There seems to be a perpetual debate in different WoW social circles (Blizzard Forums, private forums, game chat, etc) about what the next class is that will be released. Aside from a plethora of slight variations of WoW classes that exist in other games with different names, the most common that come up tend to be the Bard or the Demon Hunter. I’ll get to the Bard in a later post. Demon hunters have been present in the Warcraft universe since Warcraft III, starting with Illidan Stormrage, and have continued to exist into World of Warcraft in areas of the game that have heavy demon infestations (Outlands, Felwood, etc). So, there is a mild case that can be made for adding them as a class since they do exist in Warcraft lore. Why is it then that they’ll never exist as a playable class?

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I participated something last night that made me wonder if perhaps making content accessible to the masses can have an adverse side effect of making that content far too easy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who hails back to the “harder” old days that let only an elite few actually see all of a raids bosses. I really like that there are normal modes to bosses that don’t require dozens of attempts to kill. I love the relative ease of blowing through a MoP heroic dungeon without much worry that I might be wiping to this boss for the next 45 minutes. I even enjoy the concept of the Looking for Raid feature. Particularly on nights where we’re short guildies online to do a normal raid or just so I can take an alt through the content without having to make a second raid / join a second raiding guild. So, keep in mind that I think it’s okay that the LFR bosses and trash pulls can be a low stress, easy-going, fun way to get some sub-par raiding gear. But after doing the first 3 bosses of Mogu’shan Vaults, perhaps we should consider that content that has been made so accessible that there’s no challenge left might not be worthwhile content after all. There may be some spoilers to raid content after the break, so be warned!

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Here are a few screen shots from Pandaria that I’ve taken and enjoyed. More to come in future posts.

I wanted to give a few days of being max level before attempting to post my commentary on the expansion. My opinion, however, has not changed since I reached level 86 to level 90 and to now. Mists of Pandaria is a solid upgrade and addition to World of Warcraft. If you read my last post, or feel like going to read it now, you’d have seen that I was indecisive regarding what character to make my ‘main’ for MoP. In the end, my Death Knight won out over the rest. I leveled from 85-86 as Unholy, but quickly switched to Frost. Howling Blast, hitting all targets for decent damage and applying dots, is simply one of the most superior AoE options available right now – particularly for questing, given the heavy movement that comes from running to and from mobs/nodes/etc. Questing was easily the most enjoyable that it has ever been to me, possibly with the exception of when I started playing back in The Burning Crusade. I wouldn’t think this is because TBC quests were better (they weren’t), but just for the new factor at the time. The zones were amazing. It’s been quite sometime since some visage in WoW made me think, “Damn, that’s pretty awesome looking.”

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With World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, only 3 days and 10 hours away (as of the time of this writing), I’m finding myself in a bit of a pickle – I’ve yet to choose a class and spec that I intend to play. For some, this choice may be simple. Perhaps you only have one character at the Cataclysm max level of 85, making it the most sensible choice to level. I’ve managed to get every class leveled to max which completely exacerbates my indecision. Should I stay on my Death Knight to keep dishing out the diseases and protecting my face with blood shields? Should I revert to my previous main and lay down some holy wrath or healing on my Paladin? Any other class is also an option, except my poor abandoned rogue. I don’t much care to pay for a server transfer to get him on the same server as my guild. Maybe I should make a list:

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Anyone who follows, or more appropriately stated – used to follow, this blog would most certainly have noticed that it’s been sometime since I last posted. I don’t even know when (though I could easily check).  Yes, I’m alive and yes, I’m still playing. But, I’ve found my interest waning over the last several months. I know there are a couple of factors in this. First, I’m 3 levels away from having one toon of every class – admittedly it’s taken 3 months to go from 80-82 on my Warlock. Second, my guild is doing much better at raiding in the last two tiers than we have in quite sometime. How is doing better a problem? Between Firelands and Dragon Soul we’ve managed to increase our realm progression rank by 15-20 spots. We’re deep into Dragon Soul heroic boss attempts. This also means that we’ve killed all of the bosses a ton of times. Over and over. Frankly, I’m moderately tired of the concept of killing the same enemy repeatedly only to discover him alive and well a week later. Even worse, Mist of Pandaria doesn’t have me excited – at all.

Mists of Pandaria Read the rest of this entry »

Now that I’ve gotten a little over a week to play around with 4.2, a couple of the new raid bosses, and a few days of the new daily quests out in Hyjal and the Molten Front, I’m here to tell you – this patch did not change WoW significantly. There hasn’t been too much of a shuffle in spec balance; arcane mages still pewpew excessively and you’ll probably still be kicked from a raid if you try to bring your subtlety rogue. So far it seems to be a mostly a standard WoW patch. Follow after the break for more about the Firelands, Hyjal Dailies, and other stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

With 4.2 (theoretically) coming out tomorrow, I am pretty excited. Major content patches are always exciting times. They can breathe new life into the game and give us brand new reasons to hate warlocks. Ok, so we probably have enough reasons to hate warlocks without a patch.

So, I’ve spent the past week making sure my toons are prepared for patch 4.2. How have I done this? Well I’m glad you asked. The easiest form of individual character progression was to get all my max level toons nearly capped for justice points. When 4.2 comes around and all the wonderful valor point gear becomes purchasable with JP, I’ll have a stable of alts ready to start getting decked out in tier 11. Keep in mind, 359 will be the new 346 and you’ll be expected to be mostly set with 359 level gear in order to participate in the new raid content. You can also expect pug leaders to want higher average item level given the ease of acquiring 359 in 4.2, regardless of the massive 20% nerf to all of the regular raid bosses. Another great way to prepare yourself, as a raider at least, is to check up on the raid bosses in the common Firelands raid. WoW Insider columnist Matticus shared his impressions of Beth’tilac, Lord Rhyolith, and Alysrazor and could help give you an edge on some of the first bosses if you plan on jumping  right into raiding the new content. I’m sure a quick search around the interwebs would reveal more boss information as well.

I have also prepared myself to laugh at D-bags that try to ninja BOE’s they plan on selling.

  • If a player wins a Need roll under the Need Before Greed system on a Bind on Equip item, the item will become Soulbound to that player. The item will remain unbound if won via a Greed roll.

I’m okay with people needing bind on equip gear they intend to use, not if they intend to sell it. This change makes me all sorts of smiley.

As opposed to listing the entirely of the patch notes after the break, as I had thought about doing, follow me after the break for a direct link to Blizzard patch note blog as well as WoW Insider’s guide to 4.2.

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Man, I’ve really been slacking on keeping up my Daily Thoughts here. Someone once commented that I should consider calling it “Weekly Thoughts” and that is seeming more accurate right now, but the name doesn’t sound quite right. Let’s continue!

Not too long ago, my mage reached level 85. I leveled using mostly a mix of frost and fire specs. 5 minutes after reaching max level, I was ready for heroics. Wait? Apparently it’s pretty nice reaching 85 with nearly max justice points and honor points through a long series of dungeons and battlegrounds. I picked up my vendor gear and had 331 item level, well clearing the 329 requirement to get into heroic dungeons. I got fired up, ready to go, and prepped for my unfortunately long 30 minute wait to get into a heroic dungeon…and found my DPS startlingly lacking. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve always found there to be something wrong with a lack of consequences for any given action. In the real world there are plenty of repercussions for bad decisions and failure. If you gamble and lose, you lose money and possibly go into debt or face other personal problems. You wouldn’t likely run in the middle of a gang shootout or busy intersection without good cause. In traditional video games, dying usually means reverting to the last saved location, but in multiplayer online games, there are varying and often insignificant consequences. Game developers have a tough job of balancing the feeling of risk with keeping the game fun.

There was a poker application on myspace that I played for a little while. There was “chips” that you could bet and collect but had no real dollar value attached. Most players played in a similar fashion to how a realistic game would go. You don’t bet big unless you have a good hand or really think you can bluff your way through. Ocassionally though, a player would join a table that would simply max bet every hand. Complete disregard for the normal consequences of betting all your money. Unless they were challenged and lost quickly, it would pretty much ruin any table. Other players would fold, leave, or sometimes call the bet and be taken out completely in one fell swoop. Of course, there is a chance someone feels ballsy and goes all-in, but not every hand or that commonly. The realism and fun of the game was hurt because losing the chips meant nothing, a player could log back in or re-install the app and be good to go yet again. In other types of multiplayer games, specifically WoW, the lack of penalties for dying or losing sometimes can hinder the behavior and strategy of some of the players. Read the rest of this entry »