Archive for January, 2011

Screenshot Saturday

Check It Out, I Wrote A Guide

Crabs. We all want them on occasion.
Anyone who does the daily cooking quests in Stormwind is familiar with the crabs I’m talking about. Specifically, they are Canal Crabs. If you are interested in learning more about crabs but neither of those two sentences make sense to you… you’re probably in the wrong place here and I suggest you see a physician. Okay. As I was saying, I successfully catch crabs much quicker than others I see and I have decided to share my secrets in hopes that I can help others catch crabs as easily as I do. Now you may be thinking “Uh… why is this idiot writing a guide on something so simple?” and to that I say “Shhh, please. I’m trying to pretend like I know stuff here.”

Step 1: Pick up quest
Hahaha, just kidding. I’m not actually gonna do a step-by-step thing here. I mean, seriously, there’s nothing that really needs to be taught. I have just discovered two things that have made the Canal Crab quest easier for me and I thought I’d tell you about them. You may already use these 2 techniques, so I may just be wasting my time here. But at least I’ve got a couple of pretty screenshots for you. I’m gonna throw the first one up right now. Then I’ll follow it with the second one. And then I’ll be done.

Technique Number 1: while swimming through the canal, constantly hit the “tab” button on your keyboard as this will auto-target the closest crab and the bright yellow name and circle will make them easier to see as they scurry amongst the seaweed and piles of trash and debris that unfortunately have been dumped in the waters of our great city.

Technique Number 2: while swimming, zoom the camera all the way in so that you are not looking at yourself from the back but you’re actually looking through your character’s eyes. Then when you do get a crab targeted and you’re trying to click on him, your own body isn’t in the way and you can snatch him up really quickly.

Okay, that’s it. The guide has been completed. I know it was silly, but it really will shave a few minutes off the search for crabs and as long as I have saved one person helped someone out, I will sleep better tonight. And dream of crabs.

Overhealing: I Haz It

Hey, guess what? Last night I finally got a chance to run my first heroic. And I’m really not sure how I felt about it. While I’ve been excited to get my gear level up, I’ve also been a bit worried about heroics and have been dreading them in a way. All I’ve read for the past month is how hard they are and how long they take. Plus I have a fear of pugs. They’re not usually the best environment for a non-confident healer with an inferiority complex. I logged in too late to bother my friends, so I bucked up and used the dungeon finder. Except that I kind of cheated and didn’t do a random. I chose the Lost City of Tol’vir because 90% of my random normals over the past 6 weeks have put me there and it’s the instance I’m most confident in. I know that place inside and out. Which is a testament to how I’ve upped my game since Cata released because I’ve never known any place inside and out before. True story.

After a few minutes of waiting, I finally get to zone in. I’m completely prepared – I’m in the right spec, I’m not wearing any of my fishing gear, I’ve got a stack of severed sagefish heads, 20 flasks of the draconic mind, 20 scrolls of intellect IX, fully repaired, every bit of gear enchanted, gemmed and reforged. I AM READY. The group seems to be okay, everyone takes the time to say hello to each other. At the first trash pull there’s a discussion of marks and cc. Okay, this isn’t so bad. I can do this. We advance to General Husam and about halfway through the fight (which is keeping me on my toes more than I expected) I get a few seconds of healer tunnel vision and didn’t move away from an exploding yellow trap quick enough. I died. Quickly. I immediately release and run back. Thankfully the mage in the group had given me some food, so after I made it back to the scene of the fight and no one else was dead, I sat down for a couple of seconds and munched on some food. I was about 50% health and mana when I jumped up, hit inervate and started spamming wild growths and rejuve. Yep, muscle memory from the old days. Luckily it worked just enough to let them down the boss with no one else dying. I immediately said “great job guys”, but no one else said anything. I realize I should have never died in the first place, but was it wrong to think someone should have acknowledged the fact that I was quick enough to run back and keep on keeping on?

Anyway, we trudged on and had no issues with any of the next fights. Then we get to Siamat, the final boss. We started out good, but when the adds started coming I began getting some aggro. Luckily, I can still throw hots while running, so I just ran and tossed, ran and tossed. There were a few times the tank was running the opposite way of me and I had to chase him down, but he never got in any trouble. I would lose aggro for a few seconds, then a whirlpool would form on top of my ass and I’d have to run again…. straight into more aggro. Now I’m throwing rejuvs on myself and the dps but I’ve got the tank topped off and I’m keeping him there. I’ve used inervate because, yes, I am wasting mana topping him off like that. We’ve got Siamat down to under 10%, I drink a mana potion. We’re hanging in there just fine, but one of the dps starts to slip away from me. He’s briefly out of range, I run towards him. I miss. He dies. Not 3 seconds later Siamat is down and the achievement for my first heroic pops across my screen. That’s when I notice party chat. I had been so busy concentrating I hadn’t seen it before. The guy that died at the end of the fight because he was out of range? He’s not the one complaining about heals. The one complaining lived through it all. Nobody else died (except for me) the entire instance and it ended with a discussion about how I wasn’t healing right. Sigh. This is why I’m a non-confident healer with an inferiority complex.

I’m gonna keep doing heroics though. It’s the only way I’ll improve.

Things I Have Learned About WoW This Weekend

Anyone who knows me can verify I am a total dork, a noob, and one of the spaciest smart people you’ll ever meet. I’m really not sure how people can put up with me. It’s not that I don’t care or don’t pay attention, it’s just that I have my hands in so many things at once (while wanting to do even more) that I can’t fully focus on any of them. So things get half-assed. Like playing WoW. Would you believe when I type /played the results are only 98 days, 20 hours and some-odd minutes? After 3 years of gameplay. And over 5 days of those have been since Cataclysm launched. That’s not a lot of average playing time per year. Combine that with the knowledge that I’m a dorky, nooby, space cadet and it’s a wonder I have managed to get Elfindale to level 85. Just offering you a little explanation for the below list. Do not judge me.

1. GatherMate2 exists and is a wonderful add-on to use in conjunction with Sexy Map. Now all I wanna do is farm herbs. I had no idea there were farming add-ons out there.

2. Scrolls of Intellect / Scrolls of Spirit are still valuable to me at this level and should be used for heroics and raids. I have been throwing those away and vendoring them since about level 50. Don’t yell at me, I said I’m a noob.

3. It’s completely possible to kill a random mob while questing and find an epic world drop. Early this morning, I killed a humanoid in Tol Borad and received Dorian’s Lost Necklace. It’s my first ever random epic loot. As soon as I put it on, I reached ilvl 330 and I am now able to do heroics. Woot!

4. There’s a roller coaster in Azshara. Freaking cool.

5. While Archaeology is a cool profession and I am excited about the rare finds… it is a bitch to grind up when you’re already level 85. I totally think I would love it if I started out with it on a new character; one that is already travelling all over the world and can split their time between Archaeology and questing. But for me, flying all over the freaking map just to be able to dig 3 times is killing me. Seriously, I’m dying a slow and painful death while playing Bejeweled during flight paths. And Elfi has so many other things she needs to be doing. Dailies, farming, grinding rep with the Cataclysm factions, preparing for a chance to raid. Etc. You can’t even buy your way to the next level. I started off the weekend determined to grind my Archaeology up from the measly 90 it had been sitting at, all the way through 525. Well I am sick to death of it and I’m only 225. I realize it’s just me, not mouthing the profession. I just think it’s boring if that’s all you’re doing.

6. I don’t pay enough attention to loot rewards from quests. I always do a quick glance, but I learned this weekend a couple of gear items I could be benefiting from right now were quest rewards for quests I clearly remember doing. I obviously just didn’t realize I needed them. When I complete a quest and don’t need the rewards, I just pick the one that’s worth the most at the vendor. Obviously I do this way too hastily. I have got to break that habit.

7. I don’t pay enough attention to loot drops from bosses in dungeons. I always do a quick glance, but I learned this weekend a couple of gear items I could be benefiting from right now were lost to other party members because I passed on them too quickly. I obviously just didn’t realize I needed them. I have got to break that habit.

8. You guys are really gonna groan over this one… I’m almost afraid to admit it. As a druid, I had no idea what Hibernate did. I had never used it before. Or even looked at it, apparently. While healing Grim Batol with some friends one of them suggested I help with CC by using my Hibernate. I admitted that I didn’t have it included in any of my action bars and we proceeded without me using it. I did not admit to them that I had no idea it was even an option. We didn’t even need it, turns out. But how horrifyingly embarrassing. Once I looked it up and realized it was an amazing CC option, I was mortified by my own stupidity. And to answer your question, yes I did add it to my action bar.

9. I am not a bad healer, but I am not a great healer either. Because I know I need a few seconds to recover between each pull (not getting Elfi’s mana back up… I literally mean me, the girl behind the keyboard) I expect that to be normal for everyone else and often find myself looking at shiny things while the rest of the group is just out of range and engaged in a fight. I’m not saying this happens all the time, don’t be scared. I do have an attention span. Sort of. But these things do happen on occasion. Im gonna blame it on the fact that I play on a laptop so I have to be more hunched over (because it’s not a 24 inch monitor I can move around) and when you use the keyboard on a laptop, it doesn’t exactly slope down towards your wrists like a desk keyboard does. My wrists, elbows and hunched shoulders need a chance to straighten out. Like so many other things on this list, this is also my own fault. As soon as I win the lottery, I’m buying a desktop pc. Of course, the laptop will be handy when I get invited to Utah for a LAN party.

Well, I believe I’ve humiliated myself enough for one day. I’m just gonna stop here.

/ abrupt end

How To Fail At Twitter

I have technically had a twitter account for approximately 2 years, but I have only began actively using it over the past 6 months or so. When I first created it, I set the username to be the same as my general internet handle; the same nickname I use for Google ID, Flickr, Blogger, various forums, etc. I didn’t have any use for Twitter for a long time, so my account sat idle. Last summer, when I started noticing some of my favorite bloggers were really beginning to up their tweet counts, I decided to give it another shot. I downloaded TweetDeck to my Android and began following some people. I felt bad never tweeting anything of my own, but I didn’t really have anything interesting enough to say. Eventually I started randomly posting funny zingers like “The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.” and “It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.” While those certainly entertained me well enough, I’m still not sure I was making good use of the app.

However, as I became more entranced with WoW my tweets began to naturally and slowly revolve around the game. As you all know, I began blogging and just recently moved my WoW blog over to this site and away from my old personal blog. Today I decided I should update my Twitter account accordingly and match up my username to my new blogging name, Elfindale. Because I didn’t want to screw it up and potentially lose any of my followers, I googled it real quick and discovered it couldn’t be easier. When you log in to Twitter and click on “Settings” the second field down from the top of the page is “Username” and all you have to do is erase what’s in there and type a new one. Ta da! It’s that simple. But since I’m a moron, I decided that before I changed my username I should send one last tweet under the old name telling everyone I would be changing to Elfindale. That way they wouldn’t be lost or confused. Made perfect sense to me.

But you see, here’s what happened. I sent out the tweet “I am changing my Twitter name to Elfindale and….” and THEN I clicked into settings and typed Elfindale in as my new username. And it was already taken. Of course these types of things happen to me. I just rush along full of giggles and excitement, never taking the time to stop and think things through properly. Sure it’s fun on a roadtrip or a girls night out, but damn it can cause some problems. I had to make a quick decision… keep my old boring, non WoW-related name OR make use of an underscore to change my name as close to Elfindale as possible. The underscore finally won out.

My new Twitter username is @_Elfindale and I am not as happy about it as I wanted to be. I did a search to find the already taken Elfindale account and once I found it I was even unhappier. It belongs to a woman in Texas who follows 10 people and has tweeted a total of 2 times, both dated Jan 31. Which means (since that’s obviously not here yet this year) they’re at least a year old if not longer.

Yep, if it can be done wrong you can bet I’ll know how.

Seriously? What. The. Crap.

Okay, so this is how this post was supposed to start out originally….

This node of Twilight Jasmine pisses me off. Not just because it’s obviously bugged and is eternally suspended in mid-air, but because I still can’t resist trying to pick it. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me, but every time I’m in Twilight Highlands I follow the little yellow blip on my mini-map to this flower. Then I spend the next 5 minutes trying to sneak up on the damn thing and take it by surprise. Every. Time. And guess what? It never works. The stupid flower just hangs there, laughing at me.

Picture me hunched over my laptop working feverishly on the brilliant paragraph you see above. Know what I did next? I logged into the game and flew to Twilight Highlands so I could take a screenshot of me trying to pick this node. But the screenshot turned out crappy, like all of my screenshots do, so I decided to take a few minutes and download FRAPS in hopes of improving the quality of future screenshots. Once I got it installed and setup, I tabbed back into the game to take another, prettier screenshot. Except the damn flower is gone! GONE. I’m still here in the same position and there’s no Twilight Jasmine hanging in mid-air. How is that even possible? Do nodes randomly disappear if no one collects them? Did someone manage to get this stupid flower somehow?

I have no choice but to post my crappy screenshot I took originally, followed by my slightly better screenshot of no flower. Exciting, right? Now I gotta come up with a more substantial post to quickly overshadow this one.

Welcome To Elfi’s World

Image from Flickr user e.fawn, original image link can be found at bottom of post

Welcome guys, come on in. Grab a cookie and make yourself at home. Get it? Home? Because they’re hearthstone cookies. Yep, that was a lame attempt at humor. Brace yourself, there will be more of those incoming. In the meantime, allow myself to introduce myself.

I began playing WoW 3 years ago this very month. It was my first ever mmo and it’s still the only mmo I’ve ever played. Don’t I sound adventerous? Honestly, it’s my only one because I love it. I’m not tired of it yet, so why put it aside to try something new? My main character is Elfindale, a Night Elf druid with Resto healing as her main spec and the ability to go Boomkin as a secondary. Elfi is the first character I ever created and I absolutely adore her. Which is exactly why she is my main and always will be. Well, the fact that she’s my only toon over level 65 probably has something to do with it also. If I hadn’t rolled a death knight when WotLK launched, Elfi would be the only one over level 30. Obviously, I’m not an altoholic. Yet. But I have managed to get a Worgen up to level 22 since last month, so that’s a good start.

You would think that having 3 years of game time with basically 1 character would mean that Elfindale is geared to the max, has every reputation exalted, has accomplished every achievement, etc. That is so not true. For the longest time I only averaged probably 4 hours a week and since that put me behind most of my friends and guildmates on gear and knowledge, I spent a lot of those 4 or so hours a week fishing, cooking, and herbing so I could make some money on the auction house. This is not because my guild would not let me tag along, but because my true personality normally carries over in-game and I would have felt bad just being dragged along. I knew how to better my character and my gear, I just didn’t have time for it. But I wasn’t about to let that be a burden on anyone else. Besides, I was happy just chatting with friends and taking screenshots of myself in various predicaments. And I did do randoms and heroics and some raiding when I got the chance. I’m a pretty decent healer considering I’ve been so casual. Actually, I regret spending so much time being so casual. While I still don’t consider myself hardcore, over the past 5 months or so both my addiction and my dedication to the game have increased exponentially. I started working on Loremaster (and trust me I was way behind) and started grinding reps. I had rarely done dailies before so I made myself do a few every time I logged in. I began reading dozens of WoW blogs on a daily basis and actually studying class guides and gear lists. It’s amazing the progress I’ve made. I am a much happier WoW nerd now. And yes, I finally have the Loremaster title.

As a result of this increasing immersion into the game and the blogosphere, I began writing a few random guest posts for my dear friend Alas on her blog Kiss My Alas. But my posts just didn’t compare to hers and I didn’t want to continue mucking up her wall with my drivel, so I started throwing a few posts up on an old, dusty personal blog of mine I had lying around. I quickly discovered I really enjoyed writing them, even if no one ever read them. Then I was amazed to see a few people actually did read them. So naturally, I’m hooked. As of right now, I feel like this is something I truly want to continue doing so I created this place. Simple as that. This is my very first post on this new website, which means the posts below have been moved here from my personal blog. If you notice any weird wording or obscure references, it would be because they are not from here originally.

In closing, I’d like to say that most of my posts won’t be this wordy and rambling. But that would totally be a lie. This is just the way I write. Even when I post on forums I write 3x as many sentences as everyone else. I can’t help it. I would also like to clarify that you may not ever actually learn anything here. When I need to know about talent trees and loot drops, I rely on the already established bloggers out there who have written guides. I don’t expect to ever write my own. But I will share some screenshots and funny stories and just general observations. I’m a pretty carefree person and I go for the laugh probably more often than I should. That is true of me in life and it’s true of me in-game. So I’m just planning on having fun around here with an occasional “this is how I feel” post if something comes up that is troubling me. And that’s the story of here.

original cookie photo can be found here

Uldum’s Floating Cat Head Revisited

It’s been almost a month since I first talked about discovering a floating cat head in Vir’naal Lake in Uldum. As soon as I spotted it I thought it was odd. I spent a good 5 minutes in-game swimming around it, trying to click it, trying to jump on it, etc. I couldn’t discover any reason for it whatsoever. So I simply screen-shotted it, made a silly little blog post here and forgot about it.

But now… now the floating cat head is catching the attention of other people. Important people. People like Zinn over at Jinxed Thoughts who also thinks it’s very odd and has set about investigating the whole thing. I hope she is able to track down an explanation so we can get this settled once and for all. I would hate to have unexplained floating cat heads infiltrating my dreams.