Flying Feud

Invisible

I realize that I’m basically preaching to the choir here, but I needed to get this off my chest.

Ok.  I told myself that I wasn’t going to write this post.  I knew it was a can of worms and I swore not to even get near it.  I couldn’t stay away.
Today, we are going to talk about flying.  Or rather, the reaction to the possible removal of flying.

You see, I personally don’t care one whit about the whole ordeal.  Whether it’s in the game or not does not impact my playtime much, if at all.  I’m completely ambivalent about the whole thing.  But what I’m not ambivalent about, is the discussion it has generated.

The majority of WoW players do not hold the same view as me. In fact, many seem to feel very strongly about the issue.  And on both sides of the argument (and yes, it has become an argument) are guilty of overreacting to the issue.

I understand that flying is an important issue.  And I understand that you want to get your opinion out to the world.  I feel the same way about changes that effect me.  But there come a point where it’s no longer expressing an opinion.  Where it’s no longer offering constructive criticism.

I’m definitely not saying to stop talking about flying.  Feedback and input are what tell Blizzard what works and what doesn’t.  But please, for the sakes of others, don’t smear your opinion everywhere you go.  Not everything connects back to flying and not every opportunity should be taken to complain about it.  Submit feedback, discuss in appropriate threads and forums, but don’t bring it where it has no place.

And another thing, most people are set on their decision on the matter.  Your continued arguing and bickering over the matter won’t convince anyone that your side is right.  If you are going to discuss your stance, please try to do so in a constructive and calm manner.  More people will listen to you if you aren’t antagonistic.  Civility to others, and especially those who don’t share the same opinion.

The bickering and arguing, while tiring, is not my worst gripe with this whole matter.  It’s the threats to the creators of this game and those who you disagree with.  Once you feel the need to threaten the safety of another because of an opinion, this is where you become a problem.  While it might seem like a good way of venting your anger, that is a terrible and immature way to respond.  Children respond like that.  Not adults.  I know not everyone on the internet is an adult (I know I’m not) but you owe it to the other Net denizens to at least try to act like one.  Please don’t threaten violence.  You see the line? That is way to many steps over it.

Please remember that there are real people behind the avatars.  The pro-flyers are real people.  The no-flyers are real people.  And especially, the developers are real people.  So stop treating them like garbage and start treating them like human beings.  How would you feel if everywhere you went on the internet, you had people telling you you were an idiot.  That your choices were the worst thing ever.  That you were ruining peoples lives.  That you were a monster.  That they would harm you or your family.  It wears on a person and it makes them feel terrible.  I would never wish that on anyone, and I hope none of my readers are doing that to others.

I understand that flying is an important element of the game and that people feel very strongly about it.  But be constructive in your debate.  Be calm in your discussion.  And be humane in your conversation.  You are not the only one with a strong opinion and just because someone else doesn’t share it, that doesn’t make them wrong.

I know this is a lot to ask for, with the anonymity of the internet.  But I believe in the power of the community.  We are better than this and we can solve our differences peacefully.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

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The ‘Its almost Summer!’ Update

Nekkid raiding with the guild!

Nekkid raiding with the guild!

It’s been a while since we’ve written one of these, so we are more than due.  Here’s a litte behind the scenes update on what Fussypants and Yotaan have been doing!

Fussypants: Well I for one have been insanely busy!  School has been ramping up in a last ditch attempt to squeeze as much learning into us as they can before summer break.  But luckily the end is in sight so I will have much more freetime soon! And sleep, so much more sleep!

On the WoW front I have been super busy organizing guild events including (but not limited to) Herald of the Titans runs, Nekkid raids for achievements, Dungeon nights, officer meetings, guild meetings, current raiding, and pvp events.  I’ve also returned to WoD content level after a five month break and plan to start raiding again (but on a very casual level with my guild).

Also, I’ve been building a ton of new transmog sets for all my new characters.  So expect some more transmog articles soon!

And if any of you readers would be interested in doing some casual WoD raiding, defintely hit me up (either by emailing thefussypants(at)hotmail(dot)com, tweeting at me @thefussypants, or asking in the comments)! We plan on starting in the next couple of weeks and will definitely be crossrealming so anyone Alliance on US realms is more than invited!

Yotaan:  Real life has been very busy for me too.  My work has become more involved and I have taken on more responsibilities.  Summer is typically a busy time for me as well, so the work continues!

As for WoW, I have barely played at all.  I did complete the Stables mount training, but that is it.  I’ve had an all time low interest in WoW lately, a nadir since BC.  Not sure where it is going, will keep you posted on that!

So what about you folks? Are you more than ready for summer like we are?

Satire: So You’ve Been Banned for Botting

banned(Warning: Heavy Satire)

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My friends you find yourself here because you have a problem.  A problem that I can help you fix.  I know this problem well as I have faced it many times.  Each time I have overcome it.  Let me teach you how to do the same.
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So You’ve Been Banned from WoW for Botting
First things first, make sure that you have actually been banned.  Blizzard is a corporation made of pansies and lily-livered ninnies and often times they threaten to do things and never follow through.  Especially when that thing is ban botters.

You see, the truth is Blizzard is terrified of us botters.  We have figured out how to avoid their greedy corporate scheme to actually get us to play the game.  Blizzard is actually scared of us botters; we have found the secret.  No longer must we level, raid, farm, or do anything else at all in game manually.

This knowledge is power, and this power of ours is why Blizzard is so afraid of us.  Always remember, Blizzard fears you.  And because they fear you, they hate you.  You personally.  If they got the chance, they would smash your computer right in front of your face.   Burn all the remains and dance in the ashes.  They have a picture of your face (yours!) and they draw moustaches and horns on it for fun.  Because that’s how much they are afraid and that’s how much they hate.

If you haven’t been banned, great! Continue flashing that middle finger of righteousness to Blizzard by botting.

If you have been banned, continue reading.

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But why me?????
As we have touched on before, Blizzard hates your guts with a burning passion.   And as such, they will ban you to spite you.  While they cackle with glee.  In their mom’s basement.  Which is also Blizzard headquarters.  Yeah, they are total nerds like that.

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WTF I’ve been botting for 9 years now, why was I caught???
It sounds to me like you are an unlucky one!  As it has been proven time and time again, the amount of time you’ve been botting is directly proportional to your chances of getting caught.  The longer you have been botting, the less likely you are to be caught.  Blizzard is also dumb (did I mention this?) and if they don’t catch you in the first couple months they will never check your account.

Unfortunately this tried and true rule goes out the window when Blizzard does huge ban waves like this most recent one.

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Huge ban waves? What does that mean?
Think of it this way: Blizzard is a fisherman.  They only want to catch the sexy silvery fish (us botters) but we hide within a larger crowd of fat ugly fish (all the non botting nerds).  Blizzard is really stupid, so they just throw a huge net in and pull out a bunch of random fish.  They then throw back all the ugly fish, leaving all the sexy fish exposed to Blizzard.  In a situation like this, there is really nothing you can do but pray to the RNGods that you don’t get caught in the net.

Luckily for us though, they don’t often throw out nets since they are so terrified of us clever (and sexy) botters.

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This is great and all, but I still banned!
At this point, you must bust out your trusty thesaurus and typing skillz.  This is where you confront Blizzard directly.  Mano a Mano.

Which is the best way tell Blizzard how bleeping stupid this ban is?
There are many good ways to give Blizzard a piece of your mind! Some of these include:
(editor’s note: Please don’t actually do this folks! Blizzard is a company made of real people with real feelings!)

  • Raging on the official forums
  • Harassing them on Twitter
  • Complaining on a botting site
  • Giving them bad reviews on Amazon
  • Sending them a strongly worded letter
  • Driving to Blizzard Headquarters personally
  • Smoke signals of hatred
  • Telling on them to your parents
  • Burning all your Blizzard merchandise

and my personal favorite

  • Creating a United States Petition to get Blizzard to change their ways

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What do I say to those maggotbags????
What you actually say has very little importance; the tone is what really matters.  Anger and disgust are a must, throw in some condescending or vulgarity for better results!  Remember to use many exclamation points and profanity.  Blizzard is more likely to take you seriously if you cuss at them.  And use that thesaurus to really get in a variety of swears.   You need to come across as big, bad, and scary.  Remember: Blizzard is terrified of you, use that power!

If all goes well, you should have your account back within 24 hours! Good job, you certainly showed them in a mature and well reasoned way!

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I still firetruckin’ banned? Now what???
Obviously you are weak with your words.  Continue to show Blizzard your displeasure and make sure to follow my advice exactly.  Do better next time scrub.

If you for some reason don’t have the fingers to type, voice to shout, feet to operate a car, or hands to create a fire, you can take the second option.  Quit all Blizzard Games forever.  You definitely won’t be back in 6 months when your ban ends! Nope! Not at all! Ha ha, that isn’t a new account, nope! WoW is dying anyway, why would anyone play this stupid dead game? Hah, you certainly showed them!

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I give up, I’m just gunna wait out until the ban ends
Do you want Blizzard to win?? Do you want to give in to the corporate greed?? DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO ACTUALLY PLAYING THE GAME??? You sicken me.

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Last Words
Never lose sight you your goals fellow botters! We are the supreme WoW players! Unlike everyone else who has to slog through and actually play the game, we have risen above that.  We are the enlightened few who have witnessed the truth! Never surrender, never give up!

And most of all, never manually play the game!!

(Disclaimer: Don’t bot guys, its cheating and foolish.  And don’t spew hatred when you get caught doing something bad.  In fact, don’t spew hatred at all.)

The WoW Token: A Two Sided Coin

WoW token 2I’m having one of those weeks where everything seems to be going to pieces, so I apologize in advance for the late blog post.  Hopefully everything is settling down for next week!

The WoW Token fascinates me.  The token can be bought for real money, sold for gold, bought for gold, or used for game time.  It costs $20UDS and generally sells for anywhere from 20k to 25k gold. And when you break it down, its probably one of the most useful ‘currencies’ in game.

Lets start from the view of gold buying.  When you buy a WoW token from Blizzard for the real money cost, you are basically buying gold. No one in their right of mind would use the token they bought with real dollars because it’s gets you a month of game time for $5 dollars more. The only logical course of action is to sell it.

I know other games have done this before, but to me this is brand new and very interesting. Basically, this has put an official dollar conversion to gold. Before 1,000 gold was a disjointed number with no real life value. Now, that 1,000 gold is worth about $1. True, you can’t just buy 1,000 gold for a dollar (and I would not want to see that happen either) but you can buy 20k gold for $20. There’s a conversion rate, and while conversions are limited they are now possible. I’m very interested to see how this plays out.

The WoW token also effectively neuters an age old problem in the game: Gold Farmers. Why would you pay money for gold from an illegal source when you can do so perfectly legally? True, gold farmers can simply make their rates better than the WoW tokens but they’ve just lost a huge portion of their customers. Now that there is a sanctioned method for buying gold, many people who need gold in a pinch can get some without breaking the rules. All the hesitant or uncertain buyers will no longer need to resort to illegal activities. I’m sure there will still be those who choose to buy from gold farmers, but with the advent of the WoW token that number has gone down.
WoW Token 3On the flip side of the token, one can theoretically never have to pay real money for their WoW subscription ever again.  By buying the tokens of the AH for gold, you can get that 30 days of game-time for free.  And if you have enough money, you can buy enough tokens for months, even years in advance.  So for the cash rich, money poor folk there is now an entirely new option for paying the subscription.

The second option of buying your subscription with gold really appeals to me as someone with limited income.  I currently do not have the gold amassed to buy any tokens, but I have started grinding gold out for those tokens.  In a way, the tokens have almost made more content viable because grinding gold can literally save you money now.  There is more motivation to run old raids, play the AH, and max out your garrison.

In essence, there are now two ways to pay for your subscription: Time or Money.  Do you pay the $15 a month or do you grind the gold.  Depending on which is more valuable to you, you might find yourself paying for WoW in an entirely different way.  I honestly think its an awesome idea to have this option. Either way Blizzard is still getting their subscription fees, but the questions is are you paying it or someone else?

And that’s yet another thing to mention; Blizzard is now getting increased revenues from subscriptions.  Not to make them sound like some evil corporation (because they are definitely better than some other corporations), but Blizzard has cleverly ‘tricked’ their customers.  I say tricked in quotes because we customers know exactly what’s going on, but its still very clever.  For every token bought with real money, Blizzard is getting $5 more on someone’s subscription bill.  They’ve given the illusion of saving money when they have actually increased their own profit.  And yes, those who only buy WoW tokens for gold are saving money, but those who buy WoW tokens for money are paying $20 for the other person’s subscription.  Very sneaky!

I’m no economist, but the whole WoW token thing really fascinates me.  There’s now this whole wrinkle of real life money added to the game, in a very non intrusive but still impactful way.  I will be watching quite eagerly to see what becomes of this!

Titanic Heralds

The team that could

The team that could

Completing something and earning a reward always carries a strong sense of satisfaction.   But when you complete something, and it was hard, and it took time, and it took effort, that satisfaction is greatly increased.  There’s this pride that just doesn’t come when you are simply handed a reward.  A fist pumping, ‘yeah I did this even though it was hard!’ pride that makes the whole experience seem so much more worth it.  It might have been difficult, but it doesn’t matter in the end.  You did it.

I have been lucky to experience this a few times in my video gaming career.  One huge time was when I finally, after months of trying, got my Ahead of the Curve Garrosh Hellscream kill.  I’d spent so much time and effort working towards it, that once I finally got that achievement, I felt on top of the world.  And just last weekend, I had another such experience.

It all started with a little wish for the Herald of the Titans title.  In the early days of ‘Of The Queue’, several people (including myself) had expressed a desire to work for that title.  Being an events coordinating officer, I did some research and set up a group.  That group quickly expanded to three groups, and we began cheerfully leveling and gearing up.

For about a month and a half, we made preparations for the real runs.  We ran leveling dungeons, and then once we were at level, we ran gearing raids.  Morals were high and we expected to gear up and get Algalon down easily.  After all, all of the resources we had found has stressed how easy the encounter had become.  Heck, two prot pallies had duoed the encounter at the end of Mists.

Unfortunately, the encounter was not as easy as we had been lead to believe.  Not in the slightest. We got to the first of the runs and commenced our first pulls on Algalon.

And that cursed messenger absolutely wiped the floor with our faces.

Our tanks couldn’t last more than twenty seconds even with our healers popping all their cooldowns.  I think the lowest we were able to get him that first night of attempts was 45% down, by bursting as much as we could in the first minute before we’d be crushed. We simply couldn’t handle the amount of damage he was putting out.  After a good 2 and a half hours, we called it quits for the night.

As I have previously written about, this was the point where I took up Brewmaster tanking.  The next night I very rapidly learned how to tank and we started our first pulls.

We were better.  We were definitely better.  We could hold together for longer, had a coordinated plan, and were able to better execute the mechanics.  The percentages on wipes slowly creeped down.  45%.  Then 35%.  Then 25%.  We worked just as hard if we had been raiding current cutting edge raids, doing the dance of dps, healing, and tanking.

But it just wasn’t enough.  Wipes got down to 19% but we just hit a wall.  Algalon was hitting like a cement truck and there was no way around it.  I would pop Guard, an ability that puts a pretty sizable shield on me, and Algalon would tear through it in one normal melee. Every special ability hit required some sort of cooldown and any tank mistake would end up in death.  If the heals missed even a single cast, someone would go down. The margin for error was tiny and as we got more tired, we just couldn’t tighten enough to get him down.

Again we called it for the night.  However, instead of picking up a new spec I went and did some extensive research.  At first I had been worried that our failure had been some fault of our own, but what I found out disproved that completely.

It seems that Algalon had become much harder post squish.  In fact, he was as hard if not harder than he was when the fight was current.  Apparently Algalon’s damage has not been properly reduced, so moderate melees became crushing blows.  As one poster reported, Algalon is capable of putting out 44k damage in a matter of seconds.  To give you some perspective, my fellow tank and I have about 50k health maximum.  A few moments of healing lapse and the tanks would go smush.

I also learned the vital importance of flasks and potions (we had figured this out in our owns raids, but further reading cemented the fact).  Every toon in the raid has to been maxed out to the nines, or we wouldn’t be able to overcome the encounter.  Armed with new knowledge, we attempted for a third time.

We got all ready to run but one member of our group had to drop because the encounter wasn’t letting her zone in.  We attempted to find a 10th member.  In desperation, I put up a group in the Group Finder.  We got a bunch of 100s, and then a whisper from one dude.  One awesome dude.  Duskraven-Lothar just happened to be skimming when he found our group.  He got on his semi-geared shadow priest and we were all ready to roll.

Right away, there was a difference.  The fight was just as hard as ever and many wipes were still had.  But we were executing mechanics better than ever before.  A solution was found for a difficult mechanic that had been the causer of many wipes.  Duskraven-Lothar dependably cast Dispersion and soaked the mechanic for us (seriously, this guy was awesome).  We started at higher percentage wipes but slowly but surely got down to less than 20% ones.

We were almost there, wiping a few percentages away from kill in the second phase.  But we had stalled, we just needed that final push.  One of our members announced that she would have to leave in ten minutes, and that was the motivation that did it.  Several more wipes and were were just about there.

And then the star aligned.  It was the last attempt for the day.  After weeks of practicing, we executed the fight perfectly.  Adds were going down properly, damage was being avoided if it could be.  We got all the way into the second and final phase with no one dead.  For a few tense moments, we gave it our all.  Heals, dps, tanking, all frantically done in an intense silence.

Then, Algalon despawned.  We stood, shocked, for a moment or two.

Across everyone’s screens flashed an achievement months in the making. Herald of the Titans.  We had done it.  We had done it!

The cheering that broke out in Mumble was matched by none in it’s enthusiasm.  For a solid ten minutes, we cheered and took screenshots with our brand new titles.  Months of hard work had paid off and we had what we came for.  We were Heralds of the Titans

I want to thank my team for their continued efforts at this.  Every time we ran, our members brought some new tips, tricks, or experiences to the table. For a team that had never raided before together, we tightened remarkably well.  You guys were the reason we were able to get this, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group.  Congrats and thank you!

This was probably one of the proudest moments of my WoW career.  Just thinking of it brings a smile to my face.  My team and I completed something insanely hard together despite the odds being stacked against us.  It was a powerful learning experience with a worthwhile reward and I’m so glad that we decided to embark on this quest.

And I’m never going to take that title off now.