Melon Collie

I have been doing a good bit of thinking lately.

Yes, I know, I always start with that.

Guess what? so does everyone else, even if they don’t mention it. No thought = no post, simple as that.

Why do I always mention it?

I’ll get back to you on that one, right after I figure it out for myself.

Warning: Looking back at what I have written it does come off a little like I am simply whining and bitching. Well, I can do that if I want, it’s my blog. Just be advised my sense of humor is on vacation, it’s part is being played by a dark cloud of grumpiness. Read ahead if you like… you have been warned.

  

Anyhow, I have been thinking about where I sit in the game right now.  Not so much the fact that my priest is parked in Dalaran for instance, I mean how the game fits in with my life at the moment.

I have a lot of fun playing Wow, I truly do. I enjoy talking to the friends I have made there, I love running instances, I even love leveling alts. The issue I have come up with is that the game is crushingly boring at the moment. It seems that all the things I want to do are not going particularly well, leaving me only with grinds to do.

Now it may just be coming from the fact that many of the features that are slated for 3.3 and/or Cataclysm are things I really look forward to. The new Looking For Group feature is one in particular. Another is leveling a Druid and not having it be a night elf. I have a baby druid I am leveling up to 20 at the moment, and I am having fun doing it.

It may be that I have been leveling Mining on my Troll Hunter lately, and endlessly running in circles about the old world looking for Mithril has taken a bit of a toll on my enjoyment level. I know right now I would be glad to see Deathwing come smash the Hinterlands. I am that tired of seeing it.

Maybe if I log in later I will do my laps clockwise for a change of scenery.

 

Perhaps it has to do with the way the daily hub is set up. I really, really, really hate jousting. Some people love it, I am not one of them. I don’t like mounted combat, whether it is in the air or on the ground. I have a ton of Champions Seals on two different characters right now and can’t even use them, can’t talk to the vendor.

Some say “just keep at it and you’ll get good at jousting.”

Well, I don’t plan to do something I hate until I get good at it. All I will have accomplished is making myself despise it more.  There is a reason I leveled Inscription on two characters, I did not want to deal with the Sons of Hodir again either. Once was more than enough.

 

When it comes to getting groups lately I have actually been really lucky. Most of the times I actually had the time to run an instance I popped into guild chat and found a group in short order. The is not to say I am not looking forward to being able to pop online at three in the morning and have a group for a random heroic available.

I suppose part of it could be not really chatting with many people Horde side. Then again I am the guild leader of my own banker guild, that kinda puts the brakes on looking for a more social one. That and the fact that I don’t intend to move Horde side, I simply want to catch my Troll up to my others. It would not really be fair to even a social guild to join and then rarely be there to… you know… be social.

I will admit I am looking forward to pugging with him once I hit 80 though. I might even start giving TOC a try at 75ish.

 

I am sure that the most of this will pass once I grind my way through the next 120 points of Mining to get to 350. Once that happens I can get back to questing my way thru Northrend and seeing things from the Horde side of the fence. Grinding out one thing after another is just starting to get old though. I can guarantee you he will be sporting Aldor shoulder enchants for a long time.

 

Perhaps I need to just step away for a while. Maybe it would help.

Right now I am seriously thinking about taking a (perhaps permanent) break from Wow.

There is a lot I would like to see and do, there just seems to be a wall of grinding between me and the fun I want to have. A wall I am getting tired of bashing my head into.

We shall see how it goes over the next few days, after all I am paid thru the 15th.

Maybe it’s just the weather.

My Priests Christmas list of purple pixels

Last night I did something on my priest I rarely get to do.

I healed.

I healed not for a random group of keyboard turning, face rolling, fire standing idiots, but for a group of guildies that were having fun. Wether we wiped or not (preferably not) the whole group stayed upbeat and cheerful, even joking around as we rebuffed.

There was no finger pointing at all. Discussion about what we could do differently, yes. Bitching, no. (or at least was done with the mic off if it happened.)

It was the first time in a while that I remembered why I actually enjoy healing.

The only thing I did not like was seeing people go down faster than I could keep up.

Was the fact that we were running TOC (normal) with two of our DPS  not yet 80 a factor?

Possibly, but it is a 75+ instance. It should be doable, particularly with an 80 healer and tank.

I got to thinking this morning (sitting in a quiet office drinking coffee waiting for something to break will do that to you.) I got to thinking how I could improve myself to make runs more smooth for those whose lives are in my hands. I thought of two things I can work on.

Experience is one. I am rusty, and it showed last night. More than once I had to think about what heal to throw. That kind of thing used to just happen. I would be watching the health bars and would just be hitting the right buttons at the right time. That was missing a bit last night, although I started getting the rhythm back by the end of the second run.

The folks I ran with (did I mention they were awesome yet?) told me I did fine… but I know better. Like anything else a person doesn’t do frequently I was just a bit slow. I was a half step behind playing catch-up.

The only thing I can do about that is heal more often. Practice is the only cure for being rusty.

The second thing I can do some work on is my gear. Most of my healing set is crafted stuff I picked up when I hit 80, along with a few odds and ends I got from Naxx pugs and heroics. Lots and lots of shiny new loot has been added to the game since then.  So I sat down this morning and worked up a shopping list of sorts.

Gear I could get without running a raid instance that would be an improvement over my existing kit. I found that with a very few exceptions there is gear out there that will make my job a lot easier.

Now, being the list loving blogger that I am I decided to convert the chicken scratch in a tattered old notebook into a post. Now here is how I chose what I was putting down.

Everything listed in order of preference

Anything that has a duplicate the badge cost of something listed as better will be excluded

Everything has to be available through Crafting, Vendors, Questing, Badges, or 5 player instances.

The numbers in front of everything is more a note to me than anything else, it is the difference between what I am using now and the item in question. All figured using the Wowhead default setting for a holy specced healing priest. 

The few places where I had no real upgrade outside raiding  I went ahead and listed a few similar items to what I have that would fit the list. I know some folks might use this as reference. I also included what I am using in every slot at the moment.

See something I am overlooking? By all means let me know.

Back:

0.85 Cloak of Kea Feathers  (Valor - 25)

0.09 Whispcloak  (Tailoring BOE)

Currently wearing Kurisu’s Indiscision  (TOC heroic)

Chest:

3.51 Valens Robe of Triumph  (Triumph – 75)

3.10 Royal Moonshroud Robe  (Tailoring BOE)

1.99 Valens Robe of Conquest  (Triumph – 50)

0.70 Embrace of Madness  (TOC heroic)

Currently wearing Robes of Mutation  (Naxx)

Feet:

Currently wearing  Serene Echoes  (Naxx drop)

 -0.05 Saviors Slippers  (Tailoring BOE)

-0.22 Slippers of the Holy Light  (Valor – 40)

Rings:

2.50 Etched Loop of the Kirin Tor  (vendor, but a bit expensive)

1.51 Renewel of Life  (Valor – 25)

1.39 Band of Channeled Magic   (Valor – 25)

Currently rearing 1.02 Wicked Witches Band (Headless Horseman)

Currently wearing 0.00 The Horsemans Seal (Headless Horseman)

Hands:

2.78 Valens Gloves of Triumph  (Triumph – 45)

1.68 Valens Gloves of Conquest  (Triumph – 30)

1.55 Touch of the Occult  (Conquest – 28)

Currently wearing Spellweave Gloves  (tailoring BOE)

Head:

5.59 Helm of Clouded Sight  (Triumph – 75)

4.01 Valens Cowl of Conquest  (Triumph – 50)

1.39 Gaze of the Unknown  (TOC heroic)

0.88 Elder Headpeice  (An’kahet heroic)

Currently wearing Deadly Gladiators Mooncloth Hood  (I had the honor to spare, and no luck with drops)

Legs:

4.82 Valens Leggings of Triumph  (Triumph – 75)

3.35 Valens Leggings of Conquest  (Triumph – 50)

2.75 Legwraps of the Master Conjurer  (Conquest 39)

Currently wearing Cyanigosa’s Leggings  (Violet Hold heroic)

Weapon:

4.06 Mariel’s Sorrow  (TOC heroic)

3.07 Spectral Kris  (TOC heroic)

0.96 Warmace of Unrequited Love  (Nexus heroic)

0.82 Dagger of Lunar Purity  (TOC Heroic)

Currently using Titansteel Guardian  (Blacksmithing  BOE)

Neck:

2.25 Frozen Tear of Elune  (Conquest – 19)

1.70 Symbol of Redemption  (TOC heroic)

Currently using Titanium Spellshock Necklace  (Jewelcrafting BOE)

Off hand:

Currently using Urn of Lost Memories  (Naxx)

-0.11 Faces of Doom  (Inscription BOE)

Ranged:

0.17 Wand of An’kahet  (An’kahet heroic)

Currently using Rod of the Fallen Monarch  (Azjol-Nerub heroic)

Shoulder:

2.56 Valens Shoulderpade of Triumph  (Triumph – 45)

1.51 Valens Shoulderpade of Conquest  (Triumph – 30)

Currently using Valorus Shoulderpads of Faith  (Naxx)

Trinkets:

1.56 Talisman of Resurgance  (Triumph – 50)

0.20 Je’tze’s Bell  (BOE world drop)

0.12 Darkmoon card Greatness  - (Quest – Darkmoon Faire)

0.00 Currently using Darkmoon card Illusion (Quest-Darkmoon Faire)

-0. 07 Egg of Mortal Esscence  (Heroisim – 40)

-0.11 Tears of the Vanquished  (TOC normal)

Currently using Mender of the Coming Dawn (Quest reward)

Waist:

2.30 Sash of Potent Incantations  (Conquest – 28)

1.57 Cord of the White Dawn  (Tailoring BOE)

0.45 The Confessors Binding  (TOC normal)

Currently using Sash of Jordan  (BOE world drop, oddly enough it actually dropped for me while leveling)

Wrist:

1.72 Royal Moonshroud Bracers  (Tailoring BOE)

1.14 Bejeweled Wizards Bracers (Tailoring BOE)

Currently using Bindings of Yearning  (Naxx)

Wow what a sale

Dear readers,

I just noticed a little something interesting.

Starting today (11/27/09) and going thru Sunday (11/29) the original World of Warcraft game will be on sale thru the Blizzard store as a digital download for a mere five dollars. Apparently hard copies will be similarly priced this weekend at retail stores also.

My roving reporter/price checker lovely wife who is out shopping at oh dark thirty this black friday morning also tells me that the World of Warcraft battle chest (original game+Burning Crusade+near useless guide book) is going for twenty. Then again, that may be a local sale at one store only, I can’t confirm anything right now on the battle chest.

Been thinking about using Refer-a-friend to multi box your way to 60?

I know I have. I simply never got around to it.

Will I do it now?

Possibly.

Have a friend that you have been trying to talk into Wow for ever?

Drop five bucks and get them the first month and first sixty levels.

I know of a dad who is planning to buy accounts for his sons this Christmas. They have been using his and/or his wifes accounts up till now, but with both parents and three sons all playing they can field five mans in-house.

Am I recommending it to you?

No, not particularly. I just give information, what you do with it is entirely up to you.

I am just pointing it out to you, my wonderful readers, the same way I might point out an ad in the sunday sales flyer to a friend. This just happens to be the way I talk to you, as opposed to over a cup of coffee at the local Waffle House.

Enjoy the weekend,

-Dechion

This post brought to you be the fact that I would rather gouge out my eyes with a spork that go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. My wife calls it Black Friday and looks forward to it for weeks. I call it National Asshat day. I am a firm believer that trade chat will be quiet at the moment, and all pugs will run like clockwork. All the asshats are already busy.

Not all the shoppers this morning are asshats, but most of the asshats will be there.

That by itself is enough to keep me at home.

Well, at least its not a gear list.

Showing a surprising lack of judgment I was invited to go hang out with the wonderful folks that make up the Sidhe Devils Gone Wild podcast. I would say they had never heard me talking before, but there is always Vent. They should have known better…

Anyhow, It was a blast. If you haven’t heard it yet you really should go check it out. I had a blast making it and got a good laugh listening to it this morning. Even though I already knew what was going to happen.

Go ahead…. go listen. I’ll still be here when you get back.

Assuming you come back after hearing me babble like a clueless noob.

Nothing to do with todays post, I just found this hilarious. I should cook mine like this tomorrow.

Oh, wow. Your back.

Either you didn’t go listen or you’re a real glutton for punishment.

 

Um… Well I didn’t really expect anyone to come back, so I guess I’ll try to throw a post together right quick.

Ooo… I know I’ll do a gear list, those are always fun.

Then again, with 3.3 dropping any day now it would be kinda pointless.

 

How about a rant? Rants are always fun.

Then again, the only thing that has ticked me off lately is getting to 39/40 turkeys for the Turkinator achievement three separate times and missing out on the last one every time. Annoying and bothersome yes, worthy of it’s very own post? Not so much.

 

I could try to drum up some interest in my non-Wow blog, perhaps by linking the post about how I found a needle that had gone missing in my house, and the hilarity that ensued . Then again, no one wants to read about that. This is supposed to be a WoW blog afterall.  

 

Well, I suppose I could just send out a happy Thanksgiving to everyone, both in-game and out.

Yep. we’ll go with that.

The great Retcon

When I first got the game and began leveling up I remember distinctly being told that the game began at 60. Raiding was where it was at, everything else was merely hurdles to overcome to get there.

Obstacles placed in the way by the games designers so that only the worthy would persevere through it all.

Raiding was the real game, everything else just got in its way.

I bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

 

I started that day looking at all the zones and quests starry-eyed, filled with wonder, like I was part of a story that was ongoing. I was happy to be where I was, discovering things as I went.

Once I bought into the game starting at the level cap that all went away.

Leveling up was no longer fun, it was an obstacle in my way. Less a lore filled joy to experience and more something to simply get through as efficiently as possible. So I turned on instant quest text, grabbed some addons, and started smashing my way through.

 

I no longer looked at each quest, I didn’t have to.

The arrow told me where to run.

The mousover told me what to kill.

The sparkles told me what to gather.

Then the arrow told me where to go turn it in.

It was fast, efficient, and boring as hell.

No one likes doing chores, and that is exactly what leveling had become.

I look back on it now and realize I was wrong.

 

The game does not begin at the level cap. The game begins at the character creation screen.

I would hazard a guess and say that 95% of the content of the game has to do with something other than the level cap.

There are stories out there, great stories, just waiting for me to be a part of them.

Unfortunately I already did them, blazing through with quests unread, just following the arrow under my feet.

I didn’t just kill critters as I quested away, I killed a huge chunk of the game for myself.

 

That’s why I am so looking forward to Cataclysm, it is going to give us something people only dream about in real life.

A fresh start.

A chance to live out the dream of  “If only I had known then what I know now.”

 

Cataclysm is going to be just that, for me at least.

I plan to roll a shiny new character, currently planning on a druid, and turning off all the helpers.

I will read the quests and follow the story where it leads me.

I am not even going to spoil the new areas by blowing through them to get to 85. With the new Looking for Group tool I can instance my way through those five levels on my level 80′s without ever leaving town.

Most of all I will keep in mind that leveling is not a chore to be done, nor is it an anchor holding me back.

It’s 95% of the game, and I plan to have fun with it.

Looks like it will be close.

A long time ago, back when dinasaurs still roamed the streets of Orgrimmar I wrote something down. Predictions for the future of Wow.

Ok, so it was not that long ago. It was August 24th, just under three months ago, but there were devilsaurs in Org so it counts.

Anyhoo, I wrote this as Blizzcon was dropping info on us like bombs from a spacecraft.

Here are my thoughts on release dates and why I think what I do. Granted these are all just guesses on my part.

Patch 3.3.0 will go live on December 8th. Just far enough ahead of the Christmas shopping season to give a bit of a nudge to the purchase of game cards as gifts. It will also put fresh content on the table right about the time other games might be found under the tree.

Cataclysm PTR will go up in late March. Pretty much whenever it’s ready.

Patch 3.3.* will be a pre-Cataclysm patch. Some new content, although not much. It will get a lot of the new art into the files and put things in motion for the world event. I also think paid faction changes to become available at this point. This will save a lot on the resources needed for launch day. I expect that to go live on or about April 13th.

Cataclysm (4.0) will ship on May 20th. This would time it just as summer will be starting and school will be ending. It will be just before a holiday weekend (in the US at least). The timing would be good towards getting folks to stick around during the summer a bit more than they have in the past.

I could be totally wrong about all this, but I called the release date of Wrath within a week of being right several months out.

 

 

 Well, now we sit a mere 19 days from the time I figured 3.3.0 would go live. Faction changes are already a part of the game, so I was certainly wrong about that. The rest though is still up in the air.

Oddly enough my background downloader started streaming a 400+ meg file yesterday. 

Last time that happened 3.2.0 dropped just over two weeks later.

I wonder if I’ll end up being right?

 

Why did I not see this before?

 A thought came to mind last night as a group of guildies and I were finishing up heroic ToC. We had two DK’s with us and were remarking on how much easier The Black Knight phase two was with two armies plus our two ghouls fighting the adds.

We even wondered at the possibility of speccing five DK’s into tanking builds that generated a lot of self-healing and trying to run instances with only that. It was only speculation mind you, but it got me to thinking about the differences between the pure Dps classes and the hybrids.

There has been a lot of going back and forth about just how equal hybrid classes should be Dps wise to pure Dps classes. Now, before anyone gets their panties in a wad and starts telling me I have no idea what the hell I am talking about keep in mind a few things.

  1. I am not taking sides in this, merely making observations about the game as a whole.
  2. My three primary characters are a Hunter (pure Dps), a Priest (Holy/Shadow hybrid), and a Death Knight (Dps currently, gathering a tanking set). I see this from all three sides.
  3. I am curious where things will go with this, not angry.

Ok, we all know that there are three roles in any instance, Tanking, Healing, and Dpsing. Those are a given.

Once upon a time there were five things to consider when building a group. You needed a tank, you needed heals, and you needed three Dps just like now. Then again, this was before the great homogenizing of 3.0 and Wrath.

Back before these times we live in now there were two other things that one looked at when building a group.

Class Specific Buffs.

Players were selected for the buffs they brought. They made classes special. You want Fort? Bring a priest. You want Mark of the Wild? Bring a Druid. You get the idea. This was not restricted to any one class, everyone had something to bring to the party.

Kind of like when everyone shows up at the beach party and pours a bottle of something alcoholic into the cooler full of  Hawaiian Punch. You never really know what you’re going to end up with, but it will certainly get the job done.

With the advent of spread the buffs around to every class that is no longer the case. 

Ok, there a re a few exceptions like Heroisim/Bloodlust from Shaman and the Druids battle rez. For the most part though the buffs are spread out well.

Buffs are only part of what once made the pure Dps stand out. Think of one thing that the four of them (Warlock, Mage, Hunter, and Rogue) have in common. Something that the hybrid classes either lack or are not nearly as good at.

Go ahead, name a few things.

I’ll tell you what pops to mind for me.

Crowd Control. 

Once upon a time pure Dps brought the four most versatile types of crowd control to the table. Yes, I know Priests can shackle undead. I think that was actually useful back in Karazhan, for some horses and one boss fight.

Now the buffs spread out and the Dps output from most Dps specs (hybrid or pure) is roughly equal. The only thing I see that could make a pure Dps’r stand out is how great they are at crowd control.

Oh, wait. There is no such thing any more.

Crowd control is now called AOE tanking.

There is nothing left for a pure Dps’r to do, no skill to develop beyond “Don’t stand in the fire, hit your spells as they come off cooldown.”

I guess after writing this I do have a opinion after all. I truly hope things change in Cataclysm, but if I had to suggest a class to someone who is just starting…

I’d tell them to roll a Hybrid, probably a Druid.

Why bring a single tool when you can have the whole toolbox for the same price?

Now me on the other hand, I this weekend the latest addition to Team Dechion made level 15. I am having a blast on my behbe Rogue.

I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the box, but most would agree that I can be a tool.

Oh, and back to the five DK instance. Can you imagine the mayhem on a boss fight when we pulled out five armies of the dead at the same time?

That would be a sight to see.

Today is the day

A last heads up for my wonderful readers. The Raid for the Cure event is now just hours away.

We will be starting at 2pm server time (which happens to be US Central time), and walking for a bit over an hour.

Come, join in the fun! After all, you wouldn’t want Dekado to get all dressed up in his best pink tabard for nothing would you?

See you there!

More details on the walk itself can be found on Big Bear Butt’s site HERE, and details of how to set up the chat channel for the event can be found (once again on BBB’s site) HERE.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Chores

This morning I was doing some thinking…

You can stop laughing any time, honest.

As I was saying, I was doing a bit of thinking today about this wonderful game we all play.

Be advised, this post is largely the ramblings of a tired and somewhat cranky individual. Feel free to mark as read and move along.

I, along with many others from what I have been reading, am suffering from a bit of a funk within the game. As I sat here this morning thinking about the book I am attempting to write for NaNoWriMo something hit me.

A similarity between the two.

This month I took something I love to do for fun, writing, and by placing goals and check points on it essentially turned it into a job. I am discovering a lot about myself by doing the project, and that is the real goal. However, I am paying very close attention to my attitude towards writing.

If I get to the point where I don’t want to sit down and create anymore, if it starts to feel more like taking out the trash than a relaxing thing I do for fun, I am pulling the plug.

How is that in any way similar to Wow you ask?

Simple.

I have limited playtime, so what I have been doing is basically a priority list.

  1. Check my banker / AH toons to see if it’s time to scan or craft more glyphs. If it is,  then scan, craft, and post.
  2. Check cooldowns on Inscription reasearch and Alchemy transmutes, use if they are up.
  3. Do the Jewelcrafting daily if not done yet.
  4. Farm Mageweave. (EDIT: It occured to me that some might take this the wrong way. I am farming Mageweave, and later Netherweave, to level tailoring on my priest once 3.3 goes live. The Mageweave I have farmed up for the Raid for the Cure event is completely seperate from this.)
  5. Check time on Wintergrasp, do it for the stonekeeper shards once a week per level 80. (for the gearing of my upcoming Worgen Druid with BOA’s, should be done in 2-3 more weeks)
  6. Run a heroic if I have the time (and a group just happens to be forming)
  7. Stand in Dalaran and chat with guildies.
  8. If all else fails level fishing/cooking on yet another character.

It used to be that I would simply hop on an alt and happily level it up. Now I find myself playing a waiting game.

Waiting for Blizz to put forth the features they mentioned.

The new LFG tool will be excellent for those times I have just enough time to run something but there is not a group forming at the moment. I am looking forward to that.

As soon as they announced the future ability to send BOA’s cross faction I immediately lost all interest in leveling my Horde side Hunter until I can send him a Tome of Cold Weather Flight. There he sits in Dalaran patiently letting the Auction House pay him to level Inscription. After all, he will sit there for a while I think.

Alliance side I am down to one alt that needs some more leveling before getting parked until Cataclysm. My level 19 Shaman will get to 20, and then wait for the rest of the group. Myself, my mother in law, and two of my kids, are going to level a group solo to 20. We will then level up those alts only through instances, and only with each other.

I already have my Priest, Hunter, and Death Knight to 80. They are done gearing up outside of instances.

My Shaman, as I said, is waiting for the rest to catch up. Since at least two of them will be rolling Worgen that plan is on hold.

With one character simply holding a name for my upcoming Druid and three others being Banker or AH toons I have no plans to level any of them.

It boils down to this:  Wow, at least for me, is in a holding pattern.

What does that have to do with writing you ask?

Simple. 

Logging in to Wow is starting to feel more and more like taking out the trash. More a list of chores to do than something I log in and do for the fun of it. 

Lately I have been more about preparing for the future and less about having fun now.

I do have one character slot still open, perhaps it’s time to lose myself in an alt for a while.

I would have to start a new one.

I wonder what I should roll.

Thanks

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the guns fell silent across europe. The Great War, or World War One as we were to later call it, had come to a close.

It was decided to mark that date as a reminder of the sacrifices of those who served their country. Today is the ninety first anniversary of that day. In the United States it is called Veterans Day.In other parts of the world it is known as Armistice day or Remembrance day, but the reasons for the day remain the same.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the people, whatever their nationality, who have taken it upon themselves to defend their country, whichever it may be.

In donning the uniform and doing your job you have earned my respect.Even if the most dangerous thing you ever did was to fight off the crushing boredom of waiting for a battle that never came.

Thank you.

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