@warcraftdevs @blizzardcs #warcraft a request

Happening now, and over the next few weeks, thousands of movie goers will be getting a free copy of the game. The initial choice of server can make or break a persons initial experience. 

I would like to request that the US Borean Tundra/ Shadowsong joint server be given a new player status. We have several members of our guild that will be out in the starting areas to offer help to those entering the game for the first time. I can only speculate that a person that has never played before will see realms flagged new player, and just blindly choose. 
Thank you for your time and consideration. 

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Final Entry

I am still playing WoW.  Although many of you no longer are, or perhaps you are, but other shiny titles are prominent in your timelines.  When I came to Twitter years ago, there were a great many people here already from Warcraft.  I followed you all, interacted when I could, and appreciated when you interacted with me.  It has been a wonderful time.  More recently more an more are leaving for other games, years ago we joked, SWoTR would kill WoW, Wildstar would kill WoW, game after game has come and peaked the interest of many, and every year a few more walk away.  Or maybe they are still here, but don’t talk about WoW as much.  I too tried a few games that came along, I never much mentioned them, because they really never caught my interest.  No, World of Warcraft is the one true game that has held my attention for near 7 years, for many, even longer.  Yes I may have my own personal issues with things in the game, but overall, it truly does have something for everyone, if you go look for it.  Which is what I am going to do.

I am taking a prolonged break from Twitter, I may be back some day, I may even start up this blog again sometime in the future, but for now, I am going off to just play the game that I have grown to love, flaws and all

So this is the final?  Well final for now at least entry.  Thank you all that have stopped by to read over the years.

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Last night was just wrong

On Tuesday, I tried to do what I normally do. Find a group using the group finder for a normal Archimonde kill to get the token to upgrade the Legendary ring, another 3 points. I have committed myself to doing this, because if you are raiding, it is just too powerful to not have.

For many weeks it has been relatively painless. Yes I have been declined on many an occasion because of my lowly 724 gear level for groups looking for 700 minimum. The groups I have run for the most part have gone well with perhaps 1 wipe at low health due to just bad luck. On Tuesday, after applying to numerous groups, I got into a Manno/Arch ring upgrade, leader Mythic experienced group. 695 minimum.

They filled the group to 25 people. Everyone went through the motions, and the majority of the people tunneled the boss and we wiped at 17%. I was second in damage and DPS. So of course I was kicked. Because I was focusing the adds, and not the boss. Yeah I know. So I figured I would shake it off and try later in the week.

Last night I logged in. Flew out to the entrance, went through the normal searching, and found a group on Manno. The leader, and the majority, I think spoke Spanish. I’m not sure, but we got him down fairly well. And on to Arch, where the tank just pulled all the trash as only half the raid was even in the instance. To compound things, he pulled them all on to the point you zone back in. Eventually it all reset, and that tank dropped. 30 minutes in group finder later, we were ready to go.

The first wipe happened when only 4 of us went into the second banish and died. We were singled out because we were not killing the adds. When someone pointed out we were in the Banish group we were told they just ignore the second, because it’s only Normal. Another wipe had 3/4 of the group drop, so I said I’m sorry, thank you for the chance, and left also.

The next group I got into was a guild run with 4 people. We sat for a long time waiting to fill the group. The final person was a guildie they were waiting on. Many in the group were in 695 Baleful gear. I don’t mind. As long as everyone tries, everyone has to start somewhere. We wiped at 17%. Regrouped, second pull, 1 tank and a few others dropped group mid fight. Back to group finder, another group, people just ignoring mechanics. 5 took a lock portal and got shot it the air. Myself and 2 others ran back to be there 7 dead on impact. More drop. Eventually the conversation started getting ugly. As it sometimes does. We finally got someone in that knew the fight, set up groups properly, and we went again. After that wipe and many more leaving I had been at trying to do this for 4 hours, had hundreds in repairs. I whispered the person setting up groups, sorry I can’t anymore. He told me he understood, and thanks for doing the fight correctly.

When I logged out immediately after I was through. No more. I got the ring to 780. The last 15 points are not worth it. They acknowledged that having dailies in Pandaria was not a great idea, or at least I think they did. So why do they think that placing an item in game so powerful you practically must have it, but then force you into running a single fight 20 times, after spending the entire expansion grinding other parts multiple times is any better.

Personally they should have just given a token reward upgrade your ring to 755 after your first Normal kill, 775 for Heroic, and 795 for Mythic. But perhaps that is flawed because people would only do it once. I don’t know.

My experience these last two expansions with a Legendary things has shown me that giving everyone a chance at it is flawed. Going back to Cata, where every caster having a staff made fights trivial, has shown me that a Legendary item should be special. It should not be game breaking, nor should fights be designed with everyone in the raid having one. Because for me right now?  Seeing another one of these added to the game is likely to just make me in sub from the game.

I know that it is not the games fault. That it is the people. But when your subscribers are mostly those that have stayed because of the people. Perhaps you might want to look beyond those top 500 guilds, beyond those that push you to make things more difficult. And at what is making people get so hostile to others in a video game that it is driving others away.

Maybe we all shouldn’t be in raids. Maybe the flaw is encouraging as many as possible to get in to do them. I don’t have any answers. Only a firm belief that if this Artifact weapon that everyone will have to have, ends up being another expansion long grind fest of upgrades and forced multiple farming of things, I will grab the highest level regular weapon I have and just go play old content until I am finally so bored with repetition that I just do not log in one day, one week, one month, then not at all.

You may think oh, he is just one person, one sub doesn’t matter, but I am one person that tries his best to help others. And if I am gone, then that is one less person, willing to answer questions of new players not expecting anything in return. Running a guild where you don’t “have” to participate in certain content. I will just walk away one day. Fill out an exit survey and be gone.

 

Late day edit.

I think we all eventually get to a point where we have just had enough. Where the thoughts of running 20-25 mythic dungeons, or dozens of LFRs have no appeal and when faced with having to pug a run once a week becomes a pointless exercise when you find yourself disliking the reason you are in there. Personally I feel it was, is, a mistake to not offer valor to upgrade the gear they want you to acquire to raid. Kind of like saying hey great you want to PvP in Arena, here are world quests and dungeons we would like you to run. Aside from that, I do wish they would filter better the Oceanic realms or which ever we see routinely where the majority of the group is speaking a different launguage. You may as well let us queue with. Alliance. The directions given for fights are just as intelligible.

There has been a great deal of faith in the company lost from me these past 3 years. There are design goals they are pursuing that they are not expressing well to the players. Or perhaps not to ones like me. I see all the time people say, have faith. Legion will be fine. I want to believe. But before I commit myself to not just one but two accounts at a total of $840 for two years, I want to be sure that it will be worth it. Because right now it is just ok for me. The game does not have that burning desire to get home and logged in as soon as I can. If not for the people and the guild, I would have walked away before we ever entered Siege. I certainly hope they have looked at all of the reasons people have left, but also why people have stayed. Why they have held fair in a 12 year old game title. There is something that is magical about Warcraft. When you first step in and wander around, and there are no barriers keeping you to a fixed path. The freedom to explore, to progress at your own speed. To just enjoy an experience, has been lost in a way with the push to get not just one, but multiple characters to max, to do everything over and over. The experience has become diluted in its effort to allow people to have armies of alts. It’s like the dalies. You had a cap on them because you knew people would feel compelled to do them all. Adding more and more character slots is just doing the same. We all know someone with 10+ garrisons. People making hundreds of thousands of gold. It’s an addiction. And when in a month you cut it off, the outcry is going to make the flying thing seem like a whimper.

There have been a lot of mistakes made. By the players too. I just hope that the bridge can be repaired and that what is planned will have that feeling once again.

Im going to be quiet for awhile. Talking every day about the game with all of you is wonderful. But I think I may need a mental break from things. Some time to focus on finding that spark of enjoyment once again.

 

See you you all on the other side of the portal when we go back to fight a battle once again.

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All we are is dust in the wind

 

Every year I see more and more people I have come to know, just walk away from the game, from friendships.  Sure their places have been filled with new friends, but those we played with years ago, those people we played with those first times we stepped through to Outland, the ones we did our Argent Tournament dailies with, those we did our daily quest for Valor.  They leave our lives.  But we always have those memories, of the times someone autoran through the entrance of ICC clear through to Marrowgar pulling the entire instance wiping the entire raid, the accidental click of an ability that started a fight too soon, the effort as we watched a single person popping every cool down to get that final 1% of a boss for our first kill.  We all have memories, we all recall how things were.

This time next year we will probably be in the second tier of Legion, complaining about how things were so much better in Draenor, how Mists was the best expansion ever, how Wrath was the hey day.  They are memories of the good times.  We try to hold on to them as best we can, because it is not just the game that holds good memories for us, but the friendships made and lost.  We all cross paths with people in our time in WoW, some stay for awhile, some we never lose.  Real ID has helped us keep in touch with those that have moved on to new places, to new Blizzard games.  It allows us to maintain friendships with those that at some point in our gaming career, shared a common goal.

When I look at the state of the server forums, I am a bit sad at how far many have fallen.  There was a time years ago that if there were only 10 active topics going on in a day, it was a slow day.  When they created the “New” forums, where you had to log in with your account, and authenticator if attached, as a means to cut back on the toxic postings, it killed off a small part of the community.  People found themselves unable to log in during work to check and see what was going on, to interact with friends, to make friendly rivalry jokes about people or guilds of the opposing faction, to just talk to each other.  The rise of Facebook and Twitter, and the use of them to integrate us more into a global world may have exposed us to potentially many more friends, but it has also caused us to overlook making new friends close to home.

I see how they have now combined the combined realm servers into joint forums, in a hope I can only guess, to bolster the feeling that there is a community alive there.  When I think back on the times years ago, and look to the state they are now, it really does show how the game is changing.  Gone is the small town feel for the game when you had to maintain a decent reputation to be invited to groups, where people respected others, not for some gear level, or progression, but for who they were as a person.  Things have become, I almost want to say, impersonal.  We queue randomly for groups, sometimes not even seeing a word spoken beyond, this group do this, this group is assigned to that.  It is all about zoning in, getting something done, then zoning out.  Things like a person saying congrats to someone getting that first achievement, people saying thank you for the run, or great group, thanks, are rarely seen.

I look at how things appear to be to me, and wonder why has it gotten this way, what happened, how can it be repaired.  And it occurs to me that to fix something, some times you need to go back to the beginning, back to where it all started.  Next month we will see many people start playing WoW for the first time, they will log in to some randomly chosen server, perhaps with friends, perhaps all by themselves.  And they will be lost.  Gone are the years of the class leaders, the people that use to post information on guilds, on things being done as a community.  And perhaps that is a good place to start.  Go to your server forums, create new guild messages, update postings, show to theses new people, that these are not just characters they are playing with, but real people that have played for years, that are willing to help.

We need to start looking closer to home to bring life back to the game, to make it more about having fun playing a game with friends and family.  To make lasting friendships to share an experience that many of us have had for years.  We need to stop being dust in the wind drifting from place to place never staying for too long.  It is the time to take the initiative to bring back the way we treated others, to show everyone they have value, that there are people willing to help if asked.  The alternative is the game and community becomes a desert filled with tumbleweeds.

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Are we being looked at, not as consumers, but as a commodity.

We see it every day, all over our Twitter feeds, on Facebook, on web sites we frequent…

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Follow me, retweet this, enable notifications, the next 5 retweets are winners, free stuff, free, FREE, DID WE SAY FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

And what do we do.  We click and follow, and retweet, and share, bolstering the numbers of the person(s) giving away free things.  Before anyone gets upset that I am singling out the little people, the streamers, the bloggers, the artists etc.  I am not looking at them.  I am looking at the huge bot programs that mysteriously appear and have 47,000 followers in a day, the ones with no interactions at all, yet are promoted tweets.  I have looked at the costs Twitter charges to promote tweets.  It is not something an average person can do, even just once.  Thousands of dollars for 1 tweet.

So why are they doing it.  They are not really selling us anything, they are just attempting to give away things, most times with so many restrictions, must be first 5, must enable this, must show proof, must must must.  In the end, they are just looking for us as a commodity to bolster their numbers so that they can say, hey, look at us advertisers, we have a 200,000 follower reach, you want to pay us money to promote your stuff.  We are no longer the consumers being advertised to, but a commodity being garnered to enable people to make more money.  I am not involved in advertising at all, I am sure it is much more convoluted than that, and I am probably only seeing something that has existed for decades.

I realized the other day when one popped up, giving away free Razor keyboards to “All” that follow me, their bio said partnered with @Razor, so I followed, then saw tweets for a contest, and played along, then saw ones for follow this Twitter they are with me, then another, and another, then the caveat, Oh, never thought this many would follow us, Wow, thanks all, the next 12 win this awesome stuff…. And I watched as their follower total rose by the thousands.  And then I blocked them.  I shut down notifications, and stopped being a commodity.  If a company would like me to purchase something, I will look at their product, and make a decision as a consumer.  I will no longer fall victim to being used as a means for others to make money off of my presence.  I am sure it will happen anyway, but I will no longer just blindly click, or help promote, or share vital information.

One other thing I noticed on the subject of over sharing.  I noticed that sites like WoWtrack and WoWhead, probably more, are asking you to log in with your Battlenet account.  It seems innocent enough.  I trust Blizzard to protect my personal information and my account to the best of their abilities, but it occurred to me, what if a marketing company made the owners of WoWhead an offer they could not pass up, what would happen when they suddenly had access to all of our account data.  Certainly accounts with authentication as some form of security would be blocked, but what of millions that do not.  What if even their servers just got hacked?  As a preventative I am changing my passwords to my account today.  The free giveaways, the possibly beta keys, toys, pets, mounts, it is just not worth the risk.

I am taking a stand today, I will no longer consciously let myself be used as a commodity.  I am taking back my rights as a consumer.  I will of course always support the little guys I see on Twitter, just trying to get by.  But the huge streamers?  Sorry.  Look to someone else to support you.

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There comes a point you just lower your expectations. 

I was really down late Saturday night. 3 hours of continual wipes on one fight will do that to you. Sunday I woke up with no desire to set foot in a Draenor raid ever again. But I know I will. I need to get 5 more ring upgraded, that should put me at 725. That’s worlds beyond where I ever thought I would be for this expansion. I had no intention of doing anything more than LFR really. So when I was not even mad per say at the raids, it was disappointment in myself as a player, and a cold deadness inside that there was no chance I would ever see anything more with my friends, because I am not good enough. 

They tell me to go read logs, but they really make no sense any more. When the one method you have found that makes a glimmer of sense to play has you falling short, you just have to decide. 

Will I keep going, or should I stop. But it’s not that simple either. Oh sure stopping is cut and dry enough. But to keep going. What will drive me, inspire me to try to be better. And for me that answer is nothing. There is no mount I need, some title I will never use, another 10 or 20 achievement points. I’ve exceeded what I thought I would. Done more than I ever thought. So now I’m just going to go in twice a week, and not care if we do or don’t get it down. If it happens great. If not? Meh. Didn’t expect to anyway. 

I know this is probably an unhealthy attitude to take. But right now I am resigned to being a 57%. Or at least that’s the value Mr. Robot has given me. I’m 57% of the performance of people in the gear I have. So I’m good enough for some things, and lacking on others. It does not make me a bad person, or a bad player. It just means I can probably get through 57% of the content successfully. 

There are still many week to go, months even. I will tag along with everyone, do the best I can, but I know at some point I will hit my wall and not be able to go on. And I will watch as those I play with go further than I can. And I will be happy for them. 

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Cause I gotta have Faith

 

New tomorrow.  We we all hope there is news.  Something.  Hopefully more details on what we will be getting, what may find itself on the chopping block, what is not working, what is working better than hoped.

At this point having not only a content drought, but a news drought also really has bee hurting.  We are still trying to advance in Hellfire Citadel, but have been finding ourselves being pulled back into Normal just to catch people up, and at least to me the extended duration of this final tier is starting to show.  People wanting to get Alt’s in to get some upgrades leading into Legion, some people coming back to the game from long absences, all wanting to catch up so going into the pre-expansion event they are not far behind everyone else.  I don’t mind the occasional run through normal, i am tired of beating my head against a few upper level Heroic bosses.  And to be honest, I could very easily just live out the rest of the expansion in 15 minute a day intervals.  But I know in that direction leads less desire to log in at all.

I’m holding out hope, trying to have faith, that they are going to pull out the stops, they are going to do all they can to make this the best expansion ever from them.  I just hope they have a plan in place for after the movie release, because in a months time, those that are grumbling about how things are, will be talking a little louder, and for new players coming into the game, jumping right into the Draenor experience on their first level 90 character that they have no clue how to play, coming into a game asking questions to people that have gotten belligerent and down about the game are going to be giving them impressions of a company that does not care, is only looking at the bottom line, that cannot be trusted in anything they say.

I’m trying my best.  I really am.  But if even I am having a hard time of it, then I am certain I am not alone in my feelings.  I love the game, I love the story, the fact I can go back and do 12 years of content any time I choose.  They have created the push to be at the end, to be working on the final content at any point.  Personally I feel they should be working on ways to entice people to go back to the old.  Certainly getting pets and transmog items is always fine, but a few times through and the desire to repeat fades.  I have done Hellfire for the majority of the time it has been out, and it’s wearing thin, just as running Siege for months on end wore thin.  Not everyone has an army of alts they want to get in and through content, some of us have one or two we focus on and to us sometimes falls the burden of being there to help others, the person with the tank geared to do mythics that wants to play his hunter, but has to switch because the two tanks just can’t control the fight, the healer with a Warlock they want to play that has to switch just so 20 others can get through to the next.  The DPS that wants to gear up their tank or healer, but are asked to step aside so the rest can advance.  The game is full of selfless people volunteering to get onto their main so that other can get further ahead.

I don’t play Alt’s, I play one character. I do everything with him, and he is tired.  I am trying, trying to keep faith, but have a nagging thought that the game is heading in a direction not meant for me, that it is going to be more heavily focused on competitive play.  And if it is, it will see me leave.   Because for me it has never been about competing against others, but working with others to get the job done, to have fun together, to be a part of a group. And if the direction I see does come to fruition, then I will feel that I have had misplaced faith in a company to create a game viable to as many desires of players of all ages and levels of skill.

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