Speak to me !

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An epiphany - Why was it so fun ?

Yesterday I joined a party with my leveling mage (near 84).

It was a major source fun. Why, you ask, do you like playing a mage ?
No, no, not that. It's dull, boring, in normal conditions, specially in arcane mode (tried and *HATED* it).

But yesterday there were no normal conditions. The tank was a DK lvl 85 with 107K, some intellect gear equipped, and had no idea whatsoever how to keep a multiple of mobs threatening him. He tried, for sure, but failed miserably.

Oh, and I forgot to tell the instance... Stonecore :)

What happened ? We managed the first wave, mainly because of my multi-mob CC ability, frostnova'ing, ring of frost'ing, sheeping, blinking, blastwaving, dragon breathing, iceblocking, etc. On the second wave we wiped. On the third wave dpsers were kicking him, but I decided to say "no". So we went on. After a bit, the healer threatened to leave if we didnt kick the tank, dpsers left afterwards, and healer left too, so I was left alone with Louisa, my beloved DK tank.
After a bit, a new fellowship joined, and we continued. I kept doing my job of keeping ppl alive. Healer was running around, hunter was running around, tank was running around, mobs were running around. After the dragon, on the sentry pulls, of course all hell broke loose, as he pulled the first group, and got the ogre bonus, and later the sentry calling another group bonus. More wiping, and this time, the kick succeeded :(

Why such a long story ? Well... it was fun. It was so fun my belly was hurting from laughing. And why was it ?

Because it looked like a PVP fight, and it wasn't. It was a PVE fight, but without that stupid artificial thing called "threat". There's no such thing as threat in real life War. In War, the opponent goes for the weakest link, not for the strongest.

It's not the first time it happens, it always happens when a tank dies. And it's always the same thing, players start playing much more efficiently and having fun with their class when the tank dies and there are 1 or 2 mobs on the loose.

But yesterda the tank was alive, everyone was alive, and fighting for their lives. For real !

And so, I imagined how it would be if all trash fights, in all dungeons (may be bosses too), how all PVE would be if there was no threat, or if the threat was 90% removed, so that a tank could catch the attention of others, but only briefly, only if there was not much dps/healing involved.

The fights would be real fights, with interrupts, with multiple CC, with a little more coordination required, but a LOT more skill required, not a LOT of more gear required, like it is nowadays.

In conclusion, without or with little threat, WoW dungeons would be GREAT !

Blizzard tried something like this with the Faction champions in Trial of the Crusader, but unfortunately, it only had the classes we know. The best part is that it was a randomized set, and in HC mode, mobs were untauntable. The worst part ? Of course, it was a 10-raid, you needed a guild, or an achievement, or be overgeared, to get in. Otherwise you were stuck doing stupid tournament dailies outside.

So, again, RANDOMIZE trash. WoW would be BETTER. More skill, more attention required, less gear ! Less automation. Less "playing with your eyes closed"

Time for Blizzard to start thinking, not of "heroic modes", but of "real war modes". Probably too late for me anyway, but still...

This was my epiphany during last night's wait for the Australian F1 Grand Prix to start.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

One account cancelled, one to go

In the last year or so, several players that played with me in my guilds on Chromaggus, Lightbringer and Silvermoon stopped playing, including no less than four guild masters. Some of them for personal reasons, but many left because others left, because they got bored, got sick with other players attitudes, or the game mechanics.

This week I tried to understand what is going on with the player base, and with my sickness towards WoW. The topics with most views on wow forums are, undoubtly, negative, as you can see in http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/. The most popular are
-"Is the game dying"
-"Wow player login decline since January"
-"The attitude spawning from this game makes me sick".

It has become an utterly boring game, with a spicy biasing on "gear outperforms skill by thousands of miles."

The quick guide to WoW is:
You level a character
You can kill several mobs simultaneously (e.g in LOTRO, more than 1 is a challenge), You go through the same hub quests, in Cataclysm, worse, in linear mode.
You reach your cap level,
You farm equipment in 5-dungeons. PUGs work, but you can get ninja'd.
You farm reputations for more equipment or enchants.
You farm medals for more equipment or enchant.
and then..
You can't even enter a single-raid, unless you get a "gear level", unless you can do "imba dps", and an "achievement" for it, which you don't have, unless you are in a guild, unless the guild raids, unless you can raid with the guild at nearly all times (or you get demoted).

In WoW, there is no such thing as "we need a player for a raid. If you are nice, and know what do do, come along". In LOTRO it's *ALL* there is.

It was like this during TBC, it was like this during WOTLK, and it is like this during Cataclysm. Nothing changed.

If you go for PVP, it's the same. If you reach cap level and enter a battleground, you are smashed for having 0 resilience. You have to slowly go up the ladder, or go into arenas, meaning, you need stable partners to be successful. You cannot have fun trying to kill a player, because the player will always kill you, irrespective of your skill. Blizzard introduced rated battlegrounds, which I hoped would allow skill to show up. Wrong, it's simply a thing for elitist guilds show off their style, and titles, like Commander, a title I got in Vanilla by single-player PVP in battlegrounds for hours (10-hour Alterac Valleys), are now obtainable by those players. More casual PVP players, can't kill them, because again, gear outperforms skill. And all these players do is farm farm farm. Farm honor points, conquest points, valor points, heroism points, stupidity points.

So what prevents you from having fun ? From the forum answers, and my oppinion, addons, damage meters, achievement checking, anything that promotes elitism.

Elitism is good, WoW say. We need it to support our player base. LOTRO does not have elitism, people invite casuals to raids, and even radiance, an elistist stat from LOTRO, was removed this week. Blizzard will say, sure, but we have 10M players, you have 250K or so. True.

What does elitism promote ? Rudeness, lack of cooperation, of social attitude, of comprehension. You see that in battlegrounds, in dungeons, in chat, in trade, nearly everywhere except may be on raids, where cooperation is mandatory.

And this is what is causing me to stop playing. I don't have a playing guild, I'm too bored to go into a guild and having to again demonstrate I'm a valuable player, while I see the guild falling apart because 1 single healer or tank leaves in rage, in anger, because he's too pro, and we're all noobs, and there we go again.

No. I'll be back playing, when and if people I played with come back, and if I can have fun again, which I doubt. Atm, WoW is boring, elitist, full of people with the wrong attitude.

One account is cancelled, the other one will last a few more weeks.

PS: At the same time, I saw surprisingly, a few days ago, during my work time, Blizzard entertainment founders ringing the closing bell at Nasdaq. Why so ? Blizzard has become a successful money drainer. But that's about it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Morkin, the son of the Moonprince of Midnight

My first char, Morkin the Warrior, reached 85 today, tanking through dungeons from 83 upwards. Comparing with druid and pala and DK, it's the one I had more trouble doing dps, and keeping aggro. Why ? Because, when a tank gets to 84 and starts to tank normal 84-85 dungeons, it gets a sometimes big.. problem.

The problem is of course, that aggro machines with iLvl35X doing 20K are using normal instances to cap their reputation with the Cataclysm factions. So.. a poor geared 310-320 iLvl level 84 tank like me suddenly has to keep aggro on 4-5 mobs that are being nuked by those BWD/.. geared players that usually have no respect whatsoever for whoever is tanking, attacking multiple mobs in the 1st second of the fight, draining the mana out of healers due to spurious aggro, and forcing the tank to keep all its senses 120% alert to keep the mobs focused on him while doing 1/4 of the dps. Grim'Batol Trol'vir, or Origination Halls. Nightmarish :)

Tell me about playability..

But I'm 85 now, so things will get better as I get some gear towards i329.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tier 11 2-bonus set

Today I got lucky in Baradin Hold and got the T11 warlockie leggings, enabling the 2-piece bonus set. What a crap. I don't remember such a bad bonus "Reduces the cast time of your Chaos Bolt, Hand of Gul'dan, and Haunt spells by 10%". Talk about lack of imagination. I did 14.4 kdps with no flask/food. Oh well, one more 359 item, hopefully it will pump me to the 15k dps area.

On a different note, I installed the PTR and even got into Zul'Aman, one of the "new" dungeons in the 4.1. content patch. Blizzard are slacking more and more. They are now revamping old dungeons, Zul'Aman, as it seems, with little to no changes in game mechanics. Hopefully Zul'Gurub will be a bit better.

Alt-ing continues. Clarabela is now 85, resto'ing in dungeons, approaching 500 in jewelcrafting and enchanting, and 328 iLvl. Soon, I'll taste some heroics. I got all the healing trinkets, including the egg one, a nice trinket that shields a target for 30 sec. and keeps generating mana until the shield is consumed by absorbed damage, releasing more mana. I created a macro to cast it on me, but I've read the best thing to do is to cast it on a pet (as long as the hunter/lock isn't an idiot and doesnt have the pet growling/taunting) since they get so much AoE avoidance.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Drôle de guerre

As the french in 1940 before the Germans attacked them, I'm also in standby, leveling alts and waiting for something to happen.

Supposedly, my new casual 2-day raid guild will start raiding tomorrow. Tbh, it is likely that at the end of the raid I will simply stop forever, such is my lack of focus. Arcadia, my old guild, is to be blamed. I enjoyed being part of a real team. But a team is not a bunch of people that get together to play. There must be something else a chemistry, and most times, there isn't. Arcadia had it. May be I will get lucky with Vindication, who knows. I've been running some weekly Baradin Hold, and it's been working.

At the moment, Star Wars: Galaxies and LOTRO are my favorite MMORPG. Actually Portucale Electus, my LOTRO guild, is very good, it has a mix of core and casual players, and the core players *do* help the casuals, by running dungeons with them, helping in quests, etc. It's the LOTRO magic :)

Meanwhile i'm lacking guts to try tanking a heroic. I got 332 iLvl with about 120K hp with Moonprince my paladin.

Ah, last but not least, my druid tank reached 85, and the last weeks were spent with Clarabela, healing her cowy way up to 84. Soon she too will reach the peak.

WoW lost the edge for me. May be it was because of the AQ40 scepter mess, may be it was just because i'm playing since 2005 and ... it's a long time. Overall, it's for sure because of the kind of players you get in PUG's. It's so so so different from LOTRO. Players are so much more fun, kind, mature..yep that's the word. It's a game tuned for adults while WoW has become a youngster's game. Too funny, at the same time too professional, too "rated". There are no /recounts in LOTRO. Enough said.

Today I'm going to subscribe Galaxies, as I've been having fun with the game, and I will keep playing until Star Wars the Old Republic, comes out. Then we'll see.