Monday, December 31, 2012

State of the Blog

Where the heck has Melfina been, you may ask?

Whelp, I'm sick. Likely gallbladder, though no diagnosis has been made yet. Nausea after eating, stomach pain, and general misery (that's been ongoing and getting worse for months). That plus severe depression = no fun.  Playing WoW makes the nausea worse, so there's been next to no gaming. And I've come to a conclusion about that.... I miss my guildies and hanging out with them. I don't miss WoW.

Not sure what to do about that, really. I do have a ton of games (and more picked up in the and steam after Christmas sales), and a bf interested in playing games with me.  I don't want to stop blogging, but until I can play games again, there's a dearth of content.

So, once illness is fixed, there will be more blogging. It may be more general gaming, I may even try doing a Let's Play of something. I'm kinda leaning towards the new Baldur's Gate.  Once decisions are made, I will let you guys know, and if there's something you want me to talk about, let me know!
And, of course,

Happy New Year and may '13 be brighter and better than '12!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yeah, I kinda forgot to mention about hitting 90

You know, I normally reread my last post before making a new one. Shouldn't have skipped that step with the last one. I thought I had made a "yay 90, here's what's I'm doing" post, but I hadn't. So here you go!

Lyl's 90. And I would like to thank the anon comments on the leveling post, they were completely right about my screwing up the priority system. My damage has gone up by about 4k since I took their advice. I still feel low in heroics, but I suspect that's more because I'm in groups with people who out-gear me. I don't really like the "dot all the mobs" flavor of trash damage, but I can live with it. Or at least I can live with SW:P all the things.

Gearing-wise, I hit the AH, picked up pvp blues, and was ready to hit heroics. I've done pretty well gear-wise, and it looks like my sticking point's trinkets. I miss the JCing trinkets from Cat.  I am gearing through heroics, not dailies, for the most part, and taking my time. I even *gasp* managed to get Archaeology to Mists levels.

I'm dealing with quite a bit in RL right now (another health problem has decided to show up), so I'm working on this "no pressure in wow" idea. I miss raiding, I would like to get back to it, but I'm not going to stress out about getting there. It will happen eventually, and in the meantime I can enjoy the scenery.

And here's some for you to enjoy too!

The Dailies Problem

As soon as Lyl hit 90, it felt like a quest explosion. Suddenly there were all these exclamation points  for all these factions and it was overwhelming and confusing (even though I was expecting it). I have managed to figure some things out, like I'm going to be gearing mostly through heroics and I must get exalted with the cloud serpents so I can have baby serpent pets, but it got me thinking on how I might do things slightly differently....

I'd make some factions available earlier. I loved running the walrus dailies while leveling, they're a good chunk of XP plus a nice rep bonus. Having run some of the Tillers dailies, I can see why they're not available till 90, but the Anglers ones could be. Heck, you could make the Tillers "grow this thing" and "go kill weeds" ones available at 86 without causing much in the way of problems.

Since I haven't done much in the way of faction dailies yet (Loremasters, Tillers, Cloud Serpents, Anglers, and um, the central ones (shado-pan?)), I don't have a great sense of them other than "wow, way overwhelming". Lyl got to 90 having done all of Jade Forest and Krasarang Forest, a good chunk of Valley and Kun-Lai Summit, and bits of Dread Wastes, and barely touching Townlong. So I still have a ton of content to go through before touching dailies, scenarios, dungeon-running, pet battling, and alt-leveling and at first blush it feels like too much.

Of course, 6 months down the line Blizz doesn't want us complaining about lack of content. I get that, really, I do. But a ton of dailies, well, that feels like a job or chore. It may not be a REQUIRED thing, but it does feel to me like something I should be doing. Not something I want to do (except for the baby serpent quests and the Anglers), not something I think is fun or enjoyable, but like a chore. I don't play games to do chores, and while it is certainly one way to extend content, it ranks among my most disliked. I never did most of the Argent Tournament or the Firelands stuff because I don't want to do chores in game. I'll occasionally do them, maybe while I'm waiting for a queue or just in the mood, but I hate the expectation of them and the feeling of requirement.

Yeah, not a dailies fan. At all. I'm having more fun running heroics (even though I have no idea WTF most of the time) while wearing a Dragonmaw tabard. Yup, the Cat tabards still work in Mists dungeons, so if you're not exalted with all of them and are running dungeons anyway, might as well take advantage, right?

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of happier things, since this game does have great bits, right?
Adorable. I want all of them! Yup, my motivation for getting to exalted with the Cloud Serpents is not the mounts, but the pets.

And while Lyl's gotten a bunch of achieves of late, this is one of the ones I'm proudest of. Leveling fishing is still time-consuming (and annoying if I'm not in the right mood), but I really like how it feels much more useful this expansion. Now if I just got XP for it so I could level toons that way....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still leveling and discouraged about it

Whelp, Lyl hit 89 tonight. I keep hearing how painful 89-90 is, and I just hope it isn't as bad as 88-89.  I seem to have run into a "WOW, it takes FOREVER to kill things" problem. I'm not sure if it's a) because I still have some DS gear (mostly heroic), b) Shadow's dots are a bit underpowered, c) I'm shadowing wrong (my spell priorities are at the end), or d) all the mobs I've been trying to kill are tuned for level 90 damage. Probably some combo thereof.

I have decided I loathe Townlong, mostly because of the Shado-Pan go kill bugs quests. Those screamers are incredibly annoying as shadow, and if I get more than one mob, well, let's just say that I died at least 10 times getting those two quests done. I know I probably will have to go back at some point for a rep grind, but that entire zone's being ignored till 90, for sanity's sake.

I did get to help kill the Sha of Anger. I mostly smited, wondered where the heck my mana went, and avoided bad ground things. It did make me happy to get through the entire fight without dying once, especially since I had no idea what was going on. Good to know my healing skills haven't atrophied, and it's also good to know that I'm probably going to have to have a lot of spirit for healing.

In other stuff, I've gotten both Eiunn and Kesala their farms....
(back view of Eiunn because I love her hair!)

and some of you are wondering who the heck Kesala is. Well, remember this DK? My slightly brain-damaged toon, Llonya?

I wanted to play a melee toon, realized my only horde option was either Eiunn's enhancement spec (fun but I have no earthly idea what I'm doing) or my level 5 monk, and shelled out for a faction change (plus I needed an enchanter and really didn't want to level one). Now my blue space goat with the unpronounceable name is now a blue tauren (she looks really awesome, I just don't have a screencap) and I had a ton of fun doing the unlocking quests in Jade Forest.

The problem I'm having right now isn't the slow XP from 89-90, it's the slow killing. It just feels painful on Lyl. I'm having to recast shadow word: pain and vampiric embrace two to three times a fight (on one regular mob), so my combats are lasting 40-60 secs. That just feels awful, especially since I can switch over to Eiunn or Kesala and stuff dies so much quicker. If any more experienced priests want to offer suggestions, please, feel free.

Atm I'm casting both dots, shielding myself, then Mind Flaying like it's going out of style till a dot falls off or something procs. I throw devouring plague when I have 3 orbs, mind blasting with procs, and using Mindbender whenever possible. Mindbender's really helping with damage, btw, if you haven't tried him yet.

So, that's where I am. The goal is to get Lyl raid-ready by the end of the month (though I may or may not have a raid spot at that time, nor am I expecting my guild to drop someone to hand one to me), and then probably level whoever and play more with pet battles. I may try Kesala as a blood tank for a bit, since I've been having a blast running around as frost. I do need to sit down (probably Thurs) and figure out factions/dailies and where to unlock them. I think I've started Shado-Pan and the bug people in Dread Wastes, plus the Tillers. I know there's one faction that you have to get to revered to unlock a bunch of others, but if that one's in Townlong it'll just wait a while. I'd much rather wrap up the Loremaster achieve in the Wilds (because I'm two quest hubs away and one's already partly done), have fun randomly discovering and killing (or dying to) rares, and leveling fishing.

Oh, and can you see what's wrong in this screencap? Cracks me up every time I see it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Now this, this is awesome!

As a long-time gamer, I'm used to the default male protagonist. I really don't like it, but I've learned to cope, just like I've learned to cope with over-sexualization of females and sexism in general.  In fact, the default male protagonist is one of the reasons I love games like Baldur's Gate (and can't wait for the new version) because I can be female or male. I love RPGs that don't make me explore a male character. I may choose to explore one (I've played male in tabletop before and had fun, and also have one planned out for the next campaign I'm in), but I LOVE the choice. In my book, feminism is about the freedom to choose, for both men and women.  Gender stereotyping hurts everyone.

So, this, this is all sorts of awesome in my book. A dad figured out how to gender-change Link so that "as you might imagine I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers." That's something I wish I'd had growing up, and I think it's a wonderful thing to do. Here's his blog post on how to do it, and please, pass it on. Flip All the Pronouns.

I know this isn't a WoW thing, but it is a gaming thing, and it's something I hope to see more of in the future. But, since this is a wow blog, here, have a screenshot featuring my newest favorite Wow character, Ken-Ken. Anyone who's for butt-punching sadness is pretty damn cool. I wish I'd been able to screenshot his entire dialogue. If anyone has a transcript, let me know, and if not, when Eiunn gets there I'll damn well make one.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Aura Addon Ideas

This is another in my very occasional series of posts of semi-useful things. Today, I thought discussing ideas for using such addons as Power Auras Classic or Weak Auras might be useful. If you're curious about what I've been up to in WoW (and in general), that'll be after the useful bit.

So, aura addons. They can do so many things that it can be very overwhelming. Here's a few ideas...

1) Resource alerts. One of my most used auras was Lyl's "hey, half mana!" one. It gave me a heads up and let me start thinking about cooldowns without being obtrusive. You could easily do this for health, mana, energy, or whatever.

2) Cooldowns. Especially good for short cooldowns in combat (and yes, you can make auras that are only active in combat, or raid, or when flagged for pvp...)

3) Debuffs/Buffs. Trinkets, time warp, diseases, other power increases/decreases. I had one for when my wolf howled (and gave my hunter an attack power boost)

4) Combos. How about having a "ACK!" alert when your health drops below a certain point and your self-healing button is available to hit? Your healers will appreciate it.

5) HOT/DOT timing.

6) Proc alerts. Combustion, shadow word: death, devouring plague, all that sort of thing.

And if that's not enough, many excellent aura packages can be found on the web. Even if you don't use all of them, they can give you some ideas. I generally start out with a premade package, then tinker with it and make it my own.

Anyway, this is what I've been up to...

1) Race-changed my shaman from goblin to panda. I never liked her as a goblin, and look, her hair streaks match her eyes! I'm hoping she'll be more appealing to me to play now, since I like shaman, I just don't like being short.

2) Rolled a belf monk and a panda mage, and tried some pet battles. I love the monk, but low-level mage is PAINFUL. Frostfire bolt has an almost 3 sec casting time, it's really slow and boring. Needless to say, the mage will be going away. 

3) Leveled Lyl. She's almost done with Jade Forest (a couple of orchard quests and the drag food monastery quest to go for the loremaster achieve in the zone). I did get bored with the zone after a while, but I do have to admit that some of the story lines were great. After one, I wanted to renounce both Horde and Alliance and go be an honorary panda instead.

 4) Got a ridiculously stupid hat. Good stats though.

 5) Took a huge amount of screencaps. Gotta hand it to Blizz, the Jade Forest is gorgeous. I'll be uploading my screencaps (unfiltered) via picasa, and I'll post a link (bear in mind that unfiltered means every screencap including the automated ones)

 6) Killed an elite with guildie help (and that's where the stupid hat came from)

7) Started working on both the Tillers and getting cooking maxed.

8) Ran brewery. Had no idea what was going on.

9) Maxed mining. JCing is pretty close, but leveling only via research is rather slow.
 And generally ran around, fished a lot, and had relaxed fun. I've gotten bitten by the bug again, so I'm hoping to get Lyl max level and ready to raid by the end of the month.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Um, still here (just dealing with stuffs)

Sorry guys. I know I haven't written in a while. What can I say, severe clinical depression is a bitch. Combine depression with hypothyroidism and anemia and you kinda have the perfect storm of can't cope.

I haven't been really playing either, mostly just knitting and watching hulu and netflix. The problem with a MMO is that (while I love my guildies and friends) I need to be social to play, and when I don't even have the energy to shower, socialization is kinda right out.

I have played a bit, Lyl's now 86, I ran into processor overheating problems in Mists areas (luckily solved via a fan/cooling pad), and I have enjoyed what I've done thus far. My guildies are raiding, and I have been told the content is difficult/good rather than difficult/F YOU RAGNAROS. (yup, still holding a grudge about that fight).

So far, I've been spending way too much time taking screenshots and gathering every yellow dot. It's fun and low-stress and exactly what I need (when I can face the social). Hope you guys are having fun in Pandaria too, and I swear, I will post again when I actually have something to say.

Monday, August 20, 2012

the Second Part of the Cat Post-Mortem and post 325!

In preparing this post mortem, I did a lot of reading. I read through my entire archives, and wandered through others blogs as well, trying to remember exactly what I thought and felt going into Cat. Honestly, I think where I was coming into Cat and Wraith, and where I am now going into Mists has a great deal to do with how I felt about them. Also, since this is my 325th blog post (yay me!), I figured I could wander down memory lane for a bit. So, yeah, long post ahead.

I started playing late in BC (August/Sept '08? '08, seriously, I've been playing this game that long?!?). When Wraith hit my main (Garetia, my nelf hunter) was in her 50s. I had just started blogging in December. I remember the undead invasions in SW (my baby pally actually got to help kill undead which I greatly enjoyed) and I remember watching the harbor thing and thinking it was the coolest thing ever and I couldn't wait to get to actually participate in stuff like that. Everything was still very shiny and new. I was Alliance because that's where my friends were, and a hunter because she died less than the mage (once I got to level 10).  This is the first ever blog post.

I hit 80 on the hunter on April 17th of 2009, and promptly started running dungeons to gear up to raid Naxx. I continued attempting to level alts (and failing mostly), and wrote my first ever guide (MM without replenishment in raids). I raided Naxx and chunks of Ulduar as a MM hunter, and managed to get 3 alt toons to 60 via dual-boxing and RAF (and if you're interested, I think my dualboxing guide is still fairly accurate and that picture-in-picture thing rocks). Sometime that summer/fall, my guild's raiding fell apart and I started thinking about switching toons (and having greater flexibility). This is where Lyllea comes into the picture. She was originally the alt I chose to level because she was on the second account and I could use Garetia to drag her through stuff and also because I loved Tam from Righteous Orbs (sadly no longer around) and kinda wanted to be like him. I leveled as disc with the occasional foray into BGs, and smote all the things. I learned that shadow was WAY harder than marks, hit 80, ran a ton of dungeons, got geared, and then thrown into the deep end of raiding...
"Lyllea, with a gearscore of 1898 (which puts her in the healing Naxx 25 and Eye 10 category) healed Ulduar 25! Okay, so it was just XT, I basically shielded the crap out of everyone, and I ran out of mana 3/4 of the way through, but I RAID HEALED! And I topped the charts on absorbs. I was shaking the entire time, and getting thrown into the deep end is probably not the best way to start my healing career in raiding, but I DID IT!" This was a week after she hit 80.
I found a raiding alliance and started raiding with them near the beginning of ICC, and continued with them for a bit. But sadly their raid times were not really working for me and so I hit wowladies on LJ (my go-to for questions besides twitter). I app'd and was accepted to my first raiding guild and we were working on heroic Sindy 10 when Cat hit. I also had managed to get two more toons (druid and pally) to 80.

I remember vividly being so so excited for Cat. I started leveling a new toon (a rogue who's still leveling) to see the new questlines. I played in the beta, planned things out with my guild, and was just really happy that this time I got to be part of all the shiny new things! (Here's a link to the first few Cat posts if you're interested) Sadly, by the end of the month I was not in a happy place healing-wise, and I've still not completely shaken what the beginning of Cat did to my healing confidence (I still don't want to heal 5 mans unless they're full of guildies).

Over the course of Cataclysm I've gotten 7 toons to 85, healed every boss in every raid (though I've yet to actually down Rag or most of tier 11 heroic), and well, the bloom's off the rose (so to speak). I've healed a raid on 3 different toons in 4 different specs (holy, disc, resto druid, and resto shaman), I've tried my hand at tanking (feral druid, blood DK, and low level warrior), gotten the loremaster achieve for all the new Cat zones (except possibly Uldum because I hated the Harrison Jones thing), and have dps'd as melee, ranged, caster, and heals (go go smite spec!).

Would I be as disenchanted with Wraith if I'd managed to get all that done during it? I don't know. I think the fact that I've leveled 7 toons through Wraith Alliance content (with an 8th slowly wandering up and a Horde lock only 8 levels from starting) and am still excited to do the Horde side says something. I have a toon who could be questing her heart out Horde-side in Cat content, and I have no desire whatsoever to do so (go go profession and dungeon leveling!).

I think the best way to explain what I feel the difference is between Wraith and Cat is by analogy. Cataclysm is like the Lord of the Rings movies. Epic, sweeping storylines, great set pieces, but gets old if you see it over and over and over and over again. Wraith, Wraith's a bit more like Baldur's Gate or Mass Effect. You have a basic plotline, but you can go wander over here or there for a bit, do things in different orders, and try new things. It's not quite as epic as LotR, but there's a lot more replay-ability there.

I also feel like Cataclysm was missing a cohesiveness that both Wraith and BC had. Sure, Arthas showed up a lot in Wraith, but it did certainly help emphasize the overarching plot of the expansion. BC and Wraith also had the distinct advantage of geographic cohesiveness. Cataclysm's zones were stunning, but also very scattered. Also, the lack of a new center didn't help. SW and Org have never really felt to me like Dalaran did, a home and center of the expansion. Heck, most of my toons still have their hearths in Dal, simply because it's more convenient. It's a pain in the neck to get to Northrend via boat or zeppelin compared to getting to Org or SW from Dal.

And then, we have the lack of end-game content compared to Wraith. 5 levels vs 10, 5 zones vs 8 (not counting WG or Crystalsong), 6 raids vs 10 raids, 27 raid bosses vs 51 (ignoring WG/TB raids).  Yes, WoW probably shouldn't be as top-heavy as it is, and yes, the vanilla world badly needed the revamp. But to a vocal (and dedicated) section of the playerbase, Cat was a bit over half the content of Wraith for the same price and close to the same timespan.

I don't think Cataclysm was a failure. I loved a lot of the new content (the first time). I enjoyed the raids (even if I still don't quite understand the overarching plot from questing to tier 11 to Firelands to Dragon Soul). The scenery of some of the new zones (Vash'jir anyone) is incredible. I think what happened is that we were all expecting the next Wraith and instead we got a new and improved vanilla WoW. That's not a bad thing (okay, you could argue that the forced linearity was and certainly the worgen questline not having a proper ending was), but it wasn't what I wanted, and I suspect it wasn't what most of the old-timers wanted or were planning for.

I do think there's hope. I have not played this beta, so I'm going in mostly blind, but from what I've read, Blizz has learned from Cataclysm, and is trying to do better in Mists.  I'm not expecting Mists to be as awesome as I thought Wraith was, because part of that was "New and shiny and I don't know everything so I can learn stuff". I'll be happy if I get to my 3rd or 4th alt and still feel like there's new stuff to see, that leveling isn't a chore to get to 90 so then the toon can sit there.  And even if I don't feel that "squee, I hit 68, I can go see all the new stuff now!" I did during Wraith, I'll be happy if I get that same sense of "Awesome!" that I did zoning into Vash or Deepholm for the first time.

But Blizz, if you pull that crap with relearning how to heal while making mana count again while being unable to heal through bad again with all wipes being the healer's fault, you and I are through.  Seriously. That was beyond stupid.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The WoW cinematics review through the eyes of a non-gamer

I know how I feel about the Mists trailer (HUMAN MALE DEFORMED! GOOSEBUMPS, GAH DEFORMED!), but I am hardly an unbiased observer. Thus, I have enlisted the help of a household member who knows nothing about WoW, MMOs, or computer gaming in general to give me her opinions. I'm showing her the original cinematic, and all the expansion ones in order straight off Blizz's official channel, with all videos at the same resolution and on the same screen. Since the videos have two purposes: 1)get the current and former playbase psyched for the new stuff and 2) make new people come try the game, I thought the opinion of one of these possible "new" players would be useful.

The household member has been told nothing other than "will you watch these videos with me and tell me what you think of them after. Also, any questions you have I will explain after you see them all."

First off, the original WoW Cinematic....(or rather the version that would actually play without fault for me, this one)
Pretty visuals, liked the music. Looks like something from Avatar (nelf female). Undead is gross-looking, Tauren is a wolf-man. Interesting. Incredible imagination

All other videos are from this playlist WoW cinematics
BC: More grim. Belf female is pretty.

Wraith: least accessible without prior knowledge. Cold-looking, who's this guy, the lord of this land? Still great animation. Had to explain who Arthas was (she thought the person talking was him too) and why he was breaking the ice.

Cataclysm: epic-looking, obviously destruction on an epic scale. No explanation necessary. Looks like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Mists: Human is heroic-looking, orc is evil-looking. Very pretty, looks like China. Made sense (sort of) without prior knowledge. Was a bit confused about the panda though.

Random comment afterwards: why weren't there females in the last 3?

So, to an outside observer, Wraith is the least accessible, and could therefore be considered the worst. And yes, these are pretty much fragmented notes.

And what do I think? I feel Blizzard missed an opportunity to show off their lack of sexism by not using the female panda to kick arse and take names, but I do understand why they did so. Sadly, I think their marketing department hasn't yet cottoned to the revolutionary idea that perhaps their primary market doesn't need to be the male 15-25 one, and that perhaps, just perhaps, this market might still play even if a women's shown kicking male arse. I like the atmosphere of the trailer, and I thought the mists being an important visual element was a very nice touch. I know many have commented on the lack of an enemy, but I would argue (shamelessly swiped from a wow insider article) that the Alliance and Horde are the real enemies here, unable to put aside their enmity even at the highest possible cost. Also, again, human male model is NOT YOUR FRIEND, BLIZZ! It may have been a callback to Orcs vs Humans, but while the orc model isn't so bad (because well, an alien race could look like that), the human one just looks deformed and wrong. Men are not naturally triangle-shaped.

Would I make any changes? Yup. Sub in female panda model for the male, replace the male human with a male from a non-human race (like dwarf maybe) or alter the human model so he's less Mr Universe and more strong athlete build. I don't feel the lack of a enemy hurts the trailer, in fact it seems more like a callback to the original trailer (and to a lesser extent the BC one), where the overarching enemy is not a huge focus. I actually like the trailers being more about how awesome the players are instead of "Look at the horrible big bad". I don't feel the lack of a female model is a deliberate "screw you" to women on Blizz's part, more that it's just another part of the institutionalized sexism still rampant in the gaming industry. I suspect using male models is just their default and it didn't occur to them to change it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cataclysm Post-Mortem part 1 (the screencap version)

So, we have a release date for Mists. Finally. I am working on a comprehensive Cat thing, but in the meantime I give you screencaps that pretty much sum things up....
Cat, fun the first time, ridiculously hysterical on occasion. (Yes, this is heroic Porkchop with Koh refusing to die and our dps kiting him around)

And this is Cat the third time you do it. Boring and long and you want it to die, DAMN IT! (and yes, I killed a spirit beast just for that screencap). No options, not a lot of choice, do stuff in the order Blizz wants you to do it, and like it.

And this is Wraith (or an excuse to show off my shiny new blue drake). Go do stuff in any order, level in your choice of at least two zones per leveling range, and prettier mounts.

Oh, and this entire thing was inspired by The Grumpy Elf so go read his thing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hiatus....(and a bit of armchair quarterbacking)

So, as you may all have guessed, I'm currently on a bit of a blogging hiatus. I'm still in a WoW been there done that funk, and am basically on a mmo break for the moment. I promise to pick back up once Mists is closer, and will be tweeting when I restart (and I always announce blog posts on Twitter as well, so follow @MelfinatheBlue for blog stuff, and randomness).

I have been logging into lotro every so often, mostly to get the stuff out of my mail if I win a lotto, which is an awesome thing, by the way. It's fun, prompts me to play for a bit, and costs them nothing. For example, in the latest lottos...

Lottery of the Free Peoples Ended 07/06/2012 12:00PM EDT
Syrana Lvl 21 Warden, Elendilmir
Welcome Wagon Lottery Ended 07/06/2012 12:00PM EDT
Lalgileth Lvl 11 Lore-master, Gladden
Lottery of the Free...stuff Ended 07/04/2012 10:53PM EDT
Mirelle Lvl 12 Burglar, Gladden
Caithdein Lvl 23 Captain, Gladden
Welcome Wagon Lottery Ended 07/01/2012 12:00PM EDT
Lyllea Lvl 14 Guardian, Elendilmir
Acarya Lvl 13 Rune-keeper, Gladden
Lalgileth Lvl 11 Lore-master, Gladden

The free stuff lotto was fireworks (I think), and the others give you a bit of cash and food and at least one good item for the character's level. Plus they do special holiday ones, and have been doing mount ones as well. Great idea, imho.

I'm still raiding in WoW, and my guild is recruiting, but that's all I'm doing in game. I can't help but contrast this with the end of Wraith, where I was not so bored so quickly. I think part of the problem is Looking For Raid making all of Dragon Soul so easy to get through, which is good and bad. Good for content accessability, bad for keeping players interested over multiple months. Honestly, if I were Blizz, I'd be frantically pushing Mists out to keep from losing more players.

Oh, and while we're on this how I could do better thing, I would ALWAYS release multiple raids for the last patch of an expansion. This boredom problem's hit for the end of two expansions now, and having more than one raid to play in would help some. I'd kill for another tier 11, with 3 raids and 15ish battles, rather than our current 1 raid and 8 battles. Heck, even ICC's wings were better than this.

And in closing, I HATE DS trash.  I HATE THE STUPID OOZES AND TENTACLES AND PURPLE DRAGONS WITH A FIERY PASSION.  They're boring and heal-intensive. At least ICC trash was fun.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

summer doldrums=posting issues

Still here, I guess. I'm kinda in the summer doldrums, between wow's been there done that, my serotonin levels issue, and stuffs. I have been playing lotro on and off. I did just enough of the spring festival to get 4 more maps for the cartographer achieve for Nathyrra, and have decided on a "by end of summer" goal. I want to get all my toons (that's 9 thanks to the character slot sale and my desire to have one of each class) to 20, so I can try skirmishes on all of them. I've got 3 past there already (hunter, minstrel, and captain). I have found it rather interesting how variant skirmishes can be, based on your class and companion. Nathyrra (hunter) dies so much it's not even fun, which gives me another reason to level her via quests (beyond the needing traits). The minstrel may not die much, but I can't be in the dps stance and keep my henchman alive, and I need the henchman. That makes it slow and kinda boring. Dps a bit, heal all the things, rinse, repeat. The captain's probably the most fun. Between her herald (humanoid pet) and the henchwoman healer, all the things die quickly and require much less micromanagement. So I go into skirms on the minstrel to practice healing, and on the captain for fun. Here's a screencap of the minstrel and henchman during a skirm (Trouble in Tuckborough) You can see why I have to heal him a lot, can't you?

And here's some more screencaps, because I can, and also because I don't really have much else to say right now.
Here we see the warden looking over the midgewater marshes. Not pretty, but a well-done landscape, imho.

Here's another view, from the road to the Lonelands. And yup, that's a different toon. That's either my loremaster or runekeeper (I get the two confused), and she got the Sinister title over the holiday because I thought it was a cool title.

 And here's city whose name I can't remember, in Ered Luin. It's the dwarf city in the middle of the map. Gondo something or other.

As far as wow goes, I know there's all sorts of cool stuff coming out of beta. I'm ignoring it so that all the new cool stuff is new and cool when the expansion actually comes out. I am planning to keep Lyllea as my main, and at some point soonish I know my guild will be doing some trial runs of various beta instances so we can get some handle on class changes. What little I've heard, mostly from matticus, indicates that I'll be happy with my new disc stuff.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Actual sort of content! (just not about WoW)

WoW doldrums continue. In fact, I've been in far more of a reading mood than anything else lately, but this is not "the Bibliophile Noob". So, mmo content....

Lotro's doing their spring festival, just in time for summer! It broke 90F here, it's summer, darn it. Anyway, what I've done of it was fairly entertaining, there seems to be much more to do than there was during the Anniversary festival, but that also makes it much more time-consuming. Since I also want to level, this is a bit of a problem. I think I've spent 3-4 hours on it, and I've yet to do anything related to the maze or the horsefields. So, tons of content, yay, loads of travel not as much yay, but between a personal house in the elven neighborhood, a guild house (for most of my toons) in the Shire neighborhood, and hearths/milestones set to Bree, it could be worse. Plus my hunter can just port.

I did have an interesting new experience. My kinship (guild) did an official dungeon run of the Maze in the Great Barrows. Sadly, I have no screencaps of it. It was a very long slog (especially since our minstrel healer bailed on us after the second wipe without a word), and there was a lot of wiping, and we ended up having to reset the level (dungeons in lotro can be set to various levels). We'd started at 35, with a lvl 29 melee dps, me as ranged dps at 32, minstrel at 36ish I think, another melee dps at 37, and our fearless leader's in the 40s or 50s.  We ended up pulling in another captain (our fearless leader's one) in the 50s, but just couldn't down the end bosses without healing. Reset to lvl 25ish and the only one who died was me (I don't have an aggro dump yet, and let's face it, I'm really used to having one in groups).  I am trying to level my minstrel now, so we don't have that problem again, but well, slow. I'm thinking skirmishes, and lots of them. It'll let me practice minstrel healing and the mercenary/pet warrior can do more damage than me.

Also, I leveled farming.

And there was house-buying. I already owned a small house, but I traded up. The only problem I have with lotro's housing (other than one house per server) is that they only create new neighborhoods when the old ones are full. Since there's 3 types of housing (small, deluxe, and guild) and various placements in the neighborhood are often considered more desirable, I couldn't get (any of the 5) addresses I wanted in any Elven neighborhood. But I did find a compromise location, and see, it's still pretty... (the windmill on the left is my addition)

And last, but not least, here's something I discovered and found amusing while leveling farming...
Notice that green vegetable next to the Cauliflower Field entry? Isn't that broccoli? Oh, and I maxed out Expert, got Artisan past the red bar stage, and started the next level (Master?).

Friday, May 18, 2012

And now we return you to WoW

Which I have been playing, I swear. My guild's jumped back into raiding DS with plans to attempt some heroic modes, with a second raid night dedicated to LFR and alts. I should um, actually get a Horde alt to max level then, because all Lyl needs from LFR at this point is a ring (which I'll likely just buy with Valor) and DPS trinkets+ some shadow gear.

I did learn that either LFR has gotten worse, my computer's gotten grumpier, or that I need to weed out addons, because the entire thing was like a slideshow, even with my video options set to low. I'd go from 80 fps to 1-2 during fights, which means that I just spam Prayer of Healing instead of actually healing intelligently.

I also got a new trinket off Deathwing, Heart of Unliving. +286 int, plus what ends up being 780 Spirit with the "Your healing spells grant 78 Spirit for the next 10 sec, stacking up to 10 times." So far uptime has been pretty close to 100%, which makes up for losing the extra intellect on my RF Windward Heart (+406 int plus random heal chance which I never see).

Oooh, and I have fail stories! My fail, mostly. First, I organized and cleaned out my bags a week or so ago. This went well, except for selling my shadow robe. Luckily LFR was kind and I got a robe token.
Second, I completely and totally forgot that I'd won a helm the week before. Seriously, I'd even gemmed and enchanted it, then forgot about it. I've been rocking the wrong helm for at least a week ;).

Third, an LFR fail. We had two tanks, one of which was my raid leader. The other got pissy that my RL was calling things out (which oozes to kill, that sort of thing) and pulled Warmaster Blackhorn and dropped.  So, Anith of Smolderthorn, you've been reported for griefing. You don't like my RL, fine. I don't care if he was being a micro-managing asshat twit (which he wasn't at all, and I wouldn't raid with someone who was), you don't screw over an entire raid because you don't like one person.
That's been my week in WoW. I would say I'll be playing more, but between Diablo 3, LotRO, and my new "get out in social situations at least once a week" thing, I don't know how much time I'll have.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

D3, my tweets and my measured responses to them

Just to start with, I want to be very clear. Diablo 3 is a very entertaining and polished game. I've finished Act 1 with a male wizard, and am currently trying other classes before getting back to him. That said, I wish to share my tweets about the game, and then dissect them. Also there's a spoiler for the end of Act 1 at the end, in case you're spoiler-adverse.
In reverse chronological order (and 2 retweeted)....

Tried another class. Barbarian with overpowered axe is ridiculous fun. It's like playing baseball with the undead, with bodies flying!
@Vrykerion Obviously that's the problem! Blizz is trying to power hamster servers with guinea pigs! 
#fakeDiablo3errors: Error 3.14159... The pi may not be a lie, but the servers certainly are. #fakeDiablo3errors: Error (-1)^(1/2). Attempting to access the servers is irrational
strats, not stats. I need more flu meds or less fever, or both.
Error WowDS: You have a raid tonight, stop trying to play D3 and go review stats or something

D3 is a great flu game, or would be if I could get in. I'm going to curl up in bed, watch spoiler warning, and wait till 4:30
Wiz at 11, just reached the bit about the temple and the water and the meteor weapon part 2. Now rest for a while.
Wiz to level 5, not dead yet. Obviously I'm doing something wrong ;)
‏RT from @Vrykerion Blizz, let these be a lesson to you. Stop making sequels to popular franchises! #Diablo3
Yay finally in and playing my new male wiz. Just like I remembered from d2. Having fun, not sure it was worth the frustration though
very glad I didn't give Blizz money for this game now (annual pass)
so, I've now spent 3 times as long trying to get in and play d3 as I did on Cat launch night. 60 min vs 20 min

by the by, think anyone can get into wow right now? Just curious, since connecting to bnet is an issue...
I'd have no problem with this with a new MMO. But a)D3 is not an MMO, and b) Blizz runs the biggest MMO. Epic fail, seriously epic fail.
okay, only other program using the net is chrome with twitter. So, bye twitter for a bit, I leave you in hopes D3 will let me make a toon
You know, I wouldn't be so annoyed with this D3 stuff if it was an actual MMO, instead of a new way to do DRM
okay, the more I stare at the Male wizard face while trying to create him, the more he reminds me of my chemistry lab partner from HS.
and now waiting for Retrieving Hero List... shouldn't take so long since I don't have any yet. Grumble, stupid internet required, grumble
RT from @Shadesogrey Hahahaha, error 37 SAAAADNESS IS ME

Okay, I'm still annoyed about the internet required thing. I do understand that I may have a different perception of the game (based on how I played D2), and that Blizz does see it as a multiplayer game. I think the launch was not Blizz's finest moment, and my tweets reflect that. And yes, the male wizard looks EXACTLY like my AP chemisty lab partner. I applaud the character models, and except for the high heels on the demon hunter female, I think they all look great and realistic. I especially love the barbarian female, and seriously, barbarian with overpowered weapon is insane. Plus, realistic physics models on the bodies. I hit with axe, they go flying off. SO MUCH FUN! The end of Act 1 (final dungeon crawl) reminded me so much of the end of Act 1 in D2 that it wasn't even funny, but it's still darn awesome. I really want to replay D2 now, and I will forever miss "Stay awhile, and listen" man. So far, great game, worth the internet frustration. Not likely to replace wow and lotro, but fun. Pure fun, with loads of shinies.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My top 10 most played games

I know, I know, everyone's excited about D3, the Black Market AH in Mists, and the panda dances. Well, the servers don't come up for 7 hours, and I have Renn Faire flu anyway, so I'm going to talk about something else.

My Top 10 Most Played Games (in terms of enjoyability multiplied by /played)
1) World of Warcraft. Need I say more?
2) Lord of the Rings Online (still playing and enjoying)
3) Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (I played to heck and back, modded the crap out of it, then played it some more)
4)Baldur's Gate 2 (the old Black Isle PC game. God, I loved loved loved this game)
5) Neverwinter Nights (and all the expansions and the expandability of this game is near mind-blowing)
6)Baldur's Gate
7) Icewind Dale
8) Icewind Dale 2
9) Fallout 3
10) Diablo 2

Now, notice that most of the games up there can be moded or altered/expanded? That's part of why I love/loved them so much and kept coming back to them. So, I figured I'd give you a list of mods I'd want if I were replaying them (from what I can remember)

Oblivion: the easiest, since I'm reinstalling it now, and finding the mods I loved. All mods can be found at, and signing up for an account there is probably a good idea if you want to play with modded Oblivion, Fallout 3, or Skyrim, since the same account works for all sites on the nexusnetwork. Also, I used as a starting point this post from TwentySidedTale to remind me of stuff.
1)the unofficial patch (also get the Shivering Isles and Unofficial Official Mods patch if you have those)
2)BT mod (cause the original interface annoys me)
3)Oblivion Mod Manager
 Anything beyond this is optional, but you might want to look at Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Many people weren't thrilled with Oblivion's autoleveling enemies, and this changes that. Also, mods to add more character optimization options and make stuff prettier is always nice. And last, but not least, FCOM is also one I remember playing with. Right now, I'm going to start with the 3 I listed, and see if I want to add more later.

Baldur's Gate 2: Okay, to be completely honest, I haven't played this in a long time (mostly because my discs are damaged). But here's what I remember modding...
I added classes, more character portraits, gave myself the option to skip the first dungeon, and added companions. All the mods I had came from Sorcerer's net, which still exists (wow, considering I remember downloading stuff on dialup from them over the summer while I was in college, that's a long-lived site)

Neverwinter Nights: okay, I added classes, races, feats, and new campaigns. I don't remember specific ones now, and sadly my installation and saved games went poof when my old laptop failed.

BG1 and the two Icewind Dales: not as much modding. Mostly I remember adding a class or two, and using cheat codes to create a swarm of rabid chickens. Sorcerer's Net would again be my source.

Fallout 3: GreenWorld. Makes the wasteland so much prettier. Also, I got more radio stations. I think if I'd gotten more into this game, I would have modded much, much more.

Diablo 2: I didn't even know there were mods for D2 till very recently. So, never modded it.

I tend to start with a vanilla playing experience, then try mods. It's best to keep in mind that mods can really screw with your game, and their hosted sites can go the way of the dodo, so back stuff up! Anyway, hopefully this gives you a few games to look into if you're not into D3, are bored with WoW, or just want to try a new game. These games are all quite old so you should be able to pick them up cheap (try

Thursday, May 3, 2012

So there's this GW2 thing, and a Diablo 3 thing

GW2 hit beta, and the blogosphere's had a lot to say about it. Mostly I came away with "the overflow system stinks" from reading posts, not from beta access.  I never really got into GW1, so not really horribly enthused about GW2. Mostly I'm curious about what new things it's bringing to the table.

Also, Diablo 3 was betaing (and yes I had access in theory, just like I have access to the panda beta in theory, but I really can't be bothered to be a proper beta tester atm) and I have come away with the knowledge that Blizzard has managed to put a woman in high heels. I do have a friend who wears heels all the time and is comfortable in them, but she has very weird feet. Personally, I own one pair of heels (not high ones) that I can wear and be semi-comfortable in, but the debate's been quite interesting. My personal take (now that I googled the model) is that it's like the lack of bras in WoW, that it shows a distinct lack of knowledge/experience about what is comfortable and what is not physically comfortable for women, or to take a more sinister point of view, a distinct lack of caring in favor of male fanservice. I dislike this sort of thing because it pulls me out of the game. My nelf starts bouncing, and my first thought is OW!  (yes, large breasts bouncing are not comfortable, SHOCK!) And honestly, looking at the picture from the Diablo Wiki, all that armor makes the heels even more ridiculous and stupid. Almost no women are going to be wearing that much weight and wandering around in heels. I don't care about the oversexualization so much as I care about the absolute stupidity and lack of basic knowledge regarding what most human beings find comfortable or not. I've grown numb to the sexualization, but I've yet to manage growing numb to models that make me think OW!!!!

If you're interested in the discussion, Spinksville, as always, has a great roundup of links. Me, I think my demon hunter will be male, and his name (if at all possible) will be Captain Tightpants!
(and in case you were wondering, this is to me a far more appropriate model for a female demon hunter, while still managing to be sexy, and that's Bo from Lost Girl, and she kicks arse)

I am still playing lotro, and did some raiding in WoW (my guild wandered back to DS). More on that when I can be semi-coherant (I have an entire stats article coming once I'm done making sense of them)

(edited to add my response to the actual model as well as to offer an alternative)

Monday, April 23, 2012

LOTRO's 5th Anniversary, plus newbie advice

Lotro's 5th Anniversary event will be ongoing till the 30th. Why is it a great time to try it? Well, the event's brought players back, there's some really fun stuff to do, and you get double XP!

And if you try it and enjoy it, Gamestop is currently doing a sale on LOTRO's Mithral Edition. It's $14.00 to download, and the 2000 turbine points alone generally cost more than that (and there's a mount and quest packs and okay, the mount alone on one toon is generally about 1100 points, so BARGAIN). (much thanks to Casual Stroll to Mordor for the info, and by the way, they have a great podcast. They've been doing a whole series on the monster/creep side of things (that's how pvp works in lotro, it's monsters vs normal toons) which has been greatly informative).

Now here's some pictures to show things off, and then I'm going to attempt a newbie advice thing. Oh and the UI differences are down to me experimenting with different UIs from and moving things around. Lotro might not be quite as moddable as WoW, but you have a huge amount of control over where things go and how big they are, even without a single mod.
This would be one of the repeatable anniversary quests. Launch fireworks just north of Bree while NPCs cheer you on. There's also one in the Shire. This is Nathyrra, my main and she's now level 26.

I dusted off my baby burglar, and you can see the anniversary quest on her quest log. It's a low enough level that any toon that's made it out of the starting area should be able to do it. 

And here we have a modded UI. I forget which one this was, oh and I am in the Barrow Downs, killing undead.


More fireworks, and you can see the invitation quest (another repeatable anniversary quest) in her log. The horse she's riding actually came from one of the envelopes you hunt down as part of the quest, though I believe it's a rare drop.

First off, here's a developer's guide to leveling 1-30. I'm not doing it that way, because I am me, but it's a good place to start.

Class-wise, if you want a glass cannon with ports and decent CC (aka a wow mage) you want a hunter. If you want to sneak, you want a burglar, or an elf. Elves can get a racial trait that allows them to sneak, but burglars do it better. If you want to heal, you want a minstrel (or you can shell out for the Runekeeper who can also heal but costs points to unlock). If you want a pet class, you can choose between the loremaster (squishy magical damage dealers) or captains (melee support with sidekicks). If you're looking for tanking, guardians seem to be the way to go, but wardens (another shell out class) can also tank. Champions are great melee dps.

Profession-wise, I'd say the two easiest ones to start with are...

WOODSMAN: Forester, Farmer, Woodworker. This allows you to collect wood, turn hides into leather (which tailors use to make armor), make wooden weapons and craft tools, and grow crops (which a cook can then turn into tasty, tasty buff food).
EXPLORER: Forester, Tailor, Prospector. Again, you can collect wood and turn hides into leather, make light armor, and mine for ore (which loads of other crafters use)
I recommend these two professions because each has two gathering and one crafting, and the gathering naturally feeds the crafting, plus you get some stuff you can sell on the AH. Lotro forces you to pick one of six bundles of professions, and while the others are fine, it's nice to be able to make your own armor or weapons. 

As far as stuff to get in the store, I'd put off getting more bag space. If you like the game, you can sub for a month, get the 5 bags on all your toons and then...keep the bag space! I'd also keep my eye out for sales and freebies, since the store will offer both from time to time
If I decide to downgrade from VIP to Premium player status, what will happen to my inventory bags?
If you downgrade from VIP to Premium player, you will not lose any of the inventory bags that you had as a VIP. Because you were a VIP, you will not be subject to the inventory bag limit of Premium players.

Now, I have a document on my computer that I use to keep track of my toons (I did the same for WoW and pretty much any mmo I play, just to help me keep stuff straight). Here's one toon from that...

Nathyrra->WOODSMAN Forester, Farmer, Woodworker
Goals->finish North Downs, get other holiday mount, housing, Woodworker guild rep
Stance->Main, Official Woodworker
Crafting Needs:
Prefered Stats:
Weapons/Armor: Light and Medium armor, can use traps made by weaponsmith, Bows, Crossbows, Daggers, one handed axes, one handed clubs, one handed hammers, one handed maces, one handed sword, spears

If you like that, feel free to swipe it, it certainly helps me keep things straight. And last but not least, if you decide to give lotro a try, please use my recruit a friend
It won't work on already made accounts, but it allows me to get points when you buy stuff in the turbine store. And if you log on, I'm hanging out on Gladden, come say hi!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Deeds Vs Achievements

I've been playing LotRO again, mostly because the 5th anniversary event is ongoing (and well worth a look, I shall post details on it later and here's a useful guide). Anyway, it got me thinking about world events in LotRO vs WoW, and then more generally about achievements in WoW vs deeds in LotRO, and what I like and dislike about both.

W achievements have always been more of a max level thing to me, just something else you can do once you hit max level. Yes, there's many you can do while leveling, but most of them do seem far more like max-level things. This is even more true of W holiday events. I can think of one holiday where I could get most to all of the achievements done at a low level (Noblegarden, and even then you want to be at least in your 40s to get to UnGoro and Silithus and survive without help). Yes, there's stuff you can do in most if not all holidays before max level, but you're unlikely to be able to get all the achievements or the titles. And let's face it, most achieves don't give you anything (except possibly bragging rights).

Now, L deeds are pretty different. There's a ton more of them, first off, and they're so much more accessable. To give an example, my hunter is now level 25. Max level is 75 (I think). In the past two days I've managed to get two holiday titles (Master Blaster and another one I can't remember right now), plus here's the current deeds available to me in the zone I'm leveling in (and this does not count any of the class (hunter) or race (Elf) deeds also available)...
EXPLORER DEEDS (go find places)
Strongholds exploration, Eastern Ruins, Villages of the Earthkin, Western Ruins
Of Glories Long Past (intial, advanced and final)->go do quests in this zone (15, 30, 45)
(not the actual name) gain various levels of rep with the Rangers of Esteldin and there's 4 of these
SLAYER DEEDS (kill things and take their stuff)
Goblin-Slayer, Redeemer, Orc Slayer, Worg Slayer, Troll Slayer, and Worm Slayer. Each one of these has two levels and there's three more involving Stoneheight (I haven't been in this zone long, so I have no idea what those are about)

That's just one leveling zone. Now, I don't have to do all of those, and some of them I'll likely just end up getting done while questing, but still, that's a lot of options. Every zone has a list like this, and some have many more (Breelands, I'm looking at you).

Now, part of the reason there's so many deeds is that you use deeds to customize and spec your character. You complete class deeds (use x shot y times) to get nifty abilities, and you combine those to spec your character. You complete other deeds to get bonuses to abilities you can equip, and also probably get a title or two. It can be a bit grindy, but on the flip side, there's always something you can be doing that isn't rushing to max level. And here's a list of all the various kinds of deeds, thanks to lotro wiki.

Holiday-wise, again, the focus does not seem to be as much on max level.  My hunter is 50 levels below end game, and she's gotten two titles, a bunch of deeds, and two mounts thus far (in 3 days), with at least one more mount she can buy (through winning horse races, doing anniversary quests, and getting a 200 silver mount ownership thing) and a couple more mounts (and emotes and I believe some other stuff) available through quest loot RNG.  Granted, one of the holiday quests is level 30 (and the travel required took me through level 38 mobs), but I was still able to do it (and it was awesome)!

I like L's deeds more, but they are a bit overwhelming. I log in, go "um, what am I doing?" and often just log out again. I've found that making a list (I'm going to go get all the holiday quests done, then quest in North Downs for a bit, then go farm) helps me stay focused so I don't get overwhelmed. But then again, I've been known to do the exact same thing in W once I hit 85. I don't level to reach endgame in L, so the XP bar is not the same incentive it is in W.  I like that, and I don't. It means I don't have the same automatic thing to do when I log in, but it also means I can wander around much more, smell the roses, and generally ignore my leveling speed without feeling vaguely guilty about it.

I'd love to see WoW focus a bit more on the leveling game (like LotRO), but I also know that I don't expect that from WoW. WoW is an endgame-focused game and LotRO is not (in my perception, which of course is skewed by not having any toons anywhere near max level).

In conclusion, I HAVE A FIREWORKS HORSE! Now I just need to get an outfit to match...

Friday, April 13, 2012


Things I have done thus far to get the beta to work...

1)Downloaded and started installer. Noticed it'd get stuck in the setup bit. Did the following...
  a)read beta forums extensively
  b)changed internet explorer settings
  c) deleted particular folders
  d) finally had to open task manager, watch agent.exe like a hawk, kill it when its mem usage slipped backwards, then rerun it from the folder it resides in. Watched DOS window like hawk, looking for it to crash. Once it crashed, rerun. Keep going until you luck out and it manages to finish. I followed the instructions in this thread to finally get it to work.
2)Cheered as installer window finally popped up. Cursed when it crashed with an unexpected error  at 11%. Wondered where the heck all my free drive space had gone. Freed up 20+ gigs (the installer needs at least 17) Repeated step d a couple more times, then called it a night. Left things running, woke up to 4 error reporting things, all telling me that agent had crashed. Really starting to hate agent.
3)Restarted in safe mode. Yup, that didn't help either.
4)Realized I've spent over 5 hours and I haven't even managed to get past 11% installation. Decided to say screw it for the moment, type this up, and post it.

And just to contrast with my Cataclysm beta experience, well, the only issue I had with that was the slow download speed.

So if you aren't in the beta yet, be happy. Seriously. If you're desperate for beta info, I'd go check this great blog I just found. Loads of beta analysis, mostly on stuff I like hearing about.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

RP Post of Silly

Greetings, all! Aethilred the Perpetually Sneaky here. You may remember me as Aethelred the Perpetually Unready, but well, after making an uncautious remark to Garrosh about orcs, I though a career change, name change, and learning to vanish would all be good ideas. Still haven't gotten vanish yet, but at least I can see the invisible bears when they sneak up on me now.  Plus leather's so much more stylish than plate. I'm even considering making a druid disguise.

Anyway, I felt I should update you all on some interesting (and rather ridiculous) things I've discovered. One, finding eggs makes you better at stabbing. I have no idea how that works, but it does. Also, my helm hides my incredible hair, which is a crime against elfmanity! And I can make even bunny ears look sexy. And yes, that's my friend Lyllea playing the blushing bride. The dress looks good on her, but the shoulders clash!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

5 addons everyone should have, and 5 more that are awesome

In an effort to continue my occasionally useful posts, here

5 addons every player should have that you may not know about...
(all links go to curse)
1) Align-> puts a grid on your screen for lining everything up just so. I can't find it on curse, but it's rather out of date anyway. As in I'm not sure it's been updated since before Cat.  Here's another one that does the same thing, but updated for 4.2
2) Healers have to die->Okay, you're wondering why I put a PVP addon here. It's so much more than a PVP addon. If a mob's healing, you'll know it. If you're in a group and your healer gets attacked, you'll know it. Sure, it's nice in PVP, but it's just as nice in PVE. It is a tad spammy in raids, but there's probably an option to fix that, I just haven't looked.
3) GTFO->makes noise when you're standing in owie. Brilliant and simple, and useful in all content.
4) Multishot->automatic screencaps of achievements, raids, all sorts of things. Any screencap you see on this blog was probably taken by this addon. You may want to change it from the default options, as they're the reason I had over 4000 screencaps last year.
5) BadBoy: Anti Spam Automatic Reporter-> Because gold farmers are really really annoying.

And 5 more that are awesome (and you may or may not know about)...
6)Gnomish Vendor Shrinker-> instead of those huge boxes, you get a nice compact list. Again, brilliant and simple.
7)OmniCC ->because having the cooldown countdown on the buttons just makes so much sense
8)Tidy Plates-> because the default plates aren't that good, and tidy plates shows you your dots, whether you've got threat on a mob or not, and manages to do that while looking pretty.
9)Bimbo-> Marks gear that's missing enchants or gems. Again, simple quality of life addon, and the second Tekkub addon on this list. He's good at making simple quality of life addons.
10)Quartz-> I've been using Quartz so long that I don't even remember what the base casting bar looks like. It's very customizable and shows you your lag, which is a big help in getting as much as you can out of your toon.

The Scroll of Rez is AWESOME and wow, what a week!

I finally decided to use a scroll of rez to reactivate my second account for, well, the free Cat upgrade and the lvl 80 toon.  And that got me playing more than I have in quite a while, with awesome results....

First, we have a before of my new druid...

Then an after the pimp bat hit her. That gear's good enough to get into Cat normals, and she's got more bag space and medium flying (280 speed). I have 85s with less bag space and slower flying. Totally, totally worth it, and if I'd sent the invite from another server besides Shadow Council, I could have also recustomized her and server-moved for free. Only complaints I have are that now I have to level professions from 1 to 525 and that she has no glyphs. They spec'd her but did not glyph her. And those are pretty minor complaints.

Then I had fun with having free character slots again. Yes, that's a gnome priest. I keep trying to level a gnome, maybe this one will work.

A goblin hunter. Because I could. And also, maybe leveling a new hunter will help me with learning focus. Sigh, I still miss mana and learning which bosses I could steal mana from, and working out how to spend as little time as possible in Aspect of the Viper.

A goblin shammy (because I want one, darn it!). She's now level 13 or so, and made it to Org. I really like the casting animations and totems the goblins have. Also, I had shaman heirlooms lying around, might as well use them.

And Aethelred the Perpetually Unready with the invisible bear phobia has been reborn as Aethilred, the Sneaky and Still Unready. You may vaguely remember Aethelred from my World Cup posts. And yes, he does have an invisible bear phobia. He got killed by them in Silverpine frequently pre-Cat.

Then I lucked out, and got into a twitterland raid yesterday. Tons and tons of fun, and look, achieves! I just love this view....

But I still have no idea what happens in the Al fight.  I must study for next week, since I believe we'll be going for heroic.

And earlier in the week I ran around with friends in Silver Dragoons. Sadly Ars has died, so I'm back to SD Alliance-side. Not a big deal since between twitterland raids and Redeemed, I can still scratch the raiding itch. Plus it's fun to run around with people who were there when I started raiding back in Naxx....