Friday, April 30, 2010

There's a first time for everything...

So, last night was my first foray into Icecrown Citadel. I guess you could say it's my first "real" raid since I quit raiding back when Ulduar was end-game. I'm not counting Vault of Archavon or Onyxia. Those aren't really raids in my opinion. And I guess you could count Trial of the Crusader, although it's closer to one than VoA or Ony. Even still, I hadn't set foot in either one of those places since I quit raiding in 3.1 until about... a month ago.

I want to clarify one thing before continuing. Just because I hadn't raided in so long, doesn't mean I was boosted or carried through by any means. I geared myself up for it very well ahead of time, and I pulled my own weight on every boss fight, read the strats beforehand, watched the videos and so on. I was ready to be in Icecrown, I wasn't just tagging along and being pulled through.

Anyway. So, Upon stepping inside Icecrown Citadel, I was immediately overtaken by a bizarre sensation. One I hadn't felt within this game in a long time. What was it? Nerves... Excitement... Anticipation... I had been looking forward to this ever since November 13th, 2008 and didn't even realize it, and now... Here I was. The sounds of battle raging in front of me. The Ashen Verdict looking on beside me. Tirion (who'd obviously been on a lot of roids) and King Varian behind me, and my 9 other companions beside me. "THIS is what raiding is supposed to be like," I thought to myself as the encounter was started, and we started clearing trash.

Now, I could go down the line play-by-play for every fight, but that would make this blog enormous. If there's a call for it, i might at some point... maybe i'll do a post per fight or something. Either way, suffice it to say, the experience was quite epic for me. We got the first 6 bosses downed, with at least 3 of us never having been inside there (myself included) previously. Marrowgar, Deathwhisper (one-shot), Gunship, Saurfang (one-shot), Festergut (one-shot I think?) and Rotface. By the time we got to Rotface most of us were getting quite tired, and after wiping on Rotface a few times we almost just left it at 5 bosses down and called it... After one "almost there" fight we tried it a couple more times, and finally killed the mofo.

All-in-all a great night, and i'm highly stoked because of it. I am going to leave this posting here, with a question to any readers I might have. Tell me about your first experience inside ICC, or the first raid you've ever done. Or just any experience that really left you in awe of the game, lorewise or raidwise, or pvp-wise.. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The death of raiding...?

So, a couple days ago I posted about the found here) but I haven't posted on the updates yet.. Why? I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the changes. A lot of people on the mmo-champion forums apparently are crying out that these changes are the absolute death of 25 man raiding, but I think the opposite is true. If anything gets killed by these changes, it's going to be the 10 man raids.

"Why?", you ask? Well, I was hoping you would.

In condensed form, the changes are this:
10 man raids are sharing a lockout period with 25 man raids.
The bosses will be roughly the same difficulty (both offering heroic modes, of course)
10 man and 25 man raids will be dropping the same item levels of loot. (IMO, this is why the major fuss over the death of 25 mans, but my next point swings the pendelum the other way)
25 man raids will drop more loot, more hero points (the new version of the badge system in place currently), and possibly even more gold.

Now then... If 25 mans are going to drop more loot for the same boss kill, but will share a lockout with 10 man raids, wouldn't you think people would try to spend that extra 20 minutes or so finding 15 more people? Perhaps, perhaps not. Here's the rub though. Blizzard has set this up in an attempt to equalize the progression field between guilds who raid 10 man content (almost) exclusively, and guilds who raid 25 man content (almost) exclusively. Some guilds are only large enough to have a solid 10 man group, and they shouldn't be held back from progression simply because they're a smaller guild.

That is a point I whole heartedly agree with. Not every progression guild has to have 300 members on at any given point in time to be able to.. well.. progress. The backdraft of this, however, falls in the fact that 25 mans, while dropping the same -level- of gear will still drop more gear. "Why exactly is this a problem," you ask? "Surely it would make sense to have 25 mans drop more gear, as there's more players and likely a broader set of classes within the raid.".. Well of course, that's absolutely true, on both points. But again, if they're trying to equalize how quickly a guild groups up, then there's more likelihood that a 25 man group will gear up faster simply because.. well.. more loot drops, and more valor points. More points per kill means you can buy your tiered items faster, letting you get to the next progression path quicker... Right?

So, while I am still reserving final judgement, I am waiting to see what it is that Blizzard does to equalize this problem a bit more. Already, they have stated that there will be a cap on the number of points you can earn from raiding/heroics/whatever in a week. If the cap isn't obscenely high, then this problem might not be as bad as I was expecting... However, if it's too low then people will complain (you KNOW they will) that they can't get their gear fast enough, and can't progress fast enough.

But then... I suppose, for some people, nothing will ever stop the ... Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cataclysm Beta upcoming?

SO! The ever-informed geniuses at mmo-champion have informed the rest of the world mere hours ago that the PTR (Public Test Realm) Character Copy feature is running, however it's not currently available for the moment. Instead of the normal Anasterian (PvE) and Broxigar (PvP) realms on the PTR, it would appear there's a realm entitled "Blizzcon Event (PvE)".. Could this be a sign that the Cataclysm beta is finally on it's way? Let's hope so. Here's the source

I definitely want to get my beta key, but nothing has been officially stated yet.

Let me say that again...


If you get an email or in-game message about an invite to the beta it is a scam. I hope any of you who are reading this know this already, but it can never be repeated enough.

If anything's officially announced regarding the Cataclysm beta test, i'll be sure to let everyone know.

In news outside of Azeroth...

As I glanced over the website for Polygamerous I stumbled upon a brief editorial written by MikeH on the artistic value of video games. Here is the article and I feel a need to share it with whoever might be reading for two reasons. First - because I want to hear your opinions of whether you consider games to be "art" or not, feel free to leave me a comment telling me your opinion and why you think so. Secondly - I posted a reply that I feel was very well thought out, and basically I want to pimp myself out a bit. Nothing wrong with shameless self promotion, right? I also think Polygamerous is an amazing podcast, and everyone should check it out. Go! Read! Listen to the podcast! Support these awesome people!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sad panda..

So, I was listening to the Twisted Nether Podcast and discovered that I accidently made my url really similar to an already existing podcast.. Casually Hardcore Podcast... If you stumble across this blog, i profoundly apologize, and honestly i DID NOT mean to copy you in any way.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Raiding changes...

So, the big news today is the changes that Blizzard announced for Cataclysm. Here is the full story as officially posted. Initially, I had several pros and cons to list, but I got sidetracked by one thing or another, and Blizz has since added a list of clarifications after the initial posting. This seems to be a recurring theme with major upcoming changes, and it's really a smart idea for the powers that be to quash some of the loudest complaints as soon as possible. Thumbs up for their clarifications.

My kneejerk response is to say that their decision makes sense to some extent. 10 and 25 man raids dropping the same loot? Sounds great to me! WotLK has far too many different sets of gear. "Current" tiers are basically ToC 10, ToC 10 heroic, ToC 25, ToC 25 heroic, ToC 10 Tribute, ToC 25 Tribute, ICC 10, ICC 25, ICC 10 heroic, ICC 25 heroic (and I think that's all of them). Now, here the tricky part. ToC 10 heroic is better than ToC 25, and ToC 25 tribute i better than ICC 10. I'm not entirely sure how this makes much sense, but maybe that's just me.

Blizzard's attempt with Cataclysm, as far as I can tell, is to cut down on the different "sets" of gear you have to pick up from raiding. Does having 10 and 25 mans drop the same loot accomplish this? Of course. Does this also allow smaller guilds to progress in the same way that larger guild can? Absolutely. Will this work out exactly the way Blizzard thinks it will? I don't think so, and here's why. " 25-player versions will drop a higher quantity of loot per player (items, but also badges, and even gold), making it a more efficient route if you're able to gather the people."... If 25 mans are going to drop more badges than 10 mans, then people are going to feel it's necessary to put together 25 man groups for that reason. Especially as each new set of content comes out.

To apply this to a current situation.. Imagine if Toc 10 and 25 each dropped the same gear (say Ilvl 245), but you got 3 badges per boss in 25 man but only 2 badge per boss in 10 man. That's 10 badges for a full clear in 10 man, but 15 badges for a full clear in 25 man. Now, granted, 5 badges may not seem to be a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but why settle for 10 badges when you could get 15 with basically the same effort? I realize this is not finalized by any means, but the way things are now, Blizz still needs to tweak some things with Cataclysm's raiding structure.

I would also like to thank Anea for writing a great Advice to new bloggers post which gave me some great ideas for my blog. Expect to see more tweaks and changes coming up to the blog over the next few days. I hope to make this blog look a lot cooler and inviting to new readers, as well as something continually enticing for any readers I might already have. Don't be shy! Feel free to drop a comment if you have any opinions on the matter.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What to do when the raid is cancelled?

This is a shared topic on

I want to start this off by saying... i'm not really a raider. I had quit raiding back when Ulduar came out because Ulduar just... frustrated me so much, and the guild I was in wasn't the most progression oriented... Plus, my work schedule kind of conflicts with raiding heavily. That said, lately i've gotten back into casual pugging a lot lately. In the last two or three weeks i've done Trial of the Crusader, the new Onyxia, Koravon and Toravor (in the Vault of Archavon) for the first time... ever. I even attempted a 3-drake Sartharion zerg.. We were just barely shy on dps to bring him down. (We had him down to 40k health one time). So anyway, my point is, i'm hardly what you'd call a "real raider".

Now then, what is it that I do when i'm not raiding? Well, that's hard to say. I have several 80s (mage, dk, hunter, pally, warlock) so there's always dailies to do.. Those get monotonous really quickly however, so I only do those on maybe one or two characters before my eyeballs want to bleed. I could level one of my other characters (a 74 rogue, 73 warrior, 59 shaman), but I dunno. Warrior and rogue levelling just seems exceedingly painful, and i've only just recently gotten back into levelling my shaman... That is a lot of fun. (I might make a blog about that in the future). Here lately, what i've been having the most fun doing is getting BC reps on my hunter. I just recently got him up to exalted with the Sha'tari Skyguard, and i've also been working on his Netherwing rep (two of the coolest rep mounts in game, if you ask me). I can also be seen flying around the Storm Peaks a few times searching for the Time-Lost Proto Drake (no luck yet). I may even throw myself into a Wintergrasp battle here and there (although the alliance has the WORST win percentage on my server.

Another thing I tend to do is roleplay. All of the characters I listed above are on Wyrmrest Accord which is an RP server. If you have any negative comments about people who RP, I don't really want to hear it. I roleplay because I genuinely enjoy the storyline behind WoW and roleplaying just adds a whole new dimension to weaving yourself into the game in such an immersive way, but it is admittedly not for everyone. I'm in a wonderful (albeit small) medium-rp, military style guild called , however none of them are raiders. That's okay though... If I wanted to get into a raiding guild and get back into the same routine that made me quit raiding almost year ago then I would... For now, I am enjoying my other little things to do and if I can pug myself into a raid, then awesome.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Backgrounds and babbling

So, I figured since my first two blogs were pre-written for another site (and i'm not even sure if they'll go up there, cause it was never confirmed) that I should break the ice for this site, being my actual personal blog and give a bit of information. I've never really been much of a blogger, but just recently I actually felt like I have something to say... and from listening to the (i think it was) Twisted Nether podcast--if I could paraphrase them a bit--"Since I have something to say, there will be someone out there who will want to read it."... And thus, I found, and after looking at some of the blogs on there, realizing that not every blogger is a "professional", I created this blog.

Actually, I should back up a bit. Before finding Twisted Nether Podcast, I found Polygamerous Podcast.. Before Polygamerous I found, a wonderful little webcomic.. If you haven't been there to check that comic out... DO IT NOW.. Go on, i'll wait. Read the whole thing, I don't mind.....................

Finished? I told you it was awesome didn't I? Anyway.. Kelly (the writer/artist/creator of woweh and now 4th host on Polygamerous Podcast) made a call for people to write a guest blog for her comic, and I jumped at the chance. Nothing was ever set in stone to my knowledge, so whether the two blogs I wrote for her site will actually go LIVE or not on her site i'm not sure of at this point.. Thus, my reposting of them on THIS site so whoever is reading this now can see what my thoughts were at the time.

Wow.. I've babbled quite a bit haven't I? Anyway, that's how I found myself in the blogosphere. Now as far as WoW goes... I started playing almost 2 years ago, towards the end of the Burning Crusade expansion. My first character was a Draenei mage by the name of Achloryn (he's the handsome fella you see bowing to you in my avatar), created on the Ner'zhul (US-PVP) server. I quickly fell in love with the game.. Stampeded my way to 70 and started raiding in what seemed like record time. I found sites like and to help improve my character as much as I possibly could, and found my way all the way to Serpentshrine Cavern before Wrath of the Lich King was launched. (The old hampster wheel of a computer I had REALLY hated that place by the way.. 25 man raids were nothing but a lagfest). I upgraded my computer a couple months after WotLK's launch, and found myself not sucking quite so bad in raids anymore.... however with patch 3.1 and Ulduar's release.. It wasn't long after I found myself kind of sick of raiding. I felt like it was becoming a chore to go in there on my one night a week, clear the same 8 bosses, and then be unable to down any of the others for one reason or another, so I quit raiding and rolled a new character on Wyrmrest Accord (US-RP).

Okay.. so, I don't want to make all of your eyes bleed with a long explanation of everything in my warcrafting history.. Maybe i'll make a part two of this post, but for now, i'll leave it here. Hope you continue reading.

End of days?

(This too was created for the webcomic, and as such is posted exactly as I wrote it for that site)

Hey folks, it's Achloryn here again. Hopefully if you're reading this, then you either didn't read last week's blog, or you weren't so offended as to ignore my existance. That's a good thing! I hope you can at least appreciate what I have to say, even if you may not agree with it. That's the beauty of the interwebs. Everyone has an opinion, and if you express it a way that doesn't make you sound completely brain-dead, most people will react modestly well in response. (My apologies to the brain-dead out there. :3)
Well, this week I would like to share my thoughts on another hot topic. The Celestial Steed mount, recently put up for sale on the Blizzard store. Now, i've heard all kinds of sanctimonious slander from people about how this is the "death of WoW" and how people are "so lame for spending IRL gold on in-game items" and blah blah blah. Allow me to quote a post I saw in regards to this mount, and specifically someone who bought the bloody things.
"But no no, you go ahead. Buy your pretty mount that some intermn made in model editor in 5 minutes for the prife of a half a game. God I hate humanity, we need a cleansing BAD."
Now I hope that those of you reading this, whether you agree or disagree with the idea to sell this mount, think that the gentleman's opinion above me is: absolutely ludicrous at best, and borderline criminal at worst. I realize that this is just one lunatic's opinion, but seriously. If selling a mount can inspire this kind of idiocy to come out on a well known public forum... I don't even know what to say about that.
Here's the gist of it folks. Selling vanity items like pets and mounts isn't breaking the game for anyone, and it isn't bringing about the death of WoW. In my opinion: the people who think this is the end of the world are the ones who blindly and fervently praise the days of AQ40 as the glory days of WoW and how Blizz has done nothing but kill the game ever since vanilla content. (Funny, to me, how these people continue paying month-to-month for a game that's dead in their eyes, isn't it?)
For those of you wondering, no I don't have a celestial steed. I personally don't plan on getting one, but I see no real problem with others who want to spend their hard earned cash on an in-game mount. It has no effect on the economy, it has no effect in how that person plays their character, except for which button they press to start moving quicker. Seriously, it's just a mount folks.
I would like to reiterate that everything is my own personal opinion. It's not the opinion of Kelly or anyone involved with, and as such, any flames should not be directed towards her for giving me the opportunity to vent my spleen in such a public way. I hope that if you disagree with me so vehemently, you won't take it out on her or her comic, as it is simply a marvelous creation.

First timer..

(I'm going to note that I posted this for the webcomic, hence why I mention it a couple times. This is verbatim how I sent it to the author)

Well hello fellow Warcraft fans. You may or may not have seen me around the Wowhead forums, or posting occasionally here on Woweh under the name Achloryn. *waves* When Kelly posted about having guest bloggers on her amazing comic, I jumped at the opportunity. I think it's great to be able to be heard by a group of people that I have something in common with. Let me first say, I want to thank Kelly for giving me this chance to let me ramble. I also want to thank all of you for... well. Listening to me ramble. I hope I don't bore you too much. ^_^
I want to take a little time to talk about something I see and hear a lot of buzz about... What else could it be, but the ever-looming expansion: Cataclysm. Far be it for me to talk about something that everyone else is talking about, but there's a specific point that I would like to give my thoughts on, and I hope you'll take the time to read what i'm saying, and think about it for a little bit the next time you read of a new development on the x-pac.
I'm sure that, by now, most of you have read all of the class previews, the blue posts, and formulated your opinions on what's going to be great, and what's going to suck. If you spend any time perusing mmo-champion, or wowhead, then you know that opinions run the gamut from things like "This is going to be awesome!" to "OMG WTF BLIZZ BROKE MAI CLAZZ!!1!" and "I am quitting WoW. Blizz f---ed this one up!".. I would like to encourage everyone to take a long, slow, deep breath before finding which category you fit in.
Have you calmed down yet? Good, feel free to read on then. First off, everything that has been posted is to be taken with a bucket of salt right now. Cataclysm isn't even in beta, yet. Did any of you play WotLK in the beta? Do you guys remember how much changed between the beta and the launch? And for that matter, do you remember how much has changed between the beta and today? The people who are crying about Blizzard breaking their class, or claiming that they've broken what was good about this game need to chill out. Things are going to change between beta and launch. Things will change more after the launch. We have no idea what exactly is going to happen with the mechanics they're implementing, or the spells they're changing and adding. Hell, Blizzard isn't even sure what's going to happen between beta and release. This is their "rough draft" if you will.
Now, I hope you all don't think i'm being patronizing, because that is certainly not my intent. All I am trying to do is say, give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt. They've created this amazing game that we all love to play. They know things will need to be adjusted, and that changes will need to be made. They will be wrong about how certain mechanics should work. If you read through the planned changes and find something that seems horribly wrong with your favorite class... Breathe.. count to 10... Re-read the preview and all of the associated blue posts. Give Blizzard a chance to make our jaws drop, and drool like we all know that they're capable of doing.