Wednesday, 27 June 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I am just starting to wonder if the WoW community have now set their expectations so low that we are now able to get what we need. In business it is quite common to hear people talking about setting low expectations, so that if you manage to exceed the lowered threshold that you look good for over achieving your target.

Big Bear Butt was impressed that he got a nice clean LFD run. Most people are relieved to complete Deathwing on LFR and are mightily impressed if it happens without a wipe. Matthew Rossi wrote about the fears of lesser geared players when a well geared Tank appears in their little universe in the original Cata 5 man Heroics.

Blizzard after the mistakes made in the Cataclysm expansion are on to a surefire winner with the Panda Expansion. Our collective expectations are on the floor, how can it not be an improvement on it's predecessor?

Even the Grumpy Elf is looking for excuses why players are not hitting the levels of performance that he perceives to be attainable by the average player. Obviously with statistics if the bad players and the new players start to perform as well as the average players, then the average players then start to drop into the below average category. In theory the removal of the talent trees will reduce the need for theorycrafting and the amount of damage done by similar geared players should be a lot closer. The new mage design sounds like similar rotations and skills with different coloured spells -Blue for Frost, Red for Fire, and Purple for Arcane.

In the post Metal Guru, I argued that benchmarking is subjective and not fact based. Not every gamer has the latest rig with a steaming hot Graphics Card and more network bandwidth than Facebook. It is the problem that we are trying to compare apples and bananas.

In a recent gearing exercise for my warrior, and based on my general poor performance with melee classes, I was pleased to be doing 10K DPS in Heroic End Time. The tank decided that my poor performance was just cause for some trolling. I kept quiet and let the Troll troll, it was not that I could generate better numbers if I tried. So it was much relish when the Heroic: End Time Achievement appeared on the screen and the Tank left group in disgust.

I admit that I am not the best player in the world and I am far worse with melee than ranged, but I will not apologise for trying my hardest  even if the end results look like I am only doing white damage.

I guess some people still need to lower their expectations

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Run To The Hills

In the post Metal Guru I was trying to make sense of the Death Knight. I have covered Glyphs and Talents and got stuck at the Rotation stage. Before I try to tackle rotation here are some other things to consider.

Stats, Reforging and Gems


Strength is by far your most important stat. This is the case for Warriors and I presume Ret Pallies or anything thing that likes to smash you in the face very hard.

Gems: Always choose a Bold Inferno Ruby unless a socket provides 20 or more Strength or 40 or more of another important stat. In the latter case, use either Fierce Ember Topaz or Etched Demonseye as appropriate.
Reforging: Reforge to Hit up to the hit cap. Then, reforge to Haste, or Crit if that’s not possible. Never reforge Haste to anything else, including Hit.

The standard figures for Hit and Expertise apply. Just remembered that Hunters will need to load up on expertise for MoP. The important numbers are Hit Cap 961 and Expertise cap of 26

In order of importance stack Haste, Crit, Mastery,

Rotation/Priority


With a little help from MMO Melting Pot here is the list again.

Single-Target


Top Priority: Diseases and Dark Transformation. Apply or reapply diseases as first priority, preferably using Outbreak, and use Dark Transformation whenever it’s available.
Second Priority: Death and Decay or Scourge Strike if Death Runes are available. Use DnD even on single-target fights. Use Scourge Strike if DnD is on cooldown.
Third Priority: Death Coil IF Sudden Doom is up or Festering Strike. Only use Festering Strike here if it will extend your diseases.
Fourth Priority: Death and Decay or Scourge Strike. This is your bread-and-butter.

From my understanding of the term Diseases this includes:

Icy Touch - Infects target with Frost Fever
Plague Strike - Infects target with Blood Plague
Pestilence - Spreads Frost Fever and Blood Plague to other targets with 10 yard radius (AOE diseases)
Outbreak - Applies Frost Fever and Blood Plague instantly
Festering Strike - Increases the duration Frost Fever and Blood Plague

Dark Transformation - turns your ghoul into a killing machine. The icon flashes when available.

Experiment


Using LFR Siege of Wyrmrest -  I attempted to use more diseases than previously. Reading the above I was probably overdoing the use of Pestilence. Scourge Strike and Blood Strike I used as filler attacks, and Death Coil and Death Strike as the equivalent of finishing moves. Death Strike was used for healing top ups.

Results


I am still wearing the  PVP set with 397 Bracers and Boots and achieved around 15.5K overall. I still think with some tweaks to the rotation and to the talents I can get better results especially around Blood Tap and Anti Magic Shell. After checking MAXdps I have discovered that I am not using Festering Strike, so this also needs to be worked in to the priority.

Benchmarking


WoW lends itself to certain expectations of what is acceptable DPS and what is not, however in the process of researching this post it appears there is no definitive opinion or tool to determine what is acceptable DPS for your current gearscore. Blizzard has imposed some gating of content - 5 Man Heroics needs 329, 346 and 353, with  LFR set at 372 but we don't know anything definitive about the expectations for someone who just meets the requirements.

The de facto way to gear up, is buy PvP set at 377 do the 3 new 5 man Heroics swap the cache of PvE gear for the PvP. Buy the 397 Boots and Bracers from people selling the Valor points and then enter the LFR. So somebody with a mixture of Blue PvP and 378 and 397 PvE Purples and for the sake of argument they managed to get a 378 Weapon. What average DPS should they be able to produce without the huge buffs from Well of Eternity and Madness of Deathwing?

I am guessing that somewhere in the region of 10-12K is the bare minimum for the Siege of Wrymrest and around 15K for Fall of Deathwing. These figures will rattle the troll cages, but I think they are quite reasonable. Personally I prefer to be doing 18K + before attempting Fall of Deathwing, I guess I just don't like being in position 17-19 for damage done and when the inevitable wipe comes I am public enemy number one. In my opinion lFR is more about doing the right things at the right time than smashing out the numbers, Higher DPS which comes naturally from gear just makes us all a little lazier.

Mid Term Report


Showing signs of improvement but with some areas needing extra work. I will hone my skills in the LFD, and may attempt Fall of Deathwing if I can get my numbers up sufficiently. Plan to redo the talent tree as per EJ and make more use of Blood Tap, Anti Magic Shell and Festering Strike. A few drops of the Tier set would also be nice.

 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Break The Silence

My wife is on a roll, this time we have won a competition to return to the Hard Rock Cafe, Manchester for an intimate show with Scottish Rockers - Gun.

I have always been a big fan of Gun, since their debut album - Taking on the World (1989). With my favourite tracks being "Better Days" and "Taking on the World". They hit a bit of success with the 3rd Album - Swagger (1994) due mostly to the rocked up version of Cameo's "Word Up". Unfortunately they split up in the late 90's and consequently disappeared off my radar.

I am very excited and now just need to find a babysitter. I have never been to an exclusive session before.

Baby I Don't Care

I am not a prolific reader of books, preferring the newspapers, magazines and the internet for my reading consumption. I am however reading 3 books at present and pickup a little of what I fancy mostly just before bedtime. My current reading list is as follows:

Now its not everyday you get to read a book written by someone you know, but oddly enough this is not the first one. It is however the first fictional piece I have read written by a friend.

Hilary is close friend that I had the fortune to meet whilst playing WoW. She is a talented writer just starting out, so if you have an e-reader and are looking for something to read, please check it out.

The Winner Takes It All

Congratulations to England on topping the Group stage and missing Spain in the Quarter Finals.

Congratulations also to the LFR who late on Tuesday night (before a reset - historically the worst time to join random strangers to complete an objective), completed the process in good time and without any deaths (except Deathwing of course).

/salute

Back In Black

Diablo III - oh yes I played this game briefly, Now I login every couple days to see if I have by some miracle won some rare items on the Auction House. I have seen many comments praising the Diablo III and claiming that the WoW Auction House could benefit from some of these features. I disagree entirely.

One of the biggest issues, is that the Diablo AH is tagged onto the main game, there is no AH that you visit whilst in game, it is a function that you do before or after your playing session. The biggest single problem I have is the lack of instant gratification. In WoW most items in the AH have a "Buy Now" price as well as the bid price. In most cases these are one of the same, but occasionally there is an opportunity to sneak in a crafty bid to save a few gold. In Diablo the opposite is the norm, most items are for sale by closed bid and very few have a "Buy Now" price, and those that do are hugely expensive. Why does the AH not display what the current bid is at?

My Time, is a finite resource and when I login, it is because I want to play now, not in 48 Hours when I have a nice new pair of shiny pants. Who knows a nice pair might drop in 48 hours if I did actually play.

I understand why the system is being used this way, it is because nobody understands the true value of an item, it is the equivalent of playing the WoW AH without an addon like Auctioneer which can track historical pricing.

Despite all this negativity, the Diablo AH does at least have an internal filter by class and level, this something that WoW could definitely make use of.

So for now I have stopped playing Diablo III and wait patiently every 2 days to check and see that my AH items have been purchased by someone else. It's a fascinating game in itself.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

This Is Spinal Tap

Just taking a brief respite from my Death Knight experiment. The Summer Solstice is on its way and the event is closely associated in the UK with Stonehenge. The general consensus on the subject is that Stonehenge is a giant monument that was capable of recording the Longest and Shortest days of the year. This makes Stonehenge a calendar and timepiece on an enormous scale. The implications for an agricultural society cannot be overstated.


Blizzard marks the event with the Midsummer Fire Festival. Sadly it looks like being a damp squib in 2012 With the Blizzard team busy working on Pandaland, the collection of a iLevel 353 Cloak is not going to stir too many people out of their slumber. There is still one reason to the seasonal boss the Ice Boss Ahune, and that is the Frigid Frostling. He is definitely one of my favourite pets, and he likes nothing more than throwing snowballs at your head when you are fishing. Also there is another chance to get the Transmog favourite the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune, so you too can achieve the Grim Reaper look for your Transmog set.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Metal Guru

Death Knight, The only Hero Class in the game. Restricted to one per server on the basis that they start life at 55. This is what wowwiki has to say about the Death Knight.

"Death knights in Wrath of the Lich King are a new class mirroring their previous incarnations. While boasting powerful melee abilities, as well as plate armor, these warriors supplement their strength with dark magic. Calling upon a rune system of magic, the death knight may summon unholy, blood, and frost spells. The criterion for creating a death knight is the existence of a level 55+ character on the player's account on any realm"

Everybody has a Death Knight just like everybody has at least one hunter in their stable. The vast majority of players do not understand how they work or how to get the best out the Rune system. I am one of these people. Part of the problem is due to lack of understanding and the other part is that I do not and can not get on with any any melee class. For this reason I do not play Tanks and all my hybrid classes chose to heal or partake in ranged spellcasting.

The Death Knight is in my opinion one of the most powerful classes in the game, I just can't figure out, how to release the latent potential. Leveling a Death Knight requires no understanding of the class, and is mostly a game of whack-a-mole. Not only do they hand out monumental damage but they are dressed head to toe in Plate Armour and possess an incredible amount of self healing. I remember seeing one DK in a BG who despite being hit by half the alliance team would not below 95% health. The term faceroll was coined for DK's because they will kill you by any set of random keypresses.

If leveling a Death Knight is so easy, why do they become such a nighmare at max level? The following is based on my recent experience and the requirement to try to harness some that latent potential.

Having geared up 6 characters through the LFR, I had the choice of DK, Warrior, Warlock, Rogue. All 4 classes have been left for a reason. 3 are melee and 1 is a poor mans Mage without the survivability. Warlocks have faced an expansion of near extinction, and if you don't believe me then checkout the excellent series posts by Cynwise.

My Death Knight Blamebob was chosen due to the amount of game time I have been devoting to Inscription. I have recently upgraded all my alts with 397 Boots and Bracers, and the rest was made up of PvP gear and a selection of PvE epics. The all important weapon was the PvP 2 Handed Sword dripping with Resilience. I have always played Unholy, but for a brief spell when I wanted to emulate the Sherman Death Knight as a self healing Blood DK. Needless to say this experiment did not go as planned but it was fun trying.

I once researched the Death Knight rotation and came up with something approximating a working model. It was based around activating the runes at given times unlike my natural inclination to pop all cooldowns and spend time twindling my thumbs waiting for something to become available again. This was during WotLK and I believe that this is now mostly outdated because everything seems to be available all of the time.

My personal target to avoid total embarrassment is to achieve 10K + in LFD and 12 K + in LFR. This I managed but only just. I have yet to complete all the quests in the latest 3 Heroics due to coming in half way through End Time. I have now completed 5 of these Heroics but the questline is at the start of Well of Eternity. This at least gives a  good reason to keep going in so I can accumulate the 378 gear from the drops and the quest line.

DK Talents

Elitist Jerks have gone for 2 slightly different talent builds 7/3/31 and 7/1/33. The second is modified for greater AOE output. The standard spec is as follows:


. My spec is the 8/1/32 which is designed around my lack of use Blood Boil and Anti Magic Shell, these are spells which I regularly used in PvP but forget to use in PvE for some reason.

Glyphs

The Recommendation from Elitist Jerks is as follows:

Prime

Major

Minor
I need to make a few minor tweeks with my setup
Prime Glyphs - Scourge Strike in for Death Decay.
Major Glyphs -  Pestilence for Death Grip
Minor Glyphs - Death's Embrace for Death Gate

General

Presence = Unholy

Runeforge = Fallen Crusader

Priority

No rotation as such only priorities:

Single Target Priority
Diseases
> Dark Transformation
> Death and Decay/Scourge Strike (UU or Death Runes are up)
> Festering Strike (BB and FF are up)
> Death Coil (Sudden Doom, high RP)
> Death and Decay/Scourge Strike
> Festering Strike
> Horn of Winter

Reading the priorities it is obvious that I have no idea what I am talking about so I shall make adjustments for tonight and report back with my findings tomorrow. This is maybe were my problems lie, in the fact that I really don't understand the rune system or how the diseases react to each other.

Profane In The Membrane

Is the MMO on the wane as a genre in gaming? If it is one of the reasons will be the noisy minority, who bully, laugh at and insult random people as they stomp around Azeroth and other virtual worlds in their steel toecapped boots. Big Bear Butt regales us with tales of a random asshat. Anybody who has been in LFR or PvP battleground will be all too aware of the standard shout out of, "Are you all F*#%in Retards?". Am I the only person who finds the swearing less offensive than the use of "retard, fag and gay"?

These are very much the words and tools of the Internet troll. In my opinion they have no place in the real world or virtual world. They are words designed to sting, even though we all know they are deliberately being deployed for maximum effect.

At this stage of the expansion LFR and LFD are fairly miserable places to be. People are wanting to gear up alts and others are returning to the game and have just hit level cap. Give them space, time and help and you may just finish the instance or raid that you are in. The good players have moved on, it is just the loud mouthed oiks that are left, and lets face it they are are not as good as they think they are.

Ignore them, report them, just don't tolerate them any longer. Its our game and we want it back.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Never Mind The Bollocks

This is not Shock Jock tactics, because this album cover is now firmly ingrained in pop culture. This is similar to the once famous Eddie Murphy catchphrase "Get the F*&# out of here". Familiarity breeds contempt and the shock value is greatly reduced.

I originally intended to keep this blog profanity free. I am not swearing for lack of a better word but because it is part of the subject I am examining. This is partly the reason why you see bad language blanked out in British Tabloid papers but the more highbrow broadsheets will include swear words as they were spoken in the interview.

Yesterday I rambled on a little and then cut short the meaty part of the subject, so today I plan to revisit the subject. Below is the Naming Policy document (in blue) with my comments (in red).


Naming Policy

Our naming policy rules apply to all player chosen names in-game. Please note that we are not able to change names upon request. If your character has a name that does not violate our naming policies, but you would still like to change it, please have a look at our Name Change service.

If you see a name that you feel violates our naming guidelines, please Submit a Ticket. Be sure to include the character’s name and realm for our support team to review.

Straight forward, you chose a name that you no longer like, then pay to have it changed.

Highly Inappropriate

Names that fall under the following categories are deemed to be highly inappropriate and will be met with appropriate action.

Racial/Ethnic/National

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Have any racial/ethnic connotations

· Have any national connotations

No racial, Ethnic or National stereotyping or offensive Racist comments/sayings will be accepted. This applies to Guild Names and Arena Teams. WoW Insider once covered the story of the "Rosa Parks Stole My Seat" Arena Team. It later transpired that there were 65 Arena Teams with the same name.

Extreme Sexuality/Violence

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Refer to extreme and/or violent sexual acts

· Refer to extremely violent real life actions

Sexuality and Violence, although quite often seen together these are in fact two completely separate topics and causes very different polarisation when discussing. America is often perceived to be a fanatical religious country but with strange attitude to sex, Anybody remember the wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl, and this from a country with the largest Porno Industry in the world. Quite often the showing of a naked body is considered worse than violence. World of Warcraft is by its very nature a violent game. The aim is to kill internet Dragons, and killing is violent. Violence can also be funny, accidentally blowing a manshead off or chopping a knights limbs off.

Sexual Orientation

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Negatively refer to any aspect of sexual orientation pertaining to themselves or other players

Sexual orientation that mine field for teenage boys, who like to use the term gay as general term of abuse.

Obscene/Vulgar

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Are inappropriate references to human anatomy or bodily functions

· Are pornographic in nature

If you excuse the pun this was the thrust of my argument yesterday

Moderately Inappropriate

Names Names which fall under the following categories are deemed to be mildly inappropriate and will be met with appropriate action.

Harassing or Defamatory

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Insultingly refer to other characters, players, Blizzard employees, or groups of people, be they in the game or external

This is a general nuisance issue, and is the catch all for bad behaviour. This can spill over from Moderately Inappropriate to legal action.

Blizzard Employees

This category includes both clear and masked names which are:

· The names of any World of Warcraft customer support representative or employee of Blizzard Entertainment (both real names and aliases)

Don't try and name your character Ghostcrawler or upset anyone associated to a Blizzard employee.

Inappropriate

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Are mildly inappropriate references to human anatomy or bodily functions

· Are references to illegal drugs or activities

· Have racial/ethnic/national connotations

· Have any connotations of major religions or religious figures (e.g. Jesus, Christianity, Buddha)

· Include names of World of Warcraft realms, zones, or names of major characters from Warcraft lore

· Are otherwise considered inappropriate for the game world

Very fine dividing line between this and the subjects covered in Highly Inappropriate. It does however provide slightly more details and includes the issue of naming your character after the Lich King, Jesus or any other NPC.

Advertising

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Advertise any organisations, or websites

Do not call your character Toyrus or moonpig.com. This is mostly to stop gold sellers advertising their wares and promoting their websites.

Restricted Names

Names which fall under the following categories are restricted and will most likely not receive an account penalty on the first instance.

Trademarks

This category includes both clear and masked names which:

· Are trademarked/licensed by a company or an individual

Don't set yourself up as Mikerowesoft, don't use Intel inside or any other piece of corporate property. This is potentially an area that can include Terryworgen, Worgenfreeman, and anything connected to Legolas and the rest of the characters from Lord of the Rings. This puts me in a position of having to change all my character names.

Pure Gibberish

This category includes names which:

· Consist of a string of letters which do not produce a pronounceable name (e.g. Asdfasdf, Jjxccm, Hvlldrm)

Level 1 characters begging for gold or trying to sell gold. They are normally swatted off the face of Azeroth within an hour.

Contain "Leet" or "Dudespeak"

This category includes names which:

· Consist of language existent only in online communication (e.g. Roflcopter, xxnewbxx, Roxxoryou)

Excellent! This is most bodacious dude. There is a Roflcopter in my guild, enough said.

Titles (Does not apply to Guild, Arena Team or Pet Names)

Fantasy titles should be earned through the mechanics of the game, and should not be recreated through character naming. This category includes names which:

· Consist of any title prefix attached to a character's name be it fantasy-based or not (e.g. Kingmike, Presidentsanchez)

Straight forward, earn your title don't steal it or buy it off the internet.

Real World References

This category includes names which:

· Consist of any references to the real world, including people and places (Britneyspears, Newyork, Austinpowers)

Overlaps with Trademarks, Blizzard can use Terry Palin, Harrison Jones, Haris Pilton etc. Don't call you character Tustin Jimberlake or MsGaga or else Blizzard are coming for you.

Partial or Complete Sentences (Does not apply to Guild or Arena Team Names)

This category includes names which:

· Consist of a partial or complete sentence contained within the name (Hihowareyou, Ilikebeans)

Ok so this one takes out 10% of the player names in one go. This is particularly popular in PvP, with Ihatehorde, Hordebasher, Gnomeonbread and Spameggchipsbeansandspam I have trouble working these things out it might be an age thing or a lack of interest. I have the same issue when people substitute numbers for letters.




Violating any area of the policy detailed above may result in a suspension from the game. For questions concerning our penalty system, please see the Account Penalties page.

Characters, guilds, pets, and arena team names found to be in violation of the above policies will be assigned a randomly generated temporary name. An E-mail will be sent to the account's registered E-mail address with instructions on how to change the temporary name to one of the player’s choosing. In cases of guild or arena names, the message will be sent to the guild or arena team leader.

Note: Disputes concerning penalties or changed names should be directed to our Account Administration team.

In my opinion Blizzard has the policy so that it can justify its own actions, but does not and cannot actively enforce this level of control on over 10 million character names, also with the subtlety of several languages utilising special characters so that you can produce 500 different variations on Legolas which is also banned due to the issue of people with standard English keyboards being unable to whisper or write somebody 's name.

 Blizzard is relying on your own sensibilities and the upshot is that if you don't mind, then Blizzard doesn't mind. In the end you get the game that you are willing to put up with.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Communication Breakdown

Considering America and Britain share a common language, I am always amazed how difficult it can be to speak to American colleagues on the telephone. A typical conversation will go like this,

"XYZ Helpdesk, Can I take your name please"
"John Smith"
"Tom Schmidt, How can I help you Tom?"
"No it is John Smith"
"Did you say, Don Schultz?"

This seems to be a telephone issue only and I guess extra context like non verbal communication can help fill in the gaps in the missing parts of the conversation. The above is not a one off issue and I have encoutered it on numerous occasions at a variety of organisations that I have worked at. Before you start to blame me, for having a strong Northern accent, it is just not true, I have a relatively neutral accent, and have no issues when communicating to European colleagues who are speaking English as a 2nd language.

The written word is not a problem when communicating between Britain and America, and even the bastardisation of the English language by Americans is a hurdle in this process. Every child spells colour as "color" when they are learning to write. I have no great issue with the cross usage of s and z, and when studying at university at invariably used z in words like "organization", because the majority of the text books originated in America. Besides anything that makes the use of the letter "Z" easier in Scrable is good by me.

In recent years I have taken to listening to a handful of WoW related Podcasts. In particular the WoW Insider Show, The Instance, and The Hunting Party Podcast. All of these shows have a heavy American influence, with only the Instance offering a solitary Brit, in the form of the irrepressible Turpster.

Turpster comes across as slightly odd to the British because he has developed an Anglo-American way of speaking, and will often substitute without much thought the American word or phrase, rather than the British equivalent. Examples of this include:

Freeway - Motorway
Sidewalk - Pavement
Gas - Petrol
Fall - Autumn

The crash site between Turpster and Scott Johnson is over pronunciation, and they use it for dramatic effect, words like herbs, oregano, and aluminium.

American swear words have become a staple of the English language due to the popularity of American film and television. The reverse is not always true and the British often have a laugh at the expense of an unsuspecting American.

Joss Whedon is an American producer/director who uses this to great effect in works like Buffy and Angel. In order to see if Joss had any British connection, I checked the wiki page and noticed that he spent 2 years in at Winchester College and is a big fan of Monty Python. Joss always has at least 1 token Brit in his shows and liked to play verbal tricks with James Marsters (Spike) and American playing a Brit, and Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce) also an American but with some experience of living in Britain.

In the last 2 episodes of the WoW Insider Show they have read out letters from a guy called Knobhead, the presenters struggle over the pronunciation but think noting of reading it aloud. I have no idea if this is considered offensive in America but in Britain it is strongly associated with Dickhead. The Urban dictionary describes Dickhead as "a person who is an idiot and shows it all too well".

This got me thinking, Knobhead of Kilrogg, is likely to be a character name, so next stop was the Armory. Below are my random findings from the armory.

Knobhead - 59
Dickhead - 23
Wanker - 1
Dickwad - 1
Twat - 20
Twatchops - 1
Pillock - 64
Bairyhalls - 31
Fanny - 205
Maryhinge - 59

Blizzard have strict guidelines on naming policy. This includes

Racial\Ethnic\National
Extreme Sexuality\Violence
Sexual Orientation
Obscene\Vulgar

This is obviously not very rigorously policed by Blizzard, even though you can now easily report people for violation of the naming policy. In fact it is well worth having another look at the policy because I reckon at a rough estimate that 90% of player names violate this policy.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Another Brick In The Wall

I have just returned from a short vacation, and so I am out of WoW stories for the moment, having not played for 5 days. My little excursion involved taking the family to a remote lake just south of the Scottish Borders and north of Hadrian's Wall.

Hadrian's Wall is something that fills me with great pleasure and great sadness. The wall in case you are unfamiliar with British History was commissioned as part of Emperor Hadrian's strategy to preserve the outer edges of the mighty Roman empire. The wall was 80 Roman miles long and stretched from the East Coast at Wallsend to the West Coast near Carlise.


For anyone hoping to find a British version of the Great Wall of China, I am afraid you will be terribly disappointed. Much of the wall was recycled and used in nearby farm buildings and the military road that was built to move troops quickly to crush the Jacobite insurrection.

The joy for me comes in the huge engineering feat to create a wall spanning 80 miles across rough terrain and it is a solid reminder of the influence of the Roman civilisation over the British Isles. The sadness comes from the sad state the ruins are in and a wish that we could have witnessed the spectacle of the wall at full height stretching and winding across the barren countryside.

The fate of Hadrian's Wall also mirrors my feelings towards Stonehenge. As wonderful a spectacle the stone circle is, I wonder why it is that we can not build a full sized replica of the what the stones would have looked like in the completed form. Made from fibreglass which visitors can touch and explore as opposed to the seclusion zone that currently surrounds the original site for most of the year.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Gone Fishing

 
 
 
I have a love hate relationship with WoW fishing, it is much improved from the original vanilla version, but like Archaeology it leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest issue is the time it takes to level. The dailies and the Darkmoon Faire take a huge chunk out of the leveling process but it is still not a level in day type of activity.

Yesterday I received a whisper from a guildy who was combing the beach at Darkmoon Island and stated his bags were full and he was the only person fishing. Now this struck a chord because I had seen the occasion pool of Shipwreck Debris but only really around the pier area. I had never considered the whole coast as an area available for plundering.

I whisked a character out there pretty damn sharpish and discovered lots of pools, mostly with one shot items of sealed crates, so not the best scenario for leveling fishing, but the rewards from the sealed crates are phenomenal (ores, herbs, cloth and thick leather).  As with any pool in Cata and Northrend it also contains a very slim chance for collecting a Sea Pony or Sea Turtle.

The area is best for DK's and Shaman due to the Water Walking abilities but there is always alternatives with potions for any class, the reason is that there some pools hidden behind the small islands.

In the end its not the most productive use your time but I did manage to kill 2 birds with one stone.