All posts by Pike

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!

It’s Happening: The return of TBC and Wrath DUNGEONS!

Are you a big turbonerdy nostalgia nut like me?  Miss the good ol’ dungeons of TBC and WotLK?




look at this listlook at this list



Ahem.  Sorry.  Got a little excited there for a minute.

To be fair this entire system isn’t without what I think could possibly be issues:

First of all, apparently this system only exists during “holiday weekends”, like the old Call to Arms PvP quests.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because they want it to be a special thing?  Either way I want my retro dungeons ALL THE TIME, Blizz!

Second, I hope the above list isn’t ALL the dungeons we’re getting.  Basically all of my favorite retro dungeons are missing.  Chief among these are:

  • Mech
  • Underbog
  • Ramparts
  • Sethekk
  • Shadow Labs (yes I went there)
  • Violet Hold
  • Drak’theron
  • Utgarde Keep
  • Culling of Strat

So yeah.  Don’t stop with the ones you’re testing, Blizzard!

Thirdly, I hope they don’t just scale down gear and leave it at that.  Due to the many and often very drastic class mechanics changes that have occurred since TBC and WotLK, I feel like doing that would still overpower most of these instances at level.  Tune them to how they were when they were Heroics, Blizz.  Yes, even Shadow Labs.

But yeah, other than that?


Another One Bites The Dust: Farewell Aspect of the Fox

Oh Aspect of the Fox, we hardly knew ye.

Patch 6.2 has hit the PTR and Aspect of the Fox is being removed.  I don’t really have any personal opinions on this.  Aspect of the Fox was always that weird situational aspect that I never used anyway – originally because it wasn’t as good as Hawk, and now because I usually forget it exists.  (I always did find it amusing that Blizzard opted to take away situational utility Aspects like Wild in order to replace them with, well… more situational utility Aspects like Fox, but hey.)

Anyways, the main thing now is that we are left with two Aspects: Cheetah and Pack.  I don’t think those are going away anytime soon, but a rename wouldn’t surprise me since Aspects appear to be basically done.  Never fear!  There will always be Aspect of the Hare.  Right?

Anyways, as of right now the more interesting hunter tidbit is this one:

please be real

…which is probably not going to be the live numbers, but hey, I can dream of a neverending Bestial Wrath, right?

Stuck On You

The last time I had a subscription for an entire WoW expansion, with no breaks, was for The Burning Crusade.

I took one or two short breaks towards the end of WotLK, I took a very long break during Cataclysm, and I only played the first couple of months of MoP.  That last break there was the longest, clocking in at two years and some change.  In fact, I’d actually convinced myself that I wouldn’t be coming back.  The game was different now and I’d moved on to plenty of other games – heck, there were plenty of other games I was pouring hundreds of hours into, just as I had with WoW.  My gaming life was good.  WoW was a memory.

And yet, like a loyal dog, WoW waited for me to come back.  And like a sap, I did.

The Warcraft section of my gaming display shelf.  Did I mention I have a gaming display shelf?  I do.  It's big.
The Warcraft section of my gaming display shelf. Did I mention I have a gaming display shelf? I do. It’s big.  Not pictured: Warcraft I, because I have that too.

I think I’m starting to accept now that I’ll never quite go away entirely.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I’ve reached a comfortable equilibrium knowing that I can play for as long as I want and then drop it for as long as I want, and it’ll still be there.  Different, perhaps – probably a lot different, in fact – but there.

So brace yourselves, Internet – cause this dumb blog is probably never quite going away. >:D

Let’s Talk About Kael’thas Sunstrider for Two Minutes

Kael gets a bit of a bad rap.  Of course he was nuts by the time Tempest Keep (and Magisters’ Terrace) rolled around, and to tell the truth he was more than a little misguided by the end of WCIII: The Frozen Throne.  But up until that point I maintain that he did nothing wrong.

Wrath_of_the_Lich_King_3.3_Outland_loading_screenSo let’s talk about Kael.  He was in Dalaran – and had been for several decades, at least – when Quel’Thalas (and his dad, King Anasterian) fell to the Scourge.  He rushed to his homeland’s aid as soon as he was able to, and immediately set about fixing things.  He destroyed the Sunwell, but only because the corrupted Sunwell – which had been tainted by Arthas’s act of tossing Kel’Thuzad’s skeleton in it – would corrupt and probably eventually kill the elves.  He had no idea that destroying the Sunwell would cause another problem to arise – his race’s addiction to its arcane magic.

Kael, suffering from withdrawals.  Look at that angry face.
Kael, suffering from withdrawals. Look at that angry face.

Angry, sick, and upset, the elves turned to the Alliance, who they had been allied with previously during the Second War.  Unfortunately the Alliance was not particularly interested in working with the elves.  You can thank a racist buttlord named Garithos for getting that partiuclar ball rolling.  He forced the newly-christened blood elves into what were essentially suicide missions in order to keep them out of his hair.  You can imagine how frustrating this must have been to Kael, who was dealing with the fact that 90% of his populace had just been, you know, genocided.  Every last soldier he had was important.  The Alliance sending him on suicide missions wasn’t going to fly with him.

So when the Naga showed up and offered their aid, Kael reluctantly accepted.

The humans found out about this cooperation and weren’t particularly pleased, so Kael and the other blood elves were locked away in the dungeons of Dalaran.  That is, until Lady Vashj came, once again, to the rescue.  She was the one who explained to Kael exactly what the odd cravings his people were having for magic were, and she also told him that she knew a guy who could help.

belf time

That guy who could help?  His name was Illidan.  Now you readers have probably got the warning bells going off in your head, but remember what Kael’s state of mind was: Silvermoon was in ruins, remnant Scourge and the Amani trolls were taking advantage of this fact, and the Alliance was actively making things worse by throwing the few remaining blood elf lives away.  What else was he gonna do?

So off he went to Outland to find Illidan.  And that’s about when it all started to go south for poor Kael and company and he began his slow descent into madness.  But you can’t blame the guy for trying.  And hey, you gotta respect someone who can kill a level 100 with falling damage.

WoWScrnShot_040815_160108Now just drop the mount, damnit!

The Dominance Offensive Questline Is One of The Best In WoW

I’ve mentioned it before, but for those who missed it, I really didn’t play much of MoP.  I played up until 6.1 and then quit, and didn’t come back until WoD.

In retrospect I maybe should have stuck around for 6.1 because dang. I don’t know how this is for Alliance but for Horde at least this is some good questing.

I’ve been working my way through this questline and its accompanying dailies for the past few weeks as part of my neverending quest for mounts, reputation, achievements and so on.  I don’t want to post too many spoilers lest anyone decide to do it for themselves, but let’s just say that it starts with a bang and has you working your way up through an increasingly perilous situation.  Many of the Horde racial leaders are involved in one way or another, and Blizzard does a fantastic job of making you feel like they really need you to help them keep the Horde together.

It’s been a long time since I was genuinely eager to advance in an in-game storyline for reasons other than, you know, experience or loot, but this is just amazing.  If you haven’t done it, you should go do it.  The main quests are gated behind dailies but those dailies take like ten minutes a day as a level 100.

I know the whole Garrosh thing caused some controversy, but like it or not, it did certainly give us Horde-folk a really neato storyline! 10/10 A++++ would recommend again!

I Want My Druid Back


I used to play my druid a lot.  Heck back in Wrath of the Lich King I raided on my druid a lot.  She was a proud Tree and had been that way her entire druidic career.  I loved the whole shapeshifting aspect of druids.  Not everyone felt that way – a lot of people wanted to see their character or their armor or whatever.  Not me; I already had one night elf, I didn’t need to stare at another all the time.  Seeing her in various forms was fun and the highlight of the class to me.

Then Blizzard put Tree Form on a cooldown, and since then I haven’t played my druid.  I’m not even kidding.  It’s been, what, five years?  Six years?  She’s sitting in Stormwind in WotLK raid epics.

Is it silly to be attached to something so trivial as a pixelated form on your screen?  Yeah, probably.  But I was attached.  I loved my druid because I loved my tree.  I missed my tree.

Tree_of_Life_formSince then Blizzard has added a glyph that means you can be in the old treant form all the time, but somehow it’s not the same.  Between “real” tree form now being optional and the fact that 90% of balance druids I see are glyphed into astral star form rather than Moonkin, it feels to me like the game is downplaying what was always my favorite part of druids – being able to turn into weird crazy stuff.  Yes, all of this is of course a choice.  Yes, this is what other people want, and I accept that.  I wouldn’t want to take these options away from anybody.

But it still makes me sad. :(

I want my druid back.