Friday, November 21, 2008

Holy BG!

I admit, I have done against my better knowledge and against what I have ranted. I have found out that BG's can be pretty nice pass time. With a disc/holy priest, of all toons!

Two nights this week I have logged in to my priest, Pupunen, whom I plan to be holy specced till the end. Healer to the max. She's also my AH wizard, being the former mule, so to speak. (Which reminds me, I don't have one anymore...)

I have liked the healing earlier, and as a Shadow priest, she was a blast to level, too. Then came the 3.0.x and I decided to switch her to more healing.

Boy what a surprise: the levelling is just slightly slower, but the ability to take a level or two higher mobs down has remained! I think the mana efficiency is even better than with pure shadow spec at this point.

With the shadow specced Pupunen I was the super-squishy in the BG's, and that was the reason I decided to stay out of there. Granted, 10-19 bracket is not the easiest for a priest anyhow, and the hunters rule the 20-29 bracket in WSG anyhow. You can imagine my immense surprise when I entered 30-39 bracket with Pupunen, lv30, disc/holy, and found myself

a) in the game where Alliance won
b) Pupunen scored kills (!) with Holy Fire
c) Pupunen, being the lowest levelled Alliance, was actually in the middle of the roster!

Healing pays, it seems. Loads of HK's, loads of cheers and even a couple of remarks on the heals at difficult spots from warriors and pallies.

I think I liked it. /scared

That was the first evening. The game took about 30-40 minutes to complete and it was won by a slight margin (3-2), so it was tight and to my surprise both sides tried to win the game by capturing the flag!?

The next games yesterday were similar bliss: first AB, which was not so tight this time, but as rewarding as the earlier. I got a couple of disbelieving whispers about my toons level ("You might want to level first" was one...), but still scored to the middle of the roster. Then the WSG, which was a bliss even though we lost. That was pretty easy running for Horde, really, as they were this time pretty much overlevelling Alliance, our highest being 37, their... team was 39.

Just read Hudson's report on levelling a plate in Outlands today, and I'm thinking if I should respec my Tauren druid and make him resto... that would help to level in the instances and raids. What can I say, I like healing more than sneaking. Then again, I'm trying to launch my guild tonight, so that will eat my time pretty surely for the time being. It's not easy to have so much to do... on both sides of the Horde/Alliance faction split!

Anyhow, wish me luck. I'll keep posting about the proceedings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Incoming: plans for a Guild


I've had enough with the 'progression guilds' and 'alt garages'. I've read Sydera's excellent guild forming guide in the World of Matticus (thanks Sydera for this continuing series!), and I have made up my mind. Even though the guide is mainly focusing on raiding guild and it's requirements, I have seen that most of this applies to any kind of guild or internet community with common goal.

And I'm not flying high and fast not to understand that as a real person with real life I could cope with everything by myself.

The following is my view on things, which I will refine as soon as I get some input from my brothers about it. Naturally, they will be the rest of the Guild Council, making it in the beginning easy to handle things on the fly. I'm focusing on having this guild around so, that I'm not needed to run it anymore. Really, that should be attainable!

Please comment.


The Order will focus on PvE, especially unlocking
the content that is widely neglected by the players who have been in the game
for longer. The aim is to provide a platform for players to proceed from
instance to instance at around the right level range and provide support to
achieve this. The Order is not an alt garage: we accept only one –two in special
cases like the council- character per player, which should be the main of that
player. We also are actively looking for people who are newcomers to the game to
help them advance and understand the game better.

The Order
is PvE based, though nothing prevents it’s members taking into the
Battlegrounds. In fact, PvP is encouraged especially as a group effort, because
there are nice rewards and achievements available in the PvP. But the main
emphasis of the arranged activities of the Guild is in PvE and especially in the
Dungeons and Instances. The Order will not boost players through instances
unless necessary due low attendance, but even then the toons in appropriate
level are more likely to be made to play to get through rather than guided
through by higher level toon killing everything. This doesn’t teach anything,
only shows the scenery.

We all have real lives. Real life
comes first, Guild second and the game is in the third place. Even though we
might not be able to play the game regularly, everyone is required to follow the
information in the Forums, and make it their habit to follow the forums and post
in there. It might be impossible to inform the Council or the officers about
issues in game, but the forum will be available to all, all around the clock.

The Order doesn’t require the members to have certain gear at
certain point. However, it would be wise to invest time to gathering information
about the best possible gear and consumables for the instance which one is
attending to: this is merely courtesy towards the others, because no-one wants
to have a wipe.

How ever, because we are all newcomers and playing
casually, there will be wipes. Be prepared to die, and to die a lot. The main
thing is to have fun, no matter what!

All Content for All
main focus of the Order is to unlock and open all content to all players in the
Order. This requires from the members certain devotion to know their character
class to be able to tackle the unexpected situations certain instance bosses
pose. No-one is required, however, to be able to raid and play any more than
their real life and will permits.

Due to the common courtesy that
one should make every precaution not to result a wipe by not preparing for an
encounter, it would be advisable for everyone to try to find information about
the class they are playing and about the instance and boss they are going to

Learning and teaching
The Order isn’t a progress guild in
the sense that we will not boost and help people to get to the level cap as fast
as possible. Instead, we try to learn the game and teach each other the things
we learn. In a sense I would like to think the Order as a boot camp for
newcomers: we teach the basics to everyone, so they can continue to a raiding
guild if they want to.

Everyone is welcome to ask questions and
comment on others, but mature mind frame is expected: there shouldn’t be any
flaming, calling names or degrading others in the game nor in the

Maturity isn’t dependant on age: it’s a state
of mind which some reach earlier than others, and then there are some who will
never be mature. This means that members of the Order should refrain from using
excessive foul language in the chat and in the forum. Be civilised and treat
others as you expect to be treated by others. Fair

The Order isn’t a raiding guild. Sure, we have
to form raids teams to tackle the larger instances (10, 20, 25 and 40 men
instances), but our main interest is not in beating the bosses but learning to
play the class in a team of people. This will prepare us all for the real
raiding game at the level cap, level 80. Our aim is to be able to visit all
instances at around the appropriate level in the range of the

Loot is given by loot council if need be. In lower
dungeons the need-greed-looting is the norm, but if you need, you should make
sure that you use it right away: no transfers of gear to your alt.

This charter is subject to change whenever the founders, Guild
Council or the officers assembly see that there is something to be changed. The
founders have the final say.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crash course

I started reading World of Matticus just a few weeks ago, and already I have gained a huge amount of information about priestly raiding and guilds from this site. Incredible how someone have the stamina and will to pour out all the information in such a beautifully concise format.

As I'm also following Matticus' Twitter, I have been very much following his thoughts about this and that and all I can say is that I like his way of thinking about the game and all, even though he has commented here in my blog that he wants to rip the content and raid it to the fullest. Which contradicts my view of playing the content and stories to the full.

When I wrote him a personal email (through their contact form at the site), I didn't expect the kind of response my mail got. Sydera, one of the three regulars writing in there, took my main question and wrote a full blog entry of it, answering the question very nicely. I would say that the post serves as a crash course to the newcomer on how to become raider fast. Even though my initial concern was about the lack of skill of the power levelling newcomer at the raid level, the post covered that very neatly.

However, the concept of passing the story and content in the void parts of the game (Old World and Outlands) left me cold. I'm having too much fun on my own and on my own pace, even though I'm severely missing the company and grouping for instances with a steady group. The guild I'm currently in is dying, and this has been going on for some time now. I think the Wrath killed most of the alt-garages because there is now something more important to do with the level capped toons.

There is no way to enter the Old World instances anymore, except very severely overgeared and overlevelled. No-one wants to take the effort to even visit the sites anymore and the same is happening to the content in Outlands. It's not about Blizzard neglecting the content, but the players putting more effort on the capping and level cap raiding. I'm actually putting more of the blame on the player base for trying to achieve the cap as if that was the main achievement of the game.

I'm seeing the Achievement system as a starter for activating the whole content. It would be nice to see the raid instances in one form or another, and the only way to activate the capped people to visit the 'old instances' is to generate incentives to do so. Achievements are one way. Variable difficulty and loot tables would be another.

Never the less, I'm following the pace I'm feeling comfortable and I hope to see new players who do the same. The World of Warcraft is such a huge and beautifull place to explore that it's such a shame to see it go to waste by power levelling through it all.

Stay tuned for more on the subject. ;P

’twas the night before Wrath...

The Three Stooges got together for a rerun through Scarlet Monastery. Because of the lack of flight points any closer than Hillsbarad Foothills, the meeting at the Monastery was ‘postponed’ by a half an hour, including the late arrival of yours truly. Real life meets virtual commitments.

The three Stooges stood at the doors to the inner parts of the Monastery. “Where to, oh brothers”, asked the Priest, all in Shadowform. “I dunno”, responded the warrior, honing his sword and axe in anticipation of slaughter. “I have an appointment with the Marshall in the Cathedral”, stated the rogue, who was nervously smearing something vile on his daggers, which quickly lost their luster under the rag.

We decided to check the Graveyard first, however, because of the fact that I had seen the Scourge there earlier. Of course we were late, I should have known, reading Hudson’s report on the Herald of the Lich King earlier that day. But we went in, looted the chests and downed the boss.

“Are we there yet?”, asked the rogue, more or less anxious to make closer acquaintance with the Marshall and his lieges. “No, dear brother”, answered the Priest, quaffing a potion. “We’re in the next door. Just wait and see.”

So, to the Cathedral we went. Directly to the yard before the Cathedral doors we went and cleared the yard for the pulls from inside the glorious building that had fallen to the wrong hands. At that point we noticed that not all mobs were grey anymore: we started gaining exp from the kills! Rogue, being lv44, got some and Laiskajaakko being lv45 a bit less.

Then the fun began. We did pulls in twos and threes, clearing the passages and the back rooms. Some nice drops came from the mobs and the ‘mini-bosses’ until Marshall himself. Bishopgeorge, the priest, had severe connection problems from time to time and we had to rely on alternative healing methods, but the encounters went nicely and Förgelös got his quest completed.

“Oh, wait! I have to retrieve a tome for a dwarf in Ironforge from the Library”, yelped the Warrior, as the three Stooges stormed out of the Cathedral. “Ok”, said the Rogue grumpily. “Why didn’t you remember that the last time we were there?”. “I met the dwarf after that, dunce”, replied the Warrior and led the way to the corridor leading to the Library.

We were already running towards Undercity when I noticed that we hadn’t gotten the Achievement for the Monastery! We were lacking two boss kills: Herod from Armoury and Archivist Doan from Library. And I had one quest in Library, which I had missed earlier. We all knew we had killed both of them, as I had a weapon from Herod and we had the Scarlet Key. But then again, the Achievement called us back to the foray.

Library was even less interesting because of the lower level of the mobs. The tome was found easily, as the game’s dumbing down had it’s effect on the quest items: even a blind player would have seen the blinking book mile away! Archivist Doan was a quick hit in the dark and then it was off to Herod.

Herod lost his head and we ended the trip in laughter: as his disciples entered the scene (yea, the lots of them running in lines, swarming the ‘arena’), Bishopgeorge dropped into the middle of it and blasted them away with his Holy Nova! He in fact one shotted the whole lot. Hilarious.

Off we went, all on our separate ways and that was the night. I still put the BoE stuff on sale in AH, visited Stormwind to see if the Herald was there causing havoc, but was disappointed. King Vrynn had disappeared, though, but there was nothing else to see except the beautifull sunset in the Harbour.

I thus logged in with my Horde toon to see if there was any action in Orgrimmar, but nothing there either. What a disappointment, though you could see something was brewing up: both in Stormwind and Orgrimmar were swarming with high end people, as if waiting for something. What on Azeroth could they have been waiting on Wednesday 12th at 22.00 o’clock?

Not the Lich King, for sure?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I have earlier promised to tell a bit about my dark past which lead me to joining the World of Warcrack... I think now is perfect time, as I have something in mind connected to that.

I started on a private server. Yea, the unofficial server run by someone with good virtual server and connection. Running the game client as the server by an emulator. Why? There wasn't any trial back then and I wanted to see what I was getting if I subscribed. That was... some years ago, the game had been around for over a year back then.

To be honest, I got lucky, because the second server I joined proved to be a social goldmine. I mean that the people were a great bunch of people. I never knew them by their names, only their nicks, which is pity as they would have provided a good connection to the game later. The server was called Fairplay, and it was run by a guy with nick "Linux".

It was a 'Blizzard like' server, the exp rate was about the Blizz but loot was a bit, sometimes a quite bit, better than Blizz. Of course, there were never more than 40 players online at a time due to bandwidth and emulator, but still you could get the hang of the game. Because of my style of sacrificing my own playing to help others, Linux popped in to see me from time to time. Then he asked me to help him on testing some things he was implementing and all of a sudden I was asked to join the GM team. Me, total noob back then!

It was a blast: free game, loads of things to do outside the game and always people who thought it was nice of me as GM to pop by.

Which lead to the fact that when Freeplay disappeared, like all good private servers do, I was left with only one choice...

I subscribed to WoW.

Fast forward to this date. My son and his friends have been playing on a private server for sometime now because his friends parents don' t want to pay the meager monthly fee. They have had a blast playing on a Fun Server with exp rate at *10.000 (times ten thousand, yes). One kill makes several levels. I think it was so that the first kill takes the toon to cap or something. They have seen all the instances, they duo them pretty decently and sometimes I've been a bit jealous because of the fact that they have taken the easy mode to see all the sights in the game.

But then again, do they really know how to play when their gear is so much better than the best gear ever available in the real game? When everyone is wielding Illidan's dual blades?

The main thing is that they were enjoying their game a lot.

Then the 3.0.2 patch came. And the, which tells the game the sites to connect to, disappeared. At first I didn't believe it when my son came and asked what had I done with it, but when I checked, I couldn't find it either.

What happened? The guys have managed to extort, whine and cry the real subscription to the same server I'm in. My son's character, which he hasn't played during the time on the private, is their highest and they have to run all the lower level instances to gain what they had earlier.

And they are having fun. Partly maybe because of the fact that I can see when they login and can give my son the opportunity to join them. Partly because they had never seen the lower level instances nor had experienced the challenge in doing them.

But will this be seen in WoW's general subscription rates? There are bound to be loads of people who lost their past time because of this, even if it will be only temporary before someone comes up with a solution, who are hooked on "gears and raids".

It's not 11 million, though. Not maybe even the first million. But it's something especially because the privates I know of are mainly US/EU/Aussie-based.

I just wonder whether this has been a clever marketing thing from Blizzard: free playing till the finances start to look grim, and boom! get them on the payroll.

Could they be so clever and shrewd?

Monday, November 10, 2008

PUGging weekend


What else can I say: had a weekend from hell, something to have nightmares over. Needless to say, but it involved WoW, too, and mostly because of that it was a crud.

Attended to two trainings which took most of my daytime both on Saturday and Sunday. Meaning that the play time was restricted to night, of which I just didn't have stamina to utilise to the fullest. After all, I had spent former week on work trip and hadn't been with the family: what the heck happened to 'Quality Time' in my life?!

Never the less, to cut the long story short, here is the recap of the weekend's endeavours.

Friday. I logged in as Pupunen, my NE Priest, lv27 then. She started off as my AH mule, but has grown to one of the toons I like the most to play. Ever since I changed her from full Shadow (with appropriate gear) to Disc/Holy healer spec (with Shadow gear, still...), I have noticed how much I like tanking and healing. Both being aspects I liked while levelling my former Tauren Druid to Outlands, where he has been stuck at level 62 ever since.

So I logged in, kicked the LFG tool into high gear (BFD, Stock, SM-Grave) and went to scan the AH. To my surprise this time the first invite to a group came before I got half way through: in other words, it took only 7 minutes for someone to notice this silent seeker. As customary to me, I whipered to the sender "Where to?", because no-one ever asks if you would like to join their party going to [enter specific instance]. No, people just spam invites in the suitable level range in the list and hope that some fool catches. Well, this time they were going for Stockades, which suited me well: had several quests there (4 I think) and knowing I could heal the lower range easily I didn't even flinch.

I should have known better when it occured to me that I was there first, and two of the party of four were in SW already. I mean, I came to the instance first, and I left from Darnassus!

Two pallies and warrior. One would think that healing would be ok, and tanking would be easy to settle. You couldn't be farther from the truth, trust me!

Warrior was the lowest of us, clearly someone not too fluent with english. Silent, Leroy Jenkins kind of guy, living in a land of "do as you like". One pally was clearly set for tanking, dps'ing and holding the aggro SO well I was amazed. Not even heavily twinked, from the gear, regular blues from DM and BFD, but nothing special. The other pally... well, he thought he could do this, and he thought he could do that, and in the end he couldn't decide what to do. I guess he was well versed in the game, as he knew about everything, too.

First encounter in the passage went well: I healed, as was decided outside, the warrior tried to tank and the tankadin took the aggro all the time. Easy kills. The second...

Well, warrior and the healbot went for one room, I went with the tankadin to another. Only to notice that I couldn't heal both instances at the same time and that the other duo couldn't make it as easily as we did. So they ran to us with all the mobs! All of a sudden the first cell room was full of prisoners and foray, but we managed to go through with it.

Both I and the tankadin tried to say that we should concentrate on the same area and stay together, but the next rooms proved this to be in vain: the warrior either didn't understand, listen or care about what we told him. Also the healbot started to get nervous and insisted that he should heal. I didn't comment: how could I, disc/holy PRIEST be of any help in dealing damage?! Or taking it, as the next turn of the events showed.

We took to the left at the end of the passage, and went down. I know, the main boss, Bazil Thredd is in the right, but I wanted to get the bosses. And show that I can heal in the heated combat. That went well, till we came back: I had started to take care of the tankadin, making certain he could use his mana for killing instead of healing. And -if I may say so- I did a pretty good job.

Until someone, the warrior most likely, aggroed adds on us and the patrol from behind took on me. The wipe which resulted was the healers fault. I should have kept the warrior alive, even when I was pounded to pulp. Well, that wasn't a wipe, as the paladins got out alive and came to ress us. At that point the tankadin made the first whisper: "we can do this together" and "wanna try?"

No, I didn't, knowing the last room and Thredd's awfull habit of calling his henchmen to arms. But I was flattered, as this tankadin had thanked my heals earlier.

We managed to do it all, wiped only after killing Thredd, though. Got the achievement and all the quests done, resulting level and a half. And got a friend from that tankadin, whom with I promised to go on quests at some point. Nice.

By habit, I kicked the LFG on and all of a sudden there was someone offering boost in BFD. Knowing that the blues from there would be great for me, and the price was peanuts for my AH deals, I settled to meet this other guy at the summoning stone.

As I was flying and running there, my brother with his BishopGeorge logged in and... well, I asked him to come with me. Told the initial booster that I had found a group and in we went.

Shadow Priest as tank we went in and at the same time the wife aggro started to grow in the house. We just pushed through Gamoora (?), Lady Sarevass and the murloc boss, and were just about to enter the room before Aku'Mai when I had to quit.

Got nice gloves from the instance and the dice were on my side on the rest of the blues we got. Oh, and level up. That was nice.

Sunday. Logged in amidst of house full of wife aggro. It was Father's Day in here, and I had been most of the day in training. Logged in, with the intention of rising my trade skills - FA especially - up to the appropriate level. Ran to and fro in Darkshore and Ashenvale, doing old, grey and green quests. Mostly I returned quests I had done already. And that was all.

Only then I understood that I had to run all the way to Arathi Highlands to get the recipe for Silk Bandage. Well, off I went, chatting with my brother who was online, too. Without problems I got to Wetlands, returned a quest here, took another there, gained rep and progressed to Dun Modr for more. Dinged 30 on that trip, which made me grin.

But just as I crossed the bridge to Arathi, the connection froze. Which also made me grin, with anger this time. I was certain the computer had broken and it took me half an hour to give up trying to fix the connection.

Well, three levels in about five-six hours of /played. I had fun even though at the time with the PUG I cried inside, adamant to learn my priestly ways.

Oh, yes, the connection was cut as the service provider had lost a server. The connections were cut for half a million connections and the breakage took them several hours to fix.

Should I ask for recuperations for lost playing time?

Friday, November 7, 2008

World economy

Just a short thought that popped to my mind while reading some financial news: how and when will the failing world economy effect the MMO's in general? At what point will the monthly fee be too much for the understanding parents to pay for their kids or when will it become enough steep for the student working to finance her/his studies to pay for the game?

And even more importantly: at what point will the industry itself be forced to either cut their expenses or rise the fees to survive?

Because looking at the situation from any angle, it's only beginning. I wish good luck to Barack Obama and his lieges on solving the financial problems before taking into anything else promised in the election speeches. After all, it all comes down to stabilising the finances.

"Follow the money".

Tonight is the only time available for playing. The whole weekend is booked for other entertainment. Which in turn is related to the next competition season and next summer's activities. Which is nice for a change.

But tonight... I don't know what I want to do. Will I take Laiskajaakko, my warrior, and work out some reputation for the Ram? Or do I take Pupunen, my healer to AH and then to some instances? Most probably I will decide on the fly, what happens to strike my fancy at the time when I login. Maybe, just maybe, I will do the first game post, as suggested by Hudson. Ok, that was a lame linking to get some traffic, but hey, I have already told you all that I will be fishing for more! And that was as futile attempt to gain more cross linking to this blog.

Just a few hours still before I login. Let the party commence!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another weekend

And what a weekend. Played several toons over several hours and... well, achieved nothing worth mentioning. A couple of achievements, some reputation, nice gear. The same, would the bored out veterans say.

But the main thing is that I had fun.

With my Ally priest I healed through Stockades: holy/disc priest with shadow gear managed pretty well in a pug which consisted of pallies who didn't know how to play pally. They refused to heal even themselves and adamantly refused to listen to my oom's and manabreaks. Yea, we wiped just before the achievement and the group disbanded. I got nice blues from the run and one friend to my list to quest with later on. Not bad.

With my Horde mage I set my talents so that I'm aiming for 61 point Frost. Yea, and it shows. It's a killing machine: three levels higher mobs were eaten alive. Constantly. So the questing for this poor mule took a nice turn for a change.

With my Horde main, the druid, I tried and tried the world event, but... I got pwnd so bad I just hearthed him home to Sattrath and he'll be waiting there.

And my 'new' main, Laiskajaakko. I quested a bit for draenai reputation, got a nice chunk of the starter area covered, when I got a call for an Uldaman pug which I had been asking for. I have several quests in there, waiting to be done, so I jumped anxiously into the party. I'm just over the level range, so I cannot use the LFG tool for it, so I had to travel there as the darn summoning stone wouldn't work. Got there to help summoning the other's though.

Only to see how the party leader left the party as soon as he had teleported to the stone. We started to hunt a new priest to heal us and the leadership was tossed from one to another until the original healer came back. And one other toon left. And another came and another left and...

This all took over an hour before we got into the instance. Where it came very clear for me what was the name of the game: I, being the highest toon and protection, would rush into the mobs and kill them, while the others stood at the background and helped at the last moments.

I was getting angry. It's my first time in an instance, and I'm supposed to do all the work.

Well, we cleared one area a a time, I returned a quest here and there and took the follow-ups. And tried to cope with the adds that our warlock and priest aggroed when I was engaged with the mobs. Oh, yes, and we ran out to summon another toon as one left again!

I was so pissed when we found out the first 'boss', the ancient stone golem or something. And that is when the crap hit the fan. I tanked the boss, and took him down, but at the same time the rest of the party aggroed the lot of them and got the priest and shaman (yea) killed. I scored however: I got the nice blue gauntlets, which improved Laiskajaakko's defence a lot.

I was already ready to leave, and we had spent over an hour INSIDE the instance at that point. Not even started, really.

We went through the tunnel areas and finally caused a wipe in the troggs. The warlock aggroed ten more and the group wiped. I was tanking five to seven those elite troggs at the same time without help from the rest. Ok, they had their share of the adds, granted, and they couldn't cope with them either.

I got ressed, acted like an ass and left the group. Got free hearth to the Inn of my choice and honestly speaking I'm going to avoid the ones I remember from that group. The worst ones were the "I have seven lv70s, but I haven't been in here for ages" and "don't you know how to play your toon, noob". Usually combined in one and same sentence. The only one worth mentioning in the group was a super twink rogue who played like a dream. Then again, the elite troggs could take a one outburst of damage from him, whereas I had to work to down them.

Ok. The last pug wasn't fun. But it proved me one thing: we cannot manage Uldaman by ourselves, not yet. Three lv 45's are not prepared for that.

But we will. Oh, yes, we will.

PS. There will be no posts this week. Work becons and it's travelling time. Take care.