Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shocked, Stunned, and Confused

My day started out normal...

I've been playing MMORPGs for some time. Since the 90s actually way back when EverQuest: Ruins of Kunark was released and found it's way into my heart.(and wallet!) With that in mind, I've seen some really bizarre things. From raining gold (EverQuest 1 glitch), to everyone spawning high in the heavens and falling on top of each other, making a "Tower" of Death.(World of Warcraft)

In short, I've seen some wacky stuff.

However yesterday must take the crown in sheer madness. I was in Thousand Needles in World of Warcraft. I had just recently achieved level 30, got my class mount, and sold a pair of legs for 200g. It was a swell day as I was Arikara, a nice unique looking wind serpent to finish up a quest line. If you're unfamiliar with Thousand needles, or World of Warcraft in general, the area I was in is basically huge flat lands with massive un-worked stone pillars going high in the sky. Some of these pillars are wide enough for small villages and the like, and have bridges connecting them.

I was such a bridge..when..


Yes. That's a huge dragon walking on a narrow rope bridge. Now I'm pretty knowledgeable about World of Warcraft, though all the new stuff in Wrath of the Lich King is , well, new to me. So imagine my shock when I gaze upon a dragon from all the way in the Caverns of Time in Tanaris.

I was intrigued. A bit confused, which is normal, and perplexed. So I set off to investigate the matter like a good journalist.

Off to discover the truth...and the destination of this madness.

Apparently, two paladins had been pulling this dragon all the way from Tanaris. You can slightly see one of them in this picture, however you'll see more of them as I show the progress of this journey. So I hopped on my new faithful steed that probably wondered at his rider's sanity as he followed a huge dragon that could have sighed in his direction and destroyed him utterly.

Location: Lower Barrens, approaching Crossroads...

As I took screenshot after screenshot, not really knowing what I would want to use in this post, the most amusement I got was from other people that happened upon the scene. It would always some low level person in their low-mid teens running in my direction, seeing the dragon, stop, then immediately run the opposite direction. I can almost visualize their eyes widening in terror like a deer gazing at headlights as they simply stop moving for a good couple of seconds...

Then flee.

You can almost see the tauren's eyes widen in pure shock and horror..

The great journey continued onward for some time, until at last the destination was in sight..

Even the pigs came to stop and stare.

Immediately upon entering the city, I imagine the dragon wasn't too happy to see two dragon heads on pikes. However the residents were QUITE happy to see the great wyrm, as everyone and their cousin started beating the dragon down as he was continued to be pulled toward Thrall, the orc chieftain. What was hilarious was there were even a few people deciding to role play and goof off with the mini-event.

Read the text, it's worth a chuckle.

All in all, this took a boring grinding night and turned it into an enjoyable experience with quite a few chuckles. Perhaps the best part to me was seeing how no one was attempting to grief or blamed the two paladins of doing such. In fact the whole city seemed to gleefully jump in arms to slay the beast and play along. There were even people encouraging to do more events, perhaps PvP with the alliance, and "role" play the whole event for kicks.

This warmed my little nerd heart, and reminded me why I enjoy MMORPGs in the first place.

So on to today's discussion! Tell me about some of the crazy events you've experienced in an MMO. No glitches please.(that was another post.) It doesn't have to be World of Warcraft related, just any MMO where something out of the ordinary happened.

I close with a picture of the two paladins that pulled this off. The "tankadin" is to the left of me, Relea, and the "healadin" is Kanira, who is on the huge woolly mammoth.

I want to be like these two when I grow up..

Monday, February 16, 2009

MMO Issues: Dual Spec

A great RazorFen Kraul run, got Corpsemaker!

I'm fresh from an instance that was actually a decent PuG run, and enjoying all the neat changes in the highly addicting World of Warcraft. Today has been quite a fun day for me. Prior to ripping the heads off razorfens, I finished F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. While I must say the game is challenging, creepy(Terrifying at times), and overall fun, I was really disappointed in the ending. Why?

I won't ruin anything, however it does end rather abruptly and is an obvious set up for the next game/expansion. It just seemed to sudden, and the game only clocked about a good 7-8 hours. While I will not get into my fury over how short games are these days, I'll simply go ahead and talk about what I wanted to converse about today.

If you've been paying attention, Blizzard will release a new game mechanic called "Dual Spec". This will enable players to have more than one spec that they can switch between if they either..

1: Go to the Lexicon of Power in any capital city


2: Use a new crafted item that summons a Lexicon of Power to them. The item requires more than one player to summon it.(Think how a Warlock summons someone.)

Blizzard is using this new game mechanic to make it easier on people constantly having to switch from a PvE(Player versus Environment) and PvP(Player versus Player) specializations. What is good for PvE may not be good for PvP. So instead of having players spend countless amounts of gold, they can just switch over. Also one could use a Solo spec, a raid spec, so on and so forth. The benefits are quite sound for World of Warcraft players.

What about the possible negative points?

One issue I would like to bring up for open discussion(Give me your opinion) is how would this affect guild looting? Already there are people who want to take loot for their DPS set/Tank set/Healing set when that is currently not their spec, even though people who can use it now want it as well. What happens when this new game mechanic hits the floor?

For example, let's say Retribution Paladin (which is a DPS spec) switches over to Holy(Which is a Healing spec) so the raid has enough healers. Then, hypothetically speaking, let's say a weapon that Paladin has been wanting drops. Should he be allowed to roll/spend points on it over people that came to the raid in their DPS specs? How would that work to placate the other members that will be somewhat upset to have a "healer" try to take THEIR dps gear?

Of course, this comes down to one of the MANY flaws of a game that bases it's character advancement with "gear" lust. People become obsessed with getting better gear because frankly there is all there is left progression wise for them to continue in a game like World of Warcraft. Regardless, how do you deal with that type of situation?

I know that I personally would allow that person to roll on the weapon, but what do you think? How should guilds set up their policies for dual specs? I frankly believe that many smart guild leaders and officers will already be discussing this issue to avoid any situations once the mechanic becomes live.

So today's discussion: What possible policies or just "rules" should be implemented by guilds for dual spec, if any?
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