Another one down…

Finally dinged 90 on the priest two nights ago.  So what do I do?  I dust of my 50 something hunter.  I am still dealing with some horrible lag issues, so I can’t really run dungeons or anything where I have to be a reliable contributor to the team.  Lag spikes, random DC’s, and unavoidable deaths are one thing whilst playing solo, but when 4 other people are relying on you to pull your weight, it’s better not to risk it.

I did take the rogue to the Isle of Thunder.  Ran all of the solo scenarios out there, and genuinely had fun with those.  Since Stabs in my best geared toon, he didn’t have much trouble with anything out there other than the occasional crushing blow from the lag monster.

I haven’t seen much of Dev or the Squirrel lately.  but between my work schedule and everyone getting over Thanksgiving and gearing up for Christmas, it doesn’t really surprise me much.  Truth be told, it is probably better that I don’t run into them until I get this network issue sorted out over here.

One more day off, and then back to the grind.  I am sure my internet will remain questionable so long as I have time off, and will stabilize once I go back to work.  Murphy acts like I owe him money.

Happy Gaming!

Oz

Mass Confusion…

Not much to report on the game front for the past few weeks.  With the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the States, my game time has been slim to none.  I have transitioned from day to night shifts at work, and my body is still adjusting to the change, and not all that well.  It is just after nine in the morning, and I got off work last night at four-thirty AM.  Yes, I have been to sleep, but my body seems to think I should be awake now.

I also quit smoking four days ago.  Haven’t killed anyone yet, but the jury is still out on that one.

In gaming news, I should hit 90 on the priest next session I get.  Hopefully Monday?  And the Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls expansion Beta is all kinds of awesome.  The Crusader is definitely an incredibly fun class to play.  I have also reconnected with an old friend from my Navy days through WoW.  I hope to write more about that with the next post.

Okay, going to attempt to trick my brain into going back to sleep so I am not dragging ass at work tonight.  Hopefully my next post won’t be quite so disorganized, and might actually have something worth reading.

 

Happy Gaming!

Oz

And now the Fail…

So from Epic to Fail, part two.

As much enjoyment as I get out of the game, WoW can also cause some truly rage fueled swearing storms.  Tuesday was a perfect example.  Rolling restarts for most realms, save those that were being merged.  After the restart, I logged in to Icecrown, and found that the game had been silently “updated” to World of Lagcraft.  My home latency was no different, but server latency was ranging from 2000 to 3000 ms.  I log onto the tech support forums, and it seems I am not the only one experiencing this phenomenon.I lost count of how many threads were started over this.  And sadly, up until sometime Wednesday afternoon, I never saw a blue post on this.  I also took to Twitter, and nothing was said about it there either.  I know that the support folks have a lot on their plates, but when something happens that makes the game unplayable for more than a few people, it would be nice to know that our concerns were at least heard, and maybe that there was someone looking into the problem.

This brings me to my biggest gripe about Blizzard. In a lot of ways, they remind me of my time in the military.  In the Navy, when something was wrong with you, the Doc would normally hand you a Ziploc bag full of Motrin and send you on your way. Didn’t matter what.  Broken rib, shot yourself in the head, cancer, you name it, Motrin was the answer.  The same thing with Blizzard.  Horrible server lag?  Can’t find your character?  Your mailbox is filled with mail from a different game?  Just delete your cache and WTF files and start all over and see if that fixes it.  Because I am sure that my cache file is causing lag for hundreds of other people.

Well, that’s my rant for today.  I promise that the next post will not be so filled with vitriol and angst.  Or maybe not.

Happy Gaming!

Oz

P.S. One last thing.  Is it too much to ask that when you have your fishing skill at max that you at least be able to hit the damn pools like 85 or 90 percent of the time?  I would like to think that were I to have 600 fishing in real life that I would be able to get my line in the water just where I wanted it a majority of the time.  Just sayin’.

Epic to fail in less than two months…

Okay, I admit it.  I haven’t posted here since 2011.  I have plenty of good excuses, but I won’t bore you with those.  I would much rather bore you with other things, like my proclivity to hum Sinatra songs while I PVP, or that I sometimes like to name alts after streets in the French Quarter here in New Orleans.  And honestly, only one of the above statements is true.  And no, I am not telling you which one.

I have continued to play WoW off and on throughout Cataclysm and Fogs of the Panda Land.  I have three 90’s, (a warrior, a pally, and a rogue,) and several other toons all within spitting distance of level cap.  My goal for the last two days was to get my priest to 90, but Blizzard has thwarted my plan repeatedly over that span.  But more on the fail part in a few.

Let’s get to the epic, because let’s face it, it is always all about the epics.  I stopped playing out of necessity back in July.  Not by choice, but the video card in my archaic Gateway finally gave up the ghost. I could have easily gotten a new video card, but at that point, it would have been like putting a Ferrari engine into a rusted out Studebaker. So I decided to try to save up some cash for a new PC.  In the mean time, I moved into a new place (expensive, that moving thing,) and just wasn’t focusing on the computer.

I have a very dear friend I met in game way back in BC.  I met Dev in the Space Goat starting zone for 100% certainty.  I am about 75% certain we met because I saved her bacon with a heal or two from my little Space Goat priest.  This may or not have been a sign of things to come.  Anyhow, we become fast friends, and her, her husband (affectionately known as The Squirrel,) and myself were nigh inseparable throughout the course of The Burning Crusade.  Squirrel is my favorite tank in the world, and Dev is my favorite DPS.  I happily followed along behind them, showering them with chain heals from my Space Goat shammy.  After Wrath launches, the guild we were in melts down, and Squirrel and Dev drift away from WoW.  We stay in contact through occasional phone calls or Facebook messages, but we don’t adventure together anymore.  I go back home to my Horde roots for the most part, because playing Alliance feels empty without her falling off of things and Squirrel face-pulling bosses before I can drink.

Fast forward to September 2013.  I get a Facebook message from Dev, asking if I ever play anymore.  I explain my computer woes, and let her know that since her and Squirrel are back, I will redouble my efforts to get back in game.  We chat for a little while longer, then I have to go to work.  The next morning, Dev messages me that she needs my address.  Seems the Squirrel got a new PC, and she wants to ship me his old one, which is only a couple of years old.  I tell her that I can’t allow her to do that, and she reminds me that I don’t have the authority to “allow” her to do anything.  She won’t even let me pay for shipping.  The computer arrives a few days later, and I am back in game.  I tag along happily with them whenever we are online at the same time.  For old time’s sake, I even heal as best as I can with the Rogue, since I can’t wrap my head around pally healing quite yet, and my priest still has a little ways to go before I am ready for the healing duties that come with adventuring with them.  I am a happy, happy camper, and all is right in the world. Mists is the best expansion ever of all time in my opinion, if only because I got my two best adventuring pals back in my digital life.

You know what?  I am saving the fail for tomorrow.  I just realized that I don’t want to ruin this reunion with negativity.  I have made many friends in the world of Azeroth, and quite a few outside because of it, but Dev and Squirrel will always have a special place in my heart.  Should you two ever stumble onto this little blog,  know that I love you both dearly.  And I will then deny writing this, or blame a night of crazy emotional ranting on self-destructive Windex huffing.

Happy Gaming!!!

Oz

Not dead yet!

I haven’t died, but am transitioning between two jobs, so on my normal days off, I am training with my new employer. I have one post halfway done, and should be posting challenge day 6 soon as well.

Happy Gaming!

Oz

My WoW Concerns

Pardon me if this post seems more disjointed or chaotic than my ramblings usually are.  I am only on my second cup of coffee, am functioning on about 4 hours of sleep, and I had my finger broken in an incredibly complex handshake with Reala.   Also, there is the added distraction of hoping my new camera is delivered today, so I am camping my mailbox like Jadefang’s spawn point.

Also, a disclaimer;  this is NOT a rant.  I am not rattling my saber, shaking my fist at Blizzard, and demanding my pony from Ghostcrawler.  This is just an airing of concerns, most of which have been stated by others much more eloquently than I could ever hope.  So please, put down the pitchforks and torches.

My cause for concern centers around hotfixes and the impending 4.1 patch.  Keep in mind, I am entirely casual, unabashedly an alt-oholic, and completely of the understanding that what is on the PTR may never see the light of day on live realms.

My first concern is Blizzard’s latest trend with hotfixes.  Granted, my play time as of late has been incredibly limited due to Mardi Gras and Saint Patrick’s Day, (which we call down here in the French Quarter “Amateur Night.”) I like the concept of being able to fix what needs to be fixed on the fly, but a few weeks ago there were hotfixes for hotfixes that had previously fixed something that was hotfixed.  When you have to use the “Oh Shit” button to fix something that happened the last time you used the “Oh Shit” button, I think that is indicative of a potential design philosophy problem.  Yes, I know a Blue poster ( I can’t remember who it was, and looking it up on a Blue Tracker will distract me from spawn-camping the Mailman,) said that this was addressed, but the potential is still there.  In my opinion, I think hotfixes should only be used to fix something that is broken.  Like the cogwheel bug on the Headless Horseman event, a bugged quest or raid mechanic, or a class ability just plain old not working.  Things like class balance issues or damage output passes should be patched, with a PTR testing cycle and a good look at the data to prevent giant swings in class abilities.  While I understand there are a great many raiders and PVP’ers out there, there are even more who won’t see the inside of a raid or an arena, and I have never been a big fan of improving the lot of the few at the expense of the many.  I would like to see them put “Hotfix” on a cooldown.   Or possibly have to get a signed permission slip from Ghostcrawler before they can put a hotfix in effect.  Maybe a ready check type of mechanic?  I am just throwing out ideas here.

And now, patch 4.1. Or what we know of it anyhow.  I haven’t pored over the various iterations of patch notes, as I said, a little busy here.  But one thing I did see caused quite a knee-jerk reaction in me.  “Shield Bash is being removed from game.”  I’m sorry, what?  One of my highest level alts is a warrior, and I love me some shield bash.  I understand that it is being removed to balance around PVP, which I have opinions on that I won’t go into on this post, but really?  This is one of those things that kinda defined prot warriors for me.  Am I gnashing my teeth and pulling my hair out over this?  No.  But I am looking at it whilst arching my eyebrow and scratching my head.  I know they had a lot on their plate with the redesigning of the world and all, but I thought that the class overhaul happened with the redesigned talent trees.  I totally understand having to relearn your class a little each expansion, but these mid-expansion revamps seem a little much for me.  I want to spend more time playing, and less time relearning my class.  Maybe I am just waxing nostalgic, or getting old and grumpy and resisting change.  I accept change, believe me.  That doesn’t mean I won’t huff about it a bit.

In the end, none of this will have me running from WoW, screaming at the top of my lungs for Blizzard’s collective heads on pikes,  or Trion to not be in Azeroth anymore (see what I did there?)  I still love me some WoW, these are just things that float around in the space where my brain sometimes resides.

Opinions?  Flame wars?  Requests for posts of kitties and puppies being cute?

Happy Gaming!

Oz

Chronologically Challenged; Day 7, why I am the Wowgeek.

Ahh, day 7 of Saga’s WoW blogging challenge.  It seems as though I only just completed day 6…

As long as I can remember, I have identified myself as a geek.  I wear the title like a badge of honor.  I recall one day in middle school being verbally accosted by some would-be bully, who called me a nerd.  I corrected him, and told him I most certainly wasn’t a nerd, but was proud to be a geek.  That seemed to take all of the wind out of his sails, and I found my latent super-power.  My first encounter with geekdom was seeing Star Wars at the tender age of 6 in the theaters.  This was the real one, you know, fat lasers and Han shooting first.  I was done for from that day on.

I have many geek hats.  My first, and still one of my favorites, despite everything George Lucas did to absolutely kill the franchise, was Star Wars.  I was so over the moon with the original trilogy that to this day, many of my friends automatically associate anything Star Wars with me.  I got so many texts after the Star Wars kid Volkswagon commercial during this year’s superbowl I thought my phone was going to explode.  An old band mate of mine had the Imperial March on his phone as my ringer.  And I am waiting on the Bioware Star Wars MMO much like a fat kid would press their face up against a bakery window in anticipation of some icing-laden baked goodie.

There are  many other things I geek about, from music, food, and technology in general.  But closest to Star Wars in my heart, there is WoW.  I love this game in all its aspects.  The lore is captivating, the game-play still continues to innovate, and the friends I have met both in and out of Azeroth through this incredible world, all of these make WoW special to me.

When I “geek” about something, it means that I enjoy it so much that I consider it to be a part of me, a facet of who I am, and what I stand for.  I have gotten a great deal of pleasure out of this world, both in game and out.  And when I enjoy something this much, I tend to want to share it with anyone else who will listen.  And that, my friends, is why I give you the rantings of a WoW geek.

 

Happy Gaming!

 

Oz

Saga’s Challenge, Day 5; My favorite item in-game.

Before heading back into the fray,  I would first like to apologize for the long period between posts.  As I stated in my last update, Mardi Gras was upon me and, as Illidan told me so many years ago, I was NOT prepared.  But, the old batteries are recharged, and I have even caught up on a little WoW.  Time to get back to the challenge.

This is a tough one for me, because I honestly don’t have anything in-game I am that attached to.  My characters?  Heck yeah, I even have some toons on servers I haven’t signed into in years that I just couldn’t bring myself to delete.  But as for their inventories, I just don’t have any attachments like that.  I have lots of pets on lots of toons, but I couldn’t pick one as my favorite.  Honestly, I seldom remember to summon the little guys.  Except Li’l Rag.  I summon him all the time, but that is just for cooking.

Mounts?  If I had to pick one it would be the Green Proto-drake from the Oracle Egg, but I have that on one of my semi-retired alliance characters, so I never even really see that.  I am not attached enough to log in just to fly around on him.

The only thing I can even feel like I come close to considering a favorite in-game “item” would be the title.  Halloween has always been my favorite time of year, and I have endeavored to earn that title on every toon I have that is eligible.    I do have a few that are missing it, but most of my “Main” characters have that, and I consider it my default title.

Come to think of it, I have never gotten the Horseman’s Helm.  THAT would definitely be my favorite item ever, provided it dropped for one of my plate wearers.  Knowing my luck, I will get it on my druid or rogue this year.  I have coveted that for many, many years, and have never won the roll the few times I have seen it drop.  I know they changed the mechanics so that you get a loot bag with a chance at finding it in your inventory, but I remember seeing it pop three times in the loot screen.  Two of those times, I was on my rogue, and passed on it (nothing like winning something you can never equip,) and the third was on my warrior, and I am pretty sure my need roll came up negative.

So I cheated a little and talked about a non-item and an item I don’t have, but I guess I am still a little mentally taxed from last week’s grueling schedule.   But it is good to be back, and I look forward to catching up on my end of the challenge, and seeing where everyone else is.

Happy Gaming!

Oz

P.S.  I may post out-of-order the next day or so.  The next challenge should be a picture of my desk/computer set up, but I just ordered a new camera and would like to wait to use that for those photos.  So if you find yourself wondering where Day 6 went, don’t worry, I didn’t lose it, or have too many drinks and forget my chronological order or anything like that.

More to come…

Sorry for the lack of posts, but Mardi Gras has officially started here in New Orleans, and I am working my rear end off.  I am hoping to continue with Saga’s WoW challenge on Monday.

Don’t forget to tip your bartenders!

Happy Gaming!

 

Oz

Saga’s Challenge Day 4; My best WoW memory

Here we are at day 4 of the challenge.  Before I go into my best memory from the game, I have to say that this has been an incredible experience so far, and I am thoroughly enjoying this!

Okay, enough with the gushing, and on to my best in game memory.  Like so many people who have tackled this topic, I can’t pick any single time in game that stands out as “the one.”  Do I go with my very first raid?  Yes, it was Kara, I wasn’t together enough in Vanilla to even attempt raiding.  What about the time I first topped 10K gold?  Believe it or not, that wasn’t until Cataclysm.  I have too many alts that demand too much of my gold.  What about when I opened my Oracle egg and found the green proto-drake?  That was pretty cool.

I think my best WoW memory is from the Burning Crusade days.  I was running a little Draenei priest through the starting area, and stopped to throw a few random heals at a draenei shaman who was fighting a few of those little ravager thingies.  We wound up chatting a little bit, added each other to our respective friends lists, and went on about our ways.  As time goes on, we introduce each other to our mains, she introduces me to her husband, who played a dwarf pally, and we become inseparable.  We round out our regular 5 man team with two other guys that she has grouped with, and we have an incredible dungeon team.  Squirrel tanks on his pally, Dev shoots things on her hunter, Qaraq dances around in boomkin form , Shadow mages it up, and I toss around green glowies on my shaman.  I say incredible not because we are incredibly skilled, but because we have fun with it.  Lots of fun.  Squirrel had a way of pulling things that made it incredibly hard to heal, only because I was laughing so hard.

I remember our first time in Hellfire Ramparts, clearing to the final boss encounter, Vazruden and Nazan.  We didn’t read strats, or watch videos, so we didn’t know that the encounter started after you kill the last guard before the platform.  We have dropped the last guard, and are stopping to mana up, and Vent erupts with Squirrel yelling “I found him!” I look on my screen and see Squirrel hopping up and down on his way back to us, with the boss in tow behind him.  We die a horrible death, and it takes me a while to regain my composure before we can make another attempt.

I also remember spending HOURS in Shadow Labyrinth trying to defeat Blackheart the Inciter.  We were honestly in there for over 4 hours on one boss fight, and we called it that night.  We just could not get that fight down, and although we did get frustrated, we never stopped laughing about our lack of skill.  There was never any finger pointing or drama.  The day after, when Dev logged in, I whispered her to join me in vent, that I had a surprise for her.  I told her I got a whisper from a game master, and they felt so bad for us, they created an in-game title just for us.  She believed it at first, until I told her the title would be <Blackheart’s Bitches>.

Those four, but especially Dev and Squirrel, are my best memories of this game.  Shortly after I left my alliance side guild, my foursome left as well.  Dev and Squirrel eventually stopped playing, and Qaraq transferred servers due to personal reasons.  I need to log in alliance side to say hey to Shadow, but I never seem to catch him on.  Dev and I stay in touch sporadically out of the game, but it has been a while since we last spoke.  There was talk about her and Squirrel coming back for Cata, but I haven’t heard anything since.   Hopefully they will come back, and we can make even more memories in game.

Again, thank you for stopping by, and I hope you find many wonderful memories in your World of Warcraft.

Happy Gaming!

Oz