Archive for September, 2011

The One Where I Start A Project

So I’ve mentioned on here many times that I take a lot of screenshots and I’ve been a little unsure on the best way to sort them, store them, etc. But I have finally started that project and I’m going to let you guys have a sneak peek. Aside from WoW, one of my biggest hobbies is photography. I have a Nikon dslr and I take way too many pictures of everything. I’ve had a account for several years as a way of sharing my decent/favorite photos and I pay the annual fee to have unlimited storage. I had thought about sharing this space with my screenshots before, but just never got off my ass and got it going. Until now. I recently uploaded over 1700 WoW screenshots to my Flickr account and have slowly and randomly (as in tonight finally) began editing them to make them prettier.

Now, I’m going to provide you guys with the link to the set, but don’t get all excited that you’re going to flip through pages and pages and pages of them because only the few that have been edited are marked as viewable by the public. The rest are marked as private. Mostly because that way I can better keep track of which ones have been edited and which ones haven’t; but also because some of them may be ugly and I may delete them before anyone sees them. So as I have time and continue editing and marking them public, the album will continue to grow. And in the meantime I am taking more screenshots. Hopefully I will actually get caught up at some point, but I can tell you right now it’s not necessarily a priority to work on this project. I may spend 10 hours this weekend working on them or I may spend 10 more minutes and then not touch them for days. Hard to say.

And be prepared to be mildly disappointed to learn that I’ve only been using FRAPS to take screenies for the past several months. Before that I just used the default system… which means most of the 1700 are not at the highest resolution. They look okay at the default size Flickr displays them, but if you zoom in too much they become pixelated a bit. And they are all in random order, which I chose on purpose, just because I know I am sort of a minimalist and if I noticed 5 in a row from the same area I would likely delete 4 of them simply because. So by randomizing their order, I’ve eliminated that problem.

Okay, enough rambling. Here’s the link to the set. There are only 24 that are viewable as public right now, but keep checking back to see plenty more. And I’m seriously not fishing for compliments here, I am really not very happy with most of them that have been edited so far. Mostly because of the poor resolution, but also because I had my interface setup so damn stupidly. I can’t believe I played with all that shit all over my screen for 2+ years. Ugh. I can’t wait until I get to the newest shots that feature the new UI and the better resolution.

The Dungeon Finder Tool At It’s Most Useful

Since the Dungeon Finder Tool was introduced in patch 3.3 it has been surrounded by mixed emotions. From excitement during the pre-launch as we daydreamed about all the emblems and gear we could easily farm, to anger and disgust at the atrocity that is the pug, to the hilariousness and atrocity that is the pug. And I have ridden that roller coaster of emotion the whole way, though it does seem to have more downhills than loopty-loops. But surely we can all agree that when it comes to holidays in Azeroth, the dungeon finder tool is just about the best damn thing in the game. I remember desperately trying to complete holiday achievements back in 2008 when I first started playing and just being so upset that there were so many days I wasn’t able to do the holiday boss. Usually it was because I always seemed to be 30 minutes late to the party and everyone in my guild who was currently online had already completed it for that day. So I’d hang around and do some random questing, waiting for new blood to log in. It usually didn’t work out for me. It was so frustrating.

Now I’m so spoiled I log in every day, queue up and have Coren Direbrew dead before I even finish saying hi to my guildies. It’s the most amazing thing ever. Dare I say it? I’m gonna say it – it makes all of those horrible, horrible pugs we’ve endured for 2 years now completely worth it. Or maybe I’m just high from spending 5 minutes a day during Brewfest earning gold, justice points and a Swift Brewfest Ram.

Screenshot Saturday

Who has two thumbs and a shiny, new Brewfest Ram? This elf.

The Middle, Who’s With Me?

**edited to clarify – Both the ” I Do Not” and the “I Do” lists below feature characteristics of  hardcore and casual according to my interpretation of those words. The first list isn’t all hardcore and the second list isn’t all casual. Both lists contain aspects of both hardcore and casual according to me.

I Do Not

I do not raid weekly.
I do not have the best gear in every slot.
I do not have an abundance of Valor Points.
I do not have the fights in BoT memorized.
I do not have all of the new Cataclysm factions raised to exalted reputations.
I do not prefer leveling to all other activities.
I do not have multiple high level characters.
I do not have 1 of each profession maxed out.
I do not have a significant other or family member who I quest with side by side.
I do not roleplay.
I do not regularly participate in PVP.
I do not have required enchants and gems memorized
I do not remember the locations of every inn
I do not remember what vendor specific items come from.
I do not use recount or understand World Of Logs.
I do not theorycraft. In fact, it gives me a headache like all math does.

I Do

I do wear the proper tabards to gain the rep I need for gear or enchants which will benefit me most.
I do keep myself constantly repaired so I am at my best in 5mans.
I do follow blogs and forums as a way of keeping my talent trees and rotations at their best.
I do spend time outside of the game thinking of ways to improve myself.
I do immediately enchant and gem new gear I receive.
I do spend money on the AH to better myself if that’s the quickest way to do it.
I do care enough to ask for help.
I do try my best and don’t expect to be carried through dungeons or raids.
I do enjoy achievements and try to complete them whenever possible.
I do utilize tools such as Mr. Robot to ensure I am wearing everything correctly.
I do read patch notes before the patch hits.
I do love the game.
I do participate in pvp when my friends want me to or I want a change of pace.
I do participate in raiding when it fits into my schedule
I do love the game enough to blog about it

I am not hardcore, but I also don’t believe I’m casual. Neither of those words can define me. I am in the middle. And I believe there are a hell of a lot of us here. Should we be called hardcore casuals? No, I don’t think so.

I wish I were in a position to be influential. I wish I had the ear of the WoW community. Because if I did I would suggest that we replace the terms hardcore and casual with something like dedicated and occasional. Or maybe deliberate and informal. Serious and laid back?

Or maybe it’s such a wide spectrum there shouldn’t be two distinct roles. Why can’t we all be in the middle and simply vary in range from the high end to the low end. I am not defined by my number of raid nights per month or the number of hours I log each week. Are any of us?

I am in the middle. Who’s with me?

A Brief Glimpse Into World Of Warcraft History

I really don’t know what’s causing it (sheer exhaustion) but for some reason (sheer exhaustion) my creativity has not exactly been flowing around here (I’m exhausted) and I’ve been struggling to post anything worth reading. But my birthday is this week and as I was daydreaming about a nap messing around on Google the other day I got the bright idea to see what type of historical happenings had occurred around my birthday for Blizzard concerning World of Warcraft. As it turns out, September has been a pretty busy month for World of Warcraft news in the past. Below are some of the most prominent stories from the September news archives.

September 18, 2004 – World of Warcraft Beta Suspended Due To Tornado Hit

Because water was leaking into the building in which our servers were located, we shut down the servers as a precautionary measure and flew out a team of our network engineers to the location to survey the area and provide a preliminary assessment.
This morning, we have confirmed that some hardware has taken on water, so we will need to conduct a careful inspection for damage before we can restore power to the servers. This inspection will take 48 hours or longer to complete, so we encourage you to enjoy the rest of your weekend with other activities, as the World of Warcraft beta test will remain offline for at least that long.

September 22, 2005 – Deadly Plague Hits Warcraft World.

A deadly virtual plague has broken out in the online game World of Warcraft.
Although limited to only a few of the game’s servers the numbers of characters that have fallen victim is thought to be in the thousands.

Originally it was thought that the deadly digital disease was the result of a programming bug in a location only recently added to the Warcraft game.

However, it now appears that players kicked off the plague and then kept it spreading after the first outbreak.

September 17, 2006 – Living A Virtual Life

Two years into the history of World of Warcraft–an online game that accommodates 7 million players around the world–no one had successfully ventured into the dungeon to slay a group of computer-generated villains known as the Four Horsemen. But four experienced “guilds” of players–one in Europe, two in America and one in China–were coming close, posting updates on separate Web sites they maintained. Finally, a 40-person contingent from a U.S. guild conquered the last beast–and its members became instant international celebrities in a massive community where dragons and Druids are as real as dirt.

September 15, 2008 – WotLK Confirmed For November 13th.

Today, Blizzard Entertainment issued a press release that officially confirms the release date for the newest expansion to World of Warcraft. Gamers all over the world, the world being North America, Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia, will get to play the long awaited chapter on November 13th. The rest of the world gets a chance in the following days.

September 21, 2009 – Four Million Gamers Celebrate: World of Warcraft Back Online In China

The paid version of World of Warcraft is now back online in China after more than three months of disrupted service. That should give the massively multiplayer online game’s four million Chinese fans a reason to celebrate. It should also prompt a sigh of relief at Activision Blizzard, which is heavily dependent on the game for its profits.

WoW was offline since June 7, when Activision Blizzard’s Blizzard Entertainment division began what should have been a routine shift from one Chinese operator, the9, to another, NetEase. But the transfer was held up by interference from the Chinese government, which took the opportunity to closely inspect the content of the fantasy role-playing game.

The One Where I Share Non-WoW Screenshots

I’m kind of a late bloomer when it comes to mmo games. Well, actually, I’m kind of a late bloomer when it comes to any online games. I blame the fact that I grew up and lived a good chunk of my adult life in BFE, Missouri. [Author’s note: this is not a jab at Missouri, I love Missouri. It’s a jab at the tiny ass town I am from.] Internet was slow to come to my hometown. I didn’t get a dial-up internet connection until 2001. And when I left that town in 2006, dial-up was still the only option. I have a brother who still lives there and he has had Centurytel dsl for a couple of years now, but I’ve used it and it’s sad.

Point is, World of Warcraft is pretty much my only experience with an mmo, an rpg or even just a fantasy game. I’ve never played Final Fantasy, Diablo, Eve, or even any form of Dungeons and Dragons. Honestly, I’m a terrible nerd because I really don’t even know much about any of those games. I did (embarrassingly) play Runescape for about 2 weeks when luckily my nerdy brother, who has played all of the above and more because he did not grow up in BFE, Missouri and had a completely normal exposure to the internet and the world, recruited me to WoW. Thank you, Scott. Seriously. So when RIFT was available for beta testing earlier this year, I decided to give it a try and see what the world outside of WoW was like. I played for about 3 days, racking up an approximate 8 hours total play time. I didn’t really have any problems with the game, no specific complaints; I just didn’t feel any connection to it. There was no chemistry between us, so to speak. It wasn’t WoW. The whole time I was logged into RIFT I was wondering what my guildies were all up to in the other game. I knew very quickly I had no interest in RIFT and would not be playing when it was released.

However, as someone who is addicted to screenshotting the beautiful scenery in WoW it should be no surprise that during my time in RIFT I found the opportunity to take some pretty screenshots. I’ve had them collecting dust in a folder ever since then, but I have finally decided to go ahead and post them here. Just some random things I thought were pretty and a few that are simply informative about the game.

The One Where Being Nervous Makes Me Stupid

This weekend, I moved Elfindale over to a little-known guild named Eff The Ineffable. Maybe you’ve heard of it here, or here, or here, or …. you get the idea. Because of all the wonderful bloggers involved with Eff and because I’ve had an alt already in the guild for a little while, I pretty much knew everybody and had chatted with almost all of them by this point. But somehow, logging in and talking to them as Elfi instead of as some insignificant little alt made a huge difference. I have been nervous as hell about it for days. Elfi is my main, the one toon I should have perfected and know inside-out. I’m suddenly very worried that these awesomely cool people will notice I’m actually a huge dork who really just mashes buttons and gets lucky.

I’m a very shy person so I remain a very shy WoW player. I can get comfortable with people pretty quickly, and once I do, they’re screwed; but until I reach that point, I pretty much spend every moment being so worried about doing or saying something stupid, that I end up doing and saying a lot of things that are stupid. Last night is a prime example. Elfi was going to run randoms with some guildies and I was very nervous about making a good impression on them and proving I could be a valuable part of the guild. You know, useful and stuff. Now, Elfi is a resto druid as her main spec and has been since the very first day she stepped foot into the world (yes, that’s a stupid way to level – but I did it). But over the past few months I have been doing Boomkin dps about 99.9% of the time due to internet lag. If I lag out and stop dps’ing it’s not usually a big deal; but if I lag out and stop healing, things tend to go to shit.

So last night, I decide I gotta put my brave face on and queue as a healer to show my new fellow guildies that I am perfectly capable of having their backs. I activated my resto spec and queued us up as a party. There were only 3 of us from the guild running this time, so obviously once we entered the dungeon we picked up two strangers. I knew I had already put the correct gear on, so as soon as we phased into the dungeon I threw Mark of the Wild on everyone and started fiddling with my VuhDo and making sure I remembered which healing spells were set to which buttons on my mouse, etc. One of my guildies was tanking and after making sure we were all ready, he started off towards the first set of mobs. I waited until everyone filed off in front of me and then I proudly followed the group towards the danger, determined to heal my ass off. I don’t really see him suffering much damage – must be a great tank, yay! No one else is taking much damage either, although to be fair we are at the first group of trash. I throw a wild growth or two and a couple of rejuvs that no one needed and pretty quickly the fight was over. We move on and again, not a whole lot of damage is showing up for any of the group on my VuhDo bars. I throw a few more unnecessary light heals and we’re moving on to the next group. Now into the third fight, we’ve pulled a bigger crowd of mobs and I’m really impressed with how easy of a time I’m having as the healer. I’m seriously just kind of standing around and feeling very good about the fact that even though I haven’t healed regularly in quite a while, I obviously still have very good gear and I’m so good at healing I can do it without even lifting a finger.

It was after all of the mobs from the third fight were down that my other guildie, the one not tanking, whispered me and said “You do know you queued as dps, right?”

And then I died of embarrassment. I can’t believe they didn’t gkick me right then. HOLY SHIT!

Screenshot Saturday

I am squeezing this post in at the last minute. I have not been taking very many screenshots lately (due to laziness), but when I got this achievement tonight I knew my trusty Multishot add-on would have automatically captured it. So I dug it out and had to login here and display it proudly.