Friday, March 30, 2012

Heads In A Bag

     I've often wondered if a GM can be extorted or intimidated to give me something.  I'm going to assume they cannot, but I'd still like to see what type of reactions I would get if I tried.

     The following is an example of how I might go about intimidating said GM.  It will take much planning and preparation.  With that in mind, I'm throwing it behind the cut.  If you're disturbed by decapitating NPCs, you may want to just skip this post entirely.  But I doubt that's the case, since this is WoW we're talking about.  Let me also state before we get going that I'm not crazy.  Not *that* kind of crazy, at least...



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Which Side Am I On?!

     Take a look at the picture.  Give it a minute.  What's wrong with the picture? There's got to be something...

     Oh, there it is.  It's a tauren riding an Alliance gryphon out of Ironforge.  Did he steal it?  Did this lone member of the Horde break into the impenetrable fortress of the Dwarves and steal their ride?


     One of the most popular items I can remember from early days in WoW is the Orb of Deception.  This was a very rare drop from the higher-level mobs, up to and including raid bosses, in Vanilla WoW.  It was always going for a premium on the auction house.  I recall during BC, seeing it on the block for around 10,000 gold.  At the time, such a sum was astronomical.  Even now, that's still pretty hefty, but more people are willing to pay it, should you be lucky enough to have it and not want it *stern glare*. 

     It takes up a trinket slot to use it, but that shouldn't be a problem.  Any situation where you'd actually get to enjoy this shouldn't require you to be in your finest raid gear.
     What does it do, you ask?  It turns your character model into the opposing faction's equivalent.  It goes as follows:
     Humans <--> Orcs
     Dwarves <--> Trolls
     Night Elves <--> Forsaken
     Gnomes <--> Tauren
     Draenei <--> Blood Elves
     I haven't seen any information on whether or not the Worgen and Goblins are a pair, so if someone knows, please let me know in the comments and I'll update the list.
     So in answer to the question I first asked, did the Tauren steal the gryphon?  No.  A gnome used the orb and stole it.  Or paid for a flight.  Whatever.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crazy Ideas: Reputation Tokens

     WoW is filled to bursting with different factions that one can gain reputation with.  At last count, my paladin has 54 or 55 reputations exalted.  Yes, I am that level of crazy.  I have the title to prove it. Anyways, I was reading The Grumpy Elf's latest post and saw something that piqued my curiosity.  He mentions the problem with the various tokens in WoW, like the Dalaran Cooking Awards, that wind up going almost completely unused and spend their days wasting away in your currency tab, sad little reminders of how much work you did and how futile it wound up being.
     He mentions being able to turn in various raid tokens for reputation.  That got me thinking.  Why stop there?
     Why not have some NPC available in the middle of nowhere, perhaps with "the exalted" by his name.  This NPC would be able to take any and all (and I mean ALL) of the different currencies you have and convert them through some mystical means (like computer coding) into some other different currency.  Specifically, I think they'd have to be converted to a centralized currency not unlike gold, except that could only be spent at that particular NPC.  Call them Coins of Azerothian Existence for all I care.  But centralize the tokens in game to a single point.
    Why do this?  Funny you should ask. (You did ask, didn't you? DIDN'T YOU?!)
    You can turn around and spend these particular Coins of Azerothian Existence on other tokens you may not want to go get in the normal ways.  You can spend them on reputation tokens on *every* faction you have encountered.  This means that you'll still have to put the work in to go find and meet these factions, and any increases with one that would cause a decrease with another (Think Booty Bay and Bloodsail Buccaneers) would apply in the same way.
     I realize it seems counterintuitive that adding yet another token would solve the issue of the flood of tokens we already have, but I think it would work.  By making sure that all the old tokens don't wind up decaying in a bag, Blizzard keeps old content relevant, at least to the point that someone would not feel that their efforts were completely wasted.
     Or I'm completely off the mark here, and everything is fine.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Social Challenge

     A couple of days ago, while I was running around on my starter mage, I got a whisper from a random person.  Now, my usual instinct is to say "I don't know you, leave me alone".  But for some reason, I decided to see how a random conversation would play out if I was just polite.  So I said "hello" back.

     I had a conversation with this person for about an hour while I was fishing, levelling cooking, and jumping around in circles in Stormwind for no apparent reason.  And that got me thinking.

     WoW is a social game.  Many people start playing because their friends are in the game.  But how many people will actually make an effort to get to know a stranger?  In all honesty, I can understand why people wouldn't just stop a random person on the street and try to make conversation.  You never know what dangers there could be in that moment.  But in WoW?  You're safely behind a computer screen and all the other person knows about you is that you have an internet connection and a WoW account.

     So, I challenge all the people reading this blog with a simple task.  While you're online, do a /who.  Don't specify any criteria.  Just /who.  You'll get a pretty random list of 50 names of people who are online.  Pick one and whisper them.  Be nice.  Be friendly.  See if you can get a conversation going.  You can offer as much or little information about yourself as you want.  But see if you can't cause some kind of interaction with a stranger.  Don't be deterred if the first person you whisper winds up being somewhat hostile.  It happens.  Not everyone wants to start a conversation with a complete stranger.  Some people are just a bit more reserved than others.  But give it a try.  If you get no reply at all or a negative one, start over.  Do another /who and pick someone else.

     Who knows, you might wind up making a friend. 

     And feel free to comment here or post in your own blog about how this works out for you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Starter Account Glories

     I decided to attach a starter account to my account after I saw Rades post over at Orcish Army Knife.  Shortly thereafter, I decided I would see just how far I could take a starter toon as far as achievements and actual abilities.

     So I made myself a little human mage and named him, what else? Hyperious.  I'm so original, I know.  But I have a few friends on Wyrmrest Accord and decided that I might as well use a name they know in case I'm ever within /say range of them.  Not having the ability to whisper is somewhat difficult.  Still, with the various loopholes available in the starter editions limitations, I'm pretty sure I can make some pretty impressive strides at the level cap of 20.

     What areas will I be focusing on?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Mask for One Occasion

     Okay, maybe more than one, but they all sort of relate.  The Vile Fumigator's Mask, contained in the Heart-Shaped Box during Love Is In The Air, is all kinds of awesome.  You get the really cool gas mask look in the front, but to add to the evil/creepy/awesomeness, you get two huge gas canisters on your back.  It's got an on-use function that emits a cloud of purple gas and incapacitates all enemies in front of you. 

     Now, my RP side is going to show a little bit here, but I think this would be really great to have with an all-white clothing set.  I mean white pants, white shirt, white gloves, black boots, and no other weapons equipped.  Unless you can equip a big butterfly net.  Then do that.

     If I ever manage to put it together (with an undead character, because I can't very well go stomping big bugs as a wimply male belf... female maybe), I will walk through various major cities asking if someone called for an exterminator.

     That's just the kind of random crap I do with my toys in WoW.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Doh and Amitiella: Modes of Travel

    I enjoyed Big Bear Butt's writing challenge so much, I decided I wanted to keep going with what I came up with.  So here it is.  It's all rough, unedited, and so forth, but at least I got the general ideas out of my head.  I'm hoping for some feedback.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lore Figures: Can Good Be Bad?

     Bolvar Fordragon rocks.  He really does.  I love him as a character, specifically as a figure of awesomeness that both factions can easily acknowledge.  I doubt you'll find an Alliance or Horde player that doesn't know immediately who Bolvar is.  His great works have ranged from Vanilla all the way up to the end of Wrath, and silently continue even through Cataclysm.

     But is he too good?  He doesn't seem to have a single flaw to his character.  I cannot recall any moment in lore where he shows the slightest hint of bad judgement or selfish intent.  Is he as believable a character as he could be with some more human flaws?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

MoP Stuff

     I just spent a little time over at Wowhead's MoP item list... 2232 items during my time there...

     There are a few things that I'm pretty interested to see.  The first thing I want to see is Ling-Ting's Favorite Tea, which, on use, will cause the user to see some strange stuff.  Hopefully it will be an alchemy recipe (my main is an alchemist, you see) and will be used for tons of fun or something.

     Alternatively, I would like the strange things to be some form of beast that we have to kill and then get good loot from.  That, I think, would be very interesting... Sort of like the Wolpertingers during brewfest... Drink up, see a weird bunny-deer-bird thing.

     The next two items I'm looking at pretty hard are the Silver Filigree Flask and the Strange Spherical Stone, both of which are apparently quest-starters for alchemy.  I like that we're seeing other professions getting daily quests, but I wonder how effective alchemy will be if people have to start grinding dailies in order to get the different recipes they need.  I know I'll have to spend a lot of extra time grinding if that's the case, since I can't stand not having recipes for alchemy.

     I realize this entry is incredibly short compared to the other bloggers out there, but I didn't really feel like going in to tons of detail at the moment.  These are the three items that I was interested in.  Hallucinogens and Quest Items.

     Nothing can possibly go wrong there.

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!

     Nothing like a William Blake reference to start off a post about Warcraft.

     Today's feature is one that is, sadly, rather class specific.  The item itself is not class specific (it's just a staff, usable by a pretty good selection of classes), but the transformative effect is.  We're talking about an item that seems to be coveted by every feral druid out there, raider or not.  Fandral's Flamescythe, dropped by Majordomo Staghelm in the Firelands raid, transforms a druid's cat form into a burning awesome Druid of the Flame!

     The only way for another class to get this form is to use a Potion of Illusion while targetting a druid in burning kitty form.

     All in all, I think the item should have an on use effect to grant anyone the fiery coat, even if not the full Flame Cat effect. But it's still pretty cool.

Expect to see this getting farmed into oblivion within the first few patches of Mists of Pandaria, as Firelands becomes old content.  Farmed by armies of druids.  There will be arguing.  Oh yes... Druid arguments are always fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Challenge Accepted: Big Bear Butt's Blogging Bonanza Blowout B....B.... Thing.

     On March 16th, Big Bear Butt threw down the gauntlet.  He issued a challenge, quoted as such:
Write a short story. I don’t care how short, or what kind of story, or even what form your story takes. BUT… your story, poem, dirty limerick or whatever you choose to do must incorporate within it in some way the following words;
  1. juicy
  2. slender
  3. vain
  4. shaft
  5. torch
  6. star
  7. hidden
If you accept this challenge, then write whatever you’d like incorporating those words into your tale, but do not publish right away!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Losing Toys To MoP

     So, the NDA lifted today, and WoW blogs all over are allowed to talk about the upcoming expansion, Mists of Pandaria.  I read through the articles over on WoW Insider and I noticed a couple of things that concerned me a bit.  I'm specifically referring to the changes to the two dungeons from Vanilla, Scholomance and the Scarlet Monastery.
     Now, I'm all for story updates and such, but since two very cool toys come from those specific instances, I wanted to make sure I featured them before MoP went live and people lost the ability to get them.  I don't know for sure if the two items I'm featuring today will be removed from the game completely, simply made unattainable, or if they'll be affected at all.  I'm hoping for the last one, to be honest, but I suppose I can settle for the middle option.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall...

With Cataclysm came Archaeology, and with Archaeology came the the Highborne Soul Mirror, a Night Elf rare artifact with a rather eerie effect.  Every ten minutes, you can use this little mirror to summon a shadowy ghost replica of yourself.  Your ghost will not move a bit.  But it will stare.  It will always stare at you.  It won't dance or wave or feel anything at all.  But by the Titans, it will stare at you.  When its time on this world has ended, you'll have to watch, horrified, as the image of you dies.
It's not all bad, though.  Many people have found some interesting ways to use it in PvP, most notably mages, warlocks, and rogues, all with their various disappearing abilities.
But still, it's creepy looking at your own ghost, presumably even a fragment of your soul (since it's a Soul Mirror), and then watching it die.  But hey, if that's your thing, you can watch yourself expire every ten minutes.

Assembling this project will take 100 Night Elf Fragments including up to three keystones.  So get out there and start diggin'!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Most Evil of Toys

     Today, as I was reminiscing with my wife about times past, we broached the subject of an item that, to this day, seriously creeps me the hell out.  It is a toy, to be sure, and I'm sure most people will say it is completely harmless.  I beg to differ.  Behind the cut there will be more than a few references to mental instability (my own, primarily) and discussion of most heinous evil things...  You have been warned.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm An Angry Bear!

Since there are so many items that transform your character into something else entirely, I'm giving those items a special day of the week, separate from the other toys of Azeroth.  I shall call it "Transformation Thursday"! *cue maniacal laughter*

Some of you may remember a quest back in Vanilla where you had to transform into a furbolg in order to speak to some crazy furbolgs and make them stop being crazy.  That was Dartol's Rod of Transformation in action. It was an Alliance-only quest, sadly, so many Horde players never got the chance to be a giant slavering bear-man.  However, the item was removed with the quest it belonged to since Azeroth burned to the ground with Deathwing's arrival.
Fear not, though, as not only did Blizzard give us a similar item in the Stave of Fur and Claw, they made it available to both factions.  The only major obstacle now is that you have to be exalted with Timbermaw Hold to purchase it from the vendor there.  There's a catch, though, to the new item.  Where Dartol's Rod was a three minute buff on a one minute cooldown, this is a three minute buff on a one hour cooldown.  It's also broken by damage, which is a bit irritating.
I recall a certain friend of mine who insisted on being in furbolg form pretty much at all times.  I think she may have macroed it into her most commonly used spells and actions, so that at any given time, if she could, she was refreshing the buff.
So get exalted with the bear-people, drop 60g, and run around in a loincloth for three minutes.
It's totally worth it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Guild and Player Housing

     This is an issue that has been brought up, worked over, rehashed, torn apart, abandoned, and reawakened by practically every WoW Blog out there.  So who am I to mess with tradition?  I have to say, I like the ideas I've seen so far.  Everyone seems to be in agreement that your guild's various triumphs should be made visible by visiting the hall.  Whether having Ragnaros' mighty hammer on the wall or having Deathwing's Jaw on the coffee table, you should be able to get a visualization of everything you've done.  Perhaps even have the various items come with a cogwheel function where you can read who was involved in the acquisition of the items (as in, which members were in the raid when you first killed some boss or other).
     Sadly, however, the guild hall ideas seem to focus on raiding guilds.  I don't recall seeing too many guild hall ideas that consider PvP guilds or RP guilds or even just social levelling guilds.
     So I've got some ideas there.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rising Above The Pain

     This will be quite a departure from the normal content of this blog (well, as normal as you can call it given the relatively short time of its existence), but I need to congratulate Apple Cider for her post from a few days ago, and for her follow-up here.  It takes real strength of character (not the in-game ones, mind you) to be able to speak openly about such things.  She's put up with a lot of crap from a lot of people, and writing these entries is about the bravest thing she could have done.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Train Wrecks

I just realized that, of all the things I've featured in this burgeoning little blog about toys, I've yet to actually discuss a plain and simple toy.  Today's feature is actually a double, because you cannot discuss one without invariably arriving at the other.

The Toy Train Set and the Wind-Up Train Wrecker are two individual items that can be purchased for 250g at various toy and novelty vendors around Azeroth, and they caused quite a stir when they were first introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

The Toy Train Set, when used, places a small train on a circular track on the ground.  Seems innocent enough... until the train makes everyone in range do the /train emote, complete with eardrum-obliterating sounds.  These quickly became the weapon of choice for bank and auction house trolls, as well as the bane of raid leaders the world over.  But what could you do?  Nothing!  The train was there in all the chug-chugging glory.

Then, one patch later, amid the howls of pain of the masses of Azeroth, Blizzard gave us the Wind-Up Train Wrecker, a little mechanical gnome with a big hammer.  He has but one purpose: DESTROY TINY TRAINS!  This little guy came with the same cooldown as the train set, however, and many areas became battlefields with train-droppers on one side and train-wreckers on the other.  It became nothing more than a numbers game.  Whichever side had more units won the battle for that half hour.

There were those who cried out against such toys in general, claiming that Blizzard only made the train so annoying and troll-worthy (that's a word now) in order to practically force players to sink more gold into the Train Wrecker.  Whether intentional or not, that was exactly the effect it had.  For every train set sold for 250g, at least one train wrecker was purchased at the same price.  But love 'em or hate 'em, these two little toys are definitely interesting additions to Azeroth's catalog o' stuff.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Effort Vs. Reward

     Blessing of Kings recently posted about "Flow and Fiero", or the concept of effort compared to rewards and sense of accomplishment.  This got me thinking a bit about the changes that have occurred throughout WoW's history.  Having played since early-BC, I've seen more than a few things getting changed from patch to patch.  But one of the things that I think always bugged me was when Blizzard would drastically nerf something.  I don't mean in the sense of making warlocks squishier in PvP or making some boss fight in a raid be a little less hair-pulling.  I mean when they'd take an achievement or reputation or even a rare item drop rate and nerf it to hell.
     The first thing that comes to mind is the change in the Feat of Strength Insane In The Membrane.  In Wrath, when this FoS first came about, my wife and I decided right off the bat we wanted it.  We were already ridiculously into the various reputation grinds in WoW.  Our goal was to be exalted (or as high as possible) with every faction in the game, so this should have come naturally to us.
     We did it.  On a pair of toons, we got server first and second within 4 seconds of each other.  Being the good husband, I of course waited to turn in my last darkmoon deck until she'd gotten the achievement.  But we felt awesome.  We'd achieved the Insane title!  Not only that, but we got the Bloodsail Buccaneers up to exalted before we finished.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Most Important Drink Ever

     I've always liked the unexpected results of "scientific" experimentation.  Especially when using oneself as the guinea pig.  The best example of self-testing pseudo-science would be Noggenfogger Elixir, purchaseable from Sprinkle Noggenfogger in Gadgetzan, Tanaris.  Before Cataclysm, you had to do a pretty extensive questline to be able to purchase these.  Now, however, you're only required to be level 35.

     You can get one of three buffs from drinking Noggenfogger, but not to worry, as you can drink and drink and drink until you've gotten all three together, if that's your thing.

     The first one transforms your character into a skeleton.  It also allows you to spend more time underwater.  You know, because you've stopped breathing...

     The second one is effectively a Slow Fall effect.  This can come in handy for those of us without such saving graces, especially when we inexplicably fall off a cliff, airship, or an unfriendly Sandstone Drake.  It's only good for 15 seconds, but if you're lucky, it might save your life.

     The third one is my favorite.  There's a chance that a swig of Noggenfogger will shrink you down in size.  The result is that you will be harder to find in PvP situations, and your movement animations will be faster (Blizzard doesn't consider size to affect movement speed, apparently).  It's really fun being small, using a passenger mount, and having a friend hop on for a ride.  Throw in some sort of enlarging elixir for good measure. Nothing beats watching a giant tauren riding a mammoth smaller than he is at breakneck speed.  Sideways.

   And of course, the best part is slamming back multiple doses and winding up a tiny skeleton floating across the sky.

   Edit:  As Gnomeageddon mentioned in the comments, you can't mount as a skeleton (it counts as a shapeshift) and you can't capture a flag in Warsong Gulch while tiny. Now I'm wondering how gnomes can accomplish anything in PvP...