Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm in the Wrong Beta

I got my beta invite yesterday.  To Diablo 3.  I would have jumped at the chance to look at the artwork in mists, I was even looking forward to it.  I figure this weekend would be as good as any to check it out as I have nothing planned so I have some free time.

I guess that means, if I decide to, I can check out Diablo 3 this weekend.  There is one problem with that.  I know nothing about Diablo.  I've never played it.  I've never looked into playing it.  I've never had any desire to play it.  I never even signed up for the opt in for it.

I am thinking this is a way for blizzard to try to make amends for me not being in the mists beta yet.  I would have to say that it is at least an attempt even if it is a bad one.

I would not be a good beta tester for Diablo for various reasons and the top one is that I do not play the game.  If I know nothing about the game, not even the basics, how exactly can I test it?

I play warcraft, I know it and I know how things are supposed to work.  I would be a solid tester for mists because when something is wrong I would know it needs fixing.  I would not know that with Diablo.

Wouldn't blizzard be better served giving my invite to someone that might actually be able to help them?  Wouldn't blizzard be better served with me being in the mists beta where I could actually help?

I am not sure why they think giving me the Diablo beta is a good way to make up for not being in mists yet but it would not surprise me if there are tens of thousands, if not more, people that should have not gotten a mists beta invite that are looking in the mail and noticing they have a Diablo 3 beta invite in place of the one that should have been there.

I'll probably check it out this weekend.  It won't hurt to take a look I guess but I am not sure how I can help with the beta.

I guess I will look around online today a little to see if I can get an idea what the game is about and how it plays.  I hate going into anything completely blind and I am not really impressed that blizzard is trying to make amends with giving out beta invite to things I did not even sign up for.
Give someone that plays Diablo my invite and let me get in mists.  That would make more sense.

Hey, look at the bright side, at least they gave me some beta and who knows, I might end up liking the game.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am the Minority

In recent posts about the new loot system it occurred to me that over all I am in the minority when it comes to the concept of loot from raids and how I feel about it for a variety of reasons.

While I might be as upset as the next guy that was topping the healing done or damage done meters when I lose out on loot to someone that basically did the gaming equivalent of standing in the corner picking their nose I do not rant and rave about it.  I might complain because that is what I do being a grumpy elf and all but I am not going to go all psycho about it like it seems the vast majority of the player base does.  I have never once, nor would I ever, insult someone in raid chat because they did bad and should not have won.  Not my style.

See, I am the minority.

I am also not a supporter of loot assignments, although that has nothing to do with looking for raid but it does have something to do with organized raiding.  Many guilds use different things to judge who gets loot.  I do not like any of them.  Point system?  So because someone is new they can't win, that is just flat out wrong.  Loot council?  Hell no, it doesn't get less fair than that.  If you are in good with the people that assembled the group, you get loot first and if you happen to be in the group that set it all up you get it even before that. 

I could never even be on a loot council because I would never give anything to myself.  I would always say, I'll get it later, because I would feel bad taking something for myself.  I go by the old standby.  If you played a roll in the kill you are as equally eligible as anyone else no matter if you have run every day for 2 years or this is your first day, no matter if you where top damage that took no avoidable damage of lowest damage that kept standing in the bad.  You all are equals when it comes to loot.  You just might not get an invite next time if you are one of the bad ones.

See, I am the minority.

I do not think that I should be getting loot that others could use if I am on an alt.  Even if my alt happens to be currently filling a role and is going to continue being in the role for the foreseeable future I will usually pass on loot to someone that is on their main character and in most cases I will even pass to someone on their main even if their main only needs it for off spec.  If I have a real problem piece I have been having issues with then I might roll otherwise my alt is my alt.  While I would love to gear it up I think of it as an alt only and will never fell right taking any piece of gear from a guild mate that is on their main.  LFR is different however, that is for gearing up.  If I need it for main spec, even on an alt, I roll need.

See, I am the minority.

When I am in the looking for raid and something drops for my offspec I do something that is generally unheard of in there, I roll greed.  While one might argue that I need it for my offspec so hitting need is not wrong I do not agree.  My offpsec gearing up is something I might desire to do but I do not need to do it so I do not need the gear. It is more a case of I want it to make my life easier in gearing up my offspec, which neatly fits the definition of greed if you ask me.  You might further argue that the need+ system will take care of that for me and you would be right however I still do not feel comfortable rolling need on something I want for greedy reasons even if a provision was made in the game for it.  It is something I might have eventually warmed up to but being it is not going to be around much longer there is no need for me to.

See, I am the minority.

Now for the big one that shows I am in the minority.  The luck factor.  Some people love to fight bosses and hope for their gear to drop and then hope they win it.  It gives them a feeling of excitement.  It is something that a large portion of the player base lives for.  Killing internet dragons and looting them for goodies. 

When they do win something they feel excited.  I don't.  Seriously.  I don't feel excited in the least, most of the time, if it is a mount or something I might.  I'd be happy to have the piece I was looking for but that is it.  I see no more joy in killing a dragon 40 times to get what I want to drop than I do in going to a vendor to buy it.  The end result, to me, is the exact same, I got what I wanted and I am happy to have it.

Perhaps the main reason I think like that is because I would kill the bosses in the raids even if they dropped nothing.  I play the game for the challenge and fun.  I do not need to be rewarded with welfare loot that drops from them.  I was going to kill them anyway so anything that drops off them is extras, it is a freebie, I did not work for it, I did not earn it.  Like I said, I would kill the bosses even if they dropped nothing because to me, that is why I play.  To slay internet dragons.

I would rather work for my gear through a collection of points like valor which is something that takes time to assemble enough and you actually work for it than to get my gear as drops from bosses.  I would rather a system where I earn my gear in some sort of good old fashion grind so I can go and kill internet dragons for fun with the gear I worked for.  Not the other way around, where you get gear from the bosses to make killing them the next time easier.  Work for your gear earning it somewhere to make killing it easier next time.

See, I am the minority.

So you see, when it comes to loot I am different from most people and it makes me wonder why.  Personally, as always in my own opinion, I think the way I feel about things is rather logical.  So why is it so different from the vast majority of players?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A True LFR Fix

As I mentioned in my last post, the LFR is in need of a loot fix and the water cooler post by ghostcrawler that mentions how they suggest to do it is pretty much more of the same, another problem.  Changing one problem with the system into another problem with the system is not exactly what most people would call a fix.

First things first of course, my fix removes the whole luck factor from the LFR when it comes to loot.  As anyone that has read here before can tell you I am not a huge fan of the luck system.  I won't get deep into it but I believe that people should earn their gear and not luck their way into it.  My solution allows for that.

LFR Tooth Collection.

I call it a tooth collection because that is what just popped into my mind.  You collect war trophies off the bosses, teeth are as good as anything else and would take up a lot less space then carrying around dozens of bosses heads.  Whenever you defeat a boss in the current tier of the LFR you will loot a tooth off the boss as proof of the bosses demise.  Simple as that.  There will be no loot drops, there will be no rolling, all you need to do is bend over and loot the boss.

There we go, the LFR loot system has now been officially fixed.

A vendor that trades in boss teeth will appear in each city that will allow you to trade your teeth collected from the bosses into items.  You will only be allowed to get one tooth per boss each week.  For my example of how this would work I will use the dragon soul raid which consists of 8 fights.

The vendor will sell everything that would have dropped off any boss in the current tier of the LFR.  Tier tokens would cost 10 teeth.  Weapons would cost 12 teeth.  All other items would cost 8 teeth. They would always use the pattern of (how many bosses that tier) for most items, (how many bosses that tier)+2 for tier items and (how many bosses that tier)+4 for weapons.

When a new tier of LFR comes out all the gear that was available for sale is cut in half and put in a different vendor so people can always go back and get it for transmog purposes if they wish for half the price.  All remaining teeth you have from the previous LFR bosses become broken teeth that can only be traded for one thing, reputation tokens which can be used for any faction for 10 reputation.  Not much, but this would be something and it would make sure people to not stockpile tokens.  Off topic, blizzard has a horrible track record with tokens, like dalaran cooking tokens, why just abandon them, do something with them, hence the reputation tokens.  Something small, but at least something.

Here is a list of some of the reasons this option would be a good option to go in my opinion.

1) This would mean that at best you would be able to get 1 item per week which would fit neatly into blizzards idea where they said they did not want people to gear up too quickly.

2) This would mean no drama about "the bad guy" winning gear like we currently have or "how come only the bads win" that will come when the changes come, even if blizzard thinks it won't.

3) No gear envy because someone got something you wanted, you can work for it and save up to get it yourself.

4) The kick system would have a lot more impact when used.  If you need to kill bosses to get the teeth you will not get the loot people might try to pretend they are trying so they do not get kicked and they can get all the teeth they need.  Often when people do not need anything from the bosses they will slack off, this would mean that all bosses matter, even if they do not drop loot you want.

5) You don't know what someone else is getting which means less drama.  No complaining because the boomkin won the agility ring because they will never win anything, they will buy what they want with the teeth they earned.

6) No offspec drama.  Again, you earned the teeth, you can trade them in as you wish.

7) Being you can get the lowest items with one full clear of the current content doing it as a group once again has a true feeling of helping others, unlike the new system would where everything would still be up to luck and if you won you could not even trade it to them to help them gear up.

8) When the tier gets old you can trade in the teeth for something.  Sure 10 reputation per is not a lot but for the many people like me I might continue to run it just to get more tokens I know I will be able to trade in later for PvP faction reps because those are the only three I never maxed and those teeth will add up over time.

9) The I got what I wanted so screw you attitude will be less prevalent when the loot does not drop directly from bosses.

10) People will be earning their gear instead of just getting lucky.  No more, "I got the 5 piece set already" after the first day coming from people.

11) People will be earning their gear instead of getting unlucky.  Lets face it, there is nothing fun about running the same instance 20 times and never seeing what you need drop and then that one time it drops you lose it.

12) It would give more incentive for people to do full clears being you would want to beat all bosses to get as many teeth as possible for the week thus creating more content for people to do in a way.

13) You can make the bosses a per boss queue with no valor attached what so ever to it, perhaps only a gold reward attached to it if you wanted to.  So when you queue up you are queuing up for a random boss, not a random half raid.

14) Having it on a per boss basis makes it even more casual.  You can do one boss today, three tomorrow, and the rest on saturday if you feel so inclined.  We all know blizzard is making all efforts to make the game more casual friendly and this works for it.  In and out in 5 minutes.  Does it get more casual than that?

15) Being only current tier would offer teeth and the others reputation tokens once they have been demoted from current tier people might still do them for fun or for rep runs if they are the type that likes to get exalted with everyone.

16) Being nothing drops from the bosses people would be less likely to kick someone just because they might roll on something they want.  Yes, it happens, I've seen it.

17) Being nothing drops from bosses people would be less likely to kick someone that won something they wanted.

18) Being nothing drops from bosses people would be less likely to kick someone just for being excited they won something.  It happens, I've actually see this one a lot.  Woohoo I won something.  F you.  Kick.  I feel bad for people that get kicked because they are having fun playing the game and wanted to share their excitement.  Maybe I am getting soft in my old age.

19) People will be less likely to AFK being it is not a long and drawn out event, it is only go in and kill the boss and collect your teeth.  Not saying people still wouldn't because we all know they would but it might be less likely.

20) The really casual or worried people could decide to only queue for the bosses they feel comfortable with, which does keep a lot of people from queuing to begin with, because they are not comfortable with a fight.  They can still get gear but at a much slower rate because they choose not to work as hard to get it right away by killing all the bosses.

21) It gives a real advance at your own pace feeling instead of a will I get lucky today feeling.  You advance as fast or as slow as you are willing to work for it.

22) Getting loot would feel more personal because you can pick and choose what you want to get and when you want to get it.

I am not saying my idea is the best idea but my idea does remove the number one problem with the looking for raid and that is loot.  If no loot is dropped there can be no loot drama.  Even with their redesign their will still be people complaining in raid chat that the person that won someone off the boss did not deserve it, there will always be jerks like that.  This removes loot from the equation and I assure you if you can remove loot drama from the LFR the LFR will immediately be a better place for everyone involved.

Heck, I am all for any system that makes people earn their gear.  Having to kill x amount of bosses to purchase and item is earning it.  Winning a roll is not.

LFR Loot Rules Won't Fix the Problems

In the most recent water cooler post by our friendly neighborhood crab ghostcrawler, found here, he explains a lot about loot in MoP.  There are many things I wish to touch on in what he said, like valor is no longer going to be used to buy gear, but this is about the looking for raid loot system he is saying will be implemented.

So here he is, ghostcrawler stepping up to the plate to bat.  Can he get a hit?

In a not so stunning way Blizzard has once again proved its complete detachment from the community and an utter lack of understanding as to why there were issues with the LFR loot system.

Their new design is simple enough, everyone rolls, everyone that wins gets someone fitting for their role.  Simple and basic and quite honestly not a bad idea but it is still faulty.

One good thing is we will no longer need to wait on people that just leave not rolling.  The good things end there.

Their assertion that this will fix a lot of the problems with people winning gear you felt you deserved will be cleared up is about as faulty as can be.

What they seem to miss the point on about this is that if player A and player B both roll on an item and player B wins when they did really horrible, player A has a right to complain they deserved it more, but do they think that allowing both player A and player B to win at the same time will change the opinion of player A?

If player B did do really poorly in their role they do not deserve the loot.  That is how the average player in the game sees it.  Even if player A can win as well, the act of player B winning will still cause problems.  Sure, people can not say that they won "my loot" but they will still complain that player does not deserve the loot.

Instead of it being like this.. "the worst players always win my loot"
It will become this.. "the worst players are the ones that always win something"

Blizzard seems to think that option two is better than option one.  Blizzard seems to think that the community is better off if only they make it so that player B is not getting loot out of the hands of player A.  Blizzard is wrong.

Player A, even if they did not want the loot, has a problem with player B winning because player B does not deserve it.  While that might only be their personal opinion it will not change just because they changed the loot system.  Player A will still be pissed off that player B won something.  Player A will still create drama.

Not sure what game crabby is playing but apparently it is not the same game I play because the community in the one I play will still create drama because someone they deem undeserving wins something.

Swing and a miss on that one Ghostcrawler, nice try but you missed the ball with that assertion.

Another thing the crab pointed out was that people would not be able to trade items and he boasted about this as if it were a good thing.  At least he is half right with this one but half right does not mean right.

I, for one, will be glad to not see people rolling on things just to trade them later.  That has always annoyed me and that is where GC hit the nail on the head.  Removing that possibility is a good thing but making things untradeable does bring up a lot of other issues.

My guild does a guild LFR every week and goes in with between 15-18 players.  Sometimes we bring lesser geared alts, non raiders, people that don't play often, whatever, the fact is, we play as a team.  We all roll on everything that anyone needs and we help gear the lesser geared players up.  It is good for the guild, good fun for everyone there, and it creates a great way to bridge the gap between the raiders and non raiders and create guild chemistry.

It brings people together and can also be used as an excellent recruiting tool in a world where people often do not want to leave their current guilds because they feel bound by reputation to them.

The new system means playing as a group will no longer offer any advantage.  The new system means that those lesser players we help out will now be looked at as players we are dragging along that are just not good enough and not players we are dragging along to help them catch up.

It could very well mean that we do not do guild runs any more because there is no real benefit of a guild run when it comes from a loot standpoint.  Why run as a group and make a set time for it if going alone or with a group will still end with the same results anyway?

Is this their way of trying to create community?  To make it that playing as a team means nothing now.

I am sure not everyone is like us but if none of us need something, we do not take it from others either.  We will pass on it and let someone else get it.  We are not jerks like that.

Taking away the ability to trade will ruin one of the best things we can do for fun as a guild that allows us to bring non raiders with us, the raiders.

Often I have been asked by someone to help them roll on something and I have.  Some people ask nicely, so I help.  This is good for the community as well, this is gone as well.

While trading in LFR can very well be a bad thing and I have seen it be abused, it is not always a bad thing and it is not abused by everyone.

Taking away the ability to trade items from the people that do not abuse the system because of the ones that do is not a solution.  You have to sharpen your pencils and rethink this one Blizzard.

Swing and a foul ball.  At least you got a piece of this one but that is still strike two ghostcrawler.

You've got one strike left. Will you get a hit or are you going to the bench with your tail between your legs?  Do crabs even have tails?

Lets take a look at offspec. Lets take a real close look at two situations that stand out in mind screaming look at me.

Being there will be no offspec loot awarded that means you need to run as what you want loot for.  Poor tanks and their massive long queue time.  Many tanks roll as DPS because they know if the two tanks do not need something they can win it.  They also do it because being DPS means a lot quicker of a queue time.

I know someone that has a full set of tank gear from the LFR and only runs it as DPS because he gets in faster that way.  Now he has not choice, he has to wait longer as a tank if he wants to get in.

So tank was situation one that was yelling look at me, but speaking louder by a long shot are the healers yelling look at me three times as loud.

Shadow priest running as healers.  Enhancement shaman running as healers.  Elemental shaman running as healers.  Protection paladins running as healers.  Retribution paladins running as healers.  Feral druids running as healers.  Balance druids running as healers. And soon guardian druids running as healers, winderwalker monks running as healers and brewmaster monks running as healers.

Are you aware of the amount of non healers that run the LFR as healers just for the instant queue?  They figure at the worst they can win tokens and if they get lucky some other stuff.  Sure, removing these non healers will increase the quality of healing in the LFR but it will also increase the queue time for everyone else.  Big time.

There are healing problems with the LFR as it is now, so what does blizzard do?  Create even less reason for people to run as a healer because they now went from a limited chance at getting gear for their main spec while running as a healer to absolutely zero chance at getting gear for their main spec running as a healer.

A huge swing and a miss.

The mighty ghostcrawler has just struck out.

Who is up next?

Mists will not be out for a long time still.  There is time to fix this blizzard, please get off your asses and give us a better solution.

Coming up next...  A better solution, because blizzard is not going to think of one themselves.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Healing Class Without Mana?

The monk class will bring us another healer entering the mix and it will be another healer that uses mana.  As it is there are tanks that use various types of resources and damage dealers that use various types of resources.  Will we ever see a healing class with a different type of resource?

Lets take a look at the current resources we know, except chi as I do not have enough information on it to make any judgements, and see how healing might look if healers used those resources.

Pros: It would make for extremely dynamic healing as you would need to rotate spells to use what runes where available.  For people looking for a complex healing set up this could be it.  Having runic power as well would add an interesting two resource mechanic to healing.
Cons: It would really leave rune healers at a disadvantage in those heavy healing moments where they might need to spam heals.  If unholy runes where for AoE spells you would be left only being able to hit two and wait.  If frost was for big heals you would only be able to cast two and pray.
How it can be adapted:  They would need to make the runes act differently.  All runes would need to be the same and the spells you choose would use runes and set a cooldown on them based on the power of the spell.  A small heal would have the rune reset in 2 seconds and a big heal 10 seconds.  Perhaps a major cooldown like divine hymn would put one on cooldown for 30 seconds leaving someone with only 5 runes to work with.  Runic power could be used to empower abilities for bonus oomph or refresh certain runes for a cost based on how much of a cooldown they have left.
Could it work: As is, no, it is not really possible.  With a revamp of sorts like I mentioned, it could be a fantastic healing resource.  Use all your huge spells and be screwed for some time, or balance big and small and cooldowns to keep healing flowing.  It could very well be an exciting way to heal.
Will we ever see anything like it: Highly doubtful but it does have some potential.

Pros: If it is based on damage you or people you are with receive it could mean unlimited resources. It would most likely need to require you to buff someone, or a few people, as the main generator of rage for you meaning in most cases it would be put it on the tank, a set it and forget it mechanic.
Cons: If it where an unlimited resource it would take some of the excitement and skill out of playing a healer.  It would also leave the possibility of rage starvation on the table for another person in the party, never a good thought and even less so when that person is your healer.
How it can be adapted: You would need to have some abilities that generate rage like shields for disc priest or some abilities that are flat out free.  Perhaps even work rage in reverse where you generate rage when out of battle to get back to 100 so you can use it to buff and preroll HoTs and such.  During battle you would regenerate it from damage people take in battle.
Could it work: I do not think it could work, at least not as we know rage, there is just too much more to add into the game to make it work as we know it.
Will we ever see anything like it: I would guess never is a solid answer here.

Pros: It constantly regenerates which means you can go endlessly.  The combo point mechanic would also create a way to do some massive heals which could also be really good.  Unlike DPS where you use your combo points I could see healers getting to a 5 stack of points and not using their big heal but saving it for that moment later when they need it.  This would create a very exciting way to heal.  Use it now or save it for later.  The smarter healer will always know the answer to that question.
Cons: If you have ever played a rogue or a cat you are used to hearing "need more energy" three seconds into a fight.  As a damage dealer it just means a DPS lull but as a healer if you hear "need more energy" three seconds into a fight it could mean dead people.  With damage dealers it is annoying, with healers it could be downright painful.
How it can be adapted: Adding a few small energy generators into it could help a great deal.  Every time an HoT tick crits you get 2 energy.  Every time you heal on target with max combo points you get double energy generation for 5 seconds.  Have haste effect it more generously than it does DPS.  Things like that could help.
Could it work:  Yes it could, and it could work very well. Using mechanics like giving the bonus energy regeneration when healing someone with more combo points on it could make for a very interesting healing dynamic.  It would also need to count combo points on everyone and not just one target to be effective and then have all combo points fall off instantly when you drop battle, so you can not carry the 5 combo point buffs into battle.  It could work very well.
Will we ever see anything like it:  I would love to think so.  This one has amazing potential when it comes to healing.  There is so much that can be done with it if they worked on it.  I think if they ever add another type of healing there is a fair chance this could be the way they would do it.

Pros: Endless healing potential.  If it is like focus is there would be a focus regeneration ability.  It would most likely be a small heal but even at that it would mean that you can constantly heal, even if only a small one, and never run out of resources.  While focus might hit dry spots it is an endless resource that you can regenerate on your own.  As far as pros go, this is a huge pro.
Cons: Endless resources can really soak the fun out of it.  Ask any healer if things get easier when you do not have to worry about mana and 99 out of a 100 will say you're damn skippy it does.  While this can be fun sometimes I think an endless resource healer would be a bad thing for the game.
How it can be adapted:  Make the focus regeneration thing work differently.  Instead of having the small heal as the regeneration heal make it just a free heal.  Leave bonus regeneration to something else, maybe even an instant cast damage dealing spell so the healer has to mix it up here and there.  If the focus bar where 1000 instead of the 100 we know it is I can see this working better.
Could it work:  If the endless resource part of it can be removed then it can work.  You can't make spells cost too much because those spam moments will be required but you also can't let someone get back up to full resources that easily being you have to make the cost of the spells so much lower because of those spam moments.  If a balance can be found between cheap enough heal costs to handle heavy damage moment and focus regeneration then it could work.
Will we ever see anything like it:  If they ever add another version based on something we already know and it is not energy based, it will be focus based without a doubt.  I can see this as something we might possibly see some day.

In the end you have to ask, do you think we will ever see a healing class without mana?  My answer is no.  All the above answers I gave, even the bad ones in the con sections, would still leave all other resources leaps and bounds better than mana for one reason and one reason only.  Mana is a limited resource, none of those other things are.  Removing the need to manage mana seriously changes the whole concept of healing.

If they where to create a really tight system with lower heals but many many more of them needed then I could see it being possible to add one of these other types of healing resources but even at that you have to think where would the balance be?

If they make the heals small enough to offset the concept of unlimited resources then they might be too small to be an effective healer.  If they make the too high then they are making it way to powerful because why would you heal with someone that can run out of mana when you can do it just as effectively with someone that will never run out of their resource.

All these other options that might sound exiting would just be way to hard to balance.

Because of that I do not see a future for us having a healing class that is not mana based.  I might see a future with a healing class having another resource, but it would be handled just like mana is.  They would just call it something different.

Do you think the day will ever come when we see a healing class without mana?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mondays Random Thoughts

- Have you ever seen an NPC and wish your abilities worked like theirs?

- Like those hunters in the last HoT dungeon with their disengage that must have a 2 second cool down?

- How about all those mobs that have a deterrence that no matter what you try it will only hit them for 1.

- My hunter wants those talents.

- I am so jealous.

- Sometimes I think that they get ideas for our new talents from talents they give bosses.

- I watched the videos of the panda's emotes and some of them look pretty cool.

- I hear people saying a lot of bad things about the female panda but I think they are cute.

- They look a lot better then the female worgens, that is for sure.

- I think I know the next new races that will be added.

- Horde will get ogres and alliance will get those new fish people.

- Somewhere in the back of my mind I keep thinking that in a few days blizzard will say april fools.

- Playing the long con on us about the pandas.

- I know it is not a joke, but sometimes it really seems like this is a joke that got away from them.

- Looking back at things you have to realize they are always planning two expansions ahead of themselves.

- So much in BC told us that deathwing was coming.

- So much in wrath told us that pandas where coming.

- So we need to look around cata for hints of what is after that.

- I suggest taking a look at the swamp of sorrows for hints.

- What can you find that might give us hints.

- There were so many hints in wrath about panda that we over looked but I found another one yesterday I had forgot about.

- The fishing daily in dalaran gave me a fantasy portrait of a panda as one of the things in it.

- I had forgotten about that one.

- Go check out ulduar for some early images of the inhabitants of pandaria.

- Funny how we never notice things like that until after the fact.

- With all the titan warning systems dismantled now you have to wonder what that means.

- Do you think that they will notice they are not getting any consistent information being sent from azeroth?

- Do you think they will come or send someone/something to investigate?

- Do you think that might be a hint of what is to come?

- At the point we are at in the game the fun of speculating about the next expansion is about the most fun to be had in game.

- At least for those of us that enjoy that lore stuff.

- For as bad as things seem in the game mechanics, design, and balance wise you have to give credit to the people that write the back story.

- They have been doing a bang up job.

- Now if only the people that write the main story where even half as decent.

- I think the reason most people did not find killing deathwing exciting was because deathwing himself was boring.

- Killing arthas was awesome because he was awesome.

- Deathwing was just another dragon, nothing special.

- I am still awaiting the return of Gul'Dan.

- Mark my words... he is coming.

- I really thought the mists expansion would be his expansion.

- And from the looks of things, I might still end up being right.

- He might have a small part in Garrosh going all medieval on everyones ass thing.

- I've already figured out how the Garrosh fight is going to go down.

- Look at the facts we know.

- Garrosh is going to go crazy and do some really bad stuff that people on both sides will not be happy with.

- Vol'Jin has been and still is the smartest military tactician in the game.

- Vol'Jin wants Garrosh dead.

- Vol'Jin has reached out to the alliance for assistance before, even recently.

- He can get both groups on a single effort and has the smarts to plan it.

- We will go in and fight Garrosh and he will pull an arthas move on us by wiping us out all at 10%.

- Vol'Jin will do what a good shadow hunter does and sneak up on a wounded Garrosh and finish him off when he least expects it.

- Vol'Jin will not become the next leader of the horde, but he will land the killing bow.

- It all makes too much sense.

- Vol'Jin is the only person in the game right now that has the military knowledge to organize a massive undertaking like that and he is the only person that can get both the alliance and horde to work with him.

- Mark my words, this is how it is going to happen.

- And mark my words even further that Gul'Dan will have played a role in some way with the corruption of Garrosh.

- Don't give me that Gul'Dan is dead BS either, this is a video game people, nothing is forever.

- Not even death.

- I'll leave it at that for something to chew on.

- Have a great day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Time Frame of Casual Raiding

While doing my standard thing of reading around about things I came across a post that had me laughing and scratching my head.  It basically had me say to myself, self, is this guy on crack?  Then I realized that while I did believe this guy must be on some heavy drugs it is indeed only my opinion of his statements that made me believe that.

I'll paraphrase what was said as after a quick look to find the exact quote I could not find it again.

"Even heroic content is so easy this expansion.  I am in a casual guild and we are 6/8 heroic and we only raid 4 nights a week for about 16 hours."

Now this is not about the dreaded word easy that can start fights left and right on the forums it is about another word that seems to always have a thousands different meaning depending on who you ask and that is casual.

What had me scratching my head was the fact that this person calls themselves casual and in the same sentence says they raid 16 hours a week 4 days a week.  Again, only my opinion here but that is not casual, that is not even close to casual, that is not even in the same realm of casual, heck, it is not even on the same planet of casual.  That is a hard core raiding guild without a shadow of a doubt.

I thought to myself that he is probably rationalizing to make himself feel better that he is not 8/8 heroic because lets face it, the really good hard core guild would be 8/8 heroic by now.  If he calls himself casual he then frees himself of the stigma of not having downed the whole thing already.

It is almost as if anyone that is in a serious raiding guild that has not completed the content thinks they are casual.  I do not agree with that sentiment.  They are a hard core guild that is just not as good as other hard core guilds.  Just like there are casual guilds that are not as good as other casual guilds.  The biggest difference is, if you call yourself hard core you feel bad if you are not where the other hard core players are but if you call yourself casual you can be anywhere and be comfortable with it.

For me I look at the difference between the two as a time investment thing.  I call my guild a casual guild.  Not even a casual raiding guild.  It is a casual guild that raids.

We raid, or try to, 2 nights a week for 2 hours a night.  Most of the time we are missing people for the second night so go with lesser geared and/or experienced fill ins that are capable but not around every week but they are good players. They are the ones that helped up finish the content on normal, they are just not there every week in and out. 

In reality if you wanted to average it out, we probably raid, on average, 3 hours a week. We are 8/8 and have never even tried heroic modes even if we could easily knock out at least two (the first and fifth) but we do not press it because we are a casual guild.  We might attempt it some day but we are content in downing the raid each week and trying to get people some more gear and get more people in there at the end so they can get the achievement.  When we get to the point were someone needs no, or little gear, we rotate people in and out or bring in alts.  Now that... is a casual guild.

With all honesty I could see my guild being at least 6/8 heroic if we pushed it and tried to make progression on heroic.  Perhaps the person that made that statement above knows that a casual guild like my guild could conceivably be 6/8 heroic if we pressed it or even added 1 hour a night or a third night so to make himself feel better he calls himself casual.

In no way, shape or form will you ever hear me say any guild that runs 4 days for 16 hours a week is a casual guild.  There is nothing casual about that time wise.

Everyone would have their own opinions on where the line is with casual and hard core.  Maybe to some people his statement sounds true.  Maybe they do consider that casual.  I don't.

What numbers would you hang on a casual guild, at the most.  Here are mine.

A casual guild.... never raids progression more then 3 days a week, usually 2.
A casual guild.... never raids progression more then 3 hours a night, usually less.

At what point does it become hard core in your opinion.  Ability notwithstanding because there are casual guilds that can do heroic content and there are hard core guilds that have still not finished normal.  Based on time only where is the line between casual and hardcore.  Remember, casual and hardcore are time spent words for this and not ability words.

So based on time spent raiding, what is the time frame for casual raiding in your opinion?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[BETA] Be Calm People, Move Along

I love when new things come out like the beta because it gets me laughing and gives me something to complain about all in one package.  Hey, I did not get the nickname grumpy for no reason.  I get a kick out of complaining.

I am reading all over the forums about people saying that they have not yet recieved their invite to the beta and they had signed up for the annual pass and they are pissed.  Some of them are completely insane, some of them seem logical but most of them seem to miss the most important factors when they are complaining.

Don't get me wrong, I will gladly say "so much for getting access when the beta comes out like promised" because I am a smart ass, but that is just me being a smart ass.  I am not about to go on a rant and rave about it.  At least not yet, ask me in 4 months with the beta about to close if I still have not gotten it and that might change.  Some people are just too much.

So, for the betterment of the community, at least the very few that read here, I will answer all their complaints for blizzard.  Aren't I a nice guy?

"You promised access as soon as the beta started"
- Yes, indeed, they did.  Anyone on the forums that wants to spew the crap that they promised access but not immediate access is full of crap.  Blizzard did indeed say that all subscribers to the annual pass would get instant access to the beta.  Just go watch the videos on youtube of the announcement at blizzcon and you will see they did promise it.  HOWEVER, and please read this part if you are one of the people saying the previous line, they did also say they could change the offer or amend it at any time.  Guess what, they changed it.  Guess what else, you will get your access to the beta.  Guess what even further, there is nothing you can do about it because you agreed to that contract.

"I paid for access and I want it now."
- This is another common line and the various versions of it out there.  Let me be the bearer of bad news to the folks that are saying that.  You did not pay for beta access to MoP.  You agreed to pay for one year of WoW time uninterrupted.  That is it.  You did not pay for access to beta.  You did not pay for diablo 3.  You did not pay for the mount on all your characters.  Those might have very well been the motivating factor for you agreeing to pay for one year of uninterrupted subscription time but they where bonuses given as a thank you for paying for the one year of uninterrupted subscription.  Motivating factor yes, maybe even the whole reason, yes, but the money you agreed to pay is for WoW time, not MoP beta time.  Remember that.

"I am going to sue them."
- I live in New York City and I have a joke that I always say where I call it Sue York City.  It is basically because everybody and their mother sues everyone over everything.  It is ridiculous and it needs to stop.  A woman sued mcdonalds for making her kids fat.  Hate to break it to you lady but if your kids are fat from eating mcdonalds then stop feeding it to them and bring them to the park to run around every once in a while.  People sue over every stupid little thing.  This, is a stupid little thing.  Don't be like the lady that feeds her kids mcdonalds and then sues someone else for it when it is her own fault.  Don't sue them because they did not do what you wanted them to do.  You wanted access instantly and they didn't give it to you, that is not a reason to sue.  Sue them if the beta finishes and you never got an invite at all.  Then I will gladly stand with you and say they deserve it.  Stop talking about suing them one day after invites started going out like it is the end of the world or something.

"Waves of invites are wrong, they should let everyone that bought the AP in at the same time."
- I am going to guess the people saying this don't know a great deal about computers.  No problem, not everyone does but something like that is just not a good idea.  While I agree with people that say it could have been done because it could have, absolutely, it is just not reasonable to do it.  They would have needed to set up so many servers to handle that many people all at once.  It is not like you can put all 1M people on one server or even 10.  They would have had to make such a massive collection of servers just to handle the influx of people that first day and then when people played around and left because they saw what they wanted to see they would be left with 100s of near empty servers meaning the game would not get the testing it needs.  Waves are how it should be handled to consistently add people to the mix to make sure that the servers they do have up stay near full so it could be best tested on a near full server for best results and reduced costs.   You don't have to believe when when I say this but it is up to you to either call me an idiot or accept what I am saying as true but it is better for us, the players, if they slowly add people and correct errors as they go with the servers getting slowly filled.

"I want to see it now."
- I do too, I would love to see it now.   I would have loved to start my download before I went to work so I could have come home and tested some stuff out but it didn't work out that way.  Deal with it.  Not to mention,  while there is a great deal to see not much is in the beta yet.  No professions really, no 85+ access, most people that transferred over their characters will not see them there for days, so forth and so on.  You want to see it but it is not all there yet.  Are you going to be the same person that when they see it comes back to the forums and complains that it seems so unfinished?  Of course it is, it is the beta.

"People without the AP got invites before the people with the AP did."
- Yes.  They did.  I personally know one person that got an invite that has not played for nearly 2 years.  What does that have to do with anything?  Press and other "important" people as they might judge them will always get the first look and be the first invited.  That is just the way of life.  It is not blizzard giving the finger to people that bought the AP it is just them conducting their business like a business.  God forbid.

"I paid for the AP and I should get it first."
- That is your opinion and why should your opinion have any more weight then another persons?  I paid too, what if I got it a day before you did, does that make me the bad guy?  What if you got it the day before I did, does that make you the bad guy?  Not everyone can get everything at the same time.  It is just not possible.  Again, if you paid for the AP you will get it.  Just wait for it.

"But I want to test everything out now because I have the week off."
- That, and various other comments that mention the timing issues always get me.  Firstly, you can not test everything because everything is not there to be tested now.  Secondly, while I can not be entirely certain, I will go out on a limb here and say that you are not the only person that plays the game and the time schedule is not set up around you.  I am pretty secure in that second one there.  Yes, I know you have the time now and it sucks that you did not get in when you have the extra time. I feel for you honestly, but things like that happen in life all the time, get used to it.  Timing screws us all over once in a while and it was your turn.  Don't worry too much, like I said, you would not have been able to test everything now anyway.

"I wanted to get the preview to see if it will be worth getting."
- You will get the preview, in a few months at best.  Even if you got into the beta today it is not a preview, it is a beta.  They are two different things.  While the beta is a preview of sorts it is not a real preview.  It is not a full preview.  It is a constant work in progress with servers coming up and down, bugs here and there, and lots of other general annoyances.  Heck, check my last post about hunter weapons asking how they can even allow that to make it to the test phase, things are not even remotely close to being itemized yet it seems.  A preview is more what we get on the PTR, a near finished product where some things are being ironed out.  This is a beta, not a preview.  There is a lot of things that need fixing, it is not even close to a real preview at all.

"I just wanted to play now because I am bored with 4.3"
- Welcome to the club my friend.  I wish I where playing mists now too and I am not talking about the beta I am talking about the real thing.  The beta, while it can be played, is not intended as a game to give you something to do.  It is intended to get the bugs worked out so it can be released as something you can do.  If all you want to do is play some new content please I beg of you, do not log on to the beta.  We need people on the beta that are going to report bugs, that are going to try things that blizzard did not think of so they can be fixed before they go live, that are going to do every quest to see if they all work and not just level up asap, to actually do what a beta is intended for, to get it ready for the game to be played.  The beta is not intended for you to play as if it where a release product.  Maybe that is the problem most people have.  They do not realize that.

So in summation I will say this, just be clam and move along.  Go join a pug on your server, go read the information that is being put out there or maybe even do something that is not WoW related.  If you purchased the annual pass you will get your invite, in time.

Until then, just be a smart ass like me and say, "so much for getting access when the beta comes out like promised" if someone brings it up and leave it at that with a laugh.  If you go any further then that, you have gone too far.

Dude, Where are my Stats?

When mists comes, actually when the prepatch for mists comes most likely, hunters will no longer use melee weapons.

We have been told that we should not worry about the loss of our melee weapons, the stats we lose from not using melee weapons will be made up by our ranged weapons.  With the release of a few items leaking from mists I am left to wonder if someone at the design team forgot about the fact hunters can no longer use melee weapons.

Lets look at our current level bow, main stats only, the one most everyone will walk into mists with.

Vishanka, Jaws of the Earth - It has 161 agility and 242 stamina.

Now lets look at our first epic bow of mists, the one we will all be getting from heroics most likely.

5.0 Dungeon Bow - It has 283 agility and 424 stamina.

At first look it seems like this is not all that bad.  The increase is fair, for 5 levels, and it looks like they are not going insane with the stat inflation, they are picking up right where they left off instead of making a huge stat jump.  I like that but that is for another post.

Now lets look at what we will NOT have in mists.

Inscribed Tiger Staff - It has1015 agility and 1522 stamina.

Holy mother of god, I see where those stat inflation went to.  They went to the feral / guardian druids who are now the only ones that can use that staff.

Where is my additional 1000 agility that I was promised when I lost the ability to use melee weapons for stats?

So if it where now, I would effectively have 1015 less agility and 1522 less stamina.  WTF?  I thought they said they would give hunters the stats they used to have on their melee weapons on their ranged weapons.  Did someone not get the memo?  Did they just forget?  Did they think that because they are giving us such a fun ability like stampede that we would be all excited with it and not even notice we have just been screwed out of over 1K agility and 1.5K stamina?

Blizzard, you owe me some stats, really, this is not even funny.  There is no way that hunter weapons are going to end up at 1/4 the stats of every other classes weapon.  Heck, even the bows DPS is lower then the DPS on the staff so it not like they can say "we made up the difference in ranged weapons damage" because they didn't, it is lower.

There is nothing right about this picture.  Nothing at all.

Being it seems what I was aiming for was missed I will just add this question to clear it up.

How did it even make it to the starting test phase without anyone realizing they removed melee weapons from hunters?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BBB's Writing Challenge

BBB's Original Post

For my contribution I've decided to write a short love story between a gnome and the dwarf female that doesn't even notice him.
Today was just like any day for me, you know how it goes.  Working on my engineering and looking all dead sexy in my goggles like any good gnome would.  I've spent so much time looking at my work I never really took notice of anything around me until I needed to grab some flux and looked up and saw this juicy dwarven maiden that stood before me.  I had never seen her before, she must be new I thought.

I decided I would woo her, as any dead sexy gnome in goggles would of course, by putting the goggles on my head, getting on my knees and opening my eyes as big and wide as I could.  I figure if she would just see me for a few minutes she would uncontrollably fall in love with it.  How could anyone resist, it works for puss doesn't it and I am much cuter then he could ever be.

My plan did not work as intended.  She barely even noticed I was there.  Someone else came up to talk to her and she turned to talk to them completely ignoring the ultimate in gnome cuteness to the tenth degree that was right before her very eyes.

I figured that I would need something else to grab her attention so I headed over to cobblesproket, he is good with things that do not go boom as opposed to me where everything goes boom.  Even the things I do not intend to go boom.  Come to think of it, the things I do not intend to go boom always seem to go boom bigger.  I wonder why?

I was mentioning to him the new love of my life when he looked to me a bit cross eyed and said that even if dwarven women are fine women why don't I set my sights a little higher like one of those slender humans that are walking all over stormwind.  He explained that gnome men are the most attractive men in the world, which we all know, and that we should be able to pick and choose as we wish.  I agreed and I like those dwarven women with the juicy thighs so that is what I choose.  I knew he always had a thing for humans, he follows that connolly guard around all day long sometimes.  Doesn't seem like he is having any more luck with the opposite sex than I am.

After getting the items I needed to assemble my next weapon of mass wooing I headed back to the anvil and started to build a mechanical arrangement of flowers that I am going to give her.  That will surely get her attention.

I kept looking over to her, I even made sure to make some sexy moves like stealing the angelina leg stretch thing.  It worked for her, got her a lot of attention, maybe it would get me the attention of my lady love.  My attempt was in vain however as she barely noticed me or my sexy leg.  This woman no doubt had a will of steel.  There is no way any women can ignore this much sexy in a small package for as long as she has.

I handed her the gift, an amazing display of mechanical flowers that change based on your mood.  It was a technical triumph and it didn't even explode, imagine that, but she took one look at them and handed me 25 gold.

I was not selling them to her, I was giving them to her.  I tried to explain and gave her the gold back but she gave me the flowers back when I did.  This went on for 10 minutes.  I gave her flowers, she gave me gold.  I gave her gold, she gave me flowers.

Somewhere along the line if I where going to sell the darn thing I think I should have gotten more then 25 gold.  If I was selling them I pretty much got the shaft there.  You would think she is a goblin paying so little.  As if making money was the only thing on her mind.  Those flowers where worth a lot more.

I had one more idea and it was back to the anvil with my trusty tools, hammer, torch and other assorted things so I could make the most bad ass boom box, that doesn't actually boom, that anyone could ever imagine.

It took me two days and the help of an army of the most dead sexy gnomes you can ever imagine but I set up something that she would never be able to resist.

I started the music low and started to make it a little louder as I walked closer to her with my posse in tow and the sounds of the gnome theme song "sexy and I know it" blaring behind me.  There was no doubt with a show like this that I was a star in every sense of the word. There was no way she could not fall in love with me instantly.

We did our dance, and we where amazing.  I stripped down to my skivvies and gyrated my sexy gnome goodies for her for the length of the song, ending in the most amazing slide you have ever seen with this huge ass boom box on my shoulder and only my golden undies and my goggles on my head on and she just looked at me and said, 200 gold for that.

Nothing, nothing.  She offered me 200 gold for the boom box.  I spent days building this, I spent days assembling the people needed for this display.  I spend days teaching them the dance.  I spent days waxing my golden undies and my legs too.

All that time spent for nothing.  The woman I feel in love with the moment I saw her just thought of me as a customer and nothing more.

I guess I will love her from afar, I will keep my affections hidden from now on.  Hidden because I can't keep spending all this money on gifts that she thinks I am trying to sell to her.  She is so cheap too.  200 gold for a boom box that cost me 10,000 gold in materials.

That is when it hit me.  She must like goblins. My wooing ended before it even started it seems.

Darn, that was one fine woman.
Well, hope you all liked it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is Too Casual Actually Hard Core?

First for the purpose of this post we need to describe what I mean in this case for casual and hard core.  Hard core means grinding until you get what you need, like working your butt off to get all the resist gear needed back in vanilla or things like that.  Hard core, for this means time spent.  Casual means things you can choose to do or not to do but they usually take a little bit of time so they are not a big time sink.  Think fishing daily, cooking daily, 15 minute dungeons.

Now to my question.

Is too casual actually hard core?

When there are a few casual things you can do the pass the time then even doing them all does not amount to a huge amount of time spent.  Knock out a dungeon or two, maybe the LFR, your cooking and fishing dailies each day and maybe the jewelcrafting daily if you happen to be a JC as well and you could spend as much as 5 hours in game.  5 hours, while it might sound like a lot, is actually pretty casual if done over the course of the week. 

When mists comes out they are adding a whole slew of casual activities and quality of life bonuses like the LFR roll buff that requires you to do some casual things to get it.  These are all good things right?

But for someone that is a serious but casual player, the type that will do all their dailies every day because it takes no time at all however they feel as if they need to do them, when does the addition of casual activities that they feel they will need to do turn that casual player into a hard core player?

The ultimate casual player might log on now and do the cooking and fishing dailies, maybe run a dungeon or two here and there and occasionally try to get the LFR in, if they can.

If they add other profession based dailies that ultimate casual player that does their profession dailies will feel compelled to do them as well, being they will only take 5 minutes anyway.

Add up 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there and suddenly you are spending a lot more time on that character daily and even more so when you add it up to a weekly or monthly basis.

Lets say you want to test the waters in all the new things like pet battles and farming and challenge modes and scenarios, just to start, and suddenly you have added nearly double the amount of time you where spending on the character into the game.

Casual players do not mean bad player or undedicated players, it just means someone that does not spend a great deal of time on the game.  Just adding these little casual activities, even if each on their own takes less then 15 minutes, perfect casual time, you are adding stuff to the casual players day.

Even the most casual of casual players might consider themselves compelled to complete these tasks because of the perceived casual nature of them.  Each one on its own takes less then 15 minutes in many cases right?  That means casual and that means it is for them to do.

Lets move it past the most casual of casual players to the somewhat casual player.  Someone that does not play a great deal and does not stress it or go way out of their way for things but is somewhat serious.  They surely will feel compelled to complete all these tasks.  They would figure they are quick, they are easy, so I should do them if I am serious.

Add the new LFR loot rules and you throw another casual friendly thing to the game that actually will eat more time up.  Many people are like myself and outside of their main character(s) they rarely bothered with the LFR.  You have to deal with 24 people, sometimes half of them mentally challenged, and deal with bad people winning rolls, and deal with the chance that nothing might drop at all that you could even roll on nevertheless win.  It just means, if and when you have the time, you just did not do it.

With the changes there will always be something dropping for you.  So no longer will my hunter run 12 weeks in a row not seeing the polearm or bow drop from deathwing.  Being we roll as a whole group and then something you can use is assigned to you that means every time I am there I can get the polearm or bow.  Now I do not need to hope for it and hope to win, I just have to hope to win because I am basically rolling against myself.  Sort of.

This would mean that casual but serious players might feel more compelled to bring secondary characters through there because there is less stress of the type that you did the whole thing for no reason because nothing even dropped you could roll on.  No longer will you bitch it was only mage tier pieces the whole run while you are on your shaman.  Now every boss that drops tier also drops shaman, if you can win the roll.

Now that will make the casual serious player more likely to want to run the LFR on more then one character.  But wait, there is more. They are adding objectives to the game that when you complete them will get a buff that will allow you additional rolls in the LFR.  So you might have 2 rolls meaning 2 chances to win in the LFR. 

If you are a casual serious player you want to try what you can, that is easy and casual, to gear up as best as you are able.  If doing 25 dailies will give you a buff that allows you a second roll on loot you will feel obliged to do them to increase your chances of gearing up.

Dailies on their own are casual.  The LFR on its own is casual.  Add 25 dailies at 5 minutes each to the LFR and you took your casual events and just pushed yourself to the edge of hardcore haven't you?

Lets say you are also the type that wants to do a little of everything.  Add some farm time in, even if it is only 15 minutes, some pet battle time in even if it is just another 10 minutes, a few dungeons, a challenge mode or two and a scenario here and there and your casual two hour play night just turned into a much less then casual 6 hour play night and that is 6 hours without actually playing the end game of the game.  If you actually want to raid too add another 2 to 4 hours on top of your new 6 hour night that used to be a 2 hour night.

God forbid you are a PvPer as well.  As any good PvE player will make sure you cap out on valor each week any good PvPer will make sure you cap out on conquest each week.  Even casual players do that.  However, now you can do PvP quests in the open world and once you do them they will continually increase the amount of conquest points you can cap that week.

So instead of getting on and capping your conquest and moving on to something else you will come on, cap out, quest to raise cap, cap out again, quest to raise cap, cap out again, etc.  Here is to hoping that there is a new cap to raising the cap which I am sure there will be otherwise you will be spending every tuesday for the rest of your wow playing life PvPing until your eyes bleed.  I don't know about you, but that sounds a little hard core to me.

All these little additions are going to be a great thing for the game but when does it turn casual into hardcore?  At what time investment does that happen if we are using only time to judge those terms.

If you decided to partake in even a small amount of all the new things you can see your play time doubled.  If you choose to try and do them all you might see your play time tripled or even quadrupled.

Everything in and of itself is indeed casual.  All the parts are less then 30 minute each (except for the LFR) but the more parts there are the more parts you might feel compelled to complete.  I know I will feel compelled to complete them.  I know many people will feel compelled to complete them.  They will look at it as, but it only takes 15 minutes and forget that 15 minutes here and there adds up really fast for the casual player and even faster for the casual serious player.

God forbid you are a hardcore player already that feels they have to do everything as soon as possible in every aspect of the game because the way it is looking now I hope you can afford retirement because WoW is going to be your new full time job.  Even more so if you have 5 or 6 characters you want to cap everything on each week.  Something even the most casual of casual players could do now in limited time.

I know personally I will never enter the looking for raid without the buff that allows me the extra chance to win loot from the boss.  No one knows the number of dailies you will need for the buff yet but if it is a large number, which I can see it being, it will change how I play.

No longer will it be log on to my priest and run the LFR just for fun.  Now it will be log on to my priest, knock out X amount of dailies, then hope I have enough time left to finish a LFR run.

My casual alt that I like to try and keep somewhat geared will now become another full time character because I am what I call a serious casual player and if I am going to do something I might as well do it to the best of my ability which means I will feel I have to get the extra roll buff.

All these little additions are great.  All these little additions are casual.  All these little additions can help the game. All these little additions will start to really add up.

So that means that if you try to do the casual stuff, all of it, you will end up being hard core.  At least in a time investment sense.

The more casual activities they add the more those activities will add up for the people that try to do them all.

Is too casual actually hard core?

Monday, March 19, 2012

10 Reasons I am Not Excited About Mists

Please read the sister article as well - 10 Reasons I am Excited About Mists.

10) No Release Date
- Screw beta date, I wanted a release date.  If they said it was coming out tomorrow I would be excited.  If they said it was coming out in two months I would have been excited.  Heck, if they said it was coming out before the years end I could have been excited.  Tell me all the BS info you want, if you are not going to tell me when it is coming you basically just wasted my time and yours.  I need something to look forward to, not just filler info that means nothing.  Evey thing they said would have meant more if there was a date attached to it.

9) Pokeman
- Okay, I will be honest, I can see me playing the pet battles.  I can see me collecting the wild pets because it is no different then killing tons of whelps for a pet drop and I do that.  The difference is, now I do it for something to do to pass the time when I am bored.  If it is a competitive part of the game it moves from a pass time to something I feel I have to do.  I want side games to be side games, not feel as if they are a different type of competition.

8) Farmville
- I can see me doing the farmville thing too, even more so if I can get free herbs from it.  So why is it something I do not like?  It is something else I will feel I have to do.  I don't want added filler I have to do, I want content I have to do.  I would rather have to clear a new raid every month than have to farm for herbs on my own personal farm which I am afraid I will feel compelled to do.

7) History
- Blizzards track record is not exactly good.  Every time something sounds good you can be sure blizzard will surely find a way to screw it up completely and if they don't their player base will surely screw it up.  It doesn't make a difference what it is.  It will always end up screwed up.  Everywhere you look there is another thing that they screwed up on even if in theory it sounded good.  Take the LFR for example.  In theory the loot rules where fine right out of the box but the players, being the jerks most are, screwed it up so blizzard tried to fix it and in some cases made it worse.  Their history for mistakes is well documented.

6) Reusing Content
- Are the two new remade dungeons a peek into the future?  Do they mean that we will have another horrible patch that will be another remake of two dungeons we will be forced to do over and over again?  They should not have remade the dungeons to begin with but it could very well start a pattern that they will continue to think that remaking content means new content.  It doesn't.  Tweaking numbers to work for a higher levels is a cheap way to add new content and I do not like the pattern I see with it.

5) Greg Street (or Tom Chilton as someone pointed out to me)
- Why is this man still employed?  If I put someone in charge of my business and saw myself lose as many customers as have been lost under his watch he would not be employed any more.  At the very least he would not be in the position he is in any more.  His job is to make the decisions based on what others bring to him.  It seems like he just accepts anything anyone throws at him and doesn't think anything out.  I am sure we don't know all of it, not even a part of it, but I still revert to what I originally said, if someone was in charge of my company and I saw a drop like WoW has had there would be some changes and fast and they would start at the top which means him.

4) Glyphs
- They are taking away choices with the changes to the talent system and now they are taking away choices with glyphs as well by ditching the primes.  I do love all the "fun" glyphs they are adding.  My druid would surely use the glyph that makes my bear look different all the time and my healer be a tree all the time and my swimming form be an orca and... oh wait.  I only have three spots.  They are taking away choices by removing prime glyphs and then adding so many minors that would all be good with so few spaces.  There is some choice for you but that is adding choice in the wrong place.  Fun should never be a choice.  We should get lots of fun.  They finally found a true way to add choice.  Too bad they put it in the worst place to make people choose.  Let me choose things that matter, let me have all the options for fun because fun doesn't make a difference.  A change like this shows how disconnected from the player base the people that make the decisions really are.  The choices they give people should impact game play, not fun.

3) Challenge Modes
- I've said it before and I will say it again.  Everyone thinks they are good.  The priest doing 2700 HPS in LFR thinks he is good.  The ret paladin doing 900 DPS in LFR thinks he is good.  The hunter that just uses auto shot thinks he is good.  The rogue that doesn't use poisons thinks he is good.  You get the idea.  These "good" players will also be in your challenge mode dungeons.  Remember the start of cataclysm with allowing these good types of player at item level in dungeons was like.  If they want challenge modes to work there needs to be various checks before they can get it and I hope they add them.  Personal checks, team checks, etc.  People would need to work their way up a ladder before they are allowed to even enter them otherwise they will be a bigger nightmare than the zuls where when they first came out.

2) Have Group
- Not sure if I read that one right but it seems they hinted they are removing have group will travel.  I do not often say words like this in my blog but this one deserves it.  Fuck you blizzard.  Once again, proof they are out of touch with their player base.  At least they will still have summoning stones so it is not a huge deal for raids or dungeons but still, there is no need to remove it.  There are many places it is useful, for many things.  Personally I loved it for world PvP purposes more then anything else.  What?  They are removing it because they want people to get out in the world more when I used to it... get out in the world more and bring people into PvP instantly. They are removing it because I got out in the world with it more?  Okay, I'll go with blizzards logic that it is more important to make two people go to the raid to summon everyone instead of one because it will get more people out in the world.  Yes blizzard, one more person, it gets one more person out in the world to summon people but it removes all the spontaneous PvP my guild has had by inviting tons of people and have grouping them into battle.  Nice thinking blizzard.  I'll bet this was Greg Streets idea, it reeks of something he would red light.

1) Hype
- I was excited about path of the titans, it never came.  I was excited about archaeology, but it was better in theory than in practice.  I was excited about the more difficult dungeons, until I ran into random people in them.  I was excited about faster patches, until they never came.  I was excited about more content, when we got less.  I have a horrible track record being excited about things when it comes to blizzard and it is much safer to not be excited about things because if you are not excited you can't be let down, like I was excited about cataclysm and completely let down by it.

There you go, my top 10 reasons not to be excited.

10 Reasons I am Excited About Mists

Please read the sister article as well - 10 Reasons I am Not Excited About Mists.

10) Stampede
- Oh my god, total fan boy hunter moment here.  Hunters are going to be able to call all 5 of their pets AT THE SAME TIME.  I feel as giddy as a school girl   I love hunter news and I love cool hunter news even better.  Sure it will probably have an army of the dead type of 10 minute cooldown but who the hell cares.  5 pets.  Did you hear that?  5 pets all at once.  I'm going to call them everywhere just for fun.  Can you imagine 5 rhino pets being called all at once in the auction house.  Yes, your pets can be used for evil now too.  There is just so much good about this that I want the expansion now.

9) 11th Character Slot
- I am so glad I do not need to choose which 10 of the 11 classes I want to have.  While I liked the original idea they mentioned of just removing the limit completely on a per server basis I can surely live with this.  At least on the three servers I have one of each I will still have one of each and that really matters to me.  I am really excited to see that for once they listened to the players and actually felt for the geeks like me that just have to have every class on the same server.

8) Scenarios
- Any way to speed up the randoms grind is welcome to me.  Being able to do different things and some things like this without the need of tanks or healers makes everyone an equal.  Three DPS doing it will be instant queue just like tanks and healers have had since, well, forever.  Being three of anything can be used the only thing that would make any queue time is three people not being on that enter the queue for it.  What are the odds that three people will not be wanting to do it for anything more then a few minutes at most?  I might not care of the scenarios, only time will tell, but I do love that the built in penalty for rolling a pure has been removed from the game.  What took so freaking long?

7) New Talent System
- For as much as I complain about the lack of choice with it I do like the idea.  It should make class balancing a lot easier and it removes the need for me to have multiple specs for the same thing on one character.  I've many times had two specs that where the exact same spec with minor differences, now I can actually have two different specs because there are no minor differences I can choose to make.  It just made my life easier.  I guess I can live with that.

6) AoE Looting
- Another make life easier quality of life thing that leaves me only to ask one thing.  Why did it take so long?  There is nothing not to like about this if you ask me and if you are reading this I'll take it to mean you asked me.  At least asked me about the 10 things I am excited about.

5) 7 New Zones
- At least they upped it from 5.  Heck, 10 would be even better.  Having choices is always a nice thing and more zones should give us a little bit of that.  I am glad they realized the two mistakes of the cataclysm zones and fixed them both.  5 is too few and not being connected is horrible.  So we will have 7 connected zones.  Now that is much better design.  You can't teach an old dog new tricks, they tried a new trick with cataclysm and it did not work, so they are going back to the old trick.  Maybe they will learn that there is a reason people like the old tricks, they are better.

4) No Squish
- There is good and bad to this.  Bad is that stats will still, even more so in mists, mean more then skill just like they have all through cataclysm.  Stats skew the number / ability ratio when it comes to output.  The good thing is, a skilled person with all those stats will really be able to do some amazing things.  I can not wait to see what bosses I am going to be able to solo with 25000 stamina and 26000 agility while doing 350K DPS.  I am not as skilled as the hunter that killed arthas solo recently, but with numbers like that, you know I will be beating him solo just for the fun of it.  You can have some fun with stats soloing content.  So those huge numbers are good for something.

3) Loremasters
- A faction that offers the history of the game through quests and reliving some of it?  I'll buy that for a dollar.  I am all over this baby and can't wait to delve into it.  This seems like a fun addition and being it seems like there will be nothing connected to it like gear or titles or mounts or anything it would be something I could do in my free time just for fun and not feel as if I am compelled to complete it ASAP.  We need a lot more content like that.  Content that you can do at your leisure and not feel like you have to complete it the moment it comes out, now that is good content.

2) Account Wide Pets
- While account wide pets do not really excite me the fact that they are going to be there opens the door for so many other things.  I can't wait for account wide achievements too.  Lets face it, if I get an achievement "I" got it no matter what character I am on.  So I was playing my priest when I did it should not matter.  Account wide pets opens the doors for changes like account wide achievements.  Heck, the only reason I hate running on any other characters is because I want the achievements on my main.  If I can run it on my priest and get the achievement on my main then I will not mind if I am forced to tank or heal to help the guild whereas now I get bitter that everyone else plays their mains and I am stuck on my alts helping everyone else get their achievements.  To put it in perspective, my main (hunter) has still not completed 2 raids this expansion (BWD, FL) whereas my other characters, a few, have achievements from them.  I just want them on my freaking main.

1) Garrosh
- I have been wanting to kill him since he took power.  I have wanted to kill him since day one on all my alliance characters as well as all my horde characters.  I roll trolls just to hear Vol'Jin talk about sticking a knife in his back because I would love to see that.  There is no reason to like him no matter which flag you carry and he was put into the position to lead for one reason and one reason only, to be killed.  I am going to love killing him.  For an expansion that was supposed to have no bad guy they found one that is ten million times more exciting then deathwing and someone I actually want to die.  I can not wait until the day comes that I stand over his dead body and pull an arrow out of his heart and wipe it on my pants before putting it back in my quiver.  It will be a glorious day for all the citizens of azeroth, horde and alliance alike.  Now that is something to be excited about.

That's it for the 10 reasons I am excited.

Monday Random Thoughts

- Did you ever get the feeling that everything seems a little backwards with how they released this this expansion?

- DS was the easiest raid and it was released last.

- Shouldn't the easiest raid have been released first and then the difficultly built up as the expansion went on?

- I think cataclysm could have had so much more potential if it where not done so ass backwards.

- The beginning dungeons are still hard for some "less than skilled" players.

- I do them from time to time for fun.

- It is amazing getting into a group with everyone 390+ item level and they still can't do them.

- Yes, seriously.

- And these where our first dungeons folks.

- If people are still having problems at 390 item level think back and remember what they where like at 329 item level.

- With skilled players anything is easier but with the average players being more functionally challenged than a fish out of water they where downright hell.

- At least the 390 item level can make them bearable.

- Those dungeons should have been the end game dungeons and the HoTs should have been the starter dungeons.

- Again with the ass backwards design.

- We went into an HoT the other day with the tank and two DPS that had to fake their way in.

- Heck, they needed to fake their way into heroics.

- They where still wearing greens.

- It was no problem.

- That is how the starter dungeons should have been.

- But it was a full guild group, so it is not like it was random people.

- Of course that makes it easier.

- I have seen some horrible wipes in the HoTs too, but not nearly 1/10th of those in the originals and not nearly 1/100th of the zuls.

- Speaking of the zuls, the patch they added them in almost killed the game.

- For me at least.

- They should have remade the two zuls into updated raids, not dungeons.

- And they should have also added three to five supporting 5 mans, which could have used the same maps, that could have lead up to the raids being redesigned.

- It would have meant not only more content, but it would have left the raids as raids, which is what they should have always been.

- Again ass backwards making raids into dungeons.

- The dungeons should have been released as the HoTs first, the originals second and the zuls last.

- I think I even get a headache typing the world zul now.

- Those dungeons give me nightmares.

- How about those 6K DPS types that say, hey, lets do a bear run.

- Hey, why don't you learn to play first.

- And if you happened to carry his sorry ass through a bear run because everyone else was awesome, he would win.

- Sometimes you have to think that there are GMs in the background watching this and they awarded it to the bad player just to see others fume.

- I could imagine the GMs all on lunch break telling their stories about how they screwed with people and them all laughing their asses off.

- I know if I where a GM I would be laughing my ass off.

- It is like whenever someone in a group says I hope {random item} drops it will never drop.

- Yet if no one says anything that item always drops at a near 100% drop rate.

- Makes you think it is some GM is watching and screwing with people and laughing their asses off.

- Yes, I know that does not happen but you know what?

- I am having a fun time just thinking about it, it is making me laugh.

- If they ever did it, I could imagine how much they would laugh if only thinking about it can make me laugh.

- Back to raids.

- I think BWD should have been the last raid.

- With a few more bosses squeezed in of course.

- It was without a doubt, in my opinion, the best raid of this entire expansion.

- It is also the only raid this expansion that I would place firmly into the "good" category.

- Another thing I found funny about this expansion was with the homogenization of the classes I've actually felt as if it was more "bring the class" and less "bring the player".

- I thought the intention of homogenization was to bring the player.

- Those dungeons, at 329 item level, half the people faking even that, with no CC when the game first came out?

- I still have nightmares.

- You needed CC classes.

- Any dungeon, at 329, even with less skilled players, give them 2 hunters and a mage and it was a joke.

- Bring the class... not the player.

- Definitely not working as intended.

- This expansion was all about class stacking, even at the lowest possible levels, dungeons.

- This expansion was all about bring the class.

- Ass backwards, once again.

- Ass backwards, seems to be the motto of today's random thoughts.

- Have a day good.

- I would have said have a good day but I am trying to keep things ass backwards.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Time to Recreate Specs?

After looking at the breakdown of DPS specs and their performance for this tier over at it got me thinking about the reasoning of different specs for pure DPS classes. 

With the changes coming in mists where once you choose a spec you get everything that spec offers and the notation that druids would now effectively have four specs by splitting bears and cats into two different things it got me thinking that perhaps it is time they completely redesign the idea of specs as a whole.

This change shows that they are not bound by the three specs per class option anymore.  That said, maybe it is time to do away with making multiple DPS specs.

Look at survival hunters this tier since the change to them.  They are a top DPS spec again but poor marks and beast mastery are horrid.  Horrid is even too kind of a word for them.  What about mages?  It is either arcane ahead by a mile or fire ahead by a mile but it is always frost that is screwed over.  Even a non pure class like warriors can now see arms being miles ahead of fury in nearly every situation.

Being it seems like blizzard is making the changes they are making to manage balance better, which I think is a fantastic idea, it might be time to lose the duplicates.

Does a warrior really need 2 DPS specs?  A hunter really need 3 ranged specs?  A mage?  A warock?  A rogue with 3 melee specs?

Wouldn't it be easier to balance a class if they did not have 3 of the same thing?  Maybe it will be easier to balance them now with the coming spec changes and it would make this post useless.  Who know really, until we try it we can't say for sure.

Make beast mastery a tank spec and survival a melee spec and leave marksmen the ranged spec.  Or maybe make beast mastery a leveling spec, survival a PvP spec and marks a raid ranged spec.  Or maybe still add some more, make beast mastery the tank spec, survival the melee spec and marks the raid spec and add another spec specifically for PvP and a fifth spec for leveling.

They can add more specs now as they are proving with druids, they are no longer bound by three specs per class, they could roll with 2 or 5 if they wanted to.  They are no longer forced into the three specs per class design which can only mean good things for us in the future hopefully.  In the end you have to ask yourself does any class really need three of the same thing?  Two maybe, just maybe, but three? Would be it so horrible for marksmen to be the raid spec for hunters and the only raid spec?

It would mean people would not need to switch all the time depending on what sims better.  Do you know how many fury warriors I know that are trying to relearn arms because arms sims 20K better then fury in top gear?  It is not like that have a choice really.  Any competent player will always do what is best for the team.  Blizzard having two DPS specs for warriors and calling it a choice is an outright lie.  What choice is it really?  The choice to do bad?

Part of the main reason for the changes is so people can not choose to be bad any more.  That is why they are not letting people mangle their own specs any more and they are just giving them to people.  If they are not going to balance both arms and fury to do nearly the exact same DPS it will always be a case of one being better then the other which basically means, no choice.  Choosing to be protection or arms is a choice.  Choosing to be arms or fury is not.  There is a best option, that means no choice.

Instead of building a design that gives the illusion of choice that really does not exist just change the system so there is no choice.  Turn arms into the PvP spec and make fury the raid spec, or the other way around if you wish.

If the game will never really give a real choice then why even fake it.  I know from my personal experience I am better at  marksmen but when marksmen is showing at around 34K over all and survival is around 54K over all do I really have the choice of which spec I wish to run as?  No, I don't.

There are many hunters out there that are die hard beast mastery and at least for a portion of this expansion they where useful in raiding but for most of the last 4 or so years they have not been.

Given these three options, what do you think the most likely future for specs is?

1) Balance multiple specs of the same thing? (IE: All three rogue specs do the same DPS)
2) Make every class a one of each type spec? (IE: Prot Pally for tank, ret for melee, holy for healing)
3) Adding more variable specs? (IE: spec intended for leveling or PvP)

I think blizzard will keep with option one but I really believe that a combo of option two and three would indeed be the best route to go.  We really do not need three specs that fill the same role for one class, it is wasteful in my opinion unless they do something really different.

I would love to see them balance things so beast mastery, marksmen and survival all did the same damage but I doubt that time will ever come.  Or maybe I am just being pessimistic.  Maybe mists can actually do something that they have not been able to do in 8 years.  If there was ever a way to do it, having specs with no options, like the ones coming in mists, is the best way to do it.  So I will reserve judgement.  For now.