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About Bill

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    Rochester NY
  • Interests
    games of every sort, computers in general

    Something like this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e7d1/ ?
  2. Pandurrrrs

    There was a time back in earlier versions of the game, where there were many viable choices in talents. As an arcane mage I had several choices, do I want slow, a spell that was of debatable use in pve, or did I want to pick up the 11 point talent (or was it 16? I'm getting old) in a secondary tree, such as ice block? Did I go fire for more sustained dps or ice for better burst and higher crits? Within arcane there were talents that were a given, but many talents that you chose to make concessions with, and each of those choices mattered, and helped with some fights, but not with others. Improved counterspell, or better arcane explosion etc. And mage was one of the least diverse talent trees, paladins or death knights had dozens of very real choices. But theorcraftying really went into vogue, dual specs were added, respeccing prices never increased to compensate for increased gold generation, everyone watched EJ, and swapped to the spec of the week in order to receive the theoretical 2% dps increase based on the gear that someone had on the character. But I know for a fact that a player that actually understood the underlying mechanics of those choices, and how they interacted with gear, could do better than anyone who copied the latest fad-build. This is part of what made the game fun for me, truly understanding how the character worked, knowing how to get the most out of it in order to do hard content with my guild. During the tail end of lich king, the game really turned around. The excuse of 'everyone is using cookie cutter builds' was bandied about, and was somewhat true for a large percentage of the population that did not want to understand the depth that was there, but wanted to be as good as they could be without it. But the real reason was to make it easier to balance. Why balance when its easier to make everything the same? Fast forward to cataclysm, they cut everyones talent trees in half, forced you to fill up one full spec before dipping in another, and strongarmed each spec to a specific dps/healer/tank role. You still had a little play with the last few points, but your character was 80% set by that first choice you made of base spec. Pandaria makes that 90%. The next expansion could well just say 'whats the point?' and take away talent choices entirely, just hand out whatever ability goes with the spec choice and be done with it. No-one would be surprised. I am not saying that the people currently playing the game, and enjoying the game, hate the system. Obviously it is well liked by those that play. But there are a lot of people that have stopped playing from this trend. If you look at active north american subscriptions and sales records, it becomes very clear that I am not alone in this opinion. There is a reason why Lich king sold more boxes in 24 hours than pandaria sold in a week (possibly more than pandaria will sell in NA, there are no figures past that yet). Peak subscriber numbers for wow were in fall of 2010, before cataclysm's release. Just saying that you like the changes does not mean they aren't there, and there are plenty of us that did not like them. And choosing between 5% more healing and 5% more mana regen was more interesting to some of us than picking whether our bomb icon is blue, red, or purple.
  3. Pandurrrrs

    I find the new talent system bland an watered down. You get one mostly trivial choice every 15 levels. This is significantly less fun than previous versions. This is not to say that the perks are not significant, just that the choices are not. At level x you get to pick which flavor of Y spell, rather than real character defining choices. To illustrate as a mage, since that was what my main was when I played. Level 15, pick the manor in which you can increase casting mobility, a cooldown for 1 spell instantly, a cooldown for 2 spells to cast while moving, or just gain a mediocre spell that can always be cast while moving. And this is probably the most varied choice. Level 30 is a 25 second defensive cooldown. Level 45 is a 30 second targeted defensive ability. Level 60 is a cheat death ability, you can pick how effective it is vs cooldown length. Level 75 you get to pick what color aoe bomb you would like, and the new capstone at 90 lets you pick how to tweak your mana regen in order to get a damage bonus. Lengthy, but the point is that there are no longer builds or different flavors of mages. You pick your class and spec, and that is the end for meaningful character choice. This homogenization and simplification started occurring about halfway through lich king. It is aimed for the more casual crowd, and no-where is that more obvious than the inclusion of several facebook style games into wow with pandaria. Gear options were simplified in cata so you didnt have to worry about understanding the myriad stats previously. In pandaria you dont even have to chose, they give you the gear you need, spares you the thought, eh? This does not mean the game is bad. The production values are, as always amazing. The land is interesting, the quests are fun enough by all accounts. I have considered logging in to explore the new land much as I did in cataclysm, but I just have more fun with other games at this point. But the style of game is changing, and it is not the style of game I enjoy anymore. I have played enough asian casual style games to see the end result, and I do not prefer it. I understand it, since that is a larger portion of the playerbase at this point, But I have moved on. Much like Dren, I feel that I picked the right time to do so as wow continues in its direction.
  4. there is a lot of overlap for sure, tho the feel seems very different, with no magic or non-human races, and ingame rules for slavery.
  5. Poison Vs Consumables

    If you go berserk, can you at least choose to attack your enemys before your allies, assuming they are both present at roughly the same range?
  6. REAP SPIRIT questions

    Unless you are a kazvak or ooze or something like that, right?
  7. Pictures!


    Sure, every box had a couple of these, I'll PM you one.
  9. Crossbows

    I agree that it seems modern looking, but then there was a hand crossbow with a plastic looking pistol grip at the last event, so I expect there is some leeway to work with.

    I'm only on act 2 normal with my wizard, but I run glass cannon instead of blur, and still only die once in a great while and generally to random chance / lag. diamond armor or frost nova are all the protection I need so far. I do love arcane torrent for a seconday slot as my main attack spell :) HOLY CRAP Turn on elective mode. You can pick your skills on your own :) This makes the game 50% better in one fell swoop :)

    I edited my post above, but heres my tag again, since who goes back to look for edits? Oberon#1537 That said, I have played through act 1, and have a few newer observations. 1. the world is huge, it really opens up a lot after where the beta ended, and the chapter felt at least as long as D2, if not a good bit longer. Any concerns about railroading or whatnot are completely alleviated. 2. This is no surprise, but the story is incredible and the number of in game 'random' events is nice as well. Even if everything else sucked, I'd play this through to see the story. 3. Crafting is a lot more fun that the old horadric cube recipes., and while the inventory feels the same as D2, maybe a tiny bit larger, the stash is very tight until you can expand it, especially if you play multiple characters. Wish I could expand the character inventory too. 4. skills and runes do start to become more interesting choices as you get more of them. Inability to switch in combat usefully still makes tactical use of them more of a 'oh I died on that fight, lets change skills to try again' at best. I am curious about Ubergeeks comment on free skill mode and will look into it, if that works out like it sounds, I will be very happy. It still lacks some of the feel of D2 in the 'I'm a fire sorcerer, not just a sorcerer' feel, but its not as bad as it felt in beta. 5. character customization is still a toss up. you can be male or female for all classes, but thats it, if you are a male barb, you look 60 years old, and if you are a male monk, you look like a psycho hermit, etc. A couple of face options per class would have been nice. but its still an improvement over D2. 6. Online only, well, frankly, it sucks, but its been known for ages. I would have liked to be able to play in offline mode when the servers are up and down like I did in D2, I would have liked to not have to re-explore the map if the server drops, etc. But it will stabilize before long I expect, if they want to make microtransaction money, online only is the way it is. 7. Money really matters, I never can have enough, but I expect once you get the smith up and the stash filled, that will change pretty quickly. 8. Difficulty is still very low, I've died maybe 3 times total, and usually that was to 'I'm low, but should be able to finish these guys off before I pick up the red balls over there' type laziness. I did die once on the end boss of act 1 though. And to learning about the 'waller' property to a unique one of those charging beasts, made it pretty hard to dodge. 9. Gear selection has some problems, but I see that falling into place at higher levels. Its kind of dumb that my wizard is better off with a sword or axe than a wand or staff most of the time, since spell damage is calculated off weapon damage. And due to the ease of the game, +exp/kill or magic find are really the only stats to bother wearing so far. But hopefully Act 2 will ramp it up a bit. Either way, having a ton of fun playing the game on my wizard. And playing my monk with Donna.

    most of the damage is level based in D3. all the +damage runes are basically the same (ie, 3 hits for 50%, one hit for 150%, that sort of thing). You basically have 2 damage levels mechanically, base and improved. In D2, the skill points gave 20-25 different damage levels, and much more with synergys. It is mechanically simpler. With runes you are making the choice between 'damage, recharge boost (for the charge skills), and usually 1 or 2 special effects', and again you only get to have one 'charge' skill. There is no sliding scale, they are all 'good' choices, and they are choices, they are just more mechanically simple than a skill tree. As they stated, this was done so that people could not make poor choices, but a lack of poor choice also means a lack of good choices, and they all feel similar. Removing the 'tree' feel also kinda pushed them to sameness. Every wizard is going to be using frost beam and mana bomb or whatever till level 12, because thats what you have. There is no 'I'm a fire sorc, with consistant damage, or a lightning sorc with highly variable damage, or an ice sorc with low damage but slowing effects, or some mix of the above making concessions to one tree to afford skills in a second.' But thats another discussion. And you may or may not note that I also mentioned several things I did like about the game, everyone just focused on the things I noted that I did not like. Either way I get to play the hell out of it once I get out of work :) Once I have played it through, I'll post back here and give a better feel of the game anyhow.

    Runes are the way you customize your character in D3. Skill points were how you did it in D2. I dont see how you cant compare the two. Certainly most of the rest of the internet has. There are clearly large differences between them, but they are the closest analogs to compare. There is as much difference. just a different sort :) mechanically speaking, D2 and skill points had a larger impact on the skill. Visually speaking, D3 runes have a larger impact. There are a few outliers, but in general, its different looks for the exact same or roughly the same effect. Turning your charged bolts from 3 bolts that go randomly in front of you to a 'spirit that drifts in front of you' isnt really going to change how that spell works, ie, short range aoe lightning damage. The damage of which is basically set by your level (gear level technically, but they go hand in hand). In D2, putting skill points in different ways could really affect how your character played in a non visual sense. Careful use of skill points could make a character better or worse, and you had to make choices, ie do I put every possible point I can into charged bolt and its synergies, or maybe stop somewhere and get a fireball. Having +skill gear, of different trees, or all skills or the like let you tweak these numbers even more. You could build the 'stock frozen orb sorc', and they functioned just fine, dont get me wrong, but you could also do a lot more with skill points as well, and have access to both a lightning bolt and a fireball for example, at the same time even, unlike in D3. In D3 its all 'left click do the same base damage as everyone else of the same gear level, while charging a resource, right click to deal a larger amount of gear level mandated damage', and the choices all felt cosmetic. I have never said that Runes dont make the spells look different, heck even the +damage ones change up the graphics some, but visuals are fun and all, but underlying gameplay has always been more interesting to me. I dislike the loss of skill trees, I somewhat lament the fact that as a whole the games industry has been changing to a more mainstream thing. I get the why, back when D1 came out, it wasnt a big market, even the big name games didnt sell a fraction of what the small titles sell now, gaming has gone to a larger audience, and that means making the games simpler and more forgiving. Most of the casual customers dont want to have to worry about detailed skill trees and understanding how they worked, they didnt want to risk making poor choices and feeling like they want to start over to fix them. But some of us like the fiddly bits and the mechanics underneath. Think of it kind of like the difference in buying a computer. do you enjoy researching each component, buying all the right pieces to work together, then making a very solid efficient computer? Or do you prefer picking over the latest Dell alienware line for which one has coolest lights on the sides or games preloaded? Neither is wrong, but the ones who prefer one type will see the other as inherently less interesting I'm not completely convinced the runes wont at least give the illusion of personalizing, but in the beta it certainly felt like a simpler level than the skill trees were, even if it looks better. Either way I'm bored, and still have at least an hour before I can realistically go pick up the game, sigh :P

    I'm not saying it wont be good. I'm not saying people who play it are dumb. I do think that Blizzard has dumbed down the game a bit. I will buy it and play it, and I rather expect I will enjoy it. I dont care how many ways people call me dumb for thinking that it has taken some backwards steps in design for D2, I will continue to believe it until I play the game and feel otherwise. So far the beta has not left that impression. I have been polite, if unchanging in my opinion, I'm sorry that offends some, but snide remarks and excessive condescending attitudes certainly aren't going to sway me better than the actual good in depth replies that have occurred. I expect it will be a fun game, and I will play it through and enjoy it. and in 5 or 10 years if I'm in the mood for some diablo-esque fun, theres at least even odds I'll go back to D2 rather than D3. ps: in D2 there is a difference between charged bolt sending out 3 bolts and it sending out 22. Yes, most of the specific effects were built into the skill points, but many of them had a very different feel at different point levels, and you did not have the points to cap out every skill. Its probably fair to say that almost every skill in D2 incorporates at least two runes in D3. A paladin (again my most played class in D2) had a pretty big difference between 1 point or two in zeal, 5-6 points in zeal, and maxing zeal. Charge and vengeance, each point was a toss up between more damage in return for maintaining a good mana usage, just maxing them was not always the best path, especially with all the different auras, all useful in different ways that could really use those points. Its fair to say that skill choices were plenty complex in D2. But again, the biggest worry I have with D3 is the limitation of 'categories', which, for all the people going on about runes vs skills points (I happen to disagree with the opinion that runes are more complex than skills though, certainly, but its at least in the ball park), isnt what bothers me the most (I think its what worries Dren the most though). I havent seen a good explanation for why that aspect is so needlessly limited. Why I cannot have both frost beam and arcane orb on my bar so I can react to single target threats and aoe threats for example. Complex tactical choice in combat felt very limited compared to the predecessor. I am hoping that having the other 3 categories unlocked with help that, but so far it did not feel that way in the beta.

    First off, its a terrible terrible skill, I played a wizard, and its just aweful in its base form. But I'll work with it. I assume you picked it because it does have slightly more options (probably due to its terrible base implementation). Its very short ranged, with an erratic attack that makes it more or less impossible to aim. It would be useful if you were surrounded by many melee foes, but if you are as a wizard, you were dead before you got any use out of this skill. Explosive Bolts - Slain enemies explode, dealing 70% weapon damage as Lightning to every enemy within 10 yards. - mostly adding damage, tho honestly mostly useless, since its a charge up skill not a 'main attack skill' you wont be killing enemys that matter with this. 18 - Fire Bolts - Cast bolts of fire that each deal 137% weapon damage as Fire. - more damage. Literally, 37% more damage. and its colored red not purple. 33 - Piercing Orb - Merge the bolts in a a single giant orb that oscillates forward dealing 105% weapon damage as Lightning to everything it hits. - slightly more damage with a pierce effect, but the really short short range again makes me wonder if you will ever even notice it hitting two enemys, never mind more than that. 47 - Lightning Affinity - Every target hit by a pulse restores 2 Arcane Power.- useful effect, makes the charging effect more noticable. Every single 'charge power' has this rune. Its not plus damage, but its generic across the board. 54 - Living Lightning - Conjure a being of lightning that drifts forward, electrocuting nearby enemies for 37% weapon damage as Lightning. - I'd have to see it to understand, but it sounds really similar to the base spell 'effect drifts forward and hurts nearby enemys' vs '3 effects randomly drift forward and deal damage to hit targets' . Maybe it moves quicker or something, but again, it might be slightly differently graphically, but the spell will feel the same to play with. Overall, there still isnt anything that actually changes the usage of the skill in truely significant ways. Certainly no more significant than the skill trees in D2. Magic missile, by contrast, is a skill you will use, its a basic 'point and click damage' spell. Its more clearly a lot of differently flavored +damage. 6 - Charged Blast - Increases the damage of Magic Missile to 143% weapon damage as Arcane. - straight plus damage. 13 - Split - Fire 3 missiles that each deal 50% weapon damage as Arcane. - its point and click, the bolts all hit. there is no difference in 3 50 damage bolts and 1 150 damage bolt other than aesthetics. 31 - Penetrating Blast - Missiles have a 70% chance to pierce through their target and hit additional enemies. - the penetration option, I can see this actually changing up the spell some. 42 - Attunement - Whenever Magic Missile hits a target you gain 4 Arcane Power. - the standard +mana effect one. 52 - Seeker - Missiles track the nearest enemy and their damage is increased to 121% weapon damage as Arcane. - more damage, and a seek effect, but the missile was very accurate when I played the beta, so I'm not sure how different that will be. And really, I'm just bored at work, as thats all minutia, avoiding the point. The point is comparing D2 skills with no talent options vs D3 skills with their parallel of runes, is silly. At which point you are looking at 25 base skills vs 30 base skills. Honestly, I dont see how having a lot more of them would make much difference. I'm just sad that I cant combo them in D3 with anywhere near the facility D2 had. For example, even if I somehow liked charged bolt, I couldnt use it at the same time as magic missile because blizzard thinks that I am too dumb to decide that on my own.