Monday Random Thoughts

I hope the Grumpy Elf won't mind me stealing one of his frequently reused post titles... but it is Monday, and I have a couple of things to talk about that don't really warrant posts of their own.

First off, I was vastly amused when I saw this in chat on the Silvermoon server (where my little Draenei alt lives):

For all the complaining people do about the evilness of random lockboxes, they are apparently popular enough that people feel the need to make their own if a game doesn't provide them. I wonder if someone at Blizzard is watching and taking note of this demand... No, don't answer that; I'm aware that this type of gambling is more likely to break some kind of in-game rule than be adapted as an example to follow.

Speaking of my Draenei alt, I was questing in the Plaguelands with her and thinking about how despite its age and many issues, WoW is still amazingly beautiful and atmospheric in many places. Of course, then I approached the dead town of Caer Darrow and...

HI LOL LOVE IS IN THE AIR! This is just one reason I hate all those seasonal festivals in WoW. There is room for silliness in the game of course, but the way it has become ubiquitous and unescapable, even in places where it really hurts the setting - that annoys me. It makes the world feel ridiculous when it really doesn't have to be.

Speaking of ridiculous things, the amount of self-healing tanks and dps do in this game nowadays has become a joke. I've been thinking about that for a while, but it really struck me the other day when I managed to get stuck and found myself unable to die.

Continuing my little side project of showing my pet tank all the old raids he never saw, we decided to venture into Ulduar. I was a bit rusty on tactics and didn't explain some things very well, so I ended up trapped by a constrictor tentacle on Yogg-Saron and Pet Tank died. Oh well, we'll just wipe up and try again - or so I thought. Only one problem: I couldn't die. My sanity didn't go down any further, Ysera's Gift kept healing me, and I was stunned and unable to do anything. My pet tank eventually left the group to get his corpse kicked out of the instance and I Alt+F4ed out of the game. When I started it back up a few minutes later, guess what? I was still alive and trapped by that bloody tentacle. There were tentacles everywhere and yet they couldn't kill me.

Once I surpassed about a dozen debuffs, my health finally started to dip... just for Hodir to save my life with his flash freeze, and the moment it wore off I was immediately back in a constrictor. I've never missed SWTOR's /stuck command so badly (which allows you to "commit suicide" while in combat). Eventually I managed to achieve death by immediately clicking the flash freeze away the next time it saved me and instantly jumping towards a crusher tentacle so it could whack me dead. Death never felt like such a relief before.

Finally, on a more positive note, I've had some more fun on the Timeless Isle. I found a treasure-hunting quest in a mound of dirt, and when it became obvious that it was directing me towards the one part of the island I hadn't been to yet (across the broken bridge), I finally got off my butt to find out how to get there.

That bridge is a funny thing to the ignorant new player. You watch others run up to it and just fly across, as if by magic! If you're anything like me, you might think: aha, so it's like an Indiana Jones leap of faith thing; I just have to run straight off and... oh, guess not.

I don't expect to get a legendary cloak any time soon, and while there was an option to get across with a vendor-bought glider, I'm too attached to my timeless coins for other purposes, so I was delighted when I found out that there is actually a way to get up there for free: attack a passing albatross until it grabs you, then just hang in for the ride! It's such a silly thing, but in this case I really enjoyed it. It's nice to have an option to get around for players that aren't as advanced, even if it's slower and more of a hassle.

Another thing I found on the Timeless Isle was a quest for a "secret" noodle recipe. It's really old school, requiring you to run back and forth a lot and to complete two dungeons. It amuses me how Blizzard has repeatedly sworn off that kind of design, yet every now and then they still put stuff like that in. Anyway, it was quite fun, until it cumulated in another solo scenario, which required me to... serve noodle dishes to pandas. It's actually pretty fun as a mini-game; it just seemed kind of bizarre to me since I don't recall ever seeing anything this blatantly "gamey" in WoW before, for all the gamification it has suffered over the years. In fact, it reminded me a lot of an old C64 game I used to play, called Tapper, that required you to rush back and forth behind a bar to serve drinks to impatiently approaching customers. Just... weird. The only thing that drives me crazy about it is that the background music is the same little ditty that plays in all the Pandarian inns... and which is my least favourite bit of Warcraft music ever.


  1. FWIW, play a Rogue. Then you'll die. ;-)

  2. http://www.wowhead.com/item=95566

    Never leave home without it. :)

    Not sure if that serving scenario tops Plants vs Zombies as gamification goes but it's definitely in the discussion.

    1. Haha, that's cool! Don't think I would have been able to use an item with a cast time while stunned though...

    2. Ah, that's a good point, never tried it when stunned... if I remember to give it a try I'll follow up. :)