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Today is the first birthday of this very unblog. That’s a whole year of directionless musings, cutely na├»ve advice and over-laboured opinions. Which post was your favourite?! ;)

I have a cake, one of them party whistles that unfurls a strip of garish paper when blown and a bunch of imaginary party attendees which will be represented by the number of people that comment on this post. Oh, and booze. Lots of booze!

P’aaaar-taaaay! P… Partay?

Yeah, woo!

(it began…)

OKAY! Things that reeeeally get on my nerves in guild chat, while we’re on the subject. Yeah, okay, so we weren’t really on the subject but, pow! We are now!

Hey guys! What is [item] worth?

It’s worth exactly the same as what everything else is worth, which is precisely what someone is willing to pay for it! Check the AH! See what the going price is! Because, you know, these things change!

Which is best, [item a] or [item b]?

Grr! I don’t know. What are your stats like? One of those items has a lot of crit, are you okay for crit or would you prefer haste? Hey, listen, RatingBuster is a mere download away. Pff! One time, and I swear this is true, someone asked which to get out of the available colours for the Shadowmoon Valley epic flying mounts! Oh. My. God! Are your decision-making abilities that poor?!

There’s also a couple of things about EU-Bloodhoof that irk me for varying degrees of validity. The first and, okay, least worthy is “bio”. You don’t say you’re away for a quick wee, nor do you say you need a WC break or any number of far cruder sayings. You say: “Sec guys, quick bio”! And I’m like, what, you need a yoghurt?

Someone once said that “bio” is a nicer phrase which of course only applies if you’re a robot in some kind of Bicentennial Man scenario where everything has to be uncomfortably clinical and made of chrome. You are not soap powder. Shut up.

The next one is less a mild semantic disagreement and more… idiotic. THE LOOT SYSTEM!

Now, you see, growing up on Talnivarr, when we did an instance and loot dropped from bosses, if we needed it we clicked “Need”, if we didn’t we went for “Greed” and it made sense because Blizzard had programmed something to allow for such occasions. Bloodhoof, on the other hand, sees the greed icon as being a pointless addition and instead opts for a Need or Pass approach.

Let’s say you have an enchanter in your group. Loot drops and if someone needs it they click Need, those who don’t click Pass and the enchanter clicks Greed. Whatever the requirements of the group, if no-one needs it the enchanter gets the item, disenchants it and at the end we all roll for the shard. So far so good, not perfect but doable.

So what if you don’t have an enchanter in your group, like most of the time? Well, the needers click Need and everyone else passes, if no-one needs it we all have to look gormless at each other for a few seconds and then roll again! Yeah!

Consider this: There’s an enchanter in the group, loot drops and everyone makes their choice except the enchanter who watches the chat window to see what people have rolled. If everyone clicks Greed, they click Need, otherwise they click Greed.I’ve seen it working with my own eyes, I swear to Elune!

So… you know. Sometimes… sometimes I just get cross and… you know. I’m fine, really. Happy place. I think I need to lie down. For a bit. I blame work.

(image by StickBus and is shared under a Creative Commons license. This post takes the record for the longest time spent sat in my Drafts pile).

Something that’s bugged me in WoW for a long time put into words a hell of a lot better than I can, from Jeffrey Rowland (America’s Sweetheart) over at Overcompensating:

Let’s talk about rape for a moment. Rape is not what George Lucas did to your childhood. Rape is not what happens when a sports team beats another sports team by a wide margin. Rape is not what happens when your electric bill is higher this month than it was last month. Rape is when a person violates another person in the most despicable, degrading way imaginable and among the myriad of terrible things humans can do to one another, rape is among the worst. I think the casual misappropriation of the concept of rape extending all the way to its widespread comical usage is disgusting even by Internet standards. Off my chest.

Yeah. So, you know, knock it off.

Um, hello. There’s a post a-comin’, to be honest sinking my teeth into the new patch stuff has been more time-consuming that the urge to write about it, to which I say, hey, I’m a level 70 hunter. What do you expect? I’m not doing Christmas this year because, just as far as I’m concerned, I’ve already had it, already having it and thoroughly enjoying it.

To bridge the gap though, I thought I’d try out a riddle for you. Ready?

Which bug-fix was not implemented by Blizzard, was nothing to do with the patch and affects billions of people who don’t even play WoW more than the millions that do?

Answers on a postcard. Which is to say, in a comment.

So I’ve said a number of times before that I came to know The WoW after the release of Burning Crusade, so I haven’t known the giddy period just before a new expansion hits. And it is very exciting! Currently both mains, Anj and Wintersong, are gearing up for the “How Long Can You Last Through Levels 70 to 80 With This Gear?” speculative game, but other than that I’m just plain stupid happy for the patch and the trips to the hairdressers.

But, having said that, a whole new world should really mean A Whole NEW World and, to be honest, Talnivarr is getting a little long in the tooth. To be perfectly frank, I’m sick and tired of being on a PvP realm. Why? Because…

PvP realms take so much more skill.

So you’ve decided to solo a group quest, it’s not a problem, you’ve done it many times before. But oh noes! Along comes a Horde who will two-shot you when you’re at 50% HP with two elite mobs on you! Because…

PvP realms take so much more skill.

There’s some nice things you can get with the Shattered Sun Offensive reputation, isn’t there? Mmm, yeah, tasty items. You’d just better make sure you go to Quel’Danas at 4am in order to do the quests in relative peace because, throughout the rest of the day, gangs of five Horde in full, top-level PvP gear are roaming around to kill you without a seconds notice. Seriously, every time I go there I see the same names. And the reason for this? …

PvP realms take so much more skill.

Woo! We’re off to raid! Yay! We start at 9pm so everyone make sure you’re online at least 15mins beforehand to get in the group. Of course, we get there at nine, but we won’t actually start until 9.45 because of the insane Horde vs. Alliance Around The Meeting Stone battle. Same applies to regular instances too. Look at me, I have honour points, yay! Sadly, I’m a little closer to bedtime so we can all kiss goodbye to a couple of badges. And why? …

PvP realms take so much more skill.

You went AFK? Oh noes! Sucks to be you! Why? …

Yeah, pretty much etc.

So I have a job now to eat into my time, given that a jobless life has managed to pay 15,000g for three epic flying mounts (amongst many other wonderful things), at least now I’ll have the available money to transfer servers. And stop your moaning with “QQ” involved, PvP realms are largely filled with cowards who will only attack another faction when the odds are stacked HUGELY in their favour, the skill is a lie! You just need extra patience.

The “extra l2p powah” tactic of the PvP realm, meanwhile, is to get the hell out of the area as fast as possible after the laughably easy kill, far away from the possibility of retaliation. Wow. I am but a nub amongst these gaming gods and I bow my head in silent reverence.

The text above is related to the fact that I’m Alliance 4 Life but I don’t doubt that Horde experience the same problems as well. The 4am moments on Quel’Danas are where you can meet a bunch of lower-geared Horde players who just want a bit of peace and quiet too.

Bloodhoof is the one I have my eye on, mainly because setting up temporary “name reserve” characters still allows me to use “Anj”. Wintersong would become Winterstar, Caitlin to Chomski (probably one of the most unoriginal Gnome names in the game but, meh), Alysha to Alisha and Girlpants to Grrlpants. The data stored at WarcraftRealms.com for progression and battleground wins don’t look too bad either.

Finally, and this is probably pure naivety, but there just has to be a better mature:cockhat player ratio on a server that isn’t mainly based on PvP. Maybe even (gusp!) altruism! We’ll see about that one…

Give me my bill. I’m checking out. Boo ya. /me makes a rasping sound that lasts for a full half hour.

(this has been a small rantmoment on behalf of the slightly-tipsy party, lightly sub-edited by the dept. of the next day).

In the general, pre-expansion update slowdown, a pause to reflect on one of the best decisions I’ve made in-game so far…

There’s certain times of the day when I have to get out of the cities as fast as possible to stop the Parade Of The Idiot from rotting my brain. Typing “Anal” and then linking a spell or item was funny for about, ooh, five miliseconds. Words of the day: Flogging, Dead and Horse.

l2develop your sense of humour beyond the age of six. :p

Looking after Bupu’s son after school while she was waylaid at work today, I was watching him have fun in the battlegrounds whilst suggesting that, perhaps, he could do with levelling his hunter to 29 rather than staying at 23, if only to make life a little easier for him. Fun explanations of what twinks are and trying to remember Pike’s recent Levelling A Hunter guides about what abilities he would get over the next six levels to maybe sweeten the deal ensued.

The phone rang, he answered it, there was a string of “Yeah” and “I know” and “No”, the basic short answers you’re likely to get from a twelve-year-old, followed by “She wants to speak to you”. Okay I said, taking the phone.

“You’re playing WoW?”.

Yeah, just giving him a few pointers here and there.

“Mmm. I was wondering if you could have a word with him”.

Sure, what about?

“He seems to think he doesn’t need his pet”.

What?

“Yeah, he was asking how to dismiss him, saying that he never did anything”.

WHAT?!

“I know! I’ve only ever got a hunter to level 10 and even I know a hunter without a pet is like not having an arm!”

Oh god…

“So… You know, if you could just maybe explain it to him”.

Okay I will. See you soon!

Phone goes down, head buried in hands. We worked through a few modules in Getting Send Pet bound to a key, using Hunter’s Mark, the talent trees and, most importantly, the always-on and often-ignored damage that his pet is doing when he’s not shooting at someone.

Of course, he’s never being that much into questing (Girlpants was originally created to help in the early days before he got bored and moved on to the delights of Nintendo Wii), he asked me if I could get him to 29 which I’d be happy to do but… Well people have the way they assign buttons to things and that’s what they get used to but Oh Em Gee, you’ve never seen any seasoned level 70 hunter having so many troubles getting things to die.

Fun times.

(photograph by phxpma and shared under a Creative Commons license)

Yay! It’s a new patch! Boo! For some reason this has opened the floodgates for all kinds of bizarre new bugs. Huh? What the crazy hell is the point of the Public Test Realms?

Prize for the most fun new bug is a kind of talent-point enhancement of an existing one: Improved Bugged Mobs. Previously, you would encounter a bugged mobs, it would evade your attacks and you’d think, “Oh well, let’s move on to another,” but now the first part is the same; Swing! Evade! Only when you move on and take another mob, after about ten seconds the previously bugged one comes to its sense and realises, “Hey wait a minute! That girl over there just took a swing at me!”, cue the rolling up of sleeves and purposefully stomping over and now you have two to deal with and, well, it’s a drag.

And now all servers are down while they apply a hotfix of things that just didn’t come to light during the testing phase because, seriously, what is the point of Public Test Realms?

This sort of thing just irritates the hell out of me. While we’re on the subject, see the BBC moot their snazzy new iPlayer – You can still listen to any radio show you like within a week of it being broadcast (and I do), it looks prettier and has better search facilities. There’s even a pause button, just like the old one! Does this one work? No! What a ridiculous thing to ask.

Let’s look on the bright side. I have a bid on a pretty keen blue bow at the Horde auction house (2g!) with not much time left to go. If no-one can get on, ain’t not no-one fixin’ to be outbidding me.

(photograph by Piez and shared under a Creative Commons license)

Two chunks of interesting news over at WoW Insider for hunters, here’s a bite of one:

“One of the other major complaints of Hunters is the lack of pet diversity. It is generally expected that if you are min-maxing, you will go for a Cat, Ravager, or Scorpid and nothing else, because they are the only pet families that have the right combination of ability and DPS to get their jobs done. Some pet classes, like Sporebats, languished due to a complete lack of useful family skills.

“That will be changing in WoTLK, as the pet skill system is being done away with for a pet talent system. Every pet family will have a set of talent trees, similar to player characters: A Utility tree, a Tank tree, and a DPS tree, which will contain unique abilities for each family.”

Oooh. Maybe. I dunno, something about it sounds like a wind-up, but we’ll see. As far as I’m concerned, all Lich King announcements are to be served with a pinch of salt in a handy sachet.

(photograph by StrudelMonkey and shared under a Creative Commons license)

I was woken up this afternoon today by an attempted call from Bupu wanting to know if I fancied joining her in doing an instance. I got this information from the text after the call because, one, my ring-tone is Homestar Runner singing “Everybody Knows It” and it’s a fun song so I kept my eyes closed through it and, two, no-one needs to hear my Forsaken NPC morning voice. “Helloooo? What would you ask of death?”.

Anyway, it turns out that I can’t get on to Talnivarr, which is just plain weird because I know for a fact that Bupu’s connected fine and she’s having a great time. Probably. Chromaggus connects without any problems but psh! That’s the Horde server, currently filed under “CBA TBH LOL”.

So there we go. Alliance denied. Bums. Elsewhere, Pike has written a great article on the ways and means of people being creepy in MMOs forming a kind of “What Not To Do” guide for raising your rep with the faction “Women”, and TyphoonAndrew’s Swearjar is getting dangerously close to the “That’s Putting My Kids Through College” status. I’m going to try the server again and if that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll just shoot up heroin. How would you like that, The Blizzards? ;)

Don’t ask me why I said it. Because I already forgot.

Today’s Top-Corner Picture is something I did with the intent of working it into the masthead somewhere, but it never looked right and, well, I’m not wasting it! On the subject of pictures, I’m going to turn the WordPress Snap Shots “feature” off because it’s far too annoying. Is there a way to get Wowhead item tooltips into a regular, free WordPress blog? Anyone?

Screenshot taken during the first time I’ve ever seen a mob become bugged mid-fight. We both just stopped, to be honest I was expecting to be disconnected. Still, no matter, it gave me time to get a good angle on a nice “ready for action avec polearm” shot against a lovely autumnal backdrop. Yummers.

Basic Photoshop skills, FTW!

June 2017
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