24 October 2012

"Nice Pumpkins!"

That's meant in a non-creepy manner. Have you seen the Pumpkin contest? All I can say is that I wish I had skills like that. Very cool stuff!

All images sourced from Blizzard's contests page. Pretty amazing work from the players!

23 October 2012

WAFB Update

Expanded Details Example
As is the case, the more you muck about with something, the more comfortable you feel.  I've updated the WAFB gadget to include localization on the US and EU servers.  If anyone is actually reading this on the Korea (KR), Taiwan (TW) or China (CN) servers, I'd love feedback if you can actually use this or not. I simply have no means of testing on those servers.

The WAFB page has been updated with the new configuration instructions.  Thanks so much for all of the feedback!

21 October 2012

Shared Topic: The Rules of Me

Matty over at Sugar & Spice asks:
The Rules of Me: What are your personal rules you wish others would know about you?
This is gonna be fun! I'm just gonna let it out on this post. So, in total stream of consciousness here we go:

  1. I can complain about the members of my family. But if you do it, I'm gonna get in your face and defend them. Rather vigorously, too.
  2. If you even hint at hurting my kids, you will become my mortal enemy.
  3. Sleep-over house guests are like fresh fish: after three days they start to stink.
  4. Repeatedly asking me the same question will not change my answer. However, it will make me quickly lose respect for you.
  5. Trade chat should require an additional monthly premium to utilize.
  6. Prefixing any in-game ability with "anal" does not make you clever or amusing. Quite the opposite, it showcases your idiocy.
  7. If you wouldn't actually say out loud what you're typing in chat to actual people in an actual conversation, then you probably shouldn't post it.
  8. "Pwn" is not a real word. Likewise, unless you're texting using a phone without an actual keyboard, there is no reason whatsoever to not type out the actual words "you" or "are".
  9. The word "Rape" does not mean anywhere near what you think it means as you casually refer to how well you just fared against that person in PVP. 
  10. "Your Momma" jokes were funny in the 80s.  It's not the '80s anymore. Move along.
  11. Words have power and should be respected accordingly.
  12. Stupidity that is later recognized and recanted via sincere apology may be forgiven; it's likely an honest mistake or a reconsideration once facts have been presented. Refusal to accept facts or other viewpoints on the same issue is just plain stupid.
  13. Unless specifically requested to do so by a leader in your group or raid, as a DPS class you never ever pull the mob -- even if you're just trying to "help the tank".
  14. Bitching at your healer as a DPS class puts you that much lower on the heal priority list.
  15. Constructive criticism helps me learn; nerd rage makes me /ignore you.
  16. An /assist macro should be a default function of the WoW UI and combined with an auto-focus function on the main tank.
  17. Don't get hissy with me if I don't respond to your un-solicited guild invite. If I wanted to join you, I would have asked you.
  18. Why must you assume I'm a RL Female just because my Human Priest is stacked like a stripper? And no, just because you tell me I'm cute does not get you WoW-sex. Ewww.
  19. Unless we're in the Inn at Goldshire in a bed together, do not friggin' /lick me.
  20. If a member of the opposite faction emotes a /spit at me, they will become my /focus target until the end of the battleground or they log off. 
  21. Just because you flagged PVP at the Crossroads and are now getting your ass handed to you by guards and level 90s from Orgrimmar, I'm there for other stuff. Don't whine at me for not joining your sorry self in pointless PVP.
  22. I'm entitled to my opinion, just as you're entitled to yours. Even when our opinions are at odds with each other, we can still get along. 
Holy schmoly, Matty.  I feel fantastic!  Thank's for the virtual venting!

19 October 2012

MoP: Mists of "Preoccupation"

I haven't accomplished diddly-squat in the game since Mists launched.  And you know what?  I'm totally cool with that fact.

One of the aspects of this expansion is the seeming departure from a focus on the "end game". Not that it's not there anymore, but that there are other things to do besides the end game.  My guild mates are in LFR, but I'm not.  I'm a freshly dinged 87 hunter.  Or a freshly dinged 21 pandaren monk rolling his way through leveling.

Unlike the Wrath and Cataclysm expansions where it felt to me that nothing good happened until you hit max level, in Mists I have so many choices of stuff to do that I am perfectly content dabbling in each area a bit at a time.

Simply stated: I have ample choices on just what the heck I wanna do in the game.

The impact?  Well, I missed Brewfest and I'm gonna miss Hallow's Eve.  Meh, been there, done that, gotten the mount. The recycled holiday content is not compelling to me. Sure, it's been updated a bit, and it has shiny new  uber-high-item-level drops, but that's not alluring for me.

What is alluring, however, is the totally new stuff:
  • Pet Battles
  • Farming
  • Food Network (Pandaria)
  • Archaeology (two BoA blues so far)
  • Progression Questing

I'm completely preoccupied with the inane yet entertaining aspects of the game. I have no focus on leveling as quick as possible, getting a iLevel up for LFR, or getting any kind of server first. I'm simply enjoying playing the game for the game's sake.

The real fun?  It's been simply discovering all of this content and possibility. I feel like a newbie again.

The game has completely captured me and it has yet again become this alternative universe that I can immerse myself into and simply disappear into that world for brief interludes. Contrast that to Wrath: during non-raid time I farmed for gold and mats to supply raiding needs.  Cata: log in and PVP on my way to 25,000 kills.  Mists?  Choices, baby! Choices! And I totally friggin' love it.

14 October 2012

Pet Battle Teams: Blogger Style

Yep. I wanted to show of my current pet team, so thanks to the data that's available from the Blizzard Community API now I can.  Enter the new gadget residing proudly in my sidebar.

For more details, check the WBPT page.

Blogging and Pet Battles.  They work well together!

08 October 2012

Spontaneity and LBR's

I caught a blurb on the news this morning about this blog called STFU, Parents.  It targets people without children and pokes fun at those with kids who do nothing but talk about their kids. It's all good: those without kids will not fully understand my life, and I get why some wouldn't want to hear parent stories.

Trust me, this isn't one of those stories.

However, I AM a parent. And as a result, my life has changed. It's no longer my own! No longer can I roll out of bed on a Saturday at 2 pm in the afternoon after staying up to watch the sunrise.  Those were fun times, but they ain't happenin' any more for me. Now I'm going to bed early so I can get up with the kids for the bus.

My free time is limited; I grab it when I can. I stopped raiding because I couldn't commit to WoW any where near what I want to commit to in my real life. I don't sign up for any guild raids. I rarely sign up for OpenRaids, especially since pandas and pet battles.

But sometimes, even Grown-Ups can be spontaneous. With some help, that is.

I want to give some public lovin' to JD over at Amateur Azerothian. I'm just settling down to waste away some time battling critters when my Real ID pings.  JD's wondering if I'd like to join a LBR crew in Mount Hyjal?

Ummm.  Heck yeah!

I had a blast. The folks in an LBR just rock. Everyone's there to have fun, chat, and collect mog drops or recipes and it's so... Woodstockian. Zen. Rad. Totally-flippin-awesome.  You get the idea.

During the run, I also picked up an achievement I've been grinding towards for a bit: 50 Exalted Reps. And in looking up that link, I now see there's 70 Exalted Reps with a new title:  the Beloved.  Yikes, I've got a new goal:  Cibolero the Beloved.  But, I digress.

Without that ping from JD, I would have had an ok time that night. With a little nudge from a friend, however, that okay time became a great time. It felt great to be invited. It was fun participating. It was totally unexpected. That's why this game is so damn addictive; you never know when greatness lurks around the corner, but it's always possible.

01 October 2012

Too many rares!

So I'm merrily gallivanting around Stranglethorn Vale leveling up my team to take on the next Pet Tamer when I see this:
One Blue Too Many!
Two rares in a single pet battle! Ugh! I waded through how many crappy gray pets to finally score a rare, and then I have to waste one of 'em?  I really loathe the ability to only trap one pet per battle.

I have to admit: I cried a bit while killing the rare water snake. But, I got over it quickly!

Color coded pets brought to you by Pet Battle Quality Glow.

Relearning the Game: Limited AddOns

First things first: I need to jump on the internet bandwagon and just simply give a shout out to the folks in Irvine. Blizzard just crushed with this expansion.

I feel like a new player all over again. I can quest with some amazingly detailed and entertaining quest lines as a former end-game player, or (as I have been) wander over the zones dabbling in the pet battle mini-game.

In the spirit of "freshness", I'm also giving a go of playing without AddOns. Well, how about mostly without AddOns. How about dropping from a peak of over 100 AddOns (back in TBC) to a recent average of 20 in Cataclysm.

My obsession with AddOns began during the Burning Crusade and started with Titan Panel, and has evolved over the years. In Cataclysm, I had 'pared' the list down to ElvUI (which replaced so many of my other smaller AddOns), raid encounter helpers like DBM and GTFO, and gold-making essentials like TSM.

Now?  The only AddOns I'm running in Mists are the pet battle related ones highlighted over the weekend, TSM for auctioning, and utilities like Postal and Bank Stack.

So "mostly without AddOns" really means "with only six AddOns". I'm back to the basics in my game play, and aside from a few helpers, I'm really enjoying myself. The base UI is truly functional for my needs at this point, and the extras I'm running enhance the game as opposed to modify existing functionality to a cleaner view.

To borrow my favorite Australian expression:
Good on ya, Blizzard!