Google+ ALT : ernative: 09/29/2013 - 10/06/2013

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Enjoy Yourself



I love a party with an Atmosphere, so don't bring Russ Abbot along...


I'm not here, so as you read this I have to apologise. Don't worry, I won't be enjoying myself too much. However, what I will be doing whilst being not here is thinking ahead to the next month, because... well, if you don't think Blizzcon's going to be HUGE this year, then I sense you don't grasp the general mood around these parts. There is an awful lot riding on Blizzard's next step forward, and I'm already conscious of a great many wheels in motion. That silence you can hear right now, punctuated by the quite obvious sound effect of a cricket? That tumbleweed that just rolled past, peppered with red and blue bits of shiny paper?

Calm before the storm, my friends, calm before what might end up as the perfect storm.


Roger's Prosthetic Hand Attachments had a solution for everything.

You could argue that never has so much rested on one Expansion before. This is a new place we find ourselves in, and we have arrived with a measure of speed that in gaming terms makes Usain Bolt look like a Giant Tortoise. Game patch times have not only been picked up, all the content just keeps on running. The speed at which Blizzard respond to customer concerns means that we can complain about LFR difficulty and get the nerfs on the table within a week. This really is the Modern World of instant responses, and that means that I'd expect once we get to Blizzcon, there'll be a fully-fledged new Expansion, ready to Beta Test.

Or will there?

The current silence about anything Blizzcon related isn't a surprise: we only just got 5.4, people are still bedding in, you can't even get to Garrosh in LFR yet. I wonder if that wing's opening was meant to co-incide with the one month to go countdown or whether it was a happy accident, but I'd like to bet that as soon as we get to the 8th, there might be some hints of what is to come. There's been a lot of speculation as to whether we will have playable data in our hands, and with the timings we've seen for previous patches that would make sense... but there's still not any copyrighted new Expansion name yet (there's another possible doing the rounds, but it is nothing like confirmed) This has led some people to speculate that there may not be an Expansion at all and you know what, I think they may be right.

I'll tell you what the new release of the game's going to be called, shall I?

World of Warcraft: 10th Anniversary Edition.


No need to register new trademarks or get a new site sorted. No requirement for being sneaky or to hide information from key organisations, because it's just the same game, but without the need to encumber itself with a title. It encompasses all that is great about the game with one phrase: '10th Anniversary.' Nobody else's MMO will make it to being 10 years and still be this popular, AND HAVE A MOVIE AT THE END OF IT. I'd also suspect that has a lot to do with the decision, because the film now has a confirmed 2015 release date and if Blizzard want to keep this relevant they have no choice to keep the game rolling on for OVER TWO YEARS. Just think about that for a minute. You will not want your game to tank in those intervening 24 months. You will be absolutely and totally insistent that not only does it keep on rolling onwards, but it GETS BETTER.

What this means in terms of gameplay, is of course, the most closely guarded of secrets but somewhere right now in Blizzard HQ someone is making AV presentations for Blizzcon. Items are being produced, and I suspect they'll not look like anything new because that would be an automatic indicator they're Expansion-based to begin with. That's how Blizzard will keep the measure of secrecy intact, because to the rest of the world none of this stuff looks any different, but it will be. Maybe after all that joking and laughing that Blizzard won't go back and correct the multitude of mistakes its made over the years with all kinds of different aspects of the gameplay, that's exactly what they chose to do, to reinvent the game from the ground up for the 10th year it comes into existence.

Fortunately, soon we'll soon have less than a month to wait for an answer.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Alternative Chat :: Addendum One :: Flex Raiding

In a change to the advertised schedule, I won't be around on Sunday. As a result I've produced what will become (I hope) the first of a number of addendum to my normal Chat episodes, where I focus on one subject for the entire duration of the Podcast. This week: it's all about Flex Raiding.







I cover the following:

  • Benefits of Flex for the Casual Guild wot we are
  • Pre-raid nerves
  • Getting overexcited about loot (/disparaging look)
  • How my Guild is MADE OF WIN
  • Actual progress, and moving forward
  • How the Lore is making me nervous
  • The first two fights as well-designed dances




Any thoughts or comments, or anything appertaining to this episode, please feel free poke me at the following address:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com

==
Normal Service will resume next Sunday: until then, have a great weekend :D

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The First Time


It is often easy to forget that, for some people, this game is NEW.

Sure, it's not FIFA 14 new, or GTA5 new, but there are those for whom all of this is happening for the first time. I can still remember with an often painful clarity what THAT was like (getting stuck in Northern Stranglethorn and almost deleting my character because I couldn't get out and I didn't know I could use the Unstuck function to free myself) and I can only imagine what it must be like coming in at the start almost a decade since I began. Actually, I've been doing that quite a lot of late, because my eight year old daughter is beginning to make 'Mummy can I play a Mage with you?' noises, and for the first time in my life I find myself feeling that the 12 rating the game currently possesses isn't stringent enough. There's been a lot of talk of late about the issue of passive gaming and children, and I find myself ruminating on how much of the game you can reasonably play without the need to actually interact with anyone you don't know. Coming into this cold from any age means SOME contact with the outside world, surely?

Actually, if truth be told, you wouldn't need any contact at all. You could leave General and Trade without any significant impact on your play experience. Many people clearly never read Raid Chat in LFR, because if they did they'd not die so often standing in fire or miss the instructions that told them WTF to do. So, assuming you levelled just by the medium of world interaction, and you never spoke to another soul in that time, you could very easily reach cap and exist in a one player bubble. This, I realised a while back is why Blizzard won't remove LFR or LFG from the game, because there continues to be a bedrock of the player base for whom this will always be a one player game, regardless of the benefits we all know exist within the Community... if we're lucky. I also begin to realise just how lucky I am with the group of people I play with. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are two sides to every story. The Warcraft Community is fabulous, but it has its dark side. Jokes only work when you know the punchline, after all, and being on the outside looking in can be a very disheartening and damaging experience for many.


Insert caption here. Stereotyping optional.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative is up and running for the second time, in an attempt to encourage new people to write about gaming. For anyone, the prospect of jumping into a game that's been around longer than many people's marriages last (I can prove that with personal anecdotal evidence of two couples :p) is bound to feel daunting. However, we are all duty-bound to put our personal prejudices and issues aside when it comes to being open and honest about what to expect and the way things are. No really, we are. That means looking at both the good and the bad when running with randoms, not simply assuming everyone is out to get us in LFR (which has a lot to do with when you run it, a fact that can be impressed on other people) and finding practical ways to be helpful in not only how we blog, but how we interact with people asking questions on Social Media. Everyone can be a bit slow some days, even those of us who've been here from the start. You just need to remember that every day is a school day, that nobody knows everything, and what might be obvious to you may leave someone else utterly ignorant of the fact.


Treat people with kindness like this when they don't know what you do. Don't assume they're being stupid/rude.
Thank you Tzufit, your understanding was much appreciated :D


It is often easy to lose sight of the fact that helping someone isn't just about what you tell them to do: what you don't tell them can often be as big an issue. Without wanting to sound like a Pandaran here, there must be a balance between the good and the bad: just raving about how fabulous the game is will set up an often unattainable benchmark for many, especially if they are coming into it with little or no knowledge of what actually happens. That's happened to me with Hearthstone, as it happens: I'm surrounded on social media with people raving and telling me how fantastic/addictive it is, but my first experience left me cold and frankly wondering what my problem was that I didn't like it as much as everyone else. I'm going to give it another go now the servers are being updated, but the fact remains that to really enjoy something cold, there has to be a spark within you to feed the fire of enthusiasm. That's true with writing and gaming, and indeed anything else, and unless you can find that internal enthusiasm, nothing will ever happen.

At some point, everyone is new somewhere. It is really a good idea not to squash people's enthusiasm when they are, and to turn people away when they offer to help you. It just makes people feel more isolated and confused: the next time someone asks a question in a public channel and you're typing a sarcastic response, stop and think. Is it simply easier to default to the back foot and just go for the cheap gag? If so, might it not be a good idea to stop, think and consider that it is EXACTLY these types of actions that give the game the reputation so many people love to moan about? You can fix this yourself, simply by thinking before you type. Similarly, the next time you see someone new appear on your Twitter feed with a blog post, go read their work and give them a comment, encourage them if you are moved or affected by their work. Everyone has to start somewhere, and feeling alone is the worst thing in the world when you're trying to make an impression.

There is a first time for everything, after all.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Audacity of Huge (Pet Battling With You)

Those of you paying attention will know I'm at a frustrating impasse with my Pet Collecting/Battling. The combination of not enough time and too many things to level, plus the fact that I actually need to start understanding which pets do what and why (I'm not much of a strategist) has left me still with the Beasts of Fable to complete, and not really much of a clue where to start. Fortunately for me, there is help at hand with not simply my good friend Mr Big Bear Butt making me posts to help me finally track down an Unbound Val'kyr, but the absolutely brilliantly inspired Tamer Liopleurodon's Battle Pet Roundup positively jammed full of useful things to help me stop being rubbish and get me back on the Pet Collecting and Battling trail.

This frustration found an interesting outlet at the weekend, and I've finally finished what started as a joke but has ended up as me a) wishing I could sing and b) that I could make a video for this. I found a way to adequately express my Pet Collecting woes this via the medium of song, and so I present to you my tribute to the art and craft of Battling using the music of London's finest electronica duo Simian Mobile Disco.

Listen to the song, and then imagine these words instead of the ones you hear :D






Pet Battling With You

Pet Battling with You (x9)

I got those addons working from the download site,
I got Liopleur's videos set up right.
I got my strategy planned out round by round,
I got the best pets not nerfed to the ground.
I got Wowhead's comment wisdom on my side,
I got a Howl Bomb working now and no-one's died.
I got it all,
Yes it's true:
So why can't I beat you?

I got that Clefthoof Runt,
I got strong flying offence.
Disgusting Oozeling's ready,
Coming out for defence.
Check out my twenty-five newly levelled Battle Pets,
So ready now for Tommy, time to place your bets.
The Island's Mini Celestials are gonna be mine,
The plan of action’s sorted now just gimme some time.
I got it all,
Yes it's true:
So why don't I beat you?

Pet Battling with You (x8)

Imperial Silkworms coming out of my ears,
That's what happens when you do this sort of thing for years.
Pet collecting's something I've always done,
I just can't keep up with this battling fun.
Too many pets, drop rates just too low,
And there are too many different places I gotta go.
Not got it all,
Yes it's true:
I'm not as good as you.

Pet Battling with You (Repeat til End)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Right Here, Right Now

Sometimes you just go with an idea. Bear with me.

I love being inspired by odd things. Take this morning, for instance, when I posted my speculation post and it started a conversation on Twitter that rapidly evolved into something completely different. Today's sidetrack? Great opening lines from literature:

She shoots, she scores :D

Then I find myself thinking: how hard could it be to take The Daily Telegraph's entire list and give the whole damn thing a Warcraft slant? So, off I went, and here to entertain you guys in the US during maintenance and myself because it was a challenge, are the



30 Great Warcraft Opening Lines in Literature



It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Priest in possession of a good iLevel, must be in want of a Shadow offspec.


All Hunter pet families are alike; each unhappy Sporebat is unhappy in its own way.


It was the best Expansion, it was the worst Expansion.


It was a bright cold day in April, and the trash was dropping BoA's.


It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they found Mankrik's wife, and I didn't know what I was doing in the Barrens.


You don't know about me without you have read a tweet by the name of 'You're not Getting a Moose'; but that ain't no matter. That tweet was made by a Mr Ghost Crawler, and he told the truth, mainly.


If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is what I rolled first, and what my lousy starting area was like, and how my talents were assigned and all before I hit 90, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, so I'm rerolling a Hunter...


They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the Flex Raiders did.


In my Vanilla years my GM gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticising any one, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t raided the 40 man instances you have.


The Asian game is a foreign country: they reset differently there.


As the Gnome awoke one morning from a server transfer he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous Tauren.


Call me Illidan.


The Hunter respecced, having no alternative, on the PvP hotfix.


It was love at first encounter. The first time the Dwarf saw the Warchief he fell madly in love with him.


The Undead had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by a missing jaw.


All faction leaders, except Mekkatorque, grow up.


Under certain circumstance there are few hours in life more disagreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as queuing for LFR.


Sylvanas, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Syl-va-nas: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Syl.Va. Nas.


It was inevitable: the scent of stale sweat always reminded him of the end of raid nights.


They’re out there. Black rogues in white suits up before me to gank me at the Stables and Vanish before I can catch them.


I am a Druid with their specs changing, quite passive, reforging, not thinking.


Millhouse Manastorm was drunk. He was eloquently drunk, lovingly and pugnaciously drunk.


A Mogged Admiral's Hat squeezed the top of a fleshy balloon of a head.


The flag passed reluctantly from the Warrior, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out in the centre, camping.


It was the day my forum post exploded.


The Paladin was no longer overpowered, and nobody seemed sorry.


There was no possibility of capping Valor that day.


The patch dropped today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure.


He was an old man who camped alone on a Windrider in the Storm Peaks and he had gone eighty-four days now without seeing Vyragosa spawn.


All that was in the loot table, more or less.

==

This list matches the Telegraph's exactly. Feel free to guess or look up the answers, and please feel freee to add your (bound to be better) versions in the comments.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when you think too much about a computer game than is probably healthy :D

We're Only Science


THE FOLLOWING POST HAS NO BASIS IN ACTUAL FACT AND IS SIMPLY SPECULATIVE BASED ON AVAILABLE INFORMATION. PLEASE AFFIX YOUR TINFOIL HATS IN THE UPRIGHT POSITION BEFORE PROCEEDING. 


In which I propose the hypotheses...


There are two key factors that make Pandaria stand out from the previous adventures experienced since Vanilla:

  • Timing

  • Variety

We can all agree that this Expansion has moved along at a fair old pace: Pandaria recently celebrated its first Anniversary, after all (September 25th) and WE'RE ALREADY AT THE BIG BAD. There's also been a pretty myriad variety of Patch Experiences since this time last year: let us take a moment to remind you of them all:


  • 5.0: Mists of Pandaria. Characterised by a gated reputation grind that nobody really liked.

  • 5.1: Landfall. PvP themed zone with 'traditional' dailies and a plot-driven storyline that... quite a few people didn't like.

  • 5.2: The Thunder King. A variation of the daily quest hub and Scenario-ed cut scenes that actually a lot of people think worked pretty well, all told.

  • 5.3: Escalation. Using existing world terrain for a new area, removal of dailies entirely for a weekly quest and a new collection mechanic that worked for some, and not for others.

  • 5.4: The Siege of Orgrimmar. An island of loot and no roadmap, which has been repeated elsewhere. From this point known as The Marmite Patch.



Please note that for the benefit of this post we are looking exclusively at patch experience where it relates to the focus of daily interaction (quest hubs, availability and routine) and not any other content like Pet Battles, though this could obviously be considered as part of this equation.

This is the moment where I hypothesise the following:



Substitute Russians for Blizzard, then CARRY ON...


It may LOOK as if all of this has been kneejerk reaction to forums, to criticism, to the fact the month began with a J, but I don't think that's the case at all. I think what we've seen over the last year is Blizzard quietly laying out the stall of available options, and using the game as a year-long active Beta Test for what happens next. That's quite a contentious assumption of course, especially when your sub base is rapidly diminishing, but I think we need to consider the long-term plan, which begins more and more not to look back to what has come but forward to the Warcraft Movie and Blizzard's 10th Anniversary. This is the point where Tom Clancy's seminal Cold War novel quietly moves front and centre, in cinematic form. It's time to get Jack Ryan (yes, that young Alec Baldwin above) in here, and explain that sometimes what may seem obvious to one person can be interpreted very differently by another. However, you should never assume that random isn't planned...

Using cinema as metaphor. Classy.

If you've never seen this film, I really do urge you to spend an evening getting lost in it. Quite apart from the utterly stellar cast (not a bad choice in there, every one's a winner) the story is wonderfully complex and harks back to an age most of you youngsters will only remember from TV shows and history books, but which I lived through as a child. However, this isn't a discussion about the consequences of the end of the Cold War, we're here to discuss Blizzard's intentions, and for that we have to work on the assumption that not only was Pandaria planned like this, but it was also meant to lay deliberate foundations for the expansion that followed. What are we basing this on? Let's go back a few months, shall we?


WoW Insider captures FTW.


You may remember back in May (actually as I recall the week I went away on holiday) this wasn't the only piece of news we saw relevant to the 10th Anniversary: the Warcraft Movie became a viable entity at the same time and was given a 2014 release date.  The fact these both occurred in the same week could be a co-incidence, but I'd like to think that this was a while in the planning. Just as the death of Marko Ramius' wife (the same day as my birthday, stalking fans) began a chain of events that I can't tell you about without spoiling the film if you've never seen it, Blizzard won't tell you that all this is part of the plan... but if you look at what the 5.X patches have offered us in the last year, the clues are there. We've seen just about every permutation of the Daily Quest it is possible to imagine. We've been told stories using scenario mechanics, been given no clues at all as to what to do and every clue we need. What we need to remember as players is that Blizzard don't just look at the forums or fan sites to gauge success, they have a game full of statistics as a backup. Those numbers are pretty telling, I'm betting. They can not simply track individual progress but traffic at quest hubs, who is doing what and when, and I'm betting there are some pretty smart statisticians looking at this data and making some informed decisions on what they see.




Roger's Prosthetic Hand Pen was in constant demand...

The best plans are shrouded in deception. You can afford to seem as if you are giving away vital clues to what happens next, but in the end if even what you don't say is the basis for someone's speculative fantasies... you'll never win. Could it therefore be possible that Blizzard decided on Day One with Pandaria that they'd simply sit down and try everything once, and then pick and choose for the next expansion what worked and what didn't? It makes a lot of sense when anything you do (potentially) upsets a section of your audience, so you make sure that you keep your hardcore happy, and for that we look to the Raiders. This expansion has seen a very distinct shift to accommodate as many people as possible into the raiding mentality, more so than at any other point in the game's almost 10 year history. All the faffing and juggling has gone on at the casual level, a player base which by it's very nature has two distinct sides, the REALLY Casual I'll try this for 5 minutes oooh FIFA 14 is out brigade and the DISTINCTLY Hardcore it doesn't matter what you give us I'll be over here on Twitch farming gold group. We can all agree Warcraft's hit a sweet spot with Flex. What's left, after you appease the Pet Battle people?

The nuts and bolts of the game has been tweaked on and off since Day One, and this entire experience has never been about simply logging on and walking straight into an Instance, because you can't do that without (to some extent) taking some part in the rest of the game. Unless Blizzard intend to provide people with max level premades, fully geared, everyone needs to live in the day to day, Daily/quest/hub driven Environment. The question now remains what Blizzard do with the data they have collected, and what they decided the statistics say are the most popular experiments of the last year. If the next Expansion brings all the people back to the yard then this milkshake was indeed worth messing with, because that about face would possibly be the biggest triumph Blizzard will ever achieve. Forget the fact they still remain possibly the most influential MMO on the planet, they'll want more. They'll want to save the submarine and fool the Russians simultaneously, and my money's on them getting away with it.


Ramius: "... and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home." Christopher Columbus.
Jack Ryan: Welcome to the New World, Captain.

All we need now is to know what the plan actually is...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Into the Valley

I'll take what's in Box #2 please Debbie...

A second post in a day? This must be important!

It is indeed, because I have some news of things I was vaguely aware of but had no details to share, but now I can provide both, there's a post to be made. It concerns cooking without carts, loot that you can actually sell and the best mob respawn rate this side of Deepholm. Yes, my friends, it's time to make some Potions of Luck and launch headlong into another (long-overdue) episode of Farming for Fun and Profit, and it's going to quietly insist that you to leave Lootistics Island well alone for now and go back to farm the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Yes, you heard me right.

We return once again to the terror that was 5.0, except it appears someone left us a few surprises after the Vale became toast... and ironically, they're food-related.


That's not bad for an hour and a bit.

This began as an exercise in rare farming outside the 5.4 Island, as Pandaria itself during weekday daytimes is quiet and therefore ripe for exploitation perfect for pottering. In the Vale, there are still a number of familiar Rares, but there are a number of new additions too, and because their presence isn't as big a draw as free 496 epics, their arrival has passed without too much ceremony. The Blizzard blog post tell you about the changes, but not much else. Once you kill one of these rares you also realise that something has changed, though it is not immediately obvious what.


That's a HONKING HUGE Scorpion.

My good friend Euphyley has got a full list of the new rares and a map for their location, but what this doesn't tell you is these guys drop three items that bear closer inspection: all of which are integral in a batch of new Cookery recipes that don't require a trip to an instance to complete:


So, I have a confession here...

I'd (mistakenly) assumed these new items were for the Deluxe Noodle Cart still on my list of things to do to complete. I was still under that assumption when, after a period of farming in the Vale I had a larger number than usual of Ancient Guo-Lai Cache Key drop. I found myself wondering why someone hadn't made them BoA as I wandered to the Guo-Lai Halls to see I could find a chest to open and to check if the contents were still largely pointless. Needless to say, the revelatory five minutes that followed is possibly THE BEST THING to happen in my casual gaming experience for several months. You know when someone says it's great not to get spoiled if you're going to see a film or a show you're really looking forward to? That's SO true.


DEBBIE I SAID BOX #2 PLEASE :D

It transpires the Chests in the Halls not only got a new location, but some new contents. Relic of the Thunder King has become BoA (nods approval), there are Treasures of the Vale as random drops (CHESTS INSIDE CHESTS THIS IS GENIUS) and it appears the Golden Lotus' legacy extended to not simply what seems like a ton of saleable items but SIX new cookery recipes to boot:


You'll find the biggest concentration of chests in the Crumbling Hall area of the Vaults, and be ready to fight a far larger than pre-5.4 number of mobs to get there. These recipes are +300 to a key stat and the materials are, quite literally lying around the Vale. Those of you paying attention during the 5.0 Golden Lotus grind will recognise these items as quest gathers to boot. The catch appears to be that all the 'fresh' components of the recipes are two hour conjured spawns [*], so it appears worthwhile gathering your aged ingredients first, of which there are three:


Needless to say, opening chests and finding recipes was an OMG YAY I'M SO GLAD I DIDN'T SEE THE PTR moment. It was on the back of an hour long grind in the Vale where mob spawns are robust to say the least. I think I can now say with a degree of confidence that after I've done my 20 Elites for Emperor Rep on the Island, I'm going back to Pandaria for the foreseeable future because this beats the heck out of running around after rares for coins.


I does love me some HUGE PILES OF SPARKLES.

I'd go so far as to say the loot drops are actually TOO good from both the chests and the Rares, to the point were I could see a tactical hotfix to amend that. Needless to say, it might be time to get back from the Island and make food while the sun shines. If you want me, you know where I'll be.

==

[*] Strawberries can be found by talking to Merchant Tantan in the Kun-Lai Summit, co-ordinates 55.0, 92.0]

Tiny Children

A PROBLEM with the Island? Surely you jest?

Let's be honest here, gentle readers. Free Loot is never a bad thing.

It makes experienced players pick up old characters and give them another spin and perhaps makes them think, becoming better all-rounders in the process. It allows people on a limited playtime the opportunity to pick up improvements without the need to fit into an often-rigid playtime structure. It's also a guaranteed payday for those who are already well-versed in the minutiae of exploiting the gaming structure for profit. However, when players begin to question the too good to be true nature of loot like this, is it a step too far? Should we not simply be grateful for what we're given?

There's a particular achievement on the Island I'm going to highlight this morning. I bet you know which one it is already.


10 POINTS? SERIOUSLY?

This is already broken: I have Bonkers in my pet screen but he's not showing, but that's hardly the biggest of my problems. Pets like the Jademist Dancer or the Ruby Droplet will require some fairly concerted camping to secure (and I'd bet good gold buying these things off the AH won't count towards the achievement.) This represents a phenomenal commitment for 10 points, and I cannot help but think that this nod to the sheer variety the Island offers isn't actually an ask too far. I'm going to ask WoW Insider's The Queue the question this morning: do pickups from multiple characters count towards this achievement or am I being forced to complete it on P, because if the latter is the case I think it pretty much negates a lot of the usefullness of the Island to begin with, and detracts from the point of encouraging alts to go there to gear. Needless to say, this will be only the second achievement I've refused to complete on principle. That's my gaming choice, after all.

The amount of stuff that's dropping is also a cause for concern, and I'm not talking about the Epics. As it transpires once you've opened every chest the Timeless Loot rate is actually pretty decent, and by that I mean low enough to encourage you not to rely on it for all your upgrades. However, there is very little you can actually vend in the remaining loot table, and the majority of 'trash' has no actual vend value, and often has to be manually destroyed.


Manual Dump Incoming!

No, I'm not going to ask you to give me more things I can sell, but it might be nice if I could trash this stuff easily. Oh and I know, I could just choose not to pick it up but when you skin, that's not an option you have. Now you can tell me to stop complaining and that if people like me keep doing so Blizzard won't gift us any more Islands of Free Stuff, and I'm going to respond with the reaction that I'd be absolutely fine with going back to actually having to work for my drops, because that way at least I'd have the choice to pick and choose, without the stuff being thrown in my lap. Two sides to every story, as I never grow tired of reiterating, and if you gave me a choice RIGHT NOW between this or a daily cycle like Thunder island, I'd go backwards, because that way I end up with an actually plannable and achievable goal.


Here I am, going there.

There was some confusion at the weekend, so let us be clear. This is not sarcasm or abuse directed at Blizzard. Your Island of Free Things is lovely, but I for one would like to return to having some structure and direction in my life. I'm sorry I said that Dailies were boring and repetitive, and this proves the point that you don't know what you have until it's gone.

Could we go back to 5.2 now, please?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Alternative Chat :: Episode 3

It had to happen eventually, and it's only taken a month for me to get all ranty and passionate. It shouldn't come as any surprise to anybody what gets my indignation flowing: settle back and listen to a grown woman start talking about Professions, faffing and lots of other things in Episode 3 of Alternative Chat!





This week, I will be mostly chatting about:

  • Indegnation and Tunes (yes I know, my enunciation sucks)
  • Making a mistake and admitting to the fact
  • Being pretty passionate about my Professions
  • The first #TEAMFAFF Certificate winner
  • Getting the Valley and the Vale mixed up (again)
  • Not as much faffing as usual
  • Levelling a Rogue to 90




Any thoughts or comments, or submissions for my new feature which we will not speak of again should no-one take any notice:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com

==

NOTES.

The final version of the Certificate of Faffery will appear here.

@TEAMFAFF's Twitter Page is here.


==

In a change to the scheduled programme, there will be the first of my Addendum Episodes on Friday: the inaugural presentation will be on 5.4's Flex Raiding and how it could be the Holy Grail for smaller, more relaxed Guilds like the one I'm GM of. I hope to see you there :D