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America's Cubicles Are Shrinking

MetalPhalanx Re:Causality (484 comments)

I'd love to work from home. However, I'd like to point out a second barrier to you: lazy employees who goof off and become almost completely unproductive when working from home ruining it for the rest of us.

more than 3 years ago
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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm To Launch Dec. 7th

MetalPhalanx Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (431 comments)

...In order to get that gear, those achievements, etc, time must be invested. Someone, somewhere has to lead that player through that content, show them the ropes, carry them somewhat, and so on. This means that someone gave them a chance and let them into the raid.

Pugs generally are not the right place to gain that sort of experience. The place to gain that type of experience is in an appropriate guild. Which, of course, is NOT a 'hardcore' guild. Pugs don't want to carry members, as generally there is no return (in terms of raiding) on the time you invest into the members of a pug.

Fast-forward to the guy setting up a pug, or reviewing a guild application, who is looking at this material. He (or she) is planning to profit by this effort, by not needing to expend it themselves. Because of the way raid lockouts and guild membership works, they are necessarily doing this at the expense of those that DID invest the time on them.

I don't think you understand it exactly... there's no way for me to profit off the effort of others, in game terms. Either I'm in the raid doing my part, or I don't get even get a chance at loot.

Reviewing guild apps is completely different from pugging, but I'll say, there's no in game reward for leading pugs/raids/guilds... it's basically a bunch of extra work and hassle, and the only benefit you CAN get out of it is a good group of people to work with. Think of it more like you are interviewing potential co-workers, instead of as a boss with a more abstract stake.

Now, half of the time the person in question is a truly unpalatable type that didn't quit the guild but got ejected. Gearscore won't tell you that, and that is a tiny bit of shadenfreude in way of consolation. But the other half of the time players that set these requirements are profiting off of the players like myself, and they often take the time to insult me for my efforts.

Just sad, really.

Not really sure where you're coming from with this, it came a little out of left field. However, I never said gearscore should be used to determine entry into a guild (that would actually be a very bad criteria for guild apps).

What I DID say, is that gearscore is a useful tool for me to get a general idea of experience level for pugs. It will not tell me if they're a good player and it will not tell me if their gear is properly itemized/gemmed/chanted. It is not a perfect diviner of skill or knowledge... but again, from the perspective of a raid leader, it allows me to filter out SOME of the potential raiders. I know automatically that anyone with less than a 4k gearscore is basically going to get carried through ICC. Even an amazing player with that kind of gear score isn't going to be putting out worthwhile numbers, regardless of skill. Several of my ghetto 80 alts would never attempt to pug an ICC, for exactly that reason.

It's a screening tool. The same way that job recruiters will discard resumes with spelling or grammar errors just to lower the number remaining. Some pugs set their requirements high, just like some companies set their standards high. They aren't trying to make sure everyone has a spot, they are just trying to succeed.

As far as the insulting goes, it's unfortunate, but as I'm sure you've noticed, the internet tends to make assholes out of all but the nicest people. Gamers tend to be even worse.

more than 3 years ago
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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm To Launch Dec. 7th

MetalPhalanx Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (431 comments)

I have nothing against requiring some prerequisites like completed a lower level raid or have a reasonable gear score. Unfortunately most players who spam the trade channel for a raid pug require that you've already achieved that particular raid instance or a gear score so high that requires you to have farmed that raid repeatedly.

These are not requirements set out by Blizzard. They are set out by other players. I know that as an experienced player and raid leader (for over two years), I tend to set the bar higher for pugs I don't know than I would realistically require from players I know. GS and achieves give me a convenient way of getting a general idea of experience level. Most of the pugs that are requiring you to have a high gs are probably doing that deliberately. They specifically DON'T want you if you're new to the content. They DON'T want to have to stop and explain fights to the newbie, especially in ICC where one clueless person flailing around will not only kill themselves, but will also wipe the raid. They DON'T want to wipe 2-3 times on a boss while the newbie "gets it". They are looking for other experienced players to roll through the content quickly and (hopefully) in a relatively painless manner.

Not trying to be argumentative, but you're looking at the pug requirements from the wrong angle.

more than 3 years ago
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Bittorrent To Replace Standard Downloads?

MetalPhalanx Re:The bigger question is: (591 comments)

Blizz actually implemented their background downloader to pause while you're playing... but it does start downloading as soon as you close the game. They also try to reduce their huge spike of demand by sending out the major patches ahead of time too... I've already preloaded over 3.5 GB for Cataclysm.

more than 3 years ago
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Cybercriminals Create 57,000 Fake Sites Each Week

MetalPhalanx Re:Battle.net (77 comments)

More often, WoW players are targeted in game, via in game mail, trade chat spam, whisper spam/phishing attempts, and lately on my server, the spammers have actually been running 25+ identically dressed characters into SW and arranging them into URLs and/or gold site names. I don't think I've ever received an actual email that was a WoW related phishing attempt. What amuses me is how broken the english usually is in these attempts, as if people wouldn't clue in that "Blizz SLECT U FROM ALL GAME PLAYS. U WIN FREE UNICORN-HORSE!!! Claim at " isn't from blizzard.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Patents OS Shutdown

MetalPhalanx Re:Hmm (404 comments)

My favorite shutdown-ism is when Vista tries to shut down, freezes, and then throws up the "These applications are preventing the computer from shutting down" screen. Inevitably, it's Outlook on my work computer, asking if I really want to delete my deleted items... The best part? The screen which notifies you of what is preventing shutdown blocks your ability to interact with the application which is currently blocking the shutdown.

more than 3 years ago
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Blizzard Adds Timestamps To WoW Armory

MetalPhalanx Re:beyond stupid. (318 comments)

Perhaps you should look at WoW armory. The new feed does not just say when you get phat new lootz.

It also says what dungeon boss you killed at what time... I just viewed my main's armory profile, and you can tell which heroics I did yesterday (hint: all of them) and achievements as well as the upgrades I got.

Even without getting an upgrade, doing anything besides standing in Dalaran or farming mats (i.e. anything non-trivial) can trigger an update on you.

more than 4 years ago
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Blizzard Adds Timestamps To WoW Armory

MetalPhalanx Re:It seems (318 comments)

Oh they ruin the game. As mentioned in sister posts, there are more than just "harvester" bots. They are a lot more sophisticated than you think.

I just started playing WoW again after an 8 month break and I was dismayed at the number of bots in the new "random" dungeon feature. They're sneaky... they'll buff you appropriately, and if you whisper it, the bot will even respond. Then it will follow you through the instance doing the minimum possible. It becomes immediately apparently if you have a good damage meter. There's no way that someone with a 5k+ gear score (that means decked out in t9 raiding gear or better) should be barely pulling 1k dps.

It is frustrating to have your random dungeon ruined by a bot... can't kick them until after the 15 minute cooldown is up, can't leave and re-queue until your 15 minutes are up. You're either forced to wait out 15 minutes - and honestly most heroics take about that time - or you can drag along a severely under-performing bot and fulfill it's purpose of "power gathering" emblems of triumph.

Personally, I wait it out and then kick them.

more than 4 years ago
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Farmville, Social Gaming, and Addiction

MetalPhalanx Re:Harvest Moon! (251 comments)

I agree completely. Harvest Moon > Farmville

more than 4 years ago
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Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters

MetalPhalanx Re:It didn't exactly sell ridiculously well... (203 comments)

Unfortunately, the people making the decisions have probably never held a controller, let alone attempted to play an FPS with one.

more than 4 years ago
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Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters

MetalPhalanx Re:Barely a start (203 comments)

Unfortunately, "That guy" is at least one third of the gaming populace, with a large overlap with the "Rage quitters" group.

I agree totally though. I semi-regularly get accused of hacking for some of the stuff I manage to pull off, and I don't even feel that it's really that special. But, it's the internet. And, no-one could POSSIBLY be better than THAT GUY at ... so if they beat him, they MUST be hacking, right?

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Responds To "Like OS X" Comment

MetalPhalanx Re:Underwriters (505 comments)

"What happens if they get into schools or colleges and start posing as staff or faculty?"

Sadly that has already happened long ago. Shitty profs are shitty profs. And, I'd rather have a shitty prof JUST out of school (who may actually understand the internet and at the very least may post notes) rather than a shitty OLD prof who sucks and doesn't understand this new-fangled internet thing.

more than 4 years ago
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An Inbox Is Not a Glove Compartment

MetalPhalanx Re:Old people - please die (316 comments)

While written in an inflammatory manner, I really do agree with you.

Unfortunately, there will be new stupid morons to replace the old guard. Most people have no understanding of computers beyond how to use their favorite social networking site, to them the computer is a "magical" box which can do stuff and get them to the internets.

more than 3 years ago
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An Inbox Is Not a Glove Compartment

MetalPhalanx Re:Decision Formalizes What Already Happens (316 comments)

"The problem with unwritten rules is that no one knows where to go to erase them."

Wait a minute, laws are erased?

more than 3 years ago
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Game Retailers Facing Digital Distribution Transition

MetalPhalanx Re:NO!NO!NO! (155 comments)

If you chargeback they suspend your account, removing access to all the games you have ever bought.

I looked into it and discovered that little gem. It seems almost criminal.

more than 4 years ago
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Game Retailers Facing Digital Distribution Transition

MetalPhalanx Re:NO!NO!NO! (155 comments)

The tl;dr version: Steam Support can really suck and that is the reason that many people hate it. See below for an example.

In my experience, there are three camps for Steam. Those rabidly against it due to the rights management, those who love it, and those who have had an experience with Steam "Support" and now loathe it. I'll give personal experience as an (anecdotal) example for you:

I bought Champions Online off of Steam on Sept. 7th.
To my dismay, when I attempted to activate my CD key, it was already activated. I called Cryptic for support, and after speaking to a couple of employees, was told that since Steam was my distributor, I needed to contact Steam to get a new CD key. i.e. it was Steam's fault. I submitted a support ticket with the requested information within an hour of buying the game. I received the confirmation email and a ticket number from Steam Support, everything to verify that they actually did receive my support ticket. Researching their average response time, I gleaned a community accepted value of "3 to 5 days".

Fast forward about 4 weeks (October 9th).
After weeks of checking, my ticket was closed with no reply. I logged in to check it, and status was set to closed. There was no indication that anyone had even looked at the ticket. I re-opened the ticket, left a polite but firmly displeased message about the quality of the support and restated my request to get this resolved.

Fast forward another 2 weeks (October 23rd, this past Friday).
I FINALLY receive my first reply from Steam support. It's a one liner asking me to paste my conversation with Champions Online support into Steam. Since I talked on the phone, I can't do that. I sent a note explaining this, and have yet to receive another message back.

The situation as it stands now, is that the close group of friends I bought Champions Online to play with spent about 5 weeks intensively playing it, and have since moved on to other games (Our usual schedule for many games). I'm now left paying $50 for a game I never got to play, and by the time their glacial support gets around to solving it, I've lost all desire to play.

I'm now a wary customer as well. I've been burnt and am now much more reluctant to deal through Steam, with their lack of phone support and awful online support. Given that my friends and I tend to consume at least one new game a month or so, they've lost a pretty regular customer. Due to my experience, some of my friends are also starting to buy games elsewhere as well.

more than 4 years ago
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Free-To-Play Switch Going Well For D&D Online

MetalPhalanx Re:The game (201 comments)

Yeah, WoW gets old after a while. Inevitably I find myself drawn back, but that has yet to happen again this time.

I've tried Champions Online. It's alright, but even giving it a lot of leeway as a new MMO, it has a rather shallow feel. It's almost like a cardboard cutout of an MMO.

more than 4 years ago
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Free-To-Play Switch Going Well For D&D Online

MetalPhalanx Re:The game (201 comments)

That's an interesting development in WoW. Looks like they've realized that "longer" gameplay isn't always better, if it separates friends.

That must be new from after I stopped playing. Thanks for the info!

more than 4 years ago
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Free-To-Play Switch Going Well For D&D Online

MetalPhalanx Re:The game (201 comments)

I used to play WoW - led 25 mans up until Ulduar - and was actually formerly in the top 10 on my server in terms of gear (as reported by warcrafter.net - note that it's no longer anything particularly special as I haven't been playing since about April 09). While gear checks can seem really harsh, the problem is that people hit fresh 80 and want to raid instantly.

The gear treadmill is NOT circular, at least not within a specific xpac. You gear up for raids in heroics/with crafting/rep vendor gear. You won't be great, but you'll be decent. Then you can start getting raid gear. The problem as I said is that you have "instant" raiders, who want to be dragged through and handed phat lewt and get totally tricked out while not contributing. In an already geared up group, this may not be a problem. But when your group is barely able to take down a new boss, having a few boat anchors can be a make or break. Even if they're intelligent players, if they can't push the minimum numbers required, it makes it that much more difficult. Of course, generally the really intelligent players don't attempt to raid until they have at least a semi-decent level of gear.

We would occasionally pug some people, and it's sad having a tank claim he's ready to raid wearing level 76-78 blue and green leveling gear (one shot boss squish - we took him for the laughs, he asked us to soulstone him). Or DPS who refused to upgrade half their gear from level 70 purples until they got level 80 purples and as a consequence are out-dps'd by the tanks (actually it was so sad in one instance, our healer was smite spamming in between heals and keeping up with this DPS). Just to round it out, I've also seen a priest outhealed by a ret paladin who also was top 3 of the damage meter (hint, the ret pally's HPS wasn't really all that high). If you have a guild that's already mostly geared out and they take you through because they can, that's fine, but that's your guild helping you short circuit the grind.

I do agree with your main point that it's the same addictive gaming mindset. But it really isn't circular, they've just determined the best way to lengthen the journey to the top. For level 80, it's currently:

Leveling up -> Heroics -> Tier 1 (Naxx, OS, EoE) -> Tier 2 (Ulduar) -> Tier 3(is it out yet?)

The next xpac (level 90) will start the cycle over. (Ok, I guess you could say that in an xpac to xpac comparison, it's circular).

I agree that the pvp upgrade cycle is very circular. In that case, you do the same few PvP arenas to get better gear, so you can perform better in those same few arenas to get better gear.

All in all though, at least WoW is $15/month, not per piece of gear. If it was, I think it would see many less players. I compare games that leverage micropayments to mosquitoes, they inject the player's wallet with an anti-coagulant (incentive to be the best and buy their stuff to get there) and then suck them dry. /rant

more than 4 years ago

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