[WildStar] Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy

It's not exactly a secret that I spent a lot of time playing WildStar this weekend. It's actually my third sojourn with the game (the others being closed beta tests 2 and 3) but this is the only one I could stand to play for any extended length of time because (a) it didn't come right in the midst of raid progression and (b) the game doesn't run like total crap on my computer now. (Still can't run it on Ultra High very smoothly, but considering the Frankensteinian nature of my computer, I'll take High as a compromise.) I could probably jabber on about a number of things, but the one that most gets to me is the Path System, and how lopsidedly implemented it is.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - er, Scientist, Explorer, Settler, Soldier

So first, let's talk about the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology. (This is not the first time I've talked about the Bartle Test, but the old post did not make the transition over to this site due to being SWTOR-specific and also not very good.) Created in the heyday of MUDs and their ilk, the Bartle Test asks a series of questions about your preferences in online play with other gamers and creates a loose classification of how you prefer to spend your time, based around four axes: Achiever, Killer, Explorer, Socializer. They're basically exactly what they sound like:

  • Achievers (or Diamonds, because for some reason all of them map onto card suits too) like concrete measurements of accomplishment in a game: achievement points, levels, better gear, unique items, you name it. The Achiever is easily the type that most MMOs cater to the best.
  • Killers (or Clubs, because of obvious reasons involving clubs to the head) value combat, almost always specifically player-vs-player combat. In an offline game this is that person we all know who's never played a GTA game to the end because they instead spend hours at a time racking up the highest wanted score possible and seeing what they can make the cops crash into. In online games, high-percentage Killers are going to be your Arena Masters and Battlemasters.
  • Explorers (or Spades, due to their tendency to dig around - har har) like discovering areas, making maps, and finding hidden things. Explorers are the kind of people who delight in the unfinished areas behind invisible walls, wall-jumping to places they shouldn't be, finding hidden programmer Easter Eggs, and the like. Achievers tend to like the game for what it does - Explorers like it for what they can make it do that it shouldn't
  • Socializers (or Hearts, go figure) are there primarily for the social aspect and secondarily for the game itself. They're there to interact with other people (and occasionally, NPCs with a lot of personality - this tends to apply more to offline games, for obvious reasons). 

You can actually take the Bartle Test online if you want. It's not perfect - some of the questions are vague, to the point that you'll be choosing between two things you prefer, which can be tough (or maybe two things, neither of which you like!) - but the results are usually roughly accurate. (Mine, in case you're curious, come out as Explorer 80%, Achiever 60%, Socializer 53%, Killer 7% - and I believe the Explorer and Achiever flip-flop on any given day.)

Only two really served

WildStar's Paths system more-or-less transparently maps onto the Bartle Test, and choosing a Path is as big a part of your character creation as picking a race and class.

Explorers, Scientists (Achievers), Soldiers (Killers), and Settlers (Socializers). It's sort of the same - the Soldier attempts to take the Killer instinct and turn it back to NPCs - but the problem lies in the implementation - namely, in my opinion, only two of them are really being fully served.

  • Soldier missions work really well, assuming you really like the combat system, because you will be killing a lot of NPCs. I stumbled upon a Solder holdout in progress and man, it was a LOT of mobs. Got to put those AOE abilities to use. (And since I was on a Scientist, I could scan a nearby crystal and cause it to resonate an AOE healing field for us. Cross-path synergy!)
  • Scientist missions are pretty cool, too. If you like lore, you're going to drown in it: Scientists find more hidden rooms filled with Ominous Eldan Stuff than anyone, are able to scan objects to cause weird localized world effects (including finding out how to deactivate a giant killbot and hacking turrets to turn on their owners), and you get a cool robot buddy. I named mine Gears McScanley, mostly because I could. You'll be swimming in Eldan datacubes. Scientists also think with portals: one of the later perks they get is an extra portal back to town, as well as a group summon. Have Group Will Travel didn't die, it just moved to WildStar.

And then there's the ... not so great. The Settler? The Settler has two major problems in my opinion:

  • Bag space issues. Now, I haven't played a Settler in this beta weekend - although I did in CBT2 - but activating those buff stations at player quest hubs requires materials that drops from nearly everywhere, and those went - where else - straight into your bag. Bags are not voluminous in WildStar. I've managed to stay ahead of the curve thanks to dropped bags, but it's close sometimes.
  • Uncompelling gameplay. Woohoo, you built a +runspeed station by clicking a button. Yay. 

The biggest payoff for the Settler seems to be the big 'world event' style buildings that show up (so far) about once per zone. In the very first town in Deradune, for instance, Dominion Settlers can build a big-ass arena that has wave after wave of enemies - you're going to need a lot of people to pitch in to win, but the loot and experience is pretty sweet when you do.

The Explorer, however, is just in kind of a bad state at the moment.

Dora the Don't-pick-Explorer

Don't get me wrong, there are some upsides to picking Explorer. Nexus is a really pretty planet, and you're going to be seeing a lot of it. In fact, you don't have a choice: every zone comes with an Explorer mission to unlock 100% of the zone map, and - at least in the first few zones - doing so revealed ... nothing important. It was basically busy work to fill in the map.

The actual missions are pretty explorer-y in nature, but all but one type seem to be basically hold your hand. You won't be jumping to the top of Celestial Falls because you want to: you'll be going because at the bottom it tells you to go to the top to plant a beacon. You are alerted way ahead of time of Explorer missions. Only Scavenger Hunts really live up to their promise, and right now those are kind of spoiled because they tend to be broken in the beta. But hey, it's Beta.

Explorers also happen to be the only class whose perks are super-lackluster - they barely benefit the Explorer, and they're the only Path without a group benefit. Explorer's Slow Fall and Air Brakes sound okay until you realize any movement skill from your actual class will almost always outclass them.

Frankly, a lot of the gameplay that you'd expect for the Explorer - going to out-of-the-way places that no one else gets to go to (unless they go with you) and finding cool stuff seems to have been given to the Scientist instead. The one that jumps out at me most is in Algoroc, one of the early Exile zones - you find Loftite crystals which let you jump extra high, but the Scientist finds scannable Pure Loftite, which lets you jump really, really frickin' high ... to get to a ledge that no one else can reach. If that's not Explorer gameplay, I don't know what is, but there it is for the Scientist instead.

For Science, You Monster

When it gets right down to it, attempting to map gameplay onto the Bartle Test results is never going to work out perfectly - outside of games like Darkfall, for instance, a pure-PvP path like the Killer suggests would never work, the Settler is not a perfect analogue to the Socializer (but then again, what could be?) and the Explorer obviously has its issues - boring gameplay and subpar perks.

It just makes it all the easier for me to recommend Scientist. Though enjoy trying to figure out how to roleplay a Granok Warrior Scientist. I know I am.

DK defensive stats in 6.0

I don't have any relevant photos for "talking mostly to myself about tanking stats," so have a picture of my tiny undead cat, Ras Frostwhisker.

Obviously DKs are losing dodge and parry as stats on gear, just like everyone else. In return all the formerly 'offensive' stats will have a defensive value. We're also getting a new one, bonus armor. But what do the others do (right now, in the first draft of the alpha, all things subject to change, warranty not included, void where prohibited)?

  • Armor: Does what it says on the tin. The devs are "looking into giving this an offensive value for tanks" but nothing specific yet.
  • Mastery: Mastery: Bloody Shields. Pretty much exactly like the live version, it creates shields. It also gives 1% attack power for 1% mastery. Sadly it will be harder to strictly stack mastery in 6.0 with the loss of reforging and paring down of gems and enchants, but them's the breaks.
  • Readiness: Readiness: Blood. Lowers the cooldown of Anti-magic Shell, Icebound Fortitude, Dancing Rune Weapon, Vampiric Blood, Bone Shield, and - my favorite - Outbreak. This list is not final.
  • Crit: Riposte. The Mists version was not exactly compelling - useless defensively, basically there to prop up our flagging DPS. In Warlords, getting a crit with auto-attacks or Rune Strike gives a 100% chance to Parry until you've parried an attack (stacks to two).
  • Haste: Haste will continue to increase rune regen rate, as usual, allowing for more Death Strikes and Rune Taps. It will also increase our attack speed marginally, which ties in nicely with...
  • Multistrike: The redesigned Scent of Blood procs off of autoattack multistrikes; presumably to make up for the fact we'll be seeing a lot less of it (or not seeing it at all early on), it yields an additional 20 Runic Power per stack instead of 10.

I'm not saying it was trolls, but, it was trolls

me: really hope the lady troll model update fixes the fact that they clearly have no idea how to hold a frickin' sword

jibbi: or have more than 3 polygons in their feet.

me: my fingers are 1 polygon apiece, no wonder I can't hold anything

jibbi: 10 bucks says we still dont blink

me: blinking is for amateurs

me: at this point I halfway want them to write a canon reason that lady trolls don't blink. (second protective invisible eyelid)

jibbi: to fight weeping angels

me: we're the only reason Azeroth isn't overrun yet. good job, team

jibbi: our males are also good at fighting medusas, they are below the line of their gaze

me: for added defense they hunch over and stare at the ground, it's foolproof really

jibbi: no one knows it but the trolls are the entire reason the whole planet has not been turned to stone

me: trolls, azeroth's secret saviors

cory: I'm sure the Titans planned it that way.

me: 

10 points

The end of an expansion always seem to be when I find myself faffing about completing achievements, sometimes ones that have lain half-finished for years.

Food!

In the course of working on The Cataclysmic Gourmet and Cataclysmically Delicious (both still in progress), I ended up getting 200 recipes.

Onward to Ironpaw Chef, I guess!

Fish tales

I also did a lot of fishing. A lot more than usual, anyway (where "the usual" is "none").

lot of fishing.

I even fished up Mr. Pinchy's Magical Crawdad Box, netting the pet on the first try. 

Proving yourself

On my DK, I also knocked out Proving Grounds (tanking) Bronze, Silver, and Gold. I hadn't actually tried the tank ones before, as my DK had only been in there to do the bronze and silver DPS ones so that I could get You're Doing It Wrong. I haven't tried the endless tank challenge yet, but I did not find endless damage especially compelling or fun, so I don't have high hopes for endless tank.

But hey, at least I'm ready for heroics in Warlords.

Missed it by that much

I've also started working on Shadowmourne again. It's been interesting - I've been working on it on and off since ICC was actually current content - I tanked with Shadow's Edge for most of the tier, in fact - but since we never did 25s, I was never able to get past Unholy Infusion, and it sort of slipped to the back of my mind. (It didn't help that somewhere in faction and server transfers my progress got reset back to reaping souls again, but at least it's 50 instead of 1000 now - you can get 47 before you get to Marrowgar if you kill everything.)

After a mishap where I pulled in a friend and then couldn't get Unholy Infusion to work (I had managed to forget I was on 10-player, not 25-player, whoops), I then tried to get Blood Infusion done and... messed that up too. It's so finicky! And the mechanics for who she bites first don't seem to work the same anymore; I was second on threat but she definitely bit the blood mirror off-tank instead. Oh well.

But that's still in progress, and then it's just a matter of farming. I also need to get back to farming Molten Core, as I have a Sulfuron Hammer just sitting around taking up space...

Low-hanging fruit

  • Serious Skills to Pay the Bills. Fishing 600. Cooking 600. First Aid 600. Archaeology 209. That's an afternoon's worth of work, tops.
  • The Limnologist. I just need two, and one of them is a Fangtooth Herring, which is as simple as going out to Howling Fjord to fish one up. Unfortunately, the other is a Goldenscale Vendorfish, which can be fished approximately anywhere in Outland at a very crappy catch rate. Lots of folks have reported luck with Steam Pump Flotsam, Brackish Mixed Schools, or Highland Mixed Schools - no dice here. (That's actually how I caught Mister Pinchy - trying to get a Goldenscale Vendorfish). I've been doing the cooking dailies in Shattrath for The Rokk, though, as there's a 4% chance of a Goldenscale Vendorfish in his Barrel of Fish, and that's confirmed to count as fishing one up.
  • Now I Am the Master.  Just requires persistence, that's all. Nomi's on dried needle mushrooms for another couple days or so.
  • 45 Exalted Reputations. Zulfon's revered with a lot of factions. One of them is the Black Prince, so that's 44. After that, I guess I can start knocking out old Outland reps...
  • Rookie Pet Mob and Pro Pet Mob. 24 pets away and 23 pets away, respectively. Probably among the more achievable pet battle achievements; I'd like to get the Safari achievements too, but the idea of camping for the Minfernal and the Baby Ape kind of make me want to stab my eyes out.
  • Raiding With Leashes II: Attunement Edition. Just two to go: the Netherspace Abyssal and Coilfang Strider. Naturally, the two most annoying ones ... I'm more likely to buy these if I see a good deal on them, honestly. At least you can skip straight to Lady Vashj, and I don't have any problems soloing her... but soloing Chess to get to Prince is never fun.

Keeping busy

There's never really a shortage of small goals for me to work on... but this morning, while tending to Sunsong Ranch, I found myself thinking, I really wish this was my Garrison instead. It's hard for me to admit but this drought of Warlords news is driving me nuts.

I don't know why there's been a communication breakdown (the double-digit-length infodump turned into a very vague post about stats and a less vague post about healing and ... that's it?) but for an info junkie like me, this is hell. It's probably a good thing I have achievements to keep me occupied.

/played

This weekend, Cynwise posted his list of alts organized by /played. I was curious, so I went to find out my own /played, and then since I'm a nerd I made it into a spreadsheet and then a chart.

Observations:

  • This shook out more or less exactly how I thought it would. My time in Wrath was the longest time I played overall (missing only the Trial of the Crusader patch), and I've continued to spend a lot of time on Zulfon at the end of expansions.
  • Outside of that, my other mains continue to have the largest chunks of time spent on them: my shaman (Mists) and warlock (BC) are both way up there. 
  • My paladin and monk are at almost the same /played, and are in the same situation: I mained them at the beginning of an expansion then stopped for one reason or another (the paladin because I quit playing for the first third of Cata, the monk because I didn't like healing and Windwalker was undertuned at the time).
  • The only reason my priest has as large a chunk of time as he does is that he was my Herald of the Titans alt. On the other hand, I don't know why my mage has as much /played as she does: she was a scroll of resurrection alt.
  • Every alt except my banker has at least 1 day of play time. (My banker isn't on this chart. His sliver was nearly invisible.)

Money for nothing* and your bags for free

*Disclaimer: no money is actually provided with this post.

If you're like me or, even worse, like Rades, with an addiction to transmog and possibly with multiple sets of gear, you know bag space is at a premium in World of Warcraft. There's even more issues if you're leveling an alt: odds are good you probably didn't do much beyond buy four Netherweave Bags on their way from 1-90. (I'm guessing this is a the story for a lot of people, since Netherweave Bags tend to sell in fours.) Maybe your pockets are overflowing with toys and you're gritting your teeth waiting on that toy collection window in Warlords of Draenor - but who knows how far off that is?

So what's a space-pressed collector to do? You could shell out money or 12 days worth of cooldowns for Royal Satchels (and, eventually, that's what you probably should do), but you need to put stuff somewhere now and maybe you don't have a lot of gold or a lot of cloth (or access to a tailor). For now, we've got 11 bag slots to fill, so let's maximize them -- without spending any gold.

(Note: unless mentioned, all of these bags are unique. The Grummlepack actually isn't, but you don't have the opportunity to pick up more than 1 since it's a quest reward, so it may as well be.)

24 Slot Bags

  • Grummlepack. You get one of these while questing through Kun-Lai, and you don't have to do that much in the zone - finish enough quests in Binan Village that you get sent to your faction's camp (Eastwind Rest or Westwind Rest), then finish the quests there so that you get Lorewalker Cho's missive to go to Onekeg. You don't actually need to do any of the quests in Onekeg, you just need to escort the grummles to Burlap Waystation and then help them out there. The quest that actually rewards this free-of-charge 24-slot bag is No Pack Left Behind.
  • Tattered Hexcloth Bag. This is a reward from The Hex Lord's Fetish, available inside Zul'aman from Witch Doctor T'wansi. If you're not a great soloer or aren't very geared, you may want to get a friend - the 85 Zul'roics are pretty easy for folks in Throne of Thunder or later gear, but you might struggle if you're still wearing quest greens or just don't have a lot of survivability tools.
  • Kor'kron Supply Satchel. Be prepared to grind a lot; this bag first appeared during the Darkspear Revolutionary war effort weekly quest, but even in 5.4 it still drops from workers in the Barrens.

22 Slot Bags

  • Dragon Hide Bag. Black dragons have this weird fetish for carrying around bags made of their own hide, and Sartharion is no exception. (Or else we're all secretly very fast bagmakers.) The Dragon Hide Bag drops on 10 and 25-person difficulty of the Obsidian Sanctum; if you're geared, you can probably take out the trash and then bumrush Sartharion to earn yourself a mount too. If not, you may want to take it slow and steady.
  • Enlarged Onyxia Hide Backpack. See? Dragons, man. As you can probably guess from the name, the Enlarged Onyxia Hide Backpack drops from Onyxia, on 10 or 25, and if you're farming the mount like a lot of people are, you'll probably run across this eventually.
  • Papa's Brand New Bag. This is one of two bags dropped by Bronjahm, the first boss of Forge of Souls, on both difficulties. Neither one is a guaranteed drop, and the 22-slot is much rarer, but since it can drop on normal and he doesn't take that long to get to, it's pretty easy to farm.

20 Slot Bags

  • Papa's New Bag. Much like Papa's Brand New Bag, Papa's New Bag drops from Bronjahm on both difficulties. It's a much more common drop.
  • Pit Lord's Satchel. Dropped by Magtheridon in Magtheridon's Lair (of course) in Hellfire Peninsula. He's easy enough to kill these days, even in greens and a smattering of Timeless Isle gear, by ignoring all the mechanics and just burning him down.
  • Sun Touched Satchel. Any of the trash in Magister's Terrace, on normal or heroic, can drop this. It's a pretty rare drop rate, but it does give you an excuse to punch all the trash in the face instead of skipping it.

18 Slot Bags

  • Halaani Bag. It's technically free: it doesn't cost you any money. It does, however, cost you 8 Halaa Research Tokens, which requires 80 Oshu'gun Crystal Powder Sample, which drop from anything in Nagrand. Oh, and your faction has to control Halaa.
  • Jack-o'-Lantern. Okay, now we're really stretching. These only drop during Hallow's Eve, and can drop from seemingly anything over level 60. On the plus side... they're not unique? I usually find about 1 per year while going about my business, but farming these during the holiday sounds like a recipe for madness.

16 Slot Bags

  • Seriously, you should probably just buy Netherweave Bags if you get to this point. But don't say I never did anything for you; you can actually pick up two bags for the mere cost of 50 honor apiece from the Alterac Valley quartermaster in the Arathi Highlands, Gnoll Skin Bandolier and the Harpy Hide Quiver. There's a catch though: these are only available to the Alliance. (Obvious Blizzard Alliance bias, grumble grumble.)
  • For the cost of a single Darkmoon Ticket, even the Faire can net you a Darkmoon Storage Box.
  • Additionally, for each city reputation you get to revered (that's Orgrimmar, Darkspear Trolls, Bilgewater Cartel, Undercity, Thunder Bluff, Huojin Pandaren, and Silvermoon City for the Horde; Stormwind, Ironforge, Gilneas, Gnomeregan, Darnassus, Tushui Pandaren, and Exodar for the Alliance), you can buy a 16-slot bag (for example, Silvermoon Satchel) from the vendors who sell you tabards for each city - for the whopping cost of 2 gold minus faction discount. Not free, but close enough.

An axe by any other name chops as many heads

Now that the dust from Blizzcon and the announcement of Warlords of Draenor has settled, Blizzard has posted a clarification of the gearing changes in Warlords of Draenor raids.

Most of the changes are nicely summarized by a post on Wowhead, but the part I'd like to look at is this:

However, our current thought it to keep primary stats on weapons so that they continue to feel iconic and special. Many of the items will have Stamina as well.

Iconic? Special? I just want a new weapon.

First off, the "iconic" and "special" tags are already out the window because melee continues to be the only case where this artificial divide exists. For casters, there's already no concept of a "shaman weapon" or a "priest weapon" apart from the weapon type - it's all Intellect all the way down.

Secondly, melee classes and (I think) hunters are highly dependent on weapons. For casters, yeah, they're nice, but wands and staves and what have you are stat-sticks. Tanks can use them to generate more threat and that's always great. Melee and hunters need weapons to do their job. The problem is, the artificial divide between Agility weapons and Strength weapons isn't iconic: it's a pain in the ass.

Unfortunately, this isn't perfect: it doesn't help non-Combat rogues, who depend on dagger drops, and hunters, who depend on ranged weapons.

But let's look at Siege of Orgrimmar.

Siege of Orgrimmar

Now, I cannot tell a lie: I got extremely lucky in Siege and scored two two weapons at once very early in the raid tier. This is the only time this has happened in the history of the raid. And it's a damn good thing too, because we haven't seen a single one-handed agility weapon since.

Considering this raid has 14 bosses in a row, you'd think the weapon distribution would be a little less awful.

  • Siege of Orgrimmar contains five one-handed non-dagger agility weapons (1 sword, 2 axes, 1 mace, 1 fist weapon), which drop from the 2nd, 6th, 10th, 13th, and 14th bosses.
  • It also contains four agility non-bow two-handed weapons (2 staves, 2 polearms, from the 1st, 9th, and 14th bosses).
  • Siege of Orgrimmar contains five one-handed strength weapons (1 axe, 1 mace, 3 swords, from the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, and 14th bosses), plus 2 of which are unarguably for tanks.
  • It also contains five two-handed strength weapons (2 axes, 1 mace, 1 polearm, 1 sword, from the 4th, 8th, 11th, and 14th bosses).

This situation can create a weapon scarcity problem if your raid has issues with bosses: for instance, if you were still progressing on Nazgrim, that means your ret paladin was getting a mere one chance to upgrade his weapon, since he can't use the Immerseus polearm; similarly, bear tanks and cat druids better hope your raid moves fast or their drop luck is good, because their only shot at a weapon before Malkorok is from the very first boss.

Wouldn't it just make more sense to get rid of some of these divides? We're already going to see a little more competition for armor - I personally believe a little more competition for weapons while doing away with this divide would be a huge boon in the end.

The new weapon paradigm; Or, we're getting rid of int plate and int mail, so let's finish the job.

My advice: drop the silly insistence on artificially dividing melee weapons by agility versus strength. Either apply the same switching technology as armor, or let weapons just add attack power.

Instead of a weapon situation that looks like this:

Weapon Type Classes
Agility 1H Axe/Mace Rogues, Monks, Shamans
Agility 1H Sword Rogues, Monks
Agility Fist Weapon Rogues, Monks, Shamans
Agility 2H Mace Druids
Agility Polearm/Staff Druids, Monks
Strength 1H Axe/Mace/Sword Warriors, Death Knights
Strength 2H Axe/Mace/Sword Warriors, Death Knights, Paladins
Strength Polearm Warriors, Death Knights, Paladins

You end up with something more like this.

Weapon Type Classes
1H Axe/Mace Rogues, Monks, Shamans, Warriors, Death Knights
1H Sword Rogues, Monks, Warriors, Death Knights
2H Axe/Sword Warriors, Death Knights, Paladins
2H Mace Warriors, Death Knights, Paladins, Druids
Polearm Warriors, Death Knights, Paladins, Druids, Monks
Staff Warriors, Druids, Monks
Fist Weapon Rogues, Monks, Shamans, Warriors

There's also still opportunities to designate tank weapons, especially if this system was adopted. Want to indicate a weapon is specifically meant for tanks? Use Bonus Armor! (Been a while since that stat was around.) Right now, a Strength polearm with Bonus Armor on it basically says "Blood Death Knight weapon" - but a changeable Agi/Str or AP Polearm with Bonus Armor could be for bears, blood DKs, or brewmaster monks.

Plus warriors could potentially use fist weapons again! I know a few of you wouldn't mind that!

Weapons are an important part of a class, it's true. Especially melee DPS, whose ability to actually do their damn job depends on melee weapons. Losing this silly artificial divide between Agility and Strength is the right thing to do, as it lets previously-narrow weapons get into more classes' hands.

And if there's anything I'm all about, it's more weapons for more people.

EDIT: Matt Rossi suggests abolishing daggers, the odd man out for melee. Of course, with primary stat switching, TK points out casters and rogues could share daggers. (Potentially maces, staves, and swords.) Certainly something to think about.

The real downside to this is that we'd have no way to prevent Fabulor from needing on everything for transmog. ;)

Gamon turns to the dark side

So here's a fun trick to do in Siege of Orgrimmar.

After killing Dark Shamans, start clearing their trash. Kill the pack of Kor'kron Shadowmages just above the entrance of Ragefire Chasm, then dismiss pets and have everyone jump down and enter the Ragefire portion of the raid while sending one person back to free Gamon. They, too, should then jump down and enter RFC.

You'll notice Gamon's usual routine - he talks about cleaving orc skulls, then yells "I, Gamon, will save us!" And then, we guess, he engages the pack of mobs at the bottom of the ramp, including the Doom Lord. For the rest of the time he's alive, Gamon will now speak Demonic.

As a side note, this makes the achievement Gamon Will Save Us! extremely, extremely easy - because unless you take an extraordinarily long time pulling Nazgrim, Gamon gets locked out of the fight. He'll stand around outside the gate and yell a bit, but he shouldn't take damage from anything but War Song - and maybe not even that, I'm not sure.

I really did mean it when I said "for the rest of the time he's alive," by the way. Should you succeed and down Nazgrim while Gamon's alive, Gamon will run into the room and deliver his post-fight speech in Demonic.

This bug has appeared a few times before - if Imperial Vizier Zor'lok mind-controls a warlock, he will occasionally yell his dialogue for that spell in Demonic - but this is the first time it's been quite so persistent, or quite so hilarious. Gamon will save us all with his newfound demonic power.

The F is For Family

So I realized recently that when 5.4 comes out, this will be the first time that:

  1. I’ve been playing WoW for the entirety of an expansion with no breaks
  2. I’ve been in the same guild for an entire expansion

Those two things are related.

My guild history has been a little rocky, to say the least; after leaving my very first guild for a guild that offered me a raid spot, I ended up going from guild to guild, watching things explode. In one, we absorbed another raiding guild only for them to poach 90% of our members and leave to form a 25s guild; in another, the guild leader had some kind of conniption fit and I got the joy of logging in each day to watch friends get kicked and badmouthed behind their back. I tried running my own guild for a while but I am so not cut out for that shit. I think the only two guilds that didn’t blow up were my very first guild (still going strong) and Jed’s guild (which is on the emptiest server ever, not a faction I enjoy playing, and did I mention it’s on the emptiest server ever). Each time I lost my guild, I lost interest in WoW; this is why I missed all of tier 9, the end of tier 10, pre-nerf tier 11 and most of tier 12, and so on.

sometimes

In late Cataclysm, I reached out to a pretty popular blogger because I found myself interacting with several of his guild members on Twitter, and wondered about joining their guild. I even filled out the application - it’s still sitting on the forums, totally unresponded to, amusingly. TTGF is pretty laid back about formality, and I think Rades was slightly concerned the guild’s laid back nature and, um, let’s say brash chat at times might offend me in some fashion, but unbeknownst to him I’d actually already migrated all my (max-level) alts to Drenden. SURPRISE, I’M ON YOUR SERVER, PUT ME IN YOUR GUILD. So one thing led to another and I subbed into some late Dragon Soul runs, and I went from pretty shitty (I was horribly out of practice) to only kinda shitty, and then Mists of Pandaria came out and hey, what role did I want to play in the upcoming raid team?

helpful

TTGF isn’t the biggest guild, or the most active guild, and sometimes we’re pretty bad at this game. The laid back, almost structureless nature of the guild could be pretty offputting to people who need that kind of officer-raider-member structure to make it through the day. But it’s almost exactly what I would’ve done if I’d had my head on straight when I made a guild, and somehow it still works. Occasionally we have to fight the attendance boss, but we’ve beaten each raid tier this expansion in time to nail the Ahead of the Curve achievements (usually with plenty of weeks to spare), and even tackled a heroic boss (the fickle nature of our roster unfortunately foiled attempts at more, as well as the fact that apparently EVERYONE had things going on at the end of August/beginning of September, including me).

So I guess I just wrote a bunch of words to say thanks to my guild for giving me a bunch of good reasons to stick around the game, a bunch of inside jokes that no one understands (BWALO), and a bunch of dead bosses. Here’s to many more.

GROUNDED