Posts Tagged 'Warcraft'

Wow Themed Trinket Boxes

I haven’t blogged in so long, I think I have forgotten how..

I can’t let go completely of the blog just yet and so since I did these,  and wanted to show them off,  and it seemed a fitting place to post them considering this was/is/limbo a Wow blog, in which I share the love of the game.

What do you get for someone, who says they don’t want anything for a present. Well to me that means – Challenge accepted!

We had a shared passion for a game,  and he had a Passion for Gnomes and Rogues that I will never understand,  and I like making stuff.  ( Hence new Lego Obsession )

So I made this as a trial run

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The Art is recyled from the 2012 Wow Mini Calender that I could not throw out ( NOT MY WORK and I have searched and searched and cannot find the artist for this one , but I will keep looking because even though they didn’t make it easy by naming the artists on the calendars it should be available somewhere but it is from the WOW Trading Card game apparently will update if I find it. )

Boxes are from Bunnings  Craft Timber Piece Boyle Trinket Boxes   *

Pic was stuck down using Spray Glue, and stickers ‘artfully’ placed around in a border and then layers and layers of ‘Craft Smart Glaze paste’ because the craft shop I went to ran out of Modgepodge. ( Alliance sticker came with the 2014 large calendar)

That was my ‘lets see if this can work’ experiment and I learned a few things in making it.

and then the Present

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Since the pic was taken it dried  ( some of the glaze up the top in the photo is still wet) and I few more layers added to make sure the Cogs stayed on, and to smooth the border on the top.

Art from same Wow Calendar – had to layer the border pieces to get them to sit nicely,  Its The Tani Bixtix from the Wow trading Card game Artist Ittoku Seta

and the Cogs are from a Steam Punk  Jewelery range from Janlynn

He reports he is happy with it, and it survived the shipping overseas to the US with some Tim Tams hidden inside and I’m pretty happy  with how they turned out.   I have some more boxes I will work with but they won’t be a Wow theme,  these were one offs.

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* These are solid little boxes and besides needing to prime them were awesome to work with.  – an unamed craftstore in Australia also had boxes but they were plywood, and on examination when I got to the counter were already cracking so I didn’t buy theirs  and when I complained as to their quality was told ‘ they aren’t meant to last forever..’
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Facebook Groups – A better guild forum?

When joining any non super casual guild, one of the compulsory things was the requirement to sign up to the guild forums. Most application processes required you do it through their forums, and to do that you had to create an account anyway.

The Guild forums were supposed to be a place where you could talk Strat’s, discuss guild business, get to know your guildies a little better,  post boss kill screen shots, send guildies personal messages,  post availabilities,  keep track of DKP and ask for technical advice,  or write long or short resignation letters. ( yes done that).

Some guilds had strict instructions to check it regularly for announcements, or just to make sure you stayed on top of what was going on   –  eg what strat videos you were required to watch.

But over the years,  at least for me,  the excitement of guild forums waned. Discussions were between only a few people, or it was only checked to see new applications, or post when I wasn’t going to be available. There was limited engagement between the guild on forums.

On our forums I’ve been in my current guild since January and I’ve made 2 posts and spent 1 hour 8 min in total logged into the guild website ( and most of that was likely idle )

But now we have a Facebook Group.

Thanks to one guildie who seemed to have everyone on their Facebook friends list anyway, everyone was added to a closed group on Facebook. ( non public)

We have already have Boss kill shots from our progression, old screen shots with the guild, shared pictures of new Keyboard, and Mouse pics  a share your UI post – and there have been speed test shots for those who have the NBN  ( alas for those like I who aren’t even on a roll out map yet )

I can set alerts for if I want to be notified if there is a new post.  I can check it via mobile or PC easily,  don’t need a separate log in, it’s not blocked by work filters for gaming related stuff and we seem to have more engagement with each other in the group so far then I’ve seen in the forums.

Generally,  I find it to be a  more convenient way for me at least to be connected to the guild.  I don’t need to have everyone on my flist, and I get a better idea of people’s names.   ( because some of them have known each other for a while,  they get referred to by their real names rather than toon name,  and it confuses/ confused me.

However

People want different things out of social media, set their own boundaries,  you really aren’t going to interact with each of your 500  different friends.  Do you need every man and his cat ( yes I know two friends who gave their cats Facebook pages)  that you have ever spoken to on your flist?.  I have my own boundaries. No work people, and limited family. It might be silly to try to keep parts of my life separated now, but I don’t think my mother needs to supervise what I do with my friends anymore, but they are my choices,

Also  Facebook is getting annoying, suggested pages/ads/ their viewing algorithms  – some people have already gotten over social media, and  not everyone has a Facebook,  or some people are using it less. Not everyone wants to be connected in that way.

One of the issues I have, is that we weren’t asked did we want to join a group, and this more a problem with how Facebook handles groups.   Facebook only allows your friends to add you to a group,  but it’s an opt out feature   you have to leave the group. You do not have control over who adds you to a group, nor have to click accept to be added.

From an engagement point though,  I think it’s a success. Most people in guild do have a Facebook.  We aren’t all each others friends, but there is communication, there are people reading it.  ( Facebook tells you how many people from the group see it )

Facebook may not offer the same functionality for say something like tracking DKP  – It doesn’t have a forum thread ability,  nor really a wiki place where people could post links to  sites like strats, The event function is pretty useless because of the in-game Calendar.  It does less than a guild site, yet the convenience factor means more people seem engaged with it.

However,  finally,  how important is the information shared in the Facebook group, or is it just another social media connection for the sake of being social,  rather than actively providing a real service/function to the guild, and I am leaning to it really being more of a social function then a practical purpose.

We have a few people in guild that use Wow Armory App, and log in remotely to provide updates as to their whereabouts  me <— ‘Running late after singing practice’ will be there soon, change their calender acceptance to raid ,or just to stay connected when they are away for long periods.  No one has logged into Facebook yet, and posted in guild group. ‘ Can’t make it to nite’

So what function does it serve?  In conclusion,  just a place to connect our real selves with each other, and maybe this is why it seems to be working in its current capacity. A guild forum,  isn’t necessarily a place to play.  It’s structured, every thread, and section has it’s purpose, a Facebook group is unstructured  – connect rather than inform.

 

 

Guest Post : The Gear Model is Broken; or why I choose PVP over PVE

Note:  This post is a Guest Post. I haven’t been writing much, so my friend Jarrad who has been a long term reader thought to liven this place up with a suggestion for a fix to the gear model system.

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Background: I am a BC baby but started not long after BC dropped so I know a bit about the gear grind in Vanilla and BC. I’ve raided at a Heroic level for content that was current and on average would consider myself “mid-tier” as a raider and PVPer.

WoW as a game has undergone several evolutions in just about all of its spaces. From raid mechanics, PVP mechanics, to gear acquisition. As the game has grown, so too has its core pillars.
Some things though, have not changed. Among these is the idea that the acquisition of armour and weapons constitutes a progression and evolution of your characters as heroes within the World of Azeroth. This is intrinsic to the nature of the MMO genre, and WoW has seen many changes in the way gear has been delivered.
The explosion of popularity around Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, together with ideas of “welfare” gear and subsequent introduction of casual game play has seen large changes to gear. Where once the hallowed epic item was only obtainable to a select few, let alone a set item, now just about anyone can have these kinds of items by investing a fraction of the time that their counterpart games did in the early years of the game.

And here comes a tl;dr warning. It’s a short history of gear in WoW. Nothing super fascinating, but it is interesting to see from an evolutionary perspective.

In classic WoW, it took raiding to obtain epic level items. The general character wore green (also known as uncommon) for the most part. Those who could organise forays into larger dungeons like Scholomance or Stratholme would be lucky enough to score rare (blue) items, and if the stars aligned an epic item. The 40man raids of the day awarded a mix of rare and epic items. On top of these, you also had the rare item dungeon set drops which could be upgraded to epic level through a series of quests. There was no PVP gear in Vanilla.
In the Burning Crusade, the model held similar until the introduction of Heroic dungeons, which were tuned for slightly geared players, and dropped guaranteed blue armour from bosses, and a chance at an epic item from the final boss of the dungeon. Burning Crusade also saw the introduction of competitive PVP formally via the Arena system, and thus the introduction of PVP armour. Subsequent to the introduction of PVP armour came the notion of “welfare epics”, or rather that one could progress their character to epic pieces of armour by simply playing in PVP battlegrounds to earn enough currency (Honor) to obtain epic quality items. It is somewhat regrettable that the “welfare” began, but the result was that the game became more accessible to more casual players who could see a change in their armour value and subsequently could identify progression more easily. Armour was acquired through a combination of Honor Points and Badges of Honor from the various battlegrounds. Also introduced in Burning Crusade was “Arena points” – a system for acquiring higher level PVP armour equivalent to raid armour that did not require Badges nor Honor.
The negatives associated with gearing in Burning Crusade, at least from a PVE raid perspective, was the need to farm older raids for newer players to a guild to obtain gear to progress those characters to a level required for raid progression, which quite frankly made recruiting a pain in the arse.
With Wrath of the Lich King (or Wrath of the Casual King as it was sometimes known), gearing changed again. Heroic dungeons now guaranteed an epic drop from the final boss and the old currency of Badge of Justice were phased out for Badges of Heroism and Valor. As tiers progressed, new Badges were introduced and eventually bypassed. To simplify gearing for current content, the opportunity to purchase raid level gear with those Badges was made available. This functioned to stop the long farm grinds needed for guilds to recruit new players. PVP gear, despite changes to the Honour system, maintained its current system for gear acquisition including Arena points, with minor changes to the PVP badge system that saw individual battleground Badges replaced with a ubiquitous PVP Badge currency.
It was the Wrath of the Lich King expansion that saw the height of the gear inflation problem that was creeping in, and also solidified the idea of the casual gamer for the game. Casual players in Wrath could obtain armour and progression more easily than ever before.
Realising their mistakes though, Blizzard did an about-face for Cataclysm and made gear hard to obtain again. Heroic dungeons no longer guaranteed an epic drop from the final boss, and content wise were actually difficult much like BC. Currencies were converged and the Badge system replaced with a points system called Justice and Valor. The Arena Points system was scrapped and renamed Conquest, and the Honor Points system remained but with the removal of the Honor Badges. It should be noted that prior to Cataclysm, casual gamers could easily be in up to date armour (i.e. ilvl 260ish) without much effort. To suggest that it was “raining epics” would be silly, but the acquisition of armour for PVE and PVP was still quite trivial. Cataclysm did radically change this with no single progression armour piece being obtainable in a week from the points systems (unlike Wrath and to a lesser extent BC). Justice armour (blue) filled the role it did in Classic – entry before raids. However, much like Wrath, Cataclysm saw the current raids need dropped each new tier and this was achieved by dropping the old tier’s armour to the Justice currency and new tier armour on the Valor currency. PVP armour followed a similar model.
These currency and armour systems, whilst not perfect, did work quite well when it came to simpler character progression.
The introduction of the Looking For Raid system in patch 4.3 changed everything again however, by introducing yet another level of armour to the PVE arena. In essence, one could earn Justice to buy last tier’s armour, and could fill gaps with the current tier’s raid finder equivalent, which was of equal progression to the previous tier’s Heroic. Or, quite simply, it messed up the systems.
This as again overhauled in Mists of Pandaria. As it currently stands, Justice as a currency is worthless. The previous tier’s armour no longer changes from Valor to Justice, but instead has the amount of valour needed nerfed. The PVP system however, has not changed apart from the introduction (carried over from Cata) or the Elite tier of conquest armour. PVE gearing has reverted to a model similar to Burning Crusade with none of the positive changes from Wrath of the Lich King or Cataclysm. One could argue that this is due to the changing nature of Raids. with LFR providing filler gear instead of skipping tiers, the need to drop gear down to the easier to obtain currency is supposedly nullified. The primary idea behind this, however, is not for character progression through the story and armour, but rather providing a slathering of content. Blizzard is probably better than most other rollercoaster MMO’s when it comes to delivering new content, but personally having to repeat LFR with no guarantees or character progression on multiple alts, is boring. Potentially what makes it worse than say, grinding heroics, is the time investment for alts, and typically Blizzard has favoured the idea of alts quite heavily (heirlooms etc).

tl;dr end’s here.

So where am I going with all this history? Well it’s simple really. Since the introduction of PVP armour, the option to purchase which slot of armour I want has always been available. PVE gearing has always been, and still is, about the random drop. Cataclysm helped address this by dropping the previous tier’s armour set to Justice, making Justice still worthwhile for particular slots, leaving random drops open for the others but there was always slots missing like shoulders and weapons. But at the end of the day, myself and other players want our characters to feel “complete” as much as possible and this usually revolves around having a piece of gear for every slot. And the you start gearing your alts! But the fact that you can go an entire raid tier and never see a piece for a slot drop, quite simply, is why I choose to PVP. Recently Blizzard CMs have acknowledged that sometimes thing’s don’t drop and have taken on feedback that weapons and bonus rolls need assistance. But what Blizzard is failing to see, is that the model itself is broken for gearing PVE.

So if it’s broken, how to fix it?
It is plainly obvious based on progression races, interviews with guilds doing those races, and to the analytical observer, that the majority of the player base is an unskilled casual who plays in his spare time. And even if this spare time is multiple hours per night, 5 days a week, thats still nothing near the hours spent by hardcore players or even semi-hardcore. It is to this subset of the community that Blizzard has been trying to cater to whilst still delivering high end content to the hardcore. And for the most part, they are quietly succeeding. But despite all the great content, the gear model and character progression is still especially broken still for PVE. Hardcore guilds have acknowledged that gearing alts is not only time consuming, its a requirement. And even the hardcore have expressed that gearing alts is a right royal pain.

So, really, all this whinging is there any suggestions on how to fix it? Yes, I do have an idea that is partially formed and here it is.

The PVP “completion” model works well. The PVE model needs to be redesigned to be similar. Here are some suggestions on how to do this.

Justice and Valor armour should continue to have their variable stats and not be “perfect” for one class, i.e. continue to have haste/crit, mastery/expertise, haste/mastery on gear slots. But make a piece available for every slot. EVERY slot. If necessary, make some pieces crafted so that people can’t farm a set of Valor gear in a week but Justice should be farmable in a week.
Return to making Justice useful: i.e. dropping last tier’s armour down to Justice
Have tokens drop from LFR and Normals to allow players a chance to convert their existing Valor armour to better stats (not reforging but a chance to reroll completely secondary stats on armour.) At the Heroic level, maintain the existing gear model of RNG as this can assist . This provides a dynamic shift for Heroic raids, and allows existing gearing methods (gearing alts etc) to continue.

The PVP model works. It gives players a chance to evaluate and see where they want to spend their currency and it gives those players a sense of completion that is achievable – unlike the random nature of PVE. This would facilitate the desire and needs for character progression in a PVE environment without moving back to the archaic and often clunky model that Burning Crusade introduced. And with resilience coming off PVP gear, and PVP power not part of the item budget, the question of why gear for PVE with PVE gear when you can plan your PVP gear acquisition and still do OK in casual PVE?

Jarrad

Do you play?

I have two 85’s doing their thing in Raid finder

My main changed her offspec from Disc to Holy so she would do better on metres in raid finder in case I ever wanted to impress someone enough to go into a normal DS  considering whats the point of this existence if I am not even considering to try to get the best gear available I can,   even if I am not raiding, but  this means I can’t PVP as disc,  so I have been Pvping as Shadow only  ( I would get laughed at if I went in as holy)

I miss playing in bg’s and arena as Disc. ( and yes this is a good argument for 3 specs!)

I miss playing.

I was pvping long past the need for points,  I would remember I was honor capped on occasion after getting geared up and spend it on enchanting mats.  Sure I had no real purpose bar the pure pleasure of playing,  but I would log in less, or late take more frequent breaks, do more creative things

My Horde hunter went from DING 85! to Raid finder in just over a week.  I just gquit the random guild that invited me when I was a lobie because well they were never going to do anything organized, and I am hungering for purpose.  I should be getting better gear, I should be raiding, I should..

I have a shammy too that also hit 85 recently that I leveled like a demon – her aim is to suffer  through enough heroic dungeons so she can get that ever important Ilevel through gear or JP points for Raid finder so I can run her through as heals as well.

Does anyone play anymore?  Or is everyone grinding? Jp Points honor, gear.

We run the daily for the points,  we run whatever till we get to cap.  I like bringing my main Zahraah to stuff because well she is really the only toon I care about. I don’t care if she is JP capped, Honor capped, I want to play her.

I  have people close to me, and I do it to some extent –  on what ever alts have my fancy at the time,  that when there is a holiday boss/loot they grind all the toons through it to make sure that they all have a trinket, or the ring, or whatever.

I like playing to play. I shouldn’t need a purpose, or a cap,  or a goal,  I just want to play.

 

The 7 most annoying sounds in game.

It’s taken me years to come up with this list,  years.

I am not sure if I am just getting old, and cranky in my years.  ” When we were leveling,  we had to walk uphill in the snow” or just my  tolerance for annoying things is getting shorter, but I have 7 all time un-favorite sounds in-game – of note they become more annoying when you’re at the receiving end of them.

7.  The Squeal of a Deranged Helboar in Hellfire & the Mobs in Razor Fen – Do I need to say more.  Squuuuueeeel. Snort.  Squeeeeeeeel Snort. Can you just imagine their little slimy noses smacking into you with each hit.

6. Drain Lfe – it’s a Bunsen burner  burn ( remember those from highschool science) it sounds like your life is burning from inside you. You can’t swat it away, and it just keeps burning..  get it off me!

5. Earthbind Totem- Woooooo Wooooooo Wooooooo reminds me of the sound of massive wind turbines.  This time the sounds doesn’t do much for warning you,  because if your close enough to hear it, your close enough to be caught in it, and  then your running through quicksand.

4. Mindspike. The Whoosh,  then a slash sound like a  knife cutting the air. ( matches the graphic) if you hear one,  you know at least 2 more is coming, and then an instant mindblast, and BAM there goes 30-50% if your health depending on the crits. I hate the sound because it’s a forewarning of bad things to come, and the knife sound sends shivers up my spine.

3. Mana Burn: Whoosh – and the sound of a cocked of a gun.  It’s different when your the person doing the mana burning, but that sound in Arena, and Bg’s and it’s not you is like Oh crap. I need to get out of LOS There is no debuff when your being mana burned,  just that sound that lets you  know your having  your mana drained.

2. The Fte Fte sound that a hunter’s Kill command makes. Fte fte fte fte fte fte ( try it fast with your tongue hitting the back of your teeth)  Fte is the only way I know how to copy it . ( possibly helped by the little gap I have between my front teeth. ) That sound enforces in the imagination the feeling of the pets claws tearing at your robes. Cutting in your skin.

And Finally….

1. The Stupid monkey yip,  when it’s attacking something. It Squeeks, it yips, it’s teeth gnash at you,  it’s monkey paws slapping at you.  it’s like one of those yip yip dogs while it’s attacking you.  This is especially annoying in arena, Some people have said that  it’s most affective attack is it’s sound..

I know the solution to these annoying sounds is to turn the sound off.  I already play with the sound down to around 11%,   and it’s enough for me to get a general feel of placement in the game. When I wear my in-the-ear ear buds walking down the street,  they are very affective at blocking out sound.  It’s like being submersed underwater.  I ‘feel’ the world differently because of the loss of one of my senses.  ( it is also how people get hit by things on roads because they can’t hear them) .

I think that sound is still very important to my experience in the game,  I feel more immersed and I’m not talking about the haunting trombone that plays as you ride in the Battle of Gilneas,  or the little irish lilts in the pub.  Sound ingame is information.  I can tell when I am being mana burned by the sound, I can tell I am being mindspiked by the sound.  They act as warnings, and I do not need to look at debuffs or raid frames to react.

But if you really have had enough of annoying sounds,  there’s an add on for that!

There is an add on for a Worgen sniff remover,  there is also a Annoying Wow sound remover  on curse as well that mutes “906” annoying sounds ( I haven’t downloaded it – because I really don’t want to lose that many different sounds )  If only they made an add on that works to mute Sydney Train passengers.

Between Love, Between Hate

 

My heart is black.

It happens every year since I’ve played – Now I ride past all the happy people with their bright red hearts,  and mine is black.

It’s all a show I promise you – the Bad girl Night Elf in Shadow Form. I could pretend I’m something I am not and wear my healing cloth,  but I only truly enjoy that when I am helping other people kill horde in Pvp. That heart would be blood red,  dripping with the blood of the fallen.

Who’s interested in someone with a  black heart?, all the male Shadow priests are busy looking for redemption in the arms of holy priests.

It used to be capable of feeling, I promise,   I didn’t forsake love when I donned the Shadow form. I still have feelings.

Even Warlocks get red hearts.

Why don’t I?

 

 

 

A Garden in Stormwind

I saw a plant all alone in Stormwind – so I sat down next to it using a lifegiving seed.

Then soon we had a small gathering.

 

Then we lost a few.

 


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