Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One you remember, the other you don't

I've been lately playing on my banker/AH toon, that being resto/balance druid. On and off through the AH blast and all, I somehow got into the healing business and made it the chore of my choice. All in all, I blasted through Northrend by dailies, just a few quest chains to keep things interesting and PUGs.

Of the quest chains I have to say that I'm very, very disappointed by the fact how the Wrathgate episode ends. It's very much the same lackluster anti-climax which is so familiar from the Cataclysm areas final quests. The chains just... end. In Wrathgate the end comes by Alexastra whispering the character to come to her, but then there is nothing. Only a kind of separate text blurb without anything relevant and the worst part is the fact that this happens every time you come close enough to the Wrathgate area, where Alexastra and her consort stay, like keeping guard for the dead.

What a stupid conclusion.

No more raiding into Undercity, no more feeling epic with the faction leader, no more being belittled by the big bad Forsaken.

Also what is evident is the fact that the content has been nerfed otherwise, too. You see, I soloed at about appropriate level some group content which I had hard time to complete as my protection warrior in this druid's restoration spec... with no problem at all!

Anyhow, the title of the post claims that you remember one but not the other. By this I mean that as I was PUGging through the Northrend normal instances, I noticed that I would remember that bad tank from the first time I ran with him, but not the good ones with whom I ran even some instances in a row. And how do I rank a bad tank in levelling instances? How's this: imagine the Oculus start. The deathknight tank runs off to the mobs along the route, running to the farthest one in each group and just pulling this one and hoping that the D&D area would pull the rest. He reaches the final mob guarding the portal to the platform before the rest of the group has been able to finish the leftovers even from the first mob. Oh, yes, he also has this uncanny way of getting enormous amounts of damage in within very short time.

How about this: the same deathknight tank runs through Gundrak in the speedy manner, through mobs without checking even his chat window. There comes a quiet moment and as I have ran out of mana, I announce it in party and general. As I sit down to drink, the tank picks up his pace again and almost, just almost dies before I come to save the day.

As I mention to this tank that he should at least wait for the healer to be around when he starts, the response is mind numbing.

"Why do you slack then?"

At least four runs with this Griseflax (see, I remember the name even) and I still cannot understand the creep.

Sadly, there have been a couple of excellent deathknight tanks along the way, whose names totally elude me. Thank you, dear anonymous tanks, for saving my day and playing the game as it should be played.

As a concentrated group effort, by taking everyone into account and making the best of the group. Rather than being better than the rest.

Thank you good tanks. Sorry I don't remember your names.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Failure is not an option

Ah. Here again.

The latest adventures of the three dunces/stooges are unreported. There will still be one report missing after this one is done, and more to come on Thursday. We'll see when that report gets written, though...

Anyhow. After success in the Halls of Origination, the three -stupid- Stooges took up on the old nemesis. The Lost City of Tol'Vir. Remember the visit, eh? (Sidenote: it seems that this has been hinted a couple of times, but never really reported. Sorry folks, I'm only sub-human.)

It started as a nice retaliation with a vengeance on those mobs.

And our earlier nemesis, that General Husaam, was our puppy this time. "Look mom, no deaths still!"

Then we got to Lockmaw, and with the dps we can muster, it started to feel like a job. But...

Sleep thee well, Lockmaw!

On and on, till we downed...

but Siamat left untouched. "Can't touch this" was so right. The storm is strong in that one...

Back to Stormwind with the three of us, singing...

"We shall overcome"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gnomore: You really shouldn't be here

Gnomore pictorial 31

Now you may wonder why only one - the same as before - level in this update. The reason is simply that Blizzard really doesn't want to reward exploration and to be even more precise, those who do not take the beaten path but trek their own winding paths around the world. In short, it's Blizzard's way of saying what the guy said to me in Rift beta: You shouldn't even be here at that level.

Let us begin, so you can tell yourself. It all began in Ironforge, by the bank, where Gnomore was checking his mail. Money as usual, nothing more.

All sales, no challenge. (sidenote: Gnomore broke 4k the other day, but that's on the next update)

So, off we went. The first thought: go to Gnomeregan to finish a quest. Naturally the quest was inside the Gnomeregan instance, even though the minimap showed the question mark outside it. But hey, who doesn't like to enter the shining whirly-thingies from time to time?!

Too bad the continuing mission was to kill ten something, so off we went. As Dun Morogh was still not totally 'explored', Gnomore took the dark passage to the Dwarven starter area - Coldridge Valley - to get things done.

Oh those nasties. Or as Brann Bronzebeard says: "Troggs... Why does it have to be Troggs..." in Halls of Origination.

Do you know what the frustrating part of this exploration was? To notice that the only place needed for the achievement is off bounds till Gnomore gains wings, as it is the Ironforge Airfield. Yes, it would be reachable if Gnomore would kill some nasties and took the plane to continue the quest chain, but as you know it's quite impossible at the moment.

On the way, though, there were some nicer quests available in the Quarry, though, and it was the first place Gnomore felt he was doing something good for the people.

And the exit was quite typical for Gnomore, too.

Disappointed by the game mechanics yet again, I decided to take on a challenge. As the game is more or less ruined for us off the beaten path types by the phasing (you do know they took the Undercity part away from the Wrathgate quest chain, now did you?), we decided to go and see how far we really could go...

Does that ring a bell? Of course, the gathering skills at Gnomore's level - even though they have already outlevelled the actual character levels - are useless out there.

First it was the easy one.

As usual, the door was open, but Gnomore was not let in. How rude can the game get? How obnoxiously elitistic the system really is? Why not open all the instances to all character levels and just let the mobs do the darn selection of the fittest?

Just think of it: how cool would it be to rampage in a vastly over levelled instance with 20 similarly levelled toons? Of course there should be safeguards to keep the boosting at minimum, but still. That's only technicality.

But what I really loved was...

Even though the mobs just needed to look at my general direction to get Gnomore killed. Really put my fancy stealth skills to new perspective!

The other thing is the fact that when Gnomore finally (?!) reached the first settlement on the road, the Flight Master coldly informed him that there are no flightpoints to connect with this particular point!

That was the only sensible conclusion, and after that it was easy to make the decision. It was either to hearth out, or continue trekking down the path which wasn't there.

Guess what Gnomore chose?


After which it was time to take drastic measures (ok, he died twice before that, after the last photo) and to change area. After hearthing out, there was a lovely sight in Darnassus waiting for Gnomore.

As customary with Gnomore, it would have been too easy to just fly there. Instead, he went through Ashenvale

Stonetalon Peaks (where another pair of rares were showed on his face!)

 until he finally reached his destination in Southern Barrens.

This is where the story rests, and as you can see, this part was done before patch 4.1. came in. There are a few things which occurred to me on my next session which came in with the patch, making life easier but less interesting if you want to view it that way.

Conlusion: exploration itself doesn't pay in the game. Gnomore went through pain and desperation and didn't even gain a level over the four-six hours of play due to the fact that he went on exploring in an area which is vastly above his level. That is a shame, as it lowers the levelling by gathering and exploration to a mining node-herbalism node-archeology-grind in the end. We'll see when the boredom overcomes the excitement of bare evasions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outdated update

Oh, joy.

This post was supposed to be posted about a week ago, but alas, blogger was down. Still bugged in some parts it seems (at least I'm having trouble to comment on blogs with Blogger comment section), but mainly working.

Anyhow, a week ago three brothers took up on a sword and rode into the Halls of Origination, where they were beaten severely on their former try. Guess how it went now...?

That should give you a slight hint...

There is one particular set of mobs which caused us some grey hair, and that was the one after Temple Guardian Anhuur on the way to Brann Bronzebeard. The one with one big baddie and three other ones. Tricky if you do not sap the infuriating caster type and kill the other one as soon as possible.

After coming to terms with the kill order, that mob was easy. Surprisingly so.

To our misguided amazement we found ourselves in the Hall of Lights or whatever the place is, and proceeded to dismantle the safeguards: the four elementals and a bunch of troggs. Long story short (as one picture equals some hundreds of words, like they say):

As you can see from the sequence, we had problems with only one of the elementals, that being the water one. The bubble, coming on the healer at the right moment, is a bugger, and really caused some hilarious moments. On the other hand, our main theme of the evening was that the healer lives, everyone else dies, even though in the last picture it's the rogue alive. He - on the other hand - used his vanish on each and every occasion things started getting hairy, getting the tank aka me killed more than I really deserved.

We skipped most of the 'unnecessary' parts and finally took the fight to the main boss, fiery Rajh. We had some negative pepping going on when the fight started, and the trash guarding the boss was really a pain: in randoms this would cause several groups to disappear into thin air if the end boss wasn't in sight.

 What a warm and loving fight that was. Heated debate, streaming solar flares, burning embers raining from the sky. What more can a man desire?

In the end, it was one mob standing. That being the three unbeatable, who again did the job of five, which so many random groups still fail to do (in heroics).


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Time to ride again

If a group of 10 or 25 is a raid, isn't a group of 3 doing the content for 5 a ride?

Anyhow, it's time for the three to do the job of five again, this time all at the cap. The only thing I'm nervous about is not to waste any Justice Points on vanities and to find as good upgrades before the round up as possible. Now where are the easy solutions when you are in a hurry, eh?


Friday, May 6, 2011

You really need a kick

Been absent. For several reasons.

Real life infection, meaning that the garden calls for duty as the spring is advancing.
Extended weekends due to national holidays of Easter and 1st of May.
Lack of interest to play.

No, wait. The last one is faulty, as I have been playing. Lack of interest to play at the cap is more appropriate, because I've been playing my druid banker herbalist scribe, and gotten him to level 76. My aim was to get him to lv75 and then level inscription up to the cap, but for some reason I started to work for the Kaluak reputation for the spiffy fishing rod.

Making gold in WoW has never been so easy as it is after capping the Inscription. Really.

All things are somehow connected, and yesterday I read Tobolds post which lead to the Pete Michaud's Achievement Porn post. Accompanied with the Meaningful Work post and there I stopped. To do some meaningful work, that is.

In nutshell, the quote which Tobold referred also hit a spot.
Any achievement in a video game is a “fake achievement.”
But there was more in the essay which struck a chord in my mind. Am I really playing to avoid achieving something in real life? Am I playing to relieve the stress or feeling of not being able to achieve or feel achievement in my real life?

In short, yes. In longer terms, yes, because during the summer my real life activities and hobbies take care of that need. Whether its our dogs running or working in a dog event it's all the same, I'm getting higher kicks from them than from gaming anytime.

Even though the essays pinpointed some issues of my life to me, the message had to be hammered into my head with an extreme blow.

Our first Irish Wolfhound, our beloved Ness (European Champion in Lure-Coursing 2008), was put to sleep later the same day. Spleen tumor which was bleeding caused a total collapse and it was best for him to not extend the suffering.

Had I been enough with him over the six short years? Have I neglected him for the fake achievements I got in the games I play?

Could I have been there more to enjoy his short life?

Sad to say, but the answer to the last question can not be anything else than yes.

It seems to be human to appreciate things only after you lose them permanently.

This doesn't mean I will stop playing games. It seems I will be stuck with WoW, playing less but for the entertainment value with my brothers and spending more time with my family and three dogs who will depart us sooner or later.

It's never too late to take action. It's always too late to regret thing you didn't do when you had the chance.