Monday, November 29, 2010

Tauren ARE the master race!

I could talk about the changes cataclysm is bringing and has already brought. I could talk about the completely broken AoE threat problems that bears are facing until level 81. I could even talk about the fun I'm having leveling a new Warrior alt while waiting for December 7th. All of them would be more informative and useful than something that is far and away more important and demanding of everyone's time.

Are people seriously rolling/race changing to Troll Druids? Let me break this down real nice and easy...I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I actually like Trolls, well most of em..

Troll Warrior, Mage, Priest, Hunter, Rogue and Shaman (and Death Knight) I get. I'm okay with it. However I'm really not okay with Troll Druids. The thing is, I actually think the new Troll Druid forms look neat and it's probably nice having a semi-useful racial ability in a raid (Berserking > War Stomp for min-max purposes). I can even look past the inherent lore problems..aka worst explanation for a race/class combination yet!

The one thing that I can not and will not come to terms with if you are horde-side is.."If you have the option to play a Tauren and want to roll a Druid, why on Azeroth would you choose a Troll?". Tauren are the master race. Why might you ask? Let's look at the clear and non-biased evidence shall we:

  • Tauren are the biggest (playable) race in World of Warcraft - this should automatically convince you. You look cooler on mounts, your armor and weapons look cooler..the reasons related to size go on and on. In this case - bigger is definitely better.
  • Tauren have an amazingly awesome dance. Period.
  • Tauren have(had) the coolest Leader.
  • Some consider Tauren to be the most peaceful race in WoW. This is heavily debated, but trust me I've done hours and hours of non-biased research.
  • Tauren have the most unique and coolest major city.
  • Tauren have mastered all of the coolest classes. The only one they are working on is Mage, and don't worry it'll happen (Shoo Rogues/Warlocks).
  • Tauren are involved in one of the oldest and well known racist jokes in WoW history (lol Cow lol).
  • Tauren tend to have the greatest community members - ALAMO!
  • Too many things to list.....
Maybe some screenshots will convince you:

Notice how awesome I look here.

The only pollution that is tolerable by a Tauren/Druid...

You're convinced, right?

Master Race.

Seriously, MASTER Race.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elemental Invasion - Part 4

So Mal'Ganis is a great server. It's got loads of PvE potential if your a good player and really hits home the Massive in MMO. The other good things about an enormous horde population are just as obvious. But then you have the bad things. The crazy things...

The best part was when a GM showed up and announced that anyone standing on top of NPCs was violating the ToS and could be banned. Made those Goons think twice!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quick thoughts on 25m vs. 10m in Cataclysm

As the Cataclysm (and "The Shattering") draw closer and people prepare themselves for what ever type of leveling they plan on doing, more and more attention is being brought to the idea of 25 man versus 10 man raiding. And for good reason..

It's a fair assumption that most 25 man guilds are anxious to see how the first tier of Cataclysm pans out. The decision needs to be made:
  • Continue to organize a 25 man raid
  • Reform/Break apart/whatever into 10 man raiding
The topic has been discussed, endlessly might I add, since Blizzard announced the changes. Which if you don't know (seriously?) here is the important parts:
"The first of the refinements being made is that we're combining all raid sizes and difficulties into a single lockout. Unlike today, 10- and 25-player modes of a single raid will share the same lockout. You can defeat each raid boss once per week per character. In other words, if you wanted to do both a 10- and 25-person raid in a single week, you’d need to do so on two different characters. Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel. Obviously the raid lockout change doesn't apply in pure Icecrown terms though, as this change goes hand-in-hand with a few other changes to raid progression in Cataclysm."
Rather than talk about what to do or what I think might happen or even what I want to do (which I'm not sure yet) I want to talk about something that is of a different type of concern.

For a social game all about interactions with other people and creating bonds with people you've never met face-to-face (sometimes stronger bonds than in real life), why is everyone SO concerned about logistics and efficiency? Basically the argument against 25m raiding in Cataclysm is always a rehash of the same basic thought process - Why put the time and effort into organizing and dealing with a 25 man raid if we reap the same rewards from a 10 man raid?

Does anyone find this as troubling as I do? For example, how about 25 man raiding guilds that started up in Vanilla BC, 40 man raiding it took real talent to organize that type of raiding, even 25 mans in Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King can cause any seasoned Raid Leader/Organizer headaches. Some of these guilds follow this line of though:
"We've been raiding together in a large group like this since pre-BC, and we'll likely continue to do so in Cataclysm, we have no intention's in splitting up into smaller raid groups, not at least until we see exactly what benefits 25 man raiding have over 10 man."
So even people that have enjoyed each others company and don't even WANT to switch to 10 man are considering it simply because it's more efficient and awards the same benefits? If World of Warcraft is anything, it's a game that's suppose to be incredibly fun with other people, especially other people that you've come to know, sometimes better than any person you've encountered in real life. Is it worth giving that all up? Does it really matter that 10 mans are easier to organize? Guilds and Raid Leaders that struggle to organize 25 mans might look at the Cataclysm raiding scene as a blessing, but is it, even for them?

10 people can have an extremely fun time playing this game together, it's close knit, it's a family. There is no denying that 10 mans will forever be easier to organize than 25 mans. That's now my point though. Think about the 25 man guilds and their players that are legitimately torn between easier/faster rewards and continuing to raid with the people they enjoy.

What does it say about social gaming in an MMO? A player is more likely to break off into a 10 man raid because above all else there is more success to be had individually. Everything is groovy in 25 mans until the benefit is taken out.

So instead of posing the question - "Why raid 25 mans when 10 mans will have the same rewards"? I pose a different question, maybe a better question, and one that concerns me a bit more - "If you enjoy raiding with 24 other people, are you really considering 10 man raiding because it's easier and more rewarding?"

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You'd think Blizzard learned a lesson...

So, as I'm sure most everyone that logged in yesterday can tell, the "Elemental Invasion" has started. Basically Blizzard flipped the switch and now not only are elementals spawning across all of World of Warcraft's continents (including Outlands...which can I just say makes no sense) the "doomsayers" are also making their presence known.

There are a couple of things to do already and the Invasion has just begun. First there is a time consuming Feat of Strength (FoS), Tripping the Rifts, that requires you to be present at a Fire, Wind, Earth and Water "elemental rift" when they spawn. You complete the Feat of Strength by being close to the rift when it "dies". The only way to destroy a rift is to take out the elementals that spawn from it. As an added bonus to getting the FoS, if you destroy a rift in an level appropriate zone you can pick up a daily (Hammering It Out). Pretty simple. The annoying part is finding the darn rifts! I spent a little over an hour last night and ended up with 2 of the 4 buffs. Believe it or not that's not what the title of this post is about. I can deal with wasting large amounts of time as "filler" content before an expansion..I get it, it's a Feat of Strength no one is holding a gun to my head.

The other half of the fun starts in Orgrimmar (Stormwind for Alliance) with a quest called Prophecies Of Doom. It's a medium sized quest chain that has you run around the city and it's outskirts and the basic idea is, you learn what the doomsayers are all about, you pretend to be a doomsayer to get information, you get the information and use it against the doomsayers and then you go tell on the doomsayers to Garrosh. Here's the problem..

On a server like Mal'Ganis there are literally hundreds and hundreds of people doing this chain of quests at the same time. I wish I had taken some screen shots, but I was too busy zooming into first person view trying to click on a tiny little scroll. There are three scrolls you have to pick up for this first quest and they are situated close to the ground on little "tables" besides doomsayers. Two of the three scrolls were fine, but the third chance. At least 30-40 people on mammoth mounts, and dancing, and using spell effects and whatever else you can use to obscure the view are all standing on top of the scroll. There is actually a guild on Mal'Ganis, Goon Squad (they would probably enjoy that I'm naming them specifically), that purposefully blocked access to the scroll.

The only solution, and the only way to finish the quest was to purchase/create an Lesser/Invisibility Potion which thankfully makes every player disappear similar to when a Mage uses Invisibility. Some people even took the harassment a step further and bought out the entire Invisibility potion market on the AH and started re-posting each potion for 100g each. I quickly bough the mats to create the Lesser version of the potion which no one had touched yet for 5g and crafted two (one for me and one for Kaate [my significant other]). Just the worst of the worst kind of people trying to ruin peoples night. But honestly..while I blame them entirely for displaying that type of behavior, I have to wonder why Blizzard didn't account for it.

Two examples, real quick, of similar harassment that Blizzard had to take action for.

The first was actually recent and dealt with mail boxes. Once the Mammoth mounts, Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C, were introduced to the game people would block mailboxes in major cities by standing on top of them so people couldn't right-click them. So Blizzard added more mailboxes. That was a reasonable solution there probably should have been more in the cities anyway.

Second example was during the release of Sunwell and the Sunwell dailies. All the quest givers had to be raised up onto platforms so people could quickly and easily interact with them without having to hunt through countless other players and their mounts. It was a reasonable and thoughtful solution. Put the NPCs up on platforms that are impossible to stand on as players and no more harassment.

Should have tossed that in a best practices handbook for the thinks.