Fish feasts, word beasts

The title rhymes for a reason.

I was getting bored of buying my own food for raiding ‘n stuff, so decided we needed to get the recipe for the lobster jacuzzi. A fishing competition seemed like the thing… but with a little guild like ours, a “first person to get X number of fish” competition wasn’t going to work. Neither would a “everyone get together on X day and fish”, unless we decided to forgo raiding for an evening to do it (no thanks). So… the fishing and poetry competition was born.

Entry requirements: 120 fish from pools plus one poem, haiku or limerick. Delivered in about a week or less.

Results: well, we got the fishing achievement before all of the entries were in. And guildies are now voting on their favourite poems, with the winner taking away a unique guild rank (tbd) and their choice of a pet from the Blizzard pet store OR a bike mount. Whichever one is left will then be awarded to another entrant by that most capricious of judges, Lady RNG.

To give you an example:

There once was a man called Ano
Who thought he could play the piano
But his thumbs were too big
On just his first gig
They compared his recital to guano

He sat at his desk with a pen
And thought about hobbies again
Where is the thrill
When your hands have no skill?
And you fail nine efforts in ten

He decided to put us to shame
And started a dragony game
“But which class to be
With these phalangees
I’m tired of being to blame”

So he took up a paladin mace
And flourished in dungeons with grace
But his method was flawed
We thought he tapped the keyboard
But the whole time he just played with his face

And no, I didn’t write that. Bastards.

Also, I’ve been playing too much to write, but I have been reading. This morning, I read this post on wowhead news, linking/quoting from a couple of articles about “why cataclysm is bad” or “why WoW is dying”. There’s very little point in commenting on it there, and not much more point in writing about it here, but what the hell.

1. “Most people dislike Cataclysm”. Really? I see no hard data on that (feel free to point me at some). I see a lot of forum bandwagon jumping, but that’s normal. I see a bunch of people who don’t like specific things. I’m not sure that adds up to “most people dislike Cataclysm”. Not even slightly. Anecdotal: I’m having a good time. So are the people I’m playing with.

2. A study quoted in the Gamasutra article surveyed 2865 self-selected WoW players, 72% of whom were from the US, 70% of whom had played for three years or more. And which was published six months before Cataclysm was released. It’s an interesting study on the subject, but as far as I can tell it’s got nothing to do with the article quote from the author, who says “I think people get bored more quickly”. Than what? And, er, ok.

3. Again from the Gamasutra article, there’s a quote from a staff writer and wow player who says “There isn’t a lack of content in Cataclysm. The problem is the lack of strong appeal for anyone in particular. The gear doesn’t carry enough psychological weight for the hardcore players, and the raids are too difficult for more casual players, especially relative to the rewards they provide. The last raiding tier was significantly nerfed in 4.2, but its rewards are now behind what casual players can acquire by doing 5-mans, so there’s no incentive to raid older content beyond doing it once or twice just to see the new bosses.”

The thing is, that’s not really true. You can buy chest, legs, hands, bracers, one ring, one neckpiece and a relic/wand from the VP vendor, all of which are better than gear from tier 11 but it’ll take you several weeks of dungeon running to buy them all. You can buy boots, a trinket, another ring and a cloak from the JP vendor, which are *as* good as, not better than the drops from tier 11 (give or take, depending on your stat priorities), plus you can pick up t11 chest, legs and hands which might be better than raid drops once you have two items (for the set bonus). The rest is raid only, unless you want to spring for BoEs or crafted items.

Also, there we go with the whole “casual” bullshit again. What’s a casual player in this context? Someone who doesn’t raid regularly? Someone who only pug-raids? Someone who can only commit 90 minutes to any one gaming session? If you’re that “casual”, you’re hardly likely to be drowning in VP/JP so … eh? That has a bit of a smell of the old “if I raid, I want to be massively, visibly and demonstrably better looking/better geared than you nooby scrubs” thinking, which I tend to dislike. If you’re interested in that sort of boasting, send people links to the RSS feed/screenshot of your character newsfeed, with the date of your first kill prominently visible1.

That last point comes back to something that makes me twitch a bit. Are there really so many people who play until they’ve ticked off every item on their “I want this” gear list, and then unsubscribe until the next patch adds in a few new weapons or what have you? The reward mechanism for WoW (group content) is pretty well known, but I always thought it was a combination of things: exploration (new bosses/mechanics), teamplay, social interaction (raidchat/voicecomms), personal performance (execution), group performance, progression (next boss/harder mode/achievements for difficult things), “tangible” rewards (loot). Is the last item >>>> all of the others?

  1. PS: if you do this to me as some sort of boast, it’s possible I will conclude you’re a knob. []

5 thoughts on “Fish feasts, word beasts”

  1. Can I enter your competition?


    I play this game in order to preen
    Over my massively endowed e-peen
    Female though she may be
    My character clearly still stands to pee
    On noobs who should be subscribed but not seen.


    Now, if you’ll direct your focus to my pile of 120 epic fish (and shards for the quest to get a legendary fish), I’ll be happy to accept the prize. Unless, of course, you cater to the casuals. :(

  2. Gosh, we still need to get to the fish feast in my guild – but no one really fishes. I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fisher myself, so I can’t complain. Maybe a competition is just the thing. How do you know though that people really do fish and don’t visit the AH to buy 120 fish? ;)

    I don’t understand all the complaints either. I enjoy Cataclysm for the most part. There may be a few things I don’t enjoy so much, but there’s always something every expansion and you can’t love everything, right? I still enjoy the game at large.

    The whole argument about older raid tiers compared to what you can buy for VP.. I think my only grudge is that I get more VP from Zulroics than BWD/BoT.. I’m glad they added VP back for those bosses, but I wish they gave a little bit more still. Not the same as Firelands – but more than they currently do. (But then I also wish I could cap VP by raiding and not having to do any Zulroics at all.)

    I have no issue with people being able to buy gear with VP (only the way in which we get the VP hehe), because I think it’s a good way for someone coming back to the game or switching mains or just being a little bit behind to catch up to where they need to be without a guild having to go back and clear old content to gear them up.

    1. Heh. For a small guild like ours, it would have been obvious if people were buying their fish from the bank as we wouldn’t have made it to the achievement. We’re a small enough and close enough guild that it was never something I worried about :).

      I suspect the “catch up” issue is one of the primary reasons why raid-quality gear is available without raiding — to avoid the “you need raid gear to raid, but you can only get raid gear by raiding” problem.

      Hell, when I started raiding ICC had already been released. Without the ability to snag tier 9 from easily-acquired triumph badges, and to make a start on T10 via the 2-frosties-per-day daily random, I suspect I would have struggled. There has to be a way for non-raiders to bring their gear up to raid-acceptable levels.

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t follow the irritating “you must outgear the content before I let you run the content” philosophy that a lot of the PuG raids on DMF seem to espouse. Our recent first kill of Beth’tilac included a disc priest who currently has an average ilevel of 345. There does come a point, however, where an undergeared player simply can’t make up for their gear with good play, and after a certain point in a given expansion raiding would effectively be closed to newcomers without alternative way of acquiring the high-level gear needed for high-level content.

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