Friday, May 14, 2010

Bring the Class Not the Player

So, a lot of what we've heard about raiding since before Wrath came out was this concept of "Bring the Player Not the Class." Basically meaning that Blizzard doesn't feel it should be required to bring certain classes to each raid. For example, many of the Burning Crusade raids required certain classes (mage for sheep / steal magic, warlocks to tank, hunters to tranq shot, etc.) With almost everything in Wrath, they've pretty much eliminated that need. Only thing left I can think of off the top of my head is the MC'ing in Naxx for Instructor Razuvious on the 25-man version.

It's still held on a bit though, in a way. Ideally, the best way to go into VoA is to bring one of each class so that you're sure somebody can use a drop. Now, if they have it or not is another story, but still... it's not an instant-shard.

But I had this random idea for a raid. What if it took the complete opposite of Blizzard's statement. But not in a bad way. See.. what if there were certain mechanics that only a specific class could get the loot. Here's the catch though: the class-specific item is obtained by conquering that mechanic. An easy example would be that there's a lockbox (or maybe even a series of lockboxes) that contains either gold or a rogue item. Maybe there's a guy you have to MC in order to open something and then either gold or a priest item drops. (I mention gold so that you can still have Blizzard's precious "random drop" mechanic in play.) A mage can spell steal an NPC shield to bypass some lazer door. etc. You get the idea.

Ideally, it may even open some small wing or something so that you can only see that part of the dungeon/raid when you have that class. As a dungeon, it would almost make the run different every time based on what you brought to the instance.

Anyway, just a random idea disguised as a post on my blog. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

School of Worst Achievement Ever

Subtitle: Why Horde and Alliance have to Work Together.

I vaguely remember the last couple of years that people complained about a certain achievement during Children's Week. There's probably a few reasons why this achievement is so horrible.

First, the achievement itself. I'm, of course, talking about the achievement School of Hard Knocks. This is one of those holiday achievements, so you have only one week to complete it. It's a requirement to prove that you've done the achievements for Children's week, and of course that's a requirement to get one of the really fast mounts in the game. And that's the main reason I'm doing it.

I'm sure all the PVP'ers have gone on vacation this week. Or they've made sure that they only queue while in full group, and it's probably the easiest BGs in the world if they do it that way. Because you have a bunch of noobs in PVE or crap gear trying to get this achievement. (Yes, I'd probably consider myself one of those noobs.) Furthermore, you force everyone to do something that they probably wouldn't do normally such as (1) Capture the Flag in Eye of the Storm. Umm.. okay. I play a healer. And as well as I can generally keep myself alive, it's usually easier to keep somebody else alive since they generally blast the flag carrier and not the healer. So, now I'm forced to camp by the flag with my orphan out (any orphan will do, just make sure that it's out, and you have to bring him back each time you die) in hopes that I can be the first one to click the flag once it respawns. Not to mention that most of the people are grouped up on the flag, so having a controlled tower to return the flag makes it even more challenging.

(2) Assault a flag in Arathi Basin. Okay... this one is still pretty normal. I had to actually fight for this one. Flags tend to trade control a number of times in a game, and you generally have to clear out all the enemy before you can cap the flag. So, probably a normal BG, but with a ton of noobs in it.

Then here's where you pretty much have to start a giant love fest with the opposite faction. (3) Return a Fallen Flag in Warsong Gulch. Now maybe it's just me and the server I play on. But I zoned in to an already in progress WSG to find EVERYONE on my team sitting in the flag room. Eventually a smart hordie came over to our room, picked up the flag, and then immediately dropped it. Somebody returned it; achievement complete. He picked it up and dropped it again... you get the idea. After I got my achievement, I walked on over to the horde flag room and did the same thing. With both sides trying for the achievement, it's basically a standoff unless somebody decides to work together.

Then in AV, it gets even worse. You have to (4) Assault a tower in Alterec Valley. Let's just look at the numbers here. 40 people. 4 towers. Most of the AV games I've been in, it's pretty much a mad rush to cap the towers and then kill Drek/Van. Sometimes there's a force that helps in defense, but nobody wants a long, drawn out turtle game. So, you have a 1 in 10 chance to actually assault a tower. So, I had a few games, where again, the enemy would help out. But the problem is that you'll have a few enemies helping, and then you'll have a few idiots that start to kill said enemy. So, enemy gives up and goes to try to actually win AV. It's just... well... it's just horrible.

In a way, it's kind of a cool idea that it makes people do things in BGs that they might not normally do, but it also turns the BG into a selfish fight. The teamwork has been reduced even further. It's just plain ugly. Want to increase the popularity of BGs, Blizzard? I have hopes for Cataclysm and rated BGs, but forcing noobs to go into BGs to selfishly complete an achievement is the wrong way to go about it. How about something like Help Assault a Tower (that you have to be in the general vicinity), or Help Capture a Flag (in WSG).

*sigh* I have 3 of the 4 done. If I can just assault a tower in AV tonight, then I never have to go in a BG during Children's Week ever again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gimpy Tank

The other night, I finally got a tank to level 80. That makes 3 80's for me: a mage (mostly hangs out with the other mages in Dalaran now), a shaman, and a feral druid. Class-wise, I can now cover every role needed. Gear-wise... well... now that's a different story. It's probably 2 of 3 roles (both on my Shaman) that I can cover in any instance right now.

Since I leveled a lot from 70 to 80 via the dungeon finder, I had some pretty decent gear. I was sporting all blues (which is probably better than any of my other fresh 80's). So, I'm for sure in the right gear area to start on heroics. But I also recognize that my gear sucks in comparison to the people I get randomly grouped with.

You see, the dungeon finder must compensate for a really badly geared person (probably especially a tank), by putting them with over-geared people. I swear the dps and healers I'm put with are all wearing Tier-12 gear. I let everyone know that I've only run a few heroics so they don't completely bad-mouth me. They're generally pretty nice. They keep me alive. The hunter constantly misdirects, and they even let me tank a mob or two. But the rest of them have about 30k health in their PVE gear, so they tank just as well as I do. So, in a way, I really feel like the tank in the picture. Only that I can move.

After 2 heroics (and the badges I'd saved up), I was able to buy my first T-9 piece of armor (my first epic). It's just such a paradigm shift from the types of tanks that I'm used to running with. Even healing on heroics I generally seemed to get decently geared tanks... usually. I just hope that I'm competent enough to make sure the encounters are successful to the best of my ability. So far, no deaths, but I've also only tanked 2 heroics. (Probably more of an achievement for the healers in my groups since so many other people are taking damage because they pulled aggro off me.)

But it is kind of fun to know that I can run into an instance and get multiple upgrades. It's different than my geared shaman where I'll be lucky if I get an item... I'm usually just counting on the badges to eventually get another piece of T-10. lol.

It's also a lot of fun to see these instances from a different perspective. It really is a different game when you're healing, tanking, and dps'ing. So, it's a lot of fun to change things up a bit. Then again, it also takes me a few heartbeats to heal an instance right after I've just tanked one on the other toon.