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  • Bhoz
  • Member Since Jan 26th, 2007

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Recent Comments:

Looking back on healing in Cataclysm {WoW}

Feb 2nd 2012 12:04AM /agreed

The poorly balanced healing revamp plus the "race to be first" excitement of the new expansion put undergeared and overeager PUGs in Heroics before most players were ready. This led to wipes, namecalling, and, in my case, retirement from the game.

Until encounters can be scripted so that stupid/inattentive/uncaring DPS are singled out for their sins, the healer will always bear the blame for a negative boss fight outcome.

EverQuest Mac fans fight for survival; SOE responds {Massively}

Feb 1st 2012 10:10AM @Furdinand
"So the largest sub game is able to support a marginal Mac population? Surely that will translate into enough Mac players to justify the extra expense for smaller MMOs (ie every one not named WoW)."

Results from a 2009 WowInsider poll asking "what platform do you play WoW on?" (23,236 respondents)
Windows - 69.6%
Mac - 28.2%
Linux - 2.1%

28% isn't "marginal". Would a game with 1 million subscribers like another 280,000, all paying a one-time game cost and a monthly fee? Most MBAs would say "yes", provided that the additional upfront development costs could be covered. I understand why single-player games might not be able to recoup the costs, but MMOs are different; there's a persistent revenue stream coming in. Even if you can't break-even on the upfront costs, the monthly revenue from Mac players will eventually cover your costs and turn into a profit center. Unless the costs of developing for the Mac is *so* high that you can't ever break even, but I've never heard/read that from a game developer.

The numbers make a case for supporting the Mac. I believe the reluctance that we see from Bioware, etc., is the result of anti-Mac bias within the game industry and *not* a solid analysis of the numbers. They're thinking in terms of single-player games, not ongoing revenue streams.

"It also doesn't that Blizzard has always has Mac versions which seem like it is as much of a sales strategy as it is a PR strategy or maybe a personal preference that the Blizz higher ups have."

I like to believe that part of Blizzard's success is *because* they've supported the Mac all these years. It means more upfront sales at launch (which makes a bigger splash in the press), and you gain a very vocal minority talking about your game. Word-of-mouth is still huge.

Pulling this back around, though, I understand SoE's decision: their EQ-Mac server is costing them money that they're not going to recoup in an F2P environment.

EverQuest Mac fans fight for survival; SOE responds {Massively}

Jan 31st 2012 11:00PM @JohnD212
*Blizzard waves at you seductively from the corner*

Apple fanboi-ism and kneeJerk Apple bashing aside, it comes down to a simple business decision for the game company: if they make the additional marginal effort to develop a code base that can be ported, they'll get a healthy number of very loyal players. The savvy companies know this.

What puzzles me is why more companies don't just hire the CrossOver games folks to make an official port; they do solid work from the outside looking in, and they would be able to do a tighter job with "official" support. If it cost $ 1 million to get CrossOver to do a good port of your $50 game, you have to sell 20,000 to break even. That works out to selling 400 copies per US state, and if your game is *any* good, you'll clear that easily.


Officers' Quarters: The plight of 25-man raiding guilds {WoW}

Jan 31st 2012 2:36AM Along the lines of Velutina's constructive comments, anything Blizzard could do to reduce the overhead for guild officers would help, including:
1) Making the loot system smart (no useless or redundant drops) or switching to an all-currency loot system whereby everyone earns at the same rate. This would eliminate loot system maintenance/upkeep/drama.
2) NPC-led raid encounters, whereby an AI would organize, instruct, and "call" the boss fights.
3) A return to gated content to pace the players and help offset progress-based drama and membership churn. This is especially important during the first few months of a new expansion.
4) When reworking classes and roles, balance, balance again, and then balance a third time to get things right. Especially if Blizzard is reworking something like healing. Get it right the first time, folks.

The guild-induced stresses of managing a guild leveling up in the new expansion and the poorly-balanced healing model revamp caused me to walk away from being an active Officer in my 25-man guild and later leaving the game entirely.

WoW Insider reviews Christie Golden's Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects {WoW}

Jul 18th 2011 2:55PM I have to agree with the other replies: As published, Arthas was a great framework for a novel, but it needed to be fleshed out. The Shattering was better, although it, too, suffered from a bit too much "k, so this happened, then we ran here and this happened and then…."

There nothing wrong with a story being written on rails, but it needs to be crafted well enough that it doesn't *feel* like it's on rails. It's the difference between Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October" (fantastic book with rereadability) and "Debt of Honor" (linear, plodding, and predictable).

Officers' Quarters: Wait-listing is the hardest part {WoW}

Apr 25th 2011 3:22PM I feel for Blizzard: The current lockout system makes juggling between 10-man and 25-man Normals and Heroics nearly impossible if you're trying to mix and match raids to gear-up reserves and new recruits, but if they turn the clock back to how it was in ToC/ToGC, the player base will grind itself into exhaustion chasing loot.

Blizzard should make lockouts work on a loot-per-boss basis: Once you've killed a boss, you are no longer eligible to receive BoP loot from that boss (Gold and BoEs could still be fair game), but you would still be able to do the fight under a separate Raid ID. This would allow guilds to gear up reserves and new recruits without guilds having to resort to semi-suboptimal (and frequently frustrating) Alt raids.

"Gear Chasers" and the "Me-Me-Me Crowd" won't be interested in doing fights that they can't get loot from, but the "Team-Oriented" and "Guild over Self" folks would pitch in to help gear up new folks, and experiencing the fights with the guild's "A-Team" will facilitate the learning process, making the raids that the new folks do get into go smoother.

Just a thought.

The Daily Grind: What do you think of random loot? {Massively}

Nov 10th 2010 3:04PM Maintaining the immersion of the experience, the weapon that you saw the mob using was destroyed during the fight. That's why you don't find it on the body, similar to why not every boar that you kill has an eye that you can loot.

In WoW, in Karazhan, the optional "Animal Bosses" had what I remember to be a semi-structured but random loot table. Collectively the three of them dropped only belts, bracers, or shoes, but the stats on those items were randomly generated. I remember that the stat budget for the items being generous for where they were in the raiding progression path, so you could walk away with some nice items *if* the stat mix *and* the armor type matched what a given class actually could use.

We quit doing the Animal bosses after three weeks, having looted "+Spirit +Agility Cloth boots", "+Strength + Int Plate Bracers" and a "+Spirit +Stam Leather Belt". Random can be fun, but random can also be. . .well. . .mostly useless.

Raid Rx: Raid bosses that brought healers to their knees - Part 1 {WoW}

Aug 17th 2009 3:24PM The OP is understating how truly randomly annoying the Leotheras fight was.
It's the only fight that I've actually recommended that other healers would do a better job than I would, and for someone that started hating boss fights with Magmadar, that *hurts* to admit.

1) Your Inner Demon looked exactly like and had the same name as everyone else's Inner Demon, and I believe that all were targetable but only yours could be attacked by *you*. So if you were in the same area as several other people who also had Inner Demons spawn, you wasted several precious seconds acquiring your target, at which point it was in melee range, hitting you for 800-1200 per swing.

2) Holy Priest shields absorbed one melee swing, maybe two at the most, so you were almost immediately getting spell pushback trying to cast. Pushback wasn't capped like it is now, so if you were foolish enough to try to "brute force" out a Mind Blast, you could see a 3.5 or 4.0 second pushback on it. You could Shield (if Weakened Soul wasn't up), which bought you time for one uninterrupted spell, you could Psychic Scream the Inner Demon out of melee range, or you could Shadownoob/Fade and let the 'noob tank it for a while.

3) The Psychic Scream had the tendency, for me at least, to cause the Inner Demon to run directly away from me for the entire duration of the fear, so, he'd end up *way* out of range of me, and he ran faster than the 'noob at that time, so unless I was near a wall or some of the other obstructions in that cavern and the Inner Demon got caught up in them, I'd lose DPS time on him. Often times he'd run out of range before I could get a Smite or Holy Fire off at all. My Inner Demons always seemed to run through the Warlock tanks area, which was a no-go area for following.

4) You had somewhere between 25 and 40 seconds to kill your Inner Demon, so you had to manage GCDs very closely. My first two kills I got a lucky string of three crits right as time was running out to get the kill.

Even after the increased susceptibility to Holy damage and the Healing-into-Spellpower merger went into effect, I had a losing record versus my Inner Demon (I went something like 4 for 9 against them out of 23+ Leo kills). I hated that fight with a passion.

Technical issues in Dalaran makes the PTR nearly unplayable {WoW}

Feb 25th 2009 1:34PM It's affecting Macs as well. It took me about 20 minutes to get across Dalaran and portal to IF for a respec, and then another 30 minutes or so to get the respeccing done. Crashes are frequent in the wilds of Northrend as well. In fact, I'm currently unable to log into the PTR after the client crashed while I was flying around Icecrown, but it's a "known problem that will be addressed in a future PTR update" according to a blue post. In short, the PTR seems like it's not quite ready for prime-time testing at this point.

Ready Check: Kil'jaeden (and friends), post-3.0.2 {WoW}

Oct 27th 2008 12:33PM Like datt67's guild, we've managed to continue our raiding schedule through the patch (we were working on the Twins when the patch hit), and while it is a little sad to see some of the fights nerfed back so hard, we're still accomplishing what we originally set out to do: Get screenshots of Dead Bosses.

When you define your own goals, it doesn't matter what measuring metric anyone else uses.

While I didn't *ask* for the nerf, I'm certainly enjoying it, because, for us, it's the difference between having the time to get *to* Kil'jaeden and having the time to *kill* Kil'jaeden. It was a rough summer of attrition for our guild, as we seemed to lose people to Real Life faster than we could gear-up replacements (losing seven raiding healers over a ten day span was especially hard to recover from), so we fell behind schedule in Sunwell. And even though we expanded our raiding schedule to five nights a week, we were going to be behind schedule for finishing up Sunwell barring the expansion being pushed back. Post-patch, I'm back to enjoying the game and not being stressed out about falling short because of circumstances beyond my control.

Above all, Blizzard is a business, and the nerf was a good business decision:
1) It's reinvigorated a good portion of the player base in the face of increasing market competition and pre-expansion player fatigue.
2) It's exposed a whole strata of the player base to "raiding", giving them the opportunity to see what it's all about and potentially turning "casuals" into "raiders".
3) It gets the maximum use out of already-produced properties.

Do I understand that our M'uru kill might not have cost me as much in consumables as someone who killed him pre-patch? Yes. Does that bother me? No. I still look good in the screenshot.