I am possibly the world’s slowest leveller.  But, eh, I’m actually kinda enjoying Hyjal while I am at it.

Apart from having to kill some dead goddesses crazy ex (who happened to be a bird).  That was weird.  I mean, she didn’t ask for her ex to be killed.  But, hey, whatever, I got my tail feather, and since when have I cared about the ethics of who or what I kill anyways?

And I’m pretty happy that asshole Staghelm finally got what he deserved.  Cos, you know, I never liked him** anyway.  Whacked out nutjob that he is.

I’m amazingly unhappy that I suck ass at playing WoW.  And haven’t levelled anything but a Hunter in so long that I keep running through angry crowds, hitting my feign button, and then dying… cos, oh shit, I’m a Warlock now.  Good grief.

I’m also still playing with the default UI.  And the nasty keybindings created through a mishmash of my old UI breaking them on the default, and the asshole who hacked my account way back when I had quit moving things around.  It’s a little annoying going to use Soul Fire and realising that’s (totally irrationally, WTF Hacker?) now bound to Fel Armor.

(I didn’t even know what spell was meant to be there, by the way.  I just kept hitting the button thanks to the worlds longest lasting muscle memory)

(I had also forgotten Soul Fire existed.  Until I found the button.  Realisation!)

(I also just remembered.  That spell I’m thinking of isn’t Soul Fire.  It was Chaos Bolt.  WTF, me.  Also, don’t know whether we are meant to use that spell any more, but what the heck ever.  Seriously)

So, summed up in a not so pretty table for you all:

Shit that has changed Shit has that stayed the same
Quests are even MORE unethical.

Staghelm is actually getting in trouble. 

Buttons everywhere (in a way I don’t actually understand, rather than my organised mess)

Guild rep, Guild everything.  Huh?

People keep talking about Pandaren.  I think it sounds silly, but it means I can now legitimately say “Just get Fatty to tank/heal/DPS that”.

Less people read this.  Which I think is a good thing for you all.

I suck ass at questing.

Staghelm is still an ass.

Buttons everywhere

Lag from holy freaking hell.  Damn it.  (actually, I was sitting at 450ms, which I would consider good.  But damn it, some asshole on Twitter [whoever the hell you were!] whined about 50ms latency.  Seriously.  Shut the hell up.  Whiner.) …. (must’ve been a Mage)

Mages are still everything I have always said about them.

I still make the worst looking tables IN THE UNIVERSE.

 

** I know, it’s really weird that I can remember posts that I wrote in 2008 well enough to link to them.  What can I say, I have no life.

** Also, I know the formatting is screwy on said post.  But damn it, I’ve changed theme like four times since I wrote that.  Shit has got to be messed up somewhere, OK?

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The world of Azeroth has changed since the last time I logged in (oh, what… 6 or so months ago?  I don’t even remember anymore, but it feels like forever anyway).  Transmogrifithingy is coming in (so I hear).  Portals are gone (I think that happened before I left?).  Mages are even stupider than I previously thought.  The Stormwind Auction House is… well, different!  I’m sure of it! (Please please pleeeeeeeease tell me it moved… don’t tell me I’m hallucinating).

But, oh my goodness me… they took away my keyring?  What is with that?

Oh keyring, you followed me everywhere
You held my many keys, and did not complain,
You bound them together, whether they be encrusted in blood,
or poop, or other unmentionable bodily fluids…
And you let me in to so many places.
(Alas, a key for Thrall’s Chastity Belt could not be found… Woe is me.  I think Jaina stole it!)

Oh keyring, you made me feel special.
You reminded me that I could go where others could not,
You had so many memories attached to you,
horrible quest chains of never ending torment
Boulderfist Key, just to remind me, of course, that a real Warlock never frees prisoners
(Because, hey, that’s what Mages are for, right?
… And, besides, that Corki is bloody stupid.)

My keyring, you made me feel superior,
to every plebian player who did not have the beautiful array of keys I carried.
You took up so little space in my beautiful interface,
And when I opened you, you made me smile,
Because you told me, that deep down inside, I was better than everyone else.
(Except for everyone who had all the same keys as me.  I guess we were equal.)
(… But better than everyone who had less.  Or more.  Because that’s just how it is.)

(… And definitely better than the Mages.)

 

Besides, what WOULD Medivh, and all those other keepers of wonderful places, say now, knowing that their doors are unlocked, and waiting for intruders?  What would they say?

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Behold, my terrible skill at using a mouse!  Worst eraser effort EVER.

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Today, I was pondering coming back to the game, and futzing around on alts.  Why?  Well, I had work to do, I was procrastinating, and I used to play WoW when I was procrastinating.  That and I need to stop going out and start saving money, and WoW would let me do just that.

What do you guys think?  If anyone even looks here anymore, I’d love to know your thoughts on the current state of the game, the state of the Warlock, and whether or not it is worth my while reactivating my account, or whether I should just spend my spare time shooting zombies and eating pizza like I have been… or whether I should try RIFT or something (although, really, could I possibly be arsed blogging about a new game?)

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Cos, you know, I’m still dead and all.Stolen stuff copy

So, I know people rave on and on about this crap all the time, but timely reminders are like booster shots – you damned well need them no matter how much they make you cringe.  And hey, if you are good, you’ll get a lollipop at the end.

Account security, people.

It’s important.

Because otherwise, some mangy ass thief is going to find their way into your account, molest your squidey, touch your favourite pants, and smoke all your herbs.  And, if you are still playing WoW, which one would assume you would be if you are reading this… well, that would really bloody suck.

So why the heck am I babbling about this? 

Because some mangy ass mothertootin’ thief got into my account, y’see.  And they went through everything.

Now, for me, this wasn’t a massive deal.  It’s not like I was planning on playing any time soon, they weren’t interrupting my raid time, and I didn’t much care about all the crap accumulated in my bank, for the most part.  For you, however, this could prove to be very bloody inconvenient.  So, what should you do?

1. Have an authenticator already!

I mean, now they have a free call in authenticator service even.  What’s not to love?

2.  Check your computer every so often for bad shit that likes to lurk around the corners of your shadier files.

Yeah, that hard drive full of ‘Arty movies’ *coughcough* could have something ugly there.  Or that addon you just installed.  So, every so often, run a virus and bot scan on your system.  And make sure you keep those programs up to date!

3.  Change your password every so often.

You should change passwords, as a rule of thumb, once a month.  And please, for the love of all things chocolate and gooey, don’t make your password something easy (like password.  Yes, people do that.  I know.)  If you really fail at remembering passwords, write them down somewhere.  People say not to keep passwords near your computer, but if you are like me and live in the bloody sticks, it’s fairly unlikely someone is going to be interested in the password for your WoW account when they break in.  If you are worried about this, keep them saved somewhere else.

Otherwise, you too could end up with a molested Squidey.  Because these guys will take everything.  Including, and not limited to:

Your Blue Dragonhawk Hatchling!!  No more pet you probably never click on for you!

Illustration of the Dragon Soul.  If those punk ass bastards knew how long that damn thing took me to get, and how amazingly angry I would have been at the thought of its disappearance, they might have thought twice.

Terestian’s Stranglestaff – those bastards touched my Squidey! 

Unidentified Plant Parts – hey, I might have been able to identify those one day…

 

That and it’s just creepy when someone goes through your bank.  It’s almost like someone breaking in and going through your knickers… you really don’t want strangers knowing the state of your underwear!

So, account security.  Get on it! 

And here… have a lollipop.

lollipop

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I kinda cheated and announced this on Twitter (in a manner of speaking – you know, there were no tooting trumpets, or blowing horns, or anything like that.  Just a little note chucked in there, somewhere, surrounded by all the other Sar babble) well before I decided that perhaps it was a good idea to say this here after all… and of course, in typical OMG wall of text!!! fashion.

I’m officially on hiatus.  For an undisclosed length of time.  It could be a few weeks.  it could be a year.  It could be forever.  While I haven’t played in months, I finally took the scary step of freezing my account a few weeks ago, and, I must admit… I haven’t looked back.

So, here you get it, a final dose of everything I think about the game I no longer play, the community I am no longer a part of, and the blog I will no longer write on.

Firstly, knowing full well that no one from Blizzard will ever ever ever read this… I have a few words to say to them anyway.  Then, some things for the blogging community.  Then, most importantly, you guys that actually bothered to read my drivel for the last however long (really, let’s not think about how long I have been doing this for. It scares me).

To Blizzard

Of course, I have to say thank you.  Thank you for creating such a wonderful, immersive game experience.  Thank you for making said experience affordable, accessible, and entertaining.  Thank you for somehow, magically, creating something that I was willing to passionately argue for.  Fight for.  Wax lyrical over.  Ditch numerous social events for (wait… is that a good thing? /shrug)

But, with all the praise and the glory, of course there comes some criticisms.  I just can’t thank you for making the game more ‘casual friendly’, or less ‘time sinky’, or however you want to put it.  I’m sure you didn’t intend to spawn a giant batch of angry drooling gearscore quoting gremlins of doom, but, well… you kinda did.  And it wasn’t fun.  Suddenly, the quality of a player wasn’t judged by the person behind the keyboard (unless, of course, they were somehow so misguided as to how to play their class that they selected spells at random, clicking frantically with their mouse [keybinding wot?] all over the screen like a drunk guy trying to undo a girl’s bra but failing oh so miserably and spilling his drink down said girl’s front instead).

I’m ever hopeful that this has been fixed in Cataclysm, but the loss of immersion in Wrath was strange and horrible for me.  Oh sure, the quests, they made sense, they tied together, they linked everything up comfortably.  Then, all of a sudden, raiding just went weird.  ToC?  Really?  Your rationalisation for that was weaker than a Jenny McCarthy argument (oh yes, I totally referenced something people haven’t been talking about for months.  You guys are really going to miss the cutting edge controversial nature of this blog, no?) 

Yeah, yeah, it was all about sorting the weakest from the strongest, the wheat from the chaff, etc etc.  Since, for some reason, they wanted to kill off all the weak ones, and send in the strongest… while, in the meantime, the Horde and the Alliance got to engage in some idiotic pissing contest while Jaina wept about all the mess on the floor she’d have to mop up later.

Two words: Cannon fodder.

Why would it be tactically sound to kill your weakest soldiers?  Use them as distractions!  Send them in to get annihilated!  Surely they’ll achieve some small goal while they are at it, and if not, they would serve as a great distraction.

They should have started with the gearscore gremlins.

Finally, well… heroic and normal mode.  Yes, I know you guys liked it.  And we all know I hated it.  We all know I was the only person in the whole damn universe to hate it as well, so I guess we’ll just ignore this whole passage.  See, when there was just one mode of raiding, well… you beat your face against the wall.  And you beat it some more.  And more again.  And then, eventually, you damned well got it down pat.  And you felt awesome.

Instead, now, we have some weak arse watered down version.  With minimal head beating.  You get it down, and you put your game face on, and you walk into heroic.  You beat your head a little against the wall.  Then, lo and behold, all of a sudden it’s ‘too damned hard’, and everyone whimpers and whines and you go back to farming normal.

This is not a good state of affairs, people!  sure, it wasn’t everyone’s experience, but it was some.  I know you guys won’t fix this… so meh.

To the Blogging Community

You guys were, in some ways, the biggest reason for me sticking around for so long.  Even when I felt like the game went to shit (or at least, my experience of it took a turn for the sewer), I loved the fact that I was part of a close knit, wonderful community.  In the other blogging I have done, I have never found anything quite like the WoW Blogging Community.  Hell, the ‘general life babble’ blogging world is like some weird horrible desolate land compared to the oasis that is WoW blogging, and that is entirely due to the wonderful people in this community.

I hope that you guys can keep up that sense of community.  Helping each other out, talking about things with each other, and, for heaven’s sake, not letting things get too serious.  I can see some of this crumbling away at the edges, and that scares me a little… but I think you guys will make it through it anyway. 

You guys all know the people that influenced me, that helped me out, that made my way through this vast blogging landscape a little easier.  Sure, a lot of them have done exactly what I am doing now, and that makes me sad and happy… which, frankly, is weird.  But some of them are still around, writing away.  Some of them were important influences and faded away from my blogging outlook as our views diverged, some of them became more inspirational every day.

So, who or what was important to me over my blogging career?

Blog Azeroth:  I stopped hanging around there a long time ago.  I didn’t have time, I was lazy, all those things.  However, it was this wonderful place that got me started, that allowed me to meet people, get a better grip on the whole blogging thing… and, of course, let me into the infamous BA Chat (a place where, in its day, moved so rapidly with masses of conversation that one could not look away for more than 2 seconds without missing half the conversation and getting confused).  BA Chat has been and always will be the absolute highlight of my time as a WoW Blogger.

Twisted Nether Podcast: I’ve talked about these guys time and time again.  If you want to see what caring about the community is all about, this is it.  Personified.

Every gosh-darned Warlock blogger out there: really.  I love you guys.  Nib and Hydra get a special mention, for the mere virtue of having been around longer than me, and thus being the only two Warlock bloggers I can think of who have blogged about ‘locks the whole time I have.

World of Matticus: when I started blogging, Matt scared the shit out of me.  I had a serious case of ‘Oh my muffins, this guy is so damned good at what he does that he makes me babble like a nervous idiot’.  Then, I got to know him a little better, and he scared me slightly less.  Now, of course, we have a totally different outlook on blogging and all the stuff that goes with it, but Matt is still a little inspirational.  And intimidating, although he’d probably deny it.  More importantly, I made some great friends out of his blog… who, I swear, I totally will have drinks with next time I’m in the US.  Pinky swear.

The only blogger to make me honest to goodness cry: When Fulguralis said I was an early influence… yeah, I’ll admit it.  I wept.  Like a Mage who just looked at the damage meter.

Ratshag: for many reasons, the biggest of which is showing you can make people laugh without using actual words.

Stop: for being my poor, long-suffering Blizzcon room mate, who had to put up with me sleep talking, sleeping in, and being drunk and so not going to sleep.  That’s a whole lot of sleep related suffering right there.  I would not have blamed him in the slightest for trying to push my bed outside so he could just get some rest!

So, guys, I will miss you all.  Seems we hardly ever get to talk, and what with me not writing and therefore causing mischief, well… I’ll admit there’s a big damned hole in my life.

Remember: WoW blogging isn’t about numbers, readers, hits, or blog-epeening about how many people read you.  Seriously, who gives a fuck about any of that?

It’s about celebrating the fact that we are a bunch of WoW loving nerds who aren’t afraid to don a writer’s cap and talk about the game!

To My Readers, Wherever They May Be

When I started blogging, I figured that, if I stuck with it and didn’t totally suck, I might be able to get, oh… 50 readers or something?  Such an amount seemed far too large to hope for, but that was my foolish goal, and I was carrying it.

Now, at least, if Feedburner can be believed, there’s something like 500 of you.  Still small taters, blogwise, but amazing to me.

I feel like I know some of you from your comments left here.  Others may not have commented, but hey, if you kept coming back, we clearly have something in common.  Which is amazingly awesome.  Fantastically astounding even.  I mean, to think… there’s 500 people out there who like some of the things I like, think in a similar way to me, and who don’t object to my extensive and rather ridiculous use of parentheses!

Thank you for reading.  For raging at me when I write something inflammatory and making my little trollish heart happy. For supporting me when things have seemed difficult.  For pointing out the frequent flaws in my logic, my math, my reasoning, and everything else I manage to screw up.  For your unending generousity.  And, of course, for reading and giving this place some sort of purpose.

So.  This is goodbye.  But, never fear, I’m leaving you a present!  You only have to listen for about 30 seconds (although it’s worth listening to the rest, even if it is totally irrelevant to anything here), and … if you don’t think of your favourite Hunter (or something… I know it makes me think of Hunters) you’re doing it wrong.

Oh…

Mages Suck!! <3

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Holy crap, what a week its been. First off, plenty of kudos to the entire Blizzard team for what was a mostly problem free launch. I started playing early afternoon on the launch date and didn’t experience a single problem logging on to the game and playing. Most of the people I spoke to had the same experience. I don’t remember the Wrath of the Lich King launch going anywhere near as well. I’d also like to thank the good folks at Amazon for getting my collector’s edition to me first thing Tuesday morning.

My actual gaming experience has been nothing short of excellent. It took me less than a week to get from 80 – 85 and it didn’t feel the least bit like a grind. Aside from my many encounters with Horde gankers, which is to be expected playing on a pvp server, I don’t have a single negative thing to say about any of the zones I quested in or any of the dungeons I took part in. Mount Hyjal, Deepholm, and Twilight Highlands are all visually stunning. My personal favorite of the three was Hyjal. I’m a huge Nightelf fanboy and I thoroughly enjoyed geeking out at all the Nightelf lore getting tossed at you from all angles in the zone. I also really enjoyed all the cut scenes Blizzard added in each of the zones. I felt it gave you a chance to just sit back and appreciate the fruits of all your labors. I’m not going to spoil anything for all of you haven’t hit 85 yet, but the cut scene towards the end of the Twilight Highlands was pure freaking win. I’d put it right up there with the Wrathgate scene in terms of pure awesomeness.

The only bad things I have to say about the first week would hold true at the start of any expansion and for any game. Auction house prices are absolutely ridiculous, making leveling crafting professions damned expensive. This does mean however, that there are plenty of opportunities for gathers to make an absolute killing. I managed to turn a couple of hours farming Obsidium Ore during the week on my Death Knight into almost 6000 gold in profits. Had I spent more time farming and playing the auction house I very easily could have made double or triple that. Ganking was also absolutely crazy and continues to be so. If you play on a PvP server be prepared to either suck it up or take matters into your own hands. I preferred the second of the two options. My advice is to team up with a couple of guildies or put the word out in general chat that you’re looking to clear out the zone of unwanted members of the opposing faction. You’d surprised how effective you can be with just two or three of you working together to kill other players. Not only is it great fun if you’re into PvPing, but you’ll also get plenty of praise from members of your own faction for making their lives easier if just for the next hour or so.

So there’s my quick and dirty run down of the first week of Cataclysm. I hope y’all have been having just as much fun as I have. I can’t wait to try my hand at a few heroics here in the coming week and getting prepared for raiding.

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So, last night I settled in for a fun filled evening of Cataclysm.  Release nights are so exciting!

First, I tried to log in.

I was successful.

So successful, in fact, that the game sat on ‘Success!’ for a good half an hour to remind me that, yes, I am indeed the most successful person in the universe.

Yes, yes, Blizzard does think I am awesome.

Then, my character popped up in all her awesome hawtness.

I logged her in, and stared at the loading screen.

Then I went and made dinner.

Then I came back and stared at the loading screen.

Then I ate dinner.

Stared some more.

Cleaned up after dinner.

Stared some more.

Logged out and in.

Actual success!  As in, in within 5 minutes!

I got to Stormwind, started making my way out to Vashjir… when some twatwaffle didn’t dismount on the boat.

So, the event bugged.

We all, of course, died.

And then I spent the rest of the evening getting chain disconnected because half the server was clearly at the same graveyard.

Oh release day, I do love you!

… On the plus side, I watched some Top Gear, re-read another Stephen King Dark Tower book, painted my toenails, and ate a full bag of lollies.  A very productive and eventful evening indeed!

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Thought I should reassure you all.

I’m just busy fighting off the zombie apocalypse.

And trying to be awake at a time that I can call Blizzard support so I can actually play WoW.

I might write something meaningful in a few weeks.  Until then, thanks for sticking around I guess! <3

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Man has it been a while. Sorry for not having posted in a while but work has been kicking my ass something fierce. We’re just over 2 weeks until Cataclysm hits and I don’t know about y’all but I’m very much looking forward to it. Doesn’t look like I’m going to meet my ultimate goal for Wrath, which was to down the Lich King, but I’ve very much enjoyed this expansion. A while ago I made a couple of post about leveling and instancing in WotLK but I never got around to talking about my favorite part of this expansion, raiding. I have a lot to say about the raids in Wrath, some good and some not so good, so I’m going to split this conversation up into a few parts to spare you all the giant wall of text. Today I’m going to talk about the first raiding tier.

I first started playing World of Warcraft midway through The Burning Crusade expansion. As a result, I was WAY behind on the progression scale once I finally hit max level. The guild I was in was never able to clear anything past Gruul’s Lair. We were able to get through the first three bosses in Zul’Aman before all the raids were nerfed into the ground. It wasn’t because of a lack of desire that we were never able to see higher end content, it was because of attrition to further progressed guilds. Try as we might, we could never quite sustain a full 25 man roster to progress past Gruul and into Serpentshrine Cavern. Two things stopped me from leaving my guild and trying to get a spot in a further progressed guild. First, I formed way too many friendships with people in my guild to just up and leave. Secondly, I played a Balance Druid and there was no way I was getting a raid spot as an oomkin. So I just stuck it out until Wrath.

The expansion put all guilds back on equal footing progression wise and also introduced 10 man raiding as a very viable option. Thanks to this, I was finally able to do some real progression raiding and loved it. Having never seen Naxxramas before, I was blown away by the raid. Each wing had a very unique feel to while still maintaining its overall fight against the scourge theme. I felt the difficulty, especially in 10 man was perfectly tuned for an entry level raid. Without trying for achievements, none of the bosses were overly difficult and each introduced mechanics that were needed to be understood by new raiders in order to be successful in future raids. I also found the instance to be very fun for the first few months of running through it. There were a few bosses that challenged your ability to coordinate your raiders and others where DPS could flex their muscles and fight for bragging rights. Many a fun time was had on Patchwerk where my fellow boomkins and I were constantly upstaging the mages and warlocks in the raid.

Obsidian Sanctum and Eye of Eternity where the other two raids that shipped with Wrath of the Lich King and both were drastically different from Naxx. Where Naxx was a 15 marathon of a raid, OS and Maly were one boss sprints. After having cleared Naxx and obtaining the key that unlocked the Eye of Eternity, it was very realistic for a group to clear both raid in one night. Obsidian Sanctum also introduced the concept of “hard modes” to raiding. By choosing whether or not to leave any drakes alive when engaging Sartharion, raiders could up the difficulty of the raid from delightfully easy (no drakes up) to “Oh dear gods why?!” (3 drakes up) to suit their tastes. I loved being able to dial up the difficulty of the raid and push myself harder as a raider, even if most of my guildmates at the time did not. Because of this, I found Obsidian Sanctum to be a very successful raid. Eye of Eternity on the other hand can go die in a fire. The idea behind the this instance was pretty cool. Take on the Aspect of Magic while riding on the back of a dragon? Who hasn’t wanted to kill something riding on a dragon? The execution of said idea missed its mark. The controls and abilities of the dragons felt clunky and they’re power didn’t scale with gear level of the rider. Once I completed the instance, I had very almost no reason to want to back in there.

Overall, I felt that Blizzard was largely successful with the first tier of raiding. It allowed novice raiders a good opportunity to get their feet wet in end game raiding while still providing ways for experienced raiders to challenge and push themselves. The encounter designers would take what they learned from these raids and craft what was one of the most widely loved raids in Ulduar.

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