• Warcraft

    i haz teh dumb, part 2

    I hate the Teron Gorefiend encounter. By hate, I mean I truly, deeply hate it, specifically the killing constructs part. This is a fiendishly designed enounter, in that it takes a certain amount of experimentation and practice…and each time you don’t handle your constructs perfectly, you contribute to wiping the raid.

    In theory, it’s easy. You run into one of the corners, just prior to turning into a ghost, and you prepare to shackle and icelance all four constructs. There’s also an AOE volley thing, but it is advised to ignore that at first. Sounds easy enough…until you realise that (depending on your addons and a number of other factors), you may need to 1) just hit the 3 and 4 keys, 2) need to control-click the 3 and 4 keys, 3) need to mouseclick the actual buttons on the bar, and so on. Depending on your addons, the bar will appear in different places, and require you to interact with it in different ways.

    The trouble is, if you miss your first shackle, the constructs are off and running like racehorses towards the raid, and it’s too late. It’s an infuriating encounter. I’d prepared macros for my first attempt, and got to use them once. Weeks pass, and I finally have to try again…and the macros for some reason no longer work. Back to the drawing board. Multiply that by the number of people in the raid that are experimenting with how to make it work, and you have a depressing number of wipe opportunities. Multiply that number by the smug asshats who it worked perfectly for on their first try, and the irritation factor increases exponentially.

    I hate him. I hate him so much. Miz made me a tonk, which should use the same action bars, and I’ll practice with that. I am SO not going to have another repeat of my last BT run.

  • MMO/Gaming,  Personal,  Warcraft

    Why Do We Play?

    Via WoW Insider, to Altoholic, to Part Time Druid (in that cannibalistic way that all blogs recycle topics from other blogs for their own interpretation, around and around and around), the subject “Why Do We WoW?” You could expand that to include any MMO…why do we spend so many hours in a virtual world? What are the rewards?

    Truthfully, there are a lot of ways that I could be spending those leisure hours. We could do a lot more face-to-face socialising than we do…if I were more into the pub scene. I could buy another horse, and start showing and training again…but I’m rather enjoying the break from mucking stalls on early winter mornings, and we really can’t afford that massive money sink right now. We could watch TV…but I would rather read or play.  Why do I find MMOs to be so rewarding?

    Part of it is the social aspect. It allows someone like myself, who is normally very antisocial, to socialise in a more detached way, so I don’t feel that people are right in my face. There is a distance there that works for me…I love talking and joking around in chat without having to sit across a table from someone. Perhaps that’s strange, and I do love having our closest friends over for weekends, but most of the time I prefer people at a bit of a distance.

    I like belonging to a guild. I don’t belong to any real-life clubs, so being part of a group is nice. We work for success as a group, and even if it feels a bit like a second job at times, there is still great reward in that.

    It allows that achieving type-A side of me to feel satisfied. Sure, you can equate WoW to a Skinner box, but you do get a feeling of satisfaction in levelling, in raiding endgame content, and so on. I was telling Miz recently what I missed in Conan – that visible sense of exploration. You don’t discover new areas, you don’t fill in those here-be-dragons areas on your map like you do in WoW. I like that, in a schoolkid kind of way…you know, like getting stickers to fill in your map of the States.  :)

    I like escaping into other people’s lives. I’ve always seen my characters as people in their own right – I’ll have a hard time playing an alt unless the looks, the name, etc., click into place and she becomes a person for me. Kitsune is a very different “person” than Ravven is…and I feel different when I play each one. I’ve even taken an alt to see the Darkmoon Faire, because she had never seen it before. Sure, I’d seen it tons of times…but she hadn’t.

    Grinding is even a pleasurable experience sometimes. When I’m really burned out after a hard day at work, it’s relaxing to grind, to get into the zen cycle of gathering or hunting – it soothes me.

    So, those are some of the reasons why I play. Sure, I spend an ungodly amount of time playing an online game. But I think I’m a lot more mentally and emotionally involved during that time than the average TV watcher is. It relaxes me, it challenges me, it makes me come out of my private shell and interact with people. For now, it’s a healthy thing.

  • Warcraft

    Nightmaere’s Big Day

    In honor of the Midsummer Fire Festival, I decided to take Nightmaere to Ogrimmar to meet our horde neighbors, say a friendly hello, and honor their fire. Ok, maybe she was planning on dishonoring it, but what the hell. For some reason (partly to do with the fact that I was closer, but partly to do with the fact that I am stubborn) I decided to try to get there from Azshara rather that fly back down to Ratchet and run from there.

    Swimming to Ogrimmar

    Finding strange things to see along the way – SO much created but unused content in this area.

    Entering the gates. “Here I go!  Eeeeeeeeeeee…”

    “…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek…”

    “…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek…”

    “Where’s the Valley of Wisdom? Where the hell am I? Oops, another guard. Eeeeeeeeee…”

    “…eeeeeeeeeeeeek! Here we are! Where’s the fire, where’s the fire…”

    Made it.  :D

  • Warcraft

    under construction

    I’ve been playing with different templates for this blog, and customising templates on the hosted version of WordPress is a bit frustrating…so results have been very mixed.

    Last night was another very frustrating BT raid, and I didn’t sign up for tonight. Several people had to be summoned in after still being in Stormwind after raid start time. There were people who couldn’t stay connected more than a minute at a time. There was a healer who suddenly announced that he was going afk for dinner, and he couldn’t be replaced as his character was still in the instance. There were people who were doing barely more dps than the hunter pets. There were stupid wipes. There were long waits while we replaced people or just sat for no explainable reason, while flasks and buffs ticked down. There was no healing on a lot of fights. It wasn’t fun, and when they asked for someone to give up a place so we could get a mage in for the Akama fight, I jumped at the chance, pleading a headache. I did have a headache, but basically I was just…bored.

    All of this was posted on the forums, but the people who read the forums (with a couple of exceptions) aren’t the people who ruin it for everyone else. Bah.

  • Art,  Warcraft

    Avatar Art

    I’ve been playing with my old Wacom tablet, trying to get a feel for it again. The image below is a partially-completed portrait of Kitsune (although all the detail is lost on the small size).

    Separate screenshots were collaged (background, Kit, Ennui), and then overpainted in Photoshop, hair and cloak added, and so on.

    It feels nice to be working again, even if not on original work. :)

  • Warcraft

    My baby priest, forgotten for so long, hit 58 and started questing in Outlands this weekend. (Actually, her hearthstone has been set in Shattrah for some time, and she started grinding in Hellfire at 56, but she couldn’t take any quests and killing mobs was quite slow for her.) She’s flying through quests now, and I’m really enjoying playing her. Eventually she’ll be holy, as I have enough ranged dps characters…look out, better bring bandages!  :)

    I finally got Conan to work, and I now have a baby Dark Templar. It reminds me an awful lot of Guild Wars, actually, in that at this point it really doesn’t feel like an MMO. It might be different when/if I get out of Tortage, but we’ll see. It’s all of the instancing, all of the loading screens…it just doesn’t feel like a world yet. And I know that people sneer at WoW’s “cartoon” graphic style, but to me Warcraft just feels more immersive and more real. Being in the Barrens in the early morning or late afternoon, with the light slanting across the grass, and seeing a herd of gazelle run by you…that is very beautiful and very real.

    On the downside, I am having connection problems. Everything froze twice last night in Black Temple, which can be disastrous on Teron Gorefiend.  I had to totally reboot my machine. Lag is horrendous. This coming weekend we’re going to bite the bullet and redo both of our machines with new memory, motherboard/chipset combos, etc., and do a clean reinstall of everything. Hopefully that will fix it.

    All in all, it was a very good weekend. It was a bank holiday in the UK, and we took Friday and Tuesday off as well. I get spoilt so easily…it was very hard coming back to work today.  :)

  • Warcraft

    Without Expectations

    When I’m not raiding (on weekends, basically), I’m very much enjoying playing my baby troll hunter. Although I suppose the eventual idea is to someday get her to 70, I’m having a very good time just messing about with her. She has mining as one of her professions, so we explore hither and yon, going where the copper nodes take us. It’s ok. I do her quests, but at the same time we just explore. Running back and forth long distances to turn in quests normally drives me mad, but on her I’m ok with it. (Go to this far mountain to kill 20 of these beasties. Run all the way back. Grats, now run all the way back to the far mountain, fight your way through again, and kill the named mob at the back of the cave system. Yes, the one that you already killed once on your first trip through.) I’m not anxious about levelling, about getting somewhere…I read quest text, I am enjoying the journey.

    It’s nice to get back to that feeling again.