Archive for February, 2013

Hail Everyone,

I’m a few days late and a few copper short from hitting my normal once weekly post schedule and I apologize. Trust me, I have some good alibis excuses :) To show you how crazy it’s been I even missed out on doing my podcast segment last week as well. It turns out I caught a case of strep-throat unfortunately with a Peritonsillar Abscess. Which means swallowing was and still is quite painful. It’s almost as painful as watching a badly transmogged mage mailbox dance and we all know how annoyingly painful that is so I’ll spare you the rest of the details, and luckily I’m feeling better. The upside to to my affliction (no pun intended) was that while I was visiting the city for a doctor visit I got to purchase all the parts to my new monster…er…creation. Or should I say my monster creation? Actually, I’m talking about my new computer! Woot!

 

To save those readers who could care less about computer talk I’ll save that info for the end of my post in the hopes I don’t bore anyone. During my downtime away from blogging and feeling under the weather I came to the realization that whenever you’re down IRL (like in game), you just need to flask up, eat a food buff, and take life on like a boss. And for me lately that’s been

  • Food Buff = Hall’s Cough Drops and anything that’s cold and melts (Lemon Flavor)
  • Flasks/Elixirs = Liquids, aspirin and a decent antibiotic with good coverage (Amoxicillin)

 

Experiencing the Storm Peaks IRL!

Four nights ago our area got engulfed in quite an ice-storm. We lost electric for 3 days and I sent the family to local motel while I stayed behind to watch our animals and to help the neighborhood clear debris. The night the storm hit, it sounded like a war zone. Trees and branches were cracking and falling everywhere. Every couple of years we get hit with a storm such as this and it could have been much worse, and thankfully for us it was only a few days. We were able to travel once the roads became clear of fallen ice covered trees and everyone is safe and sound. I’ll count my blessings on that one.

My only advice for dealing with an ice-storm? Pack and store some extra flashlights, batteries and candles. Sweet oil lanterns work great as well and I can see why they were a favorite back in the early and mid 1800s. Other than that, be safe and try your best to make light of the situation. It’s hard not to be impatient in situations like that, trust me.

Now I don’t know who invented the chain-saw, but I’d like give that guy my deepest and sincerest gratitude, along with the guy who invented Ben-Gay Ointment. I got to thinking while doing a lot of chainsaw work that maybe the person who invented the Ben-Gay ointment came up with the idea after using a chainsaw for several hours? I’m sure that’s not far from the truth.

 

Two suprising DMs from Twitter and the green fire convo continues

Before the ice-storm, I got two suprising DMs on twitter. If you’re are unfamiliar with Twitter a DM is a short abbreviation for a direct message. It’s like a personal /whisper or /tell that only you and the other person can see and read. One of the DMs came from none other than Medros from All Things Azeroth. He’s such a nice guy and I’ve always enjoyed his podcast, and no, I don’t owe him any money…ha! It turns out he was looking for pictures of any warlock spell that looked like green fire for a post he was writing. So I sent him a few of my screenshots and happily I found out that he not only liked one, but actually used one for his post. Besides the fact that he used one of my screenshots, he does bring up an interesting discussion about warlocks and our questline for green fire.

I’m curious as to what other players think about his arguments as well, so when you get time go check it out and leave him some comments on the matter. Is it fair that warlocks will be the only class in-game that will be able to toggle certain spells to different colors? A warlock can only hope the new green fire special effects and animations look good and that it doesn’t turn out like our Banish spell effects even with that waste of a glyph to change it’s color. /em rolls eyes and sighs at the animation of The Glyph of Crimson Banish. So please check out Medros’s post called, The Class is always Greener on the other Flame. You gotta love his post title too.

Hearthcast AoE and me

Rewt from the Hearthcast poscast also DM’d me asking if I’d like to come back on the show and take part in their Hearthcast AoE trivia game they do with contestants on the show. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to it, but sadly I had to miss out due to the loss of electric and everything else that occurred when the storm hit. Luckily, I had already warned Rewt about the circumstances and hopefully they didn’t have a problem filling another guest in my place. If you haven’t listened to the Hearthcast podcast you should give it a try. Rewt and Freckleface are awesome people and they put on a great show. I’ve been on their show twice now and I’ve always had a good time. Will there be a heroic Hearthcast AoE in the future where I can embarrass myself profusely? I hope so. Despite my nervousness of doing anything “live” I think it would be fun, and both Rewt and Freckleface make you feel right at home when you’re on the show.

 

Warlocks are gaining in numbers which can be both good and bad

All of you should know by now that I’m a warlock through and through. Between my blog and my segments all I ever wanted to do was to get people to see why we’re a fun class. That’s it. Well, I think Blizzard should be quite proud because the revamp of our class really has been a success in so many ways. The game designers managed to keep older warlocks happy, and now we’re also seeing a larger influx of newer ‘lock players. It’s true many of these newer Dark Art casters might be alts, but people are playing them again and that’s a good thing. Or is it? 

Please don’t get me wrong. I think all of this news about so many players rolling warlocks is great to hear and I can only hope that the new ‘locks who are learning how to walk on the darkside have lots of fun, and that they enjoy the surge of power that goes with it. My concern is that when a class becomes too popular it can also cause negative consequences as well. Look at the hunter class and the way people make fun of them. Hunters are a fun class, and they’re popular too which means a lot of folks have one as an alt-toon. Do you think warlocks becoming too popular will hurt our rep in some way? Time will tell.

 

Gank and Spank, and a tip that might change your WoW Life

Last week, before RL went all crazy on me, I was honored to fill in a Dps spot for one of my guild’s raid teams named, Gank and Spank. They’re a great group of players and I really enjoyed running with them. As a group they have fun and they work hard which is the backbone of any good raid team in my book. So let me set the scene for you to understand how they changed my WoW life. Er…I should say they pointed me to an addon that changed my WoW life.

As most of you know, I live in a very rural area. My internet service provider (ISP) is hit or miss on having a decent connection and speed. I accept this and live with it because there is nothing better in my area other than considering satellite which I tried years before. I have accepted the fact that my download speed will remain at about 3 to 5 mbps, bad weather will make that worse and often my latency will spike from time to time. On our home computer I’ve been using the last five years I have to turn my setting down to LOW and FAIR whenever I run in a raid. For the Elegon encounter I switch to LOW and I’m lucky to get 4 to 6 fps with an occasional freeze-ups. Don’t get me started about how bad my experiences are during the Sha of Anger world boss.

During my run with Gank and Spank, a thunderstorm was brewing in my area and I should have saw it coming. My latency went from 110, to 800, and then it went to 1900 within a few minutes. I did a modem reset and a computer restart which sometimes helps. The guys on the G&S team were understanding and patient in my efforts in trying to get a better connection established. When all the normal steps that seem to help failed, one of the G&S members named Tyllian (a very clever warlock I might add) asked if I had tried running Leatrix Latency Fix? He explained it helped him and maybe it would help me too.

 

Leatrix Latency Fix – I love you and will name my next child Leatrix in your honor

I think there has been a couple of addons like Leatrix Latency Fix (LLF) in the past and I’m pretty sure there’s also some purchasable programs across the internet that shut down unnecessary processes on your computer in order to free up resources to run some of the higher end games and their animations. I know when I tried a few of them in the past they didn’t help. Out of frustration, I quickly downloaded LLF and to say that I was amazed with the results is quite the understatement. My world latency dropped from 1900 down to <110 and held. For fun and for science I decided to increase my video settings during the breaks and I was able to run my system on HIGH and I was still getting over 45 fps! This was all done on my old computer! OMG! This simple addon has changed my WoW life.

If you or anyone you know that plays WoW, or any other online game where latency is an issue, please, tell them about Leatrix Latency Fix and I hope it helps them as well. How does it work? I have no clue other than some simple concepts as it was explained to me. A majority of the online games send information in packets, LLF breaks the packets down and sends information in a continuous stream instead. If you prefer to use the term “magic” I’d use that word as well because what it has done for me feels like magic. Next week the developers of LLF will be getting a small donation check and a letter for gratitude from me! I can’t thank them enough. Hopefully, between all of you and me, we can spread the word to help other people as well.

Will Leatrix Latency Fix work for everyone? I have no idea; however, I can offer my testimony to it’s success stories.

 

5.2 is almost here

For some reason, I keep having Illidan’s famous quote, “You are not prepared” running through my mind. The new patch is almost here and I’m so far behind due to RL interruptions. I plan to go back to full speed with WoW once my new system is up and running. By my estimates, that hopefully will be in a few days. While I can’t say I’m excited for more dailies, nor am I frothing at the mouth for green fire, I am excited about the new warlock quest line and the chance to explore a new area. Having new things to destroy do is always a welcomed change. 

Starting a project about warlocks of course!

I’m leveling a new warlock and what spec should I try? I get this question a lot. If you are an older warlock you’re probably getting asked that same question as well. I see it in guild chat and in trade all the time. I’ve gotten a lot of twitter friends asking it as well, along with a small volume of emails from players who’ve come by my site looking for guidance in choosing a spec. My advice has always been the same. Try all three and see what style you prefer. All three specs play and feel quite differently. Affliction is fast and furious while juggling DoT management. Demonology is fun for its AoE, having an onslaught of demons, and for popping in and out of metamorphosis for good burst. Destruction is great for building up and unleashing some really big crits. It’s the only decent advice I can offer on the subject because everyone is different.

So I’ve decided I’m going to start working on a warlock project over the next few weeks. I plan to contact any and all of the more well-known warlocks in the community and profile them and their choices for their Main Specs and Off-specs. I think it will be nice to hear from others why they play their ‘locks the way they do. If anything, it should be cool to hear their answers and it just might spur other new players along the path of warlocking as well.

Please let me apologize again for the tardiness over the past week and a half. Between being sick and the ice-storm it really wasn’t my intention to be involved in either one of those distractions :) I hope you all have a great week and I hope you’re ready for 5.2 to hit! I know I am!

 

 

For the those who care to know, here’s my new computer build:

CPU: Intel Core I7 – 3770K 3.5 Ghz

MOBO: Asus Maximus V Formula 

RAM: Corsair 16 gb

GPU: Nvidia 660

SSD: Samsung 840 128gb

HDD: Western Digital Black 1T HD

PSU: Thermaltake 750 watt

OPTICAL: Samsung CD/DVD Recorder

CASE: Cooler Master Storm Trooper

MONITOR: Hewlett Packard 24” – My old one

OS: Windows 7 Home

KEYBOARD: Razer Black Widow

 

A quick discussion about my new build for the nerds like me…

This is my first computer build and I’m a complete noobie. First and foremost, I had a budget I had to meet which was $1,500.00. I know there’re people who might say I went too high and some who will say I went too low for a good computer build. I tried to pick the middle ground knowing that I’ll be upgrading it over time. I do so much other stuff on my computer besides play WoW that vary from running Microsoft Office for RL work to video editing for fun, that I wanted an all around work horse of a system.

Putting it all together took less than two hours and I was shocked as to how simple it was to accomplish. Granted, having a larger case and going with all new items made installing and running cables quite easy. I went with a cheaper Samsung OEM DVD ($20) optical drive only because I needed something to install my OS. Eventually, I plan to add a Blue-Ray one as well.

I went with the smaller SDD mainly because I’ll only be installing Windows 7 and Microsoft Office on it along with any bare-bones system essentials. For everything else I’ll use my WD Black HDD. The three places where I feel like I splurged a bit was my processor, my Mobo and my case. I know I could have downgraded all three and I still would’ve had a great running system. For some reason, the Maximus V appealed to me the most after reading up on all the different Mobos in the price range I was considering.

Yes, I know the Nvidia/EVGA 660 GPU might be the old kid on the block, but it’s tried and true and everyone I know that has run 2 cards in SLI mode love it because it works and operates with little to no problems. Plus, starting off on a new build the 660 kept me in my budget range. I’ll upgrade with a second for SLI  in a few months after I save up a little extra cash. Right now I’m running the Win 7 Home Edition and so 16 gb of memory will be plenty. Whenever I decide to try moving to Windows 8, then I’ll add the additional ram chips. Right now the computer is scored at 7.8 out of 7.9. The only thing holding it back that .1 is that the memory isn’t maxed out at a full 32 gb.

The only problem I’ve run into so far is that the audio connectors on the front panel of my case emit static and noise whenever I have the fans turned down low. The CM Stormtrooper has 6 fan speed settings that range from low to high. If I run the fans on high the noise disappears. If I turn the fans down to any of the slower speeds then the noise returns. The rear ports of the case don’t have this problem and it only occurs with the front panel audio jacks. I’ve contacted both Asus and Cooler Master and I’m waiting for a reply from either. I’m sure it’s probably a ground fault in one of the fan wires that’s causing it, but I can’t find it and it’s driving me nutty. I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon now that I have the free time give it a more in-depth inspection.

Out of all of this I only have two complaints and I hate to even mention them. I love my new CM Storm Trooper case. It looks great, it’s easy to carry, and it has plenty of space; however, the power LED and the HDD Activity LED lights are quite small compared to everything else on the front panel. The power button is the size of a .50 cent piece. The fan controls and even the light controls seem to have the perfect sized buttons. I just don’t know why they would skimp on those two lights and make them so small. Gah! I shouldn’t complain…I still love that case!

My second complaint is more about me just being derpy and impatient. It’s been a great experience learning and putting my own system together; however, I  loathe downloading, installing, updating, and reconfiguring all of my tried and true programs and games again. When you’ve got a 3 to 5 mb on the down speed it really, really bites! Ha! Other than that I can’t complain!

 

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Woot! Ka-Ding!

Well, even though I was an hour late on two posts and even though I was 1/2 day late on yesterday’s post, I still managed to make it to the end of my 20 Days Challenge. It’s been fun and I’ve probably bored people to tears. Painful I know, but now it’s over. So with a respectful /salute to Saga over at Spellbound for tossing out the challenge and a /bow to Jodi over at My Daily Minefield for getting me motivated to take part, I come to my 20 Days end. Thanks ladies! I might cheat a little on this one because it’s rather easy ;P

 

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

 

Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

I would fly the world of Azeroth on one last tour working my way backwards through the continents and places I travelled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a night of sight-seeing with friends, I’d then /bow, /salute, /wave and then catch up on all the sleep I deprived myself of over the years. Always cherishing my journeys, my screenshots, my friends and my memories for whatever future quests IRL or new MMO might bring :)

Besides, what other game has a cool, warlock-y toon that is feared and deadly like a warlock in WoW?

 

Hey All,

So there I was hitting all of my WoW 20 Day challenges with no problems and then on day #19 some real life stuff came up. Even though I’m 12 hours shy of hitting my deadline for this one, hopefully you’ll understand ;)

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

Day 19 – In your bags/bank

 

 

My Bags

While it might appear I’m broke, I just bought my Thundering Cloud Serpent and most of my gold I keep on my bank alt. I usually have around 15-20k on average even though my recent purchase put me back a little bit. As you can see I use Arkinventory and it’s one of the addons I couldn’t live without. I have my inventory split up into groups that I can scan quickly to find items fast.

The largest cluster of items (on the left) are my Soulbound items. It’s a mix and match of trinkets, tabards, holiday items, farm equipment and things I probably should throw away, but I can’t seem to part with for whatever the reason.

Amijade does a lot of fishing and so I have an area just for my fishing stuff such as lures, my fishing hat and pole, and First Aid items. To the right of my fishing items I have food items and food buffs, followed by my row of potions and elixirs. At the top left I have my Herbalism supplies such as my Motes, Golden Lotus, Herbs and vials. The top right of the screen holds all of my quest items and the large vacant area in the lower right side of the screen is everything else such as junk or items I still have no idea where to put. As you can see I have a couple of Tmog helms, a bag I haven’t added to my bank space yet, some gloves I don’t need that I got in a drop from LFR and of course some extra carrot seeds ;)

If you have never used Arkinventory or a bag manager addon I suggest you do. I’ll explain how they work at the end of the post in case you’re interested.

 

 

My Bank Space

You might notice two things upon first glance:

  1. I’m not using Arkinventory for my bank bags
  2. I have a lot of Tmog stuff I need to organize along with trinket items

 

Since almost all of my items are mainly Tmog items I thought it was a waste of time to setup my Arkinventory for separating them. You might see a few trinkets or special items tucked in here and there such as the Radish Punching Bag, or Burgy Blackheart’s Hat and my Jeweled Encrusted and Kal’uak fishing poles. Omg, I just noticed I have a spot open to shove something in there! Woot! I have another free space! Yes, I probably should sell or pitch all of these items but I know that as soon as I do I’ll find a Tmog piece I’ll want to match. This is why I decided against taking a picture of my void storage. People would think I’m crazy if I showed it because it’s filled to the brim with nothing but Tmog stuff!

 

My Bank Alt

Now, to redeem myself from looking like too much of a pack-rat please know that I do have a bank alt with the maximum number of bank tabs which I use to keep my gold and raw materials, and to keep my main toons supplied. It really is my “mule” in every sense of the word. Whenever I’m done questing on a character I vendor everything, send 1/2 of the gold I make to my bank toon along with any raw materials and BoEs I can sell, vendor, or disenchant. Whenever one of my toon’s need mats, I just hop on my bank alt and fill them up!

I love having a bank alt because it really does help keep the bank space on my individual toons viable for Tmog and personal items, plus it helps me supply mats to all my toons rather easily. I’m kinda old school in the fact that my bank toon is pimped-up and decked out in bank alt gear too :) Tuxedo outfit, Thug, Shirt, Jungle Hat, Diamond Tipped Cane, Antique Cufflinks, The Rock, etc.,. and all of them are grey items!

 

Arkinventory or any bag and bank addon managers

I can’t remember if it was three or four years ago when I began using Arkinventory. I tried Bagnon at first, until a couple of patches later it didn’t work for quite some time. A friend suggested Arkinventory and I’ve been a fan ever since. If you have never used a bank manager addon before I cannot stress how simple life is when you have one. I can’t believe Blizzard hasn’t implemented a change like this in the game already.

For those who don’t know, once you setup your bag addon where you want things placed, every time an item enters your bag it will be put into it’s corresponding spot. For example: If I gather any herb on Amijade, all of them will be grouped with my Alchemy mats and kept separate from everything else. If I make food or get food mats, all of it will go to the area I designated for it. I hope that makes sense. I cannot stress how much time it saves you from constantly rearranging your bags, especially if you’re a Tmog hoarder crazy-person collector like me!

 

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

 

Day 18 – Your favourite outfit

 

Transmogging has opened up so much for the game. Tmog has added a new layer for player creativity, AH sales, older dungeon runs, and helping players bring out their own personality and styles for their toons. As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Tmog and I’m a big proponent for warlocks to always take advantage of looking good. For Amijade, I’m always torn between three main outfits. I have a lot of various sets, but for me, I keep going back to my big three!

The Silver-Thread Set

Since Amijade is an Undead warlock with her pale skin, black hair, and black leather straps across her face the Silver-Thread transmog is as close to an all black theme as you can get with any of the cloth items in game. I know some players like wearing full helmets with their tmogs, whereas I find that I’m often drawn to helms that allow some of the facial features to still be seen. The Silver-Thread set also seems to be a strong theme for any members of the Royal Apothecary Society. More often than not, the RAS members usually have several of the Silver-Thread Set key pieces mixed and matched with something a little different, such as a different color belt or cloak. For an Undead warlock, black is just a natural fit!

 

My Silver-Thread set includes:

 

The Nemesis Recolor Set

Don’t get me started on how many times I had to farm the heroics in Terrokar Forest to get all of the pieces to this set. After a week, it really did begin to feel like work. By the second week I was on auto-pilot. By the third week I was numb! I only put this set on for special occasions because lately, I’ve seen a lot of ‘locks wearing both the original version (green) and this one too. I love the Corruptor and Malefic sets too, and sadly I see them everywhere now. Gaging by how often I see them the Nemesis, Corruptor and Malefic sets are quickly becoming like a Paladin’s Judgement set. I can’t blame others for using them because all of these sets (including their recolors), are great designs and have a true warlock appeal to them.

 

My Nemesis Recolor includes:

Helm – Demonfang Ritual Helm

Shoulders – Mantle of the Three Terrors

Chest – Vermillion Robes of the Dominant

Cloak – Battleforge Cloak of the Whale, or the Cape of Orgrimmar

Belts – Nemesis Belt, or the Sash of the Burning Heart

Hands – Hands of the Sun, or the Gloves of the Deadwatcher (original for the set), or Ebony Flame Gloves

Bracers – Ember Flame Bracers

Feet – Eldr’naan Boots of Spirit 

As you can see, I mix and match the cloaks, belts and gloves. The different pieces I swap out have different accents in coloring which look better with various weapons. As with most Tmog sets, the shoulder, chest, and helm are what make it truly stand out.

 

 

Gul’dan Conquest Set

I have no idea why I like this last set on Amijade so much, but I do. My only gripe about it is that the back of the helmet piece feels a little unfinished and my toon’s hair and head can be seen through it when you see her from the backside. To personalize it to my liking, I changed the belt, gloves, and cloak so that the shoulders and helm have more of the focus. The original belt and gloves are HUGE. Both appear grossly oversized now and the original cloak that goes with the set has some over-the-top, wild and outlandish colors. I prefer a more neutral color tone for the cloak that doesn’t detract from the shoulders and helm. There’s also the Gul’dan Triumphant set which is the recolor in shades of blue instead of purple like the Conquest Set.

 

My Gul’dan Conquest set includes:

The shoulders, helm, and chest piece are from The Gul’dan Conquest Set

Belt – Imperial Red Sash

Cloak – Frostguard Drape

Gloves – Barbaric cloth gloves

Bracers – Durable bracers of the owl

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

 

Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)

Since I usually rattle on and on, I thought I’d make this one easy by just posting a few pics :P There are so many cool places in the game for various reasons so I’ll just put a few, otherwise this post could be huge!

Horde Side:

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Portal: It still feels special to me every time I approach it.

 

 

 

Alliance Side:

 

 

 

 

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

 

 

Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)

Throughout taking part in the 20 days of WoW blogging challenges I’ve tried to be honest in my views and assessments. Some have been easier to write about, and some have really been a challenge. This one appears it will be a little difficult for me to express my thoughts and reflections concerning the content of the Cataclysm expansion. As time passes and we get deeper into the MoP content it’s easy to forget what we felt and experienced in the last era of the game.

Does anyone remember when there was a lot of moaning and groaning about heroics being difficult at the start of Cataclysm? I do. It even prompted an article called WoW, Dungeons are hard! written by none other than the elusive crab himself, Ghostcrawler. To the disagreement of many, I personally liked it when heroics were hard. I liked it when players had to actively think and work towards completing them. I liked the challenge and teamwork it fostered among players. Trash hit hard, things needed to be crowd controlled, the tanks had to be on their game and healers had to make important decisions on where to use their sparse and precious mana bars in order to survive. All healers also learned the important lesson of healing priorities and triage. The heroics in Cataclysm really did take a team effort, even for pugs.

Completing a heroic in Cataclysm felt like completing a mini-raid. It took a little bit longer to complete them and the repair bills were high if someone wasn’t pulling their weight. Don’t get me started on how many times I corpse ran in Stonecore because we lost a healer to the explosive crystals of the dreaded worm Corobus. I know I died a lot because people didn’t LoS Slabhide the drake by ducking behind a pillar. How much gold did I spend on repairs because sometimes a group had a bad pull or someone drew aggro from the trash before Ozruk? Ever have a tank that didn’t know what to do on Ozruk? Wipe, wipe, wipe. When things are hard that’s when I find it the most appealing. Beating a boss 3 mins before the enrage timer makes me /yawn, but downing the boss with 3 seconds left…well that’s exciting for me.

 

Loot dispensing machines

I took my kids to a skating rink a few years back and they had one of those arcade style crane machines. You know the kind where you drop a quarter in a slot and then you get to move the little crane arm around until you’re just over the candy or toys that you want. When you’re ready to take your chances you’d push a button and the large claw plummets to the treasure below, and if you got lucky the claw might catch one of the prizes and return it to you by way of a bin opening. On this particular claw machine you never lost. It always dropped prizes, but the kind of loot it dropped was basically worthless and often wound up in a nearby trashcan. My kids played it twice before they easily got bored.

Last year, while on vacation we were at an amusement center that had one of those machines. This particular crane machine game was hard. The prizes were nice toys and stuffed animals instead of cheap little plastic doo-hickeys. The whole family took turns and we cheered each other on. I have no idea how much money we spent, but we finally did win a prize. My son still has that car he won prominently displayed in his room and a week or so ago my wife and I made some changes in his room and so we had to clear out some of the older toys. My son, plucked that car from out of one of the storage boxes we had placed it in, and he put it back on his shelf telling me it was the crane machine prize. That made me smile because here was a $5-10 dollar toy that held special meaning to him. That little car was special to him not because it was a car that looked cool, but because it was one he almost didn’t win. It was a car he won having fun with our family. It was a car he felt like he earned for his effort.

Maybe that’s my odd way of thinking, but I do miss that feeling of accomplishment and in the current heroics I think it’s lacking. While I know that feeling is there in raiding, it seems to be missing somewhat in heroic runs. I don’t think I’ve heard once from anyone saying or complaining that they found a particular heroic in MoP as being too difficult. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone complain about any of the heroic dungeons at all. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. For Blizzard, I’m sure it’s a never ending battle of trying to keep the content relevant and balanced for people to enjoy. For me, I prefer it when it’s more difficult and I’m not getting rewarded with little cheap plastic doo-hickeys.

Gathering and the landscape

For MoP, collecting herbs has become so much easier to some degree. Specific herbs are quite easy to gather and they are no longer spread out among an entire zone like they were in Cataclysm. Now, you can gather tons of herbs relatively easy. I don’t think you can walk anywhere in Pandaria without tripping over Green Leaf Tea nodes. If you were an herbalist in Cataclysm, you might remember the hard work and effort of trying to gather Twilight Jasmine. You really had to travel almost the entire length of the Twilight Highlands to gather even a half stack of them.

I miss enjoying my gathering runs for farming many of the herbs I needed for my potions. I would mount up and fly around an entire zone searching and looking for herb nodes while enjoying the layout and scenery as it passed below me. You had to cover a lot of ground, and you got to appreciate all of the work the designers added to the game. I like my farm at Halfhill, but the scenery never really changes. The only things that seems to change on my farm at Halfhill is which plot a juicy crunch vine might be hiding to fight me when I tend my crops.

Vashj’ir – Oh, how I miss thee   

I don’t know many people that liked Vashj’ir. Out of all the zones in Cataclysm a majority of players I’ve spoken with seem to have disliked it the most. Some players even have told me they hated it. The reasons for the unpopularity of the zone seemed to range from the storylines themselves, to all of the cut-scenes, to the awkward feeling fighting and moving underwater. I like Vashj’ir, I really do, and I like the zone for a few reasons.

I’ve been to the Bahamas and the East Carribean on a few vacations and one of my favorite things to do was snorkle and scuba dive. If you haven’t done either, I suggest you at least try it once in your life. It’s quite an experience to see the world from a different view, where plants and animals live in a world that is far removed from your own. Vashj’ir felt that way for me offering a quiet, tranquil beauty of life and nature in place that often goes unseen and undisturbed. 

 

 

My hunter was the hardest working gatherer/farmer I knew during Cataclysm. She was a valuable worker for me. She is both an herbalist and a miner and so she would gather all the resources and materials to help supply my other toons. Since few people players liked Vashj’ir, it was rare to see anyone there other than someone leveling an alt which meant the mining and herbs nodes often were plentiful. It may have took a lot of traveling across the zone to get to them, but it always paid off.

In the span of an hour or two, not only would my bags be brimming with ores and flowers, but I probably helped bag the spirit crab, Ghostcrawler, for a fellow hunter. During my farming circuit I’d often see Ghostcralwer appearing and disappearing in his winding loop around the SW portion of the Abyssal Depths. If I had a few copper for every time I helped someone get Burgy Blackheart’s Handsome Hat, I probably could retire from hitting the gold cap. If only that dang item was a BoE! Ugh! I’d be wealthy!

For all the hours I spent farming in the Vashj’ir area, I still never even came close to gaining the Reins of Poseidus mount. I actually think that creature’s respawn rate is worse than the TLPD! I only found its corpse one time and that was at its most southern location. Other than that, the grand seahorse’s only appearance I can find has been the small orange squares that show up on my map from the NPC_Scan overlay marking and displaying its spawn points.

Cataclysm wasn’t that bad IMHO

Like Vashj’ir, Cataclysm was an expansion many players disliked. As a warlock who watched the numbers of his class fall to nil, I probably should look at Cataclysm with a more slanted view; however, I didn’t think Cataclysm was all that bad. When the Cataclysm Expansion trailer hit and when Deathwing landed on the gates of Stormwind, people cheered with excitement. Who wasn’t in awe as the great desrtoyer laid waste to a lot of our well known zones?

The idea of the designers adding flying to the old world of Azeroth couldn’t have arrived faster. The zones and storylines (other than Uldum) I thought added some flavor to the game. The revamp of the lower zones and questing hubs helped make leveling a toon easier instead of feeling like you were seeing the older content over and over again. The hunter in me even applauds the hunter challenge tames Blizzard added to spice things up as well. Get on a hunter and try a solo tame of Deth’tilac and tell me if you didn’t have fun or if it’s something you’ll soon forget.

Yes, Cataclysm had it’s drawbacks. The lead villain, Deathwing, was almost non-existent other than playing a role in the opening trailer, the login screen, and for causing a few patches of fire laying waste to all in its path that varied from zone to zone. When you finally played endgame content and landed on this monster dragon’s back for a battle for the fate of our world it came across at anti-climatic for me. Despite its drawbacks, Cataclysm wasn’t that bad IMHO. I’ll always remember it for what it was: another expansion under my belt, more fond memories of friends and of adventures, and another chapter in my history and ongoing struggle for surviving in Azeroth.

 

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

 

Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it

I’ve always been jealous of people who were artistic and have a natural talent for drawing, painting, or sculpting. Like music, I’ve come to appreciate all kinds and styles of artwork. Years ago, my wife and I stopped at a small restaurant and they had a replica of a very famous Van Gogh painting. I’m not sure if it was the good food, the time with my wife or just the ambiance of the place, but I think of that night every time I see that picture now.

I normally dread shopping, but one of my favorite types of retail stores is any good bookstore. I don’t care if it’s Borders, or Barnes & Noble, or even some little out-of-the-way second hand bookstore because I’ve found that I enjoy them all. Over the years, I’ve picked up many great bargain books about artists and famous artwork. I’m far from being an “art snob”, but I know what I like when I see it. Usually, I prefer a picture that makes you think or pause to consider it’s significance. While paintings of flowers and landscapes are nice, give me a scene to ponder and I can view a pictures for quite some time.

When it comes to my computer background desktops, I’m very odd. I change my background at least once a month and lately, I’ve been finding an attraction to steampunk, surreal, and fantasy style themes and I have no idea why. I have no idea who any of these artists are and I probably should try to find out. I’ve collected them over the years and I have no idea where they came from. 

6 months of my computer backgrounds

September 2012 – I believe this picture is called “Lost Princess”. That name sticks out in my mind for some reason so I hope that I’m right if my memory serves me correctly. When I was looking through all of my folders of background images, I came across this painting and although the woman in the picture isn’t based off a character in WoW, I can help but imagine her with elf ears and standing in Krasarang Wilds. Now all she needs is a big orange "?” above her head ;)

 

October 2012 – I had two backgrounds for this past October. As I was looking through my scary and Halloween theme backgrounds and my son saw what I was doing and helped me choose the picture of the trees. As we drew closer to the All Hallow’s Eve festival (and Halloween) I change my background to the harvest wicker man one. I liked the use of light and because of the autumn mood it creates.

 

 

 

November 2012 – The winter season begins to hit my area in November and so I went with this steampunk / cartoon style picture showing a robot city. Like the children’s movie Robots, I would like to think this place exists. It has a charm to it IMHO, like the artwork and style of Tim Burton.

 

December 2012 – Upon first glance, you could actually mistake this background for one of the many famous Paris street scene oils and watercolor works from various artists. The reason I like it is because it makes me think that it came from an aspiring artist in the future and somehow made it’s way back to our time. On a full size screen up close you can see the paint brush strokes quite clearly. Farther away the colors of the scene blur enough to make it appear real as if you are witnessing a real place.

 

January 2013 – The start of the new year is always crazy and hectic for me. I can’t even remember when I downloaded this picture and it’s not a style I would normally enjoy. You might even consider it a little bit on the dark side in some respects. The more you look at the picture, the more of the little details you will begin to see that make up the larger image. Every time I stop to take a good look at this picture I always see something new I hadn’t seen before. Sadly, displayed here on my blog, it’s hard to see all of the detail.

 

February 2013 – For this month, I went with a train station scene. In movies, and in books there’s always something moving in scope and feeling about a mass transportation location that gives one a sense it needs to be resolved. Maybe it’s the start of something? Maybe it’s the end of something? Maybe, the location of people arriving and leaving creates tension such as anticipation, resolve, and even good-byes?

 

The Van Gogh painting  in the restaurant

If you were wondering which Van Gogh painting was hanging in the restaurant I talked about earlier, here it is…I know Starry Night is one of Van Gogh’s more popular works, but this one always brings back the memories of that one enjoyable night every time I see it. It’s my favorite of Van Gogh’s work. Only later did I learn that he created The Cafe Terrace on the Place Du Forum, Starry Night and Portrait of Eugene Boch all within the span of one month.

From the excerpts from one of my books on the subject Van Gogh, it included a letter he wrote this to his sister in regards to his inspiration in painting The Cafe Terrace piece –

In point of fact I was interrupted these days by my toiling on a new picture representing the outside of a night cafe. On the terrace there are tiny figures of people drinking. An enormous yellow lantern sheds its light on the terrace, the house and the sidewalk, and even causes a certain brightness on the pavement of the street, which takes a pinkish violet tone. The gable-topped fronts of the houses in a street stretching away under a blue sky spangled with stars are dark blue or violet and there is a green tree. Here you have a night picture without any black in it, done with nothing but beautiful blue and violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square acquires a pale sulphur and greenish citron-yellow colour. It amuses me enormously to paint the night right on the spot. They used to draw and paint the picture in the daytime after the rough sketch. But I find satisfaction in painting things immediately.

 

 

I’m not sure if you’ll be able to enlarge any of these pictures to get their true quality. If you would like me to send a copy of the original sized ones, drop me an email and I’ll send it to you. All of the pictures other than Van Gogh’s Cafe are created for full screen sizes of 1920 x 1200.

If anyone knows how I can upload, store, and link to individual pictures let me know because I’d like to make that option available. I just can’t seem to find it on the wordpress forums! Gah!