Archive for December, 2011

A short tale of a Swtor fanboi

Yesterday evening was going to be a nice little evening. Had a few friends over to play some Arkham Horror (tabletop game) and we were having a good time. Around 7pm, my phone buzz and since I’m doing support for a project at work I have to check every mail incoming so I pick up my phone to check what I think will be a “OMG! The world is ending!” mail.

Hmmmm?? Bioware mail, something about early access.

Read mail, early access on December 13th, pre download the game here….

… brain process….

OMGWTF moment!

Literally jump out of my chair to run to my computer to start the download.

Excitement…. lots of it…. Try to play game later the evening just to see if by some chance Bioware has a bug that would allow me to play right now….

Drat! Foiled again! Well played Bioware, I’ll see you December 13th

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Today I want to play a bit of devil advocate with Gordon from We fly Spitfires who talks about how he’d rather have the Mist of Pandaria talents in SwTor over more classic talent trees where everyone ends up picking the same.  He argues that since we all end up with the same choices, why bother with talent trees? Why not go with MoP system of having the same build with a few talents at every X level for flavor?

Here’s what I don’t buy with this argument. As soon as you have a choice between a number of abilities, either one will be superior to the others and become the default choice or they offer insignificant advantages which make the choice meaningless. MoP talents clearly falls into the former option. For example if I look at the Dk talents, Outbreak is the clear winner for any raiding DK and in the second tier Bone Shield is the default choice for any tank. It’s still a talent tree, but with a lot less choice.

Talent trees offer depth

Yes, if your into min-maxing, your choices in a talent tree will be the same as the rest. But, and this is where it gets interesting, while most of your choices are the same you still have a bit of wiggle room to adjust the spec to your preferences. Gordon is right when he says that being 2% better in swords is not very exciting but maybe that’s what you need. Or maybe you want that Freezing grenade talent because your raid is short on CC or it could be you want a run buff or that a friend covers a critical buff and allows you to choose other talents.

Whatever your need or situation, a talent tree offers you customisation that the simplified MoP model simply does not offer.

Another great feature of talent trees is that it allows for experimentation that sometimes leads to some very original and efficient builds. The Jedi Shadow tank spec is a good example of this. Jedi shadows are at their core a melee dps class but with clever mixing of talent trees choices, players have found out a viable tanking spec. It’s not something that would have been possible with MoP model.

Edit: That was a bad example which LaralSong pointed out to me. I misread the information on Shadow tanks. However, the point still stands I believe and you could replace Shadow tank with the Unholy Dk of Wotlk for example.

Finally, there’s quite a few players out there that don’t care about optimizing their characters and just want to pick whatever talents they feel is cool or helpful to them. I’d rather give them more choice to experiment with whatever crazy build they want and not restrict them.

I’m not saying that Blizzard and Gordon reasoning are wrong. They’re right when they say that most talent trees end up being close copies of each other. However, even with their new system it will end up being the same because as soon as you put a choice in front of a player, someone somewhere will tell you what is the optimal choice. There’s no escaping that. Knowing that, I’d rather give more options to the players in case they do want to experiment rather than restrict them.

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Turning a new page

On December 3rd 2011 my WoW subscription ran out for what will likely be the last time… After seven years of playing my time with WoW has come to an end.

I find it surprisingly hard to try to some up my feelings without this turning into a sort of moppy post but I’m having trouble to try to sum up 7 years of WoW in a few words. I had my up and downs with this game, way more ups than down and in retrospect I’m coming with a net plus and a lot of good memories.

Last friday, I logged in to run the new 5-mans with guildies (nice instances btw), tried out the new raid with the gang, hung around a bit longer on vent after the raid and that was it. I was wondering if some urge to revisit some favorite places would happen but it did not. That one raid also confirmed to me I was done, there I was with new content and some of the most awesome people you could ever raid with and still, at the end of 3 hours I was tired of the raid.

In the end, what I want to take away from my time with WoW was the times I had in the last two years first with the gang in Walk the Plank (Kaozz, BM hunter, Pid, MMOGamerchick) and the gang in Eff the Ineffable (Too many to link to! Srs, it’s crazy!).

See you all in Swtor!

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My sister, the new WoW player

My sister is three-month pregnant. Since she’s a nurse and works in hospitals, as soon as she learned she was pregnant she was put on preventive leave, apparently pregnancy and hospital germs do not mix well. So with the preventive leave plus the new baby leave… she’s off work for two whole years… so she’s bored out of her mind and decided to try WoW just to pass the time and to learn some english too.

And yesterday she called me to tell me her adventures and ask me a ton of questions. I’m always fascinated by new players experiences so I tought I’d share with you some.

  • She made a troll hunter! And her favorite pet is a big tarantula! My sister who’s very much into fashion and all sorts of things we associate with “classic” girl stuff made a troll… her reasoning was this. All males looks ugly, humans look dumb, both night elves races looks like whore, orc/dwarf are fat and she didn’t get Draenei. It was a toss-up between gnome and troll and trolls looked badass.
  • She gets really pissed when someone kills her pet. It’s a personal insult that needs to be repaid in blood.
  • She’s also known to tame pets who pisses her off only to release them in far off places to be eaten by other nasties. She imagine they’ll die of starvation or something.
  • She wants the Taurens out of the Horde… too soft.
  • Since she doesn’t always understand all the quest text, she fills in the gaps by making her own story. She’s on to Garrosh for working with the demons… the red skin is a dead giveaway anyways.
  • Sylvanas is in love with Garrosh and just can’t admit it. It’s obvious by the way she dresses that she wants to impress someone.
  • She’s also really weirded out by the idea of Forsakens loving one another and the sex that would ensue. I told her if both are undead it doesn’t count as necrophilia.
  • I discovered my sister is a fan of pvp. Her biggest fun right now is killing off warlock and hunter pets and trapping people.
  • All loot is hunter loot. I’m starting to believe hunters learn that by instinct.

On a bit more serious note though. I have to give due credit to Blizzard for making the game so accessible for someone who never touched an MMO before and for whom English is a second language. My sister did have questions but most of them related to lore or acronyms players like to use. For example, she was wondering what all the LFs in trade chat meant.

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