Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- Not much of a WoW week even if I did do a fair deal of things.

- Another year has passed and once more I am left unloved.

- The love rocket has not found itself added to my collection of mounts I will probably never use but for some reason still compulsively try to attain.

- I would say I put in a solid 200 attempts this year.

- More than some years past but much less than others.

- Mostly because I have the fewest max level characters I've had since wrath.

- Each expansion I always got more to max, this expansion I got fewer.

- All because of garrisons.

- I like them and all, but I hate that leveling means they are waiting for me to build them up.

- So I just do not level characters any more.

- Blizzard killed my favorite thing to do in my off time.

- Leveling.

- Leveling low levels feel blah now and leveling to max seems almost like a penalty now.

- So I do not do either really any more.

- Or I do them, just at a massively reduced rate.

- But on to the things I still enjoy doing.

- Like grinding, I like grinding.

- There is one grind I was putting off until one day when I was bored.

- This weekend I was really bored, so I figured I would get my saberon claws finally.

- I was at 600 and needed to get to 5000 for the achievement.

- Took roughly 3 hours, could have taken a lot less if I rushed it.

- Quick and easy way to grind is tank pet, legendary ring, artillery strike.

- Round up a huge pack of saberon, really huge, as many as you can get on you, dismount (must be on ground mount for this to work best), spin, misdirect and barrage them all to your pet.

- Hit shell on your pet, because you are using a turtle right, they are awesome you know.

- Hit ring, hit misdirect again, hit artillery strike.

- If need be hit artillery strike a second time, but remember to misdirect first.

- Ring will pop and everything will die except maybe 1 or 2 which are easily finished off.

- I have looted over 200 claws in one pull a few times.

- Sad part is pulls like this are hard to come by as there are not enough packed tightly together and the one center area I used for each big pull seemed to have the slowest respawn.

- So I stuck to doing smaller packs of 7-10 most times.

- Still went by quickly and I got my achievement, and enough claws to purchase both mounts in the process.

- So now I have the title "of the jungle".

- I now need to make a character named George so I can be George of the Jungle.

- How could I resist.

- Was thinking dwarf warrior.

- Then considered human warrior as I can make a human look more george-ish.

- Then I thought a worgen warrior, who I could make look george-ish while in human form but in battle he would get all animal like, fitting the jungle theme.

- And of course he would have to be a fury warrior so I can be George of the Jungle the furry fury.

- It is puntastic isn't it?

- Was thinking maybe a druid too because a bear, which is what I would be, does kind of fit the "of the Jungle" title does it not?

- Either way I have 50 character so until I decide which one to delete there will be no new geroge's entering this world, dwarf, human or worgen.

- Raid night was a disaster this week.

- No one showed.

- And some of the few people that did show were, shall we say, not the top of the class.

- So I decided to pug, something I damn near never do with a guild group.

- Took over 45 minutes to fill, did one pull on Soc and we wiped at 50% and three people dropped.

- Waited another 20 minutes to fill and we pulled again.

- This time we had a hunter who had huntard in his name and lived up to it.

- He had better gear than I, much better, and did half the numbers, but that was no big deal because even at half the numbers it was still more than enough for the fight.

- His issue was he got targeted by everything and did not know how to move.

- Let the fire go right through the group instead of going to the side, which we survived because the group as a whole was smart enough to move from him.

- Then when trying to run from a ghost he put pack on and stunned the entire raid causing an eventual wipe.

- But that was only second in terms to the warrior who "knew" exactly what went wrong and was glad to tell everyone.

- Except he did not mention the mistakes by the self titled huntard dropping fire in the wrong place or the fact pack-ed the raid to death.

- Nope, it was all the tanks fault.

- Not exactly sure why that is, but the lowest DPS apparently was the "best" player in the raid and he has the fix, have the tanks switch jobs.

- He ended up leaving the raid, as a couple others, as we waited to refill.

- The other tank agreed it was a tank issue, in part, and they switched their roles.

- Next attempt after 20 or so minutes more, we wiped, this time to the tank screwing things up.

- Yes, it absolutely 100% was the tank and I am near sure he was trolling us because for someone in his gear, with the two healers he bought with him in their gear, there is no way he did not know that trapping the casters was a bad idea.

- But he trapped all the casters and they went on to, in mere seconds, decimate the entire raid in a matter of seconds.

- Well, you see something new every day, at least I do.

- I can not say I have ever seen that happen before and I have probably wiped on that boss 100 times between the original progression on it months ago and all the pugs I was in for it.

- It seems like it is always adds, sure, but not 12 casters all at once.

- So then the tank rages that the tank sucks and we wiped because of him and rage quits and the two healers that came with him follow of course.

- Ah, excuse me?

- You were the tank in the construct, you wiped us, so you are raging because you suck?

- Clearly you do see something new every day.

- I have never seen someone rage quit because they sucked.

- Either way, by that time we had some guild mates pop on, we bought in a guild tank, a guild healer, and being so many damage dealers left, we just went with a smaller group.

- We ended up having only a few pugs now, instead of the larger group I was trying with.

- This allowed me to pick and choose.

- Had a mythic geared friend as melee who I knew I could trust with interrupts, pugged another mythic geared player 749, and filled it out with a pug tank that said he was on an alt but knew the fights even if he could not do construct.

- I put my guild tank in construct and then 30 minutes after the last wipe we pulled for our 4th attempt.

- It was a nice clean kill, as it should be.

- With mostly all guild and two stellar damage dealing pugs and giving the pug tank the easy job it went down like nothing.

- In the end, it was mostly guild.

- In all honestly we would have never downed it without them as we had no melee at the time in guild, so they were absolutely required and I thank them for coming.

- As much as I hate to say it, some fights as just so much easier with melee, that is one of them.

- I think we are the only guild in the world that is not looking for ranged, we are dying for quality melee.

- I see guilds spam in chat all wanting ranged.

- I never see ranged as the problem, I always have tons of them around.

- Then again, I seem to be a hunter magnet, they all come to me to ask questions and stay.

- So we always end up with a lot of hunters or ranged in general as if they switch from a hunter they usually switch to another ranged class.

- But the moral of this story, I hate pugs and that is why.

- No, not the wipes, I can deal with the wipes.

- It is waiting 45 minutes to start a group, it is losing people after each wipe and having to wait again to get more.

- Despise it.

- Even on the worst night we should have gotten two or three bosses down.

- But we only got one and called it a night.

- It felt like a complete waste of 2 hours of my life.

- Pugging is just not for me.

- Not unless the quality of people and players of the game greatly increases.

- We need the people to not leave after every wipe.

- And we need players who can play their class.

- Not much to ask is it?

- I guess it is a lot to ask, oh well, I will continue to shy away from pugs I guess.

- But the silver lining, at least for me, was I got to be on my hunter.

- Did not win anything, but I still would rather be on my hunter.

- I think I bring more to the group on my hunter, game play wise.

- I also think I bring more to the group as a raid leader being on my hunter.

- I see more and can call for more from ranged than from tanking.

- Some tanks are awesome at raid leading, I am not one of them.

- Not that I am awesome from ranged either, but I am better than crap when at ranged.

- After my grinding I decided I needed something new for a bit.

- Downloaded blade and soul.

- Was going to list a lot of stuff here about it but this is already getting kind of long so I will save it for a post of its own.

- Bottom line is thus far I am not feeling as if blade and soul is pay to win, which is nice.

- And I am enjoying the crap out of it.

- In the end, isn't that the most important thing?

- And as you could guess if you know anything about the game, I rolled a summoner.

- Pet class all the way.

- Tomorrow I will do a Blade and Soul random thoughts to give some of my opinions about my first few hours of game play.

- Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Epic Pets? Thanks but No Thanks Blizzard.

There was a recent announcement that they would, or could, be adding epic pets next expansion.  Currently the highest we can make out pets is rare.  There will be new epic pets in the world, presumably the new continent, and new stones you can buy that can make older pets epic.

I will admit I have not been into pet battles like I used to be.  At one point I was top 100 in the world in terms of pets, in terms of pets of quality, and in terms of pets leveled.  I was also one of the first (to my knowledge following achievement sites) to get the 5000 pet battle achievements. 

But the sad part, and mostly why I stopped being into it so much, was when my computer died some time back and I lost everything which meant I also lost the data saved for my addons.  This meant I lost all the teams I had made.  And I had one made for each and every single battle to make going from tamer to tamer so much easier. 

So when I got my new computer I had no teams saved because blizzard in their infinite wisdom by default only allows for one team at a time.  I honestly do not know how anyone lives without an addon to have as many teams as they want I understand even less why blizzard has not added that as a standard feature yet.  I wish they would add an unlimited team options instead of epic pets, if you ask me at least.

Because of that I have not been into pet battling that much this expansion.  I do have all the new pets, I do have nearly all the pets I own not only rare but leveled, and while I have not taken advantage of getting tons of charms to sock up on stones I have managed to get a nice little pile of them and all the toys, of course.

So I have earned my pet battle stripes, even if they are a little old and not really put to use much any more.  So with that all said I believe that my opinion should hold some weight on the matter.  It is not like I was never "into" pet battling.  It is not like I have "so much" work to do to catch up as everything is already maxed.  It is not like I have no intention to ever pet battle again, I do, and I believe some day I might get back into it as much as I was before.

With all that said...

I DO NOT want to see epic pets added to the game.

It is only my personal opinion, but it is the opinion of someone that likes the mini game of pet battling.  Who has hunted down rare pets.  Who has leveled well over 1000 of them to 25 for myself and for friends.

One of the reasons I like pet battling is because it has an end.  I like knowing that I did everything I wanted to.  I have everything there is to collect.  I like that there is a set ending line.  It makes for the perfect mini game.  A mini game, as I consider pet battling, should not have "progression" like raiding does.  It should not have us level up every expansion or increase gear with every patch.  That is why I have liked it so much.  Pet battling is what pet battling is.  Nothing more.

Having us have to boost our pets to get them to max once again, by adding an epic version, just makes more work for something I was done with.  If my Lurky is rare and 25 than guess what, my Lurky is done and so are the other 999 pets he hangs out with on a daily basis in whatever mansion sized pet house they all exist in that I have never seen and am pretty damn happy I do not have to clean up with all those pets living there.

I do not like having to level all my characters each expansion, but I do it.  There are only so many of them.  But there are hundreds, even a thousand (or more for some) pets out there.  I do not want to have to gather enough stones to make 1000 pets I worked to make rare into epic now, basically doing the same work I already did a second time.  Hell no blizzard, I did all that work already, I do not want to do it again.  And if they lose levels when you increase their rarity when they are over a certain level, which they most likely will do, that means I need to also level those hundreds and possibly thousand pets again.  Hell no blizzard.  I was done, they were 25, leave it be.  This is a mini game, this is not the next expansion for them.  This is not a regearing up process for them.  Pets are what they are, let them be.

So I will repeat, I DO NOT want to see epic pets added to the game.  Hell no.

I know I am in the minority here, but I just do not want to have to level all my pets again and I do not want to have to increase the rarity of a thousand pets.  It just seems like way to much work for a mini game.  Thanks but not thanks blizzard.  I'll pass.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- Anyone have any love rocket love?

- Not me.

- I admit after the first few days of running all my characters through it I've been slacking.

- Doing all my tanks and healers but rarely all my DPS characters.

- So I would say I am averaging 7 a day.

- I did get the heartbreaker toy finally yesterday.

- So one more for the toy box but my mount collection is not feeling the love rocket love.

- Joined a nice pug this weekend.

- We wiped a few times here and there and I had to drop because I had a previous engagement before we downed a boss I really needed, which sucks, but I added the leader to my battle tag so maybe I will run with them again.

- This is why I like "guild groups" in the group finder.

- They usually need just a few people and wipes are not a killer.

- Also it is a lot easier to fill the holes if you are only grabbing a few people than grabbing a full pug.

- Never took long to replace the one or two that left after a wipe.

- They were not more progressed than my guild, end heroic, but that works for me.

- At least now when I am stuck tanking I can join them if they need a DPS, or skip it if they don't.

- I think they liked me even if I did not get on their voice chat.

- I would have to download a different voice chat client as I do not have the one they use.

- I am however proud to announce I got my first weapon drop since the opening weeks of the expansion when I got the normal weapon off brackenspore the first week highmaul opened.

- That was the last weapon I saw all expansion.

- Thank god for crafted weapons or I would have surely quit.

- Or been using a baleful one I guess.

- They need to ditch RNG in loot.

- I speak only for myself, but killing the same boss over and over hoping for loot is NOT fun.

- Never has been, never will be.

- But, for example, killing the boss to unlock the loot table and collecting a currency to buy what you unlocked would be freaking awesome.

- Then you would earn your gear.

- In two ways.

- One by beating the boss, thus unlocking the ability to buy stuff that drops from it.

- Two by earning enough currency, whatever that currency might be, to buy stuff you have unlocked.

- Leaps and bounds better than the luck system.

- Now mind you the weapon was not the one I wanted off manny, but it was the one of soc which was still an upgrade.

- Got the chest piece off heroic manny this week, which was nice.

- But needed to take off a 736 chest piece to put it on.

- However, that allowed me to put on 725 shoulders instead of my 711 normal tier ones and enjoy the crit that those 725 shoulders had.

- So going down from 736 to 720 and up from 711 to 725 might seem like a minor loss in stats.

- But if I told you my critical strike, which is my best stat for me, went up over 4% would you now consider it worth it.

- I really wanted the heroic archie gloves for my off spot as they have a ton of crit on them but alas no pugs that could kill him for me this week.

- I have normal tier on those so the heroic archie ones would be a major upgrade in both agility and giving my my best stats at the same time.

- The only heroic tier I have a chest, head and legs.

- So I mix and match whatever works best most of the time.

- I have a bag nearly filled with "off pieces" and possible upgrades.

- And upgrades that are item level only, so I don't wear them.

- And trinkets, I have so many trinkets I play around with on a fight to fight basis.

- Outside of my heroic warfored blademaster I really do not have one perfect second trinket.

- But in reality, I do not think there is one perfect one.

- Some work better on some bosses, some work better when doing normal, some work better for dungeons, some work better on demons, you get the idea.

- I switch my second trinket like I switch my talents, on a fight by fight basis it seems.

- I wonder, is this good design or just a waste of 8 bag spaces carrying all these trinkets.

- Or maybe it is just me because I have a horrible time making up my mind.

- Went back for a fun run of some old content this week with guild.

- We finally did the last three bosses we never got to on heroic (now mythic) in siege.

- We brought a bunch of new people who had never done it.

- Made it more fun.

- One of the new people, even after being warned got smashed by garrosh in the transition phase.

- Saw that coming a mile away.

- He is one of those "horrible at mechanics" guys that signs up for every raid and I have to try to be gentle in declining him.

- I don't not want to hurt his feelings, he signs up and he shows up.

- Now we just need to get him to be better.

- But I had it to about "here" with him.

- No no, not for that, we did not need him to kill last expansion content.

- But in the real raid I seem to keep having to call him out.

- And I try not to do that.

- I whisper, I make blanket statements explaining an ability to the whole raid so they can listen, and they still mess it up.

- So I finally got to the point I just called him out "if you keep messing up these mechanics you are going to stop getting invites".

- I don't think I was being mean.

- I have whispered him a lot.

- I have overly explained part of the fight I knew he had issues with before the pull, even if we have been killing these fights for months.

- I have given him weeks worth of attempts to get better.

- Doing normal and heroic with him each week.

- And he still messes things up.

- Flex or not, some people are just not mean to be raiders.

- And sure we can carry him through all of normal and even most of heroic without it hurting us but that is not the issue.

- The issue is if he is going to keep playing that poorly he has no right even being in a raid.

- Sorry, you do not need to be "good" to be a raider, but you need to at least listen to simple instruction.

- I say things like "this is not a DPS race, even if you have to stop your DPS, just do the mechanics right" and he still messes up.

- I am not asking for top players.

- But I am asking to at least run out of the group when you have doomfire on you.

- Hell, even if you run the wrong way at least you would be running with it.

- But no, he stands in the group and do not move and gets eaten alive by the doomfire.

- After six weeks of killing archie on normal with us (hell no I would not bring him to heroic) he still does not get it.

- Sure we still kill it without him but it is a matter of principle.

- So I told him, next time doomfire hits him because he stands still I will remove him from group mid fight.

- No excuses.

- Am I being too harsh?

- I don't think so.

- I believe that some people are just not raiders.

- It really is that simple.

- Enough ranting, more good vibes.

- May the light of elune bless you and the love rocket join your ranks.

- Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tin Foil Hat: I Don't Know Everything Legion Will Bring, But I Do Know What the Next Expansion Will Be.

Warning: This post is 100% speculation and quite possibly 100% bull shit as well.  I have no proof of anything I will say here.  I am making it up as I go.  This is a tin foil hat post.  For fun, discussion, or perhaps even prediction that I can reflect back on in two years from now when we find out what the next expansion will be.  Have fun with the post, but do not take it too seriously.  Even if I do think what I write here is entirely possible, even if insanely unlikely.

Now for the big reveal.  The expansion after World of Warcraft : Legion will be called.... nothing.

Legion is the last expansion for warcraft.  It all ends here and it all ends now.  But that does not mean that warcraft is all done for.  Legion might be the last expansion of the world of warcraft as we know it, but it will lead directly into World of Warcraft 2.

That is what I predict the expansion after legion will be.  A complete reboot from the start.  We all move on to new level 1 characters, if we choose to do so, with the release of WoW 2.

There are many things that might lead someone wearing their tin foil hat a little to tight to believe this to be true but none larger than the reason that makes the world go 'round, money.  The be all end all that motivates companies to do what they can to make more of it.

I will list a few reasons that might point to legion being the last expansion but I do not think any of the reasons will be as strong as the first one.  So on to the list of possible tell tale signs that legion will be the end of the world of warcraft as we know it.

PS4, XBox and the like:

They have been trimming down abilities left and right lately all in an effort to make our bars so much simpler.  It is not all for the players enjoyment however.  Sure having fewer buttons to hit might make some things easier and depending on how they interact could make some things more complex.  But the real reason for having fewer abilities is so that it will be easier to port to the many different game stations out there now that seem to live and die with an internet connection.

While WoW can not be reasonably ported to work for PS4, for example, WoW 2.0, if it is built and designed for it, would be able to perfectly be ported for play on the PS4.  By allowing people to play on their game station of choice or their computer they open the doors to many more players than they had ever had.  Even when they were at their absolute height back in wrath of 12M+ subs the range of players they reached was never as large as it would be if every person on every major game system could play as well.

It only makes solid business sense to find an avenue where you can add players.  Even more so after the start of a successful movie franchise (hopefully) that introduces the game to millions of players.  Many of whom would jump at the chance to play the game with their friends on the PS4 but don't really care to do so on the computer.

It is all about accessibility and having WoW available through more outlets allows them to get more people into the game and possibility retain people a little easier.  Where before it was a choice of playing warcraft or playing on your PS4, now you can play warcraft while on your PS4.  It will always be there for you to play so the likelihood of you switching from the game you are currently playing to warcraft would be a lot higher than the likelihood of you turning off your PS4 and getting up and going to your computer instead.

There is a lot more money to be made and with abilities being trimmed down warcraft is pretty darn close to being capable of being ported.  Legion is a test to see if and how things work with fewer abilities.  All while WoW 2.0 is being primed in the background, designed for fewer abilities to begin with and coded to be ported to game stations like the PS4 and XBox.

You Want It, You Got It:

As many people have already noted about Legion it seems like blizzard is doing a major fan service.  People wanted "this" person dead, so we are killing him.  People wanted "this" person to return, so we are bringing him back.  People wanted Demon Hunters to be a playable class, so have at it.  People wanted the emerald dreams, well here it is.  People wanted to face Azshara, well here she is.  People wanted to wield Ashbringer, go for it and here are a dozen other cool looking versions of it too while you are at it.  I could go on and on, but I am sure I do not have to.

Blizzard is going for broke here.  They are throwing everything into the pot, they are leaving nothing on the table.  They are trying to give everyone what they wanted, or at least the things they saw posted most about on the forums over the last 12 years.

It makes one believe that if they are doing this and basically tying up a bunch of outstanding story lines, or at least giving some sort of closure to remove the ideas of what could be a future expansion like Azshara and the dark below, or the emerald dream, or so many other things that they could have made expansions about or used as a background for them being put to rest you have to think, why not leave the loose ends.

A company looking forward to making more expansions does not tie up all those loose ends they spent years creating so they can have something to build on in the future unless they know, in this incarnation at least, there is no future to save them for any longer.

The fact they are giving us everything we wanted makes you think, maybe that is because this is the end.

I Have to Replace My Artifact With What?

Every expansion is the same.  We work our butts off, usually for a year of nothing to do but get better gear from raiding, to get the best gear we can get only to see it replaced with a quest green as soon as the new expansion comes out.

Warlords was, in my opinion, the first expansion that ever did leveling right in terms of gear progression.  I leveled to 100 with my SoO gear on and I even did the proving grounds gold on day one when I hit 100 while still wearing all my gear from SoO.  My mists gear worked, for the most part, up until dungeons in warlords.  And that is how it should be in my opinion.  Even more so when you were in all mythic gear like I was.  It did still suck to have to take off the legendary cloak, but at least I did not replace it with some quest green as soon as I stepped into the expansion like what would have happened in most previous expansions.

I expect legion leveling to be somewhat the same if they learned anything from how awesome the leveling experience was for many, like myself.  But what of the expansion after.  Sure we might not replace Ashbringer with a quest green.  But we will sooner or later need to replace it and it makes you think that this is the ultimate weapon for my class.  How do I get better than the ultimate weapon?

And that is why I think the Artifact weapons show that there will not be an expansion after this one.  Even if it is an awesome thing, like the cloak, it is still just some no name but special cloak.  It might have been powerful but once you find something more powerful you say good bye to it.  How exactly are you going to do that with Artifacts?  They are the most powerful weapons in existence.  They are not some no name weapon.

Also these Artifact weapons offer not only power, but massive time investment to level them.  They have skilled that we will have become used to.  What Beast Mastery hunter, after spending countless hours, days, weeks and maybe even months, leveling up his or her Artifact weapon just so he or she could have a second controllable pet is going to feel right throwing that away from some no name weapon.  Even if that no name weapon comes from the first tier of raiding in the next expansion.  Even if it comes from the last tier of raiding next expansion.  When do you let go of the weapon that is the best weapon for your class that you are ever supposed to have?

We would lose the time put into it, which if we are correct will not be just a heavy weekend of playing to level.  We would lose all the boosts to our abilities we gained from leveling it.  We would lose all the power ups we gained from leveling it.  We would lose the thing they spent an entire expansion telling us is the greatest weapon we would ever own.

The Artifact weapons and the power up system they are adding in Legion show that they do not intend for us to ever replace these weapons.  So there are three options.  1) dig themselves a really big hole it will be near impossible for them to get out of by the expansion having us drop all that power for what... 2) keep leveling up those same weapons the expansion after with added levels, which will make it harder on new players that join the game because now they would need to level a weapon through 2 expansions instead of only the current one, or, the one we are focused on in this post, 3) they do not intend for us to ever get any weapon after this one because there will be no expansion after this one.

Three seems to make the most sense.  One seems like it is asking for trouble, but quite honestly it does fit blizzard idea of never thinking toward the future.  Two seems really unlikely.  How would you feel if you joined the game in the expansion after legion and found you needed to level your weapon, which could take months for an active player (blizzards words, not mine) before they can actually catch up to the current expansion.  So yeah, three makes the most sense. 

They are giving us our ultimate weapons.  They are letting us power them up to ultimate power.  They are letting us choose how they look.  They are letting us be the "hero" of the game for our one last hurrah.  This is it folks.  Your paladin will go down in a blaze of glory with Ashbringer in his hand.  Your hunter will die fighting with Titanstrike in his hand and two pets at his side.  It doesn't get better than this folks and that is because, it doesn't have to.  This is the end, this is the last weapon you will ever have, and it has been designed that way.  Just think about it.

The Game is Old:

And I do not mean that in a bad way.  I like that the game has history.  It is part of the reason I keep playing, I do not want to leave that history behind.  But there is a lot of baggage that comes with age that can not just be forgotten about.

Lets look from the outside in and see what someone that never played before sees.  The stories of only basement dwellers play this game.  The stories of people losing their jobs playing this game.  Losing their marriages over the game.  Or lets say they know all that stuff is just BS, which it really is because I am sure all those things could be said about any popular game and there is someone out there is might be true for and they look at the game as what it truly is.  A game with 6 expansion (soon) and over 110 levels (soon).

Sure it might not take a lot of time to level 110 levels.  Sure you can get all the previous expansions for a song if they are on sale and cheap even if they are not.  Sure if you buy the most current expansion you can get an instant boost.  But to someone new to the game, even if they know all that, it still feels as if you are so so so far behind.

So lets even forget dragging new people in and them feeling that they are so far behind.  When people do join the world is so out of order, thanks to cataclysm mostly, but just because as years passed and things changed a lot of the older stuff doesn't fit right, doesn't work as intended, or just doesn't make sense.  You get abilities out of any semblance of order.  The story line bounces all over the place, if you are the type that even reads it that is.  The leveling pace, because they had to change it for people with alts and heirlooms means even a new person without them still often out levels zones before they finish them.

Over all the years the past of the game just, well, got destroyed, for lack of a better description.  Blizzard knows this.  They know the leveling process does not really make the game look good to a new player because they have not concentrated on getting any new players.

And the reason they are not addressing this is?  Who cares, we are starting over again soon.  It will be a new game so no basement dweller stigma.  It will be a new game so no 110 levels behind for newcomers.  It will be a new game so no 6 expansions to buy.  it will be a new game so the leveling will be fresh, enjoyable, and in order, as it should be for everyone.  It does kind of make sense that a reset would really help this aspect of the game.  Doesn't it?

There are Some Things You Can't Fix:

I can't remember what I heard this in reference too, but I am sure at one point I heard a dev say that some things can not be fixed.  Maybe it was as simple as the beginning bag space issue being locked to 16.  Maybe it was about the continuity issue caused by the redesign of cataclysm.  But one thing was sure, there was something in game they did not like how it turned out that they can't, or won't spend the time to, fix.

A complete reset would allow them to fix all the things they did that did not turn out quite as they intended them to be.  Those globes in Ulduar, you know the ones that showed all the known world to us. Yeah, it kind of limited where we could expand to with expansions without adding some fancy explanations.  Come to think of it, that is what I think the comment I mentioned was in reference too.

They can easily fix the bag space issues.  They can easily fix the world issues.  They can easily fix everything they have noticed to be a problem area over the years if they design knowing what the problems are, which after 12 years, they should be pretty clear on what they are.

Some of these issues are big, most are not, but each and every one of them can be fixed with a complete reboot.  And maybe the reason they are not looking to try to fix and of them now means they know they do not have to fix the issues because the issues will be left behind.

Battle Net Wide Makes Transfer Easy:

Did you ever notice that they do not make things account wide, they make them battle net wide.  If our pets, for example, were account wide than all our warcraft accounts would have it.  But if they were battle net wide than all our games would have it, such as  warcraft 1 and warcraft 2.  Just something to chew on.

The Future is Mobile:

Back to design and what warcraft is not capable of but warcraft 2 would be.  Mobile games are hugely popular.  If anyone says otherwise they are living in the last century, or roughly 12 years ago if you work for the warcraft team.

I am still not sure why when battle pets were added there was no mobile app that allowed us to play with them while on the road, at work, in school, or basically play with them when there are other things we are supposed to be doing.  (not that I advocate playing games on work time, but writing blogs is just fine. wink wink nudge nudge).  The reason can only be one of two things, no one at blizzard thought of it or the warcraft engine and how it was designed was not capable of supporting it.

I am going to go with the game was not capable of supporting it at the time they added them.  I don't think it is possible that not even one person that works for blizzard in a high ranking position did not see the HUGE impact having a battle pet mobile app would be.  Heck, I could even see them adding a transmog mobile app, so you can change the appearance of your characters while you are sitting on a bus if you wanted to.  Or a dungeon crawler app where you take your character, solo, through dungeons designed strictly for the mobile app.

Remember when I said at the beginning that ending WoW and starting WoW 2.0 would be all about money?  Well, the ability to have mobile games where you can attain things that show up in game and the stuff you do in game can show up in the mobile version is a big part of that.

Once they can have integrated mobile and computer and game stations all accessing the same content, and in this case content you can play anywhere, it opens the possibilities for making a great deal of money.

The pet battles can allow you to do something like 20 battles and regenerate 5 per hour but if you run out and want more you will need to buy more battles for 2 bucks if you do not want to wait it out.   They could add special adventures, for 10 dollars per, that you need to complete on mobile to get a few pet that will show up in all places.

Maybe the reason there was never a pet battle app is because they could not tie it into the WoW engine, which gives them more reason to make a WoW 2.  Why recreate an engine for WoW and invest all that time for only adding thing.  Might as well start new all over, which is what they will do and then I will be playing battle pets at work instead of writing this... maybe.

And the Big Bad of Warcraft Has Always Been Sargeras:

We do not know where Legion will lead us but one thing we do know for sure for sure and that is Sargeras is supposed to be the end boss of the World of Warcraft.  What better time to have him show up than now?  They have set the stage for him completely.  All he needs to do is step his feet on the soil of azeroth and we will all tremble as we fight the urge to bow before his god like omnipotence.

A battle between the heroes of Azeroth and the fallen titan can only end in one way.  Death and destruction of everything, including the world as we know it.  They can easily write the story so that as Sargeras breathes his last breath, the death of a god, as close as we could come to know one, triggers the titans to activate the re-origination button, as was threatened so many times before.

The world, as we know it, would be destroyed and from the ashes we would arise, with knowledge of what we once were, but no power, in a bed being tended to by a care giver that carted our bodies from the rubble.  Or gear destroyed, our abilities diminished and our bodies frail after such a long sleep, we would need to journey, adventure and fight to gain our powers back, our strength back, and our gear back too.

In this new world there would be new land masses and blizzard could make sure not to let the full world view ever come our way.  They could even keep us on the same continent for more than one expansion, only opening up moving further into it as time goes on. They could create new lore, no stories, new histories of the past.  All would be new, even if some things might seem familiar.

What better time to hit the reset button after beating the fallen titan and having the world as we know it reset by the titans?  The story just seems ripe to lead us to the new beginning we would need if we want to move into a WoW 2.0 cleanly.  They lined it up perfectly, so perfectly in fact that there can't be an expansion after Legion.  Sargeras will be dead, and the Azeroth that we know will have died with him.

So what say you fellow traveler?  Do you don your tin foil hat with me and get ready for 2.0 or will there be more of the WoW we know and love first?  Will there ever be a WoW 2.0?

Come on... put on the hat... you know you want to.  Speculate.  It will be fun, I promise.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday Random Thoughts

- Random thoughts are a day late because I had off work yesterday, so I played instead of writing.

- I finished getting my stash in Diablo so I decided to get back to some warcraft.

- It was a nice break for a month playing less.

- Made it more enjoyable playing.

- Breaks are needed and it seems as I get older, and the game gets older, I need more and more breaks to keep the game enjoyable.

- Hey, whatever floats your boat right?

- I stayed on really late Sunday night because I was not working Monday.

- I decided to level archaeology on an alt.

- Why would I choose to level archaeology on an alt one might ask.

- Because my hunter is well over 700 tol'vir solves so far and still has not got the bug mount or the claw pet.

- I figure maybe having another character do it might stir up some luck.

- I honestly do not see how it is impossible to have over 100 solves of every tol'vir artifact and still not have those two.

- But it is my luck..

- So I hung out on voice chat and BSed with whomever was on at the time while I did some digging.

- I decided on my druid to level archaeology on.

- Instant flight form means less time mounting up moving from place to place.

- Not to mention I have the mage tower fully leveled on my druid.

- So I can use my garrison hearth and my shipyard compass to get back to my garrison and use my mage tower to get to the "far" places.

- I set up the ports to Nagrand, Frostfire and Spires.

- With all that and the mole machine to Gorgrond, I was set for hopping around from dig site to dig site.

- I made it to a little over 600.

- Which just so happens to be exactly what you need to be able to trade in restored artifacts for tol'vir fragments.

- What a coincidence huh?

- Needless to say I planned it like that.

- I had a total of 60 restored artifacts when I started turning it in.

- I managed to make 6 common finds and one rare find.

- Sadly the rare find was a, now useless, BoA ring.

- But it was not a total waste.

- I managed to snag three new mounts while doing this.

- I always said to a guild mate to plays late at night that I was so jealous of him.

- He always got all the rare mounts, all the rare pets, all the hard to find stuff.

- All because he was on when everyone else was sleeping.

- I experienced that myself.

- When I went to a dig site in Frostfire there was a rare boar there at the dig site.

- I killed it, got the great greytusk mount.

- Awesome.

- So this is what it is like playing late at night.

- Not even looking for mounts and getting them.

- I then had a dig site in Shadowmoon, not to long after.

- And there is the pathrunner just outside of the dig site I landed on.

- You have got to be kidding me.

- I kill it and walk away with the swift breezestrider mount.

- About 30 minutes later while flying through Nagrand, on the way to a dig site mind you, I see luk'hok.

- I swoop down and kill him and gladly collect my mottled meadowstomper mount.

- Three mount.

- Not looking for them.

- Just because I was on late at night.

- And this is exactly why I get so jealous sometimes when my friend has every rare mount in the game usually within the first week of release.

- He said he must see all of them, even poundfist, a few times a week.

- And now later in the expansion they can sit up for a long time before someone runs into them.

- He always said "if things like that could be traded everyone in the guild would have them."

- Which makes me question, should things like that be capable of being traded?

- I sense a post in that all by itself.

- I see some definite pluses an minuses to the idea.

- I did mythic dungeons this weekend.

- Did raids this weekend my my main and on two different alts.

- Even did some old raids.

- Killed the lich king 5 more times with nothing to show for it except 25 minutes wasted.

- But I had a lot of fun just wasting time.

- All because I took that time off made it fun.

- Do you want to hear a funny story before I end this random thoughts?

- Who am I kidding, of course you do.

- And even if you don't, here goes.

- A guild tank, an incredible DK, asks if anyone want in on a mythic.

- I say yet, another guild hunter says yet and a monk DPS says yes.

- He asks in guild if any healers are on.

- He asks in voice chat if any healers are on.

- We are talking about needing a healer and I offer to switch to a healer, the monk who has healing gear but never healed offers to switch to healer.

- The tank finally says, we will just pug one.

- Then someone in voice chat speaks up.

- "I have a monk that could do it, but his gear sucks."

- The tank says not to worry, we are a powerful group, we can carry a low healer.

- We decide on grimrail depot as no one in the group has done that one this week.

- We zone in and kill the trash, no problems.

- He kill the first boss, both monks die but otherwise no problems.

- And then I notice something.

- The second monk is in DPS spec.

- I asked, where you trying to heal in your DPS spec.

- He said "I don't have a healing spec."

- Excuse me.

- For 5 minutes we were talking about needing a healer, maybe one of us switching to a healer and then finally saying we would pug a healer when you volunteered.

- How do you not have a healing spec when you said you would come heal?

- Either way, I say, lets just continue along, we can do this.

- "with no healer?" the other hunter exclaims.

- I said, yes, trust me.

- We will do it like challenge modes.

- Huge trash pulls, potions on the trash, and we should have no problems.

- And we had no problems.

- We destroyed the place on mythic with no healers.

- Well, the tank did say we would carry him, so I guess we did.

- He died a few more times, but no one else did.

- It was fun and because of it I can say for sure that with 4 decent DPS and one DK tank with their amazing self heals, you do not need a healer for mythic dungeons.

- Grimrail has to be the most brutal of dungeons and if we could do it with only 3 DPS and a tank basically, then with 4 it would be a breeze for any group.

- I just thought it was funny someone offering up to come and as healer when they could not heal.

- Did he really think we would not notice?

- And he, my friends, is the average warcraft player.

- Doesn't really have a clue what is going on most of the time.

- Speaking of not having a clue, in case you did not notice the holiday boss is up.

- So make sure to get your runs in to try and get the love rocket.

- I did all my characters yesterday and had no luck.

- Darn, was hoping my weekend luck with mounts would have continued, but oh well.

- Good luck with your love rocket.

- Have a great day.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I Healed My First Warlords Challenge Mode, and I Liked It

Last expansion I did all the challenge modes on my hunter and I helped other people by either tanking or healing for them on other classes, even if I never completed all of them on either a tank or a healer.  This expansion my hunter was my only character I had any challenge mode experience on.  Until last night.

In a spur of the moment sort of thing someone in guild wanted to know if anyone was up for challenge modes.  Of course I was.  I am always up for things like that.  So when all the people that wanted to go raised their proverbial hands we had one tank and four damage dealers.

Of the four damage dealers I was the only one that had any real healing experience so even if I wanted to go on my hunter I offered to heal.  I did warn them I had not healed a single challenge mode this expansion and I am very out of practice when it comes to healing having healed so rarely this expansion at all.  But I would be willing to give it a try.

So we headed to the dungeon of choice, iron docks, as the leader of the group, the only one there with any real challenge mode experience, said that would be the easiest one being we had two complete rookies on DPS and me as a rookie healer.

The group make up was a tank and healer, of course, with one melee and two ranged.  Quite honestly I hate healing melee in a "challenge" type setting because they take more damage no matter how good they are or how hard they try.  It is just the nature of the beast.  But I was ready to give it the old college try, so to speak.

We finished the dungeon missing gold by 4 minutes and 19 seconds.  Boo.  But we could have done gold, really we could have.  We had one wipe on trash where just a little too much was pulled.  It was early on, we should have reset, but at that point I did not know if I would be capable of healing this so we were still in the "testing" phase.  We had to lose about 3 minutes, if I were to guess, due to that wipe.

So if you wanted to look at it that way we missed gold by one minute and 19 seconds and missing gold became 100% my fault.  While the over pull could have been avoided, I could have healed better and kept us from wiping.  But the real issue was I did not bring enough food.  Toward the end of the dungeon we waited a few seconds here and there for me to naturally regenerate some mana.  Easily we lost close to 2 minutes to that happening.  Not to mention the two players that died during the run which I needed to spend time reviving and they spent time eating and rebuffing.

So yes, we really honestly could have done gold.  In hindsight I did not need as much mana as I waited for.  I never was less than 50%, I was just worried as I did not know how I would handle things so I wanted to be at 100% whenever I had the chance to get back up.  I had absolutely zero confidence in my skills.  Even if it seemed as if the group was confident in me.

I would not be surprised if we had come close to realm best time if we had not wiped and I had bought mana food and I did not lose two people I had to revive along the way.  My realm does not have great realm first times mind you.  I think the next time we are there we could easily cut 10 minutes off the time we did it on.  Or at least 5 without that wipe and those 2 deaths along with my waiting on mana, that is for certain.  We can do an 18 minute run, no doubt.

I really loved the idea that my gear did not matter at all.  It was scaled down.  So the fact I did not have my tier set meant nothing.  The fact that I had a couple of 670 pieces on meant nothing.  It was all about spell selection and the skill of movement, reaction and planning.  I like that it pressed me to do better than I thought I could do being out of practice on a healer.  I am extremely happy with silver on my first attempt.  I think that is probably the best anyone could wish for when you were in the group I was in with two people that had never stepped into a challenge mode, one person that had not healed one, and the other two that had only done as high as silver before.

The melee would go from full to 10% it seemed every few pulls, if not every single one of them.  But he never died, and he also worked on protecting himself.  When he got low like that he stepped off for a second and let me get the heals he needed on him instead of pushing it and possibly dying.  I say it was very smart play on his part.  He could have stayed in the fight and lasted another 3 or 4 seconds an died, or he could have stepped back, let me heal him and lose those 3 or 4 second but be alive for the next 20 seconds it took to finish the mobs.  He made the right choice, lose 4 seconds of DPS up time to gain 20 seconds and not was 10 seconds afterward to revive them.  That was the right choice.

One of the range was a nightmare and I think replacing him and adding another, more raid aware, damage dealer would have really helped.  I was forced to heal him as if he were a tank.  He was always standing in something.  He was always getting hit by every avoidable mechanic, he was wildly pulling more packs and I think he was even the one that was responsible for the over pull early in the run.

Removing him and getting a better damage dealer in that slot would have done wonders.  I would have probably never lost the two people I lost during the run because one person was just taking so much damage demanding my attention to be split nearly 100% of the time.  I would have not needed to spend as much mana on the expensive fast heals because I would be able to keep up with the less expensive ones if I was not forced to spam people with heals to keep them alive in situations when they really should not have been taking any damage to begin with.  Speaking of mana, I would not have needed to worry about mana if I were not having so much more to heal.  All that avoidable damage wastes mana that should never need to be spent. I honestly believe if that one ranged was as good at avoiding stuff as the other was, meaning they only needed minimal upkeep, I could have kept both the tank and the melee up just fine without ever needing mana the entire run.  I am sure of that.

Over all I was proud of how well I did.  Of how well the whole group did, yes even the one standing in junk, because we still made silver with tons of time to spare.  When it was over I did not think "cool I helped the guild out", even if I did think that as well, but I thought "I had fun healing this, maybe I should make a challenge mode set, this was fun".

I actually want to heal some more challenge modes now.  I was to spam some dungeons and try to collect best in slot challenge mode gear.  I want to see how far I can push it.  I want to see if I can be a challenge mode gold healer.  Unlike last expansion when you could actually over gear challenge modes with gems and such (and I did like that in all honesty) this time around there is none of that.  You are really testing your ability and your ability only.  Well, yours and the ability of your group too of course.

I am sure in a poor group I would have not had fun.  I am sure if there was a wipe fest I would have not had fun.  I am sure that having a tank that knew his class and could help himself which allowed me to help others made it a fun run.  So I am not sure I would do these in random groups.  But I would gladly heal again for guild and not just to help the guild out, but because I kind of liked it.  As long as I have a solid tank to heal behind at least.

Friday, February 12, 2016

So Many Legendary Items, Only One Real Problem

Legion is just in the alpha stage still but a flurry of new legendary items have been added.  Some of them have amazingly powerful while some of them seem borderline useless or completely situational.  It would be wrong to assume this is how the legendary items will go live but I still wonder what impact they might have on game play.

You already see people saying "they will not be mandatory" but anyone that plays the game knows they absolutely will be mandatory, at least for anyone that actually wants to play their character to the best of their ability.  Sure you can clear mythic in 700 item level, but if you could get to 730 before you do, who wouldn't?  Everyone wants a boost.  Especially when they will be extremely powerful as these will be and even more so because anyone can get these, from the most casual of casual players to the most die hard progression raider.  So disregard anyone that says "they will not be mandatory", they do not understand how truly mandatory these will be.  And that is my own problem with them.

If you look over a list of some of these legendary items you will see how insanely powerful some of them are.  Even if they are toned down some before release you would have to believe they will still be something that will have an effect on raiding.  Enough so that people will indeed want them.

So lets look at the much bigger picture.  Whoever gets lucky enough to have them drop will have the advantage in progression.  Be it for world first, server first or even being just a normal guild pushing through normal.  You can't say that if they are that powerful it they will not help a raid team down bosses.  And going for a first, or even just normal kills and making them easier, will be helped a great deal by the power of these items.

With that in mind, the fact they really will have a huge impact on raids blizzard has two routes they can go.  They can either design and balance the raids around people not having the legendary items and the groups that get lucky enough to get them will over power them and make them trivial so fast or they can design the raids around needing the legendary items.

Which do you think blizzard will choose?  Seeing how they handled the cape and the ring I am 100% certain that they will design and balance the raids to require the legendary items.  Not only because the have shown a history already with of design with legendary items in mind but because they are not going to do anything to adversely effect the top 0.001% of the game that might be aiming for world first.  If they do not design the raids to require the legendary items then whichever guild was lucky enough to snag the most of them while leveling will steamroll their way to world first.  So they have to design the raid around the legendary items being needed to down them.

Now... if the raids are designed around the legendary items being needed to down the content guess what that means?  It means they are mandatory for raiding.  At least if you want to down stuff before you over gear it by other means of drops, upgrades or what have you.

That is my one real problem with so many legendary items and them being so damn powerful.  Raids will need to be designed around needing them which means we will be forced to farm for them if we want to be the best we can be.  But really, even if raids were not designed and balanced around needing them we would still want them to make our characters better, this is true.  But there is a huge difference between farming your butt of to try to get an upgrade you want and having to farm your butt off to get an upgrade that you need.  I would rather want the legendary than need the legendary.

But hey, it is just alpha, they might even remove the legendary items all together before they release legion, who knows.  But I would not count on it.  Blizzard has a habit of swinging the pendulum too far in one direction or another.  We went from staying in our garrison all expansion to swinging the other way where we will be out in the world mindlessly killing everything all day every day until we get that ultra rare legendary drop that is mandatory if we want to be considered a "good" raider.

What do you think of all these legendary items being so powerful?  What do you think it will impact?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

If There Were Only One Raid Difficulty...

With the four different levels of difficulty in raiding right now from the pure random pug friendly LFR to the highly coordinated group effort of mythic it made me wonder, what is the preferred method level of raiding of people if you could only have one.

The way I figure it most "raiders" raid two levels or raiding, not really all four.  You have your farm raid and your progression raid.  For some people they farm LFR and progress through normal, or others they farm normal and progresses through heroic and for yet others they farm heroic to progress through mythic.

Of course there are those that only do one.  I know a great many players that only do LFR.  I have some guild members that refuse to step into LFR but as they are not really raiders so they will only do normal.  Then there are the people that are "better" than normal, their word, not mine, and refuse to step into any raid that is not heroic.  If we are doing a normal run that night they take the night off.  All those people only do one level of raiding.

So while the choice is nice to have with 4 different levels of raiding I would say the majority of raiders, at least the ones I know or have spoken to, only raid 2 of those 4 levels of difficulty on a regular basis at most.

If I were to ask the question which 2 raid difficulties would you choose the answer would be simple for me personally.  My opinions are as follows.

LFR is not needed.  It no longer serves the purpose it was intended for and it should be either fixed or removed from the game.  If LFR still offered real tier gear I could see it having a place in the game.  If LFR was designed to teach people to be raiders I could see it having a place in the game.  If LFR was actively moderated by blizzard to keep it from getting toxic like it does often I could see it having a place in the game.  If LFR actually required people to participate and actually try, even if they do poorly, then I could see it having a place in the game.

The thing is, it does not teach anyone, it does not offer tier gear, it does not have moderators and there are too many people expecting to be carried by others for LFR to continue to exist.  It is not needed and should be removed because, we know for a fact, blizzard has no intention of fixing it.  So cutting down from 4 raid difficulties to 3 was easy for more.  Lose LFR.

Losing the second difficulty was an easy choice for me as well.  Mythic has no place in the game either.  Just look at the numbers.  LFR has the most people actively playing it in the game and I would choose to remove that, so why in hell would I keep the difficulty that the fewest, by large, are participating in.

It is not just about the numbers that use it, it is about the format itself.  It is a fixed size, something that in this day and age has played itself out, games need to be more dynamic.  And if it was going to be a fixed size it should be a fixed size that was more inclusive, like 10 or at max 15.  When they decided on 20 man as the base for mythic they effectively told over 95% of the heroic guilds to go screw themselves.  Not the smartest move in my opinion. 

Perhaps if mythic were 10 man than it would not be one of the two I would remove.  As a matter of fact, I am sure if mythic was 10 man I would have not said to remove it.  But as 20 man it does not fit in a dying game where it seems most servers can barely field one or two mythic guilds even if there are hundreds of people on that server that would want to run mythic.  Many, like myself, prefer smaller groups even if it historically means harder fights.

So if I had to choose only 2 to stay it would be normal or heroic.

Now comes the hard part, if I had to choose only one.  Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Normal is easy enough that you can take new players along with hurting yourself too much.  You can take alts on a normal run no problem.  You can make mistakes on a normal run.  You can have fun on a normal run once you start to over gear it by ignoring some mechanics, something it usually takes until the next tier that comes out to be capable of doing.  And the number one plus on the side of normal is because it is easier it is faster.  I am about as sick and tired of log fights as any one elf can be.  I enjoy going into normal on my main and blowing things up in record time.  Fast fights = fun fights.

Normal does have its downsides as well.  As it is easier you will down stuff faster.  Sure depending on your group and the skill of the players in it you can still hit a bump in the road here and there to slow you down.  Normal archie took a little bit for us, heck even gorefiend was a bit rough the first week for my guild who never did higher than heroic the previous tier and was geared as such.  Neither took us long to down, but that is the point.  Even the "brick walls" on normal are not much of a challenge for even the remotely organized group.  If all challenges are like this, were you never meet a fight that can take you weeks to down, or 100 wipes to get, I could see it getting boring.  Sure no one want to wipe 100 times on every single boss, but having one or two or even three in a raid this side that take you a few weeks, maybe even 40 tries would be nice.  It would feel like progression.  Normal might be fun, but it can also be too easy for anyone that is willing to put in even a little effort.

As for heroic, like normal it has its positives and negatives.  Some of the positives are the fact that for the vast majority of the player base these are genuinely hard.  It is a challenge and it is exciting to beat that challenge.  Even for the somewhat better players that might be able to down it in just a few attempts the fact that it is a bigger challenge is more rewarding.

Another positive is that it teaches the next generation of raiders that mechanics matter, performance matters, personally responsibility matters.  When someone can do LFR or even normal and they die on every boss but they still down it they think "oh this is easy".  In the heroic world they are removed from the group.  Sorry, no dead weight wanted.  Even if you can carry someone like that, why do so?  They offer no benefit to the group.  Heroic, if it were the only difficulty, would mean that a hell of a lot of player would get better.  They would be better player over all, or they would not be raiders.  That's a fact.   Well, unless you pay for a carry, but no matter what they will always happen so forget I said it.

The main negative of heroic is that I am a grumpy elf.  No really.  You really can not bring people in after you have been downing bosses that do not know the fight.  It is frustrating taking a step back and unlike with normal were you might be able to push through having a few inexperienced players it usually means a wipe in heroic.  Call it be being grumpy but I would just say it is me being tired and not liking the idea of doing progression over and over and over in a raid I have already been downing with no problem.  This is the biggest draw back of heroic.

A secondary drawback of heroic is blizzards own fault and that is the scaling of flex.  A fight like Killrog with 10 people early on was near impossible unless you had top notch players and they all performed to perfection.  But with 20 or even more so with 30 players it was a joke.  Blizzard needs to fix heroic so no matter how many you have 10 or 30 it is close to the same fight, difficulty wise.

So you see whittling down to just one difficulty for me would be hard.  But when push comes to shove I would choose heroic as the single raid difficulty.  Probably because that is what I like to raid so I am already bias toward it.  Someone that only does LFR might say LFR, someone that only want to do mythic might say mythic.

However, with that all said, I want to add one additional thing.

I would prefer to say the current normal should be the only difficulty.  And that the current normal should add activated hard modes like Ulduar had.  So you can turn normal into a heroic type encounter or even a mythic type encounter.  Now that would leave everyone with the best of all worlds in my opinion, all the benefits of normal with all the challenge of mythic if you so choose with a 10 to 30 player group.

Now that would be my real answer.  I want to see normal only, but with activated modes to make it harder as you decide it to be.  With no 20 person lock, with no issues switching back and forth, just one lock out doing each boss the way you want to do them.

So if they are left "as is" I choose heroic.  But if they want to make raiding better I choose normal with activated hard modes, many of them.

If you had to choose only one raid difficulty to stay, which would you choose?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- I am still playing diablo because I have not achieved the needed achievements yet for the stash.

- The level 45 solo rift with no set pieces seems to be a larger issue than I had anticipated.

- I played this weekend trying to assemble the set I wanted to use and got most of the pieces.

- I could not kill stuff fast enough.

- Bah humbug.

- So I either need to grind some better gear for it, grind some paragon level or try another conquest all together.

- Seeing the one to complete a level 55 with 6 different set seems interesting.

- Might be easier than a 45 with no set items.

- The hardest part is assembling all the pieces for 2 more sets as I will need to roll another class.

- Should not be an issue if you have friends you play with that are already geared.

- Roll the same class as them.

- Get rifting.

- Have them throw you all the tier gear they get that they no longer need.

- I am going to try the 55 with 6 different sets next weekend.

- I have only used 2 of the demon hunter ones thus far so have 2 more to try it with.

- But I have faith I can do it.

- Did not play much warcraft again this weekend.

- Not much really to do.

- Tanked a full run of normal and half heroic.

- Did not get any hunter time for the third week in a row.

- I guess that is partly why I have no motivation to play lately.

- Burn out, boredom, and not being able to play the class I want to play.

- I am thinking of "buying" a mythic run just to get something to do.

- I just wonder what would be the sense in "buying" a run when I would be one of the best players in the run.

- Shouldn't they be paying me.

- A guild mate has started joining a weekly pug that runs mythic Friday nights.

- She too is a hunter, and greatly out gears me.

- She says they all love her because he is always near the top of the charts and she knows the fights and is good at avoiding damage.

- I train my hunters well.

- Thank you very much.

- But I admit she picked 90% of it up on her own.

- Good players are good player.

- Thing is, she is a hot commodity because of her quality of play.

- And in my normal mode / heroic mode guild she is probably 6th or 7th down the line in terms of numbers.

- Makes me wonder what the issue with my raid team is.

- If she can down mythic with a pug and be top DPS, how the hell can my guild still be stuck clearing heroic?

- Oh wait, I know why.

- That retarded 20 man minimum.

- Blizzard really needs to remove that and bring 10 man back.

- It keeps good people that want to progress from being able to.

- It keeps guild that want to keep playing playing.

- It helps steam the boredom because we know we can't move forward anywhere.

- Sure I can pug, but I should not have to.

- There should be a 10 man version of mythic.

- Heck, mythic should be flex too for all I care.

- I do not take this "we need a set number so we can tune it tightly" argument seriously.

- It is a game, not a sport.

- Just because the top 0.01% want to compete for world first and want to level playing field should not matter.

- Every player with aspirations, and ability, to get world first could quit the game right now and it would be like a droplet of water being removed from the ocean.

- No one would care.

- The game should not be designed around them.

- Give guilds, a lot of guilds, guilds much better than mine, the chance to start raiding mythic again by allowing smaller groups.

- Someone in guild said we should merge with another heroic guild that is stuck and pick the top players and do mythic.

- I said, if they want to join here they are welcome too.

- But I do not feel like developing a raid team that works well together and then next expansion comes and we go our separate ways again.

- I would rather build a team than build something just to pass the time.

- And more too it, if I were actually serious about mythic I would have switched servers already.

- We have one guild on my server that is 5/13 mythic.

- They have been 5/13 mythic for as long as I can recall.

- The best of the best are all assembled there.

- They have tried to poach from my guild and many others.

- But we, they, are all happy where they are.

- And there is one mythic guild and more than a handful of heroic guilds that would all be raiding mythic instead of all fighting over trying to get a few good players.

- More so, a few good players that do not exist.

- They have to do what I do.

- Create players.

- Like that hunter that is pugging mythics in her free time.

- One person in guild that just came back asked me a few weeks ago which is better BM or MM.

- I said MM.

- I invited him to come along on a heroic run and see.

- She, with 10 items higher than me would play BM, I with only one decent trinket and still using the crated weapon would play MM.

- What the numbers and see what happens.

- First boss, a AoE fight and me with the single target spec, destroyed.

- Second fight, single target, destroyed.

- Third fight, mixed, destroyed.

- Forth fight, cleave and single, destroyed.

- Fifth fight, I went down first so of course I destroyed.

- Before the 6th fight he said, does she beat you on any fights in here.

- I said no.

- He said, she must suck.

- I said, nope, she is actually pretty damn good, playing over 96% on every fight, she is a fantastic player.

- MM is just better, simple as that.

- Percentage wise she beat me on some of those fights even if on the meters she could not come close to me on any of them.

- Don't judge a book my their cover.

- There is a lot more to doing well that just raw numbers.

- But when it comes to raw numbers, and considering only them, they are easier to compare.

- MM is better right now.

- But you never know what tomorrow will bring.

- Blizzard loves to change things on a whim don't they.

- There was a trick we used on the iskar trash, been using it forever, makes the pulls super easy and no one every gets disoriented.

- Been using it since HFC came out.

- Guess what?

- Did not work this week.

- Why patch a fix to the way we handled trash to avoid a mechanic when there so many things that are actually needed to be fixed in the game.

- I mean... really.

- I wonder who decides that it is important to fix the way some guilds cheese trash and it is no important to fix actual issues with fights, or classes, or balance.

- How about scaling the fights better for smaller groups, it is still horrible.

- How about fixing the bug that decided to choose me, as the tank, for heartseeker when there were 17 other people alive it could have chosen.

- I mean... really.

- We managed, told the off tank to taunt, ran away, came back and taunted back.

- But don't tell me that is not a bug.

- I would think fixing that should come before fixing a way people are making trash easier.

- But no, this is blizzard, no rhyme or reason.

- Either way, they do what they do, and we still play it.

- Because even with all the junk we love it.

- Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Would You Like to See Legion Unfold?

I've been reading a fair deal of fan theories about what will happen in the coming Legion.  Some of them, I must admit, have been really good.  There are a hell of a lot of really creative people out there in the gaming world and it seems like a few are having some funny with with fantasy of how to tell a good warcraft story.

If you read this blog even from time to time you might have heard me say that I think it is time we, the heroes of Azeroth had a set back.  I've often posted my fan theories mainly because I kind of dig that sort of stuff and I enjoy getting lost in the fantasy a bit with writing.  I think as early as when Cataclysm was announced before we really knew anything about it I had my theories of a story line that involved us losing.

When Warlords was announced I had a very elaborate scenario were we lost in our bid to save this alternate Draenor.  It was before we really knew anything about Warlords.  I had said a great ending would be if we come to combat the iron horde and the legion invades as we do so.  We attempt to save this Draenor from the legion as they open portals all over the world and we fail.  The final battle would be us trying to escape alternate Draenor before it exploded and if you won the fight and made it out alive the fight would end with you either in stormwind or orgimmar, depending on your faction of course.  If you failed, Draenor blows up with you still on it.

Seems I was partly right.  The end fight was against the legion like I predicted, but of course we won just like we always do.  I really have been aching for a set back.  I think the game needs it.  We, the heroes, are way too strong and keep getting stronger.  There was no sense of doom or dread in legion.  We knew we would beat everything the iron horde threw at us and later everything the legion threw at us.  We need a loss.  I have been on and on about it for a long time.

It seems that I am no longer the only one that thinks that.  A lot of these fan theories I have been reading where people making up their own story of what they would like to see all have us suffering loss.  Be it with our heroes dies, our cities burning, or just flat out having battles we can not win.

I think, for me at least, that is why I am really digging a lot of these fan made theories.  They jive with something I have been wanting to see for the better part of 6 years now.  I want to see us, the heroes, put in our place.  We are but mortals yet we take down the high and mighty as if we were an adult trying to beat up a toddler.  Super easy and really unfair.  We are too strong.  We need to be knocked down a few pegs if you ask me.  We need to lose.

Now loss does not need to be actual loss.  Like my idea for Draenor at the time.  While we "lost" in saving Draenor we did escape with our lives and the lives of a great many others we got off the planet in time.  So you could say even in defeat we won, a few battles at least even if not the war.

For story purposes we can not actually lose.  If we lose, we are dead, it is game over.  But we can lose in the sense like I mentioned for Draenor.  We can lose because we were not able to save the planet but win in the sense we made it out alive and managed to save a great many people in the process. 

I would love to see Legion bring us a story like that.  One with some depth to it, something character building, something that shows we do not always win.  While I have not quite thought out my story line for how I would like to see it unfold for Legion the way I had Warlords before it, it remains pretty much the same.  I want to see us lose.  And it seems a great many others have jumped on my bandwagon with that thought in mind in their own fan theories on what they would like to see happen.

How would you like to see Legion unfold?  More of the same with us exerting our dominance over each and every obstacle  in our path or maybe seeing some set backs?  Perhaps you have some other completely different idea in mind.  Maybe you picture the final battle not against the legion but against the titans or the old gods.  Do share.  What would you like to see?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- I had some sad new this weekend about a fellow player.

- We have all hear stories about people we, or others, have played with that passed on.

- We have all heard, and in some cases personally experienced, how people get older and their abilities diminish and they play less or can do less.

- It is part of life, and real life always has an impact on our entertainment.

- His wife came online last night to let the officers know why we have not seen him all week.

- She too is a player.

- He came down with an extremely rare illness.

- Doctors were able to save his life, but he lost his arm.

- I saw my eyes are tearing up a little writing about it.

- Some may say this is only a game, and it is, but the relationships you make while playing it can be very real if you let them be.

- I've known him since 2008.

- He was my PvP partner since wrath, a really solid player with a high ranking that always tried to help me get better when I had the itch to try PvP.

- He was a semi consistent raider.

- When he was not away for military duty.

- And more importantly, he has been someone I am glad to call a friend for a long time.

- While I am saddened to lose my PvP partner and a solid raider I am near heart broken to know that my friend lost so much more.

- And not just his arm.

- The game he loved to play he may never be able to play.

- When he woke up one of the first things he told his wife was to go online and tell us not to kick him from the guild.

- My god I would never even think of it and if someone even thought for a second of suggesting it I would kick them first.

- He was, is, family.

- He is welcome to stay as long as he likes.

- I just hope that some day he can find something he can do in game that allows him to still have som joy with it.

- I will gladly help him level next expansion.

- I might never be able to help him PvP but I am sure I can drag him along for some raiding.

- He will always remain a member of the guild.

- He will always remain a friend.

- And I am just glad he is alive right now.

- I was thinking what class it might be best for him to play, so he can still play some.

- Demo warlock or BM hunter make the most sense.

- Being will have to become a clicker and movement might be an issue having a pet that does solid damage and can tank could make it easier on him.

- I've one question for the people that read here.

- Is there a way in game, or with an addon, to add a click to move functionality like they have in diablo?

- That would make one handed play a lot easier.

- And maybe it can bring a smile to his face.

- That would mean a lot to him I am sure.

- One of the officers said a funny comment that sort of softened the mood when we were all feeling down.

- They said, "I bet even with 1 arm he would still be a better raider than half the people that sign up for raid night."

- It is funny because it is true.

- On to other random thoughts, short and sweet version, as that was really the only thing on my mind right now.

- Got 1 achievement left on diablo to get my stash.

- Do the level 45 rift solo with no set pieces.

- Attempted it with some random stuff and could not even kill anything.

- Building a set now for a fire build that should do the job.

- Have 5 pieces of gear thus far with bonus fire damage bringing me close to 100% extra damage from fire abilities.

- That with my ancient manticore and ancient rucksack for increased sentries, increased sentry damage and increased cluster arrow damage I should be able to do it.

- But that will have to wait until next weekend as I am a weekend warrior only on diablo.

- Did manage to hit paragon 600 while doing rifts to upgrade gems.

- Can't believe my seasonal character has more than twice as many paragon points as my normal one.

- Funny part is, I think doing the one to do a solo 55 with 6 different sets would be easier at this point.

- 55 is a breeze now.

- The hard part would be getting two full sets on another character.

- Either way, I would have to say the extra stash slot is mine.

- I am glad because it was the only reason I was actually playing it.

- As far as wow goes, not much to say there.

- Random people still stuck at cataclysm time walkers.

- No surprise there.

- They kicked one of my guild mates from a random because, get this, he tried to explain how to do the fight after they wiped 3 times because it seemed no one else ever did them before.

- He got kicked because he knew the fight?

- Does that make any sense to you because it sure as hell makes no sense to me.

- I love the idea of someone willing to teach me how to do something I do not know.

- It is not even remotely reasonable to kick the person that is explaining the fight so you do not wipe again.

- The only thing worse than a bad player is a stupid player.

- And even worse was the fact they were bad and stupid based on what my guild mate said.

- Not willing to listen to how the fights were done.

- Not even attempting to follow mechanics.

- And doing dismal numbers, as he said he was over 65% of the DPS on the first boss and over 80% of the DPS on all the trash.

- It is standardized item level.

- Sure you can gear for best in slot, but he was just using his normal gear.

- So they were bad and stupid.

- Funny part is the cataclysm time walkers are not even half as hard as they were at release.

- These have to be all new players, because older players learned those fights when they were actually harder.

- At a 429 item level on day one.

- It was a nightmare in some groups.

- I remember the rock boss in deepholm and all of grim bartol as being horrible.

- The under water one with bad pulls or lack of focused fire and interrupts and CC could be horrible too.

- In low item levels with lesser skilled players that did not know the fights the cataclysm dungeons were, or could, be really really hard.

- With a guild group they were awesome.

- Amazing hearing some of these people saying how hard these are and here I am thinking how super easy they are.

- All about perception I guess.

- Well, I guess that is all for now, and please if anyone knows of a click to move addon or something in the game setting that will allow it, please let me know.

- I would be very grateful.

- Have a great day.