Monday, July 25, 2016

Legion You MESSED UP MY ...

I recently subscribed to "Taliesin & Evitel Do Games" on youtube. The video that started it all was Taliesin's video "5 Things We'll Miss About Warlords when Legion Comes."


This got me thinking about things that I already miss from prior to 7.0. So far, my biggest complaint is the disappearance of the dual-spec option.

Excuses like "Sorry I can't play a healer, I only have DPS and Tank build". 

No longer, can I queue up with my druid for dps, and hope that I'll get to play DPS through the entire dungeon/lfr. Now, if the tank or healer drops, there's a chance that everyone will look to the hybrids to help finish the dungeon. I am not sure I can handle the pressure. Even my priest is considering sitting in the stables so that she doesn't have to heal?! Ok, Discipline looks fun, maybe it won't be so bad.

Alternate PVP Builds

Speaking of my Disc Priest, I had a lot of fun playing PVP one day a week, then going over to raid healing on alternate days. To do this really effectively, I would have two disc healing specs, but would alternate my talent builds. This way, I could safely have PVP oriented AOE fears on my spell bars or aoe-healing all based on if I was 'tagged for pvp'.

F-Ugly Gear Combos

Leveling up through the quest zones, it's inevitable that one's toon will wear a mis-mash of new-expansion and last expansion gear. This lent to some pretty ugly combinations of gear. Now that my warlock is 90%  completed with Fabulous achievement (I only need 20 items?), my priest no longer needs to wear odd helms while leveling up. One can at the very least xmog over that gimp mask.



I had a much longer list of indirect hits to normal game play, but darn if my RL work hasn't sucked those completely out of my brain. If I remember, I'll come back and update this post.


Friday, July 22, 2016

The Importance of Being Human

I've been having a long (140 characters at a time) conversation with Goldy (aka @BFSTINMG) about Blizzard's new "Silence System". This system will 'silence' users who abuse text chat in the game. If they get reported for spam or abuse multiple times, they will get an account wide silence penalty. This penalty will range from 24 hours for the first incidence, doubling for each additional incident.


Goldy's comment on Twitter was why can't they automate this? This is way too complex of a system.

As a fairly avid PVP/LFR player, I can think of several times that people have become abusive. That random BG, where you have one player bashing everyone for their 'terrible DPS' or lack of healing, etc.. That dungeon late at night, where someone playing drunk or high and sitting there chatting about their nakedness. The LFR where we've died multiple times on the same boss and someone keeps DPSing when the boss is in berserk mode and someone is brutally calling them out on it.

Ok, a little background. I've been an email administrator for a number of fairly large companies. (Only large companies want a specialty email admin.) As an email administrator, I've been called in on more than one situation to enforce blocking of certain types of communication via email. This ranges from the basics of spam filtering and virus/malware blocking to capturing protected health information (PHI) that is leaving the system. I've come to learn that you can't enforce policy solely with technology.

One year I worked for a CEO who was extremely concerned about corporate image. He asked that we configure an email filtering policy that would prevent receiving and sending email containing swear words. Two members of the team created a 200+ long list of words that could be considered swear. Each word would combine into a total score. If it contained any violators the email would be blocked from delivery and someone would receive an alert about the incident. The problem with email correspondence is that we had customers. Sometimes they live in location that looks like a swear word. Sometimes, they have an unfortunate name that looks like a swear word. Unfortunately, we found out that the system we used to filter, pulled from anywhere in a word. This caused things like "Essex" to be captured. The filter was too op. We had to implement a a weighting system, where 0-5 words would not be captured and more than that was flagged and stopped.

From my about page, you'll know that I am dad of 3. In any adult's life, there comes a point when you are inclined to swear. Someone rear-ends your car while your waiting for the light. Waiter drops a piping hot cup of coffee on your lap! Over the last years, I've trained most swear words out of my vocabulary. Instead of something repeatable by little kids, I now use words like 'cupcake' and 'fudge-nutter'. (which actually makes it easier to swear more often. "Oh cupcake, I forgot my phone in the house!" Point being humans can easily replace spam/abuse words. A computer can be set to scan for specific keywords, but can you can't program meaning.

I am a casual player. I often get into random groups with people as they are about to break up for the night. This means the  players are already grumpy, and some swearing is happening due to "wipe 18 on so-and-so boss". More often than not, this chatting is over VoIP (Ventrilo, TeamSpeak, etc.). As people sit venting their frustrations, it's easy to join along with the f-bomb festival going on. Unfortunately, with kids either sitting in the other room, or even sleeping on the recliner next to me. I would be typing my complaints into raid-chat. If a system was setup that simply blocked me based on verbiage and not on context, I'd be in trouble. It requires human intervention. I needs someone with the entire story and not just what was said/typed. Sure, for some interactions, it's obvious, but due to the sheer number of subscribers, Blizzard would have not likely caught this user without their input.

WoW is awesome because of it's community. We don't need toxic players polluting the game. It only goes to scare away new subscribers and frustrate the existing ones. We can all /ignore them individually, but having a system like this where if they are reported enough, they may be forced to leave the game, even better. Most importantly it us, the community, doing the reporting. It's easy to contest a anonymous computer algorithm and say 'it don't understand', but it's completely different when 5-10 people are reporting an offense. You have witnesses. You have undeniable, irrefutable proof. When someone is giving you money for something, and you tell them GO AWAY, you better have darn good proof as to why.

Monday, July 18, 2016

So Long and Thanks for All the Apexis Crystals

Tomorrow begins the end of Warlords and brings about those big, new expac changes that we think we want until they happen.
Get ready for the hashing out of things disappearing from your bags (and going into your xmog closet), your mailbox filling up or emptying out, the auction house markets will stagnant and all those snazzy add-ons that we use for managing them will break!

Get ready for a rebalance of your raid team. Discipline priests are going to be hit hard with a new rotation. Demonology warlocks will need to learn how to DPS without a demon form. Rogues will now use pistols so hopefully they have one in their bags. Survival hunters that fight with swords, not pets. How about the option of changing specs with each and every fight?! Hybrids can pretend their playing Overwatch swapping between Mercy, D.Va and Tracer.

Gear is going wonky. PVP is going to have a major upset with gear-normalization (Blizz knows what spec you want). Goodbye spec specific stats (What's the lore behind no spirit gear on my healer??) and more QQ over 'the over-simplification of the game'. Goodbye glyphs. Wait, I wanted to tank in my feral cat build, heroic dungeon in mythic PVE gear takes too long in bear form!

Elkagorasa's things to do tonight:

  1. Send out followers for their last gold-making missions.
  2. Clear your mailbox of all mail. 
  3. Spend your valor and conquest points.
  4. Update those add-ons and backup the WTF (configuration) folder. Consider replacing or removing those add-ons the developer has stopped updating.
  5. One last Friendship Moose run tonight?


Prot Pally Tank LFW

El Plato  ElPlato@Kul Tiras-US Alliance Kul Tiras-US Protection Paladin  Artifact weapon level 71 (atm, and still improving).  Ash...