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WOD is Here! Queue the Fail!

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Ah launch day. The most highly anticipated day of every other year. It’s the day of the login que times. The day of the random lags, crashes and bugs. The day of OVER NINE THOUSAND players crowding that one quest giver. And yet, the masochism continues. We log in anyway because we MUST DO ALL THE QUESTS NOW! And then get pissed off when the servers go to hell.

This launch day is a little different for me. Sure we have our couple of token guildies that raced to 100 on day 1. My goal was to get to level 91 before bedtime. And I did! I find it hilarious, yet sad and discomforting at the same time when I see posts of people complaining that they can’t play at launch because they have work, family and health commitments. Those SHOULD be the priority people! Draenor will still be here when  you get home from work. Or the hospital.

I was not one of the crazies that logged on at 3am EST. I have a day job you know. And I wasn’t about to brave the madness when I was half asleep. I tend to get very emo and cranky on no sleep and dealing with stupidity. So when I woke up to get ready for work, I was not surprised to see about 12 guildies online at 6:30am. Right before I got into the shower, I noticed my hands (especially my left hand) were a bit swollen. So I used my handy-dandy blood pressure cuff when I got dressed and was ready to leave. The readings were not favorable. Especially when I’m just weeks away from evicting a small child from my uterus. So I sent my doctor a quick email with the readings and went off to work.

Around 11am, my doctor’s office called and they said (paraphrased) “get your ass in here now!” So I left work, thinking hey I might just be able to login to the game earlier than expected after all. But that was just a fleeting thought. I knew better. I saw a couple of nurses, they took my BP, numbers were still bad. Had a quick meeting with my doc. She took my BP again, and made a face. One of those faces that you see the look on her face and say “I don’t like that look…” She shook her head, sighed and said “I have to send you to the hospital…”

So instead of working, I was hooked up to fetal monitors and a blood pressure machine all afternoon. Fun times. We had an ultrasound, baby is still doing just fine. My BP came down with rest, but was still skirting the line. Finally, I was released at almost 5pm. We hadn’t eaten all day. They finally sent me a boxed lunch from the cafeteria, but when I opened it, it was a turkey sandwich. Really. Who sends up cold cuts to the Maternity Ward?! That was just mean. So we left, had dinner, got home around 6pm when I could finally sit down, log in and hit up Draenor….

Uldaman is full. Position in queue: 510. Average wait time, 22 minutes. WTF?! I finally got in 35 minutes later. I finished the Tanaan Jungle quests, and somehow missed the boat, got stuck on the docks. Alrighty… I remembered seeing a portal to Frostfire Ridge in Org during the beta, so I hearthed out, ported to Org, and made it to Frostfire Ridge without a boat. The questing seemed to go pretty quickly. There weren’t hundreds of thousands of people there, since many of them got there earlier and moved on. I ding’d 91 around 9:30pm. At that point, the lag and the crashes started. Someone mentioned DDOS attacks. After I disconnected and couldn’t get back in, I decided it was time for bed. I sent my boss a quick email update, since I knew she’d be worried about me.

This morning when I got to work the boss said “you should have just stayed home rested and taken a long weekend…” Doh!

Although once I finish up what’s left of today’s work I just might do that.

The Beta Is Here!

July 3, 2014 Leave a comment

WOD Beta! BETA BETA BETA!! And I was lucky enough to get invited in the first wave! WOO!

I’ll have some screenshots in future posts, as I do more beta stuff, but I wanted to give some early impressions.

Bugs!

It’s the beta. So of course it’s full of bugs. Big bugs, little bugs. Buggy bug bugs.

(yes I’m loopy from the heat and just a little excited)

I tried logging in last Friday when it launched. Crashed every few seconds. Finally, I got in! Yay! I copied my druid over, and logged in at Shrine of Two Moons. I realized that getting to Draenor at this point in development is not very intuitive. So I headed on over to Orgrimmar hoping I’d get some kind of breadcrumb quest to tell me where to go.

I get to the portals, click on Org and….. crash. Log back in, click on Org and… loading screen! Nope, I just got punted back into the portal room at shrine. What the fail? Ok, lemme try Thunder Bluff. I can just fly on over. Same thing. The portal just spit me back out. Alrighty then. Let’s try a non-Kalimdor one. I click UC and woo! I’m in UC. Well, that wasn’t very helpful. Let me go through the portal to where the Dark Portal is! Hmm…. nothing out of the ordinary. Ok, back to Shrine and I’ll try it in the morning! I crashed about 5 times within that span as well.

Saturday morning… I log in and crash. Log back in and…crash. Log back in and… woohoo! there it is! Clicked on Org portal and…..woohoo! Made it to Org! Looking around… hmm…. no random breadcrumb quest popping up. Then I remember reading somewhere that the alliance found the way to Draenor by the Cataclysm portals in Stormwind. Alright.

I flew up to where the Org Cataclysm portals were and… what’s this?! A cute little mini dark-portal. OMG IT’S SO CUTE! It looked like something where gnomes would go to die. Naturally there were a hundred people piled on top of this mini-me version of the Dark Portal. GET OUT OF MY WAY I MUST GET TO DRAENOR! I felt like I needed some pygmy potion to fit through the door. But it was SO CUTE!

I clicked on the portal and…. nothing. Clickyclickyclicky. Nothing. LEMME IN DAMMIT! Although that would explain why there were a hundred people piled on top of the portal but nobody actually getting inside. Sigh. Ok I’ll try this again later.

I did eventually get to Draenor. And the Garrison is also bugged. More on that in the Garrison section.

 

UI Tweaks

So there are a few interesting UI tweaks. Enemies glow red when you mouse over them. That’s nifty. But the best UI adjustment? Tradeskill mats are stackable to 200!!!! I was running around picking flowers and… my stack didn’t stop at 20. IT KEPT GOING! I had about 20 stacks of green tea leaves in my bag, so I thought hmmm… how far does this go? 40…60…80…100….120…!!! When it got to 200 I was all “Squeeeeee!!!” Way to save bag and bank space! THANK YOU BLIZZARD! My 20 stacks were suddenly down to…2!

While we’re on the subject of bags and space. It was announced that bags will be sortable, so I tried it out. I’m not sure if this is intended or not, but specialty bags (i.e. herb bags, enchanting bags etc), are still specialty bags. I thought that blizzard might make them all generic, but so far that is not the case. My herb bag still only holds herbs. But after I set each bag to trade goods, junk, equipment, consumables, then sorted… pretty cool stuff! Now I know where everything is!

 

Druid Stuff

Aly is not happy. We knew they took away our instant WG and made it a castable WG. We knew that they were nerfing healing to the ground and preventing a lot of overhealing. In one of my musings on the forums, I was thinking how would our mushrooms bloom if we can’t overheal?? Well, the answer is simple. Shroom Bloom is GONE BABY GONE! Trees, once the most mobile healers in the game no longer have an instant-cast AOE heal. None. Fuck you Blizzard. We still have our instant single-target heals in Rejuv, Lifebloom and Swiftmend. But AOE? We better not be standing in fire while casting it.

And that reminds me…. right now I have been using a haste build with Soul of the Forest. Swiftmend+WG =ALL THE HEALS SO FAST! So when they made WG castable, I questioned if the talent will proc on the cast time or if it would still be on the WG ticks. I tried to test this out in the beta. Swiftmend did NOT speed up the cast time of WG. But it also didn’t appear to speed up the WG ticks either. It was hard to tell – I tried once without SM, and once with SM. But as all trees know, in order to cast SM we must cast Rejuv first. So while it *looked* like it was ticking faster, I had to take into account the Rejuv ticks that were making it look like it ticked faster. Honestly, I didn’t see a real difference. So SOTF is probably going to be a useless talent come WOD. Back to Mastery.

And this is more of a healer thing, but the stat squish is there, and I am down to 500 spirit. That’s 37k mana. That’s rough. Although it does look like the mana costs have thankfully been adjusted accordingly. So it didn’t seem like I was running out of mana too fast when practicing healing myself.

As an aside, I’ve been questing in Draenor as resto. That seems like an exercise in masochism, but things do seem to be dying very very quickly. Probably won’t be so easy when it’s live though.

 

Squish!

That’s right! The squish is in! Squishy squish squish! Damage is squished. Healing is squished. All stats are squished. It’s a TBC type squish. My heals were ticking at 1500 instead of 15000. My damage was in the hundreds! (I’m a healer, yes my damage is going to be in the hundreds). Not only that, but XP is also squished. No more needing 10 million XP to level. It’s like we’re questing back in vanilla. each kill is 900-1300xp rested. The XP bar moves faster (again this may just be a beta thing and not a live thing). You get a few thousand XP for turning stuff in. You need like 30k XP to level. Squish!

 

Garrisons

You get a quest to build your Garrison. It seems like Blizzard really really wants us to participates in Garrisons. Once you do the intro quests in Draenor, you’re off Garrison building. It’s hard to explain, but it looks like a phased area. I picked up a plan for the barracks and plotted it. The Garrison UI is fairly idiot proof. Unfortunately I didn’t get very far here. Once I got the quest to get a follower/minion, it bugged. I got my minion, but the next quest to give him an assignment spit up a very ugly LUA error. I had zero addons enabled, and this was a bug many players were reporting.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten in the beta. By the way there are Fel Reavers everywhere. Well, not Fel Reavers but big giant level ?? elites wandering around ready to step on your face if you get too close. Welcome back to Outlands!

Screenies will be posted later….

The MT Community

March 31, 2014 3 comments

Holy crap 2 posts in a day! Shit just got real!

After my last post about the Lull, I got to thinking about how other games have been distracting players away from WoW. It’s happened before. Aion, SWTOR, Rift. New games come out, people go play them, then they come back. This year it’s D3 Reaper of Souls and Wildstar Online.

Up until now, none of those other distractions interested me. I became mildly interested in Rift, but after hearing other players not like it, I didn’t bother. But Wildstar has me piqued, as well as several other players in MT. And rather than fight it, I’m going with it. We have enough interest in it that we have decided to expand the guild into Wildstar Online. After messing around in the beta for a couple of weekends, it’s something that I’m probably going to play when it launches in June.

So Masochistic Tendencies has officially expanded into a multi-gaming community. We’re starting with just WoW and Wildstar, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that other games will be added. A new site is under construction that will serve as the new home page for the guild. The new home page will then provide gateways to the guild WoW site and the guild Wildstar site. Before anyone asks, I don’t plan on being the leader for the MT Wildstar guild. I just don’t think I can make that big of a commitment to 2 games simultaneously. I will however likely remain an officer in the WS guild while maintaining the GL position in WoW.

I hope that this new community will create some crossover in guild membership. We already have MT WoW players in the MT WS guild. Hopefully we’ll also get some MT WS players into our MT WoW guild.

While I’m not thrilled about the current lull in activity in WoW, the upcoming launch of WS as well as the eventual WOD expac in WoW has me excited for the future of MT.

Healing in WOD

March 11, 2014 6 comments

The beta hasn’t even hit yet, so everything can change. I’ve been saying for a while that I can’t wait for WOD. It looks awesome. But I have some pretty strong reactions to the proposed healer changes.

This is all from a Resto Druid standpoint, since that’s my primary healer.

Issue #1: Nerf to instant-heals

Over time, healers have gained a bigger and bigger arsenal of heals that they can cast while on the move, which removes the inherent cost that movement is intended to have for them, while also limiting players’ ability to counter healing in PvP. This left silences and crowd control (which we’re trying to curb—see “Pruning the Garden of War”) as the only ways to actually limit an enemy player’s healing output. We’re still preserving the option to instantly heal, but are reducing the number of instant-cast healing abilities overall. Here are some examples:

Druid

  • Wild Growth (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Monk

  • Uplift (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Paladin

  • Eternal Flame and Word of Glory now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy.
  • Light of Dawn now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Priest

  • Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo now each have a 1.5-second cast time.
  • Prayer of Mending now has a 1.5-second cast time.

Druids have been the most mobile healers in the game. Healing on the run is how we roll. Adding an instant cast to our WG spell pretty much kills our big insta-AOE heal. This is a HUGE change for druids that use the Soul of the Forest talent. With this talent, I SM and WG together. So the question is, does the talent activate on the cast time now, INSTEAD of the HoT ticks?! If so, this talent will be useless again.

(For the non-druids out there, SOTF: Cast swiftmend and next spell = +100% haste)

SOO in 6.0 is going to suck. Let’s pile on the Dev Aura’s on Thokk! Oh and on all the movement fights? No more heals for anyone on … all the fights! Those farm bosses just got a lot harder folks.

(I’m thinking we’re going to be done raiding when 6.0 hits, unless Blizzard re-tunes the fights to accommodate these changes – which they mentioned they would, but we’ll see)

At least we’re keeping rejuv and lifebloom instant. Now our only AOE instant is the shroom bloom. Which brings me to…..

Issue #2: Wild Mushrooms.

To that end, we’re buffing heals less than we’re increasing creature damage. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish. […]

[…] Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We’ve taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we’re reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face an interesting choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.

Blizzard is nerfing throughput so healers don’t overheal. However, our mushrooms rely on overhealing! How the foo are we supposed to bloom them?? Not to mention, this renders our T16 2-pc bonus useless in early WOD dungeons.

Issue #3: Removal of Spells

Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay.

On the surface, this doesn’t look like a huge deal. But let me remind everyone of what Resto Druids have for Mastery. It’s a buff called Harmony, which has to be actively maintained with direct healing spells. I’ve used nourish to keep this spell up if my Swiftmend is on CD. Ok, I’ll have to use RG more (which is more mana intensive). But as it is, I still don’t manage 100% uptime (I’m in the high 90%’s usually). This needs to be passive, Blizzard. We’re the ONLY healers that have to actively maintain our friggin’ mastery. Not cool!

Some healers are going to rejoice. The ones that “love a challenge”. I’ll probably try it out as we’re leveling through dungeons. But I’m leaning a bit toward dps’ing next xpac. I’m not one of the rejoicers. These changes have me worried. Very worried.

I Still Already Love WOD but…..

November 25, 2013 6 comments

Last week’s topic on WoW Insider was what we are most looking forward to in WOD. This week flips it on us and asks what our biggest disappointment is about the announced features.

Truth be told, this new xpac can’t come out fast enough. So I don’t have a lot of real “disappointments” in the announcements, so these may be a bit nit-picky.

Itemization

Yes, I said this is a nice feature in my last post, but some of it just doesn’t make sense. Spirit is going to remain a secondary stat, which means it won’t change when we change specs. I don’t know about you, but if I see a DK, Rogue or Warrior running around with spirit on their gear, I’m going to die a little inside. We won’t be able to reforge anymore. This is going to have to be discussed among many a guild leadership when figuring out their WOD loot distribution. If it has spirit on it, it’s healer gear. Period. There is no more hit rating so all you shadow priests, elemental shammies and boomkins can go bugger off. So spirit gear is healer gear. But not all gear will have spirit on it. Does that mean healers are automatically ineligible for it? That’s a loot discussion for another day, but I’m not exactly looking forward to that discussion.

Healers may still want to carry a completely different set of gear for their offspec, though. That spirit is going to do diddley squat for my kitty spec. And it’s just going to sit there on my gear. So it doesn’t exactly solve many of the bag space issues as it should, if we’re min/maxing our offspecs.

Which brings me to….

Reforging

The Ethereal reforgers are packing up and leaving town, leaving us with what we got. Make spirit a primary stat, and I’ll stop bitching. Reforging is a pain in the ass, so I’m not sad to see it go. But if I use my kitty offspec and have to deal with stats of: stamina, agility, spirit on my gear, I’m going to twitch.

Garrisons

This is nice. But I wish they would make Guild Garrisons. Then each guild member could have their own “player housing” within the Guild Garrison, and share the resources. With end game raiding not requiring players to be in guilds, this would be a big motivator in joining a guild. There is SO much potential with a Guild garrison.

No new Race/Class

We really don’t need a new race or class, but it’s always something new to look forward to. But please, no naga race. Just, no.

It’s really hard to be disappointed in anything that I don’t have a lot of information on yet, and despite these points, I really can’t wait for WOD. I mean, REALLY. CAN’T. WAIT.

Confessions of a Guild Leader: One Big Happy Family

November 20, 2013 8 comments

In my last post I noted what I thought would be my favorite feature in WOD. But I changed my mind. I’m a girl, and I’m entitled to do that every once in a while.

The feature I am really looking forward to most is the new raid structure, and I have many personal feelings about this. One thing I didn’t want to happen with running a fairly large guild was the formation of cliques within the guild. Having multiple 10-man raid teams completely enabled that.

This entire expansion, I really only raided in one group. This time around, I never brought my alts up to the point where they could actually fill in raids. So for the most part, I’ve raided with many of the same people, which was only a small part of the whole guild. We reshuffled groups a few times, and although it was needed, it also got some guildies raiding with other guildies they weren’t familiar with. But at the same time, I don’t think everyone really got to know their guild mates in other groups. I know I didn’t. Up until MOP, I’ve always made a point to know who everyone is here. I ran in multiple groups so I can enjoy playing with everyone. This time, I took a huge step back, and even though I needed to for my own sanity, that’s probably been one of my biggest mistakes as a Guild Leader in MOP.

The flexible scaling technology that has been introduced in 5.4, and will become the norm in WOD will allow us all to play together as we really should be. We will no longer have “guilds within a guild”. We will be one guild, one team, working toward the same goals. We had our fun with the server rankings the last couple of years, but now I’ve removed it from the guild website. We’re going to focus on having fun together while killing the bad guys. I don’t care where our guild ends up on the server list anymore. It’s too stressful, and it sucks a lot of fun out of what’s supposed to be a hobby. No more silence in vent on farm nights. Speak up folks! Pick on Giz. Keep setting Tai on fire. Laugh at Phaedara when he Time Warps on trash. Get drunk with Emor. Even blame Cejey when you accidentally pull that room full of fail. Hell you can even get back to your “pick on Aly” fun. The key word here is fun.

And we’re all in it together.

I Already Love WOD

November 15, 2013 7 comments

This is what I was waiting for. The end of this wretched expansion is in sight. Of course we don’t know exactly when Warlords of Draenor will launch, but I’ll say that it’s not soon enough. It’s hard to say what I’m looking forward to most. There are just enough new features coming up that make me not want to quit the game forever. And I’ve come dangerously close recently.

Garrisons

Finally, player housing. It’s about rassafriggin time. But I’d think this would be even more awesome if we could have guild garrisons, and then guild members could build their housing/shops/specializations within the guild garrison that all guild members have access to. Yes, I’m waiting for that. So this is not my favorite feature yet. Gimme a guild version, and I’ll love Blizzard forever and ever and ever.

Raid Configs

Normal/Heroic are flexible! I love this. LOVE. THIS. Of course I’m biased, having run multiple 10 man groups in my guild. I have been wanting for years to have all my guild members raid together, but nobody wanted to deal with 25 man raid leading. The logistics of it suck, because you need exactly 25 people to run. Now I can merge my 2 10 man teams (plus whoever comes back to the game) into one big fat team. I’m so excited about this I can’t even…

Mythic level raiding. I can’t say I’m a fan. While I feel this is a great raid size, this is going to royally suck for 25 man “heroic” teams who have to dump 5 players. This is going to royally suck for 10 man guilds who suddenly have to recruit a crap ton of extra players. And there are TONS of 10 man “heroic” guilds out there. Recruitment is going to suck. With a capital SUCK. There will be poaching. It’s gonna get ugly folks.

Itemization

One set of gear that changes stats when  you change specs. As a Druid, I can’t thank blizzard enough. At one point I had 3-4 sets of gear in Cataclysm. Since I rarely pvp anymore, I’ve been getting away with carrying 2 sets of gear in MOP. Having just one set (aside from trinkets/weps/jewelry) will be a great change. Reforging sucked. I’m not a dps’er but I’ve heard hit and expertise sucked. Even the most casual player had to learn to min/max with all the ways to alter gear in MOP. No more! Just gimme my armor and be done with it.

New Character Models

I could take it or leave it. This wasn’t a huge deal for me, and to be honest, I don’t see a world of difference. But they are improvements. So I’m good with this!

Inventory Improvements

This. Is. Awesome. I love the fact that I’ll be able to keep all my consummables in one bag without thinking about it. All my flowers in another bag (without needing an herb bag). New heirloom UI! I have random heirlooms on other servers. I don’t even remember where the foo all my heirlooms are? I know I have leather ones, but are they on my 2nd druid? my rogue? or my baby monk? I’m so confused! NO MORE!

Zoom Zoom to 90

This is great for altoholics. I’m not sure I totally agree for new players. New players will miss out on the leveling zones. New players will miss out on gradually learning their class with a handful of spells that increase as they level. They’ll get a bunch of abilities they won’t know what to do with, and they’ll miss out on… everything. Hopefully they can figure out what they’re doing on the leveling grind from 90-100. Hopefully they’ll also roll another toon from scratch and go through the leveling experience.

The New PVP Zone

I’m mildly curious about this one. I wasn’t around when the original AV lasted forever in Vanilla. I did grind the TBC version of AV ad nauseum. Since I play on a PVE server, this zone probably won’t be as active as on PVP servers. But I will be playing in this new sandbox for sure.

In-Game Group Finder Improvements

I’m not sure if this will happen at launch, but the OQ addon is really clunky and yucky. And this will be awesome for finding raiders.

No More Dailies

THIS IS MY FAVORITE FEATURE!!!! THIS OMG THIS!!!!! Where did I read it? I know I read it somewhere. Oh! Here it is! Aly doesn’t do dailies!

Warlords of Draenor will be the death of daily quests. They will still exist, but they’ll be few and far between.

Can I get a HELL YEAH?! HELL YEAH! I don’t know how rep grinding will work. Will tabards come back? Who knows. All I know is Dailies can go die in a fire! Weeeee!! /happydance

And there you have it. There are other class specific things going on, but that’s a post for another day.

/cheers

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