Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Few Miscellaneous Thoughts for a Rainy Wednesday

It might not be pouring where you are, but is sure is outside of my window.

Although it looks gloomy, I don't mind.  Not today, anyway, when the plants have woken from their (excessive) Winter slumber.

Which reminds me; I was perusing old patch notes --really really old patch notes-- for WoW when I came across the note announcing the grand improvement of Weather in Azeroth.  That surprised me a bit, since I'd assumed that having rain fall randomly in a zone would be a minor thing.  Still, it wasn't there at release, but showed up sometime prior to BC.

While some other MMOs seem to not bother with things such as graphical changes based on the time of day or having "weather" impact the scenery (::cough:: TOR ::cough::), they get around other issues such as seasons by focusing on a small part of a planet for the questlines.  MMOs based on a single world don't have such a luxury, and yet they never seem to change the scenery in a zone based on the season.

I can understand the reasoning behind a reluctance to concentrate on these things --it not only takes up valuable developer time but adds to the horsepower needed to run a game-- but the next time an MMO touts "Weather" as a feature I'm going to be a bit skeptical.


It was bound to happen, but somebody finally started using raid announcements in WoW BGs.

Ever since WoW changed BG chat to Raid chat, I was waiting for some BG leader to decide to take advantage of Raid announcements to start ordering people around.

If you know nothing else about pickup BGs, you should know that there's always someone who thinks they can lead, and there's always about 5 people ready to tell that person that they're doing it wrong.

Now, inject raid announcements into the mix.  Wait for everything to combust, and.....

Oh yeah.  You can see what's coming, right?

This all went down in Arathi Basin.  That BG confounds the Alliance more than it has any right to, and I've no idea why.

As I waited for the BG to start, I perused the lists to see how the classes broke out.  Then the announcements began.

Need 5 people to cross water to assault BS
5 people pls
We'll kick ass
Need 5 people to cross water to BS

Okay, I thought, this is different.  So when Arathi Basin began, I parked myself down at the Stables to watch the show.*

Of the 15 people on our team, 14 crossed the water to the Blacksmith.

"...and nobody went to GM or LM," I said in chat.

"Keep pressing to Farm!" the Raid announcement replied.

You can pretty much guess what happened from there.  The assault on the Farm collapsed, and the Horde rallied to push against the Blacksmith and the Stables, capturing the Blacksmith.  The BG began to fall apart at that point, for whenever a Raid announcement came "5 to GM go!", about 10 toons wheeled and went to the Gold Mine.

"What a bunch of idiots!" one person grumbled.

A DK pulled up to a stop next to me.  "Stop sending those messages!" he said in chat.

"I know what I'm doing!" the BG Leader replied.

"No you don't!  This isn't a raid!"

"Shut up!"

I just kind of rolled my eyes at the spectacle.  While the raid announcement does have its use, in a pick-up game it's a bit of overkill.

*I've kind of given up on being on offense in AB when so few people actually play defense on bases they capture.  Given that --as a Rogue-- I'm usually in the shadows, an apparently empty base is a far too inviting target for the opposite faction.


  1. The biggest mistake the leader made was simply using a number, instead of directly calling out which five should go. If you read the announcement "5 people to cross water to assault BS", how can you tell if you should go or not? One possibility would be to ask those going to name themselves; but that's asking a lot of a PuG.

    It would work better if the leader directly named the ones he wanted to go. Of course, they might not go, all the same. But the leader has a very powerful tool in the raid warning. Imagine only 3 of the named players go to the BS? BS is lost. The leader praises the 3 who went, and blames the loss of the BS on the two who didn't.

    1. Oh, I agree completely. In the right hands it's a great tool. Of course, the BG leader would need to be able to have enough free time to type commands, or would have also prepped things ahead of time by saying who is in Group 1, who is in Group 2, etc.

      This is ideally suited for a BG group that isn't your standard pickup group, but for some reason doesn't have Vent going.

      Trying to support a pickup BG like this on the fly is very hard, and while I admit he at least tried, he left too much wide open for interpretation.

      And I'll be honest in that in a BG you need the buy-in from everybody else, even more than in a raid, for this sort of thing to function effectively. Too many people are used to doing their own thing in a BG for someone to simply start trying this out.