Happy Independence Day!

Hello all my American friends! I hope you’ve enjoyed the food, family, fun, and fireworks today. And to my non-American friends, I hope you had a good day, too.

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Checking In

Hello, everyone. This is just a post to let you know that I’m still alive and well and doing just fine, thank you for asking.

Naturally, there are many things I miss about my life in WoW. I miss my friends and guildies. I miss making my YouTube videos and interacting with subscribers. Heck, at times I miss playing the game itself. It was fun. All of these things contributed to a sense of community that I miss dearly. You guys meant a lot to me and I think about all of you on a daily basis.

To be honest about it, I have to admit that I gave some serious thought to coming back. Aside from all the people and other things that I miss, I’d love to see and experience all of the new zones, quests, raids, and dungeons. I’d even love to take a crack at the new Mythic Plus system. I really miss the thrill of conquering higher-difficulty content. It was always a real charge. Things like that make me want to give it another try.

The thing is, when I think about it some more, nothing has changed. The colossally bad decision about flight still hasn’t been corrected and I loathe being chained to the ground. The overly grindy nature of the world quest system has not changed and I easily tire of busy work. Alt-friendliness is at an all-time low because of the artifact weapon system and I simply can’t tolerate being limited like that. Yes, yes, I know: all of these things will be fixed Soon™ but I tire of promises of the next patch fixing everything. After nearly a decade of broken promises I just don’t believe Blizzard anymore.

Oh, and all of that is without addressing the logistics of returning mid-stream and being behind in the gearing and AP grinding, and having missed out on an entire tier of the raiding experience. As much as it would be great to be able to come back, it just seems like it would be too much effort to make it work, and in the end that’s all it would be; making it work, forcing it to fit. I don’t really want that.

No worries, though, my life is doing just fine without WoW. I’ve channeled my energies into other projects. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, my culinary skills have progressed to a point where I never knew food could taste so good. I’m sure that I still have much to learn, but everything I make rivals the quality you’ll find in local sit-down restaurants, and fast food has kind of been ruined for me (it just doesn’t taste good to me anymore). I’ve also gone back to my long-neglected habit/hobby of writing. I’m in the world-building process right now, but I hope to be into the story-writing stage in time for NaNoWriMo (if not before) and publishing through Kindle by next year. I’m really very excited about the prospects. I probably won’t make more than a few bucks here and there,  but hey, you never know, right? Maybe my stuff will catch on.

Anyway, that’s enough about me. If any of you guys are still around, I’d love to hear about you all. I often wonder which achievement Askevar and Venoym are plugging away at now, or what Zank and Kirova are up to, or how George and Tarii are doing, or well, all of you guys: Miri, Grem, Tall, Eth, Dal, Braydenn. Or even my non-guild friends, Lala, Dan, Werf, Rizzy. I feel like I’m forgetting some people,  in which case I am sorry. If any of you are still around or know how these folks are doing, please drop me a line.

Until next time, and with warmest regards, Barley.

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.).

New Mouse

Thanks to the best sister in the world, my mouse has been replaced. Goodbye clunky wireless office mouse. Hello lightning-quick gaming mouse.

She nabbed me a Steel Series Rival and matching mousepad for a belated birthday present. In fairness, it would have been far less belated if I’d made up my mind about what I wanted for a present sooner. Now I’m back to the quality of gear I’ve become accustomed to. After playing with a gaming mouse for so long, a normal mouse just didn’t have the precision control, quick response speed, and optical resolution I had become accustomed to. Also, it has a fully customizable LED light I can play with. I mean, it doesn’t actually make me play better, but how cool is that?

Thank you, Sheepdog, you’ve made me a very happy healer.