Eleven Sads out of Ten
Yesterday I ended up running home over lunch to fiddle with a server here at the house that was no longer responding. While here I decided to boot up Ori and the Blind Forest and play for a bit while I scarfed down my lunch. I had been prepared slightly for this intro by my friends and by watching the video from e3. In truth I still was not quite prepared. If you do not cry through this intro, or at least get really damned close to crying… you likely have no soul. We have joked a bit on the podcast that the video game industry seems to only really know how to do rage fueled revenge and soul crushing depressing sad as far as an available emotional range. This game is most definitely in the crushing sads territory, and I would give it eleven sads out of ten as the title goes. Quite honestly the best comparison I have is the introduction to the Disney film Up. It manages to be so touching and adorable… and at the same time so unfortunately depressing.
The positive is however that once the game proper starts and you manage to get through the introduction… the tone does get quite a bit more hopeful. The game itself is this wonderfully animation quality experience. At its core the game is very much a metroidvania, and it is quite clear early on which obstacles you can pass and which you cannot. Additionally the game has some interesting combat in that you have a light spark that follows you around and ends up flinging fireball like things that lock onto your target. So this is vastly different from the traditional mechanism of slashing things with a weapon or firing directly at your enemies. The game right now is $20 on steam, and as little as I have played of it… I am already hooked. If you like beautiful games with excellent narration… of the metroidvania genre… I highly suggest you check it out. I will more than likely be streaming some of this over the weekend and playing a good deal more of it.
We had a bit of an incident happen last night, and I have to say it was primly surreal to experience it. Over the years I have been the guild leader of most of the guilds I have been part of, and even when I was not… I still was treated as such by most of the membership. However for the past year in both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV.. I am not leading anything. I have taken up the role of cruise director and recruitment… but have not been doing any of the heavy lifting that comes with the crown. Apparently over the last several months I have finally gotten used to that role. One of our problems over the course of this expansion has been a lack of critical lack of available healers. For the most part we have struggled through, but are starting to get to content where we need the intended balance of dps, tanks and healing. As such our raid leader opted to bench a few people of our dps to try and get our ratios more in line with what they should be. Unfortunately it seems that at least one of our players took offense to this.
During the middle of the raid one of the players chain logged in all of his characters and de-guilded them one after another. I have to give him credit for saying a rather nice farewell message when he got to the last one… but all of this felt a bit over dramatic. Normally I would have been tracking that player down, and trying to talk them off the ledge. Last night however… I was content to watch the events play out in front of me, as I realized… this was no longer my problem. World of Warcraft is a game that comes with more than its fair share of drama, especially when it comes to raiding. However I am not the guild leader any longer, nor am I responsible for raid leading at all… and I can simply sit back and watch the events unfold in front of me without feeling any guilt in the situation. I have to say that was a pretty awesome feeling when I finally realized that I was fine with someone else dealing with things. It sucks when anyone leave the guild, but I have to accept that people are going to ultimately do whatever the hell they want to do. I have a feeling the person in question will cool off and come back, but if he doesn’t it is not really that big of a deal anyways.
On the positive side of things, pairing the raid down to a more reasonable ratio of healers to dps… did manage to improve our performance. Before last night we had really only spent a single night of attempts on Operator Thogar in Blackrock Foundry. For those unfamiliar this is the “train” fight and it takes place on a series of four tracks. During the fight a dance happens of moving back and forth between the different lanes to avoid the oncoming trains that buzz through. If the player is hit by a train it seems to reduce their health by a specific percentage, leaving the player on the edge of death… but not quite oneshotting them. Previously our big issue was that in two places during the fight… the entire raid needs to split into two groups. The problem here is there is a fairly hefty tank swap mechanic so that the tanks need to time this swap in such a way so that the fresh tank is taunting Thogar as they are moving to the new position. The margin here is super slim, and both sides have to burn through their adds extremely quickly so that we can join back up and let the then free second tank taunt back the boss before the damage gets to great.
Last night we managed to do all these things right, and very quickly got to the second one of these swaps. Within another try or so we managed to push through the fight and down Thogar. One of the things that made last night extremely difficult was the fact that we essentially had no battle rez. Our druid healer was out for the night, as was our Deathknight DPS… meaning our only option was to have the bear tank stance dance and someone get a rez off before dying to the boss. Needless to say we largely did this without a rez, and I have to say I am pretty damned proud of how fast the progress happened. We spent the rest of the night working on the Heart of the Mountain event, and I feel like we need to sift through the logs and see exactly what was going wrong there. It is one of those events where there are dozens of mechanics happening at the same time… and while we could consistently push into phase two without issue… we struggled to get elementalists down. I have a feeling that we are going to have to split into teams and each focus on a finite number of mechanics. Drama aside it felt like a really good night of raiding.