A Web of Warlocks

I’ve been toying with the idea of leveling a warlock but I couldn’t quite decide on the race. So naturally I took the question to twitter where Gnome, Dwarf and Worgen were suggested. Feeling indecisive, I thought I’d make one of each and go with whoever spawned with the best Imp name since that was clearly the most important aspect of being a Warlock.

Gnome

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Worgen

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Dwarf

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In the end Dwarf won out, partly because I’ve always wanted a character with plaits which spin whilst casting and partly because it turns out I prefer Imp names which end in the letter L.

So I’ll be slowly leveling Cobweb the Dwarf and her accompaniment of Imps through a battleground near you!

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In which I get slightly morbid

My muse Matty posted recently about gravestones, something which has been much on my mind in recent months. Like Webster I seem obsessed with death, wandering through Kirkyards seeing the bones lying bare beneath the stones. Art then mirrors life as it seems that everywhere I look in WoW, I see shrines, skeletons and tombstones.

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Which brings to me to my question. If your character were to die, where would you wish him or her to be buried? For me it would be here, in the Wetlands. In the cemetery which has held me in it’s spell ever since I first rode through the marshlands

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Exposure

One of the few great things about packing is that you find all sorts of bits and pieces from your past. The literal skeletons in your closet and ghosts in the wardrobe. Underneath our bed, I discovered my old art folders from high school. Why I’d thrown them there I’ve no idea, out of sight out of mind perhaps. I certainly haven’t put paint brush to paper much since. Maybe I’d thought the bed would weight them down, stop all that ink, crayon and pastel from escaping and colouring my world again.

Inspired by Matty’s recent post:

” We all want to be ‘seen.’ but not necessarily for who we are, in our weakest state, our moments of greatest self-doubt and fatigue. ”

So I thought I’d share with you some of the inner most workings of my teenage mind.

This is a self portrait although my hair was never quite that shade and my cheek bones not quite that sharp. I still have that purple jumper though (not school colours I might add). Reflections fascinated me back then for which I blame Sylvia Plath. The need to know I didn’t have a hair out of place probably helped as well.

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I was also big on drawing flowers and bones, although to be fair, we did have a fairly limited choice of subject matter. Rose thou art sick and all that. You might see a theme emerging.

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Another staple of mine were portraits, the weirder the better. This quick sketch is loosely based on someone I used to hang out with. She had the most fabulous freaky eyes. I was ever so slightly jealous and ever so slightly attracted to her, however her taste ran to unsuitable boys with long greasy hair so I settled for the captain of the boys rugby team instead. The “strange” thing is, I dated him for almost a full academic year and yet I don’t have a single sketch, painting or doodle of him.

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Finally that staple of teenage girls everywhere. The skull beneath the skin.

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With hindsight, I suspect that I haven’t actually changed much at all. Sure my hair is a far more proper colour these days but underneath all that… well that’s another story.

Vengeful Porcupette Hunting: The Swarm is upon us

Carrying on from yesterday’s post, today I want to talk about mini pets and pvp.  This post was inspired by Quintessence over at Perks N Peeves and her blog post about the Vengeful Porcupette.

Should certain pets only be obtainable through pvp? For me this is a topic on which I’m torn. I love pvp and would like to see more items available for me and people like me. I hit 90 last weekend and will have run out of things to spend my honour points by the middle of this week despite having limited game time and managing to do lots of other things as well. I’d love to see Spike and Lady as mini pets for example, perhaps linked to the achievement for winning 100 Arathi Basins. The Temple of Kotmogu could give you those brightly coloured cubes you get over your head as pets and Silvershards Mines could reward you with a tiny mine cart of your own. However, as I said yesterday I do believe a lot of the problems in pvp (think Children’s Week as a prime example) comes from people who are there for the currency/achievements not because they enjoy killing or being killed by their fellow players.

The Timeless Isle will bring us a new currency, the Bloody Coins which will be used to purchase certain things including a new mini pet, the Vengeful Porcupette. Now that all seems simple enough but there is one issue, these coins are obtainable from killing other players (either faction will do) on the Timeless Isle. In order to pick them up you need to buy the Censer of Eternal Agony which on a PvE server will flag you for pvp but also makes you attack-able by your own faction.

From the tool tip, Blizzard could go two ways. If “reduces your maximum health by 90 percent”, doesn’t allow you to heal afterwards you’ll just have 40k (gear dependent) to play with which means that everyone who just happens to be enabled because they’re out to gank will manage to slaughter pet seekers with no issue whatsoever unless you form a raid group of zerglings (as the item makes you friendly to anyone else using the censer as of the current build).

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You might have 400k health but hey, if 40 level 1s can take out Hogger…. imagine what a raid of aggressive, censer waving pet hunters could do! Or they could just reduce your health to 10 percent of your max but allow you to eat/bandage or heal your way back to up full before looking for people to kill. Personally, I’d prefer the former because I think it could be far more fun which probably means Blizzard will go for the latter.

Now I have no issue with this. In fact I’m sort of looking forward to this, especially if we end up with raids of people taking part like Halaa in the Burning Crusade or Tol Barad in the first few months of Cataclysm. In many regards, the same principle which governed vanilla world pvp will apply, pick your battles carefully or bring lots and lots of friends. However I can see quite a few other people not enjoying the road to this pet at all. That said, pet collectors are a diverse bunch of people and perhaps this should be reflected in-game. Raids both current and old hold pets, dailies and achievements reward them too but yet with the exception of the arena tournament ones, pvp is the only area without. It’s going to be interesting!

Mr Harpy isn’t particularly pet orientated however he’s going to get this one, in fact he’s probably the critter in the lead in the above image, little gnomish paws extended for extra momentum and teeth ready to tear chunks out of passers by.

 

Toxic Behaviour and Random Battlegrounds

It’s a reoccurring theme at the moment. Every where I look, twitter, guild chat, forums… there are people talking about the bad language, aggression and general nastiness encountered on a daily basis in battlegrounds. Now I have a theory and perhaps it’s not going to win me any friends but there should be no denying that I’m qualified to talk random battlegrounds, after all I’ve been known to cap my conquest points purely by doing them.

Recently I’ve been on a winning streak and I haven’t see a single swear word thrown out in anger. No one has had their capslock stuck and the whining has been down at a bare minimum. Now that doesn’t come as a surprise, after all, it surely takes a special sort of personality to launch into the hatefest that random battlegrounds are famous for when you’re winning. So obviously, losing is the issue and that’s where this gets thorny. I’ve pvped ever since I first found my way into the Barrens as a teenage Night Elf, I camped between Southshore and Tarren Mill before the honour system was implemented. In short, I do random battleground because I actually like them. Sure I prefer winning to losing but I’m there for the ride not the achievements or the currency and there-in lies the problem. When you pvp for the pure pleasure of smashing other people’s faces in, of learning how to play your class better and setting your own personal goals even when being 5 nil’d because the rest of your team are being corpse camped somewhere then there is little reason to get annoyed. You’re still gaining something from the experience. The problems start when you have people in battlegrounds who hate the whole concept but want something tangible from it. That’s when you get premades and you get temper tantrums because each loss means you have to spend longer doing something you dislike*.

Now my boss at work is very fond of coming out with corny phrases like “bring solutions not problems” and thus, I’d like to propose the following.

Change the deserter debuff completely. Instead of marking people idle, implement a vote kick system like the one which exists in pve. It doesn’t matter whether they’re jumping in the corner, running into walls or spamming chat with the sort of language which would make a squaddie blush, it would be a one size fits all button. Any behaviour at all which goes against the spirit of competition and generally ruins the atmosphere for the majority of players would count, other examples being people who pick up flags for the express purpose of not handing them in, people who ride demolishers into the sea and as far way from objectives as possible etc and should a person be evicted from the battleground, they don’t get a 15 minute debuff which stops them queuing, instead they get a debuff which prevents them getting honour, conquest or being eligible for any pvp achievements for one hour. They can choose to re-queue straight away but should they be chucked out again, the debuff will stack. Therefore if someone decides to be an idiot after being removed the first time, all they will be doing is increasing the time frame before they can tick off that achievement or buy those boots.

Now I would like this to be the case for people who afk mid battle too but then that’s just me. A better or at least more acceptable answer to that issue might be to leave the deserter debuff in place but have it stack so the first time you /afk a game it’s 15 minutes, the second game it’s 30 and so on up until the point where it’s better to hang around actually playing a losing game rather than bail on your teammates half way through.

Obviously there is a chance that people will be unfairly thrown out but given that I’ve hardly ever seen anyone marked as idle when they didn’t deserve it, I’m not sure that would be an issue and it might improve the quality of life for everyone who wishes to dabble in pvp now and then. Now it would ruin my fun in certain situations as I’ve been known to run around capping flags whilst the rest of my team are being camped at the entrance to Arathi Basin to and to pick up flags in Warsong whilst everyone else is in the graveyard because I don’t believe in handing victory to the Horde under any circumstances but if they could remove bots, afkers and general haters, I’d be wiling to sacrifice my simple pleasures.

(I have to admit I’m pretty desensitized to bad language in battlegrounds. I work with people who use swearing as a punctuation because they grew up in environments where it was far too common but I do find it amazing that people can be be bothered to actually type it out whilst playing WoW).

 

*Of course there are some people who just like calling people names but I’d like to think that these are somewhat in the minority.

Endgame: The Monk’s Gambit

So I bit the bullet and leveled. My monk is now 90 and having a surprisingly large amount of fun. Ever contrary it seems that as everyone else is losing that WoW feeling, I’ve got my groove back.

This weekend I found myself uttering the words I never expected to slip past my lips, “Let’s just queue to Strand of the Ancients because it’s the call to arms and it’s amazing”. As it turns out, on monks it is a great place to pvp because of all the utility which comes as a standard regardless of spec. No one else slowing vehicles, fine, I can do it myself at no mana or chi cost to myself. No one else cc’ing chasing opponents, no problem, slow one, paralyze one, silence one, disarm one and rinse and repeat. Finally I have the control my control freak nature appreciates.

I’ve also being doing a lot of Tol Barad as it’s an easy five hundred honor per game. It’s just a shame that the Horde on my server don’t see the point of queuing up. This is one zone that I really wish was cross realm as I miss the massive battles with three raid groups we had the start of Cataclysm when it was new and shiny and gave semi useful rewards.

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In between PvP, I’ve started leveling archaeology. My goal for this week is to cap it out and also hopefully acquire as many of the interesting items as possible. The pick up, put down nature of it suits being interwoven in between battleground queues and the screenshot opportunities it provides suits me down to the ground.

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I’m almost completely geared in the current honor set and my conquest point count is climbing nicely so the next thing on the agenda will be to run those scenarios so I can experience the Battlefield which has become the Barrens prior to the patch. Given all those happy days I spent pvping in the Barrens it seems only fitting that my journey should take me there again.

 

You’re worth it: mark 2

Instead of helms, what if Blizzard added entire outfits to the store?

Would you pay 25 euros to wear this:

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Or this:

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Or this:
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or this:

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Or this:

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Imagine the possibilities.

I know I’d be swayed by the thought of wearing Queen Azshara’s wardrobe, especially if I could get it in a variety of colours. I might even role a male character if I could steal Lieutenant General Androrov’s outfit and run around with a dashing mustache.