September 27, 2010
I don’t do heirloom items. It’s just not my thing. Maybe if they were a bit more bondage like, but probably not even then. The very idea of taking the same item through 80 different levels is anathema to me. Where is the discovery of new gear, seeing what it looks like when it’s on, seeing if the stats give you something more? There is no need to look at an heirloom items stats, it’s just ticking away as you level up. It’s not boring, it’s more than that. It’s not a game. Heirlooms reduce 80 levels of going up to drudgery. The gear upgrades are the only surprising thing that can happen to you now when you level up, if you know the class that you are levelling well enough that is.
I mention this due to a post by Larisa today, (I know I am linking Larisa a bit lately, but she’s coming up with some interesting stuff that gets me thinking on my long drive down to work in the morning whilst attempting to avoid crazy truck drivers on twisty mountain roads). She blogged about this years brewfest and how it is just a few minutes of doing nothing and getting 20 gold and some frost emblems. She feels that she has been cheated on something important, namely the game.
I haven’t done this event, (I steer well clear of holiday events), but I can feel her pain. And I think a lot of us old time gamers feel it quite a bit. The risk/reward/effort ratio in WoW seems to now be completely imbalanced. There is no risk at all, there is very little effort and there are big rewards. Which makes most things, meaningless. Before you all start jumping to conclusions, please rest assured that I am not crowing to a return of the ‘good old days’, or anything of the sort. But I really think that Blizzard has lost sight of the bigger picture in this expansion, and I am writing this in the hope that they’ve realised this and will get it right for the next one.
It is often said that WoW is all about the end game. And for a while there it was. But is that truly the case now? What is the end game at the present time? If you have just hit 80, and your end game is to be based on PvE raiding, then you a limited to a single option; you must grind heroics for badges. You must run these heroics day after day in order to get the gear that will let you get into an ICC run. That is your end game right there, and it doesn’t seem like much of an end game to me. Naxx is completely out of the equation, as is Ulduar for the most part unless you’re running some specialised hard modes, which means as a new 80 you sure won’t be invited to those anyway. Trial of the whatever it is? Well, you might get in there, but lets be honest, why would you want to?
No, your only choice is to grind heriocs and the weekly raid boss to get emblems to get gear so you can run one single raid, (please don’t mention Ruby Sanctum here. This is a Ruby Sanctum free zone). This is an end game? As compared to the Burning Crusade?
The consequence of Blizzard listening to the cry baby players who wanted the raid rewards without the effort is not limited to the fact that every piece of gear is now an epic, (which just makes it common, my friends). The other big consequence is that there is no end game that is enjoyable. And this goes back to Larisa’s post: they are now limited to having to bribe us. Ruby Sanctum was a bad example of this, as is this latest Brewfest boss situation. And you feel cheated because you have been.
I am back to levelling my priest. I would prefer to be on my rogue, I really would. But the sad fact is that levelling is more rewarding these days than the end game. That is, unless you deck yourself out in heirlooms. Then you will have cheated yourself out of that part of the game as well.
September 25, 2010
Posted by Adam under Uncategorized
| Tags: SJW
A ‘do-gooder’ is a term used to describe someone who spends an inordinate amount of time attempting to change things for the ‘better’. The problem with this is that the definition of ‘better’ is left entirely up to them. And because they generally have no life, they are able to dedicate a great deal of time and energy to their causes. Which means that you cannot ignore a do-gooder and just hope they’ll piss off and shut up, because the next thing you know they have managed to push through a whole bunch of unnecessary and unworkable reforms that you have to live with. So I am an active exterminater of do-gooder causes. I don’t wear a cape though.
There is a hilarious thread on the Blizzard forums that Larisa brought to my attention. It is calling for the removal of the spit emote from WoW due to it being offensive and aggressive. The very first person to respond enquires how spitting is going too far if mindlessly killing people and animals in game is fine, and obviously the thread continues in a similar manner. Now the person who started this thread is free to have their opinion, but I am sure that most of you would not take very well to it if their opinion eventually resulted in the spit emote being removed from the game. So you have two options here; you can either ignore the person and hope that nothing ever comes from it, or you can actively move to counter their stand. I am of the active type, as I stated in the opening paragraph in this post.
The drawback to actively countering stands like this is that it is taken for granted that you are thus personally for the subject in discussion. In this example it would be immediately assumed that I was pro spitting in real life, if we were to take the example at face value. The standard tactic of do-gooders at this point would be to attack me personally, pointing out how horrible spitting is, what a bad person I am, how this must thus assume that I am also for other nasty things, etc. Which would be purposely missing the entire point. My stand is not that I am a pro spitter in real life. My point is that …
There is no place for bringing personal causes and issues in-game and attempting to shove them down our throats by effecting our own game experience.
Because as soon as one concession to a do-gooder is made in game, then a precedent will have been set, and the floodgates will have been opened. The more popular WoW becomes, (and we know that Blizzard wants to greatly expand WoW to the greater population), then the more the game that you and I play will be at risk to these types of special interest groups. Are you the type of person to just sit back and hope that nothing comes of it? That’s fine, I have no problem with that. But don’t complain when changes to in-game features are then made due to a vocal minority getting their way. It is much easier to block a change before it is made than to undo it afterwards.
I feel exactly the same way in regards to this spitting example as I feel towards the past discussions on feminism. Your own personal agenda has no place in this game or any other, whatever it may be. I find it extremely selfish and egotistical of people to attempt to impose their views in this manner, with no thought for anybody else but themselves and their group of special interest. It is not ‘my game’ and you must all get out of it. It is our game and we should all enjoy it for what it is.
September 20, 2010
We all know that ruby sanctum is a lame duck. It’s a non-event for a number of reasons, but the main one is that end of expansion raids never, ever work. Especially ones that are just a glorified dragon in a room. With a boring raid like this there is only one reason to go in – loot. But we are at the end of an expansion and on the threshold of a new one, so any loot gained is going to be replaced quicker than you can say, holymalony! So what’s the point? If it was at least cool loot like one-off mounts that were only available until Cataclysm released then we may be somewhere, (with loads of glorious, glorious infighting over ninjas to wax lyrical about), but there isn’t even that. Just a bunch of mega-meh trinkets to “wet your pants over”.
I know that ICC was very well done, and tied us over for a long time, a really long time, but I want to know, how hard can it be? How hard can it be to design some end game content for the last three or four months before a new expansion? It wouldn’t be hard. The first thing that leaps to mind for me is something to do with the new archeology thingamebob. There’s nothing that keeps players logging on as much as a good old fashioned grind, mixed with lots of exploring around the world, (the last time we will EVER have to use a land mount), and maybe a bunch of cool rewards thrown in. They could have done a pre-archelogy thing for us. It could have taken us into old instances as well as zones, raids even, (seeing as they’re nixing Zul Gurub.) The world as we know it is going to be sent down the toilet, and yet we’re all sitting around bored with nothing to do. This was a real opportunity for Blizzard to showcase for the final time just how beautiful a world they created. And for us to participate in it with a real agenda to motivate us. It’s all too easy to say, well the world is there now, just logon and go and see it. That gets old very quick, very quick indeed. Like my ex who screamed a lot while playing hide the sausage; fascinating at first, highly fucking annoying later.
It wouldn’t have been hard for Blizzard to do this. I feel that they have dropped the ball on this one in a big way. But as long as we’re still paying our monthly fee, what the fuck do they care? It’s even better for them as we’re not taking up precious bandwidth, (boy are they going to get a rude shock once Cataclysm drops). It’s quite disappointing. I guarantee that we’ll look back on this moment as a lost opportunity to experience the old world as it once was. Maybe I’ll just run around the world naked on my hottie night elf. Could I get some sponsership like people do when they’re raising money for cancer or something equally horrible? It’s a thought.
September 18, 2010
[Dale]: Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to another in our continuing series of interviews with people and personalities in the World of Warcraft. Tonight I’d like to welcome that regarded hunter and warrior from the depths of The Barrens, Jorn Skyseer.
[Jorn]: Thanks for having me, Dale.
[Dale]: So Jorn, how’s it been going lately out there in Camp Taurajo?
[Jorn]: Not bad actually. We’ve recently found a vent which leads into a hot water spring, so we’ve installed a jacuzzi with the natural waters.
[Dale]: No shit?
[Jorn]: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. You can sit in it and relax and just chill out while watching the crazed beasts on the plains run around trying to eat each other.
[Dale]: Has there always been this vent there?
[Jorn]: Not that we’re aware of. One of the young braves found it a couple of months ago just near the main tent that we’ve got set up there. We caught the little rascal as he was trying to set up a home still to make vodka out of the waters or something, young people today … Anyway, we knocked the jacuzzi up pretty quick.
[Dale]: What’s the temperature like?
[Jorn]: Well, it’s pretty darn hot. It didn’t used to be like that but it’s been getting hotter every week now. I can only stand about ten minutes in there myself, but some go for longer. If it keeps up we’ll be using it to cook soup I reckon.
[Dale]: So I suppose you’ve been hearing these rumors about some sort of, ‘end of the world’ thing happening in the future. What are your views about that?
[Jorn]: Look, if I believed every crack-pot who stood outside an inn with a sign around his neck saying the end of the world, then I’d be a nut myself. There’s always been these idiots around, true not nearly as many as now, but, come on. You really expect me to believe this shit that they’re coming out with?
[Dale]: So you’re not thinking of moving to safer pastures?
[Jorn]: Safer pastures? Where would that be? According to these guys the whole worlds gonna cop it. And anyway, I’ve not only just installed a 10 cow hot tub, I’ve got other stuff on the go as well. We’re looking to expand the camp, get a decent inn built , and maybe get some top notch entertainment acts from the big smoke, get them to come in. Besides that, we’ve just planted a whole new field of hooch, there’s no way that I’m packing up and leaving that behind just because some nit-brain dropkicks reckon that we’re all going to burn in the pits of doom. Yeah right, I’ve heard that before.
[Dale]: Jorn Skyseer, thanks very much.
[Jorn]: Aw crap, I think I’ve got fleas again …
[Dale]: What? Didn’t someone fumigate him before he came in here? Oh for fucks sake. Hang on, are we still rolling? Can you turn that fucking thing …
September 17, 2010
I tried to do the new Operation Gnomergaden, (OG from now on as I’m not spelling that out incorrectly every bloody time). I wasn’t able to complete it for the simple reason that it is bugged. Apparently if you go into the tunnel, (or even just make a step in front of the gnome boss leading it), then it all shuts down and disengages. Not immediately though, you have to stand around for about 10 minutes before the gnome dude decides to start it all up again. I tried to do it three times before I gave up. In the last two tries I warned everyone that there is a bug, explained how to avoid it, and watched someone do the opposite as soon as we got to the mouth of the tunnel. So I gave up. I haven’t completed it and I don’t know if I will try again. If this is the standard for how Cataclysm will be, then I’m kind of lost for words. How can they have this bug so badly? It is as lame as shit.
The other thing that I noticed was the amount of gold that you get from these “quests”, (I’m sorry but I don’t really count having to go and talk to a dude standing 10 meters away from where you presently are as a quest. A conversation maybe?) Go and give that guy just over there this piece of paper. Zing! 20 gold. Okay, go back to the guy that told you to give me the piece of paper and tell him that it’s good. Zing! Another 18 gold. After a short time I had the unpleasant feeling that I was just being bribed to do this. The quests are stupid, in a childish ten year old kind of way, (seriously, I have to go and do a bunch of emotes to get into the gnome army? I can see that being an effective appraisal of my skills that I’ve worked on for the past 4 fucking years), the battle sequence is far from understandable and resounds with the high pitched squealings of the gnome king dude, and of course it’s badly bugged. Maybe it gets better the further you get into the city, but I wouldn’t know that, would I, seeing as I couldn’t get into the fucking place.
This is the first new content that we have had since the awful Ruby Sanctum. I haven’t done the troll one as I don’t have a level 80 horde toon, but I’ve heard that you have to help the trolls in their epic quest to retake their homeland and finally find a place for themselves in the grand scheme of things by … collecting frogs. Well that’s pretty fucking epic, isn’t it.
September 15, 2010
There is a craze at present in Italy, (where I live), about recycling. It’s the big new thing. Everyone needs to recycle because it’s “good”, which then means if you don’t recycle you are “bad”. Apart from glass, I don’t recycle. There are a number of reasons for this, but it’s mainly to do with the fact that I am not a lazy brain duped moron. And furthermore, I refuse to buy in to the enormous con that is recycling. Recycling is one of those things that makes people feel good, like they are actually doing something, when in reality they are doing fuck all. I went to a dinner party at a friends house here in Italy a few months ago. They are proud recyclers. Their small 50 square meter apartment is full of recycling bins for different products, (nothing like turning your house into a garbage dump to make yourself feel good). They went on and on about recycling, as did the other guests, while I sat through it because I was hungry. Then they served dinner on plastic plates, with plastic utensils, and plastic cups. So they didn’t have to waste time washing up.
But they recycle, so it’s all okay, right?
Recycling is a mistake for two reasons. Firstly, it is looking at a problem in the wrong way. We shouldn’t be focused on recycling as much as we should be focusing on our daily habits that lead to the build up of garbage. I don’t recycle because I have very little recyclable waste. I do most of my shopping at little markets, or buy direct from the producer. I try to buy whatever I can in glass. I am not going to take up half my home to divide material waste, (particularly as I have first hand knowledge that most of it gets tipped in all together at the final destination, but that’s another story).
The second mistake, and the bigger of the two, is that the current recycling mania targets the wrong group – the consumer, when it should be focusing on the producers of these goods. Walk into any supermarket and have a look at the astounding number of different packaging that companies use to sell their products. A popular yogurt drink has three different packaging components in the one item: plastic, tin foil and paper. But it’s easy to guilt trip the entire population into believing that it is their responsibility to solve this problem and then let social pressure sort out the few that realise that this is a load of nonsense.
You know I’m going somewhere with this. Wow.com reports that guild rankings can be set to have an authenticator requirement to the account. This of course doesn’t concern me one bit, as The PuG guild has no guild bank, so I can’t see Gevlon caring about this at all. But the idea behind it is what interests me. The authenticator is the lazy fix for people who can’t be bothered to practice proper internet security on their computer. Blizzard won’t ship these with every Cataclysm box sold because it is not in their interests for everyone to have one. If every account had an authenticator then the hackers would be motivated to find a way to crack them. They’d have to, and they would. So it is the lazy way, both on the customers part and on Blizaards part to keep things moving along, just so the amount of hacked accounts doesn’t completely overwhelm Blizzards support staff. The autheticator creates its own social guilt trip issue, just like recycling. It’s “only” €6, when in fact the shipping costs to some countries come in at almost €100. But even if it wasn’t that costly, why should we have to pay for Blizzard to do their job? I mean, this is the same company who had the fucking brilliant idea of making our email our account name and then sticking it on a global chat system, which means that hackers only have to work out one code instead of two.
But the real point here is that the authenticator attacks the problem from the wrong direction. It puts the onus on the consumer to solve the problem instead of the company, in this case Blizzard. It is Blizzards problem that people are getting hacked as it costs Blizzard time and thus money to fix these cases. So it attempts to shift the responsibility and cost for this onto the consumer, knowing that the community will police itself by calling people who get authenticators “good” and those that don’t as “bad”. And all the while the real problem of hackers remains, in all their forms.
I am not happy at this in-game change requiring an authenticator to experience the game in full, (with Blizzard once again passing the buck by saying that it is at the GM’s or guilds discretion to activate it when we all know very well that they all will). Like I said a while ago with the Real ID mess, this is just a first step. What other parts of the game in the future will I not have access to due to the fact that I do not have an authenticator? I think that it is outrageous that I already pay my full monthly fee but come Cataclysm I will not have full access to the game due to the fact that Blizzard is too lazy to actually deal with this problem.
September 10, 2010
I like a drink. The only thing wrong with that sentence is that it is in the singular form. I mean, why stop at one? Pluralism for the winner. And the world of warcraft lets you get sloshed to your hearts content. Not only that, it actually has a drunken effect. The first time that it happened to me I thought my computer was on the blink and I started bashing on the top of my desktop case. Which was a disaster as it spilt my glass of gin. There are so many ways to find a drink in WoW, they’re even included in quest lines. The Grim Guzzler bar would have to be the pinnacle of all things alcoholic in the game, with a barman as a boss, drunken patrons attempting to drown out the reality of where they live, and an oversized doorman ready to bounce you down the stairs.
The list of beverages to tittle your throat is longer than a night at the opera. Beers, ales, fine wines, ports, brandy, bourbon, rum, crap wine, whatever you can think of is in the game. And they will make you drunk, and everyone will know it. It’s a social thing to do, loosens everyone up, and can be a great cause of friction when you wipe a raid owing to the fact that you drank to much potent beverage and you couldn’t see your screen properly.
But what about a good smoke? If we can drink ourselves into a stupor, why can’t we puff away as well? There certainly are some smoking utensils in the game, with a few pipes, (one an epic), but that’s all there is. You can find some snuff if you know where to look, but you can’t use it. What could be more fitting than a dwarf puffing on a pipe outside an inn? It would be even better if you could rub it into his ugly dwarven face and set his beard on fire. How about that gigantic tauran warrior chomping on a half eaten cigar which smoulders from the side of his mouth? Or a lovely human warlock who daintly puffs on a beautifully tapered cigarette holder whilst calling demons to rip off your face?
A good smoke can be an excellent ice-breaker. I’ve lived in some pretty tricky parts of the world and sometimes found myself in some nasty situations. Producing a packet of fags and offering them to those brutal looking border guards can do wonders to any relationship. Give a hand rolled durrie to a potential source of information and watch him open up like a fresh spring flower. Each part of the world could have their smoke of choice. I can just see Stranglethorn Vale producing the most elegant of fine cigars. And think of the smuggling possibilities! Faction only smokes would cause the neutral auction house to literally catch on fire.
The possibilities are endless. Come on Blizzard, when you release Cataclysm, include some healthy ways to inhale. You know you want to.
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