Lightning strikes

Apparently Blizzard loaded uo a machine gun with Beta keys and fired it square into my new guild this morning. Fimlys , myself, and at least one other that I know of for sure found a surprise in our mail this morning.

Now I just have to get everything set up and get my character transfers done. Catch you on the flip side.

I wonder…

Why, oh why, do I keep doing this to myself.

I know that my playtime is limited. I know that time is short before the expansion.

Assuming I spend the majority of my time leveling and perhaps take one night out of the week to raid it will take me in the neighborhood of 4 months to level a new character to 70. That translates into roughly 9 1/2 days played. I know it is possible to do it faster, much faster in fact. I simply take a while.

My oldest main is Dekado, the 70 troll hunter. I leveled him in the blazing time of 25 days played. I had lots of fun with him but the group I run with decided to reroll Alliance.

Enter Morham (once Dechion) my Human priest. leveled in a bit over 13 days played he became (and still is) my raiding main. I enjoy healing, but I don’t really care for running him solo. I missed the soloing with my hunter so instead of going back Horde side I rolled another.

And then there was Drupadi. Draeni huntress and my most recent 70. Leveling her took almost 10 days played. Better by far then earlier but still a serious time commitment. She hit the level cap and finished up getting her epic flyer (a first on any of my toons) about 2 weeks before Dechion was mysteriously drawn to another server, being renamed Morham in the process. You see there was already a Dechion there…

So now I am working on yet another hunter. Yet again a Dreani, this time male. I am sitting at about 1day played and level 26 right now. Why not just ship over Drupadi you ask? Well you see my daughter played on my old server and I want to keep a toon there to help her out from time to time. So it looks like I am back in the leveling saddle again.

I wonder if Dechion will make the finish line before Wrath hits. I also wonder how many level 80’s I’ll end up when its all said and done.

Somebody done stole my macros!

Yesterdays transfer went remarkable well, Dechion the priest has been renamed Morham. He joined another Dechion (my up and coming Dreani hunter) on Draenor. He was welcomed in by several nice folks that already resided there. While I am glad to be there and ready to get going I have not actually had much time to play for the last few days. So since I can’t really come here and share any interesting stories (unless you enjoy reading about me doing home maintenance) I will make few observations about the transfer itself.

The first thing I noticed when logging in was the fact that my cast bars were all but empty. I do a lot of work with macros and apparently moving servers will remove all the character unique ones while leaving the ones in the shared area alone.

It was later pointed out to me by Jess that you can go back and retrieve them all from you old WTF file. I wish I would have realized that before rewriting all my stuff. At least I did scrimp on writing and eliminated down-ranked spells completely, figuring I might as well get used to healing that way now. That and I was kinda bored with the old “no sleeping on the job” comment in my rez macro, I changed it when rewriting to “The answers you seek are not written on the floor” (bonus points to anyone who catches the movie reference)

Anyhow back to looking around at anything else that might have changed, I found my gold and bank contents were fine. All my gear and enchants were fine. I did notice my buffs were gone, both of the cast and consumable variety. I assume they were stripped off during the transfer.

I checked my raid ID and found it to be cleared even though I had run Kara early in the week. This makes perfect sense since I was no longer in the realm with the Kara I had been to, but I was not sure how it would work out. I suppose it prevents people from “splitting” a raid over multiple servers at the same time.

Lastly I checked my primal mooncloth cooldown and found it reset as well. Before the transfer I had sold my cooldown about 2 days prior for some quick cash. Not a huge game breaking economic advantage but something to keep in mind if you are about to transfer servers.

All in all things went well and I look forward to settling into my new home.

Mirrior Mirrior

It was quiet in the Aldor rise inn. Late in the evening most of the few customers still coming through the door were more interested in finding a nice corner to curl up in after a hard day of adventuring than having a conversation. Talking quietly to the innkeeper Dechion asks for a cot for the night. He signs the ledger and is told which bunk will be his for the evening. 

Making his way to the back in the dim light he lets out an almost inaudible chuckle. Glancing at the bunk next to his he sees the familiar bulk of a certain Tauren warrior, sleeping soundly just a few feet away. Minalei must get a kick out of bunking us next to one another, he thought.

Somewhere deep under Shattrath in a hidden chamber carved from solid Rock a small cadre of Gnomish engineers can be seen climbing over a large piece of their “technology”

Leaning back on his bunk he thought about the events of the day. He had taken a trip through the weather beaten castle known Karazahn again. He had gone running around doing errands for the Shattered Sun representatives. There had been a while around midday that he had stopped and did a bit of fishing. It all sounded like just another day, he wonders why he has that odd feeling that something is wrong.

Deep underground two gnomes argue near a console covered in blinking lights and gauges. The conversation is indistinct with distance but as voices become louder the words “volunteer”, “consent”, “untested”, and “inter-dimensional” can be heard echoing through the cavern.

For the last few days the feeling has been there, slowly getting stronger. Like an itch he cannot scratch. He had checked everything he could think of. He had nothing in the auction house, nothing in the mail, all his debts were paid. The thought crosses his mind that in an effort to find out where the nagging feeling of wrong was coming from he had done a remarkable job of putting his affairs in order. Whatever was coming he would be ready. Putting his wand in its sheath and his mace by his side he laid down on his cot, glancing once more at the Tauren sleeping next to him.

Drifting off to sleep he still could not shake the feeling. The priest threw out a short prayer that things would be different tomorrow. In later times he may very well look back and wish he had been a bit more specific. Seemingly on its own a glowing shield of light appears around the slumbering priest.

The argument appears to be over. The smaller of the two gnomes leaves the console area and heading back out towards the pulsing piece of machinery. The smaller gnome places a cage containing a small animal onto a platform at the center of the creation, dons dark protective glasses, and gives the thumbs up to the one at the console. With a look of excitement on his face the gnome pulls a large lever.

They stare expectantly at the cage….nothing happens.

In the inn there is a moment where everything blurs, then a flash of light, then silence. Eyes snapping open the Tauren is just in time to see the sheets on the next bunk over hold the shape of a body for a split second before falling to the empty bunk.

The gnomes look disappointedly at on another and go back to fiddling with the machine.

Waking with a start Dechion sits bolt upright in his bunk. The Tauren is gone replaced by a young Draeni hunter with a white wolf sleeping under his cot. The wolf opens one eye, looks warily at the priest, and goes back to sleep. Glancing around he sees the innkeeper staring at him, as they meet eyes she beckons him over.

Looking him up and down the Minalei says “you may rest here stranger, but all who do must sign the ledger, Rules are rules. Now I must ask, what is your name?”

“Dechion, and you have known me for over a year” he replied, puzzled.

“I don’t know who you are friend, but you are no more Dechion than I am.” pointing to the young hunter she said “Dechion is but a youngling, but known to me. He is sleeping right there. Now who are you?”

He knew who he was, he knew Minalei, and he had been here hundreds of times before. Oddly exhausted he chose to humor her instead of pleading his case in the middle of the night. Picking up the quill he simply signed with his grandfathers name. Handing the ledger back he went back to get some sleep before the new day, he would figure all this out then.

As he was settling in he heard Minalei again. “Good night Morham, pleasant dreams”

A public service message

Lately I like many others have been suffering from a rather persistent form of lethargy often referred to as expansionitis. A sneaky little condition that can creep up on you almost without warning. One day you are happily raiding and questing, the next you are just no longer knowing what to do.

 

 

This can be a serious condition. You should monitor both your self and your friends for the following early warning signs.

  • Running in circles around Shattrath actually taking part in the random Chuck Norris chatter in trade chat. 
  • Making checklists and spreadsheets of things to have ready before the expansion hits that look like they are preparing to spend 4 years marooned on an asteroid. 
  • Taking repeated screenshots of themselves in every piece of gear they own so they can recall what it looked like.
  •  Spending more time reading about the future than enjoying the game as it sits. 
  • Extreme cases have even been known to include leveling a horde alt into his teens just to sit in the Barrens and participate in Barrens chat. This only occours once trade is no longer bad enough.

 

While expansionitis can be very contagious in confined places like guilds and raid groups there is hope. While there is no known vaccine there are several things you can do to help build up your resistance.

  • Change things up, don’t do the same thing every day. Dailies are great for cash, but don’t turn your game into a second job. 
  • Been thinking about how much fun you think a different class might be? Well get cracking on a shiny new alt. With the leveling speed increases being applied from 60 to 70 also in the next patch the time has never been better! 
  • Fishing and cooking are a lot of fun already and rumor has it will be even better later on, no better time than today to dust off that fishing pole and cook pot. 
  • Still have raiders but not enough to fill the whole group? Pug whats left, there are others out there just like you that still want to run as well. Some of the best most memorable raids I have attended have been pugs in the last few months. 
  • Always wonder how the other half lives? Make an opposite faction alt and go see the game in a whole new light.

 

Remember, when all else fails there is always that next great MMO on the horizon. Yes I refer to none other than Hello Kitty Island of Adventure .

Where were you?

Kes, Was nice enough to tag Bre. So like the playground games from many moons ago I get to tell my stories and then pass the tag on to others. Fun, yes? Well be careful what you ask for, getting hit with repeated walls of text has caused cancer in laboratory animals (the workers in this case, reading off-color jokes on their computers while they were supposed to be working).

I don’t know where this one started or where it will end, but I do know it was modified by Game Dame and is now here to give you a peek into the lives of the writers who reply. So grab some popcorn and a soda and we will take a short trip through my mind.

 
September 11 Attacks


September 11, 2001: At the time this happened I was home. I worked an odd schedule at the time and was actually off for the day already, having worked through the previous night. My wife was at work and the kids were in school. Other than myself and a friend who was staying with us at the time the house was quiet. Even the dogs were sleeping on the floor, oblivious.

My friend and I were watching a bit of television that morning. Actually Rick was watching Good Morning America while I was in the kitchen whipping us up a couple of omelets. Odd what you remember. That day almost 7 years ago I can tell you for a fact that I was making two ham and cheese omelets and english muffins for breakfast, but I can’t tell you for sure which sub I got at Cousins for lunch yesterday.

Rick called me into the room telling me that there had just been a horrible accident. A jet liner crashed into a building in New York. After a quick look at the screen I went back to cooking. I was sad for the folks on the plane, but like most people I still did not truly get what was happening. I finished cooking breakfast and came into the living room (yes I was being a slob and eating at the coffee table, sue me).

I remember just taking the first bite of my breakfast when the second plane came into view, slamming into the second tower in a ball of flame.

I remember looking at Rick as he sat there speechless.

I remember my first words. “We’re going to war”

For once I was not wrong, Oh how I wish I had been.

 

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster


January 28, 1986: When I was 16 years old I was fascinated with space. Actually I still am. I lived in Titusville, Fl at the time. For those who know (or care to google up a map) I lived about 5 or 6 blocks west of US1, perhaps a quarter mile from the shore of the Indian River that separates the mainland from the cape. The parks and road sides people jam when they come to watch launches were close enough that my friends and I used to walk over later in the day looking for returnable bottles left by the visitors.

I was home from school that day not feeling well, my dad was there as well. He was ready for work, but had not gone in yet. We were watching the news on TV, oddly I think we were watching Good Morning America that time as well. They were talking about it being a bit cold for a launch and how the freezing temperatures were effecting the citrus trees. I remember being more concerned with the trees than the launch. I thought everything would be fine in cold weather with the shuttle, after all its really cold in space right?

When the timer got down to just a minute or two before launch we headed out to the driveway to watch. On a good clear day you can actually see the solid rocket boosters separating from the main craft. It was a beautiful clear crisp day, you could see for miles.

We watched as Challenger clawed her way up through the atmosphere. Felt the rumble in the air as she roared towards the heavens at the top of a pillar of smoke and flame. Then our laughter died and silence took it’s place. We watched in horror as she came apart and started her long scattered journey back to earth. My dad went in the house to check the TV for updates. I stayed outside staring at the Y shaped column of smoke that marked what had started as a grand adventure and ended as a funeral pyre. I stood there, silent, until the cloud had faded from view.

I am still fascinated with space. If I had the chance I would go in a heartbeat, but that is the day the reality of its dangers were carved deep into me.

 

Hurricane Katrina


August 29, 2005: I did a good chunk of my growing up in Florida, I did another chunk in New Orleans, and a bit more in the Carolinas. I have been through hurricanes in all three places. Just because I had seen them before did not mean I was ready to see the level of devastation that occurred with this one though.

What I remember most is the feeling of helplessness I had as I sat warm and safe watching it all unfold in my living room. That and the feeling of rage at how long it took the government to lend assistance. They said it took them by surprise, the news saw it coming for days in advance. They said there was no plan in place then *&%&$* improvise, adapt, use what you have… that’s what we pay you for. No excuses, make it happen.

Saying they had no plan for a large hurricane hitting is different than saying we have no plan for say getting hit by an asteroid. Hurricanes happen every year, they hit land every year, we should have resources in place for when the eventual really bad storm hits. 

 

Reagan Assassination Attempt

 

March 30, 1981: At 12 years old when it happened I have very vague memories of this. I remember the principle coming over the PA system at the school and informing us all of the events. I remember watching clips of it happening that evening on the news and learning a few new words from my dad as he described physically impossible things that the shooter should do to himself.


John Lennon’s Death


December 8, 1980: My biggest impression of this one is just a vague memory of my mom being sad. I always hated to see her sad. I could handle angry (I once made her so mad that her dentures launched while she was yelling at me, but that is a story for another day). I think the lesson I learned here is that being a decent person in and of itself is not protection from bad things. In short, bad things happen to good people, sometimes without rime or reason.

 
Kurt Cobain’s Death


ca. April 5, 1994: This one, although sad never really made the kind of impact on me that it did on many of my friends. Sad to see him go but I could say that about many celebrity types that melt down and either kill themselves outright or through an accident brought on by their excessive lifestyles. John Belushi comes to mind, River Phoenix, Chris Farley, and lots of others.

Apparently Kes added one of the ones above, and Bre added this one.:

 

Brandon Lee’s Death

March 13, 1993. A tragic accident but yet again not one that really stayed with me. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing. I do notice an odd parallel between The Crow with Brandon Lee in it and the latest Batman movie with Heath Ledger. Nothing really in common between the two other than the vibe I get watching them.

 

Tagbacks

 

Well I suppose since Bre was kind enough to pass this my way I should return the favor by passing it along myself. I think it would be nice to see other peoples take on some of these things, so I will say “Tag, Your it!” and see what happens.

Altaholic Mom

Softi

Temrity Jane

Aurdon

Fossel

Not long ago I managed to get my latest character to 70. It took Drupadi took 9 days 16 hours 52 min and 18 sec to get there. I was all kinds of happy just to be done, but the best part of all was getting in under 10 days played. While I know there are people out there who can do it in like 4 days, I simply am not one of them.

Now a few days ago I get this in my mailbox. A friend had rolled a hunter on the server I play on and had started leveling it up. I remember logging in and seeing him several levels higher than when I logged out. Not leveling through the teens mind you but leveling through the 40’s and 50’s.

Well it looks like he has not only made 70 (Grats on that by the way), but had done it almost a day faster than I was able to.

Ok, not a whole day. Still 20 hours and 21 minutes is close enough for me.

Just a thought.

Just a quick thought for the day.

 

 

The achievement system which is apparently going into place with the next upcoming content patch has in it (at the time of this writing at least) a series of achievements for “first to level 80” per class on each server.

I am not sure how much thought Blizzard has put into the behavior this achievement is going to promote. The time is not based on an actual played time from 70 to 80 but on who actually makes it first based on what amounts to a stopwatch that starts as soon as WotLK goes live.

What was put in place to encourage a bit of competition in efficient leveling will have a bit of a different real world result I think. It will likely more boil down to who can either organise the best team of people to play in shifts or for a single individual to play continuously with little time for distractions like sleeping and eating.

The first option essentially encourages cheating. The only way I can conceive of it not being in violation of the Eula is to use the clause that allows a parent to allow their minor child to play on their account. The parent could then take the kid(s) out of school for a few days and set up a rotation so one could sleep while the other levels. Somehow I don’t think this is the kind of activity Blizz is thinking about encouraging.

The second option is even worse. I have done a few marathon grinding sessions in my time but this is just way over the top. This would seem to be pointed at rewarding the person who takes vacation/calls in sick/cuts school and does nothing but level their character and (hopefully) sleep. Eating at the computer and possibly using the restroom while in flight (don’t think about laptops, just don’t go there). All this in order to get an achievement and if rumor holds a title.

I really do think the idea of rewarding efficient leveling is a good one, hell it’s one of the things I enjoy most about the game. I do not think the way this is set up encourages good behavior though, if anything it is encouraging the opposite.  The only way I can think to implement something like this without the downsides I just mentioned would be to have it based off of a /played time from 70 to 80, weighted for rested XP as well.

  • Take a snapshot of a characters /played time when they are both level 70 and have WotLK installed.
  • keep a separate counter of played time for achievement purposes, so that rested XP would count double.
  • make the achievement instead of “first to 80” something like “fast to 80”
  • set it on a timer so it would award the achievement if you reach 80 within a certain amount of /played time from 70.

I think something like this would go a long way towards rewarding the behavior that I believe they are trying to reward and not promoting behavior that is not really even close to being healthy.