AFK

Like it has for many others the real life trinket has proc’d for me. I have a list of things that need to be done outside Wow (mostly to my house) that would make anyone flinch. I have something on my plate every weekend thru the middle of July already. Not to mention that it is actually summertime here in Wisconsin.

I find myself with less and less time to sit on the computer, spending more and more with my family. When I am on I am much more focused on goofing around leveling alts than I am doing any raiding. More using Wow as a really pretty chat room than anything else.

I find it oddly liberating.

It’s been almost a month since I have even set foot in Naxx. It’s been at least 2 months since my last 5 man. I have walked into Uldar just far enough to see the entry area, not even a single pull.

I still don’t even know what zone the Argent Tournement is in.

I think it has something to do with dailies, but don’t quote me on that.

I should buy this to wear while working on my house.

 

Suffice it to say the Wow is much less of a priority for me than it has been in the past. I have no doubt that I will get back to it once things settle down a bit. I simply won’t be posting here nearly as often for at least the next six weeks or so. It’s hard to write about something you don’t spend much time doing.

If something strikes my fancy I will still sit down and craft a post about it. If it is Wow related it will be here, If it has more to do with me in real life (which is likely) I will post about it on my other blog HERE.

I do not plan to quit my blogging, I enjoy it too much.

I’m just going AFK for a while.

Free to good home

Memorial day.

Here in the US at least we will celebrate it on Monday.

I, for one, will be doing my best to celebrate by cooking healthy food on a grill and quite possibly doing a “small” amount of drinking with some of my friends. I am thinking chicken on a stick, maybe grilled veggies. Maybe even put them together and call it a kebob, who knows.

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice, of coarse I have friends.

Anyhow, I was pondering my plans for the weekend and it got me to thinking.  Thinking about what we are actually celebrating. Thinking about the folks that I met in the service, and about those who came before. Thinking about how people who were never in really just can’t understand what it means.

There are several stories that come to mind that I could put down today. Stories of things I have seen and done. Stories told me by my dad after I came home from my first deployment to the middle east. I could talk about him paging through old photo albums and talking quietly for hours, or the sound of his tears hitting the pages as he recalled the friends that never made it home.

Instead I will talk about a lady who tried to do something nice, but ended up making me want to smack the stupid out of her. Not because she was mean, she was simply ignorant.

 

The company I was working for decided to send a monster sized care package over to the guys still serving in Iraq. Fliers were made and distributed, lists were put together, a collection box was set up.

Lots of you have probably seen similar efforts. Mostly they are looking at basic things, toiletries and such. Perhaps a few other odds and ends depending on who made up the list.

I sat and watched as the box filled up. I was truly impressed with the generosity of those I worked with. Unfortunately (as I was to find later) what I put in the box was not on the list. Apparently that was bad.

You see, when I went shopping for things to send over I did not pick up deodorant and baby wipes and such. The box was overflowing with that stuff already. I went shopping for what (for me at least) were my most treasured possessions when I was deployed.

I went shopping for books.

 

A day or two before the box was due to be shipped out I came in carrying a backpack full. Everything from Sci-fi to romance, westerns to gothic vampire stories. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 books went into the box with all the other donations.

My partner in maintenance was another avid reader, and another veteran. We chatted about it a bit, wondering how the folks opening the care package would like the various stories. We agreed that they would find a good home. 

We could not have been more wrong.

 

Friday morning came and I went home for the long weekend (Memorial day, ironically enough).  I spent the weekend having fun with friends. Went on a motorcycle ride with a friend who’s dad was in the same veterans cemetery as mine, went to visit them. Had a cookout with lots of folks over. Slept out in the backyard in a tent with my kids. I just had a blast.

Monday night came and I went back to work, the box had been packed up and shipped out.

Tuesday morning as I was getting ready to go home I see the young lady who had been in charge of the care package operation. She was carrying a box over to the table next to the time clock labeled “free to good home”. Curiosity being what it is I looked inside.

It was all the books I had brought in.

 

When I asked what she was doing she simply replied “Some idiot put these in the collection box so I am getting rid of them. After all it’s not like those people over there read”.

I stared at her for a second, not really believing that she had just said that. She was an educated professional, not a dumb ass buy any measure. Apparently they did not teach common courtesy in whatever college she got her human resources degree through. Smart yes, people skills, not so much.

As it sunk in a whole lot of things I would like to have said flashed through my mind. The thought that won out though was one of my family at home. They could not afford me to be out of work, and if I said half of what I wanted to I would be out of a job. If I said it all I would likely be calling from the police station explaining to my wife that I needed a ride home to go with the new job I needed to find. So I reached out and punched….

 

My time card.

 

I picked up the box and told her “I’ll find a home for these.”

With the help of the guys at the recruiting office, I did.

 

Enjoy your long weekend folks, I’ll see you on Tuesday.

Does it really matter?

As I sit this morning in a coffee deprived state a thought occurs to me.

Does color matter?

I mean, really matter. Like at all.

Is an otherwise identical item better because it may be purple instead of blue? or blue instead of green?

 

This all came to mind as I was thinking of my weekend project. No, not leveling jewelcrafting, thats during the week. This weekend I am organizing my garage.

The few people who have actually seen my garage just shuddered and started coming up with alibi’s for the weekend. Seriously, it’s like a train wreck in there. What the hell does my garage have to do with Wow you ask?

Chill, i’ll get there.

So as I was considering things I could do to organize my space, I remembered that the rubber coatings of many of my hand tools is worn or damaged. Keep in mind I am a mechanic/electronics tech and have quite the pile of tools.  I can literally go from replacing parts on a circuit board to rebuilding an automobile engine, all with tools I have on hand.

Yes, I know, back to Wow.

/sigh Trust me. I’ll get there.

Thinking about replacing the rubberized coating I looked up Plasti-Dip, a great product I have used before. Come to find out that instead of buying a single color it is customizable. It comes clear and packaged with tints that can do a variety of colors. Thats what got me thinking.

There are times when the quality of a tool matters more than others. Times when you need that extra strength or durability that comes with the better stuff. Times when I may not want to dig through a bin looking for my “good” ratchet handle. 

Now don’t get me wrong, not all my tools are high quality. Some were bought to last, others were bought for a single task and will likely never be used again. I found myself dividing up everything into three categories in my head, and assigning a color to each.

Green:

Low quality tools that still get the job done. They tend to break and once they do you toss them. Cheap to buy and usually sporting “Made in Taiwan” or ‘Made in China” on them somewhere.

Blue:

Tools with a lifetime warranty. They tend to last longer and have a bit better control. Generally Craftsman or Benchtop in my case. The bulk of my tool collection.

Purple:

The best quality tools in my tool chest. Lifetime warranty, but I will likely never break them or wear them out. Names like Snap-On and S-K come to mind.

 

Without even realizing it, I was breaking things down in my head to the color coding for Wow. Either I have been playing entirely too long or it was just an easy default for my brain to fall back on. Kind of like putting catsup in the red squeeze bottle and mustard in the yellow. It just made sense.

So the question is this. Assume I took three otherwise identacal tools, colored them green, blue, and purple. Then assume I set them side by side for you to grab while working on something, do you think you would grab the purple without thinking?

 

The memes are coming! the memes are coming!

One if by email and two if by post, the warnings went out.

Memes were coming to town.

Just when I thought it was safe to check my feedreader, the tags started flying. Tagged with a meme by both Copra and Bre. I have no choice but to follow suit. Then again, I have no clue how to do image editing.

Something to do with never having to do it.

Seriously, I have been known to cut two images out, tape them to a page I need them on, and scan the results. It looked the same, and for me it was faster.

Then again I am a lazy bum.

Seriously, just ask my wife, she’ll tall you all about it.

 

What? No, I am not trying to talk my way out of this. I was just making conversation….

 

So here is how the meme goes:

1 – Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 – Go to “Random quotations”
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 – Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 – Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Here you have my sorry attempt at it:

This was a good bit of fun. I liked it enough that I did a second on my personal blog. You are welcome to check it out Here.

Now who to tag…

How about nobody. This ones been going around for a while now. I have lost track of who has been tagged and who has already done one. Something that happens when you follow 100+ blogs.

So heres the deal, if you have not been tagged and wish you had… Consider it done. Go make some funny pictures and blame it on me.

Hell, I get blamed for everything else anyway.

My Death Knight should drive for NASCAR

My playtime for the better part of the last week can be summed up right there.

After I realised that I planned to keep playing this particular character (Diashan the DK) I sat down and decided on professions. Looking at the fact that I have no other high level characters on that server I decided on a pair that would both benefit me with their buffs and allow me to make a decent amount of cash without a huge amount of farming. This is an alt on a second server after all.

I decided on Jewelcrafting and Mining. There is good synergy between the two and they both provide solid buffs at level 80. Not to mention I can farm the auction house for cash later on with Jewelcrafting and will have a titansteel cooldown to use/sell.

So there came a time, shortly after visiting my skill trainers, that I started running laps.

First came Elwynn Forest with it’s nodes of copper, Then came Thousand Needles with it’s tin.

As I moved up in skill I headed over to the Arathi Highlands and scoured the caves there for iron and lesser bloodstone ore.

I ran circles around the Hinterlands gathering skill points and mithril until I could nearly run the laps without looking. Of course it does not help that I ran 3 full circuits without a single skill-up at 225. Yep, dumb ass forgot to go train.

Now I am sitting in the Eastern Plaugelands running laps looking for thorium.

That’s where I noticed it last night. When I am running I always go counterclockwise. I don’t know why, I just do. I run and run, always turning left.

 

 

Always turning left… My Death Knight should drive for NASCAR.

Or maybe he is just that guy ahead of you on the freeway. You know the one… the one with his left turn signal on for 200 miles.

Happy Blogday to Me

A year ago today, on a whim, I decided to jump into the blogging community. 

Originally intended as more of a storehouse of the guides I wrote, it evolved beyond that. I was writing more about the game as a whole and of my adventures in it. When the original blog Be Nameless no longer seemed to fit I picked up stakes and moved over here to Dechion’s Place.

That was 192 posts ago.

A lot has been said, many lists have been compiled, many posts written, and many good friends made. A lot of them like to drop by and say hello (or tell me how wrong I am).

There have been 538 comments.

Most of them were positive. Even those that disagreed with me were well put together and not at all trollish.

 

Happy Blogday to Me

 

I have come a long way in the past year, and so has the game I write about. My perspectives on both the game and on my life outside of it have changed. For instance I can’t really see myself sitting down and writing a 2000 word post about picking out a name like I did not long after I started.

Starting…How did that happen… I blame Matticus. It’s all his fault, honest. He wrote a post (which I foolishly did not link in my reply) that asked the question “What is epic?”. I responded with a post about finding your challenges within the game instead of waiting for the next big raid to get patched in.

I had no idea where I was going to go from there, hell I still don’t. One thing I can say is I am enjoying the ride.

 

So for all of you who have read my babbling, thank you for taking this journey with me.

I wonder where we will find ourselves another year down the road.

Only time will tell.

 

Note: This is a bit different than the post I had originally written. Hopefully for the better.

Thanks Jess.

Do I have to think of everything?

Interesting quote of the day from our friend Ghostcrawler.

With regard to Wintergrasp dailies, there are a couple of reasons why we’re implementing this on the 3.1.2 test realms:

1) Lake Wintergrasp is seeing an overabundance of players resulting in poor realm performance during peak play times; and 2) doing Lake Wintergrasp once or twice a day to get all of the dailies done is becoming a more convenient, efficient way of obtaining honor than signing up for battlegrounds. The change to make quests there weekly is being implemented in the hopes it will better stagger the participation in that zone throughout the week, as there are no quick or easy solutions to address realm instability that is due simply to having far too many people in the same zone at the same time; and we hope to see more players queuing up for battlegrounds. We’re working on other ways of improving battleground participation as well right now

(full source at MMO-Champion Here)

Now, I think I can see where he is going with this. I understand the server stability issues. Unfortunately the way I read it is this:

1. Lake wintergrasp is hugely popular. Lots of people enjoy it, and as it is not instanced it is effecting server performance. In short, Blizz made a battleground a lot of people like. Grats to them, beats the shit out of Haala and turning towers in Hellfire.

2. Since lots of people go there it is a good place to gain a good amount of honor fairly quickly. Also there is the opportunity to complete dailies for cash and a short (usually) profitable raid afterwards if you win. In short it is a much more fun encounter than the standard battlegrounds. Oh, and the marks of honor and spirit shards can actually, um, buy things an 80 would like to have. I almost forgot that part.

2a. We would really like it if people used the instanced battlegrounds more than they do, and used wintergrasp less. It makes it easier on us. In an effort to make this happen we will find it is much easier to screw up wintergrasp than to fix all the other battlegrounds. I suppose that’s the route we will take. (note carefully, he does not say “improving battlegrounds” he says “Improving battleground participation”.)

I still can’t get over that part. “Too many people like this, lets break it so they will go do something else.”

 

I am going to sound like a complete loot whore for a few minutes now. I am not, I am just looking at the reasons why I think Wintergrasp has been such a remarkable success.

First in my mind is the availability of really good epics. Not just from the bosses in VOA but from the quartermaster as well. The only ways I can see to curb this are to remove those epics or add a way to get comparable ones from the instanced battlegrounds. Particularly PvE rewards that some folks have trouble getting any other way.

Don’t tell me “just go grind honor in (insert BG you prefer here) and buy them for honor!” Yes I know that’s already in place. Lets look at that for a minute shall we. We will look at a easy to get armor pieces as an example.

For honor I will use gloves as my example. For just over 30,000 honor I can pick up a pair of decent gloves. Not bad till I consider that even if I got 1000 honor every time I stepped into a battleground I would have to run over thirty of them to pick up one piece of gear. Lets be nice and say 15 minutes per battleground and 32 fights to get it.

Thats 8 hours of grinding for one piece of gear. Sorry, I’ll go do something else with my time.

Next lets consider a pair of boots. Yours for 15 wintergrasp marks of honor. I get 1 mark for a loss and 3 for a win just like everyone else. In the interest of guessing I will figure on winning 50% of the time and call it an average of 2 marks per battle. My guesstimate would be 8 battles at 15 minutes a piece, or right at two hours. Best case is 5 battles taking 1 hr 15 min, worst case is 15 battles taking a bit under 4 hours. Oh, and I still get honor I can use for yet more stuff.

Two hours or eight for one piece of gear? Plus extra honor on top of it? And stonekeeper shards?

Duh, I can add. See you in Wintergrasp.

Next is the access to the VOA raid instance. I can go into VOA and with a reasonably competent PUG that will clear the two bosses in about 30 minutes. This gives me 2 shots at epic loot drops, a bit of cash to cover my repairs, and some badges that I can spend later on even more loot.

Believe me, I understand loot is not everything.

It’s not everything, but it is something.

If I am choosing between to very similar activities, and I am not running with a group that may have other preferences, I will take the more rewarding choice every time.

Blizz, the problem with battlegrounds is not Wintergrasp. The problem is that the battlegrounds are not being rewarded nearly as much for a similar time investment.

Fix the battleground rewards system and Wintergrasp will take care of itself.

Farewell old friend

Haze gray and underway

Haze gray and underway

 

In the predawn light there was a shape in the mist, the shadow of a great warship waiting. She sat like a ghost, cold, dark, and quiet. As the sun came slowly over the horizon the mists cleared.

Once the pride of her squadron, her grey paint is now cracked and flaking.

Once a hive of activity housing hundreds of sailors the once great warship sat abandoned and alone.

She had served proudly for decades, and now had one last mission assigned to her. She would help train the next generation of sailors. She would participate in the most realistic training you can have, a live fire exercise. She would be in on the sinking of a warship.

One last time whe would be the center of attention, she was the guest of honor.

Rest in Peace Conolly (2/19/77 - 4/29/09)

Rest in Peace Conolly (2/19/77 - 4/29/09)

450  Cannon shells

6  Cruise missiles of assorted styles

4  Torpedoes

2  High explosive rockets.

She sat abandoned and alone, anchored in place, unable to run. Her crew was gone, she had no way to fight back, no one to plug the holes and put out the fires. No one to save her. No hope.

For six long hours she endured the beating. Finally, back broken, she slipped beneath the waves to her final resting place.

Goodbye old friend, you served well.

Rest in peace.

I was wrong

Yesterday I posted a bit about the lack of PvP gear available outside of arena play. I also mentioned that I don’t particularly care for arena play, preferring battle grounds. That part has not changed.

What has changed, at least from my perspective, is the ability to get gear. It still will not be easy nor quick, but I can accept that. Season 5 gear, the armor at least, is available for purchase with honor. Two of the pieces are going for a bit over 31K honor points each, while the other three are going for just under 50K apiece. Along the way there are several pieces of gear I can buy using wintergrasp marks.

It might take me a while to farm up 210,000 honor, but it is doable without ever setting foot into an arena match. I will have a decent set of armor and can start looking into weapons and such later. Either way, it is possible.

In short, I was wrong.

I have a problem

There was a time, not so very long ago, that I could do all four of the things I like in Wow in a way that they would avoid the few things I hate. Sadly, this is no longer the case.

I enjoy leveling and tinkering around with alts, probably more than anything else. I can still do this. Actually I can do it much more efficiently than ever before (leveling shoulders are made of win).  No real problems here.

I also enjoy raiding. I don’t have many blocks of time to actually do it, but I am all about it when I can. I can even kind of keep up gear wise through VoA and bind on equips from the newer zones.

I have found the auction house to be a pleasant distraction. Not only freeing my from the endless grind of cash for raiding and alt leveling, but as an interesting thing in it’s own right. I started to get cash for my epic flyer, now I simply have fun goofing around in there.

I enjoy battle ground PvP, and herein lies my problem.

Once upon a time, the best PvP gear could be had from actually playing battlegrounds. I was not a huge fan, I never had a full set of gear, but I picked up a few odd pieces with the honor that I had gained. Those helped out quite a bit.

Now in order to get PvP gear of decent quality I am forced to do one of two things.

I can run VoA till my eyes bleed, often with a pug full of people that likely have problems dressing themselves in the morning. This is not really my idea of fun. I have run it every week though on both of my 80′s and managed to win exactly one drop. Besides, now I am doing PvE for my PvP gear. That just seems ridiculous.

If that is not working (and it isn’t) my only other option is to join an arena team and hope for a good score. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but getting roflstomped ten times a week by folks with better gear and 6 seasons of experience does not sound like fun. Particularly when I have tried arena and found that I hate it.

Actually hate is not a strong enough word.

I would rather shave my face with sandpaper and rinse it off with alcohol than do that again.

Therein lies my problem. Arena is fine for those who like to play it, but kindly don’t force it down my throat. I simply want to be decently geared for battlegrounds with gear I can get from battlegrounds.

Really, Blizz, is that too much to ask?

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