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Monday, September 14, 2009

Harsher Penalties for AFKers

This is probably going to come off as a bit of QQ, and I guess it is, to a certain extent. AFKers in battlegrounds: they make me /tar their name while I defend IBT, and report them as AFK. They hurt my clicky finger, and make me have to run more AV than I want to. /cry

I think it's great that Blizzard introduce the "Report as AFK" option. Its a very soft slap on the wrist, and active players get some sort of satisfaction from seeing them get little XP and honor from a winning AV. However, when half the raid is stationary in the AV cave, and you cant get enough players to stick around and defend IBT or TP, its a cold cold comfort that these buggers are only going to get marginally less honor than you.

So I'd like to see harsher penalties for AFKers in BGs. Here's my proposal.

Overall, I'd like to see repeat AFK offenders get banned from BGs for a period of six hours. Three hours might suffice, but if the player is using a bot to sign up for BGs while they're at work or asleep, its not going to make much of a difference. However, six hours is a fair chunk of time, and should certainly see a reduction of AFKers. Of course, people using a bot should be suspended pending investigation, but perhaps there's a new BG bot that Blizzard haven't been able to detect yet.

So how do we determine a repeat AFK offender? I'd like to see a debuff that sticks when you are reported as AFK at the end of a BG. It lasts for one hour, and stacks to three, renewing the cooldown for each application. Once it hits three, you get the BG ban. This will prevent accidental banning for genuine AFK cases, where the player was away from the keyboard a bit longer than they intended. You could even forgive the occurance twice. But three times in one hour, something is up, GTFO of my BG, you honor/xp leeching waste of pixels, and raid spot.

There are probably a few holes in the approach, like griefers reporting other players as AFK shortly before the end of a BG.

An alternative, or even addition, is for the Report as AFK debuff to have a count down, like a curse, and if you cant get some BG action, but getting into combat, in the time it takes to ride half the length of any given BG, then you should probably also get booted from the BG. That might be a little harsh, since you want to give players a little time to do things like take a small toilet break, see who's knocking at the door or answer that phone call. But ultimately, the honor / xp leeching AFKers are not welcome.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Min-maxing PvP gear

Bojsen has been hitting the BGs hard, in his quest for better gear, and to give his higher self a break from leveling his 3 remaining alts.

He now has 6 bits of epic gear, 2 of which are crafted, and one of which is Titan-Forged. The rest are Hateful or Deadly Gladiator bits, earned through honor.

Last week sometime, I wrote up a list of items for various slots that were available to me via Wintergrasp marks or honor, then used Rawr to compare the benefit each item for each slot would give me.

Not all slots could be populated via WG marks, and I was never going to get a PvP weapon better than the crafted Spellblade and Iron-bound Tome.

Somehow I thought I could do this crazy scheme where I could make best use of my honor grind by only picking up bits that were not available via WG marks, thus appearing to make my WG mark expenditure go further.

By very first honor purchase was the Hateful shoulders. This was earned with honor gained while leveling from lvl76 to 80. Since then, its been the waist (WG marks), hands and feet (both Deadly). Given the rate that I was able to pick up the 81200 honor needed for those two later items, compared the the accumulation of WG marks needed for the waist (only 15 marks, and 12 accumulated since then), trying any sort of min/max deal is just folly.

The idea was that I would buy the bits with honor that would be replaced by WG bit last. And that ends up being legs, chest and head. The small problem with that is that you are constantly behind the 8 ball, and you cant accumulate WG marks as quickly as you can accumulate honor.

As at the time of writing, I've only got a wrist purchase to make, via 15 WG marks or 31,600 honor, and then all the remaining bits are alot of WG marks (25 ot 40) or 49,600 honor each. At that price, I'd be foolish to only go for bits that wont be replaced by WG marks. I should go for what benefits me most, which is likely to be the head piece.

This really hit home the other day in an Eye of the Storm, when no one else was around to grab the flag. So I grabbed it, started running, saw the base I was running to was quickly overrun by Horde, so I started for the other. I had two healers on me, but neither thought to Cure Poisons, and couldnt keep me up through a rogue onslaught. While waiting to respawn at the GY, one of the healers did mention in the BG channel that I shouldnt have picked up the flag with only 17K HP, and that it "was just poop".

I'm inclined to agree. I shouldnt have had to pick up the flag, but if I didnt, the Horde would have. And 17k HP is quite low, compared with the 26K HP locks I've seen floating around. It was at that point that I decided I should just pick up the best Deadly gear I could for my honor, to give me more resilience, more stamina and more spell power.

I'll eventually get enough marks for the Titan-Forged gear, unless I get jack of PvP again, and go back to leveling. At 162 WG marks remaining to achieve that goal, I just may do that. Translation: thats 54 straight wins or 162 straight losses, I could be nuts at the end of it. Given the match is only available approximately every 3 hours, and I only get to do 1 a night, maybe 2 if I'm lucky, and 4 on the weekends, I'm looking at least 3 months of BGs to get the super sweet gear. Such is the plight of the super casual BGer.

Arenas has kinda crossed my mind, but since they cut 2x2 from being anything you can do anything with, it doesnt look good at all. I'll have to read up exactly what they cut from it. If it meant that no Arena Points could be earned at all, or if it was just that there would be no 2x2 ladder, and only certain items like shoulders and weapons would not be available.

In other news, Boj earned himself a nice achievement that you couldn't even plan for. It's called [We Had It All Along *cough*], and is for when you win an AB by 10 points. Nice.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Reply: ToC is too easy

World of Matticus is a blog worth my reading, worthy of any avid WoW players reading. After reading one of his more recent articles(Read more: http://www.worldofmatticus.com/2009/09/03/your-opinion-is-raiding-too-easy-or-just-accessible/#ixzz0Q5hbFdOn), and then reading the Comment Guidelines, I decided a reply post on my blog would be more appropriate.

I am the casual casual WoW player. My schedule is unpredictable, and my priority is family first (even though I just live with my GF, but its a mantra that will stick when we make the bigger moves in life), making the time I need to set aside for raiding an impossibility. Somehow, I still manage to wrack up 35 hours a week in WoW time.

I still get to run heroics with a couple of my toons. In fact, I only run heroics. It happens with a regular group. We're fairly comfortable with our abilities, and since the rest of the group actually raids, they know my DPS on whatever alt I bring, isnt going to do much more than 2.2K DPS. We usually do the heroic daily, then do a ToC, then swap toons, and do them both again.

Not once has it ever been mentioned that ToC was too easy. We still run out at the end of phase one, we collect our emblems, DE the loot and move on.

I cant imagine that its the gear mongers that are complaining. If the gear is from ToC is slightly better than Ulduar, they're probably the last folks to complain, unless they've got the gear already.

I cant imagine that its the folks truly after a challenge. They can just remove their gear, do Heroic Occulus with a PuG or put Yogg with all keepers on farm (they've got him on farm, right?)

What you've got left are the bored, the posers and these special people.. the ones talked about in this quote. "Thus their ego shattered and the crying began in full force.". I LOL'd.

For me, these are the ones that probably put alot of effort into getting their gear, earning their achievements, and but didnt get satisfaction from actually doing it. They only satisfaction they get is that other people might not get to do it. Nevermind that 9 or 24 other people helped them get there. Now they're having a tanty because someone else who doesnt raid can get equivalent gear just by running with 4 other people in the space of 30 to 45 min, instead of doing the schedule for 10 or 25.

That's a behaviour I describe as childish and selfish. They've got a toy, and they dont want anyone else to have it. It probably didnt occur to them that the other 9 or 24 people in the raid are collectively more important, given that its easier to replace one participant than the remainder of the group.

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I just had a read of the thread linked as the QQ thread in the original post.

Judging from the armory of the original poster, this person is a very accomplished raider. And I'm inclined to admit, the person even has a point, up until the the last comment:
"Lets give out gear better than Hard Mode Ulduar, that was hard earned by guilds, to the worst of the worst."

That's the childish behavior right there. There's someone who fears the better player taking their spot. There's someone who judges the worth of another player based on the collective iLevel of their gear, rather than their actual skill and what they can bring to the raid.

I am the casual casual WoW player. I don't raid because of real life commitments, but I play, and log alot of hours for alot less reward than you do. I like getting shiney gear just as much as you do, though I'll never put it to use like you will.

And if you think Blizzard is ever going to alienate their customer base by making equalizing gear impossible to get, you should know, I am legion.