02 July 2013

Curtain Call

It has happened to me. I always knew in the back of my mind there was a chance, but I couldn't imagine why or how it could happen. But it did.

What, you may wonder?

Looking at my Mac's dock and eyeballing that little W icon that launches WoW and just not feeling the slightest desire to login and do anything. I've lost any desire to play World of Warcraft. My subscription, that has been almost 7 years running, will not be renewed when it expires.

This blog started for me to outlet my game playing experiences. Now that I'm not playing, there isn't anything to say -- other than a huge thank you to the readers and 'celebrity' bloggers that were so very encouraging to me as I was starting this site.  Every comment was deeply appreciated - you each touched my life and I'm grateful.

Anyone that's still using the Blogger Gadgets for achievements or pet battle teams, I won't be actively maintaining them but in the event something breaks feel free to ping me on Twitter as @oneCof5. I'm not overly active on Twitter, but send me a DM and I'll get it.


30 April 2013

Undead Army Invasion: All Death Knight ICC 25(H)

Any US Alliance Death Knights out there want to beat up Arthas (for the first time or again?)

Sunday 5 May at 10:00 pm EDT, I'm hoping to clear ICC with 24 of my newest DK buddies. Interested?  Check out OpenRaid!

23 April 2013

Is this thing on?

Hi world. Long time, no post!

According to MerriamWebster,
  1. lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness
  2. lack of interest or concern : indifference
Part of my online hiatus was the dreaded "Real Life" raid boss. I pulled too much aggro -- Work, Volunteer, Family -- at the same time and they combined to wipe me. Another part of it is an annual down-cycle; late February and March are a rough time for me. Some years are easier than others, but this year was rough. But, I can't place all the blame for my sabbatical on Real Life.  A large reason for being AFK has just been plain apathy within the game of Warcraft.  I haven't been doing much in the game, so I don't have much to write about from my game experiences. I've struggled to actually care about anything current (5.2 is totally foreign to me - I'm still digesting 5.0 and 5.1!) in the game.

 Let's quickly break down my WoW status:
  1. I'm not on a progression raid team by choice.
  2. I'm exalted with all the base MoP (patch 5.0 and 5.1) factions (except for a few Tillers and Nat Pagle, but who has time to fish enough to get chummy with Nat?)
  3. I've done more daily quests than I ever want to do again.
  4. Pet Battling is an occasional past-time, but no longer as addictive as it was.
  5. I don't have a PVP set, and if I want abuse I can queue for heroic 5 mans; I don't need to be the squishy on the BG.
  6. I may run an occasional LFR, but I'm not confident in my command of the class mechanics and I'm unwilling to spend the time to min/max with sites like Elitist Jerks to squeeze every last ounce of DPS from my character. As a result, I'm shy to queue for an LFR.
  7. I've got one level 90 with an iLevel even high enough for LFR; the prospect of repeating all that rep grind and gear grinds on alt 90s is overwhelming.
I don't mean to be negative, as I still love playing WoW. I'm just doing other stuff than most of the bloggers are writing about.
  1. I'm gearing my new 90s via scenarios rather than instances. Less stress, shorter queues and I simply enjoy the scenarios.
  2. I'm leveling alts. I had seven 85s in Cataclysm. I'm up to three 90s in MoP. Time to pass some love along to some other toons.
  3. I'm experimenting with low-level PVP. Holy hell is the level 10-15 bracket fun!
  4. I'm relying on OpenRaid for my older content raiding needs. 
Point 4 there is really quite cool. The achievement junky in me adores OpenRaid, mainly because:
  • I have actually completed Firelands (10H and 25H) and I'm closing in on the Meta.
  • I got my 10m and 25m ICC meta drakes from OpenRaid events.
  • Except for a few bad apples, the folks I've met via OpenRaid are friendly, helpful and just plain cool.
  • I'm reminded of JD's Laid Back Raids, which I will sorely miss.
I'm going to attempt to put organize the events I enjoy doing and post 'em up to OpenRaid to see who else may be into the same stuff I'm into.  I've even started a new guild called <Swiss Cheesements>- on Borean Tundra (US) as well as on OpenRaid - with the express purpose of doing 'outdated' achievements. The first event is planned for 5 May and it's an all Death Knight 25m raid on ICC(H).  Can you just imagine 25 Armies of the Dead swarming a boss?  I can't wait!

Some of the excitement is back and I'm looking forward to seeing how this part plays out.

19 February 2013

Godmode in ICC

Years ago, I was playing Diablo II quite a bit. I know, I know, that was a decade ago. That's not my point. The point is that D2 had an Easter Egg or cheat depending upon your perspective that allowed your character to become invincible and unable to be killed. I remember having a ton of fun blowing through content knowing I was unable to die.

But this is a WoW blog, and there are no cheats within Azeroth!
Ah, true. But, tell me.... have you taken a raid to Icecrown Citadel lately? I've set up some weekly meta runs (we've done Glory of the Ulduar Raider and now working on Glory of the Icecrown Raider) for the old drake achievements.

At level 90, the fights, even at Heroic mode, are trivial. However, I would not say they are all brainless. Actually, the largest challenge on some fights is to not to too much damage! Consider our guild fun run  Sunday night...

The Lower Spire

Getting Boned by Lord Marrowgar was pretty much a given. All you have to do is DPS the boss. At level 90, he dropped before he could cast a single bonespike.
But then, dealing with Lady Deathwisper's Full House proved to be a bit more of a challenge. We had to wipe the first attempt because we pushed her into phase II before we had enough of the cultists up to qualify for the achievement.  The act of wiping required the enrage timer to actually incur enough damage to offset our warrior's regen (thanks to Second Wind)!  The second attempt on Lady D went as follows:  a single hunter dropped her shield to 20% and stopped. Nobody else did ANYTHING but get wailed on by adds. After three rounds of adds spawned (we didn't count the individual adds, just the number of waves), then we opened up on Lady D and got the achievement.
The gunship battle went as follows: a warlock and a hunter jumped across and stayed across. The pets fought Saurfang for aggro. Pretty much cakewalk for I'm on a Boat.
Same for Saurfang himself. I think we killed him before he could even summon blood beasts, so I've Gone and Made a Mess should be a done deal.

The Plagueworks

For Rotface's Dances with Ooozes and Festergut's Flu Shot Shortage, all you do is burn the boss. On Professor Putricide, whoever drives the Abomination should just slurp up slimes. Again, the Professor was only able to summon one ooze before he died, so this one is pretty straight-forward and you'll easily get Nausea, Heartburn, Indegestion....

The Crimson Hall

On the blood council, The Orb Whisperer is a DPS race. Instead of using the intended mechanics of collecting blueberry adds and taunting, keeping the beach balls up in the air.... Pssh.  Just nuke Prince Keleseth. The encounter will be over before another prince activates!
We did hit a challenge on Blood Queen Lana'thel, however. There were 4 people that needed to be bitten for the Once Bitten, Twice Shy achievement. We almost had to wipe because we dropped the boss to 20% before the second vampire bite. It doesn't sound hard, but it is difficult to resist hitting back and just letting a boss wail on you, but that is exactly what we had to do. We're coming back for the 2nd kill needed for those that don't want to be bitten, but that should be a bit easier to do.

The Frostwing Halls

We failed the Portal Jockey achievement because we missed a portal. Next time, we'll have a dedicated healer take the portals and then back up DPS jump in so that we get each portal as it pops. The adds outside are trivial, so DPS just unleash and it should be cake.  Meh, live and learn.
I was personally missing All You Can Eat, but at 90 this one's also a no-brainer. Just DPS. You'll kill Sindragosa before the stacks even have a chance to reach that high.

The Frozen Throne

Finally, the Lich King. We were going for Been Waiting a Long Time for This and too just concentrate on the Meta instead of also dealing with shadow traps from heroic mode, but we still failed the meta even though we killed the King. After reading up, the approach we'll take next week is as follows:

  1. Use 2 dedicated tanks (we used a DPS warrior, and while health wasn't an issue, aggro was). 
  2. One tank is on the Lich King (solo taunt). Second tank targets all the ghouls (little ones and big ones). 
  3. When Necrotic Plague is cast the first two times, those raid members run away from the entire raid to be dispelled -- so that the Plague disappears. When the third plague is cast, that raid member runs to the growing pile of ghouls to be dispelled (so that the Plague jumps to a ghoul).
  4. Each remaining Plague that is cast needs to run out of the raid and get dispelled so there is only only Plague active. 
  5. Wait... well for a Long Time. The achievement is named appropriately. 
  6. Don't rely on the Lich King buff from Plague to monitor the number of stacks --- try to monitor on the actual impacted ghouls (this is where we failed!)
  7. One Plague hits 30, then burn Lich King.  

We failed because we had two plagues active, one at 14 stacks and one at 18 stacks, but that didnt count.  However, we did earn Neck-Deep in Vile because we pushed the encounter directly from Phase I / Transition to the end.  Huh?  Yeah... Ranged stood in the Remorseless Winter and kept beating on Lich King, getting him to 10% and the insta-death before we even saw Phase II with Valks or Phase III with Vile Spirits.
I know this content is old. I know the Lich King has been solod. But you know what?  It was a TON of fun to casually go back and farm achievements for guildies that had never seen the content. I still love Icecrown and it remains one of my favorite raids in the game.

31 January 2013

My Week(s) in Pictures

So I've been dabbling in various aspects of the game over the past few weeks. My obsession with Pet Battles has dwindled to a healthy "Oh that's a nice break" rather than the mega "I must tame them all!" mantra. I can get a little manic when it comes to this game, and I was pretty into the whole pet battle thing -- so much so I burned myself out.

Enter the "it's a new fiscal year and my IT department has money again" in January and work has been nice and busy lately. The double combination of faffing in game and not having much game time has made for some interesting sessions.

Consider my paladin questing in Townlong, and I'm told:
How does it KNOW?

Luckily, my skin's a bit on the thick side, so I was able to shrug that one off. Not too long after, I got my dynamic duo 'chiever:
Ta Da!
Now that the pally was at 90, it was time to experiment with some solo raiding. I have gotten out the the grind for mounts, and I've started clearing Kara again in hopes that the horse drops. No such luck.  After running a few scenarios and getting some halfway decent blue drops (and getting rid of my mostly quest greens), I've been able to solo AQ and not get stuck at the Twin Emperors. I tell ya, that was a heavy feeling of impotence to not be able to pass those two.  But now, I've gained exalted rep with AQ and picked up a nice set of flying purple people eater mail mogs, as well as gotten lucky in AQ with each of the pets needed for Raiding With Leashes.

Same with Molten Core, though I *still* need to slog that one out for rep for a few more months thanks to the brilliant decision to only award rep from boss kills!  Ugh! But, that and Black Wing Lair have been generous with pet drops, and all I've got left is Naxx. And the bosses in Naxx are not being pet friendly with me.  I need all Naxx pets.  /sigh

Speaking of Naxx.... It's a bit irrelevant, but it's still an achievement:
Only 2 Expansions Late!
The funny thing was no matter how I tried, the only way I could get Shocking! was by soloing and not having anyone else there to muck it up.  Hmmmm. =)

Then, I figured let's actually do some new - current - content.  So I checked in with the Shieldwall and started that. All I can say is "Whoa!" I'm liking the story line bunches and I'm looking forward to getting in and doing the dailies (in my case the bi-dailies) to advance the story line.  I had seen Navi mention about this cool achievement from the Shieldwall (once I actually got caught up in some blog reading, but that's a different story) so I had to try my hand.  I got lucky, and on my second day I got my Dudes achievement!
The Achievement Name is cooler than the Achievement itself
I'm currently swapping back and forth between my Alliance Warlock and my Horde Druid to see which one will get the 3rd and 4th level 90 achievements on my account. After playing primarily Alliance characters, the Jade Forest from the Horde side is pretty cool. Plus, those ookin' Hozen make me laugh with the stuff they say.  As I was exploring the clickies in a base, for example, I uncovered this literary gem:
Those ookin' Monkeys can pen a hai-ku!
Oh, and the inn-keeper at the hozen staging area?  He's called a Hozen Bed-Haver.   Epic!

06 January 2013

Wall of Shame: Premier Post

I fail to understand how it's fun to act like a complete and total ass in a video game. Does it make you feel cool? Superior? Somehow better than everyone else?

Enter a new "series": The Wall of Shame.  When someone acts like a jerk to me (or around me) in the game, I'm gonna screen cap it and post it here.

And, I've been literally sitting here staring at my screen for the last three hours wondering whether or not to protect this individual's identity. And I've come to the conclusion: Screw it. It's my blog, and I'll post what I want.

Allow me to set the stage... I'm in Stormwind checking on how auctions have fared, and I catch this in tradechat:
First mistake? Asking a question in /tradechat
How do you get valor points?
There was a time when I didn't know the answer to this question. So, I'm figuring "Iwillwinat" is a newer character and perhaps doesn't understand about valor points. And rather than respond in trade and running the risk of feeding the trolls, I shoot a whisper to the person briefly answering their question.

I'm greeted with this little gem of evilness:
umm... WTF?
So I'm"helping" by answering a question and I'm assaulted with this bullshit?  I love /ignore.  I just wish I didn't have to use it all the time.

There's a whole other element to this snapshot. How in the hell have we come to a place in our culture where it is acceptable to threaten anyone verbally? I have never in my life experienced as much abuse as I have in WoW. In the real world, it helps that I'm 6' 5". Most bullies started to leave me alone after I began looking down on them in junior high school. So physically, in the real world, you had better be Jackie Chan or Hulk Hogan before you talk smack to me. But in the virtual world? There's no consequence. All I can do is 'report' this dipshit and pray Blizzard does something about it.

But is that truly doing anything? They might get banned for a bit... But knowing them, they'd brag to their friends and make fun of me for being a do-gooder for reporting them.

I simply don't understand it.

I'm not trying to offer a solution, or anything prophetic about this issue -- I'm just expressing my personal exasperation and frustration that gamers can be stereotyped as masochistic closet freaks only because some of them act like one.  Please -- Don't perpetuate the stereotype.

I'm gonna crawl back into my middle-aged man cave now.  Football games are on!