Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Corporate Firewalls - bah!

So, yesterday morning was your typical day for posting.  If you're reading this, you probably saw (or can look just below to see) my post.  Then... all of a sudden about mid-day, the company I work for decided to crack down on Internet traffic, I guess.  I panicked at first because every single web page I went to was blocked.  Then they loosened things up a bit to where I could visit the WoW homepage, guild forums, and even my e-mail from guild forums.  But alas, it was a crushing blow when I couldn't get to my own blog.  /sigh

Luckily, my co-worker reminded me that you can e-mail your posts.  So, today is really more of a test.  I can still see comments to my post via the e-mails that I get when somebody responds, so somebody please respond to this post so that I know it was successful.  After that, feel free to complain about corporate firewalls.  grrrr.

If the intent is to lessen traffic, why not block things that are completely irrelevant?  I work for an energy company.  Why not block things like sports web sites?  There's really no need to visit  (Which reminds me, I need to figure out links for this e-mail posting thing.)  Yes, it's a small rant.  No, this topic is probably not associated with a category, but should be.  And... well... Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blog Links

So, I don't really talk about my Blog Links very much. I used to Google for other WoW blogs to see what else is out there. I've found a ton, and read a ton daily. Sometimes, because I have them linked on Google Reader, I forget that I don't have them posted on my site. I try to keep the ones that are relevant or interesting here on my blog. But mostly, I'm just lazy and forget that they're there. So, if you've linked to me and I haven't linked to you, I'm sorry, and I'm most likely still reading. It's not my style to have a huge list of 1 million WoW Blogs to visit, but I'm not trying to be elitist either. I also don't separate them into categories, because it generally seems that there's beneficial stuff (at least every once and awhile) for every WoW player, even if the Blog is specifically towards a certain class.

Furthermore, knowing the insights and tricks to other classes can really help out in groups or raids. I hate not knowing the names of spells, for example. "Hey, you? Shadow Priest? Use that lazor thing that gives me back mana." (Clearly showing a lack of understanding at how Vamperic Embrace and Mind Flay work.) -or- "Hey, Paladin? Fear that undead dude." (As we all know, it's "Turn Undead".) I certainly don't know every spell, and I generally get my point across, but still.

The point being: check out the links; I'm sure there's something in at least one of them that will perk your interest. Oh, and... I most likely will change them without notice. It's your responsibility to check them out. ;)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Loot Fixation?

Today's post originates from a quest out of the Badlands: Scrounging. I believe that I've mentioned that I've been leveling a shaman, Zanderfin, with my wife, who's been playing a shadow priest. Being that there's two of us, the "kill x number of mobs" quests are quite easy while the "kill mobs to gather x" quests take at least twice as long. We had been doing a couple of the latter types of quests out in the Badlands such before we got to the Scrounging quest. Because I'm sure they all had the "worst drop rate in the game" for quest items, my wife's patience was wearing a bit thin.

It's really not a bad quest at all. All of the mobs you can kill at one time are all in one place. And the respawn is fast enough that you can keep killing and never stop. And the quest reward of the mail boots was a pretty big upgrade for me. And, like all items at this level, it will soon be replaced with something else.

I got to thinking about loot in general. Yes, the game is all about loot. But how important are items to you? Most leveling items are going to be replaced, so is it important to worry about getting that certain item? Should you go to the AH every time you gain a level to get the latest and greatest items?

You're just going to replace them later, but at the same time, they'll help you to get the next level and level of items faster. On a PVP server, it might mean the difference between getting ganked in STV or you being the one ganking.

Personally, I search for quests that will aid in that gearing up process. I might visit the AH every once and awhile for a new weapon, but usually not much more. (Since I just got dual wield at 40, that was one of the first things I did with my shaman.) I generally don't fixate on an item either. There's almost always an upgrade. Sure, the cloak off of Prince would be a nice upgrade, but there will always be something better. If not in the current game, at least in the expansion. lol. And you obviously need better gear in order to do certain things, like end-game progression, so that's kind of a different story. But what do you do in the leveling up process?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Spelling Counts

I had to laugh along with Gwaendar. He saw the following announcement in Barren's Chat:
The Unforgotten Warlords are now recruiting for all lvls. we got Tabard, a forum on Internet and guild bank.We help people to make them stronger so we can go dungeons and raids in the soon future. wisp Noobster or Defia for a part of TUW!!!
One of his (her?) points was not understanding why dropping the 10g for a guild tabard was a selling point. Heck, especially with all the tabards you can get nowadays, it's kind of silly.

Even from my limited marketing background, there are just so many things that are wrong with that guild recruitment advertisement. I won't totally pick it apart, it could be some 12-year old kid after all, but if in any time in your career of playing World of Warcraft you should be grammatically correct, it should probably be in that first impression when you're attempting to recruit new guild members. I'll give him the credit that he at least spelled everything accurately. And I'll even give him the benefit of the doubt that, since it's on a European server, English may not be his first language. And I'm probably over critical as well.

It's not the first time I've ever seen something like this. I just thought it was funny, so I brought it up.

p.s. Knowing my luck, ironically, there will probably be spelling and grammar mistakes in this post... a whole slew of them.

No-Fly Zone

I've spent some more time on the Public Test Realm since I last spoke about it. I still haven't gotten in to Zul'Aman to actually kill anything. (Grouping up with one other person, making it a raid, and then going invisible down the steps hardly counts as a solid attempt.) But I haven't tried really hard to get in there either. I join the LFG tool, and that's about it. Plus, I'm usually only on for short periods of time (mainly because I'm bored without my friends), so I probably have nobody to blame but myself.

But I did want to check out the new dailies. The ones from the Consortium (I hope that gives rep as well) for the 5-man's seem like a really good idea. You can pick them up in the Lower City and there's one for a random normal instance (gives you a [Ethereum Prison Key]) and one for a random 5-man Heroic (gives you two [Badge of Justice]s). Just kind of gives you incentive to run a different instance then the same old Mechanaar for badges.

I also checked out the daily cooking quests. (Which becomes more of the source of my post for today.) The goblin in Lower City, The Rokk, told me to go make 4 [Roasted Clefthoof]s, and then put them in his pot in the Ancestral Grounds. So, off to Nagrand to collect some [Clefthoof Meat]. After leaving Shattarath City, my altitude still being quite high, I was soaring over Nagrand, and all of a sudden was dismounted. I frantically searched for my slow fall, but because I didn't take the time to fix my UI, I didn't get the spell out of my spellbook in time. *SPLAT* It was only a loss of time since I didn't really care about the gold on the PTR. But I found that all of the places I visited in Nagrand, I was unable to use my flying mount. I could use my land mount just fine. I filed a bug report.

I guess I'm mainly disappointed at how incomplete patch 2.3 is. I thought it was a lot closer, but with major bugs like that, they'll have to fix that before it goes live. Then again, it could be a quick fix by simply changing a variable for Nagrand, or something like that. The only other time I've spent any serious time on the PTR was when WoW 2.0 came out.

At any rate, I am glad that there's going to be a lot more dailies. Gives people of choice of things if they want to complete them everyday. You're not forced to do the same 6 daily quests over and over again.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Alternate Strategies

So, once again last night, we ventured into Karazhan. Once again, we made our way up to Shade of Aran. Once again, we had our strategy down, but even more refined. And... once again, we wiped. Basically, we discovered that Blizzard + Elementals = Bad. Shade cast the Blizzard just before he spawned the elementals. So, next time in, I called a full halt on DPS when Shade was at 42% and he was starting the Blizzard. It worked out much better, and people should do well to remember that little gem: don't be afraid to call a halt if you're gonna get multiple bad things at once.

After downing Shade, we headed straight for Prince (after Chess, of course). Matticus has posted a strategy that mostly worked for us the week before, so I thought I'd try it again. It's very similar to the door strategy that I had seen on may of the strategy sites before. To me, it just turns the fight into too much of a luck fight. I was skeptical about there being a safe spot where Infernals never drop. Last night, one dropped pretty much right behind the tank, and then one dropped in our laps (more or less). So, while you have a higher chance for a Infernal to drop near you if you're sitting in the middle, you also have a lot more options of where you can run to. The ability to have options is what turns the fight into strategy for me. Because we got a later start (and a few attempts on Shade), we had to call it without downing Prince. We only used the pinned up against a wall strategy last night; I think we'll go back to the more flexible position/strategy tonight, and down him. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shade of Aran - Revisited

There seems to be a recurring theme whenever we've stepped into the room that houses the Shade of Aran. No, I'm not talking about last week's fiasco when somebody kept moving. This theme goes even further back then that. Yes, this is probably review for a lot of folks, but I know it's important.

I'm not sure what the most important thing is when fighting Shade. There probably isn't one single thing. Keep the Fireballs and Frost Bolts interrupted. Run away when he sucks you in in preparation for the Arcane Explosion. Move in a clockwise motion to stay away from the Blizzard. Don't move, change direction, or switch forms when Flame Wreath is up. Those are all important. People generally seem to remember those quite easily, and that's probably due to the fact that they happen throughout the entire encounter.

But what I want to talk about are the elementals that spawn at roughly 40%. First rule: You cannot ignore them. Every single time I've tried to kill Shade and somebody wants to "just burn him down" when the elemental spawn, I know it's going to be a wipe. Banish them, fear them, make them scream like little girls, tank them... something has to be done. Furthermore, something has to be done with all of them. If you ignore them, they will quickly single-target the healer with the highest threat, and destroy him quite rapidly. I did mention that all of them need to be picked up in some form or another, right?

Last night we pretty much went straight to Shade (Moroes, Opera, Curator first, obviously). We started a bit late, but one-shotted all the bosses before Shade. We only had time for 2 (or was it 3?) attempts on Shade. The first time, our warlock died in the first Blizzard with some Arcane Missiles on the side. (Oh wait... that's what I thought happened, but it was never clear exactly what went down.) Then the next time, we were doing great at the beginning. Once the elementals spawned, things went South real quick. The plan was to banish one, then kill the rest individually. I don't think we were very good at single-targeting, nor were we good at picking them all up. Sounds like one of our healers got pummeled by 2 elementals. Go figure.

At any rate, now that we know what's wrong, it should be an easy walk in the park tonight. Keep in mind, that a lot of the new people we have, haven't run these instances before. It's one thing to explain fights, it's another to see it in action and actually do them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Karazhan - Revisited

I'll admit that it's a bit frustrating being in the position we're in. We were basically at the point of having Gruul's on farm, not needed (as a whole) to do Kara anymore, and start working on a whole bunch of other 25-man content. But when you lose 4 of your top 5 healers due to various reasons, it's forced us to re-tool a little in Karazhan.

Last week we were still working on the aftermath of the bit of guild drama we experienced. We had enough people to run one group through Karazan. We cleared all but Nightbane. Besides some major issues with Maiden (most likely due to no paladins) and Shade (still not sure which veteran player kept moving), we one-shotted all of the bosses. As for Nightbane, we gave him one try (maybe two) and then our Main Healer went afk, and didn't seem to come back. (Remind me to ask him what happened, btw.) I'm sure we could have done him as well, we just didn't get back in there after Friday.

This week, the troops are back, and we've got everything aligned to get two groups back in Kara. There's still a lot of upgrades in there for the group, especially since one of our highest DPS people is gearing up the resto Shaman to help with healing. He really enjoys that, so he'll probably make that his main. We're still recruiting (any healers on Bronzebeard Alliance interested) for a number of positions, including a tank now as well.

We've got some fun people, so as much as I'd rather be doing new content, I'll be okay running Kara as well. I suppose it's not all bad. Gives me the chance to get those enchants that have eluded me thus far. So, the Karazhan topic will continue to grow. I'll just have to figure out a way to make money since I'm not getting any gear upgrades.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Guild Vaults on the PTR

I spent some time Saturday morning while the kids were watching cartoons checking out the new Guild Vaults over on the PTR's. Because I wanted the GM perspective, I had to go around begging people to sign my guild roster. It wasn't too bad; people generally respond positively if you ask nicely (and if they're unguilded).

Once formed, I went straight to the bank. I happen to be in Iron Forge, so I know that the Vault is there on the same wall where you first enter the bank (near the mailbox, but inside). It cannot be accessed if you are not in a guild. You can purchase up to 6 tabs where you can place items. Each tab has the storage capability of 98 items. Each tab has an increased price tag: 1g, 10g, 100g, 1000g, 5000g, 10,000g. That's a potential of 588 spaces for only 16,111g. Ouch. Each tab has it's own log as to what happens to each item. And if you have the permissions, you can move items between tabs (that will be on the log as well). The Guild Master can assign which rank can see each tab and how many items/stacks they can take out per day.

The money is in one group (no individual tabs here), but has the control per rank of how much can be withdrawn per day. There is a log on the money as well. Now when you go to repair, you can repair individual items, repair all, or repair all from Guild Vault funds. The thing I really don't understand though is that if you repair your items using the Guild Vault funds, the money is "withdrawn", but nothing is logged. I suppose that's so substantial withdrawals aren't hidden in "silly" repair costs, but I'd like to see where that money goes. Accountants may lose their minds over this unbalance.

I didn't have enough money to buy the 5th and 6th slots, but 4 was sufficient for my testing needs. Everything seemed to work perfectly except for a small bug. The 4th tab would let me deposit items, but not withdraw. My new-found guildies found the same to be true. Hopefully the bug report I filed will take care of that. And we could still move the items from the 4th tab to another, so it's not like they were fully locked. Also, I gave all permissions to all tabs and I was the GM, so I had full control. Anyway...

Overall, I think it's a great idea. I really like that you can finally easily share items in a guild without violating the EULA by sharing an account. My biggest concern is with the money though. Especially with the non-logging of repairs, it seems to be a huge potential for getting taken advantage of. And how do you generate that money? Currently, when you run a raid, you take the proceeds and use those for repairs. If you haven't had a wipe fest, you've probably even come out ahead (or hopefully). But with how it currently stands, the guild vault will have this constant battle to not become bankrupt. It's almost as if there should be some automatic deposit, like an option where 50% of the money that drops goes to the guild Vault and the other 50% goes to the raid member's guild vault. Otherwise, that small amount each time may be overlooked or, like I said, taken advantage of.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Healer Classes Defined

Last night, we had a very difficult time with Shade of Aran. In the transition, we lost a lot of healers. And for various reasons (Internet/computer went down for days, RL issues, etc), we have been extremely limited on our healing this week. For healing, we had an undergeared shaman, a moderately geared shaman, and a moderetly geared paladin. We oddly enough had some huge issues with the Flame Wreath. Why anyone was moving when everyone knows that fight and has done it successfully on multiple occasions is beyond me.

So, I thought I'd take a moment today to talk about the different types of healers and how they function, or at least how I understand they heal. I'll be making some over simplifications, but feel free to correct me if I'm flat out wrong. I won't go into the buffs that each brings to a group; that's beyond the scope of this post, but is a good discussion for the future.

This class is the king (or queen) of the Heal-Over-Time spells (HoTs). With the proper spell rotation, they can keep HoTs up on 3 people at a time. Their spells are generally quick casting, if not instant-cast, but they do not have strong direct heal spells. Because of the quick casting times, they can generally be mobile, but have the disadvantage that in Treant form, they move slower. Having a resto druid can help keep a tank up during periods of mass silence. They also have Innervate that can replenish mana for themselves or any target they choose. Also, they have a Tranquility which is an AoE heal but is on a 10-minute cooldown timer. As a warlock does damage, a druid does heals.

King of the direct heals. For the most part, paladin spells take time to cast. They do have the intant-cast Lay on Hands which replenishes health up to the maximum health of the caster, but it's on an hour cooldown and leaves the paladin with exactly zero remaining mana. No HoTs, and no AoE heals. I'd probably equate the rogues damage with a paladin's heals.

From my best understanding, Shamans are one of those classes that basically make everyone else look really good. They have some decent spells of their own, mind you, as well. They've got the preventative maintenance of Earth Shield. They have the extremely slow HoT of a Healing Stream Totem. And they have the unpredictable heal of Chain Heal. But their totems are appreciated by all. (Oops... I said I wouldn't go into that discussion.) From what I've seen and read, it's kind of silly to use the Healing Stream Totem when you can use the Mana Stream Totem (which can effectively translate into more health by way of heals). They probably equate most to, well... Shaman in damage.

Priests have a little bit of everything. They've got HoTs, but not as strong as the Druid. They have direct heals, but not as well as the Paladin. They've got preventative maintenance by way of Prayer of Mending. They can heal themselves as well as another because of Binding Heal. Probably the best AoE heal with Prayer of Healing. They also have Circle of Healing and Lightwell, which both seem like great spells, but are rarely used that I've seen. There's also Holy Nova (another AoE Heal). So, looking at all that AoE, I'd probably have to say their damage equivelant is a mage.

So, is one way better to bring than another? Of course not. They compliment each other and help each other out. If you're in a 25-man run, bring all four. If you're in Karazhan, you're probably going to have to limit it to just 3. Ideally though, it's advantageous to have 3 different classes for your healers so that you have those different abilities. (Plus, they all use different armor types, so no gear is wasted.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I realize that I probably alienate at least half my audience when I talk about other games not related to World of Warcraft, but I'm gonna do it anyway. I got to thinking about the new tracking system that Wow has put in place. And Elinor was kind enough to test and point out that all of the hunter trackings have been integrated into that tracking as well. While it's a great improvement, I think there's still better options out there.

First, I suppose, there's the option of Blizzard emmulating some in-game mods. (They've done it many times to date with scroling-text and enemy cast bar being two examples.) There is a map mod that I have (of which I have totally forgotten the name) that allows you to right-click on an icon on the main map (think of mapped herbs or mining nodes) and track to that point. An arrow will come up telling you the direction you need to travel. It will also tell you the distance you have left, and how long it will take you to get there. Pretty nifty stuff. But how do you know where these mobs are on your main map? Sure, you see the tracking on your mini map, but...

Next, I steal an idea from my second favorite MMO, of which I no longer play. All Scouts in Everquest II at a certain level gained the ability to track. (Bear in mind, that it's been more than 2 and a half years since I've really played EQ2, so things may have changed.) You clicked a skill and it brought up another window that listed all the mobs in a certain radius of where you were. If there were 15 Deadly Bunnies in the area, it would show all 15 with their levels among the other mobs as well. You could then click on a mob and track it. This would bring up a white, thin, cloud that only you could see that would direct you to where that mob is. (Think of any old cartoon where the scent of the freshly baked pie might guide a hungry being around various obstacles until the pie was within reach.) It was great fun to have a Scout in your party, especially if you were looking for named mobs.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the improvement is great. I'm just thinking of things that they may be able to do even better.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Guild Growing Pains

I hope this wound isn't too fresh to talk about, but I think it has some good points for discussion. I neglected to mention a bit of drama that happened last week. As I mentioned, I am now the new Guild Leader. I also mentioned that the previous Guild Leader was going to continue to raid with us, but due to "personal reasons", he has left the guild.

Some mass hysteria ensued, mostly fueled by one officer in particular (from the best that I can gather). We had changed focus from Karazhan towards the 25-man raids. Not that we weren't doing Kara anymore, just that the 25-mans were more important. There were other issues why people left as well, but I think that was one of the main reasons. After that this officer said he was going to leave and start a new guild, the mob mentality set in and we had 11 people leave the guild! (Does this sound like an issue of Guildwatch from WoW Insider or what?)

The remaining officers and myself have since spoken to almost everyone, and 6 of the members have returned. I'm guessing that we'll have some other people return as well. We've also recruited an additional 4 or 5 people. So while it was kind of a really tough weekend, it looks like all will turn out for the best.

The question that I'm bringing up for discussion has to do mainly with communication. I guess most guild leaders have at least the stereotype of being jerks. Once they make up their mind, that's the final thing and whatnot. I have no idea how true that is, but that's the stereotype that I've heard. I'm not like that. I've generally tried to listen to arguments so that I can better understand positions as well as possibly strengthen my own. But before you get all bent out of shape, and especially as an officer, wouldn't you at least try to talk to the Guild Leader? Verify that you have the whole story and make sure you understand all facts? (The officer that left our guild did neither of these things.) And for those reading this blog that are not in Primogeniture, how do you interact with your Guild Leader? For those in Primo... try not to embarrass me too much, k?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2.3 PTR - Complaints (Satire)

Last night I had a lot of fun with a new arena team. I really enjoy the 5 vs 5 arena teams the most. Maybe it's because I have a greater chance of not being the primary target, and my AoE spells are soo much more effective when I have many targets. But my new arena team happens to be all friends, so I'm pretty sure that that's what made it enjoyable. (My previous team was simply a group of people that got together once a week in order to do our 10 games.)

After that, I spent some time on the PTR, which I plan to do tonight. I trained my new spell, Ritual of Refreshment, and then I went and cast it. Here's where my complaint is: It looks exactly like the Warlock summoning (person or healthstones). They didn't even bother to change the color. I mean come on. Warlocks are all evil and stuff. They control demons. Their Soulwell even looks demonic.

Mages are good and wholesome. Our Refreshment Table even looks like it came from the heavens (or at least from the Jetsons). At least give us a pretty shade of blue as we're summoning it. If I wanted to be evil, I would have roled a Warlock. (Before I get flamed... yes, I'm kidding, and just having fun.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

2.3 PTR - First Impressions

Man, it was so sweet to be the first group to clear Zul'Aman! What? That wasn't me? Oh, well at least it was cool that I finally got to learn Ritual of Refreshment. Oh... I guess that wasn't me either. No... I get stuck in line waiting to get Leiandra transfered over to the PTR's. At least she's finally transfered (as of this morning) and hopefully I can try out a couple of those things (along with the guild bank if they ever put that on the PTR).

But I did get the test patch downloaded and I started a warlock. She's level 3 and moving fast. Watch out, Zul'Jin. lol.

Now, I'll admit that I haven't been on a lot of the Public Test Realms. I'm very grateful for those that do test it so that there's less bugs for the rest of us. But I'm usually too consumed in my own character development to worry too much about what's coming out. Sure, I transfered a few toons over when WoW 2.0 came out to play with specs. And I'm excited about all the stuff that's coming out in 2.3, but nothing that I feel I really have to test. I'll just experience when I experience it.

But there were a couple things that I noticed with my epic level 3 warlock, and I'm not sure I saw these on the 2.3 Patch Notes (even though I did read them all). Even stranger, I haven't seen any web sites mention this. It seems that the mini-map has gotten a major overhaul. You now see yellow Exclamation Marks on the map where quests are available. You see yellow Question Marks when you have quests to turn in. (Where you just had a yellow dot before.) All classes seem to have a certain "track" feature. (Hunters nerfed? lol.) The new "track" feature allows you to search for NPC's such as ones that will repair your armor, sell you reagents, class trainers, and more. (I'll get a screenshot so you can see all of them tonight.) It just seems to make the mini map so much more useful. Kind of like a lot of the map mods out there. Hmm... I wonder where Blizzard keeps getting these great ideas? lol.

My only thought was that maybe they did this just for the PTR's, but I've never seen it on the other PTR's. Has anyone else? Or is this truly a undocumented changed that nobody seems to be talking about. Or is it just that nobody cares? I kinda find that hard to believe.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stinkin' Badges

So, I've been kind of trying to avoid Heroic Instances lately. Besides the elusive [The Black Stalk], which really only provides a small upgrade, I don't have much of a reason to run Heroics. (And now that they fixed the Black Stalker Speed runs, or so I hear, I want to do that one even less.) "Badges", you say? Yeah, I could get the fire resist gear, but I really don't see much advantage to it atm. And the rest of my gear is pretty much better than what Badge rewards I could get.

Oh, I'm not selfish. I'm still in there quite a bit to help out guildmates. Just if there's a way to get out of it, I'll find it.

There's still a couple of things that I want. For example, I want the [Pattern: Spellstrike Pants] that drops off of Murmur. And until last night, I still needed rep from Lower City (hence part of the reason for the Sethekk Halls run the other night). I'm not exalted with all of the "instance" factions except the Caverns of Time folks. But one BM run should take care of that. Oh, and the Consortium... I need rep with them, so I'm always open to Heroic Mana Tombs.

But, alas, I knew Blizzard would find a way to make me go back into Heroics. (Of course, it may just be the "easy" badges from Mechanar. Of course, they all spend the same, right?) In patch 2.3, there's a whole slew of new items that can be purchased from the badge vendors. And, wouldn't you know it, most of them are upgrades to me. Of course being about 75 badges for each piece, it'll force me to be back in a lot of heroics. The other good news though is that badges will now drop from Kara bosses (there's some "easy" badges for our group now) and in Zul'Aman. I still help out with Kara as the situation demands. And I'm sure I'll be in Zul'Aman a lot once that comes out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2.3 Patch Notes

The patch notes for the 2.3 public test realm have been put up on the official forums, and you can now download the client. Sounds like the realm itself will be available about 6 pm tonight.

As I was reading over the patch notes, I kept thinking that the buffs and new things they were adding were all too good to be true. I'm not gonna post them all here, but there's just a lot of really great stuff. Sure, there's some negatives too, but mostly good stuff, in my opinion.

With my new role as guild leader, the bank feature will be just awesome. And the 10-man Zul'Aman seems like it will help the gap between Karazhan and Gruul's. I could to on, but I'd just be quoting the whole notes. Just go read them if you haven't already.

From what I've heard, 2.2 took an exceptionally long time because of technical issues with the new sound and whatnot. 2.3 seems to be right on the tails of 2.2. Don't get too gitty, it won't be out next week or anything, but when do you think 2.3 will go live?

Scipted Events

I got all excited about writing this post because I had finally killed the last boss in all the current 5-man instances, but then I realized I still had one more. The point I was excited about, was that I was in Heroic Sethekk Halls last night, and a druid needed to come in for her epic flight form quest to summon Anzu. That was the first time I had seen, and subsequently killed, that boss. The elation was destroyed when I realized that I still haven't seen Yor in Mana-Tombs, although it is tentatively scheduled for this weekend.

As Anzu was summoned, I took the chance to take a look around at what was going on. I figured it may be one of the few times I actually see this event, so I wanted to take advantage of it. I won't give any spoilers, but it was stunning. Just one of those moments where you know they spent a lot of time on the visuals.

But it got me thinking about different scripted events in Wow (which I love, by the way). The first major scripted event I can think of that really impressed me was back in the day in Stratholme. In Slaughter Square before you can take on Ramstein the Gorger or Baron Rivendare himself, you get locked in the courtyard and there's an army of Bile Spewers and Venom Belchers that will come in and attack you in a timed sequence if you don't engage them first. If you somehow survive this onslaught, an even larger undead army comes in attempts to finish you off. Now, I made this more dramatic then most of you probably remember it, because it became so easy. But if you did it with non-epic gear, and especially in a 5-man group, it was a pretty big challenge.

Fast forwarding to the Burning Crusade, and you've got Black Morass, that is just one big scripted/timed event (cool concept btw). Even though it can be a pain in the butt, I really enjoy Harbinger Skyriss in Arcatraz as well. The bit of Blizzard humor with Millhouse Manastorm is also humorous (at least the first few times).

Oh sure, there's a ton of raid instances that are scripted as well. Think of the whole Opera Event in Karazhan for another fun example. They don't even have to be in an instance either. Battle of Darrowshire comes immediately to mind. I just really enjoy them, and thank Blizzard for some of these fun moments.

So, what are some of your fun or enjoyable scripted events in Wow?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

State of Zanderfin Address 10/10/07

So, I've had a couple things going on in my life lately. Mostly all Wow related, so that has been taking up a bit of my time. If the quality of posts hasn't been the highest lately in your opinion, then I'm right there with you. The non-Wow stuff I don't really talk about here, so I won't bore you with those details. Suffice it to say that I've had a couple projects at work.

Now, the Wow-related stuff...

First off, I've been very excited that my wife has been enjoying playing Wow again. Many months ago, she got her shadow priest up to the low 30's. I'm not exactly sure if she got burned out or what. Honestly, I think that there were just too many good books that she was excited to read as that is more of a passion than video games for her. Well, she's been playing again, and we've gotten our Shadow Priest / Shaman duo up to a respectable level 37. Kind of funny that every night she asks if I'm raiding, and is dissappointed when I tell her yes. (She enjoys the game, but enjoys hanging out with me most of all, so not really one to play if I'm not leveling along side her. Plus, I'd probably make her do those quests again so that I don't fall behind. heh.)

Secondly, we've always known that the /roll method of loot was not the most equal means of loot distribution. I think we've had at least 2 sessions of 7 pages of posts regarding the matter at different times, along with numerous tells and e-mails in between. We had originally planned to implement a method by the time we started Gruul's, but because nobody could agree we fell back on gearing up 2 tanks and letting everyone else /roll. Well, we finally sat and came to a decision of what we wanted to adopt. From what we've seen, every method of loot distribution has negatives and positives. Hopefully they all equal out over time. We settled on a Modified Zero-Sum DKP Point system. "Modified" being basically that you can get points by waiting outside the instance in case somebody needs to bail. So, our points won't always sum up to zero, but I think they'll work for us. There's also a small bias in that if two tank Tier items drop, one of them will go to a tank. Gotta keep the tanks alive.

Since I'm basically the one supporting our forums now, I also took it upon myself to figure out how to track this DKP. So, I've been spending a lot of time playing with at test forums to integrate phpBB3 with eqDKP. Don't think that I coded it or anything... it can all be found over at the eqDKP site. It's just a little tricky to have everything installed. Then, I launched it on our main forums. All the data is now there, but there's a small issue with Itemstats and some formatting that I need to take care of. (There's the coding part.) I'll repost about it once everything is completed.

Finally, because of major RL issues and lack of free time to commit to the guild, our Guild Master, Thellonious, decided to step down. He'll still be raiding with us; but is no longer the Guild Master. So, as of last night, Leiandra is now the new Guild Leader for Primogeniture on Bronzebeard. I've been along him every step of the way, so I guess it's really no surprise that I was chosen. I'm feeling a little bit of pressure with the responsibility, but I think we have a great bunch of guys and gals, so that should make it not too bad. Will we have issues? Of course. Will there be guild drama? Like you can avoid that. We'll push forward. We'll progress. And if we can consistently get 25 geared people online to do these instances, I think we'll be kicking a lot of butt.

So, that's my life at the moment. Or at least it's a small peak into my Wow life. I'll be sure to come up with thrilling, thought-provoking posts here in the future. Oh, and with "Flair"! You've got to have the flair. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grey-Trash Selling Macro

I realized this long, Columbus Day weekend (yeah, I got the day off) that one of the macros that I've used for the longest time, and quite frankly, I can't live without I hadn't posted. Sure, there's plenty of mods you can use to do the same thing, but it's also as simple as creating a macro and using that button.

So, what am I describing? Everybody gets them. Some of them, like the [The Stoppable Force] are even worth over 2 gold! So, yes... I'm talking about the grey, poor quality items. If you don't save them, if you don't pick them up, you're losing out on a good chunk of change. But they can be a pain to search through your bags to find. So, what does one do? Add the following macro:
/script for bag = 0,4,1 do for slot = 1, GetContainerNumSlots(bag), 1 do local name = GetContainerItemLink(bag,slot); if name and string.find(name,"ff9d9d9d") then DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Selling "; UseContainerItem(bag,slot) end; end; end
Drag the macro to an open action button. And then every time you go to a vendor, click this baby, and see all that trash sold in record time, and without you having to search for it. Giving credit where credit is due, this came from the Mage forums on all their macros.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Updating Mods

Patch 2.2 has been out for over a week now. Most of the mods that are still being updated have been updated by this point. If they're mods you can't live without, go get them now. No more excuses. I've covered a couple different mods such as Omen (necessary enough that Blizzard may eventually integrate it into the game) and Deadly Boss Mods (for the raiders and PVP battleground folk).

On some of the bosses, it is almost impossible to win without having some type of timer to know when events are coming up. Gruul the Dragonkiller is one of those bosses. Having at least a decent idea of when the shatters and silences are coming are essential. So, go get those mods.

We had a guild run to Gruul the other night. Out of 25 guildies, something like 11 had the required Deadly Boss Mods. So, we told everyone to get it. What seemed like 15 minutes later, there were still only about 17 people that had it. What's up with that? Are there certain people that are that leet that they don't need it? Grr... required raiding mods are there for a reason, people. Kk... enough of my rant.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Helping Strangers

A couple of fun things happened to me while fishing this past weekend that I didn't describe yesterday. I'm sure most of you that have a high level toon have done this in some form or another, so it's certainly not new. But it can be fun.

As I was skilling up my fishing from about 200-225 in SW, I saw some poor guy begging to have somebody run him through The Stockades. Well, "begging" might not be the correct word since he was offering 3g. I suppose I was feeling generous, so I sent him a quick, blind invite, and told him to hurry up. Once we were both in the instance, I ran through arcane exploding everything. I'm too lazy to loot that low level stuff, so I put it on free loot, and I made sure not to go too far ahead, so this pally would still get credit for the kills. The 3g he gave me at the end will more than come back to him when he sells the all the green items he picked up. It was nice to help somebody, and it was fun to do. Now, not that I want to go help every lowbie that's begging in the streets, but it was fun for a change of pace.

Then on my way over to pick up my fishing quest once I hit 225, I was chatting with another paladin waiting for the boat. He was on his way to Dire Maul West to do one of the steps in his epic Charger quest. I think DM is one of the least visited instances for a 60, even before the expansion. The reason for the DM-hate, I'm guessing, is because it doesn't have any tier pieces, but also because it's just so out of the way. That's before the expansion. After the expansion, you get way better green drops in Outlands then you'd ever get out in DM. Since I kinda had to go out that way anyway to get one of the rare fish, he asked, and I said I'd help him out. This guy was pretty good at getting people together. Within seconds of me joining, he had 3 other random people in the group as well. A too low priest, a 58-ish mage, and a 60-ish rogue. We couldn't summon the priest (not sure he could get in anyway), so it was the 4 of us that finished it in record time. 2 x Pyroblasts, 2 x Fireballs, a stun by the rogue, and the trees were falling right and left. It didn't take long, and it helped the poor guy out.

So, the question for the day is: What are some of the things you've done to help random people in game? Or are you the type that never helps anyone?

p.s. Raiding summation: People were offline, attempted Gruul. Died a lot. At least we can try him again with High King Maulgar tonight.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Personal Fishing Contest in SW

You'll have to excuse my lack of posting on Friday. I've been enthralled by working out kinks to integrating a phpBB3 forum with eqDKP and BossProgress. All in all, I believe I've got everything done where we could have that launched with my guild's web site. The only question now is, how do we want to handle DKP? It's been a huge struggle, and I won't bore you with details. As Matticus said recently, "No system is better then that of human discretion. Always use it. Different ways to handle loot are useful for different types of Guilds. Find out what works best for you."

But that's not the point of today's post. As I mentioned before, I've been leveling up my fishing a bit. (Yes, yes... nothing to do with raids, I know.) I pretty much went to town on Saturday, getting Leiandra skilled up. I got from about 200 up to 225. I went all over the world doing the fishing quest. (Remember to bring baubles for the fishing quest, it'll make it much faster; I forgot.) And I now have the ability to raise my fishing up to 300.

After that quest, I thought I'd settle down in Tanaris to get some more fish. Still unwilling (or too lazy) to go buy baubles, a fair number of fish were getting away. I was well aware that fishing in higher zones gives you the same amount of fishing "experience" as the lower zones do. It's all based on number of catches, and not relative level (such as mob experience is). I had long ago leveled my cooking to a respectable 364, so it's not like I needed the fish for that skill. My thought process was that getting higher fish would sell for a higher price. While this was technically true, my main objective was to skill up my fishing so that I could eventually catch things in the high level areas like Nagrand.

So, while I was catching some more valuable fish in Tanaris, the return on my investment was most likely much lower due to the many fish that escaped my deadly hook. Upon having that epiphany, I quickly teleported back to SW, and fished like crazy. My skill is now sitting at 264.

I bring this up for the fishermen in us all. I think it's one of the few parts of WoW that most people don't care about too much. Personally, I enjoy it. Nothing's better than kicking back with some friends and having a fishing night. (I spent all of my fishing time chatting with friends.) It's such a change of pace. And, and higher levels, it can be lucrative as well. Of course, if I keep up my career in Stormwind, I'll continute with my 4-5 copper per catch. It looks like I'll have to leave eventually, but when? When is a good point to really get serious in fishing in places outside of Stormwind?

p.s. We should be trying Mag again tonight after we kill Gruul. Hopefully we'll have enough tanks online to give it a shot.