Quick Update

Just wanted to drop in after the holiday break with a little update. So many games! So little time!

-World of Warcraft-

Things have been pretty slow in WoW over the last month. Mostly garrison maintenance with some alt time sprinkled in. I finally decided to burn my free 90 on my lowly 30 something Monk. Currently he is 94 and is my 2nd highest alt behind my 97 Paladin tank. I have really taken a liking to WW Monk and will probably push him up to 100 next. I have also started Draenor on my Alliance alt, a Dwarf Warrior who was actually my very first character and raiding toon until the tail end of Burning Crusade. I have done the fist two sections of LFR and compared to Mists I’d say they are even easier. Seriously if you are STILL scared to jump into a LFR group you should reconsider because it really is a walk in the park at this point. I’m actually looking forward to trying a normal mode out using the premade group tool but I better do it soon before the absurd ilvl requirements start. I might already even be too late considering the douchey community of WoW.

-Heroes of the Storm-

Wow, this one really surprised me. I installed it out of pure boredom one night. I have ZERO experience with MOBA’s so I didn’t have any expectations going in. I was pleasantly surprised to find a simple but fun and strangely addictive game. You will find yourself saying “Just one more game” over and over with this one. The pricing on the heroes is interesting because I found myself enjoying some of the cheaper ones way more than the more pricey options. I have a bunch of gold saved up to buy some heroes but haven’t picked any up yet, just been enjoying each weeks free roster so far. I realize this is a more simple and stripped down version of a MOBA but I can at least see what all the fuss is about now. Before I assumed these games were basically WoW arenas as a free standing title. Needless to say I was way off the mark on that one. After reading about the differences between HotS and LoL and DotA I can safely say this will probably be the extent of my MOBA experience though. All the “added depth” in LoL and DotA seemed like a pain in the ass to me. This is Blizzard doing what they do best strip all the excess and boil it down to just the good stuff.

-Star Wars: The Old Republic-

Raiding has begun! After the holiday break my raid team is officially meeting on specific nights again to crush some big bads. Boss bugs aside things have been going well in story mode and I can see us starting to push into hard modes very soon. I am still adjusting to playing Sniper after being an Op healer all the way up until now but I am enjoying it. Currently running marksman spec but I am going to give virulence a try after hearing it has more damage potential in many of the boss fights because of all the movement. My sniper and operative are all I have at 60 so far, I’m thinking my assassin will be next.

-Dragon Age: Inquisition-

I picked this up on launch and have put a moderate amount of time in it so far. I think I am currently level 10. I have a strange relationship with this game, some parts are amazing and others just feel tedious and boring. Overall I enjoy the game and recommend it but for some odd reason I haven’t felt the draw to really pour some time into it. Part of it probably has to do with the timing on the release, I hate that we get so many great titles all around the same time every fall. The fact that I am currently playing two mmo’s doesn’t help either, too many shallow fetch or kill quests can wear a man down. The combat is fun and as always the story and its delivery are great so I will definitely continue on.

-Far Cry4-

More of the same but still fun as hell. I don’t know what it is about these last two Far Cry titles but I really dig them. I am typically not a 100% complete guy but these games get me into that mode big time. The map is just covered in things to see and I want to see them all! This game has completely hooked my Dad and has me actually considering buying it on PS4 to play co-op. For me a shooter on console is the devil, I grew up learning shooters on Duke Nukem and Doom for PC with mouse aiming and have never looked back. I am willing to handicap myself to get a chance to play with pops though. Should be interesting to see how my slow and stealthy approach meshes with his run and gun chaotic approach. I can see it now, “Go in there and stir up the hornet’s nest Dad, I will pick off the outliers.”

-Sim City-

*GASP* I know this game got horrible press and was released without an offline mode which basically melted the internet down on launch week but I feel I should still mention that this game ended up stealing two full days from my vacation. It now has an offline mode and was like 25 bucks with the expansions so after an unlimited trial for 4 hours I went ahead and made the purchase of the full game. It’s not perfect but it still has all the hooks that the series is known for. I was just looking for a change of pace after all the questing I had been doing in all the other games I am playing at the moment. On a whim I gave it a try and I am glad I did, it’s a shame they goofed the launch so bad for this one. I can’t help but wonder what launch would of been like if they shipped today’s version of the game.

Ok this post is getting lengthy at this point so I will wrap it up. As you can see I had a pretty good holiday break full of gaming. One of the few benefits of being broke after a wedding. Hopefully I can find some time to write about some more meta topics in the gaming industry here soon, I got plenty of ideas for posts it’s just so hard to take the time to make them happen!

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Shadow of Revan Launch

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Yesterday was the launch of the SWTOR expansion for anyone that preordered and I got to jump in and check out the new build. First thing that had to be done was to check out the discipline system and spend my points. The discipline system is pretty similar to what Blizzard did with their with their talent trees. Rather than having all these points to put into passive boosts they offer the passive boosts automatically and let you select which abilities you want in 3 different tiers as you level up. There was a few changes to abilities and a couple new ones so the rotation isn’t exactly the same but the class still feels the same. The first class I’m leveling is a sniper because my raid team has always been short on dps rather than tanks or heals so I made the decision to shelve my operative healer. Because of this I spent some time, maybe too much time, transferring my highest gear over to my new sniper that I leveled during the 12xp event. Overall the game has seen quite a few little changes that are quality of life improvements and you can get into the details over at Dulfy if you are interested in knowing more.

After getting my character all dialed in the next step was to solo all the Forged Alliance tactical flashpoints before starting the new planet. These new solo modes not only boost your stats while inside but they also give you a beast of a droid that tanks and heals to help you. As you make your way through all these tacticals it rewards you with gear to be prepared for the new planet. Since I had better gear sent from my old main character I ended up equipping all the rewards on my companion instead. By the time I actually set foot on the new planet I was already 3/4 of the way to level 57. Rather than jumping right into the quests I went ahead and queued up for one of the new tactical flashpoints and was quickly thrown into Blood Hunt. It went really smooth other than one hiccup on a boss that quickly went down on the second try. By the time I finished Blood Hunt it was getting pretty late so I finished one quest to hit 57 and called it a night.

I’m pretty shocked I got that far in really casual play last night. I am also kind of bummed that the old Forged Alliance tactical flashpoints are being used for the first level and a half of the new expansion. It wasn’t a big deal on my new sniper since he has never been in them but I have ran these a dozen or more times on my operative and I would of been upset being forced to do them yet again to start the new expansion. I guess I should of figured that was what was going to happen once they announced the solo modes and that they wanted everyone to see the story content within them. It just felt kind of lackluster spending my first few hours with a new expansion running tacticals that have been out since April.

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Nevertheless, what new things I have seen so far have been awesome. Landing on Rishi for the first time and walking into the first hub was quite a site to behold (see above). I have to tip my hat to the environment guys on the Bioware team, they know how to make a really beautiful world with amazing color palettes. Mix that with the top notch music from Star Wars and it really pulls you in. Tonight will be a shorter session for me but I plan on putting WoW on the backburner (except for follower missions and garrison work orders) for now until I can at least get my sniper up to 60 and raid ready. Stay tuned for more posts as I make my way through the rest of the new content.

Warlords of Draenor: Week 2

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Week 2 has come to a close and I thought I would drop in and update everyone with a quick post. After hitting level 100 I went ahead and jumped straight into the queue for a random dungeon. I was a few ilvl points shy on getting into heroics so regulars would have to do. I wanted to track how often I got drops so I made sure to write down the count on each one after. Here is the details on that:

1st run went 0 for 3 , 2nd run was 1/5, 3rd run was 0/1, 4th run was 1/3 and 5th run was 0/3. So that’s 15 boss kills and 2 drops. Considering I watched 2 or 3 items get looted off of most bosses I felt like I had a pretty unlucky start. I did have a few partial runs in there though which may have thrown things off. Doesn’t matter because in the same time I was able to get 3 pieces from follower missions. All 5 upgrades were enough for me to get into heroics.

Most of this week was spent in queue doing random things in Draenor and running heroic dungeons. Queue times weren’t too bad as dps at around 20-30 minutes. If I remember right it was around 45 minutes back in Cataclysm around this time. My drop rate seemed to turn around and stabilize for heroics. Too bad I keep getting the same helm and rings over and over though. But despite that fact, I have been able to get to ilvl 633 with some crafted epics and the helm from the limited 40 man Molten Core event. Overall I have enjoyed the new heroics despite the usual asshattery by a few select players in random groups. It’s only the second week into the expansion and we already have people berating others over their gameplay. It’s really sad to see some of these bad habits, that usually form toward the end of an expansion when everyone out gears the content, forming so quickly into a new expansion.

Let me first say that this was only a few bad apples in a whole week of running dungeons but it’s enough to scare some people away, including my wife. She hasn’t even tried a new dungeon yet. After all the trolls we dealt with in LFR at the end of MoP she is just not interested group content with randoms. Once I get my tank up and we can queue with friends I will be able to get her in there but until then I’m not sure she will partake in any 5man content at all which is really sad. It really makes me wonder why these trolls even do it. I mean why bother queuing for a random if your standards are so high? Shouldn’t you have other elite players to run them with? In my experiences they are usually bitching when the dungeon is going just fine too, its just not fast enough for them. I will cut it short here before this turns into a giant rant post. Perhaps I will do one on just this topic later with some possible solutions to help prevent this behavior. It’s never going to go away but I think it can be reduced with some design decisions.

So in summary it was a pretty good week for me gear wise and I am ready for raids. I even finished the first legendary chapter and got my 680 ring and the raid ready achievement. The ilvl is there but I’m still short a few 630 pieces and I’m not dialed in with the best in slot items yet so my dps can still improve. I don’t have a guild to raid with so I will be putting the raid finder and premade group finder to use over the next few weeks. I will make sure to report back in with how all that went.

 

 

Warlords of Draenor: Week 1

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The reigning champ of MMO’s released it’s expansion last Thursday and leading all the way up to that day I was on the fence about the purchase. I knew I wanted to play the expansion but with Dragon Age coming out this Tuesday and the SWTOR expansion in just a few weeks I was contemplating just waiting until the first price drop. Ultimately it came down to a combination of the free 90 and so many friends going back that made me pull the trigger on the pre-order.

The first few days were plagued with massive queue times due to ddos attacks that forced Blizzard to lower the caps on the servers but by the time the weekend rolled around they had patched a few things and everything was running smoothly again for the most part. Thursday after work I was in queue for 2.5 hours (only to watch the server go down about 30 minutes later) and Friday was about 1.5 hours. Over the weekend I logged in early in the morning and never logged off but judging from general chat it was reduced even more during primetime. This week I have had no queues at all while logging in after work. So yea, bit of a rocky start with queues and there was some various bugs on top of it all but Blizzard has already come forward apologizing and offered everyone 5 free days to make up for the troubles. Personally, other than the queues on the first two days I have had only one other issue. I hearthed to my garrison at the end of one night and got disconnected, tried logging back in but couldn’t log into any character on any server. The next morning I got up and logged in with no issues and sent out some followers on missions before work.

Leveling went fast, really fast. Especially after I realized how lucrative bonus quests are. I didn’t ever get a beta invite so I came into this expansion with just basic knowledge of everything so I learned quite a bit bringing my main, an undead shadow priest, to level 100. I got one level on launch day before queues stacked up again after the reset. Friday I picked up a couple more levels and then finished my way to 100 over the weekend. OK, technically it might of been 12:30am Monday morning but close enough. I could of certainly done it quicker but I was enjoying myself and not really in any hurry.

I will do more posts in the future going over features more specifically but overall I have really enjoyed the new features WoD brings to the table. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the garrison as much as I am that’s for sure. Followers and the mission system are a nice addition as well. It may be simple busy work but it’s nice to have a little something I can work on if I am not able to really sit down and have a good gaming session. I can do things around the house and be logged into my garrison and at least make a little progress in game without much input needed. If they gave us control with an app it would be even better and I am actually kind of surprised Blizzard didn’t do that.

Now that I am level capped I have a few pieces to earn before I can get into heroics which shouldn’t be difficult since I have enough honor stored away to buy one pvp piece. The silver proving ground (which is also needed to queue for random heroics) as dps wasn’t too bad on my shadow priest, I had to restart a couple times due to some slip ups but I was in and out with relatively little fuss. Check back in the coming weeks for my adventures into the end game and leveling my alts through Draenor.

A quick intro

Just wanted to start this blog off with a little about me and why I started this blog.

I am 33 years old and like many around my age my gaming started with Nintendo. NES was my first intro into gaming followed by Sega Genesis and then all the Playstations. Once I got my first PC though I was hooked. I was there for the beginnings of FPS with Wolfenstein, Doom and Duke Nukem. FPS took over my younger years they all received too many hours to count, I was even considered one of the top players in the original Red Faction. I still regularly play FPS but only casually and that’s mainly because MMO’s came around.

Rather than trying to go thru my whole mmo history I think I will just make this quick and list my main mmo’s that I played over the years just so everyone can get an idea of my history with the genre. I have tried just about all of them at one point or another but these are the ones that hooked me and got a good amount of my time. My mmo path was UO to SWG to WoW to SWTOR. Currently I raid with a dedicated team in SWTOR and I also play WoW casually.

I wanted to start this blog just to share my experiences and thoughts with others as well as to have a timeline of my gaming. I look back on past raids and events in mmo’s as fond memories and I think it will be cool to have a written history of some of these moments. This is just a side thing for me right now but with that being said I would not fight it if this thing took me into the industry some how. I’m a huge fan of gaming, not only playing them but everything about them so I spend a lot of time just reading about gaming and consuming any insights into the industry.

I won’t bore everybody any longer. I’m sure more personal details will be in future posts, no need to try and cover it all in this one. Let’s get to gaming posts! 🙂