Archive for the 'uncategorized' Category

Do people like to be abused?


A strange realization came to me yesterday, while I was playing Left 4 Dead 2. Not much unlike Wow, this is a coop dungeon game, mostly PvE, but with PvP options. Some of the latest additions in wow have also clearly been copied from this game (dungeon queue, votekick system): there are many similarities.

One of the things that is similar too is the abundance of stupid people and assholes.

Of course, that goes for any game on the planet.

In any game you’ve got three types(*) of players:

  • Stupid players (have no idea what they’re doing, and also not listening, or cooperating)
  • Abusive players (decent to good players, don’t cooperate, blame anyone but themselves, but never help)
  • Normal players (decent to good players, who cooperate, give advice and help)

*) there is a fourth kind: the griefers, who are a combination of assholes and stupid people, but they’re always handled correctly so I’m leaving them out.

In game these work like rock, paper, scissors.

At least they should.

  • Stupid people will pester the normal players away.
  • Assholes will kick, or pester the stupid people away.
  • Normal players.. SHOULD kick the assholes for being an abusive prick.

The reality is, that assholes never get kicked. The normal players just put up with their shit, long after the stupid people have left.

Normal people are (still) in majority in most games. This should mean that the system would work itself out. The asshole will get rid of the idiot before the normal people leave, then the remaining normal players will get rid of the asshole after being tired of him/her.

I consider myself one of the normal players that wouldn’t hesitate to kick an abusive prick (also hopeless stupid people btw). And believe me, I’ve tried each and every time.

It nearly always fails. Most of the time, I get nobody else to vote yes.

What you need to know is that, in left4dead, votekicking is almost automatic. Whenever you votekick some random guy, people will just press yes without going through the enormous trouble of thinking for a split second if there’s actually any reason for this: “it’s probably deserved”, they seem to think. And yes, this get’s abused by funny guys a lot.

In wow, this may be less so, because you’re more aware of your groups actions (3rd person (over)view, out of combat kick restrictions, having to cope with one less (in l4d the computer takes over)), but it still happens.

Therefore I’m so surprised that in the case of kicking an asshole, there’s a clear favoritism for this kind of people. They’re the hardest to kick of all, by a mile.

So, I’ve been thinking about this, but I can’t really find a logical answer.

Why would any sane person want to have an asshole in the group, who’s constantly blaming and calling names? Even when this guy is clearly not THAT good himself?

  • Is it because this guy gives the illusion of being a good player, because he criticizes the other people?
  • Is it because people are afraid of him? Even though he can’t do much about it, and there’s no way he can get back at you?
  • Is it because people automatically see him as leader, and protect him, even though him being around or not does not change anything? because he’s not actually leading, he’s just blaming?
  • Is it human nature to respect assholes? Do a lot of people actually LIKE to be abused? Mildly comparable to S&M, where people enjoy being the slave.

That last one might seem extreme, but if you’ve ever heard of the Stockholm syndrome, it’s not that odd at all.

The main concern I have with this is that if people continue to let these guys be the assholes they are, it will only encourage them to keep doing so, and encourage others to become that way. The problem is, there isn’t anything I can do about it alone and I’m predicting that the amount of assholes will only grow more and more, unless more decent people snap out of it and act against those assholes.

Or… is there actually a good reason for allowing these guys to do what they do that I’m not seeing? I can hardly believe it, but I’m keeping all options open, hoping to find one that makes sense…

Quitting… for now


I kinda knew this was coming a long time. I haven’t been playing warcraft for about a week and a half, and I can’t even get myself to click the icon, if only to clean my mailbox. I guess I’ve reached the completely bored state again.

This has happened before. Three times to be exact. This will be the fourth. I doubt the last, though.

The reason I knew this was coming was simply because I’ve been logging into the game way to often for way too long for just one reason: to do the daily/weekly stuff.

I didn’t do that stuff because I liked to do it. Hell, no. I was happy when my daily boring dungeon was over with. I was happy when my JC did his daily quest. I was happy when I filled the AH again with new glyphs, enchants, gems, etc. I was happy when I was done with all that stuff and could quit the game, because there wasn’t much else to do anyway.

The game simply turned into a chore, a boring job.

I don’t even care about new gear anymore. Ii simply wouldn’t change much. I’m close to being goldcapped, so I could even buy lots of great upgrades easily, but I don’t, because I don’t care. There’s not much to do for me with this new gear, even if I decided to finally join a guild.

In fact, all a long I knew this was the main reason I didn’t join a guild. I got plenty of requests, a shaman, especially a resto/enhancement shaman is probably the most wanted class on my server. Every time someone asked my to join I found some excuse to either stall, or not join at all. The reality was I just didn’t want more obligations/reasons to be online.

How can a game be fun if everything feels like an obligation? Well, it can’t and it isn’t.

I guess blogging was just one of the many things I tried to keep myself interested, but it failed also.

However, I still like to talk about the game, I still follow a bunch of other blogs, so I guess there’s still a part of me that likes it. I guess I’ll probably return sooner or later, like I did before. I might even write a post every now and then in the meantime.

For now, I’m waiting till there are new things that interest me again, like a new patch or perhaps a new raid/dungeon.

Equipment healing!


Last couple of days I wasn’t able to use my machine. My monitor, which was slowly dying on me for a while, got to the point he was blowing out his last breath. The screen slowly fading out to eternal darkness.

Somehow, I almost felt relieved. Disconnected from the internet, games, all that stuff that is costing me way too much time, so I deliberately didn’t do a thing about it for a day or two. I still have a crappy old laptop that can handle mail and a single page in it’s browser, so nothing really crucial was missing.

Usually, I’m easy with broken things. I get rid of it and buy brand new stuff. That’s a lot faster and easier. Especially with electronics, an upgrade is always nice too, so any excuse to get something new and better is happily accepted.

This monitor was kinda valuable to me though. It’s one of the last high resolution non-wide screen monitors around and those almost impossible to get anymore, unless you’re willing to pay 3x as much as a comparable widescreen monitor.

I hate widescreens. I never understood why anyone would wanna buy one (except as TV), but apparently everyone does. I think the name “wide” is misleading. It’s not wider, it’s flatter. I’ve got the same huge left & right borders when I’m browsing as widescreen users have (especially on pages like this, that still focus on 800 width screens), but I don’t have to scroll up and down after every single line I read. I sometimes even turn this screen a quarter circle to get a “high” screen, which is great for blogging, text editing, browsing: anything except gaming, graphical work, or watching movies of course, but I’ve got a big ass TV for that, so I’m not going to watch movies on a TFT monitor.

Gaming on a widescreen is gimping yourself . Definitely if you’re also an FPS gamer like I am, but even games like wow have problems. You need to scan your eyes over the entire screen like you’re watching a tennis match. This takes more time than you might think, and it seems like you see more, you actually see less, because if you see the right side of your screen, you hardly see what happens left. The biggest annoyance however is that the huds leave an even smaller part of screen usable. It’s easier to overlook the voidzone on a wide screen.

But enough of the rant, I realize I’m probably a minority with this opinion anyway. The point is, this monitor will be difficult to replace.

After a long unsuccessful search for a decent replacement for my monitor, I got pissed off and tore the damn thing open. Perhaps something could be fixed. Old CRT monitors usually had loose components, which you could easily fix with โ‚ฌ5,- soldering iron (or the old fashioned smack on the side), who knows, perhapsย  TFT monitors have similar problems. I couldn’t see anything wrong with this thing though, no smoking parts, black burns, rat nests, nothing.

I didn’t want to give up yet, so I searched the internet (what else?). At first I couldn’t find anything. Everywhere the conclusion was simple: TFT broke, throw it away, buy new… I still kept searching and searching until I finally stumbled upon this page. I don’t even know how I got there anymore, but it promised that TFT monitors could easily be fixed, something that I was hoping to find!

The main tip was: check for broken condensers. Broken condensers are easily spotted because of their bulgy top: these supposed to be flat. For the non electronic experts, condensers look like this:

And I found two that were broken! The pictures shows one of them, if you look carefully you can see it’s not perfectly flat.

I took a gamble (not much to lose anymore), went to the local electrical store, bought new ones, replaced them at home with a crappy old soldering iron. And what do you know, it worked! My dead monitor is alive again! The screen looks so bright again, like new.

It has been running for a few hours now, and still no explosions, regional power outs, or even a broken fuse!

What do you know, I’m an equipment healer too now ๐Ÿ˜›

If you’re not afraid of a screwdriver and a soldering iron, keep that site bookmarked. Broken condensers seems to be a common cause for monitors to break down, it’s quite easy to fix and can save a bunch of money. And there’s not much to lose anyway… Well, perhaps some burned fingers, or a chance of electrocution, but that’s a small price to pay, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here’s the WoW graph..


Two weeks ago I wrote about a graph about gamers statistics. Accidentally, I browsed across that site again today and what did I find? A graph dedicated specifically to World of Warcraft:

The Unbelievable World of Warcraft
Via: Online Schools

I have wondered a few times before what the upkeep of their servers was costing Blizzard. Considering the amount of money blizzard is making from the game, I was curious how much of that was actually going into their server park.

Now I’ve got a number: 50 million per year.

Which is still nothing compared to the revenue, because only US and EU already generate 16 times that amount per year.

So, let’s see, even if those 150 developers made a million a year, which I doubt, and EU/US is their only source of income right now, which it isn’t, that means 600 million is left.. I’m pretty sure the office rent, business lunches, management, the marketing department and the cleaning lady aren’t burning the rest completely. Still, I can only guess how much of that money is profit. Can it be that most of it is profit? I get the strong feeling it is!

A job in game development sounds more interesting each day..

The good, the bad and gearscore


No, this is not a gearscore bash or promotion topic. I use it myself, the way it’s intended: a quick and rough indication.

I actually don’t want to write much today. Yesterdays post took way to much time, so I’m keeping it simple today.

Did Occulus with this tank..

And healing was still very much boring..

Not so much because I am overgeared for it, but just because this guy hardly needed any attention at all.

I played with this one in FoS:

His gearscore was roughly 3k5 (forgot screenshot).

Had no problems healing him also, even though he was actually a bad tank, and I don’t mean in gear (I had constant aggro myself, being the healer).

Just posting it to show the gearscore gestapo that you don’t need a 4k+ tank to do heroics, even if the tank is crap. Perhaps HoR needs a little extra, but that’s it.

Tank healing, the hard job


Just before I wanted to log off yesterday, a ICC25 pug without insane requirements (5k5 GS minimum is normal these days, I only have 5k2, so that’s too bad for yours truly) passed by in trade. I couldn’t let that one pass, so I hopped along. I was expecting it to be a terrible fail pug btw, because there was absolutely nothing asked, not even my stats or if I knew the fights. Mind you, I’m all in for non-absurd requirements, but personally I would have at least taken a quick glimpse on the armory, or ask a question to get an idea if there’s not an idiot on the other end. I got an instant invite, so either my reputation *cough* had preceded me, or this guy just wanted to get a group together fast.

The group was in fact quite ok, it was an almost perfect mix of classes and specs. Just a few lower geared people (tier 8.5 ish), but I recognized a few good names too, so there was compensation. Usually with these kind fast last minutes raids you see 7 paladins (all ret), 9 DKs and the rest druids (chickens and resto druids that only know nourish), so you’re already pretty sure what’s going to happen. This, however, was a nice surprise.

Disclaimer: I’ve got nothing against those classes, but there are just many of them, so any raidleader that doesn’t care would simply invite them all.

My inevitable once-per-raid DC happened before the start, so that was a good sign too. Everyone got buffed, nobody skipped the fish (you wouldn’t believe how often I see pug raids where there’s fishfeast and some still don’t have a well-fed buff, even after telling them about it, they still don’t care /boiling anger).

The start was a bit rough, the trashpulls went horribly wrong, with 2 groups being pulled, 3 traps in a row being triggered, while we were still fighting the first bone giants. The fact that we survived those bad pulls were a good indication of the group. The other shaman healer and the holy paladin were a force to recon with, both geared in full t10 (/jealous) and knew how to play to boot. We didn’t fight over earth shields for example, from the first cast we stuck to our own tank. It was looking promising.

Most important, even though there were bad pulls, nobody was crying and calling everyone retard in chat. Nobody even left. Everyone was calm. There was a relaxed, almost tranquil atmosphere. I still wonder if I was dreaming this raid, because I don’t remember raids like this as in.. ever.. not even guildruns.

So, we stood before Marrowgar. Should be simple enough with a half competent group. And I think this was a more than half competent group. The raidleader actually explained stuff, had some nice detailed tactics, not just expecting everyone to mind-read. I’ve only had one raidleader like that before, that was from my former guild, before he, together with his wife (an awesome priest healer), mysteriously disappeared without a word.

Healers even got assignments. What do you know!

I was asked to tank heal (murphy: just an hour after I replaced my glyph of lesser healing wave for chain heal). I hadn’t done that in a 25 man since back in Ulduar on my disc priest. And I remember from back then that it was a bloody tough job. I liked it, but I remember being quite shocked with how hard and stressful that is, especially on fights like ignis, razorscale or freya, where the tank would be running around all over the place (I always got the offtank).

The panic moments are is when you want to heal your tank, who’s losing damage fast, but when you click to cast, you only hear that negative *whoof* sound, telling you it’s not going to happen and you don’t know why. Is he out of range? Out of LOS? Am I silenced?

Even looking up to the top of the screen to see the error message, thus reason why (Note to self: turn on speech again, annoying as it can be), is just scary. You look at the HP bar that got stuck at 10% for now, and meanwhile you scan the field to find the mark of your tank, while hoping he noticed and used a cooldown. Then a relief when you find him again, on the other side of the field, and are able to get in range and cast a spell before it’s too late.

Seriously warrior and druid tanks, you can charge, your healer can’t, please remember that!!

But that was on the priest. I never felt a priest had the right tools to be a good tank healer, not in either spec. Penance and shields are awesome, but those enormous cooldowns aren’t fun, 3 big hits in a row and /mourn tank.

The shaman however, is absolutely made to be a single-tank healer. The continuous healing I can instantly output on him borders to insane: 1.3 second greater heal casts (with tidal waves, which I always keep up), 1.1 second flash heal casts, and an instant cast heal+hot that boosts all my other spells. It’s not just the powerful heals, but also the speedy casts. On my paladin, I can’t throw Holy Lights as fast as I can on the shaman, and I need a ramp up to get get close also.

So, I figured, this would be the easy job now. With or without my glpyh of lesser healing wave. My tank had 52k HP, I assumed I would be raidhealing too out of boredom.

Hell no! This was insanely stressful again! A 1.3 second cast feels like a decade with the damage these guys get. 50k HP went down to 20% in under a second, And it took almost 4 seconds to pull it back up again. And when there’s also raid damage, you have to be very careful not to get distracted by it. I noticed that I was chainhealing the group in a moment when the tank didn’t get damage, and when I looked back at his bar (I’m talking fractions of seconds here), he was down to 40%, so any big hit could instantly kill him.

Tank healing is definitely not fun. Well it is, but it’s just damn stressful. When you’ve done many 10 mans, you don’t even think about it anymore. Usually you’re fighting with the other healer over 5% lost HP somewhere, and when the tank gets a big hit, it’s still hardly something to worry about, he could easily survived two or even three of those.

Here, I was definitely stressed again. I loved it though, but I felt I was too close a few too many times, and got saved by the help of someone else. One second of glancing on the other bar that droped, and when my eyes came back on my tank, he had lost a huge chunk of health again. I felt like I was useless to the rest of the raid, which as tank healer, you shouldn’t worry about, but I’m just so used to raidhealing it’s hard to ignore it completely.

These aren’t even the worst moments. It get’s really bad when you’re casting, and right at that moment you either get a debuff, or a fire under you. At Lady Deathwhisper this was constantly the case. My tank grabbed the mobs on the left, and they could bring him down to almost nothing in a fraction of a second. I was throwing all heals I had at him to keep him up. Then, when I was busy keeping that tank up, I noticed a DnD under me. Or another time I got the curse and aggro from something.

Now, my logical thinking is: I’m part of the raid, let the raid healers take care of me.

But when I see myself at 20%, I don’t feel I can count on a bunch of strangers to think the same way. The healers seemed ok, but there are some that have the simple rule of: I’m not healing other healers, they can heal themselves. Seriously, I’ve met quite a few of those.

Anyway, I hate those moments with a vengeance! It makes me miss my binding heal soo much (that spell is soooo golden!)

The thing with raidhealing is, that you’re usually not alone. The damage is nearly always very predictable, not so much as in when it happens, but how much damage it does, and for how long.

The damage tanks get is unpredictable. They can drop down to almost nothing in a fraction of a second, and then stay topped of for nearly 10 other seconds, but then suddenly drop down again at any time and keep receiving in a constant stream of heavy damage lasting 10 seconds also… and then get nothing anymore for almost 30 seconds.

I can say one thing: it’s the most tiring job of all jobs in the game. At least when you’re doing it with a group that’s correctly geared, slightly undergeared/inexperienced. As soon as the group crosses the point where it’s outgearing the fight, it ironically turns into the most boring job of them all. And mind you, boredom is stressful too.

When I tank fights like that. It’s mostly keeping aggro like any other fight. You’re quicker to blow a cooldown when you see a HP warning or expect high damage, but besides that, keeping the mobs glued on you remains the main job. Tanking is always more stressful than other jobs, especially when adds join the fight at unpredictable moments. Still, most classes can take care of themselves for a second or two, while you get it’s attention. I’d say that tanking, and particularly offtanking (with adds spawning all over the place) is probably the second hardest job.

Kiting is a good third, though it depends on the fight. I can only imagine how nasty it is to kite the oozes in the rotface fight. I only remember kiting as a frostmage on gluth, or back in the TBC days simple heroic trash (I love kiting btw, especially when we had a newbie tank who wanted to tank as little as possible and I got to sheep one mob and kite another! *sigh* good old days).

Raidhealing is not that stressful. There are moment when the whole raids is going down with constant damage. It’s only deadly when DPS are being stupid, or you’re just really slow.

Still, raidhealing is never really stressful because if someone dies, it’s not yet the end of the fight.

If your tank dies however, it is usually over.

So, continuing the raid, my hopes were to down one boss at least, but Marrowgar went down with such ease, I figured we had a shot at much more!

Oh, and lucky me! I won the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel ๐Ÿ™‚

The other shaman wanted to buy it from me, but hell no, I don’t even know what to do with my gold, and a good caster shield is so hard to get, I was much too happy with that drop.

Long story short (yeah, too late, I know), we got till Saurfang. A pretty normal place to get stuck with a pug group. This is the moment where the ranged players get their moment of stress and panic, and believe me they did. Thank god I’ve got the earthbind totem, otherwise I would’ve died a minute in fight.

Not that it mattered, we wiped. Some ranged showed lack of experience, so even the relaxed raid leader didn’t really know how to fix that. It was 1 AM too, so most people were too tired also. We decided to call it.

It was a very nice pug run nonetheless. A good raidleader really makes a difference.

Holy raid impressions!


New weekly raid! It was Ignis the furnace master (again….), and I wasn’t saved in Ulduar. Great opportunity to test out my new spec in a raid environment.

First off: what is up with people not using the new raidbrowser? It’s much better than the old one ever was, yet nobody on my server seems to even take a peek at it! When I logged on, practically the whole of trade chat was filled with two kinds of requests: “LFG/M [Ignis the furnace master must die]” and “Trade chat is for trading, go away!!”.

I put myself into the raidbrowser right away, so I just started milling some stuff waiting for a response. There was a clear lack of healers because of multiple requests “LF Healer weekly, last spot!! We have cookies!” were floating by. Some were spamming for 30 minutes, and they hadn’t taken a peek in the raidbrowser and were still looking. That’s 9 people in a raid, waiting, and not ONE of them thinking about it.

But I’m not responding. I can be bloody stubborn that way. I also see it as a basic intelligence test.

In the end, it was me who gave up (after 45 minutes), it was getting obvious they weren’t going to learn and I really wanted to try out my brand new spec.

I just picked a group that was spamming trade, and went along. FL was already dead, so we went straight up to Ignis. Apparently they tried solo healing it and already failed at the two giants protecting the entrance.

When I think about it, they’d rather just solo heal the attempt than to check out the raidbrower… *sigh*

Ok, enough about that.

So, about the healing.. Now.. I really would’ve liked to tell an awesome tale with spectacular adventures, but it was…. well… kinda.. boring..

I tried to avoid the “b” word, but I don’t know how to wrap it up in a nicer way. I was literally just spamming flash of light and holy light on one tank, while keeping the other tank buffed with beacon and shield. While flying through the air I used a shock, and while landed I holy-lighted the lowest few back up, threw a new judgement on the boss, and on we went again. Oh, and don’t forget the fire resistance aura, mastery and divine guardian on flame jets of course… but.. still meh..

I guess this isn’t the most spectacular bossfight to do. I remember him being a pain when Ulduar just came out, but now it’s just tank and spank. There’s no quick reflexes required after the flame jets, because everyone has more than enough HP these days to survive even the dot afterwards, before getting any heal.

Yup, I was basically just spamming away there.

But in the defense of the paladin, When I healed it on my shaman it wasn’t much more interesting.

…Well, besides the fact that the tanks thought they were smart by tanking the big revenants against the wall around the corner, trapping the whirlwinds in the same area as we all were. So we were all flying through the air, adds were pulled. I died, ressurected, grabbed all mana cooldowns I had, kept the tanks alive. We BARELY survived it, but we killed them all.

Then before we got everyone back up again in full health, mana and buffs, they were already doing EXACTLY THE SAME on the other side!!

MUST… RESIST… KILL… AARGHH!!

I’m serious when I say that online gaming isn’t good for your health. It’s not natural. We’re just animals with instincts. In nature, when somebody, or something does something so incredibly stupid you wanna strangle him, you can! You even should! …For the sake of evolution. But with online games, there’s a network of glass fiber and copper between us, and those deserving that treatment could be anywhere within a 1000 mile radius, perhaps more (I recently met some people from India on our EU server f.e, never knew). They’re safe and they know it! WTB Teleport: Moron.. Instant cast, bring a bat.

So, anyway, what was kinda funny was how I quickly unlearned one healer from the other. When I went back to the shaman I panicked a little when I couldn’t find my judgment of light, and I was sometimes surprised when my earth shielded target didn’t get the same heals I was giving the others.

DUH /slap self ๐Ÿ™‚