Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gear: The Only Displayed Accomplishment?

Last night a friend of mine said in Ventrilo that he was bored of WoW. This person has only played WoW for 2 months and has already dinged 70 on his first and only character, a Shadow Priest. This is the type of guy that will *NOT* roll an alt to check out other classes, he hates leveling.

He is discouraged about BG's because he's always targeted first, and usually goes down fast. Arenas would solve some of the BG dilemma, but his teammates are always raiding.

The last MMO this person played was Ultima Online, and he said something that struck me. He said, "There's nothing to do in this game after level 70, it's all about getting better gear".

Playing Ultima Online myself, along with *many* other MMO's in-between, I know where he is coming from. Too understand this on a high-level only, I think it can be boiled down to one word, accomplishments.

People like accomplishments, and like showing off their achievements even more. In World of Warcraft your only displayed accomplishment is your gear, therefore all game-play is centered around achieving gear in one shape or another.

Since I mentioned Ultima Online, it will be our comparison for this discussion. In the world of Ultima Online there were many displayed achievements that could be seen by peers throughout the world. I will list some below... (I'm not comparing which game is better, or advocating UO, but instead showing other means of achievements found in MMO's)

1. Veteran Rewards - This is a simple idea that shows a players age in the world, and the rewards were things that could be seen by other characters, such as special mounts.

2. Titles - Ultima Online had titles based off fame and karma. Your fame increased by the amount of monsters you killed, and your karma increased / decreased by your actions in the game, such as attacking another player.

3. Houses - I've never seen more unique player designs in a game than found in player created houses. Not only can players design their own home with walls, floors, & roofs, but they can decorate the inside as well to add even more customization.

4. Rare Items (not gear) - In World of Warcraft a "hard-to-get" item would be an epic piece of armor that would only be displayed on your character. In Ultima Online, you could also acquire rare items that were displayed in your home. The rare items offered no statistical bonus, but allowed players to display their achievements.

5. Character Customization - It's obvious that if you're not wearing a matching armor set in WoW, then chances are you look like a clown. In Ultima Online you could dye any piece of clothing to cover your armor. On top of that, you could purchase a special "neon" hair dye from a vendor for 500k, a substantial amount of gold at the time. The neon hair allowed players to display their "achievement" of 500k gold by dying their hair a special color.

6. Vendors - I know the auction house is a great idea, and adds to WoW's awesome accessibility, but it lacks the ability for a player to display achievements. In Ultima Online you could set your house to public and place vendors. This allowed some players to create grand shops known server-wide and were a great sign of accomplishment.

7. Crafting - World of Warcraft sort-of has this feature, but not to the extent of Ultima Online (and especially Star Wars Galaxies for that matter). In both games your name is attached to created items, but without a vendor option, there's not much notoriety on the items you create in WoW.

8. Guild Wars - (no this isn't referring to the game) In Ultima Online you could declare war on other guilds, this allowed achievements to players by defeating another guild on your server. The achievement was displayed through word-of-mouth, but it was still exhilarating to be in the winning guild in a war.

These are just some examples of accomplishments, other than gear, that can be displayed to peers in an online world. Looking at recent titles, such as LOTRO, you find "displayed accomplishments" are very popular. LOTRO has a simple "Titles" feature that allows players to earn a plethora of titles, some statistically advantageous, some just for show.

The reason the raiding feature in WoW was so popular pre-BC was because it was the only way to acquire a "displayed achievement" in World of Warcraft. I would like to see WoW, and other upcoming releases to learn from LOTRO and games before it that provided various means to display multitudes of achievements found throughout the game.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Long Weekend

I had a three day weekend due to Memorial Day, so I had planned to play WoW for the entire weekend, but that didn't go so well.

My dog of 10 years died Saturday morning, and my nephew that was visiting severely clogged the toilet in my new home. So between digging a hole in my back yard, funeral services, & pretending I was a plumber... I didn't get much WoW time.

I did play some, and it was mostly running people through VC on my level 60 Protection Paladin. I also convinced my brother to respec Frost on his level 70 Human Mage. We dueled immediately afterwards, and he came closer to beating me than he ever has, so he was hooked.

I have decided not to pursue Tailoring, since I can get decent gear from PvP. I know the gear won't be as good as raiding gear, but it has enough Stamina & Resilience to be competitive against other players.

I plan to run AB with a pre-made tonight, but getting my plumbing fixed so I can shower is #1 on my priority list at the movement. I'll update tomorrow if I get in WoW time in tonight, cross your fingers! ^^

Friday, May 25, 2007


I dueled an Arcane Fire Mage from my guild last night, and he was pretty confident he would win. I beat him the first time, and he asked for another duel, but wanted to wait for cooldowns. This was a thankful reminder of why I don't miss the Arcane Tree. I'm not saying Frost is not cooldown dependant, but I can still win fights without my Water Elemental & Ice Block.

We ended up dueling 5+ times, I lost count, but I won every duel. He said he was going to respec Frost, but I don't know if he was being facetious or not.

I noticed a cloth armor set that has the bonus of 20% extra damage to Arcane Blast. I wonder if that would be viable in any sort of PvP (keep in mind it increases the mana by 20% also).

I also dueled a Shadow Priest from the guild, and he won 2/5 duels. I notice Shadow Priest are hard to beat without Ice Block, but it's definitely do-able. I gave him some tips on beating Frost Mages when he complained about the Water Elemental, I told him to save his Fear and use it when the Water Ele spawns, since it's his only way of "locking" down the Ele.

I would like to thank Blizzard for taking another feature from the mod world, and that would be the ability to dismount by casting a spell. This is something that was long overdue, and I'm glad it's now default stuff. I wish casting a spell would cancel Ice Block, this would make Counter-Spelling a Warlock's Banish spell much easier. Warlocks ALWAYS go to Banish the Elemental right after you Ice Block, and I can usually cancel the Ice Block and Counter-Spell in time, which usually means a win. Sometimes I'm not fast enough though, maybe I need a macro! ^^

Alright, I've rambled enough. I'm now just waiting for the work email telling us to go home early for the holiday weekend! I'm going to grill out, drink beer, and play WoW all weekend! Ahh, good times! I hope everyone has a great weekend, see you all Tuesday!

Scryer / Aldor Rep Grind Information...

Maimed did a nice job on a Scryer / Aldor guide for gaining rep.
Please check it out...

Arena PvP = Fun Fun Fun!

I formed an arena team with some friends the other night. The team consist of a Shadow Priest, Feral Druid, & of course me, a Frost Mage.

We decided to only run 10 matches to see how we would do. I haven't PvP'd with either of them yet, and I was unsure of specific arena tactics. I thought we would do bad, but we ended up with 8 wins / 2 losses.

I figured that wasn't a bad start. We're waiting until an off-raid night to continue, since the Druid is in one of the top raiding guilds on the server.

I've decided to PvP for gear on Keystone, since it's what I love to do anyways. As for PvE, I'm going to be leveling my Druid, which is my second favorite class. He is currently 53, so not too far to go.

I'll keep updates on the arena team, but you can always look us up... "The Pizzeria Panda Bears" on Sargeras (yes, I came up with the name, sue me ^^)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

To Tailor or Not, That is the Question?

I'm contemplating dropping a profession on my level 70 Human Mage (Keystone) for Tailoring. I currently have Alchemy & Herbalism, both of which I enjoy. I am pretty much finished with raiding since I've been through that grind at 60 and I didn't enjoy the experience.

I figure there's only a few ways to get high quality gear, such as epics. The first option would be to start raiding with my guild, and my schedule won't allow for that. The second way is similar to the first, and that's by running heroics. To me it's just as time consuming as raiding, even if it's not with a large group of organized players, it's still a difficult task that requires planning and PvE effort.

The third way would be through PvP; the new arena system offers high quality equipment, and the BG equipment isn't that bad either. As the title of my blog imposes, I love to PvP. This seems the most attractive choice, but I would need to find some decent, active players for an arena team.

The last option is through Tailoring. There is a 3 piece set (BoP) that is epic quality with very nice stats. The problem is that it's only a 3 piece set, and from my search of the Internet last night I could not find any other epic quality BoP items that required Tailoring. The Spellstrike 2-piece set of head & legs can be worn by anyone since it's BoE, but it requires 350 Tailoring to receive the set bonus.

So it looks like I only miss out on 3 epics by not taking tailoring. I don't know if it's worth the grind from 0-375 for that. I would like to diversify my ways of achieving epics. Since I listed 4 methods, and the first two are out of the question, that leaves PvP & Tailoring.

Now my question to you, the readers... which skill would you drop to pick up Tailoring.... Alchemy or Herbalism?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Reserved Spot for Isthla's Pics

This post is being reserved for Isthla's pics of Keystone. The pics will be up here shortly; check back again soon. ^^

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shadow Labs Loot & Quest Rewards

I cleaned up from one run of Shadow Labs last night. I had only planned on getting the key fragment, loot was not my priority. I ended up with the loot seen in the screenshot. Two of the items came from the bosses in Shadow Labs, the other two came from quest completed in SL, and the head piece came from a Slave Pens quest. I would of had the Incanter's Gloves as well, but my Priest friend is new to the game and didn't realize the gloves were from the Mage set; it's no biggie because I think the set sucks, and I would rather get the Warlock set anyways ^^

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Darkfall Online

This video sums up why the only game I'm waiting for is Darkfall Online...

I'm level 70, now what?

I started the Kara Attunement last night, and I probably shouldn't have. I know this is how it starts, I've been there before with MC & BWL *sigh*.

I like that Blizzard added new ways of getting good gear, other than raiding. I thought about tailoring, but it's such a large gold investment, I don't know if I could keep up.

I think I might just retire Keystone into Battlegrounds since I love PvP, and the rewards aren't that bad. I'm also considering an Arena team if I can find some decent players.

Besides Keystone, I have multiple Alts that need attention. The influx of Paladins have made me want to play my (60) Paladin again, but I know I was burnt out at 60, and will be at 70...

My (53) Druid is my next highest character, and I LOVE the Druid class. I think this would be the safest bet, but I have a commitment with my third Alt...

My (38) Warlock had four IRL friends contribute a TON of mats to get his Tailoring / Enchanting up to 300. I have to get him to 50 so he can hit 375 in both professions. I kind of already committed to that.

So, even if I want to level my Druid, I have to get my Lock to level 50 first. Who knows, I might get the Warlock to 50 and decide it's the class I want as a secondary LvL 70 (Mage will ALWAYS be my main ^^)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Well as the pictures below entail, I've hit level 70 and now have "Spellsteal". The basic stats are...

Instant Cast
649 Mana
0.0 Cooldown (none)
"Steals one [random] beneficial magic effect from the target, the buff last 2m on the Mage that steals the buff." (not the exact quote)

The first thing I tried it on was a Warp Stalker outside of Shatterah, and wouldn't you know I get a 10% speed increase buff, which last 2 minutes!!!

The only downside I can see to this spell is the mana consumption. This is not intended to drain a person completely of their buffs, but to steal essential ones instead, like Arcane Power. The co-effiecent spell, "Detect Magic" only takes about 50 mana, so you can see if they have any buffs worth stealing prior to waisting 649 mana.

I dueled my brother, who also just hit 70 on his Human Mage. I sheeped him (Spellsteal doesn't break sheep) and took all his buffs, but I was at 20% mana by the time I had taken them all. I did steal his Arcane Power & PoM during one duel, and I was able to get some insane damage with AP.

I'm going to test Spellsteal tonight in battlegrounds and will post more later.


Friday, May 11, 2007

FFA Server Solution...

WoWInsider posted a Breakfast Topic about FFA servers. (
I wanted to share my reply to the post here...

"World of Warcraft is my 19th MMO, and I've always played on the PvP servers of every game I've played (FFA if they had them).

You would be surprised at how well behaved people are on a FFA server, there just isn't room for idiots to misbehave.The reason people act stupid is because there is no repercussion for it, but when players are able to police their own actions, a level of conformity takes place.

I posted an idea on my blog awhile back about a PK system. This system would allow players to attack their own faction members, but only up to 5 times before becoming "red", aka a murderer.Upon becoming "red" you could no longer communicate with your own faction as they would be enemies to you, but you could however, communicate with other "red" players, regardless of their faction. Alliance & Horde murderers grouping together.

There would be a few outpost placed in the world for "red" players to bank & commerce, but this would in a sense create a 3rd faction.To allow random players that want to rid themselves of a ninja, or avenge a fellow player, the "murder counts" would expire after 40 hours of game play. So as long as someone didn't go on a murderous rampage, they could still participate in a random justice kill.

I'm sure old gamers already recognize this system from Ultima Online, but I found the system worked well. The murderers banded together just as the "blues" aka non-murderers did.I think a server like this would allow people the FFA server they want, but restricting chaos by enforcing consequences for attacking your own faction."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Shadowy Figure...

There I was walking through the dark forest of Duskwood when it hit me like a ton of bricks; that stare, coming from the bushes. The eyes were glowing like a set of stars amongst the shadowy backdrop of the night sky.

"Psst, do you see that?", I questioned Nyssah, my Druid companion.

"What are you stammering about?" she replied.

"Shhh...don't look now, but there's a creature stalking us from the bushes over yonder", I whispered.


"Ouch! Why'd you hit me!?", I yelled, unable to keep my voice down, and alerting the creature.

"That's just Nessiah in cat form, don't be such a noggen-fogger!", she exclaimed.

How silly of me to not realize it was only Nessiah, our Druid friend in cat form in the bushes. She had come to meet us there in Duskwood to help with a package we were given by the Magistrate of Darkshire to deliver to Stormwind. But just as I thought things had calmed down I heard a voice from behind us...

"Hey guys, sorry I'm late, you two ready to travel to Stormwind?" Nessiah said as she tried to catch her breath.

Nyssah and myself slowly turned towards each other in a gasping open stare. We knew Nessiah stood behind us, but then who was the creature in the bushes ahead...?

The sting came quick, two figured appeared before us in a stammered glowing-red rage!

"Runnnnnn!" Yelled Nessiah, apparently spotting them while Nyssah & myself stood in a daze.

Alas, it was too late, the Orc Hunter seemed like a giant standing over our blood soaked bodies. It was the hunter's pet wolf that had been in the bushes. The guilt felt like a cold water fall flowing down my spine; it was my fault my two Druid friends were about to die.

As I lay there I waiting for the death-blow, I whispered to my Druid companions, "don't worry, I have a plan".

Would my plan arrive in time thou? Time was of the essence, and my plan was nowhere in sight...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Awesome Read!!!

This is a long post, and slightly old, but it's so true and I can relate after spending 10+ years in MMO's...

Invisibility & Ice Lance... oh my!

I'm now level 68, and I have both Ice Lance (66) and Invisibility (68). I wanted to share my thoughts on the two spells...

I'll start with Ice Lance since I did get it earlier at level 66; the spell is instant cast, about 144 mana, and does roughly 250 dmg (with my modifiers). The niche to this spell is that it does 3x damage on frozen targets, and if you stack that with a Frost Mage's typical 50% chance to crit on frozen targets... my Ice Lance is doing upwards of 1600 damage crits on Frozen Targets.

That's a whole lotta damage for only 144 mana, and instant cast! Also, another nice thing about Ice Lance is that it stacks up the talent "Winter's Chill" on the target, making it easier than ever to get the debuff stacked 5x on a target (5x = 10% crit bonus)

On to Invisibility... I must admit at first I was skeptical of the spell since I didn't see any initial use, but boy was I wrong! You know how Rogues & Hunters can Vanish / Feign Death when things go bad in an instance...? Well you can now add Mages to that category too! This weekend I had a lackluster group of some mediocre players and we kept wiping. Well, after a few times of this I decided I wasn't going to take another death, so once we lost the tank & healer, I Frost Nova'd the group of mobs and Blinked away. I then cast Invisibility (takes 5 seconds of not getting hit, but you can move around during this time, as it's instant cast) and I keep moving away from the mobs while I waited for the Invis to kick in, and *Poof* I'm gone! The mobs stopped targeting me, and I was out of combat.

I wish I add engineering to attempt a Goblin Jumper Cable res, but I can't live without my Alchemy. ^^

Also, as for PvP, with the Arcane talent Improved Counter-Spell, you can get away from almost anyone. For example, imagine that you're tired and here comes that pesky Shaman, and you don't feel like fighting. As he is approaching, just use Counter-Spell and silence him for 4 seconds, then immediately cast Polymorph, Blink away, then cast Invisibility. You can then run in any direction freely for 20 seconds. When the duration is up, just mount and be on your marry way, weeee!

I did this to a level 70 Undead Mage over the weekend that landed his flying mount next to me and activated Arcane Power... poor guy must have felt silly as I waltzed away in a cloud of disappearing smoke! ~Keystone

Monday, May 7, 2007

Phew...close one!

Yes, I used my cooldowns, but this was a level 70...
Anyways, It was just a friendly duel, but I thought it was funny how close it was. You can see the HP, or lack thereof, in the screenshot. I won't go into details, it was a quick fight.
I played with invisibility this weekend and I'd like to write some thoughts about it, but I'll save that for my next post.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fun with Addons!

Back in the day I would mod my WoW to hell and back, but I grew tired of updating after each patch. It's been over a year since I've had a mod (Carnival PvP Enemy Cast Bar), but the other night I grew tired of trying to decode post on Allakhazam about quest locations.

My goal was to download only something that told me cords, but I ended up with a whole lot more...

I downloaded the following mods...

Cartographer - A great map mod that allows other users of the mod to share their learned locations. Also, guild mates can see each other's location on the map, even while ungrouped.

Titan Bar - This one is self explanatory since a ton of people have it, but for those that don't, this mod places an informational bar at the top of your screen that displays useful information.

Natur PvP Castbar - This is like my old Carnival cast bar, only better. This mod lets you see any spell being cast near you, and also shows the cool-downs of people you target. This mod is a must for any serious PvP'er.

Auctioneer - This mod is even more self explanatory than Titan Bar. This mod is widely known, but just in case you live in your mother's basement and share a WoW account with your Uncle Leeroy, then I'll explain. This mod scans the auction house and remembers prices for you. This is helpful when you're out in the world and need a price check. This mod also sets a posting price at 5% below the lowest priced item of that type already on the AH. This is nice since A) It makes sure your items almost always sells, and B) It does all the math for you, and who really likes math anyways?

CT Mail Mod - This is a simple mod that manages your mail for you. The best feature of this mod is that it lets you do mass mailing without getting carpel tunnel. You can mail multiple items in one letter, but you still have to pay the regular postage fee, and the receiving person receives the items in multiple letters.

I did not download any UI's since I've never found a need for them. I have key-bindings set for almost all the spells I cast, so I don't need to improve the area to 'click' on since I never click anything .

I might still get Telo's Lootlink if it's still active, and maybe a bag mod since those look nice. Any suggestions on a bag mod, I know there's a couple popular ones out there right now...