Rift: Small objects of desire (and dragon age 2 links)

rift_hatstripey

Sadly, flu has gotten in the way of gaming this week (boo!) but I have had a bit of time on Rift. And one thing I realise is that sometimes it’s the small things – the new hat, the new mount – that really pull a character together.

Words cannot express how much I love this hood in the left hand picture. A mage with a hood like that and carrying a big staff looks wise and stuff, as though they might know the secrets of the universe. That’s what I want in my mage!

The stripey antelope mount is also delightful. It has this whippet thin, athletic and yet alien look to it which makes it very convincing as a mount. I also like the way my character is seated on the saddle, again it looks convincing to me.

In other news, I ran my first instance in Rift this week thanks to Arb and other players in the guild. Arb did a super job of tanking it, I was healing via my Chloromancer spec which was mostly fine but seems to lack some spike healing punch when you really need it. I think it’ll work out fine with more practice, and people were happy to have a Chloro around. The actual spec is quite fun, it has that shadow priest feel where you’re mostly healing via doing damage but you do have some specialist heals, channels, and utility spells (ie. to cause a mob to heal the next player it attacks rather than damage them) to pad it out which makes the Chloromancer rather interesting to play. I don’t find healing in PvP as much fun as CC in this game – you just don’t get the sense of making as much difference as a healer which is odd but there you go.

I’m also still really enjoying the Warlock as a primary damage/ soloing spec. Being able to switch life into mana, and charge into life/ damage just gives a nice amount of flexibility if things go a bit pear shaped.

More on Dragon Age 2

Oh yeah, and because it’s DA2 week and I’m over excited here are a couple of links:

PC Gamer review of Dragon Age 2

Interview with lead writer and designer of DA2

It came from the PUG: Oh, is this an instance? I’m just here to practice my staff skill

I have a lot of sympathy for genuine slackers. The human drive to complete tasks with the least possible effort is the same drive that leads us to generate new and incredible feats of science and engineering. Every great engineering invention started with the thought, “I wonder if there is an easier way to do this?” (Many engineering PhDs end with the thought, “Nope, I guess there isn’t. But at least now I know why.”)

But as all true slackers know, there is a slackers code of conduct.

  1. Don’t put in any more effort than necessary to accomplish your goals.
  2. If you can beat more than one goal at the same time, so much the better.
  3. If someone notices that you are slacking and calls you on it, STOP SLACKING.

OK, now back to the PUG story. I was in an Old Stratholme run for the daily instance and I noticed that one of the other group members was very low on the damage meters. You can use recount to check which abilities people have been mostly using, it’s actually a really handy tool when you’re learning to play a class because it’s easy to compare your rotation with other people. So I moused over his name on recount and saw that his second most damaging attack was a melee autoattack. And he was a mage.

So at this point either he’s the noobiest mage ever or there’s something else going on. And since he had some Icecrown gear, I mentally rolled my eyes and figured he was probably levelling his staff skill. (Which is, by the way, completely pointless for a mage but is also part of an equally pointless achievement.)

I figure, fine. He’s taking the piss. I don’t feel the need to make a scene because it’s only Stratholme but if I have to pay attention during an instance run then I don’t see why everyone else can’t too. So I say something I never thought I would say to a mage, “Could you cast some spells please?”

He at this point makes the tactical mistake of explaining in group chat that he was levelling his staff skill, but notes that he was helping on the minibosses. I say tactical mistake because the rest of the group got outraged and booted him. Since he sounded like a reasonable bloke, I personally would have just said, “OK, fine. But when we get to the town hall, stop doing that please.”  I still think it’s cheeky for an ubergeared player to expect the rest of the group to carry them while they do a totally pointless achievement but I can overlook that if they pull their socks up when I call them on it.

I think I just have a much higher tolerance for slacking when it comes from someone who knows what they are doing. But most players won’t share that attitude.

And on a nicer note

I also had one very sweet PUG this week. One of my guildies was practicing tanking on a Death Knight alt, and since he’s a notorious aggro monkey on his main, myself and one of our other main tanks jumped at the chance to swap to dps specs and get some revenge! (Err, I mean, help and support him while he learns to tank instances.)

We were very lucky and had a fantastic PUG priest in an Utgarde Pinnacle run, who was able to heal through me tanking Skadi in fury gear after the tank died.

At the end of the run, she commented to us that when she zoned in and checked gear, she thought we were going to give the tank hell for being in blues. But then she noticed we all were in the same guild :) So whoever you were, awesome priest, thank you for being awesome.

(And Kesser, if you are reading this, we both thought you’ll be an amazing tank once you have some more gear. But it is part of the job description of fury warriors and boomkins to test new tanks!)

Raid update

I’m a bit behind with this. Oops.

In 25 man raiding, we got Sarth+2 down this week. I wasn’t there myself but apparently it all ran quite smooth. I was in for last week’s attempts and thought it was likely they’d nail it this time.

10 man raids still going fine. It is more of a struggle now to get people to sign up, and there are more alts and new 80s wanting to come. This does not bode well for Undying attempts but is good from a point of view of gearing more people up.

We came very close to making an Undying run last week. Everything was going well up to Kel’Thuzad, at which point just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. There were 2 disconnects, people getting flustered and standing too close to each other, both healers being taken out with the same ice blast, we lost the off tank before phase 3, and so on.

Impressively, we still got the kill. Hurrah for having 2 shamans, 2 warlocks and a druid in the raid (for non-WoW players, that adds up to a lot of in-combat resses). I tanked the adds in phase 3 as well as the boss and to be honest, it was probably easier than having an off-tank sitting out of the rest of the fight waiting.

One thing I do like about the Undying achievement is that people get very very focussed on survival and helping other people to survive also. It wasn’t by any means a flawless run but I noticed how quick people were at recovering from mistakes. At any rate, I do still want to get the achievement and I’m sure we can do it.

Other thing of note, this week was the first time we’d had a mage in the raid. We just don’t have many mages in my guild, and this was a new player who’d just hit 80. Need to experiment more with dampen magic on Sapphiron — I asked him to use it on himself this time so we could compare damage taken using WWS afterwards. Was amused by how many of the rest of the raid swore that Sapphiron didn’t do magic damage.

I think not. We’ll see who is right when we get the meters up :)