Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Classic WoW Servers

To Horde For Life podcast, Feb. 10, 2017

From Alisaunder

Re classic WoW servers, it's not the old mechanics that I want, it's the quests, the terrain and the world I fell in life with.

Those old quests let me play a hero, and the world was positive. Bridges were getting built, undead were being purged, Ashenvale was beautiful.

There was no Bad Guy of the Month storytelling, there were dozens of stories to explore and they took you all over, so you got too actually see the world and how well crafted it was.

Rather than rely on tricks to make the zone feel larger, by forcing you to go far out and circle back to reach a plant that's only 20 feet over your head, zones were navigable easily.

There were no gaping chasms impossible to cross, instead the Gold Road was the Horde ' s Route 66 to adventure as you worked your way down the road as your levels rose.

Now, the game wastes my time with gating and arbitrary collect 800 of these and 270 of those and Exalted this.

Then, you just went out and experienced the story. The only gating was for raiders and people respected them for it.

I met people waiting for boats, and joined dungeon groups by hanging out at a Summoning Stone with other people.

It should be optional of course, for people that just want to race to the end. And also have the option to switch the zones to Cata as you reach lvl 80, so that the entire story is there. Or to switch Cata off if you prefer.

All the technology exists. In the Blasted Lands and other areas. The files might be gone but Nostalrius would give them to Blizzard in a heartbeat.

I want the option. You don't have to play it, just as I don't have to raid or pvp.

Blood and Thunder, my brothers!

WHU the all Hunter Guild

To Girls Gone WoW podcast, Feb. 14, 2017

From Alisaunder

Hello Girls and Guest!

You asked how servers react to class themed guilds.

For our all hunter guild, Icecrown didn't know what hit them.

Most had no alts on server so took up herbalism and mining. The copper and peacebloom markets took months to recover and we quickly created the Dead Hunters Union Guild of Death Knights, so the baby hunters would have the 10 gold to level lock and afford things.

We were very All For One Everything For Everyone,  and set up 7 more alt guilds to handle alts being server transferred in and profession materials, and especially bag making to supply the hundreds of hunters in the WHU.

We crashed the server twice on our first event, rocking up from Kharanos to Ironforge, with everyone's pet out and often a battle pet rolling in to catch the tram to Stormwind.

After that we made strenuous attempts to warn Blizzard when an event was coming up, and our projected route but still crashed Stormwind at least once, and Thunderbluff when we tried for the Horde Leaders achievement.

We got all of them except Sylvanas. It was an honor to fail to kill such an exalted huntress as the former Ranger-General.

In a way, having an all hunter guild was easy because we were all Hunters so the gear we needed was obvious. Engineering guns and scopes, leather then mail. Hunter glyphs.

We got very familiar with Wailing Caverns which is all hunter gear heaven, if you don't mind tight purple pants.

And of course, Pets. Petopia was our Bible and our Horde alt guild maintained Echeeyoki the white quested lion for the hunters to tame.

One of my fondest memory of WoW is escorting baby hunters through the dangers of Ashenvale to get a specific color pet that they had their heart set on.

Being in a class guild is different from other guilds in that we all had a passion for being a hunter. We could all help answer questions, we all knew the same jokes , we all knew the best pet for the DPS.

We were all great people, and I'm sure that other classes have nice people too, but we were worried about, you know, problem people, and we never had any.

Blizzard is big on class pride this expansion, and the pride was real.

You should start one and try it sometime.

Elune and the Elves, Part 2

To LoreWatch podcast, Feb 14, 2017

From Alisaunder ( a girl )

Hi guys!

Continued my research into elves and Titans and Elune, and wanted to share.

Queen Azshara did know about Elune, as Tyrande was a priestess and moon emblems are all over the marble elven ruins in Kalimdor and Northrend.

I'd still love to know how Queen Azshara felt about having a real goddess to compete with.

I noticed that the marble ruins resemble Titan structures at Ulduar and Suramar, with use of pillars, domes, and sloping towers so the elves were aware of them, but the elves have two architectural styles, stone and a pagoda like wood style.

I'm wondering if the marble ruins are actually elven, or are Titan ruins with later elven carvings You would think they would either build designs that are evolved from trolls, or wood versions of the Grecian stone structures, but instead we have pagodas. Why?

Why are there no trolls in troll art? Why are the figures and giant heads bald humans?

Why is there one stone structure in Strangle thorn with 4 stone slabs flat on the ground engraved with the rune in the cinematic of Archimonde destroying Dalaran?

I've also started taking screenshots of writing, starting with Ulduar. Maybe I've run it too often but the alphabet looks familiar and I'm wondering if we all speak Titan, basically.

The trolls might have had a language but dwarves, gnomes and vrykul would likely have spoken Titan. The languages would evolve over time of course but  I enjoy linguistics so looking forward to more research.


To Reins of Azeroth Podcast, Feb. 14, 2017

From Alisaunder,

Heya Cinder. :)

You're thinking of Everquest II. the "improved" Everquest so good it killed both EQ 1 and 2. :P

In EQ1, you had the Good races (humans, halflings, elves, gnomes) and the Evil races (trolls, ogres, dark elves) and there was no changing. The closest you could get was to be a human necromancer or Shadowknight and go feed the Librarian as much red wine as you could carry. Youd be tolerated at best by most factions, but liked by none, either, and the 'Animal' faction was just going to attack you on sight.

Yes, there was a faction for random animals and it sucked a lot to try to meditate to get your health and mana back, and some bear or snake out of nowhere would bite you in the ass.

So there was some Rep change possible but not really and the only reward was that at least that group wouldn't try to kill you. There is a famous phrase, "You've ruined your lands but you wont ruin mine!" That's Everquest I.

EQ2, the dark elves had taken over a formerly human town Qeynos (Kway Noss) and made it an evil city whereas Freeport, the original human city, was Good aligned.

There was later on a quest implemented to allow you to become a traitor to whichever you had started in, and be KOS to both, until eventually after a long slog you gained enough Rep with the other city.

I never did it so cant tell you more about it.

Everything in Everquest was haaaaaarrrrrdddd. Night was so dark that humans literally couldnt see without a torch and it only radiated maybe 10 feet. Terrifying let me tell you.

The Fel Reaver in Hellfire Peninsula was in Everquest I called Sgt Slade. A human paladin that walked around East Commonlands zone picking off any evil race that left the keyboard for just two seconds. The man was diabolical. Especially since the only way out of the dark elf city was through a newbie area, then into East Commonlands.

Leveling up your weapons came from Everquest.

The first raids were Lady Vox, a white dragon (priest class) living in an ice cavern labyrinth and Lord Nagafen, a red dragon that lived in a volcano.

Vox had "weak spots" in the ice floor and every single raid at least two people (or more) would fall in and then instead of dying, would run out of the pit of monsters and drag all of them up the ramp, into the dragon fight room. Vox was fought by all the priests sitting just outside the main cave, around the corner and when you got low on health you ran back to them, hopefully NOT carrying aggro, to get healed and run back in. It as a never ending chain of in and out, but if the priests got aggro, she started Summoning them to her, in the main room and insta kill them. There was always one priest logged out in case of a wipe, to log back in and start rezzing, one person at a time.

Nagafen was a true joy as well. Again you had the Priests room, down a ramp and around the corner to run to. Nagafen was on a ring platform suspended over lava with a single bridge to get to him, and he cast Fear as well as fire and the usual smiting.

Plane of Fear was not quite so bad, but Plane of Hate was truly sadistic.

The Plane of Hate could only be gotten to by a wizard casting a planar travel spell on her group of 6. Raids required 30 people minimum to succeed, so you needed 6 masochistic or well paid wizards or 1 wizard that ported each group in turn using an expensive gem that could only be bought in the depths of the dark elven city (by an evil aligned human in the case of Good) and it evaporated upon use.

Once on the Plane of Hate, there was a ten minute patrol that would come into the tiny room you arrived in, look around, then leave, so everyone absolutely had to be invisible until everyone was up and buffed. Everyone was required to carry invis potions, and usually a druid or wizard would cast invis on each party member, and also bards could sing an Invisibility spell (very quietly I guess) on a lute that so long as they kept playing (hitting buttons) would cover their group if they stayed in range of the bard.

The wizard doing the Portal spell was unable to be invisible, so someone else would invis them after they started casting, or a bard would play, but a bard could leave a gap in coverage if the travel took too long.

So One group would portal up and a priest would immediately log out in the tiny room, and a rogue would stealth, and they would watch for the patrol. If the patrol arrived, noone came up until after they had left, and those in the room had to hope their invisibility didn't fail (as it was bound to do always at the worst time). If it did fail, they'd kill you instantly, and if the raiders were smart, nobody tried to help. And if they were lucky, the combat aggro would wear off after a few minutes before someone else's invis failed, and reAggro the patrol. And if they were really unlucky, that first group would arrive right into the patrol, killing the wizard and the priest, and possibly the rogue too.

Then someone would have to time the patrol and someone get another portal stone, and so on. And in Everquest, corpses decayed in an hour or two. With everything they had on them, and so everyone had a backup set of armor in the bank, for Corpse Retrieval, and some had a third set, because you HAD to get that body back and rezzed. You lost nearly 3/4s of a level of xp as well, in a game where xp gain was so slow they had to add a second xp bar so that you could see some progress after a night of playing.

Also, in that tiny room in the Plane of Hate, the walls had an aggro bug where anyone touching the walls, the patrol would instantly run there and kill that person. Did I mention the room was tiny and raids were 30-50 people?

Once everyone was finally up there, buffed and ready, you pulled as normal, moving through the city streets and the raid was fairly standard, all trash but hard trash requiring 30 people, and Lieutenants , till you get to the Boss who was magnificent, a music  connoisseur, and tried really hard not to die because a wipe would mean the logged out priest would have to log in, and the dead players would have to give rogues permission to drag their bodies and hope the rogue wasn't a practical joker who could drag it who knew where, to be rezzed. It had to be rogues because the respawn was up by then, which meant so was the patrol. Which meant the entire rezzing process could be interrupted and everyone killed, and the naked wizards need more portal stones to bring people back up. And it all had to be done before the decay timer.

I played a wizard so there were times when Corpse re-re-re-retrieval lasted up to 4 hours as people got corpses and died again.

It was expected that you would stay, if only for moral support even if you couldn't do anything to help and especially if you were the raid leader, but of course people might have work, or been there 6 hours already, or just not care, and you'd lose people and once or twice I remember that we did lose corpses.

But for the most part, people did stay because it was us against the game. And people knew who left and who stayed.

I stayed till the bitter end always because I was the only way to get there, but I always got my corpse and the best rez , 96% quality, as a thank you.

More than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure, but Everquest 1 was a truly magnificent game. I have such amazing memories of it to this day.