Friday, February 26, 2010

The System

With any scoring system we have to establish some ground rule first.

Let’s start with 10 man raid.

The standard make up group for 10 man is:

2 tanks
3 healer.

Anything that fits this profile will receive 5 difficulty points. Anything that requires more is going to be rated harder thus receiving more points, anything that requires less will be rated easier thus receiving deduction in points.

The standard job is:

Tank 1: tanking boss
Tank 2: off tanking adds
DPS 1 to 5 DPS-ing
Healer 1: Heal tank with off tank as secondary target
Healer 2: Heal off tank with raid as secondary target
Healer 3: Heal raid

Anything that fits this job description will receive 10 difficulty points and anything that require you to do something else will receive more points.

The standard positioning is:
Tank 1: tanking boss (stationary)
Tank 2: running around picking up additional target (mobile)
Melee DPS: directly behind the boss (stationary)
Range DPS: maximum distance from boss (stationary)
Healer 1: maximum distance from tank and boss (stationary)
Healer 2: maximum distance from tank and boss (mobile)
Healer 3: maximum distance from boss still in range of raid. (stationary)

Anything that fits this positioning will receive 10 difficulty points and anything that require you to do something else will receive more points.


Each fight mechanics will receive 5 points.

Each boss ability will receive 5 points.

Phasing will receive 5 points.

Vehicle will receive 5 points.

If we total this up we should get a Boss Score number.

Next up… We’re going to score….. ummm….. Anub Rekhan from the Spider wing in Naxxramas.

Men in Tights

How many of you know the name Evgeni Plushenko or Evan Lysacek? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.

When most of you are busy with the Lich King or rolling NEED on Frozen Orbs, I was reading up on the ISU Judging System.

Apparently the International Skating Union has always struggle to please its members. Most notably the figure skaters.

Evgeni and Evan got tangled up in its most recent scoring drama (shocker there) in the 2010 Torino Winter Olympics. Yes, it’s the bastard child of the 2 olympic but some of it is still good TV. My favorite moment was during the opening ceremony when one of the big ‘pole’ couldn’t get up. Get it???? Pole getting up??? Moving on….

So apparently Evgeni scored lower than Evan under the new scoring system but higher under the old scoring system. So he made a fuss about it. Does this reminded you of your most recent guild drama? Yes folks, WoW is an Olympic scale game.

Now other than revealing to you that I watched figure skating on my spare time (I swear I lost control of the remote to my wife that time) I was reminded of something that is WoW related. Yeah.. I can be really screwy in the head…

Each time I see a boss strategy or hear an interview, I always hear yes that boss is hard or easy but what I always miss from them is a common ground to measure it from. What we as a WoW community do not have is a BOSS FIGHT SCORING SYSTEM!!!!

Can you imagine that? Throughout the life of this game, we do not have a scoring system.

Now bear with me while I try to establish a scoring system to gage how difficult a fight is. Some of you will disagree, in fact I think all of you will have something to say about it. So let’s make a project.

Kevin Michael Johnson have his movie, Astrylian has his/her rawr, Woog will have his BS (Boss Score).

More Barren Chat Please

Have you heard the news? Auction House will be available to you. This time it’s Auction House v.2. Instead of right clicking on the NPC on major cities, you can open up a web browser, from any computer and access the auction house.

I’d love to see how they justify the lore behind this. :D

Kidding aside, this is the most dull development to the game for me. In my opinion, it’s almost counter intuitive to ‘play’ the auction house.

To me, playing WoW is about escapist adventurism. I’m not sure if those words exists, go together or even makes sense but in other word, I bought the game to give me an alternative world where If I can help it, be as removed as possible from this one. And being an auction house tycoon is not in my list of awesome adventure.

Please do not get me wrong, as I am sure I just shit on several thousand auction house ‘goblins’ shoes. Some people like this type of game. There’s a reason the game Monopoly is around for a long time and will still be around for years to come. Auction House buy and sell can become a ‘mini’ game within a game.

But that is NOT why I bought and play the game.

What I wanted to focus on is a deeper question on why the developer is spending some of their resources to develop this particular feature.

If you look at the history of WoW development, Blizz has always put their resources to where it will give them the biggest bang for their buck. Hey, game designer and programmers have families to feed too.

Let’s look at some of the new feature they’ve introduced throughout the year.

The next best thing after slice bread in WoW was the new looking for dungeon. This was a big success and increased their customer satisfaction experience.

With varying success, the same goes for the calendar feature, new questing interface, the dual spec mode and the equipment manager feature that goes along with it. All of these ‘new’ game feature cost them some resources and they’re aware of the payback.

There has got to be a threshold level of demand for Blizz to start develop anything worth their time.

Does this mean that the number of auction house tycoon has exploded throughout the year? Does this mean player spend more time browsing the auction house than raiding or running heroics?

Because if it’s just a misplaced resource management on Blizzard side, this could backfire and flat line real quick.

I for one will be more excited if instead of accessing the auction house, I can access the trade channel chat. Or the barren chat channel. Or any chat channel on a given server. The entertainment value provided by reading some of the funniest comments on those channel far outweigh any auction house feature. Why not extend guild chat to your mobile or IM.

Maybe this time Blizzard picked the wrong bunch for their focus group, or maybe I’m missing the point here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The House Always Wins

So I was going to let this one go. Wasn’t going to comment about it. It doesn’t really matter to me or affect me or how I play in any ways. And I bet it doesn’t affect most of you at all either. We just like to talk about it, similar to how we always like to talk about Paris Hilton and the octo-mom.

Before we go further, I want you to go rent and see 2 movies.

The first one is Rain Man (1988) with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman and then you need to fast forward to 2008 and watch the movie 21 with Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturges.


Ok fine, if you don’t want to waste your time again… you can just read the synopsis at imdb.

Rain Man overhere:

21 overehere:

Now I’m going to draw some parallel from the 2 movies listed above. They both tell about a story on attempts in beating the house. They also came into the same conclusion that as far as the game goes, the house always wins.

Dustin Hoffman (Raymond) and the smart Harvard guy (Ben) are both card counters. They’re both blessed with the brain power to do things we ‘normal’ brain folks can’t.
However, Rain Man doesn’t know if counting cards is not allowed (according to house rule) and the Harvard guy fully knows that the house doesn’t like it and will do… things to you if they found out.

They both did it, one without the knowledge that big burly dudes are going to hurt you if they find out and the other with it.

Now it’s up to you and me to decide which one is Ensidia when they had their moment of weakness in front of the Lich King. They claim that they’re more along the line of Raymond instead of Ben. Better yet, take this parallel and apply it to future guilds or past guilds with questionable intent when they kill a boss. Are (or Were) they Raymond or are (or were) they Ben.

Whichever story you believe, whichever sideline you stand on, we are still playing a game and let me repeat it again, the house always wins.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looking For A Box of Chocolate

Fresh of the boat level 80 DK and eager to measure myself. Feels like I just graduated from college, thinking ‘Now what???’ and ready to change the world. I can feel my balls got bigger, it’s time to play with the big boys. One look at my gear and you’ll see a scrub. But trust me… deep down inside, you’ll find a diamond… That’s what my ex-fiance said anyways… And no, we didn’t get married. No diamond there.

So I’m covered with regular dungeon blues and questing greens with a mix of dps and tanking gear. I hit the LFG tool and now I know exactly what Forrest Gump means when he said, “Life is like a box of chocolate”.

Here are some of the ‘chocolate’ flavor I ate during my heroic runs:

The primadona tanks/healer flavor
Most likely the result of ‘I only have to wait 3 seconds for a heroic group so the rest of the group better worship me or I’ll leave.

The gear score whore flavor
You’ve all seen this. Kept commenting how the other group member have lower gear scores.

The fighting parents flavor
They come in pairs, arguments range from:
-You can hold agro worth shit
-My bandaid heals more than you do.
-You guys sucks (all time favorite)

The ninjas flavor
Yes, there are ninjas everywhere… even on heroics.

The ‘I didn’t realize it’s not heroic!?!?!’ flavor
I was guilty of it once and I apologized for it abundantly.

The ‘I can’t tank/heal this with you all, I need Ensidia to run this’ flavor
Remember when a tank with 27k health was main tanking Patch 25? The day has come when a tank with similar stats got voted off an H AN run.

And many more variety, combination and permutation of the above listed flavors

I did a search on chocolate and found this from

“There are some interesting chemicals naturally found in chocolate. Xanthine, which is like caffeine, can make a person feel jittery. Theophylline will stimulate the central nervous system, relax the bronchi in the lungs and your blood vessels. Phenylethylamine (PEA) is similar to amphetamine. PEA reproduces the feeling someone has when he or she falls in love.”

Maybe that’s why we hit the random LFD button all the time. It’s like a box of chocolate.

It’s exciting not knowing which flavor you’ll get, you’ll get a ‘high’ and most importantly, you get delusional thinking that you’re in love.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Playing The Game

Some of us are self inflicting sadist who re-roll to the other side and found that 22 level as a DK is still 22 level too much to level up. (granted that it was much easier).

On a good note, leveling a death knight has been much much much easier than the others. We’ll talk about that later.

The death knight was suppose to be my little alt secret. I clicked launch game one day and found myself browsing through the new character creation. And there it was. The dual edge blade icon stared at me. And I clicked it. Again….

Oh.. I didn’t tell you, I’ve successfully deleted 2 DK in the past. Leveled them all the way up to Hellfire Peninsula, and deleting them as soon as I need the space for a bank alt. Yay for level 1 human priest.

Aduh was my first DK. As soon as I got Wrath installed, I’ve always wanted a hot female Dranei toon. She was replaced by a bank alt. Similarly hot but less pale.

Then there was a dwarf DK. I don’t remember his name but he looks like a decomposed Hulk Hogan. His vein is about to pop due to the increased daily diet of steroid. Ran ramparts with him and wiped so many times cause I tried to tank it in blood presence with no healer. What… didn’t you see the youtube video? Yeah… that’s how my DK rolled. No doubt I’ve contributed to the circulation of Deathtard. I must’ve looked like those DK that rolled on Pally gear and stack spell power.

And then there was Woog…..

Woog started as I was curious with what’s the horde side looks like. With Woog, instead of reading the quest and enjoying the DK starting zones scenery, I started paying attention to his runes!!! I know… They’re those 6 round balls that’s hanging underneath your toon picture. I also notice an extra bar called rune power!!! Whadayaknow…. If you start reading the tool tips, you can figure out the basic ‘rotation’.

I spent more time in the starting zone reading the talent tree description as I get new talent point.

I saw a man on the subway, on the way home from work today. He was a big and burly man. He had a funky little leather hat and a light brown leather coat lined with leopard lining all the way down to his knee. I can’t really see his eyes through his sunglasses but he was smiling. Turns out he got a headphone on and he was getting his groove on. His bottom was shaking and turning around. He mumbles vaguely the word of un unfamiliar song. He was singing and dancing to his own beat. Now this was rush hour in NYC and this subway car is full. People were giggling and smiling at his antics and gyrating movement, but he kept going. He kept moving, humming and enjoying his moment in the subway.

Woog is not burly nor old. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a leopard lined jacket although that would make him pimped out to the max. But when I get behind the steering wheel of Woog, I get the same feeling. For once I’m ‘playing the game’. For once I’m not reading a guide on ‘how to’. For once I’m playing a death knight, and it feels good…

Outland went by so fast it was a blur, Northrend was almost as short. With the new dungeon finder I find myself in a group for a dungeon run as I was about to get bored from questing. There’s only so much ‘kill’ or ‘use’ you can stand on a night.

So here I am. Dinged 80 on a Son of Hodir chain quest. Opened the death gate ASAP to train my new spells and found myself back to where I was in the beginning...