Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The #1 Reason to Play a Monk

Everyone has their favorite abilities, mine has always been feign death.  If there were one ability that I could choose to have on every single character I play it would be feign death.  I love that ability.  But with mists came a new class and with that new class came new abilities.

I have a new favorite ability and it is a monk ability.  It can not unseat feign death as my favorite ability over all in the game but it is really making the climb up the ladder to become my second favorite ability in game and one I would love to have on every character.

Spinning Crane Kick

It is awesome and has recently moved my monk into my favorite character to solo old content with.  No, I am not about to be putting my hunter on the shelf any time soon, hunters still rule, but when it comes to soloing old content spinning crane kick does make it a lot easier to burn through it.  Where I would run out of focus on my hunter doing multi shot it seems like spinning crane kick is nearly endless with the super fast resource generation of the monk.

I am still trying to get the raiding with leashes II achievement and as such I solo the old instances and hope for drops that never come.  I do them on multiple characters to increase my chance to get the drops.  11 or 12 chances at a drop a week are better than just one wouldn't you say?

So in the past few months I have soloed all those BC raids on every class in the game.  Now we all know I've been soloing them on my hunter since 80 but most other classes I never did any soloing on.  Most certainty not a monk as they are new.

Monks are so easy to solo that older stuff.  Not like it is hard on any character now thanks to the gear level we are at but when you are talking a monk you are talking one thing and one thing only.  Spinning crane kick.

As a tank, healer or damage dealer, just spin.  Everything is easy when you spin.  When even healers can pull 200K DPS while farming mobs in the barrens by using spinning crane kick you know an ability is awesome.

I do the barrens with spinning crane kick and as many mobs as I can pull together.  I do those BC raids trying to get those pets with spinning crane kick only.  I just walk forward and spin.  Or should that be I just spin forward.

If you wanted to go back and do old content for achievements, like grinding those BC reputaitons that take killing a million mobs nothing is faster than just spinning.  Want to run old content for mount runs nothing is faster than just spinning.  Doing your daily quests and need to kill 12 mogu nothing is faster than just spinning.

Just spin baby spin.

Spinning crane kick is quickly becoming my second favorite ability in the whole game and as such it is the number one reason to play a monk.  As a tank, damage dealer or even healer, soloing almost anything just by spinning is simple and easy.  What is not to love about that.  Simple and easy is good sometimes isn't it?

So for those of you that have not leveled a monk yet, I suggest doing it, because not only is spinning a powerful tool I have grown to love, but it is fun.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Professions by Class or Race

With absolutely no consideration given to the profession bonus, do you feel as if some classes or races seem more connected with a profession than others?  Something like this is all opinion based of course but I always felt that certain classes and/or races seem more suited for some professions than others.  As if they just seem like a natural fit.

I'm going to go over the main professions one by one and give my opinions on which classes and races I believe seem like a natural fit for them.  This is not a list of suggestions on what professions you should take if you are new.  But it will show what are some practical professions to have based on class, if you feel so inclined.


Lets start with the most obvious of obvious professions when it comes to what races I feel fit them best.  There is a profession specialty of gnomish engineering and one of goblin engineering, so guess which two races I tend to feel are natural fits for this profession.  Of course, undead and worgen.  Just kidding of course.  Engineering goes hand in hand with gnomes and goblins. 

Not only does it share a name with them depending on the specialty you take but look through the game at who is often the ones building the next best thing to blow crap up.  Yeap, it is our friendly neighborhood psychopaths the gnomes and goblins.

If warcraft ever moved into the future where technology became more prevalent you could be absolutely certain that it is only a matter of time before either the goblins or gnomes create something that will turn all self aware super computer on us and try to take over the world, killing us to protect us from ourselves like in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep".

Of all the professions I would say none tie itself better with a race than engineering does with goblins and gnomes.  It is a marriage made in an electronics shop.

As for classes, there are no classes in the game I feel have a natural connection to engineering.  If I were hard pressed to have to choose one class that I think would best first engineering it would be a rogue.  This is because I could see a rogue trying to use any advantage they can to further their thieving ways.


For the topic of race by itself skinning seems to connect itself with worgen, due to the radical ability to skin faster.  As for classes, the only real class I can see being a natural for skinning would be a hunter.  It only makes sense that a hunter would skin the things he hunts. 

At another level I could see trolls as being another race that I connect with skinning.  Their tribal nature, sacrificial history and ability to live off the land would make sense that if any race would skin animals for clothing, housing and other uses the trolls would be the ones that would do it.


As far as races go I connect dwarves and orcs most closely with this physically demanding gathering profession.  They both seem like laborer races with strong upper bodies that would be ideally made for this type of physically demanding collecting.

More so with dwarves for a second reason.  Based on their in game desire to explore and discover it would seem reasonable to believe that excavating, which is like mining, would come natural to them.  Even if the blood elves also seem to have that love of digging for treasure, I do not feel the connection to mining with them as they do not seem to have the body shape that would make them effective at doing such.

There are no classes I feel are really connected to mining as a class but if I were hard pressed to choose one I would have to go with a warrior.  The reason for this would be that I picture a warrior as the most basic of classes and as such I think they would be the type that adapts and tries to take care of their own needs.  I could not put it past them to always be on the lookout for something that would make them more resilient and if they could find some new ore that would make them stronger armor I could surely see them stopping to mine said ore.


Well, just as worgens skin, tauren herb.  It is just who they are, there is not much else that can be said about that.  It is a natural fit for the tauren race to collect herbs because they are better at it than all other classes.  You get better at things from doing them, and if we are talking what is a natural fit the race that is the best at doing it because they did it more than others has to be the natural fit right?

I also feel as if the night elves would be a natural herb gatherer.  They seem like the type of race that would rely on the land for many things and those things would include herbal remedies.  To make such remedies you would of course need to be an herbalist.

When it comes to classes it would definitely not be a surprise to many if I were to say that druids seem to connect best with herbalism in my opinion.  As I believe both taurens and night elves are natural herb gatherers and both those classes were the only (original) ones that can be druids it seems to fit well.  But it was never an issue of druids are herbal gatherers because the two classes that could be them are, they would still have that feeling on their own.

It is the class that throughout the game sends us on quests to gather herbs to treat the land, the creatures, and what have you.  There are countless times when we are gathering herbs for the druids which leads me to believe that the druids themselves are interested in herbalism or or too lazy to do it themselves so they send you which still means they are interested in herbalism but smart enough to find someone else to do the work for them.

Leather Working:

Read skinning.  Anything said in skinning fits for leather working, that is for sure.  The two professions go hand in hand.  But there is one other factor when it comes to leather working that adds some things to it and that is the fact of what it makes.  It makes leather and mail gear.

With that in mind, any class that wears leather or mail seems to be a perfect fit for leather working.  Hunters, shaman, druids, rogues, and monks all wear either leather or mail and so they seem to fit, logically, with classes that would have leather working.


Just like leather working and skinning go together, mining and blacksmiths go together.  Classes that wear the items that a blacksmith would make would be the most natural fit to become a blacksmith.  Being they make plate a warrior, paladin and death knight are the obvious ones that would take the profession and feel like it were a natural fit.


While being a tailor does not have an associated gathering profession tied to it, as anyone can collect cloth, the fact it makes a certain level of armor lends itself to being a natural fit with certain classes.  Most noticeably those that wear cloth armor even if all classes could benefit from the bags they make.  Priests, mages, and warlocks are the ones that get their armor from it and as such are the natural fits.

Oddly enough however, there is one race I feel connected with tailoring no matter what their class is.  That would be the blood elves.  Do to their light frames and the fact they come across to me as the type that would be very concerned about how they look tailoring become a good choice for them, natural even.  This would mean being a tailor to make their own fashionable clothing, instead of just armor, makes a great deal of sense.  Almost as if it were a natural fit for them.

Jewel Crafting:

To me the draenei come across as the natural jewelers.  Something about them just screams, to me at least, that they value the finer things in life, the shiny goodness that jewels offer would be very attractive to them. They also, even if their size might seem to give a different impression otherwise, seem to be a very delicate race.  A good jewel cutter would need that as a quality.  A steady hand and a gentle touch can turn a lump of a jewel into a treasured piece that will be admired for many years to come.  Unless of course a rogue steals it and sells it to finance his poison habit, but that is another story.


Like the other two professions that were tied to a gathering professions alchemy goes hand in hand with its gathering mate of herbalism.  Anything that holds true for herbalism holds true for alchemy when it comes to classes and races that seem connected to it in some way.

Alchemy however does have another set of races that seem to fit it, even if they do not fit the herbalism profile as I see it and they are gnomes and undead.  You thought I was going to say gnomes and goblins didn't you?  I almost did, but goblins do not have that mad scientist feeling about them that gnomes do.  Goblins seem to blow things up by accident whereas gnomes seem to try to do it on purpose, like a mad scientist.  I can see gnomes using their alchemy skills in conjunction with their engineering skills to bring a quick end to the world.  Remember, these are the people that irradiated their own city.

The undead fit the alchemy profile as well from the mad scientist perspective.  While the classes and races I feel connected with alchemy from the herbalism angle all seem to have the best intentions in mind the undead have the worst intentions in mind.  I can not get the image the game puts in our heads of undead after undead making potions and concoctions that can do various different things and none of them good.  See the plague for an example of alchemy gone wrong if you want to see a strong undead connection to the professions and just one of the reason it feels like a natural fit.


Another profession tied to herbalism but without the connections to herbalism like alchemy has.  While I can see all herbalists being alchemist I can not see all, or any, herbalists being scribes.  Scribes, like jewel crafters, need a gathering profession to support it but are not connected to it, in my mind.

I can see the thinker races being the races that would be scribes.  Namely draenei and blood elves.  They come across more as the thinkers and less as the doers and as such seem more likely to be the ones that would put quill to parchment and create the things scribes create.  Some might think of other races as more fitting of the thinker role and I would guess that perhaps you might consider those to be more likely to be scribes.

When it comes to classes that I can see naturally connected to inscription the only one that really jumps to mind is the mage.  Mage seems like a thinker class.  They can already conquer up mana cakes, teleport themselves to various places around the world, and create a gem on a whim.  So having them put down some words that would grant a buff, an ability or modify something that exists already just by reading it and speaking a few words aloud, a mage is the one that would write that.


The act of enchanting or disenchanting seems to be something of magical ability and as such I see classes that use mana, and thus magic, to be the most fitting classes to use enchanting.  Someone that uses magic would just seem a natural to do some mystical enchants or disenchant something to dust at the wave of a hand.  It would be a much more natural fit than say, a rage user doing those magical things.

Of all the races (the original ones) the only one I have yet to seem to fit into any profession are those pesky humans.  This however, is a profession that calls out to them.  Enchanting seems like trying to game the system, to make yourself better without actually getting better, or taking the short cut.  Is there anything more human then trying to game the system?  I think not.  Of all the races the human seem to be the one that would be most likely to want to sit back and let someone else do the work, or in this case, let the enchants do the work.  If a human could enchant the armor to fight for itself, they would, so enchanting seems a very natural fit for them.

Do you ever feel that certain classes or races are connected to a profession as if it were natural for them to have it?  I always felt that some professions just fit certain things better.  Like every priest I have is an enchanter and a tailor.  It just makes sense to me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- I did a little bit of everything this weekend.

- Some play on regular 90s, some play on alt server 90s, some leveling of the low levels.

- I had the full array of things.

- Even went back and did some old content for fun on my monk.

- Being there were no tanks on I offered to tank on my monk, still getting some practice with it.

- I solo tanked heroic firelands and heroic dragon soul.

- They seemed a lot easier than I remember, I wonder why.

- Had a damage dealer break 500K on Majordomo.

- I guess things like that are why.

- That is one person doing more than our entire group did our first time doing it.

- Nearly all the fights were a joke with current gear.

- Funny part is, even with todays gear, T11 heroics are harder than T12 or T13.

- But I have not done them recently so I could be wrong there.

- I ran my mage through all the ToT LFRs again and won nothing.

- Now is that time where it starts getting frustrating in the gearing process.

- Nothing left to buy with valor, only two pieces I can get from the LFR, and I do not normally raid with it.

- I also do not think I have anything I would like to spend valor on to upgrade because nearly everything is something I would like to replace and spending valor on something you want to replace seems like a waste to me.

- But I guess upgrading something is better than just letting the valor go to waste.

- I joined a group on my rogue last night just for the hell of it.

- Had not played it in what seems like months.

- Won a trinket off the first boss to replace a 483, so that is good, but we only downed the first boss.

- Amazing that horridon can still destroy a group.

- In a 12 boss raid the first 3 boss, at the absolute least, should be push overs so even a pug can do them.

- Hard to believe that a pug can still not get past the second boss on my server.

- I had the lowest item level of the whole group and was doing roughly the same as everyone else.

- Even with my 502 and 483 weapons I was neck and neck damage done with people that had 525 item levels and their nice shiny 522 weapons.

- But I still suck at horridon on my rogue, just can not manage any good AoE for doors.

- I guess it is a learn to play issue.

- Nothing wrong with admitting you need to get better at something and I need to get better at my rogue.

- It is just too hectic for someone like myself that is not used to playing a melee and even more so a rogue at that.

- Still managed decent numbers, at least to the point where if we actually ever made it to horridon I would at least finish with 250K thanks to the damage buff.

- I guess when you have someone like me that is not so great on adds but really golden on single target it would have been best to just stick me to the big boy and let me go to work.

- But the other damage dealers needed me on the adds, so that was out of the question.

- Hey, I got an upgrade, got to raid on a character I do not raid on, and had some fun even if we wiped.

- So it wasn't all that bad.

- Only three more bosses to go for ToT.

- Was going to extend last week but decided not to because we needed two fill ins.

- So only made it to dark again, but at least we downed it this time.

- At the rate we are going, getting things down faster and faster in the limited amount of time we play we might actually be able to get all the way to the end in our 2 hour frame.

- The 25 gets down the first 3, we do a 10 man 2 hour continuation from there.

- We can do 4-9 in those 2 hours.

- So if we ever do extend, we are done with this thing, finally.

- I do have issues with "ahead of the curve".

- When we finish it we will get that achievement, and we would not deserve it.

- If you down it in the first month you are "ahead of the curve".

- Downing it now when everyone is 517 or better item level seems sad if you ask me.

- I am sure if we did not get caught up on horridon for 5 weeks and tortos for 3 weeks we would have been done already even in our limited play time.

- No boss has taken us more than 1 week when we met it.

- First time downing 3rd boss, 2 shot, 5th boss, 2 shot, 6th boss, about 15 attempts to get it, 7th boss about the same, 8th boss was a one shot, and 9th boss went down the first time we actually got some real attempts on it after 4 tries.

- But those two bosses, the 2nd and 4th, destroyed our will to live.

- It destroyed our desire to raid.

- It almost ripped apart our raid team.

- It did rip apart many raid teams on out server.

- They need to not make fights like that any more, or at least not make them at the start of a raid.

- We are not a great group, but there is no reason any boss should ever take us more than one week of working on it.

- At least not on normal mode.

- For a casual guild one new boss a week seems like a respectable pace.

- The alt leveling is going well, in a way.

- I got my guild to level 5.

- Made a whole 6 silver in collections so far.

- I'm gonna be rich, woohoo.

- Hit a few bumps in the road for a few of the characters I was leveling.

- My hunter had to spend an hour plus just killing and skinning in an effort to try and catch up his leather working.

- Over an hour of non stop killing and skinning and I got enough leather to gain 5 skill points.

- I really wish they would fix professions to level along with the new speed of leveling.

- At this rate I am going to need to spend another 5 or 6 hours skinning to catch up my leather working.

- My enchanter is now in northrend, but I have to stop leveling it.

- Why you ask?

- Because my bags and bank is completely filled with stuff I can not disenchant.

- This means I need to catch up with my blacksmiths, my leather workers, and my tailor, so I can craft gear and send it so they can disenchant it and get the materials to level enchanting so they can disenchant the crap in their bags.

- Yeah, they really need to redesign professions big time.

- When it took a year and a day to level you would kill 12 billion creatures, so you had enough leather.

- Don't work that way now, you level too fast.

- But it is partly my fault.

- I try to only level on rested experience.

- So I am speeding it up on my own too I guess.

- But rested is gone super fast.

- Got 1 level on my priest before rested was gone.  2 on my monk and shaman.  None on my warlock.

- How do you even manage to not get a level while burning through rested.

- The only thing I could think of he was not fully rested before hand.

- I did end up playing my lock a bit more after his rested ran out.  Even got him 2 levels.

- I was just having so much fun with it.

- Amazing how different things are from max level.

- Some say they love locks at max level, but I find them, blah.

- Low levels, at least where it is now, it is fun.

- My minion holds aggro like a champ, something my minion could not do at 90 even if I wanted 10 seconds before attacking.

- I am attempting to level a shaman as elemental, something I have never done.

- I have multiple shaman and they have all been enhancement while leveling.

- I am leveling my druid as feral, something I have never done.

- I always level as guardian, but at least before I could be both at the same time, now I am locked into cat.

- Should be a learning experience.

- I am trying some things differently to shake stuff up.

- There really is no right and no wrong to leveling however.

- Except being a mage while leveling.

- No matter what spec you are, you are doing it wrong.

- I know mages were always glass cannons, but they seem worse than I remember.

- Even switching from fire to frost has not helped.

- I recall frost being so much more leveling friendly.

- I leveled my first mage to 60 as frost and never had problems, and leveling was not three shots and it is dead even without heirlooms easy like it is now.

- I would say over all the survivability of all classes is much better than it used to be, with the exception of mages who took a step back.

- Quest design and creature placement has really helped with player survival as well.

- Did some of those murloc quests, you know the ones where you pull one and suddenly there are 16 or 17 of them on you.

- Never happened once.

- There are not as many mobs, they are not as quick to run, they are not packed as tight as they used to be, and they die faster to begin with.

- Makes leveling easier, that is for sure.

- But there is something to say about losing that sense of danger, even dread, when you had a murloc quest to do.

- I swear that is where I leaned to pull, from pulling murlocs.

- It is where I learned placement, as in where I wanted to fight them, to better make sure not to get extras.

- And it taught me to use those rarely used secondary abilities that slowed or stunned them when they started to run.

- People say that players never learned anything from leveling.

- I disagree.

- Bad players never learned anything and that is why they are called bad players.

- Good players, ones that wanted to learn, did learn.

- So removing that stuff just meant the bad players had less to complain about when they died to things like that instead of actually learning how to do it.

- But worse than that is the poor players that wanted to get better, wanted to learn, with the removal of quests like that, they never had the chance to learn.

- I am kind of torn on my opinion of this.

- I like that the murlocs are not as bad as they used to be and I can just blow through them.

- But I liked the idea that I learned from them the first time through.

- I wonder if they could create two leveling experiences.

- One for new people that have never done it, which will be longer and teach people, and one for people that have been there and done that and just want another 90.

- And no, heirlooms are not what I am talking about.

- Heirlooms have nothing to do with mob health, mob clusters, mobs running, etc.

- Those where the good things that taught you.

- Well, taught me at least.

- I hit 470 item level on one of my alts and went into the dread approach.

- 4th damage done, 3rd damage done, and 2nd damage done respectively.

- I have no gems, no enchants, not reforged which means I am way below hit and expertise capped, and I still managed to stay near the top.

- But a large margin.

- The 3rd fight I was 2.8% higher than number 3 in damage done.

- So that means it is our favorite time once again, time to beat the dead horse.

- The LFR is way to hard for the people it is aimed at.

- Two of the three fights only 8 people were over 30K.

- Seriously.

- At just 470, with no gems, enchants or reforging done, I expected to be 14th or 15th maybe and that would have been reasonable.

- To finish where I did speaks volumes about the people that play this game.

- I am not a great player but I am decent.

- So if someone that is not even great and not even trying, can still stomp all over everyone else, there is a real problem.

- Not sure what upsets me more.

- The fact I was hoping to let other people do the heavy lifting for once and I still needed to fill that role or the fact that there are people better than me at just trying to take the relaxing easy route for once.

- I need to work on my slacking skills.

- But I can only go so far.

- I can slack with no gems and enchants while gearing up, seems a waste to add them when I know I will be replacing gear soon hopefully.

- But that is about as much of a slacker as I could be.

- Even with crap gear that is not set up well I still will try to do the best I can do.

- Why don't others?

- I mean, how hard is it to hit some buttons.

- Someone asked me the other day how to heal on a disc priest.

- In said, hit some buttons.

- Was joking around when I said it like that of course.

- But seriously, that is the simplified version of everything you do in game.

- Damage dealer, healer, tank.  Doesn't make a difference.

- Just hit some buttons and you will do just fine.

- Of course taking 5 minutes out of your day to read what the buttons do and when is the best time to hit them does make a world of difference.

- But the fact still remains, why can't everyone do that?

- I am not saying that everyone needs to be good.

- But I am saying that everyone should not be bad.

- Doing bad and being bad at two different things.

- I always say I do bad on my rogue, but I am not a bad player, just playing badly.

- I know there is a lot of improvement to be made.

- And I try to improve, that is the key.

- When someone gives me advice, I take it.

- When I read something that can help, I try it.

- That is why I say I am doing bad, not being bad.

- Doing bad is someone that is trying to do better, being bad is just not trying at all.

- I think some people, most even, are afraid to admit they can do better.

- I admit when I can do better, I even say I can do better on the character I do best on, my hunter.

- No matter how good you are, you can be better.

- End of story, there is no arguing that.

- Someone asked me for advice on horridon the other day, as I am always willing to help other guilds and that is well known.

- Yes, horridon, still less than 30% of the guilds on my server that actually raid have downed him.

- No, I am not kidding.

- He said he had a paladin tank so I gave him the easy mode horridon strategy of just having the paladin solo tank horridon on the opposite side of the room with a healer while the team learns the doors so they do not have to worry about charges or positioning for him while learning.

- He said, but I need to put 2 healers on the tank to keep him up, that won't work.

- I asked, how well are the healers geared.

- He said shaman 523 and a paladin 526 are both on the tank.

- I said, excuse me?

- One healer on the boss tank is all you need, he does not hit so hard that someone at that gear level should not be able to heal it.

- He said he tried it but neither could do it.

- I said, sorry, can not help you then, if you can not solo heal the horridon tank at that gear level there is nothing I can say that will help you.  The strategy I gave you is the easy mode version.

- Basically, I told him that his healers need to get better, plain and simple.

- I think I offended him, but seriously, when your item level is higher than the gear a raid drops, you should be able to heal it.  If you can't it is a learn to play issue.

- As I said, most people will never admit they need to learn to play better.

- If someone told me I needed to get better to do heroic, I would say, okay, I will get better.

- What is bad with telling someone there is room for improvement?

- Oddly enough it works on both ends of the spectrum.

- Someone mentioned to me that we should require everyone in the 25 man to bring their own 300 food.

- They said, they use it so everyone should, and look at them, they rank on every single fight.

- I said, 275 food is fine.  25 of a stat is not going to make as much of a difference as just getting better would.

- You are a good player, that is why you rank, it is not because you use 300 food.

- They went into a tizzy about it.

- Seriously, 25 of a stat does not make much of a difference to a casual guild only doing normal mode.

- A few minutes on the dummy will mean more than 25 stats will, that is for sure.

- Heck, even if you are playing at the top of your game I do not think 25 of a stat is going to make such a huge difference that is should be required when doing normal modes.

- Just my opinion of course.

- But good or bad, when you tell people, get better, it really seems to offend them.

- However, I must say that going to that line on the forums over and over is annoying.

- When I see someone post and give a description of their problem and log and people reply, get better, I can't help but wish someone would slap them in the back of the head.

- Everyone knows that they need to get better, or at least they should.

- If someone went through the effort to post, it is their way of trying to get better.

- So instead of telling them to get better, how about giving them some advice on how to get better.

- Your tank seems to be taking a full hit from "whatever" tell him to use a cooldown.

- Your healer seems to be using a lot of AoE healing when it is not needed, tell them to do more direct healing when it is needed.

- You could hit time warp at a better time, and use your potions then.

- Your hunter let his serpent sting fall off in the first minute of the fight and never reapplied it.

- Things like that help people get better.

- Saying get better means nothing when they do not know how to get better.

- When someone posts on the forums they are looking for advice on how to get better, so saying get better and leaving it at that just makes you look like a world class asshole.

- But hey, who am I to judge, some people enjoy being an asshole.

- And I told that paladin healer that he needs to get better because he said he could not solo heal the horridon tank while over geared for the content.

- So maybe I am the asshole too.

- But even if I am I am also right, he needs to get better.

- Have a great day.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Time for Our Quarterly Second Guessing

There are two important pieces of business news in reference to the game we play out now.  One being that warcraft is now down to 7.7M subscribers and the other this that blizzard-activision is separating itself fom vivendi.

Both things are worth discussing.  The first being the fact that blizzard-activision will be buying itself free of its connection with vivendi for a measly 8.2 billions dollars.  In case anyone did not know vivendi was looking to raid the coffers of blizzard-activision which had a reported 3 billion saved up so they could pay off some business debts and that is most likely what prompted them to seek a separation from vivendi.  Vivendi would get the money it so desperately needs, and more, and blizzard-activison can continue along with what it was doing as if they did not have the leech trying to suck the blood from them.  And by leech I mean failing vivendi company and by blood I mean the 3 billion in profits that blizzard-activision had saved up.

Why is this bit of new important to us, the players?

That is a very good question and there are many different answers you can guess for that.  If you read the forums, and if you read this tiny in the middle of nowhere blog I am guessing you read them, a fair deal of players blame vivendi for all the problems the game has had.  No longer will that be an excuse, wrong or right, for the issues with the game.  But for me the big part is the back side of the story.  The fact that blizzard-activision had 3 billion dollars saved up somewhere for whatever reason it might have.  Many companies like to keep some money saved to make acquisitions or deal with downturns if they should happen.  So it is no surprise that they had some money squirreled away.

However the largest part of this knowledge shows us that even if warcraft has been bleeding subs like it lost a limb since cataclysm it has really had no effect on the company's bottom line.  With other ventures, the game itself, and massive item shop sales, the company is doing just fine despite that we see as another 600,000 users lost.

So what does this all mean to us?

Nothing.  Nothing at all.  The game will continue to exist as we know it.  It might also actually expand a little more being it will now be a little more of its own entity.  We all can believe what we want and unless you know someone on the inside everything we believe is just guess work.  You could say vivendi was controlling things and in need of money and it was their idea to milk the cash cow with the new shop.  You could say it was all blizzards idea and it is doing well enough for them to afford to buy themselves out.  Guess work, all of it.

I can't wait to see if this has any impact on the game but I don't think it will personally.  Even if it does, it will not be something we will see for a while, that is for sure.  I doubt that there will be any massive changes on the scale that us, the players of one game, would even notice in the immediate future.

So now we go to those subscription losses with a gentle reminder first.  Blizzard had over 3 billion, yes that is with a b, sitting around in the bank.  They are in no immediate financial trouble from losing a few users.

Still, as a player I can't help but wonder what is responsible for those losses.  Whether the game has 2M or 20M users means nothing to me.  As long as it is here for me to play and as long as I still want to play it, what should I care.  But it does have some impact on me in a way and that is why I, you, and others, talk about it.

The fewer people there are playing the longer our random content will take to queue for.  Seriously, as long as the company behind the scenes is doing fine, that is the only thing in game that having fewer users will actually effect in our game play.

You could say there will be fewer guilds, smaller servers, etc.  But none of that really matters.  Who cares if there are 50,000 active guilds or 10,000 active guilds, as long as there are active guilds there is a place for to go to be in an active guild.  Smaller servers, same story.

So there will be less people are around in the world but who really cares, will it stop you from going out and farming peacebloom?  Nope.  It might actually make it more enjoyable to do so with fewer people.  Fewer people on a server can be fixed and adjusted with the new virtual realms.  The only thing that really gets effected with less players is fewer people being around to queue for random content meaning longer waits and even more brutal ones on off hours.

So that brings me to my guess on one of the largest factors to the recent loss of subscribers.  I can sum it up in just three little letters.  L, F and R.  Yes, the LFR.  For 99% of the player base that is not downing content in the current raid tier at a reasonable pace the only place for them to get gear, reputation, quest items, the ability to spend that valor they seem to need to collect for everything they do, it is through the LFR.

So unless the player is content with some craftable gear, some outdated catch up gear like the barrens stuff, or some 463 dungeon gear, the LFR is a necessary evil.  I am not saying that the 99%, the ones not in a raiding guild that is downing bosses regularly all actually want to have gear or complete quests or spend valor or what not.  But I am saying that the people that do what those things need to do the LFR and have no other options.

And that is what I believe is the weakest link in the game right now.  If you want any of that stuff and you either can not get into a good guild or are not capable of playing at that level or in the time frame to be in a guild like that, you have no options.

They need to break the attachment to the LFR.  They need to find a way for people to get things without funneling them into something they quite possibly do not want to do or do not have the skill to do.  They can do that easily too, if they want to, but they seem intent on forcing the entire player base into it.  The problem with that is, most of the player base can not do it.  It is, to beat the dead horse, way to hard for the masses.

To explain what I mean by that I will give an example, a very recent one too, as in just two days ago.  Just this Wednesday.  I went into the LFR on one of my alts to do some gearing up.  Did the 3rd part first as it had a trinket I wanted and I figured the sooner I get it out of the way the better right?  The better players usually knock out the LFR early in the week.  That means my odds of doing it with a better group are much better early in the week.  So first boss the maze comes up and myself and 4 others are the only ones that survive it.  Yes.  A total of 5 people survived.  On a Wednesday, when the better players are supposed to be playing.  Attempt two, seven people survived.  Three, four, five, all wipes.  On a freaking Wednesday.  Each time people leave and people come and we wait.

We did finally down it.  But I get called out, not once but twice for getting melee hit by the boss as a damage dealer and called a noob because I took aggro.  Excuse me?  After the maze is done and both tanks are dead, who do you think the boss is going to go after?  The only person over 100K DPS and on the top of the threat list of course you idiot.  I swear, not only are the people that play this game bad, but they are stupid.  And stupid is the understatement of the century with that remark.  I got called out for dying to the boss because the tanks were dead and the boss came for me.  Does this make sense in any world?

I did not get my trinket so I tried the first LFR.  You know, the easy as pie one on a Wednesday when it should be super easy.  We wiped 3 times on the first boss because we did not have enough DPS.  Even with the puddles giving people a damage boost there was me and a warlock as the only two people over 150K.  Wait, that sounds too elitist right?  Lets try this again.  There was me and a warlock as the only two people over 100K.  Still too much to ask of LFR people?  Okay, lets try this one more time.  There was me and a warlock as the only two people over 50K.

I am not kidding.  17 damage dealers and outside of us two not a single once of them managed over 50K.  They did mechanics right.  They stepped in the puddles ASAP.  They ran out with the lightning.  They all seemed to know what they were doing mechanic wise, they just had no clue how to hit the freaking buttons on their keyboard.  It took 3 wipes and lots of people dropping and coming before we were able to down it.  On a Wednesday people.  A Wednesday when the better players are supposed to be on.

This is just one example of the issue I think the game has right now.  Even if everyone says the game is getting too easy I say it is getting too hard for the people it is aimed at.  If you want to open the valor vendors, you need to do LFR.  If you want the best easy mode gear, you have to do the LFR.  If you want to do the legendary for everyone quest, you have to do the LFR.  You get the idea.

And it is not just the LFR, it is everything they are adding to the game.  The isle lead in quests are brutal for someone that does not know how to play.  Sure, I've gotten 4 characters to 90 since it came out and stepped into them the second I hit 90 without any gear and did them all, but I know how to play.  I hear others complaining left and right that they are impossible.  The people complaining are the ones that content was made for.  It was not made for me, that is for sure.  And just think of those quests.  If these people have issues with those solo scenarios how do you think they do the quests?  They can't.

The barrens was meant to be a catch up system.  Seriously, a catch up system that offers 489 gear when the current normal gear is 522?  That is not catch up.  That is an insult.  Next patch when the standard normal gear will be 553 the catch up gear will be 496.  Not exactly a catch up if you ask me.  Not even close to a catch up.  Blizzard needs to make a catch up system that, you know, lets people catch up.  Giving the people gear from 2 tiers ago as a catch up mechanic is not exactly catching them up.  Not even in the slightest.

I have watched, and admittedly laughed my ass off, people dying over and over on single mobs in the barrens.  Or accidentally getting two or three and face planting instantly.  Just the other day I saw a worgen run past me as I had a pack of about a dozen on me and jump off the side of the hill in the lumber area with a train following him.  I guess he thought he had a better chance surviving the fall then he would fighting them.  I loved it, it made my day, it was very funny, but it also stressed the point I am making here.  The barrens catch up content is not made for the people it is intended for, unless they are in a group.

The game has just gotten to the point where it is too hard for the vast majority of the player base.  The LFR is too hard, the isle is too hard, the barrens is too hard.  Sure, you and me might have no issue on it, even with a fresh 90.  But remember, you and me are not part of the 600,000 that just quit because we felt there was nothing in the game for us.

Sure, those people could have quit for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with what I said.  But we are here to take guesses, offer opinions and this is my guess on what is wrong and it is my opinion that making the game for the 99% will work a lot better than trying to turn the 99% into the 1%.

600,000 losses is actually not a lot compared to what they have been losing.  There should be no "OMG end of the world" worry about it.  The company is fine, even more so if it can spend 8.2 billion to separate itself from vivendi so there is no cause for worry.  But I would still like to see them make the content that is for the non-raiders capable of being done for the non-raiders.

Sure, I will miss watching worgens jump to their death with a train of mobs following them, but I will definitely not miss wiping 3 times on a boss that should be a push over in the LFR even with people that don't normally raid.  Make the casual content easier blizzard, make it doable by the people it is meant for, seriously, it would be better for everyone, not just them.  If you do that you just might pick up some users.  As much as people will flame me over saying this, easy sells.  People want easy.  Let them have it and then let raiding be for the people that want more.  Everything else should be easy mode for casuals.  LFR is easy mode for you and I maybe, but trust me, week after week I see it first hand, LFR is not even close to easy mode for the masses.  And if I were one of those people and LFR was all I had if I wanted the best I could get solo, I too would have quit by now.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will the Proving Grounds Help or Hurt?

Reading an article over at wow insider about the proving grounds feature coming up made me think about the situation of it being used as a yardstick to measure a players worth.  I have thought on this before I read the article, thought about it a lot since it was first released.  I even have considered making some level of it, maybe even as low as bronze, a prerequisite to join the 25 man raid team when it comes out.  Does that make me a bad person?

Let me give you a little background on me however just in case you do not know.  I hate people that list in trade some silly requirement to join their pug.  Absolutely hate it.  I even hate people that would post "meet me in the trade district for inspection".  You either want me or you don't.  If you are too lazy to type my name into and look me up yourself then I am too lazy to come find you for inspection.  You are looking for me to join you, not the other way around. so you do the leg work.  End of story.

As a raid leader myself I understand the need for things like that.  I do understand that when I bring my DK to your group you do not want me gemmed for spell power so my icy touch hits for more.  I do understand that you do not want me using a strength weapon on my druid because it has parry when I can not even parry to begin with.  I do understand that my warlock should not have spirit on his gear, but also am willing to explain if I do end up with one or two pieces while gearing up that it is was better than what I had and leave it up to you if you take that as a measure that means I know it is wrong or I am just making excuses.

The thing is, whenever I would pug I would just tell people to whisper me and I would look them up on my own.  I would not tell them to come to me.  I want them, so I do the work.  It is demeaning to ask them to come to you, like calling your dog, here king, here king.  At least I think it is and I would never ask someone to do something I would not do myself.  I would not walk to someone to let them inspect me so I would not ask someone to do the same.

There was the whole "must link achievement" crap too that I never got into.  Sometimes people would ask for insane achievements to be linked.  This was common place when achievements came out in wrath faded somewhat after gear score made it big.  It never went away however, we still see it from time to time. 

I even remember when cataclysm first came out and we had BH for the first time, at least the first time I ever saw us have it.  Someone started a group saying, must link achievement.  Dude, the game has been out for a week and the alliance have never controlled BH before, how the hell can anyone have the achievement?  Someone actually asked that in chat and the person assembling the group linked his achievement and said, we had it last week around 2 server time Thursday night.

Yeap, link achievement crap is ridiculous.  I, like the person in trade, was denied access because I am actually sleeping in the middle of the night, god forbid.  Poor us.  No big deal, I made my own group and did it, screw him.  We even finished it before he did.  You should never need an achievement to do something.  Never.  There is no reason for it unless you are assembling it to be carried because you suck.  Simple as that.

Gear score was another joke.  While gear score could be amazingly useful to view gear it did not take into account that some items of a lower item level were actually better.  In wrath the greatness card was awesome if you could not get a better drop and many, if not most, people still had it heading into ICC.  I know I did.  It was a great item even if its item level was much lower than current gear.  The paladin relic was the same too.  The low level one was great for a very long time.

The final nail in the coffin for gear score in my opinion was when wrath introduced the weekly raid. People would start asking for groups for naxx, 5000 gear score needed.  So I need all ICC gear to do a boss that was not even hard when I was in dungeon blues?  Excuse me.  Yeah.  That was the end of gear score.

Item level became the big thing in cataclysm and that too started to take the approach of the gear score joke asking for 5K for naxx.  Toward the end of cataclysm I would routinely see people asking for people item level 490 or better for firelands.  Normal folks, not heroic.  I can see asking for a higher item level to pug heroics.  Heroics by nature are harder, pugs by nature are harder.  So maybe asking for a higher item level can ease some of the pain.  But we are talking normal here.  There was a rogue on my server that would set up a DS pug each week asking for a 495 item level or better.  Dude, if someone has a 495 or better item level they are doing heroics thank you very much.  I was never a fan of the item level thing either.

Experience is another one of those numbers people love to throw around.  I am x/12 normal or x/12 heroic.  Congrats, that is what your guild or pug is capable of doing.  Raiding is a team sport.  You did not do that all by yourself and it is not a measure of how good you are.  All that shows me is you have experience and I do value that highly, but that doesn't mean you are any good.  Maybe at the extreme high end with harder heroic kills it would mean a lot, but when we are only talking normals, it means nothing.  There are dozens of people if not hundreds I carried to kills over the years that were not even raiders.  Having kills means nothing, at least it isn't without context behind it.

I have a few people in my guild with heroic kills from when they were on another server and transferred over thanks to free transfers or something.  I would not even bring them on our 25s when we can carry a few people, yes they are that bad.  I bring some people in the 460s and 470 each week but I would not bring them.  The best two players I have ever seen in my life playing the game are both 0/12 this patch because they have not been playing.  But I know what they can do, they are great with mechanics as well as doing their job extremely well at the same time and I would take them into my team in a heartbeat because of that.  The fact they have no kills means nothing to me.

While I do admit that all of these systems could draw my attention.  If someone whispered me wanting to join and said he had the achievement, I would be interested and would definitely look him up.  If someone offered to come to me so I could inspect him, I would know right off the bat I did not need to.  If someone said I have a 5000 item level for the naxx weekly when I would have taken a fresh 80 in all greens to begin with I would send them an invite without even thinking.  When someone says to me they have a 510 item level now, I tell them I will test them out to see what they can do.  If someone said I have cleared it on normal I would at least know I should not need to explain the fights to them.  So yes, offering those bits of information to me will, or could, sway me into inviting you.  The key is, I would never ask for them.

When I pug and someone whispers me my first question is, can you follow instructions and mechanics?  If they answer yes I will follow up by asking them what their gear is and if they have any experience in the content we are doing.  But if they said they can follow instructions and mechanics I will at least give them a try.  Even without the best gear or any experience in the content I am pugging for.  They are worth at least testing out to see what they can do as long as they can do those key thing, follow instruction and mechanics.

So, with all that babble said, being I am so completely against all these measuring sticks like achievements, gear score, item level, why would I actually be considering using proving grounds as a requirement to raid?

Because proving grounds are completely different from everything else.  It is not some made up number that means nothing to me.

Lets go over all the previously mentioned things and I'll explain why they are useless as a single meaning stick.  As I said, all would make me look at your potential but I would not blindly send you an invitation because of it.

Achievements:  I killed LK on my priest before I did my main.  I am better at my main.  If you judge me by my achievements you would say I am better on my priest.  My priest just happened to be a disc priest and that really helped on that fight, hence the reason I got a kill on that before my hunter.  The fact it has the achievement before my hunter means nothing. It sure as hell did not mean I was better at it.

Now add the shared achievements and the fact I can link anything I have done on any character as if it was coming from that character itself.  I could link various achievements that show I have done current content on my warrior and he just hit 90 and has never even done a dungeon yet.  No, achievements mean nothing.  Maybe I will look at you because you said you did it, but it will not sell me on you knowing how to play that character all by itself.

Gear Score / Item Level:  You can get fairly geared without ever stepping foot into a raid.  You could get to, just a guess, a 530 item level.  Some might say, that would be ready for heroics.  I would say, that is nice, but lets see what you can do with that gear.  Gear just shows potential and yes I would prefer to have a tank that has the gear to take the hit over a tank that does not even have the gear to take the hit but if the tank does not know how to use cooldowns, even that gear will not be enough to carry him through without making the life of the healers a freaking nightmare.  Right healers?

So while I do put value on the potential gear offers, like someone in 440 gear is not going to do the 80K minimum I seek, it is not the be all end all and I would never invite someone just because they have gear alone.

Experience:  Experience can mean two different things and I would need to actually do the leg work to see which it is.  If I look you up and see you have 14 full clears it means a lot more than me looking you up and it saying you have 1.  Both people would say they are 12/12 wouldn't they because they both are.  Yet their skill level most likely is not the same.

One of those people from my guild that I mentioned earlier has 3 heroic bosses down and 2 full clears.  I've seen him play.  He was carried, no doubt in my mind.  There is no way that someone that can't break 40K DPS in 523 gear is doing heroic content when we have a person in our guild that is the same item level and same class and spec and he can do over 150K and over 300K+ on buff fights.  So I would not invite someone based on their experience only.

Inspection:  Like I mentioned in the experience, it only means something when you inspect someone.  You will see that their experience could be real and not just one run through where they might have been carried.  You can see their gear, you can see their gems, you can see their talents, you can see their reforges.  You can really see them.

However, there is something that, for me at least, always felt wrong about using this as the only measuring stick even if it is the best of all the ones I have mentioned.  This could be an alt.  They could be a great player but can't afford the better gems because they suck at making gold.  They could have not put on a shoulder enchant because they know they are replacing it soon.  All this can be found out by asking, but when making a pug I am not recruiting for my guild.  I am not going to go through this much effort for everyone.  So while inspection is a fantastic way and really the best way of all of these to judge someone, sadly, it is not very practical and it can tend to leave you with false impressions.

So the big question here is this...

If I am so against judging people like that why am I considering using the proving grounds as a way to measure peoples worth as a player?

Because the proving grounds are different.

Achievement:  Unlike other achievements that are time sensitive this one is not.  Like having the achievement for doing BH when you have never been online to do BH this achievement can be attained at any time you are on.  You can do it at your own leisure.  You can fail it 101 times and finally do it, but in those 101 times you learned enough to get to the point where you are capable of doing it (or at least I hope so).  This achievement can also only be earned solo.  This means you earned it.  Not the team you were with and being it is your achievement and your achievement only, it holds a hell of a lot more weight with me.

Gear Score / Item Level:  It means absolutely nothing in the proving grounds.  You have a set item level.  You have to work within that set item level to complete the task at hand.  So if you are a 440 item level or a 540 item level means nothing.  This will prove you know what to do at the set gear level and show that you are a worthy investment to gearing up.  I might even be more likely to pull someone into a raid that managed a gold but is seriously under geared for the current content because I know they know how to play their role well and are just in the position that they lack gear.  Gear can be fixed and I would love to help a gold winner get that gear because me helping them means them helping me later when they are geared up.

Experience:  Like I said with my priest getting a LK kill before my hunter.  That did not mean I was good at my priest.  So because it had kills means nothing.  It was the group that did the kills, not me alone.  All I did was just spam some bubbles, big freaking deal.  Or like the person in my guild with heroic kills that can't break 40K.  Or another that has a full clear because his friend is in the top guild on the server and they had an open space so they let him tag along, in his own words, they did not need me, they could have 9 manned it.  Having experience does not mean you can do the content.  Except here it does.  You are alone, as I mentioned before.  If you can do this, you can do this.  Some might say you can let someone else in on your account and that might be true, but to me I would like to think people would not stoop that low.  If I see you have done it I will believe you have the skills to do it.

See, the issue here is that all those things mean something else when in a group setting.  Something, that while it might peak my interest in dragging you along on a pug, would not be enough in and of itself to sway me.  But doing the proving grounds would indeed be enough to sway me all on its own.

For as much as I am against requiring things to join a raid I have to think I might just consider this as an option, the first ever I would endorse, to ask for when looking for people for a group.

Now, I would not ask for much.  If I am doing pug content a bronze would be ample.  It shows you have the basic abilities and in a pug you never expect too much, so all you want is people that have, at the very least, a grasp of their basic abilities and skills.  And a bronze should be capable of showing that.

For my raid team, as a casual guild and seeing how most people play, I would think a silver would be a reasonable request from a normal mode guild.  If you can not manage a silver you have to wonder if you should even be raiding.  At least reading the reviews it leads me to believe that.  Perhaps if I were looking for more than just casual progression I might ask for gold but that would even be pushing it.  I doubt I would ever go that far, but it remains to be seen how easy or hard it is when it hits live.

I do have one huge question about this whole new proving grounds however and maybe someone else heard about it.  With the advent of shared achievement what happens if I get the achievement for "the proven damage dealer" on my hunter and then link it on my rogue?  As it is now, it would show as it is my rogues achievement.  Lets be real, I will never in a million years be "the proven damage dealer" on my rogue.  Not because I can't do it, I probably could if I put my mind to it, but because I don't like playing one and I would never consider investing the amount of time in it to get that good.

If people can fake their proving ground medals then the proving grounds really starts to lose a little of its... luster.

Perhaps that is when we have to fall back on the single best thing to ever judge someone in game.  Inspection, online, where you can see if they indeed got the achievement on that character, and can look at everything else.

Even if I might consider using the proving grounds as a measuring stick for invites to pugs or the main raid team nothing can ever beat the good old fashion leg work of inspection.  But at least now I can say, I will only inspect you if you have received a bronze, or silver or gold or proven in the proving grounds.

I think I will like this little addition to the game, even if I end up not using it to judge a persons worth and just use it as another tool to judge potential because it is something that is done solo and proves that you can do it.

What do you think?

Will the proving grounds become the next "link achieve" that people ask for to pug?

Do you think it will be a good judge of a persons ability?

Remembering My First: Random Dungeon

The date was December 8th 2009 and patch 3.3 had just dropped.  Random dungeons, among many other things, were just being added to the game.  As has always been my desire I wanted to try it out as soon as I logged on.  There were also three new dungeons, but I wanted to wait until later when more guild mates where on to try them.  So I just hit the queue button and let it fly.

There was almost no wait.  I think I was in queue for all of 3 minutes, even as a damage dealer.  I ended up getting into Azjol Nerub.  Just as luck would have it, it was a dungeon I had never done before.  Anyone that was around back then will remember that we used to need to assemble our own groups and there were certain dungeons that people just did not ever like to do.  The two down there were two of the dungeons no one ever wanted to do.  The other was the Oculus.  So at that point in the game, yes, this far into the expansion, I had still never done those three dungeons.  I'd finished naxx, EoE, OS, ToC and got 10 deep in Uldaur but I still had never stepped foot into these three dungeons.

I must admit I would have preferred to get a dungeon I knew for my first ever random dungeon.  I mean I do not know any of these people and I have always felt a little uncomfortable around people I did not know.  Sure, you have to meet people eventually but when assembling on your own server it was a lot different.  These would not be people I would ever see again most likely.  They have no vested interest in how I do over all or taking it slow so I can learn and hopefully not screw up whereas someone on my server would not mind someone new to the dungeon because they would have a vested interest in me getting better.

See, that was part of the beauty of hand picking dungeon running mates.  For as frustrating as it could be assembling your own group you knew that if you did it and found someone good in a run it could end up being someone you could run with every day.  So if someone were to say, I've never done this one, they would explain it and not think anything of it.  It was in their best interest not to be a dick about it.  If they kicked you because you had never done it they could get a name of the server of being a jerk.  They would also need to go back to find someone else.  Another waste of time after taking however long it was to assemble the group to begin with.

I admit I was a little scared of the idea of playing with people I did not know and would never see again.  I had spent a decent amount of time in groups with people I never knew but they were on my server, I would see these people again.  Getting to know them made sense to me.  I knew right off that there would be no real good reason to get to know these people and I was sure they felt the same about me.  There was no need to get to know me.  So I was not sure what to expect.

When assembling your own group you usually talked while assembling, talked on the way there, talk about what you were going to do.  You communicated, not always because you had to but because you wanted to.  These people were your peers and you would be playing with them on this server.  Would a random group have the same feeling of people wanting to connect or would it be a go go go mentality.

While it is true that the random dungeon system has evolved into a go go go mentality on December 8th of 2009 it was not that way.  It was new to all of us and people were downright awesome.  At least in my first run they were.

I zoned in and we all said hello to each other. Three people, myself being one, said it was their first random.  Two had done a random before but one of those two had never done this dungeon either.  We all had decent gear so there would be no difficulty of course, except for the difficulty of adjusting to a random group.

I did what I always do and I set my focus to the group leader, because the group leader is always the tank when we assemble groups.  It wasn't until shortly later that I noticed it does not work that way in a random dungeon.  Yes, complete huntard moment.  I misdirected the first pack of mobs to the healer.  Oops.  The healer complained about getting aggro and I immediately admitted it was my fault.  I explained that I set focus for my misdirect macro on the group leader because we always made the group leader the tank.  The healer said it was understandable being it was my first time a random.

I fixed my misdirect focus to the tank because now I noticed that little symbol that only one person has for the position of leader does not mean tank, it just means leader.  The tank could be someone else.  In this case it was.  It wasn't until after I made that mistake that I noticed the little shield, swords and plus mark which designated the tank, damage dealers and healer respectively.

We laughed a little about it and I appoligized a few times.  They all said it was no big deal, we all need to learn how this new thing works.  It was like making a group of people on my own server.  There was talking, there was explaining, there was figuring things out as a group, there was joking, there was fun and there was achievement hunting.

On the second boss the tank said, want to go for the achievement.  I said, sure, but I don't know what the achievement is.  The tank said, the idea is that you pull and then feign death to reset the boss then we run down and kill it.  One of the DPS joked, but make sure to misdirect to the healer first.  I said, okay, and we all laughed.

I did as instructed and aggroed and feigned death, after dismissing my pet of course, as I knew he could cause problems if he were still there when I feigned and it reset the boss.  We ran down and beat up the boss and got the achievement for it.  The DPS said afterward, you messed up, you were supposed to misdirect to the healer first.  I said, sorry, I'll try to do better next time.  We all laughed again.

We ended up clearing the dungeon with no real issues outside of me misdirecting the first pack to the healer.  Leave it to the huntard to make the only mistake of the dungeon.  But in a way, it became the perfect ice breaker for the group of people using this new random dungeon feature on the day it came out.  We all talked, we all had a good time, and oddly enough when the dungeon was over we all stayed in group for a few minutes and exchanged pleasantries.  We wished each other a good day, thanked each other for the run and said we hope we bump into each other again.

I do not recall the names of any of those four people I was with that first day of random dungeons release in my first random, but I did recall them for a while back then.  I kept thinking maybe I would run into them again.  But the collective of people to choose from for randoms is so huge at max level that the odds of seeing someone again are slim to none and I never once saw any of them again and soon their named faded from my memory. 

I could not even tell you the class my tank was any longer, or that of the healer.  I do not even recall what class the other two damage dealers were.  They become all nameless, classless, figures of the past now.  But even if I can not remember who they were I do remember that they made my first ever random dungeon a good one.  Random dungeons have changed a lot since then but that can never taint the memory I have of the random dungeon system showing some real promise the day it came out when I did my first one.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Misadventures of Gneville the Gnome - Out Shopping

So there I was waiting on line at Crown Grocery in Stormwind when this elderly dwarf lady kept staring at me.  More so starting at the ten pound bag of dog food that was almost as big as I was that I was lugging to the counter to buy for my perky pug.  She kept giving me strange looks.

I really did not pay much attention to her as the looks scared me some but I did over hear her saying something to the human standing behind her about how gnomes can't be hunters so what could I possibly need so much dog food for.  I wanted to say "hello, battle pets" but I did not interject.

Finally, when she started staring at me again I felt the need to say something, it was getting a bit discomforting.  I mean, I am dead sexy and all.  I am used to being stared at by women, dwarves too, but this was not that lusty look for my gnomish good looks I am used to.  It was downright scary.

"Can I help you with something?" I asked the elderly dwarven lady.
"I was just wondering, do you have a dog?"

Now I could have just said yes, it is for my perky pug.  He eats me out of house and home and loves to wipe his butt on the carpet.  Come to think of it I should have picked up some carpet cleaner too but this line is too long today to go back and get it now, I'll come back tomorrow for that.  But decided to have a little fun with this.

"No, I do not have a dog."  I said in a matter of fact what is the big deal way and turned away.
I then felt her tap me on the shoulder and ask, "Then what is all that dog for food?"
"Oh, it is for me, I am starting the Kings Kibble diet."
"Kings Kibble diet?" She questioned, obviously confused.
"Oh yes, it is a really great diet.  I lost 30 pounds the last time I was on it.  I ended up in the medical ward however, but it was worth it."
She just managed an "Oh" and said nothing else.

For a few minutes she would look around and back at me.  Every time the line moved forward and I lifted the bag to step forward and plopped it back on the ground it looked as if she were about to say something but didn't.  So I figured I might need to bait her a little bit by telling her how the diet worked.  She no longer had that scary look when she was starting it me, it was more of an inquisitive one, so I knew I had her hooked.

"You see," I said to her and waited for her to turn to me so I knew she was paying attention "I fill all my pockets with kibble and whenever I am hungry I just grab one out and nibble on it.  It actually tastes okay too and it has all the vitamins and minerals a growing gnome needs to survive, so it is quite good for me too."
"Really? That is very interesting." She said. 

I could hear the next sentence dangling on the tip of her dwarvish tongue as I was lifting my bag to put it on the counter to check out.  Finally it was my time to pay up and get out of here.  Her time was almost over too, if she had a question, and I knew she would, it would have to come soon.  After I was done paying, as she was putting things on the counter and I lifted the bag to go she finally came out with it.

"If it is so healthy how did you end up in the medical ward?" She asked.
I smiled and replied "I had this uncontrollable urge to bend over and sniff Crithho's butt and he mauled me." and then I skipped out of the store and as her jaw hit the ground I was laughing the whole way.

What is an Appropriate Gear Level for Someone That Does Not Raid?

I believe this is an interesting question and I suspect that I will get a wide degree of opinions about it.  Many most likely calling me out for asking too much of people that are casual players.  In a recent discussion about raiding and some people using gear as an excuse for not doing well it raised two questions in my mind.

1) What gear do you need to do current content? (which I will not address now as it is not all about gear and that is a topic in and of itself)

2) How geared can you get even with no raid drops?

So many people keep saying, when trying to get into our 25 man, that they just can't get any gear.  I've become relatively fed up with hearing this.  If someone makes an effort, even a minor one, they can gear up.  But what constitutes a reasonable effort?

I have one character, which while they do have a few raid kills they have never received one raid drop, that is currently sitting at 516.  They have every item you can buy with valor, the only thing they do not have is the shoulders you can buy with gold as they are not exalted with the shado-pan assault.  They are an alt that I play once in a while here and there and if I raid even the LFR with them once a month it is a lot.

They have managed to not only get every single valor piece they can get, but they got one piece from nalak.  They do not have the legendary cloak because quite frankly I have not even tried to get it on any character besides my main.  The have one trinket that is 483 and the rest of their items are 502 raid finder level.  So 516, with little to no real effort put into gearing them up.

I have another character, which as well raided and has one raid drop, that is 517.  I have two others that I have not even played at all in any way shape or form in a month that are 512 and 514 respectively.  Just from the little I did play them.

I have one character that has just been lucky with heroic scenarios.  They have yet to even finished the LFR version of ToT but they are rocking a 518 item level.  A 518 item level and they have not even done all four of the ToTs yet.  Not kidding.

So if you were to ask me I would say that a 510 item level is the bare minimum anyone that has been playing since the patch came out should have even if they are a part time player if they have the intention to try to raid.

So basically when someone comes to me and says, "If I get some drops I can do better" I just want to ask them, what are you doing with your time online to not even have a 500 item level yet?

I see some people online every day.  As in every single day they are on and for substantial amounts of time.  These are people that want to raid, they keep asking to raid, so what are they doing with their time online to only have a 485 to 498 item level?

Am I just being too demanding to think that someone that is online at least a few times a week should have at least a 510 item level if their intention is to raid?

How is 510 too much to ask of someone that is online most days?  With valor gear alone you should be able to get mostly there.  Running the LFRs, heroic scenarios, nalak, oon, and even crafted items if you are willing to spend the money, 510 does not seem like all that high to me.

As a matter of fact, looking over my raid team I see people that have been raiding since the get go this patch and two of them are only at 517.  How the hell do you raid every single week and be only at 517 at this point.  Sure, I know we are not downing a lot of bosses each week and there might not have been many drops for you, but to be an every day raider since the patch dropped and be only 517 shows you are not trying.

Sure, there could be the issue with drops, but you should have your cloak by now, you should have every valor piece by now, you should have 1 or 2 nalak pieces if you got lucky and maybe even an Oon one.  You should have everything upgraded or near upgraded.  How is it possible to be only at 517 as a regular raider at this point?  If my tank was that it would be acceptable as it is an alt, even if I used it, and I pass on everything so mains can get it first.  And I still have higher than that having passed on everything.

More and more I wonder if people just do not try.  If they take the fact this is a casual raid guild to mean that trying is not needed.  That gear is not needed.  Well, it is needed, even if doing mechanics right is needed more, the gear is still needed.  I do not care if we are casual.  If you can not cap on valor each week to make yourself better when we are not downing bosses or you are not getting drops, you are not trying and sorry, you are not a raider.

A raider, even at the casual level, in my opinion is someone that tries to do what they can do.  That means the simple things like capping valor, upgrading items, working on reputations needed to buy things.  I do not except casual as an excuse for not trying.

While I believe that 510 should be attainable by anyone that even tries a tiny bit I believe that 520 should be the absolute minimum anyone that considers themselves a raider, or wanna be raider, should be at by now in the patch.  I understand it is really hard to get much further without luck or without actually raiding.  But 520 should be an easy mark to get to if you are really trying and 510 should be an easy mark to get to if you want to raid.

Unless you are a new 90 or super casual, as in only one once or twice a week, anything under 510 means you are not really interested in raiding or not really dedicated enough to want to raid for me to let you raid.

I think the appropriate item level for a non raiding character to be 510 or near it.  What do you think?  Or do you think I am over estimating that mark as easy to get for a casual player or wanna be raider?

It would be easy for my view to be tainted as I have a few characters over that level.  So perhaps I am being too harsh in saying that at this point anything less than 510 is not really trying.  What do you think the appropriate gear level for someone that does not raid is right now?

Note:  LFR does not count as raiding for this example, it is just another method to grind gear, rep and quest items, nothing more, nothing less.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Public Penalties Would Work

In a recent post on the US forums that had someone complaining about the logic of blizzards system a blue made a response.  As normal for me there is something I can pull out of this response and complain about and I am going to do exactly that.  The first point is not really my main reason for this post but I felt it was something I needed to complain about, because I am grumpy like that.  The second part I quote is where the meat is, where I believe that public penalties would work. 

I am guessing this particular blue responder was no different than the others I have seen spewing the same line of bull crap dribble that all blues seem to dish out that says a lot but means absolutely nothing, so it must be blizzard policy to talk a lot and say nothing of use.

First off, the blue in question is Vrakthris, which being I have never had anything to complain about them must mean they are either rarely active or newer and as such I don't see anything much from them to complain about or they might actually be one of the smarter blues which in turn would give me much less to complain about.  What really got me to post this however is one word, doubtful, that you will see in the second quote and solidified, for me at least, that this is something I worthy of complaining about.

Before I start being my grumpy self I should note I have no clue who the poster is or what they are talking about.  In fact there could be a lot to the story he did not say, and there probably is, but I am only making my points based on what he said and what was replied to him. 

Now to pick apart one wrong within the blizzard policies that the blue mentions.

Poster: This doesn't seem to correct the behavior of the violating player, given the fact that if one of us were to go off so to speak on said player in trade we would receive a ban for language.

Blue: If your violation was reported in the appropriate manner and the other parties was not? Yes, that is entirely possible.

The important thing to remember is to not engage, if you are mutually combative then it limits our options. Report inappropriate language/subject matter when you witness it and do so every time.
I agree with mr blue poster here.  Use the report system every time you see inappropriate language or something you deem worthy of reporting.  I completely agree with mr blue here.  I follow a strict non-engagement policy when I run into people like that.  I stress that on my guild mates.  Report and move on.  So this blue is not completely clueless, not in the slightest, he offered solid advice.

However, and this is the big part, this advice only works when something is done about it.  If you report and move on and others in the guild report and move on and this continues over and over with multiple people reporting and moving on and nothing happens sooner or later there will be a confrontation.

Most people are willing to play by the rules, report and move on.  But when they see nothing being done about it they could or will eventually fall victim of their own frustration about the situation, which is completely 100% blizzards fault for not taking action to begin with, and then and only then they might clash with said person.

This blue is saying that if that moment happens you could be banned for defending yourself?  WTF?  No way that should ever happen.  If the first interaction between the two is mutually combative then yes I could see some actions being taken on both parties.  But when one party has repeatedly used the report function and many people in his guild have repeatedly used the report function and nothing is done about it you should never blame the person for becoming combative when the only recourse they have left is to handle it themselves because blizzard won't do a damn thing about it.

If the GMs did their job and took care of the person that was repeatedly reported there would have never been a confrontation.  The confrontation is because of the lack of moderation on the part of the people that are supposed to be enforcing the rules but apparently they are too busy siting on the couch eating bon bons watching housewives of atlanta on tv instead of doing their job and banning, or at least warning, the person that was reported multiple times.

Do not even for a moment suggest that the person being harassed could have action taken against them for defending themselves.  The only reason they would ever be put in the situation where they feel they have to defend themselves is because they know the report feature will do nothing.  The GMs will ignore it, they will pretend like it didn't happen, and the person will go on doing whatever it was they were reported for.

My main point here is that if a person shows restraint and follows the rules of the game using the report system and continues to get attacked by said person and blizzard does nothing then blizzard is in the wrong, not the player.  And if they get pushed to the point where they do reply it is absolutely wrong to threaten them with a suspension when if blizzard had done their job to begin with and warned or auctioned the person it would have never went that far.  Threatening the victim is wrong but it seems to be blizzard modus operandi.

Now to the comment that made me want to write this post.

Poster : Not to mention if it were made known in global chat that "Player X was banned for X amount of days for cheating/Harassment...whatever really"

Blue:  Doubtful, such information tends only to encourage additional harassment, usually of the person being called out. We don't provide information about another player's account. An action taken on an account is between us and the registered user on the account.
I have long been a supporter of this idea, the calling out the banned idea.  I believe each server should have an updated list on their forums with all actions taken against people on their server for everyone to see.  I believe everything should be made public for all to see.  The blue with his "doubtful" comment shows he is about as clueless as clueless could be when it comes to this topic at least to think that showing people that they actually do get in trouble for doing this is not a deterrent.

Such information would not encourage additional harassment.  If someone just got banned for harassment anyone that would harass them because of their ban would deserve a ban of their own for doing so.  It would be known that you do not harass people because you got banned publicly and then no one would pick on you because you got banned by knowing that they too could get banned now and it too would be made public.

But all that aside, seeing that people are being banned for infractions shows people the system is working.  I have spoken to many people, read many forum posts, read many blogs, had my own experiences and over all I can say with complete certainty that the majority of the player base has absolutely no, or very little, faith in the system.  If we do not see something happening it does not happen in our minds.  That is human nature.

If people see others being banned for racist or inappropriate behavior they would know the system does work, they would be more willing to use the report system because they would see that is works.  If blizzard keeps this hush hush approach and people never notice that something is being done they lose faith in the system and will not use it.  But once they see that reporting people has actual results they would embrace the system and use it more.  Over all, in time, not over night, it would make for a better community by more people believing in the system and using it because they know it works because they can see it work.

It even works on the outer end.  I can give you at least a dozen examples where I was in random content and someone was being a complete jackass and when someone said something to them their only response was, blizzard won't do anything so quit your crying and they would continue to be a complete jackass.  I've seen it first hand many times and I am sure we all have.  People purposely trolling groups because they believe that blizzard won't do anything about it.  Public notices of bans would show them that actions do get taken.  Well, that is if blizzard actually ever decides to take any actions, but that is another topic of its own.  The key here is, people do not report because they don't think it works as they never see it work and people act like jackasses because they know they can get away with it because they too never see anyone get in trouble because of it.

Doubtful?  You doubt that people are more likely to use a system they can see works?  You doubt that the person that got in trouble will not do it again after he knows that everyone on the server knows he got in trouble because he calls everyone faggots?  You doubt that people will feel more comfortable playing a game that they believe actually has the best interests of them and their community in mind?  Well, I doubt that you have a clue.  So I guess we are both doubtful.

As I mentioned, I do not know the particulars of the case at hand.  That does not make a difference however when you see blue answers like that.  A blue threatening the victim is wrong and basically that is what he did even if not directly.  A blue telling people that taking action and letting people know that action is taken would be bad for the game because blizzard tells them to say that is wrong.

Seriously.  The system does not need to go super deep and let us know everything. People that were temp banned because they were hacked.  People that were banned for cheating or whatever.  They can hold that back if they want to.  But letting us know that the system works, by showing us that the people that are toxic to the community have had action taken against them is a good thing, a very good thing.  How blizzard can keep this hush hush policy is beyond me and how any blue, even if employed by blizzard can support this approach is beyond me.

Public penalties would work.  No matter what blizzard thinks or what that blue thinks.  It is why If people would see someone being banned for inappropriate language they might, just might, use the report system more, because they would see it is working and that would be good for the game.  Just the same as if they see people banned for calling people nigger they would be less likely to use that, an other, inappropriate terms and language in game.  Don't tell me public penalties would not work.  At least not until you try them.

Personally, I don't mind so much about the language part of it.  I wish they would start banning the jerks in the LFR that just AFK or try to wipe people on purpose.  You can say fuck all you want in my opinion, as long as you are not a jackass.  But either way, in mixed company, it is not appropriate to use such language and being children play this game as well we shouldn't use it.  I can deal with that and I can surely see public penalties helping others that are too stupid to learn that they can't act like they are hanging out on the street corner with friends in mixed company to deal with it as well.

Could you just see a line like this in all global chats?

[Holybob] has just been banned for 3 hours for calling [Jimmystabs] a faggot.

Makes me want to point and laugh like nelson on the simpsons.  ha ha!  That'll teach 'em.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts

- I spent most of my time this weekend on alts again.

- But that does not mean I completely neglected my 90s.

- But I did not do as much as I should have on them.

- I read somewhere that the item level for the new LFR is going to be 496.

- I don't know why but I think that is a little low.

- Personally my aim is 510 on all my 11 90s on my main server before the patch.

- That is what the LFR item level should be in my opinion, 510.

- I am not very close to having all of them at that level at all.

- My paladin, warrior, warlock and DK are still not even 480 so they can not get into the most recent LFRs.

- But I really do not want to do them anyway so that might not be a bad thing.

- My paladin is the only one that is not even LFR ready.

- The other three are at least 470 so they are in the second set of LFRs at least if I decide to work on them a little bit.

- Outside of them, only two characters are not over that 510 mark, my priest and my shaman.

- As they are both healers getting them there should not be much of a problem.

- I just have not really played them all that much this raid tier.

- To give you an idea how little I have used them this tier I have only needed to pop on to a healer twice this entire raid patch.

- Not even for full runs, for single bosses only.

- Once on the forth boss and once on the sixth, that is it.

- Hence the reason they have been left behind.

- I think I will work on them this week.

- Goal, 515 for both, at the least.

- Should not be much of a problem, they both left off last tier in a decent place and have gotten a few pieces here and there.

- My tank is still the leader of all my characters on bosses down.

- I swear I am getting used to the fact I am a tank more than I am a hunter for the past 4 years.

- Doesn't mean I am not still a hunter at heart.

- Did the first 5 on my hunter this week and did some nice numbers.

- Had to switch to my tank for the 6th onward however but it was nice to get in on a few bosses.

- Even did 259K on the first boss which ranked.

- Not so bad after not playing it for a month in a raid.

- Even more impressive when you think I still need tier pieces, a weapon because that 502 is in desperate need of something better, and my second trinket.

- I even noticed I made a lot of mistakes.

- I pre potted but forgot to use my second pot.

- I totally botched my pull rotation thus all but wasting my pre pot at that and thought it would be a horrible fight.

- I focus capped more than a few times and let my sting fall off multiple times.

- I also do not use crows which would have actually been a DPS increase.

- I guess you can take the hunter out of the raid for a month, but you can't take the raiding out of the hunter.

- It was nice seeing I did well even if I was rusty.

- Of course the turtle did not drop the weapon because he only drops it when I am not on my hunter.

- Is that a law or something?

- I did win my two best in slot trinkets however.

- One by roll and one by coin.

- Soul, thunderforged and juju, thunderforged.

- Yeah baby, lets see what I can do on that boss next time.

- If I use my second pot and I do not completely botch my opening and pay attention to my sting and focus I am sure 300K+ is a given now.

- So all I need now are tier pieces and the weapon.

- Not even nalak likes me.

- A kill and a coin every week since release and nothing.

- You would think I killed his kitten or something the way he hates me so much.

- Honestly I am amazed that I did that well being as out of practice as I was.

- I chalk it up to luck.

- Even I get lucky sometimes, and I did win the trinket off him after that performance.

- So I will call that all luck, not skill.

- But to the alts, which is where I spent most of my weekend.

- Got one of them to northrend.

- Two close to outlands.

- The rest are still pretty low, as in really low pretty low.

- Yes, I am developing an entire new collective on a new server, for the fun of it.

- There is something about building a network of characters and building their professions together that I really enjoy.

- I can't just do one character, it is not in me.

- While looking over my professions I noticed I made a few errors I made while creating them.

- I do not have three alchemists like I usually do and I have no engineers.

- I will have to make some adjustments to fix that fact.

- To build the perfect network of professions three alchemist are required.

- One potion master, one elixir master and one transmute master.

- I need to get back to my horde server eventually and finish that one off but over all I just like playing alliance better.

- Not sure why, perhaps it has something to do with their cities just being nicer.

- Actually did a dungeon on one of my lower levels as I was leveling.

- I never do dungeons but I saw a class quest and it had a weapon that was leaps and bounds better than the one I had.

- So I queued for it directly.

- Hey, even I can be enticed once in a while.

- Speaking of enticing me, can anyone give me one good reason to tank the LFR?

- Would make gearing up the warrior, paladin and DK a lot faster, but I just can not bring myself to do it.

- Too many bad experiences to want to even try again.

- And not really bad experiences of my own, just bad experiences of seeing other poor tanks in there.

- The low level dungeon I did I was last in DPS.

- So not used to that.

- Someone said to me, "no heirlooms?"

- I said, alt server, no 90s here.

- They were cool about it, but the power of heirlooms is indisputable.

- They did not beat me by lots but when you are doing 100 DPS and everyone else is 150 or better, that is 50% more and it is noticeable.

- Of course the tank was doing 250, tanks are so over powered when leveling.

- I wonder if people would still use heirlooms if the only thing they offered was extra experience and not extra power.

- It has been a while since I leveled anything with heirlooms, only my monk this expansion and as it was my first monk so I had nothing to compare it to, but the experience is completely different.

- I actually spent a lot of time this weekend leveling fishing on all those alts.

- Hey, it needs to get up somehow doesn't it?

- I leveled 4 characters from 1-50+ fishing.

- It is very peaceful.

- And I cleaned out the waters around stormwind really nicely too.

- I should get a paycheck from the king for cleaning them out.

- Have to wonder how I managed to catch a rock with my fishing hook however.

- Can't say I have ever seen a rock, a round one at that, that could be fished up with a hook.

- Also leveled up my cooking on as many characters as I could.

- Works nice having that army of alts all throwing their stuff in a guild bank.

- I have my own guild for my characters there, 8 of the 11 are in it, 3 are in another guild but I will bring them over one day.

- I am waiting until I make enough gold to buy the heirlooms from there before I move them.

- But I think I won't need them by the time that happens.

- I guess I have to get to selling some pets.

- That works nicely for gold, but I used all that gold to get all the tabs for my guild bank.

- I'll need to start selling again.

- My guild is almost up to level 5 now.

- Basically solo.

- I have two friends in the guild but neither of them are ever on so nearly all of that is me.

- I wonder if you can get a guild to 25 solo.

- I am sure someone has done it before.

- If not, someone, namely me, will be doing that at some time in the future.

- I like to set tasks for myself and that is one of them.

- I have three guilds on three different servers all over level 3 now.

- Not bad for just being me in them.

- But I never made an effort to get much higher with any of them because all they were are alt banks.

- On this server, it is my main play area.

- So I can actually work on getting to 25 with it.

- In 5 years maybe.

- The guild is on a role play server so there is actually a reason why it makes sense for me to have my own guild.

- Should I ever wish to role play that is, as all the characters are connected.

- Yes, I have their whole back story done up.

- Just because I do not actively role play doesn't mean I can not get into it sometimes.

- It is fun leveling on a role play server sometimes.

- I had a dwarf following me around for a while yesterday as I leveled barking.

- I would pet him occasionally and emote throwing him a treat.

- He would wait until I tagged something and then he would run in an attack it with me and run back to me and bark seeking approval.

- I got a kick out of it.

- He followed me for a good half an hour doing that and then ran off.

- On another character, being I always seek out rares, I walked to where the unknown soldier spawns because I was close to there anyway while turning in a quest.

- I walked in on two people skinny dipping in the little pool of water near where he spawns.

- So to play the part and I stopped and said, "I am sorry to intrude but perhaps you could help me.  I was supposed to meet the unknown soldier here for some information, have you seen him?"

- They answered they had not and offered to tell him I was here looking for him.

- I thanked them an moved along.

- That is part of the fun of leveling on a role play server, for someone like me that moves along as efficient as I can normally it is nice to change the pace a bit and just be, inefficient.

- I even had a nice conversation while leveling my fishing with someone who was also there doing the daily in stormwind.

- We were talking about how the fish where not biting today and it was probably something to do with the recent climate or something.

- Made the time pass while leveling fishing so much faster, that is for sure.

- If you have never leveled on a role play server if you try it and embrace it you might enjoy it.

- If gives you a minute to stop and smell the roses, figuratively of course.

- I needed a change of pace and this was it for a short while anyway.

- Soon it will be back to the gearing up for those alts I mentioned.

- Soon it will be back to having to enchant everything new I get.

- Soon it will be back to having to gem and reforge everything new I get.

- Soon it will be back to doing random content that I despise because of the people in it.

- Sometimes I wonder, is the end game really worth it when all you do is rush everything to get everything done.

- Sometimes maybe we would all be better off sitting down and casting a fishing pole into the waters somewhere and chatting about the weather for a bit.

- Speaking of the rat race I have my todo list in mind.

- I have to get all my barrens stuff ready to turn in as soon as I log in on tuesday so I get the valor head start when I log in.

- It is what makes me capable of capping in less than 2 hours, having that nice valor boost the second I log in.

- I only have 4 uncut meta gems left so I need to prospect some ore.

- I have over 2000 ore sitting in my bag ready to be prospected

- Then I need to send the appropriate gems over to my transmute master so I could convert them to meta gems.

- I need to restock on wild jade as well because I used my last two on saturday.

- After I used massive amounts of golden lotus to do tons of transmutes I need to get to farming more.

- Which means planting herbs on 11 characters each day to rebuild my stock.

- My enchanter has their mail box completely filled with stuff sent to it to disenchant.

- I keep getting upgrades so often and for so many characters keeping up with gems and enchants is out of hand.

- Knowing the new patch is most likely less than 2 months away and I will be gearing over and over, from LFR, from flex, from normal, I will need to make sure I have a huge stock.

- Being there is a new cloth I will need to start farming some cloth to make bolts out of.

- I am down to 600 bolts and that will go by really fast.

- So today I will do some research for the best cloth farming place.

- Being the barrens quests are being removed once the new patch comes out I need to get to some serious farming there because it is the best place to farm lesser charms.

- Might as well build a nice stash now for the lesser played characters.

- I need to turn in the roughly 20 mojos I have sitting around for pets, learn them, then go to another server that holds all my pets and cage them and put them in that bank and go back and forth just to get them out of my bags.

- I need to cap out on justice, at the very least, on lesser geared alts on alt servers so I can at least buy the 489 and 496 gear that is being lowered to justice when the time comes.

- There is just so much to do, so much going on, so much to plan for.

- That should explain why I actually have been playing on low level alts on a role play server the last two weekends.

- I needed a break from all that.

- If they removed gems, enchants, reforging, lesser charms, justice points, valor points, and all that jazz from the game I wouldn't mind at all.

- Just let us buy our gear with gold or get it from a drops and be done with it.

- What we wear is what we wear.

- Why does gear need to be such a huge part of the game when in the end all it really is is busy work.

- The gearing and preparing treadmill has worn me out and seeing the prospects of another level of raiding next tier just really means there is no relief in sight.

- I might as well just put a sign up on my 90s that says "gone fishing" and go plop my ass down on a role play server for a while.

- Have a great day.