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New Years Update

January 16, 2016

Here we are again after a LONG time of no updates!
I’ll just hit some highlights then slowburn a few topics I’m super interested in.

> Still /mostly/ playing WoW. Excited about Legion, namely the gameplay changes and new Kitteh forms. Got into PvP a bit, mostly Ashran because of kick ass titles like Death Stalker and The Butcher. How badass is that.
> Playing a FEW other games on the side, namely Just Cause 3 (it works on my PC!) and Crypt of the Necrodancer.
> Haven’t played much console, although I have every intention on plowing the most recent two (or three) Assassin’s Creed to catch up with the series now that Ubisoft realizes how bad it is to release titles in unplayable condition.

Okay, now the meat and potatoes!

World of Warcraft:
I was home for a MONTH around the holidays and got in a bit of seat time with WoW – no regrets as it was actually a lot of fun. I don’t know what it is about Draenor, but just about everything in the game is more intersting to me than it was in Cata, Wrath, or TBC. I raided (up to Normal Hellfire Citadel), I PvPed (mostly Ashran), I explored, I quested, and I ran plenty of 5 mans (a few Mythics on my main and quite a few easy-breezy heirloom plows in old instances). All of it was fun as hell. Even the holiday crap was fun.

Ashran – I really don’t like it as much as I did Wintergrasp, but feels less zergy than Tol Barad. It’s definitely a throwback to Vanilla Alterac Valley – mostly in a good way – but right now the matches are too lopsided and depends way too much on zerging. I WANT to call it “coordinated gameplay”, but there’s only ever one event at a time so zerging is how you win, and zerg vs zerg+1 will always ALWAYS end the same way, the plus one wins. So if you can manage to get all your zerglings in order and get to objectives first: you win. Over and over.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen momentum stalled and complete reversals in a few matches, but it’s once every four hours of gameplay that a zerg will be broken by a better zerg. It almost always happens when key players and leaders get bored and leave and get replaced by PvE derps looking to be carried for their weekly reward. And it tends to happen between pushes, as a zerg that turns into a choo-choo train of players can be easily routed by a stable defense (mostly happens at MQ and AoA where the choke points are fewer, narrower and easier to control).

I’m hoping that the next expansion offers a PvP zone that allows coordination on a smaller level, where small, independent (but well coordinated) groups can actually have an impact on the map and get an appropriate reward for playing well. Right now if you’re not part of your Ashran zerg you are punishing everyone on your team. Bliz sure as hell didn’t help things by adding in the Auction House Robot parts into Ashran – so both sides get a random number of PvE dicks that just run around farming creeps to get those parts.

I did a few battlegrounds, and they were okay but I was desperate for those titles so I didn’t venture much out of Ashran – at least not until I get The Butcher title. ūüėČ On the other hand, I was hoping to get that title for my Death Knight, so I may retire from Ashran entirely for a while.

Raiding: I’ve LFRd the shit out of HFC and I can’t get any better gear from LFR mode (other than Valor points), so I have no reason to do it. It was fun though, the mechanics are interesting without being overwhelming on LFR and Normal difficulty. I’m still jonesing for my moose mount – now that I’ve hit ilvl 710 (narrowly!) I’m hoping to just cash in on the #friendshipmoose phenomenon. Either that or to just pay for a cruise through by a raid guild, as I broke 146k gold recently through some auction house PvP and solid use of my crafting cooldowns.

Instances: Mythic was actually not really too hard at all, but my ilvl is pretty high to be running them. I’m mostly doing it for the achievements and for the LITTLE chance I have to get higher ilvl warforged stuff. The only instance that kicked my ass was Skyreach. The burst DPS from the second boss is disgusting for a Druid to have to heal through. I think the entire party had shit armor though and the tank didn’t use active mitigation, which really hurt – he was trying to face tank everything and not use any buttons, and he never picked up aggro on the adds… so, I’d heal the DPS getting smacked, I’d pull aggro, then I’d die. I got sick of that shit so I ragequit, of course. The other instances weren’t bad at all… again, I think that was just a case of bad luck in getting a shit PUG with bad players.

Specs: Speaking of healing – I switched to heals because I don’t like tanking and melee gets assrammed in Ashran. I went Resto Balance, and no regrets… even though I miss kitty form. I can’t WAIT for the ability to play ALL specs on the same toon… that day literally can’t come soon enough. I’m thoroughly enjoying heals though.

On that topic: http://blizzardwatch.com/2016/01/15/tanking-healing-changes-legion-alpha/

Very interesting article about tanking and healing and the upcoming changes with Legion. I actually agree with Blizzard, tanks are too tough, DPS/heals are too squishy, and damage is way too bursty at the moment. It puts too much responsibility on the tanks (who already have too much IMO) and too little on heals and DPS. This has made many other players very lazy – from what I’ve seen in LFR especially. Ranged DPS don’t even look at what the heck they are standing in half the time, and they almost never, ever pick up adds. Of course this varies group to group, and it IS LFR, but it’s asinine that the tank will still need to be on his A-game (at least his B-game, I guess), and DPS just get to roll four buttons over and over with their knuckles and “win”. I stopped healing dumb fucker DPS players through poor play anymore, it drains my mana too fast with how squishy DPS is right now, and then I can’t keep the tank up.

While I’m not looking forward to having a harder job as a healer, I am looking forward to more engaging gameplay and for players to have to DPS / Heals having a bit more survivability.

Also, VERY much looking forward to tanks being able to DPS! When TBC first went live bears were hitting as hard as any pure DPS. It was absolutely glorious. Warriors started threatening to boycott the game, and Blizzard loves them some whiney ass¬†warriors, so they massively nerfed bears, so that warriors once again were top DPS for tank spec. Heh. Anyway – I don’t see any reason why tanks and healers should have awful DPS, especially for PvE solo content. I don’t know how many times I’ve face planted after pulling some mobs in solo PvE as either resto or bear. Ugh. So frustrating!

Anyway – I’m going to post some older stuff in their appropriate dates that I’ve been meaning to upload.

WoW friends. Where to start… First: old WoW friends. I had a guild that was … incredible. It was some of the most fun that I’ve had, gaming or otherwise. There were about eight of us that were really solid – on almost every day, playing together, raiding, world PvP, chatting and laughing in ventrilo … This group of friends was closer than most had in “real life”. Fast forward to today. I met two of them in real life, and I have another three on my facebook – but we never, ever talk. And none of them talk to each other. That makes me sad, actually, as you’d think we’d at least chat every so often. That’s one big reason I don’t take guilds very seriously anymore, is that the friendships are mostly short lived experiences, where¬†MAYBE one out of ten will still talk outside of the game¬†a few years later.

Then new WoW friends. I don’t think there’s a single person in WoW that I’ve met that I ended up talking to out of the game since 2009…? Maybe earlier? Even those people I lost touch with not long after I quit the game (or they quit the game). Has LFR and cross realm made the game SO accessible that there’s no reason to get to know ANYONE? Ever?

In vanilla it was pretty important to have a “good name” on a server. It took a long time to get to level cap, name and server changes didn’t exist yet – so if you were a jerk it didn’t take long for the whole server to know, and for it to be very difficult to find groups to actually play the game with. There was still drama, but people generally tried harder to make friends, talk to each other, keep in touch, and build relationships.¬†With name changes, server changes, faction changes, cross realm servers, LFR, and so on it’s kind of meanlingless to build relationships. WoW has become “just a game” and other players are now absolutely anonymous, interchangeable NCPs

Another “new WoW friend” story. One of my lady friends¬†(I’m in an open relationship) started to play WoW, but it was not an easy process. I’m VERY skeptical of “gamer girls” and normally I avoid them, but I figured my friend might¬†like WoW based on her other interests and her insistence that she’s “a gamer”. She swore up and down that she was into games and that she “plays all the time”. But the reality of getting her to play the game was like pulling teeth. First, technical issues. Conveniently she couldn’t find a monitor cable, or a mouse… Then, when she did (a week later) it was the wrong fitting (DVI vs VGA). Ugh. Okay. Then somehow her laptop screen got smashed. Okaaaay. I got her to hook it up to her TV through HDMI, after it took an extra week to even get her to buy an HDMI cable, because apparently her ex took all of the HDMI cables when he moved out. Huh? oh—kay? So, after much feet dragging she finally installs the Blizzard interface. Then she immediately spaghetti legs when the installer says she needs better video capabilities, just doesn’t want to try it. I ask about the computer specs, it can play it fine – I explain to her it can be played on a toaster. Sure enough, I was right, installed, and it plays just fine. <ahem> So she APPEARED to like the game. She really struggled with the controls and the basic concepts of the game, but she got better as we played. Eventually she got rid of her internet at the house because she didn’t use it enough – so no more WoW. <shrug>

I know what you’re thinking, I was being bull-headed in trying to get someone that is clearly not interested to play a game. Yet, I was going off of what she had told me before I tried, she insists that she’s “a gamer”, and that she was “really interested to try it with me”. I think she was just trying to be a “hobby tease”, where a girl will¬†tease that she likes a guy hobby only to get the guy more interested in her. It’s the exact same as a girl saying¬†saying they “read a lot of books” (when they never read, at all) in order to impress educated guys, or clueless-about-sports girls saying they “LOVE TO WATCH FOOTBALL!” but don’t really watch it, ever – just pretend to in order to impress guys. It’s on the same level as how most 20-something girls are “bi” or “bi-curious” (but really aren’t) to seem more attractive to guys; it’s what is called “slutsexual”. Believe me, I met a number of women that SAY they play games (especially WoW) for relationship credit, but they are absolutely not interested in it as other than a medium to meet guys or to be the only girl on an FPS server.

Sorry about the rant, I’m sure it sounds sexist as hell, but it’d be like a guy saying he earns $80k a year when he earns $40k, or that he’s got a foot long dong when he’s packing a half-sub, or saying he “likes to work out” when he’s borderline obese and he’s counting the walk to from the couch to the fridge as “working out”. It’s tantamount to catfishing. At best it’s dishonest, at worst it’s a huge waste of a guy’s time to find out the hard way (after wasting hours and hours)¬†to find out that she was lying just to impress him. Save a guy the time, just say you’re not interested in games, okay?

Blah, enough WoW talk!

Okay, so I reluctantly bought Just Cause 3, not certain that it would work on my PC, because apparently it doesn’t matter what computer you have, it just might not work. I gambled and won, as it works just fine on my ASUS GL771 laptop. I have to run it on “low” settings but it still looks pretty damn good. Overall it’s barely any different than Just Cause 2, so unless you’re a huge fan of the series I recommend waiting until it’s priced closer to $20.

I’ve also been playing Crypt of the Necrodancer. VERY addictive retro rythm game. I like playing the bard mostly as I’m too impatient to wait for the game’s beat. I highly recommend this, especially as a “laptop” title for anyone that plays on the go.

Otherwise not a lot of gaming going on. Now that Assassin’s Creed Unity is patched to a playable state I’m going to jump into that soon, then probably Rogue and the new release of Syndicate.

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