Thursday, 16 December 2010

So, my thoughts on Cataclysm:

1. It's Very Linear

It really is.

2. It uses lots of phasing

Finally, the actions you take actually have an effect on the world, despite the fact that there are 13 million other people running around. No more finding Manrik's wife, then watching him send other people off. Kill those nagas, and as long as part of a scripted bit, they stay dead. This is, of course dependent on the Linearity. It would be a nightmare to test all the possible paths through various levels of phasing if people could just do what they wanted.

3. It's very pretty.

Despite being remarkably old, I was sorely tempted to take some serious psychedelic pharmaceuticals when I first hit Vasj'ir. Look at the colours! whee! That's deep man.

However, that's not necessarily a problem, since the linearity allows for Story. Finally, your level 80 hero can do heroic level 80 things. You just can't decide what heroic things you want to do.
Haven't blogged for a while, because truthfully I haven't played for a while. Being effectively guildless and time-poor, combined with a dislike of pugging meant that my last experience of WoTLK content was of running away from the lich king after having hidden around a corner to gank his lieutenants. Not terribly heroic, 5 mans.

Anyway this is all history now because we have moved into that country from which no man returns - Cataclysm. So I can start levelling seriously and toss my tatty tier 8 armour aside for shiny new greens.

Nidhogger is now half-way to 85 and wondering where to go after Vasj'ir. He's sticking to shadow spec for now and enjoying Mind Spike a lot. There's been a certain amount of whinging about the way Mind Spike drops all your dots, but my solution is simple: don't bother with them. Mind flay for a couple of shadow orbs, then 3 Mind Spikes for a 90% chance of a crit on your Mind Blast. Finish off with a Power Word:Death and there hasn't been much that's still standing while I levelled.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Free Starcraft II Beta Keys

Last night my guildmaster and I went to the launch of the Sci-Fi London film festival, Life in 2050. This is a 5 day extravaganza of Sci-Fi films based at the Apollo Theatre in Piccadilly Circus in the centre of London. The festival is sponsored by Blizzard, amongst others, since the imminent launch of StarCraft II, Wings of Liberty dovetails nicely with the futuristic theme of the films.

Since my GM is a srs journo, Blizz wined and dined us royally* before taking us across to the venue, ready for the prestigious Arthur C Clarke Award, which was being presented. Apparently China Miéville swept the boards. Why apparently? Well, being the geeks we are, we spent the whole time drinking free beer, and playing the Starcraft II beta which Blizz had thoughtfully provided, instead.

So what's StarCraft II like? To be honest, it struck me as being much like StarCraft I, but with considerably prettier graphics. By which I mean, of course, that I got my arse royally kicked by all and sundry (just as I used to 10 years ago), until I retreated, chastened, to single player mode. It's not surprising that the gameplay isn't drastically different, since StarCraft is a national obsession in Korea, and presumably a huge cash cow for Blizzard which they don't want to overturn. (That last sentence gives me visions of Korean water buffalo-tipping which is not really relevant.) The beta was very stable, and to all intents and purposes the same as the release, unless you are a Korean e-sports gladiator.

Anyhow, notwithstanding my ramblings, Blizzard are offering 500 beta keys for StarCraft II, 100 per day, free, gratis and for nothing, so you can try out it for yourselves. All you need to do is to turn up at the Apollo Theatre and actually play a bit of StarCraft II. That's it. simples.

Of course this isn't much use to anyone outside the M25 London orbital motorway, but for those of us who live or work in God's own country - fill yer boots!

*full disclosure - assuming the royalty like kebabs and beer.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Waving my wowcock

On a recent heroic run:

and on the same run:

That is all.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Discovering my inner cow

I've been playing my new mage in SAN and enjoying the social side of it a lot. Bloggers really are a verbose bunch. Hardly surprising I suppose. However, I wasn't enoying the gameplay so much. Both of my main characters are deeps who rely on dots for most of their damage, so playing a Mage wasn't very different.

I've played 2 mages before. One of them made it to level 35 (and became a bank alt), the other languishes at level 15, unplayed and unloved. I'd forgotten about that.

At heart I'm an evil undead poisoner who consorts with demons from the deepest nether for relaxation. And can only fulfil one role in the LFG tool. So, I thought I'd try something different. A tree-hugging nature-revering herbivore. One who can tick any of the LFG boxes.

So my second SAN character is Kododancer, a fine black angus druid. Long may she tank/heal/dps. Whilst revering both nature and the elders.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Slowly dotting him to death

I ran a lot of heroics yesterday on my priest, Nidhoggur. Normally, I only do the LFG thing with 4 of my RL friends, so that I don't have to mingle with the great unwashed out there in pugland. However, this time we were short a tank and a deeps, so the 3 of us decided to spin the wheel.

I originally levelled Nidhoggur as a healer, since I already had a deeps as my main character, but over the course of time it has become apparent that my friend the Shaman is actually better at healing than I am (not least because he's better geared), and I'm a better deeps than he is. So gradually I've become more entrenched in my shadowy ways. This came to a head a week or so ago when I was forced to choose between spending my precious EoT's on Zabra's Circlet of Conquest (the deeps one) or Zabra's Cowl of Conquest (the healy one).

I went for the circlet and turned to the Dark Side.

So, there we were in Heroic PoS, a hunter, a healy shaman, a pug warrior, a pug death knight tank and Nidhoggur. This was the first time my group had done Heroic PoS, although we'd been through it a few times on normal mode.

Nidhoggur was a bit undergeared for the place, as he still has a few blues, and even a quest green, but the RNG gods had obviously decreed that one faildeep wouldn't make much difference.

I got the impression that the deeps warrior had been there before, as he was discussing how often the battered hilt drops (0% as far as I can see from 1 run), and his GS was about 2K better than the rest of us scrubs. Dunno about the tank, as I don't remember him saying anything.

We went through the trash reasonably quickly, although Nidhoggur's damage was a bit on the low side, until we came to Forgemaster Garfrost, the giant who can't decide which weapon to use.

First time through the tank died at about 30%. "sorry guys", said my shaman to a deafening silence, as we flew back.

The second time, Nidhoggur got hit by a saronite boulder, but I don't think anyone really noticed, because the tank and healer both died in quick succession soon after. Garfrost was at at 60% health this time. We were getting worse!

"What's killing you?" asked the uber warrior quite reasonably. Strategies were discussed, (essentially moar hiding behind boulders) and off we went again. This time it was looking good. The giant's health dropped steadily down to about 5%. Then the shaman died. Somehow. The tank did what he could, but it was a lost cause. He died soon after. The uber warrior tanked for a bit more. He died. Garfrost went for me. I refreshed my dots and Dispersed into a cloud of shadows. And down he went!

To say I was surprised was a bit of an understatement. I sat there open-mouthed for a minute or so until someone reminded me to rezz.

Final comment goes to the uber warrior:- "I've never seen that technique before; slowly dotting him to death."

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Meta-Cognitive Naming

I can just imagine Tam's thought processes, although of course I haven't actually asked him about it.

What would be a good guild name, one that that hasn't already been taken? After all, Argent Dawn is an old, full server. What I really need is a single abstract noun to describe the guild and its purpose.

'Vengeance' - taken
'Violence' -likewise
'Perfidy' - gives the wrong impression (and is it even a word?)
'l337ness' - no, no, no, just no

I know! I'll move up a meta-cognitive level. I shall have a phrase to describe the word that describes the guild and its purpose. In fact one that describes ALL guilds with a single abstract noun for their names. One guild to rule them all! And ideally in the darkness bind them.

Thus was born Single Abstract Noun, the Argent Dawn guild for bloggers, their readers, alts and assorted hangers on. Tam's the GL, in another fruit-based incarnation. Tobold's there, Larisa's there. Miss Medicina isn't because she's a silly American, so she's started a chapter across the pond. Pretty much everyone I've ever heard of in the WoW blogosphere has an alt there, and now so do I.

In keeping with the meta-cognitive naming theme of the guild, and due to the fact that Megeara (the fury of jealousy) was taken, I've created a character meaning 'the kindly one'.

So, welcome to Eumenide, my new baby mage. Long may she pew pew.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Oh the Irony

As I mentioned previously, my characters don't have much luck with epic wands. You can't make them and they don't seem to have a great drop rate, at least not for me. Wherein lies a story.

So there I was, running 5-man PoS (which always makes me think of PoS) with my priest, Nidhoggur, who recently dinged 80. Nidhoggur was in shadow spec, trying hard to break the 3k barrier. Bosses and trash were dying beneath our furious deeps whilst the Dark Lady hung around making enthusiastic comments, and not helping at all. Things were going well (mind you, we weren't even on heroic, so it wasn't hard) when I disconnected fighting some trash.

My connection is usually pretty solid, but this evening it decided to play silly buggers, and it took me a few minutes to reconnect. Upon reconnecting, I was greeted by the roll-for-an-item popup, for the coffin nail, a wand which would have suited me perfectly both from a deeps perspective, and from an RP one (Nidhoggur means 'corpse-eater').

Ooh, ooh, finally, a decent wand, I thought as I checked the stats, and reached for the 'need' button. But fractionally before I clicked, the timeout on the window kicked in (I'd been disconnected, remember). The wand was automatically rolled for, and handed over to another party member, who in turn automatically D/E'd it. My lovely wand was turned into a bit of enchanting stuff for someone who didn't even want it.

And the ironic bit? I was the only enchanter in the party.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The toons, they are a changin'

I haven't posted for a while because there hasn't been much to say. The folk Megeara was raiding with decided to up sticks for Aion, leaving her full of frustrated yearning to kick Freya's large but perfectly-proportioned ass.

Life has been a little bit slow for Megeara since then. I like the people in my guild, and I've been there a long time, but they are uber-casual, logging in for a spot of wintergrasp or a quick heroic, and passing the odd bit of RP double-entendre in guild chat.

Consequentially, I've decided to shift my attentions over to Nidhoggur, my baby priest, whom I have been levelling on another server with a few RL friends. He's a good, holy, priest who just can't help being drawn to the dark side. More of him anon.