Friday, 9 November 2007

Sewers and Shifters

Our second session of D&D took place last night, albeit with a slightly different line-up of PCs, and now up to 6 PCs. Seeing as I'm running a from-the-book game, this means encounters are (should be) a bit simpler than they were originally planned to be.

That said, it was a cakewalk; the hardest part of the game was organising 6 people's worth of combat rounds, and trying to get them to agree how to spend their gold. The party encountered a warforged rogue, and a pair of shifter warriors. The warforged put up a bit of a fight, and lasted a fair while. The shifters on the other hand, managed to charge, and not a lot else before getting cut down.

However, unlike last week, this weeks encounter would perhaps have been a challenge to 4 PCs. Even still, it wouldn't've been much of one. One of the fighters in the party got dropped to -1, but after some patching up from the clerics still did perhaps the most damage of the whole party. Whereas, the 3 NPCs just had to rely on beating down. He was also the only one who took damage.

From the information I've heard about 4th edition D&D, this seems to be something the designers are thinking about: the different monster jobs seem to include a 'boosting other monsters' classing, so hopefully there's more teamwork than just trying to stab the same guy.

I haven't initiative-carded up the next few encounters from the module, so I think I may bump them up (for at least 4 to 7 PCs, depending on how many show up), just to see if the challenges can be more, well, challenging.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Fishing in WoW

My brain appears to have dribbled out of my skull while trying to become skilled enough at fishing to catch Icefin Bluefish so I can get a nice spell damage buff. So I present my protips for leveling fishing:

1) bind 'cast line' to middle mouse button
b) switch on autoloot
III) have two monitors
δ) find a radio show/podcast/something to hold your attention

The procedure is then this: Middle click and move your mouse over the bob. Go back to whatever you were doing on the other screen. When your peripheral vision spots the splash, right click on the bob, then middle click again. Repeat ad nauseum.

Considering I managed to gain 90-odd levels of fishing today without going completely insane, I think this is as close to 'worst mechanic ever' as I can find.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

The grind, it beckons :(

So I succumbed. I am now resubscribed to WoW (as of a couple of weeks ago actually). Unfortunately, things move as slowly now as they did before I quit.

The problem is, of course, a lack of utility classes. And by utility classes, I actually mean healers and tanks. Anyone can do damage, but taking hits, and stopping the guy taking hits from falling over takes specialist skills, ones that people don't want to take.

The long and short of this is that groups are the most aggravating things in the world: I've seen feral druids who refuse to go bear, I've grouped with fury warriors who apparently don't own a shield, I've ended up with more shadow priests than I can count. But none of them want to do what their class's archetype is.

This leads me to one of two conclusions.

One: start a new character, who can do one of the above. I actually have filled up all of the character slots on my primary server, but none of them are above level 18, except my mage (and the level 18 is a second mage, go figure).

Two: solo. Less of a plan, but it does mean I can get the ridiculous amounts of gold I need to get my epic plane in a patches time.

I've decided to go with option one, only twice: I am now the proud(ish) owner of a druid. The plan being, that I'll go some kind of feral/restoration hybrid spec that means I can tank reasonably well and heal reasonably well. Maybe not perfectly, and probably needing a good opposite-of-what-I'm-doing in the group to make up for what I'm lacking, but at least I'll get damn groups.

Of course, now is (perhaps) one of the best times to start a new character, what with the patch boosting pretty much everything you could need for the annoying bit leveling coming up for when, roughly, I'll arrive there. Seeing as my three highest level characters across all servers are 70, 45 and 46, the latter two of which are logged out in STV when I got frustrated, it'll be interesting to see how much the patch helps with this new character. Or if I get bored and go back to super-villainy. Either way.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Of lack of dungeons or dragons

Last night I successfully ran my second D&D game. Well, mostly successfully anyway.

Last week saw a group of 9(!) first level adventurers in an inn called 'The Obvious Cliche', whereupon they were attacked by 4 CR1ish zombies. Oddly, they didn't get wiped out, despite their best attempts not to run away, but that game didn't really lead anywhere as I kinda hadn't planned ahead very well ;)

This week, I decided to mitigate my lack of DMing experience by running a game straight from a book. And so, my fearless(ish) group of 5 adventurers were set upon by a lone warforged on a bridge in Sharn. This was, supposedly, a CR1 encounter (ie, one designed to present a reasonable challenge to 4 level 1 characters). It got soundly kicked, although not before doing a not unreasonable amount of damage. I would, however, say that it was really a challenge.

Although they PCs took some damage, there was never any real chance of them losing. In my mind, a challenge would be facing an equivilent number of equivilent level characters/monsters, but then its a 50/50 chance that they'll get their asses kicked, considering that the encounter would be as powerful as the PCs. This seems a bit incongruous to me, but never mind.

Considering that I have 5 PCs, I may have to modify future encounters a little to boost up the difficulty, so that the extra PC doesn't become an easy ticket to victory, and so encounters are actually a challenge.

And two games in, no sign of a dungeon, and no sign of a dragon. I may have to bend the printed game to include some, none or more of the above :)