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Community Blog Topic: Whats your endgame?

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The fine people at Wow Insider started a new COmmunity Blog Topic, this time asking “What is your endgame“?

This year, it’s quite different from all those years before. I mentioned that I quit my guild after guild-drama, and have no interest right now to join another, as it was a huge disappointment to have that going on after feeling so comfy in that guild and helping to build a raid-team.

I have my chars in an alt-guild a friend started, and usually stick to myself. So what do I do, now that all my chars are 90? (I guess leveling my alts was part of my end-game… in Wrath, Cata and MoP I always leveled all my chars to cap…unfortunately, it was quite a drag this time around, even with the XP-changes in 5.3)

– Money. I like to craft, and earn money. I watch the market a bit. I dont go out of my way to create crazy expensive items or anything, I don’t “play the AH” (as in buying underprized items to sell them for higher prizes).
I do use my farm, I use all the crafting skills to craft stuff like trillium bars, living steel, enchants, gems, and slowly but surely, my money counter is going up. Another reason why I’d dislike “account wide professions”… I wrote about that.

– I occasionally do LFR. Mainly to see the encounters, earn a bit of VP or some gear. I really dont like the attitude in vibe in most LFRs, so I am not doing this strictly every week. Is fun to gear up my chars a bit, even though I don’t really get to USE that gear as I dont raid (call me weird, but I’d prefer to raid with a guild, so I am not into PUG-raiding and stay away from Flex… as I said, for some weird reason, right now, I like to be a loner in game)

– I try new things, such as new specs. I have played the DK quite a bit in Wrath, even raided Naxx with him in blood spec (when that was still a DPS spec), yet never tanked on him (while having tanked on the warrior and pally in the past). This time around, I found out that I really enjoy blood DK-tanking, and so I experiment with it, use it in PUGs, the Timeless Isle, scenarios whatever. Recently, in HoF, I tanked the empress because both tanks quit right before the fight, so I changed spec and gear and did that.
Also, I currently like to play the DK as a DPS, in frost spec. FOr some reason, my main, the druid, isnt that much fun in balance spec, so I use him for achievements, yet when I feel like doing loads of DPS just for fun, I pick the DK.

– I run old content or go for some achievements… farming rep with the Cenarion Circle or Hydraxian Waterlords, picking up transmog gear in old raids, enjoying the old school vibe in places like AQ.

Basically, my endgame right now is being in game, earning a bit of money, trying out some new things, and keeping track of the changes to the game while waiting for the expansion to end.
I have no idea whether Ill return to a guild or get into raiding again, but right now, I just wait for MoP to end and am quite excited to see what the next expansion will bring. I know that nothing will ever bring back the enjoyment and feeling of mystery I felt in vanilla or WOTLK, but maybe a new expansion with a different theme and story will make me want to be more involved again and actually be a part of the story again… right now, I am just standing on the sideline, watching the main events =)

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

And finally…the 11th level 90

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I guess I reached a personal milestone… I had some time this afternoon, and so I decided to finally get my priest to level 90 (he was at 87).

I am not sure whether I mentioned that I am not a big fan of the questing in Pandaria. Jade Forest is a nice zone, and the VOTFW is ok as well, but I find KLS, Dread Wastes and ESPECIALLY Townlong Steppes to be quite dull and boring. (KLS has some nice parts, like Mount Neverest and the Province up north, but is mostly bland).
It’s odd, because leveling a pile of alts through an expansion never bothered me. In fact, in Wrath, I always enjoyed it. Even when, a few months ago, I leveled a monk from 1-90, I loved getting to NR finally.
Even in Cata, leveling was ok, even though I didnt care much for Uldum and its gazillion cutscenes, or Twilight Highland.

Townlong is totally dull, and if you look at the MoP-Artwork book that comes with the Collectors Edition, there is no concept art for TLS in there at all, as if they didnt have any and just recolored some old design.

But all that’s ok, as now, I have a 90 of each class, and won’t ever quest through MoP again (since I don’t plan on starting another account).

With the Timeless Isle and some crafted gear, the priest was at ilvl 490 or so 10 minutes after dinging 90, so yes, the alt-gearing does work quite well. What a turnaround from early MoP, when it seemed as if Blizz for some reason wanted to discourage alts.

Sooooo… yay, a little milestone was reached, and now there is a 90 of each class. Bye bye MoP-leveling =)

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Account-wide crafting?

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A new Community Blog Topic-thread has popped up over at WOW Insider, this time asking about whether we would like to see account-wide professions.

Right now, and of course you know this, you can pick two crafting or gathering primary professions per char, so if you eg. take enchanting and tailoring on one char, but also want to be able to smelt ore and craft some PVP plate- or mail-armour, you will need to use one of your alts and have him learn THOSE professions.

While this seem inconvenient, especially for those who only really play one character and don’t WANT to level alts, I would hate for this to change. The idea of being able to have your main learn ALL the crafting- and gathering-professions might sound nice to some, but tbh, I think it wouldn’t work all that well.

Why? First of all, and this might be a minor-thing, but- those professions give you certain bonusses. As an enchanter, you can enchant your rings. As a tailor, you can add gem-slots to your bracers and gloves. As a leatherworker or scribe, you have extra-strong enchants for some of your gear.

Now, of course, not everyone needs those, but those who do play on the cutting edge, the hardcore-raiders or people aiming for world-firsts DO use those in order to squeeze every possible benefit out of their gear. If ALL professions were trainable to them at the same time, they might be required to master them all… which is quite expensive, both regarding money and time.

Also, it might (and I might be wrong there, yes) balancing issues. You’d have players with all those extra strong enchants they get from all their professions, and on the other hand, players who don’t want to level all those professions and therefore wouldn’t have access to all of those.

While this might seem like a minor reason to NOT like the idea of account-wide professions, there also is the economy, which IMO would suffer from everyone having all professions.
Yes, it might sound selfish, but I DO benefit from people who only play a char or two and don’t want to level alts to cover all professions. I craft and sell enchants, mats (trillium bars, living steel etc.), buff food, gems etc. I also sell stuff other players need for their crafting.

Even if it would still require quite some time, if too many players have all the professions, the economy will suffer. There are people who love to craft stuff and sell it to others, and if everyone could craft their stuff themselves, there’d be less need to buy it.

Yes, you prolly would still be able to sell stuff that people need to level their professions, and not everyone would use all their professions at all… I know several people who raid and don’t even have ONE profession leveled up.

I think it would cause quite a lot of problems, and even though I know these days it’s all about convenience, making everything available and accessible for everyone, it would cause quite a change to the economy, and that might be a risky thing, because the economy is shaky anyway… even messed up, according to many players.

I am aware that, if this system WAS implemented, some people would still buy on the AH…those that arent into leveling their professions, or those that do, but are either too busy or too lazy to gather the actual mats they need, but still – even if the economy is messed up right now, allowing everyone to craft and gather everything on all their chars would mean less need to trade and maybe even interact with others (to buy mats, enchants etc.), and I am one of those people who LIKE to trade and earn money by providing people with the things they need to enjoy the game.

You have to make a choice about which professions you take, and after you did, you have to rely on others to sell you the mats you need (or use an alt). While sometimes, that isnt fun (like prizes for certain things sky-rocketing due to a new patch or whatever), it is a system that still works, and there are people who love the trading-game…. I do, and I definitely don’t think WOW needs account-wide professions.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Two random thoughts about Pandaria

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I mentioned before how I am still not sold on this expansion, don’t feel the “vibe” and theme of Pandaria, and wrote about Pandaren. So I made my point, and I don’t think it’d make sense to harp on this too much. Instead, I just wanted to write about two different MoP-related things that came to mind.

1. Sunsong Ranch

Now, I do like the concept of the Ranch. Yes, it’s a bit Farmville-like, but the basic idea, to have your own farm that allows you to farm the mats you need, whether it’s ore, enchanting mats, motes of harmony etc…that comes in quite handy.
I mentioned before that I am a certified altoholic, so I have 10 90s at the moment, and all of those DO farm… it is a nice way to generate a steady income in game, allows me to craft pretty much everything I need (enchants, some weps, some armour, bags, food, etc).

Now, I am not gonna complain about it being kinda dull to have to plant, till and farm on that many chars every day, as a) it’s my choice to do so and b) it pays off.

But: I wish there were some options to make it more convenient, as I think that at this point, almost a year after release, many people farm with more than one char, and the initial fun in this new mechanic wore off.
So – while the plow and the bug killing and plant-watering tools are nice, I wish there was some way to make it quicker. Here are my ideas:

A. If we can buy a rather expensive scarecrow, why does it not prevent those hawks to appear on some plants? Make them a bit more expensive if you need to, but let us purchase them, set them up (maybe put in a barrier like “farm 200 plants before you can buy this”) and they will prevent the “alluring” debuff on plants…or chase away the hawk that spawns when you click that plant. I have no idea how many of these I had to kill by now.

B. Give us a mechanic (again, maybe after a treshold like a certain amount of plants planted, if necessary, so those that just got their farm can still do the “fun thing” and kill vermin, hawks etc.) that allows us to mass-kill those vermins or prevent them from appearing.

C. If we made friends among the tillers, so0me of them best friends, and you have some characters like Cho standing around on your farm (doing nothing, but looking very watchful… was there ever a plan to have her do something useful that was abandoned by the devs maybe?), why not enable us to PAY these to take care of the plants.
Imagine you plant those seeds, and you have, uhm… 3 alluring ones, 2 vermin-infested, 5 runted, 3 parched, 3 with weeds on them.
How about you use your watering-system, the bug-dispenser, use your scarecrow to get rid of the hawks…and then pay one of your “friends” to take care of the others?
Again, I am not asking for easy hand-outs. Make it expensive if needed, like some kind of work-contract you have to purchase, or a daily fee, or a quest line unlocking this, but if we hire a “farmhand” (it’s even a quest), why can’t they actually HELP with the chores of farming on a daily base?

I am aware that not everyone is as crazy as I am, farming on ten chars (and once I get my 11th char to 90, he prolly will too), but if there are some mechanics already that make it faster and smoother, why not go all the way? Harvesting, plowing, planting already takes some time, so give us an option (either for money, a long questline or a treshold like a certain amount of plants harvested before we can access it) to make it less of a daily bor… pardon me, chore, and have our “best friends” help us, even if we pay for it.

Topic 2: When I was young…

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Nope, not talking about the old days. I am talking about the quest dealing with the old seer you help up the mountain… who turns out to be the last emperor of Pandaria.
I mentioned how I just don’t “feel” this expansion. It doesn’t “click” with me, and I don’t care for the story, lore and events of this expansion all that much… no point in going into further details right now, BUT:

I have to say that the end of this questline, to me, was one of the VERY FEW really cool, touching moments of this expansion. Helping up that seer, who talks about his youth, is grateful that you help him get up to the peak, and then he starts to remember that he was Emperor… when that moment kicks in, some heroic music starts playing, his voice and appearance change, and it still is a goosebump-moment for me.
I have done this quest on pretty much all of my 90s, and it’s one of my favorite questing moments in game (kinda sad to think that in Wrath there were so many more moments like that, and even Cata, which wasn’t my favorite expansion either, had some of these)
Just sayin’, you know =)

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Hearthstone

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There is a lot of buzz about Hearthstone right now… the beta is happening in the US and the EU as well, and I got my invite about two weeks ago. I was quite excited about that, and installed it immediately.

After testing it for quite some time, I can say the following:
– The game is VERY well done. The presentation is very nice, with nice graphics, some funny or cute elements, and of course the great artwork of the cards themselves.
– There are balancing issues, but then again – OF COURSE there are. Whether it’s WOW itself, other MMOs or any new game, there are always some issues sometimes, and that’s what a beta is for. Rogues were recently fixed, and I guess with the input of all the testers, by the time it is released officially, the classes will be as close to balanced as possible. (Several MMO devs have commented many times on the fact that balancing is an ever-occuring issue in development, something they ALWAYS have to work on, even with a game that has been out for a long time… any change to, say, gear, level cap, classes itself can totally throw off the balance)

– I quit after about 2-3 days of trying the game. While I will say that the game is very well done, I also realize that it just isn’t for me. I have no idea why… the game SHOULD be fun for me, as there are so many great references, so many classic characters appearing, and there is a fun tactical element, which I always enjoy.
Yet, the game doesn’t capture me at all, unfortunately, and I cannot put my finger onto the reason why that is. Apparently, several of the WOW insider guys feel the exact same way… that the game is very well done and should be fun, but isn’t.
I guess I will have to use a “not my cup of tea card”, as I have never been much into TCG games, yet I wish the game WAS more…appealing to me. I won a few fights, lost a few, dabbled with different sets, purchased some cards, crafted some, but it never just PULLED me in…so I guess the bottom line is “Blizz, very well done, but in my case… Meh!” =)

I hope though that it will work out for Blizz and give all those players an enjoyable time. It certainly has the potential to do so, and who knows, maybe if I ever try it again, I might “get it”.

One word on a related issue though:
There is a new reward-mount that was datamined, the Hearthsteed. APPARENTLY (I am not sure whether there is an official post absolutely confirming this), you will get this steed if you do buy cards during the beta.

In reference to THIS BLOG-POST, it seems as if everyone will eventually have a chance to be in the beta (right now, it’s closed beta, and even though a lot of invites were sent out, not everyone who wants to can just join), and I sure hope that that is true.
If not, it would be highly unfair IMO to reward those that were just lucky enough to get an invite and bought cards, while others, who might just LOVE to get these mounts, can not as they can’t join the beta.

Don’t get me wrong – I did get my invite, I tested the game, I bought some cards, so I guess if those steeds really ARE a reward that works this way, I will get it. But I’d still consider it unfair if it turned out that not everyone has a fair chance of getting into the beta (say, during an open beta) and get themselves this mount.

Sure, you could say that that’s just the way it is, that some players never really had a chance to get, say, some of the mounts that dropped from raid bosses (like Invincible), but…they did and do. Even if they are not in a raiding guild doing heroic modes, every player theoretically can work on his gear and playing-skills, join such a guild and farm the boss until he or she gets the mount.

But putting a mount behind a wall like a closed beta would be rather unfair to those who care a lot about collecting mounts, so I do hope that eventually, everyone WILL be able to get in.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

A reluctant return

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Oh wow, it has been about a year and a half since I posted here, and I figured I give this blog another try.

I have started several WOW-blogs in the past, and usually, I gave up on them after a while because
a) I took one of my breaks from the game and of course didn’t post new articles during those
b) Was so busy with work that I couldn’t write new articles… then felt bad about that, and that made me feel even less discouraged.

Some people on the WOW insider comment sections encouraged me to give it another go, and I will… hopefully, even with my busy schedule, I can still post new stuff on a regular base, or prepare some posts in advance and schedule them for release.

 

So, what has happened within those last 17-18 months? I think the last status was that I was in the MOP beta. I was, and I did a bit of testing. I also kept raiding Dragon Soul with my guild, and then burned out on it, taking a WOW break, which, I think, was the longest I ever had… 5 months.

I returned about a month after the MoP release because I gave my girlfriend a Collectors Edition for her birthday. I didnt have much interest for trying out MoP, because I still didn’t “feel” the whole pandaren-thing, the martial art-jokes including Bruce Lee-voice emotes, the “no big enemy, this is about balance” type approach etc.

I actually still don’t. I can see why so many people enjoy the expansion, and I also saw a lot of people change their tune from “OMG, this is awesome” to “I dislike this expansion” (usually, in much less polite words).

However, after 8 years, I guess I can’t stop myself from returning to the game to check out new content, new mechanics, new areas. I am not all that active anymore, and stay away from end-game these days. I left my guild a few months ago (due to the good ol’ guild-drama), and am currently in a really small alt-guild that a good friend set up.
So I solo a lot of old content, do stuff like the Timeless Isle, some scenarios, dailies, and very rarely LFR.
However, I do keep track of the direction the game is headed to, read up a lot on news on WOW-blogs, the official WOW-site etc, and I do participate in WOW-discussions, like at WOW Insider.

Don’t get me wrong – I do still like the game. I have been playing it on and off for 8 years, have done all the aspects of the game (endgame raiding, loremaster, PvP, grinds, some RP etc.), and I know that not everyone can love every expansion.
I am actually quite excited about Blizzcon next month, and I can’t wait for the new expansion to be announced… who knows, it might re-ignite my love for the game. I know that nothing can bring back the feelings I felt early on…the mystery, the sense of discovering a whole game-world, the excitement of first raids etc, yet I know that I still feel at home in WOW, and I am grateful for all the fun times I had in that game.

So… join me for a bit, as I will write about all kinds of random WOW-topics… observations, changes, class discussions, all kinds of stuff. Hope you will enjoy it. =)

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

How about “growing weapons” in WOW?

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I think I mentioned before that I do try to keep track with some ideas from other games. For example, just for old times sake, I recently revisited UO (might write more about that later on), and LOTRO.

There are two things that I really love in LOTRO which might be nice for WOW as well…or at least I think they might, that’s why I wanted to write about them.

1. Named weapons

When you craft a weapon in Lotro, at some point, you can start giving them names. You get the option to do that when your crafting “crits” and you get a purple-level wep. So you eg. make some bows, and suddenly, it crits, and you get a purple level bow with a special ability and higher damage.

You then are asked to give it a name. Sounds like nothing special, right?

Well, I dont think it’s only from a lore-standpoint that I find that cool… imagine you craft a weapon (they already have a name on it), and then you create one that is extra-special. You name it, and then sell it. Weeks later, you run into a guy in your PUG who wears the very same weapon you have made.

Sure, in WOW, crafted items can have names on them too, but I love the idea of naming a wep, I think it adds a tiny bit of character to it… you feel more… connected to it.

Sure, there are risks to it… people getting bored of the option, simply naming them “A”, “B” etc. Or, even worse, l33t names such as “n00bslayer”, “skrillmace”, “usuck” whatever.

Still, I like the idea of being able to assign a name to the weps you made, not only from a crafter’s standpoint…

2. Growing weapons

LOTRO introduced the principle of “legendary weapons” with Mines Of Moria, I believe. The basic idea? At some point, you loot a certain weapon, and the weapon then “grows”… for each kill you make, it gets a certain amount of XP, and it gets stronger…thats the idea in a nutshell.
Now imagine that for a sec… a weapon that levels with you!
Would it be boring to wield the same weapon for, say, a whole expansion (at some point, it would make sense to replace the wep, like for example when a new expansion hits and you get the good ol’ “replace heroic gear with quest greens from the new zones” cycle)?

I don’t know, because considering the success of transmogging, I think people wouldn’t mind wielding the same kind of gear, as long as the stats keep getting stronger… you have people who transmog each new sword with their favorite model (same for other weps and armour). So I don’t know whether people would be bored really, as they already use transmogs a lot.

Also, how about the looks would change, like they did on the legendary weps you can get in WOW… Tarecgosa comes to mind. It changed from a rather small staff to a huge one, looking more and more powerful.
Now imagine that, at lvl 60, you get your legendary, and it levels with you, and every 5 levels or so, it becomes bigger, or gets a new light-effect, a different skin, a bigger hilt or blade, whatever…

I know one reason that would speak against this: The raiding-incentive. Why would people keep running heroics or raids if they already have their weapon?

Now, hear me out… what would be if, in order to get your wep to grow from a certain point, you have to kill certain bosses… a little bit like in the old days, with the weapon quests for Quel Serrar, where you had to fight Onyxia in order to complete the sword.

I don’t see a difference between running a raid every week, hoping for a lucky drop and lucky roll, and fighting raid bosses in order to get xp for their sword, to make it stronger.

For people who do not raid, how about the sword gets XP in PVP or heroics, but at a much slower pace. Or differently, so it might get, say, more secondary stats and stuff, while, from killing a certain amount of raid bosses, it can get more primary stat, more DPS, or extra gem slots…or even a cool enchant (“Blood Of The random raid boss”- the sword now has a chance to apply a poison to whatever you fight).

There is a LOT to think about… I think it COULD be balanced, and I think it could be something useable for both hardcore raiders AND casual players.
I love the idea of finally finding the basic version of your weapon, and then making it develop, using it all the time for it to gain stats, become stronger, more imposing, whatever… what do you think?

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized