Whats the go fella, where you been?

Well heck, another period of life where playing WoW (or any game) means logging in, checking mail, doing the odd transmute, and then getting back to whatever is urgent IRL.

I don’t mind life being busy as most of it is great stuff but I miss the folks a little. To the guys I banter with, you’re not forgotten.

My little warlock is level 89.5 and I’m really keen to get to 90 soon and look at ow blisteringly difficult the green fire quest is. I was a Warlock in the original game, and played Warlock heavily in TBC. The idea of green fire has always been an uber sexy wishlist and it is really the only reason my warlock is being played.

I’ve read that an item level of greater than 470 makes it more plausible, and after 500 it is muc easier. That makes sense, but it also means I’ll be burning dungeons and lfrs to gear up and I was hoping to avoid too much of that. Ah well, expect to see my noob Warlock in your LFR run. I’ll be in the back with the disturbing smile and the goal to win on threat.

from warlock's den

Some refs for later

WoW Hammer launches, go have fun, share, party

There is a new wow site launched, with a slightly different bend to the typical wow blog/info site – named WoW Hammer. Instead of straight patch notes or official news WoW Hammer focuses on content related to World of Warcraft stories, screenshots, the experiences of players, and any funny events.

WoW Hammer – Where the joy of play meets the joy of life.

It is a less serious place to share WoW related stuff.

The editors are keen to engage the World of Warcraft community as the source for the material, and are taking contributions. So if you are interested in contributing and sharing interesting stories I can heartily recommend chatting to the eds. They’re friendly folk.

The post rate will likely be daily updates from material already sourced from some contributors, and (for the sake of openness) I’ve happily already contributed an article which I am hoping to see published shortly.

Go have a read, it could be something great. TyphoonAndrew.


Random in Boss fights?

A good find about how good or bad it is for encounters in PvE to be heavily or lightly scripted, which is interesting given how much the degree of “random” affects fun.

Tobold wrote:

In my opinion there is too little randomization in MMORPGs. They are nearly totally deterministic. Before combat even starts you know what the monster will do, and what keys to press in which order to optimally defeat it. Thus combat involves no thinking, only execution.

As Craig Stern says, the solution is not making the result of button presses unpredictable, but to make the opponent unpredictable, or the starting situation. That is why card games work: The cards you draw are random, but what you can do with them is not. And in a MMORPG the monsters could be made more unpredictable as well. Why do people need to know in advance what the boss mob is going to do after X minutes to beat him?

posted by Tobold Stoutfoot at 8:54 AM on Nov 18, 2012

To be fair, its better to read the entire post and linked articles.

Would introducing more randomness be good?

I think it would be terrible – consider that if you really want to make the bosses challenging then you make them more intelligent…..say they don’t have a threat table anymore, they just crush anyone who tries casts a heal.

Same issue in pen and paper – for some reason (story) the big bad orc (high CR monster) wails on the fighter, not the cleric.

I can see the point about execution and predetermined strategies removing “creative” aspects, but really the 4th wall is so present in an MMO that it is just differing personal perspectives for how far the slider between real and scripted the entire game is. I also think that some random is ok, but too much will be very disruptive to the players, as their outcome for victory is too much outside their control.

The card game in Tobold’s example is not a good match to the game style events in an MMO, given how different the perspective is, but does help my point: who likes playing solitaire when the game cannot be won?

Trial of the Champion had the pvp based fight which was excellent, but it still came down to a set of abilities, and a priority based kill order. It was also hated by a few raiders.

Another random fight was Lord Ryolyth in Firelands – who was basically impossible if the randomness didn’t go your way. That is a shitty way to spend an evening.

Go have a read as the discussion on both Tobolds and Craig’s blog are good stuff. Happy Killing.

Just a few random screenshots from leveling…

Just a few shots taken while I wander aimlessly through Pandaria.

A rare Monday

Blackwing Descent loading screen

It is a rare Monday night when I can get home on time, cook diner, eat it without an inhaler, and then login. So with only a slight delay (which I apologise to my guildies for) I was not only well fed, but also logging into Warcraft.

All the folks were already on their way to the raid, so I trundled along and found my way to the instance through a little guesswork and some luck, and we got rolling. There were many pulls, some pulling of legs, and not just one but many inappropriate and darn entertaining comments through Vent. As the night progressed I got the hunch that as a collective we were a little off our game, but for me I was just happy to be inside the instance actually doing something – so I did not care in the slightest.

It was also a night playing again on my Death Knight rather than the Hunter which I’ve been leveling to raid with. It is an ironic twist of fate that all the while we’ve been trying to get players, now my DK is a viable raid toon again, with only a standard amount of competition for raid role-slot. I just laughed and said yes … the DK was always where the fun is. How could somebody not love charging into death wearing boiler plate and a grim smile? I love the fact that DKs have no threat wipe, it speaks plainly to how they are meant to be played: up front and at full speed. Mortigen is back baby!

Last night was a reminder of why I play. The rewards (see below) were nice, but the sensation of playing in a raid again was the real buzz. I think I’m still buzzing.

It was a good night. Continue reading

Best mistake p4.0.6 that I wish I knew

Here is a hotfix item in patch 4.0.6 which I wish I knew about before Blizzard patched it…

“Engineering Target Dummies are no longer able to taunt boss-level creatures”

Tell me that could not have been exploited in a wonderful manner. Drop a few target dummies, and watch the Tank’s head explode (this is bad behaviour). Or drop a few when your Tank dies at 1% and hope the dummies absorb enough swings. Source. Just say’n.