Archive for September, 2012

Bows, Cheers, and Salutes

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Of WoW and Warlocks

Hail my Compadres of Carnage,

Woot! 1.5 days until the Mists of Pandaria Launches! I don’t know about you, but I am glad it’s finally here. The waiting and anticipation is even killing an old Undead like me! The reason for my giddy glee is because this will be the first time in my WoW career where I actually get to take part in the launch when it begins at 12 midnight PDT here in the US. Plus, I’ll be taking a vacation day or two to sit around to enjoy it all at my own leisure. Depending on how things go with the launch and how sleep deprived I am, I may be a day or two late in posting for next week as well :)

Besides, who in the heck is reading anything by me with the launch about to occur anyway?

Since it’s the end of the month and the exciting start of the expansion, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s post to send out some thanks and special appreciation with a “Bows, Cheers, and Salutes” post and a story about my visit on the Hearthcast Podcast.

Contemplating making a fool of myself

Hearthcast AoE and Me

A few months ago, I was contacted by Demonicric to take part in playing against him in a game of Hearthcast AoE on the podcast show, Hearthcast. I truly was very flattered and honored to be asked. In fact, I think I initially turned him down. Trust me, I wasn’t wanting to be rude or mean in my intentions for declining the invite. You see, I have never done a “live” taping of any podcasts up until this point despite the fact I submit my pre-recorded audio warlock segment to both The Instance, and the Convert to Raid shows. For me, doing a show “live” is a completely different animal. Like a deer in headlights, the thought of doing a “live” show made me freeze in my tracks.

First, I knew I’d be a nervous wreck. Yep, I can’t help it. Believe it or not, IRL, I speak to large groups quite often and it doesn’t phase me. For years, I even played live music in several bands and rarely, if ever, did I get nervous about performing and in fact I often got excited about going on stage. For the life of me, I have no idea why either of those two actions never seemed to bother me, but the idea to go on a live shows terrifies me. Weird, I know. 

Demonicric is a great guy and I consider him a friend, and since he did a good job of coaxing me to participate, I took a chance and went on the show. Rewt, one of the main co-hosts was on vacation at the time, but Freckle Face was there to lead the game between Demonicric and Me. Ha! I won! Yep, I didn’t beat him by much, but I’ll take what I can get. Sorry, I can’t help myself for gloating about my victory /em laughs in a maniacal tone

Well, a couple of weeks ago Freckle Face contacted me via Twitter asking if I’d like to come on the Hearthcast and be a guest on the show. Gah! Whaaa? Me? After making sure she wasn’t making a mistake or at least not taking any particular medication that might have made her psychotic, it turns out for whatever crazy, nutty, “omg-what-are-they-thinking-reason” that it was true. Ugh, what to do what to do? Should I have turn them down gracefully? Hold them off until I ran out of excuses? Pay them hush money to keep them quiet about my nervousness? Send a demon to greet them in their sleep? This was a big decision for me and so I decided that I should consult with some of my friends.

Jaina uses a magic mirror, I use a magic ‘lockbox

Consorting with demons, The Insane Horde Posse, and a Muse

First, I thought about talking with my demons in-game. Yes, they may appear to be animated pixels but they’re still family and I trust them.  I was SoL there. So…when my raid team “The Insane Horde Posse” gathered for our weekly raid night I asked them for their opinion on the matter. Suhli, our Rogue told me I should do the show, but only answer, “I like turtles” whenever I was asked a question. Ashella, one of our tanks who plays a male-belf paladin (because he says he likes the hair…yeah right!) suggested I only talk about Maltcast.com. Maltcast.com is a new blog and podcast about home brewing beer that several of my raid members (Suhli, Ashella and Siv) are creating. Gah! However, everyone else was quite encouraging and suggested I should take part on being on the show. I won’t tell you what our mage Asaphiry said…jealousy gets her no where and I try to keep this a clean PG-13 blog. Plus, we all know mages aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed even with an intelligence buff. (<3 Asa!)

Despite my teasing of my own raid team, I will admit that they were a great moral boosters. Thanks IHP! However, I still didn’t know what to do because I still had that awkward, sick to my stomach feeling whenever I thought about appearing on the show. Ugh, again what to do? Then, I got lucky and found a special muse while in game. I was working on clearing out my bank alt for the expansion when a notification popped up in my chatlog. <Leeta> has come online.

You may have heard me mention Leeta_WoW a time or two on this blog. She’s the Muse of Warcraft and I was fortunate to befriend her several months ago. Leeta’s well known with many of the WoW Podcasting and blogging community circles. She’s a warlock who’s got a great sense of Tmog fashion, and she’s always honest and sincere. So I annoyed whispered Leeta asking for her advice. Despite my resistance, she convinced me I should go on the show and just be myself. It was strong common sense advice but, she gave it in a much more eloquent and convincing manner. Now, I now why she’s the muse that she is :) plus, her aussie accent and sweet charms could calm anyone I can imagine.

So, it was finally settled. I decided to appear on the Hearthcast Podcast. Omg, what am I getting myself into!?

My Observer smiling for the camera. I can’t wait to quest at the launch if only the RNG gods and my modem allows it

My Cable Modem goes boom

Both Rewt and Freckle Face were very flexible when it came to working out a schedule. Again, I want to send them a special thanks for changing their normal recording night just to accommodate me. With the expansion getting closer and the “big day” of recording for the podcast quickly arriving too, I became quite excited. So imagine my horror when three days before I was to appear on the Hearthcast show my wife sends me a text that our internet isn’t working. Omg! Noooo! Yep, my cable modem went boom and quit working. Then it would work. Then it wouldn’t work. Then it would rinse and repeat that scenario teasing me in a mocking manner. Omg! Grrrr!

Luckily for me, a new one was delivered on the same afternoon we scheduled to record the show instead of the three days later when my ISP estimated it would arrive. Upon returning home on the day of the recording, I literally finished setting up the new modem, got online, entered Skype, and then the show began with only a minute to spare. Whew! The RNG gods smiled on me that day, so I hope they forgive me for cussing them out after my last attempt at the Ravenlord Mount.

Hearthcast I am in you!

I won’t give away any details about the recording or the show other than a few things you might want to know. Rewt and Freckleface were absolutely great. Both made me feel right at ease from the start. I didn’t get a chance to watch the clock, but I think we recorded over 1.5 – 2 hours that night. Was I still a nervous wreck? Hells yeah! Do I remember anything that I said? No. Did I speak coherently or babble? I have no idea, but I ‘m pretty sure I did babble. To this day I think I should have taken Suhil’s advice and just said, “I like turtles” over and over again. Who knows, I probably would have come across as more entertaining had I done that. TBH, I’m actually looking forward to hearing the show because due to my nervousness I really can’t remember any of it.

The one thing I do know was that I was having so much fun, and was so engrossed in the conversation that time seemed to stand still. Rewt and Freckle Face are both funny and entertaining, and I cannot thank them enough for their gracious invitation and heart-felt hospitality. Now, if you would like to be entertained by the incoherent ramblings of an old warlock, please take the time to check out the next episode of Hearthcast where you may or or may not hear me talk about liking turtles…grrrr…if only I could remember what I said! To the Hearthcast crew – Rewt, Freckleface, Demonicric, KFE and everyone else, this old warlock humbly /bows, cheers, and salutes

The great demon chase

Good-bye to beta

While there seemed to be a gazillion beta keys given out during this expansion I was fortunate enough to get my invite by the second week, or was it the first? Heck, I can’t remember what I did yesterday to a large degree. Either way, I got a lucky proc and got in the beta very early. If I had to do it all over again would I take part in another beta. Yes.

Would I change anything I did during the beta? You bet. First, I wouldn’t have wasted my time writing about the new talents and specs in as much detail. This was particularly true for the first few months when the changes were so fast and frequent that everything became outdated in a week or two. If I had to write any details about new mechanics I’d put it off until near the end of a beta when things were more stable. 

To my peeps in the “Not in a beta Guild”… Thanks for all of your conversations, and help. All of you put up with me during this crazy time and I’m forever grateful for the experience and stories I can take with me. It’s been an honor and a privilege to fight for the banner and by your side. So from one beta guildy to another I respectfully /bow, cheer, and salute each of you and wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors in Pandaria and for all the honor and glory that it may bring…

Yes, we discuss floating pink shards on Hearthcast

A quick wrap up

I’ll keep the closing short and sweet in wishing that all of you enjoy the launch of the new expansion.  I hope that error code #37 never finds you, that your enemies fall before you, and may you always have plenty of bag space for more loot.

And in case I forgot to say it during my Interview on Hearthcast for Episode #138

“Maltcast.com” and “I like turtles” :)

Howdy All,

This post should be short and sweet because we’re literally counting the days now to the new expansion and I hope you’re having fun getting your toons prepared for the big day. I’m not quite there yet myself because I’m still cleaning out bank items and tweaking up my UI and key bindings, but I’m making progress and I hope you are too for your preparation! The date of September the 25th fast approaches and soon enough we’ll all be meeting the challenges that face us in the Mists of Pandaria Expansion whether we’re ready or not.

AoE or a.k.a. Area of Effect is the subject for today and between work, RL, and the game I’m sure we’re all feeling a little bit under the crunch of AoE pain while we’re getting ready for the launch. Luckily, in game there are two demons which can serve a warlock well providing just that…heavy AoE. Of course, I’m talking about the Infernal and the Abyssal. Like our single target dps minions the Doomguard and the Terrorguard, these guys can help bring the pain…oh, hells yeah they can!

Gah! The expansion is so close! I’m burning with excitment…

 

If you’re any other class, other than a wonderful warlock, and are reading this trying to get an edge on ‘locks (Yes, I’m looking at you Mr. Rivs and don’t think I forget your Bday!) my best advice is to keep reading knowing that if you see one of these bad boys of AoE romping down upon you, the only thing you need to learn is to run. Consider that tip a small gift I give to you and to the rest of the inferior races in WoW.

 

It’s all about timing

Say it with me – A 10 Minute Global Cooldown. Wow, it even feels long to say it. Sadly, both the Infernal and the Abyssal share a 10 gcd with both of the single target dps minions the Doomguard and Terrorguard. These minion are matched pairs where you’ll have the ability to control either a single target minion or an AoE minion, but sadly not both at the same time due to the really painful 10 min nerf from mages QQing on the forums gcd mechanics. As warlocks you’ll have the choice of using either the Infernal / Doomguard combo from levels 1 – 90 or if you’re level 75 and choose the Grimoire of Supremacy talent then you will get the upgrade minions of both the Abyssal / Terrorguard from levels 75 – 90.

So with a 10 min gcd you can easily see why it’s important to use your best judgment with timing to call forth these demons when you really need to make them count, or should I say when you really want them to destroy? I’ll let you choose which ending to that sentence you like best :)

The targeting reticule of the Infernal

Easy to use and fun to watch

Now, if you have ever blown up small green army men with a pack of firecrackers then you’ll know the kind of simplistic fun I’m about to describe. There’s really is not much to calling forth either the Infernal or Abyssal other than sitting back and enjoying the small show that’s about to unfold. Both demons are a single button instant cast spell that utilize a targeting reticule for just the right mage meteor smashing placement. Here’s the breakdown:

Summon Infernal – 30 yard range and instant cast spell on a 10 minute gcd. This spell summons a meteor from the Twisting Nether for 11,524 fire damage and stuns all enemies in the area for 2 seconds. An Infernal rises from the crater under the command of the warlock for 1 minute. The Infernal deals strong AoE damage and is drawn to attack targets near the impact point. Easy peasy pain in a single button!

My beta Infernal doing my bidding!

 

Other than the look of the new skin and the 20% increase in dps the Abyssal brings due to the Grimoire of Supremacy talent you easily see these two AoE demons are the same.

Summon Abyssal – 30 yard range and instant cast spell on a 10 minute gcd. This spell summons a meteor from the Twisting Nether for 12.559 fire damage and stuns all enemies in the area for 2 seconds. An Infernal rises from the crater under the command of the warlock for 1 minute. The Abyssal deals strong AoE damage and is drawn to attack targets near the impact point. Same wording as the Infernal other than the numbers on the initial damage.

 

The Abyssal’s impact point

 

Ambiguity in the numbers

Did you notice anything strange about the spell descriptions for either of the these demons? I did. It stood out quite clearly to me hidden near the end. Here it is again “The Infernal / Abyssal deals strong AoE damage…”. I know I haven’t read about any direct numbers with regards to their damage output, but I’m actually glad these definitions are written this way because it makes me believe that these demons will scale with our power. I don’t know about you, but I sure hope so! /em wrings hands thinking about the possibilities

So in the course of a minute, these demons bring an upfront dps smack, a quick stun, and then sweet tasty AoE to our enemies for another 58 seconds.  Trust me, if you’re a newer warlock you’ll come to appreciate them in so many ways. I’m already sure you can think of several examples of where these minions of mayhem will come in handy to you, and as a detriment to your foes.

An Abyssal risen and ready to pummel!

 

An evil glee with a “Fun-Time” macro

So how can we add even more evil glee to a demon that smashes our enemies to a pulp? We add a “fun-time” macro that’s how! Keep in mind that the more creative you’re with this exercise the more fun it’ll be. Make a simple three line macro for both of these minions. You can name the macro anything you like, but the inner working of this “fun-time” macro should look something like this:

  1. #showtooltip Summon Infernal
  2. /s Say hello to my little friend
  3. /cast Summon Infernal

 

If you compare this picture from beta with the one above it where I’m at the target dummies in Orgrimmar you’ll see that our live version is larger :)

Feel free to change the /s in the second line to a /y if you want to yell out your trite expressions instead. You can also change what the expression says as well. I’m sure you can get creative with your macro remarks like the wonderful warlocks I know you to be. Here’s just a few of my ideas:

  • /s I’m winning!
  • /s Warlock success in 3-2-1…
  • /s Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird…it’s a plane…
  • /s And now…on with the show!
  • /s <insert any maniacal cackle laugh of your choosing here>

 

See what I mean? Isn’t that some good old fashioned fun and self entertainment? Yes, I know some people really get annoyed when other players macro sayings or yelling expressions into their spells, but who cares what they think? We’re warlocks. We’re born to rule and destroy things while constantly reminding others why they hate us so much. So enjoy the fun and since all good Dark Art knowledge is best shared with friends, please let me know what kind of smart-alec, snarky, warlocky sayings you might use instead.  I’d love to read them, and if you send one in I’ll make sure to start a list for our brethren ‘locks to see them as well. Oh, the simple joys of being a warlock….

 

Hail my Abominable Antagonists!
 
I was deciding whether or not to use the word “protagonists” in the greeting or not because depending on the situation, either word would work in describing you, my wonderful warlock brethren. As protagonists, I want you to take the lead and be the central character to your own narrative and destiny. As antagonists, I want you to be competent and crafty contenders for all of your enemies. If you’re a new warlock and the idea of being hated doesn’t make you giddy, it soon will :) While other classes scream out their “Rawrs” at the start of the fight for self-motivation, warlocks cackle our delightful “Muhahahas” as an enemy or mob hits the ground after we take them down. See the difference?
 
Now before we move on, let’s all take a deep breath and bask in the aroma the of the rich and addicting flavor of the Dark Arts to celebrate our success of relearning our class all over again. You did it! You’ve survived the “Great Warlock Revamp” which will go down in history as Patch 5.0.4.  /em Amijade takes a big deep breath, holds it in then releases it with a calming exhale. Ahhhhhh! Isn’t that better? For some of the newer and younger warlocks out there who aren’t used to the sweet smell of yummy warlock success, it may at first appear to smell like burned or tormented enemies; however, over time you’ll enjoy it’s beautiful smexiness as if you were taking a bite of your favorite candy for the first time. So enjoy your moment to shine because as a reworked class you truly deserve it!
 

Get ready for some amazing vistas!

 Now, it’s time to get back to business. With a little more than two weeks away, the new expansion looms at us like a Chaos Bolt on it’s direct path towards a mage our enemy. We can see it on the horizon moving towards us and either out of shock, disbelief or pure excitement many people are uncertain about what to expect or what to do next. So whether you are planning on racing to the new cap level of 90 or if you plan on taking your time to stop and smell the roses or see all the waterfalls, let’s all take this small window of opportunity to discuss what to expect with the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
 
There still might be “bugs”
 
Despite the fact that there was over a million beta keys given out for players and testers, there’ll still be a few problems. You may find a glitched mob or two. You may find a glitched quests or two. Some of your addons still might not be working or they may cause glitches with either the game itself or other addons. Nothing is ever perfect. Does anyone remember the submarine quest at the end of the Vash? It was as buggy as a silithid hive in Silithus. There’s bound to be bugs so just expect them.

Well, maybe not this buggy. Does anyone else get itchy when you visit Silithus?

 
 Drowning and being overwhelmed by information overload
 
If you thought the flooding of information about the beta was already too much to handle, or if you thought the flood of information about the last patch was a lot…sit back, hang tight and hold-on! You’re about to see an information explosion that hasn’t been seen since Cataclysm launched. Don’t get overwhelmed by it all. Take in what you can handle at the speed you can handle it. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself crazy.
 
 
These aren’t the TB or Fireland daily quest mobs
 
From the moment you move into the new expansion keep in mind that the mobs you face will be tuned higher in health and in strength. Since you won’t be able to fly until you reach cap, you’ll often have to fight your way into an area and fight your way out for completing quests. So don’t be surprised if you get swamped by mobs that add in the fight and you soon find yourself at a spirit healer. It’s going to happen, trust me. Getting knocked off your mount by roving pats? Yep, it’s going to happen. Some of the mobs will even chase you for quite some distance and continue to attack you. It’s going to happen. So always be prepared for a fight.
 

No, I’m not running from any mobs…I’m running to go destroy some!

Bag space, bank space and vendor items
 
Take the time to make room in your bags and bank space now. Besides the new AoE looting system, your bags and character bank are going to fill up quickly. From grey items, to cooking items, to Motes of Harmony, to greens level items and other unique stuff…many things will drop. Unless it’s grey vendor trash, I’d recommend hanging onto what you find for two reasons. First, you won’t know what you need until you need it. It’s better to let several stacks of an item sit in a bank spot than to go blow about 300 gold on them later on when you need them. Also, the AH markets will be crazy the first four or five weeks until the markets begin to level out. An item that went for 25 gold at the start could fetch much more as more people reach cap. It’s a good way to make better money as you decide what items will be important for you and what won’t. Does anyone remember the cost of Delicate Wings at the start of Cataclysm? I do! Derpy me sold them cheap because I was ignorant of their importance and when I needed them for the leveling I was kicking myself.
 

As if there wasn’t enough gold sinks in the game!

 The good and bad of phased zones
 
Blizzard is phasing some of the zones with this expansion by combining servers with low populations with ones that have a high population. I’ve already heard both good and bad things about this new system. Some people like the phasing of the zones because you can often find other people in the same area to group for questing. Some people don’t like the phasing of the zones because you can often find other people in the same area who are competing with you for quest items. It’s kind of a double edged sword depending on how you look at it. Another problem is that some of the phased areas are in different Time Zones IRL. So while the fishing tournie in Dalaran might have started, the areas around Northrend might not have spawned the tournie nodes because they are a couple hours behind. Will this new phasing system be perfected yet? Probably not. Will Blizzard address these new issues as they spring up around the system of phasing? Yes, I’m sure they will. 

Same area, different Time Zone! Bah!

 Dungeons, scenarios and raids…oh my!
 
I personally didn’t raid or do any dungeons in my MoP Beta testing. The reason? I didn’t want to spoil all of the fun and the surprises of the new expansion for myself. I wanted to keep some things unknown to me and I also didn’t want to get burned out :) However, I have spoken with many people who have been testing the dungeons and I’m hearing roughly the same kind of feedback from them. While the new dungeons aren’t as painful as the 1 to 2 hour investment they’d been in Cataclysm, they aren’t going to be a free purple drop like a heroic EoT run either. Expect some wipes and expect that you might experience some drama in LFD and you should be fine. As always, keep calm and a level head when dealing with troll fodder. Other quick tips for the new dungeons? A little communication goes a long way. A little politeness goes a long way. A little understanding goes a long way. A little patience goes a long way. A little CC (crowd control) goes a long way. Don’t forget to smile and have fun, and never forget you’re a warlock and you represent our class so remain above the fray and you should be just fine.
 

Do your best at maintaining any semblence of sanity in LFD and LFR :)

 Always remember there’s no dumb questions
 
With every expansion, the learning curve gets pretty steep and remains that way for quite some time. Keep in mind everyone learns at their own pace and what might feel like common knowledge often isn’t. A good example is the new reagent the Dust of Disappearance. I’m sure by now you know what it is and where to buy it from the vendors, but I still see people on twitter bragging they have made a killing by selling it for 3x’s as much gold on the AH to ignorant players. I think there are enough ways on the AH to make money without having to take advantage of a person’s ignorance. Don’t you think we see enough of that IRL already? I don’t expect you to answer every questions for people in trade, nor do I expect you to share everything all the time with your guild. What I do expect from a good warlock is to aid and assist others when you can. As in RL, you’ll know when it’s a good time to offer your help.
 
I can’t help but to share a quick story to prove my point from one of my experiences during the beta where asshat players drove me crazy. A couple of months ago, there was a bug in the beta where if you had your settings turned on anything higher than “good” most of the zones would appear like large pink cubes (no, I’m not talking about the ugly pink shards that float above my head in Affliction, but they were every bit as annoying). If you experienced this bug you couldn’t see anything but these big giant pink cubes all over your screen. A simple fix was to turn your setting down to “good” or below and the bug went away. There was a bug report about this on the forums as well, but most players don’t have the time to check the forums every hour of everyday. So you can imagine what the trade channel looked like as new players logged into the beta and freaked out by what they saw.
 

The “Vigilance on Wings” (aka Joust quest) is still bugged. For some people you can enter, but you can’t leave the portal. Good time for a hearthstone!

 Every few minutes a new person would login and see the giant pink cube bug where they’d freak out and ask in the trade channel what was going on. The poor unsuspecting players would have 20 people respond in a derogatory way that they were dumb, stupid and that they should go read the forums. Finally, a brave player made a macro and spammed it to trade every few minutes that read something like this:
 
<Trade><A Smart Player>“If you see giant pink cubes on your screen, turn your video setting down to “good” or below. It’s a bug, that’s the fix and Blizzard posted this problem on the forums.”
 
Well, it didn’t take long for the trade channel to settle down in it’s trolling of these players as they logged on and pretty soon the wise player didn’t need to spam his macro as much because the people that he helped soon responded to others in the same helpful way. It’s a simple story, but I hope it illustrates how reacting to a situation can either add fuel to the fire or keep things running smoothly. Many people never speak up or ask questions for fear of feeling dumb or in being ostracized for their ignorance. As a warlock, I’m all about offering up some nice FEAR as much as I can…just not in that kind scenario. So help others when you can in sharing the knowledge of playing the game because you’ll never know when you too will need something explained.
 

A little patience goes a looooooong way!

 Racing to the finish line or taking your time? 
 
Before the expansion hits, you really need to consider how you want to tackle it. Are you going to go after a “World First” achievement? Are you going to go after a “Server-First” achievement? Do you want to race quickly to the cap and start running dungeons ASAP? Are you going to get your main to cap first then work on your alts or will you level all of your toons up equally as you go? Decisions, decisions, decisions…I’d suggest making your mind up and setting a goal for yourself before you login. Otherwise, if you have high hopes of doing everything at once you might get both frustrated and disappointed. When you stop and think about it, there’s a lot to do in the World of Warcraft and it’s quite an undertaking. Consider just a few: Leveling and Questing, Primary Professions, Secondary Professions, PvP for both BGs and Arenas, Dungeons, Scenarios, Raids, Pet Battles, Transmogging, Transmogging runs, The Auction House, Pet collecting, Mount Collecting, Reputation Grinds, Farming mats and the list can go on and on. I’m sure you”ll agree that that’s quite a list and quite a time sink. Most people have limited time to play the game and you’re probably no different. If you spread yourself too thin on trying to do it all, you’ll feel overwhelmed and the game will become like a second job. So make the decision now as to what’s most important when you’re online and work towards that goal. Trust me when I say that eventually you’ll be able to do it all, just not all at once :)
 
Expansions both help and harm many guilds
 
I’ve seen it happen in every expansion so far. Guilds either become stronger or they become weaker due to the new changes. This appears to me as a normal ebb and flow and I’m not sure if that fact will ever change. The main reasons for this can vary, but I think a major factor in these kinds of changes is the result of the leveling and progression component in the game. Don’t be surprised if you see a few guildies hitting the new level cap within the first week. At the same time, don’t be surprised if you see other guildies taking a few weeks or even a month or more to get to cap. When people reach the max level they’ll often want to move on to other content. It’s understandable so you can’t blame them.
 
We had a great tank once who was the first player in our guild to reach cap. It was the launch of the Burning Crusade and he was about two or three weeks ahead of the rest of the guild. He was a good player and a great guy. As an older player (50 years +), he had a much greater amount of spare time than most to devote to the game. It wasn’t long before he realized he wanted to experiences things much faster than at the rate the guild was going. It was a sad day when he left to move to a guild that was farther in progression, but I think we all understood that our guild at that time didn’t meet his needs for what he was wanting to experience.
 

There was room on the raft, but my voidlord preferred the water

 During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion we had a large group of younger players leave our guild to go and start their own guild. It was painful when we lost those four good players. We could have begged them to stay and they might have done so, but would they’ve been happy? No, I don’t think so. They would’ve always dreamed of what running a guild was like or trying to make their way on their own. Believe it or not, near the end of the the WoTLK expansion, all four of these players came back to our guild having disbanded the one they created. After less than 1 year of branching out on their own they soon learned that a good guild takes work, dedication, and a sturdy set of rules and guidelines even if the guild was created with friends.
 
My older tank friend still plays to this day on another server. His progression guild decided to switch realms where they could draw from a larger population server to help increase their numbers. The last time I spoke with him they were running 2 – 10 man teams two nights per weeks, and working on 25 man content 1 night per week. I’m happy for them all. As it stands, I don’t see the Mists of Pandaria expansion being any different than what I’ve experienced and seen before in previous expansions. Both players and guilds progress at their own pace, so don’t be surprised if changes like this happens to you or your guild. If you decide to switch guilds or change servers…be honest to your guild and your current guild members. Yes, I know it’s not the easiest thing to do nor is it the easiest decision to make. Actually, it will be like ripping off a band-aid with a quick twinge of pain and then it’s over quickly. You’ll feel better for being honest and upfront, and usually this will stop any animosity that may occur later on.

10,000 Waterfalls? Really? No, I mean really, really? OMG! Let’s just hope the fishing is good!

 A quick wrap up
 
For me, my plan for the expansion is simple. I plan to take my time, have some fun and to stop and see some of the waterfalls along the way. If you haven’t heard, there are 10,000 waterfalls in the new expansion. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of screenshots, a lot of fun, and a lot of work to some degree. Luckily for me, I know from experiences that I’ll get there when I get there and I’m sure you will to…whatever course or quests you decide to take.
 

Enjoy the all the exploring and discovery!

Howdy All,

This is a special post for me. In all honesty, it’ll have little to do with warlocking or warlockery in it. If you came here to read about the wonderful warlock class don’t worry. I’ll be posting more scrump-dilly-umptious warlock yumminess when I can, but for this post I’m going to talk about something completely different. This might even be a post that turns out to be a small novel in both pictures and words so I hope you enjoy it if you decide to stay and hear my tale. First, please take a moment and go read Looking For Amijade in all the Wrong Places by Navimie the Druid and when you’ve finished hearing her side then you can hear mine :) 

I’ve done a lot of memorable things during my wanderings and meanderings throughout the world of Azeroth, but every now and then something happens that makes me giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. I know the word “Epic” gets tossed around a lot and might have lost it’s original meaning. For me, “Epic” is clearly a moment in time that becomes so cemented and locked into your memories that nothing could ever pry them from you. I have fond memories of my first time in game, my first time in a dungeon, and the first time I ran in a raid. They were great fun and great memories, but they weren’t what I would consider to be “Epic”.

I’ve come to realize that all of the truly epic moments for me in-game always involve my friends, guildies, or other people who I’ve come to know and respect. (My raid team is a different story because they’re as nutty as I am <3 to the IHP!) Out of a fluke, one of those epic moments turned into an entire evening for me last week. If you follow a lot of the WoW blogs, or if you join in a lot of the WoW community conversations on twitter, you may already be guessing as to where this story will lead.

Same world, different server

How it all started with a wonderful, awful idea

Over the past few weeks I’ve been watching my friend Navimie at The Daily Frostwolf post and tweet about all of her Navispams on other bloggers. If you aren’t familiar with what a “Navispam” is…then you’re missing out on some fun. Navimie has been surprising many WoW bloggers on their home turf by visiting them on their servers to help bring the blogging community together. She does her Navispamming to have fun, meet a lot of the people she knows from the blogosphere, and to take screenshots of her alongside her targeted friends. I can’t remember which one of her many Navispams it was that I had read, but it really got me to pondering. Then I got an idea. An awful idea! This old warlock got a wonderful, awful idea! (Sorry, I love Dr. Seuss) What if I, an old warlock, pounced on an unsuspecting victim surprised Navimie and Navispammed her on her own server? Oh, what fun! At the time I came up with this plan it hadn’t been done! Woot! It was just the kind of evil plan epic quest and mischievous fun that I find appealing /rubs hands together and cackle laughs to self

On my hunter, I’ve camped every rare pet in the game. Yes, I’m one of those compulsive players and I’m not sure what exactly draws me to my love of hunting rare pets. Maybe it’s the excitement of the blaring alarm when NPC_Scan screams that it found a target? Maybe, I love when my spammy fingers and a good target Macro beats NPC_Scan to the punch? Maybe, I just love collecting the things that are difficult to find? Maybe I just love the thrill of the hunt? Maybe I love it because of a combination of all those reasons? Maybe, I should stop typing the word maybe followed by a question and just get on with it?

Re-awakening

How does one go about camping a Druid? Sure, I could find her home server easy enough, but where would you look? Mulgore sprung to mind rather quickly. It has a lot of grassy fields where I’m sure plenty of druids like to graze; however, Navimie probably isn’t like that. After all, this is no ordinary cow Tauren I’m talking about! It’s Navimie after all, and I knew in my heart that Mulgore wouldn’t be the place. Then I remembered her post where she talked about her favorite places in Orgrimmar. Luckily for me, it was many of the same places where I like to haunt as well (No pun intended). So with my devious plan epic quest in place, and with the Deth’Remar Realm and city of Orgrimmar as my destination, and the famous larger than life Tauren Druid Navimie as my target…how could I fail? And so, my quest in the search for the golden calf, Navimie, began.

Oh how I fail thee…let me count the ways

Navi is from Australia. I’m in the United States. See the problem? As you can guess it didn’t take me long to figure out that in order to camp this mad cow Tauren, I’m going to have to work around that little time-zone thing. What’s a time-zone difference of around 12 hours or so right? Trust me, I’m a warlock and and if I can survive all of the DoT timers I’ve stared at over the years, then this little time-zone thing has got nothing on me. I was so wrong!

So I began my epic quest line by rolling a toon on the Oceanic – Deth’Remar server far, far away on the other side of the world. It was quite late in the evening for me, but imagine my glee as I found myself awakening from a dream, still sprawled out in a pile of dirt as the angelic Valk’yr Agatha floated above me. I was back home. Home sweet Deth Knell! There I lie, a baby warlock starting out in the world with no friends, nothing in my bags, and only a pittance of a Shadowbolt spell to protect me along with a gimped sarcastic imp who did nothing more than protect me. I typed a quick /who search on the famous Frostwolf Clan and it showed that only 2 people were on. To help save the innocent, I won’t give away names at this point.

Between her two guild members, one of them was in a dungeon and the other was in Orgrimmar. Not wanting to bug someone in a dungeon I tried to /whisper the person who was in Orgrimmar. I did my best to be direct and forthright in explaining my situation. I told them I was camping Navimie (the golden calf) and that any helped they offered would ensure I wouldn’t destroy them when I took over their guild, and then their server. At first, they struggled with what I was telling them. Then I can only guess that they did a search on me because their next response was “Oh, you’re a warlock”. At that point, I no longer needed to mince words.

Failing at finding any aid in my quest…

Within a few seconds this poor player, obviously frightened by the truth to my comments, confessed to me that I missed Navimie by about 2 hours. Drat! Ugh! So close on my first attempt! Well, if I can camp and capture the Time Lost-Proto Drake, then I can certainly camp and catch a cow Tauren. Like that elusive rare spawning dragon mount, camping Navimie wasn’t going to be easy unless perhaps the RNG gods smiled down on me. Not wanting to lose a good spy, I warned her guildy that I would spare them from suffering in the future if…and only if…they kept my visit a secret. They complied and I logged off for the night.

Persistence, persistence, and a lucky proc

For the next several days I would check her server before I left for work, when I returned home from work, and before I logged off for the night. If it weren’t for bad luck, then I’d have no luck at all it would appear. As I was catching up on my blog reading I finally saw that the famous world renown Apple of Azeroth Apple beat me at reverse Navispamming Navimie. Should I give up now? Would I appear as unoriginal if I continued and dare be considered a copycat? I didn’t care. I was having fun. Plus, a great trait about being an Affliction warlock is having patience because we all know that DoTs have a slow ramp-up time and I saw this opportunity to find Navimie as being the same way.

All these guys did was stand around! Note to self: Talk with Sylvannas about morale problems

Then I got a DM from Navimie telling me I was a hard man to catch. Derpy me! I thought she was talking about reaching me on Twitter and not about finding me in-game. Little did I know or suspect that she was trying to Navispam me at that same time. Believe it or not, she was! However, I had no clue. So unbeknownst to me, she was trying to find me…and unbeknownst to her, I was camping her. It was the same fail story for those next few days. I’d login, do a search on her guild only to be disappointed she wasn’t on. Sometimes, I’d whisper one of her guildies and make my demands in finding her. They would always comply and submit, but I still had no luck in finding this elusive beast Druid.

I find that being honest and truthful is always the best course of action

If you follow me on Twitter, please understand that I live in a very rural area and rarely do I get any internet reception on my phone when I’m home. While on my travels with work my Iphone keeps me plugged into the world as I cross from one large city to another. I have a demanding job when it’s time for me to perform; however, I do have a lot of downtime. It’s during my downtime when I catch up on twitter, listen to podcasts, and read WoW blogs. When I’m home, I usually have about a 40% chance of being able to receive anything on my phone. So imagine my surprise when one night I came home, logged into Deth’Remar to camp for the golden calf and my phone vibrates with a notification from Twitter.

This Twitter chatlog proves I’m horrible at tap typing on an Iphone

As the conversation of tweets unfolded, I soon realized Navimie was trying to Navispam me! OMG! Wuuut!? And here I was sitting on her server trying to catch her at the exact same time.

After calling me “Cheeky” and not believing me, she finally logged in. Woot! Finally! Immediately after coming online Navimie tossed me a party invite and summoned me to Orgrimmar. Even more shocking, she offered a guild invite. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that and what an honor! Here I was, a level one warlock invited to become a Frostwolf! Very cool indeed. She had picked a great spot atop one of the high rock perches overlooking the grand city of Ogrimmar where we sat and chatted away. Poor Navi was having some lag, but it was okay. I was too excited to be there and to finally find her even though I had to give some of the surprise away. I took screen shots and jumped around like a nutcase in excitement.

I should’ve been embarrased by my level one starter clothes, but I really didn’t care because I was too excited

Navimie had to AFK for a bit, and while she was gone I decided to climb down the rocky cliff ledges to wander Orgrimmar and check things out on the Deth’Remar server. I got to chat with many of the Deth’Remar locals and I truly enjoyed all of her OUR guildies I got to meet :) They included: DragonRay, Santuario, Biship, Rustytaps, Jinj, Teshuvah, McTappy, Verolina, Gertluz and Azadelta (Az).

You might have heard of DragonRay on twitter or from her blog Azerothian Life and I can’t help but mention Zwingli and his blog called Zwingli’s Weblog O’ WoW. As I had come to find out, several well known bloggers have all come to Deth’Remar to visit or put an Alt in the Frostwolf guild because of a special Tauren Druid named Navimie.

Rock climbing 101 – Or should I say at level 1? Look way up at the top behind me and that’s where poor Navi got stuck with lag

All fun experiences begin with a first step, but sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and just jump with both feet forward

First, I had to take care of business and claim Deth’Remar for my own

Jinjersnaps (aka Jinj), grouped with me to keep me company while Navi was away. We met down in the heart of the city where I got some good screen shots of both her Mage and her Shaman. Jinj was so nice she even gave me a cockroach pet, which I thought was very kind. After I annoyed my new guild in /gchat talked with our guildies for about an hour or so, Navimie came back and we jump on Vent for a short time where we were joined by Az. Navi couldn’t stay long, but I remained chatting with Az about warlocks, hunters, and all things WoW for a bit longer. I apologize to Az because at that time it was well after 3 am in the morning for me, and I think I was getting loopy from lack of sleep. Plus, I had to leave for work less then 3.5 hours later :) Even though I was quite tired the next day, the lack of sleep was worth it to me though.

Holy Cow! (no pun intended) I never realized how tall she was! Osteoporosis doesn’t help my stature

A cow that can turn into a bird…impressive

Another achievement under my belt

I had so much fun surprising Navi on her server, becoming a Frostwolf and completing my epic quest line in my search for the golden calf. It’s funny, but there are a lot of ingame items I’ll always cherish for one reason or another. There’s a stack of arrows I still hold onto in my hunter’s bank space for nostalgia’s sake. I still have the mallet from Zul’Farrak on all of my toons, and a whole slew of items such as trinkets, vanity pets, and mounts that all hold special times and memories for me whenever I see them. And to this day, I’ve always been remiss because I’ve never held an orange level item on any of my own toon’s hands. However, at this point in my WoW career, obtaining an item like that isn’t really appealing to me anymore.

Instead, I’m proud to know there’s a baby warlock sitting on the Oceanic – Deth’Remar server who doesn’t have a gold piece to her name, she has a disagreeable guardian imp named Bizkit, a small cockroach gift as a pet, a guild tabard she proudly wears for honor and glory, and she has great memories of a night spent with friends…and to me nothing in the game gets anymore epic than that.  My best always to both Navimie and all my guildy’s over at the Frostwolves. I thank you all for your kindness, generosity, and for making an wonderful memory for an old warlock who humbly bows and salutes to you all.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with my scrapbook of screenshots from when I started camping until that magical evening ended…

Navimie giving me a ride and a tour

After Jinj gave me my cockroach pet, she let me take a pic while she danced. Ha! Mage dancing at it’s finest

Finishing up the evening chatting it up with Az

Spreading the word about Tmog

 

When you get really bored, you’ll enjoy talking to anyone

What kind of damage can you do with only a Shadowbolt spell? A lot!

Swapping fun camping stories

This bozo kept telling me warlocks wouldn’t be losing Soul Harvest during the new expansion…some people just can’t accept change

Heading back to the hole I crawled out from

Tired and exhausted, but I’m glad I made the journey. Night all, sleep calls…have fun!