Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Winter Veil and 1 Year On

Christmas is finally upon us! Last night I had the pleasure of saving Metzen and chasing down a certain snowman with 1/2 my raid group after we'd had a quick excursion into VoA. We're 2/4 in there on our first attempt having had WG start up whilst we were at Koralon. It was a much needed break from Naxxramus which I think we may well drop over the festive season and bash in a few heads elsewhere.

This is also the time of year for reflection and to think back on those achievements. For my World of Warcraft journey, I will reach my first anniversary on 3rd January and it seems a good time to think back over what I've been through in my time in Azeroth so far.

The single biggest thing that has made Azeroth such a great place to be has been joining the guild I am now in. A large, social/raiding guild (yes they do exist!), I've learnt so much about this game that I would never have learnt in my first guild. From not understanding group mechanics, to leading a raid team and being a member of the guild council, I wouldn't have enjoyed it so much without the people in the guild and I certainly wouldn't have got this far. So to all of you in The Monkey Tree, /salute. Thank you.

The second thing that has changed my outer world if you like, has been meeting more like-minded people from across the globe who blog and chat about their adventures in Azeroth, from the RP-ers, to the PvP-ers and the guy who xrealmed to join TMT after joining us for our birthday party. From the likes of you have grown this little green blog. I thank you too.

I'm off now to eat mince pies, venture into new territory, and take one step close to that pretty violet proto drake. On Dasher! On Dancer!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year From Deme x

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A Death Knight Beginning and A Lich King's End

I rerolled a DK on an alternative server a few weeks back to enjoy playing through the starting area again now that I'm not such a noob and have some idea of the lore behind the characters I met there first time round. This just happened to coincide with a little thing called Patch 3.3 a.k.a. Arthas's Doom, or the official Blizzard title, Icecrown Citadel which will arrive in mere hours. Whatever you want to call it, the Lich King is gunna go down. Oh yeah!

Considering where I am with Deme right now, this is great timing, we're off to bash in KelThuzad tonight. If we just put Ulduar to one side it feels as though I am right in the middle of the Northrend battle, smack in the middle of the beginning of the Lich King's demise, with one eye on the horizon and the inevitable final goal.

Looking back on the death knight starting zone, I definitely took the phasing for granted in the past and I'm very glad I had the chance to run through it again. The quest I remember most is rescuing Koltira Deathweaver from the extremely annoying High Inquisitor Valroth. When I first tried this quest I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to kill that stooopid cloth-wearing squidgy, failing and then having to wait for Koltira to kick the bucket and the room to 'reset' as it were. This time round I think it still took me 3 goes to beat Valroth's head in.

I took great pleasure in taunting Noth with 'Where's Heigan?' especially since I was in the midst of wiping on Heigan a lot on Deme (for the second time) and spotting Gothik and thinking, 'You're not so tough! We one-shotted you!' was extremely satisfying. All in all, spotting the bosses that my raid group had recently slaughtered in Naxxramus was a real giggle. I also spotted a few people who I wondered about. Who the hell are these princely brothers? What happens to Orbaz Bloodbane after the Battle at Light's Hope?? Shamefully I've not met Bloodbane in Ice Crown yet and although I've bopped Prince Valanar in the Last Rites quest, I'd no idea at the time who he was. Having re-met him, I did wonder if he would appear in Icecrown Citadel and lo and behold, him and his dastardly brother are in league with Taldaram, yet another cheeky monkey who has popped again although we've all slaughtered him umpteen times in Ahn'Kahet. Maybe killing the Lich King is like killing the Sire of the Vampires, you kill the sire and all the others die too?

Whatever way the fight goes down, I'm just as excited as the rest of Azeroth.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Key Binders Versus Mouse Clickers

My friend and esteemed guild leader, Verde, placed a video on the guild youtube channel of his raid group downing Yogg. A really great achievement for our mainly social guild. Along with a few positive comments, he also got a slew of trolling about the fact that he is a 'fail clicker rogue'. This seriously makes me ask, can you really accuse someone of being 'fail' if they're killing tough end game bosses?! Verde has posted on his feelings on his blog and I thought I'd follow on from this with a slightly more in depth view.

I asked via twitter and via our guild forum whether people play as clickers or key binders, or indeed if there were some hybrids. I wasn't surprised to find that the majority of people who replied on twitter were binders. My experience is that people who use twitter are generally more computer literate, adding the fact that most of the respondents are also bloggers, I felt that they would be more au fait with setting up a keyboard to make their lives easy. This isn't a scientific test by the way so don't leave me comments about it not being a representative study ok?

My fellow guildies were quite a mix and this is where I got some interesting information. A mix of pro key binders (to the point of having those special gaming keyboards), avid-clickers with programmable mice and a lot of hybrids like me. A few stating that it depends on what class they are playing, that on some chars they play with a macro heavy set up and on others it's clicking all the way. I wanted to know why they played this way, for the binders it seems to be that they were used to this play style from all the RTS, FPS, and RP games they played before. For those who click, it's pretty much how they started playing WoW and if they change now, all sorts of problems occur in their raid teams.

Us hybrids are in an interesting position. For my own part, I really didn't get all the 'wasdftw' stuff until very recently. Then I realised that I hadn't key bound anything, I was just pressing the buttons WoW's standard UI told me to. Other hybrids range from those just beginning to start binding to those who use keys and the mouse and are raiding the very latest content. There were a few people who commented that for melee classes especially, key binding was a definite advantage, but not a necessity and then there was our trusty guildie who plays with no add-ons whatsoever and no clue about the terminology of clicking versus binding.

So if you do click, does it really make you a 'fail' player? Well I go back to my original remark, if you're downing tough end game bosses, then how can you be a 'fail' player? In this particular case I know that the player can knock out the high level DPS needed for these end game raids. I also know that the player isn't being carried by his team, this team works hard and works together. Personally I can see that key binding has definite potential. I haven't bound any of my keys further than the WoW standard so far, but having had this debate on the forum and having seen Cynwise's PvP set up I am inspired to make some changes. I don't know what impact the changes will have or if I'll stick with them when I make them, I will obviously keep you informed.

Essentially, as with all things in this World of Warcraft, if you're enjoying it, keep doing it. If you aren't enjoying it change it or stop doing it and leave everyone else to enjoy their game. Simples.