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8

Wrath of the Lich King was the Best WoW Expansion

Something about Battle for Azeroth was announced today. Maybe a release date or prepurchase or something? I don’t know, but the news has people talking about WoW again in our community and the main topic hasn’t been contemporary.

I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know and agree with completely. Wrath of the Lich King was so far beyond and away the best WoW expansion there has been and likely — given its direction — ever will be.

What made it so good?

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6

Why Are Our Gameplay Options Being Taken Away in MMORPGs?

Yesterday’s topic about solo content missing from EQ was part of a bigger discussion I had with an EQ veteran friend. While trying to figure out why the devs removed the solo content from the game, we started discussing MMORPGs in general, and why devs don’t give people more leveling options in general.

A game like EQ is predominantly group-based experience to level up. Can you technically solo? Yes, but at a severe disadvantage in almost every case.

WoW is a game where you quest to level up. Can you still monsters for experience? Yes, but at a severely impractical rate. Interestingly, like EQ, the WoW devs changed the game. I remember playing in the first few months of launch and getting most of my experience 40-60 from grinding mobs. In fact, on more than one server I was the first level 60 Hunter and I made most of my experience from grinding — 55-60 was at these ghosts in the winter zone. It was mind-numbing, but it was efficient.

Why not let the player decide? If I’m playing a MMORPG and I want to solo, let me have my solo options. If I would rather group then give me options for grouping. If I want to hunt for treasure instead then let that be an option. Maybe have hunting for treasure come at a cost of no experience, but make it an option; Just throwing out thoughts.

I would like MMOs to be about options and open-ended choices for adventure. All of the ‘greats’ in MMO history were full of openness and choice. UO was a sandbox world without rules or expectations. There wasn’t a “this is what we should all be doing to advance” mindset. SWG let you choose a vocation and build houses, craft weapons, or hunt krayt dragons. EQ, to a much lesser extent than the aforementioned sandboxes, still let you choose a path of leveling and playing your way.

Instead of asking “is is possible” to give players the freedom to play how they want — since we know it has been done — I want to ask “why” isn’t it being done anymore. Why do you guys think our options are being taken away? Too much work to get right? Bucks the themepark trend? Too niche? I’m curious what you think is the reason, and whether or not you even want choices in your MMOs.

16

My Return of Sorts to FFXIV

Between all of the games I'm playing, I had an itch to pick up FFXIV again and see how the game has evolved.

I last played back in patch... I think it was 2.1? It was basically right before the King Moggle stuff came out. I played at launch for about 3-4 months. I did the first raid. I was in that stage of grinding for gear. The game sorta sucked in terms of content. It was rather a dull grind of the game long and rather boring dungeons.

Fast forward just under 4 years and here I am back in Eorzia.

First things first, I decided to play one of the newest jobs: Red Mage.

Red Mage are typically pretty interesting to me because they mix melee and casting. Having played for a few hour already, I can tell these RDM are far more caster. I'll write up some thoughts on the class in a future poast.

What I want to focus on today is the return experience.

I'm completely lost.

I logged in and had absolutely no friggin idea what I was doing. I had no idea where to go. I had no idea how to unlock RDM. I didn't know what any of my abilities did (on my 50 White Mage).

Returning to a game like FFXIV isn't easy, but neither is returning to any MMO 4 years later.​

With the help of some friends, I was able to figure out the very, very basics. I found out where I left off in the story, and I'm pretty much just questing through those main story quests (MSQ's) as I learn the ropes again.

I was able to get a Duty group for the Good King Moggle event.​ That was sorta fun to just jump right in and kill him.

According to the FFXIV Wiki, I'm a really... really... long way from the  Heavensward and Stormblood expansions.​ I'm on the Still Waters quest. That means I am exactly EIGHTY (80) quests away from the Heavensward expansion. 

The story is incredibly confusing. I'm not the best reader to begin with, and having so much unvoiced dialog is a little tedious. Add in the lore (which I don't understand) and the names (I don't remember and can't pronounce) and it's all a little overwhelming.

Do any of you play FFXIV? Can I skip the next 80 quests? Should I? I'm worried that I won't have the stomach to push through them. I don't want the game to feel like a quest grind where I'm running from one point to the next ad nauseam.

I'm feeling a little defeated knowing that I'm still hundreds of main story quests away from even the most recent expansion.​

What I really like:

  • Sense of story in the world (despite having a hard time figuring it out)
  • The quality of life changes like pushing a button to equip your best gear
  • Hardest content in-game is done with 8 people​
  • Novice Network (channel to help returning/new players) is really helpful. Reminds me of old school MMO people being helpful.

What I wish I knew more about:

  • How to get a house - is that even something to worry about at level 50?
  • Grouping for content - is it just queueing up in the duty finder? What should I be doing if anything?
  • Best way to tackle these MSQ's and level up (so far exp at 50 isn't moving at all on these ​7th Astral Era (Patch 2.1) quests that I'm doing.

I know this post was all over the place. Sorta matches how I feel about the game right now. I welcome our insight and help as I try and make my way through these expansions.

I'm quite intrigued by what I see so far, the Red Mage class, and have hopes that at max level the end-game content has improved since launch.

Nighthold Raid Part 1

Nighthold came out yesterday! KGC and friends took our dedicated group of 11 raiders into the new raid to test our skills against the normal mode bosses.  Normal mode drops loot significantly better than even Heroic mode Emerald Nightmare, so it’s a no-brainer for us to move on.

We entered Nighthold and easily blew through all of the initial trash pulls. Wowhead has a guide that details what should be done with the different scorpions…. we sorta just ignored it and pulled all of the trash. Yay for normal.

Skorpyron

The first boss — Skorpyron — went down with no trouble. The mechanics from the main tank perspective were a little annoying. I had to move 10 yards every 10 seconds. There’s a mechanic to hide behind crystals, but these were never in a place where I could realistically reach them. Tons of adds come if you get knocked back (which I did every single time) and overall it’s just about killing him when his vulnerability window comes up.

Chronomatic Anomaly

Second boss — Chronomatic Anomaly — was interesting. This fight is broken up into phases where things move normal speed, slow speed, and fast speed (get it? Chornomatic anomaly?). The fight is ridiculous easy on normal until the fast phase when he starts destroying the tank unless the other tank swaps as soon as their debuff wears off. Fun and fast.

Trilliax

The third boss — Trilliax — reminds me of putricide from ICC. There are slimes and goos on the ground that make a mess. There’s an element of having to clean the stuff up to make room. We botched this one bad. We ended up never having space on the floor, and we ran around like crazy. When we downed the boss we ended up all getting achievements for doing the fight a certain way. Turns out we had no idea what we were doing and did an achievement run our first go. Yay us? We’ll be reading the guide for next time.

Spellblade Aluriel

Fourth boss — Spellblade Aluriel — is where we wrapped up for the night. The three previous bosses were cleared in an hour, and then we wiped on Aluriel for an hour. She’s incredibly difficult. The fight feels like chaos until your DPS figure out the tradeoff mechanic. Then there’s the tank damage…. it’s basically a soft enrage. How many Annihilates can a tank have before they die? For me it’s 5. It’s this horrific feeling when you see Annihilate being cast and you’re like, “Guys, I’m dead in 3 seconds. Good luck.” We eventually got her down but it was hilarious — both tanks dead and it was a race to kill her before she killed the DPS. Definitely a cheering moment.

So far the raid is fun. The trash isn’t too annoying yet and the boss mechanics are neat. I’m really excited for Sunday when we go back in to finish the place.

The second trash pull of the night dropped me an 875 BoE cloak. I’m told I can make 100k on that! Woot, 2 months subscription!

I then upgraded THREE items this run, including a SET PIECE CLOAK! Super stoked about that.

This is the first time I felt strong as a tank. I’ve felt “okay’ in other raids, but this time I felt like my tanking ability was on point. I’m really looking forward to diving further into Nighthold!

6

WoW Progress Update

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these. Yep, I’m still playing WoW. Does that mean I’m past the 3 monther status now?

KGC & Friends are now 7/7 Heroic Emerald Nightmare, and 3/3 Trial of Valor.

That’s quite an accomplishment for us. We are a VERY casual raiding guild — about as casual as they come. We raid 2 nights a week for 2 hours each night. Typically our raids are on Monday and Sunday at 4:30pm PST. Yep, that’s right, we raid only 4 hours a week.

One of the biggest challenges with being so casual is that we have had to fight the idea that being casual means it’s okay to be unreliable or not committed and dedicated. We had to let some people weed themselves out. Some people wanted to raid more. We had to let them go and flap their wings and fly free. Some people didn’t have the patience to wipe and thought wiping for a couple of hours on a boss wasn’t fun, and they too had to depart. That’s okay. We want people who want to play the way we play.

I’m proud of the team we have. We sort of lead by committee, and have everyone participate in the raid leader role. If someone has a suggestion, and it makes sense, then we try it. We laugh, joke, and have fun.

KGC on FenrisWe’re also very much about realizing that people have real life obligations. We have business professionals who have to miss a week at a time, USPS drivers making Christmas deliveries, etc. That’s okay. As long as people let us know they can’t make it, we can work to replace them that night. We’re not afraid to PUG, and we just have the goal of doing content every time we raid.

We’re now gearing up for when Nighthold comes out. I’m excited! Even more content and things to see and do. I ended up going full-time tank now, and have been this way for almost a month. I’m 870 item level, and having a blast.

If you’re looking for a raiding guild that fits the description above, feel free to contact me in-game (Bewear-Fenris) or leave a note here. We are definitely recruiting and have room for more like-minded players.

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