Posts Tagged ‘miscellaneous’

WoW PvP: A Story Of Three Classes

Although I’ve yet to hit level 80 with any of my characters in World of Warcraft (one day soon, I promise) and thus things may change when I do and encounter the Übermensch that awaits, I’ve been enjoying the sanitised PvP of Battlegrounds tremendously. In fact, aside from power-leveling my brother, the Esquire of Noob Town, it’s where I can be found spending most of my hours these days.

I’ve been leveling up three characters almost completely through Battlegrounds and here are my thoughts.

Warrior

Ah that old cunning AFK trick. Deadly.

Ah that old cunning AFK trick. Deadly in the hands of a master.

I’m regretting spending everything I had on dual speccing my Warrior at level 40 for the sole purpose of PvP. I’ve been leveling him up as Protection and, after blowing 1k to get an Arms spec for player vs player combat, I discovered that I much prefer Prot for Battlegrounds too. Doh. Oh well, at least I have a spare tree for trying that out new Unrelenting Assault tanking spec I’ve heard so much about.

I think the reason I enjoy Warrior Prot PvP so much is because it fits right in with my preferred style of play: charge into the thick of things and try to inflict as much damage as I can before I eventually get taken down (something about the glory of being a martyr really appeals to me… boy, I hope my psychiatrist isn’t reading this). Protection not only gives me that necessary survivability but it also gives a lot more control abilities like silence on my Shield Bash and stuns on Concussion Blow and Shockwave plus I don’t need to worry too much about stance dancing, a tactic which is far too subtle for the likes of me. Overall, the Warrior is my perfect match.

Priest

My Priest is an old character I’ve had since the start of last year and used to PvP constantly with when he was leveling up. Now well on his way to level 60, I’ve dusted him off for some further Battleground romping and it’s proving to be jolly good fun again. I have two equally potent PvP specs, one Shadow and one Discipline, each offering a very different playstyle. I find Discipline is better for when I’m in the lower level range of a BG as I can just follow the pack around, bubbling and healing everyone constantly and occasionally throwing out the odd DoT to rake in a massive amount of honour.

For a class that appeals so little to me in PvE, I find the Priest surprisingly fun in PvP, a good counter-balance to the melee intensive Warrior and one that has plenty of style and originality. Perhaps I was an exorcist in a previous life because I can’t help but get a thrill out of roleplaying a bible-bashing nut-job, out to cleanse the face of Alterac Valley.

Mage

Oh God, I detest Mage PvP, I really do. Maybe things will improve once I get into the higher levels but right now, at level 50, it’s utterly appalling and I can completely appreciate why Mages have a reputation for being the worst class at PvP in the game. My entire experience with the class has been hit and miss as I love the AoE insanity of dungeons (and flaunting DPS meter results in my friend’s faces) yet hate the snooze-fest that is Frostbolt-Frostbolt-Frostbolt solo PvE.

I was expecting good things in PvP from the Mage but unfortunately it has not delivered as I die tremendously quickly and have trouble putting out any decent damage. Of course, the class doesn’t lend itself to my “rush into the centre of the mayhem” playstyle so maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. I’ll give PvP another shot again once I’ve gained a few levels but, until then, I’ll be sticking to dungeon groups and cracking other Mage’s skulls with my Warrior.

Finding The Balance

If this triple-PvP experience has really taught me anything it’s how much better suited to PvP some of the class are than other and also, in most regards, how much Blizzard strive to try and perform the delicate act of keeping them all in balance for both PvE and PvP, a task which seems contradictory to me and almost impossible. I do wonder if they would be better off doing what SOE did in EQ2 and implement completely separate functionality for spells and abilities depending on the situation they are used it. It would make the devs job a whole lot easier and allow every class to gain a more even footing in both situations.

-Gordon


How Do I Make Money In EVE Online?

I’ve been having a spot of bother making money in EVE Online and was hoping to get some tips from veterans to help me out. Although I was subscribed to the game for a while last year and recently resubscribed a couple of weeks ago, I still consider myself a big old EVE nooby noob. It’s not a game I’m currently pumping huge hours into as I just don’t have the time right now but I do enjoy dabbling around with it on my weekends and slowly sowing the seeds of my galactic empire /strokes moustache maniacally.

Although I know it can be lucrative, I’m not a big fan of mining or general commodities trading so they’ve not been options I’ve explored much. I far prefer to blast things into tiny bits of space shrapnel which is why I’ve been mainly focusing on running missions and salvaging with my Cormorant. However, the cash is pretty poor. For each T1 mission I’m maybe getting around 100-500k ISK and that seems pretty low (I remember getting more from selling salvaged items last year). I’m assuming T2+ missions will give me more money so right now I’m trying to get enough cash together to buy and fit a Gallente Cruiser. Now I could just keep grinding away until I get enough cash but surely there must be an easier way?

Tipa and a few others suggested ninja salvaging as a tactic when I asked on Twitter and it’s sorely tempting although it would require me temporarily halting skill development on my main and skilling up and equipping an alt. As I was wisely advised, it’s apparently not a good idea to ninja salvage with any character you want to maintain a reasonable reputation for.

So if anyone has any words of wisdom or sagely advice about earning a buck or profiteering then I’d love to hear them. I don’t need to become a mega-zillionaire, just having a reasonable cash flow to kick start me into PvP and some more serious combat would be nice.

Of course, I could just buy PLEX and sell them for a small fortune to get me going but somehow that doesn’t seem as fulfilling to me as earning the cash myself in-game.

-Gordon

P.S. Is there a Gevlon blog equivalent for EVE Online? Preferably without the right wing craziness ;)


What MMORPG Would You Take To A Desert Island?

Ah, that old cliché: if you were stranded on a desert island what MMORPG would you pick to take with you? Silly, I know, but if you look past the ludicrous nature of the question (’cause if you did have a fully functional PC, power supply and Internet connection, getting yourself off the island would be pretty easy and thus destroy the entire premise of the question) it does actually present an interesting consideration.

Gimme a PC, power and the Internet... and leave me be

Gimme a PC, power and the Internet... and leave me be

For me, I’d want a MMO that, above all else, offered longevity. No sense in picking one that I get bored with after a few weeks or ran out of stuff to do in. No, I’d want one that offers me almost nigh unlimited playability and replayability and preferably one in which I can really get a sense of accomplishment and achievement. The game’s going to be my cyber home for the long, long time to come after all so better make sure I can make an impact in it.

That pretty much rules out World of Warcraft. As much as I enjoy the game, it’s more of a fun distraction than a fulltime hobby. Everquest 2 goes out of the window too because I’m already so familiar with it and I don’t even want to consider newer games like Age of Conan, Warhammer, Aion or Champions Online. They were fun but didn’t give me anything substantial to sink my teeth into. Plus how long they will continue to survive is anyone’s guess.

Star Trek Online? That could be good choice but given how new it is I don’t think it would have enough content to keep me going. Remember, I’m stranded on a desert island with nothing else to do accept for eat coconuts and chase the monkeys. In terms of sheer content, it would be hard to beat the old faithfuls like the original Everquest or Ultima Online. My only concern with those two is that their dated graphics and impenetrable UIs and controls would drive me to hanging myself from a palm tree.

Well, how about Lord of the Rings Online? Ah yes, now we’re starting to cook with gas (and by gas I mean the twigs I foraged from the tropical wilderness). I know it’s a great game and it’s got an established player based with a good amount of content. Perhaps this is exactly what I’m looking for… except I’m not sure how many times I could stomach seeing players wander by named things like “Leggolas” or “Araggorn”.

There is, however, one MMORPG that hits all of the marks and appeals to me on all levels. It’s vast, it’s deep, it’s ruthless and it has unlimited potential. Yes, I’m talking about the cousin that I always wanted to marry, the black widow that is known as EVE Online. I can’t think of a better game to throw myself into head first and totally obliterate my life with. I’ve only played it for a few months so there’s still a heck of a lot for me to figure out, explore and do. Plus it’s truly a game in which I could accomplish and achieve something; I did promise you all I would become a King in it after all.

EVE Online is one of those games that make me wish I was unemployed so I could just spend all day devouring it’s spacey goodness like a transfixed junkie. I skitter along the edges of it at the moment, continually enticed to resubscribe, the only thing holding me back knowing that it would swallow my life up completely. And I’m not ready for that right now. No, at the moment I’m happy enough with my packaged vacations to Disney Land of Warcraft. That’s honest, wholesome goodness that lets me keep all aspects of my life in balance and harmony. EVE though… EVE would utterly consume me.


Stranger Danger

My blogging muse monkey graced me with another interesting story yesterday: apparently World of Warcraft is rampant with players who want to steal your items, money, achievements and soul. Or at least my brother believed.

Would you trust this man?

Would you trust this man?

It all kicked off yesterday evening when I had a curious phone conversation with my bro in which he started telling me a story about another player he had met in WoW whilst out questing in Duskwood earlier that day. This stranger invited him into a group (strike one), helped him complete some quests together (strike two) and then offered to log on his level 80 main to “boost” my brother (strike three). Now my muse was really freaking out. “Boost?! Some kind of hacking attempt, no doubt!”

My brother decided to outwit his would-be hacker though and, after graciously accepting his offer, waited until the player logged out to change character and then quickly ran as far away as he could and hid from him.

After laughing so hard I almost cried, I had the pleasure of explaining to my brother that this poor chap was actually just trying to honestly help him out and that not everyone you meet in MMORPGs is a complete tosser. Some people, believe it or not, genuinely want to help out newbies.

Apart from being quite frightfully amusing, this tale is also a little depressing. What’s happening to the Internet and society these days? Why are we so full of mistrust and doubt? Now every email is a phishing scam, every group invite a hacking attempt and every man with a moustache a paedophile (notice how Tom Selleck is keeping a low profile these days). Sometimes things are just exactly as they appear to be and not some Machiavellian attempt at harming you.

And finally, on a completely unrelated note, I’m running a competition where I randomly transfer $1,000 into a reader’s bank account. If you would like to take part, please send me your bank account number, PIN and password. Thanks.

UPDATE: I AM NOT ACTUALLY RUNNING A COMPETITION. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME YOUR BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS!


Hear me, Hear me! WoW Voice Chat

Yes, World of Warcraft has a built-in voice chat feature. Surprised? I was. I’ve been playing for over a year but only found out about it a few weeks ago and only then because someone mentioned it offhandedly on Twitter. Apparently it was introduced in patch 2.2 way back in 2007. Really? How the heck did we miss that one. I had no idea about it and it seemed that I wasn’t the only one, everyone else I asked usually just opting to use Ventrillo or Teamspeak instead.

Save yourself the stress of getting WoW's voice chat to work, make a long distance phone call instead

Save yourself the stress of getting WoW's voice chat to work, make a long distance phone call instead

Being of bold adventurer stock (I once travelled abroad and didn’t pack enough socks), I decided to give it a shot. In case your wondering, which you aren’t, the option to activate said voice chattification ability is under the “Voice” tab in the “Sound & Voice” menu. The theory is that you just click it on, select your mic input device and sound output device along with any custom settings you want and away you go. In practice though, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

Firstly, this feature isn’t available to players on a trial account (as my brother discovered), presumably to stop gold farmers from shouting Chinese obscenities or marketing slogans down your ear. Fair enough. However, after using it for a good couple of weeks now, I can safely say that it’s one buggy piece of work. It took several regroups and relogs to get the initial thing set up and now it consistently doesn’t work for a player if they change character (the remedy being that you have to log out completely and return). It also doesn’t seem to want to work at all in groups formed using the dungeon finder (oddly enough it works fine in battlegrounds).

The voice system isn’t all bad though and does offer some nice features though like the ability to quieten the game’s music or sound effects when someone is talking along with seeing the name of the player in your WoW UI. It also has the obligatory push-to-talk setup and the overall sound quality is pretty decent considering you’re not talking through a dedicated server. Plus it’s very convenient and very free. Which is nice.

I guess I’m a little torn over the whole thing. It works, well, some of the time (unless you want to change character, run a cross-server dungeon or have a conversation with more than 5 people or anyone outside for your group) and it saves me the hassle of installing a 3rd party piece of software or paying for some VoIP server. Still, my biggest gripe is just how shoddy the implementation is and that the whole thing, even after 2+ years of it being around, is still bug ridden. I’m genuinely surprised to see this from Blizzard and I can only assume it’s a low priority to them due to it’s lack of use from the player base.

Convenience is winning out at the moment but I can see that the issues with WoW’s voice chat are going to eventually force me and my buddies to switch to something else. The real killer is how it doesn’t work with groups from the dungeon finder and we’re already discussing switching to Skype as a result.

Anyone able to recommend any other free voice chat systems that are compatible with both PC (Windows 7) and Mac?


WoW Armory Facebook App – Why?

Whilst waiting for the World of Warcraft patch 3.3 to download a few days ago, I decided to try out the Armory Facebook app seeing as Blizzard were pushing it through the game loader. The installation was, as you would expect, quick and painless and within a couple of minutes I had hooked up Facebook account with my Battle.net account WoW Armory feed. My WoW account is now ubiquitous. Awwwsommmeeeee (!).

Yep, that was sarcasm.

Behold, my glory! (As if you care.)

Behold, my glory! (As if you care.)

As the title of this post probably gives away, I’m kinda baffled by this Facebook application. I mean, I can see Blizzard’s reasons for developing it; they have a shiny new feed of every player’s activity ready to be abused and the more they can get people to chat, spam and spread the word of Warcraft (clever pun there), the more free marketing they can receive. “What’s that, Billy? You equipped a tabard in an online computer game? I must subscribe to this and find out what all of the fuss is about!”

I’m not dissing Blizzard’s ability to make funky little web do-das and pieces of jiggery-pokery (I actually really like their 3D character viewer), I’m just questioning the actual need of something like a Facebook application. Do we honestly need to share every single micro-accomplishment in our hobbies with everyone we’ve ever met in every web service we’ve ever used?

Trust me, when I take down the Lich King, you’ll all hear about it (whether you like it or not) and I’ll do it the good old fashioned way – by tell telling people. Until then, I don’t need to integrate my WoW account with my Twitter account with my Facebook account with my OpenID account with my Flickr Account all just so I can broadcast to the cyber world every time I gain a level in a video game. It’s social networking gone mad.

P.S. If you want to follow me on Facebook, feel free. Occasionally I say something amusing but most of the time I’ll just ignore you.


Suggest A Blog

I love reading blogs, especially MMORPG ones, and I’m subscribed to several dozen RSS feeds (just over 60) in my reader. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with everyone’s fascinating rants and opinions but it did occur to me that I haven’t subscribed to many new feeds recently. So, in order to prevent my blog-readingness from stagnating, I figured I should be proactive and increase my available pool of reading material.

Of course, being the lazy sort, I figured I could just get you guys to do the hard work for me! Thus my post today. Can anyone suggest any good blogs for me to read? It can be your own (feel free to be as self promoting as you want, God knows I am), someone else’s, your ultimate nemesis’, anything is OK. MMORPG related would be nice but I honestly don’t mind. Leave me a comment or drop me a tweet or email and I’ll go check it out.

But I’m not all take and no give. Here’s a blog that I stumbled upon via Twitter and it’s sickeningly hypnotic: http://www.tazaandhusband.com. For some reason I’m just compelled to read it. Maybe it’s my fascination with life in New York or maybe it’s my love of dogs and cute chicks or maybe I’m just turning into a 16 year old girl. I don’t care, I just can’t hide my shame any longer.

On another note, does anyone have any recommendations for structuring feeds in their reader? I currently have them listed in order of my personal preference but it doesn’t seem like a very elegant way of organising everything. I suppose I could break them down by category and create folders for WoW/EVE/General etc but most bloggers tend to cover quite a few subjects so it’s not always obvious what they’re mainly focusing on.

P.S. I’m also keeping a Twitter list of all MMORPG bloggers that I encounter. It’s really just for my own organisational purposes and to stop me from losing my sanity trying to track down and backtrack other people’s tweets all the time. It’s currently following 45 people and I’m enjoying being able to view full threads of conversations between blogites. Let me know if you want on it (you may well already be) and feel free to follow it if you want. I don’t benefit from it but I’ll aim to keep the list up to date.