I pugged Heroic Archimonde and paid 20k to do it. 

I saw the posting in trade last week. Selling heroic Arcimonde runs for the moose and ahead of the curve title for 20,000 gold. I hesitated on it because I was not sure if it was a scam. But I asked a few people that did it and it was a legitimate run. Eventually I was able to pull the person and guild up on the armory to see who they were. They are a top 30 US guild. All have hundreds of kills on a Heroic and their gear is probably all best in slot Warforged everything.

And I should thank Foozeqt and DNOgaming for coming to my realm and offering up runs. Thank you for the opportunity.

I expected it to be like so many stories I have heard over the years. Take off your armor, go stand over there and die so you don’t mess us up. But it wasn’t. You were expected to do what you were supposed to. So I did. I paid attention to adds, avoided everything as I was supposed to and completed the entire fight alive. Seeing the fight in a 30 man group is very intense. But I did it. I was no where near the top DPS, I was near the bottom. But I expected that. I did well. And I did not die, or drop bad stuff in the raid to cause a wipe. I thanked everyone and collected my quest. By then it was beyond late for me so I will finish it tonight.

I’m glad I did it. I see now I do have the ability to do the fight on heroic. Prior I had gotten close with a mostly guild group. But there was always the nagging feeling that even with the guild I was being carried for something they wanted me to get. So now that feeling of having to get the fight done in time is gone, and I can focus on doing better with the guild raid team.

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I don’t care anymore

 

As much as I love WoW, and seem to be able to write about something when I want to express an opinion.  I am just not bothering with of the Alpha stuff that is all over.  Until it gets to even Beta testing it it really is no where near a finished product.  There is no point for me to be upset over changes or lack of things.  I certainly will not see an invite to Alpha, probably not even for Beta in any expansion, and that’s fine.  I am not the type of person they really need in there testing things.  I am normally well behind the curve for doing the majority of content, and my views and impressions are a far cry from the majority of the player base.  So me being in there for a few hours a week would really serve no purpose.  I have in the past kept up with changes, sneak peeks at class changes, looks at zones, over views of the story.  It use to excite me.  Now?  Just another night in game.  Log in, work on what ever I feel like working on, or not, and logging out a few hours later.  There is no anticipation of getting home as soon as possible, grabbing a quick bite to eat, logging in to go tackle some evil that needs to be fought.

In Wrath, we saw the Lich King in many of the dungeons, he showed up in ToC, he was an integral part of the story, he was always around for key point in the development of the story.  In Cata, we had Deathwing, out and about in the world setting people on fire.  Again, prevalent in our minds.  Pandaria we had Garrosh, and for a time we had him in Draenor.  Unless you read the book, how he got here and why we went after him is still an huge unknown.  I read the book, so know the story between defeating him in Siege, and where we are now, and it still does not make a lot of sense.  Then we find out Guldan has been behind the scenes causing problems, but he never really seems to be the in your face bad guy.  Ok, we saw Mannoroth in the cinematic, and what not, but the up in your face bad guy has been missing.  Far as I know Archimonde has not been out and about in the world, I occasionally fly over to the dark portal expecting something to be going on.  But it’s just the same old same old.  I don’t want to say it feels like they just abandoned the whole expansion, there has to be something.  Right?

And so I am just not letting myself get caught up in torch waving over things.  My opinion has no value, the only thing that would even raise a blip would be if I cancelled my subscription.  And even that I doubt would be noticed.  I am sure I could just quietly walk away and withing a few weeks no one would really notice I was gone.  There were days years ago I felt like I may have made a difference, that something I had done mattered.  But now?  I’m just a $15 a month sub.  I have no interest in any of the other games on the launcher.  Certainly I have given them a try, but they are not for me.  WoW is almost becoming an app game for me that I play around with for a couple of hours a day.  It has lost me as a person that cared about changes or direction.  Now I just do what I need to to get from point A to B, to get to max level, and do what ever catches my eye for the evening.  To many hopes for things have been tossed away.

I look at the group finder, trying to find a heroic group to do Archimonde to get the mount and achievment the right way.  They all want 715 or 720, all want you to link ring and AoTC achievement.  And I cannot meet any of these requirements.  I am barely at 713, I don’t have Ahead of the Curve, I have done the fight many many times, even once to sub 0% but have never killed him.  So I have to keep working at it, hope that I get lucky and a friend has room in a group, and watch as I am labeled as a carry.  Or I will have to keep an eye open for someone selling it.  I had a chance the other day, and I wanted to think on it, and like so many things the opportunity is gone.  I will probably get the mount.  At some point.  But if I don’t, it will be a sad day for me certainly, but I won’t quit over it.

No I won’t quit over any number of trivial things.  Quitting for something like that would mean that you cared about some aspect so much that you felt the need to just go.  And right now?  Today?  I have nothing compelling me to do more, to rise up to the fight.  I just don’t care any more.  It will be there years from now, designed how ever they feel it should be designed, whether I like it or not.  I can play or not.  The choice is always mine to make.  So for now, it’s just logging in and finding something to pass the time.

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I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me

 

Or am I even in its mind at all.

Life would be so much simpler if we all had a crystal ball we could gaze into to know what tomorrow, next week, next year would bring for us.  Sadly we don’t.  We have to deal with things as they come up.  Sure we can take steps to make sure things don’t catch us too off guard, routine check ups, a yearly visit to the dentist, saving money for a rainy day.

When it comes to gaming, we have no idea, well maybe some people much closer to internal testing may have some clue but are held to Non Disclosure Agreements, but none of us really know what is coming, will they surprise everyone and say the pre-expansion event is in July and release in August?  Will September come around and have a “We’re sorry, it’s just not ready” We don’t know.  I am sure for them, they may not know either.  All we can do is, live for the day, do what we can to make it through to tomorrow.

There is a great deal that can be done in the game, they are practically handing out ways to catch up on any part that you want to give a try, the toughest thing, is to find the motivation in you, to go out and do it.  So come in out of the rain,

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put on a happy face,

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and,

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And now for some motivational music.

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We are the after thoughts

We are, the after thoughts, the also ran, the Hoi Pilloi. The common people. The ones that play at our own pace, the ones still working on content, the ones even now just getting into our garrisons, the ones that may have only been playing a few months, or maybe even years. We don’t fit into the mold that the game may be designed for.

While many may be done with Draenor, anxiously awaiting the next expansion, waiting to read news, ready for something shiny and new. We are still plugging along working at finishing the expansion.

Last night I got my first Archimonde normal kill. And I have been in groups recently trying to get him down on heroic. The guild is officially 13/13 normal, and we are 6 or 7 of 13 heroic. Looking at the drop of my first Legendary ring upgrade, I still have 19 more to go. So if I use the few mythic dungeons I do during the week on upgrading gear, I still have over 4 months of killing him once a week before I will be where others have been for some time. And that’s ok. I don’t know if I will ever see it maxed to 795 before we head into Legion. I don’t know if they will add valor to the raids for more to catch up. We, the common people, still have a great deal to do.

 

And there is is nothing wrong with it. Even if at times we may be made to feel so. People placing their own values and expectations for raiding at a certain pace, getting a certain level of gear to participate in content. Even expectations on doing certain parts of the game. Right now I have a full clear on LFR, a full clear on Normal, and some on Heroic. And that is more than I ever thought I would do in the expansion. And I’m doing it with people in the guild. It’s a good time to be playing.

There is no worlds first race to be finished and playing other titles, no must have to complete before the next tier drops. Certainly there is the moose to get for many. And I hope at some point we will also be ones helping people get theirs. But right now, it’s not that important any more. Yeah I feel I will get it, and I will get it with the guild. But I’ve done more than I ever thought possible as just an average player.

Its ironic that so many people that looked down on people like me, on guilds like the one I run, or our server from Mists, that have either quit the game, or their guilds fell apart because they pushed everyone to keep up with the release schedule. Many just forgot. There is a lot of game to have fun playing. You don’t have to be raiding as soon as it drops, don’t need to be the first to have fun. The trick is finding a group of people that share the same or similar goals. Not putting pressure on people to keep up, you have to cap every week. It is ruining the game for a lot of people that just want to experience it.

We see the perceived gender inequality thrown in our faces by the eSports crowd. Women are too emotional to play competitively. Bull shit. Women, men, kids, teens, married couples. We are all gamers in our own right. Do you see the likes of the top pro baseball players telling kids on a little league team telling them they suck?  Basketball players telling teens on the playground just give up, you’re never gonna be able to compete?  I find it shocking how many that play video games to the top levels look down upon those playing the same game to their own pace. If you want to ensure the death of any type of competitive video game playing, keep on putting us in our place.

While I may not be great or the best, I try to encourage people. And I’ve seen young people that thought they were not good at the game go on to be so much more. The next generation players need to learn from someone. If it’s not you, then it will be me. And I will be teaching them that they have value as people regardless of their skill. That the success of a team only comes from a team working together. Not just one.

We may be an after thought in the design of the game. The common people that are here doing it our way. But here we are. Still playing while you are off in Overwatch, or Heroes of the Storm. And if you don’t watch out some day we may be the ones more progressed than you. And when you are looking for someone to lend you a hand to catch up, we will probably help you. Even when you have said how bad we were for years. We will still be there. You just have to ask.

 

 

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Is Zone scaling a good thing?

I don’t really know much about it.  Just the basic statement that zone quests and creatures will scale to your level.  50012124

And they will.  So whether you are level 101, or 105, or even at max 110, for the initial zones everything will be scaled to the same level as you.  And I don’t really know if I am happy about that.  Either there is going to be a lot of frustrated people playing under geared or squishy classes, or they are going to set the bar so low that it really will not matter much.  How they will deal with being grouped with someone at a higher level than yourself I have no idea.

In the past, if I was questing and got to an end of zone quest line that proved to be too difficult due to my level or gear, I would move on to something else and come back to it later.  But now later may end up being once I am beyond hitting max level and in gear that is of better value than the rewards from the quests.  I look at when I first hit level 100 and ventured into a bonus zone by myself, only to quickly find myself dead.  many many times.  It was so bad those first few weeks, that I just avoided them all together.  I should have been in them more because the reward for doing them was worth it, but the level of frustration at kill two, dead, release, run back, kill two, dead, release, run back, 30 minutes to complete a bonus and a hefty repair bill.  No thank you.  And I will not be doing that again.

And that is my big fear.  That we will do some of the outside world, eventually find ourselves in the class halls, and we will sit back and complain there is nothing to do, while we have followers of some type venturing out for us completing tasks.  We will sit and wait on queue’s for Normal, then Heroic Dungeons, and maybe at some point they will offer a huge honking carrot, like go finish the quest lines and unlock the story and we will give you water walking permanently, or faster riding, even flight.  A lot of this is speculation of course because there really has not been a lot of information.  Yes we have the initial release package, we have what people involved in Alpha have told us, but it would be really nice to have some more official details, beyond the upcoming hey, watch as two teams race through a dungeon on heroic level that you won’t see yourself until October, maybe.  That is a lifetime of the game away for me.  I will not be watching.  I am sure many will.  Watching another person play is very low on my list of things to do when I have limited time to even play.

So if you are listening Blizzard.  Let me just state very plainly.  Not everyone watches twitch, or YouTube streamers.  We, dare I say it out loud, We read.  We get our information by reading your blog postings on the official site, we read what is written by bloggers, and we read what is data mined.  Although that last I tend to avoid because it is very easy to misinterpret information that is gathered out of context.  So I hope that you will get some people typing, get them out to the pod casters doing interviews, give us something beyond letting a select group of high profile video people doing your work for you.  Because that can easily back fire if they make a comment that some feature is too easy and should be reworked.  You think it is difficult maintaining some control over what your employees talk about on social media, yet you are placing the success of an entire expansion in the hands of people you do not even employ.  Just something to think about.

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Archimonde to 0%

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Yeah that’s right big guy.  I took you down to 0% last night, you had what appeared to be 63,000 health when we went down.  Myself, a tank and a healer on Heroic, fighting to the very end, when I went down an Infernal put you back to 6%.  That was a best attempt over 2 days of pugging the fight.

I have kept quiet about some of the comments made as people would drop from group, comments that the few people in the guild that have done the fight on Heroic are trying to carry people, that it’s just bad healing, that the DPS is low.  And I have seen many also say good luck, and sorry I have to go.  I understand that many are just looking for their kill of the week, just want to get in on a Heroic run to get their free ring upgrade before they go back to Mythic progression.  I do hate the term carry.  To me being carried meant you were asked to tag a boss, then move over to the side out of the way to die so you would not drop some thing in the middle of the raid, that healers would not be over taxed keeping you alive.  I view myself as far from that term as you could possibly imagine.

I have 3 pieces of Normal tier.  Just 3.  I have the basic legendary ring, I have upgraded a few pieces of gear, and equipped my iLevel is 711.  So yes, I suppose to those looking to pug runs where normally 720 is a minimum I am the low man in the group.  I may have said on numerous occasions that I really do not like raiding recently.  And that goes back to Heart of Fear where the level of mechanics were such that it was too much for not only my computer to handle, but for me to keep track of.

I never said I don’t know how to raid.  Oh I do.  Our raid leader mentioned last night, Mara’s pulling 43k DPS on the computer he has, when his new one comes in he is going to be kicking a lot of peoples asses.  I sim somewhere around 42k.  So yeah.  I know my class, I know how to play.  What gets me is huge AoE’s that I can barely see on the lowest settings, intense graphic bursts with multiple adds that drop me to sub 7 FPS, or just lack of knowledge of the fights.  Yes, sometimes I get caught on the wrong side of a ginormous pool of bad and I need to run around the whole thing and sometimes I end up out of range of the healers.  But when I am in the right spot, and do not get tripped up, I know what I need to do.

Being labeled as a carry last night by a Hunter that was pulling 48k DPS, in 727 gear, that died during phase 2 did not make me mad.  It just made me a bit sad for the state of things that rather than stick it out, work to help a group get a fight done, it is easier to just give it 2 attempts and drop to find another group.  If anyone is being carried it is you sir/madam that are barely beating out a Shadowpriest in gear more than 10 iLevels lower than yourself.  I am doing these heroic attempts because some in the guild really want me to get the moose.  And I am putting in the work with guild members to get it.

Well I am sure I will get it at some point in the near future, that perhaps getting a 4th piece of tier will jump my numbers up even more.  What still bothers me is that even with as much time as we have until the expansion is done, there are many people that will never have an opportunity to get the mount, to get that glimpse of story that they have only seen by looking at the leaked youtube video.

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The sound of Silence

 

There use to be a time that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my class, and offering to help people as best I could.  When I use to read guides, and research my class.  Times I use to talk about how much I enjoyed playing Shadow.  But these past couple of years, I have kept silent. Mostly because in trying to simplify the classes, to allow more choice in how you play, less of a cookie cutter build, they have just made things more complex.

I tried using Ask Mr. Robot.  I did figure out that there are default settings depending on what level 100 talent you prefer, and followed the recommendations, but then I found out that those figures take into account that you have a tier set.  Then I started looking at what pieces of gear I have acquired.  And the stats are all over the place.  I thought that they had said that we would not need to carry around multiple sets of gear.  And that may be true, but it almost feels like they are artificially extending participation in content so you will farm up pieces of gear in order to put together a set with the correct secondary stats.

When they added Mastery, it was a bit of a learning curve trying to balance out, but now we have Versatility, Multistrike, Mastery, it is just adding a level of complexity to the class that most people do not understand, or have the time and luxury to put together sets of gear to suit specific fights.  If you play CoP or AS and have tier your better stat is X, if not it’s Y, unless it is a fight with just the boss or one with multiple waves of adds.  I see the comments, we are trying to simplify the game, but you are making certain aspects to simple and adding a level of difficulty that most cannot grasp.

I take what ever piece of gear I can get.  I focus on the primary stats.  The rest?  They are what they are.  During Mists we could hit the reforger to balance out the stats that were not really good for us, could enchant and gem a certain way to stack a bit more to the correct direction.  Adding more variations of stats, some of which really are not that great for certain classes, reducing the amount of gear we can socket, has just added more frustration to playing to me.  I don’t bother running Sim’s on myself.  What’s the point.  I do as best I can, with the manner that I can play that feels right, and my numbers are what they are.  There are some fights I do well, some that I don’t.  The variation in performance is so drastic that I really don’t pay all that much attention to it any more.  I do not get any joy from being near the top, or feel bad if I am near the bottom.  I just stay silent about it.

I hope they realize that taking 3 specs and trying to give 3 different ways to play each is just adding more an more levels of complexity when they are trying to simplify and remove the bloat.

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