Home Picture Galleries Writing Technical Arcana Books Archive About This Site

Google search Hamfisted

Himeji Castle


My WoW character hit level 54 yesterday, and is closing in on his final goal of level 60. Up at this high altitude, levels are hard to come by, so it'll still be a while before I hit the limit. I'm also starting to get a handle on the high level game, which is more than just a little extreme and obsessive. The big thing I've learned is that there are 60s, and then there are 60s... with amazing equipment. A 60 warrior with an epic set like the Battlegear of Wrath will tear a normal 60 warrior up like a damp tissue, even though both of them show up as level 60 to each other. It's lucky that Blizzard made the weapons-grade items look bloody amazing, as it provides at least some warning when an incoming enemy is going to tear off your ears and feed them to the biletoads. If the bad guy looks like a flourescent nuclear mecha, a ninja engulfed in demonic fire or some kind of holy avatar of Jesus, it's probably time to run.

This creates an interesting situation for gameplay, where the battle is pretty much completely unfair. There's very little a normal guy can do against this kind of hardware, apart from pull a priest out of a nearby bush. That option is available to Captain Ridiculous Britches as well, and there's always a chance his priest will be dressed in the Holy Vestments of Infinite Holiness and wielding the staff of Righteous Ultra Violence. The only real answer is to join the arms race, which means descending into madness trying to get hold of these items.

It goes without saying that the high level items are insanely hard to get hold of. Most are dropped a very small percentage of the time by extremely high level monsters in excessively difficult dungeons, which can only really be attempted by focused raids of dozens of dedicated 60th level players, equipped with powerful items and solid strategy. The highest instances in the game are made for forty players, and require hardened veterans, not sheepbrained muppets. To get the gear, instances have to be run over and over and over until all the items are found, which is almost certainly well after everyone is utterly sick of them. It's a repetitive, boring, annoying grind, which seems rather a long way from fun gameplay. Hmmmm.

Another sardine in the smoothie is the recent server transfer from Frostwolf to my server, Frostmane. This brought hundreds of Alliance to our quiet little realm, and by gum if they don't all seem to be running around with the Carbon Nanotube Armor of Hyperinvulnerability and the Obsidian Swizzle Stick of Instant Death. Battlegrounds is suddenly a complete wash, and we have pickup raid groups of 30 Alliance 60s trying to steal Thrall's woolly jockstrap every second night. It's certainly made things more interesting, and added the continuing slaughter of the filthy Alliance as another reason to hunt items, but it remains to be seen whether it will keep my interest... well, until the expansion.