Karazhan in the rain
Incy wincy spider
The Theramore Graveyard
I’m secretly squeaking with glee at the thought of getting my hands on all the new Mists gear for transmogrification purposes but in the meantime I thought I’d share some of my Transmogolympic outfits with you. Rather than show all my nine outfits, I’m going to stick with the ones that my characters might potentially wear at some point.
The javelin – modelled by my Troll Druid.
Horse riding – worn by my Worgen.
Archery – Bloodelf style.
Cycling leathers – rocking and rolling with my Night Elf Druid.
Of these, the equestrian and the cycling are probably my favourites. If I go Draenei with my monk which is a distinct possibility then I’ll definitely be working on farming her the cycling set.
In the meantime I’m currently trying to match up a belt and shoulders to go with my new robe (Scarlet Monastery, drops from the gentleman who replaced Doan and whose name I can’t remember).
We casters really need our version of the Death Knight starter zone belt, one that doesn’t overlap any fancy designs on roles. Any suggestions would be received with open arms.
Yep this is yet another post about the Panda cinematic but I also want to touch on my feelings about the lack of a “big Bad”. I know Blizzard have taken quite a bit of flack over that decision, but I feel its the right one for a number of reasons. When we curl up with a murder story, we don’t know the villain from page 1, perhaps by the half way mark we have a good idea who did it but it’s rarely spelt out until the last few pages. In many regards WoW functions in the same fashion as a book, it’s a never ending story, each patch a chapter which unfolds as we play it.
Knowing the destination from the start removes some of the fun from the journey as well making little sense from a literal perspective. Why in Wrath for example did we waste time and lives fighting Old Gods and taking part in a tournament of all things when we could have just knocked on the door of Icecrown Citadel. Perhaps we weren’t strong enough to take him then but we never tried, we just got derailed by the plot.
I’d like to think that Pandaria is an expansion of storytelling, an expansion where the focus is more on why people do things we class as “evil” rather than pulling out the old generic excuse that something external corrupted our heroes. I hesitated in quoting Hannah Arendt here but her comment about the “banality of evil” is I believe relevant here at least a topic of debate. The Horde and the Alliance have been at war so long, with each other and against outside forces that some of those negative emotions are bound to have seeped in. Mass murder, torture and burning villages have the bread and butter of our “heroes” and so surely the line has been repeatedly crossed. Do we know what’s worth fighting for any more or has that all been lost in the bloodshed which has become a way of life.
Then we also have the Sha to contend with, manifestations of negative emotions, they stalk Pandaria taking strength from the anger and hatred we brought with us. From the Temple of the Jade Serpent we know that they can amplify our feelings, bringing us to the point of destruction and thus Pandaria could be very dangerous for some of our Heroes. It will be an interesting path to walk. Is it as exciting as knowing that the huge dragon, demon or guy with a very big sword who just committed some atrocity in the opening cinematic will eventually die to our swords, perhaps not but as a study into human nature it could potentially be far more interesting as we witness the twists and turns of the plot.
Now when I watched the cinematic two thoughts twisted through my brain, the first, wonderfully covered by Apple Cider was the lack of any female characters and the second was a sense of deja vu. Some feeling of familiarity that took me a while to chase back to it’s source. When I was a little girl I loved reading stories of adventure and one of my favourites was “The Lost World“, I suppose I secretly hoped that somewhere hidden from sight, dinosaurs still roamed the earth just waiting for us to discover them.
He had the face and beard which I associate with an Assyrian bull; the former florid, the latter so black as almost to have a suspicion of blue, spade-shaped and rippling down over his chest. The hair was peculiar, plastered down in front in a long, curving wisp over his massive forehead. The eyes were blue-gray under great black tufts, very clear, very critical, and very masterful. A huge spread of shoulders and a chest like a barrel were the other parts of him which appeared above the table, save for two enormous hands covered with long black hair. This and a bellowing, roaring, rumbling voice made up my first impression of the notorious Professor Challenger (from the Lost World).
Both Admiral Taylor and General Nazgrim fit that mould, where men and orcs are manly, tough and happy to run around bare chested. I’ll also admit to a slightly dubious thought involving impalement and Admiral Taylor’s very large pole but I’m going to blame that on this. In many regards I like the fact that Blizzard have stayed consistent, reusing familiar characters (Nazgrim has been with us since Northrend and Taylor at least since Vashj’ir). These are NPCs we’ve already fought along side and whilst I would have loved to see a female Pandarian beat them to a pulp, I think that’s a good start to what has the potential to be a wonderful adventure complete with monsters and amazing scenary.
This is a rant so if you are of a nervous disposition you might wish to look away now.
The only thing that doesn’t work is PvP Power-fueled healing. At the moment, you only gain the healing benefit when in BGs and Arenas. The reason is because that we don’t want PvP gear to be super effective for PvE content (useful is fine, but super effective is not).
That design goal is easily met for damage dealers, because they won’t benefit from PvP Power when damaging creatures. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple check for us to determine if a healer is healing damage done by PvP or PvE. In an Arena or BG you can make that assumption, but in the outdoor world you may be engaging in world PvP, or you may just be questing.
No no no!
The healing component has to work everywhere out in the world because PvP, especially on PvP servers is often just a heartbeat away. Doing dailies is just an excuse for outright war and as a healer under this system you run the risk of being damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
The world should be consistent, the second you start having to have rules within rules it points to bigger issue, highlighting that the PvP Power system is flawed. This is like trying to use a bandaid to stop the Niagara Falls, futile, frustrating and something which will need fixing in the long run.
Group questing is a joke as it is, on the beta I haven’t really come across a quest that we needed more than 2 people for and I’m sure that on most quests a handful of dpsers with zero healers would have managed. As for World Bosses, long term they’ve never been taxing in themselves, the hard part is usually cross faction guild competition, i.e. World PvP. Neither of these is a good reason to start treating healers like second class citizens. The game isn’t balanced around low levels and it shouldn’t be balanced around group quests or the difficulty of a World Boss where you could technically use four separate raids.
We are considering just letting PvP Power affect healing everywhere but dungeons and raids. That would solve world PvP and only risk unbalancing group questing and world bosses. Even the world bosses probably don’t represent a huge game balance risk, given that the option always exists to get tons of players together to zerg them.
Yes please. The other point to note is that by the time we all have enough PvP Power to make a difference, group quests and dailies are hardly going to be relevant content that the game needs any form of balancing around.
Just like Death and Taxes, World PvP will always be with us but group quests come and go. I just two manned the Crucible of Carnage in PvP gear…… oh noes, what an exploiter I am. Oh wait, it’s hardly relevant content and to be honest even if it was, it still wouldn’t make up for me dying to some random dpser who got 100 percent of the benefit of his gear whilst I only got a fraction of mine. Lets take me and Mr Harpy, we PvP a lot but we both put in the same effort in to get that gear and thus should always get the same benefit from it. Stats shouldn’t just turn on and off because you zone (unless it’s a raid/dungeon).
If Blizzard want content to present a challenge then make it hard, don’t penalise healers.
Whilst flicking through the search engine terms which lure unsuspecting people to my blog, I noticed this:
blizzard horde bias is getting worse
The more I thought about it, I realised I’d seen lots of similar comments littering the forums. So is it true? Do the developers favour one side over the other? I admit I’m not particularly happy about the forthcoming destruction of Theramore but that’s simply because I happen to like the place not because I believe that the developers are out to get “us”. It’s got beautiful sunsets, a handy beach and a lot of memories for me.
The first pawn on the chess board of what is to be the story for Mists of Pandaria is being moved, and you’re angry at whose turn is first? I only offer that maybe there’s a little more to the Horde and Alliance story lines in Mists than an Alliance town being leveled… like the entire expansion story you don’t know about yet. ;)
Quote from here. However you can’t just look at this in vacuum, you have to consider what’s come before. Let’s start by looking at the conflicts/territory the Alliance have already lost. Now I realise that all these losses aren’t just to the Horde but bear with me.
The ruins of Southshore and an absence of closure.
Let’s take Southshore as a starting point. Yes, it had great significance to me because as a vanilla Pvper, I have lots and lots of happy memories of pvping between Southshore and Tarren Mill but I accept that the Alliance having more zones than the Horde for questing purposes was unfair. I also accept that it was a logical territory to lose. Where I start to get annoyed is with the lack of storytelling. What happened to all the townsfolk of Southshore… as Alliance you don’t get any answers what so ever. All those people just wiped out or forced to choose between being turned into a Worgen or a Forsaken and we don’t give a damn. I know that if you play Horde through Silverpine Forest you do get answers (and if you haven’t done that.. then go now and do it!) but that’s not good enough.
Arathi Highlands is still completely underdeveloped and would have been the perfect place to tell Southshore’s story from the Alliance perspective. After all, if Southshore was helpless against Sylvannas’s war machine what chance does the Refuge Camp have. There should be more refugees, proper fortifications and quests to spy on the Forsaken camp in Arathi. Perhaps quests even to fly gryphons into Hillsbrad itself to see the damage for ourselves. It’s touched on briefly with the Quae and Kinelory chain but there should be more. Perhaps a continuation of the Quae/Kinelory chain which has you gathering ingredients for a Mage, get X herbs from the Trolls, Y crystals from the Ogres and some imbued water from Stromgarde crypt. Once you have everything, you get to stare into a crystal ball and view the same cutscene that Horde see, showing you the fate of the Hillsbrad villagers. From there, you could be sent to Stormwind to make sure the proper authorities know what happened.
Then in Stormwind, the NPCs should have dialogue about the Forsaken attack, perhaps someone bemoaning the loss of a family member or complaining about Varian’s inaction. What about some angry Southshore Worgen, railroaded into a terrible choice, why aren’t they howling from the rooftops. We all know this tentative peace won’t last, the hatred goes too deep and that’s what I find so frustrating. Blizzard have already painted in the background but are holding off on the detail work.
Next up Gilneas.
Now I’ve played through it on three characters now and each time when it’s over I think to myself “that’s it?”. I had to escape MY home town through a tunnel filled with vermin. I had to watch as the Forsaken invaded, used my friends as slave labour and slaughtered people with their plague yet I seem fairly happy on escaping to start running errands for the Night Elves. Why aren’t the inhabitants of that tree in Darnassus demanding justice and revenge? Why aren’t we at least talking of war on the Horde, instead of standing around making polite conversation and no doubt sipping cups of tea. That chapter shouldn’t just end with the Worgen arrival in Teldrassil. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there should be a full out assault on Gilneas or any of the Horde lands. Just that the occasional quests and the random NPC dialogues should mention what the Worgen have lost. Greymane lost his son yet he stands in Stormwind Keep handing out platitudes, “Gilneas will rise again”… “Not if you just stand here it won’t”. Adding a dialogue option in which he says something about his desire for revenge wouldn’t hurt. He and Varian could be warmongering quite happily with Anduin trying to convince them that killing isn’t the answer as an occasional dialogue.
Where is Lorna Crowley and why don’t the Alliance have any quests relating to the Gilneas Liberation Front?
Yes, playing through content on both sides is great but you shouldn’t have to play the opposing faction to find out what happened to characters you spent the first 12-14 levels fighting side by side with. Due to phasing, as Alliance we can’t even go and look for them. Their story just comes to an abrupt end once you destroy the Horde airship, at least as far as we get to see.
The neutering of Night Elves.
Then we come to the Night Elves. Their forests are being systematically destroyed and Elves are being tortured in their own heartlands. The Goblins vandalised Azshara when no one was looking, even though it was ancestral Elven land and that’s before we even touch on the “BOMB”. How patient are these people? Why aren’t there Night Elves coming to Darnassus/Stormwind talking of war, or at least registering their displeasure at what the Horde are doing. Why is the bulk of Sentinel Army parked in Feralas rather than actually fighting something? When you speak to Tyrande all she has to say is “May Elune light your path”, very useful in a time of war that so perhaps Fandral had a point about her ability to lead her people. There are so many opportunities to move the struggle between the factions forward and yet they are the road currently not taken.
The damp squib which was the Battle for Andorhal.
Oh, well, we lost. I’m off to rescue my boyfriend from the clutches of the Banshee Queen, don’t bother telling anyone too important because they won’t do anything and besides it hardly matters because the Forsaken aren’t harassing our farmers thirty feet away from the town they just won. Oh, here have a cool-looking staff as compensation.
Notice that Sylvanas is hands on, overseeing her battle plans even if it is in disguise yet despite Andorhal surely being a key battle, especially with Southshore lost, we don’t send anyone more senior than Thassarian to co-ordinate the attack. On that note, both Sylvanas and Garrosh show up during a variety of questlines as Horde. The Alliance on the other hand, well Tyrande and Malfurion are clearly making up for lost time. Varian is too busy commissioning statues of himself and the three Dwarves are babysitting or arguing.
On a unrelated note, can we please find out if Thassarian succeeded in rescuing Koltira sometime soon.
Even the Weather and Deathwing play Horde!
I included the lands ravaged by the weather/an angry Dragon as well because I want to highlight the inconsistencies. Auberdine and Feathermoon Stronghold took the brunt of the bad weather yet the the Horde bases on the same coastline were fine. Although Shadowprey Village looks like it would blow away in a strong breeze, it managed to withstand the Cataclysm without the dock breaking up or any of the houses falling down. A whole district in Stormwind was destroyed, killing surprise surprise a bunch of Night Elves and yet no one says anything or has made any move to rebuild it.
The Thousand Needles was flooded yes but other than that what Horde lands suffered due to the Cataclysm? I’d argue that Durotar was improved by the addition of water, after all, now it’s impossible to get stuck down in Thunder Ridge. Whilst Stormwind was being knocked down, Orgrimmar was being built up although we still have an awesome dock and they’ve got a Goblin slum.. so, that’s pretty much equal really I’d say.
A Slaughter of Taurens.
Finally I want to look at the most significant Horde loss of Cataclysm, Camp Taurajo. Like Southshore it was presented as a fait accompli, yet as Horde you have the opportunity to get a kind of closure. It’s the emotive, gut wrenching story-line that Southshore could have been. It gives even the most mild-mannered characters a reason for wanting to fight the Alliance. Like Silverpine Forest, it’s a must play through for all my Horde characters because not only does it re-enforce the bloody pointlessness of war, Camp T makes you want to seek revenge and more importantly the story allows you to do so. Something the Alliance have been denied on front after front but wait a minute, the Taurens lost their faction leader, Cairne Bloodhoof. The flooding of the Thousand Needles hit them the hardest and their mortal enemies the Grimtotem are up to all sorts of mischief both in the Thousand Needles and in Stonetalon (not to mention being armed by the Alliance). Then of course there was the Grimtotem attempt to seize power in Thunder Bluff, a plan which almost worked and resulted in the deaths of many more Taurens. Yet no one is accusing Blizzard of being anti-Tauren, well not yet anyway.
A conclusion of sorts.
I know they say “Revenge is dish best served cold” but it just feels as Blizzard have ignored so many opportunities to push for conflict in Cataclysm. Compare the way they handled the destruction of Auberdine with the way we lost Southshore. One is brilliant storytelling which jerks at your heartstrings. The other doesn’t exist, at least for the Alliance. So that’s why I’m angry at the thought of losing Theramore. I see a string of missed opportunities to move both sides towards the inevitable and on the Alliance side at least, great gaps in the storytelling. The former I can live with, the latter I find inexcusable. The Destruction of Theramore is not the the “first pawn” on the chessboard, it’s more akin to the last one. Already we have skirmishes going badly across Azeroth, the Horde using “illegal” weapons (the Bomb in Stonetalon/the Plague in Gilneas/Hillsbrad), torture (Ashenvale/Darkshore) and yet we still need more reasons to go to war… really?
“Certainly I think Varian Wrynn for the Alliance really needs to be the kind of character that players really look up to and see as a major world figure. And I think if you ask players right now, they don’t quite see him that way yet.“
Dave Kosak on Varian Wrynn. This quote from Blizzard’s lead quest designer does suggest that both Jaina and her city are sacrificial pawns in the game of “make Varian more awesome”. I just wish they weren’t pushing the most “vanilla” of all the faction leaders on us. He’s male, white, heterosexual and bad tempered, how exciting. I just need to go out on a Saturday night and I’ll encounter plenty of men who are exactly the same (only most of them have better hair).
That said, do I cry bias? no I don’t. There will be always be points in the story that people don’t like, perhaps the zones being destroyed had a lot of personal memories, perhaps they don’t like the direction a particular character is being moved in or perhaps they’re just looking for something to complain about on the forums. For each piece of personal knee jerk reacting, there is a logical explanation out there. I remember playing one of the Civ games where the further from your capital the harder it was to keep order, now that makes sense so if we apply to that WoW, Azshara is right on the Horde’s doorstep but a long way from Darnasssus. You could also argue that due to the weather/angry Dragon that the Alliance actually got some of the best storytelling in Cataclysm, Darkshore is heartrending for example, especially if you played a Night Elf through the zone as it was before. As for the battle for Andorhal, perhaps we’re looking at wrong. Maybe it’s not purely about the Horde versus the Alliance, perhaps it’s about showing the Alliance that Sylvanas has the Val’kyr under her control or about advancing the relationship between Thassarian and Koltira or a mixture of both. I didn’t like Cairne dying which is strange because I used to participate in his death on a regular basis. I don’t like the fact that Sylvanas attempted suicide but I’m going to wait to pass judgement. Each expansion is merely a chapter and until the last one is written we don’t know who is going to end up on top and more importantly we don’t know the events which bring that victory to pass. Our own history should have taught us that the victors of the first few battles often lose the war.
Here are some of the previous inhabitants of Southshore, the ones I’ve managed to track down.
One of my favourite pieces of MoP information is the potential blacklisting of up to two different battleground maps.
I hate the “randomness” of random Battlegrounds. Now I fell down the stairs last night and sprained my ankle so I’m not in the best of tempers but I defy anyone to like a system which thinks five Strand of the Ancients in a row can possibly be ok. My foot is slowly turning that lovely shade of deep purple which looks gorgeous on plants (thinking violets and pansies here) but not so hot on feet. The random Battleground finder is turning my mood the same colour considerably faster.
Why the loathing?
Because there is no choice at all. It’s either use the random queue or don’t PvP. The queue times are considerably longer when you queue to a specific battleground and unreliable too, you may get one in a few minutes and then have to wait hours for the next one or you might just have to wait hours. Compare that to getting a random battleground within 2 minutes of queuing up even at weird times in the middle of the night. Then there is the honour or rather lack of it. For winning a random we get an extra 270 per game winning game, not to mention the conquest points but when you queue for a specific battleground, guess what… no bonus. Now since the honour is an incentive to queue up for randoms, that might seem fair enough until you consider the fact that the bonus honour was implemented to replace the tokens that we used to get.
Now I might be a special little snowflake but there are times when I want to chill out in 40 mans, bullying Horde in Stonehearth bunker or seeing just how many people I can kill whilst they are attacking Balinda. At those times, the random Battleground finder throws me into WSG or Strand of the Ancients. Then there are times when I just want to work on my Arathi Basin rep, of course then I get everything and anything but Arathi Basin. Sometimes, sure I really don’t mind which battleground I end up in, I just want to kill people. Then of course I wind up in the Isle of Conquest, the blink and you’ll miss it game where tracking down the enemy faction is akin to finding the fox cub mini-pet, i.e. the odds are not in your favour.
Why can’t winning a battleground reward the same honour regardless of how you got there? That way I wouldn’t keep ending up in Strand of the Ancients with a bunch of people who don’t know what they are doing. Blacklisting isn’t necessarily the fix I would have gone for (a system a bit like my old cd player in which it never plays the same song twice in a row would have been my first choice I think) but I have to admit I intend welcoming it with open arms.
The only bit I find a bit odd is the caveat about the battleground weekends.
So If I exclude the Strand of the Ancients when SotA weekend rolls around, it will unblacklist itself and when I queue to random, there is a chance I’ll still wind up on the beach. On their respective weekends, the smaller maps are often crawling with premades so the sensible solo player wants to avoid them more than ever but as things stand when you queue to random at those times, you still find yourself thrown into the weekend battleground. I was hoping that this change would go a long way towards fixing that issue but it seems not. I understand that Blizzard want their Battleground weekends to be a success even when it’s SotA but I do think this devalues the whole point of the blacklisting to a degree. Yes, we’re getting more new maps so the gap between SotA weekends will be increasing but I’d still like to never ever go there again.
So which maps will I be avoiding?
Whilst I think it will vary on a character by character basis, SotA is definitely on the list (no surprise there!). Games of two halves don’t work under Blizzard’s model of Player versus Player. If the team who attacks first doesn’t break through the final wall, more often than not they don’t fight in the second half. They want to obtain their losing honor quickly, after all the best possible outcome at that point is to lose fast. Even if you hold the game to a draw, it’s counted as a loss in your statistics because the armoury doesn’t recognise draws (another reason why I dislike the armoury), so you might as well lose fast and hope you get better luck next time around.
My Druid and my Shaman like it a lot more than my Priest as both have ways of slowing vehicles down or bringing them to halt outside tailoring nets but despite my good win rate in there, I’d be happy never to have to get sand in my shoes ever again.
As for my second choice, I think I’ll wait until I’ve fully tested out all the new maps before committing but Isle of Conquest is a contender. The map is too big for the number of players on it. You can easily go all game without seeing any red name plates and if you do decide to defend in order to get some actual PvP, more often than not it’s you versus 40.
On the plus side though, outside of the SotA weekends, everyone who ends up there should be there because they want to be. AV will be full of people who want a proper AV game not a quick rush with zero pvp. Hopefully this change will improve the quality of pvp for all of us because each game is full of players who want to be in that map, who aren’t shuddering behind their screen, who aren’t planning on afking half way through but who are actually there to play and to win.
I am curious to see what everyone else goes for avoiding. I know quite a few Horde players who don’t intend ever doing AV or Isle of Conquest again, as well as a few people who hate the two flag carrying 10 mans. Mushan posted about his choices here as well. I think given the size of the pool, this shouldn’t effect queue time apart from perhaps the 40 mans late at night but it will be interesting to see how it all balances out.
I’ve been a bit preoccupied with real life stuff recently but when I was flicking through my feed reader, I noticed this post from Tome of the Ancient.
“I don’t know if other bloggers do this, but I have a few posts that I wrote and then found lacking and they’re just sitting here collecting dust.“
At the last count, my drafts folder has something like 105 potential posts gathering dust so before Mists dawns, I intend on getting rid of them by taking a leaf of the Duke of Wellington’s book and yelling “Publish and be damned” at the screen whilst hitting the publish button with my eyes shut.
Anyway, I’d like to offer my own unwritten rule #241
It doesn’t matter what level of pvp you are indulging in, there will always be someone on your team wearing the equivalent of a wedding dress and very little else. It might be the fang set (why they couldn’t just transmog it is anyone’s guess), it might be a lovely black dress or it might be 20 levels out of date but they’ll be there, running about in all their glory attempting to carry the flag.
I encountered this in an Eye of the Storm.
Fair enough we thought, it’s going to get dressed just before the game starts. Nope, it leapt from the starter stone still wearing that lv 1 robe. Maybe it’s a bot, we thought as it rode down to Fel Reaver on an epic mechostrider. Perhaps it’s making a video and will show super awesome skills that don’t require clothes. Nope, it went splat in approximately one second flat. I then spent the rest of game indulging in my own personal game of trying to “keep the mostly naked gnome alive” which went surprisingly well. Although we did win, I never quite got to the bottom of why they were still wearing that dress, I mean it’s not even very pretty.
After this, I’m never going to feel guilty about battlegrounding in slightly behind gear ever again.
The Blog Azeroth shared topic this week revolves around fishing.
Fishing is an odd sort of minigame in WoW and people I’ve talked to either love it or hate it. So what’s your take on the most grindy of sports?
If you love it: Why? Where’s your favorite spot to go drop a line and veg while waiting for a strike?
If not: Why not? What would make it more fun? Or is there a way to make fishing fun?
And lastly, for those of you with hard-won turtles and rats and lobsters ‘o doom—show ‘em off! (Because I’m proud of my stupid rat and darned if I’m not going to sneak my own screenshot in.)
Suggested by Martha.
I have to start this with a quick confession. Whilst in theory I love the idea of hanging out in some of Azeroth’s beauty spots catching fish, in practise I hate fishing. For the whole of classic WoW, I avoided hints subtle and otherwise that I might want to join the guild fishing parties for stoneskin eels. In fact it was only the introduction of the baby crocolisks in the patch which brought us the Sunwell which gave me the impetus to level fishing at all. That daily must have been the first one my server was offered because I remember one of our Gnome Warlocks showing up at raid time with the most adorable little croc and thinking I want one of those. Yes, it’s rather sad that the addition of mini pets pushed me into fishing when the pleas, threats and abuse of my old raidleader couldn’t make me although I did farm other stuff including lots of herbs and my own weight in nature resistance pots so it’s not like I didn’t contribute (although in the very unlikely off-chance he’s reading this, sorry).
However, despite my dislike of fishing, I have managed to collect quite a few of the fishing related pets.
First up was Muckbreath who much to the envy of quite a few guildmates I managed to score with an impressive fishing skill of 10.
(the picture is actually Chuck though)
From there I caught the rest of his crocolisk siblings before moving on to bigger prey. Again, I got lucky with the Crawdad, the pet came from the first Mr Pinchy I fished up.
Unfortunately the sewer Rat took quite a bit longer, in the end, he too succumbed to my bait.
However, my white whale otherwise known as the sea pony continues to elude me. This is entirely my fault, I manage to fish for roughly ten minutes at a time before getting distracted by PvP or dailies or ironing. That combined with the fact that the Faire is only available one week in every month means I have limited time and worse I’m putting in even less effort to catch it. One day though, one day.
Given my love/hate relationship with fishing, it may come as a surprise that I have a MoP fishing wishlist, but I do.
First up, fishing boats. Looking back through my post history, I’ve actually been in pursuit of these for a while now but Blizzard still haven’t provided. Azeroth’s waterways are littered with small boats of all kinds which would be perfect to be re-purposed into seafaring mounts.
Some could be made through professions, the canoe for example would be perfect as a leatherworking item. Others could be made through engineering (possibly with the chance of being capsized every so often) and perhaps blacksmithing could produce some sort of submarine. There could also be a quest chain for keen fishing enthusiasts to create some sort of ultimate fishing vehicle complete with beer fridge, cushions and an umbrella to protect you from the heat of the sun.
New fishing rods would be nice as well. I still use the Kalu’ak one as fortune has never favoured me with the jewelled one but a few new options would spice things up. Perhaps a jade one for MoP or one made from fish bones as recyling is always good. It would of course make you smell like rotten fish but surely that’s going to help you catch a big one. Perhaps using it would have you periodically attacked in deep water by a large and random shark.
We have a fishing hat but what about a few more accessories? How about waders or at least a shirt with fish on it.
Finally mini-pets. With the addition of pet battles, the world of mini pets is really opening up so there should be lots of opportunity to acquire aquatic critters.
I’d like to see the following:
What Blizzard have said on the subject so far:
We are going to be testing out account wide features with Pet Battles that are coming with the introduction of Mists of Pandaria. If this proves to be successful, then we may even consider doing the same thing with mounts.
With Mists of Pandaria, account-wide achievements will indeed become available at the Battle.net account level, and many achievements will be shared among characters. A wide array of achievements will certainly be covered, including achievements that relate to everything from raiding and PvP to maxing out professions and assorted fun challenges.
While we’re still working out many of the details regarding account-wide achievement functionality, I want to clarify that we plan for the system to apply to all achievements — not just those added in Mists of Pandaria. It’s intended to be an overall change to the current achievement system.Our goal is to make it so that you feel like you only have to get an achievement once. We think the time and effort you put into achievements should be evident regardless of which character you’re playing. The update will be implemented at the Battle.net level and, as such, would apply to all of the attached World of Warcraft licenses on the account.
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I want everyone to be a bit cautious about their expectations as of yet. We still have a lot of details to work out in regard to how this will all work. Once we have more specific information to share on it, we’ll let you all know. I don’t want anyone to get too far ahead on things until we can share more and explain any possible “ifs”, “ands”, and “buts” with you all should there be any put in place.
It sounds as if we’re going to have to change our mindsets when it comes to achievements. Instead of being something you collect on a character by character basis, it could well be account bound by the time MoP comes out.
I have to admit I’m torn on the topic.
On the one hand, my raiding achievements are spread across three characters as I swapped mains during the Burning Crusade to help my guild with our sudden Resto Shaman shortage during the Sunwell period. Having account-wide achievements would certainly help with that. Instead of having to refer a prospective guild to say four different armory profiles to back up your application, one character would show everything you have achieved in-game. It would make switching characters both for personal reasons and for raid balance/to help your guild out far more attractive too. It also makes sense as it’s us, the people behind the keyboard who complete the achievements and having then account-wide would reflect that. I (the player) put in the time and effort to get the Hand of A’dal achievement, to farm rank 12, to kill Yogg-Saron and all the other bits and pieces I’ve done over the years, so why shouldn’t all my characters show what I’ve done. As it currently stands, the character I’m currently playing the most was created in September 2011 and has achieved very little. Anyone looking at her in a vacuum has no idea that I’ve played for almost seven years or that I’ve killed X on hardmode or Y when it was current content. So, yes, I would benefit from these prospective changes.
However (and you knew the but was coming didn’t you), I’m surprised at this comment in particular.
“Our goal is to make it so that you feel like you only have to get an achievement once. We think the time and effort you put into achievements should be evident regardless of which character you’re playing.”
Doesn’t that shrink the game some what. Think of all the repeatable content which suddenly becomes irrelevant. You complete the Explorer once and you never have to do it again. Done Loremaster, great, now you don’t need to visit Stonetalon Mountains on another character ever again. What about titles/pets and mounts from achievements? Take farming Anzu for example, it’s not crucial and yes it can be annoying when it doesn’t drop on the 100th run but that still doesn’t mean it should be on all your characters just because you did it once. However, having the achievement without the reward (in the shape of titles/mounts/pets/tabards) surely flies in the face of “only have to get an achievement once” because without the reward, people will still want to get the achievement on more than one character. So that suggests that a lot of the rewards have to become account-wide too otherwise it’s a pointless exercise. I think this is the bit that bugs me the most. It would seem wrong to me in a game which is fundamentally about levelling and becoming stronger as you do so, that whenever you make a character, you receive a sackful of goodies, titles and achievements in the mail.
I realise the answer to the shrinking content is simple, just add more and making achievements account-wide does give Blizzard plenty of scope for that. Instead of getting 250 000 hks for example, add an achievement for for 500 000 and then 1 million across your account and so on. I also wonder how professions would work, does this mean that I never would have to level archaeology on another character ever again or that we might be seeing super awesome rewards for levelling it on multiple characters (please please please be the former!).
I also get that one account sharing all it’s pets is probably crucial to the success of the pet battle system. I mean if I put hours of work into levelling Pyewacket the Feline Familiar or Serenity the Firefly on one character, I wouldn’t want to waste time levelling that same pet with the same abilities on another character. However, I have to admit, I’m not too keen on it. What happens to the pets you have multiple times across your account? Take the little white kitten for example, I have several across my account and each one has a different story behind it. Some my husband’s alts purchased for particular characters as gifts, others I bought myself, racing other players to Lil Timmy and one I grabbed off the AH. Will those seven or eight little kittens just become one? If so, why waste time farming multiple pets of the same type on different characters. Take this years Lunar Festival, imagine farming multiple lanterns or spending massive amounts of gold to get one for each character and then discovering a few weeks down the line, hey, we’re making pets account bound, you only needed one… Yes, it means that my Hyacinth Macaw might finally get some action but I still find myself a little unhappy at the idea.
I suppose what I envisioned when account-wide achievements first came up, seems completely different to what Blizzard envisioned. I imagined we’d get an extra tab on your achievement page, that would fit in between your “personal”, i.e. character achievements and the guild ones. An account wide list of everything you the player has achieved over your years of playing WoW, that regardless of which character you’re currently logged on, you can link or people can look at. By the sound of it, however, if things go according to plan, we might just have one achievement page which shows everything your characters have done. I thought at most, the Feats of Strength might be shared across your account but not much more. Take logging in on the game’s Xth anniversary, which character/s you did it on probably isn’t that important in the scale of things. However, on closer inspection of my Feats of Strength I have mixed feelings about even them. Should all my characters be “wielders of Val’anyr” or have access to my classic PvP ranks. I hit rank 12 once and rank 8 on another three characters which is enough to allow me to transmogrify the classic PvP sets on four characters. Being able to use them on all my characters would be awesome but then I don’t believe the restriction should exist in the first place. I’d rather Blizzard just did away with that restrictive rule rather than gave all my characters access to things which they didn’t earn. I know that sounds silly because “I” earned them and it shouldn’t matter which character I’m playing but to me at least it does.
Then there is the stalking potential and no I’m not paranoid. I’m actually one of those strange people who posts on Blizzard’s forums with their main character not a lv 10 or under. Anyone I’m arguing with is welcome to call me a scrub or worse (oddly enough people seem to end up apologising/playing nice, I’m clearly doing the whole PvP forum thing totally wrong). Your achievements across your account will end up like a unique fingerprint, especially when we take dates and Feats of Strength into account. I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for some enterprising person to come up with a website and a program for parsing armory data and linking all characters with that unique fingerprint together. Suddenly hiding on the forums would get a lot harder, as would server transferring/renaming. I know that’s not necessarily a bad thing but some people do get hounded unfairly and this would make checking up/stalking people a lot simpler.
Yes, none of this is written in stone. It’s just idle speculation on my part based on a few comments made by people with their names in pretty blue text. Regardless though of what the achievement system does end up looking like in MoP, I suspect a sea change is on the way. Achievements look as if they are becoming a record of how we the players spend our time in Azeroth as opposed to how we spend our time playing each individual character on our account.
The next few months are going to be interesting.