This is Why Hunters are Overplayed

Mechanics Hunter Pets in WoW

I’ve been waiting to play a Gnome Hunter since 2004 and Blizzard has finally made that a reality. In Legion I will be able to play one, but now I’m raced with the annoying realization that I either have to level one from scratch, use my instant level 100 on a Gnome Hunter, or pay for a race AND faction change for my Orc. Bleh.

Seriously though, if being a Gnome isn’t cool enough they went and made MECHANICAL PETS!

Most Mechanical pets will be challenging to tame, requiring you to first locate them and then use your Hunter abilities in unusual ways. (You didn’t think we’d make it easy, did you?)

For example, one rare mechanostrider requires you to create a special punch card that grants access to a closed section of Gnomeregan (we hope you remember the way). Once you locate the clockwork creature, you’ll then need to figure out how to overload its circuits. Solve the puzzle, and you’ll have this magnificent mechanized minion striding by your side.

gnome hunter in WoW

The addition of Gnome Hunters makes perfect sense to me. Hunters use traps. Hunters use guns. These things scream Gnomish tinkering potential to me. Hunters seem akin to the Gnomish spirit of solving problems and making their tools work for them.

TimeWalking Dungeons & Getting Loot Easier

WotLK Timewalking

I decided to take a break from the sea of endless quests in Nagrand to start running some dungeons. Amid the streamlining of this and that, and the confusing design elements which I’m pretty sure have even Blizzard confused right now, I see some things they’ve done that I really like.

I participated in this whole Time Walking event dealy they got going on every so often where you can queue for dungeons from past expansions but they drop loot that’s good for your characters today (iLvl 630’ish?). This time it’s Wrath of the Lich King. WotLK was the best expansion in WoW’s history for many reasons. I think they even had the most subscribers during those days so I bet I’m not alone in that opinion. The dungeons in WotLK are really, really good. For whatever reason, I’ve never been able to run dungeons ad nauseam quite like I can those WotLK.

Well I ran three of them last night in my 1.5 hours of play and I was able to upgrade 4 items right from dungeons. I started earning these tokens–I can’t even remember the name because WoW has so many stupid currencies–which turns out I can spend on even better gear than drops in the dungeon. Sure enough, I upgraded 6 items last night and skyrocketed my character’s potential. I’m now able to do half of the available raids in the raid finder and will start queueing for those here soon. Remember, my goal is only to see all of the content in WoD before Legion comes out.

Not only have they made old fun dungeons relevant and worth running again, but they’ve made getting gear for someone in my situation a lot easier. Those are both plusses. I’d like to see dungeons provide more opportunities for people to get gear more easily. Not only that, I’d like to see opportunities to get the gear I want more easily. But I’m also in the group that wants raids to be more about story and seeing the content rather than the challenge of grinding it out.

Part 1: Making some WoW videos. Part 2: Let’s talk MMOs for a second.

Late night weekend update for the blog but I want to squeeze this in before I get too busy. I made a video last night while playing WoW that I wanted to share. I’ve started to notice a theme from some of you surrounding a line of questioning: Do you still play MMOs? Yes, I do. I play World of Warcraft very, very casually.

Since I enjoy making videos about the games I’m playing, I decided to include WoW and start a series showcasing why and how I am having fun back in the MMO I thought I quit a dozen times.

Now let’s chat about part 2 of this little question here. What’s with the state of the MMO industry? If you’re currently playing a handful of MMOs and you’re one of those people who can enjoy GW2 and SWTOR and ArcheAge and WildStar and you never quite understood why the population in those games was dismally low and the servers were merged then this isn’t going to be an answer you’ll comprehend. The MMO industry sucks in 2015, the talent is drying up worse than the reservoirs in California, and most simply aren’t worth the digital space they’re taking up on those MMO news sites desperate for page views.

I certainly do not enjoy them, so I don’t play them. There are a couple… maybe as many as 3… MMOs on the distant horizon worth even thinking about, but I have trouble getting excited right now. I think Camelot Unchained has the most potential for anything related to PvP. They just announced like a bazillion classes would be in the game, and I’ll write something on that soon.  Crowfall … let’s just say I have my “I told you so” post already written. Yeah, that sums it up.

If you use the term correctly, then yes I am jaded. I am tired, bored, and lacking enthusiasm. If you’re using the term incorrectly, you’re probably going to reply with something like, “Well you’re just jaded, Keen!” As if I’m wrong for feeling this way. I refer you to the correct definition. Some people like to call other people jaded as though there is something wrong with those people and the way they see something is inaccurate. I’m being pretty darn upfront here and stating that I’m bored outa my mind with MMOs and can’t find more than a shred of hope for them to improve. If you can give me a reason, I’ll be more than happy to hype it up and show some enthusiasm.

I’d much rather play a ton of fun games out there that aren’t MMOs than sit around and hate “gaming” because MMOs are currently awful. I’m having an awesome time gaming in 2015, and it’s because I got tired of waiting and moved on. Does that mean I won’t play MMOs anymore? Heck no. MMOs are my favorite games. I’m just waiting until they deserve it again, and by waiting I mean playing lots of awesome games.

Avoiding the Metagame Creates a Micro-journey in WoW

Coming in late to the Warlords of Draenor expansion has further validated a belief I have held since the early days of EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot: I have always been about the journey in MMORPGs. Instead of having a year+ of content ahead of me, I might have a matter of months. In that short period of time, I don’t have any desire to try and get the best gear or obtain all of the achievements, or even race to max out my Garrison. I can’t — I don’t have the time before Legion. My goal? See the content. That single goal has radically flipped this game upside down. Why? Because now I don’t care about the gear grind. What do I need to do to see the content? That’s all I care about.


That’s right Gul’dan, no hamster wheel for me this time!

Suddenly instead of worrying about min/maxing my daily quest completion rate, my gear score, or my Garrison companion gears and levels, all I need to do is work on participating in the activities I enjoy because that’s essentially enough to get me to the point where I can see all of the dungeons and complete all of the raids. I can have fun and progress at my own rate and easily enjoy the content. ::gasp:: WoW feels like a game and not a job.

When it comes to a game like WoW at the launch of an expansion or in the thick of things, that journey is almost nonexistent and at times I feel like I have to make the most out of what I’m playing in order to rub away some of what masks that adventure. Coming in late has afforded me that opportunity in a way that feels psychologically easier to swallow. Granted, this same way of playing is completely open and available to me at the start of an expansion as well…. it’s just harder for me to win that internal battle.

Imagine if this is how WoW was inherently designed. Technically, the argument could be made that WoW IS designed this way, and they’ve just placed a bunch of activities between you and “seeing the content,” but I guess to me the activities placed between me and the content take center stage and the “game” fails to be about “seeing the content” and becomes about “getting the highest iLvL possible” or in general focusing on the metagame.

TLDR: When focusing on the actual ‘game’ part of World of Warcraft, it’s quite enjoyable. Coming in late to the expansion has made that psychologically easier for me to (1) Identify, and (2) Stay focused on. I wish WoW would emphasize the ‘game’ over the ‘metagame’ from the top down in their design.

Having To vs. Wanting To Do something.

Daily Quests

My post on Garrisons brought up an interesting topic: Having to vs. Wanting to do something. There’s a bit of psycholgy involved with this discussion, as well as complications from game design details, and I don’t want to dive too deeply into it that we lose the point, but here’s how I see the debate of having to vs wanting to do something as it pertains to things like dailies, garrisons, etc.

I don’t like dailies that force me to do them. I don’t like the quest hubs with 10-30 quests that I have to do every day in order to accrue reputation or points or tokens or whatever it may be in order to gain access to something else down the road. Notice my caveat: They gate the content or path to something else. Any day that I skip is a delay in my ability to access the content or the reward or whatever it may be.  I would say that in this case, these are something I have to do.

I don’t mind dailies that exist to simply provide me with gold or rewards as I do them. If I do 10 dailies today I get 100 told. If I do 5 I get 50. They exist solely to benefit me as I do them. Whether I skip a day of dailies or not isn’t going to push out my access to something, it will simply provide me with less gain. Also, I can get gold doing any number of activities from crafting to running current dungeons, or even really old dungeons. Some of these other options might even generate me income faster.  In this case, these dailies are something I want to do.

The psychology comes into play when we think, “I have to do this because if I don’t, and other people do, then I won’t be as good as them.” People will think that they have to run the dungeons, and the raids, and do all of the daily quests, and craft, etc., because if not they they aren’t taking advantage of everything. I’ll raise my hand and volunteer that I am completely guilty of this trap. I fall into it all the time. While there may (reality: is) truth to this concept of falling behind, what does that ultimately matter as long as what you’re doing still feels like a game and provides fun? This will be completely different for each of us as to what we think is fun, and for some being the best is the fun part. Ultimately though, if you’re not having fun, and this feels like a job, then YOU are doing it wrong and not the game — that is, unless the game has gated the content behind these daily quests, in which case the game is inherently flawed.

Bringing this back to WoW for a second, and to a topic that isn’t as cut and dry as gold, the ideal way to give me options would be to say that I can generate (for easy math) 1000 apexis crystals a day. I can do daily quests in Tanaan, or I can do activities in my Garrison, or I can run dungeons, etc., to earn these apexis crystals. The choice of how to earn them is mine. That, to me, is fair, as long as all of these options allow you to earn up to the cap for the day. As soon as I’m forced to do the daily quests in Tanaan, AND the dungeons, AND the garrison stuff… that’s the part that feels like a job because I may not feel like doing dungeons today.

Personally? I like options in my themeparks. And ultimately that’s what I feel a themepark MMO should be all about.