Archive for the ‘Long-winded posts’ 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.

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?

Wrong Toon, Dummy!

April 4, 2009

So there I was on my shaman, waiting for some slacker pugs to get closer to the stone so we could do some summons for Utgarde Keep. Nobody seemed to be in a big hurry to get there so I was going to level some herbalism. All your goldclover are belong to me.

I near a yellow dot on my minimap and suddenly I see a vykrul mob riding around on something. A quick click shows me that it is none other than Vigdis the War Maiden. It’s a rare spawn ZOMG. I’m specced Resto at the moment so I wonder if it’ll be a tough kill like the rare spawns in Burning Crusade. But it’s not. Ding! Northern Exposure! I think at the time that it’s a little silly that my shaman of all toons found one, but hey, what can you do.

A week or two later I’m herbing again in Zul’Drak and draw some aggro and it’s a mob I don’t recognize. Hello there, Griegen! I’ve now killed two mobs on my way to the most insane achievement evar, Frostbitten.

Just the other day, I got to take the mage along to a Naxx 10. Which we’re totally sick of, by the way, but that’s another post. Anyway, two achievements were obtained without even attempting to try. The first was Arachnophobia. We weren’t rushing it, we just calmly and with precision destroyed Faerlina and Maexxna and it didn’t take an hour to hand out two pieces of loot. The second was Make Quick Werk of Him. Patchy went down in style in 2:52.

So for those keeping score at home, that’s an achievement (and two rare mobs) killed on Doffy the Shaman and two achievements earned on Sherm the Mage. Take a moment and guess how many of those Doofy the Paladin has.

If you said none, you win! Please e-mail me for your prize. (Note: prizes void where prohibited. Which is wherever you are reading this.)

On my paladin I’ve done 3,000 quests, gotten exalted with over 20 factions (on the way to 25), spent 1,200 gold on a 22-slot bag, took 10 minutes hitting a level 80 elite barehanded, spent way too much money on mounts and pets and gotten a few other pretty darn ridiculous achievements. But I’ve never seen a rare mob and certain achievements will just elude him forever. Despite being Guy Who Never Dies On Heigan (four months and counting since the last DanceFAIL), I am just not allowed to have The Safety Dance achievement.

What achievements have you gotten on the wrong toons?

March Sadness

March 22, 2009

The last four days are probably my favorite time of year. It’s the NCAA college basketball tournament, where 64 teams battle in a single elimination tournament to determine that year’s champion. The true highlight is the first round, when 32 games are played in two days. It’s an insane amount of basketball jammed into ~12 hours on Thursday and Friday.

It’s a heck of a lot more exciting than what’s going on in WoW at the moment.

While we wait for Ulduar to get datamined and farmed to hell on the PTR so that it’s a faceroll on day one (and it will be, trust me), Brade Frurry progression has stormed to a halt. Three weeks ago we finally got Sartharion with two drakes down. Two weeks ago we one shot it. We wanted to try three drakes this week and found that 18 people signed up. Two drakes was a disaster with that number but we managed to get one. We’ve got the Dedicated Few achievement in heroic Naxxramas and it’s certainly not because we were shooting for it. That was all we could manage.

We’ve had a couple of unfortunate RL issues that prevented some people from attending raids and that’s fine. But there’s also a rather large “I’m geared up, see ya next patch!” mentality that hit a couple of members. It’s frustrating for those who want to raid that we either have to do less than we planned or, worse, dive into the PuG pool to fill the raid. I was running Friday Night Naxx 10 for alts and the bored and I used to have to kick DPS out. Last week I could only manage 8 signups. I didn’t do it this week and decided to watch basketball instead. It’ll probably return come Ulduar since we’re heading straight into 25s.

Blizzard has seriously dropped the ball on endgame here by providing so few raids to do and also making them too easy. I’ve never seen such massive content burnout before and I’m nearing three years since I started up my first toon (ye gods). We’re not finished with our progression (yet) and some folks have seen it okay to just stop showing up without any notice. They’ll probably be back and ready to rock the day 3.1 goes live which hardly seems fair. Have other guilds dealt with this?

25 Useless Facts About Doofy!

February 12, 2009

If you’re on Facebook (which I am. I mean, the guy who writes this, not an actual Facebook page for Doofy. Because that would be weird.), you are probably familiar with the 25 Random Things meme that is working its way around like bird flu. You post a note where you list 25 facts, opinions, thoughts and other random things that can be as in depth or as shallow as you want them to be. In lieu of some actual blogging content, I thought I’d do the same for Doofy. And since I’m required to “tag” people here, I tag everyone reading this. Suckers!

1. We’re nearing three years since I first started WoW. Games rarely stick with me for that long.

2. There will be things on here I’ve mentioned during earlier entries, such as: Doofy was not my first character. That was a troll rogue made on my old roommate’s account. I named him Bojingo. We had been watching a lot of Scrubs on DVD at the time.

3. When I got my own account I rolled another troll rogue and levelled him again. I got him to the 50’s and then rolled Doofy. He’s still in the 50’s.

4. I was in the same guild from the low teens until returning to the game last August when it pretty much collapsed while I was gone. It took quite a bit for me to finally leave the guild even though there was nobody in it.

5. This past weekend was spent getting the Ambassador achievement. I got exalted with Darnassus on Saturday and spent today getting Exodar and Gnomeregan Exiles reputation. I only needed about 15 stacks of Runecloth to finish out the Exodar rep.

6. I’m also about 160 quests away from 3000. This frightens me, actually.

7. Even if I have nothing to do on him and plan on playing an alt, I always log Doofy in first. It’s tradition.

8. I’m a keyboard turner, a clicker and I make very minimal use of macros. I don’t use that focus thing either. How I manage to kill anything or keep people alive is a miracle.

9. Still bitter about that Illumination nerf. Even though I never run out of mana anymore.

10. I hate that you can AoE down all trash in Naxxramas. Even on 25-man. I refuse to cast Blizzard on my mage. And I try to keep my AoE damage to under 10% of my damage total.

11. I admit to being biased against night elf hunters. Which is why I love people like Pike who do what they can to buck the Huntard stereotype. (Oh and hi to Rilgon too.)

12. I lag massively in Dalaran and this computer has 4GB of RAM. I bet it’s because my video card sucks.

13. I dinged 62 off of Onyxia in the first two weeks after The Burning Crusade was released. I have the screenshot somewhere to prove it.

13. I am an UI minimalist. The only thing that really mucks with the default UI is AG Unit Frames so I can make big bars to see exact health and to heal people easier.

14. I play a paladin as a main. I have the ability to heal, tank and DPS. My respec cost is 15g. You have permission to hate me for it.

15. I am a ridiculous packrat. My bank is an absolute disaster right now. But no matter what, I will never part with the 6 pieces of the Tier 0.5 set. I would love to get the tier 0 helm and chest and finish the chain. I idly wonder if it’s doable solo.

16. I enjoy randomly putting Crusader Aura on in groups because it makes people mad.

17. The mage nerfs have filled me with RAAAAAAAAAAAGE. I was finally having fun again on Sherm. And it had surprisingly little with being able to outdamage other mages that outgear me by pretty high margins. Although that was pretty nice.

18. I believe I am the only blogger from Thrall. If anyone out there knows of someone else, let me know.

19. I’ve grown into the Doofy name and kind of accepted it even though I never intended on seriously levelling the character. In my old guild quite frequently and even sometimes in my current guild, people are referred to by their real names. Except me. Frequently heard over vent: “Hey Steve.” “Hey Sarah.” “Hiya Chris.” “Hey Doofy.”

20. Secret: I sometimes raid on my mage while not hit capped. It’s not intentional, honest.

21. I’ve never heard the term “best in slot” so much before Wrath’s release. And I like it, because saying “best in slot” sounds vaguely dirty.

22. I have no desire to level my shaman. He’s 90% to level 75. I had him elemental for a few levels and it went by pretty quick but it was mind-numbingly boring. He’s currently resto and I use him to heal guild alts through the mid-level instances.

23. I hate PVP.

24. I have the 10,000 Honorable Kills achievement.

25. #23 is very likely a result of #24. Since the only way to get properly itemized holy paladin gear before BC was PVP, I did nothing but Alterac Valley in the 3 months between hitting 60 and the release of BC. I probably have less than 100 HK’s since BC’s release.

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?