Random Updates

I’ve been taking advantage of the extra free time during the holiday season to make random updates and improvements to the blog.

  • I have 3 more videos ready to upload at work tonight.
  • I have altered the blog’s theme.
  • I have slightly altered the appearance of some pages (spacing, centering, etc.).
  • I have gone back and edited typos in some old posts.
  • I have altered the video page to show guide completion progress.
  • I have added new pages and some updated outfits to the transmog gallery.
  • I have fixed the transmog gallery links so that clicking on previews should take you to the respective character page, outfit gallery, or larger imageĀ  (as appropriate).


Well that was fun

I’m back at home after nearly 2 weeks of wonderful. I need to take vacations more often because that was just amazing.

Anyway, WoW stuff. I took advantage of the break in playing WoW to read up and watch videos on the upcoming changes in WoW for the Legion expansion. Let me preface the following tirade by saying that I understand the need to make some changes at times. If it serves some purpose, either to address a problem or to keep things from going stale, then a change is necessary. However, those sorts of changes should be small in scope, and would be more palatable if they occurred incrementally rather than all at once.

That said, Blizzard’s insistence on reinventing the wheel with the release of every expansion drives me absolutely bonkers. Every time they announce a new expansion, part of me cringes because I know I will have to completely relearn at least one of the classes. They always pick at least once spec or class and change it so abruptly and so deeply that it’s basically a new class. They just can’t help themselves. Blizzard just did this to literally all of the classes with the “pruning” and “consolidation” changes they did at the end of MoP in preparation for WoD. I had to relearn rotations for all 35 specs, because everything got jumbled around so much with spells becoming passive or being removed altogether. Now they’re doing it again. I just don’t know how much more effort I’m willing to sink into this game. Just… ugh, Blizzard. Give a guy a break.

On the one hand, lots of the systems changes look fantastic. The transmog system is everything I hoped it would be and more. The new tri-/quad-spec system is something I’ve been wanting for a long time (although I think it could still be improved). The artifact weapons systems looks to have great potential as a form of personal end-game progression. the descriptions of the class halls looks like a step in the right direction. The increasing separation between PVE and PVP is not only a great idea, but it seems like they picked a good way to do it. Finally, extra levels, extra character slots, and new dungeons/raids are always a welcome addition to the game.

On the other hand, the scope of the class changes is enormous and they go in both directions. We will be gaining a lot of new stuff: new/revamped secondary resource systems, new spells, new class identities/lore. Simultaneously, we will be losing just as much in the realms of familiar stories and familiar gameplay (weapon choices/playstyles gone, personalization gone; your “fantasy” will be what Blizzard wants it to be. Period.).

Timewalking Runs

This was an interesting weekend. Real life happened to Tall again, so no challenge mode runs. Maybe next weekend. Since we couldn’t do CMs, we decided to do some timewalking dungeons, instead. We had Askevar’s wee one join us and I think we all had a good time. I know I did. The only blemish on the evening was our internet going wonky and DCing/lagging us for about 5 minutes straight. Sometimes I f-ing hate our internet. Gah. Anyway, we managed to get all 5 dungeons done for the quest and I even managed to nab some nice pants out of the reward chest. They were an upgrade for my healing set, at any rate. Huzzah.

So since I had some time to kill this morning I hopped on my druid alt and queued up. Oh what a difference the group can make. On my first run, I was put into Old Kingdom, probably my least favorite dungeon, ever. Despite this, things went pretty well except for the boss that summons swarmer adds. I stood next to the melee so the tank and melee could hit it with their aoe/cleaves and kill them quickly. Nothing. By the time I had 4 adds on me I couldn’t heal through the damage and I died. This was, apparently, my fault, since I was supposed to just tank the adds while I dpsed them down while I was healing everyone. Because hitting Thunderclap is too much work for him, I guess. So, anyway, I yelled right back at him for mocking the DK and I for dying to the adds. Seriously, man, just because I can do anything doesn’t mean I can do everything. Anyway, other than that one nasty exchange the rest of the dungeon went off without a hitch. I do dislike tanks with attitude, though, so I ditched the group and queued up again.

The next group was so much better. The tank was both friendly and very competent. There were a couple of times that a dps accidentally pulled (tab target fail) and he picked up the adds quickly and easily. He used his CDs well and marked priorities when needed. He was a very good tank, all in all. One of the dps was a bit green, and kept asking questions, which the tank and I answered as best we could while in combat. We ended up running 4 dungeons together, in all, and every last one of them was a better experience than that first dungeon. We ran Halls of Lightning and Nexus without a hitch, no deaths, no wipes. We had a couple deaths in UP (boss whirlwind and those nasty fearing shamans), but no wipes. Then we got stuck in Old Kingdom again. Ugh. Did I mention I really hate that instance? We had quite a few deaths in the beginning, but once I pointed out that the Spell-Flingers needed to be interrupted it was smooth sailing. We finished the rest of the dungeon quicly and easily. The tank picked up the swarmers, the dps killed them quickly, and all was well in the world.

Here’s the major difference between the two groups: in the second one, nobody was a jerk. Questions were answered politely. Mistakes were corrected without insult. Everyone did their own part and the run was smooth because of it. At the end we said thank you, we paid compliments to one another, and just enjoyed the social experience. That’s right, we enjoyed the community aspect of the game in the day of LFG and the “disposable” group. While it’s true that we’ll probably never see each other again, it made my day to hear the various compliments, just as I’m sure it thrilled him to hear me compliment his tanking and I’m sure the dps smiled when I said the groups does “ridiculous amounts of damage.” I got “excellent heals,” “great heals,” and “the best heals I’ve seen all week” during those 4 runs and it really brightened my day, especially after the exchange in that first group (in which I was called a “noob” lol).

Amazing, isn’t it, the difference an attitude can make? If you’re in a good group, tell them so. If another player did a particularly good job, let them know, even if it’s just to say “nice [dps/heals/tanking]”. If somebody does something spectacular during a pull, highlight it (“nice save,” “pro CC,” or “good pickup”). If somebody makes a mistake and apologizes, forgive them (no worries”). It’s basic human kindness. I think we all had a good time with that second group (we started off as 3 that stayed after the first run, but had 4 by the last run). We were laughing and joking with each other. In Nexus, the tank accidentally pulled the 2nd half of the frozen hallway on the first boss. After the pull he said “Um, oops?” and I responded with “Any pull you can walk away from, man.” We all laughed. Yeah, somebody screwed up, but instead of getting all bent out of shape we just buckled down, made the save, and had fun doing it.

I wish I could be in more groups like this. Sure, there will always be those guys who cop a ‘tude and make a beeline for the exit the second the final boss is looted, but you don’t have to be one of those guys. This whole chain of events was set in motion because I stayed long enough after a run to say “good group” and “awesome tanking” and somebody else stayed long enough to listen and return the compliments. Maybe if more of us stopped being “that guy” the community aspects of wow wouldn’t seem so dead. Maybe more groups would stay for an extra run or 2, or exchange battletag info. Even if not, what’s the worst that could happen by taking a few extra seconds to be nice to somebody, even if you won’t see them again?

Legion Transmog Hopes

I’ve been enjoying some lazy days in wow this week and I’ve decided to fill some of that spare time with transmog concerns. I’ve made a few updates to the transmog gallery already, with many more to come soon (TM).

All of this transmogging has gotten me thinking about the upcoming changes to the transmog system in Legion. As far as I’ve seen and heard, Blizzard has been skimpy on the details of exactly what changes are coming, but here a few features I am hoping will make it into the system.

  1. Account-Wide Transmog: The Diablo system works such that once you unlock an appearance on any character, all characters have access to that model for transmogrification. This would be great for so many reason, not least of which is to “recover” lost item appearances. Already did that low-level quest and vendored the item (before transmog was even a thing)? No worries, do that quest again on an alt and voila! You have access to your piece.
  2. Item-Free Transmog: Another great thing about the Diablo system is that once it’s unlocked, it’s unlocked forever: you do not need to keep the item or have it in your inventory. Wow needs this so much. My bank and void storage are chocked full of transmog items. Heck, I have an entire vanity guild dedicated to storing likely transmog pieces and it’s 6-tab guild bank is bursting at the seams. Converting all of those items into a simple User Interface would be very welcomed.
  3. Transmog Sets: I’m hoping to have a true transmog set system, such that you can set up a complete transmog set as what you wish your appearance to be and transmog the entire set at once (no need to transmog items individually for each item slot). Even if it takes a bit of set-up to get the sets ready, once you do it, the one-click transmogging would be so handy.
  4. Spec-Specific Transmog:I would love to have the option to have a different transmog set for each spec. It wasn’t such a big deal to do this before, but now that we share gear between specs, I’d like the option to change appearance based on spec. For example, I may want my paladin to look tougher/dirtier in Protection spec and cleaner/shinier in Holy. It would be wonderful to have a unique look for each of your specs and have that look show up automatically when you swap specs.
  5. More Illusions: There are still plenty of unique weapon glows from enchants that Blizz hasn’t implemented into the Illusions system. I see no reason we shouldn’t have access to them all.

I love transmog, IĀ  really do, but it feels like we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do with it. Any thoughts or ideas that you guys would like to see in the new transmog system?