Archive for the ‘World of Warcraft’ category

Guess who's back!

June 25, 2010

Ok so I’ve been quiet on the blogging front. Why? Because I’ve reactivated my account, taken over leadership of my guild and started raiding again. No matter how much I’ve tried to deny it, WoW just has that magnetic pull.
It’s not even the game as such, but more the people. Even during my 2 months of inactivity I’ve had constant contact with my guildmates, through IM and the forums. I’ve pretty much ran the guild via out-of-game contact with the GM I left in charge. Through him I learnt of the depression that sank over the guild, the planned coup of one of the high officers and the begging for my return.
And I miss the guys and girls. Thats what makes WoW such an astonishingly addictive game – the people in it. I’ve met people from Switzerland, Finland, Lebanon, Vietnam, Australia. I’ve met kids and parents, even a family of three generations playing together: grandparent, parent and child. As much as the game frustrates me, the people and the politics don’t.
So I’m back and ready to write content that actually involves current issues and my playtime. Oh, and my new domain is registered, should be transfering this weekend. Watch this space for the new site soon!

Keeping myself busy during the pre-launch slump.

June 10, 2010

I’ve gone as far as deactivating my account. The new dungeon holds no interest for me so I don’t see the need for paying a subscription for a game that I’ll only play again in a few months. This means I’ve had to find alternative distractions since even alting is off-limits to me now.

So what can one do once the shakes from withdrawal settles down? Well I’ve been splitting my time between PC games and my XBox, with the XBox getting a bit more attention than normal.

My XBox lineup:

  • #1: Forza 3: I’ve gone back to this game to get my driver level 50 and R1 WorldChampionship complete. Currently lvl 49 and 3 races into the last championship.
  • #2: Red Dead Redemption: Probably the best non-MMO I’ve played in years. I’m taking my sweet time with it and won’t be rushed to the end before I have all the sub-quests completed.
  • #3: Final Fantasy XIII: Not as fun as the old VI and VII Playstation versions, but still good enough to give a play through. Could have done with less cutscene and more customisation.

My PC lineup: (in no particular order)

  • Runescape: Started this last night. It’s a bit laggy on my slow dsl line, but playable and seems to have a lot of character growth available. I’ll be giving this a fair chance over the next few weeks.
  • Hydorah: Awesome side-scrolling spaceship game done in true 8-bit style with tons of powerups and shields. Great fun. Also have a look at the developer’s other 8-bit adventures. (Edit: site seems to be down at the moment)
  • Flash games: There’s tons of them all over the web but the one that got my attention the most in the last week was Wallace and Gromit’s Sprocket Rocket. Give it a try, it’s worth it. Another is a racing management sim called Formulawan. Originally a french game, they’ve been working hard to convert it and improve on some areas.
  • Torn City: It’s a text-based online RPG where the aim is to commit crimes, mug, steal, etc to get ahead. I’ve been playing this one for almost a year and it’s proven to be addictive and fun, but not a timesink.

There’s a few other distractions, but these are the top ones at the moment. Oh, and a few web-comics that I’ll go over some other time. A special mention should probably go out to Plants vs. Zombies though, always a good fall-back game.

What games do you play when you’re bored with WoW? Comments appreciated.

Hit me baby one more time (or Why be a tank?)

June 3, 2010

Tanks. They’re funny creatures, except of course for druids, who are funny creatures no matter the spec. In my experience most leadership positions were held by a tanking class, followed by a healer, followed by everything else… then a hunter. At the top of this pyramid through the classic ages (And occasionally when Blizzard feels kind enough not to nerf us or buff the bloody palas/DKs/druids/warlock pets) was the warrior.

To be honest, when I started playing WoW I had no idea what the role of the warrior was. I expected to go through life wielding huge axes and hitting stuff till they surrendered or bled to death. Imagine my surprise when I entered RFC for the first time and everyone huddled behind me, prodding me to go forward and keep everything busy while they cowered behind that boulder. In that moment, a new tank was born. I discarded my big 2handed axe, picked up a grey shield and a green sword and never looked back.

So what is it that makes a tank? I’ve seen many players try to tank after playing another class/role for a long time. Some succeed, some gain a level of mediocrity but most just fail. By fail I don’t mean running heroics or tanking a world spawn, I mean raid tanking.

Well, to me a tank has to have a few qualities.:

  • Confidence – A scared tank is a dead tank. A hesitant tank is a dead dps or healer. A tank must have an ego as big as his HP pool but the skills to back them up. No-one likes a cocky tank that can’t keep agro off the healer. This is also probably the reason why good tanks gravitate towards leadership positions in guilds.
  • Maths – Tanking theorycrafting is second only to mage theorycrafting imo. Firstly you have this magic number to attain before you can even start raiding (Defence Cap, soon to be gone but it’s still here so I mention it) and then you have to balance out stamina, armor, damage reduction, dodge rating, block rating, block value, parry, mitigation vs threat, etc etc etc. The permutations are limitless and every tank has his own way of doing things.
  • A Thick Skin – No I don’t mean Barkskin. When you start out you’re going to take flak. Think the healer gets blamed for everything? Wait till you mispull your first pack and cause a wipe.  Just persevere, preferably with a group of friends and a few beers, and hone the skills that will make raidleaders beg for your presence.  Oh, and you must enjoy being hit.. all the time… coz thats like… your job…
  • Gold – Getting the gear you need crafted, gemmed and enchanted, not to mention repaired, is gonna cost you a few small fortunes. Be prepared to having a money-making profession (that also benefits you) or rich guildies to help you out. And because every tiny stat helps so much when you’re a tank, you can’t afford to not get that +30 stam gem.
  • Gear – I hate it but it’s true. Tanks, especially warrior tanks, are gear dependent. You can fake your way into a VoA with some PvP gear and a bunch of blues hiding away as a DPS class, but as a tank it’s not your raidmates that judge your gear, but that big boss you’re trying to impress enough so he’ll keep hitting on you. Bosses care enough about things like whether you’re crit immune or if you have more hp than what he hits for or if you do enough threat to keep the hunter who doesn’t know how to FD alive. Of course Gear needs to be coupled with…
  • Skill – Tanking is like a dance. A complex dance, not a linedance. You can’t just bash two buttons every 3 seconds and expect to come out a winner like some DPS classes in the past. You have to be situationally aware, not just about your own position, but the boss and the spawning creep and your teammates. You have an ability for every situation and you need to know which one works the most effectively in what situation.

Ok, so why this post after my post just two days ago about quitting? Well as a social person, I have many of my WoW contacts on MSN and Facebook and somehow I got conned into tanking ICC again by a guildmate, which got me to thinking about some of the partners I’ve tanked with in the past, good and bad. Anyway, random post that’s stretched on way longer than usual. I’ll add some pretty pics soon. Oh and since I’ve only covered the basics and still have to get to the why, see part 2 soon.

Phoenix down

June 1, 2010

It’s finally happened. After 4 and a half years of being guildmaster I’ve relinquished my lead to one of my officers. I’m now marked as an inactive officer. I’ve tried playing a few times in the last few weeks and every time I just end up moping around on my main and then logging to my rogue for 1-2 dungeons. I do still immensely enjoy the game, the alting and the rogue’s totally overpowered playstyle. I don’t enjoy being guildmaster at the moment. I don’t want the responsibility of looking after 100 guildies. I’m not capable of leading or even attending a raid at this time.

Have I given up on WoW?

No, not by a long shot. I’m excited about Cataclysm and will be standing in that line to get my copy at midnight like I’ve done every expansion. I’m also enjoying my alts but I won’t be speedleveling him to get some raiding done before cata hits. Instead I’ll be taking my time and enjoying the scenery. I’ll divert my blogging attention back to the RP style I experimented with a few weeks ago and that was inspired by Piket.

So to my readers, I apologise for the absolutely crap content of the last few weeks and I’ll try to make up for it soon. I’ll also be opening a new section for my other writing (hint: loosely based on Azeroth’s past) that will hopefully end up in a book one day.

BA topic: Helping newbies.

May 20, 2010

I actually commented op someone else’s blogpost on how he hates newbies in lower dungeons last night and when I saw the BA topic my reply was startlingly on the mark.

I’m leveling a rogue, mostly through questing because I love the lore and want to capture Azeroth in my memory one last time before Cataclysm rips it all up. I do do about 2-3 random dungeons a level too, just to keep my gear and dps competitive. And during these dungeons it amazes me that some people manage to even get to level 30, never mind 80. I’ve had warriors “tanking” with their fists, warlocks meleeing, a mage that I had to shout “Fireball!” at every time I wanted him to cast something, healers in bear form and Sylvanas knows what else. Eventually I get so frustrated I end up soloing the rest of the instance (thank goodness for hardcore rogues at low levels and lots of twinking).

Then every now and again you get a gem. A guy that, through all the absolute ignorance, mispulling and general mayhem, asks an intelligent question. I had a hunter in a SM:Graveyard run the other night. His pet was doing more damage than him by miles and because the pet was mostly on passive the priest healer was outdamaging his pet. I mentioned to the priest that I liked his damage and so the hunter wanted to know how I could see what others were putting out. I explained Recount to him and we started chatting in /w, where he mentioned that it was his first character.

Now I have 2 hunters, one at lvl 80 and the other at 73, and I love BM. I noticed his spec was BM too, which for soloing is usually the easier choice for beginners. His points were spent wrong though so I gave him a few tips on respeccing for faster solo grinding as well as some tips on endgame specs (Which will probably be obsolete by the time he gets to 80). We chatted about the way he engages mobs and getting more out of the time he had on the mobs. By the end of the run he was matching my dps.

A week later I got into a group with him again by pure luck. He greeted and thanked me for my help. His spec was tweaked, his pet had been replaced and he was ripping me to shreds on Recount. He might still be a noob to the game in general, but to his little hunter world he’s a noob no more.

Makes me all warm inside really 🙂

Achievement unlocked!

May 18, 2010

Woop!

This morning I noticed my blog has recieved its 500th hit. Yup, a measly 500 visits is not much, but considering I never expected more than 3 people to ever visit my blog it’s not bad. In the last 4-5 months I’ve had as much comments as the larger blogs get from a single post, I’ve recieved 10 spam comments, done a measly 16 posts and become totally bored with the game that started me blogging in the first place.

I still want to write about WoW, I still want to finish my book on the early history of pre-Warcraft 1 Azeroth. I’m still excited about the changes Cataclysm will bring to the game, more so than I was with The Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King. Yeah I’ve had some awesome times in both TBC and early Wrath, but I feel that Cataclysm will bring the changes necessary to bring numbers back to my server and make it worthwhile to build up the reputation and experience of a guild.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that with my small readerbase I’d like to continue along this journey, I’d like to continue blogging about my experiences in WoW, maybe not strategies, blue posts and specs like some of the bigger guys, but more about the social interactions, history and memories I’ve had sharing my ingame life with almost 500 guildies of past and present, random readers and one dedicated fan. I’d like some topic suggestions, some requests and links to bloggers with a similar taste so I may experience what they have experienced, share in their history and memories. Here’s to another 500 readers in the future and hopefully 500 posts like the big boys. Thanks @Angelya_au of Revive and Rejuvenate, @GamerGaz of the Mana Obscura , @jaedia of The Lazy Sniper, WeFlySpitfires, Stabby of Stabbed Up and of course Dristan!! for the follows, retweets, reads and comments. Yeah I missed some of you but those that I mentioned have done the most to inspire, advertise and help me along the way.

A change is as good as a holiday, or so I hope.

May 13, 2010

It’s finally happened. I’ve grown tired of guild mastering and subsequently WoW. I’ve been GM of my guild for over 4 years and an officer in my brother’s guild for 6 months before that. In other words it’s been ages since I’ve had some ME time in the game.

I’ve handed over full control to my most trusted officers, I’ve told my guild I’d be in the shadows for a while and I’ve set some goals for myself – fun stuff to do to keep me interested. Stuff like:

  • Gear up my hunter to attempt soloing as many old bosses as possible, with my final goal being Ragnaros.
  • Level up my rogue while keeping the RP flavour.
  • Play around and find myself a suitable caster (My priest doesn’t count)
  • Exploring hidden and interesting places in Azeroth before it all goes boom on us.
  • Actually make some gold.

Hopefully my guild will survive the ordeal, made worse considering it’s the start of the summer slump as well as approaching a new expansion. But we’ve been through worse and we’ve survived, so I guess it will be okay. Hopefully I’ll regain my interest in WoW and blogging about WoW and I’ll return to make a triumphant sweep of Ulduar and the likes.

Hopefully…