Posts Tagged ‘ranking’

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A casual 2010 in Azeroth

04.01.2011

Each year (apparently, as I can’t tell you much about previous years), WordPress.com sends out a report on how your blog did. Everybody around seems to be posting some sort of yearly recap, so I figured, why not, let’s try this.

 

Blog Health

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterâ„¢ reads Wow.

 

Truth be told, I have no clue what they’re measuring. Consistent posting and visitors, presumably. From what my stats tell me, there indeed seem to be regulars, feedreaders and a surprising amount of linkage coming to this little blog, so while ‘Wow’ may be exaggerated, I’m pleasantly surprised.

 

I’d like to thank all of my readers at this point, as well as my favourite commenter, Saga – it’s been a pleasure so far and I’m hoping all of you will stick around a while longer.

More stats and a quick review of my year in Azeroth after the break.

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If I had one hour as Blizzard WoW class designer

22.09.2010

This week’s shared topic is “Design Your Class“. Funny, that’s what I wanted to write about anyway.

While the stage two chunk of 4.0.1 (a whopping 4.5 GB) is downloading, I’m thinking a bit about what my ideal class would look like. Not what the best possible, or most efficient or most overpowered class looked like, but the class that I’d take a look at and say “yup, that’s what I want”.

Since there are obviously too many ways to go absolutely nuts with this idea, I’ll just choose three talent trees and associated skills – that still leaves a lot of options, but possibly maintains a shred of sanity and balancing.

Primary Tree: Hunter – Marksman

Easy choice. I like ranged DPS and the marksman tree and skills grant a higher mobility than the mage pendant with the long casting times. It deals direct DPS mostly, but the stings aren’t too bad either. Unlike the mage tree, which is all skill dependent, marksmen can still revel in searching for the ultimate ranged weapon, be they guns or bows or Goblin punting.

Secondary Tree: Warlock – Affliction

In my opinion, affliction would complement marksman quite well. Pile on the DoTs, then keep the enemy at range while happily sniping away without the need to wait for casting times. The curses and stings together could possibly take down bigger, badder mobs to a manageable level, but you still need the DPS from your primary tree to take advantage of that.

Alternate Tree: Rogue – Combat

This tree is mostly there for dual speccing and switching roles a bit during instances. Combined with marksman, it may be a bit weak – either you’re at range dealing damage, or you’re in melee dealing damage. Still, could be a valid choice for soloing content where you can’t always keep mobs at range or for PvP where you may have similar problems. At any rate, a combat marksman would be quite versatile.

The other possibility, speccing combat / affliction, would yield similar results to marksman / affliction – only instead of running away you close in and hack away at your opponent. Both combinations, by the way, should play very differently from an affliction ‘lock – or at least very differently from the way I play my ‘lock.

One interesting thing about this is: My favourite class, the mage, doesn’t feature at all. Why? Cast time. Yes, playing a mage is spectacular, but for the bread and butter questing and soloing instances, I’ve had much better results with my hunter and rogue. I think a class with the skills of these three talent trees would offer a whole lot of interesting choices, especially with the new 31-point system. And let’s be honest, if I want to play a mage, I play a pure mage. Anything else, derivative, would be inferior. You can’t improve on perfection.

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Search engine weirdness

15.07.2010

I wouldn’t normally blog about this, but this month has seen a few trends in how people (all twenty of them) find my blog. WordPress and Google Webmaster Tools provide me with some pretty interesting and, frankly, disturbing information.

Top search engine term: World-cup Play By Play

I admit, it was rather devious of me to name my world cup post “Play by play”. This was an expected result, though.

Second place: RealID

Any surprise here? Not really. My post on why and how Blizzard won is still coming up, I just need some time to word it a bit more carefully than my usual posts.

Solid third place: Draenei licking human

What. The. Hell? I’m all open for experimentation, but seriously, there are webpages better suited for that topic than mine. And I don’t even write about my Draenei that much. Or about her licking my female human warrior. However, if it helps get a few page impressions, hey, this paragraph alone should do the trick!

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Why walk when you can port?

05.07.2010

When you play so many alts, especially low level, it is sometimes quite surprising what you find out by accident. For example, I discovered to my delight that my mage can actually learn teleportation. Granted, he was able to learn that eight levels ago, but better now than later.

It doesn’t help that I disregarded portal trainers as, well, portal trainers and waited for teleportation to appear at the usual mage trainers. The discovery, entirely by accident, was followed up by a cry of delight and a trip to the other available capital cities.

What is so great about teleportation? Well, it’s a time-saver, that’s for sure. Especially the trip between continents, or to the remote cities of Darnassus and Exodar is often quite hard to manage if your somewhere else. It uses up a rune, true, but not so much that it is an unaffordable luxury.

My question, now, is: Why are there no custom teleportation spells? Charge a rune with your current location, make the rune consumable and upon use teleport the user to the set place. Maybe limit it to places where you can mount, i.e. outdoors.

Anyway, teleportation ranks very high among my favourite abilities yet and make the mage even cooler to play. I can’t wait to see what I discover the next time I switch characters.

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My kingdom for a capital!

03.05.2010

Today’s shared topic from BlogAzeroth is all about hometowns. So what better post than another list of comparisons?

Let’s start with the racial capitals.

Stormwind

Stormwind is not only the human capital, but the capital of the entire Alliance as well. As such, it provides a decent baseline to measure other cities. It is easily accessible by boat, train or flight, although if you have to switch from flight to ship, you still have to travel quite a way. The districts all share a common layout – with the exception of the mage quarter, but then they do get some leeway for requisite eccentricity. Shops are all there, even if some are in strange places. Bank and auction house are comfortably close to each other, and all major trainers are nearby. The shaman trainer is a bit hidden, but again, that’s almost expected.

A big plus for Stormwind on the account of having its own instance dungeon, the Stockades.

Darnassus

Everything is bigger. At least it leaves the impression. Built on various small islands, with connecting bridges and houses overlooking the lake, it has a feeling of freedom and openness that you don’t get anywhere else. That said, it takes an awful lot of time to get anywhere if you don’t know exactly where the shop you want is – it’s all very distributed and the quarters (or terraces in this case) aren’t as well-defined and laid out as Stormwind.

Darnassus is also harder to get to – the only way is by portal from Rut’theran village, which in turn can only be reached by flight or ship from Auberdine.

Exodar

However, Darnassus is still easy to get to, if compared to Exodar. The only way to get to the crashed spaceship is by ship – irony not withstanding. There is no flightpath, only a ferry from Auberdine. Given the fact that Auberdine also provides travel to Stormwind, I’d make a point in having Auberdine as a capital, but then again, it will get pretty wet there come Cataclysm.

The ship – the Exodar – is also quite confusing on the inside. Where human and Dwarf districts are clearly named and even the Elves in Darnassus made it easy for tourists, in Exodar, we have to guess the meaning behind “Vaults of Light” and “Crystal Hall”. While trying to discern blacksmiths from engineers working on repairs to the ship. And being blinded by liberal use of brightly glowing crystals.

Ironforge

Ironforge is pretty similar to Stormwind, with the exception of having a huge lake of red-hot lava in the middle. And better music. And an awe-inspiring approach, if you take the scenic route and travel there on foot. I admit – I’m a fan of Ironforge. Really, I like it. So much that I can’t really point out any flaws, maybe with the exception of needing a harbour, but that would be just … un-Dwarfish.

Conclusion

If you want a capital, buy an Ironforge!

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An epic journey: Zero Twenty

26.03.2010

Preface

Of the eight base classes available for starting characters, I now have six on level 20 or higher. My rogue is a bit lagging behind, simply because I started that class very late – never was a rogue fan in other games. I haven’t yet started a priest, and most likely never will.

So, with all starter zones behind me, and abilities starting to get interesting, I thought it would be nice to do a comparison how the gameplay varies between the classes. As a casual soloist, I look for three things:

Ease of play – how easy is the character to play solo? Are the abilities intuitive? How did I do on group quests (i.e. Hogger)?

Style points – does the character have a certain flair to it? Are the class quests fleshed out and interesting? Does class membership offer some additional benefits?

Fun factor – does the class occasionally make me go ‘Woah!’? Is it fun fighting enemies as this class? Can I pull off feats that I originally deemed impossible?

Since I like statistics, I’ll rate each class out of 10 points, with the hypothetical average, somewhat bland, not quite entertaining class rated 6.0 each.

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Last chance to see

15.03.2010

Cataclysm is coming. With it, some of the zones we know will change forever. One of these zones is Darkshore, with its port of Auberdine. It is the first town outside of Teldrassil that Nightelves normally visit, with connections to Stormwind and Azuremyst Isle. Other Alliance members may know it primarily from traveling through on their way to Ashenvale and the Barrens beyond.

Which is a shame, because, in my opinion, Darkshore is one of the most beautiful and well thought-out starter zones for our faction. Almost none of the quests are straight-forward “kill ten monsters” type, like the majority in Westfall. Instead, as is the Nightelven way, you always investigate first, then devise a cure and ultimately confront the source. And the opponents vary greatly. From hulking Moonkins, slithering Murlocs, rabid bears, spirits, Satyrs to giant golems, demon worshippers and Nagas… pretty much anything that is connected to either the struggle to keep the balance of nature or the mystic.

Travel during quests is relatively short, while the zone in general feels quite large. This is mostly due to the fact that it is a narrow, long zone – you can spend an eternity wandering along the beach north to south, but once there, the quests are stretched east to west, meaning you can quickly complete a cluster, without having to plan it all out in advance.

And you really should spend some time just wandering about. The mood of the forest changes considerably depending on which time it is. From a sunny, autumn-like afternoon to a mysterious dusk. And don’t forget the sunsets seen on the beach – possibly the best in all of Azeroth.

Cataclysm is coming. Visit Darkshore now, it’s your last chance to see!