Monday 23 July 2018

The Global Cooldown

The pre-patch has hit and numerous changes have been made to the game. One of those changes is an increase in the number of abilities/actions being added to the global cooldown (GCD) list. I believe so far that this is a good change, even from just a few hours on the pre-patch; to feel the effects and ponder their significance. Let's discuss.

The most evident effect of adding more actions to the GCD list is the change in gameplay pace. Specifically the slowing down of combat actions, such as offensive abilities and buffs. In my case, for example, the Fury Warrior ability Recklessness has added to the GCD. Whereas prior to 8.0 this buff could be cast at any time during combat, unhindered by cool downs, it now requires me to find a specific slot in my rotation to cast it. At first this felt quite alien. 

Although that feeling soon faded for me. In fact I very quickly grew fond of the alteration for it allowed me to exchange multiple instant combat actions, that felt rather un-special, to more strategic noticeable actions. I quite like the idea of seeing my ability brew and take affect before the next comes crashing down. It also means that I would be able to make more sense of, in PVP, what my enemy was doing so that I could react accordingly. Strategically. Being able to see the impact of more abilities rather than a spaghetti mess of actions is something I deem positive. 

Yes, it 'slows down' how much you can do in an instant and I imagine it does (currently) slow the game pace down from start to finish of any encounter, however isn't the point of a each and every fight; to enjoy and feel that your action process i.e. order/choice of abilities cast, is important?

For as long as I can remember, many buffs, such as Recklessness, could be used in conjunction with multiple other abilities and pots (usually in the form of a macro) to form a huge spike in damage or healing. Especially when pulling a boss or engaging with an enemy in PVP. It became the norm to have a pre-set macros with abilities that would all be cast simultaneously to maximise the desired effect, be it damage, healing or survivability. Which would then be used again at pre-timed points of the fight, such as burn phases. To an extent I do agree that macros like these have their place, but I do feel they take away from the fun of actually playing the game. Let me explain my thoughts behind this further.

Swift one shot macro anyone?

If the whole reason for making a macro is to be as efficient as possible to defeat a boss and ultimately enjoy the game, because casting all of those 'special' abilities individually would be too slow, then there seems to be a bigger problem. Despite what your goals are, shouldn't every aspect of the game, especially the core features i.e. casting spells, form an enjoyable and strategic part of it? That is where I believe these GCD design changes are intended to affect. 

Personally, I really enjoy fast and reactionary gameplay, but where it's appropriate. Not condensing combat into tiny windows of burst, following by a standard monotonous rotation. I feel that having that pause give as action more intent and allows the next to be considered more carefully. This also means mistakes are more evident! After all, isn't that at the heart of RPGs like WoW. I'm not for one moment suggesting that the game veers towards turn based combat, far from it, but it would be nice to really appreciate each action we do in game more than we do currently. Not just button mashing until the bar hits zero. It may lay space more more interesting boss fights, given that more attention can be spared for movement and such...

What do you think about this change?

Friday 22 August 2014

Writing's on the.. Iron Wall?

SO, now that I've taken the initial steps and once again put the digital pen-to-paper, I couldn't think of a better place to start than some good old expansion talk.

*Warlords of Draenor* (said in the style of Chris Metzen). The majority of us have soaked up every drop of information that Blizzard has released, been datamined or lea.. and are all aboard the hype train once again for the big November launch date. Mean, even through a dry spell of on/off playing, I was watching Blizzcon religiously and always will for the sheer entertainment value alone. But now I have resubbed, again, with high hopes for this.. THE expansion.

In my eyes, I think this is the expansion to make or break the World of Warcraft. Or at least, a last attempt to 'bring the magic back'. And so far, in Blizzards usual manner which they've mastered, I'm hooked. But what do I mean by magic? I'm can't exactly put a finger on it, as it's more of a feeling. You could tell me to take off the rose tinted glasses. However I know what I currently dislike in the game and what I am looking forward to.

Firstly the removal of particular stats and 'mandatory' chores such as reforging. I know for a fact there are some out there who are overly against these changes, but I honestly see them as the right move. Why? Well, why is it that I no longer feel excited about a new gear drop. The same reason why I can't equip it straight away, despite it being a clear upgrade. I have to go through the mandatory reforging, re-gemming and enchanting process on my entire gear set (at least to remain effective, let alone optimal). What makes matters worse, is that it's not 'customization'. Customization would make it something unique to my own choosing. But no, to be able to play an effective role, there is a set way it all has to be done. Cookie Cutter. That's not customisation. I'd rather meaningful choices, which won't make me sub-optimal for veering off the 'best way'.

I understand that, at least in PVE and in scripted fights, there will always be an element of the cookie cutter build. But what is the point in all the options if in reality, to play in a somewhat plausible manner, only one is viable. I'm always up for a bit of theorycrafting, but not when it all ends up determining the set and only accepted way to play.

Secondly, one problem many of us have encountered is Blizzards aim of accessibility. I think the changes they have made for the greater community and beyond, are great. The downside being that convenience has steadily replaced community. With the implementations of LFR and everything since, I can't say I've felt a part of anything semi-permanent, although that may partly be my own fault for not having found a thriving guild like the ones I remember. So I'm hoping that this time round, and with the new grouping implementations, the opportunity to form bonds and friendships are once again prevalent. (Note-to-self: Find a guild!)

I could go on, but all in all I really hope that come X-pack time the magic of Warcraft can be restored, or at least a new excitements found. I know it will never be how I envision it in my nostalgic mind, but I hope that some of the epic goodness will come back to me and anyone else with fingers crossed! And as it goes..

How many Vanilla players does it take to change a light bulb?

None, they just sit around and talk about how good the old one was.

What are your hopes for the new expansion? Any EU Guilds out there have room amongst their ranks for another?!

- Jamin

Thursday 21 August 2014

NECRO: Re-igniting the writing machine!

A good part of two years since my last post on Shattered Beginnings...

Recently I've had a itch to get writing again, which brings me back here. For those that who may still be bouncing around the blogosphere and may see this, I greet you! I'm well aware that a year or two is a long time on the interwebs, and I'm sure a lot has changed in the community of writers and such, especially in this dried up WoW content cycle. So I'm not overly sure what direction this necro-post will take, but I couldn't think of a better way to test the waters again than to jump in where I left off.

Despite having only played Warcraft on and off for the past year or so, I still clung to it in the back of my mind as always and that included not missing out any of the Blizzcon action. Seeing all the usual expansion hype, this time for Warlords of Draenor, I've once again taken the plunge to resubscribe. Hopes once again building, that this will be the expansion to 'bring the magic back'! But this time I must say I have high hopes (I'm sure I've thought that before as well). Possibly the make-or-break expansion, at least for me, in the World of Warcraft future.

Anyway with the excitement slowly starting to build for the incoming expansion pack, trailers and all the rest dropping around, why not take the opportunity to write all about it again. Whether it lasts, as I would hope, time will tell.

So a shout to any who will read, especially those I who may remember me, leave a comment, say hi and tell me what's new?!

- A slighty rusty writers hand.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Covered In Dust & Nostalgia

Ever remember having a [Nerubian Reinforced Quiver] filled with the finest range of [Iceblade Arrows], just so you could shoot down enemies with your hunter? Wait, you also needed to make sure you had enough Mana! "Where's my ice cold milk?"

It was after this, looking back on an old alt, that my experience turned into something more than a short trip down memory lane...

Saturday 14 January 2012

A Late Resolution

Part inspired by:

Do you ever find yourself waking up with a burning desire to do something? It could be anything. Reading a particular book, going for a bike ride, climbing a mountain, going out to look at new cars and even sitting to play World of Warcraft. Maybe your not sure yet.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

One year has passed...

Picture taken from my Birthday Themed Post

... It was this very time, exactly one year ago, on December 7th 2010, at precisely 1900 Hours GMT, that I arrived in Leicester Square, London. Faced with the blistering cold, temperatures only dropping and hints of more snow. I, accompanied by a friend, made way to the line...

If you haven't guessed already, this was the night that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was being launched all over the world.

More than that, it happened to mark the very start of Shattered Beginnings. After tackling the night winds, and during the games installation, I sat to write my first blog post. My journey had begun.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Thanksgiving for the Gnome Clone?

Short update (pardon the pun, keep reading).

With a very special holiday just around the corner, at least for our friends in the US, Amerence, a fellow moderator of Blog Azeroth, has cleverly put together a community event. Alongside this, there has been ongoing activity and reports of mischievous happenings on within the Warcraft world. One of which is the invasion of the 'Gnome Clones'.