Saturday, March 27, 2010

Commendation of Service

And there we have it. The inevitable. In an attempt to simplify things blizzard has decided to do away with the extra currencies of the battlegrounds the infamous marks of honor. Anything previously purchaseable for marks is now available for a (fairly low) amount of honor.
Your leftover marks (including the ever useless IOC marks) can now be turned in for 185 honor each.

Well that's good, I can turn them in now... all my marks and I know I have hundreds and hundreds of them spread out over my various characters.

So off I go with my pally to the nearest 'turn in your marks here' vendor which are conveniently located here: The Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar (Horde) and the Champions' Hall in Stormwind (Alliance).

And as I arrive, flop open the vendor window I start mashing away on the right mouse button to buy as many stacks as my 70+ AV marks would allow for only to see the familiar message 'You can't carry any more of those items' ... which of course I misinterpret for a full bags message until I notice the 33 empty bag slots.... Hmmmm

Commendation of Service: Unique(10)

No more than 10 on your character? really? Did we really have to specifically make them Unique (10) why?

Why? Why? Why are you doing this to us? I wouldn't have minded running through orgrimmar pressing the button as many times as it took to burn up the nigh infinite amount of commendation of service I would've gotten for my marks. But unique (10)?

So as I stand here trying to redeem my marks as quickly as possible I see the day progress and the vendor slowly turning into a parking lot full of people occasionally erupting in a burst of light stoically and silently trying to burn off their marks.

I know what I'll be doing all day...

A tip... stay close to the vendor, keep the trade screen open and bind the commendations to a button so you can buy while you mash the button...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gearscore and you

There's a new metric in town, well not so much new since it's not but it's becoming more and more blatant.

What I am talking about is gearscore... One score to rule them all, one score to find them, One score to bring them all and in the darkness bind them to mildly abuse a famous quotation.
To put it bluntly the gearscore indicator makes an attempt (or yet another attempt) at taking the sumtotal of all your (gear)stats and boiling it down into a simple hard number for people to judge you by.

And judge they do. Now personally I am not so much affected by it because my gearscore most likely will always be significantly higher than any skill I may have. But people get reamed and mocked pretty badly out in trade and 'bank chat' for whatever their gearscore comes down to.

Now I definitely understand where the idea of 'gearscore' comes from. It allows you to say: "hmmm he/she's probably not going to cut it" before you set foot in a potentially dangerous environment. It saves you hassle and the other person some potential embarassment right?

Yes! But it's not a measure of skill, ignorance, drunkeness, mother interference, screaming gf and all those lovely other events and states that render the average dungeoneer into a worthless pile of raid wiping sludge.

But then who really has time for a 2 hour interview just to figure out if someone is mentally capable enough to actually go to the instance in the first place?

The argument is endless and so instead of argueing I propose we simply apply some common sense, realize it's here to stay and...

1. Know what gearscore is appropriate to ask for

If you do not know what you're asking for figure it out.
That said you can ask for higher than what is needed to increase the speed of your run

2. If they ask for x and you have less, stay clear

You already know they want more than you can offer in pure gearscore even if you have the skills to make up the gap. It's not worth the argument even if you don't agree with the whole 'GS thing'. It doesn't matter whether they ask for gearscore or cooking skill... simply don't apply.

3. Gearscore isn't the universal answer

Gearscore is the answer to the question: given my current group and his/her gearscore and class spec combination will he/she likely be an asset in this run?

Despite the fact that the gearscore manages to boil most gear values down into a single stat it's still just a small piece of a larger puzzle that is 'the worthiness' of a player.

Personally I still remember most of the wipes and failures with fondness and remember very few of the victories on the average 5man run and as such I rather enjoy the occasional miserable wipe.

But if you are of the persuasion that every run must be as fast and as near to perfection as it can be remember that gearscore is a tool, a tool to be used with care.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The fascination of the impossible

Sometimes you run into those kinds of moments where you realize that whatever you might be after in wow is completely futile and pointless... (and then you keep doing them anyway).

Take Baron Rivendare for example. We all know him, we all know what he has and most of us would enjoy having one of his rather decent looking mounts.

The problem with Rivendare is that, unlike many of the other mount carrying bosses, he is very much soloable putting a big huge carrot on a stick and dangling it in front of you.

It's soloable, it takes less than 30 minutes (15 - 30 depending on your approach), the greens disenchant into illusion dust which goes for some decent coin and you'll swim in runecloth if you do a semi clear to the baron's room (which is nice if you like runecloth).

And in that ability to take him out in what seems like no time it makes it hard to resist the lure of trying. After all, whats a few baron runs, maybe one a day, maybe two or more if you're zealous, how long could it take?

At 1% it means you'd need to do just about 460 runs to be pretty sure to have gotten it. But we all know % doesn't work that way. It's 1% every time you go. You could go you entire life and never have it drop and someone else can get it on their first run.

A lot of things are that way... remember that drop you didn't get back in TBC that you still remember fondly like the warglaive of Azzinoth, or maybe that turtle/rat pet you're still fishing for. It's all luck, or it's futile which I suppose would depend on your outlook on life.

But in the end we keep going, because in wow as it is in life: anything worth getting is damn near impossible to get.
Today's gear is tomorrow's junk but a mount will always be a mount and a warglaive will always be more than it's stats.

So here I am again, standing in front of the gates of Stratholme wondering if maybe this time I would be able to kill someone without killing their horse (I asked him to just hand it over but noooo).