Archive for the 'Gaming' Category

New World – A New Grind

The lonely road ahead

I’m still playing New World, on a dead and dying server. I’m level 55 and have probably been cripping myself a little by continuing to do lower level quests to build more reputation for settlement bonuses – particularly increasing my storage in my home settlement. Traveling is extremely expensive – Azoth the currency we use to travel between places is capped at 1k, and for example to get from one end of the map to the middle of the map with a full load, it was going to cost me 466 Azoth for one teleport. Animals drop 10, I have a bonus on tools so trees and rocks give me 1 Azoth, doing corruptions, dungeons, raids, and quests etc gives Azoth.

It’s grindy, but its manageable. Running the long roads takes way too much of my time because free traveling around the map between and my home only get me two free hearths, but along the way if you farm everything you see, that’s how you get the mats for your crafting requirements. There’s been discussions around the punishing crafting requirements. To make Gold you need Silver, and a reagent. Each level of material requires some of the previous level material. It’s grindy but were we really expecting to cap out everything in the first couple of weeks?

The economy hasn’t found it’s equilibrium yet. Bots pushing out the real players from the market trying to sell resources for gold, and where buying a a crafted item ( for example a silver chain on my server to then make jewellery) was cheaper then buying either the ore, or the ingot required to make the chain )

People pushing for 60 the max level mean that there’s little need for lower level gear, and the only thing you can do with the gear you pick up, is sell the more desirable items cheaply, or ‘trash’ it for repair parts and a small amount of gold.

I propose that they make vendoring the trash / selling the gear and weapons you don’t need for a better price would improve the economy because people would have more gold, and then when you need a town recipe for cooking, and you need 12 onions you’re more likely to spend the gold to get it.

Can we talk about the taxes… you are taxed to craft, taxed to own a house, taxed to sell. WOW has an Auction house tax – but it does make sense from an economic perspective to charge people to use your forge, loom, kitchen or alchemy lab.

Even with a 28% reduction on my house taxes, I am still paying over $800 gold every 5 days just so that I can have a house. I can own up to 3 houses now, but I can’t afford to.

The house gives me extra storage and 1 hour hearth. One advantage of the house is you can pay Azoth to reduce your hearth cool down, and its way cheaper then paying for quick travel, but only if you want to go home.

This is the inside of the house, I crafted most of the things myself inside, and found or bought from the auction house some extra bits. I found one person who used all their spare cupboards to make themselves a taller fence outside their hour. I could have filled my house with all the bunk beds I have crafted. I really like the house. I think it serves it’s purpose well, while there is limited colour options, it feels cozy enough and does what I needs it to.

Home

Outside I looted the fancier stuff, arhhhhh for my pirate wheel and got the two dogs from a dungeon run.

Pirate style

I picked a single story open house, with a small backyard that really needs it’s lawn mowed. It is next to a small stream running through the settlement which is nice, and has an ok view.

Backyard with a view

Apparently they are going to start forcing server mergers and once I turn 60 I will want to join some of the rushes/ wars and I will need a bigger server population for that. There has been a few complaints about the lag though. The game is keeping me entertained, I am not playing wow, and I feel like I have plenty to do for now.

There is less Bots and coin sellers in Chat now. I was getting annoyed reporting them, but it was important to do. The faction and general chats sometimes get a little toxic but generally I don’t feel it was a bad as Wow was, and sometimes still is.

I’m going to keep playing – I am having fun, and a new grind, we love grinding! ( ok, not always chopping tree after tree after tree after tree, look another tree! )

New World

It’s a new world, but not a new player base.

I bought New World, and on launch night I tried to join the server that some ex wow guildies had designated to be our server. It turned out so did everyone else in Asia Pacific because the queue was 21.5k long. As I stared into the queue abyss I decided I really wanted a chance to play that night so was pleasantly surprised when all the other available oceanic servers were only 2k deep. So I picked one and about 40 min later I was in.

Anything new and shiny is always exciting, and I enthusiastically dived in. Since launch I had not played WOW. The server issues were fixed ( at least for us ) ques were smaller, but there’s still a lot of lag especially in the cities. I’ve only logged in briefly tonight to WOW because New World Servers were going down at 9pm for several hours upsetting all the people in general chat at having to log out.

I had been trying to rush my first dungeon for a couple of quests and we had to disband before killing all the required mobs, but I got at least one important quest done while we were in there. The bones to get my pet will have to wait.

I’ve been spoiled with wow, New world has less buttons to press, but targeting feels a little clunky and even though I’m playing a Tank Spec in heavy armor with a 2 hander. I have had to level up a range weapon so I can chase down those pesky Does, Elks, and Buffalo for settlement quests. As it is your often competing to get the skin because while your target has been leading you around the map, other players have whipped out their ranged weapons and are trying to kill it too.

I have done SO MUCH running. Even with hearth points and fast travel my legs have been churning up the roads. No mounts in the game, and the only speed boost I had was when I spec’d into a charge with one of my weapons so I could move forward on cooldown.

I’ve not tried PVP – feeling a little better about my gear and at Level 30 and there’s active wars between factions territory’s which will be fun as long as the servers can maintain their player bases and there isn’t a dominating faction..

I’ve been having a lot of fun, it’s great timing given the negative sentiment around WOW right now, it’s familiar enough of a game to be comfortable but different enough that it’s different to WOW, and the grind! We all love a good grind, Chopping, gathering, mining, crafting, cooking, milking cows, getting honey from bee hives, and killing a lot of zombies.

My first dungeon was a little chaotic – we had at least 1 healer but I’m pretty sure there were at least 3 tank/dps and we were all doing our own smashing.

Player housing is going to be what I thought Shroud of the Avatar was going to be, but no real world money. You buy your house at the town of your choosing if you have the gold and the standing, and you then need to pay a property tax. You can outfit your house with crafting recipes, and drops. 2.5k Gold is the cheapest house, but I have my eye on a larger one with at least a front grass area. Your house ‘overlays’ other peoples, you always see your house, and if you invite someone in they will also see your house. Benefits of a house include another hearth cool down, and more storage. You do need to pay property taxes to make full use of it though, and for now- it’s a little steep to justify just yet.

Speaking of storage and grinding and crafting. You need a lot of space for all your bits , every settlement has independent storage volumes, you can transfer between banks for a fee if the settlement locations are controlled by the same faction.

I’m not too keen on the chat. It takes up too much of the screen, too many channels and way too much spam. I didn’t know what a discord kitty was. I knew, but I didn’t know the lingo ( age is showing ) I learned because of the chats and the requests for discord kitties, in game girlfriends, sugar daddies etc… people were already boasting about coming back from bans in game already, the usual name choices you see when people are pushing inappropriate naming conventions, but in the last few days it feels like it’s been cleaned up. For a new game, they have a lot of adverse media to read about from Blizzard and learn from.

The patch tonight is going to prevent whats being referred to as an AFK running into the wall hack – players run themselves into wall so they don’t get logged out. When queues are long for some people to get in trying to prevent logging. The patch will also bring in the groundwork for server transferring so the orphaned people on launch don’t need to re-roll and can pick a server and play with friends.

I’m having fun, turning into a hoarder, gathering all my crafting material and looking like a tanking bad ass. Server populations need to be kept high enough for all the aspects of the game to function – so once the initial frenzy is over the test for Amazon will be how to sustain peoples interest.

Almost level 31 at the moment which is a fair crack – fast travel and killing anything with a quest icon above it to keep completing the quest boards in the settlement which help the settlememt raise the tiers of their crafting stations. Kill 25 rabbits, bring water, craft a potion, fund some buckles. It’s been adding up.

Faction identity & working together

Are you Alliance or Horde to the core?

There was some suggestions floating around Facebook, Reddit, and forums that allowing Alliance and Horde to work together more, would decrease overall toxicity between players and in the game, and that our factions just seek to divide us further and encourage hostility towards each other.

I’ve been flagged for PVP all of Shadowlands – its a nice little bonus and for the most I get left alone. There’s the odd bones of a death sitting around the steps on the Seat of the primus in Maldraxxus, where I have made my home. It’s a reminder not to go AFK at the flight master, and on occasion there will be some PVP and general chat calls all the warriors to home to defend against the enemy.

When we quest in Korthia there’s a bit more action and Horde and Alliance travel around in small packs and we have a bit of a tussle – this only often lasts as long as it takes for either one of us to finish our quests, it’s more of a you’re there and flagged so you are fair game rather then a true faction hunt and destroy.

I used to be afraid of World PVP, didn’t think I could hold my own, and didn’t want my game play and fun interrupted. Now its an acceptable dalliance,camping is never fun but if your silly enough to keep coming back to the same spot on a quest (yes me, in the hope they have moved on ) then dying a few times and a corpse run while still an inconvenience, it’s not too bad.

I know there was controversy when they removed the /spit emote. It wasn’t one I felt I needed to use. Most the /spit’s I saw were in battlegrounds. Being that hateful to your opposition never really seemed to be a Alliance v Horde thing, it’s we are taught generally in society that if they aren’t on your team then they are the enemy. I don’t think it’s going to matter who the opposition is, even if we bring in Alliance v Alliance PVP matches – the other team is still the other team. Going back to playing sports as kids and playing other schools – being taught ‘sportsman’ like behavior and shaking their hand at the end of the match was one thing, but truly considering them mates, or equals or even having a friendly chat didn’t happen. In professional sports team bonding is encouraged amongst your own team members to keep the team strong and loyalties clear. Do we need to feel like we belong to a team to the exclusion of all others, and would breaking down those lines between Horde and Alliance going to make everyone nicer to each other?

Generally I think if people want to be asswipes and /spit its not because of a faction is because they are asswipes. Faction wars is just an excuse ‘ But they are horde… ‘ or they are filthy Alliance… ‘

I like the idea of reducing pure Alliance v Horde PVP – I want a good game, and if that means that they can do better matching and faster queues then that’s great. I don’t think it matters if my team mate is an Orc or a Gnome, if they are on my team and we have a flag in mind, we both want to win that game. Mixing up the starting positions in PVP also means we are forced to adjust strategies and get a better feel for a map rather then starting at the same gate every time.

I don’t think we need to keep the lines between Alliance and Horde so strict – and I am supportive of blurring these where it could. We are currently fighting for the same world.

Will it make toxic players less toxic? I don’t think so, there will always be ‘otherness’ faction , race, gender. It won’t matter what your otherness is – some people will always find a way to use that to divide.

I can fly I can fly…. on a fly & Satisfactory a game.

So I now have Shadowlands Flying, and the first thing I did was fly to this chest I couldn’t get to and had been taunting me on a map In Maxx only to find I don’t have the key to open it. Life is full of disappointments.

Flying is going to help with dealing with the occasional PVP war that occasionally happens on the steps outside the Necrolords. The flight master is out of the safe zone, and sometimes it can get dangerous. Sometimes it gets frustrating, and my go to move is a mindbomb and dispersion and flee to the safe confines of that scary looking skeleton on a throne in the picture above.

I didn’t mind not flying, I got used to it, got more efficient at getting where I needed to be. The Maw no mounts was the most annoying so glad that changed.

I’ve been doing the new Maw quests in Korthia and as fun as the new content has been with fresh new things ! There are these really weird deja vu moments where I find myself killing the same mobs again and and again. I feel the quests make excellent double use of the same area, and Korthia is starting to feel quite small after 2 weeks. The Invasive mushrooms that require creating thinking to get up a tree limb were a fun touch.

Sydney is back in lockdown – and we’ve been told one more to go, means working from home again, not going out unnecessary. It’s been harder this time round. Will be getting my 2nd dose of the vaccine soon.

More time at home means, more time to sink in a new game. I am also currently playing a lot of a game called Satisfactory – mining/world building from Coffee Stain Studios. My factory is still on grass, and is a conveyor belt of a mess. I still haven’t set up my coal power plant so running around putting bio fuel in my Bio fuel burners is getting to be a pain.

The construction doesn’t need supports thankfully – which means to get creative and getting access to certain points in a game like a green power slug, I build a relative cheap concrete ramp and leave it there for when the slug eventually re spawns. I love the problem solving aspect, the experimenting with newly learned tech and items, and moments of accomplishment when you solve a problem like getting a coal mine working on top of a plateau – first how do you get up there ( jump pad of course.. ) how do you power and wire a plant, and then how do you get it down the cliff. There is a special part for that! The only rules I’ve found is you can’t have conveyor belts that are too steep. I currently have a coal conveyor belt that’s across country. I also drove a rover in the middle of a small lake accidentally ( well more to see what would happen) Its stuck. won’t move while submerged. The internet tells me you can’t get it out, and I am better off dissembling it.

Next challenge is to run a water pipe from a source of water I have just found and then set up that coal power plant, reconnect my wiring all so I can be more efficient at making widgets that unlock more item to make ( and maybe tidy up my production so its not a maze of belts). Youtube shows me all these awesome neat little factory set ups from other players who have spent way too much time playing minecraft – this I shall aspire to, but for now, I call it organised chaos

Stay safe.

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

box3

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

box2

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.

box1

* 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..’

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.

Spanner

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

Facebook ‘s Timeline cover – wow style.

So it’s nothing fancy  ( hey it’s only a prototype) and I know we aren’t supposed to put pic’s we don’t own on the facebook timeline cover,  but under Wow’s fairuse policy I think I am pretty much covered.

I could do a proper banner for it like on my blog, but since most of my peeps on FB don’t really care about wow, and it’s likely to confuse them anyways I wanted it to be simple.

And simple it is.

Gah.

Too simple

Model viewer and Gimp.   Let me practice,  I haven’t made a banner in a while.

Yes I know the glow effects are flat on their ears….

 

What else I have been doing.

Reading Mogworld

I suck at book reviews, and I haven’t quite finished with it.  I am dividing my public transport time between this and playing Battleheart ( more on that furtherdown)  so I have been slower then normal with it,  but I argue,  if  almost getting a undead mage to 58  ( 58 apparently the 1st time ) can inspire a book.  Shutdown night and an almost finished book can inspire a blog post.

You may know Yahtzee from The Escapist,  Zero Punctuation.  He did a review on Cataclysm in January this year, and is also a co owner of Mana bar Australia’s first gaming bar.    ( with game themed cocktails!  <3)

It’s cheap at Book depository, so no excuse not to buy it, but if you can’t wait I am sure bookshops will have it ( well at least the bookshops I shop at  aka Galaxy Books in Sydney)

You may also be relieved to know that the pace in his reviews is not the same pace as the book.

You can tell there is a strong wow influence, you can also tell that he seems to have missed out on a bit of content. As much as Altitis can be considered a disease,  it allows you to learn a lot more about the game, content,  classes.  But this isn’t a book about Wow, it could be a book about any MMO with undead mages, and above all  It’s about Jim,  an undead mage who wants to kill himself. It’s quite easy to imagine Jim, and Meryl (his undead companion come stitcher back togetherer)  (as pictured below – and no they are NOT holding hands)

This would have to be my first book that I would call a “geek magnet”   who knew that by carrying it around a train station,  ( I use my train ticket for a book mark ) would make boys talk to me. I was approached with ”  IS THAT MOGWORLD YOUR READING”  Alas he was more interested in talking about the book then me,  but I think I successfully encouraged him to buy it,  because he  should ‘get’ it, and I nodded wisely as I said “Get it”  like its a secret club only some people are invited to. Because while I shall not call it a heavy pensive thought producing tomb,  much like reading The Dome was,  it was fun and entertaining, and there have been several times I have chuckled aloud on the train, and often have a grin fixed to my face.

So much of it is relatable.  Some of the silly stuff  especially.

“They stand around like they’ve got a broom up their arse, start talking weird, lose interest in everything except quests and having the best armor”

It describes the symptoms of adventurers suffering the syndrome,  and what image in wow calls to my mind is the posing done outside banks with various pieces of gear that goes on.  More specifically the double glaives back in the day.

So I think you will quite easily “Get it”  and I am sure you will be entertained once you get over that as a MMO player your gaming world is getting mocked in the most amusing of ways.

Playing Battleheart 3.99 ( aus)  for Ipod and Ipad on the Itunes store.

Prizes go to the first person who can identify the class and role of the four non skeleton looking creatures in the pic above.

I lied.  There are no prizes, but yes, there is a Tank, a healer, a caster dps ( who I forgot to tell to target something) and a melee dps.

You hire your recruits from the Tavern – they level up and get new abilities every 5 levels,  you get Gear, and gold and the ability to upgrade, and sell and buy more gear, and xp for winning a fight.

My four mains are level 16, 17, 15, 15 and about 5 hours play, so yes I am enjoying it,  MUST GET ONE MORE … LEVEL…..

If you are anywhere but Australia – I am sure it’s cheaper. ( Insert moan about the price disparity) but I didn’t mind paying the money because so far I have at least gotten 5 hours of entertainment out of it, and I forsee quite a few more.

Looks like you can get to level 30 – and there are enough class combos,  with their own duel talent trees to pick and chose from that you can try, and train different variations

How would you not come back?

I am addicted

First step is to admit it.

Is it  a problem?

Define problem…………..
Firstly my unusual period of quietness, is not a demise of my love of the game,  or desire to play,  and nor is this a precursor for a sayornara post.
I have had some ISP issues which has not been helping, and calls and polite emails of my dissatisfaction has resulted in  2 months credit for the lackluster internet service,  but the fix isn’t happening for weeks, and it is extremely frustrating when you want to play,  and your not sure if your going to go from everything is going smoothly to crap everyone is running on the spot, and insta heals are the only ones that eventually hit your target.
Also  If I was a bloke, my balls would be bigger then some of the lovely,  charming, upfront and honest players I have had the honor of spending time with.  Let me wipe away those globules of sarcasm for you,  and keep  my charming smile properly affixed to my face.
But yes, back to quitting.
Honestly I don’t think I could.
Primarily because I don’t have a  reason to quit,  I could find / do find reasons to reduce my playing.  But quit, that’s crazy.
Say you did decide to  quit Wow for various reasons, and want to stay away – wash Wow right out of your hair. Maybe there were too many asshats, things you thought you ought to be doing.
So How would you quit with the idea of not coming back?
Cause  everyone I know that quits comes back
You could
  • Cancel your subscription.
  • Give your authenticator to a friend to hide and a promise not to return it to you even when begging them at 2am in the morning in tears.
  • Uninstall.
  • Destroy your PC.
  • Find distractions in a new game – patches of browser based MMO’s to lessen the pain.
  • Find distractions in people.
  • Get a new hobby.  ( I am half serious about the idea of learning Archery and Welsh)
  • Just don’t come home and work on your fluro tan in the office.
But all of those things would be easily changed, and so easy to slip back into the habit.
I am a deleter. I delete things that could be bad for me that  I would be tempted to keep and use eg Mobile numbers.  It might sound  a little odd.  But deleting, or uninstalling it would most likely be the more affective way for me, as long as I deleted my back up files, and then threw out my cds.
What you can download it off battlenet?
Nooooo
I had a friend that went hungry so they could smoke. That’s what addictions do to you.  What would I do to get my fix?
Me and Caffeine have had a love hate relationship for years. I have quit Caffeine successfully for short periods of time.  Cold turkey. But I am glad I never smoked,  because I can’t leave caffeine alone.    I have Suffered through the withdrawal  headaches of caffeine and the cravings and the crazy thoughts towards someone holding a coffee cup in the lift  – the smell  so intoxicating  that I had to stand a little closer and take a long sniff.
Your coffee dear sir,  has me in a swoon..
But I had several habits to break when quitting caffeine.
I had to break a ritual at the same time. Drinking the coffee wasn’t the only thing I had to change.  The coffee place was on my way to work,  walking cheerfully into the office so used to holding that cup,  the cup sitting there next to the PC,  waiting to be sipped.
I managed to do it  by changing the direction I walked to work,  buying a piece of fruit  from a fruit vendor and eating that like I would drink a coffee. I replaced my habit with something,  because the times I have tried to do it other ways. Feet! Keep walking! haven’t lasted as long as my successful attempts.
So quitting Wow, would need to involve more then canceling an account,  not turning on the PC,   Even hanging out with people is dangerous because it’s so easy to slot wow into a conversation, and the internet is dangerous because there are all these things about wow!

Can I come over to your place to watch you play Wow? No I really did come here for Wow..  Really,  it wasn’t an excuse to see you.

I have resisted the urge to manage my auctions through my phone.  Wow has already permeated my life, I’d like to say mostly for good reasons, but I dream about wow, stay out of my subconscious.

However a Chinese monastery sounds like it might work.

Practicing Casting animations while wearing a robe.  It’s Wow Fu –  Iron Shadow Priest form. Like this ” Waves hands around”  Mindblast!   I win against preying mantis!

Nope wouldn’t work.

I don’t have – nor can I forsee,  a big enough reason to quit completely, and I think I would have great difficulty doing so. I guess that worrys me a little.

Though I am writing this instead of playing right now.

Must write more!


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