Posts Tagged ‘altastic’

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Hunter in stiletto heels

June 27, 2012

Trying out the different classes in Diablo 3, as the wizard didn’t seem…that impressive to start. Granted, all the classes start out just short of naked and with only a couple of abilities. But I’m giving them all a shot to see what seems fun.

So this screenshot is how the demon hunter looks to start. What are they trying to do here? Make you not want to put any gear on her? And the heels? Damn! Her feet must hurt as much as my fingers.

From all the mouse-clicking. It’s the mouse.

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A quintessence of code

May 30, 2012

To stab, or not to stab…that is the question.

I haven’t written much about my SWTOR adventuring, and after pondering it (instead of writing) I think I finally know why. When I started blogging about WoW, I was really into it…speed leveling characters, maxing out an entire support group of alts for my main character, running dungeons and raiding nearly every free day to build a stronger toon, to see the content. Raiding seemed like the natural end of PvE gaming and I saw no reason not to play it to the hilt. Plus, I had years of WoW already played and a nice connection to my death knight; I didn’t just like playing him, I liked the death knight class, and the legacy of Warcraft gaming that I’d been part of for years.

Skip ahead to the future in SWTOR, and it’s just not there. I have had zero interest in speeding to level 50 on anything. All of the classes are fun, but none of them have dazzled me. I have found no community to be part of, not that I really tried. Flashpoint hard modes and operations nearly make me shudder. So in spite of maxing out a Scoundrel, being fairly close to maxing out an Operative, plus a few other classes I’ve tried…well, playing a Scoundrel and an Operative was a mistake, they’re just the same thing and at long last, I ended up not liking their style.

It’s unfortunate that the advanced classes can’t be changed, because every Scoundrel must pistol-whip you rather than shoot you with it, and every Operative must stab you repeatedly with knives rather than hang back and shoot whatever fancy rifle is hanging off his shoulder. And if I had gone the Sniper route, that would have been ok, but then I’d never get to shoot my friends in the face with kolto darts. And the lightsaber classes? Oddly enough, they seem to be the ones I am least interested in – kind of self-defeating, as I’m sure the devs spent the most time polishing them.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be online this evening, so off I go.

Maybe this would make it cooler…

It works on everything.

Everything.

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Azeroth blues

July 1, 2011

Three weeks into the no-raid, no-schedule switch, and so far I’m not missing it much. Granted, I don’t even play WoW nearly as much now, but aside from the subscription cost what do I care? It would be nice to get back to raiding, but after burning out on the Kilrogg guild’s social raiding pressure it has been interesting to see the result. For all that it’s supposed to be social, there isn’t a lot of casual conversation going on. I’m a non-entity in fact, just as it’s turned out before when I burned out on raiding. Not that this surprises or even bothers me.

The only person who contacted me once, did so to exert a little social pressure when the evening’s raid was short on people. I can’t say if they miss my DK, or if that’s just the social thing to say to get a social raider to join the group. A bit skeptical, I kept my responses short and non-committal, and did not raid. I stopped raiding because the raid leaders had issues. AFAIK those issues still exist. I haven’t brought them up with the guild; I don’t think it would do the slightest bit of good. If it did I’d probably end up as a raid leader or officer, and…no. It’s not for me, not again.

Meanwhile, the Garrosh server experience has been much nicer. Although there is an excess of achievement GRATZ’ing, I join in jokingly on occasion and otherwise tune it out. And the Wreck Listers also occasionally just talk; it’s not all requests for help or group invitations. Those groups and raids, of course, Sue and I aren’t a part of yet. Our little trollies are only level 32, although it has been a quick climb so far considering that we only play them once a week. It should be pretty fast until at least level 60 if not more.

Yesterday we explored part of the new Desolace. This zone has gone from a bleak, vast desert with little to do but a series of centaur kill quests, to a zone with a lush jungle in the middle and lots more going on. A fair number of zones got Cataclysmed into, well, much nicer places. (You’re the best, Deathwing!) I especially enjoyed the quest series that ends with your hordie conjuring a flaming hurricane and nuking everyone in Nijel’s Point. I never liked you guys when I had to fly out to the boonies just to go to Maraudon. Face the flaming wrath of the blood elves!

That’s right, I mean real fire! Not the other kind of flaming belfitude.

Since we recently leveled a pair of worgen through Azeroth, we’re making a point to hit some different zones. Maybe we’ll go visit the eastern kingdoms. It’d probably take 4 or 5 sets of alts to try out everything. But I don’t think we’ll go that far.

Ah well. It’s not as if I have completely abandoned the Kilrogg server, yet. The new 4.2 content is much more than just the Firelands raid. It includes new daily quests in Hyjal, and the quest line involving Thrall’s curse and rescue was fun, aside from a few flagged griefers interfering with the quests. It personally involves you in saving Thrall from certain and painful death, and along the way we get to know more about his relationship with Aggra, a female orc shaman, that ends with a sort of marriage proposal. I had previously chalked up the taciturn Aggra as the orc they sent to Thrall so he’d stop fawning over Jaina Proudmoore. (kidding. a little)

It was the sort of questing that would be nice to have more of…but there’s only so much ground-breaking, life on the line plot material one can do, especially in an MMO that for the most part remains static. Games where solo players change the world drastically, I think, will remain single-player on PC and consoles. And even those run out of steam.

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Proof of concept

June 8, 2011

As another exercise in fun with alts, one of my side projects has been to identify and build a ranged DPS alt for the social hordie guild we’re in on Kilrogg. I have to differentiate it from the Wreck List on Garrosh, now that we have some newbies hanging out there too.  🙂  I don’t make much noise about the identity of the Kilrogg guild because I am a bit critical of them at times, but I am happy to mention being a very new and low-level part of the Wreck List.

So on Kilrogg, ranged DPS has been a bit scarce for us. The guild has a couple of mages that rarely if ever show; a few hunters of somewhat variable availability; no warlock mains to speak of, but a few alts under construction; no elemental shamans that I can think of at all; priests that mostly heal, and most of them prefer healing; and a couple of druids that either don’t show up or are busy healing. Our intrepid guild mistress is the fairly reliable healer. The healers covet their raid slots, so they don’t do offspec much.

Likewise for me – my DK is in demand, but he’s melee. And if there is one rule for Cataclysm, it sucks to be melee. I cannot think of a single fight that makes it interesting or even useful to have melee. Mobility and range seem to be always preferable.

After the past few days, my latest experiment is finished. And I like balance druids, as silly as the boom-chicken form may be. Since I noticed a bunch of warlock alts in training, I went with the druid just to see if balance DPS is fun to play and adequate on damage. He’s also a decent resto pinch-hitter; I ran him as a healer in an alt raid and seemed to do just fine. Good practice, after training on resto in heroic dungeon pugs. And on Tuesday, I took the boomer to supplement our lone hunter. The rest of the DPS was all melee – a rogue and two warriors.

Balance druids may be overpowered, but he hung in there with his less than stellar gear. Although in just a couple of weeks, it has improved markedly. And although I will never get to see it while he is doing the ranged DPS thing, he picked up the epic shoulders that drop on nearly every Blackwing Descent run we do. They also look enormous on a male tauren, as this Wowhead pic shows.

I believe I can fly – but I won’t test the BWD elevator boss!

Sue just tells me that I’m good at whatever I choose to play, but part of these choices is liking the class/spec – enjoying the game. I have worked on a warlock but the balance DPS seems more fun for me. And since I tend not to dig ranged DPS classes, for whatever reason, might as well play this one for all it’s worth.

The side project will continue in my spare time, as I try to match my DK’s damage with the boomer. The other druid player, who offspec booms and offered to do it, didn’t have much to say after questioning whether or not I could match her output. I think I did. With my alt. Who was gathering dust and just crafting my leg armors until a few weeks ago.

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Learning experiences

March 29, 2011

I was pleased to read the updates on the Greedy Goblin as Gevlon did indeed decide to permit alts in his a-social guild. He also offered some data to suggest that the new Cataclysm experience is no harder than ICC used to be.

I made that prediction myself a while back, and as time passes I think it’s right. Heroic dungeon runs have become easier. Even pugs routinely finish rather than go on interminably. Gone are the raid-length dungeon runs. Even the raids make progress now, and even without my help half the time, the horde guild seems respectable amongst casual guilds as to its progress. That’s good; I don’t want to be the guy they can’t raid without, like the resident guild MT.

It’s never enough for the perfectionists (like the aforementioned MT), but such is life in Azeroth.

On the bright side, I took my holy pally on her first raid, aww! It was a pug raid into Baradin Hold, arguably the entry-level raid, and so I promptly screwed up. I had to adjust for more effective cleansing of debuffs, and the raid had to stand in fire a bit less, no big deal. At least it only took one wipe for everyone to stop with the tomfoolery and pretend it takes some effort. A few more months, and Argaloth will be cake, and they’ll open up a new wing and boss for us to fumble around on.

Kind of bizarre taking Flash of Light off my pally’s main button bar and replacing it with Cleanse. It used to be, well, what holy pallies used. FoL spam no longer. I never use it. Surprisingly, the plain old Holy Light continues to be useful, in spite of what I’d heard. It’s not that fast, it doesn’t heal that much, but if the group can hang on I can cast it all day. And I do.

Still, it is occasionally fun to bust out the Light of Dawn and blast my group with sunshine, or pop Holy Radiance and just ooze healing, or conjure up my rather hostile friend who grunts and yells as he duplicates my heals.

He may be my pal, but he has anger issues. Must be offended that we conjure him up just to keep some folks alive in a heroic dungeon pug.

I like my holy pally. I like the DK more, but healing adds an enjoyable challenge when mad dps bores me.

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Rewarding challenge

March 24, 2011

The Greedy Goblin has piped up today about alts in his guild, and the plight of raids that don’t attract enough of the required roles and have to be cancelled. Naturally, the lack is healers, for him and pretty much everywhere.

At the same time, Gevlon has something against alts in his guild and considers most alt-activity to be ‘e-peening’. People who are just showing off, or bored, or neglecting their mains. And I suspect he is right about a lot of the morons & slackers of WoW, the social types that he finds distasteful.

My alt experience seems different, but I could be wrong. A lot of my alt-play is fundamentally antisocial. Maybe bad business decisions too – I level crafters, so I don’t have to count on other people or buy enchants/cut gems/armor kits and etc. But I also leveled a paladin just to relearn the healing craft, simply because I heard it was so hard (hence the healer shortage).

It really must be hard, because every time the horde guild hits a wall on progression, it seems to be the healers having to adapt to the fight mechanics, and not so much the rest of us. Of course, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out healing a raid yet, because my DK’s DPS is so desirable. I always think I could do better, but it’s just the company we keep. Socials.

Anyway, I have seen Gevlon speak well of doing that which challenges you in this game. And I can understand some reticence over, say, making a priest player ‘go heal’ when they want to be shadow. I wonder if he can find a few people who try out things on alts for the challenge, and if he can set aside his no-alt rule in order to indulge them and benefit his guild. I suspect he will find some more goblinish solution.

Time is money, friend!

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A taste for raiding

March 3, 2011

This week in WoW has been a strange one. Although I have not been raiding with the horde guild more than once a week lately, this week it’s been twice (maybe a third time on Friday, I’m sure they will ask). And although my death knight’s gear suffers from a lack of raids and daily heroics, and is not the epitome of awesome, and DKs got nerfed in the last patch, somehow he still manages to put out the DPS. The guild officers continue to seek me out for it.

Even I was a little shocked at some of it. What is with the Icy Reprisal buff on the Ascendant Council? Cripes. Maybe everyone will DPS like that if they could just stay alive. I have to hand it to the DK, he is good at not being dead DPS.

It’s nice to see that the guild has sorted out whatever healing problems they had early on and is progressing decently — for a casual guild that has trouble fielding a single 10-man, much less with a dedicated group, anyway. Granted, I affect that dedicated group by, well, allowing my own sense of ‘hardcore’ to atrophy.

And yet I couldn’t help being a little pleased to participate in their first kill of Maloriak, and see how the guild’s ranking has improved. Being 6/12 in 10s is nothing special, really. The Greedy Goblin’s guild is up to 9/12 with no attendance requirements, but they seem to have more participating raiders, more inventive tactics, greater skill.

I was amused to read today about them tackling the two-mob pack in front of Magmaw with one tank and succeeding. That pair of mobs is designed for two tanks, of course, and punishing for a raid that only has one. But, no attendance requirement, and they mean it! More interesting were the comments on the ‘farm raid’. I guess that by going more often on Tuesdays, it’s what I end up doing. And in a social guild, they have no tools to handle or punish failure, as the goblins and the hardcore guilds do. I have even less incentive for progression raiding than I used to.

I guess I was just that bored yesterday, to go in for a second day.

As for tonight, it’s wolfie day and we may get the worgen duo up to level 58. This week or next. Outland beckons! With its comical mismatched armor and silly quests.

It's not me!