Sunday, May 22, 2011

A new post?!?! :-O

Ok, I am ridiculously bored at work, and as much as I should be doing accounting homework, I find that my priorities havent much changed as a 31yo and I really don't want to. So I will go back to what I used to do at work when we were ridiculously slow, and I had nothing better to do: blogging.

I have mixed reviews on cataclysm. I think streamlined leveling is awesome and I love the changes that they have made with a lot of classes. There is a ton of new content and I enjoyed both of the new races (although Worgen much more so than Goblin). The 80-85 stuff is somewhat hit and miss but fun in general, I enjoy Hyjal, Uldum and some general questlines, but I prefer the Wrath model of AOE AOE AOE, things go faster and seem more fun (just being honest).

There are a few things I didnt care for (aside from having to CC in dungeons). No change to moonkin form. I think its awesome that trolls can be druids. Worgen, meh, I'd have prefered shammy for them. So these new troll druids can turn into a bat while flying, awesome. But keep the same ridiculous retarded owlkin thing form as any other druid. Couldn't healers have stayed as trees and DPS show off their ossum l00tz? Or maybe they could have an armed serpent caster form like the dude from zuldrak (or is it DTK, I get them confused, and no wow wiki here at work).

On the class note, some things are different, some are the same. Paladin seems mostly the same. I have zero desire to level a hunter. I rolled a Goblin rogue, and since doing so have gotten him to around level 20 while leveling 3 different warriors to 60, 80 (although he started at 72), and 74 (that one was from level 1). Needless to say, I just don't find rogue to be that fun. But warrior is ZOMFG AWESOME!!! Since switching to arms, I dunno if it is something blizz did recently or what, but I am loving warrior. Fury was fun when they had massive self healing, once that got nerfed, I thought not so much. Arms lately I just LOOOOVE. One thing I find interesting. I've been speccing into blood and thunder in my arms builds. It seems to me that it would A) be an AOE DPS increase that is useful for instances and soloing and B) be at least as good a use for those points as anything else.

Another thing I've planned on doing is soloing some instances. Now I know I could re-spec my paladin and do this pretty easily. But I am going to try it on my warrior. And maybe a bear druid. Its pretty easy to get health pools of over 100k in cataclysm. I regularly take down chillmaw solo on my paladin and its not hard at all. I've heard of people soloing wrath raids solo. I want to try a few wrath solo heroics. My warrior is a draenei so he has a built in self heal and I'll be sure to bring food and bandaids. I'll be using a build that includes Field Dressing, Blood Craze, and Impending Victory so I should be self healing a decent amount.

Mainly Cataclysm has brought me back to what I enjoy doing most: leveling alts. I am loving warrior and will probably push him straight to 85, after that, then what? I have a couple characters sitting at 82 (shammy and priest), I have a couple characters just sitting (warlock and druid), I have 85's I'm not motivated to do much with (paladin, mage, and DK), and the aforementioned Goblin Rogue who I'm considering deleting.

Well that's about enough rambling for one afternoon. Peace out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First impressions of 4.01

This is going to be a little on the jumbled up side. There are major mechanical changes that seemed to affect every class in the game, and although I don't have one of everything (ok, I've joked before about being the Noah of Wow, but I don't in reality have 2 of everything), I have a lot of impressions about the changes made to the game.

First of all, I think the change of giving every class signature abilities sooner is AWESOME. Being able to dual wield as an enhancement shammy before level 40 really makes you feel like a melee badass. Having to wait till 40 to really get an identity kind of sucked. I also like how classes have a lot of similar abilities. Fury warrior has some similarity with enhancement shammy (dual wield, flurry, etc), and talents seem to be a lot more fun.

OMFG HEIRLOOMS ARE EXPENSIVE!!! I really wish I would have bought some before the change. Had I known this would be the case live, I would have. I really only have 2 70+ level characters left I want to level to 80 (I have just lost the desire to level druid), but 2k+ Justice points?!?!? I believe that would be on the order of 80 frost emblems. So instead of just being able to downgrade 40 triumph badges which I could farm in 3-4 hours, it takes 2-3 weeks of raiding? WTF BLIZZARD!?!?!?

Speaking of the two characters I'm going to level to 80, Fury warrior and arcane mage look AMAZING. My mage was previously frost specced, and I basically wasnt using it to it's full potential for leveling. I did great DPS in instances, but leveling was basically frostbolt spam, fireball when it procc'd free, ice lance when fingers of frost procc'd. Slow being added to Arcane blast seems awesome, I was looking forward to trying out an arcane build and it just seems SO FUN! Speaking of something else that seems a ton of fun, FURY WARRIOR. My biggest propblem in playing the warrior was that health was a constant issue. I was taking a ton of damage and with no self heals besides herbalism, it just wasnt fun. Being a Draenei would have helped, but that wasnt an option. Enter new 4.01 awesomeness where most of the cool warrior abilities now heal you!

The main effect of this is I have lost the desire to instance and now want to level my guys. Maybe even some new guys!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OK, I know 2 posts in 3 months doesnt constitute "blogging again". . .

But I've been spending most of my time lately actually playing the game. Well, not most. I've kept my promise to myself and continued with the gym and jujitsu (Although on a side note, I'm not gonna be a blue belt for a LONG time lol I realize now why they schooled me at grappling tourneys when I was younger).

However, this is a wow blog, so I have a few interesting items regarding that. Well, interesting to me, your milage may vary.

First of all, I came to a conclusion. I really don't like tanking. Its a lot of thankless responsibility. It is heavily gear based and getting that gear is not easy. Other players have expectations and everything is your fault if something goes wrong. Who complains about fail DPS? if someone doesnt look at a meter would they even notice? Yes, I have decided I hate tanking. I don't want to do it anymore. I might give another go at it on the DK, but gearing him to be "acceptable" in randoms has been a challenge.

Secondly, I have come to the conclusion I really like healing. My priest dinged 80 and is geared for ICC and I have been through there a couple of times. I have been healing as discipline and I really like it. My shammy is also just about ICC geared and I like healing with him too. The thing I like the most is healbot makes healing about finding the right tool for the job.

My last thought, boy is it easy getting gear. No more multiple runs through ToC, I can just chain run heroics queued as healer, get emblems and buy T9. I geared my priest up that way (with the addition of a few lucky drops and some random raid gear) in about 3 days from dinging 80.

I do have a random question for anyone still reading. Spirit for discipline priests, whats the point? I don't see one, hence I'm hit capped in my healing gear.

Not to get all religious on anyone, but happy rosh hashannah to any of my fellow jews!

Friday, July 2, 2010

yes I'm writing blogs again. . .

I wasn't sure how to get back into playing Wow, but it seems my blogging follows my playing pretty closely. I had a few things to get out there after my absence, so I guess the best thing to do is just have at it.

Firstly, I've had some problems researching this particular topic, but it is around hardware performance and Wow. Believe me when I say, I'm not looking for excuses for my poor performance. If my lack of DPS was due to me sucking in general, I'm comfortable with that. However, as I had mentioned in a previous post, that has been called into doubt. I've been running at 30-60 FPS which seems decent, and a latency of 150-400, which I've heard is not. Unfortunately, I've had a hard time researching benchmarks, what performance "should" be and what this means to my overall performance. I will be picking up a new computer in the not too distant future (probably saturday), so we'll see how that affects my performance.

Secondly, something I found a little curious. Wow was almost a 40 hr a week job for me while I was playing in my heaviest times. However, it's funny how quickly it goes away. When I reloaded the game, I forgot what addons to get, what did what, rotations, I even had problems remembering how to get my gear repaired. Most of it came back pretty quickly, but I thought it was interesting how quickly it went away. Well, I guess 7 months isnt exactly quick.

My latest "project" character is my shadow priest. I really haven't touched my shammy or my paladin since I've come back. I leveled my shadow priest to 70 and got him to northrend pretty quick, and I'm finding him pretty fun to play and generally useful. I've always wanted to try a pure caster. While I LOVE elemental shammy, a lot of their damage isn't instant, and whether its a lag issue or what, I find by the time I want to hit something, it's dead already. I am kind of liking the thought of dropping dots on everything, replenishing the group in the process. I find mobs die fairly quick and I can handle a few at a time.

I chose shadow priest over the other 2 cloth casters for a number of reasons. First, I love my mage. I love being able to handle multiple mobs and the general survivability of frost. However 11111111111111111 is about as boring as I can think of. I couldn't think of re-speccing Arcane, it just seems wrong. He's always been frost, he will always be frost. Then there is the warlock. Decent, has some utility, drain tanking is ok, I love the felguard, I've heard they can do some great damage. However, shadowform is just so cool looking! And the ability to heal myself if need be is pretty great. Would I like some sort of cool looking bolt spell? Absolutely, but thats just not how priests seem to work. But as far as clothy casters go, I think I made a solid choice.

10 levels to go till grindy progression interestingness. . .

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wait a second!?!?!?

Since when have I been listed on

Yeah, I'm in the short list of general wow information sites. Go figure.

Coming soon: witty insightful post about how I'm learning to play the game again (that is of course with the assumption that at one point I knew how to play in the first place)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unfinished business. . .

Well, how's it going Wow community? It's been a while. I havent written anything in quite some time, but for quite a few reasons, I figured I would come back for an update. I should also preface this by saying my return is for a currently indefinite return to Wow.

Why am I coming back? Well first of all, I have achieved most, if not all of my goals in leaving the game. I lost 20 lbs, have a gym thats a lot easier to go to and have most everything in my personal life sorted out. I have a ton of free time that I think could use some occupying. I also have some unfinished business.

When I left Wow, I thought at the time it was due to a lack of skill. I did a ton of research and thought I knew pretty well how to do things, but the results just werent there. I couldn't explain why, I didn't know what I was doing wrong, I just plain sucked. I was ok with sucking at Wow. I mean, I've done plenty of things in life that I was unsuccessful at, I don't do them anymore.

My mindset all changed the other day when I was having lunch with Eus and Ruhtra. We were having a discussion about Wow that somehow turned to computers. Ruhtra was saying how it was always funny watching me raid because they'd all do something and see me do something 5 seconds later. I was puzzled, thats not what I was seeing. Then I thought "maybe there was a technical issue making me suck?"

The computer system I have had for quite some time has been mostly the same, a pentium 4 with windows XP. As far as I can tell/remember, it's about 6 years old. I have dropped some RAM in it and a new graphics card, but the processor is OLD. Could that have caused performance issues? Is it more noticable when raiding than soloing because at appropriate levels lag while soloing won't kill you? I don't know. But now that I have this question in my head, it's one that needs to be answered.

I decided a while ago that I would buy a new computer on which to play the old republic (I'm def getting that game, and I know it will be awesome, but I'm a star wars fan boy). I just decided that this would be a good excuse to maybe step up the timetable on that purchase a little bit. I've been looking around, read reviews and basically decided that I'm getting an intel i7 based machine with DDR3 ram (prolly 8 gigs or so) and hopefully a 1 gb video card.

If I still suck with that system, well it's me and I can take my ball and go home with the knowledge that Wow just isnt the game for me. If I don't suck, well I get to spend some more time with online friends and help out such that I'm able to. For 15 bucks a month, I'd say that's pretty win/win.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins. . .

Well, I have been pretty good about my Wow exile, have to say I'm not really missing it. I have been playing a lot of Dragon Age: Origins, and I have some thoughts on the game, a few which apply to the mmo genre.

First of all, one of the major selling points of the game are the 6 different "origins" you get when creating a character. Some of them are VERY good, some of them are meh. Having played through all of them, I have to say my absolute favorite is the City Elf, its amazing. Common Dwarf and Human Noble were also very good. Dhalish elf and Noble Dwarf had their high marks, but didn't give me the same general sense of purpose. The mage origin was a complete disappointment. It just wasnt fun and involved a lot of running around. I was expecting equal amounts of action in all of them damn it!

As far as classes go, Dragon Age Origins has a very interesting but fun system. There are only three classes in the game: Warrior, Rogue, and Mage. However, each class has access to various ability subsets. For example, both warriors and rogues have access to Archery and Dual wield trees. Mage is just a generic magic user, they can access both elemental and healing trees. Another interesting aspect of the classes are the unlockable "prestige classes" these unlock new special abilities. I really think this gives Dragon Age a high degree of customization and replay value. My main character is a tank warrior with the shield specialization abilities. Having played through the early parts of the game with other class/specs, things just seem to go smoother with me being the focus of enemy damage.

The stats in the game are also very simplistic and intuitive. Strength is your melee damage and ability to use heavy weapons and armor. Dexterity is your ability to dual wield, hit with missile weapons, and avoid being hit by enemies. Willpower determines the pool and regeneration of your resource bar. Magic is your ability to cast spells. Constitution (I think thats the name of it) determines health and regeneration. Lastly Cunning is a social stat, which impacts your interactions and also for rogues, your ability at picking locks and disarming traps. Its a straightforward system that works. I would have liked to see constitution as a little more impactful, but other than that, I have no complaints.

Presentation-wise, I have only a couple complaints. First of all, there is no way to skip certain cut-scenes. If you're making a new character, you have to sit through the opening cinematic. Its very well done, but the 8th time you see it, it loses some appeal. Also, the weapons seem elongated. One handed swords look to be two handed weapons size-wise, daggers are shortsword sized, and two handed weapons are just ridiculously long.

One feature I think is awesome, and one that has potential for mmo's is the ability to set tactics for your NPC's. Rather than just rely on AI to control them, you can specificy tasks for them to accomplish as well as cycle through and give them individual instructions. I will admit, I'm not very good at initiating a turn based type combat, I will have to look into doing that. Guild wars had something where you could hire mercenaries to do group content, and I think this is a feature mmo's should definately look into. I don't like groups or grouping, I would LOVE to hire NPC's to run group content. It could also be an effective gold sink if done correctly.

Hope everyone is enjoying 3.3 and is having a happy happy holiday season. Also, to any of my Jewish readers, Happy Hannukah!