Archive for the ‘WoW’ Category

It Happened

We reactivated our WoW accounts!

We had last week off work as holiday and decided to take advantage of the Scroll or Resurrection promotion. The free 7 days you get with that finished on Sunday morning and we paid for a month. It’s probably not the best decision we’ve made (we both have fairly addictive personalities) but I have to say that I am enjoying playing again.

 

As I’ve previously mentioned, my wife is all about levelling alts and some things haven’t changed. A day or two in to our free time, she said she wanted to create another Hunter (she already has 2). I suggested that she try another class and she agreed to give a Warrior a go. She’s tried Warriors in the past and always deleted them because she didn’t get on with the class mechanics, this time she’s really enjoying it and has already got to 51.

I’m really glad she’s liking her Warrior better this time around, I love playing Wizzbit so it’s good to see her enjoying the class. She’s gone with a Fury build and, while I’ve given her a few pointers, I’m letting her level and discover the class at her own pace running her through dungeons when needed. (Next up, I need to get her to embrace the dungeon finder!)

 

As for me…

I’ve been busy gearing my Priest through LFR. I did a full run on Sunday afternoon where I didn’t win anything, then went again on Wednesday which was much more fruitful. I won the tier leg token and a set of bracers in The Siege of Wrymrest Temple and then got the tier shoulder token and off-hand from Fall of Deathwing. Three really solid upgrades and one (the bracers) that was kinda meh. Mr Robot rates the bracers as 5th on the BiS list, just above my existing 378 set, so I’ve not bothered equipping them as I really want the get the crafted ones only I’m too tight to spend 10k gold on them. If I see a pattern going cheap I’ll snag that for my Mage and make them myself (the pattern’s been as low as 500g on Horde side so I might have to work something out if it comes up for that price again.)

I’m 200 VP short of a new helm, which I’ll get today or tomorrow and then it’ll take me another 4 weeks to get the belt, ring & neck (probably in that order, though I’m not totally sure yet as they’re all about equal upgrades).

I realised that I’d never taken my Priest to Deepholm, so I spent a few hours and quested through the zone to get access to the Therazane dailies. I should hit exalted here in a couple more days and then have access to the epic shoulder enchants.

I used the Scroll of Resurrection level boost perk to skip my Shaman over Northrend, which was handy as (to be honest) I wasn’t really that excited about levelling her. She also got free epic flight and a full set of gear, frostweave bags and some other stuff out of the deal, so that was nice.

Lastly, I dusted off my Hunter and levelled her to from 77 to 80. In doing so, I discovered that I actually rather enjoy playing her so I’ve carried on levelling and hit 84 last night. I’ve run around 6 LFD groups with her in the last couple of days and have been able to top the meters in every group so I don’t know if that says I’ve had crap groups or that I’m playing her well (I’m spec’d Marksman currently). I’m going to go with the latter as it’s better for my ego!

 

Oh also, I’ve made around 20k gold in the week since we’ve been back, so that’s good. The gem market is still moderately buoyant, even this late in the expansion, though there’s a lot more competition about with a few new names on the scene. This said, I’m still turning good profit with Jewelcrafting accounting for half my income. The rest has come from a combination of Enchanting scrolls (~2k), the questing I’ve been doing (~2.5k in quest rewards) and selling random crap I’ve been lucky enough to pick up.

Shadows and Dust

Mists of PandariaI was talking to my wife the other day and we both decided that we miss playing WoW.

I started playing played when it was initially released. I played the beta, towards the end to be sure, but what I got to experience had me hooked. My wife started playing about a year in, while she was still living in the US

For the longest time, WoW was a significant part of our lives; we played together and we both enjoyed it. It gave us something to do together that was quite affordable, certainly cheaper than a lot of alternatives (have you seen the price of cinema tickets lately?!) Last October, we quit.

There were a number of reasons that we took the decision to cancel, the most obvious being that we were moving house and were going to be without internet access for a while. Additionally, as time progressed, we found that we had different “goals” we wanted to achieve in the game:

I like the end-game element and am happy to power through the levelling phase in the fastest, most efficient way I can. I love running dungeons (in fact, I levelled DK from 58-81 pretty much exclusively by tanking random dungeons via LDF). I like to theorycraft about how I can get the most out of my characters, which talents/abilities will benefit me the most and yes, I confess, I’m a bit of a loot whore.

My wife on the other hand is all about the levelling. She could quite happily spend her time creating alt after alt, exploring all the quest lines that the game as to offer and generally progressing at a leisurely pace, taking in the sights and sounds that side of the game offers.

Both are perfectly valid ways of playing the game and I don’t begrudge her in the least. We both have our preferred play-styles and that’s fine. I’ll happily quest with her and when we do, we’re actually extremely efficient. But for me questing is a means to an end, not the end it’s self. The problem comes when she tries to join in with my preferred aspects of the game. She freely admits that she doesn’t like to raid but, since I do, she does (did) on occasion jump in to raids with me. It was one such raid that was the proverbial nail in the coffin for her.

The raid wasn’t going well, tempers flared and comments were made to the effect of  “certain members of the group aren’t pulling their weight”. The raid fell apart, she logged out and immediately cancelled her subscription. After that, my own play-time dwindled back until I was pretty much only logging in to update my auctions so in the end, I cancelled my account as well.

 

So now the question is: How much do we really miss playing WoW?

Personally, I know that I could reactivate my subscription tomorrow and pick up playing pretty much were I left off. My DK still has 4 levels to go and I’d like to max her out before MoP. The same could be said for my Rogue & Mage and to a lesser extent my Warlock & Hunter.

MoP interests me, though I know that my wife is completely against the introduction of the Pandarian as a playable race. I’d probably give a Monk a try but to be honest, based on when I last played, I actually be tempted to focus on my Priest as my main this time around. I really enjoyed levelling her and was just starting to get in to healing. Our guild always struggled for healers so a full time Priest would be an asset there (saying this, a lot of the guild have quit WoW so this might be totally irrelevant anyway!)

Right now I have ~2.5 months of EVE game time paid for so I’m going to keep playing that until it runs out before I decide anything, but you never know… I might be back. (The simple fact that I’m writing this tells me that it’s a strong possibility, unless something significant happens in the next couple of months!)

Back In The Blogosphere!

Well, maybe…

So I’ve quit WoW. Maybe for good this time, my account’s been inactive since we moved house back in October. I did get 7 days of free time a couple of months back, which was kinda fun, but since most of my guild has quit as well (for ToR or life) it just wasn’t the same.

Following the house move, we were without internet until late January (long story, suffice to say that the cable TV company in this area sucks) so I didn’t have much opportunity for online gaming. We did have some internet for a while which, rather neatly, coincided with one of the ToR beta weekends so I got to give that a go, it was above average, but clearly not superb or I’d have bought it. Mostly, I entertained myself by playing X3:TC and Crysis 2 between doing work on the house.

Once we got out internet up and running, I played a bit of City of Heroes (which is F2P now) running two accounts with a Blaster & Tanker. Entertaining, but that’s about it. Mostly I’ve been looking for something new to play.

New Worlds (literally)

Seems like I’m not the only person to be giving up WoW. One of the blogs I read (Greedy Goblin) has alsodecided to quit WoW and has started playing EVE Online. I’ve mentioned EVE before, but only briefly and never in glowing terms, I’ve always got turned off by the persistent PVP aspect of the game. This time I decided to do some homework before getting stuck in and read a bunch of stuff. Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned:

  • Someone is waiting to blow you up every time you undock from a station.
    Not really. From my reading, the odds of getting ganked are fairly low as long as you observe certain unwritten rules.
    Very few players in EVE are willing to attack another player in “high-sec” (high security) space. The reason for this is simple; if you attack someone unprovoked, the NPC police (CONCORD) will blow you up in return, loosing your ship, and reduce your security status. Low enough security status means that (eventually) the local law enforcement will attack you on sight. For another player to attack you they need to make a decent profit from the encounter.
    As an example; Assume I’m flying a ship worth 1 million ISK with a cargo worth 20 million ISK. If I get blown up, there’s only around a 50/50 chance that the wreck I leave behind will contain that cargo so you can assume that blowing me up is worth 10 million ISK to my attacker. If their ship (and the time taken to rebuild their security status) is worth less than that, then I might find myself floating in space, otherwise I should be fairly safe. Generally speaking, it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that you’ll get attacked for less than 50 million profit (experiences may vary).
  • EVE is hard!
    I’ll admit EVE looks complicated and indeed it can be. But the beginner tutorials are informative and pay out a nice chunk of starting capital to boot (~7 million ISK). Each faction (of which there are four you can play) have three starter systems and you can do the quests in all three giving you a solid 20 million ISK within a few hours (enough to buy and fit a Cruiser). From there, you can really do whatever takes your fancy. Trading, Mining, Mission running, Pirating etc. If you’re unsure, apply to join a Corporation (Guild) like EVE Uni who will help you learn the ropes and even supply you with basic ships.
    One of the hardest aspects of EVE is the skill system. Unlike WoW, where you can grind levels as fast as you like picking up new abilities along the way, EVE is limited to learning skills in real-time. If you want to fly a bigger ship, you need to learn the appropriate piloting skills. Want to shoot a bigger gun, same thing. There’s a number of free tools available that let you input what you want to do and output a list of skills and the order you need to train them.
    In may ways, this aspect of the game is a real positive. With WoW you can grind out 85 in a week and have no clue how to play your class. The slower learning pace in EVE means that you gain experience by doing more mundane things while learning the next skill. Over time you can do more and more as you acquire the necessary experience.

For now, I’ve paid for 60 days game time and will see if I’m still enjoying it when that runs out. At the moment, I’m enjoying it. The theory-crafting of which skills are going to help me the most is the sort of thing I like to obsess over and I’ve already got a few plans in my head for business ventures I’d like to explore, but I’ll talk about these more in a future post (assuming I keep bloging). I know Crystal likes when I blog so I’ll have at least one reader, not that that really matters!

Leveling Your Bank Balance

Lone StarListen! We’re not just doing this for the money! We’re doing this for a SHIT LOAD of money!”
 – Lone Star (Spaceballs)

This is one of the articles I originally planned to write when I started this here little blog of mine.

One of the things I’ve come to despise over my years playing WoW is people that constantly complain they have no money to train their abilities or to learn the riding skills. Let’s take a look at riding specifically as this is a skill that everyone will need to learn sooner or later (preferable sooner).

  • Apprentice Riding – Requires level 20, costs 4g, grants 60% increased movement speed, mounts cost 1g each
  • Journeyman Riding – Requires level 40, costs 50g, grants 100% increased movement speed, mounts cost 10g each
  • Expert Riding – Requires level 60, costs 250g, grants 150% increased movement speed, mounts cost 50g each, allows you to fly in Outland
  • Flight Master’s License – Requires level 60, costs 250g, allows you to fly in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor etc
  • Cold Weather Flying – Requires level 68, costs 500g, allows you to fly in Northrend
  • Artisan Riding – Requires level 70, costs 5000g, grants 280% increased movement speed, mounts cost 100g each
  • Master Riding – Requires level 80, costs 5000g, grants 310% increased movement speed

Excluding Master Riding, which you don’t really need, by the time you get to level 80 you will have spent 6215g on riding and four mounts; two land mounts (one slow, one fast) and two flying mounts (one slow, one fast).

In reality this is not an exact figure, there are various factors that will mostly help to decrease this cost, though buying yourself additional mounts will naturally nudge it back up.

By the time you hit 58, you should be *at least* Revered (more likely Exalted if you bought a tabard) with your home-city faction (eg Stormwind) so make sure you train your riding in whichever city you have the highest standing. This can give you up to 20% discount on training costs. If you’re in a level 24+ guild you will also have Bartering which gives you a further 10% discount. Combined, you can reduce your costs by up to 30% bringing that initial 6215g figure down to a rather more manageable 4350g.

For arguments sake, let’s pick somewhere in the middle and say your guild isn’t level 24 yet and that you’re highest city reputation is Revered. This gives you 15% discount meaning that you’re looking at 5283g. Add to that your costs to train your class abilities, which for a Paladin is about 240g, and you’re looking at somewhere around a 5500g investment to level your character. To some folks this will seem like a huge amount but it’s really not. So, how do you achieve this? It’s simple and here’s how:

Bags

The first tip is get your bags sorted out. If you’re starting out on a new server, this might come later in the process, but it’s important to think about this. More bag space means fewer trips to the vendor, mail box or auction house. It’s worth investing in a set of bags as soon as you have the gold to spare, the bigger the better. While in the short term this may reduce your gold balance, this investment will be repaid many times over in the long run.

Your Junk Is Someone Else’s Treasure

Grey items should be sold to your nearest vendor. White items have some sort of use by a profession so you should try selling these on the auction house. Green, Blue & (eventually) Purple items carry the highest value and so should, again, go on the Auction House.

Many gold bloggers advocate the creation of a bank character and so do I. Spend 5-10 minutes to create a level 1 character and run them to the nearest capital city. Once there, send anything that you’re going to sell at auction to this character. Doing this means that you only have to leave the area you’re questing in when you want to go and train. At other times, just find a mail box and a vendor and clear your bags.

Generally speaking I stick to the following pattern for selling stuff based on the item quality:

  • White (Common) – List one or two times. If it doesn’t sell, vendor it
  • Green (Uncommon) – List one or two times. If it doesn’t sell, vendor it. Alternatively if you know an enchanter have them disenchant it and sell the mats instead
  • Blue (Rare) – List it three or four times. If it doesn’t sell, treat as above
  • Purple (Epic) – Keep re-listing until it sells, because it most likely will eventually

I generally list common items for 12 hours and everything else for 24 hours. The shorter duration on common items is because you’re more likely to get undercut in these markets.

Professions

Personally, I see little point in picking up a crafting profession much before you get to level 80. If you level at a reasonable pace you will out grow anything you make very quickly so there’s little point making it to begin with. What I do suggest however is to pick up two of the three gathering professions. Which two is up to you but consider this; Mining feeds three professions (Blacksmithing, Engineering & Jewelcrafting),  Herbalism feeds two professions (Alchemy & Inscription) while Skinning only feeds one (Leatherworking). With this in mind, Mining & Herbalism are the obvious choices as they have the largest potential market. However look at your own Auction House, see which has the least representation and go for that.

Mining:
Copper Ore sells for, on average, 48g per stack. Mithril & Thorium ores also sell very well and when you hit Outland you’ll find Fel Iron sell for even more (over 90g per stack) so you should have a steady income stream as you move through progressively higher zones. Also, it’s important to always check the going price of both ore and bars before selling to ensure that you’re getting the most money you can.
Herbalism:
Goldthorn sells for ridiculous prices (185g per stack) while Outland herbs sell for even more (Felweed is currently selling for ~240g per stack!!).
Skinning:
As expected, Skinning shows the lowest prices as it has the smallest audience. Rugged Leather averages 63g per stack with Knothide leather selling for much the same.

I don’t know what it is about Outland, but there generally seems to be more demand than supply for raw materials from those zones. Maybe people just don’t like them, but they’re a gold mine if you do!

Conclusion

Assuming you play on a server with prices close to the US average, that you pick up Mining & Herbalism and that you don’t spend your gold on flashy blue & purple items that other people are selling. – By the time you hit level 80 you should be able to alt over to your banker and mail yourself the gold you need to go and buy epic flight. If not then I’m sorry, there’s little hope of you ever making gold.

In a future post, I’ll discuss what to do about your professions post level 80.

 

*All sale prices quoted are based on the “US Alliance Mean” value as calculated by The Undermine Journal on the day of posting. Prices do vary significantly between servers so may not be wholly accurate for your own server.

Elitist Jerk

Madness…? This is SPARTA!
 – King Leonidas (300) 

Time to put on my Gevlon hat again and lament my encounters with the Dungeon Finder.

Last night I took Jez to run a random regular with Varian & Yalena to help Varian finally get to 85. We got Vortex Pinnacle, which is a beautiful instance by the way, and were joined by two PuGs; a Priest and a DK.

The Priest: Bittersweetz @ Bronzebeard

I’m going to prefix this by pointing out that Yalena had queued as heals and performed this role throughout the instance. This said, within a couple of pulls I noticed a Penance spell effect whiz past me. Having never noticed this in VP before I panned my camera around to see what was casting it; it was the Priest, she had queued and was DPSing as Discipline!
For the run, she averaged just under 3000 dps.

The Deathknigth: Darthfang @ Drakar

I thought it was a little odd when the DK popped Army on the first pull, though I attributed this to maybe having clicked the wrong button. He was Frost but had taken things a bit literally and was only using Frost spells; no Plague Strike, Pestilence or Blood Boil even though we AoE’d most of the instance. But it was his spec that astounded me the most; he had 3/3 Nerves of Cold Steel AND 2/3 Might of the Frozen Wastes two talents that are mutually exclusive in use.
For the run, he averaged around 3500 dps.

This is Madness!

Right before the final boss I decided to call them both out, maybe I was wrong to have done so in the way I did, but I can’t very well go back now and have a do-over can I? I spelt out very clearly that Discipline is a healing spec and not DPS and that the DK’s spec was, quite simply, screwed up.

The Priest I could kinda forgive as, despite the fact that she was using a healing spec to DPS, the spec it’s self was fairly solid. Though I really don’t get why she didn’t just queue as a healer since that’s what Discipline with Atonement is all about. Having looked her up on Armory today though I see that a big reason her DPS was so shocking is that she has 0.00% hit and does not have the Glyph of Divine Accuracy. Simply glyphing correctly would probably increase her damage by 1-2k. I’m actually thinking I’ll create a toon on her server later and send her an in-game mail to 1) say sorry for being a jerk and 2) suggest this to her. One thing she said that did annoy me though was, after dying on the last boss, “It’s my first time here” while her Armory profile shows that it was her third Asaad kill. After three times through an instance, one would hope to have a fairly good idea of which boss ability will one shot you.

The DK however really annoyed me and I honestly don’t know why. He explained his reason for having 2h & 1h specialisation in the same build was that when he’s solo he uses a 2-hander and when he’s in instances he dual-wields. To which I responded “Dude, that’s what dual spec is for!” His response to me saying this was to further explain that his off-spec is Blood, but that he doesn’t like tanking. You have to ask yourself, if you don’t like tanking why have you got a tank spec?! Make your offspec Unholy or, even simpler, MS Dual-Wield Frost, OS 2 Hand Frost. The evidence available would suggest that he’s one of these people who mindlessly dumps all his points in to one tree without any though. On top of this, his gear was all over the place. He’s wearing a mixture of plate-tank and plate-dps items, which is forgiveable since he’s still levelling, however he’s also wearing agility items in several slots and a trinket from a level 65 instance. This is all topped off with empty gem sockets, no enchants though again, this is forgiveable due to levelling perhaps.

The Morning After

I admit that this encounter annoyed me far more than it probably should have and I apologise again to Yalena for allowing my frustration to spill over into our conversation afterwards. She did ask if I think the same about her (as she’s often concerned about her own damage) but the difference is this; She asks people for help and she reads everything she can get her hands on to help her improve. The only way I can suggest for her to up her damage is to try and get in to using keyboard shortcuts. She’s a mouser and I understand that, for some people, it’s simply not natural or intuitive to use keyboard shortcuts so I help her as much as I can with the tools she’s comfortable using.

I had some really good PUGs on my own Priest & DK yesterday gaining two levels and one level respectively. Sure, there were a couple of “bads” along the way but never really more than one in a group. To carry two people through an instance just really riled me up and Yalena was probably right to suggest it was time to call it a night.

A Quick Update

Following on from my recent posts about market competition, here’s the latest:

My original plan was to suffocate my competitor by cutting off his supply of raw materials and forcing him to post below his cost price. This worked for a couple of days but, as is often the case, circumstances have changed. The volume of ore available on the auction house this week has increased quite significantly on recent times making it virtually impossible to close this avenue.

However, my competitor has also changed their posting schedule. Earlier this week we were posting at the same time resulting in constant back and forth undercuts, however the last two days it seems s/he is now posting a few hours after me. I’m happy with this because I generally post first, giving me a couple of hours of sales at higher prices. I’m not sure if this is going to last or not, time will tell.

Somewhat interestingly, Foo has been posting a couple of articles the last few days discussing Auction House campers that reflect my recent experiences very closely. Needless to say I’ve been reading his thoughts on this subject and seeing if any of his ideas will work in the gem market. There are a few that I have adopted, mostly in regards to walling at a price that nets me a reasonable return while forcing my competition to post lower than me.

To The Mattresses!

it’s all-out war — we go to the mattresses!
 – Sonny (The Godfather)

This is a quick update to yesterday’s post.

I have a fairly simple game-plan for dealing with my new competitor which, so far, is working.

  • Firstly, I’m buying up all the ore I can get my hands on below a certain price threshold leaving only the most expensive stacks left.
  • Secondly, I’m buying out any uncut gems that are cheap.
  • Thirdly, I’m buying up Heartblossom.
  • Finally, I’m posting with deep undercuts.

The first two actions serve a dual purpose; they increase my stock while pushing up my competitor’s costs. The third action reduces his capacity to transmute Carnelians in to more profitable Inferno Rubies. Lastly, since I have a lower cost, I have no qualms about driving prices down in the short term. What I loose in single-transaction profit I’ll recoup in volume.

Yesterday I dropped a chunk of gold to set my plan in motion and there was an immediate reaction from my competitor. Here’s an example that played out last night; My established floor price for Inferno Rubies yesterday was 125g, my competitor was listing around 175g. My first round of postings went up at 160g and were immediately undercut with 159g 99s 99c. I pulled most of my first round and relisted at 150g and again got undercut by 1c (I’m only listing a few gems at a time so relisting doesn’t cost me the earth). Third round I went deep and listed at 130g, another 1c undercut ensued. So I went for broke and listed at my floor price of 125g each… Nothing, no reaction, he didn’t relist his again.

I sat in the AH for about an hour last night before I decided to call it a day. A couple of times I noticed that my competitor was buying out of my auctions and relisting them himself. Poor guy, this is the worst thing you can do, especially when the person you’re buying from is online and clearly has stock available. When he did this, I immediately undercut him again meaning he either had to sell the gems he’d just bought from me at a loss or give me more of his gold to try and run my stock out (which is unlikely to happen for a while). Before I logged I threw up a couple of small walls of Inferno Rubies and when I checked this morning they’d all sold.

All in all I’m actually rather pleased with the results so far. My gross sales were up on recent days and I actually made a net profit despite having invested in a lot of stock which I wouldn’t have bought on a normal day. I may even continue with this sort of strategy in the longer term if it continues to be profitable.

Friendly Competition

I’m very active in the gem market on my server, it’s my main source of income. Recently however I’ve noticed a fairly significant drop on my profit and it seems I’m not the only one.

Last night I was messaged by one of my competitors asking if I’d noticed another, newer entrant, to the gem market. Through the course of our conversation we established that this new person has seemingly managed to be online 24 hours a day for almost two weeks solid. Not only this but they have been aggressively undercutting anyone else posting auctions within seconds of them listing.

Now I’m all for a little friendly competition with my fellow jewelcrafters. It’s part of the game and one expects this when you’re as active in a given market as I am. However this new competitor is acting very differently to other sellers. To me and my fellow seller the new comer fells too automated not to be suspicious. Sure, it could be someone camping the AH to make a pile of gold but the circumstances would seem to indicate otherwise. Here is a character who has suddenly appeared on the scene with a seemingly large resource pool to set up their operation. They are bullying the smaller players out of the market using extremely argessive tactics meaning anyone without a significant investment can’t compete.

Fortunately, this isn’t me. I have a good stockpile and can still turn a profit while undercutting the new arrival. I also have enough liquid capital that I can cut off their supply at the source by buying up all the raw ore so it’s a good bet that I can ultimately hurt them at both ends of the market, however in the short term it makes brings an interesting challenge.

The Joys of the Dungeon Finder

Wizzbit

You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.
 – The Operative (Serenity)

I have many alts that I’m gradually levelling. Last night I was playing on Wizzbit, my Gnome Warrior (lvl83), not  to be confused with Wizzadora, Gnome Priest.

Anyway, last night I ran a couple of leveling instances with my wife on Yalena (lvl82 Resto Shaman), my sister Varian (lvl82 Destro Warlock) and our friend/guild master on Codemonkey (lvl81 Prot Paladin). Wizzbit is Fury, so all we needed to do was pick up a third DPS and we’d be good to go. There was no one on in guild in the low 80s so we hit LFD, got Blackrock Caverns and picked up a Hunter, who seemed nice enough.

We proceeded to clear to and downed the first boss with little problem, though Varian did manage to get herself killed (it was my wife’s first time healing as a Shaman so she was still figuring out all her abilities.) One boss down, we headed on to the second.

Now, anyone who’s run BRC before knows this fight, stand in the beams to stop the adds transforming. Before the pull, we paused to explain the fight to Varian (she’s just come back to WoW after a two year break) and to the Hunter, who confessed he’d never been here before. No problem, I appreciate honesty and respect people for saying that they’ve never done an instance before rather than rushing in blindly and potentially getting you killed. Varian was to take the beam on the right and the Hunter the left, step out at ~80 stacks, let them fall off then step back in.

Everyone happy with their assignments, Code executed the pull. Varian ran in and blocked her beam. The Hunter just stood where he was and started shooting, he didn’t even attempt to move towards his add. Naturally, the add quickly evolved and started running around. Code picked it up and we killed it, then returned to the boss who died in due course. Varian, despite never having done the fight before, had her add under control the whole time and managed to come second on damage. There was a brief post-mortem discussion, during which the Hunter apologised saying he didn’t understand where he was meant to stand and us pointing out that now he’d know for the next time.

The rest of the instance was fairly non-eventful, until two pulls from the end when the Hunter sent his pet after the wrong group and we ended up with ten mobs on us instead of five. Code rounded them all up and we AoE’d them down. It was a tense 60 or so seconds, but Yalena acquitted herself rather nicely on the healing without anyone dying.

Ok, so the Hunter wasn’t that bad I guess. He was from our server and, based on the conversation in party, this was his only toon. No hard feelings, he just needs to learn to pay a little more attention in future.

Round Two, Fight!

The Hunter departed and we rolled again, this time getting Throne of Tides along with a Balance Druid. One pull in and the Druid asks for an afk, we continue clearing trash and after almost five minutes he returns explaining that he had to put his 6 week old son to bed. We reach the first boss, set up add assignments and engage. She goes down, maybe a little slowly but not overly so. After the fight I take a peek at my damage meter; I was doing about 7k, Varian & Code about 6k each and the Druid? 338dps! Seriously? I inspected him; His gear looked fine, mostly quest greens, right stats even a few enchants. Talents looked about right for Balance based on what little I know of the spec. What the hell? In hindsight, we should have vote kicked him right then and there, but we didn’t.

Instead, we moved on to the second boss where, just as we’re about to pull, I have to remind the Druid to put on his chicken suit. “Oh, LOL, I forgot!” Why/when did he even come out of Moonkin form in the first place?

We engage the boss, I get hit with Curse of Faitgue followed by Squeeze and finally dumped right slap in the middle of a Dark Fissure. I died. The fight continues and eventually the boss falls over, Varian topped the damage meter and the Druid improved… to 660dps. Cerith Spire Staff drops, a solid upgrade for Varian and a decent upgrade for Yalena (she’s main spec Elemental) but the Druid out-rolls them both.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an elitist and I don’t expect someone in lvl80 quest greens to be posting 10k, it just doesn’t work like that and I’m fine with it. However I do expect them to post more damage than a lvl60. Given his gear, he should have been able to pull 4-5k easily and 5-6k with a little effort.

A vote kick is initiated in the middle of the next pull, the Druid gets the boot and is replaced by a friendly Gnome Death Knight who actually knows how to play and we finish up the second half of the instance.

It’s times like this that I can understand where Gevlon is coming from. I don’t mind helping people out with gearing up an alt, but by the time you hit lvl80 you should have a pretty good idea how to play your class. If not, ask your guild mates for a little advice or do some reading online (Elitist Jerks comes to mind). Don’t zone in to an instance and expect four complete strangers to carry you. WoW is a team effort and you need to play your role or you’ll be replaced.

Appearances Are Everything

JezebelleBut, as you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we’re here.
 – Agent Smith (Matrix Reloaded) 

This started as a comment I was writing in response to a post on Blessing of Kings, but turned in to something longer, so I thought I’d post it here instead. For context, have a read of this blog post on the official website.

 

I’m really undecided about this change.

The Void Storage aspect is a welcome addition;
I keep 2 bags in my bank for gear and have ended up sharding my old tier sets to make room for newer stuff. I don’t actively wear any of the older gear; like Rohan, I tend to think its had its time in the sun. It is nice to have it to remind you of what used to be and the battles you’ve fought but, for the most part, it should be respectfully left to rest in peace.

The Transmogrification thing is what I’m less sure about;
Battlegrounds will be a sea of people “wearing” season 4 so as not to give away that that they’re actually wearing season 10 elite gear. LFD groups will be filled with people wearing Tier 2 or Tier 6 (arguably the artistic high points in the game, though I actually rather liked Tier 10). For “serious” role players I can kind of understand the desire to look the part for. Then again, if you’re acting out a scene, why not just equip the armor you want to portray then go back to your current armor when you’re finished?

Personally, I feel a sense of achievement when I obtain a new item. Showing it off says to everyone else “Look, I’ve killed the boss that drops this gear!” It’s a status symbol and a badge that you’ve progressed to a point that others may not have.

Will this hurt WoW?
Certainly not from a game-play perspective, but it will dilute the artistic style of the game. There’s also the very real possibility that this will lead to less original and creative designs on future gear. From an artist’s point of view, why bother designing a unique set of armor if players are just going to hide your hard work and make it look like something that was done years ago?

I really do hope that they decide to make owning the item you want to outwardly display a requirement, this will encourage a lot of people to go back and experience some of the old content that they maybe haven’t before. Even running Blackwing Lair at 85 can be enjoyable and a large proportion of the current player-base have probably never even set foot inside.

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