Saturday, February 20, 2010

PTR Faffage :: World Event Random Boss Rewards

Yes, there will be a fair bit in the coming days, just because I like to wander about and pick up stuff that I think might be interesting... like the fact that you can queue for Random World Event bosses in the Dungeon Finder (very useful if your Guildies have no interest in the Achievements). This is no secret, it's in the PTR Patch notes after all. What this doesn't tell you however is there's a reward for doing so :D


I have no idea what is generated from a Heart Shaped Box (nice Nirvana reference folks) but I'll assume it might be an item you need to complete the Achievement. 19 gold for doing it this way is a decent bonus as well.

I've already gone and seen the Mage on his flying carpet in Dalaran (he's selling Frost Lotus for 3 gold, I lol-ed) and I've overflown both Gnomeregan and the Searing Gorge looking for changes to the mobs there, but nothing looks different. If I find anything else to tempt you guys with, you'll see it here first!


3.3.3 eh? Frozen Orbs on our AH ALREADY for 40g bo? New Raid Encounter???

PTR downloading RIGHT NOW... :D

More news as we get it...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Multi Coloured Top Slot!

That's the nostalgia out of the way, now let's talk about something I suspect a lot of people don't know. I certainly didn't, and it's a fact that, especially as we start moving towards Cataclysm, could be rather useful in your gemming of gears.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Nightmare Tear.

Mats to make one are, as you can see, 5 Infinite Dust and a Dragon's Eye (which can be made by your friendly neighbourhood Jewelcrafter, who can also purchase the epic recipe to cut the Tear from the Cartier Shop in Dalagran.) There's a good reason it's Unique-Equipped too, because it counts as a Prismatic Gem. That is, it is a red, blue and yellow gem ALL AT THE SAME TIME. This means that if you're looking to satisfy the requirements of your Meta Gem socket in your headpiece, this baby counts as one of each kind of gem.

I've read a lot of discussion in forums about how + 10 all stats is not a great bonus for many classes (especially those who don't rely on stats like strength or spirit) but the fact remains that if you're a hybrid or you want to start stacking gems of a certain colour (in my hunter's case red for Armour Penetration) this gem means your meta isn't going to end up as redundant. I see many of the hardcore MM hunters on my server with nothing but red gems in every socket: clearly the bonuses that items give when gemmed correctly are small fish to these guys when fully buffed in Raids. However I'd hate to lose the +3% critical damage buff I get from my meta. This replacement (in my case from a green gem) makes perfect sense.

I think the placement of the gem is probably just as important, especially as Cataclysm is coming and gear will be replaced at an as yet unknown rate. I thought at first that putting it in my highest iLevel item would be a plan but then it occured to me that I should probably put it in the item that I'm least likely to lose first, so I can continue making the most use of it as the game moves on. The 245 crafted bracers from the Tournament are a perfect choice for placement in my opinion: there are very few upgrades past these in ICC or indeed anywhere else at the moment. As a LW I also get a large AP boost from a wrist enchant, so overall the gem in this socket makes for a piece of gear I'm going to be very unwilling to remove at any point in the future. Plus, if I get a new hat early on in Cataclysm, I'm already one gem of each colour towards making sure my new Meta works straight off the bat.

I intend to roll this gem upgrade out across the family as they are upgraded with 245 Bracers (Crusader Orbs on my AH are very close to dropping below 100g each, once they do I'll be buying and crafting for everyone) The benefit from a Professions point of view is that mats for the Tear are both freely available: Dragon's Eye's are a random product of the daily JC Transmute, and I have Infinite Dust coming out of my ears at the moment via Disenchantification. As a benefit to my family it's clear that this in an item I can carry to the Expansion and beyond is valuable indeed. There's nothing wrong with thinking ahead, after all...

Now, I have a Ker-Plunk set sitting in the garage, anyone wanna swap it for a Sindy Doll...? :D

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Better off Dead?

The obligatory Money Shot, with attentive hound looking on...

Yes, I has THAT sword. After several hours consideration I decided to go with the 2H version (Quel'Delar, Ferocity of the Scorned) as much for the stats as for the fact it felt that's what this sword would have originally been. That made a difference too, in the end, because what doing this Questline did was make me think. It also made me wonder about the future of Raid Instances, and actually how great it would be to NOT be able to go back and do the same 10 and 25 man places again and again. Suddenly, I have a great desire for closure.

Arriving at the Sunwell, where much has changed since my last visit.

Without giving away the contents of the Quel'Delar questline, there's a point where you need to return to the Island of Quel'danas, and gain access to the Sunwell itself. This of course is going to cause a problem with the way Blizzard's basic game mechanics operate, or at least it would have done before the days of Quest Phasing. Arriving at the Island with the sword in tow there are no demons any more, no vampiric Blood Elves ravaging the countryside. There is reconstruction, with the Shattered Sun Offensive working hand in hand with the Blood Elves to rebuild the island. Yes, the Horde and the Alliance are co-operating, which rather nicely mirrors the joint efforts of the two mortal races in Icecrown to take out Arthas. The quest giver at the entrance to the Sunwell even mentions how this holy Blood Elf shrine was recently returned to them thanks to the SSO, and it's not a place for Dwarven visitors or tourists. So, as it is documented that the Sunwell has been freed in this timeline, I can gain access to it and throw in Quel'Delar, thus completing my quest.

Maybe it's because I've just completed the Sunwell proper in the last seven days, but part of me now thinks it could be time to close off instances to people like this. Yes, I know in many cases there is reputation tied to areas that people like to complete, and certainly thanks to the WOTLK Expansion there are achievements that you can get that maybe you weren't geared for when you ran the place at original difficulty. However I've always thought that doing that is a bit of a sham: it's great to be able to run through Naxx for The Undying with your ToTC gears, but you're not doing it the way it was meant to be done, are you?. When all is said and done, it should be about completing the content at close to a relevant level, at least for it to maintain the original difficulty envisaged by the Devs.

This then throws up another possibility. If killing the last boss of an instance were to shut it off to you for good, locking you out of achievements and Hard Modes and effectively phasing you into an instance where the content has been defeated, this would mean achieving the last boss kill would lose a great deal of it's significance, at least in terms of being the first people to do it. If being the best meant NOT getting that last boss in Hard Mode, but involved garnering all those achievements BEFORE you went and topped off the Big Bad (and effectively locked yourselves out) it would change the entire landscape of the game. Guilds would not fight to get to the end of an instance first, they'd be slowly picking their way through it knocking off the Hard Modes along the way. Part of me thinks that would be a fabulous idea, especially as if by going and killing the last boss in every instance you'd be the engineer of your own closure. Oh, and if the last boss doesn't give the best loots but instead gives you a unique item (like a title or a tabard, or possibly a pet) then let that be all he gives. If the Big Guilds want to make sure they don't lock themselves out let them just keep doing the Raid Instance minus the last boss until the last few weeks before a new patch... No longer is your Kudos measured on who killed X first, but on how long they waited until they did :p

This method would also have benefits for the Devs. If they continued to follow the 'gated content' model they have with ICC it would allow for more testing between wings. It would extend the life of content significantly, as people wouldn't simply be constantly just aiming to get to the end boss first. Plus it would create a lovely continuity in the Game World. Those that were new to the Community could still do the content, the only problem of course would be you couldn't get your friend who'd already completed it to run you through it. However, would that really be so bad? Your friend could re-roll a new character and start again. There is nothing to say you'd have to go do the content at it's relevant level either (especially looking at the 60-70 raid content) If you wanted to farm rep for a Faction, just make sure you don't kill the end boss in the Instance you're farming. Simples!

The Holy Shrine of the Blood Elves, with some Dwarf and her Dog causing trouble.

Of course, Modern Gaming doesn't work like this. It's all about instant gratification and being able to do what you want, without being restricted by issues like continuity. It's only people like me who yearn for being closer to reality, where being finished means just that, it's done and you can move on. When all is said and done, it's very much like asking if we could lose a fight in Warcraft now and again, and that really is unlikely to happen in Azeroth. It's a shame though. Maybe one day I'll kill a boss, and they'll actually end up staying dead... :D

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Amazing Discoveries

I <3 Azeroth. Do YOU?

Epixxx are a Girl's Best Friend.

Sunday was Valentine's Day. This day also happens to be the Anniversary of myself and my husband finally becoming an item, what is now more than twenty years ago. Needless to say, it was a total disaster.

My daughter spent most of the night projectile vomiting, the first incident of which left several hours clearing up to deal with. I was awake at just before 3am and never returned to sleep, thus completely poleaxing me for the rest of the day. However I'd remembered our Anniversary, and I even came prepared with a gift. My husband however, was not as organised. He didn't forget, let me make that clear, but he was lacking gifts, and was well aware (especially how I then spent most of the rest of Sunday) he needed to come up with something spectacular, especially as my Son sent me flowers and a lovely note to cheer me up in-game.

Guess what I found in my Inbox last night:

Considering how much I've wanted to complete this questline since starting it on the PTR, I'm prepared to forgive my husband for just about everything he may have forgotten about for some time. Let's face it, nothing says 'I Love You' more to the Female Girl Gamer than the chance to do a questline for shiny epixx... :D

Yes, I'm that shallow. If you'll excuse me, I'm off to see the guys outside the Tournament...

So guys, I found this item in my Inbox and I'm told you know what it is...

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Change is Gonna Come

Because of the fact Blogger will shortly no longer support those of us who publish via FTP, there will be some changes to this Blog as of March 1st. I'm not about to give up writing about the game I love, I'm just going to make a few changes to the location where I do it. The details are still being sorted out (it's Half Term this week and I have a sick child currently, so time and consciousness are at a premium) but I'm warning you now, I have a new URL for the site. Browsers will need to be amended accordingly :D

Until then, we return you to your scheduled URL...