Friday, October 21, 2011

WTH Blizzard! LOL Pandas

LMAO at Pandas! I can't imagine at this point in my MMO career that I can get excited about a Teddy Bear game and Kong Fu Pandas running around in a game. No longer my kind of game in WoW as a previous long time player.

However though you gotta admire Blizzard boldness in marketing at striking back at the coming SW:TOR soon release for a 2 for one deal offering. A 12 month sub to WoW with the next expansion Beta included, free pets and free Diablo III subscription for the deal. 

That to me strikes right back at SW:TOR in Blizzard fearing loosing more current WoW players and to lure old no longer playing veteran WoW players back to WoW. 

At this point in my MMO gaming career I can't get excited much about coming back to play WoW. 

I'm just interested in playing Diablo III not a game with or of Pandas. My gaming taste has changed much since WoW days.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reactivated my Account & back playing WoW

Well I did quit WoW and actually did delete the blog for several weeks now. But its been really tough to let go of the game and community thats been apart of my life for over 5 years. Thats half a decade of WoW and my life. Its been haunting me since as well. I love my character too much to quite the game forever and just not be able to play when i feel like and blog about my adventures. I'm as part of WoW game history as many of you as well the community and just miss you all too much to stay away.

I still like to be able to log in sometime and play and as well go fishing with my buddy Nat Pagle.

So I reactivated my account today and logged back in to check up on the guild gang. Feels like been gone forever. Since i'm back playing again (WoW players never really die do they?) I decided to reactivate my blog as well. Does anyone ever really quit this addictive game, it haunts you everyday when your away and not even playing the game it haunts you.

I guess I'm back playing again. Did the two people that read my blog for the last 5 years even miss me? Well missed you all so much being away.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Completely Abandoned and pushing the Red Self Destruction button.

It was somewhere around a year ago when I went on hiatus from WoW and started playing other MMO games to broaden my MMO horizon and gaming habits. Had started another blog on wordpress under the same name for whatever mmo games I played, but mostly kept both blogs somewhat separate somewhat to keep blogging about WoW separate mostly for the WoW readers. Sometimes I double posted on both.

This blog has been a constant companion for my entire WoW career. Its also been apart of the WoW blog community through out the years and considered it as valuable as my own WoW characters. Its also tough to have and somewhat maintain two different personal blogs about playing mmo games just because the player base and readership can be different in the games one chooses to play or move on to.

I've agonized about the thought of what to do for almost a year in my on and off declining play time with WoW. I've always maintained to myself that as long as I continued to play WoW that I'd keep the blog till whenever.

But not too long ago made the decision that my WoW career is absolutely over and as this blog has been my constant companion its life shall come to a complete end as well. It was great to be and have this blog be apart of the WoW community through out the years. Times eventually change for us all and so does out gaming habits. Really thank all the WoW readers for all their support for the last 5 years, blogging here on this blog and playing WoW was made more fun because of all of you. However it will be much easier having just one blog to focus on and blog about whatever other mmo game I choose to play or enjoy whether its just one, a few or others.

This blog will officially Self Destruct in 24hrs!

That decision if absolutely Final!

Monday, March 14, 2011

MMO's, Gaming and Why I quit playing WoW

I really don't post that often or haven't really been posting that often about opinion and gaming for almost a year now. At least not on this exact blog which I consider to be my backup blog since its mainly been about WoW for the last 5 years. I really didn't have anything in mind to post about or intention to post about today either. I do enjoy trying out and playing other MMO games with moderation because that's one of the reason I do play games to see other worlds, try out other games and have other points of view.

For the weekend and the last few days I've mostly been playing EVE Online to get some things done because that's my main mmo for just about a year now even though I just also started playing some RIFT. I have some game projects I had been working on and just spend most the time working on those in EVE. I regularly cruise the mmo blogosphere and read a variety of opinions on other blogs, some more than others.

Their has been allot of tension in the WoW blogosphere community about players bored with WoW, people leaving WoW for RIFT, WoW players playing other mmo games and the rebound of many those players back to WoW when their gaming honeymoon is over. Earlier as well I was reading a blogpost which lead to reading a blogpost at Larisa's and Gevlon's blog as well as reading all the various comments on both. At that point I just had allot of conflicting thoughts and emotions about other mmo's, game community, why I play games and why I left WoW.

In 5 years of playing WoW I've never ever been a highly opinionated member of the WoW blogging community and thats just fine by me. As well I'm sure never been thought of as such. Usually I've blogged about my game experience in-game or in any other game as I've experienced it and about things that have affected WoW game wise. As well I've always expressed on the blog when its time to quit WoW it will be fast in decision. I will have no need to rant about it like some people often do. I'll just quit, move on and that be the end of it!

So why did I really quit WoW
When someone I know as a player or a blogger quit playing WoW and move on to playing other games that interest them or to do other things Its sad to always see them leave the game you also play. They may have made some difference while they were here. But for me personally I just simply wish them well in whatever they do, real life and whatever game they move on to. I'll still play the same game i enjoy playing, because I play the game for me and not for how you may feel about it. Yet people always wonder why some others are leaving WoW and when they will come back after maybe a month.

Just about one of the few comment I can really agree with to Larisa's blog post was by Nils and Spinks to the post. Its too long to quote them here. While allot of players likes to play mmo's, allot less of those players are really even open minded about playing other games or trying other games for fun or to expand their gaming horizons. One the best things in my opinion that can happen in the mmo industry is for good games to be made that are healthy competition to the ones that are already there to help make them better or spur some form of innovation vs just more of the same always. So I'm not afraid to try other mmo games besides WoW or even quit WoW. In the year I spend away from WoW on total hiatus I realized I can absolutely live without WoW and felt better when I wasn't playing it.

For me, I've been playing WoW since right before Burning Crusade expansion launched which is over 5 years of WoW. That's 5 years of my life daily having been invested in playing WoW which is the longest I've committed to playing any game in my life. I've loved and enjoyed playing WoW and the game is still a great mmo game. Over that time I guess you can say one has matured playing and learning WoW as a mmo. The first few years was an experience playing and learning the game and quite addicting to play and had a great community. As more expansions occurred, years and times changed the in-game the community also changed not for the better but for worst in my opinion. Eventually I also got more burned out on the game just too much WoW and blogging as well about WoW.

Over the years I've taken breaks away from WoW being burned out on the game and time away from blogging about WoW as well. So I took time away from the game to do other things, play other MMO games to find other interest, get different game perspective and broaden my mmo horizons. The more I got burned out the more time I went on game hiatus. A bit after WotLK I got burned out on WoW and just wasn't really enjoying the game. Nor did I like the in-game community of totally rude players I had often deal with and tank dungeons and raids with. With 5 years of WoW and a changing community I just got tired of all of it. And I just easily took a long break from WoW, blogging and the community as a whole.

In the time away from WoW I decided one the things I wanted to do was experience other mmo games and in the future play a variety of games vs just one game. So in 2010 I played STO at launch, enjoyed the game and leveled to the max but wasn't much to do at the time. Cryptic has since improved the game much since. I loved Sci-Fi and space games and wanted to try something much more complicated and complex to wrap my mind around so I picked up playing EVE Online some time after.

I truly enjoyed playing EVE Online and for all its complexity and huge learning curve as a mmo. Being so much different to WoW was a complete plus. I really didn't care if you didn't play EVE, didn't like the game or don't play EVE Online. I enjoyed it so I played it. The point was I enjoyed the damn game. That is why I play the game and any other mmo game to have have a enjoyable time. It was a good distraction from the world of WoW trying out other games.

Over the last year the more I played EVE Online the less I had thought about WoW, the community and blogging about it. And I did realize that. So for most of 2010 I mostly played EVE Online even though I had decided to also try other mmo games to broaden my mmo gaming vs just WoW. Some players are just totally stuck on WoW. Even though I do really like WoW, I'm not simple stuck on WoW either. I'm simply willing to try other games that's of interest to me.

So when Cataclysm launched I bought the game and see how things were. After years playing WoW I still did enjoy the game. So i played through Cataclysm going from 80-85 as that was the main part of the game that was of interest to me. Leveling up alts has always been something I've never been a fan of, its just not my style. But I did level up 4 my other 80's to 85 for Cataclysm all the while in the back of my mind thinking of the game overall and if I wanted to dedicate to keep playing WoW.

After transferring back to an old server 4 characters, leveling up my characters to 85, reflecting on my WoW guild, reflecting on the game community 5 man dungeons and raiding, reflecting on playing EVE Online and my future to that game as well as also reflecting on other new games I wanted to also play. I simply made a decision as to I wasn't going to do. Right around that exact time RIFT appeared out of no where and sounded interesting.

However after 5 years of WoW even though I liked and enjoyed the game I was just DONE! I had no interest continue to play the game for another year. The love affair was over! The love was gone! I can call it whatever I want, I was simply done as the more I played WoW the more I kept thinking I should rather invest that time in EVE Online. I'm far more than just the average WoW player skill wise and in learning. But for me its just time to quit WoW.

I also was going to also try out RIFT as a new game also, so good timing quitting WoW after 2 months of Cataclysm. Some people just won't get that decision as a WoW player walking away from WoW, its no more different that when I had decided to just walk away from WoW to take a break going on hiatus. But in the end I decided this was game over for me. So before I left WoW I sold everything on all my characters and gave away all the gold which was a heck of allot on my account to seal the nail in the coffin of my decision walking away. I would of deleted my characters If i had time to, but the time that i decided to quit and the time my subscription expired was maybe just 24hrs to have thought of it.

In the big debate of things I can give a rats ass if a game or a new game is better than WoW in all the ways one can compare it to WoW. After 5 years of WoW the game i'm just simply done and don't care to continue playing.

There is no coming back to WoW for me. While some players do raise from the dead in WoW this one player aren't coming back! WoW, the in-game community and the WoW blogosphere community has changed allot over the 5 years that I have played WoW. I do still like WoW but I'm going to be honest to say that after 5 years I just know when to call it quits and leave this WoW community. I'll continue to play the other games I play and move on and try any new MMO games I want to play. I'm just not that stuck on WoW that I can't enjoy trying playing other games for fun even as a above average WoW player. I realized before I could live without playing WoW, did so just fine last year and at this point its now permanent.

Everyone decides to leave WoW for their own reasons and it won't be the same reason for everyone. Currently I play 2 games. EVE Online which I very much enjoy that many WoW players won't touch with a ten foot pole and probably is my main mmo and RIFT which recently launched. There are other mmo's on the horizon that I will probably try but make no mistake when i do play a game its for my own reasons and not for anyone else's.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Charging with Wings

Its really odd sometimes the little things you can really like or appreciate that your character can do. I really like that Shield Charge and charging to the enemy.

But its cool to have a range charge on my Rift Warrior which is from the Paladin soul ability to quickly close range. Fist very few times i had used it never noticed anything unusual in the animation since mobs wasn't that far away but the more i used it seems when you charge at close to max range on the target divine wings pops out and you really notice it. Which is rather cool to see. With the short 15 sec cooldown its pretty cool to charge at range aggro a few melee mobs, grab aggro then switch target and charge at range again to that range caster mob and have all the melee mobs come running behind you. I just think its cool and always love seeing the wings pop on charging. Kinda wonder why Blizzard never gave Paladins something like that to close on a range target quickly.

So far i'm enjoying playing my Warrior Tank at lvl 31. Its getting more fun to play as i level up and have more buttons to push than I can seem to get to most of them before its time to push something else or a main ability again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Images from Rifting & Telara

There is some cool things to do in RIFT, but one the coolest things of all is being first to arrive upon a rift Planar Tear and using your Planar Lure ability to rip it open and create some chaos and more for everyone around, close by or zone wide.

Random Guardian invasion at Granite Falls in Stonefield often a hotbed of Guardian invasion activity in trying to assault the town/npc and wardstones there. Always fun to fight them.

Repelling rift invasion forces across the landscape and taking the fight all the way back to the rift itself in a public raid group assault.

When a massive raid gets going these things can get heart pumping exciting and fun like a herd of ants out for the kill even if a invasion boss is in the way. Just jump in and go enjoy the fun.

Sometimes your just there at the the NPC area chilling for a few minutes, vendoring stuff, picking up quests or just to get a break...... so you think! No place is safe in RIFT except maybe going afk half way up a mountain clearly not in direct path of any invasion action. But hanging out at a NPC hub you can sure see allot of Invasion action constantly along with the NPC's that all fight back with full vengeance protecting their precious Wardstone from Invaders. I would too those things give some nice buffs. For sure the action scene is far from boring!

A full public rift raid on way to meet the final objective of a rift event the rift boss. Which encountered a another Invasion force and the Guardian faction and somehow ended up turning into a full all out assault on the invasion and each other. That caused one hell of a massive pvp chaos that was just to much fun.

The dynamic action of RIFT really puts a whole new spin on the experience one gets from just the PVE world as it is. In that something is happening in that zone all the time or about to happen and you never quite know when it will be about to happen until you feel the earth tremble, shakes or by other means.

You can believe whatever you want about RIFT, but the damn game is exciting! And probably more fun if your also playing with some good friends as well.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Busy Rifting, RIFT official launch today

RIFT officially launches it MMO game today and with it the newest and one the most polished new MMO game I can remember hearing of as well as having played in a long time. However I've have been playing in the Head Start launch for about a week now and so far have made it to lvl 28 on my Tank. Having a blast of a time leveling, questing, dungeon, rifting and exploring. Its been a while since I've had so much fun playing a new game.

RIFT as many have mentioned don't really add that much new, mostly borrowing some the best feature and concepts from allot of other MMO's and adding its own game lore and twist on things with their own MMO. And so far I really have enjoyed the story of the game even though I really never usually get all that caught up in geeky lore conversation of things. I've just been enjoying the game world for what it is as designed and the world in which my character exists.

So I've been playing on the Faeblight server a PVE-RP server with a few other bloggers all playing with the great friendly folks from I can't say i really know everyone well in our fairly new guild Circle of Trust except mostly the few friendly bloggers. But so far everyone been great, helpful, friendly, respectful, funny and welcoming. And that's rather nice to have a great bunch of folks to journey in a new game with. And so far I've just been having a great time.

I'm playing a tank named none other than well "Ardentdefender". For obvious reasons if you been reading my blog for a while i do enjoy playing the role. I do like to melee and hear stuff slam into my shield and because I'm also good at it as well a role I truly enjoy playing and trying to master. Always have! Anyway I started my primary souls as a Warrior for tanking as a Paladin. I eventually also picked up the soul for Warlord for some the complementing defensive abilities and some the great group buffs it provides in a group. Then also picked up the Void Knight soul to add great anti-caster defensive as well as offensive abilities. I had played back in RIFT Beta all the souls I picked up so it was what I went with for my primary first soul build. Overall I think with all the abilities it fits well for a build all the way to the end. Back in RIFT Beta I primarily played as a Paladin/Reaver/Void Knight and really enjoyed the dots and aoe the Reaver provided and with all its aoe abilities while being a defensive soul.

Playing thru as a Paladin/Warlord/Void Knight though stronger in build defensively felt more mechanical in play and felt more like work to me and allot less fun to me and in my style of play. I played that thru all the way to lvl 20 at least because I really wanted to grow into and get the feel of play style from my own personal experience. I feel its a great soul to have tanking a boss. But it felt less fun leveling, questing generally all while still playing with fairly good tanking souls. So at lvl 20 I bought another "role" or more like a second spec from the trainer which wasn't too expensive. A character can have up to 4 roles with various souls combination which gives a person a whole lot of flexibility of play all in playing just one class. Buying a 3rd role will cost you quite a bit more and a 4th much more expensive.

I completed the Reaver quest and the others to pick up the other souls and then made a 2nd role as a Paladin/Reaver/Void Knight for optional play style while still being able to tank on demand fairly well. So currently have both tanking roles to play with and test and at least learn to master the play styles that also fits my style of play. So for the most part I've normally been playing not my main role but as my second role which for me is also allot more fun to me to play. I'm not sure what I'll make as my 3rd role build but I imagine i probably make a dps warrior of some sort for flexibility in a group.

RIFT does get allot more fun the more you level and going into new zones. Starting out in the starter areas can seem unimpressive and is probably the most underwhelming part of the game experience getting thru lvl 1-6 at least. However in my experience it really don't take you that long to get thru those levels or the very initial starter zone. I tend to call it more the initial tutorial zone. Because to me in my opinion the real starter zone starts for Defiance starts when you get to Freemarch which is around lvl 6 or so and it don't take you long to even get there. At around lvl 8-10 the game starts to ramp up in fun as you encounter Rifts and Invasions.

The game does get progressively more fun the higher level you get to. Zones are quite huge and quests are plenty if not many. You can quest or do rifts to level up or a mix of both. Questing got you down, hey drop questing and go fight back a Major Invasion when one spawns. Try and beat back some Invasions when your just hanging out in a quest area for a little while and a invasion mobs come rolling thru. You just never know when a Invasion is gonna come rolling you way which all of a sudden can change your game play suddenly. Many times i've just been at a NPC area picking up a quest or vendoring stuff and a invasion force incoming. Easy to quit doing that and get into action.

For most of my lvl 20's which have been spend mostly all in Stonefield zone so far and currently at lvl 28, I've just been rifting as much as questing. I've been enjoying the story and lore of the game and doing quests and dungeons. However no matter where I'm heading in the zone I always take the time if any rifts or invasion cross my path to get in on the action and fight the fight. You can get allot of XP just doing rifts. Needless to say I've spend several levels doing nothing but beating back rifts when many are spawned, fighting invasion forces, beating back footholds, tearing open a partial rift and have me my own rift to fight back.

That's allot of fun. Especially when your in a area and a rift tear appear and your the only one seemingly around. What do you do? For me I decide to go have some fun and tear the rift open with my Planar Lure ability and have me a rift with mobs to fight back.

Sometime I've been there alone fighting the rift and it spawns a invasion force before its sealed and that invasion force runs off immediately to wreck havoc across the zone area or heading to a NPC area. Sometime and often someone jumps in on the public grouping and helps out for the fun. But if you do seal the rifts you get allot of nice stuff, gear drops, artifacts, consumable stuff and lots of planarite shards and some rare ones for the effort which all adds up. All the shards adds up to being able to purchase some very nice gear from the planar vendors. That has allowed me to purchase at least 2 Epic pieces, several blue gear just from doing allot of rifting so far which were way better than quest gear.

Biggest issue I've had so far in game is tanking allot of rifts and invasion bosses with a group and no one in group can heal or wants to heal the tank or just no healer around to do so. That has lead to many a times I have died tanking various rifts and invasion forces in a group where no one is around to heal whoever is primarily tanking the invasion forces. That has lead to many a visit to the NPC healer to restore soul vitality which drops 10% on every death which makes you ineffective if it gets to 0. As a result so far would have to say my biggest gold sink is at the NPC healer paying to restore lost vitality which can add up allot if you visit often.

As for profession you get a choice of three professions. I decided not to craft anything or spend any time at it but instead do all gathering with Mining, Foraging and Butchering. That fits my style for being a bit the explorer type and usually roaming all over chasing rifts and gathering stuff that I come across in the process. And so far I'm enjoying doing just that.

So far its just been a fun time leveling up and getting in on the action of questing, rifting, dungeons, exploring for artifacts which leads to fighting invasion forces and footholds wherever I've found them. Artifact finding is a whole mini-game of exploration all of its own and a whole lot of fun. But so far the RIFT has just been running smoothly, rather bug free as I haven't encountered any and rather allot of fun. Only real issue is the daily choke on the server queue that happen at peak login time but that issue has being getting better daily as Trion have added more servers and as the server loads get balanced. So far Trion seem to be working relatively hard and doing a rather impressive job in having a smooth running game, even if they didn't add anything all that new with a new MMO.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

RIFT Launch Day

I was a both surprised and amused to see and hear some players had long queues trying to log into some the RIFT servers this afternoon. I had heard some people mention in game chat that they had a hour or longer wait while in game. But I had no idea how long some queues were for some people till when I logged off and read some blogs. Which was right when Trion brought the servers down for a bit of balancing and tweaking.

That's when I saw some people had a few hrs wait in queue. What do you expect on launch day when everyone all trying to log into servers all at same time.

I actually was right there already logged in at 1:00 PM just waiting for the servers to become active. Servers went active, and the moment I clicked to log into specified server there was so many people all trying to log in that I was #466 in queue less than 10 secs after servers went live. Took about 25 mins or so to get thru the queue and log in.

Once logged in got thru creating character and logged into starter zone didn't have any problem after that. Game ran smoothly and relatively lag free after that, at least it did for me. Starter zone was busy but not too bad though getting to Freemarsh zone it was jam packed busy with players. Got my first character to lvl 8 and then logged out and recreated another character mostly to get the character name but ended up leveling the that character up to lvl 7 and back to Freemarsh again.

In between that time Trion had made some in game announcement that they had opened up several new servers which I guess was to try to reduce the queue time for those trying to log on. A bit later then made announcement that they were bringing down for a short period to balance and tweak the servers a bit. That's when I decided to log out early and get me a bite. I log out and took a look at all the server listed and every server all the way down the list was listed as all "Full"and that's probably including all the new servers they added already.

And your wondering why your queue time was so long.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

24hr Countdown to RIFT Launch

Obviously RIFT the new MMO game launches tomorrow at 1:00 PM EST for those in head start. So not too long till the long wait is finally over.

Already uninstalled the Beta client and already downloaded the live game client for tomorrows launch.

Really at this point really not allot to say except the few details. Will be joining up with the friendly great group of folks from who all will be rolling Defiant faction on the Faeblight server a RP-PVE server. Just because starting off in a new MMO playing with a great group of folks to journey with is always much more fun and interesting than going it solo on a random server. So good way to start off in a new game with a friendly great group of folks including one my favorite MMO Gamer Chick and a few other MMO bloggers. Hopefully see some of you all there for the fun.

Well I better go try to get some stuff done today. Be sure hard to get it done tomorrow.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rift and future MMO plans

Have been playing RIFT beta since Beta 5 event over a month ago after which I made the decision I was going to play the game and pre-ordered the game from Trion. Since I had already ordered the game and knew was going to play at launch didn't really play at all much during the Beta 6 event over a week back, I just played more EVE Online. This past weekend played a little bit for the final RIFT beta event to test out a few souls and classes haven't played before the game launches live on Thursday the 24th.

So had a bit of fun over the weekend trying out a different class build as a Tank, a slightly different one to the main soul as a Paladin/VoidKnight/Reaver build I leveled up during Beta 5. Tried out a Paladin/VoidKnight/Warlord which seemed to work well though took some getting used to after having played the first build.

Also leveled up two different Mages to at least lvl 10 trying out the dps class builds to see what I actually liked for dps. First tried out a Elemental/Stormcaller/Archon and though worked ok didn't quite work all that well for me with the Archon as well as with keeping the pet alive, but played it at least to lvl 10 to see how it played out. In trying to test out another support class for mage dps then made a Warlock/Necromancer/Chloromancer and that seemed to work out well for my style of play especially with the Chloromancer soul for support role. Thus i figured that would work well with the Elemental/Stormcaller as well and with the pet. Overall figured out what I wanted for both and had a fun time for the short amount of time really played overall during the last Beta event.

Currently my main MMO right now is playing EVE Online which have been playing for almost the last year and that's not really going to change much best I can tell for rest of year. RIFT will be the only other MMO on my plate at the moment and looking forward to playing it at launch on Thursday since have already pre-ordered the game and will be playing at head start all the way thru. I'll be playing Defiant of course just because I always play the underdog side. Kinda like always having Horde in WoW and never played Alliance. As well will be playing on a PvE server yet to be determined.

So the only thing left to decide for playing RIFT is which shard (server) to play on. As well as which server the majority of everyone I know that blogs and that will be playing will be playing on. Could be allot of fun to be all on one main server. Really best though to get that decided and figured before the game launch on the 24th. I know I'm highly unlikely to change server I start playing on to start over on another server everyone else is playing on after launch.

Trion hasn't as yet released the names of what the live shards will be. I've heard at least 1-2 days before launch they will release that info. So while it will be fun playing at RIFT launch it can be even more fun playing on the same server with majority of blogging community and friends.

Until then its back to playing EVE Online mostly.

Seems will be forming up a community/guild for RIFT launch linked here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Game Over...

That's pretty much it! Cataclysm is pretty much over for me and that's as much a seal fate as when I had decided to leave the game back in WotLK for my own reasons back then. I guess when I decide to make the choice its pretty much a seal fate. I have no regrets about my choices and decisions game wise.

I got my Paladin to 85, even relearning how to play again after quite along time from the game. Spent a great deal of time reading and learn how all the new class mechanics work and reading class compendiums at the EJ forums for hours. It was all fun and really invested the time to really learning things like i usually always did. It was all fun.

I didn't really look forward to all the grinding or reputation grind but I did some of it daily just going through the motions of things and logging on to play. And had moments of enjoyable fun in the process. But deep down I just wasn't looking forward to it. So I did less and less of it everyday. I did find some enjoyment in doing the cooking daily almost daily, not sure why.

I decided to level up some my other characters from 80 to 85, so i did. Not only that I transferred 4 characters from the server i was on back to my old server to play with my old guild and some guild friends there who still played so I was among familiar faces when i logged on to play. Its was just good to see familiar faces I had fun playing with since long ago.

I got 4 my characters to lvl 85 and was all fun to level them up, learn how to play them among all the changes to the classes. Spent time leveling up most my characters professions and had fun doing it. Yet once I got them all to lvl 85 I just didn't look forward to all the gear grind and faction rep grind and all that. Still I did some of it on some my characters. But just did not care to do it all that much to do it daily over and over. Maybe after 5 years of WoW for me its just getting old no matter how its re-skinned. I never visited or quested through any of the new starter zones or through changed Azeroth, I had no appeal to ever doing so and never did. Cataclysm for me was just 80-85 pretty much, 5 levels.

On most days daily I find I just log in sell some stuff on the AH and add to my huge gold supply and did some fishing. That's gets quite boring after a while just mostly logging in and selling stuff and some dailies. And the choices of what to decide to do don't seem all that great and didn't feel like investing any time in the raiding game.

So over weeks and days I find myself playing and logging in less and less daily. Since I also play multiple MMO's these days, I find at time I rather log out of WoW and often rather invest my time playing EVE and work on my projects there which seem more worthwhile for me to do. I guess you have more choices in how you decide to spend your time effort wise when you have choices of games to play.

Instead of keep subscribing and not really logging into WoW all that much, I checked my account and funny enough my subscription runs out tomorrow. So It didn't take me long to decide to just go ahead and pull the plug on my WoW subscription and Cataclysm.

I have no bitter feelings about WoW. I've always kept it positive. I'm just not feeling it anymore like I used to in days, years and old expansions past when i played like I had a crack addiction with in game friends and ran instances like a madman. The community in game feels very different, even the atmosphere in my guild feels different like everyone's a stranger at times. Barely anyone says hello to anyone. The feeling seems to be gone and instead of keep playing when I know I'm not feeling it enough to log in and play I rather end it here and now. So i just cancelled my subscription today which ends tomorrow.

The feeling just seems gone for me. Cataclysm for me lasted just 2 months.

For me its Game Over!

Edit: Already gave away all my stuff so you cant have it. And all the gold, gave all of it away too all six figures!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

RIFT Beta 5 Impressions and Adventures

A bit long the post. Over the past several weeks I had been hearing about this new MMO currently in Beta called RIFT via some of the other blogs I read. The game wasn't on my radar by any means. So being curious about the game decided to check it out a little well eventually signed up an account. A few days later I got an invite to RIFT Beta 5 event which took place over almost a week and ended on this past Saturday.

I wanted at least to try the game at least most importantly with an open mind, no game bias, and give the game a fair try and effort. And that's what I did. Needless to say I really had a lot of fun playing and testing RIFT the game in the Beta 5 event.

Rift Beta 5 event was my first time playing RIFT, I made it to lvl 24 with the max level in the Beta capped at lvl 30. So I did a lot of PvE questing, rifts and fighting major rift Invasions as well also did the first dungeon which was Iron Tomb which was a lot of fun and quite well done. However what I didn't like wasn't so much the game of RIFT itself but more less some people in the player community in zone chat who constantly chatted about WoW non stop, comparing the game to WoW in what seems a million different ways and a million different other things they seem in comparison to, game likes or wish game had this and that similar to WoW. Quite frankly I was tired of hearing all the constant WoW talk for what it seemed almost every other thing someone said at certain times of the day.

Funny enough as it is, this was mostly in the very first starter lvl zones and if shift mouse clicked over most the people chatting up WoW in the zone chat vast majority of them was less than lvl 8. Since i had played RIFT at all kinds of odds hours of the day, most of that chat disappeared real late at night into the early morning before it all started again in a WoW fest. But that's most of the negative feelings i had trying and testing out the rift.

Launching the game it has a great intro cinematic that really gives a welcome to the world of RIFT, Telara and the lore of where the forces of the world stood against the death god Regulos and your somewhat place in it in Telara.

There are two factions and you get a choice of either the Guardian the devoted of the gods of Telara or the Defiant who shun the gods efforts or lack of it and put more faith in their technology which they love. I decided to go with Defiant as playing the do good side just isn't my style and I love playing the underdog side in a game. You have a choice of classes between a Warrior, Cleric, Mage or Rogue. Warriors wear plate, Rogues wear leather and Clerics wear a mix of cloth or chain mail, and I guess Mages wore just cloth i guess but not entirely sure.

I all around most usually prefer a melee class style of play so decided to go with playing a Bahmi Warrior and play sword and board. The game basically starts off in the world of your faction and doing some simple quests or meet someone here or there, deliver this there for a reason just like most typical quests but mostly the quests are tutorial as well introducing you to the world you reside in. You pickup your first soul almost immediately which is part of how you talent spec class wise and they eventually gives you a lot of options of deciding how to spec across several souls of various kinds for your class which gives a lot of options in play style.

Eventually I went Paladin/Void Knight/Reaver for soul trees and picking up skills across all three spec tree. All three souls is highly defensive styles with a range of offensive options as well. Paladin being highly defensive with a lot of blocking, shield slams of various kinds and righteous melee attacks and various throwing of hammer pulls highly physical. The Void Knight being interesting in that its defensive as well but it thrives on turning spell casters magic back against them in various forms of attacks which can be quite damaging as well. The Reaver best I can describe trying it out seems to me to best I can relate to is a Death Knight with various forms of infectious attacks, dots and hard-hitting melee strikes.

Later on in Beta I did make a new character started it from scratch to get the feel learning the soul abilities again but bit with a different soul combo in the mix. I tried out a Paladin/Void Knight/Riftblade with the Riftblade being a bit more offensive soul that dealt with various form of elemental attacks. That was a bit interesting and took a while to get the hang of it. So I had those souls to play and try out and learn their various forms a bit while leveling.

The first few levels go by fairly fast helping out some folks in a town along your way to and area and then soon the story evolves as you reach an area and have to fight back evil forces at a rift that threaten to destroy the world. This was really fun and. was really the first encounter with the public group system.
Most the early levels is kinda following the lore and story of the world doing quests and learning where to pickup skills and all that. Quest system is quite easy to follow and UI easy to use and configurable. Some zone invasion quests are automatic to all zone wide as an Invasion quest.

First real rift happen to spawn right in the area around where I was questing at and area just turned dark the ground charred and quite a bit of invading mobs at my level and around my level appeared. I was tripped out by it. So I just stopped questing and started beating back rift invaders right away I got a message on UI to join a public group as other players was right there or close by as well. Eventually everyone around started to beat back the rift invaders and was a lot of fun.

When you closed the rifts you would via the UI receive various kinds of rewards and shards though the very first time it occurred it wasn't so obvious. Wasn't immediately apparent what the shards were for either, but it seems the more rifts invaders you killed and the more rifts you did the more shards and various kinds you got. Eventually over time you could turn the shards in for exchange for various items at a merchant and some nifty gear upgrades. It seemed that the Rifts that form in zone and in the areas they spawn in are closely related to the level of the quests in those areas best I could put it.

As rifts close I went back to questing as usual and everyone else seemed to also back to whatever they were doing before. Over time you would get pop up notices and messages in zone via the UI either a kind of rift is spawning or a major invasion force was imminent while questing along various quest hubs. There were rifts that would spawn and if left unchecked for a good duration of time. They would eventually spawn more invaders that would become invasion forces and go wandering around attacking anything they find including normal mobs in areas as well as NPC outposts with the NPC's fighting back as well.

Rift Major events
There were also major invasion zone events with objectives which shows up on your UI as an automatic quest zone wide where major invasion forces would spawn all across the zone and if left unchecked would eventually wreak havoc across a zone towards anything they find until defeated. These invasion events if objective is met killing XX of invaders and sealing XX rifts all shows up on your UI as they are met across a zone and when met would also spawn an invasion boss that's at the level of the zone that you also have to kill to win the invasion objective often via a public raid group together.

These bosses of sorts when spawned would require quite a bit of zone participation to take down in the form of full public groups. You could show up where the bosses are on the map join in on the public group option or get invited as well and help kill the invasion boss. Everyone that joined in to help or via the public group when the boss dies get some amount of various kinds of rewards and various amounts of shards which can add up to allot. These events are quite a lot of fun to participate in.

So really was fun during invasions to just quit questing and join in or beating back invasion forces for a while for the fun, rewards and XP as well as they usually drop nice stuff the invaders. I did that for a few hrs and gained a bit of XP. There is an achievement system in-game as I remember getting one for fighting back 30 rift invasion forces.

Rifts shows up on maps and of various kinds and there are quite a few different kinds of rifts. There are also rifts that just existed as tears not fully formed rifts but left unchecked can form major rifts of one form or another. In time leveling you learn an ability called Planar Lure I think via a quest I can't remember which allows anyone to find these rifts. When found use the ability to somewhat crack the rift, defeat the forces and then seal it for good. Somewhere in my mid teens leveling I was wondering around on a quest and spotted what looked like a rift tear. The ability lit up and clicked it, which caused the rift to fully spawn and was now up to me alone since was the only one around to try and seal it solo.

This was quite a lot of fun trying to seal a rift all by my self just picking off the mobs one by one or two when can. Eventually after around 15 minutes or so I did and for my reward got several items, artifacts, scrolls and over 25 shards for my efforts I was quite excited.

Questing and leveling seemed to get much more fun around mid teens and much more action to get involved in with rifts and invasion forces. Rifts could appear and their forces eventually threaten quest areas. No place is safe! I remember going aft at a quest giver by the road and thought it was safe as no mobs was around by the road. Well while afk an invasion has spawned and an invasion force was making its way down the road that eventually killed the NPC and me as well while afk. Often just one or two players in a NPC area just acting when a few invaders arrived could make all the difference.

Questing & Exploring
Questing at times can somewhat seem linear. Completing some quests would activate the NPC next to the other who previously didn't have a quest before. I did find you were also able to wander around and explore a bit and find quests in other areas. Some quests you would also find just randomly killing a certain mob while on another quest in the form of an item. These you would have to take to someone or return to complete the quest.

Though at times it was fun to quest for leveling and quest rewards it was just as fun to stop questing when a major rift invasion showed up and get in on the action which is a lot of public fun time to collect lots of shards from rift creatures. Some people in zone chat seemed annoyed and just wanted to just do quests and avoided the rifts entirely and even asked how to remove them from their game map. Why you playing RIFT anyway I'm thinking. Once you understand what the shards can be used for when kill rift invaders its even more fun to see how much you can collect for the effort.

Other Zones
Freemarsh was fun but the second zone Stonefield was even more fun which was now the very late teens and early 20's. Wasn't long after I had entered this new zone to quest in I got an invite from someone a higher level player that said they was going to be a major invasion event in the zone and they were forming up for a public group raid and doing invites. Cool. So I accepted while still doing some quests. About a few minutes later a major invasion started and wasn't sure where it was and couldn't tell all that well since most of my zone map was yet uncovered.

So stopped doing the quests and headed off via the location of other members of the group on the map to catch up with them while trying to avoid area mobs some 3-4 times my level. Took awhile to get there and meet up, but in that time much the invasion had been fought back and they had spawned an invasion champion boss of some kind. We only had a group of maybe 9-12 people mostly lvl 22-26 that was fighting an invasion boss. It was awesome!

We couldn't get more people to come and help fight a boss that had over 650K HP and I'm umm lvl 19 with barely 1300 HP. I died quite a bit to say the least. That boss was relentless in its attack. I believe a lvl 26 rogue if I recall tanked the boss. I couldn't remember what level the boss was exactly either. But the rogue had an awesome cleric healing for what it seemed as well. Eventually the boss was kited a bit to a close by town where more people were and NPC's. We got the boss into the little town everyone helped chipped in to kill the rift invasion boss. That took about an hour or so due to not having enough people to make it faster or help. We lost the invasion battle or failed the quest due to time but we did eventually kill the spawned boss which was fun enough. That was just fun!

After all that excitement it was back to less excitement and more quiet time questing or whatever else I did. Numerous times I had to return to a NPC outpost to turn in a quest and a rift invasion force had taken over the NPC area. Whats a good hero to do, kill the invasion force even if no ones around to help. Eventually sometime more than often someone else shows up and join in to help via the public group option and you clear the area of rift invaders and retake the NPC areas and get rewarded with more shards. Not too long after any NPC that had died quickly respawned. But for at least trying to take back the rift even solo you get rewarded well with shards, rare artifacts and other items that's quite useful to use.

Instance & Dungeon
Was able to finally get into a dungeon run as the Tank for the Iron Tomb dungeon on Defiant side. We got a group which turned out to be a very good group of players. It was me Tank a 2H Warrior of some kind, Rogue, Mage and a Cleric. We completed the instance which didn't seem to take all that long and at best maybe an hour or so.

The dungeon felt like a real dungeon dark and dingy dungeon and was a lot of fun. But it was also a good time in a dungeon to try out my class as a tank and worked great. We did have times when we had quite a few mobs to attack and was hard to aggro them all but the rogue ended up tanking some and did quite well on his own it seemed, which does seem to me that the class with mix of soul combinations is a bit resilient even though they wear only leather. In RIFT it seems every class can do a lot of different things in a group and with the way you combine different souls that seem like a lot of combinations of talents and abilities.

But Iron Tomb dungeon was fun, the last boss was a flaming boss and just awesome. Boss died and dropped a nice blue shield which was an upgrade but the Warrior won it. I still ended up with a nice blue sword for the dungeon reward for the other quests I had. Overall was a lot of fun the first dungeon and great group.

Guild & Interface
After having done the dungeon run, the rogue who was in a guild invited us to check out the guild interface. Someone had initially asked to see what kind of interface the guild had or check it out. So the rogue invited everyone that was apart of the dungeon run to the guild to check out the guild interface as a result.

The game does have a really nice, easy to use and quite simple to understand guild interface. Nothing really innovative about the RIFT guild interface it has most if not all and similar functionality as say compared to a WoW guild interface quite simple in display setting. Has various tabs all the way down the interface and category pertaining to guild members, ranks, recent achievements, roster, locations, status, and all that.

There is a tab for Guild Quests which i totally wasn't even aware of till I saw it as it had the guild quest the guild leader had picked up for the guild wide quest. Thus seems that guild can complete quests as a guild wide effort though one quest at a time from the guild quest givers in a city. So guilds in RIFT can earn levels and level up just like a person can level with XP from completing guild quests as far as i can tell. I'm not sure how high the guild level goes but it seemed quite a bit with the amount of points you would need to get all the guild buffs and benefits via the interface.

Guild can put points via the guild GM into various guild abilities as it level up with points. These abilities mostly give some really nice buffs depending on what the buff was for, various kinds and some that give increase rewards guild wise like increase gold on quests. So quite a variety of benefits for guilds and similar to WoW guild interface/rewards.

You can pick 3 professions. I did most gathering so really didn't do all that much crafting though i did try out Armorsmith a little. Works similiar to to crafting in other popular mmo's really. You can use some items some found via rifts to augment items stats after you craft them as well for enhanced stats.

Auction House
Game does have an Auction house system. But the Auction House is functional and similar to that in other games or WoW in interface ability. I did sell several items on the AH so it works quite similar and with mailbox.

Overall RIFT is its own game, though it has a lot of elements of other games and nothing all that new overall. But it does seem like a really fun game. I had a lot of fun testing out RIFT Beta and various parts of the game. For a game in Beta to me it was rather bug free mostly for me. I did file some suggestions on various things as a Beta tester for improvement like really improving the bag system which was the thing had most problem with on the UI overall.

The game it was very stable and didn't have much problem at all nor did I have any graphics problems. My PC is also fairly new as well. The game is very well put together for a game still in Beta, quite well done so far, stable, quite polished at this point before launch and that's much better than most if not almost all the games i can remember that launched in the last year at least from Beta. Overall my view of the game is quite positive having played to the level of 24 since the max level of Beta 5 was level 30. It will definitely be on my MMO playing list at launch as something else different to play. At this point I'm looking forward to RIFT Beta 6 event which should be soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Selling Heroic queues

There is allot of discussion in and out of WoW and across the blogosphere about the problems with Tank & Healer shortage in Cataclysm, especially as it relates to LFD, Heroics difficulty and long DPS queues. There seem to be a discussion of the problem almost daily in the blogosphere and its on peoples mind daily waiting for LFD queues. As much as I may have my own opinion on this topic and I do, I'm just not sure where to jump into this shark pool of highly intense opinions everywhere.

I was playing on one my dps characters just doing a daily quest and this guy a Tank was quite serious in trade chat about his service as stated. This set off a firestorm of debate in trade about the comment, the situation and LFD queues and the ethics of creating a problem with doing so and fostering it in and of it self. It lead to some lively discussion in trade chat as a result. But with as many players playing WoW this can't be a original idea either and I'm sure some others are doing so. And I know I've been in 1 or two instances as dps where this happened as well unknowingly where the tank just all of a sudden just dropped out for what seemed no reason at all.

I really don't condone the practice as a Tank at heart myself and much against this as a practice for all the problems it can create. It can set some very bad future precedent in LFD, among others waiting in queue among groups itself. If you zone in and quit on any group you should suffer some consequence by Blizzard in the LFD queue as a result, no matter which role you play. That's just bad practice all around to other people in the LFD queues and don't help the current problem much either.

As for myself a person who has played a tank role for a long time and at heart someone who really enjoy the role to be quite frankly these days even though I can do heroics I just don't queue up for all my own reasons. I enjoyed the many months of stress free time away from WoW and i'm enjoying not returning all that quickly back to that role. That sure don't help you or anyone else much waiting for a Tank, group, heroics and long queues in LFD.

For sure the discussion on Tanks and LFD will rage on.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life at 85, now what....

Its now been just slightly over a month since since reactivated my WoW account for Cataclysm. Since then have had to play ALLOT of catchup on class and talent changes of some of the lvl 80 classes I played back in WotLK and re-learn how to play those classes among the changes for Cataclysm. And so over the month that followed since Cataclysm launched have gotten three of my five lvl 80 characters that I elected to play that were at max level in WotLK now to lvl 85 for Cataclysm.

It really was the most busy of times in all of WoW for all of 2010 the last month reading many blog post and old posts about class changes. As well as reading Elitist Jerks forums and compodiums of class changes and analysis to really get up to speed on class changes. As well understanding mechanic changes for someone that hadn't payed much attention to WoW for almost the entire year.

It was allot to catch up on and understand all the changes. Still day to day playing Wow depending on which class I'm playing I find myself having to look up re-read stuff at times to be able to recall what I had read of class mechanics. So for the last month it was allot of time spent doing allot of WoW reading in various places.

So of my 5 level 80 characters from WotLK I've elected to level up three. I leveled up my Paladin first to lvl 85 which was a no brainer and easier to understand how to play even if I didn't understand anything much at all. Immediately after that then I worked at leveling my Shadow Priest and Shaman roughly at the same time though it was easier to play Shadow vs Toteming as a Shaman. And so I leveled up my Shadow second and lastly my Shaman which took more time to get used to playing again. I decided not to level up my Death Knight. And my Hunter I may level up given the class has changed mechanic wise and curious to how it now plays among the changes.

Though I did spend some time doing some the reputation dailies on my Paladin at 85, overall just didn't spend that much time at it nor on my other 85's as they got to the max level. It just wasn't long after trying to do dailies that deep down I already felt tired of doing it. So just spend the time leveling up my characters.

Now having characters at lvl 85 and overall just a person who likes to complete doing things, spent some my game time leveling up my character professions from WotLK max level mostly to at least make them useful to various degree in Cataclysm.

  • So have max leveled Mining from 450 to 525 on my Paladin mostly doing so while leveling to lvl 85. Leveled up Alchemy from 450 to 525 a bit after which wasn't too bad to level. As well have leveled up both Fishing & Cooking to 525 on my Paladin. I've elected not to waste good expensive Embersilk Cloth atm to level up First Aid at 450 just for bandages.
  • Leveled up Tailoring from 450 to 525 and that was painful to leveled with the price of Embersilk Cloth which I farmed all myself and some little gained from leveling up my other characters. Managed to pick up all the new crafted Epic Tailoring patterns for Shadow and didn't waste time picking up the new blue pvp Tailoring patterns that I will never craft for any reason. As much as I would of liked to, I decided leveling up JC which was at 220 from WotLK era that it was a waste of time. Crafted a few items for a few points of JC and my hearth wasn't in it to sink gold into leveling up a very expensive profession material wise in JC. I'm just not going to do it! So I stopped before I got too far ahead. But I did level up both Fishing & Cooking on my Shadow Priest both from 450 to 525 which was no gold sink at all.
  • For my Shaman leveled up Herbalism from 450 to 525 which wasn't too difficult. Then spend allot of extra time questing after hitting lvl 85 to do extra quests for quest rewards to DE for material to level up Enchanting from 450 to 525. That was really quite painful having to obtain the materials to DE to level the skill knowing full well how much the material dust and essences can sell for. Yet was even more painful to know just how expensive the mats are all the way and to see other people sell their enchants on AH for less than 1/5 the material cost. That's just sickening and no fun while leveling the skill. Yet leveled the Enchanting skill and managed to pickup all the new enchants except the 3 new ones that require the Maelstrom Crystals for obvious reasons. Leveled up Cooking on my Shaman from 450 to 525. Fishing remain at a low level on my Shaman at around 75.
While most my active guildmates a few that were spending time running Heroics day in day out all day long. I was spending time leveling up my character profession skills to make them useful. So guess who get asked to cook everyone else's guild Food Buffs, do Transmute Truegold with Alchemy, as well as do Enchanting for guildies gear? Whats also painful about leveling up Enchanting is when other people want you to enchant their gear and seemingly expect you to do it for free as well and the cheap asses who barely want to pay for your services after having leveled up the expensive skill.

So at this point I'm just about done with really leveling up profession skills. I'm not all that excited with having to do dailies day in day out for faction reputations. Nor am I excited to Pug Heroics. My experience with running Pugs go back years when I gloriously ran them in good old days of BC Heroics way before Dungeon Finder and way before Pug ever became popular as it is today with Dungeon Finder. A person also change over time as well playing a game which has lasted years. Some the Cataclysm dungeons have run as dps leveling having been that great, some were, most overall wasn't in Pug groups. So I'm just not all that excited about having to endure grinding Heroics for gear to advance in the rat race that's the endgame of WoW.

I promised myself that on returning to playing WoW for Cataclysm that I will take it easy, I will relax more when playing, I will just have a good time and not worry about too much and not take things so seriously anymore, that I won't try to do much to burn myself out which occur's frequently. So a bit now pondering now what...