Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Leveling Play Field

Belghast hit on something today I've been contemplating for a bit since the Legion Invasions started. If you've been following him this month, Dear Reader, I am sure you are aware of his progress in getting several characters both leveled and geared solely by running the Invasion content. I am sorely tempted to do the same thing, but two things keep me from doing so.
Tough Girls
One, Scooter is resistant to the idea. We leveled our rogues up about 20 levels and got some great gear along the way, but on our freshly minted 100s (mine a warrior, hers a pally) she has been frustrated by the RNG gods and still doesn't have a Felforged Weapon. Meanwhile I am fully geared with a couple Warforged pieces and a Mace seems to drop for me every other Invasion. If they weren't soulbound, I could share. But the past few trips to Invasion zones have only led to disappointment and frustration for Scooter.

Two, having a raft of 100s is not the reason I returned to World of Warcraft in the first place. I've essentially missed three expansions (due to my own burn-out), and that's a lot of content I am now interested in checking out. It's been long enough that, while I recognize many of the old quests—in slightly modified form—it's more like returning to an old favorite book rather than rehashing content for the umpteenth time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Glow!
I've said it before—just the other day, in fact—that leveling is not as important to me as experiencing the quests and storylines, a major reason I disagree with the "story is bunk" philosophy of MMOs espoused by C.T. Murphy, for example. I agree with Belghast (and Murphy) that Blizzard has left the leveling process a bit disjointed, and Scooter and I have skipped entire zones to get somewhere challenging. But hey, with a little planning, we can get those zones with other characters on a different occasion.

It's not that I don't want to level. If I wanted to do that, I could turn off XP gains while running through a zone. But I wish the leveling were smoother, more in line with the vast amount of content available in WoW.
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Creative Commons License
This article from I Have Touched the Sky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you repost part or all of the work (for non-commercial purposes), please cite me as the author and include a link back to the blog.

Scooter proofreads almost all my articles before I post them, for which I am very grateful. However, any mistakes are mine and mine alone (unless otherwise noted). If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Classocalypse

OR

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Legion

Yahoo!!

I'm going to admit right now that this post is the imperfect melding of three only somewhat related posts. Let's get to it.

Which Main Felbane Reigns Gamely in my Brain?

Negative, Ghostrider. The pattern is full.
Syp has been debating which character he wants to be his main during World of Warcraft's impending Legion expansion. As it turns out, Belghast was trying to decide the same thing.

Having just gotten back into the game myself, I am still on the fence about many of the classes. Druid has versatility, but like always, it lacks focus. I’ve always liked enhancement shammies, I had one as my main of the last year I played. But I wish they hadn’t nerfed the tankiness of the class. When Blizz abandoned Shammy/Pally parity, it seems like shamans got the short end of the stick.

My own altoholism is already rearing its beautiful head, I already have 11 toons on Argent Dawn after only a couple months back. Granted, two of them have been created but never played, and two I played to about level 5 in a single session and have not returned. So I’ll be no help to you there, Dear Reader. Given the trinity roles, many of the classes seem like rehashes of each other. Do I kill with my fists or my daggers? Do I send in my cheetah or my doomguard? Maybe the order halls will restore that feeling of uniqueness.

Classocalypse

I'm lying, Fury Warrior feels way different than Enhancement Shaman or Outlaw Rogue. But I haven't played any of them in the past few years prior to June, so I am not sure how they are different since the 7.0 patch. It might be better to say many specs overlap from one class to the next. For instance, Destruction Warlock and Fire Mage. As an altoholic, my reaction to Destrolocks is that they give up on what makes a Lock unique in favor of imitating another class. However, if I were only ever a Warlock, I might want to distinguish myself from other Locks, taking what is perhaps a path less traveled. And I indicated above, even within specific group roles, like melee DPS, individual classes and specs feel very different, even if they look similar to an observer.
Cool Explosion Shot
Syp is lamenting the recent changes to the Beast Master Hunter spec. I have a relative lowbie BM hunter that I have no intention of changing (except maybe raiding, if it comes to that). I agree that it seems a little stilted, like they expect a chunk of damage to be auto-shoot. I expected more beast commands, but right now I basically have 4 abilities of any consequence, three of which are on cooldowns and only two of which involve beasts.

On the other hand, they've made it super easy to switch talents and even specs (making trainers nothing but decoration). I am not afraid to experiment. If you're looking for guidance on the "best" specs and talents, Icy Veins is a great place to start, and may be the only thing you need. I also recommend the developer blog posts about the various classes/specs in order to get a feel for their intent.
Let Fly the Cobra's Fang!
Too often, we get caught up in being optimal—myself, included—when the focus really should be on having fun. Soon enough, Blizz will take the nerf bat to any "überl33t" spec, which will then be "teh suxxors." Maybe it makes me an awful player, but I rarely listen to the commentariat regarding ideal/garbage specs. The one recent exception is when Manglehaft and Psynister tempted me into creating a Fury Warrior, which is now my boosted-to-100 toon in full 700 gear (thanks to Invasions). However, it is mostly the "fun factor" they sold me on, as opposed to any statistics.

You worry too much

I think Legion will probably be fun; that doesn't mean it will be perfect. Just the other day, I saw a suggestion to make the Demon Hunter resource "Preparedness." When there's not enough to perform an ability, your character could say, "I am not prepared." It's clever, and just the sort of tongue-in-cheek that WoW means to a lot of folks. Then again, I thought Pandaren were a natural fit, but thousands raged about the race. You probably know, Dear Reader, that Blizzard did not follow that DH suggestion.
Wasn't there a level glow picture here?
Blizzard has already tweaked the Invasion XP several times, to the consternation and delight of various bloggers, including me. There will be more changes to come, as there have been in the past. And there will be "winners" and "losers" who will perhaps have legitimate concerns. I feel that I have some myself. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, and how long it will take before people will start bitching about the lack of "content" again in one of—if not THE—most content-rich MMORPGs on the market.
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Creative Commons License
This article from I Have Touched the Sky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you repost part or all of the work (for non-commercial purposes), please cite me as the author and include a link back to the blog.

Scooter proofreads almost all my articles before I post them, for which I am very grateful. However, any mistakes are mine and mine alone (unless otherwise noted). If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Sisters Spinoza

or

CSI: Sentinel Hill

The Spinoza sisters come from a privateering family that helped keep the sea lanes open near the town of Southshore. Their father captains the sloop Lady Legace (named for a former paramour). After the destruction of Southshore by the Forsaken, Captain Spinoza set sail for warmer waters. His daughters, tired of life at sea, disembarked during provisioning at Stormwind Harbor to make their fortunes ashore.
While they look very similar, you can recognize Beyleigh by her slightly longer hair and impish grin. And Beyleigh certainly is the more mischievous of the two, preferring shadows and the subtle sting of a dagger in the back. Meyleigh has shorter hair and a canny gaze. The younger Spinoza is quick with a cutlass or boarding axe, or a pistol shot to the face.

While their father may or may not have slipped into outright piracy, the Spinoza sisters have ended up a crime fighting dynamic duo, helping solve a murder mystery and uncovering a plot against Marshall Stoutmantle of Westfall. But when Vanessa VanCleef and her co-conspirators retreated to the Deadmines, who actually got justice . . .
Horatio Laine takes stock of Admiral Ripsnarl.

(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)

And who got the shaft?
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Creative Commons License
This article from I Have Touched the Sky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you repost part or all of the work (for non-commercial purposes), please cite me as the author and include a link back to the blog.
Scooter proofreads almost all my articles before I post them, for which I am very grateful. However, any mistakes are mine and mine alone (unless otherwise noted). If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Livy and Manerva: Reborn

I am way behind on my profiles. I say this a lot, but in my defense, given the chance, I normally would rather play MMOs than blog about them. So if a post doesn't mostly happen at lunch, it's not likely to happen at all.
Hi, everyone. We're just happy to be here . . . again.
Livy and Manerva Honeywell
[IPA: ˈlɪviː & məˈnɜːrvə] (Manerva—derived from the Roman goddess of wisdom and war—is Scooter's character, with lively eyes and a mischievous grin. Livy—short for Olivia—stands behind her, a more sober—dare I say it: grave—twin.

The Honeywell cousins lived and died in Southshore before the Second War with the Orcish Horde. After the defeat of the Lich King, Sylvanus Windrunner implemented a program of expansion and re-population of the Forsaken territories. The graveyard containing the Honeywell family plot fell into Forsaken hands, which they used to replenish their "Human Resources." Though they were simple folk in life, the resurrected cousins showed talent for magic. Mystical Manerva delves into the Arcane, while her more disciplined, priestly partner mixes the best of Light and Shadow. The budding adventurers performed some services for the denizens of Brill and the Bulwark before being sent on to Silverpine Forest to meet with the Dark Lady herself.
What road do we take to get to Forsaken High Command?
I tied the Honeywell ladies's story back to a period prior to much of the contemporary struggles of Warcraft, so they have no loyalties/resentments with regard to the Cataclysm era politics of Azeroth. Tying into my own history with WoW, I discovered upon arriving in Southshore during the Vanilla/BC days an NPC named Julie Honeywell, who had the exact same features I'd used for my blog namesake, Rowanblaze, and her twin sister Hollyhammer. If I had not already come up with a surname and backstory out of Redridge for those two, Ms. Honeywell would definitely have been part of it.

I think of their in-game monikers as what they call each other. Manerva has a nickname for Olivia, whereas Livy tends to address her cousin by her given name. It's also mildly amusing to me that I envision both Livy and Meyleigh as more practical than Scooter's more mischievous characters, since I think Scooter herself is by far the practical one in our relationship. As far as why they'd be so well preserved when it could be assumed that they'd be nothing more than dust; in my head canon, the magic of the Val'kyr is sufficient to restore some flesh to Forsaken bones.
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Creative Commons License
This article from I Have Touched the Sky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you repost part or all of the work (for non-commercial purposes), please cite me as the author and include a link back to the blog. 

Scooter proofreads almost all my articles before I post them, for which I am very grateful. However, any mistakes are mine and mine alone (unless otherwise noted). If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Invasion: Azeroth!

Scooter and I spent the weekend when we weren't preparing for the family dinner party) questing with Meyleigh and Beyleigh. At some point, I also got some solo time on my Tauren, Sedgeweaver. As you may already be aware, Dear Reader, WoW's pre-expansion Legion invasion event is going on right now, since the introduction of the Demon Hunter prestige class on Tuesday, 9 August (maybe it started this weekend, I'm not sure). I had assumed that the event was for high-level characters only, and didn't figure on participating. However, a flight from Thunder Bluff to Orgrimmar took me through the Northern Barrens during one such event, so I headed to the Crossroads to check things out. As it happens, the event mobs are tuned to my own character levels, so I was able to participate and get some rewards.
On Sunday afternoon, I suggested to Scooter that doing a couple events would be fun and rewarding. She turned out to be at least enthusiastic as I was, and we were able to complete all the events in the Eastern Kingdoms before migrating Meyleigh and Beyleigh to Kalimdor on Sunday evening. Of course, we're hoping to get at least four more events in tonight—including all three in Kalimdor to complete the Defender of Azeroth Achievement/Feat of Strength. I guess there's another one involving collecting pamphlets that players are literally killing their characters to get "efficiently."

The event is a bit of a mixed bag, from my perspective, though mostly positive. I like the invasions themselves, which remind me of Rift invasions. And the rewards are nice. I liked leveling and gaining more abilities, which seem few and far between compared to WoW 1.0-3.0. On the other hand, the massive amount of XP and levels gained from participating in the events is exactly the opposite of how I would like to progress through the game. Our Rogue ladies leveled twice per event; which, along with some regular questing, meant they went from level 21 to level 33 on Sunday. So our Redridge quests turned grey before we were done, as did Duskwood before we even arrived. We completed the Bravo Company (SPOILERS) questline anyway, which was entertaining, but decided to skip Duskwood entirely in favor of Desolace—at this point, more level appropriate. [EDIT: As of Monday night, Meyleigh had hit 40, with Beyleigh on her heals. Desolace is barely green, and we quested in Dustwallow Marsh instead.]

If I were more inclined to race to 100, I would eagerly welcome the boosts the events give. But as always in RPGs, it seems to me that the journey is the better part.
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Creative Commons License
This article from I Have Touched the Sky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you repost part or all of the work (for non-commercial purposes), please cite me as the author and include a link back to the blog. 

Scooter proofreads almost all my articles before I post them, for which I am very grateful. However, any mistakes are mine and mine alone (unless otherwise noted). If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.