Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Awe Inspiring

While our guild has been downing Zul'Jin in ZA for quite some time now, I personally hadn't made it past Malacrass. Granted it's been quite a while since I've been in ZA, so I'm sure I could have done it a long time ago had I been in a proper group.

Last night, we again didn't have enough to go play with the 25-man's, so we headed in to ZA. In the back of my mind, I figured maybe we'd get super lucky and finish all of the time tests and one of the bear mounts would drop for us. So, one of my officers (who was actually already saved) and myself picked out the group that we thought would do well in there. (I didn't tell him about my bear aspirations, we'll just keep that secret between us, kk?)

We killed the Eagle boss (or, as was later referenced over vent: the owl boss), within the 20 minute easily. We now had 15 minutes to take down the Bear. We had a few badly timed silences that caused one of the tanks to go down at about 15% health left or so. Shield Wall, Last Stand, and a little bit of luck left us killing the Bear with a few minutes to spare.

Quickly head on over to the gauntlet and then the Dragonhawk boss. 20 minutes is plenty of time, right? The boss was done almost flawlessly. Our paly tank let all of the eggs on one side pop. Then on the next egg-popper guys, the other side was cleared. We killed him shortly after his mini-enrage timer.

Alright! Let's move on to the Lynx boss. (Not to be confused with the Linux boss. (Inside joke)) What? No new timer? You have got to be kidding me. We're given only 20 minutes to kill 2 bosses? Yeah... I guess I didn't read up on that, or it had just been too long. The rest of my group knew that was the case, I was just the noob there.

But Wow! There's guilds that will take down those 2 bosses in 20 minutes? That's just impressive. I'm not even sure how else to write that.

Moving on with our night. We killed Malacrass without any problems. Then I started lagging bad. I realized just before we pulled that it was because my wife was uploading photos (sigh). So, I was of little help to that fight. But we got him down to like 10% or something. So, I got to see all of the fights and abilities... I just didn't get the loot. Oh well... it was neat to see everything except the actual death. lol.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Storm's Coming

I need to give credit to Spicy Tuna for pointing this out, but the "new" Blizzard in Beta is amazing. I have all of Leiandra's 61 points invested into Frost. She rides around Northrend on her little horsey to round them all up.

Frost Nova and Jump...

Then Blizzard.

Most of the mobs don't even make it out of the first Blizzard. Those that do are still pretty far off, and I haven't had any melee make it through my second cast of Blizzard. In short: AoE farming will be a lot of fun with Frost.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Raid Motivation Before Wrath

Just before the release of The Burning Crusades, I had a lot of fun with guildies trying out new content for us. I wasn't in a raiding guild back then. And we were excited to press on and see new content and kills even though we knew we'd be replacing the gear soon enough once the Dark Portal was open. And once the new talents came out, we found an additional boost in our ability to do new kills in Zul Gurub.

In Primogeniture, lately we haven't had as many people signing on for raids. We discussed it a little in guild chat last night. It appears that some people want to get their alts to 70. Some people don't understand that the T5/T6 gear we would be getting wouldn't be replaced until level 76 or so. Some people realize they can get upgrades, but know it's not the same gear they'll be raiding in at 80, so why bother?

Unfortunately, there's not enough of a core (or so it seems) that are interested in the kill for the opportunity or satisfaction of a job complete. We'd easily have enough time to kill Vash and Kael if we had people signing on, but alas... we don't have the consistent numbers. A shame really... I was hoping to get that title. I'm not saying we have stopped raiding, but with cancelling raids due to lack of attendance, it's kind of frustrating.

But I can't believe that I'm alone in the current situation I find myself in; or rather, that Primogeniture is the only guild having this issue. We have a lot of core friends in the guild, so we can continue to do stuff... it just might not be the 25-man content we had been planning for. Maybe we'll see how few people we can take to bring down Mag. (Hey... then I'd at least get one title. lol.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Drastic Change In Wrath

I am truly shocked that I haven't seen any reports on this. Blizzard has changed a basic game mechanic so drastically that it will forever change the way we play World of Warcraft. This should have made the patch notes. This should have been the top story on every major blog. And as to this point, it has remained hidden as far as I know.

What is this dramatic difference? How will it effect you? Will this completely destroy end-game raiding? It's a good thing I'm here to fill you in. Thank goodness you read Zanderfin's Wow "Casual" Raiding.

I've still been playing around with specs quite a bit on my mage, Leiandra. In Beta, she's now been Fire, Frost, Arcane, Elemental, Arcane/Fire, Arcane/Frost, and a lack-luster build of equal points in each. So, I continued to quest a bit as I was trying out my latest build of Frost. There is an underwater quest which was quite fun. Going underwater was easy since it appears we now have increased lung capacity (about 3 minutes). And Blizzard was nice enough to give a quest item that allows you to breathe underwater as well. When I was done with the quest, and needed to resurface was when I noticed the change.

As I always do when I want a quick ascent out of water, I swam up and began jumping. Only this time, I didn't jump. I simply continued to rise at a steady pace. I thought my space bar might be broken, so I tried some more. Still absent: my jumping. As much as I tried, I could not jump while submerged in water. It was like... it was as if... I thought I was flying. "That's it!" I thought. It's the same mechanic that flying mounts use.

So there you have it folks. You heard it here first. This will completely change the way we... well... come up out of water. I'm simply appaled that I'm the first one to report on such a game-breaking change. Now... if I can just figure out how it will break the game, I'm sure I have grounds for a law suit or something.

(Clarification: Yes, I'm joking about it being game-breaking or of any major consequence in the game. And no, I will not be filing a law suit. More than anything I thought, "Hmm... that makes sense. Glad they finally changed that."

Also of note: you can still jump out of water, just can't jump while still submerged.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Interesting Side Effect

I'm not exactly sure when I first purchased the second account for my wife to play World of Warcraft. But I do know that she didn't hit 60 until well after The Burning Crusades was out. And since she generally only quests with me, I'm usually the one to show her where to go since I've done most of the quests already. She did have a paladin that she solo'ed through the Dranei area until about level 20, but that's about it for her solo career.

A lot of times when I have somebody else showing me around, I tend to remember the area/instance less. As much as I pay attention, things don't come together for me until I've (A) seen it a few times, or (B) had to do the research like looking it up on a map. I think (or at least hope) that a lot of people are like me and they almost go brain dead if somebody's leading them around, and especially if they think that's the only time they'll be doing that quest.

My wife's the same way. It's taken her awhile to remember where things are, mostly because she has me as a crutch so she can ask me about stuff whenever she wants. She can go make her Shadowcloth by herself, and she usually remembers where the bank is in Shatt. But with the less time /played she has, and using me as a crutch, she certainly doesn't remember as much.

Last night, we played the Beta for a bit. (We both got keys.) All of a sudden it dawned on her, "You don't know where you're going, do you? You've never done these quests before?" And when I answered in the negative, she was excited about that. We'd get to work together exploring new quests and areas. Not just me telling her where to go. She liked that. It was neat to hear the excitement in her voice. And come to think of it, it sounds like it will be fun.

The only question is: how do I get her to forsake all other hobbies so that we can level to 80 together uninterupted? Wow... I really need to get another hobby. lol.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yet Another Guild Vault Hacked

Just when I was wondering what to blog about today, the idea hit me in the... guild vault.

One of our guildies has been having computer issues. To make a long story short, he sent in his computer and gave them the password to his computer. I guess he used the same password for his Wow account. I don't know. Anyway, he claims that that's how his account was hacked. I trust the guy, he's been around for a long time. I can't fathom any reason he would have to steal the stuff. He's a lot of things, but certainly not a thief. (He's actually a lot of good things, I kinda said that in jest... just sounds like a line from a movie. heh.)

At any rate, he kept getting booted off last night at around 1. Then he couldn't get on at all; they changed his password. Shortly after, they ransacked the guild vault. We lost almost 30,000 g worth of mats. (The majority of which were Hearts of Darkness that we had been saving for shadow resist gear.)

So... anyone know a number I can call over at Blizzard? Or do I have to open an in-game Ticket when I get home tonight? /sigh

The other strange thing is that the log on Wowarmory and what's in game (at least per what my friend has said since I'm at work) don't match. Strange. I think the correct one is the one in game, but I guess I'll see when I get home tonight and look. Yeah... that sucks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Newest Gold Spammer Antics in Wrath

This past weekend, I spent an evening running Steamvaults with my wife and a couple other friends. I was on my Shaman, so I was healing the run. Out of nowhere, I get a message from a level 1 toon. WIM initially blocks tells from level 1's, but I was curious as to who it was and what they said since the name was something that sounded legit.

In the message, I was asked if I wanted to trade my shaman for a 70 rogue with S1/S2 and T4/T5 gear.

Well gee... I thought the gold spammers were bad, but now this? He didn't even validate the tell (as WIM requests you to do if you're a level 1 toon).

Let me first say that this is totally against the EULA. You cannot trade accounts.

But it got me thinking about their marketing strategy. The Gold Spammer of old at least had a product that appeals to everyone. Even if you don't want to buy it with real money, everyone in the game has a need for money. Some might have enough where they don't need any more, but they still need to have some.

If you're targeting specific classes, you've just dropped your supply by a great deal. Over-simplifying the numbers, you are now only dealing with about 1/9th of the population. And you're making a pretty big assumption that that's the only level 70 that that account has. And you have to find somebody that isn't happy with their class and now wants a rogue (in this case). Wow... Talk about a market niche.

Now, far be it from me to tell somebody how to do marketing for their business. Maybe it was some random kid sending out a ton of whispers. (But again... I would think they would have validated the WIM message so it would get through to me?) It would certainly seem that if you were advertising your web site or service of trading toons, you'd want to do so to a much bigger audience. Who knows? Maybe spell out your web site name in IF using dead gnomes. Oh wait... the Gold Spammers already did that.

Then again... maybe this was just some random person looking for a shaman to trade for.

Monday, September 15, 2008

WoW 3.0 = Death to my Laptop

I've known I need to replace my laptop for quite some time now. I think it's about 4 years old now. A month or so back when the green line appeared, I really started thinking about it. (The "warranty" for the green line is 3 years. I've had mine for at least that long.) I started to lean towards raiding on the desktop when we started Karazhan, and I gave up raiding on the laptop completely back when we started raiding 25-man content. On on occasion or two, I did ZA on it (due to technical difficulties with the other one), but at 2 fps, I figured I wasn't doing my best.

Now that I've been in Beta, a couple more things happened. I was playing on my desktop and I first noticed that Northrend looked very foggy, but very, very smooth (about 60 fps). At some point, something clicked and I turned up all the effects and distance. Fog was instantly pushed back to reveal some stunning backgrounds. I was awed when the Burning Crusade came out; Wrath of the Lich King will awe me again. My frame rates dropped a little bit, but things were still smooth. (I think it was about 40 fps.)

Heading on over to the laptop to relax on the couch, and there was that same fog feeling. Although this time, not quite as smooth. (I forgot to look at my fps, but probably about 25.) Wanting to experiment a bit, I put the settings all the way up. About 2 fps... not really what I would consider playable. So, I pushed them back down and explored a bit.

Not trying to give away any spoilers here, but in the new PVP zone (which was quite fun), you can mount gun turrets and vehicles. The distance you can shoot is fairly far. With the terrain distance at it's lowest, you can't see where you're shooting. I moved that slider only up, and the 10 fps was better, but still not ideal for PvP. I can only guess how bad it will be for raid encounters with 9 or 24 other people.

So... yeah. I guess the issue is now prioritizing spending. Backyard, inside painting (decorative), or new computer? Anyone want to guess my vote?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wrath Beta Toons

I got a couple of my toons transferred over to the Beta Realms. If anyone would like to join me, please send me a whisp/mail/put me on your friends list, whatever. I'll update as more toons get moved over and as I name them successfully. Here's who's over there so far and what I have coming:

PVE Realm
  • Leiandra - 70 mage
  • Zedicus - 70 priest (yeah... somebody took my Graybeard name)
  • Yet to be named - 70 shaman
Premade Realm
  • Bryn - 80 mage
  • Beth - DK (/cheer, I have a 80 tank)
  • Buba- Shaman (I'll probably go resto)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Got a Beta Invite, and...

...what's the first thing I do? That's right. Download the latest patch.

I actually got a call last night from one of my raid leaders, and she was all excited because she got a Beta Invite. I was genuinely excited for her as well. I figured it just wasn't meant to be. I wasn't supposed to get an invite. But then I checked my e-mail, and there was an e-mail in there from Blizzard as well. As far as I know, there's now 5 of us in Primogeniture that have gotten beta invites. Hey... at least we could do 5-man instances. heh. I think I know 3 or 4 others that have it as well. I'll post my Beta toon's name once Leiandra is transferred over so that if anyone else wants to join me... (Hey, it may be the only time all my Blogging friends will be on the same server. lol.)

So, luckily, due to my friend, I already have the beta on my computer. That means the bulk of the download has already taken place. I just had to download a small 100 or so mb file last night. Oh, and then there's the small fact that (A) it takes time to copy your toon to the beta realms, and (B) they didn't give me any premades to make. So, I started another Death Knight.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Diatribe Against Healthstones

That's right. I hate Healthstones. Being a mage, it's pretty much the only class that understands this. See... the thing is. Healthstones have a cooldown. Mana Gems have a cooldown. They both have the same cooldown. I suppose it's the same battle that other mana users have (do I use a health pot or a mana pot?). But this is different. Why? Because it only effects one class.

I suppose a similiar diatribe could be made from druids since they can't use potions without changing forms. (Dang lack of apposable thumb!) But, what's that you say? Druids will be able to use potions in the next patch? Oh... then I guess it really isn't an issue for them, is it?

We've had the warlock class leaders organize who would take how many points in Improved Healthstones. We generally have 3 Master Healthstones for most raids. Last night, I found myself staring at my Healthstones and thinking: Why? Why did I pick up 3? Heck, for that matter, why did I pick up any at all? I rarely use it. As an arcane mage with my associated mana addiction, I'd much rather use the 2-minute cooldown on a Mana Gem. Sure, there's some fights that I'll get hit and have to use the Healthstones on every cooldown, (Najentus comes to mind), but I generally grab them to let them sit in my bag until I log out.

Now, to get into other facets of it. Why do we have to have 3 bag slots to carry 3 charges of a Healthstone? They re-did Mana Gems to have 3 charges. Why not Healthstones? Mages used to have to conjure 3 different Mana Gems (and lesser ones at that). Still makes it "seem" that you need to bring 3 warlocks to your raid for the maximum "buff" that no other class can bring. Hey... I thought they were trying to get away from that.

And on a semi-related topic, why are my Mana Gems BoP? Is it because the "masters of arcane" are the only ones that know how to wield mana and will it out of this curious gem of raw energy? Give me a Mana Gem table or something while you're at it. (See? I'm not totally mage-centric.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Getting a Bit Touchy?

Warning: This post is bordering on a bit of politics.

Okay, this isn't the first time that this has happened, but I'm kind of getting fed up with it. I mean, who really cares? What I'm talking about is this story. Basically, McCain's choice for his running mate has a nickname of "Barracuda". So, naturally, they played a 1977 song from the band Heart. Heart has now come out and said, don't use our song.

I guess I'm a little baffled. The biggest link I can think of is this: The band Heart is agains the War (or Republicans or whatever it is that they think McCain stands for). Their 1977 song played at a convention now links them with the War. Therefore, people will think they're for the War. That's a bit of a strech if you ask me.

Or is it that they think that their 31-year old song is going to make people remember Sarah Palin more, and that's who they'll vote for?

I'm just trying to understand. It's not like Heart is losing money. It's certainly possible that people will want to hear the song on the radio/iTunes whatever if it's played. It seems to me that these bands (more than just Heart) need to just let it go. Really. Take a breath. It's okay.


Then I spent like 15 minutes thinking about how Heart may feel. (I'm doing data entry for work today (gag), so I have time to think.) I'm not a Hillary Clinton fan. For multiple reasons, she just rubs me the wrong way. What if she were to use a song I created 30 years ago? I guess I might understand the frustration then. But this is news? I really need to find a better news source.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Suggestion: Guild Bank Tax

Since I somehow started trolling the WOTLK forums today, there's been a couple of things I've wanted to point out as news. Looks like WoW Insider beat me to the punch on the realms first level 80 titles removed, but there's another blue post that they didn't address.

There's a suggestion on the forums that states the following:
Hey I thought it would be a cool idea for guilds to be able to have a set % of earnings from killing a mob goto guild bank. Guild master can set the amount. Not from vendored items just from what is picked up from a mob.

You receive 95 silver from %t, 5 silver goes to guild bank.

something along those lines. Would help towards guild raid mats/mounts for people.
It's an interesting idea and got stamped with a seal of approval from Tigole:
This is an interesting idea. We won't be able to get to this for the WotLK launch, but we are compliling a list of future guild improvements that we'd like to make in WoW.
Since I can't actually put my 2 cents in on the forums since I'm not a Beta Tester, I figured I'd voice my opinion here. I think it's a good idea, but only in certain situations. So, for example, the Raid or Party Leader should be able to turn this tax on or off. If you're out farming your own gold, you should be able to keep it all. But if your guild is doing some raid, I think it would be fair that a portion of those funds be directly deposited to the guild vault. I think with that spin, it would work. Otherwise, as a Guild Leader, I wouldn't use it.

3.0 -> Now with Faster 60-70 Leveling

Per a confirmation on the official WOTLK Beta Forums, Tigole has confirmed that leveling from 60 to 70 will faster once 3.0 comes out. Hey... maybe that means I can get my 4th 70. Oh no... I'm an alt-a-holic.

BlizzCon Attendees

I haven't mentioned much about BlizzCon since I got my tickets for two reasons. The first is simply because there's not much to write about. I got tickets. I'm going. There's not much more to say about it.

The second reason is probably more the reason though. The original plan was to go with my best friend, his brother (who's basically my brother), and my best friend's brother's wife (along with her brother and dad). Well, with all the commotion and the fiasco that was the sale of BlizzCon tickets this year, I got tickets, but I understood that none of my other friends did. It made me pretty sad. Especially since I don't get to see my best friend all that much (another state) and he was the one that got us all hooked, and he's been playing since the original beta.

Long story short. My brother's wife was relentless in her assault of the Blizzard Store, and she got tickets that Tuesday night. Then my best friend won the drawing. So they're all going. Yeah!

Who else is going? I don't even know if it's possible at all, but I'd like to meet any of my readers, and especially some of the other bloggers. So, post if you're going, and we'll figure out details from there.

Mobile Blogging at BlizzCon?

So I was reading Tatia's post over at Mystic Chicanery about going to BlizzCon, and I started thinking about Mobile Blogging. I know it's already in Blogger so I'd have to do minimal work to actually set it up. Was just wondering if anyone would be interested in seeing pictures from BlizzCon when I go. Thoughts? I'll post a poll here shortly.

I think it will cost me like 60 cents per picture. Shh... don't tell my wife. lol.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Wife: The Farmer*

Over a year ago, there was a guy that was in our guild that had his own personal "Chinese Farmer". He'd pay for his nephews account, and in return, his nephew would farm materials for him. Heck, he'd farm the herbs for 1/2 the guild sometimes. I always thought it was humorous, but it also seemed like that what his nephew enjoyed doing. He never raided with us. Some people quest. Some people PVP. Some raid. He herbed and mined.

Last night, I had about 20 minutes before I needed to send out invites to the raid, and my wife really wanted to play Wow for a bit. She's not a big fan of dailies because we do the same ones over and over again. (Yeah, she's not a fan of the "grind".) So, I figured I'd give her a taste of grinding mobs for primals. While Shadowmoon Vally is rich in many different primals, we started by working on Primal Fires. I think we had about 5 motes by the time we got down there and I had to switch toons to start the raid. It was a start.

A little bit into the raid, I realize that my wife is still at the computer. (She's actually in a different room.) She whispered me telling me that she was going to log, but that she had accumulated 30 motes of fire. (Sounds much more impressive than 3 Primal Fire.) It's a pretty good start towards some of the gear we want to make for her. Then again, with Wrath looming so close, I'm not really sure we want to use those mats to actually produce something, but that's not really the point.

The point is, that I turned my wife into a farmer. At least for one night. I don't expect her to do that every night. And in fact, I think I'd be shocked if she did it again (especially after this post. lol). It's just neat to hear things like she wants to be a contributor to the raids she comes on, not just a warm body. And now, she's "contributing" to get better gear made for herself.

Now if I can get her over the monatony of dailies that she dreads, she can be a true Gold Farmer. :)