Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So, yes, this is on live; the beta is over. Yes, I'm still playing, a lot actually. Things is, when the expansion went live I took Hell and Tynaqua out to Northrend and got them rolling on their expanded professions and questing. I got them both up to level 72 and decided to go back and roll the DK, now that the initial crowd would be through the start zones on that. Or so i thought. LOL. Nope, crowded but doable. I rolled a blood elf DK, named her Fortknight (I'd grown attached to the name), and got so crazy into the death knight that I moved her right along to level 74, just like that.
The first shot, up top, Fort is hanging with the big dogs, Lady Sylvannas and Thrall, as they are about to retake the UC from that bastige, Varimathras. OMG I love this quest chain. I love the cut scene with Arthas, the UC battle, the Alliance meet up, and the whole nine yards. That's me, next to Lady Sylvannas. No, I am not a gnome. They downsized me! Waaaah. This shot is from the opening fight in the UC courtyard. Go Horde!!
The worst part about the DK was starting at lvl 55 with NO PROFESSIONS! Curse you, Blizzard. But Fort has fishing, cooking, mining, and skinning up to Northrend standards now. Well, fishing still requires a bobble, but at least it can be done.
Hell went forward with inscription, dumping tailoring, and at first that paid off big. Now, not so much, as everyone seems to have his / her inscrption needs taken care of. Unlike gems and enchants, your inscriptions don't get recycled with gear changes. Hmm, bad planning there Blizzard (and me). Tynaqua's doing a brisk gem business so that sort of compensates, and with three miners (Hell, Tyn, and Fort), I"m good.
Game play is fun, but the interesting part has also been to watch the guild deal with the expansion. First they tried to set caps, then the very cap-setters themselves blasted on through to level 80. I asked the first one to 80 how he liked Wintergrasp (the pvp area that requires lvl 77), commenting that I couldn't wait to do that. He said he hadn't seen much of the world on his whirlwind trip to level 80. I think this might be true of several of the "gotta hit 80 first or close to first" people in guild. For them, it's about the achievement. For some of us, it's about the world. Anyhow... I will try to put more info and screenshots in here.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Now I'm pretty weak on my lore, so I was curious how the community would answer him. One person pointed him to the wowwiki. =yawn= But, another suggested he take a look at Warcraft III as it was lore-ilicious. No, that's my term, not his. THis piqued my interest too. I found a Blizzard page that would let me play a demo version of Warcraft III, even on a Mac. So of course I had to download it. And, of course, I had to play it ... from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. last night. It plays like a RTS game, e.g., Civ. IV. You are in the god seat as you build and move units of people around on the map. THe game play itself isn't really very much fun, and it's staggering to think of the leap from that to World of Warcraft. It really gives you quite an appreciation for the complexity of MMO infrastructures.
But why did I play it for so long? Well, shoot, yes the lore info., mostly in cut scenes, was pretty cool. Dude, I saw the Murlocs slay Sen'jin. You know, as in Sen'jin Village in WoW? I also hate losing, especially to the game AI. That's just embarrassing. Part of hte problem is that I haven't read, nor do I intend to read, the directions, and the game mechanics are not self-evident. I'm learning by trial and error, which is okay for a few days, but won't last long. [Grr, I still can't finish the prologue quests...that watery bitch (Sarah says it's Azshara) keeps beating my guys.]
Meanwhile, Back on Live
Meanwhile, back on live, we're all still sorta cruising around killing time waiting for the expansion -- or as Hyp. calls it, the expansh. So Hellgrima is now exalted with the Scryers, finally, and of course there are no real items of any value now that she's parading around in T4 gear with some pvp touches. Tynaqua hit exalted with the Shattered Sun people, and she can score some useful gem recipes, although she's already at 350 and I know from beta that there are some real kick ass gems coming up in Northrend.
I'm plotting and scheming to move some Alliance toons from another account onto Eitrigg. Now that the achievements have kicked in and excited people, I think I can sell Alliance pets to Hordies and vice versa, by passing them across a neutral auction house across my accounts. Yes bwahahahahahahaha, it's all about the gold. So I'll probably move Hallgrima. JohnBigBoote might get some play time with my doctoral students. Now since I know that you can't fly in Northrend till level 77, fast and sexy ground mounts are the big deal. Tynaqua is gonna grind for the Talbuk mount cause she's almost to exalted. Hell...I dunno.
Those Clever Bastiges
Yes, Blizzard is easing us in to the expansh with another attack of the Scourge. Much like two years ago, floating necropolis machines are showing up in the skies above the big cities, and offloading evil scourge fighters.
They have also parlayed the Halloween holiday into a set up for the scourge invasion. Ghouls are roaming about and infecting players, who then spread the infection to other players, including NPCs. Now some of us find this hugely amusing and when ghouled, immediately set off to mess with people. But if you're a serious player who just wants to put some items up on the Auction House and the AH auctioneer is dead from plague, you might get a little pissy. So right now the servers are divided between those of us who find this hugely amusing, and those who find it hugely annoying. But as we like to say on trade channel: STFU, it's a game.
The guildies took up the Halloween quest in Kara, in large part because it gets us all a new pet, and Hyp and I (and I think Gala) are on a mission to obtain billions of pets. (Yeah, sigh, it's an available achievement.) CrazyD (a.k.a Clivenar, Grimnar, and hubby Don) got to practice some tanking, and thus it was that he got the über drop, Arcanite Ripper (a take-off on the über axe, the Arcanite Reaper). This axe has the added feature of turning you into a guitar-playing undead freak. Pretty cool. So here is CrazyD in his guitar undead state.
Back on Beta
Yeah, I still jump in there to play DK. I love that class, and I had just hit the Sholazar Basin area (lvl 76-77) and wanted to see it. It's sort of Stranglethorn meets Nagrand, and yeah, there is a Nesingwary camp there. While wandering around I found a rare cat that I mos def want to tame, if it's tameable. Check this baby out:
Well this is plenty for one post. I'll let you know if I ever get past the WarcraftIII prologue.
Monday, October 20, 2008
So patch 3.0.2 went live and jeepers, why stay in the beta? well, no reason, except to play some DK every now and again. The new patch brought inscription, the new talent builds, and some interface changes such as the calendar and pvp flag timer. Tynaqua got herself all respec'd for the new version of BM, and immediately tamed a devilsaur and a corehound. Hellgrima has seen the most action though, herbing for inscription, and selling lower level inscriptions while banking some of the better ones.
It's also the start of Halloween, or whatever we call it in WoW. The achievement system is getting more people involved than I've seen traditionally. Here is Hellgrima aboard a flying broom that she got from a trick or treat bag at one of the Inns. Hellgrima is still spec'd affliction, and I gotta say HAUNT kicks ass. Finally I can really handle as many as four or five adds at my level because as each dies, I get almost a full heal. So my casting is sequence is now Curse of Elements, Corruption, HAUNT, and my other DOTs. I figure to get HAUNT up fast so I can reap the heal at the end. It has a 1.5 sec cast and 10 sec. cooldown so I'm almost always ready to rock it at someone or something. I suppose this means they'll be nerfing it soon. It also has a really aweome animation. Makes it fun to play a 'lock again. Here's the spell; take a look:
You send a ghostly soul into the target, dealing 645 to 753 Shadow damage and increasing all damage done by your damage-over-time effects on the target by 20% for 12 sec. When the Haunt spell ends or is dispelled, the soul returns to you, healing you for 100% of the damage it did to the target.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
back..Man, I must've been pretty tired. Fortknight has ding'd 76 and is half-way to level 77, at which time she is permitted to use a flying mount in Northrend. Her hearth is now set to Dalaran, which has a bank, but no AH, so it's still necessary to run back to the old world to play eBay. Fortunately, like Shattrath, Dalaran has an area with portals to the major cities, including Shattrath.
I'll try to grab more Dalaran pix to put up here, but for now let me show you Tynaqua's latest exotic pet, the devilsaur from Un'goro Crater. You all hated him when he squished you, now he's workin' for the man...lolz Because it's beta and I don't care what people think, I named him Palin, cause, you know, Sarah Palin and her Joe Six-pack pals believe dinosaurs and man lived at the same time.
Meanwhile Hellgrima is closing in on the top of the inscription profession. Her glyphs are actually good. But here's the coolest, not the best for fighting but the coolest. She can make a scroll that lets you rename your pet. That's for hunters, or rather for huntards, who name their pet something stupid they later regret. I love it. Her other glyphs are mostly buffs to existing talents. They do things like shorten the global cooldown on a spell, or extend the length of time a DOT runs, or add damage to an attack, or put a bonus "finisher" on a cast. In the last instance, a good example would be the glyph for warlock's fear that slows down the target at the end of the fear spell. In a dungeon, this gives you time to cast another fear spell, if you're chain fearing an add. Useful. I hope there is one for banish, as Hellgrima tends to use banish way more than fear in dungeons.
Speaking of Hell and her inscription, I have been working on the REAL Hellgrima. I had her drop tailoring and start herbing so she can do inscription when the expansion comes out. She is already at about 305 in herbing, and I'm banking the herbs to get a quick start out of the gate. I hate to see her lose the mining, but Tynaqua mines so I'll still have a nice source or ore there.
Speaking of Tynaqua, her second profession is jewelcrafting and that is full of win on the beta server. I must've made close to 3000G already doing the top jewels, the new ones that use gems that drop from the new ores. She can make some seriously über shit now. A couple of my toons are actually wearing a very powerful necklace she makes and has embedded with top 'o the line gems. I'll try to grab and post some info on that.
I have got to say the interweaving of lore into the quest lines, and the inclusion of scenes/cut scenes in the questing experience so awesome I can't wait to redo those quest lines on my live toons. Did you ever think you'd hear someone say they can't wait to redo a quest line? I doubt I'l get Tyn or Hell up to the those quest lines before the beta ends so I doubt I'll get a chance to grab a movie for ya. If I can, I will. Check YouTube. No doubt someone has it up there already. Wait, lemme look for ya. Sure enough. This is a crappy video but you get the idea. You go in to reclaim the UC from scourge. You get to fight Varimathras. The Alliance shows up but not exactly to help. lol. HOW MO FO COOL IS THAT??????
Monday, September 08, 2008
This involved first getting respec'd all the way down the BM line to pick up beast mastery, which lets you train exotic pets. Then, after a quick check on Petopia to see what sorts of dmg and stats these ginormous two-headed dogs had, I started the long tortuous route back to Outlands, specifically to Shadow Moon, to pick up a Spawn of Uvuros. Hey, if BRK in all his T5 or T6 glory gear can't live through the taming of Uvuros himself (elite), then I sure as hell can't. So Tynaqua (Tynaquard in beta) has herself a core hound. Ain't he grand? Two heads; lava pouring outta his mouth; and sweet trail of greasy green smoke globules. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about, right there! I think I'll also pick up a mammoth, or maybe a chimera. Why, because I can.
The new hunter spec'ing is ... well, it's okay. I really like what's happened with the Viper shot and mana regen. Not too happy with having to spend all those points in BM. I usually spec survival up to trap mastery, but, well, we'll see as we play with this. After all, it's just 1 copper to respec.
Oh, Tynaqua is also leveling jewelcrafting and has made close to 1000G just selling two stacks of what will be the new motes: crystallized earth, water, and I forget what else, that are by-products of mining cobalt. Also making some sweet new gems, and I'm only at the edge of 400. JC now goes to 450.
That's today's update from beta.
Just wanted to get you a nice look at the new exotic pet.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I have suggested to Blizz that we get some enduring mark of our commitment to save animals, a badge, a title, a doodad for our mount, a tabard, something. And, I have suggested there be some rep. In fact, there could be a daily quest chain that involves going back to Outland or Azeroth to help save animals there. Anyhow, thought this was cool.
Along the same lines, I had to offer feedback to Blizz about a quest on behalf of the "good" murlocs we're now friends with, in which I am to slaughter orcas. As if that weren't bad enough (wouldn't we all feel better slaughtering giant squid or something), the orcas sing... yes they sing the whale songs as you slaughter them. THat was really, really, unpleasant and I let Blizz know that.
Anyhow, this is PETA moment is offered to show you how the game has acquired more depth, imho, beyond slash and kill, and outside the official lore. More to follow.
PS - Ding. Fortknight is now 71. Hellgrimma's inscription lvl is now 300.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Hellgrima (Hellgrimma on beta) hasn't gotten outside the main area of Northrend much cause she's spent all her time running between the mailbox and the Inscription trainer. Inscription is a new profession that is a cross between enchanting and jewelcrafting, imho. You create scrolls and glyphs that other players can use to buff existing talents. Some are class-specific, for instance, I made my hunter a glyph that adds a 20% bonus to Mark of the Hunter. I also made one that boosts the Aspect of the Monkey (dodge rating). Some items are generic, useable by any class. I can make scrolls of recall, which function much like the shammy's second hearthstone. While you have a 1 hr CD on your hearth, the scroll lets you pop back home in 15 min intervals (each scroll is a single use item, btw).
The scrolls and gryphs require ink and paper. Here's where it gets interesting and begins to resemble enchanting and JC'ing. Inks are made from powders, e.g., verdant dust; and powders are MILLED from herbs (think of prospecting ore like a jewelcrafter). A stack of five herbs can be milled for a residue powder which can make an ink, or combine with other residues to make a slightly different ink. Paper is bought from the inscription supplier. Here's where it gets messy like enchanting. So far, and I'm only level 238, I have about 10 different inks in my bags. I'm flashing back to the joys of enchanting and having shards and powders that filled my bank. UGH. But....sure is fun to do this profession.
The glyphs are attached to player profiles. Each player has 5 glyph slots: three "major" glyphs, and two minor. More to come as I do more with the glyphs as a player.
Hell/Hall/Sammi/Tynaqua/and monster DK Fortknight
Thursday, August 28, 2008
FortKnight is now 66, almost 67, and spent yesterday solo'ing the Nagrand trifecta: Banthar, Bach'lor, and Gutripper, each of which is an elite 67 "group quest." It wasn't easy, but it was sure doable. Man, you know they are going to have to nerf these talents. I also tried a frost respec. and yes, it has a big burst damage item or two, but I just didn't like it and so I'm back in unholy, and killing just fine, as you can see.
Tynaqua is making me food, bandages, and gems for gear. At some point I need to push on the jewelcrafting and inscription profs of my mains in Northrend, but the Northrend server is so unstable it's not fun to play atm. Hopefully later this week... stay tuned.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The DK is going to be OP, and in beta it is hugely OP. I was solo'ing multiple mobs several levels above me. I spec'd for unholy, though many were spec'd for blood. After a few days it appeared there were increasing numbers opting for unholy.
Probably the best skill is Death Grip, which you can use to literally rope and pull a mob from a good distance. I'd guess about 35 feet. And in the beta it seems to be a very low threat cast, thus you can pluck people out of groups to kill them.
In my unholy spec I have a spell that lets me return for 45 seconds as a ghoul after I die, much like the way the priest has a postmortem ghost life. I've used it to win a duel and to move past a difficult mob, finally dying past their agg. range.
I have all sorts of wonderful spells that cast pestilence and plague, but my favorite is Corpse Explosion. (picture coming). This is a kind of AOE since it spreads plague infection. I have another couple of AOEs, too. ANd, as a blood elf DK, I have three spell interrupts, because of arcane torrent. Which just had it's global cooldown removed. w00t!
This toon is so OP it's ridiculous, but good god, it is sure a lot of fun to play. Stay tuned, more to come. Next installment will be on Northrend.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Buying tickets for this year's Blizzcon turned out to be a truly epic quest. The site immediately crashed upon startup, and was intermittently up and down for close to two days. Would-be purchasers banded together over the hours, in the Blizzcon forum, commiserating, sharing tips and experiences with the Blizzard store, ranting, joking, doing call outs for their homies, and so on. It was a very interesting self-organizing community. Maybe Bonnie and I could do a paper on it. It's pretty remarkable. You can see a good bit of it here.
I made a Cafe Press t-shirt commemorating the Oopsloc (above) and the seemingly everpresent repair bot, below. It got more complicated when AMEX decided there were too many attempts to use the credit card and therefore rejected the charges. A phone call, from them to me, straightened that out, just in time for the next burst of sales. Needless to say, we got the tix! w007!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Oh noes!! It's school!! Nah, regarding the previous post, I have since found out that even Blizzard recognizes this desire in its players. The expansion will contain "achievement" awards; they offer nothing but prestige, and among the kinds of deeds that will get you an achievement award is the acquisition of rare objects, such as that purple epic tiger mount. Huzzah!
Onward to SSC, at last!
Yes, finally TrN is pushing on to Serpentshrine Cavern. Hellgrima was lucky enough to get in on the first visit, which we did with Morituri, and we were quite successful, downing both Hydross and the Lurker Below. Nice warlock item dropped but I lost the roll. =flinch=
Yes, more exclamation marks!!!111! I'm excited. Old content that is very cool but which many of us did not see because the expansion seduced us, right as we got there... So a bunch of us in guild are attuning, keying, and finishing the Onxyia's Lair thang. You know, "many whelps! handle it!" So far we've been doing this in parties of 4 or 5. LOL. This used to be 10- and 25-man content.
PallyBoy, real name Tanknheal (lvl 52 Pally, Horde, Eitrigg)
Well, he's up to lvl 52 and I'm starting to understand how to play him and why pallies are good tanks. I do hate casters though; still haven't figured out how to deal with them other than spank and tank. TanknHeal is in WPL and finishing up odd lots of quests. Soon to the Outlands.
JohnBigBoote (lvl 66 rogue, Allie, Drenden)
Despite my chagrin at finding three pages of JBBs in the Armory (I thought I was so clever), I am buoyed by the pleasures of advanced alchemy with JBB. Some serious money to be made there, and not just in the high end products. Tynaqua does well with jewelcrafting, but the recipes are harder to come by, or so it seems.
Speaking of Tynaqua...(lvl 70 hunter, Horde, Eitrigg) is still PVP'ing as it is her best hope for good gear. She doesn't get dragged to instances very much, although she's in the Onxyia questing. No gear there for her though, duh. Hopefully I'll have time to build her up. I like hunters.
Still waiting for the release of the Blizzcon tickets...but meanwhile...
S P O R E -- C R E A T U R E - C R E A T O R
zomg, Sarah and I spent an entire afternoon creating creatures. I have the account and have shared a few of mine, including my version of the murloc. You can see them in teh Sporepedia. I cannot believe in just 45 days I will have a world to launch them in!
And the final play tidbit: yes friends, I have completed GH3 MEDIUM!!!!!1111 Yeah baby, rock Redondo!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Here is John Big Booté talking to the dude in the middle of nowhere in Winterspring. This guy is THE guy you have to go to get the quests that let you grind the rep. from neutral to exalted with the faction that will let you buy ... are you still with me ... the epic purple striped tiger you see in the photo, which you can then use as your epic mount. And, this is a long and boring grind.
Which brings me to the question, why do we do this stuff? Well not all of us do. And some of us do it in other ways for other objects whose scarcity or rarity marks us as special... or nerdy. The first answer most people will give you, and perhaps their only answer, is that it's "cool." That is, the object is sufficiently desirable in itself to motivate the time commitment. The second answer is about differentiation. This is a game of mass customization. Yeah, you can customize your toon, from this limited set of choices. We've all stood around talking to the wrong n'elf because it looked like our friend who was just standing here... Night elves all look alike to me. Heh heh. But going for a rare epic sets you apart. There is one guy, one guy, on the server who is riding the golden phoenix mount. It's a very very very rare drop. He got it. Now he spends a lot of time in Shattrath hovering on his epic mount in front of the very busy thoroughfare between the Scyers bank and the FP. Why? Cause he's special now and he wants to enjoy that specialness.
So... yeah I'm grinding for a purple mount. What makes this especially nerderrific is that the distinguishing characteristics are fairly subtle. It can look like yet another one of those tiger n'elf mounts. Only those who have tried to grind will know. Some more observant people might ask, "hey, where do you get the purple one?" thinking they have missed an option. Then I get to say, "oh, it's a rep grind out in Winterspring." And thus I display my überosity.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Klaus Daimler: I'm sick of being on "B" squad.
Steve Zissou: You might be on "B" Squad, But you're the "B" Squad leader. Don't you know me and Esteban always thought of you as our baby brother?
Klaus Daimler: I've always thought of you two as my dads. Please don't let any one make fun of me for saying so.
Steve Zissou: I can't guarantee that, Klausie, but I'll try. Can we get on with the maneuvers now?
Wow (pun intended), I had fun last night in Karazhan, and I wasn't even going to go. Even before the night was over I was thinking about how it differed from my recent experiences there and elsewhere on group raids and parties.
First of all, the cast of characters I was playing with was not the usual "A Squad" set. Yeah, Kleo was there, but not as the MT or OT. And there were none of these folks: Gala, Party, Yom, Hypatie, Silversage, Alamo... I noticed it was the "second tier" the jr. varsity, the recent 70s, and some old names, Tigan and Kathmira, now called Sentina. I liked running with them. Anyhow, I noticed the play felt different. We moved faster; we yakked less about the set up. People contributed more suggestions about how to play something. The tone was lighter. It felt as if we were multitasking more. We definitely improv'd more. Just felt more fluid. I liked it a lot. And I didn't get a single drop, nor were there any I wanted. [Oh... side note...OF COURSE, the long awaited no-longer-useful opera pants dropped...of course... /headdesk]
I chatted with Althaea about this a bit. I thought maybe there was something systematic here. This was a largely younger crew, and less deeply steeped in academic professorial identity. Could this be it? Alth dumped some cold water on my naiscent theory, pointing out that he and Kleo were there...but well...I'm not convinced. I'll see. I'll probably try to run with them more. Yeah, I'd like to do SSC and beyond, but I like to have fun playing. I don't like routine and scripts and orders. Stand here; do this.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I was perusing today's Big Red Kitty, cause that's what I do. THe comments were awesome. And then, almost at the end of the comments, comes this:
#Baseball on 06 May 2008 at 3:32 pm #
One of the best parts of WoW, in my opinion, is the shady mathematics involved in generation of specific stats — which by nature lends to some great discussions. In the end, there’s definitely a “yes” or “no” answer — because this game is technically just a bunch of 0s and 1s. Heck even the EJ stuff showing that a DW shaman with a slow green OH does more dps than a fast epic OH seems “loony” to me at first glance.
But Blizzard’s ability to generate this type of discussion is really freaking cool. Remember when we all thought that if you overloaded onyxia with dots she would magically reduce the amount of fireballs? and then that turned out to be completely false?
That stuff’s awesome to me.
Let me also add that the original BRK posting and the 73 comments were all dual subject matter: aggro effects on trapped mobs and whether or not one should use two spaces after a period.
I love these people. I love them.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
So we did. Here we are at login, with hundreds and hundreds of other level 1 Tauren:
Here we go leaving Mulgore for the Barrens:
Or group had to wait for the second zep. at Orgrimmar.
We are the ones with icons on our heads:
And...to make a long story short, folks had so much fun they decided to continue to Iron Forge, which was kinda hard with the guards 'n all. LOL:
Friday, May 02, 2008
When I looked up and realized the amount of time I'd spent I found it ironic that I began that warlock homework shortly after pausing from my new read, Castronova's latest and weirdest text, Exodus to the Virtual World. Whatever he's drinking, I want some, no I want a lot. Yes, there are many, many, moments when playing WoW or engaging in WoW-related obsessions such as theorycrafting, when I am hugely struck by the parallel between my situation and that of the Star Trek crew in the episode, The Game. In both cases, the game pulls people away from their real life duties and obligations. For Castronova, this is an emergent revolutionary evolutionary change in popular culture that will have economic and social ramifications. Well, lol, maybe for the middle class. Maybe instead of the Ktarians taking over it will be the poor, the underemployed, able to finally stage their revolution. ROFL. Or more insidiously, and more closely aligned to the Star Trek story, it will be the evil multinational Big Corporations. [Although, imho, they pretty much have control right now thanks to the Bush family.]
So here I sit, with my notes on enchants and gear I should get in order to be a more efficient and effective DPS'er in raids, having absorbed my last performance in Gruul's Lair as laid out in WoWWebStats, where I was able to compare myself with three other warlocks in the group. I am Hellgrima; I blotted out the other names just in case someone finds this and gets hinkty about it. This is on one boss fight, and I don't recall if this is the first wipe or the final successful fight, but I offer it mainly to show the level of detail one can obsess about if one so chooses.
So...you can see that I'm the laggard here. My DPS is considerably lower than the othr two locks'. My shadow bolts don't hit as hard, although I clearly do better with the Corruption spell, and Immolate. The other two are using Drain Life a lot, which is a very low level DPS spell, as you can see, but which is likely to proc the Shadow Bolt instant-cast spell, which lets them fire off MORE shadow bolts than they could with regular casting time. Anyhow...you can see where one can start to obsess.
That led me to the Warlocks' Den to look at gear enchants. I mean, I've got great gear so it must be the needed extra enchants. ANd so we go, on and on, perfecting our characters. LOL. This isn't even play time ingame; this is hobbyist homework. So, one thing that Castronova's book, so far (I haven't finished it), hasn't accounted for is the out-of-world time, energy, production, and exchange that supports the inworld play. MOst of that is knowledge creation and exchange, reputation management or 'vetting' of proposed knowledge, production of software applets that enhance play or support analyses of play, and portal creation and maintenance that supports community engagement about play but outside of it. THis is, imho, the most interesting and powerful element of the VW (virtual world) phenomenon.
...more to come...
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Yesterday, in conversation with him, Eric mentioned that he thinks about WoW outside of WoW play, even in meetings. Well, so do I, though not in meetings...yet. Mostly I ponder in those idle moments that USED to be space for thinking about work: the shower, morning coffee, the commute, making dinner, and sundry intervals of spacey daytime drifting. Last evening, after our successful Gruul run, ho hum, I sent Eric an email to get a look at the data capture I know he'd have ported to WoW Web Stats. You see, I'm on a personal mission to analyze and repair my damage output. It should be higher. For crap sake I'm wearing 4 pieces of T4. LOL.
As I trawled the data I could not help but connect my current reality with something Eric and I had talked about yesterday -- the role of virtual play worlds in our adult lives. Yes, we (the family plays WoW), watcha hella less TV, only go out to see realy good movies, and don't play board games much anymore (thank God; I hate board games). But I do not think WoW play is a direct switch out for those passive, consumer activities. IMHO, adults, at least some of us, are recapturing stolen play, getting back in touch with our inner adolescent. When we do large WoW raids, I am very often consciously aware of how much it reminds me of when, around age 12, we played massive games of kick-the-can or football in the streets from late afternoon through dusk up to the point players' moms broke up the critical mass by calling kids in for dinner. The same vibe pervades: comraderie, argument and negotiation, and serious play interspersed with serious fucking around.
However, unlike that sort of play time, and perhaps BECAUSE I am an adult, WoW play has become, continues to be, more of a hobby than an excuse to hang out. THis is the sense in which it has escaped the Holodeck, left the afternoon streets, and crawled into pre and post play space. I actually want to improve and be a really good player. Now true, I did work on my spiral in football, but I never did anything near what I do to improve my casting sequence in WoW. And, oddly enough, this attention does not feel like work. Now, granted, farming mana motes in order to get the runic spellthread to put on my T4 leggings to bump up my spell damage by 35 points... yeah that feels like work. LOL. But generally speaking there is a pleasure there that is bigger than the moment of play and sustains me, heck, drives me, to do the work of play (ooo there' a title for an article).
... more coming...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
You die a thousand casual deaths - with none of that intensity which squeezes out life . . . and no blood runs cold anywhere. Because even as you die you know that you will come back in a different hat. But no one gets up after death - there is no applause-there is only silence and some second-hand clothes, and that's – death. If we have a destiny, then so had he - and if this is ours, then that was his - and if there are no explanations for us, then let there be none for him [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead]
Grimnar has ceased to be and I say good riddance! He was slow even in cat form and in bear form smelled like herring and good luck getting a heal from him!. If he wasn’t lost he was getting lost. I had seen him walk right off the Scryer’s Terrace to his death more than once. I doubt there is a mob in the game that does not have a tale of killing him. The one the Murlocs tell is particularly funny and fitting, but they refuse to allow it to be published here as they are working on an anthology to be entitled, “Grim Deaths”.
He seldom read group or raid or private chats and even less often responded. His rare responses were too often obtuse or equivocal. Occasionally, they were not betokening of a reasonable or rational man. Instead, they read like the rants of a raving lunatic and were punctuated poorly and peppered with profanities.
He was a horrid racist [not a ‘horde’ racist]. His hatred of Elves was well documented [www.ihateelves.blogspot.com]. His conspiracy theories of how they controlled the banks and media I am sure appalled all of us equally [especially seeing that he was Drudish]. And I cannot even write here the epitaphs he referred to them as [though, him calling them ‘Trolls’ is what I found most offensive].
Regardless of all the things written above and whether he was Tauren, walrus, cat, bear or bird . . . he was my friend and will be deeply missed by me. Grim, I hope you have gone to a better place and that there are no Elves or places to fall from there and that you are not lost. Goodbye my deer friend [Deer form coming in WOTLK].
Exit, not pursued by a bear . . .
Friday, April 18, 2008
So I checked out Epicmount, which Terror Nova uses. It's free; so I made an account for us. As I was messing with it I realized I could easily handle the set up and maintenance. Okay, this was worth the time and energy. Then, I wondered what the cost was to dump the ads and upgrade to a premium version. Turns out it was only $12.99 a year! So I bought a year. Then got busy making a kickass site. Not bad, eh?
Monday, April 14, 2008
For close to two hours they hung out there, pvp'ing whenever some poor soul rode up and, while trying to click the vendor/quest giver, accidently clicked the flagged player and thereby initiated a fight. (That's why there are skellies on the ground; you can't seem them as well in this photo, but they're there.).
When the 100% ticked over and the vendor went live, they continued to grief each other by blocking access to the vendor with kodos and eleks and so on. What a trip. I'm sure today one can log in and find her with no problem. Anyhow... this server sure plays like a PVP sometimes, and this was one of them.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I saw a patch of territory with a portal and a very large demonic dude strutting around, a level 73 ELITE demonic dude, Reth'hedron. Now you don't see many of those in the world. Thottbot had an entry:
He's part of the Netherwing quests for your Netherdrake if you are attempting to get one. Must have Honored reputation with Netherwing to get the quest to kill him. You are given a special gun, called a Soul Cannon, after a collection of materials an engineer and miner can supply you with. You stay mounted and use this "gun" (It's really more like a channeled death ray) to sap his lifeforce and subdue him into walking into the small version of the Dark Portal. It takes a long time to wear him down so start with a full health bar and it wouldn't hurt to have a healer with you to top you off as you work him down. This is current as of 2 days after Patch 2.1.
So I found a nice ore node but had to kill, one-by-one, four lvl 71 warlocks. It was slow and painful. As I downed the last one, two Hordies dropped down from the sky and ninja'd the ore node while I was still finishing the kill. When I yelled "ninja!" THe guy replied "reported!" OMG I was spitting mad. So... heh heh... I put out a tell on general chat: So if you run across Taman, be sure to kill any nearby MOBS for him so he call ninja your ore nodes safely. Well, it made ME feel better. LOL... arg!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Was just in the Hall of Heroes oogling the PVP gear and trying to decide whether it was really better when you didn't all those PVP stats, such as resilience. But then again, Tynaqua does a lot of PVP, so ... wtf.
Anyhow, you don't often get to wield an axe that big or with that lucious pastel coloring. I guess it really is a chick axe, eh?
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ran to Silvermoon and flew out to the new island of enemies and friends, Isle of Quel'Danas, just north of Blood Elf land. Of course EVERYONE was there, as you can see from this snap taken at the landing site.
Some of the goodies here include
* A new quest hub
* Magisters' Terrace - a 5-player instance
* Sunwell Plateau - a 25-player instance
* New badge rewards
So Alamojack and I flew there to investigate. We even stuck our head inside the new 5-man and heroically downed two Elite 70s at once. Then, of course, we got pwn'd by the rest of the trash mobs. Anyhow, we had fun.
Oh and the bonus, you get to ride back on a dragonwing.
At ElitistJerks, I get a spreadsheet and a pat on the tush, to go work it out. But, even there, the conversation is accessible, and frankly, the intell. is a bit more accurate, insanely and obsessively accurate, but there you have it, and it's not YOUR OCD behavior so it's cool.
This is from Thottbot:
Even if you have 2 weapons with exactly the same min/max damage, but different speeds, the slower weapon will deal more damage per shot. This is because the AP bonus it gets will be higher, and the bonus from ammo will be higher too.
Formula is (if i'm not mistaken):
Weapon Damage + AP*WeaponSpeed/14 + AmmoDPS*WeaponSpeed = Damage
Add scope damage to Weapon Damage. Use maximum weapon damage to calculate your max dmg after AP/Ammo comes into effect.
Don't forget to adjust your result according to talents, such as Ranged Weapon Specialization in the Marksmanship tree.
This doesn't mean ofcourse that the slower weapon will deal higher dps than a fast weapon with the same min/max damage. Infact, the opposite is true. The faster weapon will deal more dps. If you look at the 2nd and 3rd parts of the formula, it basically assures that they will yield the same DPS (for autoshots) regardless of what weapon you use. Since you have 2 weapons with the same min/max damage, the faster one will deal more autoshot DPS.
This is not the case with our abilities such as Multishot, Silencing shot, Scatter Shot, Aimed Shot and Steady Shot. Those abilities have the same cooldown regardless of what weapon speed you use, so a slower weapon (with the same min/max damage) will yield more DMG per hit with them AND also more DPS with those abilities.
Aimed shot cooldown is actually not the same, it is 6secs + quivered weapon speed, but no one uses aimed shot to DPS, only as an opening shot. And it will do more damage with a slower weapon.
The tooltip for Steady shot suggests that it's damage doesn't depend on weapon speed, but I have it from reliable sources that weapon speed does affect steady shot damage output.
I hope this helps :)
And as for what to do about optimizing for a Beast Mastery hunter, here's someone else checking in with some help:
For a BM hunter the 2.6 weapon speed is perfect, so combine this (with a +Crit Scope and two +8 AGI gems), and the easily obtained http://thottbot.com/i34014 (with the +35 AGI enchant on). This, in my opinion, is the best pre BT/MH weapons combo.
In total these give:
Which works out as:
+159 AP (including AGI)
Or if you prefer AP to Crit, then you can swap Savagery & two +16 AP gems, for the +35 AGI enchant & two +8 AGI gems, to give:
The additional ArP, Hit & Stamina are also very nice.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Yeah, that's right, I'm double trapping. I got skillz. I'm no huntard. And btw, that's an EPL boar I'm leveling for our arena team, Fountain of Gnomes. (Sarah made that up.)
The boar has a nice charge that stuns, but there's no boar you can tame in Outlands, hence the need to grab a lvl 60 and tediously level it up. *sigh*
Also picked up a purple plainstrider, aka purple flamingo, for use in arena. Why? cuz I want you to get pwnd by a flamingo. Of course, we're FAR from pwn'ing at this point, so the bird is resting in the stables. lol.
Started a priest on a PVP server, which is kinda like running naked through a frat house, but wtf. Came up with a great guild name: wØØt of all evil. Gotta use that somewhere.
Oh, and I took this picture of the great dragon from the group quest line on Gorefiend, just cause it's so cool. We're the tiny people on the top of the mountain. Be sure to click for the BIG screen view.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Well Hellgrima's been busy lately, and lucky. Did the GRUUL thing with half TrN and half Conviction. We succeeded in downing him. He dropped two T4 pants tokens, but ... alas.. I had rolled and won the earlier T4 shoulder drop. Sigh. I had good shoulders too. ... oh well.
So here I am in my T4 2-piece: gloves and shoulders. Getting there... Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
I'm happy to report that JohnBigBoote lives, or rather advances. He'd been dormant for almost a year, stuck or abandonned, at level 38. But, when a new doc student wanted to join the WoW group and rolled an Allie toon, JBB seemed like a good candidate to bring out of mothballs to accompany the new student's toon.
John's a rogue (no, not a rouge) and he's just turned 50. I have to say that I am immensely enjoying in-you-face (or your back) stab-stab-stabby-stab fighting. Very satisfying in a way that ranged attacks (my hunter and lock) are not. Also, jebus, with stealth and assorted other sneaky moves I can accomplish very difficult quests without help, and thus have been able to level quite easily. Here's the latest snap of JBB in all his level 50 glory. The only decent gear he has are a pair of blue shoulders that fell in Sunken Temple, a dungeon I absolutely hate, but decided to help guildies run. Go figure. I guess that was my reward for being benevolent, eh?
Being a wily old vet. I knew I needed to jump on my profs, and since I didn't have a higher level toon on this server, JBB wasn't going to be getting much coin from anywhere but his own wallet. So, I went for herbalism and skinning. Yeah, mining makes more early coin, but I had a plan. I was thinking...down the road, either LW or alch. When John hit 48 I shifted to alchemy. Why? Endgame. Potions, elixirs, transmutes, etc. Atm, I have been pounding out mana pots and handing them out to lil' clothies I run across and assist. They are so greatful, and well, as James would say, "I don't drink bug juice" but I do make it.
ZOMG, It's Poo!!11
It's everywhere. At first it appeared in Outlands as part of a quest in Nagrand. However, for the past several months I've been running into it all over the place, in odd spots in the 'old world.' This picture was taken in Tanaris, out in the middle of nowhere. Now either these ogres have begun to lose bowel control (perhaps finally explaining why they have diapers on and not much more), or something is afoot.
I have seen it several other spots and will begin snapping shots of it for a poo collection. Why? Because it's there.
Keep an eye on the poo. There's gotta be something happening here... or is it a Blizzard joke, some art dept geek's version of tagging.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
TrN is a fine place populated with fine people. I got no complaints or criticism unvoiced. Eric said, “Why don’t you join?” and Linda said, “Why don’t you quit?” Between the two I accomplished all I set out to accomplish . . . and more.
I’m proud of that period. Yet, everything that exists in time runs out of time and my time as a full-time and professional tank has come to an end. It wasn’t guild emo that caused me to /gquit and uninstall, but a realization of my profound boredom.
That realization came in our run through Zul'Aman. I was excited to enter and depressed to leave. Not because we didn’t down the boss, but because it revealed there was only more of the same ahead of us. The only barrier was gear and hours and hours and hours.
Further, the cartoon character that was AlamoJack I simply have grown bored playing. The role and responsibility have just worn me out. That’s no one’s fault, but my own quirky characteristic that wears most folks out as well.
It was what it was . . . /me looks at Eric, "Next?"
OMG, I've ignored this spot too long and so much has transpired. This post will be less reflective than it should be, just to get caught up on the news.
You knew it had to happen sooner or later, as every guild, nay, every intentionally organized human group, must invariably cross its Rubicon of power struggles. Terror Nova guild is apparently no exception, despite being predominantly academic in nature. ANd why should it be immune? I've yet to serve on a faculty committee or work on a college faculty that didn't fall into disarray as people argued and drew lines in the sand and so on. NOw the TrN thing was way less intense than any other experience, but we did lose AlamoJack (aka Vilemedia, aka Viamedia) in the ensuring skirmish. And, we probably lost Grimnar (aka Clivenar) for similar reasons. But the guild marches on. I have never felt much love coming out of there, except from Zinnia and Party and Dawn (and Tigan and Kat, but they don't play much right now). But this hasn't particularly bothered me as I am not a big warm fuzzy huggy type anyhow. But, imho, the trouble started when we switched interfaces for our guild web site, from a semi formal blogging thing to a formal and structured third party guild hosting site: EpicMount. It bears exploring, but I'm not up to that today.
Well, my hunter started playing in battlegrounds, mostly to get the gear since she wasn't finding much support for running instances in outlands. The guild is very focused on Kara and beyond. (Yeah, that's part of the tension mentioned above). Well ZOMG, I am so in love with BGs. I'm a little concerned and very interested in how emotional my play is in BGs. I really, really get the hate on for my opponents. I will confess to yelling in raid chat more than once "We have to kill that f'n [rogue/pally] , NOW!" Oddly, my remark usually draws a "YESSSS!" or the like, from others. Why does PVP raise our hackles so? I don't feel such intensity against my NPC enemies? BTW, I have gotten my first two purplz from BGs: helmet and shoulders.
Back in the Allie Saddle
Meanwhile, my two doc students have rolled Alliance toons. I've dusted off an old toon, John BigBoote (homage to Buckeroo Banzai), a rogue, now at lvl 45. And, rolled a new one, Animatrix (omg that name was actually available!!), a godhelpme druid. I've never played a druid. Don't want to play a druid. But my student is soooo new to MMOs let alone WoW, that I needed to be mirroring her actions to be able to help her. ANd to make matters worse, it's a night elf. *shudder*
Cause we just don't have enough alts yet... sigh. Bonnie wanted to roll a gnome and I love gnomes too and we seem to get along so.. shazam, we rolled gnomes. I'm a warrior, about the only class I haven't tried (now that I am also leveling a druid), and she rolled a caster, I think a mage. So far we're not even out of Anvilmar. Stay tuned. Oh, that reminds me, Bonnie made the decision to tell the guild what we were up to and invite others to play. Ah, such innocence. I would never have posted that info. Of course, it generated lots of protest about diluted efforts and the need to concentrate on our mains to get to Serpentshrine, etc etc. See Guild Emo, above.
brag... We have gotten pretty good at Kara. Last run I was in we brought down Nightbane (see picture at top). We just need to do Nethersprite and Kara goes on farm. I'm still waiting for those pants to drop off the opera event. *sigh* Hellgrima has been doing so many Kara runs that she has enough Badges of Justice to start buying the good stuff from the crystalline entity in Shattrath (oh, I forget his name but that will do as a description, ty to Star Trek) Check out her gear (Orb of the Souleater, yeah!), and she's topped off her tailoring and has the full shadowweave set now.