Thursday, September 30, 2010

Strange Ideas

The other day I was talking with my wife (because communication is good right?) and I do not remember how or why but we ended up discussing the Brewfest holiday and different items that drop. Good thing we both play or that could have been an awkward conversation huh? It got me thinking about the overall status of the holiday events and their (un)respected bosses. Since Wrath came out, Blizz has put a lot (debateable) of effort into giving useful (trinks and weapons) or vanity (mounts and pets) items to these bosses. Alright, well maybe saying effort was too much, but they did add in some trinkets and update the previous loot tables to equal current entry level epic (used lossely) item levels for level 80 characters, which I know we are all aware of and I am sure where this is going right? Well stay with me because we are not yet done wandering around. Another thing that Blizzard added in the Wrath expansion was heirloom gear. The gear we love to hate to love (or hate to love to hate). I am equally sure that you are all aware of the benefits (are they realy?) of these items. I am equally sure that many of you probably have wasted the emblems (another sore subject for some) on these items.


No, I am not going to talk about the economy of WoW or the board game Monopoly (exactly). I am going to pose a question today. Has WoW become the Monopoly of MMO games? In other words, Monopoly (the board game) has been out for what seems an eternity and in order to sell it, the company every so many years will release "new" versions of it. I personally own several different versions of it myself. Allow me to take it one step farther and say that Monopoly has evolved to a point where you can no longer add new content to the game and so in order to keep it relevant you must change the appearance of the game in order to attract either niche markets or popular markets. Is not this similar to what we are seeing Blizzard doing with WoW?

My opinion is somewhere between yes and no. At this point, there is plenty of new content to be developed and released into WoW

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Day To Be Remembered!!

I do not know if you are aware of this fact or not, but today (September 28) in Taiwan is the day that they celebrate Confucius' birthday. As such I thought I would list a couple of my favorite quotes from him:

"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."

This is probably my favorite saying because it applies to every area of my life. We have to remember to stop looking at how far we have to go, but instead look at how far we have come and remember that even if we are crawling to the finish line, we are still going to finish.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

It goes well with the first saying to be honest. Stop worrying about how many times you fall down, but get right back up and take another swing at whatever it is you are working on!

And now I leave all of you who complain about the changes (good or bad) coming in Cataclysm with these wise words:

"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Experience

It is hard to believe that October is almost here. Where has the year gone? The good news is that this is not a self reflection post about my lost time but rather a post that looks back at the moments during this expansion that stand out in my mind! A celebration of Wrath of the Lich King if you will! So here are my top ten moments from this expansion:

10. Rocket Mount

Who does not want a love rocket? Nothing like taking the little lady out for a ride on space mountain! Wooooooooooo! (Rick Flair) In all seriousness, I love the rocket mount. I was disappointed that I was unable to get one during the holiday event and so I could not resist getting a third account with the sole purpose to get me that rocket! Oh and an added bonus, when people hop in your mount and you didn't invite them you just fly up really high and dismount. Bubbles FTW and the passenger eats ground below! (Want a ride Edy?)

9. Iron Forge Gate Crashers

This actually started from me reading so many blogs about how people only ganked out where it was safe and the numbers favored them. I personally love the thrill of PVP and do not care where it happens, but I can understand and somewhat respect the feeling that you get from being ganked where you feel it is an unfair advantage. So in order to fill my bloodlust urge, I got a group of around six to eight fellow PVPers and we ran straight into the areas of Iron Forge and Stormwind that were most crowded (aka the auctions houses and banks) and proceeded to engage in a little PVP. To be honest it was a lot of fun even when we were outnumbered with odds of six to one. Every now and then in guild someone says let's go to Iron Forge even now.

8. Blue Proto Drake

I had ran H UP over 100 times on my characters looking for this mount. I had seen it drop over 12 times and lost each roll pathetically. One night, in an all guild run I believe, it dropped again. I hit my /roll and lost it one more time, but this time it was to my wife. She knew how I had specifically been running H UP each day looking for this mount and she gave it to me and Pope is the proud owner of the drake now. (Thank you baby!) I still would like to get it for Ruhtra, but just having him on one of my characters is good enough for me.

7. Hearthstone

The single funniest moment I have ever been a part of occurred in Naxx. We were running one of our first guild raids and we stopped to group up before the final boss. One of our Hunters (who reportedly loves to smoke a special weed) went to feed his pet and ended up hearthing out of the raid. We were all sitting there just staring at him and wondering what he was doing. A few minutes later he realized he was no longer in Naxx and asked us how he got where he was. The vent erupted in laughter and even though it was an extremely long break it literally had to be the single funniest moment in our raid history (debatable). On his way back in after being summoned, he actually managed to get lost which naturally led to more laughter in vent and the guild taking "Because I Got High" as our unofficial theme song that we will still play when someone does something funny.

6. Undead Hobo

I do not know why, but one of my friends in the guild likes to take his undead Warrior and strip him of all his clothes save for a red Santa hat. Someone remarked about him looking like a hobo and from that day forward all I do is laugh when I see him standing there on the flight pad of Dalaran portraying the role of a hobo.

5. Oh My God!! You Killed Kenny! You Bastard!

We have a Rogue in our guild who has spent this expansion dieing in some of the most amazing ways. He has died so much that we have nicknamed him Kenny in honor of his horrific deaths. If there were a gold medal for deaths in WoW, then our Kenny would be the guy you are shooting to beat. We do not feel like it is a raid unless he dies within the first five seconds of the run. Often times as soon as he dies the mood will lighten and someone will remark that it is now an official MAS raid.

4. Drama

I bet you did not expect to see someone put drama in a top ten list for Wrath of the Lich King, but let's face the facts that this expansion was filled full of drama from my very own guild to the top ranked guild out there. Within my own guild, it really helped me to get a desire to focus on raiding and get behind our raid leader(s) and start pushing for success within the guild. Anyone remember the guild member who had received the GM item that would literally one shot Ulduar bosses? That created quite the stir when an unknown guild came out of the blue and was destroying Ulduar. How about the engineering bombs used on the Lich King? I think it is safe to say that we have definitely seen an expansion filled full of drama that is going to be memorable.

3. Phoenix and Tigers!

I am not one to pursue mounts exclusively but I am extremely happy that after what seems to be an eternity that Edyion was able to get her Zul'Gurub Tiger mount. I remember when she first started running to get it and she needed to take a healer with her and the tank. I remember many a day going in there and just spamming Flash of Light while her and the tank got in sync. I also am happy that she got her Phoenix vanity pet when I helped her with MGT. It has nothing to do with anything that I did, but instead the fact that I am generally excited and happy for any member of MAS when they have worked hard to acquire something that is as rare as the Tiger. So congratulations on all the mounts and pets and here is to many more members who get to acquire those things that they want.

2. Squeal(s)

I know kind of odd to list this, but I did because I love when I hear a loud eruption of squeals from the other side of our computer room. It typically means that something good has happened for my wife. For instance this week she got the Great Brewfest Kodo on one of her characters and she almost made me fall off my chair when she squealed in excitement from receiving it (I was completely focused on something in-game and was not running with her). It is like I said earlier, I genuinely get excited for my guild members when they get something special or earn a tough achievement so you know I am twice as excited when it is my wife.

1. _____________

This is reserved for killing the Lich King as a guild. We set out with one goal at the beginning of this expansion and I am fully expecting us to accomplish this goal. I will be even more excited because we are doing it without twenty five man content gear and on an extremely limited raiding schedule. At this time we are firmly able to go 10/12 and have had success to pushing Sindregosa below 20% health. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves.

So what about the rest of you out there? What is the highlights for you over the course of this expansion? Was there something you did that may seem insignificant to others but was a major milestone for you? Was there something you did not do that you are afraid you will not be able to do now?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Played Out

Have you ever hit that point in your life where you just sit and wonder if this is all there really is? When I graduated from high school, the girl who was our class validictorian started her speach with, "We live, we die" and it proceeded to go down hill from there. That is somewhere close to where I was at in regards to my feelings for WoW. I was forcing myself to log in and run a couple raids per week and maybe make a cameo appearance in a random heroic. I just was not feeling the love for WoW like I had back when I first started to play. I know my poor wife would ask me to play with her and I would try but I just was feeling like I had done the same thing a hundred times before and there was no pleasure in actually playing the game. In truth I was beginning to consider just cancelling my subscription(s) for a while and then seeing if I wanted to come back to the game after an extended period of time away. Basically I was beyond burned out to the point of feeling that WoW was played out (for me at least).

I considered my options and decided I needed to find that love of the game that seemed so distant at this point in time. The question was what was it that made me love the game so? I started thinking back to the first few months of WoW and what made me want to play it. Was it the countless hours of grinding quests that use to make-up huge chunks of the game? Was it the fear of getting corpse camped from some lurking Alliance player? Was it the thrill of not knowing what lay beyond the next zone? Was it waiting to get a new ability? Perhaps it was the desire to get my first mount at level 40?

A New Course Is Set!!!

It has been quite a while since I wrote anything around here and I do truly feel bad for this, but I do not regret it one bit. I needed to get away and just relax and enjoy the game for what it is, a game. That being said, even though I have not been blogging I have definitely been busy around Azeroth, as have my toons!

Pope decided he had enough of the evil Alliance (his words, not mine) and so he signed up in the war and charged straight into battle, head rattling and all! It was a hard fought campaign on both sides and there was no punches pulled. There probably would have been a lot more casualties if not for the brave Forsaken Priest!

Pope approached Ruhtra (so I am told) and asked if he would join him in his campaign, but Ruhtra would have none of it. He stated that he has waged enough wars for others in his lifetime and was going to go and reflect on the recent events. Ruhtra appears somewhat distraught having spent his entire lifetime fighting for what he believed to be just causes and seeing no results from all the sacrifices. So he headed off into the middle of nowhere and played some Simon Says!

We are really not sure what happened out there but he seems to have come back renewed with a purpose, but we are not really sure if his purpose is going to be for the better or worse of those involved. You see the first thing he did was go and speak to a large group of Ogres! Did I meantion that we are concerned about him?

Apparantly he wowed them with his shiny two seated rocket and won over their loyalty and is now being proclaimed as their "Shiny White Haired Pale Faced Little King". I think I should really stress that we are worried for Ruhtra's sanity!

I must admit he did seem to be much more relaxed with his new found allies when he introduced them to the joys of Brewfest!

After he completed guaranteeing the service of the Ogres he then set about seeking out some additional reinforcements of questionable character.

If you see this Paladin out and about we recommend extreme caution and please do not attempt to confront him. We would appreciate you to contact a representative here at Holy Shock or Mass Affluent Slayers for assistance as they have been trained in the proper ways to deal with Ruhtra and the Chaps of Power!

PS: I am doing great and thanks for everyone who has inquired about me and the blog. I just took a little bit of time to enjoy the game as a game and not a job.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Looking For Two More ______________ Raiding Achievement! Need Two Tanks!

I was sitting in trade channel last night and was utterly amazed at the number of people who were spamming looking for either healers or tanks for specific raiding achievements. Do not get me wrong, I am all for you working on earning your raid achievements, but when it is for content like Ulduar do you really expect to put a PuG together that will complete this task?

I am not trying to belittle you or the raid itself, but the reality is that the achievements and hard modes in Ulduar can be some of the most difficult achievements to earn with a complete group of strangers. It is compounded when you are looking for two tanks or two healers who know the fights and are willing to spend the time trying to help you achieve this. I started thinking a little bit about this and I had to ask myself why the hell do you spam trade?

I understand that a lot of guilds are in stasis at this point of the expansion and so you may need a roster spot filled, but when you are doing trivial content and seeking experienced individuals I just do not see how you will get them. Then the thought hit me, why don't these spammers form a guild focused on doing these tasks? I mean they seem to think they have the know how to do the achievement. Most of them flaunt that they are gear checking and looking at achievements anyway. So why not just form a guild focused on this older content?

I think it is because these people are wanting to be carried. I do not mean to sound harsh, but no other reason makes sense to me. Why else would you ask people who have the achievement to come heal or tank for you? There is nothing for them to gain at that point unless they are seeking something specific such as fragments for a legendary item. So I ask you all out there, are any of you these trade channel spammers who are wanting someone who has nothing to gain to come out of the way and help you earn something why? Why do you want someone who has it and not take someone who is geared and qualified but lacking the achievement?

PS: I am not talking about ICC, but earlier content such as Ulduar.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back To Basics

It feels nice in life to return to your roots. It doesn't matter if it is going home to the house you were raised in or returning from a long trip to be greeted by your friends. In WoW, I have been slowly returning to my roots lately and I am finding it much more enjoyable than anything else I have recently been doing. When I first started playing I found three things that I truly loved to do in WoW. Two of the three things were directly linked and the third was a by-product of not doing the others. Everything else in the game was pretty much just filler for these three things:

1. Playing With Friends

To me WoW is a social game in that I started playing because of friends I worked with and in return I got my own family and friends playing as well. It was originally just about spending a few hours a week running around in a fantasy world with friends that I was not afforded the luxary of being able to run around with all the time in my every day life. In other words, I started playing my very first online game when we first learned that my wife was pregnant. I decided that it would be much cheaper to stay at home versus running around with my buddies. At the cost of going out to sports bars, movies, and the like it made much more economic sense to find something I could do at home and for fifteen dollars a month it seemed like a deal. By being able to play with my friends it was as if I were still able to run around with them getting into trouble.

2. Actively Seeking Out PVP

When I first started to play WoW, my friends from work already had maxed level characters for the then current content. One of my other buddies started playing and together we worked on leveling our characters between getting corpse camped. It was during this time that I learned to love PVP as did my friend. As a whole, most of my friends would prefer to camp an Alli instead of go run an instance or raid. This worked well and provided hours of amusement on a PVP server. Once I finally hit level cap I formed arena teams with countless friends and sometimes we won and other times we lost, but we always had fun with the game.

3. Auction House

If you ask of my friends in WoW they can attest to my love of the auction house. I made my gold by selling what no one else wanted to. I worked the auction house primarily between PVP matches or running the occasional instance. My friends use to have to drag me away from the auction house and often laughed at me for spending hours of time standing there. My auctioneer was known across the server and hated by almost every other auctioneer in the game. I would receive countless whispers and in-game mail regarding my practices for listing. I had such a rush back in those days just toying with people. At one point, people had told me they had started a petition to the GMs for my listing style. I never received anything from the GMs or Blizzard so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement, but it amused me that people knew who I was and what I did. I could often tease members of the guild who worked certain sections of the auction house about changing prices and they would laugh and ask me to leave them alone. To me, it was never about annoying other auctioneers or hitting gold cap. I just found it fun to see how much could I list each day and did I have a huge profit or loss when I was done?

I have been thinking a lot recently about why I play WoW. The fun had been slowly slipping away for me personally. I have taken pride in seeing the guild grow and become a respected PVE guild. I have taken personal pride in overcoming all the obstacles that we faced over this past year. I have enjoyed providing the guild with as much stability as I have been able to. I loved to log on and see people laughing and teasing in the guild chat because they deserved it, but something was missing for me. I know I have hinted at how the game slowly switched from being something I did for fun and slowly became like a second job. That was beginging to wear me down personally. Instead of logging in and looking forward to joking and teasing, I would try to avoid logging on when other members may be on. I no longer felt a desire to help the guild succeed. I found myself instead dreading the thought of logging in.

At first I assumed it was just the "burn out" that others have talked about. I reasoned in my mind that if I just do not log on as often and maybe even find another game to play that it would lesson the aggrevations I felt when I did log onto WoW. It worked to a lesser degree. I would log in less frequently and was not as annoyed, but it still was not proving to be that same feeling that I was looking for. I actually had debated on perhaps cancelling my subscription. I reasoned that maybe the game had lost the fun and it was just an obligation I felt that kept me playing. A tiny part of me disagreed. Instead, I decided to take some time away from a lot of things with the game (including blogging) and focus on just having fun when I logged on.

It started with me working on leveling alts and messing around doing silly little thing. (Dancing naked with a rocket helm on?) I spent some time working on professions that I had neglected. I started working on some achievements, like Loremaster, that would require a little bit more from me than I had previously been able to afford. I slowly started to enjoy at least logging in, but I still was not feeling that rush of excitement that I longed for. One night I logged into my Shaman, Walani, who I had not played in a few months. I decided I would run some battlegrounds with him just to mess around and level in a different way. Something sparked inside me while running those Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch battlegrounds. I felt that rush that I had been looking for so long for. I decided to switch from my Shaman to Ruhtra and take him into the battlegrounds and see if I still felt the same. I decided to focus on Warsong Gulch because I have a long, long, long way to go on their reputation.

As I was running Warsong Gulch after Warsong Gulch I found myself having a lot of fun. Yeah, I would get aggrevated by the losses or people not really playing the battleground in a smart manner, but overall it was more fun than I have had in a long time. If it was a bad group I could just find a nice spot and heal like a crazed man.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alterac Failure

I have been sitting here for a while trying to find a way to convey my thoughts on what has become of my favorite battleground and the only words that can best describe are that it fucking sucks! I suppose now I should come up with some sort of justification to make a statement of this nature huh? Well, all I have to say is go run one and then report back your findings. I will admit that it has been a while since I worked on running battlegrounds, but with a desire to level a new character Alterac Valley has provided a wonderful resource or at least I thought it had. So out of four Alterac Valley runs last night, I managed to win one and lose three. I do not mind losing honestly. What I mind are the little twits who do not understand the goal of the battleground or I should say do not understand the proper way to accomplish the goal of said battleground. I realize that Alterac Valley is not the only one to be suffering from this problem, but it is the one that I love the most and therefore that makes it blog worthy to me.

The number one issue I have with running Alterac Valley now is the fact that no one will listen to the strategies that are proven to win in the battleground. I am sure that you all have heard the guy who comes into the battlegroup and starts shouting orders out. I am the first to admit that I hate this guy, but I am also smart enough to know that these strategies will generally work if they are followed with a few modifications. You need at least two tanks for the first bunker so that one tank can deal with the boss there and the second can wrangle in the spawned elemental. In additiona to this, you need yourself a couple of healers who can keep the tanks up. Typically you hope that they are slightly higher leveled or well geared lower leveled. Throw in some DPS and she goes down easy enough. Of the three losses I suffered, only one of the groups were able to take down the middle boss. That is quite sad I agree, but then you have to understand that they had one tank and an elemental Shaman healing. That is not going to get very far because as soon as the elemental spawned that Shaman was toast. This led to the crucifiction of the group that was trying to down her and ultimately to many of that group going else where because of said scrutiny. When will people learn that the belittling and name calling accomplishes nothing except making you look like a pric?

The second irritating thing is the player (and there is always one) who knows everything and belittles every one for their lack of skills. You also know this guy pretty well I am sure. He is typically not the guy at the top of the damage done, honorable kills, killing blows, or healing done list. No this guy usually is in the middle down towads the lower side. They are the ones who disagree with every strategy except for zerging Van and likes to drop his huge vocabulary through words like "lawls", "lulz", "nub", "noobs", and other such words. They rarely ever have an original idea and while they may have an achievement I am willing to bet that it is one they earned when they accidentally ended up in a pre-made group.

The third group of players who irritate me are the ones who just follow orders without thinking out the results. It is a great idea to follow the guy who gives instructions at the beginning of the battleground, but if you are in a group that is all low level and your objective requires you to take a target without aid, then you may want to speak up and request some help from a high level character. Trust me, at 71 a character is not going to be able to take down one of the 79 or 80 NPCs found scattered throughout the battleground. It is better to make this issue known upfront, than to give someone cause to start the bitching over a group not accomplishing their goals.

The fourth and final group of people who piss me off in Alterac Valley are the leaches! Those people who come in and do actually assist with an initial target and then proceed to do nothing from that point on. Sometimes they are just the smart AFKers and sometimes they are the loud obnoxious guy who is just trying to annoy everyone. No matter which one they are, they annoy me greatly because they could at least be used as canoon fauder for a higher level character.

You know I feel much better having let that out versus holding it in till it becomes a curse filled rant. So what about the rest of you PVPers out there? What battleground shananigans get under your skin? Even better, if you are one of the four types I mentioned, what makes you tick?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back In Black!!

Wow things look a little dead around here! Well, don't you fine people worry too much about all that shit! Ol' Rather is back from his long, long, long trip and I am ready to start writing again! First I want to say that I really missed everyone. Yes, even those of you who hate my fucking guts! I also want to say that there is no way in hell I would touch some of the subjects that have been going around lately. I am sure you know of the ones I speak. It has been good reading though, so thank you for that as well!

I am sorry I do not have much to talk about right now, but I am trying to get my thoughts in order and catch up on everything that is actually worth my time. The Cataclysm news front seems a little boring so I will leave that up to the boring bloggers to talk about. I have been working on leveling an alt through some battlegrounds lately and boy have battlegrounds become nothing more than a sorry place. We may spend some time talking PVP since I have been doing a little more of it in lieu of anything else, especially with limitted time.

I think for now I am going to focus on just writing on Fridays again. Most people are busy during the summer, but my life picks up and goes nuts come the fall and winter months. Rather out!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Short-term Break

I just wanted to come on here and wish everyone in the States a happy labor day! God knows that it is the common people like you and me who make this great country tick and you deserve your day! I also wanted to say that I appreciate the few folks who have inquired as to what is going on here with Holy Shock. The truth is that we are really good around here, just extremely busy. In the Ru household, we have learned that kindergarten is no laughing matter. They actually sent homework home to the parents! What the hell is up with that? Along with that, we are letting little Ru take after school activities and anyone who deals with children knows that it as much work for the parents as the kids. It is work that I am happy to do though. If you were wondering about Rather, he is doing well from his last communication to me. He has been busy with work and some other things and unfortunately just hasn't been devoting as much time to WoW as he use to. He reassurred me that he was still raging and pissed though and said not to worry. (Which of course makes me worry.)

I have not decided if/when I will be back to writing full time here at Holy Shock. I do not like to write things that are not well thought out and well written and right now I just do not have the time to commit to everything. Even my WoW time has been cut down as I have decided to not spend as much time in the game to combat the feeling of burn out. I refuse to write about the information regarding the beta unless it is confirmed by a blue post or I have tested it myself (which I have not). So if I am not playing and I am not goign to speculate, then the only thing for me to talk about is other facets of my life which I will not do from here. So in my leave, I am leaving the door open and the lights on. Feel free to look around and browse the older posts, there may be something there to make you chuckle and I will see you later.

Take care!