Friday, November 28, 2008


OK, I don't have much in the way of impressions on death knights because I've spent the last 2 days trying to raise my mining up to 300 so I can get to outlands. I will outline my strategy on that in a later post (I will do alliance and horde so as not to choose sides). However, my main reason for this post is to outline my limited thoughts on death knights play wise.

I chose to spec blood for both my death knights. I have heard unholy allows slightly higher damage and AOE capabilities, but I chose blood for a few reasons. First of all, I think vampiric regeneration is the best ability from RPG's. Stealing health to replenish your own is efficient, fun and is way better than using potions or band-aids (both of which DK's still have the option of. Secondly, if I wanted to AOE, I would play my paladin or level my mage. I'm sorry, for as OP as people say they are (and they do massive amounts of single target DPS), nothing a death knight can do will touch either of those classes so why try to make them something they're not? A Corvette is not a family car no matter how much you might want it to be, let it be a corvette. Lastly, I was just more drawn to the blood tree. Although Frost and Unholy both have cool abilities, more of the abilities from the blood tree looked like abilities I wanted to pick up.

As far as playability goes, I have a few observations. First of all, DK's have MASSIVE single target DPS. They are crit machines and they do it FAST. It is completely routine for me to drop thousand point hits it seems like every other attack. Even my human pally specc'd completely retribution and 6 levels higher doesnt throw out burst damage like this. Another observation I have is the reason for the title of this post. Death grip is AMAZING. I am not a fan of PvP. I hate it. However, whether it is a guild that our guild has conflicts with or certain classes (Sorry, although I am against PvP, if you are a rogue or a warlock, you're getting ganked, if I see you, I will death grip you and take you down. If you run, I will chase you down on my epic speed mount, death grip you and take you down), it is AMAZING in PvP. I don't know if it's just me, but I seem to cit more often after pulling them over too. Its like "GET OVER HERE!!!", Bam!!, plaguestrike crit, they drop.

One last thing about death knights. Tell me the rune sword they get at the end of the starter quests is not one of the coolest looking weapons in the game. I know orcs have a natural afinity for axes, but the axe looks so dumb and the sword looks so cool. I have reservations about even replacing it with the hellreaver (even though the hellreaver is a superior weapon stat wise). It looks that cool. . .

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My impressions on the Death Knight quests

They kind of remind me of Star Wars episode 3. In the movie it was "OK Anaking, everyone knows you are going to turn evil, we have a half hour of the movie left, be evil now. . .Yes, my master". The death knight quests are the same except reversed. I spent almost the entire time slaughtering Scarlet Crusaders (and peasants and anything random that happened to get in the way). There was ONE quest where an NPC pulled the old Luke Skywalker "There is good in you, I have felt it. . ." and it got my hopes up. But nothing till the end of the line, then its like "OK, you rampaging champions of EVIL, you're good now, we're allies against your former master". Are death knights little more than attack dogs with runeweapons? "Just point me at something to kill, boss!"

One gripe of mine on the quest line is a quest where you fly around on a dragon and dive bomb things. I was a HUGE fan of the bombing runs in Hellfire, they were a lot of fun, no damage, you just ride on the flyer and drop bombs on things. This new quest is HORRIBLE and FRUSTRATING. I play wow because I want to see a guy put on armor and hit things with swords or occasionally blow things up with spells. This felt to me like the car chase missions in Grand Theft Auto: something frustrating that takes a few try and I want to be over so I can get back to the reason I'm playing the game.

Also, is it just me, or do you prefer the look of the initial death knight gear to the blues? That hood you start with is super awesome looking, but the helm looks a little goofy. I disabled it on both of mine and they look ok without, but I hope there is a hood I can find. Also, I wish we could runeforge plate armor to make it black and more deathknight looking. Once I start replacing the starting gear, my DK is going to look like an Arms warrior with glowing eyes (and black skin, the undeadish orcs look AWESOME).

One thing I find both tedious and hilarious at the same time is being level 58 with no gathering skills. I decided both my Orc and Human DK's are going to be Mining/Skinning, so after completing the line with my Human, I flew to Ironforge and decided to get started. Thousand point hits on level 5 wolves are less than satisfying and it will be quite a few of them before I can move to more satisfying prey. I was able to powerlevel my mining by smelting copper, took about 3 stacks to get me to level 55. I think I will head to the Draenei area to do some further mining/skinning (lots of tin there and skinnable animals). I have a TON of silver ore stashed away to smelt to raise my mining past the bronze zone. After that it is onto iron which can be done pretty easily in the yeti caves in Hillsbrad/Alterac (while also raising my skinning). Mithril can be done in the same area. It is thorium that is the pain in the ass. I was able to get a decent amount making loops of Ungoro (Apes and dinos should give me some decent skinning too), but it will take weeks to get enough to get to a decent level.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm not an addict, I can quit whenever I want to!

Well obviously I couldn't stay away from Wow for long. I reactivated my account this weekend. I just realized this is pretty much the game I want to be playing. There are aspects of it that frustrate me to no end, and I can't find a "perfect" situation, but I still enjoy playing and its a really good value ($15 a month for as much as I play works out to about $0.19/hr).

My month (or thereabouts) hiatus did give me some time to come up with a number of solutions to my Wow dilemma. First of all, I'm not going to restrict myself to one realm. I can get the full Wow experience, it just doesnt have to be an either or type thing. I will focus on Leshif (and maybe my DK) on Daggerspine, and do all my crafting and the majority of my questing on Azuremyst. Plus, leveling only 1 (maybe 2) characters to 80 in the beginning I can quest on only rested XP and if I get ganked and/or frustrated, I can just switch over.

On a non Wow related note, I stayed home from work sick today. I tried to take care of my fiance this weekend and I think I managed to get myself sick in the process, go me!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm coming back and why I prefer Alliance over Horde. . .

I guess it was inevitable. I couldn't stay away for long. There are certain things that I look for in games. I want to kill things in an entertaining fashion, I want to improve a character and probably most important, I want this character to look cool. Not only do I want the character to look cool, I want him to look MORE cool as he advances. I just wasnt getting this from Guild Wars or GTA. I have been checking server populations and after the queuing and population spike in the week or so after WotLK released things look to be back to relatively normal. So, to make a long story short, I will be returning to Azeroth, probably sooner rather than later.

This all got me to thinking. I have always preferred the Alliance side, but why? Well, its extremely superficial but the answer is window dressing. I like the way the alliance side looks better. There are 3 Alliance races that I like the character models for: Human, Night Elf and Draenai. I think a fantasy character should have some respectable facial hair (yes, I am shallow enough that I obsess over my characters' facial hair, I can't help it, I have some in real life, I think I should have some in the game too). The Horde has 2 races, only one of whom has decent options (It is ironic that my friends who complain about the alliance being populated by teens play characters who look like teenagers, you know kind of skinny and with weak little beards). The main Horde cities are Oggrimar and Undercity. They are ok looking and although the design of Oggrimar sort of angers me (I get lost looking for things), UC is pretty well designed and easy to find things in. However, when I started playing Alliance and first set foot in Stormwind, I thought "this is what a fantasy city is supposed to be." Stormwind is amazing, Ironforge is more convenient to some things, but my heart will always be in Stormwind.

This has nothing to do with which server I prefer or PvE vs PvP. Pretty much everyone I know plays Horde. This may not affect where I ultimately end up. But I prefer Alliance, and I probably always will.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guild wars vs Warcraft

So I have been playing guild wars for a while and I thought I would do a comparison between it and Warcraft. I won't be reviewing the PvP aspect because I havent participated in it, nor do I intend to. The areas I will focus on will be presentation, system, PvE content, crafting, lasting appeal, and polish. I'll rate each and give an overall rating at the end.


Warcraft - You either love Wow's graphics or hate them. The character models are slightly cartoony, shoulders are huge and there are some crazy looking weapons. There is enough variety that even a given 2 starting type characters won't look the same. There are a ton of different "looks" of item sets. I personally love the presentation, my only gripe is a personal one (*cough* Blood Elf facial hair *cough*). I personally prefer the Wow style to a more realistic looking game, but again, thats a personal preferrence, but the quality is definately there.

Guild Wars - Guild wars is an example of a more realistic game. The graphics are executed well, the character models are defined and the environments are good. Where guild wars falls short is in variety. There are different facial models, they all generally look the same. No real racial choices and no facial hair. Also the armor models are extrememely limited. The ones they have are done well (although I prefer the big shoulder pieces), I would just like a bigger variety and more mixing and matching besides just the ability to dye pieces (which is cool, but of limited utility).

Advantage: Warcraft - Variety takes the crown here. Warcraft just has a lot more options and ways to make your character look unique.


Warcraft - Despite numberous changes for "balance" the basic system remains the same. You pick your class, and you have talent trees which determine the abilities your class has in addition to basic class abilities. It gives you some room for customization and proper talent selection is basically a requirement for endgame content.

Guild Wars - This is the area that Guild wars really shines in. Each character has a primary class which determines armor and has a unique ability, and a secondary profession to select from. This gives a total of about 90 different combinations, and almost infinite variation when you take into account skills actually equipped on the character. It allows a surprising amount of variation, and from a role playing perspective you just have to think outside the box a little. My character is a warrior/monk. The monk skills that I took are smiting (holy damage) and protection, so I really think of him as a prot paladin. I could have gone straight warrior, or warrior/necromancer and gotten more of a deathknight type character.

Advantage: Guild Wars - Variety for the win. Seriously, this is the area where guild wars really shines. If you can't figure out a character to play, give up RPG's. You could make a Ranger/Necromancer combo if you wanted to. How does that go together? I have no idea, but it's possible.

PvE content:

Warcraft - The bulk of Warcraft's PvE content are Quests and Instances/Raids. I have mixed feelings about Warcraft's PvE content. Raids are going to be inaccessible for most casual players and most of the quests are of the "kill 10 rats" variety and difficult and/or very frustrating to do with other people around. On the other hand, the instances are very well designed and fun. From old content through expansion, there are a lot of them, and they are enjoyable and provide a healthy dose of lore.

Guild Wars - Guild Wars has a feature that I LOVE. All the content outside of cities is instanced. If I am solo questing, it is only me killing mobs. I don't have to worry about ganking, I can quest at my own pace, its just amazing.

Advantage: Guild Wars - Purely on the strength of the instanced solo content. While I think Warcraft has excellent instances, the solo content in Guild Wars is perfect for a player like me who wants to solo and be left alone.


Warcraft - Warcraft has an extremely deep and varied crafting system. Call it a money sink, time sink, not efficient, whatever you want, its there. I will be the first to admit its not perfect, but again, it offers a lot of options, and players can skip it completely by double gathering.

Guild Wars - Well, to be honest, I am underwelmed with Guild wars' crafting. It has promise, but the execution is rather lackluster. All "crafting" is done by NPC's. You get materials (either raw materials or item enhancements), pay them a fee, and they give you back an item. Its a useful system, but it just doesnt feel like crafting. And breaking items down into component parts with the use of salvage kits, while a good idea, just isnt that enjoyable.

Advantage: Warcraft - For all the faults of the wow crafting system (which is mainly just gear takes a long time to make, is expensive and not as good as drop gear), its leaps and bounds better than guild wars.

Lasting Appeal:

Warcraft - Well, I played it for a year and a half and didnt see everything. Although expansions are infrequent, they do always provide interesting new content.

Guild wars - undecided, probably low. The expansions don't raise the level cap, and although they provide new classes and campaigns there's nothing that jumps out at me and makes me want to pick them up.

Advantage - Undecided - I'm giving Guild Wars the benefit of the doubt here. I am anticipating it will hold my interest for about a month, so the advantage would seem to rest strongly on Warcraft, but I can't say that for sure.


Warcract - Warcraft has had continual improvements and polish is one of the areas where it shines compared to any game. They have really made attempts to make sure the everything functions at a high level and there are tons of features there for player convenience.

Guild Wars - Not so much. Its not that the game is rough per se. Its just the equivalent to comparing a high end diamond to one you bought at Walmart. Yeah they're both diamonds, but its the little things that make the difference.

Advantage - Warcraft - End of discussion.

Overall: Warcraft 3-2 - While Guild Wars has a lot going for it, and I think it will be a good way to occupy my time for a month or so, it isnt on the same level as Warcraft. It is definately a worthwhile game, and for $20 with no monthly fee, I would encourage anyone to pick it up. However, as is usually the case, you get what you pay for, the options and polish of Warcraft are lacking in Guild Wars in every area except class selection.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guild wars to tide me over. . .

I still don't know if/when I am coming back to Wow. I havent really gotten that far. I did put out feelers to my friends that I know play to see who plays where. What I was really looking for was an Alliance PvE server. Nobody that I know plays on one currently. Wow isnt my ideal game, but in looking around, it appears to be the best of what's out there. I don't know if that justifies coming back, I'm still working on that decision.

When I sent out messages to my friends to see who plays where, I got a reply back that one of my friends from college started playing Guild Wars. I had written this game off previously because I'd heard it was heavily centered around PvP. Well, its $20.00, no monthly fee, and I have a friend who plays. I figured at worst, I play it a couple hours, get bored with it, and quit. I'd be out $20.00, no big loss.

I have a few observations about that game both good and bad. First of all on the good side: I really like the ability to pick primary and secondary classes. Primary gives you a "special" class only ability and controls armor you wear, but you can select skills and abilities from either class. As an example, I picked warrior as my primary. I had an option of going straight warrior, picking monk as secondary to go more paladin, necromancer to be more of a deathknight, or some other combo. It really gives you a lot of variety. The other feature that I think is AMAZING is that the world outside of towns is all instanced for your party. I can go kill 10 rats and not have to worry about someone else having come by and having to wait for the rats to respawn. I can solo at my leisure and don't even have to interact with other players unless I want to.

On the negative side there are a few things that take away my enjoyment from the game. First of all, where the hell is the bank? For that matter, can I get a little better marking of who does what and where? In wow there are these enormous signs or other features that mark things like the inn, AH, flightmaster, whatever. It took me almost an hour to find a vendor to sell my excess crap to and I STILL CANT FIND THE STUPID BANK. Also the crafting system shows promise, you get items, use a salvage kit to break them down into component parts and you can give those parts to an NPC to make things for you. Great in theory, but A) the salvage kits are expensive and B) I'm tired of carrying around wood planks and iron ingots. Also, I'm not getting much in the way of story or flavor from the quests, I'm just kind of running around doing things. And the text is pretty small and hard to read. And I'm allegedly almost 1/4 way to the level cap and wearing the same armor. In wow, I would have changed armor 2-3 times by level 20. I also am not crazy about the armor models. Maybe I got too used to wow with the over the top shoulder pieces and more manga-esque designs, but I like them. Also, where's my facial hair? I like the abililty to vary my height, face and haircut, but is it that hard to program a beard on someone?

All in all, I like system, quests are pretty tedious, graphics are not what I prefer, the items have promise (life stealing is my favorite feature in games). Overall I'd give it a B- so far, enjoyable enough but with plenty of room for improvement.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brock Lesnar pwns in PvP. . .

OK, this post has absolutely nothing to do about Wow or any other MMO. I have a background in martial arts having taken many different styles for about 4 years. I had to quit practicing due my concussion issues and a general lack of desire to be beat up all the time (bruised and sore as a permanent condition isnt a fun way to go through life). There are times I miss it, but then I think about the crazy diet, constant working out, and re-allocation of priorities in my life, and it just doesnt make sense to get back into it. However, I enjoy watching mixed martial arts because I understand whats going on and I like analyzing the different tactical approaches.

I watched UFC 91 last night and DAMN. First of all, they said 54% of people thought Randy Couture was going to win. Those 54% obviously have ZERO knowledge about MMA, the combatants, or both. Brock Lesnar is a MONSTER, I saw him in person when he was a WWE wrestler, he is 6'3 about 285, they said he weighed in at 265, I would assume he cut water weight for the weigh in and was back to about 270-280 for the fight. His main weakness right now is his lack of submission defense, this resulted in his lone UFC loss (a disappointing submission loss by heel hook, its a version of a leg lock). His fighting background is as an amateur wrestler, he won the 2000 NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship. He is pretty much the epitome of "ground and pound". Randy Couture also has a background as a wrestler and he is around 6'1 220. At this point, his stand up boxing is superior to Lesnar's, and he is one of the best conditioned MMA heavyweights. His main weakness is lack of a submission game. What stands out here? Two fighters with the same general style, one of whom is younger and outweighs the other one by at least 50 lbs. I thought Couture's only way to win the fight was to turn it into a stand-up boxing match. Use his superior boxing skills to counter-punch Lesnar, keep from being taken down and control the pacing of the fight.

Here is a picture from the weigh in (Lesnar is the huge scary looking one)

What happened? First round was back and forth, in the second round, Lesnar took down Couture and proceeded to rain down punches on Couture's head for the TKO.

Lesnar will face a stronger test in the winner of the Nogueira vs Mir fight at UFC 92 (Mir was the one who defeated Lesnar by submission). Both have excellent submission skills and are closer in weight to Lesnar.

On a non Lesnar note, Dustin Hazelett had one of the sickest submissions I've ever seen. He got his opponent into a crossface figure 4 keylock, rolled him up onto his shoulders, and then straightened his arm into an armbar that looked like this. OUCH!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In a perfect world. . .

I'm so conflicted about returning to Wow. I would love to say "I'm over it", but I cant. I still blog about it, read blogs about it and talk to our guildmaster about it. In a perfect world, I would never have quit.

In a perfect world, my guildies would have rolled alliance on a PvE server.
In a perfect world, I would have a competant dual gatherer to generate $$.
In a perfect world my main would be my buff blonde bearded human pally, not a blood elf with the build of a 15yo and facial hair roughly as impressive.
In a perfect world, I wouldnt have to choose between people I like interacting with and enjoyment of the game.
(I would say in a perfect world, my tank would do reasonable DPS, but they fixed that)

Alas, it is not a perfect world. I am presented with 4 options: Go back to daggerspine, deal with the inevitable gankings, go back to Azuremyst deal with having to PuG anything I want to run, try to find a new PvE server with a group of people I can enjoy as much as my guildies, or stay in Wow exile. . .

PvP ruined the game for me. . .Lack of enjoyable guildies ruined the game for me. . .ARG!!!

Things blizzard did right and things that make me go WTF!?!?

So with a new expansion being released today, and probably the majority of people who would read blogs playing the game anyways, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the game before the expansion and look at things I think Blizzard did right, and things that make me go WTF!?!?!

Things Blizzard did right:

Old world content: Say what you will about this, although most people dont use it anymore, it was brilliantly designed and has stood the test of time. Even though players' power level has increased, the old world content can still be fun. Soloing BRD was one of the best times I've had, and our guild taking down Onyxia still felt good.

Character and Item models: I gripe about little things (I can't find a troll face I like and the blood elf facial hair options look ridiculous) but by and large it is excellent. The variety of different item models is very good. The inner accesorizer in me rejoices that my character can look cool.

Crafting: Its not perfect, but its the best of any game I've played. There is variety and depth. When I first started the game, my goals were to kill things and craft stuff, I was able to do both.

Things that make me go WTF?!?!?:

Gnome warriors: I will never give this up. Blizzard, this makes no sense, why blizzard, why?

Certain boss drops: One of the bosses in Tempest Keep is a giant plant. How would a plant drop anything? I understand a giant dragon, either it ate something, or it was laying around from an unsuccessful attempt, but a giant plant?

those are very minor gripes about the game in general, my more specific ones (*cough* PVP *cough*) are more of a personal dislike of mine, and not a true weakness of the game.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For those about to rock, we salute you. . .

OK, I admit it, I just wanted an excuse to use an AC/DC song as a blog title. But I think the message is appropriate. I will not be among the first wave of people to brave Northrend, but I salute those of you who are. I look forward to reading your accounts of the content and how things end up in the "live" version.

Things of particular interest to me:
How do Prot and Ret play at 80? From what I've read Holy remains about the same and although I've played holy and healed instances, its not my favorite thing. I love prot. No matter what anyone will say about the "nerf stick" I love the way it plays, I think it is pretty much perfect for me. . .at 70, how does it play at 80?

Frost Mages. . .in an ice based area? I've heard about frostfire bolt, interesting concept, how does it work in action? And will Frost damage immunity destroy the ability to AOE grind? Although I'm sure you could use frost nova to root and one of the many fire AOE's to do damage, but will that work?

For players on PvP servers: Is Northrend the PvP hell that I envisioned? I remember in the very near past 70's in arena gear landing near and ganking my defenseless character (really, what good is prot if they're not actively attacking you in melee?). The only defense is bubble/hearth. . .if both arent on cooldown. Is this a common occurance in the expansion?

Deathknights: I know the starting quests are epic. The gear looks sweet. How do they play? I've read reports from the beta, but thats beta, how are they live? Is blood predominantly a solo grinding build and Frost predominantly for tanking? How is tanking with no shield?

And one last question on a related note. How many gnome deathknights are there? WTF Blizzard? Gnome warriors are bad enough, but gnome deathknights, SERIOUSLY!?!?!? Disallow gnomes and Tauren, it makes PERFECT sense. Tauren because they're too big of tree hugging hippies to ever be death knights, gnomes because THEY'RE GNOMES, THEY'RE THREE FEET TALL!! Whats next? goblin deathknights? SMURF DEATHKNIGHTS!?!?!?

OK rant over. . .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The benefit of seeing both sides. . .

First of all, even though my account ended yesterday, I intend to continue blogging. Lets be honest, I started blogging well before reaching level 70, and I don't magically stop thinking about something I've been doing for 2 years overnight. I've never been a theorycrafter, I've never been a technical specialist on how to run instances or how to play each class. So I intend to continue reading blogs and blogging myself in my self imposed Wow exile, and who knows, I may come back. I quit hockey for 7 years and got back into it, and Wow isnt something you can be out of shape for.

Anyways, on to the topic I intended to post about. I got to thinking about the game as a whole. I haven't seen all the content in the game. There are a lot of Outlands instances I never went to, a lot of "old world" raids I never tried. One thing that I was able to do is level every class to 40 (save priest, I got to 20 and just lost interest), most of them Horde AND Alliance.

I think every player should take a few hours and roll up an alt on an opposing faction just to see what its like. I think one of the things I enjoy the most is taking a brand new character through the newbie zones and running low level content with them. I admit, I have never done Troll, Undead, or Gnome areas (I had a dwarf warrior, but deleted him in favor of a human, I'm short in real life, I don't need to be in the game). There are a ton of players in my guild who had/have never experienced the deadmines or the Stockades, and I'm sure there are a ton of alliance players who never ran Shadowfang Keep (well, non paladins), or Ragefire Chasm.

This content is well thought out and fun. It doesnt take very long to level a character to 20 or so (maybe mid 20's if you're doing stockades). Not to mention, if it sucks and you hate it, what else would you be doing? I know my guild was running maybe one instance a night, maybe doing some farming, there wasnt too much going on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why I quit warcraft. . . .

I made the decision some time ago, shortly after reaching level 70 actually. I cancelled my account, but decided as it didnt end till today, I would play out my remaining time to see A) did I make the right decision, and B) can I explain my decision to quit the game. Now, the answer to both questions is yes.

I want to start out by saying I love my guild. They are pretty much entirely the reason I stuck with the game in the first place. Previously in playing I got stuck at level 40 saying "now what?", and normally the answer was to just roll up another alt. Everyone in our guild is helpful and knowledgable, it is a great environment. I also feel like the guild membership helped me get better in my own skills. I learned marking and kill order from watching people in our guild do it. Our guild was definately NOT a reason for me leaving.

I've been thinking about it some time, and I basically have 2 reasons for leaving: PvP and grinding. I despise PvP. I don't like battegrounds, I don't like arena, and I definately don't like some douchebag ganking me while I'm going about my own business. I dislike this to a degree where I had considered quitting the game months ago, and it is the reason why I left for Azuremyst in the first place. I don't see this improving in WOTLK, in fact I see it getting worse. As my main character is a protection paladin, I simply don't have the tools to defend myself. Not that it really matters. Even if I was a PvP god and could kill any person who took up arms against me, it would still be time wasted when I could otherwise be doing something else.

How do you take the slaughter of hundreds of enemies using massively powerful and cool to look at abilities and make it not only not fun, but tedious and boring? You make it a means and not an end. I'll give you an example. One of my goals before I quit the game was to solo Black Rock Depths. Tons of mobs, I figured it would be fun. I got lost a lot and it took a long time, but I did it. I ended up getting about 200 runecloth and as I had a tailor, I figured it would be a good way to get runecloth to make runcloth belts to disenchant to get dream dust to level enchanting (this is how I think, characters provide for my other characters, cut out the middle man, cheap and efficient). When it changed from "I want to kill all these guys because I am powerful and I can" to "I need to kill these guys to harvest runecloth", it became tedious and not fun. The act was the same, the goal was not. Basically, from what I've seen, the game after you hit level 70 is a grind. You get to pick what you grind, instances for gear, mobs to get reputation to get gear, or gold to raise professions to get gear, but its still a grind, and grinds aren't fun. I LOVE AOE killing. But I like it because its an option, not because I have to do it.

So in summary I know why I quit, and I don't see either situation improving. WotLK will still have an endgame, and this endgame will still require grinding. It may extend the time between grinding, but it will still be an issue. Secondly, my entire guild is not going to pick up and move to a PvE server, and blizzard is not going to say "you know, prot paladins should be able to reflect ranged and spell damage too, so they can just stand there and pwn n00bz in Pvp". As I don't see either of these conditions changing, whether I quit the game now or quit later, the end result is the same. Doing it now just saves me the money on the monthly fee and buying the expansion.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Class: It's not the clothes I wear, it's who I am. . .

I will be the first to admit, I have a LOT of alts. I think it helps me understand the game better. However, I always go back to the paladin. To me, combat is straightforward, we put on heavy armor, I beat on you, you beat on me, you fall over first, I win. I think it is what drew me to tanking. I also think its why I had a big problem playing priests and mages (oh crap, the monster has gotten to me, AHHHHH!!!). Like my class I am straightforward, long term. My goal is not to do the most damage, be able to take the most damage. I want survivability. Do your worst, I can take it.

Paladins suit me. Other classes may have cool abilities, and/or be able to engage in activities that are fun (AOE grinding for the win!!!), paladin is what I always come back to. Its not to say I don't appreciate other classes: Druids with their utility are the true swiss army knives of the game, warlocks with their drain tanking and selection of pets, mages with their AOE damage (oh the AOE!!), warriors. . .which I would be really attracted to if they could heal themselves. . .but then they would be paladins that do more damage lol.

ok, rant time. If you rolled a Rogue on a PvE server and you don't BG or Arena, this probably does not apply to you. Oh, and I apologize in advance for the language, but it loses the effect if the offending language is removed.

What the hell kind of douchebag does it take to roll Rogue on a PvP server? I know you didnt roll it because you wanted to stand toe to toe and slug with someone, if you did, you'd be a warrior. No, you made a character to ruin other players' time. What kind of person goes "I want to make a character to kill people who can't fight back". Thats what stun-locking is. You don't have "epic skillz", you're an asshole who only wants to pick on people without retribution (no paladin pun intended). You are a large reason I am quitting warcraft, you and the fact that blizzard enabled you in the first place. Yes, I'm bitter.

My GM has a blog now. . .

This whole blogging thing is sort of like a communicable disease. Except a good disease. . .so its really not as much like a disease at all, but the analogy I was going for is that it is contagious. I've added his blog to my "blogs I read" category but the link is his character's name, coincidently enough, is ruhtra. Whenever I talk about "epic heals" thats him. I used to work with him, after a few weeks of "convincing" I bought the game and rolled up a character on the server he was on. Leshif was born. I've been back and forth from the server a few times since, after some more "convincing", I came back and leveled my original character from level 47 where he had been sitting to 70.

We ran heroic Mechanar last night, me because I want the sun eater. . .badly. Its the coolest looking 1h sword in the game. Our group makeup was rather interesting. I don't have the gold to throw around re-speccing, and I was in the middle of soloing Black Rock Depths when we decided to run (I don't have a flyer so I needed summoned anyways). I'd never run the instance before (regular or heroic), so we got one of our better tanks in the guild to tank it. We ended up with me, the warrior tank, ret pally, holy pally, and a rogue (who is the Kenny of our guild, he dies on every run, although I gave him a run for the money on this one).

The run went pretty smooth. I died A LOT, but only 1 group wipe. I did find out a few things: a) if I'm not tanking, I'm basically worthless - no mana recovery, weak heals, no DPS, b) some range is probably better than no range at all in an instance (I think this is the first time I've run all melee), and c) quality of heals and quality of tank is the biggest indicator of how a run will go. Our heals were great, our tank was great, and we basically 4 manned a heroic (ok, they 4 manned a heroic, I got killed so many times, my gear went red at which point I tossed around weak heals). No sun eater, but I may have almost enough gear to tank it myself.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things I will always remember. . .

There are certain moments from the game I will always remember. In no particular order:

My First epic (that I used): The Krol blade. I bought it from the auction house for 300g. At the time, I thought "hey, this is great, it will last me for 10 levels, and I'll make the money back." Now I think "man, I'd have a flyer now if it wasnt for buying that sword! However, at the time, I thought it was the best thing ever. It even came enchanted with the icy chill enchantment so it looked cool.

My discovery of AOE grinding (both Mage method and Prot pally method): First of all, although they both fall into the category of "AOE grinding" the methods are COMPLETELY different. The first character I tried this with was a Draenei mage on azuremyst. I actually got to the point where I did 10 green mobs at one time. It was awesome. Later I heard prot paladins could do something similar, so I re-specced my first character prot to try it. I was addicted from there. Although the mage method allows you to kill faster, to me the paladin method is more satisfying. There is just something about mobs killing themselves from beating on your shield. It is my single favorite thing in Wow.

My first time in outlands: I started playing Wow in 2006. I didnt make it to outlands till 2007. I started with a paladin on Daggerspine, decided I didnt like the server so I went to join a friend from college on Dentarg (who I never ran anything with ironically), made a bunch of alts on Dentarg, decided I didnt like that server, so I came back to Daggerspine, rolled up a brand new warrior who I leveled to 58 and brought to outlands (I then left daggerspine again for a PvE realm, but thats another story). It was amazing.

My first time main tanking an instance: That was just recently with my paladin, after understanding things a little bit better. I had "tanked" before with my warrior, but that was always with other people marking and with people in the group that I knew that knew the instance. Recently I actually started "main tanking" marking and directing who did what.

Soloing Scarlet Monastery: I did it last night, it was everything I hoped it would be. Actually the part I will remember is not the whole instance, but really just the cathedral. SOOOOO MANY MOBS, SO MANY FLASHING YELLOW NUMBERS. It was awesome.

Its a pretty short list. I guess a lot of the other things I've done in the game arent really that significant. I also still have the game till monday, I may be adding a few things to the list.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If you only had 5 days of Wow left. . .

I cancelled my Wow subscription last night. After the bit about the crying peon, they were nice enough to inform me I could continue to play until nov 10th, when my paid time expires. Now, inside of me, I have an older jewish man, his name is Ira Goldman. Ira yells at me if I waste money or make "frivolous" purchases. Ira will not allow me to "waste" the 5 days of Wow I have remaining.

So, I have a level 70 prot paladin, some blues, some auctionable items, an assload of alts, and about 400g. What do I want to do with my remaining wow time?

1. Off tank Karazan - I know I cant main tank it, but I would like to at least see it.

2. See how high of instances I can solo. I am definately going to solo scarlet monastery, I may try black rock depths for fun, we'll see from there.

3. Master enchanting. 300, thats it, not 375, I should have enough mats and such to do this, and I have money to burn.

4. Heroic Mechanar till the sun eater drops. If I can do heroic underbog, I can do heroic mechanar. Provided we have a warlock to summon me (no flier).

5. Complete my gear set. Right now my shield (although allegedly being an upper level item) looks like something you'd get from a level 1 quest. I'm also wearing pretty basic boots and my chest came from ramps.

I dont think those are very major. No grinding, no having to get 900 gold for a flyer, should be done fairly easily. I'll get to what I get to. . .

Wow, I think its time we see other people. . .

It feels like breaking up, it really does. I posted before that I wasnt done with the game, I still had things to do. I said I would know when I was "done" with the game. I'm there. A weird thing happened when I hit 70, the game changed completely.

I'd read about it on others' blogs, I thought I was mentally prepared for it, but I guess it's one of those things you can never appreciate fully till it happens to you. As a lvl 68-69 I was great, mostly in blues, I tanked Shattered Halls, I was running upper level content, everything was great. I would AOE grind on the orcs in the bone wastes for their marks, everything was great. When I hit 70, everything changed. There was no more experience, the only thing till the expansion was the pursuit of gear.

This left me in a curious position. I could grind mobs for reputation (25 rep per mark of sargeras, which doesnt necessarily drop from every mob, 12,000 rep to get the breastplate I want, blech!). I could grind battlegrounds for reputation (I DESPISE Pvp, this option would probably consist of me AFKing while playing guitar hero till I got enough points). I could grind instances (lets see, how many times do I need to run to get the piece of gear I want, so I can run something higher to get some other piece of gear I want, how many times can I run before 11/14?). There is also the small matter of being about 500g short of a flying mount with no real money making abilities, so I'd have to find some way to grind for gold too.

An additional issue that has been weighing heavily on my mind is how things will operate when the expansion hits. Daggerspine is a medium to high population Pvp server. I would guess a good percentage of them have either high end Pvp or high end Pve gear, or both. I have neither. The visions I have dancing through my head are of highly geared players (take your pick, rogue, druid, mage, warlock, basically anybody NOT a warrior) ganking me repeatedly while I'm trying to level. The only alternative would be to move to a PvE server and leave all my friends on the Pvp server (something I tried, and why I have characters on azuremyst, it was not satisfying to me for different reasons).

Basically I feel like I'm stuck, more stuck than I was when I came back. Stuck past a point where time and effort will fix it. So, sorry Wow, I think its time we see other people. I may see ya around, but for now I think this is best for both of us.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Whats the opposite of heroic?

So the daily heroic yesterday was Underbog. Not only was it my first heroic, it was my first time in underbog at all (I had run slavepens before and got the 2 confused). Yeah, the only thing heroic about the run was the difficulty, where to start.

I am decidedly undergeared for heroics, a big part of that is although I am all gemmed out, I basically have no enchants at all (havent had the $$ to raise enchanting). I am sitting currently at around 10k health, 11k armor and 440 defense. I rarely get crit (according to a calculator, I will get crit around 1% of the time), my bigger problem seems to be mitigation, health, and armor. I get hit a lot, the hits hurt, and I take them too fast to be healed effectively. Another problem with my tanking at the heroic level is the way that I play in general. When I level, or rep grind or whatever, I AOE grind almost exclusively. I take between 3-8 mobs at a time, no problems. 3 mobs at a time on heroics is overload for the healer. Another issue is consecration. I need it to hold aggro, it has a tendency to break CC.

So moving on from my personal problems I'll outline the run. Basically, we'd do 2 pulls, overpull, wipe, repeat. The reasons for the wipes was a combination of my relative squishiness and the healer not being able to keep up with the mobs damage. I will say, when he switched to exclusively chain healing me, I was pretty much the only one who died. Our epic healer switched in about 3/4 way through the run and things went much smoother after that, no wipes.

I ended up spending more in repairs than I got from the daily quest + loot, and I got 5 badges.

If I cant run heroics and none of the regular lvl 70 instances have real upgrades for me, I am stuck. I refuse to waste my time in battlegrounds, I've honestly considered AFK'ing and just playing guitar hero. Yes, I've also considered quitting Wow altogether and its a very real possibility.

I guess I have gotten to the "time sink" portion of the game, and I'm starting to think I have more enjoyable "time sinks".

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ding 70. . . .Now what?

I dont know what I was expecting. I thought level 70 would be some kind of momentous occasion that would see a drastic jump in power and make me instantly able to do things I couldnt at 69. I thought wrong. What it really made me was frustrated and slightly confused.

Right after dinging 70, I went to do some quests to get some gold (I'm broke from crafting and buying some gear for leveling, I have like 300g on my main), I got ganked a few times. I went to go try to grind Aldor reputation because the breastplate from revered with them is a major upgrade (12,000 freaking rep!!!), I got ganked. As a matter of fact, the only activity I can engage in which doesnt cause me to get ganked is run instances. Since I no longer get experience, I'm spending an hour running through something for one piece of gear (maybe 2 if I'm lucky), which generally won't drop, to repeat the cycle to get better gear. An alternative to this cycle is to engage in Pvp (either arena or battleground), neither of which I have any interest in.

I've always seen this as a weakness of Wow. Not really a weakness per se, but an area of concern for me. I've never been interested in 25 man raids. I like instances, but not really in and of themselves, more as an avenue to improve my character. I really like crafting. However, crafting requires gathering or an insane amount of money.

So, Nov 13th I have 10 more levels to look forward to. I can get ganked by deathknights, in addition to the other classes that see my inability to hit from range or do high amounts of burst damage (in effect everyone but warriors) and think "target".

I thought at 70 my gaming experience would be different. It is. . . .but not in a good way.