Thursday, January 01, 2015

A New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

As the new year arrives, I find myself in a bit confused as to what direction I should go in. I'm currently playing 3 MMOs, but at a low and rather unsatisfying level. The big problem is that I'm not in any stable groups. I am essentially playing solo at the moment.

World of Warcraft

Most of WoD has been good. But 5-man Heroics are absolutely terrible this time around for me. They just don't feel right. The tanks are playing crazy, and healing feels terrible. It feels like Cataclysm Heroics, only instead of killing the DPS when they do something stupid or mechanics are ignored, they just take extra damage and strain the healer more.

It's just a bad experience entirely. I blame active mitigation.

LFR is pretty boring. So if I want to stick with WoW, I'll have to apply to and join a raid guild. Yet I'm not sure I want to do that again.

The Old Republic

I did not like Shadow of Revan. I thought the story was pretty terrible. I also realized after my last post that I don't really feel in control of my character during conversations anymore. If you play the original stories, every time your turn comes up in the conversation you get a choice. It's pretty rare that your character makes an automatic response. In SoR, it feels like your character makes more and more automatic responses, and you get fewer choices in the conversations.

Essentially, story-wise it feels like TOR has been drifting further and further away from the original design. But I liked that original design, and it was the main reason I was playing TOR. I don't really want to play "WoW with lightsabers and a few more cutscenes."

As well, TOR has had real problems with responsiveness since the expansion. To me, responsiveness is key. A game that responds badly simply makes playing an unpleasant experience. For example, my sniper has a channeled ability called Series of Shots. If Series of Shots finishes its entire channel, a second ability Followthrough is enabled. Lately, at least half the time there will be lag during the Series of Shots channel, and Followthrough will not trigger.

The upside to TOR is that it's the closest thing I have to an existing raid. It would be much easier to get into a steady operations group in TOR than in any other game.

Final Fantasy XIV

There's nothing really wrong with FFXIV. I just don't seem to be excited about it. I log in whenever there's new content, but don't really feel keen to work on my gear or Relic weapon or new classes.


Three resolutions this year:
  1. Write about other subjects - I'd like to start a non-gaming blog, maybe write about programming or other random things.
  2. Write more - I've been pretty erratic about writing this year, and I would like to write more often.
  3. Be willing to write about controversial subjects - I usually shy away from controversial subjects. But I am not sure that is the correct approach. As well, the outlines of a controversial subject post often stay in my head, and keep me from thinking and writing about other topics.
In any case, I hope 2015 is a great year for all my readers.


  1. I remember the first time my character gave a response without my prompting in SWTOR, I was quite taken aback. I managed to get used to it though, even if I also preferred always being in charge of the replies.

  2. You don't have to join a raiding guild. I've just finished 7/7 HC with nothing but PuGs.

  3. Openraid is a pretty good half-way house between PuGs and a formal raid guild/comm.

    In the 6 months I've been raiding around there, I've only encountered one or two irritating people. There's lots of content variety too (not just the current raid tier) with heroics, challenge modes, old raids etc.

    Maybe you should give it a shot - I liked it a lot more than I was expecting :)

  4. If you don't enjoy healing in WoW, perhaps consider switching to Ret fulltime? I don't have data, but it seems like the ratio of healers to DPS is at an all-time high.

    In any case, I hope you do start another blog. My favorite posts of yours were always the ones that had applicability to more than the fairly narrow subject of virtual worlds.

  5. "But 5-man Heroics are absolutely terrible this time around for me. They just don't feel right."

    Interesting, I greatly enjoyed them initially. Maybe it's gotten worse?

    And I'm speaking as someone who healed Challenge Modes at like 613 ilvl with my main spec being Shadow (was BRUTAL on some fights but still fun for me). Heroics were never an issue past like 600 ilvl.

    "LFR is pretty boring. So if I want to stick with WoW, I'll have to apply to and join a raid guild. Yet I'm not sure I want to do that again."

    Well, I run a normal clear of Highmaul at 9 PM CST on Wednesday nights that you could go to if you want. Do well enough and you might be able to convince me to let you come on our raid's heroic gear on Sunday night at 7:30 CST before we start Mythic progression (though obviously you wouldn't get gear over our main raiders, but there's some stuff going to waste).

  6. The value of a good tank has never been greater. There are some tanks that I put an entire mana bar into during a simple trash pull.

  7. Blizzard has adjusted the Premade Groups feature, and it's a very solid option for raiding without guilds.

    You don't need to go as far as to have a good experience, as just the added complexity of the couple button presses over LFR weeds out a lot of the problems.