Thursday, January 27, 2011

Does this say anything?

I'd be lamenting how few books are interactive in the expansions, but when I checked this one out in the Wildhammer inn, I figured there's at least a chance it actually says something.

Anyone know? (Clicking makes it a little bigger, I think.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hey, I'm famous! Sorta. In April of 2009

Look, I was quoted on WoW Insider... [1.Local]: Patch week patter:

Some readers ranted that $15 a month should provide smooth, uninterrupted service. Others felt that at something like 50 cents a day, they were getting a reasonable value.

'Interesting comments on the worth of WoW,' observed Jalindrine. 'The 50-cents-a-day logic, though, is obviously flawed. The question isn't 'Can I afford to spend 50 cents a day on a product?', but 'How many products/services can I afford to buy at 50 cents (more or less) a day?' Every so often, WoW's the one not worth it, which is much harder to realize when you're literally addicted.'

I think I got the tone right on that one. Post is here, followed by a perplexingly incoherent response. I often wish I didn't feel compelled to post on message boards, blogs, and websites, but finally realized back in my Slashdot days that it wasn't going to stop. ;^)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A UI worth considering

I usually just glance over the WoW Insider UI of the week, but this week's caught my eye. At first glance, without reading anything, I thought it was a good, clean, likely DPS UI. I liked it. Little did I know...
Hi! I have been reading the UI of the week column for a while, and since I just redid my UI for Cata, I thought I would try and share it. I started with what was essentially a blank slate, a need for simplicity and clean lines, and a desire for a functional and fairly minimalistic UI. I play a resto/boomkin druid as well as a ret/holy pally, so versatility is also very important. I need to be able to switch specs and have my UI be usable for healing as well as DPSing.

I try to stay as UI free as possible to minimize the impact of client upgrades, with only Auctioneer running as a general practice. I'm adding Recount now, but this one looks functional enough I might be induced to try it on my gaming tower.

In other news, I'm behind on posting. I hit level 84 a while back. Ding! post to follow when I'm back at home. For a second, I missed that the Tanaris quest was a breadcrumb (thought it was just for an archeology intro) and was stuck going to Vash'jr, which still, for whatever reason, doesn't do it for me. Finally got the Tanaris quest, enjoyed returning there and the start of that area, and then lucked into 84 and the mission board's move to Twilight Highlands. Things are enjoyable again. And the new headpiece for the Ulysses siren quest was both a nice upgrade and a good break from the standard quest gear sets.

Pretty high sys reqs in Highlands. I'm consistently getting 20 fps at everything set to Fair except draw distance at Ultra. Still, I'm loving the new tower's power. Anybody got $200 I could sink into a new video card to go with it?!

And, finally, I listened through all of the first podcast from Team Waffle. Not bad. A little overly hardcore for me. Talk about getting to 85 in 36 hours is, obviously, not what this blog (or my gameplay) is about. I was surprised how little time they spent on leveling -- most of it is about 45 minutes in.

It's worth listening to if you're a druid with a commute. I'll probably submit a question or two from your friendly-neighborhood part-timer. Support your local druids, d00dz. You know it takes three times as long to put together as you'd initially expect.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ding! 84

I was only in Uldum for about an hour, but dinged while I was there. I'm not sure where my /played shot is, but I'll dig one up once the maintenance is done (I'm backfilling this post almost a month after dinging, I'm afraid).

The Uldum quests were a lot more fun than Vash'jr, but I quickly went Wildhammer, which I just recently finished.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Panzerkin finally D-E-D

I found out reading Restokin:

Moonkin Form now grants 15% damage reduction instead of increased armor.

See, what the armor bonus did was allow you to put together mitigation gear, just like any other tank or off-tank. Now, the benefit is flat. I'll have to double check the mathes, since I really am mostly a non-mathes player, but I don't think 15% is going to be as good as max leather armor with the proper enchantments, etc.

This is really another watering down of the game, "Dungeons are hard" aside. Not only does the quest reward gear look exactly the same with small changes during upgrades, saying that you're essentially marching your way through a pre-defined route of gearing when questing, now, just as with the switch from +healing gear to just generic spellpower and the elimination of spell type specific bonuses, every Boomkin is marching along, playing just like every other.

The character of the game is taking a hit. Playstyles are becoming more standardized by the standardization of gear and gear bonuses.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How about you teach us instead? Re: Wow, Dungeons are Hard!

Wow, Dungeons are Hard! - World of Warcraft:

DPS specs often get blamed the most for not knowing what is going on. It should be your business to understand the mechanics of the fights. You’re a member of a team, not a follower who can always rely on someone else to tell them what to do. Which are the spells that need to be interrupted? Which are the void zones that you absolutely must get out of? Which are the adds that must be burned down (and conversely, when should you ignore the adds and focus on the boss instead)? If you aren’t sure, then ask. [emph mine]

No, you shouldn't have to ask. Nor should DPS stay in the LK theme of button spamming. Instead, the game should teach you each instance fight.

Essentially, what Blizzard's saying here is if you're not in a hardcore, first-run guild that's going to blast through the instances first, you must learn from what those guys have said. If you're part of the second wave, it's your responsibility to figure out the instances from outside of the game. You must read Thott/WoWhead. You must have someone in your guild that has already run the instance. You can't do this on your own, Nemo. You just can't!

The attitude's a cop out. If [PU]group members are going to continue to expect you to get it right the first time or they'll drop -- an attitude, it should be pointed out, this blog post by Blizzard reinforces -- then the game must include clues, preferably from the content of quest lines that teaches you how to handle an instance. There must be in-game methods to learn the lore. As much as gaming is an industry of metalepsis, how to run an instance should be taught in-game.

There's no RP reason not to think that the weaknesses and powers of the instances aren't known by some NPCs, and there's no reason not to make quests, accessible in solo PvE, that prepare us for boss battles in instances. I think I've mentioned that here before. I know I've thought it. It's not rocket science. The move's obvious. Lore in game, please.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ding! 83

Hyjal was the right choice. That said, I feel the narrative skews too far to favor your importance. I mean, come on, when there are so many people farming mobs, I can't very well honestly think the mountain's mine or that I personally turned the tide for the World Tree. If it were written so that I'm doing something helpful, but not singular, and if the quests were written in a way so that, say, every twenty schmoes had some variation on the same quest (so that it felt let we were working together), that'd reduce the barrier to suspending my disbelief. Jal's not the most important guy in Azeroth. I'm comfortable with knowing that.

Other quick comments:

Deepholm, so far, is fairly enjoyable.

Dailies were waaaaay overcamped today.

Leveling to 83 seemed to take much longer than to 82. Not sure why.

Finished up Sirana Iceshriek while flying around doing Dalaran dailies (I decided I wanted the chef hat). That was nice closure. It also happened to give me 100 Storm Peak quests, so there's another achievement.

Ah, yes, if you want to know the difference between the Rippling Ooze Chestguard versus the slightly less powerful Tunic of Soaring Safety, I've got a great screengrab. I can't recall who said that the new practice in Cat of provided matched quest armor was a good thing, but I disagree. The before/after pic, below, should help show you why (sorry for the darkness).

See the difference? STARK.

Who cares? Where's the reward? Where's the individuality? I can barely tell I've upgraded anything... we go from rust-er to grey-er. Wow. Helmet's the same deal. I think I've gone through three staves that look exactly the same.

I liked mismatched. I liked the drinking hat. ;^)

With the new leather armor specialization that killed the clothkin combined with this cruddy quest armor upgrades, I'm really unimpressed with the quest gear. Spend a little time creating the models next time, okay?

Waited 20-25 minutes in LFG to hit a random Cat dungeon. Got a bad group. Some Leeeeeeroy got us wiped before the fifth even had time to show up. Note to self: Yes, when you see part of an instance's cleared and lots of people running, you're probably joining a group that has no idea what's going on.

For this, I got to wait another 10 minutes before I could even LFG again. I know Blizzard's looking to change LFG to make sure you get in with people who know what's going on, not just folks appropriately geared, but for tonight, I got the short stick. /sigh

EDIT: Meant to include a /played.

One must always come clean in the midst of an addiction.