Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Would You Like to See Legion Unfold?

I've been reading a fair deal of fan theories about what will happen in the coming Legion.  Some of them, I must admit, have been really good.  There are a hell of a lot of really creative people out there in the gaming world and it seems like a few are having some funny with with fantasy of how to tell a good warcraft story.

If you read this blog even from time to time you might have heard me say that I think it is time we, the heroes of Azeroth had a set back.  I've often posted my fan theories mainly because I kind of dig that sort of stuff and I enjoy getting lost in the fantasy a bit with writing.  I think as early as when Cataclysm was announced before we really knew anything about it I had my theories of a story line that involved us losing.

When Warlords was announced I had a very elaborate scenario were we lost in our bid to save this alternate Draenor.  It was before we really knew anything about Warlords.  I had said a great ending would be if we come to combat the iron horde and the legion invades as we do so.  We attempt to save this Draenor from the legion as they open portals all over the world and we fail.  The final battle would be us trying to escape alternate Draenor before it exploded and if you won the fight and made it out alive the fight would end with you either in stormwind or orgimmar, depending on your faction of course.  If you failed, Draenor blows up with you still on it.

Seems I was partly right.  The end fight was against the legion like I predicted, but of course we won just like we always do.  I really have been aching for a set back.  I think the game needs it.  We, the heroes, are way too strong and keep getting stronger.  There was no sense of doom or dread in legion.  We knew we would beat everything the iron horde threw at us and later everything the legion threw at us.  We need a loss.  I have been on and on about it for a long time.

It seems that I am no longer the only one that thinks that.  A lot of these fan theories I have been reading where people making up their own story of what they would like to see all have us suffering loss.  Be it with our heroes dies, our cities burning, or just flat out having battles we can not win.

I think, for me at least, that is why I am really digging a lot of these fan made theories.  They jive with something I have been wanting to see for the better part of 6 years now.  I want to see us, the heroes, put in our place.  We are but mortals yet we take down the high and mighty as if we were an adult trying to beat up a toddler.  Super easy and really unfair.  We are too strong.  We need to be knocked down a few pegs if you ask me.  We need to lose.

Now loss does not need to be actual loss.  Like my idea for Draenor at the time.  While we "lost" in saving Draenor we did escape with our lives and the lives of a great many others we got off the planet in time.  So you could say even in defeat we won, a few battles at least even if not the war.

For story purposes we can not actually lose.  If we lose, we are dead, it is game over.  But we can lose in the sense like I mentioned for Draenor.  We can lose because we were not able to save the planet but win in the sense we made it out alive and managed to save a great many people in the process. 

I would love to see Legion bring us a story like that.  One with some depth to it, something character building, something that shows we do not always win.  While I have not quite thought out my story line for how I would like to see it unfold for Legion the way I had Warlords before it, it remains pretty much the same.  I want to see us lose.  And it seems a great many others have jumped on my bandwagon with that thought in mind in their own fan theories on what they would like to see happen.

How would you like to see Legion unfold?  More of the same with us exerting our dominance over each and every obstacle  in our path or maybe seeing some set backs?  Perhaps you have some other completely different idea in mind.  Maybe you picture the final battle not against the legion but against the titans or the old gods.  Do share.  What would you like to see?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- I had some sad new this weekend about a fellow player.

- We have all hear stories about people we, or others, have played with that passed on.

- We have all heard, and in some cases personally experienced, how people get older and their abilities diminish and they play less or can do less.

- It is part of life, and real life always has an impact on our entertainment.

- His wife came online last night to let the officers know why we have not seen him all week.

- She too is a player.

- He came down with an extremely rare illness.

- Doctors were able to save his life, but he lost his arm.

- I saw my eyes are tearing up a little writing about it.

- Some may say this is only a game, and it is, but the relationships you make while playing it can be very real if you let them be.

- I've known him since 2008.

- He was my PvP partner since wrath, a really solid player with a high ranking that always tried to help me get better when I had the itch to try PvP.

- He was a semi consistent raider.

- When he was not away for military duty.

- And more importantly, he has been someone I am glad to call a friend for a long time.

- While I am saddened to lose my PvP partner and a solid raider I am near heart broken to know that my friend lost so much more.

- And not just his arm.

- The game he loved to play he may never be able to play.

- When he woke up one of the first things he told his wife was to go online and tell us not to kick him from the guild.

- My god I would never even think of it and if someone even thought for a second of suggesting it I would kick them first.

- He was, is, family.

- He is welcome to stay as long as he likes.

- I just hope that some day he can find something he can do in game that allows him to still have som joy with it.

- I will gladly help him level next expansion.

- I might never be able to help him PvP but I am sure I can drag him along for some raiding.

- He will always remain a member of the guild.

- He will always remain a friend.

- And I am just glad he is alive right now.

- I was thinking what class it might be best for him to play, so he can still play some.

- Demo warlock or BM hunter make the most sense.

- Being will have to become a clicker and movement might be an issue having a pet that does solid damage and can tank could make it easier on him.

- I've one question for the people that read here.

- Is there a way in game, or with an addon, to add a click to move functionality like they have in diablo?

- That would make one handed play a lot easier.

- And maybe it can bring a smile to his face.

- That would mean a lot to him I am sure.

- One of the officers said a funny comment that sort of softened the mood when we were all feeling down.

- They said, "I bet even with 1 arm he would still be a better raider than half the people that sign up for raid night."

- It is funny because it is true.

- On to other random thoughts, short and sweet version, as that was really the only thing on my mind right now.

- Got 1 achievement left on diablo to get my stash.

- Do the level 45 rift solo with no set pieces.

- Attempted it with some random stuff and could not even kill anything.

- Building a set now for a fire build that should do the job.

- Have 5 pieces of gear thus far with bonus fire damage bringing me close to 100% extra damage from fire abilities.

- That with my ancient manticore and ancient rucksack for increased sentries, increased sentry damage and increased cluster arrow damage I should be able to do it.

- But that will have to wait until next weekend as I am a weekend warrior only on diablo.

- Did manage to hit paragon 600 while doing rifts to upgrade gems.

- Can't believe my seasonal character has more than twice as many paragon points as my normal one.

- Funny part is, I think doing the one to do a solo 55 with 6 different sets would be easier at this point.

- 55 is a breeze now.

- The hard part would be getting two full sets on another character.

- Either way, I would have to say the extra stash slot is mine.

- I am glad because it was the only reason I was actually playing it.

- As far as wow goes, not much to say there.

- Random people still stuck at cataclysm time walkers.

- No surprise there.

- They kicked one of my guild mates from a random because, get this, he tried to explain how to do the fight after they wiped 3 times because it seemed no one else ever did them before.

- He got kicked because he knew the fight?

- Does that make any sense to you because it sure as hell makes no sense to me.

- I love the idea of someone willing to teach me how to do something I do not know.

- It is not even remotely reasonable to kick the person that is explaining the fight so you do not wipe again.

- The only thing worse than a bad player is a stupid player.

- And even worse was the fact they were bad and stupid based on what my guild mate said.

- Not willing to listen to how the fights were done.

- Not even attempting to follow mechanics.

- And doing dismal numbers, as he said he was over 65% of the DPS on the first boss and over 80% of the DPS on all the trash.

- It is standardized item level.

- Sure you can gear for best in slot, but he was just using his normal gear.

- So they were bad and stupid.

- Funny part is the cataclysm time walkers are not even half as hard as they were at release.

- These have to be all new players, because older players learned those fights when they were actually harder.

- At a 429 item level on day one.

- It was a nightmare in some groups.

- I remember the rock boss in deepholm and all of grim bartol as being horrible.

- The under water one with bad pulls or lack of focused fire and interrupts and CC could be horrible too.

- In low item levels with lesser skilled players that did not know the fights the cataclysm dungeons were, or could, be really really hard.

- With a guild group they were awesome.

- Amazing hearing some of these people saying how hard these are and here I am thinking how super easy they are.

- All about perception I guess.

- Well, I guess that is all for now, and please if anyone knows of a click to move addon or something in the game setting that will allow it, please let me know.

- I would be very grateful.

- Have a great day.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Do You Expect Leveling to Look Like Come Legion?

The leveling process now has a lot of issues, some of which I do plan to discuss in this post but I am sure I will be missing out on some of them such as professions and the such, but the over all questions is what do you think leveling will look like next expansion?  I'll share my opinion first, because that is what I do here.

Lets first go over the leveling experience and how is had downgraded, in my opinion, over the past few expansions.

The complete overhaul of the old world leveling experience in cataclysm messed up the continuity a great deal.  This one major redesign of the leveling process is where leveling started to go downhill as I see it.

Where you used to level from vanilla to BC to wrath, when cataclysm came out you quested from cataclysm, to the far past BC to the not as far past wrath and back to the current time cataclysm.  The situation only got worse with the following expansions by making it even even more convoluted of a leveling process when looking at it from a pure story perspective.  To a new player there was no flow, no rhyme and reason to the leveling process at all.  And there is a reason for that feeling.  Blizzard designed it that way, on purpose or by accident because they did not think ahead, I'll let you decide, but either way, it left things feeling off when leveling.  When they redesigned the old world leveling for cataclysm for no reason other than to redesign something that only needed updating, not redesigning, it was the first step in a series of steps that further ruined the leveling experience.

They should have left well enough alone I believe.  Let us start in vanilla, as if we are starting in the past and catching up to current times, and let us level though the past to meet everyone else at max level in the here and now.

One thing cataclysm did have done well, for the most part, however was that the skills people got while leveling still made sense as they got them.  Sure low level tanks and healers did seem a little slow to get the key things they needed to do their role to the best of their ability, but it was not exactly horrible, just not great.

When mists came out they changed a lot of abilities, removed some, added others, and also managed to add modifiers to certain abilities.  This had an impact on the leveling process, quite a huge one in some cases.

When leveling a healer or a tank now you were even more put on the spot.  Some classes not getting AoE as a tank until you have been trying to tank dungeons for 20 or so levels already.  Some healers not only getting no AoE heal for what felt like an eternity, but not even getting their second heal until they were well into their leveling journey.

And it was not only the tanks and the healers that felt some discomfort with how the talent changes effected the leveling process, damage dealers did as well.  Some classes not getting key abilities which would be the central focus of their entire game play until very late in the game.  Or other classes using abilities for a good 10 or more level, like primal strike for shaman, which would otherwise have no place even being considered as something they would use.  Or in the case of hunters having two of the specs us a focus generator, namely steady shot, nearly their entire leveling process, only to have it removed as they got close to level cap.

The entire experience could be confusing and frustrating to someone new and most definitely an issue for those that never look outside of the game for information and have no one in game to lean on asking questions.

All that was only when mists came out.  When warlords came out we had to deal with many other abilities being cut in the great pruning of 2014.  Lets forget all the max level players that saw abilities they loved removed but think about what this post is concerning, the leveling process.

After the pruning of abilities the tank and healer issues I mentioned before got even worse.  The damage dealers had to deal with getting abilities that modified spells they had not even learned yet.  Sometimes you might even find one spell modified twice before you even got it.

Each time the abilities are shuffled around and changed or removed or even added, the leveling process takes a beating and with the changes in warlords it has never been more evident.  cataclysm might have screwed up the "feel" of leveling to the point I don't think they can ever fix it without a complete reset of the game from level 1 where they put the story line back in the order is should be, but warlords put the second nail in the level coffin in my opinion.  The issues that came with mists were not good for leveling, but not as bad as what happened with cataclysm and warlords.

Now when leveling a fresh character not only do you not have needed abilities as you level, not only do you get modifiers for abilities that you do not even have yet, but you go spurts where you get 3 abilities in 6 levels and then none for the next 10 levels leaving the leveling process completely uneven and presumably less rewarding because a new player is not seeing themselves grow as much as we did back when we got power boosts more often.  Even the old style of 1 point that you could put into something as lame as +1% critical strike was more exciting than getting nothing at all, which much of the leveling process is now thanks to pruning.

But what will happen next expansion.  Can it really get worse for the new player leveling a player for the first time.  Can it really get even less rewarding.

With the gaps in ability gain and the feeling that we do not get much more power as we level as it is right now what will it feel like when we have even fewer abilities which will most assuredly translate into even fewer abilities being given to a new player as they level.

Looking at my favorite class alone, which is only one of, well, all classes getting a hatchet job done to it, I am losing more than half of my abilities.  If there are such huge gaps in getting abilities as it stands now what will it look like when there are that many fewer abilities.  Will even more classes enter dungeons the first time without even the basic tools they need to fulfill their role.  Will we see even more classes having to deal with getting abilities that modify spells they will not even have for another 30 levels.

I'll be the first to tell you my opinion is that the cataclysm revamp of the old world was a complete waste of time and resources.  But I will also say I believe that the leveling process needs to be fixed.  I hate suggesting that they allocate resources to fix something old like that, but it needs to be done.

Why is that you might ask and the answer is simple.  If the game never intended to get new players and it was just me, you and the other person leveling alts for the rest of forever, it would make no difference if they fixed the leveling process.  We have all been there and done that.  It does not matter it is out of order.  It does not matter we get out abilities in a screwed up order because we know what is coming later to even it out.  But if they want new players to join the game and more importantly new players to fall in love with the game and to get attached to it like I did or you did or that other player did, they need to fix the leveling process.

The leveling process needs to be more than a mash up of left over parts from expansions past.  It needs to have a story that moves in a linear way and not jumping all over time, like the remake of the old world did when cataclysm came out.  It needs to give players at least the most basic of the tools they need to accomplish tasks once the game opens up them for them, such as tanks and healers having the needed AoE abilities at level 15 for when dungeons become active.  It needs to give abilities in a understandable order and not give you abilities that modify a skill you do not even have yet.  And last but not least, it needs to let the player feel that each level is a step forward in power instead of having to wait 2 or 4 or even 10 levels before they get a new ability that makes them feel as if they are getting a little personal progression as they level.

So what do I think leveling will look like in legion?

Unless something major changes I think it is going to be downright horrible.  The worst it has ever been.  I think it will not be something that can keep a new player playing and in the end, for each and every one of us, keeping those new players matter.  They might be your next friend, your next raid super star or heck, even just another subscriber paying them which in turn keeps the game running.  But they will be none of those things if they get bored because the leveling process does not feel rewarding or fun enough to keep them involved.

If you ask me, we need to go back to a point system when level and each level lets you assign 1 point into something.  Blizzard says they removed it because there is nothing exciting about putting 1 point into +1% critical strike.  Maybe they are right.  But one thing is for sure.  I would rather go 4 levels with adding +1 to four different secondary stats than going 4 levels with absolutely nothing.  Which it seems we will be seeing a lot of in legion.

Just one elf's opinion, what is yours?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- Did not play much WoW this past week.

- Got my archie kill one night in for an upgrade.

- Killed a few heroic bosses and once again wasted coins for nothing.

- And that is about it.

- I could have finished off my ring the week before if I bothered to farm valor.

- I decided against it.

- Getting that upgrade each week is the only thing keeping me going at the moment.

- So I have 3 more weeks before I need another motivator.

- Like I said, I could have finished it already if I wanted to.

- But decided I would just do it from kills only for fun.

- Not like I need it numbers wise.

- But bigger numbers are always better they say.

- Speaking of bigger numbers Diablos season 5 started just in time to serve as a nice distraction for the time being for me.

- And the numbers there seem insane.

- I am doing more damage than I have ever done in normal.

- I am gaining more paragon levels than I have ever done in normal.

- I am getting more legendary items than I ever did in normal.

- I am pushing faster times than I ever did on normal.

- I am pushing higher levels than I have ever done on normal.

- So yeah, lots of big numbers coming out of seasons, at least for me.

- I never did seasons before, this is my first.

- Why is that you say?

- They offered an additional stash slot if you did certain achievements in a season.

- I am doing it only for the stash space, no other reason really.

- Bag space is always the #1 thing in any game that actually concerns me and this got me to play the season.

- Sad part is I am just not skilled enough to get it.

- At least I do not believe so.

- Everything that is needed before the conquests parts I believe I can do, but the conquests seem out of my reach.

- Mastering a dungeon was hard enough, took me like 14 tries.

- But that is a piece of cake compared to the conquests I need to do 2 of.

- One of them I can see getting, the loot 50M gold streak, but that is about it.

- I guess doing the greater rift 45 with no tier pieces is the second most accessible one.

- But for someone that is A) not very good and B) never really spends enough time playing to pump up big paragons levels, it seems a little out of reach.

- But hey, I needed something to do so I figured I would try.

- It is for bag space after all, how could I not try.

- I love bag space and would do anything for it.

- You know those free to play games, or pay to win games as some people call them?

- I might not spend money on them to win, but if they offer increased bag space I will, and do, buy it in a heart beat.

- It is the single most important piece of any game I play.

- I stopped playing fallout 4 because I just got tired of the bag space limits.

- Before I stopped I started using the PC code for unlimited carry weight.

- But by then I was already gone.

- I was burnt out on the running back and forth of it.

- It was nice not having to worry about bag space any more.

- Maybe I will go back to it some day, I really did enjoy fallout 4 for a change of pace.

- And if I do go back I do intend to use the limited carry weight code.

- But I most definitely am not a first person shooter type of gamer.

- I like story driven games with set progression paths.

- And the occasional slaughter fest for fun sort of game.

- Which is where Diablo fits in.

- I saw people complaining on the forums about bots in Diablo and wondered what they are talking about.

- I did not even know you could have addons never the less some program to do other things.

- I am such a noob at diablo it seems.

- But I figure over all it is a single player game, who the hell cares.

- They say as long as there are leader boards it is competitive and bots ruin the competition.

- Ok I guess, if you really want to compete in a single player game that has no actual real objective in it other than just to slaughter things for fun.

- To each their own.

- I have never used, nor will I use a bot in diablo, but I did use the unlimited carry code in fallout 4 and if they had one like that is diablo I would use it there too.

- It is not cheating to do something like that in a single player game.

-The only person you are cheating is yourself.

- If you choose to cheat yourself, it is you and you alone that has to deal with the consequences of your cheating.

- Like the fun of getting stronger as you go and working your way up.

- If you skip that, you are skipping the entire game.

- So cheating only cheats yourself out of what otherwise is the entire concept of a game like this.

- And not to mention, if you get that uptight over leader boards for a single player game, you really need to readjust your priorities.

- Seeing people rage about cheating in diablo actually made me want to bot.

- It goes back to the same thing like I say for warcraft.

- How does my paragon level (gear in wow terms) effect your game play?

- I'll give you a hint, it doesn't.

- One person made the perfect response, in my opinion, to someone complaining about bots.

- He said he has worked so hard to get to paragon 900 already playing 14 hours a day that is he going to quit because he hates seeing people using bots with more.

- So the OP said the users of such programs should be banned, basically, because they have more paragon levels to him.

- The guy responded, and this was great, that he believes the OP should be banned because he has to work and can only play at most 4 hours a day so it is unfair to him that the OP should be playing 14 hours a day and getting more levels then him.

- So being he is playing more than him, and has more paragon levels than him, he should be banned too.

- It might sound silly, but he is right.

- The only problem this guy had with someone using a bot was that they had more levels than him, because they are on more often with the program.

- So the poster replied to the OP that he has the same problem with him playing 14 hours a day when he can't, so he should be banned too.

- I got a laugh out of it.

- I can see getting all bent about cheating like that in warcraft.

- It is an MMO, many items and crafting materials can be traded, it can give someone some sort of advantage.

- But that thought process does not work for a game like this.

- There is nothing to be gained by cheating like this except paragon levels.

- And a person still needs to be skilled, to some extent, to take full advantage of said levels.

- And again, the only person it effects is them.

- I made it to greater rift 51 solo so far, that is my max.

- Have not tried 52 yet, but will next weekend.

- I am glad I was able to do it.

- If I cheated I would not have enjoyed it as much.

- But I am proud of myself for doing it.

- So the only person losing if I cheated would be me.

- If I cheated and became extra strong it would have not been such an accomplishment for me.

- So if I cheated it would only hurt myself.

- And in the grand scheme of things, I do not want to cheat myself out of the fun of doing it on my own.

- Well... unless it was an unlimited bag space cheat.

- I would use that in a heart beat.

- I will admit that.

- I love bag space.

- Have a great day.

Friday, January 22, 2016

If WoW Is Going to Keep Borrowing From Diablo...

Both Warcraft and Diablo are owned by the same company so we could not use the "stealing ideas" line that people like to use so I am going to use "borrow".  All ideas belong to the same company and we have seen cross over from one game to the other between many of the blizzard created products.  This is not a bad thing, not even in the slightest.  Some ideas from one game are just begging to be integrated into the other and blizzard is smart enough to realize that.

Coming with Legion we see a much larger scale borrowing from Diablo than ever before.  Sure we have had some things lifted from Diablo and added to Warcraft recently.  The largest one was adding even more randomization to the game.  From gear having additional stats, to a gem slot, to even being warforged reminds me of Diablo.  It makes one piece of gear come in many different variants.  Now as many as Diablo does of course, but still many, for Warcraft standards.

Another piece of the randomizing borrowed from Diablo are the baleful items.  Where they could be randomly warforged and had random stats on it.  And there was the added fact you could A) get them as drops or B) buy them when you saved up enough currency, and both would be completely random stats wise.  Same as Diablo where you could get say a waist piece as a drop or buy one with blood shards.

It was pushed even further with the most recent patch when the warforged baleful gear was no longer just 650 of 675 when warforged but it could be anywhere from 650 to 695 in 5 level intervals.  But they did not just leave it there, they also made mythic dungeons change from dropping either 685 or warforged at 705 gear to having a span of 685 to 725 in 5 level intervals as well.  Add in that those could have a gem slot or third or both or neither on any of those items meant that the amount of different drops could be 72 variants (I believe, you can check my napkin math) for each and every item making it even more like Diablo.

Next expansion they are pushing it even further with their borrowing from their other franchise.  They are adding the transmog wardrobe to the game which is a huge boon to anyone that like to collect things and even more so if they are an avid collect and like to have a large selection for their mogging pleasures.  But it does not stop there.

Random legendary drops, which I will have to write about another day as my thought on those would easily fill a post all on its own, are being added to the game in a very Diablo style.  As in they can drop from anywhere.  You could kill a boss in a dungeon or an elite mob in the world or a rare mob anywhere you run across it or trash in a raid or even just killing some rats out in the world and it could drop.  Just like Diablo where the absolutely most powerful items in the game can be attained from anywhere no matter what level of difficulty you are playing at.

There is more too.  Borrowing the idea of greater rifts come the new design for challenge modes.  Instead of you, the players, scaling down to the challenge, the challenge will scale up to you.  So as you get stronger you can push the challenge up further.  Then just recently we saw they are adding special abilities you can give the mobs in the dungeon to further the difficultly, and presumably up the reward of the challenge.  Such things as, all mobs enrage at 30% health increasing damage by 100% and one that has a constant AoE throughout the entire dungeon that does damage the entire time.  These, the greater rift challenge modes and the special abilities of mobs to add difficulty, are directly borrowed from Dialbo.

Then there is one of everyones favorite Diablo things coming to warcraft as well.  Treasure goblins that just run away and continue to drop goodies the entire time until they are killed, or they escape, are coming to Warcraft as treasure demons.  How they will work yet is still unknown, but the fact they are coming is known.  Another straight borrow from Diablo.

So what is the point of me saying all of this?  Well, if WoW is going to keep borrowing from Diablo there are some things I would actually like to see them borrow.

1) Loot Drops

In Diablo whenever you kill a boss, an elite, a champion, you always get loot.  Admittedly it is garbage 99 out of 100 times, but you always get something.  Never do you have to deal with the fact that you need to tier legs so damn bad at nothing you can even roll on ever drops from that boss even after, 5, 10, 15 or 20 kills.

In Diablo you might not get what you want, but you know you will always get something and there is a chance that you can get something good.  Warcraft needs that.  We no longer need a loot system with master looter.  Everything should be personal loot and every time you kill a boss you should win something from it.  Every... single... time.

Let the warforged be random, let the gem slot be random, let the third stat be random, let getting 2 or even all 3 of them be random, but make sure everyone gets some sort of reward for killing a boss every time they kill it.  You should always get at least one item off the loot table that is for you spec.

They can easily make it so many more pieces drop for each class on the loot list by adding addition rings, necks, back and maybe wrists and waists to each boss.  This way there are always at least 5 items that drop for each class and specialization.

Will some people gear up quickly this way?  Yes, just like some people gear up quickly now.  Will some people still kill a boss 20 times and not get the piece they want?  Yes, just like some people never get what they are going for now.

So things will still be mostly the same with one major exception.  Now if you have killed, for example, Gorefiend 20 times and never even seen your tier token drop and you have even used a coin on most of those kills to no avail, you start to feel disheartened, you start to feel as if you will never get the item but if the boss always guaranteed an item, even if you have gotten a ring 20 times so far, you know for a fact with 100% certainty that you will get something you will keep killing him knowing that sooner or later you will get it because you always get something.

With all this randomness added to the game, too much in my opinion, Warcraft needs something like that that gives people hope.  I've seen more people complain about loot in the game recently than I ever have before, even people that I never heard complain about it before, because they felt like they were running uphill all the time and never getting anything for their effort because of RNG.  Having people guaranteed to get something each time they kill a boss, or a named mob in the Diablo case, would really ease the RNG burnout even if it does not gear people up any faster because people will feel at least they are being rewarded for their effort.

2) Cube

You can turn a rare into a legendary item in Diablo with the cube.  You can reroll the stats on an item with the cube.  You can change one set piece into another set piece with the cube.  All that and more.

This would be yet one more thing to ease the pain of RNG that I know I dislike.  It would allow people to grind to get something, or have a chance at getting something, that luck just will not allow them to have.

You could put some random purple with whatever assorted materials they make us gather in the cube and attempt to upgrade it to a legendary if the world drop gods have not been nice to you lately.  You can take those bracers that have haste on them when haste is bad for you and attempt to reroll a better stat on them, with the appropriate materials of course.  Perhaps with the ring materials you can turn that second tier chest piece you have into the tier leg piece, if luck is on your side, or you might just end up with your third set of tier shoulders.

Have these materials be a range of things. Stuff that drops from the world, stuff that drops from dungeons, stuff that drops from raids and even stuff that is crafted.  Make it all capable of being traded, none of that soulbound bull crap blizzard loves, and it could revitalize the game some as people start grinding materials to try to turn that extra chest piece into a leg piece or change that epic pair of boots they do not need into the legendary one.

More people would be out in the world killing mobs to get materials to use or sell.  They would be gathering, crafting, spamming dungeons, raids, all to get materials to use or sell.  It very well could get people out and about and doing more things by giving them a way to over ride the dreadfully horrible RNG of the game.  Which is a great idea in my opinion.  Anything that takes away some RNG is a good thing, even if, in this case, it still adds another level of RNG in its own right.  But at least this way it feels like we have a chance or getting what we want, and that is all people like me want, a feeling like we could get what we want.

Now while I am on this topic I would like to add one thing I would love to see Diablo borrow from Warcraft.

1) Loot Lists

In Warcraft if you are looting for the tier legs you kill gorefiend.  Sure you might kill him 20 times and never get them but you know for a fact he does drop them and that is where they come from.  In Diablo the loot list for everything is the same.  From breaking a vase, to searching a corpse, to opening a chest, to opening a bounty bag, to killing a rat, to killing an elite, to killing a champion, to killing a boss or rift guardian.  Anything can drop from anywhere.

It is kind of nice when you happen to get your best in slot item because you just happen hit some breakable item with your AoE while mowing down mobs but it would be much nicer if you could narrow your scope of what you are looking for.

Leave it like it is where anything can drop from anywhere, but make at least bosses have certain drops on their loot list, to refine the drop chances just a little to increase your chances.  For example, say I am looking for the Dawn weapon so I can cube it and put it on my weapon.  I could spend the next 50 hours farming everything known to man to get it, and maybe I will, but it is all random, or I could go for butcher because it is on his loot list as one of the item he is more likely to drop.

Give every boss a chance to drop, at least, one item from their loot list and increase the chances of an item from the loot list dropping based on the difficulty level.  Say 10% at T1 all the way up to 100% chance at least one would drop at T10.  So if I wanted to farm Dawn and it was on the butchers drop list I could keep farming him on T10.  Even if he had 30 items on his loot list, for example, the chances of getting the one I want are still slim, but at least this way I would have a singular focus on what to kill instead of randomly killing, breaking and opening everything hoping and praying to get the item I need.

I, personally, would love Diablo if it had a more focused system.  And they could even give the elites and champions specific drop lists.  Like elites in Act 1 have one drop list, champions in that act another, and each set in each act would have its own drop list.  And then rifts would have their own, and greater rifts would have their own.  You get the idea.  Lots of items means lots of loot lists but it would allow people to focus on killing a certain type of thing.  So I could still get my Dawn from anywhere, like breaking a breakable (which is how I got it) or I could farm one specific place to try to increase my chances.  So yeah, I think I would like there being loot lists in Diablo just like they have them in Warcraft.

What do you think?

What else should Warcraft borrow from Diablo and do you think there is anything Diablo could borrow from Warcraft?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why So Much Change in Legion?

Change can be a good thing.  When there is a system not working, having it redone is not a bad thing.  You need to make what isn't working work and the only way to do that is by change.  The key to successful change however is that you leave enough that is familiar behind to make adapting to the change an easier transition and that the change is not a change for the sake of shaking thing up only, it has to be something that is needed.

Blizzard, in recent years, have become the poster boys for "change for the sake of change".  Each expansion they change things for no other reason than to shake things up.  Some of these changes are good.  Some are bad.  Some we can argue about for days because they are both good and bad at the same time.  But they have made sure that every expansion comes with enough changes to make people, possibly, feel a little overwhelmed by it.   Or perhaps even a little put off by it, such as I am with the complete dismantling of hunters and everything they have always been with the next expansion.

Ghostcrawler has not been with blizzard for a long time now but still to this day he answers many questions about warcraft.  Some years back someone asked him what was the number one reason he saw on the exit interviews.  The exit interview is that thing they ask people to fill out when they are canceling their subscription in an attempt to find out why.  Good companies use these exit interviews to try to make some changes so that the people that are leaving because of those reasons won't leave.  He said the number one reason why people quit was change.

So basically what blizzard needs to make is a change to stop making changes.  Sounds odd, but it is a fact.  People leave because of changes, it is the number one reason people leave.  So perhaps stop changing so many things and keep to adding to the game instead of changing what is already there so much that it alienates the players and makes them feel they have fallen behind and can't catch up because "so much has changed".

Basically what Ghostcrawler pointed out is what everyone and their mother already knows, you did not need an exit interview to know it, but it is quite telling that change was the number one reason people left even if we knew already that people do not like change, more often than not.  They do not like their favorite actor leaving a television series, they do not like their favorite ballplayer signing a contract with another team, and they do not like the class they have been playing to change so drastically they feel like they are stating all over again.

People can adjust to change, they always have, but they do not like it.   Minor changes and adjustments are fine.  But when you have been playing a class for 5 or 8 or 10 years and then suddenly it feels as if you know nothing about it and are starting brand new there is something wrong, the change went to far.  This is the type of change that scares people off.  When you have invested 10 years in something there is an expectation that you know what you are talking about.  Changing an ability from instant to cast time, even if people rebelled over it, is acceptable change.  Removing a key ability that has been with your class for 10 years and adds to the flavor of the class is not acceptable change.

Over the years I have seen many players come and go.  Many that were main raiders for years that had quit return.  These are good players, smart people, could adapt to nearly everything.  But even with me and others in the guild willing to help them catch up, willing to answer all their questions, willing to make sure they did not feel lost because of all the changes, they still ended up quitting again because the game changed too much and they did not feel like playing catch up.

Change, at least sweeping large changes, are bad for the game, bad for sports teams, bad for television shows, bad for your family life, bad for your bowling team, basically bad for everything.  Change is not always a good thing, more so when it is change that changes everything.

So my question is this...

If change is the #1 reason people quit the game, why is blizzard so intent on pushing more change than we have ever seen before down our throats?

So do they actually want people to quit or is this some sort of social experiment to see how much crap you can get people to put up with before they do quit?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Random Thoughts

- For as much as the last week was a good pugging week for me, this one wasn't.

- After multiple attempts, and failures, to find a heroic archie group, I gave up and just did a normal.

- Figured what the heck, the only thing I need off archie is the neck but only if it has a gem slot and is warforged.

- For the outside chance of not only winning it, but it having not one but two rare upgrades, is it really worth putting myself through hell?

- I think not.

- If that were all I needed, maybe.

- I am weird that way.

- Went looking for gorefiend groups, took forever to find one.

- And it said, no hunters.

- Really?

- All I want to do is roll a coin, why no hunters.

- No really, why?

- Hunters are awesome on that fight.

- Mobile DPS for below, spot on target switching capability for the adds, high powered burst for feast if you save stampede.

- So I don't get it, but oh well, I will keep looking.

- Found another group, no hunters.

- Found a third, no hunters.

- Was there a memo put out that said do not invite any hunters to pugs any more and I missed it.

- I had seen one of the archie groups earlier that had that.

- Another fight it makes no sense to blackball hunters from.

- Saw a xhul that had that too.

- I always saw the occasional group not wanting hunters, but there were a lot this weekend.

- Wonder why that is.

- If you ask me, and I am not saying this just because I main a hunter, but I would take a hunter of nearly ever other class in nearly every single situation.

- The are ranged, they are mobile, they are good at target switching, good at handling special mechanics, they are the only ranged class with a taunt, they can kite, they can slow, and being they are both mobile and ranged they can easily avoid more damage that any other class.

- When it comes to a raid group, hunters are the absolute best class to have "too many" off.

- I would take a group with 6 hunters over one with 6 warriors, or 6 mages, or 6 rogues or 6 shadow priest, or 6 anything, you get the idea.

- So if you are going to have "too many" of one class the choice is a no brainer.

- You go for "too many" hunters.

- I finally got fed up with seeing no hunters I applied to one that had no hunters listed on it.

- I said, 786 ring, will do over 100K while making adds first priority, and you do not want me because I am a hunter.  Reconsider.

- I sat in there waiting for 3 minutes and got accepted.

- Just as they downed gorefiend.

- I said, thank you for the invite, but I wanted gorefiend, and left.

- Wish I had thought to do that 20 minutes earlier when I first saw that listing.

- Oh well, my timing is horrible, but I always knew that.

- Maybe a lot of the people that lead these pugs had some runs ins with bad hunters and now they shun them.

- They need to remember they are the #1 played class in the game.

- They are great soloers.

- They are great gatherer because of their pets keep mobs busy while they loot.

- The are the best questing class.

- And they have more tools that any other class in the game making them, when in the right hands, a very powerful tool.

- So being there are more hunters, the likelihood or running into a few bad apples is much greater.

- How many bad rogues have you seen in your pugs?

- I can tell you how many good ones I have seen, I can count them on one hand, and I pug often.

- Hunters are played by roughly 6 times as many players are rogues.

- So of course you will run across more bad hunters.

- I would say I have seen roughly 20 rogues recently in pugs, 2 were good, the rest sucked.

- I would say I have seen roughly 100 hunters, about half sucked.

- So that means I have seen about 50 bad hunters and 18 bad rogues.

- Does that mean, because I see more of them, hunters on average are worse than rogues?

- Hell no, look at the math.

- 90% of the rogues sucked, only 50% of the hunters did.

- So stop shunning hunters because you see more bad hunters out there.

- Of course you do, they are the most played class.

- Doesn't mean they are bad over all.

- Just that there are more of them.

- You can't just a book by its cover and you can't judge a player by their class.

- Speaking of can't judge a book by its cover, one raid leader of a heroic archie I was on really summed it up.

- We were on voice chat, because he wanted us there.

- He said, you can't judge someone my AotC, because you can buy it and buy it super cheap on many servers.

- You can't judge a player by their item level because getting to 720 is super easy.

- You can't judge a player by their ring any longer because you can buy upgrades.

- I sort of agree with him on most of that.

- Except the 720 item level thing.

- If you have bad luck, getting to 720 is near impossible.

- You read how much I raid, I just hit that.

- And I work my butt off to try to get gear, I just don't.

- So I would say, you can't judge a person by their item level either.

- My item level is low, my damage done, knowledge and execution of mechanics and damage taken are always near the best.

- One run I was in saw only someone 739 item level beat me.

- By 5K.

- And he funneled boss while I switched to adds and took the least damage myself in the entire raid.

- Can't judge a book by its cover, that is 100% true.

- Sad part is, how else do you judge people if not by kills, achievements, item level and the like?

- I wish there were a better way.

- Sadly there is not.

- I've also come to a conclusion that will have me make a blanket statement right here.

- Mind you, this is only in reference to the people I have seen.

- Anyone that wears the title "Proven Assailant" purchased it.

- I always say proving grounds is not about DPS, it is about mechanics, but that is in reference to getting bronze.

- Going for the proven assailant requires mechanics and DPS.

- And everyone I have ever had the pleasure to pug with that had that title could not fight their way out of a paper bag.

- I remember one run on the third boss I think, my pet beat a mage that has gear equal to me in total damage done.

- And no he did not die early, he lives the whole fight.

- The issue here is, I am MM and I use the lone wolf talent.

- That means I have no pet.

- I have no pet, and my pet beat him in damage done.

- For those not in the know that means stampede, a 5 minute cooldown that I used only once, did more damage in those few seconds it was there than he did in the entire fight.

- Some proven assailant he was huh?

- Lets get to some no raid random thoughts.

- I was thinking, why can't humans be druids?

- Worgen are humans.

- Worgen can be druids.

- Therefore shouldn't humans be capable of being druids?

- And don't say the curse allows them to be druids, that is beyond silly.

- Speaking of things beyond silly, when are rogues going to be available for all races.

- We already have warriors that way, hunters are joining them, so the only other physical class that has no magical abilities of any sort left is a rogue.

- There is no reason any race should not be able to be a rogue.

- Anyone can sneak around with daggers and stab someone in the back.

- Maybe gnomes would do it better than tauren, but they should still both be able to do it.

- I can understand why some races can not do some magical things.

- That makes sense.

- But the ability to pick up a dagger and stab someone with it needs absolutely no skill.

- If anything a hunter needs leaps and bounds more skill to create a bond with a create so it would willingly serve him.

- I can see some races not having that ability, yet all races will soon be able to do that.

- So all races have the, somewhat, magical ability to talk to animals, but not all of them can pick up daggers and be sneaky?

- Makes no sense.

- I rolled a character for season 5 on Diablo.

- This will be my first seasonal character.

- I only did it because I read somewhere that will be the only way to get the extra bag space.

- So I am doing it for bag space.

- It is amazing what people, like me, will do for more space to collect junk.

- I hit 70 and am at paragon level 102 now.

- Highest greater rift is 30 currently.

- I still have squat for gear, all rare pieces, 2 legendary items and one set piece on.

- Nice to see my no luck with drops is not confined to warcraft.

- That was sarcasm in case you missed it.

- I hate my luck, or lack thereof.

- I did get 3 potions already.

- On the main servers I only got 3 potions, ever, over all my characters.

- Already got three in the season.

- They must have adjusted how things drop in seasons.

- And must have adjusted experience gains.

- Because it might have been a while, but I don't recall getting to paragon level 100 in one sitting.

- From creation to paragon level 100 took 12 hours over this weekend.

- Sure a lot of time played, but I am sure nothing even remotely close to what it did originally.

- There has to be some experience boost going on with the seasons, I am sure of it.

- I did not cap out my valor this week, Diablo side tracked me this weekend.

- So I did not max out my ring as I was planning.

- Oh well, I do not think I am going to rush it this time around.

- Have to give myself something to do long term.

- Maybe level some alts and start working on their rings.

- It is a powerful item worth getting.

- It is something to think about.

- But right now, I am at a loss for what to do in game.

- But I do have good news from the guild front.

- Not sure what spurred it on but this weekend we had the return of 6 players.

- Yes, 6 players.

- Sadly three were tanks and we do not need 3 more tanks, but three were damage dealers and we are in desperate need for damage dealers.

- What are the odds of having ex raiders return this late in an expansion when the new one is nowhere near close?

- And then what are the odds of 6 of them coming back over one weekend.

- Three of those all within 5 minutes of each other.

- No, I am not kidding.

- It was awesome to see all these people return.

- It makes me actually want to run normal again to gear them up.

- Did a normal run for one returning member and as luck would have it, decked him out in a full 4 piece in one week.

- Three from normal and one from heroic.

- Sweetness, don't you think.

- At least with the returns we will finally have some people on the paladin, priest, warlock token.

- Our priest healer has been getting all of them as he is the only one in the raid that can use them.

- Allowed him to get some awesome tier pieces as he gets them all.

- And it seems they are the only ones that drop.

- Next expansion they have to lose the classes on tier pieces and just make them so anyone can roll on them.

- Nothing worse than seeing the 10th tier hands going to someone that hasn't needed them since the first when there are still a dozen people in the raid that do not even have them at all.

- They need to fix their loot drop system big time for legion.

- But right now I am not looking forward to the hell that is coming that is making me want to quit.

- I am looking forward to blowing through some normal runs for fun and to gear up some returning players.

- I needed this, I needed new life in the game.

- Returning friends did that.

- More than any content blizzard could add.

- It is the people I play with that keep me playing, it is not blizzard.

- It has not been blizzard since cataclysm.

- In truth, blizzard should be paying us, we should not be paying them.

- Because it is us, the players, that keep others playing.

- If we left, they would leave too.

- The people, the players, we are the best content blizzard has.

- We are what keep people playing, keep people engaged.

- Maybe blizzard should be paying us.

- Hey blizzard, send me an alpha invite please, thank you.

- Have a great day.