Tuesday, December 06, 2011

25 Days of Azeroth :: When Not Playing...

And now, summat that's not Game related. Sorry, it was gonna happen eventually ;p When I'm not playing, I'm watching movies. If you saw any film in 2011, it'll be in here somewhere, and these compilations ROCK, frankly. Music's not half bad in this one either, especially the last track :D

You Should Know Better.

Last week I was chatting in Officer about raid difficulties and how the End Game has changed forever with LFR, and the two of us involved got into a discussion concerning how the Hardcore would approach this change to the system. We both decided that LFR would be a great way to 'train' a Guild to know an encounter well before encountering it in 10/25 man, and that for those who consider Hard Modes as the benchmark, last week would have been when they got their house in order. This week they'd cancel their lives and just Raid, and nothing else, so they could be there with the World Firsts.

I have absolutely no idea how it works, of course. I assume that, if I were raiding in a Hardcore Guild, I'd say goodbye to friends and family this week and I'd be tied to a PC/Mac until the job was done. No social life, no 'breaks', just the game. I'd also be in the position where Blizzard would be watching me: again, I surmise this is also the case, that the 'big names' have GM's checking their logs on a regular basis, to see how the encounters are being played, how gear was accrued. I'd want to be on my best behaviour as a result. I'd certainly not want to do anything stupid.

Especially not something like this.

I am staggered. There's no other word for it, frankly. When I heard there'd been manipulation of the Master Loot System to reward players with additional gear, I thought it would be the odd person here and there. I'd not grasped just how widespread it was, and who it was who were doing it. Wowhead considers this a 'loophole' to the system, but come on. It's cheating. If you get spectacularly lucky (and I know of at least one Guildie who did last week) you might end up with two bits of tier from an LFR. Maybe, just MAYBE if you get REALLY lucky you might end up with three. Anything else, we would say in Guild, is just greedy.

I am sure there will be those who say 'it's Blizzard's fault, they should have known this would happen and made the system watertight' and yes, there is a measure of agreement with that statement, but then I find myself thinking that frankly you shouldn't need to. If these people really play the game because they love and enjoy it, I think they should know this was wrong and the coding is irrelevant. If someone gives you a Martin Thunder, would you use it? If you find a 'loophole' are you the one to walk away or do you just keep farming? Clearly in this case, the need to Be First overrode a great many people's common sense. The bans these Guilds have now been given means a whole new slew of people can forget their lives for the next week and just play until they get those titles... but hang on. Is this REALLY what this game has become for people? Is all that really matters that you've done it before anyone else?

Yes, it is for some, and that's really rather sad, especially as we can see the lengths those people were prepared to go to make that happen.

Last week I got excited about us being in the top 30 of progression on my server. I know I'll never be first for anything, and if I'm honest I'd not ever want to try and be either. There are more important things, at least there are when your in your 40's with kids and a mortgage. I know that's not true for many people my age, that this race to First Place is still very significant, but in the bigger scheme of things it's pretty much an irrelevance. However, if it matters so much in your General Scheme why, when you are racing for your spot, you do something monumentally selfish like this?.  Reading the apology from Paragon is frankly rather depressing: 'The fact that others were using it as well is no justification for doing it ourselves.' But it was: you felt you were going to be left behind. Instead of taking the moral high ground, instead of stopping and thinking you simply followed suit. Had you done nothing, you'd be there, ready to potentially win. Now you won't.

I have no idea what it's like to be in a Hardcore Guild, and I never will, and frankly today I'm rather glad of that fact. I've seen what this game does to selfish people, and I've seen how it can drag people into an experience that's nothing to do with enjoyment or satisfaction and everything to do with need and want. I sincerely hope those Guilds who have been gifted the opportunity to step up and claim the World Firsts do so and learn from this experience. It's not just the title that matters, it's how you play the game as you get there.

Don't make this just about being First, make it about learning how to be better than those whose places you take.

Monday, December 05, 2011

25 Days of Azeroth :: THAT Darkmoon Mount!

Today, we continue the video theme (mostly because I need some time in game and I haven't had that much this week) with the best waste of three and a bit minutes you'll likely to get unless you're a fan of Wowcrendor. I pick this one especially because of the Tallstrider mount that shows up about halfway through, which is now available at the Darkmoon faire. We like art being imitated in game :D

This Week, I Will Be Mostly...

WARNING: Legendary quest lines are not cheap. That is all.

  • Putting anyone with a pulse who is eligible through the Darkmoon Weeklies. Quite aside of the chance for RARE PETS ZOMG WRONG DWARF the +5 to all skills not yet maxxed is not to be underestimated. Add to this the frankly ridiculous amount of stuff that you can pull from a Sealed Crate around the coast (24 Heavy Savage Leather and 18 Mythical Healing Potions last night) and it's the place to be until the end of the week. I have plenty of people who haven't scored a Bullseye yet. Addictive mini games ftw!

  • Running those now eligible for New 5 Mans though them, repeatedly, until my eyes bleed and I have moar people ready for LFR.

  • Investigating re-running ALL the Outland and Northrend dungeons all over again for those who could use the rep and the rewards for mogging. I'm looking at YOU, Honor Hold rep!

  • Making back the 10k I dropped for Stage #1 Legendary Daggers. No, I doubt I will EVER make it to Stage #2 unless Blizzard award a 3000% damage buff to average Rogues. However the primary rewards are Epic, decently statted and are likely to last me until Pandaland, where I can store them away until DS is solable. Forward planning!

  • Working out how I fit everything in with only 20 days before Christmas. GAH!


It's the Wrong Dwarf, Gromit!

Third cast of the Darkmoon Fishing daily this morning on the Rogue = Sea Pony. The Night Elf next to me (who's been fishing for it since Saturday) got a bit upset, and I can't blame her, but RNG is RANDOM. Rogue might be getting a bit more love, if I'm honest, as I just dropped a few gold on getting the ring I was able to pickpocket off the Shammy in Dragon Soul last night charged and ready to use...

I will forget the hour and a bit last night I spent trying to get this pet on P and move on... ^^

Sunday, December 04, 2011

25 Days of Azeroth :: The Saddest Song I Know...

Change is sometimes a difficult thing, and in game especially change is a harsh mistress, especially for those it leaves behind. Never will this be so ably demonstrated than with this video, whose ending is just so beautifully realised... I will admit, this video makes me cry. EVERY time. Maybe because it's dwarves, or maybe it's because I remember how things used to be, and a part of me misses the days when things were like this. Watch, and enjoy how a simple concept often makes the best video.

4.3 Undocumented Changes...

Too tall, but the right weapon!

This weekend has mostly been about Heroics and the Faire, if I'm honest, but last night saw a bit of a bonus. As part of the documented changes to 4.3, quest givers are now placed inside Outland and Northrend dungeons to save all that tedious 'who has the quests for this place' faffing that inevitably accompanies any first trip into these places.  What wasn't apparent was that all the old quests have been reset, thus allowing those of us who threw away our rewards back in the day a second crack. For me, when I heard this, this meant only one thing: back to Sethekk Halls and the reward I wish I'd kept: Terokk's Quill.

I decided to run the instance in Heroic Mode (as there's the chance of a mount drop) and discovered that there's a new quest giver inside: an Etherial who asks me to kill the three serpents that roam the place for their eyes (and who threw 16g at me for the privilege) which makes me wonder whether he'd appear in normal mode or whether this is repeated across all the Outland dungeons. This probably requires further investigation... but after the Faire has gone.

I need to see if I can finally get that bullseye from the cannon first... :D