I was recently listening to episode 7 of No Prisoners, No Mercy, and the hosts talked about the difficulties in making a pickup group for Karazhan and the attitudes of players that made the group fall apart. The hosts asked players who have visited Hyjal to comment, so here it is. I was initially planning on posting this as a comment on the episode page itself, but I felt that my reply was long enough to warrant a separate post.
Ebon Hold was somewhat better than Northrend. But not by much. Combat was tolerable, but I can't say that there was any tactics involved, just button-mashing. Fortunately you have a permanent buff that makes you feel overpowered compared to anything you encounter. Also, you get a run speed buff that works only inside Ebon Hold. That should make later visits to reforge your weapon much more tolerable.
There was also a sneak peek of the mount mechanics in the form of the Death Knight epic mount quest. In the quest, you have to steal a horse and ride it back to the quest giver. You mount the horse by right-clicking it and your action bar changes accordingly. If you turn while riding the horse, it turns appropiately in a wide arc. Well.. unless you're using a mouse to turn. Hopefully we don't see steamtanks doing jump shots in Lake Wintergrasp.
After the money SNAFU was sorted out, I stopped by at Vengance Landing for some sightseeing. A guildmate had warned about lag, and as soon as I arrived I saw what he meant.
The lag-o-meter says it's a mere 800 ms, but the real delay is around 2-5 seconds. I did a few standard-issue gathering quests. Thankfully, most of the mobs could be two-shotted so the lag wasn't really hazardous. The rewards were somewhat odd, though. Stamina, spirit and spellpower on gloves? I couldn't make heads or tails whether that was intended for mages, priests or warlocks, because that combination isn't optimal or even okay for any of those. The first quests in Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley net you much better loot for about the same effort.
Here's a few screenshots of the new Forsaken design. I particularly liked how the ships are modified versions of the Orcish Juggernauts.
My bank alt spotted some NPCs in Orgrimmar screaming whenever a Death Knight arrived. Nice touch, but I bet it gets old when there's a dozen deathknights present at any time. So, next up is a spin on the instanced Death Knight starting zone.
Tobold wonders whether the group dynamics in unorganized large-scale PvP are a result in players being stupider than the AI.
To answer his question: No, that's just how things work when there is no commander.
Here's what I observed during the Southshore vs Tarren Mill battles:
When it's every man for himself, even in a large group, people tend to attack the closest hostile target. If a melee enemy attacks a group, he's the closest target to everyone in that group. He gets zerged. When it's ranged vs ranged, everyone picks different targets according to their positioning within the group. They do favor targets on low health to finish them off, but attentive healers can prevent that from ever happening.
In both RTS games and in EvE Online, one of the most important tasks of a commander is to designate targets as "primary". You focus your firepower to one target to overwhelm the enemies' damage mitigation and healers. No such thing as a commander exists in unorganized large-scale PvP by definition.
However, Starship Troopers the movie shows something that could be used to make melee more useful in unorganized large-scale PvP: Directed throws. In the Klendathu battle, one of the bugs charges a group of marines, grabs a marine and throws him into the swarm of bugs. Naturally, the marine gets torn into pieces. The charging bug, although it's life expectancy is very low, can use the numbers of his allies to his advantage.
Currently, melee in MMORPGs cannot do that. Unless the whole friendly group charges, he's alone. And the friendly group won't do that unless they are certain of victory. That certainty can be achieved by either superior numbers or morale, and the lack of a commander makes achieving the second more difficult.
However, the Death Grip ability of the Death Knights in WotLK could achieve the same end result as the bug's charge+throw. But as always, the devil is in the details. In this particular case, it boils down to range. Can the Death Knight get close enough to Death Grip someone without getting zerged by the hostile ranged attackers?
Because I've been using the Only Spec for quite some time, I think I'll start with a fairly conservative 0/60/11. It has all of the oldies and the new fire goodies as well. Also, I currently don't have the mats for a Soulfrost on my Tempest of Chaos.
Zubon has a disturbing insight about a recent lawsuit in China, RMT and US gambling legislature.
In the lawsuit, a judge ordered Blizzard/The9 to restore everything they took from a gold farmer, citing property laws. If anything virtual in game can be classified as property because RMT allows it to have a real value, then any game that relies on randomness is gambling, because you may lose or gain something of real value according to luck. And according to US law, it's illegal to transfer funds for online gambling. In other words, it would be illegal to pay to play an MMO where randomness dictates whether you win or lose. And that definition covers.. almost every MMO out there. RMT could end up killing the very industry it leeches from.