This is one of those days I have a lot on my mind to talk about but no one topic in particular so I figured might as well just throw a bunch of topics together and have at it.
Yesterday I logged into my battle net account to gift some time to a friend that had their account expire and they did not really have the money to continue playing even if they wanted to. I'm a nice elf like that. I've often gifted time to friends, nothing really weird about that. I am sure we all have done that or received a gift or at least know of someone that has done so.
To my surprise I noticed that I had warlords on my account and I had never received an email telling me I had beta access. The last time I looked to see if I had an invite on the battle net account itself was when they sent out the invitations to people who have finished heroic. Being I had done so I figured maybe I would have an invite. I did not.
So it seems sometime between the day after they announced that, which was the last time I checked, and yesterday when I logged in to send my friend some gift time I managed to get myself a beta invite without getting a mail ever.
So, if you never got a mail I suggest you log into your battle net account online and see if you have a beta invite. It is quite possible it is there just like it was for me. It never showed on my launcher until after I logged into my account from the website and saw it. Maybe you will get lucky too.
Of course for my own selfish reasons I want to test things that directly pertain to me. Who wouldn't right? Of course I will be playing around with the three hunter specs so I can give me feedback, and most likely be ignored like they have all the other hunters it seems, but if we do not test and we do not speak up then there is one thing that is certain, nothing will change. So as a hunter it is my job to test and to speak up on what I feel works well, what I feel doesn't, and give feedback on how the class feels.
Then of course there is part two of me doing things for me and that is testing garrisons. I am really looking forward to them and I like the idea that I can get a feel for them on beta so I can decide what I want to do with them ahead of time instead of wasting time on live trying to figure it out later. No matter what blizzard says there will be a right choice for what you do with it. It will not be a sand box you can just play with.
You will have to send the right people to do the quests which not only means figuring out who is right, but which quests are best for you. Then there are the building and as a raider the one that gets you an extra roll in raids once per week will be the right choice. It will also be mandatory for anyone that wants to better their character. Yes, there is that word again and there you have it, even if just for the extra coin roll that garrisons are mandatory. Well, almost mandatory as you can still get extra rolls elsewhere.
From what I am reading I am leaning toward choosing building that support the professions I already have. Being I have all professions getting the secondary items all professions need will not be an issue. My alchemist will not need a mine to get ore because I have miners. So I might as well make something that supports my professions meaning perhaps an herb garden. As it seems if you choose something that is the same as a profession you already have you will get extra production from it. If I have everything myself, and choose only things I already have, all my characters, in effect, are getting extra. Awesome news for people with alts like me right? We will see, but that is why I want to test it out and make my decision now.
Then of course there is the standard beta stuff I have done before and that is just reporting anything that seems to not work, seems hard to use or understand, or is just plan bugged. After all that is what the beta is for. If I am not going to actually test stuff then there is really no reason to be there.
I liked the cinematic that was released yesterday because it seemed like a story was being told more than it seemed like an advertisement and it made me want more. More of the story at least. I think it would make for something good to watch.
I do worry however that the cinematic was too focused on people that used to play the game and while it is a good idea to try and get some of those lost players back in my opinion the game needs to try and draw new players as well. You can not focus only on trying to get the people you lost back. If you lost them you lost them for a reason. Maybe you can get some of them back but if they grew out of the game, can no longer afford, it, wanted to play something else, or just changed their tastes and no longer like this style of game no matter how much you tug on the nostalgia rope you will not get them to climb back up.
I do not see the cinematic as being something that can draw new players in and I believe that is needed just as much, if not more, than trying to get old players to come back. The story, to us that know it, is very interesting in the cinematic because we see how it is different, yet still the same, as our own history. The artowrk and presentation in the cinematic was exception as well but I personally can not see how anyone would look at the hair on Grom and not laugh, it just looks wrong on an orc to have some 80s metal band greasy hair do going. I half expected him to pick up a guitar and start some monster rift. Admittedly that would have looked really cool if he did however, while banging his head with his metal band hair flapping around.
Outside of the must have been added for its humor factor hair and the fact I don't think it could draw new players in the cinematic was quite good and extremely well done.
I do have one worry however and maybe you share it.
Watching the cinematic left me feeling as if the iron horde are the good guys. I know the story, I know why we are going there to fight them, I know they want to kill us, but even knowing all of that after watching the cinematic I wanted to BE the iron horde. They were the good guys. So if I felt that way imagine if it does drag someone new to the game, they are pushing the iron horde as the good guys and being only one faction has orcs who are all those people going to be if they do start playing, horde.
So if any new players are drawn in from that coming attraction get ready for a huge influx of players on the horde side because everyone that sees that cinematic is going to want to join the good guys and apparently based on the cinematic that means they are going to play orcs. They won't know they are not the same orcs as the good guy orcs they see in the cinematic.
Lords of War:
If you were to ask me to put the lords of war clip against the cinematic and pick which one I liked best it really would be no challenge here. The lords or war clip was ten time better than the cinematic in my opinion.
I really liked the art work and presentation of the story as they told it and the story was well written. It made me feel invested in what was going on and connected to Kargath, it had me rooting for him. When it was all over I wanted to be part of the shattered hand, I wanted to play as Kargath. It is another case, just like with the cinematic, where I was left feeling like he was the hero, the good guy.
It really feels weird going into warlords as the bad guys basically. Sure, we are protecting ourselves, but everything we see of the iron horde makes them seem as if they are the good guys. Blizzard is making absolutely no effort what so ever to covey the threat they pose, they just keep showing them in a favorable light. So much so that even someone like myself that knows what is coming and what we much do finds myself rooting for them, not wanting to kill them.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is it intended?
Who knows, but one thing is for sure at least from my perspective. I am looking forward to the next part of lords of war more than I am looking forward to the expansion. The plus of that is we will be getting the lords or war a lot sooner than the expansion so no real waiting involved there. The only sad thing here is I believe it was said there would only be five lords of war shorts. Color me a sad elf.
To say I am out of practice as a healer this expansion would be an understatement. Sure I can go into an LFR and heal it like I own the place but that has more to do with the fact that I am not a drooling idiot than the fact I know how to heal, because I don't. I am way to out of practice to heal anything of consequence.
I just do not have enough experience healing this expansion, not like I did in the previous expansions where I healed often and got quite decent at it. Anything you do often you get better at, that is just natural. I have not healed much at all this expansion and as such I am not really all that good at it right now. I've healed maybe a few bosses in the first tier, a few heroic runs in ToT on my priest and then there is thok, who I have healed on often as the third healer.
Really this tier my experience with raiding is maybe two of three bosses here and there once in a blue moon and thok a dozen or so times. I always end up playing third healer and as such it is usually just to help get over a hump and not really to press my healing limits or test my skills. That is all I ever heal, fill in. Oddly enough my healer is still wearing a freaking timeless island helm despite the fact I have healed thok so often, but at least it is a burdened one upgraded. You would figure with killing ordos each week, filling in on thok all the time, using coins on both, I would have come up with a tier token for the helm or a warforged helm at one point or another, but I haven't.
So here I am, with okay gear for having not played much and the legendary cloak done of course, but not a great deal of practice healing, going into a heroic run because we needed a healer. I honestly did not expect much because I do not have practice on the fights on normal. Usually if you have done something on normal, more so if you have done them plenty of times, you can easily move into heroic. But I not only had to heal the fights but learn the fights on heroic because my only real experience healing them was LFR and while that can be something in terms of learning there is a huge gap in what healing one and what healing the other is like.
With no actual normal experience to speak of I stepped into heroic. The group had 5 people, me included, that had some experience and of course my experience while full is only from the perspective of a damage dealer. The tanks and other healer had no heroic experience.
I did not do well, we wiped a lot, but I got better as each attempt went on. Had a bunch of wipes on the first boss, a couple on the second, one shot the third boss, and a couple of wipes on the forth. Over all I think I did okay but I could have done better. I felt completely useless. I know we downed bosses and in the end if you down the boss that means enough people lived to get the job done so as a healer you did your job but that does not mean I do not think I can do a lot better.
I might actually get into healing a little again. Might make the next three months more bearable. It would be something new because I have not done it. First things first however, I need to gear my healer a little better, some boots and some rings would be nice, not to mention that helm I spoke about before. About the only thing my healer doesn't need are trinkets. I have both amplification trinkets and as a disc priest they both work for me, the nazgrim trinket and the thok trinket. All my other characters can not get a trinket for their life but this character is rolling in them. Don't you love how things work sometimes?
Any advice for a disc priest basically starting at heroic would be welcome. I know the fights of course so it is more a matter of getting better at healing them. I have a 558 item level but based on lack of playing the class and being out of practice I would say I am current performing at a 548 item level or less, and that should get better as I play it more.
Updating Old Elements:
Someone on MMOC asked a question on what we would like to see updated next. Cataclysm updated the old world, mists updated a lot of small sutff, warlords is updating character models and storage stuff among other small things so what would we like to see updated next.
Personally I think some UI management would be nice. Actually a lot of UI management would be nice. We should be able to move anything anywhere we like. I would like to be able to set up my bars the way I do with bartender. I would like to be able to move things like loot rolls and battleground counters like I do with move anything. I would like to be able to pull out the in game raid frames and use them like I use a healing add on. Some click action on those frames would be nice too like right click to shield, left click to heal, middle click to flash heal, you get the idea.
I think it is about time the UI caught up with the addons. It would be a task for sure but nothing on the scale of character models or redesigning the old world I think. There really is no reason, in my mind, why we can should not have more control over our UI and be able to use the in game raid groups as a healing add on sort of thing.
I use all mouse overs, even if I do use healing add ons, so I can heal with the in game raid frames if need be but they still would never fit the bill because I can not size them to the way I would want them. They are just way to large and do not show the information I want them to. Now that would be a quality of life upgrade to the game I can really get behind. A hell of a lot more than redesigning the old world or giving us new character models. I would have liked to see the UI updated before either of those things any day.
I've got an interesting question about mythic, well interesting to me at least. When 6.0 comes out the raids will change and heroic will become mythic. So lets take my priest that is now 4/14 heroic as of the other day goes to pug, what do I say? If tomorrow 6.0 came out and I was pugging would I say I am 4/14 heroic or would I say I am 4/14 mythic. Being heroic will now be mythic I would technically be 4/14 mythic but I would have never actually have done mythic because I never did it in the 20 man version that mythic would be.
It is an interesting question if you ask me and I could see a lot of people saying, you have never done mythic even if you did heroic before heroic was mythic. Sure it will be dated content by the time we see it, already is for some, but I wonder about weird things like that from time to time.