Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 Reasons Wrath of the Lich King Excites Me

I know, I know.  Five things don't sound like very much, but honestly when sitting down to think about things, I couldn't think of a full ten that either haven't already been covered already or aren't that exciting anymore (e.g. talents and spells are already being experienced).  I mean, sure, I'll probably roll a death knight within the first week.  But it's not one of the more exciting things in Wrath.  Plus, this blog is supposed to be more or less about casual playing (casual raiding, specifically), so I want to hit on things that interest me as a casual player.

5. New Gear!

I'm not just talking about stuff with stats on it... I mean... That's pretty cool too, in fact, many classes are going to be itemizing completely differently from what we did in TBC. For priests part, I'm not in the beta so I can't be certain, but from what I've seen, it looks like int, crit, mp5 might take priority over all the spirit we're now using. Like I said, not positive, because we still get an awful lot from spirit, but the mechanics of shadowfiend and replenishment... and... hell... practically every other mana regen effect in the game now goes off of a percentage of your mana. This means the more mana you have, the more you get out of these effects. But also, we're travelling into a different land, something completely different from vanilla WoW and TBC. This new place has a bunch of Norse influence, so I'm looking forward to the weapon/armor designs that are coming up.

4. New Storylines

Some of them don't sound too interesting. DEHTA... really? But besides that... the Forsaken having a huge role? That's awesome. My very favorite race is the Forsaken, and Sylvanas is bad ass. Have you all seen her new look? I'm thouroughly impressed and excited that they brought her back to her Dark Ranger looks, instead of the rediculous Night Elf thing that she was. Besides that, though, they seem to be using this expac to go back to the roots of what Warcraft is: a game that is steeped in incredible lore. For TBC, they had to more or less pull some things out of their ass. I personally don't see why the horde got the blood elves. I mean, my main is a blood elf, but I thought it was a horrible twist of the lore in order for it to happen. And the draenei? What dev thought of that? All that aside, what I'm looking forward to is a return to the incredible lore that WoW is based on.

3. New Raids

This is in the middle of the list for me because, honestly, I haven't raided that much and I don't suppose I know what I'm missing. From a story stand-point I feel like such a heel for not ever doing Tempest Keep, Serpent Shrine, Black Temple, Sunwell, or Mount Hyjal. Especially Mount Hyjal. I probably will never experience these places that are so rich with story. Now we're getting more raids dealing with things Lich Kingy... and I wants them. I wants them bad.

2. New Mechanics

Specifically, new raid mechanics.  I'll be the first to admit that I didn't get to do that many raids, but the few that I did get to do were incredibly fun.  Why? Because each boss fight had its own set of mechanics that you had to know or be screwed.  And when the raid all knew what to do, it acted like a well-oiled machine.  And half the fun about that is learning how to become that well-oiled machine.  Sometimes there are wipes on the way to that, but its fun getting there (20 g repair bills and 2 hours worth of corpse running aside).  I'm looking forward to new raids with new boss mechanics to learn about.  I've already begun reading up on boss strategies for Naxx.  Maybe this is cheating, but I'm hoping that I can take those 20 gold down to 10.

1. Non/Heroic Raids

This, above everything else, goes the furthest to reaching out to casual players like myself in this expansion.  I suppose I could have joined a more hardcore raiding guild, but honestly, I don't have the time to devote to that.  So there is a lot of game content that I couldn't see.  A lot of stories that I couldn't see.  This is all going to change, though.  In Wrath, every raid.  Every raid will be 10-mannable.  I've been more excited about this than absolutely every other change that's coming along.  This is so exciting to me that I can barely hold myself back from squealing like a girl.  If only they had done it before... I could have been able to see Illidan, Kael'thas, or Vashj.  But that's okay.  Because I'll be able to kill Arthas.  He is probably the single most horrid character in all of video gamedom.  And in my head (not outloud, my guildies would make fun of me) I will be celebrating his death.  I will mentally be screaming "For Sylvanas! For King Menethil!" as I take all of his glorious loots.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friends and the Game

There is a major problem that I have experienced many times during mystint as a WoW player (since Nov 06). I began playing with an even more casual attitude than I have now. I didn't have a single max-level character until about two weeks after patch 2.4 came out. I know right? What the hell is wrong with me? Since then, though, I have had some problems. The thing about a game, MMOs specifically is that they are people based. It doesn't matter if you say that the primary reason you play a game (any game) for the single player game; games are created under the assumption that, at some point, more than just one person will go into the doings of the game. Okay, that's probably incredibly too broad, but it's generally the truth. Sorry, back to WoW, the reason you're here.

I became a member of this guild, still my favorite guild I've ever been in, called Show us Your Crits. I know, classy, right? Well the purpose of the guild wasn't pvp or raiding or anything specifically. It was just a bunch of people that have been playing since the game's inception who wanted to play with friends. These people quickly became some of my best friends and I just couldn't stay away from the game, not to play necessarily, but to be able to talk to friends. I became frustrated though, I could tell that I had some modicum of talent in my class of choice and wanted to try a little something harder, so I ended up pugging many Kara runs. These runs were largely successful, and I soon had so many invites from various raiding guilds that my head was spinning. I didn't want to leave my some of my best friends, though, and here is my problem.

Should I stay with the people that have helped me enjoy my time on WoW?


Should I seek greener pastures and ultimately more bad-ass lootz?

I suppose it looks like I'm probably priveleging one over the other, but I'm really not. This is a question that truly bothered me for months, because while I love my guild and I love the people and I love the things they were doing, it was filled with too many lazy people to actually progress anywhere (e.g. 5 hour Kara stints wiping on trash countless times). So I've thought to myself that this is probably a problem that keeps most casual players from starting to do the things that will actually help them enjoy the game.

The thing about being a casual player is that your allegiance ultimately goes to your life. Your children, your job, your spouse, or your real-life friends are all, in a major way, more important to you than the progression of a game. So you think that you don't have the time or the ability to commit to a regular progression/farming schedule. Therefore, you, the average casual player, tend to stick to a guild because you have friends in the guild. You see that leaving them would be likened to treason.

My answer to this question is: TAKE BOTH. Okay, I suppose you people haven't figured out how to clone your characters yet, but I'll come down to your level and pretend that I *can't*. Your character is not you. You are the person talking to those people not your character. I love the people I met in Crits (in fact, I have the guild leader's cellphone number and she is quickly becoming one of my best and closest friends), but I can just as easily keep in contact on other characters. Other characters which I am attempting to level so that I can start actually doing things with these guys again (I just despise levels 40-45 and 50-55). My main, though, transfered to a new server where I was gladly accepted, and have been raiding ever since. Kara, ZA, Gruul, Mag all down. And I'm fine with the fact that all I do is 10-mans and the easy 25-mans. It can become more than I can handle with just those.

Coming Soon: Things that excite me about WotLK!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

1st Post!

Welcome to A Casual Encounter.  Sounds dirty, doesn't it?  Let me get started with the basics:  my name is Garry.  I play World of Warcraft.  Surprisingly, this doesn't mean I don't have a life.  I go to school as a full time student.  I am an English major, with an emphasis on creative writing.  I hope to be a poet someday.  Probably not a very good one, but if I can teach a little and get some poems published, I'll be happy.  I also work.  Twenty hours a week I work at a library where I help my students learn to read, obtain their GED, or obtain citizenship.  The rest of my time is spent studying, writing, talking to my boyfriend, helping my parents run our family restaurant, and playing World of Warcraft.  The reason I started this blog was twofold.

I want to talk about the things I read.  I read a bunch of blogs... most of them I agree with (why else would I read them?).  Sometimes I just like to talk about things.  World of Matticus, World of Snarkcraft, WoWInsider (I may have stolen the name of the blog... I need to check on that and change the name if that is the case.  Stay tuned, I don't like the possibility of lawsuits), and etc.  are written by wonderfully talented people.  Yet, the problem I see is that most of them are hardcore raiders.  Which brings me to my second point...

I want to talk about raiding as a casual player.  Casual players have a lot of things that they have to deal with.  Work, school, family--Life in general plays a huge part in what they do, but, as Jov said in a recent World of Snarkcraft article casual players "aren't stupid." And I'm not.  I don't want to toot my own horn, but I haven't found many priests on my server that can do what I do as well as I do.  I've been on PuG runs with T6 geared priests that have been amazed at how well I could do with the resources I have available to me.  I don't have the time or the resources to be able to do T6 raids, and, to me, having fun with a group of people I like is better than playing a game that feels like an occupation.  And takes about as much time.  I don't know how much I'll actually be able to talk about.  Hopefully this doesn't turn in to me talking about my personal life too much.  However, being primarily about casual players, stuff will get introduced every now and then.


My character:  Myssidia, level 70 Blood Elf Priest.  Kirin Tor server.  

Yes... that is one green and one blue.  The rest are epics.  That should show that I am at least somewhat devoted to what I do.  =]  That's all for tonight.  Soon: My first serious post!