Monday, November 30, 2009

PvP reflections

I took the plunge yesterday. I have a low level warrior in a PvP server which I started as an experiment to see how the PvP server and PvP in general would feel like.

I'm disappointed.

The mentality is a lackluster. Sure, the feller is still in the first bracket of WSG (lv10-19), so I haven't met any real 'world pvp' as of yet. In addition to this, the starter areas are void and empty: I've seen a handfull of players in my journey to the Battlegrounds, even the big city is pretty quiet.

But the PvP... I've stated earlier that the game is too gear centric to be interesting in PvP: the one higher in level and with better gear wins, always. That's the way it simply is, there is no avoiding it. The guy who has had the luck to gain blues (or heirlooms, for the matter...) has the upper hand to the Jack the Rabbit who has plunged through the mud to get where he is.

As if that wasn't enough, the system is playing the game, too. I mean in ruining the PvP. As you are roaming in the battleground, you can hide behind a pillar, wall, tree stump, what not. But you cannot really hide, as your nameplate shines like a star above you. Not only above, but through the walls and floors of the flagrooms!

Frustrating to be ready to ambush an opponent's player who just stops dead right before you are about to pounce on him/her, and starts the last preparations for your demise. To which you cannot get in time to disrupt the preparation.

Then again, you might get lucky. I won a one-on-one against a 4 level higher player, barely, but still. My warrior beat that rogue good.

That's the only thing that has made me feel good about pvp so far.

The other thing completely is the hacking. In WSG at low levels you can still find the speed hacks, which enable the player to cap the flag within few seconds after the game has started. Obviously the hack is faulty, as the player cannot reproduce that feat after the first try. Or the guy using it was just a dumb schmuck in addition to the fact he was hacking.

What bugs me most about the hacking is the fact that it ruins the game for all the players in the battleground: the opposition feels cheated, the team mates feel cheated and the dumb bugger gets reported.

So to make the PvP in WoW is IMO a big joke, with no real skill needed, just enough butt to get the best gear for the job before entering the battleground. And then relying on the fact that the rest of the team thinks the same about working in the field of glory.

Which they most probably will not do, anyhow.

Can't say anything about the arenas, but I presume the gearing component is present in there, too, and in as great extent as in the normal bg's.

We'll see, if I ever get that far. I'm more inclined to the PvE grind than the PvP one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Minor reflections

The last post was about a week ago, and due to real life (work) commitments I just haven't been able to either blog nor play.

However, due to my INTJ/INTP Briggs Myers-personality, I have had a lot of time to think and ponder the game and my approach on it. And my current situation and interest in it. As a side notion, I find it somewhat strange to be also ESAK in Bartle, which would suggest some clear extrovert trait, too...

The recent post has created a quite active chain of responses and responses. The overall notion of the responses is though that the game is as it is and shouldn't be changed in any way. Whatever the discourse of the comment is, I got quite fast the impression that there are really no instances people run for fun in WoW: only the glint of new loot -or loot which helps to move along- is the reason to commit to the group activity of an instance run. So instead of running the instances as they are meant to be ran at certain level ranges, people solo through the game to the cap and only then 'solo' the lower level instances, too, for the achievements. If they bother.

The mere mention of the approach that the instances are passed this way points out the flaw in their design to me: they are not fun as themselves. Maraudon is passed because it's not fun (it's too big, too winding and too messy to be fun), Blackrock is too long/big and so on to be fun and at the end game the Oculus is generally passed because it sucks. Which is the short version that it's not fun because it takes too much time to run through and the resulting loot is not equal to the time spent.

Wanted or not, all but one comment point this fact out. And the idea of having the instances scale up to the party entering, giving them the appropriate challenge is met with similar fervor.

I understand that the time has passed on the older content: new content voids the older one. But why is it so? Instead of growing the game within the confines of the world created, the designers have taken the easy route and created new areas for each expansion. Easy route in that sense that they haven't had to accommodate the new quests and scripts to the old content, and perhaps even change the old content to accommodate the new one.

Thus bringing on the Cataclysm, which wipes off the design flaws and faulty design of the original content. Only to be replaced with what? More of the same?

Anyhow, that's pointless as it's based on opinions and not facts.

My reflections on the game has been quite much on the same level with the earlier ponderings. Am I having fun when I play? If not, why is it so? What do I feel about the gearing, dailies, content now?

And to be honest, I am confused in a way.

I love to login. I hate the fact that all I have to do is cooking and fishing dailies, and if I'm lucky, the odd heroic daily. For anything else I do not have time to allocate. I don't have time, nor interest, to sit in the LFG or Dalaran calling for group for anything, because it always takes time from my actual playing to get something running. Because I do not do this or sign to the guild raids (which is another thing covered later) I do not get exercise and practise to be good enough to pass my own scrutiny. Also due to this I do not sign into to the guild runs, because I do not want to ruin the other players fun by being the inadequate tank or poor dps (which I hate to do anyhow).

Add to this the fact that I find the whole concept of gearing up for the instances outside the instances completely folly and stupid concept, and you have a mess.

I want to play the game, but I cannot find a reasonable way to enjoy it the way it's supposed to be enjoyed. Does that make any sense?

It seems that I have to sign the view my brother stated sometime ago: the journey is more important than the destination in an adventure game. In WoW there is no adventure in the destination for me.

One thing that bothers me with the whole end game concept is the fact that the game doesn't 'guide' the players at all. If you do not have the luxury of having time to plunge through the guides and lists within the internet, you are completely out of the game. The game doesn't state that you need to have 540 def to be able to tank in the Heroic instances, nor any other stat which is currently thought to be essential information to be able to advance into the raid instances.

I have said it before and will state it again: I love the game, the overall concept of the MMORPG which is executed perfectly in WoW. This ranting may sound the contrary, but it really isn't: I see flaws in there which bother me, but do not prevent me from finding that nugget of enjoyment every now and then. As it happens, raiding isn't the thing for me with my schedule even though that is what I would love to try at one point or another. However, I see it the way that the game is not designed for a role player or casual player to advance to the point where they can meet and vanquish the Lich King. That's only because the required information of gear, stats and theorycrafting just isn't supported within the game for those who are less fortunate with their internet time.

Quite another point is the fact that to advance within the game you need to be extremely selfish and/or be a member of an excellent guild. That selfishness comes up in both loot situations and in the participation in groups with whatever gear you are in. To enter an instance group or raid without properly preparing ruins the fun for the rest of the group, and IMO that is extremely selfish conduct: me first, nevermind the rest. In guild runs you can expect some tolerance with poor gear, as it is commonly understood that your situation is what it is. But then again, in guild runs you are not participating the 'important runs' and thus are not ruining the possibly first time experience of anyone else.

To sum this up, I urge you all to listen to Veneretio's latest podcast called "That's the game you are tanking". His next post, however, has a valid point, stated much better than I can ever put it.

That it is a people's game. How easy that is to forget when you solo up, gear up solo and live at the cap.


Till we meet again next week.

(Disclaimer: Of course major part of this rant is due to the fact that I do not have enough time to play at the level I desire. Then again, if the philosophy Blizz is trying to instil is "bring the player, not the class", then the game should be made so that you do not have to plough through various theorycrafting sites to overcome the class/player hurdle.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Instance re playability

Had a quick visit in Zul'Gurub to see if the mounts would have dropped. In fact there were four of us, all from the guild, and for me this was the first visit in the instance ever. It was kind of interesting and sad to hear the explanations about the instance from others as we plunged straight to the mount dropping bosses, like this was hard due to that and this fight was interesting because of this and so on. The instance is beautiful and I remember back in the day when I was starting my first real toon in WoW that this was one of the culmination points of the raid progression.

Now it's an empty shell, pretty but neglected. With no re playability what so ever.

As it happens, I was listening to Van Hemlock Podcast (episode #77) this morning and Tim mentioned something that struck a chord with the Zul'Gurub experience. That in Guild Wars there are instances which they know by heart by now, but run just because they are fun. And he made the reference that in Borderlands there are similar instances, too, which you really do not need for the story to progress (after the first run) but which you run for the heck of it only because they are fun.

There are no such instances in WoW. You run them once to get past the content and then you are -at the cap- forced to run the daily heroics time and again, not for the fun factor (as it happens the least fun instances get neglected after a few runs, anyway) but because they are dailies and reward you with badges.

And because the instances are static in their challenge, the ones you pass in levelling are forgotten -and I bet in some cases the newer players do not even know about some of them- just for the sake of getting to the top level.

Cataclysm comes, and changes the world. The instances which have been forgotten from the old vanilla content are getting revamped and changed, and will be no more. Instead of shaking the crust of the Azeroth the instances could have been scaling from the beginning. I'm not putting my head on the platter that the instances of Azeroth will get a scaling challenge levels after the Cataclysm, but I can hope for that.

Because there are no such instances which you would run for fun anymore. Without the glint of a new badge gear or a new achievement in your eye, only for the fun factor of the instance being interesting, beautiful or just pure fun run.

Or are there?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Separation anxiety

Life takes it's toll. That's something I've noticed as of late to be more than accurate description of the current global situation. The more pressure there is to save, the more pressure there is to do your work properly. And beyond.

But that is not enough for a parent with family obligations. Same kind of pressure comes down from the school through the kids performance -or lack of it- and the pressure to keep the family unit going is something you have to experience. Add to that the typical issues with which a home owner (with loads of debt) has, and you have the 'normal' life I'm living in.

Which in turn has resulted that my in game time has dropped down severely lately. I thought it might be refreshing to come back to the game after a few days 'off' of my dose of the crack. But now as those few days have become few more, I'm starting to feel a some sort of anxiety over one thing.

What if my expectations are too high and I'm disappointed -yet again- on the elements I'm missing so much?

I know -in the conscious level- that the game or the community doesn't chance overnight. I also recognise the fact that people tend to forget the unpleasant and irritating things very fast and the 'good' gets the bigger part in the memories. Even in such a short time I think this may be the case.

So how can I avoid the probable disappointment in the repetitive game mechanics, poorly behaving community outside the guild and the incapability of myself to commit to longer term pursuit in the game (thus making me feel like a failure in the guild/community I belong)?

Any ideas?

((note: this is exaggeration and mostly in sarcastic tone))

Monday, November 9, 2009

Genuine emotion

I've been guilty of putting my focus around me and looking for how the game is screwing the newcomer, guildless, homeless player who has the aspiration to become the hero the story in WoW tells about. And -contrary to my beliefs- I haven't been alone.

I know a certain goblin character just got a sore itch in his backside, but I full agree with Guntroll's post. That's how I see the game should be. But as long as the social tools and effect of player/character behaviour is not hardcoded into the game's core, the sociopath will rule the game and the single player aspect will rule the levelling game, making it harder every day to compete at the cap without the social contacts.

Maybe this is the reason why Cataclysm is going to destroy the original content, and bring in new requirements for grouping and levelling? We really do not know enough to even speculate with the Cataclysmic changes about to happen in the gameplay, but I'm hoping the expansion brings something to the social side, too. Like making it worth while to level in a group or to stick with a party for a bit more than just through an instance.

Then again, the changes in 3.3 seem to hint completely different approach: LFG/LFR takes away the possibility of social stigmata of being a jerk on a server -a very slight chance on a server level, even, but still. Instead of making the grouping more profitable to all, the group leader gets the benefits. Sure, a party needs a leader, but what happens when everyone wants to be a leader and there are no one to lead? It's like a certain superhero game: when everyone is a superhero, then no one is super anymore.

Anyhow, from time to time I give a netherweave bag to a complete stranger in WoW. Only once I haven't been thanked, once I got thank you again when I logged next time in with my toon, and mainly I have been thanked a lot. All I have told these lucky ones has been to pay it forward: I can only hope that they have remembered, that a little kindness goes a long way.

Sometimes all to the level cap.

A pet is a pet, a mount is a mount, but...

You can carry around tens of pets with you in WoW, and pull your huge mammoth mount out of your pocket, where you have dozens of other mounts with it -including drakes and such- but as a hunter you can have only one combat pet around you at any given time.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Betting is open

Blizzard Store's vanity pet sale micro transactions haven't gone unnoticed. Several bloggers have posted for and against the mere idea of Blizzard beginning a micro transaction system through their Battle.Net tied Blizzard store and all I can say is what did I tell you. The list ranges from Tobold to Leafshine to Kiasa and so on, so I won't even bother to link them here: all having their own approach to the issue.

One thing is sure, however. The Store wasn't opened only for the vanity pets. It will have more content soon and as time passes it will contain xp scrolls or potions, cloths, mounts and -like it or not- gear: not at the epic level not to 'disturb the game experience' but to help the newcomer/casual without the time to grind the gearing game to take part in the revered End Game concept. 

The question really is, how long will it take for the basic raiding gear to enter the store?

Granted, like it was mentioned in the comments of my earlier posts this week, that the pets sold at the moment are just a continuation of the TCG loot cards, but making them more easily attainable is the main thing in this: taking the obstacles from the purchasing off, making the buying easier for the consumer is the key. Like Melmoth (I think) in Kiasa noted, now there is no excuse for all, each and every MMO to have a micro transaction store, as the main player has opened theirs. He also pointed out (I think) that whereas other games like DDO have the stuff sold in the Store available as rare loot drops in the game, Blizzard has refrained to do so. Why might that be, and when will the Marine Marine for example be for sale in the store? Or the mini-diablo from the collectors edition?

Do I like the idea? As much as I have liked the gold sellers and micro transactions in any games I've seen them. Does it effect my playing? Not as long as the game itself offers the possibility to acquire the same 'benefits' as the Store. 

Does it matter to me? Not as long as the game is as it is. But when the stuff acquired from the store become a norm like achievements as an requirement for grouping, then it will.

Why do I feel cheated, then? Beats me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I beat the system by a day

The posts I wrote about DLC, F2P and micro transactions and Payable content with their extensive discussions in the comments section just got a new twist, as Blizzard added the purchase able in-game minipets to the Blizzard Store. Leafshine purchased herself the Pandaren Monk minipet, and reported that it was a surprise that Blizzard added this option to the Store.

Well, it's something I can easily sign off as what did I say moment.

How long will it take till we see more fluff items in the store, shiny gear and other options which will 'enhance the game experience' in the Blizzard Store?

Not long is my bet.

Two different issues in one post

I was listening to the Twisted Nether Blogcast this morning and found myself thinking about one thing. And later on when I read the comments on the last few days postings about micro transactions and paying separately for different content I noticed that I could combine these two into a single post (and stop posting for the rest of the week... clever!).

The one thing that started to bug me was that how far the level capped people have separated themselves from the beginning player and how different the actual starting zone game is from the much famed 'end game'. For me the illusion has always been that 'the game starts at the cap', but I have come to notice that actually the game is what you make of it. For me -and for several others, I've noticed- the game almost ended at the gap between the levelling game and end game. And it still is at a standstill, even though I get geared up at almost each heroic run I get into. There just isn't any drive in the gearing game like there was in the levelling game.

What bothered me in the Blogcast was that Daewin told how he had levelled from 1 to 80 within the free trial period. For a content and quest enthusiast I am this seems more of a travesty, as he has been running through the main content in the game by 'power levelling' and completely discarding the background. In my mind, he has exactly played the game to win, maximising the 'win the content' mentality and completely discarding the RPG elements of the game. The race, class and talent build have been just mechanics to use and nothing more.

This sounds to me as extremely alarming in the sense that the content Blizzard has become renown of has been discarded so easily. On the other hand, the preaching that the end game is where the game is does the same: it doesn't matter why we are trying to get to Arthas, it only matters for as long as he is the 'final boss'. What happened to Kael'Thas or Illidan? Where did all the earlier end bosses disappear? And why?

The second thing that struck me was that in fact the game has been changed so that the journey doesn't matter anymore: to be honest, the emphasis of the content has been increasingly in the end game content anyway for at least for the last expansions, and the next one is trying to make a slight shift in there by destroying what we have learned to be a persistent world.

I'm completely disillusioned about the fact that we're playing the game instead of playing the character or role. There is no story to the characters, only the story of the gear and where we got it. The game's levelling design at the moment enhances the illusion that you MUST hurry to the level cap to even experience something within the game, which already has a huge amount of both solo and group content before that. Due to the fact that everyone is ushered to the level cap by the speeded up levelling, the group content is greatly shunned and empty, and next to no new players (and certainly no new alts) experience the group content as a challenge or interesting content.

The disparity between the rich background content of the starting areas and the earlier content and the end game content (both gearing and raiding) proves to me that the RPG aspect of the game is dead to a large extent, and that Blizzard is serving mainly to the level capped population. And is making sure that the newcomer to the game gets this from the beginning levels on, that the actual world of Azeroth doesn't mean a thing in itself: the only thing that really matters is the highest level raid instance, to which the access has been made easier for everyone to try to enter. If they are lucky or persistent enough. The sad part of this is that the players forget the immersion aspect of the vast lore of the world and play the game like it was a some sort of Mario Bros in fantasy land.

WoW has all the content, lore and adventure, but we're playing it for the game mechanics.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Payable content

I pointed out my thoughts about the dlc and microtransactions in my last post, and I thought to continue on the same train of thought with this one. You see, it occurred to me that I have been paying for the raiding 'elites' instance development and raiding without even visiting those instances myself. In WotLK I have been one of the many who has been paying for the development and use of Naxxramas (which I 'lost' in the vanilla already) and Ulduar, neither of which I will not see in a meaningful context anymore. Not with the current toon nor with the up and coming alts, due to the fact that Naxxramas is already 'outdated' gearwise and Ulduar will soon be, as 3.3 hits gold.

So in this sense I could easily see that the content in those -and upcoming- raids could be bought separately from the rest of the content. Granted that Icecrown will be yet another raid which is supposed to be easy enough to enter for the 'casuals', I doubt that everyone will have the opportunity to run it at the designated time before Cataclysm hits Azeroth: we have to remember that there are still new people beginning their journey in the World of Warcraft, who may never experience the vanilla, tBC or WotLK end game content.

So why must they pay for the content they will never see? Much like Outlands for me: why have I been obliged to pay for the content of which I over levelled way too fast and way too easily and was -in a way- forced to move on to Northrend to be able to progress in the content and story?

Genda wrote an excellent piece about the same issue, but he projects his thoughts to the time Cataclysm comes and the new WoW-players are -probably- forced to purchase and pay for the then extinct expansions, too, to enter the game at it's last legs. I would like to as bold as to project this same concern over the current situation with the 800lb gorilla in the room: why are the people who will never see the top part of the content forced to pay/purchase the content anyway?

It's all good money to Blizzard, of course, but is it fair to make majority of the player base to pay for the entertainment of the top tier raiding minority?

That is the age old question which hasn't been discussed for some time now. But which hasn't been answered properly as of yet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little charity goes a long way

Being part of the Azeroth United community it's my 'duty' to bring out the ongoing Hearts, Hands and Voices charity event ran by the Azeroth United people. This being said, go and do the good thing either in this or any other charity event which concentrates to helping kids in need.

Thank you and we'll return shortly to the normal schedule.

DLC, F2P and microtransactions

Dungeons and Dragons Online didn't do too well when it was in subscription model, so Turbine released the core game as free to play. Within that package they introduced also DDO Store, from which you could purchase stuff with Turbine Points, which -in turn- you bought with real money. They transferred the core game into the micro transaction payment system, which is very well known in the Far Eastern MMO's.

Turbine has reported huge increase in the subscriptions in addition to the amount of players of the game.

In effect the game has now extended -free to play- core game up till a point, and people are free to try, test and find out if there is something in the game to keep them playing. And according to the figures there is.

Now Warhammer Online has released their free to play endless trial, in which you can play the tier one as long as you like. I think there is also some sort of store kind of service involved, but I'm not sure. Is Warhammer going for f2p, too? I wouldn't mind, haven't tried it yet even though I love the Warhammer setting and tabletop games.

But the other trend in the console side is the downloadable content (dlc) for single player games. You can download -for a fee, of course- more content to your game after a while. This additional content contains new areas, new gear, new opponents and/or new stories to go through. For us MMO people these are the normal content patches, which we wait with much anxiety. But the payment is included in our monthly subscriptions.

Except that in DDO it's possible to purchase this content separately, just like in dlc payment model.

So my question is, is dlc just another way to introduce microtransactions into single player/console games?

Of course it is. But why are the microtransactions so hated and shunned in MMO genre compared to the console games? In a sense they offer the same flexibility: you pay for what you enjoy doing. If the game sucks so far, you don't get the next dlc patch.

In WoW I could imagine the raid content being an example of potential dlc content. Majority of the player base still will not enter the raid content at all. I wouldn't have paid for Naxx nor Ulduar yet, if it had been an option. Then again, it might well be so that I wouldn't have paid for the ToC/ToGC at all, even though the instance is a loot piñata of the best (and worst) kind. So I would have been content with the instances, heroics and dailies for the time being. 

But as the content and challenge lies up ahead anyhow, I would have gotten to the point where I would have purchased the additional content. As all the accounts are now tied to Battle.Net, it would have been possible to purchase a raid instance as you enter the instance itself...

Scary thought. But most certainly something that has been calculated in Blizzard for some time already. How acceptable would you think this kind of situation? Or how possible do you think is the day when WoW turns into a micro transaction based game, considering the current trend of payable name, faction, server, race or class changes entering the game?

Will WoW stay strictly monthly subscription fee based, or will there be 'payable' content somewhere in the near future?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gearing makes perfect (yawp)

Two nights of playing and I'm more than adamant about the fact that it's all about gear and getting the right one. This may be a subjective and biased, but it's based on my current experience in the game.

Friday kicked off with another nice Ony10: isn't it sad to see the old girl go down week after week? This time the action was more contained and I felt like I could follow the flow of the encounter. Though I didn't feel I performed anywhere as well as in the first run... Maybe I was trying too hard to contain the whelps or something, because more got through my sieve than was supposed to. I noticed during this encounter that there is something awry in my UI or buttons, as my Challenging shout just wouldn't go off with one click.

Never the less, I got a nice trophy to change for a perfect trinket. And a great helmet to gem accordingly. Great run, both loot and entertainment wise.

As entertaining and fast the Ony run is, it is not enough to call it a night. So people pulled out a group for Obsidian Sanctum for the achievement Less is More: 8 man run in the 10 man content. Off we went, Laiskajaakko was off tanking the adds and it was a blast. Granted we downed the drakes first, so it was effectively a Sartharion without the drakes (Sarth+0), but still. This granted me with a nice bag to put my future super loot into, a memento to remember this one later on.

And after that the mandatory daily heroic and ToC5, both which were just a blast.

My friday night was so fun I was grinning the majority of the Saturday without understanding why myself. This caused a bit discomfort in the Kempo training, as the rest of the guys thought... well, they had their doubts about my sanity. As if there was anything to doubt about.

Sunday afternoon was yet another game session. I started out with doing the cooking daily and now I can Cook with Style (got my chef's hat), followed by getting the trinket from handing in the Head of Onyxia. The Purified Blood of Onyxia is excellent and for some peculiar reason I hadn't even noticed that it has a huge boost in the def: this caused the fact that I can easily switch at least two of my lower rated def gems to something 'more productive' ones, something I have to spend some time to think about. I was about to get the enchants to my new helm when I got into a guild run of VoA: again a new instance for me to experience.

I made two mental notes in this run. The first one was that I must start upgrading my dps set. This is because I was running the instance as dps because I had never been there and I had no clue on what is happening. Thankfully I had just started testing the Deus Vox Encounters boss addon, which actually told me where to move, what to avoid and when to expect the next nasty thing to land, so I was pretty much secured in that sense. The bosses fell one after another without deaths and by a stroke of luck I got a chestpiece to start building my dps set. That I took as a some sort of guidance from the game to take this endeavour seriously.

The second mental note I made in this run was to keep from meddling with my UI while in a run. You see, I tried to move the main tank bar in my UI before we launched on the second boss, but that bar got stuck to my mouse pointer!! I couldn't release it for one reason or another and thus I couldn't click on anything on screen, not even my action buttons. So the fight went by keyboard (well, I seldom use clicking anyhow, but I couldn't select the target either), while I was trying to find ways to release the bar.

The only solution was to reload UI, which mean't I missed the best part of the last boss fight, contributing only a minor part of the dps there.

Never mess with the UI while in an instance.

Long story short, we went through daily heroic in a group of four: we actually flew through Nexus and found some interesting ways to keep the healer occupied, and I got even more parts to my dps set... which even more felt like the game was trying to tell me something. This feeling was forced even more upon me as I went to turn in a quest in Wintergrasp (yes, Alliance was holding it still), where I first got my Black War Mammoth mount -I needed the fluff this time!- and noticed that there was only 2 minutes for the WG to start!

What a fight that was: I died only once during the whole fight, and that was only in the last minutes before the defence failed. Only because the game next to froze on my computer due to excessive amount of moving things on my screen. But it was fun and furious, and reminded me to check the other battlegrounds if they are anywhere as fun as this one. (I guess AV or AB could be even better as my machine might cope with the smaller amount of players better...)

After the WG ended I decided to head to Borean Tundra to complete the daily fishing quest (which had failed on me three times already: I hadn't caught any of the fishes from the Blood Pools for the Blood is Thicker quest, from three separate pools of blood), and started flying there through Sholazar Basin. My idea was to go along the rim to see if there are any mining nodes to use, and follow the 'shortest' route from SB to the fishing spot.

Sure there were nodes around. At the third one I landed only to notice a Tauren Warrior in there, just finishing the looting. And naturally I didn't realize I was in pvp mode after the WG...

It was the battle of the titans: this tauren was using a two hander, so he was in his dps spec and gear, while I was in my protection one. His strikes caused so much pain and misery, while mine were mere nuisance to him, but my damage mitigation was somewhat better than his. So the ebb and flow of the battle was pretty much on his side and finally Laiskajaakko kissed the ground while I was grinning and giggling madly.

Holy crap. I have to check the pvp side more closely.

And yes, get that dps set going for real.

It's all about gear, rather than skill: if I hadn't had the gear I currently have, I wouldn't have been able to attend to all the three raids I went in, I wouldn't have been able to perform in them the way I did and I wouldn't have felt good about what I was doing in them.

And if I had had the gear, I would have beaten that tauren warrior. I know I would!