game play to be had with being grounded.

Why I do not want to see it again:

But it got boring fast, really fast.  It got frustrating, even faster.  And on alts it was even worse.  While my main was fine killing anything that got in the way my alts were not always as lucky.  Even more so if I happened to make the mistake of being in healing spec, like on my shaman, and get dismounted as a train of mobs catch up to me and murder me.  Is this fun game play?  Not in my universe.

Not to mention what was lost, in terms of content that is better with flying, that content greatly outweighed the fun I might have had for a short time exploring on my main.  Flying around and then running to pet battle dailies, going from flight point to flight point and then having to run for archaeology digs, etc, are all better with flying.  Without flying they come off as time sinks, with flying they come off as content.  How things feel really matters and they feel better with flight.

In the future:

I would like to see something like pathfinder added when the expansion lands.  Something as simple as explore all areas and do all quests.  Maybe, just maybe, add the new reputations.  But that is it.  It should not ever require more work then seeing the entire world and doing all the quests.  Because after that is all done there is no logical reason to keep someone grounded.  Being account wide at the lowest level, as they are doing this expansion, will be a huge plus and make it even better.  But I would be content if it were just account wide at max level and you have to stay grounded when leveling.

Garrisons:

What I liked about it:

I really like having a place to call my own.  It makes me feel like I am really a part of the world.  I own a piece of it, or at least control it.  It was a great addition to the game and really seemed to capture what we, as characters, have been building up to.  For so long we have been the killers of the big bads and we never had a place to call home.  It might not be player housing, but from a feeling standpoint, it was.  My garrison is my home.

Why I do not want to see it again:

It was a good idea poorly implemented.  It was mandatory, even if we were told it wasn't.  Leveling followers was fine the first time, even the second and maybe even the third, but on alts it got really tired really fast having to level them again on a new character.

The content was also not finished and I do not want to see them release "great" ideas that they did not finish.  There should have been options for different buildings race wise, different layouts landscape wise, and maybe even different locations like they suggested was the original intention.  Garrisons, for a much as I might have liked them, seemed unfinished, which left them feeling more meh, when all was said and done.

In the future:

A smaller parcel of land would be fine, something we can customize with a few buildings, maybe a few shops, and I love the idea of collecting stuff to build an auction house.  Have the call board as a central hub to offer quests from for your personal home but have it be completely optional, as it was originally advertised as.  Maybe some more customization as time goes on to turn it into personal housing instead of a garrison.

Jumping Puzzles:

What I liked about it:

I did them all on beta before there were any addons, before there were any guides, I and a friend found them all our own and figured out how to get them all on our own and it was great fun.  Even when it went live and I needed to do it all again I still had a lot of fun with it.  The fun was showing everyone in guild how to get them, even more so the ones in Nagrand that were a lot more involved.  It was really fun the first (two) time around.

Why I do not want to see it again:

Doing them on my alts however, was not.  I knew how to get to them, done it twice already.  But it was one of those been there done that sort of things.  Jumping puzzles have no repeatability.  None what so ever.  It is fun finding them and figuring them out.  It is not fun doing it over and over again.  And it loses any fun it might have had for some people with addons and guides.  Figuring it out was the fun part.  Doing it was not.  This is not that type of game and there is no need to add more stuff like this in it.  At least not lots of it.  One or two per zone would be fine, anything more is overkill.

In the future:

Keep the treasures in game.  Keep the platform game aspect out of it.  Stuff on the ground, fine, it is fun to find goodies laying around.  On top of a building you need to jump from another to get to, maybe, it is fun getting stuff like that because it only takes a few seconds and, you know, goodies.  Running all over creation to get to a kite to fly to the treasure and then you might miss it, definitely not fun and even less fun when you go through all that trouble for 14 garrison resources.  I never want to see stuff like that in game again.  If I want to jump around like an idiot I will go play nintendo.

New Character Models:

What I liked about it:

Tauren females.  No really, I do like the way they turned out as well as many others.  But over all there is nothing I liked about them.  Some look great, some look a little weird, odd or changed in a bad way, but new graphics are always nice either way even if they were not entirely needed in my opinion.  But I do like them.

Why I do not want to see it again:

I do want to see stuff like this again.   Not upgrades themselves but what I do not want to see is it being used a selling point for an expansion again, calling it a feature, something that is part of the expansion package, something I am paying for being there instead of other content I would have preferred.  I do not want them to pack it up like content like this did this time around. 

Graphic updates should be covered in our monthly fees, they are general game maintenance, it should not be used as a selling point for an expansion as if it is something special because it is not.  We pay a fee monthly for a game to be accessible and upgraded.  We should never have changes like this packaged as content so they can say an expansion has more content than it really does.  I am not against changes like this coming, I welcome them but I am against them causing our expansion price to raise what we pay for it.  We pay for stuff like this monthly and it is graphical update.  It is not content and it is not a selling point for a new expansion.

In the future:

If they make graphical updates, just add them as they make them.  Do not want until you have a lot and bundle it as new content.  It is not.  I would like to see upgrades to the graphics more often, I just don't want us to have to wait for it until they have a bunch of it to release all at once and call it content.  We pay monthly, we should be seeing upgrades to the game monthly.  Graphic updates fit perfectly in that category of something they can update and release a little at a time.

Randomized Upgrades:

What I liked about it:

When the first follower I ever got on my druid, the one you get when learning about followers, turned out to be purple I was excited.  Whenever I clicked to finish a quest I knew rewarded a follower I would be staring at the screen saying "upgrade, upgrade, upgrade" over and over, as if me saying that might actually help the RNG.   Hint, it doesn't, but I still do it.  Getting an upgraded follower that should be common but comes rare or epic was awesome.  Getting a quest reward that is supposed to be 610 that gets the epic upgrade treatment and turns 640 is a great starting piece for when you first hit 100.  Having things randomly upgrade feels awesome, what is there not to like about it?

Why I do not want to see it again:

After getting an upgraded follower, for example, on one character it always feels like a let down on all the others.  When my druid got an epic of the first follower it felt awesome but each and every other character that I bought over to draenor that did not get that first follower epic felt like a let down.  It felt as if I was starting from behind.  Sure I understand I got lucky, sure I understand it is only a bonus on that character that got it, but once I got it on one each and every other character that did not get it felt like a let down.  In the grand scheme of things I would rather the follower be whatever the follower is than have one out of 20 feel like it got lucky and 19 out of 20 feel like they got screwed. 

In the future:

Some things work as random, other things do not.  I wish blizzard would realize the impact that random has on people.  While getting them feels good, not getting them feels worse, and in the grand scheme of things you will not get it a hell of a lot more often than you will get it.  I do not want to see anything like this in the future, in any aspect what so ever.  The joy I felt on my druid can not ever be worth the feeling of being let down on every other character that followed after.

How about you?

Now that you see what I am talking about, is there something you really liked in warlords you are hoping blizzard never does again?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Random Thoughts

- I like to do soloing for fun, I am sure I have mentioned that before.

- Been doing ToT for a chance at the mounts.

- But I can't get up to the Ji-Kun yet.

- Admittedly I have not really tried that hard.

- It is more a healing issue.

- Might have to try some more well timed FDs, that is how I get past a lot of stuff.

- At least I can try for the horridon mount.

- Just not that one yet.

- I could check youtube to see if some other hunter has done the bosses I am stuck on.

- But what fun is that.

- I'll do it if I get frustrated and give up.

- Just have not reached that point yet.

- If I get the horridon mount and still have not managed to get up to Ji-Kun by then, I'll look it up.

- Or I could just start gearing up my DK.

- DKs are absolutely sick soloing things with high healing requirements.

- Hey, mounts are shared right, so who cares what I do it on.

- But I like soloing on my hunter, so I always try it with him first.

- I'll admit, I am a little upset soloing horridon is so easy.

- After the hell that boss put most guilds through when it was current, would have never expected it to be the easiest boss in there to solo.

- My alts are running into oil issues lately.

- I guess I need to do at least the one daily once in a while on them.

- Or get to revered and get the oil platform.

- Which also means I need to do some dailies on them to get to revered so I could buy it.

- Blah, blizzard found a way to force me to play my alts.

- Funny part with alts are when I could play them whenever I wanted, even if rarely, I loved having them.

- As soon as I started to feel like I "have to" do things on them I hate having them.

- I used to love having an army of alts, now I dread it.

- I have a post in mind about the "alt issues" I am having.

- Each person is different.

- One person in guild loves having to log into alts to do this stuff.

- He likes that he feels like he "need" to do something on his alts.

- It makes him feel like he is accomplishing something on them.

- Like I said, each person is different.

- He is also unemployed and playing is all he does every day.

- 6.2 was a patch for the unemployeed.

- At least if you want to play alts.

- Even doing LFR is an all day adventure.

- When it was a nice 30 minute or less run with a 20 minute or less wait time, LFR was close to being bite sized content.

- Now with 2 or 3 hour wait times, doing the LFR on multiple characters is like having a part time job.

- Except with much less reward and much less fun.

- Blizzard put all their bets into LFR, pushed everyone into raiding with it, and then went and did everything they could to try and kill it.

- Who the hell is running blizzard?

- Why do you push all the focus of the entire game into raiding and then destroy the "easy access" system for it?

- Wonder if blizzard notices what is going on, or are they just playing blissfully ignorant about it.

- The earning call is Aug 4th I believe.

- I wonder how much rushing 6.2 out saved them.

- You know it did save them.

- If not for the reversal of the flight decision and pushing 6.2 out as fast as possible, even with enough testing, they did everything they could to stop the bleeding.

- If they did not change their mind on flight and release 6.2 when they did at the end of the quarter I am sure that another game, FF 14, could have passed them in active subs.

- It is all about business however, not about quality.

- I do not mind that 6.2 was rushed so much.

- Except when I think we will be stuck raiding HFC for the next year or more because it was.

- They did say that they have no intention of adding another raid.

- So they could have waited another two or three months with it.

- And filled it out a bit more so the end of expansion gap would not seem as huge.

- After all, 6.2 will end up being the only content patch we have all expansion.

- It could have been bigger and they could have waited to make it so.

- And do not say 6.1 is a content patch.

- Even blizzard employees say that 6.1 was not a content patch.

- And these guys routinely take bullets for being the face of bad decisions in the front office.

- So if they will not tow the company line calling it a content patch, it was not a content patch.

- Had an argument with a guild mate about that.

- He said it was a content patch, but he just did not like any of the content in it.

- I said, no, it was a bug fix patch with adding a few things that should have been in game at release.  It was 6.0.5 or something, not 6.1.

- I never said it was bad, I just said it was not a content patch.

- I might have no use for the twitter or the selfies, but I see nothing wrong with adding them, they are just not for me.

- I don't say they are not content because I do not use them, I say they are not content because, for the sense of a content patch, they are not.

- They are the added things to a content patch, not the heart of one.

- And that patch had only them as content, so it was not a content patch.

- Just because you order something off the appetizer menu and eat it for dinner does not make it a dinner, it is still just an appetizer.

- Twitter and selfies are appetizers only, just because you liked them does not make them dinner.

- I get a kick out of some people in trade sometimes.

- They even amaze me or confuse me at times.

- Sure most of the time they are morons and I feel myself losing brain cells even reading it, but sometimes they are just funny.

- Saw and argument in trade that started when someone said they were having trouble with the proving grounds as a destruction warlock.

- Of course there had to be someone that said destro was easy and the guy sucked.

- But that was expected right?

- People insult everyone else in trade, that is just the normal.

- That is not what I found funny.

- What it turned into was unexpected and that is what was funny.

- After that they all went off with how everyone else's class is so easy and theirs was so hard.

- Am I the only person that found my own class easy?

- I would think everyone would find their own class the easiest out of all of them.

- And this one guy said shadow priest was the easiest of all classes.

- Shadow priest was the only one I did not one shot it on, changed a talent and did it second try.

- Sure it was easy with the right talent, but of all my classes I would say there is no way they would even be in the top three of easiest.

- It was funny because everyone was trying to make their own class sound like it was the hardest thing ever.

- To maybe make themselves feel better?  Who knows?

- I gladly say that for me on my hunter it was easy and I think hunters are the best class for it.

- But that is because everything is easier on a hunter because hunters rock.

- I did get a kick out of the one guy who was fighting that hunters were the hardest class to do it with.

- I got an even bigger kick out of the fact, no one argued with him.

- I am sure someone would have stepped up, even if as a jerk or to troll, and said something like hunters are the easiest class in the game.

- Like someone always does.

- But nope, never happened, some people even agreed with him.

- What?!?

- This is not the trade I know, what did you people do with my trade.

- I guess I got a kick out of it because it was like I was in the twilight zone or something.

- Usually trade is filled with people saying how easy every class is or insulting others classes.

- But now everyone was saying how hard all the classes were and agreeing that some classes were even harder.

- I, of course, did not say anything, but I did sit and watch for a while.

- Was paging through the group finder looking for something to do anyway, so trade kept me there longer than I might have otherwise.

- Wanted a group for heroic HRC and just could not find a group I liked.

- I really need to relax like personal restrictions.

- Because I could never find one.

- Was looking for specific bosses, could not find them.

- I don't join groups that phrase things disrespectful.

- Something like "no bads" I skip by, but "must know fights" which basically means the same thing, I am fine with.

- I figured if the guy is a jerk in his description, he will be a jerk leading the raid.

- I have no desire to play with jerks, or to help them down stuff for that matter.

- There were a few fresh ones, but they also did not meet my requirements.

- I do not want to sit and wait for a group to fill.

- If I see 1 or 2 people in the group, I skip right by it.

- If I see all DPS and no tanks or healers, I skip right by it.

- If I see stupid requirements, I skip right by it.

- I basically locked myself out of all groups because I could not find one.

- All because I am way to picky.

- I need to learn to loosen up.

- Too many bad experiences has jaded me.

- So I started paging through custom.

- Figured maybe something would tickle my fancy.

- Maybe a garrison invasion, a garrison raid boss, claw farming, what have you.

- I saw a level 91 needed help with an elite quest, so I applied and went to help him.

- Needless to say it took me a thousand times longer to get to him than to kill the mob for him.

- Call it my good deed for the day.

- Really could not find much more to do, so I popped around helping some people out.

- Hey, it gave me something to do right?

- My horde hunter finished the elemental runes part of the quest this week.

- Wow that was quick, it only feels like a couple of weeks ago when I started it.

- Actually, it was only a couple of weeks ago.

- I had no heart in me to wait 3 hours for the LFR however.

- So not sure how I am going to get the tomes done.

- They do not drop from missions, they do not drop from work orders, and I do not have the time to wait for hours and hours on end on an alt for LFR.

- My hunter and druid are fine, they raid the real raid.

- Even if I do not run on both each week and they do split time, they will get it done sooner or later, even if I did not do LFR.

- But without a raid team for my horde hunter any more, and without a guild for that matter, I don't see how I am going to manage it.

- And my gear is not good enough to pug with.

- At a 660 item level I could do better than half the people in pugs, but who would take me.

- Admittedly I would not even take me with an item level like that.

- I guess I could do some island grind and just upgrade any old piece to 695 for item level purposes only.

- As much as I hate the idea, I might consider it.

- Or I will not ever get the tomes part done on that character.

- Unless blizzard can do something to fix the LFR.

- I got an idea blizzard, make it worth doing again.

- Let me explain something to blizzard.

- If something is not worth doing, people don't do it.

- There is your answer why LFR participation is so dreadful low.

- Even non raiders do not want to do it any more because it does not feel rewarding enough.

- They did such a fantastic job of not making anyone want to do it that no one does it.

- How come the only thing blizzard can manage to do exactly what they intend to do with it is bad for the game?

- They need to add tier sets back into LFR to bait raiders in there to make the pool of players larger and make the runs faster.

- That and add back valor and valor gear, people did LFR because it was quick and easy and a nice decent chunk of valor.

- Have a few bosses drop pets, or even mounts on LFR only difficulty, and make it that those things could be sold.

- Keep the drop rates really low, but it would get people in there.

- People need some sort of incentive to do something, right now there is none.

- Heck, even many of my alts are better geared than anything the LFR can drop.

- If it were not for legendary quest line items I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole on any character, ever.

- The removal of raid gear from LFR and the removal of valor and the things it is used for are what I would guess to be the top reasons why I wait 3 hours now on a bad day.

- I almost feel bad now about complaining about the 45 minute waits.

- Now 45 minutes would sound like a godsend.

- You don't know what you've got until its gone.

- Maybe that phrase will ring a bell in blizzards mind when they continue to lose subs.

- Once most of them are gone maybe they will learn to respect the ones they have left.

- So who thinks that warcraft will be below 5M before the next expansion comes out?

- Which would mean it lost more than half of its players from release.

- I know it will be under 5M.

- Unless they make some serious changes and add more content before the next expansion, and good content at that, I am sure they will be under 5M.

- Heck, I would be willing to bet if they did not do that quick turn around on flight it would have been under 5M when they do their quarterly report.

- I am probably sure they fell under 5M after they announced no flight ever, and that is why they changed their mind so darn fast.

- The announcement of no flight was costing them money, money is all that maters to them, not content, not happy players, just money.

- The real question is, who the hell is running that place?

- They did not need to do all this.

- They did not need to upset players, possibly lose players, to test out some silly no flying idea.

- They could have listened to the players when they said they would, like they said they would.

- The players told them, loud and clear, if you remove flying we are leaving.

- So they removed flying and then were surprised when people left.

- It is like some idiot when you tell him, if you drop that on your foot it will hurt, so what do they do, they drop it on purpose just to see if you were right.

- Stupid people do stupid things.

- Seriously, who is running that place?

- Did they just say "they are just joking, they will not leave."

- They gambled and they lost.

- Someone needs to spend some time on the unemployment line in my opinion over that decision.

- Do you ever get the feeling like we were lied to about flight the whole time?

- Like they never intended to add it, ever, from the beginning.

- The whole, "we will see what the players think" was just a ruse.

- No matter what the players thought, even if they did a poll and 100% said they wanted flying, they were still going to remove it.

- Well, I have proof, or what I believe to be proof, that is the case.

- Okay okay, it is not proof, but it is a compelling argument at least.

- They never intended to give us flying at all.

- Think about it for a second.

- We know for a fact, because they said so, that some parts of the draenor are not capable of flight.

- This game was developed a long time ago.

- Don't you think if it was their intention to add flight that they would have built everything for flight in the first place?

- So it comes to one of two things.

- 1) They never intended to add flying and that is why they did not design for it everywhere and need to do that now.

- 2) The management of the game right now is really in that bad of a place that they could make such a huge mistake like that.

- As horribly mismanaged as warcraft has been these last few years I find it hard to believe that even they would be so stupid as to make a mistake of those proportions.

- Even if mismanaged if it was their intention to add flight, they would have created it capable of flight.

- So the only other answer is, they never intended to have flying, even from before beta was released, and that is why they did not design for it in many places.

- You have to figure that every place where conditions for flight were never put into the game were created after their decided to never add flight.

- Being many of those places are on the main land that was there at release, that means the decision to never give us flying was made while the game was still in development.

- Maybe even before beta came out for all we know.

- So how do you feel now that you know the decision of no flight was made before they even announced there would be no flight.

- How do you feel knowing that when they said, "we will see what the players think" they had already made their decision and they were just trying to appease us making us feel like we had a say in it?

- Blizzard really pulled a fast one, and everyone fell for it.

- They did not give a crap what the player base wanted.

- The game was designed without flight in mind from development and blizzard led people to believe they might get it.

- I am so glad so many quit and made them have to go back on it.

- I am happy they have to waste time fixing it.

- Because flight should have been in the game at release.

- Maybe they will notice that next time.

- I have a list of things I will do when I can fly.

- All things I want to do mind you, but it will not be enough.

- I would like to bring my alts into LFR to gear up once in a blue moon and not have to play them longer than I do my main most nights to do so.

- I would like to find a reason to do dungeons again on them, valor and valor gear were great for that.

- As it stands now most of my characters have never done a dungeon and the ones that have only did the ones needed for the legendary quest line.

- I would like to find a new and easier way to find pugs for things.

- I miss the old open raid with hundreds of people on all looking for different stuff all the time.

- Want a new raid, people there recruiting, want an old raid, people there recruiting, want a challenge mode, people there recruiting.

- Now... nothing.

- I will enjoy having flight back, doing more pet battling, archeology, exploration and more importantly freedom from stuns, roots, dismounts and annoyances.

- But that only is part of the problem with warlords as I see it.

- The game is broken right now.

- There is no other way to describe it.

- Can't wait to see if they intend to keep going on the wrong path.

- I expect an expansion announcement at gamescon.

- Or perhaps I should say I hope it is announced there.

- Because if it isn't, we are surely in for over a year of HFC.

- Heck, even if it is announced at gamescon I can see us having a year of HFC.

- A year with no new content is not so bad when you are enjoying the expansion, really bad when you are not.

- Have a great day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Is Too Much Choice a Bad Thing?

Choice is a good thing, I like choice, actually I love having choices, but sometimes choice can lead to confusion for people that are not reading all the websites out there.  For fun I decided to take a block of item levels and see how many chest pieces I could find for a hunter between the 690 and 700 item level block.  I counted all items that have a base item level between those numbers and did not count any PvP gear, which there were 13 possible options for on its own in that item level range. 

Guess how many different chest pieces fits into that category?

Would you believe me if I said 48? 

I know the level range I picked includes the empowered apexis pieces but it does not have the mythic dungeon pieces and the LFR pieces, so it evens out some.  I decided on this item level range because this is the range of items someone might be seeking if they want to begin doing hellfire citadel heroic.  That said someone might also try to get some of the mythic dungeon pieces or maybe even the LFR tier set, who knows, there could be even more options than just the 10 levels I decided to focus on.  But I am comfortable with saying that for someone looking to step into heroic HFC there are, at least, 48 options for a chest piece alone. 

This also does not even take into account the idea that some of these pieces can also have one random tertiary stat on them.  If I really wanted to push it and add them you could increase that number to have 112 additional possible outcomes bringing the total of non pvp pieces in the base 690-700 item level range to 160 different chest pieces.  But as they are not stats, I left them out and only focused on the 48.  Not to mention, the list would be way to long with 160, it is already too long with the 48.

  1. Chestguard of the Siegemaker
  2. Chestguard of the Siegemaker - WF
  3. Chestguard of the Siegemaker - GS
  4. Chestguard of the Siegemaker - WF/GS
  5. Chestguard of Unending Roars
  6. Chestguard of Unending Roars - WF
  7. Chestguard of Unending Roars - GS
  8. Chestguard of Unending Roars - WF/GS
  9. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Aurora
  10. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Deft
  11. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Feverflare
  12. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Flashfire
  13. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Harmonious
  14. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Merciless
  15. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Peerless
  16. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Quickblade
  17. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Savage
  18. Empowered Axeclaw Chestguard of the Strategist
  19. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt
  20. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt - WF
  21. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt - GS
  22. Hauberk of the Savage Hunt - WF/GS
  23. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard
  24. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard - WF
  25. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard - GS
  26. Jungle Flayer's Chestguard - WF/GS
  27. Ringmail of Madness Accordan
  28. Ringmail of Madness Accordan -WF
  29. Ringmail of Madness Accordan - GS
  30. Ringmail of Madness Accordan -  WF/GS
  31. Rylakstalker's Tunic
  32. Rylakstalker's Tunic - WF
  33. Rylakstalker's Tunic - GS
  34. Rylakstalker's Tunic - WF/GS
  35. Vestment of Illusory Might
  36. Vestment of Illusory Might - WF
  37. Vestment of Illusory Might - GS
  38. Vestment of Illusory Might - WF/GS
  39. Wayfaring Tunic of the Aurora
  40. Wayfaring Tunic of the Deft
  41. Wayfaring Tunic of the Feverflare
  42. Wayfaring Tunic of the Flashfire
  43. Wayfaring Tunic of the Harmonious
  44. Wayfaring Tunic of the Merciless
  45. Wayfaring Tunic of the Peerless
  46. Wayfaring Tunic of the Quickblade
  47. Wayfaring Tunic of the Savage
  48. Wayfaring Tunic of the Strategist
While the fact might be true that of all the options above, there is only 1 "best' piece and maybe a few other "good" ones, so it is not like we really have 160 options, we really do not even have 48 different options.  All that other stuff is filler, fluff, pieces added to make it seem as if there are more choices and all these additional choices do is make it harder for people that do not go out of their way to research which pieces are best for them.

Even for someone that knows what stats are best, like myself, I long for the simple days when there were just a few pieces of gear, the stats or gem slots that came on it were not randomized, and you knew exactly which was best for you without even thinking really.

Lets kook, in comparison, at a level range from wrath, I even tried to pull a cluttered level range from wrath, one that includes 4 raids and 4 dungeons that have gear that drops in that level range.  One that has 2 different tier sets, like the 690 to 700 did. So lets look at the item level 210 to 220 range and see what options we have that are not PvP based.

  1. Chestguard of Flagrant Prowess
  2. Chestguard of the Lasher
  3. Chestguard of the Ravenous Fiend
  4. Cult's Chestguard
  5. Tunic of Masked Suffering
  6. Valorous Cryptstalker Tunic
  7. Valorous Scourgestalker Tunic
As you see we only had 7 choices back in the day.  The choices were simple, each one had different stats (they don't now due to how stats have changed but they did) and you sought the one that had your best stats for you but were happy to get anything else while you were waiting for the drop you wanted.

There was no RNG to tell you which stats were on the gear.  There was no RNG to decide if it had a gem slot or not.  There was no RNG to see if it would be warforged.  There was no RNG to tell you if you had a speed boost, or an avoidance boost, or if your gear would be indestructible or give you the leech ability.   There was no RNG other than the RNG of the item dropping at all to begin with.

To me I do not see gearing today to be any "harder" than it used to be.  It is still the same, you seek the gear that is best for you and keep killing that boss until he coughs it up.  But to many a new players, with choices cluttering their screen, find themselves overwhelmed by all the options which leads me to ask, is too much choice a bad thing?

Or maybe a better way to phrase it would be, is the game better now because we have all this RNG and all these other options?

Personally, I do not think so.  I am suffering from major RNG burnout.  The number of choices do not matter to me, best is best and will always be best whether I am choosing between 7 pieces or 160 of them, but I would really like to see the RNG factor removed from loot.  Isn't the RNG of having it drop enough RNG to begin with?

I would welcome the removal of random stats.  I would welcome the removal of warforged.  I would welcome the removal of random gem slot.  And if they removed all that RNG guess how many choices we would have in the 690-700 item level range?  9.  Yeah, now that is more like it.

So yes, sometimes too much choice is a bad thing in my opinion.  It doesn't add anything to the game except RNG and I can live without that thank you very much.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is That Piece of Gear and Upgrade?

In a recent post I mentioned that a piece of gear of a higher item level is not always an upgrade.  Someone mentioned that without me explaining it that I might be misleading people into making bad choices with gear.  After thinking about it I do agree with them.  Some people might draw the wrong conclusion.  So I figured a follow up post explaining how to figure out if a piece of gear is an upgrade or not was warranted.

It is really simple to judge a piece of gear as long as it is a simple piece of gear.  That is all I plan to show here, a simple guide to help show those that might not know how to evaluate if a piece of gear is really an upgrade.

Please read the tier and trinket section below for exceptions.

For this post we will be comparing gear that does not offer any additional bonuses such as tier gear or trinkets.  Just a simple comparisons to help you decide on which piece is better and if an item level upgrade is really an upgrade. 

How do you judge if a piece of gear is an upgrade?

1) Find your stat weights:

Go to google, if you do not already have your favorite class forum, blog, or resource bookmarked, and search for your spec stat weights.  Usually typing something like "Marksman hunter 6.2 stat weights" will be enough to find them.  You are not looking for a list of which is better, so you might need to click a few links.  You are looking for a list with numbers.

When I looked for marksman I came up with these results, thanks goes to Azortharion and Niix for their awesome hunter guide that supplied me with these numbers.

2.80 - Weapon DPS
1.00 - Agility
0.90 - Attack Power
0.71 - Crit to 53%
0.64 - Multistrike
0.60 - Versatility
0.59 - Mastery
0.58 - Haste

2) Use those stat weights to get a value for the item:

For this example I am going to use my necklace, the darkflight necklace from BRF heroic and compare it to another neck I recently received from the HRC raid on normal.

We will need to strip the stats off the pieces to compare them, then add the value of the pieces up into one total value, which will be the value we place on the item to compare the two.

Heroic Darkflight Necklace.
Warforged, with a Gem Slot. (Item level 691)

166 agility x 1.00 = 166.00
111 critical strike x 0.71 = 78.81
111 multistrike x 0.64 = 71.04
75 critical (from slot) x 0.71 = 53.25

Total value of that necklace= 369.10

Normal Chain of the Lidless Eyes
No enhancements (Item level 700)

180 agility x 1.00 = 180.00
166 haste x 0.58 = 96.28
74 mastery x 0.59 = 43.66

Total value of that necklace = 319.64

As you can see, the 691 item is actually a considerably better item for me.  This comes mostly from the fact I have a 75 stat gem in the gem slot, but even if I had a 30 or a 50 gem in that gem slot it would still be better.  As long as the gem slot is not empty, the lower item level piece, in this case, is much better.

Note: Many times items with gem slots are where these cases of the lower item being better than the higher item level come into play and these items are the ones I suggest you always check to make sure if the upgrade is actually and upgrade.

3) Keep the higher item level item:

Even if the higher item level item is not an upgrade for you in your current spec it is an item level upgrade. If you plan to pug the only way people have to judge you, if they do not armory, is to use your item level.  When you sign up for a group your item level that they see is your best item level, including those items in your bags.

So even if you get an item level upgrade that is not a performance upgrade, you should hold on to it if you plan to pug.  While you will be gearing smart wearing the better piece even if it is a lower item level, you having the higher item level shows up when you apply to a group and it could help you get accepted into pugs.  Once you are in the pug you will be judged based on your performance, so do the best you can do, abide by mechanics, and no one will ever know you actually have a lower item level.

The 6 Item Level Tip:

Without going into detailed break downs of every item for every class I will make a blanket statement that is more often then not true unless your spec has any stats that are dreadfully bad for them, as in under 0.40.  In which case the number could be higher than 6, but 6 seems to be the average, at least for hunters.

Usually anything more than 6 item levels higher is an upgrade for most classes, regardless of stats, if there are no gem slots involved.

Using the above example, even if it is a 9 item level difference, with the 691 neck with perfect secondary stats vs a 700  item level neck with my worst secondaries you will see, even if I take away the gem slot, that the 691 item level neck would be a 315.85 vs the 700 item neck's 319.64, making the 700 item an extremely minor upgrade, but an upgrade none the less, at 9 item levels.  This will, in most cases, be the case.

The 6 item level tip is a basic guideline and not to be taken as law even it will be true more often than not.  It works well for hunters as their stats are very close to one another whereas some classes do not have that benefit and have larger gaps between best and worst secondary stats.  If your stat gap is larger, the number would be higher.

The 6 item level tip is for the lazy person, like me with alts.  If the item you are wearing has your two best stats and the other item is only 6 item levels higher and has neither of them, do not switch.  If it is 7, switch.  Either way, I'd still suggest checking it out using the easy formula shown above to make sure if you even care a little but about getting the maximum potential out of your gear, but with the lazy method, you will never hurt yourself too much either way.

Tier Bonus and Trinkets:

You can not, and should not, ever use what I said above to judge tier sets and trinkets.  The reason for this is that the tier set bonuses could, for some classes, greatly outweigh the stats on a piece of gear that would seem like a large increase but break a tier set bonus in the process.

For example, the T17 hunter bonus for BM hunters is still wonderful if you have not snagged the T18 set yet.  And with the increase of bestial wrath to 15 seconds up from 10 seconds in an upcoming patch, it makes it even better. 

So even if you have 4 670 pieces for the tier set it would be much better than replacing it with a couple of 700 items you got out of a mythic bag and two 695 empowered apexis pieces you made on Tanaan.  Even if you would see a substantial item level increase from equipping those 4 pieces and a fairly decent upgrade from their base stats alone, having those extra stats does not (in many cases) make up for breaking what is a very good tier bonus.

I suggest you read your classes forums somewhere like elitist jerks, mmoc, or the battle net forums to see if and when you should break a tier set.  Do not use the above mentioned method to judge in this case.

Or, and I believe this would best, you could learn to use simcraft and play around with it some to help you decide if breaking the tier set will work for you.  There is no simple way to decide like I showed here.  Even a super tier set will eventually be beaten out by raw stats alone, if the gap gets great enough.

The same goes for trinkets.  Never use the base stats on trinkets to judge a trinket.  Trinkets often can be deceiving, in terms of item level.  Such as the trinket off the world boss with the tertiary stats on it.  Sure it is an item level of 705, but a 630 trinket from a heroic dungeon would, in many cases, be a better trinket than that one.

For trinkets I suggest you look at the previously mentioned sites, or your favorite bloggers suggestions, instead of using this formula or judging based on the face stats alone.

I hoped that helped some people learn how to judge which piece of gear is better for them.  It is not always about item level, but it is always about stats.  Whichever piece has the best stats for you, regardless of item level, is the best piece for you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Adds, Adds and More Adds, Even My Adds have Adds

In raiding there are many mechanics that get used over and over.  It is why the longer you play the easier it seems to do new content.  It is not that you are a better player, it is just that you already know what to do so there is not much of a learning curve involved. 

Once you have learned to deal with the stand and stack, or the run out with the debuff, or the share the pain ability, it is just a matter of saying, oh this boss is like so and so.  As long as everyone in your group has done so and so, the fight is easy, otherwise, you have to teach them and along comes some wiping.  But that is part for the course with new players, no biggie, they will know for next time right? 

For those that have been playing however there is nothing new to learn with those abilities,  they are standard raid stuff we learn to expect and once you mastered the moving out of the group move it is not like you ever need to learn it again.  Mechanics are simple, once you learn them and as long as you can say and understand, oh this is like that was, got it.

Sometimes however it seems like blizzard gets into a rut with design and they rely too heavily on one type of mechanic.  This raid tier seems to be filled with over used mechanics like the run out and drop a debuff that stays there forever mechanic.  While it isn't on every fight, it sure as hell seems like it is over used this tier.  But no mechanic is more over used this tier than adds as a mechanic.  But not just adds as a mechanic, but in some cases it feels as if there are adds just for the sake of adds and not for the sake of mechanics.

No fight is worse for that than the first boss of the raid.  When HFC came out I did a quick explanation of the fight, very few had actually did any research on their own, as I have learned to accept more and more as this expansion goes on, but as we were fighting many people kept asking, when does the boss come.

There was a funny exchange that I want to share that happened with one of my warriors when he came in late after I explained the fight.  We had just finished clearing the trash and invited and summoned him before pulling the boss.  After the fight this exchange happened.

Him: "So did I miss any bosses, sorry I was late."
Me: "That was the first boss."
Him: "No, that was the trash, did I miss the boss."
Me: "No, the trash was the boss."
Him: "You're messing with me because I was late right."

When the fight ended some people asked, is that it?  Remember, we did this on normal with mostly heroic and partial mythic gear from the previous tier.  I really did not even need to go over mechanics being the first boss is so easy.  So it really just felt like a series of adds pouring out at us, no boss what so ever and in truth, even if we did not way over gear it, that is all it was.  No boss what so ever.

This fight set the pace for what HFC would be.  Adds, adds and more adds, with the occasional target switching.  Target switching could be considered adds as well in many cases.  Like target switching for tyrants ancients or kormroks hands, they are not really adds in the general sense of the word as we use it normally but when all the bosses seem to have are adds, even these target switching mechanics feel like just more adds.

Don't get me wrong, I do not mind adds.  If I am running an AoE based spec it is sometimes fun to pad the meters thanks to adds and even as a single target spec, like marksman right now, it is fun being the priority killer while I let others deal with the clean up of other adds.  Also, when I tank I have always loved add fights, call me weird.  My favorite fight as a tank in cataclysm was being the add tank on my warrior for maloriak.  I bet that is something you never heard any tank say ever.  Hey, I am weird, and I loved tanking the adds on that fight.  It was great fun, at least for me.

So it is not that I dislike adds in fights, I actually do like them.  As I said, they can be fun to tank, they can help you pad the meters if you are into that stuff, and they can make you the sniper super star being the class that is perfect for priority target killing.  So adds do not made a fight bad.

But when every single fight I describe to my raid team starts with the same line "adds are your top priority" it starts to feel like the "add factor" as a mechanic is being over used.

It reminds me of that meme, and maybe there is one out there already, but I can see one made about raiding this tier that goes something like "I heard you like adds, so I gave your adds some adds so they can have adds too."

It seems like add over kill and I am suffering from add burnout already.  Some fights have adds throughout, some fights have adds on phases, some fights have adds in phased areas, some fights have adds that move from one phase to another, some fights have adds that are more dangerous than boss, some fights have adds that are just target switches, some fights have adds spawn from portals, some fights have adds that need to be kited, and some fights have adds that just sit there but you still need to kill them.

Adds, adds and more adds.  The raid seems like a broken record.  I like add fights, I do, but anything used too much just loses its luster and guess what, adds have lost their luster for me this tier.

There are some mechanics we got to see again after a long absence, which is usually welcome, and some mechanics that are used rarely, which makes them more enjoyable, in my opinion, there are also some new mechanics that I liked to see, but some mechanics are over used this tier,  and using adds as a mechanic is more over used than all the others combined.

Do you think blizzard dipped into the add well too often this tier?

What standard mechanics would you have liked to see more?