Archive for November, 2010

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The world will break!

22.11.2010

Got any plans for Tuesday night? Or, presumably, Wednesday if you’re on an EU server like me? No?

Well, get ready. All signs point to The Shattering happening this week.

And I’m running out of time. Seriously. Just yesterday I leveled my warrior through Swamps of Sorrows. And then I realised – it won’t be a good place to hang out at level 40 any more. It’s going to be a level 52-54 zone. Stranglethorn will be, well, broken in half. Auberdine, gone. Menethil Harbor, flooded.

And of course, my careful leveling plan completely wrecked. Will I still be able to follow my chosen path? The wiki page on that matter has become quite confusing – a byproduct of breaking larger zones into multiple smaller ones.

So, yeah, I’m in frantic “gotta see it all before it changes forever” mode. Funny, we all knew that Cataclysm was coming. But now that it’s here, it still manages to catch us by surprise.

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Last call for heroes

16.11.2010

Been to Stormwind recently? Or Ogrimmar for that matter? No? You should.

See, that’s what I really like about Blizzard. Instead of just dumping their newest expansion on us, they actually involve us in the transition. We actually get to witness how the city changes – if not physically, but the whole atmosphere is charged up with petitioners around every guard, the line of citizens outside the gate, the cultists inside the city and at the lake and now, the finale, the elemental attack.

Of course the quests are mindbogglingly easy. Because everyone is expected to have a chance to be more than just a passive bystander. Everyone is a hero. Everyone is actively participating in a desperate last ditch effort to defend the capital city – only to see it all swept aside in a great fiery apocalypse come December.

If that’s not the definition of cool, I don’t know what is.

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Of glass cannons

11.11.2010

Glass cannons are glass cannons. However, it appears that there are considerably differences in calibre and sturdiness.

 

My only previous experience with PvP were battlegrounds playing my rogue in the 20-29 bracket. I’d regard my combat rogue as not particularly designed for PvP, but it was a lot of fun – capping some flags in Arathi Basin, occasionally sneaking into the enemy base in Warsong Gulch and generally surprising the hell out of careless mages and warriors. Since WoW doesn’t offer a sniper class (I’m a dedicated sniper in all FPS games), this was as close as I could get. Instead of hanging back, sneak invisibly and essentially take an enemy out of the fight with a single hit.

 

Now I tried the same with my mage, this time in the 30-39 bracket. And boy, was that a shock. Sure, interrupting and silencing enemy spellcasters is fun, but everybody, and I mean everybody makes a beeline for the mage in the background. And my spells don’t seem to do any significant damage at all. I don’t even want to get into the ratio HK/Deaths, it’s just too depressing.

 

I fully admit that I’m currently not very PvP oriented. It’s just a nice diversion from killing Trolls in Stranglethorn – not that troll-killing ever gets old. But is this really such a difference between those two classes? Especially how enemy players react? Now that I think about it, as rogue, I also was always picking mages as my target while the heavies clashed in the middle of the field. Maybe I’m just too used to having a nice layer of human ablatives in front of me while staring through my crosshairs while crouched somewhere out of reach on a church tower.

 

What is your experience? Is it really the class that is much different? Or does level bracket play a larger role in regards to available specs and gear?

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Thanks for all the fish!

04.11.2010

I spend some time yesterday updating my statistics page. Nothing fancy or surprising there. I’m a bit short on gold, but I went on several Glyph shopping-sprees that drained my account.

What is surprising, or interesting at least, are some of the derived statistics from my more detailed spreadsheet. For example: On average, I need two hours (1h 58m) to level up. The quickest is my druid at just 48 minutes per level – clearly, I simply don’t enjoy playing him and want it done as soon as possible. The slowest would be my warlock at two hours, 23 minutes. Granted, soloing instances that give no experience by the time but take a lot of time plays a role in that, but I just enjoy playing the ‘lock.

For the new level cap in Cataclysm – and it’s a very, very safe bet to say I won’t reach the old level cap before that – I still have 419 levels to go for all eight characters. That would mean another 829 hours of play, assuming levelling doesn’t gradually become quicker over the board. To bring just my currently leading character to level 85, I’m missing 43 levels or roughly 85 hours of playtime.

Of course, I want to start two new characters, a death-knight and a priest – so add another 227 hours for 115 levels to that. Or, total, 1056 hours. Which, conversely, is four and a half days ‘/played’ per character. Probably. And stated like that, I think I’m actually a bit faster than the current average for a casual, non-guilded player.

Another forecast based on that values is that with an average time spent playing WoW each week of 25 hours (over the course of a year – there are weeks with considerably less time and weekends when I play a lot more), it will take me 42 weeks. With any luck, that means level cap before the next expansion is released.

And any prediction with a value of ’42’ is just too cool to ignore.

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Stranglethorn Blues

02.11.2010

Cataclysm hits in just over a month. With it, most, if not all, Old World zones change. So far, so good – we knew that a while ago.

Yesterday, it became a bit more personal. My mage is progressing through Stranglethorn at the moment. What better moment to get the Green Hills achievement? Especially since it might not be around in its current form come December. Only it seems I’m not alone with that idea.

A working night, close to midnight. And the place is more crowded than any of the starter zones I’ve been to. Sure, Stranglethorn is a lot bigger, but it looked like there were at least two guilds organising parties to complete the exact quest lines needed for the achievement.

It does take the magic out of things a little, seeing a bored level 80 AoE’ing hordes of raptors down so the three level 30-somethings don’t have to do it themselves. I’ve never been a fan of booster-runs, but instances are a fair game. This, however, was disheartening. Especially together with the usual obnoxiousness. Happily AoE’ing the mob I just attacked. Skinning the mob under my feet as soon as I’m finished looting. Not that my mage is a skinner, but come on! I could just be checking inventory for free space!

I understand the desire to get the achievement and quests done before Cataclysm. Hell, that’s what I’m doing myself. But you can still respect other people doing the same thing.