Posts Tagged ‘WoW’

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And hilarity ensued

August 12, 2011

Didn’t take long for things to change after the hound of Tindalos went to the Garrosh server. I miss my army of alts, but at least the people there are more fun. It’s nice to have some folks who can retain some sense of humor in the face of apparent despair. Case in point: Thursday night. After going on a raid on Wednesday just to fool around and see some of Molten Core 2.0, er, Firelands. Apparently my DPS was impressive enough to get an invite to a progression raid. Well, that or they were desperate. Anyway.

This is Balrog. Sorry, Baleroc. The bridge, that is, gate keeper, to the interior of the zone and the end bosses. That he screams ‘none shall pass’ is pure coincidence. Although it took the raid a couple hours to sort things out, eventually I did get to watch him die. The DPS requirements for this fellow are pretty extreme; once the healers could reliably keep people alive, ah. Yes, that was part of the problem, wasn’t it. I see some things haven’t changed since the initial raid content was put out! But he is a tough boss on an enrage timer, so it’s not as if you can just pound away and maybe eventually hope to take him out. You’ve got this much time, and no longer.

I was surprised to see my DK in no Firelands gear doing so well. He stood up nicely compared to the other DPS, and the job to do (besides attack) wasn’t too complicated. And besides being generally fun sorts, it was nice to see these raiders try different things. None of this ‘our half of the raid is fine, it’s all up to you’. The healers were willing to speak up when they had problems and swapped jobs; the tanks went from having the typical two-tank strategy to just one, a dangerous prospect but one that worked in the end. They wanted more dps and got a bit more doing that. I guess it was just enough.

I’m still more interested in finishing my Shadowmourne quest than this new raid, but with some new folks that are more entertaining to be around, maybe I will do more than dabble in the Firelands. Time will tell.

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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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Pricing Playstations and the Old Republic

July 27, 2011

After playing WoW for this long, these phenomena seem like bad omens for Azeroth and me. I had to look back at my last WoW-related post to see that it had already been about a month at the beginning of July, since I bailed on raiding and actively playing the game. Since then, Sue has done a little raiding, we’ve played our troll alts with the Wreck List and raided a few old dungeons for fun, and I’ve wasted some time trying out different rep grinds.

So now we have SWTOR on pre-order, and I’m looking to get a new gaming console. Kinda sad! But what else is there, when the game just isn’t doing it anymore. I can’t find the motivation to raid with our present set of misanthropes, nor do I feel like leaving them and finding some new crew, getting back on a schedule. I don’t miss having to be online at all. I have a few more things I’d like to do, and maybe some of them I still won’t get to do, like finishing the Shadowmourne quest line. I may look into how difficult ICC 25 pugs are to organize and run these days, and perhaps run a few to get the rest of my shards.

Unless something changes, though, one day soon I will park my death knight somewhere in Grizzly Hills, maybe with the legendary axe or maybe just with a fishing pole by a salmon pool, and that’ll be it. Not going to give away my stuff or delete my toons; one never knows, could go back to it one day. And I’m not going to feel bad about playing the game for years. I’ve played it until it wasn’t fun anymore.

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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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Disco death knight

May 25, 2011

After avoiding DW frost for a good while, this evening proved lucky for the hound of Tindalos. Two Soul Blades dropped, and since no one else cared I got them. Break out the disco ball and get on the soul train! Time to find out how DW stacks up to 2H. I will miss the big two-hander, though.

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Flash healing guilt

May 23, 2011

Last week was, strangely enough, Holy Pally week — in which my alt-healadin got drafted for healing raids most of the week due to a rather uncommon healer shortage. Also for how much gear I picked up for her in the process, since we never use a holy pally these days. Typically the hordie guild’s small healer cadre shows up constantly and they guard their raid slots jealously. I don’t know what happened last week. College finals or somesuch, maybe.

So anyway, in the final test of ‘how hard is this healing business anyway,’ I got to raid-heal on the somewhat meh geared pally. Once I had her to heroic levels, picked up a few epics, and figured out that it would never matter, I about gave up on her and started leveling other alts. Alts, love them alts. I could write another post about that. But I digress.

I take the experience with a large grain of salt, since I’m looking at raid healing from the position of a raid mostly farming content that it’s beaten. Nothing past Omnotron or Baradin Hold is a pushover, though. And we were also retraining a resto shaman who had been out of the game for a couple months, due to work. So it was a bit of a struggle; some wipes on bosses, mainly Chimaeron. This makes sense, as Chimaeron requires a healing strategy rather unlike any boss encountered up to now. It’s weird leaving most of the raid on the brink of death for most of the battle.

So I have to admit that in learning how to heal in groups and raids, I took Flash of Light off my main bar a while ago. People dying quickly just…die. Sorry pal, if an instant Shock or a WoG doesn’t do the trick then you were meant to die. I doubt that my twitch reflex and a Flash could save them anyway, and it’s such a mana hog. Although mana is not so bad when things are going more or less as expected, it is not hard at all to get tapped out completely when things go badly. I use bubbles more than I flash.

Weird to see what was once the main holy pally spell, spammed incessantly in every fight, fall out of favor like it has. I’d probably drag it out for a tank. But miscellaneous, save-the-stupid-rogue duty? No way.

So healing is interesting, and I got a taste of learning challenging fights while the raid dies on Chimaeron, but I’m glad it only took me a few tries to figure it out. Meanwhile, attempts on Nefarian continue, and there my death knight is required. I don’t like being indispensable, but it’s their call, not mine. They haven’t figured out another way to handle his pack of skeleton adds, thanks to bad raid composition. My first guess would be mages with frost nova. But our mages’ attendance is extremely spotty.

Speaking of saving the stupid rogue! Blackwing Descent is made for stupid rogues to die. The freaking elevator kills the rogue more times than I can easily count, because he’s impatient and jumps off, or parachutes, or hits his rocket boots and…well. He’s Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius. I need the sound effects from Looney Tunes to do it justice.