Sunday, August 31, 2008

Podcasts I Enjoy

Since I am back to work, there can no longer be all day sessions with my web browser open looking for the latest and greatest WoW news. This, however, is not such a bad thing, as I can return to what I really enjoy; plugging in while I work to some of my favorite podcasts. I'm sure my tastes are pretty mild, so I'll share them with you.

Elune's Grace

A great show for those of the Alliance persuasion, but still very informative for even Horde types. Hosted by Elly and Gheal, the show is mainly about news and what they've been doing in game, with a lore segment from former co-host Sal.

Epic Dolls

Hosted by Leala and Rae, this show has news, in game tidbits, and some segments from others. Stardancer takes you "Off the Beaten Path" with information on quests and areas little known to the general WoW player. Illidarian hosts the lore segment, and there is a drama called "Draenei Family Robinsuun" about a family of draenei after the ship crash and their interaction with their new land. Leala sometimes has some hot fashion tips to share. These gals are Horde in nature, though Leala has been dabbling in the Alliance side of things with a large role playing guild, The Sleeper Cartel.

The Instance

Scott and Randy and some other part time co-hosts put on a fine show about news, rumors, in game stuff, their guild, and have user submitted segments about pvp, add-ons, tips, macros, kids, farm animals, and so on. The show is fun, and often goes off topic, but that's why we like it!

The Signal

This is not a WoW podcast, and it is a pretty long one usually, but I enjoy it. It has segments from all of fandom on everything you can imagine about Firefly and Serenity. Well, WoW likes Firefly, too, so I guess there is some relation!

Yivvits and Mr Bubble

Ok, this has nothing at all in common with WoW. I enjoyed this cast when I was still playing Star Wars Galaxies, and I still do now. These guys are a hoot!

World of Warcast

I would not be doing WoW podcasts justice if I forgot to list this great show. Starman and Renata have been hosting this show for longer than I have been listening. They have a great show, with all the news and in game stuff we love to hear, and sometimes they host class roundtables. The roundtables are very informative, as they gather about 4 people of the same class to talk about builds, abilities, weapons, and other things relevant to the class.

Next time I post about podcasts, I will be adding some that I have found recently...up and comers? Which reminds me, I haven't listened to the Twisted Nether podcast this week.

Got any you listen to that I might be interested in? Comment on it below!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Have you ever...?

Ever try to move the camera angle with your mouse while watching a video on your computer? I watched my hubby do that tonight, and I giggled, because I'd done it before, too. I have also found myself wishing I could /follow the car in front of me when I am in a traffic jam and want to dig something out of my purse. How about around the house, faced with the epic quest of getting it clean? I know the lfg channel is supposed to help find people on the same quest, but it seems noone else is doing the "Dishes are Piled High" quest when I am. I imagine finding a group for that dungeon crawl through my teenage daughter's room will also be a failure. Seems noone likes the dig in the garbage quests.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Lost Some Geek Cred Today

My sister-in-law had us all out to the coolest park today. Sure, a park has all the basics; picnic tables, trees, grass, play sets, grills. But this park had a water park, too. For free! Whee! So, I am now sporting about a jillion more freckles and an unhealthy rosy red burn on my nose and forehead. Ahh, well, it's all for the kids anyway. Bill Amend, the man who puts out the comic Foxtrot, said it all this last Sunday...
Here are some fun pictures of kids playing, so those of you with the healthy pasty glow about you can live vicariously through me!My second to last kiddo, and her "baby".
My oldest and my youngest. Boy, is she tired!
My middle two blasting away at each other, with the second to last running off screen.

All I have to say is, besides "OW! I'm burnt", is yay for free summer fun!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ahh, the scent of freshly sharpened pencils...

School is back in session, and I am finding that work, getting kids ready for the new school year, and the task of making more level 70's for my husband has edged writing out of the way. I have to squeeze this in before my hubby gives me the evil eye and takes my laptop from me. You see, it's WAAAAAYYYY past my bedtime. I'm such a bad girl!

Anyhow, to commemorate my ticket purchasing fun, I found a t-shirt with the failoc on the front and the mech on the back, and purchased one I thought would be reasonably roomy. Well, I have learned my lesson, and will be making my own. My high school age daughter is now the proud owner of my shirt. She keeps hugging herself and saying,"I love murlocs!".

I got caught! Mostly because I was falling asleep at the keys. I promise to try and take more time out of the game to write. See how I didn't promise to do it, just to try? I have so much I have been wanting to accomplish before the expansion that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I want to get all the non combat pets that have been eluding me. I want to grab a few more tabards. I want to learn how to heal on my recently brought to the light priest. I want to get my almost 60 rogue to 70 and get some Karazhan runs under her belt. I want my Alliance magess to get to 70 and experience end game on the other side of the fence. I want my husband to get into playing a character other than his rogue and his 19 warlock twinkette.

I'm going to stop now. As I was rereading the above text I saw the bratty 10 year old shining through with the gimmes and wants. I'm going to send her to the corner now. Think about that for a while!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Don't you already have a rogue?

That's what I've been hearing for the last week as my husband and I have been leveling our new characters. Well, sure, Rowena is a rogue, but she is forever stuck at 19, for stress relief purposes. And Cereza? I tried out the free transfers to another realm when ours was (and still is) bursting at the seams. She won't be coming back. So Maura was born to accompany Sinnerman in his quest for glory, and levels.

Triple experience is a blessing, but it also hands you quite the dilemma. Your friend, who probably doesn't have a high level character, needs someone to bankroll him as he levels. A regular character wandering Azeroth earns reputation, experience, trade skill points, and copper at a steady rate, with no worry where the training money comes from. At triple the experience, your reputation gains are hurt, as well as your money making. I took a minute and contrasted Gwenna, my level 40 troll magess with Maura, a level 39 rogue, and find that where Gwenna is honored with three of the 5 horde factions, Maura is only honored with the Undercity, and barely friendly with the others. I guess it really follows the lore this way for Maura, being fiercely loyal to her forsaken brothers and sisters, and really only out to get what she can from the rest of the Horde.

Money is tight, but not too tight to mention. Bad pun? Intended! I had taken 50 gold from my shadow priestess to split with Sinnerman and Maura. When we are running dungeons together, Sinnerman is the one I drive, with Maura following obediently behind. He picks everything up, except when it benefits Maura. So, after a couple of days, Maura has spent her allowance, and Sinnerman has 60 gold. That doesn't sound like a big problem, does it? Except my husband doesn't give me money...he makes me earn it. I won't go into details, just suffice to say that I will be running a few dailies to get the money Maura needs with another character.

Did I mention trade skills? Maura, being a rogue, has two that she should be leveling; poisons and lock picking. Breezing through the levels as she has been, she hasn't had time to do these things. Her lock picking skill sits at around 88, and her poisons haven't even been touched. She picked up skinning on a whim, and that sits below the first 75 points, too. I guess when our pals hit 60 they'll be leveling professions before they cruise on out to finish their last ten levels.

Well, I will break here for some real live dailies...the dishes are calling to me! I get paid in WoW playtime for that, so I'd better hop to it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blizzcon, Here We Come!

The mission: Get tickets to Blizzcon. Sounds easy enough, I say to myself as I eye my in game chronometer. It is 11:15, and time enough for one last run through of the Armory. Our group enters, takes the place by storm, and we run back out at 11:49. I have enough time to turn everything off, load up the Blizzard store on my computer, and wait for the next day. tickets on sale yet. I madly refresh my screen, hoping that some poor webmaster/mistress has fallen asleep on the job, and that they're just late posting them. I make my Blizzard store account, just in case.

1:20...still no tickets, I head for the forums looking for clues.

2:00..I finally get the bright idea to do a blue post search. My search is rewarded with a since deleted post saying that the zombies don't hit the office until about 8 PDT, so get some sleep. Only half believing the post, I set my alarm for 5:30 to get a jump on the janitor, in case he decides to open things up for his buds (everyone at Blizzard has to have some server knowledge, right?).

5:30....I wake with a jump, refresh the store page, and open up the Blizzcon site and the World of Warcraft main page for updates. I open up WoW Insider for entertainment value, and begin refreshing as I flip through the forums.

7:45...Ticket sales open. I begin filling out the forms, excited at how smoothly this process seems to be going. I have never been able to catch event tickets for anything online before, as they are usually sold out before I get my first keystroke in. 2 tickets, for Shawndra and Hacksoor, I hit the continue button.
This was to be an epic quest. I would not let his mob defeat me! My attempts to purchase tickets got as far as the confirm order screen once, then an endless cycle of going back to the ticket holder information page. Thankfully, good old Firefox saved all my info, and the process, though mind-numbing, was not too painful. I devoted my entire day to this quest, reading strategy guides on the forums, picturing a bloody pile of dead murlocs at my feet, the prized tickets held high with my sword stuck into the final murloc that tried to get in my way.

Just as I felt I was getting somewhere with this quest, a new mob spawned. I, at first, thought this was a rare, and the reason for my mindless murloc slaying. Alas, he was just a new hurdle for me to scale, and he was a mighty big one.
I turned to the forums, to find out what could be done. Apparently, my quest was bugged, and they were working on a solution. I flipped through Warcraft Bloggers site and WoW Insider, as well as stopping by the forums in between refreshes. My refreshes were getting fewer and further between, but hope had not been lost. The picture of my conquest in my mind, I forged ahead, and turned the refreshing over to my laptop. I pulled my newest project out to do her rogue quests and level lock picking and skinning. Nothing that would take away from my initial quest, just something to do in the interim.

By 6, even though my laptop was just the messenger, I was about to throw it through the window. Dinner happened, and I dragged my hunter out to do some battlegrounds with the fellas. Won both of them, they split for their raid, and I left Carlotta in the war room and pulled Maura out to finish the Test of Lore with her buddy, and ended up doing Razorfen Kraul and Scarlet Monastery, all the while refreshing. Occasionally I would get a form to fill out, a terms and conditions to agree to, but more often than not, the murloc or the maintenance droid popped up. My cheers were quickly silenced by mobs and error messages.

About 8:45, I refreshed and got the ticket purchase screen again. I agreed to the TOS, filled out the ticket holder info, inputted my 3 digit card code, and got to the confirm purchase screen. Not sure whether to be excited or not, I pushed the button. No murloc, no droid, but at this point it was nigh on 9 pm PDT, and I was about to call it a night. The error code was at the bottom of the screen. Please go back and try again, your purchase did not complete. Well, I did what I was asked, and, on a whim, opened my email client. The purchase screen told me I had to try again, but my email folder had a new message! Silly me, I had already tried again by then, and received another confirmation. I am now the proud owner of 4 Blizzcon tickets, pending removal of two by customer service.

I did, in a burst of anger, call customer service many times, only to get the circuits are busy bleeping. The one time I got through, I was informed that they were using the same system as we were, and that if we didn't get through, neither could they. I did not blow up,I calmly thanked them for the help, posted that tidbit of very important info on one of the forum threads, and kept at it.

Moral of this story? Tenacity...get some. And don't harm the messenger....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Outland Ho!

Esoterique finally hit that happy 58 mark a couple of nights ago. She took one look at her list of quests, planned her route, and turned in all the completed ones, then went and deleted all of the rest. She emptied her bags, donned a couple of pieces of gear from the Outlands she had found in the auction house, and made her way to the portal.

How did you feel the first time you walked up to that portal? I remember when I used it the first time with Shawndra, and I guess the first time for every character is still awe inspiring. The thing, for one, is huge! The large crater it sits in, and the slope of the ramp to the gate are also just one of those things that make you feel small and insignificant. I thought as she walked up the ramp, "She'll die from the first mobs look of scorn!", remembering how thin her armor was. If, it had been me and not Eso walking up there, I would have been walking really slowly, looking over my shoulder constantly, hands balled into stressful fists at my sides. Eso entered the protal and materialized on the other side. She found the man in charge, and followed orders. Within 10 minutes she was out on her first quest.

She didn't die right away! But the new gear paired with her old conjured water was a disaster. Two bottles of water instead of one every time she needed a break. Thankfully, there were only two levels until the next new conjure water spell. She plugged away at her quest log, finishing things in record time.

Now, she is 61, riding her epic riding mount, and wearing the worst outfit ever dreamed up! But she is in Outlands, and for that, I am proud of myself! The alliance leveling experience was successful, and school only a week away. I doubt I'll hit 70 with her by then, as our triple experience experiment has taken more of my game time, but I'll get there soon enough.

Yay! Anyone got any chocolate cake? A party is required!

Hey everyone, have you met my friend?

So, my hubby and I have been trying out this triple experience thing on the friend account we created. It is amazing! We started out together in the undead area, he a mage and me a rogue, and skipped lightly through our quests....and finished the zone with not enough money to train our talents and at a healthy level 7.5! So, we skipped off to Brill, did just the first quest of each chain, and found ourselves at 13 wondering whether to continue or to skip to the Barrens. We ended up in the Barrens, and then found out something brilliant. Grouped together, one of our guildies asked if we wanted a free run through Ragefire Chasm. Sure, why not was the reply. Maybe the experience would stink, but we'd get some gear to help us level. So we went, and, we both got a full level of experience from it. We went again, and got another level! Wowzas! We start thinking and talking, and we come upon the same conclusion. We have my account, the friend account, and the husband's account. We should try Wailing Caverns the next day! So, we made our way to the Barrens and called it a night.

The experience was fabulous, and we may just instance together all the way to 70, if the buddy system allows it! Thank you Blizzard, my hubby may yet have as many at 70 as I do!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

To what length...

...would you go to get an item available in game? Let's just suppose there is this wonderful, incredible Swift Zhevra mount, available only to people who get a friend to try the game, buy the game, and sign up for two months of service. Now, let's suppose that you are a shut-in, with no friends other than the ones you know in game. Would you be your own friend?

How about those neat-o vanity items you get from the WoW trading card game? How would you go about getting those? Would you buy the booster packs until you got it? Dangerously expensive, that one. Or would you buy a box of booster packs, and be content with whatever loot cards you got? Perhaps a bit less expensive in the long run, but you may not get what you were hoping for. Or would you go to E-bay? Oh, a friend in need, finds friends with your D.I.S.C.O. ball. Do you bid, or buy it now? Or, do you hope that some random person in game offers to trade their code for a large sum of gold coin? Infrequent, but you could get lucky.

Well, I'll tell you to what lengths my family has gone. My hubby loves me sooo much, he bought an account, in his father's name, and put time on it. Maybe his dad will play, who knows? Delgada will be very happy with her new pet! As for trading card fun, my hubby usually buys me a booster box with every expansion set. To date, I have a picnic basket, a goblin gumbo kettle, pet biscuits and flaming treads, not to mention many, many UDE points to spend...firework trinkets, tabards, ogre disguises....I'm a happy girl! Oh, and he makes out well too. I gave him a rocket mount, and the ethereal trader. If he never scratches the card, I may have to do it for him....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How do you light a fire?

The frantic slapping of large moth wings gave Eso a start, waking her from a hazy dream of her old home. She looked around for the reason, and saw the light from a new fire lighting up her hut of broken crystal and metal like midday. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she shooed the moths away, hugging a thin cover to her chest. No one around to blame the fire on, she lounged on her side, her body curled around the edge of the fire pit. She floated her left hand lazily in the heat above the flame, far enough away not to burn, but close enough to feel the flames as the crackled and popped under her palm.

She tilted her head back to look at the crystals that were still whole in the ceiling of her hut. The light from the flames danced crazily on the facets, reflecting back in blues and purples. Smiling, she wrapped her sheet snugly across her chest, tucking the end into the cleft between her breasts. Taking some sand from the urn near the pit, she spread it over the the flame. Slowly, almost regretfully, she extinguished the last of the flame, leaving just the embers. She brushed the sand from her hand and laid back down on her bead of silverleaf and young river rushes, sighing deeply as she drifted off to sleep. Murmuring in her sleep, her right hand gestured authoritatively toward the pit, and a cheery fire replaced the sullen embers.

The moths, drawn again to the light, settled over the crystals, blocking the light in.