Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Do You Expect Leveling to Look Like Come Legion?

The leveling process now has a lot of issues, some of which I do plan to discuss in this post but I am sure I will be missing out on some of them such as professions and the such, but the over all questions is what do you think leveling will look like next expansion?  I'll share my opinion first, because that is what I do here.

Lets first go over the leveling experience and how is had downgraded, in my opinion, over the past few expansions.

The complete overhaul of the old world leveling experience in cataclysm messed up the continuity a great deal.  This one major redesign of the leveling process is where leveling started to go downhill as I see it.

Where you used to level from vanilla to BC to wrath, when cataclysm came out you quested from cataclysm, to the far past BC to the not as far past wrath and back to the current time cataclysm.  The situation only got worse with the following expansions by making it even even more convoluted of a leveling process when looking at it from a pure story perspective.  To a new player there was no flow, no rhyme and reason to the leveling process at all.  And there is a reason for that feeling.  Blizzard designed it that way, on purpose or by accident because they did not think ahead, I'll let you decide, but either way, it left things feeling off when leveling.  When they redesigned the old world leveling for cataclysm for no reason other than to redesign something that only needed updating, not redesigning, it was the first step in a series of steps that further ruined the leveling experience.

They should have left well enough alone I believe.  Let us start in vanilla, as if we are starting in the past and catching up to current times, and let us level though the past to meet everyone else at max level in the here and now.

One thing cataclysm did have done well, for the most part, however was that the skills people got while leveling still made sense as they got them.  Sure low level tanks and healers did seem a little slow to get the key things they needed to do their role to the best of their ability, but it was not exactly horrible, just not great.

When mists came out they changed a lot of abilities, removed some, added others, and also managed to add modifiers to certain abilities.  This had an impact on the leveling process, quite a huge one in some cases.

When leveling a healer or a tank now you were even more put on the spot.  Some classes not getting AoE as a tank until you have been trying to tank dungeons for 20 or so levels already.  Some healers not only getting no AoE heal for what felt like an eternity, but not even getting their second heal until they were well into their leveling journey.

And it was not only the tanks and the healers that felt some discomfort with how the talent changes effected the leveling process, damage dealers did as well.  Some classes not getting key abilities which would be the central focus of their entire game play until very late in the game.  Or other classes using abilities for a good 10 or more level, like primal strike for shaman, which would otherwise have no place even being considered as something they would use.  Or in the case of hunters having two of the specs us a focus generator, namely steady shot, nearly their entire leveling process, only to have it removed as they got close to level cap.

The entire experience could be confusing and frustrating to someone new and most definitely an issue for those that never look outside of the game for information and have no one in game to lean on asking questions.

All that was only when mists came out.  When warlords came out we had to deal with many other abilities being cut in the great pruning of 2014.  Lets forget all the max level players that saw abilities they loved removed but think about what this post is concerning, the leveling process.

After the pruning of abilities the tank and healer issues I mentioned before got even worse.  The damage dealers had to deal with getting abilities that modified spells they had not even learned yet.  Sometimes you might even find one spell modified twice before you even got it.

Each time the abilities are shuffled around and changed or removed or even added, the leveling process takes a beating and with the changes in warlords it has never been more evident.  cataclysm might have screwed up the "feel" of leveling to the point I don't think they can ever fix it without a complete reset of the game from level 1 where they put the story line back in the order is should be, but warlords put the second nail in the level coffin in my opinion.  The issues that came with mists were not good for leveling, but not as bad as what happened with cataclysm and warlords.

Now when leveling a fresh character not only do you not have needed abilities as you level, not only do you get modifiers for abilities that you do not even have yet, but you go spurts where you get 3 abilities in 6 levels and then none for the next 10 levels leaving the leveling process completely uneven and presumably less rewarding because a new player is not seeing themselves grow as much as we did back when we got power boosts more often.  Even the old style of 1 point that you could put into something as lame as +1% critical strike was more exciting than getting nothing at all, which much of the leveling process is now thanks to pruning.

But what will happen next expansion.  Can it really get worse for the new player leveling a player for the first time.  Can it really get even less rewarding.

With the gaps in ability gain and the feeling that we do not get much more power as we level as it is right now what will it feel like when we have even fewer abilities which will most assuredly translate into even fewer abilities being given to a new player as they level.

Looking at my favorite class alone, which is only one of, well, all classes getting a hatchet job done to it, I am losing more than half of my abilities.  If there are such huge gaps in getting abilities as it stands now what will it look like when there are that many fewer abilities.  Will even more classes enter dungeons the first time without even the basic tools they need to fulfill their role.  Will we see even more classes having to deal with getting abilities that modify spells they will not even have for another 30 levels.

I'll be the first to tell you my opinion is that the cataclysm revamp of the old world was a complete waste of time and resources.  But I will also say I believe that the leveling process needs to be fixed.  I hate suggesting that they allocate resources to fix something old like that, but it needs to be done.

Why is that you might ask and the answer is simple.  If the game never intended to get new players and it was just me, you and the other person leveling alts for the rest of forever, it would make no difference if they fixed the leveling process.  We have all been there and done that.  It does not matter it is out of order.  It does not matter we get out abilities in a screwed up order because we know what is coming later to even it out.  But if they want new players to join the game and more importantly new players to fall in love with the game and to get attached to it like I did or you did or that other player did, they need to fix the leveling process.

The leveling process needs to be more than a mash up of left over parts from expansions past.  It needs to have a story that moves in a linear way and not jumping all over time, like the remake of the old world did when cataclysm came out.  It needs to give players at least the most basic of the tools they need to accomplish tasks once the game opens up them for them, such as tanks and healers having the needed AoE abilities at level 15 for when dungeons become active.  It needs to give abilities in a understandable order and not give you abilities that modify a skill you do not even have yet.  And last but not least, it needs to let the player feel that each level is a step forward in power instead of having to wait 2 or 4 or even 10 levels before they get a new ability that makes them feel as if they are getting a little personal progression as they level.

So what do I think leveling will look like in legion?

Unless something major changes I think it is going to be downright horrible.  The worst it has ever been.  I think it will not be something that can keep a new player playing and in the end, for each and every one of us, keeping those new players matter.  They might be your next friend, your next raid super star or heck, even just another subscriber paying them which in turn keeps the game running.  But they will be none of those things if they get bored because the leveling process does not feel rewarding or fun enough to keep them involved.

If you ask me, we need to go back to a point system when level and each level lets you assign 1 point into something.  Blizzard says they removed it because there is nothing exciting about putting 1 point into +1% critical strike.  Maybe they are right.  But one thing is for sure.  I would rather go 4 levels with adding +1 to four different secondary stats than going 4 levels with absolutely nothing.  Which it seems we will be seeing a lot of in legion.

Just one elf's opinion, what is yours?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- Did not play much WoW this past week.

- Got my archie kill one night in for an upgrade.

- Killed a few heroic bosses and once again wasted coins for nothing.

- And that is about it.

- I could have finished off my ring the week before if I bothered to farm valor.

- I decided against it.

- Getting that upgrade each week is the only thing keeping me going at the moment.

- So I have 3 more weeks before I need another motivator.

- Like I said, I could have finished it already if I wanted to.

- But decided I would just do it from kills only for fun.

- Not like I need it numbers wise.

- But bigger numbers are always better they say.

- Speaking of bigger numbers Diablos season 5 started just in time to serve as a nice distraction for the time being for me.

- And the numbers there seem insane.

- I am doing more damage than I have ever done in normal.

- I am gaining more paragon levels than I have ever done in normal.

- I am getting more legendary items than I ever did in normal.

- I am pushing faster times than I ever did on normal.

- I am pushing higher levels than I have ever done on normal.

- So yeah, lots of big numbers coming out of seasons, at least for me.

- I never did seasons before, this is my first.

- Why is that you say?

- They offered an additional stash slot if you did certain achievements in a season.

- I am doing it only for the stash space, no other reason really.

- Bag space is always the #1 thing in any game that actually concerns me and this got me to play the season.

- Sad part is I am just not skilled enough to get it.

- At least I do not believe so.

- Everything that is needed before the conquests parts I believe I can do, but the conquests seem out of my reach.

- Mastering a dungeon was hard enough, took me like 14 tries.

- But that is a piece of cake compared to the conquests I need to do 2 of.

- One of them I can see getting, the loot 50M gold streak, but that is about it.

- I guess doing the greater rift 45 with no tier pieces is the second most accessible one.

- But for someone that is A) not very good and B) never really spends enough time playing to pump up big paragons levels, it seems a little out of reach.

- But hey, I needed something to do so I figured I would try.

- It is for bag space after all, how could I not try.

- I love bag space and would do anything for it.

- You know those free to play games, or pay to win games as some people call them?

- I might not spend money on them to win, but if they offer increased bag space I will, and do, buy it in a heart beat.

- It is the single most important piece of any game I play.

- I stopped playing fallout 4 because I just got tired of the bag space limits.

- Before I stopped I started using the PC code for unlimited carry weight.

- But by then I was already gone.

- I was burnt out on the running back and forth of it.

- It was nice not having to worry about bag space any more.

- Maybe I will go back to it some day, I really did enjoy fallout 4 for a change of pace.

- And if I do go back I do intend to use the limited carry weight code.

- But I most definitely am not a first person shooter type of gamer.

- I like story driven games with set progression paths.

- And the occasional slaughter fest for fun sort of game.

- Which is where Diablo fits in.

- I saw people complaining on the forums about bots in Diablo and wondered what they are talking about.

- I did not even know you could have addons never the less some program to do other things.

- I am such a noob at diablo it seems.

- But I figure over all it is a single player game, who the hell cares.

- They say as long as there are leader boards it is competitive and bots ruin the competition.

- Ok I guess, if you really want to compete in a single player game that has no actual real objective in it other than just to slaughter things for fun.

- To each their own.

- I have never used, nor will I use a bot in diablo, but I did use the unlimited carry code in fallout 4 and if they had one like that is diablo I would use it there too.

- It is not cheating to do something like that in a single player game.

-The only person you are cheating is yourself.

- If you choose to cheat yourself, it is you and you alone that has to deal with the consequences of your cheating.

- Like the fun of getting stronger as you go and working your way up.

- If you skip that, you are skipping the entire game.

- So cheating only cheats yourself out of what otherwise is the entire concept of a game like this.

- And not to mention, if you get that uptight over leader boards for a single player game, you really need to readjust your priorities.

- Seeing people rage about cheating in diablo actually made me want to bot.

- It goes back to the same thing like I say for warcraft.

- How does my paragon level (gear in wow terms) effect your game play?

- I'll give you a hint, it doesn't.

- One person made the perfect response, in my opinion, to someone complaining about bots.

- He said he has worked so hard to get to paragon 900 already playing 14 hours a day that is he going to quit because he hates seeing people using bots with more.

- So the OP said the users of such programs should be banned, basically, because they have more paragon levels to him.

- The guy responded, and this was great, that he believes the OP should be banned because he has to work and can only play at most 4 hours a day so it is unfair to him that the OP should be playing 14 hours a day and getting more levels then him.

- So being he is playing more than him, and has more paragon levels than him, he should be banned too.

- It might sound silly, but he is right.

- The only problem this guy had with someone using a bot was that they had more levels than him, because they are on more often with the program.

- So the poster replied to the OP that he has the same problem with him playing 14 hours a day when he can't, so he should be banned too.

- I got a laugh out of it.

- I can see getting all bent about cheating like that in warcraft.

- It is an MMO, many items and crafting materials can be traded, it can give someone some sort of advantage.

- But that thought process does not work for a game like this.

- There is nothing to be gained by cheating like this except paragon levels.

- And a person still needs to be skilled, to some extent, to take full advantage of said levels.

- And again, the only person it effects is them.

- I made it to greater rift 51 solo so far, that is my max.

- Have not tried 52 yet, but will next weekend.

- I am glad I was able to do it.

- If I cheated I would not have enjoyed it as much.

- But I am proud of myself for doing it.

- So the only person losing if I cheated would be me.

- If I cheated and became extra strong it would have not been such an accomplishment for me.

- So if I cheated it would only hurt myself.

- And in the grand scheme of things, I do not want to cheat myself out of the fun of doing it on my own.

- Well... unless it was an unlimited bag space cheat.

- I would use that in a heart beat.

- I will admit that.

- I love bag space.

- Have a great day.

Friday, January 22, 2016

If WoW Is Going to Keep Borrowing From Diablo...

Both Warcraft and Diablo are owned by the same company so we could not use the "stealing ideas" line that people like to use so I am going to use "borrow".  All ideas belong to the same company and we have seen cross over from one game to the other between many of the blizzard created products.  This is not a bad thing, not even in the slightest.  Some ideas from one game are just begging to be integrated into the other and blizzard is smart enough to realize that.

Coming with Legion we see a much larger scale borrowing from Diablo than ever before.  Sure we have had some things lifted from Diablo and added to Warcraft recently.  The largest one was adding even more randomization to the game.  From gear having additional stats, to a gem slot, to even being warforged reminds me of Diablo.  It makes one piece of gear come in many different variants.  Now as many as Diablo does of course, but still many, for Warcraft standards.

Another piece of the randomizing borrowed from Diablo are the baleful items.  Where they could be randomly warforged and had random stats on it.  And there was the added fact you could A) get them as drops or B) buy them when you saved up enough currency, and both would be completely random stats wise.  Same as Diablo where you could get say a waist piece as a drop or buy one with blood shards.

It was pushed even further with the most recent patch when the warforged baleful gear was no longer just 650 of 675 when warforged but it could be anywhere from 650 to 695 in 5 level intervals.  But they did not just leave it there, they also made mythic dungeons change from dropping either 685 or warforged at 705 gear to having a span of 685 to 725 in 5 level intervals as well.  Add in that those could have a gem slot or third or both or neither on any of those items meant that the amount of different drops could be 72 variants (I believe, you can check my napkin math) for each and every item making it even more like Diablo.

Next expansion they are pushing it even further with their borrowing from their other franchise.  They are adding the transmog wardrobe to the game which is a huge boon to anyone that like to collect things and even more so if they are an avid collect and like to have a large selection for their mogging pleasures.  But it does not stop there.

Random legendary drops, which I will have to write about another day as my thought on those would easily fill a post all on its own, are being added to the game in a very Diablo style.  As in they can drop from anywhere.  You could kill a boss in a dungeon or an elite mob in the world or a rare mob anywhere you run across it or trash in a raid or even just killing some rats out in the world and it could drop.  Just like Diablo where the absolutely most powerful items in the game can be attained from anywhere no matter what level of difficulty you are playing at.

There is more too.  Borrowing the idea of greater rifts come the new design for challenge modes.  Instead of you, the players, scaling down to the challenge, the challenge will scale up to you.  So as you get stronger you can push the challenge up further.  Then just recently we saw they are adding special abilities you can give the mobs in the dungeon to further the difficultly, and presumably up the reward of the challenge.  Such things as, all mobs enrage at 30% health increasing damage by 100% and one that has a constant AoE throughout the entire dungeon that does damage the entire time.  These, the greater rift challenge modes and the special abilities of mobs to add difficulty, are directly borrowed from Dialbo.

Then there is one of everyones favorite Diablo things coming to warcraft as well.  Treasure goblins that just run away and continue to drop goodies the entire time until they are killed, or they escape, are coming to Warcraft as treasure demons.  How they will work yet is still unknown, but the fact they are coming is known.  Another straight borrow from Diablo.

So what is the point of me saying all of this?  Well, if WoW is going to keep borrowing from Diablo there are some things I would actually like to see them borrow.

1) Loot Drops

In Diablo whenever you kill a boss, an elite, a champion, you always get loot.  Admittedly it is garbage 99 out of 100 times, but you always get something.  Never do you have to deal with the fact that you need to tier legs so damn bad at nothing you can even roll on ever drops from that boss even after, 5, 10, 15 or 20 kills.

In Diablo you might not get what you want, but you know you will always get something and there is a chance that you can get something good.  Warcraft needs that.  We no longer need a loot system with master looter.  Everything should be personal loot and every time you kill a boss you should win something from it.  Every... single... time.

Let the warforged be random, let the gem slot be random, let the third stat be random, let getting 2 or even all 3 of them be random, but make sure everyone gets some sort of reward for killing a boss every time they kill it.  You should always get at least one item off the loot table that is for you spec.

They can easily make it so many more pieces drop for each class on the loot list by adding addition rings, necks, back and maybe wrists and waists to each boss.  This way there are always at least 5 items that drop for each class and specialization.

Will some people gear up quickly this way?  Yes, just like some people gear up quickly now.  Will some people still kill a boss 20 times and not get the piece they want?  Yes, just like some people never get what they are going for now.

So things will still be mostly the same with one major exception.  Now if you have killed, for example, Gorefiend 20 times and never even seen your tier token drop and you have even used a coin on most of those kills to no avail, you start to feel disheartened, you start to feel as if you will never get the item but if the boss always guaranteed an item, even if you have gotten a ring 20 times so far, you know for a fact with 100% certainty that you will get something you will keep killing him knowing that sooner or later you will get it because you always get something.

With all this randomness added to the game, too much in my opinion, Warcraft needs something like that that gives people hope.  I've seen more people complain about loot in the game recently than I ever have before, even people that I never heard complain about it before, because they felt like they were running uphill all the time and never getting anything for their effort because of RNG.  Having people guaranteed to get something each time they kill a boss, or a named mob in the Diablo case, would really ease the RNG burnout even if it does not gear people up any faster because people will feel at least they are being rewarded for their effort.

2) Cube

You can turn a rare into a legendary item in Diablo with the cube.  You can reroll the stats on an item with the cube.  You can change one set piece into another set piece with the cube.  All that and more.

This would be yet one more thing to ease the pain of RNG that I know I dislike.  It would allow people to grind to get something, or have a chance at getting something, that luck just will not allow them to have.

You could put some random purple with whatever assorted materials they make us gather in the cube and attempt to upgrade it to a legendary if the world drop gods have not been nice to you lately.  You can take those bracers that have haste on them when haste is bad for you and attempt to reroll a better stat on them, with the appropriate materials of course.  Perhaps with the ring materials you can turn that second tier chest piece you have into the tier leg piece, if luck is on your side, or you might just end up with your third set of tier shoulders.

Have these materials be a range of things. Stuff that drops from the world, stuff that drops from dungeons, stuff that drops from raids and even stuff that is crafted.  Make it all capable of being traded, none of that soulbound bull crap blizzard loves, and it could revitalize the game some as people start grinding materials to try to turn that extra chest piece into a leg piece or change that epic pair of boots they do not need into the legendary one.

More people would be out in the world killing mobs to get materials to use or sell.  They would be gathering, crafting, spamming dungeons, raids, all to get materials to use or sell.  It very well could get people out and about and doing more things by giving them a way to over ride the dreadfully horrible RNG of the game.  Which is a great idea in my opinion.  Anything that takes away some RNG is a good thing, even if, in this case, it still adds another level of RNG in its own right.  But at least this way it feels like we have a chance or getting what we want, and that is all people like me want, a feeling like we could get what we want.

Now while I am on this topic I would like to add one thing I would love to see Diablo borrow from Warcraft.

1) Loot Lists

In Warcraft if you are looting for the tier legs you kill gorefiend.  Sure you might kill him 20 times and never get them but you know for a fact he does drop them and that is where they come from.  In Diablo the loot list for everything is the same.  From breaking a vase, to searching a corpse, to opening a chest, to opening a bounty bag, to killing a rat, to killing an elite, to killing a champion, to killing a boss or rift guardian.  Anything can drop from anywhere.

It is kind of nice when you happen to get your best in slot item because you just happen hit some breakable item with your AoE while mowing down mobs but it would be much nicer if you could narrow your scope of what you are looking for.

Leave it like it is where anything can drop from anywhere, but make at least bosses have certain drops on their loot list, to refine the drop chances just a little to increase your chances.  For example, say I am looking for the Dawn weapon so I can cube it and put it on my weapon.  I could spend the next 50 hours farming everything known to man to get it, and maybe I will, but it is all random, or I could go for butcher because it is on his loot list as one of the item he is more likely to drop.

Give every boss a chance to drop, at least, one item from their loot list and increase the chances of an item from the loot list dropping based on the difficulty level.  Say 10% at T1 all the way up to 100% chance at least one would drop at T10.  So if I wanted to farm Dawn and it was on the butchers drop list I could keep farming him on T10.  Even if he had 30 items on his loot list, for example, the chances of getting the one I want are still slim, but at least this way I would have a singular focus on what to kill instead of randomly killing, breaking and opening everything hoping and praying to get the item I need.

I, personally, would love Diablo if it had a more focused system.  And they could even give the elites and champions specific drop lists.  Like elites in Act 1 have one drop list, champions in that act another, and each set in each act would have its own drop list.  And then rifts would have their own, and greater rifts would have their own.  You get the idea.  Lots of items means lots of loot lists but it would allow people to focus on killing a certain type of thing.  So I could still get my Dawn from anywhere, like breaking a breakable (which is how I got it) or I could farm one specific place to try to increase my chances.  So yeah, I think I would like there being loot lists in Diablo just like they have them in Warcraft.

What do you think?

What else should Warcraft borrow from Diablo and do you think there is anything Diablo could borrow from Warcraft?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why So Much Change in Legion?

Change can be a good thing.  When there is a system not working, having it redone is not a bad thing.  You need to make what isn't working work and the only way to do that is by change.  The key to successful change however is that you leave enough that is familiar behind to make adapting to the change an easier transition and that the change is not a change for the sake of shaking thing up only, it has to be something that is needed.

Blizzard, in recent years, have become the poster boys for "change for the sake of change".  Each expansion they change things for no other reason than to shake things up.  Some of these changes are good.  Some are bad.  Some we can argue about for days because they are both good and bad at the same time.  But they have made sure that every expansion comes with enough changes to make people, possibly, feel a little overwhelmed by it.   Or perhaps even a little put off by it, such as I am with the complete dismantling of hunters and everything they have always been with the next expansion.

Ghostcrawler has not been with blizzard for a long time now but still to this day he answers many questions about warcraft.  Some years back someone asked him what was the number one reason he saw on the exit interviews.  The exit interview is that thing they ask people to fill out when they are canceling their subscription in an attempt to find out why.  Good companies use these exit interviews to try to make some changes so that the people that are leaving because of those reasons won't leave.  He said the number one reason why people quit was change.

So basically what blizzard needs to make is a change to stop making changes.  Sounds odd, but it is a fact.  People leave because of changes, it is the number one reason people leave.  So perhaps stop changing so many things and keep to adding to the game instead of changing what is already there so much that it alienates the players and makes them feel they have fallen behind and can't catch up because "so much has changed".

Basically what Ghostcrawler pointed out is what everyone and their mother already knows, you did not need an exit interview to know it, but it is quite telling that change was the number one reason people left even if we knew already that people do not like change, more often than not.  They do not like their favorite actor leaving a television series, they do not like their favorite ballplayer signing a contract with another team, and they do not like the class they have been playing to change so drastically they feel like they are stating all over again.

People can adjust to change, they always have, but they do not like it.   Minor changes and adjustments are fine.  But when you have been playing a class for 5 or 8 or 10 years and then suddenly it feels as if you know nothing about it and are starting brand new there is something wrong, the change went to far.  This is the type of change that scares people off.  When you have invested 10 years in something there is an expectation that you know what you are talking about.  Changing an ability from instant to cast time, even if people rebelled over it, is acceptable change.  Removing a key ability that has been with your class for 10 years and adds to the flavor of the class is not acceptable change.

Over the years I have seen many players come and go.  Many that were main raiders for years that had quit return.  These are good players, smart people, could adapt to nearly everything.  But even with me and others in the guild willing to help them catch up, willing to answer all their questions, willing to make sure they did not feel lost because of all the changes, they still ended up quitting again because the game changed too much and they did not feel like playing catch up.

Change, at least sweeping large changes, are bad for the game, bad for sports teams, bad for television shows, bad for your family life, bad for your bowling team, basically bad for everything.  Change is not always a good thing, more so when it is change that changes everything.

So my question is this...

If change is the #1 reason people quit the game, why is blizzard so intent on pushing more change than we have ever seen before down our throats?

So do they actually want people to quit or is this some sort of social experiment to see how much crap you can get people to put up with before they do quit?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- For as much as the last week was a good pugging week for me, this one wasn't.

- After multiple attempts, and failures, to find a heroic archie group, I gave up and just did a normal.

- Figured what the heck, the only thing I need off archie is the neck but only if it has a gem slot and is warforged.

- For the outside chance of not only winning it, but it having not one but two rare upgrades, is it really worth putting myself through hell?

- I think not.

- If that were all I needed, maybe.

- I am weird that way.

- Went looking for gorefiend groups, took forever to find one.

- And it said, no hunters.

- Really?

- All I want to do is roll a coin, why no hunters.

- No really, why?

- Hunters are awesome on that fight.

- Mobile DPS for below, spot on target switching capability for the adds, high powered burst for feast if you save stampede.

- So I don't get it, but oh well, I will keep looking.

- Found another group, no hunters.

- Found a third, no hunters.

- Was there a memo put out that said do not invite any hunters to pugs any more and I missed it.

- I had seen one of the archie groups earlier that had that.

- Another fight it makes no sense to blackball hunters from.

- Saw a xhul that had that too.

- I always saw the occasional group not wanting hunters, but there were a lot this weekend.

- Wonder why that is.

- If you ask me, and I am not saying this just because I main a hunter, but I would take a hunter of nearly ever other class in nearly every single situation.

- The are ranged, they are mobile, they are good at target switching, good at handling special mechanics, they are the only ranged class with a taunt, they can kite, they can slow, and being they are both mobile and ranged they can easily avoid more damage that any other class.

- When it comes to a raid group, hunters are the absolute best class to have "too many" off.

- I would take a group with 6 hunters over one with 6 warriors, or 6 mages, or 6 rogues or 6 shadow priest, or 6 anything, you get the idea.

- So if you are going to have "too many" of one class the choice is a no brainer.

- You go for "too many" hunters.

- I finally got fed up with seeing no hunters I applied to one that had no hunters listed on it.

- I said, 786 ring, will do over 100K while making adds first priority, and you do not want me because I am a hunter.  Reconsider.

- I sat in there waiting for 3 minutes and got accepted.

- Just as they downed gorefiend.

- I said, thank you for the invite, but I wanted gorefiend, and left.

- Wish I had thought to do that 20 minutes earlier when I first saw that listing.

- Oh well, my timing is horrible, but I always knew that.

- Maybe a lot of the people that lead these pugs had some runs ins with bad hunters and now they shun them.

- They need to remember they are the #1 played class in the game.

- They are great soloers.

- They are great gatherer because of their pets keep mobs busy while they loot.

- The are the best questing class.

- And they have more tools that any other class in the game making them, when in the right hands, a very powerful tool.

- So being there are more hunters, the likelihood or running into a few bad apples is much greater.

- How many bad rogues have you seen in your pugs?

- I can tell you how many good ones I have seen, I can count them on one hand, and I pug often.

- Hunters are played by roughly 6 times as many players are rogues.

- So of course you will run across more bad hunters.

- I would say I have seen roughly 20 rogues recently in pugs, 2 were good, the rest sucked.

- I would say I have seen roughly 100 hunters, about half sucked.

- So that means I have seen about 50 bad hunters and 18 bad rogues.

- Does that mean, because I see more of them, hunters on average are worse than rogues?

- Hell no, look at the math.

- 90% of the rogues sucked, only 50% of the hunters did.

- So stop shunning hunters because you see more bad hunters out there.

- Of course you do, they are the most played class.

- Doesn't mean they are bad over all.

- Just that there are more of them.

- You can't just a book by its cover and you can't judge a player by their class.

- Speaking of can't judge a book by its cover, one raid leader of a heroic archie I was on really summed it up.

- We were on voice chat, because he wanted us there.

- He said, you can't judge someone my AotC, because you can buy it and buy it super cheap on many servers.

- You can't judge a player by their item level because getting to 720 is super easy.

- You can't judge a player by their ring any longer because you can buy upgrades.

- I sort of agree with him on most of that.

- Except the 720 item level thing.

- If you have bad luck, getting to 720 is near impossible.

- You read how much I raid, I just hit that.

- And I work my butt off to try to get gear, I just don't.

- So I would say, you can't judge a person by their item level either.

- My item level is low, my damage done, knowledge and execution of mechanics and damage taken are always near the best.

- One run I was in saw only someone 739 item level beat me.

- By 5K.

- And he funneled boss while I switched to adds and took the least damage myself in the entire raid.

- Can't judge a book by its cover, that is 100% true.

- Sad part is, how else do you judge people if not by kills, achievements, item level and the like?

- I wish there were a better way.

- Sadly there is not.

- I've also come to a conclusion that will have me make a blanket statement right here.

- Mind you, this is only in reference to the people I have seen.

- Anyone that wears the title "Proven Assailant" purchased it.

- I always say proving grounds is not about DPS, it is about mechanics, but that is in reference to getting bronze.

- Going for the proven assailant requires mechanics and DPS.

- And everyone I have ever had the pleasure to pug with that had that title could not fight their way out of a paper bag.

- I remember one run on the third boss I think, my pet beat a mage that has gear equal to me in total damage done.

- And no he did not die early, he lives the whole fight.

- The issue here is, I am MM and I use the lone wolf talent.

- That means I have no pet.

- I have no pet, and my pet beat him in damage done.

- For those not in the know that means stampede, a 5 minute cooldown that I used only once, did more damage in those few seconds it was there than he did in the entire fight.

- Some proven assailant he was huh?

- Lets get to some no raid random thoughts.

- I was thinking, why can't humans be druids?

- Worgen are humans.

- Worgen can be druids.

- Therefore shouldn't humans be capable of being druids?

- And don't say the curse allows them to be druids, that is beyond silly.

- Speaking of things beyond silly, when are rogues going to be available for all races.

- We already have warriors that way, hunters are joining them, so the only other physical class that has no magical abilities of any sort left is a rogue.

- There is no reason any race should not be able to be a rogue.

- Anyone can sneak around with daggers and stab someone in the back.

- Maybe gnomes would do it better than tauren, but they should still both be able to do it.

- I can understand why some races can not do some magical things.

- That makes sense.

- But the ability to pick up a dagger and stab someone with it needs absolutely no skill.

- If anything a hunter needs leaps and bounds more skill to create a bond with a create so it would willingly serve him.

- I can see some races not having that ability, yet all races will soon be able to do that.

- So all races have the, somewhat, magical ability to talk to animals, but not all of them can pick up daggers and be sneaky?

- Makes no sense.

- I rolled a character for season 5 on Diablo.

- This will be my first seasonal character.

- I only did it because I read somewhere that will be the only way to get the extra bag space.

- So I am doing it for bag space.

- It is amazing what people, like me, will do for more space to collect junk.

- I hit 70 and am at paragon level 102 now.

- Highest greater rift is 30 currently.

- I still have squat for gear, all rare pieces, 2 legendary items and one set piece on.

- Nice to see my no luck with drops is not confined to warcraft.

- That was sarcasm in case you missed it.

- I hate my luck, or lack thereof.

- I did get 3 potions already.

- On the main servers I only got 3 potions, ever, over all my characters.

- Already got three in the season.

- They must have adjusted how things drop in seasons.

- And must have adjusted experience gains.

- Because it might have been a while, but I don't recall getting to paragon level 100 in one sitting.

- From creation to paragon level 100 took 12 hours over this weekend.

- Sure a lot of time played, but I am sure nothing even remotely close to what it did originally.

- There has to be some experience boost going on with the seasons, I am sure of it.

- I did not cap out my valor this week, Diablo side tracked me this weekend.

- So I did not max out my ring as I was planning.

- Oh well, I do not think I am going to rush it this time around.

- Have to give myself something to do long term.

- Maybe level some alts and start working on their rings.

- It is a powerful item worth getting.

- It is something to think about.

- But right now, I am at a loss for what to do in game.

- But I do have good news from the guild front.

- Not sure what spurred it on but this weekend we had the return of 6 players.

- Yes, 6 players.

- Sadly three were tanks and we do not need 3 more tanks, but three were damage dealers and we are in desperate need for damage dealers.

- What are the odds of having ex raiders return this late in an expansion when the new one is nowhere near close?

- And then what are the odds of 6 of them coming back over one weekend.

- Three of those all within 5 minutes of each other.

- No, I am not kidding.

- It was awesome to see all these people return.

- It makes me actually want to run normal again to gear them up.

- Did a normal run for one returning member and as luck would have it, decked him out in a full 4 piece in one week.

- Three from normal and one from heroic.

- Sweetness, don't you think.

- At least with the returns we will finally have some people on the paladin, priest, warlock token.

- Our priest healer has been getting all of them as he is the only one in the raid that can use them.

- Allowed him to get some awesome tier pieces as he gets them all.

- And it seems they are the only ones that drop.

- Next expansion they have to lose the classes on tier pieces and just make them so anyone can roll on them.

- Nothing worse than seeing the 10th tier hands going to someone that hasn't needed them since the first when there are still a dozen people in the raid that do not even have them at all.

- They need to fix their loot drop system big time for legion.

- But right now I am not looking forward to the hell that is coming that is making me want to quit.

- I am looking forward to blowing through some normal runs for fun and to gear up some returning players.

- I needed this, I needed new life in the game.

- Returning friends did that.

- More than any content blizzard could add.

- It is the people I play with that keep me playing, it is not blizzard.

- It has not been blizzard since cataclysm.

- In truth, blizzard should be paying us, we should not be paying them.

- Because it is us, the players, that keep others playing.

- If we left, they would leave too.

- The people, the players, we are the best content blizzard has.

- We are what keep people playing, keep people engaged.

- Maybe blizzard should be paying us.

- Hey blizzard, send me an alpha invite please, thank you.

- Have a great day.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Legion: Dread, Doom and Gloom

The next expansion is supposed to instill in us, the heroes of Azeroth, a overwhelming feeling of dread.  We are to feel covered in a cloud of doom and gloom because at any given moment our world as we know it could be over.

We do not only fight the forces of the legion once again but we do so on our very doorstep.  Not only do we have to face them but we face them while they have control of territory on our very planet.  An entire area is under their control.  They are bringing in forces, building armies, in their stronghold having taken over a piece of land on our very world.

We face them not trying to stop a summoning, not trying to repel an invasion, not trying to disrupt them.  They have already been summoned, they already have a sizable and seemingly insurmountable invasion force, and we are not on the offense to disrupt them, we are on the defense to keep them from taking even more control of our world.

The expansion most definitely is set up with that doom and gloom feeling that this is it, we have met our match.  This is the last battle we will ever have, the demons of the legion have control of part of our world and are pressing for more and we can not advance on them as we are too busy trying to make sure we do not lose any more real estate to them.  We have to stop the advance, we can not let them have more land to build more portals, to summon more demons.  There is no going and closing what they already have when we are too busy trying to keep them from building more.

The set up is perfect.  For the first time ever we, the heroes of Azeroth, are on the losing end.  This is not the burning crusade were we took the fight to them and we overwhelmed them.  This is not wrath where the lich king made the error of toying with us instead of killing us and allowed us to eventually beat him.  This is not cataclysm were there was some corrupted dragon that seemed no different than the dozens of other dragons we killed before.  This is not mists were we created the threat by bring war to the shores of pandaira and then squashed the threat we created, or when we allowed a tyrannical warmonger to take a seat of power and removed him from it, with ease.  This is not warlords were everyone we faced from the iron horde and their associates we could have, lets be honest here, been able taken out solo, any single one of us heroes.  Even when warlords ended we faced a bunch of threats that seemed non-menacing, or were threats we had beaten before many years ago with much less experience and not as the heroes we are now, so they were never any real threat.

Legion bring about something no expansion ever brought with it.  A feeling a dread, an air of doom and gloom, knowing that this could very well be it.  The end, the last battle, or at least our biggest one to date.

Perhaps for older players looking at it as it really is, which should be something to be feared, greatly, we don't get that feeling that this treat is any different from all the others we have faced from beating a horrible godzilla knockoff in deathwing to beating, again, archimonde whom we had already beaten when he was stronger (as in didn't just rematerialize) and we were much less experienced and presumably weaker but for a new player this is an excellent jump in point where they get to feel read dread and feel the stifling pressure of the doom and gloom of the situation.

As I see it, this is the first expansion were we are not on the offense.  That alone makes the presentation different, in my opinion at least.  We are fighting for our lives, we are on defense, we are in a position we have never had to be in before.

Do you feel it, the dread, the doom, the gloom, of the coming legion invasion on our very own soil?  Do you think this is the best representation of a real threat that blizzard has offered us thus far, at least what we know of it?  How do you think the send up seems compared to others? 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How Has the Garrison Gold Influx Affected Your Numbers?

The expansion has not ended, not even close to doing so, but when talking about numbers with people the other day when someone complained "I can't make any gold" and we tried to explain how easy it is to make gold this expansion it made me wonder, where is everyone with gold.

This expansion more than ever before has proved to me that while we all play the same game, we are not all playing the same game.

What I mean by that is I see the wide range of people in my guild alone, one small sampling of the world we play in.  There are people that were always broke that are still always broke.  There are people that would have problems with gold that get by just fine now without really trying.  There are people that always made gold that now no longer even try because they do not need it.  And there are people that used to love making gold that now sleep in a castle built from gold with an ear to ear smile on a daily basis from how they are raking it in hand over fist.  And then there are various people in between those examples I gave.

We said to the person that while the garrisons no longer gives the massive gold influx they did at the start of the expansion they are still constant money making machines.  With the right set of buildings you can maximize your intake and even without all the perfect gold making buildings you can still do quite well for yourself.

Side note:  Salvage yard (level 3) for crates.  Jewel Crafting building (level 3 with worker) for daily. Bunker/Mill (level 3) do the daily for the weapon upgrade, sell all upgrades.  Inn/taven (level 3) for the treasure hunter missions and recruiting treasure hunters. Trading Post (any level really) to trade extra garrison resources for materials.  Mine and Garden (level 3 if you wish) to sell mats, not as lucrative any longer, but still something.  And then make sure to do any and all missions all the time.  Each time you do a mission it allows others to pop up.  Think of all gear missions, follower upgrade item missions, etc, as gold missions as all that stuff sells.  Remember, gold missions are not just from gold missions, it is from any mission that gives you something you can vendor.  And with that, even after it has been heavily nerfed, you could still make upwards of 10K a month even if you only log in a two or three times a week, per character.  Does not sound like a lot, but for such little effort, it really is money for nothing.

When it comes to the types I mentioned I fit into the one were I always made gold and no longer try.  Basically because I do not have to. Garrisons have made me lazy using the outline I mentioned above.  Not just partly lazy.  Completely and totally lazy.  I used to make gold the old fashioned way, I earned it, now I just sit around and collect it.  Yeap, 100% lazy now and I admit it.

When I talk about earning gold, for example, in cataclysm I would buy ore for 40 gold or less per stack from the auction house, or farm it if I were in the mood, I would then prospect it all, cut the good gems into whatever sold well and then turned all the others into rings and necks, passed them to my enchanter to disenchant, and then cut and vendor off any remaining gems. 

The enchanting materials sold for a very high number at the start and the crated lesser gems vendored for 9 gold a pop.  This basically meant that for each 40 gold I spent I would get, at least, 54 gold in the worst case, which never really happened, and at best around 600 gold.  If I spent an hour processing I could easily make upwards of 20K gold on a bad day. 

That is what I mean working for gold, but it could be anything, even something as simple as selling gear you craft or putting up glyphs for sale or potions and flask.  You were working for your gold.  I used to do things like that all the time when I needed some gold and I made good gold doing it, but now I basically just bounce from garrison to garrison and click on a few things like in a facebook game and collect gold for doing so.

Note: That no longer works.  The medium gems no longer have a market, the enchanting materials don't either. Not to mention they hard nerfed the cut gem vendor prices to near nothing, which was the key to making money with this scheme.

The thing is, even becoming flat out lazy, and admittedly so, I have more gold than I ever had before.  Sure, I could have quadruple the gold I do now if I actively tried to make gold this expansion, but in my mind once you have a couple of million, you really do not need more gold do you?

But all that is beside the point, as I said, while we all play the same game, we are not playing the same game.  Just as I changed, many others have as well.  There were people that never had gold that now do, people that used to make decent gold that somehow can't (as mainstays like crafting materials are now worthless over all) and then people that somehow still can not make gold even with the cash machine as their home base in warlords.  Why is that so I might ask, and answer at the end, if you will indulge me.

So I tried to remember what it looked like for me at the end of every expansion I played in gold wise.  It is entirely possible I could be remembering some things slightly off but I will try to be as accurate as I can.  There are some things I do recall, which help me remember where I was at when the time came.

At the end of BC.  I did not even have a mount, because I did not having riding.  I could not afford it.  Yeah, don't judge, lol.  I was not much of a player back then.  Noob would be an understatement.  I quit before the end of BC and did not return until wrath was out of a couple of months.

At the end of wrath.  My main was around 40K gold and my bank alt was more than that, my alts had some gold, but not much at all.  If my alts had at much as 4K I think that would be over estimating.

At the end of cataclysm.  I think my main was sitting at the 200K range and I had at least 2 alts over 100K.  Most of my characters were sitting around roughly 20K-25K with the exception of my least played characters.  One I recall spot on, because it spent 10K gold near the end, was my rogue who started the legendary quest line then never really did much after he started it.  When he started he had 11K on him, so I spent nearly every cent I had starting it and he was my lowest max level, gold wise.  A few  max level alts on other servers were sitting at 20K and one was in the 60K range.  So over all I would say my average character had at least 20K, if I had to judge looking back.  Of course my main and bank alt being the only major outsiders to that average.

At the end of mists.  I had many characters over 100K, multiple hunters, my Dk, my priest, my shaman, my mage, and more.  My lesser played characters were not as lucky, my rogue never quite made it back up to far, I am sure he ended mists at 24K because I joked thinking he was the only max level I had who I would not be able to instantly upgrade the entire garrison with, as doing all upgrades would cost 36K.  Over all I passed 1M for a single server in mists for the first time.  I believe when warlords started, because I spent some cash, I was just shy of 1M on that server, something like 988K.  I'd say my average characters had roughly 50K if I played it even once in a while and all my more played characters had at least 80K while the newest max level ones had considerably less.  This was also the expansion of the alt for me as I had more max level characters in it than any other.

Now warlords is not over, but where I stand now, and what started this conversation, was when I said, I noticed that most of my characters, except the newest ones to hit 100, are all sitting at, at least, 160K.  I have multiple characters with over 400K sitting on them too.  Even my rogue, who never had money and was always behind since he started the dagger quest that almost made him broke, is sitting at 180K just from being one of the earlier characters I got to 100 so he really had a lot of the early garrison income.  Even some alts on other servers are over that average 160K mark.  Most characters I log into, at most, once per week.  So I am not making any effort to make gold and I have been freely spending it too, and I still have more than doubled what I came into the expansion with and we still have 6-8 months to go.  I don't know where I will end but I would say it is safe to guess my average max level character will be over 200K by then if I keep up at this rate.

So lets break this down to average numbers, removing the top (mostly my main and banker) and bottom numbers for the expansion averages.  And not even counting BC when I could not even ride around on a mount.

Wrath: 4K
Cata: 20K
Mists: 50K
Warlords: 200K

Now I am just one player, so you can not judge from me.  But it actually looks somewhat reasonable in terms of increase per expansion.  Cata I had 5 times the amount I did in wrath.  Mists I had 2 1/2 over cata, but i also had more characters than I ever had before, more than double, so that really works out to 5 times too when you consider I did double the max level characters.  And mists to warlords it is 4 times as much.  But remember, I am only estimating, I could easily be somewhere around 250K which once again would be 5 times the amount I had in mists.

So looking at it that way, percentage wise, inflation is not really worse than it has ever been.  It is actually pretty steady, for me at least.  Albeit I could have made a lot more money if I made an effort to this expansion, but the fact remains, with what I did decide to do, the game steadily advanced at the same pace it always does.

So looking at it that way, how has the garrison gold influx affected your numbers?

Are you in a better position, worse position, how has it treated you, and you can't just look at the numbers.  Until I thought of it like this I thought I was making bank this expansion but now I see I am just moving at the standard pace I always have been.  I am not getting rich, I am just increasing at the same steady rate I always have been.

I will have to look at it again when the expansion ends and see where I really end at, but inflation doesn't seem as bad now, to me, looking at it this way.  It is just steadily increasing at the same rate it always has.  So maybe the people who have changed how much they have in terms of gold have changed the way they played and that is why the broke people are still broke even if there is a lot of gold to be made, they did not change.  They were never the type that made gold to begin with.  So maybe they do have 5 times as much as they used to, but that 5 times as much still does not buy what they wanted just like it did not buy what they wanted before.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- Happy New Years everyone.

- I have had a lot of stuff I wanted to post about.

- Just have not had time.

- Been so busy I have not had time to post.

- Guess that is a good thing.

- But as odd as it might sound, I sometimes find playing the game more fun writing about it than actually playing it.

- So it is good to have a chance to post again.

- Due to the holidays we did not raid christmas week or new years week.

- And this last week we attempted a heroic run with some new recruits and me tanking on my 684 warrior and some alts.

- Between some under geared players and some new players there were a couple of wipes but we got 6 down.

- I was happy with that.

- Was just nice to be raiding again after 2 weeks of not raiding.

- As my hunter has been out of action in guild for a month now.

- Tanked this week on my warrior, the previous 2 weeks we did not raid, and my druid tanked the heroic and normal archie kills the week before.

- I figured I would look for some pugging this past weekend.

- I wanted a gorefiend kill because I am still looking for that tier piece.

- Joined a group at gorefiend, which is the best right?

- Waited around 20 minutes to fill, then just before the pull one tank drops.

- Not sure why.

- Wait another couple of minutes and others start to drop.

- We get a second tank again, refill those lost, and someone DCed.

- While waiting for them to come back two of the 4 healers leave.

- Not sure why.

- We start to refill, it has been near 40 minutes now.

- But the refill never happens.

- People get frustrated, nearly half the raid leaves, the raid leader says screw it, the group breaks up.

- Hot damn.

- This is one of the reasons I hate pugs.

- I just want to join a group and kill.

- I see a group on the third boss requiring 710+ for a quick bottom run.

- I figured 710+ should be a breeze so I will do the other bosses anyway just to get to gorefiend.

- 3rd boss goes down no problem and 6 people leave group.

- Seriously, they were just there for that boss?

- We continue on without getting anyone else, as we had a large group to begin with.

- We down the forth boss no problem.

- A couple drop again and the raid leader, seeing us now down to 10, decides to fill for killrog, as everyone knows that fights sucks with fewer people, even if all those fewer people are doing solid numbers.

- The raid leader refills and assigns vision groups.

- He puts me in group one.

- I don't mind being left out, but I love going into visions groups and blowing things up.

- Nothing better then telling people do not worry about adds when I have a vision buff.

- I think I can one shot adds up to an 18 member group, sometimes more.

- One DK really really wanted to be in a visions group.

- Said if he was not in the first visions group he was dropping group.

- I was about to offer up my spot when the raid leader said the groups stay as is.

- And he dropped group.

- Someone in group said, I thought he was joking.

- Are people really that obsessive over DPS that they would drop group over not getting into a visions group?

- I mean I love having the visions, I know I can do a lot with it and take the pressure off the entire group when it comes to adds, but if I was not in visions I would not complain.

- To each their own right.

- We downed that boss and the next, gorefiend, no problem, the tier does not drop, my roll gets me the gloves that I do not need.

- I find another group on killrog, asking 720+, I join it for the two easy kills.

- I can't loot, as I already killed it, but the tier did not drop anyway so it made no difference, but I roll.

- I win on my roll.

- Guess what?

- The same pair of gloves.

- Do you know what I got out of my timewalkers cache?

- The normal version of the gloves.

- Do you know what I already had in my bags before this started?

- A 720 version of the gloves.

- So I had an upgrade 720 pair I had sitting in my bags, a normal version I got in a cache, and 2 heroic versions I rolled and won.

- Is the game trying to tell me I should be wearing them?

- You know what the worst part is.

- I had not won anything on a coin in so so so long.

- When you see the spinning and the loot pop up you get excited, only to see you won nothing.

- And then to see it on the same boss twice, I would have thought it would not give me the same piece back to back.

- I will never get that tier piece will I?

- And being I just won two rolls I know it will be forever until I win another one again.

- They really should change winning on a roll.

- So if you win you choose what you want from the loot list, not random.

- It is rare enough to win something as is, but to keep winning junk on the few and far between times you win really sucks.

- I was going to try for another gorefiend but decided against it.

- It is a glove day, so maybe I should try for Soc tier right?

- While looking through groups I saw a heroic Archie group that seemed promising.

- It asked for 720+ and while it looked for AotC like all the others the way it was written seemed like I might have a chance.

- As I do not have AotC yet I usually do not get invited to such groups.

- But in in bags item level it 723 and that is what shows.

- It is also the reason I have upgrade pieces sitting in my bags, to help that item level.

- Dirty little cheat that I am. :P

- This is what I wrote.

- Do not have AotC (3% best attempt).  Know fight, know role, 774 ring.

- I got invited instantly.

- Holy cow.

- I usually get instantly declined when I put no AotC.

- It was a very solid group, we one shot it.

- I was the only person that had the achievement pop up, which means I am the only one he took a chance on.

- I appreciate the chance to do what I knew I was able to do.

- I did well, did not mess up any mechanics, switched to targets as needed, destroyed all the things that came from the banish, tanked the infernal dudes just right, and even rocked the charts while doing it.

- It goes to show you, sometimes taking a chance on someone is a good thing, I was most definitely a benefit to the group.

- But sadly more often than not you would find someone that screwed things up when pugging, even if they had AtoC.

- I guess that is why so many people are against taking people that do not already have the achievement.

- I think me saying 3% best and having a 774 ring is what sold him.

- With a 774 ring you know I have at least a boatload of kills under my belt on normal.

- Dating back to when normal had the 2 mechanics that were removed.

- I still say normal should have never removed those mechanics.

- It would make the heroic pugs so much better had they not.

- I had been in a few archie pugs here and there trying to get my kill and the number of people shooting the entire group was insane.

- In the group I got the kill in I do not think I saw one thing mishandled.

- It was not even an over powered group.

- While I was 5th in damage done at 79K, after me everyone was lower, in the 50-60 range at best.

- I was beat by a shaman, 110K, another class I do not recall at 98K and two other hunters at 85 and 81 respectively.

- I checked the other hunters out, of course as I always do.

- The 81 hunter bested me.

- He had similar gear and a slightly better weapon and trinket, but I had more gem slots.

- So I will give him a head to head win there, even if I had more add damage.

- The 85 however, I would say he should have done considerably more considering what myself and the other hunter did.

- The group was solid over all, there were a few player that seemed, off, like a 29K hunter and two 30 something players, but like I said, most of the numbers were solid.

- And most importantly, everyone followed mechanics.

- I can not stress that enough.

- Every fight is easier when everyone knows what they are doing.

- This fight is the prefect example of that.

- I was in pugs with better numbers and bad mechanics and we never got anywhere.

- Basics of raiding.

- Follow mechanics, do your job, do it well, collect loot.

- Having raided with many different people of many different skill types over the years I can say without a shadow of a doubt that doing mechanics makes a fight easier and doing well makes a fight easier.

- But doing mechanics and doing well make anything a push over.

- I wish more pugs were like that.

- I was just happy to finally get my AotC and that someone gave me the chance.

- I got my moose, learned it, did not even mount it.

- Looks more like a reindeer anyway, I will save it to next christmas to ride it.

- And people do not tell me I am the only one that thinks it looks more like a reindeer than a moose.

- Not to mention, a reindeer flies, a moose does not.

- So there you go, it is a reindeer.

- Have a great day.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Moment of Greatness, A Realization of Sadness

In a recent reply to someone that posted here I was reminded of a mythic dungeon pug I did a week or two ago when I had one of those moments where the stars lined up right and I didn't screw it up so I did something pretty cool on my hunter.

One of the best things about being a hunter is when one of those moments happen.  When you get rooted and there is a huge effect about to hit the area you are in and you are quick enough, smart enough, or even lucky enough, to stumble across your masters call to free you and move just in time.  Or when you are doing heroic lich king and get picked up and you know death is seconds away but in a desperate last attempt you try to time it so you spin and disengage back on to the platform and stick a perfect landing, alive and well.  Or when you are fighting the last surviving member of the klaxxi and you are the last surviving member of your raid and being he will not move from the middle and keep firing projectiles at you, which being you can attack while moving you can avoid, so you solo him from 100% to 0 all by yourself.

There are a a million and one examples that I could give you that are great hunter moments.  Anyone that has played a hunter long enough has managed to have one of their own, or even if you do not play a hunter you have surely seen one of these amazing hunter feats over the years.  It is the little things, those special things, those magical moments where knowledge, skill and perhaps even a little bit of luck all seem to meet together and you pull something off that others would think impossible.

That is what it means to be a hunter, that is the beauty of being a hunter, that is why I love being a hunter.  I live for those moments, that one second in the thousands upon thousands I play, where I am the top dog and I did something pretty darn awesome, my own personal moment of greatness, even if only for a fleeting moment, I live for that being a hunter and I love being a hunter and being able to make them happen for me.

In that mythic I mentioned I had one of those moments of greatness and I would like to share the story because it very well might be the last one of its type I am ever able to share.  What I did was something any hunter could have done.  I am not tooting my own horn here, it is not a me thing, it is a hunter thing.  And truth be told, any hunter could do it and it is the reason why some people play hunters, to have moments like this.

I entered mythic Auchindoun with a pug and after the first boss it became clear, while we would clear this, it would be mostly on the fact I was pulling high numbers.  The tank was not using any cooldowns giving the healer both fits and mana issues left and right, enough that she asked to mana up after every single trash pull.  And the damage dealers were poor by mythic standards, but not horrible by any means.  We would fight our way through without a doubt, but the pressure was on me to do as much DPS as I could as the other damage dealers were not contributing enough and the faster the boss went down the better chance we had.  If it went on too long the healer would go oom and the tank would go down and it would be a wipe.

We actually did wipe on the first boss because of that exact reason.  I did not go balls to the wall with all my cooldowns and we wiped because of it.  The healer ran out of mana because of the tank not helping themselves, and we all died a painful death.  So I knew that each and every boss would mean I needed to even pre pot and use stampede.  Which honestly I was not used to doing.  Normally the runs are so fast I can only use stampede it once per run so I use it on the third boss.  Sure I could use it on the first and forth in those runs, but I choose to wait for the third.  With this group it seemed I would easily have it for every boss, and I would need to use it on every boss.

And speaking of the third boss, that is when my moment to shine came.  The moment when it is all said and done you say, I love being a hunter and feel absolutely fantastic about yourself, your class, the game as a whole, because moments like this are why we play.

A group of 5 walked up to Azzakel and only the hunter walked out alive, and it was awesome fun.

We started out good, burst was high on my end as well as the other two DPS, we got him down to around 20% before he took off into the air and the add phase began.  I ran to the back to pick up one of the large imps and burn him down fast.  In pugs I never trust people to get the far away imp so I make sure to handle it, always.  In that short time however the rest of the group imploded.  The tank died, due to his lack of using cooldowns on the large felguard, and then the felguard took out the healer and the other two DPS.

It was only by a matter of luck that he did not come for me before the others.  Perhaps because they all stayed in front while I went to the back to kill the large imp back there.  I was not on his aggro chart, or at least no more than a blip because I never touched him and I was nowhere near him.  Because of this choice to go to the back to get the imp that landed there it was me versus all the adds, alone.

Time to go into hunter extreme mode.  I could do this.  Every time something like this happens my mind starts to look at my surroundings.  What is around, where is my health at, where is my focus at, what cooldowns do I have.  Can I do this.  As a hunter you have roughly half a second, not kidding, half a second, to make the decision to go for it or feign death and mass revive the group.  After a fast survey I thought I could do this.  My hands shook a little bit, but I had I plan and I knew if I could keep it together I could get it.

I had two large imps left in close proximity to each other, the large felguard, and a whole mess of little imps bouncing around that I would need to handle, as I know that I would need to kite and those little imps would be the death of me.  One stun from them getting close and it was all over.  Who would have thought they were put on the top priority list for me.  Most people would say the large imps were top priority.  Not me.  I knew exactly how I was going to handle them and they would be no problem what so ever.

I started to do what it is hunters do but I forgot to mention, I only had a few more seconds before the boss would come back down too and I would have him to deal with as well.  But I was at full health, and I had a plan in my head on how to manage this.  Now was the hard part, putting that plan into action.  It is so easy to make a mistake.  For every awesome story I share like this where everything worked out fine there are probably 100 where it didn't.  Oddly, even the ones where it didn't were stil fun.  Just to try and do it, to know you can, if you do everything right.

First things first, I fire off a concussive shot on the felguard to slow him down, then fire a few thrill powered aimed shots off at some imps, which thanks to being a fairly decent high item level for this content I was able to one shot them both.  That set the stage for what I needed to do.  Slowed the big guy who could destroy me and killed two imp where I needed to head.

I then turn to where the two large imps are, both coming close to starting their cast again, which will destroy me.  Item level or not, they hurt.  I start running toward them firing a binding shot between the two of them and do a jump shot spinning in the air and hitting the felguard with another concussive shot as he closes on me.  I keep a keen eye on the cooldown on concussive.  It lasts as long as the cooldown is which means when it is coming off cooldown, I need to make sure I use it again.  Then I fire another aimed shot to kill one small imp behind me, as I plan to head there in a second, spin and disengage.  I have the talent to give me the speed boost after I disengage, which gives me exactly what I need as the boss is coming down now.

Now to finish what I started with that binding shot and I figure I have exactly 2 globals to do so as they both started casting again.  I fire a chimera shot hitting both large imps and then fire off an glyphed explosive trap knocking both imps back.  Back also happens to be away from the binding shot which, thankfully, stuns both imps and interrupts both casts.

The boss lands and I bolt away firing one aimed at a small imp, still 2 left as I see it, and finishing off one of the large imps while they are stunned.  I turn and hit the felguard again with a concussive shot and I am being forced into a corner with a small imp and no focus, so I can not kill it.  So instead I trap it.  A CCed imp is as good as a dead one right?  For this situation it is at least.

I then turn my attention back to the larger imp and start building focus on it with steady shots, interrupting it as my counter shot is now off cooldown from when I used it when the phase first started.  I then finish off the large imp and turn my attention back to the boss.  He is at 20% health.  I have my mirror trinket off cooldown.  I can not kite him and get the most out of it because the mirrors, while doing solid numbers, do not move with the target.  I would need to stand him in the mirrors if I want them to work right.  I need to face tank it if I want to get the most out of it.

I kill the last small imp, forgetting about the trapped one completely, keep the concussive rolling on the felguard.  And keep running, waiting for my disengage with its speed boost, to come off cooldown.  It is what I need to set up the do or die moment of this fight because I need to get some distance so I  can stand still with only the boss on me and not both the boss and the felguard.

I disengage and get as much distance between me and the felguard as I refresh the concussive on it.  This would be the last one I hit, I will either kill the boss in those 8 seconds or die. Six seconds for the concussive to wear off, and I was figuring two seconds for the felguard to catch up.

The time comes, I hit my second potion and my mirror trinket and unload on the boss, screw the felguard, if the boss dies he goes away.  I had full focus I was saving for this point, and I let the boss catch me with the trinket, the potion and a face full of aimed shots I let loose.  Kill shot, kill shot again and he goes down back to the depths of hell from where he was summoned from.


God I love being a hunter.

How can anyone not enjoy the moments like this, the moments where it pays off to be a hunter, to know your toolbox, to be capable of effectively using it. These are the moments every hunter lives for.

I said to a friend on voice chat after it was done about what I did and then something occurred to me and I followed it up by saying, And this is why I hate the idea of legion and I am not looking forward to it.  Nearly all the abilities I used there, and many more that I had in my toolbox that I just didn't need for that specific encounter will all be gone.  I will never be able to do something like that again.  I will never be able to be a hunter again, a real hunter, like they are supposed to be.

I went, in that very instant, from feeling as if I had experienced a moment of greatness to the point were it was a realization of sadness.

The hunter I have played for soon to be 8 years, the one I have practiced on, the one I had worked with just to be able to do things like I just did, we being removed from he game.  Never again would I have an experience like that.  Never again could I pull victory from the jaws of defeat like I did.  Never again would I truly be a hunter, at least not the hunter I've known and loved for so many years.

I am losing my class, it is gone, removed from the game.  Everything I have worked for, everything I have trained for, everything I have learned over the years was all for nothing.  I am not exactly sure if I even want to buy legion any more.  I am a hunter.  I live to do things like this, they are my excitement in the game.  The moments things like this happen come few and far between but I know there is always the chance that maybe that next time will come soon.  In this random, out in the world with this mob, or in a raid on that boss.

The hunter I am, the one I have played all these years, looks forward to those moments because he knows those moments could come without notice.  I did not walk into that dungeon expecting what happened to happen, but it did, and at any given moment it could.

It makes me question, once all our abilities are removed, once we are no longer hunters as we know them.  Will it even be worth playing?  One thing is for sure.  The next time something like that happens, I will not be pulling out any surprise ending, I will not be saving the day.  I will be dead or feigned because I won't be a hunter any more.  At least as it stands how there is no chance for greatness like this in a future that has legion in it, I see none.  Not when the hunter I've played all these years is being removed from the game.

It is a sad turn of events for long term hunters.  It really sucks to have everything you have known for all these years stripped away from you leaving you a shell of what you previously were.  I don't want legion to come, ever.  I want to keep my class as is.  Fun and always with a chance for greatness to come when you don't expect it around any given corner.