All posts by Pike

Update: I’m Still a Teeny Tiny Bit Scared of Heroics

Is being scared of Heroics silly?  Probably?  Yeah, probably.  I’m not scared of Raids but I am scared of Heroics.  I imagine it’s because a Heroic is smaller so there’s a greater sense of personal responsibility.  Who knows, though, really?

althalor confused

Anyways, I decided it was time to CONQUER MY FEAR so I queued up for a Heroic this morning.  It was Upper Blackrock Spire, which I haven’t done since, oh, about ten million years ago when it certainly wasn’t re-tuned for level 100 yet.  Unfortunately Blizzard decided to throw a bunch of “Instance Not Found!” errors in my face and not let me zone in so I had to drop group.

Later I tried again and this time got Grimrail Depot.  I breathed a sigh of relief because I’ve done this one about fifty times on normal.  It went smoothly, except for one bit where I almost died for no reason (still not sure what that was about) and yeah.  It was nice and smooth and I got my Heroic achievement.  All’s well that ends well.

Still, I’m scared to do it again for some reason.  Why?  I don’t know.  I’ve talked before about how I most certainly did not used to be this way, and now I am.  I don’t get it.

Either way, it’s still something I’m working on overcoming.  Maybe I’ll even do another Heroic!  …someday!

An Interesting Thing About the World of Warcraft Experience

I’ve been thinking recently about how with most video games it doesn’t really matter when you first play it – the experience is similar for everyone.  So, for example, you can play Deus Ex or Morrowind today and talk to people who played Deus Ex or Morrowind when they first came out over a decade ago and your experiences with those games will probably have been fairly similar.  You can talk about the story, areas of the game, obnoxious bosses and so on and have a lot of common ground.

But World of Warcraft is always changing, oftentimes a lot, and so you don’t always get that ability.  Imagine someone who played the game ten years ago talking to someone who is just starting out today.  They would have some common ground, of course – but how much?

People who started raiding in Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria have a largely different view on the game than I would – I, as someone who did her raiding in Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.  The bosses were different, the mechanics were different, and the memories were different.

look at this adorable Karazhan gear
look at this adorable Karazhan gear

Other than WoW I’ve never really been a huge MMO player so this is all a different and new concept to me.  Other games are constants, but WoW is more like life, where new generations are constantly rising to play an experience that is similar to – but certainly not the same as – what the older generations experienced.

Weird, huh?

Let me tell you a story, a story of a madcap Alterac Valley…

…which happened just yesterday.

Mr. Pike and I had finished up our Apexis daily and queued up for some random battlegrounds to work on our PvP gear, as we are wont to do.  We did a couple of IoCs, we did some Gilneas thing which was basically a mini-Arathi-Basin, nothing special.

Then, finally, we got into that king of all battlegrounds, Alterac Valley.

Alterac_Valley_loading_screenAlterac Valley is not really ever the Horde’s shining moment, as I have previously discussed.  We always go in expecting a loss, but it’s fine because I’m a huge nostalgia nerd and love AV and always will.

We went into this one and were promptly greeted by an adorable little blood elf mage in quest greens who had decided to take charge of this battleground and told us all to defend Galv.

And for some reason – maybe because we were battle-weary and never win this thing anyway – a ton of us decided to go with his plan.

So the battle started and probably a good 12 or 15 of us, instead of continuing northward with everyone else, ran into Galv’s hut by Tower Point to defend him.

The first Alliance to show up trickled in and promptly got destroyed.

More of them showed up soon after – there were some forty of them, after all – and eventually we all went down but not without a fight and not without thoroughly confusing the Alliance, who were now busy “making strange gestures” at us in response to our unusual tactics.

WoWScrnShot_042115_171222We all respawned at the nearby graveyard but instead of heading up north, we followed the Alliance south.  We bothered them, hounded them like a thorn in their side.  They had no idea what was going on – and frankly, neither did I, upon realizing that the Horde was taking bunkers and we were preventing the Alliance from doing likewise.  Not right away, at least.

Our intrepid quest-green-clad leader kept offering support and direction in battleground chat.  Much of it was unconventional, but as many of us replied in rather bewildered fashion – it was working.

Due to the nature of the entire plan and how odd it was, we did eventually run into some snags.  For example, we eventually were all cornered back down at our home base.  But once again, another miracle happened – the people who had headed north snagged Stormpike Aid Station, and suddenly we were all respawning up north.

At this point it was just a race to down the boss.  I honest to god thought we had it but the Alliance beat us to it.  Another loss – and yet it didn’t matter because it was the best AV I’d played in years.  It was tense, it was close, it was weird.

All thanks to you, Mr. Mage in Quest Greens.  May we meet again in the near future!

This is it. This is my favorite city in World of Warcraft.

I have a lot of love for a lot of the cities in World of Warcraft.  I have fond memories of entering Darnassus for the very first time; of falling in love with Stormwind; of… of… getting lost in Exodar.  (I still get lost in Exodar.)

There is one city in the game that I love more than any other, though, and that is:

WOW_LOCh_005.psdYup.  It’s Thunder Bluff.

What is it about Thunder Bluff?

I don’t quite know.  Perhaps a lot of things, actually.  It’s the peaceful, serene environment.  It’s the really relaxing music.  It’s the tauren, i.e. one of the best races in the entire game.  It’s the fact that no one else is ever there and the fact that I know where everything is because it has always been my favorite city and it has never really changed much.

It just feels like “home” to be, whether I’m on a max level “main” or a low-level alt.  I can always sit down on one of the hammocks in the inn next to the bank and log out, knowing my character is nice and cozy and among friends in Thunder Bluff.

What is your favorite city?


Timewalking HYPE Post – Part Deux!

Yup, you get more about this.  Sorry, but I’m still hyped for it.

everything is awesomeYou may recall that the last time I posted about this, I mentioned being concerned about potential steamrolling.  Well, good news, everyone!  Blizzard is taking this into consideration!  (Whether or not they actually pull it off correctly is still up in the air, but.)

They also go on to mention the possibility of raids.  Not gonna hold my breath on that one yet, because remember Dance Studios?


But that doesn’t change the fact that I am HYPE for Timewalking and being able to have expanded options for dungeons!

Today’s question: What dungeons and raids would YOU like to see make a comeback?

World of Warcraft Needs More Gnomes.

This game has a big problem, and that problem is that there are not enough gnomes in it.

Yes, gnomes.

Gnomes are great.  They’re easily my favorite Alliance race, and are a top contender for my favorite race in the game period (though they’re gonna have to duke it out with goblins, tauren and blood elves.)  And yet I feel like more often than not they’re a “joke race” who doesn’t really do much in the game – not much that’s serious, anyway.

Gelbin_Cut_ShortGnomes deserve better than just being, you know, that joke race for jokes.  Look at Star Trek, for example.  Deep Space Nine had a ton of great Ferengi episodes whilst still maintaining the core super serious plotline.  Heck, even Voyager had episodes where freaking Neelix of all people had really in-depth storylines and character arcs.  If Star Trek can pull off Ferengi and Neelix, why can’t Blizzard pull of gnomes?

What, you think people won’t buy short people being awesome and badass?

CS 65 Friday 22nd October 2010Cause um, Tyrion Lannister already exists proving that people will eat it up.

And yes, in fairness, High Tinker Mekkatorque is pretty good, and his story is rather well done.  It establishes him as a character with both baggage and ingenuity.  A strong leader who cares for his people without losing what makes him a gnome.  But is that all we’re gonna get?  Come on Blizzard.

I want a gnome legendary questline.

I want a gnome novel.

I want a gnome expansion pack.

Make it happen!

Proving Grounds: How High Can You Get?

how_high_can_you_getRecently I’ve been spending some time in Proving Grounds, desperately trying for that 30 waves on Endless Damage achievement.  So far the highest I’ve gotten is 17, which I guess isn’t terrible, but I MUST have this achievement!  I want to prove to myself that after all these years, Auntie Pike has still got it.

Have you tried Endless?  How high can YOU get?

P.S. Who else loves the original Donkey Kong?  Sometimes I’m actually okay at it.

Three Reasons Patch 6.2 Is Looking Good For Us Anxiety Types

I have talked before about fighting the Anxiety Raid Boss, which is something I’m working on slowly overcoming.  Now 6.2 is still a ways off, so this might be an early call, but I can see at least three things in it that are shaping up to potentially be good news for those of us who continue to struggle with gaming anxiety in WoW.  Here’s what I’m seeing:

1. More Solo and/or Small Group Stuff: This is coming in two flavors: garrisons and Tanaan Jungle.  First, garrisons.  I realize that opinions on garrisons have been somewhat divided, mostly over the “it takes you away from the world” point.  Frankly, though, and I don’t know about you guys, but I like having a sort of “quiet zone” available in game where I can do solo things by my lonesome every so often.  Garrisons are perfect for that!

Next: Tanaan Jungle.  An all new ZONE to solo!  Or duo!  I love duo’ing stuff with Mister Pike.

2. Timewalking Is Hugely Comforting: Scared of trying heroics because you’ve never done them before?  Don’t worry – here are some “heroics” that you HAVE done before!  The idea of doing a dungeon that I already know very well and am familiar with – and possibly getting gear upgrades from! – is really soothing to my anxiety riddled mind.  Some people have been knocking this for being “recycled content”, but some for some of us these are actually going to be a huge enhancement to our WoW experience, whether because of anxiety, nostalgia, or both.

3. Mythic Dungeons, For Those Who Like Smaller Groups: If it’s not the heroics that set your anxiety off, but the raids instead, then Mythic Dungeons are looking to be a great alternative.  Go in with four friends for a smaller and more personal environment that still provides upgrades.

So yeah.  It’s still early, of course, but good things are on the horizon!