02 June 2012

Monk... Wizard now in Nightmare... and trust issues...

Kayne is born. Squishy as a mo-fo and really badass!

So I have a monk now... she'll level slowly 'cause until they rebalance some stuff and do some work I have no intention of beating my head against the Nightmare and higher levels because the grind for gold is ineffective. More on that later. I'll repost what I put out at the EU and US forums at the end of this post. (they're linked here under their appropriate abbreviations)

J found a pinata in the Whimsyland world of murder it all for fun and excitement and get nothing but loots (sadly no upgrades even here) and laughs for your efforts.

The LOOT FISH - a literal loot pinata for all of us who remember the boss in 
WoW with the same designation. LOL

For a complainer I've managed to keep on pluggin and doin' what I do... and it paid off a couple days ago (I'm posting less often than I should be... the story of a true addict should be written between the lines here for anyone bothering to read. LOL)

I beat him again! Now Buffy the Demon Hunter AND Julien the Wizard have seen this screen!

The graduation to Nightmare is a reward and a punishment for beating the game on "easy mode" as everyone keeps calling it. I'd say to 99% of my friends that you should remember that this is a game with lots of angles and if you take your time and enjoy the trip there is absolutely NO reason to hate the game you love by continuing into Nightmare at all. 

Give them time to fix the game or choose not to before you make the leap I've made that has soured so much of my experience thus far. A hardcore leveler I am not. Farmer? You betcha... hardcore leveling freak? No way! I'm currently running on pure determination and a characteristic inability to be beaten at anything I've undertaken as a challenge. I fear even that might give up soon... it's really that much of a pain in the ass the way it's been designed right now.

I've been told I'm a bit of a bigot. I distrusted a character and it took me until I was at that same character a second time to realize why... he reminded me of a girl from a movie I saw once!

Never trust a little boy who looks and talks like Queen Amidala - 
the lady in disguise with HUGE secrets to hide!


So there's some big issues with stuff in the game... issues that might ruin what is otherwise really awesome. I rather expect some serious nerfs will take place or Blizzard will be facing the first real revolt ever threatened and followed through on. 

The AH is broken beyond repair. The system is developed to encourage gold farmers and exploitative players and if you plan on leveling more than one character STOP at the screen above that ends the game because it's a lie. In 40 combined levels I have not looted ONE upgrade for my characters. Because of the limit on selling in the auction house and rediculously inflated prices I have not sold one of the upgrades for OTHER classes that I have found and cannot even sell my old gear to folks who, like me, probably need it just to down trash mobs in the level they just got to an hour after upgrading their gear for the LAST mobs.

SOOOO much fun, and like I said to Blizz in the forums... I want to hate them SO much for giving us something SO fun and SO awesome and making it a lot like being bent over and not given a choice what comes next.

Below is what I said... word for word.

Blizzard + Gold Sellers = Symbiotic Relationship?

I've played Blizzard/Activision games for years and there is a general and completely repeated allegation in ALL Blizzard forums that there's a symbiotic and almost nurtured relationship between Blizzard/Activision and the gold sellers/farmers we all loathe so much. 

Until Diablo III I always rolled my eyes and continued on with what I was doing while something in the back of my mind remained vigilantly aware of rising prices of goods and increasing game prices and auction house prices as each new expansion took into account the billions of gold never game generated that was just appearing in every server.

Now I have to honestly wonder. Blizzard, please... don't give me lip service.

I have an Auction House that everyone will make real money off of, maybe... except I have no intention of ever using it because I have no intention of ever paying real world money for an upgrade I could farm and no intention of playing a game in which I cannot GET upgrades without paying someone else to farm for me.

And I have a game where my access to drops is 100% biased against me and where I now have to /leave General EVERY TIME I LOG IN... are you making positively SURE we see the gold sellers ads at least three or four times a day? I've reported the SAME GOLD SELLER on every one of my alts more than once ALL WEEK and they still have the SAME NAME and still have the SAME ADVERTISEMENT. You're not even TRYING to get them out of the game.

So I can't get my own upgrades no matter how many hours I invest in farming and I am driven to the Auction House where eventually everyone gets some real world money out of the deal... the prices there are inflated x1000 or more over vendor due to gold sellers and exploitable gold drops that made farming millions of gold EASY and time effective for some players... I can only make 10 listings for "competitive" prices once every 36 hours and I'm stuck waiting on the ones that don't sell or where I've been undercut by the very next poster because I can't cancel them... I'm inundated with constant advertisements selling leveled characters and gold with fast worldwide delivery in minutes... hacked users are told it's all their fault and treated poorly by the blues out here in the forums on both the US and EU forums... I can only figure 3 weeks into this lovely new experience you've crafted for us that all is as you'd like it to be.

If there was a doubt in my mind before when we were only talking virtual gold in a virtual world I have to wonder now when there's an actual cash option on the table whether I was being grossly naive to ignore the rumors and should always have presumed some connection whether actually symbiotic like the Trills from Star Trek or even more heinous in the form of shared financials and business plans?

I've said for years you are the experts at giving us what we want and making us pay for it in every way... the gaming company we'd all love to hate because we love you SO much it hurts. 

Are you in bed with the folks who are going to drive gold drops and auction house prices until casual players give up or are you just unwilling to do anything about it?

29 May 2012

Julien stands outside the door that leads to Diablo...

and the servers are down for maintenance.

Julien and Tyreal

Holle does mass zombie damage!

MUCH needed maintenance.

and some thoughts occur...

the whining and complaining on the forums is vast and most of it is highly ignorable as would be expected from a player base of 6 million games sold at last check and of those perhaps 4 million the same whining complaining masses that WoW boasts home to.

some of the complaints, however... some of them are thoughtful and lend my own mind to spinning.

Diablo 3 will host a real money auction house... and so they did not use the WoW auction house functionalities at all. Searches are detailed and sometimes downright frustrating and for the whole 3 day weekend they have been crippling along with out of date listings, already sold items still coming up in searches and delays in delivery of things bought sometimes for HOURS at a time.

I feel like the game has been set up to require the auction houses and I'm not alone.

I can stand in town and craft 15 of the same item and NEVER get the stats I need. I've made chest armor for monks and for barbarians when what I need is dexterity or intelligence. I've crafted bows that would be more suitable for wizards and I've managed to burn through all of my supplies without once managing to craft the weapon I need. Crafting costs gold, by the way. You bring the guy the materials and gold to learn how to make things and then each thing he makes still costs you between 1,500 and 3,500 gold PLUS more crafting pages at my level to do it... so you can't keep gambling forever... there are only so many resources to spend doing it.

So I farm. I do this because it's what I'm told the game is made for. I farm whole segments of the content just before and leading up to my current place and I find 1,000 items that are not for me in hours and hours of work. (I did manage to find some things that were for other characters.) I sell much of it at vendor prices because the auction house is unforgivingly small and most of the gear just isn't quite right for anyone anyway. I switch characters and I farm on a higher difficulty and I manage to find a couple of pieces of gear for the character in the lower difficulty... finally... he is upgraded! Still nothing for the character doing the farming, though.

And so I go to the auction house where I can list only ever 10 things until they sell and where searching has become a nightmare of digging through crap at incredibly inflated prices (level 28 gear with only 1/2 stats for 100,000 gold, folks? really? get a grip and learn the value of gold even in a game already full of gold sellers and exploits... omg) alongside of things listed 3 days ago and already aged out or... and this is my favorite... gear with precisely the stats I need and already sold.

I list the few things I've found worth selling at prices I feel I'd pay for them if I were looking... and they sell right away. One of them I know reappeared less than 10 minutes later for 5x what I'd originally listed them for and only because I realized that it really COULD be an upgrade for one of my other characters if I gem it differently.

All this and Diablo is still preferable to WoW for three reasons that come immediately to mind.

1. every dungeon looks different the next time you go to it, even if you only left to go to town to sell and ended up logging out to hit the auction house or check gear on another character. even if I do them (and I have done on some) a dozen times each time is just a little different from the others and this is infinitely preferable to exactly the same steps from door to door in an identical experience over and over in WoW.

2. no matter how many fights I find myself in I am only required to rely on myself and whatever NPC I choose to bring with me. I can do it or I can fail and all of it is on me. while it can be quiet and a little lonely for a people person, it is also SO rewarding. no one can say they carried my ass through anything.

3. random loot drops means that there's never going to be a best in slot option. the constantly changeable and customizable skills combined with a limited number of buttons (1-4 and left and right mouse key... that's it... choose the 6 you can't live without and move on) means that I'm in charge of my experience and it's success or failure. HINT: strength will not HURT a squishy class - it becomes armor... my demon hunter has put many strength and dex crossbows to use when there were none with just dex or with some added vitality as a bonus!

I miss WoW and at the same time I am not missing it enough to be tied to it.

Tonight is LFR night... and I don't know if I am looking forward to 1-3-5-4-5-7 over and over and over except when I can use 2 for a quick dps boost!

On an entirely different note...

I unlocked Whimsyland... the secret pony level that is NOT a hidden cow level. my boyfriend and Kats helped with the gold to make the staff (all told it's 150,000 plus a little farming to get the parts to make it on normal and I only had 100,000 and the farming) and we have been in and checked it out... WOOT for making tons of gold and having ridiculous amounts of silly carnage.

2 pages of jewel crafting
4 pages of blacksmithing
23 blue letter items
2 yellow letter items
8 gems
8 maximum health pots
total take = 13,130g and gems and pages for training crafters

Diablo meets Mario!

Blood and gore and guts and happy clouds that drop tons of loots! flowers that attack in swarms and carebears out for blood! chubby pink unicorns... LOOKOUT!

wanna come? just pst. I'm already in the process of making the gold to upgrade it to nightmare level.

peace and if not peaceful then always hillarious!