Crazy People…

I understand that when you have more and more people put together you, effectively, get the sum of all their issues and hope the sum of all their benefits outweigh that in order to create a stable and positive community.

Guilds are no different really.

Neither are MMOs.

With WoW’s popularity, you’re bound to get some crazies in the game, on your server, in your guild or in your group.

Why does it seem they’ve congregated on Rexxar?

In the previous guild we had no shortage of drama from, apparently, chemically imbalanced people. In Ninefold Dragons, I’ve been shielded from a lot of the drama (thank you leadership folks!) but sometimes people are just so off center that it can’t be contained.

Recently there was a really good player who was the cause of various issues – I don’t know all of them, but I observed what I observed. He clearly was either chemically imbalanced, bipolar or share accounts with the following types of people; nice/helpful guy, lootwhore, asshole and paranoid attention whore.

Sometimes the guy was a complete asset to the guild and raid, helping out certain people that were new 80s and might need some tips on their class. Other times it was like he thought people were ganging up on him or something. And other times still he was whining about something; loot or raid times or his hero who runs another guild. Other times still he seemed to get verbally abusive – was he stoned? Drunk?

I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s a shame he couldn’t always be the easy going, likable and helpful guy instead of only being that sometimes. Really, it was a shame.

The other type of crazy we’ve had are people who cannot take advice, suggestions or criticisms.

You’re in a raid. You have a role to perform. You’re not performing it as well as you should. You should be wondering why and looking into it. When people offer you advice or suggestions, try them out and see if they work. Someone is taking their time to help you out and improve how you could play the game. Be happy they are willing to do that rather than just boot you out on your ass with a, “L2Play nub” comment.

Don’t swear at them, get all defensive and rage quit from the guild.

Crazy people.

In WoW’s (reported) population of 11 million players, there is bound to be a few thousand of them, if not more…

Paladins Beaten by Nerfbat…

It seems they’re taking the foam part off the Nerfbat and just whipping Paladins with the tube underneath that foam.

A couple of changes coming are:

Sacred Shield (has a 30 second duration) now only procs once every 30 seconds. They’ve added a two-point talent to drop this back down to procing once every 6 seconds.

Minor ouch. From what I heard, a lot of Holy Paladins have a lot of talent points left over to play with so this will give them something worth investing in and it will make the Holy Paladin’s Sacred Shield better than a Ret or Prot Paladin’s Sacred Shield. Adds a little more punch to the Holy spec, IMO.

Aura Mastery (which had a 10 second duration) has been dropped down to 6 second duration.

Aura Mastery is supposed to double the effects of all Paladin auras running (or so I’m told) for a duration. It’s an instant cast ability. I guess it could be used for increasing heal effects (for those with the applicable talents), Ret aura damage, resistances and armor increases. At 10 seconds I kind of feel meh about it.

At 6 seconds?

Bleh.

Lay of Hands can no longer be used on yourself.

They’ve just taken that foamless Nerfbat and rammed it up your ass, Paladins.

This is huge.

It will reduce the survivability of all Paladins in PVP, a lot, and it will impact some of their survivability as tanks. I know when I was playing a Paladin, I liked having the Lay on Hands as a “oh shit” button if it seemed like the heals were going to be late or something.

As a Ret Paladin in PVE, I mainly used it to allow the healer to focus on the tank or to help keep someone up. The only loss here is that I can’t use it to keep myself up when the healer is having a rough time keeping others up.

There goes your safety blanket.

This is a bit of a surprise given the cooldown on it but I guess the intent is for it to be used on others, putting the Paladin more into the support role than for it to be a survival mechanism.

I can already see this getting called for much like an Envervate.

Sad Ogre… err… Dwarf…

I had my first completely fail PUG last night. I’ve had several come close, usually with someone freaking out and dropping from group in a fit. We replaced them and prevailed.

Not this time.

It just wasn’t going to happen.

We had three first timers to Halls of Lightning (Heroic); the healer (holy pally) and two DPS (one a druid the other a hunter). The tank was a Warrior who seemed okay but tended to rush a bit given that the healer seemed to be playing using a Novation CAT. The druid wandered into adds and fun things like that.

But I’ll give them credit, they stuck it out and would have kept trying until I pulled the plug.

I don’t like the kind of people that drop groups because they’re getting no where, but it was really damn clear it just wasn’t going to happen.

Why?

The tank was fine.
My DPS was way above par for the group (3k DPS).
The other hunter was pulling under 900 DPS.
The druid was a little weak on group abilities, I suspect he/she was  a new 80 – I don’t mind that, really, I don’t.
The healadin was healing her/himself and the tank leaving the DPS out to dry.

Needless to say, the DPS died then the healer died, then the tank died.

All four attempts on Loken.

I’m not even talking about the deaths on the way to Loken – which the Druid clearly had the record for by dying on almost every fight, even some trash fights.

Again, I give them credit for trying and we made little jokes – okay, I made little jokes – but coming away with a win wasn’t going to happen.

There you go, this is the first time I’ve walked away from a Heroic Daily without scoring the quest item – I love dungeons, even the ones most people don’t want to do! (Except maybe Oculus, but even that one is sort of fun.)

It’s also the first time I’ve initiated bailing on a group because it was just not working.

I believe I did it nicely, I was polite, I apologized, wished them good luck and went on my way.

You’re really mean, H00ligan. Really. Evil. You can stay.

Designing For Scale…

Or maybe it is scaling the design? It’s something a lot of gamers see but take for granted because the game designer did it right so the player is having good fun.

I’ll fire off some examples – heavy bias leaning towards Bioware games because I’m thinking along the lines of CRPGs.

Baldur’s Gate.

You start as a student or townsfolk in Candlesomething Keep. The beginning play revolves around establishing that Keep and the people in it. It’s used as a place to break ground for how the game will work, establish the environment or setting and foreshadowing what is going to come. Once you’re done there you’re cast out into the wilderness to explore and figure out what’s going on.

Neverwinter Nights.

You can tell their designers learned a lot from previous games because they made it even better. Again, they start small (the Academy), grow into something bigger (City of Neverwinter) and then grow it even more.

It’s quite brilliant (and I realize it’s not unique to Bioware) and draws you into the game more.

You never start off small and stay small. You never start off big and get small. You grow outwards because the players have a lot to digest initially, and eventually they grow comfortable with what you’ve given them and need to view bigger things.

If you really want to suck them into the game, you go that route.

Helping N00bs (and Blizzard, Listen Up!)…

My sister and brother-in-law finally got over the hump of the 15$ a month subscription fee for WoW and signed up. They’re both loving it, of course, and have been playing a fair bit over the last week. I’ve been helping them as much as I can, explaining things, throwing them some coin or gear that my army of characters can craft and so on.

On the weekendm when I was there to pick up my kids, I noticed my brother-in-law (who I shall call, “BIL”) was looking up a quest on a site that was about selling gold, mainly. I realized then, that they came from playing Wizard 101 where buying and selling some in game things was part of the way King’s Isle had everything set up but that wasn’t the case for Blizzard.

I quickly explained that buying gold and services from anyone other than Blizzard was not a good thing and they come down pretty hard on it often banning accounts of buyers as much as they do sellers. I then pointed him towards WoWhead.com where he could find all sorts of information as needed.

It’s sort of funny, BIL didn’t have problems buying crowns and stuff in Wizard101 but if you mention having to pay 30$ a month for two accounts in WoW, he cringed. Of course, I RAFed him and he RAFed my sister (that sounds wrong, oh well, they’re married now).

Blizzard, introduce a family account package please? Take a look at what Wizard 101 is doing. I cancelled the Little Big Ogre’s account because he wasn’t playing it much and he wanted to play Wizard 101 instead. If his account was discounted, I would have gladly kept paying for it.

While we’re talking, fix the issue where you’re left with a bunch of ‘Unknown’ people in your friends list if you transfer servers. I’ve got about 10 or so in my friends list and I can’t seem to remove them.

And hurry up with the better system for LFG, tie it automatically into the instances you’re saved against. It’s been really painful trying to get into heroic groups these last two weeks. I swear I have better luck just spamming in LFG channel than I do using that built in LFG tool.

Here is the design for you…

On the left, have a list, listing the expansions (with sub sections for raids for those expansions). Clicking on that will populate the right hand side of the dialog. Checking the box next to that list item will select all options in that expansion.

On the right, you specify which ones you want to do by checking a check box next to the dungeon name (context being based on what you selected in the list on the left!). The Dungeon item is disabled if you’re too low level.

Heroics don’t show up unless they’re open to that character (i.e. you have the key or are level 70/80). These manifest as a second column right next to the name of the dungeon. They fall under the expansion on the same panel with a second check box for it (i.e. Regular column and a Heroic column). If the character is saved, the Heroic column check box is disabled, tooltip says, “Saved to this instance” or something.

Also put a sub category for raids on the left, under each of the expansions, handled in much the same manner.

Also include a check for selecting or deselecting all available items per section (i.e. all WotLK Heroics, none of the WotLK regulars, etc.). This way the user can pick everything they want to do or uncheck things like Oculus which they don’t want to do.

There, design all done. Send me a cheque.

UPDATE: I had heard they were revamping the UI for LFG but I totally missed this article about it.

My first thought is, oh God, no! Don’t do the treeview list. Too much clicking and scrolling, especially scrolling and it doesn’t expand as well when you want to add more dungeons and stuff in.

I like the other changes.

Skipping Content…

I posted awhile ago that I was switching to my Hunter as my main and I’ve spent the last week and a half building him up from his sad state of gear. He’s gone from a mix of greens, blues and the rare purple to wearing almost all purples (epic), except a trinket, which I’m working on.

He’s been in Ulduar, clobbered Onyxia, pounded his way through the ToC raid – several times now – and finally had a chance to clobber the three bosses of Vault of Asomething (can’t remember the name).

He’s completely skipped Naxx, Sarth and EoE. Really, there is little in those raids for him anymore aside from maybe a lucky ring or trinket drop.

That is kind of sad really.

Of course, I’ll probably get all my Emblem of Conquest gear just in time for Emblems of Triumph to become the regular drop from heroics and raids.

I’m slowly working my way up the factions (only to hear it’s all going to be made easier in 3.3), hitting Exalted with Kirin Tor, Argent Crusade and Ironforge while closing in on Exalted with Darnassus, Gnome Exiles, Stormwind, Exodar, The Silver Covenant, Ebon Blade, and Sons of Hodir. I’m also grinding out the Tourney dailies so I can get access to the Champion’s quartermaster.

There are a lot of things to build up again, including some of the professions like Cooking and Fishing, though I think I’m going to just use Lannister for that stuff. Still, it would be nice to have it all on one character so I don’t have to switch around.

Oh, and then there is getting some PVP gear together as well. I want to get back into the PVP with Smaken which should be a lot of fun. I’m leveling a pair of Cunning pets; an Eagle (go disarm!) and a Spider (webbing for the pissing off of opponents!). I’m going to have to get in the rhythm of it again.

Things to look forward to.

Oh! Thanks to Tim for loaning me 800g so I could get epic flying yet again! I almost have you paid back but it is definitely nice to have it again. I can finally use that Bronze Drake I won in Culling of Stratholme last week.

Muscial Interlude: Ride the Cliche…

In dedication to the wedding I was at this weekend. Ever notice how many cliches are thrown around during weddings? After going to them for awhile they all seem sort of the same. I suspect I’ll end up spouting some cliches when my boys get married, but that’s a ways off. WAY WAY OFF.

It was a nice wedding, up in resort north of Toronto. Lots of trees all over the mountains/hills changing colors. Food was pretty good, though expensive when we ate in the restaurant – 150$ expensive just for us two. I think the only night I went to bed sober was… okay, so I didn’t go to bed sober at all that weekend.

The kids stayed with their aunt and uncle while we were away. Apparently they were perfect angels which changed as soon as they saw us. It was a nice break, but I definitely missed them both. That’s the first time we’ve been away from them (overnight) in about 4 years. We were really nervous because of Little Big Ogre’s allergies to egg and most animals (his aunt and uncle have two dogs) but he was fine while there, even played around with one of the dogs. Poor guy, he’d love to have a dog but between his allergies and his mother’s allergies, it isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

One more wedding to go this year then I should be good for a few years.