Friday, April 29, 2011

It's the Little Things... (part 5)

Stand and Deliver!
Lest Ze Blog lapse into too much QQ, I was thinking about things I really really enjoy in the game...details in particular that don't really fit into any larger topic:
  • Using an invisibility potion while running up the steps of Farson Keep on Tol Barad so I can bypass all the trash mobs and engage Lord Farson for that one daily quest. It's even better when you get there and somebody already has him mostly dead so you hit him once and immediately start running out again.
  • Getting a really lucky streak with Lava Surge proccs and slamming a boss with Lava Burst over and over and over again.
  • Getting to fly over Uldum. That place has some of the coolest scenery.
  • Thieving Little Pluckers: a daily quest that never gets old.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Gameplay May Change During Online Play"

Nub Tales: showing us how we wish this problem played out
You don't expect wisdom to be found in the ESRB rating, and yet if you consider WoW's "T for Teen" tag and the little caveat printed there at the end, you find pure gold: "Gameplay May Change During Online Play."

They are referring to online interactions changing gameplay. But is it really "gameplay?"  How we play the game is affected by online interaction? Yes, it is.

Blizzard developers put so much effort into developing WoW, tweaking the classes, balancing the fights, and refining the talent trees. They can make content and stories til the cows come home. I can love my character and all the things she can do, and I can play my character well. I can get some hawt lootz, down a new boss and get some funky achievements.

But this doesn't change the fact that pretty much daily, I run into players who seem to get off on harassing and abusing other people, and getting to spend time with these people can pretty well spoil an otherwise nice day of WoW gaming. The online interaction with other players defines WoW play experience as much as, if not more, than any mechanics or new content.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Will Only End in Tears ...

Visit The Daily Blink for the best WoW commentary around.
Let's start by fully quoting the "plan" to reduce queue time:

  • The Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms will now identify which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level-85 Heroic dungeon.
  • The least represented class icon will show within the Dungeon Finder to indicate the role that is eligible to earn the bonus reward.
  • Players must queue solo with the currently indicated least represented class (by the system) and complete the dungeon up to and including the final boss in order to be eligible for the bonus reward.
  • The bonus reward will be displayed to eligible (system identified as least represented) classes within the UI.
  • Once the dungeon is completed the eligible player will receive a goodie bag with various potential rewards including: gold, rare gems, non-combat pets, and (very rare) mounts.
I mean, the Daily Blink pretty well says it all up there. I wish I were so talented as to be able to sum up the problem so neatly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The C(rowd) C(ontrol) Disconnect

New fury warrior CC: "Summon Riot Police"!!
It is just a few months into the Cataclysm. People seem to largely be getting along, the initial shock of heroic dungeons has abated somewhat. We are discovering that outfitting your char in ilvl 359 gear (current raid gear) takes a lot of the edge off dying and stuff.

I've written about how RL is messing with my play time, so in order to do any dungeons, the Randon Dungeon Queue and I are becoming reacquainted, so I have been able to see how the random groups are going

However, in general...very much in general... There are still a few problems going on with how a general heroic run goes: In particular, the tanks are starting to ignore the need for CC again. Tanks are approaching 200 thousand health of course, and healers throughput is growing and growing and those two things reduce the need for CC considerably. I can honestly say that I have met some tanks who can do all this. Most however, cannot.

Why tanks still shouldn't ignore CC.
Mobs that do things besides hit the tank If all the mobs you're fighting are content to smack the tank, then that reduces CC needs a lot. If, however, one or more mobs are interested in healing, throwing interrupts at the casters, or have abilities that cause them to randomly target non-tanks, then CC remains a good idea.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hop on the 4.1 Train! Toot Toot!

ZG and ZA are back. Because there can never be enough "troll" in your WoW play experience.

Ya see that headline up there?  That's pretty well all the enthusiasm I have been able to muster for Patch 4.1. Please enjoy it.

I'm not sure what to make with this patch. They call it a "content" patch, but really... I'm not sure what the real content is going to be. There's no new raid. The new dailies zone has disappeared into a fog of ones and zeroes.

The "new" content: Re-purposed troll instances from two and three expansions ago. Really? Is that the best we can do? I was reading the back story about what's going on in Trollville these days. It turns out the Zandalari Trolls are causing the problems. Gosh, that's disappointing. I mean, for years now, they have been "the good trolls." And it's Vol'jin of the Horde rallying BOTH FACTIONS against the rising threat in the various Zul-'s.  I'm honestly not sure what to make of that. Y'know, the Alliance and the Horde are kinda in the midst of a full-out war in most areas of Azeroth.  It's increasingly well-documented that Vol'jin is not alright with this war, but he's not leaving the Horde either, and reaching out to the Alliance seems like a real long-shot.  Nevertheless, the blues say Vol'jin's people will be waiting for Alliance players in SW Harbor come patch day.

Anyway. Troll dungeons are visually interesting, but pretty limited in style, really. And I'm bloody sick of them. It doesn't help that I have a special room of hatred in my heart for ZA, which was far and away one of the most punishing raids Blizzard ever made. "Self," I told myself the last time I ran ZA back in the day, "At least this is done and there won't be any need to come back here." Oh how naive I was.

If there was any consideration about how much "new" was going into these dungeons, I was reading the preview of the new Troll thing going on and ran across this quote in the blue post about Zul'Aman: "For those who fought Zul'jin back during The Burning Crusade, much of the dungeon will feel similar..."