Sunday, September 28, 2008

New server tryout

I rolled a new character on Draknar server in Warhammer. I got him up to 5 in a few hours. I wanted to see if there was any difference on a server with a higher population. Draknar had a medium population. On high population servers, there is a warning that there may be queues.

I was able to do the first public quest with a group, which I was unable to do on Tor Achere. But after the first successful run, the group broke up and it could not be completed again with just a few of us. I also noticed the populations were very reduced by the time I logged off. I think population changes over time. There are few people who stay up. The lowest time must be around 3 to 4 am Eastern.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Warhammer tanks

The Order side has a tank in the High Elf Swordmaster. I noticed when I created my character that the description says the build is based on the tank model, while the White Lion is based on the melee fighter. The White Lion has the added benefit of a pet to deal damage, along with the character's melee damage.

So, there is another tank for the Order side, other than the Dwarf Ironbreaker. The Swordmaster has three basic talent trees that come into effect at level 11: Damage-dealing, protection and magic, like a battle mage. The protection tree, of course, is for tanking. I have little knowledge of the build other than that, so I will have to see how it plays out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Warhammer down

I logged on at 6:45 pm EST right when all servers were going down to fix an issue with characters respawning where they die. They won't be back until 8:30, so I am going back to Azeroth for a while.

Warhammer is fun

I really enjoyed playing Warhammer. I think I was just in the mood for a change, so it didn't seem that bad. Or I overlooked the downsides of the game just to enjoy myself.

Mythic has created a game that is very similar to Dark Age of Camelot, of course. From what I remember of DAoC after trying it for about one day, the two games are very similar. The appearance of both games are very much the same, and the combat systems are the same. But Warhammer is much improved over DAoC or Ultima Online.

I was not even bothered as much about PvP, or RvR as the game calls it. I felt like I was just battling NPCs when I was fighting against human players. I think it is because the players were not jumping around or performing antics like they do in World of Warcraft. Warhammer also seems better designed for PvP, at least from my point of view, than WoW. That is, the content of WoW that I enjoy is PvE, and PvP does not seem enjoyable or understandable by me so far, given the antics of people who play the game. I once watched a Paladin fight a duel with a Hunter. The poor Paladin stood there while the Hunter jumped around and hopped up on objects like stairs. It was such a silly duel. I can see a Hunter running from Consecration, but hopping around was ridiculous.

Soon players will be hopping around while fighting in Warhammer, but for now they were not. The game allows jumping.

I spent most of my time in Warhammer yesterday with Destruction controlling the four RvR points while I was doing PvE. Then I decided to go for some of the RvR points. I got creamed because I was the only one there. First a Dark Elf killed me, then when I returned, a Chaos player killed me. So I quit RvR for a while. Apparently, all the Destruction left the area later, because the NPCs were there without any players.

I tried killing some of them, when two players came along and invited me to their party. It was a Witch Hunter and a Warrior Priest who joined me. We ran around and took over the three points in our territory. Then we celebrated our victory. One of the players headed out to the fourth point, but I didn't understand exactly where he was going, so they took over the fourth point. Soon, the bar on the top indicated that we had taken over all the points, with all blue and no red. I finally found the fourth point, but by then I think the other two players logged off, because I was no longer in the party. We also got the buffs from the NPCs. I had to show them how to get the buffs, because they didn't know how. It was a new game. I had gotten them at one point because the points were on our side for a brief time.

The idea that three players could take over all the points is interesting. The designers made it so a player could even do it himself, if he were at the right level. Most of the Destruction players were higher than me anyway. They were around 11 and I was only 6 or 7.

I think I spend almost 12 hours with the game, all day until early morning. Anything that occupies me for that long has got to have some good points.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Warhammer is coming

I have decided to get Warhammer before Wrath of the Lich King. I may pick it up this weekend. I want to give it a try, at least for this month, to see what it is like. I have been disappointed by some games that are full of hype, but never deliver anything worthwhile. I think that is why I skipped Age of Conan. Although the story was interesting to me, the combat system did not seem very good.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Arielm is Feral

I changed Arielm to Feral from Restoration. The skills in Feral should allow him to kill faster. I read an article in WoWWiki that convinced me to change. The article claims that the only way to level fast is to use Feral. It may be correct.

Warhammer Online

Warhammer is a real temptation. The more I read about it, the more I think it is a good game. Probably not like the disappointments I have been having of late. But I may wait until after a while, like after Wrath of the Lich King is released, for the price to go down on the game and things to settle down. Less lag and excitement.

Warhammer has an interesting character in the Warrior Priest on the Order side. It is essentially a Paladin.

Feral Druids

All of the fuss over Feral Druids is answered adequately in the upcoming Patch 3.02:

  • New Talent - Mother Bear (Feral): Increases the bonus attack power for Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by an additional 20/40/60%, and for each friendly player in your party, damage you take is reduced while in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 1/2/3%.
  • New Talent - Natural Reaction (Feral): Increases your dodge chance while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form by 2/4/6%, and you regenerate 1/2/3 rage everytime you dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form.

  • Mother Bear will increase attack power and reduce damage for a Bear tank, and Natural Reaction will increase dodge and help rage regeneration. Those are directly improving the ability of a Bear Druid to tank in any instance. I really don't understand why anyone can complain about the ability of a Feral Druid to tank. Maybe something is lacking now, but just wait until the next patch.

    It makes me want to start a Feral Druid. I have considered changing my Druid to Feral at least for leveling. A Restoration Druid is fine for leveling, except when Mana is low. I have switched to Cat or Bear on occasion to kill a few monsters. I also found, at least on low levels, it is possible to switch forms, heal, then go back. That is not possible in instances because the damage is much higher.

    It seems that Patch 3.01 is being implemented when patch 3.02 is introduced. There is no patch 3.03.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Declining Duels

    I got a new addon called DeclineDuel from WoWAce. It seems almost impolite, but it was made necessary by several players who make totally uncalled-for challenges. DeclineDuel came in handy when I first used it. A 70 character challenged me to a duel on my then-25 Paladin Beneluxus while we were standing outside Shadow Fang Keep. I could not understand it. I think a level 70 character could beat a level 25 if he stripped all the armor and weapons off his character and punched him. It might take about 3 hits, but he would die fast. It just did not make sense for a level 70 to challenge a level 25. I wish someone could explain it. I should have asked him why he challenged me when he knew I was 45 levels below him. Once I did ask someone who was challenging me to a duel why he challenged me when he was more than 10 levels above me. I got no response. Those kinds of challenges don't even deserve a response, even if it is automated. Blizzard should have its own check to decline all duels, or at least decline ones that are from players that are 5 or more levels above. It is no wonder I do not even play PvP.

    Gold farming continues

    My gold farmer, Vaniis, is continuing to earn more and more gold. He has about 90 gold in his stash, plus he bought a couple of Netherweave Bags, one for himself and one for his brother, Beneluxus, at around 8 gold each from the Auction House.

    I believe in spreading the wealth. I have known players who say they never buy anything at the Auction House, but I am not like that. As long as I have enough left for my own purposes, I will buy some things from other players. I do not trust the trade screen, but I do trust the Auction House.

    I probably should build a Tailor to make Netherweave Bags, but getting a character high enough to make them will take a long time.

    No patch day

    I am still trying to figure out the patches. No patch was applied yesterday, so I am wondering when this patch is to be applied. It may be the two patches, 3.01 and 3.02, will be applied when the Wrath of the Lich King is installed. From the WowWiki entry that seems possible, but the patches all have different dates.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Patch 3.01 downloaded

    Technology is great, and all is right with the world.

    I decided the Blizzard background downloader was running way too slow. Seven percent after a whole night was just not enough. It was up to around 18 percent yesterday. So I looked at the options in the splash page and clicked on "Do not throttle." It warns that processes may be slow. Who cares if the processes are slow when I am asleep? My processes are normally slow when I sleep. At first, it looked like it was not going to work. It just sat there, doing nothing faster. So I went to bed.

    When I awoke, the entire file was downloaded! Thank you, Blizzard!

    Patch day is tomorrow, so I guess they decided to do something about it.

    According to WowWiki, the new patches are in anticipation of the new expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. The wiki says something about the levels going up to 77, but it is unclear as to whether that change is coming with 3.01 or 3.02. All of the patches are lumped into one description. I will have to wait to see what this patch will do.

    The new expansion is announced for Nov. 13. I will wait at the window for the delivery of my reserved copy.

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    New patch coming - 3.01

    The Blizzard background downloader came on yesterday, so I left my computer on all night. It downloaded only about 7 percent. It got up to 14 percent today.

    I will have to look up what the patch brings.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Farming gold

    I have made a breakthrough in earning gold.

    I used to not even concentrate on making gold in World of Warcraft. If I needed some gold, I would auction a bunch of green or better items that I pick up. I also auctioned some materials when I needed to buy a flying mount on Thorium Brotherhood for my 70 character. But I didn't want to farm for gold. It almost seemed like cheating to sell too much in the Auction House.

    In fact, I didn't even dedicate one alt to earning gold. It seemed too complicated to bother sending junk to one character, then auctioning with that character. At first, I devised my own system for auctioning by marking up all items by 200 percent. Then I got Auctioneer and Auctioneer Advanced, which marks up all items by 300 percent anyway, and marks items for their sales potential in the market. It makes recommendations like "undercutting by 5%," which means it is offering a discount on the price, hoping to undercut the current sellers, or "cannot match lowest price," meaning some prices are way too low, or "market is overpriced," meaning there are many sellers with inflated prices. I was cautious then, and dared not sell when Auctioneer said it could not match the lowest price. I only sold when undercutting or when prices were inflated.

    When I got on Hydraxis, I started a Paladin. Soon, I realized I was shooting myself in the foot because I could not even buy the simplest skills at low levels. I needed gold. I also began thinking that I would never have enough gold to buy a mount at level 30. It was hard enough to get a mount at 40. What am I going to do when I need a mount at 30? Paladins don't need to buy mounts, but still, what about the characters that do need to buy mounts?

    So, I decided to do what many others recommend: I made a character that would be a gold farmer. Well, not exactly. This character is a Shaman that is dedicated to earning gold for himself and my other alts. He has two gathering professions: Skinning and Mining. He sells everything he picks up. I mean everything except for a few consumables to give him a food buff and replenish his mana. And his hearthstone. Don't ever sell your hearthstone. Don't worry, you can't anyway.

    And this method works! It works like a charm. Duh! I am sitting now with a level 18 Shaman and around 50 gold! More than enough for a first mount and riding training, which adds up to only 40 gold. Plus, he is fully trained in all his skills and professions, including a bit of First Aid, even though he doesn't really need First Aid, being a Shaman. I like to get First Aid just in case I am out of mana and I need to heal someone, including myself. I also sent a few gold to my Paladin for his skills.

    I run Auctioneer only on the Shaman, meaning that I save data space, and I run Auctioneer about once a day when he visits the Auction House to update prices before auctioning. I also send him all the greens I pick up with my Paladin or my Druid.

    One interesting fact is that ore actually sells for more than smelted bars. I heard that, but never actually experienced it. The price is almost doubled for copper ore versus bars. That is a price difference that can only be explained by the Prospecting skill that Jewelcrafting gives. Players must be Prospecting to try to get gems and skillups. Or they are buying them for smelting when there are no bars.

    I even sell leather scraps. I cannot process the scraps because I do not have Leathercrafting, but leathercrafters must want them to process for skillups or to make leather.

    All this gold comes by taking advantage of the laziness of other players. Really. No one wants to go out and collect minerals and leather. Instead, they want to buy it. Where they get the gold to buy it, I don't know, and I don't care. It may be they need minerals for various purposes, like giving them to a blacksmith or engineer to make something for them, and they can't gather minerals, so they have to buy them.

    I also have thrown caution to the wind. I auction everything, no matter what Auctioneer recommends. And it sells. One reason why it sells is that many players just put up an opening bid, not a buyout, and buyers are impatient. They want the item now. Most sales are done on buyouts. I even auction little bits of herbs that drop from the tree monsters, instead of vending them. I put up a wand that did not sell the first and second tries, and now it is on its third try. Who cares? I have enough gold.

    It all comes down to the idea that if you concentrate on farming for gold, you can earn more gold than you can even use.

    The only unanswered question is when do I switch to a crafting profession? I am thinking it would be good to wait until I have earned enough to get all the mounts I need. That is one factor. It may not be until level 60 or so that I will be able to switch. I am thinking of Jewelcrafting for my Shaman. It also depends on whether I want to create more alts or stick to a limit of 3 characters on this server. The Druid won't need mounts. My Shaman may end up being a gold farmer forever if I want more alts.

    What gives me hope

    What gives me hope is the number of groups that are looking for members for Kara or other instances, even when I log on at midnight or later on Hydraxis. There is hope a group can start at a time I play.

    Leaving the Guild

    It was bittersweet when I left my guild, The Holy Knights of Westmarch, to wander off on my own. I am happy about the decision, but on the other hand, I am sad to leave a group I liked so much. I think I have to leave some groups to discover more about the world, even the world of video games.

    I am happy to leave because I leave the problems behind and the personal angst I felt when posting on the forums. I am sad because I may never play with certain individuals I respect in gaming. I was forced to leave because of dwindling membership and no solutions to the problem.

    I am trying a rather hard way by trying to start new characters on a new server. I may end up transferring my characters, after all, even though there are no guarantees that I transfer to a server where I can do Kara and beyond. I find many guilds have certain times to play, and my times seldom match their times.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Change in name

    I changed the name of my blog to The Lightbringer to reflect the idea that I play Paladins in World of Warcraft. A Paladin is the ultimate Lightbringer who intends his actions will do good in the world.

    I think that is my general intention in gaming, to play on the side of good, although many players may not understand or appreciate my particular understanding of what is good. I am more of a chaotic good player, meaning that I can seem to be doing something downright evil, even though my intent is to do good.

    One example from WoW was when I was on Draconiantus on the Thorium Brotherhood server mining Mithril in Silithus and I encountered a Horde player who attempted to steal some Mithril.

    Silithus is a very difficult area where I decided to level to 70 before I did any mining because the mobs were so hard to kill that I could not mine the caves until I was that level. Part of it had to do with my lack of ability at the time, but I made that decision based on my abilities and my frustration at being unable to kill enough to mine Mithril.

    The technique I used was to lead a mob of insects through the tunnel to a Mithril node, then kill the mob near the node, laying claim to it. I was doing that when along comes a level 58 Tauren player and proceeds to mine the Mithril right under my nose. I am standing there killing mobs nearby, and he just ignores that fact, probably figuring I am killing mobs so he can get the Mithril. I just am flabbergasted that anyone would have the gall to do such a thing.

    So, I walk away.

    I proceed to the next node. I have enough armor and defenses because I am built as a tank, so I just walk to the next node with mobs beating on me, maybe throwing myself a heal if I need it. I mine Mithril, then head back to the exit of the cave to where my Horde friend was attempting to steal Mithril.

    I see a Tauren body laying there. It is my Horde friend. Dead.

    I snicker at my clever move. I deliberately did that, knowing he did not have the ability to survive against the mobs.

    Now, some may argue I did a bad thing. I should have just killed the mobs so he would be safe, then gone on to the next node, and if he followed, I should just let him help himself to the next node, too. And so on, until he has collected all the Mithril he wants. Me, an Alliance Paladin, helping a Horde Tauren Warrior. How cute, and how peaceful, not to say rare, for interfaction cooperation.

    But I argue I did the right thing. I taught him a valuable lesson. This game is not easy. It is tough. You can't sneak alone into the caves of Silithus at level 58 expecting to mine Mithril. You have to work for your levels and your Mithril. And you can't expect anyone, Alliance or Horde, to hand you Mithril.

    It is a lesson you can apply to real life. Life is tough, and you have to forge out on your own many times to make your own way without anyone to give you a hand.