Archive for the 'World of Warcraft' Category

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Timing is Everything: Awaiting Cataclysm

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Blizzard has prided itself on being a company that doesn’t release a product until it’s ready.  I’ve always been respectful of that, and I think it has a lot to do with their success.  If you release a product on time but unfinished, you lose some credibility.

But have they taken simply too much time preparing for the release of Cataclysm?

I’ve been a pretty big fan of the Wrath of the Lich King philosophy of 10/25 mans and hard modes, a clever way to allow everyone a chance to see all of the story-driven content, while still giving the more hardcore players a chance to feel special.  I would have loved to be able to see all the content in The Burning Crusade, but that was not in the cards for someone with a relaxed play style like me.  Now I’ve been able to kill the Lich King, even if it was only with 9 other people on regular mode.  Unfortunately, a downside to this mechanism is that you don’t get the same epic feeling when killing an old boss in a new way.

I look back on my post about Anticipation for WotLK, and my view was almost completely the opposite.  I didn’t want Wrath to come out because The Burning Crusade was still keeping me quite occupied! Now, I feel like this expansion has let my interests wander.

It’s been so long since Icecrown Citadel was released that pretty much everyone who was going to kill the Lich King has killed the Lich King, in one way or another.  There are plenty of people who are still working on hard modes, but a lot of us have decided that instead of seeing the same old bosses several nights a week for 9 months straight, it’s a good time to play some other games.  And while there is no harm in that, the longer Blizzard leaves us to play other games, the less chance there is for us to be brought back in for Cataclysm.  By letting us realize, “Hey, there’s a whole other world out here!” and “Quitting WoW isn’t that bad, actually.” They’ve lost a lot of loyalty.  I have no doubt that a lot of people will return to the game for Cataclysm, but I think the longer Blizzard waits to release it, the less committed the players will be to sticking around.

I never had any intention of not playing World of Warcraft this summer, it just happened.  I’d realize I just hadn’t logged in in weeks; I’d actually forgotten about the game.  And in a way, that kind of “quitting” is much worse for Blizzard than a forced quit, when someone still wants to play but has to stop.  My list of other games to play is growing so much that I almost dread having to commit my gaming time to playing Cataclysm when it’s released.

What I’m trying to say is: Blizzard better knock this expansion out of the park if they hope to regain the devotion they had during the prime of Wrath of the Lich King.

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Fun Guild Event 7: Themed Screenshot Contests

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

With how slow things are getting in the game right now while everyone is impatiently awaiting the Cataclysm, it’s the perfect time to bolster your guild’s cohesiveness with some fun guild events!  You can check out the list of fun guild events I wrote last year, or try this new one I’m adding to it: 

Themed Screenshot Contests

 This contest is perfect for this time of the season, because even your guildies who have temporarily suspended their accounts could participate if they’ve saved up some decent screenshots, and it can keep your guild forums active during downtime.

 What you need to do is come up with some sort of theme appropriate to your guild.  Some ideas are:

  • Best guild moment (maybe an important achievement or boss kill)
  • Best guildie mistell (because we all SS them for blackmail purposes, right?)
  • Screenshot of a suggested “guild headquarters/hideout” (good opportunity to explore all the cool hidden places that might be gone soon!)
  • Screenshot of “Guildiewhodiesalot” dead in some awkward/funny position or situation

 If you get some solid interest, I suggest turning this into a monthly contest!  Schedule the first 3 weeks of the month for submitting screenshots and allow the last week for voting.  Of course, prizes are great motivators.  Depending on your situation I might suggest a game timecard, a pet/mount from the Blizzard Pet Store or the right to redesign the guild tabard for the next month.

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Twitter-sized Updates (a.k.a. Surviving the Lull)

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

It’s that time again!  That time when the current content starts to feel a bit stale, and all anyone can think about is the new expansion that is just barely over the horizon.  Also, summer.  I hear there’s sunshine and fun to be had outside, or something.  *shrug*   

So what’s a blogger to do?  I could write about all the breaking news from the Cataclysm Beta that’s been coming out, but I am actually trying to avoid spoilers and wait to see it all myself when the time comes.  I could rehash all my random dungeon adventures, but after a while they seem to all become the same story.

The blogging desire is still within me.  Quite often I’ll sit down with a blank text box open and just try to type something.  But there is very little inspiring to write about right now!  I’m determined not to give up, and I don’t consider my blog abandoned, but I am just waiting for that divine intervention to start flowing through my fingertips.

Until then, I will try to post at least once a week.  It might not be particularly inspired or helpful, but maybe it’ll give me a chance to keep my writing muscles in shape, and even give you a nice break from all the “ZOMG LOOK AT THIS STUFF IN THE BETA!”

Today, I will post Twitter-sized updates on various aspects of my life:

Raiding: Got to 10/12 in H ICC before our 10-man guild dwindled to a 3-man. Other games and activities have put us on a summer/pre-Cata hiatus.

Brajana: With no one to conquer raids with, my hunter is taking her own personal hiatus. Probably won’t see Ruby Sanctum at all! :(

Kaeira: My Prot Paly hit 80! Geared up and making it through Heroics. I make a fine tank, if I do say so myself! Still scared of raids though…

New Alts: Finally got a rogue past level 12! Hoppi the gnome (20) has been my new focus, in a friend’s guild where people actually still play.

Other games: Got a bit carried away with Steam’s sales. I’ve got a list of games to keep me busy such as Mass Effect 1&2, Torchlight, World of Goo!

Real life: Started a new job a few weeks ago. Adjusting to the un-unemployed life slowly… less recreation time, but the paycheque makes up for it.

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Personal WoW Census: Armory App

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The WoW Armory iPhone app has proven quite useful for me – allowing me to update my raid event status on the fly, mostly.  But what I’ve found especially interesting is the ability to look at a list of all my characters – even the ones on my old, inactive account and the ones below level 10.  As you might know, I am quite an alt-o-holic.  I love playing around on the character creation screen and running through those quick first few levels.  I got curious to see if my attitude about favourite class/race panned out with my actual playing statistics, so I looked into the details.

I’ve removed all bank alts and counted Death Knight levels as if 55 is level 1, and compiled some fun facts:

  • Total characters: 28
  • Total levels: 684
  • Average level: 24.4
  • Most played class (by total levels): Paladin (3 characters, 166 levels)
  • Most played class (by total characters): Hunter (5 characters, 141 levels)
  • Least played class (both): Rogue (1 character, level 11)
  • Most played race (by total levels): Gnome (5 characters, 131 levels)
  • Most played race (by total characters): Draenei (7 characters, 41 levels)
  • Least played race (both): Human (0 characters)
  • The highest Draenei I’ve ever played made it to level 13.
  • Although I’ve got 4 Shaman, the highest one is level 7.
  • I’ve never gotten a Death Knight out of the starting area, although I’ve rolled 3 of them.
  • I have 6 characters that are level 11.  That is the “make-it-or-break-it” level for my alts.
  • Despite my race preferences, I have the same number of Night Elves as Trolls: 1 each.
  • I have more Alliance characters than Horde characters! *GASP*

See, wasn’t that fun?  Have you noticed any interesting patterns in your alts?

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Raiding the Screenshot Folder

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

With over 1500 screenshots saved to my WoW/Screenshots folder over the last 5 years, I decided to go back and pick out a few I haven’t yet shared on Mend Pet.  I’ve narrowed it down to 1% of my most interesting shots and posted them in chronological order!

Since it’s such a giant list of images, I’m adding a click-through for once.  So click and enjoy!

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