Mage Tower Notes: Resto Druid Style

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So I finally got interested in the Mage Tower in the last two months. I know I know…late to the party. But in my defence, I didn’t even know about it until then. When I heard the appearances were going away, the resto druid one was the only one I was super excited. (Yes I already got the Discipline one but I wasn’t even excited about it. The whole thing was very meh).

If you’ve been following my rants on twitter, then you know that I have yet to be successful this time around. But I did make progress and make it consistently to the last two phases! There’s hope.

Regardless, I decided to write down my notes and thoughts for next time’s attempts and will update when I do actually finish the challenge. ūüôā And yes, I am considering maining a druid for BfA – but that’s a different post.

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The Price of Rewriting History

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This is a post that sat in my drafts folder for about four years. Yep, four years. The entire time it’s been simmering since the Cataclysm at the back of my mind. Two things have propelled me to dust this one off and finish writing about it. The first was the announcement of Vanilla servers at Blizzcon in 2017; the second, taking a second look at the journey through Azeroth as I level my lightforged draenei paladin.

Blizzard took a huge risk back in Cataclysm when they decided to wipe the slate clean and redo Azeroth. It’s something almost everyone wishes they could do but can’t – and for good reason. We don’t get do-overs sometimes. They in effect, rewrote history by erasing some of it – and the question I have long sought to answer out loud: Was it worth it?

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Priest Class Preview: First Impressions

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It’s worth noting on the outset that there’s a marked difference in Blizzard’s approach to classes in general. The Legion Class Preview Series return to the fantasy of the class and then proceed to mark out their changes and design philosophies with lore as their guide map.

It is a wonderful change from the last few years and I for one, am glad that they are returning to the core of what makes us want to play our classes. It isn’t just numbers, rotations and flavour of the month – it’s the story, character and fantasy that draws us to it.

With that in mind, I dove in to look at what they had in store for us healing priests….and so far, I like what I see!

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Patch 6.2.3: Thoughts

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So this is new. I wasn’t expecting anything – so seeing news of Patch 6.2.3 had my heart leap a little. I didn’t expect any more content so what could this possibly offer?

Patch 6.2.3 tells me one thing clearly: They know players have left in droves. They know they screwed up. They know this is the shortest, and possibly worst expansion yet.

The developer’s insights section of the review says a mountain of things to me. So here’s my translated version of it all:

Cross-realm Mythic Raiding:

My biggest criticism of how Mythic raiding ultimately panned out is that it has screwed over anything less than a high population server. Difficulty? Fine. Skill? Absolutely. Time commitment? Totally fair. But the breaking point of Mythic is usually recruiting and maintaining a 20-man roster which is nigh impossible on a low population server. So guilds are either faced with the choice of real money transfers or simply staying on their server and not doing Mythic at all. Thus we are left with servers who actually see zero Mythic kills. ZERO.

In patch 6.2.3 we get:

Mythic-DI

Translation: Crap, this isn’t working out. Fixed sizes are great but in view of the dwindling population, maintaining 20-man highly skilled roster is logistically ridiculous. Quick! We need to address the population issue!

My 2 cents: Well, it may be too little too late. And it is what it is – a band-aid. It also is largely irrelevant¬†the majority of the population who don’t do Mythic.

Return of Valor:

Valor-DI

Translation:¬†Hey, we put in Mythic dungeons but no one is doing them. Actually….no one is doing anything at all, outside of raiding. Atleast raiders would use the rest of the week to valor cap – yes that’s it! Bring back valor and lengthen dat tradmill! Let’s expand valor to be a gearing resource to entice players to run dungeons and LFR.¬†

My 2 cents: I am mildly interested in this for the sole reason that I can no longer seriously raid as a healer. Yeah – I meant to write a post about that, oops. Anyways, I wondered if I would like to try out being a different class and trying raiding again without breaking my hands thanks to the role change. This would be useful if I wanted to gear up an alt and start afresh. But half of me is going meh, and the other half goes maaaaaaybe. So really, a 1% chance.

But honestly, if I’m not seriously raiding, why do I need better gear?¬†

Item Upgrades in Dungeons:

Items-DI

Translation: We need to give people more incentives to do the precious little content we have poured in. Give them better gear for doing dungeons – it makes it more exciting. I say, lengthen dat treadmill!

My 2 cents: Maybe they didn’t hear me the first time. IF I’M NOT RAIDING, WHY DO I NEED BETTER GEAR??

Mount:

Mount

Translation: Add mounts guys – people love mounts. And then they’ll run it more!

My 2 cents: See this is interesting because my game time coincidentally expires soon. Mounts are cool….but are they cool enough to resub for? Nope not really – especially considering that there is no new content added. Just pathways to gear and raiding, and a mount. Huh. Meh.

Final Thoughts:

They’re listening, and they know something is wrong. I’m not sure they’re on the right path to fixing it though – but these small steps may lead to bigger ones. They really need to focus on the world and story and let go of details that pertain mostly to raiding and little else. As a former raider, I get that raiding is exciting but I also now view content entirely differently. If I don’t raid anymore, what’s in it for me?

The Importance of Time

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It is said that the simplest stories are often the best ones. All it takes is a character, a world that draws you in and a journey. And the journey, the ups and downs, and the events and people in it keep us coming back to it. The journey is usually the highlight of story in a game world like Warcraft’s, and the journey is inextricably tied to what happened before and what happens next.

Somewhere along the line, Warcraft seems to have forgotten this mantra along the way. In the tug of war between game-play and story, I imagine story¬†has usually¬†come in second place. The results are¬†glaring cracks in the game world, and a distinct lack of a compelling journey. The importance of story is not in question here – it affects the entire game world and gives players a reason to want to be in it. Today’s post is more about how Warcraft arrived at this point.

There are two points in Warcraft where I feel like the game world took a huge hit from decisions, and both these decisions took a single thing for granted: the importance of a timeline.

The importance of having a beginning to a journey, and knowing exactly how things follow after is huge. And we lose that continuity if time is this flexible thing we can manipulate at the drop of a whim. The story isn’t a journey anymore then – it becomes more about figuring out what the hell’s going on.

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