Thursday, December 30, 2010

Deficiencies in the New Armory

As I've mentioned before, Blizzard has launched their new Armory pages. Overall, I think they did a great job. But as I'm playing more and more with it, I'm finding there's just certain things that are lacking.

I already spoke of a couple of these. I really think you should be able to schedule events and make announcements from outside of the game. It appears that you can accept scheduled events, but the creator can't change the status of each accepted person out of the game. I guess I'd just really like to be able to do some of these menial, mundane tasks outside of the game... while I'm waiting in line at the supermarket on my smart phone. Never would I do it at work or on company time... no.. never that.

With Cataclysm dropping and 95% of the stuff in our guild vault becoming obsolete, I realized today how nice it was to be able to see all of the stuff we have in our guild vault in armory. What? What was that you said? The non-beta Armory doesn't show the guild vault? Well... that's actually less helpful. Grr.

But luckily there's a great "new" service where you can sell all of your stuff on the AH outside of the game. Thanks to the Remote Auction House, for only $3 per month, I can easily clear out all of the old mats in the vault and replace them with new ones, right? Oh... Remote Auction House is only for players and your own personal banks. I see.

Well... hopefully that's the next evolution, right? Now that guilds have statistics, maybe they can become their own entities. Instead of JoeGuildVault selling all of their enchanting mats, the items can be posted straight from the guild vault with the proceeds going straight into the vault as well. Yes, I realize this would be a lot more programming on Blizzard's behalf, but it logically seems like the next step to me. Even if we can just get one more step of a toon that pays for the Remote Auction House to post things on the AH on behalf of the guild; that shouldn't take too much programming, right?

So, while there's a lot of hopes and dreams in this post, I guess the biggest thing is that you can no longer see the guild vault through armory; and honestly, that makes me sad.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Chain Heal

I will admit. I was madly in love with you, Chain Heal. I mean... it was so easy. How can you blame me? All I had to do was use your incredibly smart ability in Wotlk to heal a bunch of people. I would gleefully cast you again and again, and you would heal those in need. "You're injured, I'll heal you, and then bounce to you, skip you because you're at full health, and then heal this person over here," you would say. How could I not love such a wonderful spell? How could I not be sucked in to the comfort of your rejuvenating embrace?

I had such high hopes for our future in Cataclysm. I thought for sure you'd be the only one for me. But alas, I've found my love affair with you, Chain Heal, to be waning. In this Cataclysm time of non-tanks having 100k health, I'm afraid you're just not the go to spell anymore. Either the health pools are too high or your spell coefficient isn't what I thought it would be, but you simply don't heal enough for me to be completely reliant on just you anymore. But I still want to be friends.

I know you could sense it. I know you know that I started seeing other heals. That night you saw me with Healing Rain... well... it's a bit faster than you are. And I need that. I can't spend all my time on one spell anymore; I need variety. I like its ability to be cast, and then allow me to do other things while it's healing people... for me. I know it doesn't proc Tidal Waves like you do, but I still have Riptide for that too. Admittedly, Healing Rain is a bit expensive though. It's more than twice the mana that you cost. So, I can't see us going as steady as I did with you.

I guess I'm just at a stage in my life where I feel like I need more. I need more mana. I need more throughput. And I'm afraid I can't get that from you alone anymore. Now I'm sure I'll still find raid situations where I want to use you a lot. I'll probably even be able to use you and Healing Rain together to really burn through my mana. But I feel like I have so many other friends right now, and I need that. I need old friends like Greater Healing Wave and Healing Wave. I need new friends like Healing Surge. I probably even need to start relying on some of my neglected friends such as Gift of the Naaru. I'm finding that now more than ever I'm relying on my friends with longer cooldowns such as Nature's Swiftness and Mana Tide Totem.

I'm even able to branch out and see friends like Hex and Bind Elemental. I won't even go into the noticeable difference I feel when I use all of my totem friends. And oh, how much fun it is to be with Spiritwalker's Grace; it almost feels like I'm cheating when it's around and I'm flying through the air casting spells.

So, Chain Heal, as close as we once were, I'm afraid we've grown apart. We're still friends; we'll still hang out. I just need a little space so that I can enjoy my other friends as well. Thanks for understanding. I know you'll still be there for me as much as I need you; I just thought it was fair to let you know where we currently stood.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WowArmory No Longer In Beta and More

Possibly one of the greatest assets that Blizzard has is its fan base. They create an astounding array of add-ons, fan pages, blogs, and online tools to support this game that millions of us play. And what does Blizzard get to do with all of these things? Why, they get to plagiarize like there's no tomorrow. :)

For those that haven't had a chance to come out of the game because they've been wrapped up with Cataclysm, Blizzard did launch their new portal to all things World of Warcraft. I believe it was about a month ago. Well... as far as I can tell, yesterday, they also implemented their new and improved WowArmory to go along with that portal. Go take a look for yourself. Go to the main Wow page, which is now In the upper right, you'll see a search box. This is how you access the new armory.

They've obviously added all of the guilds and achievements in there. It's a nice little portal for each guild as well. I still wish that as you log in that you can schedule events and announcements outside of the game, but whatever. Maybe version 2.0. It also has some discrepancies in things like the achievements (and progress) and level of toons (I'm not sure it shows anyone above 80 at the moment), but I'm sure that will be sorted out in some time in the near future.

BUT... and here's where Blizzard liberally used a few ideas of others... if you look at an individual toon, you can see the display as "Simple" (look upper right corner of that frame) or "Advanced". The Advanced view shows all gems, enchants, character audit (which includes glyphs), and general stats. Towards the bottom of either view, there's also a Raid Progression that shows which raids you've completed on normal and heroic, and which raids are trivial, optimal, and challenging to your toon based on gear. Hmm... wow-heroes much?

So, for those that have to be stuck here at work and not leveling your worgen/goblin or main to 85, go check out some of the new improvements in the Armory.