Tag Archives: raiding

Entitlement, Feats of Strength, & the Removal of In-Game Rewards

This is a lengthier discussion on something I posted on Twitter.

For some who read this, this is going to sound a little bit cold and maybe a touch heartless: you aren’t entitled to every achievement and mount in the game.

As 6.0 draws closer and closer, there’s a small cacophony going on in a few segments of the WoW community. I’ve seen it on the official forums, Twitter, and let me assure you, I’ve seen it a lot in-game. Trade chat, whispers, ignores–you name it, I’ve experienced it.

This outburst is related to the fact that there are many things that will be unobtainable after 6.0/Warlords. The two that spring to mind most quickly are the legendary cloak and the Normal & Heroic Garrosh achievements and their accompanying titles/mount. While the reasons stated for the request are often different, the statement itself is always the same: “Don’t remove them, I should be able to acquire them once they are no longer content.”

Let’s just stop right there for a second and talk about a good word: achievement.

Don't judge me.

Don’t judge me.

Of course, most of us who play WoW relate that word to the blingy bling that pops up when we do something cool (or sometimes ridiculous, stupid, tedious, and seriously-what-were-you-THINKING-with-this-one-Blizzard).

a·chieve·ment
əˈCHēvmənt/
noun
  1. 1.
    a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.
    “to reach this stage is a great achievement”

That is a stellar, 10-point word.

When I raid and we down bosses, it’s an achievement, an accomplishment. It is a thing we have done successfully with effort and skill. We put time and energy and practice and skill into raiding and we are rewarded for our efforts with gear, achievements, titles, and mounts.

But everyone has different interests and skills in WoW, and while they often cross over (and some people are just boss at everything, P.S., I both love you and despise you), usually each player will have a focus–a thing that they like to do and are good at doing.

Though there are MANY examples of this, the most obvious to mention in relation to raiding is PvP. Some people are amazing at PvP. When they build up their rank and their points, when they win arena after arena or rated battleground after rated battleground, they also experience achievement. They also receive rewards of gear, achievements, titles, and mounts.

You know what? I will never see those high-level PvP rewards. I don’t love PvP the way I love to raid. What little skill I have is focused on PvE, and that leaves PvP mostly out of reach for me. And you know what? That’s okay. I don’t expect to receive the rewards PvPers do. That’s their skill, and I am impressed. More power to them!

PvP? Nah, I'm good.

In the same way, there are those who will never see the Heroic raiding achievements, mounts, and titles. They’ll never have the highest level of raiding gear. And that should be okay, too.

Whatever you do in this game, whatever you’re skilled at, you have something available that allows you to say, “HEY, HERE I AM, THIS IS WHAT I’M GOOD AT!” PvE, PvP, pet battles/collections, reputation, professions, quests, leveling, even gold-making. I’ll never have the high-level PvP rewards, I’ll never have the best archaeology rewards (my eyes are bleeding just thinking about it), and I’ll definitely never see any awesome pet battle achievements.

But I have Heroic Siege under my belt. I have the titles and the mounts and the gear. It’s what I’m almost good at, it’s where I get my rewards.

Iron Juggernaut

I guess here’s where my issue with those who are making an uproar over the removal of these achievements: if you aren’t a raider and you haven’t put the time and effort into raiding, why do you feel entitled to the rewards of that section of the game?

It’s okay to be a little envious or a little disappointed that you’re not going to get something you want, but instead of dwelling on it, enjoy what you do well. Enjoy the aspect of the game you like. Put all of your effort and time into that thing and become the BEST at that thing. Get all of the rewards for that thing. I won’t expect to get the rewards from the thing you’re amazing at. Please don’t get angry about not getting the rewards from the thing I’m good at.

Addendum: When this comes up in Trade chat, the next message is usually, “But you sell Heroic Garrosh for gold, doesn’t that ruin the special-ness?” Well, I’d say that the people who spend their time, effort, and energy making butt-tons (yes, that’s an official measurement) of gold are allowed to spend that gold how they wish–gold-making IS their skill, and their reward for their effort is being able to buy whatever they want most, be it an insanely expensive pet, mount, PvP rating, or PvE achievements. 

Seriously, though, 800k gold for a Spectral Tiger? I’ll pass!

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Let It Ride: And That’s How He Lost His Shirt

As I’ve mentioned before, the end of an expansion tends to lead to shenanigans–the boredom is real, and when the primary things that keep you logging in are raids and friends, there’s a lot of downtime.

In the downtime, we come up with things to do, like gambling. It turns out that there are quite a few of us in <Check Please> who are addictive personality types, willing to risk (for some of us) literally every gold we have on the chance of a big win against our guildies.

Last night, in a series of rolls that started while we waited for people to log in after the server crashed and carried on in the Shrine a good hour after raid, there were big winners and uh, well, big losers. A particular gnome warlock walked away with at least 400k more than he started with, a few of us were up by a decent amount, and then there were these two lovely gamblers:

Romfax & Blunders

 

Both of them lost at least 100k each (probably closer to 200k). Ouch! If you see a shirtless, practically pantless night elf begging in the Shrine, please have compassion. I’ve thrown gold away on some stupid stuff, but if I lose all my gold in a roll, that will officially be the stupidest. Thankfully, I ended last night ahead by 25k!

What have you lost gold on that made you/facepalm in retrospect, and how are you handling the end-of-expansion boredom?

 

Before the question comes up, gambling in-game is not against the ToS, but advertising or publicly running a game is–as we only do this privately within our raid group, it’s in the clear–except for all that gold we’re losing. 

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10 Years, 10 Questions

There’s a lot of reflecting going on in the World of Warcraft community, from the things we love about WoW to this massive project from Alt:ernative Chat: 10 Years, 10 Questions.

10 years, has it really been that long? 8 years for me, now–hard to believe that one game can hold collective attention for this long. I guess asking “why” is a natural step!

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Because it was epic. I watched my then-boyfriend raiding Molten Core and listened to him explain how he was playing with other actual people, each person with a different role; a different task. I thought that was incredible, and I wanted in.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

The same character I main today and have mained since day 1: Ambermist,, druid. I started out as resto, leveled some as feral, resto-raided through BC (if you can call it that, I was pretty awful), and then switched to moonkin, which I’ve been doing since Wrath.

It’s funny, I get a lot of crap when I forget to buff stats, and that’s been an issue since the inception–I remember my husband saying, “Wait. You have one of the strongest buffs in the game and you aren’t even using it?”

Buff Stats!!1!

Some things don’t change.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

I wish I could say there was some thought involved, but there wasn’t. I picked the faction my husband played; that said, I’ve never been unhappy being Alliance!

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

8 years of memorable moments and I can only pick one? I don’t think I can do that!

My first guild raid–Gruul’s Lair. I remember seeing the invite popping up on my screen and having a mini freakout, followed by a whisper from the healing lead, “Heal the tank and don’t panic.”

Every memorable moment–raiding through BC, those achievements I just had to have, my legendary staff, shenanigans with guildies, becoming an officer, the last half of heroic Siege, even Challenge Modes–started with that invite.

CMs

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

At this point, I must sound like a broken record, because every time this comes up it’s the same answer: raiding.

And yes, it has always been the case. I got sucked into WoW because raiding looked like the most fun thing I could imagine in a video game, and that hasn’t changed. I play to raid.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

It changes, there’s never one place that I’ve stayed since the beginning. The bank area in Dalaran, the clock tower in Stormwind, the tallest hill near Halfhill, my perch or the stoop in Shrine–each of these areas has been a place for me to park.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

Oh dear. Hang on.

90s Played

The calculator tells me that’s about 588 days on my level 90s. Holy crap!

I have played since September 2006 with a 9 month break in 2011.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Yes, I definitely do, at least the first time through a zone.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

All of my regrets are related to people in the game, not the game itself. Times when a miscommunication or misunderstanding led to a parting of the ways or when friends ended up being not the friends I thought they were, those are the things I regret.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

At different points in time, it has had different effects. I had to back out for almost a year to get some stuff in my life together, for instance; but there are a lot of things I’ve learned about myself, people, and communication as well.

Besides, at the end of the day, it’s just a good time. ;-)

- See more at: http://www.alternative-blog.net/2014/09/time.html#sthash.yofgrt2P.8qPRhAkd.dpuf

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Why I Still Log On Every Day

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a buzz coming from Mr. and Mrs. WoW this week: a community project aimed at combating the negativity that tends to spawn at the end of an expansion by taking a look at the things that we still love about the game. We each pay $15 a month to log in–but what do we do once we’re there? For those of us who have stayed subscribed in pre-Warlords Warcraft, why do we log in?

Friends

Hands down, this is the number one reason I log on at any time other than raid time. I said it on Twitter jokingly but it’s not untrue: most of the time these days, WoW is an extremely interactive chat program. Real ID, guild chat, the best private channel in the entire game (sorry, I don’t mean to put down anyone else’s, but ours is the best, okay?), and sometimes Mumble–there’s almost always someone around to talk to.My Perch

There’s a reason my blog and Twitter have a billion screenshots of this spot. Most days, if you’re on Durotan or Ysera, you can find me on my perch or The Stoop, and if I’m not AFK, you can bet I’m sitting there talking to someone. I’m not going to get sappy, but I am going to say that I do care about the friends with whom I play WoW. They’re genuinely awesome people, and if I unsubbed and couldn’t chat anymore, I’d be bummed. 

Raids

I’ve said this a million times already in the past few years, and it hasn’t changed: I play to raid. Killing dragons with a bunch of people that I usually don’t hate is a good time. Most of the time. Except when I’ve got 5 fps for almost an entire raid night because I forgot to close background programs on my crap computer. 

lolcat_confiscated_computer

Okay, even then, I still enjoy raiding. If they took raids out of WoW, I’d stop playing. Maybe I’d go be bad at League of Legends some more. I hear Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a pretty good time…

The Carrot

Blizzard, as a company, is exceptionally good at carrots. I am not naive; I get that it’s intentional and it keeps us playing the game–and it totally works.

Right now, there are two carrots that I’m aiming for every week, though they look an awful lot like mounts:

Invinciblemountedknighthorseblack

For weeks, I solo-cleared ICC 25 & Heroic Lich King; I got tired of that and stuck a lockout on my rogue to use instead. There’s a moment when I loot his corpse (again) where there’s hope it’s going to be there–of course, all that’s on it are tokens and axes (again), but I’ll keep doing it until I get it.

Thankfully, flying to Karazhan is more time consuming than actually killing the Huntsman, but he disappoints me every week, too. Jerk. Keep your Warhorse, what do I care.

Those are my three main reasons for playing–what are yours?  Don’t forget to take a look at Mr. and Mrs. WoW’s series of posts and all of the bloggers who have contributed to the community project!

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Chi Cerca Trova & Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic: 10 vs 25

After 2 months of being unable to progress because we couldn’t recruit faster than we were losing people to burn-out and real life, the decision was made this week to go to 10-man Heroic. Our goal? Get through the content as quickly as possible and then get everyone subbed in to get the Heroic Garrosh kill they’ve earned.

As it turns out, though; there are some things about 10m that required some adjusting on our part. If you find yourself in a similar situation, dropping from 25 to 10, let me share with you the lessons we learned our first night in 10s!

ImageImmerseus: Ow, That Hurts

First lesson we learned is that the Swelling Corruption stacking DoT really matters on 10m (REALLY matters).

On 25m, with so many DPS splitting the stacks (and usually running with an extra healer), we basically ignored the DoT. No one usually got more than 2-3, maybe 4 stacks, and since we were all in the same small piece of real estate anyway, healing through it was no big deal.

In 10m, though, we had a few wipes because people were dying with ticks between 600k and 800k–ouch! So, we had to do what the Pandaren have been telling us to do all along: S l o w  D o w n. We had to watch our stacks and not go above 5. Once we did that, the fight was a lot easier, if still a little annoying.

Protectors: Just Go Ahead and Stack Everything

Protectors was actually way, way easier on 10 than 25. Ranged stacked up and got healed, we took a few steps out for Corrupted Brew and Sha Sear, but other than that we just executed the fight normally from our spots.

Much to everyone’s (okay, well, half the raid, at least) delight, we stacked the bosses very, very tightly, making for a quick, mostly clean kill. No melee were (significantly) harmed in the killing of this boss.

Norushen: Oh, Hey, Adds.

On 25m, we always had 2-3 DPS that never had their corruption cleared and focused on adds so that those who were at 0 corruption could focus entirely on the boss. In 10m, we sent all of our DPS in, and that meant that everyone needed to be more attentive on adds, something we almost failed at.

Thankfully, we cleared it up pretty quickly, and since we had all of the DPS in and out so quickly, once the little adds were dead, the fight was a cake walk. In fact, we beat our 25m time by almost a minute!

Sha of Pride: Heroic LFR

Compared to 25m, 10m Sha of Pride was much, much less chaotic. We stacked up like you do on LFR, focused on rifts closest to our stacked group, and executed everything else normally. Except for a couple of “whoops” deaths, Sha went down pretty easily.

Galakras, Iron Juggernaut, & Dark Shaman: Business as Usual

Except for some positioning adjustments on Juggernaut and me still learning to tank Shaman (and a few would-be Storm Chasers), these three bosses remained largely unchanged. We used identical strats to our 25m, just pared down to fit the group.

Nazgrim: On Your Toes

Biggest difference for Nazgrim (besides getting distracted and standing in Aftershock–oh, no, wait, that’s not that different) is that we have fewer people covering interrupts and stuns, so we had some deaths to Ironblades, especially combined with Bonecracker or War Song.

We stopped at Nazgrim for the night, but we’re going back in there Monday, and we can’t wait to kill Thok, at last.

Image

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Why I Don’t Like You, And Probably Never Will

UPDATE: There’s been a meeting of the minds, so to speak, and our guild and the guild that is the subject of this post (and the myriad comments below) has reached an agreement. Good grief, I sound like I’m writing some kind of political release.

Fahget about it. We’re starting over, clean slate. Nothing to see here, move along.

—————————————————————-

For weeks, I’ve been telling my guildies not to feed the trolls, and (for the most part), they’ve been great. Here I go ruining it, because I have a big bag of troll food, and I’ve got to use it up before it goes stale.

Image

So this is an open letter to whom it may concern:

It’s one thing to win, and the truth is, I don’t fault you for being first. I’m not all that jealous of your progression or gear. See, our guild never set out to be first. We were (mostly) content to do the best we could do, which sometimes was great and sometimes wasn’t.

We got a new team at the helm with some new ideas about raiding, and we got a little better. A little more consistent, a little more focused, a little more driven. That, combined with the server we’ve called home for nearly 10 years now crumbling into pieces as guilds drifted away, transferred servers, or just collapsed completely, resulted in us being in the number one position. It was cool, but we didn’t stop being, well; us.

If you think my dislike comes from a place of jealousy, I’m afraid that’s your pride getting the better of you. If you had arrived on our server and taken the lead graciously, we’d probably get along extremely well. In fact, I’d probably look up to you and encourage our raiders to take notes from yours. We’d still be driven to try to keep up with you, no question, but I imagine I would think you were pretty cool.

Instead, I watched as you easily took over the 10-man progression slot and immediately started giving crap to the only 10-man group that was, at the time, actively pursuing heroics.

Why? What did putting them down do for you?

Then it was Challenge Modes, and again, you circled around those players with the previous bests like vultures, ripping on them whenever the opportunity arose. I knew as soon as I heard that we would be next.

See, I knew you guys would probably catch up and overtake us, and I knew the minute it happened that the silence would break. You wouldn’t sit around watching our players at the dummies anymore, you’d have to say something.

And, unfortunately, I wasn’t the least bit wrong about that. The day after you took the lead in progression, your members immediately started in, trolling and mocking ours as they waited outside the instance on raid night or stood in the Shrine. It made me angry, not because you had passed us in progression, but because you felt the need to turn around and try to make my friends feel like crap about it.

So I asked them to maintain the silence; to take the trolling in stride. There were some–interesting–ways my guildies took this request, but by and large, they did as I asked.

Image

And yet it continues. Maybe you think you’re just being funny, but that’s not the way it comes across. So no, I don’t like you, and I probably never will.

I’ve been on the internet long enough to know the responses to this post, so in an effort to save your time, I’m going to list them below and you just circle the ones that apply to your reply:

A. It’s just a game, get over it.

B. You’re being stupid.

C. If you don’t want to hear crap, then get better.

D. You’re just jealous.

E. It’s just fun, lighten up.

And maybe it’s true, maybe I do take it too seriously, too personally–but I only do because people like my husband and some of my friends do, too. I’m protective of them, and I don’t like to see them feeling frustrated because you decided it’s your job to remind them that you’re first and we’re not.

Well, congratulations, but there are different kinds of winners.

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Blizzcon, Warlords, & The Horizon: Part 1

It’s been a little over a week since the Blizzcon Opening Ceremony. I geeked out as I watched my virtual ticket over the weekend, and now that I’ve had a week to process everything, I want to join in the crowds voicing their opinion on what we all saw and heard.

World of Warcraft

First, of course, is World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. I was definitely more interested in Warlords than in Mists of Pandaria when it was first announced, but that’s not a good measure, because I ended up loving MoP. In fact, I’m still enjoying the heck out of Mists!

Warlords: Storyline

The premise of Warlords is great–go back and fight against the Big Bads of a bygone era, a new Horde crafted from an old brotherhood. Big characters: who doesn’t want to meet Durotan & Draka? Who wouldn’t want to face Ner’zhul before the first rise of the Lich King?

Facing down Rend as he was in Draenor is going to be brilliant, not to mention the fact that I love draenei and getting to work alongside original draenei in their homeland sounds like something I’d sign up for yesterday.

The concerns I’ve heard, though; are valid. Primarily:

  • Is the story too contrived?
  • Isn’t the alternate timeline thing a little confusing?
  • Are the female characters getting shuffled under the table for this expansion?

On the first and second points, I think they’re kind of combined. The alternate timeline idea makes the story feel more contrived than it might otherwise. If you aren’t sure how this is going to work, it’s basically like this (at least, this is my understanding of it):

Warlords: Parallel Timelines

The idea is that Garrosh goes not only back in time, but on an alternate timeline completely, goes back to before the orcs drink Mannoroth’s blood, and rallies them into an un-cursed Horde. I believe his plan is to bring them back to our current time and wipe us out because I guess he’s a little ticked about the whole Siege of Orgrimmar thing.

Does this make the story a little contrived? Honestly, yeah, I suppose it does, but I think I can overlook it for the sake of what’s going to be involved. Burning Crusade also felt a bit contrived, but in the end, a lot of people loved that expansion.

As for the last point, it’s valid, and I want to know more. I’ve heard there will be some female characters, particularly a draenei, that will be completely awesome, but I don’t know that it makes up for the fact that this is a pretty testosterone-driven expansion. The “boys’ trip” comment took me aback a bit, too. I’m withholding judgement until we get a better look at exactly what’s going down in Draenor, and I’m hoping they’ll surprise me.

Raiding

Obviously, raiding is a huge deal for me, so I was paying close attention to the raiding changes. The biggest change is, of course, the raid types:

New Raid Structure from Blizzcon

I’m not going to lie, the inner elitist in me (and it IS inner, I can’t stand on elitist ground, I hang out somewhere on the cliff of “managing somehow”) recoiled at first. Everything is flex? But, but, but–that–I–okay. It’s a change. We’re not usually great with change. Is it a bad change? Nah. Is it a dealbreaker? No way. It’s different, and we’ll make it work like we always have.

My guild’s primary focus will be Heroic and Mythic. This means that we’re going to have to sit 5 people when we do Mythic, and that’s going to make an interesting dynamic. I will say that I like the fact that this will require players to push hard–when you really want to raid the highest content and your spot is in jeopardy, you will work for it.

The unfortunate side of this is that there’s a good chance that even people who try really hard won’t make it into Mythic every week. Encounter balance will play a big role in how this works out. I can tell you I’ll be fighting with all I have for my Mythic spot.

Coming in the next post: Item Changes, Stuff I Geeked Out For, Hearthstone, & Heroes of the Storm.

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