Oct 27, 2009

The grass is not greener

I play on a west coast server - i.e. pacific time zone. I live in Minnesota so it isn't always a bad thing but there are times when I think long and hard about changing.

See, most of my wow friends, with the exception of those I personally know, live somewhere in the PDT/PST time zone. They range from British Columbia to Central Kalif. (yes, the K is intentional).

I have a few friends in Colo and a few more in Mo, Minn, NY and even soem from Austrailia, but for the most part our playing group is west coast. I had such an itch to play another server that I rolled a DK, leveled it to 80, geared it out to start off in like naxx 10/25 and I even went so far as to find a guild on a central time zone server. I had to log my mains on my home server to prove I knew raiding tho.. call that a little strange eh?

The old saying goes, "The grass is always greener ..." but trust me - it AIN'T. Wow what a mess. I'm in what I think of as crappy gear and I'm doing mediocre dmg in any given raid but also finding I'm clear and away the highest dps. But most of the ones I can get into (apparently DK hatred goes far and wide) couldn't clear their way out of a wet paper sack. I found myself teaching basics to noobs. Not such a bad thing but when every single person you run into has very little idea of how the game it played it wears on ya.

Add to that the economy was totally screwy. People were charging 100g for epic gems and 90g for blues. Fish feasts were selling 300g a stack and PEOPLE WERE PAYING THAT! Wow. I made a ton of money off incredibly stupid people - saronite ore alone selling for 100g a stack for example. But even that wasn't enough to convince me my real home wasn't better.

I'm sure there's good players there, I'm sure there are great raiding guilds, but I spent 3 months looking and couldn't find one. I once got yelled at in a 5man heroic UK. Me, another dk in better gear and some casters and a well geared pally tank were all doing fine. The last boss comes up and the leather belt drops. It's nothing special but was a clear upgrade over my green. Pally passes, casters pass, I roll need, DK waits like 2 mins - I'm thinking he's considering it though why I don't know - he had okay plate. I win, put it on, say thanks for the run all but I gotta get dinner goin and start for the door. Fair enough ya? Apparently no. DK starts whispering me - Yer a ninja! yer a ninja! Goes on in trade chat - calling me a ninja. So I can either ignore or fight. I'm new - bad rep not a good thing when yer far from home and friends. I took the high road - wrote out I'm using the item - you're using XYZ, I rolled BEFORE you - please tell me how this constitutes stealing?

Then to top it off - I get whispers from my guild officers. You shouldn't ninja - you're on probation. This after I'd spent a ton of time helping - farming - showing newer ppl tricks - generally being a good guy etc. Would they hear me out? nope - didn't wanna hear it. Didn't seem to worry bout anything but the label. I was a little steamed but I held my tongue. Mom always says count 10 right?

I think it was a day or so later I gave my bankroll mats, my money and my boe's to a lvl 10. Said to the guild officers sorry guys but that's just plain wrong and if you can't recognize that there are decent people and there are also QQr's then I don't want any part of your world - adios. log out, Delete character.

A few days later I get an email from the guild leader - nice words nothing of substance. He mentioned he noticed my char was gone and asked if I'd transferred it back to my home server - I think they expected this.

I said no - go armory my name - I deleted it. Besides, I have a DK on that server and it is better geared than the one I deleted. I even mentioned that if he could recall 6 weeks earlier I showed him my DK as part of my "proof test." I added that I was looking for a new possible home - someplace that fit my schedule better. Turns out the headache was bigger than I thought and the effort isn't worth the pain.


Oct 21, 2009

A year later...

It's been a year since I posted last.. wonder why

Well, not that I really expect many people to read this, but I've begun dabbling in this blog space again. I don't know why I lost interest in the first place but I still seem to be a bit apathetic over the idea of blogging, I guess my Minnesota upbringing still tells me it sounds like whining - too emo. But I'll give this another shot and we'll see if it takes off.

I'm probably going to go through and clean out some of the older posts - who cares about how to do Kara bosses anymore right? Like, if you can't go in there and 2man most things then do yourself a favor and turn off your computer and go sell your game back to Blizzard.

I'll take this renewed post to describe the flavor of Wotlk and my experience in it to date. I love Northrend, loved the quests so much I leveled 10 alts. Yes you did in fact read that correctly. I have 8 80s and 2 at 75-76 which could be 80 in a matter of days if I didn't bother to raid or do dailies - or... that stupid Hallow's End thing. (Why did blizz have to make it 20 masks???)

No. I didn't do them last year - pfft who knew you'd have to do these all for a new mount?

Back to my story.

In terms of the expansion, I liked pretty much everything I saw. DK's were fun to play, quests were fun, instances were vibrant and I had a great time. But I have to admit - once I'd played all the quests a few times and had done all the instances I got a little bored. My server is super full, so it is sometimes a pain to get anything done, instances are full etc. Not bad when needing a group but terribad when looking to run instances and you cant due to server instability or whatnot.

So now my focus is my druid once again. My perennial favorite, my muse. I'd worked the DK and shaman, hunter, lock, rogue (gotta love a good rogue) working on warrior (MAN arms is fun!) and mage. The mage is an accident, I have this friend Rachel who's new to wow. Not in terms of newly bought but she doesnt often play and isn't a hardcore idiot like me so I'm leveling a mage along with her so she doesn't have to wander the landscape wondering what to do next.

I can't go as often as she'd probably like but we get in 2-3 nights a week - probably good for most ppl right?

What will I do with all these? probably not a lot. I'm really cutting down my interest in other characters at the moment simply because it's too much even for someone who's got a lot of time. My pally is well geared for what I can get into short of the new craftables so that's in reserve for now. But sheesh - how many paladins are there these days? Seems like everyone has one. Same goes for druids too - I saw a literal forest the last time I went to a 25.

Bears now... you see em - sometimes they are okay - rarely are they great. There's the rub though. It's hard to be good if you're not in 25s. So much seems to depend on gear and with the reduction of itemization you're fighting for gear with everyone who can wear leathers. Our little guild only does 10mans. As one of our newest officers so clearly pointed out recently - we just don't have what it takes to field our own 25 - we've tried - many many times - but we suck balls at it. Why? well a combination of things really but to be nice let's just say we have all the coodination of a dysfunctional family.

So we stick to 10s to keep stress levels low. And the 25s we've been pugging into are - uhm.. how to say this - they okay but they changed and I think I was one of the first to recognize it. WARNING: Emo Coming!

Every 25 progression raid was more interested in gearing their own guild first - in some cases understandable but think about this for a minute. If you don't allow regulars who aren't in your guild to get gear, what incentive do they have to remain? That was more or less my problem. I went to an uld 25 ToC 25 for 3 months and got like 2 pieces of offset gear and had to buy a boe tank ring from the raid leader for 1000g. Apparently that bugged someone in their guild after I did that the first time so that only happened the one time.

Then they didn't like everyone from my guild who were regulars and did their raids (we had 7 ppl in Absolution running with them) - they only liked 3 ppl really well. We started doing 10mans with them as well - nice easy runs that everyone loved and we cleared quickly. About that time the 25man raid leader decided it looked a bit tooooo easy and further decided that their own guildies could benefit from the gear we helped the few doing the 10s with us get... so they booted everyone who wasn't in their guild from the 10s.... sound emo? It is.

NOTE: this sort of thing is partially why I quit blogging a year ago. The attitudes are the same all over - if you have gear you can come if you don't you're on yer own. I'm tired of this sort of nonsense. I pug everything now - if I suck too bad replace me - I don't tho :) But it's hard to stand out when all you do is 10mans.

Now.. I'm not interested at all in helping other guilds. I have my own and its really centralized/localized - i think blizzard wants this - the whole guild achieves etc coming in the new expansion - I mean why announce that now if you aren't going to drive people to that?

So today, we do 10s, we fart around and piss off only our own people and we have fun. I'll have to be contented that wow has changed so much that I'm never going to be as good or as well geared as I was in BC - but it's only a game.

Right? I mean ... it IS only a game ... RIGHT? C'MON! WHY WON'T YOU ANSWER ME?!!

Anyway this is getting too long as it is.


Oct 19, 2008

Patch 3.0, the New Bear, the guild

The title is slightly inaccurate, I'm not a new bear. This old bear decided to try a new trick tho.

The way things were going bear tanking was getting to be sort of a drag. Then I got sorta bored one day and realized I probably had enough crap in my bank to try Boomkin spec, something I'd always intended to do but with leveling 10 alts I got a little sidetracked. Well, the pally got to 70, got all his new toys and could effortlessly tank KZ and the early 25s, I even did okay in TK, though I felt like a newb the first few times I did Alar.

I got my lock up to 70, got his gear going, mage as well. I even dusted off the huntard for a few runs, but really I was hitting the skids in terms of interest in the game. Then 3.0 hit and I won the game. Literally.

With the new changes to 3.0 KZ takes an hour now, rather than 2-3. SSC is 90 mins and any heroic is super easy to clear in 20-30 mins. It feels like cheating, but the badges are nice.

But I digress. Ever try AoE grinding dailies? That was the single reason I leveled a mage, I may have to delete that toon cause boomkin grinding with starfall is Teh Shit!

But everyone knows the patch is fun. The other news is the guild, Absolution. We took on the 40-man Naxx before it went bye bye forever. Fully pugged and usually cleared - tho not always. We went back to our regular routine once the patch hit and naxx left. Now we're actively recruiting for the expac, tho not in the usual method.

We recruit via reputation, not by asking ppl to join. So far it's been fairly good. I think we've picked up something like 15 members this week. Time will tell if they turn out to be decent raiders - I have confidence they'll be fine.

Anyway - that's it for the moment. I'll post updates as we go. :D


Jun 10, 2008

The Decline and Fall of the Empire

It’s a good title. Taken of course from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire but still, it conveys the sense that something doth smell most foul in the state of Denmark.

Titles are important. Labeling has become such a negative thing but I say if we don’t mark our passage through events then we have no reference points. I only say this because it seems relevant to what I see in-game, at least recently. The infrastructure of many raiding guilds and established raids is crumbling. I don’t know what life is like on other servers but Feathermoon seems to be showing signs of wear and tear.

I’ve heard of the disbanding of several world leading raiding guilds – even more are closing down around me. I’m sure pre-TBC the same happened but then I was insulated from the changes due to my membership in a quiet little casual guild. I’m still there but even we are feeling the effects of boredom, routine, grinding etc.

I’ve been challenging myself to find alternatives to being bored, leveling several alts at once etc. I’ve seen others do this as well. I know of at least 3 players who are taking multi-boxing to new limits – mostly they are shaman with 5 accts – running around with extremely similar names vivsi, vivsa, vivsw etc. It’s impressive and just a little crazy, which only makes it more impressive. But aside from that I’ve also noticed a sharp decline in quality of players, but that might be elitism on my part.

I pug a lot of instances when I’m leveling. When I was first leveling up I didn’t notice quality so much but I do remember what it was like – it wasn’t THAT long ago. Lately I’m surrounded by people who not only don’t know their classes (not uncommon) but refuse to listen, even to gentle advice. And I do mean gentle. I’ve been around long enough to know how not to rub the fur the wrong way – but man, what a mess I’ve seen. Tanks that won’t listen to the correct pull order even after wiping 3-4 times, gearing selections for hunters, stuff like that. The other day, I ran across a hunter wearing green cloth …. Come on folks, there’s plenty of gear out there that you don’t have to be running around in another classes clothes.

But again, that’s me and I’ve been somewhat spoiled since I started taking raiding more seriously. I’m used to tanks that can perform outright miracles, holding aggro on 5 mobs, pally tanks that can sweep up 30 mobs at once and simply laugh as they kill themselves hitting him, healers that can single-handedly bring a T6 tank from 2 hp to full health, etc. Yes there are a lot of great players, and sooo many people who want to be great but are missing the basics. I just wanna help ‘em all, ya know? Then again, there’re plenty of people who think they are God’s gift and make pugging even harder. I’ve seen a lot of this recently as well.

There’s a great lesson there for anyone looking. I ran with a geared MM hunter the other day. He was mid-60s and kept reminding the group that he had to go to Black Temple soon (presumably on an alt). But his style of play in a 5-man was terrible. He tried to tank everything in the Mana Tombs, leaving our tank – nice player but still learning – with the unhappy job of trying to keep up and control errant mobs. As luck would have it we had another hunter in the group – slightly lower in gear, less confident in his abilities, but thankfully quieter … or so I thought. Some friends and I run pre-BC raids on Sat nights, BWL, MC etc. We take everyone on a pug basis and use our own well geared tanks, healers and DPS for key spots and to lead the group. The lower hunter found us, we pugged him in (since I was on the same character presumably he noticed me), and he was as obnoxious as the other we’d been with earlier in the day. I think he figured since my toon was lower than his I must not be as good as he was.

Constantly questioning why we did things one way vs another, clearly had never been to any raids before, complaining about loot rules – (open loot by class, legendaries reserved for those working the quest chains) yelling and QQing because he lost a roll to a higher player etc. I put him on the ban list. Maybe I was wrong to do so, maybe I should have at least offered to help him out, quietly spoken to him or something.

But, to me anyway, it seemed pretty evident I was one of the 4 ppl leading a 40-man raid, helping to explain fights, pulls etc. My thought is that if you can’t even take the time to show common courtesy, then you’re probably not worth my time/effort. I don’t ask for a lot, you don’t have to be in epics, or even blues, maybe you don’t know your class well. Heck, I play one of almost every class and I’m ALWAYS learning about them, but one thing I need – I need good manners. The rest is gravy. But then again, I’m probably being elitist.

I saw him the next day too – he was in LFG, lvl 65 looking for a higher level raid. By the way, on the miniscule chance the player I’m talking about is reading this, the offer of help stands. I may not be the best on the server, but I know enough to pass along to those willing to learn.