Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 In Review!

I'd like to take a few minutes to send out a friend (2012) that was kind of ho hum both in game and out for me. Basically, this year went out about the same as it came in, just...blahhhhh.

This year actually brought the 1st time I suspended my account. For a few months prior to MoP 5.x being brought into play, I was done. The game had just lost it for me. It was short lived.

So without further adieu, lets get into my thoughts;

The Good!

  • The art work in MoP - No complete zone is amazing but overall the art that was done is pretty great. I really enjoy the views. From the gear to the buildings, Blizz really hit a home run with the detail and the way the captured the Chinese themes. I love the way the "Wall" winds thru the zones. 
  • The talent system - At max level this is fantastic! Oh my, its simple and you don't have the odd D-Bag telling you, "psssst...your spec is all wrong". As you level it is long days between getting new points but I think it is more than made up for at 90.
  • Tradeable loot - This was brilliant and I loved it. Running with guild members this was cool if you were unsure about a piece or if you did the ultimate OH- OH and picked the wrong piece from the vendor.
  • Account wide mounts and achievements  Finally they made your account look like an account, instead of a puzzle that was half-assed together. I highly approve of this one. 
  • Transmongering - ugly word, kinda cool. You can make gear that you REALLY want worthwhile. I'm so glad I held on to my T6 gear. 
My winner for the best new thing in game for 2012 - Upgradable loot! I don't know how many times I wanted a piece of gear for MONTHS and finally I'd get it. Then next week a patch comes our or a nerf and something else becomes more "BETTER" for you. This way you can at least put some points in to a hard fought, well needed item. (more here)

The OK! (sure I'm not sticking to the normal patter but its my thoughts...LOL)
  • Farming - Overall I like this aspect of the game. It actually gives you something to do that you can work with and help yourself with in-game  Be it either cooking or mats you might need. The really cool thing is you can grow motes which is a life saver. The really bad is the shit you have to do to pick and plant your crops. There is no way it should take over 15 to 20 minutes to plant 16 crops. I'd love it if they would nerf the surprises you get when planting or picking.
  • Scenarios- Thank you, Blizzard! I really enjoy these fast, easy way to do something different in game. No tank needed, almost zero gross people in these things and it moves to fast to the lazy to take hold. It would be perfect aside from the fact the gear/loots is useless and you get no JP from the bosses.
  • Shrine of Two Moons- Overall I like having a major hub in a new land. There is more bad than good but you do get everything you need there, I still don't understand why Blizz didn't put Ally and Horde in the same city? 
  • Motes of Harmony - Overall, I understand it and like it. I wish they were BOA instead of BOE. 
There is no, most OK because - well that would be like the best mediocre thing. It just don't work.

The Bad
  • Cataclysm's finish - ok, make that the whole expansion. It was garbage. The 1st tier of raiding was ok, but after that it was all down hill. I spent more time in the 5 mans that anyone should.  There was so very little to embrace about that expansion, I"m just glad it is gone.
  • VP going down after every 5 man or scenario - In cata we were allowed in a subsequent patch from release to be allowed to run for max VP for a max of 7. Not everyone can play all day and this allowed you to get the VP in case you missed it. Now with the way things are done, there is very little incentive to run more than one. 
  • Heroic MoP 5 mans- They are pitiful. No challenge at all with what I mentioned above the amount of people running them is low. With the new news that there will be none release it 5.2 I can see them dying out. I'd rather spend my time doing a round of dailies than doing into a heroic. I'd like to get your feed back on this, please leave a comment.
  • Faction grinding for VP gear. Absolutely STUPID! The worst part is you have to open one to revered before others become available. I could continue on this but I think they looked to stop a gushing wound with a band aid by doing this.
  • Tanking gear has gone DPS! Really guys? do we need even more fights about who rolls on what. I can't believe haste is the stat for prot pally's. Hit and Exp mean so much even for mitigation. They absolutely missed the mark on this one. 
  • Professions are not longer money makers. I've got a JC and Enchanter, I make nothing with these two. JC is dead other than mounts. Enchanting is so heavily flooded with mats and competition it makes it hard. My LW makes decent money but as more have unlocked the recipe's the gold has dried up. 
The worst of the worst in 2012! 

The daily grind! Have the implemented anything worse than this in game ever? I know, if you don't like them don't do them. But really, it is the #1 way to earn extra loot (which has been a fail mechanism) via the coins. It is the only way to open certain professions recipes, if you are a raider, the gear was a must. It really has turned off many from the expansion so far. From the ass hats that stand on the quest givers to make your life just a little more miserable, to the mobs that seem to never not spawn and gang up on you. Blizzard has answered this many, many times, they did this to get us out of the cities and keep us busy. It just reeks of wrong, it just frustrates people and wastes time. Blizz just missed the boat. We went thru this in TBC and well, I guess they didn't learn anything from that.

Well. where do we go from here? I'm not sure. I can tell you this, my object of my blog is a view of a WOW tank. I'm not tanking any longer. I'm only Ret. I'm not even collecting prot gear anymore. It isn't worth it. I've never played ret, MoP has forced me to, for my own sanity and for my need to still play the game.

Here is to a great and safe 2013. Thank you all for reading my blog, I enjoy you all. Lets hope 2013 is even better than the year that was 2012.

Be safe!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tier 15, Already?

5.2 on the PTR soon.

So this expansion seems to be rolling right along. We have tons of info already on (MMO) about the patch notes and the view of the new Tier armor. I'm not a really big fan of the T15 pally set. It lacks, um...well it lacks, I'll leave it at that, although the yellow looks better than the other two colors.
 To be fair, I'm never a really big fan when I see a picture of them, but live and around town they look much better. Season 13 armor set is viewable too but that is horrid and I won't waste your time linking that.

I'll hit on the highlights for the upcoming info so far:

  • We get another faction and quest area. 
  • New raid with 12 normal bosses and a heroic only.
  • World bosses will spawn faster and we have a new one incoming.
  • Warlocks now FINALLY (um, we will see about this) get green flames! Really, its only been around for 4 years but now you can have it too.
  • New player models.
  • PVP JC only gems.
  • Farm changes-  
  • Buy the farm - You are able to purchase your farm from Yoon which makes your farm an inn essentially and you will also receive orders to gain rep with the faction that places that order.
  • You can purchase a seed bag that allows you to plant 4 at a time. 
  • Special crops yield has been increased.
  • When you master plow virmen will pop up stunned and at 30% health.
  • Wild crops will be LESS!
Paladin changes- (sources)
 Paladin  -
  • Hand of Purity now reduces all incoming damage by 10% in addition to its other effects.
  • Eternal Flame periodic heal now provides 100% more healing when self-cast.
  • Judgment now costs 5% of base mana.
  • Protection
    • The base damage of Consecration has been increased by 789%, and it now scales less efficiently with attack power by approximately 11%.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shout Out: The Undermine Guy!

I ran across a wonderful interview (Here) on the WOW Insider by a man named Erorus who runs probably my favorite website in WOW right now. The Undermine Journal gives you solid facts on what is selling, when its selling and even to an extent who your main competition is. It goes over Add-ons which are great but if the days lot have expired people seem to guess on the price of an item so this site tells you what the real market rate will bear on the price of an item. Not only on your realm but all realms similar to yours. You must check this out if you in any way like the gold making part of the game. I'm guessing most people know of this site.

But... introducing a site that ALLOWS you to see what realms are similar to yours.

I'm going to say many don't know about his other VERY popular, very helpful site called realmpop. A ingenious site that counts populations in a way I never thought of before. A quote take from the site states how they come up with the numbers:

How - To get the list of characters for a realm, first we record all the characters who posted to the auction house. Then we fetch and record their guild rosters. This should cover the majority of characters on a realm. To avoid getting listed, a character must never post to the auction house, and never belong to a guild where a guild member posts to the auction house.

Using the auction house to get real numbers is something I never would have figured could be done to get totals, but if you go to the site and see how he goes about it is amazing.  Above is a view of the info you can view on top of that you can to sort via his data seeing who has the highest Horde population etc.

What is lacking in graphic beauty on these set of sights is made up for in totality by the sheer amount  of info provided.

Thank you Erorus for adding so much to the WOW community and thanks to WOW Insider for doing this interview.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Surviving the Daily Grind!

The long road to 90 felt almost painful! For the next few paragraphs I'm going to give you my ideals for making you time you log on when you aren't raiding or doing guild activities. I think this is the number on complaint I see everyone have about MoP so far.

Leveling my 1st toon to 70 didn't feel as awful as the five levels that Blizzard gave us as a jump off point for this Xpac. The rise to 70 was new, exciting and adventurous. I looked at my time on game as a book series I read when I was a kid called Choose Your Own Adventure. It offered the read the way to pick how you wanted the book to end. Some of my favorites. This launched me into D&D and a game called Dark Tower that allowed the same kind of thing. Even after landing at 70 I always had fun. Sure that was 6 years ago but doing your daily PVP or Heroic was something I looked forward too. I had fun, it never felt like a job or work. Sadly, the start of this Xpac has felt just the opposite.

After hitting the max level in 90 I felt relief! It took me a few levels and a guide or two to realize that I couldn't do it as prot this time around, that was pretty shocking as I've leveled as prot all the way thru with Chasey. Even at 90 with better gear, doing dailies in prot gear is tiresome.

After being a 90 for a few months, and getting me second toon to 90 showed me some times and I'd like to share them with you. Maybe its a bit late or past when it should have been written but if I give even one person a reason to log back on because they don't feel like its a job and just want to have fun it will be worth it. Because -  we play for fun, well most of us do.

  • Don't try to do it all at once. Pick a faction and do that one until you get what is needed.
  • After you get the Golden Lotus to Revered take a break from them and go to the others just to break up the grindy feel of doing only one faction all the time.
  • Enjoy the sights and try and not repeat the same set over and over. 
  • Queue for scenarios - I really enjoy the diffident aspect of this game that we now have. It is an easy 40 VP and give you some quick gold. 
  • Jump on a low level alt to reminisce about the game you knew in the past. Do a 5 man too!
  • This sounds to easy but don't log on for a day or two when you don't have "anything really to do", it will refresh you.
  • Remember the gold you are gaining, dailies are the new "I play the AH" part of the game.
  • Do not feel compelled to do dailies, if you do, you will wear yourself out of even wanting to play. Getting the VP/gold is not crucial to your survival.
A few good things about dailies -
  • You earn VP by not sitting in the city mounted listening to 2/City TRADETROLL spam his thoughts on his pre-adolescent view of the world.
  • You accumulate charms to allow you extra rolls in the "loot sac of fail" or gear while doing LFR.
  •  Well, that is all I can really come up with.
While doing research I found this from Orcish Army Knife on trick for doing dailies. 

I understand Blizz was trying to keep us busy and allow us a way to enjoy the graphics of the game they put lots of work into. The missed the mark big time! MoP is more grindy than anything else they've ever attempted. They did it for a good reason, so they think, and that is to keep us busy and not bored. What they really did is make MoP a full time job....If YOU let it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

For a Good Cause: Cinder Kitten!

My 1st purchase from Blizz's store.

I have never purchased a pet or a mount from Blizzard. I never felt the need to, even the charity pets. I felt this was a Blizzard money grab and way to get attention. Call me crazy it is just how I felt.

Well today I seen the reason to pull the trigger on a new charity pet the Cinder Kitten. One that I felt very strongly about because of how many lives its touched and where it hit.
100% of all proceedings will go to the Red Cross in there effort to aid victims of Hurricane and Super Storm Sandy.

The Poke-Man feature aside, I think this pet is pretty cool, absolutely adorable and well done by Blizzard.

Its $10 bucks and really worth it, if you can afford it please think about purchasing this pet. You can also gift it too.

Here is MMO-Champions video on the pet and the press release.
Now up for adoption in the Pet Store: the Cinder Kitten, a fiery little feline looking for a home to warm. Adopt this adorable rascal, and you’ll help bring relief to the victims of Superstorm Sandy in the process.
From now until December 31, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PST, 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee will be donated to the American Red Cross's Superstorm Sandy relief efforts. This support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support, and other assistance to victims of this disaster.
The Cinder Kitten doesn’t just have good looks -- this kitty has claws, and makes a purrfect addition to any Pet Battle team. The Cinder Kitten has Rare-quality stats and is a part of the Elemental family. This not-so-cool cat uses many Beast abilities in addition to Dragonkin and Elemental, and can also Prowl, Leap, and Rend its way to a 3-hit combo against its foes—and look good doing it.
To learn more about the Pet Store, please visit the Pet Store FAQ.


Monday, December 3, 2012

How to be Elite!

Everyone thinks they can -

The separation between the elite player and a normal raider is staggering. So staggering that the normal raider will never ever have a clue on what the elite player does to get where they are at, the amount of pulls it takes to kill the boss or the investment of time they put into their toon to make it right for ONE fight let alone a whole nights raiding.

This topic came to me while reading a thread on a forum I go to from time to time. The forum has some good  people but in a way, a skewed sense of the game from a more casual audience  I take nothing away from what they have accomplished or what kind of people they are but it usually isn't a site you go to when you want to find out what is new in game. For that reason I will leave it anonymous.

In every aspect of life you come by people who just have a knack at being better at something they do. Call it natural ability, if you will. Usually that isn't by total mistake and this portion of the discussion goes way deeper than I'm willing to go here but skill is usually cultivated more than innate. If you want to learn more about that please check out this book and site. I've looked at both in length and they make a ton of great points. But back to this point; you are always in awe of those people -they are often called the 1% because 99% of the people walking around can't tie their shoes correctly but these people make anything look easy.
Our game of WOW is no different. 

How did this post come about?

There was a discussion about Prot Pally builds and the new way things are for post 5.0 tanking. The poster started to slam a person who has contributed so much to WOW, Pally's and tanking in general he is a legend. I'm talking about Theck. A member of WOW's community so highly thought of, Blizz even named a poorly stated tanking ring after him. I say that with a smile on my face because maybe it was a sign of things to come. The statement went to the "Theck doesn't know what the hell he is talking about" due to the use of haste as a stat that Prot Pally's want to use. The thread went on to say that they knew the he was wrong because none of the top guilds in the worlds tanks were doing this. Which BTW is flat out wrong. (Dream Paragon's top prot pally Fraggoji). My counter rebuttal was, we causal's can't look to the very elite due to several reason and just do things that they do. It doesn't work that way.

But this got me thinking.

Now, in that post I put I'm not Theck fan boy, but looking back on it, I guess I am. I know for a fact I wouldn't be the player I am, or was with out the time he devoted to ALL of us knowing what it took for use to be built as tanks. Other than maybe Ciderhelm, I had no clue who to look up to as tanks. He laid the foundation to my career as a solid WOW tank.

The reason not everyone can do it.

Here is what I came up with - I always loved raiding from the minute I walked into Kara and got chased out due to a face pull. Raiding is or was the best thing about this game to me. As a raider I thought I knew what it meant to be a min/maxer and top of the line. I had some run in with greatness. In fact I hit top 300 for a few days in Wrath.

I also seen some drama that being towards the top created. I've logged on to see my guild was no longer going to be a guild. I was asked if I could switch professions to get an extra 400 HP's. I've been sat for certain fights because prot pally's weren't a solid choice on a given fight and been brought in as a 3rd tank because of my PoJ skill which made me move faster to kite adds. Oh, I was also ported out and hearthed in so I could go as an extra healer in certain fights. All in all sounds reasonable, it was what you did to be good.

Just like in real life there is a point in wow where your skill won't take you further. You hit a wall, and it could be from a multitude of things. Can you take the hours of raiding and wiping? Can you devote the time to running your rotation with your eyes closed? Can you take the yelling that goes on? Or losing out on that ONE piece of loot that you needed to complete your threat set because the loot master gave it to the new tank to help get him closer to the rest of them? On top of all that are you willing to do whatever it takes to be number 1? It isn't easy.

Visual proof -

Oh I thought it was! I watched this - The Race to Number One a professionally done movie about the top few guilds in the world racing to get the top spot. They do some crazy shit. I could never devote that kind of time or life to this. Its sad and awesome at the same time.

Race to World First from Looking for Group Productions on Vimeo.

People that get to where these people are in game are no different than any other 1% in the world. It isn't easy and takes a special kind of person. They log out in different gear so you don't know what their spec was for a fight. They walk to rope of just outside the rules every way they can just to get that kill.

And on top of that, they do it better than you or I could ever do it. See I thought I was good. I really did. After watching that movie it proved to me I'm not. I'm not bad. There was also that other incident I had that made me realize I might not be ready for prime time. This goes back to mid wrath.

In person proof - we've all seen it - 

It was just after LFD come out. T9 was still the top of the line gear due to gating. 258 Was heroic 25 man T9. I qued up with my hunter to get some VP/JP. I entered and the tank had zero gems or enchants but was fully 258. I always looked at the tank, just to see his build he was a prot paladin. I looked no further, because we were off to the races. A bit into the dungeon I seen the healer (tree) and the tank were in the same guild. From start to finish it took us 8 minutes. That entire place was done in 8 minutes. Now, most of you can remember that Wrath style AOE fest were pretty common, but not the week that LFD came out and not with such grace and perfection. This guy was off spec, not set up correctly and pulled that whole place in about 4 pulls. We didn't skip one boss. I looked later to see where they were from. It was a guild called Exodus on Ysondre at the time they were top 15 in the world in progression.

So yes while the guys who put spread sheets and blogs together to make us better, we normal casual players have no clue what it takes to be sitting up high on the pecking order of WOW raiders, let alone staying there. They just get it. Because Theck or EJ puts out a post on how to do it, doesn't mean you can do it like them. The thing that makes the really great theroycrafter so good, is  they do it and then write it.

I've said this before, anyone could run a 969 rotation, but to really understand why you did it and what came up next separated the great from the best.

Sorry for the length. I really wanted to get this out. We all think we can do IT but really not many of us can, it is why one guild has for patch after patch, time after time been at the top. It ain't easy, and if anyone could do it, why hasn't anyone else done it?

Watch the video Race to Number One if you get time. It will open your eyes.