May 7, 2012 – 7:03 am
I have a little warlock,
She’s pretty fun to play,
And when she’s feeling evil,
We DoT things up all day!
Amazing art by Loreli, of course. (I can’t explain how much I love this portrait. There is so much personality in it! Lore does commissions (of which this is one) and they’re worth every penny.
Right now I’m not playing a whole lot, but my attachment to my warlock is growing steadily. She’s a little bit evil, and that’s made her encounters with the largely sub-human populations of Ferelas (ogre, gnoll) highly entertaining. We’ve moved on though, and now we’re killing pirates in what used to be the Shimmering Flats.
Oddly, while there are some aspects of the quest layouts that bug me, the general levity and silliness is really suited well to Ancelyn. I’m not always a fan of rampant silliness on other characters – Aely and Angoleth are both more serious when they’re out “working”, and only really silly when they’re at rest/play. Ancelyn’s biggest motivation is “does this amuse me”, so she finds and enjoys all kinds of silliness as long as she’s the one doing the burninating.
I’ve kept up with Cynwise’s posts about warlocks in Cataclysm, and he has some really good points. There are definitely issues with the class design and it’s occasionally quite boring as Affliction (dot, dot, wand, wand, rinse, repeat).
But it’s also highly effective, (especially with how easy it is to overlevel the content) and she takes on elites pretty handily, so it’s kind of a wash. I definitely can see the complexity getting me in over my head once I start groups with her, but I am having a lot of fun doing the other half of the new content, so I’m not grouping much right now. (Annata leveled through the Eastern Kingdoms, so Ancelyn is doing Kalimdor, at least from Ferelas upward.)
Now all I need is to get her into some RP! And maybe find her some really warlocky outfits. She is a former (now excommunicated…) Dark Iron. She should look the part!
March 20, 2012 – 8:03 am
On one hand, all I’ve done for the last 6 weeks is log in, find the game channels deserted, not be interested in questing, and log out.
On the other, I wonder if I’ve really given the game a chance.
On one hand, the RP I thought would come out of playing Star Wars has utterly failed to materialize.
On the other, I wonder if I’m not a good part of that, and shouldn’t put more time and effort into writing it.
On one hand, Aely just isn’t working as a Jedi.
On the other, that doesn’t mean my other characters don’t have a story they’re waiting to tell, or that I’ve not actually given Aely a chance to really BE a Jedi.
On one hand, I don’t know jack shit about Star Wars lore.
On the other, maybe I can learn.
On one hand, it’s $15 I’m wasting.
On the other, it’s $15 I could be getting a lot more out of.
On one hand, I have very little time for gaming and no real interest to log into a game I’m not connected to.
On the other, I can experience the whole game in one-hour chunks if I want.
On one hand, I hate giving up.
On the other, there’s no reason I can’t re-up later if I have the time and desire.
March 19, 2012 – 7:42 am
A friend of mine had a GTalk status that brought me in mind of Sindragosa. While I can’t say I particularly LIKED that fight (any fight where the difficulty is created by making your players unable to play their class half the time is one that I’m going to get VERY annoyed with as a healer), it got me thinking about Icecrown.
In some ways, I feel a little silly – a little like the old granny raider, talking about how things were in my day. But then, Icecrown was really only two years ago, even if it seems quite a bit longer.
For me, what makes a dungeon epic is its ability to suck you in – immersiveness, if you will. The places I remember as feeling truly epic to be part of were all places that were their own worlds – Blackwing Lair, Karazhan, Black Temple, Naxxramas, Ulduar, Icecrown all were like that for me. Thinking back, those were all the “long” dungeons, the ones with lots of bosses and lots of things to see and do. Each had areas that were creepy, and little touches that made them consistent within themselves. They seemed “loved”, as though the developers really got to dig into what they were making. I’m reminded of all the alchemical horrors in BWL, the music in Karazhan (and all the scenery), the screams of Thaddeus’ victims in Naxxramas, the build up to killing friggin ARTHAS (and attempting to save Bolvar).
The dungeons I remember as epic didn’t have to be “hard” (25 man Naxxramas was certainly not particularly difficult), but they all felt like their own consistent zones. And there was a certain, sort of unquantifiable feeling of “Wow, I can’t believe I’m part of this” in each of them.
There was something lost in Cataclysm though, and I don’t wonder if it didn’t go with the larger raid groups. TRI didn’t sustain as a 25 man raid, splintering into three-ish 10 mans, two of which are still going. The core raid leadership wasn’t able to continue with the level of cat herding it was taking to keep people around, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles. (I was one of those people who couldn’t hack continuing to herd cats. Life happens.)
But our 10 man group, as fun as it was, really only tugged at half of the strings that keep me interested in a raid. We were having lots of fun hanging out and killing bosses, but between raiding with a character I didn’t RP with and the general lack of RP connection to anything in Cataclysm, I just never got those moments of epic.
That’s not to say that some of the fights weren’t interesting and fun. The Atramedes fight was really cool. Beth’tilac and Alysrazor were similarly memorable. But thinking back, even the Nefarian fight just didn’t have the same kick (probably partially because he was a recycled boss).
I’ve only experienced the Deathwing fight in RaidFinder, and I honestly think that made it lose some of the edge it could have had. Going on a raidfinder run doesn’t allow anyone to absorb anything about the actual instance – it’s the equivalent of speed running a heroic. You never really see what’s going on, you just pull bosses and roll on loot and try to ignore raid chat.
As an aside, I never did get to run Culling of Stratholme as an RP run, and I think I lost out on that. It’s too late now, with Arthas long dead, but from an RP standpoint, I think it would’ve been worth my time to make sure Aely experienced that.
Somewhere this is all connecting together in my head with the changes to raiding that made a 25 man a much more heroic endeavor to field every week. Maybe 10 man raids don’t ACTUALLY move faster, but it’s certainly seemed that way. I’m no huge fan of large swaths of downtime either, don’t get me wrong. But there was something about needing a large team of people, of having to coordinate those people, and of truly working things out as a team that appeals to me and, I think, increases the “epic” factor. *
And to bring all this back to Sindragosa, there are not any bosses from Cataclysm whose voice acting I remember. I can quote bosses from Molten Core and BWL, from Karazhan and Naxxramas, from Ulduar and Icecrown. (Suffer, mortals…) But if you asked me to quote any of the Cataclysm raid bosses, I’m honestly not sure if I could.
Maybe I’m just not paying enough attention. But maybe my attention just hasn’t been demanded as much.
*As I was writing this, I was reminded of this video – listening to the symphony of raid buffs brings back some really good memories.
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March 7, 2012 – 7:32 pm
Just a heads up that I’ve recently started a new job, and it’s going to take some settling out before I figure out exactly what my gaming time is going to be. (And relatedly what my blogging time will be)
Right now I’m working 9 hour shifts, with a one hour commute each way (plus traffic), so while the job is definitely a big step up from what I’d previously been doing (retail), it’s also a big step down in available gaming time. Especially when you consider my preferred 9 hour shift is 6:30am to 3:30pm, so as to avoid as much traffic as possible. And still occasionally see daylight. *
Anyway – I’m doing a lot of drive, work, drive, cook, eat, clean up, sleep sort of days. I’ve logged on to WoW a few times, but it seems that Mass Effect 3 has sort of taken my community by storm, so there’s been little going on. (Also, my raid has ceased to be. More on that another time; for now, all I have to say is /sadface.)
It’s hard to do much when you only have an hour, so I guess I’m going the route of the super-casual for awhile, both in game and on the blog.
*Basically, I get up at the ass-crack of dawn, and I go to bed at little old lady hours.