Druid stag dance reviled

Aside

When somebody asks why content seems missing in Mists, or a quest is a little rough, which I know somebody will as the community is a ravishing beast with an endless appetite; the Pokemon game and silly farmville phase will pale into insignificance compared with giving the Druid Stag Travel form it’s own dance. Seriously.

But hey – congrats Druids, you get an additional small feature.

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RTS Build Order in SC2

Might be old news for the SC2 core, but darn impressive none the less. A programmer named Lomilar on the TeamLiquid site has used a highly intelligent and adaptive program dubbed Evolution Chamber to find the optimal build orders for StarCraft 2.

This program has devised a method of building units which was otherwise unknown, and leads to a very high probability of victory; particularly for those players who excel at speed builds (from what I understand). Players who use this are the guys who seek optimal performance, and its hardly surprising that somebody built an app to do it.

This is very interesting for gamers in general, not because it’s possible or just a freakishy cool and strange thing to do (well to me anyway), but because it raised a hell of a lot of dire ranting from members of all sorts of communities, for all sorts of odd reasons.

Q. Why is it possible? A storm in a teacup?

A. It always was. Because this is nothing new, and the computer program just makes doing the math so much faster that it is now tactically viable in terms of game affect. You could brute force open a safe, or the correct build order for units in Civ 1 as well, it takes time and programming savvy.

And yes, this will be added to the communities of interest for such things, absorbed, and developed into a finer mechanical bases for strategies.

Q. Is the game broken now?

A. No more than before. A RTS is about strategy, speed, and knowledge. You need a strategy to guide your thinking, speed to build and control units in optimal ways, and knowledge to understand the changes in a game and how to react. This app gives some of the puzzle a fixed path.

Q. Is it perfect?

A. Honestly I doubt it. I’ll bet that somebody already has a working counter-strat or at least a way to mitigate the overall affect. And that means that those games will come down to other factors to determine who wins.

Q. Who will use this?

A. Everyone will eventually benefit from this, although the affect on my RTS skills will be zero, as I suck badly enough that even with a strategy like this in my head I’d not be able to execute. The good players will get better, and the great ones will continue to be great. The advantage of this strategy will also fade over time amongst the community of solid serious players.

Q. Were the mega-skill-rts players going to win anyway?

A. Yes, but they beat you faster now. Get over it, or practice more. And they’ll beat each other in far more clever ways with this too.

Q. What next then?

A. Using the app mid-battle to alter the strategic recommendations is next. This will basically be a trainer app, which helps rote learn good responses to classic strats. I think it is not significantly different from a chess uber program being used as a training tool for high end chess players. Chess being turn based is a point of difference, but as a trainer – this app does the same thing.

Q. Does this destroy the enjoyment?

A. For some it increases it; for others it makes the game pointless for multiplayer. Each person probably already knows which they are, and this app does not change the battleground by much for those folks.

Read Further http://gizmodo.com/5679355/can-artificial-intelligence-beat-humans-at-starcraft

Alternate display of gear on Druid forms?

Seems a big ask, but I’d be keen to see what could be done to make the druid forms more mutable. The idea (which has been blundered around the forums for years) would be so that the armour and weapon selections that are made are somehow reflected on the models.

At the moment some of the models have small items of jewelry but nothing that would distinguish one cat from another. Could the models be altered to change to show a shoulder, helm, and cloak affect?

This would not have to mean adding a skullcap to a cat (because that could look darn silly), but instead we could see changes to the models to reflect the gear – akin to seeing a naked bear turning into an armoured war bear. Boomkin and Tree forms could still show cloaks, and maybe shoulders, and cats and bears could easily show different collars, etc.

It would have also been an alternate solution to the tree form being removed; if the tree would actually be somewhat customised.

Genowen’s Unobtainable Mount

I have a guldmate who is literally obsessed with mounts, and finally got her Bird mount from the Sethek Halls. Grats Genowen.

This is the one item that I think she’d never get tired of, and would strike fear and loathing into her guildmates. Which is kind of par for the course. I’m thinking of Nesty (one of the resident Shadow Priests) as the target for this.

Step up, take a hit, love it

Last week of irregular 5 mans and 3/12 impromptu ICC10 runs were enough to give me enough Frost emblems to purchase some tanking upgrades. It takes a while to acquire 120 badges of Frost, so I am rather looking forward to the difference that it might make to both tanking characters.

Death Knight Tank set upgrades for Mortigen – which somehow only inch my overall ranking forward slightly, but looking at the items a GS of around 5400 seems reasonable to me fro ICC10 man (yes I know gs is no measure of skill, yadda blah blah, but it does work if used properly).

  • Verdigris Chain Belt (60 frost emblems), which swaps this ilevel 264 monster belt with an old-ish ilevel 226. The change also dropped me a significant amount of hit, so I also switched to the Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore as the 2H of choice. Having two of those is a real advantage.
  • Scourgelord Pauldrons (60 frost emblems)

Druid-Bear Tank set upgrades for Quendalon

– Ikfirs’s Sack of Wonder, by donation from the Guild (ya, thats a huge gift!)

With all the upgrades it is time to Step-Up, Get Hit, and darn Love it.

Then the team was ready to roll into ICC10 and kill the LK again, right as my partner sprang a last minute critical task (ie. RL > WoW… grumble). So offline I go while the guys go to get the Kingslayer title. Shit, damn, bloody-hell, snap, etc.

But I am happy that they did it, and some nice loot was handed out.

Then we went through RS and killed Halion. For me that was a first too, as getting into RS has been a lower priority that other fights, so overall darn happy.

Then over the past few nights we did some hard modes in Ulduar, which was a huge buzz. Most I had never attempted, and all of them still hold some challenge as they require attention to strategy and awareness, not gear.

What was interesting is that now that we over-gear the instance so much, the strategy is still totally dependent on having the correct instructions, but needs to be modified so that the team does not do too much damage at once. Kind of funny to be saying “stop dps” in a hard mode fight. We missed the Kologarn hard mode for this reason, but only by a smidge (damn it).

  • Orbital Devastation
  • Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare
  • Nerf Engineering
  • Heartbreaker
  • I choose you Steelbreaker
  • Crazy Cat Lady
  • (and the Freya ones, all at once)

And Mimron-Firefighter kicked us around a lot, buy hey – its is darn worth it.

This week if the gods of MMO glory are kind to me, I’ll be a Kingslayer.

Happy killing.

AFK, Real World Crit my Gamming

Its been a long time since I posted regularly, and by golly gee its been busy – both in game and out.

I’ve been planning a huge life event (because you can’t say wedding without somebody charging you a 200% bullshit surcharge), changing to a new and exciting job, and also burning time on trying to find a house to buy. By comparison a Sarth 3D kill will a tank and healer AFK, and 3 screen-lickers is easy.

But you don’t read a wow blog to ponder my real life ramblings, so straight to the wow goodies:

A new Guild

After much nashing of teeth and requests, I’ve moved 3 toons into Insidious of Nagrand. The members are almost all people I knew before joining, and it is great to have a few of the wow circles I know combine into a guild. Darn good people really help the game stay fun.

I am a very happy player at the moment with the guild.

General Instance Grind is dull

I am sick of running heroics. Period. Five level 80 characters means a heroic is dull and old content. That goes double for OCC due to the suckage of players and stupid fight mechanics, and triple for HOL and and HOS which just take too damn long.

That said, I’d do any of them with a good set of players and enjoy it; just wish that the Pug system could allow some team matching based upon likes as well as dislikes.

Warlock love

I dusted off my Warlock recently and in the free time I had between jobs, I now have a Level 80 toon who is hopelessly under-geared. It is frustrating to be a solid level 79 who can top the damage and scream flaming death at everything one day, but at 80 then be reduced to a total scrub again.

Thus begins the gear grind on my 5th level 80 character. He has over 100 recent achievements, but the good ones are:

  • Level 80 (duh!)
  • 1500 quests (when did that happen?)
  • The regular Dungeon Master (all the LK normals complete)
  • Heroic UP: Girl Skadi and Lodi Dodo at once – which is easy now with 264 epic toons to run with.
  • First item of the T9 badge set – and the dread that all the others will take months to get.
  • Looking for Many award.
  • A stack of H runs, gear updates, and wasted money on ilevel 200 gear.

Death Knight, still darn fun

  • DPS gearset is looking OK. T10 in four places now, with three items the “Santified” upgraded T10. Just need to replace my Helm, Neck, and Ring – and I’m golden.
  • Tank set is a little more work, but still ok. I have a T10 Glove from VoA that is altogether pointless unless I also grab another T10 item – which will be soon. T10 Shoulders for Tanking look average, but will at the very least get me the first set bonus.
  • Took the time to actually get the Weekly Raid, Daily quests, and the VoA all done in one week – which for me is a twice a year thing given the time that takes and the amount I play.

Druid, Bear is for Tank, but Boomkin is feathery fun.

  • Also got VoA and weeklies done, and slowly bumped my Boomkin set to mid 4.5ks, which is ok.
  • Then got into my guild’s ICC 10 man run, and replaced 4 items in one night. Now the Boomkin set is in the health 5250 range, and the Tank set ios around the same level. So in one or two runs my Druid has comparable gear to my DK (dk = 5.45/5.1 vs Druid = 5.25/5.2).
  • Boomkin is fun, and the form is so cool that it makes me behave like a stupid kid. Silly jokes in raid chat, bouncing while dps’ing, and altogether strange behaviour is what the CritChicken does to me.
  • I love the Starfall change.
  • I can’t wait for a UI element that will make detecting the procs faster. I know it won’t help my dps (as I have been known to faceroll when tired), but will certainly make me feel guilty about it.
  • I think getting runs will be easy now should I choose, as 5.2 seems to be the sweet spot for getting invites at the moment.

Next update will either be really soon. or another month away. No idea – we’ll see.

Hope the bosses drop all the good stuff for you, and you find a game ticket on the train.

Insane alt-a-holic rules

There are some things I’ve been doing with Alts that will drive me insane eventually.

Having one DK character active was a tad dull, so I added a Priest as another. Then I found that my second choice of toon was interesting for a short time, but not fun overall, so I added a Druid instead. Then decided to add a lowbie alt Hunter to be silly on; and then was impressed by a Tank I saw and added my old Pally.

But having seen a DK, Druid, and Pally tank, I felt like I was missing out on having a Warrior, so pondering starting a Warrior. But my Shaman also has ok gear as heirlooms, and the Mage will get some play soon.

So Death Knight, + Priest, + Druid, +Paladin, + Hunter, + Warlock, + pondering a Warrior or Shaman, + Mage afterward…

Yes, I’m an Alt-a-holic again. So now I need a rule set for what to play. Continue reading