Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Is Warcraft Worth It?

Each and every one of us puts a value on things.  What we are willing to pay for something.  I like a good steak and as such I have no issues paying $50, $75 or even $100 for one but some people might call that crazy.  Just like I would say it is crazy to spend ten thousand or more to join a country club just so you have access to a private golf course when there are public holes less than a mile from my house.  To someone that loves their golf as much as I love my steak it would make a huge difference.  Neither one of us are really crazy, we just put different values on things.

With that said, how you value warcraft might very well differ from the way I do.  I consider warcraft a game, nothing more, because that is what it is.  As a game I base its value on the value I base gaming entertainment on.  For as long as I can remember I always justified buying a game based on how long I would play it in terms of hours.

I've bought many games over the years and my favorites have always been strategy ones and RPGs.  Not so much that I dislike other types of games but it is that I do not believe their value to be worth it.  Back when a new nintendo game or new playstation game or new games for whatever the console of the moment is came out I would look at the new releases and judge them and in my opinion the RPGs games had the best bang for the buck.

I would go out and spend $60 on some new racing game, shooting game, side scroll game, what have you, and be done with it that weekend.  I am not one to really replay games, not unless there is value to replay it from an entertainment standpoint.  So effectively that $60 game lasted me for 2 or 4 or maybe even as much as 10 hours and that, in my opinion, was most definitely not worth it.

But RPGs, oh my beloved RPGs, they could pay for themselves ten times over before I even finished doing everything I wanted to do with them.  I played all the final fantasy games, for example, from when they first came out, some of them I easily passed 200 hours on, maybe even 400 hours on.  The later games I got into trying to beat all the special fights, trying to collect everything I could, trying to do it all at a low level or with no skills, or any of a million of other ways I could interest or challenge myself with, and this is why I say those RPGs had excellent replay value.

All of this was of course well before internet gaming was a thing and well before MMOs popped up online.  It was where I placed a dollar value on my entertainment.  I set my line on what I considered worth it at $1 per hour of gaming.  If I could get one hour of entertainment for $1 then I would believe the game to be worth it to buy.

As the years went by I stopped buying anything but RPG games completely.  Maybe only dabble to test something new or if I knew something had some replay value and took some time like civilization.  If there was something I wanted to play otherwise I would borrow it from a friend or wait until it was at game stop or something like that used for what I believed to be a reasonable price.  Which would be $10 or less because most games will be finished before that point or at that point at the latest with no real replay value.

So when I hear people talking about warcraft not being worth it, from the guild mates, a few of them, that have told me they will not be buying warlords because it is not worth it, to the people on the forums saying that they do not play anymore because the monthly subscription is not worth it.  It had me wondering, would warcraft pass my test?  My $1 for 1 hour test?

At face value warcraft is probably a very good investment considering the time I put into it.  I get well more than 15 hours a month play time.  Heck, even when I took 6 weeks off and only logged on to raid I was logging in for a few hours a week, 6 or so, which basically meant I was getting at least 24 hours of play time over the course of a month when I was not even playing.

The thing is, is all play time equal?  I said $1 per 1 hour of entertainment.  Is doing the LFR really entertaining?  Not even in the slightest.  I do it because I feel I have to so I am capable of enjoying myself later when I want to.  But the act of playing at that time shouldn't count toward my play time because it is anything but entertaining.  If anything it is frustrating and makes me want to quit more than it makes me want to continue playing.

But even if you remove the mundane, the annoying, the repetitive, am I getting my 15 hours worth each month, the 15 hours that makes it worth paying $15?


Really, that is all there needs to be said about it.

Even with the things I dislike like the LFR that I do not count toward my time because it is not exactly what I could call entertaining, I do get over 15 hours a month entertainment from the game.  The road there is not always pretty to say the least.  The feeling of having to do something like having to valor cap, having to do LFR, having to get reputations up, having to do this, that or the other, all in an effort so I can actually do the things I enjoy doing kind of sucks and I would really love to see those annoying steps removed so I can just get to enjoying the game but over all even taking away all the irrelevant and boring and annoying parts of the game, warcraft well surpasses the $1 per 1 hour of entertainment requirement I put on my games since the beginning of my gaming life.

Even when you factor in box prices on top of that $15 a month warcraft well surpasses that mark.  So maybe there are other people that do not place the same value on their gaming as I do, just like there are some that will not place the same value on a good steak like I would, but I just can not understand why someone would say warcraft is not worth it.  If someone like me who complains a lot about things, directions, LFR, and the such, can realize how warcraft is well worth it, how can they not?

If you are going to quit you can quit because you do not like the game any longer.  Quit because you do not like the direction the game is going.  Quit because you can not afford it.  Quit for a million and one different reasons, go ahead, I am not going to try and stop you.  But you can never really say that warcraft is not worth it on a dollar to hour ratio.  Even if you put a different value on things than I do you would have to see that there is a lot to be had from the game for such a small monthly investment in that entertainment.  It has a lot of value to it, and even with my very low $1 per 1 hour break point, as far as I see it, it is well worth the price of admission.  Even with all the things I dislike about it.

What is the value you put on your gaming entertainment?  And do you think warcraft is worth it?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Random Thoughts

- Been thinking about what I want to do with my garrisons.

- I know a few people have posted here looking forward to hearing what I will be doing to use, or strip from, some of the ideas.

- Always glad to help.

- I just figure out what I want to do and share my opinions.

- Problem is I am having such a dreadfully hard time deciding.

- There have been a few things I decided.

- Like being we are not going to have flying I want the mage tower.

- Then after playing I think I have changed my mind on that one.

- I no longer would waste a space on the mage tower, no thank you.

- However, if you do get the mage tower as alliance then making nagrand one of your ports is the perfect idea.

- It is the furthest point from the alliance garrison so it only makes sense.

- But after playing and seeing how few reasons there are to ever actually go out in the world I noticed travel and getting around all that fast is not that important.

- There is nothing to do in the world.

- So there is no reason to have fast access to it.

- Maybe that is another tin foil hat idea for people to wonder about.

- Blizzard knew there was nothing in the world to do and if they added flying people would figure that out even faster.

- So they are not adding flying in an effort to make the content last longer.

- Have fun with that one tin foil hat conspiracy theory people.

- I am afraid to make any final decisions on what I am going to do with garrisons because it seems like they are changing things every single patch.

- I guess that is a good thing.

- It means they are still working on trying to make things better.

- So you can read it one of two ways, depending on if you are a fan boy or a hater.

- If you are a fan boy you can say it shows how great this is going to be because they keep working hard at making it better even up until the last moment.

- If you are a hater you would say how can they still be this far from finished so close to release and it shows they have no clue what they are doing.

- And then there is me.

- Right down the middle.

- I am surprised they are still this far from being done and it shows a lack of proper management but am impressed that they have a vision and are not letting up trying to get it there in time.

- So does that make me a fan boy or a hater?

- I say it makes me a realist.

- I, like most others, just want a game to play.

- But I keep track of my garrison on beta and keep trying to decide what I want to do.

- So far the only thing I have set in stone absolutely is that you will need a salvage yard if you ever want to level up the gear of your followers.

- Absolutely 100% sure of that one.

- There is really no other dependable way to get gear for your followers.

- Maybe one to three quests a week, that you need to succeed at, that might get you a piece.

- But you will get, if active, 15-20 pieces a week with a salvage yard.

- The better the gear your followers have the better the chance at a successful mission.

- The better the rewards from those mission.

- Rewards like conquest points, apexis crystals, 615, 630, 645, and higher gear.

- But all of this needs very very very geared followers.

- So you need to be getting gear at more than a 1 to 3 pieces a week rate.

- And that means you need a salvage yard.

- No ifs ands or buts about that one.

- So ladies and gentlemen, we have our first, and only at the moment, mandatory garrison building, the salvage yard.

- Did you see the most recent lords of war short?

- And some people were complaining there were no alliance characters.

- In truth there should not have been any.

- It is about the lords of war, which means orcs, sick of them or not.

- But this one about Maraad was great, it pulled at my heart strings.

- Seeing the dolly just lay on the ground knowing the little girl had died was about as sad as the darrowshire story line.

- The original darrowshire storyline that is.

- When I did that one so many years ago I actually thought I was going to cry.

- I felt something in the pit of my stomach.

- Yes, a cold hearted bastard like me was left saddened and empty by the end of that quest line.

- The new one lost some of its power.

- Oh who am I kidding, the newer shorter versions leaves no feeling like the original had.

- But this story in lords of war was sad on a level close to that one.

- The first four lords of war left me wanting me be an orc, it made them feel powerful, strong, fighting the good fight.

- The 5th one instilled the feeling that all those orcs need to die and die now.

- I would have not believed blizzard would go there, but at least we did not see it happen.

- But a child, many children, slaughtered, nothing can pull the heart strings and make one seek vengeance any more that that.

- Orcs... must... die.

- It is wrong that I would rather watch more lords of war shorts than play the game?

- They were so incredibly well done.

- Sad they are over.

- I noticed my favorite orc, one I have been writing about here for many years, that I want to be the big bad of an expansion, was not in the lords of war.

- At first I was mildly upset not to see more of him because I always loved his story and his character.

- Long before most people even knew who he was.

- But not seeing Gul'dan turns out to be a good thing, for me at least.

- You see, there is a connection with the lords of war and because of that connection I am glad Gul'dan did not have one made for him.

- I will not speak the connection, because it might be spoilerish, but I am sure most people already know it or can figure it out.

- Get ready for next expansion when Gul'dan is the big bad.

- Yes, another orc expansion, but not just any orc, the greatest evil that the world as we know it has ever seen.

- See, that is why I like Gul'dan, he doesn't need a reason to be evil, he just is.

- There is something to be said about someone that does not have any other motives.

- He does not want to rule the world, he wants the power of it.

- He does not want followers, servants, assistants, he just wants power.

- Any way and any how, it makes no difference.

- If being a good guy and petting bunnies and saving kittens from trees would bring him power he would do that.

- It is not about doing something evil, it is about doing whatever it is that would end up with giving him power.

- If doing good deeds gave him power he would put on purple tights with a big red G on his chest and run around leaping small building in a single bound.

- It is about power for no reason other than to have it and get more.

- So simple, so basic, so awesome.

- And I still hope we will get to see him as a big baddie.

- Just hope they do not make him a stepping stone in some raid leading up to the real bad guy.

- He deserves real bad guy status.

- Oh, back on task, the lords of war shorts were so good I would love to see more of them.

- I would offer up a raid tier if we could get a new one each week.

- Oh wait, we already are losing a raid tier next expansion.

- So can we have more lords of war blizzard?

- It would take off a little of the sting of feeling screwed over by the company for this long drought and seemingly lackluster new expansion.

- Lately you have been doing a better job with the lords of war shorts than you have the game itself anyway.

- They hit the ball out of the park on them.

- Sad when they created these for buzz and they ended up being better than the expansion they are trying to buzz.

- But that is not unheard of.

- How many coming attractions for movies have you seen that were awesome and then the movie sucked?

- These shorts are the coming attraction and warlords is the movie.

- Having played all the beta has to offer I can tell you the coming attraction is better than the movie.

- I can't believe how much effort we will be putting into garrisons just to leave them behind.

- It was okay with the farm, sort of, because you can say it was just like a quest line, being you opened it up as you quested.

- It was something that had usefulness afterwards of course, but otherwise it was no big deal.

- This is the other way around, the garrison the not opened with a quest line (so to speak because it starts that way) but is a vehicle to lead you on quests.

- One which you need to work to build.

- One which you need to spend a fair deal of gold to build.

- One where you need to spend a lot of time to build.

- One where planning matters.

- I don't want to do all that and leave it behind, and we will be leaving it behind.

- If there is one thing I must say I am going to hate about next expansion it is that.

- It would be like asking me to leave the pets I leveled in mists behind.

- To forget all that work leveling them, collecting them, making teams.

- Just like you will be doing with your followers.

- You will spend all that work leveling them, gearing them, collecting them, making teams and then when the next expansion comes out you leave them all behind feeling like you did all that for nothing.

- I want them to be like my pets.

- I want them to continue along with me, even more so with all the effort it takes to build them up.

- So warlords is all about garrisons and thus far it is all warlords has to offer.

- I am afraid in the end it will also be the thing I hate those most.

- All because I will have to leave that work behind.

- How do you think all the pet battlers would feel if you suddenly told them after they leveled all those pets they could not be used in new content?

- Yeah, that is what I will feel about all that work I put into leveling and gearing my followers.

- Sure hope blizzard moves forward with the garrison idea and we get to keep the followers we collect.

- Because I already hate leaving them behind.

- And I do not even have them yet.

- How bad is that?

- Oh well.

- Have a great day.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Will You Run Dungeons in Warlords?

We have been hearing a lot about the warlords gearing pyramid and that dungeons would become a basic part of the gearing system in warlords but I worry for the lasting success, or even usefulness of dungeons, for many reasons.

First think of why you run dungeons.  I'll gladly share why I do.  I run them as a starting gearing measure on my main thanks to the LFG dungeon queue.  I hit max level, usually one of the first on my server, so it is not likely there is anyone to run them with.  So I use the LFG dungeon queue to get a group.

I learn the dungeons usually during this time (plus my beta experience) so as guild mates hit max level I can help them and explain what is going on.  I do this not because I am a nice person, but because it makes their lives easier which in turn makes my life easier.  Call me selfish if you must but someone usually has to teach others, might as well be me being I was there first.  Selfish would be those people that call people out for not knowing how to do things but refusing to tell them how.  Well, maybe if you told them and didn't keep it to yourself than they would not mess up.  Sorry, that was a little side tangent there, but that always does come up in new dungeons.

I then run them to knock out the achievements but I am never in a rush for them.  I got most of this expansions solo toward the end of ToT when I was a little bored.  I went in on heroic and did the achievements myself.  I never use the LFG system to get achievements.  Any I get when doing them in a random is pure gravy.

Then as the expansion goes on I might pop in there for some valor, some justice to convert to honor or to buy heirlooms with, and maybe to get some gear on newly or under geared alts when a guild group is going.  Also as an added plus in mists there was the addition of reputations you could get and some alts got their reputations up completely just doing one dungeon (and one scenario) a day.

Looking back on how I use dungeons as a tool to play with in the game I can't help but think they are going to be basically worthless in warlords.  Don't get me wrong, they will or could still be a stepping stone for many, but over all there will be little to no repeatability with them and that has me worried not only for the dungeons and their usage, but for the future of the game if this is the design they choose to go with.

Let me explain why I think dungeons will serve no purpose at all in warlords unless they change something.  And yes, there is still time to change something.  One positive is that there can be warforged loot in dungeons, but that is not really all that great of news, as you will see, because the warforged loot would still be greatly lower than LFR gear.

1) Sub Par Gear:

On my main I will surely run dungeons on day one.  There is no doubt about that.  Getting that gear will basically be the only way to get gear on day one so, as always, I will do whatever it is within my power to get the best gear I can get outside of guild to better prepare myself for the guild runs when they do start.

With that said however the gear that comes from dungeons is sub par at best.  If you can manage to round yourself up 3 crafted pieces and finish up all the quests in nagrand you can probably just enter LFR when it comes out and get better gear than dungeons.  Being LFR is insanely easier than dungeons that does seem like a compelling reason to just wait for the LFR if you can already meet the item level requirements to enter it.

Yes, you heard that right.  As much as blizzard says you do not need to do LFR when push comes to shove and you only have time for one thing which one are you going to choose, the one that drops lesser gear or the one that drops better gear?  You will choose LFR.  So yes, you still need to do LFR people.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but blizzard lied to you.

Sure you can do dungeons and go straight to normal raids in dungeon gear but that requires three things.  1) That you are a really skilled player that can pull off doing the numbers needed for normal while only in dungeon gear.  2) Someone willing to take you if you are only in lower, possibly much lower, item level dungeon gear.  3) You need to be ready to raid before the LFR comes out.  Because lets face it, dungeon gear will be great gear until LFR comes out, but once LFR comes out dungeon gear moves to the back burner because there is better gear out there.

All in all, there are no decent gearing options in dungeons.  You might run specific ones for a specific drops but you might not if it is only one or two pieces and you are already downing raid bosses at a decent pace.  So the gear in dungeons is a major issue.  Lets not forget that much better gear will drop from much easier content.  Just think about that for a second.  Better gear and easier content vs worse gear and harder content.  No contest.

2) Difficulty:

Sometimes blizzard learns from their mistakes.  Sometimes they don't.  This is a case of they don't.  The idea of making heroic dungeons harder is admirable.  I will admit that.  But the bottom line is that anything you allow random people to group together for with the in game finder will be destine for failure when you add any degree of difficulty to it, even if that is only minimal difficulty.  How could blizzard have not learned that by now?

Hasn't blizzard learned anything from cataclysm and over 2M lost subscribers thanks to difficult dungeons?  It sure as hell does not seem so.  While mechanics wise nothing in any of the ones I have done seem all that difficult, I can say, without a doubt, that I am the only person to ever have lived through a dungeon and not died once on a beta.

Not saying I never died.  I died plenty. But I have never met anyone in any of the dungeons I have done on beta that lived through the entire run, besides me.  I know, beta is beta, but still, if a group of people that are going there with the intention of testing and learning, working together and sharing strategies before the pull, all with hellscreams downfall titles, and some idea how to play their classes, can not get through dungeons without dying, how are your random people doing to do this?  Seriously.

Blizzard decided that to random for the dungeons you would need to get a proving grounds silver.  Again, an admirable idea with the best intentions, but this has to be the worst idea ever.  I managed a silver on my rogue the very first time I tried it and I suck at my rogue.  I would not even bring myself into a dungeon and inflict myself on others as bad as I am.  I also have failed silver on my priest the first time I tried it.  Failed.  I heal heroic raids just fine, not great in any sense so don't get me wrong, but I am capable.  So my priest whom I am okay at would not be capable of queuing up for a dungeon but my rogue which could not fight his way out of a paper bag could?  What is wrong with this picture?

You want a better gate to using the LFR system for heroic dungeons I got one for you blizzard.  To queue for a heroic dungeon you need to have deadly boss mods downloaded, updated and active.  If it is not downloaded, updated and active, you may not use the random group finder for heroic dungeons.  I think that would help the quality of game play in dungeons a hell of a lot more than a proving grounds silver which, as it turns out, proves absolutely nothing about a players ability to play.

3) Incentive:

Everything, even more so lower content, needs to have an incentive to do it.  I mentioned the early characters will have the gear incentive, but once LFR comes out and crafted gear becomes more available that will decrease a great deal if not completely.

But what about other incentives?  Exactly, what about them, there are none.  In mists we could run dungeons for reputation.  No need to do that, you can not get reputation that way.  We used to be able to run dungeons for valor so we could buy gear, or upgrades to gear.  No need for that, there is no valor which means not valor upgrade or valor gear.  We used to be able to run dungeons for justice that we could buy older gear with, heirlooms with and convert to honor so if we wanted to test the waters in PvP we could get starter gear.  No need for that, justice is being removed so all the things justice were good for are gone as well and so is that incentive to run them.

I am finding it very hard to think of any reason to run the dungeons other than to get the achievements from them, which if I do them like I did this expansion, I can go back and solo them all later when I am bored.  Or create a guild group for them, but not use the random system for them.

4) Wait Time?

I put this one with a question mark because no one can tell the future, but I really worry about the wait time for these dungeons after the first month or two when even the slower levelers have all manged to pass them on the gear scale.  With sub par gear, more difficulty, and no real incentive to do them, why would any geared player ever do them?  Why would any skilled player ever do them, even more so if they can get much better in LFR or normal if they are that skilled?

So if no geared player would do them and no skilled player would do them what exactly are you left with?  You are left with really really under geared people (which are the people that actually should be there) and people that might very well be on characters that they are not very good with, like me on my alts and many lesser players.

So you are left with poorly geared poor players in slightly more difficult content.  How well do you think that is going to go?  Be honest, I already know the answer.  Not to mention, with no incentive to do it less people will queue for it and with the sliver proving grounds requirements less people will queue for it, so this in turn means longer wait times.

I really worry about the future of dungeons in warcraft because they have no future as they stand now in their current state offering a piss poor gearing option with a higher difficulty level than those that would need that piss poor gear can probably handle and no incentive and quite possibly a long wait time for them.

Now, what post would be complete from the grumpy one without offering my idea for a solution.  Get ready to shoot this one down because I know there are going to be faults with it but I believe it can both bring life to dungeons and make them more what they should be, the back bone for the beginning of the gearing process and a viable option to do not only to pass the time but maybe gear up slowly.

The Solution:

Give all players, not just tanks and healers, a baggie for completing the dungeons.  Tanks and healers would of course get their additional bribe bag.  Have this reward (as in baggie here) offered all the time.  Not once per day like in BC, wrath and mists, and not 7 per week no matter when you do them like in cataclysm, but each and every dungeon completed.

When you complete a dungeon you get 100 apexis crystals and a baggie.  The baggie would contain one of the follow guaranteed, one sorcerous air, one sorcerous fire, one sorcerous water or one sorcerous earth, which are crafting materials that are slightly harder to come by and needed in massive quantities by professions.  They could even give it a slight chance to contain two just to mix it up, like 30%.

But that is not where it ends, that is not enough.  You would also have a chance to get a extra bonus roll coin which would be a very small chance and not count toward your 3 per week total.  Added to that you would have a small chance to get a item for your current spec selection when you open the bag that will always be, even in later patches, equal to the current raid tiers top LFR pieces.  In this case, it would start at 650 items.

Oh, and I really would like that must have deadly boss mods (or an accepted equivalent) downloaded, updated and installed part.  So much better than I like the proving grounds idea.

Now, the solution might not have cured much of anything but it did add incentive.  It made the content repeatable.  If there are two things this expansion needs, and dungeons more so, is incentive to do them and a reason to repeat them.  Giving people a way to get apexis crystals, gear, crafting items, extra raid rolls, and other junk would most definitely give people an incentive to continue to run it.  And when those knowledgeable people with better gear and more skill are around when those people with lesser gear and lesser skill get into a group it will not be the nightmare it would be without them.

You know what I love about dungeons in mists now?  The fact I can solo them.  I love being able to go in there, even more so with two or three guild mates, and just burn through the thing for fun.  You see, I want my scheduled content to be challenging, like raiding, and I want my time sink just for fun stuff to be fun, like dungeons.  I might be different from everyone else but it would not surprise me if a fair deal of people agreed with me on that one.

So with nothing really to offer in warlords (as it stands) will you be running dungeons or just skipping them like I will most likely do on every single character past my first because there is really no incentive to do them?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It Makes Sense To Me

Have you ever said something and then gave yourself a what?

I do it all the time myself and I would say that anyone that has ever raided with me knows exactly what I am talking about.  I oft times forget the names of abilities and just wing it.  I would say something along the lines for "once a minute the boss with do this ability called somethingorother and you will need to use some personals because it does huge AoE".  Now admittedly I should be better at remembering names but does it really matter?  There is some ability that does big damage at a predictable time in the fight, does it really need a name?  Okay, I am rationalizing, but it makes sense to me and apparently the people who raid with me become fluent in gibberish because it makes sense to them.

That is just one of many types of those what type of things.  Those I call the memory what, for people like me that forget names of abilities.  I suffer from the memory what more than I would like to admit.  But the memory what is not the only what type there is.  The typo what can be really fun too.

My favorite typo what of all time is something I saw on wowbash where a hunter was looking for a glyph for explosive shot but made an unfortunate typo and asked trade chat for the glyph of explosive shit.  I admit I am even laughing as I type that.  Nothing wrong with a little bathroom humor from time to time and more so when it is accidental bathroom humor.  Of course trade had some fun with that but I am sure I have made my fair share of typos as well.

Then there is the third type which is the brain fart what.  When you say or type something that you did not intend too.  Or you answer a question that was not even asked because you heard one thing when they asked another.  It is one of those moments that it is like your brain shut down and you forget even the simple things.  Anyone that has ever raided has had those brain fart moments.  Have you ever done a fight you have done 200 times before and suddenly get caught off guard by some mechanic?  Oops, brain fart moment, completely forgot about that one.

Every single one of these cases all have the same end result.  It makes sense to me, even if people might say what.   Hey, people forget names, people make typos, and people seem to have brain farts from time to time.  It is just human nature.

Have you ever suffered from what moments?  Share some fun ones if you wish.  It is okay to admit it.  No one will ever be as bad as me when it comes to forgetting spell names.  You just need to understand what I mean when I say that two people need to stand in the swirly thing because it makes sense to me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Like Assembling Groups? Get Paid as a Raid Planner.

I few weeks ago I was on vent on a sunday afternoon when someone popped on and asked me what I was doing.  I said nothing much.  I mentioned I wanted to do an heirloom run on one of my alts but I did not feel like trying to pick up a group because I had some bad groups this week and I was not in the mood to assemble one myself.  I basically had set myself up for not getting an heirloom run on that character that week because I was just burnt out on finding and/or assembling groups.

It was then that he said to me that he needed a run as well and would be willing to assemble one.  I said, jokingly but serious, that I would be willing to pay him to do that.  He sent me an invite and I declined saing that I was going to farm some frogs while he was doing that and being you can not loot while in a raid group to not invite me now.  I asked him to save me a space and let me know when the raid was ready to go and then invite me last.

I told him I would give him one thousand gold to do this.  To me that was nothing really, heck I made over 20K this weekend alone just clearing out my bags some, not even trying to make money, just make bag space, but for some people that are not good at making money, like him, it was well worth it.

I said I would raid lead, I just did not want to go through the hassle of assembling.  So basically I was paying him to weed out the players that were not worth an invite.  I was paying him to deal with people coming and going while assembling.  I was paying him to sit there talking to people, check their armory, find the best that were available, and then just give me a shout when we were ready to pull.

If you ever read my blog you should know this is very much me.  I hate wasting time.  Assembling a pug is nothing but wasted time.  Even if it goes well you are going to spend 10 to 20 minutes to get everyone invited and in the raid.  That is 10 or 20 minutes that could be better spent doing other things than sitting in a group waiting for it to fill out, in my opinion.

He filled out, invited me last, we pulled, wiped a couple of times, but I got my kill without having to seek out a group or assemble a group.  Basically I paid him to make the group come to me.

Then the idea popped into my mind, why is this not a service that people offer in game?  Seriously, why isn't it.  I would pay every single week for a service like this.

A decent player that is knowledgeable can easily sell their ability to assemble groups.  I've had no luck with challenge mode groups and if someone came to me right now and said I will assemble the group that will get you gold for 1000 per dungeon I would jump on it like a fly on... well you know. It is not buying a carry, a carry would mean you need others to do the work for you, this is buying the ease of not having to assemble the people yourself.  It is like hiring a head hunter to get my employees.  In this case the employees are the people I will be running with.  No carry needed, heck I can carry them, and I a hunter, but I just need a group.

Admittedly me offering 1K to do it is rather cheap but I can really see something like this being huge, something people could sell.  Kind of like a professional wedding planner, or bachelor party assembler.  There are many things in real life that people could do themselves but they pay someone else to do it for them.  Heck, you can even think maid or drop off laundry service.  You could clean your own house and do your own laundry, but if you can afford to pay someone else to do it, why not. 

It is one of the privileges of having money isn't it?  To pay other people to do the things you would rather not do.  If I have the gold in wow I can basically have the privilege of not having to seek a group and pay someone to do it for me.   I can pay for the privilege of not needing to stand in a group doing nothing while it is being assembled.  I can basically come in just at the last moment when the boss is ready to be pulled and get my kill and be done with it.  In my opinion that is easily worth 1K gold, don't you think?

I was thinking with next expansion, and the ability to kill the same bosses again (unless they changed that, but I've read nothing on it) so you could do the same raid a dozen times a week if you wanted to but just would not get loot from it, the person that does not mind assembling groups can easily sell their services to assemble groups for people.

And if they can lead the groups too they can even charge more.  They can offer full service raid catering services.  With flasks, potions, food, assembly, and leading.  All for the low low price of 10K, or whatever they decide.

Mind you I would not go for something like this on current content or while content is still new.  But this late in the expansion where normal SoO is trivial for most actual raiders I have no issues with paying someone to assemble the group for it.

Do you think there is a future in warcraft for a raid planner, like a wedding planner.  The type of person that just assembles the groups and does all the leg work for you.  They pick out the best tanks, (cake) the best healer (invitations), the best damage dealers (the location) and then you just get to walk in when it is all ready for the rewards of their efforts.

I can see this being a way for the real entrepreneur to make a little gold in game and if they are the type of person that likes to assemble groups even more power to them, they can make gold selling a service doing something they like to do.

And as a kicker, once they get a solid customer base, if they do it correctly, they can basically get 5, 6 or even 16 people to pay them to assemble the same group.  And if they are charging even 1K each that is making a fair deal of gold to assemble a raid you were going to raid anyway.  They can collect names of the better players in the pugs so they know who to reinvite.  Maybe even collect an entire network where they share the gold.

Not sure about you, but I think this could be an excellent way to make money and I wonder why no one has ever actually created a service in game for this.  I could see someone making a network over the servers for paid group assembly programs.  Not groups that will carry, but groups that will help knowledgable players find other like skilled players without needing to pug and get bad players, bad people, and bad attitudes.

I know if something like this was around I would most definitely partake in their services.  No longer would my alts end up in dead end groups, waiting forever to fill, or wipes on trash only to disband groups.  Hell yes, I would easily pay 1K, 2K and maybe even 5K depending, just so I do not have to go through the trouble of assembling a group myself.

Has anyone ever even considered this idea?  Use your skills assembling groups, maybe even leading them, and turn it into a gold making service.  Sounds like a solid plan to me.

If you start a business like this, let me know, I will be your first costumer and I have 20 90s at the moment that would love to get their guaranteed heirloom once 6.0 comes out without having the hassle of assembling the groups myself or having to find one that will not disband on trash.

Just to clarify, because I know some people might misunderstand.  I am not talking about the carrying services we see listed all the time, they already exist and are way to pricy to even be considered as a group finder option..  I am talking about a group finder option, a raid planner if you will, where someone assembles a group for you with people of like skill to make pugging less painful.  I love this idea.   Just thinking about it brings a tear to my eye.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Random Thoughts With Some Beta Goodness

- Don't worry, no spoilers.

- But I will say those spoiler videos did rock.

- Love the talador one, but that is all I will say about that.

- On to the beta.

- I am one of those people I think they will never invite back to beta.

- Some might call it complaining, but I call it wanting the game to be better and voicing my opinions.

- Seems blizzard has listened to many of my concerns recently.

- I put in a bug about a quest, where if you lose the quest, disconnect, what have you, that you can not get back to it.

- They added an NPC on the ground now so if you somehow get thrown off the quest or do something stupid like hearth, you can get back to it.

- Nice to see you fix it blizzard.

- I also voiced my concern about professions, multiple times, in reports.

- We saw some recent updates that seem to address those issues.

- Maybe you remember when I mentioned that they raised our stack size by 10 times from 20 to 200 but they also raised what we collected and what we needed to make things 10 times which means we had no net gain thanks to the increased stack size.

- So effectively that 200 stack size worked the same as 20 and it saved us no space.

- Actually, we had less space now because we needed more materials.

- Well they lowered the requirements for many items.

- The lowered the number of things we need for garrison work orders.

- They lowered the amount we collect as well.

- Sure, not enough to be in line with what it was before, but a hell of a lot better than it had been.

- I also made reports over each little item I found in the world that should be in the toy box and was not.

- I found it amazing they added a toy box and somehow did not add nearly half the toys from the new expansion.

- So far every single toy that could not be put in the toy box I put in a ticket about is now capable of being put in the toy box.

- It had been so long since I put in those tickets I was worried they would never do it.

- Still one toy I reported that is not in there.

- But over all it is nice to see they are listening.

- I've put in so many tickets and in recent patches it seems like everything I have suggested has been added.

- Makes me feel as if my input is helping.

- So maybe they will take my input while doing archeology and put it to use as well.

- What input did I put in?

- Archeology without flying sucks.

- I told them to ditch the no flying idea, it adds nothing to immersion and only takes away from the enjoyment of the game to not have it.

- It was the first ticket I put in voicing my major concern with the loss of flying.

- What brought this on?

- I tested archeology this weekend.

- First off, getting from place to place and having to spend that time on flight paths took away from the immersion in the game, it did not add to it.

- I was not doing things, I was just on auto pilot.

- Even if with flying I mount up, face a direction, and put on auto run, it is still me doing it.

- That is me playing.

- Flight paths are not me playing.

- But that was not all.

- There were multiple digs where I could not get the piece at all.

- It was on top of a mountain or something where there was no way to get up there.

- And trust me, I tried everything.

- I tried jumping from other areas, tried flying there with a kite, tried hugging the walls and digging, there was no way to get to the dig without flight.

- So of course that was a bug report, even more so without flight in the game.

- As I encountered more digs that were not only annoying getting to without flying but either impossible to get to or damn close to impossible to get it without flying all my reports started going from archeology bugs to design choice involving the removal of flying.

- I did not over due it.

- Really I didn't.

- I just added a line at the end of every bug in archeology dig sites that I had an issue with that ended with, flying should really be added because archeology without it is very frustrating.

- There are new dig meters on your screen while digging which is nice which show you how many of the 6 you have done.

- Kind of nice to see it visually how many you have left.

- There were a few dig sites this did not show up on, so of course that was a ticket.

- Sadly I could not find a way to put in a shot at no flying on those ones.

- But if I could have I would have.

- But it seemed most of my archeology bug reports are only bug reports because there is no flying in game.

- Otherwise it seemed to work kind of smoothly.

- I also like, but this might be a bug too, that you can discover your items while on a flight path.

- Hey, at least it gives me something to do while on those flight paths.

- Can't use the keystones however while on a flight path.

- So that is why I think discovering them while on a path is a bug.

- If it were intended you would be able to use keystones as well.

- No, I did not report that one, that is what I refer to as a welcome bug and if we are going to be bound to flight paths we should be allowed to do crafting and such on flight paths.

- I wish we could get a concrete answer on flying.

- None of this "maybe we will add it" crap.

- Yes or no.

- Make a decision now blizzard, announce it, stand by it.

- I can support a world without flight if I know we will never have it.

- But if you leave the carrot dangling saying we might get it all I will do is hate every minute I am playing without it because I know we should have it.

- Like archeology.

- If I know we are going to be getting it I will wait until we do until I level it.

- If I know we are not than I will do it like I will do everything else and level it in those first days.

- But if I go through the annoying process of flight path to flight path to flight path and then you add flying later I am going to be pissed.

- So all I ask is that blizzard takes a stand and tells us the truth, now.

- Will we be getting flying or not?

- Either way, I can support them.

- But no knowing I will continue to say what I have been saying.

- They are completely wrong for removing something that has become so standard in game play.

- That would be similar to telling people they can no longer have a computer in their house.

- It is not needed, just like flying in the game, but it is nice to have and we have gotten so used to it that living without it seems wrong.

- Just like flying.

- Back to beta additions.

- While they have fixed a hell of a lot of the things I reported there are some others they have not.

- Flight paths are still slow as sin, or feel it.

- They still take you on the scenic tour instead of sending you directly somewhere.

- There are still some that take you underground while you are flying.

- There are still some that take you through mountains, trees, and other solid items you should not be able to fly through.

- I get a laugh out of flying to ashran from my garrison, there is this huge tree you fly through and I can just hear my character screaming as I fly right into it, and then through it.

- I reported this one a long time ago, but still I have a suicidal mount.

- But I guess if your job was flying back and forth for years with these people covered in armor and with bags weighed down with what can only be hundreds or thousands of pounds and doing nothing else you might want to die too.

- Poor flight path mounts.

- I feel for their miserable repetitive lives.

- Can you just imagine the poor bird that has to carry the 800 pound tauren druid with 4 sets of gear plus 2 sets of PvP gear and 300 mounts, 800 pets, and countless other things?

- Those birds must be on some serious steroids.

- No wonder they are trying to kill themselves by flying into trees and mountains and into the ground.

- I don't blame the birds.

- The worst flight path however is not one that gives me a near death experience or is slow or takes a weird path.

- It is one that stops and goes, dozens of times.

- The fight path from nagrand to frostfire near the slag mines.

- You are flying along all nice and happy, you stop, wait a second, looks like you are about to dismount, then starts up again and picks up speed.

- Then it slows down, you stop, wait a second, looks like you are about to dismount, then starts up again and picks up speed.

- Then it does it again, and again, and again, the entire flight path there.

- Yes, I reported it.

- I really thought I was going to get dismounted my first time on it.

- Not like I would worry, I am a hunter, I just hit disengage before I hit the ground and take no fall damage.

- But I was over horde territory and they, for some odd reason, are not very fond of me.

- Maybe it is my orc skin belt, who knows.

- But I have learned one thing on beta about that disengage trick.

- No matter how good you are at timing, with the lag on beta anything is possible.

- I jumped off a cliff and did the disengage thing.

- Hit it well before I hit the ground hoping to compensate for lag.

- I landed and went splat.

- Then my dead body disengaged and went splat a second time as it threw me further down the mountain.

- I really wish I was recording that and could share it.

- It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

- A dead body disengaging.

- But not nearly as fun as one day playing stormwind chicken.

- When you fly up in the air and let yourself drop and see who will be the last to flinch.

- Best to do this on druids of course but any engineer, hunter, warrior, paladin, well, a few classes, can do it if they are willing.

- A friend who is an engineer was doing it.

- She hit her parachute and I watched as she went splat.

- We were all standing over her laughing on vent.

- She said, I swear I hit my parachute in time.

- Then about 10 seconds after she went splat, the parachute popped.

- It was awesome.

- Either way, was nice to see they made some adjustments to professions and bag space as I suggested multiple times.

- I guess my time on beta was not wasted.

- I really hope they fix all those digs I ran into that you would need flying for.

- Hate having to shuffle up digs just because I ran into one of those.

- Hey, at least we have that ability.

- And for those, like me, that are well past 700 tol'vir solves and still do not have the pet or mount, there is hope once again.

- Just like in mists you can turn in solves for tol'vir crates.

- And if I am going to get the achievement for displaying all pristine ones, and I will,  it will easily mean a few hundred, maybe even over a thousand solves that I can trade in for tol'vir pieces.

- Not like it helped me this expansion.

- Over 1100 mists solves, all turned in for tol'vir crates, still do not have the pet or mount.

- Speaking of not getting mounts, did my onyxia, maly, etc runs this week and no mounts to report.

- Also had the addition of brewfest this week for a chance at my kodo.

- Too bad it is not my kodo yet.

- I must say I love holiday events, even if I do not do them any longer.

- Got my drake many years ago, not sure when, 2010 or 2011 maybe, it was during wrath when I finished it.

- And I will not do it on another character, even just for fun, as long as that one part of the meta still requires you to do the PvP part.

- But I will do holiday bosses for mounts.

- I loved seeing all the people hanging around, the music, the fun atmosphere.

- It reminds you why you play the game, even if you are not actively participating like I am.

- I did not do direbrew on all my characters, but did do it 26 times over the weekend which meant 26 attempts at the kodo.

- It also means no kodo.

- I did manage to get 2 of the BoE weapons and one direbrew remote.

- I remember back in wrath when my main was grinding thorium brotherhood reputation and I so wanted that remote.

- I got it on alts, but never my main.

- Back then the only way to get reputation with them was to turn in items from molten core into them in the grim guzzler.

- So I always needed to ask a friend that had one to get me there.

- Seems my friends are lucky getting things, but not me.

- A friend of mine that went on a couple of runs with me was lucky.

- First run he gets the BoE mace, the dagger, and the ram in the bag.

- Second run he get another BoE mace and the kodo in the bag.

- Want to hear the kicker, he already had both mounts so did not need either of them.

- He said, and I agree, they should have some sell price, like 5 gold even.

- Sucks having to throw them away and type delete.

- We both could understand why they are not tradable but neither of us could understand why they do not have a sell price.

- Sucks having to throw stuff like that away.

- Even if it is useless it feels bad.

- Speaking of throwing stuff away, another one of my wishes were answered.

- Yes, I actually did mention this in things I wanted to see changed to blizzard.

- That junk no one wants and just throws away from blingtron like the paper zeppelin maker and party grenades now have sell prices.

- I hated just throwing them away, which I always did the second I got them.

- They do not sell for much really, but at least now I can get a few copper or silver for it instead of throwing it away.

- Throwing stuff away just seems so wasteful.

- Everything should have at least a one copper sell price.

- But even that can lead to problems sometimes.

- Ever accidentally vendored an heirloom?

- Yeah, I know I did.

- Good thing I noticed it and got it right back, but it is really easy to accidentally sell them.

- A pop up for when you go to sell them would be nice.

- I put in a suggestion about that a couple of years ago when I accidentally sold mine.

- Something like "this is an heirloom item, are you sure you want to sell it".

- Speaking of heirlooms, still none from garrosh.

- Had this one group yesterday that looked promising.

- We kicked ass really early on and just hit a bump in the road and wiped to MCs taking over, but otherwise it was looking entirely doable with this group.

- After that wipe however we never made it out of phase 1.

- Yeah, it got that bad.

- I ended up dropping group when the only other 2 decent DPS dropped.

- Joined a 25 man that had a 500 item level player in the group.

- The raid leader had accidentally invited him it seems as well as accidentally over invited.

- The person was not answering in raid chat, they were making no effort to come to the raid, they did not accept when we tried to summon.

- So when it was a decision to kick someone who do you kick?

- The 500 item level person that somehow managed to lie his way into a group that was asking for 575+ only for a quick kill or the raid leader, who then offered to step out because it was his fault that there were 26 people.

- Excuse me?

- The guy does not have the item level for this.

- Even if we wanted to carry him he has made no effort to head to the raid.

- Even if we wanted to carry him he was not answering in chat when spoke to.

- Even if we wanted to carry him he was not accepting the summon.

- I don't care if the raid leader felt bad and thought he should step out.

- He went through the work of finding all these people and assembling the group.

- Vs a guy that won't even accept a summon.

- He should stay and the 500 should go.

- And the entire raid agreed, we all told him so much.

- But he refused to kick him saying it was his fault the guy got an invite and he should come.

- So people started to drop on general principle, and I did as well.

- Oh well, it would have been a nice quick kill.

- A whole slew of experienced players on alts over 575 should have been a one shot.

- So I had no luck getting an heirloom this weekend on any of my characters.

- Basically because I could not get a kill in.

- The entire weekend was like this when I tried.

- Each group ended the same.

- Some disbanded on trash, some disbanded before the first pull, some disbanded after the first wipe.

- Either way, I could not find one group willing to stay together.

- I guess I am looking forward to 6.0 so I can finally get an heirloom.

- But will I be able to get in groups for it?

- I hope this is not how it goes then.

- I would like to get a whole slew of alts in there and get each of them heirlooms when 6.0 drops.

- I thought of something interesting when it comes to item level.

- I have one hunter that has only one piece of the celestial bosses but has had some luck with 3 off ordos.

- He had the legendary, those 4 pieces, a couple of PvP pieces and some timeless stuff and burdened timeless stuff.

- He is currently at a 559 item level and will hit 560 if I decide to upgrade timeless stuff.

- So basically this is a character that has never stepped into an actual raid.

- No flex, no normal, no heroic, just world bosses and LFR to get the cloak.

- And I am basically over 560 (if I upgraded the timeless stuff).

- So I would say, at this stage in the expansion, people asking for 560 for normal is not really asking for a lot.

- With that said, I have 10 characters that would fit the bill that could do garrosh based on item level alone.

- And another 6 or 7 that have less than 560 but I can easily do the required numbers for normal with.

- So I am hoping, if lucky, to get at least 16 heirlooms when 6.0 drops.

- But that means 15 pugs.

- Can I handle that?

- Can anyone handle that?

- I might just go insane if I have to deal with pugs like I had this weekend.

- Where I wasted countless hours and didn't down anything.

- And that was just to get 1 single kill.

- Now to try and do that 15 times in one week?

- I'd be insane to try.

- But I will.

- So I guess you can call me the insane elf.

- I've been playing around with the 4 piece set on beta.

- Got the 580 heroic set and tested it on the current worst spec.

- Survival has no burst, but with the set they kind of do.

- When you hit with black arrow you automatically proc lock and load.

- Which means when out questing you open with BA and hit 3 ES and basically anything that is not an elite dies, or is damn close to it.

- So that works as some nice burst, but we should not need a tier set to be able to burst.

- Survival still need some sort of burst type cooldown.

- It feels nice to do some steady DPS from start to end, but it would also be nice to have something that hit hard.

- Also reported a bug with the tier set.

- When you do a black arrow and proc the lock and load it does not reset the cooldown of explosive shot like a real lock and load does.

- So to maximize it you have to fire BA while ES is not on cooldown.

- Seems kind of wonky like that.

- Would love to open with ES, do BA and get 3 more ES right away.

- In theory that is how it should work.

- I noticed while doing some dungeons and playing around with it that I found myself waiting on BA to line it up because it was not resetting.

- Just does not feel natural.

- Hope they fix that, and yes I reported it as a bug.

- Well, that's all for now folks.

- Have a great day.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What If Your Class Was Removed?

After talking about blizzard removing things yesterday I started to think what wouldn't they remove.  Almost anything is fair game.  They can remove or redesign zones, remove raids, dungeons, gear, titles, achievements, mounts, pets, mobs, you name it.  They could even remove entire races if they choose to and just leave your race as the "last survivors" if they wanted to because that is what some races are to begin with.  But what about your class?

What if tomorrow you woke up and logged on to your favorite warcraft news source or random internet blog to hear about the recent hub bub going on with the game to see announcements about your class being removed?

Lets say for some reason blizzard did not like the idea of 11 classes and wanted to move backwards to a nice even number like ten and it was your class that they decided to put on the chopping block.  Outside of the clear outrage you would see on the forums, and many blogs like mine, over the removal of your favorite class with no warning, it very well might be the first time that anyone would agree rage quitting the game is actually the right answer.

While some of us have many alts and might even like to play them most people consider themselves a particular class.  I am a hunter, that is what I am.  There are no ifs, ands or buts about it.  I like the play style, I like having a pet, I like being the loner sort of class that is capable of doing many things on its own. So even if I have all classes at max level and multiples of many of them at max level I am a hunter first and foremost.  So this post, for me at least, is about the hunter class being removed from the game.  For you, make it about whatever class is your true love in the game, the one you like to play best and the one that you most closely identify yourself with.

This is a what if in all scenes of the words because when you think of things they could remove this would be as far as possible of anything that could happen because it never will.  But to continue with the what if, what if you do not rage quit.  Which would be, quite honestly, the result most people that play that class as a main would do. So no rage quitting allowed.  Now to the question posed to me, change the class to the one that best suits you for your answer.

What if the hunter class was removed?

I first started playing a hunter when I tested it out in BC mainly because it was what was highlighted on my screen.  I wish there were some sort of deeper thought put into it but it was highlighted and when I read the desorption I liked it, really that was all that was involved in choosing the play a hunter.  It was a ranged class, which if you have ever played any fantasy game ever in the history of gaming you would know is the best class to be, and it had a pet that could take the hits for you while you beat down a mob.  So hunter it was for me.  It sounded good.

As the years went by I made a lot of other classes, even had a few more classes to play around with before my hunter was max level.  Mostly support characters made with the intention of helping my hunter.  Like someone to make gear for me, someone to make bags for me, you get the idea.

So I was an alt-a-holic before I ever actually became one.  With that I learned to play with many different styles and it became clear in no time at all that hunter was the only class I ever waned to be.  So if I could not be a hunter, while I could still find some joy in the game otherwise, I really would not get that into it.  But being I am not allowed to quit in this what if now that the hunter class is being removed I have to consider other options.

For me it is not as hard as you might think.  I have always had my main, a hunter, and two additional mains, for a few expansions now.  I've worked with the three main system and I am used to it.  One main for tanking and one main for healing along with my over all main, the hunter of course.  Those other mains usually ended up being a druid for tanking and a priest for healing.  For a short time in cataclysm I was mostly healing on my shaman and mostly tanking on my warrior, but in time I went back to my druid and priest combo for my tank and healer mains as it was.

I have dabbled in the other damage dealers and all their specs.  I do not like any of the other ranged classes.  I could sink my teeth into a warlock, or one might assume, as it does have a pet to tank and it does (or very soon did) have some ability to do damage while moving but I just never felt comfortable with a lock.  I could play a mage because they can do what I love to do with my hunter better than any of the other classes I have played and that is kite.  Mages are quite good at that.  But no, they did not feel right either and always feel way to squishy.

Nearly all the damage dealers have something I like about them, but they just are not for me.  I am sure everyone that has a main can sympathize with me there.  No matter how we try, no matter what we like, an alt will always be an alt.

And that is where my problem would lie.  I am an average at absolute best healer.  Sure I am healing heroic, sure I can heal most things, but when it comes to cutting edge stuff I will never touch that with a ten foot pole.  As far as tanking goes I do that a slight bit better than I do with healing.  I am a very serviceable tank.  Given a little time playing with it to into a grove with it I believe I could meet my potential as a tank, at least a hell of a lot easier than I can as a healer.

Over all however, I am a damage dealer, that is what I like to do.  When I am on my hunter and I pug I usually just tell the raid leader.  I know the fights, just point at what you want me to kill and I will kill it.  I do not need any explanation.  And that is the truth.  It is how I play.  I study the fights and what is relevant to me first to do my job to the best of my ability.  I rarely if ever go into a fight not knowing what I want to do and how I want to do it.  I plan out my cooldowns before the first pull.  I plan out my movements before the first pull.  I take pride in being the best bringer of death that I could possibly be.  My job is the be the best killer I am capable of being and I try my best.  It is the fun of the class for me.

So that means while I would still have a main tank and a main healer neither of those would be my new main.  I would need a new damage dealer.  Not a main as a tank or not a main as a healer, my main will need to be just as my hunter is, a dealer of death.  So which damage dealer would I choose?

The obvious choice would be to choose one where I can double dip.  One I can tank and DPS on, or one I can heal and DPS on.  Or even better yet, one and I can tank, heal and DPS on like a druid, monk or a paladin.

I'll rule out the monk because although I did have a short stint as a main tank on my monk this expansion, which included tanking for some of our earliest clears of ToT I abandoned it shortly after SoO came out because I was just not feeling it any longer.  I've never tested monk healing so that would be worth a shot at some point maybe and I can say that I like monk DPS even if it is melee but not enough to main it.

Now on to the druid.  No thank you.  I am not fond of the kitty toolkit.  I played around with it once this expansion and gave it a true effort to play it and I did manage to get it working.  Even the advanced rotation.  However, while fighting I oft times found myself losing track, not because of lack of skill on my part, but because I was not enjoying it and started to zone out.  There is too much to keep track of as a cat and if I am going to get bored at doing it that quickly it will only hurt my game play because a bored player is a bad player that makes mistakes.  And I was starting to make mistakes.  Balance just never floated my boat, all 2.3 seconds I tried playing it for on the various occasions I did attempt to play one.  No thank you.  At least being a druid healer I could get into but that would not solve the issue where I need a damage dealer.

For the paladin the answer is a lot easier.  I do not like paladin healing and I do not like the peaks and valley feeling to the DPS rotation.  So paladin is not even an option I would consider.  It is tank or nothing.

Now for the ones that can heal and DPS only which would be shaman and priest.  Although I have used both as my main healer over the years and I really love both shaman and priest healing I am not keen on the damage dealer part of if.  I can not stand shadow.  Talk about boring, that one is up there.  For elemental it is better than shadow at least but still takes place in the category of lacking buttons and waiting on procs does not make for compelling game play when you only have a couple of buttons to begin with.  Enhancement is what my shaman always was.  It was not a healer to start oddly enough, it was melee DPS.  I hate melee DPS but I really like the enhancement rotation.  It has always had some issues with gaps in the rotation and that bugs me, but I could deal with it.  I would give it a try, but I do not see me considering this as my main DPS spec to start with, just something I could try.

Now for the tank and damage dealer category.  I could consider a death knight but I am not overly fond of either unholy or frost.  I have played them, I have played them okay as well.  So I am sure if I put my mind into it I could even get good with them but I do not want to.  They suffer from the number one thing I hate about damage dealers, being in melee range.  Unless you are the tank I do not believe there is any reason anyone should ever be in striking distance of the mob.  Simple as that.  Now I do understand my choices are getting quite limited.  I've already ruled out both pure ranged classes and all ranged specs from classes that can do damage and something else, so I am getting short on options here.  But DKs are not it.  I would give the enhancement another try way before even considering a DK.

Warrior, ah the warrior.  I have had a warrior as my main tank before and gladiator stance does really seem promising.    I love the idea of being a sword and board damage dealer.  Just the idea alone is enough to get me to test it out.  From all I have read, have not tried it yet, it seems like gladiator is also a very fun style of combat.  So it is quite possible I might find myself being a warrior tank and damage dealer, basically while still a tank.  That is an interesting idea.  This would most likely be the first alt I would bring up just to try it.  At least as it stands now, it is the most promising alt.

So were are we now.  There is only one class left and I saved it for last for multiple reasons.  It is the class I like the least.  It is a pure class which means it can not do anything else.  It has a history of being a great PvP class but I am not a PvPer.  And last but not least it is a melee class, which as I mentioned, I really dislike.  But when all is said and done, and I do not believe I am about to type these words, if hunters were removed from the game I would main a rogue.

Yes.  I said it.  I feel dirty now.  It is my arch nemesis the rogue.  Not only as the exact counter to hunters in PvP but many I like about hunters, rogues don't have.  However, with that said, many things I do like about hunters, rogues do have. 

They have a misdirect of sorts, they have a better stealth, they have a way to drop aggro, they have lots of control, they have more defensive cooldowns and they are kind of sucking in the self heals department just like hunters plus they can get around pretty nice with things like sprint and shadowstep.  They are a lot like hunters and a lot not like them at the same time.  As I like to joke sometimes rogues are hunters that were not smart enough to stay at ranged and got hit in the head one to many times.

When all is said and done, if I were forced to pick a new main it would end up being a rogue.  I might not be good at one now but they are one of, if not the, easiest classes in the game, so I am sure if I tried getting the most out of one it would not be too hard when compared to other classes.  I can pull around 200K-240K at a 544 item level with a lovely 502 weapon but I can not tell you if that is good or not.  But one thing I do know is that if I played it more than once every few months I would be doing better. 

Also one thing that is in the rogues favor, sort of like how gladiator is in the warriors favor, is that they changed one of things about rogues I had hated to the most, outside of the fact they are melee of course.  Combo points.  Now that they are on me and not on my target which means I will not feel as useless as I always did when there was a time I had to switch targets.  I always felt bad that I wanted to land a finisher on the target I was on before switching.  Now that I no longer need to worry about that, and with rogues excellent movement abilities, target switching should no longer be an issue that holds me back from enjoying the class. 

As an added bonus a rogue brings some decent raid utility, does fair numbers, is one of the least played classes and is a beast even for a complete noob like me to play in PvP.  So maybe I might actually enjoy PvPing when I am not running around with the free kill sign around my neck that I usually feel like I am wearing when I am on a hunter because everyone always comes after me first, even before healers.  And if someone puts that sign on me as a rogue, cloak, vanish, reset.  Yeah, I think I can really dig that.

So what if your class was removed and you were not allowed to quit, you had to pick something, what would you pick?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is With Blizzards Obsession With Removing Content?

In the last few days we have been bombarded with announcement after announcement of things that are being removed from game.  All things that are added to the flow of removed content we have been hearing about for a while that lead at least me to question what is with blizzard obsession with removing content.

From the original announcement of warlords and the months there after when we found out all the things that were not being added for the expansion, which by not being added could be construed as being removed, such as flying, scenarios, daily quest hubs and rares that can be killed over and over among other things.  All things that are, without a doubt, content in one way or another, all being removed or not added.

We have also known for quite some time that challenge modes for the mists dungeons were being removed but even for the most jaded of players would have to admit that was understandable.  It does not warrant spending the time and effort to rebalance them to compensate for the removal of hit, expertise, dodge, parry, spirit on most gear and vengeance, among other things like various abilities they were designed for people to have.  But an argument can be made, and has been by many, that it should have been left in anyway.  Sure if it became harder, it would be harder, and if it became easier, it would be easier, but why remove it.  Not sure I agree with that, but after seeing their wholesale removal of so many other things that followed, maybe I could be convinced to agree with them.

There are also things that were changed because they were required to be changed if they wanted to stay relevant.  Things such as the proving grounds and the brawlers guild.  While they are still in game, due to the stat  and ability changes mentioned above, they were redesigned and boosted to the new expansion.  So they are still in game, but all the achievements from the previous incarnations and all the progress made in them will be wiped completely.  So people are having that removed.

Many argue, and rightfully so, if they got up to rank 4 or 8 or 10 in the brawlers guild that progress should not be removed.  They can redo them at 100, but if you were a rank 10 fighter you should still be a rank 10 fighter.  Sure they can update it so new players can experience it and the experience can reflect the changes to abilities and stats but why take away the progress people have made through it already. 

Same goes for the proving grounds.  If someone managed bronze, or silver or gold, or endless 30, why is their effort completely dismissed and they need to do it again to get the recognition for having done it, which is more so needed as you need a silver to queue for heroic dungeons now.  Don't get me wrong, it will take all of 10 minutes to get sliver after you hit 100, but the fact remains, why remove your progress?  Basically it would be akin to removing the fact you did SoO on normal when it was current so you can unlock heroic and then once the new expansion comes out you now need to run it again on normal should you want to do it on heroic.  If you have already done it, you have already done it.  Why make people do it again?  Adding content some might say but is more like adding content by removing content?  This one I can get behind when people complain about it.  It is fine to update content but it is not fine to remove personal progression, unless of course you are blizzard and have an obsession for removing things lately. 

Then we get to the new flurry of announcements over the last few weeks and even more so few days where it seems every blue post is about removing something from the game.  From the announcement that they were removing valor and justice as currency, which makes no sense what so ever, to the most recent announcement of the removal of justice heirlooms which makes even less sense. 

The idea that this current raid tier there was no valor gear was one of the biggest mistakes in recent history of the game, so it is no stretch to say that removing valor completely just compounds that mistake.  Blizzard seems to forget that the vast majority of the players do not raid, even at the LFR level, and valor gear was their only means of personal progressions.  If you want people to continue to pay for a monthly subscription having something like valor gear that someone needs to work every week toward getting is a great motivator to keep them subscribed.  But blizzard is obsessed with removing content so they removed the main form of personal progression for the vast majority of the player base by removing valor, justice, and the gear they used to purchase with them.

Then we hear about the conversion of justice heirlooms to gold and later the idea that they will just remove justice heirloom gear completely.  Once more going along with the obsession to remove content instead of adding it.  Some might ask how it was content but that is rather simple.  When people wanted heirlooms they needed justice. So they would go and do things that got them the justice they needed, thus buying heirloom gear created content by making players have the need to do something to get it.

They did say they would add something back at a later date, but that still does not give them a reasonable excuse for removing content once again.  They plan on added a raid tier, so why not remove all previous raid tiers?  Doesn't sound appealing right?  So why remove old heirlooms because they plan on making new ones.  That goes back to the amazing miscue they had when they rereleased ZA and ZG and removed the old ZA and old ZG.  One of their "lets remove content" moves from 3 or so years ago.  This shows that blizzards whole, lets remove content idea, is not new, they are just stepping it up to a whole new level now, sort of like, lets see how much content we can remove all at once.

There was also the announcement that they are removing the legendary quest line come the next expansion which leads me to ask a simple one word question, why?  There really is no reason what so ever to remove it.  I read their response that they wanted to make it feel like something that is a reward for those that were there to experience it.  Well guess what blizzard, it was a reward for those that were there.  For everyone else it would be going back and doing it to experience the content, the fun, the story, or just to give them something to do.  It is a form of content going back and doing things and it is a very important part of the game and something that does actually keep people paying that monthly fee.

Is blizzard aware of the number of people that goes back to old raids to get old legendary items?  I know of many, myself included, that go back and do old content just for the sake of doing it.  To get an old legendary just to give me something to do.  Going back and doing old content is excellent content.  People go back to farm legendary items, mounts, pets, gear, you name it.  People go back to enjoy a bit of nostalgia.  People go back to experience it on another class.  People go back to see stuff they were not around for when it was new.  Old content, old quest lines, old legendary items, are content.  Removing the legendary quest line is removing content for those people that might want to go back and do it at a later date.  It is content that will keep them busy for a long time going back.  It will keep them active and more importantly it will keep them playing and thus paying the monthly fee.  So why remove something that people can go back to get later, it makes no sense. 

Their argument that they want it to feel like something special for those that were there is nothing short of vacuously wrong.  It was something special for me, because I did it when it was current, I did it when I needed it, and it takes nothing away from my enjoyment of doing it or getting it when it was current if some guy goes back to get it four years from now.  Him getting it in four years did not take away from what I did, so blizzard saying they are removing it so my cloak(s) feel more special is absolutely disingenuous.  Blizzard just wanted to remove content, because for some reason they are obsessed with removing as much content as they can instead of leaving it in game for others to go back for later.

Which brings us to the garrosh heirlooms.  Why are these being removed?  This, just like the legendary quest line, makes no sense.  Leaving them in the game means people will want to go back to get them.  People will want to farm for them, to get complete collections of them, just the way they would with the mount when the time comes if they were not lucky enough to get one when it was a 100% drop.  Leaving the heirlooms in would have made sure that SoO was a raid that people would go back and farm for many years to come in groups or solo when the time came where people were capable of doing so.  It would have created a great deal of content by letting them stay in game so people could go back to get them but instead blizzard has to remove them and in effect remove content once again.

I am having a hard time understanding why blizzard, with warcraft being a monthly subscription game, would remove stuff that would most definitely keep people subscribed because it would give them something to do.  I just do not understand removing things that keep people subscribed.  Where is blizzard going with this because I do not understand.  Keeping old stuff in game is good for the game.  Removing it is bad.  So why is blizzard so obsessed with removing content when it is bad for the game for them to do so?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Few Words About Movement

I've seen a few recent posts on forums around the net and a few recent posts on blog from my blog roll and others not on it all concerning movement.  More so movement issues with locks and shaman.  They have, in my opinion, a right to be concerned about this change.  While blizzard has said they are trying to limit movement for casters it seems only locks and shaman are taking a movement hit.  Some might say shadow priest are getting off easy but they forget that shadow priests had nothing really decent to use on the move to begin with and the change to their level 90 talents which now give them a cast time basically took away any and all movement they had, save one dot.

So it seems that only mages have gotten off the hook, for the most part and not completely, with the lock down on caster movement.  Locks and elemental shaman are still in for a change of game style.  For anyone that started playing one of those classes in mists this will be a complete shock to their system.  More so with locks because for much of the expansion they have been the flavor of the month, or should we say flavor of the expansion, as they were so over powered in one spec or another for the entire expansion basically.  This meant a lot of new players to the class popped up and all those new players learned to play the class with their filler being capable of being cast on the move as well as having a nice little instant in fel flame.

But now that is all over for locks.  All those new locks will be land locks (bad play on words, I know) and will need to learn how to play a caster from the beginning.  Throughout the history of the game casters have been land locked, it was done by design and they are trying to return them to that sort of game play.

But I am writing this post not to ponder what life will be like in the world of casters with the return to standing still but to ask a simple question of why should they have to stand still?

I am a hunter first and foremost and I too have lived the life of being land locked.  Overall the changes in the last four years for the most part I have went from a stand and shoot class to a fully ranged dealer of death and I love it.

I like to think of myself as a decent player, not great but more than capable of holding my own, but it is when movement became part of the hunter arsenal that I really started to shine.  I've seen hunters that were fantastic start to lose a step once they were forced into moving but I never lose a step.  I guess it is my design of how I play with doing all my movement with my mouse which makes keybinding so much easier but when the movement part of the fight starts to pick up and everyone else starts to dip a little with their numbers there I go plugging along and not losing a beat.  I do the same numbers, for the most part, while moving, even if moving 100% of the time.  Like I said, I might not be a great hunter over all, but when I am moving, that is when you see my strength of play.

I think of moving while attacking as a high skill cap thing.  I think all classes should be able to cast while moving.  Anyone can stand in one place and hit a rotation or priority because there is nothing else to think about.  It takes someone that knows that rotation or priority well so they can do it on the fly to keep doing it while moving.  The skill cap of playing while moving has always been and will always be amazingly higher than someone just standing still and hitting buttons based on some sort of which is best to hit right now priority or rotation.

That is one of the reasons why I believe that all classes, not just hunters, should be able to cast almost everything while moving.  I see no reason to land lock people.  Why would you do that?  To make the game boring because lets face it standing on one place and not being able to move is kind of boring.

Attacking while moving is exciting.  It is one of the things I have come to really love about being a hunter and it is one of the things I have always loved about being melee, even if I do not like being melee in general.  I love that melee is about movement.  As long as I keep in range of the mob I am attacking I can keep doing everything I have on my bars, no matter what.  I do not have to stop to get an ability to work.  I can do my entire rotation on the move and I have to say I love that.  It is one of the reasons I had so much fun PvPing on my rogue.  No cast times, no need to stand still, just stick on the person and pew pew away.  No restrictions, just fun.

Movement makes playing a class fun, for me at least.  It makes it feel more dynamic, it makes it feel faster paced, it makes it feel like I have to do more than just hit some buttons.  Moving while playing makes for a very active play style which I like, I like a lot.

Then there is the added factor of who does the casters not being able to move hurt.  For a good player they will learn the fights and learn when they need to move.  Once they get used to their abilities, the cast times involved, the bosses telegraphed moves, they will be able to keep up with their rotation just fine even if they can not cast while moving because they will learn when they will need to move and how much they will need to move.   So not being able to move will not really hurt the casters much.  A good caster will learn, will compensate, will adapt, and will sometimes stand in something, even if only for a split second here and there, to get their numbers out.

And that leads to who land locked casters hurt.  It needlessly hurts the healers.  They are forced to heal people because they are standing in stuff so they can finish that one cast.  I know I have not played my lock much this expansion but I can't tell you how annoying some fights are when you start your chaos bolt, have to move, start again, have to move, start again, have to move, screw this I am not playing a lock again, and that is why my lock hit the shelf.  Sure I could have done things differently, if I had cared to do so, but it was an alt, an alt I had no intention of really playing, so I did not care to get better and manage it.  It was so much easier to just shelf it and get on one of my many hunters who can actually enjoy the game and attack while moving.

But I could have finished the chaos bolt, it would have only meant standing in the bad for half a second. Who is half a second going to hurt?  The healer, that is who.  Sure the healer could easily heal me through it, even more so at this stage of the expansion when mana is rarely if ever an issue.  But it is bad game play.  Even if your healer can heal you through it.  Even if you standing there and doing more DPS will help down the boss faster.  Even if it is no big deal and no one cares.  It is still bad game play.  If you are capable of moving, you should move, and saying I have to finish my cast is not a good excuse.  If everyone said that, you would wipe on the first boss in SoO because the healers would never be able to keep up an entire raid of people standing in puddles because it will get them more DPS.   So it is not okay.

Now, I guess this all comes down to what you consider exciting game play.  If you like the idea of micromanaging your abilities around the need to move you might not mind being land locked, but if you are like me and like to see if you can keep up your maximum potential while moving, you might prefer the more active play style of attacking while moving.

Over all, in my opinion, I think blizzard is going in the wrong direction.  I would like to see more active game play.  I would like to see all ranged being able to attack while moving.  I would like to see fights that reward people for being able to move and do what they are supposed to do at the same time.  I would like to see the days of the land locked caster gone forever.  It has no place in a game like this any longer.  At least not as I see it.  The game should be more active, it should require more movement.  Not less.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WoD Sing-A-Long

Please excuse me for a moment while I share something that popped into my mind this morning and I thought I would share.  Hope you enjoy, and please, sing-a-long.

Scene: An elf and a human walk into blizzard headquarters to find out what is coming up in future expansions.

Elf: You sit here, dear.

Human: All right.

Elf: Morning!

Blizzard: Morning!

Elf: Well, what've you got for the new expansion?

Blizzard: Well, there's raids and garrisons; raids professions and garrisons; raids and orcs; raids garrisons and orcs; raids garrisons professions and orcs; orcs garrisons professions and orcs; orcs raids orcs orcs garrisons and orcs; orcs professions orcs orcs garrisons orcs character remodels and orcs;

GMs and CMs: (Chanting) orcs orcs orcs orcs...

Blizzard: ...orcs orcs orcs raids and orcs; orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs ogres orcs orcs orcs...

GMs and CMs: (Singing) orcs! Savage orcs! Savage orcs!

Blizzard: ...or new leveling zones with a few rare mobs in a savage world with quests and events filled with rewarding prizes, fishing and with a savage raid on top involving orcs.

Human: Have you got anything without orcs?

Blizzard: Well, there's orcs raids professions and orcs, that's not got much orcs in it.

Human: I don't want ANY orcs!

Elf: Why can't she have raids garrisons orcs and professions?

Human: THAT'S got orcs in it!

Elf: Hasn't got as much orcs in it as orcs raids professions and orcs, has it?

GMs and CMs: (Chanting) orcs orcs orcs orcs... (Crescendo through next few lines...)

Human: Could you do the raids garrisons orcs and professions without the orcs then?

Blizzard: Urgghh!

Human: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like orcs!

GMs and CMs: (Singing) Savage orcs! Wonderful orcs!

Blizzard: Shut up!

GMs and CMs: (Singing) Savage orcs! Wonderful orcs!

Blizzard: Shut up! (GMs and CMs stop) Bloody GMs! You can't have raids garrisons orcs and professions without the orcs.

Human: I don't like orcs!

Elf: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your orcs. I love it. I'm having orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs orges orcs orcs orcs and orcs!

GMs and CMs: (Singing) orcs orcs orcs orcs. Savage orcs! Wonderful orcs!

Blizzard: Shut up!! ogres are off.

Elf: Well could I have her orcs instead of the ogres then?

Blizzard: You mean orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs orcs... (The GMs and CMs singing drowns blizzards words)

GMs and CMs: (Singing elaborately...) orcs orcs orcs orcs. Savage orcs! Wonderful orcs! orcs or-c-c-c-c-cs orcs or-c-c-c-c-cs orcs. Savage orcs! Savage orcs! Savage orcs! Savage orcs! Savage orcs! orcs orcs orcs orcs!

I apologize for any brain cells lost reading that but I hope you enjoyed.  I will now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.