Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Gaming Log - August 10

 World of Warcraft Classic

I did a couple of quests in Stonetalon Mountains and Ashenvale with the Horde Priest. Then I foolishly went to Hillsbrad Foothills and got ganked twice by a 34 gnome rogue. 

The priest is up to level 27. I took Tailoring as a profession, and surprisingly it's turned out to be very useful. I think I'm wearing four crafted pieces at the moment. Retail WoW is much better about giving you a complete set of gear as basic quest rewards, so the crafting professions are much less useful while gearing up.

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

I did the next map in Vikings. This time I was attempting to make an alliance with Simul, but she refused and forced me to fight Guarm, guardian of the portal to Hel, so that she could enter Hel. Not sure what Simul is after, but I have been side-tracked to sack the home port of the Imperium Romana's northern navy.

Goals

Here's a list of goals or games that I want to play in the next few weeks:

  • Vikings: Wolves of Midgard - I haven't played much in the last week or so, but I really should focus on finishing this game.
  • Final Fantasy XIV - Patch 5.3 comes out today. I want to play through the story, and try the next Nier raid.
  • World of Warcraft Classic - Try to get the Horde Priest to 60.
  • Control - There's an DLC coming out at the end of August.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn - One of my friends loved this game and enthusiastically recommended it when it came out on console. It's just been released on PC, but there seem to be a lot of people complaining about crashes. Maybe I'll wait for the first patch, or clear up some of the other goals before getting it.
  • Crowfall - Beta is starting. I backed it so long ago. I tried to look at some things in early Alpha, but I couldn't really figure anything out. I really should take a look at what they've built.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Gaming Log - August 8

World of Warcraft

We went after the raid achievements for Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold. We did some of them in Mythic, but then dropped back to Heroic when it turned out that the Botanist achievement requires 10 people in Heroic, but 20 in Mythic.

The only difficult one was Xavius, and that was because it requires a Demon Hunter or a Warlock, two classes that we don't normally have in raids, to find creatures hidden in the darkness. A bit annoying because we have a lot of Hunters, but Flare doesn't show you the hidden creatures. The guildmate who switched to Warlock was very excited to use Eye of Kilrogg, though.

World of Warcraft Classic

I found out that a guildmate plays on Grobbulus, an RP-PvP realm. So I made an Undead Priest on that server and have been focusing solely on it. It's actually kind of surprising how fast one can level without distractions. I'm currently level 27.

It's kind of interesting playing on an PvP realm again. I'll probably regret it though. So far, my PvP experience has been:

  • Chased into Tarren Mill by a skull gnome warrior
  • One-shot by a skull night elf hunter after landing at Tarren Mill
  • Killed twice by a skull human rogue while questing near Tarren Mill
  • Killed by a 31 gnome warrior while questing near Tarren Mill
  • Killed a 31 human rogue while in a group of 4 (28 druid, 27 priest, 23 warlock, 23 priest) in Stonetalon Mountains 

Not really sure if the last was fair or not. The rogue didn't Vanish though, so maybe he thought he had a chance at taking out the warlock.

In any case, there's mostly been a common theme in PvP, and that's being ganked at Tarren Mill.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

When did the Forsaken Change?

I'm leveling a Forsaken priest in WoW Class at the moment. It's been a long time since I played Horde or did the early Forsaken quests. But there's a really big difference in how the Forsaken are treated in Classic versus Battle For Azeroth.

Classic makes it really clear that the Forsaken are different after being raised from the dead. They're the same person, but warmer, positive emotions are greatly muted, and the more negative emotions dominate. For example, Clarice Feldman was the wife of a paladin who went off to fight the Scourge. In life she both loved him and resented him for leaving her. In death, the love is muted, and the resentment magnified. There's another quest about a husband who's wife was killed by his best friend. He sends you to kill that friend, and keeps his hands to remind him of his revenge, but gives you his only momento of his wife, her ring.

Classic is pretty clear that this is normal for Forsaken, that it's just how they are. 

In D&D terms, it's like their alignment takes one step towards Evil after being raised. Someone who was Lawful Good in life is Lawful Neutral in death. Neutral in life becomes Neutral Evil in death.

In Battle For Azeroth, on the other hand, this doesn't happen in most cases. There are 3 new Forsaken raised during the story: Amelia Stone, Thomas Zelling, and Derek Proudmoore. All three of them seem like the same person after being raised, and don't exhibit the change in emotions. Zelling in particular is deeply concerned about his family, and hurt when they reject him. A Classic-style Zelling would care about his family in an intellectual sense, and insist that the Horde carry out their agreement to take care of them. But he wouldn't seek to see them or bond with them.

There is one case where the newly-raised Forsaken behaves in the Classic-style: the Night Elf Wardens. They come back angry at the world and Elune. Ironically, I've seen more player complaints about the change in personality for the Wardens than for Zelling or Proudmoore.

It makes me wonder if I missed something in the story. A plot point where Forsaken resurrection was "fixed", and newly-made Forsaken started coming back with an unchanged personality.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

AQ Drama in WoW Classic

The Ahn'Quiraj phase started in WoW Classic recently. This phase starts with the War Effort to unlock the gates in Silithus. It also has the race to be the person who unlocks the gates and gets the title of Scarab Lord.

And so we have drama. So much drama.

Check out the WoW Classic forums and reddit. Horde and Ally guilds colluding. Guilds interfering with each other. People being forced to farm so their GM gets Scarab Lord. People mass-reporting each other. Guilds acting like a mafia and controlling the pace of the opening. Half the guilds want to delay the opening so they can have more Scarab Lords, and the other half insists the gates open early so that there are more chances to get loot from AQ40.

You can see why Blizzard took steps to reduce all this drama. 

And yet, the drama is what makes it fun and entertaining, even for those of us not participating. You have actual server communities with guilds who know each other and are fighting and cooperating with each other. There are known personalities on each sides. Check out this video from Grobbulus:


In some ways, there is more "life" in this one event in a replica of a 15-year-old game than there has been in the last five years of Retail WoW.

Perhaps drama is the most attractive point of the MMO genre, what makes it special. And in removing anything which can cause drama, MMOs become just another game.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Legion Antorus Raid Achievments Done!

We only had six people show up for raid this week, so we went and did the achievements in the Antorus raid from Legion. We started trying them on Mythic difficulty, which wasn't too bad, until we got to Eonar. Mythic Eonar requires a bit more coordination than we were expecting, with having to send a team to the ship and everything. So we dialed it back to Heroic.

The only difficult achievement was Aggramar, and that was mostly because we didn't have a second tank who knew how to tank swap during the combo while keeping the boss from moving. We made our DPS warrior learn to tank. It took us a few tries, but we got the tank to combo one of the adds twice, and got the achievement.

We also accidentally killed the last boss on Heroic. The achievement requires you to be in phase 4. So we unloaded on the boss in phase 1 to speed things up. Unfortunately we sped things up a little bit too much, and killed the boss as he was transitioning from P1 to P2. So we had to go to Normal difficulty and slowly whittle him down and make sure all the phases transitioned properly.

We did get all of the boss achievements this week, giving most of us the meta-achievement for that instance, and some sort of mount. Kind of interesting to go back to it after all this time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Gaming Log - July 27

I was out of town for most of the weekend, so not much happened gaming-wise.

World of Warcraft Classic
  • Priest - I did the Dun Modr elite quests. It was a small group, just me, a hunter and a rogue. We died a few times trying to get Balagaras without pulling many adds. But we were successful in the end, and my Priest is up to level 30.
  • Rogue - finished off a couple more quests in Stranglethorn Vale. The run from either Booty Bay or Darkshire is so long that it makes me avoid the Rogue.
Final Fantasy XIV

I dropped into FFXIV just to see what was going on. My guild, never active at the best of times, seems pretty dead. Oh well, I guess I'm contributing to that as well. 

I did some Beast Tribe quests, a leveling dungeon as a Dancer, and a couple of FATES.

The Old Republic

Dropped into this one to see what happening as well. I did the Onderon Weekly on my Jedi Sentinel and surprisingly hit Legend reputation with the Onderon faction. I had no idea I was that close, or that I had done Onderon that much with the Sentinel.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ny'alotha Achievements, Part III

We finished all the Ny'alotha raid achivements and got the mount! Sadly, I don't have a picture, but it's one of those worms which fly through the sky. We actually attempted both of these achievements on a previous raid night, but failed to do them correctly.

Carapace of N'Zoth

This time around we made everyone take off essences and corruptions which do automatic damage. We also were more specific about assigning people to blobs on the side. We also settled on a system where DPS got them down to 30%, then a tank took them down to 10%. Then we all used the cloak, got back to full sanity, got into position, and burst them down after the shield buff expired.

The first time through we took too long in P2. We had a couple people go insane, then we had to kill them and res them. We did kill all the blobs in 10s, but the boss actually enraged and wiped us in P3. We then had a couple of tries where we flubbed it and had to wipe.

The fourth try was the charm, and we killed the blobs after the first cloak in P2, then finished off the boss.

N'Zoth

This time around we didn't do anything special in the first two phases. We did the fight like normal, and went into P3 with high sanity for everyone in the group. Then we got the boss down to 15% and everyone's sanity below 50%. Everyone stepped out of the Harvester's circle, and we all went insane at the same time and then killed the boss.

I imagine we'll do these achievements a few more times in the next couple of weeks. A few of the raiders missed some of the bosses, so hopefully we'll be able to get them their mount as well.