Today, patch 5.3 drops, in which things ramp up towards an ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad in 5.4 or later. This is the first patch day I will have missed since Vanilla, in that I am using a tethered cell phone for network, and my game time is currently zero’d (no point in paying for something I don’t use).
I had barely gotten into 5.2, which my experience thus far leads me to regard it as a vary bad idea1. All signs point to 5.3 being more of the same, with a different location.
Well, I won’t pan it until I’ve tried it, which will be in a week or two, depending on how our move goes this weekend.
Those that wanted more frequent updates, well, they’re getting what they asked for. I feel a little rushed, though – I barely had time to explore the 5.1 story line before 5.2 dropped, and I didn’t have a change of location to blame for that one. I was still getting caught up with 5.0 things!
The question remains: does the increased frequency in patches also carry over to an increased frequency in expansions? I’m thinking not likely … Blizzcon is the most likely time to announce it, and if they wait until then, the next expansion will be out on approximately the same schedule as the past ones have.
I am NOT one with the doomsayers that say that the last two quarters’ numbers indicate that WoW will be dead by 1Q15. First of all, two datapoints is a stupid wrong way to draw a trendline. As an example, if you take the past THREE datapoints, WoW ends 1Q14 – a whole year earlier – instead. Even they aren’t being that bold, possibly on purpose. One should only choose the data that supports one’s foregone conclusions, after all.
The one valid point of the we’re-doomed crowd is this: if the next two quarters don’t look better, or at least level off, Activision will likely try to pull the plug. I realize that the ultimate optimists at Blizz’s core management team claim that Activition would NEVER have that level of control, but I assert that Bobby Kotick’s an assertive enough asshole that he’d make it happen by coup. Never underestimate the power of a determined asshole.
A final question I have – a hypothetical – is how far Pandaria goes? Is 5.4 the end, or will there be one more? 5.4 is rumored to be the one where we settle Garrosh’s hash – and who doesn’t like that – but what we don’t know is if that is the end of the matters as far as Pandaria is concerned. I’m not sure it is.
Well, happy patch day to you. I’m off to replace a heating element in my new place’s water heater.
I am quickly joining the camp of people that think that dailies are a lazy, uncreative way to fill players’ time so that they’ll keep paying, rather than other more satisfying approaches. [↩]
Today, Blizzard released two trailers for our enjoyment. The first, for WoW Patch 5.2.
I wanna make one observation. The voice of the narrator is the same horrid, insulting mock-Chinese that we’ve heard elsewhere.
Yeah, that’s them.
So George Lucas gets all sorts of hate and grief for using these stupid racial stereotypes, but Blizzard gets s free pass? Guys?
Can we move on from this crap?
Maybe this guy can report it for you when it happens.
The other trailer is for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
So, can someone tell me why Sarah Kerrigan still wears high heels into battle? Can somebody explain to me why her mutated Zerg form also has high heels? Can somebody explain to me why all the guys are wearing tank-grade armor while she’s in form-fitting catsuit armor?
I don’t usually shill or endorse for any organizations, I figure you’re marginally less interested in reading that sort of stuff than, say, my warlock’s mogging choices. But sometimes I make an exception.
If you are not familiar with the charity Child’s Play, let me summarize. No. It is too much. Let me sum up. Child’s Play is a charity founded by the Penny Arcade gang for purposes of turning the rabid gaming masses into a source of comfort for sick children. I lost count, but last I looked the organization is responsible for over ten million dollars’ worth of toys and games going to children’s hospitals. Gamers are just awesome like that.
One of the WoW arms of this effort is Iron Man Mode, a comedy site that uses the "iron man" gaming method (i.e. if you die, even once, you’re done) to entertain you and obtain fundage for Child’s Play. Last year they raised over $1000, this year they’re aiming to double it.
So if you were looking for a way to enrich somebody’s life, and consider sick kids a worthy beneficiary, why not go through Iron Man’s site to do it, and make even more people happy?
Okay, end of sales pitch. I return you now to my epic series, "what my alt found in her belly button lint, and how it means that Blizzard is doomed."
At first I was amused. Well, of course Blizz claims the case has no merit! The suing lawfirm could have pictures of Metzen on the Grassy Knoll with a rifle in his hand, and they’d say that. So, SHOCK, right?
Then you look at the suit itself and things start to pop out.
After reviewing it, I have come to the careful conclusion that Carney Williams Bates Pulliam & Bowman are, collectively and individually, full of shit.
Now, this is notwithstanding Blizz’s own response, which pretty much sums up a fair response on the topic of their response to the data breach earlier this year. I also love this bit:
"…and we will vigorously defend ourselves through the appropriate legal channels."
Heh. In other words, CWBBPB are a bunch of grandstanding losers that are trying to run this case through the press in the hopes of getting some sort of useful publicity.
But in case anyone out there feels like a "victim" and think that CWBBPB make a good point about "forcing" you to use an authenticator, let’s put the record straight.
Blizzard’s login security does not require an authenticator.
It requires two things – an email address, and a password. This is the same thing you get from Twitter, Facebook, Google (who also recommend two-part security, FWIW), MSN, and so forth.
Maintenance of that password is your responsibility.
The same as it is with Twitter, Facebook, Google, MSN, and so forth.
Maintenance of your own security is your responsibility.
The same as it is with Twitter, Facebook, Google, MSN, and so forth.
The need for an authenticator is dependent on your own security, not Blizzard’s
As far as I can tell, we’ve had exactly one breach of the account servers since WoW’s inception, and that was in August of this year1.
No, authenticators are designed to mitigate (not solve) problems with users not following proper security protocols.
Using the same password for all your accounts everywhere. All it takes is some bozo to hack Twitter – and Twitter to not inform you – for that bozo to get your WoW password as well.
Not using antivirus software. Come on. If you’re on Windows, it’s free, even for XP. Microsoft’s "Defender" software is highly recommended, it’s lightweight and fairly unobtrusive, and it’s completely free of charge. There is no excuse. And don’t tell me you have nothing to fear from viruses. Just don’t.
Visiting website of questionable reputation. I’m not talking about porn here, or torrent sites, or zero-days, or anything like that. Well, okay, I am, but only in as much as purveyors of Trojan viruses will use the porn, torrents, and warez to get you to click something and then hit YES when the dialog comes up. This is probably the greatest threat out there, and anti-virus software can only warn you. If you don’t listen, and grant some crusty software from a porn site full access to your system, you’re getting pwned, and now. Say hello to my little friend "keylogger".
Not using multi-user security on a multi-user system. Sure, it’s a family computer. But Microsoft provides many tools for keeping YOUR stuff out Junior’s hands. Oh, sure, he’s an angel. And he’s not downloading "free" software, surely. (insert sarcasm emotes here)
I’m just scratching the surface here.
Point is, the vast, vast, vast majority of account breaches are because you, the user, did not follow protocol, or got some bug somewhere, without knowing it. The authenticator is as much protection against YOU as it is the bad guys.
All this is to say
If this lawsuit has given rise to a nice, warm sense of entitlement, I want you to reach out, put your hands around its neck, and choke it in its sleep. It’s not for real. It’s like one of those pod people in that movie. It will consume you and return nothing back.
Nobody is forcing you to use an authenticator. Nobody. Well, maybe your GM wisely requires an authenticator for access to the guild bank. But that’s the GM being properly cautious since she can’t control where everyone sticks their noses, as it were.
But the authenticator is not intended as a replacement for Blizzard’s security or your own. It’s a safeguard against YOU at your worse. If you have impeccable security practices online, never have virus issues, use strong security all the time, you could probably get away with not having one. I, however, am not that good, and am glad for the extra bit of protection.
Searching Google for this sort of thing generally fills your page with PSN server breach info, unless you restrict the search to this year, because they generally haven’t had problems in that realm and seem to take it pretty seriously. [↩]
Today marks the last day before Panderia goes live. The weeks leading up to it have been interesting, as people come to grips with the new talent system and glyphs, get a feel for scenarios, and maybe say goodbye to some old content. Starting tomorrow, a lot of people will be power-leveling1 to level 90 and rushing to start raiding2. There will be a peppering of realm-first achievement spam, occasional ganking, stability issues, and hotfixes galore.
How did Cataclysm fare, in retrospect?
From a personal perspective, I made many new friends, lost a few of them to other games, got a few of those back, though not as thoroughly as I’d like. I advanced further in endgame play than I ever have before3. I mended fences a bit with my old guild and learned the skill of just ignoring people intent on being asshats.
Lore-wise, the game had many highs and lows. Unfortunately, I feel I must agree with many of my colleagues when I say that the game lore felt remote and disconnected from me as a player. Arthas still is, to many, the epitome of Big Bads, with Ragnaros a close second, but Deathwing himself was never personally engaging4. Putting that blowhard in charge of the Horde and making Thrall – excuse me, Go’el – into Jesus Orc5 pretty much rankled. The advances on and atrocities seen in Night Elf territory, Gilneas, and the kingdom of Lorderon, well, as Alliance we’re not surprised but we are very, very disappointed that we’re expected to just kinda shrug our shoulders once again and weakly mutter "We shall avenge you!" to our honored dead.
The Shattering and the jump in time between the end of Wrath and now were used to cover the revamping of the zones. Some were excellent – Badlands comes to mind – while others were meh. Some should have been done differently6 Others felt contrived7. So much real estate was made available to us as characters when we got the means to fly in Old Azeroth; so much of that was a vast disappointment8. Some were pretty much ignored9. Overall it was nice seeing the march of time, but disappointing in how it was expressed. And the disconnect with Outland and Northrend makes it difficult to keep one’s head in the moment.
Questing in leveling areas was reworked, with tightly controlled progression through zones that would tell the story of the zone. Great idea, when it worked, such as the Wrathion story in Badlands, but usually there were two negatives: 1) the quests turned gray in the bigger zones before you were done with the story, and b) Subsequent runs on alts tend to be tedious and tiring. Nice try, but no banana. Additionally, reliance on cut scenes often distracted from rather than contributed to the mood.
If I never see another underwater zone, I will not be at all displeased. Vashj’ir was lovely, the story told quite compelling (right up to the sudden dead ending). The mechanics of underwater movement were frustrating and difficult to deal with. The fact that they took a mechanic that we HATED on Malygos and applied it to an entire zone is just unbelievable. Of the rest of the zones, Twilight Highlands is my personal favorite (For obvious reasons) followed by Deepholme. Uldum would have been 2nd except for two things.
I don’t care if she IS in front of a firing squad, Floramel would never – ever – cower in fear like that. She would stand straight and spit her last breath into Schnotz’s eye. On several occasions, Uldum attributed characteristics to our heroic players that were not consistent with who and what they are. Bomb about to go off? Grimm wouldn’t be cowering behind a cart – he’d be trying to get a peek at the EXPLOSION. It’s in his idiom, as with all Wildhammers and Bronzebeards. So, bad characterizations of our toons here, and, as Saxy says, CLANG. If you can’t respect the characters in your story telling, nobody else will respect the story. And, as a reader of this story, it came across as a bad joke.
A lot was made of the heightened difficulty of dungeons in Cata. They were more brutal and less forgiving of poor behavior. As a purist, I approve. As a gamer, I approve. I liked the BC instances a lot more because they required thought and coordination between players, whereas the WotLK instances were big loot vaults once you got a few Professor Plums on you. I felt that Cata was a return to this, and was kind of disappointed when they relented.
My favorite instance? Grim Batol, of course. Even tainted and broken, that place is magnificent. It’s hard to gawk when your tank is all go go go, but I do try to take it in as much as I can.
My least favorite? Deadmines. Vanessa van Cleef is terribly underused, and the poison sequence at the end is a very annoying and difficult experience, especially those lightning bars. Not everyone in this game grew up on Super Mario Bros or whatever they stole that from.
And I would really love to see Vanessa explored as an antagonist for future expansions.
Nothing in Wrath captured the imagination quite as well as Karazhan, though Icecrown came close. Cata gave it a go, but fell short, I’m afraid. Part of this stems from the in adequate storytelling in-game, it just set us up with a series of loot holes to dig out of without any context of why. Other than, yaknow, they were all very bad people. From the view as a raider, they all were entertaining enough, with some definite favorites and not so muches.
My favorite raid in general had to be BWD, but Dragon Soul came in close behind. The fights in BoT were a bit over the top gimmicky, and Four Winds was as well. Firelands had its moments, but the long protracted trash clear requirement before Shannox even shows made it difficult to get into. DS was okay, but not as satisfying as it should have been. Of all these, Four Winds was my least favorite, and my guildies as well. We ran it as few times as we could manage and still get the achievements and loot.
Favorite raid boss without a doubt was Ultraxion, because as a Hunter I had a very useful role to play with Deterrence allowing me to be the "soaker" occasionally. But most were close seconds. From a DPS perspective, all were fairly enjoyable, once the dance was learned.
Least favorite has to be Al’Akir. Hate hate haet. I hate gimmick fights, Al was all about gimmick, and Blizz can’t implement a 3D fight that doesn’t make your eyes bleed, it’s that simple. Second on that list is Ryolith, with his clunky steering mechanic and inaccurate visuals. If either of those had been modified, the fight would have been okay – again, I felt useful as a steerer! – but together, those two flaws rendered this fight a soul-crushing series of wipes due to missteps and miscues. No fun at all.
I never finished Ragnaros before DS came out. I always felt like I was behind the curve on that fight. It was very discouraging, earning Rag third place, but it wouldn’t take much to move him up to 2nd.
Now versus Then
Looking back to the announcement, I was very enthusiastic for the changes brought by the Shattering in principo, neutral on the choice of big bad, confused about glyphs and Path of Titans, confused on Archaeology, and, as usual, oblivious on the new zones.
Near the end of Wrath, I was in a funk. Finding a new home to raid in wasn’t even a glimmer at that point. I had almost decided to quit, but since I had preordered the expansion anyway, I decided to at least run the new content. I had no hope of raiding again, so the way things turned out was a BIG surprise.
The overarching technical reason given for The Shattering was that it would give the architects the ability to fundamentally rebuild the underpinnings of the game. The only visible effect is the means to fly on Azeroth’s old zones. We can only hope that it bears future fruit.
As a player, I have yet to lose interest of the game despite what many point out as Cata’s shortcomings. I am apparently easy to please. Well, also, I have yet to achieve all I wish to. To that end, there’s always something to do. And, with Panderia, more to come.
Overall, Cataclysm was, for me, a disappointment. Nothing stands out as much as the rough treatment of lore and internal character consistency from a storytelling perspective. The impression I get is that the person in charge of storytelling changed in Cata, and he or she either sees things differently than the last one, has new directives, or just isn’t perceiving the characters as we have.
There was also what I saw as an increased stream of people leaving the game, at least for a while, some before 4.3 came out. I can’t prove anything here, but my perception is that the number of people doing so was higher than the same point in Wrath – even with the cheesy Tournament tier level. The challenge for Blizzard is to somehow figure out why and to counter it, and not just with headcount.
Still, any expansion you walk away from is a winner, amirite? I’m looking forward to Panda Land, and hope you are as well.
The all-consuming concern of the week is, in case you were asleep, the Fall of Theramore scenario. I didn’t participate in it on Monday when it came out1 but last night I got to take Jasra in Disco form.
Having not healed much in the last two-ish years, she’s still getting the hang of the Smite/Heal process, so the scenario was a good place to practice that, since the other two members of our squad didn’t need much healing.
So, things break down into two areas of concern: A) the scenario itself, and 2) the lore.
Running the Scenario
It starts with a cinematic as a goblin drops a mana bomb on Theramore2 and blows the place up. How Jaina managed to survive while everyone else did not is not adequately explained here. I think it has something to do with Rhonin’s selfless act, but I’m not certain3.
As you zone in, you’re on the (presumably) last surviving Alliance ship, and from there you’re given a series of tasks to accomplish. First, survive a couple of waves of attackers, then kill three ship captains, torch their ships, and slaughter all Horde in sight. From there, you charge to Jaina’s side, carry out a couple of tasks for her, and then cover her while she extracts the Focusing Iris from the bomb4.
The mechanics of the fight were fairly clear5. Objectives were easy to determine, the mini map was used well, and, as far as scripted events go, it worked well. I liked how the quest tracker area was repurposed to display objectives clearly. Nice touch.
So, mechanically, at least, I call it a win. If future scenarios work the same way mechanically, this is a new feature that deserves a permanent place at the table.
One final thought here: the Embersilk drops were insane. Jas came out of there with at least six full stacks, and the other tailor in the group got as at least that much. I’ve run entire raids without seeing that much cloth drop, and with two tailors in the group, it’s even more impressive! Hooray for murderating your fellow humanoids, I suppose?
The Elephant in the Room
Let us preamble this with the observation that the story leading up to this event, and the event itself, is told in the book Tides of War. This is a continuation of the now-traditional shunting of lore-heavy events into books. I must admit that the excerpt that was dropped a few weeks ago really put me off wanting to read this book – I’m sure that wasn’t what they had in mind, but the attempts at romance were cringe-worthy. There is no amount of lore, no amount of badassery, that will suffice to get me to suffer through that again. I suffered Asimov. I suffered Jordon6. No more, I say!
Based on Alas’ comments about "Emo Jaina", I feared we’d get more of what we had in Icecrown. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I found that "Emo Jaina" in this case was "Angry Jaina". She talked some seriously good smack. More, please, plus some actually smacking, in the future, one hopes. I cannot emphasize this enough: Blizz has got to get away from writing strong female leads only as Dark and Sinister. Righteous fury has its place. Or, whoa, just for the hell of it, write a strong female lead that doesn’t have to be angry all the time7.
At any rate, everything about this scenario seems to be hell-bent on disrespecting the lore surrounding the characters, factions, and places involved. And that’s what’s got people fired up.
Saxy @ I Like Pancakes summarizes bestofall how badly this scenario and its alleged lore clash with previously established lore. Some questions she asks, such as how Garrosh seems to be acting without thought for consequences, appear to be rhetorical, since we already know that he’s under foul influences and not acting rationally, even for Garrosh. But she also brings up more macro issues around all this. The Horde just crapped in its own bed, and the world should be rightfully turned against it now.
What about supposedly neutral factions? Do you really think the Argent Crusade will want to have anything to do with the Horde after they’ve done this? The Cenarion Expedition? The Earthen Ring? The Scryers (who know a thing or two about mana bombs)? The Aldor (who know a thing or two about cities being leveled)?
And then there’s Dalaran. Why does Sunreaver’s Sanctuary still exist? Why is any horde player not killed on sight upon entering Dalaran? Are you seriously suggesting, Blizzard, that the Kirin Tor is going to allow anyone even loosely associated with the Horde anywhere near Dalaran?
And now the Dragonflights. Why are the Horde allowed near any Caverns of Time instance? Why are they welcome at Wyrmrest Temple? Why would any member of any Dragonflight trust any member of the Horde with any task?
Now, I’m sure she knows as we know that those are all points from elsewhere in the time stream, but ALSO she’s correctly pointing out that actions have consequences, and we should see them, but we won’t, and that’s disappointing from a lore fan’s perspective.
It’s interesting that, after all these years, my little alts Orlee and Yarlee have found a sympathetic voice.
Orlee is one of two orphaned Draenai that I took in when the portal opened. Her brother, Kutath, was able to stay centered and cope, but Orlee became bent on revenge. To her, the only good orc is a dead orc, Horde in general would be better off without them, and her entire reason for staying on Azeroth in the first place was to find more orcs to kill. It’s all perfectly logical to her. It’s quite simple. We kill the Orcs.
Yarley was one of the many Night Elves unhomed by the Warsong in Ashenvale. She had started out as a warrior, as many of her gender do in Night Elf society, but her outrage at the way the Horde violated the land motivated her to learn the way of the Druid. She’s routinely offended by what she sees of the Horde’s treatment of Azeroth, and figures that if they’re not put down, they’ll destroy the entire planet and leave it as they left Draenor – a pile of filth at best, shattered and drifting in the Nether at worst.
Sidebar conclusion: when I read Saxy’s angry screed above, Orlee and Yarley were in the back of my head yelling, See? See? We told you. Would you listen? NOOOOOoooo! So they get some perverse satisfaction in the fact that eyes are opening around the world right now.
To be honest, the lore violations would have been more palatable had they been couched in some sort of bread crumb quests and so forth, and Saxy has yet another good screed on that topic.
[...] this was the Wrathgate sequence. It was without question the most epic questline in Wrath, involving plot, new mechanics, real interaction with heroes, betrayal, etc. Anyone who did this questline will tell you that Blizzard did an excellent job of not just telling the story, but letting you feel like you were living through it. That you were an integral part.
Wrathgate was the sort of thing that, after I had experienced it, I went out and told people that it was something they would want to play the game for.
There aren’t many opportunities for a Wrathgate event. I believe that the fall of Theramore was one.
A minor quibble here is that Wrathgate was a mid-game event, and Theramore is either an end-of-game or start-of-game event, depending on how you want to view it. But otherwise, I totally agree: Blizz had a chance to shine, and they blew it.
First of all, if you thought the lore issues were merely because of poor execution on the part of the development team, think again. Golden’s book is full of the same sort of thing, and it rankles. I’m not going to blame Golden for the plot points. She got handed an agenda and had to write a story that fulfilled its requirements.
Unfortunately, those requirements pretty much had no respect for the lore surrounding the people in the story.
The one that sticks out the most here is how Thrall – excuse me, Go’el – has become hippie-orc and is fully aware of the mess that Garrosh has made of things, but doesn’t seem to care. This is not the "honorable" Orc we’ve had preached to us for years. It’s like a few tokes and getting some sexy tiemz with Aggra has somehow removed his integrity. John says it best.
Thrall walks on into the new throne room, sees Garrosh standing there with the Blackrock Orc, wanders around listening to some of the news about guards and the Blackrock smacking around anyone that voices dissent, hears about how some vanish in the dark, gives a quick chat to Baine and Vol’jin..
Are you seriously telling me that he couldn’t stop it?
With two sentences he could have shut the whole thing down.
“You are a disgrace to the memory of Grom Hellscream and an enemy of the Horde. Get out of my sight or I will kill you where you stand.”
He’s Thrall. He forged an Orc nation from nothing and brought his people out of despair, forged an empire and saved the world. Fuck an Orc that grew up in some pussy place like Draenor, where there are so many animals to kill and eat nobody has to farm in Nagrand.
Seriously. Thrall. Disappointing, man. That shit is weaksauce.
Maybe they feel like it’s time to put the ol’ fella out to pasture. No, sorry, you don’t get to do that. Heroes don’t go off and sit in drum circles until they die in their sleep from food poisoning or something. No, they go out in a blaze of glory. That’s just the way it is in Heroic fiction. Nothing else will do.
So, character-wise, and lore-wise, Thra — ‘scuse me, Go’el — is completely inconsistent with the story of Thrall / Kal-el that Blizzard has given us so far.
Cleaning up the broken glass
The community has been pretty vocal about this, and it’s good to hear that maybe Blizz is taking it to heart. From a recent Q&A, Dave "Fargo" Kosak has this to say.
I’ve been watching the Theramore feedback closely, and this comment seems pretty universal. We tried to keep everything all in the scenario, to make it really self-contained, but not burden it with lots of story that you have to slog through every time you played the scenario. It’s pretty clear from the feedback that people wanted more story. We should’ve surrounded the scenarios with more quests or explanations to help round out the story for the people who wanted to know what exactly was happening. Lesson learned!
Let me say this: I don’t think that Scenarios were ever planned to be lore-establishing events with lots of RP-ish elements like Wrathgate. But Wrathgate points the way to doing it right. We don’t need to stick a ton of cinematics and RP in a Scenario or Instance. Preface them with individual quest chains in which each person will get to experience any cinematics and story elements once, and at their own pace, and then you don’t have to worry about RP-ish elements in Scenarios.
A. We weren’t happy with the way Abyssal Maw was shaping up. It managed to take on a life of its own in players’ minds, but believe me, if it had been an awesome raid, we would have shipped it. One of the hardest parts of this job is killing a feature you’re excited about because it doesn’t meet our quality bar. I suspect you’d see far more complaints if we had shipped a bad raid than not shipping one at all. We took the resources and put them back into Firelands and got a couple of extra bosses out of it.
The conspiracy theorists imply that it was withheld from beta because they already knew it sucked and were unable to do anything about it. One of the lead developers tells us, with a specific example, that if something sucks, it won’t ship. I’m going to go out on a limb and believe Ghostcrawler, but make up your own mind on the merits.
That does beg the question, though. Are the internal testers that disconnected, that naïve? I don’t know, but I cannot envision a scenario8 in which somebody didn’t raise a red flag and say "guys, this doesn’t jibe" or "Hey, people are going to be confused!" I can’t envision a world in which this sort of thing gets past what I see as a very rigorous internal QA team9.
The overall take-away for me is a sense of ennui. I can only carry water for Blizz for so long before I start to see logic in the arguments of those that claim that Blizz has lost its touch, or its soul, or its ethics – or all of the above.
I get the sense that MoP is going to be the expansion that makes or breaks this franchise. If they do well, get their footing back, then this game will continue to flourish with a varied and informed playerbase for years to come. If they don’t do well? There are MMOs aplenty out there that represent the true End Times.
Maybe Murozond was right.
I don’t do first-day for this sort of thing. It’s always gonna be bugged. [↩]
While hanging out on a lowbie with some old friends1 last night, it was observed that the quality of PUGger had gone downhill quite a bit (we had just popped 15, hit RFC and DM right off.). I was reminded of that conversation this morning when reading this2.
After thinking about it a bit, I reasoned that what had happened was that we had experienced the WoW dungeoneering version of the Rapture, and that we were those that were Left Behind. In terms of the relevant dogma, then, we’re experiencing the Tribulations.
Only those that are pure of heart, stout of body, steadfast and true, will weather this time, brothers and sisters. But, yea, though the Great Gaming Spirit doth punish us for not jumping to STWOR or TSW, we shall overcome. For on the horizon I see, O Brothers and Sisters, I see a shining light! The Metzen doth bestow upon us our Reward! A bright and shining new expansion. Yea, my brethren, we shall overcome!
Um, so hang in there. MoP is on the way, and for a brief time we’ll get somewhat less of a dumbed down dungeon experience.
The only official response, from Bashiok, is startlingly familiar:
We’ve extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly. We’ve not found any situations that could produce a false positive, have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings.
Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned – cheating will.
I can almost guarantee that they won’t provide any useful feedback to the banned users that could help them nail it down.
So, any EA/Bioshock haters, be sure to wash your hands before helping yourself to a plateful of crow, if you for some reason thought this wouldn’t happen in the fair lands of the Blizzard.
No shoving, plenty for everyone.
I am excluding the infamous Logitech keyboard ban, perhaps unjustly. [↩]
I love the commenters saying there might be "legal issues" in disclosing what the telltales were. What a crock of kodo droppings. [↩]