Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pumping in some new to Wow.

Most player experience burnout because they are bored with that they are doing. I know that for a while, playing my shaman was the last thing I really wanted to do, my solution? Make a paladin and do something completely different. For me, I'd played my shaman in one form or another for almost 5 years, it was time for something different. So along came the paladin tank, and with it a reason to continue playing. However, you can only do the same 5 man so many times before you get bored again. So, instead of making a new character and leveling another 80, I decided to do something I'd never really done before. I made a conscious effort to get achievements. Titles mostly, from reputation, and quests. I got the Argent Champion title in about 10 hours of grinding, and the Bloodsail Admiral title in about 3 hours. I did these with friends over a few days, and it was a blast. It wasn't about raiding, or being leet, we just wanted to do something new for us, and have a good time. We are currently getting set to start on the Loremaster title, going Explorer on the way. Sure, these might not be the most fun things in the game, but we are working at something concrete, with a tangible reward, instead of a promise of one like raiding. Now that we are doing titles, and some of the achievements in heroics, we all have a reason to keep playing besides raiding. I'm not a hardcore raider, or even a steady raider anymore. I did that for 4 and a half years, I'm ready for something new, and with the loss of my hate for achievements, I've found it.

I know a lot of people feeling burnt on the game. People that have played for so long that nothing, not even new bosses are new. People that started eight months ago but have done everything worth doing. Cataclysm prmises to bring something new into Wow, but I'm not convinced it will last. New races are cool, but they are just models that are already in the game that are now playable. The new raids might be cool, but with more than five years of content, how many more mechanics can blizzard come up with? The new zones are goingto be new, but again, five years of stuff. What I'm more looking forward to are the quests. The quests that shipped with Wow are shitty, we all know it. Going across zones and continents to complete one quest is stupid. Burning crusade was better, but not by much, it was still just gathering things and killing X number of mobs. Wrath brought more decent quests, phasing was one of the coolest things in the game, and leveling from 68-80 was just as fun the second time around. After five years, I think blizzard will really impress us with the new expansion.

But until then, we all need to find something more to entertain us. My plan is to work on titles and achievements that get me something, but I know that isn't for some people.
1: Try and do some PvP or arenas. If you do them with friends, it can be really fun.
2: Go back and go some of the old school raids, they might be easy now, but they are still fun to do. And not all of them are a breeze.
3: Collect things, mounts, pets, even titles. They are a good way to kill time and you can stretch your epeen a little.
4: Like me, go for achievements. Some of them are really cool to do.
5: Make a new alt, do something you haven't done before. Level with friends, guildies, or even your significant other if you have one.
6: This is probably just my OCD talking, but I find that if you like addons, making your own UI is a really good way to kill some time, and you can get to know what you actually need to see while raiding, or whatever you do for fun.
That's it for now, I have titles to get and time to waste. If you're ever bored, or looking for a little change, do some of the thing I do, or find something else you want to do. I know one person that is a video maker, and on her spare time not raiding, she is going to make a video of the entire world of Azeroth before Cataclysm. Do what you need to do, but keep it fresh, keep it interesting, but more importantly keep it fun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Healing: A damaged mans game.

People that don't heal ask healers why they do it. I will be the first to admit, that all healers are damaged goods. We are masochists. We play a thankless game, we are the people that keep everyone alive through the stupid.We are the ones blamed when a wipe occurs, and we are never thanked when we spam heals to keep some idiots alive. So why do we do it? Well obviously someone has too, but why us? Why do certain people pick healing over others. Well, it's my thinking that most healers pick to heal because it is a thinking mans game. I can't just stand in one spot and spam heals to win, I have to think about what I'm doing, and more importantly what other people are doing so that I can keep them up. Healing requires you to pay attention, to be raid aware, and be quick to re-act. Even with that, healing is not all that different from dps or tanking, instead of bringing an enemies bar to 0%, we make sure that all our raid members live, reverse dps. However, I think healers get a stigma for one reason, and one only, most dps don't pay attention to the raid, and don't know that the healer are doing anything. People think, oh healing is easy, just keep me up so I can smack the boss. Sure healing might be easy sometimes, but in complicated fights or ones with a lot of damage going out, your healers are doing more than people think. I think this is part of the the problem, we get over worked and overwhelmed. Dps look at their damage, threat and if they are standing in the right place. As a healer, I look at 10 peoples health, if I'm standing in the right place, and making sure I have mana to heal. you hear about healer tunnel vision, because our job is to keep you little bar in our healing mod at full. None of that really explains why healing is a damaged mans game though does it? Well here's my opinion on that, healing is for masochists. We enjoy feeling like shit when we wipe, like we could have stopped it, we push ourselves to heal more, and we yell at ourselves more than anyone else when we die. I know that for myself, I'm constantly checking numbers to see what I can improve, keep track of when people take more damage then they should, or less healing because of something I may have done. I analyze, nit-pick and fuss to make myself better, not because I need to top the meters, but because it is my obligation to keep people up, and if someone dies then I'm not doing my job. That's really the meat of it, I have an obligation to keep people alive.Sometimes it isn't even your fault, sometimes someone stood in something bad, but when they die, I still feel like it's my fault. Ask any healer, as anyone that leads a raid, when you talk to your healers about what went wrong, the most common answer is I didn't heal enough when it might have something we had no control over. Healers have a messiah complex, we need to heal everyone. It's why we do it, and it's why we have so many problems. So go tell your healer thanks, and to do something less stressful for once.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guilds R 4 raids.

For the past, maybe two to two and a half months, myself and my friends that I've played with for upwards of a year have been looking for a guild that we could confidently call home. We'd server transfered upon me realizing that Mug'thol was the shittiest server in the game, and we finally plopped down on good old drenden, my old server full of fond memories and people I'd rather not talk too. We looked and looked for a guild that raided, but on a laid back schedule, because none of us wanted to spend 15 hours raiding like some people do. It took a group of great people with no skill whatsoever, a guild where I was immediately kicked on entering because I didn't have the gear for ICC 25 to finally find our fit. I would just like to point out to any guild master, or officer, that the first thing you say to a new guild member, is not "Get yourself to 40k unbuffed by Saturday for ICC 25 or you won't raid with us". Well turd sucker, I would love to get to 40k unbuffed, but seeing as Saturday was two days away, that might be difficult. Also, get fucked. So we were on the look again, my partners in asshattery were still pumped to find a guild and get into ICC. Myself? Well I'd pretty much given up, it's difficult to find a giuld that can get anywhere that will also accept three people. Usually they only need one or two of you, or they need 80's so badly they don't care what you are. But in the end, we found our home by way of random whisper from someone in Dal. Usually, like most people I suspect, I was about to completely ignore this guy. But the way he approached it was amazing.
             "Hey, we're looking for a few members to join our ranks. We have great people, we raid when you want to raid, and we get content down. Come try us out, and if it's not a fit, you can leave, it not a problem for anyone."
Now I've been in a large number of guilds over the years, and that may be the first time I've ever gotten a random whisper that actually made something happen. Of course as the asshole that I am, I start making fun of this guy in vent, making shots at his guild name and the like. "Inconceivable? Well it is Inconceivable the I'll join your guild." But we kept talking, and I actually liked the guy. I told him it'd be a package deal, he'd get me and two of my friends. Most people say it's ok, but are kinda worried when they get a group of people that already know each other. But enough of about that, we joined, talked to all the people and raided about two days later. We moved into Ulduar, by far my favorite raid in WotLK. In about two hours we killed eight bosses, which as some people had never been there before was impressive to me. Some of the fights in ulduar are tough, even if you outgear the content. If you don't have aware healers and mobile dps on Hodir you're going to wipe even if you out gear it. So needless to say, I love our new guild, and I might be in love, because the GM's either girlfriend or wife is as big of an addon junkie as me, which is awesome.

So, Inconceivable of Drenden is now moving into ToC and ICC, getting ready to rip up some baddies in Northrend. All I have to say is fucking finally.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eye cancer and how to cause it.

Welcome to my informitatve guide on how to make yourself bleed out your eyes!

Step 1: Activate World of Warcraft and log in.
Step 2: Stare at your screen for at least 3 hours a day, while having a poopy user interface.
Step 3: Raid with that UI, having seizures from numbers flying at your face and cluttering your screen.
Step 4: Keep playing like that for months. Eye cancer achieved!

So, after my helpful guide, I bet you're asking yourself how to make that not happen. Well, you could stop playing Wow, but we all know that isn't going to happen. So what can we do to prevent seepage from the eyes? Well dear reader, I have a solution, STOP USING THE DEFAULT TEXTURES FOR ADDONS THAT LOOK SHITTY. Ahem, 'scuse me. As I was saying, make your UI look good. Unknown to apparently half of all raiders, omen doesn't have to look like a 1000 year old piece of shit. Addons are there because you don't like to default blizzard UI, or you need more information. They don't need to be blocks on you're screen that are so unalike in looks it's painful. If you can play with the default UI, with maybe just grid or vuhdo to help with healing, or just omen to see if someone's creeping up on your threat, that's fine. But to you people that edit your entire UI, and it looks like someone spermmed addons all over your screen, could you maybe clean it up? You don't need some super fancy UI, with flashy shit flying all around you, but it needs to be clean. I always have four criteria for when I edit my UI.

1: Keep everything the same texture/font/style to make it look clean and seamless.
2: Have all necessary information close to my main focus on the screen, for example DXE and omen, and cooldowns.
3: Keep non essential information to the side, small and faded out. My buffs are small, right above my bottom left corner and a low alpha.
4: Have everything aligned with each other so that I don't have a mountain range or addons from one side of the screen to the other.

These make it easy to edit a UI. It makes me able to configure a UI exactly how I need it to look, and I can make it pretty.
All of my information is centered, everything is leveled with eAlign, and all my textures and colors are the same. Everything flows. And guess what people that use the parchement texture for omen, it doesn't look like someone came all over your screen. Sure this might be a little cluttered to some people, but I think that by having everything under 25% of my screen, I have a huge viewport of what is important. What do your UI's look like? Does it look like a dirty hooker's been working on top of it, or is it clean?

Monday, March 1, 2010

A raiders relationship.

Wow is an immense game, a universe in and of itself with over Ten million players globally. With raid content so readily available to the player base, a large portion of that 10 million are raiders of some sort. You have the people that raid for eight hours a week, the ones that raid for twenty, and all the people in between. You might think that with such a gap between play styles, a difference in what raiding is to these people, and just having such a wide range of people, no raider has much in common with another. You're dumb if you think that, kay? All raiders, with the exception of sociopaths with no emotion, have a defining characteristic in common, they all have strong bonds with the people they raid with.

Lets take a look at raiding, what is it at it's core. It isn't killing bosses in a game, or getting shiny pixels to go on your shiny pixels, raiding is working as a team with however many people the instance or raid needs. You have to cooperate with your raid team to get anything done, and to get it done well. It isn't, "Okay, A go attack B while C and D help. E and F will heal you while G does some other thing over here with H to help". Raiding requires everyone to watch everyone else, to see if they are in trouble, to help them. If I'm not watching my dps to see if they pulled aggro, they might die, and in turn others might die, but if I only watch everyone else I'm not doing my job. So I trust, Trust the other people in my raid to perform how they should, and in turn I'm trusted to do the same. By having that trust while in a raid instance, you build bonds with people. If I know that Mr. Healer will keep me up with no problem, and can even help with CC or dps because he has the ability, I'm going to enjoy just talking to him, because he will be mature enough, and knowledgeable enough to hold a conversation. A dps that pulls high numbers, is raid aware, and is willing to sacrifice his E-peen to help the raid is someone I would love to be around, because he's going to be a cool person. Conversely, if I can't trust my raid members to do their job, or to help the raid, I don't give a rats ass about them. If they can't find it in themselves to do their best when it matters, how can I expect them to do anything when it doesn't? Some guilds only have ten or fifteen raiding members, some might have forty, but it all comes down to one thing: You are spending countless hours playing, talking and dealing with these people. You're going to build a relationship.In many cases, a very strong bond. You hear talk about how gamers don't have relationships, that we sit in a dark room and stare at a screen talking to people we've never met. But I ask people that don't raid, or don't game and interact with other gamers, when was the last time you spent twenty hours a week with nine other people that you trusted with one of your passions, and worked toward a goal that in and of itself promotes comradeship? You might call up a friend and go to a movie, that's fine, that's great, but you don't trust him or her as much as I might trust my tank that I know is a good player and person. You and nine friends go to a bar for someones birthday, awesome, give them some cake from me, but I doubt you've spend an upwards of fifty hours a week socializing, getting to know these people, and I know that you haven't spend countless hours with your these people, holding them responsible for what you do and do not accomplish.

To wrap up let me say something. I don't think that real-life relationships are meaningless, and I'm not saying you are incredibly close to all the people you raid with. If you have a friend you've known since you were six, I'm betting you like him more then the people you raid with, because you've known him for countless years. Also, if you've spent the last year with the same people for more hours a week then most working adults work, I bet you are closer to them than just your casual friend you might call up if you're bored and no-one is around. Raiding is not something that you do for three hours a day with nine or twenty-four other people, and then never talk to them again. It's a sport, a team sport that requires a coach in your ear and a captain at your side. You build trust, forge bonds, and make friends, friends that aren't limited by the Wow universe, and friends you plan on keeping even if you leave the game.

/end wall o text
/sigh loudly at a job well done