Saturday, 12 December 2009

playing at roleplaying

When Megeara was just a young warlockess in her mid 40's she switched servers to follow her toyboy, a lithe young Orc who promised to take her up the wailing caverns and show her the time of her unlife.

Little did she know that the fit teen would become a porky crime-lord and confirmed ladyboy afficionado, eventually succumbing entirely to the debached lure of the pleasure pits of Silvermoon.

Yep, Meg had joined an RP server (or arrr-pee as the pirates say). She gained a backstory and became a blood dancer in the service of Lady Sylvanas. She ran slaves the length of Stranglethorn and presided over gnomish gimp fights in Gurubashi arena.

Eventually she rose high in the opinions of the great and good of the server, and even represented her guild in the high council of the Blood Pact. The fat orc became Guild Leader. All was well in ye landes of Azeroth.

And then the lich king struck. It wasn't the zombie plague, or even the frozen northern lands that caused our downfall. No, it was the curse of accessible raiding.

Most of the senior members of the RP guilds went off raiding the exciting new dungeons of Northrend. In order to progress, they joined Proper Raiding Guilds who had no time for the thees and thous. No time for a bit of casual erp in the Silvermoon pleasure pits. No time even for gimp fights. Our guild withered to a rump of a few people who weren't online much. You can't RP or raid with folk who aren't there.

So what went wrong? Actually I don't think that anything did. It's just that roleplaying in WoW is less interesting than raiding. Mostly I RP in wow when there's nothing better to do. Outside of WoW it's a different story. Last year I had the dubious honour of being named 'roleplayer of the year' by my pencil-and-paper gaming group (a rare example of being both a winner and a loser at the same time).

I think that the difference is that WoW role-playing has no effect whatever on your character. Your character doesn't get better items or improve their stats, or get richer in WoW through RP. And it doesn't affect the world, which is essentially static (there's a fine article about Azerothian Physics which bears this out). It is just mental masturbation, without the payoff.

Whereas in p-n-p roleplaying you really are playing characters in a story which may change the game world, and will certainly change your character, even to the point of perma-death. The Story is the point.

I don't really see how you can create Story in a static world, except to use it as a backdrop, and then you may as well be playing p-n-p.

All of which is to explain why, despite being a role-player for over a quarter of a century, I can't be arsed to RP in WoW, and am much happier down a dungeon doing my l337 DPS and picking up purples.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Decisions, decisions.

Last time we were in Ulduar, I managed to pick up this rather lovely staff. But wait, for all it's loveliness, it has no +hit on it. This rather sucks, because I'm a bit low on +hit. Even wasting 3 precious talent points on suppression I'm barely hit capped, and everyone says that hit capping is the best thing since slice'n dice'd murlocks.

So what to do? In the end, I went down to Usuri Brightcoin in the sewers. With the stench of Dalaran's ordure in my nostrils, I held my nose and converted all of my shiny Emblems of Conquest, and even a few of my gleaming Emblems of Triumph into 40 dowdy old Emblems of Valor. It hurt, I can tell you, but I got a pair of sturdy-looking boots which almost made up for the hit I was losing.

I'm saddened by the fact that looking like Putress will now take rather longer, but at least I'm nearly out of my crafted welfare epics. And I've now got 20K hit points. Yay for being less squishy. Only that dratted wand to lose now.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

I, Locktard

(h/t to I Deathtard for the title). One of the things that I've noticed about raiding is how incredibly squishy I am. My life, and frequently the lives of those around me, tend to hang in the balance just waiting for someone to make a mitake. So here, in no particular order are Megeara's list of Things Not To Do In Ulduar:
  • Do not stand too close to XT-002's boombots whilst you are AOE'ing. Unsurprisingly they go boom.
  • Do not stand too far away from Ignis's guardians. When they charge, it hurts.
  • Wait until a tank has aggro'd (aggroed?) a Dark Rune Guardian before pew pew'ing it.
  • Do not AOE Freya's Detonating Lashers. The hint is in the name.
  • Do not fall into Kologarn's hole. Oerr, missus.
I am sure there will be more.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Performance problems

It's a funny thing, performance. Last time we were there, the first two bosses in Trial of the Crusaders went down (fairly) easily. We were trashed by Varian Wrynn's hand-picked heroes, it's true, but the Beasts of Northrend and Lord Jaraxxus died helpfully beneath my flaming blasts of chaos. Pew pew! And we got Emblems of Triumph.

Tonight was different. We wiped repeatedly on the Jormungar, until with practice, we managed to wipe repeatedly on the previous boss, Gormok the Impala instead. We just sucked. Mind you, we had a different raid composition and were down one warlock (only two warlocks in a 10-man group, tut, tut). We couldn't do a thing right. The tanks died repeatedly. The healers died in pairs. One time I had the poison debuff on me, and ran to what I thought was someone with the fire buff on, which turned out to be someone in exceptionally glowy armour. So we both died. It was carnage. Our skeletons were piled high, and I'm sure that Varian Wrynn was laughing behind his hand at us. No Emblems, no phat lewt, no Triumph.

And I loved every minute of it.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Be careful what you wish for

So, we went back to Ulduar last night. We went into the Antechamber and I died a lot. I never realised just how squishy I was until I started raiding.

I spent most of the fight with Aurayia dead, but still managed to get the worlds silliest shoulders. They look like a pair of steaming hams on my bony undead shoulders. They are Just Ridiculous, but a significant upgrade for Megeara. They're sufficiently absurd that one of the other warlocks kept wanting them for RP purposes (yes we have 3 warlocks in a 10-man raid. So what. You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many warlocks).

Where we came unstuck was Freya. Not only did we not really know the strategy, but our DPS wasn't up to killing the waves of mobs before the next wave hit. And we didn't down the glowy trees fast enough, and the adds kept resurrecting and we kept wiping. It was all a bit depressing, so just to finish off, we went back and killed Ignis with no problems. It's always nice to end on a high note.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Back to business

It's all been a bit quiet for the past few weeks, but now the summer break is over, the kids are back at school, and everyone's hunkered down in front of their screens waiting for global warming/climate change to freeze them in. And that means that it's time to go raiding again! My raid group now has Naxx pretty much on farm status, so we've progressed a bit. Last night we hit Trial of the Crusader (a first for most people) and Ulduar (a first for me).

Trial of the Crusader

I'm the first to admit that the rationale for TotC is pretty silly. As Tamarind pointed out, why would you want all your best fighters killing each other, rather than killing the scourge. Still, when all's said and done I'm not much of a lore geek, and it drops some phat lewt. When I say it drops good loot, I mean for other people, obviously, since I'm still in tatty looking ilevel 200 stuff whilst everyone and his dog who have been pugging heroics are in shiny new ilevel 245 gear. Not that I mind really except when the Leet Warlock shows off his steaming new shoulders to me, and tops me in the DPS meters.

That all sounds a little grumpy, but I'm not really. What I really like is experiencing new content and the gear is really just a means to an end. This was particularly apparent in the Trial of the Crusader.

We downed the Beasts of Northrend, after wiping a couple of times on the Jormungar. The consensus was that we needed to down Acidmaw first and stay close enough for the healers to get to everyone. After that it wasn't too tricky.

Lord Jaraxxus went down in a couple of tries, after our off-tanks understood just how fickle the Mistresses of Pain were. There was lots of high level discussion about taunting and healing as well, which, as a simple DPS, I largely ignored. I just wanted to be able to summon him myself! We got the usual plate healing gear for disenchanting and I lost a roll for a l337 ring.

This was all well and good, so we were feeling pretty cocky when we met the faction champions. Where we were unceremoniously handed our asses on a plate. I've never been a terribly good PvP'er, and this had very much the feel of being ganked in Stranglethorn by a gang of higher level characters. I haven't PvP'd in a while, and all my buttons were in the wrong places. I was stunlocked by the rogue and with a resilience of 0, swiftly had my forsaken face pushed into the dirt. As Heidegger would have said, this finite determination of undeath achieved its own definition. If he played WoW.

And to top it all off, Varian Wrynn called us scrubs! Frankly I'm surprised that he didn't come down to /spit and teabag us.


On to Ulduar. I've never been there before, but you can see that a fair amount of love has been lavished on the place. I'm not an enormous fan of vehicle quests in general, but watching iron dwarf minions being crushed beneath the tracks of my lumbering great tank was a lot of fun. We didn't do any of the hard modes or anything and the Flame Leviathan went down, even though I briefly disconnected in the middle. Hmm. Perhaps I wasn't entirely crucial to the whole affair...

Anyway on XT-002 I was assigned to AoEing the adds, plus my usual nuking. They all blew up in a very satisfying manner, and gave my cold dead heart a little lift. Why does a big metal monster sound like a little girl though? What with his heart popping in and out I found it all rather surreal. It went down though. No! No! No! No! No!

It was getting late by then, so after we wiped a couple of times on Ignis, we called it a night. I'm pleased that we've made the move to Ulduar, since it means that I might actually get my hands on a decent wand and get my Epic achievement.

Monday, 17 August 2009

N00b Raider Alert!

Its been a while since I last posted. It's this damned idleness, you see. I just can't shake it off. Megeara is now level 80 and raiding Naxx-10 on a fairly regular basis. As a result, she's now decked out in pretty purplez right down to her wand. Well, actually except her wand. I'm still waiting for the Wand of the Archlich to drop.

So, from being the world's worst PvP'er, I am now one of the world's worst raiders. I can barely get above 2K DPS on bosses, I invariably die during Heigan's safety dance (I should probably take my hat off), and periodically my imp takes it upon himself to attack random groups of monsters because my tab-targeting has gone wrong.

However on the plus side, I try to be punctual, read up on the encounters, and make sure that I'm appropriately begemmed, beglyphed, beflasked and befooded (befooded?). I've loaded DBM, and I'm rather enjoying myself. I can see why people get hooked on it, and I think if I wasn't burdened down with the drudgery of home and family life, I'd be hardcore, man.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Third (and final) Impressions

So Megeara has finally dinged 80. I've taken a long time, and effectively levelled through the whole of Northrend without setting foot inside an instance. This is basically because I'm a total slacker, but also because I've been levelling Nidhoggur, my holy priest, of whom more at a later date.

I found levelling a bit slower than the Burning Crusade, which isn't a bad thing, as I vastly prefer levelling to dailies. And many of the quests were pretty inventive - unlike some other people, I enjoyed the Wrathgate event, and having Arthas pop up periodically.

High Points for me:

Warning: some assembly required

I loved this quest. controlling abominations and then exploding them in showers of blood guts and filth to kill off some folk you've never heard of. What's not to like?

Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven?

It would have been fantastic to be able to join Grand Alchemist Putress in betraying both the Horde and the Alliance at the Wrathgate. I'm not asking for the forsaken to become a whole new faction (though that would be great) but it would have been nice to pick sides in the retaking of the undercity. I'm on an RP realm, and Megeara is an undead alchemist. I want to be Putress, damn it! Mind you, it appears that I'll be able to wear his armour, even if I have to kill Yogg-saron himself for the shoulders. And why does he have a girl's name?

I'm sure there's more, but those two stick in my mind.