Satire: Stop Catering to the Casuals Blizzard!

Wow is dead!(Warning: Satire)
Usually Twitter is the place for ranting, but today Twitter is what I’m going to rant about.  So I brought the party here.  Grab your popcorn folks, this ones gonna be a doozy.

Patch 6.1 brought many changes, but arguable one of the most radical was Twitter integrations.  The patch notes explain it best.

“Twitter Integration
Characters can now send Tweets for items, achievements, and screenshots from within the game client using the /share command.
To activate this feature, visit Social options in the Interface menu to enable, add, or disconnect a Twitter account.”

In addition to this, Blizzard also added a S.E.L.F.I.E camera as a garrison mission reward.  The S.E.L.F.I.E camera allows players to take a ‘selfie’ or head shot of their character. This picture can also be used in conjuncture with the new Twitter Integration.

I see what’s going on here.  I’m onto you Blizzard!

Stop catering to the filthy casuals!

What has WoW come to?? I remember back in the day how screenshotting was! It took real skill to get that shot just right.  HOURS of preparation to capture that perfect moment!  If you wanted to get a picture of your character you had to wait till they stopped yawning, or bouncing, or looking around, or sniffing to take the shot.  And then, right as you would hit the screencap button, your stupid toon would look away.  It used to take real skill to take screenshots!

Oh look at me, aren't I so cool with my S.E.L.F.I.E camera!

Oh look at me, aren’t I so cool with my S.E.L.F.I.E camera!

Now any filthy casual can do what it once took years of learning to achieve.  Just click on the S.E.L.F.I.E camera and Blizzard will solve the problem for you!  Any brainless mouth drooler can do it, and it makes me sick.

Blizzard is ruining this game!  They are making it stupid easy so any old schmuck can go and take a screenshot!  People liked it when it was hard! Change it back! Vanilla WoW was the best!

And don’t even get me started on the Twitter integration!  What used to take a hundred dollar investment in Photoshop and months of trying to learn the program now is a simple /share command.  Now everyone can post their screencaps without going through the pain of trying to find them in all the files that come with WoW and crop them to be just right!

You know what, I’m gonna boycott the Twitter integration! That’ll show them! That will show them to cater to the casuals! I’ve played this game for 11 long years so I deserve to be appeased.  My opinion matters more than the noobs that started in WoD!

What will happen next? Free Mythic raiding tiers for logging in? Full sets of conquest gear for killing one mob? Rare mounts for turning in any quest? It’s a slippery slope I tell you, and I just won’t stand for it!

It's simple math!

It’s simple math!

This game is dying! Any noob can now take high quality screenshots and post them to twitter.  The game is easymode!  No one will play, there is no challenge!  People loved spending hundreds of dollars and hours perfecting their skills! Don’t you dare listen to the casual’s whining; change it back!
So take to the forums my righteous friends! Give Blizzard a piece of our mind about this keyboard-turning camera! Make them see the truth of their actions! Shout it to the world and don’t let anyone correct you! This selfie camera is the nail in the coffin; WoW is dead!

Filthy casuals ruining the game….

(Disclaimer: I actually have no qualms with either, but it sure is fun to pretend to rant like a hardcore 😛 )

Rose Colored Reality

Fussypants on Mine Roof

Oldest screenshot I have (read: not that old)

Alright, raise your hand if you have joined into that LFG group where everyone is reminiscing about the ‘good ole days’ of WoW.  Raise your hand if you have started such conversations yourself before.  The runs where things such as vanilla shaman, talent trees, and BC raiding are spoken about with reverence.  This, my good friends, is called nostalgia.

With the approaching of the Warlords expansion, it seems nostalgia has become more prevalent.  Perhaps this is because WoD is made with the intent to remind players of the days of Burning Crusade.  Or perhaps this is because players are bored with nothing better to do.  Either way, we at Growing up in Azeroth have seen an increase in nostalgic conversations in the WoW community.

Fussypants – I’ve been running a ton of instances of both PvE and PvP at many different levels. I’ve been reading a variety of WoW related sites on the Internet.  And I have been talking with a bunch of other WoW players. Throughout all of this interaction, I have witnessed a ton of nostalgia in the Warcraft community.  Most of the times, it’s just a simple little ‘remember how this was in Wrath?’ but sometimes it’s an active ripping on the game as it currently is.

And I don’t get it.

By all accounts, I should be one of the more nostalgic players out there.  I started WoW in BC, the so-called ‘golden age’ of WoW.  I’ve played through all the changes and iterations of the game.  I grew up in this game, for heaven’s sake!  But I’m really, really not nostalgic.

The explanation I have in my head for this is I was pretty little when I started playing (all things being relative).  I frankly don’t remember much of what the game was like in BC and Wrath. But what I do remember wasn’t all that amazing.

I remember having to constantly buy arrows for my hunter.  I remember having engineering, and crafting over 200 bullets only to have to destroy them because I couldn’t sell or use them.  I remember melee as a hunter because I didn’t have the food to feed my pet and I was broke so I couldn’t buy arrows.  I remember the first time I got 1g, which was around level fifteen.  I remember spending hours to try to find where I needed to go for one quest.

The ‘golden old days’ weren’t all that golden.  For a noob such as me, they were downright painful.  Some of my favorite parts of the game from that time, fishing (I was little, ok??), creating and naming a character, and actually exploring the world haven’t changed at all.  But the parts that made the game frustrating have been streamlined or removed completely.  The game in infinitely better than it was back then.

The thing people really miss is being a noob to the game.  When even common things seemed cool, and when the entire world was new and unexplored.

But what’s ridiculous about that, is that when the game is changed making it new all over again, the players freak out.  ‘These changes are ruining the game! I miss how it was before!’ No, no you don’t.  Because you complained about those things when they were reality.  No one still wants to wait till level 40 and a crud-ton of gold for a basic mount.  No one wants to spam trade chat for hours, trying to get a group together to run dungeons.  It was only fun then because it was new.

And once it wasn’t new, it got annoying and tedious.  So it was changed, but the players wanted it back.  In my mind, nostalgia is a wicked catch 22.  Players want to be a noob again, but when their game is changed (thus making parts of it new again), they want it back the original way.  Never mind that the changes could make them a noob again for a short while. You can’t want the game to be entirely new all the time without changing it.  It’s impossible!

Maybe I’m missing the point.  Maybe, because I can’t remember much of my early years of WoW playing, I’m not getting this whole nostalgia thing.  Feel free to tell me if this is the case.  But I truly believe that the game is better now than it has ever been before, and that ultimately the game needs to continue radically changing.

Yotaan – I find it hard to argue with Fussypants.  Unlike her, I do have lots of good memories of earlier expansions.  It was tough to get groups together and you were limited to one spec back in BC.  I really remember an instance in Tanaris that was a lot of fun.  It was one of the troll ones that was outdoors.  After looking in chat for a healer and a tank without success and ending up with 5 DPS,we decided to go for it. So I healed as elemental and a enhancement shaman tanked!  The run great even though we didn’t even finish.  I don’t even think anyone got any decent loot.

But good memories are not nostalgic, they are just fond remembrances.  Just because that was a great run does not mean that we should go back to those times.  They were not “better days.”  In fact, I can tell you more stories of not having fun and frustrating gaming.

We must remember that change is inevitable, and only the foolish want things to stay the same. I say enjoy your memories of fun times, embrace the now, and expect it to be all different down the road.

They call me…. Tank?

I did it.  I queued up as a tank.  I tanked an entire dungeon.  And then I did another.  And another.

And I figured out the trick.

You see, it doesn’t matter at all how good your gear is, or how well you keep aggro.  No, tanking is all about knowing how to communicate with and manage people.

I’ll use my experiences as an example.  The first run I did was Deadmines.  I zoned in, grabbed my quest, and began to explain to the group that I was new to tanking, but before I could finish a dps pulled and I dashed off to get aggro.

The entire dungeon went like that.  Me frantically trying to keep up with this rather rude heirloomed monk and keep the aggro.  It was stressful, tense, and frankly crappy.  At the very end of the run, I asked the dude why he pulled like he did.  His response was noncommittal and brief before he left the group.  So, I was shaken and nervous to say the least.  That had to have been one of the worst experiences tanking I’ve ever had, and it sucked that it was my first one.

However, I could not wallow in self-pity.  I had promised to you blog readers and to the Internet that I, Fussypants the Holy Pally, was going to tank.  So I gave it another shot. This time I zoned into The Wailing Caverns.  The big difference from the first time though, was that I was able to get that first message off.  I was able to explain to the group that I was new and that I would probably be slow.  They were perfectly fine with it.  We ran the dungeon, and while it was still difficult for me, it was nowhere near the level of panic in the first dungeon.

The huge change between dungeon 1 and dungeon 2 was communication and management.  The first dungeon was terrible because I did not explain to the group my predicament.  I did not inform them of my need to go slower.  I had no management over the group.  The second dungeon was just the opposite, I communicated and could manage the situation pretty well.

Another big part of tanking, is realizing that you are the defacto leader.  You set the pace, you pick the route and the bosses hit, and you ultimately make any executive decisions for the group.  With my healer mindset it is very hard for me not to take the backseat and just follow.  For, as the tank, I am the leader.  I choose when to engage in every mob and I get to decide how fast or slow.  Knowing what I can handle, and more importantly, what the group can handle is key.  If I am going too slow the dps will start pulling.  But if I am going too fast I will lose aggro or my healer.  Balance is vital and as the leader you must maintain it

Going back to my dungeon runs, in the first one, I did not take leadership, and basically was not able to tank effectively.  But in the second run, I grabbed leadership and was able to control the run significantly better.

The last important part of tanking is rhythm.  This is the one part that I still struggle with, and I think will come with time.  As a tank, I found it important to maintain a certain speed with my attacks.  Okay, Charge in, spin the mobs so that their backs are facing the dps, Shield Slam, tab, Thunderclaps, start walking back to the next group while I spam my other abilities.  This was my ‘rotation’ of sorts, and once I figured it out, I was golden.  No, I am nowhere near perfect in execution, but I know what I should do and when.  As a tank, it’s important to know what your rhythm is, and if it will mesh with the group.

At this point, I’ve leveled from 24 to 34 purely by tanking.  I’ve figured out the basics and have gotten pretty fast and relatively good.  And most importantly, I’m having fun.  I love the flipping animations of undead females as I bounce from mob to mob.  I crave the exhilaration when I charge into a group, knowing full well that I’m not going to die.  I revel in the speeds at which I can run a dungeon.

So, this is your advice from a noob warrior tank.  You are the leader as a tank, so you must communicate, manage, and control the others in your group and the speed at which you go.  Do this, and the experience will be far less stressful, and much more fun!

The Noob Experience

A good friend of mine recently got World of Warcraft for the first time.  I think this had been her first MMORPG experience, so she was completely new to the game.  As I played along side her for her first time, I realized some amazing things.
All Newbies Play Hunters
My friend decided on night elves, so we both rolled night elves.  I rolled a rogue, and she rolled a, you guessed it, hunter.
When you think about it, all new players begin with a hunter, or try a hunter at some time.  Case in point, I started the world as a draenei hunter.  My dad began playing as a dwarf hunter.  My brother started as a night elf hunter.  My best friend started as a blood elf hunter.  And now this friend of mine was starting as a night elf hunter.  Its kind of bizarre.
You Forget How Complicated Things Once Seemed
I fully expected my friend to need help navigating the world.  But what I did not expect, was the amount of help she needed.  There were many times where I would ask her to come to me or loot this corpse, and she wouldn’t know how.  I had forgotten how even (seemingly) simple things are hard for beginners to get.
The New Player Realms are CRAZY!
When my friend got the game, she was instantly shunted to one of the new player realms.  To make things easier, I rolled a character there, and we were off.  And it was insane!  There were over 60 other characters in the starting area alone!  Every mob had to be camped at some point, and we kept losing each other in the sea of purple night elves.
When You Teach A Friend, You Teach Yourself
I won’t deny it, teaching someone how to play WoW can be trying at best, and down right aggravating at worst.  But even through the repeated trips to the same area for the quests you thought your friend had gotten, to the general wandering of all new players, I learned something.  Being able to share something that you are really passionate about with someone who will listen is awesome.
I loved questing with my friend.  True, it was slower than I usually go, but it was worth it.  I noticed a lot of little things in the game that I normally would miss.  I also learned a lot about me (as corny as it seems).  I had to work on patience, but it was more than worth it.
All in all, I really am enjoying questing through the world with my noobish friend.  We are slowly, but surely, exploring the world.
I will probably post more about our mishaps and adventures as we go, so stay tuned!