Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reflections on the Elderly

Dumb and Dumber was on TBS yesterday...

See, the elderly, while slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose

Welcome to part two of what now has become my ongoing reflections on the seasonal events: Lunar Festival, and the Elder title.

You'll recall that I was a big fan of Merrymaking. The biggest success factor was the inclusiveness of being able to enjoy the event with a girl friend, and the lack of dependence on daily 5-man runs and a random drop that might never appear.

So how did Lunar Festival stack up?

I'm not doing ratings as part of the ongoing series, but how about 7 out of 10?

Lets dive deeper:


I was out picking flowers and enjoying one-click mining, taking advantage of my early wake-up on the east coast, while the majority of the server is sleeping on the west coast.

Brass pops on and we figure we'll go become Elderly together.

Kinda busy work, running around the whole world getting coins. Became more fun when the gf got home and she jumped in.

I'm a big fan of inclusive stuff, and she was able to just jump in. Sure, she'll have to go back and do the ones she missed, but since its not a linear progression, she's able to jump in and enjoy the rest of the day with us.



Stripping naked, except for Sombrero and Tabard (Amava don't nakey dance), we make a mad dash into Orgrimar, talk to the coin NPC and gogogogogog quick like bunnies back out to safety.

This is just plain fun. We were giggling like school girls having a pillow fight the whole time.

The other guildies listening in on vent know that Hunters are a few cans short of a six pack to begin with, but this only reinforced the message!

Thunderbluff was equally fun, until I brainfarted and fell off the side of the cliff.

But that only made us laugh harder.

Phasing, FTL

One caveat to the "inclusion" and the "invasion".

If you are mid-way through the Battle for Undercity quest chain. The one with the cut-scene in Dragonblight, that's all the rage amongst the people who want to make a meaningful impact on the MMO world.

Yeah, if you're mid-way through that one, Tirisfal Glades and Durotar are totally phased out, so you cannot get the coins there.

It was classic. Me and the gf are riding the Mammoth, traveling from WPL into Tirisfal Glades.

I weep for forgetting to take a screenie, but all of a sudden, on her screen, the Mammoth is driver-less.

And when we found the coin NPC, he did not appear on the gf's screen.

Phasing, FTL.

So the coin NPC's in Tirisfal Glades and Durotar, including the ones in the Horde cities, were totally inaccessible.


Classic Dungeons

I dislike the need for daily 5-person dungeon runs, as seems to be required for Halloween seasonal event.

I like that they mixed in a variety of dungeon runs for Elder. Run a bunch of dungeons once, and not even a full run at that.

The classic dungeons were fun to visit, and avoid mobs and walk in and get the coin.

Except for Mauradon. That one is a maze that had the three of us hopelessly lost.

Putting critters to sleep with Wyvern Sting is pure win.

Northrend Dungeons

This was a little different.

Start with two level 80 Survival Hunters kitted out in full 213/226 ilevel gear, and a level 78 Shadow Priest who's never done a dungeon in her priesty career.

Pick up the GM's level 71 alt.

Head on into Nexus.

Much fun to be had, using the pets as tanks and just sorta limping through. Respec to BM for sturdier pet tank, FTW!

It got harder and harder as we went to higher and higher level dungeons (duh!!!!).

Utgarde Pinnacle was rough. Out with the 71 alt, in with the well-geared 80 Disc Priest.

Suffice it to say that the gauntlet was a challenge without a real tank. But we made it!

Bubbles the Gorilla successfully tanked the Gruul boss in Halls of [Stone? or Lightening?] Something, which was funny.

So, we do all the dungeons, and we're left with Gumdrop only....

The Roadblock

Gundrak must be run in Heroic mode.

/fail Blizzard.

What was originally a fun day of inclusive socialization and group play has now been buzz killed.

So the uber gf is left with either forcing herself to ding 80 within two weeks, or have to bow completely out of running for the Elder.

I don't like that. Seasonal Event was fun because the only prerequisite was that you needed to be of Northrend levels. I'm willing to accept that as the minimum barrier for entry, since Blizzard runs a business and they want you buying their xpac.

But to say a player needs to be 80 to enjoy a seasonal event, which IMO should be a relaxed social casual FUN event, rather than yet another grindy grind that forces people to maximize?

I'm rethinking that 7 of 10 i awarded above. More like 5 due to the kick in the nuts of requring Heroic mode Gumdrop.

Luckily the uber gf is a good sport (she'd have to be to stay with me raiding 3-4 nights a week, plus generally smelling bad and making strange noises), so she didn't get bent out of shape as I kicked her from the group and invited a Prot Pally so the level 80's could go run Heroic Gundrak.

The Elder

So Brass and I ding Elder, and I get yelled at for donning my brand new Chef title instead of the Elder.

The gf is finishing up the Battle for Undercity quest line. As a casual level 78 player, might be tricky getting to 80 before the event is over, but hopefully she'll have fun trying rather than feeling pressured to grind away like those of us who are unhealthily addicted.

Overall, a fun seasonal event, but quite irritating to hit the roadblock.

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