Monday, January 23, 2012

Brain Leftovers

I've been really struggling to hash out content here on KeS, as evidenced by the lone post last week. Unless I'm on vacation, I've almost never posted so little. I've made a three post per week commitment to myself, and generally the problem is lack of time, not lack of ideas. As Cataclysm wanes, however, (and SWTOR starts) I find myself paralyzed by indecision. I feel a bit like the frogs in Frogger must feel right before hurling myself into oncoming traffic.

Okay, I'm not sure if that's an apt analogy, but we're pro-Frogger references here on the blog, and I wanted to have an excuse to go on record with that. It is primary season and all that stuff. Important issues are important.

Today, I'm going to touch on some disjointed ideas that, alone, I felt failed to merit their own post. They also may explain a bit why content has been hard for me. These ideas are ill-formed simply because there doesn't seem to be a lot to say. Still, it makes a good ADD Monday post, so here we go:

In WoW...

I'm wracking my brain... I'm pretty sure nothing at all happened for Affliction Warlocks since Cataclysm hit. We've really had no major changes, and nothing much to talk about. My playstyle has remained consistent, my spec and stats pretty solid, and damage competitive. Other 'lock bloggers probably feel me here: we've basically been given NOTHING to talk about this entire expansion. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I feel like Warlocks are in a good spot. Changes can be a mixed blessing even in the best of circumstances. Topics like: Shadowbolts, now with +10 cool, do not a full post make.

Frost DKs haven't been much crazier. There may have been a few more breadcrumbs on the DK side, but for a Frost PvP'er, I've not changed a whole lot. No posts here.

My casual raid schedule can't keep up with "easymode" raiding. Everyone seems to be blowing through content. We raid once a week, and even that's been a struggle for us the last few months. The result is that I'm just seeing bosses that everyone else is "over" months ago. I think before in ICC and such, it wasn't so drastic. Part of that is us, part of that is the game. Like my feelings about my 'lock... it is what it is.

While we're on that note, I may as well hit on the hot topic du jour: the upcoming raid nerfs. My stance is the same as it has been with every nerf this expansion (and obviously Blizz hasn't listened). Every time they do this, people complain. Every time, I think they could have avoided complaints by simply making the nerfs somehow toggle-able. I loved the ICC buff. I thought it was a great idea that didn't go abuse "one size fits all" development practices. There can be some downsides to it, but I guess I just feel that choice > no choice any day of the week. But this is nothing new to this set of bosses. They've set the course. It's tough to feel surprised or upset when they stay it.

Finally, on the WoW side, there's simply not as much content to talk about. We were promised smaller, quicker patches, and we got those. The problem is, we still got the same number of them. So we just got a smaller, quicker expansion. The end result is that it doesn't feel as epic, the story feels rushed, and the content thin. Is this a surprise to anyone? I still think that Blizz could make "smaller and quicker" work, but they'd have to do it by altering the practice of releasing an entire tier per patch. I'm not sure that this isn't based more on my own personal quirkiness. I would enjoy smaller slices of story, more quickly, that added up to a good big picture. Others that play more heavily might simply get bored faster. Consider this also ill-formed.

In short, I'm willing to see what Blizz has in store for Pandaria, but like many long time WoWers, they're on a bit of thin ice with me. I think most people would agree that Blizz needs to step up the game for Pandaria. A lot of us are willing to weather a sub-par expansion (and, to be fair, they weren't completely phoning it in... there were some good parts).

Shifting gears to SWTOR....

I'm almost to 50. I plan to do a spec post then. I should also be able to chat about one of the big topics of: "what then?" Until then, Fuu and I are simply duo'ing the game. It's fun and I love the stories. This is nothing new.

I'm also completely willing to be patient. I feel like the minority in this regard. I understand why: a lot of folks need to make the decision of what to pay for when this first free month runs out. Thus, they are really judging TOR with a fine-tooth comb to decide if it's worth their money. Call it responsible spending. I don't begrudge this of others. And, for my part, I don't really want to throw fuel on the flames of a game I'd really like to see succeed. I liked the sentiment expressed by Scary Worlds the other day: even if you don't like TOR, general gamers should hope for the game to succeed since, if Bioware can't make money on the Star Wars IP, what chance does anyone else have of creating a the "next" big MMO?

I, on the other hand, am pretty much an unabashed fanboy when it comes to Star Wars. So long as the game was moderately solid, I was going to like it, and they certainly delivered a moderately solid game. I have some complaints, but none that I'm up in arms about. There are a collection of minor things here and there, and I have confidence that they'll get around to fixing them eventually. Also, I suppose I've not experienced enough yet to really form proper opinions. And I'm not in a hurry. Messing around with lightsabers can keep me entertained for hours, and I find it worth my money.

Sealing the Tupperware...

So, basically, all of my posts would be boiled down to: I see where others are coming from but don't feel strongly myself. Which makes for very boring writing. A side note, one I haven't really mentioned on here, is that Fuu has had some health issues lately. It was scary for a bit, but doctors are no longer of the opinion that there is anything potentially life threatening. Still, such a scare tends to put things into perspective. Maybe I've just found it hard to write because I'm emotionally occupied elsewhere.

In any case, I guess I wanted to get all these brain leftovers out there. I'm still around. Still playing. And if my posting seems less frequent, it's simply because I don't want to bore you guys. Rest assured that I'll be watching the wires for my usual fare. If Blizz comes out with some major Affliction Warlock change tomorrow, I'll be writing about it. Once we get things ironed out with Fuu, I should have more emotion to spare for fiction and such, too. It's something I want to get back into, but I'm not going to force it either.

I suppose the best way to wrap up these disjointed musings is to offer gratitude for the folks still lurking around these parts. I appreciate my readers all the more when the going gets rough at home. I mean, I threw one raiding article up last week and got great responses on it. This is a great community to be a part of. And if you guys notice something I'm missing, feel free to shoot me and email and I can get on it. I'm certainly not above accepting writing prompts. 


  1. I am a bit surprised at the nerf bat coming out for DS. With LFR being EZmode I was left scratching my head as to why this had to happen.
    I've only done part 1 of LFR but seriously, heroic Stonecore takes more time. Just a throw away observation but Blizz got the difficulty factor backwards in this expansion. Instead of things getting progressively harder they've gotten progressively easier. Go figure...

    Methinks WoW will not see any significant upgrades. Titan, their next-gen MMO will have those. I'll also wager one shiny copper that Panda is the last WoW expansion.

  2. I agree with the "backwards" feeling. It ends up detracting from the story, I think. Still, if I'm being honest. I liked the design of DS better than, say, Heroic Stonecore.

    I don't know that they need to "upgrade" anything, so much as tighten up what they have. I don't think we crave new mechanics from WoW, but I do thing the most accurate description of Cataclysm design involves the term "loose."

    If Panda is the last expansion (which I tend to agree with), then it could represent a golden opportunity for Blizz to "go out with a bang." They would want to re-energize the faithful going into Titan, and could likely make better choices with the end in sight. So even if it doesn't have any upgrades, it should hopefully still be a helluva end to the ride.

  3. Hey, all other stuff aside, my best to you and your loved one during the health crisis. Those are incredibly scary; we completely forgive your lack of posting!

    As for the other SWTOR stuff; the retention rates (which we'll never really learn, probably) are fascinating to me. Server pops on Shien seem incredibly stable and haven't varied much since the first couple of weeks. How's the population where you are?

  4. Thanks.

    I've not looked up specific pop stats, but on the login we've been "Standard" for some time now. Seems stable, and I've not found any dead zones. In fact, we were having a slight issue with my wife's PvP flag being permanently on... and had several chance run ins with other opposing players. Sadly, they generally weren't expecting the stealthy Jedi following the Smuggler around. :-)