Friday, October 15, 2010

4.0.1 is WIN.

So, having now had forty-eight hours of hands-on with the 'new' Old World, I can categorically confirm it is MADE OF WIN. I thought about constructing top ten list but frankly the number one reason kinda beats the rest of them into a cocked hat.

No, I'm not talking about Trap Launcher ^^ [*]

This morning I put the finishing touches to what has become a completely new interface. Too much was broken in my old one and as Spartan's not been updated for what is close to a year now, it felt like the right thing to do. I've used Sexymap, Pitbull and (gasp) Blizzard's own Raid Interface which continues to look like an extremely useful piece of kit, if simply for the 'you don't need to carry flares any more, as RL you get an infinite supply for marking.' At some point I should do an article on the Raid UI because I'm that enamoured with it, and as Grid is still beyond borked I needed something. My shiny new look is not my reason by the way, that comes once I've sorted it out on my Priest and I accept an invitation to VoA 25.

The raid was full of names I know including the RL, a Paladin from one of the 'big' raiding guilds. I could tell immediately who'd not read the Patch notes and who didn't really get the changes we'd had (some buffs overwrite others now, pay attention) but nowhere was this more obvious than when we pulled. And died. Then we died again. I was second on the meters but I had no chance of keeping either tank up because neither of them had a hope as Toravon ripped through the top five dps who decided that they'd just nuke like normal without realising the game has changed. After the second wipe the mouthy RL decided to tank himself (having previously asserted 'I dunno what you guys are having a problem, tanking's not changed that much') before he too wiped horribly. The only thing that saved us this time was the tank who was clearly organised, had a new rotation and held aggro while we healed him, and the fact that with the increase in dps and a decent front end the boss died in half the time.

Stuff dies very fast in 4.0.1. That is, of course, if your tank can stop it killing you first.

The absolutely best thing about 4.0.1 is that people will NEED TO LEARN TO PLAY. AGAIN. By the time they've grasped the new mechanics it'll be Cata and then they'll be forced to stop nuking and think, or stop simply tanking everything blindly and consider CC. It doesn't matter how good your dps now, rip threat from the tank and it's night-nights, and if you're in cloth or mail it's going to a great deal more expensive to repair.

No-one cares a stuff about your Gear Score any more. Do you understand your class? You don't?

Square One is ---------->

[*] Still awesome though.


I approve of this new Feat of Strength.

I wonder if it has a Title associated with it... :D

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Looking GOOD...

It's not Beige, it's Magnolia... ^^
Best looking Silithid currently in game, and it's MINE \o/.

I hate to say it, but I may be forced to go try and bag a Spirit Beast next ^^

Evolution's a Bitch.

'These are the times that try men's souls.'
THOMAS PAINE, Founding Father (1737–1809)

Last night in Trade, I watched one of the more well-known of my server's personalities have a very public meltdown. He listed all of his characters for sale and then proceeded to wail that he wanted his DK spec back and that the patch was the worst thing ever. He wasn't alone, the panic and fear in every capitol I visited was palpable. Everyone has to start from scratch, and for some (with broken addons and new abilities they couldn't immediately turn to a webpage with help with) it was a bit too much.

Needless to say, I've seen this all before.

Each new expansion has bought it's fair share of trauma. Vanilla to TBC will always be the worst for me because it was the first time I'd been forced to relearn my classes. This was a new concept in gaming: before you just needed a guide to follow and know which buttons to press and you could beat everything. Not with The Burning Crusade: suddenly it mattered more to adapt. Anyone who actually played 40 Man will regardless extol the many virtues of the feeling you got in a group that size beating a boss, but no-one misses three days in a dungeon in six hour chunks (and all the limitations the old ways gave) Yes, it was all fields here back then but things were harder and relied on you having thirty-nine friends. The new way looks a lot more flexible, and it's undoubtedly because of Blizzards willingness to adapt game-play to change that the game now has twelve million people playing worldwide.

This patch, it has to be said, is pretty fundamental. Yes, your talent trees have changed but once upon a time you didn't have these kind of options, or the ability to switch specs so easily, so if you're going to get upset that things don't work immediately consider for a moment that the fact they mostly do is pretty bloody impressive. Blizzard are watching every piece of data that results from us playing in the next couple of weeks and things will be changed, because they know they need to be. There will be some issues however they can't change (I know at least one person who's lost a bunch of enchants because of Blizzard's cock up) and in those cases sorry will have to be enough. It happens. S, if you're reading this I'll help you get some mats together to help you replace what you lost: at times like this it's good to know who your friends are and that they're willing to help in tough times.

Most importantly of all however I think people need to grasp that this process of evolution is as much a part of the gaming experience as fighting bosses and earning Achievements. You can QQ until the Taurens come home but it's inevitable, to allow the game to move forward they have to be implemented. I'm sure some people would argue that had Blizzard thought back in Vanilla the issues they'd have with the game mechanics then half of these issues wouldn't even exist... but they weren't thinking long term back then. No-one expected Warcraft to last this long, I suspect especially Blizzard, and somewhere right now a bunch of people are planning for the day when WoW isn't the #1 MMO in the world because... that's how it works. Tastes change, and the biggest single reason in my mind as to why I'm still here over five years later playing the same game is exactly that, it's adaptive. Evolution keeps it alive.

To those people who decide they've had enough... I suspect 4.0.1 is simply the straw that broke the camel's back. If that is the case I'd hope people will go quietly but inevitably it's easier to whine than to adapt, and the nature of (certain sections) of humanity is to have a bloody good moan at the drop of a hat to make you better about yourself. To those of you who will be leaving us in this manner at this point I wish to a safe journey, but have to say as you walk out the door you have no idea of what you're going to miss. These are exciting times ahead. Change is inevitable. Evolution is a bitch.

Oh, and Trap Launcher owns everything. That is all :D

It's Alright, Jakpit's Coming Back...

4.0.1 is huge and (from preliminary exploration) reasonably awesome. Once I'd filtered out the QQ and the stupid questions from Trade I got four of the family talented (main specs only ^^) with Glyphs and even a bit of Reforging on the side, so really all told not a bad evening's work.

However, my Warlock pets are gone :(

I wonder if Blizzard thought that after four and half years I wouldn't notice that Jakpit the Imp had changed. Perhaps, erroneously not only in my case but in many, MANY others, they simply hoped we'd shrug and get on with life with our shiny new spells and instant cast demon summonage. Oh no. Jakpit threatened to leave me on an almost weekly basis but we'd always work it out and when we were on fire, BOY did the dps flow. Kraktast, my Voidwalker too decided to go with the Imp, and I know tanking simply won't ever be the same without him. I was genuinely upset and annoyed last night, and it seems I'm not alone.

However, things may not be as terminal as they appear. I anxiously await next week's maintenance, because it's going to be hard fighting back the Apocalypse with a total stranger...

Gonna play with the Hunter a bit today, details on what I find out later.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lest We Forget

Whilst we all sit and wait as the Shiny New Launcher delivers Stage One of Cataclysm to our desktops, let us take a moment to remember the passing of a great many things. As of last night, much of our Old World has changed forever. It seems only right at this point to stop and reflect on what we have lost...

Ah, my extra six yards of range over the rest of Azeroth. I will miss you dearly :(

We're not sure we're going to cope without mana just yet, I'll let you know when I actually have to sustain dps with focus... oh and of course, ammo has vanished for good. Spare a thought at this point for the poor Guildie who'd been working hard on his Ashen Verdict rep to make sure his Engineer alt could buy the Epic Ammo recipe. He cheerfully announced his achievement in Guild last night, only to have Yours Truly inform him that as of today he doesn't need it...

Whilst you wait for the servers to come back up in Europe, READ THE PATCH NOTES. You know it makes sense :D

No more twisting anymore...
RIP Permanent Tree Form. Nuff said.

If you didn't do The Battle for Gnomeregan or The Battle for the Echo Isles before, you're out of luck. Both have gone forever. I'm a bit annoyed at this because I'd not done it on everyone. Never mind.

Chilling with the Shaman Trainer in SW...
Considering the issues I had last time logging out in Dalaran, I took the liberty of moving everyone out of Northrend and parking them near appropriate trainers. I've been checking addons since late last night, and I have a pretty good idea what ones I'll need to turn off to be able to log in (whenever that may be) without too much hassle...

Let's hope when it happens, it's not the End of the World.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Yes, it's tomorrow.

If Triumph + Frost = < 346, then no worries.

If Triumph + Frost = > 346, time to buy summat.

Failing that, convert what's left to Conquest and take the money, or swap for a) Heirloom Gear (haven't you done that already?) or b) Consumables for a quick sale. If you're at the cap and intend to do ANY L80 Instancing on that character, no rewards otherwise. Zip. Nada. Justice Points won't accrue if your total is over 4000, not until you drop under the cap and once you do that, it's only to 4000.

I think I may make sure my higher earners have 300 badges and convert everything else.

EDIT. As more than one person seemed unclear in Guild this morning, blue text of amended conversion rates follows:
We've revised the Justice Points conversion rate for Emblems of Triumph and Emblems of Frost. When the upcoming 4.0.1 patch goes live, these emblems will be converted into 11.58 Justice Points (up from the previously planned 2.75 Justice Points per emblem). Justice Points accrued above the soft cap of 4,000 will be converted to gold at a rate of 47.5 silver per point (down from 2 gold per point) when patch 4.0.3 goes live.
This means that if you're over 4000 tomorrow, it's just more Justice Points ^^.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Milling

Needless to say, you'd never get away with cigarette advertising like that ever again. Ah, the 1960's ^^

Now the cheesy nod is out of the way, I need to thank Basil. He reminded me that, come Wednesday, Glyphs are all going to change. There's a new tier of them for starters: the Prime Glyph. Some are going to disappear altogether. Most importantly though, once a character learns one that's it, you never have to buy another again.

As a result of Basil's heads up it occurred to me that N the Priest could do a lot worse than make sure she had a stack of each type of ink and a pile of parchments on standby for Wednesday. One look on the AH and I died of shock: herb prices are frankly astronomical, especially the lower level ones. It seems the smart people are already preparing to make their cash this week, so it seems I'm going to be forced to send out a gatherer this evening to pick up a couple of stacks of the herbs I need for a hasty bout of last-minute milling.

Of course, if I decide to get carried away, I could easily make some extra spending money on the back of people lazier than myself not being prepared. It's certainly very tempting...

A Life of Surprises

All things considered, I think it's going to be a pretty good week.

My son turns ten on Friday and as part of his birthday gifts he's got the new Lego: Universe game. As I had an absolute blast playing the Beta over the Summer (and never even scratched the surface) I will be joining him for a month's free trial. If you're looking for me and I'm not in Azeroth, chances are I'm trying to save Imagination. Considering how bad I was at grasping the movement aspects of the game, it may take a while.

It also transpires that my ageing parents may have gone and bought me a Gaming PC for my birthday. The rumours are still not confirmed, but if it's true I may be seen to fall over repeatedly in amazement on it's arrival. To say I've wanted a proper gaming PC since forever would be the Mother of all Understatements. Maybe I've not been written out of the Will after all... ^^

Add to this the increasingly-likely likelihood that 4.0.1's gonna explode on Wednesday, and frankly the next seven days look like a proper Bobby Dazzler.

While we wait, therefore, have some Prefab Sprout. They're awesome.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ten Signs the Apocalype is Approaching...

1. The Critters are embracing Gear Score.

This one has clearly been saving his Badgers... ^^

2. You end up in Silvermoon on a Saturday afternoon.

W has bear. Considering I've seen better organised piles of paper this went surprisingly well.

3. The Burning Steppes begins to look attractive.

M's herbing hit 300 this weekend. I blame that Black Lotus that mocked me for about seven round trips of the zone. Nothing like a bit of subconscious encouragement to make a mindless grind more attractive.

4. You'll take any buff, regardless of actual use.

... yeah, W's Destro spec really needs some + frost boostage. After Silvermoon it was Blackfathom Deeps (hence the useless buffage) Shadowfang Keep and Scarlet Monastery for the Dungeonmaster achievement. We ended up in ZG for a bit of cash generation via the medium of Bijoux. I've totally broken my 'no farming at weekends' rule as well, but as the End of All Things is coming...

5. You willingly PuG a Hard Modes Group.

I'm not sure why I took W, maybe coz she's slightly better geared than P, but it's more likely because it was late and I couldn't be arsed to relog. Those four achievements took the best part of two and a half hours, that's how bad the group was. The RL admitted at one point he was moaning about how bad it was that people kept leaving the group or 'deliberately' DC-ing on Skype whilst he left the rest of us hanging about waiting for him to stop being rubbish. I was good enough to give him fifteen minutes warning before I lost patience with his slowness and went to bed. It was gone midnight and they'd just reached the inside of Ulduar. Did they not know the Apocalypse is imminent? As a result I have scheduled a Hard Modes run next weekend. Hopefully 4.0.1 will make us imba enough to own the place in an evening.

6. You wipe all night on a boss you've easily owned in ICC.

No picture. Just fail on Syndragosa, for over two hours. Bleurgh.

7. You think your own gags are funnier than they really are.

I know... and before you ask, I'm wearing my fishing gear ^^

8. You start panicking about hit.

Look, it's all going to fall apart next week, everyone will be in the same boat and frankly you'd be better off worrying about your UI working than where you're going to find 17% hit. You have enough Badgers for the 264 hit trinket... you can always buy it before you log Tuesday night and sell it back before the two hours grace period is up. DON'T PANIC.

9. You end up breaking the game. Multiple times.

M the Rogue failed to complete the Battle of Gnomeregan. On her own ^^ The event bugged twice at the same spot, before we entered the tunnels section. All I can assume is that my imba Rogue dps was just TOO AWESUM for the event. *sigh*

'Excuse me, Sir... The Job Centre is on the 'phone...
they say they've got a possible opening for you...'