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Posts with tag Mistakes

The mistakes of the World of Warcraft

It's been a long time, hasn't it? World of Warcraft has lasted ten years, and in that time things are bound to go wrong. It's inevitable. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, I make references to William Butler Yeats and then talk about video games. No game lasts as long as World of Warcraft without making some bad steps along the way. Like Indiana Jones stepping on the wrong tile, all we can do is clamber back up.

Some of these were completely unforeseen, others in retrospect were pretty obvious, but at the time not so much, and others you have to wonder how they managed to make it live in the first place. We're going to talk about them now.

Vanilla WoW: The PvP ladder

Before the ladder, there was mainly world PvP. Spots like the Crossroads in the Barrens (close to a convenient neutral port so Alliance could get there easily) and Tarren Mill/Southshore were hotly contended for almost no good reason at all besides simple factional hatred and a desire from players to kill players. All of that changed with the introduction of battleground and honor rewards, the best of which required a player to achieve a certain rank to attain. What happened next was simple - some players hit upon a means to achieve that high PvP rank, namely, play in shifts.

The ladder was abused from the moment of its introduction. People formed groups who hit the BGs together, sure, but that wasn't the abuse part. The abuse came in the form of people sharing their account information and playing a specific character in shifts, literally keeping said character in the BGs for days at a time. If you were trying to play your character fairly, you simply couldn't compete with the five people who were playing that one warlock nonstop until it had all the high ranking PvP gear, and then shifting to the next player's warrior or paladin. I knew people who tried to stay awake for two solid days doing nothing but hitting up Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch. It was painful to watch. The ladder ended up being removed before the end of vanilla, and it was the best change they could have made.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Warrior mistakes to avoid

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

One of the interesting things about my current astonishing obsession with transmogrification and all things related to it has been seeing older itemization. You know, strength and agility plate. Warrior tier 6 is lousy with agility. That's a legacy of the past, of course, and as the design of the game moves ever onward, artifacts like that are left in its wake. After all, most level 70 warriors nowadays move straight to Northrend dungeons and are not likely to look at Black Temple until much later, when farming for transmog gear. The stats aren't important enough to go back and redesign the set.

What I really find interesting about this is seeing where the class has been, not just visually but also in terms of design. It's kind of like archaeology (the actual field of inquiry, not the in-game profession) or paleontology, reconstructing the class and its roots from the remainders of what it wore. Granted, I was there, so to a degree it's like excavating Pompeii with an immortal who survived the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius and keeps grumping about how people in his day didn't complain when they were buried in pyroclastic material. Which is a complete lie, by the way, we did nothing but complain about it. But I digress.

The warrior class has come a long way in seven years, and the artifacts of past design lie strewn about. New players and even old veterans can be forgiven for making a few mistakes based on the rubble. Let's go over a few.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: A crowning moment of noobishness

It seems like we've been playing World of Warcraft forever. Sure, we're all experts now (or at least we think we're experts), but we weren't always epic Kingslayers. We were all noobs once. And we all made ridiculous noob mistakes.

As evidence, I shall recall for you a tale of a noobish Fox Van Allen. I had just made the leap from trial account to paid, and a friend of mine had sent me a small care package to get me started in the game. Nothing big, since he was just starting out too -- just a little bit of money. I was very eager to get it, but I had a problem: I couldn't access my in-game mail. That little mail icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen was taunting me.

After several frustrating minutes of trying to get my not-so-phat loot, I decided to put in a GM ticket. I explained I had just upgraded from the trial and that WoW wouldn't let me access my mail. I was a little frustrated (no one has ever wanted one piece of gold so badly), but I tried not to let that show in my note.

An hour or so later, I got a response from an exceptionally helpful GM. He researched my account and tried helping me best he could. He explained that since I had just paid, there may be some lag in that information reflecting my ability to get in-game mail. The GM then suggested that I should go to a mailbox and try to access my mail again so he could help troubleshoot while the chat window was open.

"Holy hell," I thought. "You have to be at a mailbox to get your in-game mail?"

Do you have any crowning moments of noobishness? What's the most noob thing you've ever done? Come on, we won't judge. (Too harshly, anyway.)

Breakfast Topic: To bug or not to bug

We reported last night that some of the PvP gear was being shown as discounted or even free, and players were reportedly flooding the vendors, trying to pick up cheap gear. Of course, we also warned that taking bugged gear could be considered an exploit, even as some veteran players warned that taking free gear could result in a server rollback, suspended accounts, or even banning.

Therein lies the question: did you bite? I can see arguments for both sides: maybe you stood your moral ground, said that that gear wasn't really supposed to be free, and didn't try to take advantage of a mistake one of Blizzard's coders made. Or maybe you said, "well, if it's on the live realms, it must be legit," and looted as much of the gear as you could (and maybe you're paying for it, too, either now or later this week).

So what'd you do? This isn't the first time a game-changing exploit has made loot accessible to players when it shouldn't be, so if given a possible exploit in the game, do you grab away and let Blizzard worry about their own mistakes, or do you decide not to take advantage of mistakes Blizzard didn't mean to make and wait for them to fix it while you do things fairly?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Odds and ends, Economy, Breakfast Topics

You break it, you bought it

Larisa over at The Pink Pigtail Inn mused on an interesting question the other day: Should you pay for the wipes you cause? Her feeling is not only that you shouldn't, but that the mere fact of offering to pay is offensive to her, like offering hush-money or a bribe. Instead, she says, apologize quickly and confess what you did so that others can learn from your mistakes.

I agree with the idea of the mistake-maker apologizing and confessing immediately. This technique also works in real life situations. (I wish it was heeded more often in politics, too.) Further, I vigorously disapprove of ham-fisted reactions from over-zealous raid leaders or guild leaders. Overreacting by /gkicking people (as one of the commenters related) in normal guilds is completely ridiculous. (If you joined a guild who wants to make world's firsts or server-firsts, then you know what you're getting into.) If you are the raid leader then you need to take responsibility for the team you put on the floor. In life, work, politics, and gaming, the buck stops with leadership. Leaders need to pick the right team and remind people who they know are not as experienced or strong in the particular raid situation about tactics, strategy, and common mistakes. Or else they need to chill the heck out. In fact, from a certain point of view, it's not the person who caused the wipe who should pay repair bills: it's the raid leader.

Other commenters on Larisa's post offered different payment plan ideas. One suggested a tax on all the loot acquired in the raid. Another suggested that before the raid even begins, raiders should pay an ante to participate, thereby socializing the costs of what might happen. Of course, there is the ever-popular solution of letting the guild pay for repairs afterwards, too. But as another commenter pointed out, repair bills and buff flasks for a 25-man raid can run a guild nearly 400G per run. My feeling is that as long as everyone goes into the raid knowing those taxes are being imposed, it sounds like a fine idea. Or, realizing that mistakes are going to be made, even by the most experienced and savvy players, we could all act like we realize that raising gold is as much a part of the game as raiding, questing, or grinding, and suck up our own repair bills, regardless of who caused the wipe.

[Via The Pink Pigtail Inn]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Instances, Raiding, Making money

Death Knight class page slip-up

Remember a little while back, when someone accidentally added the Death Knight to the Classes page on the official site? Now the DK class description page is there, although it seems that this too is probably an accident (the DK entry is still gone from the Classes page). As expected, it contains nothing in the way of new information, aside from a fetching misspelling of "Alternative" and a frankly terrifying picture of what looks like a Dwarf Rogue (obviously faked; everyone knows there's no such thing).

Still nothing mentioned in "standard bars" about runes or runic power. Also the "Allowable Weapons" (listed as Axes, Defenses, Polearms, Swords, Two-Handed Axes, Two-Handed Swords) still doesn't match up with what we expected (one- and two-handed Axes, Swords, and Maces are what we've been told before). And Blizz doesn't usually call it "Plate Mail;" typically it's just "Plate." Anyway, I vote "slip-up" on this one as well – anyone want to take bets on how long it'll stay up?

[Thanks, Hasseo]

Filed under: Blizzard, Humor, Death Knight

Forum post of the day: Rookie Mistakes

Kemmeua of Emerald Dream decided to share some WoWhead love on the official forums. (And by the look of the WoWhead main page it needs a little love.) He shared some rookie mistakes that players have made. For example:

  • Didn't know there were different Zeppelins, thought it was a triflight system so that if I stayed on long enough it would take me to Tirisfall then to Grom and back to Durotar was on there a long time.
  • Didn't know they people were yelling at me to TANK better, I thought tanks plowed things and that's what I was doing
  • Saw alliance in crossroads and thought, "OMG," so I go an whack 'em and get camped for a day yelling for help.
  • Didn't know how to talk to people.
  • Saw a hunter with dual weapons on a Kodo and thought "WOW!"
  • Saw a raid group forming in Kargath for MC, asked them if I can join, getting told I cant roll with the big dawgs at 43.
  • where do u get liferoot if you can't herb? stupid quest giver.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Leveling, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Breakfast Topic: Stupid mistakes

Last night in Heroic Magister's Terrace, I accidentally ninjaed a Cudgel of Consecration. I'm not sure what was going through my head -- I'm currently a Holy priest, and clearly need it much less than the Prot pally tank I was grouped with. Somehow I'd gotten under the impression that it was a healing item, or something. I was, understandably, promptly called a noob and yelled at by several members of the group, and there are a couple hunters out there who may well never group with me again. I profusely apologized to the tank, and we both opened tickets and sat around in the instance waiting for them to get answered. (The response, un-helpfully enough, was "your ticket has been escalated; this may take several days to be resolved.")

I gave him the mats for a Major Spellpower enchant, to put on the Cudgel once he gets it, to help make up for my stupidity. We parted on pretty good terms; we're hopeful that the GMs will sort this out. But picking up that item may well have been the biggest "d'oh" moment I've had in the game thus far. Either that, or accidentally taking a point in Throwing Weapon Specialization one time while respeccing my rogue. What's the most boneheaded mistake you've made in your WoW career?

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: When they are not prepared

It is very rewarding to help new players adjust to World of Warcraft. It can also be extremely frustrating. In some cases, I wonder if we may ruin players by giving them too much help, like helping a butterfly from its chrysalis.

I remember when I first started playing WoW, I made some serious rookie mistakes. For example I didn't know how to repair my gear until I was level 17 and had no idea that one should train all three talent schools. I got a lot of advice along the way, but I kept more or less to my IRL companions even in game. I never really experienced the MM part of MMORPG until I was level 60 and running Zul'Gurrub. It was exciting and exhausting, but for the first time I really felt like I was experiencing the entirety of the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, WoW Rookie

Nobody's perfect

If you play WoW long enough, you're bound to make mistakes. Whether it's accidentally picking up the wrong piece of loot off of a boss or pulling a bunch of elites before your group is ready, everyone messes up once in awhile. While I normally make a habit of doing research in order to avoid such things, the other day I made a mistake that only affected myself, but it was pretty annoying nonetheless.

I had been spending a lot of money power-leveling professions for a few of my alts when I got lucky and picked up a couple upgrades for my main character. I was low on funds and needed to grab some enchants and gems quickly so that I'd be prepared for an upcoming raid. With little time to farm, I hit the auction house and looked for some deals. When I noticed the low price of Nexus Crystals, I was reminded that my enchanter alt could transform those into Small Prismatic Shards and then again into Large Prismatic Shards. After double-checking the prices for the various materials, I concluded that I would not only save a good deal of money, but I'd make a bundle by selling extra shards. I bought all of the Nexus Crystals on the auction house and shipped them off to my enchanter. Gleefully imagining the piles of money I'd soon be raking into my coffers, I switched characters and converted the first crystal into a shard. My schemes where short-lived, sadly, when the realization that the conversion of Nexus Crystals has a cooldown, much like an alchemist's transmutes. Oh well, at least I'll have a nice stockpile of shards after about a month or so.

What are the biggest mistakes you've made?

Filed under: Odds and ends, Making money

South Park WoW episode nominated for an Emmy

Emmy nominations got released the other day, and there was a familiar face in the Animation category-- the World of Warcraft South Park episode "Make Love, not Warcraft" has been nominated as an Outstanding Animated Program. Strangely enough, while South Park has been nominated six times before, they've only won the category once, and that was for an episode based around a PSP game.

Robot Chicken, The Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants, and the Avatar (which is actually an amazing show-- it was recommended to me by WoW Insider's own Dan O'Halloran) are its competitors this time around, but I'm sure the various WoW mistakes in the episode (Kenny played a Hunter, among other tiny slipups) won't hurt its chances too much.

The Emmy Awards will be given away in Los Angeles on September 16th. We'll keep an eye out for a WoW-inspired South Park win.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Blizzard, News items

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