Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cataclysm: For the Horde?

Following yesterday's post about factions, I decided to hop on my idle Troll Druid and completed the quests in Stonetalon Mountains. Potential SPOILERS ahead, proceed with caution. If you have not yet quested through Stonetalon Mountains as Horde, I would highly recommend it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The 20 Days of World of Warcraft: Day Thirteen

Which faction are you “for”?

This is actually the hardest question for me to answer, especially now. If you had asked me prior to The Shattering I would have easily said that I'm For The Horde, even though my mains are Alliance. Now, I'm not so sure. I need to play out the rest of the Horde story now to really come to a conclusion.

Things are in a lot of turmoil, and it really feels as though Garrosh and Sylvanas have really lost it. I've all but stopped questing on my Troll Druid, mostly because I really don't like killing Night Elves.

We find out in the Worgen starting area that Sylvanas is still producing and using The Plague. No more blaming it on Putress. I'm horrified, but morbidly curious, and I just don't know how to feel.

I keep trying to explain it away by saying to myself, "How would you feel if you'd been through all that Sylvanas has?" I still have a glimmer of hope that her humanity still exists in some small way, else what was all of that nonsense with the "Lament of the Highborne?" Maybe it's time she had a sit down with her sisters. Maybe that would do the trick. By the way, where the eff are Alleria and Turalyon anyway?

I'm working my Worgen through Darkshore now and am anxious to get to Ashenvale to see what the quests are like on that side, to see if the Night Elves really deserve the hate the Horde is giving them.

I started a Forsaken. I was brought back to life by a Valkyr. I have to go around and attempt to recruit the undead who were killed at Southshore to join the Forsaken. Big Brother (or should I say sister) says you have a choice to join the Forsaken or not, but really... do you? Is death really a choice? Why are there Valkyr aiding the Forsaken?

I'm not sure if all of this really makes me For The Alliance. There's a kind of romance to playing the villain. Are the Horde the villains of the game once more? I don't really know the answer to that question. Until I do I have no answer to this question.

Note to Blizzard: WTB Neutral Faction.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cataclysm: My Worgen

What do you mean this outfit makes me look like a magician? I am a Mage.

What about the hat and cape?

No! I am not going to pull a rabbit out of my hat!

Not so funny now, is it? I dare you to say it again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cataclysm: My First Dungeon Run

Well, I decided to break my rule and run a dungeon on Viva, even though she's not 85 yet. I decided to do regular Blackrock Caverns before I couldn't queue for it on regular anymore, and consequently reached level 84 at the end of the dungeon.

I queued up using the LFD tool, and was grouped with a bunch who were also doing their very first Cataclysm dungeon, so none of us really knew what we were in store for. It was an interesting run, considering we were all rather new to things. We wiped once if I remember correctly, so all in all, not too bad.

The biggest change is mana. Where did they put all my mana? It just slips away so quickly now. I don't quite have to drink after every pull, but usually after every 2 or 3 pulls, depending on the amount of damage the mobs are doing. Its definitely interesting to heal now.

No more just spamming Rejuvenation and throwing the occasional Regrowth and Swiftmend. I'm not really exactly sure what I should be doing, but I don't know if keeping Rejuv up is really a good thing, as it seems to be consuming a lot of mana.

I'm actually thinking about going back to my Priest, just to see how the dungeon healing is on her. The main reason I want to try this, is just to get a real feel for it. I haven't been playing a Druid for very long. I don't know all the tricks and tools I should probably know. I know all that stuff on my Priest. I'm scared though, because I keep hearing that Priests are suffering worse than other healing classes from the mana crunch.

I just think I'd be better able to cope with the change on my priest. Back when mana mattered, back during BC, I prided myself on managing my mana well. Can I cope with the changes now?

I don't know all the answers to these questions, but I guess I'll find out. I think I'll just keep questing on my Druid for now, though.

On a somewhat related note, one of my friends who almost solely plays DPS classes/specs said this to me: "They made it so it's much harder to play a tank/healer, and much easier to play as DPS."

I don't know if I necessarily agree with him. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Janyaa at Muradin Musings has posted a special Cataclysm Meme, and I could not resist.

1. Disk or Download?
Errm... It's complicated. Technically download. Basically I changed the settings in my WTF files in advance to allow Cata to download via the launcher, then it was just a matter of getting the CD key.

2. Did you experience any difficulties? IE: Login servers crashing, late delivery, etc?
No issues whatsoever, unless you count the multitudes of people milling about ruining my immersion, but we all knew that was going to happen.

3. What are you doing first? IE: Speed leveling to 85, rolling a new race, completely avoiding the new content, etc?
I am experiencing the new high level content, slowly and methodically going through every zone, avoiding dungeons, and occasionally taking a break by messing around on a Worgen and Goblin. In other words, rather than speed leveling, I am slowly leveling to 85.

4. Mt. Hyjal or Vash'jir?
Mount Hyjal, hands down. I did both of these zones consecutively, but I started in Mount Hyjal. Both zones are beautiful and the quests are well-constructed, but I'd say that Hyjal is a little bit easier to cope with just because it is not underwater.

5. Worgen or Goblin?

6. Questing, dungeons or both?
Questing and avoiding dungeons until 85. I know this may not be the optimal way to do things, but its the way I'm doing it.

7. What was the first piece of gear you replaced and with what?
The very first thing I replaced was my Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff with a Repurposed Twilight Stave. I know it is perhaps a side-grade rather than an upgrade, but I was beyond ready to change gear.

8. Did you take any time off from work or school?
I'm currently unemployed, so the short answer is no. I have continued working towards finding work even as I play, and I have a few promising leads. Cross your fingers for me.

9. Will you be keeping the same spec and main, or changing to a different toon?
I had decided already that my main would be my Druid in Cata, and so it is. I've been leveling Boomkin, and have yet to try out healing as I haven't been in any dungeons yet.
10. What's been your favorite aspect of Cataclysm so far?
The story has been the best thing. It's been so easy to get completely into the story and forget about everything else. All of the stress about hurrying up and leveling, the concern about keeping up on professions has gone right out the window in favor of just enjoying the game solo for what it is.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shared Topic: Real Life Intruding on Game Life

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is brought to us by DragonRay at Azerothian Life.

Do you think your real life job affects how you see people/situations in game and do you use the same methods in game you would use at work to diffuse situations? For example are you the type to just boot people/leave guilds because this is a game or would you try and sort it out considering you wouldn't just fire someone/quit your job if someone/or situation was being nasty?
The post on this, as well as other takes on the question can be found here

To me, the title of the topic and the actual question could be two completely different things.

The Question

I think the actual question here really boils down to how a person views him/herself. We each put forth different personalities and different faces for every situation we are in. We may have a different mask for work, than the one we show to our family, than how we act when we are alone. All are facets of our one true self, but some are closer to the reality than others.

To me, this question almost seems foreign to me (or backwards). My work self is definitely not the true me. I feel much more at home and willing to be myself in game than I do at my workplace (or anywhere else out in public). The methods I use at work to diffuse situations are more likely to be adapted from things I have seen or done in game or that have worked in family or personal situations, than for my work behavior to migrate home. My true identity lies closer to the gamer than to the employee.

In the true sense of myself, I am a polite, friendly, honest, but passionate and stubborn person. This is projected into everything I do, whether it be work, the game, or this blog. I would not "just leave a guild" because one person pissed me off. The time I have spent guild hopping, I have agonized over each decision. Sometimes I don't communicate my concerns to guild leadership or others, and then perhaps it appears that I am "just quitting." The reality is far from the truth.

I do think that when it comes to guild management that some of the lessons of corporate society can be beneficial. The use of applications and interviews is one of these, but they are only useful up to a certain point. The bottom line, the game is just that, a game. You are not paying people a salary to show up on time and prepared for raids, they have to want to do that, either as a benefit to the group or for themselves. For that reason, the work analogy simply breaks down at a point, and it should. Afterall, who wants to come home from work just to go to work for their guild?

The Title

Real Life intruding on Game Life.

What does that phrase even mean?

Do these terms even mean something different?

Sometimes I think that I am living on some other planet apart from what "normal" people experience. Maybe it's because I am a shy introvert. Maybe it is something else, some misfire in my brain that makes things slightly skewed.

Personally, I don't find a lot of difference between Real Life and Game Life. There are jerks in both parts of my life that rub me the wrong way. There are friends in both parts of my life that make things wonderful. Is one better than the other? Is Game Life less real than Real Life? Obviously it is to the extent that it is virtual, but the connections we make with other people, the emotions we feel, the joys and the disappointments... Are these less real than Real Life experiences of the same things?

I could keep digging, because the feeling I get from other people I speak to about this, is that I am mentally disturbed to be so entrenched in a game to feel this way. I'm not talking about interactions with NPCs though, I'm talking about the other players in the game, the connections we make with them. This, to me, is the heartbeat of the MMO genre, and I think it is beautiful.

I've felt this way since I stepped into my very first BBS. The internet, since it's inception, has been breaking the barriers of physicality. Sometimes the connections we feel for people in this virtual world seem far more real, simply because we don't have to worry about all of the physical signals we might get by being truly with that person. We can dig deeper, see more clearly, learn more, by pushing past the judgements the world places upon appearance.

The danger of these connections is dishonesty, and it is out there. I'm one of those that is willing to brave this possible disaster than limit myself to my own corner of "Real Life" and miss out on so much more of the world.

In the end, my Real Life intrudes upon my Game Life, and my Game Life intrudes upon my Real Life. Both, to me, are really just my Life.

Are you with me, or am I just insane?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cataclysm: More Silly NPCs in Vashj'ir

I've finally moved on to Deepholm, but I bumped into an NPC towards the back end of leveling through Vashj'ir that just desperately needed sharing.

Humphrey Digsong can be found in the Abyssal Depths outside of Darkbreak Cove, clinging desperately to a large shell on the sea floor. The brothers Digsong and their buoyancy issue has to be the most hilarious thing I've seen in the new expansion yet. If you didn't bother to read the optional text, you should. I was literally laughing hysterically for several minutes. Although he only gives quests to Alliance, he will tell his story to either faction. I sure hope we bump into his brother Oskar again.