Mixed Bag

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I haven’t blogged in a while and I think I’ve finally worked out why. WoWInsider posted that they were accepting applications for a writing post. Now I love writing, and a job working from home writing would be amazing. I considered applying for it, who wouldn’t right? However, this scared me stupid and it’s like I seized up. I couldn’t think of anything to write, and even if I had a topic, nothing I wrote seemed to make sense. I didn’t apply obviously, I guess I just wasn’t ready.

I still can’t put together a longer post, I have a box of drafts right now with varying amounts of words. Therefore I’m going to go with what I did last time and have a mixed bag, things that I’ve been thinking about, things that in other circumstances I’d expand to their own post, but just have little snippets right now. So here’s the mixed bag (take two).

Would you recommend Warcraft?
This question comes from The Grumpy Elf who was adamant that he wouldn’t recommend the game. Let’s take this question and break it down. If I saw someone in the game store looking at the game would I recommend it? Yes I probably would. I love this game and so I’d tell them that, but I do agree with Grumpy in that it’s huge, and therefore difficult for new players to start in, or is it? When something is new and huge it can be daunting, my need for a to do list speaks volumes on that. However, I remember how much easier my favourite activity was back then, namely getting achievements. There was more of them to get so it was easier to accumulate them. I’m sitting at just over 15k achievement points now, all the easy ones are gone pretty much. Sometimes I long for that blank slate where the tasks were more achievable  the top of the mountain is harder to trek than the base in some respects.

The beginning of the game is a world of unlimited possibilities, you haven’t made choices, you haven’t locked yourself into anything yet. That potential is intoxicating and so much fun. However, that really depends on the type of person. I loved working through everything to try and ‘catch up’ with my friends, diving in head first trying to learn everything I could. Other people might be discouraged by the length of trip in front of them, in order to catch up.

Anyway that’s just some random person at the game store, I don’t know them and their choice would be their own. Not knowing anyone in game when they started would be their biggest problem, and the only reason why I would hesitate on recommending it. That all changes if I know the person, if they’re already a friend. A friend I would know something about, know what kind of person they are and so I wouldn’t hesitate to help them in game. I’d give them a couple of hundred gold, and some bags, to get started. I’d send them some links of places like Wowhead and Noxxic, I’d invite them to my guild so they had a friendly community around them and then I’d let them explore. There’s no quicker way to turn someone off a game then by doing everything for them, they never get a feel for the game and instead get very bored. However, I would give them that support network, someone they could ask questions of though I would encourage the use of google. I’m a lot more willing to help people who will help themselves.

I might even level a character with them so they could try dungeons and have a friendly face. I would be hesitant to officially recruit them as triple xp is addictive. I levelled 5 characters the traditional way, one of which is a death knight, and 8 characters with triple xp. Those eight characters are also the 7 most recently levelled characters, plus my first where I was recruited by my friend. I almost hope blizz doesn’t ever release a new class as levelling without triple xp feels like it takes forever, it doesn’t but after you’ve levelled a few characters it’s such a pain to redo it. It’s bad enough making the trip from 80-85, and now 85-90 over and over. Far better to never have that quick levelling boost, you can’t get used to or miss what you’ve never had.

So yes I would recommend the game. I love it and I started in the twilight of Wrath, it’s more than possible that someone who starts tomorrow could catch up like I did. There’s 10 extra levels but each expansion levelling gets nerfed so it takes the same sort of time. Everyone has to start somewhere after all. Blizz is bound to lose old subscribers as their circumstances change, so they need new ones to keep the same level and keep this great game going for a long time.

Where should a returning player start in Mists?
This was asked on WoWInsider by Fox, who’s got a few level 85′s and played Cata but hasn’t played at all in Mists. Just from reading the first few comments the opinions varied wildly, and mine is very dependant on who is doing the asking. Does the person want to raid? If yes then they should start with their main character. Does the person want to raid as soon as possible? If yes then they should level as efficiently as possible, hitting each zone at the right level range, maximising rested by mainly questing rather than dungeons but hitting dungeons once for the quests. Well that’s my recommendation for efficient levelling anyway. If no then I’d recommend doing loremaster at the same time in zone order. You’ll see the story that way, maximise the amount of reputation you get from the one time quests, and it’s a good introduction to the expansion.

Right what if they don’t want to raid. Well then they could start with anything, get a little taste of what Mists is all about. I’d go through the pandaren starting zone, but you don’t have to roll a monk if you’d like to be different. I rolled a gnome monk and can’t imagine a better race choice for me. I’d head over to Halfhill and start a farm on a character, you won’t get reputation at 85 but you can stock up materials, and farming is reasonably interesting. If, and only if, you don’t care about when you get to things then try pet battles. They are fun but they are a time sink, only delve into them if you don’t need to work on your main character. Once you can fly, and it’s suicide if you can’t most likely, then I’d do the lorewalker achievements. You get a very nice mount and get to read some lore, if reading isn’t your thing then you get a play put on for you when you hand them in.

The thing about Mists is that there is a lot to do so it’s a question of priorities. Also don’t get bogged down or stressed about catching up, and definitely don’t try to do everything everyday. It’s possible but it burns you out like you wouldn’t believe.

The levelling game
Hmm the above actually worked out like a whole post nearly. Anyway moving on, I’ve been levelling alts recently with a friend of mine. I have to say nothing beats levelling with a friend. It keeps you going when you’re fed up, you can laugh and joke and best of all you can do dungeons. Some groups in dungeons make you just, well /headdesk is my preferred emote. They really aren’t places for going alone if you can help it, at least in my opinion anyway. My friend has beaten me badly at levelling, he’s on like his sixth or seventh level 90, it’s crazy. The reason why is he doesn’t get fed up like I do. The long level between 89 and 90 feels like forever, like you don’t make a dent. Given you’re doing the same quests in the Dread Wastes as the last few times you levelled, is enough to demoralise anyone. Although I’ve noticed that the place I get to where I’m most fed up is Kun-Lai, the quests right after you’ve opened the camp just make me instantly /camp.

I have 10 of the 11 classes sitting at 85+, with the 11th at level 80. Three of these have made the trek to 90 so far, with another at 87, and one at 86. That leaves another six to go as I want to have one of everything. Getting them all to 85 proved a trick towards the end of Cata as I was so fed up of levelling. I love Mists and the zones are pretty cool, however I think you tire of anything several times through. I haven’t managed to get my friend to give up his secret, of how he just powers through yet.

I think the problem is more that I’m focused on efficiency, and getting to 90, than anything else when levelling. I did dungeons a lot towards the end of Cata rather than facing Hyjal again, I levelled my warrior through gathering which I didn’t do this time. It’s an interesting dilemma as if blizz introduce too many ways of getting xp then it would get rather complicated, or make speed levelling even worse (depending upon the ways), but levelling over and over is still something not everyone can manage. I just want to have level 90′s for more shots at the valentines mount which has sort of given me a deadline.

Raiding troubles
I know multiboxing would make this possible, if slightly impossible to do your role correctly, but I really wish sometimes I could split myself in two. I’m having trouble getting enough people to run raids in a consistent manner, and having no responses to recruitment either. It seems like every guild on the server is currently recruiting. Having particular trouble with healers and I’m starting to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to recruit another tank, then I’ll swap to healing. I really don’t want too but it’s not just about me, and quite frankly disappointment people by cancelling raids is worse than doing a role I enjoy less.

I guess that’s a good debate point. Is changing your class/spec something you’d be willing to do for the good of your guild? I would but from reading similar debate posts, and the comments people leave, I know that isn’t a universal opinion. The healers in the group are all fantastic people but they are also busy people, who have lives outside the game, unlike myself. So having someone guaranteed to turn up every week, like me, in the healer slot which is the most difficult to fill (although I’ve not had to try pugging a tank yet) would maybe ease the situation.

It’s the woes of a guild/raid leader I guess and it makes me feel woefully inadequate in the position. Do all guild/raid leaders feel like they don’t have a clue what they are doing? Do they get as few responses to recruitment efforts? Am I missing a trick with the recruitment? Is there more I could be doing? Another debate point I guess.

Transmog Restrictions Lifted
I’m really pleased about this as the weapon restrictions never made sense to me. A two handed weapon is a two handed weapon, the animations aren’t any different (so far as I’m aware) so whether it’s a sword or an axe it shouldn’t matter. I still think there’s so much more they could do with transmog. I want a transmog button like a disenchant button on loot rolls. I also want a wardrobe so I don’t have to store all the gear in the bank/void storage. Come on blizz you know it makes sense.

Patch 5.2
I’m not ready! We’re just starting Heart of Fear. I know we had some raid scheduling problems but wow blizz you are really going for it on content release. Not that that is a bad thing, too much is better than not enough. That concludes this post, I have to go search for more relics now.

One thought on “Mixed Bag

  1. Hehe, well I wasn’t aware you had asked for my secret, but maybe you were being subtle and I wasn’t picking up on it ^^ My “secret” though, is nothing more than the fact I don’t really mind being a bit inefficient, I do a lot on dungeons while leveling, and try to take in each new dungeon as the new experience it is.

    I mean, from a basic standpoint Stormstout Brewery will always be Stormstout Brewery, but it’s the group dynamic and how people play their character I’m focused on. Do people talk to each other or are they just quiet? How do people react when someone does something “stupid”, or on the onset of/after a wipe? As for the individual players, does the tank pull like a maniac or very cautions? Does the healer heal “when necessary” or do they keep all players topped off all the time? Do the dps perform particularly good or bad in doing damage? Do they move out of stuff or stand like statues and expect the healer to keep them alive?

    Call me crazy but a group that doesn’t seem like any other group I’ve encountered is more exiting to me than a run-of-the-mill group that progresses through and kill everything without anything that stands out. And yes, that mean I even prefer groups that fail a bit. ^^ Of course, there’s failure and then there’s failure. After a certain threshold, I will also to a /headdesk and vote to kick, but at least an experience like that can give a non-talkative group something to talk about, thus making the run interesting again ^^

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