Tag Archives: maybe someday will be better

So, Uh

Oh Hey Hi Hai dere

Oh Hey
Hi
Hai dere

Ohai

So I ended up reading my own blog and I’m kind of missing the batshittery.  Kind of.  I’m not entirely convinced yet.

Anybody else still out there?  Any new hi-larious blogs?  Is Sassy Hardwrench Warchief yet?  Are there less orcs around?  Have we started being nicer to lazy-ass casuals who just want more mog and less RNG in their lives?  Does LFR have any amusement to it?  Can I skip Draenor or will somebody hang out with me if I go there because I just don’t think I can deal with Tanaaaaah by myself?  Maybe?

All Things In Their Turn

OMFG Yes, the time has come.

OMFG
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!

Tanaah

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.

THIS SHIP SU… WAIT
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.

GO SHIPYARDS WOO

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! 

NO

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!

NO!  I LIKED WRATHIE-POO WHERE’S WRATHIE-POO

Barkin' in the Wind NO I SAID, NO

Barkin’ in the Wind
NO I SAID, NO

So go do some rep grinds and get flying!

NO I HATE EVERYTHING YOU’RE NOT MY MOM

Classic Rageface  I SAID

Classic Rageface
I SAID “NO,” MOTHER TRUCKER

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 …

I DON’T WANNA KNOW WHAT PEOPLE GET.

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.

/violin
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!!

THIS ORC-CENTRIC FOCUS IS UNFAIR
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!

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.

Oh.
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.

 

 

I Give Up (on Tokens, Not in General)

Last week, Ignitine was still wearing a quest robe (item level was like, 603 or something), and what I wanted more than anything was a robe that was just a little less embarrassing – that one that Tectus drops would fit the bill real well.  Unfortunately, last week’s LFR loot results were as follows:

Kargath Bladefist: Shoes I already had
Everybody else: Gold

You Shall Not Haz Oh.  Okay den.

You Shall Not Haz
Oh. Okay den.

I didn’t have any extra rolls, because one of the challenges altoholics have is how we never seem to have quite enough of any one resource to get the full three tokens.  Ignitine is still maxing out her garrison buildings, so she’s low on both Garrison Resources and gold (for eff’s sake, why are those plans so expensive!?), and I don’t really PvP unless there’s that ONE perfect transmog item I NEED that cannot be substituted for anything else.  But by golly, I wanted to up Ignitine’s gear score and I was fixated on that awful robe, so I finally scraped together enough gold and got myself a shiny token.  SWEET, I GOT A TOKEN.  TIME TO RUN LFR AGAIN.

Ready Check for Murder Ok, ok, so this is a dungeon ready check and not one for LFR, but I found it on Pinterest and was like, IT'S PERFECT FOR THIS

Ready Check for Murder
Ok, ok, so this is a dungeon ready check and not one for LFR, but I found it on Pinterest and was like, IT’S PERFECT FOR THIS (despite the pixelation)

The queue finally pops, but then we wipe because they pulled all the trash without tanks.  Okay.  I’m not upset yet.  I’m not gonna leave, I really want to try for that freaking robe.  That was just a derp, really, and you gotta assume that LFR is gonna derp (despite how easy it is these days). We get Tectus down, and it’s time for my extra roll squee!

Given the title of this post, I’m sure you know the result.

BUT LO!  What’s this!?  My followers got a rare mission for a single token!  SQUEE!  ANOTHER CHANCE!  TIME TO DO IT AGAIN!

The queue pops, and we make it to Tectus without wiping.  Alas, the tank pulls Tectus too far out of the area and resets him at about 35%.  Okay.  I’m not upset yet.  I’m not gonna leave, I really want to try for that freaking robe.  We get Tectus down, and it’s time for my extra roll squee!

Yes.  Gold again.

Given that RNG and I are now obviously estranged, this is not a new problem for me.  I realize they can’t just hand us loot, or people would moan about LFR being even more of a gift-giving trainwreck than it already is.  But it’s like, dude, for the time I put into identifying that low piece of gear as THE PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED, getting the extra token, queueueueueing and killing the boss all the while getting my hopes up that the SOLUTION IS AT HAND – and repeating the whole shebang on multiple alts – that gold just sucks.

After cursing the name of RNG through Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring, Throne of Thunder and Siege of Orgrimmar, I believe I have enough experience to conclude that the only real protection against dashed hopes is to stop inviting hope in the first place – so no more tokens for me!  If they happen to come my way via follower mission, that’s fine.  But I’m sure as hell not going to actively pursue getting three tokens per week.  The satisfaction of knowing that I did everything possible to improve my gear is nothing compared to the annoyance of knowing I did everything within my power and still ended up with no gear to show for it.

 

 

(p.s., I think I rather preferred the ubiquitous bags that you opened rather than looting the bosses, for two reasons – one, you can open on the run, which is important in LFR, and two, you had a small chance of random crap like belts and pets that made the gold seem somehow less stupid.)

 

#draenorworldproblems

I just got the level 3 Storehouse.  FINALLY, right?  MY OWN TRANSMOG JOINT.

So I sprint the hell over, all thrilled, and I start trying out different combinations of the stuff I have in storage.  This could work with this, and that might go well, and let’s try that weapon, and how about dem shoes when all of a sudden, the @#%$er moves, the dialog closes, and I am filled with nerdrage.

I take a deep breath.  I try again.  Off Warpweaver Farshlah goes to look at that other box.  You know, the one he looked at a minute ago.

WAT ARE YOU DOING

IF YOU MUST WANDER, WHY THE HELL CAN’T YOU AT LEAST STAY IN RANGE

It’s not like I can RUSH!  I can’t just mog any old thing together!  My combinations must be chosen carefully!  They require thought!  A solid judgement of color!  A sense of proportion!  SOMETIMES I HAVEN’T EVEN SELECTED AN ITEM YET AND HE MOVES.

Okay, I thought.

Let’s try organizing Void Storage.

I’m going to click on this shield here, and then click on the second tab, and then click in that sp… WHY DID YOU MOVE, YOU SON OF A MOTHER TRUCKING

Sworn Enemies They'd be frenemies, but we were never friends

Sworn Enemies
They’d be frenemies, but we were never friends

I can’t.

I just can’t.


Not Sure I Want to Know Sometimes, it's just better to let burning warlocks burn.

Not Sure I Want to Know
Sometimes, it’s just better to let burning warlocks burn.

My followers are always birds of a feather, so to speak.  Thermalix is swamped with followers who can counter Minion Swarms, and I’ve only had one mission to get a follower retraining certificate.  This is a certified pain in the whozawhatzit when considered from the perspective of my Plan: Gobligeddon*.

The first time I used my inn to recruit a follower, I searched for the Scavenger trait.  I had not gotten a follower with it Hordeside, and Bombelina was in the throes of a resource shortage due to the way a high population server can clear-cut the entirety of Gorgrond in a minute or less.  (I have since discovered that if I log on at four a.m. server time, TREES EVERYWHERE.)  Once I started leveling this follower, though, it occurred to me that the Scavenger trait is actually kinda pointless.  Number one, it’s not like you get that many missions for garrison resources, and number two, the mission probably has a threat said follower can’t counter and will fail in attempting anyway.

HOW DO I LOG Gathering resources is sometimes difficult.

HOW DO I LOG
Gathering resources is sometimes difficult.

So screw that. My current plan is to look exclusively for followers with Epic Mount, and pray to Gawd that they also have an ability that would actually be useful to me (if it’s Minion Swarms or Timed Battle, I will possibly have to punch someone).  The higher level missions are always ridiculously long, which I find problematic.  I only play for a couple/few hours in the evening, and sometimes in the morning before I leave for work.  I’d like to see my salvage crates followers more than once in a blue moon, thank you very much!


GO AWAY I will not be asking the Tauren to be my guards anytime soon kthxbye.

GO AWAY
I will not be asking the Tauren to be my guards anytime soon kthxbye.

Can someone tell that Tauren representative to get out of the middle of the room?  He BOTHERS me.  He just STANDS there and scratches himself.  He doesn’t walk around, or tell jokes, or say hi, or anything!  No, he just stands there like a creepy cow.


Now, about those “eff over disrupt the enemy” daily quests … I had gotten one from Khadgar’s elemental-thing that wanders around my garrison (I think?), but after that, I forgot about them completely until Cav inquired if I wanted to go irritate some ogres.  I next proceeded to shatter Cav’s faith in my intelligence by asking where he got these fancypants quests.  He could not get his head around the fact that I did not know.  After attempting to glue together the pieces of his broken mind, he finally told me, “that table in your town hall …”

Oh!  You mean that troll guy I ignore because he always says the same boring thing to me when I leave the building!

SHOCK Oh, THAT guy!

SHOCK
Oh, THAT guy!

Why the hell did Blizzard make it so that everybody in your faction is doing the quest in the same place on the same damn day?  I mean, really.  PITA on a high pop server for sure, as you have to be constantly on the lookout for things that aren’t dead.  They’re hard to find.

I'll Show Myself Out Now We're done here.

I’ll Show Myself Out Now
We’re done here.

 

 

* Every single active follower will some day be either a goblin or some sort of mechanical contraption, like Pleasure-Bot 8000.  Since you can’t search for followers by race (or, errr, metal type?), retraining certificates would make this much easier!

Yawnmaul

So last week I moved, and it was A Week, which essentially means that every single day was written off as total crap.  I’d decided that as soon as we got the internet working in the new place, I had to play WoW.  Therefore, I set myself up on a little end table (my desk had not yet been moved) and dinged my knee pretty hard so that I could try out at least one wing of the new LFR.

Nope nope, outdated.  Start over.

So last week I pretty much had a meltdown

Let’s rephrase that.

So my various families observed the holidays last week, which essentially means that every single day was devoted to things “in the real world” and not the digital.  This is me, though, so I snuck away for a little WoW time here and there!

Oh wait, it’s outdated again!

So last week was New Year’s and the Significant Other got the flu, which essentially means that every single day was

You know what, forget it.  This, children, is why you should publish your blog posts before a million things happen, because otherwise you do more things and you’ve gotta revise.  Repeatedly.

I also recently switched to a new computer.  While my four year old CPU was literally a tower of processing power at one time, it has now been eclipsed by a creation capable of showing reflections on water surfaces, and ripples on the water, and dramatic views off into the far distance, and light beams and all that fancy visual crap!  Alas, I was too excited to transfer all my screenshots at that time, so while they are not exactly lost, they are unavailable at the time of this posting.  GIFS FOR ALL INSTEAD.

Derp Derp Derp Derp Don't mind me.

Derp Derp Derp Derp
Don’t mind me.

While waiting in the long DPS queue, I pondered why you had to get a silver in the proving grounds for heroic dungeons, but not for LFR, even though incompetence would inconvenience a far larger group of people in the latter.  To me, the “natural order” has always been something like Dungeons (Normal > Heroic) > LFR > Real Raiding™, but guildmates insisted that heroic dungeons are supposed to be harder than LFR nowadays.  So now it’s more like Normal Dungeons > LFR > Heroic Dungeons > Real Raiding™.  Oh, and LFR is obsolete because of flex, or so I’m told.

How LFR Works Now After all, it requires little skill these days.

How LFR Works Now
Well, kinda how it always did.

Anyway, I was assured that the first wing of Highmaul LFR would be a total faceroll, and indeed, it was.  On the upside, there were only three bosses to the first wing, which I think is the darn perfect number for an LFR session – not too brief and therefore unsatisfying, but not too long and therefore irritating.  On the downside, the “challenge” level of LFR has been scaled to a point where even I, consummate lazy bum that I am, think there maaaaay be a problem.  If you make most things this easy,  you are guaranteed to get at least one or more stacks of Determination when the group reaches a boss that can’t simply be smashed to bits like the bosses before it (see: Ko’ragh, I haven’t tried that wing again yet).  Also, I get a feeling of “uh, wow.  Was that it?”

Kargath Bladefist
So I guess Kargath hooks some people with chains and throws ’em into the audience (I’m told it’s a random selection in LFR).  That didn’t happen to me, though, so I was bored.  It felt kind of like the Sha of Fear LFR fight, but with more testosterone and less fleeing in terror.  There were these “Flame Pillar” fiery skull-things that popped up and disappeared throughout the fight.  They’re apparently very important for interrupting Kargath’s Berserker Rush, but he didn’t target me for that, either, and I wasn’t dumb enough to stand next to them, so shape of the burning pillars reminded me of those round tube-like brushes you see in car washes.  Suddenly I was thinking of cleaning things …

How to improve: Get Kargath some shampoo and open the freaking Tiger Pits, and maybe have some tigers with blades on their paws pop out of them!  Yeah, that’s a great idea!

The Butcher
How was this even considered a boss?  I’ve met snails tougher than that!  Oh wait, he gave me loot, therefore, he is a boss.  Somehow.

How to improve: Get rid of this guy, or at least give him his primary mechanic back.  I mean, seriously, he is embarrassing right now.

Brackenspore
This one seemed more fun with the different kinds of adds spawning.  There must’ve been a handful of experienced folk present, because otherwise I cannot explain how the group went in swinging and came out alive without any stacks of Determination.

How to improve: First, add more flamethrowers.  Second, replace Brackenspore with Thok v2, and instead of mushrooms and plants appearing throughout the fight, have a bunch of mini raptor-sized Thoks show up instead.  Their bites would debilitate you in different ways!  If you got “Lose a Leg,” you’d experience a 35% reduction to mobility.  “Nomming on Your Noggin” would slow your casting speed, and so on.

I Am a Mighty Lion Thrashing All the Bosses in LFR

I Am a Mighty Lion
Thrashing All the Bosses in LFR

All in all, I do appreciate the move away from encounters where one person doing something stupid at the very start can screw the whole thing up, a la talking to Lorthie or Wrynn and beginning the Galakras fight before a tower team has been chosen (or before everybody’s zoned in).  Still, I kind of miss the LFR ToT level of challenge.  Okay, okay, I miss the LFR ToT level of challenge minus Durumu and Lei Sheeyit.  I definitely miss the snails.  I hope there’s something quirky like them in one of the later wings that gives this raid some character.

 

 

Life in the Slow Lane

Warp Speed Plz WE NEED TO GO TO PLAID

Warp Speed Plz
WE NEED TO GO TO PLAID

Okay.  Now that Bombelina’s been at 100 for a bit, I’ve gotten the Silver proving grounds requirement done for her DPS spec and I’ve had a chance to run a few dungeons, some normal and some heroic.  The proving grounds weren’t bad once I remembered which waves were what mobs, as NOT GETTING STUNNED helped with polishing a wave off with time to spare, which in turn let me prepare for the next by dropping my Capacitator Combustostunulator Totem, refreshing my Searing Totem and throwing out an Earthquake for the extra damage.

Dungeons?  Well …

We've Earned It So much wiping.  So much.

We’ve Earned It
So much wiping. So much.

Grimrail Depot: Bleh.  Can we talk camera angles?  I can’t see sheeyit, which is an issue, as I’ve accidentally pulled things more than once – I’ll think that I’ve tab-targeted THAT orc right in front of the tank, but it turns out to be that OTHER orc over THERE that I couldn’t see because of some crap hanging from the ceiling.  Also, my camera zooms in and out like it’s drunk.

Should Probably Shut Up Now But what if there are WATERLANDS too!?

Should Probably Shut Up Now
But what if there are WATERLANDS too!?

Shadowmoon Burial Grounds: Oooh, this one is purple, and that’s my favorite color!  But dear Gawd in heaven above, Ner’zhul is killer on dungeon groups who can’t coordinate worth crap.

The Birdhouse Skyreach: I don’t know why, but I seem to be super-challenged by narrow path wind mazes.  That one priest who tried to Life Grip me out had good intentions, but he probably wasn’t predicting that the wind on the stairs would blow me off said stairs to my death.  There’s also lag there, since my computer is old and reacts to the dramatic view distance by freaking the hell out.

Everbloom: What’s going on?  Where are we?  What the hell is with all these stupid golden flowers everywhere?

BOOMERANG ROCKS Who knew rocks could return to whoever threw 'em?

BOOMERANG ROCKS
Who knew rocks could return to whoever threw ’em?

Bloodmaul Slag Mines: Who let ogres have fire?  And who put a boss fight on a narrow bridge with giant stunning boulders of fiery death going back and forth?  Seriously, the only way they could’ve made that more painful for me was by placing the fight on some bridge made of STAIRS.  If I’m not getting my casts interrupted by dodging, I’m getting run over and stunned, and if it’s not either of those, then sorry, I can’t reincarnate right now, because I fell off the bridge and am in the lava.

No Invisible Wall Here Trust me, I tested.

No Invisible Wall Here
Trust me, I tested.

UBRS: Man, I so don’t remember Zaela having a batsheeyit crazyass voice prior to this expac … other than that, WE’RE ALL ON FIRE AND CAN WE KILL THOSE DRAKES OR SOMETHING BECAUSE FIRE NEVER MIND WE WIPED.

Dungeons have also made me reconsider which character I “main,” in the sense that I prioritize some alts over others.

In Cataclysm, I was so bad at shaman healing and so indifferent with elemental, I deleted my never-maxed shaman alt.  Then, I loved shaman in Mists.  Most importantly, the casting speeds were quick enough to work with my button mashing tendencies, while 300k mana meant that said button mashing didn’t cripple me when I got a little excited and went overboard – I could get my groove on with the rotation, if you know what I mean.  The rotation wasn’t too damn complex and it wasn’t overly reliant on procs that I couldn’t depend on (I HATE YOU FROST MAGE), while having just enough shiny button procs to keep things interesting.  The automatic double cast with Echo of the Elements made me feel like a default badass BECAUSE MORE CASTING.  Basically, Echo of the Elements made it like HAHAHAHAHA OMFG LAVA AND LIGHTNING EVERYWHERE HAHAHAHA.  I could use Lightning Bolt while moving, I loved my lightning elemental buddy from the SoO tier gear, and Ghost Wolf was like my next favorite thing ever. Bored while waiting for a pull, you say?  Ghost wolf and /dance!  I could DPS!  I could switch and heal!  I was versatile before Versatility existed!

Of course, the Powers That Be decreed this state of affairs wasn’t challenging enough.

I Miss Mine More Than You Miss Yours Uh, on second thought, since we died because of yours ...

I Miss Mine More Than You Miss Yours
Uh, on second thought, since we died because of yours …

Now, it feels like I am SO FREAKISHLY SLOW unless I get lucky with procs.  If we’re fighting mobs with minor amounts of HP (think the tiny trash spiders in Shadowmoon Burial Grounds), I may not even get a single cast off (depending on the competence of melee).  I’ve also noticed that my DPS has gone down the tubes to a degree that’s beyond “no longer wearing tier gear.”  Not only am I slow – I’m wimpy.  (In those cases where I am the top DPS in a dungeon, which has happened, we are totally slow and sometimes just effed, i.e., Ner’zhul.)  Is it because I don’t get as many spells off?  Is it because I hate the global cooldown triggered by Unleash Weapon when it feels like every freaking second counts if I want to get one damned cast in, and not using Unleash Weapon All The Time reduces your overall output by a crapton?  I’m not looking to be top DPS – I know that I don’t have the gear I used to.  It’s just that Shaman used to be a thing where I didn’t have to be some sort of freaking master gamer to land at #2 or #3 in terms of damage – I just had to pay attention and prioritize.  Now, even when I try hard, I’m still left way far behind.

The slow casting makes my button mashing tendencies worse because I get frustrated.  It’s a good thing that the red “that spell isn’t ready yet” messages disappear off the screen after about three of ’em or so – otherwise my screen would be covered.  I feel frustrated when a mob is already mostly dead and I still haven’t finished my first cast yet, which causes me to hit the buttons JUST BECAUSE CAST ALREADY DAMMIT.  Sometimes, my low DPS makes me irritated because it’s somehow not worth all the time I spent casting.  I also get annoyed when tanks pull two mobs instead of three, because I want the maximum number of charges on Earthquake for Gawd’s sake, HELP ME OUT HERE.

And I miss casting while moving, a lot.  I had one freaking spell I could use like that.  But nooooOOOOooooo that was TOO EASY, or something.  So now, not only can we NOT cast while moving in general (yes yes, I know, Spiritwalker’s Grace, which I use in tandem with Ascendance because OMFG does it PISS ME OFF when I use Ascendance and then have to interrupt my casts in order to move), we got a bunch of dungeon encounters where you have to move or DIE (OMFG NER’ZHUL), which means I get interrupted more often than not because I have to skedaddle.  Since I feel like my casts are slow right now, it starts to seem like getting a spell off AT ALL is something akin to a miracle.  All in the name of “challenge,” right?  Well, I call that sorta situation a PITA.

Not As Advertised Supposed to stop Fear, Charm, etc.  FAILS.

Not As Advertised
Supposed to stop Fear, Charm, etc. FAILS.

Also, dude, WTF, my tremor totem used to be, you know, USEFUL.  Now it doesn’t do a damned thing for Fear effects in dungeons, even though it says it should.  I am filled with small-time hate over that.

I know Blizzard can’t make everybody happy, and part of my problem is hanging onto the idea of the shaman as my main even when it’s obvious things have changed in a way my playstyle is not compatible with.  So my other two Horde options are Thermalix (ye old hunter), and Ignitine (goblin warlock with bad ideas).  From what I’ve seen through Dungeon Finder, neither class is derping quite as much as shaman is right now.  On the one hand, I wouldn’t have to worry about cast times or moving while casting on Thermalix.  On the other, Ignitine gets less crap simply by virtue of not being a hunter, and warlocks still have a lot of oomph.

Tangent: Can I just say I’m terrified of healing right now?  I’ve only done the Bronze proving grounds and haven’t even tried healing a real group, mostly because I’ve been watching the HP in these dungeons, and it seems clear that weaker healers struggle with the current setup.  (This goes for almost every single holy paladin I’ve met so far …)  It’s almost like the game design thought process is, “make mobs hit hard and make healing spells weaker, because keeping somebody at max health isn’t exciting or challenging!”  In practice, when one’s competence is determined by “keeping people alive” and that is most effectively done by keeping their HP as far away from death as possible, not having the same oomph sucks.  “This will limit healing to people who really want to do it,” you say.  “Only the people who are decent at it will do it!”  I guess so.  But putting the annoyance factor so high stops people from healing on the side, trying out a new spec or helping guildies/friends by healing a dungeon for ’em – and that seems like an overall loss.