Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Something Borrowed

I have been doing a lot of healing here lately with my Shaman, and let me say that I am jealous that my Paladin cannot handle groups as easily as my Shaman can. Now before anyone thinks that this is going to be a post filled with complaining and whining, let me reassure you that it is not. Instead it is a post that suggests borrowing an idea from both the Priest and the Shaman classes, attach a small instant heal onto the Paladin cleanse ability.

I know I am always preaching about how I hate the homogenization of classes, but this is one thing that would benefit all of the classes. I know that when I heal with both my Priest and my Shaman, I am much more apt to actually remove the nasty things that are eating away at my party members; however, on my Paladin I rarely cleanse those things because it is extremely expensive and I would rather just heal through the majority of the stuff on my party.

I think one of the reasons that I like this idea is that it would have very little effect on balance issues between PVE and PVP. In PVP I do cleanse often and getting a nice little (key word being little) heal would be a nice bonus. In PVE I would actually cleanse more often if there was a heal associated with me using a global cool down on someone. The big thing to pick up in this is the word "little". The heal should in no way be comparable to Holy Shock, but it should be enough to notice.

So what about you guys? What do you think could be some minor changes that would help to improve your role or class? Is there a minor ability like Cleanse that could be tinkered with that would give some sort of incentive to use it more?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

So today is an official holiday here in the states where we take a moment to honor those who are no longer with us. I felt that this video was a very appropriate choice in honor of Memorial Day:



Warning: Personal  Non-WoW Related Talk Ahead!!!!

To me this is one of those holidays that hold a special place in my heart. When I was young, my parents would take me and my brother out to honor the family members who were no longer with us. We would visit each location and leave a simple flower arrangement and make sure that the area was in good order. During the course of the day, we would hear about different family members and the lives that they lead. This really helped give me a strong sense of family and a pride in the heritage of my family.

It saddens me that over the years there seems to be fewer and fewer people who visit the grave sites surrounding those of my own family members. It saddens me because it signals that the stories of those people will not be carried on. That a part of our history, as a whole, is slowly disappearing. How many times have we said (or been told) that as long as we carry on their memory, that they will live on in us and be remembered? It seems that slowly over time that everything fades away, including the memories of these wonderful people.

My only hope is that as my son grows older that he too will embrace the rich history of our families and carry on the tradition of honoring those that have gone on before us. I realize that he may not be able to physically visit each and every grave, as even I have forgotten how to find some of them. No, my hope is that he embraces the sense of pride in the family heritage and that he carries that forward and passes it on to his children so that the next generation may look back as I have and be thankful for the sacrifices of those that have gone before them.

So in closing I wish everyone a great Memorial Day! Be safe out there and have fun today!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Playing

So I almost missed writing this post today because I was too busy using my free time to play Battle Pirates over on Facebook. This struck me funny because it use to be that I would spend my free time lost in Azeroth. Here lately though I have been spending my free time with Battle Pirates, Left 4 Dead 2, Minecraft, X-com UFO Defense Force, and a few other games as well. This led to me asking why do I really continue to play WoW? Or better phrased, what about WoW keeps me coming back?

I actually have spent about an hour thinking about that very question and came up with the two reasons why I continue to play WoW. The first reason I continue playing is because of the relationships I have with-in the game. What I mean by this is that I play with a wide variety of people, many whom I consider to be my friends. Now some of these fine folks were people I have worked with in the past, while others are individuals I have met with-in the game and have come to count as good friends. Along with them, there is my wife who plays and our son even loves to take control of our characters and attempt to run them around.

The second reason that I continue to play is because I have an invested value in this game. Yes I have the currency investment from purchasing the collector's editions, vanity pets, mounts, and other items of that sort, but you also have to consider the time value that has been invested into the game as well. I have been playing since before the launch of the Burning Crusade expansion straight on through the current Cataclysm expansion with no breaks at all. In other words, WoW has become a hobby of sorts. And just like any other hobby, there is a level of commitment that I have given to the game. It's like the old saying, "time is money".

So I have to wonder what is that keeps so many people playing and what is it that has made others leave the game?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

R.I.P. World PVP

I think it is time to come to terms with the fact that World PVP is dead. I remember way back a long time ago when I encountered my first corpse camper. This guy was a pro. He had the tent pitched, the fire was burning bright, and he was roasting a smore on my corpse! Man, I was so pissed at first. I would try to rez and run, but back in the day you didn't get super fast mounts till forty and that meant no chance of getting away. This guy had me seeing red. However, as time went on and I struggled to level and spent a lot of time corpse running, I soon came to appreciate this sort of thing. It taught me to be alert. Some days it seemed like you spent the entire session of play looking over your shoulder. I remember the old days of war between Southshore and Tarren Mill. The battles would rage from one town to the other as each side would be trying to call in their friends and guild members. I even remember in Outland the fear of looking up and being one shot by a falling level seventy. Yeah, things like that really use to make me mad. I would dare say it frustrated me. I hated it on a certain level, but at the same time I loved it. I loved it because I knew that when I hit level cap that I would be doing the same thing because someone else did it to me.

Things have changed though. Blizzard has really stepped in to attempt to stop any sort of World PVP like the old days. For instance, try attacking a city now! If you step foot in any town and kill something, then you get flooded by level eighty-five guards. It is insane! The first few guards you can handle, but it is the fifth, sixth, and so on that really messes you up. Then there is the whole issue of flying mounts everywhere! You will never see those kind of pitched battles like back at Southshore/Tarren Mill because no one wants to be a loser. Well, at least they do not want to be perceived as a loser. So now the concept of World PVP is to perch up high and snipe at low levels or to fly around on mounts in a deadlock because no one wants to die.

In my opinion, Blizzard should simply kill the concept of PVP and normal servers. It is easy to see that their idea of World PVP is to be zones that are clearly understood to be PVP in nature. This is evidenced by Wintergrasp from Wrath and now TB from Cataclysm. The sad part is that I am actually in favor of this change. I use to love World PVP. In the old days, I would always go to Tarren Mill if word spread that there was some action going down. Now days, PVP has become personal. It is no longer just meant for good fun, but eventually you have very pathetic individuals who will whisper you on level one alts to either attempt to piss you off by insulting you or to complain about how something was unfair. Yes, I know I touched on this yesterday a little too, but the sad truth is that I am losing my desire for World PVP because it simply does not resemble anything that I remember. Am I the only one who feels this way? What has changed that you use to love, but now has become something that you really just do not enjoy?

Friday, May 27, 2011

To Gank or not to Gank, That is the Question?

So last night I ran my butt off in arena. I ran my Paladin on his 3v3 team, my Priest on his 2v2 team, and then a buddy of mine was gracious enough to run with my fresh Shaman with no PVP gear. The results were mixed. We did well and we did not so well. My very first match with my Shaman though was won and I consider that to be a tremendous success considering the fact that he still has some green 289 item level gear. Thinking about it, I feel bad for the team who lost to him. Hell, they should feel bad for losing to a team with a scrub Shaman like mine. Oh well, that really has nothing to do with what I want to talk about other than to set a stage.

As we were waiting to run 3's, one of my guildies mentioned that they had been ganked in Hellfire Peninsula. I had been out there earlier on my Warrior and had seen some pretty bored Allis out there messing around. They would run into Thrallmar and wreck a lowbie and some guards on the way out of town. Apparently three hours later, they were still at it. First off let me say that I am all for any sort of World PVP. There is no prize other than just having fun, regardless of if you are the one killing or being killed. So my team decides to head out there since we were bored and there were now two of them out there playing. My Warrior partner arrived first and I was second with my Paladin. When we landed and hit them, the Allis ran! Now this is not an Alli bashing post, so let's not go there. It is however a simple question. Why go gank low level players if you do not want to fight?

I know I have been guilty of going to a low level town and stirring the pot. We did it though in order to draw out some people who wanted to fight. We never use to roll into town, one shot all the lowbies, and then run away from the actual people who could be a challenge. The thing I have noticed is that it does not just happen in World PVP, but also in battlegrounds. I know you have seen the types who come charging into you when they have you out-gunned, but take out the support and watch and see if some of them do not turn tail and run. So I have to ask this, why go and kill lowbies if you do not really want to fight someone that will actually be a challenge?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moonlighting

So far in this expansion I have leveled my Paladin, Priest, Rogue, and Shaman to 85. I have a Death Knight, Hunter, and Warlock all at least to level 80. Then I have a Warrior at 62, a Druid at 52, and a Mage at 11. Now this is just my main account mind you. My problem is that I just do not know what I want to level next. I sat down today and got my Druid all set up with a full compliment of heirloom gear and started laying out my bindings and what have you. I believe I even hopped in an instance and ran one with him. I was bored. Could it be healer burn out? After leveling three healers, that could be the case.

Now I had to run out shortly after the instance and when I returned I hopped on my Warrior. Now I am completely clueless with Warriors. I am even more clueless with one that is over half way leveled and has not been touched since probably mid-BC expansion. I quickly realized that his set-up was all wrong. I mean how could he actually do any damage while wearing his tanking gear in a fury build? So I hopped over to one of my other accounts and sent him all of the heirloom plate gear, the DPS heirloom cloak, and the new exalted guild tabard. I figured I would make him look spiffy while I proceeded to get him beat to a bloody pulp all over Azeroth and Outland.

Once I equipped the gear I think he felt a little better. I mean he could at least be fashionable while getting his beat downs right? The next thing was to examine the specs that he was in. Oh my good Lord! They were a mess. I really do not know what I was trying to accomplish with the build he had. It looked like I had set him up while being severely drunk. I figured what the hell and erased both his specs. I decided to go with Fury and Arms primarily because I didn't feel that people would want to see this poor confused Orc trying to tank for them... at least for now. I set up my fury build first and worked out what I wanted his rotation to be. I also stopped off in Orgrimmar and exchanged some honor points to pick up the level 60 PVP weapons. They were a slight improvement over his former weapons and what Orc doesn't look cool duel wielding two axes?

The only thing left to do was take him for a spin drive into Outland. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the hour or so that we spent together. He was knee deep in bloody corpses of boars, birds, and the occasional Fell Orc that crossed his path. I may actually continue to play him some on the side. My big issue is that I do not want to invest too much time into him because I know that if I level him to 85 that he will probably join my Rogue on the bench. I always have a fun time leveling melee classes, but once they hit cap I just never quite enjoy playing them very seriously. I always end up going back to my healers, but I figure while the mood is striking me I might as well moonlight wit my Warrior!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's Up With That?

So here we are on the fifth day of my second run here on Holy Shock and we have yet to talk serious about Paladin stats, talents, and all that other good stuff and you may be wondering why that is? That is a fair question to ask of a blog that is named Holy Shock right? Well, the simple truth is that with Cataclysm, Blizzard really went to extreme measure to dumb down stat priority. I think it is pretty obvious that we are only getting Spell Power off of our weapons, and perhaps an enchant if you so choose. It is also fairly easy to see that Intellect is still the bread and butter for us as well. I think most healers at this point is in agreement that Spirit is a must have. It is also a great thing to point out that the majority of our gear is going to be loaded down with both Intellect and Spirit.

That leaves us to debate the usefulness of Critical Strike, Haste, and Mastery. To be honest, all three of these merit some consideration given how they affect the class, but quite frankly unless you are running hard mode fights it is not going to matter to the average WoW player. Sorry, but you know that is the truth. In reality, it is going to come down to your own unique play style. The majority of us are probably looking at Haste right now as edging out Critical Strike simply because quicker spells means more heals. It is really just that simple. The interesting debate should come once 4.2 drops as it will increase the critical heals substantially. That is a debate though that should be saved for 4.2 and theory crafting sites. I personally think that our mastery is simply God awful. I am not even going to go into it, but in my opinion it is completely useless for us to really take it that serious.

So as you can see, there really is not a whole lot to talk about with our stats in this expansion. I wish there was, but it simply does not merit any more mention than this single post. Now once 4.2 drops, we may be able to revisit that old discussion of Haste versus Critical Strike...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why No Heals Man?

Have you ever heard that question? Every time I set foot in a random BG as a healer, undoubtedly some random person will yell at the collective group of healers inquiring why they were not healed. For some reason this always just goes straight through me. I manage not to blow up and troll these folks, but it does irritate me. So today I am going to answer this question for all of you out there who have ever asked this!

Reasons Why I Do Not Heal You

1. My ass is getting pounded on by the other team. That is right, once the opposing team identifies you as the healer there is no running from them. They swarm on you like an angry hornet's nest. Now if you are fortunate to be in a solid BG group, then your teammates will make sure and mow down the ones attacking the healer first. Unfortunately in today's group of players you seldom find someone with three brain cells functioning on sub-optimal and therefore you die... alot!

2. You showed up in all your PVE glory! Now I am not knocking anyone for being geared out for dungeons, but if I show up wearing my PVP gear in a random heroic you guys will blow up on me. The same feeling is had by those who PVP when you show up wearing your all-star PVE gear. What this signifies to me is that you will die quickly due to lack of proper gear, chants, gems, and the all important talent tree builds. Again, there are huge differences in survivability between people geared for PVP and those geared for PVE and I am going to use my mana to keep the guys alive who look to be geared for PVP. It is a personal choice for me.

3. You are an asshole. Yes, that is right. You are an asshole. That was very simple. You are the person who arrives in the BG and begins to tell all how glorious you are. The team then hits a brick wall and you begin yelling at everyone and everything. This annoys me. I do not respond well to name such as fuckface, dickhead, moron, loser, nub (or any variation of said word), or any other negative name that you can come up with. I do respond well to someone who is polite and knows how to play well with others though.

So there you go. I have just educated you as to why your PVP healers will not heal you. This will save you hopefully from being at least in category three. Category two cannot really help it as we all have to start somewhere. Category one is the group that actually puts me in a foul mood and makes me that much more irritable towards the other two groups. Well, as the old adds use to say, "the more you know, the more you grow"!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Enter the Cow!

Something I have always wanted to do, but for some reason never actually completed is role a class for each healing spec in the game. I have come close in previous expansions, but for Cataclysm this has been a secret little goal... until now! Last night I added my third level capped healer to my roster! That is right, the terror of the Daggerspine Horde Auction House, Holeycow, hit level 85!

So at present I now have a Holy Paladin, a Discipline Priest, and now a Restoration Shaman! Go team heals! My next healer is going to be a Restoration Druid and should be fairly simple since I have him already sitting at level 52. First though, I need to get this cow some gear. It did help though that I had turned all my honor into justice points and upon hitting level 85 promptly went and purchased the 346 chest and helm. I added a couple pieces of reputation gear and have hit the dungeon scene fairly well to gather a few other minor pieces. I figure in a day or two (at most), I should have enough gear to begin the trudge through heroics. Once I get him geared well enough for heroics, I will then focus on getting my Druid under way.

Is there something wrong with me? How about you all, is there a certain role that you love more than any other and are striving to fill it? Tanking? Melee? Ranged?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Elemental Bonds

I do not know if I have ever mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of the lore of Warcraft. Yes, I am one of those guys who have bought all of the novels written about the game(s). I even go on the website and read the short stories that are officially put up by Blizzard. I am actually not ashamed to admit this at all. In fact, I could very easily be one of those guys like "red shirt" at Blizzcon last year. Well, scratch that. I have a wife who would hog-tie me before I ever made it into the line. (Unless I distract her with a shiny!) Anyway, my point is that I love the rich lore of the game and I love it even more when Blizzard brings it into WoW.

This brings me to 4.2 and the storyline that they are introducing about Thrall and the events that transpire from it. Do not worry, I am not going to reveal any of the events of the quest line. I do not want to be the spoiler of a great quest chain. I am going to say though that there is a lot that gets said about certain things during this quest chain that really gives you a look into one of the deepest characters in the WoW universe and I for one loved every moment of it. I cannot wait to see the finished product in all of its cut scene glory!

So why am I talking about this if I am not going to directly give out information? The answer is simply because I feel like we, as players, miss such a large part of the game by not taking the time to actually read the quest logs or the conversations that are had by the NPC's, or even some of the common items found in the world. For instance, one of my favorite shields I have ever found in the game is the old barn door that has a phrase that says something about it being available. Sure that has nothing to do with lore, but it shows a side of humor that is missed if you really do not take the time to explore the environment of the world around our characters. 

I think that Blizzard has been doing a really great job lately with their expansions on the story telling side, and they are not getting credit for this. During Wrath, all you heard were complaints about game mechanics or difficulty of the game itself. Very few people took the time to really point out how wonderful the lore was and how great some of the side stories were. I myself was really guilty of this during Wrath. I did not even realize all the really cool stories that were out there until I started working on leveling one of my Shaman recently. Now I will admit that they did not get it perfect because there were some stories that felt out of place (Argent Tourney) or did not receive the attention it should have (Ulduar and Yog), but overall they definitely brought more life to that expansion than they did to BC.

In Cataclysm, they really shine through in the story telling department in my opinion and it does not seem to be slowing down at all. I hope this continues because it makes me want to log in and see what has changed or what new secret plot twist has been revealed. The only fear I have is that they may try to take on too much at once. For instance, the latest bout with the Trolls. They could do something really special with that, but I am afraid it is more of the filler variety that seems to always fall on the Trolls. At least they do not need to feel bad  since the Old Gods get no better of a treatment. Oh my, I think I may have wandered off my original topic just a little bit, but isn't that a good thing? 

I remember when I was little, that me and a buddy of mine would read the same comics and then we would debate what was going to happen. We would wait every month to get the next issue to see if we were right or completely wrong. That is exactly what Blizzard is doing to me now. They have me hooked on their story line and I am eagerly awaiting each patch in order to see what is going to happen next. What about you guys, is there an aspect of the game that you feel is overlooked by the community like the story-line? Perhaps the artwork? Changes to the scenery itself? Is there any little thing that has been done that you think deserves some credit in WoW?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Welcome Back

So it has been literally five months since I have written an actual post here at Holy Shock. (Unless we are counting the vague thank you post I wrote when I noticed some of the people I admired had closed down.) Now I have dabbled in writing posts at my other blog, but I failed to really capture any feeling of purpose, much less a desire to be committed to it. For some reason, it was like when I stopped writing posts for here that I just lost my desire to write. The weird part is that I had so many different topics that I really wanted to talk about ranging from the changes in WoW to different views I have on some topics that the community was discussing. The long story made short is that I did not do any of this. Instead I sat there and figured that the other bloggers who I admired would do a much better job. The only problem with this is the fact that so many of them have either officially stopped blogging or are only blogging on a rare occasion. So after some serious thought, I have decided to come back home and start back up things here at Holy Shock.

Now I am sure you may have noticed that I even spruced things up a little bit. Well, at least I hope that you noticed some of the changes. Other changes may not be so noticeable depending on how often you visited the site. Either way, I just wanted to go for something a slight bit more simple and not nearly as hard on the eyes as the orange/yellow background that was here previously. Along with some of the cosmetic changes made, I removed all of the former posts (from public view). Much of that information is out-dated or over-rated and will be of little use to anyone who is seeking actual information that may be of use to them. (Although there are a lot more informational bloggers out there than me.)

Speaking of other bloggers, you may have noticed that I have a completely blank side (over there ->). This is on purpose because much of the information I had there previously has some problems like links not working or blogs not blogging. So just as I did with my own out-dated posts, I wiped the slate clean there as well. As time goes on and I get back into a reading pattern of sorts you can expect to see some blogs added over there, as well as some solid links to great sites that I personally use.

So what can you expect to see out of Holy Shock v 2.0? I honestly have no clue what to tell you. I am sure you will hear about some organized PVP as I am spending more time doing that than anything else at this point in time. I may venture into the build that I am using and the reason behind certain choices I have made, but I do not know yet as those types of posts sometimes wander away from the topic and into an insult war. You can definitely read some stuff that will be direct responses to things that are being talked about on the official WoW forums. Hell, for that matter you can probably find some pretty random thoughts I have about different aspects of the game. So basically you can expect the same type of content that I have always strove to publish.

In closing, I just want to say thank you for your continued reading as well as thank you to those who may have just read this blog for the first time. In both cases, I hope you continue to check out Holy Shock and its continual evolution in blogging!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Grateful Heart Says Thank You

So what has brought me back to make a post here on Holy Shock? The simple truth is that I was sad. I was sad that I have been so caught up in my own personal life that I have lost touch of what has been going on in the WoW blogging community lately. Do not worry, it is not any sort of drama I am talking about. No, I am sad because I recently discovered that many of my favorite bloggers have stopped writing. It sounds corny, but it feels like I have lost a family member. You see so many of you are people who I admire. I do not just simply admire the fact that you played WoW a certain way, but rather I admire the way you convey the human side of the game that we all enjoy.

So to you, I say thank you and I want you to know that you are missed. The blogging community will go on, but you are the people who made this community what it is today.