May 27th 2008 2:18PM "If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
May 26th 2008 6:58AM I dislike all of the Battlegrounds. I dislike AV the least, AB and EotS are less acceptable, and I view WSG with the same revulsion that I would view large, messy roadkill in front of my house. This is partially because I'm not a huge fan of PvP, but the stupidity displayed by many fellow players exacerbates it.
To me, the Battlegrounds are a lamentable chore. I am online a lot more than my friends, detest PuGs, and the Battlegrounds are a way to get some decent gear because Blizzard has seen fit to not implement many solo-friendly paths to gear. Everything either requires a lot of instance-running or hitting the Battlegrounds. So, it's off to the Battlegrounds I go.
I think something that would make it more interesting is if players received random quests within a place like AV. Some players would get the "kill X opposing faction players at Tower Y" quest, some would get the "Be present when Bunker X is captured" quest, and so on. Basically, give people quests around the idea of solid tactics (attacking and defending where needed), and try to balance the number of people on each quest within any one game. Players must complete a quest before they can accept another quest, but they may complete many per day for extra honor or what have you. That might make things more interesting than the idiotic zergfest that my battlegroup views as tactically sound.
May 20th 2008 2:23PM I hate crowds, so I waited until this last weekend to start the SSO dailies. It's still busy, but it's not a zoo. I am really enjoying the quests on the Isle, because there are so many in such close proximity, and there is variety in the types of quests that take you to Outland. In all, I think they've designed this daily rep grind well, so it does not feel like a chore to me.
I only have Netherwing unlocked on one of my six level 70s, but I've found that once I hit Exalted there with my Warlock, I've not gone back much at all. Some of the quests seemed sort of bugged, the drop rates on some of the items are annoying, and it just seems so far out of the way. The Isle has a portal to it, in comparison.
I only have one character with 375 Fishing, but that's an easy one to knock out, and can be quite lucrative. The cooking one is less lucrative, but is usually also fast and easy.
I'll do pretty much everything but PvP dailies. I detest world PvP and the battlegrounds are a serious chore to me. The other dailies, though, are relaxing and easy... something to do while waiting for friends to get an instance run going.
May 19th 2008 3:01PM Great post. And happy birthday to pops!
Blizz needs to add "The Popener" to the game... clearly, reduces foe's armor... :-)
May 18th 2008 8:23PM "Tran said: Dude, Arthas is 10 mannable? Lame. Discuss with lorefication!
Answer: I don't personally like the idea of Arthas being able to be killed by 10 people. It's rather anti-climactic for the biggest bad."
I am really looking forward to people getting over this.
First of all, it's totally irrelevant: An encounter can be quite epic for a small group. It can be 'epic' for an individual. It's about the design and difficulty for the number of people involved. A larger group does not make an encounter any more 'epic,' it just makes it larger.
Second, fantasy fiction is rife with examples of the small group succeeding where the large group could not. It is the heroic actions of a few that win out where an army could not do the job. A large raid is a strike force, a small group is more a band of 'heroes.' If anything, it is the large group that serves as a diversion at best while the small group or the individaul saves the day. It is not numbers that one brings to the encounter that leads to victory in most fantasy fiction, but the guile, ingenuity, and resolve of the heroic few.
Perhaps people do grasp that last point, and it is the definition of "the heroic few" that is causing people to stress out. For some, it's "lame" that one can beat Arthas with only 10 people. For others, the number is less important than the feel of the encounter. I'm in the latter camp, and feel that the hang up over group size is more a matter of historical inertia within the MMO community than it is a reasonable assesment of difficulty levels and thrills of encounters.
Who is to say that we will "beat" Arthas at all? There are numerous examples in fiction where the best effort of the most stalwart heroes does nothing but drive the evil off, threatening to return again some day. People are making all sorts of assumptions about what we'll be doing with our different groups in WotLK. These assumptions may be unfounded, and Blizzard, as is their tendency, may surprise us all. This includes how "epic" different raid sizes can or will feel.
May 16th 2008 7:01PM "allows you to literally castle, switch positions with someone"
A chess reference? Awesome.
My Warrior basically died at 60. I tried to keep him going, but I find other classes to be more fun. But this and Mr. Rossi's Shaman column remain my favorites on this sight... for excellent insight, and for gems like what I quoted.
May 13th 2008 5:24PM "Did you ever stop to think in your post that maybe there are guilds out there who raid 25 man instances and are all friends and now these people are forced to play like loot whores if they want to play together because their content is now all able to be seen in 10 mans and easier, so why would they do it?" -- Spoony
If you're friends with all of the people in your guild that can do 25-man content, that is fantastic. I applaud you, and you should feel lucky that you found something that many people in this game cannot find. When Wrath comes out, level with those friends of yours and continue to have fun. Play the new 25-man raids and beat them. You have a great setup now, there's no need to mess with what works.
If there are people who point and laugh and call you a loot whore... who cares? What do they know? You're with your friends, you're having fun, and you're playing the game the way you want to play it. Ignore them.
Likewise, there will be people who very much prefer the 10-man style of play, and will get every bit as much enjoyment out of their raids as you get out of yours. Do not resent them for that, and do not view it as a negative that they finally get to experience "the whole story" of the game. It is a different story, in a sense, than the one that you have, but it's finally open to them. Let them enjoy it.
May 10th 2008 5:36PM You have very good points, but your list is incomplete. Take, for instance, my situation.
I am single. I have no kids. I don't even have a goldfish. I have plenty of time. I'm also an excellent team player, take instructions well, and would do what is needed when it is needed. My organizational skills are excellent, and I'm always prepared. In that sense, I'd make an excellent raider.
The fact of the matter is, I do not want to do 25-man raids. I consider 10-man content to be at the very edge of the number of people I want to group with at a time. Any more than that, and I do not feel like I'm really interacting with the people... they're really just pixels on a screen and lines in a WWS report. It's too impersonal. I've been along with groups of people that I know to kill Gruul... was, in fact, on their very first successful effort against him... and I found the experience to be much less fun than 10-man content. People that I knew to be quite personable came across as flat and uninteresting when their contribution got lost in the large raid context.
I do not play this game to get shiny loot. I play this game for the visual feast and to knock out fun stuff with the interesting people I meet along the way. To me, the raid environment does not enhance the personal aspects of the game, and instead detracts from it. Five and ten man content is much better at feeling challenging while also allowing for me to make a connection to all of the people involved. For that reason, I am certainly looking forward to the fact that I can see more in Wrath, with the group sizes that I like.
May 9th 2008 5:07PM Allow me to preface this by saying that I am not a raider. I prefer small content. That may color your view of what I have to say.
I think the 25-man raids will be fine if for no other reason than competition. The competitive gamers (not me) care who is at the top of the Arena rankings or who got the "world firsts" in raids. Do you think anyone is going to care who got a world first in a 10-man raid? No. Will the world firsts of 25-man raids make the pages of WoW Insider. Most assuredly.
Who won the last Little League World Series? I doubt more than 10 WoW Insider readers could answer that without hitting up Google, even those that care about baseball.
Now, who won the last Major League World Series? Many more WoW Insider readers could answer that, even those only tangentially interested in baseball.
The 25-man content will be the big leagues. The 10-man stuff will be fun, and will be important and engaging to those taking part in it, even challenging. For somebody like me, it's actually preferable, as the smaller environment lets me interact more closely with my fellow players, and probably allows each person to feel more involved. But for the competitive gamer, the 25-man is "where it's at," and even if the rewards were only slightly better, there are plenty of people who play this game who have a competitive streak and who will thirst to get those kills before others.
Mind you, I think the rewards will draw enough other people to go for the 25-man content, but that will not be what carries the day. What will keep 25-mans vibrant is that Blizzard will make them cool, and plenty of people will climb that mountain because it is there.