Bad Guild Apps

We see guild apps now and then without knowing the person beforehand; and there have been a few more since the guild got to 6/7 in Firelands. Often I am reading this:

Basically skilled player with too many alts, seeks 9 or 24 other people to carry me through the content until I have either too much homework, a girlfriend, or am grounded.

I prefer communication via chat, and won’t talk on vent unless you’re into lowbrow dick jokes. Given how wonderful my mother thought I was until I reached puberty, I reserve the right to ninja the loot I want, and bitch if not taken on raids, granted loot, or if the guild’s female members don’t reciprocate my clumsy flirting enough with me.

Please have no other high maintenance players.

My plan is to get geared up via your runs. Please also change your Wednesday raid night to Thursday, as that better fits around my schedule.

regards,

Lolazorin, Champion of the Murloks

Based of a comment I made at Matticus blog. Happy recruiting.

Gear Transmogrification makes RP sense

There is chatter on the wow-internet about the transmogrification service coming in patch 4.3. Some like it, some dislike it, and most are curious what it will mean.

I like it. It is one of the best RP style game features I’ve heard of in a very long time.

Consider the Circle of Flame. One of the best helms for clothies, and it has a mail equivalent model. Both drop in Molten Core.

Consider that some characters in stories are personified by their gear. There are npcs in WoW that are known by their weapons, characters in films and books (etc) that are linked to the weapons they wield and the equipment they carry. Indy’s whip & gun from the Indiana Jones films, Elric’s sword from the novels, all sorts of Final Fantasy memes, and pulpy stuff like Krull which are all about the weapon. Do you remember that elf from Hawk the Slayer? What a bow!

Our toons will have the capacity to establish a personal style all of their own. We can select or create our own armour sets. That means all the eye patches, bandanas, iconic weapons, groovy shoulders, and sexy bikini plate breast plates are all up for grabs.

I realise though that it could potentially diminish the variance of character gear, and also has the potential to steal the limelight for new gear sets. It could be argued that gear is a point in time, and that is valid only if that is your set of values. Frankly I dislike most of the interim gear my toons have to wear and would prefer to pick a set that I could grow to love.

This feature limits us only if we let it limit us. People will use it to make expressive sets. Sets will be slutty, bold, clown-like, ugly, and very old school – and what that means is choice. I don’t care that it means a pvp player can’t tell how powerful my gear is just by looking at the toon model – that is not an experience I value.

If I’m looking at a character’s gear then I am looking for the visualised overall affect, not trying to remember which shade of purple or blue indicates what sub-tier of pvp shoulders some Undead Warlock is wearing while he fear-bombs my character.

I wish I had not trashed and DE’ed all my old tier sets and odd items. It is a great feature. Happy customising.

(edit: Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Linkage)

Thoughts on the Tanking Changes

There were some hotfixed in changes to Tanking yesterday. The big switch is a massive increase to the threat generation for Tanks to the point where the it is very difficult for a dps to pull threat of the tank now.

At least that is what the patch said. In practice it is mostly true too. I really like this change.

To test the change (and because it was one of my wow nights) I ran two instances last night, the first as dps and the second as tank. Both were the new Troll 5 mans, and both had me teamed with players who were in comparable gear (363+ ilevel).

As dps – I was still having threat issues.

On the surface it was much better, I was not pulling threat straight of the tank after three hits, but I still found major issues when I was lucky enough to get a string of crits on a single target pull. My suspicion is that (a) the tank in the group was not concentrating, (b) he still needed time for the threat to build on the target, and (c) I am a threat whore.

I guess this is the way of it for Frost DKs, and I can adjust playstyle accordingly. I will continue to hold off initially and will concentrate on the peripheral needs in the fight, just in case something goes wrong early. We also had an Elemental Shaman and Balance Druid who were keeping up with me on single target damage, and I think we all pulled off the tank at different points over the run. Overall it was a great run with no complete wipes.

To make the point very clearly – I usually die in every 5 man I do due to threat, sometimes 3-4 times, and last night I didn’t die once in that run due to threat. I dies due to no healing in the DragonHawk phase, but meh – the healer was busy keeping himself and the tank alive and its my job to die

As Tank – I still had threat issues, but tanking was so much better.

Previously I felt like Tanking was like herding cats. You had little to no ability to control where the mobs were going, and your own team’s dysfunction was a major driver in the frustration.This change has made the threat issues on packs much better, and the threat issues I saw in single target basically resolved. Only the most powerful and stupid dps would pull threat from my Death Knight now that I maintain a set based upon maintaining threat and staying alive in equal ratio.

However there were still issues – basically due to bloody stupid actions by the dps players, or situations where threat is not so much of an issue and the dps is meant to just burn through the trash mobs – the large waves of non-elite birds for example. You just burn them and for the most part the tank will do what they can to assist somebody in trouble.

This change is not an excuse for dps to go back to being idiots, and just hammering away regardless of the fight. Dps still need to think before they click.

So what is being solved here? Why is this better?

It was a pain to manage a tank’s Threat stats, Survivability stats (in two forms of mitigation and health stacking), and also then have the Tank responsible for a set of encounter based functions like taunts, interrupts and use of special abilities at strategic times. Fundementally Tanking is a hard job and most people do not like it.

A tank is also doubly burdened with the marking and instructions to the group, and I’ve seen many players join a random 5 man as the Dungeon Guide, but prove to be useless leaders with no real clue.

Taking threat out of the list of issues is a huge boon for 5 man dungeons and will probably do more to increase the player pool in the queues that the goodie bag did. Based upon my experience above I will be tanking more, probably all the time now. I am sure that some players will say that it is a hurtful change in some manner, but I like this adjustment.

Make note too that all the other jobs are still needed. Crowd control is still required, strategies must be followed, leadership is needed, and players can still wipe the group with bland stupidity; but the adjustment so that at threat is almost a non-issue is enough to get me to Tank again.

It has been a long break since I tanked in Wrath, but I’m in for another go now.

By way of refs and implications Tobold has written an outstanding blog post about what it means and why the choice may have been made.

Farming the AH for raid gear, p2

Well it has been three weeks since I thought to start gearing up, and my effort to gear up via making a huge pile of cash from the AH is not going well. I’ve increased my gold total by about 3k. Given that the gear I want to buy costs ~60k, I’m a long way short. Only 60 weeks to go at this rate (shudder). I have had some very expensive expenses as I spend gold on mounts, gear changes, glyphs, and all sort of other strange items. In terms of income the figure is more like 5-6k, and I’ve been spendthrift.

You see I’ve not really changed my (poor) analysis methods, or started converting materials into items to re-sell. Part of my hesitation is that I may need some of those materials later, but really it is because I love to horde mats.

I’m a womble at heart.

I’ve looked at the current craftables that are performing well for which I have patterns, and there is money to be made. There is also however a slowly closing window for this opportunity as more players enter the manufacturing market, and the demand drops off as players buy what they need. The real burst time for profit is probably past, and now it is about considering the goal vs the cost.

When I thought that the mats could be redeveloped into around 40k of gold, that meant that I could get a fair way along my goal – which is better gear. But then the gearing through the dailies is reasonable, and the rep rewards are very solid. I think a better approach might be to do the same effort of slowing building a gold base, but spending that gold on rewards that are ever decreasing in cost is not something I want to rush.

e.g. A really smick one handed axe was selling for upward of 35k, and it now sits around 22-28k depending on the day. That is a very large drop in price in a short period.The axe is BoE drop, so there will be more at a steady rate, and the demand will decrease.

So I continue to ponder options and review what items to craft. My mats are steadily increasing and via the odd bargain, some clever use of mats, and some questing I think I can maintain a steady growth of my gold base at around 1k per week – after all the repairs and upgrade costs are included. That is an OK way to play for somebody who only really gets online 2 nights a week.

Happy farming.

Cross server grouping is free

The cross realm grouping feature is released from Beta and staying free to use – its being reported by all the typical news services for wow.

I’m very pleased. I wrote a few blunt and direct blog posts earlier about how insane it was that a “social” aspect of the game is released to a premium membership, and this choice appears to validate that view. Now I really have no idea if it was community pressure, the change in subscriber numbers, or just a good ethos at the head office that saw the free service; but it stands as a point where a darn good choice was made instead of a money-hungry one.

Kudos to the people who made and backed that choice. These types of choices enforce rather than erode the spirit of the community.

Now they will hopefully expand the options into other areas and aspects of the game. Tier -1 content (BWD, etc), old instances, perhaps even cross-faction using the same “mythos” that allows the caverns of time to work. I can see a serious issue with battlegrounds, but anything with a closed group is reasonable.

Cartoon + blog = D3 AH perfection

If you’re after a good short summary of the debate around Diablo 3 AH, the always online requirement, and the gamer culture of overreaction; just do this:

  1. Read Tobold’s blog post – Not separate features
  2. Read the Penny Arcade cartoon – Sound and the Fury
  3. Smile

Its like comparing apples to elephants to think that wow will be like the D3 implementation; and its even more like getting a chicken with ADD to do the comparison.

Happy gaming