Jan 26th 2011 6:52PM While I think many of your observations are pretty astute, I think you're looking back on Ulduar with pretty rose-colored lenses, at least so far as being the "best" exemplar of trash.
FL trash was abysmal, even if the first time it was an important learning tool for how to use the vehicles. Subsequent, it was a boring, annoying, tedious event. Ignis trash was vicious at its original difficulty and hard enough that it met with countless nerfs over the life of the instance. The only educational part of it was the debuff those first two mobs put on you that you had to jump in the water to remove (previewing the shatter mechanic), but that was one of the first things they got rid of. The trash for Thorim, XT, Council, Auriaya, Kologarn was all fine, and I'd even say the Mimiron trash was ok too (though it was hard, there wasn't much of it, and it still got nerfed to have even less.
However, the trash for Hodir, Freya and Vezax was interminable, difficult and pointless. Hodir trash could've been made fine with the one simple change of removing the damn burrowing worm craps, but Freya and Vezax are pure overkill. I remember numerous raid nights called after we killed Mimiron because we couldn't both clear Vezax's trash and have any time to spend on him. 4 nasty humanoid pulls and 3 faceless ones? Eesh. The faceless ones at least taught you in theory both how to deal with shadow crash and the saronite animus, but the humanoids were pure, painful filler. Freya, similarly, had an entire 5 man's worth of trash, complete with not insignificant 3 mini bosses. That room could've been an instance in and of itself.
It's strange that you mention it the way you do, because I think back on BWL as one of the best trash to boss ratios. The first two bosses you simply walked in and did, then there were those nasty drakonid packs, followed by the Broodlord gauntlet. That always felt to me a pretty good return on time invested (even if the gauntlet is not anywhere near something they'd ever design today, at the time it was par for the course). Then you had all of the warlock/triple drakonid packs, sure, and those took time and were difficult, but you did 3 or 4 pulls, then pulled firemaw. Did 3 or 4 more pulls and then you had 4 straight bosses with no trash afterwards (ebonroc, flamegor, chrom and nef). They were brutally difficult, especially while learning and at gear level, but there weren't actually that many of them compared to the number of bosses they opened up.
Anyway, kind of rambling at this point, but I do tend to agree that Halfus trash is awful, Omnitron trash is awesome and overall things are a lot better now than they were. Also, TOC was the pits. 'nuff said!
Jan 13th 2011 6:41PM Please attempt to refrain from talking about a game you've never played. It just makes you look stupid. Every game can be played like a job. EVE, perhaps, has MORE ways to play it like a job than the average game, but it has more ways to do virtually everything than the average game. That's the nature of a sandbox.
Apropos of the article, well written and intriguing. Thanks for the insights, as always, Mr. Sacco.
Dec 10th 2010 4:27PM Or...you can run anti-malware AND anti-virus software (Windows Security Essentials+Avast! are both free and very effective) and have an authenticator and still auto-update instead of wasting a half hour manually downloading every addon.
I find it very strange in an article entirely about updaters you assiduously avoid talking about either wowmatrix or the Curse Client, which are the two most common updaters I'm aware of and you basically say, "they're dangerous because their flash adds might be infected." That's basically true of the internet in general, so I'm not sure how it applies at all to auto-updaters.
This sentence is just wrong: "Some auto-updaters in the past have fallen prey to exactly these problems; looking for one fairly safe auto-updater leads you to something that was engineered from the ground up to take your account information." The auto-updater didn't fall prey to anything. A user who googled for the name of an auto-updater clicked on a sponsored link which sent him to a fake site set up to look like it was a legit auto-updater site and downloaded a trojan. The same has been done with wowhead, mmo-champion, the official blizzard website and the official armory. The advice to not click on sponsored links is 100% accurate, but the auto-updater as a program has nothing to do with that security hole which is fully the responsibility of the user.
Furthermore this: "Hackers upload infected versions of addons that might not get caught during the first round of downloads on many popular auto-updaters. Sure, they get found and deleted, but those first few unlucky souls do still bear the brunt of the problems." is just as true for people who manually download as people who use auto-updaters. If a hacker manages to get access to a legit site's database and upload a bad file, it doesn't matter if the auto-updater or the manually downloader downloads it, it just matters who finds it and how quickly it is reported and removed.
Short answer: fearmongering is fearmongering. I have not heard of a confirmed report of someone being hacked because of using the Curse Client BECAUSE of the Curse client (as separate from someone who got hacked because they downloaded a bad file which both the client and a manual user are equally susceptible to doing). Use an authenticator, use good browsing habits, use an anti-malware AND anti-virus software and back up your files.
Oct 28th 2010 5:20PM I've still been using Grid as my raid frame since I like how much smaller I can make it, but I have noticed that using Grid screens off the little pull out raid options window with the smoke marker and role checker and etc. Has anyone figured out how to make that show if your raidframe addon is screening the rest of the default raid frames? Or is that just sad collateral damage of not using the default?
Oct 26th 2010 4:16PM Way to get me all excited about an old school keyboard only to click the link and see it's $100.00. There is no way on god's green earth I am spending that kind of money on a keyboard. I've had the same keyboard for five years, and while it's breaking on me now, I paid all of $10 for the thing. I'd pay maybe $50 for a good mechanical keyboard, but that'd be about my upper limit.
Oct 26th 2010 4:09PM I think you're really stretching with the "one old god for each aspect" theory, especially as it refers to Malygos. The accepted lore states that it was his exposure to the altered physiology of the netherwing dragons brought back from outland by Tyrygosa that allowed him to regain his sanity. And there's nothing "insane" with how he responded. According to Titanic principals that Malygos would follow, the mortal races of Azeroth are grossly abusing magic. Azeroth would be shining beacon of insanity calling to every power-hungry entity in the multiverse given how much arcane magic gets tossed around it all the time.
He was killed because the other Aspects (who we have no reason to believe are corrupted, ESPECIALLY Alexstraza) told us he had overstepped his bounds and needed to be taken care of. Which is another way of saying, "Players like to use magic, and it doesn't make very much sense for us to stop you using magic, so here's a big dragon for you to kill instead."
I never liked the notion of killing a dragon aspect as a raid boss, all things considered, but I don't think there's anything more than the faintest whisper that Yogg had anything to do with his death.
Sep 13th 2010 5:03PM We're not playing "spreadsheet the videogame" (though I have plenty of fun playing EVE, too), we're playing an MMORPG. If this comment system allowed any sort of text manipulation or html, I'd have bolded the RPG part. It is not intrinsically bad that not every decision in this game be tied to a mathematical formula.
I agree that decisions matter when they have an impact, but I also think you ought to be able to make some decisions in a role playing game where you, you know, role play. I play on a pvp server, I have had exactly zero rp experiences in my character's over 5 year history, but part of the game immersion for any RPG is customization, and I maintain that a system in which pets are more similar but visually different is superior to the one they've presented in which they're nothing more than interchangeable raidbuffs.
There's a balance between your "red shot blue shot" world and one in which no one gets to make a decision not dictated by a spreadsheet. I think this change veers pets (which have previously been a fairly personal choice for the hunter) too far towards spreadsheet.
Sep 13th 2010 3:56PM As a raid leader, I think this is really really cool because it will mean that a hunter can basically fill out almost every missing raid buff.
As a hunter, I'm dreading the excrutiating task of finding, taming and training to 85 every miserable pet on the list so that I can make sure I can bring whatever the raid needs. I'm also sad that this basically eviscerates whatever was left of the notion that the hunter pet is a meaningful companion to the hunter. Did I go wolf when wolf was the best dps? Sure. But I found a wolf skin I really liked, I tamed, named it something special and have used that same wolf for almost two years now. Seems like in Cata your pet's not going to feel so much like a friend, but a swiss army knife, where you grab whatever is most useful to other people, instead of what you want to use.
I disagreed with your analysis of choice in terms of specs (when you said that if BM is so easy it should do the worst dps), and I disagree with your analysis of choice in terms of pets, as well. I would rather that the pets were more similar so I can choose what my pet looks like (to reflect MY choice) rather than have all these different abilities and have which pet I bring ultimately be about what the raid needs. But, c'est la vie.
Aug 10th 2010 2:43PM For non-EVE players who look at that blurb and have their head explode about how something like that could happen, just keep in mind that the person who lost the items was transporting them in about as unsafe a method as possible. WoW doesn't have a very good analogue (since there's no in game item destruction), but imagine if there were cross level BGs, and you decided to have a level 5 mage run the flag instead of giving it to a 2500 rated feral druid.
Also keep in mind that amongst the large alliances engaging in supercapital PvP, the amount of in game currency lost was not as extreme as you might think. Titan supercapitals with full equipment are worth roughly 4 to 5x as much as the time codes that were lost in that frigate.
And as a final note, I think the headline is backwards. The headline should read "EVE player loses" not "EVE player destroys." The aggressor certainly wasn't trying to destroy them, and had no control over whether they were destroyed. The story here is that some nitwit unsafely transported 22b isk/$1300 worth of goods in a paper thin frigate, not that the RNG gods decided to blow it up when the ship popped.
Jul 6th 2010 5:55PM While there does seem to be something of a disconnect between the buffs to AE and the focus on CC, I think we'll see more pulls that happen away from where the mobs originally stood like you saw in vanilla. Tanks in vanilla instances virtually never ran to a mob pack like everyone does now in WotLK. Instead, CC was set up beforehand and the mobs were pulled to the tank, with CC going up during the travel time. Then tanks (and everyone else) would AE their merry way about and cc'd mobs would stay cc'd elsewhere. People will get used to it, or they'll get used to wiping, but I don't think it'll be a major problem for most people.
I think you also missed the synergy between Hemorrhagic Fever, Blood Swarm, Heart Strike and blood rune scarcity. It's all timed so that it matches rune cooldown and disease refresh. I presume that blizzard will maintain the importance of having diseases up and will prevent an effective non-disease build. So when you open with your two diseases, you pest, and then you have a free bb to use for snap aggro on all the mobs. Then you can HS to get even more secure threat on three of the mobs. When your runes cooldown, you can HS, bb or dnd as you like but the debuff from Hemorrhagic Fever lasts for 30 seconds-well longer than diseases last. Consequently, even if you don't BB at all after the free one, when you reapply blood plague with PS, you'll get another free BB which you use to reapply the fever, keeping that debuff up.
Also, keep in mind that the fever debuff won't be unique (would go against the whole player/class mantra we've heard so much about), so you might not have to worry about it anyway. You'll get it for the mere cost of a GCD though, anyway, and since part of the new rune system is designed to give us more of those, I think it'll work out nicely.
Overall, I think the tree is looking pretty good. My only major current observation would be to agree with you that subspeccing serves no point at all. The build up now gives you every reason to drop 71 points into blood (skipping butchery and exsanguinate) and toss your last five points into something random. I doubt very much that this design will go live.