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


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
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.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You don't have to be the best, but you do have to be good

Here is the worst secret ever kept: I am not the best hunter in the world. I am not the best hunter on my server, I'm not even the best hunter in my guild. But I read, I study, I have learned my class and now I am a damn good hunter, I've even been called uber by one deranged person.

In World of Warcraft, being the best is not needed. Doing your best is. Take the time to learn to play your main and any high level alts you have. Research strategies and put some time and effort into it and you may be rewarded with people who want to and enjoy playing with you.

If you have tried all those things and people still don't want to group with you, if you just don't have an innate talent for the class you're playing it may be time to re-roll -- test the waters and see if there is another class more to your liking. If you have rolled every class and you still suck, hey switch to Age of Conan, at least you may get laid!

I figure I'm kinda preaching to the choir here, because if you are here, chances are you found me from some better fount of information than my short blog has to offer. But I give most of my post as much effort as I possibly can and I hope that they are helpful to all of us who feel a little left out.

So whatever you choose to do, work hard, put in some effort and try to do good. It will be appreciated.

For want of a Warlock

So our Warlock left our Kara group and was replaced by a Shadow Priest. Since then we have not gotten down Illhoof or through Shade of Aran. So it was suggested that on Sunday we skip them and attempt the Prince. I had informed my RL that I would be between 30 to 45 minutes late for the raid and they could replace me or I could catch up with them.

When I signed on 45 minutes late, they had replaced me, but told me to come back in two hours as someone was leaving and they would need me. Sure no problem I said.

Two hours later I signed on Vent and I asked how it was going. "Terrible" our RL tells me, "Netherspite is kicking our butts."

At that same moment I get a whisper from my fellow Hunter Guildie/confidant saying "Your team took down the Prince and the bow dropped."

"You took down Prince!" I say. Ten people slowly mumbled their assent, at least they all felt bad enough to try and hide it from me, but it felt like a ton of bricks hitting me. Sure I put on the happy patter and said, oh don't worry it will drop again.

Now I will be counting the weeks before I see that bow.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Spend gold or farm?

I hate waiting, and since I got my epic flying mount, I have not had too much use for my gold, so I decided to finally level up my Leatherworking from 373 where it had been stuck for several weeks to 375. The quickest way, would be to create Heavy Clefthoof Boots so I went to Nagrand and gathered 60 Thick Clefthoof Leather -- that took several hours. I bought the Primal Earth at 4 gold each and went to work, I figured since the recipe was yellow, 2 out of three would not be bad if I could get it up there. So with very little in expenses but time I set to level up. The first creation brought me to 374. The next did not level me, no problemo, there is another. Aaaannnd, nope no 375 on the third. Do I go back to Nagrand or do I buy the expensive leather on the AH? Portal to Darnasus (because I would need to go to the Dragonscale Leatherworker for the new recipes) Head over to the Ah to spend 90 gold on 20 Thick Clefthoof Leather, a stop by the bank to pick up my last two rune threads and... Damn... three in a row no level.

Back to the AH 95 Gold this time (still have plenty of Primal Earth) but no Rune Thread, I head over to the Leatherworkers place to get some thread, and as I am standing there, my avatar busy working on the boots, I think how nice it would be, to come full circle and hit 375 in the very place that I first trained to become a Leatherworker and BAM 375.

Then the gathering for the chest peice. Had the Primal Nethers, had the scales, had the leather, did not have the primal shadows or primal fires. A Guildie gave me 5 Primal Shadows, I bought five at a low AH prices (spent about 30 on the 5) and farmed six more.

Then I went to farm the Primal Fires, they were selling for about 30 each on the AH and I did not want to pay that much. So early morning I started farming Elemental Plateau, got four primals before 3 other people showed up and chased me away. Then I started to go to other places with fire elementals to gather up the motes of fire, and I learned something as every place I went usually had one or two other farmers. The more something is farmed, the lower the rate it drops, I finally hit a 1 for 41 skid on motes and I was ready to drop kick the computer.

Thats when I went back to the AH and spent 200 gold on the final 9 primals I needed, crafted the chest piece and spent another hundred gold on the gems.

So 500 gold down, but I got a good chest piece out of it, really cool looking too.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

One more thought about the Auction House

Whilst I am busy in my own private hell know as farming for Motes of Fire for my Ebon Netherscale Breastplate (yay I hit 375 Leatherworking Friday night) and I won't buy them at the crazy weekend prices on the AH, I realized I left a thought off about the Auction House.

Prices vary on the weekends. Popular items go down in price (Leather, cloth, etc.), rarer items are a little bit higher (as there are more eyes to see the items you can mark your blues up a little bit).

I decided to write this after I went on a 1 for 21 skid of motes of fire -- take a little break, have my bank alt scan the AH and clear my head.