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June 4, 2012

Dear Reader,

No great revelations for you today, (or any other day, really, if we get right down to it), but I do have an interesting story.  Alas, it involves not me, your intrepid reporting hero, but my wife, who is beautiful and intelligent and dangerous.  Also, she’s been a bit bored with most of our games recently (though she’s loving D3 – far more than I am – but also dying and getting frustrated far more).  As a result of her boredom, she decided that during her solo play time, she wanted to raid in WoW again, to finish all of Dragon Soul.

I’m a supportive husband.  I’ve never been one of those gamers who didn’t like a game and thus believed no one else should like it, either.  I did make it clear to her that I didn’t want to raid any more, and while I encouraged and supported her game play choices, to please not drag me back in with her.  I’d been hearing about how well the guild was doing from our friends, but I’d also heard about how poorly the guild was doing from those same friends.  They could, occasionally, clear the first seven bosses in two 2 hour raids (so 4 hours), and they would then go in on an “off night” Saturday raid to kill Madness.  Realistically, then, they could clear 8 bosses in 5 hours, so about a boss every 40 minutes.  Well, fine.

The impetus for this renewed vigor happened just the other week, when my wife and I got a call to “please come help with a raid.”  Okay, okay.  We hop in on Ultraxion, a boss I’ve actually done, so I figure hell, I can get through this, and we do.  Then we get to gunship, and we can’t progress for the next hour and a half.  That’s one major problem with this guild; they only raid 2 hours at a time, and they’re not particularly punctual, motivated, or well prepared, so really it’s more like 90 minutes most times.  If we’d had another 30 minutes that night, we’d have gotten gunship (another pull or two, realistically), but, frankly, the dps and healing just weren’t there.  One of the healers was doing half what my wife was doing – my wife who’d at this point barely played in six months.  I figured hey – he must be disc.  Nope.  He was holy.  He was just that awful.

Anyway, our friends decided that because they couldn’t go on the normal raid night last week they’d set up a Wednesday night “off night” raid.  My wife agreed to go as her first official raid, and they figured they’d just PuG the rest.  I was worried I’d get roped in, but everyone was very respectful and never asked for me to go, which I appreciated.  I really just don’t want to raid any more.  They got a pretty quick start and before I knew it, were already on Ultraxion.  They’d had a little snafu here and there, but overall it was a very fast progression.

They knocked out Ultraxion and gunship, stalled a little on Spine, and finally downed madness at about 11.  They’d started at 8.

They’d full cleared in 3 hours.  A PuG.  they’d finished in 60% of the time the guild normally takes, one boss every 22 minutes.  A group with two PuG tanks, one PuG healer, and 3 PuG dps.

You can’t unring that bell.

I’m not sure what this will mean for my wife and raiding.  I mentioned that to one of our friends who’d set up the raid, but never got a response (he probably just got busy playing; I don’t think it was meaningful silence).  I’ve been saying for a while how absolutely terrible the guild was.  It worked out for me because it gave me enough pause to evaluate fairly whether or not I wanted to raid any more, but my two friends are really in that top peak of their enjoyment, and they’re truly (at this point) being held back by the guild.  Both are easily capable of 30k dps.  Both know the fights.  Both can organize their own raids.  The guild’s really not doing anything for them, but out of loyalty and digital friendship, they’re staying around.

I don’t mean to imply that’s a bad decision.  In games, there’s really no bad decision except those that lead to not having fun.  They’re having fun playing, so by that measure, they’re doing well.  My wife, though, has raided with some much more serious players.  She’s seen hard mode bosses and really felt the challenge of downing them.  She was part of the team clearing Naxx in less than 4 hours (so a boss every 16 minutes) in 25 man mode when it was still “new” content (Wrath Naxx, so not really new).  I don’t foresee a long relationship with this guild for her if she’s serious about getting back into raiding.  As usual, though, only time will tell.

Game updates: I started playing Fire Emblem: Raidant Dawn on my Wii.  I played it when I first got it, years ago now, but got frustrated with the RNG involved after spending hours perfecting a board, not losing any units (which are permanently lost in this game), and having the final attack on the boss miss, causing me to lose a unit.  I’m not sure I’ve got it in me to be that perfect any more, but we’ll see.  Still playing the other games I mentioned.  I’m thinking about snatching up the new Sins of a Solar Empire on the 12th – anyone play the previous one?

I’ve also been thinking about sharing some of my Vampire campaign here, though I’m not sure how popular that’d be.  Thoughts?


Stubborn (not hunchbacked, but my face rings a bell)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2012 1:51 pm

    “I’ve also been thinking about sharing some of my Vampire campaign here, though I’m not sure how popular that’d be.”

    Depends on how heavy you lay on the angst.

    I’ve always liked the mechanics of the White Wolf games, probably because the original Ars Magica was my favorite structured RPG, but the whole 500 year old teenager thing turns me off. The basic game concept and settings are good and hearing how other people structure a game can be a fun read.

    Provided I don’t have to hear about the long sighs, meaningful stares into the sunless sky, and regret that only the essence of humanity can sustain the search to conquer undeath.

    • June 5, 2012 10:28 am

      I’m the DM – I encourage my vampires to go play in the sun. (:
      I may drop a few lines about it in the upcoming days. It’s been a lot of fun and very well played (on the players’ parts), so I want to share a bit. We’ll see.

  2. June 4, 2012 3:54 pm

    The Vampire Campaign might be entertaining. Im not a fan of the typical Emo/wanna be gothling but well constructed series are always fun. Back in the day I was a big fane of PnP RP games, especially from White Wolf.

    • June 5, 2012 10:28 am

      You needn’t worry; I’m playing with adults who aren’t very goth, either. It’s more about planning and execution.

  3. June 5, 2012 3:15 pm

    Then do write away, it will be an interesting read. Again, I dont PnP anymore but I do enjoy the setting etc 🙂

  4. June 5, 2012 3:16 pm

    Also, are you considering the online version when it finally launches? Any thoughts on the mmo version?

    • June 5, 2012 3:28 pm

      Other than having heard it was in the mix, I don’t know enough to feel one way or the other about it. Despite that limitation, I do feel worried. White Wolf was always the game series that promoted storytelling over tactics or combat (in my experience), even calling the “dungeon master” the “story teller.” I’m not sure how that translates into an MMO. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I think we’ll be getting more of the same.

  5. June 5, 2012 7:30 pm

    ” In games, there’s really no bad decision except those that lead to not having fun.”


    Sometimes I crave raid progression, but when you get in that mindset you only end up frustrated with the people in your raid that are not contributing as much to the team as others. It’s easy to forget that fun is the goal, completion is just the structure designed to encourage it. I have a blast hanging out with the people in my raid every week, and I feel really lucky to be part of a group which can complete challenging content, while not taking the game too seriously.

    • June 7, 2012 11:29 am

      Yeah, I agree. Raiding makes me a person I don’t like, particularly raid leading. As a teacher, I’m very non-judgmental. I believe that I can be there to assist, and if you don’t want to learn, I’m not going to make you. You may not learn my content, but you’ll learn something when the year comes to an end and you have to repeat. A lesson will be learned, either way. Yet in a raid, I’m super-judgmental, allowing or denying people access based on the tiniest of details. I didn’t like who I was when I was like that, but I wonder – since the responsibility of the entire raid sits on the leader’s shoulders – whether that’s really “wrong” or not. You’ve got a group to look out for, but do you do so at the expense of the individual? I don’t know, and it’s not something I want to have to figure out any more.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. *vlad* permalink
    June 6, 2012 10:58 am

    I have been playing Radiant Dawn on the Wii myself recently. A couple of things really annoy me about this game: First the camera is too close to the map, so it’s hard to plan things without constantly moving the cursor around the screen; secondly the pseudo 3D just looks crap (was so much better in 2D); thirdly, why is the bow range only 2 spaces?

    The main issue I have always had with this game series (and it still persists in this latest format) is that when you are levelling/gearing up your characters, you have no way of knowing which of them is going to suddenly leave you and never return. They go from being a player character to an NPC, and there is nothing you can do about it.

    • June 7, 2012 11:27 am

      I totally agree with 2 of your 3 complaints. I don’t mind the crap 3d – I grew up with ascii graphics, so the quaint, cartoony style (similar to American FF2 and 3) endears the game to me. The others, though, you’re dead right on. A bow only goes as far as a lance? Madness!

      I didn’t realize that ANY of them left you. That adds a new, frustrating element to the progression. Maybe I’ll push through. Then again, maybe not.

      Thanks for the comment!

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