Haitus

April 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm (1)

Hey guys,

Just wanted to let you know that, like a few other regular TWW players, you might be seeing a bit less of me for a while.  With apathy toward the current WoW endgame and a feeling of severe burnout — I’ve been playing this stretch of WoW since last summer — I’m in dire need of a break and a change of gaming habits.  I’ll still be logging on to say hi, do dailies, etc., but just not so much for a while.

This isn’t to discourage any of you from playing or keeping TWW the awesome guild that it is.  Remember: be friendly, be good, support each other and be sure to play together — not just talk together.

You can keep in touch with me by either e-mailing me at bigbanana -at- hotmail -dot- com, or reading the two main writing projects I’m working on: Mutant Reviewers From Hell and WAAAGH! A Warhammer Online Blog.

Take care and have a blast!

Syp

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Time to take a break…

April 1, 2008 at 4:55 am (1)

I think it’s time I took a break from this game.

I’m starting to forget that it is, first and foremost, a game. Things get taken seriously sometimes, and emotions get hurt.

And it should never be that way.

So I need to take myself out of the game for a while. A hiatus, if you will. Part of it is for reasons that may seem obvious, and part of it may be reasons that are (and always will be) my own.

So we need to find someone willing to take over the guild while I am gone.

Let the discussion begin!

Boazar

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Deadmines Speed Run Contest! Saturday March 22nd, 7:00 Server Time!

March 14, 2008 at 11:15 pm (1)

Come one, come all to the greatest tournament in the history of Azeroth!

The Deadmines Speed Runs!

Here are the rules:

You are allowed up to a total level of 120 combined by all players.

You must kill all bosses.

In order to win you must be the first one out of the cave all the way.

The winning group will recieve:

100g to split amongst the group.
Each member will receive a free 16 slot bag

2nd place will receive:

70g to split amongst the group
Each member will receive a free 16 slot bag

3rd place will receive:

50g to split amongst the group
No bags for you!  You are in third place! :P

Be there, or be square!

Boazar

P.S.  This will be based on honesty, since players can’t follow you in.  I will expect everyone to follow the rules.

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Initiative: What we need from everyone!

March 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm (1)

With more and more of us getting characters/alts to lvl 70 (or to Outlands at least) I’d like to ask for everyone’s help with a couple things.

Initiative.  If you are interested in setting up heroic nights, kara groups, or anything else that you think would be a fun activity for the guild, don’t hesitate to do so.  If you need direction from the officers, or general help on how to recruit, or what we are looking for in people, feel free to ask.

I know since the Kara 1 group has disappeared into the wind, there are those of you who feel left out of Kara.  The last thing we want to do is make you feel left out.  And that’s why we need you to take a step up and help re-form kara groups, or get instance runs going.  If we are missing key components, or simply need to help guildies get better gear, please let us know so we can help you.

Communication.  I can’t stress this one enough.  We, as officers, try and reach out as often as we can, offering help when we log in.  But if we don’t hear anything immediately, then we as players go off and try to do our own things.  We need you to communicate with us more.  Do we need more Dire Maul runs?  Do we need some Ramparts/Blood Furnace runs?  Do we need to setup groups to run people through the Kara key attunement?  Do you want to start up an arena team?  Let us know and we will make the time to accomodate those who need help.

Recruitment and Guild Rankings.  We have over 190 seperate accounts in our guild, which is a pretty decent amount.  However, it seems like of late the number of players on seems to dwindle much lower than it has previously.   So we are opening up for new recruitment.  But we don’t want any person who walks in the door.  If you come across someone who seems very friendly and portrays himself in a family-friendly way with a sly sense of humor, guide him to our conduct rules and try to recruit him/her.  We keep track of who “sponsors” guildies, and that comes into focus when we promote players inside the guild.

Speaking of which… It may seem like we never promote anyone.  This isn’t true.  We pick people we feel represent what our guild is all about.  If you are a quiet player who does their own thing all the time, chances are we won’t know much about you, and recruitment won’t happen as rapidly.  If you are friendly in guild chat, vocal about wanting to attend events, interested in leveling alts to help out with gaps in instances, come up with your own ideas for things, and generally promote yourself inside and out of the guild in a positive way, we do notice these things.  Just don’t over-promote:  that can make you look smug.  And we don’t like over-smugness :)

I hope this doesn’t sound like rubbish.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask me, or any of the officers.

Boazar

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Spiffy Features

March 12, 2008 at 2:19 pm (1) (, , , , )

Today, I promised myself, I was going to craft a 100% positive blog post about MMOs.  So after digging around in my noggin for a bit, I rummaged up some fond memories of games past and present, and some of the spiffy features they offered that I experienced for the first time in a MMO:

Sidekicking (City of Heroes/Villains)

Anyone who plays MMOs know that one of the banes of the genre is staying in the same general level range as all your buddies so you can group up and play together.  If Todd is level 40 and I’m a mere 10, I can’t play in the areas he’s doing, and he gets no benefit beyond companionship to stoop down to where I’m playing.

City of Heroes sidestepped this whole issue by introducing the sidekick system (and later, the exemplar), where a lower level character could be “sidekicked” to a higher level character, temporarily boosting them to their friend’s level minus one.  So if their friend is level 40, they would become level 39 and their current powers boosted accordingly.  Instantly you have a game where the guy who plays three hours a week can log on and play with his 35-hour-a-week buddy!

Auction Houses (FFXI, EvE Online, WoW, LOTRO)

The only MMO I played without auction houses was Anarchy Online, which in truth might have had an auction house but the game was so darn confusing and dense that I probably wouldn’t have recognized it if I passed it on my way to die somewhere else.  In any case, auction houses take a static, fixed economy between the game and the players, and transforms it into a vibrant, real-world-style economy between players and players.  It’s a beautiful thing we take for granted, to be able to buy and sell to the entire server without having to spam a trade channel all day long.

Universal Feats (AO, CoH)

In their first expansion, Shadowlands, Anarchy Online offered characters a new feat every ten levels, which they could draw from a universal pool of feats available to any class.  City of Heroes also offered universal pool powers that could be accessed by all classes.  I love this idea and wish more games had it – that you have both unique, class-driven skills, yet could also dip into skills beyond your class.

Talent Trees (WoW)

While WoW didn’t have a monopoly on talent trees when it came out, it certainly utilized them to a degree not seen in MMOs before.  It solved the problem of players both wanting fixed, defined class roles, and a desire to differentiate themselves into unique niches.  Without talent trees, WoW has nine classes; with them, it has 27 (or more!) sub-classes at your fingertips.  Now, if only they’d make respeccing cheaper…

Deed Logs (LOTRO, WAR, Mythos)

I’m a huge proponent of alternative paths to character development past the “gather xp, gain levels” grind that’s been present ever since MMOs first began.  We’re just recently starting to see MMOs come out with variations on a deed log (LOTRO) or tome of knowledge (WAR) or accomplishments (Mythos), where you can independently pursue specific goals to gain unique rewards, such as titles, skills or attribute bumps.  Even City of Heroes introduced collectible badges that could earn you new powers or abilities. 

Flight (CoH, WoW)

Being land-locked is often necessary for developers to create an immersive experience that isn’t broken, but when a game can incorporate flight (or super-jumping) smoothly, it suddenly opens the doors to a new dimension in travel that is surprisingly liberating to the player.  Hitting level 14 in CoH to gain your first travel power, or dinging 70 to gain access to flying mounts in WoW is pleasure beyond description.  Flight allows the player to be an explorer all over again.

Collectable Skills (Guild Wars)

Oddly enough, I’d like to credit Guild Wars with taking a slightly different approach to leveling, where, instead of buying your skills from a trainer, you have to go out and find them, whether they be from quests, unique mobs or certain milestones.  Having to work for my skills makes me appreciate them more.

What are some features that you look back on fondly?

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Random Thoughts

March 11, 2008 at 6:50 pm (1)

I just wanted to dump a bunch of random, non-linked thoughts that have been bubbling through my mind about WoW and MMOs in general:

1. Massively has a blog-crush on Second Life, and The Common Sense Gamer finally called them out on it. Hilariously, Massively posted numerous comments to the effect of “nuh-UH!” and “It’s what the readers want!” Yeah, because nobody wants to hear about those pesky “games” like Warhammer Online, Mythos and the like. Give us more virtual furry perverts and their playground!

I posted a couple comments on that blog post, including this: “Just because a program has many users is not a good reason to cover it, nor to give it disproportionate coverage. If that’s your argument, then why isn’t Massively giving 10+ posts a day on Lineage, Lineage II, Maple Story, Runescape or any other “large subscriber/player/user” program? What about Kingdom of Loathing?

2. Blizzard’s ever-increasing focus on Arenas and e-Sports (shudder) is scaring a lot more people than just me. Blizz has admitted that many of the recent class nerfs (and, lest we forget, a WATER NERF) are due to the imbalance of Arena (not battleground) PvP. Nerfs and class-hating aside, for those of us who love the PvE portion of the game, how are we supposed to take this shift in focus other than the discomforting notion that PvE isn’t “as good” as PvP any more? If PvP offers easier and better gear for the casual or hardcore than PvE, than what incentive is there for me to continue on in the PvE game when I hit 70 instead of dedicating 100% of my time to Arena combat?

3. The Tournament Realm is a huge mistake. WoW PvP combat isn’t fun to watch, Blizzard is throwing out time and effort to substitute with cold, hard (additional) cash, and this will only place a heavier emphasis on class “balance” (and the subsequent nerfs).

4. What am I most excited about in Path 2.4? Among the goodies, I’ll have to pick Magister’s Terrace, the first new non-box 5-man instance added to the game since (I think) Dire Maul. Or Mauradon. In any case, 5-mans are some of the most fun runs of this game, and the new MT offers great loot: badges, a phoenix pet, 20-slot bags, and so on.

5. I was huge into City of Heroes before playing WoW, and I still hold it as the best, most fun combat I’ve played in any MMO. Therefore, I am all a-tingle with the news that Cryptic Studios (the team that made CoH) is hard at work on a new superhero MMO, Champions Online. In addition to many of the great gameplay elements of CoH, Champions Online includes: creating a personal super-nemesis at character creation who will be battling you through your entire career, facial expressions that change, various stances/walking animations, choosing strengths and weaknesses, cross-class skill purchasing (for a higher cost), and play areas across the entire world, instead of just a city. I’m psyched!

6. The lesson we’ve learned from big-name projects such as Ultima Online 2, Mythic, Gods & Heroes and Star Trek Online is this: don’t ever get your hopes up too high for a MMO game, particularly if it’s in the beginning stages of development. If it’s release day plus 60 and the game seems to be doing well, then you may commence with hope.

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PvP Should Die.

February 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm (General, PvP)

(I thought I’d get cute with a “Gank PvP” title, but then my coffee slapped me in the face and I realized I needed to respect myself for the rest of the day.)

That’s it. Right there, up in the headline. You see it? “PvP Should Die.” No exclamation mark for unnecessary drama, no question mark for vague uncertainty. Just a period, stating it as a fact.

I truly and deeply believe that PvP (player vs. player) in World of Warcraft should go the way of the dodo, and be exorcised from the game. I know, I know, I feel you rolling your eyes and getting ready to quickly dismiss this as an uninformed rant — but please stick with me, just for a minute here.

World of Warcraft is an exceptional PvE (player vs. environment) game. From the casual soloer to the hardcore raider, WoW is accessible, fun, and offers a stream of varying challenges and goals to meet. It’s no secret, however, that the PvP aspect was first tacked on, then later shoehorned in to become an integrated part of the game. We now have four battlegrounds, three arenas, two OP classes and welfare epics in a pear tree for all those who love ganking their fellow man, woman or child.

I can admit, PvP makes a lot of sense when the primary purpose of your game is to keep your players chowing down on content as long as possible so they’ll keep reupping their subscriptions. And unlike PvE content, which is solely developer-made, PvP involves the players in the content-making as well. Suddenly, the enemy mobs aren’t predictable beasties who are pulled and attack the same way every. single. time. No two PvP matches are the same, offering unlimited variety and surprises and strategies. PvP rewards — honor and arena — offer PvP players another way to gain coveted gear while playing the type of game they like. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why would I rail against this? Shouldn’t I, I don’t know, live and let frag?

See? There’s the cutsie stuff my coffee is slapping me for.

If World of Warcraft was designed from the top-down to work hand-in-hand between PvP and PvE, I would just shut my mouth and go my way. But that’s not the truth, and in many ways PvP has hurt WoW far more than helped, despite what the devs might say. In the beginning, we had duels and PvP servers with “open world PvP”, both of which offered ultimately futile exercises in unfair matchups. Realizing the imbalance (remember that word, kiddos; it’ll come up again), Blizzard created instanced Battlegrounds and Arenas to supposedly match up players in similar numbers and levels. Yet this didn’t stop the discrepancy between premade groups and randomly assembled groups, not to mention the indignity of a horrible player trouncing a truly skilled player because the aforementioned horrible guy had better gear to cover for his lack of skill.

PvP Truth #1: When gear matters as much or more than skill, something is broken.

Yet this all just concerns those wacky PvP players, you say — it has no impact on Mr. and Ms. Joe Casual, who’s plugging away at the Defias Brotherhood for those tacky bandanas, right?

Okay. If you say so.

What I say is that in their efforts to continuously balance “imbalanced” PvP matchups, Blizzard has taken the PvE players on a rollercoaster of largely unnecessary nerfs and buffs, far more than the PvE game demanded. You might be a warlock who’s never touched foot in a battleground, but if you’ve played the game long enough, you will have witnessed your primary crowd control mechanism — fear — nerfed time and again. Is that because it was too overpowered in PvE? Heck no. It was because something that worked in PvE created a large imbalance in the PvP environment, and Blizzard was forced to change the skills across the board to keep everything in alignment.

PvP Truth #2: To fix the PvP side of the game, often you have to break something in the PvE portion.

In 2.4, shamans will see their top Restoration tree talent — Earth Shield — nerfed from 10 charges to 6. Is this because it was an overpowered healing spell? In PvE, no. In PvP, apparently, yes. So sorry, PvE players, you have to suffer for the sins of PvP!

For another example, take tanks. In theory, these are characters who spend ungodly amounts of time leveling up, speccing their talent tree to attain all sorts of defensive skills, and acquiring tank gear to withstand a pounding so they can protect their teammates in dungeons. Yet in PvP, Blizzard has pronounced tanks as a “useless” spec. Sure, you can defend all the live-long day, but tanks were simply stripped of their ability to taunt enemy players into attacking them instead of their squishy allies. If you’re there to protect your physically weaker teammates and you have no way of protecting them except to damage the enemy faster than they’re damaging your buddy, then why go to the trouble of having tanks in the first place? Therefore, a third of the “holy trinity” of MMOs (tanks, healers, damage) was rendered void where prohibited.

PvP Truth #3: When all talent specs fail to be viable in PvP situations, you’ve unbalanced the game.

I’m honestly sick of the nerf/buff rollercoaster that PvP imposes on the game, and if I had my way, as King of Blizzard, I’d announce that all PvP would be stripped from the game tomorrow. WoW doesn’t have to be great at all things to all people, just really great at something that already appeals to most people — the PvE game.

So the question would become, if we take direct PvP conflict out of WoW, then how do we inject player-created (or controlled) content into the PvE game?  What about co-op instances, where two teams of players race against each other to cross the finish line (beat the end boss)?  Or making the players “Generals” on a battlefield, where they can do quests to recruit NPC troops and send them against their enemy’s fortress while defending their own (I know, AV has an element of this, but who honestly recruits the NPCs anymore?)?  Or what about player-made dungeons, where you could be given an instance template and then fill with mobs, loot and traps that you’d have to find in the PvE side of the game?

I’m not a dev, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  But I am convinced that PvP has to be firmly incorporated into the groundwork of a game to be successful, and it has to offer all players a chance to compete based on skill instead of gear or favored talent specs.

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Warlock Training Part 2 – Pets

January 31, 2008 at 1:40 pm (1)

Props to Vick for giving me direction where to go next in this series — discussing what makes the warlock class unique in the game: the sheer variety and multiple roles of pets (demons) that they have at their command.

Now hunters, of course, are granted pets, but theirs is a different relationship. All hunter pets fill the role of tank/some dps with little difference. Some are better tanks, some are better DPS, some have trainable skills that help with these two functions, but that’s where it ends. A hunter pet is a hunter pet is a hunter pet. Not to mention the fact that a hunter can only tote around one pet at a time.

Warlocks, on the other hand, have an incredible selection of multiple utility pets. None that are all-around perfect, mind you, but each with a specialty and situational usefulness that comes into play constantly. By level 70, your standard warlock has four main attack pets at his or her command. A demo lock has five. Add two more pets if you’re counting the regular and epic summoned mount, and two more on top of that if you count the Infernal and Doomguard. That totals up to NINE demonic critters (well… how about ten with the Eye of Kellogg’s or whatever) that a lock can cycle through in their journeys.

By the way, here’s a quick tip — if, as a lock, you get overly dependent on just one demon and never use any of the others, not only are you playing your class in a gimped fashion, but you’ll be denying your teammates your greatest asset: flexibility. You might as well go roll a hunter in this case.

Here we go as we look through the ten warlock pets, and how and when to deploy them:

IMP

Feisty and never without a screeching complaint, your pint-sized pal comes into your spellbook as early as level 2-4. He’s incredibly weak, health-wise, but perfect to get you to 10 (or 20) when you’ll probably switch to your Succy or VW as your main soloing companion. Even so, the imp remains a valuable tool in any lock’s arsenal for one reason: it’s always useful in groups. Awesome in groups, actually.

Imps are great at support, offering nice ranged damage (firebolts) which keeps them out of harm’s way in boss battles that would otherwise kill your pets, a “phase shift” spell that keeps them from being hurt unless you trigger them to attack, a stamina-boosting buff that goes out to your entire party, and a “fire shield” buff that it throws on party members being attacked to offer them a bit more damage to their enemies.

You’ll use imps early on, then mostly later in the game if you’re either raiding or in a group that has great need for the stamina buff. Imps have a few other advantages — they don’t require a soul shard to summon, they have an enormous mana pool (great for affliction locks and their dark pact talent), and if you spec them right, they can be a little firebolt-tossing machine gun that presents opportunities for great burst damage.

VOIDWALKER

AKA “Big Blue”, the VW is your own personal meat shield, capable of absorbing blows and keeping the enemy attention on them (with two taunts). To say their damage is sub-par, however, is an understatement. If you’re soloing with a VW, you better bring the damage yourself. VW’s also offer a nice self-heal (consume shadows) and an emergency bubble option for yourself (sacrifice). Sacrifice is nifty, but you’re basically bubbling to the cost of a soul shard and a resummon.

Ultimately, VWs are a crutch pet that lets locks get to their 20s and 30s without dying too much. Past 30, no lock should really be using one, except in the rare instance run when an offtank is needed (and even then, a VW needs a constant health funnel from you to stay alive).

SUCCUBUS

Succys, as we call them, are the sassy, whip-oriented demons that become the warlock’s mainstay helper for much of his or her middle-to-late career. While fairly fragile (although nothing as bad as the imp), Succys are nasty DPS-dealers. You’ll love her lash of pain, you’re wonder why the heck she needs invisibility, and you’ll swoon over her seduce technique.

Seduce is the reason why Succys get pulled out in groups, as it offers the warlock an opportunity to CC a humanoid mob. However, I’m not a big fan of seduce — it tends to break (which takes micro-managing to reaquire), you have to trigger it manually for it to really be effective (which takes time away from attacking other critters), and when it does break, the mob guns for your pet with a personal vendetta. Seduce, however, is highly popular in PvP, and is one of the reasons (coupled with our three fears) that people get frustrated with the lock class and claim the OP status.

FELHUNTER

AKA “the doggy”. If you’re a lock soloing with one of these, I have a kind of weird respect for you. You’re hardcore. You don’t need the training wheels of the VW any longer, and are looking for a different playstyle than the succy can offer.

Although it offers the second-highest health pool of the base four demons and a nice melee debuff to whoever attacks it, the felhunter is basically an anti-caster pet. It really shines when you find yourself battling wave after wave of casters/healers who do annoying things like heal themselves or load up on more buffs than you’re find at a Jimmy Buffet buffet. Spell lock is an awesome spell silence skill that shuts casters up in a hurry (although you should put this on manual trigger), and devour magic not only strips an enemy of its buff, but heals the doggy at the same time. Nice!

Devour magic is also a useful tool if you or your allies have harmful magical debuffs on them — just let the doggy chew them off!

Overall, the felhunter is a much more situational pet than most, but when you need it, it shines.

INFERNO

Arguably, the inferno (a giant burning rock elemental thing) was the poster boy pet of the warlock class, at least according to WoW’s opening cinematic. However, Blizzard got it into their heads to make this and the doomguard pains in our collective butts to use in any sane situation, and ergo it goes largely unused by the lock community. Once you complete a quest chain to tame one, the inferno is summoned with the help of an inferno stone (not a soul shard), something you can only do outside and every 30 minutes. The upside? The quick 2-second cast time and summoning damage that it causes is pretty nice if you have a pet go down and you need another in a pinch. The downside? It comes with a limited warranty: a five minute enslave timer that, when up, requires you to repeatedly enslave it (which costs soul shards and tends to break unpredictably).

The inferno is a fun pet to use as a novelty, or to unleash upon a friendly/hostile city when it breaks. It does decent damage and looks properly intimidating, and is worth getting just for the occasional joy of using it. Otherwise, Blizzard needs to up and admit that they’ve failed when it comes to these pets and their enslave mechanic, and need to make some serious adjustments.

DOOMGUARD

This is the only lock pet that I’ve never gotten, and probably one most locks have never seen. This is due to the difficulty in aquiring it: you either have to hope that Curse of Doom kills a creature and summons the DG, or you have to partake in a party ritual wherein one of your party members (possibly you) dies instantly.

Like the inferno, it too requires a summoning reagent and comes with a five-minute enslave timer. For its trouble, the DG has great tanking and damage potential, but that comes at a cost: when enslave breaks, that damage potential will be focused on you.

FELGUARD

With the Burning Crusade’s new 41-point talents came the Felguard in the demo tree. I’ve always been a huge fan of the demo tree, and never more than the day when I got my new favorite pet. The felguard, like the VW, is a tank, but much more of a DPS tank than a prot tank. It gets into the battle quick with its intercept charge/stun, has a decent attack coupled with a multiple-target damaging cleave, avoids AOE damage, taunts you enemies off you, and can whip itself into a DPS-happy frenzy quite easily.

Until post-68 dungeons, the felguard can happily offtank for your party, as long as you feed it a health funnel now and then. Once you get into high level dungeons where the demon pets don’t scale with lock gear (which is a bug that needs to be fixed), the felguard loses its ability to be a good tank, but can still bring the damage quite well. Its power in PvP situations (especially with intercept) caused it to be nerfed twice early on, but it still does an impressive job thwacking away at clothies and nasty rogues who think they can up and stun you.

Felguard-using locks get a bit of a bad reputation for some reason, but I absolutely love mine and solo with him exclusively. You do want to be aware that he’s a bit more fragile than the VW, and his multiple abilities chew through his mana pool incredibly fast — you’ll need to be life tapping (coupled with the mana feed talent) to keep him fueled up.

OTHER PETS

Locks are blessed with a free level 40 summonable mount (Felsteed) and can quest for an absolutely wicked-looking level 60 epic mount (Dreadsteed). Getting my Dreadsteed after a particularly bothersome quest chain was one of the highlights of the game for me. Unfortunately, warlocks do not have any options for unique flying mounts, although skeletal griffyns would be quite tasty.

The Eye of Kilrogg is worth mentioning as an extremely situational demonic summon. It conjures up a floating eye with no aggro radius, and allows the warlock to control it, seeing through its eyes as it scouts ahead. Great for seeing what’s around the corner or to freak out low level players.

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TWW Bank Update! New Rules!

January 29, 2008 at 11:39 pm (1, General)

Well, we recently had enough gold to purchase a 4th bank tab.  Huzzah!

I would like to thank everyone who donated to this cause.  Getting a 4th tab in our guild bank shows our growth and overall desire to make the guild better.  So thank you all!

With the purchase of this tab, we have decided to change things up in terms of what tab does what now.  This also changes permissions for different rankings in the guild.  I will go over each ranking and what they can take out in this blog.

So first, the different tabs.

Tab 1.  Super Important!

This tab has not changed.  This tab still involves  blue items, rare crafting recipes, uncut gem stacks, ZG coins, and anything we officers deem super important.

Tab 2.  Recipes Armor (and more, but there’s a limit on how long your title can be, unlike this bold text here.)

Tab 2 is pretty simple.  Green armor, potions, cut gems, librams, and profession recipes.

Tab 3.  Professions Tab

Herbs, leather scraps, venom sacs, ore, shadowgems, etc.  Anything to do with helping your profession go up is located here.

Tab 4.  Random

This tab is also fairly straightforward.  Food, bandages, low level potions, low level bags, quest items, etc.  Put that type of stuff here.

So so far, pretty spot-on.  Now we go over the rankings.

GM’s and Co-GM’s.  

Full access.  Obviously.

Officer

Tab 1    5 Items
Tab 2    7 Items
Tab 3    8 Items
Tab 4    10 Items

Sergeant

Tab 1    1 Item
Tab 2    2 Items
Tab 3    3 Items
Tab 4   4 Items

Corporal

Tab 1    None
Tab 2    1 Item
Tab 3    2 Items
Tab 4    3 Items

Private

Tab 1    None
Tab 2    None
Tab 3    2 Items
Tab 4    2 Items

Newbie

Tab 1    None
Tab 2    None
Tab 3    1 Item
Tab 4    1 Item

Alts   

Tab 1    None
Tab 2    None
Tab 3    2 Items
Tab 4    2 Items

Probation

No access at all.  

So there you have it.  If you see something you need in a tab, but can’t access it, ask an officer.

Also, and I want to make sure everyone understands this next rule:

The bank is not to be used for your own profit, aside from helping your profession.  If you take out items and sell them for profit, and we catch you doing so, we will warn you and drop you in ranking.  If you are caught repeatedly you will be kicked from the guild.

Thanks again, and enjoy the new tab and bank setup!

Boazar

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Warlock Training, Part 1 – Abilities, Roles and Limits

January 29, 2008 at 3:15 pm (1)

One of the services your humble officers wish to present to you, other than well-timed sarcastic jabs at misspelled chat text, is our experience in playing particular classes.  Whether you’re starting a class for the first time as a main or alt, or whether you’ve (like me) played a class in the past but had the sneaking suspicion that you’re not quite playing it to its full potential, it’s never a bad idea to do your homework and learn from others (like I have) who’ve played these classes into the ground.

I’ve always loved the warlock class in WoW — one of the two pet classes, warlocks seem to buck the standard trend of the game.  Having lots of health good?  Locks sacrifice their health repeatedly to gain mana, hurt others and heal our pets.  Cloth-wearing classes fragile?  Locks can, and have, stamina and staying power that rival tanks at times.   Crits and big flashy numbers the be-all, end-all of the DPS game?  Locks cherish the even bigger numbers of the gradual flesh-eating DOT spells.  Heck, unlike hunters, our pets don’t even like us — we bend them to our will and make them our cannon fodder.

As a more-or-less pure DPS class — meaning that we’ll never be called upon to tank (except for the very rare VW/Felguard offtank situation) or heal — a warlock’s job is to learn how to do the most damage that he or she can possibly do, and also to be as asset to the team.  In this article, I want to outline what we can do (abilities), what we should do (roles), and what we can’t do (limits), for anyone considering rolling a lock.

ABILITIES

  • We’re the only class that carries with them, at all times, a full assortment of pets that can be called out in any order to deal with a variety of situations.
  • Given a fight that lasts over 30 seconds, a well-geared and well-skilled lock can (and should) out-dps most any other class in combat.
  • All of our talent trees are raid- and solo-viable, and all are geared toward DPS.
  • Free mount at level 40 that takes up no bag space.  Quest-gained epic mount at 60.
  • Lifetap + bandages/drain life = never having to sit down and drink/eat.
  • DOTs last even after you die, which is always fun when PvP opponents whine about dying after killing you.

ROLES

  • In all raids and most 5-man groups, locks should pull out their buff-friendly imp to help boost the whole team’s defense and damage.
  • Healthstones and soul wells are invaluable to teammates in providing them with a “free” health potion that’s on a separate timer than normal potions.
  • In-a-pinch crowd control vs. humanoids (succubus’ seduce), elementals (banish) and demons (banish).  Also fun?  Fear.  Also stupid most of the time in dungeon settings?  Fear.
  • Soulstones protect the healer and give the group a chance for less painful wipe recovery.
  • Soul shatter and a demonologist’s talents can lower our threat while letting us DPS without worry of stealing aggro.

LIMITS

  • We’re not that great at burst damage (unless destruction specced), and mages routinely beat us at AOE damage.
  • Even with high stamina and soul link, etc, our cloth armor means that if we draw undue attention to ourselves (instead of party or pet), we’re dead in a few blows.
  • Non-demo specs have more aggro issues and a smaller pet selection.
  • DPS classes/specs are a dime a dozen, and we have to prove why we’re more valuable in a group that a ret pally or a huntard.
  • People really love to hate the warlock class (a year later and we’re still “OP”, apparently) — prepare to have nobody like you for the class you play.
  • Pet skills, namely seduce and spell lock, require a lot of micro-management to effectively use in a group setting.
  • DOTs aren’t “flashy” like other attacks or spells.

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