Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Distractions Can Be Informative, or Well, Not ------- Long Entry with Many Pictures

Yes, that's right. This is a screenshot from Warcraft III: The Reign of Terror. I was reading the forums thinking about where to dive in to the analyses and I ran across a thread labeled BEGINNERS. Wow (pun intended), how cool. Explicit and targeted knowledge. I noticed that in this forum one person had posted quite a bit (I searched on his name). Starting first about 23 days ago, with some fundamental questions about first aid, and ending up, as of yesterday, with a question about lore.

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

We're Live with the Patch

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.