Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Alt Holiday

Since all raids, runs and anything that involved any organization has been canceled over the last few weeks due to lack of everyone -- I have not played on Mervyn except to do the daily cooking quest. (Hey Blizz... lets add a little more diversity to these!)

So I have been concentrating on my Alts. (My Alliance Alts... I have a whole article in my head about playing a horde Alt and finding yourself as a n00b all over again -- I'll get to it someday.) Kelvyn, my Shaman is now is level 42... but he is no longer rested, so I'm giving him sometime to rest up and now focusing on my level 20 Druid Vynesa. (See the name pattern?)

I do have to say I love how much quicker you can level the alts... it makes it much more worth my time to spend it on these low level alts that I have never paid much attention to.

As a matter of fact, most of my friends have spent the holidays playing their alts, we were shocked when we saw someone come in on their main!

Kelvyn is currently my highest level alt, as I have never taken the time to level any other characters other than Mervyn, and while I find myself with the intention of making sure I try new quests and new areas that I did not focus on in my previous trip leveling up, I find myself sneaking back to the familiar. Dustwallow Marsh excepted, I keep picking up new quests, only to abandon them when they turn grey, because I have focused on "What I know".

I have another chance to experience new quests with Vynesa, but I fear the same thing will happen. Meanwhile, Sevyn, my level 20 mage has been sitting in The Exodar since days after Burning Crusade came out... he was my first alt and he seems to have been forgotten.

None-the-less, as the holiday fades and we get back to Karazhan, Zul'Aman and Serpentshrine, I still feel that I will co0ntinue to spend time with my alts.. at least now that Kelvyn has a mount it makes the grind a lot less of a chore... now we just have to get Blizz to give every class a 20% speed boost at level 20, that would make things much easier.

Friday, December 21, 2007

At last my arm is complete!

... is what I would have yelled had we A) Gotten the Prince down and/or B) he dropped the bow.

Neither event happened. In all three attempts on the Prince, who usually goes down fairly easily, we had terrible luck with inferno placement and just kept wiping... and since we didn't have a warlock, we had skipped Shade... so we eventually had respawns and not enough interest to re-clear all the way to the Prince.

So my ennui continues - as you can tell since I write this post 5 days after the fact!

In the meantime, I have been spending some time with my Shaman in Dustwallow Marsh and as much as I like the quests, I just can not stand the quick respawn rate on all the MoBs... I mean you kill your way to the objective and while you are sitting down and getting your mana back the mobs respawn behind you and jump you... and you've already killed them once! So frickin' annoying.

Well I've hit level 38 with him and there doesn't seem to be much left in that area so I will be moving on... maybe to Stranglethorn.

In the meantime, have a happy holiday... maybe a nice new year and I hope to have many, many more posts in the coming year.

(Don't get the reference in the title? Go see "Sweeney Todd")

Friday, December 14, 2007

I miss the loot!

It's been months and many runs and there has not been a hunter drop of anything I have needed in a long time. If not for the belt I bought from PVPing, I would have no new gear to speak of.

I am getting up there in Badges of Justice so I may get the Shifting Camouflage Pants in a month or two!

It seems like a long time ago when Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix dropped for my group (and I wasn't there) and there have certainly been a bunch of Prince deaths since, but has he dropped that bow again? Sure, the one other time I wasn't there -- a rogue got it.

I have not gotten any real loot in so long I forgot how it feels to put on that new piece of armor, flex and see how much your DPS goes up.

I think maybe that is tempering my excitement for the game and my ennui about keeping up with this site. I would really like to be writing 4-7 entries a week, and now that work is not quite so busy I certainly have time for it, but I just don't have the motivation. So on Sunday, everyone say a little prayer to Elune for getting me the Bow and if it drops, I promise to write 5 entries of some sort next week.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Without internet, do we exist?

Arggghhh! for the last week I have had severely limited service to the internet as my throughput of cable seems to have been throttled back to nothing!

Generally in the afternoon, we have some TV on the cable boxes and some connection to the internet, but not really enough to play WoW. By 8PM, the cable boxes are useless messes of pixelation and the cable modem is a doorstop.

Comcast comes today to hopefully fix the problem, but I don't have high hopes... I think they are going to tell me that the cable has to be re-run from the hub... which means under three driveways and the last time that happened it took three months to complete.

Verizon did lay fiber optic in front of my house, so if it really becomes a problem, I can go that route.

But what about poor Mervyn (and Kelvyn my level 34 Shaman who is exploring Dustwallow Marsh) do they still exist if I have no connection to them?

I suppose as long as no one logs in as me and types "DELETE" they are probably somewhere in the nether.

It's just I miss them -- hopefully I'll be back soon

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DRAMA

First I must apologize: I've had a general malaise hanging over me and just haven't felt like writing. This simple post has taken me over three days to complete. Maybe I'm coming down with some kind of holiday bug or WoW ennui? In any case, I appreciate you coming here and taking the time to read my works, even if you're all lurkers and never comment. On to the Post.

Every since my guild decided to really focus on end-game progression there has been problems and grumbling within the guild. We've had a smattering of /gquits and a lot of screaming in private channels on vent.

In part it is these 25-man teams that just seems to be made to exclude people, in part it is the fact that no one seems to be able to agree on raiding nights, I'm sure there are other reasons, but it seems like everyone was on edge for quite awhile. And then something happened; it was the kind of thing that, depending upon the reaction, could pull the guild apart or make it more cohesive. Luckily, the latter came about and, at least for a little while, end-game raiding complaining quieted down.

What happened? you ask. Well, I'll tell ya.

My Guild does not use the DKP system, we use the Suicide Kings, which is basically a list. The person on the top of the list has the first shot at the loot, if they take it, they drop to the bottom of the list and everyone else moves up.

This story involves a well respecting member of the guild, funny, good at his role, a favorite of the officers, a class leader and the designated disenchanter of Tokens for his class.

A T4 shoulder token dropped and no one requested it, so this person, who was at the very top of the Suicide Kings list, took the token in order to DE it.

So he turned in the token for gear and then, instead of disenchanting it just sent two void crystals to the Guild Bank AND THEN SHOWED UP THE NEXT NIGHT FOR THE RAID IN HIS NEW T4 SHOULDERS. So in essence he took the gear without suiciding himself down the list.

As punishment, the Guild Leader and officers present made him DE the gear then and there and then suicided him to the bottom of the list and asked him to leave the raid.

Many people in the guild thought this was too lenient as the guild charter says that any "Ninja" type move will be grounds for expulsion from the guild.

Of course, this was just the Officers' first reaction they had not had a chance to debate the issue they continued to have a very somber raid night.

When the incident was revisited and discussed amongst the membership and officers a decision to /gkick was decided, even though the culprit claimed all along that all he wanted to do was just "check out" the shoulders, however, his protest rang silent and his regardless of his motives his actions really rocked the guild.

In the end, he quit before he could be kicked, but in a final goodbye on the forums he never owned up to the fact that he did something wrong... in fact, he claimed he was /gquiting because he felt he had been treated unfairly (by being made to DE the item and then be suicided to the bottom of the list).

This was a likable, funny, person who in leaving the guild in such spectacular fashion, he brought such pain and angst that he actually brought us all together... at least momentarily.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sticking it to Your Allies

Let’s all admit this right here and now... there are more people in our guild, in our party, in our raid on the trade channel, etc that we just want to gank, than there will ever be on the opposite side of the server.

As a hunter we have a wonderful tool called Misdirection, in which we can put aggro onto anyone in our party or raid. I usually like the people I play with, so I only jokingly announce that I am casting misdirection on the healers, but there have been rare instances where I just want to send a whole bunch of MoBs against an annoying mage, warlock, rogue or priest just because I can. So far, I have controlled those urges, but maybe one day I will follow through on that threat.

However, I feel it will be ultimately unsatisfying… why? Because while misdirection is nice, you’re not shoving that knife blade into the toon yourself, and it seems only fair that you should be able to do that.

The other day, in the chat channel, I saw someone write, “Hunters are useless I always kick them out of any party I am in.” I started to write in response, “Misdirection on …” but then I remembered I was on my level 30 shaman and that wouldn’t make sense, plus other hunters said a few things, nothing as threatening as I was going to write, but they defended the class nicely.

On a related note, I was farming Netherdragon Scales up in Netherstorm and it is just strange to be attacking M0Bs that are green. They walk by you; they say “Hey how’s it going? Thanks for defending us down there in Shadowmoon.”
“My pleasure, you gave me a great mount for doing so,” And then you send your pet on them, kill them and skin them for their dragon scales… it seems rather heartless.

Friday, November 16, 2007

ZA, 2.3 QQ, etc.

Man, it's been a hell of a week.

The meeting at work went great... thinks for asking.

Since I had to work late on Tuesday, in my downtime, I grabbed the laptop that is pre-loaded with WoW, updated it with the patch, got on-line made my [Quiver of a Thousand Feathers] put 100 feathers up on the AH (at 40 gold a stack), did the cooking quest and stationed myself at the Light's Hope Chapel and logged.

Got home Tuesday at 8:30PM, plopped myself in front of the computer and set the patch to install, turned and asked my wife and children how their day was. Turned back to the computer when the patch was done, got a few new add-ons, put my headset on, logged in and was ready for Zul A'man.

We had a really good time there too. We downed Nalorakk in two shots (he dropped the [Robes of Heavenly Purpose]) and then we moved on to Akil'zon, and we tried about four times to down him, got him to 24% on one of the attempts. We were happy with our performance. The other guild group didn't make it passed the waves of Amani'shi Warbringer so we were pretty proud of ourselves.

Before bed I farmed the [Pattern: Bag of Many Hides] and checked my auctions (jerks had undercut my feathers). Eventually I lowered the price to 25 gold per stack and they sold no problem, I also sold a ton of Heavy Knothide Leather (they would sell as soon as I listed them) and one of those nice leatherworking bags for 445 gold (that won't happen again, the price has already dropped to 250!) So I made about 1,000 gold in two days, through some nice planning on my part.

Of course, I got some serious and deserved Spouse Aggro in the morning for coming home and ignoring the family.

New Topic: Okay... so the hunter forums are all in an uproar because we lost the following abilities: Double Trapping and Feign Death Drinking. I never double trapped, although things do sometimes walk into my traps unintentionally so I think this change is not a real well thought out one, since our CC is not very target specific, plus it seriously nerfs the Survival tree. The FD Drink thing, I also never used. I would put a Superior Mana Oil on my weapon and use Elixir of Draenic Wisdom, Aspect of the Viper, plus some fel mana pots to make sure I had enough Mana for the long fights. I never liked how the FD drinking took you and your pet out of the fight, so no loss there, but the crying that is going on on the forums, after all our great buffs in 2.3, is personally embarrassing to me.

Finally, I will be away for the next week doing the Family Thanksgiving thing, so I will miss our next two ZA runs... Alas. I will try and post in that time, but if I don't get a chance to, I'll be back in a week.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Patch Day, working alot, Working late, oh my...


Okay, so I have 80 minutes before a big meeting for which I have been preparing for quite awhile, hence the slow down in posts.

I will be working until 8PM tonight get home at 8:30 and go to ZA, assuming everything loads in correctly, at 9PM.

I have two posts already written in my head (one about allies one about guild stuff) but no time to put them down on "paper".

Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How magnanimous am I?

2.3 is almost upon us and I have amassed over 300 light feathers, 100 Heavy Knothide Leathers, a primal nether and 2 primal airs. As soon as 2.3 goes live I will be making myself a [Quiver of a Thousand Feathers] (I'll be able to put a roll over link to that after 2.3 is live). The question is, what will I do with my remaining 200 feathers?

I have offered to friends and guildies, that if they run me through a heroic to get the Primal Nether, I will make them a quiver. (Ammo pouches are out of luck, as I never attained revered with Honor Hold.) I even mentioned that I would trade feather and leather for Primal Shadow and Primal Fire, since I need them for my [Ebon Netherscale Girdle]. I also said I would farm Nether Dragonscales in trade for those primals. But what do I do if Light Feathers start selling for 20 gold per stack? Nether Dragonscales for 100? Am I a nice guy or do I make a quick profit?

Here's what I'm thinking -- early Tuesday morning before the patch I will put up 5 stacks of Light Feathers for sale at the crazy price of 40 gold. If they sell at that price great, if not, I'll have them available for friends.

I guess there is a price at which friendship just can't overcome, especially when those friends have gold of their own. After all its fake money in a pretend game and I'm usually the good guy. Plus if they didn't know to start stocking up on Light Feathers shouldn't I punish them for being a n00b?

Of course when you put it that way, I'll feel really guilty, being a n00b myself... but I'll just throw all my gold onto the bed and roll around in it and then I'll feel better!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Being a n00b is better than being a jerk!

So our Kara team is taking a little break -- we were going to take two weeks off, but it looks like it will be only a week as we will start up Zul'Aman when 2.3 drops on Tuesday.

In the meantime, four of us decided we would spend Tuesday running heroics. That left one spot for pugging and since we had two hunters, a priest, and a feral druid, we really needed a mage. We picked Slave Pens and started looking for a fifth. We found one and summoned him using the summoning stone did a /inspect and see that he was wear all blues and greens. We agreed that he was not quite ready for heroics and asked him to leave. He understood, we apologized, he opened a portal and off he went -- no hurt feelings -- at least not too badly. I'm sorry to say I don't remember his name, because he was cool about it.

I do however remember the name of the mage we picked to replace him and if you're on Hyjal and send me a tell I'll spill the name so you know not to group with this person.

This fire mage shows up and certainly doesn't bring the DPS like I do, on par with our MM hunter though and the sheep are nice. The first sign of trouble comes when our Priest fears a sporebat into another group.

Look, the pet was on the bat, but intimidation was on CD and I couldn't get the pet off of the squishy who was about to die so he cast fear. It's a shame that it happened we tried to stay up, but we wiped. It happens. This mage types, "That was really bad, guys."

Without further incident we got to Mennu the Betrayer and got him down with no significant problems. Our mage's typed response, "That took too long".

About 5 minutes later I pulled aggro on a pat because I backed up a little too much. We wiped again. On our way back to the instance, I noticed our mage disconnected. She never came back.

She just decided she didn't want to be a part of our group anymore and instead of saying to us, "Guys, I don't like the wiping, I'm leaving." She pulled this passive aggressive BS on us and we wound up waiting for 10 minutes to see if she would reconnect and then another 10 while we found a replacement (another Feral Druid, who off-tanked what the mage would have sheeped).

And of course, we rocked the instance and got through it without another wipe.

I just got really irate at this person and their jerky attitude. I would much rather people say about me, "He's a n00b, he backs up into pats (but he does bring the DPS)." Then saying, "He's a jerk, he says disparaging things to his party mates and drops out of instances without comment."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Am I Uberz?

So last week, while I was in Kara, there was a discussion amongst guild officers and class leaders about how to read the WoW Web stats that we were putting up on our guild's forum. I could not attend, as I was in Kara... doing this:

Now, what I want you to note in the above that pets are not combined. I am at the numero uno position at 17.4% and my Ravager Kodos is at number 7 at 7.2%. Combined it looks something like this:

DAMN -- this is a boatload of damage. Blkwidow at the five spot would probably be higher but she, like a good class leader, was in the meeting, as they dissected the WoW Stats, so could not give Kara her full attention.

However, when she returned from her Vent meeting, she told me that they asked "How does Mervyn do so much damage?"

"I really don't know" she told them, "He's doing it right now in Kara and his gear is not as good as ours... must be some beast master thing."

As you can see from below on one of our failed Gruul attempts, I am number 1 baby! As a matter of fact 1,2 & 3 are all hunters! (7 & 11 too, but someone shattered them early in the fight.)

So, I think it's pretty cool that people are wondering how a n00b like me gets to be such a DPS machine /flex!

And I tell them, I play my character and my spec well. I know what I am doing and I study up on things I need to know.

So now that I have presented my bona fides, I think I will spend some more time this week on "How I roll..." posts, so look for them.

In the meantime, since on one else will invite me, if you know of an arena team that wants an uber hunter....

Friday, November 2, 2007

And now for something completely different

Okay:
So this will be a post without a single reference to WoW. Then I will get back on my game and start talking about things. I even have the germination of something I want to write about in my head but for today... something different.
*********
So I was listening to the news the other day and heard that Dennis Kucinich was asked in a presidential debate if it was true that he had seen a UFO. He replied:
"It was more than 25 years ago, I don't want to go into details right now because that is not why I am running for president, but I can affirm that I did see something and it was a UFO. But so have a lot of other Americans."
And at first I guffawed, whether you agree with the man's politics or not, he is not serious contender for the Democratic nomination, and this just added to the weird stories about the man.

And then I thought, 'oh crap, had I been asked the same question, I would also have to say that I saw some things in the sky that I have no way of knowing what or who it could possibly be.'

Here is the story: In the summer of 1992 my mother invited me to join her on a trip to a spa in the Berkshire mountains. My father could not go and she wanted company... so I thought a free trip to the Berkshires, exercise and massages, I suppose I could go.

One night we went out to Tanglewood, which is an outdoor concert bowl and the summertime home of the Boston Pops. We got lawn seats to sit and listen to John Williams play some of his most famous pieces. Since we were on the lawn we could not see the symphony, so the only thing to do was look up at the brilliant cloudless, moonless sky and see the sea of stars. It was absolutely incredible, I could have watched those stars for hours!

I was lying facing North-North-West when I saw four green blobs moving across the sky heading in a Southerly direction. The blobs were about 5 times large than the largest star and glowing green they were moving in almost a "V" formation, but they would sometimes move a little bit to the side and move back. I have created an illustration:

They were a little more glow-y and larger than the ones in the example above and they didn't move straight across the sky like birds or planes. They wobbled in a semi-straight path and at one point one of them jutted out to the side quite a bit, as if it went to take a closer look at something, as illustrated below:

I knew of no flying machine or even bird that could quite move like that. I also knew I wasn't seeing things, because there were lots of people pointing up at the sky at the blobs showing them to their friends. I tapped my mother and showed it to her, she agreed it was mighty weird, but we dropped the conversation and went back to the music as they disappeared over the horizon.

That night I called my girlfriend (now Mrs. EN) and told her about the weird thing I saw, she thought it too was weird and we said our goodnights and I feel asleep.

About two months later I was at Mrs. EN's parents' house and she says to me, "Tell my Dad about what you saw at Tanglewood."
"Huh?" I asked, "What did I see?"
I had no recollection of the blobs. As she explained it all to me, I started to vaguely remember seeing them and then all of the sudden, the full memory of it came back to me, but the memory was so blanked out prior to that re-telling I feel that had I never told Mrs. EN, I never would have thought of it again.

In general when it comes to Aliens, UFOs, ghosts, etc. I consider myself a skeptic, and I still do, but I just can't tell you what those things in the sky were and why I didn't remember them the next day.
Does that make me a weirdo?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The 50th Post!

This was meant to be a sweeping post, congratulating me for finally having some substance to this blog. Except if you look at my last post and even my last few posts -- I'm not sure I have anything of substance to talk about.

Last night, in Kara, we started talking about our various blogs and I mentioned that I was blocked. "Some of my most popular posts were about the sex buffs, maybe I should continue in that vein," I asked. We have a rather fun and loose group and that was met with relative cheer. "Having done Straight and Gay buffs," I asked, "where do I go from there, bestiality?"

To which my raid leader responded, "Oh -- cross race -- I'd love to hear about Tauren-Gnome couplings."

Okay, let that image sit in your head for awhile and then start laughing.

Funny... but not substantive.

I'll work through this block, however it does kinda mess up my celebration of the 50th post.

In the meantime, here is a edited/modified version of the entry I had in mind:

50 posts! Wow, that is just great, I just... well I don't know what to say. There are a few people I have to thank, the ones that helped me get here and all. Well, first off, we must thank Elune, ya know, just because. I, also, owe a big debt to Big Red Kitty, without reading his blog I'm not sure I would have even considered starting one of my own (and I have a feeling that many of my fellow colleagues feel the same way.) I want to thank all my friends who came to this site and gave me very positive feedback and I want to thank all the readers, lurkers and commentators alike.

When I began this blog i said in the very first post:
If you, like me, feel as if there are aspects of this game that you don't get, come here and share -- I'm certain that I will always have n00bish moments but hopefully, I can start learning from them -- maybe one day I will learn not to use Multi-Shot in a Crowd Control situation!
So hopefully I have entertained and informed in these past 49 posts and I will continue to do so... in the meantime, here is a list of some general "Don'ts" that I have learned from my time in WoW.

Don't:
  • vendor stuff that may be useful to another player. (Quick hint: "of the whale" vendor or DE it, "of the bandit" AH that badboy)
  • be an arrogant ass in PUGS
  • be an arrogant ass in Guild
  • be an arrogant ass anywhere -- there are people on the server that can kill you. (It may take ten of them, but they'll get you down.)
  • come to raids without Pots, water and food (the ones that give you buffs)
  • keep epic (or really nice blues) un-enchanted, you are doing yourself and your group a major disservice
  • put up with BS from your friends and guildies. At the very worst, you can always move to another server and make new friends (assuming you are not an arrogant ass)
  • go into an instance ignorant. Before entering anywhere new go to wowwiki or bosskillers and learn a little bit.
  • make the game not fun anymore -- if that happens take a break.
and finally:
  • Don't (on the stairs leading to Moroes in Karazhan) send your pet wildly after party guests, only to return having aggroed the entire ballroom. (Yes I did AGAIN last night -- that would be the fifth time... in my defense though I assisted the tank and he changed targets)

So, fifty posts later I thank you for your interest!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Arggghhhh -- I'm blocked!

I have writers block.

Well at least I am blocked when it comes to talking about what I want to talk about here on this blog and that is: examples from my career as a n00b to use as fables to help me and my readers learn something from my mistakes.

And its not as if there is nothing to write about, flitting in and around the edge of my consciousness are all of these half remembered stupid moves I've made. I know I've thought of them in the past and thought 'that would be a good thing to write about', but invariably I am in my car at the time and I can't write the idea down and then it disappears back to the fringes of my memory.

Things in Kara have not gone exceptionally well, but not worth writing or whining about.

I could talk about the way I went without enchantment for months as a level 60 because I didn't understand how they worked. I could mention the first time I ever saw a need/greed roll and kept getting confused and rolling need. But those are minor issues, certainly not worthy of any kind of entry.

I mean it's Halloween -- I should have some story to scare the bejebus out of you, right?

Well, I'll work through this and figure something out!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blogs are weird

Take a look at the top of this page. Go Ahead, I'll wait.................................. ....................... ........................ ................................ ..................................... ...................... did you see the "Search Blog | Flag Blog | Next Blog»" Thingy?

Go ahead and hit "Next Blog" a few times and see what you get. I'll still be here when you get back. [WARNING: Some sites may not be safe for work.]
Did you see them? There are Thousands and thousands more just like them, blogs discussing people passions, lives, banalities and irregularities.

Outside of WoW there are a few blogs I go to on a regular basis, a few more on an irregular basis but the huge pile of dross that seems to clog just the arteries of blogger.com is astounding!

I can understand if you want to create a blog to put up pictures of your baby/children so that family and friends can keep tabs on whats going on, but when you start trying to get your baby blog listed on Technorati so complete strangers can watch your children grow up... well thats just wrong on many levels.

Then there are the obsessed fan sites.. people who just post hundreds of images/videos of their object of desire -- I'm not sure whether they want the world to know how great their subject is or they want their subject to notice that they have a stalker?

There are also some neat finds, but usually they are within their own community. I found a site for a Batik Artists who talked about her work and technique and linked to other artists. I've also found television writers, who talk about their work. The first real blog I found, many years ago, was Wil Wheaton's, you know Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, I don't read it anymore but when I was reading it, I found it quite entertaining.

It's just that if I I hit the "Next Blog" link 50 times, I will get 15 blogs not in English, 7 blogs trying to sell me something (or with lots of links to p0rn), 10 that are total gibberish, 15 that neither me or anyone I know would find interesting, 2 strange conglomerations of videos and 1 that I will take a minute or two to look at and never bother to look at again. In all the times the I have hit this "next blog" button above, (Which I do when I'm bored or in a particularly masochistic mood) I have never, ever found one that I have ever wanted to go back to.

So... what is my point? What is my point? I don't know I guess I see these other blogs and I think that exactly "What is their point?" and I guess I feel lucky that I am part of a larger on-line community that appreciates that I have something to contribute to our passion.

We few, we happy few, we band of WoW players, we have a community, a community that uses the same medium as our blogs (our computers, our connection to the internet), so it is tangential for us to use blogs as a means to divulge information or share tips and tricks. And therefore I happen to think that my blog, my readers, my community is different from the cacophony of voices in the blogsophere. [Edit: Would you believe when I wrote that above paragraph I had no idea that today was St. Crispin's Day?]

So I guess my point is, I appreciate being able to write and I am glad that there are people who appreciate me.

Oh, and hey on Tuesday in Kara the [Worgen Claw Necklace] dropped for me. A huge upgrade! And I think that was the last thing any of use needed from Attunmen, so I think we will be skipping him from now on.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's the deal with my blog roll?

In general, I have a reciprocal blog roll. Meaning that if you put my link on your blog and I like your blog, I will return the favor. I would love to go out and find additional blogs to put on here, but I just have not found the time. However I have a growing collection of colleague that have found me or vice versa and I am happy to post their links and give you a thought or two about them in hopes that you visit them.
What can you say about BRK? He is the Grand-daddy of all Hunter blogs. I found BRK when I was thinking about switching to Beast Mastery and I was looking for some sample builds. BRK's blog sealed the deal and inspired me to create my own. I also really like how BRK has a great mix of fact, opinion and bluster. BRK was also the first person to ever comment on this blog and that really, really made me feel great. To date BRK has yet to add me to his "Good WoW Blogs" link list (just an oversight I am sure), so he is in danger of dropping off this list, but he did link to me once and drove a bunch of people here. so he still has a long grace period in my blog roll.
Exanimo and I seem to have a very similar blogs and a similar process to blogging. We use our experiences to help and entertain our readers. He sent me my very first email and asked if we could swap links. I checked out his blog and I liked it, plus his story of getting hacked so much mirrored my own that I felt we had a little brotherhood right then and there.
So, being a vain person, I look at my sitemeter, to see it rise and check referring pages. Girl Meets WoW popped up once or twice on that list, but when I went to her sight, I could not find the link -- I searched for the words "n00b" "eternal" nothing came up on the page, so I figured she had a link and got rid of it because I had offended her in someway. I, of course, was a n00b and did not see her ultra cool blog roll that consist entirely of images. I will say the site is not what I would have expected, "gaming insights from the perspective of a 24 year old girl" is how the site is describe, but the work is in depth, informative and detailed enough that it would not matter if a 55 year old Martian wrote it -- it is just good reading!
How can you not like a blog named Gun Lovin' Dwarf Chick? Of course, here's a little secret for you... that gun lovin' chick? She sports a crossbow. The same one I have. She might be gun lovin, but she ain't gun totin'! That quibble aside Breana has created a nice, cozy place for people to enjoy themselves and maybe learn a little somethin' or two.
I have a feeling that Aaren will not be posting for awhile, he is in some deep dark place known as MLB Playoff hell! How the Indians blew a 3-1 game lead is probably playing terrible havoc with his brain. Having gone through the same thing in 1979 with the Orioles and the Pirates, I understand where he is coming from. When he does come out of his funk he will write some interesting stuff for Warlocks and for all of us WoW lovers in general.
This is my friend Brian's blog. (The person who introduced me to Warcraft.) His blog is not strictly WoW related because he talks about his real life work as well. He is an HTML programmer and his blog seems to be filled with, as best I can tell, made up words and gobblety-gook. When I pointed this out to him he said, "Um, hello?! I do work for a living and occasionally want to share a little of what I know about the subject. Seriously, if someone else had made this post it would have saved me about 2 hours of work. =D" But really the man knows and studies his stuff but if you want to just check out the WoW stuff use this link.
Kestrel has a link on his main page to "recommended" Blogs, in which he describes my blog thusly: "I think we were separated at birth. Or something. A NE Hunter who thinks he’s always a step (or two) behind the pack. Fun reading!" Kestrel is a confirmed casual gamer and gives very good advice about how to play the game from that point of view. On his main page he has "5-star" links to the top blogs, I'm happy to be recommended, but wouldn't it be great to be a "5-star" blog!
This was a another sitemeter discovery, following their link to me. Jon (just the way I spell my name!) and Shellbi are documenting their rise as a pair of Blood Elf Hunters through the ranks of levels after taking a 6-month break from WoW. I have yet to see any parenting advice (as the name seems to imply) so we'll keep looking for that as we follow their adventures.
Edit: Jon & Shelbi have moved their website, so please adjust accordingly: www.thebronzekettle.comIf BRK is the Grand-Daddy of all hunter blogs, Mania is our mother. Mania runs Petopia, for which if you are a hunter and you do not visit petopia early and often -- shame on you! (It's like a hunter running around without a ranged weapon.) Her blog is also a fount of information and she is great at keeping up with changes in the wowiverse (not just about pets) and reporting them promptly on her blog. Mania was the second person to post a comment and the first person to link to my blog, so I am also eternally grateful to her.
Much to my chagrin, I haven't spent a whole lot of time on Pelides' site. Mostly because I only recently found it and I have a back-log of posts to read to catch up, but what I have read, I do enjoy.
So if BRK is daddy & Mania is mommy, I would like to introduce you to Aunt Lassira. Very informative and keeps you interested. Without a doubt one of the top hunter blogs out there. Unlike BRK, Lassira is not as focused on Beast Mastery, so you can get a lot more general information from her.
This is my friend John's WoW blog. He just left our guild so I'm gonna be pissy and not say much about his blog!
If you have found this blog and do not know about WoW Insider. Please stop reading now and go there. I go to WoW Insider for news three to four times a day. I get much of my info and news from there -- it is indispensable.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The loot falls... so why am I not excited?

So last night in Karazhan I was a loot whore again!

We had a great night, took down Aran and the Prince and along the way got three epic trash drops.

[Belt of the Tracker] dropped off of trash and I got to get rid of one of my remaining blues, and yet when I equip it, my DPS goes down? Not by much and it's still a big upgrade and the 15MP5 is awesome. So, I suppose I'll keep it on.

Later Aran so conveniently drops [Drape of the Dark Rever] and my friend and fellow hunter Sky says "Merv can have it" because she is still guilty over the fact that back when she subbed for me [Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix] dropped. So I happily took the cape and told her we were now even. Of course, I put it on and once again my ranged attack power goes down, crit goes up, so thats a fair trade too.

Then, of course, the prince dropped [Helm of the Fallen Hero] and Sky will not roll against me for it. I told her the cape is the bow paid in full and she better roll, so she rolled a 23 and I could taste that helm... and I rolled a two! As consolation I did get [Malchazeen] but then I spent 345 gold buying the Primal Air and Large Prismatic Shards I needed for the enchants to my two nice daggers (+40 agility) and cape (+12 agility).

So after four weeks of no upgrades I get two and a back-up weapon, why am I not ecstatic? I guess I'm just a lousy, no good, ungrateful jerk.

I will say that the daggers will come in really nice in PVP after the dead zone is gone and mages try to close in to get out of ranged attack ranged and I can cut them up good with my daggers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What's a Boy to do?

Sometime ago I mentioned that I was selected to join the high end raiding team for my guild. I was honored, humbled and would have been elated except raiding nights were set for Friday and Saturday. The nights I set aside to spend time with my wife and family (as I am already raiding Kara on Tuesdays & Sundays).

So I have not been going on Fridays and going on Saturday when I can. I'm just not sure that is working out. First off, Friday is the day they get Gruul down and get all the loot. Saturday is when we try new stuff. Last night we spent 3 hours on Void Rever and the only thing I had to show for it was a 24 gold repair bill.

My raid leader asked if I was going to be able to make Fridays at all and I told him that was very unlikely and I understand that the team needs consistency (which to date it has not gotten). He certainly understood my situation, but we both knew that if the team can get a more consistent attendance going I will need to take a step back.

And I first thought that it would be terrible to not be a part of this team, but since Zul'Aman will be starting in a few weeks (I hope) and I may start getting the next level of loot from there I'm not sure I will miss getting to those instances (at least not at this stage of my game play.) I will miss playing with all of them... but there are always other times to do fun stuff with my friends!

On a completely unrelated topic:

I hear tell that you will only need to be honored in order to do heroics after 2.3. Now I have all my keys except Honor Hold, and I still think this is a really good idea. I don't think the keys should start at honored, but now that people have played and gotten them there is not so much of a push to do the non-heroic versions of the instances and that leaves players who are not revered out of luck, especially when you can only reach revered by doing non-heroic instances.

This will help n00bs and Alts alike as well as casual players so while it makes it easier to get into a heroic dungeon it does not make it any easier to complete a heroic dungeon... that is still an accomplishment to be proud of.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm too tired to post

Really, its just been an exhausting week. Between work and not being caught up on my sleep this week my head is full of cobwebs. But I felt I should post something before the weekend and I have only had two posts this week.

So here is a post... and some quick comments:

Only got to do the Headless Horseman once yesterday but I got [Ring of Ghoulish Delight], not quite an upgrade, almost a lateral move, but I saved it from the DE pile and its the only thing he has (barely) for Hunters. (The brooms are pretty cool.)

We were entertaining guests Tuesday night (entertaining guest late into the night, part of the reason I am so tired) so I was unable to attend Karazhan, but on Sunday I jumped down to get some more tomes and was going to use my cloak to float off but I screwed that up and wound up with a 30 minute cool down way up in the air. Finally, giving up all hope and not wanting to delay the raid any further, I plunged to my death... but didn't die (came close to it thou) so there is a lucky death I avoided having to confess to on this blog!

Finally, I had a dream last night where I was giving a PowerPoint lecture to 500 students about WoW and how it differs from Second Life. I knew it would be a really cool presentation with embedded movies and lots of cool images. I was really looking forward to it, unfortunately, my alarm went off just as I was walking up to the podium to start the lecture.

Have a great weekend and may all your drops be Epics!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How I Roll -- Macro Edition

I know I like to hear about other people's play styles, especially other Hunters, but really anyone. I like to know what macros they use, what keys are bound, what add-ons, etc. So I am starting a continuing series called "How I Roll" -- and today is the macro addition.

First a caveat: As a n00b it took me a long time to discover the usefulness of macros in-game (I used to use them all the time in Lotus 1-2-3 -- am I dating myself?) but my play and DPS really improved when I started using them, so if you don't use a shot rotation macro (for hunters) or any class appropriate macros, you may not playing up to your full ability.

Okay, I'm gonna talk about my macros and if you get some ideas - great, if not, you've only wasted two minutes!

Shot Rotation Macro:
This is my Shot Rotation Macro.
There are many like it, but this one is MINE.
My Macro is my best friend. It is my life.
I must fire my bow true.
I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me
Sorry got a little side tracked there -- much apologies to the USMC, semper fi boys!

/castsequence reset=2 Auto shot, Arcane Shot, Steady Shot, Auto Shot, Steady Shot, Auto Shot, Steady Shot
/castrandom [target=pettarget, exists] Kill Command


You'll notice there is no multi-shot in this rotation -- that is on purpose so that I do not break CC. I have Multi-shot keybound to no.2 and throw it in when needed, and it usually doesn't mess up my rotation too bad. (To tailor your own Macro to your weapon speed, I found this guide very useful.)

Now -- here is my little secret that I use with my macro. In addition to binding it to the "1" key, I have bound the macro to my scroll wheel on my mouse. I just spin that sucker all day long and that macro keeps going.

I am afraid that one day I will want to zoom in on something that I have targeted and start a pull and wipe my raid/party... but everyone knows I'm a n00b, so when that happens, they'll all make fun of me -- virtually tussle my hair and forgive me.

For misdirection I set my focus as our Main Tank and can knock this one off when ever I feel the need to add a little bit more aggro to the mix (and if no focus exists, my pet gets the aggro):
#show Misdirection
#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [button:2] Distracting Shot; [target=focus, help] Misdirection; [help] Misdirection; [target=pet, exists] Misdirection;

I usually use MD in conjunction with this macro below to max out threat -- just have to watch out for global cool down on the timing, but it leaves me only one button to press.
/castsequence reset=5 Distracting Shot, Arcane Shot, Multi-Shot, Auto-Shot, Steady Shot

I have other macros, but I don't use them as often and I find I change them around a bit as I need them. I'm trying to learn more about macro writing and wowwiki has a nice guide. Even Blizz is getting into the act with more Macro info -- and macro flexibility should be increased with the release of 2.3. Even if you don't want to make them, copy and paste them, there are many sites that warehouse macros (that's where I got the misdirection macro from.)

Hope this helps your game!

Monday, October 15, 2007

We got a Letter!?!??!!!!

Yay! -- I got a letter -- and even though Justin posted his comment as well as sent me an email, it still counts. (And I know others of you have sent me email and I appreciate it, but this one actually asked me a question that I can try to answer.)

So, this email was about my favorite Post to date: What Kind of Buff would you get from Sex?

So Justin writes:
:) Hilarious... and might be implemented lol.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how gay / lesbian sex would work considering they know how to please the same sex easier as they have experience with their own body.

Regards!
So BRK gets letter asking him about mechanics of the game, what shots to use, what trap where, I get asked about sex... I win.

Course, now I have to opine on the Same-Sex Sex Buff (SSSB), which as a heterosexual male, I'm not sure I'm fully qualified to do so, but I am going to try and if any GLBTI MMO friends/readers would like to tell me I am crazy or have a correction, please feel free -- you know I like comments!

Here goes:
First off I am going to take Ratmaggot's suggestion in the comments and say that males need attunement to have sex (females may need a much easier attunement). However, should the attunement be easier if you want to have same-sex sex or more difficult? I'm gonna say from my experience that a man trying to understand women is a little harder than understanding someone of the same sex, so I'm going with an easier attunement to be able to have homosexual sex and, as Justin notes, since they are more comfortable with similar parts, a very high Proc rate for the buff, say around 90% -- as to what that buff would be, we have to look at more factors.

Well first off, we have to make it so that there would be a chance that any partner in any same sex liason could get either the Male Sex Buff (MSB) or the Female Sex Buff (FSB) but there should also be a very small proc rate for the SSSB. And would the buff from gay sex be different from the lesbian sex buff, I suppose there is no one that can testify to that, so for simplicity sake, the SSSB needs to be for any non-hetero sex.

Other issues include a cool down timer -- There would also have to be a cool down time before you could have sex again, whether the buff procs or not. I'm thinking 12 hours for men and 4 hours for women.

We also have to decide if you can be bi-sexual in the game or do you have to stick with the lifestyle you have chosen for your character? If you go with the same sex attunement, can you do the hetero attunement and then go both ways or should you be limited to your first choice? Personally, if I were playing I would want my character to be bisexual and get whatever buff I could get (and good lord, can you imagine the orgies before raids)! However as a programmer, I'm making you pick one or the other -- you're either straight or gay, once you've been attuned to your sexual orientation you'll need to pay lots of gold to re-attune to a different sexual assignment. No one is on the down low here!

Now here is the rub in all of this... the Daedalus Project (PDF) has done a great demographic study of who is playing Warcraft. In their study men outnumber women by 5.25 to 1 and those men are 7 to 8 times more likely to play a character of the opposite sex:
"In other words:
about 1 out of every 2 female characters is played by a man
about 1 out of every 100 male characters is played by a woman"
And I would guess that 80% the straight males who play a female character in Age of Conan are gonna want to play a lesbian character... which means that there will be about 1 woman for every 5 men and that is even if as many women play Age of Conan as those that play WoW (which I doubt). So unless a lot of straight men are willing to have their characters be of a different sexual orientation than themselves they are going to have to go without those great buffs or else start "self procing".

Okay, so with all that in mind, what would the SSSB be and how would it work within the mechanics of the game?

Here's what I would do: If the sex buff procs from gay sex here is what may happen: you have a 63% chance to get the MSB a 33% chance to get the FSB and a 4% chance to get the SSSB and just reverse it for lesbian sex.
Now because of the small proc rate and to encourage competitive straight men to play gay characters I think the SSSB should be pretty special, say something like this:

"Teh Gay" Buff: A 4 hour buff that improves all stats by 20% and haste rating by 10%. Additionally, when this buff is active the character may have sex with 4 more players (1 an hour) of any sex with a sex buff guaranteed.

Whadaya think?





Wow Item Creator!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Awwwww....

You guys are the Greatest!

See you ask for a little love -- you get a little love.

Thanks I appreciate the comments and I appreciate all you lurkers that don't comment too. Sometimes its just nice to have feedback, ya know!


Okay on to some odds and ends for the morning.

2.3 & the PTR
Obviously, from the breaking news post below... I've been looking into the changes that are coming up in 2.3 and I am looking forward to them.

I think I may be going to the PTR this time around. I've never done it before but I think my Kara team will try and get an early look at the new 10-man instance Zul'Aman and I want to get a look at the new leather working recipes so I can stock pile ingredients for those quivers and ammo pouches.

Make sure you take a look at the ingredients for all the new recipes and start stock piling a few, you may be able to make a tidy profit when the patch goes live!

I didn't see it in the Patch notes, but I heard that we will get Badges of Justice from Kara & Zul'Aman bosses, which would be nice -- now if we could just get Primal Nethers from those bosses too that would be great!

As for the Hunter changes, I have yet to do arena and I don't do a whole lot of PVP, so while some of those changes seem nice, I'm not overly excited by them. The disarm is nice and the buffs to traps are good too, but my favorite trap, the snake trap, got no buff and will probably be used a lot less.

I may get on with an Arena team after the patch and see how useful I can be, but the changes do not seem to address dead zone and line-of-sight issues, so we shall see.

Brewfest

So Brewfest is ending on Tuesday and I have only around 300 tickets. I heard on WoWInsider that we can keep our tickets until next year, so I may bank them and do that. I did get the goggles, but for the one time joke, they are not worth the tickets. Maybe I will enjoy them more when we take Mags down and I take a raid screenshot with all of us (except me) as male gnomes!

PVP

So I only logged on for about 20 minutes yesterday. Thursday is a big TV night and Mrs. EN and I watch our shows together (Survivor, Ugly Betty, CSI, 30 Rock).

Anyway... I logged in, was in Ogri'la, and I started flying to Shattrath to take the portal to Ironforge to get some more brewfest tickets, when my Kara RL informed me that he was being corpse-camped by a hordie in Shadowmoon.

Hmmmm... go to Brewfest for tickets for a ram that I have no chance of getting or help out a friend?

So, I turned the NetherDragon mount towards Shadowmoon and announced my intention to kill this hordie. On the flight, I checked him out in the armory, decked out in his PVP gear he looked formidable, but I knew a Rogue, Druid & Hunter could take down one Shaman easily. When I showed up he took off on his flying mount and treid to avoid me. Because of that he missed the arrival of our Rogue.

Eventually, he lands and attacks. I hit the pet attack key and the Beast Within and intimidation and all he can see is a bid red alien and the poor shaman is dead before he knows what hit him, and I'm pretty sure he still hadn't seen our rogue.
I say this because while I didn't corpse camp, I did stay in the area and helped farm and after a while I told my friends that I was hearthing and the sneaky SOB attacked me while I was casting. So our rogue stunned him , the ravager attacked and went big and red, and even though I was down to about 30%, the poor shaman didn't get another hit off on me and he went down in seconds!
Then I had to hearth, because it was time to watch some TV, and even though I don't do PVP a lot, that sure was fun!

BREAKING NEWS

Does this seem as cool as I think?

An undocumented (and unconfirmed) new spell on the PTR for us Hunters is:
Disarming Shot

Does this seem as cool as it looks?

6% of Mana is pretty steep but this really, really helps Hunters not just in the Arena, but in many circumstances.

It just seems really cool. I hope it becomes permanent.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

That Sinking Feeling Part II

When I started this endeavor, I kept having these great ideas of things to write about. Not just the "here's what happened to me today" posts, but the "Really helpful, really useful, boy was I dumb but you can learn from my mistakes" posts.

I had a whole bunch of things to talk about, and now... I can't remember them.

I really, really want this blog to be more than entertaining. A place to help us learn something... or at least make everyone go "Yeah, I feel that way too dude!"

But I am finding it harder and harder to write posts of substance and so I write less and less and so people visit less and less and then it just dwindles away to nothing.

I'm not sure if anyone noticed but I removed a blog from my blog roll this week. Huntard with Cheese went away from my blog roll because he hasn't posted since August and I figured if he wasn't updating, there was no point in having a link, but I really, really liked his site. I thought he had a weird and snarky quality to his blog that I would love to have in mine if I had the talent for it. I'm not sure why he stopped blogging, maybe he wasn't getting enough hits or maybe it was taking up too much time, but I find it sad.

My blog colleague Exanimo from Full Time Wow Addict has a recent post questioning the usefulness of his blog.

And I can certainly understand where he is coming from. And even though I have in-game friends who have told me how much they like the blog, so I know some people are reading and enjoying it, I can't help but have that sinking feeling again that I have nothing important or even entertaining to impart and I should just stop doing this.

But I probably won't, I guess I'm just channeling my mother, trying to guilt my readers into saying something nice about me, even though you're already here and reading this.

So, you come here, you read what I have to say, would it kill you to show me your affection through a comment or two, is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hacked like a n00b

Well, technically, I was a hacked like a n00b, because I was one.

I had only been playing for about two months at the time and I knew nothing!

I had just hit 60, I was starting to get some gold thanks to a lucky drop and I logged in one day to find my character naked in Ironforge, everything gone except my mount and my hearthstone and all my money gone.

I put a ticket in right away, they closed down my account until I could verify I was indeed myself. (I had to fax a copy of my passport to them) and then in about a week I got much of my stuff back. My guildies had been nice and threw some money my way so it wasn't that bad.

But how did I get hacked in the first place? I run Norton anti-virus and Internet Protection and the definition were up-to-date. So then I downloaded Spybot: Search & Destroy and they found a couple of cookies that they thought were a problem, but no keyloggers or really malicious threats. SO what was the deal?

Here was the deal... I only use about five different password and username combinations (except for my credit card and online banking stuff) and when I signed up for WoW I just used my most popular one. Obviously, it was on some list somewhere and a hacker just used it randomly. They may have even known about it for awhile and lay in wait until I had enough gold to make it worth their while.

In my defense, I will say that I was unaware of all these hacking shenanigans when I signed up for WoW and figured I did not need to use a super secret Passwords. Now, I use a password that I use no where else except WoW.

When I was communicating with a GM about all of this, they tended to be very circumspect about how their fraud department went about penalizing the parties involved, but here is what I fathomed about what happened and I got a "Could be..." reply from the GM:

Someone bought gold from a website selling it, and this fly by night operation, instead of farming the gold themselves, hacked accounts, sent the gold to the unsuspecting sap who paid $108 for 1,000 gold and then got their account canceled because there was a clear trail right back to where the fraud began.

So the moral of this story is twofold:
1. If you buy gold with real money -- you are a loser and I hate you.
2. Don't use the same username and password for WoW that you use to register for your local newspaper!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tales from a n00bside I


In the lands of Azeroth there are thousands of tales from the n00bside, this is just one of them:

I was level 60 and I felt like I was walking on air. I had 300 gold in my pocket and I was in the Eastern Plague lands killing scourge and building my Argent Dawn Reputation, when all of the sudden -- GONG -- I'm honored, so I go to the quartermaster to see what new stuff I can buy.

Hmmm... what is this[Hallowed Brazier]? The tool tip doesn't seem to help, so I right click on it to get some more info.

I here a clink of gold, and I think oops, I bought it -- and then I look at my gold and OMFG more than a third of my former stash was GONE! This thing that I just bought and had no idea what it was just cost me 120 gold! And it was red in my inventory so I couldn't even use it!

Argghh -- I could put in a ticket to a GM and see if I could get my money back or just vendor it back for 30 gold and chalk it up to lesson learned.

I took the lessoned learned route and now I look up things and their prices before I buy em.

That was a tale from the n00bside, there are many more, if you would like to share your's email them to eternal.n00bie@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Good Read

Yes, we all know I'm a n00b. That is the reason for the blog. Sometimes I just wish I wasn't so much of a n00b.

On the steps going up to the Moroes fight, once again, I mis-tabbed and somehow selected the group behind the group we were taking down, sent the pet, watch him disappear over the rim of the steps and all of the sudden there were two groups of angry, knife throwing, undead bad-dancing MoBs, instead of one. (I think this is the third time I have done that.)

I apologized for pulling the extra group and my RL, replied saying, "No, that's okay. This way I get a good read."

And I thought to myself, how prescient of our raid leader, he wants to see how the group reacts to the new threat, see how well we work together and where areas of weakness occur. Because, we all know that when fights go as planned, you don't learn anything about anyone -- when they go wrong, and its not a total and absolute complete mess and wipe, you can look for who picked up on what, who improvised and who panicked and ran into a corner and sucked their thumb.

In that moment, in that statement, I understood the RL's role a lot more. I don't have that ability to watch what everyone is doing, I watch the fight and I improvise where needed, but I don't really pay attention to how the other raid members react to new situations. I had a new found respect for all raid leaders who can process all this information amongst such chaos.

And then, not one second later my RL clarified: "If you haven't read Merv's blog yet, you should. This pull should make for a good read."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Odds & Ends

I know, its been a while since I posted anything of substance that may help us shake off some of that n00bness that still clings to us and makes our clothes reek at the end of the day. So, while I do have a couple of posts planned that should help cover up, if not totally alleviate that odor, they are not quite ready for publication. So, I will drop in little tidbits about whats been happenning to me and how things are progressing in general. There is a small chance you may find something helpful in these ramblings... at the very least, I hope you will be entertained.

ACL: I came back from my vacation to read a post on my guild forum that I had been made Assistant Class Leader for the hunters. I knew it was in the works, but it was nice to see it was official.
Before it was official, I sent my class leader a message with some thoughts I had about the upcoming raiding group that was being put together and how it related to hunters. Now, the CL is my friend, so I mentioned that I hoped I wasn't being presumptuous, since it the promotion wasn't official, but I just thought that we should start talking about things. Funnily enough, no one had asked her if she wanted me to be her ACL, she said very nicely that she would have chosen me anyway but you would think they would ask the CL who their ACL should be. (Of course, the Guild has some responsibility to make sure the CL and the ACL are complimentary, and they should also not be adversarial.)

LBK: So, I saw BRK's post from last week, I think, talking about Little Black Kitty's blog typesetting error. I had never been to LBK website, but saw that she was on my server and I added her to my friends list and when I saw her on the server, I said "Hi". She thought that was cool enough to post on her blog and I am now reciprocating. I wonder if when she turns 70, if she'll still be little black kitty?

HERT:
So we had our first run this weekend as a "High End Raiding Team". Still not sure how a n00b like me made it to the team, but I must have friends in high places or maybe because I can do a goodly amount of damage or maybe some combination of both. In any case, I couldn't make it Friday night, right now Friday is reserved for, after the kids are in bed, spending time exclusively with the wife (i.e. not getting on the WoW, watching or doing whatever she wants to do, etc.) So I missed our first take down of Gruul. Made it Saturday for Magtheridon's Lair -- which while we didn't get him down, was still a fun fight.
One of the aspects of the lair is that the Channeler's will not aggro you until you attack them, so you can move around the room, discuss tactics and get into position. As this info was presented to us, I said, "So I guess we should take our pets off aggressive." And while most people laughed, someone, I'm not sure who, actually said, "Your pets should NEVER be on aggressive during a raid!" Course, that didn't stop a warlock from summoning his pet, only to realize that it was still on aggressive... oops, I think that was wipe number 3. (Wipe 1 was also an oops, someone pulled aggro, but no one copped to that one.) I will state emphatically for the record, that I was not the one who pulled aggro on that or any attempt at Mag!

FP: (Future posts) So, I want to do series of posts entitled "Tales from the n00bside". Stupid things we may have done in WoW that we are embarrassed by. They can be stories that will amuse or have a moral, whatever... I have a few but I would like to fill it out with other people's experience, so if you have one, please feel free to email me (at the link above) and I will include it in the post.

TTFN: Ta ta for now

Monday, October 1, 2007

Bloggin' on my iPod

Got my new iPod touch. Very cool. Creating this post (very slowly) on it.

Will post more later, but I just thought this was cool to find wifi somewhere and be able to post.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Coming out to my family

"Hi, my name is Jon and I play World of Warcraft and I'm a n00b"

We sit so anonymously behind our computers, our voices can be heard, but our faces aren't seen and our real names, for the most parts are unknown.

We can play anonymously and no one need ever know about our passion for this game, unless we out ourselves.

So, several weeks ago while playing golf with my father and step-mother, they invited me and family out for dinner. I said "sorry we can't, I have plans."

"What are you doing?" They asked.

Thats when I realized I could either lie and say we were going out with friends or whatever or I could say that me and nine friends have to go to Karazhan.

I went with the latter and explained to my step-mother that I was playing an online game with other people and I had made plans. To my father the explanation was easier, "I'm playing a D&D like game online with other people tonight." (My dad was privy to all the hours my brother and I would spend playing D&D, so he had some understanding at least.) My Dad asked who the Dungeon Master was, so I spent sometime explaining the mechanics of the game, and about MMORPGs and also about Second Life, which they had heard about.

That wasn't too bad.

It got worse when my brother at a big family gathering started questioning not only about the game, but my devotion to it:

"How many hours do you spend on that game?"
"More than I should" I reply
"Forty hours a week, its like another job to him." My wife replied.
"No, it's not that many really more like 15 or 20."

Then the interrogation continued, with siblings, aunts and uncles. All the time with people asking my why was I wasting my time with this game, who were the losers I was playing with, generally giving me the third degree enough, that my brother apologized to me, not only when it was happening, but called me the next day AND sent me an email apologizing again for starting off the firestorm.

However, I did not mind it (Well, maybe the derogatory shots from Mrs. EN), but in general I was as happy to talk about my hobby as my family is to talk about their golf game.

So, now I'm an out and proud Warcrafter.

We're Here,
We're Night Elves,
Get Used to it!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

[sigh]

The scorpid is dead... long live the ravager.

Yup, went to Kara last night and Kulkinski, who would usually do 650+ dps during the Attumen fight did about 160 with the new rank 5 poison. So sad.

I hate abandoning pets, it really sucks.

They fight alongside you and you grow attached to them, even if they are butt ugly (and mind you the Scorpid is a beauty queen compared to the Ravager).

But after Kara I abandoned my pet and went to go tame a Ravager...

And I did not have a good time with it.

(My apologies to Mania -- I was not a good doobie and did not go to Petopia first.)

So I tamed a level 70 Ravager and D'oh! He doesn't come with Gore. So I abandon him, got to Blade's Edge, tame a Ravager with Gore 9, go back to Netherwing and abandon another pet to tame another Ravager.

Then I went to sleep.

(Oh and both times I went to tame, there were other hunters doing the same thing!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Patch Day... a love/hate relationship

This patch day, more so than others will be hard on me. And not because I have the worst OS in the world (Windows Vista) and patching always seems to take twice as long with it.
I need to get my Mac upgraded so that I can use that as my primary computer.
No, what I really hate is all of my add-ons that I have grown to NEED not working. On top of that, this patch makes my poor Kulkinski a door stop.

I have to work late tonight and will get home just in time to get the patch up and running before Karazhan, which means I will probably run with the scorpid again tonight and make certain that he has been nerfed.

Now I will freely admit that the scorpid, even with the poison nerf, is not a bad pet. High armor, a nice stacking attack, even an open slot for cower. But the poor thing can't learn dash or charge or warp or dart or anything that gets him to the MoB faster -- and I'm not a patient man. So, since I try to keep a DPS, a balanced and a tank pet as my trio and pull them out accordingly, I will probably be keeping my Warp Stalker as the Tank, which means poor Kulkinski will be confined to the nether.

But, if you like me are having some problems with patch day depression read this Comic,
It should cheer you up.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Back


So, I'm back.

Am I happy to be back?

I'm happy to see my children. Not so happy to go back to work.

Surprisingly not itching to get back to the game. I have some issues right now that are making it harder to enjoy playing my main. (More on that in some other post.)

Tomorrow will be a Karazhan run, and I'm not looking forward to the patch and the scorpid nerf that will come with it, but I am looking forward to getting a new high DPS pet in its place.

However, I don't think it will affect my play too much; I went on an heroic run shortly before my trip, and someone in vent, but not in the party said, good naturedly, that the only reason I was on the top of the damage meter was my scorpid. I politely informed them that I was running the instance with a Warp Stalker.

Anyway, I see that my sitemeter has broken the 1,000 mark so I like that and I thank you all for visiting and I promise to put more substantive stuff up later this week when I can see straight again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Well Deserved Rest

I am taking some time off. A time off from work, a time off from WoW (much to the happiness of my wife), from blogging, email and any internet access. I will be in Hawaii. (I know, but don't feel too sorry for me, I'll get through it somehow.)

When I come back I will talk about the befuddling fact that somehow, someone in my guild was bamboozled enough to name me to the HERT (High End Raiding Team), and how terribly that is going to mess with my life.

So read some of the other wonderful blogs out there and look for a new post on Monday, September 24th

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name

We have only fought The Wizard of Oz event three times. We almost always get Romulo and Julianne when we hit the Opera. Last night was our third shot at the Crone and she obligingly dropped [Legacy]. I did a little dance, everyone rolled on the legacy but me, and somehow I wound up getting it anyway. (It seems we have gotten into the habit of when a really good item drops for a specific class everyone rolls on it just to freak them out.)
I had a guildie pop Savagery on that thing and now my Ranged attack power is 1,763 with a DPS of 345.7 (with Aspect of the Hawk).
Actually it was a great run with no wipes, however, when after Moroes was killed all the healers must have been too busy comparing their own gear to the loot to keep garrote from killing me.

Me: Ummm guys, my healths getting a little low here.
No response
Me: I'm about to die
No response
Death
Them:Oops, sorry about that Merv.

Then Minutes later, I accidentally double tabbed and sent the pet into the dancing party beyond the elite we were attacking and all the sympathy I had earned for that wasteful death was squandered by... being a n00b.

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister) 1804-1881

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What's in a name?

Mervyn was my very first WoW character and picking his name was not easy. I spent quite a bit of time deciding what name to use. I started thinking about literature that I liked and what names are in the books that I enjoy. Then my eye fell upon Neil Gaiman's Sandman sitting next to my desk (I was re-reading the graphic novel as the computer loaded and updated Wow onto my machine). I figured the name Morpheus, while great, would probably be taken (it wasn't) but it was too obvious a name, so I went with the Pumpkin head you see above: Mervyn.

Since then all of my Alliance Alts have "Vyn" in them: I have Kelvyn, Vynesa and Sevyn, who is named after George Costanza's yet to be born son, named after Micky Mantle.

Hunters also have to come up with names for their pets, so we have to find names fairly often. Since I have three pets I break up naming responsibilities thusly: My 8 year old gets to name the tank pet, which is a Warp Stalker named "Crystal", my 5 year old gets to name the balanced pet, a Dragonhowk named "Barraki" after a Lego Bionicles character and I name the DPS pet, but I do not currently have a DPS pet, as Kulkinski my scorpid is taking up that slot (named after a famous mob poisoner), but when he is nerfed, I will have to come up with a new name for my Ravager -- I'm thinking "Kodos" as they vaguely remind me of the aliens from The Simpsons. Any thoughts? How did you come up with your name?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Econ 403: Advanced Auctioneering

So I promised more substance, less fluff and this post will be about as substantive as I can get.

How to make gold through the Auction House.

So, we have already had two posts about the auction house, the gist of these posts contained the following information:

1. Use the add-on Auctioneer for Pricing
2. Use Allakhazam for supplemental pricing, when Auctioneer does not have any info.
3. Scan Auctioneer often to make sure it is useful
4. Watch out for inflation & deflation

So for our advance class in Auction House Economy we will be focusing on the following:

1. Day of the week fluctuations
2. Posting your item to maximize profit

So day of the week fluctuation: I touched on this briefly in a post, but I want to give more detail, because some items go up in price and some go down. If you need to buy Leather, cloth and some of the herbs (maybe ore too, but I rarely buy it) you should wait until Saturday or Sunday to buy it. Why? Because there will be more people on the servers on the weekend and they will be skinning, picking, killing and mining, hence the availability of these items will be abundant and as more people post them on the AH, the price will decline.

Other crafting items? You're not so lucky. As motes become more and more farmed the drop rates reduce and Primals are under higher demand because of more people on the server needing them, so the price on those go up.

Other items can go either way. Look for crafted items to be cheaper as people level their skills and try and sell the stuff they make. Also, with more people posting items on the AH and more eyeballs to see and bid on them, the prices should come down a little on uncommon and rare items. The really nice stuff? Through the roof. Those special recipes, forget it. However, by Tuesday things should have calmed down on the servers and you can post your Knothide Leather and Netherweave Cloth and you should get 1-3 more gold per stack primals may have come down 1-3 gold, so if you're not in a rush to buy stuff make sure you pick the right time.

Which leads me to my second point: Posting your item to maximize profit.

Now, armed with the advice I outlined above, you could buy 10 primal airs on Wednesday at 25 gold each and sell them on Saturday for 30 for a quick fifty gold. You can also buy 20 stacks of Knothide Leather on Sunday for 6 gold and sell them for 8 gold on Wednesday. But that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about leather you skin or that rare drop you got off of a crocolisk, that just happened to stray into your path when you were landing to pick a flower or skin a dead animals. (Doesn't it always happen that way?)

But whatever it is, a stack of leather or a nice drop, when you take it to the AH, you will hit a nice button called "Update" on the "Post Auction" page and it will quickly scan the price of all the same items in the AH, and then it will put your item up for sale at 5% off the highest price if it can. Please note that there is a threshold at which it feels your item is selling for too low, at which it will note that it cannot match the competition. When it tells you that take a look at what else is for sale, sometimes you have a stack of 20 that you are selling and there is just one item at a very low price. You should ignore or buy that item and set your own price. What that price is depends on what you are selling. Sometimes, for the good of the economy you just have to ignore what auctioneer tells you. For Netherweave Cloth, I usually ignore auctioneer and sell it for just above the lowest stack of 20. (Usually 3.5 to 4 gold). But always remember, if too many items are selling too low for your liking don't sell the item at that time, you can always wait.

This whole post really boils down to one thing: timing and getting a feel for when is the right time.

As for the age old question 24 hours or 8 hour posts... I always do 24 hours, because if the item sells you get that deposit back, so it seems to give yourself the best chance of selling put it up there for as many people to see as possible.

Oh, and that level 70 two handed Axe of the Whale? Don't even bother, just vendor it for the 9 gold.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A day of rest

Friday is usually the night I do not play WoW -- maybe a little just after dinner to move characters, check auctions, work on an alt. But there are no instance runs for me or anything that takes too much time, as Friday night is reserved for Mrs. n00bie, who cannot stand how much time and effort I devote to this game.

I realize its been awhile since I've had a substantive post -- this week was rather dry, but I have some planned -- to go back to helping all us n00bies try and understand this game that affects us so. In the meantime, have a good weekend and hug your loved ones.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

From Goat to Hero in Seven Minutes

The following is in no way meant to be a guide or a how to:
I was stupid yesterday and not paying attention and after getting a raid of 25 fully buffed and ready for an assault on High King Maulgar, I wandered a little too far away from the wall and a little too close to the High King. A big red AGGRO flashed across my screen and I won't begin to tell you the terrible words that went through my mind.

After a very quick and ugly wipe, I got some good natured ribbing and I made the offer to anyone who wanted, 1 gold for their repair, and 3 gold for plate wearers (no one took me up on it).

For the fight against Mulgaur, my other hunter in the raid and I were set the task of tanking Kiggler and although my companion hates it when we tank, I like seeing my name up there as an MT on the CTRA list.

Towards the beginning of the fight something goes a awry and my co-tank dies and I am left to tank Kiggler alone. Except the monster polymorphs his attackers and when morphed the tank loses aggro, thats why you need two. Fortunately, right after the other hunter died, I popped a Beast Within and that gave me a little time, after that wore off I got lucky then for the next 5 or so morphs, and for some reason I popped into and out of rabbit form, only losing aggro momentarily.

When the morphs finally did start to take, instead of going after my healer, killing him, then me and causing a massive wipe, Kiggler went after one of the healers who was healing the tank of the High King -- and when I was Polymorphed she did a great job of keeping herself and her tank alive, and then I could grab aggro back when I was myself again. I told people afterwards, I don't think I have ever spammed distracting shot like that before. When the group finally got the seer and the summoner down they all came to attack Kiggler and I could rest a little. Of course with about 10 seconds left in the fight, I drew aggro from the High King and died... but by then the whispers and the accolades were coming in about what a nice job I did tanking Kiggler alone, saving the group from a wipe, etc. I told them I had to, I had to make up for being such a terrible bonehead earlier in the raid.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Guild vs. Fellowship

So here is a pet peeve of mine:

Guilds are not guilds. The guilds in World of Warcraft are not what I consider the definition of what a guild should be. And I don't mean your dictionary, booklearning definition, I'm talking about the "Truthiness" definition. The one that comes from your gut.

And my gut tells me that a guild is a group of like minded people who share a similar profession, goals and the willingness to learn. Sort of like a trade union for character classes.

If it were up to me, I would decree that all Guilds should immediately call themselves Fellowships, since to me that is a more accurate term for these loosely conjoined friends who go raiding together and I then I would allow the creation of character class specific guilds.

And there would not be just one Guild for each class -- there could be dozens or hundreds of Guilds, and while there would be no guild bank or Guild Housing, there would be a guild forum, members on-line to ask questions and it would create a new way to for Fellowships to solicited new members.

Think about it: Your Fellowship needs more warriors for raiding, you as a warrior could go to your warrior guild and start recruiting from the people you have met there.

I just find that, while I like everyone in my guild, I get along especially well in my guild with all the other people who have Hunters as their mains. I also find that I mostly enjoy blogs by other hunters, because what they are saying pertains directly to my character and making me a better player.

Guild or Fellowship or whatever you call it, I think that the more communication you have with others of your own class the more ideas and brainstorming you can do and the more you can achieve and learn.