Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hardcore players shouldn't mind easier

Some people have been up in arms about Blizzard's decision to nerf current raids.

As a member of the casual masses, I welcome this change but I can't understand why the hardcore players care.

Blizzard wants to have players experience the raid content, a fact made evident by the gear being thrown to players left and right during Wrath. While I loved the harder heroic 5-man instances released with ICC, they ended up being loot pinatas and threw the idea of hard-won gear out the window.

Reducing the difficulty of the current raiding tier with the release of 4.2 is brilliant. Serious players get a new raid, with new gear, while casuals basically get the same. Sure, we have access to the current raid content, but we never really got to the point of being able to consider it farming for gear. If we made it through (and our guild has yet to see many fights), it is tough each and every week. The difficulty has gotten to some of our raiders, apparently, because they stopped showing up on a regular basis.

By allowing for more mistakes during raiding, casuals can get a feel for it and learn at a lower level. Let's face it: right now, there is no place for a causal guild to learn how to raid.

Before anyone says it, I'm not complaining that Cata raids are too hard. Even though I haven't completed most of the raiding content, I still don't have a problem with the difficulty of the expansion. I'm a casual player and I don't expect to have easy access to all parts of the game without hard work.

As it stands, casual guilds can basically hit a brick wall trying to get a start into raiding. Rather than asking for loot pinatas, I would rather they make the old raid content easier. Not only will it allow more people access to the gear they will need to try to survive in Firelands, but it will give less experienced or less dedicated raiders a place to hone their skills. Casuals can hit a brick wall in raiding with Firelands, but now struggling guilds fall back to BWD and BoT.

Hardcore raiders should be thrilled that Blizzard isn't going to implement another set of 5-man heroics to help casuals gear up. Instead of worrying about a heroic instance putting out better loot than they are wearing, they can focus on Firelands. It also makes the current raid tier a place for us noobs to practice.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Storyline shortfalls

Matticus recently wrote about the story line shortfalls in Cataclysm and I have to agree with him.

I feel the same about the lack of connection to the current story and wanted to share my thoughts as well.

Granted, I never played Warcraft III and didn’t start World of Warcraft until Burning Crusade shortly before Wrath. As my wife and I leveled through Azeroth and Outlands, I enjoyed the stories and exploring this huge new world (though it didn’t feel as huge as Star Wars: Galaxies when we had to walk across contintents).

In Shattrath, I felt a connection to the Aldor, whom I viewed as the good guys (We’re playing Alliance) and wanted to help them out. I didn’t get into much endgame stuff as Wrath was around the corner. With Wrath, I felt like we delved into what made Arthas tick as we saw his downfall. By the time we hit the Icecrown area, I could tell Arthas was a bad mofo. I couldn’t wait for the Citadel to open so we could bum rush him.

By contrast, I feel nothing toward Deathwing, other than gratitude for cleaning up some things around the world. Through the various new questing areas, I have dislike of a few NPCs, but Deathwing hasn’t really affected me. I have little info on his background or motivations.

Now, I will admit I didn’t read each quest through each area, but I didn’t in Wrath either. Be it by cutscenes or whatnot, I understood the story and cared about it.

I don’t for Deathwing. But I hope the new questing hubs coming in 4.2 will change that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Best stats for a Resto Shaman?

With the new changes to mastery for resto shamen in 4.1, I have to re-evaluate my stat choices.

Even with the change, it feels to me like haste should take the cake. The faster I can cast, the better chance I have of getting a heal off. When heals go off, people don't die.

Of course, you have to have spirit to go with haste. Earlier, I didn't realize this and stacked haste to the point my spirit couldn't keep up. Now, I scaled back and reforged off my haste because it was considered the least valuable stat.

But now, I have to rethink everything, since I want to be at the top of my game for raids.

And the Elitist Jerks site is no help. In their 4.1 discussion, they label Intellect as the most valuable stat, followed by Spirit. The problem is they don't take a stand on the stats I can do something about with reforging, haste, crit and mastery.

I recall reading other sites that suggest you get to 916 haste and then move onto other stats.

I guess I will stay away from reforging, outside of Spirit until I figure it out.

What stats are my fellow shamen prioritizing?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Call me the Dread Pirate Roberts


I finally got the ring I've been looking for forever, [Dread Pirate Ring].

It was six minutes after the tournament had started and I had just told my son that someone was about to win the tournament. But I said I would keep going until it was announced.

Two casts later, [Blacktip Shark] pops up.

This time around, I wasn't too excited about it. I'd seen the stupid fish make its way into my bags twice before and I still awaited the first prize. My computer is kinda slow, so loading a new area takes a while sometimes.

Anyway, I started my Astral Recall spell to port me back to Dalaran and waited for Elder Clearwater's red words announcing my failure once again.

But he didn't announce a winner by the time I arrived in Dalaran, so I turned Ghost Wolf and raced to Elder Clearwater.

The problem was I couldn't see the guy. (Did I mention my computer can be slow? Sometimes this equates to my toon walking around in a deserted town until the computer catches up.)

So I wait a few anxious seconds while the computer thinks about whether I have waited long enough for the ring. I'd only missed it by precious seconds a couple times before, so maybe I needed another of those.

But to my surprise, Elder Clearwater appeared and I clicked as fast as I could to get the ring. The first time I found the [Blacktip Shark], I lost the tournament because I forgot to choose a prize. Not that there was a doubt.

As the quest box leaves, I notice a Worgen racing up to Elder Clearwater. She cheered at me when Clearwater announced I had won, but I think she was probably looking to score the shiny new ring herself.

I've been glowing all day, insisting people call me by my new title, the Dread Pirate Roberts. It's too bad the contest didn't come with the new title so I could show off to the WoW world.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lich King finally goes down.

Since the beginning of time (or at least the middle of the Lich King expansion), I have wanted to fight my way to Arthas' throne and beat some sense into the guy.

Even after hitting 85, that was my main goal. There is a lot of stuff going on in that fight, so it was hard for a noob like me to manage.

But victory tastes sweet, now that I have my Kingslayer title. Granted, it's a day late and a dollar short, but at least it's done.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Archaeology finally pays off.

All that hard work digging for fragments and piecing together vendor trash finally paid off when I completed my first Tol'vir rare: Ring of the Boy Emperor.

That ring was the reason I started the profession in the first place. That, and the fun I had with the Harrison Jones quest line in Uldum. Too bad the actual profession isn't as glamorous as the quests.

I'm now done with Rare #13 for my Professor title from the achievement It Belongs in a Museum. I can't wait for this title. Finally, I'll have something to replace my Brewmaster title, another one I enjoyed getting.

I also realized I'm at 94/100 commons from getting Diggerest, so I guess I do want some more commons to proc.

I actually have enough fragments to complete the Fossilized Raptor, but I'm holding onto it. For some superstitious reason, I think having a rare that is being built helps other rares to proc. Consciously, I know that's not true, but I can't help it. It's kinda like Indiana Jones needing to have his lucky hat with him at all times.

So I just need six more rares to be a Professor, but I think Ring of the Boy Emperor will be my favorite find by far.

What is your favorite archaeology find?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Old raids can still be fun.

Well, we cleared Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. I know these are level 70 raids and shouldn’t pose much of a problem at level 85, but I found both enjoyable. There were some interesting mechanics involved in some of those fights. I especially enjoyed the Hot Potato passing feel of Lady Vashj.

We had a good raid leader taking us through and explaining the fights. Luckily, we had enough firepower to make many of the fights much less dangerous than they could have been, even for the level 85s in the group.

Since I reached level 70 for the first time a matter of weeks before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, I didn’t have much time for raiding in Burning Crusade. I got myself geared up a bit and ran Karazan once before the expansion.

Afterward, there wasn’t much of a reason for me to go back. The gear was obsolete and I was more focused on new content. Since there was an achievement for it, my wife and I eventually wanted to complete it, but it wasn’t high on our list until we started working on[Outland Raider].

So, I was glad to see that our guild was running the old instances/raids for achievements. I was even more impressed that we had someone who knew the fights well and could explain them for us who hadn’t been there before.

Two more achievements down. Next, I’m looking at the Battle for Mount Hyjal.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why not kill Deathwing?

I'm not concerned with Deathwing's demise.

I'm not sure if I haven't been paying as much attention during leveling, but I don't have any feelings toward this world-changing upstart at all. It's almost the opposite. Thanks to Deathwing, I get to fly around Azeroth and witness some major scenery changes in the old world. He helped bring heroic versions of Deadmines, an instance I always liked and spent a lot of time running.
I have only leveled my main character to 85, but I didn't seem to learn too much about the black dragon supposedly bent on world destruction.

This is quite a change from the Wrath of the Lich King for me. As I leveled Morkk to 80, many quests gave me Arthas' backstory and I didn't like what he was becoming. I started a death knight, like everyone else, and absolutely loved that storyline. I was surprised by how much I wanted to kill the Lich King for telling me I was nothing and he was the next best thing to sliced bread. By the end of that chain, I was more than ready to off the big guy himself.

Of course, I had to wait. As others have commented, we got to storm all the way up to Icecrown Citadel and then turn around and fly off to Ulduar. Just you wait, you evil man, we'll be back for you. Then we had to prove that we were up for the challenge, which was a step I didn't mind, before getting a shot at Arthas himself.

Granted I don't raid much, and didn't spend much time in Ulduar or ToC until I needed gear for Icecrown. Mostly, I didn't care about those raids. But when the ICC 5-man instances showed up, I was all over those. They offered tougher fights than heroics at the time, and added even more to my quest to hunt down the Lich King. Plus, I got gear to help me be less of a smear against the floor in ICC.

In the end, I had plenty of reasons to want to see Arthas dead. Unfortunately, my guild and I weren't skilled enough to tackle him and I didn't get to see him drop. (Now, I have a new guild and am level 85, so you can't avoid death forever, Arthas.)

But in Cataclysm, I don't have that passion against Deathwing. It was interesting to see some folks from vanilla instances come back and the effects they had on the world, but I don't really see Deathwing as a threat.
I plan to pay more attention as I level up my death knight, but right now, I don't see myself caring if Deathwing lives or dies.

Does anyone think the "World Destroyer" needs to go down?

Monday, February 28, 2011

No winner makes me even sadder.

In a disturbing turn of events, no one won the Kalu’ak Fishing Derby on Saturday.

Normally, I participate in that tournament at every available opportunity. I really want the [Dread Pirate Ring] simply for The Princess Bride reference. Plus, extra 5 percent experience while leveling is always cool.

Anywho, it was Saturday again and I was busy writing an article for the local newspaper when my son tells me that the tournament has started. After I landed from my leap off the couch, I realized that by the time I started up the game and hauled my Draenei butt to Northrend, I might just be in time for Elder Clearwater to announce I was a loser yet again. Twice before, I have found the [Blacktip Shark] only to have someone else beat me to the turn-in.

So, I decided to save myself the grief and finish writing my article. I was supposed to be working anyway.

About an hour later, my son makes another announcement: the tournament is over.

What?!? The tournament never lasts more than six minutes. What are these strange words you speak?

But, sure enough, it was true. The tournament had expired because no one had claimed the top prize. I cried a little inside because I had been trying to get this goofy ring for such a long time and here nobody even wanted to try this week — the one week I was too busy to participate. Needless to say, I was not impressed. I will be even more frustrated when I fish up the shark next week just as Elder Clearwater announces the winner.

As a word of advice, if you are on the Dalaran server, I wouldn’t bother with the tournament on Saturday. This week, I’ll be carrying home the prize.