Sunday, February 21, 2010

3.3.3 Looking Good, But I Am Still Going To Install STO!

Some of the patch notes for 3.3.3 include but not limited to:

Dungeons & Raids
Culling of Stratholme
Players may now skip the initial introduction dialog to this dungeon once they have completed it at least once.

All I can say is about damn time!

Glacial Bag: Creating this item now invokes a 7-day cooldown.
The cooldown and location requirements have been removed from creating Moonshroud, Spellweave and Ebonweave.

Oh, man, that one is a blessing. They did not mention if they will still have the cooldowns for the Outland cloth in effect. However, tailoring is probably one of the least popular anymore because of the fact it is stupid that you have to fly to three different locations every 4 days to make anything useful. And since we can only make around level 200 items, at least that's all I can make at 440 skill level, you are stuck in a non money making profession.

The downside is that the cloth will now become less valuable and we will actually have to make something and hope it sells.

They still need to look at the cooldown for transmuting with Alchemy. It is pointless to transmute anything except for pre-cut gems. Why would I transmute anything else when I will lose that valuable 200G a day for clicking one button? I don't know, but when people say they want to buy my transmute cooldown for mats and a tip, I simply laugh and move on.

They are going to do some Auction House changes that seem pretty good. I am not a huge auctioneer, so I will just wait and see how that all pans out.

Finally, YES! I am installing Star Trek Online right now. Ever since the new movie came out, I have had a "Trek Rebirth" if you will and I have got to see how this game rolls.

I did say goodbye to AION for now. I'll come back when they take some of the grind out, and replace with FUN.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Richard Garriott Is Back! Not From Space Silly, GAMES!

Here we go again... This time, and seems to be the trend with the old school developers out there. If you can't make your own market, hit the one we know is already the biggest, The Internet.

I am really not a fan of the current incarnation of browser based games. Especially the ones that run on Facebook and MySpace. It encourages you to bother other people too much, and without the proper controls set, basically spams people with too much unwanted information about what you are doing. The gameplay is limited, and of course many of them force you to do things at a specific time or lose valuable virtual content. I am not really down with that.

Richard is looking towards doing a more robust engine and allow folks to make better games. Well, I wish him the best of luck. I will be sure and give em a try when they make something that I like.

That's all I got.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Is In The Air? Not On My Watch...

I know that the seasonal quests and achievements can sometimes be fun, but the ones around Valentine's Day have got to be the most annoying. Two hundred or more hearts dancing around the streets is just a bit much. People spraying me with stuff and shooting me with arrows every two seconds. The quest for the charms is always jacked up, and I haven't even done the "Tough Love" yet which I think is the big loot drop quest. I don't seem to mind the events where they are just outside of town, but since I hang mostly in SW, this holiday event seemed to get on my nerves more then any other. The have some really skimpy dresses however.

Personally, I can't wait for this holiday event to be over...

The Reason Is Clear...

Tobold wants to know why we don't complain when Blizzard messes up and screws the pooch on a patch? Why don't we just leave and never return?

Plain and simple, it's because AION pisses me off more.

I was ready to quit AION last week because I am stuck at level 13. I keep dying and I lost all my money to buy my experience back, and I was generally in a bad mood.

I was very upset with Blizzard this week, and the lag issue is still not corrected. Do we need another 12 hour maint time to get this stuff straight? Hey, if your servers are old, replace them. Stick with coding that is tried and true. I don't like the Tuesday downtime as it is, but if you can't get it together then shame on you.

Something needs to be corrected and I am thinking now would be good. I know Blizzard doesn't mean to be the bad guys here, but this bad patch stuff needs to come to a hault. Seriously, many of us invest a ton of money into this software and it needs to work correctly.

Like I said, if it weren't for AION being the slowest grind on the planet, I would have left myself.

I'll be back after I get back on my normal medication... ;)

That's all I got.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What Goes Up, Must Come Down... EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN!

OH NOES!!! You want to see a couple of million people cry like babies?

Well, just make them wait all morning for their server to go back online, and then take it back down within 10 minutes. Works every time!

Apparently Blizzard has not figured out how to launch a patch without some major catastrophe. What will the future hold for the MMOG industry and patching? Not much has changed since EverQuest on that issue.

Myd wanted to say hi!

That's all I got...

What A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts...

Tobold is on the loose again wondering why is it so easy to get good gear? My question would be is, why was it so hard in the first place?

It's all about perspective, and there are better pieces of gear out there for people that choose to get them that are NOT as easy to obtain. Tobold, and don't get me wrong, I really like the guy, but he is mostly focused on "instances". Running instances for badges and how long it takes the "Power Gamers" to get them. Trust me Tobold, those folks are still a minority, but I do notice that there appears to be more of them running around now days. The way I look at it is that if they are doing a huge amount of damage, and you don't have to work too hard, then roll with it.

The game is not centered around challenge in the form of hard-to-kill monsters in every place you go. It can be if the people you go with are not all that good... The challenge is building your character how you want them and then moving on to something else like PvP, huge 25 man raids, just hanging out and socializing or whatever. Instances are simply a stepping stone to get to the next level. Who cares if they are overpowered? Blizzard never stopped a level 80 from entering the Stockades to help out a level 15 friend, so why should they stop overgeared 80's from doing runs they are more then capable of doing?

For those of us on the "less then geared" platform, this means we can get geared faster. Believe me, with the que times for getting a group going up, I am all in favor of doing the quickest runs possible once I get in there. I don't think I should have to spend extra time and effort just because someone might be getting burned out sooner. The faster we go, the more time I have to do other things I like to do.

Most of Tobold's fans are obviously raiders or interested in raiding, gathering, and making money. Not everyone sees things quite so black and white when it comes to risk vs reward. I personally like having a bit a risk vs reward, but without interaction or the possiblilty of getting killed by something besides a computer generated toon, I don't think we are going to see anything that compelling any time soon.

I don't remember where, but one of the Blizzard staff had mentioned in an interview or something that one of the goals now days is accessibility. Well, to me that means they are looking into ways to deliver more content to more people. As you know, without Dungeon Finder, there were tons and tons of people like me out there that would never have had the opportunity to learn and experience these instances. Granted, the immersion factor of the Dungeon Finder does become detracted by the ease of entry and exit, and the speed in which we run the instances, but it is something I can live with.

Its all about the game you are trying to play. World Of Warcraft has a huge amount of areas yet to explore in getting people connected and doing things on their own. If the players have a way to run their own events, and a place to hang out with easy access to have others come play with them, then I believe this would help extend the end game for many people for a very long time.

Give us more things "we" can create, and more things "we" can do on our own without relying on Blizzards content, and "we" will do just that. It is possible to create your own fun given the right tools. Just ask anyone that ever played Ultima Online...

I also wanted to mention the latest post from the Pink Pigtail... Apparently we have earhquakes going on now. Most likely to do with the next expansion. What makes me sad is that Blizzard knows the game has shifted from one form to another, but why would they take away the weather? If the majority of players are casual, that fine, but why not leave things in the game for those of us that really enjoy them. I am not saying we should have constant weather all of the time, but a storm of any kind every now and then would definitely wake some people up out there. Just a thought, put the weather back! Good post by the Pink one!

And on that note, I leave you with my latest picture of Myd and her new buddie, the "Perky Pug"... This is what you get when you Pug with more then 100 different people using the Dungeon Finder.

The funny part is, that I used to have a Pug, and this guy acts almost identical to the real thing. I love the pulling with the front legs to scratch the hiney manuever. Classic!

That's all I got... Laters!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Go Go Gadget Tank & Healer...

I am normally just throwing things in the air here to myself, but the trend in 5 man dungeons is obviously changing. I was fortunate enough to run the new Lich King instances with groups that had never done so before. For that, I was given the "new player" experience. I feel pretty good about that now. I know for a fact that no new people will ever get that experience again.

Tobold mentions that the instances need to be more challenging, yadda yadda. I think he bounces back and forth on issues sometimes, but in any event, I have a solution.

Make harder ie: more challenging instances an option for those that wish to partake in that kind of fun.

It is the first time in WoW history at least in my 2 years of playing that they actually did something that was mostly in the players favor. They took out some things that made the instances take longer, not made them easier. Some of the attacks they removed were just annoyances anyway. With the exception of putting a fast forward in the Culling Of Stratholme, which they need really bad, I was happy with most of the changes I saw.

Punishing the players is NOT FUN. I don't know how many of you pay attention to Lum "Scott Jennings" the Mad, but outside of his snarky comments and general hate for the PvP community, he has a few points.

"Design: It's The Fun, Stupid"

No matter how you slice it, that is what your customers are attracted to. Yea, they will eventually get all the gear they want with badges, and yes you will have to add new content, and hey, what if they just gave us more choices of things we can buy? Why have one set of gear when you can have 3? Why not make us chase down more mounts, pets, weapons, trinkets? You know, I have always had an issue with the fact you can't upgrade your armor set. Why not make that possible with Frost badges? Basically, there are a million different ways WoW can continue to keep us doing what we are doing.

No one is concerned about the story or the reading and mostly not even looking around, but does that mean that they should be punished so the handful of old school tyranical ex-Dungeon Masters out there can get their kicks? I don't think so. Times have changed people, you may as well get used to and get over it. Designers are no longer Gods. Customer service managers, as Lum put it is absolutely correct. I am glad to see that someone has finally seen the light.

Brining me to my next concern. There are many different forms of grief. Back in the day we had the pick pockets that could steal your stuff from your pack, or the people that would taunt you into hitting them first so you would turn grey and then they would kill you without any retribution to themselves. But our current form of grief is the damn Dungeon Finder.

One thing is people who sign up for an instance, get in and then decide they don't like it and leave. This causes a delay in our fun, and thus we feel griefed by said player. There are the healers or tanks that decide they are the "rulers" of the group and if you don't do what they want, they might just "forget to heal" or "forget to grab aggro". I love those guys... Fortunately most of my characters are hybrid, and I can live from many of these situations but, it still sucks.

Another form is with the "Kick" function. If you are finished with an instance, and you don't remove yourself from the group, you might have to wait for 20 minutes for that character to be removed from server. Again, this is a waste of time. You can't kick people after an instance is complete, yet if your group was working well together and you want to stay together, there is currently no way to reconnect with them after you all disband. There is also limits on who you can kick and how long you have to put up with them before you do, which also causes problems. Then there is the possibility of people just kicking for no real good reason, which is also another form of grief if in the hands of the right people.

The worst thing and will probably get even more noticable as time goes on is that Tanks and Healers are getting more sparce again. Even now, only a few weeks after the Dungeon Finder was released, the average wait times to find a group are slowly climbing.

I am not sure what the solution would be here, but my snarky first idea was, why not just have a robot Tank and Healer and let us DPS get busy with doing what most everyone wants to do anyway? It's either something like that or just give the DPS class a way to take care of ourselves, and let's get this whole waiting for the people to decide when we can play our game.

The problem is that most people do not understand the simple fact that you can only control what YOU do in life, not everyone else. Once we have conquered that, I think gaming may have a chance to survive.

I suppose that I will leave you today with a picture of the old Horde Hazmat flying around on her Armored mount...

That's all I got... Laters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blizzard Nerfs Themselves FTW...

Something strange is afoot at the Circle K... I just looked at the patch notes from today, and Blizz actually nerfed themselves, instead of the players. Many of the suck things have been removed from instances and special attacks were lowered for many of the big bosses. Even the player fixes were mostly on the positive side...

What is wrong with these people? I can't beleive after all these years someone may have realized that torturing the playerbase is "bad". Ut oh, I better knock it off before someone at Blizzard votes to have me "removed from group"...


I am not seeing the whole picture...

And here we have the new Xina. Formerly Draenei, she is still my lowest Ally toon at level 39. I was having some serious issues with how I felt playing that toon, and I really have no idea what most of the spells do, but now, as a human, I have had some renewed interest in playing the Pally.

Of course today is WoW's downtime, and I am here waiting for the new season 8 of arena. I won't likely play the new season 8 of arena, but there will be some new PvP gear I may have time to get before season 9. That is of course if I ever get all of my gear from Frost and Triumph badges before then.

Okay, so to make a short story long... I have been reading other people's blogs for years. Most of them, if they are not PvP fanatics, hell-bent on ruling the universe, are people who are playing the game to make money. People who craft or role-play or generally greedy people who apparently have way more time on thier hands then I do.

I get frustrated because I just go in and play my game, and somehow, I have got to be one of the poorest people in the game. I read about how you can do all of these wonderful things, and kill the Lich King in Greens, but I probably won't even see the guy unless I can con old "Evocare" into taking me on a tour. Well, except that he doesn't have time to talk to his old buddy Fear these days.

I read about ways to make money, and let's face it, there is an "Auction Griefer" out there named Greedy Goblin, that obviously has the Auction House figured out to a T. I don't agree with the emails he sends out harrassing other auctioneers, but when he talks about money, I pay some attention. However, I can't do most of those things because I am not already rich, or because I am not in a huge raiding guild, and I play mostly late at night, or early in the morning. So, how would a guy like me, become rich and famous, or at least be able to keep up with the pack?

I have been playing WoW, since about May 2008. I play probably 20-30 hours a week. I play late at night, or very early AM. I have a guild on both Horde and Ally sides, with about 10 people in each one. I am the most geared and the highest crafter on either side. I have had to create toons to handle the other crafts because most of my guildies just like to level toons. Once they get to 70-80, they just make another one. I am not on the most popular server. Its a PvE server, and there is a market for things, but mostly everyone just floods the market and we can't make squat. I don't really want to leave where I am, but the options here are not pristine.

Anyway, I usually go in, burn my CD's for Alchemy with Hazmat, then log in Myd and burn her Tailoring CD's if available, then I play someone. Sometimes I take Myd and go get her daily's done for fishing and cooking. I sometimes decide I wan't to take Myd and Haz out for their daily Frost Badge run. I may decide that I want to level some of the lowbies. I just have a lot going on, and this may be why I am not making so much money. I make about 1,800 gold a week in game. That's a rough estimate, but I transmute one gem a day which sells for 150-180 gold, I sometimes get 3 elixrs from Northrend Alchemy Research which sell for 25 G each, and I sell the cloth I can make every three days for like 175 on the Spellweave and Moonshroud, and 85 on 2 pieces of Shadoweave. I don't really try to make much more then that. I have tried making some of the high-end tailoriing items, but I can never sell em. I end up trading them to some guild mate for some other material I want to have.

I guess I just don't have a clear plan of what I want to do or even how to do it. I just like killing stuff. My idea of fun is really all about being able to go play whatever I want, when I want. I just don't seem to care about making the most money, or being in the latest T-10 gear. I sure will get some T-9 gear over time however. I do tend to focus on at least being able to keep up with the majority. I don't like being low man on the DPS totem pole. I have gone to great lengths to find out what I can do to be better. I don't want to be the best, but I do like to keep up.

Anyway, it's about time for WoW to open up, so I will bid you all farewell, and happy hunting!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Paint is so limited to what you can do with editing, and ya know I just didn't feel like using my laptop this morning.

Anyway, I just wanted to write down some thoughts about dungeons and the Dungeon Finder because there are some things bothering me.

Okay first of all, I made it through Oculus! I still hated it, but I thought I would give it a try. It still took 4 attempts to get someone to stay in the instance, but eventually, we had a group. We got killed by the final boss 3 times as well. Fortunately, after the 2nd time, someone told us what we were supposed to be doing up there and we were able to get through that big boss dragon in the sky.

Vehicle mounts in quests and in dungeons just aren't all that user friendly. I don't like the controls and it just feels wierd compared to a regular mount to me. I could be completely off base here, but I don't care for the vehicle mounts Bliz has created. I suppose now that I have completed Oculus, I would do it again maybe as a random, but never as a dungeon I've selected. It still sucks.

I don't really know what you could do to make that dungeon better for the mass majority that still apparently hates the living hell out of that instance. I say make Cataclysm destroy it entirely and replace with something more linear. We like linear!

I can see some long term effects from doing strictly dungeons. Some of the things I noticed is that you miss out on much of the learning of the game. By learning, I mean that there is not an abundant supply of everything you might need for crafting, and there are also no flight path teachings. You build a character with nice gear, you are left with a stupid toon that can't make any real money and can't travel. Fortunately, I have the knowlege of where to train for most of the professions and I know how to walk or ride to just about anywhere, so I am sure I will have more on that subject as we get further along with my lowbies.

Fighting in Pugs seems to be the latest fad. Almost twice a day, there will be a kick for someone being a general "ass" to the rest or some of the group. It is all about who is in charge. Some people like to kick for different reasons. I remember one this morning where one DPS guy, who was obviously way over geared was talking mean to the Tank guy. The DPS guy was pulling about 4,000 while the rest of us are about 2,200 or a bit higher. Apparently the Tank was feeling less then loved and left the group. The DPS guy decided to tell announce to the rest of us that our server was "bad". I am not sure what he meant by this, but the next thing that happened was a vote to kick the DPS guy. I wasn't sure exactly what he had done, but then I realized the other 3 people in group with me were in fact from the same server as my own.

The leader of the group said he was being too insulting and that he should keep his server comments to him self. I was thinking this was a bit touchy, but okay, he was being kind of a pain for a DPS. I always think of DPS as just going along for the ride, but apparently this guy wanted to be in charge. Maybe he should be a tank?

The bickering is just out of hand sometimes. I like the groups where no one says anything and we just go through the dungeon and get it done. Sometimes, two or three people will start arguing about how this way is better, or that way. Arguements about peoples spec choices, DPS, gear, what you can need on and a multitude of meaningless chatter that just makes me want to crawl under a rock and die. I think there should be more in the way of Dungeon Etiquette training in game. Somehow explain to dungeon goers that if you are a jackass, you might just get kicked.

Now, sometimes, you might get kicked for just not doing your job. Mostly the healers and tanks get ridiculed for their lack of keeping things moving along. This is something that can also be taught. Not everyone has the "talent" for being a tank or a healer. You have to watch a lot of stuff, and pay attention to things the rest of us are oblivious to. We DPS just want the tank to run in there, and put them all in a nice tidy pile so we can blast all of them at once by any means possible. The healer just needs to keep that guy alive long enough for us to finish dumping all of our mana on them. If the tank fails to keep aggro on a group, it is a nightmare and if the healer fails to notice the entire party's health or lets the tank die, then death for the rest of us is eminent.

I have a lot of respect for the good tanks and healers out there. I am glad I don't have to do either job. I am playing around with some level 15 tanks and healer toons, but I don't know that I will ever be that guy who will take on those roles.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the Culling of Stratholme instance. Would someone PLEASE put a fast forward on that instance? OMG, it is like watching grass grow after the 3rd time. Fix Pls, Kthx!

Tobold had mentioned somewhere in this lengthy blog post that Bliz needs to make 10 and 25 man Pugs use the same type of functionality as the Dungeon Finder. I agree that this needs to happen, but I am not sure how well they will work out. Finding a 5 man can be stressful at times, but trying to keep 10 or 25 people from "bailing" I think is a pretty tough task. I used to run the dungeon after winning the Wintergrasp battles, and the failure rate was very high. I don't imagine if we made IceCrown Citadel a place with easy Pugs, that it would be much different.

Last but not least, we reveal the new Mydnightstar. Her name adjusted down to Myd, and she has a much nicer look. I would love to see WoW revamp the whole character creation process to something a bit more like AION. The choices are just too limited in WoW. Everyone looks about the same. I am not saying AION's creator is perfect, but it has a heck of a lot more versatility and you can really make exactly what you want.

Anyway, Myd got her Bronze Drake this morning, and her DPS is frequently over 3,000 now. I guess I that people take some things for granted. They say, you can do something wearing a specific armor or have a specific weapon, but they didn't mention that if you also have DPS trinkets with over 450-600 spell power, and get everything on your person ENCHANTED, then your DPS will skyrocket. I've got tanks asking me to tone it down a bit because they can't keep aggro. WTH?

And on that note, I will leave you with a couple of nice screens of my flying adventures...

That's all I got...