Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amazons In Da House Yo!

Anyway, I couldn't come up with a better title at the time of press.

Lady Proudmoore, in the Wrath Of The Lich King instances is like HUGE. Lady Sylvannis is pretty large too, but this blonde bombshell is still chasing after her once lover, turned the dastardly Lich King. Now, the LK is pretty large himself, but I am okay with that because he is like the big Boss with the red hot sauce.

Both of the "guides" in these instances have some serious issues with Arthas. I like Sylvannis' style of talking back to Arthas rather then the way Proudmoore tries to convert him back to the good side like Luke tried to do with Darth Vader (Luke's Papa)...

Anyway, things are going okay on both the Horde and Alliance front. I decided that it was time to let another Horde take Hazmat's place as the leader of the pack on that side and converted Hazmat to the Alliance side. OH NOES!

Okay, well it has actually been a really sweet merger. Now I have all of my gold in one place with two Grand Master professionals at my command. It has been obvious that I still play Alliance more often, and on my server it just makes sence because items are harder to come by on the Horde side. Like the Auction House. The Horde side never has what I want while the Alliance side almost always has what I need even if the quantity isn't quite what I was looking for. I have a GM Tailor, and Alchemist now that compliment each other nicely.

Hazmat is Draenei now and boy is she a tall one. Going from a small cute Blood Elf to a 6 foot 8 inch Draenei was no easy feat. I lost all of my Argent Tournament rep because they don't convert that apparently, and I miss my Red Skeletal mount, but other then that, I think it all worked out okay. I have started working Hazmat and Myd together to build my new empire where I need it to be. It is a very different experience playing Hazmat as a Draenei, like I forget I can't walk into Hordie camps anymore, but still having some fun there. She fights about the same, and recently I changed her specs, and enchanted everything, so the DPS is much better then it was previously.

Meanwhile, I have Aucivasha, Spin, Zewl, and the newest member Panzier building slowly over time. I am still more heavily involved on the Alliance side, and will likely continue to do so for awhile.

All of the younger toons have the Heirloom paulderons, and leveling them is such a breeze. I don't care what anyone says about things being too easy. I like it when I can log in for a half hour and pop off a couple of levels, and do all my dailies with the level 80 characters. I don't get to play every day, so when I do it is nice to see some serious progress.

WoW is down for extended maint today, so I may have to take another crack at AION. I am getting better at this "gliding" you can do when you jump off a small hill or cliff. I have a level 11 Sorcerer, and she is quite a killer. More on that later though, I don't feel like getting too deep at the moment.

Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Well, I Personally Like Hitlers Take On CoCo Losing His Job!

Sorry Conan, but your chin just isn't big enough to wield that sword of Vanquishing...

That's all I got...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bust That!

I finally received my first dragon mount after running the Culling of Stratholm for the fourth time. Fortunately, Hazmat is good about getting nice things and was able to need roll this very easily.

Mydnight however, is usually stuck with much less, and since she doesn't have fast flying yet, I am not too worried that she is getting left out. I bought an iLevel 264 helm for her today, so I am feeing pretty good. I am about ready to go do some diving again and see what else I can get.

I am still playing AION, although, after level 6 things slowed down a bit. I like the game, but after playing the easy version of WoW, I am left feeling like I don't really want to miss anything. Good job Blizz on keeping us in nice gear and feeling all warm and fuzzy.

Anyway, that's all I got.. Ciao!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Okay, Seriously, WTF Was That?

Seriously, I was walking around Stormwind and this huge group of toons were gathered in front of the auction house.

There were about 60 or so level 1 characters standing out there, and they were all moving in sync with each other. After a bit of watching, I realized that this must be how people leave messages on the ground with corpses. It still doesn't make much sence to me how all that works, but I noticed that the group i was closest to were in a formation that could have made a letter. Possibly a Z or an N, I am not sure which.

The GM's must have caught wind of this or something, because within 10 minutes or so, all of the characters vanished. They didn't get killed and stay on the ground. I was just wondering if anyone else had seen anything like that.

Immediately afterwards, I set up shop as a DJ, and placed my teleporter to be used as a dance floor. We had a great light show, and the chicks dancing were pretty cute.

Anyways, thats all I got.

The Honeymoon Is Over... Dungeons Or Bust...

At this point, I have mostly reduced my playtime to running instances. It seems to be the best and the fastest way to get things I want. I have had various groups, some of them I really liked, some I knew right away we were going to die. I have become a little bit like that which I really hate. I am getting snobby because I don't want to waste my time teaching the tank, the healer, or another DPS how to get er done. I just want to run and go back to what I was doing before. Kind of sad isn't it? Someone brought it to my attention, and it makes me think about it now.

According to many folks over on Tobold's blog, 2K DPS is good for level 80 wearing blues. Well, the funny thing is, that both my Warlock and my DK do usually around 2K (1800-2400), but that was just recently when I started to get Triumph gear. I have only been punted out of a group twice. Once was when I was playing my level 40 Shammy and accidently did a bad pull and we all died. Once was with my Warlock, and I LD'd just before the boss fight, and happened to get back in just in time to roll on lewt. I didn't even win anything, I passed on it all since I was the one that crashed.

I have looked at places that show you what a good rotation for spells would be for certian specs, and I have tried many different specs, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to work my Warlock, or my DK for that matter, better as anything else then what they are. I am Hybrid on both, and I don't do well when I change that. So, is it better for me to risk getting kicked by running a hybrid only pulling 2K DPS, or not play at all because as any other spec, I do around 500 DPS. I don't know, I think as long as you are doing your job, you should be allowed to play.

Most of the groups I run with now seem to be way over-geared and any contribution I make has to be ultra-fast because these guys can burn mobs faster then I can place my AOE on the ground. I think they are just looking for the fast badge runs, and I can deal with that. I also see that most people are still fairly nice about offering suggestions or trying to help out. I had a guy tell me that using Seed Of Corruption over the regular Corruption would almost double my DPS. So, I have been trying it, although I am still a little uncomfortable with using it. The trick is to target and shoot multiple targets with the seed. Well, that takes a bit of time, and then if I doen't have enough AOE targets left, then my DPS still suffers. I have it to where I will only dot three, and then go to AOE, or if there is only one using my single rotation of dots and Shadow Bolts. My Warlock was doing about 1200 - 1400 DPS, until I changed that one spell in my rotation. It was like a veil was lifted from my mind, and I could now see me doing something better. Now she sees 1800 - 2400 DPS as long as there are a lot of AOE targets.

To be honest though, and I don't know how these guys do it, but 2K DPS in most of the groups I run with now is still very low. I see 3K and 4K often now, and it amazes me each time, because I don't know if I will ever see that happen with any of my toons. Do I even want that to happen, and am I willing to even go the extra mile to investigate as to how it might happen? It's a tough call at this point.

I think that we are putting too much effort into trying to have this "perfect toon" that does all the DPS, is the greatest Tank, or the best Healer. It sort of takes the fun out of the game if you ask me. I would rather just go in there, kick some ass and take no prisoners. I am sort of casual and I switch toons a lot anyway. It gets frustrating to come back to a toon I know is not up to specs with the larger group of dungeon divers. At least in PvP, I already know my gear is always 2 seasons behind, and I am okay with that. I am in groups anyway, and I do alright for myself.

At the lower levels, I have tried to learn to be truly hybrid and use all of my skills in the dungeons instead of just blasting DPS. For example, with my Druid and my Shammy, I am often called upon to save the healer or the tank. If the healer runs out of mana, and I have my druid, I can refil his mana. I can also take over healing or tanking by a simple flip of a switch or button press. It is also possible that if I see a wipe is eminent, that if I am a Shammy, then I get away from the remaining monsters so I can self-rez and bring folks back to life. If the tank bites the dust, I can usually step in there and stay alive with either of those toons. There are many spells, and things I have been learning to do that help the party survive, but they aren't rewarded unless I am also running high DPS. Well, I can't say that is always true. I have gotten a kudo or two for saving the healer or the tanks skin, but the DPS guys just keep on truckin.

I really don't do well with the DPS on either the Shaman or the Druid. Fact is, I just don't know how. I do pretty good with the mage, but they are about as straight forward as you can get. I know which spells will throw down the most damage, and I shoot them. I try to use spells that don't take up a lot of time, and of course, especially as a mage, you have to watch that mana usage. In most of the groups now, the tank won't even sit still for the healer to mana up, so I try to make sure I am always ready to hit the next group quickly. I still have a lot to learn about playing my alts yet. I do learn stuff from watching the other players. I will often mimic what they do if I believe that the person is doing what they are "supposed" to be doing.

Well, that's all I got at this point... Join us next time for WTF take 3?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

AION - First Impressions... Day One...

I am not even sure why I wanted to look at this game other then the fact that I had heard there were many people playing it at the moment. I heard that this was game was "WoW with Wings", so I went ahead and bought a copy.

Anyway, here is what I like and don't like so far.

The Character creation and all of the options are wonderful. You can configure your toon to look exactly like you if you choose, or like anyone else for that matter. The advanced settings and the color settings give you total control over how your characters will look. Every kind of appearance from short to tall, fat or skinny, and almost every kind of facial, and body adjustments are available. Character creation is really a game within its self, because you can spend a million years in there making your characters perfect.

I was and I still am irritated that you can't make characters on both factions on the same server. I had to set up camps on two servers so I could check out the differences between the two. I hope that the AION team will address this eventually. I don't like WoW for not being able to talk or send emails to my other faction sisters and brothers, but at least I can have both on one server.

They could use more decorations for your character, and tatoos, but I really liked this part of the game for configuring your future toon. They could use more hair styles too or let you create your own.

I have made 6 characters, and most of them are only level 3. I can say that AION is a lot like WoW, but there are some things there that make me mad at WoW for not being there.

The Quest tracker in AION has a much better flow then the tracker in WoW. You can see entire quest chains, called campaigns so that you actually know what you are doing and where this line of quests will take you. AION does a good job of pushing you through the landscape, and the help system is better at telling you how to complete an objective. The map shows you where the quest givers are, and the landscape is on a smaller scale which is great.

One thing that irritates me about the quest system, is that if the description is too long, you have to scroll down to the end of the quest before you can press the "Accept" button. This has to be changed. It shouldn't stop me from pressing the accept button like it does on a EULA description. That is a waste of time.

Another thing I was irritated about is that I couldn't find the "Auto-loot" selection. I don't care whats in the packs, I just want to loot it all, every time. *** I have since found an auto-loot function, but it is a button instead of an option for right-click ***

I also noticed that AION has Dynamic lewts! Instead of rewarding you with a Cloth helm, or plate shoes, or mail belt. All of the lewt was a head slot item, just different materials. Cloth, plate or mail helmet, you choose which one you want. It was nice to see that someone besides me can see the advantage in doing the lewt that way. Wasting my time doing a quest where the reward doesn't benefiet me it bogus!

Removable gems was another excellent example of why AION could be a contender. Not only can you gem low level items, but you can get a tool to remove these gems for later on if you so choose. Now, it will destroy the item, but there is a guy that can remove gems without destroying the item, which is very nice.

One thing that kind of bugs me about the game is that many of the character movements and the avatar movements are kind of stiff. I hope that they adjust that sometime down the road. There is a lot of repetitive actions and the spell casting words kind of get on my nerves.

Overall the new WoW with wings is keeping my mind busy and thinking about it, which is a good thing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

AION - I'm Already Mad At Them...

Fortunately I had Pay-Pal so I could get this game to see if it would even run on my system. I seem to have some sort of sound driver issue that I will address soon, but right out of the shoot I got mad creating a character.

In the creation process, you are asked to choose a side, and so I picked one, but upon doing that the game told me that I wouldn't be able to create a character on the other faction later... I was not thrilled with that, but I went ahead and picked one anyway.

I don't think that a game telling you that your choice now will forever lock out another kind of character in the future is a good thing.

Anyway, so far I have a character, and I killed a couple of bugs. I'll have to get back to you on the rest...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shout Out!

I don't know why, but suddenly I was thinking about Ultima Online and all of my good friends I used to play with on Napa Valley... Then I read this little article and it reminded me about all my guildies in the Spanish Inquisition, [SI]. Okay so there were only 6 of us, but we were tough! ;)

I just wanted to wish all of them well if they are still out there. Cardinal Kryx, Cardinal Ximinez, Cardinal Fang, Cardinal Sin, Cardinal Biggles, and of course to me, Cardinal Fear. I miss you guys!

What a fun game that was. What a fun time in my life.

Siege Perilous will live forever! Oh, and even though I don't really miss most of them too much, a shout goes out to all my former BV forum users who have re-connected under the Blather Vortex banner. There were some good people here back in the day.

Peace Out My [SI], and Siege Perilous homies, and remember "There's no OoOoOo in WoW"!

I have 5, count em 5 whole followers now!

After almost a decade of being AFK, I have received 5 followers to this blog including myself, and I am damn, and I mean DAMN proud!

Bust that Tobold! Even after being gone that long, I still have over 3.4 million unique visitors to my page, which is pretty cool IMHO...

Of course, since my return, the counter has only gone up maybe 4 visitors, but I am working on it people! ;)


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Innovation Wanted...

Just to sum up what I think on this subject quickly, a brief background is in order. You Got Tobold talking about Cuppycake, who is in turn talking about Keen and Graev's complaint that we are working backwards with MMO innovation.

From what I have read so far of their initial blog post is that the bar has been set in several different games since Ultima Online, and to be honest, no one has ever been able to release a game of that complexity, or hit the minimal bar level, at release since.

Even for a top-down 2D client, UO had a huge amount of gameplay and options from the start. Granted, there were no web sites out there like WoW-Wiki or Thottbot to help you find anything out about your game either. You had YOU and if you were lucky enough to have a guild then you had them too. That was it. There were of course, many problems, but there were several ideas and systems that everyone loved.

What I think the guys are trying to say is, why doesn't anyone release things that were proven to be good in many different MMO's and make an MMO soup of pure goodness? Then improving on all of that goodness instead of just roughly copying what came before or dismissing it entirely.

I have asked similar questions in the past. I mean, there is still no other game that has housing like UO did, even after the little issue with ten-million tents cluttering the entire landscape. The chat systems are okay, but there is a world of work that needs to be done there. UO also had a huge socal aspect to it that no game has ever matched that I am aware of. Then again, I don't play every single MMO anymore and may have missed something out there. What about pack horses? I mean damn, we can't even kill each other anymore, where's my damn pack horse?

I often wonder what the hell happened to Bow Fletching and Lumberjacking. I hear Cartography will be comming along soon, but why didn't WoW pick up on either of those other skills? You know I am also steaming mad that I can't even ask Evocare to give me a Castle! They don't have em! WTH?

The RvR that was also mentioned by K&G, is apparently a great idea too. Why aren't new games coming out with all of these things that we know already work, instead of releasing these games that have a tiny subset of good things and try to patch in the rest for the next ten years?

I have always wondered about that myself. It is like we are aware of what was cool from a customer standpoint, and most of the entire industry of programmers and developers must know each other by now. So why are we not able to create a fully robust game from the start and improve on it?

Now, don't get me wrong. WoW, and I am sure a multitude of other games have had great new developments and innovations, but what the heck is taking so long? What is the big picture, and who is gonna pull it together and give us what we have all wanted for over a decade? I don't really think it is going backwards, but they are so slow in giving us things we already had ten years ago, that it does give the appearance of going in reverse.

I think that WoW updating the fishing skill almost five years after release and ten years since we went fishing in UO, seems a bit on the backwards side to me. That is one of the greatist things people liked in UO, but WoW just kind of put something in there, that had no real purpose, no one liked it, until they fixed it so it is at least workable for the average player. Even with all those fixes they did, it is still not very innovative. They could do a much better job of making Fishing a fun experience, and make all of that stuff we can catch worth more then vendor trash.

To be fair though, WoW has come a very long way since UO and EQ. I really like some of the new instancing and phasing techniques they are coming out with now. There are a great many things I think we are yet to see from these guys and I look forward to watching the end result.

I just hope that going forward, MMO developers will take these great ideas and innovations and put them in their game before it is released. Instead of releasing the core components over years of patching in the game, and then going back and fixing the mess.

Hey, I am just a DJ out in the country that has been playing games since the 80's. What could I possibly know? I wish Jinx was around to give me a crayon drawing so I could understand this stuff better.

Overall, I don't really agree with Keen and Graev about everything going in reverse, but I can understand their frustration with the industry. Believe me, I have been an angry gamer forever. Fix your game people!

That's all I got... Laters.

All The Ninja Raiders!

I had to steal this from Lummies page... Too sad, too true, but great video! Ninjas must be killed.

On a side note, this doesn't just happen with Hunters, but I have also heard stories from my guildies about, tanks especially at lower levels, such as a warrior wearing cloth to a dungeon and need rolling on all that stuff.

DYNAMIC PHAT LEWTS PEOPLE! (I just had to say that one more time.) We shouldn't have to worry if Joe Annonymous out there in Cyber Space is going to have morals or not.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Speaking About Halls Of Reflection, Try This!

Players always find a better way of doing things, to help, ya know, be LAZY. Well HOR is no different. Now, you may remeber that I liked to call the escape from the Lich King encounter, the "Run Forest, Run!" ending, but there is a better way.

Instead of running away from the Lich King, many groups now are parking off to the side, and then following the Lich King as he walks AWAY from your doomed party.

Once the LK gets past your party, he will cast his minions who will then come back to you where you can AOE and DPS until your lips fall off, without the worry that you might aggro old LK. You also lose the sense of fear wondering if he is actually going to catch up to your party and kill all of you. Once you kill the minions just move up, kill more minions, then rinse and repeat.

On the last barrier, you will be pretty far behind the LK at this point, unless your DPS is off the chain. So when you catch up to him, the gunship may have already came and blown the rocks down to block the LK inside. Have no fear, you won't get stuck! Once the rocks come down, the LK and the rocks will vanish. You and your homies can walk right on through to finish the dungeon.

I don't think this is a cheat exactly, since, you know it lets you do it, but... It works, and it makes things a lot less stressful!

Let me know what you think of running HOR in this manner.

In Other News, Oculus Gets Better?

Well, I don't know when this will be in effect, but apparently Blizz has noticed our dislike with that crazy dungeon Oculus..

I'll tell you what... I have been there all of TWO times, and the first time I went there, I just wanted to kill myself, repeatedly, with an ice pick. The second time, myself and all of the other participants said "oh hell no!" and all of us jumped dungeons after the timer expired for starting a new dungeon que.

I don't know guys, I mean the chance at getting a drake sounds cool and all, but that dungeon, hands down, SUCKS! I can't say much more about it really. I had the worst experience of my life there, and for me to go only one time and NOT try to conquer it, is saying something very serious. Seriously, if you want us to try it again, I think you should just give us a drake first. Then see if we are even willing to give it a try. This dungeon should be erased from WoW, permanently!

Well, maybe when I feel like I haven't been abused enough running Halls Of Reflection, I may go and try that hell-hole of a dungeon again...

I leave you with this lovely picture of my level 41 Druid sporting her new heirloom shoulder armor. To be honest, this dungeon finder has got me interested in gearing my 80's again, so I am not sure when I will get back to my leveling project. Once I do though, I should experience much faster leveling. At least 10% faster. ;)

WoW is down for "extended" maint, so I guess I will just go get some sleep. Better day tomorrow!

Anyway, that's all I got... Until next time!

Lum May Have A Future After All...

Scott Jennings may think his new elite team of Bot-busters is cool and all that, but Blizzard has no problem selling your drug dealing arse out to the Po-po even if you jump country lines...

Bad boys, whatcha gonna do, when Blizz and Lum come for you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Is There A WoW Dungeons For Dummies Book Out There?

I commented recently about Tobold's latest comments about the future of PuG's and the Dungeon Finder.

Myd with her new dungeon gear!

I am on my way to my brand new dungeon gear set and boy are my arms tired. I am convinced that Dungeon Diving takes more out of you then PvP.

Most of my adventures have been okay. I have the occasional mishap or two with doing things I shouldn't because I have no idea what I am really doing in these dungeons sometimes. I have had a few interesting deaths as of late which I may share if not to entertain you, then to at least point out, that there are a few of us normal people out there that mess up and it's "okay".

First off, I just want to mention that I was in over 10 dungeons today at level 80 on random, and most of them I couldn't even tell you what or where they are. So, if I get some details wrong, sue me.

My first major death of the day was in I believe the Halls of Lightning. There are monsters on various platforms that you have to climb up or down to get to. We were in an area, cleared the first boss, or at least some "trash" and I realized that back down on the area below where we were, that I forgot some phat lewts. So I gingerly run on down there, pick up my lewt, and turn around to go back up the platform. When I got there, my homies weren't there. Instead there were more evil monsters happy to see a squishy clothy had come to visit them. Well, I was dead fairly quickly, but you will be happy to know the rest of the group was spared with the exception of the Hunter that followed me up the wrong platform.

Another fun experience I had this day was that I accidently started a quest in the Culling Of Stratholme dungeon. It didn't do anything, but I thought that since I was the last one through the area, my homies wanted me to get this thing rolling. Well, they were at a completely different boss, but we found out that if you do start this last boss quest accidently, then you will be given another chance to start it again.

My biggest failure today, which only cost me my life was when we were fighting some huge bug-like creatures, probably Anub-something, and I didn't step into the last room all of the way and got locked outside of it. Fortunately, my group did just fine without me, but I was a little embarrassed.

I also found out today that I was using Haunt level 2 and not Haunt level 4, thanks to some Annoying addon that broadcasts to the entire party that you are shooting the wrong level spells. Of course this was easily corrected, but I was again a little red in the face.

Overall, I had some great experiences with Dungeon Finder, although, I didn't get any new gear from any dungeons this time around. I did, however find out where to buy some nifty dungeon gear off the vendors in the Argent Tournament Grounds. Now, this should be interesting. I have bought a few items, and I have been replacing all of my PvP gear and putting this stuff on and I do notice a significant increase in spell casting speed and DPS. I plan to get a full set for PvE, and if you thought it couldn't get any better, you can buy the Furious Gladiator items right there for Triumph badges!

On a sad note, I have still not acquired Seethe! Okay, that's it for now... Gotta go see a man about a sword...