Culling the herd

•November 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Time to start writing again after RL aggro.  Also time to start figuring out what characters I want to focus on for WotLK.  For some people like BRK this is easy.  No alts means you have this lazer like focus on just one character, which means less variety but more power and rep since all you are doing to building up the one character.  You altaholics out there have the opposite issue.  Huge variety.  Massive variety.  A 15th level alt in every combination of race and class.  None of which have even seen Scarlet Monestery.  Most of us are somewhere between these extremes.

I have just a few characters.  My Lock, Blood Knight, Hunter and Mage, all 70.  My mage has alchemy and I basically log her on once a day to do a transmute and that’s it.    I just can’t get into playing mages anymore.  My Blood Knight Pallydin I leveled because my guild needed tanks.  And guess what, we’re overflowing with tanks now.  So my main is my lock.  I’ll keep leveling the hunter as well because I’m having fun.  I’ll be adding a Death Knight, just like half the world, and if DK turns out to be fun (paladin wasn’t until 3.0.2)  Those will be my set three characters.  I’ve already deleted two low level rogues I tried on that server just so I have more space.  And speaking of late spring cleaning, time to clear out stuff from my two bank characters.

The only thing exciting today was getting my Vampire Batling.  That was pretty darned cool.  It was the first time ever for my hunter in Kara.  And possibly the last time since we have so much trouble getting a group going at the moment, and Northrend will have bigger and better gear. But it’s all good. I got my batling.


Ideas for Negative Achievements

•August 5, 2008 • 3 Comments

CTRL-ALT-DEL got there first, but I’m sure quite a few people wondered when achievements were announced if they were only going to be for the good things you or also for the bad things.  I have a few ideas on that…

Master Ganker – You have proven your mastery of a very specialized style of PvP.  This title is awarded after 1,000 kill that fit the following criteria:  Target must have been a lower level than you.  Or the same level but at less than 50% health.  Higher level targets do not count, but we both know you aren’t taking a chance on anything less than a sure thing, buddy.  Double credit is awarded if the target is already in the middle of combat, afk, or is eating and drinking when you attack.

Guardian of the Cave – You have proven your grasp of tactics by spending 50 AVs defending your home base.  The one the other side can’t capture.  So your really not defending anything.  But who cares, you still get honor just like all the people taking towers, killing players, and defeating generals.  Alternatly can be awarded if the bot helping you pretend to be active kills 1,000 rams or wolves.

I am Ninja – The ninja uses surprise, stealth and distraction to achieve his goals.  Well, if that guy had seen you coming he would have started mining sooner.  And grabbing the quest object while someone else is fighting the mob by it counts as distraction.  A ninja doesn’t simply follow someone around and skin the corpses left behind.  You actively seek out every advantage and ruthlessly take what you need before running on.   This title is gained when the player gains 1,000 Ninja Points.  You gain Ninja Points by taking mines, herbs and quest objects when someone else is fighting the mob guarding the prize.  The person fighting the guard must be able to use the prize.  Stealing a mining node when the person by it is a herbalist doesn’t count.  But nice try.  Ninja Points can also be gained by tagging mobs needed for quests before someone else’s DoTs start doing damage.  DoT must be active before you tag the mob, though.

Into the valley of death

•August 4, 2008 • 4 Comments

So I get stuck in another turtle AV where my team breaks down into yelling at each other.  Four people are diligently guarding SH GY, just in case.   Defense is hanging on.  And I’m standing there by myself.  So just to make a point I charge into the Alliance.  What else is there to do?  We’re out of reinforcements, defense is pointless now.  Our only chance, however small is to attack.    I felt like Custer at Little Big Horn saying to himself “My, that’s alot of indians.”  But I ran in bravely, fought bravely, and died messily.    I tagged three or four allies with DoTs, slowed them down a few seconds, but kept my pride intact.  At least I was trying to the very end.  Ouch.

A WoW Player’s Review for AoC

•August 4, 2008 • 1 Comment

I spent about a month playing Age of Conan. I was seduced by the graphics, by the faction play, and because it wasn’t WoW. And after playing WoW for a year and a half, I was ready for a change of pace. World of Burnout? A little… So I took the plunge and even joined a PVP-RP server, something I’d never done in WoW. The experience is definitely different. PvP was free for all, you can gank anyone. And Funcom found the solution to rogue hate by letting all classes learn to stealth. So now a hunter or mage can stealth into position and gank you without warning. So now everyone hates stealth, not rogues. I’ve not decided if this is really an improvement or not.

The interface lacks the polish of WoW. Warcraft has the advantage of having years to adjust things and make everything easier to find and use. This can be said for most aspects of game play, really. Age of Conan has some good ideas. Not all are implimented smoothly, but that will be fixed over time. The graphics are amazing. Realistic and detailed, with the system requirements to match. The world and characters look great. And yes, there is limited nudity. Forget the Mature tag on the game, there are plenty of 13 year olds playing this. There is a shortage of distinctive clothing and armor but I’m sure that will be adjusted over time as well. Instead of food and water, you simply rest to regain health and mana. And except for mages, who hasn’t wanted to be able to go without stacks of food and water in WoW? I assume that’s why there are mana biscuits and Naaru rations that can give you both health and mana.

Vendors work pretty much the same as in WoW. Travel works pretty much the same. You run when you have to. Ride as soon as you can. And can visit a ship master to take a ship to certain locations. The game has collision detection. What that means is you can run into players or NPCs instead of walking through them. A great idea in theory. Until you can’t get to a vendor because there are too many people around him. The cut down on congestion they instance cities. So even if you and a friend are in the same city at the same location, you may not be able to see each other because you are in difference instances of the city. Yeah… I understand why they did this, but it still is annoying. I’m not sure collision detection is really worth it. It’s more realistic, yes. But not as fun.

The biggest deal in the game was the combat system. Which was a huge letdown for me. I heard it was innovative (it is, kind of). I heard (repeatedly) how much better it was than WoW, where everything was too easy. So for melee classes here’s the real breakdown on attacking. At lower levels you hit one button and your character does the selected attack. Keybindings work the same as in Wow, which is nice. As you level up, attacks grow more complex and you have to start hitting sequences of buttons. So instead of hitting the up arrow. You hit the up arrow then the right arrow. A gaming friend compared it to fighting games for Xbox and Sony where you hit a series of buttons for special attacks. Except even with a fast internet connection and brand new graphics card that could give me 60fps, the delay in pulling off combo moves was noticable. If I hit the buttons but the server didn’t register it in the right order, the move didn’t work. I’ve never had this problem in WoW. Hitting one button to make an ability work is simple, true. It’s easy, definitely. The challenge in using WoW attacks is not hitting a correct series of buttons for each attack, it’s knowing what the attacks do and how best to use them and when. I much prefer the WoW system. If I want to do a down/right-down/right to do a hadoken, I’ll play Streetfighter.

Age of Conan is a very cool game that fits the theme. It’s brutal (free for all PvP servers means you can get ganked at any moment, anywhere, by anyone). It’s gritty and realistic. Which means less colors and less distinctive styles. There is blood and ‘mature’ themes. If that’s what you are looking for in a game and want a change of pace from Wow, Age of Conan is a good choice. Personally, I prefer WoW. It’s FUN. It’s colorful and cartoony. And the lack of button sequence mashing means you can focus more on tactics.

I’m back again

•August 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Too much moving. Too much classes. And I admit, a brief flirtation with Age of Conan. But I’m back. Back for good? Back for now? Back for..hey, look! Something shiny! Ok, it’s also true my ADD got the best of me while playing Conan and I lost track. That’s done for now, though. I’ll have more to say about Age of Conan soon, as well as lazy Warlocks and RP guilds.

Reasons why you want to watch Forbidden Kingdom!

•April 21, 2008 • 1 Comment

1.  Jackie Chan and Jet Li, of course.  Their fight in the temple is a thing of beauty.  Sure, they kick major butt in the movies, but it’s also easy to tell that they both have serious skills in real life, just from watching their speed, balance and form.  They seem to enjoy working with each other and the choreography makes both men look good. Plus, even in the non action scenes they work well together.   I’d love to see them do a few more movies together, hopefully with them being the focus of the plot.  Which brings me to…

2.  Michael Angarano.  He accomplishes so much in this role it’s hard to name it all.  The stuntmen look great because they make his weak martial skills look badass.  And he really never looks any good just on his own, they really needed to give him plenty of time to train for this if they wanted him to look any good.  His romantic chemistry makes Hayden Christensen in the new Star Wars movies look like Brad Pitt.  Even average actors would look good next to him thanks to his craptacular skills.  But it’s all ok.  Don’t let anyone fool you, he’s really the side kick of all the other characters.

3.   The homages.  There are so many references and homages to other movies.  The White Haired Sorceress is Lian Ni Chang from Bride with White Hair (a movie referenced by the sidekick earlier in the movie).  A Karate Kid theme pops up now and then, both in the training and the begining and end plotline.  Jackie Chan again plays a drunken fighter.  Jet Li again plays a monk.  Both among their most famous roles.  Quotes from Bruce Lee appear all through the movie as well.  And like any good Chinese movie, main characters do die.

I tend to agree with reviews that call it more of a kids movie, the violence is bloodless even if someone dies.  I like that they didn’t cop out on character death.  And that they didn’t do the sterotypical ‘new kid after little training becomes badass’.  I’d recommend this movie.

We now return to your regularly scheduled WoW blogging.

Shattered Sun Offensive Dailies Pt II: Off The Island

•April 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My last posting was a quick and dirty  guide for the quests on the island.  Now let’s get back to Outland and have some fun.

The general trend for the Shattered Sun quests is easy.  This doesn’t change on the Hellfire peninsula where you have to fly up to the north to a plateau.  Once there you find the Magistrix and start your quest.  Destroying the gate is the easiest quest.  You need to activate the fireball you are given and run around killing the fire elementals there.  Not only do you get some nice motes along the way, but you don’t need to be the one who kills the fire elemental for the credit.  Everyone in the area is rewarded, so even if someone else tags the mob first there is still incentive to help finish it off fast and move on to the next.  Once your lil ball of fire has grown up to a big, surly unstable orb, then you run back to the gate and let nature take it’s course.  Killing the Felbloods is a little more tricky.  You have to kill demons in the area and collect their blood.  Once you have four, just start using the crystal on the Felblood initiates to depower them and destroy them.  With enough competition this can be a little frustrating, especially as a warlock since my DoT’s don’t immediately tag the mob as mine until the first damage ticks off.  In a case like this, you locks better hope you have shadowburn.

In Nagrand you can do the Multiphase quest, where you non engineers get to see a little of what engineers can see with their special goggles in the area when looking for motes.  For this you are heading down to the south to the Osha Circle and then just flying around spotting the little fiery balls.  Land, measure them, mount, rinse, repeat.  With an epic flying mount (You do have your epic flying mount, right?) this can be done in a couple minutes.

Now, the smuggled supplies quest in Blade’s Edge is more like a great looking for untrustworthy SO.  When you phaseshift things look very cool.  Kind of like wearing the One Ring from Lord of the Rings, only less scary.  Certainly the mana worms there won’t scare you, they die easy as pie.  Your real competition here is ninjas.  Not the fun, black pajama wearing guys that flip out and kill people.    Your goal is collecting the supply boxes.  Your real obstacle is not the words, it’s the other players lurking in the area, waiting for you to engage the worms so they can run in and ninja the quest objects you are bleeding and suffering to get to.  Maybe it’s just my server or the times I do this quest, but I see alot of this and it gets very frustrating.  If I was on a PvP server I could at least attack them.  Serves me right for being such a carebear.  If you are ever running short on time for your dailies quests though, this is the one you want to skip.