Archive for May, 2010
So, ever since I became “friends” with Warcraft on Facebook (don’t you dare judge me…Warcraft and I have a very special relationship that required social networking to consummate), it’s been assaulting my wall with Cataclysm screenshots and news of remote auction house betas.
Just yesterday, though, they decided to change things up by pointing to a wow-themed comic over at Questionable Content. Knowing first-hand what a wholesome, inoffensive community Blizzard seeks to encourage, I thought to myself, “Oh, look…they want me to check out this WoW comic. I’ll oblige.”
Here’s some of the dialogue from the next comic in the series:
Person 1: “Come ON, Marten, get in here and stick your cock in me already!”
Person 2: “CHRIST, woman, we’re tryin’ to have a moment of friendship here! You can have his cock in a minute!”
Person 1: “BUT I WANT IT NOWWWWWWWWW”
As a side note, I’d like to once again sincerely apologize to Blizzard for ever using the offensive word “Cunning” in our guild title. If I ever start a new guild, I will be sure to consider <Stick Your Cock In Me> as a more appropriate moniker.No comments
Tags: BANNED, Rant
Starting this week, we’re finally putting real, honest to God, progression raids on our calendar.
Tonight we’ve got a ToC/ToGC-10 set up and this Saturday we’ll hopefully be doing our first ever ICC-10 run in which a majority of the raid is comprised of guildies.
We’ve got guild members ranging from experienced long-time raiders to virtual raid virgins at the moment, so there’s bound to be some learning curve for some of us. As long as everyone is willing and able to learn from mistakes and take helpful instruction when it’s given, we should be able to start making our way through Icecrown with relative ease.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to put together a list of minimum gear scores that people will need to have in order to be brought along to each raid.
(Allow me to preface this with a disclaimer to avoid potential gear score controversy: I’m well aware that gear score is by no means a measure of skill, nor is it a replacement for actually learning fights. I’m also aware that people must be wearing the correct type of gear for their score to have any merit. I’m confident that in the hands of reasonable people, gear score can be a useful informational tool, both in leading a raid or just figuring out what raids you personally should be attempting. Our goal is that gear score will be used only as a general baseline for raid entry; as such our list will be rather forgiving. You won’t see us claiming that 2900+ is required for Ulduar, for example.)
This is the list I’m currently considering for 10-man raids:
1450 – Naxxramus/Obsidian Sanctum
1800 – Eye of Eternity
2000 – Ulduar
2200 – Trial of the Crusader/Onyxia’s Lair
2400 – Trial of the Grand Crusader
2600 – Icecrown Citadel
Feel free to discuss this rough draft in the comments so we can figure out if any of them are too high or too low.1 comment
Aw, crap…I spilled irony all over my blog title…
Anyway, it’s been reported that once Cataclysm arrives, we’ll be required to physically discover each instance before we can access them via the Dungeon Finder tool. Honestly, it’s actually a pretty good idea that will eliminate some of the problems caused when people who have never actually seen an instance portal end up wiping.
It’s not like you can blame them. Hell, even though I’ve been there plenty of times, I still get lost trying to find Maraudon (or spell it). Maybe we can just convince all those spirits hanging around Auchindoun to build some large arrow-shaped spectral signs near all the instance portals? That’s right…get a job you lazy bastards!
I’d venture a guess that unlocking all the instances will be a requirement for using the random heroic feature. I doubt they’ll want people farming Cataclysm’s versions of Champion’s Seals or Blue Proto-Drakes by simply failing to “discover” any instances that don’t contain these types of items.
In the same announcement it was mentioned that attunements for raids and heroic dungeons may be making a comeback. Assuming they’ve learned from past mistakes, this is another change I can get behind.
Now, previous attunements involving overly long rep grinds (Burning Crusade dungeons originally required revered reputation before the heroic keys could be purchased) must be done away with. I’m alright with the concept of a reputation based attunement, but I don’t think they should expect anything past friendly.
A Magisters’ Terrace type of attunement might be the best approach, though. A short quest chain culminating in an item drop from the non-heroic last boss allows them to infuse some additional lore into each dungeon while ensuring that professional rep grinders like myself do the normal dungeon instead of unlocking the heroic difficulty by turning in Arakkoa Feathers or some other such item.
Quest chains for unlocking raids are a different story. By nature, they should be somewhat long and epic to allow our first forays into each raid to feel like an awesome earned experience. However, they should be largely soloable (or puggable) and entertaining. The original UBRS attunement comes to mind as an example of a horridly un-fun quest.
Any more difficult attunements should only need to be done by one person in the raid. A great example of this is the Eye of Eternity key, where simply getting past the penultimate boss in Naxx granted your guild access to the next half-tier of raiding. Requiring guilds to run previous raids over and over again just to get each and every new raider attuned, on the other hand, is a perfect example of what not to do.
Overall, these sound like they will be nice changes that will positively affect and showcase both lore and exploration…as long as Blizzard doesn’t fuck it up somehow. Blizzard’s real skill, however, is knowing how to enhance the best parts of something, while minimizing the crappy parts, so I have faith they’ll pull it off.No comments
Tags: Attunements, Cataclysm, LFG Tool, Raiding
Amateur virtual photographers rejoice! Our long awaited screenshot contest has finally arrived. From now on, we’ll be accepting screenshots taken by guildies during their adventures around Azeroth. At the end of each month, polls will go up to determine the very best one.
Our monthly winner will not only have the satisfaction of knowing they were the best screenshotter of the month, but they will also have access to lavish prizes! This month’s winner, for example, will win a Slashdance lootcard which can be turned into a Party G.R.E.N.A.D.E. stack to harrass our raids with.
The contest rules are simple:
- Screenshots can be taken anywhere in the game. The contest is only called Northrend Exposure because it was the only way I could think of to combine WoW and photography terminology with early 90’s pop-culture references.
- The UI must be removed with Alt-Z, but it’s up to your artistic discretion whether or not to remove nameplates.
- Exceptional photoshops will be accepted for special mention, but only pure screenshots will be eligible to win the prize.
- If someone manages to win two months in a row, they will be ineligible to win the following month.
- Send your screenshots to email@example.com.
That’s it. So, get out there and take some awesome screenshots. I’ll see you back here on the 31st with your potential winners.No comments
Tags: /cheer, Book Club, Screenshots
Achievemental is our newest regular column, focusing on the various achievements found in World of Warcraft.
Having finally received my Patron title this week, I’d now like to join the chorus of voices rallying against School of Hard Knocks. Now, there’s not a lot that I can say about this achievement that hasn’t already been said. However, I do think it’s an interesting controversy to look at, mainly because it seems that one side of the debate has a monopoly on sensible arguments.
Let’s face it…the achievement is broken. This isn’t an issue of it being too difficult (although, you can’t deny that it’s been one of the harder ones for many people). No, the true problem is that it’s counter-productive and badly executed. It’s my view that the achievement should be changed to simply winning each battleground with an orphan out.
In order to get this point across, I thought I’d respond specifically to the arguments I’ve seen in favor of the School of Hard Knocks.
1) “Stop being such a bad. L2P. QQ More. Yadda, yadda, yadda.”
No…this isn’t an exaggeration. This was actually someone’s real response to a thread about SoHK. This type of bullying is pointless and avoids the real issue. Even blue poster, Bornakk, is guilty of making this non-argument, albeit in a much more diplomatic way: “The School of Hard Knocks, while a bit more challenging of an achievement, has proven to be very doable by a lot of players.”
Again, the issue isn’t whether people have been “able” to complete this. The issue is that the achievement was not very well thought out and ends up negatively affecting game play for a large percentage of players.
2) “For What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, you’re asked to participate in all the aspects of the game: Exploration, questing, PvE and yes…even PvP. They want people who otherwise might not have tried battlegrounds, to give it a shot.”
This is actually one of the better points, but it shows a lack of understanding of how far from normal PvP this achievement is. I agree that Blizzard should encourage players to try all the parts of their game. Why wouldn’t they? But to the uninitiated, simply going into a battleground for the first time is already kind of confusing and chaotic. This achievement makes it even worse by asking people to run before they can crawl, so to speak.
These additional objectives only serve to make the battlegrounds an even more hectic experience for non-PvPers, which helps cement the thought in their minds that PvP is something they want to stay far, far away from.
3) “These objectives are all things you do in a normal battleground.”
Yes and no. The objectives are all things that “someone” would do in a battleground. However, healers would rarely be standing right next to the Wrathful geared warrior, waiting to desperately click the flag when it drops. Nah…they’d leave that up to the melee DPS they were healing, because in a battleground, teamwork is key.
Changing the achievement to simply winning each battleground would allow people to be introduced to battlegrounds in a fun way, while still allowing them to play it in a way that makes sense.
Asking a clothie to capture the flag in Eye of the Storm, is akin to asking them to tank Ymiron for Hail to the King. Which brings me to the next argument…
4) “It is perfectly reasonable to require you to PvP to get this stuff. The PvPers have to run dungeons in order to get it.”
This is my favorite argument. Quite frankly, it’s a purely specious claim. Start to think about it logically and it just doesn’t hold water.
First off, as touched on above…PvPers are still able to fill their proper roles upon setting foot in a dungeon. Not only that, but current level PvP gear will most certainly get the job done in a heroic dungeon, whereas current PvE gear will still be somewhat useless in a battleground.
Look at the difference in the objectives and this argument falls apart even more. There is a considerable difference between running a dungeon and attempting to cap a flag. You’d be hard pressed to find a PvPer saying, “I’ve run Utgarde Pinnacle 20 times now and I still haven’t come close to beating the boss.”
The PvP objectives being asked are already achievements on their own…indicating that they are intended to be of an additional difficulty even for the PvP crowd. Simply winning a battleground then, would be the truly appropriate analogous experience to beating a dungeon. Capping a flag is more akin to doing a bosses hard-mode.
But the real kicker here? The reward being discussed is a fast flying mount. If someone is honestly interested in PvP and only in PvP, they literally have zero use for this reward. So their participation in the Long, Strange Trip meta is, in and of itself, proof that their interests go further than PvP. So, this is an eye-for-an-eye argument that is completely out of place.
5) “Nobody’s forcing you to do it.”
The semantics police absolutely love pointing this out. This is an argument for people who don’t have anything logical to say. Instead of responding to specific concerns, they target a bad word choice. All that’s required is to replace the word “forced” with “encouraged” whenever you see it. Chances are the argument still stands (i.e. I hate that Blizzard forces encourages me to play selfishly in a battleground).
6) “Achievements are supposed to be hard. That’s why they’re called achievements.”
No, they’re called achievements because some marketing genius knew that people like you would take it literally. Seriously…just because this particular part of the game has an ultimately meaningless word attached to it, doesn’t mean we can’t notice and discuss its negative qualities. Defending it simply because it’s called an achievement is just begging the question.
7) “This achievement is easy to do. I got it in 20 minutes.”
Ironically, this is often said by the same people who spout number 6. Usually, this one gets brought up just so they can feel superior to “nubs” who haven’t yet completed it. Occasionally, they really think it was easy.
Either way, this isn’t an argument. It’s an opinion. In fact, people seem to fall into two camps: Those who hate this achievement and those who claim it was easy.
So, dear amazing players, do tell…if it was so damned easy, then why do you care if it gets changed or even removed? It’s not like you had to try very hard, right? And since it’s so easy, might I assume that having this achivement on your record is nothing to be proud of anyway?
The deeper I look, the more I realize that every argument for keeping School of Hard Knocks in its current state comes down to the following basic premise. “It might suck a lot, but it’s technically possible to do and no one’s forcing you to anyway.”
The same could be said about breaking your own finger to win a hundred dollars. That still doesn’t make it a good idea.
Meanwhile, the folks against it keep on bringing up reasonable points about how it negatively affects the battlegrounds (which, by the way, hurts the gameplay experience for players who aren’t even attempting to do this achievement), was implemented in a non-sensical way and gives PvE players a skewed perception of PvP.
I’ve never once heard someone refute any of these arguments. Instead, they ignore them, bully people with insults and jabs at their supposed lack of skill and go about their business. Until these people can actually respond directly to legitimate complaints, instead of sidestepping the issues, it’s clear that they don’t have a leg to stand on.
In the future, I hope the developers will see the error of their ways. For now, though, I’d just like to congratulate everyone who was able to complete this. To everyone else: Sorry. There’s always next year?2 comments
Tags: /cry, Achievements, Holiday, PvP, Rant