Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Darkfall Online

Darkfall is expected to have several features that set it apart from the majority of MMORPGs:

Unrestricted PvP, with no safe zones, only protection by npc guards in racially controlled cities.

Game mechanics will punish killing of racial allies. (see alignment section below)[19]

Complete looting. All items will be dropped on death, and can be looted by anyone who opens the corpse. Armor and weapons will be somewhat easy to replace.[20]

Inter-character and projectile-character collision detection. Projectiles (spells, arrows, cannonballs etc.) can be dodged. Players can be pushed or blocked by other players or by explosions.[21]

Manual aiming & blocking.[22]

Naval warfare, with the ability to sink player controlled ships.[23]

Dynamic, physical weather.

No radar or floating names, it is not known if there is a radar, in Asp's review it was said there was a radar but this has not been confirmed by the developers (Player made clan banners worn for identification.)[24]

Ranged combat will be viewed from first person perspective. Melee combat will be viewed from third person perspective.

Friendly fire. If you miss with spells or arrows you may hit someone other than the character you were targeting. Area of effect offensive spells and healing spells can affect your friends and your enemies.[25]

Cities can be built by players[26].

Player built cities can be destroyed. Each player built city will contain a clanstone, which protects the buildings and defensive structures in the vicinity from attack. The clanstone is invulnerable, except when it has been weakened by a Gloomer.

Gloomers can be built by players after they have built a siege fort next to the target city. The siege fort can be attacked and destroyed at any time, during or after construction. If a city is destroyed, a new clanstone constructed on the site is temporarily vulnerable to attack. [27]

There will be a limit on the number of players and NPC's that can bind to a clanstone

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gaming Limbo

I've canceled all (4) of my WoW accounts, but if you've read my blog before, you already knew that. I was playing TF2 for awhile, but the game gets a little stale, and most of the servers lack team-play, which kills a game in which the word "Team" is in the title.

I had started playing EvE for a little bit, but I just don't have the umph to get into such a deep game anymore, but if I did, it would be in EvE.

The majority of my gaming as-of-late has been Guitar Hero + Whiskey (with the occasional lamp shade on my head). I just haven't found any stand out games, but there is hope...

A good friend of mine that host a LAN party once or twice a year emailed me the other day boasting about a game that just came out. It's an FPS, and apparently raises the bar for First Person Shooters. PC Gamer gave Crysis a 98%, which is an insane rating. I've heard nothing but good things about the game, so I'm looking forward to checking it out. The next LAN is going to be May 22nd - 26th, and Crysis will be a featured game, so I have to get it soon and start practicing!

That's about it, not much else to report. As soon as I get Crysis I'll post some thoughts!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Guitar Hero + World of Warcraft, huh?

I just read an article on Fool.com (link below) which speaks of the acquisition of Activision by Vivendi. This is exciting news to me since one of my favorite games of all time was put out by Activision, Soldier of Fortune II, which by-the-way, the 3rd installment of the SOF series just came out and I'm hoping to check it out soon.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2007/12/03/blizzard-has-activisions-investors-singing-let-it-.aspx

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Team Fortress 2 - The Sniper!

The Sniper is one of my favorite classes. They come equipped with three weapons that include...
1. Sniper Rifle (Primary)
2. Sub Machine Gun (Secondary)
3. Machete Blade (Melee)

Your main goal as a Sniper is obviously to snipe people from behind the back, but it's the targets you choose that make the difference. Your number one target, as in all PvP games, is the Medic (healer). After a couple of minutes of healing a Medic will get a 10 second invulnerability (think Paladin bubble), this means you want to take them out before their invulnerability is charged and ready to be used.

With your sniper rifle equipped, right click to zoom in. You will notice a meter in the middle of your screen charging up. This meter determines how strong the shot will be, but you don't have to wait for it to be full to take a shot (although it is advised).

The best method is to take a vantage cover point and zoom in from behind that cover. Your cross hairs will be zoomed in on the box you're crouching behind, but that is ok, you are only charging to full capacity. Once you are charged, side strafe out from behind your cover, but don't take the shot, just notice where everyone is and go back to cover. Now that you have a mental picture of everyone's location, pop back out and take a shot at someone you noticed before, and always aim for the head, always! Whether you miss or get the shot, immediately side strafe back into your cover and let the gun charge again. Rinse and repeat this method.

On some of the larger maps it is possible to snipe engineer gun turrets, and these are just as important as Medics when choosing targets. They will take a few shots to take out, but most engineers are only concerned with Spies and are oblivious to snipe attacks against their turrets. The same applies to all engineer items, but turrets are more important.

Listen for the Spy calls and take note. If you hear your team call out that their Spy is disguised as a Soldier, then start taking pop shots at every Soldier from your team since you usually have a better view then the people in the fray of things. I've taken out a ton of Spies like this.

Lastly, If you get charged you always have your secondary sub machine gun, and your melee machete knife. These are both substantial backup weapons, but as with any class if you aren't using your main weapons you aren't playing to your strengths. If you find yourself just using the sub machine gun over the rifle, then just switch to the Heavy class, as that is automatic weaponry at it's best.

Now get out there and pretend you're Mark Walberg in the movie Shooter, or Gallagher with some watermelons if Marky Mark isn't your thing.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Warhammer Online Newsletter - October 2007 Issue

"In addition, we’ll be making changes to the RvR (open field RvR FTW!) and Server Rule Set Systems. These changes bring WAR a step closer to fulfilling the promise that “War is Everywhere” while ensuring a great play experience for those that do not choose to engage in RvR 24x7. This is another example of how EA Mythic talks to the community, listens to what they have to say, and takes action. We will continue this process over the next three quarters as we continue to develop, expand and improve WAR."

This is excellent news!!! My major concern with WAR is with the battlegrounds that resemble the BGs from WoW. I would hate to see RvR turned into an instanced scenario with even numbers on both sides on a small map! I don't mind if a battleground feature is implemented, but the problem is, and this was stated by the developers, that the BGs will contribute the most points towards capturing a territory. If we've learned anything from WoW, it's that players will always take the easiest route to more substantial rewards. This means WAR PvP, at it's current state, will end up like WoW PvP with the battleground system.

At least this excerpt from the previous month's news letter shows that they are addressing this concern, let's hope it turns out well!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Team Fortress 2 - The Spy!

I thought I'd give a few pointers to all those aspiring Spies out there in FPS land. The Spy in Team Fortress can be a deadly class and has a ton of versatility. The first and foremost goal of a Spy is to remove enemy gun turrets. I'll explain how to do this in a second.

The Spy is equipped with four items...
1. Revolver Gun
2. Sapper Charges (2)
3. Butterfly Knife
4. Disguise Kit

The Revolver is nice for show, but shouldn't be used much if you're playing a Spy correctly. The Sapper Charges are placed upon enemy Engineer items such as gun turrets. The Butterfly Knife can be used to get a one-shot kill if you're standing directly behind the player when you are attacking. The Disguise Kit is used to change your appearance into any of the enemy classes.

The first goal of a spy is to get into the enemy base to place Sapper Charges on the enemy gun turrets so your team can progress past the defenses. If you right-click as a Spy you will activate your 10-second cloaking device and can use this to pass through the front lines into the enemy area. You can activate a disguise while you're cloaked, so do this during the 10 seconds are you are cloaked and running through the front lines - you don't want to come uncloaked and not be disguised. Also, try to come uncloaked in a corner where you're out of the enemy sight.

Once you're in their area, try to act like the class you are disguised as. If you disguised as a Scout, then run around in circles and don't stop moving, since Scouts are very mobile. I usually disguise as a Sniper and pretend to be sniping - no one ever attacks me while I disguise as a Sniper, works great.

Once you've established yourself as one of them, and you're cloak timer has reset, start your progress towards the enemy gun turrets. It's best to approach cloaked since Engineers usually shoot at anyone that approaches their turrets. Switch to your Sapper Charges and place them as you come uncloaked. Immediately re-cloak and switch to your knife. The engineer will try and shoot you once and then move to save his turret. When the Engineer turns his focus from you to his turrets, it's time to move in and back-stab him with your knife.

Another thing to remember is to always walk backwards as you descend into their base. By walking backwards you look like a team member just retreating instead of a Spy running into the base in a disguise.

Besides taking out the gun turrets, you're also responsible for taking out enemy Medics. The Heavy-Medic combo is deadly and should be dealt with fast. Just cloak past the deadly-duo and come up behind the medic for the one-shot knife kill. If you're quick you can take both out, but even if you only take out the Medic, your team can now finish off the previously healed Heavy.

One last tip to playing a Spy - avoid all Pyros! The Pyro class is the Spy's worst enemy and should be avoided at all cost. The flame keeps the Spy from re-cloaking and will kill the Spy in a short time if not removed.

Now get out there and back-stab some Medics and destroy some gun turrets!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Orange Box

I purchased "The Orange Box" from Frys for 36.99 last Friday and I've played it for the last week. If you haven't heard already, The Orange Box comes with supposedly five games, but two of the five are just expansions, so-to-speak.

The package comes with...

Half Life 2
--Episode 1 (Half Life Expansion)
--Episode 2 (Half Life Expansion)
Portal
Team Fortress 2

I haven't had time to explore Half Life 2 or the accompanied episodes, but I plan to jump head first into the story this weekend. Another portion of the package is called "Portal"; this is a game that encompasses FPS + Puzzle Solving. You are given a portal gun that can shoot two rounds of ammunition. The first round is an entry portal that you can enter, and the second round is an exit portal where you come out of after entering the entrance.

One puzzle you might use the portal to solve, for example, is how to get up to a high ledge; well you could shoot an entrance portal at your feet, and an exit up to the ledge you need to get to, you'd then simply walk through the entrance on the ground and appear up on the ledge where you shot the exit. This adds a ton of options to the puzzle solving genre, and I'm glad to see innovation like this. I haven't explored the game too deeply yet, but this is another title I hope to dive more into soon.

Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer game that allows for extreme replayability. There's plenty of servers out there to join at the moment, and the built in voice chat is flawless. The team that usually sports the best teamwork wins. In TF2 it's not who you are, but who you have on your team, hence the name Team Fortress. I like this as it allows even the crappy aim'ers an important role in the match. There's 9 classes you can be during a map, in which there's 6 maps that shipped with the game, more to follow later.

The 9 classes are as follows...

OFFENSE
Scout
Soldier
Heavy

DEFENCE
Demolition
Pyro
Engineer

SUPPORT
Medic
Sniper
Spy

There's obviously plenty of game time and replayability to be had with the package, so it's a definite recommended buy. If any of you already have the game, or are a general Steam user, then feel free to add me to your friends list; my name on Steam is Keystone

Friday, October 12, 2007

Personal Accountability

So you just ran a PUG and some jackass ninja-looted the item you wanted, what then? Well you could spam his name in general chat for a week straight like Winston from Sargeras in WoW, but that just lowers you to the ninja-looters level and doesn't accomplish much.

The feature I love the most about EvE Online would have to be the single server for all the players. If you know someone playing EvE then you can find them in the game, you don't have to worry about them being on your server because everyone is on a single, large server. This is a great feature for creating community amongst players.

Since EvE is an open PvP game, and everyone is on the same server, you'll notice less players acting the fool. This is because if you act a fool in EvE, then your name gets out there and people will either ignore you, or blow up your hard-earned ship and pod you (kill you).

I love this kind of personal accountability in EvE online, and it reminds me of Siege Perilous from Ultima Online which was a strictly PvP server (Felluca only, no Trammel) and you could only have one character. The fact you only had one character, and it was open PvP meant you better act nice if you don't want to be camped the rest of your days in the game.

I would like this personal accountability extended to other games, but without open PvP I can't see it happening much, but a single character alone would be a nice feature. I've also read in the upcoming DarkFall Online that you can have multiple characters, but they must share the same last name on a single account. This means if Bob Smith kills you, and an hour later you are grouped with a Jane Smith, then you know that's the same person from their last name. I thought this was a genius idea and really adds to personal accountability in the game.

People usually hate open PvP games because they think - notice I said "think", because they usually haven't played on one - the server would be full of asshats and idiots. However, anyone who has played an open PvP game / server will tell you people usually act more pleasant (unless they're enemies, in which there's no expectation for them to act friendly).

The bottom line is open PvP games / servers will have your friends act nicer, and your enemies act meaner. Since there's not much hope of any open PvP games coming out in the near future, I would like to see a single character, or mandatory last name within the game so there is at least SOME form of personal accountability.

Would you be apposed to a shared last name for all your WoW characters, or do you enjoy the anonymity of alts?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Game Update

I haven't purchased the "Orange Box" from Steam yet, but I have been playing the original Team Fortress. I can see a ton of balancing issues in the original TF that I hope are addressed in the new version. I'm assuming most problems are addressed based off all the praise the game has received.

I prefer the Soldier class over the rest because of the simplicity and devastation. They don't have any off-the-wall special abilities, but they get a rocket launcher that can 1-2 shot someone, and they move fast enough to jump circles around your opponent (unlike the Heavy Gunner).

I haven't figured out the medic yet, but I know they can poison, I just don't know how. I looked through the options screen, and checked all my weps, but I don't see how to apply poison to someone. I would like this tactic since I'm a DoT and run type of guy!

If I'm able to find the time this weekend to purchase and download Team Fortress 2, then I'll have some strats & screenshots up by Monday.

Monday, October 1, 2007

WoW Accounts Canceled

I've canceled all four of my World of Warcraft accounts. I didn't play all four, but I did pay for them. The extra accounts were for my family to play on, but as I am quitting due to financial reasons, I canceled all the accounts. I just have too much going on financially with the house payment and a million other bills.

I'm definitely not quitting online gaming, but I will, for the time being, play only free-to-play games. That doesn't mean I won't purchase new games to play, just not monthly-fee based MMO's. So trying TR is out of the question, along with all the upcoming MMO titles.

I plan to purchase the orange box from Steam to play the new Team Fortress 2, since I loved the original, and I've heard nothing but praise for the sequel!

http://steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=package&SubId=469&

I plan to dive a little more into Guild Wars since I bought it awhile back, but I never gave it a fair chance. Also, I'm going to log into Ultima Online more, since I have maxed out characters with tons of money. I play on the free server, so there's no monthly fee.

I will keep the blog updated with all my current gaming ventures, and any new games I come across. Also, just because I'm not playing MMOs anymore doesn't mean I stopped reading about them, so I still frequent all the blogs on my blogroll and many more.

In short, I'm still here, I'm still a PK, I'm just not massive anymore =)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hybrid Theory

I came to an epiphany the other night and realized why I prefer dedicated classes over hybrids. It's as simple as specialization, in that, a hybrid is locked down in his/her specialized talent tree once gear is achieved.

I have a Druid friend that now wants to dip into the cat-tastic world of the feral tree, but all his gear, including epics, are catered towards healing. It's not a matter of a simple 50g respec fee, it boils down to the fee + days upon days of achieving new gear.

As a dedicated DPS class, I can use my current gear regardless of spec. There would be some minor changes needed, but nothing that goes beyond re-geming certain pieces.

So why bring this up, you ask? It's simple, why should hybrids be corn-holed into a specialization? I would like to see, on PvP gear for example, an exchange system that would allow you to exchange a piece for an equivalent piece. There could be a fee associated with the exchange, or maybe just the cost of losing enchants + gems would be enough. In any case, this would greatly increase my appeal towards playing a hybrid.

I understand that hybrids are suppose to specialize to avoid being awesome in any tree at any time, but the cost of re-geming / enchanting pieces, added to the cost of the respec should be enough to keep a person in check, but not corn-hole them out of months of gear achievements.

I would like to get some hybrids opinions on this, do you think something like this could work, or does it not bother you either way?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rating: 1833

My 2v2 team is still a point farmer for friends & family that don't have higher ranked teams. We still teeter in the 1600's.

On the other hand, my 3v3 & 5v5 team both topped out at 1833 this weekend, but dropped back down after a couple loses. I don't mind dropping back down, as it shows that the teams are capable of the 1800 range.

I spent most of the weekend playing tennis & catching up on some reading. I have a ton of books I'm reading, and I would like to start finishing them one-by-one. I haven't given up on WoW yet, but I have to admit, it would be awesome to get into the level grind again, and alts are out of the question as I've already played every class to level 30, and going beyond that for a class, such as a warrior, would be worse than watching paint dry. I can't wait for WoTLK to come out!
Anyone else planning on trying Tabula Rasa? The reviews sum up the game as fun to play, but not enough depth. I wouldn't mind that, as sometimes I just want to have fun and not worry about stats, enchants, potions, repairs, classes, & gnomes. I'll give the game a chance, and surely write my individual review, but who knows if the game will stick.

We plan to get our 3v3 team back into the 1800 bracket before point tabulation tomorrow - I'll keep you informed.

If you like art, then check out this article, I found it interesting...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20533287/

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

EQII - First Impressions

I downloaded the 7-day trial for EQII the other night and was able to spend only a few short hours in the game, so when I say first impressions, I mean it!

I'm not sure why, I assume because it's a trial, but you cannot create certain races when making your character, which is fine as there's many to choose from. I ended up picking an Arasai, the dark version of the Fae (think tinkerbell, but macho).
You then get to pick your class, name, appearance, and server. I chose the highly populated PvP server, Nagafen. I went with the Wizard class since it most resembled a WoW Mage, and I love caster DPS.

The game drops you in a starting outpost with plenty of NPCs to talk to, and trust me, they have alot to say. If you're interested in story, the NPCs will talk your head off, but it's entirely optional in most cases as you can select your responses to them. You could easily select something like, "I'm not interested in that, where's the work!?"

One thing I really liked about the game is there's no need to visit a trainer, and you get new spells every level. The new spells will automatically fill a spot in your toolbar if there's an empty space, otherwise you access your abilities book.

The combat seemed interesting enough, but I was lagging badly. I don't blame the game for this, as I hope it's my older system causing the lag. The controls are similar to other MMOs and can be figured out quite easily. I haven't run into the extensive learning curve other bloggers are talking about - yet.

All in all I like EQII and I might continue playing it between Arena matches while waiting on WoTLK. The free trial doesn't even require a credit card, just a Station ID, which is just registering with SoE. Also, if you've ever played an SoE game, then you can use your old Station ID, which is what I did.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

PvP Rant!

This is the response I left to Tobold's post on the future of PvP, I would recommend checking it out if you have any interest in Player vs. Player combat...


I don't understand how people have a problem with gankers. I play on a PvP server in WoW, and I have to say that every class has abilities to get away, and if you combine those abilities with potions, it's not hard to escape. I mean, do you sit there and not move when you get ganked? I usually carry Swiftness + Invis potions and I never have trouble escaping.

The occasional 70 might one shot me, but you can bet your bottom dollar he won't kill me again after I res and chug some escape centric potions, or use an ability.

I'm tired of fair fights being based off numbers. I want more skill based PvP with less of gear & numbers being the deciding factor.

Back when I played Ultima Online I could take out a group of 3 badly skilled players by myself - in WoW those 3 players could beat me in full epics while drooling at the keyboard. I'm not saying I was the greatest in UO, as there were players that could eliminate a whole opposing force of 5 or more people. Bring back skill-based PvP!

I think the problem with ganking is the system in every game supports the gankers. There should be a penalty system that encourages people to kill the said ganker. What if an epic dropped off a player after he ganked 10 or more people? Do you think a group would gather to squash that person?

I just hope devs take an interesting approach to the future of PvP instead of throwing a set number of people on a small map. If I wanted that I would play an FPS - I play MMOs for the immersion of a world, not a small map.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

AV Weekend Update

Ok, so AV weekend fell on a holiday, thanks Blizz! I decided to spend more time with the family than playing WoW, but I did get in a few matches.

We snagged a few 3v3 matches with out mage, war, pally combo. We went 7-3, and the teams we lost two both had a priest, shaman, x for the lineup. The priest was the healer, but I can only do so much to lock him down. The shaman was the DPS target and would heal himself while the priest was locked down. A few times the shaman was low with a heal and would get countered, but the priest would pop out of sheep and get the heal. It's hard locking down 2 healer teams. I think next time we'll DPS the priest and force the shaman to primary healer to sink his low mana pool.

We ended the night with a 1758 rating. If we could all stay on for more than 10 games at a time we could rise above 1800.

I haven't PvE'd, farmed, or did any BGs in about a week. I see myself only logging on for arenas now. I for one am looking forward to the expansion - and it's about time they add more snowy environments!

Not much else to report; we're looking to get some 5v5 in tonight, so I'll let everyone knows how that goes!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Arena Update

2v2 - 1688
I've turned my 2v2 team into a point gather / intro-to-arenas team. I currently have my brother on it, and he already mastered arenas, but he can't find a good 3v3 / 5v5, so he relies on the points from this team some weeks. I also have a Druid friend that just hit 70 and is learning arenas, and he already shows good potential. He hasn't dropped below a 50% win ratio yet.

3v3 - 1725
Our 3v3 team has dwindled down to just the starters, we don't have any backups. I like this because we can focus on our play-styles and cohesion. We're running an MS Warrior, Holy Pally, and Frost Mage (me). This setup works well, and I think the team has potential.

5v5 - 1782
This is where the majority of my arena points come from, and I think this team has serious potential. We have some backup players, but we focus on 2x Holy Pally, Hunter, Warrior, Mage. We've been going 7-3 the past few weeks, and I'd like to see us break 1800 soon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Eye of the Storm

Every weekend a certain battleground is featured to attract interest. There's additional honor gains for playing a battleground during it's "holiday" weekend. This last weekend was for EoTS, so I thought I'd post our premade strat that easily went undefeated this weekend against pugs, and even other premades.


I was the leader, so I set up the groups as fast as possible when we enter the BG. As soon as the groups are set I will make an announcement so people can start their group buffs and take note of their group number. I then spam the macro that says the strat, which consist of...
/bg Group 1 = Draenei Ruins
/bg Group 2 = Mage Tower (Floats between FR / DR incs)
/bg Group 3 = Fel Reaver Ruins (Rush at start, do not stop on bridge!)

I usually call for a couple from group 2 to assist in the Fel Reaver push since it can get hairy if most of the Horde have stationed themselves there. If it looks like we're overwhelming them, then I'll call for group 1 to push Blood Elf Tower, and group 2 to push middle to Fel Reaver.

I'll make sure to leave 1 person from group 2 at Mage Tower / Draenei ruins to avoid the ninja.

By this time we usually have them pushed back to their graveyard, or just heavy defense at Blood Elf Tower. In any case, our strat *never* involve running the flag. We either hold 3 tower until we win, or we 4 cap. In rare instances I'll have 1 person running flags to speed the game up on a 4 cap, but it's never the means to an end.

On a side note, I would recommend getting the Cartographer map mod for the simple reason it shows when a player in in combat on the map. This helps since not all players are skilled at calling incoming. I also have macros set for "/bg Inc ". If you are the caller it is vital that you pay more attention to the map and direct traffic than it is to stay in combat and keep on the move.

As the caller, I usually leave myself at the Mage Tower and just direct traffic over vent while watching the map the whole time for players in combat.

These are just the tactics we use in our guild premades, and I'm sure there are other successful strats, and I would love to hear them! If you're looking for general EoTS advice, then head over to Out of Mana to check out one of Megs latest post...http://outofmana.blogspot.com/2007/08/10-tips-for-eots.html

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Collision Detection = Better PvP!

I've been playing graphical MMOs since Ultima Online's release in 1997, and the one feature I miss the most, other than housing, is the collision detection.

If you've never heard the term, or don't know what it means, let me quote Wikipedia...

"In physical simulations, video games and computational geometry, collision detection involves algorithms for checking for collision, i.e. intersection, of two given solids. Simulating what happens once a collision is detected is sometimes referred to as "collision response", for which see physics engine and ragdoll physics. Collision detection algorithms are a basic component of 3D video games. Without them, characters could go through walls and other obstacles."

The collision that I'm referring to from Ultima Online is between two players. If you've ever played WoW, or a similar MMO, then you know when two characters collide they walked through each other. This is great in a candy-coated world of non-realism, but the strategy & tactics available in PvP from this feature are endless!
The melee characters would be given new roles, landscapes could be put to use, no longer would you be able to train DPS on a healer before killing his tank standing in the doorway blocking your path.
I remember my first strategical PvP encounter in Ultima Online that revolved around collision detection. A couple of friends and I were getting mauled by more experienced players outside of the Britania Bank. I decided to barricade the room inside the bank with our Mace / Shield user blocking the door and the other two of us, archers, would stand behind him and cross heal with bandages. We held our ground firm and were unable to be killed. We even took a few people out, and it wasn't until we broke formation to go loot that we all died.

This is just an example of how landscape, formation, and strategy can add a whole new level to PvP. It's because of this that rooftop camping should not have been banned, instead they should have made rooftops easier to access for guards and other players!

Now before the comment is placed, I'll address the main concern now. I'm sure you're wondering about the grieving nature of not being able to walk through players. What if you get pinned in? Well there would be spells, abilities, and items to get out of that situation, but they would only take you so far, so there would still be occasional case of getting circled.

Would you like to see something of this nature in WoW, and if so, which zone in do you think would make the most use out of collision detection in PvP?

Monday, August 20, 2007

VoIP - Voice Chat for WoW

The word on the street says voice chat will be implemented in an upcoming patch. This is good news for the alliance, as I see this helping them in BGs more than the already organized Horde players. I'm wondering what options, if any, will we have with the new voice chat system.

The first thing that comes to mind is people not wanting to use it because their IRL voice might not be representative of their in-game persona, or their voice just doesn't command the same amount of respect. That Tauren tank you would have never thought to second guess just turned out to be a prepubescent, and while this shouldn't change your association with the said Tauren, sometimes it's hard to avoid.

I'd like to see an option to disguise ones voice in different tones. The tones would have to be realistic or they would be abused - I for one would pick an alien voice over my own any day! I believe a voice disguiser would allow minors & women a comfortable feel in the world of voice chat. This way their judgment would be on their play-style and not the sound of their voice.

Some other nice-to-have options might include a mute option for that person who continuously curses, a parental control for non-voice chat with people not on a friends / approved list of players. I would also like to see various broadcast options, such as party, raid, & guild so that you can broadcast different messages to different groups without leaving / entering a different channel.

These are just some ideas for the implementation of voice chat; can anyone else think of some other options they'd like to see with the new voice chat?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Varsity Arena Teams?

With football season upon us, I was wondering if separate tiers of arena teams would be something of value to the game. The way it is now there's a single tier separated by rating, but this rating can leave wide gaps in balance since it scales so far.

What if they had a tier 1 arena season that allowed fresh level 70's a fair amount of competition with their green / blue gear. After the tier 1 season was completed with a certain rating and/or achievement of all the available gear, you could then progress to the next tier - this would give everyone a chance to eventually progress. There could even be a 3rd tier to place the pro players that have ranked top 5% in the first & second arena tiers.

The gear rewards would have to be relative to the current tier you're playing so you couldn't out-gear your current season. Once you've accomplished a high rating, or achieved all the gear from that arena tier, you would then start the next season in the next tier. The rating system would stay in place, but you would be rated in comparison to your current tier.

I think this would allow for a better progression through the arena system, much like the raid progression currently in game. This idea came to me because I have friends that just hit 70 and started arenas, but they can't even win one game with their current green / blue gear makeup. They don't mind losing, but never winning a battle is a depressing situation.

The idea of separate tiers of play is found within all majors sports; e.g., High School Football, College, and Professional all exist. This arena tier idea would incorporate different levels of play as such. You might never be a 2400 rated player in today's system, but wouldn't it feel good to dominate tier 1 and enter tier 2 with the sense of accomplishment raiders find when moving to the next instance?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Focus Macros are for EVERYONE!

I've been going over the various uses of focus targets and macros with my arena team. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter which class you are, there are going to be spells / abilities in your arsenal that you are saving for an off-target, aka the "focus".

I'll use our Warrior's newly added focus macro, but you can cater this to your class. I helped our Warrior set up a macro to help stop a healer from casting in an extreme situation, e.g. Counterspell is on cooldown. The macro is a simple one that will intercept your focus target while keeping the DPS target on your screen.

/cast [target=focus] Intercept

We rarely use this macro since I'm pretty spiffy with my Counterspells, but it has come in handy on occasion. If CS is on cooldown, and the healer is casting, then we'll have our Warrior hit this macro (without untargeting his DPS) to immediately intercept the healer and stop his cast, therefore allowing me to burst DPS the target to his death. This is a last resort since we also have the Paladin's HoJ stun.

I know there must be other uses for the ability to cast on a focus target, but as I mainly play a Mage, I can't elaborate on other uses. I'd like to see others' ideas for focus macros - for example, what is an ability that you reserve for an off-DPS target, such as a healer?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Enchants & Arena Team Names - Oh My!

I've been so busy that I haven't been able to put together a good list of enchants; however, I did throw the resource I use for my enchanting needs on the link list to the right. The link is named "Enchantments by Slot" because that's what it is - a list of all enchants you can get on certain slots, like wrist, for example.

I'd like to throw out a topic of humorous arena names. I've been seeing some pretty ridiculous names lately, and I thought I'd like to see if others out there have had similar experiences with goofy team names. I think my all-time favorite was "ten games kthnx bye" - that one made me laugh!

What's the most outrageous arena team name you've seen?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Arena Update

I joined a 3v3 team awhile back with a Holy Paladin, MS Warrior, & me, a Frost Mage. We've been hovering in the 1700-1750 bracket for awhile now and haven't made it into the 1800's yet. The three of us are serious about gearing up and all are good pvpers, so we should go far - especially with this matrix.

I've been getting more interested in 5v5 since it seems to have more tactics & points involved. We run various groups, but they always include an MS Warrior / Holy Paladin. This team is also hovering in the 1700-1750 bracket and I forsee 1800's soon. We cycle DPS depending on who is online. This is good because it ensures games, but it means different strats depending on who is playing, and I don't like that. We cycle in a Hunter, Druid, Mage, Warlock depending on who is online. The Warlocks have different specs, which I'm not fond of, I would rather them both be affliction, but I'm not a Warlock, so what do I know.

I've given up on 2v2 almost since it's such a game of class match-up it almost doesn't matter your gear or skill. We run two Frost Mages, which is a pretty sick combo, but there's just too many combos that we can't take out. We're almost guaranteed a 60/40 win ratio, which is nice, but it's not point reliable. I'm still going to run 2v2 so I can PvP with my brother and some friends, but I'm not going to sit down and write strats and look up opponents like I do for 5v5.

Alright enough rambling, hopefully my next post will involve some content - I'm planning on writing a PvP enchant guide since I've been getting a lot of questions on the subject in-game.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Mazzle UI

I downloaded the Mazzle UI Compilation a few nights ago and I'd like to give some thoughts on it. I like that it was easy to install, setup, & configure; however, I do not like the positioning of the health bars and the colors accompanying the new health bars. Let me explain...

Your health bar is placed at the bottom left of the screen in a horizontal manor with a pastel shade of blue for your health & mana. Not only is the positioning of the bar hard to get used to, the colors do NOT jump out at you like the standard green bar for health.

Also, your party members and your targets all have their bars displayed in an equaling unappealing color. These bars are displayed in a vertical manor, so while your bar is from left to right, every other health bar is from top to bottom(why!?!?!)


The UI / Mod Compilation is not that bad, it's actually quite nice. The package comes with a plethora of Ace2 addons that I found very user friendly. If you'd like to check it out then head over to www.wowinterface.com and search for Mazzle. I myself have uninstalled the interface, but I kept some of the Ace2 mods that came with the package, for example, "Spellbinder" is a wonderful mod.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

L 2 Kite

It doesn't matter what class you are, at some point or another you will have to kite - this goes for you PvE'ers out there too.

I've brought a number of new gamers to the WoW scene (who hasn't?), and it seems the #1 thing they have a problem learning is the concept of kiting. For those of you who don't know the terminology, let me explain. To "kite" is to maintain constant movement at a specified distance from your opponent. This is what you're seeing when that hunter you are chasing won't let you close the gap between you and him - when you move foreword, he moves back, if you stop, so does he. That my friends, is kiting!

This works best for ranged classes when fighting any melee class. The more the melee opponent has to work to close the gap between you and them the better! If you are a cloth wearer, you never want to sit there with a melee person beating on you. There's many means of increasing the gap between you and the melee player, and once that gap is achieved, do everything you can to maintain it.

I play a Mage, so it's best if I speak from that perspective. The easiest way to kite a melee character with a Mage (or any class) is to have some instant cast spells set to your mouse. If you have a standard mouse with no buttons you can still use the mouse middle button as a keybinding (my mouse middle button is set to Ice Lance).

The reason you want your instant attacks set to your mouse is so your left hand can concentrate on movement with the WASD keys while your right hand only has to hit the attack button. After you have the keybinding set to a mouse button and you're ready to learn how to kite, head out and find a melee NPC to practice on.

The goal of the practice exercise is not necessarily to kill the opponent, but to sustain damage without letting them catch you. Start the fight at max range with a rank 1 Frostbolt, then immediately turn 180 degrees and run the opposite direction of the mob. While running away from the mob hold the right click button down and hit the space bar to jump and face to your right 90 degrees. In the middle of your jump (still in the air) you will be able to hit your opponent with an instant attack (mouse button). This has to be done very quickly as you want to be able to turn back facing away from your opponent before you hit the ground - this is why you only turn 90 degrees in mid-air instead of the full 180.

If you do this right the MOB will not be able to catch you and you can continually jump + shoot without ever letting the MOB diminish the distance between you two.

Now this just gets you introduced into kiting, there is a ton more to it when it's applied to PvP. You have to factor in other class's abilities to close that gap, such as blind, charge, frost shock, scatter shot, etc etc...
A good thing to note is that the PvP trinket removes all immobilizing & slowing effects now, so make sure to use it when the opposition try's a maneuver to slow you down and close that distance.

Now get out there and make those melee classes cry when they can't catch you!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Creating an Individual, not a Character

I was thinking back to previous game titles and noticed an interesting niche found in a few games - gender specific classes. These classes were restricted to a particular gender. In the prehistoric age of gaming there was usually only a male character available for play, regardless of class, but with the technology advancements and political correctness came the option to pick your gender. We're also seeing more and more girl gamers. ^^

Then came the games that restricted you to a gender - the Valkyrie from Gauntlet comes to mind. With the addition of MMO's and the social presence of other players came the diverse options in character creation. In today's games the more options that go into your character the better, but why must all options be merely aesthetic? I would like to make the decision of my race just as important as the selection of my class. In WoW there are racial abilities, but they aren't powerful enough to affect a players selection in most cases.
What if there were more than just race / class choices in the creation of your character?

Could you imagine having to select from multiple choices from a wide range of criteria? These selections could therefore make your character even more unique. Not all of these would have to affect stats - some could be aesthetic.

I guess what I'm getting at is I'd like to be more than just a Human Mage; I'd like to be the Decrepit Human Mage from Felwood. Just those two extra tidbits (the adjective & noun) could have been selected by me and gave my character a more unique feel.

This brings me to the second part in my title, Character Spaces. In the game Ultima Online there was a blank sheet you could write anything you wanted. This sheet was viewable by other players and had a wide range of uses. While some people used the space to sell items, advertise guilds, or even make a kill list, the best use was when people would write a back-story to their character.

Now I'm not one for constant roleplay, but I would love to read a back-story to a character rather than just view their gear. This feature alone would be easy to implement and would add tons to a characters' individualism.

To end this post I'll ask you this question I've had on my mind; if you could select any 2 active racial abilities in the game, which would they be?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ding! #100

Well, I've had this blog since December 2006 and I've reached 100 post (yay me). I started the blog because I like to write, and MMOs are a hobby of mine. My original goal was to provide PvP tips to other players since PvP is really all I do. I literally rushed my way to 60, and then 70 after BC and never did much questing / raiding - probably why I'm so poor!

My goal now with the blog is to just write what comes to mind in reference to WoW and other MMOs, and to chronicle my experiences inside these persistent worlds. I'd still like to give out some PvP tips, but WoW is such a cut & paste game that there's not much new to learn. The PvP in WoW is centered a lot around gear + class matchups. So, my PvP tip to you is gear up and avoid Warlocks - lol!

On a serious note... I would like to see my WoW characters in a Counter-Strike map such as DE_Dust2, or any new map for that matter. How hard would it be to change the skin in Alterac Valley from snow to green grass?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dual Classes

If you've ever played Guildwars then you know how this works. The basic idea is that you pick two classes - one primary, and one secondary. Which one you pick as primary or secondary makes an impact on the character, for example a Warrior / Priest is different than a Priest / Warrior.

In the Guildwars dual class setup you can only pick 6 abilities, but they can be from either abilities pool from the classes you picked. So while you might be a Warrior / Priest, you could technically go into battle with all 6 slots filled with Priest abilities.

While I don't like the instanced game world of Guildwars, I do like it's dual class setup. I know nothing like this would work in WoW because it would be a balancing nightmare, but it's fun to speculate.

So, if you could be a dual class, and only pick 6 abilities from the classes you picked, which would they be?

I'll start this off...

I'd pick Mage / Warlock, and my 6 abilities would be...

1. Fear
2. Blink
3. Frost Nova
4. Ice Barrier
5. Ice Lance
6. Frost Bolt

Ok, so maybe 6 is a low number... I'd like to get more from the Warlock than Fear, heh.

Anyways, what's would be your class combo, and six abilities?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

/Cast [target=focus] Polymorph

As a Mage in arena PvP, especially 3v3 & 5v5, your main goal is CC followed by burst DPS. This requires two targets - the sheep, and the DPS.

The easiest way to go about this is to set two simple macros (if you don't know how to set a macro, then type /macro and click "new", then just type a name of your macro, select a picture and paste the following in the text portion of the macro. After that you can drag the icon out to your toolbar like a normal spell).

Set two macros for the following...

/focus

and...

/Cast [target=focus] Polymorph

Then you want to put these somewhere easy to get to, I have mine set to keybindings. What these allow you to do is set your polymorph target in the beginning of the match. When the match starts, you or whoever the caller is, will call the sheep target - immediately target that person and hit the first macro "/focus"

After this is done you want to switch your target to the main DPS and prepare to unleash the fury (always save burst for 50% or lower thou).

Now you are able to sheep the /focus target without untargeting the DPS target. This allows you to easily watch the DPS targets health and apply burst when needed without missing a beat on the sheep.

Friday, July 20, 2007

LF MMO Blogs!

I want to split my blog list up into various games since it's getting kind of long as it stands. I'm looking for some good MMO blogs for other games out there, such as EQ2, CoH, Vanguard, etc...

If anyone knows of some good MMO blogs, please let me know; I'd like to create an extensive list of good MMO blogs regardless of what game it is. WoW is my current focus, but I love reading about how other games are doing from a players perspective.

WoW Journal

I've put all my alts on hold since I really want to get Keystone up to par on his arenas. To do this he needs to be geared; in WoW it doesn't matter how skilled you are, you won't get far without gear.

I've farmed all the Veteran's BG gear except the boots, which I should have by Saturday. I've started enchanting my gear too. I have 2800 arena points to spend, but I'm still contemplating what to get. I think I'm going to get the season 2 head piece since I already have my 18 stam / 5% stun resist meta gem (what good is the gem if it's sitting in my bag).

I'm getting close to being satisfied with my gear - enough so that I can compete in a higher bracket. The only problem that exist now is a team. I have my current teams, but the players are either poorly geared, or they have the gear without the skill to back it up. I want to concentrate on 3's since it seems more manageable than 5's and less rock, paper, scissors than 2's.

I've done a ton of research, but I'd still like some feedback. Anyone have any suggestions on two classes / specs that would do well with a Frost Mage in arenas?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Design & The Self-Resurrecting Paladin

Well, as the title implies, I have implemented a new design, I hope you all like it. If it's not pleasing to the eye, or anyone has any suggestions, then please let me know. I'd like to give many thanks to Daikon over at http://warcraftwallpaper.blogspot.com/ for his contribution of the title graphic - thanks man!

Now, for the second part of the title... a self-resurrecting paladin you say, what gives? Well, it started out a simple 2v2 arena game of my team consisting of two frost mages against a team of a rogue + paladin. We decided to burn the paladin down while CC'ing the rogue (thanks to detect magic + winter's chill we were able to force the paladin into a global cooldown war). Well we took out the paladin and started on the rogue. Then in the blink of an eye the paladin was alive with 75% health & 20% mana. I started yelling at my teammate for not finishing him off, but then I realized that we *BOTH* finished him off and I saw him fall with my own eyes!

We ended up winning by the thread of our robes, but I'm still flabbergasted that the paladin either A) self-ressed (is this even possible in arenas???), or B) faked his own death, maybe a /sleep command, but then how did he break my sticky target?

My guess is it was a server glitch since we BOTH thought he was dead, but boy did that freak me out!!! Anyone else ever see anything like this?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

PTR Mage Season 2 Upgrades...

So instead of +6 Stamina from S1 -> S2 we get +13 Stam?

http://www.mmo-champion.com/images/news/2007/july/mageseason2.jpg

Ignoring the other stats, which had some minor increases, I see a trade off of 1000 armor for +7 Stamina...? Oh well, I'm King Kite himself, so the armor was almost worthless since I'm a running fool.

Either way, the S2 Mage set looks like crap imo, so I'll still stick to the original plan of...

Season 1 - Robe, Shoulders, & Gloves
Season 2 - Head, Legs

For you Mages out there, do these new stats change your Arena gear plans?

Trivia Qustion...!?

I always ask friends this one, and while it takes them awhile, they usually get it right. It's not hard, just interesting...

What is the ONLY race that cannot roll a healing class?

...5 blog points to the first correct answer!
(I have no idea what a "blog point" is, but I assume it's like those useless Koolaide points we all collected as kids!)

Monday, July 16, 2007

MMO Free Trial List found at Subcreation Forums

Some of these trials are probably out-of-date, but I found the list interesting enough to post it.

http://forums.subcreation.net/viewtopic.php?id=2269

Turtle Soup - Alterac Valley Style

I know everyone here has experienced the defensive bunker stance in Alterac Valley known as a "turtle". If you're unfamiliar with the term or the condition, then let me explain. A "turtle" is a game where one team goes so heavy on defense that it results in a stalemate, or an un-winnable game for either side. These games last an exorbitant amount of time and result in much less honor than a quick game allowing you to requeue for the next one faster.

The majority of people are against turtles because they don't net as much honor, but what they do net is a ton of plain old fun from PvP kills. First off, I'm as efficient as the next player when it comes to taking the shortest route to the best rewards, but I also love to PvP. There's just more PvP to be had by playing defense, which is why I'm always in the backfield in AV. As it stands now the longer the game goes, the shorter the amount of honor gained. This is the problem, not the people playing defense because they get more PvP action.

I would like to see a change made so that a "turtle" won't have a negative effect on a person's honor gain. Some people will still not like the long games, but without the argument of efficiency I won't have much sympathy for them.

I don't really have an alternate suggestion, that's where you guys come in - what is a good alternative to honor point rewards to eliminate the honor hit from long games such as "turtles". The only thing I can think of would be a timer in which honor is gained so the longer games still generate honor - any other suggestions?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Alt Choices of Certain Classes...

Why does a Hunter decide to roll a Rogue, or what drives a Warrior to start another melee class? I've been wondering why certain classes typically end up with the same alts. I know a ton of people that have 70 Hunter / Rogues, or a 70 Warrior / Paladin combo. What is it that makes these classes flock to another particular class...?

There's always the case of a melee character tired of chasing people and wanting to test his hand at a ranged class, or maybe a healer tired of being behind the lines and out of the action. I've seen people leave their first character after hitting 60/70 because it wasn't what the same as when they started it.

For me, it was the a combination of the things I mentioned. I first rolled a Paladin (the only reason I picked Alliance). I loved leveling up my Paladin, and things were great. I then hit 60 and noticed my role was to heal and heal only, and if I didn't then people hated me. I also noticed the weakness against ranged classes with the ability to kite a Paladin, this was VERY frustrating. There were so many times I would have someone ALMOST dead and they would lock me down and take off running and I had no way of catching the person (this was before Hammer of Wrath). Things have changed since then, but I digress.

Since I was tired of melee, and tired of healing with no DPS, I ended up rolling a Mage and haven't really looked back since. I've dabbled in all the classes since my Paladin / Mage, and I can't say any class interest me as much as the Mage.

My question for you is what class did you start with, and what reasons did you have for leaving that class? Why did you pick the next class you rolled?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Weekend Update - PvP

I spent all weekend in AV farming honor; I alternated between offence & defense to keep things interesting. After all was said & done I ended up with 40k honor. I now only need (2) more epic BG gear pieces, the bracers & boots. I have the Shat Jumpers with decent gems for my boots, and some nice stam bracers, so it's not as much of an upgrade as the other pieces I attained, but an upgrade none-the-less.

I'd say my 5v5 team is all but dead since half the people left and the other half is never online, so I'm in the market for a new team in that bracket. As for the 3v3 we tried a few matches with our new Elemental Shaman and it didn't go so well. I don't know if it's his HORRID level 66 green gear or if it's just a different class makeup and we have to get used to the new strat, either way we sucked it up bad!

Oddly enough, in the 2v2 the new Elemental Shaman and myself almost had a 10-0 run if not for a few unlucky matches against some seriously geared people. I just wonder how some teams with so much gear could be in such a low bracket rating? I can accept my measly 1600+ rating because I'm just in 70 blues with a few BG epics, and my teammates are still sporting greens, but why would a team of such geared people be in a low bracket?

Anyways, the Shaman and I went 8-2, and the other Frost Mage and myself went 8-2 as well, but when those two teamed up they lost 5 in a row and hurt our rating. We're still 1600+, so it's ok; however, I'd like to break into the 1700 bracket and that would rely on that Shaman getting some gear. I kept on him about farming AV honor this weekend, but he kept getting bored, so we'll see how fast he attains gear - he did *JUST* hit 70, so not like he's been slacking... yet!

I'll leave this post on a question...

If they introduced a 1 vs. 1 arena bracket, which class do you think we'd see the most of in the higher ratings? I would have to say Warlock, or Megs to be more specific ^^

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Importance of Player Housing

The topic of player housing has been discussed before with both sides of the argument displaying their opinions. On one hand you have the anti-housing players that bring up arguments such as, "What's the point to player housing, what purpose does the house serve?" Then you have the pro-house community that recognizes the possibilities of player housing and knows it can only better the game.

As you can tell from the title and introductory paragraph, I am pro-housing. I've played 20+ MMORPG's and I can honestly say that housing adds a whole new layer of possibilities, depending on the way it's implemented - I'll get back to this point.

The reason player housing is important is not because of what it offers the player, but what it offers the community. Housing offers a centralized custom location for private groups, such as guilds, to congregate. At this point if you just thought to yourself, "that's what town is for", then I wonder if you've experienced an MMO with a good housing system.

There's two major factors that keep players subscribed to a game...
1. Friends & Family within the game
2. The strive to advance (currently found in gear, mounts, & titles)

These two factors are both amplified by player housing. Players are able to share and even customize living quarters with their family & friends, increasing their over all staying power.
With housing comes displayable items, things outside the spectrum of gear. Blizzard at this point could add rare items for house display, and having these items would show a sign of advancement and give collectors something to spend their currently worthless gold on.

On top of the previous mentioned reasons, there's also the crafting element and different displayed items that could be crafted for the soul purpose of display within a house - another form of advancement.

Also, as the blog name represents, there's the PvP possibilities. Now you're probably asking yourself, "How could player housing add to PvP?" The answer is simple, house skirmishes in non-instanced houses. If a certain guild is on your KoS list, then why go wondering around aimlessly looking for them when you could go straight to their guild house and reek havoc. The guild that was attacked has the added defense of the house, but the attackers can still cause some damage by killing people coming in / out of the house. The guild that was attacked can also launch a counter-attack and get revenge. The possibilities are endless and I don't have enough room to write about all the awesome experiences I've had through house PvP.

I know housing doesn't fit WoW very well, but I think it's the next step if the game wants to increase longevity. Players will eventually get tired of the constant character advancement and seek other areas to advance, such as their estate - hence the player housing.

Do you think player housing is in the future for World of Warcraft, or do you think it's not a feature worth the implementation?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

5v5 Update

We tried 5v5 again, but instead a geared Resto Shaman replaced the Paladin, and a frickin **NON-MS-Warrior** replaced the 2nd Frost Mage.

Well, needless to say we didn't do that well, and while I'd like to blame it all on the **NON-MS-Warrior** (yes it deserves caps!), it wasn't all his specs fault. I think the problem was in burst DPS. We have a Shadow Priest & Demo Lock taking the target down, but I think they're releasing their burst DPS too soon. I'll see the guy drop to 30% health in a matter of seconds, then it's almost like DPS dies on him. I'm going to work with my team on saving burst for the second half of the life bar.

I usually start the fight by sending my Water Ele on the DPS target and releasing Frost Nova, Ice Lance, Fireblast (I save Ele Nova for the burst). I then start to lock down the Paladin with Polymorph & Counter-Spell. It's during this time that I have him locked that I'm not seeing the burst DPS I'd like too.

The Shaman did great at healing and really knows his stuff. The Warlock is getting used to his new demo spec, which I have no clue about other than Soul Link & Felguard.

The Warlock, Shadow Priest, & Frost Mage (me) are the core members of the team, so I'm wondering what other two would go great with that? I'm thinking a Holy Paladin w/ MS Warrior... any other suggestions?

P.S. The Warrior has respecced MS and can't stop raving about how great it is (we tried to tell him). We'll see how that plays out now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Arena Tactic - 5v5

We had some time over the weekend to run some 5v5 arena action. I was elected the target caller since I know every class inside & out - gosh, I'm such a nerd.

So we get in there and I quickly realize calling targets in 5v5 is much more difficult than 2v2 & 3v3. We went 3 losses and I decided to make a change. I employed a tactic that we used back in Ultima Online when battles easily ended up in 5 vs. 5 or more.

We had 4 DPS w/ 1 Paladin healer. I had the Rogue & Shadow Priest go into their own vent channel to call their own targets, while me and the other Frost Mage stayed in the channel with the healer for our target calling. The premise behind this is that it's easier to control 2 players than it is 5. Well as soon as we employed this tactic we won 8 in a row before loosing. At that time our Paladin had to log, so we called it a night.

I'm anxious to use this tactic again since it worked out well. Does anyone out there have any other arena tips, preferably 5v5?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video Game Addiction - Article

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19354827/

Frost Mage vs. Affliction Warlock

I've mentioned before that Demonology Warlocks lay the smack down on Frost Mages. This is because it's defense vs. defense, and the Warlocks equivalent to Ice Barrier would be Soul Link, and that absorbs (converts to pet) 20% of incoming damage. A Frost Mage just has a hard time busting through that 20% reduction, and killing the pet is usually not an option.

Now, that out of the way... a Frost Mage can, and should, stomp Affliction Locks. The reason for this is their DoTs are rendered useless with one Ice Block.

The fight should go something like this...

Always cast Ice Barrier as soon as you know a fight is about to ensue, this way you get the cooldown timer started so you can recast it as soon as it wears off. If you do this correctly it will absorb 2,400 damage - practice this.
The lock will start laying on the DoTs pretty thick, but don't worry about it at this point. The first thing to do is summon your Water Ele and get him attacking. As soon as the Water Ele is out, be sure to use his Frost Nova followed by an Ice Lance > Fireblast. You then want to use your own Frost Nova and follow that with an Ice Lance also. If both of these crit, then you're doing good so far.

By this time the Lock has all his DoTs on you and is going to try to banish your Water Ele at all cost. It's vital that you DO NOT let him banish your Water Ele. At this point in the fight I usually Ice Block to remove all the DoTs, then immediately cancel the block and prepare to Counter-Spell his banish - 9/10 Warlocks start their Banish cast as SOON as you Ice Block, so cancel the block quickly.

If all goes well, you have zero DoTs on you and you just bought your Water Ele another 10-12 seconds. Depending on the Warlocks gear & skill, you might have to use your Cold Snap and repeat this process mid-fight. Just make sure your primary focus of Ice Block is to remove DoTs, not to buy cooldown time, such as Blink or Fireblast.

Keep in mind that Warlocks are very hard for a Mage to beat, so if you don't succeed the first time, then keep trying. It will also help if you can notice their spec quickly, such as a Felguard pet = Demonology spec. If you notice a Warlock casting Unstable Affliction, then he's your target - use this guide and own him!

Happy Hunting! ^^

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Frost Mage - The Death Combo

The Frost Mage death combo requires level 50+ since you need the Water Ele. This combo also becomes much deadlier at 66 since you can finish it with an Ice Lance, but I'm getting ahead of myself...

The first thing you MUST do is set a keybinding for your Water Ele's Frost Nova, otherwise known as "Freeze". The default key for this is "Ctrl + 5", which is found under the keybindings as "Secondary Action Bar 5".

If you're ok with Ctrl + 5, then no sweat, otherwise I would recommend setting the key similar to your own Frost Nova. I use the letter "E" for my Frost Nova, and "Shift + E" for my Water Ele's Freeze.

Now that you have this down, you can master what I like to call...The Death Combo...

dun dun dun....

Unlike PoM Pyro, this combo does require a couple seconds to cast, so make sure your opponent is locked down with a polymorph, or he if he hasn't noticed you yet - even better!

Start the combo by summoning your Water Ele and telling him to attack, which I do in one key from a macro. After you have the Ele out and attacking, immediately start to cast Frost Bolt on the target. Directly after starting the Frost Bolt cast, hit your keybinding for your Water Ele's Freeze and hold the circle over the target; once the Frost Bolt releases go ahead and click the Freeze on your target and they will be frozen RIGHT as your Frost Bolt hits, usually resulting in a crit.

I always finish the combo with an Ice Lance, and if you do it fast enough they can both crit before the Freeze breaks. If you don't have Ice Lance I would recommend using Fireblast + Cone of Cold. Keep in mind you still haven't even used YOUR Frost Nova, so that's another 50% chance to crit - use it.

Currently this combo nets me 6k damage from the Frost Bolt + Ice Lance + Fireblast, and all that hits before they have a chance to react. This combo added with the damage from the Water Ele is enough to down any foe (*cough* except Demo Locks *cough*)

As a Frost Mage there should be no class that consistently owns you, except for Demo Locks. In the battle of defensive Mage vs. defensive Warlock, the lock prevails.

Anyways, I hope this combo helps. I'll add some more Frost Mage tips later, and maybe a PvP talent guide.

Awesome Wallpaper!

http://warcraftwallpaper.blogspot.com/2007/06/blood-elf.html

Monday, June 18, 2007

Paladin Bubble...Through Silence?

Over the weekend I had multiple instances where a Paladin bubbled THROUGH my silence, this used to not be possible, but it's happening constantly now - when did this change?

I'm just curious when the change went through because I didn't read it in the patch notes, but then again I don't read them religiously.
Also, does anyone know where this mount comes from?

New Guild


I usually don't watch guild chat while in-game, so it's no surprise that I missed the guild split. I was doing my normal PvP routine when I received a few whispers from guild mates asking me to join the new guild.


I asked why everyone left, and what was the new guild about. I was told that all the 70's wanted to form a more serious guild centered around end-game content. I evaluated the situation and noticed that all the people I liked from the old guild had left to this new one, so it made sense to leave also.


I did some 2v2 last night and we brought our rating up to 1662, but then we started seeing the geared teams, and we lost several in a row bringing us to 1608. We decided to stop there, but my teammate is greedy and wants to try again tonight - I'm afraid we'll end up even lower!


One last thing before I go...


When the Horde owns all the bases in AB, don't attack the Stables where the majority of their force is defending... mount up and move to the Farm, or even the Mine is usually left open. I never understood why the Alliance insist on zerging the Stables when there's 8+ Horde defending...?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Busy Week...


I haven't been back to Kara since my first run the other night because we were lacking key classes. This didn't bother me much because I've had my fair share of raiding pre BC - I can honestly live without it.


I emptied my quest log since I can't micro-manage 25 quest like most people; however, if I accept & complete one quest at a time I can complete 20 quest a session, easily (Thanks Allakhazam + Cartographer)


I helped a friend of mine create a 5v5 team which I joined. He picked the name, which happens to be "New Kids on the Rock" - funny. He's managed to get a few geared people to join, which should help considering I'm severely under-geared for Arenas.


One last note before wrapping up the post, I played my weekly 10 matches with my brother on our 2v2 team. If you remembered from previous post we first went 2 - 8, then we progressed to 5 - 5. I would have been happy with another 5 - 5, but boy was I impressed when we landed an 8 - 2, and even the 2 we lost were extremely close. I think next week we might be able to do a clean sweep to start the new season.


I'll be avoiding the gutters, leaky faucet, and other household repair on my house to PvP all weekend. I'll be buying the Marshals Bracers & Belt tonight, and maybe more by Sunday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So I Lied...

Ok, I know the last post said Keystone was reserved for Arenas & Battlegrounds only, but I ended up going to Kara with the guild last night. The guild has been a couple of times so far with a certain group, but they want to cycle people into the raids, which I think is a good idea.

So we enter Kara and head towards Attuman. I was the only Mage, so I was on curse removal & DPS duty. We wiped the first time, but one of our Priest DC'd right before the fight, so that doesn't count. The second time we tried we downed him and a Bow & Necklace dropped, both agility / ap focused items. A Warrior received the Bow since our Hunter already had it, and the Hunter received the neck piece - I don't think we had any Rogues.

Our main healer, a holy Paladin, had to log for the night, so we called it there. We're heading there again tonight; I'll be sure and take screenshots.

I did some Arenas with my 3v3 team last night, and I think we're getting better as a team. As I've mentioned before my Areana team consist of a Shadow Priest, Affliction Lock, & Frost Mage (me). I don't recall the exact numbers, but we won about 20 games, and only lost 10. I only need 2700 more Arena points for the staff, but I still haven't found the method that points are tabulated. I've asked around in-game, but it seems everyone is just as confused about the point formula. I haven't researched it online because I've been too busy, but maybe a fellow blogger might leave a comment ^^

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Character Update

It's been awhile since I've given an update on my characters, so I thought it due.

My main on WoW is obviously Keystone (70 Human Mage). I've pretty much reserved him to Arenas & Battlegrounds. It's not that I don't like running instances with him, but I could be spending instance time on an alt and actually get more than just gear out of it.

Speaking of alts... I finally let my Dwarf Paladin ding level 61. I wound up with a new rank of Seal of the Crusader... oh joy! I have him specced and geared towards tanking, so that's been a new experience. I'm used to just handing out water, polymorphing, and laying out some DPS.

I tried to level Ocid (53 Night Elf Druid), but he kept getting camped by various Horde, so I just ended up on Keystone in multiple PvP skirmishes. I think I'll head to Un'goro as I've never had a problem with Horde there.

I only log on Hyrukin (40 Human Warlock) to transmute Felcloth > Mooncloth and craft 16-slot bags. I really need to hit 50 on him so I can get his Tailoring / Enchanting up to 375. He'd then be the perfect bank alt since he has all bank slots full of 16-slotters, and he can DE any greens not worth auctioning.

The rest of the WoW characters aren't worth mentioning since I haven't done anything with them since the last update.

I also hit 7x on my Provocationist in Ultima Online, and I placed a small house in the desert. I see the same thing happening though that happened last time I played UO. I have ample cash in the bank, I have a house, albeit small, but all I want to do is PvP. I guess this is how I end up in all games - see Keystone above.

I downloaded the free 14-day trial to EvE Online, but man is that game intense. There's almost too much information to process. Also, there's no way to change the zoom feature in the options; I see this as unacceptable since in today's games almost all features have a reverse, or on/off toggle. I won't play past the 14-day trial, but I'm not saying it's a bad game, it's just not for me.

On a side note... anyone know when Arena points are tabulated? I'm assuming it's Tuesday mornings since that's the normal down / patch time.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Something I Noticed About WAR...

I was watching the podcast for the upcoming Warhammer Online (I don't have the link, but they're on the official site).

The thing that caught my eye is the contested RvR zones will be captureable. I like this idea, however, I don't like that different task weigh more than others when it comes to point contributions for zone take-overs.

You'll notice in the podcast that everything from PvE, World PvP, to Battlegrounds will contribute points to taking over a zone. It appears that PvE will contribute the least, while Battlegrounds will contribute the most. I think we all know Battlegrounds killed World PvP for WoW.

I think Battlegrounds look good on paper, but they severly diminish the immersion of an MMO. The industry has already cut travel times almost to the point of being obsolete (Guildwars map travel, anyone?). Now with instant PvP action, Auction House, & Instant Travel, there's almost no need to explore anymore.

I don't mind Battlegrounds being in the game since a lot of casuals don't have time to roam a zone looking for a fight, however, if you make BG's worth more points, you now have everyone from casuals to hardcore players in there because the majority of MMO players only take the most rewarding path. A perfect example of this was pre-BC when people were farming Battlegrounds for the honor points to buy easy epics.

I would like to see ALL point contributions equalized, even for Quest / PvE content. It would be nice if people could contribute as equally as the next person by doing something they love - for me, that would be World PvP.

I'm sure the game will deliver, but you never know until it hits live, and even then the content patches & bug fixes can still determine a games fate. I signed up for beta, so maybe if I get in and they lift the NDA I can comment on actual content compared to speculation based off a podcast.

We'll have to wait and see...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Best WoW Joke Ever!

_________________________________
What do Rogues & Noobs have in common...?

...they both pick locks!
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Monday, June 4, 2007

New Arena Team

I started my first Arena team this weekend; my brother asked me to since he wants some of the gear you get from cashing in Arena points - who am I kidding, I want them too! ^^

I talked him into respeccing Frost for Arenas since he was dieing too fast with his Arcane spec. So there we are, two Frost Mages in Arenas. Well, my brother is a late bloomer into PC gaming, and he has no twitch skills whatsoever, so no kiting for him.

This turns out to be a problem, since as a Mage you have to know how to kite. I'm going to try and teach him some more as we go along. We ended the night with 9 wins - 20 losses (ouch). I'd say 7 of those 9 wins I was able to kill the other two players by myself. I'm hoping that if my brother continues to see how I use the Frost spec, then he might get better with it over time.

I remember when I ditched the "3-minute mage" spec for Frost it took a long time to change my play-style. We've decided to run BGs and some practice Arena rounds before going back in for the real deal, this should allow him ample time to get the hang of Frost.

If anyone would like to keep up with the Arena team the name is "The Frozen Core", a name I now regret since I'm about to add a Druid & Rogue to the team. I knew I should have went with "The A-Team" - my favorite childhood sitcom!