The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

Month: April 2009

The Guild Makes the Game

Something has really driven this seemingly-obvious point home for me over the last few months.  There’s a little back story, so please bear with me.

As most of my readers probably know I got into the Casualties guild and was GM for the Destruction guild over there for a while.  We had a great group over there, and if the game had held my imagination even a little bit I would have kept playing.  Unfortunately it didn’t.  Then the same thing started happening with a lot of the core gamers in the guild and the game in general and a couple of server merges later I was stepping down and looking for something else to play.

I had started dabbling in WoW again and decided to see if anyone in Casualties wanted to start a WoW guild.  Several did and we were off and running.  I had some real life complications which kept me from playing for a month or so, and stuff happened, and well, the guild had a big exodus.  When that was over there were several characters left in the guild but mostly people that had odd play times or sporadic ability to log in and play.

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WoW Patch 3.1 is a Win

In spite of some transitory technical problems they had with the switchover to 3.1, Blizzard has done some great things to WoW in the new patch.

I know that not all of you are WoW fans.  I know that I’ve been a critic myself (see blog title, so yeah) from time to time. But you have to give them credit when they get it right.  For me, they definitely did.  Some of the things that I think are really cool;

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An Interesting Thing Happened Yesterday in WoW

For the last few years people have been complaining that WoW is a dumbed-down version of an MMO.  “It’s the Easy Button.” they would say.  And they were, for the most part, right about that.  As the game evolved, it tended to get even a little easier.  They kicked up the experience curve to shorten the time it takes to get you to max level.  Mods made the game even simpler.

Yesterday, something interesting happened.  Blizzard made the game a little HARDER.  They did so while making the game a little less annoying.  Here’s how they did that;

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It’s going to be a long Patch 3.1

As you probably know if you read MMO blogs, today is a BIG patch day for WoW.  Mounts that can swim, dual talent specs, and the long-dreaded DK nerf all seem to be in.  I say “seem to be” because it’s, um, down.

Blizzard originally scheduled 8 hours (3 am – 11 am Pacific) for “server maintenance” and to install and get the patch up and running.

At 1 pm, they posted that it would be another hour.

At 2 pm, they posted that it would be another hour.

At 3 pm, (when the east coast is getting home from work/school) they posted that it would be another hour.

At 4 pm, they posted that they didn’t know how long it was going to be, and started to bring servers on line.

At 4:15 pm, all those servers started coming off line.  Character lists were not coming up and new character creation was causing the error “Error Creating Character.”

These are usually the signs that things have gotten away from Blizzard.  Honestly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.  This is a pretty complex and (needless to say) large server farm.  It does a ton of I/O every day, and it has to work flawlessly with a (widely) distributed client.

I’m hoping that this is temporary, because I really want to play tonight and figure out what my new free talent respec is going to be.

Stay tuned.

Horde are Like a Comfy Pair of Shoes

After trying to get a Casualties of War WoW guild up and running and failing spectacularly at that task (that’s another whole story,) Tark and I found ourselves still wanting to play WoW, but with no one to play with on our new server.  Having leveled a couple of alliance characters each to the mid-60’s and low 70’s we had some investment there on Rexxar.  With a total of 3 or 4 other players logging in occassionaly but the guild not wanting me to disband the WoW chapter I found myself in an untenable situation.

Before we retired from WoW after BC came out and our old guild imploded (like so many others,) we had been in a Horde raiding guild.  So we had some characters that we hadn’t played in 2 years, pretty much still geared in complete T1 gear (it’s rare to see this gear equipped any longer.) We haven’t cracked them out to play that entire time.  I think my old main had completed about 1 quest in Outland.
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Honest Blogmeme

ScrappyI’ve been tagged with a meme.  I’ve avoided participating in meme-taggin exercises up until now because I didn’t want to go down that road.  Wilhelm2451 over at The Ancient Gaming Noob has challenged me to wrest me from by blog-slumber on this one though.  So here it is.  Some honest scrap for you all.

Let’s start with the premise of the meme.
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