Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Basic Dungeon Etiquette

With the introduction of the Looking For Dungeon system we all have been spoiled, especially those who never seriously played before it was implemented. Also with the new system it has caused servers to lose a lot of community it once had. I'm not here to say I hate the dungeon system, because I love it. It would've made my life seventy-five thousand times easier when I leveled my priest from 13-70 all in dungeons during Burning Crusade.

Sadly with the new system the worst change in my opinion is we've now made it so there's a second level of anonymity in this game. You join the Random Heroic queue and when it pops you are almost never put with people of your same server. You don't know these people. And players take advantage of this by doing things they normally wouldn't do. Like before Frozen Orb looting got changed people would ninja those. Or if a BoE ever drops people do whatever they can to need it. Why? Because they will never see these people again. There are no consequences. These people they've been paired with are nothing more than fictional tools to them. Tools they use to take advantage of the Dungeon Finder.

So after thinking about this I've grown concerned. I mean let's face it, Wrath of the Lich King five man dungeons were a cake walk. There was essentially no challenge outside of raiding. Players who primarily played in WotLK don't know how to handle five man dungeons that require skill and have difficulty. The hardest dungeon in Wrath was The Halls of Reflection and if you've ever gotten it on heroic, you'll always notice at least one or two people will leave the group after loading in. Why? Because it's too hard. I've got bad news for those two people in groups: Cataclysm heroics are designed for difficulty.

So today I wanted to do sort of a public service announcement regarding etiquette in five man dungeons, as I feel like some of the community needs a refresher.

(For the record, I realized halfway through making this post that there is a thread on the MMO-Champion forums about a very similar topic to that of which I wrote about for today. You can find this excellent post here. This post is in no way me copying what the other guy said or anything, I guess we can just consider this my opinion on the subject. Please don't comment and say I copied because well, I didn't =P)

Know the instance? Help your group!

If you've done a heroic before and someone in your group hasn't, this isn't the time to try to feel superior and grief them. This is your time to help them. If you don't say anything about how boss fights work and someone asked earlier if there's anything they should know about the dungeon, you're doing it wrong. Help your group! Dungeons and raids are about team work, not about getting you geared at the expense of others. Just because someone has never done a dungeon doesn't make them bad.

However, on another note. There is such thing as too much help. Too much help would be trying to explain every trash pull (even if it's the same trash pull over and over) or trying to tell someone how to play their class. If the person asked how to play their class better, that's different. But don't go off on rants about how that person is doing their class horribly and blah blah blah. That is not your call. At least not in a random five man dungeon.

Instead, just say "Hey I think we might need a polymorph on *target*, can you help us out *mage name*." Now if he says doesn't have polymorph, then you might have some problems.

Dungeon Guide doesn't help you queue faster, so only click it if you are going to help guide your group!

I get tired of seeing this. People click dungeon guide on their role tab only because they think it queues them faster, then when we get into the group they have no intention of helping. So seeing as I already covered the topic of helping your group above, I'll keep this paragraph short and simple.

Bottom line: Only hit Dungeon Guide if you are going to help.

If you are the tank you are not the King/Queen of the group.

Just because you have instant queues doesn't mean you're better than everyone else. This goes for healers as well. They're called five man dungeons, you need DPS/Healers/Tanks equally. Think you're better than your group? Go try to solo the dungeon, then tell me how awesome you are. Leave your ego with your raiding guild, I'm sure you guys are awesome or something.

Do not ninja!

This is pretty self explanatory. Just because you will never see these people again doesn't mean you should ninja things. I personally have zero tolerance for people ninjaing items. It's not funny, it's not cute, it's immature. Grow up. Also along these lines is...

If you need something for off-spec, ask the group first before needing!

Someone else may need that same thing for main spec. They should get priority if that's the case. Don't even give me the reason of you'll never see them again, blah blah blah. Whatever, loot drops again. Main spec in a dungeon should get priority without a doubt. Be nice and stop being so selfish. 

You will wipe. When it happens, do not rage quit.

I don't blame the people who never did Burning Crusade heroics and only did Wrath heroics for leaving groups when they wipe. They were raised wrong. They were raised in world where if a group wipes it wasn't because an encounter was difficult, it was because the group was clearly bad since there really was no challenge in five mans.

However, this needs to change. People need to get used to the idea that wipes will happen. If you leave a group every time a group wipes, you will get no where. If you tear into someone whenever there's a wipe and tell them that they're reason you failed, you will get no where. Dungeons, raids, battlegrounds all have one thing in common: team work. Work as a team and be supportive and you'll go places.

When you wipe run back!

Wipes are not the time to go AFK and assume the healer will revive you. Unless you ask and the healer okays it do not AFK during this time. Run back to your body then get back to where you were in the instance THEN do your business. As a healer I do not revive people who do not run back. I have to run back, why don't you? I am not your spiritual servant, stop being lazy!

 Do not go AFK for longer than a minute!

Nothing worse than zoning into a fresh instance then you see the dreaded words "Brb a few minutes." from the tank. It's like, really? Don't queue if you'll have to leave the computer for longer than a minute in the near future! Not that hard and it really kills the group's spirit.

Let the tank pull.

Pretty self explanatory. Impatient DPS, please calm down. It will save your life. Coming from a Healer, I don't heal people who pull for the tank (unless it's a hunter, obviously). And if you're in that big a rush, you probably shouldn't have joined the queue in the first place. All you'll accomplish from pulling before the tank is looking like a fool with yo corpse on the ground (old joke is old). If the tank is pulling slower than you'd prefer, calmly and politely ask if he wouldn't mind pulling a little faster. It's as easy as that.

If the item you wanted didn't drop, do not leave group!

This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves in the age of the dungeon tool. People will join up for an instance, if what they wanted didn't drop off the first boss they'd leave without saying a word. I don't have words for how selfish this is. You really don't have time to complete the dungeon? Not like they take that long. People continue to surpass my expectations when it comes to their greed. Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, something else happens. But I guess that's the Internet for you.

If you're a gatherer (mining/skinning/herbalism) please ask before taking nodes!

Skinning may be the exception here, but definitely for mining and herbalism please ask before you take the nodes. Nothing worse than right as we pull a pack nearby a mineral node some rogue hops over there while I'm healing and snatches it while I'm busy actually helping the group. It's as simple as having everyone roll for it. Or even splitting all the nodes if there are enough in the instance. Stop being greedy.

Don't feed trolls!

People will make problems in groups. It's just a fact of life. Being anonymous makes people think they're tough guys, everyone knows this. But don't let them win. They want you to react, they want you to rage. Don't give in. If ignoring doesn't work and you can't vote kick them from the group, report them. Do not fight back. Blizzard takes harassment seriously, trust me I know. Live by example, someone not raging will discourage them.

Play like you are raiding!

People seem to think that just because it's a five man dungeon that you don't have to try as hard, or give it your best effort. Why do people think this? If you try your best it gets done faster. If you wouldn't normally stand in the fire, don't do it in five mans. It's not funny and wastes time. Play like you're raiding. Now this doesn't mean take it so seriously that no ones having fun, but don't be foolish!

If you follow these tips you will be a great example of the awesome people that do actually play this game, and make your group that much more pleasant to be in. Groups can be awful, but also groups can be amazing and provide memorable experiences.

One person can make a change in people's behaviour, be that person. You'll be doing the whole World of Warcraft a favour.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ask Asil: Mystery Elf Edition

Surprisingly to me, I've actually gotten a couple e-mails with questions. So I wanted to take a moment to answer them in a new segment called "Ask Asil" (I'm so clever).

Anonymous asks, "I love hearing about people's weird statistics, what are some cool/weird/awesome statistics you have on your priest?"

This question reminded me that the statistics tab exists. I always forget about it, but it's always fun to look around and see all of the statistics of my journeys... Well I do have some interesting ones. Here's a list of stats I've deemed noteworthy:
  • 35,673 Auctions posted
  • 122 Mounts
  • 128 Vanity Pets
  • 5,778 Greed Rolls
  • 6,217 Fish Caught (9,894 if you include non fish)
  • 7,309 Deaths
  • 385,776 Creatures Killed
  • 1,111 Times I've used my Hearthstone (Make a wish!)
Evvia asks, "What's the first thing you did after The Shattering happened?"

Do you mean like the moment it happened? I cried inside. Or do you mean in game activity. If you mean the latter, the first thing I did was run all the way to Hillsbrad and did the "Peacebloom Vs. Ghouls" quest chain for that adorable Singing Sunflower pet. Everyone should do this quest. It. Is. Awesome.

Anonymous asks, "In your opinion what's the fastest way to level now?"

With the new revamped world, quests are fun and more intuitive and aren't just "Go kill X of Y". However, if you are a class that can heal or tank I strongly suggest that (if you're going for speed) you spec tank or heals and use the Random Dungeon finder to dungeon grind your way through the levels. With redesigned old world dungeons and quest chains already inside the instances, it hardly feels like a grind. In fact I'm in the process of doing this exact method on my Warrior. It is fun. You won't regret it. Oh and to add to it, you'll maintain having good gear throughout your leveling... unless you have terrible luck with drops.

However, this is a game after all, you really should play the way you have fun. It doesn't matter if you get to max level the fastest in the world if you're not having fun doing it.

Galfrida asks, "Why is it in some of your screenshots there's a blood elf priest then in other pictures you're a draenei? Do you have two priests or something? And on that note, why do you use so many screenshots in posts when not many other blogs do?"

To answer your first question: I played Horde for like three years or something along those lines. Any pictures you see of a Blood Elf priestess is Asilwen back in the day. When I look for screenshots for posts I forage through my screenshots folder and see if I can reuse any pictures I've taken previously because I take a ton of pictures in game. I am Alliance now, and any pictures of a Draenei priestess you see are newer ones.

To answer your second question: I am a visual person. I also try to write blog entries that I would read if I found this blog randomly. That includes pictures. I love pictures and screenshots, even if they're dumb. Throw a wall of text at me and I probably won't read it. Throw some text in between some shiny pictures and I become more intrigued to read. I won't overdo it with the pictures, but I feel they add a bit of flair and make it more visually pleasing.

Drama says, "I liked your last entry. It was different and more blog like. Can we expect more of that in the future?"

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Yes it was kind of different than previous posts, it was more of a blog format you are correct. I started typing on the subject and I just couldn't stop. Yes you can expect more of that, more than likely that will become the norm for Tuesday Posts.

Asilwen asks, "Hey you're pretty much the most awesome person ever, how can I get more of your insight?!"

You could follow me on twitter here!

Those are all my questions for today, if you have any questions for me send them my way through e-mail at asilwensadventures@gmail.com or leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pride and Warcraft

I've been thinking a lot lately about things I've done in the World of Warcraft over the years and mentally organized them and labeled them accordingly. Labels like "Moments I regret" or "Moments of bad assery" and others. But the one category that stuck out to me most was "Moments I was most proud of".

 What makes you experience a feeling of pride in a video game? When you finally get a weapon you've been working toward a while? Or maybe when that mount you've been farming for for weeks finally dropped? Get a character to the highest level allowed? Just like a lot of things, we all have our own perceptions as to what fills us with pride and what are deemed "memorable". Many of you may not find anything worth mentally archiving in a video game; while others may find a figurative gold mine of things to save in their mind forever.

A lot of people may argue and say video games can't be so involving that they invoke immortal memories, but those people probably have never been seriously interested in games. Anything can be meaningful, it's really just up to the person. And that's how I see memories, things that are meaningful to you. Events that you want to carry with you for a while or even forever. Moments that enable you to go back in time and potentially re-inspire you.

Do people influence how important you consider circumstances to be? How many memories do you have that just include yourself and no one else? It's definitely a variable, but not necessary. I can at least think of a few worth noting that I did by myself. But the thing is, they aren't as important to me. If I ranked them in importance, the experiences I shared with others in the World of Warcraft seem way more important. I guess that makes sense, considering this IS an MMO.

Anyway, back to the important question. What makes you feel proud in the World of Warcraft. When I say "proud" I mean you feel accomplished, where you enjoy telling your friends. Not bragging, but pride! I'm so proud of some things I tell my non-WoW friends and always get that "Cool story bro" look, but I DON'T CARE BECAUSE I'M SO PROUD OF IT! Does having a rare mount make you proud? Or are you proud of something that isn't bound to an achievement in the game, say leveling a character to eighty in three weeks with no Bind on Account gear? Or are you the opposite and only find pride in the things that have proof to them, proof being actual in game achievements or feats of strength. What makes you overflowing with pride that it just bursts out of the seems of you until you start telling your cat about how awesome your new title is.

If you asked me what moment in my WoW playing lifetime I'm most proud of, I wouldn't be able to answer right away. There are too many that I am personally proud of that I wouldn't know which tops which. This way of thinking got me curious even more so to find out what other people are proud of. So I went on a journey to ask people and NPCs alike the not so simple question: "What are you most proud of in WoW?". Their answers differed.

One person I asked said that his most proud moment of WoW was doing an Undying run of Naxxramas with eight people and succeeding. Another person (after much self-deliberation) said his proudest moment was his Hunter's first epic way back in the original WoW. The thing I noticed though as I asked people about their memories was no one knew right away, it was always a hard decision. However, a majority of the people I asked exclaimed there's not much they've ever done in WoW that they were legitimately proud of. I guess I can understand that though. I can understand it, but definitely not relate.

"My guild I lead a while ago after the first guild downing of 10 man TotC."
What makes me proud of myself when it comes to WoW? A majority of the people I talked with asked me the same question afterwards, and just assumed my answer would be my Ashes of Al'ar. I don't see it that way. Sure, I'm very happy I have that mount and am proud no doubt of it, but for different reasons. All I did for that mount was get lucky and have a raid leader accidentally leave the loot options on group loot and I rolled a 99 need roll. Being proud of my phoenix really just says "I'm proud of having RNG go in my favour for once."

After much thought I did come up with an answer though. And it doesn't even have anything much to do about the game itself, more the social aspect. I'm proud of my ability to lead raids and a guild. My raids and guilds haven't been that successful in terms of "super srs raiders" that min/max everything, but successful in a way that I'm happy. There's been rough moments, of course. But I must admit it puts a smile on my face when I have old friends asking when I'm going to put together a guild again, and tell me how I'm the best guild leader ever. Who knows if they're being truthful, I'll just let it slide. Like I said, my guilds were never that successful, but when I run a guild and a raid, downing even just one boss makes me feel more proud than any Ashes of Al'ar could.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Patch Notes Simplified: Patch 4.0.3

The patch that just came out Tuesday brought a few changes. Here are the patch notes, simplified, for those of you who don't like words! (Read along with the real patch notes here)

  • Hey guys Cataclysm is coming December 7th, if you haven't heard yet!
  • The leader of Wintergrasp raids can no longer kick players from the raid. We secretly endorse griefing so we took our time.
  • If your group wipes while using the Looking For Dungeon tool, we now have made it easier for your fail self to find your way back, since we're assuming if you wipe in any of the current dungeons, you need all the help you can get.
  • Honorable Kills are no longer awarded for killing players below level 5... GG Botters.
Patch notes continue after the jump!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Questaclysm: The Quests You Need To Do BEFORE Cataclysm!

We are now less than a month away from the destruction that will be Deathwing's return, when the entirety of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor will be changed forever. And with this change will come new quests, and the abolishing of old ones. Today I wanted to compose a list of quests you really should do before Cataclysm for various reasons. Sure, not all the quests on this list will be removed in Cataclysm but I really don't know which ones will be so you should do them all just in case! 

These quests are important in different ways, either from just having an awesome experience in the game, to giving vanity items, or to earn you some rare achievements. Want to fight a giant shark? Want to get your very own furry costume? Want to get a boomerang? Want to experience one of the most anticlimactic quest chains in the game? Stay tuned after the jump and learn how!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

WoW Secrets: Meet Frankwarrior

My alt, Frankwarrior, has been receiving these anonymous post cards in the mail from all sorts of NPCs and players, sharing their World of Warcraft secrets anonymously. I've decided to compile some of the secrets into a post to show what players around the World of Warcraft are keeping to themselves! Enjoy!

(If you haven't caught on, this is clearly a parody of Frank Warren and his Post Secret project.)

And with that, I present you WoW Secrets! The confessions are after the jump!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Look Back at the "Raids of the Lich King"

With the impending Cataclysmic events coming in about a month I felt it necessary to take a moment and reflect at all of the raiding that happened in the Wrath of the Lich King story line for the past two years (yes it's been that long), and rate them as to what I consider the worst, and the best. This excludes The Ruby Sanctum, because that is the first raid of the Cataclysm story line. So, Ruby Sanctum fan-boys feel free to stop reading..

...I'll give you a moment to leave...

...You gone?...

Fair enough. The list is after the jump! Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dueling Perspectives: Battle Rez Limits in Cataclysm

Admittedly, ever since that fateful day on April 14th, 2009 when I paid one thousand gold to my trainer for "dual spec" (Which is now 100g, damn you Blizzard, where's my refund?), Asilwen became two different people with two differing opinions on many things. Sometimes these two versions of her talk to each other, and argue their points. Today I decided to document their argument over a new change in the Cataclysm Beta on how combat resurrections will work in Cataclysm raiding. If you haven't heard, this is what's going on.

Recently Blizzard announced their new plans on how battle resurrections will work in Cataclysm raiding:

For ten man raids: One Druid Rebirth or Warlock Soul Stone resurrections per raid encounter attempt.

For twenty-five man raids: Three Druid Rebirths or Warlock Soul Stone resurrections per raid encounter attempt.

Well what does this mean? It could mean different things, I'll give you my opinion and a summary of both sides after we see both perspectives argue this topic.

Today's Dueling Debaters are...
Discipline Asilwen (Or as I'll refer to her in context, "Light") who thinks this is a good change.
Shadow Asilwen (Or as I'll refer to her in context, "Shadow") who thinks this is a bad change.

Duel begins after the break in...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A New Meaning To "Hearthstones"

Sometimes the World of Warcraft inspires real life. Is this the case with this photo?
Probably not, but I'd like to think so.

That's right friends. My town hosts it's own Hearthstone Family Practice.

And remember, for all your pediatrics and or gynecological needs, set your hearth to Hearthstone Family Practice!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just /Dance (Spin That Record Babe)

When Wrath of the Lich King was first announced at Blizzcon they showed the trailer for features you could expect to see in the upcoming expansion. And for the most part, they lived up to all of their announcements... except for the most important of them all: The Dance Studio. I have been looking forward to this more than anything, ever. Especially back in the day when I was a Blood Elf female, who has one of the worst dances in the game. I still want it now, since Draenei Female dance sucks as well. Anyway, at the most recent Blizzcon they answered a question regarding how the Dance Studio is progressing. Here is what they said-

"...we just want to see when to introduce it, we need to make sure to add a LOT of new dances, whenever the animators have free time we make them make new dances. We wanted it to be a cool feature too, there wasn't much game-play in the barbershop for example, we want to add more game-play."

This, to me, was the BIG NEWS of Blizzcon. For them to say they're adding dances when they have time and that's why it's taking a while is amazing news for people who care, like myself. Then it got me thinking, what dances would be cool to see? So here is a list of some dances I'd like to see in the game!
*giant post of videos crits you for 9,001*