Author Archive for

23
Apr
17

The Mythic Roadblock

I, like many others, am full-blown casual this expansion. My guild is a barely-there assortment of people who log on, play solo in silence, and log off without any real interaction. There are no guild raids, no guild dungeon runs. I don’t even read chat anymore because there’s never anything there.

I think that this is increasingly common in the game, as the role of guilds as an organizational tool has been replaced by in-game grouping systems.

This model suits me just fine right now. Heroics can be queued for and run in silence. LFR covers raids. World quests give gear upgrades. Artifact Power provides a feeling of progress and something to grind.

But it seems that so many of the progression paths in the game run through mythics.

  • Unlocking the Suramar questline… mythic Court of Stars and Arcway (I know that has changed)
  • New remade Karazhan? Mythic only. (yes, that has changed, too)
  • Want to craft a legendary weapon? Mythic dungeon runs required.
  • Following the profession questlines? Mythic dungeons.
  • etc…

For players like me, these represent a real obstacle. The only way to do mythics is to have a group, or to venture into LFG, where you might be judged based on your item level, kicked for low dps, or called names for dying to boss mechanics. You have to actually interact with people.

Now, my item level is fine. My dps is fine. I don’t die too often. I don’t get kicked. And yet I still feel put off whenever I have to go into a mythic dungeon. I know it is an MMO, and I know what that stands for, but the designers have done so much to turn this into a solo game that the mythic system seems almost out of place.

Right now I’m spending hours trying to get into mythic Darkheart Thicket as a dps. Tedious and boring, just hitting refresh on the LFG tool. This is not my preferred part of the game.

13
Apr
17

Raiding, sort of

I’ve done some more of the new Broken Shores quests on both my shaman and my rogue. Both are interesting, with a bit of class flavor. I really look forward to the parts of the game that are tailored to your class, race, or faction. It gives the game replayability. I’m actually curious to play on my priest or druid now, just to see how their story progresses.

I think I preferred the shaman one, just because the new follower we got was an actual lore figure that I know (and hate). The rogue’s new follower was a lesser lore character.

I was talking to someone and we reminisced about the Fangs of the Father legendary questline back in Cataclysm. That was probably the best solo activity I’ve done in the game. Too bad Blizzard has moved away from such unique events.

Raiding

I have actually had a chance to raid recently. It is baby raiding, as in we’re doing normal Emerald Nightmare. But it is better than LFR and gives me a chance to play with other actual humans (unlike LFR, where many of the other player might as well be poorly programmed AI NPCs). We have voice chat and a raid leader. Such a throwback to the good old days.

In all my years of playing, I have never used a paid character service like a faction transfer or name change. I’m now considering it. I’ve been raiding with some RL friends and their guild. Unfortunately, I am not on their server, so we can’t trade items during the raid. This may be a reason to move to their server and join their guild.

That would provide me another new experience. I’ve never been in a guild other than my current one. I’ve never seen how other guilds operate. This might be a bad time to experience this, because a lot of guilds are suffering these days (my friend’s guild is no exception). But it might be interesting to be in a guild where I’m not an officer.

Shaman

My raiding has been on my tauren shaman. His item level is now higher than my rogue’s. However, I can easily pull more single target dps on my rogue than I can on the shammy. Years of muscle memory, I guess. I still have to think about what I’m doing on the shaman. Still, I have made a good showing on the dps meters in our raids. If I pop Stormkeeper then my AoE is through the roof, and there are plenty of fights with adds.

Upcoming

I have more to do than I could possibly finish in any immediate time frame.

  • get my followers to 900 so I can do the Challenge Mission
  • Get to revered rep with the new faction to get Legion Flying
  • work on crafting a legendary with my leatherworker rogue
  • track down the recently located Riddler’s Mind-Worm mount
  • keep playing so I can get a 2nd legendary for my shaman

 

23
Mar
17

What’s in a Main?

Hi. My name is Dinaer. And I’m an elemental shaman.

I’ve been playing my rogue as my main since vanilla. I’ve gone out of my way to do all of my important achievements and accomplishments on that character. No matter what role I was playing for the good of the guild, my rogue was my main. When I tanked on my pally in Wrath, I still played my rogue more. When I healed on a resto druid through Cata and into Pandaria, I still made sure to play my rogue first and foremost.

My guild, having lasted since early vanilla, is now all but inactive. There are 5-10 players that log on sporadically, but there are never more than 2-3 on at a time. We tried to get a raid group going, but couldn’t field more than 8 logged on for a raid night that was advertised weeks in advance.

I leveled a tauren shaman to have the chance to play with some friends. Today, I did LFR Gul’dan for the first time, and I did it on my shaman. As far as I remember, this is the first time I have killed a final raid boss on an “alt” before doing it first on my rogue.

Which begs the question – is the shaman my alt? I spend more playtime on the shaman than the rogue. I have done Karazhan on the shaman, not the rogue. I have cleared Nighthold (LFR) on the shaman, not the rogue.

I guess I’m a shaman now.

08
Mar
17

View From the Horde side

I have been an alliance player almost exclusively since vanilla. My guild is alliance, and so there was never a compelling reason to play horde. I’ve started a couple of horde characters, but never played them to the level cap.

In the Demon Invasion event preceding Legion, I used the big XP from the invasion events to level a Tauren shaman to 100. I didn’t do anything with him other than the invasions, but he reached the level cap, which was an accomplishment.

I have a few friends that have come back to WoW, but they are playing horde. Since my guild isn’t doing anything these days, I decided to jump onto the Horde side of things. I played quickly through the main storylines in the four main zones and reached 110 in two weeks of sporadic playtime.

I was a little let down when I saw that the storylines were almost exactly the same on the Horde side. There were a couple of divergences – a couple of flight paths that are Horde-only, a couple of specifically Horde quest-givers. But for the most part everything was identical.

That was disappointing to me. In vanilla and earlier expansions, playing Horde gave you a whole different side of the story than playing Alliance. I wonder if this is one of those details that Blizzard has lost along the way in order to streamline game production.

Anyway, now I may actually have some friends online to run with. That will be a welcome change.

Now I just have to figure out how to dps with an elemental shaman. Or I need to level my restoration artifact.

01
Mar
17

What Does Casual Look Like?

I keep reading posts on Reddit complaining about all the RNG on top of RNG, and how the grind is ruining the game.

The more I read, the more I think that the really involved players – the dedicated raiders and the ones that are most likely to post on Reddit – don’t actually understand or care about how the vast majority of players play. This isn’t new, of course, but I’m really seeing a wide gulf between the expectations of different play groups.

Once upon a time, I was like them. I had structured play times, raid times, farming times. I had lists of gear upgrades and I knew where they dropped. I made sure to run heroics and do dailies to chase whatever carrot was being dangled in front of us at the time.

Let me describe my playtime now. I’ll also add that this is the playstyle of nearly every player I currently know, including many that go all the way back to vanilla and that were former raiders.

Legendaries – I have two legendaries on my main, and one on each of my two most played alts. I have no idea if they are “good” or “bad” legendaries because I have never taken the time to look up what legendaries are available. Since my gear level is in the 860-870 range, ANY legendary at iLVL 910 will be a big upgrade. Even the utility talents can be useful when soloing, which is 99% of my playing. Sephuz’s Secret is great as an extra movement buff when I am stealthing through a bunch of stuff to get to a quest objective.

World Quests – This makes up almost all of my playtime. I keep up on my emissary quests in order to get reputation, with the goal of hitting exalted with each faction so that I can get the flying meta. (I haven’t looked up what I need for the flying meta, but I know that’s one of them). Also, all of my legendaries have dropped from emissary caches, so I keep doing them for that reason.

Mythics – I have run a few. One with a +1 keystone to try it, but mostly without. My only motivation for running the mythics has been to get attuned for Karazhan. I did that with my group of friends, but that took weeks to coordinate our play time.

Karazhan – As a BC raider, I was really looking forward to this. It is, however, really long. We’ve gone in twice. The first time we spent the evening on opera and maiden. We didn’t look up videos or strats. We just played until we figured it out. The second time in we did opera, maiden, and moroes. That’s as far as we’ve been.

Raids – Just LFR. And that only a few times. I don’t get gear upgrades in LFR, so there is little point to doing it over again once I’ve seen it.

Some would say that this makes me “bad” because I’m not doing Mythic +15. I disagree with that term. I haven’t tried and failed out of a lack of skill. Its like saying that a guy who plays basketball in his driveway is “bad” at basketball. When compared to NBA players, sure. But he’s not playing against NBA players, so who cares? As long as he’s having fun shooting in his driveway, then his goal is reached.

I still play more days than not. I’m having fun. I’m not chasing anything super-rare like the fox mount or a specific legendary. I basically feel like this game was made for me, and it’s great. The more dedicated players can have their complaints, but they don’t speak for me.

01
Nov
16

Phasing

My wife and I finally got some WoW time this weekend.

I tell her, “meet me at Khadgar in Dalaran and we’ll pick up where we left off.”

She says, “I’m at Khadgar”

I don’t see her. Hmmm. Oh, yeah – phasing. I invite her to my party, and then *POP* she appear standing next to me.

Issue #1 – I have no idea how the phasing works, but you would think that people on your own server – especially in your own guild – would be given some preferential treatment when phasing happens. You should be more likely to be in the same phase with people on your server or in your guild.

Later, we are questing in Suramar. Parts of the intro questline there must be done solo, so even though we are in the same party and on the same quest we cannot see each other. Alright, I get it – the quest was designed for solo play so this is a choice made by the developers.

But then the quests are over, I see other players standing in Meredil, but not my wife. She’s on my minimap, but I don’t see her. I drop group and reinvite her. *POP* there she is.

Issue #2 – people in a party together should always be in the same phase by default

I will say that the phasing has made it sometime inconvenient to quest together while leveling. I get the reasons for it, and I see the utility of it, but there are times when it is a hassle.

 

31
Oct
16

Blizzcon coming soon

I’m a little concerned about Blizzcon.

I’ve been watching Blizzcon for many years. It has always been a source of excitement and entertainment. Not only were there always great game-related announcements, but we got to see guys like Chris Metzen, Mike Morhaime, Greg Street, and Alex Afrasiabi geeking out over their creations. We have seen Elite Tauren Chieftan bang on their instruments and a guy in a red shirt stump the authors of the game’s lore.

With the recent spate of departures among some of the senior designers at the game, I think we will be seeing a lot of different faces at Blizzcon this year. No longer will Metzen greet us with his geeky introductions in his distinctive voice. Will Morhaime still show up on stage?

So without the familiar personalities, and with no sign of any big announcements, I worry that this year’s event will be very corporate. Rather than a celebration of the game itself, it will be more of a toast to its success, and an emphasis on e-sports. While that is still admirable, that’s not what people pay all that money to see.

I am hoping that I am surprised. Maybe they have a trick or two up their sleeve.




Armory

Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Add to Technorati Favorites
website statistics








World of Warcraft™ and Blizzard Entertainment® are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the United States and/or other countries. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright © Blizzard Entertainment. This site is in no way associated with Blizzard Entertainment®

Blog Stats

  • 1,271,801 hits