On levelling

All I can say is that it’s a dream.  The quest flow is smooth, controlled, the amount of meaningless travel back and forth is gone, the addition of the new flightpoints improves travel massively.  Rather than running / riding between two points and having to give 100% attention to the game “just in case” I have a couple of minutes to focus outside of the game or just look at the scenery.

MMO-Champion has linked to a nice image which shows the flow of levelling through from the starter areas, and it feels “right”, currently my Shaman (level 40) is running what I will loosely call the “Dwarf” / “Eastern Kingdoms, North” quest route (Loch Modan / Wetlands / Plaguelands), the major upshot of which is I now have to level a horde alt to Andorhal so I can see their side of that storyline.  Damn you Blizzard.

For the new player the quests are telling a consistent story of the world following the remodelling done by our new arch enemy, for the player who’s seen this all before we get to see the changes, spot NPCs in new locations / roles and watch the slightly daft RP at the Menethil docks by the crew of a ship which hasn’t moved since launch which has now sunk.

So roll up something new and get out there and look around.

I appear to have provoked a “discussion”

I read dear_gnome, reasonable quality rants and a reminder that in general my realm is one of the better ones out there in the EU.  A lower level of moronic behaviour and reasonably nice people, the same is true for most of the battlegroup.  However since 4.0.3a has dropped I have noticed what I can only describe as “asshattery” from a certain portion of the level 80 community.  Rushing around the low level zones, blasting past the sub-20 nuking everything in their path, one-shotting the quest mob and then pelting away again.

Leaving the player levelling their new toon standing there with “wtf” floating around above their heads.

There are many players working loremaster since the reset in 4.0.3a who are perfectly reasonable, nuking things in a different part of the sub-zone to the levelling player, inviting them into a group for the named mob kill and so on.  This discussion is not aimed at them, they understand that WoW is a co-operative enterprise and I salute all of the players who remember that behind the alts running around there are people who’s enjoyment of the game is just as important as theirs.

So let’s look at some of the reasoning and justification for those who wish to quest in zones well below their level.

  • I don’t want to work Loremaster at 85 when I’m working on raids
    I can understand this, when Cataclysm drops in just over a week everyone is going to be focusing on levelling and then gearing for the new content.
  • Blizz created Loremaster so I have a right to get it
    Are you so special that your ‘rights’ override everyone else’s?
  • I’m bored with ICC
    I hear you, however most players have been complaining about being bored with ICC for 3-6 months, and you decide to go do Loremaster this week?
  • I pay the same as anyone else, I can do what I like
    True, but distinctly anti-social, treat others as you would be treated yourself.
  • They didn’t put the effort into levelling to 80, why should I make way for them
    This is firstly assuming that the player levelling through the zones doesn’t have an 80 (as my posts elsewhere on this blog testify I have a number of 80’s, I want to be trying something new), it also has a certain level of arrogance that the only focus for the game is to blast through to the cap as quickly as possible and gear for raiding.  There are other aspects to the game.  It also fails to account for players, of which there will be a lot signing up at the moment, who have only just started playing the game ahead of Cataclysm because of the increased level of advertising.

What is the impact on the low level player, surely the overgeared capped player is in and out before they can blink.

  • Round’em up and nuke’em down
    This is a common tactic (I’ve used it myself in the past, where it’s not going to affect other players), certainly in the whole of the old world there is nothing which is even a risk to a geared level 80, so rounding up a big pile of quest mobs, blowing them to dust, looting and moving on is efficient.  It of course means there is little or nothing left for the low level who’s stuck standing there while the slaughter happens.  With the added side effect for some quests that all the mobs respawn at roughly the same time and are a significant pain in the arse to deal with.
  • Named mobs
    Respawn timers, there’s little more annoying (and this is true where there are players of the right level in the zone as well) than someone else rolling in while you’re fighting your way to a named, killing it and departing before you can even type “invite please”.
  • Dragging mobs
    This is the old favourite for griefing, drag a stack of mobs through an area not caring if they aggro en-mass onto a poor low level and turn them into a puddle on the ground.

The other factor which is particularly true at the moment is what happened this week, that’s right Mr Grumpy left his rather run down home in the elemental planes, broke though the world and did a bit of remodelling around the place.  Didn’t ask permission from anyone and has generally turned everything upside down.

Including which races can do what.

As of the middle of the week a whole range of new options opened up, gnome priests, dwarf shammies, tauren paladins (I really must roll a cowadin at some point) and so on.  The starting zones on Wednesday were seething with fresh shammies on my realm, a significant proportion of these will have then pushed out into the wider world, wanting to see the changed levelling experience, maybe get that class they’ve failed to learn so far beyond level 10 and so on.  Simply the zones are busy with ‘levelling traffic’ at the moment, they’re not the empty zones they were on Monday before the aforementioned dragon decided to step out to grab a paper, wreck the world and do some remodelling.

I know for some people I’m preaching to the choir, to others I’m just whining about the nasty level 80’s and so on.  However I admit to being a carebear and through a pile of life experience know that not being a selfish arse just looking out for No. 1 generally makes for a nicer life all round.

So I can only leave you with the following words of wisdom.

“Be excellent to each other” – Bill S. Preston, Esq.

[Edit: I must give a special shout out to the two alliance and one horde level 80’s who were ripping through all the mobs they could find in Stromgarde tonight, it made it “interesting” to find something alive to get the badges from… thanks… I think]

 

 

Post-Shattering: Portals

There’s a good summary of portal manners over at “You yank it you tank it”, as ever it comes down to “treat other people as you wish to be treated yourself”, of course if you are an anti-social loon who likes being sworn at then “be excellent to other people” should cover it.

I shall be spending very little time on my mage for the next few weeks except when I’m slacking and actively touting for business as a taxi.

The Shattering

As I write Deathwing and his army of minions (subcontracted out to Blizzard) are busy breaking the world and generally trashing the place.  I also understand there is a crack squad of gnomes with capped engineering following through rebuilding some of the damage and putting in new flight points.

So, what did I do on the last night of the original world?

Firstly Wubbles got Kingslayer, the group (a mix of Nosferatu & ItP people) clicked last night, defile landed in the right place and as everyone who has got the kill knows once that happens he’s as good as dead.

After that blitzed through the final parts of Pilgrim on Korenwolf.  I just couldn’t summon the enthusiasm last year after power levelling cooking on the alts.  However with this title I have the complete set of World Event meta achievements.  There’s a few non-meta achievements left (such as the mask for all occasions on from Hallows End) which I’ll womble through as they come round, however I think I just mark that part of the OCD grind as “Mission Acomplished”.

Here it comes

If we’re to believe MMO Champion The Shattering will be here this week, tomorrow in fact for the US.

So it’s time for the mass evacuation of Dalaran, making sure that everyone in Azeroth is in the bunkers with plenty of food and ale.

Oh, and marshmellows, plenty of them.

On the big plus side, lots of new flight points, including my personal favourite.  Goldshire.  No more having to run down from the Stormwind gates for whatever world event / holiday is running.

Extended downtime confirmed for the US

4.0.3a, what we can expect

Via MMO Champ and many many other places

What is not in:

 

  • Creating worgen/goblin characters
  • Worgen/Goblin start zones
  • Archeology
  • Professions past 450 (Illustrious Grand Master)
  • Guild leveling
  • Guild achievements
  • Eastern Kingdoms/Kalimdor flight
  • New Zones (80+)

 

What is in:

 

  • Portals in Dalaran/Shattrath Removed
  • Class trainers in Dalaran where portals once were
  • New race-class combinations (excluding worgen/goblin)
  • New Gnome/Troll starting areas
  • Changes to existing zones
  • New cata load screens
  • New cata intro cinematic
  • New cata login screen
  • New music
  • City Quartermasters, with rep tabards
  • Bug fixes
  • Class balancing
  • Druids, paladins, priests, and shaman will have their talent trees reset
  • Experience required to gain levels 71 through 80 is being reduced by 20%
  • New tamable hunter pets (Monkey, fox, dog, and beetle, as well as new skins for existing pet classes.)

Team Pirate: A proposal

Or more accurately a thought on what we can do on a second batch of alts.

I present…

Team Gnome!

With the advent of 4.0.3a we have the capability to have a functional 5 / 10 setup entirely made of gnomes (no druids, paladins or shamans).  So, for fits, giggles and the honour of gnomekind (and to annoy the horde) we need to have a purely gnome setup to sit alongside Team Pirate, Team Tincan and the (only partly finished) Team Leather (aka all druids).

So, Pirates, what say ye?