Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Random thoughts on Cataclysm

I have to say, so far I'm thoroughly enjoying Cataclysm. I love the start areas and the quest lines that while it might still be kill 10 rats, etc., at least seem to have more meaning.  I've not completed the 80-85 zones yet, as I've been enjoying the start areas, and have done the Troll, Goblin, Tauren, Worgen, but still want to do the new Gnome one. I've heard the others are improved but haven't done those either.  Couple years for the next expansion so there's time right?

I like Thrall's new look -but the braids are a bit scary. I did finish all the books prior to Cataclysm's release, and the Shattering tied in nicely with all the transformations that occurred.  Hellscream as a leader, hmm, he's more aggressive, but adds to the tension between the Alliance and Horde now.   I did find Varian Wyrnn referring to himself as Lo'Gosh too interesting and glad to see Anduin has aged too.

Even the changes to the cities are great.  Orgrimmar I've been lost in so many times (no flying on lowbies PiA), but it feels more 'Horde-like' than before.  Stormwind has been changed, but not to the same degree - the park and all is nice, and yeah on multiple Inns, AH and banks in both cities.

My favorite zone so far, definitely the Goblin.  Blizzard went over the top with this one and it's great.  Deathwing torching Kazan, to all the changes in Azshara, just fun.

  The Worgen start area, I love the feel and the story-line, but Worgen themselves - I can't play them!  All that sniffing/snuffling noise I find annoying to the max.  I did roll a female Worgen, but after 10 levels realized I was getting motion sickness with her movement.  Rerolled a male, slightly better, but still no love for the race as it stands. I even made a druid so I could avoid much of the Worgen movement.  He's on the delete list.  Their running reminds me of a dog with rabies or someone with Tourettes - no thanks.  The Darkshore quests are much improved though.

This quest in Silverpine Forest made me laugh.  (spoiler don't read if you haven't done it, just go talk to High Executor Darthalia.), the quest line continues into Hillsbrad - what a zone change there!  Silverpine>Hillsbrad you really get a feel for Sylvanas has lots of ideas, mostly involving everyone joining her as Forsaken.

I hope they have something similar on the Alliance side, but I don't have any low level Alliance at the moment to find out.

I have been consolidating my main characters on one server, both Horde and Alliance, so quickly running out of slots, but once I've done what I want with them they can move elsewhere or /delete!

I have heard healing is awful at the higher levels, so I guess the priest and druid are going to stay DPS only for now.  I'm re-learning the Priest anyway after a year off, so have an excuse. : P

The new server is an RP one, and I've always wanted to try that aspect of the game, so new game new server!  I'm not sure I 'get' RP completely, but going to give it a shot.  A couple of the Horde characters have found a guild, now to find an Alliance one.

It is odd though to be on a non PvP server, it's is a whole 'nother animal.  Kind of odd to see the opposition out in the world and not kill them or be killed.  Although my Hunter did run across a few 'red' Hordies in Ashenvale and felt obliged to end their life.  My Night Elf's, a bit sentimental to the changes in Ashenvale and definitely no love of Trolls or Orcs.

So all in all, I'm loving WoW, I think Blizzard overall did a great job with this expansion.

As my blogging has been sporadic at best, going to wish everyone a wonderful New Year and a great 2011.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


WoW-Pro, administered by Jame has been a great tool and reference for me over the years.  The people that contribute leveling guides, tips and tools have done an awesome job.  As it is basically player contributed and maintained (and FREE!), I'd highly recommend checking it out.

This is from their FAQ Intro:

Welcome to World of Warcraft Pro. We are a platform for WoW-Players to exchange self-written guides, free of charge. Our guide books are a compilation of all guides submitted by the WoW-pro memberbase. We will try to answer all questions about functioning, features and troubleshooting here, however if you still have questions, you can always contact us through the contact form.

I've not tried the Wow-Pro Addon written by Jiyambi yet, but I'm planning to roll a new character on a PvE server and follow it exactly sometime after Cataclysm launchs.

I know the quest circuits I've followed in other leveling guides on WoW-Pro have been great. Each ten level section, builds off previous levels (they can be done at any time though), and cuts down the endless running back and forth you do while questing while maximizing your leveling XP.    

I've also used their guides to make sure I've collected ALL the quests that pertain to an instance, although with Cataclysm changes I'm not sure that will be such a chore.

If you've never been to Wow-Pro, check it out. 

Change a light bulb?

How many forum members does it take to change a light bulb?

One to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

Seven more to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

Three to correct spelling/grammar errors.

Six to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb".

Another six to condemn those six as stupid.

Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give the correct spelling.

Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb (or 
light bulb) forum.

Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this group.

Thirty six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL.

Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

Thirteen to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too".

Five to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.
Four to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"

Thirteen to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs."

Three to tell a funny story about their cat and a light bulb.

One group lurker to respond to the original post six months from now with something unrelated and start it all over again. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things to do while Windows 7 installs.

I've had Windows 7 sitting around for four months waiting to upgrade from Windows XP on my gaming PC.  I have it for the work one too (Vista), but have not wanted the whole 'reinstall' everything task.  Yesterday for some odd reason was the DAY.  Backed up everything to the external HD, downloaded and installed Win 7, and then began the arduous task of reinstalling software.

I had read somewhere that I should put the 'biggest' programs on first. Something about the way it filled the HD. So, monster one MMO - WoW is first in line.  I've been having issues with WoW since patch 4.0.1, so decided to just bite the bullet and do a complete fresh install.  Oh what a joy this has been. 

I had forgot how many times an un-tended PC will decide to 'update' itself.  At least three times I came to find that had occurred, and what I had assumed to be continuous WoW downloading had in fact NOT happened!  ARGH!  

So, I've been MMO free all weekend, but we're down to the final Cataclysm stretch of updates - another 5GB to go!  

Then the rest of the MMO stable will get installed this week (LoTRO & EQ2 for now) as well as Curse and Steam. 

Too keep myself entertained, I first flirted with the idea of playing on the Xbox but instead watch Bounty Hunter (movie), really bad and not worth the time.  Then I guilted myself into putting in some time in on the NaNoWriMo thing.  I'm not going to ding 50K words this month, as I've barely scratched 9K.  Too much of what I've written feels disjointed. Nothing novelish about it.  It has the same characters but more short story adventure compilation in feel than one continuous story.  I want to go back and edit it, but figure getting it all out would be better now.  Editing can wait!  My goal with NaNoWriMo, is to try to get more discipline in writing period.  My website and blogs have long dry spells as I don't 'protect' my writing time.  If I can get that down, 50K words or not I'll consider this a success!

I've also been reading up on the lore from WoW after locating an excellent resource on the book order on the WoW forums and an even better one over at LoreCrafted.  Wonderful site btw as I have a secret yearning to RP, but turn into a stammering idiot every time I've tried.  I love to read the writing of RPers and listen to what/how they do it.  

The novel chronology has helped as I've found what appears to be the chronological order isn't, and read War of the Ancient's Trilogy - assuming it was first - not!.  So, I'm going to follow this guide and hopefully get up to the Shattering before Catacylsm is released in a month!

I'm really finding it fascinating and want to start a new level 1 Horde (or maybe a DK to just do the Outlands areas I've been reading about), as now much of that makes sense as to the how's and why's of Outland's areas.

Fortunately both Amazon and iBooks stores have many of the WoW novels to download, so Rise of the Horde on the iPad was a quick read.  I'd love to feel for the Horde (I do a bit, especially at the loss of their lifestyle), but being Alliance at heart - poor Draenei!  

Headed back to read more about Medivh and Khadgar, but had to check the PC hadn't found a new update it had to install!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Top 10 Cataclysm wishes

As we're all eagerly waiting for Cataclysm next month, I was thinking about changes I'd like to see -

1.  Drop an elemental on the brat, William, in Stormwind so that Donna can have her dolly, Betsy, back!

2.  People that roll on a PvP server actually liked and participated in world PvP.  Why did they start on a PvP server in the first place?

3.  Female character gear that is stylish and/or functional, yet doesn't scream 'I'm working the red-light district'!  Bustiere armor? Cute cut-outs on their legs? Daisy Duke shorts? Ugh.

4.  Hunter pets stay out with hunters while mounted.  Where do they go?  I can see not making them usable (grey out their action bar) until you've dismounted, but, why aren't they out all the time?

5.   Stackable tabards or a tab for all of them.  The same for all the 'holiday' clothing.  How do RPer's manage? I have at least two bags of clothing and stuff for holidays and I'm not on an RP server! Plus tabards I can't re-buy but don't wear hogging bank space.

6.  Crafting materials stack to at least 20 - all of them.  Mojo, teeth, core of this, elemental of that, essence of whatever - all those odd things that we have to use that still stack to 5-10 - bigger stacks!  Better yet mats - cloth, flowers, metals, stone that stock to 50-100.

7.  Get rid of the 'useless' stuff we have to craft to level.  Either give it a value/reason to be made or remove it from the game.

8.  Have reasons for people to go to Exodar and Silvermoon City other than jewelers or ERPers.  They're distinct and beautifully designed cities. But such ghost towns and basically pointless except for people in the start areas.

9.  NPC's that 'attack' the neighboring city/community that people could join and PvP with even on non-PvP servers.  These are two factions that have a deep distrust and hate, right?  Why don't they ever attack each other?

10.  Ideally what I'd love, love, love.  A shared bank for your characters of the same faction on a realm.  Separate bag slot for BoP gear, but money, materials, etc., could be stored in one bank.  Most of us have 'guilds' to have bank alts use.  I'd pay the same amount NOT to have to form a darn guild and have it accessible by ALL my characters without having to mail stuff all the time.

I'm sure I could drone on, but I said 10 so 10 it is!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's your UI causing the problem

What annoys the heck out of me and I've been opening a ticket every day with support is the constant d/c in battlegrounds and the feeling that I'm in a beta test that shouldn't be a beta test.

I get d/c'd at least once a day and come back as a deserter - WTF???  I never leave a BG, ever.  Even the truly terrabad ones, I will stay.  I've left maybe three in three plus years as it was an emergency call, otherwise I will stick it out.  I might be swearing at the PC screen but I stay.

Then there is miscounting the number of people in WSG  - Blizzard's interface or whatever can't recognize 9-11?  That isn't 10-10 sorry!  It might be 20, but it's not the right way to count it!   Not recording stats in the leader board - half the time people are missing or there are surprise 11 in Warsong Gulch on one side or another!

This doesn't happen every WSG (never in EoTS, AB, etc.,) but apparently my UI is the issue. Some how randomly it is.  So, I wasn't surprised with getting the "It's your UI that is causing all the problems" response.

Get stuck in a wall, fall through the earth, d/c, whatever it's always your UI.

To be fair, I'd like to think maybe that is the problem. I do use a number of Add ons, (updated daily with Curse Client); BUT, my UI can't add extra people to either side or not let that 10th person in on either side nor can it boot me out as a deserter! If so, there are some players I'd gladly use that on!

I was going to try a couple of WSG with just the basic Blizzard provided UI and then if I get booted, see what they have to say.  I'm sure it will be "reload the game" or "it's your graphics card" or ?  ARGH!

As excited as I am for Cataclysm, knowing the continual borked game we'll have to play with for next two months with patches, updates and fixes, makes me almost wish it was January and all will be playable... for awhile at least!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Class changes love 'em... in general!

As I'm sure many have, I've been 'adjusting' to the 4.0.1 patch in World of Warcraft, that changed so much of the game.

Most of them I'm absolutely fine with, especially BM hunter finally being all that it should be, at least for the next month.


  • I can learn about focus over mana. Why did Hunter's ever have mana anyway? 
  • I love no more arrows, although I wish they'd have implemented an 'arrow' drop in Instances, much like other weapons so we'd have different level of arrows, just not have to constantly purchase them.
  • Twenty pet slots - w00t!  Five to carry around even better!
  • If they'd let our pets level in BG's I'd be over the moon.  Why don't they get XP in BGs? Or just level with us?
  • I'm still toying with spec's on the Hunter as I've never really developed a feel for Survival, but may give it a try just to do it.

I just dual spec'd from Affliction to Affl/Dem and have been playing Demo the past week or so in BG's.  OMG do I love it.  Death Knights and Warriors are much more manageable now - lol!

  • Love my Felguard's axe toss
  • No more Soul Shard bags and not using to summon demons, etc. YEAH!
  • Soul Burn is pretty sweet

I've not played her much (about a level so far), but the changes don't seem overly dramatic.

Taking away tree form was cruel.  Shortening it to an ability/spell unfair!  That and the new model I find hideous.  They don't want us to stand out in battlegrounds - make an ugly huge tree with a gaping mouth why not.  Definitely will keep people out of tree form!

The new graphic for Eclipse I know should be helpful, but I tend to spend more time looking at that and trying to maximize either Arcane or Nature damage, I know my DPS suffers.  Apparently a Solar Eclipse lasts a long time. He's been in one for days - no fighting just doing other stuff.

Death Knight:
I'll admit the runes thing I find a bit WTF?  I definitely need to spend time on my rotation and watch the runes.  Definitely tired of 'it's not ready yet', but I haven't spent much time on the DK, so definitely not in sync with if it's better or worse.

They seem to be even more OP in battlegrounds than ever before, but I can live with it, if they don't two shot me they're going down! LOL!  I know they're OP when my level 31 is high on damage and HK, that's not right, but I can live with that too!

Reading the changes to Rage, makes me want to try one again.  I've failed twice, getting to level 20-something then deleting in frustration.  Who knows.

I've respec'd and dual talented a couple of characters (the Shaman, Warlock, Hunter and Druid are now), half a level on the Pally and we'll try Holy/Ret.  I've somewhat enjoyed learning or relearning how to play each class.  I still haven't spent time on the Priest or Mage, but plan to squeeze them in this month.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cataclysm is coming

Cataclysm is a little over a month away and the Pre-Orders are available at the various stores. Amazon, Gamestop, Newegg.com, Best buy, Walmart, etc., all have this expansion listed for sale at the standard $39.99.  This seems to be the best price point for new MMO's and relative to a movie out with snacks or a light meal pretty comparable!

Blizzard is offering a digital download which I'm finding very tempting, as the minute servers go live you can play.  No worries about software out of stock, not shipped, etc.  So that may be the route I'll go, but...

Then there is the Collector's Edition.  It's running $79 to upwards of $185 on different sites.  So, the question is do I really NEED the CE?  The soundtrack would be cool, and I do have some of the ToC cards. Lil Deathwing - very cute - the pet collector in me says want him.

Worth an extra $40?

I don't know.  Possible.  It's a want over a need most certainly.

I do consider that the price difference between the standard and CE is close to three months subscription of another MMO or a new game.  So, I guess I'll decide over the weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WoW Heads of Sacramento

The WoW Meetup Group has been resurrected.  Now called the Wow Heads of Sacramento, they're having their first MeetUp, Friday night, October 29th.

If you're in the Greater Sacramento area, check it out - WoW Heads of Sacramento.

Monday, August 23, 2010

EQ2 Extended

I Alpha tested EQ2X (Extended) Sony's free to play (F2P) model, which was fun shop the Marketplace with an unlimited wallet of Station Cash (SC).  So, I bought a mount, appearance gear and ginormous bags - fun spending other people's money, even virtual money.
So, I jumped in the beta version, and have put a few hours in so far at the 'FREE' bronze membership level. I rolled a half elf Templar in New Halas, a class and zone I'm unfamiliar with so thought it would make it more of a 'new game' feel.  I will admit it's great seeing the lowbie zones full of people.  Having 7 to 14 instances open of New Halas, pretty cool!  Will this taper off in the coming weeks?  Good question.

The streaming seems to be quite good, as I've had very little stuttering or slowing of the game - watching the weird little dinosaur march is different.  I've even upped my graphics to maximum quality (see photo below), which is like playing in slow motion at any time, but what a gorgeous world! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Moonlight Enchantments

Now I've been playing EQ2 on and off for a few years now, and I don't know when this was added - Moonlight Enchantment .  I just happened to notice the dot on my map a few weeks ago and promptly forgot about it until someone mentioned it in Level 1-9 chat (the equivalent of WoW trade at times).
So, I had to investigate. 

Ah ha! 

This is were the pricey house items (exotic plants, seashells and sand) for aquarium building comes from!  I did not know this before and I've been spending quite a bit of plat buying plants, etc.!

Needless to say the 20-21st will be booked on all characters for the foreseable future.

I did pick up the unicorn mounts on two of my characters - 20 charges each - to replace their regular mount and as an alternative to the dire bear.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blizzard and Real ID

It's been talked to death on Twitter, Facebook and a myriad of gaming forums.  The diverse view I find interesting, as I'm in the Real ID is bad camp, so I'm having a hard time relating to the "it's a good thing" camp, including some of my real life friends.

The premise for Real ID, being able to contact your friends across the different Battle.net games, I don't have a problem with at all.  But what's so wrong with a user name like every other Forum (I don't care what it's about gaming, gardening, politics, etc.,) on the Internet.  In every other instance you have the option of how much of your real identity you CHOSE to share. You can decide if you want your real name, address, photo, whatever, or not.

That's what I have a problem with - no choice.

I want control.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Falling through the earth

Bithia fell through the acorn lift in Faydark.  
I expected her to crash to her death, but she floated down.
and right through the world. 
I've never seen this in EQ2, but have done this a few times in Wow.

Apparently transporting her to a safe zone was the start the Fae start area.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Return to EQ2

I'm an ardent fan of Everquest2 (EQ2 or EQII).  I've dabbled in other online games and PC and console RPG games (favorites being Baldur's Gate and Champions of Norrath) over the years, including playing EQ the original. But life, time commitment and my PC at the time, it wasn't a wonderful or long lasting experience.  (I did give WoW a try before EQ2, but that's a whole 'nother story - took three times to get hooked on WoW-crack!)

Qeynos viewed from Antonica

My official start date playing EQ2 is December 6, 2006 according to Sony.  It doesn't seem that long ago, considering I've still never max leveled a character (highest is right at 70 with 20 levels to go!), but I'm one of those that considers the journey more fun than the destination, i.e. raiding isn't my thing!  Casual raiding with the guild, yes I can do that. Hardcore, bleeding edge, have to be first in the new content has no appeal.  The years I've spent in EQ2, I've created, leveled to the 30-40ish range a few character then sent them along to toon heaven, which I'm sure is some sort of MMO ADD.  I like to jump around and have never considered one character my 'main' over the others.  The main is whichever I'm enjoying playing at that particular moment!
Freeport from the Commonlands

My adoration with EQ2, has been sporadic at best after the first year. New MMO's came out that I had to try - LoTRO, Warhammer, AoC, Free Realms, Dragonica, All Points Bulletin to name a few.  Along with a few F2P games, many other beta trials, Wrath in WoW; PC games, and adding another console (Xbox) to the mix.  That's just the gaming part of an already very busy life (married with children and running my own business).

During my wandering to new games, I've popped in an out of EQ2 when I could or felt the urge. I pay annually for my favorite, so its always there. An online security blanket, much your favorite well worn clothes that you always go back to when the new stuff loses it's newness!

Fortunately, I'm in a wonderful guild on the Blackburrow server that has patiently allowed me to exist in my flaky attendance. The teasing is always gentle, with my erradic playing. But it's wonderful to have such a welcoming and forgiving group to come back to.

Being back has been an adjustment.  The world has changed again with new zones (I've never completed all of Kunark, let alone Shadow Odyssey and now Sentinels Fate).

  • More world events, - monthly city festivals, Tinkerfest coming up, lots of fun world things to do if you have a mind too.
  • More new factions than I even know of at this point
  • Changes to the AA (achievement abilities) - specing my characters has been a bit of guesswork and some Forum reading, I'm still not sure I've got them right, so we'll see! 
  • New player housing - I love the housing in New Halas, but was surprised with the addition of housing in the mage tower and guild halls in Freeport - took forever to find that (no easy task on Qeynosians btw!). 
  • Insta-travel with spires and druid rings everywhere, not to mention the World Bell.  It's much easier in many ways, although I don't want to be one of those "back in my day we had to walk all the way to ...".  I prefer to look at the new travel options as just that - options.  I can still chose to take the boat, griffon, or hike across Antonica/Commonlands - which I do often!
  • Battlegrounds - w00t!  I do love PvP, and have a warden on one of the PvP servers, but BG's sound fun. Okay truth, I tried one, we won. I died once but hadn't a clue what I was doing - lol!
So, I'm re-learning Norrath, as well as my characters, Star the Kerra monk; Nixia, the Ratonga beserker; Bithia, Wood Elf warden; Sithi, Arasai brigand and Tazneem, Dark Elf conjurer.

To this day, I still wonder why my first two characters are tank class?  I'm more of a DPS/healer type, but I'm determined to get Star at least to level 90 before the end of the year!

The oldest, Star and youngest, Sithi 
(well she gets to be until the urge to roll a new one strikes)

Friday, July 2, 2010

King of the Fire Festival

In general, I'm heartily sick of most of the World Events in World of Warcraft.  The novelty has worn off, as I've done them enough on different characters.  Unless there is a new pet (admitted petaholic), a buff/stat item or PvP involved I generally pass.

A Thief's Reward quest, which involves stealing the flames from each of the oppositions cities is right up my alley!  Death, usually my own, attempting to take a few with me on the way is involved if you try to solo this on less than a max level character!  I have done this with a level 56, so it is doable, but definitely easier for some classes than others.

This year my Druid, Sidthr, is sitting at 71 so what a great opportunity.  Off he went,

First stop Orgrimmar.  This is always the most challenging for me, not because of the guards, but the number of Horde that are around.  First stop the gates.  As usual too many people dueling out front.  To the backgate we go.  Trying to sneak past the level 75 guards was a no go.  Next tactic, the death march.

Buff up, mount up and ride in pulling a train of guards. I wasn't dismounted until right near the back entrance to Ragefire Chasm, which would have been okay. If I could have made it to RC and rebuffed inside, but two level 80 Horde had other ideas.  Ghost run back from Razorhill.  A successful rez and rebuff, time to sneak up on the flame.
Too many Horde. So sneak up on the flame and attempt to escape.  Nope. Take the death and rez sickness while rezzing in Razorhill again. 

Time to head to Thunderbluff. 

The zep  is one of the quickest for Alliance as we have no close flight paths to TB. Either Ratchet or Theramore, but I didn't fancy a cross country ride.  Sneaking on the Zep is easier at max level I found out or with feign death ability (my hunter has done this a couple of times).  Basically if you can't get on the Zep, die as close as possible on the tower and rez on the Zep downstairs. (This an old tactic I've used with hunters chasing pets in far off places at level 11-18).
The Zep lands at the Spirit Bluff, conveniently located next to the Flame.  I just ran around until I lost aggro from the guards.  Waited until the one level 80 left and snuck back get the flame.  I chose to hearth versus de-flaming Mulgore, the goal was the four cities period.

Undercity was incredibly easy. I forget how little attention most people play even on a PvP server. So this was uneventful in the extreme. 

Silvermoon City is generally a ghost town on all but RP servers, getting there is the bigger headache.  The quickest Shattarath City to Sunwell Island and a quick flight to the Ghostlands.  Otherwise, Eastern Plaguelands to Ghostlands (pick up the flight path if you don't have it).

The number of guards is a guarantee of at least one death getting to the flame.  So rez next to the flame and the achievement is complete, all accept for the turnin.

Hearth out and turn in the quests to get the gorgeous level one crown (kidding), but it's a nice in your face to the opposition in BG's (at lower levels) if you're willing to give up your head stats, or if you're rich and you put a decent enchant.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

LoTRO - Free to Play?

Lord of The Rings Online is going to a free to play (F2P) model or as was quoted on MMORPG forum more of a chose to pay (C2P) with differing tiers from free play - with restrictions, a premium free play for those that have met certain requirements and VIP subscription level with unlimited full access.
Arguably one of the the most gorgeous MMO worlds, rich with lore, wonderful community, Lord of the Rings Online (LoTRO) has consistently received rave review from fans, customers and the MMO industry.

The jump to a F2P model took some by surprise, although the success of Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO), another Turbine MMO, may have been the motivator behind this gamble. Or could it be the plethora of F2P MMO's?  The new subscription based MMO's on the horizon?

As for LoTRO, it is the first major MMO to go this route.  DDO, although popular is not the same league as LoTRO, which generally fell in the Top 5 favorite MMO's on most polls with a high customer satisfaction rating.
Turbine says this: "Free-to-Play opens up more choices and options so you can play your way. When LOTRO Free-to-Play is available, you can download the game for free and start playing without a subscription or even a credit card. 

Anyone can join the game for free as a Free player when LOTRO Free-to-Play is available. You will automatically be upgraded from Free player to Premium player status with your first purchase of Turbine Points in the LOTRO Store.

And for a monthly fee, LOTRO's VIP program offers the best value and the most options for players who like the convenience of having unlimited access to all of LOTRO's game content and features. If you are already a subscriber, just maintain your active subscription to be automatically upgraded to VIP!"  (read more - LOTRO)

I like LoTRO and always have, but I've had a difficult time justifying a monthly sub for it as my play is very random at best.  The new F2P model may be perfect for those of us that like LoTRO but can't warrant a monthly fee to play.  As I have the Mirkwood and Mines of Moria, I'll be classed as VIP, I'm still waiting for final word from Turbine as to how the Premium model will work if you downgrade from VIP.

Many people that have vacillated on jumping into another MMO, will likely give LoTRO a try.  The good side, the start areas won't be empty wastelands, but will have a continuous flow of new people.  This will help as any MMO as it ages ends up top heavy with its player base while the start areas are usually devoid of other players. A percentage of the new players will likely spend a few bucks to go forward in the game which will revitalize the game.  At least that's the theory.

Lifetime subscription holders seem to have a mixed view.  They put down their cash up front for never having to pay a monthly subscription fee, and now that it will be F2P some feel they've been badly treated.  On the other side, Lifetime subs will enjoy VIP membership which rewards you with 500 Turbine Points a month, as well as a laundry list of other goodies including the only access to Monster Play (LoTRO's PvP).

Not certain if you want to play or not - here is the Free to Play Forum link.

Beta signups for the F2P model are currently going on now as well.

The complete FAQ for LoTRO subscribers:

The Lord of the Rings Online™: Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is The Lord of the Rings Online™? The Lord of the Rings Online™ (LOTRO) is the award-winning online role-playing game set in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, the greatest fantasy world of all time. In LOTRO, you can explore the legendary world of The Lord of the Rings™ and create your own unique Middle-earth adventure. Join with the world's largest fellowship of players to fight the ravenous hordes of the Dark Lord Sauron, and forge your own legend.
  2. What is Free-to-Play? Free-to-Play opens up more choices and options so you can play your way. When LOTRO Free-to-Play is available, you can download the game for free and start playing without a subscription or even a credit card. Earn free Turbine Points as you advance your Hero and adventure throughout the massive world of Middle-earth. You can spend these points in the LOTRO Store to access hundreds of convenience items as well as expansion packs, premium content, potions, character-customization options, and more. If you choose to, you may also purchase Turbine Points in the LOTRO Store.
  3. What are Turbine Points? Turbine Points are the currency of the LOTRO Store and can be redeemed to purchase all sorts of items. You can buy Turbine Points in multiple ways: PayPal, credit card, PayByCash®, online check, and gift cards available at participating retailers. Turbine Points are also earned through gameplay.
  4. Will I need a credit card to play the game? All you will need is a taste for adventure to play LOTRO. You do not need a credit card to play the game.
  5. What is the LOTRO Store? The LOTRO Store is a new feature introduced with LOTROLOTRO Store has more than 2,500 items! These items can be obtained in exchange for Turbine Points, which can be purchased in the Store or earned through gameplay.
  6. Do I have to purchase Turbine Points to create an account and begin playing the game? No, purchasing Turbine Points to enhance your game experience is entirely optional.
  7. Will I still be able to play and enjoy the game without buying items from the LOTRO Store, or is that my only option for gaining weapons, armor, potions, and other goodies such as premium loot? The purchase of items in the LOTRO Store is entirely optional. While items in the Store are designed to immediately enhance your in-game experience, premium loot and rare gear are the rewards of adventure and are only obtainable through gameplay.
  8. What are the differences between Free player, Premium player, and VIP? All the details about the features and benefits of Free players, Premium players, and VIPs, are listed here
  9. What is a Free player? How will I become one? Anyone can join the game for free when LOTRO Free-to-Play is available. To get started, simply download the game for free at www.lotro.com. No payment or credit card is required. To learn more about the Free player benefits click here.
  10. What is a Premium player? How will I become one? You are automatically upgraded from Free player to Premium player status with your first purchase of Turbine Points in the LOTRO Store. LOTRO grants all Premium players 2 extra character slots, extends the maximum amount of gold you can carry from 2 gold to 5 gold, and provides you with a higher login priority, more mail and chat options, full access to all of LOTRO's Community features, and 30 days of full customer service from the time of your last purchase.
    Are you a former subscriber to LOTRO? Did you purchase and play the game in the past but never subscribed? In either case, you are automatically upgraded to Premium status when you come back to play.
    To learn more about the Premium player benefits click here.
  11. What is a VIP? How will I become one? For a monthly fee, the VIP program offers the best value and the most options for players who like the convenience of having unlimited access to all game content and features. VIP players also receive 500 Turbine Points per month and exclusive benefits like priority access to servers, 5 character slots per server, a 20-slot wardrobe for cosmetic items, full customer service, and much more! You can upgrade to VIP at any time by visiting https://myaccount.turbine.com once LOTRO Free-to-Play is available. If you are already a subscriber, just maintain your active subscription to be automatically upgraded to VIP!
    To learn more about the VIP benefits click here.
  12. I have a lifetime subscription to LOTRO. What will Free-to-Play mean for me? As a lifetime subscriber to LOTRO, you will keep all of your membership privileges and are automatically upgraded to VIP status. You will receive 500 Free Turbine Points every month like the other VIPs, but you do not have to pay a monthly fee since you are a lifetime member. All you have to do is keep playing the game and visit the LOTRO Store to spend your free points and enjoy the wealth of new a la carte items and options to enhance your game experience.
  13. I am a LOTRO Founder. What will Free-to-Play mean for me? As a LOTRO Founder, you automatically become a VIP and will keep all of your membership privileges as long as you pay your monthly fee. You will automatically receive 500 Free Turbine Points every month like the other VIPs, and you can spend the Turbine Points at your leisure in the LOTRO Store to enhance your game experience and keep playing the way you want.
  14. I am a regular subscriber on a monthly or multi-month subscription plan. What will Free-to-Play mean for me? As a subscriber to LOTRO, you are automatically upgraded to VIP status. You will keep all your membership privileges as long as you keep paying your monthly fee. You will automatically receive 500 Free Turbine Points every month like the other VIPs, and you can spend the Turbine Points at your leisure in the LOTRO Store to enhance your game experience and keep playing the way you want.
  15. I am a former subscriber to LOTRO. What will Free-to-Play mean for me when I come back to play when LOTRO Free-to-Play is available? As a former subscriber to LOTRO, you are always welcome back to join the fight. You will, by default, be awarded the status and privileges of a Premium player, and you can join the game and play for free. You can also visit the new LOTRO Store to browse through a wealth of new items and a la carte options to enhance your gameplay!
    You may also consider becoming a VIP to receive 500 Free Turbine Points automatically every month and gain access to other unique privileges. You can upgrade to VIP at any time by visiting https://myaccount.turbine.com once LOTRO Free-to-Play is available.
  16. I purchased and played LOTRO in the past, but never subscribed to the game. What will Free-to-Play mean for me when I come back to play when LOTRO Free-to-Play is available? You will, by default, be awarded the status and privileges of a Premium player and you can join the game and play for free as a Premium player. You can also visit the new LOTRO Store to browse through a wealth of new items and a la carte options to enhance your gameplay!
    You may also consider becoming a VIP to receive 500 Free Turbine Points automatically every month and gain access to other unique privileges. You can upgrade to VIP at any time by visiting https://myaccount.turbine.com once LOTRO Free-to-Play is available.
  17. As a Free player, how much free content can I access? As a Free player, you have access to Middle-earth, the greatest fantasy world ever created, and you can play LOTRO's award-winning Epic Story up to level 50! In addition, you have access to the 4 races and 7 standard classes, major game systems, and a lot more options detailed here. And glory is its own reward: as you explore Middle-earth and advance your Hero through quests and achievements in the game, you will earn free Turbine Points that you can redeem in the LOTRO Store to access more options that will enrich or extend your free play.
    At any time, you may also want to purchase Turbine Points in the Store and redeem them to access new items and options to immediately enhance your experience. What matters most with Free-to-Play is your play style and the type of gamer you are. With Free-to-Play, you really play your way.
  18. Why should I become a VIP? What do I get that a Free player does not? As a VIP, you get full access to all of the game's original content and features along with numerous special benefits, such as a higher number of character slots (5 per server), 20 slots of wardrobe storage for cosmetic clothing, full customer service access, priority login, 500 Free Turbine Points every month that you can redeem in the LOTRO Store, and much more, all detailed here. For a monthly fee, the VIP program offers the best value and the most options for players who like the convenience of having access to it all.
  19. I am currently a subscriber to LOTRO. What will happen if I decide to unsubscribe before or after the launch of LOTRO Free-to-Play? What will happen to my characters? If you feel the VIP program is not meeting your play style and needs as a gamer and decide you don't want the benefits and features of being a VIP, you will be automatically downgraded to Premium player status when your subscription lapses. You can continue to play the game for free with all the benefits offered to Premium players, which are detailed here.
    As a Premium player, you initially have access to 3 characters per server but can unlock more character slots at any time by purchasing them in the LOTRO Store (up to 8 additional slots per server). You may decide to unlock more slots if you want to play more than 3 characters. Other previously created characters will be visible but not accessible unless you unlock more character slots.
  20. I canceled my subscription some time ago. Can I use my account as a Free player? Will I have access to everything I used to? As a former subscriber or customer of LOTRO, you can come back any time to join the fight for Middle-earth. You will be awarded Premium player status and you will be able to log into the game. As a Premium player you will have access to the benefits detailed here.
    You may also consider joining the VIP program to receive 500 Free Turbine Points automatically every month and gain access to unique privileges. You can upgrade to VIP at any time by visiting https://myaccount.turbine.com once LOTRO Free-to-Play is available.
  21. I had a free trial account but never purchased the game. Can I use my account as a Free player? Will I have access to everything I used to? As a former trial player of LOTRO, you can come back any time to join the fight for Middle-earth. You will have access to all benefits and features available to Free players (detailed here), and you will be able to log into your account at https://myaccount.turbine.com to make changes to your information.
    You may also consider joining the VIP program, which grants you 500 Free Turbine Points automatically every month and access to other unique privileges. You can upgrade to VIP at any time by visiting https://myaccount.turbine.com once LOTRO Free-to-Play is available.
  22. I purchased the Mines of Moria™ Expansion and/or the Siege of Mirkwood™ Expansion. Can I still access this content? Will I still be able to play my Rune-keeper or Warden characters? What if I unsubscribe? When LOTRO Free-to-Play becomes available you will still be able to access the content and features of any expansions you have previously purchased. Whether you are a VIP or a Premium player, the content and features of these expansions will be available to you in their entirety.
    If you decide not to join the VIP program or decide to downgrade to Premium player status, the content and features of these expansions will still be available to you. You will still be able to play your Rune-keeper and Warden characters as long as they are in character slots you have selected or have unlocked by visiting the LOTRO Store.
  23. I purchased the Adventurer's Pack or got the Adventurer's Pack for free when I pre-ordered the Siege of Mirkwood™ expansion. What will happen to my 2 extra character slots and shared storage bank with Free-to-Play? Will I lose anything if I unsubscribe? The benefits and features of the Adventurer's Pack will remain available to you. Whether you are a VIP, Premium player, or Free player, you will get to keep your 2 extra character slots and shared storage bank.
    If you have not purchased the Adventurer's Pack and you want to extend the number of character slots you have (max. of 11 per server) or you want to get more shared storage slots, just visit the LOTRO Store to purchase the items you need as you need them.
  24. If I decide to downgrade from VIP to Premium player, what will happen to the gold I have earned through gameplay? Will I lose the gold beyond the 5 gold cap that Premium players have by default? If you downgrade from VIP to Premium player, you will not lose any of the gold that you have earned through the game. Because you were a VIP, you will not be subject to the gold limit of Premium players.
  25. If I decide to downgrade from VIP to Premium player status, what will happen to my inventory bags? If you downgrade from VIP to Premium player, you will not lose any of the inventory bags that you had as a VIP. Because you were a VIP, you will not be subject to the inventory bag limit of Premium players.
  26. If I decide to downgrade from VIP to Premium player status, what will happen to my wardrobe slots? If you downgrade from VIP to Premium player, all items placed in the wardrobe will be held on a remove only basis. You will be able to access them and remove them from the wardrobe to use them but you will not be able to use the emptied slot to Store another item.
    At any time, you may visit the LOTRO Store to purchase more inventory bags or more wardrobe slots.
  27. If I decide to downgrade from VIP to Premium player, what will happen to my characters? If you downgrade from VIP to Premium player, you will have access to 3 characters slots per server by default. You will also have access to any other character slots that you have purchased. You may decide to unlock more slots if you want to play more characters or pick the characters you want to play. Your other previously created characters will be visible but not accessible unless you unlock more character slots. At any point, you can unlock more character slots in the LOTRO Store, up to 11 per server.
  28. How many shared storage bank slots can I get through the LOTRO Store? Do I get more shared storage bank slots if I own the Adventurer's Pack? You may get as many as 50 shared storage bank slots, which can be purchased at the LOTRO Store (an initial purchase of 20 slots and then 10-slot increments). If you already own the Adventurer's Pack, you already have 20 shared storage bank slots. You can purchase up to 30 additional slots in increments of 10.
    For more details about the features and benefits of Free players, Premium players, and VIPs, just click here.
  29. 29. If I am a Free player, what will happen to my gold if I earn more than the 2 gold limit in game? If I am a Premium player, what will happen to my gold if I earn more than the 5 gold limit in game? Free and Premium players have a limit of 2 gold and 5 gold, respectively, that they can earn in game. Once the limit is reached you can still earn gold but it will be placed in escrow and you will not be able to access it unless you purchase a higher gold limit at any time in the LOTRO Store.
    For more details about the features and benefits of Free players, Premium players, and VIPs, just click here.
  30. If I am a Free player, how many character slots do I start with? How many can I buy? Free players have 1 character slot to start. At any point, you can purchase more character slots in the LOTRO Store, up to 11 character slots per server. Premium players get 3 character slots, and VIPs start with 5. Both Premium players and VIPs can purchase more character slots in the LOTRO Store within the same limit of 11 characters per account per server.
    For more details about the features and benefits of Free players, Premium players, and VIPs, just click here.
  31. Will Free players be able to use the monster play feature? The monster play feature is reserved as an exclusive feature for VIPs. If you want to play as a monster and join Sauron's dark forces, you can do it at anytime by upgrading to VIP!
    For more details about the features and benefits of Free players, Premium players, and VIPs, click here.
  32. What type of in-game mail, chat, and auction restrictions do Free players have? Free players can send in-game mail less frequently than Premium players and VIPs. Free players can use in-game chat but cannot send more that one tell every 5 seconds. Free players can bid and buyout auctions in the Auction House but cannot post items. These restrictions can be removed at any time in the LOTRO Store buy purchasing the corresponding items.
  33. If I was going to sign up for the trial, should I wait until the launch of Free-to-Play? If I start the trial now, what will happen to my characters? Joining LOTRO today will make you eligible for a lot of great offers before the launch of Free-to-Play, and all characters created will be transferred into LOTRO Free-to-Play at launch. Start your adventure today!
  34. I bought Turbine Points in the DDO Store. Can I use those Turbine Points in LOTRO (and vice versa)? Turbine Points are not transferrable, so Turbine Points purchased in the DDO Store cannot be transferred to the LOTRO Store or vice versa.
  35. How does LOTRO Free-to-Play compare to DDO Free-to-Play? At Turbine, we are dedicated to providing our fans with best-in-class entertainment. While the two games are different and appeal to different players, DDO and LOTRO Free-to-Play share the same philosophy: to offer you more options and the freedom to play your way!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Off the beaten path

While questing in Searing Gorge - one of the zones you either love or hate.  The giant big hole in the middle can be a  real PiA, but I actually enjoyed it this time through.  I didn't like this much on a Horde priest in a heavy Alliance questing zone, and really must have skipped this zone or did only a select few quests on my Alliance characters.

Maybe the stealth feature a druid has made some of the quests that much easier to accomplish, but I really didn't remember many of the quests (and I've leveled three 80s, so go figure!).  Stealing the dwarves pillows for Kill Them with Sleep Deprivation was interesting, even when Chambermaid Pillaclencher popped out!  A bit of a surprise - yea for root, run, heal abilities!!  Or the very easy What the Flux? Love the humor Blizz!

Nothing tickles me more than finding these obscure quests in games.  This one - The Horn of the Beast which involves killing a now non-elite beast - Margol the Rager was great!  I received a key! 

There are two follow ups to this chain, basic delivery quests Loch Modan to Ironforge to Loch Modan, which rewards you with a key.  Specifically the Key to Searing Gorge.  This allows you (for whatever reason you might want it - lol!) to go from Loch Modan directly to Searing Gorge or vice versa. 

I'm not sure how useful this is with shorter hearth times and multitude of flight paths, but it's another key!  I can hear the clinking of keys now!  (Yes, I'll be repeating this quest for keys for the 80's too!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


 Last night in Warsong Gulch (I know I spend way to much time there!), I was on my pally having fun with the "turn your group in to bunnies blossoming branch" and one of the team stayed in rabbit form and actually ran the flag.  

Good times.

(before anyone asks, no this is not my usual UI setup, but how I have it for classes I don't play often - pally/shammy/rogue.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

WoW Warsong Gulch weekend

Battleground weekends aka now known as Call to Arms start Thursday and runs through Tuesday.  Extra honor and experience (leveling) are worth participating in the featured BG.

Thursday night my druid went from level 46 to 50 just in Warsong Gulch (one of my favorites especially with the 20 minute time). Although I did hear someone complain yesterday "not another drawn out 20 minute win".  I had to laugh and asked if he remembered when WSG could literally take 45 minutes to a few hours - he didn't.  I'll take the 20 minutes.
  1. Yes turtles exist but they always have.  
  2. Yes graveyard campers exist but they always have.  
  3. Yes people farming HK midfield exist, but they always have.
I hadn't realized WSG was the Call to Arms, and so surprised when my druid was leveling every two or so wins.  Nice XP gain there!  Dinged 50 Thursday evening, proceeded to level the lock and hunter both to 40 (4 levels each) and the second hunter is sitting at 38 on Friday.  I'm going to try and get her to 40 too.  Then work on the pally and rogue tomorrow.

EQ2 Again

I couldn't resist getting the next expansion for EQ2 (EverQuest 2), even though I haven't played EQ2 in over a year. It's still my first love. 

So, I jumped on my Ratonga first. Found her in North Qeynos, standing in front of her loom where she's been for a year. Yes it made tons of sense to me at the time, roll a Berzerker (plate wearer) Ratonga, i.e. small, and then make her profession be tailoring!  /wrists - oh well.
(In her green/red appearance gear)

She was my second character, the evil one to my Kerra Monk's good side.  Being one of my first characters and not alot of thought as to 'why' I made her a Bezerker, so a plate wearer and choose as a profession - a tailor.  Hmmm.  I've enjoyed playing her, even though I don't think I'm that good of a tank.
Now level 44, she was my first betrayal questline, betraying Freeport, then rep grind to get into Qyenos.  I still find it humorous some of the guards in Qeynos still don't like her.  The Freeport-Qeynos betrayal (back before it was nerfed) was one of the harder ones, especially compared to Faydark or Neriak or even Freeport now - they're cake!  Just killing the NPC before being beaten up and thrown in jail - took me 2 or 3 levels to do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

LoTRO again

During the PAXEast event, Turbine offered the complete LoTRO game, including Mines of Moria & Siege of Mirkwood, along with 30 days free play for $9.99.

Yeah I know, had to buy it!

I already have the collectors set from the games initial release but have never purchased the expansion as I haven't played in a year.

My biggest regret with LoTRO is not buying the lifetime membership for $199 when it was initially offered.  This is a gorgeous game and I love playing it - beautiful scenery, characterization is fun, crafting is different, PvP is really different!  Rumor is it's up to $300 for lifetime, which is the equivalent of 20 months.  Hmmm.... if I had bought it in 2007.... Oh well.  I put a ticket in to Billing to see if Lifetime does still exist.

The tradeoff - time to play versus monthly cost.  I always balk at the monthly fee for a couple days a month.  could look at this as equivalent to going to the movies once or a meal out, but in our current economy.... hard to justify!  Add to that I still have DragonAge and Borderlands collecting dust.

LoTRO is downloaded, account is activeLoT and on the agenda for Easter weekend (on the recovery side of the flu/but not up for socializing).  Another game to remember how to play - lol!

New Server

It's been a few weeks on the new server, Vashj.  So far....it's okay.

I was a bit bummed, when my Alliance guild was deciding where to move and the vote seemed to be going for Vashj and I jumped the gun, then it swung to the Malorne server.  Malorne is CST, and I just didn't want to get trapped into that again - raid/group at 4pm PST - sorry not going to work!  I'll miss a number of people from that guild, but not the frustration of trying to play with East Coast players that log out before I'm ever on - missing raids/instances/old content because of time difference was not fun.  Bid them all farewell, good luck and exchange of text info, and off to make my way on a new server.

I've put a couple of alts in different guilds, but haven't found the 'fit' yet.  I'm not a guild hopper, and don't really mind being guildless as no guild is better than the mindless chatter/drama filled ones.

I keep thinking I should be lonely, but after the past year or so of both Alliance and Horde guilds restructures, dramas, people coming and going - I'm actually enjoying the solitude, leveling alts that have been sitting around for awhile instead of the pressure to be on or go do/run something I'm really not in the mood for - so all in all I've had a relaxing time.  These are all characters that I have wanted to try the different professions on as well as 'eventually' get a couple to end game before Cataclysm.  So that is what I'm doing!

Two hunters - a dwarf and draenei 35/36 (I know but I love this class its an addictive sickness!), the druid 46 (my only male character), the gnome warlock 37 (my original WoW Alliance character!) are working on their professions (enchanting, engineering, alchemy, tailoring and the assorted gathering professions).  Next on the list is the shaman sitting at 28, and the pally at 23 for jewelry and blacksmith professions. 

Ziboo (gnome rogue bank alt), has been freed from duty and is leveling slowly too.  Level 12 right now, I'm finding rogues are fun to play - lol! 

Therefore, the plan for the next couple months, is to continue leveling with a mix of questing, grouping and bgs (okay lots of bgs), while having the death knight run higher instances for mats to level up their skills if needed.

The dungeon finder is a godsend - thank you Blizzard - as LFG is no longer the PiA it use to be!  I've been in more level appropriate dungeons in the past month than in the previous two years!  Love it!

 A slight digression, but I have to say with WoW, I haven't found a class that I don't like to play - well maybe Warriors.  Not that I dislike them, just seem to have no talent that direction.

Twice I've made it to level 20 and deleted the character!  Getting, maintaining rage - yikes!

I may try again I have a gnome warrior at level 5 that may one day....

This in truth is followed by Mage's.  I don't know why but I can't get into playing a Mage.  My original WoW character is a Mage.  2 1/2 years later she's 23.  I just can't/don't play her.  So, if I get the rest moved along I may try to level a Mage and a Warrior - just to see if I can!!!

So, thoroughly loving my Alliance group - even on a Horde heavy server - where winning Wintersgrasp is usually an activity after 2 a.m., and world PvP is abundant.  I'm enjoying Vashj.  It's a medium population server, trade is trade, the people have been mostly friendly, so all in all a nice place for the gang to hangout while I level along.

(Feels like a scene from 300 in most WG's - outnumbered in a sea of red)

Now that I've said all that, a blogging community guild has been started - Single Abstract Noun on both US (alliance) Argent Dawn server  and EU (horde) Argent Dawn server, so I've been highly tempted to roll yet another character there.  Time for that Mage, Warrior or Rogue to level ...hmmm, or Hunter #1,155... rofl!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Signature Generator

 I've been messing around with Zetbit.com a great little site that pulls your characters information from the WoW armory, adds it to a background of your choice for those lovely signature blocks.

It's very quick and gives you a jpg image, html or code for phpBB Forums.


Image link


BBCODE (phpBB forums)

Friday, March 5, 2010

How to Kill a Server

Blizzard in its infinite wisdom made the decision to turn my Alliance server, Darrowmere, into a PvE server from a PvP one. Considering that the decision came down on March 3rd, with no advance notice/warning or any attempt to poll the population it was a surprise to everyone.

The response to Bornakk's blue post (full thread here) has been mixed at best.

As part of our continued efforts to balance the World of Warcraft player population across all realms, we will be converting one of our lower-population PvP realms – Darrowmere -- to a Normal PvE realm. For players on Darrowmere, we will be offering Free Character Moves to alternate PvP realms both before and for several weeks after the conversion takes place. This will allow us to continue to support healthy communities on the realms and help new players transition easily into the community.

The conversion will take place on Tuesday, March 9, with the Character Moves opening on March 3 and lasting until April 6. Upon being converted to Normal PvE, Darrowmere will be given the “New Players” flag to ensure an influx of players over the coming weeks.

The following are the destination realms for Free Character Moves off of Darrowmere:
Alterac Mountains of the Nightfall battlegroup is an Eastern time zone realm

Auchindoun of the Retaliation battlegroup is an Eastern time zone realm

Malorne of the Vengeance battlegroup is a Central time zone realm

Vashj of the Whirlwind battlegroup is a Pacific time zone realm

Having only been on Darrowmere for a little over a year (a free transfer moved me there in the first place), coupled with the fact I play on a few different servers, I don't have the long history and huge group of in game friends many of the original players to the server have, but I do feel their loss as guilds are breaking up and the diaspora began yesterday March 4th.

Trade chat was filled with the guilds and individuals making their goodbyes and telling which server they were transferring to. It reminded me much of Fiddler on the Roof when the inhabitants are all forced to leave their home town. The goodbye's, the look me up when you get moved, the few guilds that have decided to ride it out encouraging people to stay and recruiting - it was so sad.

Reading the Server Forum was no better. As one poster stated going from PvP to PvE won't be that big of a change for end game raiding guilds, especially as with the current looking for group cross realm, the need/use of summoning stones is pretty much gone and world PvP is all but dead on most PvP servers. In general PvE servers tend to have higher populations with RP having even higher. The few PvP servers in the Whirlwind Battlegroup (Darrowmere and Vashh) are all fairly low population or heavily unbalanced Horde:Alliance rations from 1.3:1 to 4:1.

Many view PvP servers full only of the gankers or wanna be griefers, roaming Azeroth looking for lowbies to kill and corpse camping. I've been killed by those types, but in all the time I've played I've never been camped. I don't think camping is nearly as common as people believe. Not being a ganker/griefer and not always embracing the "red=dead" philosophy, I've received alot of flak from guildmates over time. Generally I leave an individual alone if they're questing, but do on occasion go on killing sprees - lol! I will defend myself or make a tactful retreat if need be... choose your battle is my philosophy!

I just liked the added tension and need to be aware when leveling/questing of the "potential" to be killed by the enemy. I mean Alliance and Horde are in opposition, so I've always found it strange to be questing 20 feet away from someone that should be an enemy to my faction. It really changes your play style if you know you might die, versus only worrying about NPC's and pulling to many mobs.

  • Racing through Elwynn Forest dodging trees, being chased by a Mage and Druid team was exhilirating.
  • The pirate jumping out of the bushes at me near Tarren Mills.
  • My rogue guildie saving my butt in STV, while he was on a gank the opposition spree
  • Locking down whole zones with the guild on a raid through Arathi Highlands
  • The back and forth wars between Tarren Mills and Southshore
  • Traveling through Ratchet, Booty Bay or Wintergrasp should be all about being aware!
  • Everyone should experience STV on a PvP server. It's just a right of passage in many ways.
What does a rogue do on a PvE server? Kill the bank and AH NPC's? Camp the Crossroads? (my rogue is level 2 bank alt)

So with a heavy heart, last night I moved the gang to Vashj, as that was the only PST server available. My Alliance guild is still debating where to move to, and will make their decision this weekend. As half on EST/CST and half on PST it won't be an easy decision. I feel for some of them that have played together for years, as they may lose many ingame friends.

I do hope they'll chose Vashj, but thoroughly understand wanting to play on a server with a better chance at a healthy population during the time you're on than not. Why I went with the only PST server available.

The move wasn't an 'easy' choice. I did check all four options Forums and finally made an alt on Vashj. Read trade for an hour, checked the AH (better economy than Darrowmere sadly) and spoke with a few individuals. No one was very encouraging about the move as many started on Vashj and have watched their own population dwindle as people transferred off for greener pastures. Raid progession is still far behind most servers and WG is owned by the Horde 18 to 20 hours a day. Hmmm already feels like home - lol! Darrowmere has had these same problems so hopefully this change will infuse new blood into Vashj.

My last toon (Ziboo) made her way through both Stormwind and Ironforge her goodbye view (considering each serve is identical its amazing how 'different' they can feel!) It was sad as the majority of players were bands of roving Horde killing NPC's. It was a ghost town.

It really felt like the world was coming to an end - all it needed was a coyote and a few tumbleweeds to get that desolate feel.

Oh well! Here's to a fresh start on Vashj! Cheers!