Saturday, January 24, 2009

WoW MMO: The Dance of Death?

I'm not so crude that I would urinate from up here....ok..I am.

While the title of this particular entry seems dramatic, the truth of the matter is more of an epic fail than anything else. In truth today has been rather slow for me both in World of Warcraft and out in the real world. I'm going to hop around each subject briefly today due to the fact I rather not get into some type of serious philosophical discussion today.

I got to level 10 last night with my Blood Elf Rogue, Ahrimin.(The name Danshir is already me..don't ask. =*( . ) Since I had not previously viewed whatever changes to the talents that rogues get since a few months prior to Wrath of the Lich King, I may have squealed a bit in glee at some of the changes made to pre-existing talents and of course the new abilities.

Dual wield specialization a tier 1 combat? <3

The only change I didn't like was the move of relentless strikes to the subtlety tree. While I know others may have been overjoyed by it, I'm personally not a big fan of PvP in World of Warcraft nor of the subtlety tree itself. Other than that however I was quite eager to go ahead and spend a few thousand gold on trying different talent builds.(To date, I have spent over 3578+ gold. I didn't start keeping record of it until a few months after I started WoW at it's initial release date. If you count in how much I've spent on respecs for both my rogue and hunter...well.. it's too much.)

After that I decided to look up WoWhead's talent builder and just goof off with some potential ideas. While people can "theorycraft" all damn day, in truth what looks good on paper may be horrid in use. Still I made some builds to work towards and I'll make any changes as needed. If you want to check them out and scoff at my "noob" ability you may.(Remember, I've not played a rogue since..uhh..last year. So please, be gentle.)

Combat Sword Build

Mutilate PvE Build

After that I decided to go look into this year's Lunar Festival. I really wanted to level, however my wife wasn't really in the mood to play so I was left to doing things that didn't involve reaping the exp. (So I've been leveling professions, getting out of the way flight paths(I hate you ThunderBluff), and playing the auction house. Oh joy.) When I went over to Moonglade after the initial festival quest...I recalled something I probably should have considered before translocating myself..

I'm on a PvP server.

Instantly I was surrounded by level 80 characters with BIG scarlet letters that proclaimed my imminent release from this mortal coil. Or quite simply...

I was screwed.

No one attacked me however. So I quietly walked over to the pillar of light that would take me over to Orgrimmar so I could pick up some additional flight paths.(I'm so exciting! /sarcasm) That's of course when an Night Elf Hunter ran up to me. Judging by the skull on his portrait I decided my chances were null and void. Yet this particular human being(By this I mean the player...) challenged me in a way where the competition would be fair.

A dance off.

The Battle of the Century

I had to chuckle at this. It was one of those situations that you knew would turn out badly, yet fate threw you a curve ball only to shatter any assumption you may have had. After a few minutes of dancing while alt+tabbing out to work on both this site and NegativeGamer, I decided I would go ahead and leave...well..that's what I TRIED to do.

But this happened instead.

You knew it was going to happen.

So I got ambushed by some Rogue that apparently didn't appreciate my dancing ability. What a way to end the day eh?

On as positive note I only saw one Chuck Norris joke the whole day.

For today's discussion if you're so inclined, is to talk about what keeps you in whatever MMO you happen to play after you've already met the level cap. Is it the "lust" for additional loot? PvP content? Simply talking and chatting with friends?


Friday, January 23, 2009

The MMO Virus: Blogging

If you came here looking for some more pictures of me falling to my death, I suggest you go read some old posts. I don't blame you for wanting to cackle in glee as I showcase my agility at ramming my skull into the earth. That tendency of mine will hopefully end before I make it over to Thousand Needles. Though I do have something evil in mind to foil the next suicide attempt by going into engineering and picking up a parachute cloak.

Brief nerd info: Parachute comes from both a French word with a Latin prefix. Para meaning "counter" and chute meaning "fall".


What I wanted to talk about today is the "art" of blogging or having a website in general. I feel like a virus.
Let me go through this analogy with you. People make blogs to be heard, to tell others their opinions about whatever subject that particular blog focuses on. Success or survival of a blog is to continue to grow in terms of viewers, and to continue that growth until it reaches critical mass. Like a virus, I want my website to spread everywhere, to "infect" people into becoming non-readers into...well readers.

Of course to be a successful "virus" you have to be different than all the other viruses out there, or you'll be eradicated. There are so many more analogies you can throw in here, the electronic "survival of the fittest" so to speak when it comes to having a successful webpage. I'm not claiming my website is a success story however.

I'm still infecting people.

I would love to look back at this page a year from now and say " Wow, look at my evil empire."

The "infection" is the greatest part of the success of a webpage. How quickly you spread the word about your website, how well you keep reader's interests, and by doing so well your current readers cannot help but talk about you to non-readers. Without one of these you won't do too much outside of a few personal friends visiting your site.

Without all three you're doomed to mediocrity.

Of course I have a heavy dose of ignorance when it comes to those three key elements. I'm still fresh, young, naive, and insane so instead of yelling across the globe with a great thunderclap " Here I am, read my stuff cause I think I'm spiffy!" I do a small cough to get your attention and mutter something about pie.(That probably would get my attention rather quickly if that happened..)

I bet you're wondering why I'm rambling on so. This epiphany came to me while performing my customer service duties for my day job. And being the nerd that I am, the whole similarity between trying to build a successful webpage/blog and a virus stuck me as somewhat insightful.
So with that in mind I wanted to talk about it as I happen to have such a webpage that is still in it's growing pains.


I guess my goal is to go from being a small cold to being a world wide epidemic that causes mass hysteria and panic. Much like the Scourge in World of Warcraft.(Ha! It's MMO related now!) So eventually I hope to have legions of people all chanting..

"For Danshir.." in guttural zombie speech, and I frankly don't think that is too much to ask. Especially since the Zombie Revolution will be coming along any day now...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An MMO Experience: Stab?

Stabbing a tree in the face..I'm a genius

First off let me explain. I tried playing a priest, I truly did. Yet my eye started to twitch. Maybe it was dealing with people all day on the phone that made the urge to start stabbing people, or maybe the fact I can't escape the class that I first stuck with back when World of Warcraft was first released.

I made a rogue.(Not a rouge, for the love of Zeus people...)

I think part of the blame lies with the "Craft of War:Blind" video. As nerdy as it may sound I really wanted to remake my old combat spec'ed rogue after watching that. So I quickly moved what little I had from my priest to my rogue and began to play. The transformation was to me phenomenal. I had mentioned that I dislike the lower levels of World of Warcraft, which is almost polar opposite of how most people view it. The reason that I had such distaste for the lower level content is simply the lack of abilities/spells one has access too. Well one reason.

It feels as if each class is basically the same at this particular point in the game. However what makes this so unique is I didn't feel that way playing the rogue. Perhaps it was the speed of the combat as I eviscerated my foes with my dagger.(Yuck. I hate daggers so bloody much..) So in essence I had an enjoyable experience playing WoW tonight. There are a few note worthy events I shall share against my better judgement.

I'll make it this time!

I decided I would try once more prove I was a paragon of jumping into a large body of water. Yet my fate was yet again sealed upon pressing my space bar..


While you enjoy my personal humiliation(again) I did notice a few slight changes in World of Warcraft that I had missed previously. One was the improvement upon the Mining profession. I don't know when this change took effect, but instead of having to flail away several times to get all those precious ores, you get it all in one "hit". It was as if *gasp* Blizzard wasn't trying to waste my time with menial tasks! The next thing I noticed was another Blood Elf racial ability, magic resistance. Instead of just giving resistance to all schools of magic as it did previously when I played, it now increases the chance of spells missing you by 2%. A neat change, but nothing special.

However not all was fine and dandy in Azeroth...

Yeah..Subscription MMO players are ..uhh..mature

I had done probably the one thing that would make me desperately want to log off and never play again. I had ventured into a capital city. Immediately I was swarmed with mindless stupidity of Chuck Norris jokes, racism, and the "Insert the word anal in conjunction with a random ability/spell". Now correct me if I'm wrong, but these people are the ones that complain that the MT/F2P MMOs player populations are too "immature"?

So I threw an axe, and it a ghost...wait..

That makes as much sense as the above picture. While there certainly are more players that are younger than the players in subscription MMOs, I would hazard a guess that the maturity level isn't that much different. In fact I would place my bet that non-subscription MMOs place higher.

But hey, that's just my opinion.

I think tomorrow I'm going to play Wizard101 as well as see if there are any updates about Spellborn. I've really wanted to try that out yet sadly someone is procrastinating about the US release. Then again, if I wanted to be truly honest, there are a TON of MMOs coming out that I want to play. JumpGate, DC Universe, The Agency, Spellborn, Aion...

The list could go on.

Hopefully we can see a bit more variety to the MMO genre beside the menagerie of World of Warcraft clones in 2009.

I shall close by re-posting the video "Craft of War:Blind" because it deserves to be viewed...twice. Also we got a new header! Yay!

The Craft of War: BLIND from percula on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

MMO "Love" Interview & Twitter

I love my strange titles. Yet I may be going over the edge with each passing day. This may of course have something to do with my new "day" job being in full effect to the point where I am taking calls from people all over the United States. Since I was doing this, I sadly missed hearing my brand new President give his speech.

I'm not very political generally, but I really wanted to hear him speak. Thankfully finding this image on Diary of an (Ex?) WoW Addict cheered me up until I can hear a recording of it later.

This is the most epic thing ever.

So a few little updates to throw up on here. One is my very first interview is completed. The interview between myself and Eskil Steenberg, creator of the indie MMO project "Love", is now readable at NegativeGamer. If you're wondering why am I only posting the actual interview over there and not here at The MMO Experience? There are several reasons. While the actual so called "journalism" done by me is over there, I wanted to give my opinion on the whole matter here.

After talking to Eskil about his game "Love", I was kinda disheartened. Not about his game, but about his mindset and attitude toward "selling" his idea. He doesn't seem at all interested in what the world thinks about his game, nor about getting word out about it. While I can applaud someone being focused upon the creation of a project then trying to hunt down potential customers for an unfinished project, I can't help but wonder if no matter how great a game "Love" may be if it won't ever get that initial boost to give it ..well..


I've already heard a swarm of comments on MMO forums stating that the game looks like crap. I disagree with this statement utterly because I realize that both...

A: It's in pre-alpha stages.


B: It's an eccentric game that has a unique art style that ISN'T trying to be just like other, more world dominating MMOs.

Now while both I and others realize that, the majority of MMO players do not. These players that use forums and those that own blogs will give out their opinion, just as I am right at this moment. The "Word of Mouth" virus will spread like wildfire, and instantly a large portion of potential fans/customers are gone. Perhaps I'm over analyzing this, perhaps I shouldn't even bother being worried.

But I want to see "Love" succeed, even though I have nothing to do with the project except wanting to play it when it's released. Yet it seems several doors are shut about that. With no "free" trial of the game and the subscription fee possibly being more than your standard MMO I twitch, as if struck a blow. A developer that doesn't seem to want to make the game more accessible just slightly shuts me off, despite me liking Eskil Steenberg.

Time will tell.

On a side note, you can now find me on that horribly named program Twitter! If you want to become my personal stalker you may at anytime by following me at Danshir's Twitter.(Yes, That sounds horribly wrong...go ahead and it...)

One more thing before I go. My wife has made a prediction that I will soon quit my Priest and return to some "random dps class, because You love doing damage..". I honestly hate to say that she may be correct as I start to yearn to play something that makes things go boom.

Maybe a mage? A tanking melee mage...yes that would do nicely.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

World of Warcraft: Playing an MMO Priest

Today has been rather uneventful. For one I had to work from 12:30 till 9pm ET, so that took up most of my time. Thankfully I got double pay due to it being a holiday. Anyway, enough of that.

I got an email from Eskil Steenberg today, answering a few of my questions. His answers of course prompted me to ask a few more questions, so that should be up within the next day or so. Rawr for my epic video game journalism.(Ok not really.) Moving on..

I finally got World of Warcraft + The Burning Crusade installed and patched(again). Then to save some time I passed my WoW folder over to my wife's computer to save her the horror I just experienced. However I finally got to load up the ancient addiction that is slaying people left and right.(Mentally at least.) So what did I decide to play?

His name is Vharaun

A Blood Elf Priest. There were a few reasons behind my choice. For one, I've not played a healer since the days of yore of EverQuest in it's prime. It's an entirely different playstyle than what I've been doing in recent years.(Rogue, Hunter, Fury Warrior....yeah..) While there was an excellent suggestion to do a melee hunter for laughs(Thank you, Tesh.), I decided to help out all those PuGs by being a healer. I expect to keep my evil attitude by enforcing the " You want healed/resurrected? Pay me =) ".

Maybe not.

So after being bitter with World of Warcraft so many times for reasons mentioned in previous posts, what was some of the first things I noticed upon returning? Well one, the latency icon is utterly gone. As if Blizzard no longer wants me to know how bad the server is lagging on a particular day...hmmm

Conspiracy theory! Dun dun dunnnn!

I noticed other things as well. The addition of the Xbox 360 Achievement tab..urr..I mean the World of Warcraft Achievement tab! Though probably the most pleasant change was the new Arcane Torrent. The fact that now I never have to constantly check on my Mana Tap charges was a nice little addition, as was making the mana return a % instead of a base amount. Smart move there Blizzard, I'll give you that grudgingly.

My wife and I. She's an evil Warlock..and I'm a holy priest..We ....uhh..compromise.

I quickly rediscovered how much I hate the low levels in World of Warcraft. By low level I mean anything prior to level 20. The game just seems so boring and tedious during this point. However I was thankfully too busy talking to old friends to really care about that particular issue. It's interesting to me how the camaraderie of just talking to people(Either through typing or voice chat) makes you not care how utterly boring the game is that you're playing. Then I got level 4 and with it...

I finally had one of the staples of a priest. The spell didn't "WoW" me,(See what I did there? Sorry..on going joke with Tipa from Westkarana. hehe.) but I enjoyed having an instant cast clickie to destroy all those fluffy rabbits that could at any moment massacre everyone in sight. Aside from that, only two interesting events occurred in my initial return to World of Warcraft.

The first was my wife and I doing the "final" quest in the initial quest area. You have to go up a tall spire and fight some decrypted Blood Elf having withdrawals.(Who eerily enough looks like someone that plays World of Warcraft for far too long...) After we slain him with a few quick SWP and Immolates followed by a mace to the groin...My wife backs up...and keeps backing up...

My wife is that small speck of gore that you can barely see from up here. If that helps.

I couldn't help but chuckle at her brief little mistake as she said behind me " Oh crap..." and then went splat. I then, in my moment of infinite wisdom, said she should have aimed for the water. That way she would have lived instead of ...well...not living. In retrospect, this was probably when the great powers of Karma looked upon me and cackled with glee. Which is never good.

To demonstrate my serious "jumping from high places into a pool of water" skill, I decided to take the plunge...
All that yellow text is the Alliance attacking the Blood Elf Starting Area...Jerks.

I get a brief moment of vertigo which I've always found strange. In any other game where I plummet several hundred feet I'm fine, but with any MMO I get a strong sense of vertigo as if I was actually jumping. I can't explain it. Anyway sorry for going off on a tangent there. This is the result of my bravado.

I probably deserved this.

So that was my World of Warcraft experience as a Priest. If you were very observant you would have noticed that I had very quickly got the addon QuestHelper. I'm "on the fence" with this addon because the majority of WoW players seem like they're having withdrawal systems if QuestHelper isn't working. The biggest example of this was the chat in the DeathKnight zone when it was first released and people were trying to figure out the very easy initial quests.

Oh well. I promised myself I wouldn't rant too much tonight.

Something I want to make note on, just to assure both old readers and new. This site will NOT suddenly become a shrine to WoW. I still plan on playing other MMOs. (Especially Wizard 101.) I also will insist upon writing things that may put WoW in a negative light when it deserves it, which is most of the time. I'll also try to act like I'm some hotshot journalist and get interviews with people that really have better things to do than talk to me.

Like getting teeth pulled.

I just wanted to reassure that The MMO Experience will be what it's always been. It will simply incorporate the WoW aspect as I share my experiences there, which I hope are as wild, varied, and hilarious as they were when I played a hunter and a rogue. So give this priest your warmest regards and wishes as I boldly try not to show how inept I truly am.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An MMO Adventure : Starting over...Again

I just got off the phone with a few of my old guild members from World of Warcraft. I have been missed apparently, and was asked to come back. I replied no, my account has long since passed away into the ether. Still, I was asked once more.

My answer was no, yet again.

I hang up, and sit there staring at the lovely page where I create articles that no one reads. While I do play Wizard 101, I really don't play anything else lately. Perhaps becauase I've been jaded and bitter toward MMOs of late due to a variety of reasons.

Yet how can I write about something if I don't experience it? How can I justify a website called The MMO Experience without me going out and doing just that? It's a riddle I don't like to contemplate too much. So I thought about resurrecting my EverQuest 2 account and playing with Tipa and my other fellow bloggers that are really a group of extradoinary human beings. I have been playing EverQuest 1 with DulakQuickLeaf, but aside from him I really didn't have anyone to chat with while playing.

So I called them back. I would return.

Danshir is returning to Azeroth with his lovely wife.

Stay I spend the next decade patching...

To get some interaction with my fellow human beings, I want to hear some opinions from you. What class do you recommend from someone who has played a rogue and a hunter pretty extensively. Should I do a complete switich and try a healing position? Should I tank? Alliance or Horde? Don't make it thought out, just throw some goofy crap my way(What a lovely idea, throwing "goofy" crap...) and lets get to discussing! Oh. To show off my leet skills at horrible artistic ability, check out my new picture "ad" used to exchange pictures between blogs.!

MMO: At a Loss for Words

You can only ram your head so many times into the monitor before something breaks. I know that's a very unique way to start a conversation(Unless you've been here before.) but for the life of me I've been trying to think of what to right today. After writing about the new law in China where you have to register your real name + ID number to your MMO accounts over at NegativeGamer, I can't for the life of me think of what else to write today. I could be horribly lazy and CTRL+C and then CTRL+V and call myself a genius at cloning..

But hey! When you can't think what to write you can either..

A: Find something someone else has wrote about and state your opinion. A good blogger links back to the source as a way to say thank you.


B: Write about the process of not knowing what to write, hoping to get pity from the community that they will read it anyway.

Yet I keep deleting whatever I type out, finding it either boring or egotistical. Most MMO bloggers relate their in-game experiences along with some fluffy bunny pictures or they talk about "TheoryCraft" for a few dozen paragraphs. I enjoy the former and loathe the latter. I've never been a big fan of "TheoryCraft" however. I find it utterly boring to try to apply mathematics to the timing of my Slice and Dice, and I really wonder how people find it entertaining to read off a list of the "Best" of certain armor/weapon pieces. However that all goes back the carrot being dangled in front of you, as Blizzard begs you to play through the 2 hour instance just one more time to get that 5% drop rate item.

I'm bitter. ^_^

I rather talk about the former. There are some excellent blogs out there where people simply talk about their in-game experiences. You almost get a vicarious thrill as you read and compare your experiences to theirs. They don't try to tell you how to play your class, or even hint that they are the best at whatever class they are playing. They just talk, tell a story, or tell you a little bit of their in real life situation.

If I wanted a "HowTo: Play a Rogue" guide, I wouldn't go over to a site like WorldofMing and gaze at the paragon of narcissism that is the forum famous rogue. This is the type of site that generally QQs for a few weeks, posts Arena and Duel videos, and thinks they are the "heroes" of the average MMO player. If you want to read how "epic" Ming is, read this.(It's funny)


I'm going to be adding two new polls today. One revolves around the idea of moving over to and using their neat and shiny tools. The other revolves around the site's content in general. I'm striving to find what particular content is enjoyable and what can be shoved into the fires of Mount Doom.

To reward you for reading this entire post basically about nothing except ranting, here is an extraordinary World of Warcraft video that should be viewed by everyone with optical organs. Enjoy. Have a great Sunday evening!

The Craft of War: BLIND from percula on Vimeo.
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