Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sometimes it's not Enough

jae10mimSo after a few weeks of 25man frustrations in our guild, I had a chat with a few of the dedicated raiders. We all sort of came the conclusion that hitting our heads up against a wall was NOT FUN for any of us.

We all like challenges etc. but at some point you come to a realization of what is possible and what is absolutely futile. And if you keep hitting up futility just because... you tend to start hating the very idea of even logging on. Suddenly raid nights are a chore and you find yourself getting sleepy and grumpy every time you have to fly out to Ulduar.

I tried to tell my group that 5k dps is now the new standard and us having people still below 800dps is not only ludicrous it's just flat out irresponsible. A lot of them truly didn't believe me when I told them the new standard. 2k dps minimum as a base standards for 25man Ulduar? Try 3.5k.

And I hate it too when it gets to being all about numbers. It's not fun but you have to realize those numbers aren't that complicated actually. To achieve those types of numbers only takes a very minimal amount of research and practice. I truly don't think it's that much to ask for...or expect.

People repeatedly try to play the "gear card" and say "gear" is why I'm not good or can't be good. I'll say it a million times more. Gear can not make a player good. Gear can only make a player better. A good player is good regardless of what they're wearing and trust me, it's evident even when they are gear capped.

Needless to day, pumping all my energy back into our 10 man team has been really fun. As most raiders can attest, there's nothing like the feeling of a well oiled raid gunning there way through progression.

A new 10man team for the under-geared is forming up to help those who are new gear up for 25mans as well. I couldn't be more happy about this. We plan to reassess our 25man situation in about a month or so to see where we all are...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tonka Derby of Suckage Simplified

Wow, I wish I had known this earlier! Apparently you can skip all the towers and sh1t and just go straight to FL and activate it and still be on easy mode.

"The trash portion of the fight begins when you tell either Brann Bronzebeard or the Lore-Keeper of Norgannon that you're ready. This makes the vehicles usable, although no mobs will attack you until you leave the starting area. If you speak to Brann Bronzebeard, the fight is automatically set to "easy mode." If you talk to the Lore-Keeper of Norgannon, the fight is set to hard mode by default, and destroying individual towers will remove those powers/benefits from the Flame Leviathan fight. At any time, you can see which powers/benefits Flame Leviathan has by looking at the gemstones in his fight area; those that are lit are activated, with green representing Freya, blue Hodir, yellow Thorim, and red Mimiron." -from

Can't wait to try this next week. Some of us would like to skip this waste of an encounter and move on to the real raiding content....whoever put that in, BRAVO!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Friendfeed gains Momentum, Thank you Twitter

(friendfeed gives you more depth and connectivity)

Twitter shat itself a big one last night with the removal of @reply notifications.

I saw this tweet:
"Twitter just lobotomized itself -" -@starmike

I totally couldn't believe it!

This basically opened a HUGE door to Friendfeed...massive addage to friendfeed accounts I'm sure happened.
Not only did Twitter NOT publically announce this change, when they finally acknowledged it, they lied at first as to the reason of this service removal. They said it was about usability but it turned out it was actually because Twitter was about to they had to remove the feature.

Had they been upfront about this, people would have been more understanding. Instead, there's a huge movement going on and people are already coaxing their friends to move to friendfeed....
Friendfeed has always had one drawback to its one was on it.

"friendfeed seems to be like the social networking equivalent of WalMart - a one stop shop - but without the badly treated workforce..." -@eljeppy

It's like a one stop shop for all your lifecasting but everyone has been twitter stalled. There were ways to make faux copies of your friends on Friendfeed, but to be honest, it's just not the same.
And the beauty is that once you add all social networks and feeds to your account, that's it.. you're done. Sit back and it does all the stalking for you....LIVE!

Why settle for someone's twitters in lag intervals when you can get not only their twitter but their flickr, blog, bookmarks, shares, videos, etc in a live stream?

Added to that the ability to chat live from any of the posts (including gchat integration).
So @jemimus posts a picture in twitter, from the friendfeed stream or from the desktop client, I can start responding back and he can return a comment back.
@eljeppy sees the convo going from his desktop client notifier and joins the chat via comment. All of this happening live....
NO slow ass @replies form those stagnated twitter haphazard convos.

I know not everyone gets social media. I realize not everyone is as addicted to connectivity as I am. I'm not even saying I hate twitter. It's base functionality is still superb and adequate for what I need.

But the amount of depth you gain from advancing to better media only enriches our ability to share and experience in this space.

So I have to thank Twitter for this little snafoo. Now I can have my twitter and eat skittles too.. no wait.. urr.. sorry no good pun equivalent for this one.

PS. When you create a new Friendfeed account make it public..and lemme know what your account name is so I can add you to my "to-stalk" group. :D (oh yeah! built in groups! forgot to mention that as a major plus for friendfeed as well)

Added comment: While creating my friendfeed account, I chose the public option. But on completion, it was not public. So doublecheck your options after completing registration. -Ashayo

PPS. Duh..

LOL UPDATE 4:38pm central May 13, 2009: Twitter Reverses Policy Change, For Now. This is Nuts But Here's How It Works

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What the Trek?!


I went to go see Star Trek tonight, on a special DLP showing of the film. The quality was really, really good. But that's probably the only thing I really enjoyed about the experience.

And yes, I know I must be the ONLY person who was quite disappointed with the film. So strange too because I have been longing for the return of Trek since Voyager went off the air. I try to ignore the existence of Enterprise.

When I saw the very first teaser of the new Star Trek movie, I was so in awe of the epic quality of the extremely simplistic shot of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I truly thought the movie was going to bring a new and enriched story to the history of the Federation missions.

This was not the case. It was just another movie about the destruction of earth and some hot headed kids who rallied together to save the planet. Yes. Kids. Why the Federation decides to populate its starfleet with children, I don't know. You would expect someone would have to be more than 17 yrs of age to be in charge of navigating the damn Enterprise.

Character development? Hmmm. A lot of people have been saying that this film brought new life to the original TOS characters but to be honest, I found it all predictable. If you ever watched the original series or any of the original movies you'll see they brought a lot of character development out that far surpassed the shallow attempts at emotional depth this movie provided.

Yes, the characters are pretty to look at. I'll give you that. Spock never looked as delicious and McCoy would have you going to sick bay every at every little sniffle. Another major eye candy I did actually appreciate is the continual advancement in CGI. Computer graphics started its major relationship with Star Trek during the Voyager Series and continued to advance in the movies following.

I'm always awed at the careful detailing the CGI artists go through to keep enhancing the realism of the space stations and starfleets. Earth still looks ghetto as with all the Start Trek movies though. lol. I can forgive that though as the space scenes are quite breath taking.

But the entire epic quality of the original Star Trek teaser Enterprise ship was lost in this film though as it faded into the cluster of action sequences, even during the shot of it being constructed before the 3 Years Later hyper plot jump. And I have no idea why they have Engineering looking like something out of an Aliens movie. I've always admired the simple Engineering bay of the Trek Tv Series, for me it always made up for the plot driven nightmare of jeffries tubes.

Speaking of plot, what the hell happened? Oh yes, I remember. New Hollywood decided to sh1t over the last 40 f*cking yrs of Star Trek history and go full on "tabula rasa"...

First, yes, I know Star Trek has never been strict about its cannon and have deviated from original story lines in the past. This is always a given when you're dealing with space-time continuum and alternate time-line tangents. But what the movie did was to entirely erase the reality that we have known. It's like going for the "I'd wish for infinite wishes," totally base and ridiculously unoriginal thinking. A four year old could have come up with this plot.

AND...How is everyone not completely and utterly flabbergasted and disgusted with the annihilation of Vulcan? I almost threw up. They are my favorite race in the Trek series so to see their entire civilization kaboomed so a new drone of Transformer kitties can get their cheap explosions...GAH!!! Which means no Tuvok? Jeezus, there are no words to describe my utter dismay at this bastardization.

I mean sh1t, if you're gonna just start over with a new history WHY WHY WHY for the love of god did you just not do a new Trek movie and develop characters that represent the best of Trek???? I absolutely hate prequels for sci-fi. Never go backwards damnit with technology. Did all the creative Trek writers shrivel up and die or get tossed into a Bajoran wormhole? You're telling me they can't come up with new sh1t?

Even the sound production lacked depth in the film. I kept expecting the music to crescendo during wider cut scenes or to have the first warp drive send shivers down my spine with added base to the sound effects. Negative. And it's pretty sad when the soundtrack to the TV series are more epic than the movie.

Add to that the overly predictable dialogue and cliche punch lines, I felt like they dumbed the Trek right out of the franchise. All it needed was some Apple product placement to complete the look. iTrek FTL! Hell, aside from future Spock giving Scotty his equation (talk about cheating the NERD right out of him) for the first transport to a ship moving at warp speed, there was very little exciting science fiction aspects to the film.

Over all, the movie was entertaining in the same sense that all Blockbuster movies have been. But it wasn't just "a movie" was Star Trek. And for that, I'm truly truly saddened.

Monday, May 11, 2009

World of Podcast Episode 25

Had a great time on World of Podcast Sunday with @UncleThursday, @Eljeppy, and @Vork aka Jeff Lewis from The Guild.

I'll admit I don't always get The Guild but I really admire their use of new media and their appeal to the geek niche. I think I'm just weird like that or a bit snobbish about my geekdom. Who knows. In any case, it was a huge honor to meet Jeff Lewis. You always expect these types of actors to be all "rehearsed" and "sound bitey" but he was so grounded.

I told him after went off air that I thought he should do a podcast. He has a great voice for it. Also, I'd love to see him in The Office...I bet he'd make a hilarious character.

The really awesome part of the interview was that he was willing to go all off topic with us throughout the show. It's those types of moderate deviations of topic from the normal "so how do you like playing Vork" that I really enjoy.

Being able to geek out about new media was my favorite part for sure. It's my hope that he and others in the cast will help to really allow this new media to take off. Lonely Girl 15 started it, The Guild capitalized on it, and I hope many more creative ventures will follow.

Check out the return of Sam from World of Podcast in this interview: Welcome back!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Things You Wish you Could Really Say

Hi ________,

You suck. You suck. You suck.
OH yeah, and could you be more useless.


But yeah, the world isn't that black and white. Master Phayte from bindpoint likes to claim that being the quintessential @sshole is necessary but that's just not in my nature. When your whole guild is about promoting a friendly/casual/family attitude, you kinda face dilemmas when it comes to setting standards.

You can do your best to encourage people to get better and you can write them in-game mails and whisper them about ways to improve but ultimately that's about it. Some people come around after a few weeks and some....probably never gonna happen.

So I guess that's the trade off for not having to raid with @sshole 1337 kitties who are highly prone to nerd raging, Raiding with the undead who can't be bothered to gear, learn their class, or show up.

...And people ask me why I keep saying this will probably be the last viable WoW expansion....

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

This is Raiding, Do not Adjust your Mirrors

I've said before that Naxxramas and most of the pre 3.1 content totally spoiled casual raiders. Ten good people was enough to carry the rest of the 25 man team easily. People drifted on auto pilot and never paid much attention to performance. You could afford to play like this. And yes, I say play because I don't think the term "raiding" had anything to do with that type of instance encounter.

In Episode 41, I talked about resto shamans and about healing at that point. I stated it was very hard to talk about healing and methodologies at that time because nothing pushed us to really truly learn our class. It's not until you have challenging encounters that you really, really have to discover the minute fine tunings of your class mechanics.

You start to cut the fat, you learn fights per situation and learn survival vs risk behavior. You can't afford to be sloppy because it costs you time and effort. And it's in this type of mentality that you find real "raiding"....

rezrunbackCasual guilds tend to get flustered now that Ulduar is out and suddenly they are confronted with the evils of the nasty "P-word," PROGRESSION. This is raiding, my friends. It's upping the standards of everyone involved and expecting everyone, even the casual hop-around-Dalaran types to learn how to play their class finally.

In Naxx, you could afford to have only 20% of the raiders bring 100%. In Ulduar, you'll need at least 90% to bring everything to the table. Carrying half the raid is NOT an option.

I just want to say to casuals that are immensely frustrated right now expecting to one shot everything that this is normal. Don't be upset. Get better, play harder. Welcome to raiding.

Friday, May 01, 2009

After all These Years

bradley45 @alachia after all these years of playing WoW, how do you keep yourself still interested in it? #just-wondering

That's a good question. I think that's one of the greater things about this game. It offers a lot of dimension and you can take from it from multiple levels of game play.

There's a ton of autonomy in the game for doing things on your own or off with your friends. If you tend to play the game on a strict level of grinding gear and instances, yeah, you might run out of "things to do" pretty fast.

In fact, right now, all I've had time to do really is do a few dailies every now and then and hit up Ulduar raiding 10mans and 25mans. To be honest, this does not hold my interest very much because it's what I consider "surface play"...

The real heart of loving the game is when you get that feeling of submersion into the world. That's the only thing that keeps this game sustainable. What I love to do is solo alts by myself as this holds my interest for quite a sustained period of time.

I normally level so fast with my group that I miss out on a lot of the content so going back through at my own pace tends to keep me interested in WoW for a sustained period, especially since I have so little time between raiding.

But I get the how people get tired of this game after awhile. If you don't have  good group to play with...forget it. You'll prolly tire or bore after a year for sure. And it's not like there aren't nice distractions out there atm.

A year ago, the meta was kind of sparse in terms of connections and ways to interact. Now, it's easy to see WoW becoming a more outdated form of interfacing with other metazens. Time will tell if Blizzard decides to allow a little more social integration into the game. I hope it does.

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