Stopping the Blizzcon Bullying

 

jaymohrbully

True or nah?

 

Editor’s Note: I had initially started writing this the day after Blizzcon 2016, but then abandoned it because let’s face it – at the time, ragging on the Blizzcon hosting duties was like beating a dead horse. Now social media have moved on to other, uh, things.  So I thought, what the Hell, why not try and revisit this and maybe get some fresh ideas flowing.

I love Blizzcon. I really do. Where else can nerds like me go and feel not only safe, but accepted? Gamers are always the brunt of jokes and ridicule. At least, those who are brave enough to let others know what they do both for fun and as a social experience. Blizzcon is like a big hug, a place where Blizzard gamers can be among their own people, and not have to worry about being judged.

You be you, boo boo. You be you.

Naturally, the socially awkward and sensitive tend to be very protective of their safe-zone. They don’t like it when outsiders come in and disrupt their happy place. This makes them critical of anyone who they feel might be disparaging them. Sensitive, you might say.

Some might say, too sensitive.

Thomas Middleditch, the host of the Contest portion of Blizzcon 2016, seemed to have little idea what he was signing up for. I’m sure he’d been briefed. I mean, dude is no slouch – Emmy-nominated actor for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for “Silicon Valley”. He clearly knows how to bring the funny. He also fits the “nerdy comedic gamer” niche that Blizzard seems to go for when it comes to booking hosts for Blizzcon.

Thomas tried. He did. Granted, even he admitted he wasn’t as prepared as he should have been. He cited being busy working 12 hour days, which is understandable given that he has a career to build on.  But by the end of his set, the live attendants didn’t seem too thrilled with him, and the online crowd openly hated him. They roasted him to the point where former host Jay Mohr piped up on Twitter offering support.

Jay brought up a few interesting observations, one of which I slapped at the top of this post. He cited it as the reason that most of the people who hosted prior to this refused to return for the gig. And honestly, I don’t blame them.

Comedy is subjective. Sometimes it hits, sometimes not. I’ve seen most of the previous hosts, both live and on Youtube or Virtual Ticket. And while it is important to be able to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously, poking fun at socially awkward gamers at Blizzcon is like going to a gun convention and cracking wise about the guy who buys the biggest guns to make up for his other shortcomings.

Penis. I’m saying he buys big guns because he has a little penis. Point being, it doesn’t go over well.

To Blizzard’s credit, they make tremendous games. Games so good that they generate passionate fans. And be it games, antique cars, or geode crystals, nobody likes it when someone takes a pot shot at something they are passionate about. They get defensive, lash out, and Jay Mohr takes his paycheck and says “Later nerds!”

And I don’t blame him. Just as I don’t blame Thomas Middleditch, Wil Wheaton, or Chris Hardwick.

I blame Blizzard… or whoever does the bookings. But since it’s Blizzcon, Blizz has to take the hit on this one. Why?

  • They hire comedians that they think filled a niche – gamers, nerdy types. Problem being, especially in Middleditch’s case, the hosts break out their stock material about gamers (either out of habit or due to a lack of familiarity with Blizzard games), which is only funny when it’s not entirely true. But let’s be real here – sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason. Some of those jokes hit a little close to home for many, and while some may laugh at the jokes, others may feel like they are the ones being laughed at.
  • Why must the contest host be a comedian at all? They start the set off with ten minutes of jokes, which is a great warm up if you’re setting up for more comedy. Sitcoms do this when they shoot in front of a live audience by having a comedian come out and “warm up the crowd”. Big name comedians also do this by having warm up acts perform before them. But at Blizzcon, the only comedy that happens once the competition starts is whatever jokes the comedian says. Those jokes tend to be at the expense of the performers. (Okay, the talent competition might be yuk yuk-worthy but you don’t need a warm-up act for that.)

Every Blizzcon it seems like it becomes harder and harder to fill that hosting spot. As Jay Mohr pointed out, there’s a reason for that. After what happened at Blizzcon 2016, I think it might be time to veer off the path a little.

  • Get a celebrity who plays Warcraft. Blizzard obviously likes to have a celebrity in that hosting spot. This year, while Thomas Middleditch was an Emmy-nominated actor, he just wasn’t as well-known as many other hosts had been. But people know Hodor. Kristian Nairn plays Warcraft, and he DJ’d the afterparty event at Blizzcon this year. Felecia Day? She’s appeared at Blizzcon before. Dominic Monaghan? He threw down with Elijah Wood (Battle of the Hobbits, yo!) defending World of Warcraft. He makes appearances at SDCC. There are other celebrities who could come out and host  the contest who are WoW fans (Vin Diesel, Mila Kunis, and obviously Jamie Lee Curtis) but the price tag on them might be more than Blizzard can afford. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try… and Jamie Lee Curtis already has her own Orc costume.
  • Pull from the fan base. Since this is a hosting gig for the competition portion of the show, why not have a competition to select the host? There are talented Youtubers, Twitchers, and other media-savvy people amongst the MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Blizzard gamers. I’m sure if Blizzard dangled a competitive carrot out there, they’d get a number of suitable entries. And with all the heat that the very same fan base threw at hosts in the past, anyone who entered the competition would be very aware of what kind of potential shit-storm could be waiting for them.

Blizzcon 2017 is only about 340 days away. Clock’s ticking… and I doubt there will be a lineup of people knocking on Blizzard’s door looking for the hosting gig this time around.

 

 

 

Tidbit Thursday

Happy Thors-day!

As I write this, I’m sick as a dog, and struggling to get through my night shift so I can sleep. Because dying.

News? Sure, let’s talk patch 7.1.5 as it hits the PTR. More importantly, how it might help with making gooooooold!

  • Looks like crafted gear is getting the Obliterum upgrade from 8 to 10. Take advantage now of the cheap mats that you can use to make these things, and be ready to sell them once the patch goes live.
  • Also getting a very cool upgrade is the WoW Token. Judging by the coding being introduced in the patch, we are going to be able to buy the tokens and deposit them in our Battle.net account. That means you’ll be able to buy server transfers, race changes, and all that good stuff, with gold. To this I say both “Hooray” and “Damn it” because I can see myself using this to server transfer toons, and most likely leveling them up.

There were a couple other things, but I’m pretty sure that was part of a fever dream. Actually, that leads me to another tip. It’s not necessarily game related, but it bears mentioning:

  • Listen to your body. It will tell you when something’s wrong. I’m not saying to go to WebMD every time you have an ache (because nine times out of ten it’ll probably tell you you’re dying), but be mindful if you’re feeling “off.”
  • If you’re sick, STAY HOME AND DON’T SPREAD YOUR PLAGUE YOU SAVAGE! Luckily when whatever the Hell plague hit me, I was already at work. Staying up late at night puts stressors on your body, including your immune system, which is why doctors suggest rest when you’re sick. So being up all night will beat the piss out of me, but I don’t have to be around other people so I am somewhat contained, and I have alcoholic wipes that I will use to towel down everything before I leave. I will also leave some for the day shift guy, and suggest he do the same.

That’s it for me. I hope this posts.

#PrayForMojo #ScrewThatGorilla

One Month Later

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I know life can get pretty hectic, but not updates in over a month? Unacceptable. It’s not like I haven’t been playing. Tell you what, I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been doing. At the end, I’ll add a cool Demon Hunter tip that I discovered. Sound fair? Groovy.

Okay, so, updates in the past month:

  • I dinged 110 on my Pandaren Hunter. That’s my third character at level cap. This one was more out of frustration because Blizzard decided to change the prerequisites for the guild achievement “Stay Classy.” My guild is pretty small, so any race/class combo we can get checked off was an accomplishment. Prior to patch 7.1, you just needed a character at level 85 (90 for Pandarens – racists), and Honored rep with the guild. We had that for a number of combos, and only needed about eight more to unlock the guild bank tab we’ve been working toward for quite some time. However, after the patch, you needed classes at “Max Level.” To make matters worse, many of the combos we’d already completed were reset. So instead of needing about eight more characters leveled up, we now needed 25 or so. Pandaren Hunter was one I had been working on, so I took him to cap. Not sure if I’ll run through with my Dwarf Warrior, or take another DK through.
  • My Demon Hunter twink has been tearing up everything in front of him. He’s been great for gold making, gathering up herbs and skins and so on. Now that I’ve got some raid food recipes unlocked, he’s gathering up mats for that as well. Plus, I had him tanking for my guild (LOVE the content adjusting to levels, so a 101 can group with 110’s). He didn’t even have his tanking artifact weapons, and he tore it up like a boss. Say what you will, DH’s are not #SAWFT.
  • My Death Knight? Yeah, I’ve given him a bit of love too. But honestly, other than grinding rep so he’s ready to unlock flight when the time comes, I’m not sure how much further he’ll go. I do have to run through his profession quests, so that’ll probably be my focus with him. There’s gold to be had there, and I do loves me some gold.

That’s been my month. Now, about that tip…

How to Demon Hunter on ANY Server

Demon Hunters, being the new Hero Class, are currently locked behind restrictions. Those restrictions being:

  1. Only one DH per server.
  2. You must have a Level 70 character on that server before you can start a new DH.

But what if you want to start a Demon Hunter on a new server? Do you have to transfer a Level 70 character over, just to start a DH? Or do you start a DK, grind him up to 70, then park him so you can get your DH groove on?

Turns out, nah to both.

  1. Create a new character. Doesn’t matter what, you won’t be playing it.
  2. At the top of the screen where it says “Character Type”, select “Class Trial”. Select any race and class. Again, doesn’t matter what you pick because you won’t be playing it.
  3. Once the character is made and the boost is applied, you now have a temporary Level 100 character on that server. If you don’t log it in, it’ll sit there indefinitely.
  4. After that, you are free to create your Demon Hunter.

 

Hope this helps!  Rokk out!

 

 

 

Making Gold With Class Trials


Yep, Tome of the Tranquil Mind. The consumable that you have to use when you want to swap specs. Without it, you have to be somewhere in a rested XP area (city, inn) to make the change. A beneficial item to have for raiding, running dungeons, or hell even for questing.

According to The Undermine Journal, these things sell on the AH for roughly 200g each. Your mileage may vary of course, but as of right now the average price is 200g. Other than the handful you get when you complete the New Dalaran quest at the start of the Legion expansion, the only other way to get them is to buy them off the AH or have a character with Inscription that can make them.

So what does this have to do with making gold with Class Trial characters? Allow me to explain:

  • Create a new character, and select Class Trial. You’ll start with a fresh (temporary) level 100 character.
  • After running through the brief tutorial, you will be sent to the Broken Shore scenario. Once there, leave the instance.
  • You will appear in front of a quest-giver who tries to give you the option to enter the scenario. There’s also an option to skip the instance, which results in you being sent directly to New Dalaran.
  • Once you spawn in New Dalaran, hand in your quest to the dude in front of you. He will reward you with the Dalaran Hearthstone and five Tomes of the Tranquil Mind.
  • Go to the mailbox, mail the Tomes to a bank alt or another character. Log off, delete the character, rinse and repeat.

With this method, you can either load up with stacks of Tomes for free, or sell them on the AH. That’s roughly 1000g on the AH for maybe ten minutes of work.

Not too shabby, and oh so sneaky.

Twinking and Farming

Legion is one busy expansion.

Without a doubt, there’s plenty to do. For me, the trick comes with balancing advancing my main, and farming stuff to sell on my alts. This was a lesson learned the hard way, when I took my first alt to 110 to unlock his full Blacksmithing potential, just as smithing took a bit of a dive. It was hard to say whether the risk was worth the reward, but what I did know was that I wasn’t in any hurry to push another character to 110.

Gold, though. I like gold. Love is a strong word, but I can say that I’m definitely in “like” with gold. So, me being me, I started looking for the best way to optimize my gold-making without taking too much time away from my main.

The answer, oddly enough, was twinking.

There have been a number of YouTube videos made discussing how some people were actually soloing Legion dungeons at 101. How? By twinking their character. For those not in the know, “twinking” means equipping a character with gear that far exceeds his level. For the longest time, twinking just wasn’t viable at higher levels. But with the zone scaling in Legion, the process once again had potential.

I had a Demon Hunter that I was using as my Skinner. I actually locked his XP at 100, and he was tearing up mobs. I had another Warrior at 100 who was my Tailo/Herbalist. I decided that I would put the Warrior back in his Garrison where he could continue to make Hexweave bags. The DH would pick up Herbalism, enable XP, and pull double gathering duty until he dinged 101. Then I would lock his XP again, twink him, and see if it made a difference.

The experiment went like this – pick up some gear that could A) be equipped at 101, and B) had an iLevel of 780 or higher. I picked up a few pieces, geared up, and hoped it was going to make a difference. 

Turns out it did. 

I wasn’t planning on spending hours herbing and skinning. Luckily I found a route where I could pull double duty. The gear was good enough that I could burn down everything in my path, quickly loading up on herbs and skins. I donated some of those mats to my guild, and put the rest up to sell. Gold, baby. Cha-ching.

What does the future hold for the DH? Well I can tell you that he’s not going to see 110 anytime soon. I’m on a low pop server, so there’s not a pile of twink gear on the AH. But I’m going to keep an eye out, and fingers crossed I’ll have enough gold to upgrade his gear as it becomes available. It’s fun to feel so OP, and if I can make some gold while I’m kicking that ass, all the better.   

Twinking. It’s come a long way from the Level 19 BG’s, baby.