Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thank You!

Reading's great you know. You learn stuff. Today I learnt via those lovely people at OutDps that I have a 24 slot bag in P's bank I was not even aware of.


Friday, November 05, 2010

This is My Sad Face :(

From the FAQ on Rated Battlegrounds currently active in Beta:

Rated Battlegrounds are broken down into three brackets. 10v10, 15v15 and 25v25. These brackets rotate weekly and can be viewed in-game via the calendar by activating the battleground holiday filter.

Players must create a raid with the full number of players required for the current bracket before entering the queue. Any level 85 player of your faction may participate in the battle (regardless of guild association).

Well, that's me pretty much screwed.

I've always solo-played in BG's, right back since they began. Hell, my first PvP experience, running from Southshore to Tarren Mill at L35 was on my own, learning how the whole thing worked. The long-haul AV's were just me because no-one else was up that early in the morning breast-feeding ^^ Blizzard are now telling me that I need to have nine friends who will be prepared to run with me? I assume as the brackets add up to 25 you'll see a 10 plus a 15 make up the numbers for the new reduced AV and IoC? I may never get to see the BG's I really love in a competitive light ever again.

This really does make me desperately sad.

If push comes to shove I'm thinking I could get enough people together in Guild to make a ten, but that's not the point. The biggest single advantage that PvP has for someone like me with limited play time and often odd hours is that you DIDN'T NEED TO ORGANISE ANYTHING. You could just dial up the queue and there you went, and there was no problem. Now I am going to be forced into playing non-rated, whether I like it or not, unless I can make the time to find people to play with. I will not be given the choice as a solo player to play in BG's where people won't deliberately AFK, or sit around leeching honor off my efforts.

Don't get me wrong, I understand why this has been done, that to rate players in this kind of environment there needs to be a way to control how they enter. What I think Blizzard simply hasn't accounted for are the number of people who solo the larger BG's for whatever reason, whether it be time constraints or the fact they don't have nine/thirty nine other people they hang with. This also means I can't have blonde days any more, I can't be crap every so often, I actually have to get pro if other people will be relying on me to do so. This of course is probably a good thing in the long run, but it does mean ultimately that a way I had to relax is being pretty much fundamentally altered to a two tier system. If you don't have the mates to form a team, if you're not in a Guild or if you happen to be on a server where no-one PvP's you may be forced into some fairly serious compromises to your game play to get a chance to earn the points you need to buy the gear you'd like.

Blizzard, I think you've got this wrong. The problem is, of course, how you can create a system where someone can solo play and still be accountable, and I'm betting you couldn't think of how to do it either. I'd suggest that creating a 5 v 5 bracket might be the answer for those people who have fewer friends who PvP but that still means you all need to be online at the same time to take part.

I have a pretty good idea how dire and horrible non-rated BG's will be post Cataclysm, because I'm playing in them right now. If my sad face could be any more upset, it probably would be :(

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Bite Sized Chunks

We're Doomed, I tell you! DOOOOOMED!

A lot of stuff in game right now is not Working as Intended. Quite apart from strange goings on in the Isle of Conquest (more on which in a second) I've counted hyperactive Frostwyrms in Icecrown, Elemental Statues in the Halls of Stone... the list is pretty comprehensive. One can only hope come the Shattering that Azeroth sorts it's collective act out and starts working properly. Until that time, I need something to do.

I've done lists before, I've bored them with you to boot, but the fact remains that my first and main love is the Hunter. I can send all the alts to the Tournament or make them go investigate Cults but there's only one character I can log in first come Deecember 7th and that will be P. Quite apart from the fact I'll be able to have a new haircut that evening, I want to make sure I'm in good shape for the first push into the new content. That means playing her, which in turn requires some time in current content. Therein lies my problem.

Pretty much all the solo content I can do I've covered. This leaves me 10 and 25 man stuff I've not covered and Battlegrounds, if I'm to look to my constant goal of  I've Got The Achievement For That. It should come as no surprise to anyone here that I do achievements on P, since they were introduced I've been their slave on many occasion, mostly because I've gained a benefit from doing so. I also know that come Cataclysm the barely-concealed Achievement Competition in Guild will ramp up several gears. It's ok guys, it's perfectly understandable. I get that, and in the long run it will benefit the Guild in turn, which is awesome. My problem now is finding bite-sized chunks in the vast sea of completed tasks that I can do solo without having to spend the next thirty two days camping spawn points.

This is why, between the achievement for the Blood Queen in ICC 10, you'll see two achievements for the Isle of Conquest. It's basic setup is pretty borked (no Hanger access for anyone, if you do get there you'll end up 200 miles out to sea in No Man's Land) but what does work does so pretty well, so much so that in the daytime the queue is less than ten minutes. Despite countless people telling me the walls were bugged this morning I saw both Alliance and Horde Keeps stormed, pitch battles which went down to the last handful of resources and moments both of total WIN and complete FAIL. I have read that the 40 man BG will not exist in rated games, which is such a shame because there is something totally awesome about that many people all working and moving as a unit, and it does happen. When it does, believe me, it's a joy to behold.

It also gives me a chance to practice huntering in a competitive environment, without the need to worry about anyone else to help. I suspect if things continue as they are, I'll be spending a great deal of time ticking off BG achievements in the weeks to come...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For the Girl Who has Everything...

It had to be done. After some fernangling last night I posess matching Raptors. One of our Dinosaurs is called Max, and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. No really, I called my pet Missing. It makes me giggle, almost as much as Peter Ustinov in a giant false moustache. If the Raptor skin disappears with ZG, this also makes for a fairly unique companion...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hang On a Minute...

There are four stages of the event. We're on the first.

This is only the beginning. (Source)

Right. Four stages. The thing is, I'm a bit confused as to how my untimely demise is going to play out... and as I only have limited time before I am reduced to a steaming pile of ash, I'd like to plan my time accordingly ^^

Time to play Let's Second Guess the Programmers!

So this is Stage 1: Elemental attacks in the provinces (to those of you who think waiting for spawn timers is boring, I direct you to another of Zarhym's responses: If you don't want to camp elementals for one achievement, wait until they're camping you. That bodes well.) and Cultists in the seats of power. I've put up signs and I've biffed strange devices, but I sense from the CM's comment it's not going to be enough... so logically that would mean:

Stage 2: Actual full-out Elemental ownage of major cities. Mini-bosses spawn and L251 Loot becomes available, causing much celebration amongst the Casual Playerbase. No doubt hardcore raiders will still be playing Red Dead Redemption at this stage and refusing to rejoin the game until something actually happens of note...

... and this is where things become a tad uncertain. Would Phase 3 be Deathwing granting achievements to large portions of the hapless population, mirroring the spectacular cinematic trawl across Azeroth and P4 would be The Shattering itself? This makes the most logical sense but I can't help but thinking that we might have overlooked summat that's not yet been mentioned anywhere, that Blizzard have an Ace in the Volcano just waiting to pop out and kick us all in the behind...

Is it fair to assume that we won't be seeing any commencement of Phase 2 until Monday of next week... who can tell? Right now, your guess is as good as mine...

Elemental Biffage 101

So, how do you get this Feat of Strength, then? Guides are thin on the ground at this stage, so let's collate what I've discovered in the last couple of hours.

1. You need to find and kill four of the different types of Elemental Rifts scattered across the world (Earth, Air, Fire & Water) and collect the four buffs they give, which are as follows:

You don't need to kill a rift in a L80 area to collect this buff, which means destruction of any spawn in any area of Azeroth is acceptable. However if you want the Mysterious Object that forms part of the Daily Quest for the this event, you will need to find and kill a rift that is in an appropriate zone to your current level.

Rewards are dependant on level, of course, but don't worry if you can't get to a Northrend rift before the  masses descend on them. The quest item will remain inside any untouched rift, and after 10 minutes when it despawns the device will remain to be claimed, so you don't need to be there when it spawns to collect one.

2.You'll need to actually find a rift to start with. To those of you who remember the first two sets of pre-expansion events it appears that the spawn points share some similarities, certainly in Azeroth. Needless to say if you fly to an area using scheduled transport the spawns are easily-spottable from the air. MMO Champion has a full list of the spawn points for those of you who don't want to waste time flying about in Outland or Northrend. I would recommend avoiding Northrend for the first few days unless you like having to jostle for spawns or outbreaks of PvP, I did all my work in Outland and saw no-one else as I did :D

3. You'll need to be there when the spawn happens. By my timings, Outland and Northrend spawns appeared on my server at 13 minutes past the hour. I approached a spawn in Wetlands at 5 past the hour which appeared to despawn and then reappear, so I'd conclude that perhaps not all spawns are totally reliable. More research will be conducted as the week goes on.

4. You don't need to have all four buffs on you simultaneously to get the Achievement. Just collecting all of them is sufficient.

Happy Hunting, and remember the Apocalypse is but days away!

Monday, November 01, 2010

And So It Begins...

P spots another Sign of the Apocalypse... what about the one you are wearing???
As of 6pm Server, the next stage of the Pre-Cataclysm has appeared. Expect an evening of hanging around in states of uncertainty, possible Trade abuse and almost-certain confusion as no-one is quite sure what's going on, but they're certain it's going to happen 'at some point.' Thank God for online resources.

A full report will inevitably follow assuming P is alive in the morning to deliver it... ^^

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Those You leave Behind

36 days to go until Cataclysm, and it's becoming a bit of a wasteland in Guild. There was a point yesterday when I logged to check auctions (yes, that's another ZG hatchling sold, ker-ching) and I was the only person online. Just me. ON A SATURDAY.


It's been this way for two expansions now, as people take time to not be playing so that they can make time to play when it matters. For those of us left behind of course it's quite a lonely time: the LFG Finder should really come into it's own on occasions like these but all it's doing currently is showing just how dire the quality of player is that's also out there. Tanks who's only interest is hitting stuff and who expect you to heal them regardless of what sh*t they stand in and won't help you in any way, shape or form, and dps who's only priority is to get to the last boss so they can collect their JP bonus and farm the next five man. My priest left three groups yesterday, twice after abuse when I was blamed for failures that were the responsibility of those blaming me: after all, if you end up with no health it's clearly the healer's fault.


I can only hope we see more good-quality players emerging from their self-imposed exiles or distracted from Bucket Lists or lengthy farming projects by more pre-Cataclysm events, as I note the PTR is now up with more juicy goodies. In lieu of that I think, after a week of remodelling my Daughter's bedroom during her Half term, I'm going to join those deserting the game and have a week of clearing up and throwing out at home.

It's really no fun playing on your own :(