Archive | September, 2009

3.3 Coming Sooner than Expected?

30 Sep

Bornakk a Blizzard Blue posted the following in response to some grumpy forum discussions about whether or not Arthas would be “killable” in the 5-man Icecrown Citadel dungeons that are part of patch 3.3.

The way the Lich King is part of the 5 player dungeons is something we are really excited about and look forward to players seeing it… soon.

Now when some one from Blizzard says “soon” it can mean a lot of different things and whether or not their trademarked version of “soon” matches anything that occurs before 2010 is up for grabs.  Still – the *feel* is that 3.3 isn’t far away.  Maybe in time for the 4th Anniversary (5th Anniversary) **thanks Negs!

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We Won’t Be Killing Arthas…

25 Sep

Or at least that’s my bet.

There are bigger fish to fry and we’ve been given way too many opportunities to “know” him and maybe even identify with him.  No – you don’t kill people like that.

If you’re smart, you make the relationship with them more complicated.  Maybe you redeem him – maybe he redeems us.  Maybe we discover something bigger – more evil even than him.  Maybe we find it and in the midst of our travail, Arthas – Arthas Menethil – saves us and in the end – saves what’s left of himself.

I know Neg’s is hoping to off the big guy once and for all before she goes nuclear but I’d be willing to bet that when it’s all said and done we don’t kill him.

Just a feeling.

The Rage Over Alterac Valley

24 Sep

There’s a blistering – *blistering* thread over in the customer support forums where players are venting 10 kinds of angst and rage over the unexpected changes to Alterac Valley in patch 3.2.2.

First off – Blizzard shifted the AV brackets so that they look like any other battleground’s bracket.  80’s finally got their own private AV and everyone else is back to traditional 60-69, 70-79, etc.  Second – due to the bracket shifting they also slammed a nerf hammer on the experience gain that 70’s were enjoying in the old 71-80 bracket – effectively halving the previous awards.

While there are all kinds of folks angry about AV losing its traditional level bracketing, the real rage is coming from the experience nerf.  Leveling players were enjoying around 18,000 experience for each objective taken or Captain slain.  At that rate and with the experience netted for wins and random NPC kills added in, people were literally grinding AV from 71 to 80 in about a weeks worth of play time.  Post patch those numbers are but ghosts of themselves and players are responding.  Almost overnight queues for level 70+ AV grinders went from instantaneous with multiple games running to a queue so empty that it echoes.

So what gives?  According to an apologetic post from Blizzard – at least some of the changes weren’t due until 3.3 (and Icecrown) releases.  Here is as best a list of the current conspiracy theories being put forth:

  1. Blizzard Hates Battleground Players
  2. They tried to fix the AFK problem and did it wrong
  3. Devs are pissed because no one plays Isle of Conquest
  4. Devs don’t really play the game

According to Blizzard’s short post on the topic, they felt that experience was simply too high compared to other battlegrounds.  At first glance that seems reasonable – particularly compared to how poor the xp gain is in the other BG’s.  The problem of course is that once players get used to something – it’s damn hard to take it back.  Particularly when it’s arguably been providing some of the best gaming I can remember for leveling alts.

Blizzard is obviously going to be reviewing the change and taking into account over 32 pages of heavily negative feedback.  I don’t know that the experience and level brackets need to be changed significantly – but I do think all BG’s could use a bump in their actual experience gained.  There’s a part of me that feels like Blizzard knew the experience gain in battlegrounds would effectively kill the most aggressive twinkers (which it has) – and they couldn’t quite bring themselves to do that.  With experience blocked battleground queues virtually empty and the wait times in most battlegroups for AV now fairly long it might do the customer service folks to relook the patch and rethink the problem they were trying to solve.

Productive – Sorta

21 Sep

So things have been pretty entertaining with the new guild.  This weekend was filled with Brewfest (obviously) as well as the normal host of dailies, heroics, assorted rep grinds and fishing oriented silliness that seem to make up my gaming lately.

Because I am an achievement whore I had a lot to smile about since it appears that many of my new comrades in arms are as well.  We all met up this weekend and had a great time tearing through the following:

gruul
Gruul is easy stuff at 80 – but fun to go back to if for no other reason than to pay the big dude back for all of the pain and suffering at 70.  With a lot of time still on our hands we promptly headed to Hellfire Penn. and took care of some other business:

mags

Mags was a fight I never got to do in the old days so this was a good time.  Once again – really quick – I don’t think anyone even bothered to click on the cubes.  Just didn’t have to worry about it.  Because we *still* had a ton of time left and everyone was enjoying themselves we headed back into Vanilla WoW to say hello to Onyxia and borrow some scales.
nixia

I can’t wait for 3.2.2 and the *real* return.  My pet probably could have solo’d the old girl in her current state.  With plenty of scales in hand and a brand new bag courtesy of Mags’ we all headed back to Dalaran to make Onyxia Scale Cloaks.  These were important for our next trip down memory lane:

bwlair

This was an old school blast from the past.  I got reintroduced to the fun of the suppression rooms and my kids were absolutely thrilled at the sheer number of dragons we laid waste to in one 24 hour period.  Getting to do UBRS again to take care of attuning guildies with new toons was fun too.

Along the way – I picked this up – the one title I doubt I will ever wear:

leeroy

It was fun and all – the whole 6 seconds it took us to do it – but well – yeah…

After the smoke cleared (and I repaired my rifle after Nefarian broke it!) we picked our raid up and went over to Netherstorm where we capped our weekend off by kicking Kael and his cronies right in the junk.  There is really nothing more satisfying than killing Blood Elves – lots of them – there really isn’t.

tkeep
With Kael’ down and some brief entertainment had by watching him talk smack to the Naaru in Shattrath, we called it a night and moved on to other important stuff, like learning how to track fish and jumping off high places while stupid drunk.

(Watching people lawn-dart themselves while trying for Drunken Stupor just never gets old.)

Now – this was all great – I loved the quick old world raids and had a great time being a pirate and drinking way too much beer.  The crowning achievement for the weekend though was finally soloing the Tiger Boss in Zul’Gurub.   No Tiger drop – but I’m confident I’ll see it.  Just a matter of time 😉

Faction Transfer and Ebon Blade

17 Sep

Okay – here’s the newest anomally that I’ve run across since the faction transfer.  If you happen to have completed the Ebon Blade dailies and opened up the Shadow Vault – be prepared to do it all over again…

Apparently Blizzard had the original quests coded as “faction specific” (though they sure seem identical to *me*) and thus – despite the fact that I’m exalted with the Blade *(and have been for some time)* – when I returned to the Shadow Vault last night to pick up a new Arcanum of Torment from the faction vendor – I had the whole place aggro on me.

Now it only took me about 20 minutes to run back through the quests necessary to open the Shadow Vault back up – so it wasn’t a huge time sink – but it *was* unexpected.

Additionally – I first noticed something was up when I couldn’t fly straight to the Shadow Vault from Dalaran.  Faction change apparently reset my flight points there and at the Son’s of Hodir.

Again – not a huge problem – just unexpected.

The Busy Never Stops

15 Sep

Between work, commute, family time, Army Reserve and now 12 semester hours of school piled on top of everything else – my busy has its boots on and is stomping the guts out of me.

That said – I’ve found a new guild on Moon Guard and I have to say they seem to be a fun lot.  We’re still in the awkward stages with one another right now so we’ll see how things pan out.  The good is that they’re a more mature lot (the traditional meaning – not the pejorative) and they’re focused.  Most of the raiders have the Undying title and I watched with a fair amount of envy as their A-Team routed much of Ulduar and worked its way through ToC-10.

For myself I’ve only managed to nab a couple runs with them.  Both were fun though:

koracheeve

Koralon is actually a pretty fun fight (when done with folks that know how to stay out of the fire…)  It was the guild’s first try on this boss and we downed him on round two.  The first shot was spent reminding folks about the pillars of flame.  If we hadn’t have lost too many dps in the first try we would have had him.  The second try went flawlessly.  The rest of VoA went down in one shots as well.

Later this past weekend we also did this:

serpentcheeve

The guild is RP based and is centered around a society of explorers and knowledge seekers.  You’ll find the whole crew wandering through BC and vanilla raids on a regular basis in order to expand on the guild’s shared story.

I have high hopes.  Just wish I had more time!

Thwarted at every turn….

9 Sep

Just a casual grumble…

So – I’ve been dancing around with the idea of transfering to a West Coast server.  Why?  Because I just can’t make raid times on CST or EST servers.  Most folks where I live are home by 4-5pm – and ready to raid by 7:00 – 7:30pm.

Me?  I’m home by 7:00-7:30 and ready to raid by 9:00-9:30 usually.

So I figure – “Hey Wind’ – check out a west coast server – they’re 2 hours behind – so it should mesh perfectly.”

Made sense – so I started checking out the official realm forums for several guilds on both sides of the faction fence.  Almost all of them I have come across start raiding at 5pm >_<

Which of course – is 7pm my time.

Bah!