Archive | January, 2010

On Being New

28 Jan

Pike has a great post up to help new hunters get started.  I think she should be commended for it.  Right now is probably the worst time *ever* to start playing World of Warcraft and unlike most of us who have just been wasting time and Internet bandwidth complaining about new player shortcomings, she’s actually taken the time to try to fix the problem.

It made me think.  I’ve poked some fun at new hunters (and hunters that should know better…and myself) on this blog.  Most of it is meaningless, the typical drivel  you get when a lazy writer needs to come up with a blog post and can’t think of anything better to do than make fun of something.

But making fun of something ignores a simple point.  You can complain about the state of new players (while studiously ignoring  your own failings) or you can do something to make things better.

For some bloggers – the solution is to instantly point out “failure” and follow it up with a link to the WoW-Armory profile of the offender.  Now short of some very rare cases, I hate this.  It’s douche-baggery of the worst kind in my opinion and for those of you that disagree – we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

The problem is.  I think it’s starting to be one of the only way some people truly learn.  There are a lot of players that will probably ignore Pike’s post.

After all,  they know everything.

Yet you add in some targeted, personalized humiliation and put it on the Internet.  Wow.  folks suddenly pay attention.

As much as I might hate the whole e-bully nature of these kinds of posts I can’t help but recognize that they’re effective.  Hell – I’ve been in the military for 15 years – I can still remember very basic lessons being taught to me (quite profoundly in fact) through mass punishment and humiliation.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the best way.

Something I’ve always appreciated about Pike’s writing is that where so many of us devolve into snarky bitterness when writing about the game and the people who play it, she can manage to maintain an attitude that is both positive and helpful.

We need more of that, in game and in real life.

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Oh Sunken Temple…How I Hate Thee

28 Jan

I ran it like 5 times last night…that’s at least 4 times too many.  I’d hoped to farm Princess in Maraudon with my randoms, but no such luck.  I got to kill that 600lbs hunk of demonic woman only once.  Happily, that one time – my pants did drop!

Wait.

These pants dropped…princess dropped them.  Lets be clear here.

Of course Keladryn lost the loot roll to the arms warrior in our group.  I wanted to be annoyed, but buddy was still wearing Triprunner Dungarees so I figured it was probably just karma working its way back around to him.  Kel’s been wearing the same mail “of the bear” pants since about level 36 so I figure they’ll be good for a bit longer.

Anyway, during that run Kel’ hit level 47 and from that point on, the only thing the dungeon finder would cough up was Sunken Temple.  I keep reading about how the tool seems to get stuck on certain instances for particular level bands.  I believe I’m probably in one such band now.

Now in actuality, Sunken Temple is a lot of fun.  That and I’m a complete sucker for troll based instances and raids.  They are (in my opinion) way more fun than all of this undead, scourge-centric crap.  So getting to run ST isn’t a bad thing.

But…

I have a hell of a time remembering how to find those first six mini-bosses.  You know the ones, all tucked safely away in their little alcoves, channeling some mystic troll voodoo to protect Jammal’an the Prophet?  Luckily, all of my ST groups last night were quite good and there was always someone with a better sense of creepy troll dungeon direction than me.

The rest of the instance is cake really.  Kill off the six and drop down to clear the center circle of whelps and dragonkin.  I’m constantly amazed at how well Keladryn can keep aggro in high AoE damage parties.  From time to time I’ll get a runner, but a quick taunt is all that is required to pull things back into order.  Even the marauding pairs of dragons that pop up after Jammal’an is killed are easy now.  About the only thing that caused problems was the Shade of Eranikus who put me to sleep every single time I fought him.  It’s not just any sleep though – it’s a nasty deep sleep that lasts for 15 agonizing seconds.  Still, my groups were pretty good, so they were able to kite him until I came out of it.  Each time I’d wake up, he was already so close to death that Hammer of Wrath was waiting on me and he’d drop in one shot.

It was a good night all and all.  Kel’ hit 48 after he turned in Jammal’an’s head and I promptly called it an evening.  Rainchaser even came out to play with Veritas for a while.  We did the weekly raid on 25-man … (but only took like 16 or 17 people) and made short work of the Deconstructor.  Well…to be honest…the guild made quick work…Rain’ was dead in the first 30 seconds of the fight.  Big surprise – I got hit by a light bomb and in my eagerness to “do the right” thing, probably ran out of  range of the very busy healers.  So – there I was on my back watching the rest of the guild handily beat the enrage timer.  I’ve noticed a trend when I go all Night Elf on Rain’ – I tend to die a lot.  In Tauren form – I do pretty well – as a dwarf – the same.  As a female *orc* – I’m invincible.  But as a purty night elf – well – yeah – I have some work to do.

One thing I noticed was how *odd* it felt to hunter again.  I’ve been tanking so many randoms of late I had to keep myself from scanning my ability bar for Holy Shield or Consecrate.  Will have to give Rain’ some equal time before ICC this weekend.  Dying in there will be frowned upon.

OMFG – I Don’t Need My Pet!!!

27 Jan

Yes – this is another vanilla WoW post…

While face palm worthy stuff happens at 80 – some of the truly best comes from folks that are just starting the game.

The following was heard by a player on the MMO-Champion forums…The hunter in question is in Scarlet Monastary…he’s wearing cloth robes, isn’t using a ranged weapon, melees everything with his caster staff, and has no pet in sight.  When questioned about his choice in tactics and the whereabouts of his pet….

Quoth he:

“OMFG U NOOBS IM NOT BEASTMASTER SPEC SO DONT NEED A PET”

That is all.  I must wash now.

I’m Having Fun Here…Vanilla Side

27 Jan

Rainchaser is getting a break at the moment.  Fed up with raid drama and old guild drama and honestly pretty damn bored with WotLK heroic farming, I’ve all but put her on the shelf.  Right now the toon that seems to be getting all of my love is Keladryn, my baby prot paladin.

Thanks to LFG and some thorough questing in Eastern Kingdoms, Kel’ has hit level 46 faster than any toon I’ve ever played.  Of course all of Blizzard’s nerfs and 2 pieces of heirloom gear have a lot to do with that as well.

The  big thing I’m enjoying is getting to go back to all of the old vanilla 5-mans and getting to run them again. Sure, they’re nerfed to hell too, but it’s still fun.  Plus, with the LFG tool turning some of the larger dungeons into smaller chunks, places like Scarlet Monestary and Maraudon are much more reasonable.

One thing I have to say though – and I *hate* to say it…is that when I see a hunter in my group…I cringe.

Really.  Seriously cringe.

I don’t expect everyone in LFG to be an heirloomed old-timer, but I do expect that you’ve paid *some* attention to how to behave in an instance.  One hunter I ran with last night managed to hit every “huntard” marker she could find and seemed to be eager to create new ones.  In Zul’Farak she was constantly aggroing mobs or stumbling into packs I had been planning on completely bypassing.  Not a huge deal, but annoying and time consuming.  To make things even more fun, she insisted on using “volley” as her go-to ability.  Not a horrible plan in todays AoE fests, but pretty crappy when you’re fighting a single target.  Last but not least, once we killed Chief Sandscalp, Jang’thraze the Protector dropped.

Take a look at the stats on that little pig-sticker…It’s a tank weapon.  Not a great one – but a tank weapon all the same.  She *begged* to get to need on it.

Now…personally…I could care less.  Keladryn has both Valor heirlooms (shoulders and chest) and carries the Venerable Mass of McGowan around with a Crusader enchant on it.  I don’t need this sword.

But I just couldn’t stand for a hunter to get caught carrying one.

One thing I’ve learned in pugs is that no one wants to learn anything.  They all know everything and providing any helpful advice or guidance is usually met with silence or outright hostility.  So – I suffer my idiots quietly – kill the required boss and move on.  But this time.

“Seriously? You want to roll need on this sword?”

“ya I rly need a new sowrd! pls pls pls pls!!!”

“You’re a hunter – hunters usually want stats on their weapons, this one doesn’t have anything.  It really does you no good.”

Silence – she rolls need.

Sigh…whatever…I’m sure she’ll be gemming spell-power at 80.

Still, seeing my favorite class being handled so poorly by so many players is painful.  Hunters are not hard.  It is very simple to be successful as a hunter.  It’s also really easy to be a complete pain in the ass.

There was one though.  She was a draenei with a moth pet.  She very carefully and respectfully used it as an off-tank in Scarlet Monestary if anyone aggro’d a random mob that I couldn’t easily get to.

Some tanks hate this.

But as I watched her pick the adds up – turning growl on just long enough to get the mobs attention – and turning it off when I needed to pick the add up and roll it into the dog-pile we were AoEing – I really appreciated it.  Most would have just put their pet on it and kept it there.  This hunter didn’t – she knew how to use her pet to provide off-tanking and did it in such a way that *as* a hunter – I appreciated it.

So it’s not all bad…just mostly…and that’s kinda sad.

LFG Really Needs:

22 Jan

A Speed option.

We should be able to queue not only for a random dungeon, but we should also be able to queue with other players looking for the same dungeon experience.

Options:

Fast Run – I didn’t know you could pull the whole instance…

Normal – We loot our kills – buff – and stop for mana…

Beginner – We’re taking our time – and dying…

Seems like it might fix a few problems.

Pure Tanking Bliss

21 Jan

I love to tank – but I’ve grown old and feeble and no longer enjoy the carpel tunnel tanking I’m used to on my warrior.  On whim I leveled a Paladin up to the mid 30’s or so and specced him Protection.  Last night I spent a couple of hours in the lowbie random dungeon finder.  What an incredible difference.

Things went so smoothly – mobs stuck to me like glue.  A quick judgement and a sprinkling of consecration and the dps couldn’t pay the bad guys to stop hitting me.

Yes – it’s face roll.  Yes – it’s only level 30(ish).  But I’m having an absolute blast – and isn’t that the damn point?

Satchel of Helpful Goods

20 Jan

Dear Internet,

have you seen these: Satchel of Helpful Goods ?

The satchels are rewards for running a low level character through a random dungeon using the LFG tool.  The helpful goods inside?  They’re down right tea and biscuit filled awesome.

Or would be if there were a little more selection.

Based on the level of content you’re running you’ll get one of these little bags at the end of your assigned random dungeon.  For my paladin alt the rewards for running Scarlet Monastery was a dandy blue ring.  Follow up runs netted him an equally neato blue necklace and a seemingly never ending selection of blue shoulder armor.

While most of my alts are decked out in wall to wall heirlooms, the satchels tend to target useful slots that are either ignored by the heirloom system or simply made painful by the old worlds stat itemization (++ spirit mail anyone?)

One of the loveliest bits of loot is the [Tumultuous Cloak] .  Available as a level 19 (or so) reward it’s a long flowing beauty that most same level toons will never see until Outlands or later.  I saw a well loved level 24 female tauren warrior in Thunderbluff the other day.  She was rocking the [ Polished Shoulders of Valor ] and [ Bloodied Arcanite Reaper ] both.  But what really set things off was her [Tumultuous Cloak of the Champion].  For a level 24 alt she had the fine finished look of a vanilla WoW level 60 raider.

Now there are some traditionalists that prefer the crappy green spirit armor and lackluster armor models that most of the pre-level 60 vanilla quests seem to foist off on you.  I’m not one of them.  Being able to gift a new alt with a nice weapon and some choice looking shoulders is one of the neatest things I’ve been able to do in a long time.  Plus – they reduce so much loot drama.  There’s no more running Deadmines over and over again hoping some bit of blue drops and angsting over losing the roll.  Now you can out gear most of the drops you’re likely to see and just do the dungeons for fun.   My much abused and constantly ignored paladin alt has seen SM three times in the past 3 days  and ran Uldaman so much that I might *actually* remember how to get around in the place again.  Each time we drop a boss and the loot pops out – it’s more of a curiosity than anything else.  Sometimes it’s useful – most of the time it’s not.  Plus with these loot bags, Blizzard is more or less saying: “Yeah – old world loot mostly sucks – here – enjoy some new toys.”

Now – there is still a bit of random left in the satchel system too.  Your healing priest could very easily get something [ Of the Soldier ] or [ Of the Bandit ] – so if loot angst is part of your fun – there’s still some to be had.

🙂