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June 2010

Halion Dead!

  ScreenShot_062910_184012

It was cool to get to sub in unexpectedly tonight when I got home. My second shot at him, and WHAM! Dead! Whooohoo!

I had an easy job -- stayed out in Phase 3 if I understand it correctly. Ran around and avoided that damn fire that gave me Mount Hyjal flashbacks. Avoided the General Vezax void crashes on the ground. Ran away from the fire circles. Had a great time. Not bad for a Tuesday night.


My Wrath of the Lich King Best Ofs...

  some things are better left alone. this lady is too big for the talbuk.
With the Wrath of the Lich King expansion all but completed, this felt like a good time to look back at WotLK and share my thoughts on what was most memorable and fun for me in this expansion.

Best Quest Chain Payoff: Wrathgate.

I've heard through the grapevine that some people I know actually avoid or skip this chain while leveling, but so far, I've completed it as soon as possible on each of my characters, be they Alliance or Horde.

I remember my first time through, which was Alliance-side. I was so proud when Bolvar Fordragon said to me, as an aside, Psychocandy, I remember what you did for me back in the day." (I paraphrase. but still.) Bolvar? Remember little ol' me? My heart fluttered, it truly did. And then I followed him into battle, only to watch him fall in battle, always the hero.

That would have been enough to give it the best of slot, but it's capped off with the Battle for the Undercity, which showed off their phasing capabilities, and truly made me feel I was an integral part of the storyline in a way nothing had previously.

Second runner up: The Wolvar and Gorlok chains in Sholozar basin."You see his face? He so scared!"

Best Addition to the Shadow Priest's Arsenal: Mind Sear.

Mind sear, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...I love you when the tank mispulls two packs but holds onto them. I love you when the pack of geists comes in to Rotface/Festergut's corridor. I love you when they # gets to something unfathomable on recount. And I most especially loved you on Ony's whelps. How did shadow priests live without an AOE? oh that's right, everyone used to love us for being a mana battery and for having a passive heal that was often a solid third healer in raids. That's right...

;p

Second runner up: Improved Devouring Plague. Spam it baby!

My Biggest Sense of Accomplishment, Raid Edition: Defeating Arthas.

I honestly can not think of any other boss that took as much time and trial and error as Arthas. This is partially due to the changing nature of our raid teams each night. My earlier WoW raiding was almost always with pretty much the same 25/40 people each week, which made progression a little more smooth and go a little more quickly. But it just made the victory over him that much sweeter. The fact that he popped up throughout the expansion, taunting us, also gave us more bloodthirst than I had for Illidan, for example. I actually felet somewhat bad about breaking into Illidan's house and stealing his stuff. Killing Arthas? We were doing the work of the Light, and freeing him.

My Biggest Sense of Accomplishment, Not About Raiding: Finally Making a Go of it Horde-side.a.k.a. the little shadow priest that could. This entire blog for the past year has, essentially, been a chronicle of that.

My Hero of the Expansion: Bolvar Fordragon.

Yes, I know I talk about Bolvar a lot. And I named my kitty after him too. But for good reason! He embodied the goodness of the light in all things he did. Starting initially with the end of the Onyxia chain, but in WotLK with the Wrathgate chain, and ending with the Lich King's death cut scene, Bolvar Fordragon was always a hero, sacrificing himself for the greater good. They don't make heroes like him often. A big thank you to Blizzard for keeping true to his character throughout the expansion. Even though you disregarded his final wish to keep things quiet *glances at Dalaran fountain.*

No one even came close for me, so no runners-up for this. Sorry Tirion Fordring, even though you were a great hulking Paladin you just didn't capture my heart. Especially not after the raid nicknamed you Captain Popsicle.

Best waste of my gold: The Mechanohog.

Yeah yeah yeah. It's a waste of gold. You don't need a motorcycle. But it's so shiny! I had to make it twice. And I have never thought to myself that I wanted back the 12,500G in vendor mats that I spent on it. It paid for itself in amusing me while waiting for Ulduar raids to start, as I jumped off stairwells and foothills with abandon.

Second Runner Up: Making my very first engineer her helicoptors.

TO BE CONTINUED

I'll post more best ofs as they occur to me. Because Summertime is all about sequels, yes? But what about you? What are your WotLK Best ofs?


Friday Five: Five Things That Should Give you Guild Rep in Cataclysm

  Maltshop_Spectral_Tiger_ScreenShot_020310_145148
The recent information Blizzard released to all of us who are eagerly awaiting the Cataclysm expansion mentioned that we'll all need to build reputation with our guild to take advantage of guild rewards, with Exalted reputation needed with your guild for some items, on each character who wants to take advantage of said guild perks. Given this little slice of information, I started wondering just what will end up granting you faction with your guild. Which then led me to what *should* grant you faction with your guild.

Here is my only slightly-tongue in cheek list:

  1. Warlocks summoning the tardy to raids at raid start time. Triple bonus rep for putting down more than one demon tv in 5 minutes to summon those who didn't notice the five summonses you already sent them.
  2. Crafting rep-based gear for your guildies. After all, it takes you time to grind out the rep to be able to make the gear, so that should count a a guild contribution, shouldn't it?
  3. Standing around a capital city, waiting 15 minutes to do an enchant for your guildies as they run to and fro trying to piece together the materials. 10 rep per 15 minutes of waiting on guildies time seems fair, yes?
  4. Putting out food for your group to enjoy and get that well fed buff. After all, you put in the time fishing and cooking up that feast, so seems fair you get a small perk for that.
  5. Answering the question "have the invites gone out yet?" -- that alone should be 10 points per answer, which would net upwards of 200 faction points per night, especially on weekly quest night. ;p

What would you add to this list? What do you think should give *you* guild rep? Take part in the August 2-7 Blog Azeroth Shared topic!


Dungeon Finder + Holiday Boss= Win

  Murloc suit

You were probably expecting to see a screenshot of my shadow priest mindflaying away on the new holiday boss, weren't you? But I don't have any screenshots of that run due to a funny little glitch. You see, I was talking to my SO as I queued in the dungeon finder to go fight Lord Ahune. And although I am positive I queued as a DPS (I have never ever queued her as a healer as I have never healed as a priest despite having forked over $1k G for dual spec holy), I got sent in as a healer.

o.O

The group, 4 guildies from another server, didn't remember anything about the boss. I took that opportunity to tell them I'd never healed and had not intended to heal but would give it my best shot. The ice stone was melted, and then I watched the adds run around and eat the rogue. And then the other melee, DPS, then the shadow priest, myself, and the tank.

Uh, that didn't go so well.

We briefly discussed what it was exactly that folks should be doing (melee should hit what the tank is hitting not tank mobs), and take 2 was so flawless we killed Ahune in our first pass of his ready to be damaged state (yes I DoT'd and wanded my bony undeaded arms off during that phase.)

I was so pleased that we all survived and killed Ahune that I felt just like the jumping for joy murloc suited me above.

I went on to kill him on two other characters with two to three friends plus some LFD peeps to round out our party. And this is coming from someone who stubbornly 3-manned most of the holiday bosses last year with my and my SO's army of alts and was not excited about having to go with a full 5-man party via LFD.

So far I haven't seen any of the shiny new fun loot (the shaman did get a cloak upgrade for her healing set though), but am crossing my fingers that at least one of my ladies gets to take home a frosty elemental pet. Several could also use the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune

For reference, here are the possible ilvl 232 cloaks obtainable from his chest:

How's your Summer Fire Festival going so far? I've only toe-dipped with Ahune at this point, but hope to get further along with the achievement this year than I did last year.


Weekend Reading List

Blogs I've visited and interesting posts I've read that you should check out this weekend...

  • Righteous Orbs
    I think the first Righteous Orbs post I read was the How to Lose Friends and Alienate people post earlier this month. I'm consistently drawn into read the spots here. Definitely a blog to follow. How am I so late to the party on this?? :)
  • Tastes Like Battlechicken
    I've bookmarked Tastes Like Battlechicken to spend some serious time with when I decide to pick up my boomkin again. My Boomkin will never see the Lich King, but if yours will, she has a phase-by-phase guide you should go read now.
  • Oddcraft
    In the throes of our darkest nights in Icecrown Citadel, Basic Campfire 4 Warchief as we worked tirelessly towards Arthas' overthrow, our conversation naturally turned towards whom should be our next warchief. Our 10-man team was almost unanimous in our decision: BASIC CAMPFIRE FOR WARCHIEF! Although, as a Forsaken, the COOK message didn't resonate with me on a personal level, I do enjoy watching my comrades enjoy the food I make with such love and attention. And standing next to the campfire, near Arthas' frozen throne, did raise my spirit a bit. Major kudos to Vrykerion at Oddcraft for giving the warchief candidates a platform, and for those quirky city tours.
  • Cynwise's Battlefield Manual
    As he points out, one of the primary barriers to success in the BGs is a lack of 1) familiarity with the battlefield amp and 2) a lack of knowing what the strategy is once you get inside the BG. Which is why he created some awesome battleground strategy maps. Pop over there and check them out before your next BG queue.
  • Psynister's Notebook
    His article on dealing with lowbie LFG primadonnas is excellent. But I would be lying by omission if I didn't tell you it was spewing out coffee from laughing at the I haz shuvel! stickfigure drawing that really sealed the deal for me.

Friday Five: 5 Things That Need to Die in a Fire in Cataclysm

Another Friday, another Friday Five inspired by the creative folks at blog azeroth's shared topics. Thanks to Spinks for this one!

  1. I hope the flooding in Hillsbrad drowns those headless murlocs. I curse you oh headless murlocs!!
  2. I'd like to rid all of Azeroth of grouped mobs in teams of 3 or more. They are the bane of the lowbie experience.I swear my voidwalker found every such group as he dragged his to-be-attacked mob as far away from me as possible throughout my travels in Westfall.
  3. Stonetalon Mountains, one of the most annoying zones to traverse, you will happily be dying in a fire!
  4. That goes double for you Desolace! Poorly placed flightpaths, and annoyingly spaced out quests. This zone has long needed a makeover.
  5. Barrens Chat. Please let Cataclysm kill Barrens chat, and please let it not just slide on over to Orgrimarr!

On the flipside of this though, I have 5 Things I Hope DON'T Get Wiped Out by Cataclysm:

  1. Deep Ocean, Vast Sea. Every single time I've done this quest, I sing the Peter Murphy song after which it's named. And then I have myself a fabulously moody time wandering the coastline.
  2. All my horde characters have gone to help Ahab Wheathoof find his dog. Read up if you don't know the story behind his quest. It's one of the sweetest in-game tributes Blizzard has done for a (now deceased) player. Adding in Elder Ezra Wheathoof for the Lunar Fest this past year totally teared me up.
  3. Nat Pagle better not lose his little fishing spot. Because that would be a bummer for all us fisherpeople.
  4. I only completed the In Dreams quest once or twice (now we level so fast I don't even scratch the surface of that quest chain), but it was one of my favorites, and I will be bummed to see it lost.
  5. I often feel like I am one of the few folks who loves to quest through the Plaguelands. One of my most favorite quest chains there starts when you enter a creepy old house and encounter the ghost of Janice Felstone. I love the stories of the quest chains out there, and how they tie in to the Scholomance and Stratholme instances as well. I will miss them terribly.
Who or what would YOU nominate to die in a Cataclysm fire?

Thoughts on the New Guild Achievements and Other New Cataclysm Details

If you're looking to not learn anything at all about Cataclysm prior to its launch this is not the post for you. It only contains, however, reflections on information officially released by Blizzard during its recent fansite/blog day on campus.

As the clock struck Midnight on Saturday night, Wowhead and World of Raids came out with amazing treasure troves of new (and expanded upon) information about the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. All copy in sky blue below is from World of Raids.

What I'm Excited About

  • Guild talents are not going to be implemented.Instead, guilds will be automatically rewarded with perks.
  • Guild currency has been scrapped. Guild rewards will be unlocked by completing guild achievements. Rewards will be purchased with gold, and anyone in the guild can purchase the reward once it's unlocked.

These changes make me ecstatic. Why? because I was envisioning what a nightmare it was going to be for the Officer team to decide upon guild talents and awarding of guild currency across a large, diverse guild. Instead, the idea of rewarding folks for longevity in their guild will still be implemented, but without an accompanying administrative burden on the guild's leadership.

  • Path of the Titans has been scrapped and will not be implemented.
  • Instead Blizzard will focus on improving the glyph system, as they feel it didn't quite hit the intended goals in Wrath.

I know lots of folks are upset about this, but it started to sound like a sidegame grind that would be a must-do rather than an innovative and fun add-on. And it also seemed like it had the potential to be Blizz biting off more than they could chew from a class balancing perspective. I'm excited that Blizz *is* however going to take a look at the glyph system and add in medium glyphs as well as taking a look at some classes who have weak minor glyph selections. Please to be seeing green fire for warlocks and some fun minor glyphs for shadow priests. NOTE: lack of needing reagents for a spell does not equal fun!

  • Archaeology will now help to "dig into the lore of the game" -- essentially being used as a vehicle for storytelling.

I was a little bummed when I initially read this but eventually felt better after reading some blue replies Sunday on the topic. Because, of course, I thought this might mean they were doing away with the promised vanity pets and toys. And I had personally been truly looking forward to having this sort of mini exploration game, with shiny new pets, to tide me over during future lulls.

What I'm Excited About That Also Worries Me

Guild Reputation

  • This is a newly announced feature; players will gain reputation with their guild similar to how other reputations work in the game.
  • As you contribute to the guild by completing quests, killing bosses, winning rated BGs or completing guild achievements, you will gain reputation.
  • The best guild rewards will require having exalted reputation with your guild.
  • Guild reputation is on a per-character basis, so you'll have to gain rep for each character you have in the guild before you can buy rewards with it.

Guild Achievements

  • These will be integral to the reward and level systems. Completing one can unlock rewards as well as give the guild experience.
  • Guild achievements are earned and owned by the guild, so once it has it, it never goes away -- even if all members who participated leave the guild.
  • When viewing a guild achievement it will display the members who participated in earning that achievement.
  • To earn a guild achievement you must have 7 of 10 or 20 of 25 players in the raid be members of your guild.

For me guild reputation and guild achievements are both a can of worms. Why? For a few reason. First, I think it means we are going to see folks who were on their fence about their guild (especially with the uncertainty around what the raiding changes will mean to their guild) may jump ship sooner rather than later. The idea being no one wants to "waste" those precious first few weeks/months of guild achievements in a guild they're not sure about. And not wanting to be the new guy with no guild rep somewhere a few months in to the expansion.

My other concern is guild achievements will become the new item to war over in guild splits. Once they are implemented, I worry that in a case where a guild split seems imminent, you could end up in a situation akin to a messy divorce -- with one angry person with their finger on the hot button kicking out a bunch of players and keeping the guild achievements for themself, and thus starting a blood feud amongst players.

You may think that sounds like crazy talk, but if you've ever been in the midst of a large progressed raiding guild imploding, I can tell you it got nasty back in the day, and that's just when the MC BOEs in the guild's official bank alt's bags were all that was at stake. Personally, I love the spirit that is intended with it -- reward players for sticking with a guild, and make the decision to bounce from guild-to-guild a herder one to make, by meaning folks will lose out on the perks their existing guild has earned.

So this one will go on my wait and see list. I will remain hopeful, and can't wait until BETA is in full swing and we start to see folks poking around with the many new guild-related changes.

What piqued your interest the most in this mega preview?

P.S. And if you haven't taken a look at it yet, check out the new zone preview up on Youtube. Stormwind in particular looks amazing.


Friday Five: Five Ways I'm Handling Pre-Cataclysm Burn-out

Another Friday, another Friday Five topic courtesy of Blog Azeroth, as suggested by @Jaedia...how my guild and I are handling the pre-expansion slump:

  1. Gave myself some new short-term goals. Like earning cash for the eventual worgen. And working on fishing for my hordies whenever the fishing daily is in Dalaran. Bite-sized goals, and little morsels of accomplishment.
  2. Cutting myself some slack. RL is incredibly busy at the moment. Thus, I'm only going to be able to do so much in my limited amount of playtime. So that's how it goes. I want to do more in game, including hard modes. But I also don't want to give work or friends the short end of the stick. And since I try to be a courteous person, I'm not going to sign up for raids I might not be able to make it home in time for due to the inevitable working late that's been happening.
  3. Working on getting alts to 80. I am making the most of every last drop of rested XP on my three 70+s to keep them moving slowly but surely towards 80. I make sure these lowbies do the cooking and fishing dailies and any holiday-related quests too. It's all good XP. And every bit counts at this level.
  4. Cutting back on the guild's raiding schedule. After weeks of watching our fearless 10-man scheduler scrape together runs, and watching some of them not go due to no shows, I broached the topic of killing our official 10 mans other than the Lich King runs or the hard modes. It wasn't an easy decision or one made lightly, but it was eventually what we decided. We went from 30 people or more per week t 14 or 15 signing up each week. It's time had come and gone.
  5. Accepting the slump as cyclical and inevitable. That's right. I gave up fighting and went into acceptance mode. It's Summer. And people are tired of ICC. And ready for the expansion. And there's nothing I or any of the Officers can do to change that. Once the weather turns cold, and the expansion promotion hits a fever pitch, things will pick up. They always do.

That's the whole unvarnished truth. I'e embraced the slump. I shall revel in the slump! I shall slog onward and get through the slump and emerge on the other side with a dozen 80s and conquer the World of Warcraft! Or something like that.

Happy Friday!


In Defense of Civility

Truth be told, much of what annoys me in-game about the behavior of other people boils down to civility. Specifically, a lack thereof. Some examples over the past few years of playing WoW:

  • Having to talk a guildie out of qguitting due to her absolute panic and hysteria over the teenage boy who refused, after being asked multiple times, to stop making dead baby jokes. The woman, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, had also lost a baby a year prior.
  • The men old enough to know better who pepper their vent chat with gender-specific vulgarities whenever fighting a female boss, and don't give the male bosses the same treatment.
  • The self-centered persons who ninja AFK and leave a team of others waiting for them to show back up to complete the dungeon/raid, never apologizing or explaining their absences.
  • The people who constantly ask for help, be it in the form of your time or handouts, who then never reciprocate.
  • The trade chat troll who spent hours at a time, wearing my guild tag, being condescending to and picking fights with the server at large, including other guild members on their unguilded alts.

I'm sure most people have seen some of the above examples during their game time. What they all have in common is a demonstrated lack of civility.

Civility.

n., pl., -ties.

  1. Courteous behavior; politeness.
  2. A courteous act or utterance.

Well-mannered behavior toward others: courteousness, courtesy, genteelness, gentility, mannerliness, politeness, politesse. See courtesy/discourtesy. A courteous act or courteous acts that contribute to smoothness and ease in dealings and social relationships amenity (used in plural), courtesy, pleasantry, politeness, propriety (used in plural). See courtesy/discourtesy.

That's the dictionary.com definition.

As you can see from some of the synonyms, civility seems to be a term better suited for a Merchant Ivory film than a blog about the World of Warcraft. Who cares about civilized discourse and politeness? Surely not anyone who gets behind a keyboard and picks up a pixelated sword, right? Wrong.

Civility Isn't an Antiquated Concept

Do you make plans with your friends and then not show up? And then never say anything to them afterward? Why is this OK if the plans are a raid signup and involving 24 other people?

Is your every day language at work, at home, and in social gatherings towards acquaintances full of expletives and racial slurs, and derogatory remarks against folks with sexual orientations that differ from yours?

Would you walk up to a group of women whose names you know but you in all honesty are not good buddies with, and start making dead baby jokes? And casually toss around a number of gender-specific sexual terms? Would you say these things in front of your sister/significant other/mother?

Why then so often is online chat too often full of all of the above?And why is it that when you approach someone about their lack of civility, you often are chided for trying to suppress their freedom of expression, or called the thought police? When did it become unfashionable -- or even extremist to hear some folks reactions -- to ask for courtesy in people's interactions with each other and expect a civil environment in which to play online?

At their core, many of the posts I've written here have boiled down to looking for the human beings on the other side of the computer screens to stop what they're doing and behave more like they would behave towards others they knew in their non gaming lives. The fact that I'm sitting in guild chat with you doesn't mean I have an expectation and desire for the level of your conversation to stoop well below what it would in your living room.

I'm not advocating for a G rated guild chat at all times, but I am advocating for the return of common sense.

Ways to Demonstrate Civility

  1. Think before you type. In person, rude and insensitive comments can fly out of your mouth before you have time to reflect upon them. Online, you're communicating with other via text. Read back what you are saying to someone before you hit enter. This is a major benefit of text-based communications. Take advantage of it.
  2. Be the better person. I don't care if it was someone else who started in with the crass commentary -- you are not obligated to join them. You have free will and the ability to make a better decision than they did.
  3. Don't be a dick (a.k.a. the DBAD rule.) Don't troll in trade to "light things up." Don't pick on a guildie in Gchat over something they are sensitive about. Don't treat the World of Warcraft as your personal soap box and megaphone, with your fellow players as the captive audience who can't walk away from you.

How to Cope with Others Demonstrating Incivility

  1. Let them know. Don't seethe with anger and lash out once you are past all points of patience. When the bad behavior/unwarranted commentary happens, whisper the person and ask them to knock it off. If it continues, or if it is malicious and directed publicly at another person, politely ask the offender to cease and desist, using the same channel the person is using for their behavior/comments.
  2. Set an example. No, I'm not saying make an example out of the offending person. I mean model the kind of behavior you want to see in other people. Exert peer pressure by being civil in your interactions with others. Even when you disagree.
  3. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt. This is probably the hardest thing to do. And this is also why obscenity laws vary from state-to-state: what offends me or goes against my community's standards of acceptable behavior may not align with what offends you or what offends your community's standards of behavior.

As much as it boggles my mind at some of the comments and behavior people I don't know but am thrown together with over the Internet say and do, I can suspend my disbelief and think that there may in fact be a time and a place wherein they are within social norms and boundaries that favor them and not me. That said, however, the online space is neither my place nor their space -- it is a new shared space wherein we have to compromise and come to a workable and tolerable environment for all of us.

When All Else Fails

And for those die hards who refuse to modify their behavior in the face of guildie requests for a kinder gentler place online, you may do well to direct them to the Terms of Service for the game, which state:

Rules Related to "Chat" and Interaction With Other Users. Communicating in-game with other Users and Blizzard representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of the Game and the Service and is referred to here as "Chat." When engaging in Chat, you may not:

(i) Transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard, is deemed to be offensive, including without limitation content or language that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable

Safe travels, adventurers.


How to Get Entered into the Cataclysm BETA Guild Contest

Surely by now you've seen the announcement? Blizzard is looking for "a handful of guilds to join us in the beta test process." I know seeing it made me giddy.  But I'm not jumping in, because I'm not eligible, unless I recruit some of you to join my bank alt guild.

Who's Not Eligible

Me. Why? I don't meet the first criteria: I'm not a guild master in a guild with 10 or more members. And a lot of the folks I saw saying they were super excited to enter aren't either. And then there's the residency clause - some states have rules that make them less contest-friendly. Thus, residents of North Dakota, Vermont, Connecticut or Maryland, you are not eligible to participate.

If you're dying to enter and you're a resident of those states, and have been considering abdicating your power to someone else, remember us Californians are always a good pick -- after all, Hollywood is the land of game shows giving all and sundry fabulous! prizes!

Cough.

What You Need to Submit to Blizzard

This is a standard write an essay to win contest. Blizzard wants you to email blizzardcontest@blizzard.com with 50-250 words (i.e. more than a Yelp listing but less than a college essay) about why you think your guild would be the "perfect candidates for testing the limits of Cataclysm's content and systems"

Content-wise, you want to convince them that your guild would be active in a BETA, has folks with varying interests and playstyles and operating systems. After all, many of the changes in store for Cataclysm revolve around a new guild interface, and with new guild-based achievements. To test them out fully, they need to have teams of folks who will actually get into the BETA play and *do stuff*.

So, if your guild is all on hiatus at the moment, and would rather be boiled in hot oil than try out anything that has the potential to be buggy, or wouldn't dream of submitting a bug report to Blizzard, you may want to think twice about entering.

What You'll Win

Contest rules state they'll be picking 100 winning submissions from eligible participants each week for five weeks,  Monday, June 7th through Monday, July 12th. That's 500 guilds who'll have the chance. Well, 10 members each of 500 guilds.

The limited number of BETA keys means if you have 100+ active members, you'll want to think long and hard about what your distribution system will be. Officers first then an essay or other contest for the remaining slots perhaps? Duels in front of the capital city of your choice? First person to collect 10 murloc heads? It's up to you. But you'll want to know how you're going to pass them out *before* your guild's announced as a winner.

Hot to Make Your Submission Stand Out

Now, Blizzard's contest gives you a lot of leeway to be creative, if not a lot of word count. Those 50-250 words can be in the form of a song, or a poem. It can be a parody of something else. It can be in-character RP. Think about what would reflect the nature of your guild. And I didn't read anywhere that you couldn't have an illustrated accompaniment, though I am not sure they'd be too excited about file attachments.

Have fun with your submission and good luck! Crossing my finger that myself and many of my favorite folks in the blogosphere will get in some time to kick the tires in BETA.

Cheers!

P.S. Details above pertain to the United States version of the contest. I've seen information floating around about contests for other locales. Check your country or region's official forums for details.


There Go My Blizzcon Dreams...

  ScreenShot_060410_225446

This year, Blizzcon falls during my sabbatical. Which meant attending Blizzcon was finally possible (we are usually really busy at work during Blizzcon) and would have been a great excuse to visit friends in Southern California to boot.

But it was not meant to be.

Wednesday night, I was 4250 or so in queue, and got the sold out page when I hit the 500 mark in line. Today? 8500 or so in queue.

*sniffle*

I was looking forward to having a chance to meet up with some of my favorite WoW tweeps and bloggers. And to participate in a celebration of the game that I love and have been playing for 4 1/2 years now (!) Oh well. At least we gave it a good try.

Tempting to head down there that weekend anyhow, since it would be a great chance to meet folks, but not sure it would be super fun to hear about what a great time everyone else had at the Con when I couldn't actually attend, ya know? Might try to see if folks are coming out a few days before and plan a meetup then. Or something.

Also, I hope those eBay scalpers enjoy being reported by my more vigilante tweeps!

Now, back to leveling the DK's mining! She's almost to 300 now (in a late burst of speed the iMac made it back to me last night). I refuse to take her to Outland until she can mine the Fel Iron. RAWR!


Friday Five: 5 Things I Accomplished with 5 FPS

Since I am still without my super awesome desktop computer, I bring you today's Friday Five, on the things I have managed to accomplish on my rickety old laptop, with its 5 FPS...

  1. I got my new DK out of the starting area. I know this doesn't sound like much to those of you with a whole army of alts, but have I mentioned here lately how I made a gnome DK on the day Wrath came out? And how she's still in the DK starting area? I blame the quest where you have to beat the living daylights out of those Scarlets for information...
  2. I got the DK's skinning to 300 and Mining to 254. She'll have her professions Outland-ready by the time before I get my computer back. And she's made a tidy pile of cash for my future Alliance alts on the new server.
  3. I braved the yellow to red latency and the low FPS to finish the last couple of pre-Wrathgate quests my gnome mage had. All because I wanted to go visit Bolvar. *sniffle* WTB more phased/instanced content like the Battle for Undercity. That was blissfully lag-free.
  4. Re-organized my bank alt guild's tab content, including throwing out some items I don't think I'll be needing for Cataclysm. It's a fine line between holding on to items for my future goblin hunter and having my bank be too full of crap that Cataclysm will render obsolete and worthless. See also why I've sold all my mithril casings. And yes, as @Shieldbreakr noted last week, I am obsessed with having an orderly bank!
  5. Survived what would have been tough WoW-withdrawl. Even with all there is to do here, especially on the days with the gorgeous weather, I do enjoy winding down my evening with some WoW time. I would have been bummed out to have been completely WoW-free for this past busy week. I cheered on my 25-man raid team from the sofa last night. Sad to not be in there with them, but happy to see that they

P.S. Achievement #1 is due entirely to the support of Psynister. Huzzah!


WoW Lite

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I've been playing the Starcraft 2 BETA for the past few weeks, and had seen warnings that some Macs were overheating from playing it. But having never had that as an issue, despite playing with high graphics settings and even recording a few movies in game here and there, I didn't pay much attention. That is, not until my screen tore like the matrix had opened up on it.

The diagnosis from the Genius Bar, when I took the computer in last week, was my graphics card is fried. That's right -- coming up on the eve of a long weekend, and my gaming machine was toast. So i did what anyone would do, after sulking for an evening of no computer -- I dug out my old laptop, which I'd gamed on from vanilla through BC, and started downloading patches. Patches for WoW, for firefox, for everything.

By Saturday, I was ready to see how it handled WotLK. As you can see above, I flew my gnome out to see Bolvar. Notice how much lower resolution this screenshot is compared to my usual ones. What you can't see there is the 5 FPS and the yellow lag. I hearthed her to Dalaran...and had 1 FPS before lagging out.

Undettered, I hatched a new plan: I would roll anew DK. Their starting area was phased so perhaps the FPS and lag issues would be less horrible there. And thus I rolled myself a new DK, and enrolled in Psynister's Deathknight Academy for Wayward Casters. My objectives were threefold: 1) get over my fear of melee 2) Create a toon to financially support my future worgen hunter and 3) keep myself from WoW withdrawl.

So far, I have met objectives 1 and 2 pretty well, with #3 only so-so, because my FPS issues out in the real world (including up to a 38k lag bomb that DCd me) mean that after I got out of the starting area I have mostly worked on getting her gathering skills up to Outlounds levels while chatting with the fabulous tweeps (@Psynister @Wowcynwise @fynralyl) on the server. But that nicely supports the building a financial base for the future hunter, so that's a good thing.

I hope to have my computer back soon, and not miss out on Thursday's 25-man ICC, but we'll see what happens. And I think the moral to this story is: when the world hands you lemons, go roll an alt. Or something.