Monday, March 30, 2009

The passing of BRK

I have only just learned that the author of long time blog, Big Red Kitty, is departing the game in order to spend more time with his wife. This wasn't something which, truthfully, I was ever really consciously expecting to see happen. BRK has been a veritable institution where our class in World of Warcraft is concerned; he was already a Hunter of renown when I was only first entering the game, and was, through his writing, instrumental in my own learning of the class.

This was initially stunning news, although it is not entirely unpredictable, when I think more deeply on it. BRK once posted a photograph of his wife, and I can remember thinking at the time, without any exaggeration whatsoever, that she was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, to the point where I momentarily questioned whether or not that truly was his wife, or the photo of a model that had been obtained elsewhere.

I find it also cause for some pondering, that BRK mentions that he has, in truth, been unable to balance employment, family life, and World of Warcraft.

BRK's posting of the photo of his wife, as well as his mention of a number of other details over the several years that I have intermittently read his site, had truthfully led me to gain the impression of an unusually highly self-actualised individual; someone who had apparently accomplished the rare feat of reaching the summit of Maslow's Hierarchy. Apparently at least a reasonably high-ranking former military man, he has certainly also been able to capitalise on the opportunity for fame and personal advancement presented by World of Warcraft, to a sufficiently greater extent than myself that it is laughable for me to mention both of us in the same sentence; he had also been able to develop his WoW presence into a source of offline income as well.

I've known people from a number of different apparent socioeconomic levels within this game. Most people, of course, are fairly ordinary, but every now and again, you come across a few people who are apparently every bit as successful outside of the game as they are inside it.

If it is true, however, that his level of focus on WoW is potentially threatening to jeopardise his good fortune in other areas of his life, then I would most certainly agree with him that the only prudent course of action is to withdraw from the game, and restore the balance. That is something which I myself have often needed to do, to the point where that actually accounts for the reason why I have not been more effective within the game than I have.

There are only so many hours in the day; it falls to each of us to decide how best our time may be spent.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I've been shaped

I will probably only be able to play WoW intermittently for the next week, since I have once again been shaped down to 6.4k a second by my ISP, due to my brother's incredibly excessive use of our shared Internet connection.

The good news is that Jeremy has now been banned from use of the connection, especially considering that he had not been contributing monetarily to it at all.

Initially we had a bandwidth quota of 25 gigabytes on peak, and 25 gigabytes off, with a 1.5 Mbit downstream connection. Jeremy reached the quota limit with that, two weeks into the billing month.

Then when that happened, we had the account upgraded to a quota of 50 gigabytes either on or off peak, with an 8 Mbit connection. Jeremy reached the quota limit with that today, at the billing month restarts on the 5th of April. He was taking my Ethernet cable when I slept, so that he could play Xbox live while streaming a movie next to it on his PC.

I will still be able to blog, and will be back in WoW next week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gundersson's alt project idea

Time for the weekly blog post. *grin*

Gundersson has been writing to me on Gmail about the idea for an alt project. He really likes the idea of himself, me, Rilgon, and Pike if they're willing to make alts together on a server somewhere, and then essentially tour pretty much every 5 man in the game, levelling up as we go.

I think it's an awesome idea, although there could be co-ordination issues, given me being in a different timezone. I did wonder whether or not Rilgon and Pike would be willing, also, since I know Rilgon in particular loves raiding to the extent that he does; he may not have time for such a thing.

Anyway, tell me in the comments or on Twitter if you're able to do this, guys. I think it could be a lot of fun.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Levelling a Warrior

I'm currently in the process of levelling a Protection spec Warrior. I know Prot isn't the fastest tree to level with, but I greatly enjoy tanking levelling instances whenever I can get them, and also group play while questing.

I love tanking, what I've done of it so far. Pike observed a little while back that she knew of a number of Hunter players who'd made healer alts. I'm actually following the other path. I have healed before, although only low level, and while I can live with it for an occasional change of pace, it isn't my full time activity of choice.

I am going to be logging in again this evening and levelling the Warrior up some more.

Also, in an odd sequel to my last post about being permanently banned from the WoW forums, less than an hour after I'd published that post, I had a new email from the BRK forums, containing a copy of his policy on, "Civility."

I think the most interesting part of that, is that it implies that contrary to what I might have thought, BRK apparently still has one eye on the humble Lair, at least from time to time. ;-)

You needn't worry however, BRK. My thought of moving to Brig's forum was fleeting at best. As someone else on the Blizzard Hunter forum noted a couple of weeks back, my presence in any forum has been winding down ever since the release of WoTLK, simply because, to be totally honest, in 3.0's context, I have no idea whatsoever how to play the class, and no particular desire to learn.

I will, most likely, be pontificating about Survival's changes in 3.1 at some point; especially considering that although it's taken 3 days, my main will hopefully finally have copied over to the PTR at this point. Aside from that, my WoW related focus is probably going to be the Warrior, at least for the time being; and I'm also again considering creating a blog about real life stuff, as well.

In closing this post, I will be sufficiently arrogant as to write my own obituary where Blizzard's forum is concerned.

While I will not claim, for one moment, that I am anywhere close to being entirely innocent of vitriolic excess, I do not believe, personally, that the reason for my permanent ban was due to my own behaviour being substantially worse or more negative than that of anyone else there.

The primary difference, however, with my own behaviour, was simply that I was more direct. I offered virtually no room for plausible deniability of my intent, and at times made statements similar to those of Tseric, before he left; which I think primarily offended people because they cut so close to the bone.

Given that, for as long as I have played this game, I have considered Tseric a kindred spirit, it is perhaps only fitting and entirely symmetrical that I have now befallen the same fate. To Blizzard's forum, therefore, I leave with the same words I keep for Tseric.

"Dif-tor heh smusma; Live long, and prosper."

Friday, March 20, 2009

I've been permanently forum banned

Although I'd largely left the Hunter forum, I started a thread in Off Topic last night which apparently someone didn't like; and logging in a few minutes ago, discovered I'd been permanently banned for trolling.

I guess it probably had to happen sooner or later, given how provocative I've always been. I get the feeling though that with the Battlenet consolidation and other changes, Blizzard are bringing the hammer down a little more heavily than in the past.

I've been on the PTR a little, too...though not much, and 3.1 definitely solidifies the proverbial, "Brave New World," that has apparently become the vision for WoW since the merger with Activision. Homogenised, soulless, and fairly pointless.

Truthfully, the ban is probably a good thing. As well as being probably the single most negative environment I've ever been in, WoW's forums are a terrible time sink; I've spent way too much time in them, and it was largely pointless.

If anyone wants to contact me, I'm still on Twitter, and my gmail address is still there, as well. I might possibly revive my account on Brig's forums as well, now...but we'll see.

Dangerous New Law on the Books in America

(Yes, I know this is non-WoW related. You can flame me as much as you want; it is vitally important that people know about this)

I interrupt your usual WoW routine to bring my American readers, at least, some crucial information. There is a new legal bill pending, which, if passed into law, threatens to outlaw small-scale domestic agriculture, and organic farming.

Those Americans among my readers who enjoy being able to eat organic vegetables which have not been sprayed with pesticides, genetically engineered, or had various other insidious things done to them, may find reading this bill to be of urgent interest.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All Quiet on the WoW Front

I'm still here, but apart from levelling up a couple of alts now and then, I've been very inactive in WoW recently.

I'm working on a Warrior on Saurfang, and I also had a very positive run the other night on Demon Soul. It's a fantastic server, that one. I've mostly levelled my two alts there via instancing, and the people there are always very positive.

I'm working on a Druid as well, slowly, who is still only level 30. My main isn't getting a lot of playtime, but I might go and do the dailies this evening, in Icecrown. I always enjoy that. Look me up on Twitter if you want, and give me a yell...I'm still semi-active, there. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to Warsong Gulch

So I took a trip back into Warsong Gulch recently, and discovered that, true to what people in my comments said, the Death Knights aren't an insurmountable hurdle.

I'm going to be working towards trying to get some of the Resilience gems and gear from Wintergrasp, as I still want my Conqueror title if I can get it. The games I've had so far have gone ok, though.

I might not be raiding, but I like to think that where Warsong Gulch is concerned, I've still got it. ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Friends don't let Death Knights tank

This post is a response to a recent post of Pike's.

I don't do a lot of group instances these days, as I've probably mentioned. However, in between trying to eventually farm for my flying mount, I have been attempting to get in at least one Heroic per day.

Blizzard tells us that the Death Knight is a tanking class. However, my experience with Heroics in WoTLK so far, has consistently told me that DK tanking is an example of the truth of the statement that, "just because you can do something, does not mean that you should."

I ran two Heroics this evening; Utgarde Keep, and Utgarde Pinnacle. They were the first Heroics I have ever done with a Death Knight tank where the group did not wipe a minimum of four times. In fact, these two Heroics proceeded extremely smoothly. However, they still illustrated another complaint that I have with the Death Knight class; one which Pike brought up.

The Death Knight encourages rushing. The Death Knight encourages recklessness. The Death Knight encourages a lack of crowd control, consequent stress on healers, and, to be blunt, overall lack of attention to form.

After launching into a tirade on Trade the other day about how unhappy this class had made me in instances, I was offered a trip to Utgarde Keep with, believe it or not, four other Death Knights. We tore through the place as though it wasn't there at all. I should have enjoyed the experience, but yet...

The Death Knight does not belong, in my opinion, in World of Warcraft. There is something about the class's mechanics that feels fundamentally wrong. Simply calling it overpowered does not go anywhere near sufficiently describing the problem, either.

There should not be a scenario where people can simply AoE bulldoze through an instance on autopilot, and the other problem is how fragile their ability to do this really is. If even the slightest thing goes wrong, they inevitably lose aggro, the healer dies, and the group wipes. This, for me, has actually been far more common an occurrence than the scenario of being able to burn through an instance quickly.

My favourite tanking class, when I think about it, is the bear Druid. I see this class as being the best compromise between single target and AoE tanking. A bear has a couple of abilities which it can use to handle multiple targets when needed, but it does not have AoE abilities as an overpowered and gratuitous primary focus.

I also understand the rationale behind the "AoE lol," approach. The Death Knight as a class is, in general terms, designed from the ground up to get through all of the content in the game as rapidly as possible; both in terms of starting at level 55, and in terms of the AoE mechanics. Arena players in particular, and those who want to get through an instance as quickly as possible, love it. That leads me, however, to another point.

If your only focus, in running an instance, is to get through it as quickly as possible, you might want to rethink your overall motivation for playing World of Warcraft, since wanting to get through content as quickly as you can does not imply that you actually enjoy the game itself, at all.