It’s as real as you make it

I need coffee.

I bought some yesterday and yet failed to bring it in to work. Apparently today I woke up on the fail side of the bed. Those of you that have been around for  a while know what this means.

I get random.

Bizarre tangents get explored, ridiculous posts get written, and I generally get e-mail telling me to go back on my meds. Well, such is life.

Today we will be exploring a tangent that came to mind after I read a news story about the Korean Supreme Court.

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The Korean Supreme Court recently decided that virtual currency is in fact real. The reasoning is that it is earned through “work” as opposed to through gambling.

Interesting.

If the government here in the United States were to decide to agree with them how would that effect me?

Would I have to pay taxes on my glyph business?

Could I write off the money I spend on flasks and buff food as a business expense?

Perhaps only on runs where one of my crafters gets a new pattern to drop?

How about paying government fees?

Could I cover the annual registration for my car with in-game gold? 

Could I pay my income taxes the same way?

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These are the kind of things that run through my head after I read a simple news story and put it together with whats going on in my life. It is all about the real world value of in-game currency. Let me assure you it has real value.

Here is an example.

My sons teachers cannot stop gushing about how his grades have improved over the last several weeks. He has gone from just scraping by to excellent across the board. They are truly impressed, and I am as well.

How does that have anything to do with the real value of virtual money?

If he makes honor roll I buy him the epic flight skill for his main.

Right now he is farming 5000 gold in a classroom.

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Yes the gold has real value.

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Has another year gone by already?

Thinking about the new year to come, well, that will unfold in its own time.

As I stand here looking back towards the year that was I smile.

It has certainly had some moments, both good and bad. Taking my que from such esteemed bloggers (and friends) as KestrelTamiLarisa,  Matticus, and Pike, amongst others that populate my feed reader I will give a bit of a look back.

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A glance, as it were, at the year that was.

January saw the death of my old gaming machine, and the arrival of it’s replacement. My hunter finally quit trying to make a broken spec work and I finally figured out a good use for DKP. Overall it was a good, if cold, month.

Early February bore witness to a one of the few pieces of fan fiction that I have made public with the (very) short story Blood in the Water. Towards the end of the month there was call to be happy as my Priest Morham (now renamed Dechion) became my second level 80, and the lights grew dimmer in the blogosphere as we said goodbye to one of my favorite blogs, Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick.

March was a very melancholy month for me, and it showed in my posts. I had to leave town for an unexpected funeral, those are never really a pleasant thing. The month also saw one of the first posts about an asshat, one I was guilded with no less.

As April dawned I reexamined my priorities, not just with WoW but with life as a whole. I lamented about always how we always seem to be waiting for the next big change, instead of playing the game as it exists.  Patch 3.1 blew up the servers and I nearly deleted my Priest in anger.

In May life was much busier outside game than in, causing me to spend a lot of time AFK. What I had going on in-game was not too pleasant either. I simply did not post about a lot of it. It did see my blogs first birthday and oddly enough me discussing PvP in a way that shows that I actually like it when it’s done right.

June was a time for family, particularly towards the end as my wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. I did manage to squeeze in a short post about welfare epics, and a few looks at the upcoming 3.2 changes. Overall it was a quiet month.

In July real life critted again right before the fourth of July weekend.  Not for the first time, and surely not the last, I noticed WoW becoming more like a job than hobby and took a step back. I also wondered what people would ask if given a chance to talk to one of the game designers one on one.

August was a frustrating month, and most of my posts show it. I enjoy instancing, and I simply could not get in. I ended up so damn frustrated that I canceled my subscription. On the plus side, the problem was fixed before the time I had already paid for ran out.

September was a really lean month as far as the blog goes. I answered a few questions about why it is that I have so many Hunters, and why I have a priest at all. I also tried (in vain as it turned out) to change the direction of the blog. It is what it is, and shall stay that way.

October was an interesting month around here as I wrote about how Wow was for me more like an emotional vacation  from the stresses of life than a mountain to be conquered. I wrote of a way to level alchemy from nothing to 450 on the cheap, and then answering a question I received I put my money where my keyboard is and proved it could work by doing it.

As November arrived it brought with it the first of the microtransactions that I think will one day change the very nature of Warcraft. I pondered this as I asked folks to wake up and smell the future. I looked forward to the future of Warcraft in Cataclysm in the great retcon. I said thanks to veterans around the globe and ran with a ton of wonderful folks in Raid for the Cure.

December. We will just call December “The Month of Pugging Dangerously”. Thats putting it mildly. It was a whirlwind of pugging heroics. Right now the new tool is shiny and new, I am pugging my way along and for the most part having a grand old time. Pretty soon though, the shiny will wear thin and groups might be a little harder to come by.

I had a few problems with elitist prima donna’s  thinking the world revolves around them, and experienced a shiny and new (to me at least) exploit. On the plus side some of the comments got me to looking at ways I might be able to improve my own performance, and I am having fun trying out a few new things.

I also mentioned getting into tanking on my Death Knight. I even went so far as to set up a gear plan, but still have not actually run anything as a tank. Something about not wanting to be horrible at it.

Looking back at 2009 I am pretty happy with where things sit right now, both in game and out.

I wonder what the next year will bring.

Playing favorites

I got to thinking this morning.

If you have been around for long you know that usually is followed by some random observation about life, Warcraft, or the state of mind I happen to be in. Today however, that is not the case.

Instead of reading the news or any other such thing I decided to look through my past posts. I have quite a few posts I really enjoyed writing. Some were funny, some were serious, some were not even about Warcraft. Hell some were not even on this blog.

Anyhow, since I spent my time woolgathering instead of brainstorming I don’t have any good ideas for todays post. On the plus side I did spend a good amount of time enjoying some of my other stuff. 

I suppose instead of just ignoring my friends on the intertubes I’ll just afflict you with  “best of” list.

Well, maybe not the best, but some of my favorites anyhow.

Not so funny stuffs:

Casually Addicted (um, yes)

What are epics worth? (whatever your willing to pay)

Will heal for food (I never feel like this anymore, thankfully)

Everything I needed to know about WoW I learned in the Barrens (yep)

Something was missing (They nerfed it to the ground, then kicked it)

Kinda funny stuffs:

This just in (Arena really would make more sense like this)

Dads kiss up points, or DKP for short (yes, it’s working)

Way beyone grumpy (a rant, but a funny one)

/Headdesk (I still do things like this, often)

Blah (all purpose patch notes)

Stories about that place thats not Azeroth:

Five hours and counting (from yet another meme)

Escape to Azeroth (like a vacation commercial, only not)

Farewell old friend (once upon a time I lived there)

What would you ask? (what the next gen’s genera is going to be)

Oh, snap! ( I hate it when that happens)

Fan fiction/ stories:

And the lights grow dimmer (my all time favorite post, it just felt right)

Blood in the water (why don’t they clean up after themselves?)

Mirrior mirror (it would  be an odd feeling)

The same, except completely different (Mmmmm…. beer)

Missing (a diferent take on Mirror Mirror, and better written IMO)

Stuffs from my other distinctly non-WoW blog what might be entertaining:

A line in the sand (I wonder what I would have done?)

Frogs (still makes me laugh)

Oh cool, I found it! (yes I know it’s a recent post, but it’s a good one)

Mans best friend (sadly only one is still with us)

A ride (makes me want to get the bike out and go)

And there you have it, the perfect post for a day when I had no idea what to write.

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.

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.

Ten of my most memorable Wow moments

Some days it seems everything goes your way. You finish as the last one standing on what would normally have been a heartbreaking 1% wipe. Every boss drops the best possible item you could use, and no one else needs it. Almost like they were checking the armory for recommended upgrades and then throwing them at you.

Other days it seems nothing can go right. Your pet loses its mind and pulls like half an instance trying to get behind someone. You kill so many Bog lords you start getting blamed for global warming and you still can’t seem to get that last mote of life to drop. The pattern to get that last skill point at 375 is green and you make 37 of them before you get the level. You know the days I am talking about, you have had them too. like they say “some days your the bat, some days your the ball”

Here, in no particular order are ten of the most memorable things that come to mind this morning. there are many more, but for now you are stuck with these.

 

Watching Fluffy, my much maligned boar pick up and tank the first boss in Shattered halls when the tank D/C’d at the start of the pull. It was all the more memorable because the tank and group leader of the pug told me to keep my pet put away or he would find someone else. He didn’t complain about my pet after that. (more about his anti-hunterness later)

 

My first raid epic, it was the first time my hunter had been to the opera event in Karazan. We got big bad wolf. After two or three wipes we decided on one last try before calling the raid for the evening. With only three of us left up wolfy goes down and drops the Wolfslayer Sniper rifle, I still use it today.

 

Dinging 40 for the first time, I was in stanglethorn vale questing on venture company goblins. I remember the flash when I killed one of the mechanicals. I looted it (getting the fused wiring for my jumper cables) and then danced in the middle of their camp while I told every chat channel I could that I was doing the 40 dance.

 

The tells I received in a pug Shattered halls about chain trapping. The tank and group leader (yep, same one) would not use traps for CC, calling them unreliable. I was just dropping one at the feet of the priest for insurance. We picked up 3 adds at one point that as always went right for the healer. One caught my trap, I dropped an new trap on another, and pulled the third off the priest with my big red pig. The tank picked them out of my traps one at a time and we finished the pull with no deaths. I wish I had a screen shot of the whispers from the priest. 

 

My first all friends run of a 5 man. Shadow labs to be exact. I already knew 3 of the other players, and after meeting the fourth things just clicked well. We had a bear tank, two warlocks, my hunter, and a holy priest for heals. Seeing how differently it could be than the pugs of my past made me love running with folks I know.

 

Before TBC went live I was still leveling, I had been accepted into the guild already as I was friends with some of the folks in it. Questing through my 40’s and 50’s while they were raiding Zul’Gerub I would listen into vent while they raided, mic muted, looking forward to being there.

 

Making 60 and starting to raid. TBC had already come out most of us were in our mid 60’s. As a guild we were questing in outlands and working on outlands 5 mans, but as far as raiding went we were still doing Molten Core and Onixya. The screen shot of our Onixya kill was my desktop for about a year. I didn’t change it in fact until after what happened in the next item.

 

Logging in and finding myself standing in a blank tabard. The guild I was an officer in had disbanded while I was offline. I ran with that tag over my head for over a year, had things happened differently it would still be there. As I said earlier most memorable does not mean favorite.

 

The first time I was there for a full Kara clear. After pounding my head against the place for close to a year, on two different characters, going through one night with everything clicking and clearing the entire place was just amazing.

 

Being there when Attumen dropped the reins for midnight, and winning the roll. All the other loot I have gotten will be replaced, and quickly, after the expansion but I will ride that horse till I no longer play. And yes, this was the same run as the full clear.

Misfortune cookie

Last night as I was eating my take out something happened, something odd.

 

I had a thought. For some reason this does not happen all that often while munching on fried rice and watching old reruns of Gilligan’s Island with the kids. Fortune cookies always say the nicest things. Life is not always nice. My MSG loaded brain made the connection…. what we need are misfortune cookies.  

I don’t mean in real life, although having a chance to get a fortune that said “your day will suck” or “I sense bad gas in your future” or some other such funniness as opposed to always being nice would be downright entertaining. I mean in warcraft. 

 

 

We already have savory deviate delights, let us have misfortune cookies. Give them a few dozen random messages and make like 25% of them bad ones. “I see many wipes in your future”, “Say hello the the spirit healer for me”, “All today’s drops would be perfect for your other character” things like that. Make it fun.

 

 

While we are at it, Give me a magic eight ball that on use gives a random party buff depending on the message that comes up. 30 minute buffs, 1 hour cooldown. If it says something bad, it debuffs the entire party. The catch is it’s only usable in combat.

 

How about some Red Tauren energy drinks that give Stamina and Haste?

 

I just want the chance to be silly from time to time. Come on Blizz lets have some fun.

Revenge can be a funny thing

So there I was, farming. God how I hate farming. Grinding 497 motes of boredom to finish crafting my primal mooncloth set makes my eyes bleed. I killed so many bog lords I started to get blamed for global warming.

A rogue (we will call him “noob”) comes along and I think “well I was here first, but I can share the area, it’s only two of us”. So I start off, dot, dot, grey! dammit he tagged it before my first dot ticked. The second time in a row this happened I politely whispered him and asked him not to “kill steal”. Thats when he decided to wait till I was in combat and train 5 mobs onto me, then vanish. Much pointing, laughing, and spitting on my body ensued after this. I decided not to play with kids and went to farm something else, but I remembered……

Fast forward about a month, 68 has given way to 70. Shadow has given way to holy. The farming is done, whew. One Saturday morning I had a few hours to kill, none of my friends were online and I just wasn’t in a daily kind of mood. Here comes a whisper…..70 prot warrior has a full group neads heals would I be interested in shattered halls? It’s mostly a guild run, only pugged one dps and me if I go. I think for a moment….sure why not. I join group and guess who the other pug is, yep it’s Noob! I whisper the Warrior with the short version of the story, he offers to boot Noob for being an asshat. I suggest a different approach, He gives me their vent info so I can tell the others.

We pull, We clear, We are having a blast, But Noob keeps dying for some reason. He can’t seem to control his aggro (the hunter misdirecting onto him during trash pulls had nothing to do with it, honest) and he always seemed to run out of health when the boss was at about 2%, damn healers. Hell at one point Noob had to hearth and repair, only to be summoned back. I was in the other guilds vent the whole time, but Noob was not, apparently mom wouldn’t allow him to run it. We one shotted the whole place and the only one who ever dies was…. you guessed it, Noob.

That might show as a bit evil, and just started as “lets let him die a few times on trash pulls” and went to outright evil when the others started having fun. It eventually became “how many times can we lose this guy and not wipe?”. Apparently Noob liked to herb other peoples trees in skettis as well, and they had already had problems with him in the past. They just had not heard of other folks having issues with him till I brought it up.

Apparently I have a bit of an evil streak. Perhaps I should have just stayed shadow.

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