Patch, Token, and Guild

It has been almost a week between posts, as a deliberate strategy to not smash a few folks in the head using text, to calm down a bit, and to reflect on what we’re about to get from Wow’s patch 5.2. The stupidity indicator in my mental framework was flashing warning yellow all last week, and moved to match the aggro indicator in red on Friday and Saturday. Nothing to post here except that I have maintained my intolerance for liars, thieves, and real estate agents (do real life things get an interest here from readers? - I’m not sure).

In good news our guild’s raid team is getting stronger again thanks to some players returning from hiatus and also switching back after looking for greener pastures. That is a minor compliment of sorts as I do not think many folks quite a guild then return, and it also shows that the remaining players are good enough to accept them back. Kind of proud of what our GM and the officers have built. Kudos to all folks, and welcome to the recent arrivals.

[ ... The angry part of my lizard-brain wants to suggest that some of these folks left guild for a reason and we're still the same people, and that it might open us to more drama. Well yes, you lizard bastard, shut it. I choose to see this as positive and good. Circumstances and people are not the same between two different days of the week. Do I judge a person once and keep that sentiment forever? Sounds like a path to a boring and unhappy life.

Lizard-brain is a term I stole from a sci-fi novel where the storyteller explains basic animalistic reactions we have like attraction, anger response, survival, and such as being powered by the lizard-brain rather than the reason. I really like it. Eat, food, lunch... ]

For the raid team it means strength and diversity. We are stronger is a very practical sense as I am hoping that the more casual players (myself included) will be able to be slackers again. I love raiding, but hate that I let the team down with an early finish time each raid. It is a pain for everyone. The advantage of having 12-13 players in a raid team vs 8-10 is irrefutable. I still plan to be online and sub-in when needed, but can slip away when I need to in prep for the early starting work day.

We also get diversity from (hopefully) adding more classes to our mix. We lack a regular Warlock and a regular Paladin in the raid team, two classes of the three on one of the tier tokens. This means that our resident Priest is bloody well geared in main and offspec. Good for him too I say, but sheesh we had a lot of Mages, Druids, Death Knights in the runs. We don’t have a lot of Rogues, but then does anyone?

Tokens – T15 tier tokens seem to be reusing the classes of the T14 Tokens. Well shit, that’s just poor. I was hoping against all historic precedent that it would be switched around for each Tier in Pandaria. yes, I know that is a bitch for some teams, but for us it means we’re over saturated in a few classes for the entire expansion.

The class mix is:

  • Token A – Rogue, Death Knight, Mage, Druid
  • Token B – Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Monk
  • Token C – Paladin, Priest, Warlock

I maintain that the tokens should be for any class, and let the raiders divvy them around. But hey, I’m just a casual and don’t understand what “real” raiders want. Sarcasm.

Appearance wise I maintain that the DK tier set looks dumb. I’ll revise that in game when I see it on screen – for now the teeth look lost. The human figure looks like it is half eaten. The armour is also inelegant. Did the designers run out of skulls for Death Knight gear and have a heap of Hunter teeth left over? Perhaps they ordered too many.

A positive is that the models match our spec choices, which makes transmog use somewhat appealing. There – I said something positive about the dental mistake that T15 is for Death Knights.

T15-DK-Helms-nom-nom-nom-nom

(Help! I’m stuck inside this abstract sculpture of teeth, and all I have is floss)

Looking forward I am anticipating the T15 raids to be good. The hype machine has certainly been telling me that they are fantastic, and I’m happy to take that expectation to heart. The content devs have even been doing the promo interviews amongst the big blogs and shows to demonstrate how much of a push T15 has. It had a promotion vid and also an official video too. Effort has been made by Blizzard, will it be enough?

The smaller changes in Patch 5.2 are interesting too.

Old patterns becoming available from Blacksmithing is meh, as it added no additional raid patterns (meaning ilevel 476+) out of the gate. I have no use for an ilevel 463 item now, and now also cannot upgrade that item as the upgrade vendor has left. That means it’s LFR or nothing for the quick upgrades. Whatever – don’t argue it, I get it. It shits me that the system was offered in the first place to act only as a patch jump.

When we see T16 replace T15 the gear divide from new level 90 to raider will be even wider, and there is a likely scenario where new patterns and the upgrade vendor will return. A telling mistake in previous patches was the time to get from newbie through to raider very late in the expansion’s life. Plans can be made to mitigate that.

I’m also a bit underwhelmed by the Archaeology changes for the Klaxxi. Here is a race that used to serve and worship the Old Ones as gods when they were active on the planet, and the archy material is a few new items and some achievements? Lost opportunity to do fantastic stuff right there.

Heck, the entire last Tier could be Klaxxi + Garrosh with aplomb. Imagine if T16 is a hash of old gods and the rejection of Garrosh by the Horde. It stinks of a good story. Even better if Garrosh is not thrown out because of being corrupted by old gods, but because of his own ambition. Let Garrosh raise alone to attempt to rule all of Azeroth, let him burn all before him, let his drive for power and absolute rule be the force that compels his followers and emboldens his naysayers.

Actually now that I read that, leave the Klaxxi/Old Gods out of it, and lets see a true natural menace appear in the world again. Garrosh can be the return to a true evil overlord in the story. No cop-out corruption, or misguided passion for purity. Give me a downright evil bastard and I’d consider switching factions to Horde just to feel the story of betrayal. Perhaps T15 bosses will open a few stories when they start falling…

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew Continue reading

Time for Tokens to die

Years ago the wow community were rousing about the token system was ok, but fundamentally flawed. The mini-game we play after the boss dies is another treadmill-merry-go-round where gear drops which is useless. As a design principle wow’s reward for effort is based upon re-trying the kills each week until you get lucky. Today I’m bloody mad about this as its been far too long that we’ve been suffering this. Rant incoming.

In our guild forums I wrote this class tokens:

On the token (issue) I think we’re screwed for two reasons: we need to take what we can in terms of characters who are able to join and raid above their match on the token, and we can’t get people to switch characters just to suit the bloody token system each major content patch. It is a bullshit scenario to be in, but I can’t think of a solution that does not have the regular raiders re-rolling each patch.

The token system was an ok idea to allow a boss to drop loot which would not be fraught with drama, as only a few classes could use it. Less people = less drama right? Wrong.

We have in guild now is one character with a token to himself, and half the raid split on each of the other two. Ah shit, gear drama. And I don’t mean people being bitches about loot, I mean that we see Tokens getting cycled for gold/de as we’ve had too many of one type and miles from enough of others. The drama is that our progression is slowed due to shitty luck. A boss dies but the drop is totally pointless.

Also with 4-5 players on each 2 tokens it takes huge amounts of time to gear those 9 players. It is not just 9 kills job done, because we have alt sets, and subs who join from time to time to help with the roster, which makes the distribution ever worse.

Just bring more people to suit the tokens? The server populations are shrinking and this is a totally non-viable response.

Bring the player not the class? Nope. Bring a balance of classes for the tokens. Oh and the tokens change each major content patch. Arrrg.

Reroll? Good god, have you seen how unfriendly the alts are? Forget that as viable for everyone except those with huge amounts of time to play.

The outcome is our raid group just has to suck it up, and keep grinding.

Honestly I am so sick of the loot rewards or issues around loot getting in the way of actually having fun with my raid team in World of Warcraft.

Fark this, I’m soon going to play something else. If Blizzard need a reason why I’ve moved to month-on month payments now, and will shortly consider reading a book instead of logging in they can start with this. Fark it. Destroy it all.

(p.s. what about suggestions for alternatives? Nope, I’ve done that for years suggesting ways that progressive “coins” or currency could be acquired each kill. Do a search on Gear on the blog… they’ll be a few.)