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Hi, remember me? I've been here since 2004 {WoW}

Mar 10th 2012 8:41AM The long-term customers are the ones who not only pay their monthly fee, we also pay for realm changes, faction changes, gender, race and name changes, every mount that comes along, most of the pets that Blizzard provides and, of course, the authenticator. We put a heck of a lot more money into Blizzard than just our monthly fee. We're far more than just a utility customer.

Obviously we get what we pay for: solid, round-the-clock, uninterrupted playtime in a game that is virtually bug-free despite being extremely high-tech. Frequent, regular updates of content and balancing of character abilities over the years, constantly progressing forward. A virtually unheard-of amount of interaction with the designers and GMs in order to handle our complaints and concerns and requests for content design, fixes, and changes. I understand all of this. I appreciate it.

But recognizing/rewarding customer loyalty is a good business tactic. Google it and see for yourself.

And right now, when we're at the end of the xpac and have no solid ETA for the next one (*crossing fingers for more info this week*), when we've just come through a major content patch that has mixed reviews and resulted in many friends leaving because they were bored or disgruntled or both, when really the only thing left to do is to putz around with *alts* for a bit... this Scroll of Rez bites more than a little. "Gee, if you don't play you can get a free 80, but if you've paid faithfully every month for years..... screw you! You can damn well spend the days/weeks leveling!!"

Sure, I have things that others don't because I've been here longer. Hello, that's the way of the world! But the particular combination of rewarding customers who *don't care enough to stick around* with something that the loyal, uninterrupted payers actually want... well, that's just bad business. Obviously, since this conversation is taking place in every corner of the WoWiverse.

Ready Check: Tiered raid progression vs. raid accessibility {WoW}

Feb 11th 2012 8:46AM jjustaposter says: Simple. The hardcore gamer gave the scrubs something to aspire to and were also solid long term customers themselves.

This. For all that it's crude, it's also true. I started playing 2 months before WotLK came out and heard the stats for Sunwell clears. My first thought was: "I want to be THAT good, to be in that 1%. What do I have to do to get there?" I was inspired to reach for the top. All human societies are competitive, with competitions for everything from physical sports to contests of intellect to pie baking. Competition is a fundamental driving force in our species.

But for some reason, people think that shouldn't apply to raiding. Here, the playing field has to be leveled, so that just by wanting to have something, you get it. That kind of paradigm will fail, of course.

Ready Check: Tiered raid progression vs. raid accessibility {WoW}

Feb 11th 2012 8:24AM LFR has become the "introductory".

My problem with the LFR is that it was designed to give more people a chance to experience the content (a wonderful thing) but it a) doesn't teach them how to raid properly, while b) offering a substantial reward that leaves players assuming that they're now raiders.

I lead both a progression group (doing HMs) and a casual group (normals). The casuals sometimes grumble that they should be "allowed" to do what the progression group does, yet their actual numbers are a substantial difference lower than the hardcore group - by some 15k on bosses like Ultraxion, and by 20K or more on Madness. As a whole, the casuals geared a lot faster because they were all doing LFR every week, but they only now cleared Madness (ie post nerf), and with fewer than 5 seconds left on the timer. They're limiting themselves - I'm not doing to them by not allowing them to see heroic bosses. Gear does not make you a progression raider. *What you do with it* does.

This will probably get voted down, because it seems like people prefer thinking that wanting = having, but as a raid leader, I have to deal with the reality and the *mentality* that LFR has created and I'm not going to be quiet about that. And I know it's just not from my own casual raiders, I listen in trade and read the forums - and the comments here. I have an alt in a tiny guild on another server and last night was listening to one of them gripe heartily about the fact that he was turned down from raiding with a pug, even - he was quoting his 20k dps and all his LFR gear as sufficient reason to go and declared that he WOULD do a heroic raid sometime, dangit!!!! >:{ As the conversation continued, it became very clear that he felt that because he'd completed the raid in LFR and had all his tier from there and weapons and so on, that he was now ready to step up into heroic modes. Yet his best damage output is what my hardmode raiders were pushing two tiers ago. This kind of thinking is prevalent today, is directly tied to LFR, and it's the destruction of raiding, in my opinion.

Breakfast Topic: Has the early Cataclysm gearing model failed? {WoW}

Feb 1st 2012 8:19AM Oh, definitely. I like getting everything I want for zero effort. I need Blizzard to remodel the money tree too, please.

Of course, gear doesn't translate to skill - didn't they nerf content yesterday because all these geared players can't kill Deathwing on normal mode?

Shifting Perspectives: The druid of 2011, part 2 {WoW}

Jan 3rd 2012 8:06PM Hmmm.... weird posting issues? The rest of my original post:

Cats have had it a bit rough, though in practice (not theory) it feels like it's the design of the fights that has gimped them, not their class, as on the straight-forward stuff they're reasonably competitive. The rotation is pleasurable and effective and requires thought without being that John-Effing-Madden drawing.

I can't speak about Moonkin, primarily because I don't know anyone who plays one. That fact might speak for itself, however.

If you're talking about the top 1% of raid groups, then I can kinda understand where you're coming from in saying that we can't get a raid slot, but how does that apply to the majority of raiders? Druids have been mighty fine for quite some time and given the number of exceedingly-geared druids padding around my server for the past year and a half, (I don't mean LFR gear), I'd say they're not hurting for raid spots.

Shifting Perspectives: The druid of 2011, part 2 {WoW}

Jan 3rd 2012 8:02PM I'm a little confused. As a committed Tree for the past 3 years, I have *never* felt like I'm not as good or better than every other healing class out there (the current state of Holy Radiance notwithstanding). I am a main tank healer for 10-exclusive, but I can raid heal - I just run out of mana faster than the other classes. Of course, I'm smart about getting it back and you would not even believe how much healing I can do with 10% mana. My targets don't die - my tanks don't die, unless all the other healers are dead and we're wiping. I am on-par with my co-healers and in the rare pug BH we do, I top healing charts. Throughput IS what we offer. And that's just in pve. In pvp, I am freaking hard to kill. It frustrates the heck out of the melee chasing me around. I usually call to my teammates to let me play with the melee while they work down the other healer. Resto druids have a thousand and one tools and - when stats are weighted properly - we do a TON of healing.

Bears are GLORIOUS. They have been since the Zandalari dungeons came out. I watched a barely-geared-but-very-pro bear drag newbie after newbie through ZA for their, uh, bears. I watched bears rival the dps on meters - even those who rank on WoL. I would take a bear over a DK any day (though I have a glut of DK tanks). That said, I

Officers' Quarters: Tier transition trouble {WoW}

Dec 20th 2011 8:12AM "He was aggravated because the person that said it had already downed Rag with a pug. So to that person, game was won, screw the others let's move on."

This. As someone who is both guild leader AND raid leader (for 3 very successful years now) and leads 2 raid teams, each raiding 2 nights/wk, I can assure you that we are very much aware of how tired some of our raiders get at having to accommodate the learning curve. We feel it too - that impatience. But we have to cheerlead, compromise, encourage, and coach. If one raider is so self-centered that he has to announce his impatience like a child does, instead of showing the maturity and tolerance of a true teammate, you bet your britches it's aggravating. It brings the entire mood and energy down, making more work for us as a leader.

To the OP, I would reiterate that the first 4 bosses are astoundingly easy. Both of my raid teams 1-shot Morchok without any prep (ie no one studied the fight), and one of the teams is rather like your raid, having worked for many weeks on Ragnaros before downing him just a few days before Dragon Soul came out. They are a positive group but they have a much steeper learning curve which makes progression slower. Ultraxion was a solid wall for that group, because the overall dps is lower. If any of your dps averages below 22k, Ultraxion isn't going down unless all the others are much higher. We 2-heal that fight, btw. In both raid groups.

But the first 4 bosses were very easy for them. Many of my raiders do the Raid Finder a couple of times a week, too, in an attempt to gear up on their own time. I don't personally approve of using the LFR to gear, but it has improved dps a tiny amount (though not raid skills or spatial awareness). I'd split your raid nights. The first four bosses shouldn't take much time and then you can still commit to the staff.

Good luck!

"There are no simple solutions" -- Design diversity in WoW {WoW}

Oct 15th 2011 3:17PM This is a really good idea. Pre-nerf Feats of Strength for completion would make the raiders who DO take it seriously feel less dismissed when content is nerfed (a very real issue). I think it's ironic that Bashiok says this:

"In reality, we know from data that a lot of players might be willing to wipe a few times, and then after that, they're done raiding and potentially even playing. It might be easy to dismiss those players and argue raiding is not for them, but that's not really our design goal."

but then makes no mention of the fact that heroic modes in Firelands were nerfed too! I mean, really? Heroic modes are *supposed to be* for the seriously dedicated. Our needs - the ones who grind carefully and in a dedicated way, who endure hours of wiping without whining and throwing tantrums - aren't as high of a priority in their design goals as the needs of those who give up after a few wipes? /facepalm

Nerf regular content after a period of time, sure. Inclusion is a good thing. But heroic modes should be for those of us who WANT a challenge and should never be nerfed. And yes, give a Feat of Strength for completing content pre-nerfs. An excellent idea.

Blizzard clarifies transmogrification rules {WoW}

Sep 20th 2011 7:15AM I still don't understand why legendaries are being excluded, nor do I agree with it. You either had to do a ton of work or be really freaking lucky in order to have something that, FINALLY, you might be able to display actively rather than watching it gather dust in your bank. I'm on an RP-PvP server so I do, on occasion, get to see people sporting their legendaries, which is pretty dang fun. Aren't these supposed to be, you know, LEGENDARY?! As in really special and awesome? What's wrong with letting us ogle them? What's wrong with ooohs and ahhs of awe and appreciation? Sheesh.

Some of those took many, many hours (and help) to acquire and I don't understand why Bliz is preventing people who have them from finally getting to "use" them. I guess they're just a reminder that you were maybe special once.

Blizzard issues transmogrification system clarifications {WoW}

Aug 19th 2011 7:13AM For me, the issue is about respecting player's individuality. For example, a druid friend of mine recently professed hating every single druid tier set ever, while I love tiers 6 and 8, another druid friend loves 1 and 2, while another is gaga over tier 3. We're all different, and this allows us to express that. It doesn't have anything to do with disrespecting the artists. If they believe that (the artists OR blizzard) they're focusing on the wrong thing.

The artists shouldn't ever stop working on creating new and fun/awesome/unique gear just because a large percentage of the 12 million players out there want to wear something else that was beloved to them. There are still millions of players who really like the current tier, whatever that may be. This is a lot of people. In fact, I think it would inspire artists even further, such that they really ponder why people choose/love sets and strive to create new sets that will become favorites. I'm sure they already do this, of course, but I would think that the transmogrification system will further challenge them creatively. This is healthy and exciting!

I have 4 22-slot bags of gear that I have kept over the years and I'm really, really excited that I get to "wear" some of them in something other than RP-runs of old world content. And this will also solve (for me) the problem of the creation of a tier set that doesn't include robes for resto druids (/sigh at having to farm the heroic t11 chest to match the t12 shoulders and not have to wear the t12 non-robe chest). As if!

;)