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Another Day, Another Alt

May 29, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve neglected my blog recently, probably for no good reason, but let’s pretend it’s because I’ve been busy with University. Despite that, I’ve still managed to maintain a relatively active account, insofar as I now have three level 85 characters: a Mage (Arcane/Frost), a Priest (Holy/Shadow), and a Shaman (Elemental/Resto). The Mage is the only character that I actively play, my Priest (once a glorious Kingslayer) is now nothing more than a transmute donkey (spending her eternity in Uldum making Volatile Airs) and my Shaman a failed healer project (worth 20,000 gold) that does nothing more than ninja the odd item from the guild bank.

I’m quite happy to admit that during my entire Cataclysm experience, the only raid I’ve stepped into is a trash run that lasted just over an hour. I haven’t even looked at Baradin Hold, perhaps the easiest boss since Vaults of Archavon, and I have zero raid boss kills of any Cataclysmic description to my name. I haven’t finished the new 4.1 troll dungeons, and I’ve yet to get a character decked out in full epics. I’m taking Cataclysm slowly, I don’t have the motivation to raid three nights a week after Cliche, it was just too much hard work and not enough enjoyment. I play Warcraft for fun, if I wanted to have to sit for three hours a night doing repetitive tasks then I’d get a job as a secretary (and get paid for it!).

That said, I try to keep my finger on the pulse of modern Warcraft life. I keep up with class changes that I know will affect me, and while I can’t say I’m particularly competent with raid strategies, I’m more than capable at everything else. My months of raiding have taught me that fire burns, which is a lesson that a considerable amount of DPS have yet to grasp. Even worse, with a new gear tier now available to casual players (I’m talking about the 353 troll gear) people now assume that they’re more than welcome to stand in burning hot lava because “they overgear it”, or worse, “the healer overgears it so can heal me”.

I’ve yet to play a healer, but I do have a Druid in the pipeline. I have to say, I spent quite a lot of time on my Shaman (getting it from 1 to 85 in a single “sitting”, rather than playing for a couple of weeks then neglecting it for months, as I tend to do with my alts) with every intention of being a healer but it just didn’t work out. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by what I was playing, I’ve burned out from Shamanism after Icecrown, the same way that I’d burned out with Priest after Icecrown too (hence why that is equally unused). The only class I’ve never healed on comprehensively is a Druid, and while I know that my current Cataclysm experience is far from comprehensive, I’d still like to be able to run just a single Heroic as a healer to say that I’d done it.

Right now, despite all of the Heroic “nerfs” that came in January/February, I still worry about healing them. Things hit harder, heals don’t work as well, mana is actually an issue, it’s so very different from the playstyle I’m used to. At least I think so. The thing is, I’ve healed my way through most of Icecrown 25, Icecrown 10HM, Trial of the Circus 10/25/10HM/25HM and Ulduar, but does that really count for anything? The entire game has switched and now what I used to know is no longer at all relevant (see a previous post for elaboration on “veteran gamers”).

My Druid however, is actually enjoyable. While I made a Druid during Wrath and didn’t feel like I clicked with it because of the “slow HoT heal” strategy, because I haven’t healed at all for such a long time it feels almost like a fresh experience, and one that I’m enjoying. I’m learning (slowly) that I can HoT somebody and know they’ll be okay for a few seconds, and I’ve even got to the point of facepalming when other healers don’t (I saw a healer today cast Renew on a half-health Warlock then immediately top-up with Penance, what’s the fucking point?). Equally with Druid, the only spec I actually enjoy is Resto so there’s no “scapegoat” spec (like Elemental) that I can just jump into and shirk healing forever. If I don’t like Resto then I’ve wasted an entire month leveling a Druid for nothing.

Since the summer holidays are here I can actually set in with some proper blogging again, for all the good it’ll do. And if I really get into it, I might even treat myself to a realm transfer to somewhere that isn’t utterly dead and vacant, though I get the feeling that diminished accountability due to LFG/guild finder/RealID is hitting every realm, not just Saurfang (more on that later, no doubt).

Categories: Squiggle

Vacation

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s been a fair while since I made a significant post (or any poster that didn’t involve me hating horribly on Hunters). I’ve been playing with my usual gusto, I still haven’t stepped foot inside a Cataclysm raid (trash runs don’t count, right?) but I have another level 85 added to my ranks (a Shaman). I’ve also done a fair bit of guild hopping trying to find somewhere to call home.

I finally settled into a guild called Blackwatch. I wanted to hound them since I first saw their guild advertisement calling for mature over 18s, though I guess nobody ever sticks to their Trade recruitment “promises”. We have a few under 18s but mostly friends/family of the officers, and they’re not the annoying whiny unbroken-voice-never-shutting-up-on-Ventrilo kinds so it’s okay. Most of the officer crew is made up of real life friends, which seems a bit odd but it’s not something I feel so strongly against that I’d question it (I prefer a variety of officers from different geological and cultural backgrounds to provide a more even spread of power; complaining to an officer about another officer knowing they’re best friends isn’t a great idea). The guild is friendly though, they don’t hardcore (or even softcore) raid, there are a clutter of events regularly, and they do daily Heroics if nagged hard enough. The guild bank is open to all, and there’s a feeling of trust running through the guild (some might say that an open guild bank is stupid, but from my month in the guild I’ve only ever seen one occasion where this has caused a problem). It also lacks the annoying fanboy cluster of “gz” spamming spoon-licking morons every time I get a mundane “achievement” like “Level 10!”.

I’ve been playing a Mage through the first three months of Cataclysm, but I’m so bored of running the same places knowing that I’ve “capped” all of my gear outside of Heroics, that there’s nothing for me anymore. It was a relatively new character at the end of Wrath anyway, so it’s not like I had a bunch of half-finished achievements/feats to complete.

My Shaman has been built as an Elemental/Resto dual-spec, though I’ve yet to use the Resto spec for more than a single (normal) Cataclysm dungeon, primarily out of the fear instilled in me by the stories of healers gone by and the new healing mechanics. I was a confident healer throughout Wrath, but knowing now that I can’t spam my best heals constantly and have to play triage is an idea that – even months after Cataclysm’s release – hasn’t quite sunk in. I’ve been vigorously gearing up for the past few days, and have a small number of 359 epics and an even smaller number of 346 rares, and I still feel like I’m falling short of where I need to be. The problem lies in the fact that I still haven’t shirked a few pre-85 items and they’re making me feel uncomfortable. The other problem is that half of my gear now lacks Spirit, which is great for Elemental (where I only need enough for a 6% hit conversion for 5-man bosses) but (even psychologically) makes me feel inferior as a healer, constantly in fear of running OOM. Half of the problem is that so many spells have changed for Shamans since Wrath that I look at my hotkeys and blanch. It’s something I’ll work around in time and hopefully come to embrace, but healing isn’t going to be particularly fun until I get stuck in and work through those first few inevitable wipes and bad groups.

Nothing exceptional to report about my gameplay though. I’m working on the Guardian or Cenarius title for my Shaman but it’s taking a fair while. Twilight Texts, weekly Ahn’Qiraj runs and obsessive Coilfang slaughtering is taking its toll. I’m glad I’m not doing The Insane.

Categories: Squiggle

Guild Level Five – Cash Flow

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Cash Flow

“Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 5% money is generated and deposited directly into your guild bank.”

 

I can’t be the only one who thinks that this gives guild leaders license to anally abuse every single guild member without even dropping his pants. 5% isn’t a huge amount, but when you have 100 members (or more) all depositing a trickle of gold into the bank each day, it can stack relatively quickly. Insert unadulterated and entirely inaccurate napkin math below.

Total Cataclysm Quests Available: 150+115+125+108+95 (numbers pulled from loremaster achievement from each zone) = 593
Plus a ton of daily quests.

Now imagine that two thirds of all of these quests require you to kill mobs (for drops or for slay counts). Each one on average 8 mobs (napkin!)?

400 (or so) quests.
3200 mobs killed.

That can give you anywhere from 640 gold to 2880 gold (using lower cap of 20s per mob, upper cap of 90s per mob).

5% of that can be anywhere between 32 gold and 144 gold per person leveling (approximately) from 80 to 85. A hundred of those means anywhere up to about 14k gold sitting in a guild bank. Don’t forget that this then doubles with Cash Flow (Rank 2) at guild level 16.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but most guild leaders aren’t stupid, they’re going to notice a few hundred gold trickling into their guild vaults every day, and nobody’s going to see exactly how much they’ve deposited because it doesn’t show in the guild bank log. Most guilds also operate a policy of not giving free repairs to new members, or even only to officers. When you’re running a tight ship like that then where does the gold go?

Oh hi guildmaster, I didn’t see you there behind your armor crafted from Truegold and unicorn cunts.

Sindragosa

August 5, 2010 1 comment

It’s worth raiding for four hours just to hear the music that accompanies this fight.

Eleven Men and an Owl

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Cliche is a new raiding guild created by a real life friend that I’ve decided to realm and faction change to join, it’s actually pretty exciting, we raid on two days (four hour raids) as a ten man group, and in the two raids I’ve been to I’ve already seen the difference. No more having to co-ordinate twenty five people with flasks and enchants, the people we have are trusted, smart and generally good at what they do. We did ICC10 today, had a handful of good attempts at the Lich King (3%, gutted!) and generally had a lot of fun. I’ve finally got my two first characters (Priest and Paladin) on the same realm, which is nice, although it means I had to leave Mist behind.

Not that it’s the same as it used to be. The officers don’t care anymore, the guild leader is AFK most of the time, the second in command is an arrogant idiot who refuses to admit that despite having a problem, there are solutions, and the other five officers don’t actually do anything at all. Whining asides, it’s nice to have a clean sheet, and as soon as we have the Lich King on farm, we’ll start doing some ten man progression. Played Shadow for all of today because we lacked a decent ranged DPS and had too many decent healers, no loot and a lot of repairs, but worth every gold for the fun I got in return. I just hope that blasted Warlock doesn’t outroll me on all of the Cloth gear.

Tips

July 21, 2010 Leave a comment

When I come to Orgrimmar knowing that I’ll have to wait twenty minutes for a Hearthstone or run/fly back which’ll take just as bloody long, I wouldn’t mind if you throw me a few gold for the trouble, especially when I’m doing something that clearly benefits you.

Roleplay

July 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Now by no means am I a roleplayer, nor would I claim to have ever done it beyond a few /emotes in chat, but there are things that I define as “good roleplay” and things I define as “bad roleplay”

Bear in mind that we’re playing a game who’s theme is war, death, destruction, and huge battles. One would have thought that roleplay would stretch a little further than simply standing in Thunder Bluff or Orgrimmar (or Silvermoon, god forbid) pretending to talk to other random players under a very transparent alias, an alias that they can’t keep in tune for more than few lines before they make a very uncharacteristic jolt into a fit of undeniably see through rage or some other emotion.

I wanted to write this recently but lost the will to because I know that I just don’t have enough to talk about in regards to roleplaying to make a decent blog post. That changed today after I see what was probably the most pathetic attempt at roleplay ever. Two Tauren and a Blood Elf in Orgrimmar having what seemed like the most cliche conversation ever. Tauren A and Tauren B were a couple (I assume), and Tauren B was caught having “fun” with Blood Elf, so Tauren A started screaming in the middle of Orgrimmar about how it was over and that they would pick up their “shit” next week, after they’d moved to Thunder Bluff. The whole time this conversation was transpiring, my jaw was dropping lower and lower. Then, as then uncharacteristic twist, Tauren A suddenly starts shouting death threats and using language that you’d expect from the Lich King, not some vulnerable Tauren wife.

Perhaps I’m sitting under a cloud of grandeur, but my definition of role playing is rolling a dice, having epic battles with monsters and other people, blood spilling and none of this lovey-Eastenders shit that plagues the open air of Orgrimmar and other cities. We’re playing a game with in-game miles of maps, more towns than just the cosy Auction House of Silvermoon, huge factional wars with ten (soon to be twelve) different races and whatever else. On a whole realm there have to be more than just a few solitary Blood Elves and Tauren playing (un)happy families, enough people to gather up a small army to go raiding towns and enemy cities. Yes, we have that already, we have city raids whereby we kill faction leaders, but what about something else? Why don’t you go browse Wowhead, find a random NPC and make up a storyline to have an excuse to kill him. Juli Stormkettle is the Ironforge Mage trainer, perhaps he’s wanted by the Horde War Chief for practicing black magic with fatal consequences. There, in the space of a sentence I’ve set up a storyline whereby you have the means and opportunity to go and do something with a group of people instead of sitting around Silvermoon as a level 7 Rogue making love to another level 7 Rogue.

The game has constraints, yes, things like city raiding and dungeon running are hard to do at lower levels, but it also provides a thousand opportunities. Every quest can be role played, you can pretend to be Mankrik’s best friend, going to avenge his beaten wife by desecrating the Razorfen dens, you can pretend to be Thrall’s elite guard, on a mission to explore Northrend, anything at all with a bit of imagination.

What I don’t understand is that people set up backstories for characters, you’re a dragon who fought alongside Rhonin and Krasus, you were lined up to be consort of one of the Aspects, hours of imagination are put into this, and then it’s all ruined by being tied to a level 7 Rogue who does sweet fuck all.

I don’t really understand why I’m irked, but I play on a roleplaying realm (not really my choice, I just moved there to be with a friendly face) and seeing this stuff just makes me want to facepalm. If people enjoy sitting around Silvermoon and Orgrimmar having sexy ERPs and affairs then go ahead, I just get the feeling there is so much more to it.