The Perils of a Single Source

| Monday, June 29, 2009
As Tobold has shown, there are potential risks when using a single source for information. I ran into this problem when forming my opinion of City of Villains. My source of information was a friend of mine and watching her play and hearing how she talking about it.

If you were to hear me talking with her boyfriend we'd be complaining about paladin healing and arenas and elitist raiders and this or that nerf. Sometimes we'd talk about lore or quests or leveling. In general though, you'd get the idea that WoW has a lot to offer and something for pretty much anyway, even if we don't appear to like all of it. In contrast my friend talks about farming. That seems to be all she does. I made the false assumption that she played more than 5% of the game (can you imagine if all I ever talked about were arenas?) and as a result, from this single source and a false assumption created the notion that CoV is mostly farming.

Eventually this led to a very negative opinion, with me comparing it to the massive, constant farming for old Naxx which led to various nerfs to consumables, but without the raid. It did not help that as far as I knew from her (and she had directly said this) just about everything was BoE, so there's no incentive to do what is challenging, but instead what is efficient. Imagine the badge change, plus removal of all boss loot tables, and then make heroics soloable.

Apparently CoV has actual storylines that my friend just skips through. There also appears to be something almost like raiding, but tuned very softly: think Naxx, but you could get by without tanks, or healers, and you might even be able to solo it with Ulduar 25 gear.

Dammit. I was trying to explain the perils of single sources and next thing I'm explaining why CoV is bad. Okay there you go: when you use only one source if that source isn't perfect you're going to end up with really skewed impressions.

In unrelated news, I'm not very good at Civ4. I am apparently incapable of building and maintaining a defensive army and strong diplomatic relations, so I end up in almost constant offensive war just to ensure that I maintain a strong military and no one can attack me first. I really only stop fighting if my citizens complain too much or reinforcements cannot get there fast enough. In my second most recent game this didn't become too much of an issue because I swept across the other continent with bombers and tanks, taking over the entire place (and ironically triggering a diplomatic victory) before anyone could get weary and thanks to airlifts and bombers replacing artillery and transport ships.

An observation related to the unrelated news: I find it fascinating that as the Civ games increase options away from predestination (such as France must be Christian or America must be a republic) the results end up totally different from history. The game before my current my American empire was culturally dominant and rich, spreading Judaism across the world and enjoying peaceful relations, before being attacked by the Zulu and getting into so extended a war that I quit out of frustration.

WoW is not Real Life

Attempting to bring real life philosophies into WoW is likely to create absurd statements. Many of the philosophies of real life are based on the limitations of our world. There are limited resources and people die permanently. WoW does not have these limits. Instead the limits are much looser, and created by 'gods' (devs) over whom we can exert some degree of control.

Welfare does not exist, for current welfare is based on a redistribution of wealth in absolute terms. It ensures the physical survival of those who cannot or do not generate sufficient wealth on their own. There is no WoW equivalent since we do not die from starvation or any other material lacking or inaction.

Economies do exist, however direct parallels will inevitably fail because the economy of WoW is optional. One does not need any professions to survive. The world overall does not need professions to generate wealth, in fact currency is destroyed through the auctioning of crafted items. While a strong economy is good, it should not be assumed that a weak economy means mass starvation and rioting. Furthermore, resources are effectively unlimited (except for some limits imposed by devs), so shortages are mostly due to failure to gather that which is plentiful rather than an actual lack of material.

Much of morality is distorted since all enemies are either unfeeling NPCs or other players on which we cannot directly inflict any pain or damage. Death is impermanent. Direct theft is impossible except due to misplaced trust and any player can make himself immune to theft simply through greater control of social interaction (ML in instances, control the guild bank).

To top it all off, WoW has a major flaw (or perhaps feature) which real life doe not have: the creators have told us it is a game. In life there are things which are necessary and must take priority over that which is fun while in WoW there is fun and the only necessities are those which are linked to the aspects of fun which we freely choose. Being a game means that fun takes priority over all else. Virtual economics, perceptions of superiority, nerd raging; they are all subordinate to fun. If it happens that the fun of somewhere else interferes with your own fun, something is going wrong.

To fully explain why trying to bring RL into WoW will fail, here's a strange bit of morality. As I said before, morality cannot be determined by pain, death, or injury since none are permanent or even felt. However, if we take the developers to be the 'gods' of WoW, the creators, then we can see that if they say it is a game and they are the root of all things, then fun must be the morality of WoW. In other words, if you're not having fun, you're not just wasting your time, you're also breaking a fundamental rule. Clearly we can see from this that not having fun should result in bans. To those who bring their twisted RL views into it, consider the implication of acting as if RL rules apply to WoW: you being gone.

Oh Creators of this Virtual World which we inhabit, we beseech thee to smite the infidels and cleanse the World of Warcraft of their corrupting influence!

See that was stupid. That's what happens when you put RL in WoW. Bringing RL-derived philosophies into WoW is only an abstract version of the people who complain about RL relationships in gchat and act as if we should care. That's right, you're just an emo teenager whose parents are totally on his case, like omg.

P.S. This is not a reference to lore or magic, but to the completely artificial and (as the devs create it) unlimited qualities of WoW, and so this can be applied to any video game. Concepts such as "earning" and "deserving" just don't make much sense when removed from their context of a real world where resources are scarce.

Blessed by the RNG

| Saturday, June 27, 2009
This past week or two the RNG has decided to be kind to me, dropping much loot that I want when I'm in a position to get it. This is in contrast to the previous few months when I would often not see loot except that I could not get.

The upgrade I'm happiest about is The Jawbone, finally replacing Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver. My extended use of a heroic weapon through all of Naxx and into Ulduar was getting to be a frustration. Having such an important source of my DPS be so out of date made me feel like I wasn't pulling my weight. Before this I just was not seeing any weapon drops. Okay fine, I saw four. Cryptfiend's Bite was a small upgrade for the hunter who outrolled me. Betrayer of Humanity I was outrolled on. Ironsoul I lost the roll to a guildy with a taste for calling need. Most recent was my loss of Rune Edge about which I cannot complain because it was a justified loot decision. What? No it's not weird that I remember exactly what weapon upgrades I've lost for the past few months. You can't remember four things? Yes four weapons over the past few months. FOUR over MONTHS! Sorry.

I got a pair of 7.5 chests over two nights of naxx, beating one other person for an effective health chest and the other uncontested to be a ret upgrade.

VoA gave 8.5 ret legs, which then triggered a bunch of Rawring to figure out what to do about hit, followed by the realization that the belt that I passed on in Naxx would have been just about perfect (ever so slightly over the hit cap, but I could adjust gems to compensate), except I didn't care much about it at them time.

I got a new tanking neck for my EH set, a new healing ring for my Not Heroic Blues set, leather boots from Council of Iron (Assembly?) which are apparently awesome. Previous weeks brought my respec to ret, followed within the hour with a new ret hat and the next week with a new trinket, ring, cloak, and another cloak (first was badge), and some tanking gloves. This leaves my belt as the last item which I hate, so I'm planning on getting the crafted ret belt, possibly after 3.2 floods me with badges.

Speaking of Rawr: I finally started using it and realized that I was completely undervaluing hit. Thanks to all the loot I'm finally in a position to use it effectively, since previously whatever I had was the best I had as opposed to having multiple items which can be switched around for better combinations depending on whatever I recently found. This weekend my task is to find gems and enchants for all of it, something I've not had much chance to do since my schedule tends to look something like work, shower, eat, raid, sleep, work... and I hate myself when I cut sleep for WoW.

Dueling Cults

| Friday, June 26, 2009
As you go through life you will find many cults. There are small bits of Christians, Muslims, comet-worshipers, pretty much anything that exists or does not exist has a cult devoted to it. It's the rule 34 for cults. There are two cults which are currently locked in an epic battle for world domination. They are based on no deities or holy books. Instead both are based on worship of the material existence. However they take opposite sides. Both began with good roots and eventually were corrupted, existing now only as irritants to the world.

The first is the Cult of the Environment.
This cult began with pretty sensible ideas such as not dumping toxic waste into water supplies or not hunting to extinction necessary species such as those we eat. However the passage of time has turned this highly positive set of goals into a destructive cult. Ironically the cult will talk endlessly about sustainability and attacks any human influence in nature, but it fails to define sustainability (is it using less? How much less?) or that ultimately, the world is doomed even if humanity ceases to exist, in fact only through human intervention will anything survive the inevitable melting of the planet when the sun goes red.

Members of this cult should not be confused with environmentalists who have retained their sensible roots.

The other is the Cult of the Economy.
This cult also began with intelligent ideas: higher production means greater happiness and chances of survival for a civilization. A rather simple example of the value of a strong economy (as measured by GDP) is war. If you have no factories and you suddenly need tanks, you're in trouble. If you have car factories, it won't be simple, but you can retool them and retrain workers to build tanks, in addition to already having supply chains for steel, rubber, oil, etc. Unfortunately somewhere along the line people forgot the point of the economy and started to worship it as an end in itself. Even worse, they may act directly against the point of the economy, encouraging factories to move to other nations based on the illusion that they will produce cheaper goods for their own nation. Some sink even lower and see nothing but their own money and cannot even see the economy anymore.

Members of this cult should not be confused with businesspeople.

These two cults fight on any front they can. Some go so far as to pretend that GDP exists in a video game. Pretend might not be the right word. Perhaps there is a measurable GDP in a game. It would deal in material production: gear, ore, herbs, gold, all that sort of thing. More means a higher GDP. With this in mind the new badges and easily accessible loot will increase the GDP. But you say: "they didn't earn any of it!" Wrong. Give a man paper and pencil and ask him to design a bridge. It will take a while. Give him a computer and ask him to design it. It will take less time. The change was not that he earned it less, but instead that he was more efficient.

Let us fight the cult though by going back to the roots. What is the purpose of the virtual GDP? If we consider all the gear and trade goods and gold to be the products, what are they for? This is not easy to answer. The ultimate goal is presumably fun, seeing as this is a video game. What are some steps along the way? Perhaps the devs want to encourage us to raid for fun, so GDP is a way to facilitate raiding. This seems to fit with Gevlon's thoughts.

PS: if you are claiming that "5-man grinding badge gear is useful as they become more geared so ready to raid" I must ask, "who are you fooling?". Of course there can be raiders filling the last missing spot. A few of the grinders will be new players gearing up. Some PvP-ers will collect some pieces into missing slots. But 95% of the badge gear will never see good use. With crafted BoE, at least half of the effort of the grinders would be useful (not the half that goes into their gear of course)

Unfortunately we don't have very good numbers to work with. 95% is clearly an exaggeration. I suppose I could make up numbers with my own experience, but then I'd have 100% of it being useful and that's even more skewed in the other direction.

What's useful anyway? As we established, it's getting people into raids. Okay. Well that 5% is useful. The rest is 'waste'. Or is it? That 95% is actually not wasted. First off, waste implies some sort of material being lost, when in fact there is no such loss. It is not as if we are burning up our limited oil reserves in order to create badge gear. What will happen with the wasted gear? Perhaps it will end up on a canceled account. This can happen to any gear, not just badge gear, so that waste can hardly be blamed on badges. Perhaps it will end up on a person who just runs heroics. Is that a waste? No, because nothing is lost. In fact, by providing such 'wasted' gear to a player who only does heroics, it provides further progression, encouraging them to play longer, resulting in a longer subscription, and from that more money to design raids. Having raids in the first place is essential to any attempt to encourage raiding.

And as always: only raiders and PvP-ers need gear. Anything else (RP, casual questing...) can be done in blues perfectly. Without the real intent to go raid (I mean spamming guilds with applies) or without the real intent to do serious PvP (creating team, play 20+/week) someone does not need any epics. If he "needs" gear, he is a social and wants the gear to show it to peers.

Why did Sunwell drop gear? It was the final raid and there were no hard modes to do. Any gear from it would be going towards either raids which had already been cleared (which means the new gear was not needed) or leveling in the upcoming expansion (which Gevlon claims needs nothing more than blues).

Gear is a reward. This is apparent simply by the fact that end raids have dropped it. It is not just a tool to get to the next raid. For players who cannot raid, not due to being M&S, but due to RL time contraints, then gear rewards will stop sooner than those of raiders. Since MMOs are founded on virtual reward and social interaction, this would cut non-raiders away from half the game, and as a result just might make WoW fall below the point of being worth their money. At this point the non-raiders would likely leave, starving Blizzard of the massive amounts of money needed to design, test, and maintain raids and servers for them.

If that was too much to read, here's a shorter version: Badge gear is not wasted because no base materials or effort were wasted (oh fine, the half an hour of dev time required to switch all bosses to a different emblem). Attempting to use RL economic rules in a virtual world with effectively no material limits is outright stupid. Just to end on a stupid note:
Talking about badges, "You are payed by an NPC, disregarding the needs of other players. In a BoE economy, the price of different items would depend on the demand and supply generated by players."
Badge loot is actually highly beneficial to other players. If I buy a T7 token (which I did) I will no longer attempt to take a T7 token from a fellow player. This can be applied to any loot. Badge loot is in fact the most selfless of loot, the most regarding of other players. It takes a resource (badges) which is entirely mine and uses it to prevent the need to take another resource (random drops) which would be valuable to others. If I had not bought a badge cloak I'd have taken two more drops from others (or maybe it's more, I've lost track of how many items I've passed to others). It is exactly my regard for others which causes me to spend my own currency in order to be better prepared to help my guild and take less loot from others.

Finally, a fully BoE economy would be terrible. It would encourage gold-buying on a massive scale. It would encourage people to do solo dailies (rather than grouping up for instances) and avoid any potential gold losses (raid wipes). To top it off it would be very rewarding to two groups: raiders who directly acquire the gear and "the facerolling moron, who spend his infinite free time (unaffected by working or learning) on grinding..."

"Welfare" is Stupid

| Thursday, June 25, 2009
Gevlon has become a man of the underdog, advocating for the handicapped players who cannot play constantly. Oh yes, he is standing up and showing that welfare is destroying WoW for those most vulnerable. Sadly, as is typical, he's managed to still be a complete asshole and wrong. Both at the same time: he's a talented guy. Let's find the fun.

"Military dictatorships where huge tax is collected and spent on the army are usually much more developed and having much higher GDP than socialist dictatorships, spending on welfare."
This ignores that military dictatorships so often have outside support or unusually valuable natural resources far in excess of their need. See Iraq, US support, and oil for more information.

"Gnomegaddon found the real reason (/bow). As you know Blizzard will implement a welfare system, where you can get Naxx25-Ulduar25 gear for no effort, just by grinding 5 mans."
This is an easy one: "No effort" followed immediately with "grinding."

"He will be much less geared than the facerolling moron, who spend his infinite free time (unaffected by working or learning) on grinding 5-mans. If Gnomegaddon logs in, sees a "LFM 1 mage to Ulduar 10", he'll have practically 0 chance to get accepted against a completely useless facerolling M&S, due to much worse gear."
As before, the M&S, with S meaning slacker, is using his unlimited free time to get better gear. So the slacker is putting in a lot of time and he's a moron for using an efficient source of gear?

If anything I see this being a boon to infrequent players. Limited time or unpredictable schedules aren't kind to raiding, but they work well with the much shorter heroics. Most guilds use some sort of system that rewards contribution to the guild, usually by some measurement of attendance such as DKP. Our gnomish friend would likely have very little DKP or other pull in the loot system, so getting gear outside of raids is a very good option.

"If some new player reaches level cap, he will be completely uncompetitive against the ilvl226 M&S. Normally, his ilvl200 blue/crafted epic would be enough to get into starter raids. I'm damn sure that you can clear the siege area with a full 200 group if they know what to do. It's proven that you can clear all T7 content in ilvl 160.

Due to the welfare system he has no other option than join the welfare leech class, stay out of raiding for months to grind enough badges just to apply.
People expecting new players to be overgeared is hardly new and not the fault of badges, it's the fault of people doing the unthinkable: wanting easy smooth runs.

"The upper class of the world (the raiders of Ulduar) are not really affected by welfare. No geared M&S will risk our positions as their skills are ridiculous. Our work will always be needed, both RL and WoW."
Wrong. This is actually really great for guilds in Ulduar or late Naxx. This means that they can recruit more easily and suffer much less from any loss of members. Easy badge gear means they don't need to scrutinize gear as closely since they can quickly gear them up if necessary. This is in fact the complete opposite of Gevlon's earlier claim that this hurts new players.

"If there would be an even field, the working person would be rewarded for his work. Even if he is poor, by the end of the day, he would be less poor. With welfare he can easily be more poor (compared to the society average) due to the fact that the lazy welfare leech got more money for doing nothing than he got for his work (after tax)."
Whether you start with no badges or 100 badges, you get the same number of badges for equal heroics. Is there a relative loss? Sure. That's a very limited perspective though. The bottom still gets higher. IRL a poor person in America is just as relatively poor as 200 years ago, or possibly even much worse, but by absolute standards they're much less likely to starve to death, end up in debtor's prison, or become an indentured servant. Moving up from the bottom to the lower middle class the difference is even bigger. Much of this is due to those damn socialist communist, anti-American safety nets called welfare.

"If there would be no welfare epics in WoW, the players would be forced to improve and "work", by becoming useful to the server community. They could only get gear by actually defeating bosses, or producing enough gold to buy BoE."
Heroics have bosses which must be defeated to get badges. Buying BoEs is nice, I won't argue with it. But the overall effect of badges is that a player can get better than naxx gear without having to run naxx, meaning that they can much more quickly be ready to help in Ulduar.

One more thing: the socialist always whine about the income differences, that the society is split into a rich and a poor class with no middle. Currently the WoW-PvE classes:

* Ulduar-raiding "rich"
* Naxx25 and Ulduar-siege raiding "upper middle"
* Naxx25 2 wings raiding "middle"
* Naxx10 raiding "poor"
* 5-man playing "very poor"

After the welfare system implemented, there will be no reward in Naxx or Ulduar. So the classes will be:

* T9 raiding "very rich"
* 5-man playing "very poor"

This allows the Naxx classes to much more easily move into the Ulduar classes and the 5-man classes can move up as well. This will do the exact opposite of what Gevlon claims. After this there will be no "poor who is not responsible for being poor" because anyone with an hour can be on the road to the gear needed for Ulduar.

I don't mean to imply by all this that I think the badge change is great. I think it's overkill. However I dislike seeing assholes pretend to be friends of the disadvantaged. I also dislike seeing people use the term welfare in WoW. Any attempt to equate 'welfare' in WoW and welfare IRL is the result of trolling or a mental defect such as virtual elitism or just plain stupidity.

Midsummer Set

| Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I finally got enough blossoms to buy the full Midsummer set and the pet. If you don't have enough before the holiday ends, at least get the robes. The sparky dance thing looks really cool. It might be extra awesome for female belfs since they do so much hand waving and spinning.

Remember when paladins were bad OTs?

| Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I remember when he had almost no regen if we weren't taking damage. JoW, potions, and that was about it. Terrible.

Aggro was pretty bad too. Back then we were huge on reflective damage. Holy Shield, Blessing of Sanctuary, and Retribution Aura were really bitg parts of our aggro. Next to those we had auto-attack with SoR, judgement, and consecration and without regen, we couldn't afford them.

I remember HATING that robot guy in TK. If I didn't start with aggro, I wouldn't get it until after a few DPS had died. If I started with him, I could hold him for a long time.

Paladins just had way too much of a gap between their MT and OT aggro. It was ridiculous. Sadly, I see the same problem, though of a much smaller magnitude, with warriors. Not being MT means no rage from damage taken and no enrage for 10% more damage.

What brought this on? I'm having big aggro problems. Not lack, but too much. I often end up staring at Omen, waiting for when I can start using specials again, just judging and auto-attacking in the meantime. I've had this problem with DKs, warriors, I can't remember the last time a druid tanked, even another paladin. Apparently our aggro so so OP that we can pull aggro off ourselves.

I use a 6-9 rotation for MT, for OT I use pretty much the same, but replacing HS. In that case I alternate exorcism, avenger's shield, and sacred shield refreshes as needed. The result is an almost full rotation with only the occasional gap and tons of aggro. We've come a long way. Remember Vanilla when we had no regen ever?

Why don't we make our own achievements?

| Monday, June 22, 2009
In How nerfed is WoW? You decide! a little bit ago Larisa explores how WoW has changed in terms of getting easier. My response was this:
Overall? Hard to say. WoW used to be harder, but much of that harder was because of terrible balance, not due to actual challenges. Only one real tanking class made it harder to do raids due to lack of tanks, but fixing that is hardly what I'd call a nerf.

There's not much to be gained by tallying nerfs and checking the score. If the game is too easy, it means you're not trying hard enough to make it hard. If you're not willing to put in the effort, don't complain. Maybe this is where WoW has been nerfed: challenges are handed to people on platters. There didn't used to be specific challenges spoon fed to raids.

If they wanted a challenge they made it themselves. I didn't see that happen often though. Why not? Why do most people not do something unless the devs tell them to do it?

My last paragraph is most relevant: Why don't we make our own challenges?

Perhaps this helps to explain it: we get banned. But there was a lack of such initiative before this. This isn't the cause. Why don't people make up their own challenges?

On my first wander over to Yggradsil I came up with this: (it makes a little more sense in context, but I think it still works)
I have noticed that spending less time often results in more fun. Oh sure now and then it's nice to lose a whole day, but for the most part WoW fun has diminishing returns. It starts to get stressful, especially if you spend half your time staring at the LFG interface thinking "I don't need that heroic, I don't need this other heroic, there's nothing to do."

It's not just the time though. It's what you think about the time. Is the time work or is it play? Too often I think we start seeing it as work, not rewarding in itself but only for the rewards. When that happens it's pretty obvious why we'd get angry over content getting easier. On the other hand, if play was purely for the fun and experience, then we'd pity those who come after the nerfs because they won't get to play what we played.

We're motivated by gear and other tangible (as much as virtual can be tangible) rewards, not as much by experiences. Self-made challenges do not give rewards. The devs don't intended for us to do them, so they don't reward them either.

What can change?
Ever heard the phrase "not working as intended"? That's another way of saying bug or exploit. The four man kill was not working as intended. The devs wanted the fight done with 10 or 25 people, not 4.

Change the philosophy. Rather than having just intended (do this) and not intended (don't do this, or else), add something else: unexpected (that worked? Cool!) I realize this makes things difficult for the devs and GMs. Where is the line between unintended and exploitative?

I hate to say it, but City of Heroes/Villains might actually have something to contribute. As far as I can tell from secondhand evidence, the game doesn't really have intention or balance. The result is that people just do fights however. My friend claims it makes them think, I thought it made them never have to plan ahead if just anything works (meaning it goes to the other extreme of non-thinking). A middle ground could be cool though. Take current raid design, loosen it slightly, and ease up on the bans because something was "not working as intended."


| Sunday, June 21, 2009
My guild finally killed Auriaya, again. Apparently she'd died weeks back and never again after that. I didn't see the kill, only that we were able to do Hodir. This was after weeks of missing 2-3 people in a raid, having undergeared people, and by my feeling, not much leadership going on. Finally there was a full raid, apparently properly geared, and they finally figured out the fight.

Notice I said 'they', not 'we'. I wasn't there. I died to her for weeks with no visible progress. It got to the point where I was seriously considering refusing to fight her or even leave the guild. This was no Razorscale or any other true guild-killer. No, this was a fairly annoying boss that we could not kill, until I'm not there.

To call it frustrating is an understatement. I'm furious. No, I'm not nerd-raging in gchat or anything like that, but I really feel like it. It feels like I worked hard towards something and it was taken away.

I missed the raid because of father's day. My mom decided to have a family gathering here. That meant a lot of my day spent around people too old to have much to talk about with. Nothing against them, they're all very nice, but I just don't have much interest in their careers, I hate talking about school or plans for the future, and I'm not sure they even have heard of WoW. What's left, politics? I'm pretty sure they're at the stage of being mostly out of things while I'm at the stage of having a head full of ideas that are driving me insane. I'd told one of the officers that I might not make it beforehand. I was able to get away a little early, but still I'd bet at least 10 minutes later than I needed. By then they just needed healers. I offered to respec, but I think they might have been full by then, just waiting to sort out which healers to take, and honestly, I'm very inexperienced and not quite up to the gear level. In other words it was a long shot that failed.

Earlier today when I'd told my friend (the officer) that I'd probably miss the raid he said they'd probably kill her, just so the game could spite me. He was right.

Possible side-effects of Conquest everywhere

| Saturday, June 20, 2009
We'll see a return to BC with many (lazy) people expecting gear from the second raid tier just to do heroics. Or more optimistically we'll see a lot of very over geared people filling up heroics and not really minding if they end up dragging along a few undergeared new players. My guess is that both will happen, depending on who you run into.

Runed orbs will plummet in price. 18 conquest feels a little high now when people are still learning Ulduar. Once those can come from only a handful of heroics we're going to see a lot more.

As a result of cheap orb, there will be very powerful (about the best you can get before hard modes) belts and boots which won't exactly be cheap, but I'd guess they'll end up around 1-2k. That's within reach for a much larger group of players than the current price of 6-8k.

PvP gear is going to inflate a bunch as people find themselves able to buy high-end gear. Previously their options were the easily obtained blue gear or the more expensive valor gear, which while the badges weren't hard to obtain, they couldn't be farmed so readily, limited to a couple dozen a week doing all available 25 man raids.

I won't call it a side effect since I'm pretty sure it's the goal, but the biggest effect will be much faster gearing of alts and new players. This will be a huge boon to guilds needing to recruit a few more people to either build up or to compensate for turnover.

Blessing of Sanctuary in 3.2

| Thursday, June 18, 2009
Is still a blessing.

From the patch notes:
Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.

This fixes nothing. We still have to pick between sanctuary and kings. 10% stamina is nice, but we're missing the 10% strength and agility. Those are not insignificant, especially the strength since we have so much on gear. When block gets fixed I don't think we're going to be happy about having to pick between 10% strength and more regen.

Sanctuary should not replace kings. Make it a passive ability of 3% reduction and regen tied to something else, like devotion aura or righteous fury. It's fine as a talent, it's not fine as a blessing.

Upon slightly later consideration, I'm less annoyed. It's a definite buff to soloing or any groups without other paladins. I'm glad Blizzard is trying to fix it, I just wish they weren't going about it the wrong way.

75 years after we hit level 12

| Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This is from the perspective of a son of one of us adventurers.

"If I spent my life chasing imaginary enemies, it was only so they would never become real."

     He wasn't actually paying attention. He never was. Attention meant seeing too much reality.
     "Yes, son?"
     "You have no in between."
     "What?" Confusion. Was it mental decline? Hardly. He was always confused. He faked certainty always. He was always sure of himself and his crazy ideas. Maybe this is decline after all, he forgot how to lie.
     "You're either eloquent or a raving lunatic." I wasn't lying. I'd not learned that. I sometimes thought to ask him to teach me, but he'd probably have said he couldn't.
     "Show some respect." He always talks about respect.
     "If not for me you'd all be dead a million different ways!"
     Let's count them. He'll first say the gnome tunnels. They were going to dig from Gnomeregan to Ragefire Chasm. They were going to join up with the Legion agents down there and enslave the troggs to fight for them.
     "Name ONE."
     "The gnomes and their hellish alliance with the troggs!"
     I told you so.
     "Father, that didn't happen."
     "Of course it didn't! We stopped it. Yes we did. You should be proud to have taken part. We wiped out the Legion and half the troggs. Beat the gnomes before they even got there! It was glorious."
     "Father, the gnomes were never going there." Why am I arguing with him? He never admits defeat.
     "Of course not! We beat them before they started. They're cunning, they have their telemetroniductors to talk to each other. They stayed at home after they saw us beat their advance."
     Told you so. Again.
     "You don't have any proof. You just make things up."
     "No proof!? Did you forget the armies of troggs? The leadership of the Legion? Did you not see a dozen tunnels which we could not explore, but which a gnome could walk through with ease? I bet we beat them only hours before. Just in time."
     "Fine." Why did I try to argue? The evidence always fits, he just uses a bigger hammer to smash it into place.
     "Good night, father." Respect doesn't go both ways. He'll be silent.


| Tuesday, June 16, 2009
My guild recruited a prot paladin today. I decided this was as good a time as any to go ret. I'd had interest in going ret for a while, mostly due to the loot system we use.

Main specs have priority over dual spec, which means that I'm not only competing with all the DPS for gear, but I'm also at a lower priority. There was a pretty strong incentive to go ret but still tank. This would get me on equal footing for ret gear and lower than the other tanks for prot gear, but since I'd still be tanking, I'd probably end up higher than the other dual specs.

Today I decided that would just be gaming the system, exploiting and abusing in an effort to compensate for what I consider to be a flawed system.

The new paladin is prot/holy, so going ret/prot would put me in a decent position for gear. But perhaps more importantly, my guild has no ret paladins except for a holy who I've never seen as DPS and my dual spec. Now I'm ret. It happened much sooner than I expected, I guess I'm used to my old class lead who was a bit slow to get things done. The result was that Flame Leviathan dropped a DPS helm and tanking sword. Well, I lost the sword to the new paladin, but I got the helm, so bye bye engineering helm once I get enchants and gems. I was a bit surprised that I wasn't annoyed at losing the sword. It was definitely an upgrade, but I guess I didn't feel like I lost it to someone who would waste it (I hate losing gear to noobs).

Oh yea, and we got the one tower achievement on FL on the second attempt. First was pretty good, second was just ironing out some mistakes. I was a gunner, my driver annoyed me, too much spinning makes it really hard to hit choppers.

Waiting to start the second attempt on Deconstructor now...

Iran is moving too fast

Four years ago Iran saw a lot of student protesting around the presidential election. There was some violent suppression of their dissent. In an effort to spread its views, it funds violent groups in the region, a clear imitation of American foreign policy in the 60s and 70s. Clearly these are evidence that Iran was far ahead of the rest of the Middle East, being only 40 years behind the rest of the world.

Now we're seeing massive outrage and protest over what many claim is a fraudulent election. Does this mean that Iran has moved up to the year 2000? If so, this is a disturbing speed of development. The implications are frightening.

In four years Iran has made 50 years of progress. Obviously there would be no inaccuracies in projecting this into the future. In four years Iran will be in approximately the year 2060. We won't need to worry about nuclear weapons because by then they will have anti-matter weapons and moon colonies from which to launch missiles to anywhere in the solar system. I suggest that by the year 2012 we all learn how to say "We bow to our Iranian overlords" in Arabic.

More seriously, it's a fascinating situation. I'm having no luck relating it to WoW so I apologize.


| Sunday, June 14, 2009
Just to save some time: If you don't think that you're part of a society or if you only care about yourself, you can just skip this. If you have some semblance of humanity, read on. Also, this isn't about environmentalism, so you lose points if you mention a carbon footprint.

What is a sustainable life? It is a life that everyone could live without society collapsing from lack of production or safety or whatever. It is effectively a life that does its part. This doesn't mean the exact life you live. Society would collapse if we all became firemen, even though firemen are very important. But it means the general production and cost of life. For example, a farmer who grows just barely enough to feed his family is sustainable. However overall he's not really productive. The factory worker who makes a tractor which triples his food, he has created a net production, even though he was not directly involved in the food production. The manager who kept the plant running properly, ensuring that a hundred workers could build a hundred (thousand) tractors, while he makes nothing directly, his management assists the production of others and is therefore productive as well.

In other words, think of it as the combined answers to these questions: "Can the world live with you being you?" and "Can the world live without anyone being you?" The correct answers are yes and no, respectively. The first pretty much means you didn't kill the world. The second means that what you do is in some way essential. Perhaps the first question was redundant.

Let's apply this to WoW, since that's a common ground. At least I assume so.

Can everyone be DPS? No. Can a lot of people be DPS? Yes. It's not ideal to have 90% DPS, but we get by and ultimately they only hurt themselves. On the reverse not everyone can be a tank or healer and the shortage only hurts people who aren't tanks or healers. Well fine, it does sometime hurt tanks and healers in raids when they spend an hour looking for a last tank and end up disbanding.

On the economic front: Can everyone be a miner? No. But we need miners. The mineral output from weekly engineering tinkering of Ulduar bosses isn't very high. Let's look at scribes who take cheap herbs and turn them into those expensive cards and decks. Terrible right? Well no. WoW needs them. How about people who play the AH? They fail the test of if the world can live without them. Let's look at the middlemen that you sometimes see. They advertise for people to COD cheaper than average trade materials and then they resell them at a higher cost. They pass the test of the world surviving without them, since while the economy would not collapse if they were gone; they do provide a useful service. By always taking mats at a certain price, in effectively unlimited quantities, they encourage people to farm and sell mats who might otherwise be turned off by the riskiness of the AH or who aren't very good at figuring out prices.

The cheap mats buyer/seller is a bit like the manager. Neither produces anything directly. Production would continue without them. However they act as multipliers of sorts, increasing the production which is already there and through that they become net producers.

I recognize that my questions aren't perfect. The first one is too easy to pass while the second is too hard. Self-sufficient individuals are nothing overall, so the world can live without them, which puts them in the same category as people who are net losses. Perhaps a middle question such as "could the world survive if everyone did approximately what you do?" That seems too vague. But perhaps the zero people are bad just like the negative people. They are stagnant, producing no surplus to drive progress. But surely there are limits to progress. The planet can only support so much. Perhaps too much social sustainability leads to environmental unsustainability. That's apparently not a real word.

Go farm something, craft, tank and heal!

P.S. I forgot to add, while DPS are not unsustainable, perhaps the sub-2k DPS on Emalon are. Could you guess that I had to go through an excessive number of wipes a few nights ago?

P.P.S. I started out effectively saying not to make this into a hippie environmental discussion and look where I end up. I'm bad. :(

I like to laugh at angry people

| Friday, June 12, 2009
There are many reasons that people get angry. The vast majority are stupid; the angry people and the reasons. They make me laugh.

I especially find Gevlon funny when he rages over people who are people people. Rawr man, those morons and slackers are ruining your game! How else are you supposed to get your virtual sense of accomplishment and superiority over others?

Why do so few people make their own achievements? Are they so uncreative, so unimaginative, that they cannot imagine a different way to do a fight without Blizzard telling them? Go pull two bosses or tell half the raid to /dance for this attempt. Or is that no good because you don't get another achievement to lord over others?

Cheerios are awesome. Have a good weekend!

Time for bed

| Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I should check my blog to see if there were any comments. Ooh, gotta recheck the blogs I follow. Oh wait, not done yet, maybe someone commented on my comment. Okay done, time for sleep.

Oh wait, I didn't read that one webcomic today, I hate when I fall behind. Did I read that one? Yes. Maybe this... no no stop, you've read them all, go to bed.

I should check the tanking forums, maybe there's an interesting thread. Nope. Refresh. Nope.

Let's check the blogs again. Forums. Maybe tomorrow's comic is up already. I didn't watch yesterday's Colbert Report! Wait no, it's time for bed, I can't be staying up really late like that.

Forums. Blogs. Forums. General. Paladin. Blog.

Why am I still up? That's weird. I think I'll write a post about it.

Good night! No really this time.


Addiction, Denial, and Other Words

Larisa has a good bartender.

Some of the people commenting in the thread being idiots. They throw out words like addiction and denial and antisocial. Other people throw out weird comparisons like going to a movie theater alone and raiding with 24 guildies. Overall though, my sympathies lie with the side that isn't in denial, which is the side that isn't babbling about denial.


Is WoW antisocial? No. It's not social either. Few things in themself are social or antisocial. It's what you do with them that matters and also what they come at the cost of.

When I play WoW I often solo. This isn't social. It's not antisocial either. It's asocial. I have no need for other people to do dailies or random quests or farming. While I farm I do talk with friends though. Sometimes RL friends with IM or sometimes online friends with tells or a custom channel. Notice how the activity was not social or not, instead it was what else I did.

Raids are often the same. I interact with people, but it's mostly asocial. For the most part people aren't connecting due to raids. However raids are a time and during that time I can chat with friends, joke around, and connect due to the experience. Again, the raid is asocial and raiding itself doesn't require social connection. However like a movie it provides a shared experience and people can bond through it. In the same way, someone who totally ruins the raid is comparable to someone who talked during the movie, you separate rather than coming closer together. It's not antisocial to ostracize someone who wipes raids any more than it is antisocial to shun someone who talks during movies. They're both ruining the experience which would otherwise be a situation to help people bond.


Is WoW addictive? That's an excellent question. You're not going to find a good answer. Why not? Addiction isn't too hard to define physically, give someone cocaine for a while and their body will adapt to handle the surge of chemicals and will also chemically change in order to be prepared for the surge, both in terms of being ready to moderate it and also to not bother making the relevant neurotransmitters since they're being provided externally. The person becomes tolerant, experiencing a lowered effect from it, while also becoming dependent on that effect in order to maintain normal mental functioning.

Psychological addiction is much harder to define. Okay fine, to be fair, it has been defined, but that doesn't mean it's right. I can define ANYTHING, but what I can accurately define, that's a much smaller pool. Addiction varies with the person.

In some of the occasional small reviews of literature that I've done, I found that MMORPGs have addictive qualities. The randomness of loot replicates gambling, the rush of "oh this is the time!" You don't know when the particular piece of loot will drop. Obsessions and compulsions: gotta grind this rep gotta grind this rep gotta grind this rep only 10000024324 kills to go. Sense of accomplishment: MMORPGs are centered around making you feel that you have not just gotten something done, but gotten done something important, BTW there's something else over there to accomplish, so you're not done yet.

Here's where the deniers run into problems: they're in denial of what is being denied. Is WoW potentially harmful? Yes. I know this from personal experience. I know that education, relationships, and lots and lots of time can just disappear from excessive play. I'm not in denial. Oh no, it's other people who are in denial.

Why did I stop going to classes? Well let's see: boring class in which I don't learn much because the professor makes no sense in a field which I felt little choice about joining, after which I will get an assignment which I do not understand and would likely not complete whether or not I was aware of the assignment; or grinding Cenarion Circle rep with a decent group in Silithus.

Friends? I'm not much for drinking, I especially wasn't when I was a freshman. That's what my friends did. Hm, drinking and risking getting caught/sick or a live side Strat run? Oh sorry, I should give credit. Long discussion with friend about religion and politics and whatever else we can think of, or rep grinding: friend wins.

People don't just take magnificent lives and throw them away. They throw away lives with which they were not happy, but previously saw no alternative. A virtual life is that alternative. Was it destructive to the real life? Definitely. But don't blame the virtual life for being more fun and giving a greater sense of accomplishment, blame the real life. Make real life better and it won't be lost to fantasy worlds, be they online gaming, drugs, or religious extremism.

I'll use myself as proof of this. I now choose to hang out friends friends rather than playing WoW. Not always, but often. I don't have a rule like "friends > WoW" but I do have a rule of "enjoy yourself" and sometimes that leads me to play, other times to hang out with friends. My attendance improved dramatically, along with my grades. I play WoW less, but more importantly, I play it at different times. It is no longer at the cost of other parts of life, but is in addition to. What changed? I have different friends and a different major with different classes. RL > WoW not because of some stupid rule that someone created, but because it genuinely is better.

But so and so is a loser...
One of the case studies I wandered across was about a man in his late teens or early 20s whose life had fallen apart. He had no social connections except online. Cut that ethernet cable, right? Well no. The therapists and researchers recognized that his online life had taken over and to simply cut it off would be devastating and in simple terms: stupid. Instead they worked to correct the balance of his life, taking advantage of the social skills he had retained through online communication (what, social skills!? Imagine if this was before the internet was so common and he was just playing single-player games) to guide him into a wider social life.

Online social interaction is incomplete. It lacks physical existence. That's important. Physical existence adds to communication with nonverbal cues and also just as a species we desire the immediacy of others. This varies with the individual, but almost no one can survive with a sound mind in total isolation, or when constantly surrounded. However being incomplete doesn't mean it's nothing or that it's antisocial. It's different. That's not bad.

Online interaction should not be the totality of a person's social experience, but to claim that it is antisocial is just plain stupid. Don't be stupid. Which brings me to my final bit: One of the wrong people in the PPI thread claimed that it's bad that online you can cut people off. That's actually a great thing. That's so antisocial to say "I don't want to talk to you" and then actually make it so you don't have to talk to them! The horror! Ever been around someone who you didn't want to talk to, but didn't get the message or didn't care even when you said it? That right there is something antisocial: after too many times running into people like that, why put yourself in an uncontrolled situation? If I'm talking to you online it means that you want to talk to me, if you didn't, the conversation would be over. That ability to cut of any undesirable contact only reinforces the idea that you value the people who you socialize with.

But hey, maybe I should just take the advice of online social deniers and just start spending thousands of dollars to fly to Europe to talk to Larisa and Tobold. I'll go through New York so I can meet some former guildies that I knew a few years. Oh... oh I get it. I'm being sarcastic and antisocial. Sorry. In the future I'll be sure to restrict my interactions to only people within shouting distance in order to avoid those terrible telephone machines.

What a difference a night makes

| Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Last night was not fun. We wiped a lot. I died a lot. Some of it was my fault. That annoys me, because I don't want to be that idiot that ruins it for 24 other people. We didn't quite fill the raid either. All in all it was terrible. Oh sure, a couple bosses died, but it took far more attempts than it should have.

Tonight was totally different.

Flame Leviathan was not just a one-shot, but we managed to kill only a particular shaman that we like to kill and no one else. Deconstructor: one shot. People were doing what they were supposed to be doing, DPS was a bit higher than normal (probably due to few deaths), it was just plain good. The tinkering from both gave a decent pile of eternals, a titansteel bar, and a lot of other less valuable stuff.

The trash after that went poorly.

Kologarn was a one-shot with no deaths. That was pretty awesome.

I was promoted to raider status, which means I have to show up consistently (I already do) and have a higher priority on loot (about time! :P)

Crazy cat lady was not a one-shot. Or a two. Or a five. She killed us a lot. And more. But it was still an improvement. We made some definite progress compared to previous nights and even over the course of this night. I think our best was somewhere around 25-30%. The previous best that I remember was maybe 50%. She has been killed, but with a different group, I'm not sure where those people are these days.

So yea, I don't know what happened.

I'd expected my day overall to be pretty bad. I woke up tired and had the weird thing where you wake up and 15 minutes later someone is telling you you're 15 minutes late and you don't even remember more than 30 seconds passing. My lunch seemed like it would be pretty small. It was slightly rainy and cool enough for a jacket, until I started biking to work, and then I was slightly too hot. I kept thinking that I didn't want to raid after being tired, especially since the previous night was bad.

Work wasn't too bad really. I got a decent bit done, though it did take me probably 5 minutes to remember how to release one of the saws so I could use it... Lunch was bigger than expected because my brother had extra food to get rid of. Riding home few people tried to kill me, though one oblivious and rude pedestrian wandered right in front of me and never even seemed to notice. I got home to another good read at the Pink Pigtail Inn. Then it was off to the raid. You read how it went. Hopefully tomorrow will also start off auspiciously terrible. :)

Oops: 2.0

| Monday, June 8, 2009
Last night we went back into Ulduar (from Tuesday). We were a couple people short and had a few very new people as well. Still, I thought we had some good attempts on Deconstructor. Razorscale was a wipe, which annoyed me.

Rather than spend a night wiping, we went to Naxx 25 instead. It was the raid from Friday, the one my paladin didn't go to, instead getting saved to another. I offered my warrior in my place, just to help fill the raid. My expectation was that I'd get some badges. Well instead the tank loot was almost completely uncontested, so I walked out with a new shield, belt, cloak, and chest.

I felt bad. Not because I was carried through. I definitely had the gear for 10, probably for 25. I felt bad because I only got any of that because I'd saved my paladin. Objectively I shouldn't feel bad: it would have been sharded otherwise and my paladin didn't need any of it. But dammit, I'm human, and humans feel guilt!

In semi-related news, my warrior friend has switched to his paladin as ret/holy. Perhaps to keep the balance I should switch to my warrior.

No, that's a terrible joke. Why would I even say that?


| Friday, June 5, 2009
I suppose it's karma.

Tonight my guild started a naxx 25 run. I joined since I'm still using the axe from heroic Loken. Some time passed and then we switched to VoA. However since we only had 18 or so people, I asked about it. Someone gave one of those sarcastic non-answers resulting in an exchange something like this: "VoA with only 18 people" re: "We're getting more?" Normally I'd either ignore it, or if it was a PUG, kick him, but I guess I was in a poor mood. Instead I logged out to go play an alt.

Then on my warrior I saw a naxx 25 group looking for a MT. So, I jumped on my paladin to go tank it. Why would I take a full PUG over a mostly guild run? Well, last time I ran naxx with my guild, it had a lot of new people. Undergeared, fine, but the real problem was that they were bad. At least a few are since gone. I didn't feel like dealing with the wiseass hunter from before and I didn't want to feel obligated to stay.

Long story short, the PUG was pretty bad. In contrast the guild run was going well from what I heard. Damn. One of the paladins in the raid was a former guildy. He said something about trying other wings before people got depressed. Being in a mean mood, I started cruelly joking that I was depressed ever since he'd failed at healing me on Patchwerk. Yadda yadda yadda I call him a liar after he said he'd never healed before and put him on ignore.

Apparently he started crying to our GM and he couldn't find the keys / i g n o r and e. We talked a bit and then I realized: the bad paladin quite possibly had not healed before. No, the bad paladin I was thinking of was someone totally different. Well, damn. I indirectly apologized in vent, asking if someone could tell him sorry, that I mixed him up with another paladin I hate.

I eventually left the PUG after we wiped on Gluth. Iapetes agreed with me on this: "It's later than I expected" really means "I thought we'd be done by now" which really means "We wiped too much."

So now I'm saved to naxx 25 at the start of the weekend and got absolutely no gear from the run, effectively paying several hours and 50-80g for a handful of badges. I guess I should have just stuck with the guild run. My attempt at relaxing from work failed completely.

Things that should be overpowered, but aren't

| Thursday, June 4, 2009
Let's start off with Glyph of Blocking. Since Shield Slam is a standard part of prot warrior aggro, this glyph is effectively a 10% increase to block value. 10% from a glyph. That should be overpowered. But it isn't.

Let's move on to something that should be even more OP: Libram of Obstruction. This gives even more BV than the previous glyph, though it averages to about the same amount depending on gear. But with some luck with timing and avoidance, it will be up every time you block. And yet, this libram needs no nerf.

Getting back to warriors: Shield Block. Now what can possibly not be OP about DOUBLING BV for ten seconds every 60? That should be a powerful CD. Average it out and it's stronger than either of the previous non-OP items, but with even more flexibility than the libram. OP? Should be, but isn't.

But what's all this increased BV for if you can't block? The clearly OP ability to compensate if Holy Shield. In decent gear this means that every single hit will be blocked or avoided and even more, it does damage to the enemy. Somehow, that fails to be overpowered.

Alas, you're a warrior so you can't get holy shield. Fear not! You can get a constant 4.51% block increase from the trinket Lavanthor's Talisman. And that on-use, 440 BV! Stack that with shield block and glyph of blocking and you would appear to be nigh-invincible and generating more aggro than you can imagine. Strangely, only the latter is true.

But warriors clearly don't block enough still, so let's give them a talent that is really OP: Critical Block. 30% chance to block twice as much. Imagine effectively a 30% crit talent, wouldn't that be pretty OP?

Perhaps even with the trinket warriors still aren't blocking everything, so let's give them a nice low talent to help: Shield Specialization: 5% higher block chance and 2 rage from blocking. Notice how warriors are getting built up to have tons of block chance and aggro and wow, how is this at all balanced?

Let's just finish it up with Damage Shield and make every single enemy attack either avoided or do damage to them based on that clearly massive block value.

I cannot imagine how paladins are remotely balanced with so much block and all the aggro from it. But warriors, they must be even worse! Are the devs blind? Can they not see that with talents and items they have built warriors into massively blocking aggro machines, unable to be more than scratched by even the mightiest of foes?

What? Oh. People are running around with 1.5k BV and bosses swing for 20-40k? Damn.

How a shaman became a paladin

| Tuesday, June 2, 2009
For the earlier history, see here.

My guild at the time didn't seem to have much interest in helping me recover. I decided to go over to Wildhammer, Alliance side, and see if I could play with a few people I'd met on the paladin forums: Benediction, Anathema, and Anakerie. I leveled up a warlock and had all sorts of fun, but eventually we got sick of Alliance PvP and rerolled Horde on Arie Peak. It was then that I remade Klepsacovic (I think I got the hair color slightly wrong though). We raided with a guild named Clique, until it fell apart, or was destroyed by leadership (I was kicked early in the process). In response we transferred to Zul'jin and started our own guild: Word of Redemption. That went well until but winter break slowed progress, people jumped off the loot train, and we ended up merging with a guild which did not fit us at all. In WoR I met a warrior named Jarik and ended up semi-following him around, though not entirely by intention. Now we're once again in the same guild. Unfortunately Anathema and Benediction left the server, I don't know where.

The story of how my paladin became my main is a stupid one. I was tanking the horseman in Karazhan and the tanking bracers dropped. I said I needed them, which then prompted justified questioning of whether I wanted to make my paladin my main. I liked tanking, so I said yes. From that point on my paladin took over and my shaman went to the back burner. It's really kinda dumb that the course of my last couple years was determined by loot whoring a single pair of bracers. But I think it worked out for the best. I wouldn't have liked my shaman as much. Healing isn't my strong point and it stresses me out. DPS are a dime a dozen. Tanking, that I love, and shamans can't tank.

I wonder, what if I had never lost the first account? I'd have still met Benediction and Anathema on the forums, but I'd have not played with them. Maybe I'd have never made a paladin, never discovered tanking. What would I be doing now? Perhaps I'd be yet another noob LFM tank and healer.

The major events in my time in WoW: losing my characters, my first major guild collapsing, loot whoring; and yet they seem to have all led to better things. This suggests that I should start looking for disaster. :)

Do you ever break the rules?

| Monday, June 1, 2009
Perhaps you did something across the border of crazy.

Maybe you shared accounts or bought gold. Maybe you use your brother's account after he quit. Or perhaps you have never even paid for WoW and you are a piece of the internet which has become conscious and begun to interact with the world.

Me? My first account was not mine. A friend I met early at college showed me WoW and suggested that I play it. I was reluctant to start pouring money into a game that I might not like (I'm very cheap, so yes, $15 is POURING!). He offered to loan the account of a friend that wasn't playing anymore, but whose parents were still paying for the account. Only now that I'm writing this do I realize that I was basically stealing from his parents. Damn. Now I feel kinda bad.

The account was just to try it out. I looked at the classes and decided that a shaman or druid seemed most versatile. My friend was Horde, so no paladins. Eventually I picked a shaman. Trolls looked cool, so troll it was. The name was Klepsacovic on Magtheridon. I'd used it for years before then.

WoW was much more fun than expected, so I played and played. Eventually I forgot that the account was just to try it out. I was playing it as if it was mine, investing a lot of time. During this time I learned more about the friend of friend whose account I was using. It worried me, but I wasn't eager to get a new account and lose everything. I lost it anyway. Around 6 months after I started he got majorly busted for software piracy; not like downloading, but distributing of big-name stuff. He needed money, so he took back the account and sold it. That was the end of Klepsacovic, or was it?

I wrote a mini-history of events after this, but that can come another time. Short version: I bought my own copy, stuff happened, and now I'm a prot paladin.
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