Saturday, May 1, 2010

Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!

It appears to have been quite the busy week, in game and out. Work has been quite busy, and the precarious weekday balance of raiding + family raising in between is not one I wish to risk tipping with added time spent writing, no matter how much I enjoy doing it.

As a result of this, I have composed the better part of three or four blog posts and one, maybe one and a half short story vignettes in my head during the lengthy ‘thinking’ time that is my commute. Given the lack of express train routes between Podunkton and Wanna Be Chic Urban Centre of DC Suburbia as well as the lack of portable speech recognition word processing software and hardware in my possession, they are all sadly locked in my head fading word by word as inspiration flits elsewhere.

So let this be a warning, this may be a conglomerate ramble of all those things with most of the important bits missing! I bear no responsibility for the comprehensibility of my writing from this point forward, or even this point backward.

This is to be a World of Warcraft blog, or at least so was my original intent, so of the many things rattling in my head I’ll focus primarily on things game related.

What news this week! Or last week.. Or sometime recently, it’s all a blur really. The change of raiding as we know it! No longer the kings of raiding progression shall the 25 man guilds be if the news is to be believed. Instead an equal co-sovreign with the heretofore overshadowed queen, the 10 man guild!

Could this be so? What will it mean? A story of tragedy, deceit and betrayal? Will the queen’s deadly blade strike true to the heart of her once noble and lofty king? Is the age of 25 man raiding.. dead??

Or do we find a more enlightened and happy tale instead? No malice between two dearly loved and kindred spirits, but an end to conflict! Will the queen, much beloved but rightly frustrated in her efforts to step from the shadows of her esteemed king, not to surpass but to find equal standing worthy of her own illustrious station, finally be given chance to stand side by side in equal and enlightened rule with the one whose dreams and aspirations so closely mirror her own? One can only hope!

To escape the flowery prose (you were warned), the change to the 25/10 man lockout and reward system is huge. Reactions have varied from high elation to wails of endless QQ, some going so far as to call it an end to ‘real’ raiding with the continued dumbing down of the game.

I have to say I fully support this decision, and if executed well, it will change the game forever and make players of all attitudes able to find that much more enjoyment from it.

25 man guilds are far to strong to die out. There are amazing groups of 25 like minded people who all work well as a team, and this will not impact them in the slightest. Ideally, more loot, more benefit from the guild leveling system, and other perks will make 25 man raiding worth their while.

The good here is in giving the groups of 10 who really enjoy raiding but can’t find the big group to do it with a chance to be competitive. The point has been brought up that raiding without a challenge is boring. This is 100% true! But if Blizzard does what they’re saying they will, there will be equal challenge for the 25s and the 10s, and equal chances to really enjoy progression!

25 man raiders don’t have a problem with 10 man raiders progressing and being recognized. They have a problem with lazy players getting the same recognition. I do too, 10 or 25. The vision I see from Blizzard’s latest statement is one I support wholeheartedly. Hardcore players get their choice of hardcore guild sizes. Much of their time will be spent in heroic modes getting rewarded for their extra accomplishments at higher difficulty. There will be easier things too so casual players can futz around with raiding from time to time and get their fun toys too. 10 & 25 hardcore & casual all have their fun and get rewards equal to effort given, and they all live happily ever after!

The problem here is in the execution. I’m equally excited and reserved about these changes. The ideal is amazing, and well worth working toward, but some things work much better on paper than in practice. Communism anyone? That isn’t to say that I think it’ll turn out like that, but the success of the final release hinges on a razor’s edge balance. In my micro-sized experience of game development and balance on MUDs, I do not envy at all the folks at Blizzard who have to work out this balance on such an incredibly huge scale.

So, we wait and see. Sounds pretty fantastic. I’m thoroughly excited. But I’m still holding final judgment until we see it for real.

In other news! With greater relevance to the title (You thought I was just being clever with the raiding metaphor, didn’t you? Well. I thought it was clever.), we have finally killed Lich King 25 as a guild. Finally. It is a love-hate relationship, this guild. They are all good players. The GM attitude of penalizing failure and rewarding accomplishment regardless of rank, status, or seniority is phenomenal. They are also, for the majority, raging assholes. When the epeen is high, the failure is high as is my urge to stab somebody in the eye. This is far too high a percentage of the time. In the past weeks of attempts, only 2 nights prior to the down felt like we were actually working and accomplishing anything.

Happily, the GM decided not to put up with the bullshit anymore when we failed at heroic Marrowgar a few times because lazy meter whores didn’t feel like switching to spikes. Seriously guys, way to be completely stupid on something we usually one shot. But it worked out in the end, because the GM declared no more freebie heroic modes until LK was dead. Not even lootship (oh the outcry over that one…).

Wouldn’t you know it, the douchebags and asshats got their shit together, wiped out the rest of the instance and FINALLY KILLED THE FREAKING LICH KING. Was that so hard? Once you get your head out of your ass, no. No it isn’t.

Finally, I am happy to say I now have a troll priest <3

Since back in the day of stupid priest racials, Troll Priests have always been the coolest because their racials sucked and people who played them tended to be laid back and awesome. Thus I have always loved troll priests. I explained this to my husband who asked why in the hell I would play a troll priest and he looked at me weird and said, “But you’re not laid back, you’re an unrelenting rager.”

…yeah, he’s right. When it comes to raiding, if people aren’t doing their jobs to the best of their ability, I am a complete rager. I get completely infuriated by laziness and sloppiness in others and in myself. This is why it’s hard to have alts, because I have dedicated SO much effort into perfecting my main. It’s hard to maintain that kind of effort on more than one character, and it’s hard for me to do anything but on any character I play.

BUT this is my funtime lazyness alt. She will be shadow, and she is on our home of Twisting Nether, so if I decide to say… gather some folks for a little world PVP, I may or may not bring a brigade of hordies to rape the ever living shit out of some of the worst offenders in Saintz. We’ll see. High ambitions for level 5, given how long it took to get my hunter to 80. But it’s fun to think about.

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