Deep Roads

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It’s Over

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At this point I don’t know for certain if my character is weeping tears of frustration or joy.  Which ever the case I am just really happy that as of today and by the time I get home from work… the Love is in the Air event will be finished.  I felt so damned conflicted this year when it came to this event, largely because I don’t even know why I was participating.  I really really do not enjoy World of Warcraft holiday events, because they somehow manage to make something that should feel fun an exciting… into an obligation.  Then on top of that… I don’t even like the Love Rocket mount.  However because it is the rarest mount in the game, and I do not already have one… I feel somehow obligated to try for it every year.  I wish I could understand why I do it… and to the extent of pushing aside other games that I would enjoy more just so I can haplessly farm for a chase mount.  Sure it only takes a few minutes to do an attempt at the mount… but I felt obligated to run six different level 100 characters through it. Which by the time you check your garrison and shipyard on each, and queue for a dungeon…  you are talking about roughly an hour of your night gone…  chasing a mount I didn’t even really care that much about.

We talked at length about this phenomena over the weekend on the podcast, and largely why this works… and why it also frustrates us.  Tam suggested that it was because it feels like the game is not respecting our time…  and that is absolutely part of it.  I think for me personally a good deal of my frustration is that this madness is actually working.  This game knows my triggers so well, and it feels as though I have no control in the process.  There is a certain measure of excitement in the chase, and were this something I could normally farm on my own… it would fall into the same category as my attempts to get rare mounts from raid bosses.  However the fact that it is only available for a limited time…  triggers the “fear of missing out” that if we don’t become mindless drones we might miss that one opportunity to get something cool.  Even when in this case the something cool is not something we actually wanted in the first place.  It is just frustrating to see a company working so effectively against my nature and getting me to follow along in their scheme each year in trying for “the thing”.  Now granted I know without a doubt that come Halloween I will once again be chasing like mad in trying to get the Headless Horseman mount.  At least I can rest comfortable in the knowledge that it “could be worse”.  I mean it could be something as heinous as the Rift cash box chase mounts 🙂

Dwarf in the Deep Roads

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I don’t have a whole lot to say here, because I didn’t get terribly far into it…  however I did manage to start a quest chain leading me into the Deep Roads.  The Deep Roads are my happy place in the Dragon Age universe because if it were really possible…. I would absolutely live completely underground.  If you venture into any of my Minecraft settlements, you will see a pretty simple structure above ground… that leads to a massive snaking catacombs underneath.  I just feel safe underground, and I have loved being down in every cave I have been able to.  I still think having a structure that was mostly buried in a mountain would be my ultimate situation.  I wonder if some of my reaction of safety to being underground… comes from the fact that I live in a state where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…. and takes out an entire city every now and then.  In any case… we also got into a lengthy discussion about the Deep Roads on the podcast…. and I was shocked to find out that pretty much everyone other than me… unanimously hated them.  They just seem like a badass concept… here are these roads and warrens deep underground that you have to fight the Dark Spawn which natively live down there.  That pretty much sounds amazing…  constantly having a fresh flow of Dark Spawn to fight.  Then again…. I might not be normal when it comes to combat in video games.  The Deep Roads are like the most metal part of Dragon Age, and I am hoping together to get time to venture forth again down there.




Rockets and Striders

Love Rocket Is A Lie

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Last night I did little productive.  I think I am still dealing with the after effects of not sleeping terribly well on Monday night, because I ended up going to bed insanely early.  I did however get Witcher 3 installed on the new laptop, and it runs amazingly well.  The strange thing is…. it almost runs better on the laptop on a mobile video card than it does upstairs on my desktop and a full fledged gtx 960.  That has been the oddest revelation is just how little difference there has been in performance, and in some cases it seems to perform better.  I am guessing that might be due to the difference of the laptop being a 4th gen i7 and my desktop being an FX-6300…. which if that is the case I guess I will be paying the Intel tax on all future systems.  The bulk of my actual game time was switching between my six level 100 characters in World of Warcraft and trying to get the “Love Rocket” mount to drop.  Now granted I have done this for several years at this point without luck, and quite honestly I am not sure why.  Now the Headless Horseman mount is badass… and I can absolutely see why I chase that every single year I am actively playing during the Halloween event.  I would absolutely use the hell out of a flying spectral horse, because it looks amazing.

The Love Rocket on the other hand…. I am largely just chasing because it exists and I don’t have it yet.  Now I have had the Blue and Red rockets from the card game for years, and never end up using either of them…. largely because I don’t like the slight wobble while flying.  So I cannot see how having a giant pink rocket is going to make that effect any better.  That said…  the thrill is in the hunt and even though I have gotten like a dozen pets…  I am still going after the mount every single day.  The best and worst part of the entire experience is when you go to click your Heart-Shaped Box… because for a moment you get a surge of hope… only to have it dashed quickly when you find nothing interesting inside.  I think the worst part of the event are the Love Tokens, because seriously…. could they have just not made these BOA?  There are some really cool things you can purchase with them like heirloom upgrades but by running the dungeon each day during the even you won’t get anywhere near enough to do something with them.  Sure there are a bunch of quests that you can also do…  but they are freaking annoying.  I have my magenta drake from doing the holiday events, and I made a little promise to myself never to touch them again…  well apart from the dungeon encounters.

Water Strider

The other big frustration for the player base right now seems to be the fact that the Water Strider is changing functionality in the latest Legion Alpha build notes.  Original its restrictions were simply limited to “non-battleground areas” but it seems like they are greatly reducing its usefulness by limiting it to only Draenor and Pandaria.  I absolutely get the frustration that players are feeling over this, because Blizzard honestly makes a bunch of bizarre calls.  What I don’t get is why this seems to be the breaking point for some folks, and other even more confusing changes weren’t.  What I have to somehow believe is that this is an additive effect of all of the fiddling that Legion seems to be doing… and that for some they are choosing to draw a line in the sand here.  To those players…  I promise that I understand your frustration.  I am losing an entire spec…  Gladiator will not exist in Legion and I have gone through the whole “seven stages of grief” thing over that.  Being able to be a viable dps with a sword and a shield has always been my ultimate “player fantasy”.  There is just something awesome about smashing mobs in the face with my shield, and a huge part of what kept me glued to Warlords as long as I was… was the ability to live out those dreams.  The side effect of that however is that it was a horribly fiddly spec, that was difficult to itemize for…. and because of that I can absolutely understand why it is going the way of the Dodo.

To the players who are frustrated over this mount…  I hear you… I really do.  There have been many times in the past of this blog where I have railed on Blizzard for their failures.  On March 25th of 2011 I wrote an article chronicling all of the things I saw as failures in the game in my “Is WoW the WoW-Killer?” post.  I read through it yesterday… and it was a lot less ranty than I originally thought it was.  The thing is…  I’ve learned that it is absolutely okay to play other games.  In fact I would say it is pretty damned healthy to shift back and forth between games on a regular basis.  That sort of distance has allowed me to see the parts of the game that really are being done well, and learn to ignore some of the things that just out and out piss me off.  Sure it means that I often disappear from World of Warcraft, and venture into other lands for awhile…  but that distance allows me to blow off the steam and remember when I come back why I liked the game in the first place.  I am not meaning this to be trite or offensive….  but if the Water Strider is your line in the sand…  then really it might be time for you to go explore other games as well.  I am not saying “leave” the game… just go play something else for a bit. The World of Warcraft is a great game, but during these long content doldrums it can also be an extremely frustrating game to be a fan of.  Right now I am actively playing WoW, FFXIV, Destiny, ESO….  and planning on picking up The Division when it comes out… and hoping to return and play some more SWTOR at some point as well.  Playing all of those games has in truth allowed me to more greatly appreciate the quirks and things that each of them do the best…. and to some extent ignore the faults.  The only true statement is that there is no WoW Killer coming…. but instead a bunch of interesting games to explore that have their own rich communities.