Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blizzcon tickets

I know this thought comes from the way I've trained myself to think about the WoW auction house, but if you have a commodity for which your entire stock sells in seconds, clearly you are underpricing the item by a degree of magnitude. To not take monetary advantage of demand that ridiculous, in itself seems ridiculous to me.

I understand that the purpose of this convention is to build goodwill among the fans and I've heard anecdotally that the convention was never designed to make money, and I did notice that the price of entry has increased by $25 for each of the past two conventions, I assume in response to this massive demand.

The only conclusion I can come to is that they fear a backlash from fans if the price was to dramatically rise [because we are all familiar with how rational Blizzard fans can be], which would be contrary to the purpose of the convention.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Used games

To start, I'd like to establish a few concepts which it is not my intention to dispute.

Intellectual property is good. I consider it obvious that many intangible things are extremely valuable to our society and it's important that the act of their creation is proportionally valuable.
False advertising is bad. If a media company misrepresents what they are selling, this is a clear breach of ethics and should not be tolerated.
Fair use is good. A group of friends or family should be allowed to share media without penalty.

Where I draw the line on "fair use" is when that media is sold for profit by someone who does not own the IP contained on it.

The concept of IP exists because without it you can't own data-- you can't own words or sounds or pictures or programming code, because they are not physical things. You can own an optical disc, but any argument for "ownership" of the data on that disc relies on the concept of intellectual property, which dictates that the creator owns it and has the sole right to allow people to use it.

In the case of game software, what buying that disc gives you is use of the game data, which your hardware turns into a fun experience for you. Not ownership, use. The data on that disc does not and never did belong to you, and paying for access doesn't give you the right to on-sell that access, because it's not yours to sell.

Thinking in terms of "use" rather than ownership makes it easier to understand that buying a game or a movie or a book is and always has been a service-- the service of the creator having created that IP.

We humans like to own things, and when it comes to IP, the media companies are all too willing to market the illusion of ownership. "Own it now on Blu-ray" is a tag line I pass every day in the window of the rapidly shrinking Blockbuster Video store near my workplace. So to be honest I don't have a lot of sympathy for the companies who are surprised when consumers reject business models which restrict our access to something they have spent so many years training us to think we "own".

Friday, April 5, 2013


Coreus is still progressing. Current item level 472, with plenty of T14 raid finder bosses left to kill this week. I'm wondering if 480 may actually be feasible within this lockout, so I can get into the T15 raid finders. I've got a date with Kanrethad as soon as I'm satisfied that I can't improve my gear any more this week.

I've decided to go for Klaxxi rep as well. On reflection, it's a pretty obvious choice:
- several cheap VP items and a free ring at exalted
- no Golden Lotus gating bullshit
- I've still got loads of yellow quests left in the zone
- a human, in a guild, with double rep unlocked gets 110% x 110% x 200% = 242% rep gain

I realised that the massive amount of dailies that Coreus is doing to grind rep is capping his VP really early in the week, so I have no reason to run 5-man dungeons or scenarios any more [except for, ironically, the bonus rep]. This saddens me greatly because this kind of small-group content is my favourite part of the game. Really, I'm pretty disappointed in Blizzard for this. I feel pretty marginalised by the current endgame design-- like the devs don't believe that there are any skilled players who don't raid.

Sometimes I get the impression they made Challenge dungeons just as a shortcut to stop people complaining about how trivial the "Heroic" 5-man dungeons are. "If it's too easy, go do the challenge mode!" the CMs cry with glee. Because obviously it's my own fault that I'm not actively meeting other skilled players in the game to run with, and why should they go out of their way to help people who refuse to help themselves. -coughraidfindercough-

I've also realised that in Mists of Pandaria, "Heroic" and "Rare" [as in rare spawn] have joined "Epic" as words which the WoW developers seem determined to rob of all meaning.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Blacksmiths gained six new craftable i502 weapons, which each cost a total of 30 Lightning Steel, 18 Harmony, and 12-18 Living Steel to craft. Fantastic. Love it. Where is the fucking caster sword? Or dagger? A staff I admit wouldn't make a lot of sense for a Blacksmith to make...

Coreus is the one toon I desperately want a decent weapon for, but he can't use a single one of the new patterns. There is a 2H strength sword and a 2H strength axe [completely redundant if you ask me] but the only caster weapon is a fucking mace. Sigh.

I've been pondering these new weapons all afternoon... Lightning Steel is BoP and has a daily CD to produce, so one of these weapons will take literally a month's worth of materials to create. But the item level is only 502, which to me places them squarely in the realm of alt-fodder-- shortcuts to power and item level which are not necessary for any toon who has been at endgame for any significant time. But at the same time, every blacksmith in the game will now be creating this material every day whether they need it or not in order to proc new discoveries, and once created, since the material can't be traded and can only be used for the above weapons, every blacksmith will end up creating these weapons.

I hate BoP crafting materials, I really do. You "buy" them with time instead of gold, which makes them infinitely more "expensive" to acquire as an AH mogul than the average player, because our value ratio of time to gold is so much higher. Yes, I get that that's the whole point, and that this is probably viewed as a noble goal by the developers, so I'm not going to waste too much time complaining, but as an AH player their existence has shut me out of mass producing items which would otherwise be great moneymakers, like epic leg armour, engineering mounts, and every single blacksmithing epic.

My only hope is that there will eventually be enough lazy or dumb people with stockpiles of Lightning Steel and Harmony who are willing to craft weapons for someone who provides the Living Steel and some arbitrary fee. This was extremely profitable [though obviously time intensive] back in Cata while Chaos Orbs were still BoP, because these guys have no concept of opportunity cost ["I got them for free!"] and as I mentioned, usually place a much higher value on gold than I do.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


It must be that point in the cycle -- right now I'm enjoying the fuck out of WoW again. I haven't done any progression raiding in over a month, but the funny thing about WoW is you don't have to look very far to find new goals to pursue.

I feel like I've turned into a major altaholic recently. I had a really good play with my Death Knight as Unholy spec [got to exalted with Cloud Serpent for those jeweled panther designs, but still missing two very stubborn meta-gem cuts], but when I saw a cheap Sealed Tome on the AH I forgot all about him and started banging my head against the Kanrethad solo encounter with Coreus' puny item level and a Demonology spec which appears to be really sub-optimal for that fight.

So I picked up Destruction as a secondary spec and have been using that for dailies and junk to make sure I know how to use it, and realised that I had forgotten how much fucking fun Destruction is. It's got all the burst I crave, especially while soloing when you can spam the crap out of Shadowburn to generate embers, and with only one dot and no demon contributing to damage, the spec is balanced completely around nukes which can hit for hundreds of thousands of damage.

So I've got the spec, now I just need the gear. With the weekly raid reset happening overnight, my plan is to somehow gain another item level tonight to reach 470 with hopefully enough time left to complete Heart of Fear and Terrace afterwards. I have 1500 or so VPs, but with no reputations unlocked the only thing I can spend it on is the i522 Neck, which is not ideal-- the discounted 5.0 rep items would be much more significant upgrades for the points, but I am not fucking doing Golden fucking Lotus on yet another fucking toon. I only recently finally stopped hating those dailies, I'm not about to burn myself out on them again.

Coreus also needs another 4 Lesser Charms before the reset to get Mogu runes for the week. He's nowhere close to entering the raid which uses them, but they will definitely be extremely useful in the future. Pet battles FTW!