Diablo 3? Grumble

Blizzard announced Diablo 3 at the Invitational, but really what I wanted was a Wrath launch date. I know Diablo was a good game, and Diablo 2 was even better. Yes, I will play it, and yes I think they will do an excellent job.

I’m just a junkie for all things World of Warcraft, and can’t wait for the next WoW Expansion. So 10 points for the new Diablo, but minus several hundred for not annoucing the WotLK date.

Bring on the demons, the mindless voicence, and the anti-gamer hate from the misunderstanding right. Where did I put my Abyssal Membership Card?

If you’re also keen for WoW Wrath details you’ll be pleased to know that a lot of new infomation is hitting the air during the convention, and I’m keenly reading as much of the websites, blogs, and bathrom walls to get all the rumours. However I’d say its still not official until they give us documented intentions, and even then not final.

So keep your seats, wonder the Diablo 3 game, and wait with bated breath for official news to come.

Blizzard security token

As a response to security concerns and account hacking it seems that Blizzard will facilitate an optional security token system. Initially I though this was a late April fools joke, but after taking off my cynical hat, maybe some users will like this. I really don’t know.

If it works for all Blizzard games going forward and remains an optional device – its a good thing. It raises a question about using different PCs, how many could be authorised, and what customer support will be needed.

My humble opinion is that this will not be broadly adopted. I certainly won’t be using one as I move between so many machines and have a tendency to loose my keys.

A software based solution might make more sense, and if Blizzard really want to stop accounts being hacked, they should:

  1. change out account name as well as password
  2. set minimum complexity rules
  3. have the wow forums using a different login to the account login.
  4. don’t show “account already in use” when creating a new account name. When creating my account I was told that my first few choices were already in use. Thats half the user/pass combination hacked right there.
  5. what about areas outside USA for customer support?

Edit: Apparently these only sell to the USA and Europe (which sucks if true), and the one authenticator can be used on any number of accounts; which is great.

Distractions and comedy

Been flat out recently with work/life balance all out of wack. Somehow still found the time to devote to my online addiction. The stuff below has been distracting me. *Intollerant rant warning*


After a time my attention span lapses and another Alt appears. My last effort got a Mage to level 41, and before that I was tooling around with a Druid who only hit 17. Recently I took up again and am playing around with a Druid again; damn they are a great class to grind with. All the Druid class needs is a long stun or 100% effective flee button and they’ll be unstoppable.

As an aside the Druid and Hunter combo that got killed by the huge dinosaur in Un’Goro made my day. Not becuase they were kill stealing moments before, and not because they died fighting it; but because they then stood there long enough for it to kill them a 2nd time on its return path. That made my night.

Please also check out the iArmory if you have a iPhone or portable device; its great. Huge kudos to Elad from Omen of Clarity for this tool. And if you need a 2nd opinion check out this review.


“MMORPG – Many Men Online Role Playing Girls”, was said in a forum post a while ago, and I like it. I have a few female toons too. You’ve all heard the line “I play a girl because I’d rather look at one”, well that might be so; but personally I play female toons because some of the male character models are crap. /Shrug.

This post on badges, with a V rather than a B got the attention of a Blue; but I really think the Blue created the storm in this teacup. If the purile kiddies need to post and giggle, let them. It might help keep them away from screwing up actual content, or pugging. We can’t shut them down, so having them all drooling and one-hand-playing in a forum thread is ok as long as I don’t have to moderate it. Or ban their accounts from posting till Lich is released.


Enchanting 375 on my Warlock was a long time comming by I’m really pleased to get there. Not that there is much more that can be done at 375, but it adds to the sense of completion and character progression.

Engineering almost 375 on my Paladin, so that will happen soon; which does not add anything that I can use, but is still nice to have.

Skinning at 300 for my Druid; so now ready to skin and enjoy the grind upward to 375.

The Swearjar has over $20 in it now, and I have no idea what it will total by the time WotLK hits.

Gearing Attitude

Finding gear on your toons is a constant goal while leveling, and then becomes the primary target for the way to differentiate yourself from other players at 70.

Class dependency and spec choice will help determine what upgrade path is best, and many specific class sites, blogs, and forums will help with this (but please keep reading).

However a key point I have noticed in the change from pre-70 to 70 is the realisation that the upgrades, patches, and enchants for gear is critical in improving your gear.

I like to think about it like the player is taking responsibility for the condition of their character and the manner that character affects the world.

Spending the materials and time in getting it properly setup may be seen as a waste, as the gear might change; but that gear may also stay static for several weeks. Over those weeks you are reaping the reward of applying the enchant. I agree to a point that you should not waste enchant mats, but simple armour kit or enchant can help your team not suffer as much.

The effort to carry your character through an instance that has not applied some simple upgrades can be noticeable to the other players. And the good news is that these upgrades can also have a reverse bonus affect, they can increase your gear to a level well above basic performance. By enchanting and buffing your gear everyone wins.

Honestly there is no excuse when you have a 70, as money from daily quests will allow you to purchase most simple updates. The exception to this is Rep Reward upgrades which will be a while away for recent 80s, and most players can appreciate those being missing. The next time I see a toon with no enchants and no patches, I’ll be speaking out immediately.

Lastly as a rant on the side – Why then can my enchanter not be used to advantage on my other characters?

It is a totally broken aspect of the game, and while I suspect Blizzard will fix this eventually, I think the fix will only be in response to an external force (such as game feature comparisons). I don’t care if these were Bind to Account (BtA) so that only alts could use them; and imagine how cool it would be to scan the AH for Enchanting Kits the same way we can Armor Kits (Leatherworking), Scopes (Engineering), Spell Weave (Tailoring), Gems (Jewelcrafting) etc.

Please Blizzard, allow us to create Enchanting Kits, to swap between our characters.

Highlights of patch 2.4.3

Patch 2.4.3 notes have been posted, and I like them. There seems to be a huge focus on lower level content and peripheral things like non-combat pets and fashion. Also some bug-fixes that I had no idea were around.

My highlights are:

  • New junk to buy from Haris Pilton, but most importantly a 22 slot bag for 1200g. Sheesh that’s expensive, but certainly accessible (just like the personality). Its also BoE so you can send it to somebody as a gift – how very Paris.
  • Mounts at level 30, is a great change. Its a significant sign that you are making progress, and will help accelerate the leveling process. Also added are some new mount types and skins, but thats guff-guff compared to all the new level 30-32 characters who were previously abandoned.
  • Warlocks – Curse of Everything! The CoE and CoS have been combined into CoE, so that Warlocks now have one Curse for added damage rather than two. Huzah. Nothing that I was looking for, but a great benefit for raids that have more than one Warlock. Now one Lock can keep everyone happy, and the other can use a different Curse for fun and pleasure.
  • Mining – green gems are back. Nice.
  • Tailoring – More recipes (about frigging time), and removal of the Mooncloth cool down. 28 slot Herbalism pouches are exciting, but I suspect we may need Sporegar Rep to get it. Hope not, or those Naga are going suffer in their thousands.
  • Summoning from a Heroic to a Raid will work – Good. I thought I had already done this, but cant really recall.
  • Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen – now works with DoTs – Nice, now I want one.

(MMO-Champion has the list I used)

A good Trasporter Accident

This time the transporter extracted all the evil thoughts from my pally, and only his good side remained. Goodness makes you slightly yellow and transparent (consider that for a moment). A larger version taken at Toshley Station is here.

I think I preferred the Evil version more.

Now that I’ve had two, my goal is to see if I can “collect” all the affects.

Transporter Accident

The Engineering teleporters are pretty cool, and one of the key reasons I kept Engineering. And as strange as it may sound I like that every now and then they go wrong. You can be pop’ed in the air to potentially fall to your death (parachute cloak FTW), come out as a monster, a shade of half yourself, or even you evil twin.

Yesterday I saw my paladin’s evil twin. All quasi-translucent and red. Like a Shadow Priest, but full of red rage.

Multi-toon is mandatory

Why is it that we have alts, and some of us have a huge stack of them?

Firstly I though it could be an attention span thing (ohh, shiny pretty blood elf), or a side of our personalities that likes punishment. But then I got thinking about the way I play, and in all seriousness there is merit and good reasons to have a few Alts.

I believe that and it makes sense to find ways to avoid grinding the same activities each day. Yes, there will be posts about players being bored, and starting new toons, but what Alting does is teach you about other classes.

You get to see the role and potential of another class, and appreciate the differences between that and what you are used to. Warrior vs Paladin vs Druid tanking for example are all different. All the healer classes have special tricks, and I’d be staggered if Warlocks, Mages, SPriests, Boomkins, and Shamans couldn’t learn something from each other about DPS casters.

You also get a degree of sympathy for players using a class that you play. A dps’er who starts playing a tank has the opportunity to learn why Tanks do some things, and everyone should play a healer at some stage of WoW. It will cut the bitching by a 3rd. However please don’t be that player who gives unsolicited advice constantly to those around them; because other players hate you. Especially so if you are not doing an awesome job with the toon you are playing at the time. Continue reading

A PuG Swearjar

After the past 3-4 days pug’ing runs I’m depressed. The one run that did finished cost 27g in repairs and only a few badges because we had to skip a boss. The rest were worse, which means we were wiping all over the place, and didn’t even finish. Nagrand heroic puggers are at least 20% horrid, and by that I mean that most groups I see have at least 1 guy who should not be there.

So, here is a new tactic. A PuG Swearjar. Rather than get angry and rave in guild-chat (because I have a blog for that), I’ll put a $1 into a jar and save for something nice.

This way there is a little positive light on every bad event. Each wipe, unnecessary death, group break-up, or otherwise bad even involving a pug will help me accumulate some play money. I could have a new widget soon, and if it continues this way for months; probably a plasma TV.

We used to have a pug channel on my old server for known good players, and something like that would be very handy. Anyone out there on Nagrand?

Why I will roll a Death Knight

Altitis posted about why he will definetely roll a Death Knight, and it got me thinking. His reasons were due to the immediate level 55 toon, and be an immediate Tank. Yep, I get that and agree totally.

However I’ll be rolling one for a few more reasons too. Firstly they will have new content, and I love to see contents so thats an absolute given. Blizzard will have to spend at least some time making the DK starting area something worth being in.

Secondly I need to understand them as a class. As one of my primary toons is a tank, I will need to understand how the DK can be applied to a group; and the best way I have found to do that is actually roll one. I also have a Warlock and its not often that a Warlock will surprise me with a tactic that I have not seen or done before. The Death Knight offers a potential for a new range of abilities and I want to know them all. Especially as I think we will see an absolute truckload of them on every server.

And thirdly I’m an Alt-a-holic, so there is no way i wouldn’t be playing one in some capacity. I might wait a few days so that I’m not standing next to every other level 55 DK saying “LFG pls”.

Blue owns a PuGing Tank

one of these days AliceWhat started as a reasonable expression of frustration from a Tank about how he runs PuGs turned sour for him on the forums. The abbreviated version is so direct and is about as subtle as a sledge hammer on heat. I laughed, have a read.

It seems this Tank is also somebody you’d not want to group with, and this strikes to the heart of the player skill crisis in wow.

We all expect an awesome performance from the players we group with, but also expect a little tolerance for screw-ups. Its a give and take thing. But not having spent all your talent points is such a poor failing that you’d hope he has an incredible reason.

I call this a player skill crisis as IMHO its not the toon that is the real issue, its the idiot-meat-sack using the computer which is often the biggest letdown. A bad player won’t know how to react when things go bad, won’t communicate well, often won’t have a threat meter; but most of all won’t know their limitations. Limitations are a soft area when leveling, and its tempting to place yourself in a harder instance to get slightly better rewards. A new 70 should know that they are not ready for Heroic runs, and should keep working on other gear. But I think greed takes over, and sometimes they group-up and try for the best.

Take my Paladin for example. He has a mix of blue and purple gear, can tank anything non-Heroic and an easy Heroic; but some runs I just won’t do. H-mode Botanica for example would be harsh. Till my gear improves I happier running Kara as an off-tank, and doing runs to get the odd upgrade and badges. I choose to only run when I know the other players are aware that I am still gearing up, and also happy to run easy instances for Reputation rewards. Would I like to try Kara as a Main Tank, hell yes, but I’m not up to the needed specs yet.

So in the spirit of the tank who posted in that thread: I expect you to only come along on a run if you have the gear, time, and patience to do it well. If its a 66 instance and you’re in mostly blue gear, all well and good, but if you’re looking for a H-mode Shadow Labs please expect to get booted if you’re not prep’ed for a challenge.

It only takes one bad player to make a run hurt, don’t be that person.

Armory on your iPhone

A dev named SaladFork has created an Armory web page optimised for the iPhone. That right folks – you can now browse toons on the Armory using a custom webpage built for mobile devices. The author has put a good deal of effort into the initial beta version, and my quick testing found it worked a treat. Take a look here i.array0.com, or the home page occ.array0.com

For me this is a great form of convergence: wow + iphone = geek fun anywhere.

A new old helm

Quick post to flaunt my Warlock finally getting his T4 Helm from Prince. Karazhan is mainly a badge run for me, and the helm I replaced was only about +10 spell damage behind the T4 and had better stats. Still, I’m happy. I’ve passed on that roll about 3 or 4 times so that others could get it, and the other night I was the only eligible toon. Huzzah!

Be a casual. Kill Vash.

Jez at DPS We Deliver has a good post about what level of dedication is needed for steady progression. The contention is that you can raid seriously once per week and still make progress through the end-game content (her guild is almost through SSC and TK). Thats certainly making good progress, and she coined the phrase “relaxed raiders”, which I like to call “softcore”. Bravo guys. Continue reading