Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I don't even want to hear them try to pronounce "Goethe." Or "Eia" for that matter.

Not much to say on the WoW front, except that we got our first 80 in guild. I kinda thought I would be a little closer, if not there by now, but I haven't been taking the time to play. This has allowed my wife to catch up and even surpass me slightly so we can quest together again.

I've played a little on my hunter, and she's doing alright. Didn't break into 71 yet; she's still just a fun little diversion when I can't play Myze. Such is the life of the hunter, the perennial alt. I guess everyone has one, no?

My paladin, Eia, is currently hanging out in Ironforge, doing AH runs for Myze and just hanging out for whenever I need to meet someone in Azeroth.

I went through the intro questline for my death knight, Goethe. Very fast leveling, especially with all the rested she had built up. One thing I don't like about death knights is that the diversity of the attacks seem artificially forced. I'm also concerned about if you can skip one of the opening quests and be gimped for the remainder of your characters life. But I didn't personally miss anything, so I haven't looked into whether this is actually possible.

I'm currently listening to the Twisted Nether podcast, where I am apparently a winner for guessing that the Nano Rhino is a good reminder to work on NaNoWriMo.

As an aside, I started with the conviction to do NaNo, but gave up pretty much before I started (there were some personal issues involved.) But I'm still on the mailing lists. Now the mascot for the DFW area is NaNo Rhinos. So I sort of cheated, because I knew instantly that it's a bad pun (the best kind.) Incidentally, I pronounce the last part as Re-mo, rather than Wry-mo. So I probably would never have come up with it on my own.

Back to the death knight quest line, I will join those around me that recommend you at least do it. Such wonderful storytelling. As the game has only been out a couple of weeks, I will refrain from spoiling directly here, but my favorite moments were A Special Surprise and Where Kings Walk. Except that I didn't know that king Wrynn had moved back to the Keep from the harbor.

I haven't really talked about the death knight herself, so here goes. I chose Night Elf for Shadowmeld. I figure every class without healing ability should have some kind of way to drop combat. This is probably why my hunter is higher than my rogue (shorter cooldown) and why my warrior is way down the totem pole. I made her look just like Myze, only with the different face that allows for the funky color skin. So she looks very similar to her. Until Blizzard lets me tank in caster form, it will have to suffice.

Vehicles are bugged. I've had more than one instance where the action bar didn't show up when mounted. To dismount, you have to exit the game and come back in. And sometimes when you dismount, your player frame isn't there. Maybe I'm alone in my troubles. But they are fun, so it's not to hard to ignore the glitches, but it is something I've had to deal with. There's a quest in Howling Fjord involving a vehicle that's incredibly buggy, to the point that you probably won't be able to complete it. I wasn't.

This rebus was brought to you by the letter E, reminding you that some letters go without saying. And by Viewers Like You.

Finally got to the end of the podcast...

Gah! They cannot pronounce my name! No one can! I'll add "Myzie" to the list of incorrect pronunciations. Others include "Maze" and "Mizz." When it was spelled "Myse" I've had it pronounced "Mice." I probably have the simplest-yet-hardest to pronounce name in WoW. For the record: "Myze" rhymes with "Eyes." Never forget it. As to the other info, yes, I am a guy, and I have 2 Collector's Editions so I'm glad to be getting a different card.

That's it for now, off to go do some work or lunch or something.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Drinking for Two

Last night I went through the two Dragonblight instances, AZ-Nub, and Old Kingdom for the first time. This is the third time tanking in Wrath, and I think I've learned something very important.

Starting with Rage is a huge boon. My current spec drops 2 points of Furor for Improved Mark of the Wild. This is good for soloing. This is fine for Cat DPS, where lag renders some of Furor's full bonus useless. For bears, this is damn near unacceptable.

Now, sure it may be fine for some people. But the groups that I lead are firecrackers. They go for the throat straight out of the gate, and if I'm to feel like a real tank (that is, actually have aggro) I need rage. And I need it NOW. I miss the 10 points at the start of Enrage. When I can't get that, and Furor doesn't pop, I'm screwed for rage. Sure I could sit there and keep shifting until it procs, and I've done that before, but I've had situations where I've shifted six times without a proc (supposedly a 0.4% chance of happening, but statistics is a poor model for randomness in a short term, particularly pseudorandomness,) all while the rest of the group is waiting for the pull.

This spec also corrects a flaw with my last one: I didn't take max ranks of all the talents I took. It's sort of a compulsion of mine.

That said, I'm going back to 5/5 Furor and also dropping Infected Wounds for Intensity. At least at the stage I'm in, threat generation is much more important than the mitigation provided by Infected Wounds, and in raids, it should be even less important as I have a Warrior there to Thunderclap. Also, I'm moving away from Shredding Attacks (which has seen little to no play at this point, oh how I'll miss thee...) and filling out the rest of Rend and Tear. The resultant spec should be satisfactory soloing, and much better in tanking.

The Big Bear Butt was right. My initial gut instinct was right (though I don't think I ever gave it words.) Intensity is huge. Very important for those first few seconds, especially if you have DPS who are above the curve (my Ret Pally is simply amazing, even for a Ret Pally.) Maybe I wouldn't need it so much if I weren't four levels below the hunter. Maybe I wouldn't need it so much if my Ret Pally, who's six levels below the hunter easily out-DPSes him. I'm okay with that though. I just want my Intensity back.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm not a Freud to grow up, I'll always be Jung at heart.

I hit 74 last night. You saw it coming.

I discovered upon a couple of interesting applications in the blagoblag that analyze the author of a blog. Typealyzer tells you where the author fits in the Myers-Briggs Socionics model of personality. Most of the authors I read are ESTP like myself (according to the analyzer, I always thought of myself as more of an INTJ.) There are a couple of ISTPs, and I found one INTP, but for the most part, WoW bloggers are in the same mold in the eyes of the Typealyzer.

There is also an area that shows what parts of your brain are in use while writing. Here's my chart:

This would seem to be a veiled attempt at calling my writing boring.

The other one is the GenderAnalyzer, according to which I have a 91% chance to be a man, but also, according to the GenderAnalyzer, 4Haelz (66%), Unbearably HoT (87%) and Resto4Life (79%) are authored by men as well. To be fair, the most recent post on Resto4Life was written by Currant rather than Phaelia.

What does this mean? Well the first thought to pop in my head was that women are deceptive little creatures, and writing in such a way to convey a sense of manliness in order to be deceptive (I think deception is an end for women, rather than a means. This could prove false in the long run.)

The next thought is that typical gamer behavior is commonly associated with male behavior. This is a decent theory, as most of the attention in gaming is garnered by men (or boys, as the case may be.)

Finally, I think I've concluded that while it is a fun little tool, the GenderAnalyzer is mostly crap. My sample size is too small to really make this claim, but thankfully, they have a handy little poll on the page: "Did GenderAnalyzer give the correct result for your blog?" Out of a sample size of 11,104, 5204 (47%) were incorrectly analyzed. With numbers like that, a coin flip is almost as good, and if you slant it slightly toward men (as I'm guessing that a slight majority of bloggers are men,) you can probably get similar or better results.

However, I like the Typealyzer, and I encourage bloggers to put up a copy of your type analysis and your thoughts on the results.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maybe I'll be on that blogcast someday...

I'm listening to the Twisted Nether blogcast right now, and I thought I would provide an update about my computer.

It seems that for some reason, the first sector of my main boot disk was marked as a Unix storage disk. This made it impossible for the boot loader to find Windows for some reason. Also, the only way to fix it is to either a) hand edit the boot sector with a special tool or b) perform a low-level format to the disk. Guess what I did?

I got a new hard drive and installed Windows on that. I left the old one as it was, but I plan on backing it up and hopefully restoring the old disk with all my settings. I am good to go for leveling, so that will probably take top priority for now :).

So expect me to say I dinged 74 tomorrow. I'm already pretty far behind some of the one-character people in my guild. It makes me worry about when to start raiding, but from what I can tell, it would be as soon as we have 10 80s in the appropriate slots.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Possibly the most malicious software on the planet. (some exaggeration implied)

Apparently the bootsect.exe is not strong enough to eliminate the contagion that is GRUB. And from what I'm told, doing a flat out reinstall of Windows won't do it either. Neither will any amount of Abolish Poison or Remove Curse. No, I have to boot into Linux again and tell GRUB to GTFO from there. You'd think that with such an open philosophy, Linux would make it easy to switch back to Windows should the desire arise. Well, they don't. They have this certain expectation that their product is better (and maybe it is, but it isn't more useful, not for me.) This expectation that "once you Ubuntu, you'll never adieu." Well they're wrong! And their accursed partition-level boot loader is holding my computer hostage until I can exorcise it from my hard drive.

I like the idea of Linux. Some of the implementation details are screwy though. More on WoW when I can purge my computer of the infection that is GRUB.

Monday, November 17, 2008

For easiest setup, avoid Linux like the plague.

I logged off early Sunday with a bar and a half to level 74. Since then my computer has gone out of commission, thanks to Grub, the boot loader included with Linux. Not to say anything bad about Linux, but if you stick it on dual-boot with Windows, things get screwy if you want to revert back to Windows-only, which I had to do due to space requirements. Anyway, this will all be fixed when I get home, so I should be back on this evening.

In other news, I highly recommend XBMC for your home theater needs. It's free, open source, easy to use, and can find information about all those movies you downloaded/ripped. What's more it provides a pretty interface for all of your media.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tenacity pets are overrated as tanks, apparently.

After some unsuccessful questing the hour after release, I logged on after work yesterday with about half a bar toward 71 and little rested experience. I finished about four hours later with about 5 and a half bars toward 72. I'm not the farthest along in my guild, but I am trying to get there at a reasonable pace. If I didn't go to work today, I could be the first Druid on my server to 80 (Yeah, we're kinda slow.) Last I looked the highest character on the server is a 74 Mage.

There's already at least one 80 in Europe. Crazy people over there.

I did actually consider skipping work to try to be the first Druid on my server to 80, but after they got rid of the titles, there's no real reason to do so, other than the pressure of getting two other characters to 80 and raid ready as soon as possible.

Also, I did decline a guild run to the Nexus, which I think was a mistake, but I hadn't gotten any quests for the instance yet and I wanted to wait until I did. The group fell apart because the closest thing they had to a tank was an underlevel Gorilladin. Next time I get asked, I'm going.

I got off WoW at about 11:00, but I stayed up to 4:30 building my new home theater PC. I decided to go with Ubuntu and MythTV, rather than a Windows-based solution. The problem was that I couldn't get Ubuntu to work properly, kept getting "Failed to initialize HAL!" Eventually I decided to put Windows on, but that REALLY didn't work out. Apparently XP Media Center needs to be activated before you log on the first time, but Windows can't interface with the PC's ethernet port without installing the drivers. Back to Ubuntu. I fell asleep during the install, but I finished it all up after waking up this morning. No HAL errors anymore! Before I left for work, I set it to download updates and drivers.

That covers my night pretty well, so I'll leave it at that. I plan on hitting 72 tonight, running an instance, and getting my home theater properly configured. I don't watch cable, so the PC is pretty much there as an HD input for my TV (it's running DVI to an HDMI port on the TV.) It was pretty cheap to put together. If you have an HDTV and no sources of HD input yet (maybe you just upgraded your TV,) consider building (not buying) your own home theater solution. It's well worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There was a black guy who said he was nervous when the cops showed up

I went to a midnight release last night to pick up the two copies of the Collector's Edition. I arrived at GameStop to find a long line, which only grew longer as time past. Though the bubbly recording that called said things would start at 10, the doors to the store were not open until 12, after they made sure everyone in line was fully paid up.

After they started things, it all went pretty quickly. My transaction was about 30 seconds. Those Collector's Editions are heavier than they look, by the way. Seems like most everyone in line was horde, too.

After getting home, I installed the game, and started leveling. However, it didn't take long before I developed a sleep-deprived headache and went to bed. So no level 71 for me yet.

More to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Death Knight

Oh, one thing to add, I do plan on making a Death Knight, though I don't know when I will do anything with her. His/her name will be Goethe. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine why.

Paladins are simply GUIs for your /castrandom macros

Two days ago, Rohan wrote "[...]it's very annoying to link to someone, and then have them stop posting a little while later."

Fine, fine, I get the picture.

I've had things to say, but I'm still at the point where writing doesn't come naturally to me. I spend a lot time reading blogs, maybe too much, so I figure, maybe I could write this now and THEN start reading for the day. This writing thing just isn't natural for me. This is going to be a random ride.

Better Business Bureau... or Big Bear Butt?
Does anyone else think of Big Bear Butt when the see the Better Business Bureau logo?
Granted, I don't know what he has to do with a torch. But how many of you are going to think of it now? My place of work is accredited by the Big Bear Butt. Is yours?

My Druid, Myze, has tanked her last instance until Wrath, possibly until 80. She is now specced for Cat (for the most part, it's just the more cat-focused part of my 80 tanking tree.) I was supposed to tank with her in ZA last night, but my baby had other plans. She wasn't feeling well so I took the night off to tend to her. My guild then ran around like a headless chicken, screaming how they didn't want to do ZA without their familiar bear tank. (I should mention at this point that I'm the only person in guild whose main is a tank.) Anyway, they finally manage to get off the ground, for the most part on time. And you know what? They did just as well, if not better than when I went with them the last couple times. Of course I wasn't the only regular who wasn't there, so it's not entirely me holding them back. Actually to be honest, we usually get the first three chests and then go leisurely through the rest of the instance. They actually pushed for Lynx's chest, which I think contributed to them finishing about 15 minutes earlier than expected. Again, they did a good job, and I was proud of them all, and I let them know that.

Miyra, my troll hunter, who has her hunter license suspended by BRK due to a lack of scope on her ranged weapon, is finally doing well. First off, why no scope? Well, it's because I spent the longest time ignoring all enchants and anything else unnecessary for my epic flier. If I needed gems, I'd buy them from the vendor. Her gear languished for quite a while, as I couldn't get her into a guild with a foothold in Kara. Until the invasion event. I managed to get all four of the Blessed pieces for her in one night, basically through my magnificent luck. I also pugged a really unsuccessful Kara that night. We had a good tank up to Curator, but she had to leave, but replaced herself with a tank she "could not vouch for." A tank with 10007 health. He was awful. He actually ditched the run before anyone else.

My hunter's gear is terrible, but still, she lead in DPS that night. And the Heroic MgT I ran the next night. And the Gruul's I ran after the MgT. Over a T5-geared, fully enchanted Rogue. Beast Master Hunters rock, I guess. Actually, she also kept damage over another Beast Master Hunter in Kara last Saturday, who was better geared than I. But it was very slim, a difference of ~50,000 damage for the whole night. The deciding factor? I had a Devilsaur, and he had a Cat. He also probably used Volley too much.

I do want to mention something about heroic Magister's Terrace. I know it doesn't really matter anymore, but on the second boss, Vexallus, pets are REALLY good as soaking pure energy. Just make a macro that says "/petattack [target=Pure Energy]" and spam it the whole fight. Resume normal DPS on Vexallus. WIN!

My Pally, Eia, the third planned 80, is almost fully epicced out, not that it really matters too much. I'm pretty sure I'm going Ret with her to level, in which case, she'll be in greens and blues. I'm still not sure if it's the right way to go, though I know if I stay Prot, Sanctuary is definitely the leveling Blessing due to the mana return on mitigated hits. I would be happy if, on our final trek through Karazhan tomorrow, both Moroes' Lucky Pocket Watch and the T4 headpiece dropped. Then I would have 2 characters in all purple. (5 if you count Myze's 4 possible specs and the associated sets I have for them.) Again, though, doesn't really matter as Thursday will start the fast and furious race to 80.

So there you have it. I've been playing, I haven't been in a rut. I'm not about to emo quit the game or anything like that. I'm just lying in wait, and trying to avoid getting in over my head thoerycrafting. There shall be more to come as I level my characters. Maybe I'll have something new to share. Maybe I'll be able to earn my Hunter license, but I doubt it. The only scopes they ever put up on the AH are the Crude and Standard ones. And if I'm already leading in damage in every group I'm in, are those really worth the money and effort? At least I got my quiver.