I’ll Never Forget the Fond Memories at WoW Insider

You might have seen some of the alleged rumors and news going around yesterday about Joystiq’s demise. How does this affect WoW Insider? Well, WoW Insider is under the arm of Joystiq which is also owned by AOL (along with Massively). Heck, #SaveJoystiq was trending all day earlier. I’m sure the support from many of the readers was well received by the writers. If anything happens to Joystiq, the sister sites would feel the effects. I’m sure if there were anything official to announce, it would happen soon. Until then, I’m going to take a moment and be all sappy. I’m almost never sappy.

Matt? Show emotion? Please. But indulge me just this one time on a trip throughout the years and the awesome writers that I am proud to have worked with (and played alongside).

WoW Insider was my first big break. During the Spring of 2008, then editor Liz Harper signed me to write a weekly Priest column. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have any formal training or a post secondary degree completed yet since I was still in university. All I had was this blog as my portfolio. The Warcraft blogosphere then was completely different. There wasn’t an Icy Veins yet and WoW Head was still in it’s infancy as just a database. WoW Progress didn’t exist until 2008 and on. Elitist Jerks was the place to go for class discussion and theorycrafting. All these community sites and forums for classes never existed and MMO Champion had one of the more horrendous looks at the time (but at least it was organized and neat). I can’t say for certain what the oldest Warcraft fansite is, but WoW Insider would definitely be up there. I never did find out how the idea and the initial production of the site began.

WoW Insider wasn’t the first place to go if you wanted patch notes, raid guides, or blue posts. MMO Champion and WoWHead both filled that quite handily. If those two were the head and brains of Warcraft fan sites, then WoW Insider would’ve been the heart and soul. There are easily hundreds of opinions and editorial pieces published over the years that highlighted initiatives by players, challenged designer decisions, and offered advice on all sorts of topics. Yeah, some of it was fluff but I can’t deny the impact or the community aspect and the way it brought people together.

I’ll never forget that chance Liz gave me.

I’ll never forget the lore debates between Mike Sacco, Matt Rossi, Anne Stickney, and Daniel Whitcomb late at night.

I’ll never forget Alex and Daniel’s constant back and forth regarding each Mass Effect game, the characters, and the choices.

I’ll never forget Dan’s numerous lolcat pictures where he seemingly had one for every possible situation.

I’ll never forget Mike Grey and his calming influence or the lessons he taught about the business side of things.

I’ll never forget Adam’s liberal use of facepalm Picard pictures.

I’ll never forget when Anne introduced me to the mimosa nor all the new Starbucks drinks she came up for me to try.

I’ll never forget how I managed to rope Joe into being one of the Shaman writers.

I’ll never forget Lisa who was like the English teacher you wanted that did not use a red pen whenever you screwed something up.

I’ll never forget Fox because seriously, how can you forget Fox?

I’ll never forget Allison Robert when she won the informal headlines contest for page views hands down with “Naked Women Playing Cataclysm Alpha”.

I’ll never forget Olivia who literally showed me what tenacity and hard work looked like if they chugged energy drinks.

I’ll never forget Robin’s encouragement in making an appearance during WoW Insider guild events (I was a shy fellow).

I’ll never forget Dawn and her relationship with Ruthers, the Yak. She was always the better Priest.

I’ll never forget Sally or Kristin and the perspectives they brought to the discussions which made me re-examine my own.

I’ll never forget Chase Christian and our hilarious exchanges about how bad the other’s healer class was.

I’ll never forget Christian Belt and his nigh-legendary rivalry with about every Warlock columnist who ever tried to wage a war of words.

I’ll never forget the revolving door of Warlock columnists until one Megan managed to break the curse.

I’ll never forget the sleepless nights leading up to patch or expansion drops and the work we put in to ensure all the basics were covered.

I’ll never forget the readers (and the email comments which can never see the light of day).

I’ll never forget the fun and planning that went into Hello Kitty Insider.

There were numerous other individuals who were there. I feel like there are going to be a few others that I have forgotten. Amanda, Liz W., Big Red Kitty, Big Bear Butt, Basil, Frostheim, Chase H., Scott, Josh, Matt W., Kelly, Stacey, Lissanna, other writers, and then there were the support teams operating behind the scenes who helped ensure the site was running. One of the best editorial teams I had the pleasure of working with.

The Hypothetical

If you follow editors Adam or Alex on Twitter, they’ve both been posting hypothetical questions.

I am going to emphasize that it’s all hypothetical.

It would be nice if this was the 24th century and money wasn’t a thing anymore. But writers have to pay the bills, put a roof over their head, and put food on the table. For some, freelance writing is a part time gig. For others, it’s a full time career and profession. I think there’s a few things that the corporate overseers could’ve done better and should’ve evolved with the changing internet. If a game can make over 50 million dollars from crowdfunding alone, then that needs to be examined as potential revenue stream.

Here’s a few options I can think of that seem to work well for the sites below:

There’s the Starcity Games model where they have a nice collection of accessible articles and a premium selection of written content. However, It could be spun so that premium content would be available later for free (and that those interested in supporting the site would get a first crack and view premium content first).

Another model is to follow in the footsteps of the TotalFark and Reddit Gold programs that allow users to provide a modest monthly subscription donation which includes optional ads, special site-wide perks, and awesome deals with select partners.

The last one I can think of is New York Times and Wall Street Journal model which places everything behind a paywall (and this would be the least likely route since the hypothetical site wouldn’t last very long here).

Whatever ends up happening, this is all research into hypothetical situation that might not occur. Either way, I encourage you to let them know directly (or you can respond here).

Highmaul Day!

What an exhausting week. Running heroics, challenge modes, recruitment, and preparing for Highmaul took quite a toll. Given the option between raid launching after a week into the expansion or after two weeks, I think I would’ve preferred the former. The issue with taking the time to gear up is that everyone plays and levels at different rates. Inevitably, no matter what I do or how many runs I attempt to do, there’ll always be players who feel left out.

Anyway, I won’t have to worry about dealing with five mans anymore. I’m looking forward to raid. We’re opening with a large raid size of 34 players. Once we feel ready for Mythic, that number is going to drop by almost half.

World bosses

How are we going to handle world bosses? I’m sure this is another question GMs are struggling with. We have no definitive time frames on respawn timers or their frequency. Is it once a week? Several times a week? Fifteen minutes? We don’t know. My current approach right now is to take world bosses off the schedule and encourage players to get into groups and run it on their own until we get a firm idea of when they appear. I’m not going to sacrifice a raid night waiting for a spawn when it could better off spent diving into Highmaul.

Returning guilds

Have you noticed this? I’ve seen characters coming online and recruiting for guild names I had thought since retired since the days of Burning Crusade. I never expected to see them again. This expansion has been a real jolt to the community, it seems. We’ll see how many of them end up sticking around, however. I suspect the opening month will really dictate how many guilds are pretenders and how many are contenders. I think the reality of raiding and the logistics will hit home for many leaders again and they realize why it was they ended up quitting in the first place. But with all the difficulty changes and the flexible raiding options, maybe it might not be so bad for them.

To all the guilds entering Highmaul this week, best of luck!

Alliance First Level 100!

Alliance First Level 100!

Elapsed time, 10 hours and 5 minutes. The servers opened up at 11:45 PM Pacific a few minutes early. Turned in all my dailies and started my pre-planned route on the way to level 100. At around 9:50 AM the next day (Thursday morning), I turned in my final quest and hit level 100. All in all, my run took me around 10 hours and 5 minutes. My personal best on beta was 9 hours and 33 minutes but you factor in the periodic disconnects and you can see it adds up. Being on a PvP server and being ahead of the curve means almost no one tries to gank you. All the higher level players know and we have a gentleman’s agreement that if you go after an opposing player, it actually slows everyone down for levelling so we don’t tend to go against each other. After that, I tried to stay up for a few hours longer by running a dungeon and completing my Apexis Crystal dailies. Holy heck, it feels as if my body just started weaving in and out of consciousness. There were times I snapped back to reality while healing and noticed my group was a little further ahead in the dungeon. Took a herculean amount of effort just to try to stay focused. After that, I queued up more work orders and garrison missions and went to bed for a few hours.

I was up for about 30 consecutive hours. I’m naturally an early riser so I was awake at 6 AM on the Wednesday. That’s when I did my shopping and cleared out as many other errands as I could. Met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while for dinner and just made an effort to try to relax myself before the game launched. Later that night, I tried taking a nap but I was at that weird sleeping state where you’re partially asleep but still slightly awake and aware of everything. At about 10 PM, I gave up.

Why didn’t you take your time to level to 100 and enjoy the sights and scenes?

I did that during the beta. The final builds of the game were at a point where I could just quest at my own leisurely place and really immerse myself in the lore. I knew when game day rolled around though, it would be a mad rush to 100 and I didn’t want to get myself caught with the flood of players. You just have to beat the curve.

How’d you do it?

Many players out there relied on energy drinks or caffeine to get them through it. I bought myself a fruit platter and had two jugs of water beside me plus a few snacks to munch on. Things got a little dicey around 6:30 AM because I was starting to get hungry and I was running out of hard food to eat. I knew that I would receive breadcrumb quests that sent me over to the next zones so I timed my bathroom breaks with that. During RP sessions in game, I’d pull nearby random mobs for bits of extra experience or start disenchanting items to keep my bag space clear. Most of my experience came with practice on beta servers where I had my routes all figured out.

Why not server first?

When I was the only level 94 in Gorgrond, I ran into a Horde level 95 Shadow Priest. I remember early on in the day a few rollbacks were issued out to players on EU servers for abusing and exploiting the turtle quest turn in on Timeless Isle. Or maybe I was beat out with a player who had a Darkmoon Faire buff. I’m not sure, but I certainly gave in my best effort and loaded up with experience potions on the way up. I’ll certainly settle for Alliance first though.

I am so excited for this expansion. No real dailies to do, for one! No quests to grind out or anything. Lots more exploration! More world PvP action (one of the benefits of being 100 is I get to dish out payback on players who annoyed me over the years).

Introducing the Guild Masters!

Introducing the Guild Masters!

Say hello to the Guild Masters.

Today I wanted to take a moment to announce the start of a new blog project. The idea came about after browsing through the Warcraft Guild and Leadership forums. Ran into questions and problems that guild leaders and officers were struggling with.

And you know what I realized?

There is no single place for guild leaders and officers to ask questions or gain support for common issues.

How should a guild leader handle drama?

How does an officer say no?

How do you “raid lead”?

What elements constitute a solid guild website?

Thus, the Guild Masters formed.

I’m hoping to expand a bit beyond that though. I’ve played League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. All of those games involve elements of leadership but it’s not quite the same as leading in WoW. Eventually, I’d like to expand and incorporate those elements but for now, I’m going to focus on the MMO side of things.

If you’re interested, shoot me an email or hit me up on Twitter (@matticus) or add me to your battletag (Matticus#1773).

Conquest turns 7 years old this month. When I started, I didn’t really have that many resources available. I don’t remember the leadership forum having been created yet. I relied on mistakes observed in other guilds. I asked for advice and pointers from the few friends I had who were officers and leaders of their own guilds. I made my own share of screw ups along the way.

As a result, I laid down the ground work for the site back in April and started sketching out what I wanted it to be. It’s a site that’s targeted for newly promoted and minted leaders who might know what they’ve gotten themselves into. I’ve asked a few trusted and driven individuals to provide their own insight. But I’m determined to provide some help and assistance with the Ask A GM section. It’s been up for a month now so do check it out and let me know what you think (or want to see more of).

The small community back then gave me the confidence and skills into what I am today and I want to give back.

Here’s a small sample of posts that are up that’ll benefit you:

If you’re stuck with problems or want some advice, contact us and check out the forums! Guaranteed we’ve had similar experiences in the past.

Half a Year Later, Relieved at no Chat in Hearthstone

Half a Year Later, Relieved at no Chat in Hearthstone

That certainly took a while to reach.

Yes, I’ve managed to accomplish one of my goals for Hearthstone: Reaching Legendary status. Now I can relax some and experiment with other decks and classes before the next great hunter nerf. The deck I used was the one I linked to in my last post for Hunters. I can now begin focusing on trying my hand at tournaments. I was quite surprised to see that Legend players make up a really small percentage of the population. I guess that makes sense with around 20 million players but how many of them engage in the ladder, I wonder? I’m not a fan of the tournament mode where players are asked to bring 3 different classes but that’s the way it is. I’m experimenting right now on my Shaman, Priest, and Druid decks trying to decide which of them to use and which styles to play.

Anyway, my journey to being a Legend wasn’t quite the best experience. You’ll recall not too long ago about Blizzard’s decision to effectively silence and mute players preventing them from chatting with each other in the game.

Never have I been more glad for that decision. There’s plenty of sore losers out there who can’t seem to get over it and want to make themselves feel better by taking a parting shot at an opponent. I’ve been added after matches multiple times via the Battle Net friends list. Every time, I wonder if it’s going to be someone who actually wants to say good game or that’s a sweet deck, would you like to practice more?

Every time, I am constantly reminded of my own naivety. Players out there don’t seem to care about good sportsmanship. They’re bitter after a loss and just want to take it out on their opponents. I can understand that but it doesn’t mean I agree with it.

legend-rank2

First of all, I’m not actually sorry. Second, I am not a gentleman of African descent. And my scrub ass actually ascended to rank 2. The thing is, I would’ve expected this reaction no matter what deck I use.

legend-stuff

Like, what is it with the desire to send off one parting shot at your opponent? Adding them to your list, sending one well fired insult, and then removing them before they even get a chance to respond? It’s disappointing really. Incidents like these really magnify what the community is like because it’s the only serious exposure we get. When we as players square off against others who respond that negatively, it can be incredibly discouraging to other players who want to get involved in the game and take it more competitively.

Now, to be fair, I had the option to not accept the initial Battle tag request. That is definitely on me. It’s still a shame though that the only kinds of players willing to take the effort to add others are the types who we don’t really want to interact with in the community to begin with. I don’t have a a solution or any ideas how to even begin to resolve it. Perhaps if there was an in-game report button in the corner, it would be convenient enough to access and report the individual. I know the Battle Net chat frames have a reporting option for harassment.

What’s the point? To encourage better behaviour from players. Learned that from Riot’s playbook. Perhaps impose a penalty that gradually escalates based on reports received and examined. Unlike League of Legends, there’s no way to really gauge a player’s moves in games as being harassing or trolling or feeding since this is a 1 on 1 game. Perhaps what I should do is put my own cards where my mouth is and add opponents after every game and say GG instead. Sadly, I don’t think even that move will be received well at all.

Raiding Epiphany

Raiding Epiphany

You know that time when you’re working on a new boss and it just seems like you keep hitting that same block over and over? For us, it was Blackfuse. We’ve been working on the guy for the past month now. We kept bringing him down to about 65% but we’d keep consistently buckling during that first magnet phase. It was a combination of fires, mines, overload, or something else that was seemingly unavoidable.

Then all of a sudden, the clouds part.

Sunlight shines right through.

The players are struck with a wave of epiphany.

Our attempts improve dramatically. We made it past the the first magnet phase, then the second magnet phase, and now we’re breaching below 50% more often than not.

It’s like being able to breathe again after having clogged sinuses for so long.

That’s kind of where we’re at now. I call it cautious optimism, but if this level of improvement continues, then we’ll be on track.

Retooling and rebuilding

Not long after the proposed schedule went out, I had a few members express their inability to commit to that schedule. As a result of that, I did end up losing some fine players and friends.

It’s a little funny how things work out though. I was approached by a previous raider who’d been out of the game for a while and with a different group. Turns out the players in there were looking to move on up and get into some of the more top tier content in the game. Instead of trying to transition from a 10 man to a 25 man guild, they were toying with the idea of flat out signing on with a 25 man guild.

The beauty of the current state of raiding is that players can easily cross-realm on any difficulty. For the past month, we’ve been raiding with many of these players and they didn’t have to change servers at all yet. A few of them made the leap earlier on because they liked what they were seeing. Some others are still holding off for now, but it seems an amicable solution for everyone.

Conquest veterans can be rested a little more on the earlier encounters to conserve energy and mental fortitude for some of the more challenging bosses like Thok and Blackfuse.

Newer players are embracing the challenge and accessibility of heroic raids. Many of them actually fit right in with no problem. Of course, a few of them are understandably upset since they used to be the top dog in their former organization but are now being completely out DPS’d by sheer differences in gear alone. But that’s obviously an easy problem to resolve.

Our raid has received a notable shot of adrenaline, at least!

A post-Blizzcon release

How about that cinematic, eh?

Along with the November 13, 2014 release date?

That’s quite some time away! I was really hoping for an earlier release but it wasn’t meant to be, I guess. Blizzard’s stated time and time again that they’re committed to providing a more timelier expansion release.

What are your thoughts on the 2.5 week leveling period? Raids don’t open until week 1 of December. In previous expansions, raids opened up exactly a week after. I understand their rationale for Warlords in that they didn’t want to release the game during Remembrance Day (November 11th) and then there’s the American Thanksgiving holiday the week after. In theory, I could relax my levelling speed a bit.

But c’mon, my pride is on the line here.

I was beaten to the level cap in the guild for the first time in Mists when I had been the sole title owner from Burning Crusade, to Wrath, and to Cataclysm.

By a non-Asian, no less!

Need to regain my title here!

For more thoughts on the levelling process and the release date, check out the recent episode of The Edge!

Win a Beta Key from BlizzPro!

BlizzPro has five beta keys to give away and we want to hand ‘em out to you! I’ll mention how to get them in a moment.

I know I don’t often plug the show here as much (shame on me). I’m going to attempt to make a concerted effort to do so. We’re steadily aiming to ramp up our content. More co-hosts have been added for a more panel discussion type of production. On the beta, I did get a chance to test most of the bosses that were up. There’s more happening later on today and I’ll try to get in on those as well. If you watch this week’s episode, you can see my efforts as a Holy Priest against Oregorger.

Quiet Matt! How can I get a key?

Easy! I’ll quote it from the post: The Edge: Win a Warlords of Draenor Beta Key!

On August 3rd, we will send a tweet out from The Edge account with #BlizzPro and all you need to do is simply retweet that message and follow @edge_blizzprotv, @Veliice, @ktjnwow, @GitErRaid and @matticus for your chance to win! We plan to announce the winners on Thursday, August 14 and Friday, August 15.

Good luck!

Eventbrite? Or Eventbust? Thoughts on BlizzCon 2014 Tickets

Eventbrite? Or Eventbust? Thoughts on BlizzCon 2014 Tickets

Bullsh*t.

Horrible.

Complete clusterf*ck.

Those are some of the words on Twitter used to describe the ticket purchasing process this year for BlizzCon 2014.

First of all, congratulations to everyone that managed to secure and score tickets for this year’s BlizzCon! I managed to get some for myself and Conquest will be returning in full force again with some new faces (and old).

What exactly was different about this year versus previous years?

The Old System

Historically, Blizzard has done a fairly good job managing ticket purchases. You had to keep refreshing the page, select your order, and you’d get thrown into a queue. There would be an indicator that showed you what place in line you were. If you were 1356th in line and there were 10000 tickets available, you knew you were locked in for a ticket. Once the indicator reached zero, that meant all the tickets were spoken for and had been sold. There were no more left in the system.

The New System

This year, Blizzard opted for something different. They decided to use Eventbrite instead. A few of my guildies had used Eventbrite before and mentioned that the system itself had crashed during smaller events and concerts (with a capacity of 2000 seats). BlizzCon hitting the 20000 ticket mark made me wonder if Eventbrite could even handle the expected load.

My guild has done this annually now. We had a thread set up to coordinate who was able to buy tickets, what their maximum purchasing capability was, and who needed tickets. We were all on Mumble when the tickets went live and I hit refresh, selected four, and was thrown into their waiting room. Some of my guildies were faster on the draw than I was and managed to proceed right to the checkout page. I had given up hope. I figured if I was in the waiting room, there was no way I’d be able to get tickets. But I had no visual indicator as to how many tickets were remaining so I stayed on there.

Minutes later, I was thrown out of the queue and informed that the event had sold out and that there were no more tickets available.

Ugh.

My first year of not getting my own BlizzCon ticket. There goes my streak.

Or so I thought.

Resigned and frustrated, I kept slamming my F5 key just because. Then I noticed my page had changed. The sold out notice was gone. Tickets were available again. Perplexed, I decided to go for it. Changed my ticket quantity to 3. Was told that it wasn’t available, but I could buy them in singles. Said screw it, selected 1 ticket and was thrown into the checkout page again. By this point, all but 4 people in guild had tickets that were spoken for. 3 of us managed to check out in time and get order confirmations on our tickets.

The last guy was still stuck and wasn’t able to get his either as it had thrown him another sold out error.

On a hunch, he was smart enough and decided to wait a few more minutes before trying again. Sure enough, 24 minutes after the first wave of tickets had been released, he managed to purchase a single ticket for himself. Everyone who had signed on and committed to a ticket managed to get one.

Weird right? What the heck happened?

Based on what I saw and my conversations with others, tickets were held on the checkout page by people purchasing them. If people did not finalize their purchase or if their check out process timed out after 8 minutes, those tickets would then be released back available for purchase.

However, the rest of us in line had been thrown out and we would not have known about it. Why would it tell us that tickets are sold out if they weren’t actually sold out?

I felt that was absolute ludicrosity. Way preferred the old system. At least I knew for sure that I had a chance. And at least I knew that once the supply bar was empty, it was literally empty. I understand that the system this year had the unintentional side effect where people could show up late and purchase a ticket 20 minutes later. Neat in a way, but not exactly fair for the people who started the F5 refresh spam on the dot.

How can this be solved?

Easy. Put in something that the previous BlizzCon pages had: A bar that shows how many tickets are remaining. Calculate it based on actual tickets confirmed and sold. I think that’d go a long way towards placating many interested players.

Oh and don’t actually throw people out of the queue.

Why They Switched

Good question. Why did Blizzard switch?

One reason why we’re using Eventbrite is because there is a quick and easy system to help us monitor purchases and be able to take tickets back from scalpers/bots.

Source

BlizzCon is notorious for having a huge number of people trying to sell and scalp tickets. Listings appeared on Ebay weeks before the actual BlizzCon ticket sale. I’m not sure about the countermeasures or the success rate of trying to stop and minimize the effect of scalpers, but I loaded up Ebay and decided to search it up:

blizzcon-ebay-2014

Maybe it’ll get shut down? Who knows?

The Edge: April Fool’s, Mythic Rosters, and Shaking up Dungeons

Several weeks ago, I joined BlizzPro’s The Edge videocast team as a third co-host on their show. I still receive questions from readers asking about the Matticast. This was one way for me to return to the casting circuit. We’ll be talking about news (at least, only the pertinent ones). Along the way, we’ll offer what we can about classes, skills, and raids.

In the last episode, we discussed cross-realm raiding and preparing your guild for Warlords. This week’s episode 14, the crew takes a closer look at the different factors that go into planning your roster for Mythic. Meanwhile, faux patch notes kept us entertained for the day with nods and inside jokes along with pop culture references. Sadly, I think I only got half the references.

  • 3:35: April Fool’s recap
  • 10:42: Mythic roster considerations
  • 21:00: Heroic dungeons

I’ll add some additional thoughts about building a Mythic roster in a future post. This is the first expansion where I’ve had to really whip out my whiteboard and really think ahead about the roles each player will have going into an expansion. I wasn’t in such a position when we transitioned from Vanilla Warcraft to Burning Crusade (and going from the 40 man to the 25 man). I can only imagine what it was like for GMs in those positions who had to make the tough call of picking 15 out of 40 players to release.

Sean wanted to take a page inspired from Diablo. Why not have loot drops completely randomized in a limited pool? But I don’t think anything can be done that can really entice me to jump back into heroic dungeons when I’m well already into raiding. Let’s face it, the first week or two of a new expansion, I’ll be dungeon diving repeatedly to get my priest at a level where he can adequately compete for raiding and then never going back again.

If there’s a system mechanic that increases character progression in addition to raiding, I’m going to be annoyed. Raids should be the ultimate way to progress a character’s power (excluding PvP). Dungeons just aren’t my thing and I hope we don’t have to run them to get some kind of currency or items that augment our gear. Just isn’t necessary. In my mind, you should be running heroic dungeons because:

  1. You want to get started for entry level raiding.
  2. Certain vanity rewards like pets or mounts (or challenge mode gear).
  3. An activity you enjoy with a smaller group of people.
  4. You need the 3000 valor points for the legendary cloak on your 4th alt.

Look, if you like dungeons and stuff, power to you. I’m just not a fan. I can’t think of anything they can do to really encourage me to go back in after I’ve had a taste of raids. There’s a finite amount of time I spend playing WoW per week and I don’t want to split up my time being forced to do something I don’t want to do for the sake of maximizing my character’s power.

They can’t exactly utilize the mechanics from Diablo’s adventure and bounty modes. You’re controlling a character with 6 abilities in that game. All areas of a map are randomly generated. All the loot stats and features are also randomly generated. In Warcraft, you’re playing your toon which has all these attacks and cooldowns. All the heroics are on a set layout. Lastly, each dungeon has it’s own set of loot rewards from each boss. Does WoW need anymore RNG? Right now, I know that if I wanted a weapon, I could run a certain boss in a specific heroic over and over again until I attained it. Chance says that if I do it enough times, eventually the dice roll will go in my favor*. At least I’d know what I can do increase the odds. With completely random loot tables, it wouldn’t matter what I did. I’d have a roughly equal chance no matter which boss I came to.

*In practice, I have the worst luck.

What about you? Are you a dungeon runner? What drives you to propel your characters through 5 mans? What would you like to see to improve your experience within them?

So Shadow Maybe

So Shadow Maybe

“Hey I just met you
And this is crazy
But Monks are OP
So Shadow maybe.”

 

The world is officially ending.

Seriously, this is the year. Volcanoes are erupting ash into the atmosphere. Earthquakes are shattering continents. Storms are tearing up landscapes.

Why? Because the two most unlikeliest things have occurred.

I have a Horde Priest at max level. Never thought I’d get a character that high and routinely doing stuff. My friends ask me why didn’t I try a different class. It’s because I don’t feel comfortable playing another class. I just have an affinity and love for playing a Priest. However, I did decide to take her Shadow instead though she’s still quite capable of healing.

That’s the first bit of news.

The second?

It’s been clear to me after the first few weeks of raids that Holy Priests just can’t seem to match the level of other healing classes right now – Well, either that, or I can’t match the level of the other healers. That’s potentially true. The officers in my guild asked me to give Shadow a try. Since I’ve been predominantly Shadow on my Horde priest, I’ve had some practice. They were curious to see how I’d do in raids. I wasn’t the greatest Shadow player in Cataclysm but that’s largely due to my inability to maintain uptimes on DoTs (among other things).

But the Mist changes have made it a little easier for a newer Shadow player like me.

It’s fun, but I still feel wary. After playing a healer for 8 years, you still have assorted muscle memory from healing for so long. I find myself not only watching my DoTs on bosses, my timers, and my cooldowns, but I’m constantly scanning my raid frames. Burning Mana Hymns when I spot healer mana fairly low. I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for. My Resto Druid has been giving me her Symbiosis for Tranquility (which is fairly weaksauce, but not meant to stand on it’s own as a true healing CD).

I don’t know if I’ll ever play at full DPS capacity because I’m worried that something bad is going to happen. 

It’s not that I don’t trust the team, but I can read the play and “see” what’s going on.

Anyway, I apparently passed my trial so I’ll be doubleshifting as Shadow and Holy.

Things I need to work on:

  • Lining up cooldowns
  • Maintaining DoTs
  • Decision making (on spells)
  • Acquiring additional shadow gear (because I really don’t want to touch my healing gear)
  • Figuring out how to properly burst down orbs on Elegon