Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nicotine patch for WoW

It's been a while since I've posted something. I usually try for 2 posts per week. My last was 12 days ago. WoW has become extremely boring lately. I would post raids on the calendar and get plenty of sign ups but half wouldn't show. Luckily for me, a coworker wanted to sell his XBox 360 racing wheel. To test it out, I borrowed another coworker's copy of Forza Motorsport 2, took the wheel home for a few days and found something very interesting happened. Forza 2 held my attention for longer than an hour. That hasn't happened in a really long time for me. I've played a few PC games off and on since I started playing WoW, but nothing really has thrilled me since Lich King. I think part of that has been the "WoW Addict" mentality of always having something to do.

Now Forza 2 seems to be my nicotine patch for WoW. I've always been a lover of sports cars of all kinds and Forza really has struck a chord deep inside me. The fact that I have 5 coworkers who have the game also helps, as we can race multiplayer for hours and talk about it the next day at work. Being able to tune and paint cars in game is the icing on the cake. I've also already pre ordered Forza 3, due out late October.

It'll be interesting once patch 3.2 come out for WoW to see which game really holds my attention. I have a feeling it won't take long for me to accomplish all my 3.2 goals fairly quickly and then I won't be able to resist the call of the racing wheel.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The casual/hardcore paradigm

I was reading Gevlon’s post about “the tank problem” and there were a lot of comments regarding his definition of hardcore vs. casual. I really liked his post and agree with it. I think when people talk about hardcore vs. casual, they tend to categorize players like a lot of people categorize Democrats vs. Republicans. To a lot of people, Democrats are all bleeding heart liberals and Republicans are evil cold hearted conservatives. What they all DON’T realize is that those generalizations are very unfair and often completely wrong. I won’t get into the many facets of political ideology, but I will make the comparison between the Democrat/Republican and the hardcore/casual spectrum. Just as there are more than two dimensions to someone’s political beliefs, there are more than two dimensions to WoW players. In the case of WoW, the dimensions are Play Style and Time. One can be hardcore in both, one or none of those dimensions. Imagine Play Style as the X axis on a graph and Time Spent Playing as the Y axis. Hardcore is on the right side of X and the top of Y. Casual is left of X and bottom of Y. Is it making more sense now? Here are some examples:

Me (Rorik) – I’d classify myself as hardcore both in Time and in Play Style. I usually play more than 14 hours a week which I’d say is hardcore in time playing the game. I do exhaustive research on my class (paladin), both talent specs that I have (healing and dps) and I research the same for all 3 of my wife’s level 80 characters and their class roles. I’m pretty good with navigating the forums ;) I think that makes me a Hardcore Play Style player. That makes me Hardcore/Hardcore or if plotted on the X Y graph, I’d be in the upper right quadrant.

Real Life Friend – I have several high school friends who play WoW. I’ll pick on the one who was the best man at my wedding/I was best man at his wedding. He is definitely Casual in Time as he played less than 5 hours a week and definitely Casual in Play Style as he didn’t have a clue when it came to how to play his character. He’s in the bottom left quadrant, way, way in the corner.

Alt-o-holics and farmers – There’s at least one alt-o-holic in every guild. The guy/girl who is always playing and always leveling a new alt. This player would be Hardcore in Time as he/she plays more than 14 hours/week but casual in Play Style as he/she has never focused enough on one character to figure out what all those spells really did. The farmer is similar in that they play all the time but usually on the same character but they just don’t really know how to play their character very well, so they are casual in Play Style. This would put them in the top left quadrant.

I think expanding the definition of hardcore and casual like this can lead to a better play experience all around. I’ve seen too many guild recruitment threads say things like “hardcore raiding guild” or “casual guild with relaxed atmosphere”. What does that mean? Does it mean you spend 20 hours a week in a raid? Does it mean you do nothing but farm while talking in gchat? Describing your guild as casual in time spent but hardcore in play style could really help potential recruits to figure out if they would be a good fit with your guild and vice versa. I know if I saw a guild recruitment post that read “casual play time/hardcore play style guild looking for raiders for Wednesday nights” I’d know that these guys don’t have the time to spend raiding 3 nights a week, but when they do raid, they know what they are doing and get it done.

Where do you fall on the hardcore/casual graph?

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Little Advice for a Penniless Noob

A fellow guild member who has been absent until very recently has a dilemma. We found out about this dilemma when doing a Naxx 10 run on Tuesday night where he was playing his shaman alt. We wiped on the Dance and I noticed that he hadn’t released and was waiting to be resurrected when we got back into Heigan’s room. When we asked why he didn’t release and fly back (as Krys would say “Don’t be that guy”) he said he can’t fly back because he couldn’t afford a flying mount. That’s right, he quested to level 80 and somehow didn’t manage to have enough money for regular flying training. How this is possible, I don’t know. I know I must have made several thousand gold just questing between level 70 and 80. I’m sure if I think about it for too long, it will make me angry, so I’ll move on to the more important thing, which is giving this guy a little advice on how to make enough money to buy basic flying skill + a cheap gryphon.

First things first. To protect the identity of the guilty, I’ll call him Noob. Fitting, huh?

OK. So, Noob is this player’s alt. His main has…wait for it…450 herbalism and 450 alchemy. That’s right, maxxed out in 2 major money making professions. Clearly Noob is poor because he is clueless.

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s what Noob should do:

1) Farm herbs on your main! Our GM, Krys, has offered to buy every stack of Northrend herbs that Noob can muster. That’s one hell of a deal, having a guaranteed buyer.
2) Save all the Frost Lotus that you get while farming for regular herbs. These are a primary component to all of the flasks used by core raiders. You can either use them to craft flasks to sell, or sell them in stack of 5 or 10.
3) Change your alchemy specialization to Elixir Mastery. This way, if you choose to make flasks with Frost Lotus you have a chance to create additional flasks which means free money.
4) Do not try for achievements, do not play any battlegrounds, no world pvp, no heroics, no standing around Dalaran looking pretty. Just get out there and farm.
5) Look up the recipes for Flask of Endless Rage and Flask of the Frost Wyrm. Save enough materials to make these flasks using the Frost Lotus you have saved from your farming. Don’t worry, it won’t be too much to have to save. Craft the flasks and sell them on major raid nights, which are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Those are some pretty basic guidelines for Noob to follow. He could probably get enough money for his basic flying skill and mount in less than 2 weeks. It’s up to him to put in the effort. There is no magic formula for making money. It just takes a little brain power and some time. Once he gets the basics down, then he can start working on more advanced techniques and branching out beyond selling flasks and herbs.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What does a butler do?

Wadsworth: I'm merely a humble butler.
Col. Mustard: What exactly do you do?
Wadsworth: I buttle, sir.
Col. Mustard: Which means what?
Wadsworth: The butler is in charge of the kitchen and dining room. I keep everything tidy.

- from the movie Clue

Apparently butlers are expensive. At least, the ones in WoW will be. I guess it’s because they will do more than run the kitchen and dining room. Our butlers will buy our junk, fetch our clothes, mend our armor and sell us reagents. Here’s the list of materials, if you happen to be lucky enough to find the plans by salvaging a mechanical in Northrend.

Field Repair Bot 74A x 2, Field Repair Bot 110G x 10, Scrapbot Construction Kit x 20, Titansteel Bar x 8, King's Amber x 2, Handful of Cobalt Bolts x 30.

Phew! That’s a lotta cash for a butler! First, to my knowledge the Field Repair Bot 74A plans drop in Blackrock Depths and I don’t have them. So, the guild will have to forgive me for pilfering one of the bots from the bank. Hopefully I’ll find another one for a reasonable amount on the auction house. The rest of the materials I can craft myself, though the farming time for khorium ore alone could take a while and Jeeves will require 30 bars. The sad part is that I had a lot of khorium and primal fire left over from the Burning Crusade days that I sold last spring. If I had only been a pack rat and saved all that junk! A rough estimate of the cost for parts will be about 2000 to 2500 gold.

From a money making prospective, if you don’t care about Jeeves and you are an engineer…well, if that’s the case than you don’t deserve to be an engineer! But anyway, for those who are unworthy or those who make their Jeeves and want to provide parts, you can make a lot of money off your brethren in patch 3.2 just by crafting repair bots and selling them at ridiculous prices.

So, when 3.2 is released, you’ll find me in the Storm Peaks farming mechanicals for my butler.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


There have been a few comments lately that have to do with trying to get me to add advertising to this site or trying to advertise someone else's site. Please don't do that. If I think a comment is soliciting a for-profit site then I will delete it. If you leave an appropriate comment and your profile links to your own blog or you link to another site with revelant information, great. Otherwise, "I love my vacuum, I've found God and I gave at the office" so please leave.