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WoW – We want a Sandbox and we get a Litterbox

Now the title may sound a bit hyperbolic but it really depends upon what you want to do in a game.  The title is a metaphor to some features in Warcraft over the past few expansions.  The players ask for a feature/capability and we eventually get it but have to shovel a bunch of shit so to speak first.  Which is interesting because other aspects of the game the shit has been removed from the path.

Given my past posts it is probably obvious that I am talking about Flight in World of Warcraft.  Now there are other “features” and such to mention but the impetus was Flight.

Now for the other features I may as well mention the 2 multi-ton elephants that are not in World of Warcraft but most of the other major MMOs that compete in the same market do have.

Guild and Player Housing

I think this really stems from a couple of reasons and they are ultimately just excuses.  The main point is WoW does not really have any system where the players can just go and make a small part of the world theirs.  Even if it was a shared instance space where 20-40 player housing plots were located would still combat the main excuse Blizzard gives for features like this.  They like to have a populated world not the empty world with everyone staying in their garrison like in Warlords.  But all of this issues then fall to 2 things, ease of access to useful things, Bank/AH/Mail/Repairs/other similar features and the time it takes to get to them from anywhere.  In Warlords you could always get to most of that quickly if you built your garrison with the right buildings by hearthing.  The cost was the travel time back where you previously were.   Most of the time you would wait until good stopping point and then hearth, and log off because you were at a stopping point.

When LotRO was more lively, especially around holidays, the player/guild housing instances were very active.  As the overall population dwindled so did the activity so yes it is not going to be a feature that keeps players in the game indefinitely.  However having these features can help maintain population numbers during content drought.  We have people running 1000s of runs for the Baron mount, don’t tell me would would not have similar for some rare decoration on the outside of a player house or Guild Hall.  I always want to make my post long but to do so I end up writing over .5-3 weeks for a post at odd times when I think of something.  So I will end here and may follow up if another vector crops up.



Posted in MMOs, Other Games, World of Warcraft

Fun Looking Kickstarter Game – Hexplore It

I do not normally advertise what Kickstarters I have followed or helped fund but since this one is currently still on going and near a few goals I figured I would attempt to give it a push here on my blog.  I like some of these co-op table top games and thought I would share this one.

Posted in Other Games, Uncategorized

New Game Arche Age, Flying (Gliding) and WoW

So I found myself playing ArcheAge, an unlikely game for me given my standard views on PvP.  I don’t do much in EVE for similar Everyone versus Everyone PvP reasons.  However for some reason I found myself drawn to this game recently and decided to dive down the rabbit hole to see what could be seen.

What I have found is a game that is almost IMO a next generation MMO when compared to many of the other games on the market.  The main features that I find missing which I feel are  requirements to be a truely next generation MMO would be the following.

Faction-less Races: So that you can play any race regardless of which faction you end up playing.

More than 2 main factions:  There are 3 in game but that is only because the Pirate/Criminal Players are considered to be a faction of their own, so I don’t consider it a true 3rd faction.

Actually the thing that EVE is lacking to be a Next Gen MMO would be a strong PVE side, otherwise it would be one.

So what are the main things that brought me to playing this game while I am completely bored with WoW, even though my accounts are active.  The main features of the game are what attracted me.  The game is a guided sandbox game.   I mean guided as there is a storyline and there is a strong leveling via questing aspect to the game.  However if you were lucky enough to get land during head start many crafting professions open up and the in-game AH/Market is almost completely player driven through crafting.

While all of this was interesting the other lesser feature that sold me on it was that the game does not try to force its interpretation of how you should quest upon you, unlike WoW.  From level 1 if you buy the items from the RM Market you can get a mount and glider.  A form of these items are acquired in game before level 7ish and 15ish of 50 so it is not like either feature is an endgame bonus.  Like WoW seems to think any conveniences  are only for endgame, where they are nice but not really a major benefit.


The above screen shot was taken while I was heading back to the town on the horizon when coming back from one of the early instances.  Not it is gliding and not true flight like in WoW but it is 1000s of times better than how questing feels in MoP currently and WoD on the Beta Servers.   There is no replacement for being able to make the active choice to mostly avoid mobs when you just want to get to point B from point A if you so choose.   Now it does take some extra effort to do long runs on the glider as you need to find a high jump off point since there seems to be no updrafts that I have found and there is a longish cooldown to the only ability I have found that gives you some extra altitude which then lengthens your glide.


ArcheAge is F2P with paid Patron level which confers some bonuses and is required if you want to actually own land or stake a claim for the in-game player housing.  This will definitely be a large distraction for me until WoD launches and potentially even after since the Gliding/Flight in this game makes it one more feature over what WoD offers.

Posted in MMOs, Other Games, World of Warcraft

10 Years :: 10 Questions

So after seeing a few of these on my feed reader list I figured I would give it a go as well.

Started Here

From my feed reader list, First and Second.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Had already took the dive on a subscription based game, EVE-Online, and decided to give WoW a try in Summer 2005. I had stayed away because I did not want to get sucked into a Pay to Play game.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

Malota – Female Forsaken Warrior on Earthen Ring US.  I started on Horde Earthen Ring as the friend that got me to join WoW was in a raiding guild there at the time.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

Friends, then switched to Alliance when another couple of friends and I started fresh on a new server at the a month or 2 later.  That was on Sentinels US a new RP server.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

That would be to me when the small group of friends and a few others did 10-man Karazahn and took down Prince for the first time.  We did it with a couple of members from one of the good raiding guilds on the server and it took 12 minutes in total since Prince has a soft enrage mechanic as we were able to heal through everything with cheesy placement.  Also I was Bear tanking the fight at the time.

5. What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Nothing really anymore to be completely honest.  I came back to play with friends and family since I have not found a better MMO and did try for about a year.  I use to enjoy Crafting and Leveling Alts but that ended with MoP.  It makes me sad to see that Blizzard has only partially learned from their mistakes with crafting but not with Alts.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

Alts and Crafting but have not done much with them even since I came back.  I can not stand leveling in MoP.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

I started to play in either June 2005, I had to look this up because it was during the Naxx 1.0 launch event and remember the scourge invading Undercity at the time.  I was continuous up until July 2013 when I let my primary account finally lapse.  I ran 2 accounts since early Burning Crusade through early MoP, with a 3rd account on an off depending upon scroll of resurrection rewards and or recruit a friend rewards.  Those were the reasons to get a second and 3rd account over time.  I would recruit myself.  This may sound like a lot but for about a 1.5 month period in EVE-Online I ran 6 accounts right after the launch of Planetary Interaction.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

About .05% of the time, I have done it but not very often and usually it was only when I first started playing the game.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Yes, I played MoP for too long before taking a complete break from the game.

Now while I play the game sporadically I hate most of my time in the game.  I have periods where I can be distracted and enjoy it but those are few and far between.  Every time I log into a character not at max level while in MoP I get pissed off at the game and usually go play D3 and slaughter hordes of demons.  I regret that MoP caused me to loose complete faith in Blizzards ability to produce a quality MMO that does not have a grueling and grinding PvE component if you don’t raid.  Hell even if you do raid it is painful.  This has not always been the case, tBC, Wrath and  Cata were much better in almost all regards.  Then again I like playing Alts and those were Alt friendly, MoP was only good if you had 1 character you were completely invested in and may 1 other character.  Which after tBC, Wrath and Cata almost no one had just 1 character or even 2, 3+ was much more common.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

Short answer, it gave something for my now wife and I to talk about at length, after we first met IRL at a somewhat unrelated social event. I say somewhat, because it was at a SCA meeting and then event.

Posted in Other Games, World of Warcraft

Games I am Playing – Feb 2014

Final Fantasy XIV(14) : A Realm Reborn

I have enjoyed playing FFXIV, and I am now at a crossroad as to what I want to do in the game.  I have Arcanist (Summoner/Scholar) to level 50 but have not completed the main storyline yet as I am not sure what I want to do in the game other than I know I have no interest in raiding.  I like running dungeons but also have no interest in running Extreme or Hard Mode encounters as some of the normal encounters are hard enough IMO.

So most of the time I am leveling other classes on my “main” character or leveling the 2 alt I have on my main account while waiting for a 3rd retainer or some account wide storage to start and move resources between characters without asking for help from fellow FC members.


EverQuest Next Landmark (Alpha)

This game has consumed my weekends and evenings for the past week+ since the start of Alpha testing.  I am keeping most of my opinions to the game forums and arguing with troglodytes that want to make every game as long, hard and grueling a grind as possible because that is the only sense of accomplishment they seem to get in life.  While myself and others just want the damn build tools at the start since that is how the games was advertised.  The grind and progression can come through other methods and hopefully will and this is just an alpha anomaly.

Also if you are in Alpha here are 2 pictures that could be of use.

This first is where my claim is located on the Serenity Server, Isle name is in the image.  (T3 Island)

My Claim on Serenity Server

This second is of someone else’s claim on a T1 Isle that has the most advanced crafting tools available in the open near the central portal. So is a very good place to go to get tools and items without progressing your own forge first.

Useful Tool Location on Serenity Server


Hearthstone (Closed/Open Beta)

While I have enjoyed the game since Closed Beta, I am not really playing much of it at the moment. I am only play to complete the daily quests and I am tired of the current Meta game so have not been playing much. If I could complete any quest by taking on the AI while testing deck builds I would probably play more. If I am going to have a 70-80% loss ratio while refining a deck against other players I would rather just not play. Don’t get me wrong I think it like all Blizzard games is a good and well polished game even while in Open Beta. I also just realize that I am not the target audience to any Blizzard game anymore if I ever was.
EVE Online

Well I spun up my primary account in EVE so that it is active on the March 1st deadline.  The deadline being for all active accounts on that day, the highest skill point character name will be recorded and listed on a 10 Year anniversary monument that CCP is building to commemorate 10 Years of EVE Online.


Other Games

Also just to list a few of the other games I have logged into for a brief amount of time lately.
Played In the past couple of months.

  • Assassins Creed 4
  • Diablo 3
  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Star Craft 2
  • A few other games off of Steam
Posted in Other Games