Tag Archive: Blizzard


Going for Gold

Well, I’m back after a turbulent few weeks.  There has been guild drama, raid successes, a new website to set up, and some of the best weather for the time of year since records began – all of which pushed my digital scribblings onto the back burner.

I won’t bore you with the details of the guild stuff – let it suffice to say that an un-bridgeable chasm opened up between the GL & most of the active membership, leading to a mass exodus with the result that I am still playing with the same group of people, just under a different banner.

We have had some small successes – To4W & Shannox, and we are continuing to progress at our usual relaxed pace and have lots of fun in the process.

There has been a flood of information about patch 4.3, but the bombshell this week was the announcement of the tradable pet.  There are reams of comments on this topic elsewhere, and having read some of it, the general opinion seems to be that the actual pet is not the issue – after an initial surge, it could become as rarely seen as the sparkle horse.  What saddens me is the feeling I get of an erosion of trust in Blizzard as a company which will ‘do the right thing’.  There seems to be an air of resigned inevitability about the whole thing – a sense that this is the way the world works now, and we might as well get used to it.

Whether one cute pet will be a harbinger of doom or a one-off  experiment, I have no idea. But I have a bad feeling about it, nevertheless.

Now, a confession.  I have been wasting time on a free-to-play game called Gardens of Time. It’s mildly addictive, basically pointless and I feel slightly ashamed of myself for getting sucked into it.  But I have to admire the designers for their blatant string-pulling to keep players online: hourly tournaments, daily bonuses, presents from ‘friends’ – I have never felt quite so manipulated.  But hey, its a change from my snail-like progress towards Loremaster.

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I have had a good week 🙂  My (mostly) guild group finally killed Chimaeron and got the achievement for having only two corpses on the floor, we had a good stab at Atramedes before rl cut things short, and I got my Flameward Hippogryph.  Yes, I know, I’m waaay behind the curve with this stuff, but to me this was a big deal.  I’m still learning to be a raid healer, and the Chimaeron fight was a big test.  Atramedes will be another test of my somewhat erratic movement skills and reaction times, but I’m sure it is do-able, and confidence is a big part of success.

My new mount marks the end of the boring  grind of dailies – at least for now; I may go back to try to get some of the achievements, but for a while at least it will be nice not to feel I ‘ought’ to be doing them.   Bouncing bears and punting turtles is fun for a couple of weeks, and I love the ‘battlefield’ feel of Malfurion’s Breach, but flaming spiders? I’ve had enough, thank you very much.

And then there was the news about transmogrification, which has done wonders for guild interest in running old content; the plans for the new Darkmoon Faire,  which sounds much more like fun than the current version; and, of course, the thought of a final showdown with old Flame-breath himself  to finish off this expansion.

So, its been an interesting and fun time.  I just hope these snippets of future plans are enough to slow the trickle of players I know who have quit the game due to sheer boredom with this expansion.  I hope Blizzard have learnt something from the current patch, i.e. having two long, awkward dungeons at a level where players feel they ‘have’ to run them over and over in order to maximise their valor points, is counter-productive and has caused immense frustration and killed the fun in the game for a lot of players.

Anyway, I’m having a few days of peaceful archaeology and fishing. Half the guild is on holiday so raiding is on hold for a couple of weeks – ‘Limnologist’ and ‘Diggerest’ here I come 🙂

My word there is a lot of speculation going around the WoW blogs at the moment. The news that Blizzard trademarked ‘Mists of Pandaria’ has sparked a maelstrom of differing opinions regarding possible future content; this varies from ‘wish-lists’  of additional classes/races, to the idea of an elaborate hoax/possible Facebook game.

Personally, I hope for new territories to explore, with or without beer-brewing pandas. I’m not convinced Blizz are ready to introduce a new playable class – there has been talk of a ‘support’ class, but I imagine this would be a nightmare to balance with existing abilities.  But new lands, new archaeology (please!) and a new battlefront with less fire and brimstone, that is something I could get excited about.

The other big thought-provoking story is Blizzard’s plan for a real money auction house in Diablo 3.  Now, gaming noob that I am, I have no experience of Diablo, but I believe the game is structured gear-wise in a very different way to Wow; however, this decision makes me uneasy. I can understand some of the reasoning behind it – to make gold-selling ‘legal’ and to remove the gear grind for those who prefer to pay for their shinies; however I cannot shake the thought that this is, at bottom, a money-making scheme.

I believe Blizzard when they say that they have no plans to implement this in WoW – but if it proves to be a huge financial success in Diablo, I’m sure it will be a part of any future games they produce, including, of course, Titan.  The effect of the RMAH on gaming communities has yet to be seen; it is a step into the unknown for developers and players alike, and I am, in a way, relieved that I am only watching from the sidelines.

On a more positive note, I have finally obtained my Globe of Moonlight to go with the Lightforged Elementium Hammer being made for me by a guildie, and I feel I am getting to grips with my new holy healing spec.  My guild has been through a lot of upheaval lately and we are only now picking up the reins of our raid progress. So, I and my newly-dug-up Voodoo Figurine have been achievement hunting, pet-collecting, and generally pottering around trying to be useful. Whilst, of course, wearing our tinfoil hats in case the sky should fall.

Sparklehorses

I have been surprised by how few Celestial Steeds I have seen on my server.  Those that do appear seem to be generally ignored, in spite of some players’  best attempts to attract attention.  I have mixed feelings about the whole ‘mounts for money’ thing. Yes its nice that they bind to account so you never have to pay for a mount for a new character; but its the riding skill which really costs, and that still has to be bought.

And really, the horse just doesn’t look that great, especially on the ground. But at least they don’t clog the place up like mammoths, which seem to have a mail-box fetish, judging by the time they spend parked on top of them.

So, I will not be buying a sparkly horse….no I won’t.  My shaman will just have to put up with her elekk until I grind enough rep for something else.  I am apprehensive though – the vast amount of money generated by the sale of this mount must be giving Activision much food for thought.  And I worry how long Blizzard will be allowed to stick to their principles.

The day they start selling anything that has a real impact on the game, thats the day I go back to the sudoku.