Scholomance mod for Skyrim

Great looking mod for Skyrim which creates the WoW instance of Scholomance. It shows what a non-cartoon style of game might look like. Very darn appealing.

skyrim-Scholo

Cartoon style allows forgiveness for a huge range of visual issues, including a place not looking correctly fitted out with junk, details on surfaces, and all the other illusions that a human can detect, but need to be “designed by hand”. Probably relates to that old Uncanny Valley concept.

The image above looks like the entry bridge for Scholomance. Have a view of the rest on the link Steam Workshop: Scholomance. Continue reading

How do you get to 1000 valor per week?

I’d like to know how other players get to the 1000 valor cap per week? My method is constrained by small blocks of time, and a desire to alternate activity. I do:

  • as many dailies for valor and rep as I can fit in while waiting for a queue
  • x1-2 scenarios and x1 instance run per day, for the 3 nights a week I play. As a priority the Instance comes first, as it rewards more VPs, although the Scenarios can be quick.
  • rarely I’ll do one or two extra daily quests before work, or on an off-night. Only 10-20 VPs worth at a maximum.
  • even more rarely I get to kill bosses in a Raid or an LFR. Typically this happens if I don’t get a raid spot and I also get a night with no distractions. Once a month typically.

How successful is the strat? Its generally not enough. I get to around 650 VPs per week, although on a great week that might be almost 900 VP.

golden-pagoda-golden-lotus-wow-daily-quest-hub

Is this the fault of me as a player not having enough time, or the fault of game design?

Given I spend approx 9 hours playing a week broken into small chunks of 45 minutes to 1.5 hours (if not raiding) I’m very comfortable saying that it is my schedule which affects the lack of capp’ing Valor points. Adding a night, or even 1 extra hour per day would make a huge difference on this time, and that is my long term plan – to spread play into “off-nights” but only doing stuff that is very easy to be interrupted in.

I’ve posted about the Valor rewards themselves being poor, and it may appear to be an attack on the overall system. The facility for obtaining Valor is fine, but the reward rate (5x per Daily) feels very low, but has not totally prohibited gear upgrades.

Happy Killing.

The Instance Interview with Cory Stockton

Logo of Blizzard Entertainment

The Instance had the opportunity to interview Cory Stockton (episode 292), one of the key World of Warcraft “Lead Content Designer” at Blizzard. It adds an element of personality to the names that we read about on forums and blogs.

cute long view image of Pandaria hillside and small buildings

Overall listening to this helped me along the hype cycle, to look forward to Mists and also raise my expectations on the lore and content being offered in Mists to characters leveling through 85-90. End game options in particular get a good thrashing as a topic throughout the interview. Some notes:

  • What characters Cory plays…loving the Monk class, and appears he’s a bit of an alt-a-holic. I respect that.
  • Timed runs, and Scenarios – What were the challenges in getting the balance right? Goal: Competitive PvE and Leaderboards.
  • A key challenge was explaining what Pandaria is, and why the factions are going there, and for what goals. A quick mention of Garrosh’s motivations and how they think about new lore.
  • Corey stated that scenarios should have the players understanding the goal up front. The snarky part of my play experience thinks that he’ll want to review the Fall of Theramore then. That said, he has confidence that the other scenarios are interesting and engaging. He mentions a “siege of the Undercity” style scenario with Varian Wrynn as a 3 player mode. Interesting.
  • Apparently folks do not read quest text! Wow, that makes for a challenge in terms of keeping context for a mission new without over simplification.
  • Less cinematics in questing, which is probably good given some of the feedback from Uldum.

Its definitely worth a listen.

Guide to Temple of the Jade Serpent

I’ve created an idiot’s guide to Temple of the Jade Serpent, so that I can remember the important stuff and look less silly. Over time I’ll add/update more guides on that page too; no promises on time frame though. Enjoy.

Honest note: This information is from reading pages and watching videos rather than playing through the instance, and as such it is a starting set of notes. I expect there to be errors and information missing. My goal was to not go in totally blind.

If you don’t like half-baked summaries then Ten Ton Hammer has a summary with much more lore and detail, see the link at the bottom of the post. I think Kill Adds ASAP is often all you need to know.

Of course when I find glaring errors I’ll update them here.

Such a silly silly wow’er

World of Warcraft

My wow’ing has increased recently, and as I’m playing more I find that my memory is flawed in some aspects of the game, and an optimal approach is somewhat harder than it used to be. I’m becoming a silly wow’er. As a positive I am enjoying wow a lot again, just in time for the expansion.

For example:

I remembered too late that Normal mode dungeons can be run many times each day, as they do not have a 24 lockout. This means that I could run the Stonecore normal many times a day for the rare mount, rather than once as I was. Doh.

As running normal for mounts is easy I was also doing Heroic UP in Northrend for the Blue Protodrake that drops there too. Imagine my joy in finding that I did not change the difficult after running Stonecore on Normal, when the mount only drops in Heroic mode. Doh, back to the entrance I go. It did seem a little easy.

The weeks activity was not all silly though, as I’ve started alt’ing around again. This time I am concurrently leveling a Mage (51), Warlock (83), Shaman (46), Rogue (50), and Priest (80). My suss is that I can cycle through these characters using the rested experience boost and then switch toons. So far with so many characters I am always playing in rested. Its great.

The reason that I chose these classes is because all my other class characters are already 85. I do get slightly disinterested with some content when you have to play it three times. Often though doing the same content with three perspectives give me an idea for the differences in the class. The squishy factor of a Priest and Warlock are concerning when compared with how tough and mean all the plate wearing classes are (yup, all my plate wearers are max’ed out, not a surprise really).

During the leveling I can sometimes (if the family don’t need help) queue up for a instance and smash monsters in a team. The times when I do this with guildies I get a very quick reminder that I’m a scrub when it comes to playing multiple classes. However when I play in randoms I find that I smash the charts and perform well. That might mean my guildies are very powerful (true), and also might mean that even a total scrub who stays out of the fire is valuable.

It’s a nice reminder of the golden rule: you do zero dps when you’re dead. Happy killing, alt’ing, and noobing.

TyphoonAndrew

End Time, thoughts

I played the first of the new 5 mans last night – End Time. It’s ok. For the first attempts at these instances I’ve decided to join as dps, so that I can at least not have full pressure for the runs. As dps the job is no different than before: kill, interrupt, avoid.

The trash was actually sometimes harder than the bosses, especially the initial shadow panther things. They just keep spawning till you get to the light – I like that.

Boss mechanics are straight forward (avoid bad, move on special, interrupt when casting X) and not so stacked together that we suffered. I think our wipes were more to do with having a group with no CC, an arrogant tank, and a sluggish healer, than the mechanics.

I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the next one in the series.

“Help! I am trapped within this tree! I require aid!”

Go read the some spoilers from wow.com’s article on the new instance coming soon in the Dragon Shrine, a few small spoilers in there but nothing event changing. Kind of flavour spoilers.

“Help! I am trapped within this tree! I require aid!” – Somebody in the script department was not thinking; this is a dragon? A powerful creature? Beast of legend? No, not really very impressive.

I bet at least 25 blog posts, and a few podcasts will have this as their names.

Add Raids to LFG system

The LFG system is awesome, but it still needs more:

  • Add the Weekly quest raid to it.
  • Add all the raids in a separate area (+ thing), so we can pick find groups easily for VoA, OS, Naxx, Uld, ToC, ICC etc. (Edit): Just found that this is already in game, press “O” then click the “Raid Finder”. No idea what the shortcut key is.
  • Do not let anyone teleport when combat has started.
  • Do not let a kick happen once a boss has been engaged, until loot distribution is finished.

This will all but remove the need for folks to type in the LFG channel, and send a clear message about gear level expected for runs. No more “you’re not worthy” or “link achieve” rubbish.

Quick noob move

Totally embarrassed to have done this – last night in Halls of Reflection Heroic,  we’ve cleared the initial room and are now running past Arthas and about to kick-off his walking scene. Like normal we stack up on the tank, just on the left of the main path, so Arthas can walk past and we can do the trash waves in relative peace.

My noob move was to back up….right off the edge of the cliff. Damn it! Shamefully its not an auto-Death, you land on a small shelf, and I get to suicide off the ledge.

Players were ok with it, I ran back, and joined the battle again. Thank god you can run back in and re-join the fight. /facepalm.

Its been a long time since I noob’ed it up that badly; otherwise the “walk backward into mobs” was my classic oh-shit move.