3.2.2

September 26, 2009

Being a huge film buff and a complete World of Warcraft nerd can be a very dangerous combination. Sometimes I just can’t control thoughts that pop into my head, and the two forms of media (glorious video-films and WoW because WoW is big enough to be called it’s own form of media, a seperate entity from PC gaming due to it’s unmatched stature) just clashed. I thought about various situations in the game that represented the various genres I knew and loved. The holidays were your seasonal comedies (possible…romantic comedies if you play on RP realms and you’re creepy). Raiding has all the aspects of the epic movie with lush storylines and overcoming tremendous odds (Illidan died? REALLY?). World pvp resembles the gritty war drama; armies against armies fighting for little reason.

And then, every now and again, Blizzard jumps into the horror genre. These aren’t your typical remakes or reimaginings that Hollywood’s been obsessed with lately, either. These are the uniquely original films that keep you awake at night. These events are exciting and terrifying. The audience’s reaction will vary; many will be frightened into having fun, displaying some twisted joy. Many will mask their fear by expressing intense anger. One thing’s completely certain, though; these days would fucking destroy the box office.

BOO!

OKAY, so I am being a little dramatic. But honestly, these are your scary thrillers of the WoW world! As active as the forums are, they freakin’ EXPLODE on patch day. Everyone that talks about WoW is talking about this at the moment. People are raving, complaining, and letting their WoW-obsessed minds focus entirely on this patch. And this one wasn’t even that big. But it’s big enough for me to have a few stories to tell.

On this particular day I was completely disaffected. Kind of. I mean, Onyxia seemed kind of cool, but I wasn’t going absolutely crazy over getting the achievement before anyone else; I figured that there would be massive pvp battles in front of her cave and whatnot and I wasn’t too fond of spending about an hour trying to get inside. Besides, we had a raid scheduled that night for TOC. From what I had seen, the gear Onyxia dropped was comparable to most TOC equivalents, so that wasn’t a big incentive for me to rush over to the big dragon. She was just one boss and there were many people who hadn’t fought her before; I wasn’t especially fond of the prospect of wiping a few times to get some gear that’s okay when we could go wipe out a raid that I knew I could complete in an hour, get more gear just as good, more triumphant emblems, the whole deal. I know it sounds like I’m really sort of dissing Onyxia, but eh. The situation was just better for some tournament-ing!

OR SO I THOUGHT.

So it’s the smoothest run yet. There are some new people in my group that hadn’t even done TOC yet, but they were smart and knew how to follow directions. I completed Beasts with full mana SOMEHOW, a feat generally unheard of, but the encounter was really that smooth. Jaraxxus was even better; probably the quickest finishing yet. DPS was off the chaaaarts. The raid leader didn’t even have to yell at anyone the whole time, which is really phenomenal because this guy really really likes to yell at people. So we’re in a good mood. We get in the corner, faction champions get summoned down, and a lot of us are pretty giddy because it’s the easiest setup we’ve seen so far. We barely even go through a strategy because we know how awesome we’re going to do. And then I started lagging. “Hey guys, I think I’m gonna disconnect…” “Yeah, me too.” “LAWLS.” But nobody ever does. Instance servers get screwed and we’re forced to sit around for two hours chatting to each other about the HORRORS OF PATCH DAY.

See? SEE?!

I didn’t mind because the social aspect of WoW is the very best, so an excuse to take a break and talk to my friends about the most random subjects was an entertaining one. We were stuck for hours, too, so I had plenty of time to go grab a snack, take a short break, watch some law and order, and come back feeling ultra-refreshed. Not everyone did this. About half the raid waited the entire time and generally had a fed-up attitude, but continued to wait anyway. So by the time we did get kicked off and it let us all back in, many people were sooooo not in the mood. But since this game controls us so easily, we all decided to group up once again and give it another go. Except one of us was stuck in there and wasn’t logging back on, not that I blamed him, so for some reason none of us could fit in. I was autorunning into the instance portal wish a sad face, wishing the yellow words “Instance is Full” would go away.

But we are fearless adventurers and we weren’t going to stop there! Despite my fears, it was time to face Onyxia! And my fears all came true! We wiped seven times because many people didn’t understand the fight the first three to four attempts and once people had figured it out people were tired and not putting in effort and it just went downhill from there. And I haven’t been back in since. I know it’s supposed to be a fairly simple encounter but I have this thing where when I don’t wind up accomplishing something I tend to avoid it for a while. I’ll probably try it next week though.

Other thoughts, other thoughts…probably the biggest upset community-wise was the changes to Alterac Valley; yielding less honor and experience and separating the lower levels and 80s. I have no opinion on whether the separation was the right thing to do or not, but really, I’ll freely admit that the whole experience thing was wayyyyy too much. I tried leveling my rogue through AV and it simply depressed me with how quickly I was gaining experience. I’m a huge fan of questing and I’d hoped to just fill in a little gap so I could access some quests in another zone, but I saw that I could very easily skip all of that content and be 80 in no time and it was just nonsense. Many complain about this, but they don’t understand how much they were being spoiled by getting experience in battlegrounds to begin with. And they still are. The feature’s been around for an extremely short while, and with a slight nerf people begin to act like it’s a game-breaking subscription-ending thing. I think it’s just in people’s nature to complain about every new thing and act like it’s a big deal on the WoW forums, but the abundance of the negative feedback just struck a tiny little chord. Leveling used to be a loooot harder.

I can see the less honor thing being a tad more annoying. People that focus on pvp and hate battlegrounds still confuse me, though.

Pets! This is definitely the non-combat pet-patch. A slew of very interesting and adorable new pets are in the game; some attainable through the TCG, an Onyxia Whelpling coming for the next anniversary, and a hefty SIX which unknown drop locations. A Zipao Tiger, a miniature version of Kel’Thuzad, a gryphon and wind rider in their infancies, a core hound that’s surprisingly cute, and my absolute favorite, the Pandaren Monk. CHECK THIS OUT, I DARE YOU TO NOT SMILE.

But yeah. As horrifying as the patch day itself was, this one wasn’t a big deal. There were some minor buffs around; ret paladins finally have no excuse to not spec into seal of command, arcane mages were happy, and a few minor buffs to nearly every class, but none that would change the game too much. The five HaT rogues that existed don’t exist anymore; the other specs are upset about fan of knives. Warriors got a buff in sword specialization, but it’s still bad. None of my characters got really any buffs or nerfs, and I’m completely fine with that. I’m very happy they’ve found balance, and I feel it.

All in all, even the most minor patches can make excellent horror films. In scale, this was probably more of a short film or a television special, but it still gave people some goosebumps. Aside from the nostalgia some people get out of Onyxia and the happiness of all non-combat pet enthusiasts, there wasn’t a lot to notice about patch day aside from the terrible instance server debacle, but that was sort of fun in it’s own right too if you look at everything in a positive light like I do.

The theme to this entry is that change is very, very scary, even when it’s small. Try and man up and not freak out/complain about every little thing and enjoy the additions.

I’ll go over Brewfest later; it’s the most fun I’ve had in a holiday all year.

Dollhouse season two premiered this week. It was amazing.

-Charles-

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