Thursday, August 20, 2009

Top Of The World Ma!

So according to several sources, the next expansion will be a little less conversation and a little more action. As they say in game, Less QQ, More Pew Pew...

Now, I have been bitching a storm about how they need to make the old lands viable again, and sure enough, I guess they are thinking about that too...

You can see the official Blizz announcement and trailer here for Cataclysm...

Quick! Everone re-roll a Worgen! Oh, and they finally gave Horde a "short" race, (Goblins) how sweet... So much for Stranglethorn Vale discounts!

I absolutely agree that the two oldest continents need life put back in them. Fixing things that have been broken forever, and of course getting the high levels back in there is a very good idea. This actually does things two fold. It allows new players a different, but better experience then we had, and it gives us old players a reason to start from scratch again. You can't discount the fact that new players may not really care about the experience we had. They won't miss anything, because they would never have known anyway. Old players will have a reason besides the auction house to get the hell out of Lagaran, and do something more productive. If Bliz finds a way to reward us for helping out the new players, I bet you would see a lot of that going on too.

The ability to fly on the old continents will in fact be a major boon for the game. I can't even tell you how many times I have had to go back and complain about not being able to fly around in the old lands. It again gives us a reason to be there.

The new dungeons and stuff, great, if that's for you. I would rather be able to do the quests and level a lowbie to 80+ as fast as I can doing quests. I never did and probably would never do the dungeons anyway, but I can only imagine that those folks that like that sort of thing will enjoy it.

I have so many friends that level and level, and never even play their 80 characters. To me, changes like that would be excellent.

I still think they need to reconsider doing Outland in that expansion as well. That place is so huge and has a lot to offer, but since the level cap was moved, we have no reason to look at it much past Terrokar Forest. Okay, sometimes I fly around just to see stuff I missed playing my original character, and once in awhile I do the fishing daily, but that's about it.

So, when we get the offical word, I am sure I will have more to say about it.

For now, that's all I got.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cross Faction Communication...

In the battlegrounds I have no problem with keeping the talking divided. I also see no reason to force the main channels to have open communication between the two factions. It helps keep things more of a secret for doing major city raids and stuff like that. Not that people don't have two computers or accounts and spy on each other now. Nothing will ever rid you of the spy game completely, and maybe we don't want to do that.

What I would like to see is the ability to communicate with individuals you choose to do so with. I see no reason why we can't open up guilds/parties/raids/whispers and even email to those on the other side we would like to play with. You should definitely be able to email your counterparts on the same account. Getting things accross from one side to the other should not be so difficult. If the "Vision (tm)" is accessabilty, then I think we need to open that up just a bit further.

I mean, war is one thing, but when you are outside of the battlefield, why not allow the Horde and Alliance to talk to each other if both sides decide to do so? Guild, Raid, Party and Whispers are some areas where we can expand. The newer sections of Azeroth are not all about the war between Alliance and Horde. I mean, even in real-time, if I decide to speak to someone we (United States) are at war with, doesn't mean I am some sort of traitor. Outside of military personel, there are simply some people that don't condone or go to war with a particular group just because someone says so. There are other reasons to be friends with people. Be it religion, jobs, relationships or whatever, there are people that could benefiet greatly from the ability to communicate with people on the other side of the fence.

If there is any possible way to cheat this in bg's or whatever then deny access to guild chat if an individual is a member of an opposing faction while they are fighting. But raiding and even grouping together should be allowed.

I think this would promote more of the social side of things and not force people to go to a side that they may not enjoy just because all of their friends are playing that faction.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Few Notes On Raiding...

Oh, before I forget... Thanks to Bliz for finally giving us a way to get to the Blasted fricken Lands without flying for eight million years! The picture above shows Myd's excitement when she saw the portal in the Mage Quarter of Stormwind. I have seen the portal on the Hordie side in Org, but forgot to comment on that one.

Hazmat has recently been traveling with a raid guild as a "PUG" and finding out there is a calmer more functional side to raiding. The group is more calm about what you have on and every single move you make. So, I don't really know each piece of armor I need, so I don't roll on items so far. I have mostly been interested in the emblems of conquest, which seems to be the only thing anyone really does with the raids anyway.

The point I am trying to get at is the raiding is a pretty loveless act. Everything is calculated, and everyone knows what is going to happen every single time. The real excitement is finding out if something will drop that you want and you happen to roll high enough on your 100 sided die to actually get to keep the item. It is so systematic and boring compared to PvP which has its own issues, but the game changes constantly. You don't always win, but you don't have to pay a huge price in gold for losing either.

I don't know, I just think there should be a little more fun packed into raiding somewhere. A suprise now and then, and maybe a way to make people go there not just for the gear. I mean, I like gear, but just enough to get me through the onslaught of people trying to kill me. My gear that I have picked up in the auction house and my PvP gear is better then most of the stuff Obsidian Sanctum and Naxx had to offer. I don't know, but it just seems like it can be more fun.

That's all I got...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Play The Isle To Get A Smile... or Get A Grasp on Wintergrasp...

Isle Of Conquest...

The new battleground has still got a few things to be ironed out, but I get a warm fuzzy feeling when playing this bg so far. You can take over several areas on the map such as the docks, a hangar and a workshop which are all needed to make different assaults on the enemy stronghold.

I haven't really figured out everything about this bg yet, but I find that parachuting off the air gunship into the enemy base to be quite exciting. They have siege vehicles for breaking into the enemy base at the workshop, and the docks have 2 vehicles, one is a stealth catapult, for shooting yourself into the enemy base. These move very quickly, and then you just line it up outside the base or inside and then launch yourself in. The other vehicle is a glaive launcher. This one has two modes, the big glaive for killing other units and probably does building damage. The other mode is a burst of smaller glaves that you can shoot at ememy units.

There are also different bombs you can use to brake down the enemy gates and I am sure so much more that I do not even know about yet. Overall I give it a thumb up on an attempt to make something fun in the bgs again.

The changes to Wintergrasp que system are interesting... Basically, they took out the part where we have to ask for an invite to a raid each time and put us into raid groups through the battlemaster. I mentioned in the last update that if you drop connection, the game will ask you again if you want to be in the battle, and failure to answer again will get you ejected outside the Wintergrasp grounds. I think they are going to need to adjust that a bit. Most of the bgs let you disconnect and return if you are quick enough without causing too much of a problem. Sometimes, the Internet just decides to leave you hanging, and there should be a tiny grace period for those of us that need a chance to relog in.

The only thing I don't like about the new WG que is that when the battle is over, I think it needs to remove you from the raid automatically. It is very easy to forget that you have been put into a group like that, and this can cause bugs or issues with daily quests and probably regular quests. For example, I logged in one morning, after being in a BG the night before and couldn't get my daily quests to work correctly. Items wouldn't "sparkle" and there was another where you have to capture Wolvar pups, and all I could do was attack them. After much confusion, I finally realized I was still in a raid group from the day before. I "left" the group, and eveything was working correctly again. Outside of that though, I have been happily collecting my Soul Keeper Shards to get my Black War Mammoth, which I should have by Tuesday on Mydnight. Haz got her Black War Mammoth some time ago, and enjoys it thoroughly...

The changes on the time for Warsong Gulch has left me feeling happy again as well. Now there is a timer on the game so we don't have as much need for screwing around on the battlefield. Also Arathi Basin, and Eye of the Storm have also been shortened up so we can get our marks and move on. So far, I approve of all of these changes. I would still like to see some help for Alterac Valley. Seems like Bliz is at least thinking about these things, so lets hope they will take it a step or two more and make all of the BG's worth playing.

That's all I got...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

First impressions of patch 3.2... (Really early ones)

So, let's just say first off that this patch went off like a nuclear explosion. The game has been mostly unplayable or at least highly annoying since Tuesday. I was unable to even get back on my realm until after Midnight Wednesday morning. This was mostly due to the fact that a large number of servers were not quite ready for patching. I can only imagine how these guys get all of those servers under control so "quickly". Okay, I don't know the exact number of servers they have but when the list of "broken" servers reaches more then ten, I am sure there is some major geek action taking place somewhere.

When I was a network administrator, I had twelve servers. Never did I have to deal with more then one at a time being broken, and just one caused me major stress. These guys must have quite the team working for them to be able to handle that kind of pressure. Lost accounts and lost revenue are never fun subjects with the guys in charge.

The new battleground Isle Of Conquest is interesting, although still buggy. I haven't determined what I am doing in there yet, but I did find some cool vehicles that shoot blades which will actually stick in wood! Oh man, that was the coolest thing evar! There are still some problems with the exit on that game as it doesn't always remove you from your raid group. This can cause problems with questing and such, so hopefully they are on top of that.

All of the other battlegrounds are pretty much dead at this point while everyone learns the new one. The upside is that I actually get to do stuff like carry flags without people attacking me and some fun things I don't normally have the opportunity to do with my Warlock. The DK runs flags all the time, so it is nice to run the clothy like shes got some important business to attend to.

Wintergrasp que system is very nice, and the ability for you to fly when no battle is going on is also way overdue. They switched the reset of the battleground to when the game starts. You get a message that you have been qued for Wintergrasp and are you ready to join. If you don't join the battle, then you are ejected from Wintergrasp. The only problem I have encountered is that besides the huge amount of lag, if you get disconnected, you can be ejected from Wintergrasp if you do not return quickly enough. My first round I was lagged out hard in the keep courtyard, tried to come back, and the que message was on my screen. Before I could answer yes, again, I was disconnected a second time. When I returned I was sitting on a hill out in Icecrown. I tried to fly back to Lagaran to get a another chance, but by the time I got there, the battle was over. Later that evening, I was able to get through the entire fight and it was nice not to join a raid group or even worry about that anymore.

There is also some new item debugger still on that is sort of annoying. Now we see "Creating item NNNNNN" whenever the game makes something. There is also currently major lag issues, and I am sure I can only see a small fraction of the other problems going on. There are also some video issues that Bliz did warn us about, but so far, I haven't encountered any of those.

Okay, so we now have some epic level 80 gems! Oh man, those suckers are expensive right now too. But finally, we have some. I haven't checked the meta-gems to see if those are epic now also, but rest assured, I will.

I hear the Argent Tourney addition is cool, but unbeatable solo. I haven't finished all of the AT quests yet to even get in there, so that will have to wait until I get a wild hair to get Haz in gear and finish.

Anyway, I hope these issues and whatever else is going on will be resolved soon so we can get down to business.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Low Tide For The Moment...

There was a comment about Warcraft being at "low tide" on an actual popular blog today and it made me wonder why is that?

Well, in short... We still can't fight the Lich King. We got our other major dungeon Ulduar too late and was basically unbeatable. We got about one-half of the content that should have been released with that patch and I am sure people are a bit angry about it.

On one hand Bliz did some really cool things with the WoLK patch, but there were some major shortcomings. Why did they only release half of the Argent Tournament? Just so we could all get cool titles untill the "real" ending came? I posted before about how that section left me with the feeling of "what's the point?".

There are several other smaller pieces I would have rather seen left out then to get only half of the content and nothing complete. Bliz is just now trying to help out with the Ulduar dungeon so some of us might actually be able to complete it. It's been a really long time though guys, this is not good for player retension.

Hey, here is an idea... How about some PvP spec instances? I mean when we fight the lich king, I am sure he is going to have a lot of DK's running interference. I think there should be some instances designed for those of us that choose to dress as PvP rather then dungeon dwellers. Resillience should be more important then it is for more then just killing on a battlefield.

Another major issue for me and I am sure many of you is this re-spec crap we have to keep going through. I have had to respec the DK about 3 times and my Warlock at least once, and it is just getting to be a big pain in the ass for me. I am a hybrid and dual-spec. It totally sucks to have to spend all that time re-specing over and over and over without me choosing to do so.

The one thing that Bliz has failed on is keeping the older sections in play so we don't have this huge bottleneck in the major high level city. Dalaran is a like walking through superglue! My laptop is not exactly "top-of-the-line" but the lag there is so bad that I will do anything to avoid that place. Unless you play at two in the morning, at which time it is almost worth going in for a quick daily or two.

Everything from the old lands and Outlands are worthless. Unless someone is training or gets a wild hair to use them to equip guildies or something. There is just not a good reason to go back to those places. Auctions only work in the old lands, but there is so much more that could be possible. It is actually just a pain in the arse that we need to go back there just for one thing. It would be nice to have some optional reasons to go there such as daily instances or dungeons. Okay, here are some possible reasons to go to Outland. The fishing daily, because it has "fish hooks" that are easy to obtain the the "glow worms". If you decide to slum around and get some cheevo's you can probably run some of those dungeons rather easy, and possibly rep building, but for gods sake, how borring are all of those? We need some action to go back to or something there to do other then use it for building those ten levels we need to get the hell out of there are run for Northrend.

Ahh we got a new battleground or two and maybe they might be somewhat fun. I don't know yet, the patch is being installed right now, and I am skeptical about the whole thing. One of them seems to be a cross between Alterac Valley and Strand Of The Ancients. I will be interested in seeing how that plays out. AV is one of my favorites, when I am playing Horde.

The cheeze tactics in many of the battlegrounds have to be looked at more carefully. I see they have made some progress in Wintergrasp. Finally no more duels during a WG battle? Goodness, no more twenty-five people doing the fishing daily when we need help? What a concept, get those slackers out of there.

I think there should be higher rewards for completing the battles, and less emphasis on kiling each other. We have arenas for people that just want to kill people. Lets put the strategy back into the battlegrounds where it belongs, and make them fun again.

Alterac Valley should not be everyone running to the other end, killing the General, game over. The strategy needs to be rewarded, not the number of kills. You should get a huge amount of honor for capturing a node, and for the mines, and for setting loose all of the cool defenses that Alterac has to offer. Fighting over nodes should grant honor, not people running around the middle picking off helpless riders and the like. We want to be rewarded for acts of heroism, not cheeze tactics. I didn't even realize we had all these other options in Alterac until one time Horde turtled us and the Alliance guys were like telling us to release this or that defence and upgrade our troops. I mean, there is a lot we can work with in that BG.

Here is an idea though.. People should only gain honor when they are fighting for an objective. For example, you should get honor when you fight at the flag or in the flag room, but not out in the middle of the field. Make it so people can't just farm the honor, but actually have to go to an objective to make any points. It's all great if they want to stop someone out in the field, but that isn't what we are here to do. We have a job to do, and we need more emphasis on doing that job, and not just some random killing. Killing at a spawn point is also, not honorable. They either need to make sure there are multiple spawn points, or give us the option to change them like they do in Wintergrasp.

I just feel like we should have released all the major stuff in WoLK, and left the smaller stuff for these patches. The choices made by Blizz on this release are really hurting them. I don't even play as much now, because the waiting has become too boring.

Wake up fellas, and ladies!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cheevo's and Cheezepuff's

The new offical in-game term for Acheivements is "Cheevos", so mark that in the WIKI database for me...

The BG's have been a strange place lately. Whether it is the changes coming down the line in patch 3.2.0 or just because all the good players have fallen off the planet I can't figure it out.

Strand of the Ancients, the newest battleground is an interesting twist on the Wintergrasp battleground. The object is simple, there are two rounds. One round you attack the tiers and move through the battlefield to reach the titan relic, the other round you defend the tiers and keep those pesky enemies off your relic.

Now, before you say, that's just too easy, there are of course defensive guns, and on offence, there are tanks and bombs that I believe are spelled Seaforium.

The trick on offence is to make sure that when the ships pull up to the beach and land, you get off the boat, and grab a bomb. The next thing you do is to see if there is an available tank to drive towards the door. If tank = Yes, take tank, spam the 1 and 2 buttons on your keyboard go through doors, if there is no tank, run with your bomb to the door, drop the bomb. This usually ends in your death at some point, so after you die, look for a bomb, then look for a tank, go to next door etc.

On defense you want to get to the first tier, grab a gun turret if possible, or run out on the beach and start destroying the tanks. If there are no tanks, watch for the guys running to the door with bombs. You can defuse the bombs by clicking them. If the enemy breaks through the door, then you can dismount the turret, and either assault their tanks on foot while falling back to the next tiers guns. If the enemy breaks through a tier, you keep falling back a tier until you get to the relic.

Okay, it is pretty simple, but for some reason, many people do not realize that's how it is done. You go in force with as many tanks as you can, and blow up all the doors to get to the relic. So many people run around trying to honor farm this BG and it is just stupid because while you are jacking around messing with the guys on the field, the rest of us are blasting our way to victory.

Anyway, that's all I got for now.