Monday, October 24, 2011

The Panda Expansion

I don't care.

Really, I think the concept art looks great. Players have been raiding and PvPing with cats and cows and bears for years, now we have dogs and more bears. It's not really an issue is it? Maybe a lot of the haters are just insecure over their sexual orientation?

I've been happily playing a chick in this game for several years now. In most games, especially fighting games, the first thing I do is play a chick. I'm a happily married man with a wonderful wife...and I like sexy.

In the right gear a feral panda is going to look pretty awesome...if not sexy. I've seen some awesome-looking cows in this game...having a little trouble with the dogs, but I can't be happy with everything can I?

Most of the new features and improvements seem ok to me too. I love the idea of a pet combat system. I hate the fact that my pet collection is so pointless. It was fun getting a few of them but now I'm just collecting so I can have a celestial dragon...thing someday.

Any dungeon system that gets me in without having to be awesome and study tutorials is going to be fun for me also. Scenarios could be really great. I see my kids grouping up in other games and they don't play so well...but no one is kicking them for being awful...I'm a little envious.

I was really hoping World of Warcraft would eventually give us their take on Chinese or Japanese environments and so far I'm not disappointed.

I think I might like leveling up a female monk chick.

One thing I am surprised about is that this expansion is giving us a new class as well as a new race, one that can be played by both factions to boot. Wonder how this concept will play itself out in future content.

So, yeah, in my opinion, so far so good. Looks like they might have me for another couple of years at least...finances willing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Item Procs

Item procs are a limited mechanic.

For instance I am referring in particular to the new druid staff that allows them to change into a flaming cat during combat.

The problem here is that the staff has to be equipped during combat.

Now, how often is that staff going to be the optimal item to have equipped during a raid or other group encounter? Right now there might be several bosses where the staff is good enough, but the next raid tier? How about the next expansion?

The flaming cat effect should be a passive proc of sorts that the druid can learn rather than hoping to have the right content available to make the staff the right weapon to have equipped.

Passive Procs

World of Warcraft is a at point where it is difficult for the developers to add new abilities without removing or combining old ones. A way around this problem is to add new passive procs rather than action button spells or abilities.

They would work like any other proc or passive ability: a chance for something to happen. The developers could add new and cool character animations that activate with the procs. Since World of Warcraft is already straddling the line between action games and MMOs anyway, why not?

For instance, let's pretend my Fury Warrior just procced a passive ability called "Tornado" or "Hurricane" or something of the sort. Now she pulls out her two swords and goes into a sword-twirling frenzy, maybe spinning around a few times. Another proc perhaps has a chance of occurring during this frenzy and she does a flip or two, bringing down her swords for extra damage or a knockback.

Essentially the passive procs would combine "vanity" animations with extra speed or damage or other abilities. This way we don't have to worry about where to place the new spells from the next expansion, or worry about having to drop others that we thought were cool.

More flavor is always good and fun.

Ways of implementing these abilities could be very interesting as well. Heroic questlines that reward these abilities at the end. We wouldn't want these to be group quests, however. Just fun ways of advancing our characters further. The abilities could be added throughout an expansion rather than, or at least not just via the leveling trip.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jadefang Slain.

Eight and a half hours.

That is how long I camped Jadefang's spawn-point yesterday. I decided on a whim that I had to have the shale spider hatchling and looked up strats to get it. Comments suggested that a lot of people get lucky and he is just sitting there on their first attempt so I went for it.

He wasn't there.

I thought maybe he would spawn in just a few minutes.

The next thing I knew 3-4 hours had passed and I was now wondering if I would be willing or able to camp in that cave for a twelve-hour spawn cycle. I wasn't sure what the cycle actually was. I also had no idea how long he had been dead before I arrived.

So, after almost 200 kills of the small purple shale spiders during my eight and a half hour wait, rubbing my dry-tired eyes, suddenly there he was, spawning in.

I didn't waste a second.

I don't know if I could ever do something like that again and I have a potential post complaining about this rare spawn mechanic.

But I did it.

Good luck to any future Jadefang hunters!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A New Level 60

The past few days I've been leveling my second mage. The first one stopped leveling early on and became a guild bank toon. This one was made after The Shattering changed all the leveling experiences in the starting zones. I liked the new experience and kept going.

Then I sent her to Hellfire Peninsula.

Not so fun.

From 60-61 wasn't so bad, but the second tier of quests here are awful. Even with the ability to fly over most of the mobs, it is a grueling experience. Had to kill 15 of those worms that shake the stones...and they managed to gang up on me a couple of times. Gathering 30 pcs of the broken airship was easy, but it took a while to clear the birds away. Killing 10 orcs shouldn't have been too difficult, but then you find out that you essentially have to kill them twice when on that device run...not fun when you have to eat/drink after every kill (double kill?)...less fun when they start respawning on top of you.

The wolf riders give loot but their mounts don't, even though they are just as hard to kill.

Go to a quest "hub" and get sent in two opposite directions for your quests...turn them in...go back to one of the locations you just visited...go back to Honor Hold...

How did I ever get through this on my main? You remember the first time after it was released right? You couldn't fly yet. You had to find the flight trainer first but he was a looooong ways off in a higher-level zone. And you had to be a higher level and you had to have a bit of gold.

I was watching my experience bar while questing on this mage and it hardly moved at all until turned in the quests. But it can take a good chunk of time to do those quests. I suppose that the over-all experience is faster, but it's no less frustrating than it was the first time...with the exception of a few quests where the flying at level 60 allow you bypass some of the mobs.

Oh, and that mine just outside of Honor Hold...good grief...I cleared it on the way in, had to wait for some respawns because someone else had already been there. Then I had to clear it on the way out. Then I had to clear it on the way back in to kill the "boss"...but I had to wait for him to respawn because someone had just killed him...then I had to clear my way back out...again.

I don't know If I could do this with a third alt. Maybe I'll invest in some heirlooms so I can one-shot this stuff. Then I wouldn't have to stop and refresh so often while questing. At least I can fly away to someplace safe to eat and drink...the first time through you couldn't do that.

I'll keep pushing though. I would like to know what it's like to have two max-level characters.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Resetting My Fury Warrior.

I spoke with a guildie yesterday about how to improve my Warrior's DPS so I don't get laughed at quite so much, and maybe not get kicked from so many groups.

I used to pay attention to stats, but with the frequency that Blizzard changes them I gave up.

But I guess I'm ready to start taking the numbers more seriously. It doesn't hurt to improve a character and mine could stand to see lots of improvement.

Of course, the numbers are changing again with the Firelands Patch, but I could get a start on some things this weekend before it releases on Tuesday. I might have some more downtime from work after this coming week so I'll have time to work on the stats some more then.

Hit and Expertise seem pretty important. I don't understand the new stats yet, Expertise, Haste, Mastery...but I guess it's just time to crunch some numbers again. Then at least maybe my group pugs won't be so awful.

Soloing Old Instances in Cataclysm.

This is actually a fun venture. I wish the payoff was a little better, but I'm sure the developers would argue that they actually want you to work for your rewards, thus they nerfed the Magtheridon rewards when people found out that he was a great way to make oodles of gold.

Anyway, I have a gripe. Yes, I do.

I shouldn't have to be in a raid to solo an old raid instance.

I don't care about what the intent is, or anything that raiders or fanbois think is logical. If I'm the only one on in my guild at 3am and I want to solo an old, obsolete raid instance, I shouldn't have to wait until 6-8am for more guildies to come online just so I can ask them to make a raid with me just long enough for me to enter the instance.

THAT is what doesn't make sense.

The alternative, of course, is to either make sure no one solos old raids altogether, or to unlock them from solo play.

If the problem is that crafty players might find a way to take advantage of a current level dungeon and profit from it, then fix THAT. If all they have to do is get someone to make a fake raid with them, then why have the lock in place at all?

And I'm going to be honest. Sure I would like to finally experience some of those old stories, but I also want to farm some of these places as an alternative to grinding elementals or playing the auction house.

But I had fun doing the ones that I did. Found out I'm not ready for level 80 dungeons yet, but I can wait.