Monthly Archives: August 2012

#111 Preparing for Pandaria: The moral question about Raid Finder

With Pandaria less than a month away, It’s time to ask myself what am I going to do with the Raid Finder service in this expansion?

Back when the Raid Finder was released in Patch 4.3 I made the decision not to use the service because I wanted to experience the boss fights of the proper level of difficulty, plus I wanted to feel that rush of victory when me and my friends finally killed a particularly difficult  boss for the first time.

I also stuck to my decision because when Raid Finder was available,  I was in full Firelands gear and the difference in iLevel between Fireland’s and Dragon Soul (RF)’s gear was so small that the hassle was not worth it.

But recently I joined a new guild that is focused on PvE progression and soon I, and the rest of the world, will be going into the new expansion with a new race for current gear

Now I’m faced with the question, “Should I avoid using the Raid Finder service to enjoy the feeling when the actual raid actually takes down the boss? Or should I go through Raid Finder, ruin the victory, in order to aid my fellow raiders in the name of progression?

On one hand WoW is meant to be played anyway you want to play (a message Blizzard want to make especially clear in this expansion)

But on the other hand, I don’t want to forget what Spock said to Captain Kirk,

 

The needs of the many outway the needs of the few

 

Sure I’m paying fifteen dollars a month to play the way I want to, but when I join a progression raid, these nine other people are paying a hundred and thirty-five dollars and they expect me to play the best to help the team.

I am actually torn on this issue, and I’m interested if anyone is having this problem. What are you doing?

Luckily, I have a month to think about this.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#110 The pre-pandaria event rant

While I was looking for time to kill during the  no-so-surprising extended maintenance time I was reading the new book, Tides of War.

 

 

On one of my reading breaks I decided to check the WoW news and I found this blue post that revealed the attack on Theramore pre-expansion event,

The Battle of Theramore, the first of many Scenarios coming to World of Warcraft, is a story-changing event that will be available to level-85 characters for one week only — the week leading up to the launch of Mists of Pandaria on September 25.

For the duration of the week of September 18-24, level-85 characters will be able to queue up for and participate in the Alliance and Horde versions of this new Scenario with two friends. (Please note: if friends are not available to you at the time, two will be provided. Batteries not included. Subject to change. Void where prohibited.)

After the lifting of the mists, the Battle of Theramore will join all other Scenarios as level-90-only content, and everyone — including players who missed it at level 85 — will be able to play through the event. Upon completing the Scenario for the first time, players will see the aftermath of the battle whenever visiting Theramore in Dustwallow Marsh. Theramore will eventually be changed permanently to its post-battle state in a future patch, sometime after the launch of Mists of Pandaria, whether or not players have completed the Scenario.

We’ll see you there!

This pre-expanion event is a week-long instanced event.

My first thought and only thought was, “WHAT!?

No world changes?
No mention of  quests that fills us in on what’s happening to the lore
No City changes?
No special events?

What is this?

No, instead we get one lonely instance to get us ready for Mists, over the course of one week before the expansion.

Say what you like about the Cataclysm prep, at least that had changes to the world: The Twilight cult camps, Thrall in Nagrand with his new model, the elemental attacks on the city, and four instanced boss fights that took us down memory lane.

This time we get one instanced scenario and a ruined city that was under the control of the Alliance.

Going back to the quests, I know that Mists of Pandaria starts off with a naval attack out at sea and Blizzard can’t bring out the new models yet because they are still on the island , waiting to be discovered.

For a proposed pre-event quest line, let gets the players involved with the aftermath of the attack on Theramore. Let us be in charge of gathering supplies and raising moral of sailors and solders for the first batch of ships in the escalated war.

That way it gives us a bit more continuity between the expansion and it provides a personal reason for why the players should go on the second wave of ships to look for them.

I was furious when I heard this news. I swear If I did not already preordered the expansion and if I did not know how good Pandaria is going to be, this might have pushed me to unsubscribe to the game.

 

It’s just that much of a slap in the face to the burnout players.

 

/rant over

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#109 Thoughts on the next and previous pre-expansion events

Tomorrow the pre-Pandaria patch will drop and with everything we get the customary pre-expansion event that gets everyone hyped for September.

Even though the event will not happen for a few more days, I am curious on how the attack on Theramore will be received by the players, since the last pre-expansion event had some mixed feelings.

I had a lot of fun there, porting to Theramore to fly to Onyxia’s liar

 

So far, I have experienced the  two previous events, the Wrath and Cataclysm attacks on the cities.

The two previous events, to me, seemed to come from two different school of thoughts of how to get players ready for the next chapter of World of Warcraft

The Wrath event had a lot more sudden and constnat action in their event while Cata took it’s time to build up the lore, and thus had a slower ramp up.

For those who don’t remember, or who hasn’t played though the wrath event, it started with plagued crates that just appeared all around the cities.

If you touched the crates you would get a debuff with a timer, and unless you got to the healer NPC, you would transform into a ghoul. where you can then bite and spread the plague to other players and NPC.

A good old zombie attack, what more could you want?

 

During this time, there was also new elite NPCs that were placed in the plaguelands that revealed to everyone that the Lich King is leading this attack.

This all ended with a risen dragon accompanied by waves and waves of zombies attacking both alliance and horde main cities.

 

Thanks to WoWinsider for this screenshot.

The wrath event threw you right into the action, all you knew was that there was zombies attacking the world and you just need to survive.

 

While the Cataclysm event had much more lore into it resulting in a much slower boil.

Throughout the weeks leading up theCataclysm, the game developers wanted to tell everyone what was happening politically throughout the game.

We did get some action into the events, like joining the Twilight Cult and fending off the elementals when they opened portals into our realm and taking back the trolls/gnome starting areas

There was  weeks when we did quests where we saw Thrall leave the horde to practice shamanism and another week where we escorted tablets the dwarfs found in Ulduar back to Ironforge.

I doubt that other non-political science players found this part of the event as interesting as I did….

 

The lack of constant action left some people bored and uninterested in the game, something that Blizzard doesn’t want when people are experiencing burnout.

I will say that I enjoyed the Cata event just as much as Wrath’s event, but I do wonder what will Blizzard will do with this event to make sure that it gives the player the new action they want, but also the lore that the game developers want to tell to ensure that the players are all caught up about the changes in character and faction motivation as we go to the new area.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#108 My Future experiences with the WoW remote app.

I’ve been doing this World of Warcraft blog  for about nine months now and there have been times when I had to bump a preplanned posts back a few days, and there have been times when I had completely rewrite posts because at the last moment Blizzard released some new information about the expansion the night after before my post.

But never did I have to eat my words, especially less than twenty-four hours after I spoke said words.

For those who don’t know, last Wednesday I wrote about how I was not satisfied with my summertime experience with the WoW Remote app. (The service was great but my guildmates and I were too burned out of WoW to use the Auction House or the Guild Chat)

At the end of the post I said that I was going to discontinue my subscription to the app to trim some of my spending for the school year.

Well, less than a day after I posted that post Blizzard put out an official announcement that the World of Warcraft Remote is going to be free for everyone.

 

 

My initial response to reading the bulletin was, “Come on,Blizzard. Really? Did you really wanted to make me look like a fool didn’t you!?”

I’m not upset to for the nine dollars that I spent for this now free service, even though I just received an email from Blizzard that said that I have been credited with a Lil’ XT pet and seven free days of game play.

 

You will be damn sure I’m keeping him out now because of this whole event

 

It’s that I made a bit of a big deal about me not continuing my payments to an app that I don’t use, and literally, LITERALLY the next day all my arguments are rendered moot, because now I still have access to the service at no charge to me.

 

This must be what a returning WoW players goes through.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#107 My summer experience with the WoW remote app

If the title of this post was a joke, the punchline would be, “There was none”

Rewind to the beginning of the summer, I was young, naive and not totally burned out from WoW. I thought it would be a good idea to reactivate my WoW remote  Auction House app.

Only three dollars a month? That’s the cost of a cup of coffee that I don’t drink 

 

I remembered when I joined beta for the android app trail and  thought it was a cool idea of always being connected to my guild and monitoring the Auction House away from my computer.

With a new summer job and some extra cash I resubscribed to the app to see if I could still use it to it’s full potential. As summer continued I found myself putting less and less items on the Auction House as I played the less of the game itself.

As for the guild chat function, the only time I got messages from the  guild mates was when they were asking me to help them with a tailoring pattern, or asking me for  guild invites from their alts. Activities that I cannot do on my mobile.

 

It also had a weird function of logging me in and out repeatedly when the app was idle.

 

I faced that fact that I am not a big enough Auction House junkie enough to justify using the app to buy and sell goods when I’m away from my laptop and I am not in a guild that is big enough where there is an interesting (non-gaming) conversation happening at any odd hour of the day.

The funny thing is even though I haven’t used the app for weeks now,  I kept forgetting to unsuscribe from app. I have been paying for the past three months, and as the next college year is approaching, I need to find ways to cut my unnecessary spending, and this is the first thing to go.

 

 

I’m also on Twitter Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#106 Shared topics: Flavours of WoW

This week’s Blog Azeroth‘s Shared Topic comes from Cymre:

It would not be uncommon to hear about the initial release of World of Warcraft as Vanilla or Classic. In terms of ice cream or gelato (which is my preference), Vanilla was once considered the most popular flavour of it’s time. So if Vanilla represents Classic WoW, what flavours could represent the following expansions?

Oh boy, I don’t know if it is because it’s summer or because I enjoy eating ice cream but I have been looking forward to this Shared Topic all weekend long.

When going through the lists of expansions and pairing them a particular ice cream flavor, I would have to make sure that the flavor of the ice cream matches the flavor of the expansion.

 

For Warcraft’s first expansion, it sent us to a faraway planet with zones that were stitched together, there we had to deal with demons and aliens. For that I would choose Lime ice cream, it was new, different, and it has a tangy zest.

careful, it’s full of fel-magic

 

For Wrath of the Lich King, expansion that brought the players back to the sweetness and down-to-earth-Azeroth feel of the  vanilla era, with sending us to Northrend but without having to deal with the plots of classic WoW. I am going to give it the Cotton Candy flavor  because to was similar to the old game in tone, but still had it differences.

I soon found out, having too much of cotton candy can cause stomach aches….

 

A completist’s nightmare.

 

For Cataclysm, Blizzard wanted to revamp the old vanilla content with new quests, new maps and giving a new flavor of the lore by looking at the changes that has happened when the heroes of Azeroth were away. For that Cataclysm gets to be Peach-cream.

 

I also picked peach because its more of a seasonal flavor, not meant to last in the winter months….

 

All that’s left is the Mists of Pandaria flavor, Blizzard has shown that this is the expansion that they want to reinvent their MMO with new characters, new designs and storylines, with having a new land that away from the main Azeroth but still not as crazy as The Burning Crusade.

For this I chose Mint chocolate chip Ice cream, it’s mostly consists of the refreshing mint with hints of something new and interesting. Gone are the old vanilla faction relations, it is time to sprinkle some of that escalated wartime victory-chocolate into the mint, it’s there to compliment the new land, never to over power the main point of the expansion.

 

Although, many people wanted this expansion to be nothing but faction-rivalry-chocolate.

 

I also picked mint ice-cream because it seems mint has a very polarized fan base, either you enjoy it or you hate it.

 

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#105 Preparing for Pandaria: Farming for Gold

To fulfill my World of Warcraft blogger requirement, here’s a screenshot of the new Blizzard cinematic:

The only thing I will say about the video is that there is a severe lack of gnomes that I believe was promised to us in this expansion’s cinematic.

Now back to the regularly scheduled blog post….

To be sure that I am ready to jump into the new expansion head first, I need to make sure that my wallet is full with as much gold as I can get my hands on.

A few months ago I made a goal to collect seventy-five thousand gold before Pandaria goes live, that was back when the great Grand Expedition Yak mount was priced at sixty thousand gold.

I was able to barely raise that much money to buy the mount without the reputation discount and still having some walking around gold for my tailoring profession and other max level items.

But Blizzard then doubled the price of the mount to a hundred and twenty thousand gold, and since then I have been trying to play gold-farming catch up while juggling my other obligations and combating WoW burn out.

Right now I have farmed 97.6k gold and it doesn’t look like I can make the new goal, but I realized that I don’t need all of the 120k gold for the first day. With the increase in the gold that is given out to by mobs and quests rewards in the expansion that I am sure that I will be able to buy the reforging yak well before the majority of the player base.

Alt Druid Update:

Currently my druid is level 82 and a ¼ and I am currently working through Batman Forever (my second favorite batman movie out of the 90’s) and the Hyjal quest chains.

It occurred to me the other day I will have to go through the horrors of Uldum and Batman and Robin. Luckily if I keep up the pace I do not have to suffer them at the same time.

Oh George Clooney, you may an established actor and the world’s sexiest man for the year 2006 but you will never outlive the fact that you were a Batman that sported Bat-nipples and a Bat-credit card.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#104 Bidding adieu to the soon to be dead spells

It was heavily hinted yesterday that the pre-expansion patch, 5.0.4, will go live on August 28th.

Patch 5.0.4 will herald the new account wide mounts system, the class changes and the overhaul of the talent trees.

I still don’t know how I feel about the new trees

 

With everything new that is coming in, sadly there are somethings that are being removed with this patch.

As a fire mage there are two very important mage spells that will be taken out come two Tuesdays from now.

I am of course, talking about the spells Blast Wave and Flame Orb.

The sting hurts because those two were my favorite fire spells and will sorely be missed.  If you don’t mind, I would like to say a few words for the soon to be lost.

The Blast Wave was an old friend of mine, he was useful when farming old content for rep and gold in instances. The spell was especially helpful with the Improved Flamestrike talent, giving me a free Flamestrike on top of the Blast Wave.

 

Although props to Blizzard for keeping the cool looking spell in the game.

 

Flame Orb is the next one on the chopping block. Even though it was one of the newer spells, only added in this expansion, it found a way to be used it for Raids. I could always count on it to dish out addition damage to the boss while I needed to got off either casting Evocation or focusing my efforts on an add or two. From now on I’ll have to resort to the nerfed Mirror Images to increase my damage.

 

Thanks to WoWhead for this amazing photo

 

 

I will be sorry for their passing, but I know that these spells will be in a better place when Mists hits, they will be right up there with my old Wrath buddy, FrostFire spec.

 

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#103 Shared Topic, How has WoW changed your life?

This week’s Blog’s Azeroth’s Shared topic comes from Effraeti, with the question,

“How has WoW changed your life?”

For me,  Warcraft has had a major beneficial impact on my life, because of the game I improved my computer skills and how I view a group. When I started playing the game I was in Highschool and I had terrible typewriting skills. Truly terrible skills, I was ‘searching and pecking’ letters for all of my papers.

A comedic representation of what my fingers looked like when I was typing up papers

It was not until there was a need for me to communicate quickly and efficiently with other people in the heat of battle that I improved my typewriting skills.

Warcraft also changed how I view a team computation. Before WoW I never really put any thought into what is needed to make a proper team, the teachers in school would always make teams at random. IE “You’re in group 1. You’re in group 2. You’re in group 1” With that method I experienced many fail pugs.

It was World of Warcraft that sat me down and spell it out to me what a functioning team should be composed of.

Every group should have one voice that everyone follows (raid leader), a couple of people who are willing to take on the big problems of the project (tanks) a few who get to gets to chip away the problem bit by bit (DPS) and one or two people who provide support, and relief for everybody (healers).

I also now view any big group project as a giant Magmaw

While I would have learned how to make a good group later in my life, or from another game (League of Legend) WoW taught me a proper team build a younger age and because I had that knowledge a bit earlier than my classmates I was able to understand what everyone’s preferred choice for a group, and then adapt my role to compensate for the missing pieces.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#102 Shared Topic: Are you playing the Mists Beta?

 

This week’s Blog Azeroth‘s Shared topic ask the question,

“Are you playing the Mists of Pandaria Beta?”

This may come as a surprise, but the person who runs the blog that is all about the Mists of Pandaria expansion has not touched the beta in weeks.

This was the cutest image when I googled “shocked”

It may sound odd, but I played through the first few zones, then backed away from it because I heard the horror stories of Cataclysm beta testers who explored every bit of the new world and they were the ones who experienced the burnout first. As a player who got tired of Cataclysm two months ago, the idea of consuming the content faster than normal terrifies me.

Also, me not playing the beta is the same reason why I don’t open my Christmas presents, it would also ruin the surprise.

That’s right I added a picture of a Christmas tree in the middle of the Summer

I want to be surprised at the plot twists and developments that the game developers put in later in the expansion.

I look forward to experience the game with everyone else, there’s no fun in knowing what will happen before everyone else, especially if you have the level through Pandaria again when the Beta closes.

 

 

I’m also on Twitter Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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