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Thursday, January 10, 2013


I want to apologize to any who follow my blog for the long absence, but I am sorry to say, this will be my last entry.  My son, born in October of 2012, passed away on January 5, 2013.  I could very easily use wow as a means to escape my pain, but I feel that would consume me, as well as leave my wife to face her pain alone.  I have instead decided to stop playing wow, so I can focus on healing with my wife together.  It was a great game, and I made many great friends playing it, but priorities change, and I feel a need to move on.  Thank you to all who took the time to share in my blog with me.  I wish the best in life for all of you.

P.S. my sons nickname was my little monkey and I chose the name for my blog because I would often look at him and say, "monkeys, monkeys, monkeys"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A needed post 5.1 Nerf Glyph

I have been really pondering as of late what the Devs at Blizzard could do to fix the monk class in 5.2, and the more I go over it, the more I feel like many issues could be handled through the addition of a couple healing centered glyphs.  (This would be good too, because currently, the mistweaver monk glyphs are not very interesting or helpful)  So below I am making a list of the glyphs I think should be added to the game in 5.2 to help compensate for the overly harsh nerf.

1. Glyph of Spreading Mists - This would be a glyph that would let our renewing mists again hit three extra targets instead of two, but with the tradeoff of a weaker renweing mist hot, and a weaker uplift.  What percent to decrease renewing mist and uplift would need to be determined by Blizzard, as they have the numbers and I do not.  In essence, this would let you choose to have fewer hots out, that hit harder and can be uplifted for greater output, or you could have more hots, that are weaker and can't be uplifted for greater output.  Thus, the healing output would remain the same, but they way you choose to put out that healing would be a player choice.

2. Glyph of Mana Sphere - this glyph would cause the chance for crit to give extra mana tea stacks, to instead have your mastery bubbles, when used, have a chance to give extra tea stacks.  Obviously Blizzard would have to tune it, but this would then allow for more of a debate between whether to use crit or mastery, and that preference could change from fight to fight, depending on how effective mastery is on the fight.

3. Glyph of Spinning Mana Tea Kick - This glyph would cause you to consume 2 mana tea stacks everytime you cast spinning crane kick (without starting the cd for Mana Tea use), but would only give 2/3 of the normal mana back. (or whatever amount would be needed so that it would tune properly).  This would make use of spinning crane kick a little less painful, because you would get some mana back, and still be able to use mana tea right afterwards since the cd wasn't used.

4. Glyph of Rushing Jade Wind - This glyph would reduce the mana cost of spinning crane kick while Rushing Jade Wind is active, but reduce its healing by x% (whatever would make it tuned properly).  This would allow spinning crane kick to again be a viable stacked aoe healing option, but not make the choice of rushing jade wind mandatory, as Xuen is still a great talent to choose.

5. Glyph of Uplifting Renewal - Every time you cast uplift, it will increase the duration of every renewing mist by two ticks, but cause uplift to heal for 20% less (or whatever number will cause the healing to balance.

I feel each of these glyphs would allow our current healing abilities to have more utility and let us choose the glyph that best fits a fight rather then choosing glyphs that have little or no efftect on how we approach a boss.  Do you have any ideas for good glyphs to help fix the Mistweaver healing class?  Add them in the comments.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alternatives to dailies...

Almost every time I have seen a blue post on the topic of why players hate dailies, the response is almost always, "What would you suggest we do instead of dailies?"  So this post intends to bring up some possible answers to that question, as well as to invite you, the reader to share your ideas as well.

First off, I will start by saying I am in the camp of people who hate dailies.  I know many people like them, but I do not.  My addictive nature causes me to view them as mandatory jobs rather then a fun option on how to play my game.  As such, I would love to see options introduced to replace dailies, preferably solutions that require less Dev time to create then dailies.  I refuse to believe that dailies are the best model.  I think they are just the easiest and most likely model to keep players logging in everyday and not unsubbing.

So now for the list of possible other options:

1. Dynamic World Boss with no grouping requirements - This one may be wishful thinking as I don't know what the programming constraints would be on such a boss, but I would love to see world bosses that don't require you to enter a raid group to fight.  These bosses would split damage amongst all players in front of them, so that multiple tanks could soak the damage.  They would have a stacking debuff everytime a player tags them (tagging doesn't make them turn grey, just makes you part of the fight) that would increase the damage they do, and if the rival faction wants to help you kill them, it is allowed.  Lastly, on PVP servers, rival faction could also choose to attack you instead of helping on the boss.  These bosses could be in lots of different areas, and offer loot equivalent to heroic dungeon gear.  (This would act as an in world equivalent to gear other then running heroic dungeons)

2. In world timed scenarios - Instead of making scenarios instanced, make bigger scale scenarios that are in world and occur at specific times.  Kinda like a bigger version of the cata launch event where every hour, a scenario starts somewhere in the game world.  The more people who join the scenario, the more AI opponents that are added to the event.  These events could include attacking a city (theramore maybe...), defending a city (Undercity), attacking on the plains of battle (arathi highlands), Wiping out demons armies (Badlands), infiltrating a strategic battle point.  These scenarios would be like pve versions of Wintergrasp or Baradin Hold.  And by having one available every hour (maybe every 15 minutes over an expansion or two, as more of these are added in), means that every time you log in, you are only a short wait away from another event.

3. In world battlegrounds - bring back pvp battles that take place in world.  Use the wintergrasp technology to balance out differing numbers of players and like the previous idea, have four different ones that cycle every hour so that there is an in world battelground every hour, but you can only do the same one once every four hours since they cycle.

4. Races - Create race courses in various real world places, let contestants pay gold to enter the race, and then the winner of the race gets a gold payout, or loot item.  These races have strict movement rules, such as:  Only mounts, only class speed boosts, just regular running, flying using your mount through obstacles, etc.  Players can stand outside the track and watch the races (much like brawler's guild) as well as betting on who they think will win (an in game oddsmaker to make bets with).  These races like previous other ideas, happen at specific plannable timetables, and must be pre-registered atleast half an hour before the event to participate.

5. Once a day (at random times), capitol attack or defense - Each capitol will be attacked by npc's once per day, and players can join their sides npcs as they attack or defend the city.  Successful repulsion of the invading forces results in a loot bag, much like scenarios.  If you are apart of the attacking city and succeed in taking out the capitals leader, you get a loot bag.  Attacking campaigns will be announced to offensive players throughout the world one hour before the attack happens.  Defending campaigns will be announced to players on the defending team, five minutes before the attack happens.  These will be sceduled to take place at peak times of play, so that in a given night, you have five chances to participate, depending on which capitol is attacked.  This will be an active pvp event, so while it is happening, low level players will need to hide in the city till it is over or leave the city (get the woman and children out of the city anyone).  There could even be a low level quest allowing low level players to assist in evacuating the city.

6. Non - expansion and patch based dailies - I know, not the best idea, but if you are gonna have dailies they need to still be viable after a new patch.  So let them keep rewarding items that are applicable to the current tier.  For example, TOC dailies granting lesser charms and valor.

I will give some thought and see if I can come up with anymore ideas, but this is my list up to this point.  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.  Hopefully, somebody from Blizzard will see this and decide to implement something other then dailies to keep us busy in game every day.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The problem when things are broken...

This weekend, I was in game, finishing my dailies on Saturday, as well as capping out on valor.  I was super excited because this is the earliest in the week I have ever capped out my valor.  I started for the first time Since Mists of Pandaria dropped, to think about what alt I would like to play the rest of the week.  Once I valor capped, I logged off, so that my wife could use the computer.  While she was doing the stuff she needed to, I finally decided to level my priest from 85-90 (or atleast start this weekend), mainly because he can disenchant, and I could use the mats.

When my wife finished, she shut the computer down and went back to taking care of our baby.  When I turned the computer back on to get going with my priest, the computer turned on, but the monitor stayed in sleep mode.  Thinking maybe a connection was loose, I checked all the
connections.  Nothing there.  Then I thought maybe the monitor was dead so I hooked it up to my tv (only other monitor I had to test the connection).  Nothing there.  Then I searched online, and got either no information, or so much information that who knows what to do with it.  Nothing there.  About this time, I gave up, determined to look for a fix on Sunday.

I still have a couple aces up my sleeve, but it is looking more and more unlikely that I will be able to get my computer running again.  Also, money is tight, so it is going to be a while before I can afford a new one, and so now I sit, playing the waiting game, and feeling guilty, because this will likely affect my guild's progress negatively (not because I am irreplaceable, but because my replacement is seriously undergeared).

With all the extra time I now had in the weekend, I started thinking about my Monk, and how much I would miss playing him. (My wife was secretly happy...a break from the raiding schedule)  Then I thought of the gambit of emotions I went through post 5.1.  More then a few times I referred to my class as broken, both in this blog and with people I talked to about it.  And to a certain degree, he is, but he is still playable, and my performance didn't drop so much as to necessitate replacing me.  I just gotta try harder, and be a little better.

Hopefully I can get my computer running, even if not well, because I can deal with broken, as long as it is functionable...

P.S.  If I can't get my computer fixed, then this blog might be taking a little vacation until I can get a new one.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why I am grateful for Blizzard (Thanks Shy at Wow)

I was pretty bored today, and didn't have any new blogs to read, so I started going through the archives of some of my favorite blogs, specifically to see how their blogs started and eveolved over time.  It was actually quite an enjoyable experience.  Then I came across a post that made me stop, and come back to my blog to add a new post.  I must apologize to Shy at Wow for stealing her idea, but I felt like my response was too much to be a comment on hers, and was also important enough to be seen rather then buried in the comment section of a blog written years earlier.  Her blog post focused on the reason she loved Blizzard, and that is what I intend to do to.  (One of the comments thanked Blizzard because if they hadn't made this game, they would not have made some of the really good friends they have made in game...I was just kinda touched by that one, and it is it will be one of my reasons too)

1.  For only making GREAT games. 
     I have been playing Blizzard games clear back to Warcraft I, and I have loved every one.  They all became the "picture of excellence" in that genre.  I appreciate that they never rush out a crap game to make quick money, but instead wait until it is good enough to be the best game around of that genre.  They kind of remind me of Pixar with their movies, or disney during the Little Mermaid to Lion King span.  It is refreshing to see a company that puts making a great game above making money, and ironically enough, they have proven making a great game results in more money anyways, so thank you.

2. Starcraft open play maps
    Many an hour was spent in college playing rpg games built using the starcraft engine.  I still remember the epic William Wallace battle, played out with starcraft troops, as well as the well designed Matrix game, also played out with Starcraft troops.  It was such an simple concept letting users make their own maps, and yet, that is the brilliance of Blizzard, using player input to make their games better.

3. Diablo II (enough said)
    Diablo II is still my favorite game I ever played, and the cinematics in it still give me chills.  The story was the first game I ever played that had a story that made me emotionally connected to a game (I know, I am a nerd) but it was just a great game on every level, and every so often, I still go back and dabble in it a bit.

4. Patience
    Sometimes it is frustrating when there is a problem with a blizzard game and it seems to take them forever to fix it, but referring back to number one, they don't rush to fix problems and potentially break the game worse (with only a few exceptions).  They instead endure the constant abuse from the trolls, and fix it in their own time and in the right way.  I am grateful they are patient and choose to fix things right, instead of quick.

5. Friends
    I am not social by my very nature (I am an aspergers adult and so making friends is not the easiest thing to me.  I am very grateful that they created a way for me to do my favorite thing, play video games, and make it easy to make friends while I am at it.  I have some close friends who are my friends because of this game, but will continue to be my friends even when this game ends.

6. Saving me money
    I used to buy atleast one, somtimes two console games a month, prewow.  Since I started playing WOW three years ago, I have bought three console games total.  So, while $15 a month may seem like a lot, the way I devour games, it has saved me hundreds of dollars.

Blizzard is a model of how companies should be run, gaming or otherwise.  It is not coincedence that their games are always the best, and thanks to them, gaming as a whole has improved.  For every wow killer out there, there has been a game that was great, not because of what they did, but because of what they learned from WOW.  Without WOW, the current MMO genre of games would not be nearly as good as they are.

A Loyal Customer!

A pleasant turn of events...Good Dailies!

With patch 5.1, came lots of new content to keep World of Warcraft players busy, but I have to be honest...every time I read "new dailies" in the patch notes, I would cringe, knowing that I would again feel forced (not actually forced...but my competitive spirit basically means I am forced) to do more dailies.  They sounded like a decent story for dailies, but I gotta be honest, I have yet to have a set of dailies I enjoyed doing.  The closest was the firelands dailies, due to the good story, but even those got old real quick.

I feel like the shieldwall dailies are the best Blizzard has ever done, and for a very different reason then most would expect.  It has nothing to do with the actual quests...THEY SUCK as much as the others.  It instead has to do with an adjustment they made to the story telling process that has evolved from firelands dailies to golden lotus dailies, to now shieldwall dailies.  So what is this change that make maddeningly repetitive quests actually is more frequent story tie-ins that are not told through the daily quests themselves.

If you are like me, when you do dailies, it is all about how to finish the objectives as quickly as possible.  As a result, I never pay attention to the stories in the actual dailiy quests.  In the golden lotus quests, the only story I got was the quest chain you did inbetween each level of rep.  These were great quest chains, but seeing a new story every week or two, makes the story feel disconnected and confusing.

With the shield wall quests, they have these quest chains multiple times inbetween each level of rep.  As a result, I have a fun quest chain every 2-3 days.  These quest chains keep me coming back day by day because I want to see the next piece of the story. They occur frequently enough that I don't lose interest, and they let me interact with key players in the World of Warcraft world, so I feel like the true hero I should be.

Shieldwall is the first set of dailies I enjoyed doing on a daily basis, but it wasn't because the quests are fun, it is because the cool story quest I got two days ago, is fresh in my mind, and driving me to get to the next one.  This is good story development and good daily development.

Don't get me wrong, I wish they would create quests that are more fun, and less punishing if there happens to be lots of people around you doing the same quests, but if they can continue the trend towards dailies that reward you with a new storyline quest every 2-3 days, then I will drastically change my opinion on dailies.  If every rep I was grinding pre 5.1 had used this same model, I still would have hated having to do that many dailies, but I would have enjoyed doing them a lot more.

So here is to Blizzard learning from this model and continuing on with it.  Maybe after a few more patches of these kind of dailies, I will look at the patch notes, see "new dailies" and give a silent cheer instead of a groan at what is to come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wrathion Quest Line

This last weekend, I finally got my +500 intellect wrathion gem (I know, pretty sad it took so long, but I did lose a month at the beginning of the expansion to work towards it).  I still wish I had a +500 spirit gem option as I would totally use that and then gladly pay 10k gold when I finally have enough spirit on gear to not need spirit anymore (I love you 5.1 mana hotfix), but with that said, 500 intellect is still really nice, and I am glad I have it.

Getting that gem made me think it would be fun to do a post on my feelings for the whole Wrathion questline to date, so here goes...

First off, I know that for many of the wow player base, Wrathion is not well liked.  But for me, I think his character is awesome.  I love that I don't know whether he is good or evil.  The badlands quests while leveling that detail his orgin story are still in my opinion, the best quests in whole game. (if you haven't done them, go to badlands, and do all the quests there, you won't regret it...I hope)  Also, he just seems to brim with amazing power.  I was really jealous of rogues in Dragon Soul, because I wanted to do that quest.  I would watch videos about it, and it just looked like one of the coolest questlines ever made, especially for a legendary.

That was why I was so excited when I heard he would have a legendary questline for all players in MOP.  Finally, I could get a chance to interact with the character that is quickly becoming one of my favorites in all of World of Warcraft.  I think World of Warcraft's biggest problem was that they were running out of Warcraft 3 story lines to use for their current story, and by showing they can create new heros and lore, like Wrathion, they have shown that they can move forward.

Many people complain about the gating of the quests.  True, collecting sigils and gathering 6000 VP takes a lot of time, but again, this is a legendary quest, so I don't mind.  In fact, they could make it longer, and I would be fine with it, because I am just happy I get to be apart of it.  The story and cinematics have been really fun, and I feel like I am making a connection with Wrathion, which is critical to story building, whether they choose to make him a hero or villian.  (I think of the Drakuru storyline in Wrath, another great quest chain, where you come to care for the character, thus making his betrayal that much harder to handle, and making his death that much more vindicating).  I imagine the same will happen with Wrathion.  Either he will be a friend I fight with in many epic battles, or he will be the friend who I live long enough to see become my enemy.  Either way, I am invested, personally, because I am developing a relationship with him in this quest.

There is still a lot to come, and who knows where the story will go from here, but I must say, one of the things I am most excited about each time I log, is building a bit more progress towards the wrathion questline.

The Wrathion questline is DAILY QUESTING DONE RIGHT.  If dailies were more like his questline, I wouldn't mind doing them so much, because I would want to get on each day and see what will come next.  Also, if you can't get on for a couple days, you are not way behind, because you can still catch up before the end of the week.  (A side note on dailies, you could fix it by letting players pool quests from one day to another if you can't get on that day...just saying...also true for dungeons when you could get the daily bonus seven times a week, still think it is dumb they got rid of that)

So overall rundown, I think Wrathion is one of the best things they have done for the game in this expansion, and while it does have some negative issues, it is still just downright cool.  I am so glad it is in the game, and can't wait until I unlock the next phase of the questchain.

P.S. And for all the haters who say it is bad because it takes too long...don't forget...this is a legendary questline.  If you don't want the legendary, then don't worry about doing it.  I would much rather have it take a long time and be legendary, then be quick, but lame.