Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sad Tale of Leyara

     I recently completed the Molten Front questline where you kill Leyara, the Druid of the Flame who was responsible for nearly killing Hamuul Runetotem.  As a reward, I got the Smoke-Stained Locket in my mailbox a short while later.  For those of you who haven't done the questline yet, and don't want any spoilers, avoid clicking the cut.  Just don't.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Real World Perceptions

     After I got off work this evening (very, VERY late), I stopped at the local 24-hour store to grab some sodas and a pair of energy drinks.  I was doing this because, despite having just gotten off of a 13 hour shift, I knew I'd be going back to work in two hours in order to work another 13-16 hours.

     Seriously.

     Anyways, while I was in line at this store, the guy in front of me noticed that I had long hair (it's well past shoulder length) and was holding various caffeinated beverages.  This guy had the popped collar, manicured hairstyle that screams "I totally just woke up like this, I swear!" and the bronze (Oompa-Loompa Orange) tan.  This guy was clearly a level-capped Douche.
     "Look at this guy!" he said to the cashier.  "This guy's playing Diablo, I can tell! Am I right?"  To clarify, he was referring to me as "this guy", not the poor cashier.  I just shook my head and said "Nope, no Diablo."
     "What game, then? What do you play?" the interest seemed genuine.  Perhaps my initial impression of the guy was off, and he was, in fact, another gamer.  "WoW" I replied.
     "I play Magic: The Gathering!" piped up the cashier.
     "What do you play?" I asked the apparently-not-a-douche.
     "I don't play video games, I have a LIFE."
     Ah.  There it is.  My favorite.
     "Awesome, I have a life, too." I said.  Poor Cashier was observing cautiously.  Please no fighting in the store on my shift. I could hear him silently screaming it in his head.
     "Yeah, well I have a girlfriend, bro."
     "I have a wife.  Imagine that.  I play video games, yet I also have a life, a wife who loves me, and I'm not a total douchebag who gets his jollies mocking a complete stranger over their chosen hobby.  Especially when I can see that stranger is twice my size and I cannot know if that stranger might be a complete psychopath who is barely containing himself as it is."
     "Well, I mean like, cause I have a girlfriend, and uh... she won't let me play games, and uh... ya know, I'm so busy all the time, so I don't uhhh.... have time..."
     "I'm sure that's what you meant.  Have a nice night and get out of the line."  Douchebag collected his purchase and left the store in as dignified a manner as he could muster.
     Poor Cashier asked me as I placed my caffeine supplies on the counter, "So, you Horde or Alliance?"
     'Atta boy, Cashier.  Way to make your customer feel welcome. "Horde." I replied.
    "Dude!" he exclaimed as he rolled up the sleeve of his work shirt to reveal the Horde Symbol in all its shiny red Horde-i-ness, tattooed there on his arm.

     That little exchange got me thinking.  Just why do people treat gamers as sub-human?  I mean, the douchebag's reaction to me insinuating that he played video games was what one would expect if you asked someone if they frequently rob graves to fornicate with the dead.  How dare I imply that he was possibly one of those people?  Did I not see his popped collar? Honestly, what the hell was wrong with me?

     Honestly, I keep my gaming habits to myself in most cases.  I generally only reveal that I am a gamer when another party in conversation has broached the subject.  Most of my family and friends do not even know I play WoW.  The primary reason is that I feel like I lack the strength to have to sit and explain the concept, defend my position, and further elaborate upon how playing WoW is more mentally stimulating than watching six hours of television in a single sitting.

     But why does the public at large view gamers as less worthy of respect?  Is it because of the infamous South Park episode?  Is it because of various news articles on various less-than-balanced news networks implying that playing video games leads to sociopathic genocidal tendencies?  Or is it merely a lack of understanding?

     If the public understood the appeal of gaming better, would they still treat us as they do?  If they knew that while it may look like we're just sitting and staring at a screen for hours, we're actually running numbers and ideas in our heads, watching intently for that split second opportunity to deal some serious hurt to a dragon, would they still think we're all basement-dwelling, cheetos-munching (I'm okay with that one), never-gonna-touch-a-woman, hygiene deprived outcasts?

     I feel like I'm rambling.  Probably because, despite having *just* gotten out of work a few hours ago, I'm already back, and I'm already tired.  The energy drinks have already started to wear off.

     Fifteen hours to go.

     Please, dear readers, let me know of your experiences with strangers' reactions to gaming, gamers, and the whole idea therein.  I'm interested to know.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nerd

     I don't normally do this, but Cymre over at Bubbles of Mischief just HAD to throw down the gauntlet.
     In my younger years, I'd have been somewhat embarassed by the results of this test, but as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that this is simply a part of who I am, and I embrace it.


I am nerdier than 99% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!


No cheating at all, no attempts to manipulate the scoring at all, just truthful, honest answers.

I guess I should go find a pocket protector or something.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Black Market Auction House

     There's going to be a new type of Auction House in MoP.  I don't know much about it, having only gotten my information from the WoW Insider article.  To be honest, from the screenshot in that article, I can't tell much about the system.  I know they're planning to make some of the ultra-rare items or no-longer-available items purchaseable through this new system at exhorbitant prices.  We know WoW is constantly in need of gold sinks, right?  What I'm curious about, though, is what the availability will be of these items.  Will they be on the "Auction House" in unlimited supply, being a true gold sink vendor in a craftily-disguised interface? Or will they be in limited supply in the same way the real auction house is?
     I can see the benefits to both sides, honestly.  On the one hand, having the Ashes of Al'ar be unlimited in quantity and only limited by the extraordinary price model, this allows the system to be one hell of a strong gold sink.  On the other hand, having the items be truly limited, like certain items are at certain vendors, would offer up a time sink.  If you've got the money to purchase the item, you'd have to spend the time checking the BMAH to see if the item you want is currently available.
     I know there will be outcry from the masses.  Many people will be upset that the mount they worked on for years is suddenly available to anyone with a lot of extra gold to throw around.
     I know others will be thrilled to be able to finally get things they had resigned themselves to never seeing.

     Personally, I'm glad for this system.  In whatever incarnation is appears in live MoP, I will be glad for it.  There are a few recipes that only drop in Vanilla raids, and then only at about a 0.2% drop rate.  I'd like to get those recipes to finish out my Alchemy cookbook.  There are people out there who really want to get Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops that cannot do so any longer.  Most importantly to me, however, will be the Ashes of Al'ar.  I know I've mentioned this particular item a million times now (mostly to my ever-patient wife, Light bless her), but that phoenix is THE mount I want more than anything.  Every time I see it, I see what my mind defines as "epic".  I don't want it to sit in Orgrimmar showing it off.  I want it because it's beautiful.  I want it because of what a Phoenix is.  What it does.  What it represents.
     I don't give a damn if someone else sees it and oohs and ahhs at it.  I couldn't care less.  I want it because I want to ooh and ahh at it.
     If it costs 100k on the BMAH, I will work my ass off to save the money to afford it.  I will farm mats until my face explodes if I have to.
     And in that regard, the people who are upset at the idea of being able to simply purchase these items are missing a big part of the argument.  Sure, you can just buy the mount of your dreams without having to run some instance over and over and over again.  But do you really think getting 100k gold is just a matter of selling a couple of glyphs on the auction house or running a few dailies?
     So while the actual path to the various and sundry super-coveted items may vary, it's my belief that the Herculean effort required will be very much the same.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guild Size, Guild Perks, and the Troubles Therein

     I've mentioned it before.  I'm in a two-person guild with my wife.  Our small army of alts makes up the entirety of the roster.  We're very close to hitting level 5 and getting the perk Cash Flow.  Since any cash in the guild bank is already ours, this is basically just a flat 5% boost to our own looted earnings.  Not bad.
     But we spent some time looking at the various perks that the larger guilds get at higher levels.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Looking at Statistics

     I'm bored at the moment, and I've found myself looking at the statistics for Hyperious.  There are some interesting stats in there.  For example, I can compare the Total Damage Recieved (845,973,705) to the Total Healing Recieved (773,051,676) and see a difference of 72,922,029 Damage that went unhealed.

     Let's assume that most of my deaths happened in raids (since that's where most of my deaths actually did happen)  My total deaths is 4,059.  I'm the ghost of a ghost of a ghost of a ghost of a.... you get where this is going. I'm proud to say none of those deaths are from Hogger (which is tracked!)

     Let's divide the unhealed damage by the total deaths.

     17965 would be my average unhealed damage taken per death.  That would put me square in mid-Wrath content.  That makes sense, considering I started raiding in Wrath.

     Let's look at other stuff, like consumables.  Nearly half of my 3,000 foods eaten are Conjured Mana Strudels. Again, raiding.  Magecakes and such.  I have used a total of 6 different flasks during my WoW career.  I can actually remember them all, too.  I used the Wrath flasks for Stam, mp5 (when it existed) and Spellpower.  I've used the Cata flasks for Stam, Spirit, and Int. 

     You can tell a lot about people from the statistics alone.  From the most used flask (Pure Mojo, mp5 Wrath) you can tell that I was raiding in Wrath, and that I was having mana issues for much of the time).  From the Healthstones used (94) you can see that locks shouldn't hate me as much as they hate everyone else.  I actually use the lockrocks when they're available to me.

     I enjoy looking at the statistics.  It helps remind me of stuff I've done.  I can recall soloing Onyxia when she was 60 as a level 80 Holy Paladin.  At the time, my only ranged abilities were Judgement of Light, Exorcism, and Holy Shock.  The Air Phase was a nightmare.  I spent 45 minutes on that one fight.  Downed her, though.  Booyah!  Seeing the Ragnaros (Molten Core) kills reminds me of all the fun my wife and I have had duoing MC for profit.  I never did get the Right Half of Thunderaan's Prison, though... Just the left half eight times.

     So, what do you readers see in your statistics?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Arch Nemeses

     Nemeses.  Plural of Nemesis.  Look it up.
     Big Bear Butt had a Cub Report today that got me thinking.  He mentioned that his cub had taken to Hellfire Peninsula to wreak havoc on the Fel Reavers there.  In case anyone is unaware, there are three of them.  They are, without a doubt, the most evil creations on the face of Azeroth or Outland.  The Lich King knows nothing of causing fear and despair quite like the Fel Reavers do.
     They are my nemeses.  I hate and despise them with a passion I reserve only for the most wicked of beings.  I can recall back during BC, when my wife and I were bringing up our Paladin Pair from 60 in Hellfire Peninsula.  More than a few times, the deathmachines would stalk across the landscape behind us as we quested merrily.  Suddenly, that telltale roar would erupt from my speakers, and in that moment... I knew fear.
    He would charge us down, and in a single swipe, would hurl my lifeless body to the dirt.   Sometimes I'd be lucky enough to bubble and have a chance to run away, but it almost never lasted long enough for me to escape.  I'd wind up dead.  He'd stop for a moment, as if taking in the glorious carnage of what he'd done.  He'd glance at my wife, still standing, then he'd turn and run back (well, glitch through the terrain...) to where he was.
     He was killing me and making her watch me die.  Sick bastard.  Luckily, since we were both paladins, a rez was never a problem.  But still... he hunted me.  I know he did.
     Now, whenever I find myself in Hellfire (which happens surprisingly often) I make it a point to hunt down all three of them and leave them in horrible ruins.  But it doesn't help.  They already did what they did to me in my lower levels.  My retribution is hollow at best.
     The next toon I get to 70 will be geared up nicely.  Before we move on to Northrend content, I will solo all three of those monstrosities.  For Hyperious!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Corla, The Twilight Herald

     Did some pet farming last night and this morning.  Picked up the Disgusting Oozeling, Darting Hatchling, and the Deviate Hatchling, all with relative ease.  Decided to run a few random heroics on Hyperious.  I specified Cataclym Heroics because while the gear may be better in the HoT dungeons, I've had about all I can take of those three on repeat.
     First one I got was Blackrock Caverns.  Rom'Ogg went down quickly, and people were generally very friendly in the party.  Nobody was being mean, everyone was joking about random nonsense...
     Then, Corla appeared before us.
     How hard is it go stack the beams to 80 and then step out for the debuff to fall off, then repeat?
     Really, how hard is that?
     TEN-ATTEMPTS-IMPOSSIBLE, that's how hard.  I really try not to drop from groups if everyone's being nice.  I feel it's my duty to keep going and keep trying, especially if everyone's cool.  In fact, I find I enjoy the dungeons more if there's a little chaos with a friendly group because it gives us all something to laugh at.
     But ten tries on Corla? Really?
     I dropped group.  As did the fourth rogue in a row we'd gotten. 
     I think I'll just cloth grind on my mage for a bit...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ashes

     With the news about mounts becoming account-wide with the release of Mists of Pandaria, I've decided to renew my desperate quest to get the Ashes of Al'ar.  Before, I was reluctant to ever try Tempest Keep on an alt for fear of seeing the mount drop and actually winning it.  None of my alts have ever done TK.  Not one.
     However, given that I will no longer have to despair if an alt should manage to acquire such a glorious and beautiful creation as the Phoenix instead of my main, I will have to renew my efforts.  Instead of occasionally trying for it on Hyperious when I'm feeling particularly hopeful, I will, instead, be diligently farming Kael's face off in TK on all my level-capped toons every week.  The way I see it, I missed most of the raiding in Cataclysm, and this expansion is winding down.  Now is the perfect time for me to finish up a few stray things, farm materials for various guild achievements, and, Light willing, get myself a phoenix.
    
     That's the one item in game I want most.  Any other item, while it may be cool or awesome or ridiculously difficult to acquire, pales in comparison to the phoenix.  Should I manage to get it, I will feel as though I've finally beaten WoW. 
     Having said that, I feel I should make a vow (to appease the RNG gods).  I vow, upon reciept of the Phoenix, to always help players farm TK if I have a lockout available on any of my characters that can enter.  I further vow to perform my best in the raids and not leave until Kael is dead or the group as a whole decides it's time to give it up.

     You hear that, RNG gods? I made my promise, now you make yours!

     EDIT: I will give up bacon for the mount.  For life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Recipes

     I was talking to my wife about various dailies we both needed to do, and she sighed when we got to the mention of her Jewelcrafting Daily.  I mentioned that I thought other professions should have dailies too.  For example, I'd like to get an alchemy daily or an herbalist daily and get some sort of reward for that.  Mainly, I'd like to be able to turn in tokens for a bag of materials for alchemy or something.  Perhaps have a chance to get something special from the bag I've bought, like a BoE pet sludgebeast or something (you have to make pets BoE at this point).
     I don't know, something... alchemical.
     She told me what a drag the Jewelcrafting Token system is.  If you want recipes, you *have* to do the dailies.  Same thing for the Cooking Dailies in Cataclysm, actually.
     That got us talking about how it used to be.  Back in our day, when kids stayed off our lawn.  Both of us seemed to agree that the old way of having to farm for a recipe or hunt down a vendor in some obscure place who had a limited supply was much more engaging than the whole do-a-daily-get-a-token way of things.
     I mean, I realize that the dailies ensure that nobody can suddenly have every recipe right out of the gates at expansion, but it also makes the professions feel like, well, jobs.  With the old way, if there was a recipe you wanted (whether you needed to make it or just wanted to have everything you could), you had to go out into the world and get it. Or you had to buy it off the Auction House.
     With Blizzard's statements of how they don't want everyone to just loiter in a capital city all the time, why put this system in place at all?  Why not leave it how it was?
     I know that if I truly want to finish out my Alchemy cookbook, I'm going to have to run some old raids and farm some old mobs.  Not difficult, but time-consuming.  And different.  That's the key.  It's something different.
     I vote for a return to hunting down our recipes.  Let the profession dailies reward materials or something instead of a timed progression of recipes.

     What are your thoughts, dear readers?  Do you like the way it's done now?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Noob Moments - Caffeinated DPS

     My guild is small.  It's very small, in fact.  We have a whopping 16 members.  8 of them are my toons.  The other 8 belong to my wife.  The result of this is plain.  We are level 4, all by our lonesome selves.  It also means that achievements that would be a cakewalk for other guilds are somewhat more daunting for ours.  Take Set the Oven to "Cataclysmic" as an example.  A guild with 250 members means that as long as everyone simply makes a stack of their own personal buff food, the achievement is accomplished.  Simple enough.
    For my guild, however, it's a bit more difficult.  Dividing the work between me and my wife means we've each got a quota of 2,500 recipes to make.
     Now, I could care less about cooking on all of my toons except for Hyperious.  After all, he's got everything except for Thistle Tea and a few purchased recipes for Cataclysm.  Why do more?  So the other toons that do the cooking dailies do so for Guild XP and gold.  The cooking awards have just been stagnating in their bags.
     Genius (noob) that I am, I decided to spend all the alt's awards on Bags of Imported Goods to get the Cocoa Beans.
     747 Cocoa Beans.
     That's a lot of beans.
     Genius Hype decided to make Starfire Espresso because they'd be useful to the various mana-burners in the guild and they'd add to the Guild Achievement!
     747 Starfire Espressos.
     Which don't count towards the achievement because it's so bloody easy to get the mats and craft them while AFK.  Perhaps I should have checked Wowhead.
     Son. Of. A. Bitch.
     So now, after letting Hyperious stand at a brazier in Orgrimmar for 24 minutes and 40 seconds, our guild achievement hasn't budged.
     But I'm an optimist.  I'm looking at the bright side here.  The bright side is that if caffeine was DPS, I could solo Deathwing on Heroic.  Naked.
    747.
    I have a planeload (lol!) of Coffee in my bags.  If only I had the same in Real Life, I'd be set on my coffee needs for at least... a week!

     This Noob Moment has been brought to you by Wowhead, except that they have no knowledge of the fact that I'm doing this, and probably wouldn't appreciate being associated with this level of noobery. So really, it's just brought to you by me.  Hyperious the Noobulous.

EDIT: I just did the math, and 747 Starfire Espressos would take 6 hours and 15 minutes to drink, were to you spend the entire 30 seconds drinking.  It would replenish a total of 71,712,000 mana.  That's a lot of mana...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Random Jumbled Up Thinking

     I decided that I lovehate archaeology.  Hyperious is an alchemist and a completionist of sorts.  I must have the recipes for my professions.  I must!  All that eludes me in my alchemy cookbook is the Vial of the Sands.  Well, there are a few random Vanilla drops that I never got around to getting, mainly because I don't feel like soloing Blackwing Lair every week for the drops, and I don't want to just grind and grind level 58 mobs in EPL for six months.  Plus, who gives a crap about transmuting Essence of Undeath to Essence of Water?
     But yeah, the Vial of the Sands eludes me.  I've been grinding archaeology for a while now, and I swear, I get one Tol'vir digsite for every 9,386,204 Night Elf digsites in Kalimdor.  I'm pretty sure with the quantity of fragments I've picked up, I could actually rebuild the entire Night Elf civilization from scratch.  I've seen two Canopic Jars so far in my search.  Sadly, once I do manage to find that bloody recipe (and I will, make no mistake about it), there's still the matter of the actual cost two making two of them.
     Hype? Why two?
     My wife needs one as well.  There's an achievement involved, plus she collects mounts and pets better than I do.
     Having expounded on just why I hate archaeology so much, I do have to add in that I also love it.  I love the little bits of flavor text and such when I get a new item.  I also love getting Imprint of a Kraken Tentacle twice in a row along with the Chest of Tiny Glass Animals multiple times in a grind.  These valuable vendor junk items do at least ensure that I'll be making some money while I grind my digsites (and my mind) into oblivion.  So there's that.

     I wish we could do more dailies.  I mean really.  25, while it may seem like a lot, is gone pretty fast when you're trying to accomplish something.  For example, when I've completed my cooking and fishing dailies and traipsed across Hyjal for my Molten Front dailies, I've only got like 6 dailies left.  I want to complete the Pebble Dailies and the Glop, Son of Glop dailies for the achievements, so that brings me down to four if they're available.  But there are other dailies I'd like to do.  I want to keep doing Dragonmaw Dailies and the other Therazane Dailies (maybe...) as well as whatever else I can find.  I realize that the limit is in place primarily to limit the amount of money that can be made in a single day by a single character by questing, but I feel like the time has come to increase the limit if not remove it entirely.  Perhaps 30?  That'd be nice.

     I spent a little time digging around El's Extreme Anglin' and looking at all the various fishing gear and such that's out there.  I realized that, should you manage to aquire the BiS Fishing gear (anything that increases fishing skill), you could potentially be sitting at a fishing skill of well over 600.

    I'm bored, so here comes the math.  I'm going to ignore the stuff that only comes from the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza and focus on what anyone and everyone can get without going insane.
     525 Max Level
   +  30 Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole
   +    5 High Test Eternium Fishing Line (from Dalaran Fishing Dailies bag)
   +100 Sharpened Fish Hook
   +    5 Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat
   +    5 Enchant Gloves - Angler
   +  10 Captain Rumsey's Lager

     Adding it all up gets you 680 fishing skill.  In Pandaria, it'll be 755 with these same buffs, assuming there's nothing new to fishing (which I'm sure there will be)

This makes me wonder if there are fish in the world that Blizzard put in that require some kind of superbuffed profession skill to acquire.
     I've also wondered if they've considered putting in items that require a profession's skill level above the current cap.  For example, Tauren have a boost to herbalism.  What if there was an herb that only tauren herbalists could get because it required 540 to pick it?  Aside from balance issues, I think it would be cool if there were reasons to boost your profession beyond the standard cap.
     Herbalism is a bad example.  Go back to fishing.  Imagine if there were a fish in Azeroth in a school that you could only detect if you had 680 fishing.  Imagine that fish was a Bloated Fat-Fish-O'-Fun and when you right-click to open - er, gut it, you get some random stuff from it.
     I think it would be cool, because it would add some more variety and diversity to the fishing skill.  When you think about it, right now, fishing is just... fishing.  But if getting that glorious legendary fish that Nat Pagle himself has been dreaming of means you have to get out there and become an accomplished angler, that adds all the more fun and excitement to it.