Posts Tagged ‘goblinish wisdom’

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Moving on, again

August 10, 2011

Maybe for the last time, since I’m still in no mood to actually renew my WoW subscription…but I’m about done with Kilrogg, thanks to my now-former horde guild. The camel’s back broke after I picked up the United Nations achievement for the guild, by grinding out the Steamwheedle goblin reps. So they become interested in what I’ve been doing, for a brief moment. And I mentioned how I may take one last shot at Shadowmourne.

A few days later, I see the guild has set up an ICC 25 run, amazing! I didn’t even ask, they want to do this now? And I’m about to join in when they announce that it’s specifically for Captain Indispensable to get his Shadowmourne. Hey, that’s a good idea, going back for the axe. I think I’ll steal it. And, I’ll make the guild do it for me. Why don’t you come along and help? Not that we would ever help you. Well, that is the last dick move that guild will perpetrate on me. I found time this morning to /gquit my alts when no one was on to see it. I could have been dramatic about it, but it’s not my thing. Probably won’t be noticed, and certainly won’t be missed.

As for Tindalos, he has transferred to Garrosh and the Wreck List, so I officially have a geared 85 there. I can consider raiding with them, even, although they may start too early. I don’t really care. Garrosh is most likely my last server transfer. I’ll spend my last few months in the game with people resembling actual friends instead of…whatever social construct/substitute typical WoW ‘friends’ represent. If it turns out that I start to really enjoy the game again, so much the better. As far as I can tell, the whole ‘social’ thing is not even genuine, just a means to manipulate people as resources. It is odd that I never did that in a ‘social’ guild. Only in the one hardcore experience did I get to see how a more a-social system worked. Even that was too dependent on its leaders. I guess I bought into the social conventions. Silly me! Not nearly as goblinish as I’d like. Or maybe I prefer not to be.

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Nicely done, goblins

April 6, 2011

Today I see the Greedy Goblin reports getting the realm first level 25 guild on his server. This while our social, horde guild on Kilrogg has recently hit level 22 and the resident MT, Mr. Indispensable, complains almost daily about how difficult it is for us to hit the daily guild XP cap. If it’s not a raid day (and a good one, with several bosses down) hitting that cap is quite iffy.

Now, the guild XP cap is fairly simple. The guilds level somewhat like characters do, a certain amount of xp-to-level. This has a daily cap, however, so that nobody could speed-level their guild. By the numbers, it will take a certain minimum number of days for a guild to level up, regardless of how much guildies are leveling or running dungeons like crazed weasels. And so it will take at minimum a certain number of days of daily capping to hit level 25.

Obviously our horde guild has failed to make the most of this time. Early on, capping was easy; bunches of people were leveling, and we racked up guild XP easily just by questing. After the initial waves hit 85 it suddenly got harder to cap. I think we’re at least a full level behind some other guilds, and I haven’t heard of any level 25’s on Kilrogg, so even the best of our best isn’t the best.

Gevlon’s elegant solution was simply to pay people for their activity. They even ‘hired’ a couple of ‘mercenaries’ who will now get their in-game gold paychecks and /gquit.

He also mentioned a technique, identifying a regular (not heroic) dungeon that could be speedrun in 10-15 minutes, repeatedly, just for the guild XP it would produce.

Neither of these things will ever happen in our horde guild, even if I suggested them. It won’t matter if it’s productive; it’s also boring. And while they whine about capping XP (doing work), they refuse to make the obvious connection (work for pay). As a social guild, it has to incidentally cap out. Capping has to be the result of everyday ‘fun.’

I guess the game isn’t sufficiently fun, heh. Not enough to make it easy. It requires a bit of work. And there are maybe a handful of people who can look beyond their personal, immediate, instant-gratification desires and see the greater good of doing a bit of work. I’m not sure why I am one of those folks.

But I know, after suggesting we pay for the fishing achievement (which would lead to our happy fish feast), and that got shot down, that a suggestion to incentivize guild activity would also fail. I think I will make the suggestion anyway, just for fun.

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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!

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On rewarding loyalty

January 26, 2011

As the horde guild progress begins to stagnate, it’s been interesting to observe how the officer crew handles the problem — well, fails to handle it, really. Guild XP does not meet the daily cap so much these days, since most of the mad leveling is over and people aren’t doing 25 dailies/day to make up for it (as if even that could). So what do they do about it? They tell people to do more guild dungeon runs.

Granted, the resident MT whores himself out to about as many dungeon runs as he can personally attend but it’s one person, one tank. The guild is still spoiled.

I probably contribute a fair bit of daily guild XP from running dailies in Tol Barad on my DK, then questing and such on my alts. That moves the bar. But I have my reasons. The guild identifies a problem — and a solution — but fails to offer any real incentive for the solution. Oh, there’s the real benefit of guild perks, but what if that’s not enough?

Another example: guild achievements. There are achievements for professions, for creating set (large) amounts of profession-related goods. Cooking, fishing, alchemy, all manner of profs in mass production result in achievements, including some useful perks. Cooking unlocks a feast recipe; fishing another; alchemy flasking another perk.

So how do they manage this? Well, again, the officers tell people to simply do things, complain when they don’t. One of them decides to tap the guild bank, buy herbs, make flasks, and sell those, at some profit apparently in the end. Now there’s incentive. Incidentally, she took most of the pain of the crafting away by tapping the bank and not farming herbs. Hey, I’d do that too. If I had access to the bank. And I weren’t working on Darkmoon cards, heh.

This can’t be done for, say, fishing. But we still need to fish up 10,000 fish or whatever. No easy way out there. Now, I can imagine a proper incentive, like a fisher’s fee, fish up X fish and we give you gold for them. If they were clever, they could buy Cataclysm-quality fish, cook and sell them, and maybe even still turn a mild profit while engaging the guild in getting the achievement…

Hmm.

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On skill and gear

December 27, 2010

Skill > gear is the usual construction of the argument I see. With the horde guild’s renewed interest in raiding some few weeks since Cataclysm arrived, naturally there must be some explanation for the miserable failures last week. And no one likes to think of themselves as unskilled at this game. Makes one feel a bit moronic. Deflates the ego. So I can say with some certainty that I am not skilled at the new raid encounters.

Skill at one’s class in general doesn’t necessarily translate into skill at a particular encounter. Especially when said encounter is part of a brand new dungeon one’s never seen, or even read about, or watched some video for it. This is where we found ourselves last week; and this is where I expect the guild will find itself for some time. So, I took the plunge and declined the scheduled raid times for this week.

The game is hardly lacking for things to do. And I see little value in racking up repair bills in the name of ‘learning the fight.’ I can build my characters more productively spending those three hours running random dungeons instead. Freaking Archaeology would be time better spent.

Some time ago, in the Lich King era, I read about the Greedy Goblin’s Undergeared project with interest. This was when blue gear meant not using the myriad ways to acquire easy epics in the WotLK era; epics mean…a little more now than they used to, but we’ll see how long that lasts. But in blue gear, they took on and beat a bunch of Icecrown Citadel bosses, the ‘new’ heroics like Halls of Reflection; they raided Naxxramas, Ulduar, just about every raid encounter in WotLK that I could tell.

In Naxx, his theory was that Naxx 10 rewarded item level 200 epics, and thus was for people who wanted/needed that…meaning they were wearing blue gear.

The Undergeared project was the stuff of comedy for quite awhile. In the era of ‘welfare epics’ raining from the sky, heroic dungeon speed runs, and ICC pity buffs, it was profoundly amusing to me to participate in raids that could not down bosses while the Undergeared folks in their blue gear could get it done.

But they had skill. Lacking the crutch of epics out the wazoo, their raid composition had to be flawless. They had to make no mistakes. They had to devise new and innovative ways to use their relatively nerfed toons to optimum effect. Skill > gear …when you have the skill. And right now, we clearly lack gear! So where does that leave us?

Blackwing Descent appears to drop item level 359 epics, meaning it’s theoretically designed to challenge raiders who want that. Data from Wowhead seems to suggest that raiders will graduate from ilvl 346 heroic blues to ilvl 359 epics, with ilvl 372 versions available from the heroic or ‘hard mode’ raids.

I’m not counting the PvP rewards; I don’t think we’re expected to do that as raid prep. I should count the ilvl 359 epics that we can acquire with valor points from running daily heroics, it’ll take awhile but it is sort of a bridge. There’s also some crafted epics out there.

So the progression may rightly be seen as 85 normal dungeon pieces -> 85 heroic dungeon pieces -> valor point purchases/crafted epics/Blackwing Descent drops. Yet the horde guild waltzes in there with whoever will go, in whatever gear they have on, and expects to learn the fight and win.

My death knight’s DPS gear is close to optimal. Not all there yet, but close. I was asked to tank instead, because of course no other tanks are supported in any way, they’re just expected to grow on trees I guess. Likewise for everyone else. They just assume that everyone who signs up to raid is just as hardcore as, say, the resident MT.

I’ve climbed the hardcore mountain, and I know I don’t have it in me to keep doing that. I did it, and I know I could do it, and that’s enough for me. I wish I knew who these guys in the horde guild think they’re kidding. It’s not a hardcore guild. But the few people who are…and there’s always a few…cannot avoid this trap. Expecting everyone else to be up to their standard. And they’re not.

It is a social failing, I suppose, to talk of gear and skill as if, well, everyone is skilled, it’s just bad luck. Just have to learn the fight and it’ll be ok. Mind you, ‘learning the fight’ is a euphemism for gaining skill. Some time down the line, I am sure we will actually beat these encounters. And I am just as sure that nobody will associate those wins with better gear. In the abstract they can talk skill all day! But up close and personal, it is rarely said.

In the hardcore guild I was in some time ago, of course…that is exactly what was said. As good old Kologarn used to say back in Ulduar, YOU FAIL!