Dec 25 2009

Neverdied earned the [Iron Ass] achievement

Good thing for this guy, there is no achievement for having no achievements.

Neverdied LVL 80 Mage, MLG Orlando, Blue posts

“Neverdied” here made it to level 80 without completing any quests, dungeons, groups or anything else, for that matter.  The only achievements he got were the ones you get for gaining levels.  Additionally, as befitting his name, he never died, not even once.

This sort of reminds me about the way communities “modify” games to entertain themselves beyond the way the game was originally designed.  For example, in Diablo 2, players created a “hardcore” mode where, if their character died, they deleted the character and started over.  Or “Ironman” mode, where they were never allowed to buy or sell anything at a vendor.

As impressive as this character is, I have to seriously wonder about the amount of time and effort it required.  Being kind, one could say that it’s an amazing display of willpower and concentration, I suppose.  It’s also a huge waste of time, I think.

Mar 3 2009

Did you just hear something?

People tell me that the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out, and I believe them, but only because I somehow gained 10 levels really quickly. It’s not like I was trying.

People tell me that’s because Paladins are grossly overpowered now. For all I know they could be right, but the only thing I can definitively say is that my Death Knight is hacking, slashing, burning and ripping through everything that’s foolish enough to jump in front of him and all without a whole lot of effort on my part. At least my Paladin had to heal himself every so often. And I love my Death Knight, if for no other reason than because I can beat up four same-level mobs at the same time and do it all again with only as much downtime as it takes to apply a bandage.

People tell me that Wrath of the Lich King has tons of new content, and I believe them, if only because I have this memory of doing a quest about the Drakkensryd that was so hilariously metal that I was quite surprised at the lack of a blazing Dragonforce soundtrack during that quest.

But after so brief a period of supposedly playing a retail expansion, I’m bored with this game again. Good thing I’ve got my Horde Death Knight to fiddle with.

Jul 16 2008

Who are these people, anyway?

I’d have to say my biggest complaint with raid and dungeon-based content in World of Warcraft is that there is often only a shallow background or motivation given to undertake a particular task. While this hasn’t always been the case, it’s certainly the case with newer content. Most boss mobs and instances seem to only serve as opportunities to reward less casual players with better item rewards.

Now, you’ve got to do things this way. The only difference between a person who plays seriously and a person who plays a lot is their skill. And if you allow anyone who can spare the time the opportunity to get the same rewards as a seriously, hardcore player, then there’s less reason for those hardcore players to bother with that same content. A large part of why hardcore players put themselves through 25-man raids is because it gives them access to material that a loner with time on his hands could never get to. And this part is key: they then get to show off their new hawt lewt to everyone else.

But one of my creative issues with World of Warcraft is that these high-level dungeons often seem like little else than difficult tasks for difficulty’s sake. Sure, we all know who Kil’Jaeden is; there’s plenty of background information on him. When you face him in the Sunwell Plateau you know full well who he is and why you’re there to kill him. More than a few quests, NPCs and other in-game materials are available for you to understand why you need to kill him.

But who the hell are the Eredar Twins? Why are they in between the First and Second Gate? What purpose do they serve other than to give you one more fight to work on, one more drop opportunity?

This is a big problem in World of Warcraft. There’s no motivation given to you to kill some of these incredibly powerful monsters except for the fact that they’re in the way. I’m not saying every mob in the game with a name should have a hundred hours of background material written about them, but I am saying that only a little effort would go a long way here. Even if it’s just: “Watch out for the Twin Eredar. They are servants of Kil’Jaeden and will try to stop you. Show them no mercy.”

I dunno, it sucks but at least I’m trying.

Jul 16 2008

Lust, Caution

So I’ve finally reached the point with my main where I’ve started to get loot envy. It started when I saw my brother chainsaw his way through mob after mob with his two self-constructed epic swords. I thought: “I should be doing that kind of damage.”

Never mind that I’m playing a hybrid, and that Paladins should never do as much damage as a Fury warrior, even if they do spec pew-pew. In my opinion, the ability to bubble and heal pretty much robs us of truly ferocious damage, and rightfully so.

Really I just want a good purple sword. For the first time in my life I’m feeling that loot envy that drives so many people to grind through dungeons every night.

The only problem is, I’m entirely too casual to dedicate two or three hours to a good, long, and most importantly profitable dungeon crawl. I like being able to play for a half hour at a time and still get things done. And when I sit down for a full night, it’s with my relatives, not with people I barely know.

So for the first time in my life I’m also looking into personal servers, just so that I can experience what Molten Core, AQ and the other big raid-content dungeons are like. Why pay to play a game that I’ll never get to experience in its entirety?

Jun 21 2008

The grass really IS greener.

So I’ve been playing my Horde alts pretty steadily for a while now, and I have to say I feel pretty ripped off.

Having played Alliance ever since World of Warcraft went retail, I’ve gotten pretty used to every starting area, every Alliance zone, every Alliance quest. I’ve leveled two characters past 60 and one to 70 and that’s pretty much enough, thank you. To be honest I don’t think I could start another Alliance alt if you paid me; I’ve done those quests far too many times to force myself to do them once again.

So keep that in mind. Maybe I’m worn out on Alliance.

But the Horde? You guys got it good.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t find another awesome Horde quest or a great new area that I either didn’t have access to as an Alliance character, or simply didn’t have any call to visit. For example, just a moment ago a Warlock cast Detect Invisibility on my Shaman while I was standing in the courtyard of the Undercity, revealing the dozens of ghostly Lordaeron Citizens walking around. They’ve been there the whole time, invisible. The Warlock said he’d leveled two undead to 70 and this was the first time he’d seen them.

And please, don’t get me started on the quests. Alliance gets quests like:

“Go kill the Orc tribe near this town. They’ve been encroaching on our territory and as they are not part of the Horde we have no means of diplomacy. This is the last straw, please deal with them for us, and come back after you’ve killed twenty of them.”

Or perhaps:

“The elemental trees in the nearby forest have become tainted with a foul poison from the nearby manufacturing plant run by the (again) not Horde goblins. Please put them out of their misery, and come back when you’ve collected twelve of their crystal hearts as evidence of this act of mercy.”

But what would the Horde versions of these quests be like?

“There’s an Alliance town nearby. Go kill the peasants and farmers. Come back when you’ve got them dead and then go and kill the town guards. Then kill the blacksmiths, then the city council. Keep an eye out for the specific Alliance people on this list, and while you’re at it bring me 30 human fucking skulls if you want some extra pocket change.”

Seriously. Nothing like “Oh they’re encroaching on our territory and committing acts of atrocity against the innocent baby bears and watery-eyed fawns in the area.” And the elemental trees? Try:

“Hey I wanna make a badass new cloak. For this I need snowy-white tiger fur. But not from the adult tigers, bring me the pelts of newborn innocent tiger cubs that you’ve just torn from the still-warm bosom of their freshly-slaughtered mothers. Your reward? Oh I guess I can scrounge up some coppers. Get to killin!”

These are (paraphrased) actual quests. I didn’t change the Alliance town one much. But note: it’s about Horde fucking with the Alliance. It’s not about working towards peace or being nice to your neighbors or saving the planet, it’s about good old fashioned carnage. The Alliance wants to bring peace and brotherhood to the Alliance, the Horde want skulls for the skull throne.

Small wonder Horde players are so loyal to their characters. The whole Horde quest system seems to reinforce this sense of constructive fanaticism.