Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wow Self Improvement

I had a party written post here but was rudely interrupted by work. It got autosaved as a draft but appeared to nuke my blog... it just showed a blank page!

Luckily all is well now.

I've posted here several entries that show ways to make gold. You have to read through my walls of text to find it but there are specific details in there showing what I did on several servers. Some of the same posts could serve as walkthroughs for new players, particularly the hunter and druid ones.

The main tips posted in "Cure the Cash Flow Blues" are the core truth to self-sufficiency in money. They are such simple concepts that I am astonished that players late in the game have any difficulty with funding essentials. A high level character just has so much greater earning capacity than any of my lowbie alts! I can well understand that a genuinely new player will struggle early on but someone who has played for sixty or seventy levels should surely know something about the game.

One of the things that I offer to members of my guild is loans for mounts. The introduction of the cheaper level 30 mounts has reduced the need for these. Level 30 mounts are cheaper and easier for most people to obtain than the old level 40 ones were. Partly this is due to there being a lot more gold around than there was.

Guildies looking for a loan have to convince me that:
1: they really NEED the item/mount they are borrowing money for.
2: they have made a decent attempt to get there on their own.
3: they have the capacity to repay the loan in reasonable time.
4: that they aren't likely to just take the money and run!

Back before Blizzard introduced the guild bank, most donated funds were intermixed with my own personal funds. Nowadays the money pools are quite separate. Though as guildmaster I have unlimited access to the guild bank funds, all mount loans have continued to come from my own pocket. I choose to do this because the fairly high risk of non-secured loans means I will take more care in assessing the loan than I might if it was "just" guild money.

That first point above, NEED vs WANT, is probably the key.
The first mount makes a massive difference to a character's ability to get around and get things done. The basic flying mount in Outland is similarly a "NEEDED" boost. More recently a few have had loans for cold weather flying in Northrend, also a "NEED".

Warlocks or pallies asking for a mount loan at 30 get laughed at. People looking to upgrade their 60% mount to an epic 100% mount at 60 generally fall into the "WANT" category and will most likely be denied, as will those asking for ~5,000g for their epic flyer. People wanting loans to buy epic weapons, or anyone who thinks they can "twink" their main at my expense generally get a lecture!

If you can't convince me that what you want is a "NEED" and not just a want, then you had better do what one guy did recently: secure your loan.
A guy just new to the guild wanted a significant loan for northrend flying.
Normally, someone who had been in the guild for only a day or so would be told a blunt "NO WAY!" but this guy was sensible. We discussed all the points above:
1: NR flying meets my "Need" criteria for most people. (Yes)
2: He wasn't asking for the whole lot, but had been caught short. His reasons for that were reasonable, but not great. (Maybe)
3: He had some ability to repay via trade skills but suggested questing was his primary income. (Maybe)

At this point, I would have turned him down except that his answer to point 4: above was a winner.
4: will he take the money and run? No, because he secured his loan with a number of level 80 epic items worth far in excess of the loan amount. He was quite rightly concerned that _I_ might be the one doing a runner!

This particular loan was repaid in a short period of time in instalments and he got his items back as COD mail messages for the final payments.

Another guildie has been trying to convince me to loan him funds. He's been around for quite a long time and otherwise would get a loan, except at the moment he fails miserably on point 3: repayment. I have pointed him to my blog in the hope he will read the other messages here and do something about his economic situation. (If you are reading this, fellow guildie, the post isn't entirely directed at YOU, since there have been many others fitting the same criteria!)

This goes a lot further though than just money.
WoW is a game that is both easy, yet complex. Most classes are tuned so that they can be levelled up even if played poorly. Crap gear choices hardly matter in the lower levels. Awful talent choices are barely noticable until the mid 30's or even higher. Poor group skills are able to be overcome by getting runthroughs, or simply leveling outside of instances/group quests.
Most players seem willing to listen to advice or do a bit of research on how to better their play. There are a significant number however who are willfully ignorant.
Maybe I'm just getting less tolerant of newbies as my time in game increases but some of thses are examples of the ignorant:

The warlock who stands in melee right next to the tank, frequently casting drain soul instead of using DOTS. When queried on this, he said he likes using "both kinds of attacks" (melee and spell), and needs to drain soul for healthstones.

The SV or MM spec hunter who refused to use a pet at all becasue it was "insignificant DPS".

All those characters who need-roll on loot that is inapropriate for their class, or those need-rolling on gear for their alts.

PUGgers, or guildies, that AFK in the middle of an instance without explanation, or leave whenever they feel like it. (yes, RL happens. if you really have to go, just say so; dont leave the rest of us hanging!)

The player (usually DPS classes) that aggro extra mobs before the tank gets a shot... and that then winge when the healer lets them die!

The people that complain they have no quests left to do. There are well over 3,000 quests available to each faction and only about 800 are needed to get you to maximum level. If you really have finished an area, move on to another location. Mostly you just need to look harder in the zone you are in. Use the wow website zone guide as a starting point.

Ah well. This post is turning into a rant when it wasn't really meant to. The point is, there are many many places to turn to for information if you only had the motivation to look!

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