Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Making Epics Epic Again

So I hear that Blizzard is bringing the epic back to epics. They've finally decided to listen to us when we say an epic is not very epic if everyone's got it. Just to be a little bit grumpy, I would say this is a little bit obvious. /grumpy

I'm actually really stoked at this, though, and I really want to keep this a positive post. The post I linked above is very small and in the scheme of things a minor change to be made to the game, but in the big picture this is HUGE.

Firstly, as I mentioned, Blizzard LISTENED. Really listened. Not to the endless whinging crap about rogues being overpowered but to the intelligent, well-thought out analyses of one of the reasons the game has soured slightly.

Secondly, this opens up the floor. If Blizzard finally understands this point about epics, perhaps they are or would be willing to look at things like raid difficulty. If you follow that link above and go to the next Blizzard post, you'll see a quoted post that explains the point I am trying to make with dungeon difficulty. Nowadays almost everyone has killed the Lich King in some way, shape or form, but back in the day maybe one guild per server could finish 40-man Naxx. Maybe. And they had the very pretty purples to show for it. And when we looked at them, we knew they were GOOD. And we wanted to be like them. So we worked harder! (And played more and paid more, Blizzard.)

The reason the game was so successful to start with (in my opinion) was because you had to work so hard to get the shinies - whether it was shiny loot or shiny boss kills. And when you did, you gained status within the community. So I'm glad to hear Blizzard is looking at trying to bring this back.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ninja! Dun dun dun....

Well, I woke up this morning and the first thing I wanted to do was write a post about the ninja who was in our raid last night. I have to say that I've only rarely experienced being ninjaed - and in this case I hadn't even rolled on the item - but it's not a nice feeling. And this one was a little out of the ordinary. I would really like to name and shame this person but I don't think it would accomplish anything. The word will have already spread around my server, and this person will be lucky to get a pug run in the near future.

First I should explain that last night's run was a guild run, made up of 20 guildies and 5 pugs (3 of which joined our guild during the run). Before we even started moving toward the trash the loot rules were laid out. They were the usual - one main spec piece per run, unlimited OS, BOEs MS only and otherwise going to the guild bank, saronite to the guild bank. It was not specifically stated that you can only roll on your class' main armour class (mages on cloth, shammies on mail etc) but this is not unusual; the 1 MS per run clause is usually enough to cover this on my server.

Not this time. Basically what happened is that some cloth gloves dropped off Rotface. Two people rolled on them - a resto druid and a warlock. The druid won, and the officers went quiet to discuss. During this time the loot master (who was brand new to the job) accidentally passed the loot to the druid, as they had won the roll. There was no objection from the warlock but a few others in the raid spoke up in protest as it was a cloth piece, and therefore the warlock's main spec. Neither the druid nor the warlock had previously won anything. The officers agreed that it was the lock's main spec and asked the druid to please pass the loot to the lock. The druid - who had seemed like a very nice person up until then and a competent raider - completely changed their tone and began arguing. They refused to hand the loot over, insisting that they thought they deserved it, and instead quit the raid and hearthed.

Earlier in the raid the loot master had set the loot threshold too high which had allowed one of the pugs to loot the saronite. This pug ran all the way back to the boss to loot it and passed it straight to the loot master when asked. I think, if this pug had taken the saronite and hearthed, like any normal random ninja, it would have been better than what this druid did.

Perhaps I'm biased because 90% of my toons are cloth wearers, but I consider this to be one of the worst forms of ninjaing I've seen. As it is, there are three cloth-wearing classes eligible for cloth loot - priests, mages and warlocks. But half the Wow population seems to feel they are entitled to roll on it too if it's an upgrade. If this was accepted, priests, mages and warlocks would have to compete with ele shammies, resto shammies, boomkins, resto druids AND pallies for their gear. Ele and resto shammies have spellpower mail to roll on as well; boomkins and resto druids have spellpower leather, and pallies have spellpower plate. Priests, mages and locks have access to NONE of this.

So what non-cloth wearers are doing when they roll on cloth gear is expanding their own loot pool at the expense of the poor clothy who can't roll on anything else. Trust me, they have beeen waiting just as long for an upgrade, and yes, they deserve it too.

I put in a ticket, but I sincerely doubt Blizzard will be able to do anything about it. The loot rules were defined but it was not specifically stated that druids can only roll on leather, etc. I'll have my fingers crossed, but take comfort in the fact that this particular druid will now be quite well known on the server for all the wrong reasons.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back In The Swing Of It

On a happier note I raided with the guild for the first time in weeks last night and it was brilliant fun. It was like what I remember from the old days in BC and Vanilla. I lost track of two hours!

The people were all very nice, and mostly very talented (although one or two did have a recurring problem staying out of the bad stuff). We're going to continue tonight and hopefully down the harder bosses we just had a taste of last night, Putricide and Blood Princes. A few of us hadn't done them before but now that we've experienced the fights a couple of times I've got high hopes that we'll be able to down them without too much difficulty. They're actually really fun fights once you have an idea of the mechanics. I was assigned to keeping the orbs off the floor in Princes and at one point was darting around the room firing off Living Bombs and Fireballs all over the place!

Can't wait for tonight. :)

He's Not Serious... Is He?

I was reading my favourite blog Pugnacious Priest today and found myself reading about an article posted on Wow.com about how to make sure your vital raid members turned up to raid. I read Wow.com regularly because the writing on that site is usually of a very high quality and the subjects are often interesting and relevant. But I have to admit I was borderline shocked when I read this article, so I'm going to add my voice to Zahraah's in disbelief.

I think the article should have been titled 'How to Lay a Massive Guilt Trip on Your Raiders So They Turn Up Despite Whatever More Important Things May Be Happening in Their Real Lives'.

I quote: "If you find out someone is absolutely irreplaceable for a raid, talk to that member. Tell him, "We need you there, or the raid can't run. Are you comfortable accepting that responsibility?" "

This, in a nutshell, is how an unhealthy attitude to raiding is created. The raid leader/officers/GM puts so much pressure on the often young, impressionable raider that they don't feel they can say no. So they'll start choosing raiding over their real life friends and family to the point that they'll feel like they've let the team down if they have to go to their own graduation during raid time. This is when raiding becomes a chore. It ceases being an enjoyable pastime and becomes a JOB. I know, I've been in that situation.

And you know what, there are people out there who like treating raiding as a job. If you're one of those people, good for you. I guarantee you'll burn out sooner rather than later. No, I didn't believe that either until it happened to me.

You know what, this isn't the only thing that was SO WRONG with this Wow.com article. I'm going to have to come back to this later, I need a nice relaxing cup of coffee first.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guild Drama - A New Perspective

If you've ever been an officer or a GM you would understand and empathise if I was to say that I hated guild drama - but that's not what I'm going to say today.

I actually quite like it.

But let me clarify that for the two people who are still reading.

When I say "guild drama", in my head I am not referring to nasty things like bullying, guild banks being ninjaed or GMs abandoning their guilds with no prior warning. Things like that are hurtful and are in no way capable of being viewed in a positive light.

The type of guild drama I'm referring to is, for example, when a small group of players decide to leave for a more progressed raiding guild. Don't get me wrong, this sort of thing can be quite detrimental to the guild left behind. Along with the loss of players they suddenly have to deal with the fact that they're not as uber as they thought they were. And if officers have left, they will need to be replaced, which could prove very difficult.

However, I would argue that this could in fact be a positive situation. Yes, the guild has lost a few players, but this leaves room for recruitment and allows a chance to fix the stagnation that led to them leaving in the first place. If you recruit carefully you may even find the kind of player everyone really wants - those slightly greener players who are so grateful and so excited to be invited to a guild that they work their little butts off to be the best guild member they can be.

And if you're not able to find new guildies straight away you can pug a few raids. This can be a lot of fun (come on, everyone's had at least ONE fun pug run) and can find those elusive new guild members. At the very least, dealing with terrible pugs can remind those remaining guildies of just how valuable their guild is.

Let's take another guild drama situation. Let's use the old, familiar tanty that comes from that player left sitting on the sidelines after the raid team for the night has been chosen. I can already hear the officers sighing in frustration; but hold on a minute here.

The reason this person is so upset is because he or she CARES about that raid spot. Would you rather have a guild full of players who don't care if they raid or not? Who don't care if they're gemmed or enchanted correctly? And who don't bother to turn up to raid half the time?

The player chucking the tanty probably needs a bit of a talking-to regarding appropriate behaviour but I believe this is a small price to pay for the knowledge that you have guildies who care about raiding so much.

I hate writing conclusions so I'll just say this - instead of getting on your high horse and rolling your eyes next time there is a bit of drama in your guild, be grateful you have players who care enough to create it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Big Evil Addiction

At uni today one of my friends happened to say something that's still stuck in my head. He said, "You know, when someone stops playing a game they usually just say that they're done with it. But with Wow they always say they've quit."

I hear this sort of thing from everyone. My boyfriend strongly believes the game is an addiction that interferes with real life. The media has done its bit (of course); I still remember that story they did on how Wow was dangerous because it had so many kids addicted to it. And I just read a post from Pugnacious Priest considering her own addiction (or lack thereof) to the game.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of it. Wow is not like cigarettes, or drugs. It does not have a chemical component that induces addiction. People who get "addicted" to the game most of the time are missing something in their lives that Wow happens to fulfil. If they didn't use Wow to escape reality they would do so in other ways, like reading or watching telly or obsessively collecting stamps. The people who become dangerously addicted and suffer withdrawal when they can't play are not okay in the head to start with. Often they genuinely need professional help. This is not altered by the fact that they play a game.

Speaking from my own experience, I'm grateful my mum bought me the game five years ago. I learned a new talent and discovered I was really good at it. I've developed team work and leadership skills. But most importantly I met (and continue to meet) lovely, kind, talented, non-judgmental people who have become good friends. I was once incredibly awkward in social situations, and Wow (among other things) has helped me overcome that.

No I'm not getting paid by Blizzard. I just think that sometimes the good, beneficial side of Wow is completely overlooked in favour of sensationalism.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We Need A New Mage Blog

I was reading another blog today which referred to a comment that there seemed to be a grand total of 2 mage blogs, and claimed that they were both crap.

I'm new to the whole blogging thing, but even I have managed to find 4 mage blogs. This leads me to believe there are most likely a whole bunch more I haven't found.

I can't speak as to the quality of these, though - good or bad. I've barely glanced at the ones I know exist because what spare time I have to devote to blogs I've already filled with the likes of Pugnacious Priest and Digital Incorrectness.

Anyway, what I'd like to do with this blog is make it a good mage blog. I want to try and write regular, fun, interesting and informative posts predominantly about playing a mage, and about WoW from a long-time mage's perspective. I've had a few stops and starts with this blog, even deleting the entire thing at least twice, but this time I want to make it work.

A Little About Me
I'm a 26 year old woman from Australia, currently studying computer science at uni and working at a bank to pay the bills.

I've played WoW for about 4 and a half years now. My very first character was a mage, and since then I've rolled two more mages that are now at level 80. For a good part of BC I had a 70 warrior tank and a 70 holy priest, although only the priest has made it to 80.

I've been an officer multiple times, and a (puppet) class leader, but I've never ran my own guild. I've had the privilege of being in some of the best guilds on my server(s), and raiding with some of the best mages out there. I like to think I have some idea of what I'm talking about, although I'm sure if people actually end up reading this I'll be proven wrong a bunch of times. ;)

Enough introduction, I'm crap at introductions anyway. Time to think of some real stuff to write. :)

<3 Jayd