Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Disenchanting in 3.3

So, I was riled up and ready to rant about the whole Disenchanting in 3.3. It appeared that any group, even one without an enchanter, could disenchant items dropped in a raid or dungeon. I was prepared to explain how it even further invalidates the Enchanting profession, how it was a horrible decision, and even on my non-enchanter I understand that I may not get shards.

Then Blizzard clarified that this option will only come up if there's an enchanter in the group with the high enough skill to disenchant the item.

Oh. Okay. I guess that totally invalidates my post now.

11% Drop Rate

My lack of blogging lately has mostly been due to being busy during my normal blogging hours, but also because I didn't want to turn this blog into a huge rant-fest. Well... I now have the time, and I'm going to turn this into a rant-fest.

11% Drop Rate. That's the chance that a Tooth Pick will drop from the Treat Bag. You need the Tooth Pick in order to get the achievement for That Sparkling Smile. You need that achievement in order to get the Hallowed Be Thy Name achievement. You need that achievement in order to get the What A Long Strange Trip It's Been achievement. And finally, you need that achievement in order to get the Violet Proto-Drake.

Now, for those that have been living under a rock (or simply haven't been logging in lately), you get the Treat Bags from Trick or Treating the Innkeepers during Hallow's End. Once per hour, you can Trick or Treat. They'll either give you one of those Treat Bags or you get tricked (changing you into a random critter that can't cast for about 20 seconds). So, the chance of actually getting the Tooth Pick is actually less than 11%. I don't have any data, but I'll take a stab in the dark and say 10%.

Unless you're toon's name happens to be Zanderfin. In that case, the chance of getting tricked is about 50%. And when you do get a Treat Bag, the Drop Rate of the Tooth Pick is probably closer to 0.02%. Again, no hard data to back up my guesses, but that's just my gut feeling. Who knows, maybe they even removed it from the loot table of the Treat Bag if your name is Zanderfin.

So, I've been logging in before work (5 am) and then as soon as I can in the evening to get in as many attempts as possible. I'm almost "Hallowed", execpt for the Tooth Pick. Oh how I despise the Tooth Pick. And all the Innkeepers are just as guilty. It's like one of those kind, old ladies on your block that gives out full, king-sized Snicker bars to all the other kids, but to you, she gives you a nice, shiny Penny. (Side Note: That bag is the same drop rate, and I've seen that at least 5 times.) You'd better be careful, nice, old lady. You give me enough pennies and I'm gonnna come around swinging that bag full of pennies. Now that will hurt. *smack!!* Take that you old hag Innkeeper!!!

Grrr... I still have 4 days. It could still happen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hallow's End: Sounds Like Rear End

For whatever reason, I have the holiday bug. I just feel like I actually want to eventually get the Long Strange Trip Achievement. Brewfest wasn't bad. And the trinkets were useful (save me a few emblems here and there). But then we came to October and Hallow's End.

Just like Coren from Brewfest, the Headless Horseman in Scrarlet Monastery is a pushover. If you stay out of the way of the whirlwind when the head is away from the body, your group will take little to no damage. So, you need 1 tank and 4 dps. Each time he dies, you get a ring which is ilvl 200 and epic. They're decent rings. And for what it takes to kill him, they're actually great rings.

But the issue with this meta achievement is two fold, namely: Sinister Calling and That Sparkling Smile. The smile one isn't too terribly bad, I just don't seem to have the luck doing it. Every hour, you go trick or treating at one of the Inn Keepers and there's an 11% chance that you'll get a Tooth Pick. Use it, and that achievement is done. However, there's also an 89% chance that you won't get it. And I seem to get that, every single time I get the Treat Bag.

So, if that isn't frustrating, you then have to go kill the Headless Horseman. Just like Coren Direbrew, each person can summon him. So, in a typical 5-man group, you can summon him 5 times. If you have people bringing in their alts, you can have even more chances. From him, you need to get a Sinister Squashling and the Hallowed Helm. 7% chance drop rate for each of those. And if it does drop, you may be fighting 4 other people, so your chance could now be as bad as 1.4%. Now, both of these items will also drop from the Treat Bag, with a 1.3% chance drop rate.

Call me a pessimist, but those numbers are awfully low. And by laws of statistics, each chance you take at getting those drops, you still have a 1.4% and 1.3% chance. (Well... 7% if you're the only one that needs it.) That just sucks. You have to rely on 3 random drops in order to get your achievement. One of my buddies tried and tried to do it last year, but never got the squashling, so he had to wait until this year to finish the meta achievement.

The one thing they have done is that there's The Horseman's Reins. So, you could pretty easily be in a group with 4 people that are only going for the mount and not the achievement items. And that one? Oh yeah... it's a huge 0.4% drop rate. At least Coren with his Ram and Kodo had a 3.3% chance to drop one of the mounts.

So yes, for the record: I am not a fan of Hallow's End. I've been fortunate enough to get the two achievement drops from Headless Horseman, but have yet to get the Tooth Pick. But still... not a fan.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


For some reason, ever since Nibuca and Fimlys asked me about my accomplishments related to Wow, I've been thinking about that. What have I done? Or have I simply played a game for my own personal enjoyment?

I think it's peculiar that the words "achievement" and "accomplishment" sound similar. And because of the new Achievement System in Wow, that word has an entirely different meaning to me now. Some accomplishments are considered Wow achievements, but most of the Wow achievements are not accomplishments. And me? I like the accomplishments. Let me give you an example.

I've been having some car issues lately. Luckily, they all seem to be in the past now, but I just got my care back from the mechanic two days ago. Before everything bad started, I knew that I had one headlight out. It was on my radar to get that in the next couple of days. Yesterday, I started my car, turned on my headlights (it's still dark when I leave), and after literally 2 seconds, the other one goes out. I drove to work with only my fog lights on, which acted as headlights. That, I would consider an achievement such as the achievement to explore the entire world in Warcraft. It's not hard. Anyone can do it. You may not have thought about it before, but once you were aware of it, it's pretty easily done.

On my way home from work, I stopped off at the parts store and picked up two new bulbs. (Achievement for figuring out what type? You decide.) I get home and figure I'll take a few minutes to install the bulbs really quick. I've done it before with other cars. It's fairly simple. After I unscrewed a few bolts, I realized that nothing was coming out, so I turned to the Owner's Manual (yeah, like I really thought that was gonna help me... it's as good as the Wow Owner's Manual), and then to the Internet. The Owner's Manual told me to consult an Authorized Mazda Service Center. (Oh, come on! It's a light bulb!) The first few sites on the Internet told me I needed to remove the entire front bumper. (Don't believe me? Go check on a 2003 Mazda 6.) I finally found a site that described how to replace the driver's side headlight, but it still sounded like it would be major mechanical work to replace the passenger side one, and that I should take it to a mechanic.

The reason that this task is so difficult is the limited amount of space you have to deal with. You have to unscrew a cap to gain access, open a spring to release the bulb, take the bulb out, replace the bulb, and then reverse the process to install the new one. But because of the space issue, you have to do the majority of it by feel. Sure, you can kind of see down in there without your hand there, but once you put your hand down there, your vision is completely blocked. And even the view you have without your hand, it's not exactly a clear view. So, I got the driver's side headlight after about an hour of when I first started my project.

And the passenger side? That was even more of a pain. Yeah, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do at this point; but the space was so tight, I had trouble taking the cap out so I could gain access. After about 30 minutes though, I had replaced that bulb as well.

Now this, I would consider an Accomplishment. It was a challenge. Many people would have probably given up before I had. Many people might have taken it to a mechanic right away. I'd even venture to say that not everybody could have done it. It wasn't a simple time sink of flying around the entire kingdom, but it took thought and some persistent work.

In Wow, my Accomplishments aren't exclusively things that nobody else has done, or only a select few. They're things that required thought, and probably some persistent work as well. Sarth +2 (never got around to doing +3) was a challenge. It took some work and coordination before Ulduar gear came out. But it doesn't have to be hard modes. It took some work for us to down Iron Council. That was probably a minor accomplishment. Heck... some of the PUGs I've been in, it may be considered a major Accomplishment just to take down Hogger. lol.

Completing X number of quests is probably an achievement, yet having the patience to figure out all the quests you need and having enough for Loremaster, is something that I'd consider an Accomplishment.

Bringing it back to a point, personally, I'm not one to go after achievements, especially not for the sake of achievement points. I am, however, very interested in accomplishments. And what's an accomplishment? Whatever you have fun doing. So, I have played the game for my own personal enjoyment, but I've also accomplished a lot of things both by myself and with others.

What about you? What are some of your accomplishments?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wow Peggle

Okay, so I'm just a little behind on this addon. Just for kicks, I downloaded the Peggle addon last night. This isn't a review, per se, but it is a nice little addon. There's a single-player mode that's just like the non-wow game. You get to choose one of two people (that basically decides your super ability). And it's just like one of those dumb online flash games that suck you in for no reason. (That wasn't meant to be negative, that's just how I classify them.)

They've made a lot of intelligent choices for designing the game. From the way it will automatically go away when combat starts, to the way that it is sort of grayed out and less protruding on the screen when your mouse is elsewhere, it really shows that they put a lot of thought into it. You can even brag about your scores by a Peggle announcement in different chat channels (only tried Guild). There's also a talent tree. How Wow can you get? lol.

I could totally see the benefit of having this addon. Since there's generally at most maybe 5 people in a 25-man raid that are doing something pre-raid. 1 person is deeply involved explaining strategy, maybe a couple are listening because they don't know the fight, a couple more are listening to add to anything the raid leader forgot, and the rest? The other 20? They can be playing Peggle. Or maybe 2 people are actually looking to fill the PUG while the other 18 are playing Peggle waiting for 5 more people to magically join.

The only problem for me is this: I'm usually the guy explaining the raids. And if I'm not, I'm usually listening to make sure nothing was missed. And if I'm not doing either of those things, I'm talking with my wife. So, after one night of one heroic 5-man TOC run, my wife suggested that I probably shouldn't get hooked on a game within a game. I wholeheartedly agreed with her and uninstalled the addon after getting off last night.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blink Fixed?

Is it true? Can it really be? Ghostcrawler has said that in 3.2.2 they fixed a lot of the issues with Blink. I don't know if it's true or not, since I haven't been blinking around lately. But wow... that would be cool. Then again... it's only taken them what? like 5 years? Oh well... better late than never.

Twisted Nether Blogcast Interview Posted

In case you missed the live podcast with the folks over at Twisted Nether last week, they've now posted it up on their website. Go to their post here. Oh, and you can get it on Zune or iTunes as well. Yep, yep.... go. Now. What are you still doing around here?

And even if you don't go check it out... I had a lot of fun doing it. After the show they were giving me the breakdown, like we'll have it posted on this day, yada, yada. And I was like, "You know... I really don't care if people go download it. I just had a lot of fun hanging out with you guys." Heck, it's what my closest friends and I do when we get together... just talk about Wow. Yep... we're that geeky. lol.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Phase 3: The One Where Onyxia is a Chump

After running the daily heroic yesterday, one of my guildies gets the idea that we should PUG 25-man Ony. "Sure," I say, "get us into a group." Before I know it, we've formed a group, and had 24 people ready to storm Onyxia's Lair. (Yeah, not sure how we didn't get a 25th, but whatever.)

Like I said, it was mostly a PUG run. I knew none of these people except for my 1 guildie, and an ex-guildie (good friend).

And... the result: We one-shotted her.

Much like the 10-man version, the hard part was Phase 2. But once we got to Phase 3... even with about half the raid dead, it was still a pretty easy kill. I guess it just goes to show that some bosses can be very easy if people know what they're doing.