Violent games, lazy raiders and unicorns

“For tonight’s performance of MMO Melting Pot, the role of Hugh Hancock will be played by Johnnie Ingram.” That’s right, folks: you’ve bought tickets for the mid-week matinee, you get the understudy. Hugh is taking a few day’s break, so Johnnie’s stirring the Pot till he returns.

A choice handful of interesting posts to bring to your attention today, in no particular order.

  • First of all, if you haven’t done so already you should really read Adam Holisky’s excellent collumn on WoW Insider. As gamers, we already know that playing video games (violent or otherwise) does not make one any more violent in real life, but Adam’s post is a great refutation of the lazy journalistic sensationalism that we’ve all seen. It’s backed by solid facts, and is a worthwhile read even if – perhaps especially if – you’re sick of reading the same innaccurate stories again and again.

The primary way in which we consume such truths is through the news. And there’s a lot wrong with our modern news system. The vast majority of successful outlets are built more on getting readers’ attention than finding truths in a story. This easily leads hyperbolic headlines (like this article’s headline) and to a simulation of reality, even when talking about a virtual reality.

  • Over at Levelcapped, Chris has decided that Guild Wars 2 is his unicorn. Despite his best efforts, he’s become a self-confessed GW2 fanboy. This post resonated with me, because I’m rapidly approaching the same state. I’m becoming a tiny bit more excited about GW2 every day.

The thing for me about Guild Wars 2 is that is just felt natural in the BWE. I wanted to be there, and also to range far from the hub. I didn’t want to go out to seek fortune, but instead I just wanted to seek for seeking’s sake. What was out there? What’s going on that I don’t know about, and how can I get involved? I didn’t need any NPC to send me into the wilderness because I was already bolting off in that direction for my own selfish reasons.

  • Meanwhile, Matt is taking no prisoners at World Of Matticus, urging raiders who are not pulling their weight to just quit. It’s not quite as harsh as the title might suggest – Matt’s recommending a break from raiding for those who are disenchanted, rather than a zero-tolerance policy on sub-par raiders.

Quit the game for a day. Quit the game for a week. Or quit the rest of the expansion. I don’t care how long it is, but just stop. … You are doing zero favours for your WoW family. They need you to be there and at your best. If you’re not at your best, then don’t even go in at all. You are making things worse.

What interesting posts have caught your eye? Let us know in the comments.

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Appearance is everything

Now that the news of the forthcoming Transmogrification tools in WoW Patch 4.3 has settled in, many bloggers are starting to speculate about which bit of gear has the best look. I can the impression that a lot of people are planning their perfect appearance in advance, with some players even starting to grind old world instances already.

The Dreamy Druid has a list of best picks for druids. I’ve always thought that druids have been lucky enough to have some of the best tier sets over the years, and Melyanna’s selection shows them all off well.

What could be cooler than killing baddies in metaphorical high heels?

For hunters, Morynnne at Marks-365 continues her Hunter Tier Transmogrification Guide with a list of belts and boots. There are some great images here, particularly in the main guide. I don’t think Id’ even seen the hunter Tier 1 set before, but I like it.

Even WoW Insider is getting in on the act, with a post today looking at the different warlock tiers. There’s a definate aura of warlockophelia in the air:

[O]h, tier 5. This is perhaps the signature warlock tier set for many players. It offers everything that you could ever want out of a set: It’s excessively dark, it shows that warlocks will do whatever it takes to defeat their enemies, and just overall is the core of what makes a warlock a warlock and not a weak-willed mage.

If you are a ‘weak-willed mage’, you might be interested in Disciplinary Action’s list of Mage, Warlock and Priest tier gear. This one’s pretty extensive, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Personally, I’m more excited about changing the appearance of weapons that I am of gear. My Warmace of Menethil was hard-won, and it pained me to have to stop using it. It’ll be nice to have it back, even if only in appearance.

I’ll leave you with one final post from Markco at Just My Two Copper. I’m not even going to pretend that there’s a link to any of today’s other posts, but when one of the best gold-making bloggers out there posts a list of 400 WoW Gold Tips I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you in his direction.

Quotes, as always, taken directly from the relevant posts.

Have you picked your perfect outfit yet? Have you started farming old content? Let us know in the comments.

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Responses to PvP

The second big topic in the blogosphere over the weekend was, of course, the flap about WoW Insider featuring a How-To-Gank post detailing how best to ruin other people’s playtime on the Molten Front (which we weren’t very impressed by).

I’m not going to editorialise here, because I think my opinions on the subject are pretty well-known by now, but here are the reactions that came up from the blogosphere:

Ganking is fine:

  • Blessing of the Grove: “Sure, you have limited playtime and want to do dailies, but to turn it around, I’m tired from a long day of slaughtering cows at the meatpacking plant and I just got home and all I want to do is slaughter some cows… ya dig?”
  • Cynwise: “”Friends don’t make friends play on PvP realms.” Face up to this blunt fact, which has nothing at all to do with Warcraft; if they are really your friend, they won’t ask you to do something that makes you uncomfortable. If they insist on it, then … you have to evaluate that friendship. Seriously.”

Ganking is not fine:

  • Scribblings on the Asylum Wall: “To everyone: again, you don’t check your humanity at the door, and neither do I. You are not playing World of Warcraft with a series of highly-developed AI characters. “
  • Tree Heals Go Woosh: “What does preventing people from finishing their Molten Front dailies do, exactly? You deprive them of some gold from quest turn-ins, and slow down their progress towards PvE gear. NOTHING that you can get from the vendors in the Molten Front has resilience on it, so what exactly is the point of slowing down anyone’s progress in this zone aside from being an asshole?”

Incidentally, I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who emailed us privately about the stand we took. Thanks very much, guys, your support was really appreciated.

If you know of any other responses, pro or anti, please do let us know!

All quotes taken from the original articles

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WoW Insider publishes a guide to griefing. WTH?

We have a rule on MMO Melting Pot – we build people up, we don’t tear them down. We never feature an article unless we love it.

I’m about to make an exception to that rule.

Because either WoW Insider’s rogue columnist, Chase Christian, has just published a spectacularly awfully judged attempt at a joke, on the largest MMO blog in the world…

Or WoW Insider has just published a detailed guide to griefing.

Yes, their rogue column today is a guide to “world PvP” – read “ganking” – in the Firelands daily quest area. You know those total assholes who keep making a painful grind even more painful and even longer? This guide is aimed at helping them ruin your day even more effectively:

Your only objective here is to throw a wrench into your enemies’ plans. You don’t have to kill them to succeed. If you’re doing your job properly, there will be a handful of enemies camping the ramp on the edge of the safe zone, waiting for you to slip up. There will also be a parking lot of enemy players up the ramp, trying to pull mobs into the sanctuary zone so that they don’t have to fear your wrath.

When there are multiple players hiding at the sanctuary out of fear for your blades, you’ve done your job. Every minute that they’re delayed is another minute you’ve stolen of their time.

As we say at the bottom of every MMO Melting Pot article, “this is a direct quote” – from Chase Christian’s article. WoW Insider is now in the business of assisting griefers.

I really don’t know where to begin. If you enjoy PvP, more power to you. But if you enjoy fighting players who don’t want to fight back, who offer you no challenge (and the guide actually goes into detail on how to avoid anyone who might give you a fair fight), and who you’re only killing so you can have the pleasure of bullying them, you are a fucking asshole and I want nothing to do with you.

(We don’t usually swear on the Pot either. I’m making an exception.)

Many of the commenters on the post have gone into full-on apologist mode and are claiming the article’s some kind of joke. I really can’t see any sign of that, and even if it is, it’s still full of useful information for the idiots whom the joke is supposedly on. I play a rogue, have done some PvP, and to the best of my knowledge, the information’s accurate and useful. If this is a joke, it’s the equivalent of publishing a parody article about car theft that includes usable instructions for hotwiring.

Otherwise, I’m afraid that for this one particularly unfortunate day, WoW Insider has joined an extremely small and unfortunate list. That being the list of MMO blogs that are actively involved in making the game worse for many players through griefing. Assuming there’s no retraction from them, we’re going to have to carefully consider if we will ever link to WoW Insider again.

I’ve been reading WoW Insider since it launched. I’ve occasionally been very proud of them. I’ve never before been this disappointed in them.

Really bad call, guys.

In responsible journalistic fashion, I intend to contact WoW Insider and ask for their comment on this article. I’ll post any responses I get.

_We’re not linking to the article in question because we don’t want to give them traffic or Google rank for this article. However, if you really wish to check it out you can find it at http://wow.joystiq.com/2011/07/20/encrypted-text-how-to-run-the-molten-front/ .

Quote taken directly from Chase Christian’s article.

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