Archive for September, 2010

I hear it all the time in Trade chat and it makes me nauseous.  It really does.  I don’t know what it’s like on your server, but on Bloodhoof every half hour after school is out there is a debacle in trade chat about how so-and-so is a “ninja” and that you shouldn’t group with him because you will lose the gear you rightfully earned if you take him or her on an instance with you.

B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t.  Hot, steaming b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t in fact.

I’m sorry.  I know that last bit will have offended someone, but I just don’t care anymore.  Just because you disagree with the Master Looter, doesn’t mean the person who got the loot is a ninja.  I’m getting sick to death of Azeroth being turned into an episode of Hook where the children scream “Kill the lawyers!” every ten minutes for the sole purpose of their own entertainment.  But before I go off on an adult-only server rant (which I’m sure I’ve done before), allow me to digress.  The doctor told me to lower my blood pressure anyway.

Blizzard Customer Service – in their infinite wisdom, glory, and acute level of helpfulness – published a link today on their Twitter feed to a document outlining their stance on ninja looting.  Being the sharp and astute individual I am, as soon as I saw the title, I wondered if they were going to branch into a tutorial of the mechanics of the looting system and lo and behold my prayer was answered!



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The aforementioned article looks like it isn’t going to happen.

The screenshots just didn’t really capture the things I was trying to capture.  It’s kind of dumb.  You assume that when you take a screenshot of something it’s going to capture everything that’s on the screen when you click the shutter, but apparently it doesn’t work that way.  There were times I took screenshots in particular places for particular reasons to show specific things and they just aren’t legible in the screenshots.  I don’t completely understand why, but I imagine it must have something to do with 3D.

Apologies folks.  The best laid plans.

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Inexpensive low-end computers with less-than-optimal RAM and/or integrated graphics cards are a fact of life.  Sometimes you can’t afford the machine you’d like to play on.  Blizzard has — in my opinion, wisely — made the game we love so that it will play “reasonably” on even the most budget computer setup.

We’ve all heard the big podcasters talk about the WoW experience “as it was meant to be experienced”, with the graphics slider cranked all the way to “Ultra”.  A lot of them talk about (or even plug) systems that cost thousands of dollars that are targeted at the gamer market.

Are you a player with an entry-level machine who has wondered just exactly how green it is on the other side of the fence?  Tonight I will be spending a number of hours playing on a computer that can do “Ultra” with one hand tied behind it’s back that cost about $1000 Canadian to build.  (At the current exchange rate, that works out to about $962 US).  I’ve checked the fps button on it several times, and seen numbers in the 160-180 range, although these numbers have fallen since my friend switched from a standard monitor to a (gorgeous) 24″ Samsung widescreen.  My intention is to take screenshots in a variety of places around the World of Warcraft, and through all of the expansions.  And then take the same identical screenshot (as close as I can) on the ultra-compact laptop I usually play on at home with an integrated graphics card and show you the difference a few hundred bucks can make.

I think it will be an interesting article.  I look forward to writing it, and I hope you enjoy it.  It should be up by tomorrow at the latest.

P.S.  If you have suggestions as to what locations or locales you want to see in the featured screenshots, by all means leave them in comments.  I will try to do as many as I can!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  There are twothings I love when it comes to addons.

  1. I love it when Addon authors read my mind.
  2. I love it when they execute the concept simply without adding a bazillion features.

Everybody I know who has a brain in their head has buttons on their action bars for bandages, health potions, mana potions, food and the like.  The problem is that these buttons are high-maintenance.  When you level past your current bandages or you run out of your preferred ones you’re outta luck if you forget to update the button with the ones you happen to have in stock.

Unless… you have MuchMoreMunch.

This addon is essentially a macro generator that updates on-the-fly.  Tell it to create a bandage macro and then drag it to an action bar button.  It will go through your bags and find the “best” bandages (that you can use) and put them on the button for you.  When you run out of those, it will automatically fallback to the next best ones without updating the button or the macro.

Ain’t that awesome?

Besides bandages, it will also do it’s magic with health potions, healthstones, mana potions, mana gems, health food and mana food.

You can get MuchMoreMunch (minus the hamster) here.

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Hey.  I’m back.  Remember me?

Sorry guys.  It’s been a rough and tumultuous year.  I took several months completely “off” (with my subscription stopped) and other months where it would be lucky for me to login 2-3 times a month.  It wasn’t a financial thing or an “I’m sick of the game” thing.  It was just that there was a lot going on in my life and I didn’t have a lot of time.  (Well ok, I was a little fed up with the instance problem a year ago (see previous post), but that’s not the reason I left…)

I’ve been playing again (on Bloodhoof) for about a month and with a wonderful sidekick.  I’m hoping I can lure her into writing a blurb here every once in a while.  We are milking the living daylights out of the Refer-A-Friend program.  In the space of a month she has about five or six toons, the “big one” is a level 53 priest, and I don’t think any of them are lower than 20.  “Alastrine” (the name of her priest) is rapidly learning the ropes and is turning into quite the WoW expert in a very short period of time.  (Last time I checked, she had more money on her main toon than I have on all of mine.)

So mostly I’ve wiped a bunch of old toons I didn’t use (mostly storage/bank alts) so I could make new toons to play with Alastrine’s new toons and the experience with Refer-A-Friend has been insane.  The levels come so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep yourself in “current” gear because after you play for an hour or two the gear is out of date.  (Plus, even when she’s up at 3am in insomniac mode, she grants me the levels I slept through.  Win-win.)

My one major beef with the Refer-A-Friend program is the new reward.  I don’t think it was very well thought out.  They are giving you a two-person flying mount usable in Outlands.  Great.  But if they’re going to reward you for recruiting a new player to the game, why wouldn’t they give you a land mount that you can use while you help level the younger character.

Cataclysm?  Yeah, sure.  But both of the computers we’re using here are kind of old and/or underpowered and I really don’t want to see the system requirements jump again.  It seems to me (I could be wrong) that my Mac Mini barely passed the system requirements check for Wrath last time.  Oh well.  We will cross our fingers and see.  A friend of mine just built a computer for about a grand Canadian that clocks at 200 fps.  It’s sick and disgusting and I hate him.  And I want one.  Playing on a machine with that kind of horsepower is ridiculous.  I saw accents and features in zones I had never noticed before.  And I’ve been playing almost since beta.

It’s really kind of fun playing with somebody who is  totally, legitimately new.  (Those are so few and far between these days.)  It really helps you see the awe and wonder of the game.  A few days ago we were in the Zoram Strand questing and she decided it would be faster to swim to Astranaar.  I went along with it, not really thinking but the long and the short of it was we ended up swimming all the way to Desolace before finding a place we could get back on-shore.  To our credit we only died once in the run from Tethris Aran to Nigel’s Point.  (I’m still shaking my head that we didn’t get nailed by any of those Naga swimming around in the water.)

But when it was done we’d had a good time, escaped death a half dozen times, and seen part of the “vanilla” world that Alastrine hadn’t seen before.  In my books that’s a win more than a raid drop, a moronically high gear score, or a list of fulfilled end-game achievements.

After some consideration, I think we’ve decided to bring Council Of The Sword back to life.  It had pretty much fizzled out and I was leery about putting the effort into it to bring it back to life.  We tried another guild but it didn’t really work for us.  So if you’re looking for a place to hang around and quest and “do what you want to do” without a lot of expectations, drop me a note either by e-mail or in-game to one of my alts.

That’s it for now.  Look forward to me posting more regularly.  I’ve been meaning to get back to this blog for weeks.  Sorry for the chatty “all-over-the-road” post.

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