Archive for March, 2009

The Art of WoW (Intro)

March 23, 2009

This one is about art. It is quite fair to say that what attracted me first to play WoW was the fact that no videogame looked as different as this one does. Specifically no other MMO had that much interesting art. While everyone was trying to get a realistic look, warcraft aimed to get a more stylish one.

This was in the vein of other games that did this first, games like the windwaker, earthworm jim come on the top of my head. I remember being astounded after my first hour in the game to be getting away of the Northshire Abbey running excitedly looking at the trees in the road to Goldshire.

It is fair to say that things kept looking better and better, the absolutely beautiful Mulgore, the wastelands and their creepy look full of the scourge. And muche more than that. Outland brought a different kind of style, but outer space has never looked so interesting, so full of detail.

Which brings us to the present. The continent of Northrend is like Azeroth reloaded. And is really varied too, each zone being very different than the next one, each 50 yards square filled with little things that make the whole journey feel worth it.

Now it doesn’t end with the zones, each race playable or not, is quite well designed (though i like warhammer’s orcs better). We can go to the elves, two different kinds of them each with their own architecture, with their very, both beautiful, own looks. Or the cartoon humans, looking like medieval superheroes.

Even if the graphics are not up to date, the whole game looks much better, and prettier than many of the newest generation. This all is mainly and introduction to the subject I am trying to reach, which is the different items we get to wear, and the lack of distinctiveness of them in the newer tiers of content. But that is a subject I am going to explore in the next post, until then, be safe.

A plea for Dual Wielding in 3.1

March 21, 2009

After almost a month of testing I’ve been reading about the changes to Death Knights. Right now on live I am certainly enjoying myself as DW specced. Hard to not be enjoying it since it is very much overpowered. But it seems the devs just decided to nerf it to the ground. Now, I think everyone was expecting that to happen, even myself. But the changes have not only nerfed the spec, they have destroyed it, it is pretty much impossible now to keep playing that spec.

Now, I am all for speccing into the bottom of one of the trees, but certainly it is not the same feeling for me to carry a big 2-handed weapon, than it is to carry two smaller ones, attacking at lightning speed, and dealing a lot of pain. I just don’t give credit to the fact that dual wielding was allowed for death knight, but then there were no viable specs for it. One was discovered and they have been trying to shut it down.

This isn’t me QQing, as I said, I think currently we are overpowered, just tone it down, don’t completely get rid of it. After all the big daddy of the DKs is a dual wielder himself. Though he might be a tank ‘cuz he is carrying 2 slayer of the lifeless, I wonder if he ever does Naxx 25, is not that hard and he could get a Last Laugh.

But I digress, I am expectant of more changes, and trying to adapt, and hopefully keep dual wielding come 3.1.

Easy, Medium, Hard

March 10, 2009

Now that I am into blogging a tad more serious I notice that most of the weeks there seems to be a theme most blogs discuss about. It’s early in the week but so far I think the talk is about Hard Modes being the new standard in progression.

Let’s go briefly into the past, remember all those SNES games? They used to give you the choice between easy, medium or hard. To tell you the truth since my beginnings as a gamer I used to pick the easiest setting, once I grew up I thought I was a bad player because of it, never once redid a game with a higher difficulty setting.

That is, when given the choice I picked Easy, that way it was almost an assurance that I would get to finish the game, to see the content. I should underline that last part. So, WoW implemented this line of thinking with the release of WotLK, though to be honest, it always has been like that only instead of getting to see the easiest raids for you to go into the next ones, now there is the possibility of doing all the content, but with lesser rewards if you don’t want to do the hard modes.

The day I decided I was coming back to WoW, when the expansion was on the way I thought to myself, I am going back, killing the Lich King once and for all, and that is going to be as good as game over for me. So, naturally I’ve been aiming for that goal, when it became apparent to me that my previous guild didn’t like to experience any challenge, just, you know, do what is easiest, it sent a message to me: “We are probably not going to get there in the end”. And so, since my goal is clear, I had to leave it and became a member of one that I think has much better chances.

Fact is, with or without hard modes, Ulduar is going to be harder than Naxx (though I don’t know just how much) and we certainly can expect Icecrown Citadel to be even harder(I don’t even want to imagine the Hard Mode Arthas). You can be certain, Ulduar will weed out most of the guilds that right know are pretty content raiding Naxx and Sarth sans drakes. Yeah, because Sarth+adds and Malygos take practice, you don’t one-shot those, which is something I’ve been seeing since my return to WoW, people when given the choice will always pick the Easy setting.

Of course, I am generalizing, there is the guilds that always strive to beat the content, all the content that is. Even if that content becomes tacked on. Can you imagine? In hard mode Arthas has six arms, but you get the easy choice of  cutting those to make it Easy Arthas with just the normal amount of arms for people.

I am again losing myself against the multiple points I am trying to make. To keep it simple, I believe adding easy and hard modes is good since people have at least more chances to see the content(I still believe that it will take more than good will and a couple of Naxx epics to get through Ulduar). But the fact that Hard Modes in no way make that much sense as it stands now, I mean “Hey guys, let’s kill Sartharion and his Drakes at the same time, you know, It will be more Heroic” It certainly is an accomplishment, but it doesn’t take away the nonsense.

BTW, we just started tries on Sarth 3D, that fight is brutal. Logic tells us, killing 4 dragons separately is better than having the 4 of them at the same time breathing in your face. and yet we do it the hard way.

A de-railed train of thought about Dual Specs

March 7, 2009

So, the topic of the last few days seems to be the upcoming Dual Spec feature. Deriving also about the fact that pure DPS classes may deserve to be doing higher DPS in general to make up the fact that they don’t seem to bring anything else to a raid.

The Dual Spec feature on my part seems welcome. It’ll make the life easier for many people, while would perhaps complicate a little bit on the organization part. I play a hybrid class, but I am, and always have been, and always will be a damage dealer, preferably a melee damage dealer.

Back in vanilla WoW I used to play a fury warrior, back when that was rare, back when you had to scratch every little bit of Azeroth for some +Hit gear, now I can’t seem to get rid of so much of it. During BC I was on hiatus, but I managed to comeback by the end of it, and played a rogue. Now to not get away that much from either play style I use a dual wielder Death Knight.

Suddenly after all that history I am given the ability to get a second spec, and the most likely choice is to get a tanking spec, even though I don’t enjoy tanking, and consider myself so-so at doing it. So maybe I will get a spec that gives me better survivability in PvP (I stop for a minute to see people laughing at that statement). But after being given the option, I know that my main spec will always be a DPS one.

So, while Dual Specs bring a very appreciated feature, for me is more like a bonus thing, another aspect of the game at wich I can experiment. And because of it pure DPS classes think I should be doing less DPS, because they aren’t being given the chance to have a spec that they probably wouldn’t even use in the first place. Face it, if you had wanted to tank, you would have already rolled a tank.

While Dual Specs bring a little bit of flexibility to a raid(or a great deal of it, depending on how you play the raid game) in the end aren’t going to change the scene. I don’t care if a retribution paladin has the option to, after a 5 second cast, become a tank or healer. If the rogue is a better player I am going to want to bring the rogue. Again, depending on how much min-maxing you do in your raids, the dual specs aren’t going to be a whole game changer.

And look at me, another unorganized train of thought being written, got to work on my writing skills more, but I hope at least the thoughts, if not the point, came across.

Thoughts on the enrage timers

March 6, 2009

Tobold made interesting comments about the enrage timers some bosses like Thaddius or Maly have. While I would like to agree with his view I also look forward to said battles. Is perhaps the reason why I play and always have with dps specs.

The enrage timers basically test the whole raid, especially the damage dealers, and while in this state of the game those timers are quite loose, it still helps to measure if a raid group in particular is ready to tackle the rest of the content.

The one thing I agree with is that I would like the enrage to be implemented in a way that is not so sudden, where the clock is all it counts. The encounter that comes to mind while actually being quite easy implements this view in an interesting way. I am speaking about the Gothik encounter, where he stacks a debuff that makes your stats dwindle, but even so is beatable after many of the stacks.

One of the strengths about the game is actually the varied encounters you can find, while a boss like Patchwerk has an enrage and is basically a gear check, others like Grobbulus test how good is the mobility of your team, and encounters like KT test many of these things at once, from being able to interrupt his frostbolts to minimize the damage it deals on the tank, to crowd controlling the chained members at a sudden notice, to reacting fast to the fissures and ice blocks.

That is pretty much why I don’t mind and enrage timer here and there, and if you can actually justify it with lore or hide the mechanic as in Gothik’s, so much the better.

About

March 5, 2009

My name is Isaac and I play on one of the relatively new Latin servers, the reason being I am Latinamerican. It is an interesting server to be on since I used to play in the north American ones. There are some differences that I will from time to time point out, but we can rest assured is mostly the same as any other server, having two languages notwithstanding.

I play a Death Knight on horde side being that the only races that are interesting to me are humans and forsaken I play the second race. My main point of writing over here at this time is mostly to vent ideas and to share a bit of my thoughts on several subjects the main one being WoW of course.

In my first post, written a bit over a month ago I was seriously considering quitting my guild, and much less considering creating one. I did quit my previous guild, but winded up in another one. And at this time I am pretty satisfied with it, since the main problem with the other one was perhaps lack of ambition and in this one I found more like-minded members.

We are going to start tries for Sarth 3D this week, but somehow I would rather us to focus on filling up the couple spots we have unfilled every raid night. The members of the guild are good at their classes and that is why we seldom feel the strain of having 19-22 people only on raid nights, but I wonder every time how much more we could accomplish with a full raid of high quality players.

WordPress tells me as of now I have written 273 words on this post, and I wonder how much or little this is, but right now I find myself a little unfocused and think is about enough for a second post, will find ways to improve on this. I am almost glad no one has found this blog yet, and will try to enrich it for when people start finding it.

This is it for now, and I just amaze at myself as how wrong the title for it seems.