Sunday, April 30, 2017

An Alternate Legendary Scheme

I'm generally happy with Legendaries this expansion. I only have 3, but they're good enough. I also don't play at a level where they really matter, so having or not having the Best-in-Slot ones isn't super important to me.

However, I think for a lot of people who are more hardcore, the Legendary system didn't really work. In particular, I don't think the concept of tailoring your build to match your Legendaries really took off.

Perhaps the problem was that the Legendaries weren't strong enough. For example, if you look at Diablo 3, set bonuses are pretty insane. If you're wearing a set which buffs an ability, that buff is on the order of a 1000% or more. I don't think such a system--where getting a Legendary forced you to build your character around it--would really fly in WoW.

I think a system that fits WoW better would be something with a little bit of randomness, but also add in control and effort.

I would suggest a scheme where the Legendary drop rate was about one per week, but the item level started at 800 or so. The player could use Obliterum to upgrade the Legendary to the item level cap.

This scheme would get the dedicated player all Legendaries reasonably quickly, but they would have to devote time or money into upgrading the Legendaries they want to use. Using Obliterum as the upgrade material would also help out crafters, giving them incentive and a market for their wares.

Friday, April 28, 2017

WoW Videos: Holding Out for a Healer

I've always liked Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero. This variant is quite well done. The video is by Kruithne. The main vocalist is Sharm, and the chorus is Letomi.

And the subject matter is certainly very appropriate. ;)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Success is the Hardest Thing to Argue Against

Lately, my guild has taken up a tactic which I find distasteful, but is leading to success. So far it's been used sparingly, but because it is successful, the leadership's aversion to the tactic is eroding. I fear we'll start resorting to it earlier and earlier in the next tier.

Basically, on a difficult boss, when we're fairly close to a first kill but are having trouble closing out that last 10%, the raid lead will start asking the lowest DPS people to step out. Because normal and heroic raids scale now, the average DPS of the raid increases while the mobs get weaker.  We got our first kills of Heroic Botanist and Heroic Gul'dan this way.

I don't approve of this tactic. To me, a raid team is a team, and you win or lose with that team as a whole. I'm perfectly fine with having minimum requirements to join the team, but once you're in, you're in.

If we didn't use this tactic, we would progress a little slower, true. Maybe we would have killed Botanist and Gul'dan a week later. But we have plenty of time.

I also think we're using this tactic as a shortcut instead of tightening up our strategy and positioning. We aren't a Mythic guild, and thus our basic handling of mechanics is not as good as it could be.

But it's really hard to argue with success. The raid leadership will point out that they only do this when it's "necessary", after we've already wiped for a couple days and no one objects in raid. But no one really want to be the person holding back the group, either. And it's hard to say that yes, we should spend one or two extra weeks wiping when we could be progressing and working on new bosses.

But because it's successful, we're reaching for it earlier and earlier. I think we wiped on Botanist twice as much as we wiped on Gul'dan. How much will our tolerance erode in Tomb of Sargeras? One night of wiping? As soon as we have a 20% wipe?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Your Name Review

There are minor spoilers for Your Name in the post, and there may be larger spoilers in the comments.

I saw Your Name (Kimi No Nawa) on the weekend. It's about a boy in Tokyo, Taki, and a girl in the countryside, Mitsuha, who start dreaming that they are the other person, even though they are complete strangers.

It was a popular movie in Japan, and is in a two-week run in some North American cinemas. There was a full theatre when I went to see it. Though I do live in Vancouver, which has a large East Asian population. Amusingly, I was the only non-white, non-East Asian person there.

The movie was quite good, with interesting and engaging characters. In particular, I thought it was "well-balanced". Some comedy, some drama, some romance, some moderate action, a touch of scifi/fantasy, a bit of Japanese religious mythology, and even an explosion.

One of the problems I have with modern western movies is that they seem to have lost that sense of balance, and often tend to extremes. An action move is 90% action with very little characterization. Romantic movies are intensely romantic. Indie movies tend to be very quirky and not very normal.

Your Name is also relatively short, clocking in at 1h 45m. Again, this is quite good, as it packs a lot in that short time frame.

Your Name is not a perfect movie, though the anime community hypes it up a lot. In particular, if plot holes bother you, there is one major plot hole, though it's not strictly a plot hole. On reflection, it's extremely unlikely the characters did not do or realize X. Kind of like characters not calling the police when they have a cellphone and in a situation which warrants it. But if you just let that go, or attribute it to the "magic dream" blinding them to it, it's more than good enough.

I recommend Your Name, especially if you can catch it in theatres. You may only have a week to do so, however.