Friday, November 30, 2012

One Step Backwards: Brawlers

The sign of any good company is that they continue to move forward, develop, learn and get better.  Every company, even good ones, will occasionally make mistakes and take one step back however.  This is the situation I see blizzard in right now.  A successful company that seems to have forgotten their past.  What is that saying?  Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

Doomed might not be the correct word for the quote or for what blizzard is doing with the brawlers guild because it is not something that could have been unseen.  It is an active desire to repeat the past on blizzards part and I am just left to wonder why.

Does anyone remember the bad old days when you needed to queue to play the game because your server was so packed you could not get on.  Sometimes it would just be a few minutes but sometimes it would be hours, if the horror stories I heard were indeed correct.  Luckily I have never had pleasure of experiencing that but thanks to blizzard I can experience it, in part anyway, if I wish to play a part of the game known as the brawlers guild.

Not content with the long lines on every server waiting to get in and fight blizzard in their infinite knowledge decided to make it a cross realm zone.  Lets forget for a moment that cross realm zones are probably the worst addition to the game ever from a PvE standpoint, it also means that an already long wait becomes even longer now.  Blizzard said, why have someone wait 30 minutes to do one fight when we can make them wait 3 hours.

Someone must have been reading the forums a little too much over at the blizzard office but not actually reading the posts.  They saw many people yearning for the days of vanilla and looking back with their rose tinted glasses about how great things were.  The problem is, they did not read what people said they liked about that time and said to themselves, self, they loved those long waits to play, lets give it back to them.

So not only do they add something to the game that requires a wait to play aspect but they cross realm it to make that wait 10 times longer.  Not exactly a step forward I would say.  If you ask a million people that remember those times what they thought about queue time to play I am willing to be all one million of them would say they hate it.  So why bring something back to the game that is basically making you wait to play in game instead of waiting to play to get into the game.  Sure, at least people can use chat now while they are waiting, so perhaps it is better than waiting on the outside looking in but just marginally better at best.

One of my guild mates spent 6 hours there over the last 2 days, waiting, and has fought only two fights.  Last night he gave up after standing there waiting for three hours to get in and do one fight.  Three hours standing there to do nothing, is this what they call good game design now?

I am not being my normal grumpy self here, I am not being a naysayer here, I am asking a serious question I would love to see answered with something other than the standard "it is not required you do it" bull shit response.

Who at blizzard thought this was a good idea and why?

I would really love to hear that answered.  Did they really think it would play out any differently then people are seeing and did see and complain about on the PTR.  Did they really think that once it hit live everything would be fine.  Like the problems on the PTR were not really problems.  Just like all the people that reported crashes and other problems with the CRZ and instead of fixing them they just released it as if don't worry, when it hits the masses it will fix itself.  Why even test things if you are not going to listen to the testers?

Why did they take the worst part of vanilla, waiting to play, and bring it back to the game.  The thing is, and I am sure no one could have thought it possible, but they made it worse.  Instead of waiting to play on the outside, you now need to wait to play on the inside.  This means you wait at the ring listening to all these people and most of them from different realms at that.

People have a hard enough time being decent to people they see on their own server there is no way in hell they will be decent to people on other servers.  Seeing people on other servers makes them hostile the second they see them.  I saw at least 100 get off my server comments last night, of course they were in a bit more colorful language than that.  I wish blizzard would notice that people do not like this CRZ stuff and remove it or at the very least remove it from this because in this it is bad for the community, very bad.

A few hours there, for no reason because I did not fight, last night showed me that this addition was the last thing this deteriorating community needed.  Grouping people up that have even less connection to each other and allowing them to insult and abuse other players without any possible repercussions on their community reputation was a stroke of stupidity that I would have not even thought possible if you had let a dust mite design this game.

Lets look at the design here.  Make people wait, meaning they will get frustrated and bored from waiting.  Add to that the continued down turn in the community and how people act to each other.  Then let those people get all packed together with other communities removing even the small boundary that might have had a chance of keeping things civil out of fear of community retaliation because now they can take their frustrations out on someone elses community and guess what you have?  The worst idea blizzard has ever come up with.

Someone said in a response the other day that I can not blame blizzard for the community being the way it is.  I say to them, yes I can.

Blizzard created this situation, they threw random people together and gave them a reason to be angry and upset and then gave them something where they can take it out on each other by adding a competitive aspect to it where people can insult each other without any fear of ban or repercussions.  Yes, I can blame blizzard for the down turn in the community and yes, I am completely right to blame them.  They made this on purpose, they knew what would happen, they did not care, some people like to watch the world burn.

Waiting 3 hours to log on to play was not acceptable back in the day.  Waiting 3 hours to get in a fight that only lasts a minute at best is not acceptable now.  Waiting 3 hours with those drooling half wits insulting each other in chat for no good reason other than they are bored and frustrated is not acceptable either.

People play to play, they do not pay to wait, and they sure as hell to not pay to be verbally abused in game.

When I first thought about this and complained about this I was hoping it would not be as bad as I was making it out to be and it turned out worse because blizzard made it cross realm.  WTF were they thinking?  Make the waits longer and let people stand around and insult others from different realms for even more time?

I swear the amount of stupid connected to this addition is incomprehensible.  I understand that to move forward we sometimes need to take a step back but this is not a step back at all, it is a step forward in the wrong direction, a huge step forward in the wrong direction.

The waiting factor was a step back but gathering massive amounts of people and giving them a venue to spew all their hatred at other people is... unspeakable.  I can not even use the words I want to use about that.

I need to step away from the ring because the more I think about the things I heard people saying to the fighters and each other the more it makes me wish I were a GM because there would be a hell of a lot of banned people.  The things I want to say about that would be better saved for things that come out of my mouth while watching a football game with my buddies and not used here.  See, there is a time and a place for acting like a neanderthal and in a game is not the time or place but watching football with buddies seems more appropriate.

Lets move to the beginning and where you get your invitation.  The black market auction house, or in other words, the addition that proves blizzard actively supports gold buying.

They added the blood soaked invitations as a way to keep things from getting too crowded and then made it cross realm zone to fill it up.

Excuse me?

Did I skip that day at logic school where you do not want things crowed but you make efforts to make it crowded because you don't want it crowded?

Blizzard has been at the front of MMORPG game designing for a long time, they add so many things so often that show everyone else how things should be done, but don't fool yourself, one of the thing other games look at is what fails for blizzard so they can try not to repeat the mistake made by them and this will be hotly discussed at designer tables for a while.  Perhaps on how not to design things or perhaps on how to make it better.

The brawlers club is a great idea and could have a great addition to the game but blizzard dropped the ball, not once (in making people wait to play), not twice (by putting people in an abusive environment), not three times (by supporting gold buying if people want to get into it and can't afford it) but four times (by making it cross realm zone).

Will it get better?  Yes.  As time passes and the novelty wears off to people that just wanted to test it out and others get as far as they want to go in it.  Like myself, once I get all the achievements I will never return.  It will get better, with time.  But the community watching and insulting people win or lose will always make it a horrible environment to be in, that will not get better.

Could it have been made better?  Absolutely.  They could have added a long quest line with challenges appropriate to the types of challenges you would get in the ring instead of charging for entry on the auction market and enticing people to buy gold.  If they wanted to charge a vendor that sells tickets at a set number would have been more appropriate.  They could have added a public or private option to fight so you could just fight all the fights alone if you want to practice or just get the achievements as fast as possible or fight with everyone to see for a chance at extra prizes or something.  They could have added more to do there while waiting and watching.  They could have added more achievements for watching if they wanted people to hang out more instead of creating a long line that people needed to wait in.  There is a lot they could have done to make it better.

In my opinion, when it comes to design, the brawlers guild is one huge step backwards.

I thought those nightmare stories of waiting hours to play even solo content were over, but blizzard bought it back big time.  They added solo play that you have to wait hours to do.

So much for a company that has been worried about getting people out in the world for years.  They made something that not only keeps you from getting out in the world, but keeps you from going out in the world for many hours instead of the few minutes it should.

Many will just write it off as saying if you don't like it don't do it, it is optional content, and they are right.  But if you want to do it you will see it for what it really is, horrible design and a huge step backwards.  Optional content or not, bad design is bad design and the brawlers club is bad design.

If you are after the achievements I have a suggestion for you.  Wait.

If you wait you will have shorter lines, even with cross realm.  Fewer people watching which means less bile filled comments being thrown around as there are fewer people and that means fewer comments and fewer reasons for them to act like jerks because there is not a large captive audience they feel they need to impress with with witty ability to make asses of themselves.

Just hang back and wait if you want achievements.  That is how this new addition to the game should be play, by waiting.  Wait 3 hours or wait 3 months.

The brawlers guild has changed the world of warcraft into the world of waitcraft.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Choose Your Grind: Reputation

Throughout the history of the game, and all games similar, there have been factions you wanted to get reputation with and there have been many ways to go about getting it.  From extremely difficult to so easy you did not even notice you were getting reputation to begin with.

Each person likes what they like.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to someones opinion.  There is always a clear cut easy vs hard when it comes to doing them but even that is only clear cut from the outside looking in.  Some might say dailies are easy so the grind is easy but that is not want I mean.  People will like to do what they like to do.

Which of the types of reputation gaining techniques do you like and dislike?


This is the oldest style of reputation grind in the game.  You could collect runecloth and turn it is for reputation with the main factions on your side.  It wasn't a daily as you could do it as many times as you would like, some call it a repeatable but I save that definition for a different type of grind.  This was a clear collecting grind.  Something that was not in your quest log, just collect and turn in.  A modern example would be the dread amber shards for the klaxxi.  That is a collecting quest.

My Opinion:  I like collecting quests for reputation and think there should be more of them.  They are not required, as they were back in the day if you wanted reputation, but they can be used to help speed things along.  I think all factions should have at least one collecting daily.


A repeatable quest is a quest you pick up and can do over and over as long as you are willing to do them over and over.  I am sure I am wrong but I do not think there are many repeatable quests in the game any more, I can only think of a few.  The wintersaber quest line, as it was, was a perfect example of a repeatable quest line.  You pick up a quest to collect some meat, you finish the quest and turn it in, the quest appears there again to be offered to you should you want to do it again.  And I did. 

I do not think there are any modern examples of a repeatable quests in game.  If anyone wants to see one the only faction I can recall that offers repeatable quests are the sporeggar, a BC faction, who offer a few.  One of which is the humorously titled monty python tribute named bring me a shrubbery.  I think this might be the last repeatable quest hub in the game for gaining reputation.

My Opinion:  I do like repeatable quest for the same reason I like collecting quests.  It lets the player create their own pace.  They can get reputation other ways but they can speed it up if they want to doing these multiple times.  You also won't feel like you are trapped to do it every day, you can do it 7 times on sunday when you are free and not at all the rest of the week and be in the same position as someone that does it every day but only once.  I would like to see every faction have at least one repeatable quest.

Kill Credit:

Kill credit reputation is when you kill a specific mob that gives you reputation with a particular faction.  The kill credit reputation goes as far back as the game and some even had negative kill credit where you would lose reputation with one faction when you kill something.  I don't believe there are any of those outside of vanilla content.  The closest thing we have to kill credit reputation is black price reputation now.  Each kill of a specific type of mob will gain you a small amount of reputation.

My Opinion:  I always loved kill credit reputation grinds.  Another one of those move at your own pace reputation gain.  If you want to spend all day killing to get your reputation up faster more power to you.  Might only be 10 at a time, but it leaves it up to you, the player.  I'd like to see more of those.

Profession Based:

Profession based reputation gaining quests are few and far between and they usually seem to leave someone complaining about them as they are usually gathering type quests and people without gathering skills would be left behind.  There are however updated profession based quests in mists which use secondary skills for dailies to get a little bit of reputation.  For the cloud serpents you can use archaeology, first aid, fishing and cooking to do dailies for some reputation and these are more fair to everyone because while someone might not have a gathering profession everyone has the ability to have secondary professions.

My Opinion:  They are not a bad way to add a small boost to reputation on a daily basis, even more so when using the secondary profession as to not leave anyone without the chance to use them.  I would not be adverse to seeing every faction have at least one of these types of quests.

Dungeon / Raid Kills:

Like the kill credit reputation grind these give reputation for killing things but only in a specific dungeon or raid.  This type of reputation gain started with the game and molten core and was perfected, in my opinion, in the burning crusade.  Since then we have seen every expansion use this type of gain for at least one reputation.  The ashen verdict in ICC and avengers of hyjal in firelands.  So I would be willing to guess we will see one in mists as well.

My Opinion:  Reputation runs were always a good way to pug and get to know people.  My guild recruited a few people from rep runs in wrath and cataclysm thanks to them.  It always made for a decent way to gear an alt because with rep runs came drops and came reputation gear that could be purchased with gold.  I think every raid should have a reputation tied to it and enough trash before the first boss to make rep runs worth running.  It is good for the game, in my opinion at least.


This type of reputation based quest is few and far between and unless I am mistaken, it is also completely gone.  Anyone, like myself, that did darkmoon reputation before it was easy like it is now will tell you the hard work of leveling through crafting quests.  Sure the starter ones for darkmoon were not bad but crafting decks and buying decks just to turn in and then sell the trinket made for a long journey to exalted.  I doubt you would hear many people say good things about crafting quests to get reputation up and perhaps that is why we do not see them any more.

My Opinion:  I think there is a place for these in game as a minimal reputation gaining addition and it could be used to spur the market for all professions by making the things you trade in daily, something that can be sold on the market, thus creating a secondary market for all profession but if we never see this type of reputation gainer in game again I won't complain.

Bounce Around:

The bounce around reputation grind was a type of repeatable quest that was much harder.  Instead of collecting 12 bear meat or something like that you needed to collect items from three different dungeons, some of them being rare drops, and then turn them in for reputation.  These reputation grinds were always the hardest ones and even if you went back and did them when you were a higher level they were still amazingly time consuming.  There are no remaining factions that require you to get reputation like this and I doubt we will ever see a return to that grind design.

My Opinion:  While I would not mind a more involved repeatable I would not care to do something like the bounce around again.  I would, if I felt I had to, but the game has changed, it does not move at the pace it did before any more and a grind like this would mean it puts you behind in other aspects of the game.  There is no place for a grind like this ever again and I do not believe we will see one.


Fight a battlegound, finish objectives, get reputation.  I have yet to get one PvP faction exalted.  The three there are in the game are three of the only four reputations I do not have maxed.  It seems that the PvP faction reputations are a forgotten thing and it seems like we will never see it return.

My Opinion:  I might not be a PvPer and I might not have the three that are already in game maxed but that does not change the fact I think every battleground should have a reputation tied to it.  As long as there is nothing anyone would consider required that comes from it, why not?  Shouldn't you be getting some reputation as a form of thanks for helping the faction you are helping in a battleground?


With wrath a new way to gain reputation came with it.  The tabard system.  You would put on a tabard and gain reputation for the faction you were wearing it for.  This was added before the addition of the random dungeon finder and making note of that is very important because the functionality of the tabard wearing system changed completely once that came out. 

The concept was that instead of doing it like they did in BC were each dungeon had its specific faction you could pick the faction you wanted and do any dungeon to get that reputation.  Being there was still the group assembling time to consider, even with a tabard, gaining reputation could still take time and effort.  Once catalcysm came out, an expansion that started with the dungeon finder already a part of it, it completely trivialized gaining reputation.  People were running dungeons anyway for gear and getting reputation for doing something they were going to do anyway.  The only recent comparison would be buying the tabard for your new panda friends and upping their reputation in your dungeons.

My Opinion:  Good riddance and I hope we never see this system of reputation gain again.  While I do not mind running dungeons for reputation this seemed to make reputation completely irrelevant.  Sort of, why is it even there if I can get it this easy without even doing anything I wasn't going to do anyway while capping my valor for the week and gearing up.  The tabard idea was solid, the tabard + random dungeon finder was not.  Can't remove the dungeon finder so remove the tabard, that is what happened here and I agree with it.

Buy It:

The reputation you buy is not seen often, as a matter of fact I can only think of one time we had any reputation we could buy and that was at the tail end of wrath when you could spend emblems for tokens to use for reputations.  It was not a bad idea for late in the expansion when people were leveling alts but that on top of the tabard system extended the trivialization of reputation to an extreme level.

My Opinion:  Being there is nothing really to spend justice on this expansion and reputation is so important I think it is time we see a return of this to help alts.  Perhaps 1000 justice for 500 reputation and make them BoA.  It would not be a lot of reputation but it would be a nice little boost to alts to help them along even more and a use for the otherwise completely useless justice points.


The staple of the reputation grind as we know it and something that has been around for a while now.  It is the single best way to gain reputation hands down.  There are even different feels of dailies as this expansion shows.  Doing the 3 anglers quests will net you roughly the same reputation that doing the 12 or so golden lotus ones will.  Dailies are something that began in BC and have grown to be more and more a part of the game.  Most of the dailies you did in BC were for cosmetic purposes.  You wanted mounts or a tabard or what have you so you did dailies for that faction to earn reputation.  It grew to being needed for certain enchants and now all valor gear.  Dailies have went from completely optional to completely mandatory to those that want to give it their best.

My Opinion:  Dailies are great to gain reputation and now other things as well.  They have always been a staple of making some extra gold by having quests you can do every day and even in wrath the aspiring mogul would do argent ones on all their characters to get pets to sell to people that did not want to put in the effort.  Many people complain about dailies right now but they are an important part of our game and the time we spend in it, like it or not, and not just for reputation or gold any more.  I like that they added more to them.

As you can see from my opinions, I like the grind of reputation as the only type of grind I truly disliked was the one that completely removed the feeling that I was earning something, the tabard technique, while many people seem to think that was the best way to get reputation ever.  To each their own but as I see it what it all comes down to is I like to grind and feel like I earned something even if it takes time and others just like to get it done as fast as possible with as little effort as possible.

If blizzard were to use the history of reputation gains and incorporate more options into each grind I think it would be possible to please both me and those like me, who like the grind, and others, who don't.  Adding kill credit, repeatable and collecting quests and maybe even buying it lets me grind it faster, so I get to grind and still feel like I am grinding even if it is faster, and it lets people that just want to get it done be able to do it as fast as possible if they put some effort in.

Reputation gains and how we gain it has changed a lot over the years, it is ever evolving, I can't wait to see what the next expansion might bring.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5.1 - A Return to Cataclysm

I am not sure if there would be a better way to explain what I think of 5.1 than to say it is a return to cataclysm.  Cataclysm was a series of good ideas implemented badly.  That is 5.1 my friends.

Lets not even talk about all the stealth nerfs that are not in the notes like changing the how many golden lotus you get from a spirit from 3 to 2.  It would have been nice to get some notice here because I usually buy 300 a week, now I can only get 200.  Thank you blizzard for effectively screwing me out of 100 golden lotus.

They could have mentioned it was being changed, they could have left it as was because it was fine, they could have at least given us a reason for a change that was not needed, asked for, or desired by anyone.  This is just one in a series of changes that blizzard, in the infinite wisdom, decided not to tell anyone about.

Trust me, there are a lot more of these little changes that are unnoted.  Not just the golden lotus nerf.  I won;t ruin all the ones I've found just now, I'll let you find some of them yourself and get pissed off over them.

This is cataclysm design, doing stupid things for stupid reasons.  5.1 is a return to that concept of game design.  Didn't blizzard notice that cataclysm was the biggest failure they ever had and if they had noticed it why follow the formula of bad design into what has started as a fantastic expansion this far?

I could go on and on about the nerfs to hunters in PvP but I won't go on about it too long as I am not active on the PvP front enough to care more than knowing blizzard was 100% wrong to do what they did.

One short, really short, patch that hunters where powerful and they felt the need to not only nerf them but to overnerf them to the point where they are useless in PvP again.  The bestial wrath / lynx rush combo was too powerful in PvP so they had to screw them both up.

How about you tell people to get better at PvP instead of nerfing something that did not need to be nerfed?  Anyone that is even a half way decent player would hit a defensive cooldown when the hunter does their BW/LR combo and take little or no damage from it with the knowledge that when that is over the hunter really has no ability to burst them down again

So instead of telling people that they need to, you know, actually play better, they nerf the only burst that hunters have in PvP.  Mages have been insanely over powered in PvP and PvE for what, 5 or 6 years now, and they have never seen a nerf.  Hunters are OP, against bad PvPers only, for 2 months and they have to nerf it ASAP.  Nice way to tell a class to bend over because they are getting a surprise.  Did a hunter offend you ghostcrawler and this is how you are getting your revenge?  More bad ideas here.

Speaking PvP how about them new dailies.  As if we did not have enough of them already some might say, I welcomed them.  I was done on my main with all the others for a month already so it is a nice addition to feel as if there were dailies worth doing again.  Or lets say they could have been a nice addition.  Except blizzard in their infinite wisdom screwed the pooch on this one again but being we are returning to the cataclysm era of screwing up every good idea, what else is there to expect.

I know that the intention of mists is to being the war back to warcraft but lets face it, a large portion of the player base does not PvP and many are like myself, drawn to the game because they are lifelong fans of the genre and not for PvP.

For many of the lesser skilled players and players that do not understand the battle design and what can flag them for PvP the new dailies mean they will spend their entire day walking from the graveyard thanks to the fact that the quests are so close to flagged NPC that will cause them to be flagged.  People from the opposing faction sit waiting for a PvE player to accidentally get themselves flagged and land for a quick and easy kill.  On a PvP server this is an awesome area and it makes me wish I had a max level character on a PvP server but on a PvE server this is a place for griefers to have fun doing what they do, griefing others who accidentally got themselves flagged.

You can't always blame the player either.  You walk into an area with enemy NPCs and get yourself flagged, that is your own fault.  Man up and fight.  Hearth and wait for the flag to wear off.  Or die and wait until the flag is gone before reviving.  You made your bed, you lie in it.

However, that is not the problem, the problem is in game design.  Back in BC they made a change to coding where if you were doing AoE and were not flagged it would not hit flagged targets and flag you.  In cataclysm, yes, the worst expansion in warcraft, they broke that.  What do you expect, cataclysm broke everything.  Now you get flagged for anything that might hit the enemy, even if you are not flagged.  Have your pet in tank spec and it does its thunderstomp, better hope there is not a flagged person around because you are now going to be flagged.  I've seen people stand on top of pets waiting for the pet to do something like that just to flag the person.  Has not happened to me yet because I know how it works and I single target in areas where there are flagged people running around, but I have seen it happen to others.

The makers of the game need to understand PvP is fine on PvP servers but on PvE servers things like this are not as welcome.  When I want to fight I flag myself, when I want to quest, I don't.  They should not have me have to watch everything I do out of fear of accidentally flagging myself.  I am there to do dailies, not to fight and the majority of people on PvE servers are the same way.  If you are there to fight you should man up and switch to on a PvP server where you would be facing people that want to fight and not jumping people from behind that do not want to fight, do not know how to fight and are already in battle and at low health to begin with.

There were flagged people standing on top of all quest objective mobs hoping someone would accidentally hit them or do an AoE and get themselves flagged and they would kill them.  These PvP heroes, players that like to play PvP but are not good at it so they roll on a PvE server and kill the only people they are capable of killing, pure PvEers, like to go around and grief the people because they know they will not fight back as all they want to do it go about their questing.

Blizzard has given these PvP heroes the ability to grief these people by making incidental AoE flag them.  Thanks blizzard.  I guess I need to write an article on how to effectively not flag yourself when questing in these areas now, because if yesterday showed me anything, most people have no clue.  I was watching people get flagged accidentally and seeing dozens of people on them in a matter of seconds.  They were griefing non PvPers because they were flagged due to bad design, not because of a desire to PvP.  Yeap, that is cataclysm all over again, good idea, bad implementation.  PvP because you want to is good, PvP because it was accidental while doing a quest is not.

How about those quests you can get from turning in commendations, are you enjoying them?  I will go out on a ledge here and say your answer will be an astoundingly loud hell no.  I wrote about bad drop rate quests yesterday and said that for the most part blizzard has gotten much better with these.  Leave it to blizzard to make me wrong the day after I post something.

I did all three of the quests you can buy and it took me two and a half hours to get them all done.  I had no time to do anything else, did not even do my other dailies, run LFRs, anything to cap out my valor like I normally do on tuesdays because I spent two and a half hours on these quests that have drop rates that are not quite as bad as the old moonsaber ones but they sure as hell bring back memories of that.

Few mobs, many people doing it, extremely low drop rate, does not equal fun blizzard.  Back to cataclysm design, good idea, bad implementation.  Having 3 additional daily quests you can buy and start with commissions is a great idea.  Having those three dailies take me longer to complete then it would do do every other single daily in the game is a bad idea.

Do you want the real kicker to these horrible new dailies that take all day to finish?  No reputation.  No F'N reputation.  I did all of this to get the new faction up as fast as possible for nothing?  What?  Who decided on this retarded idea?  Who wasted my entire time to play last night for no reason what so ever?  Well, this time it was me that wasted my time but I assure you will I never do these quests again.  They should have said I would not get any reputation from them, that would have been nice of them.  How the hell do you offer three dailies for a faction, that you have to buy at that, and they do not give you any reputation?  Back to cataclysm's motto, if there is something we can screw up, we will and we will screw it up even worse than you expect.

Top that all off with the new addition of the brawlers club and the ticket system that benefits the people with no jobs and people that play on off hours.  I wrote a post a short while back about all the things that are wrong with it and guess what, blizzard did not fix any before they released it, they are all things that are still wrong with it.  So people that have no jobs will be able to get the tickets first because they can be on all day to get them and people that play on off hours will have the ability to wait 15 minutes to fight when I, playing at prime time, will probably have to wait hours, if I can even get a ticket to get in.

I wonder how they decided on doing things like this.

Idea Man: "I've got a great idea, we can make something like fight club where people sit around and watch others fight"
Naysayer Man: "It is a great idea but it is a bad idea to make people wait to play.  Lets phase it so everyone can do it when they want to do it."
Bad Idea Man:  "But we can do something with it I am sure, it is a good idea, maybe if we make people have to buy their way in and put those things in limited supply on the black market auction house."
Worse Idea Man: "And don't phase it so people are forced to watch and wait hours to fight."
Ghostcrawler:  "Nice work guys, but can we make it worse?  It is still too good for these people."
Naysayer Man:  "Do you really think it is a good idea to make people wait hours to play a game?  What are you all smoking?"
Ghostcrawler: "Naysayer man, you're fired.  Maybe you will learn to never bring up logic and common sense into game development on your next job."

They took a good idea and bounced it around until they destroyed it.  How does a company with this much experience in the gaming industry decide on something like this?  Now more than ever I wish I played on off hours.  At least if I want to do this.  It would be easier to win a ticket, it would be a shorter wait to get into a fight, it would be a little closer to how it should be.  As it is, as a prime time player with limit time, it is a horrible idea and being most people play at prime time, hence the reason it is prime time, this design is a bad idea over all.

5.1 is a return to cataclysm.  A return to good ideas implemented poorly.  A return to changes that were not need or asked for or even understandable why they were made.  Cataclysm was the worst expansion ever, why are they trying to emulate it so soon after such a fantastic release of a new expansion.

5.1 wasn't all bad however, there were some good changes and additions.  And it could have been worse, they could have remade AQ 20 and AQ 40 and made them incredibly hard for the average player and made it so we had to grind only those two over and over again, but I guess they will save that sort of horrible design for a future update, just to prove they can make things worse.

Being able to enter old raids without being in a raid group is good.  Having some old raid bosses drop pets is good.  Having those items be on use and not soulbound is good.  It is not all bad, but in the end it was not good either.

My Opinion of 5.1: 
Rating: One and a half stars
Comment: 5.1 was an extremely poor excuse to break addons for.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are Some Concepts Dated? Repairs, Tagging and More.

All games need to develop and adapt.  Even different games take from them things that existed in games of the same type earlier and update them to the times. 

Take, for example, rift with how it handles quest items.  If you get something you are supposed to use for a quest it does not take up bag space, it goes in your quest log, if you have to collect items for a quest it does not go in your bag, it goes in your quest log. 

Simple things handled simple ways shows progress in making a game better and while something like that is so small and would go unnoticed by many it is a huge advance in how this type of game is played from a quality of life standpoint.  The question is, what concepts are dated and what should be updated.  Lets start with those quest items as I give my opinions.

Quest Items: (The Items)

As in the example above it shows that quest items can be handled a different way.  How many of us were questing years ago and noticed that our bags seemed to be full with quest items all the time? 

Lets face it, when you are leveling your bag space is limited.  When one quest giver sends you to pick up four flowers, each taking a bag space and another gives you an item to use on 12 mobs and collect items, taking up 2 additional spaces, all when you are level 12 and most likely only have your starter bag and maybe a 6 slot bag if you got lucky, having 6 bag spaces clogged up like that is a real hassle.

If it were not for rift showing us how it could be done so well we might not know how it should be done but being we see how it can be done it should be done like that. 

My Verdict: Without a doubt, how quest items are handled is a dated concept that needs to be changed.

Quest Items: (The Drops)

Gone are the days of spending six hours hunting down nightsabers for a few pelts.  Any of us that ever did the quest I am talking about will know what I mean.  Going up and down the coast killing nightsabers like a mad man for hours on end two or three days in a row just to complete that one quest.  You would out level the quest by the time you turned it in because you spent so much time killing them and this is well before heirloom gear giving you extra experience, it was just the shear amount you needed to kill that got you that experience.

Either way, enough of the nightmarish trip down memory lane, blizzard has updated it.  Some.  There are still a few quests that seem to have low drop rates and some of them just happen to be our new dailies.  Bad enough funneling everyone into the same area on the same quest but asking them to collect 5 of something from a slow respawn mob with a horrible drop rate and many people doing it at the same time is just not fun for anyone.

The low drop rate quests time has come and gone.  In a game that has changed in an effort to funnel you to the end game as soon as possible it means there is no longer a need for low drop rates.  There is no longer a need to have you gain your experience killing as many mobs as possible.  There is no longer a reason to keep you busy with mundane tasks.   There is much more to do in the game now.  So much so that keeping people busy with low drop rates, while level or doing quests at max level, is not good design any more.

My Verdict:  It is time for 100% drop rates on quest items.  If the game wants us to collect 5 and it have a 25% drop rate, just change it to 100% drop rate and ask us to collect 20 instead.  It would be better design.

Mob Tagging:

Some call this a great idea and others call it a horrible one.  I can see both sides of the argument because both sides have a valid point.  But is the tagging design a thing of the past, is it dated?

Blizzard seems to think so, to some extent.  The end boss of a quest line is now what we call a shared kill.  Anyone that even gets one shot in gets credit for the kill or can loot the item from it.  This was a big change and it fits the design that blizzard seems to be heading toward.  Moving people to max level faster with less waiting time and more playing time.  It also works for dailies, you can do more if you are not waiting forever for your turn to attack an end quest line mob.

But is it time for it to move further and go to all mobs?  I am not exactly sure the game should ever move that way unless they completely change how looting is designed.   For example, say I am on my hunter and I am farming for motes or what have you and I have 20 mobs on my pet and I am AoEing them down and just as they are about to die some melee class comes running in, tags them all with one AoE move and then bends and loots before I can because they are right there and I am at range when I was the one that did all the work gathering them and all the work killing them and they only came in for their one shot and took all the loot that I worked for.  So no, I do not see this working on a greater scale, as is at least.

Perhaps a combination of the two needs to be added to the game.  Shared kills like end quest mobs and mob tagging.  Whoever tags the mob gets the loot but whoever helps gets credit for the kill, if they are on the quest, or the ability to look a quest item, if they are on the quest.  Whomever attacked the mob first should always be the person that gets the loot.  That could even be adjusted now for those end quest ones.

This would actually inspire people to help each other because it helps themselves as well.  If that someone sees me killing those 20 mobs and they are on a quest to kill some I just made their life easier as they are now one AoE away from finishing their quest, and they made my life easier as I get a hand downing the mobs I am grinding for whatever my reasons might be.  I get my loot, because that is what I was after, they get their kill credit, because that is what they were after, and we are both happy with how it turned out.  It moves toward creating a community that works together instead of one that fights itself like it seems to do now.

My Verdict:  Mob tagging is a thing of the past and needs to be updated.


I hear people all the time saying things like, 141 gold repair bill, when repairing after a few wipes.  I personally can't tell you what my repair bills cost because I never look.  I click repair and move on because the amount of money you make in game now means the repair bill is nothing.  I could raid and wipe 24/7 for the next three years and probably still not burn through the gold I have.  But that is just me, I often hear people in raid complain they do not have enough gold to repair their gear, so I give them a few hundred which will more than cover the nights raiding even if we do amazingly horrible that night.

So with the two extremes, me and the millions like me that never even notice what the cost is, and the ones that have little or no gold that complain about it all the time, is the idea of repairs a dated idea?

Perhaps it is a dated idea but it is a dated idea with a purpose and there is no reasonable replacement for it, at least not one I can find.

Repairs are a gold sink, the perfect one even, it is something everyone experiences and the more you do the more gold you get so the more you do causes more wear and tear on your gear and more you need to spend on repairs so it equals out, unless you are foolish about your gold.  It is not much gold wise but even if you do not realize it that small repair cost adds up and lots of gold is taken out of the game each day because of it.

My Verdict:  It is a dated idea, but it has no replacement, so it is a good one as is.

Flight Paths:

I remember grinding reputation with the Cenarion Circle but killing the twilight guys for their texts that I could turn in for reputation.  I would get home from work and log in and jump on the flight path from Darnassus to Silithus and then go about the things I needed to do around the house.  I would take a shower, clean up a little, maybe even grab a bite to eat and most of the time when that was all said and done I would sit down and still have not landed yet.

At least it was not like it was earlier where I would have not been able to leave because flight paths only went from one to another and I would have needed to sit there to continue my flight.  So for me, that one long trip was a great way to do it, much better than being forced to sit there.

Well, just like the time changed from stopping at every flight point to one long non-stop flight they keep changing, but they have not changed enough.  The added that lower levels get flight points automatically when they reach a certain level, I love that, no long trips to a new area by foot any more just to grab the flight point because it connected to somewhere else you wanted to go but couldn't unless you had that one flight point and that is a great time saver.  They added the guild bonus to fly faster on flight paths, which is a nice little addition.  But even with those things they have not changed enough.

There are still flights you can take where it will brings you around the world to go some place you could have went directly too.  Why bring me around 4 different zones when the flight path I want to go to appears right next to where I am on the map?  Why can I not just fly directly there?

The old reason was that many areas were unmade, so we did not fly over them on purpose so we would not see unmade areas but once flying was added to the old world everything was made so we can fly over it now as there were no empty unmade places. 

Flight paths need another update, direct flight paths.  The flight from darnassus to silithus is nowhere near as horrible as it used to be and I have not timed it recently but it still takes an extremely long time for a game that has learned in many other aspects that time is a factor in enjoying game play.  A direct path would make it even faster.

My Verdict:  The concept of flying from A to B is not a dated idea, it is a good idea.  The idea of sending us around the world through C, D, E, F, G, H, and I on our way from A to B and not giving us direct flights however, is dated and needs to be changed.

PvE Gear:

This will end up being a post of its own as I have an idea I would really like to share but I will not delve too much into that at the moment.  There was a time, before my time, when there was no such thing as PvP gear and PvE gear.  There was some gear that might be more useful for one thing or another but all gear could be used for everything.  All the best tanks in the game had gear we would call PvP gear in today's society.

Is PvE gear the offshoot or is PvP gear the offshoot?  Who knows, but is the idea of different types of gear a dated concept?  Kind of odd when you look at the older system and see only one type of gear and think the older idea was the better idea.  Wouldn't older be more dated?  So was the one type of gear idea dated or is the two types of gear that replaced it dated.

In a game that is always trying to simplify things to make it easier for people to understand is the two types of gear for two types of things really a good idea?

My Verdict:  Loose PvE gear.  Make all gear PvP gear and you can use it for raiding or for player vs player.  There is no need to have different types of gear and if anything it hinders the flow of game play to have to keep changing back and forth, not to mention all that wasted bag space for extra sets.

Bag Space:

I read an excellent article some years back about limited space in games and why choosing how much space you offer a player can significantly impact their game play experience.  I wish I could find it because if I could perhaps reading it again will remind me why having limited space is a good idea.  Without that article I look at it from the standpoint of a player who has no bag space left.

We have profession materials, we have fun toys, archeology finds, BoAs, holiday stuff, transmog stuff, stuff me might use later if we get something else, stuff we might transmog later if we can get the whole set and if you happen to be dual spec you might have two sets of gear, four sets of gear if you PvP as both.

Where does it end?  There is so much worth keeping for actual use, for fun, or sale or for cosmetic reasons and there is so little space to keep it in.

There is a lot that can be done, let profession items stack to 1000 if in a profession bag.  Make bigger bags.  Add more bank slots.  All of these are just patches.  As more things come out there will be more things we want to hold on to and for every one space we clear now there will be two things looking to fill it later.

Some games have just abandoned the idea of bag space and made things like a giant bag that can hold everything with a search.  Is this the future of wow and should it be?

My Verdict:  The limited bag space idea is a dated concept, even more so being blizzard is making an effort to keep adding toys it apparently wants us to keep and play with.  It is something that needs to be changed.

Dual Spec:

With all the advances to the game to make it easier to do thing while out in the world where is the ability to change our specs in the world.  We can change out skills in the world now being there are no real skills, just secondary abilities, or at least they are treated as such.

So you have to ask yourself is there a reason we can not just choose any spec we want while out in the world now.  A rogue can go from assassination to subtlety or combat and back if they want to instead of just picking two to be only.  Is limiting us to only 2 specs dated?

My Verdict:  You should be able to switch back and forth between all 3 (or 4 if you are a druid) at will if you wanted to.  I think this restriction is dated.

Gearing Dual Spec:

I mentioned PvE and PvP gear, I mentioned two specs of gear in the bags, and I mentioned that would mean 4 sets of gear for the person with two specs and both raids and PvPs.  Gear is a means to an end, we need it to play at our top level we are capable of playing at but I look at this the same as I look at the PvE gear issue.  Why even have it different sets?

Should a Shaman just use all the intellect mail no matter what spec they are in?  How about a druid that likes to switch back and forth, should they need 4 sets of gear for each time they change around or 8 if they are playing both ends of the game?

Perhaps it is time the game stopped making gear spec dependent and make it class dependent.  Just like a hunter uses agility mail or a mage uses intellect cloth and they might reforge things around a little differently but they are completely capable of switching specs and still doing decently without reforging whereas a holy paladin can not just switch to protection and start tanking, they need additional gear for it.

My Verdict:  It is time to lose the "gear by spec" design and change it to a "gear by class" design.  The gear by spec concept is dated.  Not to mention it is completely unfair to the classes that have no choice but to have two, or more, sets of gear because of it.

Faction Loyalty:

Want a horde dwarf or an alliance troll?  I know many people that do and with the advent of panda being able to choose sides you have to wonder if the other races are far behind.  Is faction loyalty a dated idea?

Every game has sides, good guys or bad guys if you wish, which one is which depends on the side you choose of course but all games of this sort have always had sides. Different groups headed for the same objective in their own way with their own set of morals and tactics.  It is a staple of sorts and has been for some time now.

Even more the advent of choosing sides there were always certain races you could play and certain ones you could not.  They did not intermingle.  It is just the way things have always been.

My Verdict:  I want to play an alliance troll.  I like trolls and I like alliance even if I hate the back story to them because they feel like they are always the underdog defending themselves against the unrelenting forces of an aggressor that is more brutal than they could ever even imagine to be. But in the same breath trolls are awesome, mon.

What other concepts might you put on the block as dated and in desperate need of an update?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Random Thoughts

- I think I burnt myself out on pet battles.

- Top 1000 in the world now if you believe wow progress.

- Basically most of that in one weekend.

- Spent the entire weekend leveling pets.

- I didn't intend to, that is just how it works.

- Start battling and before you know it the entire day is gone.

- I swear pet battles are more addictive than heroin.

- Not sure about just adding up number of pets, rarity, and level.

- Doesn't seem like a solid way to judge a team but it is something I guess.

- Hard to make a ranking system for something that was not meant to be competitive.

- Something else I noticed is that pets will be the death of me.

- I have OCD about finishing things.

- Like reputation has to be 999/1000, just being exalted is not enough.

- Even missing that 1 bugs the crap out of me.

- This means having an uncommon is not enough.

- This means having a level 14 is not enough.

- I will need to catch a rare of everything and get everything to 25 or I will not consider my team complete, or done.

- I spent three hours this weekend looking for one rare.

- I leveled 7 pets from 6-15 in that time while fighting mobs looking for it.

- I finished off getting one of each pet type of pet to 25 for that achievement also.

- The undead one was the hardest.

- I can't find an undead pet I like.

- Ended up just picking any rare and running with it, just for the achievement.

- 13 pets away from 400 now.

- I like pet battles, and I hate them just the same.

- I do not mind grinding a pet to 25, no problem.

- I do hate checking spawn spots 5 times a day for weeks and still never seeing a rare spawn.

- Another horrible side effect of cross realm zones.

- Five or more servers worth of pet hunters looking for one pet that is a super rare spawn to begin with is not my idea of fun.

- Not sure who's idea of fun that would be.

- It makes competition more than competition, it turns it to luck and you know I hate luck as a deciding factor for anything in game.

- I'll level any pet from 1 to 25 even if it takes hours and hours on end.

- I do not want to spend those hours and hours on end camping one space doing nothing hoping to get lucky and get a spawn.

- And I sure as hell do not want to do it with 5 or 6 or 7 servers worth of people camping the same spot.

- Add to that you never know what server you will be on when you enter a cross realm zone.

- They say that it is best to try after server restart, which is another story all together.

- Why am I penalized for having a job?

- To the point I can never see a spawn because I actually work during the day.

- Putting that aside, how do I know the server I will show up on has had their server reset.

- Just because my server just reset doesn't mean the server they throw me on will have just reset.

- What if I log on after server reset and go to that zone and it is one hour ahead of me, that means their reset happened an hour ago and I missed it.

- What if I log on after server reset and go to that zone and it is two hours earlier, I have to wait 2 more hours?

- What if I wait that 2 more hours and go back and now that server is only 1 hour behind me and not two, which means once again I missed it by an hour.

- Screw cross realm zones.

- If blizzard has its heart content to ruin some aspects of the game with cross realm zones at least, at the very least, only put servers in the same time zone together.

- Is that really that much to ask?

- It would fix the timer issues and it would mean that the fishing tournaments could be started again.

- Either that or create an Azeroth time and have every server in the entire world run off Azeroth time and not our time.

- That way everyone plays in the same time zone, US or UK, won't make a difference.

- If I reference 2 PM it would be 2 PM Azeroth time, not my time, not my server time, game time.

- And someone even from the other side of the world would know the exact time I am talking about because when it is 2 PM on their server it is also 2 PM on mine.

- Cross realm zones are a joke but the bigger joke is that blizzard did not even once consider that time issues would be a problem.

- How do these people hold jobs if something as simple as the concept of telling time completely passes over their heads?

- Not the brightest blubs in the bunch I tell you.

- I caught a bot this weekend and I reported it.

- I put in a ticket at first, in hopes to getting a quick response and action to it instead of just right clicking the name and reporting for cheating.

- Blizzard responded within seconds to my ticket.

- Amazing what using the words bot and hack in your ticket will do.

- You will love the response they gave me.

- They told me that they do not handle that sort of thing.

- So a level 85 flying across jade forest is okay?

- I don't know about you, but you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a character flying in a zone that they can't possible fly in is using a hack of sorts.

- This should be the easiest part of a GMs job, no need for an investigation, it is a hack plain and simple.

- An 85 flying is proof in and of itself.

- But don't worry, blizzard said they do not care.

- Seriously, they said it is not their job.

- So instead of saying they will turn that information over to some one that can do something about it.

- So instead of going over there themselves and seeing this level 85 and banning him.

- So instead of doing what we paid subscriptions in part for.

- They just say "not my job" and ignore the fact someone is breaking the ToS?

- They even had the balls to send me a questionnaire asking me what I thought of my recent ticket and how it was handled.

- You should know by now I tell the truth and if they do not want to hear the truth they should stop sending me these things.

- I said, I observed a level 85 flying in a level 90 zone mining and put in a ticket so they could ban the account.  I was told it was not their problem.  So botting and hacking are legal now?  When did the ToS change, please get back to me and let me know so I can get a bot program too being it is now allowed.

- I am expecting a ban myself.

- I reported it from a few different characters using the right click thing and each report I got increasing hostile with them.

- I did not do them one after the other, I did them over time.

- 1st report.  This level 85 was seen flying, yes flying, in jade forest gathering nodes.  It is clearly a bot using a flying hack of some sort.  Come take a look for yourself.

- 2nd report.  A few hours ago I reported this level 85 flying around picking node and it is still doing it.  Do you have any intention of banning them.  It was reported hours ago.

- 3rd report.  Bot is still at it and you still do not care it seems.  What is taking you so long to ban a level 85 flying in a zone they can not fly in.  What more proof do you need?  Do your jobs already.

- 4th report.  The bot I reported a still running around, please tell me if this is now legal and I am just wasting my time.  The last thing I need is to get banned myself for reporting someone for doing something that is not illegal.  If it is legal now I will stop reporting it but you have to let me know.  Communication is a good thing.

- 5th report.  I know it is not your job to actually do anything useful as you are proving by your inaction but could you at least attempt to give a crap and ban this 85 flying around jade forest mining and picking herbs.  At least pretend like you give a shit.

- 6th report.  I hate to tell you how to do your job but since you can not figure it out I will help.  Come take a look for yourself, see him flying, see his level as 85, see the zone does not allow a level 85 to fly, now for the hard part, use your brain and notice he is a bot and ban him.

- I bounced from character to character making reports every few hours all day long, had guild mates do the same, report on all their characters.

- All in all I would say this bot alone had over 40 tickets put in by the right click and choose cheating option.

- Those are just the ones I know about, who knows how many others noticed it and took the time to report it.

- All day long this went on and blizzard did nothing.

- A GM responded to my ticket really fast to tell me it is not his job basically but they could not take 3 seconds out of their busy day of scratching their balls to go look for themselves and to do their job.

- How much do you want to bet I get banned for abusing the report feature for reporting the bot from all my characters before the bot gets banned?

- The way blizzard works that would make perfect sense.

- Ban the person doing the right thing, let the person doing the wrong thing get away scott free.

- Welcome to wow. (see last post if you do not get that reference)

- Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Welcome to wow

Welcome to wow.  It sounds nice enough just looking it it.  Someone saying, welcome to the game I play and enjoy, hope you have as much fun as I do.  The thing is when someone says that in game that is not what they mean, not any more at least.  Welcome to wow has taken a completely new meaning in game and I have been seeing it more and more.

So what does welcome to wow mean now?  It means, welcome to the game where everyone will do everything they can to screw you over and ruin your game play for their own fun.  And that is acceptable behavior here.

I've been hearing more and more stories of people acting badly and defending themselves by saying "welcome to wow" as if that is a way of saying that you are supposed to act that way in this game.  I've even seen the comment a few times and been victim of it once myself.  Welcome to wow, this is how we act here.

Warrior: Why did you roll need on the strength ring?
Warlock: Because I can, welcome to wow.

Things like that are the new standard.  People using welcome to wow as an excuse to behave badly.  As if they are saying that it is acceptable because this is wow, this is how you are supposed to act here.  In a LFR run the other day one of the healers was in shadow form DPSing and when someone mentioned it in raid and another person pointed out they probably just did it for the quick queue and wanted to start a kick.  The priest said, welcome to wow, just deal with it, and pulled so he could not be kicked.

The one time I was a victim to the new welcome to wow phenomenon that seems to be going around was in a random dungeon.  As least the guy added, have a nice day, after he did what he did, but that only made it worse because it shows he was planning to be a jerk the whole time ahead of time.  We zone in, he pulls as many mobs as he can and says, welcome to wow, have a nice day, and drops group which of course lead to a wipe.  That was one huge jerk move but because he said welcome to wow that means it was all acceptable, because that is how people are supposed to act in wow.

A guild mate of mine was killing a rare in the wastes when a paladin landed near by and proceeded to round up all the mobs in the area and ran right on top of him and the rare he was fighting and bubbled, causing all the mobs to go after my friend and killing him instantly and then he tagged the rare after they killed him.  He whispered the paladin with some choice words that while rude and unkind to say the least I think were well deserved by the major asshattery that the paladin just pulled and the paladin just replied with the three words that make it all okay to act like that, welcome to wow.

It is almost as if saying welcome to wow absolves you of all your sins.  Saying welcome to wow means that you are pointing out that this is how you are supposed to act in the game.  The dropping aggro on others is rampant this expansion, I think it is some sort of bug and doubt it is supposed to work like that but it does.  Everyone is using it to get other people killed and then defending their actions by saying, welcome to wow.

When did this happen and why did I not get the memo?  I was not aware that these types of actions were now the expected way to play the game.  You even see it on the forums when someone complains about something that they have all rights to complain about.  Like the warlock rolling on a strength piece.  The warrior goes on the forums to ask why a warlock is even allowed to roll on it, a valid question in my opinion, and the reply they get from the community is, welcome to wow, stop crying, that is how we do things here.

This is not acceptable.  This is not how a community should be.  If the warrior goes on the forums to complain a warlock rolled on a strength piece and won the community should back them up and all call the warlock out for being a jerk because they were a jerk and deserve to be called one and even blackballed by the community for acting like that and not end up being rude to the warrior that was the victim of some warlock acting like that.  Instead, our community just supports the warlock for rolling on something they should not have rolled on to begin with and tells the warrior that is how this game is played, welcome to wow.

It continues to get worse and worse as time goes on and blizzard continues to turn a blind eye to the community and the speed at which it is getting worse and worse.

When welcome to wow turned from "welcome to the game hope you enjoy it" to "welcome to the game where you are supposed to act like a jerk and even get rewarded for it" you know the community is on its final leg.

The community has always been hit or miss.  There are some bad ones out there and there are some good ones out there but more and more it is seeming as if the people that act badly get rewarded for it and this shows people that acting badly is how you should act.  The game wants us to act like a jerk.

I'll admit, I've even joined the dark side once or twice and I don't regret it.  One time I landed in front of a rare and was switching my pet to tank when someone swooped in and landed on the rare they saw I was going for.  Now normally, if they were already attacking it before I got there I would have helped, I have no issues helping others out even if they are of the opposite faction, but they stole it from me so screw them, I won't help them steal my kill.  I figured I would just hang out and if they failed I would take the kill that was rightfully mine.  No big deal, I was not going to make a stink over it, he beat me to the tag by being a jerk but it happens because this game is filled with jerks.

The mob did an AoE that made my pet run in, I dismissed it because like I said, I was not going to help him.  The person said in say, come on, help me.  I replied, no, you stole my kill why should I help you?  They said, don't be a jerk.  I relied, sorry, just acting like you acted stealing my kill.  He called me an asshole, so I decided to act like one.  I went and pulled as many mobs as I could and feigned death right on top of him only to watch him die a few seconds later.  I then called my pet out and tagged the rare and killed it.

Oddly enough, this person seemed to learn.  When they got back to their body and popped up, they helped me kill the rare and said, sorry.  Perhaps they realized they were the bad guy here, not me.  Perhaps they were the victim of the welcome to wow thing that is going around and they thought that is how they were supposed to act and our interactions showed them that is wrong.  Perhaps he just felt bad that he talked the talk but could not walk the walk and was eating a little crow right now.  Whatever it may be, at least he said he was sorry.

The game is going in the wrong direction when it comes to community and blizzard really needs to do something to stop this.  When the meaning of welcome to wow changed from being something people said to be be nice into something they say to justify being an asshole you know we were entering the last phase of civility.  The game is going to a very bad place community wise and I see no way to save it from a player standpoint.  As players we are outnumbered by the jerks, only blizzard can do something to save it.

Blizzard has worked really hard of recent in trying to make as vibrant a game as they possibly can to keep it alive and flourishing but they lost track of the community along the way and are letting the community destroy what they worked so hard to create by their inaction.  No matter how great they make the game, it is an MMO, and it will always be judged on the people that play it in the end.  A+ for mists blizzard, F for what you let your community fall into by your inaction.

Don't like it?  Welcome to wow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Favortie Types of Battle Pets + Bonus Tip for Rare Hunters

There are two ways I can classify my favorite battle pets.  Ones I like and ones I like to fight with.  As I had mentioned before while writing here each one of my characters has a pet that fits their personality.

My hunter has had his sporebat ever since it was found out that it can make rogues bleed from their anus, my priest has used her giant sewer rat since the day she caught it, my warrior and mojo have been best friends for many years and my druid fell in love with her onyxia whelpling the moment they met when WoW anniversary gifts were actually cool.

For me it always seemed like certain pets found their way to their rightful owner.  They just clicked.  Now that pets are more then just little companions that follow you around the choice of which ones to use are more than just cosmetic for me.  Even if the ones that follow me around has not changed.

My sprorebat and onyxia whelpling are 25 now but my sewer rat is only 18 and mojo is unused as of now.

So what makes a good team for me?

I like survival, something that has a heal.  My focus has changed a lot since I first started doing pet battle and some of the earliest ones I leveled ended up stuck around level 8 or so, never to be used again.  When I first started, just like everyone else, I was just trying everything.  It took a while for me to start to format what I like to believe is a team for me.

I have begun to like to use what I call a balanced team.  One pet that has some survival skill, as in a heal or shield of sorts, and two attack abilities.  One pet that has a minor utility and two attack abilities and last but not least, a tank.  The tank should have a heal, a shield and a way to whittle down the opponent.

Here are some examples of pets that fit the mold of what I have began to like in my group.  Every team will always have at least one of this type of pet and usually two.

Darkmoon Cub: 

My cub took the lead on favorites early on thanks to getting the third slot ability of Devour at level 4.  The combination of Pounce which does fine damage and more if you strike first and Screech which helps make sure you always go first with the healing Devour gives me it has made my darkmoon cub a formidable opponent and being you rarely run into mechanical units in the world you are rarely put in the position of being badly damaged. Big damage, finishing move heal, and cute too.  How can you go wrong?


Snarly has fast become one of my favorite pets to battle with.  He is great as the secondary character when leveling low level characters but does have the huge weakness of being aquatic and if you end up with something flying you could be in trouble, but otherwise he can survive nearly anything thanks to his abilities.

I use Consume in the first slot.  It does a small amount of damage and heals Snarly for 100% of the damage done.  I use Surge for the second ability, as it always goes first.  Water Jet, the other ability in that slot might do more damage but going first has major advantages.  The third ability you might recognize from my Darkmoon cub having it also, Devour.  If you play it right, you will remain at full health, forever.

Emperor Crab:

Just like Snarly he has the weakness against flying being an aquatic but outside of that he is the perfect example of a tank.  He has a Shell Shield which reduces damage for 5 turns and a heal that is nothing to laugh at.  His only offensive ability is surge and like I mentioned before I like that one because it always goes first and going first is a huge advantage in pet battles.

I've had some epic battles with my Emperor Crab but then again, anything with him has a chance to be an epic battle as he is not exactly going to kill anyone quickly.  The shell ability is beyond fantastic against any swarm type of pet ability like locust, or rat stampede, or chicken eggs or anything of that type as none of them will ever hit you for anything when that shield is up.   Have to love that.

Those are the three styles of pets I like you use when out in the wild and leveling other pets.  They all can go without the need to ever heal at all as long as you do not run into anything they are weak against.  Even in some cases you can fight your way through those too.  Sometimes.

Other styles of pets I like to keep around are offensive pets that have abilities that compliment each other.  There are a few types like that.

Murkimus the Gladiator:

He is one of the type that has attacks from all ends type of attacks. Flurry does an extra attack if he strikes first, Counterstrike does an extra attack if he strikes last.  Pretty cool huh?  Heroic Leap, his third skill I like to use, I use more defensively and if I am going first it can be used to maximum effect.

If you are going first and the opponent does one of those two turn abilities like flying up in the air and then landing a big strike or burrowing in the ground and popping up for a big strike, after you see them do that you can use heroic leap, going first you will go in the air, they land their hit on nothing, and you avoided all that damage and if you happen to hit with it you hit for a crap ton of damage yourself, enough to one shot some enemies if you crit.  See, another advantage of going first.  And lets not forget, even if it is minimal, Murkimus is humanoid which means every hit gets him a small heal.  Not bad at all.

Cobra Hatchling:

This is another powerhouse pet that has abilities that compliment each other.  Poison Fang will poison an enemy and then Vicious Fang will do more damage to a poisoned opponent.  Used together means nice power.  Add in Hiss, to make you are are always going first, and you get that extra shot in that the faster beast usually does.  There are many types of pets that have this type of ability where one thing poisons/applies a bleed/whatever and the next does more damage if it has that thing on it.  When making a team it is sometimes nice to have a power player in it like this, that can keep stacking abilities for more effect.

If you are planning on going on a catching spree there are a few pets that can really help you and a few tips that you should follow.  Never put on DoTs, never throw down timed abilities like a bomb that explodes in three turns, and never use a power pet because once accidental critical and they are dead.

There are two tips I can give you when it comes to catching pets.  One is a pet itself and the other is, for lack of a better word, cleaver use of game mechanics.

Terrible Turnip:

While not exactly an overwhelming pet for attack, defense, or support he is the best pet in the game hands down when it comes to catching other pets.  Thanks to an ability called Weakening Blow which he can never bring an opponent below 1 with you will be assured you never accidentally kill that critter you want to catch.  Admit it, we have all done that before and wanted to kick ourselves afterwards.  So if you are out on the hunt for a rare pet, even more so one that is a much lower level, even a level 25 turnip couldn't kill it if it tried using Weakening Blow.  No more accidentally turning the pet you wanted to catch into street pizza.

Bonus Tip:

Now for the tip of the day for pet players.

Ever see a rare you really wanted and accidentally killed it, or went into it with the wrong group and are getting your butt handed to you and you know once you get wiped out your chance to catch it is gone.  All you can do is scream and curse that you were not prepared or made a mistake.  Nope, not true.

Here is what you do if something like that happens.  Hit the little x in the upper right hand corner of your game.  Do not log out, do not pick an ability, click it as soon as something goes wrong ASAP.  Now, log back in and guess what, the same exact group you were battling is back.  The rare is still there and even more importantly, still alive.  You can even change your team to a better team capable of taking it if you were getting wiped out.  The only problem is, if there is another pet hunter in the area they can grab it between the time you left and the time you log back in, but wouldn't it be better that someone else got it then you not getting it at all, just for the chance you might get it if you get back in time?  I think so.

When out rare hunting I leave a second wow open with name and password already typed in.  If something goes wrong I hit the x and log in on the other one instantly and am back in game battling only seconds later.  Perhaps you could do that as well, so you do not lose that rare you have been looking for forever.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Type of Player Are You?

Not taking hard core or casual here.  Talking about the over all type of player.  Like I call myself a pattern player.

What is a pattern player?

A pattern player is good at recognizing patterns and reacting to them when they happen.

I guess that is the best way I can explain it.  It is, in part, one of the reasons I fell in love with being a hunter.  They have changed a lot over the years and not for the better in my opinion, but that is only because I am a pattern player.  I liked having to keep track of the swing timer so I could stutter step for maximum DPS.  It made me feel as if I was cracking a code, a simple one being it was a pattern, but I enjoyed it.  I liked having to balance what I did based on movement because there was a lot I could not do while moving.  So it became an effort of seeing a fight and working out my pattern of when I would need move so I lined it up perfectly, like a pattern.  Being able to DPS on the fly has taken away some of that but all raid fights are still patterns basically.

I love that crap and I pick up on it rather quickly.  I remember one fight last expansion, I did 12K on the first time I attempted it.  Three attempts later I was doing 19K.  All because I saw patterns and worked out how I wanted to do things, when I wanted to do them and how I would need to move to maximize doing them.

I think that is a telling sign of the pattern player.  They might not seem like they are doing that well first attempt but each attempt they will get considerably better as they work out their pattern to how they do things.

Think of the first boss in the ZG dungeon when that came out last expansion and how many people died to that green slime.  I did not die on it the first time, I guess I had better reactions than most, but after seeing it a second time I noticed it was the same exact path, third time again the same.  Once I noticed that it was always the same I never died to it on any characters, I never even thought about it again.  A good memory and knowing the pattern meant it was not even a mechanic in my mind.  It was just... there.

People would die to that over and over.  I had been in some randoms where it took a few attempts to down it and the same person would always die to it.  I would tell everyone it is a pattern, it is always the exact same pattern.  Once you see it, just remember it, that is where it will always be.  It is impossible to die twice to it unless something strange happens or you have lag or you are not a pattern player at least in part.

Every time someone would die I would think, how can anyone die to something so easy.

The thing is, it is easy for me, because I am a pattern player.  Not everyone is a pattern player.  Every player can have some pattern recognition ability and will pick it up, but a pattern player notices these things instantly and even more so other things that non pattern people will never noticed even in a million tires.  Like the two spaces you can stand in that fight that assure you will never be targeted by anything and never need to move at all.  Only a pattern player would ever pick those up.

What is a multitask player?

The type of player that can handle multiple things in various different areas at the same time.

I don't like playing a feral druid or a rogue because I do not like the combo point thing and keeping various buffs and debuffs up all while waiting on energy and then letting it pool to use to its best effect instead of using it right away.  That is just too much stuff to follow for me when I would rather be playing than watching buffs, debuffs and energy.  People that like playing them are more multitask players.  Sure, I can multitask, as is proven by the fact I can do decent on both of those classes, but I do not like to and being I do not like to I can never reach my maximum potential and my time is wasted playing those types of classes.

Some people can monitor their combo points, the buffs they put on themselves, call out important things on vent, talk to a friend on skype and eat lunch all at the same time.  I am not one of those people.  I "can" do it if forced to, but it does not flow natural for me which means I am not a multitask player.

What is a rhythm player?

A player that is good at redundant and/or responsive things.

When I think of a rhythm player I think melee DPS.  They have set rotations and the occasional proc that is a modifier.  It is doing the same thing over and over and responding to special abilities once in a while.  While from the outside looking in that sounds like the easiest role in the game it is not.   It also does require a type of person that can handle that rhythm while, what seems like, constantly moving at times.

Again, this is something I can do, I've done it before but I can easily prove I am not a rhythm player by being placed in a long fight.  I get bored easily by the standard rhythm of doing that type of DPS.  In a two minute fight I can keep up with the best of them but the longer the fight goes on the more I, for lack of a better term, lose my rhythm.  My numbers start to slide because I just can not keep up.  Redundant does not mean easy, but it does mean you need to have the type of person that can keep up with it without getting easily bored or distracted like I do. Sadly for me, hunters are turning more and more into this type of class.

What is a numbers player?

Someone that follows all the little things to add them up for something much bigger.

A numbers player is not someone that asks for the DPS meter after every fight.  Not even in the slightest, they are not obsessed with numbers but they are great at playing with them and knowing how they interact with each other.

Casters usually fit this area, even more so DoT classes.  Fire mage would be the perfect example of playing the numbers to maximum effect.  Anyone can fire off a combustion when they think it is best but a numbers person knows when it is best and doesn't just think it is best.  Yes, you can use addons for this effect but the numbers players, the ones that love to play that type of class can do it without the add on, they just know when the right time is because they are following the numbers.

It is a reactionary type of play in a way as you are waiting for the right moment when the numbers benefit you best to use a skill or ability.  You often need to change how you are doing things and basically restart a rotation from time to time based on what the numbers say are best for you.  Just like all other types of players you can do fine with these types of classes even if you are not that type of player but someone that embraces the power of the numbers will always be better at it.

What is a rotation player?

Someone that can follow a required series of ability on an as best when used basis.

Do not confuse this with a rhythm player even if they do seem similar.  Everyone has the ability to be a rotation player no matter what type of player you are but there is more to a rotation player than just following a rotation.  While it is without a doubt the simplest type of player to be we do not see many classes that can simply follow this any more and as such the type of class that a rotation player would be no longer has a true home in the game.  The old arcane mage was close to what would be a rotation player but the addition of stacks and needing to keep mana up changed them more to being aimed at the numbers players.

From what I read around many people call the caster feeling melee types, monk, shaman and paladin the closest thing left to classes that rotation players might feel comfortable with most.  Sadly the rotation type player needs to adapt and embrace another style of game play because they will get left behind quickly if this is the type of game play they are best at being there is no class or spec left that fits it perfectly.

Someone that is a rotation player however will be able to play all classes a lot better than any other type of player.  They might simplify every damage dealer down to a rotation and they might be able to do decent at each and every one of them, enough to fill in as the 10th or 25th person in a raid without hurting the raid, but they will never be able to excel at any of them to the point of ever being considered extremely good.

Most altoholics that consider themselves raiders will usually be rotation players.  They can do it all and do it all well but are not exactly what anyone would call exceptional at any of them.  For example, when I play a rogue or a feral druid or a warlock of any spec I am playing them more as a rotation player and less as a multitask or numbers player.  I can do okay with them and to many on the outside looking in I might be doing fine but I am not doing really all that well in reality if you look at what my potential could be.

What is a by the book player?

A by the book player is someone that does what they are supposed to do because they are supposed to do it.

A by the book player could be any one of us and we do not even know it.  I think of myself as a pattern player but I could be a by the book player and not even realize it.  Maybe I am reacting to those patterns because I am supposed to and not because I notice them faster than non pattern players?  Playing by the book, if you will.

The numbers player that knows that exact right moment to hit combustion could be doing it only because he is playing by the book.  Sometimes we can think we are one thing and we are not, we are playing by the book.  Doing things because we are supposed to be doing it.  If someone can tell you why they decided that exact moment to hit combustion in detail they are a numbers player, but if they just say that they hit it because it was the best time to hit it for maximum effect, they are playing by the book.

There is one problem with by the book players.  Even if they are absolute perfection in how they play and doing whatever it is they do, by the book players are not very quick to respond to things that happen that are not exactly by the book, usually, unless they also excel at being reactionary.   A by the book player will get completely thrown off if something happens they did not think was possible.  Like if a boss fight bugs out they will usually be the last one to adjust and you can see by their performance that they have been thrown off their game.

When nothing goes wrong and they get to do exactly what they are supposed to be doing a by the book player is without a doubt the absolute best player in the game.  They will be the ones on the top of world of logs because everything went by the book and they did everything they were supposed to do by the book.

What is a reactionary player?

A reactionary player is someone that not only knows the right thing to do, but knows the right thing to do right now even if it normally would not be considered the right thing to do.

Most PvP players, at least the good ones, are pure reactionary players.  Even raiders are reactionary players to some degree.  Getting out of the fire is a reaction and if a player is not even in part a reactionary player they can't, or shouldn't, be raiding.  All players should be at least in part a reactionary player.

A reactionary player is the exact opposite of the by the book player.  The by the book player might think they need to use a finisher with five combo points whereas the reactionary player will do it when it would be best for that particular moment knowing that even if five would be better mathematically, it is not better in the situation they are in.  As I am sure anyone can see, for player vs player this is a huge advantage and no player can be good at PvP unless they are in a large part a reactionary player.

Do not discount it for PvE however as reactionary players have their place there as well.  Knowing when to burn is reaction, knowing when to save up for burst or adds is reaction, all the little stuff matters and it is reaction.  So it is important there as well, just not as much as in PvP.  I consider myself a reactionary player in PvE but not in PvP, hence the reason I am not as good at it as I could be, I lack the reactionary ability to excel at it.

What about tanks and healers?

Good question and just like damage dealers fit into all different categories tanks and healers would as well.  

I would consider tanks to be, for the most part, pattern players.  I think this for two reasons.  One being the active mitigation which means they need to notice the patterns for when best to use it to minimize the damage they take.  The second reason is because I am a pattern player and embrace tanking since the changes a lot more than ever before because of active mitigation.  I am loving it because it is a pattern.  When to use your mitigation more important then just using it.

A pattern player will use it when it is needed, a non pattern player will use it when it is available.  As such, a pattern player will be much easier to heal because they are using it to help avoid or decrease the 120K hit whereas the non pattern player might not be able to use it because it is on cooldown from using it when it only avoided or decreased that 30K hit.

This is also why, for the most part, I think healers are pattern players as well.  A good healer will hit abilities when they are most effective.  Usually, when a heal is most effective is after a huge damage spike or wide raid damage and that usually comes at predictable times or in reaction to events, both of which are patterns.  So good healers will always be pattern type players.

The difference with tanks and healers over damage dealers is that they are often more likely to be two types of player rolled into one.  The good ones will always be pattern players but they will be pattern players and something else.

Although it might not seem like it on the surface the best combination for a tank or healer is a pattern player and a rotation player.  But why?  Tanking and healing have never had a rotation, it is always reactionary you might say.

Not exactly, even if tanking and healing never had a rotation so to speak anyone that has ever healed or tanked will tell you they have a rotation, many of them in fact.  A rotation of cooldowns for spike damage.  A rotation of mana regeneration for healers,   A rotation for threat or damage as a tank, although not really different any more.  It is just that their rotations are not the same as damage dealer rotations.  Throwing your prayer of mending and shield on a tank as a disc priest every chance you get might seem like part of the job, but it is a rotation even if most might not view it as such.

I am...

A pattern player.  Just like all players I also have some ability in other areas, but the type of player that best represents me is a pattern player.

What type of player are you?

Choose only the one that represents you best.