Wednesday, October 29

Zombie Battleground!

With the zombies gone i was thinking just how it was and what a shame it would be that this would be gone and lost to us now, at least untill they decide to re-use it for the next expansion.
And suddenly an idea sprang to mind: A Zombie Battleground!
Maybe you could see it as a PvP thing but with some tweaking i might actually be on an idea here.

Imagen people joining the Zombie Battleground, let's call it the Mall for now.... it wouldn't matter what the Alliance-Horde ratio was but the server tries to balance it a bit but if queues become too long it will be less and less worried about the ratio. What the system should do is get as many people of the same server in the Mall, it's more fun infecting people you know right?

So let's say we're going for a 25 man battleground. I'd say that 5 of those players are regular players and the other 20 hunt them down.
If you die by the hand of a zombie, you become one aswell (obviously) and if a zombie dies it becomes a regular player.
Zombies wouldn't need to eat to stay alive but if they eat they will get a stackable buff, i'm suggesting a minor speed and an increased ranged of their Retch (the gascloud "spit" which slows players down and infect them if they stand in it too long.
Hitting a player will still infect them as it did but this time the debuff lasts 5 minutes and each hit will take an extra 10seconds off that.
It is not cleansable except by two pools of Holy water and opposite ends of the battlefield, when you get cleansed you will get a debuff, not allowing cleansing for the next 3 minutes. (this should avoid people camping in the pool)

There are 3 rounds, a point for the zombies if they manage to zombiefy all the players and a point for the players if they manage to kill all the zombies.
After each round 5 other people start out as regular players, not everyone will get a shot at killing zombies straight from the start but that shouldn't be too much of a problem
So it's best out of 3. If we would like to keep this in a PvP setting it would be possible to award points, as it's impossible to either reward zombies or players so they get points per round and time played till the end (either winning or losing it) and they get points per zombie kill or player turning.
As players might be limited it's harder for zombies to turn someone so they get points for infecting players aswell and every hit they manage to put in, lowering the infection timer.

Now balance is a hard te determine thing, depends alot on the player(s)... but also the battlefield is important, you don't want too open spaces so zombies are getting AE'd from miles away. Then again a good chase might be good fun aswell, Zombies working together might pick up enough speed to get out of AE anyway.
We also want to avoid people "freeing" their zombie buddies who willingly let them get slaughtered to turn to the other side, this might cause to end rounds to fast aswell.
The least we can do to counter this is make zombies rez as zombies when they self-explode, after a period of time they will be able to self-rez on the very spot they died to make sure they keep somewhat together with the pack. The self-explode should get a longer CD because of this, perhaps 3mins or so.
This ability does make it possible for a single zombie to infect a large pack of players and turn the tide so to speak if the zombies are limited. Players can cleanse themselves in a pool but a second exploding zombie can end everything then... perhaps some CD tweaking on cleansing is needed then.

A different problem might be for melee classes, perhaps those should standard be zombies but they might miss playing the opposite side.
This made me wonder if we should shift the context of the Mall, perhaps make zombies near unkilleable and create more of a zombie chase where players just need to stay away from them as long as possible till the round timer ends.
We could also some tricks like some ammo crates with grenades around the battlefield which have alot more effect then the average AoE making it a must to get this weapon. Or Magic missile launchers with a CD and limited ammo... Perhaps barring yourself in is good for the suspense aswell trying to delay the zombies from reaching you while you try to take a shot at them. Killing zombies while barred in (which is also trapped once the zombies have hit the door often enough to break it) should be alot harder then when out in the open, zombies stacking Retch at such a point might be enough.

Ow soo many possibilities! Quite some tweaking required i'll bet but wouldn't it be the ideal partygame to play with your guild?
Now to just get my idea to Blizz someway.

Monday, October 27

Zombie Bomber

I've been a jerk this weekend... and i had more fun that i had in such a long time in this silly game.
I'll start with confessing what i did first, i found it quite creative but i'm guessing i'm not the only one who thought of it..
First you would get infected by the zombie debuff, after 10mins (later this became 5 and is currently even shorter) you would turn into a zombie. Faster if you would bubble, iceblock, use stoneform or.... die.
What i would do is get infected in Shattrah and then take my flying mount and would go find a player in Hellfire or Zangermarsh, the trick was to find a somewhat lower level player as zombies are quite underpowered and i wanted to have a reasonable chance at turning this player into a zombie aswell.

What surprised me the most was how many players were surprised by this ambush. Sure cratering next to someone and then turning into a zombie was easy enough and i'm pretty sure 99% didn't see that one comming, but how people reacted after that was completely hillarious.
Most started running away straigth away, some stopped now and then checking out what exactly i was.. scared but still curious.
Some run off just a bit, thinking i would "deaggro" or something while i just kept comming closer while. I chased a few through a quarter of the zone only to catch them in a town offguard (not afk), dieing in the progress but not before showing that person the dark side first.

Now to appologize for my jerk-being: Did i regret it? Hmm.. i think not, i had tremendous fun so i would lie if i said if i wouldn't do it again.
I did however do this just once for every person i encountered, horde and alliance alike, and 9 out of 10 were even amused by the thrill of the fight or even pleasantly surprised that they got to play a zombie aswell. Of two angry people i got one even said sorry for being rude (after i said i was just teasing and wouldn't bother him again), the other guy was italian which i found out after googling what he said which was apparently something people say when they are quite upset.
My appology landed on deaf mans ears there aswell i think, still.. i had fun and most people i "bothered" had aswell.

I personally love being a zombie and causing some havoc... i do realise however that other people might not like it at all. I've killed a flightmaster and when i wanted to take a different flightmaster somewhere else i found out it was dead aswell, which made me once again realise what other people found annoying about this event once more. But i just grinned about it myself, i caused trouble myself so i plan to take whatever inconvenience that is dealt to me and take it like a man... or like a zombie.

Friday, October 24

Dead > being alive!

Zombies in Wow!!! How cool is that?
I'm assuming here you have haven't totaly missed it, for those who did and didn't read it anywhere else: part of the expansion "opening" is a spreading plague which will turn people into zombies which can only be cured by death.
Being a zombie gives you a bunch of new skills (and disables your regular) and you have the ability to create more zombies from players and npc's, that is if they don't kill you first! Zerging like a good pack of zombies is the secret as been shown in many movies already.
Phase 2 has already started making it easier to get infected (infection can get cured, when you die or when the timer runs out you get zombified), some more info here.

I caused some havoc in Westfall where i was a poor lonesome Zombie for quite a while, killing/turning lowbies and NPC's. Reinforcements quickly arrived and my spree was ended. As a zombie you are quite a bit more fragile and a 1 on 1 fight with a level 70 almost always ends in defeat.
But not before infecting a few people, Boom! (exploding zombies.... currently not just for Deathknights!)

Later that evening i was bunched up with a group of 15+ zombies where we tried to take Goldshire. But before reaching that i was in a smaller cluster of 5 and an overconfident Paladin came to end our little rampage. Now imagen that Pala running away with just 200 health, chased by a couple of zombies... i myself was laughing my head off. Near Goldshire we found our ending as quite a few level 70's started nuking us down, we managed to turn a handfull and a number even made a run for it (got to love a good chase, works up the appatite) but the living, both players as npc's, were just too strong for the attractive bunch.
Great fun once again, just don't try to get at it alone as you will get disappointed.

I myself am hoping this plague will become more aggressive, evening the odds a bit for the zombies...
Anyway, if you are looking for me tomorrow... i'm running around in green clouds looking for tasty flesh with a mild fear flavour. Yum!

Thursday, October 23

God like!

That's what we are dealing with currently... we all feel like gods, superheroes if that's more your thing... we're so bloody overpowered and Outland's content has been downranked so bad that without any challenge you do the things which were challenging before.
People are pugging Gruul now and by pure force they kill the boss in recordtime, not slowed down in any bit by lack of knowledge, experience or even skill.
Suddenly every guy and gal in greens can go cause havoc in Karazhan and see content they never had dreamed of seeing... it's a good thing i guess and it might even gear out a few people before the expansion.
Quite genius of Blizzard actually giving us a short time to feel allmighty and maximise raidprogress for a couple of weeks, luring people back in before the next phase. Our guild had just killed the Twins pre-nerf and after the nerf they killed M'uru in Sunwell plateau on their first night on him, a boss which is considered to be one of the harder ones arround.
Ow and they expect to kill Kil'jaeden shortly after aswell.... cool? Well, it's fun to see those bosses but this is just plain retarted. Someone asked in guildchat if there was any trash before KJ and when i answered "M'uru" i got nothing like reactions like "So true".

It's like playing a game and then tying IDDQD or FUND and finishing the game in EZ mode... great fun but you will finish it in no time and then what?
I've got a rule to not use cheatmode on any game i intend to play for a longer period of time and/or on which i spend cash on. When renting a game for example using some sort of code to make it easier then normal (if required) so i can finish it in a weekend to see throught the whole game would be an option though.
But Wow? I intend to play that a bit longer, for the same reason i don't try out play on a private server where i get decked out in the best gear instantly as it will be a set back when returning to the official servers, i'm afraid that i won't be driven to reach that goal anymore if i already had it.

Truth said, Blizzard has implented this quite well. With just a few weeks guilds are able to progress through this "old" content to see as much as possible before leaving it behind for the better stuff. That is, if they offer new challenges and won't make it too easy in Northrend either. (and i do feel it's slightly too easy when i played the beta a bit)
Tuning aint final now anyway and apart from Blizz making general content a bit easier (due to their casual plan) i do expect they will make sure there is a nice balance in the somewhat higher raidcontent. Once 80 the raidguilds will likely storm through Naxx which is not a problem actually, if they just slowly remove our god mode to a somewhat more realistic level so we can make slow progress but don't run through content like the headless chickens we currently are.
Headless is the keyword here i think, when gathering for SWP earlier this week there were actually people standing outside looking for a pug raid in green/blue gear (maybe a few wellfare epics).
If people geared like that think they can do endgame content, something is seriously unballanced.

Tuesday, October 21

Im so tired

Noticed my postcount drop? I've been busy at work for a while and although i got some more time now i can't get myself back into blogging.
I made a number of posts all neatly together in my Outlook Concepts folder but none fully completed. Before i manage to finish it i get distracted (either by work or i simply lose concentration) and i never continue the post. (at this point i wonder if i will even put this one up)
Are my posts so bad i don't dare publish them? Well... not much worse then before and nothing stopped me then.

At first i thought it had to do something to do with being just a bit tired with Wow like most of the people i know, pre-expansion depression so to speak.
But since the latest patch there is loads to do (mostly achievement wise) and Wow is suddenly crowded again, people waiting in line to get on the server crowded even. Is my desire to blog returning now? Nope... not rly.

But that's not the only thing i've lost.... lately i've lost interest in reading up on Wow stuff on the internet, i've lost interest in raiding (even with the new super overpowered talents and all), i have to force myself to work on officer matters on the forums and i haven't read a boss tactic since the first SWP boss (and we're on KJ now).
Perhaps the little guy in the back of my head is telling me it's all no use anymore as soon there is loads of fun to be had in Northrend, maybe i shouldn't have tried out the beta afterall (didn't level on purpose).

I log in after work and log out within 10minutes most of the time and watch some of the SciFi series i've gathered (Stargate Atlantis atm) till it's time to raid.
Then i log in and pray they don't need me so i can get back to the couch and watch some more TV... if i'm asked to help i do so ofcourse but if i'm asked to stay on backup i'm off straigth away. Not interested in the backup DKP i get and constantly pausing my series to check if they killed the next boss already and might need me or not is quite annoying, it's like constantly checking out you Alarm if it's time to get up for work already (and you turned the alarm off before instead of snoozing it).

Will i get filled with excitement once i enter Northrend? Would be nice. Will i get back to my nearly daily blogging? Not sure anyone cares but as long as i blog i don't browse the internet for useless gimmicks, electronica and comics to order on-line so blogging will actually save me money.
(Ordered for € 60,- worth of comics already and been browsing for a electronic window screen for about € 380,- and a new phone for € 190,- If i don't think of a new hobby soon i'll bankrupt)
I actually wanted to tell you i was quiting with this blog but i'll guess i'll wait a few more weeks before making it official, perhaps after November the 13th (WotLK release) i'm back delivering high quality (yeah riiight) blog posts three times a week.

To be continued....

Thursday, October 9

2-manning the Oculus, almost.

My Girlfriend and me both managed to get into the Beta and when earlier this week it was possible to copy premade level 80's, we went instance scouting aswell.
One of the instances we ended up in was The Oculus, a level 80 instance for 5-man groups.
Most of the scouts was about finding the entrance and then take a glimps inside but with this one we took a different approuch.

For those who don't know the instance, it's an instance which takes place on floating rings in the air guarded by dragons. The idea is that after clearing some of these rings you get some mounts on which combat will take place from that point on, what role you have depends on the dragon you choose as it's actually the dragons doing the work. (a concept which is used at many places in Northrend, giving you controll over a sort of siegeweapon.. i've seen tank-like vehicles, little robot-men but also big stone giants where the player would be sitting on it's shoulder "driving" it)

My GF had a Deathknight with Frost spec (which is the tank spec) and myself had a Restoration Shaman. Both decked out in PvP gear, Blue armor+weapons apart from the shoes which were epic... trinkets, neck and rings epic aswell. So nothing too shocking but not half bad either.
Now i know what to do with my toon, a few new mechanics and spells wouldn't stop me there (eventho i missed my nice healing setup quite a bit) but for my GF most of the skills where new. She had little idea what spells to use in what order and which would be best used when. So we spend quite some time figuring out the possible combination of spells and which would be used on what type of mob.
The first single level 79 elite mob didn't take much effort, the next pack of 6 non-elite mobs weren't much of an issue aswell although we had to figure out which AE a Deathknight had when i as a healer was eating frostbolts aswell. Nothing that i couldn't heal through but it's not how it is supposed to be handled.
The groups slowly became bigger; 1 elite caster + 6 non-elites, 2 elite melee, 2 elite melee + 1 elite caster and slowly we gained more controll as we figured out more and more how to keep aggro of the healer and reduce damage on the tank.
At the last few packs a heal now and then together with Earth Shield was enough to keep the tank up and i even had time to throw in some bolts aswell.

We took the portal at the end of that ring expecting to go to the next level but we got transported to a round platform and stood eye to eye with the first boss; Drakos, which looked like a Drakkisath (UBRS) who not had enough air on birth or got stuck in the freezer when trying to grab him some TV snacks.
The plan was simple; you kill it, i'll heal! Not knowing the tactics (couldn't find it on mmo-champion or wowhead either) we had no idea if he would be possible with 2 man.
So we just started it and it was pretty straightforward; he spawned bomb-like things who went about random then exploded like the first Mechanar boss and now and then he would do an AE damage/knockback which was easily healed through. The idea of this boss thusfar was; get max range to stay away from the bombs but not too close to the edge so a knockback can make you go basejumping.
And then it happened.... everything stood still! Big server crash or something.... after 5minutes or so we got back into action but it was just a minute or so and the we stood still once again. After 15mins of waiting again we gave up and logged out, seemed the instance servers were having major issues.
But when looking back at the boss-fight (had plenty of time while looking at the still) i figured we could have taken him. The boss was down 7% of his health while i as a healer wasn't even down 3% with all my tricks still up if things should go worse. (Heroism, Mana Tide, Elementals, Mana pots)
Now there were a few cages there but targeting the NPC's inside but they were friendly so i expect them to have a task after we kill that boss, sadly enough i won't know till next time we try.... And who knows what surprises Drakos had still in store for us later that fight.

Tuesday, October 7

Marksman, the new Burstspec?

Premade level 80 toons were finally available on the European Beta... so i tried my luck and copied a number of toons (Hunter, Warrior and Shaman) and gave the new skills a spin. The Protection Warrior looked pretty solid (apart from what i think is a Enrage bug) and so did Restoration Shammies, the Hunter however...

For old times sake i tried a Marksman spec. BM is pretty good at the moment and it seems that it will be the same in WotLK, hopefully i can try that later this week to be sure. My MM spec was a bit weird i suppose, when going for the top tier talent you might need to take improved stings aswell but somehow that didn't feel right when i spend my first batch of talentpoints... perhaps i should try it later on and see what effect it has.
Anyway, the top tier MM talent Chimera Shot consumes your sting and has an effect depending on the sting. I only tried Serpent Sting to maximize damage output waiting for the very last tick before consuming the Sting with Chimera Shot (not sure if the Shot checks how much damage the Sting has done already or not, still it's more mana efficient to let the Sting do some work aswell).
Using Stings, Arcane Shot and the improved instant Aimed Shot kiting is easier then ever... and more fun i might add.
Also Killshot can be used nicely while doing that.
At first i didn't even want to take Chimera Shot but as it was just a beta i figured what the hell. I must confess i was a bit impressed and intend to test it out a bit more once the next patch goes live.

So what's the downside of this MM spec? Mana!
I had a Rare/Epic geared Hunter in Pvp gear and i ran OOM Fast! Seriously, 2 or 3 mobs and i was done for.
Then i would switch to Aspect of the Viper (dealing 50% less damage and restoring mana/damage) and i would get 560+ mana back per shot. Kill off one mob and your bar will be full again, even using special shots while doing so... not bad right? Not so sure about that myself.
Imagen that of 100% combattime in a raid you would need 20-25% of that time with Aspect of the Viper on. That is basicly 10-12,5% dps loss!
Maybe PVE gear has better mana regen or more Intellect but otherwise Marksman Hunters really need some Mana return from other classes in raids.

And how do pets perform for MM Hunters? I got a free wolf at the start and it's buffs were pretty nice but i was ready to take on some level 80 Elites so i needed me a tank pet! Closest thing was a bear, good enough! I trained him with improved Growl, extra Health and even Taunt.
Well, when going all out i stíll overaggro my pet... bloody great. Ow and that Taunt? Didn't seemed to work or perhaps it got resisted, lets hope the latter.
I was also amazed just how fast the pet died. I took on a level 80 Elite and i wasn't able to keep it up at all, where on my Protection Warrior i was left with 20% health with "only" the new self heal.
Maybe i was expecting too much of my pet as a MM Hunter, perhaps BM is still the best spec for Solo play aswell.
Next patch it will be easier to compare my current pet(s) with my own gear to their previous performance, i'll might be less disappointed then.

Overall i expect more fun for people staying/becomming Hunters after next patch and in WotLK. There will be some more possible variations in gameplay and the pet possibilities will be fun to play around with aswell.
The one concern sofar is mana... but perhaps Hunters might be too overpowered if they fix that so there is a change Hunters will just have to deal with that.

Friday, October 3

Officer because you're forced to

I was reading this post on Wowinsider a while ago about guildmembers paying taxes to the guildbank to assure an income for the bank.
Someone else took it a step further and requested special mounts or something for guildmasters/officers from Blizz (i guess he thought the taxes would go to them aswell instead of benefit the guild) as payment for their work which doesn't give any physical reward for it.
An other person reacted on that saying officers shouldn't get rewarded at all.. they want to be officer, they want to be in charge, they want the extra work... or they wouldn't do it in the first place!
Ooooooow.. how i disagreed there (with both actually).

I've had this discussion before when someone gave me hell and when people defended me that i was doing all this stuff for the guild he said that it was because i wanted to.
You can read this full story after above link but in short i didn't want to become an officer at all... my help was needed, the guild needed me.
I had been an officer before in the previous guild and i knew quite well how much mork and even more trouble being an officer could bring. Let me tell you... the benefits are totaly not worth the ammount of crap you have to endure... Too be honest, besides an extra chatbox there aren't any benefits i can think of right away. Respect? Pfff.... you don't need to be an officer to earn respect, it's your actions. I would even say it is more likely to farm disrespect as an officers, i'm sure some people in my guild rather see me jump of a cliff because of the way i treated them in name of the guild.

Personally i find airing my thoughts and ideas on the officer forum the only reward i get... don't get me wrong, it's nice to be able to shape something to your liking but sometimes i wonder if it's worth the trouble you get in return.
Am i forced to be an officer? Well... it's not like someone is holding a gun against my head but i do feel obliged. If i wouldn't be an officer i might be able to stick my head in the sand thinking there are plenty of other capable people sorting things. But as i am an officer i know how much those people have to do and quiting the job will mean what i do (not much compared to others tho) needs to be picked up by the remaining officers and that there will be one less person active fixing and preventing problems.

A short while ago i hit bottom; too much to do at work, not enjoying raids when i did manage to come raid and just experiencing the pre-expansion burn-out.
I resigned as an officer.
It didn't last long tho.... an other officer resigned later that day and quit Wow altogether to play War where i just wanted to step back.
So i felt obliged once again, yay me. Some others suggested me to just hang back for a bit till i had some more time again and soft of will as i was i chose that path. Ofcourse it didn't take long before i was reading the forums again and trying to contribute where possible.
If we could open up a can of willing and able officers i'd probably step back today but untill we find our canopener i'm dragging my feet into the officerquarters.
Anyway... don't go tell me i am an officer because i want to. I'm an officer because i choose to!

Thursday, October 2

Blizzard ruined my Alt experience

I've been a bit bored with Wow the last few weeks... i guess that's not a new sight for people these days, hopefully that will be solved soon.
But what i'd normally do when i've got nothing to do is start an alt, or continue an old lower level one and kill some time on that.
Do a few quests, run a couple of low level instances... perhaps even boost myself on my second account. ^.^ (playing with myself again)
But since a while i feel screwed over, i'll tell you why.

You go to your local Electronics store and you buy a brand new Television... brand or type or size doesn't matter, you pick. I pay the thing happy with what i got and as i tuck away the receit this guy approuches the counter and tells the guy behind the register that he wants to buy that same tv. "Why sure!" the cassier says, "and you're in luck.. it's 15% off now!". WTF? I just bought that thing for full price? Why should he pay less for the same thing?
Now that is how leveling alts makes me feel. I don't want to be doing twice the work someone else is doing for the same result.
In case you have no idea what i'm talking about, just a while ago Blizzard introduced another recruitment program where you can invite a friend (or get a second account) which will give you Triple experience while questing with that friend/main account. "Just" for 3 months yeah but thats plenty of time for many people to get a toon to level 60.
How typical this system was announced just 2 weeks after i get a second account aswell, makes it even more sour.

So that is how Blizzard ruined my alt experience... like hell i'm going to start another toon and get passed by constantly! I'm sure if i would start a toon anyway they will change things again once i've reached 60, i'm thát paranoid now! Okay, okay... it's about the fun, true... but everyone who leveled to 70 at least once knows there are just some level-ranges or area's which are a pain to level through. If i could go by those three times as fast, that would make leveling a lot more fun i think.
Until that time comes when they sooth my potential frustration i'll stick to playing my 60+ alts and if i want to start a new alt anyway it will be a Deathknight (soon) which skips most of the triple-experience content anyway.