Posts Tagged 'Blizzard'

The MMORPG the biggest fishbowl experiment ever.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a MMORPG has to be the biggest ‘fish bowl’ experiment, that most of the players aren’t even aware they are in … What do I mean? Blizzard gave us a game. We created a culture. In game and Out, and social anthropologists I’m sure study these virtual worlds with glee…

Its been the players that have used the ‘rules’ given to them by the creators ‘god’ and adapted them into practicality – Applying them to ‘ virtual reality’ Its like throwing people onto a deserted island with limited tools and skills. How do they survive? What Social, Political, Financial ( trade/barter), industrial society develops because of the limitations.

Some examples?
Who came up with spell rotations?
Who comes up with strategies for Quests/Fights Bosses
BG Tactics?
Who pores over Reports on DPS and Crit and Proc Percentages to determine the best possible gear.
The best use of Talent points for each class and Spec
Social Dynamics and hierarchies  such as officers in guilds / raid leaders  from GM Roles to Pugs..

and any theorycraft practically.

Players do..  Blizz gave us a world..     Players are the cogs that run it.

Did blizzard think of Level 19 Twinks? Or only encourage a ‘sub culture’ by refining rules such as item levels for enchants and item enhancements. Level 19’s still don’t have BG Rewards why? People who Twink out a level 19 don’t do it for the shinny epics.. They do it for the pleasure of playing and getting the maximum out of of a level by hunting down ruthlessly the best available gear at that level, and utilising the existing ‘rules’ of the Warcraft Universe to get the best advantage. Eg Quest rewards don’t have level requirements. If you can pick up the quest you can pick up the item. People have to plan their twink by about level 12 Did Blizzard predict this? or watch in amusement at this growing ‘side game’ within wow.

Blizzard and any other MMORPGdevelopers give people a set of rules, and the players determine what parts of that Game is worthy playing, and Blizzard has shown some adapatability in encourging  ( or discouraging ) particular methods of play – by making the Guild Social Interaction easier ( in game Voice chat that no one uses..   and Guild banks

Which begs the theory – does the success of the game depend on the original concept, or the way in which the players are allowed to run with the concept?

What prompted this line of thought? A Shadow Priests Shadow Word Death.

“A word of dark binding that inflicts X to Y Shadow damage to the target. If the target is not killed by Shadow Word: Death, the caster takes damage equal to the damage inflicted upon the target.”

My Crits are hurting me. Bad. I raid with around 9.1-9.3 health depending on how many class buffs we have, I stam up for BT so as to survive Najentus’s Blast Wave, and it helps when running from Volcano’s in supremeous, I’ve been getting a moonkin in my group and with a Base – unbuffed +shadow Damage of 1295 now I am criting for 4k that’s practically half my health, and yes healers now know to heal me up and my VE helps. So it got me thinking. Is the spell being used as blizzard intended, or has its use ‘Evolved’ as players tested the spell and discovered the beneficial ways it could be used.

The Original concept was whenever you kill a target using Shadow worth death, if you are talent spec’d into Spirit Tap you can have a 100% chance of boosting your Spirit by 100% and allowing 50% mana regeneration while casting for 15 sec. So instead of getting an Innervate like Mages do for themselves, or Druids do for themselves, or others, or Life tap for warlocks this was a way for priests to get mana back at a reasonable rate.

Was Shadow word death intended to be used as an essential DPS tool? Its not an completely unique idea, self damage for beneficial results.. Eg Warlocks Life Tap has the same concept, they do it to get mana back.. i wonders..

A Boo Boo.. and a rather helpful Role Playing Gm..

I said I would “sing the name” of a Blizzard Gm in my guild halls  due to assistance rendered over a silly thing I did.

One shouldnt try and do complicated things when you have messy bags at 3am in the morning. So because there werent that many people on in my guild at that time, I figured I would blog it, so its recorded for posterity.

So a Big Thankyou to Antinik for assistance rendered.   I’ve not revealed details as to the nature of the assistance, as we discussed,  The trees have ears, and a Paranoid Gnome in this delicate climate is probably a good thing to be..

I’ve heard that Blizzard Gms answer their tickets in roleplay,  but I’ve never really raised one before at all..  and I wasnt sure how to respond at first..  do I stay in character..   will that get a better response? So I played along.. got a good laugh and had my issue fixed..


Much Ado about Ninja’s

Its a common thread on any Realm forum,  “insert random name  is a Ninja” It happens in Pugs, and in guild runs,   and usually with Tier items.

What can you do if it happens?  Nothing.  Not one thing that is going to change their behaviour or cause them grief, and Stressing about it only effects the enjoyment of your game.

No matter how many times you post it in trade, or on Forums.

Doesn’t sound very fair does it?

The sadder thing is that there is often easily obtainable evidence such as the “Monitoring and Logging”  of your chat conversations that Blizzard can do, that the ninja acted dishonourably,  Lied even, and did so with intent to permently deprive someone else of an item. But they can’t be prosecuted or their actions reversed because it happened in a virtual world.  Second Life seems to be crossing the border as to whats virtual and what is real in that they use real world currency to purchase virtual items, and that there are real world court cases on property disputes, and copyright infringements for items that are virtual, as it was determined to have real world value.

So I’ve had a look at Blizzards Warcraft EULA and the only thing close to a potential action against a ninja can be found in..

5. B part 9
Participate in any action that, in the sole and absolute opinion of Blizzard, results or may result in an authorized user of the Program being “scammed” or defrauded out of gold, weapons, armor, or any other items that user has earned through authorized game play in the Program .

Arguablly: You could say that the Ninja has scammed you and potentially 23 others into running an instance for their own personal gain. You have been defrauded, as the fact that you killed the boss, you earned a shot at the loot through your ‘authorized game play’
Given that as per the following extract.

8. “You agree that you have no right or title in or to any such content, including the virtual goods or currency appearing or originating in the Game, or any other attributes associated with the Account or stored on the Service. Blizzard does not recognize any virtual property transfers executed outside of the Game or the purported sale, gift or trade in the “real world” of anything related to the Game. Accordingly, you may not sell items for “real” money or otherwise exchange items for value outside of the Game.

No rights and No title – how can you be scammed on something if its not legally yours in the first place..

We really are playing on the whim of Blizzard. ( and for the most we love em..  )

But whats the alternative? A Warcraft Court? Where parties with greviences can put their case forward, imagine the resources required to resolve these issues?

Sorry – I can’t come to Hyjal I’m a witness in a case against Such and Such..   am Due in ‘court’ in an hour..

You can’t protect yourself..  even trusted people go gah gah when its something drops that they have been dying for. Loot councils while on the surface seem fair are often corrupt

Need/greed rolls can be manipulated in that some can greed,  but one need roll will discount all the greed rolls.

I’m a big supporter of Master Looter in a trusted run, meaning that I trust the person who is in control. But I’ve seen mistakes happen – items looted to people that shouldn’t have been..  and not even to a class that can use the item.  Bliz Gm’s responses have been for the most..  your mistake, its not up to them to fix it. I can see their point, imagine the requests they get for BOP item redirectors, Echanters who blow up the wrong item, or people who accidently vendor an essential piece of a Set.

So I propose..

Loot can’t be changed to Masterlooter unless all members of the ‘Group’  / Raid accept Yes.

You can only roll on items that you and your class can equip. ( it will reduce accidental looting and people who need on other items for fun.)

A dispute roll option to be enabled/disabled. Whereas a Vote for NO by a majority causes the item to trigger a re roll request.

Now these won’t stop all the ninja’s and can work against the honest person,  but if you earned the roll, and a majority of other people voted No against you then you have more problems then you first suspected.

Worse case senario – No one gets the item because everyone is arguing about it.

So avoiding pugs isn’t always the answer, its not practical and how else can you meet new people..  ( or be head hunted.. ) and even your own guildys can give you cause for mistrust.. ( everyone knows the toon in your guild that got the Tier piece and then /gquit) People are random.  There currently is no answer but to trust luck.. and as many people as you can afford.


Tolkien – Father of Warcraft Elves?

I was going to write a post on the similarities of the Sin’dorei & The Sindar

and While I have read Tolkien – I havent read any recently… but I was reading theMeeting at Corvallis – SM Stirling today The Sindar was mentioned in a passing comment as one of the chacters in this post modern Apocalyptic society has a Tolkien fetish.. and is speaking Elvish I love this series for so many reasons, but the comment registered in my brain as a ‘Oh’ I recognise that name from World of Warcraft.. and that led me to Talk: Sindassi a Wow Wiki Entry. That has also drawn some similarities and debate. I wonder if there are any tolkein fanatics that could correct the Wiki…. and without suggesting that Blizzard have ‘stolen’ the name.. they do ‘borrow’ from popular culture. Look at Adam ( Heman) in lowercity.. or Haris Pilton in the Inn. Blizzard wouln’t be the first to borrow content from Tolkien.. and while I am far from an expert… LOTR was a very long book. Very complex – and intricate and as someone who professes to be a sci Fic/Fantasy Writer ( ME… published and paid in small quantities) Like Prachettes World I envy the universe that Tolkein Created. Pieces of Tolkien has found its way into most modern Fantasy… while his work hasn’t been duplicated – his spirit and ideals.. live through so many writers yesterday.. today.. tomorrow…. isnt it fitting it has also done so in gaming..,..

Wow declares War…

Wow Declars War against automated Play as reported in my State paper ( well the online version.  )

Blizzard is taking a Bot producer to Court – their arguments are sound and the figures quoted are that ” over 100,000 have bought Glider, according to Donnelly”
I’ve been in a few Bg’s where you see people who Bot, and have felt frustrated and annoyed and the only thing left to do is report them AFK – and encourage others to do so.
We found an interesting bot the other day in a game of Eos – and it would always run to the action, and so would then get involve itself in PVP by doing an Aoe – and then continue running and Aoeing – there was no variation to game play – could this have been a rather dumb player? – No. Didnt respond to tells / Bg messages ect .. and the final test One of our pallys ( semi Guild premade ) cast their Divine intervention which stops all harm and any action for 3 mins on this person -( very useful in Boss fights with a long run back – it does however kill the Pally ) its quite simple to remove – click it off. The bot never clicked it off – when three min was up it went back to Aoeing.

for one I really dont want to have to worry in every bg about reporting Afkers – but its a necessary evil, and what peeves me off the most is that they are often the best geared.
Blizzard is slowley changing that. They have to becareful as it could lead to miss use.
Eg in Some Semi premades the premade component report Everyone thats not one of them as Afker – so 5 reports ( Im not sure how many it takes.. but 5 would be a significant number ) if you forget to click off/enter Pvp your marked as Afker no honour, and another in an AV yesterday someone did an Emote /e has reported u Afk type /afk to disable – this orange text made me look at my buffs and I’m like huh – and then Doh! besides the using of U instead of you – it was a pretty lame blow. Everyone sees the emote and thinks it applys to you – and maybe follows intructions – hence going Afker and causing more people to report.

and its sad to think that Blizzard has to dedicate time – and fixes to try and stop people from exploiting the game.
at the basic and truest level. Its not fair.
and Blizzards quote rings so true.
“Glider use severely harms the WoW gaming experience for other players by altering the balance of play, disrupting the social and immersive aspects of the game, and undermining the in-game economy.”

Someone who can farm an resourse 24/7 can set their own price – generating more gold what the article doesn’t explore is perhaps the link to Goldsellers or the likely hood of goldsellers in utilising this tool.

the sadder thing is that people will and pay for this tool.
Our guild was ‘forced’ or more encouraged to PVP untill we got the 2min dispell trinket. Its essential for a Mount Hyjal boss who entombs you and damage ticks – you can only escape with this trinket and we had to have the 2 min cool down. Many of the guildys who hate pvp and have no Pvp gear had to painfully grind it. I had it as I love my Bg’s but I can see how something painfull such as some Pvp – farming ect ect where a bot would be useful. But it defeats the whole entire purpose of the game.
To Play…

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