Archive for May, 2011

30 Days of Diversity – # 21

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 31, 2011 by Armada

Paladin Tier 1: Lawbringer Armor

Coming from our tier 2 warlock set at # 22, you might ask why such a tame looking set ranks ahead of what is considered a pretty amazing (especially for its time) Warlock set. Call it charity if you want, because while many would agree that Warlocks have been the love child of Warcraft artists over the years, Paladins on the other hand have been treated like a distant cousin.

So maybe the tier 1 set does not belong at 21 or even in the top 30, but I have to give it points for the “classic look” and is on par with many tier 1 sets in terms of attractiveness. What is most funny about the set is that it was created at a time when the Horde did not even have access to the Paladin class and so its classical “holy” and “good” look barely seem workable on horde classes.

Luckily for this set that only Taurens and Blood Elves have access to the class… can you imagine an undead Paladin in this set?

Classic designs are obvious in that this set only works for the Paladin

30 Days of Diversity – # 22

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 27, 2011 by Armada

Warlock Tier 2: Nemesis Raiment

Coming from a fairly standard T1 set, the warlock tier 2 was a pretty radical departure for its time. Highlighted by a contrasting purple and green color scheme, some hellish (but oddly cat like) shoulders and truly wicked helm horns, the Nemesis set was unmistakably warlock and arguably the most unique of any of first two tiers released. Few would argue that Warlocks have, over the years and through many tier sets been given the best looking sets and I maintain that the Nemesis set was the start of this trend.

In hindsight the warlock tier 2 might seem a little tame in comparison to some of the crazy sets that would be released in later tiers, but even today, Nemesis shines. This set also has the distinction of being the first set to give Warlocks green fel-fire, which is of course is highly desired by all manner of dark art practitioners.


Resilience: The Great Lie?

Posted in General, MMO, PvP, Raiding, World of Warcraft on May 21, 2011 by Armada

As discussed in episode 12 of the Horde for Life podcast, resilience has shown itself to not only be an artificial construct of a development team that needed a fix, the PvP only stat has done much more harm than good and if you take a moment to think about it logically you will see it really provides no player benefit.

While I completely understand both the mechanics of and all the reasons for resilience in the current state of the game, we must remember that this is a product of our gradual acclimation and acceptance to resilience as a needed PvP stat. However take a moment and think about it… or better yet if you played the game prior to the Burning Crusade expansion, remember that resilience did not always exist in-game and even at its introduction, the stat provided both PvE and PvP value. Today however, resilience has grown from a quick fix band-aid in response to a lack of adequate PvE gear in 2007 and the cries from the anti-PvP crowd into an intended demarcation/barrier to entry between PvE and PvP.

I cannot help but wonder if any developer will ever make a game where these two play styles are not required to be so utterly and completely compartmentalized. To my way of thinking it is myopic – and yet universally accepted – that someone who has spent 100s of hours raiding and acquiring the very best raid gear in-game, is automatically inept if he were to step into a battleground, arena or world PvP event. So a top raiders gear is good enough to slay dragons and ogre’s but not good enough to take down a player controlled gnome mage? And conversely the very best PvP player with the best gear available will be consistently laughed off his server if he rolls into a dungeon or raid with his epic resilience gear that he spent an entire season on.

Why is this acceptable to us?

I get it… you do not want epic PvP players being able to jump into top raids and we do not want legendary raiders having immediate access to Arena success… but why? I do not blame the players for this attitude because we are simply reacting to the climate and game mechanics that have been dictated by the introduction of and subsequent changes to resilience. Wholesale changes that took resilience from a useful and global (PvE and PvP) critical damage mitigation stat to a PvP only damage reducer. This removal of resilience as a PvE valued component has created yet another chasm in the game that only serves to increase the speed of the treadmill and ensure Blizzard that you cannot out pace their content or game options.

Why do we expect and accept that you must either choose your path (PvE or PvP) or work twice as hard to acquire gear in what basically becomes two separate games. If this demarcation was removed for everyone then what would be problem everyone and every developer fears?

Is it time investment? Is it skill vs gear? I would understand this argument save for the fact that you can argue it both ways. Sure you might say you do not want a PvP player tanking or healing your raid because you think he will fail and that you do not want a raider failing in your arena but I would argue that this is and should be part of a natural barrier as opposed to an artificial one.

Go talk to players from 2004-2006 who were both top raiders in Molten Core and exceptional PvP players… using the same Warlord PvP gear for either play style. That gear did not have resilience and PvP was near perfect. If you remove resilience, PvP would be instantly improved, game walls would be taken down and skill still matters… in fact it would matter more so as opposed to your gear grinding ability.

Resilience is a blight on the game and has led to nothing good… resilience gave us tenacity and the badge and PvP marks system and only provides barriers to our game.

Poll Question of the Week – May 21 2011

Posted in General, MMO, Polls, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 21, 2011 by Armada

Make your opinion be heard… vote for your favorite Tier 12 set. Results will be covered in episode 13 of the Horde for Life podcast!

30 Days of Diversity – # 23

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 15, 2011 by Armada

Hunter Tier 3:  Cryptstalker Armor

The Hunter class makes it debut with a tier 3 set that vaguely resembles the rogue netherblade tier with its protruding jaw helm. Tinted with earth tone browns the set is unique if a little plain, but extra points for the red eyed helm, a first of its kind, and subtle glow effect shoulder pads.

There are better sets to be sure… Okay who am I kidding, the set is kind of ugly, right? It looks as though you fell in mud (or some other brown substance) while “hunting” your prey. However sometimes diversity is about having even the options that only a mother would love and this set most certainly qualifies! If you want diversity just put the Cryptstalker gear on and you will not look like every other Hunter… of that you can be sure.

All kidding aside, the Cryptstalker set is still unique and would be a welcome alternative set for many a Hunter. As such it deserves our number 23 spot.

30 Days of Diversity – # 24

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 14, 2011 by Armada

Paladin Tier 3:  Redemption Armor

Easily confused for something a Shaman might wear if not for something close to a “classic” winged helmet, the Tier 3 Paladin set departed from the first two tears in providing a new color palette and quite a bit more “bling” than previous sets. Indeed, from the color palette and general silhouette, one could easily make the argument that the Warcraft developer team used this very set as a base for their upcoming tier 4 Shaman set that we have previously ranked.

Some will find the jutting rock like shoulders off putting while others such as myself appreciate the attempt to create a unique set and find the bladed spikes a good match with the helmet wings. Your mileage with this set may certainly vary, but the Redemption set provided some much needed diversity with its pale blue aura in stark contrast to tier 1 and 2 which both had a more traditional gold hue. Easily a top 30 set, we welcome the first Paladin entry into our 30 days of diversity settling in at number 24.

Paladin Tier 3 looks to have been used in creating Shaman Tier 4

30 Days of Diversity – # 25

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 12, 2011 by Armada

Druid Tier 1:  Cenarion Raiment

Admittedly this Druid set is one of the more polarizing sets ever released as evidenced by its 2005 nickname, the “wandering bush”. However in its defense, and in keeping with Blizzard’s unhealthy obsession with silhouette identification, this set most certainly fits the class as 100% Druid. You have to give points for the distinct “woodsy” vibe that the set gives off and I absolutely certain that there is a Druid or out there who would proudly wear this set (and ride their Talbuk)!

Let me just slide into this hedgerow... ah invisible!

30 Days of Diversity – # 26

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 10, 2011 by Armada

Shaman Tier 4:  Cyclone Set

Sticking with tier 4 we find the Cyclone set for our beloved Shaman. This set is a perfect example of less is more with understated robes that are contrasted by a nice set of shoulders and matching head piece. While definitely not an overly flashy set, it just works and did a good job of being attractive while still being diverse from all the previous Shaman sets.

In short, a classic design that would be welcomed and enjoyed in the current end game if ever we were given the option.

Tier 4 - A Classic Shaman Set

30 Days of Diversity – # 27

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 8, 2011 by Armada

Rogue Tier 4:  Netherblade Set 

I have to be honest here and state for the record, that I never liked this set. Rogues arguably have had some of the coolest tier sets released in game, but this is not one of them. It has the distinction of being the most “Pinocchio” vibe of any tier set in game and has caused more than a few snickers. So why is it on my list? Because while I did not care for it, others did and there is no denying that it was unique, earning it our #27 spot.

Deadly or just silly looking? You decide...

30 Days of Diversity – # 28

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on May 7, 2011 by Armada

Warrior Tier 1: Battle Gear of Might

Ranking at number 28 is the Warrior Tier 1 set, which admittedly does not hold up very well by today’s standards. However, like our number 29 priest entry but more so, this set was striking for its time. The large spikes were expected, the color palette was not. This set actually was a stark contrast to the other plate sets in tier 1, specifically the Paladin set. This Battle Gear of Might really seems to have been custom made for and screams Orc/Tauren, much to the dismay of the other races during its prominence.

No confusing this for mage gear, huh?