Jul 26 2010



In this brave new iWorld of iConnectivity and Internet iEverywhere, you would think that writing brief posts would be the perfect thing to fill the brief lacunae in the workday. Alas, typing much on the phone is a tedious experience. I am considering other portable options, so this post becomes a comparative test.

For the technologically curious, I am writing in an iPhone into a note, then will cut-and-paste into the wordpress client to publish.

All of which is sideways from what I intended to write about. After a few hours over the weekend Morkhaeus dinged 71. The last half of the level was achieved in four back-to-back runs of Utgarde Keep (an instance that is beautifully designed, but which I am now quite sick of).

By that experience, it will take 6-8 instance runs per level, mixed with questing. Which will mean something like 4-6 hours per level. The queues for DPS are excitingly long at the moment, usually at least half an hour. All of which makes it painful when an idiot shows up in the group.

Two of the runs had level 80 tanks – in one case a guild mate running folk through instances for the fun of it. And 7 out of 8 of the puggers on the other runs were cool. We wiped a bit, struggled a bit, and in short dealt with the dungeon at the level it was designed for. The 8th person was excruciating. A warrior signed up for melée DPS I noticed straight away he wasn’t doing much. Not that it mattered, the rest of us were doing ok. The tank wandered over to beat up a group in that initial forge area that didn’t need to be cleared, but we shrugged and went along. It was all XP. The warrior piped up to complain though, and when told it was quick XP responded “not for me I’m a twink”. Huh?

We shrugged, kept going to the first boss and downed him fine if a bit slow. Except the warrior just stood there. When queried he replied “I’m in follow”. Fastest group kick I’ve ever seen. The lock who turned up to replace him was efficient and useful.

The take away for me? Despite the presence of idiots, the reasonably pleasant and reasonably competent remain in the majority.

Jul 24 2010

A very tall Dwarf


This is Morkhaeus, who is noticeably not a dwarf. Slightly taller, for one thing, and with legs that bend the wrong way.

I rolled Mork when BC launched, and had fun with him for about the first 40 levels, then put him aside to concentrate on other things. Then WOTLK was launched, and, well, he sort of lingered in limbo. He’s a miner and jewel crafter though, and I really want to level him in Jewel Crafting to cut down on gem costs, and so have decided to make him my third 80. I suspect by the time he gets there the cataclysm will be nigh, and so hope to level all three 80’s to 85 in parallel.

I’ve got him up to level 70 reasonably quickly – and as soon as I could get him out of Outlands and up to the Borean Tundra I did so. Really, the grind of levelling through Outlands is not an experience I want to repeat, and I hope that Blizzard do some work to make it less dull, otherwise they’ll find that players will spend 5 to 8 levels there, and never return. In particular doing the dungeons with PUGs is an excruciating experience, and does not pay good experience unless you have the quests, which are generally at the end of long chains and so not readily shareable.

Having said that, the quests in Borean Tundra are as fresh and interesting as the first time (MacMorris levelled on the other side of the continent), apart from Mork’s fragility. He’s a deep fire spec, for no other reason than it feels appropriate for a mage to be able to hurl great mountains of fire at things, which means that he can lay down pretty good single target damage, pretty ordinary AOE, and like any mage melts away like a snowflake in hell if anything gets close enough to touch him. All of which means that it’s proving a slow grind to level him.

The obvious solution is to run dungeons… but the PUG experience is proving very poor at this level. Maybe it’s end-of-expansion, or the phase of the moon, but I’m finding that people in PUGs between level 68 and (so far) 71 are either rude, incompetent, or both. Ok, that might be the PUG experience all over, but it feels like people are running alts and trying to get through instances as fast as they get through heroic instances on their ridiculously overpowered mains. Hence I see tanks pulling overenthusiastically, and dying, and blaming the healers. I see DPS stealing aggro from the tank. I see an endless stream of Death Knights who have obviously never tanked trying to tank. It’s silly. If people slowed down, took their time, took some care, allowed a bit of crowd control, the instances would go faster than the endless wipe-run back-wipe-rage quit that happens.

But the best, or worst, bit of rudeness was the first PUG that Mork attempted after hitting 70. He sat in the queue for about 30 minutes, popped into Utgarde Keep. The tank and a DPS guild mate popped in, then popped back out. The rest of us stood around for a few minutes, waiting for them to return, and someone asked if they were coming. The response “I didn’t queue for this s**t”. When asked if he would quit out of the group then, his response “I don’t want the debuff, you can wait 12 minutes then kick me”. Nice.

More on Mork over the next few days. I really need to get back to writing, now that Real Life has returned to some degree of normality. And on that note, I’ve got a party to go to.