Friday, January 30, 2009

Bending over

Well, not me, but Blizzard might be on the way of doing that in the name of keeping the casual players online longer and more keenly. I mean, look at the blogosphere reporting how the game (WoW) has been dumbed down, how the raid instance in WotLK is too easy and how the hardcore players are quitting game in frustration because of the game getting too easy. 

At the same time the amount of subscribers is increasing or at least staying pretty stable: haven't seen the latest numbers, but I suspect the 11.6 million accounts being around still.

It's been also debated whether the Achievement system is in fact necessary and what use it is to anyone. It seems though that it has brought something 'valuable' for the levelling newcomers to the game, as people are hunting for the most peculiar ones there are. It was interesting to notice that the blogosphere first announced that the Tome of Knowledge in WAR was something that should be in WoW, and now that there is one, people are criticising it for being useless and for nothing.

Go figure.

Now in the last patch Blizzard took one step further to the direction of catering for the casuals: they opened the character creation of Deathknights to all servers as long as you have one character above lv55 on any server. DK's start from that level, so the 'assumption' is that you have already experienced the Old World content. But at the same time, the levelling speed is increased by tweaking the level requirements and gained exp, so NO ONE can experience the levelling content of the Old World in the proper level range...

I'm curious of one thing though: why on earth don't they open the lv55 character creation for all classes? That would take off the age old debate of power levelling through the old content for the thirteenth time and the veterans would be happy for a while. Of course this would require new, advanced starting zones for the normal classes to start from, but that couldn't be too hard to figure and code.

And where is the player housing and guild housing Blizzard promised to be ready right after the launch (at least that I have read about somewhere...)? That would be the ultimate casual trap, moving the game more into the social playground directio, I think.

Bend over, Blizzard! Hear our call!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Okies. Last things I have done in WoW have been Tradeskills and Lunar Festivals Achievements. In fact, the most time has been gone to level Laiskajaakko's Fishing, which is a drag. Fishing is the last really nerfed gathering skill available now that herbalism and mining has been made one click business.

I wonder when they tweak fishing to faster mode... Say half the cast time would be nice, but then again the rules of Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza would be changed, too.

Anyhow, cooking at Master level, fishing just a few points short of the same and mining already at the same range. Now to level that darned Bullsh.. Blacksmithing. That's the hardest part, because the toon outlevels both the supporting gathering skill -mining- and the areas for the proper ingredients -ore- way too fast, so it's next to impossible to improve bul... blacksmithing at the same range as the character improves. So there is something very much awry in this equation.

I guess it's the same with tradeskills relying on the gathering skills.

It just happens. Tradeskills suck before the cap, it seems, as you cannot really enjoy the benefits because you've already overlevelled them all.

Too bad. For us skilled trade skillers.

Too bad.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Real life aims ruin gaming, right?

I've started a new life. It's not a New Years resolution, even though the timing most certainly suits well. No, it's because of the fact that our company is arranging a group entry to a half-marathon.

We had similar thing last autumn, when we attended to a half-marathon, too. I took that as a challenge, because I hate running/jogging and I have never even considered running that much in one try. So I trained throughout the summer, on and off, and eventually I managed to fullfill my aim: I ran the whole half-marathon.

I didn't care about the time or anything, just wanted to get it done. This time it's different: I know what I'm up against, I know the amount of work needed to complete and I'm prepared. Well, more prepared than last time.

Because of this -and the fact that my current schedule permits- I also enrolled to the beginners class in Shorinji Kempo. I have trained it some 20 years ago, and it has left a distinct mark in my soul. So I thought it would be a good time to refreshen the memories and get some muscle training on the side of my jogging.

This means effectively, that I'm tied at least two weeknights for Kempo and jogging at least on one or two. Which in return means, that my available time for WoW gets a drastic cut.

Is this a good or bad thing?

It's good in a sense that my levelling with Laiskajaakko gets a cut: so it's easier for Förgelös to keep up  with the group.

It's bad in the sense of The Order of the Fist: my guild is now going to have to come up by itself more of the time. Which in turn means that I should... we should promote some officers and/or even Councillors.

Decisions, decisions.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Scaleable level cap

A post in Hudson's caught my eye the other day, but I didn't have the time to post my thoughts about it. In fact, the thougt materialised in our last brotherly run in Dire Maul, where the pieces fell into place.

In that post Hudson refers Total Bisquit from WoW radio, who has gotten fed up with the raid/dungeon content getting easier in Northrend, to the point that he has formed a retro guild with level cap of 60. I haven't heard that podcast myself, because I don't generally like podcasts. I just don't have time to sit and just listen to them. And reading and listening at the same time... doh, no.

Anyhow, why hasn't Blizzard given us the chance of freezing the exp? Like in EQ2 you can freeze your combat experience when you want to gain your AA experience without over-levelling the content? The only way I can think of it is that you purchase only the basic game and make a new account for that... and never upgrade this to the Burning Crusade. Because, as far as I understand, you gain experience from the instances and mobs anyhow, even though you wouldn't like to level up. This makes it impossible to dedicate yourself to the lv60 content with all the expansions enabled...

I would have liked to freeze my combat/adventuring experience a few times already. I feel I'm over-levelling the content too fast, so I would like to have a "slow down pal" button somewhere!

So Blizzard, give us the option to freeze combat experience, player housing and guild housing to collect our trophies and out levelled gear to. Thank you.

Core classes get owned

The holy triangle in fantasy RPG's since the time of Dungeons and Dragons hitting the shelves in the 70's has been Warrior, Priest and damage dealer. Even more so in the MMO's, where it has been defined as Tank, Healer and DPS. It has been under the constant discussion, heated debate and polite argument over the years whether it should be as profoundly basic and necessary for the contemporary MMO's and obviously Blizzard has listened to the public. It has been much quoted that Blizzard has stated that "Bring the player, not the class" to the newest dungeons and instances, which makes it obvious that they have been devised for 1) casual player (rendering the dungeons too easy), 2) players who want to play their class well, and 3) making all dungeons more or less independent of the holy triangle.

However, this leads to the problem we encountered on our Thursday run in Dire Maul: East, a problem which Tobold posted about so nicely. As we are three, Tank, Healer and DPS, we represent the triangle perfectly. Granted that the Tank is higher than the Healer, who in turn is higher than the DPS, we still depict the former norm of a adventuring group.

And even though Tank and Healer over level the instance, we are not prepared.

I have run Dire Maul with lower level Druid earlier, when being druid meant you were the laughing stock of the group. And then we didn't have any problems with the mobs, none at all. All around 50-55 at that time, and we cleared the DM: East without a problem, and tackled West with ease and North while we were upon it.

Not us, not on Thursday anyhow. It wasn't that the mobs would have been too hard. It wasn't that we couldn't pull them in reasonable groups. It was the lack of CC, for us being only 3 we didn't have the versatility of a full group.

But I can imagine replacing the warrior tank with a druid. Enter roots, enter CC.

I agree with Tobold completely, that the Hybrids are way too 'balanced' when compared to the specified single classes. Warrior should be able to be The Tank or The Damage, depending on the build. Priest should be The Healer instead of the emergency button. And Rogue's melee DPS should be able to strike fear into the hearts of the AI mobs. Not just the stunlock, but also the damage. And Mages... well, they are pretty good on the ranged dps and cc already, but then again, I don't have intimate knowledge of their current situation.

Hybrids should be hybrids: jacks of all trades, but masters of none. That's what they were when I started almost 3 years ago: laughing stock but surviving almost everything.

So yes, we had fun run in Dire Maul: East, and for a change the only one gaining from the run was Förgelös who finally got a very nice shoulder replacement to compliment his new Assasin build.

Off we go and we'll see what West and North holds for us next time.

It was fun.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another new breed

This breed of players must be on the verge of extinction, as it is the know it all RAF players. They have at least one level capped -or close to cap- toon, preferably on the other faction, and they have Referred A Friend to level up fast and generally fast forward through the levelling content with their friend who has never played before, knows next to nothing about the lore and surroundings and is just following the promise of the 'real game starts at the level cap'.

Sadly this 'friend' doesn't get the chance to experience the content, but is overwhelmed by the speed of levelling ("Oh my, I'm gaining levels SO fast!"), the ease of getting new levels as the friend is giving his precious extra levels to him, and as the referrer knows the game, he gets boosts through the instances at appropriate -or even better, a bit higher- level for the toons.

More cannonfodder to the level cap to verbally abuse, more players who do not  know how to play their class or how to play in group.

Just another random observation from Copra.

Busy Weekend of the Order

Yes. The Order is growing and hopefully gaining some reputation -other than the GM being dead drunk in 5 mans- on the server. To prove the point we have had some of our alt bearers to change their mains to The Order, which means that they either like our style, love our guild bank or they have lost their marbles. I prefer to think it's the first one, but am afraid that it may be the last...

Pupunen took part in a nice and organised trio through Uldaman, gaining the Achievement and nice chest piece for the future. 

Anyhow, as it happens, Three Stooges had a second encounter on Saturday, and we tackled the Sunken Temple. It was a great experience only because we had to figure the whole place out by ourselves. The instance wasn't a hard one, naturally, Laiskajaakko being 64, Bishop just dinged 63 and Förgelös made it to 55 before that.

But we had fun, one almost wipe due to my over confidence about the Jammal The Prophet's skills and loads of greens and blues for Bishopgeorge to disenchant. The fatefull incident was as simple as that we didn't clear the whole room in which Jammal was, so we had about 20 of his followers and mummies swamping on us. Laiskajaakko couldn't take all the aggro off of the two squishies and they fell under the wave of onslaught. But then again, the warrior survived and made it to the next day. Meaning bluntly that I cleared the way to the entrance for the others.

As it happens, I always launch the guild advertisement macro I made when I pass to a new zone. For some peculiar reason I have lately been mostly flying from Ironforge, and it shows in our guild roster: majority of the newcomers are either Dwarves or Gnomes. Also the Priests are very, very common among us... I wonder why?

We had two nice additions to our higher end, too. One lv78 Hunter and one new DK made it to our midst, latter of which is an old friend from another game.  This means that we have already enough material to start running Outlands 5 mans on our own, and we have already some more up and coming!

Great, even though we are not progression guild. I want to see us as casual, content driven, but the darn game is built in such a way that you get hungry for more and better gear.

Better chill down and gain the Classic Dungeon Achievements first.

By the way, I'm even more amazed by the fact that Laiskajaakko is being asked to tank in the Outlands dungeons. Has the DK wave passed and now there are extra healers levelling? Or is it just that I have been good enough?

I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm more prone to believe it's the first.

Am I too modest?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Brothers again

Well, the Three Stooges did it again: as Bishopgeorge and Laiskajaakko have over-levelled Förgelös quite considerably, we decided to help our brother out. After all, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye... wait, its much nicer to 'solo' within a group.

So we went to grind some reputation with Timbermaw's and gained access to Förgelös. On the same run we did some Winterspring adventuring and took the accompanying nice picture of the three guild idiots.

All in all, the trio starts to be in a shape to tackle some real opposition. Beware.

That was last Thursday, which seems to be our mutual hobby evening. Makes planning easier, and we can settle challenges (read: instances) beforehand.

On Friday it was all fun and games. Tried to harvest some mats to level Laiskajaakko's BS, fishing and cooking in Arathi Highlands, but friendly requests put me elsewhere. The only notable mention of that evening/night was the fact that I was invited to be a tank on Auchidoun: Mana Tombs run, to which I had to ask Dreathon to accompany us.

To be honest I was 'drunk to the boot' and don't remember much of that Achievement. I remember, though, that after I got Laiskajaakko killed, I couldn't find the right entrance at all. I visited all other instance entrances before finding the right one, during which time Dreathon had cleared some mobs ahead of the party.

I was having fun, the rest of the party... also.

Crud. I have to clean my act up.

Lesson learned: if you drink, you don't drive. Or tank.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New breed

Now I've seen the new breed of WoW players I've mentally been anticipating since Christmas: Newcomer - and young - player, who has one level capped toon. Which is DK. And now s/he is starting a new one from lv1.

Yes, there were two new recruits to The Order of the Fist yesterday, one of which stuck, and the other left quite fast when he noticed that we were not into PvP. It was a funny encounter: the toon was lv7 Dwarf Mage, and one of his first questions in guild chat was "how do I get into og?". Well, his first one was "when do I get to bg? I lv7, is it 10?"... go figure

Which rang a bell in the back of my head. I corrected that Orgrimmar -which is usually abbreviated as Og- is Horde city, and this is Alliance side. "Wut is alliance big city to get bg?" Come again?! At this point I knew for sure that a) blind recruiting is bad (as if I didn't know) and b) this player really doesn't know jack.

I said that you get to bg's in any city of either side, not only the faction capital like Orgrimmar or Stormwind. 

And I had to ask what was his other character, which he had mentioned earlier. "lv80 DK" and whisper "its my horde" and that it was his only character so far.

Everything blew the whistle that we had a real newcomer to the game, who was only into PvP but couldn't cope with it at level cap. The last message from him was "lol, won lv10 rogue duel, I'm lv8!"

And a couple of minutes after he left. Natural selection ftw.

The other one was different: brought his all seven toons (talk about altoholic!) to the guild, highest of which was lv8 at that point! And he happily switched one to another after dinging. Made at least seven levels during the time he was online. We'll see where he settles.

Here we have the new breed of WoW players, who may become the next burden in the end game, replacing the power levelled ones who cannot cope with grouping, group dynamics or their class. More arrogant busters to ruin the game by knowing it all without ever seeing a bit of it.

Gods of Azeroth, help us!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Addition to last post

Just remembered the quest I revelled upon in Desolace, which I thought would create something interesting. I mean the Down The Scarlet Path from Brother Anton, in which he, member of Scarlet Crusade, instructs the player to contact Raleigh The Devout for more information on how to contact Scarlet Crusade and join the Crusade.

I was so intriqued on the possibility, so I travelled the whole way to Southshore.

Only to be disappointed.

The quest is the entry quest for Scarlet Monastery. /boohoo

I want to join the Scarlet Crusade... Isn't there a faction for that? Where do I sign to grind rep for Scarlet Crusade?

Lack of proper attention to design

I should have written this a few days ago, but I wasn't in the right mood for it. In fact, I'm not in the right mood for it now, either, but I have to write it just to get it on writing.

You see, I started questing with Pupunen, and as per my modus operandi I chose the area which is generally avoided nowadays in the level range 30-35: Desolace. And now I know why.

The quests in Desolace are awfull. The area is like grey Blasted Lands or Badlands, which makes it even worse. And if someone comes and says that there are different shades of grey in the quests, I beg to differ.

The main questlines evolve around the Centaur hostilities, and the player -whether Horde or Alliance- is offered 'the freedom of choice' in befriending one faction or the other. Magram or Gelkis, it's up to you, but never the less it requires killing 50 Centaurs of the opposite faction to open the chain.

And the rest of the quest lines in the area are mostly killing ten foodles and collecting three dingies. Mostly killing.

I think that people are avoiding this area also because of the fact that you have to make the moral decision to start killing neutral mobs which cause you no trouble when you are questing. In a sense, you are ushered to kill for the sake of killing. I don't see any difference in this compared to the much discussed torturing in WotLK, as it makes you do something you as a player wouldn't normally do. "But you kill mobs all the time" I hear someone say. True, but usually the mobs have been painted as opposing and hostile forces, justifying the act: in the case of the Centaur Clans, neither are better or worse than the other, it's up to the player to decide which peacefull faction to kill.

And it sucks.

Because after killing the 50 needed to befriend the faction you get another quest to kill 30 of another Centaur Clan: for Horde this third faction is easy, as it is Kolkar which have been pestering the Horde in the Barrens already. But for Alliance, this is just more of the same.

And at the coastline you have to kill Naga's for several quests. And Burning Blade zealots.

On the positive side, the area has also the funny moments: the vendormats for recipes for Mystery Meat, the missing merchant quest line ( with distinct references to Star Wars ("Whoever attacked the wagon was efficient and swift."), the nice Kodo roundup and naturally the fact that the area is empty of competing players. But the area is a pain to go through: Once I finish the area, I'm not going back except to visit Maraudon, which I still consider one of the most beautifull Old World instances.

I think Desolace was created for the grinding kind of players, but without proper attention to the design: the are is bleak, the variation of mobs is weak (centaurs, nagas and mannoroc's) and the grinding is... grinding.

I want more quests with more variation. And no moral decisions which make you feel bad afterwards.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Not sure if there is such a word. I mean I'm not sure if that means something, but it was something that came to mind. Out of the blue.

In the former post I wrote about this levelling competition with Bishopgeorge. Well, he dinged 62 on Sunday. Levelling the level difference with Laiskajaakko. 

On Sunday afternoon I sat down with the idea of levelling blacksmithing. Logged in, found Laiskajaakko in Honor Hold, with bags full of junk to sell out. However, out of habit I punched the LFG tool on, looking to visit Hellfire Citadel: Ramparts, Hellfire Citadel: Blood Furnace and Coilfang Reservoir: The Slave Pens. Those three because they are available in the tool at the moment.

I had just sold the vendor trash out and found the Honor Hold Quartermaster, Logistics Officer Ulrike, as I had just hit Honored in Honor Hold. I had the misconception that Heroics would open as soon as you got then opened... not. But it can only be opened after 70. As it dawned to me, I had made a find: I never had known that there were stuff in sale at this NPC. So my surprise was immense when I found Footman's Longsword from her! Bought two at the same time, rising his dps a lot!

And at that moment I got invited to Blood Furnace. Ok, second time in there. Group was typical: three DK's, one priest and Laiskajaakko. Needless to say, the loot rolls proved to be interesting. However, the running was so smooth that we decided to conquer Ramparts right after finishing BF (Achievement #1!).

Ramparts was a blast, with lv66 DK who really knew what he was doing, leading the way. He tackled the main tank functions and the rest of us -Laiskajaakko being highest of the rest at that point- made our best to help. Only the lowest of us, lv60 DK went down as we fought Vazruden: typical over-enthusiastic death.

No rolls for me, the drop was for the caster. Mind you, he had gotten nice upgrades from BF already... I helped myself needing Mok'Nathal Clan Ring, which was a HUGE improvement. I think that was the most impressive loot I got all evening.

In BF I dinged, so I outlevelled Bishopgeorge. Nice, I thought, and when we had finished Ramparts I had made almost 25% of the next level.

And then the lv66 DK suggested we take Slave Pens... Of course we all accepted that challenge!

Slave Pens was a blast: fast, furious and nice loot here and there. I also started the quest from the Coilfang Reservoir, Lost In Action, which proved to be a bit of a running kind of quest. However, with a Coilfang veteran among us, we cleared the Pens in no time (Achievement #2). And hit the Underbog right away, only to get the quest done!

Underbog reminds me a lot about Maraudon, though it's not in such a desolate place. It's big, open and high, beautifull place with mobs that take time to kill. If the drops weren't that good, the place would rank as nice waste of time in my books. Whereas Slave Pens is really a quick 20 minutes run with proper party.

Our group got smaller as we ran: first the lv60 DK had to leave, and all of a sudden our healer -who had done excellent job so far!- left us with very nice messages. It was a shame to lose him, because the Paladin who we got to replace him, was healing for the first time in there.

Naturally we downed The Black Stalker in the longest boss fight so far, causing Laiskajaakko die for the second time. And I lost the need roll on a very nice piece of armour: Paudrons of Brute Force. A piece I would love to see on Laiskajaakko.

And yes, that concluded the third Achievement for the day in the Outlands Instances! At the same time as I returned the Lost In Action, I also dinged Friendly with Cenarion Expedition, which is nice start for some very interesting pieces of gear.

All in all, out-instancing in the name of sibling rivalry is both lucrative and fun.


Brotherly competition

It seems that for the first time I have fallen to the trap of sibling rivalry. As Laiskajaakko entered Outlands during the Christmas Holidays, I passed Bishopgeorge in levels. However, as he returned, he was on full rested experience, and overcome that level gap in a session or two.

Now he's level with Laiskajaakko, again. And I'm trying to find a reason to leave that be, concentrate on the content and stories that seem to be very good in Outlands. 

If the Northrend storylines and new quest types bring as much new variety to the game as the ones I'm going through in Outlands, then I can surely say that there are three games in one.

Needless to say, Laiskajaakko is the one on the left. We're resting inbetween pulls in the worst ever Hellfire Citadel: Ramparts PUG we have had pleasure to participate, one in which the drops were just unbelievably poor. 

But we finished it. That's what really counts.

And the fact that we were laughing together via ingame Voip. And the others couldn't make out a word we were ranting!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Priests against Shadowfangs

Friday's ex-tempore laughter run: priests against Shadowfangs. Actually, it was three priests against Shadowfang Keep and Archmage Arugal. The three were Bishopgeorge, Pupunen and Flimsy, for whom the run was a real boost in gear. Robes of Arugal serve a caster for a quite long time, and is currently extremely easy to acquire.

Which reminds me of one certain thing. Because of the fact that Shadowfang Keep is deep in Silverpine forest -and "Horde Territory" as Flimsy put it- it is pretty hard to reach at the correct level range and thus is much neglected by the Alliance. As is Wailing Caverns, which serves the Hunters and Rogues with similar love as Shadowfang Keep serves the caster classes.

This is a shame, and I think it's the most obvious sign that people are levelling just to get high and fast: sadly I have to admit that I have resorted to the similar thinking with Laiskajaakko recently. 

Now The Order of the Fist has a nice base from which to form the runs, so it would be easy enough to run these instances in a succession.

And it doesn't mean a thing if the Instance is in contested area: heck, people are running Ragefire Chasm by Alliance toons and Stockades by Horde toons! Ask them if it matters! 

Achievements don't make that separation.

Besides, it's fun.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oldies, goldies

I don't remember where I got the link to, but I remember how I gasped when I visited the site. Joined immediately and downloaded Good old Game "Beneath the Steel Sky".

Boy does it bring memories. Of the time when games had content instead of eye (and ear) candy. When the action was more the rapid movement of the few brain cells. When button smashing was the only method of communication, not repeated sequence of few buttons.

The times when the programmers had to work for the story in RPG's instead of cool textures and effects.

Oh, well. I think I have to get some sort of emulator and finish Albion. That, after all, was one of my all time favourites.

GoG has some real treats in their shelf: Fallout 1 and 2 for example,  which I'm going to dl as soon as I get the Steel Sky finished. Which may take some while because of the Guild obligations... sadly so.

Now I'm off.

New mule and observations

Now then. I activated yesterday a new mule for my Alliance toons. He will be only for the AH duty, so I'm keeping it addon free as much as possible. Naturally, Auctioneer, Postal and Prat are there to make the business run smoothly.

Nice thing about this is the fact that the scanning -of which I have been complaining loudly in here and Twitter- is faster. Well, the scanning itself isn't, but the processing after the scan is way smoother than with Pupunen with all her addons on and stealing resources. Now I get almost up to date data to search with. And that shows already in the performance.

I transferred 4g from Laiskajaakko to this new mule. With the money I purchased some Glyphs that were sold at around 1% of their historical market price (according to Auctioneer). In less than three hours I netted 42g, which I 'wisely' reinvested to AH purchases. All in all, I'm already sitting on top of 17g in profit and almost 70g worth of stuff for sale in AH. Not bad for the first day in game, right?

In fact, the first sales I made with this toon were with the money earned from the first 5 levels of adventuring in the starting area. And earned the first gold with that. Hooray for the constant need for herbs.

My initial observation when I started to check the AH with new, poor toon was that the prices of Glyphs have dropped considerably. But at the same time, there seems to be a couple of people levelling up their Inscription, at least according to the sellers: there were three names filling up all the classes Major Glyphs, which suggests that they are selling their products out at the price they are moving fast. Which is in fact way below their material cost. 

Which is a good thing for someone with money to invest. Which isn't me, yet.

Though I found a couple of lovely Major Glyphs that were on sale for 1 s-10 s (!), which I grabbed and sold for 4g - 8g, thus making some nice profit. As I mount more money, I'll make sure to hoard more of the cheap ones, as the inscription levellers will come in waves and the use of Glyphs is pretty much constant.

Now I have to find some nice Minor Glyphs to snatch...

All in all, 'fresh' start is always nice. Especially when it is smooth and makes the routines easier.

Oh, yes. Now I have Pupunen in active healing duty instead of running to and fro between mailbox and AH. Nice!

Random thought #1: Fear of Heights

Might as well start a random series of random thoughts about even more random issues.

The first one came to me when I saw a Swdish documentary about Internet sites dedicated to suicides and suicide forums in which people are helping others to kill themselves. The reported tracked down a Swedish guy who had instructed at least one young man to take his own life, and even encouraged to do it.

The thought was disturbing as well as was the whole documentary.

In the documentary a psychologist said that formerly they could speak about 'suicide process' in which a person first got the thought of wanting to die. Then this person had to gather the needed equipment and only after that s/he could commit the suicide. It might well have been that this person got to a high cliff and stood on the verge, contemplating the act. At that point there might be a gust of wind to make the decision. And this is what the psychologist called "randomly assisted decision" which could finalise the act.

It was this explanation that caused me to realise one minor thing.

I'm not afraid of the height itself. I'm afraid that I might want to fall.

Now that's scary.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Yeah, we got the Maraudon Achievement in one solid run. Thanks Dreathon, our guild-mascot Deathknight über-booster!

What I just realized is that I have to apologise our guild Deathknight, Hunter and Retribution Paladin for using derogatory names about their chosen classes. Let me make is understood, that none of our characters in these classes can be called by any of the derogatory names commonly used about them. These guys are worth their weight in gold, and I will do anything to protect their name.

I realised also a couple of things last night after the run. First of all, the Old World instances, though beautifull and intricate, are too long for a single run. When compared to the ones in The Burning Crusade, Maraudon is excruciatingly long one. I don't even want to think how long it takes to complete at the right level range.

Secondly, now I remember why I hate boosts: they are boring as hell. Nothing to do but run and collect loot, which in this case was not en par with the group's level.

And third: Blizzard should include a new "Persistent Adventurer" Achievement: you get the achievement by banging your toon against the instance entry 10.000 times, receiving "Another instance cannot be launched right now. Please try again later" error...

All in all, good show. Oh, and we also cleared Stocks for one member... with the help of Lendo's main. 

Ok, shoot me in the Guild Chat for announcing your affiliation with me.

I can take it.

New First Impressions

As promised, here goes again.

First of all, the transition from the Old World to Outlands is immense. I could say that it's the Same game, but it's not the same Game. This comes down to the much discussed (earlier at least) problem of Outlands greens outgearing the Old World raid gear.

The first thing I did as a new lv58 was to get the two quests for better gear, namely for a new shield and new sword. The rest would come as the defences and damage dealing would be up. But still I was killing two, three, even four levels higher demons and demonic creatures with more ease than the Furbolgs or Owlbeasts in Winterspring! And the greens quickly replaced my blues which had been sufficient for levelling in the Old World.

One thing I have to complain about, and that is the fact that the quest rewards and majority of the loot -for a plate wearer- are for a certain flavour of the month class of TBC. That is paladin. The plates seem to have, almost all of them, some intelligence and +spell power, with the cost on +STR or +STA. So far I have been able to find only one quest reward helm which has been devised for a tanking plate wearer, and that's been after doing all quests available till lv61. And my chest and legs are with +INT... stupid, I know.

The other issue I'm having with Outlands is the incredible design of the mobs. Like I stated earlier, I could easily tackle higher level mobs with less downtime than in Old World in similar levels. But the real problem I have with them is the ease of downing versus their experience value! They seem to give much more experience than the similar level opponents in the Old World, making the levelling even faster, leaving more content unattended!

Negatives, negatives. At least in my book. 

But there are positives. Shocking news in my blog: something to give applauds to!

It seems that the Outlands is a lot more populated now than when I visited there last with my horde toon: there were lv58-62 toons running around, killing mobs and even grouping randomly to tackle some harder opponents. Grouping in the fly for one opponent and breaking up after downing it! I posted earlier a question whether the games you play change the way you play other games, and I think this is in the similar lines: reminds me of the Public Quests of WAR, the way people are just forming for one opponent only to fly in their different ways after achieving the 'quest finished' sign.

Nice. I love it!

I'm not sure whether it's because of the high population in Hellfire Peninsula or has it always been this way (my memory fails me), but the respawn rate is very, VERY high: it's like you cannot clear your way to a quest objective before the first ones have respawned, twice, as they have been camped by the second wave of quest doers! This is both good and not so good in the sense of helping more people to complete the 'gathering quests' and making the experience gains even higher (as you have to fight your way back to the quest giver).

Outlands change the way you play for sure. Too bad most of the quests are kill ten foozles and collect four dingles (by killing foozles till you get enough) types. The few exceptions to the rule are very refreshing (like bombing the demonic portals).

I know I shouldn't say this, but it feels so hard to return to Old Azeroth and help guildies. 

Do I really have to? 

Yes I do. The members of the Order deserve it and some more.

Monday, January 5, 2009

To the Outlands

Laiskajaakko finally got to lv58 and I had decided way earlier that he will hit the Outlands as soon as that happens. One of the nicest things about having the exp bar disabled is the fact that dinging surprises you completely: I was returning quests in Sillithus when the golden light engulfed the hardened warrior and I knew it was time to go. Sadly the Dark Portal was so far... which caused some extra stress on my system.

But then again, looking this from the guild side, it was a good thing. Hitting the advertising macro in every zone I passed flying surely created both interest and ignores. 

I just turned in at least two quests on the way and grabbed the 'necessary' quest from the warchiefs at the Portal before entering the great unknown...

Boy is the transition huge. I had been -and quested some- in the Outlands with my horde character (Copra), but that's about a year ago, so I really didn't remember what it felt like to bring the toon into this 'first expansion'.

The first hindrance came when I tried to get the quest from the flight master: one of my addons causes the flight map to launch on top of the quest frame, so I couldn't accept -nor return- the quests in question! The only solution I got was to disable the addons, work the quests and enable them again... causing some addons to reset, naturally.

But off we went, to the Honor Hold. I grabbed the first quests available and punched myself into the LFG for Hellfire Citadel as soon as I hit lv59 (when it came available).

The run, as smooth as it was, came to my mind after I read this post from The Scourge: in the group were three DK's (lv62, 64 and 65), my warrior ('are you a tank?', 'Your spec?') and a shaman (enhancement... 'You heal', 'But...', 'You heal'). The group 'leader' was adamant on having the polearm from one of the bosses and the DK's were having an argument about that till the end. I was happily in the group, just trekking along, trying to tank where possible.

Alas, the tanking was impossible, but a few nice comments to the Shammy ensured that I was the 'Last Man Standing' when the crap hit the ventilator: one of the DK's just couldn't help dying, being wiped out at least three times on the run.

Which came to my mind after reading the forementioned post...

All in all, I gained almost a level in the Hellfire Citadel, as I entered right after dinging 59. What a bliss.

This calls for another post about the first impressions. New first impressions.

Silent running

The holiday season has been pretty messed up thing in here: there have been one day off within a week, making both the working and spare time a drag to plan. However, the Order has been active enough to keep me returning to the game.

First of all, I have worked hard on AH with Pupunen to gain enough gold for the third Guild Bank tab. And now it's here! The cost is astronomical for a lv35, being 500g. That's almost the same as the second riding skill and mount at lv60, which really hurt my planning on getting a new mount for Laiskajaakko.

Secondly, I have been helping people to level with Pupunen. That has been fun, especially when the level gap hasn't been too wide. Next we'll have to start organising some pre-planned guild runs.

Because we had an impromptu one the other day. I had been helping some lower level members with their harder quests in Loch Modan for some time and was just about to logout for a dinner, when one of our Veteran's logged in and asked if anyone was up to Gnomeregan. Why, of course, because Pupunen had her questlog full of Gnomerquests. Within the next two minutes we had a group of four ready to go. A boost, as our highest member, lv80 Deathknight, had decided to join us for the Achievement!

So I ate with the family and logged in. The group was already at the entry, but the instances were so crowded -once again- that they couldn't get in! I got the invite, emptied my bags and ran to the instance, only to catch them right inside the door.

Needless to say, the run was smooth and solid, though we had one lv15 with us. He was pretty unaware of the threat his character generated, so I had to tell him after his first death to stick with us and not even breath! He died another time for running into a patrol, but that was... pure coincident and bad planning.

All in all, we all had fun, the lower of us had nice loot and I got several quests done on one run. As I returned the quests to Tinkertown, I noticed that I had still two quests undone in Gnomeregan... So Pupunen will have to go there again, this time with guildies who are a bit higher than on the first time. Maybe even without the boost?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flippin' an' floppin'

In addition to my freakish addon habits, I have been as crazed over the AH in WoW for quite a long time. Before I started to look for addons to do this and that I was already buying trade goods for cheap and selling it on market price: mind you, I have never been greedy, just taking my share of the wealth.

And then I made my first encounter with Auctioneer.

When I came to the EU server I made it my aim to have 1000g before my main hits 40, that is, the level when you could purchase your mount originally. However, with the aid of Auctioneer and BottomScanner I was able to accomplish that way before that. The Auctioneer scans began to take more and more time with each subsequent version, though, and that started to hinder my playing otherwise. A married man with work, kids and dogs -plus actively working with them- equals minimal time to leisure (read: games), and thus every single minute is precious.

And Auctioneer started to steal that time.

Now as I have returned to the habit of scanning, flipping and posting for the guild, I'm becoming more and more frustrated with the scanning and data processing phase of Auctioneer. Granted, it's a great tool for a AH nerd like me, but I'd rather not resort to pen and paper again. As there is an addon which takes care of the data collecting and sorting, I will use that instead. But the time it takes...

It's normal to have a scan take some 12-15 minutes. That's what it took earlier, too. But the darned data processing (Three stages) takes another 15 minutes, if I'm lucky! Then, when I finally get to the searching and deal finding, the first data collected is over 15 minutes old, leaving most of the bids having less than 30 minutes (short in WoW terms) left out of my grasp: they have either expired or purchased. As are the really interesting deals where people who really don't know the value of their stuff just sell them off in redicilous prices. Like Pattern: Robe of the Archmage (Allakhazam: 136g) in sale for 7g...

I have to dig into this. Most probably there is nothing I can do about it, except reinstall the Auctioneer Suite and hope for the best.

Never the less, I have flipped quite succesfully lately. Yesterday, when I checked my post, AH and reposted the expired ones, I saw that I had made almost 700g profit during the last 7 days. And I haven't even touched the materials market, yet. The server I'm in is very competed, mostly because it's one of the EU first generation servers and filled with long term players. I'm really a newbie in that troupe, but I'm doing my best to serve my Guild.

I was just wondering, what would it be if there was no Auctioneer? Would there be less understanding for the pricing? Would there be only hardcore data crunchers running the markets?

I think we'll never know. And I hope they could tweak the Auctioneer a bit faster for the matter.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!


May this year -2009- be prosperous, virtuous and filled with happiness to all readers, their families and loved ones!