Archive for February, 2010

Sights Seen – Kitty Bomber

WoWScrnShot_022710_083054Here we see Ineveitable taking his pet Mistsabre out for a flight. How nice. Now if druids were supposed to be able to ride their land mount in flight form, that’d make this a boring shot. Instead, it makes Sights Seen. Sometimes glitches are more fun then features.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Too Busy to Use

APS

Here’s a quick topic: When is a custom UI too busy? For example, here’s mine after a run through Heroic Forge of Souls a while back.

TooBusyUIDo you see what I mean? At what point is a UI too busy to use? Does it take no being able to see the world anymore, unmanageable lag, crashing, or is it just when it looks crowded to you? I’ve got a ton of add-ons running here, and yes, it is a little slow. My biggest issue is that I want all of the information before me that I can get. If that means sacrificing a little speed or visibility, that’s ok. That’s just me, though. I know that allot of other games prefer a minimalist approach to their UI. I’ve tried to cut back, but losing information that I’m accustomed to is frustrating. I guess to each it’s own.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Spotty Specs

APS

Dual specs have changed WoW, no doubt about it. I would never toy with off-specs if I couldn’t keep ret while doing so. For those that were swapping between specs be it for PvP, dailies or helping on instances, this has saved them a ton of money. It hasn’t saved me much, though, because aside from my main ret spec, I can’t settle on a build like.

I’ve tried holy for healing instances, I’ve tried holy for PvP, I’ve tried prot for PvP, I’ve tried holy/prot for PvP, I’ve tried prot/ret for PvP… hell, I tried a screwy holy/prot/ret hybrid spec for PvP and that didn’t work worth a damn (ever hear the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none”? that was me). What I need is to settle on a spec and stay with it. Right now, my PvP spec is 0/66/5, while my main ret spec is 5/5/61. I like my ret build. I does everything I need at the moment. My PvP spec, though, is fluid. I can’t tell what’s working, so I keep playing with it.

Anyone with a tip on what to do with my PvP spec, drop me a line. I’d love to hear it. Also, anyone else who has this problem, I’d love to hear your story as well.

Let me know I’m not alone here.

Gavelier = Raid Leader?

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Ah, my raid. I’m so proud of ‘em.

What happened was that I was in Wintergrasp this morning to try out a new prot PvP spec. I’d built it not long after getting my subscription started back up, and had spent about an hour practicing my spell rotations on the hapless wildlife in Storm Peaks. I got to Wintergrasp right after the queue started (15 minutes before the match), and stayed until the match began. When it did, I noticed this little icon near the top of my name, like a little crown. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I let it go. As the battle wound down, I got a faux achievement from my Wintertime plug in. I was curious, but didn’t have time to look it up at the moment. When we won Wintertime gave me another shamchievement.  I congratulated the raid on the win, and came through in chat with the prefix [RL]. Raid leader? Oh, so that’s what the icon meant. The two notices from Wintertime were for leading a full raid and leading a defensive victory. Big deal.

I died five times early on (really out of practice), but was alive through the last half of the battle. I actually went the first 2/3rds of the fight before remembering to use my talented Hammer of Justice on the horde. Oops.

Well, I did nothing of note, and got the job via random dumb luck, but I can at least claim – in all honesty – to have lead a successful defense of Wintergrasp. I’ll just leave out the part about not knowing about it until the match was over.

That kinda ruins the moment.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Casual Problems?

APS

Welcome to our new feature, Alazar’s Party Starter. Here I’ll be touching on random subjects to get everyone thinking, and playing. There’s no limit to the topics I may touch on, so read often!

Today on Alazar’s Party Starter, I want to cover World of Warcraft’s tendency towards the casual gamer. When it launched back in 2004, it was straight from the Everquest lineage. The game was harder then it is today, it took my work then today, and dungeons and raids – once you finally reached them – were far more daunting then today. This last point was driven home to me when I took Gavelier to the Sunken Temple one time. Compared to Wrath of the Lich King’s heroics, this was a large, frustrating, clumsily-designed instance.Allot of mobs in the open world were Elites early on that aren’t so today. So has Blizzard dumbed down the game?

I don’t think so, I just think they made it more user-friendly. It’s a more welcoming game, and for better or for worse, it’s more solo-friendly. For those who say that soloists have no place in an MMO, I’d challenge them to show me a single-player off line game that offers what an MMO can… but I’m getting off subject.

Basically, the game is easier now, yes. Blizzard has definitely made concessions to reach a larger audience. The end result, though, is a game that doesn’t punish you for playing it. 40-man raids and long, slow grinds are welcome casualties to me. I look forward to Cataclysm, when the old world as a whole gets caught up to the current end-game’s quality. That will kill some crusty old hardcore vets, but for players like me – meaning players who want fun and not work – it will be a breath of fresh air.

Life of a Hero – At Creation

loah This is a self-indulgent new article series where we look back on Gavelier and company’s early days. Some of these pics don’t show me at my best, but they should all be fun to share.

 

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Gavelier as he looked as I created him on March 5th, 2008. This is an actual screen from his creation, and not a reenactment. I didn’t have Burning Crusade yet, and was still really uneducated about WoW in general (you’ll see what I mean in a pic or two). I named him Gavelier by combining cavalier and gavel, which is what I thought his big hammer looked like.

 

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Yay for kobold killing! I was scared of those kobolds at the time, not understanding that they wouldn’t attack on their own. Gav’s wearing  Frayed Pants, which is a dumb thing to put on a paladin. Not as dumb, though, as this.

 

2008-03-05_101054 A robe. A robe!! At the time I thought the robe was very paladin-y. How little I knew about World of Warcraft paladins. Now Gav runs around in huge, heavy, spiked armor, wielding a heavy sword. Oh, how far we have strayed! lol

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“Yes, Gavelier, Flimsy Chain Pants are a step in the right direction. Now to just finish the set and stop wearing cloth or leather like some ‘common’ class.” I was happy to see my first mail armor drop, but this wouldn’t be the last time I’d slip into lower-class armor.

 

2008-02-29_102513 While here, I thought I’d share my first-ever WoW screenshot. Yup, that’s Lug. Lug is the only toon I rolled before Gavelier, which makes him special to me. So why is Lug only level 23 while Gav sits at the level cap? I have no answer.

Pardon The Dust

If it seems a little lonely here in Alazar, it’s because my stupid account is on hold again. I had a ton of other stuff that needed worked on (Gavelier’s World of Warcraft among them) so I needed to step away for a little while. However, in the last few days or so, I’ve had that yearn. I want to go back. That got me thinking: what will I do when I do get back?

Naturally, Gav needs to re-sharpen his blade on Cult of the Damned skulls at the Argent Tournament dailies, and I’d like to hit up Wintergrasp again. Budman, Gleave, Crane and Lug all need leveling. I have some new article ideas I want to work on (more on that in a second), so that’s something to look in to. Then there’s reconnecting with my guild and seeing what they’ve been up to. That’s important too.

About the new articles, I’ve got a few ideas that want to pass along. One is a semi-daily ramble, one to get both me and you readers off on the right foot. Second, I want to make a ‘life of Gavelier’ post that tells the stories of his early days, long before Alazar was around.

Alazar has a lot of life left in it, so stick around and see what comes up.

Gavelier’s World of Warcraft has Returned!

I’ve returned to my web comic, Gavelier’s World of Warcraft (GWoW for short) with a new focus on action and adventure over comedy. Check it out HERE and let me know what you think.

Is Leveling Really the Best Part of WoW?

My accursed finances have forced me to retire my WoW account for a month, so updates here will be a mite slow. I do, however, want to cover one topic that’s been bugging me for a while.

I have long stood by my opinion that leveling was the primary draw in WoW. Seeing things and always having that carrot on the stick ahead of you of one more level that drove me forward. What was there to do at the level cap? I would be bored as hell.

Well, with Gav coming up on a year at level 80, I have done a solid 180 on the matter. When I play one of my lower level toons like Budman or Lug, I basically have one option: leveling. With Gav, when I log in I have a spread of things to do that I can pick and choose from at will. Do I want to work on my rep? Do dailies? Run a Heroic? Queue for Wintergrasp? Maybe I just want to play the auction house and see what I can buy. There’s no pressure here. Gavelier’s professions are both maxed as well, so I don’t have to level them either. It’s led me to change my stance on the whole leveling process. I simply don’t look forward to having to slog another toon through 30-60 more levels to get to the cap. Even Gleave’s XP shoulders aren’t helping allot.

What’s the answer? Don’t have one. I can’t say, ‘ this is the cure, let’s tell Blizzard,’ because I’m not sure there is a sure-fire cure. I saw one person comment that you should be able to ‘apprentice’ one of your lower level toons to a max-level character and the XP your level 80 would have earned would go to the apprentice instead. I think that that is a great idea. Will Blizzard ever implement such a feature? That’s totally up in the air. In the end, I’ll just have to drag myself – and my characters – through the low-level areas again like everyone else if I want another avatar at 80. Wish me luck.

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Hi, I’m Alphasim . I’ve been playing World of WarCraft for four years now and my main is a level 85 human paladin named Gavelier. Gav features prominently here at Alazar so you'll get to know him and his guild.

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