Doing some remodeling around the ‘ol blog

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This has been a long time coming really, I’m going to be cleaning up around here.

My Blogroll is hopelessly out of date, there are still links to my old World of Warcraft characters, there are guides and such for WoW that are years out of date, along with some things I have posted over the years that still apply to my life.

Well, I plan to start writing again, but I have nothing much to say about gaming anymore. On the other hand I’ve been writing in this space for a really long time. Instead of just starting over I think I’ll be converting this space into a general purpose blog about my life and in particular the outdoor activities I enjoy.

Over the next few days I’ll be trying to figure out a way to segregate all the older WoW posts while keeping them. I’ll also be going thru and updating the blogroll.

On top of that I already have a handful of posts in draft, so I’ll be posting those about once a week or so.

What happens when there are no good guys?

I find myself sitting here pondering something, the creation of yet another alt.

An alt to level slowly, uncaring about whether they ever see end game content or not.

One to go experience the story as its told while I’m leveling, as opposed to going full heirlooms and burning my way thru the zones, just killing the quest mobs and looting anything that sparkles.

Thinking about this I ran into a problem.

I’m planning to level as Horde, as most of my friends are there, but story wise it’s hard to wrap my head around wanting to be a part of that faction.

The Orcs, well, we have the whole Garrosh as a genocidal madman thing going on, and many following him. He’s even going to go on a recruiting spree thru the dark portal, and I may end up fighting my evil grandpa.

Something to do with the characterization makes me not want to go that route. Even Thrall, a character that once held my respect, is now in my mind complicit in Garroshes actions. After all, who made Garrosh warchief?

Then we have the Forsaken.

They have an interesting starting zone, and I did play thru most of the quests (at light speed, full heirlooms, never reading more than needed to know what to go kill). A lot of what they do just kind of gives me the creeps from a story perspective.  The biggest thing though, the events at the Wrathgate.

The Forsaken are members of the Horde only because it offers some bit of protection. A military alliance of convenience. They are actively trying to make a plague that will turn the whole world into forsaken.

Sorry, I just can’t get on board with that.

Goblins in and of themselves are pretty cool. The starting zone is pretty fun and well laid out, though it’s a bit of bizarro world mixed with the fantasy setting. My biggest problem is the faction leader, Galliwix.

The fact that he ended up as the faction leader I simply can’t understand. He left most of his people to die on Kezan and was planning on selling the rest into slavery.

I don’t know about you, but any Goblin character of mine would much rather kill him than follow him as a leader. (Has they made the faction leader Sassy Hardwrench we wouldn’t be having this conversation).

One of the things I have to wonder is who was the planed buyer. Looking at the map I don’t see any alliance cities nearby where my goblin washed ashore. Just food for thought.

Then we have the Blood elves.

I don’t know. Perhaps it’s all the time I spent grinding sunfury signets back in the day, but I just can’t wrap my head around playing a blood elf. Not to mention some of the underlying issues they have with substance abuse. (I wonder if there is an NPC named something like Walter White who makes really good mana crystals)

Trolls? Well, my first main character was a Troll. Still is actually, though I no longer play him. Once again, How many trolls out there are the bad guys? Troll raids, check. Troll heroics, check. Troll quest mobs, check.

Last but not least we come to the Tauren.

Well, now that I think about it, I don’t really recall them being painted in a bad light thru the story. Perhaps I missed that? The only thing that I find kinda odd is that Thunder Bluff, the home city of the Tauren, has most of it’s buildings made of leather. That always made me curious.

Ok, enough of my babbling about the problems with the Horde races. I’m sure I could find just as much bad by going thru the Alliance races as well.

Honestly I think that’s one of the problems with WoW.

Over the years there have been many tales told as part of the ongoing war between the factions.

Theremore.

Wrathgate.

Camp Tajuro.

Gilneas.

In an effort to give each side a rallying cry against the other, time and time again, they have had to paint both factions in a bad light. They both have done some pretty horrible things to one another.

There is no black and white. Both sides are a dingy tarnished grey.

There really are no good guys.

Bucket list?

So lately I’ve heard people talking about Mists of Pandaria  bucket lists.

Are there that many buckets that we need to list them all?

Does that have anything to do with this expansion being MoP?

I mean, yes, MoPs need buckets, but why a whole list?

Oh, my bad.

You ment THAT kind of bucket list.

Boy, I feel silly now.

Well, I’ll tell you what, here is my bucket list in a single picture.

Dechen

Thats Dechen, the Pally that I am nearly done leveling towards this next expansion.

I came back to the game right after Blizzcon, recharged and excited. Not so much for this expansion, which just never really clicked with me. I’m excited for the expansion to come.

In my opinion both Cata and MoP were rather lackluster. I’m hoping to fall back in love with the game with WoD.

Anyhow, my list.

Its pretty simple really. Since I came back after quite a break, I started from scratch with a new character. She is currently 89, though I hope to fix that soon.

  • Finish Leveling Dechen to 90.
  • Level Fishing, Cooking and First Aid to max.
  • Choose two professions and level them as well.
  • Gather the set of armor I want for transmog. (The Karazhan tanking plate)
  • Liquidate all the excess stuff I have in my assorted guild vaults.
  • End up with one banker guild and bank alt on each faction.
  • If I still have time, pick a class to level Horde side and do the same over there. (if not, that’s my free 90)

I think that just about covers it for me.

I’m so far behind I don’t have any raiding goals, no major achievements to grind, nothing really other than using this content to get ready to launch into WoD straight away.

How about you?

Any plans?

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This should be a simple question

I was spending my Monday morning thinking about my future plans in World of Warcraft. More specifically about how and where I plan to level characters in Warlords of Draneor.

In the end I plan to only level two characters to the cap next expansion.

I figure One Horde and One Alliance will allow me to play with any friends that happen to be doing something at the time i’m on. If I have too many as I have in the past I’ll simply burn out and accomplish nothing. 

For now my goal heading toward WoD is to get those two characters leveled up to 90, get their bank alts leveled at least to the point of having a mount to run around town on, and to spread my assets between those two toons.

Alliance side I already have pretty well set.  I’m leveling on Draenor, in the guild Mythos. I have plenty of resources there to support the pally, even a few high levels (85’s) I can use as bank alts.

Horde side is a different story.

I have three places I could easily call home. All have their ups and downs.

On One server I have a friend that I talk to quite a bit, who is fun to game with, and who is often online at the oddball hours that I manage to fit WoW into my life. I also have no resources at all there, beyond that friendship.

Granted, I could simply move money over via buying and selling pets so that’s not really an issue. With Heirlooms about to become cross server mailable why not move there? It’s a bit of work, but such is life. I plan to turn all my assets into cash soon anyway.

Second is a server with a number of good friends, a place I really liked to call home. A place with about 5K in cash and easily 10K worth of stuff in my personal Gbank. Hell, I even have some heirlooms there.

On the down side, I haven’t seen any of them online in quite a while. The heirlooms and cash, while making life easier, are not that big of a deal. As I said, i’m liquidating everything anyway.

Third is the server I most recently played on. It has a large active guild, one that will probably be doing Mythic content at some point. They aren’t a very social bunch, but there is little to no drama. (It’s simply not tolerated, which I like.)

I have about 30K G sitting there, plus 12 guild bank tabs full of stuff spread over three vaults. I don’t know how much it’s all worth, but I’ll conservatively say 100K.

Just a quick look says that I should probably level on the server with all the extra resources, after all I will be able to run just about anything with any friends that come online anyhow right?

Does it really matter what server I’m on?

Once I consolidate everything all the resources will be split between the two, so maybe it really doesn’t matter?

Why is this buzzing around in my head so much?

It should be simple right?

Right?

Visions of a better mobile app

As I’m sitting here on a quiet Sunday morning I do what I normally do when I have a bit of free time.

I goof around on my phone.

As I often do, I log into the mobile app to see if there’s anyone online that might want to chat. While I was bouncing from character the character to check the various guild chats I realized I had accidentally deleted a “chatting alt”, and now couldn’t talk to a group of my friends until I get back online and make a new one.

First world problems, right?

Well, that may be, but it did get me to thinking about the mobile app itself. More specifically how it could be so much more than it is now.

I know there was some talk at Blizzcon of having the ability to do the pet battling minigame from mobile devices at some point. That would be pretty neat.

How about managing your farm? Or even your garrison perhaps?

That would be pretty awesome. I could do those kinds of things while I’m on my lunch break at work.

The biggest thing I think should be added is the ability to log into my list of battlenet friends and chat with those people, just like I currently can with guildmates.

Blizzard is certainly encouraging the social community aspect of the game by encouraging players to build their own groups. With that in mind I think being able to chat with ones friends in the mobile format would come in pretty handy for coordinating things.

One caveat though, it would have to have an “Invisible” mode. Simply logging into the app to check your auctions, or farm, or something else, does not mean you are in a mood to chat. Actually I kinda wish I had that option when logging in, preferably something I could set on a per character basis.

Yes, I was one of those that used to have stealth alts for when I wasn’t feeling social.

Anyhow, that’s my random thoughts on a chilly Sunday morning.

My two cents on the boost to 90

One of the more interesting pieces of news that came from Blizzcon was the instant boost to 90 that will come with the expansion pack. It caused quite a kerfuffle on Twitter as the announcements were coming thru.

Later as more details came to light it seems that Blizzard has decided that playing with ones friends is an important part of the game, and will be giving everyone the option to have a character that can begin the new content right away.

I know there are those that will say its a horrible idea, but it is a brilliant move in my opinion.

Ever since the scroll of resurrection offered a boost to 80 and server transfer as part of coming back, I have been hoping we would see something like this.

I only have one beef with it really, and that is that the plan is to only grant one.

If the object is to play with ones friends then I think it would have been more logical to have one per faction, that way someone returning to the game doesn’t have to decide which group of friends to play with, assuming they know folks on both factions.

What I think we may see in the future, and what I think will cause quite a ruckus if announced, will be the ability to buy a boost to the previous expansions level cap. I figure buy patch 6.2 we will see that in the store right along side server transfers and faction changes, and likely for about the same price. I’m guessing $25.

I’d pay it in a heartbeat.

If we are looking at about 5-6 days played to reach the previous cap that’s a few cents an hour to skip the grind that I have already done before. Well worth it, so I can spend less time grinding and more time playing with my friends.

Just my two copper.

The Riker paradigm

Years ago I was in the Navy, and spent a good part of the late 80’s and early 90’s out to sea.

What does that have to do with Warcraft? Not much honestly, but it does explain why I’ve been slowly working my way thru shows like Star Trek, The Next Generation and actually seeing them for the first time.

What struck me was an episode I watched a few weeks ago.

The short version is that years ago LT. Riker was the last to beam out of a research base that was about to be cut off for a long time, something like seven years. There was a problem during the beam out and they almost lost him, but he came thru.

Years later when the next window opens up to go retrieve the research data left behind Commander Riker meets LT. Riker, who never made the beam out. Somehow there ended up being two of him.

Two of him that were now quite different people. One having advanced a career while the other was marooned alone for years. There was the one we had met on the show, and Riker 2.0.

It’s an interesting episode, but more to the point it gave me an idea about possibilities for Warlords of Draenor.

Everyone, myself included, has been hitting this from the time travel angle.

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What if we are totally wrong.

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What if, when Garrosh went back in time, it actually made a second copy of Draenor the way it existed at the moment he arrived.

A copy separate and different from the one we know as Outlands today.

What if we don’t go back into the past, but go to Draenor as it would be in our time, 35 years later, if just a few choices had been made differently. Changes like the Orcs not drinking Mannoroths blood for instance?

What if it’s not time travel at all (for us) but is actually Draenor 2.0?

It would explain ever so many things, and solve most of the paradoxes that could have come from this.

It would even explain how Garrosh himself was played down somewhat as the big bad we would be hunting. Perhaps he just set the ball in motion, and others made different choices as a result.

Choices that caused Draenor 2.0 to be a very different place than Draenor 1.0.

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Consider your own life. Look back thru the years and you’ll be able to find many turning points. Things that seemed inconsequential at the time, but ended up having a huge impact on your life.

For example, many years ago I was driving home from work one day. I decided I wanted to grab a burger. I saw four or five cars in the drive thru and decided to go in (which I normally would not have done).

While I was in there ordering my food I met a young lady.

We hit it off pretty well.

I’ve been married to her going on 25 years now.

What if I had been in the mood for chinese take out instead? Or I decided to wait thru the line at the drive up anyhow?

See what I mean, one little choice had a huge impact on my life.

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Back to Draenor for a moment, lets look at the bits we have seen. We see Gronn tamed and used as siege engines, trained armies, great weapons of war. Political, or at least military, alliances seem to now exist between the Iron Horde and the ogres.

Those kind of things take time to make happen. Time Garrosh would not have had if we show up right on his heels. Hell, he may even be dead of old age by the time we arrive.

This isn’t the tale of us chasing Garrosh thru the portal and trying to stop him.

His Iron Horde already has the majority of Draenor under it’s boot. They have had decades to prepare.

They have built a great army.

They know where we are.

And they are coming for us…

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As a storyteller myself, I can see how the pieces would fit together to make a story line like this fly. I truly wish I was helping to write it, it’s a really interesting idea.

As a player, well, I can see my characters as war weary veterans if I wish.  Hell, with all they’ve been thru I’m sure they would be.

I can also see the dark portal crackling, poised to send forth a horde that will destroy the world I call home.

I can also see the tired old veterans lowering their eyes at what they know is coming, but still strapping on their armor…

one

last

time.

I can see the remnants of those on Draenor that still resist the Iron Horde, hard pressed, nearly overwhelmed.

And I can see the dark portal simmering, and figures beginning to emerge into the lands of Draenor.  First as a trickle, then building to a flood, the armies of Azeroth are coming thru.

Help has come at last.

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I haven’t been this excited for an expansion since… I’m drawing a blank.

I’ve never been this excited for a video game.

Damn, I can’t wait.

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