Archive for November, 2010

/failcheck: The Turkinator

This one was very cut and dry: rather than speculate on the best time to get the achievement “The Turkinator,” I simply tested whether or not a particular time would work well. Originally, I attempted for the achievement on Sunday – as did many other players – and failed. It was simply impossible to keep a good, long turkey killing spree going. However, at the time, there was plenty of talk about the Shattering occurring on Tuesday, so I figured I would attempt early morning, the day after. Few people are on at such a time, and I speculated that most of the players who did log on would be rolling new toons (the new race/class combos). Sure enough, 4.0.03a dropped, and come Wednesday morning, I set out to kill myself a wabbit! … er, turkey. Lots of them. Moving on…

Within a quick couple of minutes, I did indeed have my achievement, and as I suspected, the few people I came across (only two, if I remember correctly) were both human hunters. Test success! Lol

And finally, a parting word: if the Shattering upset you, then don’t focus on what you’re sad you lost! There are many things we all wish we had finished before we lost the opportunity (myself included), but instead of dwelling in things that make you sad, try to find new, exciting opportunities in this new world! Already, I’ve discovered a rather interesting new quest chain in EPL that takes you from the border of WPL/EPL and goes cross-country. Enjoy the patch, everyone.

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But I’m too lazy to level cooking!

Just a quick note for those of you who weren’t aware, you can very easily level cooking through the recipes available during Pilgrim’s Bounty. So, if you’re too lazy to level your cooking normally on your alts, then get to your nearest capital city and get cookin’!

Got Boomie? Np

Although I hadn’t intended to mention my alts very much, I feel that today’s story needed to be mentioned:

One of the alts I’m currently leveling is named Nehmend, and she is a holy paladin that I’m leveling (currently level 37) almost exclusively through PUGs. Yesterday, I queued up and swiftly found myself entering the soon to be corpse-filled halls of the Scarlet Monastery’s library. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary from a quick glance at my Grid addon – I saw a druid, shaman, priest, rogue, and myself; we had all the workings for a successful collaboration of a tank, healer, and three dps. So, I rebuffed myself with Seal of Insight, gave everyone Kings (paladins don’t receive Might until level 56 now), and followed my fellow PUGers as they charged into battle. Right away, I could tell something was wrong. The party was taking very large amounts of damage (not a problem, considering pally heals are OP at this level, in my opinion), and I saw… A boomie?

While healing my druid party member, I saw that sure enough, it was a boomkin, and the little shield marker for the tank stood tauntingly next to their name. I hoped they had simply forgotten they were the tank, so I asked in party chat “who’s the tank?” The druid quickly repied, “I am,” so I asked them to please use bear form, which was promptly met by the druid laughing at me and the shadow priest saying, “just STFU and heal. Who cares?” Needless to say, I cared, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked, and after telling them as much, the priest replied, “these dungeons are a joke, and he has an armor buff anyway.”

Begrudgingly, I did just that; I shut up and continued to fill them with plenty of Holy Shocks and Holy Lights. As the dungeon wore on, I found that our party makeup was working after all, but something was still nagging at me – something was still wrong that I couldn’t quite place. After tearing through half of the dungeon, leaving mayhem in our wake, I realized the issue: if I, the healer, wasn’t effective, then they likely would have kicked me… and it probably would’ve worked. I say this because the druid and priest were clearly together on their shenanigans (as evidenced by their support of the idea and their shared server/guild name), and if people were dying from no heals, then a “Kick Nehmend?” prompt probably would be answered with a “yes” by at least one of the remaining dps.

Now, it wasn’t the threat of losing my spot in the party that bugged me (I was confident in my healing ability, after all), but rather the question of “what if a lesser experienced healer where in my place?” Most WoW players, myself included at times, forget that we may be playing with someone new to their class, to their party role, or even to the game itself. With that party, I realized that a new player to WoW likely would have been kicked from the party and likely without an explanation. That’s not fun for anyone and would highly discourage new players of the game. After all of this hitting me an instant, I knew what I had to do: I needed to attempt to send a message to this boomkin by getting THEM removed from party for doing the job the queued for improperly. I had already tried convincing them the normal way, so I knew that would not work, and I wasn’t about to launch into a discussion about inexperienced players (both because they probably wouldn’t have listened/cared and because that would have resulted in our deaths, since they were chain pulling everything), so I was left with only that option.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get a vote to even occur due to their chain pulls (you can’t initiate a vote during or shortly after combat, for those who haven’t used this PUG feature before). I did make sure to /ignore them (the druid and priest), so I wouldn’t be partied with them again, but I’ve been left with disappointment that I was unable to do something about this duo of troublemakers. What do you think? I’m interested in hearing other players’ views on how to deal with situations like this.

/failcheck: To guild or not to guild

That is the question! Or, to be more specific, how does being a new player being in a guild from early on affect their growth? I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say that being in a guild (or at the very least, having a higher level friend helping you) makes leveling MUCH easier. What concerns me, is that making leveling too easy could lead to stunted growth as a player.

Let’s lay out some scenarios, to get an idea of where I’m coming from:

  • Erin starts playing WoW because her best friendĀ Jamie is an avid player who convinced her to give it a try. After making her first toon, Erin is immediately invited to Jamie’s guild, and Jamie personally sets out to help Erin level. Through the course of leveling 1-80, Erin is helped and/or carried through the struggles of leveling and never really develops a real image of how her class works and becomes dependent on Jamie’s guild. After reaching 80, Erin joins the guild raid team, but because she’s not used to being in a situation where she’s a contributing member of a team, she struggles to find her place amongst the rest of the raid.
  • Sheila starts playing WoW because she saw it in a local store and decided to give it a try. Through the course of leveling from 1-80, Sheila develops a strong sense of how her class works in different situations, where her limitations lie, how to be self-reliant, etc. After reaching 80, she decides she’d like to give raiding a try, makes an honest effort to scrounge up some effective gear, finds a guild with whom she can raid, and ultimately becomes a fine raider, who clearly understands her role and how best to fulfill it.

Now, to be fair, there are countless factors, both seen and unseen, that contribute to a player understanding and becoming good at a game, but for the sake of my hypothesis, I’m assuming that classic “trial-and-error” will lead to a more knowledgeable player. I feel the contrasting argument to my hypothesis would be that it’s easier for a new player to learn by watching skilled players.

Personally, when I leveled Nehmen (Nehmen wasn’t my first toon, but the rogue I had initially created didn’t really click with me, so I deleted her and began anew with Nehmen), I was subjected to both sides. I did regular, hub-based quests almost entirely alone, occasionally grouping up with another similarly leveled player, for group-specific quests. For almost every dungeon I did, however, my friend and guild leader (who convinced me to try WoW) would either lead me through herself or arrange for another guild member to do so.

Since I don’t have a perfect memory, I can’t say I remember every moment of my first couple of months as level 80 (I do remember the last struggle to get to 80, but that’s a story for another time), but I do remember this: I knew almost nothing about Vanilla WoW dungeons and raids. Because I’m an achievement horder, I decided to myself one day “wouldn’t it be easy to get [Classic Dungeonmaster]?” I quickly realized that I knew absolutely nothing about these old instances, and it was only through the careful examination of dungeon maps/guides and good ol’ trial-and-error that I managed to navigate my way through dungeons and pick off the correct bosses for the achievement.

I don’t have the time or materials (two people who don’t play, but are willing to try, WoW) to see an appropriate experiment through on this topic, but at the very least, I find it food for thought. My current method of dealing with new players is thus: don’t. It seems harsh… because it is. And I feel that’s the point; if a new player can make it to 80 by their own force of will, then I suspect they’ll be much better off than if I had carried them there. Muscles get stronger through appropriate workouts, yes?

And for the record, whenever I mention an experiment in a post (which won’t be all of them), I will refer to it as a /failcheck. After all, what is an experiment but a sophisticated /failcheck? Until next time!

First post… after everything else

Gracious, now that I’ve finally gotten a better hold on how this system works and arranged the settings in a somewhat sensible fashion… Welcome to /failcheck! I won’t go into length about who I am or what this blog is about (that’s what the about link is for!), so instead, I shall simply leave this post as is. I’ve officially spent around 2 hours on this, when I should have been sleeping around 1 3/4 ago.