Home > Mass Effect 3, OpenRaid, Real ID, World of Warcraft > Played Lately: “OpenRaiding” or “Reapers”

Played Lately: “OpenRaiding” or “Reapers”

I have been a little sick the last few weeks, and there has been a major regime change at work that has thrown a figurative monkey-wrench into everything work-related. This is not to say I haven’t been playing (or enjoying) video games, it simply means I have been severely pressed for time to write about them.

Mists of Pandaria Blues

World of Warcraft shambles on towards the new expansion. I say shambles not because the subscriptions numbers are struggling, because despite losing millions of subscribers, Blizzard still retains 10 million + players. I say shambles because the expansion blues have set in. Members of the guild have been logging fewer hours each day, and despite fairly decent success with Dragon Soul (1/8 HC for a PuG guild ain’t bad), fewer and fewer show up for raids, rBGs and group-play. I realized that my playtime had rapidly dwindled because aside from the aforementioned two activities, I did little else. So I decided to set a few (un)realistic goals for myself.

  • 1 million gold: I have crossed the 100K gold mark in the game, so the AH profiteering is going well. I don’t think I will hit a cool million before the expansion, but that is largely due to the fact that Agamaggan is a dead server. On reset day, at peak hour, it took a pug nearly two hours to put together a BH-25 from trade chat. That is just sad.
  • 50 Exalted Reputations: I think I will easily hit this benchmark before the expansion. I have been using a great resource to figure out what to do for each rep grind for the various faction spread out across the original game and it’s four expansions. The website is Wow JuJu, and their reputation calculator is phenomenal. I have 31 exalted reputations at the moment, and I should hit exalted with the Netherwing faction tonight. So 18 more shouldn’t be much of an issue. My guess is that we won’t see Mists of Pandaria before the (beginning of the) end of summer.
  • Mountain of Mounts: Getting 100 mounts in the game is a lot easier today than it was 2 expansions ago. I have 68 so far, and with minimal effort, it would seem. Here is a pro-tip for people trying to do this achievement. Go to your official armory page (mine is here). Click on “Companions and Mounts” in the menu on the left-hand side. Click on the mounts tabs up top. Click on Not Collected. On the top-right, beneath the Filter search box, click Show Advanced Filters. You can now sort mounts by vendor, quest, profession, drop etc. You can do the same on the companions tab.
  • Transmorgificate: Transmorgification is great not only in that it allows you to customize your character’s look, but also in that it has made old raids relevant again. Vanilla and The Burning Crusade raids are simple because my current gear vastly overpowers the encounters. However, Wrath of the Lich King (and, obviously, Cataclysm) is a different story altogether. I can’t run that with 1-2 friends in 25-player mode, and I certainly cannot run Tier 11 (Bastion of Twilight, Throne of the Four Winds, Blackwing Descent) or Tier 12 (Firelands) without help. This is where the titular “OpenRaiding” concept comes into play.
  • OpenRaiding: OpenRaid is a relatively new website that allows you to raid via Real ID. You don’t have to bark in trade chat for hours to get a team together (god knows that is a pain in the ass on a low population server), simply log into OpenRaid, post up a raid that you want to run, the time and date, the group composition you want and people sign up for it. Once they are signed up, you are given access to their RealID information. Add them, toss them an in-game invite and go raid! I have run close to 20 raids so far in the last two weeks, and so far it has been a massive help in getting things accomplished that we otherwise wouldn’t. Just two days ago, I joined a team that was hunting the harder achievements in 40-man raids (such as The Alterac Blitz, or Stormpike Perfection), and we got both during our playtime together, in addition to Mine in Isle of Conquest. If you are not on there yet, I highly recommend it. The ONLY thing you can’t raid with it, is Dragon Soul on Normal or Heroic. You can raid Dragon Soul in LFR mode, although I have seen no groups for it (for what some might call obvious reasons). I have one raid coming up tonight if you with to join, it is a rap/transmorg run of all TBC raids. You can find it here.
  • Primary Professions: My main, Jehangir, has Engineering and Blacksmithing maxed out. However, I desperately need a few other professions in order to fully capitalize on the market. I am leveling a Paladin (my first love), with Mining and Jewelcrafting. The mining part is primarily because it is a pain to find a smelter and most ore is half the price of its equivalent number of bars in the AH, which is more than a little ridiculous. I am also leveling a mage with Tailoring and Alchemy. I still need a Leatherworker. Inscription can bite me.

Taking Earth Back

Taking back earth is accomplished in Mass Effect 3, oddly, by spending the least amount of time on Earth. I am only about 5 hours into the story, and if my experience and the rave critic reviews are any indication, I am in for a hell of a ride. My favorite aspect of the game should be the combat, as it is an improved, visceral and brutal affair, but what I am truly impressed by is the music score. Mass Effect 3 has amazing music throughout, and it has an uncanny ability to tug at the emotional strings of my psyche. I have been playing Commander Shepard for (going on) five years now. This story feels personal, it feels real, and the threat palpable.

Of course they can’t get everything right, because today I came across this sad piece of news from an otherwise positive review:

In singleplayer, everything you do accumulates ‘war assets’. When you finish the game, how many of these you have determines how good an ending you get: how well the final fight goes for your side. Success in co-op multiplies your war assets, up to twice their normal value. That means that if you only play singleplayer, or want to finish singleplayer first, you’ll have to grind the living hell out of its most tedious fetch quests to get the best ending. – PC Gamer, Mass Effect 3 Review

Balls.

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  1. March 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I’m not really certain that PC Gamer quote is true. I’ve beat ME3 yesterday (will write about it soon) and I didn’t really see any points in the ending that really could be changed depending on your fleet strength. Which was actually a huge disappointment to me, as I spent an awful lot of time on the “tedious fetch quests” building up the fleet.

    Much more important is your Paragon or Renegade rating. If you want to use either of those options in the finale, you have to have them at the absolute max. I think I only got Renegade points twice (and one of them was a bug, I think) and was pure Paragon otherwise, and I still couldn’t use the final Paragon option.

    • March 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Yes but that is the thing you see, I don’t want to do all the tedious shit! 😦

  2. March 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Actually, after doing some research, apparently I’m wrong on war assets not counting. I also didn’t come anywhere close to getting enough assets for the best ending.

    • March 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      @Rohan: Well there you go man, is the EA influence finally beginning to shine on through?!

  3. March 13, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I haven’t been following the controversy too closely, but the ME3 thing rubs me the wrong way. I am going to scrub the game clean anyway because that how I play Mass Effect. But I hate to think that being a crazy completionist is required to get a satisfactory ending.

    • March 13, 2012 at 12:15 am

      Also, I really need to get back to WoW. I never finished Cataclysm questing and my annual subscription is turning into the world’s most expensive copy of Diablo III.

      • March 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

        If you are on EU servers add me. My email for this website (find it punk!) And sign up on OpenRaid so we can raid together too!

  4. March 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

    It really bothers me that the multiplayer has an affect on the outcome of ME3. I understand that I don’t have to participate in the multiplayer, but from what I’ve heard if I want the ending that I’ve been hoping to get I will have to play the coop.

    I have this cynical feeling that the coop is half way forced so that players will spend money to get the really good stuff in order to gain enough waassetsts to achieve the ultimate happy ending.

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