Saturday, July 28, 2012

[BETA] Your Latest Gold Sink

I was accused earlier in the week of not knowing what a gold sink is. Well, I know what one is now. This is:

Screenie from the Wowhead beta site.

The cost of an orb? 25,000g. What is it used for? Take a guess... :D

Yes, those mounts. Oh, and THOSE MOUNTS!

We all knew about the Panther mounts, but the Engineering mounts are a surprise, with a twist. All of these guys appear to be bind-free. That means that both engineers and jewelcrafters will have a rather lucrative new cash-generating strand... but don't expect it to be easy to make :D

Friday, July 27, 2012

An Open Letter to Blizzard on Coren Direbrew.

Brewfest will be updated for Mists of Pandaria. This means that you will have approximately 10 days after the release of Mists of Pandaria to reach level 89 in order to queue for the Brewfest dungeon boss. Luckily though, a lot of the content does not have a level requirement so you will still be able to participate in a lot of the fun even if you are not level 89 :)

Dear Blizzard,

I appreciate you've been working quite intensely the last couple of weeks to hit your planned release date, and I for one would like to thank you for the hard work and effort of everyone involved. I am sure that you have prepared a magnificent expansion for us all to enjoy. However, I think you're sending out the wrong signals with this blue post.

I'm not sure its a good idea to start telling people they need to level in X days so they can access content that, for the vast majority of those who will be experiencing it, will be inappropriately high. This will of course not prevent the 'hardcore' from pushing hard to gain an advantage and, it could be argued, it will give just that to anyone lucky enough to snag the higher-level trinkets by being there 'at the off' I don't think this is a good thing, and I don't think it fits into the ethos of gaming that your company strives so hard to maintain.

There are three possible options as I can see:

  1. Restrict the content completely (thus restricting any new Monks the ability to achieve the event) No-one gets to get the items until next year, thus making them largely redundant.
  2. Downgrade the entire event's ilevel to 'current' levels, thus further degrading the use of the trinkets.
  3. Move the Festival completely.
Whatever you decide to do I would sincerely hope you do SOMETHING because I think this situation has potential consequences you may not fully have either considered and anticipated. Your player base are both canny and ingenious, and there will already be people looking to be creative with this potential situation. I'd like to think you will be one step ahead of them, as you have always been, and you will come up with a solution that means everyone continues to play on the same, level field.

I look forward to see how this situation develops.

The Godmother.

Thanks to @loopnotdefined on Twitter for the tipoff on this :D

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Countdown Begins...

Quick and cheapass graphics have made this site what it is today... :D

The party is over. The detritus is (mostly) cleared away, and if anyone still wants cake, there's plenty over by (what remains of) the pop-up DJ booth. Yesterday was a GOOD DAY.

Today however we need to be all about business. We have sixty one days until Pandas arrive, but probably FAR LESS TIME before some fairly fundamental changes sweep through the game and alter the way you play forever. AGAIN. Fortunately I was organised enough to write a post about that on Monday so that's one less thing I need to do this morning. I've also written a Guide to how to prepare for Pandaria, so you don't have to worry about what needs doing. I will be lovely and link you all the parts via this post, so you can find them all in one place, and I'll also be replacing the Contest Page in the next few days with this post :D In order:

This one isn't cheapass, mostly because I didn't make it :D

Part the First : Banks and Bags
Part the Second : Achieving the Right Frame of Mind
Part the Third : Taking a Professional Stance
Part the Fourth : Stacking your XP Deck
Part the Fifth : Pandas from Scratch
Part the Sixth : Putting Something Aside
Part the Seventh : In Conclusion...

These guides were originally written in April (oh how optimistic I was back then ^^) and therefore some details about the Beta may well have changed. Rest assured I will go back to these posts and give them a good shaking to remove any dust or incorrect stuffs in the next few days. However, as they stand they still form a pretty decent 'plan of attack' if you really have no idea where to start with getting organised.

Talking personally, I'm still not quite getting my head around everything that I personally want done. However today, after I've done the Tournament and the Fishing Quests, I'll be completing Theramore's questing cycle, which I consider the most pressing task on my immediate Bucket List. I'll also be watching my server's Auction House with interest to see if the panic dumping has begun... :D

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

... aaaaand RELAX!

In 62 days, I'll be playing the new Blizzard expansion. Well, that's the plan anyway.

This will be the secondary account covered too.

I have upgraded both accounts: main one has the CE (Digital) (because I'll only need one pet and one mount for everyone YAY) and the secondary is covered by this copy. For the first time I'll be GUARANTEED to be playing on release with whatever toon I choose to send out first.

I have never experienced Release Date Madness (TM) on the scale I did this afternoon on Twitter. I was one of the first off the blocks with a Blog post (I got there before WoW Insider did /flex) and once the news was out... frankly it all went a bit mad. What was immediately apparent was the relief that we finally have a date, and now the ability to actually plan ahead for the inevitable. The mystery of the cryptic tweets became apparent (glad to know we weren't imagining things) and it wasn't long before one bright spark worked out that the Pandaria Pre-Release Patch has a good chance of dropping about the same time as Guild Wars 2 is released... ^^

Now the dust has settled, I wonder just what the next seven and a bit weeks will bring. Allowing people to buy a Digital Collectors Edition is (frankly) a stroke of genius, and I suspect the take up to be fairly substantive. It has already been noted that the game's release is about a month before the Annual Pass 'offer' expires: I wonder if the marketing suits have learnt their lesson or whether we are likely to be handed another 'deal' for the year upcoming. There's also the issue of a lot of content still being very much in the development stage: Pet Battles are clearly still being worked on, and we've seen nothing thus far of the Tillers 'Farmville' minigame. I can't also help but feel that Blizzard is still  deliberately keeping some cards close to their chest.

A major concern is how Brewfest fits into this picture: it starts September 20th and so will have been running for five days before the Expansion hits. Will Blizzard move the festival to accommodate the release, or will it delay the upgrading of the trinkets from Coren Direbrew? It would be fabulous if we could get the entire shebang moved forward a few weeks, especially as (has been noted already today in several places) the Pandarans like a good brew... :D

Planning will begin in earnest tomorrow. For now, I'm just glad that the waiting is over. Roll on September.

Mists of Pandaria releases September 25th

Yes, it is confirmed, via a splash ad on the Blizzard front page.

We will see Mists of Pandaria released September 25th.

I'd better sort out the t-shirt winners :D

[BETA] Closing the Loopholes

In the past, our only solution was to drastically reduce the gold dropped by legacy content across the board (e.g., Magtheridon, much of Karazhan, etc.). In Mists, we have a new system in place that normalizes gold yield based on the number of players involved in the kill. If a Black Temple enemy drops 100 gold today on live, and you kill it with a 25-player raid group in Mists, it'll also drop 100 gold and each player will get 4 gold. If you solo Black Temple, that enemy will also give you 4 gold. If you do it with 4 friends, it'll drop 20 gold and each of you will get 4. 

In other words, the gold obtained from killing raid or dungeon creatures no longer depends upon how many people you bring, or do not bring, with you. This system does not apply to anything in the outdoor world.
This is going to come as a disappointment to many people who like to farm old content not simply for the gear and items that drop, but also for the gold hit they receive from bosses. My husband particularly enjoys a weekly wander around Serpentshrine Cavern, where (I believe) the easier bosses he can happily solo reward a 250g payout. The concept of normalising gold across the board is one I have to say I welcome, if only because it encourages people out of older content and to the newer stuff to make their living.

Gold generation really should not be a problem come Pandaria anyway, with no limit on daily questing and over 40 dailies available on any given day. Needless to say, I am sure the more zealous gold generators will consider this not only a nerf, but Blizzard 'removing fun' from older content. I'd like to think it could be the first step to preparing older raids for LFR accessibility...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

All Around The World

I have previously noted I'm not a meme fan, or a topic adopter. However, this morning's Breakfast Topic from WoW Insider has got its claws into me: Why do you still play Warcraft? My answer via Twitter was immediate, instantaneous and rather a surprise even for me:

This community. These people. This amazing place. :D

Of course I still love the game, that is just a given. You should be able to deduce that from the words you find here.

I'm not playing with a huge bunch of real-life friends. My husband's interest in the game has waned of late, the lure of musical instruments and long summer evenings entirely understandable. I know two people locally from my Guild, both of whom are friends and contributors here (for which I will always be grateful.) There is The Paladin in Sweden, my two Dutch friends (who don't play any more but who come back to /hug me) my wee Scottish Bunny-loving Webmistress, the 20-summat Demon Kentish DK and even the Druid who escaped to Canada without whom the Guild would have evaporated over this Summer. Most of the people I talk to, or have any interaction with in relation to the game live somewhere else. On most days the only people I will see are husband and kids. My social life exists pretty much in the virtual vacuum.

I have read many, many people who feel this is a desperately bad thing, and I will happily attest that yes, sometimes, it is. I get lonely. A real person to have lunch with, or to go somewhere, is clearly a vastly better alternative to someone you can only ever interact with via a keyboard. However, finding people who both grasp and will not judge my choices can often prove problemmatic. My parents just ignore I even play. My best friend for a long time had a 'moment' with me over my gaming about the same time I was working through issues related to PND and things have never been the same since. I then realised there would be two groups of people in my life: those that understood what I am, and those that didn't.

It then becomes a decision as to how you accommodate both groups. I tend to simply put the 'real' me away in situations where I think it would be an issue, only letting her out when I'm comfortable. That goes for both Real World and Online, I realise, and I am careful in both places until I know the people involved very well. The fact remains however that my current online communities are far more sympathetic, understanding and accommodating than any real world equivalents. The Twitter community particularly, which I have been lucky enough to fall into via my words ahead of any in-game ability, are an absolutely stellar group. Maybe its because you only have a small number of words in which to make your point, or perhaps its just because of the way the system works: you'll be followed if you write something that touches the person concerned. Whatever it is, whether its RL connections across the Globe, or simply the game creating a special kind of community... I feel truly honoured to be a part of it.

Suddenly I can talk to people in Leeds, or Boston, or Melbourne and it doesn't matter about the time, or the situation. I can become Global, both in my outlook but in my thinking. A bigger picture has helped me understand a lot about myself as well as the people I find around me, and that cannot be a bad thing. As a result, the Oasis track seemed particularly appropriate.This is my World, it IS the World, and I am eternally grateful for my opportunity not just to be a part of it, but to contribute to it.

Thank you guys. By just being yourselves, you make my world a particularly awesome place to be :D

[BETA] Just Another Day... ^^

20 minutes ago, @TLP_Barthilis sent me the following via Twitter...

Something important just happened. The question now becomes, what was it? :D

Monday, July 23, 2012

10 Things You Should be Doing Before 5.0.4 Hits...

I always liked the place...

Patch 5.0.4 is on the PTR. This means, at some (as yet undetermined) point in the future, a ton of stuff will change FOREVER. Without an indicator of when this will be, it would be easy to simply sit back and not worry about what is about to happen, but we don't do that at ALT: ermative Towers. We like to be PREPARED.

Bearing this in mind, here are 10 things we think you should start considering:

1. Read the Patch Notes. Here they are. No really, read them. This isn't just any old patch, after all...

2. Update your addons, especially if you've not done so for a while. Yes, there's a good chance they won't work come the patch, but the more up to date everything is, the less chance summat really old will break the game. Time to make sure your favourite patch site/programme is still working/being updated. There will be some fundamental changes to the UI this time around, so if you are using unit frames that haven't been updated for a while, it might be an idea to start looking for an alternative.

3. Achieve/visit/complete stuff that might disappear once the patch hits. Without spoiling too much, I'd really recommend doing the quests in Theramore if you haven't done so/would like to complete them. Other places that will be changing significantly come Pandaria include Scholomance and the Scarlet Monestary: if you'd like to go do those whilst they still remain 'as is' this might be a good time (as it's quiet.)

4. Sort your bags out! 5.0.4 introduces AoE looting. I, for one, will be actively testing just how much more effective this makes grinding. I'm betting I won't be alone either. You need lots of space for all that loot!

5. Forget Grinding for Head Enchant Rep. They're all gonna vanish. Even the old ones. ^^

6. Hunters no longer need a melee weapon. Bye bye, great transmog potential :/

7. Wand Transmog becomes a 'Thing': 'Ranged weapons, including wands, have been adjusted to be more powerful.' Time to pay attention to the wee stick slot a bit more than you were previously :P

8. No More Relics Anymore: 'The slot in which ranged, relics, and thrown items were previously equipped has been removed. All weapons should now be equipped in the weapon slot.' If you're sitting on a pile of these, time to sell them ^^

9. Learn all your Glyphs. 'The glyph system has been updated. Many class glyphs have been added, altered, or moved to different glyph types. Prime glyphs have been removed.' If you want to know what changes and what gets trashed, this list is for you. (thanks to @TheOvercut for the tip) The basic gist is simple: it might be a plan to learn all your glyphs before the price skyrockets [*], which is very likely.

10. Don't spend any more money on Pets or Mounts. Your collections are consolidated pre-Expansion. This is not the time to be starting that second Netherwing Reputation Grind... ^^

[*] Your server experience my vary.

This Week, I Will Be Mostly...

...not thinking about cheesecake. DAMMIT!

... waiting for Tuesday.

I dunno, maybe I've just lost the plot. Perhaps I am stupid enough to believe that if I say something often enough, it might actually happen. The thing is, today feels like the Day Before Something Significant. Maybe I'll get an unexpected gift tomorrow. Perhaps my OU Assessment mark will arrive, who knows.

I'm not making any plans today. I'm going out to enjoy the sunshine with my daughter. I'm hoping I'm not imagining the feeling that maybe, just MAYBE, there's news coming.

Tomorrow is, as they say, another day :D

[BETA] Well, THAT'S a Thing :O

We just finished a pass making all pets that are caught via pet battles in the world non-tradeable. This means these pets cannot be put in cages for trading or posting on the AH. We felt that the option to buy these pets on the AH would take away from the exploration/collection gameplay of the system.

This could always change in a future patch, but this is how it will go out with MoP. You should see the change in our next build.

I see I've not been the only one considering the consequences of making Wild Pets tradeable on the AH.

This is a significant change to the game plan. It will mean that the value of current 'live' pets is likely to sharply rise as a result: what is not yet clear is whether you'll be able to sell tradeable pets above level one (which should be the starting level for all existing pets in your inventory come Pandaria) It also means that all of us who have been collecting their stockpiles of cute over the last few months won't have to deal with an invasion of competitors once the Pet Battle gates are opened.

I, for one, am amazed Blizzard didn't work out this was going to happen. Just goes to show, sometimes even the Big Guys don't think of everything :P

Cheers to @TheMcfluffy on Twitter for this heads up :D

Sunday, July 22, 2012


  • Sometimes, you don't win what you want.
  • Other people aren't all foolish, selfish and thoughtless.
  • Generosity can be its own reward.
  • It isn't just about what you /roll for.
  • What you don't have isn't nearly as important as what you've worked for.
  • There will always be 'that person'. Make sure its never you.
  • Be prepared to work for what you want, don't expect it just to happen.
  • You'll only get as much back as you put in.

Most importantly, always remember this is a game. However, it is a game that lives and breathes even when you are not playing. Never forget the people behind the pixels.