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Moon Guard vs. Farstriders (so far)

13 Dec

So I made the big “free” jump from Moon Guard to Farstriders this past week.  The jump was made in order to recapture some of my rather scant game time from the massive login queues prevalent on Moon Guard since Cataclysm’s release.

Always a highly populated server, MG has seen a dramatic uptick in returning players.  Starting in the mid-afternoon, Moon Guard promptly locks and a login queue is implemented to keep things on the server at least somewhat playable.  As I don’t usually get in from work until around 8pm and usually not into game until 8:30 I end up facing queues nearly 40 minutes long.  The problems don’t end once you get past the queue.  Once in game, those of us playing on challenged hardware (as I am) are faced with another problem:

Crushing lag and tepid frame rates.

During prime-time, Orgrimmar and Hyjal on MG are both flooded with people.  There are enough of them in the zone that my poor Macbook Pro is forced to chug along at anywhere between 9 and 18 FPS.  I’ve done what I can graphics wise.  I’ve dropped render distances and other eye candy in the video settings down to the crayola levels, I ensure that nothing else is binding up my CPU, asked my wife to lay off You-Tube or streaming music to keep bandwidth available, whatever I can think of to help.

But even with all of these efforts, the act of getting from 80 to 81 on my hunter was an exercise in aggravation.  My computer still struggles to keep up and I’m often swarmed by rapidly spawning mobs as I wait to catch up with the game.  I can put up with a lot.  Hell, I’ve played from Afghanistan before on a connection that ran around 1000ms on good days.  What I’m experiencing in game most evenings on Moon Guard is honestly worse.

On top of the performance issues are the players themselves.  With the new leveling zones choked with people, competition for mobs and trade skill resources are fierce.  Simple courtesy is currently out the window as everyone fights for mobs, fights for herbs and ore and fight to be the first to tap named quest mobs.

Still, you can get used to the hectic pace and even some of the outright rudeness.  What’s harder for me to deal with is what’s happening to the public chat channels.  Most RP servers tend to be exuberant, chatty places.  Moon Guard in particular.  While Moon Guard chat isn’t as crass and vulgar as many large PvP servers (or even normal servers) I’ve been on, it has been on a rather slow decline for some time.  Now, with our regular trade chat heroes in place and the sudden return of trade chat heroes of expansions past, we have what constitutes a low roar of inane and abusive banter flowing in a constant stream through the game.

This last part is really subjective.  For me – it’s like someone constantly rubbing salt on an open cut. Others ignore it or turn the channels off altogether.  Many honestly enjoy it and feel it adds to the “high population” feel that some folks actually go looking for.

Farstriders on the other hand is completely different.

First off, it’s quiet.  Really quiet.  So quiet in fact that I often feel like I’ve forgotten to turn chat “on” when I’m in the cities.  It’s almost funny that the few times I’ve heard general chat light up it’s because some type-A Moon Guard transplant can’t hack the silence anymore and and starts poking sticks at people.

Frame rates and general in game “smoothness” are significantly improved as well.  There is no lag to speak of and there is none of the horrible stop and go I get on MG.  On top of the performance increase is the number of people in each zone.  There just aren’t as many to contend with.  On Moon Guard the demand for ore and herbs in the new zones was such that it took me nearly 3 days  before I managed to tap my first post-Lich King ore node.  On Farstriders I’m stacking ore up nicely.  There’s still competition, but it’s not nearly as bad.

It’s hard to report on things like quality of RP or quality of progression and guilds and the rest.  I don’t RP all that much and to be honest it doesn’t hold that much interest to me.  I do enjoy RP – I love having it fill in the corners of my game via snatches of overheard conversation, running into RP events going on deep in Darkshire or seeing groups of people that have obviously put care and thought into their character and guild names.  But I don’t play to RP.  Many folks on Moon Guard *do*.  I wouldn’t have to go far out on a limb to say that this is equally true on Farstriders.  If there’s an argument to be had it likely has to do with tthat elusive and ephemeral entity known as “good RP” and how hard it is to find on any given server.

For some “good RP” requires a strict adherence to in game lore and even stricter adherence to social niceties expected of others that attempt to partake of the ArPee.  The game within a game of how to RP “correctly” can be overwhelming for some to keep up with and thus – there are a  goodly number on any RP server that have simply given up and do their own thing.

Moon Guard has for a long time arguably held the high ground as a “quality” RP server.  The more canonical of the RP crowd tend to flock there.  While Goldshire based exploits and SilverMOAN city have done a great deal to tarnish this reputation, MG is still a massively popular RP server and by population alone, probably offers the most opportunities for any given players take on “good RP”.

That said, several Farstrider folk have written to me in the past week to tout just how strong the RP actually is on their server.  Additionally, there’s an opportunity on less populous servers to “make your own community” that many feel simply isn’t possible on a server as populated as Moon Guard.

I can’t comment on the validity of any of this as I refuse to get pulled into an RP quality war.  I love all RP.  Canonical, Vampire Bunniculal and even the guys on Farstriders touting the Forgotten Realms based guild tag “The Knights of Myth Drannor“.  You’re all great – I love you all equally.  Seriously.  Play what you want – I do.

If there are any cons to the Farstrider move thus far it has to be faction based vs. anything else.  Farstriders feels far more Alliance focused than Moon Guard.  Not terrible by any means – but for the PvP minded hordey this might be an issue.

The only other issue is the fact that the bulk of my friends are all still on Moon Guard and have no intention of ever moving.  I don’t blame them.  For them, Moon Guard has been a great home for years and for the most part they have schedules that aren’t as impacted by the lengthy login queues.  For myself, I still have my two “favorite” mains living there.  I’ve just accepted that they’ll be leveling much slower than the toons I’ve moved to Farstriders.  But part of playing the game means actually *getting* to play the game.

We’ll see how it goes.

Have any of you moved or thought about moving now that there are free server transfers going?  Do you feel like your server was left out of these moves?  If you haven’t moved yet – what would it take to push you over the edge?

Get out of Moon Guard

9 Dec

So Blizzard just announced free server transfers off of Moon Guard. Great. The problem? They’re sending folks to Farstriders, a relatively dead world devoid of oxygen and life.

The Last time Blizzard did this, just about the only thing they accomplished was to effect the transfer of unwanted alts off of Moon Guard.  No discernable effect was noticed in regards to login times, queues, or overall server lagtasticness.

From the comments in the realm forums, it looks like this is what’s happening again. Apparently, no one wants to go to Farstriders.

Last one to 85 wins….

8 Dec

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know where to start.  Annoyed with myself I’ve been plinking around trying to kick things off and get excited about leveling again.  It’s not working.  Instead I end up logging on to a favorite toon and doing the following:

  1. Buying my Flight Master’s License
  2. Picking up Archaeology
  3. Training Professions
  4. Heading to Hyjal
  5. Sitting there Gobstomped as MILLIONS of Moon Guarders swarm the quest givers
  6. Piddle my way through a few quests
  7. Log out – Log in another Alt and start the process over

I’m almost out of alts.

And I don’t know what to do first or with which toon.

The sneaking, suspicious part of me is starting to think that after all these years and all the words I’ve written, I’m simply getting bored of the game.  Yeah – that’s what I said.

Bored of the game?  NOW?  Cataclysm’s release, with all of these things you’ve been looking forward to and you’re bored now??? REALLY?

Maybe?  I dunno.

All I know is that I just can’t seem to get started.  Many of my friends have already managed to make it to level 82-83 and I’m not even out of the gate yet.  There’s a part of me that wants to just dive in and start completely over – cast it all to the wind.  There’s another part of me that thinks *that other* part is stupid and reminds me how much time I’ve put into my paladin, my druid and my beloved hunter.

Frustrated with it all I decided to avoid the “who to level up next” question and rolled over to Gilneas to try out the Worgen scene.  I was thoroughly entertained and after accepting that I too would be rolling a Worgen Druid (for educational purposes you understand!) I managed to finally finish things up and hit Darnassus today.  Something irks me though.  Not sure what it is.  As a visual creature I tend to gravitate toward characters that I’m happy to look at day in and day out.  The male worgen form bugs me.  Unfortunately the female worgen voice is honestly more annoying than a blood elf male’s voice and I don’t know if I could handle that.

Frustrated.  So thoroughly frustrated.  Ah well – I have a couple more alts I can kill time with tonight.  Maybe inspiration will strike.

 

Worgen Druids – or – The Coming Furry Flood

3 Dec

And on December 7th – when the servers came back up – a new Flavor of the Month race / class combination was born….

The Worgen Druid.

The woods of Elwynn Forest will be clogged with them come Cata, killing Blackrock Orcs, gathering apples and stealing candles FROM EVERYONE.  The feral atrocities that are going to be witnessed in the darker, seedier parts of Goldshire are going to be unspeakable.

And there’s nothing any of us can do about it.

I don’t know about the rest of you – but I’m investing in flea spray.  And if you have children – I wouldn’t let them anywhere near Goldshire on Moon Guard without a blindfold or a 40 man horde raid.

Seriously people, if you thought the tide of Sunwalkers and Dwarven Shaman were bad after 4.03a, you haven’t seen anything like the fury-tide that is due to hit our world next week.

I’ll call it the Furpocalypse…

Or maybe…Furmageddon.

It’s gonna be bad…bad…badbadbad….

::twitches in his corner::

Stay away from Goldshire….

The horror….

 

(the horror)


Your Blood Elf Paladin is Beautiful and it’s OK

1 Dec

Seriously.  It’s okay.

Stop telling your friends:

“It’s the only way to have a Pally if you’re Horde.”

Because you KNOW in your heart of hearts that’s probably not the reason you’re playing a blood elf paladin!  I know SO MANY Blood Elf Paladins that are sweating bullets because they’ve been using that line to deflect haters since Burning Crusade launched.

“Naw man, naww.  I roll with a Blood Elf because I want to play pally.  It’s blizz’ man – not me.”

BAM…4.03a drops….Queue the Sunwalkers.

How many of those guys do you think rerolled Tauren?

Yeah – not a damn one.

And  you know what?  SO WHAT!

Rhidach is probably one of the best known Pally tanks in the WoW blogosphere and he’s totally cool with telling people that not only is he staying a Blood Elf, but that he really doesn’t like the Tauren model:

Personally, I’m going to stay Blood Elf. That 2200 health isn’t worth having to deal with a massive model that is illusorily a plodding laggard, nor giving up the emotional connection I’ve made to my character as is.

This guy is a better tank than you (YARLY) and he’s okay with with his BELF.

Why aren’t you?

I mean really, my son loves to play Trolls.  Good on him!  The Cynical Brit would approve.  But you know what?  My son is 9-years-old.  What does that say about everyone else that plays a troll?  That they play trolls because they’re the intellectual equivalents of grade schoolers?  Of course not.  So just because you play a blood elf doesn’t mean you’re more worried about your hair-do than your game performance.  It doesn’t mean that you’re “not really Horde”.  The Inescapable Internet Ass Monkeys will spend a lot of time trying to feed you this crap because it justifies their already weak world order.  Don’t let them get away with it.

Do what you want.  Play what  you want and stop making excuses.

** this message brought to you by the committee for “Stop /facepalming my Sunwalker” and “BELF – Blood Elves Love Fite”.  Special underwriting from the Blizzard “Stop Making Fun of our Lore” Foundation.

Sunwalker

29 Nov

Sunwalkers, I love them.  The tauren paladin is everything I wanted out of the new race class combinations wrapped up in one hoofed, horned and kodo riding package.  And what a kodo it is too.  The Great Sunwalker Kodo is probably my favorite mount in the game.  Getting to ride one through the new Orgimmar has totally eclipsed my desire for the ZG Tiger.  YARLY.

See what I mean?  Between the splendid redo of the Tauren starting area and the overall excellence of 4.03a questing in general, I’m having a hard time getting excited about Cataclysm’s launch being right around the corner.  As far as I’m concerned, there’s a completely new game to be enjoyed out there right now.

One thing that has surprised me is the amount of Sunwalker “hate” I’m getting from the Alliance.  At least once a day I have some stump legged human wander by and emote “facepalm” at me and my wonderful day-glo kodo.  What’s the deal? Are we not pretty enough?  Are we breaking your lore?  I think it’s because my kodo makes that charger of yours feel like what it really is – a lame ass horse wearing a bed-sheet.

It’s okay.  When no one else is looking – I’ll let you take her for a spin around the Stormwind docks.  While you’re at it, you can soak in the sheer majestic splendor of a Tauren in full plate bathed in An’she’s golden brilliance.  Keep on /facepalming though – we all know it’s just envy.  We’ll see you in Mulgore soon enough.

So yeah.  Sunwalker’s rock.

That and Aponi Brightmane is HAWT….Seriously – she makes the rest of the Pally trainers out there just look weak 😉

The Queue

29 Nov

Trying to get into Moon Guard seems to a losing proposition tonight.

The queue is long.  Over 1000 people ahead of me at this point.

Since 4.03a dropped it has been like this –

Every….

Damn….

Night…

I’ve toyed with leaving MG for a while and even tried it on an alt for a while.  These queues just might seal the deal.