Gamers on the Street: The buddy system

Posted in 1 with tags , , , on March 8, 2008 by wowtemp

Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what’s going on in and around the World of Warcraft.

WoW Insider‘s Zach Yonzon posted an intriguing Breakfast Topic yesterday: Who’s your favorite playing partner? Readers seemed to enjoy chiming in with a tip of a hat to their own partners in crime. Suspecting that perhaps WoW Insider readers are a particularly chatty and friendly bunch, we wondered what we’d find if we logged in over the lunch hour to chat with random players going about their city business.

So we logged into Khaz Modan, a PvE realm, where we were lucky enough to run into three friendly players who each have their own ways of sharing World of Warcraft (and no, it’s not just about progression with a guild of folks you’ve met in game!). We dodged the gold-sellers in Stormwind’s main square to bring you their stories.

Chiecko: Level 18 Dwarf Hunter <Wycked Wonders>
We visited first with Chiecko, a young-sounding player who plays most often on a level 42 character with a friend he met in game.

Gamers on the Street: So Chiecko, who’s your favorite person to play with in WoW?

Chiecko: guidoman hes my freind

Have you always played WoW together? Did you start characters at the same time?

no we did not start characters together but we do play WoW together

So you’re about the same level, then?

no hes lvl 70

So does he play an alt with you, or does he help run you through stuff?

whats alt

A lower-level character, another one besides his level 70.

no he only has 2 lvl 70s

Are you friends in real life, or did you meet in WoW?

we met in the gam

And he helps you out when he’s online?

yea kinda

Stevey: Level 41 Night Elf Priest <The ravens>
We thought we were looking at a similar relationship when we started talking with Stevey – but then he revealed the secret identity of his favorite playing partner.

Gamers on the Street: Who’s your favorite person to play with these days?

Stevey: Ravenfeather

And who is that? A friend, relative, guildmate …?

Relative and guildmate.

Did you two start out together?

Yeah.

Do you normally always play together, as in you try to level at the same pace?

No, not anymore. Right now, my other ‘toon is higher … but who knows for how long?

So what keeps you and Ravenfeather playing together?

She lives with me.

A couple that enjoys playing together! Very cool. Has she played games before WoW?

Not a couple – I’m the parent. LOL And not too many games before WoW.

What do you two like to do together in game?

Quest.

Awesome. How old is she, if you don’t mind my asking?

Nine.

So you two are leveling together?

Yeah, we each have different ‘toons around the same level.

Any differences in what you each like to do or how you approach things?

Yeah, she worries about style and I think function on armor. LOL

Kapshira: Level 70 Human Mage <Maelstrom>
As it turns out, keeping things all in the family is pretty common.

Gamers on the Street: So who’s your usual playing partner in WoW?

Kapshira: I play a lot with my husband in RL. His name is Kozar; he is our guild leader in Maelstrom. 🙂

Very cool. Had you gamed together prior to WoW?

I had never gamed prior to WoW 🙂 EVER. This is my first experience with a game like this.

Well, it’s sure a great place to start! Do you guys play mostly in guild events and groups, or do you do some couples questing and such or even have some alts?

We do all of the above, really. 🙂 This afternoon, where we live is bad weather, so we are going to quest before our raid tonight, which is with another guild.

It’s great to share a hobby like this. So how long have you played?

I think I have played just over a year. Can’t wait for the expansion!

So what do you like most about the whole playing WoW with your husband thing? Do people ever think you’re crazy for playing a game like this?

We have a lot of people like us in our guild. Honestly, my husband has been a gamer for years. I started because it was something he liked to do.

And got sucked in, huh?

I like the fact that we spend time together doing something we both LOVE . A lot of our friends in RL play. That makes it fun. We can talk about it with our friends.

It sounds like you all have found a great way to have fun together. Nice talking to you, and good gaming!

Essence of the Immortals gone from the Test Server

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2008 by wowtemp
While we reported a while back on the use of the Essence of the Immortals as a method to unlock the Sunwell Plateau 25-man, progressive patching has continued its march, as Tigole explains to us in a recent forum thread.

The Essence of the Immortals itself is now gone, and instead, all gates will open automatically over time on each server. Tigole explains that although they like the idea of cross-server competition, and plan to implement in the future, The Essence of the Immortals concept wasn’t working out as well as they’d hoped. Of course, servers can still compete to unlock the daily quests the fastest.

There’s a few explanations as to why they could have decided against using the essences. The most obvious would be that on low population servers, or servers without a robust raiding population, there might be trouble getting the whole sunwell area unlocked before the release of WoTLK, which is honestly probably a legitimate concern. This will also allow raid groups who are interested in world firsts to compete on a bit more equal footing, without having to worry about whether their server has enough other raids going to help boost them to timely gate openings.

Of course, the other question is why they’re leaving in the individual gates, and simply opening them over time. Why not just leave the whole dungeon open to whoever wants to take it? Is it because the gates are an important part of the storyline? Or is it an attempt to “trickle in” content so that raiders can have a steady stream of “new” content until WoTLK comes out?

Finding the fun in fishing

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2008 by wowtemp
It isn't fishing unless you got a proper fishing hat. I will freely admit it: I like the CONCEPT of fishing. The Idea of lazing away the day in a rowboat or on a riverbank, pole in hand, chatting with friends and sharing a brew or two is actually pretty appetizing at first glance. I’m all for being lazy. But really, in the end, it’s sort of a lot of work, and you have to learn to handle the pole and cast properly and bring the right bait, and then you’re actually spending most of your time watching the line for a pull if you want to seriously catch anything, and it’s just a whole lot of work.

And that’s just real life fishing. World of Warcraft fishing seems to follow the same basic concepts. As an avid roleplayer, I try to play my characters as close to type as possible and keep up their skills to match. I have a hunter in particular who is a classic backwoods rough and tumble hunter type, and it really seems like she should be a pretty good angler, so it’s sort of bothered me that I can’t get into WoW fishing.

Luckily, with the new fishing daily quests being introduced in 2.4, I think I’ve finally been prodded into action as far as levelling fishing goes. After all, who can resist some of these rewards? You can get an awesome hat, or a pretty cute baby crocolisk, or a recipe for booze. Oh yeah, and that one… er, two ring.

But the question becomes, how to get over the boredom and get to fishing? I’ll share some of my own methods after the break.

1. Get Fishping. It will replace the default, barely-audible fishing bite sound with a loud ping you’re sure to hear. You’ll need to have in-game sound on, though, and it’s installed in a special way that is not quite the same as other addons, so make sure you read the instructions. This one won’t directly relieve your boredom, but it will allow you to, say, look away from the screen for a few seconds without losing your cast, and enable a lot of the time wasters below.

2. Load up your RSS reader or your favorite website. If your computer can handle a few quick alt-tabs, your new louder ping sound should allow you to hear and tab back while you check your favorite blogs, forums, or webcomics. Make sure you allow sound when WoW in is the background under the sound options in game so the sound comes through.

3. Read a book or a magazine. This is sort of a hold over for me from the old days of Everquest, when you generally had a lot of downtime due to the fact that there was no way to regenerate health and mana for many classes besides sitting and waiting, often for at least a couple minutes. I always kept a book at my computer then, and I’ve picked that habit up again. If you have a stack of magazines waiting to be read like I often do, you might as well get caught up on some fishing while you catch up on your reading, right?

4. Misery loves company. No, but seriously, make an outing of it. I’ve personally had a lot of fun bringing 5 or 6 people along to do some fishing. You stand around, casting and chatting, maybe downing a proper brew (which will be even easier to do come patch 2.4 thanks to Captain Rumsey’s Lager), and fishing doesn’t seem to be quite as tedious.

5. Chat it up. Okay, so your guildmates or friends aren’t as crazy as you and refuse to go fishing? It doesn’t mean you can’t gab their ear off anyway – I mean, if they’re tolerant of that. I’m lucky enough to have a pretty active guild, so there’s usually a conversation going on anyway. But sometimes it’s cool to strike one up, or join, say General chat and see what’s going on. I’m not saying you should take over an official channel and use it for what it’s not meant for or anything, but if you can find a good conversation, either on a WoW chat channel or an outside chat channel, it helps pass the time.

6. Try a new fishing spot. If you’ve been sitting at the same spot fishing for a while, and you don’t need a specific type of fish from that spot, see what a change of scenery will do for you. You can gain skill-ups from any body of water you can cast in, so don’t be afraid to travel and see what’s out there. Try a different zone, or just a different side of a zone you’ve already been fishing in. Make the whole thing an adventure. If you’re Alliance, try fishing at Stonebull Lake in Mulgore for a while, or maybe even see if you can sneak into Ogrimmar to catch Old Crafty. The Horde can try sneaking into Ironforge to catch his counterpart, Old Ironjaw.

Really, I’ve found that once you get into it, WoW fishing isn’t that bad. It requires a bit of “making your own fun,” so to speak, but as an RPer, I’m sort of used to that. So, what about you? Do these methods work for you? Do you have another method for getting fun out of fishing, or at least staving off boredom, that you’d like to share?

More Class Changes on the PTR: Lifebloom fixed?

Posted in WoW Related with tags , , , , , on March 8, 2008 by wowtemp
It was me. I got them to take back the nerf. They took one look at my staff and that was IT.MMO-Champion has found some new changes in the latest PTR patch. It looks Blizzard has turned their focus away from Shaman and Warlocks for a while in the wake of the recent total rollback of the Life Tap and Flametongue changes, and focused on weaking Restoration Druids some more, perhaps in the wake of the recent revelation that Druids are the most overrepresented class in arenas according to Blizzard’s Internal metrics.We’ll look at the specific changes after the break.

General

* Non-self % based haste spells will no longer stack with each other.
Druid

* Lifebloom: The bonus coefficient on the final bloom effect has been reduced by 20%. This spell will no longer cause error messages when interacting with Spellsteal or while the Druid is under the effects of Mind Control.
* Regrowth: The mana cost of this spell has been reduced by approximately 20%.
Hunter

* Improved Mend Pet now has a 25/50 (was 50/100) chance to remove one Curse, Disease, Magic, or Poison effect, up from 15/50%.
Paladin

* Illumination: The mana energize from this talent no longer has a chance to set off other triggered effects.

The Lifebloom re-tool, at first glance, looks like it should be great news for PvE Restoration Druids. If you need an update or a reminder of what the Lifebloom saga is all about, check our own John Patricelli’s recap here. The argument, if you’ll recall, was that the original 8% nerf to the HoT portion of the Lifebloom caused the spell to be much less useful in PvE, since one of the most popular ways for a Restoration Druid to heal was via “rolling Lifeblooms,” that is, a constant stack of 3 lifebloom HoT effects on the tank and anyone else taking damage. With the 8% nerf to the HoT coefficient removed, that healing strategy should work the same as it always has for PvE healing druids. In the meantime, the 20% nerf to the final bloom effect puts the nerf’s effects almost entirely on Restoration Druids. If testing shows that the 8% HoT nerf has been taken out completely, when combined with the removal of the Life Tap nerf, It looks like we can say that Blizzard is slowly put surely learning to seperate the PvP and PvE game.

In other news, the reduction to Regrowth‘s mana cost should make emergency healing a bit easier, esecially for a Feral Druid or Moonkin who wants to hop out of form real quick and help save a dying tank. The Hunter Improved Mend Pet adjustment is… well, 50% currently seems to catch most effects on my pet by the end of its duration anyway, so it’s probably a change I can live with. I’m more interested in improving my pet’s survivability by sharing resilience with it or giving it some defense rating, anyhow. Paladins, what do you think about the Illumination change? It’s a nerf, of course, but how much did you count on Illumiation triggering other effects? Will this hurt you a bit too much? What bout you, Hunters and Druids? Do you agree with my assessment of these changes?