So you hate leveling, but have a problem with leveling speed buffs?


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Do you know what really wipes my raid? People who moaning about boosts to XP gains making leveling being too quick. (This post is brought to you by someone moaning about SW:TOR having a double XP event for subscribers). This is supposed to help other people and you have a problem with it. Let’s see how we can sort out your issues. Continue reading

Minor WoW Irritations – Logging the Sargerei Lumber


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Garrisons are nice. Sometimes we want to make our garrisons grow. To do that we need resources and one of the best sources of resources comes from cutting down trees and getting them processed at the lumberyard.

A Tree

This is a tree

Socrethar’s Rise in Shadowmoon Valley is a fantastic area for gathering resources especially lumber. Medium and larger trees are plentiful and there is minimal competition due to the high density of L100 and elite mobs. The garrison campaign quest includes the assembly of a Sargerei disguise allow you to pass amoung the otherwise hostile mobs unmolested. The disguise is a great asset when it comes to chopping down trees without interruption.

Unfortunately this bountiful harvest doesn’t last. The quest has to be completed if progress is to be made on the garrison campaign, and upon hand-in the disguise is lost. Part of your reward is a new disguise, but this is purely cosmetic and doesn’t cause the mobs to ignore you. Quest completion removes unfettered access to the best lumber gathering area in the game. It is an unfortunate example of the game punishing you if you want progress.

These academics studied female gamers to find out why they play. Their conclusions will astonish you.

“We have been avid gamers all our lives,” top researchers told us, “but we couldn’t understand why women would also be interested in online entertainment. We knew women like sowing, knitting, cook and cleaning, but games have a complexity far beyond the female brain to comprehend.”

What followed next was 3 months of intensive gaming sessions and an 5 minute interview with the research graduates 5-year-old sister. The conclusion will astonish you.

The lead academic had this to say.
“Yeah, it turns out that girls also like rainbows and unicorns. We figure that like the internet because they think it is run on magic and sparkles. So yeah, girls like games because they are thick.”

“Besides, no one with any brains would play that stupid game any more” interjected his colleague. It’s been ruined now that SoE has changed to Daybreak Game Company. Everything is pay to win. How can we show our superior skill and brainpower against that?”

Minor WoW Irritations – Show, don’t Tell

The Mists of Pandaria expansion could be said to have ended on a soar note. Yes, we saved the day, but we plunged a new land into into war, destroyed the landscape, elmost eliminated a race, wiped out an entire neutral faction, fowled the water supply of the farms that supply most of the content with food and turned a stunning valley a zone of eternal sorrows

Nuked Vale of Eternal Sorrows(image stolen from WowHead)

But don’t worry though, an eternity isn’t very long on Azeroth!

There is a party in Pandaria but you are not invited.

There is a party in Pandaria but you are not invited.

DON’T TELL ME IT’S ALL BEEN FIXED, SHOW ME!!! Would it be too hard to have a scenario with all my Panarian friends holding a party in an instance based on a slightly modified version of the unscarred vale.
The storyline was tough, troubling and traumatic. We reach the end, see what a mess we’ve made of everything then suddenly get told, “Don’t worry, everything got fixed.” We don’t get to see the feel-good stuff. We only get the misery leading up to it. For us there is no final pay-off, only a poorly added one-liner which invalidates all the suffering that occurred in MoP.

Always online enhanced – Persistent worlds without boundaries


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I wrote a long winded then more concise pair of post about how always online play-mode impacts game depth by limiting the freedom of players to do crazy things such as fiddling with how the game works or even experimenting with different types of gameplay. It was a fairly negative post, which wasn’t my original intent so here is a catch-up with some comments on how persistent worlds could retain some of the features of an offline single-player without losing the key advantages that they get from being online. Continue reading

Elite: Boring – Impact of always online covered by a single picture



While looking at a post on depth vs complexity in raiding I was struck by one of the screenshots.
What is depth? (screenshot of video originally taken from Extra Credits)

If I’d have seen this a few weeks ago it would have made my moan about always online having a negative impact some areas of gameplay in on Elite: Dangerous.

Always online = Reduction in meaningful choices = Less depth.

That would have been a much simpler and shorter post to make.

Supporting Free Content and Services – My New Deal


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I was searching for a Tobold post about his voting with your wallet ideology. While unable to find the exact blog I was looking for, I still found a decent quote that I can steal.

By voluntarily spending money on my favorite games even if I feel that it isn’t absolutely necessary in gameplay terms, I vote with my wallet for the games I like.

- Tobold (2013)

Substitute services for games and gameplay and you’ve got my long held school of thought [1].

If I can afford it then I have a duty to pay for a service that I use even when a charge is not required for access. By not contributing something to support content that I consume I increase the risk that the content might not continue to be available. In practise, I have not always been so forthcoming with my cash. Only once have I financially funded a donation supported game. Even then I only did it because I had an old PayPal account and it was easier to transfer the balance to the developer than it was to withdraw it myself.

Here is my statement starting today.

I promise to set aside a regular sum of money to spend on online content.
This account will:

  • Fund subscriptions to professionally[2] run editorial/blogs/magazines
  • Contribute to sites that I use
  • Make one-off donations for post/games/causes that I find particularly worth-while.

I will empty out the balance to my current cause-célèbre on a semi-regular basis to make sure I’m not too stingy.
It is not for funding kickstarters or other crowdfunding projects. That comes from a different pile of glods.

I’m not sure how much I’ll throw into the pot, but since I probably spend longer browsing things than I do playing WoW, double the monthly sub doesn’t sound unreasonable. The specifics are fuzzy as everything is a work in progress while I sort out the practicalities. Now to find a commonly accepted payment system and to buy Tobold a coffee.

[1] – Except tipping. I cannot stand tipping.
[2] – Ethically, I need to be supporting writers that are paid for the content they supply to a site.


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