Thursday, 26 July 2012


The Grumpy Elf and the Grumpy Dwarf (me), are kind of at loggerheads. What is odd is that we fundamentally agree on the same principles. For example we both agree that LFR should have been available as a 10 Man raid, I was merely stating the reasons why I think that Blizzard implemented in its current form.

I would like to take the recent post by Grumpy to highlight the commonalities in our thinking.The post was Grumpy looking back on his own predictions for the forthcoming LFR and was written in September 22nd 2011.

Will LFR kill LFD off?

Grumpy identifies that goal of the newly leveled character is to attempt to bypass 5 Man Heroics and jump into LFR as quickly as possible, I have stated this on several occasions here and here. Grumpy sees this as being LFR killing off LFD, but I am more inclined to agree with the Big Bear Butt although I can't find the post were all the asshats had left LFD for LFR and that now LFD was a much nicer place to be. Notice I said nicer and not wonderful or any other superlative you can mention. I have even seen people talking and not just screaming at each other or generally being quiet and getting on with the task in hand.

I am also not sure that LFR is a stepping stone to raiding. Some people are running LFR as their end content raid experience and not just for the gear to make the logical step to Normal level raiding. Grumpy stated quite elegantly in Is Gear The Great Motivator? that raiding gear is very useful to non-raiders as well as raiders.

LFD is more than just a tool to propel characters through the end content, it serves a great purpose for all leveling characters looking to do low level instances. I wonder how many people are currently doing content in Hellfire Penisula. Without LFD how else would you find a party of 4 Death Knights and a healer to do Hellfire Ramparts.

How Will Loot Be Handled

I agree with Grumpy that Loot distribution in LFR was terrible. Some of my characters especially the healers came out of the LFR in 2 weeks with a complete Tier set. On the other hand my melee Plate wearers have had very little in the way of drops. This is RNG at its worst and it does not make many people happy.

I believe that unlike Grumpy that the new system for MoP will be a huge improvement. Only time will tell if this going to be a success. If the figures are set too low they can always be tweaked to provide more loot. This is still destined to be the new loot system for Instances and Raids.

Bad Players and Kick Options?

LFR does need a kick function for the AFKers, Raid spoilers and the downright bad players who want to be carried. Grumpy wrote a post on how to improve a system that states, do you want to Kick Knobhead, Reason Given - Blank. I agree with Grumpy entirely on his proposed changes, so Blizzard get on with it we have a consensus of 2 on this point.

Why No 10 Player Option?

I have already covered this before and in my opinion 5 versions of Raid is enough work for Blizzard to do, and besides unless you start making 1 Tank raids this is always going to be an issue with the 5, 10 and 25 man ratios. 25 man allows more Dps to take part and the bottleneck is healers not tanks.

Who Decides Who The Raid Leader Is?

I think that everybody is in a agreement that this as been an unmitigated disaster.

What About Communication?

This is not Blizzard's forte, anybody remember the huge development costs of setting up Blizzard version of Ventrilo and Mumble. Voice chat is not and will never be a compulsary part of playing this game.

Role Checks?

I agree with Grumpy that Blizzard got this wrong and that there are just too many people cheating the system by falsely entering the queue with the wrong Role assigned. Anybody cheating the system in this way should be kicked and banned from entering the LFR for the entire week, harsh I know but there is no excuse for this kind of behaviour.

What About Gear Requirements?

LFR was gated and should be gated, but it was far too easy to bypass the checks wearing crafted PvP gear. Admittedly the 377 PvP is good gear and I have seen some people produce some very tasty figures in the PvP Blues. This in general is still  a poor design on Blizzard's part.

DBMs Anyone?

I can see where Grumpy is coming from with the idea of a Blizzard designed DBM just for the LFR. In my opinion we would all be better off and more skillful without DBM telling us where to stand when to dispel, and when to pick our noses. Far too many Raiders think they are the dogs dangly bits for being able to follow the dance moves at the correct time. The last thing we want is a Blizzard approved version of Just Dance 3. Most of the mechanics have been stripped out anyway.

Will It Get Worse?

Blizzard will maintain this feature and will probably declare it to be one of the big successes of Cata, based on the usage reports. They have made a change to the loot system and will probably make minor modifications throughout the MoP expansion.

What was the Purpose of this Exercise?

The Grumpy Elf has posted some of the best material about the game in the last few weeks. It all started with Do you Really Think That This Is Acceptable? which was the last of a series of posts about Blizzard bashing, boredom with WoW, all noobs are crap. I thought that Grumpy needed a break from WoW at this point.

After this Grumpy wrote a 5 part series and how to get better at the game, and then some of the most interesting if not wordy posts.

What I am trying to say is that I have had a pop at Grumpy in the past and he called me a hypocrite last night, but essentially we share quite a lot of views even though they are coming from completely different angles.

I believe that Blizzard knows what they doing, it just that they sometimes need to sway left then right in order to steady the ship.

LFD and LFR are 2 of the best features implemented for an MMO. The biggest problem sometimes is not the implementation but the way that the player base abuses them.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Time Is On My Side

"Time is on my side, yes, it is.
Time is on my side, yes, it is.
Now you were saying that you want to be free
but you'll come runnin' back, you'll come runnin' back,
you'll come runnin' back to me."

It has been a long wait, but now we know that it is only 9 Weeks until Panda Time. We all made our predictions and I was only 3 weeks out. So I am happy to be proved wrong. Be prepared for the hordes coming back to the game in the next few weeks.

In the words of Ren and Stimpy, "Happy Happy Joy Joy".

Monday, 23 July 2012

Money For Nothing (And Your Gear For Free)

I got a double whammy from the last post, first up was a comment from The Grumpy Elf which made me laugh, and secondary another mention from MMO Melting Pot. When you start blogging you just want to get some traffic, otherwise you are just writing for yourself, and that can be a lonely experience in the comment section. The New Blogger Initiative was a great help in this regard. When you start getting visitors there is an added pressure to try and create some content worth reading.

The last 7 months have probably been the worst time to be writing about World of Warcraft,.a time with no new playable content and a new expansion which has been in Beta for months. I have played the Beta version but I want to experience first hand and to write about my noob discoveries when I find them. You can expect Pet Battles from me in about 10 months and Panda starting area in about 5 months, because my first activity we be leveling my hunter, followed by the rest of the army of toons. I might even retire and tend to my farm and dream of world peace.

I have been reading blogs for about 7 years now, and never really got involved in leaving comments. Some of the early comment system involved creating different accounts and then working your way through a jumble of letters and numbers to prove you are not a bot. I had no idea that the vast majority of people leaving comments had blogsites themselves. I don't tend to generate a lot of comments, but the comments that have been left have all come from bloggers with the exception of one. Many of these bloggers I respect enormously.

I feel that it is my responsibility to write something that other people will feel compelled to respond to, and so far I am delighted that Hugh at MMO Melting Pot has twice included my posts. My aim is obviously to try to improve and seek out the subjects worth discussing. Thanks to everybody who has contributed or provided link love, it is a truly humbling experience.

So with that out of the way lets re-examine the meat and drink of my spat with The Grumpy Elf (only kidding).

WoW has changed the gearing process over the  years, and the first major change was the use of Badges of Justice. The much loved BoJ (pronounced Bodge) was introduced in Burning Crusade  to assist people who were experiencing issues with that hard to get item that would never drop or you didn't get lucky with the RNG gods.

It was a great addition to game and helped the unlucky and unfortunate to complete their purple outfits.

This golden age, became a complete disaster when Wrath of the Lich King resulted in the addition of 5 tiers of the new Emblem system. Heroism, Valor, Conquest, Triumph or Frost. With the latest Emblems being available in all Heroic 5 Mans, it was possible for returning players and newly dinged alts to be raid ready in a few hours by shotgunning the newly implemented LFD system.This was the single biggest problem with WotLK, and it devalued the gear because it was available to all. This is WoW's version of the 1980's, Wall Street, Loadsamoney, Dallas, and  Dynasty a time for excess, Gearscore and Epeen. Just in case you forgot about Epeen, it was Blizzard's April Fool about the excessive posturing surrounding Gearscore. The addon was supposed to show a phallus above your head, the bigger your gearscore the larger the phallus.

After times of excess, there comes a time of austerity, this was the Cataclysm expansion. No Epics in Heroic 5 mans, long dungeons requiring crowd control, explosive DPS and poor mana management to make the triage system even harder. If you have forgotten how difficult it was, I suggest leveling a character and then doing the random Heroics in your leveling blues and greens.

The Grumpy Elf in his comment to my post Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, suggested that raiding drops are nothing more than welfare epics, and in some respect the LFR represents the epitome of welfare Epics. My only concern is why else would you torture yourself if there are no tangible rewards.Not everybody wants to see the content more than once, but will repeat the exercise several times for the chance of loot.

In the Cataclysm expansion, one of my favourite Epics was the cloak from the Thrall questline. This was an opportunity to obtain an Epic by completing several solo quests. The quests were eminently doable, but became much harder on alts with less gear and less people to tag the vast number of elementals required to complete the quests. Some of my characters shock, horror even died attempting to overstretch themselves against the elites. It is this kind of quest that we should have more of, in MoP.

Crafting should also be more rewarding than it currently is. The professions Leatherworking, Blacksmithing, and Tailoring have all been very lacklustre in the last expansion. I have made Leg patches, Belt Buckles and bags and not a lot else. The 2nd tier of PvP allowed a short window of opportunity but the initial decision to make Chaos Orbs soulbound was a real bind for professions on alts further down the food chain. Now I have hundreds of them and nothing to make with them. I think we all want gear progression but with less RNG and at regualar intervals, not all at once or none at all.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Society teaches us that greed is bad, and that wanting material possession leads to guilty feelings. Maybe this is a cultural issue and that Brits and Americans are completely different, certainly in Britain we have a strange relationship with material wealth.

So what as this got to do with WoW? In a recent post by The Grumpy Elf entitled "Is Gear The Great Motivator?" Grumpy struggles to reconcile the quest for better gear with his belief that he is raiding for content. Ultimately I believe we all secretly want lots of gear, but the exchange must be a just reward for our efforts.

The old Socialist mantra of "A fair days pay, for a fair days work" applies. Everybody who works believes they are not paid sufficiently for their services, but many of us know that we are not always required to work at maximum capacity every day of our working lives.

The trick for Blizzard is to balance rewards against the effort we are required to put into the game to achieve the reward. Everybody has a story of being unlucky with loot drops, 10-15 boss kills before the item drops and then when the spellcaster shield finally drops it is won by a Ret Pally who wanted for their 2nd Spec.

The reward must also be deemed to be worth the effort, even if it is psychological, Purple is better than Blue we all know this, and nobody wants to work their butt off for a Blue item when they could have a Purple version, even if the Stats for both were identical. This was a big mistake in Cataclysm and with the difficulty involved in obtaining the Blues it was deemed by many to be not worth the effort. The restriction of the supply of Epic gems was also a damaging move in my opinion and made the gems the preserve of the Raider and the stinking rich.

The new system for LFR in the MoP expansion will go a long way to make rewards fairer and it is my guess that this method of loot distribution will ultimately be applied to 5 Man and Raid alike.

I have discussed in previous posts the ease in which you can gear a new level 85 through the artificial iLevel gating so that you take part in LFR. The Twilight Heroics introduces a concept of 378 Purple gear raining from the skies and in 3 short Heroics you can be propelled into the LFR loot piñata. This in my opinion leads to a false impression of the rate of reward, and also devalues the reward itself. The first run through the Twilight Heroics allows the chance to obtain an epic from every boss (3+1)x3 (3 Bosses with the last boss dropping 2 items) plus the quest rewards 2x3 (2 quests 3 instances).
This total means you have 18 chances to pick up something useful.

For somebody like me, I have the choice to raid and collect on average 1 or 2 epics on my main every week if I am lucky or to level my Alts from 377 PvP gear to 384 armour and 390 weapons and achieve a full house in a week. I admit to being greedy were WoW is concerned I will go for quantity over quality were rewards are concerned and will deliberately seek out the easiest method to achieve my goals, this also involves PvP and trading Honor and Justice points. The new system will allow me to daily my way to the top, the asumption will be that this is an easier way but the reward gathering will be so much slower.

Gear, Pets, Mounts and Achievements are all motivators, it is just down to the individual what ratio of each will float their boat.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Drops Of Jupiter

Once again watching Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 12 "Closing Time" I heard the Doctor saying he was on his way to see the "Alignment of Exodor". Never one to miss a pop culture reference I trawled the Doctor Who fansites and found the following.

" The Alignment of Exodor was an event in which 17 galaxies were in alignment. It was locked in a time stasis field, meaning it could only be seen once. The Eleventh Doctor planned to see the Alignment of Exodor, but instead found himself investigating a Cybermen invasion with Craig Owens. Despite still having some time after this adventure, the Doctor chose to clean up and repair Craig's house so that Sophie wouldn't be angry with him upon her return"

The question I want to know, is this Exidor from Mork and Mindy or Exodar the Draenei Capital City or just something completely unrelated?


"You got wires, going in. You got wires, coming out of your skin.You got tears, making tracks I got tears, that are scared of the facts." Wires by Athlete

The inspiration for today's post comes from an article in the Sunday Times 16/7/2012. The article talks about excessive screen usage, not just that of the computer screen but of all the gadgets that make up modern life. When you incorporate android phones and iPad and iPhones and lots of other things beginning with i, a pattern emerges that we are constantly hooked up to the matrix.

From the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to bed at night we are constantly available or interacting with the interweb. How many people feel lost without a cell phone, I have seen people get anxious when they have stayed in log cabins far away from the nearest phone signal. This anxiety was not alleviated by the fact that they were surrounded by most of people likely to contact them.

My own children flutter between gadgets, Mario on the Wii, Angry Birds on the Android phone, Mario on the Nintendo DS, God knows what on the laptop. On top of this there is the hours of Television, DVD and recorded programs on the TIVO to watch. My wife has even switched from books to an e-reader, and the Kindle is the last thing she sees at night.

I found this little nugget in the Daily Mail 12/7/2012,

"Sitting in front of a computer screen for five hours a day can dramatically increase the risk of depression and insomnia, new research suggests."

All I can suggest is that I am doomed, 8 hours at work 4 hours at night, I am well over these guidelines and must therefore be a manic depressive. The same Daily Mail article also states

"People are not interacting with each other and the longer you do that, the less work meets your social needs."

Face to Face communication is out the window and we are all busy texting, tweeting, blogging, e-mailing and trawling Facebook for our social interaction. We must have all seen children and teenagers sat in the same room texting each other

There is an argument that we all becoming less intelligent, because there is less need to store trivia. Wikipedia, IMDB, and resources like WoWHead are the main causes. We think we are educating ourselves by researching that missing bit of information but the truth is we have no need to remember that amazing fact and can easily research the same information again if needed.

Is World of Warcraft part of the problem or part of the solution? One concept that is often discussed is the gamification of Real Life and in particular the business world. The aim is to create rewards and achievements in order to provide extra incentive and motivation.

In recent months I have seen a change in the wow bloggers, some are depressed and angry about the time that Blizzard takes to release expansions and others have embraced the downtime to achieve in game goals and targets from gold making, achievement hunting, rare mounts and pets. The results can be seen clearly in the contrast between the Big Bear Butt and the Grumpy Elf..

BBB is enjoying the end expansion because it is not time specific, it is a quiet time to experiment and explore the game through the fresh eyes of his son. The Grumpy Elf is beating himself with nothing to do and being surrounded by a sea of idiots. Both have a propensity to rant and rave, BBB is mostly about incompetences in the Real World and the occasional asshat in game, the Grumpy Elf is screaming in an empty padded cell with a straitjacket on. If an outsider was to read his blog posts they would not understand that this is someone who loves the game and spends copious amounts of time inside and outside writing about and playing.

I like the Grumpy Elf and enjoy the rants and advice but I think this is someone who needs a change of scenery until the expansion is ready. Please mate take 2 months off and come back refreshed.

I personally am planning to change a few habits, and have yet again taken to playing the guitar. When my daughter was a baby and she used to bounce in the baby bouncer to the strumming of my guitar, it was only later when she objected to my singing that I put it away in the cupboard. It is hard playing for any length of time now my fingertips are as soft as a baby's bottom but this will change over time. The over change will be from one screen to another as I attempt to soak up as much of the Olympic Games as possible. I even have 2 weeks holiday to cover the 16 days of the sporting spectacle.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Best Of You

"I’ve got another confession to make", thanks to Dave Grohl on this one. My confession is an alarming issue of falling asleep during boring content. The content in particular is the middle 2 bosses in LFR siege of Wrymrest. The trash in these 2 caverns is mind numbingly boring. The slimes can actually wipe a party on a bad pull if 6 slimes are chewing up the healers and damaging the party with crazy AOE the red version of Chain Heal that causes chaos for some parties. The tentacles are just plain boring the same rubbish fight numerous times. I have found myself drifting off to sleep and waking up several seconds later. The exact timing is unknown and it is not as though I am standing in a empty cavern and everyone else is looting the next boss. It is more like a blink and somebody has forwarded the film on a little bit.

I am genuinely bothered by this phenomenon and for anyone who as seen Doctor Who and the "Blink" episode you will know why. Seriously the causes may in fact point to a condition like Sleep Apnea. Having now read the article in wikipedia I am now 95% sure that I am suffering from Sleep Apnea and have done for quite a number of years. I know it is self diagnosis but I can see the signs flashing in front of me.

The first steps are easy in principle and much harder in practise but, stopping smoking and weight loss will help me out and now I have a firm medical reason to change for life.

I can safely say that I never intended the post to swing in this direction, but personally I am glad it has. So it's not Blizzard's fault its mine, and in the long run it might just save a life.

Friday, 13 July 2012


On Tuesday I made reference to the current hot Topics amongst the WoW community and highlighted the Gold sink. The opposite topic to the Gold Sink, is Gold Making, this can be a huge turnoff for a lot of people, but we all need a certain amount to get by in this game. People who don't normally talk about or worry about money are now turning their attention to the principle of save to spend. There are no overdraft facilities in this game, so if you want to spend you better learn how to earn it.

The usual method of for establishing if something is financially viable is Gold/Hour. This too me is a little skewed as a measurement due to the issues surrounding farming. Most people will struggle to do the same repetitive for more than 30 minutes without performance suffering. So if I was to kill Troggs in Deepholm for 15 minutes and then assume that if I times it by 4, that I have the correct figure of Gold/Hour. Even with a Potion of Treasure Finding that comes with its own 60 minute countdown, it is still a long time to kill the same mobs over and over again.

Often the best way to extend these farming stints is by doing multiple activities simultaneously. I can for instance doing Archaeology and herbing at the same time and it is even better if it involves honoring or extinguishing fires at the same time.

An alternative to farming mobs and resources is to perform dailies, and at present there are plenty of them and in MoP we can expect hundreds more. Blizzard have even removed the 25 dailies a day restriction that I never capped anyway.

My personal preference is for selling large quantities of Glyphs. The large quantities are no longer available in the market but there is sizable profit margin. If you read around there are realms were Glyphs still sell for 250-500 Gold. In my opinion this kind of price gouging is unforgivable. I  prefer to offer value for money and sell at only 2 or 3 times base costs. I aim to make each Glyph for no more than 15 Gold that means sourcing cheap herbs, pigments and inks.

I have been waiting for some one to the research from the MoP Beta as to what Glyphs will become charred come the new expansion. I was cheeky enough to ask the Gold Queen if she had the information I was looking for, I got a nice reply but the information that I sought. This week however I found that Faid had the info I was seeking even if she had not done the research herself. The important information can be found at the Inscriptionist. Apparently the information is a couple of Beta builds out of date, but the principle seems to be that the Glyphs are not going to be changed but merely changed to the new version. Poor selling Glyphs like the Glyph of Voidwalker will become Glyph of the Falling Meteor, this may make the Glyph valuable again.

So if like the Godmother you are coveting a Jeweled Onyx Panther and don't have a spare 1 MEEELION GOLD, then now is the perfect time to start working toward your first Gold cap.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rocking In The Free World

I spend a lot of time in Azeroth 480 Days at the last count, but how often do I stop to smell the roses? I am sometimes captivated by the glorious sunsets whilst busily flying around Azeroth. I have spent nearly 8 years of my life in this virtual world, and there are not many surprises left. Even the Post Cataclysmic world is familiar to me after only 19 months.

The critics of WoW always pick up on the toony aspect of the animation and characters, and that it is not as realistic as many of the competitors like Rift and Terra, personally I like the style and it suits the fantasy world.

Today I was stopped in my tracks by some work conducted by Andy @ OstensiblyWow the link is of a tour of Searing Gorge and Andy is obviously a keen photographer and knows how to frame a vista.

All I can say is happy memories and lovely screenshots, it put a smile on my face. If you like it Andy has also covered Azuremyst, Azshara, Feralas and Felwood.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Do You Want To Know A Secret?

It's not really much of a secret, but I didn't want to ruin the title. My little hint is not to run LFR and/or LFD on the night before reset day.

LFR was the first attempt on my Death Knight to complete the second half of Fall of Deathwing. I knew it was going to be chaos when I teleported at the beginning of the instance on 3/4 and a mount of bodies where Ultraxion had beat them to a pulp. I fail to understand how difficult it can be to standstill go through your entire rotation and then once every minute or so press a big purple button in the middle of your screen.

When a LFR starts wiping the biggest issue is retaining its Tank and Healers, and in particular the healers due to requiring 6 of them and ignoring the DPS who queued as Healer to bypass the 10 minutes wait. So after a few minutes a ready check was taken still missing 1 tank and 2 healers and then they promptly started the fight. One minute later we are all roaming around in the grey world of the Caverns of Time with a big angel hovering above us.

The bickering and shouting starts and half the party leaves, 10 minutes later still short of a tank and 2 healers someone starts the raid again. Do they ever learn?

Next up LFD on my stumpy little Warrior. I have completed all the New 5 Man Heroics on this character but was still armed with a Season 9 PvP 2 handed sword. If I can't do LFR I might as well complete a few LFD's. Twice I got End Time and twice I left group in utter frustration, the worst bit was when the healer left group in the middle of a boss fight. Luckily in the wasted hour I did down 1 boss and bagged myself a 2 hander for the pain.

My tip of the day is complete the groups and raid aspects at the beginning of the week, and go fishing before reset day.

P.S.. I also heard LFR is bad over the weekend. so if you are on the EU realms stick to Wednesday and Thursdays.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Trooper

Inscription is not for the faint hearted. When I first levelled my scribe I remember that the Glyphs often sold at or below cost. It is common for all professions to make the items that cost the least and try to recover what you can from selling, vendoring or disenchanting. With inscription, the floodgates all opened at the same time so there was masses of supply and a huge demand. The result was carnage. Over time this settled down and it was only the scribes that had learnt all the available glyphs through the daily process of research that made money. Many of them made large amounts of money, but the key was always to have the lowest price item on the market or be the only person selling the glyph.

Addons were designed to take the drudgery out of the process but milling could not be automated above a macro requiring 4 pushes to mill a stack of herbs. In the early days the glyphs were donated to the Guild Bank and they soon stacked up and filled the bank of Stormwind to the rafters.

After several months I decided to clear out the Guild Bank, believing that everyone who wanted a glyph would have taken them by now. I discovered that I was now starting to make serious amounts of gold from selling waste guild items.

Glyphmas I and II both brought large amounts of Gold into my war chest and in the end it only stopped when the vast majority of glyphs were being sold below my threshold of cost and work reward.

I returned to the market about 2 months ago, I had leftover inks from my MoP expansion project and what to dip my toe in the water. I discovered that the rewards are yet again worth it providing you can maintain a steady supply of cheap herbs. The rare inks no longer pay for the price of the stack herbs as they once did when the Darkmoon Trinkets were current.

Everything has been going really well until a new competitor hit the market. Every time I cancelled and reposted my competitor would repost too. The sales have now dwindled to nothing and I have not the time to find a bloody turf war. I have no qualms about unmasking my rival, he is a level 1 pain in the arse meet Billgates of the guild Microsoft.

Now normally I would just stop selling and let my little competitor have the market to himself but these glyphs have a definite sell by date due to the next expansion rendering Prime Glyphs as extinct and the other little annoyance of the name. It is not a personal vendetta against William Henry Gates III, who has in effect provided me with a living for the last 20 years. My gripe is at the use of special characters.

The US servers have less impact of special characters than the EU realms based on the main languages being English, Spanish and French. The EU realms on the other hand have native speakers from all over the world. According to wikianswers there are 23 languages in the European Union but a whopping 230 that are spoken throughout Europe. Many of these have special characters and accents over the 26 standard letters of the English Alphabet. My little nemesis has inserted an i with a slant instead of the standard letter and this means he does not appear in any searches, you cannot whisper to him unless you can click on him. It looks like î or ì just in case you wondered.

I have checked the naming policy and it does not mention special characters but I am sure on the account creation screen it states not to use special characters. Either way this character is flying under the radar with this name and as per Naming Policy is in breach of Real World References for Billgates and under Trademark for a guild of Microsoft or Mîcrosoft or whatever special character he has used. Can Blizzard be bothered to act on a level 1 character?

I was originally going to list some more sexually vulgar names that have escaped the Blizzard sensors, but with the trial of the former England Football Captain John Terry, I think we have seen enough vulgar language to last a lifetime.

We Have All The Time In The World

We have all the time in the world, if only it was true. The last 2 weeks as been more like 8 days a week. Family, Work and Me Time, I have discussed before the fine balance that we all lead between, work, school, family commitments and leisure time. The big squeeze was work and home and leisure and blogging was squeezed till the pips squeaked. In my absence the big talking points seem to be as follows:

  1. WoW Boredom - Waiting for MoP
  2. Attunement
  3. Professions in MoP
  4. Gold Sinks
Boredom - the wait seems longer this time even though the gap between the last major patch and the new expansion is going to be shorter than last time. The gap between ICC and Cata was 12 months, I do not count Ruby Rectum as being a valid patch due to it being practically untouched after a month of it dropping due to it being too hard, not worth it, too much of a dance. Judging by how much stuff is still missing from the new expansion and the time required for thorough Blizzard style testing, the expansion is still unlikely to drop before the middle of October. Why Blizzard does not do a more staggered expansion is beyond me. They could easily apply the class changes now, so that we get a month to play with the new mechanics, then give the new class/race followed by 5 more levels and then they could even stagger the raids LFR, Normal and Heroic. It would create gated content for at least 6 months.

Attunement - This was pretty much covered by Blessing of Kings.  Attunement as a whole will not return because it is against the current Blizzard model of content for all. Karazhan became the favourite raid of all time after the attunements were dropped. Solo quests like Bwemba's Spirit provides content and lore without the roadblock.

Professions in MoP - The general feeling is that with the professions requiring Spirits of Harmony which are created by joining 10 Motes of Harmony (all sounds very familiar) but the Spirits and Motes will be bind on pickup. Kaliope always on the ball, has created a post stating that the droprate is actually quite poor, which contradicts the findings from Fox van Allen at Wowinsider who states that it is a healthy enough droprate. Kaliope backed up her finding with figures and the droprate of 9 Motes for 100 mob kills is not a good one. This reminds me of the Air and Fire Elementals of the Burning Crusade era.

Gold Sinks - A fool and his money are soon parted. The large number of daily quests at our disposal will mean that there is steady income for a lot of people. The amount of money in the economy will continue to swell hence the introduction of the very expensive -waste of money the Grand Expedition Yak which has been hiked from 60,000 G to 120,000 G and the Black Market Auction House. The richest 5% of the WoW population are the richest because they tend not to spend large quantities of Gold on fripperies. The problem with gold sinks is that it tends to affect the wrong people. The middle earners will have no money left and the low income earners will buy gold to get what they covet most.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Hound Dog

I must confess to having not played much WoW in the last few days, but last night was the night I have been dreading since I misplaced my authenticator. I believe that it is located at my mother's home but due to the fact that she is on holiday I have no way to validate this assumption. The setting for the authenticator is to ask for authentication if the IP address changes, or a set period of time maybe once a week. Yesterday was validation day. Now although I have only limited intentions to logon at the present time, the idea that I cannot do something just makes me want it more.

The plan was to remove the authenticator from my wife's account, remove the authenticator from my account and then put my wife's authenticator onto my account. Simple.

The problem with this plan is there is no way to log onto the Battle NET account without the authenticator. I solved this by logging on with my wife's account, removing the authenticator and putting in a ticket on my account to remove the authenticator. I was a little paranoid having heard stories about accounts being hijacked after the authenticator is removed for even just a short time.

I received an e-mail to confirm the ticket had been created and the usual wait time was 2 days. At this point I could no longer track the ticket through Battle NET and was resigned to have to watch some Television.

Television Drama which is what I tend to watch is based around an Autumn - Winter  - Spring calendar with sport, repeats and cheap television making up the Summer schedule. All the programmes I have been watching are now finished so I am working through Boxsets of ER, The Tudors and Throne of Tides. No doubt Game of Thrones is already highly popular with the WoW community.

Just before going to bed I checked my e-mails and discovered an update to my Battle NET account asking me to change my password. I then logged into Battle NET added my wife's authenticator and quickly logged on expecting my characters to be naked and all my gold shipped off to the Far East.

Fortunately this was not the case and I am more than happy that Blizzard have exceeded my expectations and the 2 day average wait. Set the expectations low then it is easier to exceed the expectations. Thanks Blizz, I am more than happy to have my Core Hound Pup looking after me.

Taking On The World

Last Thursday I was fortunate enough to have been the guest of a competition winner to see an exclusive live set of Gun at the Hard Rock Cafe, Manchester. I can report that the gig was excellent and I enjoyed the experience greatly. It was a promotional event to publicise the new Gun album Break The Silence. The show was a cutdown unplugged session, with 3 acoustic guitars, 1 bass and the smallest drumkit I have ever seen consisting of about 3 drums and a few cymbals.

Tagged on to the new material was 3 classic Gun tracks which transported me back 23 years. The music is surprisingly fresh and not as dated as you might expect, and I have listened to the album Taking On The World heavily since the concert.

For the iPod generation I can recommend Better Days, Taking On The World, Shame On You, Steal Your Fire and the classic Cameo cover of Word Up.

Thanks again to Gun, Real Radio XS and Hard Rock Cafe, Manchester for a great night out.