April 2007

One of the subjects here is going to be World of Warcraft.  I play this game almost every day, hours at a time.

A brief overview: WoW is classified as a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG or MMO).  It’s a persistent online world where you interact with player characters (PCs) and non player characters (NPCs).  Most of the game centers around killing things, and acquiring items that help you kill things better.  The game has things to do solo or in groups from 2 to 40 people.

My ‘main’ character is a dwarf priest, although I’ve played every race, and almost every class.  But I tend to identify with the healing classes.  And something that’s been evident since the release of the Burning Crusade expansion pack in January is that the developers of the game feel that healing in the game is too powerful.  This is evident by the following things I consider facts:

  • Healing spells did not scale with either health or damage done in the game.  Health values have increased by, in some cases such as rogues, 100% over their pre-BC health values.  Most have had an increase of about 50% to 80%.  But priest healing spells have increased by perhaps 30% for our largest heals.  The result is that we rarely use anything but our largest heal spell anymore.  Flash Heals, group heals, shields, the things that show the diversity of healing methods that make the priest class different from the other healing classes, we can’t use these hardly at all, because they just don’t heal enough on our tanks or even our other party members to be worth their cast time or mana cost.
  • Healers continue to be nerfed in patches since BC release.  Prayer of Mending received a cooldown.  Illumination for Paladins is being cut in half in effectiveness.   This combines with…
  • Priests have not received any significant buffs since BC release.  There were some good buffs with WoW 2.0, and with the newer spells, but these haven’t helped the priests very much at all.  We’ve gotten one good spell (Prayer of Mending), one hardly used spell (Binding Heal), and terrible talents, especially Circle of Healing.  There definitely is a lack with priest  talent trees, as there’s no reason to get Circle of Healing.  I got a 41 point talent on my druid (Mangle) and it’s AMAZING.  People who have Circle of Healing never use it.

There’s definitely a lack of healing in the game.  There always has been, and a lot of that derives from the mechanics of healing.  You have to pay more attention, all of the time, and are constantly doing something, otherwise your group fails.  When other people slack off, your task gets harder.  So it’s a tough road for Blizzard.  Make healers more powerful, and you trivialize content.  Make the content harder to match, and you limit the amount of people who can actually compete with it.  Keep healers down, and you preserve the content, but you get dissatisfaction from the healers who see everyone else’s characters increase in power while they do not, and while they have their spells removed from effectiveness one by one.

Hopefully they can find a way to make priests and other healers more interesting to play while preserving their content.

I like nearly all kinds of racing.  I can usually skip drag racing, but nearly everything else is fair game, from Formula One to Team Demolition Derby.  Included is NASCAR, specifically the NNCS and the NBS.

If you follow the Cup series, you know they’re currently rolling out (hehe) the Car of Tomorrow, or CoT.  This is a chassis that’s been in development for many years, and was primarily developed to enhance driver safety, with a larger cockpit area, a different driver location, stronger frame, and more crushable structure.  But it also has some other advantages.  It standardizes cars from all manufacturers, removing the complaints that ‘they have more downforce’ or ‘their car handles better’.  It has front and rear bumpers that match up, even under braking.  This means no more lifting the guy in front off the ground to spin him out.

So far, the CoT has raced at 3 places: Bristol, Martinsville, and Phoenix.  Two short tracks, and one mile track.  They’re going to be racing it at more locations, including the second Talledega plate race this year.  It’s not planned to be used at ALL races until 2009, tho.  And that’s one question: why keep switching back and forth?  Already, in the three shorter track races, the racing has been good.  And that’s what the only question really was with the car: Would it be entertaining to watch it race?

The answer is yes.  Sure, some teams seem to be farther along on development, but that’s true with the old cars.  But it does noone any good to keep switching back and forth for the next two seasons.  They should just switch to the CoT, and go with it.  If not for the rest of this year, at least for the start of next year and all races next year.

I want to mention a couple of things. The first is that I blog using the pseudonym Highway. I’m not going to extraordinary lengths to hide my identity, I just feel more comfortable using this name.

The next thing is that I will try to keep things non-specific. I’m not going to talk about specific projects at work. I’m not going to talk about people, or even agencies that my company works for or with, unless these are published policies of the agencies that I can link to separately, like I was anyone in the world. I love my work, and I love my workplace, and I like and respect the people I work for and with. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the company’s relationships with others in our field.

I plan to blog about WoW, and some of that will inevitably include my guild. I’ll try to keep guild politics out of this. I’ll never mention names of my guildmates, unless I secure permission from them first. Most of the WoW discussions will probably be about game mechanics and setups. This is stuff I wanted a place to talk about, that doesn’t really fit on forums.

I love discussion in comments. I doubt I’ll get many comments, but hopefully the WordPress setup will limit the spam (something that drove my desire to blog away before).

Hi everyone. Thought I’d just put up a post for practice. Like the title says, I’ve got a ton of ideas about subjects I want to write in, but nothing’s really formed as yet. A couple of thanks, tho, before I go any further.

Thanks to WordPress.com for providing this service. I’ve run a blog on a private host, and it was a hassle. This has been so much easier to set up.

Thanks to Dean Esmay for giving me the idea about WordPress, and also for having a great blog with thought provoking subjects.

Thanks to the guys on dualboot for encouraging me, even you, Phelan.

And finally, thanks to you for coming to read this. I hope you’ll come back, and I hope there will be more to read.

The first of many posts… I hope.