It’s been a week since my last blog post, and I am really feeling horrible over the massive lapse. I would love to say it is purely due to the fact that I have had quite a bit on my plate, which I have. That however does not really cover it entirely. I just have lacked the basic “oomph” to sit down at the keyboard and compose anything worth reading. So what you are getting now may or may not be worth reading, just be warned.
I am going to blame the root cause of my lapse on the holiday. Through a concordance of events brought on my the shitty economy, I was forced to take a furlough day as part of the normal 4th vacation. The result gave me a nice long 4 day weekend, and a very compressed 3 day work week. So last week I really did not have the time to do my normal lunch time posting, and while on vacation I lacked the fundamental “give a shit” to actually think cogent thoughts.
I think a good part of it as well is as the week drug on there were so many things to write about. There have been so many announcements of late that reflect some pretty ground breaking changes to the way the game will be played from now on. The end result has been at least for me a bit of a “deer caught in the headlights” effect. Too many things to write about, is often times just as bad as nothing to write about. So cover me, as I attempt to charge into something that makes sense.
Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this Wall
Last week brought forth the announcement of many things, but probably the most shocking was the Faction-Change service. The quick summary of this is that players will be able to, for a fee, change the faction of one of their characters. As part of this, they will be able to choose which class they will be transitioning too pending its a valid race/class combination, so no Human Shaman or Tauren Paladins. This undoes several stances that blizzard has taken in the past on this concept, and pushes them one step in the right direction as far as I am concerned. However my notion is this, why stop there… why not take the step I have been waiting for and finally tear down the faction wall.
The Faction Wall is the artificial barrier between the alliance and horde factions restricting players form interacting in anything but the most basic or violent ways. This barrier has been one of my biggest complaints about the game in general over time. Previous titles like the Everquest series have always allowed players from opposite factions to group together for a common cause, even giving players in EQ2 the ability to formally defect to the other faction without any severe character changes. The invisible wall between factions allows for both sides of the fence to benefit from the server population as a whole, instead of creating the ever present horde “underprivileged” that comes from generally lower populations.
This concept really strikes a chord for me because of the past history of my guild House Stalwart. As a group we began to organize, months prior to the release of WoW on a game agnostic forum. We gathered together all the players from multiple games, to unite under one banner for the new game we all planned to switch to. However as we decided which characters we would be playing, there was a clear divide between players who were definitely alliance and those who were most certainly horde.
As a hedge fix we tried to start two guilds on two different servers, planning tentatively to split time between the two. However as we all got higher in levels, each became more attached to one server or another. The result caused the lions share of players to end up in House Stalwart on Argent Dawn, and a much smaller number to remain on Silverhand in the Burning Scar. The Horde faction was eventually forced to merge into a larger guild, due to a simple lack of warm bodies available to do anything. The artificial wall between the factions had successfully cleaved our gaming group in two.
Were the faction boundary not artificially imposed upon the game, we would still have remained a strong unified force. Sure each of us would be forced to bank in a different town than some of the guild, but the end result would be that both horde and alliance players could group and quest together relieving the burden somewhat of under population. To this day I still have a good number of friends that play horde on my server, and have rolled alts in an vague attempt to play with them. However I know, that I will never fully integrate into that society because my home is still alliance. But it would have been amazing, were our two guilds able to help one another out.
In other news, my 10 man Ulduar group is still going well. We seem to have finally found a stable group that works really well together. Gone are the days of not knowing who I would invite for the last half of the raid, and in it’s place is a stable group of 10 players who work well together. I can not put into words how much fun I am having with these folks. First we have the amazing healing trio of Aigie the priest, Ysinnia the tree, and Elemiuse the resto shaman. Add onto it the tanking team of myself, Ornquist the Tankadin, and our swing hitting Euron the Deathknight who can deliver serious dps or survivability depending on the situation. Layer onto this already potent mix our dual mage threats Dallian and Pinkygirl, the best hunter on the planet Thalen, and our resident crack dealer Kinral, and we have without a doubt the most versatile group I have managed to run with.
The most amazing thing is that this group has seemingly fallen into place entirely by accident. After weeks of various spots in the run being a complete and total crapshoot, this lineup has just finally stuck. Sure I could have cherry picked a some higher DPS in a few places, or min-maxed the balance to the nth degree, but what this group brings to the table that shatters everything else is amazing teamwork. The group just meshes, has excellent situational awareness, and is able to think of its feet. Every week I truly look forward to the 10 man nights with great gusto.
In the few weeks with this arrangement we have made short work of Auriaya, Hodir, and last night Freya. In addition to this we put in some very solid tries on Thorim so I have no doubt we will be able to down him soon. I am giving you notice now Mimiron, we are coming for you soon. I guess finally our 10 man feels like it has some legs on it, and for that I am extremely happy. I can only hope that soon our 25 man group will solidify like this, and those nights would feel more enjoyable and far less like herding cats.