The Infamous Noob

May 13, 2009

The Fall of a Guild

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — infamousnoob @ 11:30 pm

So I think the guild I’m in now will be crumbling soon. The GM left to join another guild, but left someone in charge to keep progression flowing. I’m pretty sure that the new GM is too nice to make the guild work, and it’ll regress to merely a casual guild with raiding being something to pass the time. So that being said, I’ll be looking for a new home for my three 80s soon. On that note, I have two more 80 up-and-coming, and I’m not sure what that means. It’s a lot of characters at max level, but leveling is so easy that I don’t think it represents an inordinate amount of time.

Time is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, too. I think that there is a need for a time management system within WoW. Or at least an achievement system for accomplishments within a certain amount of time /played. I might see if I can develop an addon to measure something like achievement points per hour or something like that, I think it would be interesting to see what it averages out to be.

Actually, now that I think about it, time has always been an interest of mine. I read a bunch of things like Einstein’s General Relativity and Brian Greene’s books about physics in high school, always looking for a way to cheat the system of methodical marching of time. I still haven’t found one, but I’ve always thought that life should be lived backwards, like the lucky Benjamin Button.

Anyway, what brought this issue up was the amount of time required to raid and be successful. “Hardcore” guilds spend 30-60 hours per week raiding to gear people up and learn new content. After that, achievements (and by consequence 310% mounts in this expansion) take precedence and titles are handed out. I would gladly spend that much time if I had it, but I don’t. I only have 10-20 hours per week to play, and I don’t want to spend half of that farming for stuff to make flasks and repair money. It could be that this game just isn’t for me. The dependence on other people being “good” at playing irks me. I only trust a handful of people to be as good as they need to in this game, and the rest I just close my eyes and hope that they aren’t as horrible as the average player is. I wonder if I’ll go through real life like that, too.

I’ll keep the failing guild drama up to date here. Back when there’s more to share.

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April 20, 2009

Quality vs. Quantity

Filed under: Design, Games, Real Life — infamousnoob @ 12:08 pm

This is the age-old question. When you’re marketing a product, do you make it really, really, REALLY good, or just make it good enough that you can appease the masses?

I’ve had an idea brewing in the back of my head for a while about a nebulous game-like thing that I’d like to create. But some big questions that I hav about it are whether I want to appeal to the general public, or if I want to make a specific “niche” game that will only appeal to a relatively few gamers, but have a higher quality in some aspect. Now, I’m not saying that I’m a wonderful game-designer and that I can produce results for either one of these scenarios. But I think that it’s an important question to consider.

From what I’ve seen in the world around me, it’s ALWAYS more profitable to make a lower-quality product. Microsoft is almost the embodiment of this principle. Mac OS is better, but more expensive hardware. The Xbox is hardly more than a Windows machine masquarading with controllers, but it has more market share that either the Wii or PS3 (sadly).

People say that they want things of high quality, but I think that when the dust settles, they really just want -things-. Quality is very nice and will win out over a very long period of time (sometimes a generation or more), but for any product/business that wants to turn a profit soon, just putting a product out there (and having a lot of units available) is the sure-fire way to start the cash flowing.

April 6, 2009

The Ultimate in Customization

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — infamousnoob @ 4:13 pm

Today, I spent some time looking at the game Little Big Planet. I love the idea behind this game. User-created content really makes it easy for game developers to sit back and enjoy watching other people enjoying their game. I haven’t had a chance to dig into the controls and look “under the hood,” but I’m pretty confident that I’ll enjoy it.

I think the thing that makes me like it so much is that unlike Löve, I don’t have to know a programing language in order to take advantage of this system’s level development package. Also, it harkens back to the days of 2D scrollers, which anyone my age has a soft spot in their heart for. I’ll reserve my final judgement until I get my grubby mitts on a copy and make a few levels and such myself, but I think this is a good jumping-off point for further studies in game “balance” for me – if there is such a thing.

March 28, 2009

Slouching Toward Pay-as-You-Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — infamousnoob @ 10:27 pm

I’ve been absent a long while, but that’s mostly because there isn’t anything exciting going on in WoW. So I’ve been listless. But never fear! I came across a couple blogs in the last few days talking about OnLive.

This makes me wonder about the future of the American lifestyle. I briefly had images flash through my imagination of a world where when you get a job, part of the benefits package is a gaming subscription – right next to the dental and medical.

The only reason this occurred to me is that it seems like everything is slowly (or not quite so slowly in some cases) lumbering its way towards being a subscription. Internet, phone, TV, insurance, and now games. Even in the case of things that you buy, we turn them into subscriptions via leases on cars and mortgages on houses. The only things we don’t have subscriptions to yet are food and clothes, but those are mostly because they’re consumed in the process I think.

If only I could find a way to sign people up for a food subscription. . . .

February 19, 2009

3.1 Soon – Here’s Hoping

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — infamousnoob @ 12:05 pm

I know I’ve been gone a while. Unfortunately, that’s a side effect of trying to graduate. 😦 My poor blog has been unattended for a while, now.

Rumor is that 3.1 will be hitting the test realm very soon. In addition to the dual-spec system, T8 will be introduced to the game through Ulduar. I’m very excited about this, since I’ll probably be able to have both my warrior and druid in the 10- and 25-man versions of this, respectively. I’m still undecided on how I feel about dual-specs. While they will help me personally a great deal, I don’t think that it will really help the game as a whole. For all of the pure dps classes, it’s sort of a waste anyway. Maybe a PvEPvP setup. For my two characters, it will just let my warrior have his fury spec during the week and tank on the weekend. . . just like he does now, but for 100g/week less. It does allow my druid to take up a healing spec (or I guess tanking), but he’s pretty demanded as dps so I can’t see that changing too much.

However, I am really looking forward to the new raid content. It has been implied that vehicles will play a large role in at least one encounter in the raid. This is an interesting way to build an encounter, since it makes it gear-independent. Phase 3 of Malygos (considered by some to be the hardest phase) is such an encounter. While I appreciate the attempt to keep some encounters hard regardless of gear level, I don’t think that this is the way to do it. Making a cap on the amount of damage that a hit can do, or putting severe mana/rage/energy costs on attacks would be a better solution, I think. Something that allows the players to keep their class mechanics intact.

Supposedly, I’m needed by my guild on the test realm when it hits to test out what little of Ulduar we’ll have access to. So I’ll see what happens there and report back later.

February 2, 2009

Priestly Professions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — infamousnoob @ 1:47 pm

I decided to keep tailoring and herbalism for now on my priest. I looked at all the possible things I could gain from the different professions, and honestly, I don’t think it matters what you choose anymore. The BoP perks of the professions are fairly lackluster compared to the BoE things that they produce. I settled on tailoring and herbalism because I like the cloak enchants (or threads, I guess they would be) of tailoring. They’re a significant amount better than Wisdom from enchanting for a healer, since the mana return one seems to have the potential to make or break a fight, where “slight” threat reduction should never be the issue. I like herbalism for leveling. It gives me something to collect while I’m out and about questing, and it provides an emergency self-HoT that makes soloing a lot easier.

I had considered picking up inscription, but the shoulder enchants aren’t enough of a pull since I’m going to have to grind reputation with the Sons of Hodir anyway. Enchanting was a very strong candidate, but since I already have an enchanter I really don’t have any desire to level it up again. The ring enchants are very good, since they are the only way to upgrade that slot, and it’s something I’ll consider once I hit 80.

As a side note, I think that alchemy is a very, very profitable profession right now. I’m not sure what’s causing it, but people are willing to pay top. . . gold?. . . to have max buffs in raids. Just something else to consider.

January 25, 2009

The Profession Dilema

Filed under: World of Warcraft — infamousnoob @ 11:17 am

My priest hit 31 last night. This got me thinking about his professions, and what I need among my characters still. For the moment he’s a tailor/herbalist, but I think I’ll need a scribe at some point, so one of those might be going the way of the buffalo soon. I just haven’t figured out which. I’ll research the professions this week and figure out if I can support inscription/tailoring without a level 80 herbalist.

I think it’s odd how I gravitate towards having three max level characters, even if I don’t play them all regularly. My shaman has definitely fallen off the “favored” list, if there is such a thing, and my priest has quickly filled that spot. I don’t think that my warrior or druid will ever slip off that list. My warrior because it’s really hard to break a “basic” class like that, so he’ll pretty much always be a good tank (and possibly dps), and my druid because he’s my achievement character. As odd as that sounds, I really enjoy having a lot of achievements on him, and I like that I’ve been so many places and done so many things with him.

At any rate, I’m off to Naxx. Profession discussion to come!

January 20, 2009

3.0.8 hits, Most Users Still Whiners. More to Follow.

Filed under: Real Life, World of Warcraft — Tags: , , , , , — infamousnoob @ 2:07 pm

I’ve been trying to keep up with people on the role forums about what they want from the game. In particular, the tanking and healing forums have me very, very confused.

They both complain that content is incredibly easy (this sentiment is echoed throughout most of the subscribers, however). But when talking about the nerfs to Circle of Healing/Wild Growth, or the removal of the Titanguard enchant (BEFORE it was even in-game!!), they both cry out that these things are unfair. That’s the part that confuses me. There are dozens (possibly hundreds) of posts about how easy the game is, but when it’s made harder, that’s bad too. I think the problem is that the game caters to too many kinds of people, and it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. Instead of having several great games that have specific target audiences in mind, we get one huge game that is good, but mediocre in several places in order to accomodate everyone.

The biggest culprit of this is the constant struggle to balance classes for both PvP and PvE. Some abilities (everything that involves huge burst damage) work fine in PvE, but are considerably overpowered in PvP. In fact, when it comes to this situation, the two facets of the game are at opposing ends of each other. Everything about PvE is focused towards how well you can kill bosses, and this means sustainable damage/healing/suvivability. In PvP, it doesn’t matter if you can sustain 5,000 dps/hps if you can’t put out 20,000 damage/healing in 4.5 seconds. The introduction of PvP tanks with this expansion helps to close the gap, but I don’t think that it’s a viable solution right now. PvE and PvP really should be broken away from each other, so that the debacle of Retribution Paladins through the Beta isn’t repeated.

I think that this is pushing me away from the game, honestly. I still thoroughly enjoy raiding and completing content, but I’m becoming increasingly intolerent of the other players. For as much as people complain that the current available content is too easy, there still aren’t very many people I’ve met who I would voluntarily go into a heroic/raid with. Sadly, my DoIKnowYou is filling up with red marks, while the only green marks I have are people who I knew already. I suppose that’s the nature of the beast, though.

My brother has told me that he’s quitting WoW in March when his account expires, and it’s made me consider what I like about the game. I think I would be just as happy playing an offline console RPG (<3 FFVII) as I am on the occasions where I am able to complete content (a.k.a. raid) in WoW. The downside to this is that I spend time outside of raiding collecting materials for item enhancements, upkeep on my characters, building reputations, etc. Most of those things are “required” in offline games too, but they don’t have timelines. If I want to raid in WoW, I have to put in X amount of time each week for the attempts we make, and the support activities that go along with that.

One of the reasons that I chose the specific name of this blog, instead of something WoW related, is that I knew <i>eventually</i> I would stop playing. Whether the game dried up, or I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore, I knew that someday I wouldn’t be writing about World of Warcraft. But I’ve always had a passion for gaming. I enjoy board games and card games, tabletop and video games. I like puzzles and riddles. I just like figuring out the system that’s presented to me and understandig what makes it tick. So, in the event that I’m not covering WoW anymore, I’ll still have some hobby to ramble about. But don’t worry — that’ll definitely be after Ulduar is released.

Currently, I’m trying to diagnose what went “POP” in my Windows computer, and attempt to replace that part before the warranty runs out. I’m fairly certain that it’s the power supply at this point, but I still have little bits of power around the motherboard so it’s not completely dead if it is the problem.

As a side note, I definitely need to post more than once a week. I end up with about four different topics in each post because I can’t decide what to cut out.

January 13, 2009

Off At a Gallop!

Filed under: Real Life, World of Warcraft — Tags: , , , , — infamousnoob @ 12:54 pm

The new year has brought a huge amount of activity for me. I built a new computer to do all my Windowsy things, transferred schools, and started classes. I also did some things in WoW, like started raiding 25-mans, started collecting Fury tier pieces on my warrior, and started a priest. I love new beginnings.

I have a sense that I’m loading up with more than I can handle, but if worse come to worst I’ll just drop my priest and quit transferring schools. That should cut down on my workload by at least half.

In news related to this blog, there are a few changes that have been discussed about druids and warriors. I’ll start with the warrior ones.

Titan’s Grip is getting the 5% hit penalty removed. Obviously, this is a buff. Of about 5% damage. w00t.

Deep Wounds is being discussed by Blizzard for a possible nerf. Personally, I think this is a good thing. When I give up talents in prot to dip into Deep Wounds because it means that I’m doing 1300 dps instead of 1100, something is a little off. Also, it’s being reported that some dps warriors are accounting for anywhere between 20% and 50% of their damage from Deep Wounds ticks. Obviously this depends on how much crit you have, but 50% damage from a couple talent points seems a little excessive. Assuming a single-roll combat system, this means that crit is more valuable than hit, too. I really like the mechanic and hope that it stays. But it needs to be reined in somehow so that the variance isn’t quite so much as 30% of total damage. Arms warriors would be buffed if Deep Wounds is indeed nerfed, probably something fairly deep like Mortal Strike or lower in the tree.

Druid changes!

Wild Growth is getting a six second cooldown. I can appreciate that in 25-mans and even some cases in 10-mans this is a nerf. But it’s not really something horrible. Druid healers still have all the tools in enough quantity to heal through anything. Priest’s Circle of Healing trivialized a lot of encounters simly because of the massive throughput they could attain. Wild Growth was a close second. A Shaman’s Chain Heal was a distant third.

Nourish will benefit from having Wild Growth on the target. This is definitely a buff, but I think a very small one, contrary to what other druids say. The boost to the T7 4-piece will be nice, but the likelyhood of having all 4 HoTs on a target at once for the full 20% extra healing (on top of the natural boost that Nourish receives from having any of them up) is slim, unless it counts other druid’s HoTs as well as your own. In that case, I can see a raid having a HoTer and a Nourisher, since the synnergy is almost too good to pass up. Numbers would have to be crunched, of course. But I think there’s something good there.

Also in-game, but not related to warriors or druids, mining is getting a change. Now, instead of having to pick away at a mineral node 2-8 times, you’ll only have to hit it once. I like this change, because as “real” as the current system is, it lends itself to having your mineral ninja’d by someone with lower latency. So I’m willing to give up that little bit of flavor in favor of convenience.

I mentioned having a priest, but he’s only 17 at the moment. I’m sure he’ll level quickly because of the shoulders I was able to grab from turning in Stone Keeper’s Shards, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never raid with him. I think I just like the idea of the healing versitality they offer, what with two healing specs and all. Of course, he’s a dwarf. I think that dwarves are the single most awesome race in WoW, if only for their jokes and emotes. One of their racial bonuses should be drunkeness resistance.

But I digress. Priests are fun, but only once you get to the point where you have some tools to work with. The first ten levels made me question whether I wanted this character every step of the way. As I get higher, it makes me wonder how people got to high levels to begin with. Cloth wearing classes are so hard to keep alive. 😛

That wraps up the first of many (hopefully) posts to come. You should see me more often now that things have started settling into some semblance of routine.

January 5, 2009

Change of Scenery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — infamousnoob @ 3:07 pm

It looks like this will be the new home of my blog. So far, I’m very impressed with WordPress, and I hope that I can get everything worked out with GoDaddy to make it a smooth ride for readers too.

More when I know more. 🙂

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