Wow ain’t dying.

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WoW Nagrand oceanic. Position 3642 in queue, 126 mins. Dead? Right.
I’m kind of happy it’s like this: we have players everywhere.
Perhaps the Ddns attack affected times, perhaps it’s all the returning players. A bit of realm maint and the odd tweak we might see more capacity. I’ll wait. The content isn’t going anywhere.

Updates:

  • Position and time flings around a bit; from 45 mins to 450 minutes. Yikes!
  • 2 hours later, still a 2+ hour wait estimated.
  • 3 hours later, 45 min to 1.5 hours to wait. And I think the queue is going down because we all need to go to bed to sleep.

A great garrison overview by AskMrRobot

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AskMrRobot’s blog has a great guide for Garrisons (thank you Ask Mr Robot). I knew almost nothing about them, but after skimming through the basics I think it will be a major feature I’ll use in Warlords. Truthfully I can see garrisons being played on many alts and mains from day one, to acquire what they have to offer. It appears that Garrisons will have a straight up advantage to using them (very much like the Farm in Mists) and a wide breadth of game-play too. The fact that you could have a main with a raiding garrison, then alts also generating gold and materials is excellent.

Impressed, especially the chat sheet at the end which shows which garrison feature selections are better for raiding, farming, alts, or pets. The guide indicates that a full garrison will cost around 39,000 gold. Holy snap!

garrison pic from MMO Champion

Blizzard are not making this a fair fight!

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I’m going to resubscribe, but it was going to be at a time when it suited. Then I find out about the aussie servers, and later the same day I get an email giving away 7 days free game time.
Blizzard are making this too damn enticing.

So in a few days I’ll use that 7 day freebie to re-sub. They’ve probably won.

Patch 6 around the corner

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Well well, the new “shake it up and see how it flies” patch hits this week – and me still unsubscribed to WoW. Darn if home life isn’t getting in the way of a bit of fun. In previous expansions the pre-patch for the main event has always been fun. New special content for those still hanging around, and all new stats and powers to play with as combinations. I’m in no rush as yet, and even on release I think I’ll stroll rather than run into the world, take my time to have a look. Without the pressure of a raid team every game is entertainment in my preferred time. I like it. Somewhere in my Blizzard subscription is an unplayed D3 expansion too, perhaps I’ll smash a few Templar levels before deciding which character needs to be rushed to level 100.

I am looking forward to it though. A few nights a week of wow really sounds good at the moment.

WoD’s great cinematic

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The WoD cinematic is really good. As a semi-retired lore nerd I love seeing this stuff, just as much as I love seeing the Mage cast a Sheep spell in the first trailer, or Arthas summon an undead dragon. The MoP trailer did what it had to do (show us the Pandaren) and did it in a way which was fun. It certainly makes me think this is Orcs vs Humans … of Warcraft.

Non-serious aside – It does feel like a story set to make us like killing Orcs, and as an Alliance player I don’t really care if that is the wrong view. Orcs have proven themselves weak willed, power hungry, and generally the bad guys in the lore. Guldan gets his historic plans thrown asunder, but we’re still facing Orcs as the foes. These Warlords just reenforce the point. Thrall was the exception, and only that because some silly human made an effort to civilize him instead of kill him.

Now wonder he liked Jana. I’m happy to kill orcs, wargs, goblins, any sort of green or brown skinned filth.

(edit: truthfully that trailer makes the idea of playing an orc seem very appealing)

Is it as good as the others in terms of placing the players “in the world” and throwing down a challenge? Probably not, but then the excitement from an expansion is only partly attributed to the pretty non-gameplay video. There is not much that would top “you are not prepared“. As a video to continue the hype and announce a release date it was fine; great in fact.

Bring on more cinematic media for players, add more online comics, give us preview pages, lore updates, stat blocks to drool over. Complete the character models (I know, I know) and a few decent armor sets and it’s finished isn’t it? All of it. Build the hype with many strings of your bow Blizzard.

Should mmo have difficulty settings?

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Single player games tend to give players the choice of a difficulty setting, which they can do because the impact of that choice isn’t shared amongst anyone else. D3 on easy is darn easy, and I think there is nothing wrong with playing a game for silly easy fun. We don’t always need to be raiding Hard modes, just like you can’t eat pizza every night. In an MMO all the players tend to be in the same “game” so the game’s difficulty tends to be controlled in strictly controlled ways. Instances, special quests, achievements, collections, and special creatures are around for the folks who like a challenge, but generally speaking most players are playing the same game.

If you can kill 3x monsters in the starter zone at the same time without dying then you are at a certain level of game skill. If you need help, or get *repeatedly unlucky* then you become very accustom to running back to your corpse.

What if the game had a difficulty slider, which changed some options?

  • Rewards could be recognised (achievements) at different levels. We have this in raid modes, why not elsewhere?
  • Instances wouldn’t need to change, but perhaps a player using the lower setting is forgiven more in terms of damage taken, dps, healing, so that the other players don’t suffer because somebody is playing on easy.
  • A lazy player might always play on Easy mode, because they value easy fun over challenges. Perhaps they get slightly less rewards? Less cash to a casual probably isn’t an issue.
  • A dedicated player might be rewarded with more gold or increased special drop rates because of doing it the hard way.
  • The UI slider could apply for different reasons, so that even XP reward, death penalties, gold loss, and such are all configurable by the player. Perhaps even cofigurable per character and changeable in UI at anytime.
  • It would make Ironman style challenges supported as part of the game backbone.
  • It would add more bragging rights, which isn’t always a good thing, but depends on how it is used (gearscore & achievement linking?).
  • It might help farmers of special stuff.
  • Let learners learn. Let kids be kids.

Overall I’m not sure, but perhaps there is room for this.

* Repeatedly unlucky – ahem, meaning a fire stander? I used to rant in a furious way when folks said they were unlucky.

Just amid you are less skilled and get on with playing for fun. I did. The freedom of a noob is worth something.

Gone fishing, err Hunting, but watching WoW regardless

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I’m still watching the blogs and news for WoW despite not being subscribed. Interesting to see what others are still doing in game, and to reflect that it does not entice me back into a subscription yet. Later probably, but now – not at all.

One interesting set of information has been launched around the “cosmetic class items” as a way of rewarding players for participation and also allowing for character customisation. A good and interesting mini-feature. I see bags and quivers for Hunter types, and spell books for caster types (or is that a libram for Paladins?). These could be bracer on the hip, or shoulder of character models, hand from belts, attach to forearms, or even float about the character(?).

What would be great is to see them merge with the colour palette of the character gear as well. Why? Well the spell book looks fantastic as concept art, but will be way too hapy-happy-joy-joy for a soulful purple-black themed Warlock. Keeping the emo kids happy is somewhat important, and most of us MMO players are emo about something or other.

Anyway, I’m glad they’re adding these and hope vials, off-hand frills, sub-weapons, hunting kit, crosses and prayer beads, ioun stones, boot knives, random pockets, ghost-haunted crowns, and all sorts of other widget-like oddities might come. Collect them all…buy them… Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew.