Do we fix it if it’s broken? (secret santa post)

I managed somehow to luck out in this years Secret Santa and end up with Anslym from Bagoverflow writing this awesome guest post. I wish I had put together something half as nice for Brajana over at Mend Pet.

Ah well, i’ll have to do better next year. 

Anyhow, without further delay i’ll let you get to reading. Just don’t forget to go check out his site when you are done.

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The old saying goes, “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.” With Cataclysm in full swing we know what random heroics are like. People are still in the Wrath of the Lich King mindset where it’s AoE pulling with Tank N’ Spank bosses. We are fully aware that this doesn’t work with the new instances. Mana is an issue for healers. Tanks need to be on top of everything. And DPS need to be more situationally aware instead of being on top of Recount.

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But the main question is do we help them when they’re down? I’m going to admit that I may not have been as helpful as I could have been. I was in a Throne of Tides heroic last night and we wiped on the first pull (The healers in there are bitches). We moved on and before the first boss the tank left. We blamed it on being squishy. I went along with him being squishy instead of actually helping them. Although he was the kind to bite your head off if help was offered to him, but if I wasn’t worried about my ego, I could have gotten to him and maybe have helped him. I wasn’t sure of the mechanic’s behind his class (warrior) but I could have asked him about his knowledge about the instance and worked out some kind of strategy to help us get through the heroic.

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If you go to the Blizzard forums or even the MMO-champion forums it is right in front of us. There are people out there that aren’t getting it. Sure we could leave them to the grinding stone and let that smooth them out. Instead of whining about the healers being bad and it takes soooooo long to que because of the lack of healers; pull them out from under the grinding stone because it could take weeks or months for them to get it. If you help them for even an hour to figure out there class it could be 2 weeks off from their class learning time.

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This also works in reverse. If you haven’t healed on your priest since Vanilla, ASK SOMEONE. Trust that it’s not easier to admit not knowing your class as well as you some others do, but it’s a lot easier than going into a random and being bullied upon for being a noob, newb, scrub, fail, or some other derogatory term. Just because it’s through Azeroth doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt just as bad.

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Today I take a stand; I will forfeit my spot as part of the problem. I will ask others if they’re ok running this heroic. I will fix it if it’s broken, or if it’s just not working as intended.

-Anslym

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You know, reading this got me to thinking. Generally this is not the best idea for me before I have had enough coffee.

Such is life I suppose.

Anyhow, I am thinking that this weekend I will shake the dust off my Druid, respec him Resto, and give healing another shot.

In normals mind you, I am not going to try relearning my class in heroics.

Thanks for the post Anslym, and thanks for reading folks.

~Dech

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Happy Holidays, with a side of Pulled Pork

Good Morning folks,

I just figured I would drop by and say happy holidays to you all, whether you are currently celebrating anything or not.

For nearly the last three years (has it really been that long already?) I have been posting things here. When I started it seemed like I was sitting at the keyboard talking to myself, but I soon realised that was not the case. People stop by, they may comment, they may not, but they stop in and hear what I have to say.

I was not talking to myself after all.

Anyhow, as much as I would love to get each and every one of my readers something for the holidays it’s a bit beyond my ability to do so. At least I can’t get you anything in a material sense.

All I can offer is a thank you for stopping by, you folks make all the writing worthwhile.

Actually there is one more thing I can offer.

I can give you a recipe for some seriously yummy sammiches.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

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Dech’s Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sammiches

Man, I love me some pulled pork sammiches. Just typing this up is going to make me want to go home and cook a batch. As a matter of fact, since I needed pictures for the post I decided to make up a batch and take it to work for everyone to enjoy.

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The Meat

4 pound pork roast (I like a shoulder roast for this one)

Buy it, put it in the fridge, and get cracking on the other stuff. Don’t’ worry, we’ll get back to it. Whatever you do don’t trim the fat off of it, we need it for flavor. The trimming will come later.

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The Rub

1          tablespoon mild paprika (smoked paprika works as well)
1 1/2  teaspoons of hot paprika. (smoked works ok here too)
2          teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2     teaspoon celery salt
1/2     teaspoon garlic salt
1/2     teaspoon dry mustard
1/2     teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2     teaspoon onion powder
1/4     teaspoon salt (I like sea or kosher for this. Table salt will work in a pinch)

Mix the rub ingredients in a small bowl until blended.

If you like you can scale up the recipe and make a good-sized batch of this, simply store in a mason jar with “Dechs BBQ Rub” written on it with a magic marker.

Actually if you are going to go with the Mason jar idea, make enough to fill it about half way up and then just shake the heck out of it. No need to dirty a bowl. Also, a second lid with holes popped into it makes an excellent shaker for the rub; just remember to put the sealed cap back on for storage.

Now we are going to grab the pork roast out of the fridge, rub this generously on all sides, wrap in aluminum foil (shiny side in) and put it back in the fridge. Leave it at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. I rubbed this one down on a Sunday evening for cooking Tuesday.


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The Sauce

We simply have to  have sauce, what’s BBQ without sauce? Overcooked meat?

1            cups apple cider vinegar
2/3       cups water
1/3       cup ketchup (I prefer store brand for this)
1/4       cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2    teaspoons salt (once again, I prefer sea salt or kosher salt here)
2            teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 /2       teaspoon ground black pepper
1 /2       teaspoon ground white pepper (if you don’t have it just sub in more black pepper instead)
1             tablespoon liquid smoke

Making the sauce is simple. Put it all in a pan on the stove under low heat and whisk till the brown sugar and salt have dissolved.

Once again making extra is easy; just make sure you store it in a proper container. Once again, a mason jar with “Dechs BBQ Sauce, Use with caution, Shake before use” written on it with a marker is a good choice. In my case I make a batch four times larger and store it in a half-gallon jug I once bought beer in. It just fits if I let it cool off first.

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The Slaw

Now this pulled pork is designed t be served with slaw. Like peanut butter and jelly both the pulled pork and the slaw can stand on their own, but they are much better together.

We want slaw, we need veggies. Go ahead and round up:

1  big head of cabbage, finely chopped.
1  medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1  medium bell pepper, finely chopped
2  carrots, grated

Take the chopped veggies and pot them in a mixing bowl, we will get back to them in a minute.

Grab a pan and combine:
1       cup apple cider vinegar
2/3  cup olive oil (I suppose you could use regular oil, but I like the olive for this one)
1       cup sugar
1       teaspoon celery seed
1       teaspoon dry mustard
1       teaspoon salt (same as before for what I prefer)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until everything is good and dissolved. Pour over the veggies and toss. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.

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The Cookin’

Now we have made are slaw and our sauce. The butt has been sitting at least over night in its rub wrap. It’s time to get busy.

If you are using the oven or you have one of those fancy roaster oven type slow cookers, like a Nesco cooker, that have an actual temperature gauge set it for 325 for about 6 hours. Using a meat thermometer in the center (away from any bones) monitor the temp as it runs up to about 185-190. Once it’s there lower your cooking temp to maintain 170-180 for about three hours.

 If you are like me and all you have to work with is a crock pot with high and low settings go with High while using a meat thermometer to let you know when it makes it to 185-190. Once it does, drop it to low and cook for an additional three hours at an internal temp of 170-180. Probably about 6 hours total, but your mileage may vary on that one depending on your crock pot.

Once it has had a few minutes to rest up grab a pair of forks and shred the roast with them. Take any bones or bits of fat you see and give them to the dog, put all the meat into (or back into) your crock pot or Nesco cooker. Add the sauce we made yesterday. This takes patience to do right, but it’s worth it.

Good, just checking.

Anyhow, put the shredded meat into the slow cooker, stir in the sauce, and heat on low for anywhere from an hour or so to overnight, stirring occasionally.

The Servin’

Take a nice big roll and pile some BBQ on it, add some slaw on top and cover it up. Toss a pickle spear and some chips or fries on the side for an awesome meal.

 

Happy Holidays, Enjoy =)

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Do it right

Dear spam commenters,

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I understand you don’t have the most glamorous job in the world.

I understand that you are just trying to generate traffic for your website.

What I don’t understand is if you are going to use said comments to get business, and you are posting on an english language site, why not go that extra mile and find someone who actually knows how to create a sentence in english?

You are not going to get your free advertising by throwing yourself madly at my spam filters. So far this year 5,172 have tried, not one made it live.

Not one.

How about you put the link in your name (like everyone else does) and have someone who can string three words together without sounding like a fool post a comment that is …

*Wait for it*  

Actually relevent to the topic at hand?

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So long as the link in your name does not go back to something illegal I’ll let your actual comments stand.

That’s why the things under my posts are called comments and not Craigslist. I am not here for your bots to run free advertising through me, I am here to chat about Warcraft (and other such things) with those that stop by.

Simply put, if your going to do it take the extra few seconds to do it right. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a couple bucks that way.

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~Dech

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First impressions, and an open letter to Blizzard

Like everything else that has to do with Cataclysm I am running far behind the pack.

I am late posting my first impressions, mostly because I was late having them. I did not get the expansion the day it came out, in fact had my daughter not gotten it for me it would have been January before I picked it up.

Once I did have it I did not immediately jump on my level 80’s and power level them to 85 to get the gear grind started.

There was no frantic leveling of professions, even my beloved fishing has stayed firmly at level 450. In fact, I don’t think I even trained the next higher level of Skinning or Mining on my Druid, or anything else on anyone else for that matter.

Well then, types the coffee deprived blogger, what did I do?

I made myself a Worgen Warrior and a Goblin Shaman.

I flew my 80’s to an inn near where they would be leveling once I got around to them, parking them there.

Then I proceeded to checking out the two new starting zones.

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First up was the Goblin starting area.

I found the scenery jarring, though interesting. I know the goblins are big into engineering, but damn. The questing seemed very story driven, and the attention to detail was awesome.

There were quite a few “go talk to this guy” quests in a row however. At some times making it seem more like an interactive book than actually playing my character.

I found that a bt irritating, but perhaps it will get better. Though I was having a lot of fun I have yet to actually get a Goblin out of the starting zone.

Perhaps if I tried a Hunter…

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Next up was the Worgen starting area.

The scenery was awesome, I preferred the gloomy city setting over the Goblin one. While both had lots of attention to detail I simply liked Gilneas more than Kazan. Why? not sure, but I do.

Once again the questing was very linear and story driven. You are on a path and come hell or high water you are going to walk that path. I understand the needs of the narrative, but once again it was a bit annoying. On the plus since there was a much greater variety of quests. Everything from gathering boxes, kill ten Worgen, go rescue people, and go talk to this guy. All those are within the first half a dozen quests.

I enjoyed it immensely. 

In fact now that my Warrior has completed the zone and moved on to Darkshore, I have started a Druid and I am having a blast going through it again.

I am actually liking the animations and such so much that I am planning on race changing Giligan the Druid over to Worgen very soon, likely this week Friday. Once that happens I will not be at all surprised if he ends up being my first to 85.

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One of the things I have always liked about WoW was the freedom. Freedom to do a quest or not, quest in a zone or not, freedom to control my characters actions beyond “go do this, and do it now, or the entire rest of the game is locked to you.”

It was something I did not care for in the Death Knight starting zone, even though it was very well done. It is also a weak point in several of the new starting zones. In addition to the DK, Worgen, and Goblin zones, the Troll and Gnome really seem to be more interactive stories than ever before.

I understand that with all the effort being put into the starting experience Blizz is trying to tell a story and they tell it well. They worked very hard to give a beginners an experience that is far more engaging than ‘kill ten rats”.

I also understand that once I am done with the starting zones I have much more freedom of choice in where to go and what to do.

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Now I know I may be coming across as unhappy about the way these played out, but I am not. In fact I loved every minute of it. Blizzard has made us one hell of a game here, one that will still be around in some form a decade or more down the line. I plan to be around to some extent as long as the servers are still up.

As I close for the day I will offer a few suggestions in an open letter to Blizzard.

It has nothing to do with the way the quest lines work, or the way the stories are driven.

It has to do, ever so slightly, with the way they are told.

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Dear Blizzard,

You have gone way above and beyond what I have come to expect in the questing experience. It is fantastic, and virtually everything you have done is an improvement. Thank you.

I do have a few suggestions.

You have put an enormous effort into creating cut-scenes that help carry through the storyline while questing. They are a nice treat when they pop up, and are quite well done.

I would love to have a menu where I could go and re-play any cut-scenes that I have unlocked. Something similar to the menu that lets a player view the various intro movies. That would be awesome.

If that is not practical, I would suggest two features that could be added to the quests themselves.

First would be a replay button at the end of the scene. That way if a player did not have the sound on, or had their toddler knock over a plate of spaghetti, or the pizza guy came right when they turned in the quest, or their significant other needed them for something of dire import right now, they would be able to get everything settled and replay it when the world is not conspiring against them.

Second would be simply flagging the quests that start a cut scene on completion with a little movie reel icon. That way a player could make sure they were ready to watch the coolness that is the video clip without having to tab out and go hit up YouTube.

Either one or both of these ideas would go a long way towards making sure the story actually gets told in the way you wanted it told.

Thanks,

Dechion

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Tomorrow

The time for pondering is nearly over.

For most of you the Cataclysm no doubt happened a few days ago, not so with me.

For the longest time I have been on the fence about whether I was going to buy the expansion or not.  That much at least has been decided.

I will be getting the expansion courtesy of my daughter. She wants dad to still be available in game, so she is picking it up for both of us. Hopefully getting into doing some new things will rekindle my waning enthusiasm for the game.

Next up is the question I finally have to answer tomorrow.

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Which character is going to be my main.

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Yes, I know it’s going to be one of my Hunters, but which one to work on first?

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Ah well, I’ll decide that tomorrow.

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Another One? Really?

People collect things.

For some folks pets are the thing. (Looking at you here Jess)

For some folks old gear sets are the thing. I seem to remember BBB posting about hunting down some level 60 armor sets with his wife.

There are those that collect achievement points that can’t be spent on anything. (My friend Wayne comes to mind. You might remember him, he posted about account security on here a time or two.)

I even once ran across someone collecting all the different grey and white quality rocks in the game.

Apparently I can’t have some kind of simple hobby within a hobby like these folks.

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As my son was nice enough to point out last night when we were talking about what he collects, I appear to be a collector as well.

I collect Hunters.

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I already have two Dreanai Hunters at level 80, as well as a Troll Hunter who has seen ICC. 

One would think that three would be enough. Unfortunately they are not always where I want them to be. I am on several different servers and have quite a few friends I like to play with, I need a Hunter for every group.

So I keep rolling new ones where I have friends.

I also have an Orc in the teens, A Forsaken that hit twenty last night, and a Dwarven Hunter that is about a bubble shy of thirty. That should be more than enough for anyone right?

I agree wholeheartedly.

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Why then am I seriously thinking about adding both a Goblin and Worgen to the mix?

Do I really need eight Hunters?

Hell, why not just roll three more beyond that and have once of every race? (After changing one of the Draenai to something else)

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This little comment led my son to informing me that I have HOD.

Hunter Obsessive Disorder.

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Maybe I’ll just stick with what I have after all.

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But… But… all the new starting zones…

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I’ll just roll one more…

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Honest, just one…

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