Monday, 29 November 2010

20 days of Wow - Day 4: Favourite Emote

Now this one is a weird one. I have to say that I don't play much on roleplaying servers any more (this used to be different in other games, but I never found WoW to be a very suitable medium) - and as such my use of emotes is more limited than I might be elsewhere.

I mean ... I don't need to convey my emotional state much when I beat up 10 generic rats, and I'm sure my raid leader would frown on complicated emotes during a raiding encounter. This is different before and after the fight - but in the middle? Not really.

So my most used (and thus by default favourite) emote is /wave. It's something I use resonably often - usually when galloping past someone I know on a road in the middle of nowhere.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

20 days of WoW - Day 3: Favourite NPC

I thought about which one for quite a while - and it's been a bit difficult. I read the posts about faction leaders - and couldn't identify with the cause of any of them. Annoying buggers, the lot.

I wondered if there was any NPCs that made me laugh or made me want to join .. and in the end, it came down to two of them. Narain Soothfancy and Azuregos. Both are completely mental and once had the best quest text in the game. Unfortunately, it seems with Cataclysm the whole questline was removed.

You meet them both on a heroic bookstealing quest. That's right. Some of the books need to be liberated right from the library. For the Good of Azeroth, no less!

A psychic gnome versus the leader of the Blue Dragonflight.

In the end, the more bonkers one of the two comes out ahead. I couldn't help but pick Azuregos after this masterpiece of conversation:

You seek the scepter shard charged to the protection of the Blue Flight?

Snack: How did you know? I mean, yes... Yes i am looking for that shard. Do you have it?

Of course I do not have the shard. That would be asinine. I walk amongst savages in this cursed land! I cannot take five steps without some crazed orc or human trying to thrust a sharp stick into my hide. At any given time you could very well be speaking to my ghostly spirit.

Anyhow... I hid it.

Go on... Ask me Where.

Snack: Alright. Where?

Your going to love this story, dwarf. See, here is the thing. As soon as Malygos charged me with protecting the scepter shard, I knew I was in for an eternity of headache and pain.

All i want to do is study these magic rich shorelines and take in what artifacts remain from the sundering. You know, there was once a thriving Highborne civilization here! you don't have to tell me that there is going to be some solid magical items around here, dwarf I can smell it!

Snack: By Bronzebeard's... um, Beard! what are you talking about?

As I was saying, I held onto that scepter shard for a good five-hundred years and it was nothing but trouble. it attracted all kinds of attention - the wrong kind of attention. I want to be left alone to my studies not babysit some would be hero's ticket to glory. So i gave it to the fish.

Snack: Fish? You gave a piece of what could be the key to saving all life on Kalimdor to a fish?

Not just any fish mortal this fish was a minnow. A very special minnow.

Snack: A Minnow? The oceans are filled with minnows! There could be a hundred million minnows out there!


Snack: ...

Genius, I know... It will never be found; but, in case it if found I gave the minnow some special powers.

Snack: You put the piece on a minnow and place the minnow somewhere in the waters of the sea between here and the Eastern Kingdoms? And this minnow has special powers?

Correct. You've been listening! This minnow is really quite a terrible creature of my own creation. When I am relaxing, I like to think of the unlucky fishermen who have run into this minnow and been devoured whole. I bet they were quite surprised!

Snack: You're insane.

Genius is often misunderstood. Now, about the scepter shard... If you want that shard and do not wish to spend the next ten thousand years searching for it, you are going to have to listen very carefully.

Snack: I'm all ears.

Two words: Arcanite Buoy.

Snack: Come again.

Right then... you have to build an arcanite buoy and place it in the ocean. My minnow will be attracted to the magical emanations. When he gets near the buoy - BLAMO! it will explode in a glorious pulse of arcane energy, revealing the minnows true form. Also, you may or may not incur the wrath of Neptulon. A 50/50 chance I would say.

Snack: Ok, let me get this straight. You put the scepter shard entrusted to your Flight by Anachronos on a minnow of your own making and now expect me to build arcanite buoy or something... to force your minnow out of hiding? AND potentially incur the wrath of an elemental Lord? Did I miss anything? Perhaps I am to do this without any clothes on, during a solar eclipse, on a leap year?

If I did not know better, I would think that you were mocking me, Mortal: but yes, that is mostly correct. You may remain fully clothed.

Snack: FINE! And how, dare I ask, am I supposed to acquire an arcanite buoy?

Take this ledger to an old acquaintance of mine in Tanaris. His name is Narain Soothfancy - terrible, terrible, psychic but an amazing engineer! He should be able to make sense of it all.

No need to thank me. It's the least I could do.

Good Day!

Snack: but...


Mining and Fishing nodes, oh my!

I'm sure you've noticed that the sheer amount of mining nodes in the wild has increased dramatically. I can't say the same for Herbalism - mainly because I haven't logged in a herbalist yet. However, it seems that there is a lot of ore lying around.

Now the same applies to fishing. Which I knew, because I've been running around Eastern Plaguelands and seeing loads and loads of Sagefish Pools where I didn't expect any. I didn't quite grasp what that meant, though.

Today (as on every Sunday) it was time for some friendly competitive fishing in Stranglethorn Vale again. And yes.. there are more fishing schools there as well. So many more, in fact, that they do not properly despawn at the beginning of the tournament. You'll end up with something like this:

Just in case this is too large: There are two pools on top of each other, one a School of Tastyfish for the contest, the other a Firefin Snapper School of uselessness. Also shown on the map is another pool just south of my current one (also double: Tastyfish and Oily Blackmouth).

The good news: As long as the School of Tastyfish is present, they have priority when fishing. You will always pull up all the Tastyfish first. However, this requires a keen eye on the Minimap now to see when your school is empty. And.. it's very problematic on the screen - hovering the mouse over the actual fishing pool does not show the Tastyfish on top.

Good luck .. or rather.. let's see what this looks like next week.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

20 Days of WoW - Day 2: Favourite Race

After reading quite a few of these posts in the last days, I'll have to come out with the truth, I suppose. I don't pick my favourite race based on looks or abilities or swing animations. I'm just going with "most useful gameplay bonus".

So far, no game has managed to make all races identical and just cosmetically different - there are always some stat changes.

Which is also the cause for my lovely dwarf

(who formerly looked like this)

to now look like this:

Taller, certainly, but more importantly: possessed of Diplomacy. Which will come in extra handy with all the new factions in Cataclysm. And then, I'll probably go back to dwarf - which has great tanking specials.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

20 days of WoW - Day 1: Class

I got this from my wife (and this time, I take longer to finish than her!), but she's grabbed it somewhere else - and to be fair I didn't quite manage to track down where it all started.

The whole list is this:

Day 1 - Favourite class and why?

Day 2 - Favourite race and why?
Day 3 - Favourite NPC?
Day 4 - Favourite Emote and the best situation to use it in.
Day 5 - The meaning behind your mains name?
Day 6 - Favourite dungeon and why?
Day 7 - Favourite companion non-combat pet?
Day 8 - Favourite guild name you’ve come across?
Day 9 - Which race/class combination are you most like in RL?
Day 10 - If a level 3 called “yurmom” asks you for gold, you say/do?
Day 11 - Favourite WoW holiday (e.g Brewfest, Childrens week)
Day 12 - Suggest any idea for Blizzard that they could put in the game.
Day 13 - Which faction are you “for”?
Day 14 - Healer, tank or dps?
Day 15 - Favourite Battleground and why?
Day 16 - Favourite quest/quest chain?
Day 17 - What do you do when the server’s down?!
Day 18 - Post your favourite Screenshot.
Day 19 - How many hours do you play a week, roughly?
Day 20 - Where would you be now if World of Warcraft never existed?

So today, we start with something easy:

Day 1 - Favourite class and why?

For me, it'll be warrior, thank you.

Now it wasn't love at first sight - my first character ever was a rogue. My warrior came along only when I was playing with a friend and we both decided to try something new. Two warriors with the same beards were born and we were merrily chopping our way to maximum level shortly after. I think the most fun we had with two Whirlwind Axes and the crazy helicopter animation.

Nowadays, I just enjoy tanking on the warrior most. I tried all four (or five, if you want to count warlock drain tanking) classes and warrior is just the most engaging. There are always buttons to press - something for every occasion.

Of course they occasionally get nerfed (and I loved the statement from Blizzard at the beginning of WotLK that "too many people are still playing warrior tanks - we are nerfing them to perform below average to even out the numbers a bit"(*) ) - but that's okay, the sheer amount of abilities dedicated to "doing your primary thing" are great.

This balances with the other classes having superb raid utility skills - like the battleres of an off-tank druid or so.

(*) I sadly cannot find that quote. Here are two links that fall into the approximately right timeframe. The gist is the same.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Things I don't understand...

Obviously there are many, but let's not dwell on my personal problems. Let me talk about things that confused me lately. Word of warning: There might be a little bit of Real Life mixed into this. I'm sure no one cares, but it's my post, so pffbttt.

1) The parking situation:

My company is currently hiring people. A lot of people. Financial crisis overcome we are in the lucky position to actually need more. One of the bonus features is a new building (almost completed - started two years ago) with more room. All those new people will actually be able to sit somewhere. Another bonus feature is a new parking lot.


To make room for the new parking lot an old overgrown field/illegal dump was paved over. At the same time a new road is being built to the new building - supplies and drinks for the canteen and such need to be delivered, after all. The new road will end up where the old (smaller) parking lot was.

And here is what boggles me.

The old parking lot was closed before the new one was finished.

Eh what?

I mean ... it's not like any of those projects just jumped out of the shower, naked, screaming "what are you doing in here with a camera!". They were known in advance.

2) The lights on the car:

So ... my car burn out one of the rear lights. No big deal - they are not even mounted too horribly and can be replaced with a tiny bit of patience, a phillips head screwdriver and (not to be neglected, this bit) a new lightbulb. What makes me wonder about the sanity of designers, though: My fabeled on-board computer told me that not only the rear light was dead, I had also - at the same time - lost one of the brake lights.

Now I have met electronics before and know to trust them about as far as I can throw them (in this case: still attached to the car for the throwing bit) - but we also know that Murphy was a bloody optimist, so yeah sure - I could loose two at the same time.

Closer analysis (read: the aforementioned screwdriver and a good shake of all the bulbs to see which had a loose dangely wire) reveals that in fact only the rear light is dead. However, for whatever reason, the designer of this bit thought it would be a good idea to route the current for the brake light through the rear light. WHY?!

3) The raiding attitude:

We have officially cancelled raiding for the rest of this expansion. That doesn't mean we don't enter dungeons with more than 5 people any more, but the attendance requirements are no longer enforced, DKP are no longer used and we don't neccessarily set up raids for nights a week any more.

A few people still have "private projects" running. Finish the Ulduar25 drake meta-achievement is one such goal. And while we had quite a lot of interested in the early stages of this achievement, it has tapered off a bit. Some people who originally signed up regularily don't do it any more.

And this confuses me.

I mean, on the one hand we get messages like this:

(names removed to protect the innocent)

On the other hand, the same person has not signed up for the last 10 days, and his last comment was this:

Somehow, the heart is no longer in the raiding game.

Ah well... I think I'll just have to try and get my hands on a Cuddle-Me-Yoggy to cheer me up.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Just how many of us are there?

I am amazed.

Shocked, sometimes, at how many people play World of Warcraft. I mean - yes - there are at least three in my company, and even though my attempt to recruit someone else failed that is still quite impressive for "just a game".

I think it's very easy to loose track of the sheer number of people around. I mean ... I don't doubt that Gevlon has a lot of readers, but claiming a recent patch was basically based on his activity in Wintergrasp is probably being slightly megalomaniac.

Just out of curiosity... let's play with some numbers.

World of Warcraft apparently currently has around 12 million subscribers. Gevlons blog had around 3000 regular readers about a year ago. I'm sure the number has fluctuated - increased a bit since then and dropped with the flow of players abandoning WoW for the moment as well. Let me be generous (and make my math easier) and assume he has around 4000 readers now. That is a rough 0.03% of the player base. Impressive - certainly more than my blog - but not statistically significant.

To think his words affect any amount of playerbase seems overconfident.

And why am I jumping around on this silly little number game so much?

Well... I was recently wondering what people were up to in-game. See, I did get a new achievement:

I went around to check on my progress and found that according to this data I am roughly at position 65000 worldwide for achievement points (and this info is outdated, so I might be even higher up). That sounded depressing.

But wait - that means roughly 0.5% of all players worldwide have more achievement points than me. Not so bad at all, suddenly.

So what does that tell me, though. Not all that large a percentage of the playerbase enjoys hunting after achievements. Actually, there also seems to be some regional difference there:

Is that five people from Russian servers in the top 10?

What do all the other people do, though. Some pvp, obviously. Many raid. Lots of people level alts. Some like playing the auction house. Each of those groups has their own fanbase and information sites on the internet. I'm sure there are tons more groups of interest that I cannot even guess at.

And with the numbers above, it doesn't even surprise me all that much.

12 million subscribers.

Just to put that into perspective: That is less than the 71 most populated nations of the world have as inhabitants (according to this list). Or the other way round: World of Warcraft has more players than Zimbabwe has people. Or Cuba. And as both of those countries are far away, and I never managed to have a holiday there - more than Greece or Portugal or Belgium, too.

And somehow - the population of Portugal does not strike me as people who all want the same thing. There are at least sixteen different political parties, lots of different hobbies and things to do.

So ... erm. Why exactly do we presume that everyone else playing World of Warcraft wants to do the things we do? I mean... I need only go outside and ring on the doorbell to my right to find people with a completely different idea about how to spend their Saturday afternoons (hint: It's not achievement hunting in WoW).

I might have to actually consider accepting different styles of play. Even though people who don't know how to DPS on their warriors drive me mental in pickup groups *grin*.

P.S. The achievement is not called "It's over 9000" for effect. You actually need more than 9k points.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Mindless yet almost meditative things

Well yes, so there are city invasions. I saved Stormwind last night and it was bloody good fun. However, when the same happened again this morning I have to admit I thought: Oh well.. a little bit of water and wind never hurt anyone unduly - and those citizens who drown will surely find a kind spirit healer.

And buggered off.

Right out of the city and into the safe countryside (where there are growing a lot of peaches, apparently).

Anyway. I found this lovely statistic.

Apparently the lovely Merrymaker Snack should rather be called Snack, Bane of Humanity!

Honestly... eighty two thousand humanoids? That's like being personally responsible for 2 per mill of the deaths in World War two.


Ah well.

So what would a few more hurt, really.

I decided to work a bit more on my Ravenholt faction. Nothing like a working for a guild of thieves and assassins to feel right at home. Turns out there are two steps to being a loved and exalted member of their community (tightly knit, I tell you - and their birthday cakes are unmatched).

The first is to kill lots of Syndicate members. Lots.

To quote a random klingon (wish I had a name) from Star Trek (the original series): Day of the Dove:

Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man.

He is not that far off, actually. At the current run speed of my Snack (failing the speed boost enchant on his dps booties) I get around 400 to 450 of the little buggers per hour. It's winter - or at least getting there - so ten hours of darkness are not completely unreasonable. Those Klingons knew more about grinding reputation than I would have given them credit for.

And just so this post does not just show I am a complete geek: This is the path I take.

Run up to Durnholde Keep (closest from Southshore flight path) and have a good look at the outside walls. This'll be the last time you see them for roughly eight hours. Those two guys at the start? Yeah.. they give reputation already. Don't let them suffer.

Through the gate, over the bridge, up the hill and turn to the left towards the "castle" entrance is the most favourable way. If there is anything with a Syndicate nametag on the way? Yeah.. that. Sword through the face or some such. Walk all the way up to the broken little tower before turning around and entering the ruins of the castle.

There's two things to take note of in this pile of rubble. The poor trapped Orc is here for a horde quest (and doesn't give reputation anyway) and the Jailors can spawn in here as well. They don't give rep either - and are quest mobs for level 20s. No need to kill them. As usual ... follow the wiggly red line and crush everything in your path.

Down over the side and along the path around the pit, then jump into it and start killing in front of the little huts - and don't let anyone hide inside. They probably store secret and forbidden things there anyway.

Once you come out under the bridge, there are two more huts left and you can then climb up that fallen tree to walk along the inside wall again - taking you straight back to the entrance. Don't forget the two guards outside before going over the bridge again.

At my current damage the respawn is fast enough to never have to stop. Which is good. The little Syndicatelings only have about 521 health as well. Poor things.

You'll need to keep this up to 1 point before Revered - from there on it's the "Box hand in quest" with all of it's own problems.

Oh one last thing. While meditative and fun, I clearly recommend you do something to keep you awake. In my case it's listening to rock music in the background (I'm better at mass-murdering pixels if there is nice music on) and running Comix addon. It cheers me up immensely.

Monday, 15 November 2010

My wife says "Size matters"

...and who would I be to disagree?

Just in case anyone has missed it, though - she was complaining recently about being not exactly well endowed. In the height department, that is. The buns were fine!

Just to compare sized here (out in the open, on a blog, with pictures - what else could we do), I decided to quickly check myself.

I mean - yes - compared to a tree, for instance, a cute little gnome warlock is rather on the short side.

However, by choice of the perfect accessories, a bit of hairspray and a dab of lipgoss any gnome can be talled than a simple peacebloom.

Really now.



Lookity here: Proof!

I completely agree. Size matters! But sometimes appearance can help - especially under bad lighting conditions and possibly with the help of some fermented drinks.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

I admit, I am a bit overzealous for spelling sometimes...

Right. We need to conjure up the right setting for this post. I was a bit torn between posting it and .. well.. not to, but there is this nagging doubt.

*chop chop choppity chop chop* (this is important, remember it)

To start with - we had our usual guild sunday in Molten Core and Temple of Ahn'Quiraj. We walked through the place skipping non-essentials (trash in MC, Visidius the blob of "we need many attackers" in AQ40) and finally finished the instance with only a few dead people. I was playing my little mage for a change - because there was still talk of bringing frostbolts before we noticed we were only five.

The tentacle dropped. Always a bonus. We had not changed the loot options - and they were still set to group loot - and the only options available to me was "greed", "disenchant" and "pass".

Great, thinketh I, they finally noticed that this is not an item that should be needed on by anyone. It's flavour, it's colour, it's fun! This is what great items should be about!

Our Shadowpriest had the same options, also chose "greed" and then we saw a lot of "needs" scroll by. From the paladin, shaman and druid.

This might have lead to shouting and screaming were it not a guild group - as it was we congratulated our paladin on his new squishy tentacle and didn't think about it much. Until a little later, when our shadowpriest spoke up and said: "Hey wait a moment - I didn't even have the option to roll need".

*chop chop choppity chop chop*

Well.. thinking about it like that.. yes, it seems cloth wearers did not get to roll need. Odd. For a trinket?

Ticket time!

I got a GM response surprisingly quickly - took only about 15 minutes as opposed to the usual three days at the moment. *choppity chop*

And the GM was friendly and helpful, but ...


Line 1: Obvious macro with a %t for name of caller. How do I know this? It appeared quickly.
Line 3: "How r you?" err... sticky a and e keys? Spilled some coffee? Okay, that can happen.
Line 5: ":-)" Seriously? I mean.. yes... internet chat and email are supposed to be less formal, but seriously? Maybe I'm getting too old for this.

Line 6: Finally. We get to the good stuff and the spelling has improved. At the cost of typing speed. It is a shame the GM Chat does not display timestamps, but goodness gracious that was slow. I can probably exceed the typing speed with one finger. Okay... new person.

Yes, then there was a predesigned response that did not actually check into what item I had linked. The "you should have read the manual" response. I completely accept that - my phrasing was probably not entirely clear, although I usually try.

Last line in the image: "Did someone won the item?" ... yes, I and O are right next to each other, but at the speed of typing there must have been time to spellcheck. Minutes!

It went on for a bit (and I'm cutting the rest here, because there really is a lot of information exchange that is entirely boring and useless to the point of this post *Thudda thudda thudda* - is that getting louder?).

There was some more macro use (specifically the two farewell phrases - both spelt accurately and used quickly) and I generally felt like I had got a gamemaster new to the job with little actual understanding of what was going on. Not the first one in the last week.

And here is the point:

Is Blizzard giving me more useless gamemasters to make me feel happy about paying an extra fee for superior support in the near future?

Is that it?

Am I being "prepared"?


Oh look. Black helicopters with a Blizzard/Activision logo on the side. I wonder why there are lots of people fast-roping into my garden....

I guess I'll go and ask. See you laters!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

New Tip of the Day!

Err. Maybe it's not actually new, but I found a lot of tips lately that I had not seen before. Possibly because I never pay attention. Maybe it's all because of the insanely long loading times at the end of my blue bar after I crashed (minutes, several of them).

However, when I started my game today I saw this lovely boob err.. girl TIP!

Made me think of Tam MD, of course. I might just have to pay a bit more attention to them in the future. The tips, not the other things on that page!

Oh and... does anyone know if there is a clever list of those Tips of the Day for me to read? The one on Wow-Europe I found is a tad outdated.