Monday, November 11, 2013

Why people should not rush to judgement about Warlords of Draenor

With subscribers in the millions, WoW is a very popular game. But as with any big game there are a massive amount of opinions around it, both positive and negative. Whenever a new expansion is announced we always see it, the people who ignore things that could improve the game and lock on to things they think will "destroy" the game, Warlords of Draenor is no different. While I will not say I like everything in the game, I try to see the positive in a game that I otherwise enjoy playing.

First off... The expansion is not even in beta yet. Blizzard has shown before that they will try to please as many people as possible, that said, we should all know it is impossible to please everyone and that just because the vocal majority may be for or against a choice Blizzard has made does not make them right. (did everyone already forget Cata?)  Considering many people believe that the beta will be about six months means there is a lot of chance for Blizzard to change their minds about unpopular features.

As for the future of raiding, with the announcement of flex becoming the new normal raiding and mythic being the highest level of raiding, requiring 20 people, I have seen a massive amount of threads predicting that this will be the death of 10 man heroic guilds. Some people state that it will force such guilds to recruit and if you are on a dead server you are screwed. The first problem I see with this is that besides the fact you have 6+ months to recruit, Blizzard is also in the middle of merging low population servers to save dead servers. And even if that doesn't solve the problem for you, your guild can switch realms between now and release day, and I don't mean that you have to spend money to move the whole guild, you can all create alts on a new server and either get them geared now, or boost them to 90 on release day. Don't forget that all pets, vanity toys, and even heirlooms can be there on the new server on opening day.

Assuming you don't want to do any of that, remember that mythic difficulty is meant to be harder than heroic. People also seem to forget that every expansion has had a different overall difficulty from each other so don't assume that just because your guild can kill a few bosses on heroic in the Siege of Orgrimmar means that you will do just as well on Mythic difficulty. Another common argument I have seen is that X number of guilds have killed heroic Immersius on 10 man and only Y on 25 man with Y being noticeably smaller. I honestly don't understand how being able to defeat the easiest boss in a given raid on heroic automatically means you are a heroic raiding guild and even if it did, the numbers I usually see in the arguments make up a VERY small percentage of the player base. Some might say "but not everyone raids" and they would be right, but that is part of my point, if only a small percentage of the players even belong to a dedicated heroic 10 man guild then assuming those people left (not that I am telling them to), why would that kill the game? and the main reason that there are less 25 man dedicated guilds than 10 man are because they give the same loot but 10 man requires less coordination. Sure, Blizzard could change that by giving more incentive to do 25 mans, but even giving a slight advantage to 25 mans would not solve the problem because it would "revive" 25 man only to kill competitive 10 mans instead. So don't act like the only reason most people do 10 mans is because they can't get enough raiders for a 25 man even if that is true for your guild.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reasons to consider every class as great.

Some people only play a certain class because they think it is the best tank/healer/DPS just to feel strong or good at something, and that can be said for most video games. But I play for the simple explanation that I find a class fun. Even though I have few alts, there is something potentially fun in every class that I see that has less to do with what rank their spec is and more to do with the variety. Keep in mind that this post is more about RP factors.

Hunter: Hunters tame and command the animals they use which can certainly be fun for those who enjoy the hunt in real life. Some people may also like the fact that you don't fight like any other class in the game; you use ranged weapons as you try to control the battle by laying traps, disengaging, and disabling the enemy before they even have much of a chance to fight back.

Mage: Come on, we all wish we could control magic with such ease. Incinerating or freezing our foes, teleporting around the world in a matter of seconds, creating out own food out of nothing, even increasing everyone's intellect, need I say more?

Priest: Being able to bathe people in a warm healing light might be cool for some, but if that isn't enough for you, then consider shadow. In a way, you can think of shadow priests as a mortal version of a fallen angel, you have an array of spells that cripple or even destroy the minds of your enemies, and even summon a dark creature of nightmare to fight for you.

Paladin: Soldiers that stand for all that is good who are able to use their conviction to burn the forces of evil such as demons or undead leaving little behind. Being able to take the brunt of attacks while also inspiring others is a plus too. In BC you could also consider Blood elf paladins who could bend the light to their will to fight any enemy.

Death knight: Reborn of unholy energy, you become a ruthless killing machine, capable of messing with the scales of life and death to summon those who have passed on to fight as a small army for you. As a former member of the scourge you can survive what would kill other mortals, steal the life force of others, and have strength that rivals warriors. But the power comes at a price, you can't go too long without inflicting suffering on the living, and simple joys of the world such as alcohol and love have little effect on you.

Warriors: So powerful that you can hold a two-handed weapon in one hand, being able to inspire your allies with just a shout, and zip up to enemies in a second; warriors have an unrelenting fury that can reduce an enemy to nothing if given the chance.

Druid: Controlling the powers of nature to the point that you can shapeshift into many animals with different advantages. The stealth of a cat, the bulk of a warrior, the magic of Elune granted to moonkin, and the healing powers of a tree, a druid is a master of adaptability.

Rogue: An assassin of the night that can kill you when your guard is down; rogues are masters of fighting dirty, knocking your allies out before they know he is there, stealing your gold without leaving any evidence, and even if you catch one, they have the ability to disappear before your eyes. Rogues are the reason you keep your ears open and your wallet closed.

Shaman: Those that can command the elements of wind, water, earth, and fire are known to us as shaman (not captain planet.) Shaman can easily be considered a leader or seer of a clan by speaking to the spirits of the land to gain guidance. As a fighter, shaman are well known for bolstering their forces with totems and bloodlust/heroism to increase fighting capability, as well as summoning spirit animals to command.

Warlock: The fallen magi of the game, warlocks gave up on being mages (or shaman in the case of orcs) to gain great power. With their dark arts they can summon and control an array of demons to fight in their service and also can torture their foes with fel and fire magic. Warlocks are usually shunned by society because of using dark magic even those that use it with good intentions.

Monk: Masters of fighting with or without weapons, monks are taught how to use their enemies moves or body against them. With a flurry of punches and kicks they can hit pressure points and cause paralysis or extreme pain. Monks also fight for balance and fight with honor.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pet battles: Gotta collect them all. part 2

Aquatic pets receive 25% (50% in 5.3) damage from dots. While not currently that useful in comparison to other racials, it still helps against that one pet whose main way of attacking is dots.

Critters currently reduce the amount of time they are affected by CC, ie: slows, roots, and stuns; which according to Blizzard, will become a complete immunity in 5.3. Personally, I think the new version might be a little OP but I am sure it is to make critters more viable, especially when a lot of battle pets have a beast attack.

Dragons will deal 50% more damage on their next attack after reducing the enemy to below 25%. Definitely helpful against pets used as a wall. One other thing to note, the ability still activates when defeating a pet from above 25% so it can get a head start on the next pet.

Mechanical pets will be revived to 25% health when they die the first time in the battle. Very useful but keep in mind, if killed with a multi-strike attack, if the opponent still has strikes left it will still use them and potentially make the ability redundant.

Undead pets when killed will return for 1 round after, before dieing again. Can be useful in a pinch. Also helpful for using an attack with some sort of recoil since they die again anyway.

3: Understand the trade off of choosing an ability over another. By this I mean as your pet levels up they gain access to new abilities, but once they reach level 10, you have to choose between two abilities for the first slot, the attack it's had since level 1 can now be switched out for the ability it learned at level 10 and it can be switched between on the fly when not in battle, the same is true for the choice between the attack learned at level 2 and level 15, and level 3 and 20.

4:Know your choices for healing your pet. All players have an ability in the pet tab to revive your pets to full on an 8 min CD, which does not finish while logged out and is shared among your alts. Generally when you are starting out you will have to go to stable masters quite a bit, who heal all your pets for a 10 silver fee. As you get pet supply rewards from quests, you will sometimes get pet bandages which work like a stable master when you aren't near one.

5: Flawless battlestones are essential to fighting efficiently. For those who don't know, as a reward from pet supply bags and beating wild pets, you will occasionally get battlestones which can be used to upgrade your pets, most are only usable on a specific pet family, and from what I noticed, fighting a specific type of pets will give you a stone of that family type, ie, fighting critters all the time are more likely to give you critter battlestones than ones of other types. Now, as to the stones themselves, they will upgrade a pet to rare quality, quality determines the health, attack, and speed of that specific pet and better quality means better stats. Just summon the pet you want to upgrade, target them, then just right click the stone.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pet battles: Gotta collect them all. part 1

As Blizzard has mentioned recently, pet battle are becoming very popular among the player base; but what if you are one of those people who want to get started but are not sure how? That's where this post comes in.

First and most importantly, choosing which pets to start with.
As you start out you will definitely want to consider which pets to use first, I don't necessarily recommend using the pets you think are strongest first, mainly because of the kinds of pets you will fight first. Most low level pets in the wild are classified as critters which are strong against undead, weak against humanoids, take a lot of damage from beast attacks, and little from elemental attacks. So of course, the recommended pets to start learning with would be humanoid or beast.

Second, pay attention to "racial" abilities.
Humanoids regain 4% of their health after doing damage to the enemy. Some might brush off this ability as minimally helpful during a fight. But consider this, if your pet has left a dot on the opponent, they regain health every time it ticks. One particular pet that can take good advantage of this is the Corefire Imp, who while not strong, can work like a tank. Immolation lasts 9 turns dealing damage every turn even when you switch out the imp, also, the third ability that the imp can use will heal the imp for a lot, or you can switch it out at level 20 for Wild magic which increase damage taken by the target per hit.

Beasts deal 25% more damage when the beast is reduced below 50% health. Beast pets, which are generally strong anyway, can terrorize at low health.

Flying pets have 50% extra speed above 50% health. To me, unless your opponent is also using a fast pet, this ability is redundant since most pets you can have that have 300 or more speed are flying pets anyway.

Magic pets can never take more than 40% (35% in 5.3) health as damage in a single attack. Magic pets can be really easy till level up against higher level pets since they can't be killed in less than 3 attacks.

Elemental pets are unaffected by any weather, good or bad. In 5.3 this will be changed to reduced damage taken the first turn the pet is out, making them useful for switching in frequently.

Continued tomorrow

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gearing up: Then and now

I can't tell you how many times I check WoW forums and see someone complain about how hard they think it is to gear up in MoP, especially for alts. While I do agree that there are still some kinks to be worked out, especially in LFR, I personally don't think that gearing up could get much easier. Think about 25 mans from before MoP and then about the current LFR; before you not only had to be lucky for one or more of the 5 or so drops to fit your spec, but also have to roll against the other 24 people in your raid, and keep in mind that a Pug could always have a ninja looter who would receive no benefit from the gear other than vendering it. Now, you roll against no one but yourself and while I can't confirm, unless you are really unlucky, the chance of you getting one piece of loot is not noticeably different than before, don't forget that in 5.3 Blizzard is implementing some protection from bad luck streaks by slightly increasing your odds for loot every time you don't get anything but gold. Now, I've been pretty lucky about getting gear from the world bosses but again, if you had to roll against 40+ players especially Oondesta which tends to require more, you would likely never get loot you could use, not to mention the large loot tables of the world bosses.

As far as gearing alts, unless your guild had an off night for gearing alts before MoP, you would probably struggle to get your alt as geared as your main raider without LFR or the multiple ways to get valor currently. I've had multiple people in my guild say how fast their toons geared up in MoP, many could get their alts ready for throne of thunder within 2-3 weeks, I doubt many people could gear up that fast in early Cata with only one toon.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dr. StrangeNostalgia or how I learned to stop worrying and enjoy the game.

I'll be up front, as someone who did not play in Vanilla, there are certain things I am sad I never got to experience, be it the opening of the gates of Ahn'qiraj or an AV that wasn't a game of who could kill the opposing leader first. But like it or not, even classic servers couldn't bring back the feeling of of the old days, at least not for long, which is another reason I believe Blizzard is never planning on bringing them back, nothing short of a time machine could. To me, enjoying this game involves having a bit of perspective, as fun as the old days were, this game would not have made it to 2013 without evolving. Think about some of the first video games you have ever played, as fun as they may have been back then, chances are you probably aren't still playing them on a regular basis are you? Even if you went back to a certain game months or even years later, as much fun as you might have, something in the back of your mind will notice something is different. Maybe you know more than you did back then, maybe your opinion of the genre is different, maybe it seems too easy now?
 While it may seem like I am putting down your childhood, I am only trying to give you a different perspective; trust me, I've gone back several games from when I was young and while the fun returns, it still doesn't feel the same.

I may not think that WoW is perfect, but giving the unreachable standards to a game based on what they may of may not have done in the past is unfair. WoW is and will always be an ever evolving game, sure, mistakes will and have been made, but nothing in this world is perfect, it is a fallacy to think that WoW will meet all your expectations.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lessons of the Kirin Tor and the Sunreavers

First off, sorry for being on break for a long time, but I am back!

As the title implies, I believe there is a lot to be learned from the Kirin Tor, and by extension, the Sunreavers, and the struggles they have went through recently. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that Dalaran was the first human kingdom to not only accept non-humans, but eventually horde members thanks to the blood elves being a part of the horde. The Kirin Tor back in wrath, was a symbol of alliance and horde not only being able to work together, but live with each other in peace. That peace was shaken by none other than Garrosh who in his brazen attack on Theramore, killed the leader of the Kirin Tor, Rhonin. In the aftermath, the council of six of the Kirin Tor nominated Jaina as their new leader.

While Jaina was a huge supporter of Thrall's horde, she was very weary of Garrosh's horde, even before the attack on Theramore. As displayed in an alliance quest starting in lion's landing, Jaina knows that while she has no love for this "new" horde, (which in reality is similar to the horde before Thrall) she struggles to maintain her wish for peace, which could in some small way, happen in a neutral city. Those dreams were dashed when she found out that a powerful mogu artifact that was kept by the alliance in Darnassus was stolen by an agent of the Sunreavers working for Garrosh. Feeling naive and betrayed she began the purge of Dalaran, which as some may think draws parallels to her ex-lover, Arthas' purge of Stratholme, both under great stress and anger, both people of power, both doing what felt right to them at the time. Despite the fact that many may consider it too extreme, it did also serve to make the blood elves question their loyalty to the horde under Garrosh.

In the fall of Shan Bu scenario that opens the final stage of the isle of thunder, tensions reach a peak as Jaina and Veressa Windrunner run into Lor'themar Theron and Aethas Sunreaver. After they get a new perspective from Taran Zhu about their conflict, Jaina gains the knowledge that Lor'themar is losing faith in Garrosh which calms Jaina a little.

Now, put yourself in Jaina's shoes, no matter what you thought about her before or after Theramore, understand the emotional turmoil she has gone through, after all, there is a reason her hair is now white. Jaina was the first alliance member to ever consider the orcs as allies, and when Garrosh took the title of warchief in cataclysm, her faith in the horde started shaking until it completely shattered with the fall of Theramore. Jaina had always been the alliance's symbol of working with the horde which is now in the hands of Anduin, Varian's son.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Taking Breaks from WoW

As much as a WoW fan as I may sound sometimes I understand it is important for all of us to take short breaks from the game now and than to avoid burnout. To some of us a break could be a few days and for others a few hours, either way breaks are something all players should take if they still want to play in the long run.

Several players in my guild always take breaks at the end of an expansion and that is something I encourage as well so you can come back guns blazing when the new expansion is about to come out. Taking breaks may also be very beneficial to your personal life and health. I take breaks even when I am busy in game to exercise for a few minutes, and if you have a wife and/or kids it is important to take breaks for them too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The "death" of 25 mans

I've heard a lot of complaints lately that Blizzard has killed 25 man raiding, but what bothers me is that the community takes no responsibility for their choices. People keep saying that there should be more incentive to do 25 mans, but we had that at one point, 25 mans had better loot than 10 man until Cata began. Other than maybe adding a slightly high chance of getting loot from 25 mans I'm not sure what Blizzard could do that wouldn't consequently "kill" 10 mans for hardcore guilds.

The Community needs to understand that Blizzard has little control over the mentality of the playerbase. 25 mans are equal to 10 mans in terms of the amount of loot that drops per person but people have decided to take the path of least resistance and do 10 mans because there are less ways to screw it up. If people truly want the return of 25 mans they need to take the initiative and do it themselves.

A similar example is the complaints that the playerbase isn't as friendly as they were back in vanilla. That may be true but why should we blame Blizzard for what people outside of their control do? The problem with talking to strangers in game is the same as talking on a forum, there is the anonymity of the internet that lets them be as rude or immature as they want.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Age in WoW

I've seen many stigmas in game when in comes to age. Many people assume that when someone is acting immature in chat it must mean they are a kid, but from my experience, some of the most immature people these days are adults. Now, I am barely out of my teen years but I can tell you that have never seen the joy in trolling, I think it is juvenile and that the people that do it need to grow up.

A common thread I see from time to time on the WoW forums is that Blizzard should up the game to a mature players only rating to get rid of the "kids" but really, when has that stopped people before? I've always heard of preteens playing Call of Duty because their parents let them which is one thing I think is wrong with the world, and as I mentioned before, some of the worst trolls are adults.

I've also seen guild advertisements in chat that ask for people 18 years old and up. First of all, how do you check? and secondly, if that person ever acts immature why assume that means the person is under 18? I think that asking for adults only for your guild can set it up for failure because that probably will draw the worst people.