Monthly Archives: August 2011

On Learning to Love Off-Tanking


I was on Ashwalker tonight, again, having a great night of level 70 PvP, again, when Alterac Valley comes up. I love Alterac Valley in its current form, though I’d love to see it become even better and return to its former glory.

I liked AV when I first encountered it on Cynwise, as a warlock. Hitting it on Cynwulf as a level 59 DK twink gave me a new part of the game – tanking the zerg with as many warmasters up as I could. This was back before the nerf bat had ever been waved towards the DK, when you could flip over to Frost Presence and pretty much be totally invulnerable.

Things are different now. I enjoy AV on Ash, and for much the same reasons as ‘wulf – being a Prot Warrior in a BG which requires a tank is pretty much guaranteed to make for 5 minutes or so of running and then waiting, then a minute of ferocious tanking, and then it’s either over or it’s time to go rez, PvP, and see how things really turn out.

Tonight, there were three tanks down in FWV, so the other two started posturing about who was going to tank Drek. I sized it up, realized it wasn’t worth getting into, and dropped:

/bg I’ll get the wolves and warmasters. 

I immediately got a whisper back from a shammy saying, “I got you then.”

Aw, yeah. Sweet, sweet shammy lovin’.

So in I went as the off-tank with all four towers up. I’ve not actually been able to tank Drek+4 at level 70, though I did several times in the 50s and 60s – I’m not sure if this is because of my healing team, Drek’s buffs, my tanking, or what. Normally I revel in being the MT, of saying I HAVE THIS, RAWR.

But saying, no, you guys figure it out, I’ll take the adds, get the job done on the big guy – it felt pretty good. It solved the problem in /bg, but it also solved the problem in Drek’s room – if all the tanks fight over the boss, the adds are going to wipe out everyone.

Tanking the warmasters was interesting. I thought the wolves were going to pack more of a punch, but they went down pretty quickly. Three of the four warmasters vanished about 15 seconds in, as their towers went down, but Iceblood stayed doggedly with me. I didn’t really have a good strategy, other than keep it away from whirlwinding other people, so I’d be like… excuse me, coming through … mind the angry orc, please … excuse me … make way, whirlwinding boss here … make way please!

(People stand where they want in Drek’s room. It never bugged me so much – until tonight.)

It seemed like it took forever to take down Drek tonight, as the Iceblood Warmaster chased me all over the room. All DPS was on the blind guy who should be in a wheelchair, as it should be.

But when he did go down, it was a surprisingly satisfying victory.

I could get used to this.



3/4 tonight in the 70 bracket, with Flurry and Drop It Now!, 4 cap of EotS, successful defense of Strand, and an AV zerg. It was a nice cure for my earlier PvP blahs.

I am not missing the endgame at all right now. BGs filled with competent players? Quick gearups with no threat of a grind to keep it up to date every few months? Enough abilities to have the class function as designed, but not be overwhelming?


I may never get another profession over 450.



Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

A Brief History of Alterac Valley

Foury @ Spinebreaker’s “A Brief History of Alterac Valley” is a gem of a post on the official forums.

Over the years, you have made a significant number of changes to Alterac Valley. Some changes appear to have been made in isolation. For example, maybe you felt that there were too many NPC’s before patch 1.8, so you conjured up a mighty avalance and buried the treacherous Syndicate stronghold. Other changes, such as the introduction of reinforcements, were in response to problems caused by other additions like the Mark of Honor system.

Unfortunately, each individual change has brought about such a drastic reshaping of this battleground that its purpose is now virtually unrecognizable when compared to what the initial vision seems to have been. Even the isolated changes became catalysts for a chain reaction that has, in the opinion of a significant number of players, gutted Alterac Valley and made it totally un-fun to play in.

We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion for some time now, but I have decided to provide some additional background for players who might not know exactly what they were missing when AV was truly a legendary experience.

He then goes through a detailed history of Alterac Valley, one that lives up to its promise of giving the reader a thorough understanding of how the somewhat fragmented battleground that exists today came to be. It is a long read, but it is exceptionally good, and I suggest you read all of it. Even the poem.

Starting with post #8, Foury then goes into a detailed proposal for how to change Alterac Valley to restore it to its former glory. Remove it from the random battleground rotation, lower the honor per minute, make significant restorations to the environment, make quality of life changes – make it cohesive and relevant PvPvE again. There’s a lot of attention to the little details of AV, things that have always bugged me (the location of the trinket teleport, the lack of owls in Van’s chamber) that shows that this is the work of a careful though.

Seriously. This is a good post; go read it. You can agree with it, or disagree with it, but you will learn something about Alterac Valley.



Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual, Links

Fence Jumping in WSG and Terrain Exploits

There’s a spot near the middle of the Horde fence in WSG where, if you approach it just right, you can jump onto the fence and then on to the other side. It’s over the tunnel entrance, to the left of the little juke in the fenceline, by one of the torches.

No matter the faction, pretty much every twink FC knows about this jump. Pretty much every twink knows about this jump after playing level 19 for any period of time – you see people going over the fence all the time, you better figure out how to do it quick or you’re going to be SoL. I expect that this is not as commonly known in Rated Battlegrounds, but skilled FCs know how to do it.

Seriously, this fence jump is the worst-kept secret terrain exploit in PvP. I’m a terrible jumper, and even I can do this jump.

It’s a little odd, then, that Blizzard GMs have finally come out and started saying that this jump is illegal and will get you a warning and a ban:

“Hello Dakoduh! My name is Game Master Rodoux. I’m going to need you to refrain from hopping up there on the fence in Warsong Gulch.” This was followed by a temporary ban when the request was not honoured.

In addition to the GM whispers, twinks are reporting that people are getting disconnected mid-jump. I haven’t had it happen to me yet (and I have jumped the fence in the past week, I FC at level 70 after all) but I’m sure it’s probably a matter of time.

I don’t think this situation is like the terrain exploit charges in the Walls of Wintergrasp. It’s pretty clear that there’s a glitch in the Horde fence, and that you have to hit it just right to get over. There’s no corresponding glitch in the Alliance fence, there’s nothing really ambiguous about this – this is a terrain exploit.

Yet… it’s been in there since WSG launched six years ago, and it’s something that tactics and strategies have adapted around. It’s one of the quirks of the terrain, just like the rocky patches around the zerk huts or kiting melee around the tree stumps while firing at them. Your opponents will use it against you, so you better know how to do it in response. It’s been reported many times on the forums as a bug, but has never been fixed. So folks do the jump.

My working theory is that all changes to the battlegrounds right now are due to balancing issues in Rated Battlegrounds. The developers have already stated that their focus is on level 85 PvP, as that’s where most of the player base is at. The BG graveyard changes earlier this year were aimed entirely at disrupting healer-heavy comps in rBGs, by preventing healers from getting back to the FC quickly.

And if your FC is skilled at jumping the fence in rated play, they have an advantage in getting back to their healers quickly. Graveyard blocked? Go fence. Fence blocked? Go ramp. Healers, keep moving to the left until you meet the FC. This isn’t rocket science – there’s a slight imbalance in the map due to this exploit. Even though it’s been there since the beginning, it only matters now because of rated play. This shouldn’t really be a surprise that Blizzard is treating it as an exploit.

But it is, a little bit. The timing is odd. This is one of those quirks which showed you knew what you were doing in Warsong Gulch, that you’d played the map enough to know all the tricks. It’d been there for ages. And it never got fixed.

The warnings, bans, and DCs are likely precursors to an actual fix of the fence. (I so want to see Orc Peons out there repairing the fence when this gets fixed. For real.) The GMs know it’s a problem, they’re watching out for it now, word is getting out that it’s no longer okay for this jump.

The dead-letter law of terrain exploitation may not have been enforced for 6 years with this jump, but it is now.

Part of me does get frustrated with Blizzard when they suddenly start handing out bans for behavior that’s been accepted for years. That’s the part of me that says, fix your shit, Blizzard, it’s broke, don’t blame players for this. More importantly – don’t put players into a position of choosing between using a jumping exploit or not to win in PvP, because even if some don’t, others will.

The other part of me says, yeah, but just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s not still a terrain exploit. It sucks, because it’s part of the charm of WSG – but it’s hopping over a fence that is obviously supposed to block movement.

Here’s to hoping that Blizzard fixes it soon so the issue is put to rest.


Filed under Cynwise's Battlefield Manual, Green Tinted Goggles

On Preening


I need to remind myself that this is a notebook. Things don’t have to be complete or finished.

I spent time on Durotan tonight, cleaning out my banker’s guild bank, organizing crap. It’s not a bad thing to do, if not terribly interesting. I was trying to stay awake so that I wouldn’t miss a phone call.

The call came in, I was chatting a bit, when I noticed an Ashes flapping around in front of the SW AH. (My normal banking takes place in the Dwarven District, but I moved my banker back to the Trade District because she needed access to the enchanting/inscription trainers.)

I looked at it for a few seconds, noted the similarities to the Dark Phoenix (Ashes of Al’ar is still much nicer looking), then moved on to shuttling some Thick Bronze Necklaces out of the bank and on to the open market. The Trade District has a very different feel from the Dwarven District; busier, with more people rushing about, but also less purposeful. DD is for efficiency. TD is for mingling.

A little while later, I snapped the screenshot of the gnome mage above, AFK on his rated battleground mount wearing T12, his Field Marshall title proudly displayed, goggles on.

Wait a minute. I know goggles, what are those? Is he really wearing Green Tinted Goggles? Wait, no, those aren’t GTG, those are Safety Goggles – that’s a quest reward, looks like it’s another pair of non-engineer goggles.

Wait, the goggles, they’re there for … eye protection? On top of T12? Carefully posed?

AFK preening in front of the AH?

Does it get more cliched than this?

I grinned a little behind the screen and moved on, but I thought about what I’d seen there.

See, I can really respect the effort it takes to get these titles, and these mounts. And the feeling of accomplishment that goes with them is real and valid and the major reason so many people play this game.

But when you AFK in front of the AH, you’re trying too hard. It changes the motivation behind the accomplishment from personal achievement, to seeking the approval of others. Walking around SW with your titles and achievements and mounts is actually different, socially, than picking the highest traffic spot and parking there to let people gawk at them. And while I would extend a “major grats, man!” to someone in the first situation, in the second, I start going… wait, do you really need my approval? Congrats and all that, but you’re being silly. And a little insecure. (It’s okay, we’re all insecure like that.)

I honestly don’t want this to come off like I’m picking on this gnome, or that I’m rabidly jealous and trying to tear him down. I’m not. Well, that’s not true, I probably am a little jealous, I’d like the fancy mount and the RBG experience and be in HM FL, but I also like being married and being a good parent, and for me, right now, these are mutually exclusive propositions. So I’m okay with it, if a little wistful.

But I do think there’s something here, something that I can’t quite let go of yet. It’s … it’s like the achievement point thing. Why is that number important? Why can it be used as a measurement of how “good” a character is, when really it’s a measurement of something very different, and more specific (how good they are at getting achievements). They’re related, but not tied together. Going back and killing Akumai might get you the BFD points, but if you don’t do them at level, they don’t have the same value.

Related: I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with my spouse about mental illnesses, especially anxiety disorders, and involvement in things on the internet. We’ve both seen that a lot of people turn to the internet during periods of mental stress and issues – be it playing a video game, working on a wiki, writing a blog, setting up a website, getting involved in a forum – internet activities can provide a healthy outlet for people with anxiety or depression. It also helps with a lot of PhD students, too. There’s something HUGELY satisfying about working on a wiki page or blog post and being able to complete a task – any task – when you’re depressed. I may have trouble getting out of bed today, but god damnit, I got *something* done. It might have just been leveling JC, but I made progress. I don’t think you need to be depressed, btw, to get that feeling. I got shit done! It might be virtual shit, but the emotions are real.

Sometimes, those small victories are very, very important.

So there are two threads running around my head tonight. Warcraft, and internet stuff in general, allows people to both socially interact in a non-threatening way, as well as provide a set of achievable goals and projects with a solid, reinforcing positive feedback loop.

The other thread is that you can preen in front of the AH and just look… well, you look like you need the approval of other folks.

(I believe this is called stroking the e-peen.)

Why does it matter that we have all the achievements? I say this as someone who struggles with this, mind you – but are the accomplishments meaningful? Were they fun? Or did you do them for the points? And if you did them for the points, why, exactly? Is it for you, or for other people?

I wrestle with this a lot. I’m by no means perfect, or even close. I’d like a higher number. I’d like ALL THE THINGS on Cynwise.

But is that drive for me, or is it to show off to others?

Sobering thought.

I have a feeling that if I look at it too deeply, my desire – for more cheesy points – is really more akin to standing in front of the AH than I might care to admit. That chasing after titles and mounts might make you feel accomplished, but is that for me, or for people’s around you?

I don’t know.

There’s a line here, a line between preening in SW/Org and doing things because they make you feel good (and getting public accolades for them). I don’t know which side I’m even on anymore.

Why do we set the goals we set?

Notebook post. I’m probably going to regret this post in the morning. Night, folks.


Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

Five Crackpot Theories on why the Tanking Change is a Hotfix and not a Patch

Ghostcrawler has an interesting post up today about some radical changes to threat that are going to be applied in two parts – first as a hotfix this week, and more substantial changes in the next patch.

I don’t have much to say about the change, given that I’ve yet to run a single Cataclysm dungeon, let alone heroics, and that my occasional forays into raiding have been as subs for people who have to leave or are no-shows. My opinion is generally favorable, but I’m by no means versed in the subject matter – therefore, this isn’t about whether it’s a good change or bad.

I do find it highly curious that they’re doing this as a hotfix, though.

Five theories why, some crackpotish, some not. I’ll let you decide.

Theory 1: School starts in the next 1-3 weeks. This move is to recapture players who have been away on break.

This should be pretty self-explanatory, but summer is almost over. It’s been so beastly hot that it’s easy to forget that, but – September is almost here. Dang.

If there’s a lot of players who have stepped away for the summer, making it easier for them to get back into the swing of things (gearing up for Firelands, etc.) will help keep them active and engaged.

Theory 2: Middle of the 3rd Quarter; Blizzard management says sub numbers HAVE to go up in Q3/Q4.

Pretty standard timing theory here. ATVI stock price is down a buck from their earnings call, and $1.40 from the high hit in July (I expect there was some selloff with insider knowledge there) DESPITE having posted solid numbers. My personal opinion is that the PR issue of subs leaving WoW is actually bigger than the financial one, but I could see management stepping in and saying that you need to fix the product to prevent it from being an issue again.

Given that there are only 6 weeks left in Q3, coupled with theory 1 above, there isn’t time for long patch cycles.

Theory 3: LFD is too brutal.

I think there’s a lot of focus on the heroic dungeon finder at Blizzard, as it’s something a lot of endgame players do (even moreso than raiding.) Fixing the tank shortage and making it fun for everyone affects a lot of the player base – not just tanks, but DPS and healers, too.

If done well, removing threat as an issue benefits everyone. DPS as a group don’t have to worry about throttling. DPS without aggro dumps don’t have to worry about substantially outgearing the tank. Tanks don’t have to worry about overzealous DPS. Healers don’t have to try to save DPS who screwed up on threat.

If done poorly, then it’s like nothing has really changed.

Theory 4: This was planned cover for another gaming industry announcement.

Blizzard’s PR department keeps tabs on the industry, and there was an EA press conference today. Some pretty substantial stuff got announced – more SW:TOR demos, ME3 trailers, a new MMO, FIFA 2012, lots of stuff.

Blizzard had two things in the can to keep WoW players focused on WoW today – RealID cross-server grouping to remain free, and massive tanking changes.

Guess what the WoW community is talking about today?

Theory 5: This is an easy change to make via hotfix, and gets them feedback NOW that they can’t simulate in the PTR.

The only change actually being made via hotfix is:

The threat generated by classes in their tanking mode has been increased from three times damage done to five times damage done.

This is a relatively simple change – you’re adjusting the threat modifier on 4 abilities, nothing more. The Vengeance changes are more complicated, and may require reworking of several abilities. Blizzard wants the changes to go in quickly, both to make an impact (perhaps for the other reasons stated above), but also to start gathering real data about how it affects the LFD.

I suspect LFD testing is somewhat flawed in the PTR. I don’t have any evidence to really prove this, but I can imagine that the social changes they’re trying to effect are limited by the small, self-selected sample size of PTR testers.Notice how GC asks for feedback eleventy-million times in his post? They want to see what happens. This is the direction they want to go in, may as well start easy and see how it works out.

Okay, those are my theories about why this is a hotfix and not a patch – how about yours?


Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

On Titles, Character Uniqueness, and the Collecting Instinct


Ashwalker, my level 70 warrior twink, became “Ashwalker the Argent Champion” tonight. I’m pretty happy with this, because it was in WPL/EPL where I clicked with Ash, where I did every single quest I could find, where her character started to take shape.

Even though this is a title from Wrath of the Lich King, it isn’t the hardest title to get, especially not if you do all the quests in the Plaguelands first. You’ll be in good shape both with the Argent Dawn and the Argent Crusade – Revered with the Dawn and Honored with the Crusade – which can then be finished off with some repeatable quests or commendation turnins. It took about 2 hours of play time to knock it all out once I decided I was going to do it this weekend – that’s after the questing, of course.

The most heavily revamped zones in Cataclysm that I’ve done all share one strong characteristic – they tend to tell a linear story centered entirely upon your character, and that story becomes definitional for your character. There’s not really a lot of good ways to repeat the zone and have the story feel that much different – the zones define a character. I talked about this a little while ago in Replay Value, and I haven’t seen a lot that has changed my mind. If you take the story of a zone seriously – by saying yes, these things are actually happening to my character, they are affecting him or her, they matter – then they won’t really work well when you run through them on an alt.

Interestingly, the zones that came to define Ashwalker were WPL, EPL, and Swamp of Sorrows. Those are the zones she quested solidly in, where she saw the story through to the end (despite quests turning green and gray) and where she didn’t skip out all the time for PvP or LFD. (This is also why she never ran Stratholme at level.)


I wouldn’t have expected those zones, which are either very heavily anti-Scourge (Plaguelands) or Alliance-Horde conflict (Swamp of Sorrows), to feature so prominently in my night elf warrior’s life. I thought she’d take more to Ashenvale (which didn’t click at all) or Duskwood/STV (which were okay, but didn’t compel me to finish.)

I thought about getting Ash the Argent Champion title at level 49, when I froze her XP the first time. I knew it was possible. But I didn’t, because – at the time – I was adamant that I was going to break out of the cycle which kept me from getting to the endgame with characters, and that I was really only going to lock XP until I’d gotten comfortable with all the new keybinds, get my UI straightened out, and then move on. (I also considered Ambassador.) So, I gave up on that idea and went back to leveling, which was still fun – I enjoyed SoS more than I thought I would – but eventually the call of Alterac Valley and endless Ramps runs proved too much to resist.

Cynwise has the Argent Champion title, too, but she rarely wears it. She has a lot of titles, but often runs around with the simple “of Stormwind,” “Crusader” (for ICC), “Chef” and “Salty,” because they’re ridiculous and I love them. They don’t define her, they’re kind of tacked on. I could show up without a title and be just fine. Cynwise kind of exists without a title, which is interesting. The titles I’d use for her (Colonel) doesn’t exist in game – it was deliberately chosen to be outside the Alliance ranks to indicate that she was a different branch of the armed services – in this case, a mercenary – yet to still indicate that she was the highest rank while still being allowed to be out in the field. ‘wise is a rich character, and I don’t think I need to have the title to remind me of that though.

Cynderblock, on the other hand, is Ambassador Cynderblock, and she’s going to hold that title for a long time, no matter what else I get on her. That title means something to me, it holds importance that no level of nerfing will ever reduce. I had a huge amount of fun getting that title. I spent time with friends who are moving on from WoW working on it. It’s the signifier of a good memory, and even Explorer or of the Alliance won’t replace it for long.

Different approaches to characterization are a good thing. I find Poetry’s take on the matter really interesting – instead of trying to collect titles and mounts, pick a single title that fits the character concept and go with just that one. Instead of getting 30 mounts, figure out the right flying and ground mount for the character and just use them. If it doesn’t fit the character concept or look and feel, skip it.

I find this interesting because in many ways it smartly anticipates what I’m figuring out as I fumble my way through getting titles on my alts – namely, that titles need to fit, to make a character unique, or they aren’t really all that important. Argent Champion matters to Ash, not because it was terribly hard, but because it’s an external signifier for something which was important and unique to me, that she and I had a blast questing through the Plaguelands together.


At the same time, there’s a definite tension between this idea of character uniqueness and my desire to collect everything, which I indulge on more than just Cynwise. Cynwise is my mount and pet collector, in as much as I collect them, but I collect all kinds of lowbie gear on Cynderblock, pretty dresses on my blood elf priestess and human rogue, gadgets on Cynwulf – I collect things. And I feel the pressure to get achievements, and the pets, and all the things.

Vidyala talked a lot about this pressure to reacquire all the achievements when she switched mains, and I really feel it too. Whatever I’m playing right now, I want them to be awesome, and that includes those cheesy points. And mounts. And pets. And 50 suits of armor – for screenshots, I guess, because I don’t even play on an RP realm. Why the heck do I feel these are necessary? I don’t know, but I do.

Sometimes, chasing achievements can be really neat. I know I’m out of the worldwide running for achievement points on Cynderblock (you need about 2500 to be considered truly serious, she has like… 1100?), but getting some achievements on her can really be satisfying. Killing the Whale Shark – which no, Cynwise doesn’t even have – was a pretty neat experience, even if I didn’t kill it per se – c’mon, level 19 warriors just don’t have the tools to solo it. It’s nice having that achievement to point to and say, don’t talk to me about limits, I’m a scrub and if I can kill the Whale Shark at 19, you can do just about anything. But again, it’s a fond memory.

But other times, I wonder – am I chasing these things on Cynwise so that I can have a higher “score”? So that the number that appears next to her name is bigger? Why should I go back and run all those dungeons I missed while leveling? It’s not like BFD is going to give me any phat lewt; it’s just checking a box on the way to Classic Dungeoneer.

She’s already about as unique a character as I can make. She’s more than the sum of her mount collection or achievement points.

Yet, I still feel compelled to push onward, collect everything I can on her.

There are two very different viewpoints being expressed here. On the one side there’s uniqueness, even if expressed via commonly-accessible items. A character is a character, this is who they are, they aren’t all things to all people.

On the other side, there’s the character as a respresentation of ourselves, of our sum accomplishments in game. Tension happens when we invest ourselves in a character like this, but also great things can happen with deep investment.

I’m glad I got Ashwalker the Argent Champion title. It’s fitting, somehow. I would consider getting her the Argent Tournament mounts, as well, but I don’t think that’s possible at level 70. So I am still searching for just the right mount (she’s using the Celestial Steed in the meantime.) I don’t feel compelled to get her any other titles right now.

But it leaves me wondering about all the titles I’ve collected on Cynwise, and who she is, really.


Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

On Trying To Figure Out What The Heck To Roll Next


After watching mages in the level 70 bracket, I’m kinda torn about what I want to do next.

On the one hand, still having a lot of fun on Ashwalker.

On the other hand, she’s fun but I’m at the point of grinding out things (professions, etc) on her, and that’s kinda boring. If 70 is her final cap (which I haven’t decided yet), then there’s a lot of things to do – but I’ve got the itch to level other characters now, too.

Damnit, itches!

I bring up mages because I don’t have one, and that’s kinda weird given how good I am at playing one at low levels. My first twink was a mage twink (and I loved her) – but I ended up deleting her. I had a level 10 mage, she was an awesome twink – but I deleted her, too. 

And Mages look like they’re awesome fun at level 70. I believe the kids these days call them “OP,” which I think means ohmygoodness pewpew or something like that.

I kinda want a mage. But I don’t know what to roll. Or even if I should roll, or if I should resurrect one of my deleted twinks and start off with some HKs and achievements, if nothing else.

So I’m sitting here, trying to figure out what to roll, or if I want to roll, and I start making a chart in my notebook (above). Who do I have right now? What are my preferences, really? What do I really want to roll?

See, Dechion had a neat post up about racial preferences this morning that got me thinking. Do I prefer a given race, or not? I have a lot of Humans, and now I have a little cluster of night elves – what happened to all the gnomes and draenei? What about Horde? I’ve only really played two races with any seriousness – tauren and blood elf – what would I like to roll, if given the chance?

Maybe if I look at what I’ve got, I can figure this out.

Looking at the toons I’ve managed to get above 50 and not delete, I’ve got 5 alliance and 1 horde toon. That’s not a lot of red team coverage, is it. If I was going to level to see new things, leveling Hordeside probably is a good idea. But then there are server issues, heirloom issues, and getting lost going everywhere issues. I could do it without heirlooms or gold, but… I mean I have 20k gold sitting on an empty Horde server. I should probably use it for more than vanity outfits for my level 54 priestess.

So I started scribbling notes. What don’t I use? What don’t I roll, class and race wise, that maybe I should? 

Then I hit upon a field that I wasn’t sure I should include: PURPOSE. Yikes. Why does this character exist? What’s their primary purpose? WHY DO I NEED YOU?

For Cynwise, she’s the one I want to experience the endgame with. Cynwulf? Let’s be frank, he’s a gathering toon right now. My druid is also a gatherer, but could be a PvP twink. (I think it would be better to relearn the class from the ground up, though.) Ash? PvP twink for 70 for now, maybe leveling up to 85 for professions? Cynderblock? 19 twink.

I’m struck by how hard it can be to say, this is your primary purpose, toon. You exist so I can do X with you. If two things can do X, that’s wasted effort. 

Then there are professions, the last refuge of a leveled character! If you’re not going to be my endgame character, maybe you can provide me with a maxed profession!

Except… I think I’d rather keep people at level 70 to PvP right now, and that only gets you to 450 professions. Man. 😦

Okay, races, maybe I can make some headway with races! What would I like to play? Well, it all depends. The more I look over the list the more I want to change it. Should I try for maximum spread of races? (If so, I should race change my druid.) Or should I say, you know, I really like playing humans, what’s wrong with rolling another 4 or 5? 

This is actually relevant to the Mage discussion, because if I am okay with a human or spacegoat, I should just get a GM to undelete the toon and save myself a few hours of work.


Do other people go through this when deciding how to scratch the alt itch? I’ve done it both ways – sometimes I sketch out what I have (like here), sometimes I just load up the character selection screen and see what I end up making. 

Man, I hate trying to figure out what to roll next.


Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes