Monthly Archives: November 2007

Politics leaves the Barrens, coming to a border near you?

Chuck.  Norris.  ‘Nuff said.


Posted by on November 30, 2007 in Uncategorized


Areas of “meaningful activity”

Mystic Chicanery had a real interesting post  yesterday.  About how she doesn’t get to return to areas she’s leveled past, and as such her in-game world is really a much smaller place than you’d expect.  She related that to real life and how our real world is actually a lot bigger, because you have folks of all levels around you.  You don’t “out level” the corner coffee shop, if you will.  Your world is filled with people of all “levels.”

Our lives in Real Life aren’t confined to the boardroom where we’d otherwise only be surrounded by like level people.   I go to work, and I’m surrounded by people with similar educational backgrounds, and we work on similar facets of our product.  In “game terms” everyone is about the same level.  Our “quests” are all “appropriate for our level”.  And so on. 

You could say our “meaningful activity” in Real Life is confined to the boardroom, where we earn our salary. 

Much like our “meaningful activity” in the game, at the end-game, or at the level we’re at in the game, is confined to the areas where the quests are appropriate for us, where the mats we need are found, where the experience earned by our efforts pays off.

In Real Life, however, we interact with more areas than we do in-game.  Why?  Because the bookstore we frequent, with the ice coffee and the latest books, isn’t in the boardroom where I work.  I can’t get books where I work, so the world I interact with is made larger.  And when I want some chinese fast food I’ll go to the mall, yet another area where I’m not earning a salary yet I want to be in.  And if I plan a trip down south to see family, I also get to see some wonderful beaches.  And if I were to head north, it would be into forests and then mountains.  I really get nothing for being there, and yet it’s all “meaningful” for me.

As Nibuca says you can really tell you’re just in a game at that point.  When your “meaningful” area is just a small patch of the total area available to you.  You have no reason to return to Westfall once you’ve made Shattrath City your home.

I’ll differ with that though.  Is your life simply defined by where you earn your living, and little more?  Blizzard has addressed this point as well, and to a pretty good extent, I think.  They have made more areas “meaningful,”  making their game a little broader than they had to.  All the Seasonal events they have.  Searching for Ancestor Coins across the map.  Stealing fires from enemy cities.  Visiting the monuments to heroes of the past.  You’ve got to leave Shattrath to return to all those old places to accomplish “fluff” things like getting a Snowman Costume, or getting “for show only” glowy shoulders and helm.

None of those are a permanent features, calling for, or allowing, permanent visititation.  You aren’t always having to do them though.  Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t, they’re seasonal.  Much like my vacations down south aren’t a continuous feature of my life either.

But could they broaden the game experience?  Give us a reason for visiting Westfall when we’re level 70 raiders?

I think they could.  Why can’t Westfall have big, non-aggressive, beasts like the Clefthoofs of Nagrand.  Make them level 65 Buffalo if you will.  Non-aggressive, so no biggy, but still level 65.  (Make it so guards don’t aggro upon their attacking someone.  Make it so the guards laugh at the poor idiots dilemna for aggroing that mother trucking Buffalo!)  Make Buffalo hide a feature in high-level, Tauren only, leatherworking recipes.  (You Draenei can just stick to silver polyester or whatever your spacesuits are made out of.)

How about fish in the waters off Westfall that can only be caught when fishing is Level 350+.  Make this fish (Westfall Sturgeon) drop a component in a special buff food (Caviar of Excessive Spellpower).

Put another instance below The Stockades in Stormwind City.  Make this where the *really* bad people are incarcerated.  Level 60-64.

But, I’m going down the wrong path now, aren’t I?  I see I’ve fallen into the trap where “meaningful” must mean “loot” and “gold” and “experience towards getting a level”.

I guess what I was really trying for was  “meaningful” without “farmable” or “gameable.”

Put a Library of Lore in the library in Stormwind City.  Provide lots of books to be found on shelves which players could peruse and read all the stories out there.  (Otherwise these stories are just strewn across the globe here and there.  Random fluff in a world and too easily overlooked.  Provide them in a library.)  Make it a complete source of as much lore as is out there.  (Heck, incorporate the novels already written in the real world in there as well.)  People would come from miles to check it out.  (Put Human history in a library outside of Goldshire.  Night Elf history outside of Dolanar.  Put Gnome history *inside* Gnomeregan and let folks peruse the history of the little people in the Clean Room.)

Put a pet store somewhere.  Gizzlock’s Pet Emporium.  Put it in Stranglethorn Vale.  Have the pets all out.  Not just icons in a sellers sale window.  Let people move through them, checking them out.  Make it a zoo, and don’t sell any.  Have people look in wonder at the parrot you get from the pirates.  Check out the … WHAT THE HECK IS THAT??? … How do I get one of my own??

It’s not easy coming up with ideas like this.  And they certainly aren’t “gaming” considerations.  But would the game be better having them included?  And ideas like them?

Do any of you have more ideas about “meaningful activity” that could be incorporated into the game to get people out of Shattrath and back into the world?


Posted by on November 29, 2007 in Musings


Search Engine Terms Review

I get a kick out of looking at the Blog Stats page here, and seeing how folks manage to stumble into my place from out in the cold.

Todays list of Search Engine Terms and maybe I can address one or two of them for you:

“rampage battlegroup”  Well, I’ve talked about these folks before.  This would be the battlegroup that includes Kirin Tor and Cho’gall.  (I know about Cho’gall because like two years ago some guildie left us to start over on Cho’gall.  A few followed him to experience life from the pink Alliance side of things.)  I alluded that this battlegroup sucked.  Or that our side sucked.  But lately we (Horde, of course) rock.  So all is good.

“enhancement shaman gear”  Stuff with Attack Power and Agility.  And Stamina and Intellect.  Pretty much everything a Hunter would want.  There’s the Desolation set that drops mostly in Heroics.  (I got the gloves last night.)  It’s got the generic stats, nothing Hunter specific.

“set in good stealth”  A set that improves your stealth talent/score/rating?  Well, put a Night Elf inside of it, and you’ve got a start.  Probably a Rogue set.  I know nothing about that.

“resto shaman UI”  Pretty much take a look at my Warrior UI, and replace the Warrior buttons with Shaman buttons and you’ll have it.  Oh, add to that Grid+Clique + HealBot + SmartBuff + SmartDebuff.

“enhancement shammy gear drops” It’s the Desolation Set, available in Heroics.  The Tidefury stuff that drops in Normal mode dungeons won’t do you any good.  Otherwise it’s quest rewards and the occasional ZOMG Hunter or Rogue miscellaneous items.

“what is the easiest battlegroup?”  Whatever the easiest battlegroup might be for one faction is probably the hardest for the opposite faction.  There’s a stat place somewhere that has rankings for wins across the servers.  If a reader knows where, could they post it in a comment?

Well, that’s about it.  Dag.  Even my searches are getting boring.  Isn’t there like a rumor about a World of Warcraft 2?


Posted by on November 28, 2007 in Uncategorized


Tanking vs. DPS

That pretty much settles it.  I much prefer being DPS to Tanking.

Let’s see, as a Tank, all deaths are your fault, unless you die first.  Then it’s your gear’s fault.  Or your lack of skillz.  All mobs are belong to you, unless you can get them Crowd Controlled.  No CC?  QQ.  Your healer can’t heal themselves out of a wet paper bag?  Get yourself some better gear.  Obviously.

But, being DPS.  Pew pew.  Pew pew.  Pew.  Pew pew pew. Pew KILLING BLOW!  I can’t believe how many times I had KILLING BLOW pop up on my screen last night.  If a mob died, and I didn’t see that, I was wondering “Did I blink?”  “Did I just look away?” “Where the heck is my Killing Blow.”  I interrupt bad spells with a small Earth Shock.  I keep relevant totems down and in play.  I hurl lightning bolts like William Shatner.  Two Heroics last night, one the daily, the other the normal dungeon daily done in Heroic mode, and like 9 Badges of Justice and some spiffy bracers, and I was feeling pretty good about things, holding my own against the Hunters.

Tanking is a thankless, but necessary job.  (With most of my DS3, a few epics, I can say I’ve tanked some.)

Healing is a thankless, but necessary job.  (I was the Resto Shaman, the gimp that played alts or BG’d when Molten Core wasn’t being raided.)

But without DPS, you’ll shortly be OOM then OOH.  I’m loving the change of pace.

Msaker will go to the next Karazhan run.  And Blackhoof will be the first to step into Zul’Aman.


Posted by on November 28, 2007 in Shamans, Warriors


Back. Shaman. Gotta love it.

Who knew? William Shatner plays a Shaman?? Maybe Blizzard will fix the class!? However, he plays a lightning throwing Elemental, no doubt, Shaman, and they seem fine.

“I’m a (Captain Kirk pause) CONDUIT! (pause) for the ancient forces of nature.”  Lol.  Too funny.

Anyway, we had a great time down south with the friends and family. You can tell how hard you’re Jonesing for Warcraft when you’re at the beach, and there’s a lifeguard tower, and you’re wondering “Is the Lieutenant still up there?”

So here we are, back in business. Our low level alts are leveling up rather nicely. And the Mains, ready for some raiding.

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Posted by on November 25, 2007 in Uncategorized


Have a great Thanksgiving all!

We’re taking a little break.  Going down south where the weather is warm, and the waters turquoise.

I might post from there, some more thoughts about the new changes, otherwise I’m really on break.

And when I get back, the 25k Honor and 20 marks from Eye of the Storm, will be used to buy the Season 1 Gladiator’s Gavel.  Life’s good!



Posted by on November 19, 2007 in Uncategorized


Who else got a free respec today? Shamans did.

Logged on.  Guildie asks “Am I crazy?”  He has to respec.  Did I?  Yep.

Did all classes get free respecs today?


Posted by on November 14, 2007 in Uncategorized


First impressions of 2.3

The wife was pretty excited about the whole deal when I got home.  She mentioned things in the patch notes she’d never even heard of or known about.  Our first order of business, after printing out the 24 pages of patch notes, was grabbing the Mudsprocket Flightpoint with the Shamans.  Then, of course, off to the Shaman trainers for Droonda and Blackhoof.  Except that’s not where you learn the two-handed weapon skills we now train in.  Orgrimmar will offer to train you in two-handed axes, and Thunderbluff in two-handed maces.  That’s that then.

Blackhoof went to Thrallmar to pick up the Heroic Key there.  And the new Mad Alchemist’s Elixir (or Potion), and saw he’d missed two other Elixirs.  Three new alchemy potions, two new weapon choices, one new Flightpoint, and DrDamage was reporting an increased damage amount on my lightning bolt and chainlightning action bar buttons.  Feels like Christmas!  He also got the Coilfang and Lower City Heroic Keys.

Msaker picked up his missing Thrallmar Heroic Key and then he and Droonda set out on their dailys. One last bombing run of the Skettis eggs and he reached Exalted with the Sha’tar Skyguard.  The third Exalted he’s reached.  (Frostwolf, Sha’tar, Sha’tar Skyguard.)  He picked up the trinket, but is only half way to funding an epic flying mount.

Droonda logged off for the night and Blackhoof journeyed into the Battlegrounds.  Eye of the Storm was the same as ever.  Worse it seemed.  Maybe we were up against a pre-made.  Unreal Tournament’s “DOMINATED” kept ringing in my head.

Then it was time for Alterac Valley.  Alliance just dominated us there too.  Unreal.  I can’t count how many times I was targeted by 4+ casters and burned down.  The 2nd foray into the Valley felt the same.  I was left behind at Frostwolf and played defense there.  Somehow we kept them off the graveyard.  However, this time around, up north the story was a different matter.  Horde had gotten to Stormpike and were working on Vann.  Booya.  Horde win.  Okay.  That was a lot more intense than before, and we won.  I think I could like this!

Tonight we’ll bring some our lowbies to Mudsprocket and check it out for real.

Search Engine Terms to LOL about:

Here’s how folks find my website.  These are terms people type into a search engine, and on a match, they’re brought to the website here.

tanking ui – Okay, I can see that.

that one almost got all his armor off – Hmm?  What are we talking about?

paris hilton gankbang movie – Oh, c’mon.  What’s up with that???

what do you get when you cross a dyslexic – Ah, yeah.  My groucho marx reference.  If a guild would have me…

drawing +female warrior +thunderfury – Okay.  I’m beginning to feel like I’ve created some kind of internet pron site and I don’t even know about it. 

For the record: There are no pictures of Paris Hilton, in plate armor, wielding a Thunderfury.  Go look elsewhere!  :)

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Posted by on November 14, 2007 in Uncategorized


I’ll file this under rants, or why my Shaman is the way he is.

My Shaman leveled up as Enhancement, and went Resto to raid in Molten Core and BWL. 

When it came time to level up again, he went Enhancement again.

Reaching 70 he had a choice.  Heal or Cast.  I already played a Tank, so I decided I’d play a Caster for the alt/2nd main.

Because getting my hands on Enhancement gear I’d have to convince a Hunter I needed that set piece (Desolation), I’d have to be running in Heroics to get access to it, and frankly I’m dumbfounded that there are so many well geared, raiding, Alliance Enhancement Shamans.  They certainly took the myth and ran with it, never once stopping and asking themselves the foolish question “Since we can heal, we ought to heal,” or worse be told by their Guild Master “Since you can heal, you will heal.  Since our Priests are all Shadow now.”

There was a blog, a bit back, called Shamanistic Rage.  All about life as an Enhancement Shaman that was raiding.  And all the advantages they brought to a raid.  And all the gear they had via raiding that I’d never see.  This was a Draenei player living the dream, a god in the myth of OP Shamans.  They wound up going Resto.

And when I’m not laying down the lightning bolts to the best of my ability in Alterac Valley, I’m used as luncheon meat in the other battlegrounds, lately Eye of the Storm.  Oh, I get as often as I’m gotten so no regrets there.  But still… “My bologne has a first name, it’s B-L-A-C-K.  My bologne has a second name it’s H-O-O-F—F.  I have to BG every day, and if you ask me Why? I’ll say Cuz Blackhoof has a way of being P-W-N-E-D to get the loot he wants.”

The wife played an Enhancement Shaman with my Protection Warrior, her DPS rocked, but she’s Elemental now, and loving it.  Enhancement Shamans actually bother me when I’m tanking.  They tend to be massive, furry, and in the way of my vision.  Y’all get to the back and single target kill the skulls, k?  (Rogues have sense enough to do it from behind, and Arms Warriors simply off-tank their own targets.)

Anyway, back to Shamans.  “Look to the gear to see what Blizzard is expecting from us.”  I’ve always said this.  What does Blizzard think Shamans are doing now?  Elemental.  Look at Tidefury, the five piece Dungeon 3 set.  That’s not a Healing set.  There’s healing pieces out there if you know where to look.  There’s even a second, eight piece, Elemental psuedo-set that comes out of Normal and Heroic instances.  (It looks a little like the old Tier 1 set.)

Back pre-TBC, Tiers 1, 2, then 3, all of it was exclusively for the Restoration Shaman.  Now they’ve given us Tidefury and I have no idea what Tier 4 Shaman gear looks like, I see it so seldom.  (And when our Resto Shamans come to heal an instance in Tidefury, and don’t even throw an occasional lightning bolt… ummm, guys.  Do some quests.  +88 Healing vest is within reach!)

So.  I’m Elemental.  When the gear suggests another tack, I’ll take it.


Posted by on November 13, 2007 in rants


When the easiest thing to do is win, then win already. Rampage Battlegroup Horde is coming back.

Horde’s been on a roll lately in Alterac Valley.  I’ve yet to lose since the implementation of the anti-afk patch.

It was the easiest way to gain honor in battle grounds, prior to the anti-afk patch.  That would be sitting in the cave with your thumb busily engaged doing your own proctal exam.  But that little gravy train, so to speak, has come to an end.  No more honor for you!

So now the path of least resistance to gaining maximum honor is to actually get out and win quickly.  Something we, the Horde, have been doing a lot lately on our Battlegroup.  Exclusively I might add, at least in Alterac Valley.

Which is excellent news for Blackhoof, who’s got 5k more to go to get his mitts on a Season 1 Arena weapon (Gladiator’s Gavel specifically).  It’s nice going to AV and actually having everyone participating again.

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Posted by on November 13, 2007 in Uncategorized


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