Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My views on tanking and helping guildies

We have a guy in our guild that moved two characters over. One character is really well geared, but he refuses to play him anymore. The other is a plate healer that wears cloth and leather. He has 13k unbuffed hit points. At level 80.

His main hand weapon is a level 70 healing purple mace.

Last night I was going to take some time off and relax and play my now level 63 shaman but when I logged in I saw guildies standing around not accomplishing anything so my instincts kicked in and snatched them all up and made them run heroics.

Since I was tanking no one had any objections to this, even though 3 of the 6 on could tank with off specs and had the gear. Therein lies the problem in this game. 40% of the classes or something like that can tank, but people refuse to do it. So when a dude that likes to tank logs in, I expect some action to be taken. I hate standing around, but that is not why I tank.

I tank because of several things:

A) I like to control the tempo of the fight.

B) By and large I don't trust many other people to do it, although lately I have seen nothing but really solid tanks in all my LFG tool parties.

C) I like the adrenaline rush

D) I like to keep people alive, force the focus of the fights toward certain targets, and keep things at a pace that will have my group succeed.

E) I look fucking badass with an axe and shield and I get to charge and slam said shield in the face of people and strange creatures. Happy Holidays bitch.

F) I love standing there with 44,000 hit points and be constantly beat on and have it roll off me with little to no effect.

Thus I found myself helping out this undergeared guild member last night by running and farming not only REGULAR instances but also some fast heroics that I knew he could heal and not have issues with. You know what happened? Nothing but mail and cloth dropped, or PROT plate gear. Other nights, nothing but healing plate gear drops. Last night...nadda.

While we got him some badges and things like that, I cannot help but feel that he could have easily replaced that healing weapon with a green in the AH already, or worked on his faction to get some rewards off the vendors. Somewhere in the back of my mind it is niggling at me that maybe he is simply waiting to soak up some free gear in a easy 10 man practice run like Naxx. I hope that is not the case, because 80% of the gear he has can be upgraded and replaced through the AH or through faction rewards.

This tells me that he is perhaps a wee bit behind still on what he admitted. Most Recruit A Friend toons look exactly like his. You can always tell those because they have low faction, little to no achievement points and really crappy ass gear at level 80. Still there ARE things you can do to circumvent this. You just need to put in the effort. I don't mind helping, but at least put forth some effort you know what I mean?

World of Warcraft PUG Bingo cards

This has to be reposted and spread about.

These cards cover just about every idiot WoW player and douchebag out there, including some people you may know in your OWN guild. Never have I seen such a concise summary of NOOBdom the likes of which these Bingo cards display. If there was ever an exact example of why to NOT make this game any easier for the Mr. T commercial loving crowd, these provide them! Enjoy!

Original post here:


Example image:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="466" caption=""Anyone have recount?""]PUG Bingo Card[/caption]

Lets see last night alone I got

"Entire group is silent"

"Standing in ghoul explosion"

"Female character with trampy name"

"Member of the group misses invitation"

"Healer spam heals OOM after every pull"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Busy WoW holidays and tanking again

Running a guild and trying to get it up and humming is taking a lot of my time, as is equipping my warrior to be an off tank in 10 man raiding. I have had to switch all my time to him and really plow ahead and gear him up with run after run each night.

Other than that I managed to get some games on STEAM this holiday season during these insane deals the digital distribution site is running.

I am also back heavily into Borderlands so picked up The Island of Dr. Ned DLC content. I rebuilt BOTH my gaming systems to Windows 7 over the weekend so I am still working out the tweaks on that.

I also got a new nVidia 240 GT video card to treat myself, upgrading from a 8800 GT that I had been using for about 3 years. That card was a workhorse but also HUGE, the new card is half the size and does not require an onboard power connector to be used.

So busy holidays coupled with a LOT of game playing means little to no blogging. Nothing interesting to report really other than I am trying to learn to tank all these instances that I skipped over leveling my rogue and it has been fun.

On one hand, Q'ing up as a tank means I have no down time. On the other hand, tanking as a warrior and not using the EZ Mode paladin that most people tank with has been challenging to say the least. My 80 paladin is stripped and naked back on another server, and I am going forward with the warrior because it is most what I am used to.

I also have a 62 shaman that is elemental and fully decked out in heirloom gear. I plan on replacing my 80 priest and 80 rogue with this character since evidently Blizzard feels the need to make rogues all but worthless since AOE DPS'ing is where it is at. Failing that I can always spec the shaman enhancement and do my thing. She is already dual spec'd into resto and elemental so I am good to go.

I said SHE yes. I didn't want or I could not tolerate another retarded looking Draenei male character. For me it is bad enough they have the DUMBEST looking mounts in the game but the males just look stupid. I had to go female if I was forced to play one.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Aww how cute: a blogger war ends

Oh Tobold...you sell out emo drama queen....
In the spirit of christmas, and after reading Genda's post about the issue, I decided to unilaterally end the blog war with Syncaine. My apologies for reacting so angrily to his posts, his way of stating "facts" I believe to be false got to me. You won't hear again about him here. I deleted his blog feed from my newsreader.

Such dumb crap. Bloggers fighting each other over the internet, thinking their opinion matters to anyone. Get over yourselves. Too bad Tobold and Syncaine can't end each others blog in a giant nuclear fireball from hell. Of course then I wouldn't be able to laugh so much reading their love spats. I would also miss Syncaine's insightful posts about how PVP games will conquer the world and Darkfall is so awesome. His reverse advertising for hits on his blog is pretty clever. Also who could go a day without more Captain Obvious posts from Tobold like:

"Hello WoW players, how should I play my healer? I heard rumors they are needed in groups. Discuss!" or "I don't know if you my readers knew this but there are QUESTS and then there are QUESTS! Which do you like?"

On an up note have a good holiday everyone! I know I will!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Avatar snags a Best Picture: Drama category nomination

Golden Globes were announced that the ceremony, taking place in 30 days, usually gives a good hint at the Oscar nominations.

Avatar has gotten a Best Picture: Drama nod and the last time this happened was for the Lord of the Rings movies. So I have good hopes for the film going into this weekend

The films put up for the drama category are:

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Lightstorm Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox

The Hurt Locker
Voltage Pictures; Summit Entertainment

Inglourious Basterds
The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures/A Band Apart/Zehnte Babelsberg GmbH Production; The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures

Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production; Lionsgate

Up In The Air
Paramount Pictures; Paramount Pictures

You can read all the nominations here:


Friday, December 4, 2009

You can't make a classic better: Diablo 2

Yeah I reinstalled Diablo 2 on my travel laptop. I still love this game, and in my opinion over the last 9 years or so NOTHING has beat it. Nothing. Not Torchlight, not Titan Quest, not Dungeon Hunter on the i-Pod Touch.

You want to know why? 3D that is why. Fuck 3D and all that fancy crap. What makes Diablo 2 work is its look, feel and quickness. The ease of the view, the need to not zoom in, the fast attack rate, the sounds, and the overall feeling of the lighting and gear to this day still look great. I don't care what people say. Sure, on a huge screen running at 800x600 it won't look fantastic but what Blizzard did with the space they had was incredible.

I have tried many clones and I will be honest I don't like the clunky way they play. Mythos, Dungeon Runners, Titan Quest all never lasted more than 2 days with me. Torchlight? About one week and in fact it made me go BACK to Diablo 2.

Listen, sometimes fancy and 3D is not the best thing to shoot for. GAMEPLAY is. There is a new hack to make Diablo 2 run in 1024 resolution but I have not tried it yet. The game also can play with NO CD with the 1.12 patch, but there is a stipulation. After some research I found out the following:
If all required Diablo 2 '.MPQ' files are installed on the hard drive, the game will no longer require the CD to play.

For users that originally performed a 'Full Installation' and wish to run without the CD, all '.MPQ' files should be copied from the Diablo 2 CDs to the Diablo 2 directory. Most users will only need to copy D2Music.mpq from the Diablo 2 Play CD and/or D2xMusic.mpq from the Lord of Destruction CD. Mac users will need to copy these music files and rename them to 'Diablo II Music' and 'Diablo II Expansion Music' respectively.

Anyone who did not perform a 'Full Installation' will need to re-install from CD again to ultimately play without the CD. In this case, a 'Full Installation' is required, followed by file
copy step noted above.

Until Diablo 3 comes out (which is 3D yes but keeps that great vantage point) I think I will just hack away in D2 on the train on the way to work.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do we really need more easy in our MMO's?

MMO's that are too easy dilute the player base and when those people get bored, they move on and start bitching in other games. WoW has diluted the player base to a bunch of scrubs for the most part, and they all demand the same easiness and hand holding in each game, passing over other titles that might have more depth to offer if they actually READ or learned the mechanics.
When WoW started out, during the 40 man raid times, a lot of ex EQ1 guilds jumped over and you had some great players. Now it is a joke.

As you can see, a new player experience does not need to be so easy that it holds your hand. Look, if you are getting a MMORPG and it is your FIRST game like that, at least know ahead of time that there will be intricate controls and things you will have to READ and understand in order to advance.

WolfsHead Online has a look at changing the new player experience in MMO's. I like the way EQ2 works because it is in depth from the get go and weeds out the morons. Some may find it hard to believe, but I don't want to play my MMO's with a watered down populace that bought a game like WoW because they saw it on a Mountain Dew can and then clicked Night Elves because they were pretty and the background was sparkly.

That is why there are two classes of MMO right now, but sadly the second, more mature class is dwindling and we are getting spoon fed more stuff like Free Realms. I understand that the WolfsHead article is more about DESIGN than a new MMO being easy to win, but people seem to like the fact that WoW is easy to get into.

Hey I admit it WoW is great because of that but not on the level you would think. I like it because it WORKS, it is laid out properly and the game functions soundly. I will be the first to admit that EQ2 is a MESS if you start in Freeport or Qeynos. Darklight Woods however is another story. A perfect example of a company learning and doing something right, but sadly 2 years after Blizzard's mega monster had crushed Sony's effort.

One of the fundamental reasons that the player base in EQ2 is so much more stellar than your typical WoW server is that the game is deep, rich and requires half a brain to play for the most part. WoW is not the same game I fell in love with 4 years ago. Gone are the EQ1 vets, the experienced players, the mature crowd that now you have to weed out of the populace by interviewing them in a guild application. Gone are the tougher content days and the faction diversity. If you pop over to EQ2, things are much different and the game has layers to learn. Same with a title like Dungeons and Dragons Online or to some extent Guild Wars. Lord of the Rings Online not so much. Have you tried to play Anarchy Online lately? I know I know many are saying why would I but that is not my point. AO is a HARD game. However it is a DEEP game.

MMO's used to be hard affairs that rewarded you for sticking around, staying with your guild, and getting to the level cap. While Blizzard did a lot to rejuvenate how people see the genre, they also felled it in one sweeping gigantic blow of their money empowered fist.

There is a difference between being a HARD game and a HARD game that eases you into gameplay. World of Warcraft is a easy game that never stops holding your hand. As such at the end of your illustrious 80 level hand holding grind you are faced with grouping with imbeciles or hunting down other non imbeciles, forming a guild, and then dealing with their baggage. I am not immune I will not lie by stating that Eve Online scares the crap out of me. However I did try it I just didn't get in depth as some other players. I asked questions, I researched, I did my homework. Same with Spore or any other game .