Archive for the ‘I’m just sayin’’ category

A Modest Proposal

August 22, 2010

Server and faction transfers are two of the worse things that ever happened to WoW. Why? Because if you’re on the low population side of a server, things have only gotten worse since those features were implemented, not better.

I play Alliance on a server called Thrall, so of course I was setting myself up to fail from the start. Still, while it was a Horde heavy server, it wasn’t all that bad until faction transfers went live. Suddenly, quite a few people I knew went Horde. The leadership of one of the most progressed Alliance guilds (which wouldn’t even be top 5 Horde side) crossed over. On the Alliance, we never saw the inside of the Vault of Archavon again.

There is currently zero incentive to roll on/transfer to the low population side of a server. Why go somewhere that never holds Wintergrasp (except at 5 am on a Thursday) or is severely outclassed in endgame progression? This is something that should change.

Blizzard would never do it, but a solution I have is simple: supply and demand pricing for server transfers and faction changes. When they want to populate a server, they offer free transfers off of the source servers to the destination server. This seems like something that could easily be implemented.

Using Thrall as an example, which, according to Warcraft Realms, is 80% Horde and 20% Alliance.

Let’s say you’re a Blood Elf on a server who has found a raiding guild on Thrall that suits them. Because Thrall is heavily Horde, the normal $25 transfer fee would be increased to, say, $40, due to the Horde population already being high. The max cost would be $50 for a server transfer for those who want to transfer to the high pop side of the servers with the most extreme imbalances (ohai Mal’Ganis.

On the other hand, if you’re an Alliance player who would like to come to Thrall (and, really, you should. The water’s fine. And Brade Frurry is recruiting!), the cost would be reduced to $10 or $15 due to the Alliance population being so low.

Now, say you’re a Blood Elf paladin already on Thrall who has seen the light and realized that Blood Elves are terrible and you’d much rather be a Draenei. The normal $30 faction change cost would be reduced to $15, as incentive to join the low population side. The minimum cost for a faction change would be $5, for the servers with the largest imbalances (again, see Mal’Ganis).

Would this solve the problem completely? No, of course not. But what it would definitely do is reduce the bleeding. Faction imbalances are bad for PVE progression and server economies. You’d still see people gladly pay $50 to transfer their toon to the high pop side for a top progression raid guild, so I think it would be a complete wash as far as Blizzard’s bottom line was concerned. And if you don’t like it, you’re always welcome to reroll via heirlooms.

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Epic Fail! Unsolicited World of Warcraft Predictions for 2009 Reviewed

January 1, 2010

So this time last year, even though nobody asked, I madesome predictions for World of Warcraft in 2009. So it’s now 2010 (which is only, ONLY pronounced “twenty ten”) and it’s time to look back and see how I did. I’ll grade each prediction on a five point scale.

Prediction #1: World of Warcraft: The Emerald Dream is announced at Blizzcon ‘09.

Result: Well, I was right in that a new expansion was announced at Blizzcon, but instead of going to the Emerald Dream or the Maelstrom, Blizzard turned the old, forgotten world of Azeroth on its ear and then blew it up, unveiling Cataclysm.

Score: 1 out of 5

Prediction #2: 2. Ulduar (and later Icecrown Citadel) are PTR’d and beaten the day they are patched into the live game.

Result: Ulduar was released with patch 3.1 on April 14th. Ensidia killed Yogg Saron at 02:24PM CET on April 16th. Good enough for me. With patch 3.2 and Trial of the Crusader, Blizzard staggered the release of the raiding content (one boss per week) presumably so the raid wouldn’t have been cleared 15 minutes after being patched in. This process continued with 3.3 and Icecrown Citadel. This is a complete bullshit copout so that your bleeding edge raiders don’t put Arthas on farm status day one. He goes down within 24 hours of being unlocked, by the way.

Score: 5 out of 5

Prediction #3: Emblems of Heroism will be redeemable for Emblems of Valor.

Result: Well gee, who knew that both of those badgers emblems would go the way of the dodo a little over halfway through the year? Instead of a bulk exchange for the higher tier emblem, patches 3.2 and 3.3 saw complete emblem resets where the only way to acquire Heroism and Valor emblems (and Conquest as well, introduced in 3.1 and vaporized in 3.3) was to do a 1 for 1 trade down from the top. While this is just spectacular for alts (and spectacularly bad players), on my main character I wonder why I went and did Naxx every week for so damn long. Now I can just spend a couple of hours doing heroics and BAM, a few pieces of tier 9 are mine.

Score: This is mildly tricky considering exactly what happened, so let’s call it 2 out of 5 for no particular reason.

Prediction #4: Dual specs solve little.

Result: Nailed it!

Now, as a healer I enjoy very limited downtime using the new Dungeon Finder. On the worst day I have maybe a two minute wait for a group. And there have been quite a few days when I’ve totally earned my Emblems of Frost because the tank. Really. Sucks. Like, he’s got PW: Fortitude, Gift of the Wild and Blessing of Kings and he’s rocking 30k health and doesn’t have a prayer of holding aggro. But miraculously he does. Why? Because two of the three dpsers are doing under 1,000 DPS. God help you if all 3 DPS are capable and you have a weak tank.

It took me a couple days of healing my ass off to figure it out: the vast majority of these guys are main spec DPS who just don’t want to sit in queue for 15 minutes between randoms; choosing to tank, even if they’re not good at it or their gear sucks gives them as short of a wait as I have healing. Unfortunately, that makes my job so ridiculously hard. Dear Random Instance Tanks: stop sucking. Love, Doofy.

Score: 5 out of 5

Prediction #5: Refer A Friend is reintroduced later in the year with benefits extending up to level 70.

Result: Surprisingly, this didn’t happen. But, having now leveled a brand new character to 80 during the year, I can say that the Outland experience isn’t bad at all. Even heading there at 58, I basically completed two and a half zones and then I was on my way to the friendly confines of Northrend. Now, being decked out in full heirlooms (shoulders, chest, ranged weapon, dual wielding daggers) made things considerably less painful and I’m sure someone brand new to the game will have a lot tougher of an experience. On the plus side, the dungeon finder actually works for Burning Crusade instances when you’re level appropriate so someone willing to tank or heal could certainly cruise through to level 68.

Score: 0 out of 5

Total Score: 13 out of a possible 25.

Clearly, I fail at prognosticating. Oh well.

Happy Twenty Ten to all!

3.2: The Head Explosion Patch

June 18, 2009

Okay, let me get a few things here straight.

# Construction of the Crusaders’ Coliseum is complete. Testing not yet available. New raid normal and heroic modes for the Crusaders’ Coliseum can be toggled using the Dungeon Difficulty setting. This applies to 10 and 25 player versions. 10 player (normal), 25 player (normal), 10 player (heroic) and 25 player (heroic) all share separate raid lockout timers.

* Trial of the Champion
o 5 player (normal and heroic mode) dungeon.
o Daily quest added to the heroic daily dungeon quest giver.
* Trial of the Crusader
o 10 and 25 player (normal mode) raid dungeon.
* Trial of the Grand Crusader
o 10 and 25 player (heroic mode) raid dungeon.
o Crusaders’ Tribute: Active on heroic difficulty only, the tribute system will limit players on the number of attempts the raid is allotted each week. Additional rewards can be earned depending on the number of attempts left in the tribute run each week when the final boss is defeated.

Okay, so there’s a 5-man dungeon that can be done on normal or heroic. Then there’s a 10-man raid and 25-man raid. These can also be done on normal or heroic. While a heroic raid used to be the 25-man version of the 10-man normal raid, you can choose to do a 25-man raid on normal mode or 10-man raid on heroic mode.

Players who do not wish to gain experience through PvP can visit Behsten in Stormwind or Slahtz in Orgrimmar – both located near the Battlemasters in either city – and turn off all experience accumulation for the cost of 10 gold.

Behsten and Slahtz. Behsten…Slahtz. Best in…slots…

*head explosion*

Apprentice Riding (Skill 75): Can now be learned at level 20 for 4 gold

*head explosion*

# Emblem System Changes

* Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders’ Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
* Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
* The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
* The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
* New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.

Okay, so we’re now getting Emblems of Conquest from stuff that would normally give Emblems of Heroism and Valor. There will be no way to earn Emblems of Heroism or Valor except from redeeming Emblems of Conquest for them. Many items will still be purchasable via Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as the new epic gems (*mild head explosion*) but they will no longer drop in dungeons or raids and are no longer the reward for doing the heroic daily quest. Instead, there will now be Emblems of Triumph (FOR ME TO POOP..oops, sorry) as a reward for this quest and there currently is no other way to earn Emblems of Triumph that is known at this time and what Emblems of Triumph will be redeemable for is also currently unknown right now and FOR GOD’S SAKE WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-03vYYAjA

Anyone got a couple aspirin?

Unsolicited World of Warcraft Predictions for 2009

December 24, 2008

Even though nobody asked, here are five things that I think will happen in the coming year. I’ll check back in a year and see how I do.

1. World of Warcraft: The Emerald Dream is announced at Blizzcon ’09.

I mean, come on, this is the biggest chunk of lore that Ensidia hasn’t killed yet. It’s coming. In 2011, but it’s coming.

2. Ulduar (and later Icecrown Citadel) are PTR’d and beaten the day they are patched into the live game.

The only way I don’t see this happening is if one of those raids features about 10 bosses. The only reason Naxxramas took 3 days to clear was people had to get 10 additional levels first. Now, your top guilds (or really, everyone) is going to hit each of the yet-to-be-implemented raids day one and bring it down ridiculously fast. Blizzard has the capability of testing these things internally and I’d like to see them do that to give your bleeding edge guilds a challenge. Don’t let it get farmed to death on the PTR. There should not be detailed strategies for Arthas on day one. But there will be.

3. Emblems of Heroism will be redeemable for Emblems of Valor.

I don’t know if the exchange rate will be 3-for-1, 5-for-1 or 10-for-1, but this will be implemented some point next year. I know I could gear other specs (yeah, right), but I’m just about out of a need for badges emblems on this character, and that’s after buying the Tier 7 chest token which got replaced the next day when Sartharion dropped his on heroic. I know I won’t be the only one in the same boat and I’ve only been doing Naxxramas for a month. Meanwhile, we’ve only dabbled in 25 man content due to not having the consistent numbers and I could use, oh, about 150 more of those things.

Enter the Heroism for Valor exchange. This keeps people interested in running heroics and Naxxramas long after they’ve run out of things to purchase with Emblems of Heroism. And keeps your entitled casuals who can do Naxx 10 and Sartharion but can’t get 25 man raids going happy.

4. Dual specs solve little.

I know it will help certain classes greatly, but whenever this is finally implemented (3.1?), I forsee there still inexplicably seeing a need for tanks and healers when trying to get together for an instance.

Me: “Can you tank or heal?”
Nub: “im a ret dps paladin”
Me: “What’s your other spec?”
Nub: “pvp ret”
Me: /facepalm

Also, doesn’t the whole idea of dual specs seem too…easy? I’m waiting for a catch. The ability to flip back and forth between two specs with no penalty whatsoever just seems like cheating to me. Also I’m going to have a holy spec, and another holy spec. I’m just going to rearrange a talent point or two.

5. Refer A Friend is reintroduced later in the year with benefits extending up to level 70.

The levelling nerf from 60 to 70 is already in effect and this is a logical extension. Compared to the Lich King content, questing in the Burning Crusade sure is painful, and of course they want you to experience the newest expansion, so they might as well have you blow through this content as well so you can head on over to Northrend

What do you think, sirs?

I’m just sayin’…

September 21, 2008

Warhammer Online and the new PvE to PvP transfer policy are obviously already failures as there are still all these PvP freaks clogging up my PvE server.