Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Area of Effect

I've been away from the mother ship for sometime and have only recently started my slow indoctrination back into the collective of mindless, borg like, MMO players. In my, me time, I only played Wow for short spurts, specifically, when the last content patch came, which introduced all of new and wonderful changes to class talent trees. I did manage, after the patch, to spec out my Protection Warrior using the new tree design (actually, I copied a fellow guildies Prot spec, but he is an awesome tank, and I hate thinking), and I have to say, they gave us out all the loving one company can to a character class. Sorry Steelrat my friend, they just don't like rogues.

Protection warriors are the new AoE tanks. This didn't become very evident to me, due to my limited game play, until last night when I started my stroll through Northrend. I was able to pull 3 or 4 mobs at a time and still had complete and utter control over them without any mess. Starting off my attack rotation with thunderclap, cleave, and finally stunning them with the new talent, Shockwave. So far it's been very effective and efficient.

I was also informed, by a fellow guld member, that pulling 3 or 4 mobs at a time was a pretty low count for a 70 protection warrior, but in my excuse, I don't have all the nice pretty gear that comes from some raiding instances. I do have all the gear out of Kara, except for the shield, which would have been nice, since the blue one I still have is pretty lame, but I did managed to get a ring and shoulder pads from ZA in the last few weeks, but since everyone is moving forward, I think my chances of getting great gear are in front of me, not behind at this point.

I am currently deciding if I should level my warrior or Mage first, but either way, I am sure I will be enjoying Northrend way more than I expected. I did notice that the horde have resumed hostilies, but that was before I found all my new spells and had them properly placed on my hot bar, now I wouldn't be so certain they would win that fight in a rematch. lol

The Possiblity of Change!

I've been considering going back to Word Press. I like the ease of Blogspot, but it's not as dynamic or versatile as Word Press, I am sorry to say, but it does handle uploading images a lot better and there is no limit as to how many you can upload, to the best of my knowledge.

In a perfect world, I want to try to post here and over on my old Word Press account. I can't guarantee that I'll be able to double post so for now, make sure this is the site in your readers. I did notice today while checking out my old site that it's been getting hits and lots of them, so apparently people are finding it a lot better than this site. I'm just hoping that Word Press has fixed the issue I had with uploading images. If they have, then I'll probably move my site back over. Don't worry, that will not be any time real soon and when it does happen, you, my loyal readers, will get plenty of notice.

If for some reason, I don't get to double post, don't shoot me, because sometimes I have a limited amount of time to post, but I will try to be consistant. I do want to give Word Press another shot at being the home for my blog, the lay out is much easier to manage and the column space was bigger, giving me room to create nice large walls of text lol. I moved for because every time I tried to load an image to the site, it would either, Epicly Fail, (My new favorite term, btw!) or it wouldn't align itself correctly on the page. Not sure why this was happening, but they had recently changed the way uploading images was done, so I'm sure that might have had something to do with it.

I'm not a very patient dwarf, as all dwarves tend to be, so I punted the site and came here. The problem is, this site is limited on its choice of layouts and I'm not computer sauve enought to either copy my someone else's design or create my own. The columns are way to small and anytime I use a large photo it always puts up the tiny size instead of the full size. This was not an issue on Word Press, when uploading images wasn't a problem.

Anyway, Just wanted to know I would be back at my old Word Press site doing some experimenting and that a move might happen, unless it fails again.

Course, I'm happy to entertain any suggestions on blog design if anyone has any. Just don't suggest I get my own website, because right now, paying for two MMO's is about all I can afford to pay out to Al Gore's internet right now. Don't forget that the internet is a bunch of tubes.

The Reality Of It All

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Cheater

Werit, another dwarven blogger, posted recently his thoughts on Multi or Two boxing. I don't really want to rehash that discussion over here, but it did occur to me that I might have been a bit harsh on those that multibox.

Overall, my position on Werit's blog was that Multiboxing in general was cheating to some extent and shouldn't be permitted. But, I wanted to clarify my position a bit more. I'm not totally against multiboxing, specifically in a PvE setting, only because the player really doesn't garner a huge advantage over the other players. I can attest that at times, it's very hard to get a good group together, even in a large guild. Last night was a prime example, one member of the guild needed a healer to help run his DK through Steam Vaults so he could complete a few quests to ding a level, but no healer was to be found or none that would volunteer to help him out with his agenda. This would have been solved if he was able to multibox his DK with his healing spec shammy.

There are even some people that can run complete raids with a multibox system, which considering the cost and number of computers to do this, they must be either independently wealthy or just plain nuts. But they don't have to rely on incompetent people to group with them or having to deal with greeders, ninja looters or whiners. Eliminating most of the problems that occur when grouping with others.

My point is, having a multibox system in this situation wouldn't give anyone a huge advantage in the game. They would have to spend twice the amount of time or more leveling each character, maxing them out on stats and gear. It would take a really dedicated person lots of free time to get them all to end cap just to participate in end game raiding and rep grinds. I barely have time for the two characters I have on just one account. I can't imagine the hassle it would be to run multiple accounts with several different characters at one time. The inventory management would just be insane.

The only true advantage is when running this same system in a Battleground or on a PvP server. Part of PvP is coordination with others using very carefully timed attacks against multiple objectives. I once encountered someone running 4 warlocks in a BG and it was mass destruction. The ability at the push of a button to have them all focus fire and send their pets in at a group of targets was just singly very unfair to those that had to coordinate their attacks using basic chat windows. We, the masses, were at a distinct disadvantage. He was able to defend one position the entire game without breaking a sweat.

So my position is that in a PvE setting, I honestly don't have an issue with multiboxing, but in a PvP setting, it should be outlawed and considered cheating, period. Of course the gaming companies will never stop multiboxing due to the amount of income that alone generates for them. Blizzard even had a promotion recently, get a friend to sign up for a membership, get double experience for them and you while grouping together. Very handy for someone who wanted to multibox.

I'm not happy about the concept, but they aren't going to change it any time soon, so most of us will have to just deal with it.

That's all I have to say about that!

"Remain calm...deep breath.." The Expansion, Part 2

So my Epic Fail comment might have been a bit harsh. In my defense, I think I was just very anxious and excited to start playing the expansion, but kept hitting road blocks. Besides, I did not know how passionate Hudson is about WoW, again.

Now, to actually do a first impression about the game.

I have to say that I've been very surprised with the amount of creativity brought to this expansion especially with the different quest lines. This time I feel pulled into them more than the last expansion. Rather than just running around, gathering quests, completeting them only for the experience and loot on my run to 80, I'm actually reading them and following the story arc developed for each chain. I'm sure that considering I saw a 78 level Death Knight online last night, I'm probably a very select group of people. But still, I'm glad that they didn't just throw some stuff together and really worked to develope all the quest lines.

As an example of the creativity used there is a chain of quests that introduce you to the D.E.H.T.A (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals) group. They are very much against Hunter, Hemel Nesingwary, who everyone has met in both Stranglethorn Vale and Nagrand. The chain of quest require you to stop the hunters from killing or trapping animals in Northrend, which is a change. However, If you kill any animal in Northrend, including hostile ones, you will be given the debuff Animal Blood, causing members of D.E.H.T.A to become very hostile with you untill the taint is washed off in very deep waters.

The new creatures are very well done, especially the race of walrus people. They even brought back all those annoying robots from Gnomergon. Not sure why, but they felt the need. The story line involving them is pretty interesting. Lets not forget that we finally get to see a fully working airport without having to climb up a mountain to secret location. This time around there are more flight paths from the start. Which is nice. I think the developers are learning, more access is better.

I'm on a PvP server and so far both sides are behaving themselves as before when TBC was released. I think people want to quest and level without causing too much of a stir. I've been leveling up my mage first, so I have to be very careful with AoE's and watch my water elemental so he doesn't get out of hand. I've actually damaged a few horde by accident, but they haven't retailiated, which is nice. Not sure how long the peace will last but its nice to do quests without having to watch your back all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love ganking, I just want to do it on my terms. lol

One small item I must have missed with the last major content patch. They changed the way spell power is displayed. Before, I had the crafted Frozen Shadowweave set, which gave me bonus spell damage to frost spells only, now its displayed as just a bonus to spell power. What does this mean? Well, I DON'T have to be a frost mage. I'm not stuck with a set of gear that's only designed for one spec, openning up lots of possibilities. This is fantastic! Now I have to do some research and find out what spec might be more fun. I love damage so I'm thinking something with arcane. lol

Other than starting a Death Knight and getting him up one level, I've not done much with him. I found some of the quests in that area a bit buggy, but it could have been one of my many mods that I didn't update till I started running my mage up, so it could be a operator error instead of a Blizzard problem. They did increase the amount of experience gained from quests between 60 and 70, so it will be a lot faster for people to get theirs characters leveled to cap. Several guild members have a few in the late 60's right now. Course, I could do that, but I have a life and love to watch my Panther's play on Sundays. lol

Well, that's about it for now. I've only managed to get my mage up one level as well, but I'm thinking I might start working on my warrior a bit. Try to work them up at the same time so I don't over do my time with just one character to prevent burn out. If you don't have the expansion, my recommendation is to pick it up. The scenery is very nice and the quests are fun. Getting in at peak times is still a pain, but it can be overcome if you just take Hudson's advice and "Remain calm...deep breath..".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Expansion

I just wanted to log on really quick and give my readers some insights from WOTLK and it's wonderful release. In two words....


I was planning by this time to have at least taken a look at some of the new content, maybe create a Death Knight, but the server ques after installing last night were just horrific. Not to mention all the extra patching needed once it was installed, I'm not even sure my current Mods will be working when I finally do get to log in, which happens every time something is patched in WoW. Why even have a community of modders when you spend all your free development time figuring out ways to break their carefully crafted mods that just about all the players rely on. Just because you change some code, it shouldn't cripple the community by breaking everything. Should it?

So, this morning, I woke up at 8am and decided to give it another try, but alas, my server, Darkspear, which is the only one I have characters on that are over 55, which is the requirement to create a Death Knight, is down for rolling restarts. I can't even log into another server to look at the new content because all my 70's are on the server thats down. Again, Epic Fail.

So, I'm hoping that when the server comes back up, the que won't be 55 minutes like it was last night at 9pm EST, when I tried to log in after installing and patching. Look, I understand that people have returned to the game and that there are issues with an expansion's launch, but Blizzard this ain't your first rodeo. Didn't you learn ways to fix this sort of thing with the last expansion launch? Servers crashed, ques were awful and they just didn't seem to have things ready. This time, same thing. Why can't we learn from our failures?

Look at SoE and the number of expansion they have successfully launched for EQ and EQ2. They have gotten it right. Everytime they launch a new expansion, I hear how smooth it goes and how everyone is happy about it. I just don't understand how the learning curve can be so high on a second expansion?

Maybe I'm over stating the problem, but I've got the itch and they don't seem to be able to help me scratch it. Blizzard needs to do better when launching new product. They just seem to be unable to keep the boat a float when they add on more bloat. lol Sorry couldn't resist.

Well, I'm hoping to get a chance to view some of the new content and maybe create a Death Knight this weekend. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Itch

The Itch to play MMO's is starting to come back. I logged into WoW this morning, purchased a few gems for the gear I got on my last ZA run and I was seeing all the new death knights running around Stormwind, which infused an urge in me to purchase WOTLK today.

So, by this afternoon I should be working either my new Death Knight or working towards getting my little dwarf tank to 80. Not sure which I will conqure first, but I'm sure the content will be filling for a few months till I get to the end game and become bored again.

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I've been in Orlando. Florida working on a very large audio visual production. For some reason, the audio visual staging business tends to get really busy from August to the end of November and this year is no exception. I know the country is on a downward spiral financially, but for the company I work for, we are crazy busy. I guess people need lots of video projectors, sound and lights to tell people how they are going to have to cut costs so they don't have to file for bankruptcy, weird how that works.

Next year we already have shows scheduled for Arizona, California and New York. And since the show we just did, turned out fantastic for our clients, I will probably be enjoying 70 degree heat again in November down in Florida. which is great, because we always manage to see a park when we go down there. Drinking around Epcot is soo much fun.

Till this year, I've not set foot on a plane in over 30 years. I discovered earlier this year that I don't like flying, but after coming back from Florida, I'm getting use to it. I hate the take off, but love the landing, if that's any indication of how much I hate to fly. We landed so hard last night on my return trip that some body in the back screamed out loud, while I was busy cheering lol.
But since we are planning to do a lot of traveling next year, I'll just have to deal. lol

I hope to have some WOTLK insights this weekend to post, if I'm not busy playing my Xbox again. Since, I came back with some per diem, I'm probably going to pick up Gears of War 2, which I hear is great. I have the same problem as Bildo, too many games, not enough time. Poor guy is even getting slammed for it too. I'm glad my blog isn't popular. lol

Editors note:
Try not to have the urge to post with only 4 hours of sleep after a long day of flying. You'll spend more time editing your bad typing than getting the thing posted right.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Nerf

Last night, I was able to get in a few hours of WoW and let me start by saying I under estimated what people were saying about the raid dungeon's being nerfed. We tackled ZA last night and everything went very smoothly. We died a few times on maybe one or two bosses out of the whole event. I was unable to stay for the last two bosses, but man, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

I'm torn on whether this nerfing of instances is a good thing. It didn't seem much of a challenge to me, but then again, I've not been doing anything in WoW for the last 3 months. I do understand the philosophy behind the nerfing. Blizzard wants people to get the gear and enjoy the content they spent months creating and fine tuning before players finally abandon them for the new expansion. Sad that once the expansion hits, a lot of the 70 or below dungeon's won't get much action, but that's the problem with WoW and it's end game mechanics.

I will say I had a great time. Scored two new items for my Warrior Tank and came away from the experience wanting to spend more time back in WoW. Reluctantly, I'm headed to Florida for a few days and will be unable to play till the expansion actually comes out next week. I'll be picking it up upon my return home, but not sure how much time I will be able to spend on it.

As I said before, I'm taking a small break from MMO's. I've not giving up any subs yet, and do like to pop in from time to time to say hello to people, maybe get in a few scenarios or heroic dungeons, but for the most part I've just got too much RL stuff going on right now to cope with long hours of dedicated MMO play. Which is why I love console systems. You can jump in for a few minutes and feel like you've spent hours playing.

I will say that after Lich King, I'll be picking up a few more Xbox titles in the coming months. Dead Space and Gears of War 2 being the main ones. I'm also trying to scrap together some money to finally get a PS3. I hoping to make that purchase right after Christmas this year if everything goes right. Once I accomplish that task, I'll have all three console systems. Then I'll only need to pick up a PSP and I'll have everything covered lol.

But to be honest, I'm more interested in the Blue Ray aspect of the PS3 thanks to Hudson and all his Blu Ray articles. lol I will probably pick up a few games,, like Little Big Planet, Which is looking pretty sweet. Course, once I get the PS3, I'll have to start replacing some of my more favorite titles with Blu Rays like Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Matrix Trilogy and a few other visually stunning movies. It will be expensive, but I won't have to replace everything, especially things like Dude, Where's My Car, which is a great movie, but I don't think I need it in Blu Ray. lol

Well, I think that about covers it. My surgery isn't till the first week of December. I'm still not sure how it will turn out and how long I will be a one arm paper hanger, but it's something I have to do in order to get my arm working properly again. Although, I am enjoying the muscle relaxers and hydrocodone the doctor gave me some time back, I would rather not have the pain.

I also found out this week I have sleep apnea, man I am a mess lol. I'll probably be fitted for a Cpap in the upcoming weeks, which won't improve my looks while sleeping for sure. The mask makes you look like strange sci fi creature lol. I pretty much suspected I had it, but need to get it confirmed before I had surgery. They like to know why your not breathing while your sleeping lol.

That pretty much updates everything thats been going on lately. Still enjoying Fable 2 and Fallout 3 when I get the chance. I highly recommend both as I know Bildo and a few others do. Well, I'm out till the release of Lich King. I'm kind of glad that I'm not going to be rushing out to pick that up. I know on release day the servers will be over run with people trying to create Death Knights and blazing through all the new content to reach 80 by the weekend it will be best to stay away from it for a few days till the madness calms down a bit.

Well, this turned out to be a much longer blog than intended. I guess waking up with low blood sugar does have its advantages sometimes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Prank Call

A person I know has been prank calling people and putting it to video for sometime, but until recently, he kept a lot of it to himself, but now, he has finally posted them on You Tube.

I am happy to present one of his funniest.