And now for something completely different.

Good morning campers, I think I will start out with the very brief WoW related portion of this post.

I have recently found myself unable to come up with new and creative ways to say “I’m bored to tears with Wrath, and as such I am logging in way less. In addition, when I do log in it generally involves puttering about on random alts, or perhaps just standing in Dalaran chatting with friends.”

When you’re not doing much in-game post ideas are hard to come by. Hell, even the few instances I have managed to squeeze in lately have gone smooth as glass.

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Since I don’t have much in the way of Wow related things to chat about I figured I would simply come on and ask you wonderful folks for some input.

Over the weekend we (as in my family and I) were gifted with a freshly weaned kitten. She is cute as a button, and already litter box trained (bonus points for that one).

We went to the local pet store (not yours Pike, you live to far away) and picked her up all the odds and ends that come with having a cat. There was however one thing we were not able to find at the store for her.

A name.

So here is my question for you. I am looking for suggestions to put forth to my kids on potential names for this cute little ball of fuzz.

WTB name, Pst.

Drop me a comment, or shoot me an email. Hell, if you have my number you can just give me a call.

My final two cents on RealID

RealID is finally here.

Here is a link to the FAQ.

When it first came out I posted about my concerns for privacy, particularly for kids playing on a parents account. My outlook is still similar, but in chatting with others it has changed a bit.

Keeva over at Treebark Jacket (a wonderful site, go check it out if you haven’t already) did a little experiment. She played around with the feature and found out exactly what a friend of a friend could see about you. The short version is that all they could see was your name, nothing more.

Not your online status.

Not what character you are playing on.

Not even what characters or games might be associated with that name.

Just a name, that’s all.

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Here are a few things Real ID will do.

  • Allow you to chat with folks on your RealID friends list across faction, game, and server.
  • It may (though I doubt it) allow you to chat cross region as well. We won’t know for sure until next week.
  • It will give your name, online status, and character information to those you have friended.
  • It will let friends of those friends see your name, and nothing more.
  • Allow you to set a status message. (I think the choices are Available, Busy, and Away)

Here are a few things it will not do.

  • It will not broadcast your login information to everyone and their neighbors dog.
  • It will not let anyone other than those you individually approve to see your online status.
  • It will not associate a character name with a real name unless you have actually friended the person.
  • It will not allow you to selectively turn off the feature per character, game, or server.

There are a few things I wish it would do.

  • Have an additional mode of Hidden in addition to the status messages currently available.
  • Give me the option to use my name, a handle, or both together. Face it, more people in WoW know me as Dechion than Brad. (There I went and did it, you all know my name now. I’ll never sleep soundly again.)
  • Allow me with parental controls to block access on a per character basis (both in WoW and in other games).

In short, it is much better done that it originally sounded. Based on the information we had when the feature was announced it appeared to be far more open than it actually is. Hell, even with an up to date FAQ Keeva  had to run her own experiments to find out what it actually did.

The lessons we can learn from this are twofold.

  1.  Don’t panic until something bad actually happens. It turns out many of the concerns I originally had were groundless, they were merely based on a poorly worded blue post and FAQ.
  2. When reading announcements for upcoming features one can generally assume that the final product will require experimenting on to find out how it actually works. Never rely solely on Blizz’s FAQ’s or blue posts.

Will I be making use of the feature?

Possibly, I am not really sure yet. Though it’s much more likely than it once was.

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Sometimes I wonder

Hello.

My name is Dechion, and I am an altoholic.

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Something  occurred to me last night as I was looking at the screen and seeing the “Level 70″ achievement roll by on my Druid.

An achievement that I have earned on six different characters now.

I already have a Paladin and a Shaman waiting in the wings to work on next.

None of my level 80′s is decked out in BIS gear.

None has even set foot into Icecrown. (other than the 5 mans)

I simply don’t stay focused on them long enough.

It apears I am stuck in a cycle of leveling, always with a new character wanting my attention. 

Even now, with my Druid freshly 70 I hear the siren song of my baby Shaman calling to me.

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I am an altoholic, and I accept that.

Most folks I read seem to think that the game begins at the level cap.

It seems that for me it ends there.

I have always thought the game to be more about the journey than the destination.

While the game is just getting started for most people its ending for me.

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I wonder why that is.

Three simple rules

This morning is not working out well.

I woke up late.

I ended up late to work (not by enough to get in trouble as I get a 5 minute cushion, but I don’t like being late)

Once I did get there I realised I had managed to leave both my cash and my lunch at home (growling stomach I choose you!)

To add to it all I go to make a pot of coffee and find I am out of mats. (Go ahead. Tell me you never referred to the ingredients to something you were making in the real world as “the mats”, I dare ya.)

I say this not so we can have a little pity party in my honor (although if there is food or coffee at the party I’ll go), I just mention it so you know where my head is this morning. It might explain a bit of my rambling.

If not… well, sorry about that.

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For the last week or so I have been on vacation. Actually more of a staycation, since I have not really left the house much. Anyhow, mixed in with everything else I have been up to I found a bit of time to run myself a few instances on the Druid I am leveling up.

It’s actually going relatively well, I am sitting at 69 1/2  right now.

Anyhow, that’s not the point. I wanted to mention a few things that I have found that annoy the hell out of me in instances.

Why bring it up?

Has it not all been covered before?

Well, in fact it has. I am just feeling a bit surly this morning and there is a perfectly good keyboard in front of me.

Why am I surly? See the above comments about lack of coffee.

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Originally I had a long list of offenders here and I spun off into one of my rather entertaining head spinning fire-breathing rants. I spent a good 5-6 hundred words going on about how some of the folks I was grouped with must walk about naked, since they lacked the intellect to put on pants.

I had real winners that did everything from a Dps Warrior trying to tank Burning Crusade content with no shield to someone having thier pet on aggressive, though oddly enough that was a Mage with his Squirtle and not a Hunter. After seeing a DK insist on tanking in Blood Presence and a Warlock lifetap herself to death while yelling at the healer for letting her die I started forming the burning coal of a heated blog post in the back of my mind.

I wrote and vented and chastised. Then I went back to proofread. After looking long and hard at it I find that all of the things I was going to say boil down to three things. I decided to share those with you instead. Kind of a Cliffs Notes version of the rant this started as.

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Dech’s three simple rules for not failing in a pug

  • Don’t queue up for a job that you do not intend to do. Want the short queue times of a tank or healer? then roll as one.
  • Do whatever your job is to the best of your ability. If you are new to the role, tell people. You might be surprised at the help and patience folks will offer.
  • Don’t be an asshat.

Actually the third one pretty much covers it, the other two are just examples.

What would you carry?

We are going to assume for just a few minutes that Blizzard has just announced a new service. They haven’t, but I would totally pay for this one if they did.

This hypothetical new service would cost , we’ll say $5. Not that it matters, but just to have a number in case someone from Blizzard actually finds this post and thinks it’s a useful idea. Lets just say it would be a greater service than the sparkle pony, and would not change the balance of the game in any way.

Nothing I am talking about cannot already be done, in fact I have done it.

What the hell am I talking about you ask?

Sending a care package.

In our hypothetical scenario you pay $5 to get a single mail that can be sent cross realm, cross faction, and/or to other accounts on the same battlenet account. Kind of like what I did when I made a level 10 alt and transferred it, but with less work and far less carrying capacity.

We will say that this mail can contain the amount of gold transferable at level 10-30 as its maximum, so 300G. We will also say it will have 12 slots for gear just like any other mail.

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Here is what I would put in my care package, assuming I was going to start another Hunter alt on a fresh server and took the time to farm all this up. For example if I wanted to go play a bit with some friends, but did not want to transfer a toon.

  • 300 gold in cash.
  • Champions Deathdealer Breastplate
  • Prized Beastmasters Mantle or Champion Herod’s Shoulder
  • Charmed Ancient Bone Bow or Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon
  • Balanced Heartseeker 
  • Balanced Heartseeker 
  • Discerning Eye of the Beast
  • Swift Hand of Justice
  • Dread Pirate Ring
  • The remaining 4 slots would be either high capacity bags or high value items I could sell for more cash, depending on how much time I planned to spend there.

 

Now, things would be different if I were planning to send over gear to support a hybrid, but even then it could be made to fit. Lets take a Druid as an example, one that needs to be able to spec for anything.

Keep in mind I am just looking at the leather gear for this little thought experiment. Sending over cloth spellpower gear would give more versatility for future alts as well, in the same way that sending leather instead of mail in the Hunter example would have allowed a Rogue or feral Druid to be played with the same gear. 

  • 300 gold in cash.
  • Preened Ironfeather Breastplate
  • Stained Shadowcraft Tunic
  • Preened Ironfeather Shoulders or Lasting Fearalheart Spaulders
  • Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders or Exceptional Stormshroud Shoulders
  • Repurposed Lave Dredger
  • Dignified Headmasters Charge or Grand Staff of Jordan
  • Discerning Eye of the Beast
  • Discerning Eye of the Beast
  • Swift Hand of Justice
  • Swift Hand of Justice
  • Dread Pirate Ring
  • The remaining  slot would be a high value item I could sell for more cash, since there is no real room for anything else.

 

If you were to use a service like this what would you send to yourself?

Would you use it like me to load up on heirlooms, big bags, and cash for a new alt on another server?

Would you use it to mail some BoE epics you made on your Alliance characters to your Horde alts? (or vice-versa)

Would you load it down with high value items to transfer them from server to server to bring much needed cash to your alts?

Would you use it at all?

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Another day, another alt.

I know that this is a shocker, but there are times I get really bored with WoW.

Not bored with the characters I have created, or the game as a whole, but with what an individual character might be doing at any given time.

Take Giligan, my 53 Druid, as an example. I am having a ton of fun with that character, healing my way through 5 mans in the LFD. Right now though, I keep looking at him thinking “Only 5 more levels till Outlands”. Then I look at his XP bar and realize I am looking at about 20 LFD runs to get there, and the only thing I have seen since 49 is BRD.

I don’t care for the questing in Azeroth. I don’t mind it in Outlands or Northrend, but Azeroth… I am so done with that.

I log in, look at him, and think “if I let him sit a while he will be rested to 55, then a few runs and I will be able to pay off an 80 to smash Ramparts for me a few times till I hit 58.” Yeah, I am really done with Vanilla questing.

Then I look at my various level 80′s. The only one not already geared enough for ICC 10 is my Death Knight, and she has been parked as a banker for a while now. Other than one of my Hunters running heroic Pit of Sauron every day hoping for the Felgalcier Bolter to drop they are pretty much in standby mode.

Essentially, they are all overgeared for any 5 man out there. Since I can’t seem to find a raid during the time I do have available there is no real point to playing them until the expansion.

What do I find myself doing on those days?

I roll an alt of course.

Just counting the characters I log into at least once a month or so I have:

  • 80 Troll Hunter
  • 80 Draeni Hunter
  • 80 Human Priest
  • 80 Human Death Knight
  • 53 Night Elf Druid
  • 47 Troll Priest
  • 35 Draeni Paladin
  • 32 Draeni Shaman
  • 27 Draeni Warrior (who may be on the chopping block soon)
  • 18 Dwarven Hunter
  • 16 Tauren Druid
  • 12 Human Paladin (yesterdays creation)
  • 8 Draeni Mage

Some might say I am a bit of an altoholic, personally I don’t really see it that way.

The way I look at it the game does not begin at 80, in fact it kinda ends there.

Once I have dinged for the final time and run a weekend worth of heroics there is no real point in continuing to gear up. They are already equipped to handle anything they might run across, why bother with “BIS pre raid” gear when it will all get replaced with quest greens soon enough anyhow.

To be honest if it weren’t for their professions I would just delete the majority of them and start over. In fact that is something I am considering doing come Cataclysm time.

Possibly with a Goblin Hunter and a Worgen Druid, maybe keeping an 80 on each side of the fence as a banker toon. That could be interesting.

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