All Things In Their Turn

OMFG Yes, the time has come.

Yes, the time has come.

My subscription will lapse soon.

It always seemed to me that a lot of what we saw in WoD was a reaction to MoP.  Mists represented a pinnacle of enjoyment for me, just as it presented a picture of a game gone wrong to others.  I generally saw it as a reasonable balance between work and reward.  Running my ass off to level 90 won me the convenience that I sought in flying, for example, and it was a system that allowed me to indulge in my fondness for alts.  But others saw the whole production as a game that was too easy with a plot that had too little “Warcraft” in it, and so on.

Those voices won, and we got WoD and orcs out the wazoo.  Perhaps that’s not surprising.  I always got the feeling that the WoW development team doesn’t identify with the “casual” player in the same way they do with players who see themselves as “gamers,” or even “hardcore.”  There is an assumption that the game is meant to be enjoyed in a certain way, and other ways – flying out of trouble is the most obvious – are not as legitimate and should not be designed for.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Doing the same thing day in and day out will keep some of the same people around – the type who appreciate that consistency, or those who liked it that way to start with and don’t see much reason to change.  But it does make it more difficult to hold onto players like me.  I have no interest in returning to the game’s “roots,” nor do I seek an “authentic” or even an “immersive” experience.

I seek an enjoyable experience that is accessible to me within the time I have available, and that would be just about the last way I’d describe WoD and the final nail in the coffin for me, Tanaan.

Work Work Work Game Game Game Blog Blog Blog

Work Work Work
Game Game Game
Blog Blog Blog

The most bittersweet thing isn’t leaving the game so much as it’s leaving this blog.  It’s certainly possible that I will return to WoW again in the future, in which case this blog will also see a new day.  But for now, I’ve moved on to FFXIV and made a new blog for it here: The Fanciest Pants.

“That Was an Accident!” has been one of the best (worst?) things I’ve ever put on the internet and one of the most fun timesinks I’ve ever occupied myself with.  As of writing this post, “That Was an Accident!” has 71,755 views and 2,313 comments, not all of which are me!  The numbers are small potatoes for some, but I’ve never put anything on the internet so popular before – and this popularity meant I met a lot of folks that I would have otherwise never encountered.

Thank you in particular to:

  • Matty, Tome, and the other ladies of the Old Ladies Raiding Guild
  • Kashina, Shanthi and Rep of Loot Hoarders
  • Saya and other blog friends I dragged around the world searching for mog
  • Leit, a guy I never played with but who always had something to say

I also want to say thank you to my best buddies in-game, Cavarin and Goa, who kept me company on many a day and odd mission.  You guys are the best!


I finally got up the willpower to update all my addons, download the patch, and log in the other week.  (Go me!)  I was pleased to discover I could now mash the space bar to skip the daft animations for my follower missions.  Sure, it was cool seeing Kimzee Pinchwhistle smack somebody with a couple wrenches at first, but after about a million repeats, it got old.

After space barring my way through missions so fast I couldn’t actually tell whether I’d succeeded or not, I hopped on over to the inn and recruited a new follower supposedly because he had the new fancy Greasemonkey trait – but in truth, it was because Mr. Shirtless showed up for a second time.  I mean, if he’s that determined to join my team, how can I say no?  His official duties will include lounging around on the command table and dancing whenever I order him to do so.

Speaking of the command table, let’s talk the shipyard version.  Skaggies let me know all about the joys of the shipyard:

  • You have to do it if you want to upgrade your ring
  • You can lose all your sheeyit if you fail the mission

So first you get stuck in a Tutorial Mode that gives you 5 EXP for a mission.  I don’t know about you, but 5 EXP seems real stupid small.  So small, in fact, I don’t even see why it’s considered sufficient motivation for completing the tutorial mode.  Somebody had to promise me that the 5 EXP missions would end before I agreed to continue.

Now, I’m looking at a blockade mission.  This mission prevents me from doing a lot other ones.  BUT TODAY IS NOT THE DAY I DEFEAT IT.  Probably not tomorrow, either.  Actually, unless things change, I probably never will.

First, the game told me I couldn’t have any more ships after I made six of ’em.  Of course, this being my fleet and all, I didn’t end up with a well-rounded bunch.  My half dozen cracked eggs ships have dumb names and redundant skills.

THIS SHIP SU... WAIT Upon closer inspection, it passes.

Upon closer inspection, it passes.

Given the ship counters I ended up with, I have such a low success probability that I can’t win unless I get lucky – and as we all know, luck is a @#%^ing @#^#er in WoW.  I hate the idea of destroying my ships by failing!  I’d much rather do it myself.  Alas, as far as I can tell, there’s no way for me to actually take a ship out into Draenor somewhere and run it onto some rocks.  (That’s a mission I could get behind.  Can we get that added to the game?  Kthx.)

So basically, I’m just sitting there twiddling my thumbs.


Regarding Tanaan itself, I apparently spent all my motivation points logging in and I got none left for the rest of it.  Admittedly, I’ve only done two or three quests thus far, but it seems like every single one of ’em has had at least one objective that’s somewhere really annoyingly far from where I currently stand.  Distance would be one thing if I could find a way to travel it easily (guildmates be all like, “USE AVIANA’S FEATHER”), but there are hostile mobs blocking all the roads.  They invariably – and I do mean INVARIABLY – knock me off my mount.  Never freaking fails.  I then die and do a corpse run, which restarts the whole thing because guess what?  I DIED SURROUNDED BY A BUNCH OF HOSTILE MOBS OMFG NOWHERE IS SAFE HELP MEEEEEE

(Anybody else remember that pro tip on the loading screen, the one that tells you you’re less likely to encounter mobs if you stick to a road?  AHAHAHAHA.) It’s such a pain in the tootsky to get anywhere!  Screw that!

I dunno, maybe I’m just in a phase or something –  it’s like I’m revisiting the Terrible Twos of my childhood.  It’s the new midlife crisis!  Blizz gently suggests that I do something, and all I can do in response is stomp my feet and yell “NO.”

Immerse yourself in our amazingly realistic dangerous and exciting world! 


I CAN’T EVEN IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE BORING PARTS thanks to my stupid ships … forget doing missions, I mean, who names a Forsaken battleship the “Boughs of Cenarius?”  WHO!?

Don't Think So Just NO

Don’t Think So
Just NO

Go care about Khadgar and do stuff for him!


Barkin' in the Wind NO I SAID, NO

Barkin’ in the Wind

So go do some rep grinds and get flying!


Classic Rageface  I SAID

Classic Rageface

I’m just going to go sit in Time Out now.  It’ll be better for everyone.

Best Metaphors are the Best Also, I'm an old fart now.

Best Metaphors are the Best
Also, I’m an old fart now.

When I did LFR, I immediately noticed an update to the experience:

Now That's Just Rubbing It In Delicious, delicious RNG.

Now That’s Just Rubbing It In
Delicious, delicious RNG.

So lemme get this straight.  Somebody, somewhere, thinks that other people’s loot matters to me …?  BWHAHAHAHA.  It even does this for dungeons!  Please tell me there’s a way to turn this off!

One reason I play goblins is because their self-interest is just so out there.  There’s no varnish to it, no attempt whatsoever at putting a socially acceptable shine on their motivations.  Gear and loot falls into that sort of “selfish” category for me – I care about mine, but I don’t really give a crap when it comes to what other people land (unless it’s something I wanted for myself).  Even when I’m raiding, I don’t care care about the loot my team members acquire.  Sure, I’m happy that they got something, and I’m aware that the better geared we each happen to be, the easier it is for us overall – but I am never the person going “OMFG YOU FINALLY GOT [INSERT NAME OF ITEM HERE] THAT YOU WANTED THE STATS ARE SO GREAT IT’S PERFECT FOR YOU LET ME SEND YOU A CONGRATULATIONS CARD.”  I’m also not the person who’s clueless about drops, because I have eagle eyes when it comes to loot.  I MUST KNOW WHAT WE GOT.  WHAT GRACIOUSNESS DID THE GAME BESTOW UPON PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ME!?

So when it comes to LFR …


No, seriously, I don’t.  This is especially true when I have not gotten any loot for the past several bosses and have received gold gold gold on my precious bonus rolls.  It’s even MORE true if I really want a particular item and somebody else lands it.

It was one thing to see Joe Schmoe from Wherever link his fancy new bow in chat.  It’s another thing for the game to be all like, GUESS WHAT JOE SCHMOE GOT THAT BOW

p.s.,  I was handed A NEW KIND OF TOKEN OH JOY.  Wait, they’re calling these Seals of Inevitable Fate?  Whahaha!  Given how Blizzard likes to force you to get new tokens for every damn thing under the sun, these are in fact inevitable!  /punny  Don’t tell me how many people have made the same joke, please.

So Tired. So, So Tired.

There’s been a lot of stress in my life lately, but I’ve found that WoW does not provide the escape or the entertainment that it used to.  At some point, I stopped having fun, and I started having a routine instead.  Sure, there have been moments here and there, but things just don’t seem hilarious the way they once did.  My gametime feels … tedious.

Bear-ly Making It How WoW feels lately ...

Bear-ly Making It
How WoW feels lately …

More blah blah blah after the cut!

Continue reading

Have Some More Opinion You Didn’t Need!

I’ve spent a long time thinking about the topic of flying.  I’ve railed against substandard ride quality.  It is, of course, time for yet more!

Some say flying is an ability we never should have had.  It narrowed our view of the world, made surviving in the world too easy.  It reduced player connection to Azeroth.  In the interview, a typical quest goal was mentioned in which the player must rescue some trapped NPC.  That player was once forced to “interact” with the world by killing his or her way to the NPC and back out again*.  Flying enabled that same player to drop in on top of the NPC, free it, then fly out again.

/violin We can't put the cat in the bag, but we can take the cat away from you.

We can’t put the cat back in the bag, but we can take the cat away from you.

Yes, flying made it easier and more convenient to get from Point A to Point B – and that very convenience, though apparently detrimental to game enjoyment, was part of why I was so involved in the game even when I didn’t necessarily care for the content.  Being involved was a large part of why I enjoyed the game – but it’s important to note that for me, this meant being involved with goals of my own choosing, which usually wasn’t slowly grinding my way through masses of mobs to have a “conversation” with an NPC I’d probably never see again.

Flying seems like the low-hanging fruit that’s easier to get rid of than it is to figure out why, exactly, I don’t give a flip about the NPC as a character, and instead see the NPC solely as a required step towards completing an objective.  Or, perhaps, why we’ve chosen and kept certain behaviors for mobs – they can look square at me while I’m landing on top of the NPC’s cage, but they do nothing about it if I’m beyond a certain distance.

Frankly, I haven’t been interested in WoW’s plot for a very long time, and I dropped raiding because the time required was more than my schedule could handle.  Running LFR and acquiring transmog gear became my primary activities in Azeroth, and as a result, I was traveling between multiple locations in different expansions quite frequently.  Flying and portals made that level of activity doable for me.

Without flying, I tend to lose steam.  I don’t care that much about this patch objective or that one, but I know I should probably go do it.  So let’s see, which is the closest flight path again?  Okay, if I go there (wait, do I have that one?  Yes, thank goodness, I do), it’s going to take me [insert amount of time here] to get from here to there, and then I’m gonna have to run around [insert problem like level 100 elite mobs or mountains here] … yeah, you know what?  I’d rather sit in my garrison.  I’m going to alt tab and read blogs while I’m stuck on the flight path anyway.**

But I keep getting drawn back to how the designers seem to think the world should feel more dangerous, and how they think flying is one of the primary culprits behind a staid experience.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t need the world to feel that way, because it hasn’t for ages. I’d rather somebody figure out how to give Aggra a better role instead of just dumping her in Nagrand rather unexpectedly, like, “Oh hey, you THOUGHT we forgot her but YOU’RE WRONG.  Just ignore the fact she doesn’t do much.”  I’d personally bake cakes or something if I could have a plot line devoted to a topic other than more manly orcs.  Hell, I’d totally go for a goblin-themed patch!  (I know I’m in the minority with that one.)

THIS ORC-CENTRIC FOCUS IS UNFAIR Goblin expac forever!!  Sassy Hardwrench for Warchief 2016!!

Goblin expac forever!! Sassy Hardwrench for Warchief 2016!!

I don’t think flying was the criminal responsible for sapping my ability to “immerse” myself in a fictional environment, either.  For me, the problem lies in how I have become a jaded old fart.  Time has passed and my skill level with games in general has increased as a result.  I’ve been running from killer monsters in MMOs and other games for years now, and I’m long past the point where mobs actually evoke terror.  Giant killer murdersheep in FFXI used to scare the bejeesus out of me and I would sprint from zone portal to zone portal – if I survived the initial encounter.  Now, meh.  Giant killer murder-anythings are old news (unless the ToT snails make a comeback).  Even crap that I know to be dangerous to my character’s well-being (thanks to my poor gear or low DPS ability on an alt) doesn’t frighten me like “the world” in games did when I first got my N64 and was freaking out about a whole extra dimension.  It’s just too familiar.

No, “dangerous” isn’t the feeling I get when I’m out and about trying to navigate a world without flying.  An MMORPG which keeps me on the ground with the aim of making things more realistic, dangerous, immersive, or what have you, feels mostly tedious.  I’ve done my duty, so to speak, walking from one end of the world to another in other games, years past.  I’ve waited for airships and zeppelins, taken slow boats across seas, and ridden chocobos and hawkstriders, and of course, all uphill in the snow both ways back in vanilla blah blah blah.

True, a lack of flying in and of itself isn’t necessarily stopping me from where I want to go.  Okay, so I run into some mountain cliff and I can find no obvious path to descend – I’ve got no problem throwing myself off the edge.  I run back to my corpse, then continue onward.  Or let’s say I run into elite mobs, get my ass kicked, and I die.  While I would prefer to make it alive, rinse-and-repeat corpse runs will do trick in a pinch.

Because I am jaded by time and familiar with how environment mechanics typically work in MMORPGs, there are usually two things that will stop me from getting somewhere – the amount of time taken by a particular activity, and the balance between effort spent and the reward for that effort.

Time I spend on the ground running like hell is fine in and of itself, but it’s time spent.  Time I spend fighting or dying to stuff that’s knocked me from my mount is also fine in and of itself, but again, it’s time spent.  After a point, I’m simply out of time to play the game, whether I’ve gotten to my destination or not.  I’d rather spend more time at my destination than getting there.

And if I’m running towards something I really really want, that’s one thing.  If I’m running towards something that I know I kinda sorta should do, but don’t really give a crap about, then that’s something else.  I’m simply going to have less tolerance for using my time on running like hell/dying/difficult terrain because the point at which it’s no longer worth it comes along much sooner.

So of course I’m going to fly to rescue that NPC.  Take flying away, and I’ll still find a way to minimize the effort I must put in.  If I’m on a rogue, I’m going to stealth.  I might use an invis pot if I have one available.  I might try to make a run for it, or I might creep around the entire questing area if it will reduce the number of mobs I must fight.  Being human and being stupid, I may even spend more effort trying to do it my way than I would’ve spent if I’d just done it the way it was designed.

* So if they want this to be a thing again, it seems to me like it would be awfully nice if they removed that EXP penalty they added a while back for killing a bunch of the same mobs in a row.  It was intended to stop bots from grinding, or something like that.

** If you want to talk about immersion and interaction with the game, I’d give players control by giving them flight and remove boring flight paths!

Going Greener

Prinnie: Okay, so, we’re going to try this green fire business.  It’s gotten easier thanks to gear, but rest assured – it will still be a long, tedious process, filled with immense challenge and requiring exact timing!

Ignitine: I’m not worried.

Prinnie: Are you ever?

Ignitine: No, actually.  Is that a problem?

We Got a Badass Over Here Of course you do.  She's a goblin warlock.

We Got a Badass Over Here
Of course you do. She’s a goblin warlock.

Continue reading

Prinnie’s Useless Horde Bodyguard Guide

Who Would DO Such a Thing Who, indeed.

Who Would DO Such a Thing
Who, indeed.

Name: Aeda Brightdawn
Class: Derplock
Semi-Bonus: An infernal summoned whenever she feels like it
Bonus: You can summon a party member!

Comments: Let’s be clear here – Aeda’s got some sorta ambition problem, and she likes to bite off way more than she can chew.  Despite being a clothie without a minion of her own, she tries to tank everything.  She will taunt off legit tanks who can actually tank.  If somebody is fighting mobs near you, she will randomly leap over there and taunt all that too, regardless of whether or not that’s a smart move.  She will taunt anything and everything, also with complete disregard to whether or not she actually stands a snowball’s chance in hell against it.  Just the other day, I joined a group to kill Tarlna the Ageless, and you guessed it – Aeda tried tanking her, too.  Yeah, no, Aeda.  Not happening.

Let's Practice "No" Repeat after me!  "NO!  NO!  NO!"

Let’s Practice “No”
Repeat after me! “NO! NO! NO!”

Prinnierating: Nope.  Would not use again.

Best Picture I Had Sorry, Leo.

Best Picture I Had
Sorry, Leo.

Name: Leorajh
Class: Catman
Semi-Bonus: An actually bloody-looking Bloodlust even if you don’t need it
Bonus: A command table, anywhere!

Comments: Extra extra bonus: if you are almost totally dead, he’ll cast the dinkiest Chain Heal ever.  Chances are it won’t actually be super helpful if you’re getting smashed to pieces by a bazillion adds (that would make him unfairly better than the rest), but hey, at least you feel like he’s trying to be supportive.  Leo here likes the Sun Rock, learning, and long walks around your Garrison on patrol.  Now that I’ve maxed out rep with him, I’m starting to feel bad about the lack of learning opportunities he gets, and I’m avoiding him at all costs.

Prinnierating: Okay, until you suddenly realize you’re not cut out to teach anybody anything about the world.

Ishaal and the Kitchen Sink The sink is in my bag.

Ishaal and the Kitchen Sink
The sink is in my bag.

Name: Talonpriest Ishaal
Class: Shadow Priest
Semi-Bonus: Not being crazy, I think
Bonus: Ishaal has a side contract with United Draenor Mail Service, so neither sleet, nor snow, nor a hail of orcs will stop you from getting your mail, no matter where you stand

Comments: At first, it seemed like the worst thing was going through all of Spires of Arak to get Ishaal, but then I realized it wasn’t that bad, since I needed the cash more than I hated the repetition.  In the end, I saw one big problem: bodyguards in general when combined with a pet-based class played by someone who is also into pet battling and who may also be joined at any given moment by quest-based NPCs.  Let’s see, there’s me, there’s my hunter pet, there’s my battle pet, there’s Rexxar’s bird, there’s my bird bodyguard and his enormous mount, and sometimes he summons a thingiethenameofwhichIforget too!

Prinnierating:  Dude is almost sane.  If you’ve suffered through max reputation with Aeda, Ishaal seems almost forgettable – and that’s good.

So Freaking Tall Seriously, I can't even see my mog when questing.

So Freaking Tall
Seriously, I can’t even see my mog when questing.

Name: Tormmok
Class: Warrior
Semi-Bonus: I don’t know, haven’t gotten that far
Bonus: Repairs, anywhere in Draenor, anytime

Comments: Tormmok is super close to a flight path and as a result he’s ridiculously easy to get, but even so, he happens to be standing nowhere in particular, which means you won’t run into him unless you’re specifically looking for him.  I’ve gone through Gorgrond four times now, and only the last time did I know where to look.  Tormmok has almost disturbingly defined nipples.  Seriously.  Whenever you look at him, he seems faceless thanks to the helm, so your eyes are drawn unwillingly ever downward, where they make themselves quite obvious.  New idea for a feature: TRANSMOG FOR BODYGUARDS.

Oh. You can put those away now, Tormmok.

You can put those away now, Tormmok.

In other news, Tormmok is EXTREMELY TALL (well, compared to a goblin at least), and thus I keep on clicking on him rather than the NPC or item I actually want to interact with.

Prinnierating: He’d be better if he would stand a little farther to one side so I can see NPCs again.  [EDIT: Just read the patch notes and saw “A vendor at the Barracks now sells an item that allows a character to shrink their Bodyguards for 60 minutes.”  PERFECT.]

Vivianne ... Look Up "Context" Eels don't have estates, unless there's an entire eel civilization we've just wiped out.

Vivianne … Look Up “Context”
Eels don’t have estates, unless there’s an entire eel civilization we’ve just wiped out.

Name: Vivianne
Class: Confused Mage
Semi-Bonus: ZOMG METEORS!!! (And a Cauterize should you be near death)
Bonus: A portal back to your Garrison!

Comments: Vivianne is chatty to the point of being somewhat irritating (like pretty much every NPC ever in WoD).  We were in Nagrand one day when she went totally bonkers on me and wouldn’t stop saying the same things over and over and over, even when we were just standing there.  Reloading did nothing, so it turned awkward.  I didn’t know whether I should scream back or do the good ol’ polite smile-and-nod while privately hoping she’d get herself together sometime soon.  Suffice it to say, the experience made me feel a bit iffy on Vivianne.  Still, lots of people loooooooove her sayings, so I guess I’m the only one she’s done that to.

Also, p.s., on the “Vivianne, what are you smoking?” front, her phrases aren’t necessarily, uh, applicable to the mob in question (see image, above).

Vivianne, Vivacious To this day I do not know what set her off.

Vivianne, Vivacious
To this day I do not know what set her off.

Prinnierating: Okay, as long as she doesn’t lose it.