RAMBLINGS FROM THE WORLD OF WARCRAFT

Posts tagged ‘general’

The One Where I’ve Had A Bit Of Good Luck

The feeling of excitement from being able to attend Blizzcon may not wear off for a while, but things have returned to normal regardless. I’m back home, back to work, back to the Timeless Isle and working on using LFR to practice SoO in the hopes I might one day get a chance to go through there on flex.

The first step, however, was to actually finish the last stage of ToT which I had never completed. I really have no good excuse for that. It was combination of laziness, not having friends to queue up with, too busy standing idly in Stormwind chatting with my guildies, herbing.. you know, all the standard excuses. But I took care of the problem by queueing immediately and got that out of the way so I could head into SoO knowing I had done everything prior. I’m totally glad I decided to do it too because my Treasures of the Thunder King bag contained a Cracked Primal Egg and in 3 days I had myself a shiny new Red Primal Raptor mount. (Note: these things aren’t very red at all)

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In between trying to actually earn valor on Elfi for the purpose of upgrading gear and finally being respectable and trying to get back into the habit of keeping up with my Tillers farm on all 3 of my level 90′s, I did manage to get some time in on the Timeless Isle and was super excited to have 2 pets drop for me this week. Hooray for good luck!

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Still have a lot of pets and mounts on my wishlist but these are a fine start. Maybe my luck will stick with me a little longer. I’d love to get the Ruby Droplet so I don’t have to make my way up to Garnia anymore.

My Blizzcon Experience: Part 1.5

Blizzcon is quickly becoming old news and I still haven’t written my post about all the wonderful people I met, so I apologize in advance for the delay. I hope to have that one published no later than Tuesday so I can move on to talking about other things. Speaking of talking, this post requires very little talking. This is simply where I’m tossing up my cell phone photos that I had taken to update my Facebook page and a few that went out on Twitter. Some of these you’ve not seen before, some of them are almost exact dupes of pics I took with my Nikon.

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Inside Hilton lobby on Thursday night
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Accidentally meeting Draynee while checking out her awesome costume
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Navispammed irl
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Darkmoon Rabbit cosplay
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Deluxe fries from food truck
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Inside Hilton lobby on Saturday night
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The One With The Polite (Hopefully) Rant

If I were a better player and had a quicker reaction time than I do, I’d likely enjoy PvP. Running around pwning the opposite faction is probably a lot of fun and the Bloodthirsty title would be an awesome one to have. I think it would be less fun to run around and gank your own faction, but that’s just my opinion and it’s certainly not based on experience. However, I can say for certain that not willfully participating in PvP and choosing to live life peacefully on a PvE server yet dying because you accidentally flagged yourself is not fun. Neither is it fun to die because a member of the opposite faction purposely stepped into your AoE to force you to be flagged. When these types of incidents happen I stubbornly just stand there until they kill me. I refuse to put up a fight because I want them to know they just killed someone who was not interested in their little games. I don’t want them to brag about how they owned me; I want them to know they killed someone who wasn’t even defending themselves. Do they actually see it that way or feel bad because of it? No. I’m quite certain they are laughing hysterically and hoping I’ll run back and rez before the 5 minute timer wears off so they can kill me again. Sometimes, because I foolishly believe every person has kindness buried somewhere within, I do rez and they do kill me again.

Sigh.

This subject is on my mind a lot these days thanks to Bloody Coins. I am still limited in my playtime currently, but in my few excursions to the Timeless Isle I have been killed while AoE’ing a rare and getting flagged. But hold on, I’m not actually going to complain about that (well, I complain out loud with obscenities at the time it happens but it fades). It’s inconvenient and I don’t love it, but I don’t begrudge anyone who’s interested in gathering the coins for doing what they have to do.

But hold on again, I am going to complain about 1 specific incident that happened to me a few days ago. See, the Neverending Spritewood is the purple crystal that spawns near the tree that has all the Nice Sprites dancing around it and clicking on the crystal triggers them to turn into Angry Sprites. Killing Angry Sprites triggers some Scary Sprites and killing those gives you a chance to receive the rare Dandelion Frolicker pet. Did you know the Neverending Spritewood is only clickable once per day by each character? It is. If you get lucky enough to spot it and click it you can’t click it again until the next day, even if you see it again.

So I am going to complain about the fact that the other day, during a rare 1 hour chance I had to login to the game, I was robbed of my chance to try and get the pet to drop by a Night Elf druid from my own server MY OWN FACTION. I happened to spot the crystal and saw no one near it. I ran over, clicked it and prepared myself to pull a group of the angry sprites. I approached them, targeted one and started my biggest AoE. A split second later, I saw a someone run up in cat form and the next thing I know I am dead. I had only gotten 2 of the sprites killed. Now someone flagging themselves and then wandering into the midst of my AoE while I’m helping bring down Houlon is annoying, but when I rez I still get to loot Houlon. Same with the rest of the rares on the Isle. But in this particular instance it’s not just you getting your Timeless Coin and me still getting credit for what I was doing. It was cruel, in my opinion. Days later I am still upset about it, which is silly and certainly won’t change anything, but it’s true. Maybe this person didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to simply start the event over. Maybe she did and just didn’t give a fuck. I’ll never know. I passively, aggressively whispered her to tell her how disappointed I was but I got no reply, which is probably for the best. No need for me to turn into an asshole just because I perceived someone was being an asshole to me. I did immediately tweet her name out and I apologize for that. Twitter is so instant it makes it easy to try and name shame there. I’ve done it more than once, but I don’t like myself for doing it.

What is the purpose of all this rambling? I just wanted to get it off my chest so maybe I can stop being so pissed off about it. In a couple of weeks I will be able to start playing more again and there will be more chances to trigger the event and try to get the pet drop. It’s no big deal, right?

Grrrrr….

The One With The Fireflies

I am currently taking a class titled “Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative” where we’re comparing and contrasting how the various forms of media (books, film, games) tell a story. The class is centered around Lord Of The Rings not only because it is such a rich, epic story but also because it is a prime example of a story that has succeeded across multiple forms of media.

I won’t bore you with a lot of details about the class or my recent experiences as a first time player in the LotRO MMO, (though the game is beautiful and I am totally going to post some screenshots at the bottom of this entry) but I did want to share a bit about this week’s discussion question which Professor Clayton posted on our class forums. The question was basically asking us to describe our experiences exploring Middle Earth in-game and wanted our opinions on whether we enjoyed exploring and discovering the world slowly or if we preferred opening the maps, seeing all the locations and getting there as quickly as possible. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.

Now I haven’t yet spent much time exploring things in LotRO because the new Timeless Isle here in WoW keeps calling to me, but I do know my answer to this question because it’s the same answer I would give regarding any game, including WoW. I AM AN EXPLORER. Do I take quick flight paths? Sure. Do I use my hearthstone a lot and use special items in game to transport me to places instantly (Shroud of Cooperation, I am looking at you)? Sure. But I also spend way more time than most people skipping along through the nooks and crannies of the zones just to see what I can see. I may not do a completely thorough exploration my first 2, 15 or 35 times through a zone – after all I’m on a mission to level, gear up, find herbs, battle pets, etc. But at some point, I’m going to waste hours and hours just looking in every cave, checking out every house and trying to jump up every mountain as high as it will let me.

Is that the most efficient use of my time? Hell no. I am terrible at doing dailies, profession cooldowns, dungeons and the like on a daily or sometimes even weekly basis. I’m aware I don’t always prioritize my game time correctly and I’m also aware these things are why I will never be ahead of the curve. It’s easy to see that here on this blog where you will find me posting a screenshot about an achievement I just got that everyone else had 6 weeks ago. Some of you may shake your head and wonder why I don’t wander off and play something else, something that moves a little slower or is simply a fluff game instead of the srs bzns that is WoW. Well to those people I say … if it weren’t for me derping around and wasting time, how would you ever know that in Paoquan Hollow, inside Master Bruised Paw’s house, you can find a jar of fireflies sitting on the table?

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What is your view on how important exploration is to your gaming experience. Do you like maps that are empty until you discover a new area of the zone or would you prefer everything be visible to you in all zones right away? Once you do discover an entire zone map, do you ever come back at any time to look at things slower and notice more details or is it just a terrain you move through simply to get to where you are going? Does it help with immersion? Do you even care about immersion? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments OR better yet, write up your own post about whether or not exploration is a part of your game.

And now I will sneak in a few of the LotRO screenshots I have taken so far. I promise this will not be a habit (unless the people demand it).

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My New Favorite Thing

I’ve been mounting a lot of things lately but I have one more screenshot I just had to share. It’s no secret that red is my favorite color so of course I’ve been lusting after the Ruby Panther for the longest time now. Thanks to my dear friend, Grace, I now have one of my very own. The poor dear sent it to me from a toon she doesn’t even play anymore after farming all the mats and making it specifically for me. She doesn’t even own one herself. This is on top of the Sapphire Cub and Jade Owl pets she had previously sent me. All without taking any money or mats from me. Isn’t that ridiculous???? Seriously, she’s so freaking amazing; I don’t deserve her. But you better believe I’m keeping all the shit she sends me.

Thanks, Grace. For the pets, the mount and the friendship. And thanks also to our friend More, who entertains Grace and I in vent and in game. He actually spoiled me with a Cinder Kitty several months back. You guys rock! Your generosity and the fun we have ALMOST makes up for the fact that you’re filthy hordies. ALMOST.

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The One Where A Gamble Paid Off

When I first started playing WoW, The Burning Crusades was already live so my first experience with an expansion launching was Wrath of the Lich King. By the time Wrath was ready to be launched, I had already fallen in love with the game and recognized that a new expansion was a big deal. I took the night off work and stood in line at a local Game Stop to purchase a copy of Wrath at midnight. Because I was one of the first 100 through the door (number 12, to be exact) I got a free poster of Arthas. Regrettably, I did not purchase the Collector’s Edition because I had not reserved one 8 months in advance and they had no extra copies available at that store at midnight. I blame this on my noobness. As soon as I realized how cool the Collector’s Editions are, how much this game means to me and how (at least it seemed at the time) uncommon the CE’s are, I vowed to never make that mistake again. I have the Collector’s Editions of both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria because I was smart enough to put my name on a list well in advance for both of those launches, though it does seem now they are easier to come by.

Over the years, I have always stared longingly at Amazon and Ebay as Collector’s Editions of World of Warcraft (vanilla), The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King were listed for hundreds and hundreds of dollars each. Even though I could technically afford them, I just couldn’t allow myself to pay such large amounts of money for a game. Especially a copy of a game I already own a version of. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to never getting a chance to own the original game (vanilla) Collector’s Edition because of it’s extreme rarity, but I did decide to do a quick search for TBC and Wrath every few months just in case I found someone who didn’t realize what they had. Over the past year I had even allowed myself to consider buying a used copy with an already used game code as long as the box contained all of the other items that were originally included. But those would have to cost even less to justify purchasing them.

Cut to two weeks ago when I happened to think about doing a quick eBay search at work and found a deal that seemed too good to be true. A mint, unopened, factory sealed version of The Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition for a buy it now price of $165 and free shipping. Oh the agony. It’s a bit much to spend but it was an amazing price for that product IF the product was actually as described. To make matters even scarier, the seller had only 2 reviews… he was basically a noob seller, an unknown. Both of his reviews were positive, but still that’s a big risk. After a quick question posed to Twitter and a few hours of agonizing over it, I decided to take the risk. It’s tax return season so I had more extra money than usual and I knew PayPal offered a buyer’s protection for purchases that weren’t shipped or advertised correctly. I clicked the button and bought it.

I didn’t receive any type of confirmation from the seller himself, just the email from eBay letting me know my purchase was successful. It was several stressful days before I got an update the item had shipped and then a week of waiting for it to arrive. But finally, last Friday, The Burning Crusades Collector’s Edition was in my hands. Unfortunately, I was rushing out of town for 3 days and while I could have taken it with me, I decided to wait until I was back home to break it open and see if it was truly an unused game code.

I’m happy to report it was exactly as advertised. I am now the very proud owner of all the items included in the box (all still completely wrapped and unopened, as was the box itself) and I have a new Netherwhelp pet in my collection. I still don’t know that I’ll ever get this lucky with a copy of the vanilla CE, but after a few months have passed I will start watching again for a copy of Wrath. I just hope I get as lucky as I did this time around.

After attaching the code to my account last night, I knew that as soon as I opened the pet in the mail I would get the achievement. I positioned myself to capture the perfect screenshot but as you can see, at the moment I grabbed the pet from the mail, Elfi turned around and put her back to the camera. Grrr. Oh well, it’s not like I can get a redo, so it is what it is. I’m still super excited. And yes, the seller got excellent feedback from me.

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The One Where I Wonder What’s Wrong With Me

This is nothing new, I wonder this all the time. But it’s back on my mind thanks to the news that patch 5.2 will be released in a couple of weeks and I am not prepared for it. Again. As usual. I would love to figure out why I stay so behind. I spend A LOT of hours logged into this game over the course of a week and still I’ve never capped Valor, don’t remember to tend my farm every day, have yet to step foot in LFR, only run an average of 2 heroics a week, still don’t have my Cloud Serpent mount, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

I can’t blame it on transmogging because I only have 1 (recently completed) transmog outfit for 1 character. I can’t blame it on pet battles because I only have 1 team formed and they are at level 15ish. As far as dailies go, I hit exalted with the Tillers and got everyone to be my best friend very early on but since then the only other rep I’ve completed is Golden Lotus. I haven’t even started several of them. And this is my main, Elfindale, I’m talking about. I have a level 90 on the Horde side who’s accomplished nothing more than opening up all the farm plots. And no, I don’t tend my farm every day on that toon either, thanks for asking.

What the fuck do I do with my time in-game? It’s something I’ve been asking myself for the past 5 years. There is something about WoW that causes me to develop situational ADD, I swear (does not affect me when I do heroics or actual raiding). I log in with no sense of “first this, then this, then this” and I find myself mousing over other players in the area because I like what they’re wearing or to see the name of the mount they’re riding. Then I check my mail. Then I stare at Accountant for 5 minutes and wonder why I don’t make more gold than I do (psst.. it’s because I don’t do enough dailies or heroics or anything at all really).

Then I fuck around with all the stupid shit I carry in my bags that I have no use for but cannot bring myself to delete because OMG THE NOVELTY OF THIS THING (I’m looking at you, Ancient Amber). Then I go to the bank and organize it and look at all the stupid shit I have in there which I have no use for. I stand there several minutes and contemplate deleting things. Then I realize I should be doing something, so I head out to the Shrine’s patio and survey the vast land of opportunity before me. Then I pull up my bags again and wonder if I should store some of the useless crap in the bank with the other useless crap (volatile orbs, landsharks, ugh). I’m also chatting with the guild and/or real ID friends during all of this, which likely slows me down a hair but I will never stop doing. In fact, I would love to have more real ID friends for chatting. Battletag Elfi#1350. Hit me up.

Now where was I? Oh that’s right, standing around not accomplishing anything. I tab out to catch up on Twitter. Tab back in. Remember I wanted to look up how to get that cool object/mount/gear/pet, tab back out to google it. Read every comment on WoWhead just because they’re there. Tab back in. Catch up on guild chat. Scroll through last few minutes of general and trade for God knows what reason. Oh hey, I should fly out to the farm. Take flightpath, tab out to catch up on Twitter. Jump into a Twitter conversation and get ignored (off-subject, but it happens to me a lot). Tab back into game & forget why I flew to this spot. Hearth to Shrine. Immediately remember I was going to farm. /facepalm. Take flight path back. Decide I should gather some herbs while I’m in the area. Spend the next 30 minutes alternating between gathering herbs and tabbing back out to see if I’m actually going to get a reply on Twitter. Spoiler alert: I usually don’t.

Tab back into game, decide I’m tired of gathering herbs. Hearth back to Shrine. DAMMIT I WAS GOING TO FARM. Maybe I should actually run a heroic or do something useful. Queue for heroic, fly to farm. Decide I would be better off working on my DK alt because I really want her to be at 90 before patch 5.2 drops. Switch to DK alt without ever taking care of my farm. Quest on DK alt for a few minutes then decide to head to Stormwind to see if I can make money playing the AH. Stare at AH for 20 minutes and realize I don’t have enough starting capital to do much playing on the AH. Head back out to quest. Decide I should have looked for cool transmog stuff for my DK because everyone needs to be transmogged at level 70, right? Hearth back to Stormwind and look at AH some more. Reprimand myself for not leveling faster, head back out for questing.

By this time, I haven’t eaten dinner, haven’t done any exercising, need to get ready for work and once again, accomplished nothing. I mean, obviously I’m exaggerating this a bit (no, not really) and not every day is quite this ridiculous (but close). I’m seriously considering actually writing out a daily action plan. Something along the lines of:
1. login to Elfindale, immediately queue for heroic
2. while waiting on queue, immediately fly to farm and ACTUALLY TEND FARM
3. if still waiting on heroic queue, do Klaxxi dailies (I’m close to exalted with them, amazingly)
4. While flying to Dread Wastes, pick herbs
5. After heroic, login to Krisstalys (lvl 90 Horde) and tend farm
6. Login to Morrissa (DK alt I want to get to 90) and queue for random dungeon
7. while waiting for dungeon, complete quests

It seems silly that I would need to write down such simple things and I often wonder if I would even actually follow the plan if I did ever write it up. It’s not like I’m incapable of intelligent thought, I should be able to just do these things because I know they need to be done. Which is why I swear WoW triggers some sort of attention deficit for me. I just don’t seem to be able to resist getting distracted by all the shiny things.

I am curious if any others out there find they have a similar issue OR if any of you have some advice on how you manage to do more in 2 hours a night than I do in 4 hours a night. I’m not even kidding, I want to know. Because I’m really disappointed that I probably won’t have my DK to 90 before the patch and that a new raid will once again come out before I ever see the current raid. I need to figure out how to play more efficiently. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because both of my level 90 toons are Balance druids and as such, they are not exactly lean, mean killing machines. I’ve always sworn I hate melee and have no interest in bear or cat but since I’ve been working on my death knight so much recently, I’m starting to change my opinion about melee a bit. Maybe I should consider a bear off-spec for Elfi so that dailies and other general things would go quicker. I often wonder if the fact that everything – including killing vermin on my farm – takes so damn long and is so painful sort of subconsciously keeps me from running out there and doing what I need to do. Of course, I’m not in the best gear thanks to my lack of gathering Valor and my absence from heroics and LFR. And there’s a terrible cycle to be stuck in… without gear I suck, because I suck I don’t do the things that could get me gear. Awesome.

What do you guys do to maximize your efficiency in game? How many people think druids suck? What advice can you guys give me on overcoming this problem?

The One Where I Bought A Treadmill Desk

Yep, you read that right. Almost two weeks ago, I bought a treadmill desk. It was my Christmas / New Year’s gift to myself because this year I’m finally going to get serious about my health and weight. I am not so lazy that I can only exercise while being on the pc, but I am smart enough to realize that I don’t go to the gym every day or stay longer than an hour when I do go because I am more interested in being online with my friends. So with my new purchase I can add to what I do at the gym by also walking while I’m doing dailies and talking in vent. It takes away the whole “I really need to spend 2 hours at the gym, but _____ will be online in 30 minutes and I haven’t talked to them all day” dilemma. I know, it’s a dilemma that I shouldn’t have ever had, but seriously, I didn’t get to be such a huge fatass by making the correct choices in life. So the treadmill desk is a fantastic option.

I first heard about these types of desks a few years ago when a saw a news special about treadmill desks being an option (a very expensive option) in some workplaces. I was immediately interested but the professional type were just too costly and too big to be something I could actually consider buying. But as things tend to do, now that it’s a few years later prices have dropped and options have increased. I bought mine from Target.com and 2 weeks ago it was priced at $713 with free shipping and because I used my Target RedCard, I got an instant 5% discount so that I only ended up paying $706 after taxes to have it shipped to me. Currently, the same one I bought is listed at $663 but it doesn’t say Free Shipping so I can’t say for sure what the final price would be. Here’s the link. It’s just my luck it would go on sale after I bought it, but I am so happy to finally have one I really don’t even care.

As far as a review of this particular model – I am very satisfied with it. It’s much bigger than the picture online made it appear. In fact, the desk portion is so huge the cup holders that are on the front edge of the desk aren’t even usable because there’s no way you can reach them while you’re on the treadmill. It’s very thick and sturdy feeling, it doesn’t feel like a cheap version at all. In fact, it came with a sticker on the control panel stating it’s rated for people up to 400 pounds. I am nowhere near that weight, but it does make me feel like it’s probably going to remain sturdy for quite a while since it’s built to hold a weight much higher than mine. As far as how comfortable it is to use the pc while walking, I find it to be just fine. If you were using it to do a great deal of constant typing, you may want to add some sort of keyboard wrist support, but since I’m only typing to chat and mostly using my mouse with my right hand and my game-related keystrokes with my left hand, I’m perfectly comfortable resting my hands on the foam molded areas on the sides of the treadmill’s control panel. It’s when you are doing serious typing and have to move both arms off of the molded areas and basically hover over the control panel that it would likely get uncomfortable. However, like I mentioned, I imagine it would be pretty easy to just scoot the keyboard back a bit and use your own wrist support.

My only complaint (cup holder issue is not a legitimate complaint, I just set my cup elsewhere) is that the treadmill handles both have controls on them. The right one has buttons to increase / decrease speed and the left one to increase / decrease incline. You can adjust the speed and the incline both from the main control panel, so I have no idea why they are also included in the handles. I suppose they thought it was a convenience, but they are easy to accidentally bump. Obviously I don’t hang on to the handles because I’m mousing and typing. And when your using the desk, that part of the handles is behind you anyway. But if you’re using the treadmill simply as a treadmill, which I do for at least 30 minutes so that I am actually walking at an increased speed, then anytime you reach down to the handle for balance or whatever, the controls are easy to bump. Of course, I assembled the damn thing myself so I suppose I could have simply not connected the wiring to the handles.

Alright, this is getting boring. Let me wrap this up. Treadmill desks are awesome. The one I bought is awesome. If you have any interest in owning one and are able to spend the money, I highly recommend you do so. I am so fat and out of shape I’m not yet spending all my gaming time on the treadmill, but I’ve tried to average 2 hours a day so far. I walk at 1 mile an hour while gaming and I look forward to increasing both my time walking and the speed at which I’m walking. I have been really surprised at how easy it is to actually do questing while walking. I initially thought I would just do simple tasks like fishing. Nope, I’m leveling alts while burning calories. It’s awesome. I’m hoping as I build up stamina and my balance gets more used to the whole event, I can actually run dungeons this way. However, I would never try raiding because raiding is way too serious to risk making mistakes.

And now, PICTURES! Since I live alone, my pc and desk are in my living room. I have no desire to spend all my time sitting in a bedroom facing a wall. I sit in the living room and talk to the cat while watching Netflix. I decided to place my treadmill desk next to my regular desk so I could simply move my keyboard, mouse and monitor back and forth instead of using my inferior quality laptop or moving my entire system daily.

Here’s what you see as you enter my living room:
treadmill 1

Here’s the view from the other side:
treadmill 2

My view of the TV for regular walking at 3mph:
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And what it looks like while logged in:
treadmill 4

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