Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Main!

That's it. I have had it with healing the ungrateful, rude masses. I will no longer toss a renew to someone out of combat to help them regen faster. I will no longer worry if the greater heal that I trinketed and used all my specials on will hit the tank before he dies. I won't bother giving people fortitude and spirit buffs. Nope. I refuse to carry candles.

No, I'm not going to switch out to Carlotta. She needs too much. Damned arrows and food for the beast, not to mention bandages and potions she makes for everyone else but her.

Shawndra is out as well. Her gear costs too much to repair. And people expect her to tank. Bleah. I want none of that responsibility.

Not even Gwenna the mage. Nope. She has about 3 too many reagents to carry around, and they cost money. Not to mention that people expect her to make them food and water, and focus magic, and sometimes sheep/rabbit things. Forget that!

I am even going to forsake the Horde. Yep. Horde is too hardcore for me. I'm thinking I want the easy life of hanging out in places like Goldshire and Stormwind and Ironforge, where the only attacks I have to dodge are the X rated RP offers.

Here is my new main. Her name is Muppsey. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. And healers? Yeah, I'm going to life tap myself down to the bone. You'll heal me and like it.

Oh, I thought I'd change it up a bit and join a real raiding guild, too. So, I'm rolling her on the US-Sentinels server, where Premagon (or is it Paranition?) is going to get ready for Cataclysm and the new raid content it contains. I'm sure once they see her shadow bolt spam they will fall in love with her and beg her to join. Even if she can't heal. Or cook. Did I mention there will be no small eggs cooked by her? Nope, no eggs at all. No cooking, no fishing, no first aid. Just tailoring and enchanting, which I will have my minions (read:children) level for me.

Muppsey is all about the selfish desire to do absolutely nothing that benefits anyone but my selfish need to only dps, and sponge off of everyone I can possibly manage to. Expect a lot of posts about how I wiped groups and pissed off healers and tanks in the next several weeks. It will be such a change from the bad groups and awful people posts I have grown accustomed to reading in my feed reader!

Oh, and Happy April First. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Have you seen Yesterday's News, a short machinima by Slashdance? It was a contest entry for the "Rise to Power" sweepstakes and was featured on's Moviewatch today. If you haven't seen it, I'll wait for you to watch it. Here it is.

Good, wasn't it? Then I read the article, and the comments. This comment, near the top of the second page, affected me the most.

Siorra (from the comments after the post)
Just goes to show how much of the game's immersion has been removed over the years. It's not a world of exploration any more, it's a city you wait around in until you 'magically' appear in a dungeon.

Is it true? Has this game I have chosen to lose myself in become less of a story and more of a time filling habit? I admit to spending many of the last several days of game time with my characters hanging around in a town, fiddling with gear or browsing the auction house for deals while they wait for the Looking for Group tool to whisk them away to their next adventure. BUT...

Delgada is my main Horde character. It is with her that I live the story, weaving her adventures in with questing and discovery. The other characters find a path, get to eighty, and become a bit like the "red shirt" in an old Trek episode, there to take the bullet, and sit out the juicy parts of the series. They might get a call back (if they weren't killed), but they never rise to the fame of the main characters. They're just there to help the main character's story advance. Delgada couldn't successfully go into Icecrown Citadel without her supporting crew of Carlotta, the elixir master, Shawndra, keeper of the exalted Hodir reputation, or even Rowena, all but forgotten 19 forever peddler of junk and keeper of the purse. Delgada would get no rest if it weren't for the playful flirtation of Niranjani, Maiera and Gwenna. Sorry, Maura and Lulubelle, though you are part of the team, you really are the red shirts right now. And space number ten? That is for when I either decide to immerse myself in the goblin culture when Cataclysm comes out, or for infiltrating the Alliance side of Smolderthorn with a worgen.

I think I am still plenty immersed. It is a choice. It is what I escape to WoW to do. Tonight, I choose to immerse myself with 9 other heroes in a quest to rid Icecrown Citadel of as many of the Lich King's lieutenants as will fall to our might. For the Horde!

After that maybe I'll put in a couple of hours hitting the random dungeons with Maiera, so that she can join the rest of my crew in Northrend. She's been hanging out in Nagrand, blowing up talbuk and clefthoof packs in between summons. Everyone needs twiddle time, right? I still think the random dungeon finder (and more recently the random battleground finder) are excellent ideas. I would never recommend them to a new player, especially now, when everything is on the verge of change. But for those of us who have seen about everything the game has to offer, there is no harm in it. Azeroth is a big world, and I have yet to see it all. I'm not leaving until I have exhausted every possibility it has to offer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Carpets and Buffs, Oh My!

Look at that neat-o carpet! It's fast and pretty. In order to make it, I had to have a piece each of Spellweave, Ebonweave, and Moonshroud, and then 4 frozen orbs. Note to the left of my character bar, all three buffs from the cloth are present. Could these be necessary raid buffs for tailors, now? There is no location requirement or cool down on the cloth, and frozen orbs drop left and right, making the reagents for these buffs fairly easy to get. If this is intentional, then I may have to make sure to have at least 6 each of eternal fire, eternal life, and eternal shadow with the cloth required to whip up a piece of each every time the thirty minutes are up on all raid days.

What do you think?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pamper Me More!

Michelle from the Warcraft Outsiders Podcast wrote about this in a post on their blog today, and instead of visiting the forums for my response, I decided to post it here. I know she has been pimping their forums, because, let's face it, they're a great place to get together for the guild and for the community surrounding their casts. Don't worry, Michelle, I promise to post a link to my response there, and to go lurk a little, and find a way to comment on some of the topics there, right after I say my piece.

Anyhow, back to my response. Are we too pampered in WoW? Personally, I think we could use some more pampering. A closet for all my designer robes when I get a new one would be nice. They already have a laundry service in Dalaran, why not an armor storage? The storage is really only there as an additional bag to your bank. Each outfit would take up a slot, with room for ten outfits. The shirt slot would become a costume slot, changing the look of your gear from what you chose from your armor storage.

How about a hot tub for after that long night fighting the Scourge in Icecrown Citadel? They could make it exclusive, say maybe up in that private get away Archmage Vargoth keeps at the tippy top of Dalaran. He has room up there for a half dozen hot tubbers. If they made it instanced, they would only really need to build one. Maybe we could even petition for an olympic sized pool with diving board (driven by the newest blizzard vehicle technology). There's room in the Underbelly, just move the arena out and the pool in. Leave this non instanced, for that public pool feel. You could remake Segacedi into a blow up floaty shark toy, or leave him toothy and in the deep end for some excitement.

Strangelethorn Vale is full of sandy beaches that are infested with nasty pirates. Why not transform a length of beach into a resort area, complete with tiki bars and firepits? It could be a short hop from Booty Bay, accessible by a short goblin powered rickshaw ride. A few lounges, beach chairs, and umbrellas could be permanently placed, but with room left for those still hooked on their romantic picnic baskets to set up a cozy day at the beach for two.

Blood elves have such pretty pedicured feet. Could Blizzard expand on the idea for our hooved and three toed friends? Shawndra would love to coat her troll toenails with some ghoulish purple paint. Niranjani would love some feminine hearts or some leafy green healing symbols on her hooves. Maybe Delgada couldn't get her toenails done (she can't find more than half of them anyway), but a nice clear coat on her toe bones would sure keep them from chipping so badly. As for the Alliance races, the treatments the blood elves receive would work fine on all but the Draenei, and they would probably enjoy the same treatment the Tauren do.

I'm sure I could dream up a jillion more things I'd like to do in game with my characters, but there is only one that I place at the top of my list. I would love them to have a home. Maybe one for each faction, decorated with little trophies of my character's achievements. It need not reside on Blizzards servers, but as a side area on my own. I should be able to invite people over if I wanted, limited only by my own systems capacity. Just a little place to hang their hat when their day is done, with no other functionality than chat and displayed storage, and maybe a place or two to sit, like the houses SWG still hosts for their players.

That's all I have for this edition of "Blizzard, Pamper Me More!" If there comes another edition, be ready to explore the seedier side of pampering. Hubby has some wild ideas of his own. Comments? Leave them below, or better yet, add to the thread that was started here.


I got a letter today, and though it wasn't addressed to my blog specifically, I wanted to post it and my response, edited to protect the innocent, of course.

Hello Shawndra...It is I...your favorite cow shaman ever.
Just thought I would kick out a hello to you since I haven't spoken
with you in forever. Let me know how things are going in your world.
Iraq is boring as hell, which I am sure none of you can complain about
Hope to hear from you soon.


I had wondered where my favorite cow had got off to! I would hope that the most Iraq throws at you is boredom. Here, not much has changed. It is still, for the most part, twiddling with alts and the occasional important run. Our favorite pally tank got antsy and, with two kinda new(I've been hanging out with them for months now!) members (his roomies) we are raiding Icecrown at least once a week, sometimes twice when we have the people. Getting 10 KNR on at the same time is a feat in and of itself. This past week was kinda fun, in that we got one wing of the citadel done, but got stuck in the next wing (our dps needs some help). So, two days of ICC in(pictured below us just walking in on Lady Deathwhisper), and the next night we did Trial of the Crusader. We got all the way to the Twin Valkyrs before we called it a night...they're a fight we're gonna need to practice!

In the times that KNR is not raiding (Mr. Pally tank's roomie, the hunter, found a new meaning for KNR; Krap! No Raiding!), I have been raising a druid in the looking for group random dungeon tool. Healers are second only to tanks in getting fast groups, so I made her a healer, and it is sooo fun! Our pally tank ran my druid and his roomies and our discipline priest's alt through Maraudon today, but it wasn't as fun, because, really, the pally did all the work. In the randoms, at least you feel like you are doing something! The last group I was in, while I was typing to you, one of the members pulled Scarlet Champion Mograine before we finished clearing, and if not for my astounding feats of healing and innervating, we would not have lived. Of course,by then, all the mobs were green to me, too, so I had better have been able to pull it off! Right after that, with about a 5 minute queue time, I was back in Maraudon, on the purple side. I even helped a new shadow priest. Go me! I am a contributing member of the blog-o-sphere now, actually helping people with mana issues. How exciting :) (For those that care, I suggested the glyph of Shadow Word:Pain, and that hope was in the discipline tree under Meditation and Mental Agility, when she had the talent points to go into that tree.)

I also decided I was going to take my two that were hanging out in Thrallmar and get them to Northrend. Gwenna, my troll mage, is sitting in Warsong Hold, waiting further instructions, with some auction house Northrend gear to help her along. Maiera, my only blood elf that hasn't been axed, got to 63 tonight with the loan of Gwenna's heirloom shoulders, and expects to blow the dust of Outland off her pretty pedicured toenails by the end of this week. Then, it will be Niranjani the druid's turn. After that, I guess the game will be to level all my toons that are in Northrend. Maybe I'll start with Lulubelle, in honor of my favorite bovine shaman(yeah, that is you!). She's been sitting idly by, making inscriptions in Dalaran. I believe she is second in level order behind my 80's (Shawndra finally got there) after Maura, the rogue. I honestly can say that, unless they make pick pocketing gain experience, she may never get past where she is. I'm a terrible dps rogue, but I love seeing what they have in their pockets. Shiny things, dirty handkerchiefs, a loaf of bread (how did that fit in there?), naughty romance novels, whatever, I just get excited when I see a bunch of humanoid mobs with room to sneak in between them. Those Chill Nymphs in Howling Fjord even let you walk up, say hello, stealth, pick their pocket, and then goon your merry way to the next. I know they are supposed to be allies, but they asked for it! They have pockets!!

Hubby and his buds have me trying out Star Trek Online. I could spend hours in the character creation screen alone. I settled for 20 minutes, and started playing, because the hubby and his buds wanted to make a fleet("You are now part of Old Geek Fleet."). The game itself is alright, it just doesn't seem very multi-player, even though you can see the other ships. And speaking of ships, I cannot turn one quickly enough to save my shields or my crew. I have not been a big fan of space combat ever since SWG when they put it in. I would like to choose to be a desk pilot in the colony of my choice, assisting in research and away team duties, but leave the flying to someone else. No emotes when you are in ground mode, what? Loot's about the same. My character got herself a nice bit of armor makes her look soo hot! But most of the loot is ship loot. I'm not sure if dressing myself and my crew is enough Barbie time for me, if the only times I get to see them in person is if I a) go to the bridge, or b) have one of those seemingly rare away missions. I need to have a closet full of useless dressies, and for other people to see me in them. Stardock in the Sol Sector didn't seem like the social hub I had hoped the entertainment deck would be. I miss the days of dancing in the cantina to the sounds of slitherhorns played by aspiring musicians, where everyone would clamor for just a few seconds of my attention, and they weren't NPC's. No, having a tribble just isn't enough. Damnit, I wanna play Tri-Con, or Dam-Jat, or match up with someone in some holo sports. Even if all I could do at the bar on Stardock was buy some synthohol, I would be happy. You can't even sit in the chairs! To me, there seems to be almost nothing but imagination and a stage for any role players. No props makes for some sad players, at least I think that way.

You caught me at a good time in my home life. I'm on Spring Break, but my children are not. This is leaving me all sorts of time to try new and old games, go out to eat, buy things at Wal Mart I don't need (okay, I really needed that shirt, and the magazine with the codes for the free in game sword for my Wizard 101 in the picture below, but the rest I didn't need), and do some spring cleaning, and write back to you, of course! I admit to being a gamer first and a housewife second, and that you have seen if you login at raid time (which falls during our dinner), and me yelling,"I'm almost done. Go ahead and start the trash without me!", as I am slinging something unimaginative at the kids to eat. They get the shaft so often for dinner, this week has been a little different. Corned Beef and Cabbage, Breakfast for Dinner, Fajitas, Steak and veggies and baked potatoes, Pork Chops and mashed potatoes, and Tacos have actually been served here in the span of two weeks. That is pretty good for me. They are usually lucky to get one during the week and one on the weekend from me. That, and I have done some spring cleaning. I can find my towels now, I am doing mass amounts of laundry that has been hiding in a kids closet and mascarading as carpet, and I have straightened out my kitchen. Tomorrow, I may even tackle my bedroom, as this is week two of my vacation, and I hope to spend at least one day in a perfectly clean house. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Miss you bunches! How long will you be gone? When will you be back? Does anyone who loves you send you goodie boxes? Because, this can be arranged, if you are being slighted :) Send me a list of things you'd love to have to much on and to keep you comfortable, and the family will pitch in and send it.'

Write back often, or as often as you can. I'm looking forward to hearing from you again! If typing is a burden, we have a phone, too. xxx-xxx-xxxx (it's a Skype number).

Jen(hiding behind food and plushies since 2008)
(you know I'll answer to whichever silly game name you know me by!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Help Kick Me Up a Notch.

Our guild, KNR, likes to do things the hard way. These past several weeks, we have been attempting to raid Icecrown Citadel with some degree of success, despite the fact that we have raided little else since Karazhan long enough to finish it. Marrowgar is now a pushover, if we aren't goofing off, and we figured out Lady Deathwhisper this week (smiling guild kill shot above) and the gunship battle(me posing with Blizzard's homage to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy below). We found ourselves in the middle of that famous family argument between Saurfang the elder and Saurfang the younger last night. And we hit our wall.

Up until this fight, I have been on healing duty. Let me be quite honest in saying, though I have said before I don't mind healing, what I really don't mind about healing is that it gets me into places I don't get to go as shadow. Healing and I have become tolerant acquaintances. Last night, we started out with nine people. This is a normal raiding night for us, though usually it takes us until half an hour or more past start to get that many. As we were finishing our first wipe on Saurfang, a guild mate who plays a pretty mean tree healer logged in. And the word was that one of the priests would go shadow. "Shawndra, do you have your dps set ready?" I was already in shadow form, twiddling with my hit rating, which is way too high right now. Hubby told the raid in Ventrilo that I was literally jumping in my chair. And I was.

We formed up, and selfishly I stuck to the boss. We had two mages and a hunter on the blood beasts, so I thought I would be fine. We wiped with him at full health. The strategy of getting the beasts down ASAP was explained again (to be fair I didn't get much of the strategy speech the first time, as my system was lagging horribly and hubby had blues screened and the toddler was not going to bed...). We started over, and got him to 40-ish% before wiping. The tree was having mana regeneration problems. He twiddled with his gear to grab a bit more regeneration, and we tried again. We wiped at a little lower 40-ish%. We gave it one more try. The same 40-ish percent. We called it a night, with our fearless and my favorite pally tank saying that we need to gear up a bit more for this fight, but that we would continue with the first part of the Citadel and slide some TOC in there to help people gear better.

So, I have to ramp up my damage per second. Here is Delgada in all her shadowy gear and spec. Yes, I know some of the gear is healing gear! That will be replaced soon, as I am now concentrating on getting badges for that set. I may be taking some points out of hit giving talents and popping them into other places to compensate for the over abundance of hit rating available to me. Last night, I hit about 3500 dps on average. During a three set of heroics afterward, it climbed to over 4500.

I'm guessing my buffs are not at fault, though the spec may need some tweaking, and the gear could use some upgrading. I also know I am clipping spells like Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch, and possibly missing my first available second to cast Mind Blast. I'm adding MikScrollingBattleText to my add on library so that I can set it and get reminders on my screen instead of squinting to see if my debuffs are still on the mob.

So, as I twiddle on my own over here, does anyone have any suggestions for me? Although I believe I am quite capable of fixing this on my own, I welcome comments, because I know you guys have some tricks up your sleeves that I may not be using or even aware of!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sorting Through The Sock Basket.

Obvious Non-WoW Title is really obvious Non-WoW post. Keep reading if you dare!

I looked for an image of a sock basket, but the internet doesn't have the equivalent of mine up anywhere, and my camera battery is not recharging, so I just have to paint a picture for you with words. My sock basket is large, rectangular, and white, repaired with black duct tape, overflowing with socks. No one in their right mind has a sock basket this large except me.

I have been up since 2 this morning. I woke up with a dry throat and tonsils that feel like they are the size of tangerines. Blah. What better way to spend a sleepless night (during my spring break!) than do laundry. You see, I have 7 kids (4 full time, 3 more on what works out to be a little over half the year sharing plan), and laundry here is serious business. Daily, if I would actually get my kids to do it, we should be doing 2 loads, at least. Just when I think I have caught up and am all proud of myself (because my little laundry room isn't groaning under the weight of unwashed towels), I find a full time daughter (they are interchangeable in this role) has been stashing dirty laundry under the bed/on the floor/on the bed/in the closet/wherever they can hide it, and I am pressured to run the washer and dryer overtime.

This time it is full time child number three, otherwise known to my husband as number 6. She is a cute little thing who has starred in such lame videos as,"Look at us cleaning out the bomb shelter" and done some model shoots in such articles as "I Lost Some Geek Cred Today"(don't worry, number 1, t-shirt model extraordinaire, also is stashing I-don't-know-what in her room. She just really isn't as cute or as fun to tell on, because she is a teenager). So, I am awake, and doing laundry, and have run out of things to fold while the laundry runs. This, during the normal daytime hours, would mean that I would switch up to something noisy like cleaning out cabinets (because kids never put things away the way you told them to 20 times already) or swearing like a sailor while I attempt to organize the linen closet (same reason, kids cannot seem to follow the example set before them). Since it is way too early for that kind of noise, I am settling for sorting through the sock basket, one of my favorite chores. By favorite, I mean that I am only tackling it because mom #2 (known to the part timers as mom, but hey, she hasn't got near as many loads of laundry to deal with, so, yeah, number 2) is missing an amount of socks if not equal to amount of socks regularly produced by Hanes in a month, then pretty darned close. My lovable step son has a habit of wearing socks here, and sneaking home without them, or if caught, putting on two totally different socks from the sock basket and wearing those home. They tried recently making him pay for a set of socks out of his own money. I don't remember seeing many new socks here, so I am guessing either this is working, or he is coming to my house without socks. What? Tell me you look at every person you meet and notice right off if they have socks on or not. Go ahead. Make up an excuse. You don't. Neither do I.

Well, back to where I was going with this. Having 9 pairs of feet in this house, and 2 different people buying socks for all these different feet(we won't get into well meaning grandparents), you can imagine the assortment I have in my laundry basket. This is how I mean to tackle this monstrosity.

Before you start, don't make the mistake of trying to pair up anything before starting with step one. You will waste precious time trying to find the one sock you knew you just saw, and will become so frustrated that you will pile the socks back into the basket and let the cats sleep in it for another week or month. This is unacceptable, as mom #2 (who is just labeled so for convenience, and not because she is any less of a mom) should really get her socks back before the youngest of her three are in college.
  1. Take out all black socks and put aside. These all belong to hubby, and if they don't, we'll find out later. 98% of all black socks in the house belong to him, because he decided that he would like to be able to find a pair of socks any time he wanted to. Silly man. But guess who is ready first when we are going somewhere. Mhmmmm.
  2. Take out all colored and patterned socks and put to the other side. These are probably kids socks, but I throw my bootie socks with the colored tops into this pile to, if they present themselves easily.
  3. Take out all socks with colored toes and put them off until last. They are a pain, because just when you think they match because the toes match, you notice one has lettering on the toe, or one has a ribbed cuff while the other is smooth, or that grey color isn't manufactured but stained. Work on these when you are overly thrilled at how good you are at matching socks. It will take you down several notches.
  4. Take what is left,which should be all white, and pair them up. Put aside any that don't match to put in a new, smaller sock basket.
  5. Match up the black socks. Put aside the one that doesn't match because it is hiding up one of hubby's pant legs.
  6. Match up colored socks. My dad and his wonderful wife bought my girls these neat socks that come three to a pair. I forgot that they were like this and was all bent out of shape when, out of the three girls that I was pairing up for, one pair was of two different sized feet, and I still had one left over. Well, now that I remember that, the rest were rather easy, especially since I don't care if the color on the top of my bootie sock matches. Put odds with the white odd socks.
  7. Get a drink, preferably hot tea or chocolate. Something soothing will be necessary for the last few steps.
  8. Match up the colored toe socks. Sometimes, I separate these further into pink, grey, and other colored toes, then tackle them. This is sometimes easier. This category spawns the most odd socks, unfortunately. We'll deal with the odd socks later. Don't mix them into the other socks, because most of them aren't ours.
  9. Put all your paired socks in a pile on the couch. At the full time children's next convenience, have them take theirs to their room. Don't try to figure out whose socks are whose. With the exception of number 7, all the other feet are about the same size. They know what socks are theirs, and will complain loudly and at length if you try to hand them any socks but their own. This is why I leave them piled and have them choose out their socks.
  10. Before they run away, have them choose out their colored toe socks from the odd pile. Put these in the new, smaller sock basket.
  11. Make sure your socks and those belonging to number 7 have been taken out, then bag up all remaining pairs and odd colored toe socks and send them home with the boy this coming Sunday. This should either delight mom #2, or really annoy her. I'm seriously hoping for the first response, because I generally end up annoying her, and I don't usually aim to displease. Really! Well, maybe just once....
There you have it. What I have been doing for the past 3 hours (you can discount the last 20 minutes of me blathering on about socks.) No, I am not done with the colored toe socks. I stopped to inform you of the pleasure that is my sock basket. Now, I get to go back and finish, or go to bed, or eat breakfast. It's 5 am. I think I'm going to leave the rest until tomorrow and curl up with the hubby. Here. kitty, kitty! I put all the socks back in the basket for you....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Face Rolling: Left To Right Or Right To Left?

This is just of one of about 20 or so posts that should be showing up in your feed readers today about a new guild some of us blog writers and readers have been hanging out in, Single Abstract Noun. It is part of the reason I haven't posted recently, the other part being I got a new computer, and Firefox has not been playing nice with it. I couldn't get it to post images to posts, like this one of human Delgada, shunning heirloom gear for the more fashionable mix of dungeon and world drops, tailored items, and quest rewards. I'm using Google's Chrome right now, but something is going to have to give, as it is not letting me cut the image and paste it, and Blogger is famous for putting every image I choose at the very top lately.

There..I will make you bend to my ways, Chrome (or am I bending to it's ways?)! I had to cut the html and paste it below my last paragraph. I think I am in being coerced into learning new things.

Back to my distraction of the week. Above you see pictured a mob of Death Knights (gaggle? spawn? herd? coven?). That is about half of the mess of us that rolled up and ran through the starter area last night. Once everyone was ready, we had a nice chat with Varian Wrynn.

Then, we took out a few Horde who were loitering at the gates of Stormwind, nabbing us our first honorable kills and, for those with their eyes on achievements, the Make Love, Not Warcraft achievement (yes, I did it, too. I couldn't help myself!) Once the threat to our homeland was purged, we were summoned to do our duty in Arathi Basin.

It was really late when we parted ways. It's been a while since I have seen KNR's Ventrilo server so stuffed. The company was great, and I am excited to see where this guild is headed. If you are interested in joining, we take all kinds! Stop into the Argent Dawn (US-A) and find any member for an invite.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Could Cataclysm Be Blizzard's NGE?

I was on the Warcraft Outsiders Podcast last Tuesday with John and Michelle and their special guest Ziv. If you haven't listened in lately, I suggest you check them out.

Bear with me, please, as I try to get this out of my head and onto the blog. I have tried to write this post 5 times now, and it gets better every time. Problem is I am suffering from my normal early spring severe cold and hubby switched up the fabric softener on me again, so I sit here, feeling guilty for not being at work, trying to get this out because I have been working on it for too long now. At least it keeps me from scratching. :)

During the show, the blue post describing how stats would change in the Cataclysm expansion was brought up. I personally think this is a great thing, in a way simplifying things for the more casual player, but still leaving something for the min-max player to chew on. Ziv commented that he hoped this didn't ruin the game like the NGE ruined Star Wars Galaxies. Now, I played SWG, and I have an opinion on this. The WCO podcast is a timed thing, and I didn't think it fair to unload my opinion on that, which is lengthy, during their show. So, I shall link to the episode and leave my too long argument as to why Blizzard couldn't possibly do to WoW what SOE did to SWG right here where it belongs, on my blog.

First, let's explore the major differences WoW and SWG have. WoW is more of a theme park sort of MMO, taking you from ride to ride as you level, with hardly a bit of time left to entertain yourself. SWG, however,was (and to a point, still is) a sandbox, with seemingly endless possibilities for roleplay and discovery, but noone pointing you to where you have to be and what you need to do. In both games you can tackle it head on, just killing mobs for points to level up. WoW guides you, teaching you about the places you are at and the people you are with. SWG doesn't, assuming you know about the area and its people. You should, though, shouldn't you? I mean, who hasn't seen one of the Star Wars films at least once? In WoW, you choose what your character will be in the character creation screen. In SWG of then, you chose what your character would look like and named it, then logged into the game to find yourself surrounded by trainers. There is where you shaped your character, and you could change that whenever you wanted.

Then SOE threw in their New Game Enhancements (by threw in I mean no real warning. It's here and you'll like it!). Things that I took for granted were gone. Instead of a combat queue what you could load up with actions for your character to perform, you had global cool downs and a rather difficult way to select and use them (though I hear some of that part has changed for the better). No longer could you walk into the game without a clue about what you wanted to do and end up with some crazy combination like Master Ranger/Master Image Designer. You now have to choose your path in the character selection screen. Oh, and they kind of point you down the path with their tutorial, showing you the who, what, where and how of the game's lore. No more crazily combining skills to make your character unique. You now have to choose one of 9 different classes to play. They added in skill trees to help make your character more powerful and unique, but all you number crunchers know that if you want the top end damage and abilities, you go with what others have found works.

Some of the things I loved about SWG are still in there. I used to love dropping a building down, decorating the building, planning for new furnishings, and gathering from the remotest parts of the galaxy to furnish my places. I could spend hours riding one of my speeders across a planet, looking at the water and the plant life. Rancor hunting, alone or with a friend, was fun, especially when you could tame them(taming creatures was taken out of the game right around the same time as the NGE was ushered in). Building long and complicated macros to change outfits and dances during a show can still be done. Not everything is still there, and what was introduced as the games savior did the exact opposite. Just last year they closed the realm I played on forever. It is sad to think that so many of the towns I played in are now only represented by a few screenshots.

Now, on the flip side, we have the changes they are promising for Cataclysm(by promising, I mean they are telling us of these changes well in advance of them). What is happening on a very basic scale is that some stats won't be on armor, but may still show up in talent trees, or be based on a certain base stat, or may even still be present on weapons. Let's pick on Spell Power. It didn't show up on gear as just spell power until Burning Crusade. Before that, you could get "of Arcane Wrath" gear which would have a number modifier to your arcane damage. With Cataclysm, spell power will be derived from Intellect, and might be found on weapons. Another change that is presented for Cataclysm is that some things we are used to as a fact of life will go away completely. In the items they have described, I have no complaints. Mp5 as a stat wasn't something I actively looked for, and I would love not to ever have to worry about casting the wrong rank spell on a mob or player again. Getting rid of weapon skill means only one thing to me; time to get out the weapons so I can be the one that says,"Back in the day...".

Do I think this is game breaking? No. They aren't changing how my character interacts with the game world, only simplifying a few things to make it easier for the casual or even the new player to understand.These new changes to the game coming with the Cataclysm expansion do not come close to the horror that was SWG's NGE. I'm looking forward to all the new goodies I'll get toplay with in Cataclysm. How about you?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Last night Scooter passed on. I don’t think I have paused to mention him, or any of the other 5 cats for more than it takes to shoo one off my desk. Scooter couldn’t hop onto my desk. He couldn’t pounce, he couldn’t join the nightly cat stampede(well, he could, but for him it was a slither), couldn’t use the litter box. When he was just barely out of the super secret kitten stash, two of my kids were having an argument involving the slamming of the bathroom door, and he got caught in the middle. Despite cortisone shots and some working with him, he didn’t fully regain the use of his hind legs. When he got bigger, he used them a little to push as he dragged himself across the floor. Since he couldn’t use the litter box, and I’m not entirely sure he knew he was doing it, we were constantly cleaning up after him. He got bathed almost daily, because he only cleaned the parts he consciously used. In short, he was challenging to care for. My house smelled like a litter box, and I hated it. I kept asking my husband to put him down, to take him to the vet and put him out of his misery. Who was I kidding? He wasn’t miserable, I was.

He more than paid back this attention by being the absolutely sweetest cat around. When hubby and I were at our desks, he would wind himself around our ankles and purr, sometimes switching off between us several times. When the kids were on the floor in the living room he would come up and play with them. When the kids camped out in the living room for the night, he would find room next to the youngest and sleep there. He chased bits of paper and strings more enthusiastically than any of the other cats did. He would even find a way to sit next to you on the couch if no one else was on it. Yeah, and all I could do was complain about how he smelled and worry about the next cat bomb my feet would find.

Last night, hubby came into the room to tell me he had died. The last couple days Scooter had been listless, sleeping a lot, not moving far from the food dish. I think I remember hearing him hacking, but I thought nothing of it. Hubby says he had done it more than once in the past three days. Sounds to me and him that he found a bone and it got stuck. I was sad to hear it, but it wasn’t enough to keep me awake. Now I am sitting here at my work computer, boo hoo-ing over him. As much as he was a pain in the butt to take care of, damn it but he had a great heart. I’m going to miss that cat.