Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fail tank is Fail.

This is probably not news to most of you, but having a good tank makes a world of difference. I've noticed this especially when leveling my Priest though the 60's using the Looking-for-dungeon tool for the BC instances. Many of the players using this tool (especially in this level) have probably never done an instance, or are at least using an unfamiliar character class.

When that unfamiliar class is a tank, look out. Agrro control? Ha! Paying attention to party health/mana before pulling? Not likely. What should be a walk in the park through these BC instances turns into lots of frustration. Here's an excerpt from one DK tank who kept telling the group how good he was (until some of us mentioned that he was not). Perhaps I should have brought up his lack of DnD use (at all) earlier...

As a healer it's probably most obvious to me when a tank is failing. Usually it means I'm healing myself more than the tank. Maybe I can learn enough by watching the bad ones compared with the good ones so that when I play the tank myself I won't be terribad from the start.

As a side-thought, DK's in general seem to be enjoying the Looking-for-dungeon option. Often they won't find a role in a normal pug. The skill level of these players varies widely. Some will death-grip mobs away from the tank and soak up tons of healing, others will play so well you hardly even know they're there.

Prinnyraid is closing in on doing Northrend instances. Looking forward to it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Like a virgin

3.3 is out and so far has been well received. One of the most popular new features is the "Looking for Dungeon" feature which makes it so much easier for groups to get formed to any level of instance. Although this is a mixed bag of blessings, most of it is quite good.

I decide to try and do my first instance as a healer (Prinnyraid/level 63 disc. priest). Armed with healbot, I actually had a lot of confidence that I'd be able to do my job well. (to be honest, with healbot, a monkey could do a good job). The LFD interface enabled, my role defined, I just now have wait for a gr... POOF instantly I'm in a group, transported inside Blood Furnace along with 4 other eager adventurers. The group consists of myself, a mage, a pally, a death knight, and a melee shaman. I also just realize that I've never done Blood Furnace before.

Things start off ok but I soon notice all 3 melee classes are going from full health to 40% in a heartbeat. Still unaware of Prayer of Healing (yes, noob healer) I scramble to do the whack-a-mole using healbot. It's hectic but nobody dies. I find out from a friend that what's going on is all of the melee are standing on mines and that's why so much damage is being taken. Doesn't seem to bother them tho, they just keep taking massive amounts of damage doing the same thing over and over. I keep healing my ass off. This continues until we get to the big floaty eye-thing behind the door with the giant lever in front of it. Nobody pulls the lever and we're standing there for a good while.

It's becoming quite obvious that perhaps nobody in this group has done this instance before. Someone finally pulls the lever.. and orcs start charging the group from their cages. After the first wave, I'm the primary target of these orcs as my healing efforts from previous waves is giving me the healing aggro. The rest of the group seems oblivious to this fact as I'm 1/2 dead each wave before the rest of them start attacking. During the final wave it was too much and I die. At the time I thought this might have been normal, but after seeing it done with a proper group later, I now look back and realize how fail this group was. With the short dirt nap behind me, the rest of the instance went well enough and we completed it with without incident.

My pally friend (lvl 66) joined me and we went on to do many more dungeons, having quite a good time. The new LFD is quite good, and one of the best features Blizzard has implemented. It definitely will get people to start instancing who haven't done it before, which is a good thing.

This also makes me look back on how I played the game when Burning Crusade came out. I basically just quested to 69 or so, then farmed the hell out of Legion Hold demons in Shadowmoon Valley. It was a profitable and relatively quickly way to 70.. but I did miss out on all of the instances BC had to offer. Now looks like a good time to revisit them.

Right now everyone's checking out the new Ice Crown 5-mans and raids. I notice that some people (BBB, Larisa, and others) have gone into them not wanting to know exactly how to do the fights. No guides read up before-hand, no PTR practice fights. Just figure out the stuff on your own and have a good time. Sure you'll wipe a few more times but experiencing the fights without having your hand held telling you what to do is good fun. There will be plenty of time to mindlessly run this stuff while waiting for Cataclysm. =)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

They pulled me back in

It's safe to come back now, I believe. This blog has been inactive so long it's surely been removed by any blog rolls that once had it listed. I was gone from WoW for about 6 months, now back with vengeance. Got suckered into multiboxing, opening up 4 more accounts for such nonsense, and cracked open 2 more WoTLK Collector Editions. (The battle chests being on sale for $20 each didn't hurt, along with Recruit-a-friend boons.. thanks Blizzard)

I haven't done any of the recent content yet (not since before Ulduar was released). So my gear is mostly Naxx-25 stuff. The 3 level-80's are Hornlove (hunter), HiredGun (hunter), and Failsauce (Death Knight) all on the Cenarius server. The only thing I've done with these characters since returning is allocate talents and do the fishing and cooking quests. I need to do some research on the content I missed before jumping into some Ulduar group. Oh, and as reported.. Failsauce finally got the Chef title which had eluded her forever.

That doesn't sound too exciting so far but I have been doing some other stuff in WoW. A few of my friends from Justin.tv have decided to roll on/transfer to Cenarius so we could play together. In turn, I leveled up some new characters using the Recruit-a-friend. So far I've got these new level 60+ guys to mess around with now:

Prinnyraid, Discipline Priest
Senile, Fire Mage
Asspuncher, Enhancement Shaman
Failbiscuit, Blood DK (multibox?)
Failstorm, Blood DK (multibox?)

I also have a 5-man shaman team being worked on slowly, they're up to level 25 or so. That will take a back-seat to getting my friend's character to 80 and running some heroics. I've been dual-boxing the priest and mage with decent success, questing through Hellfire Penninsula, and now Zangamarsh quests. It's a little clunky so far, as I'm very new to multiboxing, but so far they are both almost level 63.

In any case, that's what I've been doing during my 2 weeks back in WoW. Now with some friends to play with again, I'll probably stick around for a bit. =)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chef Failsauce

Well it was inevitable, Failsauce was going to get the Chef title sooner or later. Not much else to comment on here, just thought I'd post it. 3.3 is out today and all hell is about to break loose.

Watch live video from Point of No Escape on Justin.tv

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whatcha been doing?

Hello, it's been a while!

I recently have been logging into WoW thanks to the 7-day freebie Blizzard sent me and a refer-a-friend which started me on a second account. I've been leveling a priest with my wow friend and we're almost to level 60 which should happen tonight. Not bad for 1 day, 18 hours played. The RAF deal is really a fast way to level. It's unclear now if I'm back in wow now or not. Time will tell!

Since I've posted last I've been busy with other games:

Eve Online (11-boxing)
PS3 Minna No Golf 5 (once in a while)
Aion (Really fun to start out, got old before the 2nd month was done)
Dragon Age Origins
Plants vs Zombies
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

All fine and dandy. I've also snagged many of the deals over the Thanksgiving day weekend from Steam. Looking forward to playing some of those.

So just wanted to say Hi! I'll probably make some more WoW related posts soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Justin.tv, live streaming video.. and WoW!

A lot of you already know about this site but it's relatively new to me. It's a site for posting videos, but instead of pre-recorded stuff the emphasis is on live feeds. In terms of WoW, this is technology being used in a cool way as you can watch someone else play WoW live, right now on some server somewhere. You can also interact with the "broadcaster" by typing into a chat box. As part of the deal the "broadcaster" can (and usually does) add audio commentary on what he/she is doing in the game or responds to what you type to them via the chat box. I thought it was pretty cool in any case, and created a channel. So here it is, in case you are interested:


I probably wont have any interesting content for a bit but there are plenty of others that do. So if you're bored, need a WoW fix but can't get in the game, go and watch some other people play.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Too many chefs in the kitchen

My WoW account is currently turned off. I had not been playing much and money has been very tight. It's only temporary, I know I'll be back.. just a matter of when.

One of the things that I was working towards while my account was active was the "Chef" title for Failsauce. I had everything done for the meta-achievement that awarded this title except for getting the final recipie from the Shat cooking quest (Kibbler's Bits was the one I was after). I was not in an active raiding guild at the time so the only real thing I did was log in, do a few dailies, and go on to play something else. The persuit of the Chef title was enough for me. Doing the Shat cooking quest was pretty boring but I wanted the payout, so I kept at it.

So patch 3.2 comes along. Mass amount of things easier now. A lot of them I agree with, the ability to get mounts sooner for all characters was a good move. But with the cooking, WHAT THE HELL? They now significantly increase the drop rate of the rare recipies for the daily quests. *sigh* .. just when I was down to the last one I need, they made it much easier to obtain. It's too easy now. *grr* I was looking forward to accomplishing this goal... this change they made has sort of ruined it for me tho.

Maybe when I regain steady income I'll think about re-opening the WoW account.

As for EvE, there's the option of paying for your monthly subscription fee by using in-game currency, which is what I'm doing. It's been a month since I re-activated the accounts and things are going quite well for me. Mining operations have increased, missions thrown in here and there. Here's a neat looking planet I saw a few weeks back:

See ya soon!

Friday, July 3, 2009

There's a new G0 in town

This won't mean much to most of you but...

G0 (stands for Grade zero) is the highest rank of tournament competition in Minna No Golf 5. I never thought I'd have the honor to join this rank. Now if I could stop missing short putts... (miss 2.5m and 3.0m or I'd have won the last tourny). Ahh well, celebration for me ^^

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tiger Woods aint got nothin' on this game.

For more than 2 years now, PS3 owners have been blessed with having the option to play the best game ever made. No, not MSG4, Little Big Planet, or Gran Turismo 5.. but Minna No Golf 5. Released last year internationally as Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (USA) and Everybody's Golf: World Tour (Euro).

I basically bought my PS3 with this game in mind, so July, 2007 when the JP version came out, I was in heaven. Originally the online features were not that great, but after a couple patches in the following months it supported game rooms (basically games made on the fly), scheduled tournaments, and match/stroke play. This is a great online game because connection speed/lag play no part in the outcome. (data doesn't need to constantly be sent between clients to keep things moving)

I've taken several long breaks from the game, mostly due to WoW/Eve-Online/Other additicions. The JP server is still going strong. The international one, not so much. I really think people see the game and it's cutsie anime-style characters, and write it off as not much of a serious game. There is actually a lot more skill and depth in this game than Tiger Woods. Unfortunately, TW gets more of the mainstream attention and sales.

Won a GF tourny the other day, which does not give any prizes, but it still was rewarding =)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pimp your priest!

I suppose it's time to introduce my priest, Slumpbuster. She's been gaining around 2 levels per month and has just made it to level 20! Really I have to hand it to the folk who level a priest all the way, it's so incredibly slow. I've been just logging in when rest exp is full and buying runs thru stockades. I'll probably be a horrible priest if I ever get her leveled up since I don't know what half of her spells do. In any case she's looking quite pimp.

Other tiny progress: Fazilsauce is down to needing just 1 more recipie from the Shat cooking quest, Kibler's Bits. So close to getting the Chef title now!

Still no ulduar action. Everyone having fun there?

Cross Edge for the PS3 has been sucking most of my time lately. It's a terrific game, despite some bad reviews. A Japanese RPG that has a steep learning curve, but rewarding once you figure it out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to win a roll and feel bad

Someone needed a Ranged DPS for Naxx Saph + KT. Hiredgun, still using a bow was quick to jump on the offer. For some reason the group wiped many times on Saph (not a good sign). Finally did take the thing down, and we were told that the "Key" was a free-roll. Murder, a nice rogue dagger was on the corpse, but not over any rogue that wanted it. I saw there were 2 rogues and they showed interest, so I didn't contest it.

The raid-wide rolls for the key began, and I didn't notice what I rolled, but I thought it was low, like single-digit low. Then the raid leader said "Hiredgun roll again, you tied for top".. I had rolled an 85 and somehow that was tops vs 20 other ppl. woot.. I won the roll-off, and the key. (Starts a quest, for the Malygos raid which you probably already know). So that was pretty cool. Next time I get invited to a 25-man Eye of Eternity I can grab that cool necklace.

So we go in to kill KT. I figured we would probably fail altogether, or at least struggle alot based on what happened with Saph. To my surprise we were able to 1-shot KT, this with the main tank disconnecting about the time the adds spawned. I have no idea how it happened, but we did it. I hear over vent "*grumble* hunter loot"... could it be? Could the KT gun really have dropped?

It was Calamity's Grasp. A nice melee weapon for a hunter but really it needed to be rogue/shaman priority. I won't pretend I didn't know any better, it's not my first time in naxx. But there were 3 other ppl rolling on it, other hunters included. I listened to the voices in my head (well they were from vent being pumped thru the headset) and decided to roll on it. I won it, and there was a brief discussion (like someone saying "no way.. hunter loot" and the raid leader saying "Yeah, it's definitely hunter loot") So I didn't argue too much, took the Fist weapon and the pug raid was over.

I then explained to the raid leader why it wasn't hunter priority loot (maybe I should have explained this better before accepting it). Yeah it has nice stats for a hunter and would certainly be better than just about anything else in the slot for a dual-hander (sans Ulduar stuff), but that is no excuse, as it's a melee based weapon and hunters do DPS with ranged. It would be the same as if a Rogue rolled on the KT gun.. sure it has nice stats for his ranged slot but that would make the poor Hunters want to do a little backstabbing themselves.

Oh well so I ended up joining the guild who was running the Pug, called "Clean Slate". Seems really laid-back, no formal schedule as of yet.

Still trying to get the Chef title with Failsauce. Not much luck as I still need 2 more recipies from the BC cooking quest rewards.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sacred 2, Titan Quest, Impressions & Comparisons

(note: this is very long, read at your own risk)

Over the long weekend I grabbed Sacred 2 for the PS3 and put 10+ hours into it. I actually waited to get the PS3 version instead of the PC one as I heard the PC one had bugs and it's multiplayer community was small. Of course this is taking a huge leap of faith that the PS3 version wasn't going to have more bugs than the PC one ;) So far it seems to be OK.

Some thoughts on PS3 version vs PC version:

Pros of PS3 version of Sacred 2:
- Big-Screen TV. Plasma 16:9 HD looks great.
- PS3 controller vs. Keyboard/Mouse (this may be viewed to some as a CON). Using the controller seems a lot better for long gaming sessions, which Sacred 2 is going to offer alot.
- "Couch CO-OP*. Although I won't be making use of this feature :cry: it's a huge selling point for a lot of people. Play co-op on the same console, in the same room. Right now there's a missing "feature" of this mode where you can't trade items between each other. We're promised it's to be fixed in a future patch.
- PSN Friend List: Yay .. I have some ppl to play with that I know already. Now I just need them to get a copy of the game.
- Leaderboard: Shows the top player's by level, xp/level, filtered by all classes or by a particular class. Pretty cool stuff, shows number of deaths too. Now how hard is it to cheat this list? Not sure yet.

Cons of PS3 version of Sacred 2:
- PS3 Controller. Yeah I put this as a PRO too as I think it's more comfortable playing this way for a long time, but it's a bit more clunky when navigating menus, casting spells on the ground, or generally selecting the enemy you are attacking.
- No Movies to share with others. I love this about TQ playing on the PC, being able to fraps up some cool stuff that happens and share it. I think you can save PS3 screenshots but I'm not sure how yet.
- No Hardcore mode. I didn't even know the game had this mode until I started looking at Sacred 2's forums. Oh well, just like TQ we can all make our own version of the HC mode and delete our char if we want to apon death.
- No Full HD install. Argh. My poor PS3 HD is pretty full as it is, but there are certain towns when you go running thru and the game just waits while trying to catch up, steaming new data from the blue-ray player, putting a spinning disc icon at the top of the screen. I hear the PC version has(had?) some of these same kind of issues.
- Only 4 player online. (PC allows 16 at once I believe)
- $10 higher price on average than PC version.


Now to compare the game to Titan Quest a bit.

Performance: Winner by a large margin: Titan Quest.
Sacred 2 runs slower than Titan Quest. Chunky movements and scrolling of the screen make it seem like the PS3 is just barely keeping up, even when you are just running along the road with no monsters or anything else nearby. Combat sequences are also "chunky" where your attacks don't always look like they're hitting or you're swinging on the other side of your enemy. Titan Quest is awesome about making everything feel "right" when it comes to collision between weapons and the enemy. I'm sure it depends on your computer power but on mine, TQ performs wonderfully. Both games offer rag-doll physics of enemies rolling down hills, flying off walls, etc. S2 suffers from not being able to move over simple obstacles or change in elevation of terrain. It can be very frustrating.

Monster AI: Winner by a slight margin: Sacred 2.
Both games have some issues when it comes to AI. Monsters will seem to not want to fight you, stand still at times even when fairly close. It's not so bad that it gets in the way of gameplay, but it's noticeable. Sacred 2 does have monsters fighting amongst themselves at times, which is pretty cool. Kobolds fighting undead, for example.

Graphics: Winner by good margin: Titan Quest.
It's a bit hard for me to do a good comparison on the graphics. Although I have a nice HDTV to play Sacred 2 on, it still is only 720p and at times the objects of the game mesh together all too much. The poly count on S2 seems a bit lower as well. S2 does allow you to rotate the camera so the scenes don't have to be designed with a static camera angle in mind. TQ is just beautiful, however, and wins this battle fairly easily.

Loot: Winner by a good margin: Sacred 2.
Titan Quest has a lot of loot. A LOT. Sacred 2 seems to have more. This is just a perception from just getting to know the game, but it looks like a lot more mods and combinations are possible on S2 loot. Most people know that in TQ a Hale Eurubean Mace of Annihilation will do you well, and that the set and purple items typically fall short of the greens. This quickly makes a lot of the loot you find in TQ not very interesting. Depending on how much you know about the loot, the affixes, and what you're looking for, this may not be as obvious at first, when you're jaw is dropping at all the wonderful shiny loot dropping.

Quests: Winner by a good margin: Sacred 2.
TQ has a good amount of quests. Most of them are just there to move things along. There are some side-quests that give you additional gold, experience, items, and sometimes extra skills and stats. A lot of players will just do the side-quests if they give extra skills or stats. For some reason these other quests just "get in the way", although I tend to try and do all of them. Sacred 2 has an insane number of quests. It seems like running one quest will bring you to a new area where you grab 4-5 more quests, and so-on. They tend to be focuses on just giving you extra EXP and gold, which seems worthwhile so far. Variety does lack a bit, it's usually the same as any other quests, kill X number of these monsters, collect X number of this. Some are quite funny tho, if you can be bothered to read the text that accompanies them. Sacred 2 wins this category just because of it's sheer volume of quests it offers which looks like to me to be about 10x as many as TQ.

Longevity: Winner by a slight margin: Sacred 2.
Both of these games you could easily sink 1000's of hours into. They're both made that way. Even if you clear all 3 difficulties in TQ, you can start one of the other 35 class combinations and have at it again. You can play the XmaX or Uber mods to give yourself even more challenge. There is Lilith, a complete game in a TQ mod format. There's a lot to do in TQ! There are tools out there that can lessen the lifespan as well, at least for me anyways.

TQ Vault helps keep all the stuff you've found on any character, and easily trade it to another. You can even make duplicates of the item, modify them, or create the "perfect" version of an item. For example, the Archmage's Clasp can give -45% recharge or -47% recharge. Many builds will need that extra 2% to reach 100%. Of course you can just ignore the "cheating" features of TQ Vault, and that's entirely possible.. but if you are playing with others that don't ignore them, you are being affected by it indirectly. Want to know why nobody else is picking up the runes/charms that are dropping? Probably because they have a vault full of them and dupe a new one whenever they need it for a artifact or to socket a green item. So by them doing that, you are getting far more relics and charms then you would by having to split them up.. your game is tainted. THX GG ;)

And then there's defiler.. which allows you to do just about anything to your character. I haven't tried defiler personally, but it's a cheating tool to the extreme. Without using it, I can only go by what I see ppl saying about it on the forums, but there doesn't seem to be many limits. Players who use this to cheat on a constant basis must grow bored and quit the game very quickly.

Now to Sacred 2. There are 5 difficulties instead of 3. The land is just gigantic. It's not uncommon to be playing for 15 hours and only have 2% of the land discovered. A lot of this is simply because it can be difficult to move over terrain in S2. A simple change of 2 feet in elevation may be enough to deem an area impassible. It's a vast area which looks like it will take a very long time to explore. The level of your character can reach several hundred, opposed to a max of 75 on TQ. Now characters in each game do not level at the same speed, so this is not a great comparison. Right now the highest level on the PS3 S2 leaderboard is only 150 or so, and the game has been out a week or so, if this gives you any idea.

It may be because I haven't played the game enough, but I don't beleive you farm bosses for loot in S2 the same way you would with Diablo II (mephisto, etc.) or TQ (Hydra, Typhon, Hades, SP, etc). I think this is a good thing. Farming bosses gives you good loot too fast, and makes the game boring too quickly.

Overall Winner: Titan Quest by a slight margin
Both of these games are worthy as placeholders for a diablo-type game until Diablo III is released. They are definitely going to be worth the money you spend ($20 for Titan Quest + expansion, $50-$60 for Sacred 2). Titan quest is a much cleaner and more polished game. It's a sandbox that's been tweaked and catered to with a core gameplay that's extremely rewarding. Looking back at the original reviews of the game, I saw one of them where the guy actually said he thought the game was too long. (This was before the expansion, Immortal Throne). I can't help to think that this wasn't that reviewer's type of game. It's not that TQ is short, it's just that if you are having fun playing the game, wouldn't you want it to keep going instead of it just suddenly ending with a "You Win" screen?

These games need to be fun at the core so you want to play to level 300 or farm a boss 100 times in a row for some special loot. They need to be long, offering reasons to play the same content more than once with more challenges, more rewards. Sacred 2 has more stuff to do, but the game is not quite as good at the basic gameplay. You wont have dramatically different builds in a single class. Instead of making 6-7 characters and playing them to level 65 in TQ, you will probably stick with 2-3 and level them a lot longer in S2.

That's about it I guess. I wrote a lot of stuff, sorry if anyone suffered by reading it all =) The last thing I'd like to say about these games is: Play them multiplayer. They were made for MP and are a lot more fun that way.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spirit Beast Within

I'd like to write a story about how I flew around Zul'Drak for hours and hours, day after day, for weeks, months, etc. and finally found a Spirit Beast, but it wouldn't be true. I had just logged in for doing the cooking and fishing dailies, about to log off in Dalaran when someone messaged they had the location of a Spirit Beast for sale.

After a brief negotiation I took him up on the offer to grab Gondria, a level 77 Elite Rare Spirit Beast on the easternmost part of the zone. Sometimes he's a bit hard to see (yeah, I know to turn off his prowl!) but other times he's quite amazing looking. The dual-spec I had invested in for HiredGun has paid off. I had been trying for a long time to tame Loque'nahak, offered several bounties as well... No such luck with that beast!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm not dead yet

I've been logging on WoW.. yeah, I said it. Basically just to run dailies and try to find a guild to raid with. The game quite isn't the same once you are raiding like a lunatic every week, and then are solo once again. I did start leveling my Priest, who looks like a pimp... She's at level 18. When I say I'm leveling her, I mean I'm mooching Stockade runs, hanging back and watching the exp bar move. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this more, except I'll start shelling out the 15g per run or so to move things along. I really can't stand playing the character solo, but I'd like to have a healer at some point.

Saw Terminator-Salvation last night. Excellent movie! Without going into any spoilers/details I thought it had a good balance of action and story. I highly reccomend it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Steam weekend Deal: Call of Duty World at War

I don't have any first-person shooters on my PC. I generally play those on the Playstation 3. For the first time in a month I checked the Steam weekend deal (too bad, as I would have gobbled up Orange Box and Left4Dead which were available in the past weeks.) and it happend to be Call of Duty: World at War for 50% off ($25).

I picked it up and so far am very pleased. It runs at a great frame rate at full resolution on my PC. Aiming with the mouse is very accurate and is a good reminder why FPS's are usually better on the PC. The cut-scenes are very well done, intros to the missions accompanied by authentic WWII images and video.

I've only played the game for a few hours but so far it seems very polished. AI is quite scripted but doesn't disappoint. Besides controlling just your usual USA or Russian foot soldier, there are missions where you control a tank, several guns of airships, and who knows what else.

I don't know anyone else who has this game but would enjoy playing this co-op. Send me a note if you want to play!

Monday, May 11, 2009

TQ: Nymph Lover build in action

Finished my latest Titan Quest project, Nymph Lover (currently lvl 65 Ritualist)

Fun stuff!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time out

I've not been playing much WoW, so I'm going to take a break from this blog as well. (yeah, it's pretty much happened already for the last month or two). (Edit: I'm trying to hang in there! =) Ulduar is here, but I haven't been motivated to find a guild to start running it, or even log on to do the simple dailies as of late.

I've been completely enthralled with Titan Quest (aka Diablo 2.5). This has got to be the best game nobody knows about. If you haven't played it, and you like Diablo II at all, you owe it to yourself to nab it. ($20 for the game+expansion at D2D or Steam)

I may make a random post from time to time but it may not be WoW related.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TItan Quest is gnarly.

Yeah I know another non-WoW post. I'm still looking for a guild =)

Typhon getting a beat-down!

Hmm I tried to embed the video, it worked but it was way too wide. Damn blogspot and it's super-narrow format. Video fixed! =) The HD version is better, this link.

If anyone wants to play some Titan Quest, let me know!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fishing quest.. what what?

Well hello, there! Runic Potion, Deviate Fish, 10g, and this nice little grey item that went directly to the vendor! New fishing quests are good so far!

Update: 2nd reward from the same quest:Not bad.. and with the 3rd try at this quest got another grey "Whale statue" that sold for 11g. Looks like this particular fishing quest that has you fishing the sewers of Dalaran is fairly profitable.

Monday, April 13, 2009

3.1 commeth

Probably old news by now but... 3.1 arrives tonight with some extended maintenance. Anyone looking for a hunter or 2? =D I'll check monster.com, and if that doesn't work, the usual channels.

The honeymoon is over

I've been posting about Steam lately and excited to get some new games to play while waiting for Ulduar to roll out. I've had a mostly positive experience with the service and recommended it so far. Over the last couple days tho, my opinion of the service is starting to lessen.

First of all, I haven't been able to get Sacred to work multiplayer at all. I get distinct errors when trying to join and create multiplayer games, and so far have had zero response from anyone at Steam reguarding this issue (using the forums). Now this game I got for $5 and it was released in 2004, so I am not going to throw a hissy-fit. This is pretty lame to start with. I will probably head over to the forums of the developer, but last time I was there it was a bunch of ppl complaining about Sacred 2 problems.

Now Sacred 2 is out, but for some reason the good people who bought this game from Steam have yet to recieve the latest patch for the game, which came out nearly 3 weeks ago now. I beleive this patch is neccessary for multiplayer to work in this game too, although I haven't read the details. In any case there has been no real response from Steam to it's customers reguarding this issue, except there was one post about a week ago that said that the "guy" (yeah one dude) who is responsible for doing the patches at Steam was out of the office or something and wouldn't be able to address this until the 14th (tomorrow). Yikes. (steam Sacred forum here)

Then there's Titan Quest. The game Sacred has been compared to, and it's another Diablo II clone. The "Gold" edition has been on Steam for $19.95 and this was going to be the next game I got, however guess what.. more problems here too. Apparently both the original game and expansion play fine (both included in "GOLD"), but the CD-KEY is invalid for the expansion. So you can play these single-player, but multi-player is a no-go. This has recieved almost no recognition from Steam, they keep selling the product, and every CD-KEY they give (for the expansion part of it anyways) is invalid. /facepalm. (steam Titan Quest forum here) I have heard that the Direct2Drive version works ok, so that's where I'll pick this one up from.

Looking over some of the other steam forums, there are more problems like these with other games. The biggest negatives I can see is lack of communication and support from Valve on their forums. Another is that you can't really take any action on your own (if you do a charge-back, for example, because you didn't get what you paid for then your steam account may be banned and the games you purchased held for ransom) Sound like fun? Not to me.

At this point the only games I'll get from Steam are ones I'm fairly positive don't have any technical problems, and/or those on the weekend deals. You can see what games they've had on their weekend deals and typically they're pretty good stuff. This past weekend it was Peggle Deluxe/Peggle Nights combo-pack. Fantastic games, $10 was a great price. Now if they would put The Witcher up on sale.. I'm there!

Just be careful. Before purchasing any game check the forums and see if others are having problems first. I'm glad I checked out Titan Quest's forum or I'd be another unhappy customer.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Steam is addictive.

Yes, I'm easily addicted to stuff. I've been sifting over all Steam's warez lately to see if I could find some more goodies to try out. Here's what I've managed to nab:

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor. $30. This is a brand new release (April 9th) , a stand-alone expansion to CoH. There are new scenarios, new multiplayer maps and game modes, and a few new units to mess around with. This expansion is probably overpriced a bit but damn, the original game is so good I don't mind. Again, if you haven't got into the CoH game yet, do it. They have a complete-pack out now which is all 3 CoH's for $40.

Now for some older, cheaper games. Not like, c-64 old but damn some of these don't let you change resolution or even run in a window. In any case...

Games on Sale! woo! All of these are 1/2 price until Apr 13th.
Sacred Gold. $5. Comes with Sacred, Sacred Plus (fan pack?), and Sacred Underworld (expansion). Game plays like Diablo II, with a bit more exploring and open-world. This means I love it! =) Kill Kill Kill, Loot Loot Loot... fun stuff! Now they released a sequal in December but I will probably wait for the console (PS3) version of that. Up to 16-players online (although I'm having difficulty getting that to work right now on Vista 64) In any case if you somehow missed this game like I did, pay the $5 and have a blast.

Jagged Alliance 2 Gold /Disciples II Gold Combo. $15. JA2 Gold comes with the original game plus the expansion, JA2 Unfinished Business. If you played any Sir-Tech games in the past (Wizardry.. any of them) you know that they don't mess around. JA2 is a turn-based role-playing strategy game where you run a group of Mercs and do missions for cash. It's very involved and has a lot of depth. It's great.. will just leave it there. Disciples II comes with the game plus 2 expansions. It's a strategy game with a fantasy theme. Some people absolutely love the game, although I didn't like it that much at first impression. Both of these games I need to read the manual for (comes with the game in electronic format). 5 titles for $15, and 2 of them are Sir-Tech? Win.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Log in, get a prize!

Without a guild or any real progress to be made I haven't been logging in much. I did, however, crack open an oracle egg and got a nice surprise for Failsauce. Woot! I suppose it's time to find a new guild and hopefully get a spot for the upcoming Ulduar stuff. I've been sidetracked by some other PC games lately. Since getting the new PC I got a steam account and had to find out what I'd missed over the last few years.

Company of Heroes is just fantastic. I'm sure a lot of you have played this. I purchased the "Gold" version at Best Buy for $30 (which included the expansion, Opposing Fronts) but now I wish I had got the "relic pack" from Steam which included CoH Gold and also Dawn of War platnium (the original DoW game plus it's 2 expansions) for only $50.

The amazing quality of CoH made me want to try some other Relic stuff. I picked up Dawn of War II and was very impressed. It's a bit watered down as an rts but it does take every advantage of my PC and is extremely well polished. The single-player campaign (you can actually play it co-op as well) is more like a cross between Diablo and an RTS, with loot drops, leveling up, and skill point allocation.

Lastly, based on amazing reviews, I nabbed Empire: Total War. I've only had it for a day so it's a little hard to give it a fair shake but so far it's extremely slow and I'm missing why the reviewers think it's so great. Trying to put armies in place is sloooooow and their pathfinding frustrating. I'll have to give it more of a chance but right now I wouldn't reccomend it.

Big thumbs up for Steam tho. No sales tax, great weekend specials, and no discs/manuals to keep track of, it's all electronic.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lack of posting

Sorry about the lack of posting over the last month. I've lost a bit of steam when it comes to playing WoW and the blog follows right along. For some reason Hornlove's guild which was running so well one day fell apart the next. I haven't had the energy to try and find another yet. Eve Online has been good for a bit. If you're reading this then you probably want to hear about WoW-related stuff so I won't start posting Eve junk.

The last 5 days have been spent doing work in a feeble attempt to get a demo out for our booth at the game developer's conference which started this week. It's been forever since I programmed stuff for the PC and never for windows, so I'm afraid even with the huge push to get the demo out I still came up short. There just wasn't enough time. It was quite depressing.

Well lets try and get something WoW-related here.. Failsauce got exalted with the Kalu'ak, so that makes all 3 of my 80's with a fishing pole. Yay! Just in time for them to nerf the hell out of fishing, making it easier to level up. She also was able to get into a Naxx group last week *gasp, I know!* and pulled some decent upgrades, including the T7.5 chest. It was nice to finally get Failsauce some Naxx-action. Most of the time there are no spots available for DK-DPS.

Ulduar can't be far away. I should try and get into a new guild soon. Things will pick up.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New computer, yeah baby!

Last Wednesday I bought a new computer, mostly for playing WoW and EVE Online. Previously I had been using a Dell that had worked very admirably for over 5 years. (I also bought that one for playing WoW at the time of release). It was certainly time for an upgrade! What I ended up with was another Dell, the XPS Studio with a 24-inch 1900x1080 screen. What a difference! Now running at 60FPS in Naxx, Dalaran, anywhere. It's certainly going to breathe more life into computer gaming for me.

I also have the power to run Fraps and hope to have some movies up here soon. Messing around with the Vista movie editor was a bit frustrating. I wanted to add multiple sound channels (one for music, one for narration, etc) but it was incapable of doing that. Also, uploading movies to YouTube really destroys their quality as they're reprocessed for low bandwidth. I'm not sure how people keep the quality high when sharing the movies online. It will be a learning process.

Anyways just thought I'd share my good fortune. I had been saving for a couple months to get this upgrade. Now if I can still pay next month's rent I'll be just fine. ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The shelf-life of a Twink

I read an interesting post about how Twinks will be losing a lot of enchants come 3.1 on General today. It seems a lot of people actually really hate Twinks! Although I don't have a twink myself, I always liked the idea of maxxing out a char at level 19 or maybe 29.. get all the best gear and enchants. One thing I like about it is you won't have to do a lot of work on them when a new expansion hits. Another thing is, nobody should have you outgeared (by much anyways), so that's one less factor to worry about when testing your meddle.

Some twink-backers in the thread say that the enchants, which are mostly stamina-boosting, help the battles last a bit longer and help people from getting 2-shot by the burst damage. Without much low-level BG experience I can't say one way or the other but that claim does seem to make a lot of sense. In any case I still think I'll get a twink made and see how it is. I planned to get my Banker-guy rogue up to level 18 for those "sprints" from the mailbox to the AH and back. One more level isn't going to hurt. =)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blizzard hates dwarves.

First they completely neglect to give Find Treasure a use in all of Northrend. Now they are nerfing the hell out of Stoneform, getting rid of the 8-second immunity to poison, disease, etc. What gives? Is there any reason to choose a Dwarf anymore?

I haven't played much WoW lately I'm afraid. I went from 2 guilds to 0 in the span of 3 days. I quit Hiredgun's guild. It was getting quite full and I was unable to make one of the raid days (Thursday). Hornlove's guild (Chaotic) sort of imploded overnight. Some drama between the guildmaster and his girlfriend caused all sorts of havok. Our 25-man naxx (with 16 pug members) failed to kill KT for the first time, well.. ever! Chaotic may reform in some way, we'll have to see where it goes.

One thing that amuses me about CCP (eve online) is how non-corprate the company is. Check out this "blue" response to a player who is speculating about a coming feature in the game. Can you imagine a Blizzard representative telling a player to "Cry some more?" /lol

Monday, March 2, 2009

A weekend without WoW.

Most of the time when I don't post over the weekend it's because I'm playing WoW instead. This weekend I was busy with other games. Killzone 2 for the Playstation 3 is amazing. I completed the single-player campaign and had my ass handed to me online. I also was busy getting my Eve Online accounts in order after reactivating them. I didn't even have time to play with this new toy.

So if posts here are a little slow here lately, you know why.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dual-Spec, Tri-Spec, Quad-Spec.. argh

I usually don't write about other blog posts. Maybe I will do more of that, however, since I often can't think of original things to talk about. BigBearButt talked about how some Noob ranted about Dual Spec. The rant was very good and certainly made me think about it. Without going into detail, I'll just say that I'm starting to like the idea of dual-spec less and less. Miss Elf found some people complaining about dual-spec as well.. except this conversation begins with crying about the 1000g price tag for the privilege. *rolls eyes* Taffybag, Stompalina, and Half briefly discuss Dual-Spec in the RawrBitchRawr podcast which they did live for the first time (grats!). Floramel at Grimmtooth's Troops had something to say about Dual-Spec, as did Santyn from Lethal Shots. Now Hunters, Mages, Rogues, and Warlocks are single-purpose (DPS) classes, but that doesn't stop Perzyx (Crooked Bow) from writing about how he may use Dual-Spec to switch to and from a Survival build and Lassirra giving us her take on Wow Insider.

Ok, I think I got it out of my system. I'm feeling a tug in another direction. BTW, Eve Online players... after years and years of asking for it, we're finally going to get a skill queue. Might be time to fire up those inactive accounts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Loot Rules

It's Tuesday and that means a naxx run with HiredGun. This run was supposed to be the group's first full clear in one night. Before it gets started tho, there's an announcement that loot rules are changed. Basically there are 2 tiers of members coming. "Raiders" and "Other". If you are of "Raider" status, you get 120 "loot points" to spend on items, "Other" get 100. When an item comes up for distribution, you private message the raid leader with your bid (minimum 10 loot points). Right away, you can see this isn't completely fair. Why should certain people start with more points? Because they show up every week? I dunno maybe this is normal procedure for most people, but I am of the beleif that when running a raid, everyone should have an equal shake.

Only main-specs can bid on an item. It's a blind auction, nobody knows what anyone else is bidding. Naturally, whoever makes the highest bid gets the item and the "loot points" are deducted from them. If there is a tie for the highest bids, those people roll to determine a winner. If nobody makes a bid on an item, it then directly goes to Off-spec, and people roll on the item. Whoever wins the off-spec roll gets the item without spending ANY loot points. Now here's the thing that annoys me about the off-spec thing... During this off-spec roll, if the item would have been good for your main-spec, YOU AREN'T ALLOWED TO ROLL ON IT. So if I'm a hunter, a mage, or a rogue, basically you'll never get an off-spec roll "free" item. Very unfair to the single purpose class I say. There were MANY off-spec rolls last night. Raid leader's response "oh well, if you let main-spec roll on it they'd never use their loot points." So f'in what? If someone is going to let off-spec roll with them on an item, they're taking a big chance that they're going to lose it rather then spend the 10 points they'd need with a bid. Just let them roll if that's what they want to do.

So why was this system put into place? Apparently last week there was some complaints about a somewhat-scrub mage taking 4 greed items and then winning his need roll on the KT mage ring. *shrug* I've personally never had a problem with the 1 Need, 1 T7 need, unlimited main-spec greed system. I guess some people do not like it tho when someone gets 3-4 items and then scores the nice KT loot as well. What does it really matter tho? The stuff the guy won with his greed items couldn't have set anyone back really that much? They always had the option to use their need on any of that stuff. Besides that, there are going to be days when the mage can't win anything on a roll. It all evens out.

What's happening is this... The very well-geared members of the raid (that perhaps only need an item from KT) don't want to have to roll against scrubs who still need stuff from the rest of the raid. So if you go into naxx knowing you need a drop from KT and nothing else, I can see why you like this system. Btw there was still a Pally last night who won *5* items in the run using these new rules, including an off-spec piece and a T7.5 item. Weren't the new rules supposed to prevent such a thing? Was this unfair? Guess not, since it wasn't competing with anything the raid leader was rolling on, and this Pally didn't have any points to spend on KT.

Is this system one you've seen before? It's not DKP, the points don't carry over to the next raid. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Remember Find Treasure?

That quirky little dwarf racial ability... It could be used to show semi-rare spawned world treasure chests or quest items on the mini-map. It still exists in the game, but for some reason Blizzard has neglected to have it detect anything in Northrend. There are no world treasure chests to find. There are no quest items that it will detect. It's useless. Did the designers think it was OP? Did they just forget to tag certain quest items as "treasure?" I wonder if there are other racial abilities that became obsolete in WotLK.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Retro Friday - A much better game

Happy New Years 2006 from a the Demon Temple! =) This was me wielding my Demon Slayer sword quite effectively. The "best Demon graphics" were actually an older version of the demon graphics that they had put back in. Imagine that, going backwards to an older version of art because it was actually better. Yeah most of you probably look at this and think "man, the other demon graphics must have been REALLY bad" .. lol

Ultima Online was never really about it's graphic prowess. It was about meaningful online gameplay, of which it had no equal. Everything you did in the game seemed meaningful. Consdering it was the pioneer for popular online RPGs, it's amazing the game is still going. I miss it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

There are mounts, and then ...

There's this mount:

The Ashes of Al'ar is one of those mounts most people in the game never even see! The other day when we were doing Malygos I caught a glimse of this amazing bird-mount. It's owner, Lichshock was in the process of moving his guild to Cenarius. *shakes fist angrily at the Queue*

I'd love to get this mount but realistically will never be able to get one. Getting the people together to do it every week would be one thing, winning the roll the 1 or 2 times it dropped a year would be another.

Edit: I'm actually pleased that there are still items like this in the game. Everything should not be easily obtainable by anyone who thinks "I want one!" Things that are near impossible to get still have that "epic" quality about them, and this magnificent mount is certainly in that category.

The Heartmender Meta-Game

Yes, Love is no longer in the air. If you tried to get the "Fool for Love" meta-achievement you will probably remember the Heartmender part:

You basically had to use your Unbestowed Friendship Bracelets on other people who had their heart broken during a token of love turn-in. If you did this early on in the 5-day event, you'd probably have good success as many people were turning in their tokens. It was a target-rich environment for the menders. Near the end of the event, however, the game changed. Not as many people were turning their tokens in, but lots still had to get this achivement.

One strategy was to camp the guards near heavily populated areas like Ironforge bank/auction house. If you click on the picture to the right you can see that's exactly what people started to do. These aren't people turning in their tokens, they're waiting for a chance to mend someone's heart. This quickly turned somewhat ugly as many competed to get the "mend" in before the others who were camping. Chances to do so were becoming more and more rare.

Another strategy people started to employ was to have a friend help them. They'd both ride around on fast mounts, turning in massive amounts of tokens just to try and get heartbroken so their friend could do the mending. Fair enough, but I was going to try and get a piece of this as well. I started following around, weither I knew them or not, and started to mend them. When it came to someone helping out a friend, they didn't want me to be mending them, so once I did mend them they'd just stop for a bit, wait for me to leave, then continue on.

Time was running out on the event. 6AM on Monday was when things turned off, and if I didn't have the achivement done by then, I wasn't going to be able to complete it for another year. It became kind of a cat & mouse game. I ended up having to hide behind pillars and walls etc, then dashing in to mend before their friend could. I was at a disadvantage near the end, as they could usually get their mend in first. Once they ran into the King's chambers where there were many guards available, I was on equal footing. Spamming the friendship ring to mend was fine since we were already dismounted. (+15% run speed from Failsauce's unholy aura didn't hurt either) I got my last couple mends, thanked the person and went on my way.

I'm sure there was a little "hate" in the air, but hey I needed my achievements!!

5 days was not nearly enough time for this event. Besides a couple naxx's and work, I was basically humping this thing all weekend and was just barely able to get it done for my 3 level 80's. There was too much randomness., too much stress trying to get it done in time. At least there's a couple months before the next holiday event.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Retro Friday - Pre-TBC Elite Pet!

King Bangalash Tamed on 10/31/06?

This is an unedited picture taken on 10/31/06 of Darn seemingly owning King Bangalash as a real, elite pet. It was his pet, but this was some kind of display bug that happened at the Flight Path apon landing. It's interesting that the game knew what the original pet's name was even after it had been tamed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is that a love rocket in your pocket?

...or are you just happy to see me?

If you haven't noticed (how could you not) the "Love is in the Air" world event is apon us. The main cities all have scenes that look like this:

...And my backpacks are starting to look like this:

I have to admit I haven't done any of these world events before. In years past they came when I was taking a break from WoW or just too busy to notice. Now that the achievements are all tied in with them, I have more interest. Want to learn about the current event? Lets see...

There's the WoW Insider guide to Fool for Love.
Jaximus posted a Guide on the Official Forums.
WowWiki's Guide to Love is in the Air.

There are many other guides but I'm sure you can get the idea by checking out those. I received 2 romantic picnic baskets on one bank-alt (that's his backpack pictured above). I've also scored 1 perma-peddlefeet and 1 Lovely Black Dress. I now actually have a reason to log on to my toons before heading into work each day. I could wake up 15 minutes earlier...zzzzzz hmm? Oh sorry I dozed off there for a second.

Dragon Wars EXTREME!
Chaotic ran a mostly-guild 25-man Malyos last night. We wiped 6 or 7 times but finally brought the beast down. I have to say this is one case where the 25-man version is probably harder than the 10-man version. Maybe it's because a lot of people still haven't done this fight before. Perhaps once everyone knows the encounter better, it will become as easy as the other 25-man fights. During each run back to my corpse I kept wondering if I was having as much fun as Larisa had on her Malygos "wipe night"... I can't say that I was. But I still had a good time overall and hope to be able to do this every week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday is for Phat Lewts!

An upgrade for a hunter's ranged weapon slot is usually reason for great celebration. With a dwarf hunter, however, it is somewhat shameful when it comes time to trade in his gun for a "better dps" bow. This is what happened last night when HiredGun picked up Final Voyage during his trek through Naxx. Having only 1 skill point in Crossbows was something he was actually proud of. Let the fruity night elves use the bows, damnit! A dwarf needs the smell of gunpowder and a loud BANG BANG sound to make him feel as if he's doing his job. (The racial +1% crit when using guns doesn't hurt either) Unfortunately, in terms of dps, the only guns available as an upgrade were from KT (normal and heroic). So a quiver was made and arrows purchased. HiredGun flew down to Crystalsong Forest to shoot some wolves, trees, and dryads. In less than an hour his crowssbow skill had reached 400. *sigh*

But some more mad hunter loot dropped last night, some monster upgrades actually. Shoulderpads of Secret Arts and Torn Web Wrapping replaced blues on HiredGun. That was pretty awesome. At least now I don't have to contemplate spending 4000g on the belt! =) Hunter loot continued to fall... Arrowsong dropped, a Warrior won it with an uncontested greed roll. Grim Toll fell and was nabbed by some other dps, as was the more common Aged Winter Cloak.

Tonight should be lots of Vault and OS running. I didn't even know that there was a rare mount from the Vault. BigBearButt got one from 10-man, so run that thing.. even if the T7 stuff is kinda junky lookin after a while.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday is for the desperate.

It seems to be a theme every Monday night. The desperate people are trying to get their Naxx, Vault, and OS in before the Tuesday reset. The guildless, the undergeared, the lazy, the procrastinators... basically the opposite of what you'd find on Tuesday afternoon's groups for doing raids. You don't want to wait until the last minute to get these done whatever the reason.

This being said, Failsauce had not done either naxx 10 or 25. What gives? Well the 10-man naxx for her guild Chaotic was scheduled for Friday night but was then rescheduled for Monday. No big deal, I was told by the GM that Failsauce would "probably" be able to go, but would only get loot if any of the "mains" that were going didn't need it. Sounded just fine to me, at this point anyone who was a main was unlikely to need much from 10-man naxx.

I show up 15 minutes prior to invites and start hovering outside of the giant necropolis, patiently waiting. I mention on vent that I was hoping that Failsauce was going to get a spot when an officer spoke up "I don't really want to be running other people's alts through, gearing them up." ??? Wanker. I reminded the GM with a tell that I was there and waiting. Start time +10 minutes go past, no word, nothing. I ask again about it and get "We need ranged DPS." Which I guess meant I didn't have a spot. No biggie, but being as this was Monday it wasn't looking too promising for getting in another group. Oh yeah, the GM was running the raid with his fresh 80 paladin alt. Funny, I didn't hear the officer complain about it.

I remain on vent to hear how things are going. The other (holy) paladin is having extreme connection problems. Disconnected nearly 10 times in the first wing. Eventually he didn't return. After they were unsuccessful filling his spot, I spoke up.. "Failsauce still isn't saved.. I could join you for some more DPS". I got no response. Nothing. Then someone spoke up "I guess we'll just do this with 9 then." !!!11!!!ONE!1! WHAT?? They would rather go shorthanded then have my alt go? WTF!?!

So now I'm steamed. I look around for a spot in another raid with no luck. I speak up in vent once in a while between battles but nobody seems to acknowledge anything I say. Is this some sort of prank? I leave the vent server and rejoin just in case something is bugged. Still nobody seems to respond to anything I say. Oh well.. assholes!!

I run some instances, and by the time I'm done with those the guild raid is nearly finished. A couple wipes on KT but they finally get it done. Post-raid chatter fills vent. One guy is asking where to get the cooking recipe for Northern Stew. I mention, "You get it from a quest. Go to the cooking trainer in either BT or HF". Someone else says "You just get it from the cooking trainer." Hmm if this was a prank they certainly are being very disciplined about pretending not to be able to hear me. I continue to respond to conversation, hoping someone will slip up and respond to something, anything I say. No luck. What the heck? Something must be wrong. I completely shut down vent, rejoin the server, and I still apparently can't be heard.

Then I noticed the red light on my headset. It had been muted.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Update - Jane, you ignorant slut.

I played WoW all weekend but feel like not much was accomplished. I'm talking about in-game accomplishments... anything outside of game went to hell, nothing new there.

With three characters now at 80, I need some kind of schedule or to-do list for each of them to plan out activities for each day. HiredGun needs to work on is Frenzyheart Tribe dailies. Both he and Failsauce must keep up the grind with Sons of Hodir as well as the Kalu'ak. Make sure everyone does their cooking quest. Try and remember to use the Titansteel cooldowns. Who's saved to what raid? Which raids am I not joining with what toon because I'm going to do them with guildies later? Do I want to try the fishing contest this week? How many days left on the Lunar Festival? Is it too late to make some of those trinkets at the Darkmoon Faire? Argh.

Breathe. Relax.

I joined several PUG raids and heroics over the weekend with less-than-stelar results. "Heroic HoL?" Hell Yeah! HiredGun still had the Sons of Hodir quests for this instance. I zone in, get saved, wait just inside the instance. "Oh, btw we're on the 3rd boss." Awesome. Way to wait til I'm saved before serving up that little nugget. Two of the party members yammered on and on about some "stupid druid" who had just left the group. I did my best to /ignore it, but had to wonder if the said druid was actually the smart one.

We immediately have 2 near wipes on just trash. My well-timed feign death combined with Jumper Cables (er, knife) saved the priest a long run back. Ionar is not a difficult boss but you wouldn't know it by watching this group in action. Twice in a row the priest died very quickly, causing wipes. Both times she was unable to get away from the nasty spark-things on the ground. The group broke up shortly after that. Momma told me there would be pugs like this.

Then a guy named "TheJuice" was putting together a 25-man OS. Everyone loves OS! Great loot, short fight, even a nice 22-slot bag at the end. Chock-full of win! It wasn't until everyone zoned in that we noticed: "Hey, where's the dragon?" Mother f... TheJuice you are now on "The List." Blizzard, please...please...please just put up some kind of warning the first time you try and enter a saved instance/raid with a group? "Entering this portal will save you to RAID: 6951233.. do you wish to continue?" Would that be too hard?

2AM Sunday night, about to wrap it up.. "LF2M DPS for 25-naxx, 1/2 of Military left plus Construct, Saph, KT". Sleep could wait for this! HiredGun had much room for gear improvement so I joined their vent and caught a summon right away. Gothik the Harvester peered down at me from his balcony. I could see the fear in his eyes, as HiredGun had arrived. Apparently not everyone was on vent, or something, because the fight started with only 5 or so other people with me on the dead side. GG. After everyone got back we tried again, this time with a proper number of folk on each side. We got it done this time and were on to the Four Horseman. Despite good dps, the raid wiped several times as healers/tanks/whoever didn't know their duties. After the 4th try we downed the quartet. I was actually a bit surprised to get past this fight; most unorganized groups don't have a chance.

We then met up with Patchwerk. I'll save you a lot of time here and just say it was horrible. People were dying within seconds of the fight starting, and this happened over and over. From the confusion on vent it was clear that the proper tanking/healing strategy was eluding them. As ranged DPS, I haven't really learned a lot about how these roles function for this fight. I just know there's nasty attacks and healers have to be spamming heals. Besides steady DPS, I could only contribute ScrapBots to help move things along. Around 4am people were dropping and the raid was called. "No More Play", indeed.

Is the game too easy or are players just better now? Both, however I think it's more of the latter. The game still feels very difficult when you're grouping with clowns. My role as DPS is usually one that doesn't take much thought (pew pew!). Is it unfair for me to judge when tanks/healers/raid leaders fail at their jobs? Probably, but clearly people can do much better.

DPS need to do better also. At least put an enchant on that 2-hander you got at level 75. Yes, other hunter in the raid.. I'm talking to you!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Retro Friday - Onyxia raid

Hornlove got a minor upgrade to her bow last night, Arrowsong. Here's hoping KT stops being stingy next week =) After the raid a few of us went to farm some Onyxia Scales and it brought back some memories. Here's Darn on Dec 1st, 2006:

Click for larger image

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dragon Wars!

Hornlove is in there somewhere

Hornlove got her chance vs Malygos last night. Fortunately the other members of the 10-man raid had done this fight at least once before. It was a nice experience, doing combat from the back of dragons! (and not in an Occulus nobody-wants-to-be-there kind of way). The first attempt started with a couple early deaths and we got wiped by his enrage in phase 3. The 2nd attempt went great except I stood still inside a cloud while using my "5" shield key and died. No matter, the rest of the party finished the Dragon off and we had our victory!

Hornlove's raiding prowess authenticated by a title!

It's an interesting fight, I can't wait to do it again. (especially since Black Ice didn't drop)

Earlier in the night we did some vaults and 25OS+1 drake. Survival seems to be doing well.

25-Man Vault

10-Man Vault

I'm happy to report that my connection nightmare from tuesday night was history. HiredGun also joined a 25-man OS (pug) and did OK. The goofballs wanted to try it with 1-drake. Of course it took a few wipes to make everyone realize it wasn't going to happen. You know the raid is going to have problems when you get a ready check accompanied by "Press No for 1 drake, press Yes for No".. wait, what?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You have been disconnected from the server.

It was HiredGun's turn to do some raids. The only thing I felt was sub-par about his gear for being 80 for less than a day was his pet. However as a survival hunter, the pet does such a small amount of damage. Bringing a level 76 cat wasn't going to bother me too much, and it wasn't going to be the difference between success and failure.

First up, it was time for 10-man Naxx. This should be fun! Also it was the first raid I'd be doing as survival. The first couple trash pulls. "Anyone else seeing spikey lag?" Nope, I was the only one. Shortly after that I was disconnected. Hmm.. Ok, log back in. Disconnected again after the next trash pull. Wow. This is going to make it hard to see where I stand in the damage meters. We got to the first boss in the Spider wing, I made it thru the fight this time. Hiregun getting his "First Heroic badge" achievement was a bit embarassing, but oh well =) My DPS was 200+ higher than the other hunter which had been joining this raid for several weeks now. Not bad for being a day-old 80 I thought!

It went steeply downhill from there. Disconnected over and over and over. What the hell was going on? Did they move the "bad router" to my corner of Blizzard's server room during the morning's rolling restarts? Since I moved to this city 7 months ago I've never had any problems with my ISP. The disconnecting problems continued. We got thru the Spider Wing. A *explitive deleted* pally took my Wraith Spear to boot. This trip had not gone at all like I had hoped.

We then did the Military quarter. Struggled a bit but did down all the bosses until the Four Hourseman. These guys pwned us over and over. The raid DPS was seriously lacking (me disconnecting twice on average on Thane alone didn't help). I offered to be replaced because I wasn't doing the raid much good. After a couple guys had had enuf, the raid was called. I doubt if anyone felt satisfied with how it turned out.

After that I joined a 25-Man pug vault run. How bad could this be? It's one friggin fight. The group had a massive amount of DPS and healing, as is typical on Tuesday raid pugs. (The ones on Monday people seem to come in greens and 70's gear) More of the same, I disconnected twice on trash. At this point I just wanted to finish this raid and go to sleep. Start of the vault boss fight (which has to be done in less than 5 minutes). I disconnect no less than 4 times during the fight, getting reconnected the last time just as the boss fell. I sheepishly looted my badge of valor. What a nightmare. The uber-pug was going on to 25-man OS which would have been awesome to join if I wasn't in DC hell. I let the group know that I was useless and that they needed to replace me.

I always hear others complain about days like this. It's easier for me to relate now. I can only hope this was a one-night thing and when tonight things will be back to normal. It's easy to take a stable connection for granted.

Edit: Drotara from LessQQMorePewPew also had some problems with connection last night. He also is a comcast customer. Apparently comcast was doing some maintenance last night so hopfully thats the reason why my service was crap.