The Ultimate Hardcore Game

I’m reading a lot about how WoW is becoming too easy, and the Hardcore folks are not happy. It is apparently now catering to casuals, school moms (not that they can’t be hardcore, but that is another url), and face-rollers. The dual spec in 3.1 is just the most recent item to illicit this response.

OK then Hardcore players… you tell me – What would be the broad design guidelines for the most Hardcore MMO?

Lets write a list that will scare the drooling face-rollers back under the house, and make the hardcore players salivate with delight. Continue reading

Not tagged for screenshot 6 of 6 :(

Kind of sad that I didn’t get tagged for a 6 of 6 screenshot thing that is floating around the blogosphere. Then I suppose I’m not a regular in many of the blog circles, so honestly my offense is totally made up. The sad face is for dramatic affect.

I like the idea though, so here goes.

Nagarj the Shaman ding'ing while getting levels from Recruit a Friend

Nagarj the Shaman ding'ing while getting levels from Recruit a Friend

Thanks to Kittoug for the levels.

Dual Specs are L40+, 1000g, all wonderful

Forever a Noob dislikes the idea of dual specs mid raid. I like it. Go read the post and my rant-ish response if you’re interested in two divergent views of dual spec.

In short: If you don’t like the idea of dual spec, don’t use it. Likewise epic flying mount, badge gear, welfare epics, ans all the other topics that players like to gripe about. I like to think of World of Warcraft as a game that I enjoy, not a system of mechanical restrictions. Anything that makes the game more accessible is good, particularly as this has little negative impact on the players that choose not to use it.

eg. If your raid leader wants a Healer and you’re spec’ed for Priest DPS, then you can’t go. He can ask you to re-spec, but you can refuse. Your choice, and if you keep to a strict “not holy priest” choice then you’re still happy. You have not lost any options. The raid leader will go find another healer anyway. But if you can switch modes, then you get to do the run too.

Why is this bad? See also Blog Azeroth shared topic.

Comments on hold for Patch 3.1

I’m waiting before commenting on the Patch 3.1 notes. Why? Because the changes are very broad at the moment for Death Knights, and I’d rather see what they are a week from now. Commenting now just seems like jumping the gun to me.

The class notes so far for most classes are worth of a read though. Go find your favpourite source and drool away.

Knowing that Frost and Blood will get re-worked and Unholy gets some switching around – all ok imho. Lets see what Blizzard can do for Death Knights. It appears that dual wield killing machine procs are reduced, so maybe dual wield will become a flavour choice not a must do. Not that I did, I like Frost dps at the moment, but will look hard at each tree again shortly.

The huge one is that dual spec will be for level 40s and above, and not have a materials requirement. Booja! That is excellent. The 1000 gold cost is nothing compared to what that offers multi-role toons. Not just hybrids get a boost here, you could have a pvp and pve spec for a dps’er.

Would you roll Need or Greed on this?

After a badly timed death (what is a well timed death?) while zerging through instances with a mate on his 80 Death Knight and one of my 70s, the loot window appeared. Seems that there the possibility of an odd sync between your death and the opportunity to roll.

Need or Greed...Blizzard says no loot for you!

Need or Greed...Blizzard says no loot for you!

Now that is loot that deserves to go to a Hunter (Sorry Jez – the cheap shots are often the best).

Will Erosion kill Topper McNabb?

After offering a bounty on Topper, I thought it only normal to see if I could do the kill myself. After all, I can save paying 25g/100g.

Looking all safe and smug in Stormwind

Topper McNabb - Looking all safe and smug in Stormwind

Topper is only a level 1 human, so he should be a quick kill, but being in a major city means he is very well protected. The Gnomish Poultryizer and other various fun toys are not usable on “green” NPCs, so all my ideas for same faction killing seemed closed.

I’m sure Blizzard have ended the exploit of blood poisoning, and even the kills you can make with Mushrooms. So I need a Plan B.

Plan B: So I was left to consider a Horde toon. All those guards with massive aggro radius, and 17k health means that any Horde faction toon I create was going to get put down very quickly.

Thus I created a Horde Rogue called Erosion, and hoped that repeat corpse runs would get me next to Topper. Continue reading

100g Bounty on Topper McNabb

wanted-poster_thumbI want everyone to kill Topper McNabb.

If you kill Topper McNabb on the Nagrand server, and can provide absolute proof you did it, I’ll give the first person 25 gold. I mean Screenshots and proof you are on Nagrand server.

If you can arrange with me to be online at the time you do it; and watching; its 100 gold.

I want to see that bastard suffer. Kills from before my offer do not count, and it has to be on Nagrand server. Continue reading

Lets murder Topper McNabb

As a frequent AH farmer, I spent a lot of time in the Stormwind auction house. While there I get to experience the broad and often meaningless banter of the WoW community. You get that with an MMO, its generally OK.

toppermcnabbThere is one asshat that just won’t shut up, and can’t be put on ignore, killed, or even asked to shut up. Topper McNabb, or as I like to call him – that hamburger idiot.

My feature request to Blizzard is to be able to give Topper 1sp and he would actually shut up for 10 minutes. I’d be happy to pay this for the 30 or so minutes that I spend in the AH, just so that I can use the chat frame for CHAT. Not watching/listening to Topper McNabb’s verbal sewage.

Even better can I hire the Defias guys to “sort him out”. Getting him murdered would be good, actually seeing the hit would be pure gold. I think you could sell tickets to the event, so that the NPCs of WoW will kill him. And while they’re running around on a killing spree they can stop the kids too. Little mongrels should be locked up.

Heck if I could get a Horde on the Nagrand server to kill him I’d almost pay for that too. Is there a useless peon in Ogrimar or Undercity that whines like a bitch near tha AH too?

What was the Ice Stone ?

So what is the Ice Stone, where is it, and why do we care that the world is yelling that it has melted?

My take is that this is part of the Uldaur opening. The Ice Stone “is” the barrier stone which sealed Ulduar, and how that it has melted, the creatures trapped within are free to exit and seek revenge. Likewise we valiant heroes can enter and bring judgment, pain, and garner a few trophies.

I wonder if Ulduar will have an attunement?

I know that it could be Ahune again, or another special Love boss (melt somebodies frozen heart). But somehow this has the feel of a world event like the Headless Horseman, or the Invasion.

Update: Aparently patched so that it is no longer announced. Well pfft. I would still like to know what it was.

The Ice Stone is frozen again!

Transformation into Human

Finally did the culling of Stratholme run, and really enjoyed it. I like that Arthas is starting to flip out, the argument at the beginning, but also that there were beings beyond his comprehension that participated too. It lends a legendary feel to everything we do in Lich King. The run was done fast, and I’d like to head back in and actually learn and watch what is happening as there is sure to be more little tid-bits of lore hidden away.

The only down side was Mortigen was transformed into a Human. And a darn ugly one at that. I mean balding with a mullet ugly!

mort-as-human-in-strath

Can I get a Flying Disk Mount?

I’d love a flying disk mount, like the melee use in the Malygos fight. We could pretend to be Magneto in X-Men, flying on a saucer would be a fun thing, and totally rational given that its already in the game environment. The mechanics are already resolved, and it would be a wonderful epic mount. Just not sure who would grant this, apart from a drop from the Malygos fight.

Wrath Raid Gear Requirements by Class

Update Dec 09: With the release of WoW Patch 3.3 and the iLevel gear starting at 219 and 232 for H dungeons, I think the typical level of expected gear has increased. The old Naxx guides are gone. Basically now you’re aiming for 219 in all slots as a start, and any casual with time should be able to get to 232 in almost every location.

That is a huge change from the iLevel 200 items that you got 1 per end boss at the start of Wrath at level 80. Tis a good thing too.

Raiding requirements are popular searches, I know as the raid requirement posts are still some of the most popular in this blog. And to my somewhat shame most of the information I post is a hash of other sources (Alt Doctor, EJ, wiki, etc).

And the Alt Doctor has done it again, posting his Raiding Requirements for Wrath.

If you’re wondering if you are read to run with the big monsters, this set of stats will tell you. Later I’ll review, but for now just read and make sure you know what you need.

If you’re short on some of the stats then check out Wow-loot, WoW Heroes, and BeImba for advice. All are good sources of item/gear advice.

Upcoming patches – 3.0.9 and 3.1

I’m not fussed by anything I’ve read about so far in 3.0.9.9551. Some quick thoughts.

  • Paladin seals last 30 minutes, as to does Priest Inner Fire. Nice. Recasting Inner Fire every 10 minutes is a total pain in the arse.
  • Re-colouring of the void zones in OS well thats a nice to have, but not huge.
  • and many more, particularly if you play a Mage, Hunter, Paladin or Rogue. I don’t, so not overly fussed.
  • They already hotfixed the boat bug where a DK could pull a foe around the world using Death Grip. I read about it, but never tried it.
  • I read that Hunters are getting rid of ammo at some stage (3.0.9 or later). Thats a shot in the arm for Hunters, a shot in the head for Engineers, and a good reason for Warlocks to put up their Shard laden hands and say “us too please”.

Its patch 3.1 that has me all a quiver. There are changes to all classes, and most of them are important enough to read through in detail.

  • The Ulduar raid. I hope we’re ready.
  • Its suggested that we’ll see dual spec. If so, woot! If not I’m happy to keep waitig till they get it right. Latest story seems to say you change spec in a town, then go hunting, pvp, raiding. Very cool.
  • Class changes up the wazoo. So much that its hard to absorb them all.
  • A change to mana regen across the board, then a buff to some classes in spirit and mana regen talents. My suss is that healing classes who can stack HoTs are the real target here, as they can cast many affects quickly, then start a regen period. Not sure if it will also have a negative affect on DoTs either, but then I was never not casting when I was a Warlock. Casters are meant to run out of mana, so this change might return a degree of challenge to mana for those who were never running out. Personally I was already running out so hope that it has no negative affect.
  • Death Knights have a change in the Unholy tree for Gargoyle and Unholy Blight. Pestilence to not do damage, but only spread the diseases, and a reduction to the affect of Unbreakable Armor. They are also looking at Glacial Rot, Sudden Doom, and Endless Winter. I don’t like the removal of damage from Pestilence, and it means that getting to Aoe will be that much slower, giving me less aoe generally. I’ll just stick to Howling Blast then.
  • The updates for the rest of Death Knight are supposedly aimed at “blood and frost dps” and “frost tanks” to quote the WoW Insider. Time will tell.

Its so unreal at the moment and I’m not banking on any of it. Also timing wise I can’t see 3.1 hitting for at least a few weeks. The adjustment in 3.0.9 seems small, and hopefully that means they’ll take time to watch it being stable for a few weeks. I know raiders are frothing at the mouth for new content; but releasing Ulduar early with all the class changes will create whine churn.

Unless perhaps its just better to put a stack of sweeping changes all in one patch. Like removing a bandaid, get it done in one hit. I’d prefer we wait.

Rumour of the week: Bigger Backpack

A larger base backpack. Joy. What in hell are they going to make us do to get this, considering that the 22 slot bag is an OS drop. Will Haris Pilton be involved? And how big will the upgrade be?

If its from 16-18 there will be a riot, but then if they make it 28 slots or some such, then is this too large? Or do they make it 20 slot to keep the feel of the 22 slot ones are really valuable, and then add more “currency” tracking. Quests, food, and potions is where a lot of my bag space goes.

Give us tracking of quest drops for Rep, special coolers to store our food (Eski of Frozen Storage, 30 slot box), and all the coins, marks, and tokens not taking up bag space – just like the currency tab now. A suggestion in the WoW Insider post has the backpack scale with level – I like that (don’t ask what an eski is…). Please don’t make it linked to an achievement.

So what is missing here?

On the surface nothing. However with new content should bring new items and new opportunities. So I say with patch 3.1 we should be seeing daily quests for other professions, and some more patterns available for those professions. Akin to Jewelcrafting, Cooking, etc. Let the other professions slave daily to get some interesting and useful patterns. Not being able to get Kirin Tor rep from an extra daily sucks too.

Who was your first?

Achievements are funny things. They help us measure up, give us new targets, and re-live old experiences. But there are things that are important to the experience of playing WoW that are never tracked.

  • First level 80, 70, and 60 character
  • First keyboard dummy spit when somebody needed to be shutdown
  • First Guild, and why
  • First mod that you installed
  • First pvp match or first instance

Which firsts should be tracked, maybe by account, and what is missing that you’d like to see?

Continue reading

I Hate Blog Scrapers (non-wow & nsfw)

Seems I’m getting a large amount of my content re-published in scraped form on some aggregation sites. I hate that. A lot.

If it was a commentary, useful feedback, or even abuse I’d be ok – but just re-posting for the purpose of link ads is off the scale wrong. Fu*kers don’t even credit my name in the feed, its just listed as “Random Feed”.

You’re on notice you leechy creepy bastards: every now and then I’m going to say something acidic, virulent, and mean. And there is no way in hell I’m going to link to you in comments and such; the height of rudeness. Trackbacks? Ha!

If you’re reading this, and its not on http://typhoonandrew.wordpress.com then its stolen. So how about some total mis-information for those wonderful scape-site:

  • Hunter patch 3.1 will further reduce their dps; akin to the to-the-ground Paladin nurf
  • Druid Tree form will have movement reduced by 15%, because you’re trees.
  • Warlock Tier 8 gear set will feature a pink horns (much like donkey ears) with green sparkles on the top.
  • Paladin seals will now need to be re-applied after Judgement.
  • Mages will have be given new summon power akin to warlocks, so that warlocks can be removed from the game. And the new Pink T8 set that was for Warlocks becomes Mage t8. With a blue sparkles. Bet that stopped the mages laughing.

Arrg, enough. Scrape that you bastards.

Question: What spec to level as a Priest?

An open question to the Priest and/or wow player community: What spec to level from 70 to 80, and is a version of Disc a valid choice?

Certainly not pure Holy, as the damage output is pretty low. And the popular wiki/blog opinion from the 60-70 days was to take Shadow with a smattering of other talents. OK, but maybe Wrath has changed that.

Then a mate said yesterday, why not choose a Discipline built and mix in some holy. It works for pvp. Which makes sense as pvp is all about doing damage and surviving, which sounds to me also like a blueprint for pve leveling: get kills without dying.

It also got me thinking that a dps priest can fight for instance spots like anyone else, but a healing priest can pop into LFG and get runs very very fast. A lot faster than a Death Knight, as most groups already have at least one plate wearer, and often a DK.

So should I spec Dis/ Holy, and ping the instances to get my levels? Certainly will get some good drops if every day I’m in an instance.

If you’ve done this, or know of some stories of success and failure, I’d love to know about them. Your advice is appreciated and needed.

MagicRunes vs RuneWatch

dk-symbolRuneWatch and MagicRunes both provide cooldown information for a Death Knight’s runes, and of the DK mods they are the best I’ve found. If you’re now leveling a Death Knight as your alt, as so many people seem to be, then consider geting both and playing with each.

There are many more mods out there, and they’ll all do some basic stuff. Frankly most are re-skins of the Blizzard UI’s Rune section, and most are exceedingly ugly. For a mod to be useful it has to give you accurate information, and be presented clearly. Adding art style to a good mod is valuable; making the Blazzard frame overly complex and fancy without anything extra is pointless.

Both MR and RW are good – I am torn between them, so much so that I use both.

MagicRunes

  • better graphical timing of runes, as timer is displayed as a bar rather as a number
  • needs a optional disease timer

RuneWatch

  • design style is more akin to DK flavour, rather than a straight information mod
  • includes disease detection and timing (a major point of differentiation), which for Unholy spec, is really handy.
  • initial load state is way too huge for most UIs, but is simple to alter

Both

  • support different layouts, styles, and symbols. No issue making each of these look and function in a reasonable way
  • track rune cooldowns very well
  • well supported and updated