Thursday, 27 August 2009

Vacation time

Everyone is coming back from their holidays, I'm starting mine. I will be in sunny Italy for two weeks, starting tomorrow.
I hope I will have some sort of internet access there, so do expect some posts. But if I don't post, don't give up on me and check back on me in two weeks. (Yes I'm talking to all three of you, my regular readers ;))

Oh and don't miss my newest post below over this. This is just a PSA.

I, Vork

It's been common knowledge for ages that there are different types of players in MMOs that want different experiences. Richard Bartle already published his paper Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs in 1996. That paper defines four central types of different gamers: achievers, explorers, socializers, and griefers.
A more recent distinction that has come up in the community is, that between hardcore and casual players. Recent events, such as the Cataclysm discussion, lead me to believe that there are far more categories than that.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Blizzcon Dissected - Part 3: Martial Arts and Caprica Six

As promised, here's part three of my Blizzcon Dissected series. This part will deal with the upcoming games Diablo III and Starcraft II. Sorry WoW fans, go reread parts one and two instead.
I will start out with Diablo as the new information on Starcraft is somewhat sparse. If you only care about Starcraft, click here.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Blizzcon Dissected - Part 2: Dumbification

Welcome to the second part of my Blizzcon series. You can find the first part here. Today I will look into various bits and pieces that we got from day one and then go deeply into the itemization disaster they announced. No, it won't be pretty.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Blizzcon Dissected - Part 1: Goblins and Worgens and Titans, oh MY!

The first day of Blizzcon is over and man do we have some news. Some people have had their faith in Blizzard renewed by these. My faith still is shaken, but it's definitely not all bad. In this multipart series I will dissect the announcements and let you know what I think about them. This is a blog after all.
Check out World of Raids and MMO Champion for full details of the changes.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Button Real Estate

Today is the last day before Blizzcon so I will likely have to post about Worgens and Goblins and Naga - Oh My! But today is not that day.
I recently stumbled upon this post by Hafengrim over at NoStockUI that deals with using keybindings to save screen real estate. While not bad, I find that saving button real estate is far more important.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

7 Different Shades of Stupid

If you've ben raiding at all, you've probably been yelled at by a raid leader at some point in time. The yelling, cursing, and blaming raid leader seems to be very common these days. I've heard multiple comments by people who joined our guild that they didn't think raiding was possible without this kind of behaviour.
The good news is: it is! You can lead raids successfully without being a total jerk. Alas, there's a downside to being nice to your raiders in that at some point they will not learn from their mistakes anymore because these are not followed by repercussions. In the following I will discuss how I think a leader should and how he shouldn't treat his raiders.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

You can pry these 40 bucks from my cold, dead hands

If I, of all people, am channeling Charlton Heston in the title of my post, I must be really mad. And I am. I just found an announcement on that their live BlizzCon coverage has been cancelled. Blizzard, in an obvious attempt to get us to buy the DirectTV coverage of the event, was so kind to inform the brilliant volunteers over at WoW Radio ten days before the con about this.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Thirty-One [updated]

World of Warcraft's lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street seems to have confirmed that there will be at least thirty-one bosses in the next raid dungeon, Icecrown Citadel. This number seems huge and somewhat surprising, considering the recent half-assing that has been going on. If this really means that we will get thirty-one boss encounters then this is great news. The lackluster Coliseum was clearly just something to keep us amused until we get the bomb in Icecrown Citadel.
Alas, that might not be the case.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Patch 3.2 - Halfassing Deluxe

So patch 3.2 hit and I can't say I'm disappointed with the new 5,10 and 25 men content.
I would like to, really, but my expectations were so low that Blizzard has pretty much managed to hit the nail on the head. The Coliseum, as far as it's accessible, is terribad. And here's why.

Two Worms Salute Buffd on TV

It's time for a mixed bag post. I will do these from time to time to adress issues that I don't have to say enough about for them to have their own posts. Topics today:
- Two Jormungar Moon shirt available
- A salute to readers
- Never stay tuned 4

Friday, 7 August 2009

Second-guessing Yourself

Matt, over at World of Matticus, tells us the following:
"You never, ever, ever second guess yourself when you’re the boss. You can’t afford to."
To which I say "Nay!"
If you don't have someone to second-guess you, you will make the same mistakes over and over again. Yes it is important to stand to your decisions as a guild or raid leader, otherwise people will lose all respect for you. But you can't do everything right. As much as you think decisions through beforehand, you have to accept the fact that you will make mistakes. Making mistakes is human and isn't a problem at all, the problem is when people don't learn from their mistakes. But how would you ever notice your mistakes without being second-guessed? You can't.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

A Theory of Small Steps

"I won't get that item, it's only a few more attack power."
"Why do I need epic gems? Nobody died when I healed with blues!"
"I'm not moving from the lightning because I can easily heal through it."
Who hasn't heard things like the quotes above in their World of Warcraft career? The idea that little improvements don't matter is widely spread. I realized this the other day when discussing the merit of the Tuskarr's Vitality enchant on boots with my guildmaster. WoW is a game of small steps and far too many people don't realize it. I will discuss the importance or unimportance of small steps in four cases below: Continuous improvement, improvement in discrete steps, improving the random number generator, and futile improvement.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Resto Shamans in 3.2

The final patchnotes for 3.2 are out, as is the patch itself in the US. We over here in the EU will have to wait another day for our chance to fight not one, but TWO jormungar worms. Time enough to have a detailed look into what the patch changed for us restoration shamans.
I will break this down into two sections - one for PvE and one for PvP. Changes that affect both types of gameplay will appear twice.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Aion Impressions

Here they are, my Aion impressions. The post is very long but I've broken it down into sections so that you might be able to skip stuff that you don't care about. This beta weekend is over but there will be more. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll try to answer them. If I don't know, I'll try to find out in the next beta. For now, enjoy.

Whenever a new MMO comes out ,the big question everybody asks is "Is this the WoW killer?" - and the answer is always no. So I got into the closed Aion beta and, well, it's not the WoW killer. That said, I don't believe there can actually be such a thing. A good MMO will start sucking subscribers from WoW a couple thousand at a time. If it's really good it might stabilize at 3 million or so subscribers but WoW will die on itself at somepoint in a slow decline, it won't just get killed by another game.
Below the fold you'll find my first experiences in Aion and my ideas on whether the game is worth trying out or not.