Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cataclysm Hits Home!

Cataclysm is now live at the house. That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Cataclysm!

I don't have the expansion yet. I decided to wait a little while and make sure my kids had the best Christmas I can manage. However, I am leveling a new mage. I already had one, but she's been through some of the old leveling content, also, she's decked out a little in stuff supplied by my main, and she's holding down a guild bank.

So I decided to start fresh. I thought I would at least have to send the new mage some gold for a mount...not so. She has no professions, yet from quest rewards and vendoring absolutely anything that wasn't a gear upgrade, she was able to get a mount as soon as it was unlocked. At level 37, she has about 60 gold now. She has done no auction house selling, my main has given her no gold.

The new questing zones are nice enough, but it feels like something is missing from the experience. There are regions within the zones that I used to visit while leveling in the old content that has gone totally without a glance now. There are other things are being left unexplained. For instance, the whirlwinds in Westfall. None of the NPCs seem to have noticed them suddenly appear out of nowhere and that they aren't going away.

The Rambo experience in Redridge was interesting, but I think they laid it on a little thick. And what was up with the bow reward? Throughout the questline Keeshan "Rambo" is seen with a really awesome-looking bow, but the reward wasn't that remarkable at all. Yet they called it Keeshan's Bow. Meh. I suppose it's possible that it really was the bow and the hand thing that I thought I saw attached to it was really just a separate gauntlet.

Darkshire was nice, as usual, but the change to the music took a little of mood away from the experience. The general tune is still there, but they've added some stuff to it. In the case of a place like that, less is more. By adding the extra musical tones, they've placed too much into the sound.

Stranglethorn. Wow. It always was a huge zone and it still is. But it is much easier to level in now. I used die there a lot, but not so much now. I made a couple of dumb mistakes and could have died less, but still, my record was the lowest yet. I almost feel bad for anyone supplying their new alts with heirlooms and other stuff from their mains. This new mage is way overpowered with no help whatsoever.

The ease of leveling though is a good for the game, I think. I came into online gaming from the Balder's Gate and Icewind Dale era, and I came to those straight from pen and paper gaming. So I used to expect games to be punishingly difficult. But that was a long time ago, and younger players generally don't come with those experiences.

Still, I think there might be a few too many flight paths these days. But don't think for a moment that I haven't taken advantage of them.

Looking forward to getting the expansion, but I actually hope I don't get around to it till this mage is much further along.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Home Stretch

Two more days of dailies at the Argent Tournament and I will be done with all of the races. Not sure why it matters but it's something I want to do. I will be glad when that grind is done though.

Still have a lot of dailies to do for a Silver Covenant mount. Not sure I'll be done before Cataclysm hits. Sure, I could do the math and know for sure, but chances are I'll just do a few more after the expansion launches...someday...if I need to.

Also started to seriously farm the last of the whelplings that I need.

Have a little over 4k gold. It's not much by today's standards, but it's a lot for me. My attempt to play the market didn't go so well. I might try again after Cataclysm opens up, the market will be much more lively.

Think I might do some more dungeons and see if I can upgrade any more of my gear before I jump into leveling again.

Soon, we will be bidding Northrend farewell...and I for one will be glad to leave it behind me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Goals Before the Cataclysm

Nothing special, really. Will continue argent tournament dailies until they sicken me or I get a mount...or something.

There's a few vanilla dungeons I could still do for achievements. I accidentally completed Stratholme last night while I was trying to farm Pristine Black Diamonds. Thought I could get a few sell them to the insane title farmers who still have a chance at the achievement before Blizzard removes it. Didn't get any diamonds, but got the Stratholme achievement. At least that's something.

Gonna try to do all of the Cataclysm pre-event quests. Should be pretty easy, Blizzard wants everyone to have a chance at them.

That's about it, I guess. Might do some more 5-mans, but I'm not trying to complete every instance. Could happen, I suppose but I'll have to work a little harder to get groups for the lesser Wrath 5-mans.

Not sure if I'm going to buy a Cataclysm box on launch day or not. I do know that I want a box though. I can wait a few days if I have to.

Argent Tournament Status

I'm almost done here. I have about four days left of jousting and I'll have the last racial leg done. I'm already exalted with the factions associated with it. I might do some more dailies for the seals. I'd like to get at least one of the mounts. Don't think I'll be getting both of them, that's a lot time involved. As it is, I'm not certain I'll be finishing the seals requirement for even one of the mounts before Cataclysm drops. But it's a goal.

Cataclysm Pre-Event

Well, it's started. No, not the pre-event, but the whining about it. Didn't take long at all. Right now people are complaining that the event is too slow, not enough invaders.

Can't wait for phase four. The whining will epic.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Been away for awhile. Had to cancel my subscription because we moved and I wanted to play it safe with the finances. Anyway, lots to catch up on. I've been paying attention to the blogosphere and Cataclysm news. The next few posts will be late to the party but up-to-date news isn't what this blog is about. It's just about my own experiences and thoughts, a journal of sorts. Something that I can return to and browse through on occasion to see how my gaming style has evolved (or devolved) and to see how my thoughts may have changed.

I would like to point out that I wasn't able to simply log in and pay up. There was an issue of some sort with my account and I wound up sending an email to Blizzard Support. But before that I went so far as to make a compromised account claim. Because, hey, you can never be too careful. Anyway, I wasn't hacked and I got a response from support within a day or two. They had to reset my authenticator I guess. Don't know anything about that, but after I read the email I was able to resubscribe and start playing again. Whew!

So, here I am. I'll have another post or two up today if all goes well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Collector's Market (World of Warcraft vs. Farmville)

These past weeks I have been unable to play World of Warcraft. Mostly due to a change of address, but also due to some financial issues. Mostly, I am just taking things slow and easy financially, just being safe. Just in case our numbers were wrong.

Anyway, I am currently re-immersed in Farmville and other Facebook games. Because they are free. Also, I like them.

I have also been keeping up with the Cataclysm news. And sort of scratching my head over it. When you break it down, the expansion is just more of the same. Some old stuff gets a fresh coat of paint while other stuff makes old ideas more "modern", or easier.

I think that Blizzard is missing the boat on the collector's market in-game though. Sure, they've dabbled a little here and there with the trading card game with it's exclusive pets and items and the Blizzard Store has been a hit, but they could do so much more in the collectible game.

Pets and some gear are about the only things players can reasonably "collect". The problem though is that the pets are now treated like spells. There is no way of showing off more than one or two at a time. And gear must be equipped or linked to "show off".

Now, more than ever, Blizzard needs to incorporate a part of the game for showcasing collections. Housing has been a hit and miss venture in MMOs, but Farmville has take in-game collecting to wondrous heights. Not only can you "collect" awards for mastering crops, but you also get to collect rare and exotic animals and trees. Other collectibles include thematic buildings and decorations. Many functional buildings have to be "built" from the ground up via gifts from friends and neighbors. Some of the buildings "interact" with certain animals to produce adults or babies.

Blizzard really should take the time to implement an instanced mechanic for players to interact with on the scale of Farmville. I've touched on this before and I really think players would like it. Sure some players do not want a "World of Farmcraft", but millions of Farmville players seem to say otherwise. They are constantly demanding more stuff to buy with real money and the opportunity to expand their farms.

For World of Warcraft, this instanced mechanic would have to work like a seperate solo game within the meta world. But with a proper social network in place, the "solo" game would still require a lot of assistance from other players.

Want to build a keep? Your in-game characters might have to go out and kill stuff to find materials and resources. Some of the materials and resources might be profession-specific, that means more activity at the auction house. The Blizzard Store would be awash with "sparkly" items for the farm and home while slightly less eye-popping items would be available throughout the game via quests, boss/mob kills, random world drops, and reputation rewards. And what about in-game vendor shops? Load them up with basic "stuff" to get the collection spirit rolling. Maybe offer some odd high-end tidbits at exorbitant gold prices.

World of Warcraft is not just in need of more quests and monsters and exotic locals, the game also needs something fundamentally different and engaging.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is The Game Too Fast?

This is another one that was initially a comment I left at Pink Pigtail Inn. Not sure if it actually posted though, I got 404 error. So, at least I know for sure it is here.

I don't mind the perks, I suppose, but I have to wonder: with all the issues about players consuming content too fast, why on earth would you allow them to do it faster still?

A nice corpse run makes the content last a little longer before burnout.

It boggles me that Blizzard's greatest issue is the speed of content consumption, yet the content continues to go by faster and faster.

They continue to add flight paths, increase mount speeds, navigate the maps more easily, lift death penalties, add portals...

Holy cow!

It does not matter how much content they add every two years, so long as the game goes by more quickly, the world will feel smaller and less substantial.

Allowing some of these things to affect veteran players who have played through on one or two characters seems fair: faster leveling and heirlooms are a nice touch for them, but maybe they are going too far with this stuff.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is WoW Dying?

This is a copy/paste of a comment I posted at The Pink Pigtail Inn. I decided it was fleshed out enough to save as a post here. Also, this is my 100th post on this blog, cheers!

This is one of those arguments that just makes me angry every time it comes up.

Not because I don't believe that WoW could die someday, but because it just is not going to happen any time soon. And by "soon", I mean it is going to take several more years for it to "die".

I have been watching those "I quit and WoW is dying" posts on the WoW forums for years now. Even if WoW has reached its subscription cap and can only lose numbers, it will still take years before it is at a significant state of despair to say that it is "dying".

Even at 300-500k subs, the game will be very much alive. If other, lesser games can flourish with only 100k subs, so can WoW.

If anything, someday we might see evidence that WoW is moving into some sort of normalization. WoW's numbers are not normal. But maybe someday they will be. But it won't be a dead WoW.

Seeing numbers dropping off in the middle of summer and at the end of the end game does not mean WoW is dying.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Blizzard of Information

World of Raids is still sort of handling the recent Cataclysm deluge of information. Sure, their last post on it was just to organize it, but that could not have been the easiest thing to do.

Larisa at The Pink Pigtail Inn posted her thoughts about Blizzard's handling of the community not too long ago. The consensus was that Blizzard simply does not communicate well with the community, if at all, anymore.

Then suddenly, the NDA on the Cataclysm Alpha is lifted temporarily and a half dozen or so news sites get a glutton's worth of information.

Yeah, thanks for that.

Instead of taking their time and doing one interview at a time so that the information could trickle out over the course of a month or so, Blizzard decided to keep things easy on themselves and in an effort to control the flow of information as best as they could, simply handed out parcels to their "invited" guests. This, of course, led to some sites reporting the same thing. But, every site had something unique. So to get it all, you have to actually follow bread crumbs from one site to the next.

It was maddening trying to track it all down. Insane even.

All because Blizzard is overly paranoid about information.

You see, they have so many people involved, and so many people who want to be involved, that Blizzard has to know who is handing out what information to whom at all times. Any break down in this totalitarian control and who knows what Ghostcrawler might accidentally say about the next Blizzard MMO?

Information is worth so much to Blizzard that they can fill a warehouse with fans and media interests. Last year they sold out of their 100$ tickets in record time. Then, because demand was still not met, they offered the fans a live feed for 40$ and a pet. Who know how much they made off of that...

This year Blizzard increased their price substantially and the tickets were sold in two batches. Each batch sold out within thirty minutes.

Blizzard it trying all it can to limit when and how their information is released to the public. They do not want to release too much freely on the internet because they stand to make so much money off of it in other ventures.

Not only do they have Blizzcon for new information, but now they have the magazine to regurgitate old information. An attempt to put together a record of previously released material and doll it up with original art work. Also, here's a hint: just because there might be an interview with someone different, does not mean they are allowed to tell you anything you do not already know.

We are playing Blizzard's game(s), but Blizzard is most certainly also playing its own game.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Killing is My Business...

One of the things that World of Warcraft has missed is the need of some players to spend large amounts of time just killing stuff.

The leveling grind has a few opportunities with gathering and culling quests. But when you are in a leveling vibe, it is difficult to break from it so once you have done the task, the players move on.

However, in dungeon crawl games such as Diablo, people enjoy just killing large groups of mobs. They enjoy it so much that they not only play to the end of the game, but they play it over and over.

So, when Blizzard said that they do not want to include achievements in World of Warcraft that would entice players to spend countless hours killing mobs, I scratched my head and exclaimed, "Why not?".

There were times in Burning Crusade that I would head over to Netherstorm and cull the blood elves over and over. That was before a daily was introduced to do just that. Then I would do the daily, but not more than I needed to acquire the book or orders or whatever. Mostly because sometimes the drop rate required me to kill a few dozen of them.

Mob-killing achievements would work the same way. For instance, in Northrend I spent weeks just killing beasts in the Howling Fjord. Part of the reason was to get some vendor trash to sell, part of it was to get quick/easy experience, but mostly I just wanted to kill stuff for a while.

It is a part of gaming that we sometimes just want to spend hours mindlessly killing things. Making achievements for such tasks is not a bad thing, but instead would give us some rhyme or reason for doing so. At least until the achievement was acquired.

One cool perk for such tasks would that after a high number of kills, mobs would drop more highly-valued items. Not gear or craft materials, just trash that is worth more to vendor.

The one issue would be AOE killers. They can tag entire zones it seems. So, to make things more fair, just add some islands or mountain flats and fill them with mobs. So if a mage is camping your favorite spot one night, you can fly off to another.

Or, Blizzard could make a bunch of instances where players are transported to small zones where they are by themselves (or grouped) and on the rampage. I played a game called Dungeon Runners a while back that was build around this style of game. Blizzard already does raid instances, so why not add solo instances?

Maybe that is fruit for another post...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Flow of the Story

As I wrote in my previous post, MMORPGs try to translate some of the old pen and paper tropes into the digital medium, to varying degrees of success and failure. However, it is not the purpose of online games to mimic pen and paper playstyles, they are only mildly influenced by them.

That said, there are some things that could work better in online games if more pen and paper tropes were utilized.

For instance, I brought up the campaign modules from the old Dungeon and Dragons table games. Even the modern version of the game still follows some of the old standards. The developers release a "core" book (expansion) of rules for a new setting, then they release periodic modules (content patches) that adventurers will follow from a low range of levels (68-70) to a higher range of levels (78-80). The main difference being that online games tend to do all of the levels in one "module" and then the rest of the modules is for leveling up gear.

So, what about the flow of a story throughout all of this?

In the pen and paper games, the story is very linear. You never go back to an older module, but a new module might expand an older environment. Even if a high-level module placed the god-like characters into cosmic planes for their adventures, they might still have a role to play in the "old world".

This is exactly what Blizzard is doing with the Cataclysm expansion. Player characters have become like gods, and they are going home.

Currently it might seem as though Blizzard has created a problem with their story flow. I found part of a discussion at World of Raids where Blizzard admits to a "lurch" of sorts. But really, the only thing missing in the Burning Crusade is some sort of reference.

Imagine being in the midst of troubled world. You have done some heroic deeds and see hints of a god-like presence that needs sorting out. Along the way you come across an opportunity to "leave" this troubled world to give aide to another. From there you are thrust back into your original world but find yourself on a continent that you have not been to. And here is where the story actually breaks just a little bit.

You see, Blizzard has opted to place Cataclysm into a world without the Lich King. Yet adventurers must "defeat" the Lich King before coming "home". That is how the expansions have been placed.

Post Lich King--> Alien world--> Ongoing Lich King--> Post Lich King.

If this were a pen and paper game, the designers would have presented changes to everything that has come before, within the most recent module, to bring the "world" up to speed on what the players have done, and to let them "see" the effects of their efforts.

But in online games, content costs a lot more money (and time) to make then pen and paper experiences.

So, in theory, the flow of the story never needs to be broken or awkward, but the design constraints of money and time are harsh mistresses.

Blizzard might one day place some story fixes into the Lich King expansion, but they might also just decide to push forward instead. As fiction writers know all too well, sometimes you just have to kill your children and let the story go its own way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Rhythm and the Groove

I wanted to talk some more about why I am suddenly enjoying my time in World of Warcraft again.

It comes back to the old pen and paper games.

In the old days, and maybe still today with Dungeons and Dragons, the table top games would release "expansions" in the form of adventure packs. Some packs were self-contained adventures, while others were a series of epic campaigns.

The self-contained adventures would cover a specific level range and might be for a solo player and his Dungeon Master, or several players, but the characters all had to be a specific level range. They were likely intended to be side adventures from ongoing campaigns, but most players probably just rolled new characters so they could enjoy the adventure.

The campaigns, however, would start off with an adventure pack that players would roll characters for. The first pack in the series would be good for 1-2 or 1-5 levels (I don't remember the ranges anymore). The next pack would be for the next level range and so on until the campaign came to a close. Some campaigns might be good for a couple dozen levels or more, and many months of adventuring, across several pack releases. Then later, there might be another campaign for the next range of levels, then another campaign, and so on. At some point the packs would come to an end at some high level and the players would have to rely on a new setting, likely off-world, with no pack releases: the players would have to rely on ingenuity of their Dungeon Master to come up with the stories.

So, all of this is to help illustrate how expansion packs and live content patches work in current online MMORPGs.

Say for instance, The Burning Crusade just came out. That is your new setting. It is designed to entertain players with characters beginning at a specific level. The accompanying future patch releases are the campaign modules (adventure packs). Now, in pen and paper games, as I illustrated above, each module pushes the characters into new levels. But in online games, the "modules" push the characters into new levels of gear instead.

Obviously, the setting and module model works differently in each online game and none of them are a perfect translation from pen and paper tropes.

But the familiarity is certainly there for me. There are some things I wish online games would do, or do better, and other things I wish they would stop doing, but they come close enough to the mark that can enjoy them. I never played a pen and paper campaign or module (never had enough friends close enough, and once I did, no one had any, we just made up our own stories and winged it) but I always wanted to. Just as I always wanted to immerse myself in the Elder Scrolls games more fully and with a living, breathing population.

World of Warcraft brings all that to the table. Or at least, Blizzard has made the best effort so far.

And that is why I am still playing.

Making Money (Part Three)

I had reached just below 3k. Just under 1k on my money maker, and just over 2k on my main. The money came from dailies, selling trash, and auctioning BOEs (and other assorted items).

It took a couple of weeks, but the money did come in.

Now I'm broke again. I purchased a craftable plate dps chest piece that was on my wish-list at a bargain price of 2700g. The Primordial Saronites are still going for 750-1k, so it really was a good deal, but it left me broke.

However, after just 4-6 hours (across two days of playing) I did two heroics, fourteen dailies, sold some more auction items and trash, and now have over 400g already.

I also have been gathering saronite this whole time, although I no longer need a large stock of it. I have well over 1k ores in my bank and do not know what to do with it. Currently a stack of ore is going for only 15g, so that is only a few hundred gold if I sold them all at auction. I might be able to find someone to break the ore for me (for a reasonable tip, of course, this would take some time) and then I could sell the gems.

I will have to study the gem market better though to see if that would be profitable. I might even need someone to craft some specific gems for me to optimize the profit, so I would need a list handy.

I also keep telling myself that if I would level up one or two of my toons, I would have a few thousand gold just from the quest rewards. I do believe that to be true, but it is difficult to play someone other than my main for long periods of time. There are things I would still her to achieve, although it is all fluff at this point, but I still want it. For instance, I want one or two of the Argent Tournament mounts. I want to get exalted with the rest of my governing factions. I would love to get some more epics.

Anyway, that's where I am at. Broke, but killing mobs faster is good for business!

Gearing Up Again (Part Two)

My main is now in the possession of four pieces of epic armor ranging from 200-245, and two epic two-handed swords (courtesy of the Argent Tournament). I also have two epic tank pieces I am hoarding in case I choose to go dual-spec.

44. Badges of Triumph
8.. Badges of Frost

It seems I will not be trading in badges for gear any time soon. However, I have been knocking out heroic and normal achievements left and right. I guess it kind of pays to wait until the last minute to do dungeons, if you are not raiding.

I am working on my fifth faction in the Argent Tournament. I might as well go ahead and try for the achievement. That means I should get some cloth for the reputation turn-ins to make things easier.

My DPS chest is Titansteel Razorplate, or something like that. It was one of my wish-list craftable pieces. I had just under 3k gold on my characters and saw the plate in the auction house for only 2700g. Since the Primordial Saronite is still going for 750-1k, it was a real bargain.

The boots came from Ebon Blade exalted reputation. The legs came from a Heroic drop.

I am seeing my crits reach over 3.5k...astounding! And my health is over 21k unbuffed.

As far as I am concerned, my character is now ready to ravish the Cataclysm leveling quests with relative ease. At this point I am playing for the pure enjoyment of it. I would like to level some more professions on my hunter, priest, and death knight, but I may switch one or two professions around with other characters so that I do not have to level up so many toons. But, maybe I will just do that anyway.

So, life is good in Northrends after all! And I still have 3-4 zones I have not quested in...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When the Music Stops

One of the tidbits that came out of Blizzard's recent deluge of Cataclysm interviews seems to have been missed by the leading bloggers: the designers are going to change the music for all of the zones.

My favorite parts of the game are the music in Stormwind, Duskwood, Tanaris, and the Barrens. I know that some of these tunes are reused in other zones as well, but this is how I relate to them.

Changing the music is a bad idea. For one, vanilla WoW was a simpler game. The music in many places was a perfect fit. Today's music in the expansions is far louder and "fuller", more noisy.

I may grow to like the new music, but I will miss the old tunes very much.

But, maybe it is for the best. Since we associate the old music with the old zones, introducing new music for the restructured zones might be a good move after all. I can not count how many times I enter a "spooky" zone with the Duskwood music and have to wrap my head around it a little.

I just hope it is not too obnoxious.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Recent PvP Thoughts

A week or so ago I ran Wintergrasp for the first time. We already had the keep, so I was defending...sort of.

When I zoned in, I did not know what to do. I found the quest givers and picked up the quests, then ran around the keep. I found some wall-mounted guns, but players were already on them. I peaked outside and saw some Horde coming around. I jumped into the fray and died.

When I came back I did it again, but I caught someone with only about half their health and chased them down, literally, they were running away as best they could. I charged, or intervened, or whatever the Berserker version is, and promptly hit them with a hamstring (or whatever slow debuff I have, honestly, I don't know the names of my own skills after three years of playing), and hit them with everything I had, then charged again and did it all over. I finally got my killing blow in, but man, I really had to work at it, and he only had about 50% health when I started on him.

Anyway, I died quickly after that.

So, I rezzed once again and then the achievements began rolling in. And I noticed I was completing quests that I had not even done anything with.

Well, of course I turned them in and got my "free" shards.

By the end of it, we won and I had "earned" over 8k honor points, racked up three or four achievements, and picked up over 100 Stone Keeper Shards. All from one killing blow.

Now, at first, I think I cheated somehow. I certainly did not earn all of that on my own terms.

But, on the other hand, I was severely out-geared.

Now, I do not know how well I can actually PvP these days, but I never was that good. But, when the average player is wearing item gear that is pushing 70 levels higher than your own, it is difficult to say who is actually better. When the bonus stats on their helms can kill you at a glance, how can you fairly compete?

Thus, the "free" honor, kills, achievements, and shards.

Granted, a poor player in item level 271 gear would also get those freebies, at least I would have a fighting chance against him if I had the same level of gear, or at lease near that level. But at nearly 70 levels apart, I am just meat in the grinder, no matter how bad another player might be.

So, at some level, I am grateful for the freebies, but how do I get any better if the rewards are just handed to me?

I guess I am just supposed to keep jumping into the thick of it until my gear matches my opponents, then we can see who is really better.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Housing Idea

Players want housing.

Blizzard is certain that there is no good way to do it, but more importantly they do not want to "waste" time on something "trivial" when they could be designing new raids and zones.

I say, instanced housing is a must, and very much doable. Add a little button on character portraits, the one that you see when you "inspect" another player. That button is lit up or non-existent depending on whether or not the player has housing. If an "inspector" clicks on the button, he is transported to the instance of the other player's housing, which might include a farm or some other form of business. Depending the player's level of housing, there will me more details and maybe some special rewards. But most importantly to the "inspector", is a showcase withing the house that shows off awards and gear. Perhaps a journal that players can update themselves and "inspectors" can read.

Imagine a "game room" where kill trophies are exhibited. Did you just kill a dragon in the badlands? Maybe it's skull (.01% drop rate) dropped for you and now you have it hanging above your fireplace.

The potential is endless.

Give it to us!

Ideas From Past Experiences

I like a good dungeon as much as anyone, and even though I tend to play solo, I do plenty of group content when it I am in the mood. For instance, I have now picked up over thirty badges of triumph, 150 Stone Keeper Shards, and an astonishing 17k honor points. I now have achievements for about half of the normal 5-mans and even a few heroic versions.

I have yet to track down enough people for a 5-man quest though. I do not like asking people for help, I really enjoy the "anonymous" dungeon finder where I do not have to ask, I just sign up and wait my turn.

Anyway, the gear is killing me. Sure, the epics are just sort of falling into my hands (in addition to the gear I listed in previous posts, I now have the epic boots from the Ebon Blade exalted rewards. But, still, there is a problem. With all of this gear, what do I do with it? Well, obviously, as I get better gear, I dump the old.

How about a reason to keep some of this gear?

Take for instance resist gear. You get three pieces of armor and maybe some enchants and jewelery or something, keep it for a particular boss, take it off when the boss is down, wait a week before using it again.

Well, at least you have a reason to keep it. If your guild is at that point.

How about some individual zones, or entire dungeons, where the lack of resist gear means a slow, but sure death? Now THAT would give people some reason to farm/grind some materials. But more importantly, players would feel a little more interaction with the game environment:

-Don't go in that zone without such and such gear or you will die!

-Maybe you have to brave that zone for short periods of time to farm the materials before you can do the quests there.

-Doing the quests with the gear unlocks that zone's "elemental" dungeon (sure, it creates an attunement of sorts, but one that any solo player can do)

-Add daily objectives that might convince players to hang on to the gear most, perhaps the entirety, of the expansion

I think I would like this mechanic. Something that does not need to be done until after reaching a level cap, but players could choose to enter the zones for short periods at an early stage to get their hands on some materials. Some people would complain about bank/bag space, but really, if we are running out of room with all of this space right now, then we need to let some stuff go.

My idea of instanced player housing would do well here though, if players wanted to store all that gear somewhere, or show it off. I tried to find a link, but it seems I did not actually write a post about my housing idea. Maybe I left it as a comment in someone else's, I suppose I will have to make a post on that for myself.

Anyway, I think it would be fun.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cataclysm Already Dropping the Ball

No more Path of the Titans.
No more Guild "talent points".

Path of the Titans was never really explained well, I don't think Blizzard even knew for certain what it was or where it would lead. It was just a vague idea of some alternative leveling mechanic with potential for some fun solo play...I guess.

And I could not care less about Guild talent points. Maybe once I experience some of the other guild stuff that is still planned to be released, then I will mourn for its passing.

The point here is that once again, Blizzard is unable to perform. It was first generally noted by the player base with the Dance Studio failure, but really, the problem showed its ugly head from the beginning in the form of unfinished zones, blank map areas, battlegrounds and instances with entrances but no function.

Then, after complaining to us that the thousand or less quests designed for Lich King was too time consuming to allow for other, more interesting features, now we are to see the inclusion of over 3000 new quests. Holy crap!

So, we have only five new levels to grind out, but we have over 3000 new quests to do it with. Granted some of those quests are for the two new stating zones, but that still leaves well over 2000 quests. And Blizzard reps are saying that they want to design the expansion in such a way that no one will cap out those five levels before seeing all of the new leveling zones.

I guess Blizzard did not like that many people in Lich King capped out at level 80 by the time they reached Storm Peaks or even before that. So, they are going to force us into something.

We do not like being forced into anything.

It was nice not to not see all of the zones in Northrend while leveling. It leaves something left to discover once you've "made it".

And discovering "new" content is what solo play is all about.

Stop dropping the ball, Blizzard!

The Argent Tournament Has Cheated Me

The Argent Tournament was bundled with the Trial of the Crusader/Grand Crusader instances.

In theory, the total package is pretty decent: train up your vehicle fighting skills and challenge other players (or computer scripts) and even win some epics in the arena "dungeon".

First, I think the event is totally in the wrong environment. The tournament grounds should have been set in either the Eastern or Western Kingdoms in a green, wooded area with some streams and a pond or two. I know, I know, it is a personal opinion on taste and art, but there it is.

Second, the time Blizzard intends for you to spend earning rewards is a cheat. This is a solo gamers oasis. You are expected to level up to 80 then spend the following twelve months (or so) earning seals for expensive rewards.

The first time you earn Champion rank with a faction, you receive a bonus of ten seals. Then you can do three daily quests for the remainder of the seals you "need". It takes five days to reach champion with a faction, but you only get the bonus with the first faction. There are six or seven factions, however.

So, if you want a tabard and a flying mount, you must earn 200 seals. 200/3= 66.6 days of grinding the same three quests. Want an epic two-hand sword? Another 25 seals, please. How about a fancy ground mount? 100 seals, please.

Sixty-seven days of grinding for a mount and a tabard? From only three quests? Apparently there are some other ways of getting seals: I think I read some bosses drop them and/or you can trade in some badges for them. But that means raid grinding in addition to your daily grinding.

How about sixty-seven days worth of solo questing and dungeons rather than this crap of a failure?

Just because it is called an MMO does not mean everyone wants to be forced into group content. The multiplayer aspect should be just as optional as anything else.

I've been cheated of my time by grinding this event.

"You don't have to do it if you don't like it!" Shut up.

Still Wondering Why I Play

I think I finally figured it least to some extant.

I grew up in the pen and paper era or fantasy role playing games. My buddies and I played classic D&D, 2nd ed D&D, Forgotten Realms, Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse, Paranoia, Rifts, and a host of other long-forgotten games. We even followed the trends into Magic the Gathering, Lord of the Rings card game, the TSR dice games.

I've played most of the Might and Magic games as well as the Heroes series and the original Sega platform version. I thrived on Nintendo's versions of Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior then on Sony's version of Final Fantasy and Breath of Fire.

I got a hold of the Elder Scroll's second chapter, Dagerfall which blew my mind with how much freedom the game offered players.

All of these games and platforms have some things in common besides the fantasy element. It is the crazy questing nature inherent with role playing games.

Sure, there is always a larger picture unfolding with every "chapter", but sometimes you can leave the story altogether and follow other, smaller stories. Sometimes you do not even have to quest, you can just lounge around for a while, causing trouble or winning awards and prizes for odd, local games. Depending on the complexity of the game, or the imagination of the dungeon master, you might even have events tied to working in-game calendars.

Then, once you are done fooling around, you can get back on your horse and get busy with the questing again.

That is why I play, I guess.

With pen and paper, there is only so much you can imagine when the dungeon master is describing the action or scenery to you, "the rocks glow with an eerie glow, like all the other glowing rocks you've passed in other dungeons, but this one glows with a deep, dark purple hue." The dungeon master could go on to explain the shape and texture of the rocks, even the smell of the area...for every step of the way. But you would soon get tired of the voice and cry for some action. Computer games allow you to skip some of the monologue and actually see it as the designer intended. You do not actually roll the dice in a computer game, but the dice are still rolling in the background, so you do not have to argue with the other players or dungeon master over the numbers, the roll up and something happens, whether you like it or not.

When the dungeon master hands out awards and loot, everyone who is playing around the table gets to "see" it through the rule books and loot tables. If you really want to see it though, you will have to draw it, and also your character. It can be really awesome art if you are somewhat talented and/or clever, but the alternative leaves one to just keep to the numbers and pictures stay in the head. Computer games pay someone who is much more talented than you to draw your character and loot to be as awesome as it can be. There are limitations of course, but cool is still cool. Also, in the online games, everyone in playing in the world with you gets to see you and your gear and how awesome it is.

I remember playing Daggerfall and wishing I show off some of the gear I had for my character, but more importantly I wished I could tell other people what I had just accomplished.

The PC and platform gameworlds can be very lonely places.

I currently continue to play World of Warcraft because it offers the best of all worlds combined. So long as Blizzard continues to make new content, and especially quest branches, I see no reason for me to ever quit.

However, that does not mean I can not find something to complain about.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gear Gaps

My best item is the crafted epic Spiked Titansteel Helm, boasting item level 200, along with my two-hander from the Argent Tournament.

Icecrown Citadel heroic mode is dropping item level 277 (and higher?).

Holy Cow!

I saw a post somewhere in which the commenter stated that item level 234 was "not a big deal".

I also saw a blue post or two stating that they did not intend for gear to become so advanced in this expansion.

Um. Excuse me. How do you let your game jump from item level 200 to 281 and not notice the potential problem before just throwing almost a hundred levels of gear into the game? At what point do you say, "Hey, maybe we don't need the gear to be quite that powerful"?

Maybe the bosses got out of hand and they decided it would take too much time to down rank the bosses so they just added ranks the gear instead.

But still. Can't they just decide on a good range between instances? Say, maybe ten levels per instance. That would allow for other increments in between to support crafting, badges, and modes.

Let's pretend that between the coliseum and ICC, there are only ten levels of gear. Here is what those ten levels are supporting:
5-man normal
5-man heroic
10-man normal
10-man heroic
25-man normal
25-man heroic
Normal badges
Heroic badges

That is nine levels of gear, if everything was updated at once.

Now, I also am aware that Blizzard seems to think that players need bigger increases in order to get them to bother with the game at all.

Maybe they are correct, but I think they are underestimating the power of a good, emersive game. Or maybe this is the cheap way out and they save money by not focusing on the other things that might keep players coming back.

It seems to be a rather sordid affair, really.

Oh well.

Monday, June 7, 2010

PvP Is Not Always For Me But...

I went into my first Winter Grasp battle and I only had about 10k honor points for ever. After it was done (we won) I had over 17k honor points, three Wintergrasp marks, over a dozen Stone Keeper Shards, and three or four new achievements.

And all I did was run around the keep and get myself killed a few times outside. Now I need to check out the current honor rewards to see if I want anything from there. Not too interested in the Stonekeeper items but the instance in the keep has some awesome stuff...too bad my gearscore won't let me get a group for a run in there.

It was fun though. Even if I died from only two or three shots from opposing players every time I poked my head outside.

Will certainly do again.

Lich King Rep Grind

Ebon Blade rep is going very quickly and then I will be watching the Silver Covenant closely, although I will likely move on to other dailies and hit exalted with other factions first that are further along in rep at this time. Such as Ku'luak and Valiant Expedition which I was sort of working on before my hiatus from the game.

There are other factions that I have not officially encountered yet except by reading about the expansion, such as Sons of Hodir. Some faction is supposed to offer a head enchant and I think another offers a shoulder enchant...

Being able to earn rep by wearing the faction's tabards in instances is nice. The numbers per kill seem small, but when you add them up throughout complete runs, those numbers increase quickly. Having some daily rep grinds is nice too, if somewhat off-putting.

I think I want the epic boots from the Ebon Blade rep, they are better than what I can craft, but with my dungeon runs, it is possible something better still could drop for me. Not sure if I would continue the rep grind to exalted or not...

The Silver Covenant has a fantastic-looking mount that I would like, I think, unless I am getting it mixed up with the mount from the Argent Tournament...maybe they are the same....hmmm...

Anyway, I need to find out who offers the shoulder and helm enchants so I can start working on that rep.

I might end up with a lot of exalteds before Cataclysm drops.

Making Money (Part Two)

I am no longer trying to play the market, so this is just an attempt to keep track of where the money is going and what I am getting.

After spending almost every last silver and copper on crafting gear and getting my blacksmithing up to the cap, and after several days of dailies and normal dungeon running, my main has over 1k and my money maker has over 500. I have been sending crafted items and BOE drops over to the money maker to sell on the auction house and she still scans it when I remember to do it.

So, the money is a bit slow, but at least it is coming. I also found some old herbs in my bank alt's guild bank and sent them to my inscriptionist who promptly made a couple stacks of Dusky Pigment...good stuff for the auction house at about 50g a stack...I do intend to level up someone else, at least for a few weeks, until I grow sick of it. But not sure if it will be my hunter or Death Knight. Either stand to make some money in Outland but the Death Knight is already able to go there while the Hunter still has about ten more levels to go...I do not think I need epic flying on either, but I might try to get it anyway...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Epics, Like Rain From the Sky...

They are not kidding.

Epics really do just rain from the sky in World of Warcraft these days.

I am now in possession of an epic helm (crafted), an epic sword, I can wait for a day or two and craft epic legs, or wait for my Knights of the Ebon Blade reputation for better ones. In just a few days I might be able to get another epic sword as well since I've begun "jousting" for another race in the Argent Tournament (the reward from my first race was ten Champion Seals, so i am assuming I will get ten more from Darnassus when I finish that in four more days) and I am still doing my other champion seal quests, so I will have 25 in short order. Also, I am doing daily normal dungeons (and might try some heroic ones, because everyone seems to be outgearing the normal modes) and already picked up six badges.


This post has sat unfinished for a couple of days, below is a quick rundown of the ongoing epic rain.

I have two pieces of epic tanking gear on standby, just incase I decide to do some prot work. I am sitting at 13 Champion Seals and 20 Valliant whatevers for my work with Darnassus. So, after World of Warcraft's 24 downtime tomorrow, I should receive 10 Champion Seals for finishing up Darnassus and then I will have my second epic blade, which may not be as good as my Ebon Blade honorable reputation reward (lots of crit)...will have to look into that.

Did my first heroic but did not notice any epics drop, certainly did not win any. I saw an epic dps chest piece drop in the Crusader's normal coliseum and I thought I won it, but nothing went into my bag, and the loot stayed in the box in the middle of the room right up until we all I don't know, maybe there was a glitch. I could probably cry out to a game mod but it's really not important enough for the effort.

The end result is the same, the epics are falling all around me all of a sudden. A part of me is glad that the mobs die more quickly, but another part of me is disappointed that epics mean so little these days...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nothing Ventured...

I did my first 5-man in over a year today.

Had some issues, but scored on the damaged meters and finished the run. Got four badges and some greed gear out of it. Also three achievements. I did not even sign up for a heroic, my random was for the first dungeon in ICC. There are three 5-man dungeons for ICC apparently and they all give out epics that on close or equal to Tier 9 gear. The instance was Forge of Souls.

So, maybe my end-game is not so bleak after all. If I farm Forge of Souls, and the next wing which is now open to me since I finished Forge of Souls, and gather up some badges, I might be full of epics within six or eight weeks.

I am almost loaded up on the Saronite that I need to finish off my Blacksmithing skills. I farmed out over 300 ores today, will need at least another hundred to hit 445. Not sure how many I will need for the last five points. Depends on if I push through the green numbers or if I have access to some moderately easy epic crafts. And those depend on the high-end material costs.

So, in the past week:

I crafted a set of blue dps gear.
Earned my first epic sword in the Lich King expansion.
Jumped on the trail of the Black Knight.
Completed my first TWO 5-mans in over a year (I only mentioned the first one above, but I did two today.)
Reached exalted with Stormwind.
Began the next leg of the Argent Tournament (looking to reach exalted with the Silver Covenant).
Kind of gave up on the auction house for the time being, but it was a nice learning experience.
Almost topped off Blacksmithing.
Topped off Mining.

Things are looking good!

Ruby Sanctum Just Around the Corner

And freshly minted level 80 toons will not be getting in because it will only be for 10 and 25 player groups. The instance is supposed to be near the difficulty level of ICC (or maybe Ulduar, but that would not make sense...).

I am not jealous, just a little disappointed. Without spending weeks and months on obtaining badge gear, no one will want me in their pug group and no guild will want to gear me up just so I can have some fun.

Seriously, it is proving to be very unfun to be this far behind in the game.

And it is not even a matter of skill or time. Well, time does play a factor, but not in the way you might think. Is it not appropriate (to me) for those who came first to get all gaming experience just because they leveled to the cap in the first month of the expansion's release then cried that the game was too easy.

Well, it is not so easy when all of these morons got as much as they could as soon as they could get it, then cried that it was all too easy then told everyone who came after to suck it. They were all carried. They were all at the mercy of others who wanted finish the game quickly.

Now, I do not blame players who want to finish a World of Warcraft $40 expansion within one $15 month. If players want to take advantage of cheap content like that, fine, let them do so and get them out of the game quickly. But as we can see, most players held on to the very end, or at least kept coming back to play the newest "free" raid content for a month.

But look at the state of the end game for late-comers:

No one raids the lower-end instances without end-game gear.
Normal instances are largely ignored because loot badges only drop from heroics.
No one plays heroics without end game gear.
End-game crafting items drop from end-game bosses (so once we hit a profession cap, we are done unless we know how to play markets in auction house).

At least we have some gathering professions and the Argent Tournament, maybe we can get something from that.

More About Why I Play

As mentioned previously, I play World of Warcraft largely because I like playing dress-up with my avatar.

On the other hand, once I have a set of gear that I like, why do I keep playing then?

There really is not much left for me to do in the game at all. I have explored every inch of the map...according to my Explorer achievement, although I still see yellow text pop up telling me that I have discovered a new place from time to time.

I am not raiding. I am not grouping for 5-mans. I do not do group quests. I am not doing well at the auction house.

All remaining points of gear acquisition appear to be out of my reach, so as far as playing dress-up, it is game over for me.

Nothing left to explore, no more gear to be had.

Why keep playing?

Back In The Day, if you had gear from raiding, people knew where you got it from. These days, epic gear is like sand on the beach, albeit a beach that is difficult for some people to get to. So gear certainly does not make anyone more significant than anyone else, so really there is not even any motivation to get better and more flashy gear to play dress-up with.

It might be nice to see the instances though. I am even considering trying the new LFG tool to see if I can do some normal 5-mans. I do not think that will help in gear progression though. To get epics from 5-mans, you have to do heroic versions. To do heroic versions these days you have to have epics...people do not want to be patient with new level 80s.

Quests? Well, there are not that many engaging quests left that I have not already done once or more. Most quests are fed-ex or kill foozles or gather stuff. Also, most quests that worth their salt end in group encounters anyway, so I would not be doing them.

So, why am I playing?

I guess I will have to dwell on this some more...

Making Money Day Fifteen

Pretty much took the day off, but I did sell some crafted items. The rest of my items returned, I have no live auctions at this time.

I did not even bother to scan the auction house.

I was kind of busy today though, so I really just did not have much time to spare. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gevlon's Latest Discussion

Gevlon has an ongoing discussion about the "missing link" of success. He is asking what the magical property is that successful people have that others do not.

His reasoning for the belief in this magical skill...or attribute, is that successful people can come from all walks of life. While rich children are more likely to "inherit" this magical trait and remain rich, some poor people can suddenly become rich for no apparent reason beyond the idea that maybe they just decided it was the right time to be awesome. Otherwise poor people tend to stay poor no matter what they learn, how hard they try, or how badly they want the wealth.

Rich people in other nations who leave everything behind and come to America with only pennies in their pockets, eventually become wealthy again.

Gevlon suggests that these examples show that the magical attribute is more hereditary than learned.

One of the comments in his most recent post on the topic suggest that the magical trait is a product of adaptation, an idea pulled from the Theory of Evolution.

I am tempted to agree with that comment.

I agree with Gevlon that the magical property that allows people to become wealth and powerful can not be learned. If it can not be learned then it must be inherited. The funny thing about evolutionary adaptation is that just because you have the ability, does not mean you will automatically want to use it. So, it should be seen in the field that some people who are poor, can choose to become wealthy even though they might be the first of their bloodline in recent memory to do so. We know that this does happen.

It should also be easily observed that some people no matter how hard they try, will never become wealthy. Even if they win the lottery or inherit or are gifted wealth, if left to themselves, they will become poor again in due time. Again, this is proven true.

At this time, I believe that Gevlon's magical attribute is adaptation. You either have the ability or you do not. It can not be learned. It can not be shared. It can not be taught or borrowed. Those who have it must simply choose to use it.

I suppose it is possible that some who have the adaptation of wealth creation might have to learn some other basic skills in order to properly, or quickly, use the trait. But that might be just my own wishful thinking.

I am not doing well in my money-making endeavors. I have lost more than I have gained. I can not seem to get past a certain point. I could blame market trends and the state of the game being between expansions at this time, but those things do not seem to stop others from making money in the game.

This is also a reflection of my own real life. I am not wealthy by any means. I own nothing that was not given to me out of charity or friendship.

So, yeah, I am sort of hoping that I might have this trait and that I am simply lacking some other basic skills that are needed to make it shine.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Story Within

World of Warcraft has a story. But I am not sure what the story is.

One of Tobold's recent posts suddenly has me thinking about the effectiveness of the story in a game, and why I even bother playing.

So, why do I play a game whose story I do not even know?

First, lets take a look at what I think I know of World of Warcraft's story:

The Titans made Azeroth, they are the world builders of the gods. Maybe. Dragons are probably at least as old as the Titans, and so are the demons.

(Remember, I am only telling the story as I know it, for the real story, I would suggest WoWWiki, I've read through some of the World of Warcraft story there in the past and some of it is pretty good.)

The oldest and most predominant race on Azeroth are/were the trolls. Most of the ruins you see in the game are of troll nature. Their god went mad and some sort of insanity spread throughout the race so that we now see them amidst a dark age that they may never recover from.

I do not know how the Dwarves, Elves, Ogres, Goblins,Tauren, or Gnomes came to be upon Azeroth...the Dwarves might be natives alongside the Trolls, but I am not sure. Humans lost their home world to the Burning Crusade's demonic onslaught and somehow came to be ported (or something) to Azeroth, for safety (so much for that).

At some point the undead came to Azeroth as the Scourge and another god went mad but was absorbed by a human hero. He too went mad and made his own undead army to thwart the scourge but really, he wants it all.

Someone made a very powerful, god-like dragon really, really mad. He's coming to Azeroth too because, well everyone else seems to be there, so why not?

The Dreani had their world torn asunder by the Burning Legion and crash-landed on Azeroth because, again, that's where the party is at.

And, that's about all I know of the story behind the World of Warcraft. Sure, there are thousands of smaller stories, but that is the Big One. As far as I can relate it at this time, anyway.

So why do I play the game if I am obviously not playing for the story? Because I like pretty pixels. I love good-looking characters and eye-catching armor and absurdly-designed weapons. I love spell effects. I love an open world that allows me to go just about anywhere, do anything, even if those options are somewhat limited.

I play for the gear, but not for the treadmill of gear acquisition.

Right now, my main character has a set of level-appropriate gear that, while not spectacular and all disco-flashy, looks good as a set of matching parts. And her swords are nothing to laugh at either.

That is all it takes to please me and keep me playing World of Warcraft.

I can be a simple person at times.

Gearing Up Again

Well, I managed to craft the entire Savage Saronite set for my DPS warrior. I also crafted a couple of gem slots and used another item that created a slot. So I bought three +16 strength gems. I almost got the epics for +20 each, but in Gevlon's words, sometimes the cost to improvement ratio just does not add up.

I also attached titanium chains to my two two-handers for some really nice crit bonuses and a leg enchant as well.

Replaced my rings with two crimson rings of something or other, and my necklace and also my cape.

It all adds up to a general increase in damage and crit. A dps player can not complain about that!

I think that at this point, my toon is ready for entry level raiding in Lich King. I will have to speak to someone in my guild to see if they will have me. Also have to make sure I actually can make the time for it.

It is nice to see the lich king mobs die a little faster too!

Making Money Day Fourteen

Another ho-hum day.

I might be that I just do not have the instinct for playing the market. Or, I am just at the right place at the wrong time. There is not a whole lot of activity in the auction house right now, with everyone taking a break for holidays and waiting for Cataclysm to drop.

I did sell some of my blacksmith's crafted gear that came about from leveling up that profession last night. Almost made a hundred gold, and the night is still young.

But my ore is not selling. The undercutting is harsh. I would buy it all but I do not have the resources to support that kind of investment.

Maybe I also need to read some of Gevlon's posts a little better...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My First Epic

My warrior got her first Lich King Epic this evening via the argent tournament vendor. A nice two-hander that out-shines anything else I could get at this time. Might be a long while before I can get the second one, but that is the plan regardless.

Got her blacksmithing up to over 430. Need about another 420 saronite ores to cap it get it 445, then I have to try and craft some epic stuff from auction house plans. I thought I might make a set of spiked saronite gear, but I need another 200 ores or so for that as well.

I should be able to get the ore by the end of the week though. I used to get about a hundred ores a day in BC, seems to be about the same in Lich King when I put my mind to it.

Man, that is a nice sword though. Can hardly wait for the second one.

Making Money Day Thirteen

Ho, hum.

Sold a few arrows, put some more up. At 1s each, they are not paying me back very quickly, but at least it is something, I suppose.

Some more ore came back. Put it back up.

Finally decided to use my banked ore to level up Blacksmithing on my warrior and put up the crafted items via my money maker.

Some morons are undercutting me really bad on that ore though. They caught on to the price-per-single idea but instead of actually trying to make a profit, they are setting the stuff up at just over one gold each. If I go too much below five gold each I will not make my money back, it will be a loss instead.

I am hoping that these guys will just sell out and go away. They did not put much up. I think they were just raiders or something who tripped over some nodes and decided on a whim to make a few gold pcs.

Otherwise, that is about it for the day.

Making Money Day Twelve

Nothing to report, really.

All of my ore came back so I relisted it. Made no money at all.

My green gear is not selling yet either.

I am trying a new trick with the arrows, we'll see how that works out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Not Long Now

My main is two days away from getting her first Lich King epic. I decided to only do two of the three Champion Seal quests. Two of them nearby the quest-givers while the third one is on the other side of the zone. It takes a long time to get there and it also takes longer to kill the Commanders with all the other mobs and thier quick respawn timers. And if another one or two seal farmers are out there it takes even longer still.

It means a longer wait, but I have other stuff I would rather do (in-game and also out) than force myself to grind the additional Champion Seal. I just have to remind myself that I have until Cataclysm drops. Not really a lot of time, but also no need to rush and make the task into work.

Making Money Day Eleven

Not a bad day. Had some ore money come in, then I bought some more (someone undercut me but it was low enough for me to buy it up and raise the price). I would up with about 20g.

This evening some more money came in and I am sitting at over 100g. If the rest of the ore sells I'll be around 900g...not bad, but not likely. I think I will have to relist a lot of ore tomorrow night, but we'll see.

I might go ahead and farm some low-level herbs and sell some pigments with my Death Knight. The pigments were selling for a nice rounded 50g per stack. I don't think doing some grind with the AH at this point will be a bad thing, it is just going too slowly. I would love to get into some of the other end-game items, especially Primordial Saronite, since I need so much of it anyway, but I am determined to wait until my money maker actually has that kind of gold for investing rather than putting my main's gold at risk.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making Money Day Ten

My Cobalt profits came back today along with some more arrows...I did not realize I had bought so many, I must have been really optimistic.

I bought a bunch more "cheap" ore and bars to flip at an extended cost. If they all sell I will end the 48hrs with over 700g. Remember, this character actually started out with nothing, it is a new character that was supposed to just play the auction house but I got a little disorganized along the way. Her first money came from some old pigments that was on my Death Knight. These past ten days she has not gone past the 300(or so) mark.

So, if these bars sell within the next 48hrs, she will have proven herself rather well. I still need to keep an eye on some other markets though. Undercutting happens swiftly and I will have to be able to move on regularly. It would be nice to have a series of markets I can rotate through as I stir things up and move on while they settle down until I can come back again.

It is a nice thought anyway.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making Money Day Nine

I checked in on my money maker a couple times today which lead me to believe that there would be no profit made. The second time I looked in on things I found all of my arrows returned back, and that was a lot of little stacks let me tell you. It took me a long time to individually click on every icon. Every few minutes the box would refresh and refill and I re-read the "Your mail box is full" message many, many times.

I took a peak at the state of arrows on the auction house and saw a potential chance at still getting something out of the ordeal so I put up a hundred stacks of ten at the piddly price of 5s per stack. I can not be sure that this is not below vendor price, I will have to do the math on that one.

A few hours later I checked in on things again and all the arrows had sold. I made a little over two gold off of a thousand, which is almost double what a stack of one thousand cost me. So I put up another series to see how long I can keep it up.

I really need to work the math on this because I am not sure right now what all is going on.

Anyway, I checked out my cobalt bars which should be ending this evening and they are all sold with delivery times between fifteen minutes and one hour. I decided to buy some more ore but the pricing is really bad. several single ores for 5g each, which is what I was selling the bars for, and a few stacks of 10 for over 40g each...I don't think so.

Still, with the money on the way, I will have made over 120g today. When I bought the arrows and the ore with this toon, she had just over 300g. She ends the day with more than what she started the week with. So, I get my money back plus a profit. Small and piddly as it is, that is what it is all about.

Now I am more confident that I can do this and the money I am after. I just have to pay attention to some of the other markets.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making Money Day Eight

Made 60-70g today from my ore endeavor.

The arrows are not selling and will not. Someone has cornered that market and is more than happy to undercut severely. He is now breaking his stacks 1000 for 1g into lots of 100 for 10s. Technically he is not even undercutting because the price per arrow is staying the same for him. It appears he simply knows how the auction house lists items and is making sure his stays on the first page. It is a fair fight so far but I am not sure I want to keep at the arrows. I really do not see a way to force myself into that market.

The ores are ok, though slow, and I was already undercut there as well. I thought about buying the cheaper lots and seeing if I could force an increase in the market. I have done that before in Burning Crusade with some spider silk from Outlands. I did ok but did not really know what I was doing, I think I broke even or came out ahead a little, but I can not be sure about it.

Anyway, I do not know how much of a risk I want to take. At this point I am making less per day than I could with Northrend dailies...or even Outland dailies for that matter. But, if I am to get the gear I am after, then I must continue to play the market.

I am certain that I am currently done leveling herbalism and inscription. I am getting close to having to purchase expensive/rare materials or having to level up in Outland and fight for every herb node. Talk about slow money...

I have been researching gold making blogs and found a couple that might help me. Unfortunately I have possibly chosen the worst time during the lifecycle of a World of Warcraft expansion to make gold, when the players are capped out and going on long breaks. Also, all of the auction house tricks and materials "secrets" are out and old news now.

But, at least I made some money today. All is not yet lost.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making Money Day Seven (Part Two)

I may have destroyed the ice arrow market on my server for a few days, maybe longer.

I checked in on my money maker who put up the arrows and found that none had sold (granted it has only been an hour or two, but I wanted to see how things were going) and found that I have already been undercut with a page worth of arrows in stacks of 500 for about 50s each. So I undercut again with my stacks of ten but this time at 20s. It can still be profit, but at this point hardly worth the effort.

I checked the vendor price and if he goes much lower I can buy out his stock and make a profit from the vendors. Worse scenario is that I am stuck with a bunch of arrows and about 50g less than I started today.

Not what I had hoped for, but the risk is part of the venture.

Making Money Day Seven

Trying something different. It has risk. I even messed it up already but continued anyway.

Not too long ago Ice Arrows were selling in stacks of a thousand for a decent price. Some goblins informed Gevlon that these arrows could sell for several gold in stacks of ten.

Well, the price has fallen considerably, but the stacks can still be sundered into tens for a profit.

So I took the risk and bought several 1k stacks at about 1.5g each and made stacks of ten at 75s each. Not a lot of gold, but still a huge profit margin if they sell.

My first mistake was to forget how the auction house was organized and I placed a handful of tens at 7g...pretty stupid. I left them there though because you just never know how crazy people can be.

While a part of me is giggling like a school girl at remembering the arrows from Gevlon's blog, a part of me just doesn't believe these are going to sell. Something just does not feel right.

But, we will see.

Hating on WoW

People are hating on World of Warcraft and the blogger defendents are up in arms over it...I guess. Larisa at the Pink Pigtail Inn and Tobold are on the case and the culprit seems to be a particular blogger who is normally positive and fun to read but suddenly went bi-polar and hates everything to do with MMOs and those of us who play them are ignorant and brain washed...or something.

Normally, I absolutely love this game, but sometimes I hate it very much.

For instance, right now I am technically "done" with the Lich King expansion. Even the upcoming Ruby Sanctum will not offer me anything new to do (at least nothing that has bee announced). I can earn alternative currencies for epic gear, or I can figure out how to make gold in the game and buy some crafted gear or pay someone to make it for me. But not to raid in. I want the gear to make leveling in Cataclysm easier.

And to look cool, feel epic.

In this game there is nothing to hold us over. There are no minigames like traditional platform RPGs sometimes have. I would love to see my professions put to the test in a secondary game within the game...yadda, yadda, yadda...

This is how people go from being a satisfied customer to spitting on their once-favorite games.

I was in a lowly state of mind and spirit when the Lich King expansion dropped: one guild had broken up, another guild had merged, my friends moved on to different servers or took long breaks...Lich King dropped and I had no contacts left, no one to level with, no one to group up with. And the character stats kept resetting so I had to learn my character's abilities all over again, but I had no groups that I could learn with.

I took breaks, I ranted a little on my blog, I started over on a new serve with some friends and then something happened in real life so I took another break and when I came back my friends were all level 80 and raiding already.

So I ranted some more.

For about three months, I think I even stopped paying for the game. I had not quit in disgust, I just did not know what to do and was not playing at all.

I came back and promptly took more breaks. For over a year I was more off than on.

And I ranted.

I also rant about my country and its government.

However, just as I do not run for the boarder, I also do not jump into other games (though I do play some others from time to time). I recognize that America is the best and most successful nation currently in the world just as World of Warcraft is the best MMO game currently live.

You do not have to love everything and sometimes you may need to sleep off some bad vibes or go on a long walk, but you always come back to the best.

The haters? They are just mad that they could not find a reason to stay and now if the were to log in they would be behind. And nobody wants to be the noob.

Making Money Day Six

Another non profit day.

In fact, if I do not figure out something to sell or flip soon, my Death Knight is going to run out of money just from the inscription training.

And on that end, I am happy to report that she is now harvesting in Feralas. She was in the Hinterland trying to find sungrass and purple lotus (or something) then I peaked at a guide and saw that my herb farming would be better off elsewhere.

My first trek through Feralas was not very lucrative on the herb front, however. Maybe I was just having bad luck.

Anyway, Herbalism is now 300/300 while Inscription is around 200. Or maybe higher. I am on the last leg in Azeroth, whatever the number is. After my next skill-up I am off to Outlands, where I may likely leave this character to rest.

I do not think I am ready to return to leveling there. And besides, I have to figure out how to actually make some money or I will not be able to afford simple act of leveling in Outland.

I am definitely doing something wrong though, I should be making at least enough money to cover the cost of leveling a profession...

Dang, just realized I forgot to scan the auction house last night. Hopefully one in six will not make things more difficult.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Making Money Day Five

No money made today.

I received two auctions back on my Death Knight and am about to receive a butt load back on my money maker.

I am not really surprised. Although I severely undercut the low-end glyphs, I really did not expect them to sell. I just do not see why anyone would want them. Other bloggers have pointed out that the raiding population is currently not progressing right now. Casual guilds are stuck where they are with the occasional new boss kill while the hardcores have already done everything to death. Besides, no raiders have a need for what I selling in the first place, really.

I have a ways to go before I can craft anything significantly useful. And then I'll have to play the market somehow anyway because the stuff that will sell is only dropping in high-end raids.

There is probably something on the lower end that I can manipulate but I have to learn the market better first before I will be able to spot those items.

In spite of no money earned, my Death Knight did increase Herbalism and Inscription significantly. Although I am not looking forward to entering Outland to continue the skill-ups. I will actually have to fight the mobs there and begin leveling again. That will slow things down significantly.

Playing the market is a daunting task. But as Gevlon has pointed out several times, it is the only way to make honest gold quickly.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making Money Day Four

When the Lich King expansion dropped, I made a Death Knight like everyone else, I also gave him herbalism and inscription. I monkeyed around with that for a day or two and then basically let the character rot.

After dusting her off during this money making venture, I was surprised to realize that I knew absolutely nothing about inscription. It took me a little while to figure out why some of my herbs could not be milled, then I could not immediately see where Midnight Ink came from...

But I eventually got my head screwed on right and moaned a little that I had already sold some of the ink that I needed to increase inscription further. So that means I have to get some more herbs. Which means I have to farm a lot more because I am not about to pay the prices that I saw in the auction house.

...unless I can find some beneath market price and market price happens to be lower than the ink...which is probably what Gevlon would look for.

But then Gevlon would also have several thousand gold to invest in entire bags worth of the stuff...I do not.

Anyway, after selling some more inks, I transferred about 170 more gold to my money maker alt. Have not played today yet, just checked out my mail boxes. I need to get things organized better and I am almost there. Then I need to develop an actual plan. My money maker character is turning out to just be a bank alt who scans the auction house and collects gold from other character's auctions to keep track of what I am making.

An unfortunate side effect of all this is that my main, which started out with almost 2k gold, now only has a little over 1k. I bought an herb bag and an inscription bag, four netherweave bags, a few bank slots...a couple of auction house greens for my low-level money maker to kill stuff faster with...activity like that adds up quickly. So, I have actually spent more than I have made. I might be able to argue that it was invested, but I am not feeling that way. I think it might have been wasted. But the bag space was certainly needed. Creating an industry demands space.

Is there a better way to level up inscription? Not really. I do not have the capital to do it quickly from the auction house and farming the skill points in the field takes time. Not much I can do about though. Creating an industry requires high, if not capped, professions. I have none on any of my characters. Except for mining, but I am not sure what I want to do with my ore yet. Keep farming it so I can cap out Blacksmithing, or sell it to support an inscription industry? I really do not know what I would with Blacksmithing...

Anyhow, making money is good. Hopefully the investing stage is mostly over so I can start making more than I spend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Respec Blues

There was a time when it cost some change to re-specialize a character. In the level 60 end game, this was a huge detriment to raiding for some people, forcing them to grind out all that gold every few days, or even daily for some. In vanilla WoW, gold was hard to come by.

I did not have to worry about that since I was still leveling when Burning Crusade came around. Though I did respec a few times after that expansion dropped, the gold issue was not so intense as it was far easier to come by. By the level 70 end game, I was getting over 100g a day from dailies...when I could be bothered to do them.

Then Lich King came around. Something happened. See, when Burning Crusade came, Blizzard had changed the talents so much that they gifted the players with a "free" respec by simply removing all of our points and letting us redistribute them upon logging in. What a great deal!

Until you realized that you had to do this free redistribution for every one of your characters.

Thankfully, I only remember having to do this once in Burning Crusade.

In the Lich King expansion made this free gift a huge labor for some of us. I was not pleased in the least. Having to respec all of my characters once was enough for me, let alone another 3-4 times.

We will probably have to do this again at least once in Cataclysm. But considering Blizzards recent track record, they will have to fix everything after the first respec, then another one for at least some of the classes to fine-tune balance issues.

I suppose so long as I am actively playing, this will not be so much of an issue. But in Lich King, I kept returning from breaks from the game only to have to,once again, redistribute my talent points, which means that Blizzard changed what some of them do, which means that I had to put my evening's intentions on hold so that I could figure out what had changed and what had stayed the same. *sigh*

After an hour or two (because I am slow in this game) did I still want to play that evening? Not really. Then, in a few days I back on another break. Then back in the game, only to redistribute points again...and so on.

Well, hopefully we will not have to go through this so much in Cataclysm.

Making Money Day Three

This post may have a couple of updates later on since the day is kind of just getting started.

My current auctions should be at about 12-18 hours in. Found some more rough stone sales in my mail box but it was only for two auctions and I received less than one gold for the two of them. Still, any gold is better than none!

Not sure how long I will be able to make myself grind out herbs around Darkshire. The point of Gevlon's (and others) auction house wealth creation is that you do not have to go farming, with the exception of the very beginning to build up some capitol to invest with. So, that is what I am kind of doing, but I am also getting the hang of the auction house and auctioneer, so really, I am probably doing exactly what I should be doing for myself and my needs.

Need to get back to my main also. She should have received her first Argent Tournament two-hander yesterday but I've been so focused on this money-making endeavor...

I think I need to keep her busy with those dailies so that by the time I have enough money for the rest of her epic gear, she should be almost, or already have, her second two-hander.

Also need to develop some sort of plan for her trinkets and jewelry...

Anyhow, it is all about the benjamins now, if I can not get the money for the gear then I will be leveling in Cataclysm with hobo gear like you have never seen before:

One or two Karazhan epics, level 70 blues and greens, Northrend leveling blues and greens, and at least one level 80 epic two-hander...

I suppose if push came to shove, I would buy level 80 blue and green dps gear and some gems, but still, one of the reasons I play games is for cool-looking characters.

Anyway, the day is young!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making Money Day Two

I spent about three hours running around Dun Morogue, leveled up at least once maybe twice, things are a little fuzzy, had some breaks. Did some more corpse runs. This time though, I did manage to farm up some herbs and ore, but nearly what I would have liked, I think I am letting quests distract me from the goal.

Instead of farming the whole time, I spent a lot of time killing stuff and running between towns to sell stuff to vendors. I am level nine and still have not bought any bags yet. Although I have taken Gevlon's tip and not bothered to purchase skills yet either.

I swapped some more old inventory around and had my main craft some copper mail gear then sent it to my enchanter for some enchants, then finally sent it to my money maker. Things die much better now.

Put up some more bronze bars.

I am not doing this as Gevlon would. I am shuffling and selling old inventory along with the new, so the numbers are not as "honest" as they might otherwise be.

However, if the bronze sells, I can give back some of the "borrowed" gold to my other alts and still come out ahead. From this mornings Auction House sales she was given 55g, the remainder was left with an alt whom she "borrowed" from.

But, again, that was old inventory. Technically, this character has not yet made any money at all while at the end of day one or day two Gevlon had made at least 10g.

I am thinking that I might invest my main's 2k instead. But I should probably stick with this low-level/low-risk endeavor for a while longer to get the hang of things. Otherwise I could lose my entire financial "wealth" within 48hrs.

Making Money, Day One

Day one was a bust.

However, I did accomplish a few things: Made a new character, picked up herbalism and mining, went to Dun Morogue and promptly began spending a lot of time corpse-running.

In Gevlon's blog, he claims to have entered Stormwind at level 5, picked up his professions then jumped on the tram and promptly spent an hour farming herbs in Dun Morogue. According to his blog, he came up with several stacks of herbs within that first hour.

But how? Did he avoid the mobs somehow? How did he not die?

Maybe I'm missing something or maybe he is just that much better than I am.

Anyway, I picked up a few copper ores and some herbs and sent them off to another bank alt that is parked in Stormwind. That alt stored the herbs and copper, but took out some old rough stone and bronze bars. Most of that sold and this morning I was greeted with about 70g waiting for me in my mailbox.

I had my main buy a green two-hand sword and some decent pants and sent them to my money maker.

Otherwise, last night was rather uneventful, logged off at level six or seven.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where to Go From Here?

As they say in World of Warcraft, the game does not really start until you have reached the level cap.

The first thing I did after logging off after dinging 80 last night was to look up Blacksmith gear to see what I might be able to use. I thought that maybe I could smelt my own ore that I have been gathering for the past 10 levels and then just buy the rest of my ingredients and have some other blacksmith put it all together for me.

Well, not so fast.

I found six pcs of epic dps gear for my warrior that can be crafted. There might be more but this was just a quick "peek". I looked up my server's auction house cost for the completed gear and also the individual materials:

Titanium Razorplate...2500g
Titanium Spikeguards...2200g
Legplates of Painful Death...16,000g
Hell Frozen Bonegrinders...not listed
Belt of the Titans...2200
Spiked Titansteel Helm...not listed

Total of listed gear...over 23,000g

This might actually be a bargain thought, because here is what the ingredients came out to be:

Titansteel Bar...47x100g...4700g
Crusader Orb...12x150-200g...2400g
Primordial Saronite...13x1200g...15,600g
Runed Orb...6x150-200g...1200g
Frozen Orb...1x30g...30g
Deadly Saronite Dirk...4x30g...120g
Vengeance Bindings...1...unlisted
Assorted Eternals...32...Have in Bank
Saronite Bar...4...Have in Bank

Total of listed items...approx. 24,050g

So, the materials versus the crafted gear is actually pretty close. But wow, I was not expecting this cost. I can see now why Larisa from the Pink Pigtail Inn was concerned. Although, this is a little different than being "raid ready" for the introductory raid instance upon dinging level cap. In this case, I waited so long that some of this gear can only be crafted with end-game materials. We are talking about items that might drop 2-3 times a week in Ulduar or Ice Crown Citadel.

On the other hand, being a new 80 near the end of the current expansion story is no picnic. If actually wanted to raid, I would need this gear at the least to be considered, and probably other badge gear. But to get into heroics to get the badges, again, I would need this gear at the least.

I do not play the auction house market and it is not really feasible to grind out 25k gold worth of farmed materials, assuming anyone was buying that stuff at this point anyway. Really, anything that anyone needs at this time is dropping in Ulduar and Ice Crown, kind of hard to farm that stuff solo.

I can see now why someone might be tempted to buy in-game gold.

Tobold has written more than once about how the leveling experience is a solo one that suddenly drops players into a group game with little or no warning.

So, I think I am going to try something I would not normally do. I think I am going to use Gevlon's experiences chronicled on his blog to start a new alt, and see if I can play some of that auction house game. I do not need to reach the gold cap, or anything near it, just need a tiny fraction of it to get me into that epic gear. Could take a few weeks, but honestly, other than doing Argent Tournament dailies, I have absolutely nothing else to do at this point.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I finally received my level 80 achievement this evening. Approximately fourteen months of on/off effort and lack-luster motivation. I still am using some Karazhan gear and level 70 dps gear. I have only grouped up once during this expansion: Utguard Keep, and it fell apart before we ever made it to the first boss. I did not even bother training or distributing points during the past six levels. I have not advanced my Blacksmithing or First Aid professions. While I did learn a new First Aid skill at level 78 or 79, I have yet to make any Frost Weave bandages, I am still using the Netherweave ones that I brought with me.

A buddy of mine in my guild asked if I wanted to do my first heroic and I was like, "Are you insane? Have you seen my gear? No one has that kind of patience any more, dude!"

You think I'm exaggerating? I happened to be fighting some mobs near another level 80 player this evening while I was still 79. He was killing his mobs in 2-3 swings. My average is about six or seven swings, when all of my goodies are lit up.

One thing that has not changed for me through the four years or so that I've been playing: I hate group quests. Do you know how difficult it is to get a group together this late in the game? I did a quest chain that took me most of the evening to get through and after a dozen or so quests it suddenly turned into three 5-man quests. you're killing me, Blizzard! It's like reading a story and you're moving along then suddenly you find yourself at the end and it says "To be continued" but you know that the next installment is not for at least six months, assuming the author does not get sick. Or worse yet, you rent a DVD and it freezes up at the climax...


So now I'm an 80. I think I will try to do the normal 5-mans. Maybe I can get some blue gear. Does anyone still do those?

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Hero!

Larisa inspires me again to write on something that I might not have thought to on my own. She herself was inspired by other bloggers as well: Copra and Tobold sort of jump-started the dialogue.

The basic question boils down to, what makes a hero? Or, more specifically, what makes your character heroic in an MMORPG when everyone else is playing the same role of hero as yourself?

So, here it goes:

My warrior began her journey in the green grasses of Northshire in Elwyn Forest. A monastery of sorts was being over-run on all sides by various threats from an over-population of wolves and kobolds over-running the local mine, to brigands causing havoc in the nearby farm. Once my warrior brought a measure of order to the walled-off bastion of peace and meditation, she was asked to visit the nearby town of Goldshire where someone might be able to put her blossoming skills to good use.

Goldshire was both peaceful and busy all at once. It was a good place to rest after a completing various tasks laid out by the local residents and over-worked authorities, but soon proved to be too small. My warrior desired to see more exotic locales and see what more there was to learn.

So, it was off to Stormwind, and nothing would ever be the same. From the flowering nation of the elves to the hot furnaces of the dwarves, my warrior would be tasked to venture to ever more exotic and dangerous places. The fiery mountain, the tropics, the parched deserts at the bottom to the icy mountains at the top of the world, and even beyond! My warrior found the swirling gate of another, broken world where beings of light and of the pits of Hell itself struggle for dominance. Even the icy realm of the fabled, and feared, Lich King himself was not left untouched by the passing my warrior.

Friends were met and fell beside her in the heat of combat. Some went off to other heroic adventures while some were lured by dark designs.

My warrior has battled dragons and demons, saved burning villages and cured diseases and plagues. Countless battles were fought, countless wrongs were made right, and still my warrior found time to assist the young orphans of war and devastation.

She only wanted to see the world and learn its knowledge, but she became so much more than an explorer and scholar. My warrior, my hero!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Product Leaks and NDAs

I do not care about any of it in the least.

It is fun to follow the drama from time to time, but I really just do not care.

If the leaks are there, I am glad to take a peak, but if they are not there, I will not miss them.

All the fuss over who gets to receive internet traffic for posting illegal pictures is just ridiculous.

If you want the traffic, then post the pics! Sure, you will get a cease and desist letter and maybe have to deal with some lawyers and maybe even get sued, but if you really want the traffic, that is what you have to risk.

MMO Champion took the risk. All of the "legitimate" websites that wanted to run the pics but feared the NDA cried tears of misery and rage (which shows more about the spirit of those sites than the owners might have wanted to reveal) over the "lost" traffic that they would not have had to begin with.


Let the criminals be criminals and the saints be saints. It'll all balance out in the shuffle.

Professions Update

Well, the Blizzard Blues have shared an update for what we can expect to see with professions in Cataclysm.

I am not overly impressed. That is to say, I am not impressed at all. Every expansion sees a few changes but many players would like to see a complete overhall of the creation mechanic.

Instead, we are getting such things as: more daily jewel crafting and fishing and cooking quests, more fun engineering stuff, four more minerals...more of the same, really. Oh, but wait, some of the gem stats are changing colors! Oh, and blacksmithing will have a new "feature" where if you have an item that requires three times the normal amount of materials, then you will get three times the normal skill-ups.

They are removing the specialization mechanic so that we are even less unique. Somehow that is for the best...

They are adding entry level PVP gear to the crafting professions and intend to update the patterns each season. That is nice and all, but it's just more gear. Sure, more is nice, but it certainly does not change anything about the crafting mechanic.

Gear will have a few random stats appear to "shake things up" so to speak. Just think, a warrior tank asks you to please craft some tank gear for him and he gives you 2k gold worth of materials and the gear that pops up is full of spell power...better believe that will shake things up for sure!

Yeah, thanks for all the "effort". We will still be collecting thousands of materials to cap out the professions and watching the progress bar as we create dozens of the same items every...single...time, just to hit the auction house and maybe get a little bit of profit out of the endeavor.

So far we get to keep the little stat bonuses that they included with professions in Lich King *yawn*...just one more thing they will have to continue to balance around: they give it in the professions so they have to take it from somewhere else.

Honestly, I did not expect them to get radical, but I had hoped they might. Crafting in World of Warcraft is utterly boring.

Anyway, it is what it is, as an acquaintance of mine is want to say.