Archive for the ‘Just for Fun!’ Category
In light of everything that’s been circling around the blogosphere lately, I thought that perhaps it was time to get to the bottom of it. And I think that I’ve got a fool-proof method for solving the problems that we’ve been seeing! Honest!
You see, being a child of the 80′s (yes, I had mall hair – MOCK ME IF YOU DARE!) we had a definitive guide for how to behave. Someone to help us understand that you can’t always judge a book by its cover and the teach us to differentiate good behavior from bad. (See! The 80′s had more than just kick ass fashion, Aqua Net and Madonna!).
Who was this guide, this muse, this purveyor of such a wealth of information? I’ll tell you my friends, it is none other than the fabulous John Hughes. (Snigger all you want! The man was a genius!).
WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW WHO JOHN HUGHES IS?!?!?!
Well…that explains a lot! If you are scratching your head confused, head to your nearest blockbuster and rent anything of his pre-1990 (preferably with Molly Ringwald)! Be educated by the master of how to treat people!
The Fool Proof Method! The next time you have the urge to be a bit controversial in any medium, be it your blog or twitter - before you act, ask yourself “What would John Hughes Do?”.
And then remember how awful you felt for Molly Ringwald as she stitched up that pink dress only to have to go to prom alone. Of course you should then relish the awesomeness that is Ducky – and learn the lessons that Andrew McCarthy learned the hard way. But hopefully by now you get my drift!
In all honesty, you could do a lot worse than follow some semi-dated, yet still relevant, advice from the 80′s!
Oh – and stay off my Aqua Net!
I read a post this weekend that both saddened me and made me think a bit. You see Tam and I started blogging right about the same time, and we sort of “discovered” each other just as we each opened our respective doors and our thoughts to the world. He was in his Sissy Dress, and I was full of frustration and looking for an outlet to express it. I do not know if it was reciprocated (although I’d like to think it was!), but I have always felt a bit of a bond to Tam and have always been incredibly fond of him. I read his thoughts daily, even after his blog hit my work’s “you shall not view this” filter under the category “Adult Content” (I still think it was the WoW Cocks!) – but sadly didn’t comment as often as I should have as a result.
While I completely support and respect Tam’s decision to stop blogging, I am a little sad that his voice will be leaving our community. He offered this amazing insight into the most complex of things and always did it in such an intriguing way that you couldn’t help but follow through to the end of his thought. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the creativity he posses. Honestly, he probably has more creativity in just one tiny button of that sissy robe he is so fond of than I have in the entirety of my mind. One of the things that Tam was always so good at was addressing any topic with a side dish of humor, regardless of it is was something just for run or seriously deep thoughts. In fact, I bet if I ran a poll of people who found themselves laughing out loud from his rhetoric the poll meter would break. (You know, like in a cartoon, where the thermometer fills to full and then just BURSTS! out of the top).
Dear God, Beru! Do you have a point in all of this?!?!
I do! Honest! I’m just working my way around to it, sheesh! Can I continue now? Yes?
You see, one of the things that reading Tam’s farewell post made me realize this weekend is that he always seemed to have so much fun in whatever it was he was doing. Not only did he have a bit of fun – but he shared that fun with all of us and that got me to thinking about how much I was going to miss his anecdotes. And that made me realize that sometimes I forget about the fun. I sit down to write a post and so rarely do I think “I’m going to just have fun today!”. More often I write about whatever bee is flying around my bonnet – and I don’t really think that there is anything wrong with that, per se – it’s just always so serious.
Now, I already left a goodbye note to Tam and Chas. It was filled with all kinds of terrible Lord of the Rings analogies – to go along with the title of their post. But as I thought more about it, it doesn’t really do my friend Tam justice. Because, you know, a few words are hardly enough to say goodbye to someone to truly show the fondness that I felt for Tam and the joy that he often brought me through his writing. And so I thought that perhaps the best “good luck and have fun!” gift/words that I could offer was to try a put a bit of Tam in my post today, and see if I couldn’t have a bit of fun.
Before I get started, I would also like to encourage everyone who enjoyed Tam and Chas’ work to do a bit of the same this week. Show Tam and Chas how valued they were in the community, and how much we will miss them, by bringing a bit of fun into a post on your blog this week in their honor and to say goodbye and good luck!
And so, without further ado, I’d like to present to you a little bit of fun in honor of Tam!
This weekend, I decided to finally give the goblin starting zone a bit of a try. Now, I know that some really didn’t care for it and after doing the zone, I can certainly see why it wouldn’t tickle everyone’s fancy. But I had an immense amount of fun moving through it. To be fair – I was a little surprised that Blizzard was promoting insurance fraud and robbing a bank in one of the starter quests, but I took it for the laugh it was supposed to be. I will admit that overall I enjoyed the zone quite a bit.
Regardless of if you loved or hated the zone, there was nothing anywhere in Kezen funnier than one of the buffs that you receive – and I happen to think that this can be appreciated by all. What buff is that, you might ask? Let me show you!
If you aren’t cracking up with laughter (the way I was the entirety of the time I had this buff!) then you clearly aren’t familiar with the fine work of one Robert Matthew Van Winkle. Or perhaps you are just too young to truly appreciate how funny it really is! Of course, I supposed that you could also just be too embarrassed to admit how fond you were of this fine artist (for shame!), because let’s be honest the song is damn catchy! Admit it! Just on seeing this buff you now have it stuck in your head! MUAHAHAHAHA!
For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, do not fear – I have included some insight for you Just click on the picture of the buff above and travel back in time with me, circa 1991, to stop, collaborate and listen! I am not ashamed to admit that as I was driving around town Brade and I were both singing Ice, Ice Baby (although, I will rat him out and disclose that he knew far more of the words than I did!). I will also admit that at one point in my life I did own a pair of those horrid pants – don’t even ask me what I was thinking!
Word to your mother! Peace Out!
On Guild Websites
I am debating undertaking the task of changing our guild website front page over to WordPress. We are already self hosted, but some time ago one of our web monkeys found another program/site that made the ease of updating information/progression/applications and the like very simple and subscribed to the service. At the time, this was extremely good for us, because it was right after the guild split and the person that had previously updated the website was no longer doing it – and I had take over the job.
Only I didn’t have a clue what to do.
So the change was incredibly helpful, and made it extremely easy for my simple mind to wrap itself around having to deal with updates onto the front page. I had never had any experience with HTML or CSS or anything of the like. However, what ends up happening is that when you visit our website, you are redirected to a front page that is actually hosted on a different server. When you go to our forums you are redirected back.
Now, it’s been this way for the past four years, and hasn’t been a problem. Except that since I’ve started blogging, I’ve gotten a little more experience with putting stuff out there on the interwebs. And well, now that I have a tiny inkling of what is possible, I am no longer satisfied with the simple system we are now using. While it is very easy to maintain (mostly because someone else does all the work!), it’s also not hugely customizable and somewhat costly. You can see how it currently works by visiting our website at www.monolithwow.com if you’d like to poke around.
As such, the idea of moving our guild front page to WordPress on our current host server (since we are already self hosted) instead of having the redirect, has been floating around in my head for some time. I’ve been weighing out the pros and cons of it – and while I’ve not come to a conclusion just yet on what I’d like to do, I have decided that I do want to import wordpress onto our host server and play around with it and “mock up” a front page to see how much work it would be and if the upkeep seems to be sustainable (I am, of course, assuming that I can do this before sending the change live). I suspect that the lion’s share of the work is going to be in the set up – and that the actual upkeep will be minimal. Of course, I’ll have to archive almost 4 years of stuff from the current front page, but I have 133 days to do that before our subscription on the current system expires.
As you can tell – I’m still in the “oh god can I do this” stage of planning. I think that the answer is “yes”, and I’ll never know if I don’t take the leap and give it a try. It’s not likely to be anything too fancy – but I think I can make it into something that I like better than what we have now. I read through the installation process over at wordpress.org and the first bit of panic entered when I read “set up a database on your server” – so I emailed our server host asking about it, and asking if it is something that I can do or they need to do. I suspect they will need to do it – but I did ask that if it’s something I can do I get a few minutes for them to walk me through it. Maybe I should have offered cookies….
However, having never done anything with self-hosted wordpress before, I’m a bit unsure of myself. Once it’s all downloaded is the interface like the “free” wordpress that you get here on my blog? Will it be as simple to make changes and updates and whatnot? I know that there are tons of plugins for widgets and what not that I can use for things like progression and recruiting, as well as a plethora of themes but is it complicated to get them all downloaded onto my host server? I imagine that once I learn how to do one, the rest will be simple?
If you have experience with this sort of thing, is this something that you’d recommend doing? Will I be overwhelmed by it? Should I hire someone to help me get it all up and running so that I only have to worry about maintaining it? I really do think that I want to make the change, but mostly I’m just absolutely terrified of screwing it up and not having anyone to help me fix it if I do it all wrong.
On Last Minute Alts
Elentari – my mini me. I don’t know that I can put my finger on exactly why the bug bit me, but for some reason it became imperative that she hit 80 before December 7. Maybe it’s because I no longer have a Tauren at level 80, who knows. Regardless, it had to be done. So in between working on guild things to prepare the guild for Cataclysm, and preparing myself for the upcoming holidays, and making sure that everything is order at work before my Cataclysm vacation, I’ve been furiously leveling her. She hit 79 last night when I ran out of steam and needed to do something else. Hopefully here in the next few days she’ll reach level 80
I’m overwhelmed…and somewhat frustrated.
I think that it’s cool that we get the new zones and everything before Cataclysm. But I’m frustrated that even though I’m a loremaster – all of the questing that I did in each zone doesn’t count for the new zone achievements and I have to completely redo each zone. Sure, the content is new and fresh, but I had wanted to experience it on my goblin – from scratch. Having to go back and completely redo each zone on Beru just seems…tedious.
Not to mention the new fishing achievements. How on earth can some of those old fish not be tracked?! Specifically when you have an achievement to fish from different pools of fish?! At the minimum I should have credit in my fishing achievements for the fish in those pools without having to trek out and re-fish them.
I just log in and feel completely overwhelmed at everything to “be done” on Beru. Which is probably why I’ve been spending so much time on Elentari. And thinking about spending the time to redo the guild website. Mostly, I’m just overwhelmed with all of the new stuff. And you know what – there is really no huge rush to get it all done. It will still be there a year from now waiting for me.
I went in the other day and finished out the ICC 5 man achievements that I was missing…and now that Beru can dispel, did The Faceroller as well.
But now I have a dilemma, if you will. Perhaps you can help me out with it. I am sitting on a battered hilt that I purchased off of the auction house with the sole purpose of giving it to my DK to replace her heirloom weapon. But Beru still needs the achievement for doing the battered hilt quest line. Now…Isulde will surely get a weapon upgrade in short order in Cataclysm – so I was thinking the maybe, perhaps, I should give Beru the hilt for her achievement. What do you think?
On Being Prepared
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much I prepare, I will never be fully prepared for Catalcysm. No amount of organizing, putting things together, posting on the forums will fully prepare me. So, I think I’m just going to have to settle with being as prepared as I can be, and letting the rest come. Yup. That’s the plan!
I don’t know how many people here know that I’m an avid collector of Non-Combat pets, you can sneak a peek at my collection by clicking on the sprite darter over there on the left if you are curious Anyhow, I am currently at a total of 139 of them to be exact! So while everyone else was out riding the boat in Thousand Needles last night, I was scooping up all of the new non-combat pets that became available with the Shattering! As such, I thought that I would share with you what I found to be available, and any insight on how to go about collecting them for yourself! Read the rest of this entry »
And here is one of the biggest ones! Figures Blizzard wouldn’t have it in the patch notes!
Niniel recently shared his desk set-up with his new monitor. I have to say that I loved his clean, candle-lit look! Inspired by Niniel, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share my past weekend’s desk endeavors as well!
For a very long time (3+ years to be exact), Brade and I have shared this desk. While it was workable it was, needless to say, quite cramped. Neither of us had very much personal space. Part of the reason that we shared the desk was because we just didn’t have a whole lot of space to put in a second desk…or so we thought. We had been talking about trying to find a bigger desk/desk solution for quite some time now, tired of knocking elbows while we played. We had just never gotten around to getting those conversations past the “I’d like” or conceptualization stages.
However, this past weekend, venturing out to purchase a laptop table for the living room had us looking at desks. And of course, once the bug go into my head, along with actually shopping while we were discussing it, I was excited to have a new project! And so we got home and I dug out our tape measure and started taking measurements. Ultimately we wanted to keep the desk we already had, not only to help keep cost down, but so we didn’t have to figure out how to dispose of it. We also knew it was something we’d like to do before Cataclysm, so that we’d have extra space once we were back at the computers a great deal.
We took measurement after measurement, added up the space, debated, discussed and finally decided to go down to Ikea to have a look around. After doing the math, we were fairly confident that we’d have enough room to purchase a second desk like we already had, and “L” them up. We had also hoped that we could purchase a connector for the two desks. As luck would have it, we could purchase another desk. However, because we favored the glass top desk, they did not have the connector option. That was fine, it just meant that we had a huge square gap between the corners of the desks – I could find a way to fill that space.
We got home, got everything assembled, and I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the results! We bought a silk tree to fill the gap in the desks, but I am still considering having a table made to fit the space. It’s a little snug between the front desk and the wall, but we can still maneuver through the space without problem and can get the vacuum and what not through it easily – it’s almost as if we just created a bit of a snug hallway. The best part is that we each have our own space again! And that is well worth it in my opinion!
The new desk space, with both desks, and plenty of room to move about.
My desk – with lots of space! And yes, that is a framed map of Middle Earth on my wall =P
For those that may be curious, and/or considering a desk/office renovation project of their own, the total cost of our little weekend remodel was ~$560 USD. However, we picked up a few non-essential things like a couple of blotters ($70/two), the non-essential silk tree ($50), the little shelf unit you see on my desk ($35) and a couple of desk lamps ($100). The cost also included a new surge protector (we shared one before), and longer cords to compensate for the additional length needed to get from the computer to the router (combined total $50). If you stuck just to the absolute bare bones, it probably could have been done for under $300 USD, depending on how many of the desk components you needed/wanted to purchase.
All in all, for what the end product ended up being, I think it was pretty well done and a relatively economical solution to our problem!
At least that is what I will tell myself to make myself feel better! I have yet to roll anything of significance for Mimiron’s head. None of my pumpkin bags have graced me with the Reins of the Headless Horseman that I relentlessly farmed every Hallow’s Eve. But that’s ok! I understand, WoW, you want me to have to work for my mounts. I getcha!
It took me two expansions, and somewhere around 180 attempts, but I guess my stubbornness patience, and relentlessness dedication finally paid off!
I have to say – and maybe I’m just delusional biased – but this is better than any mechanical head or fiery horse any day of the week! And it’s extremely sexy on a druid, is it not?!
The past few weeks our raiding has sometimes been a struggle. We have a team that is 100% capable of the content that we’ve been clearing for I don’t even know how long now getting, well, bored. And when people are bored they start to tune out, and become lacsidasical in their performance. Malaise sets in and people start phoning in performances while keeping one eye on the raid, and the other on Monday Night Football.
It’s a problem.
So, in order to try and spice things up a bit this week, and to bring some fun and excitement back into raiding, we ran a little contest during our raid this past Wednesday that I think can ultimately be considered a success. I’m sure some people thought it was silly or juvenile, but the majority of the raid seemed to enjoy it – and the results of keeping the raid engaged and their mind on the raid were undeniable. We didn’t spend the night wiping on encounters that we have had on farm for months. We smoothly went through the content – and had a lot of laughs on the way.
So What Did You Do?
Before the raid, I visited the Auction House and picked up a number of rare pets to offer as prizes. White Kitten carriers, pet bomblings, little raptors and alliance specific pets that some folks might not have. I think I may have to shop on the alliance side next week, having bought the horde out of all of their rarities! Anyhow, I tossed all the pets in my already overflowing bags, and headed to the raid.
During the day, I had come up with a little mini-game to be played between each boss encounter as we cleared the trash, ran back from a wipe, etc. It was really simple and didn’t take me too much time to put together (I’ll have to get more creative next week though!). I picked a handful of NPC/creatures in WoW and came up 3 “hints” indicating who they were. When it was “trivia” time in the raid I would read off the three hints and the first person in the raid to supply the answer, by either blurting it out in vent or typing it in raid chat, “won” and was rewarded with a prize.
Those who had already won were still welcome to play, but had to send me a whisper with their guess – and weren’t able to win another prize.
Going into it, I was a little nervous that people would think that it was lame. And I do not doubt that a couple of people in the raid probably thought it was. But as we would move from one boss to another, and people asked for “trivia!”, I felt pretty confident that it was a success, and that as a whole, the raid was enjoying this change of pace. Enough so, that I will have to be even more creative for next week! (I still have a few prizes left for our last 3 bosses this week).
Because the raid enjoyed it so much, I thought I’d share my “hints” with all of you, and see if you have the same fun trying to figure out who everyone is. Some people were able to figure the answers out with just one clue – and some required all three clues. Many of the clues have my own added snark in them and may not be 100% factual! So – let’s see how you guys do!
Read the rest of this entry »
Hard Mode Lich King
He is dead.
It took us 174 pulls over 14 raids and 4 months. Our first flirts with him were back on June 4th, we stopped clearing the zone and holding our raid lockouts on August 17th, and we’ve pushed multiple nights for the past few weeks.
Looking back on the journey I have a few things to say (there’s a shocker!).
First and foremost, it was worth it. I don’t think any of the 10 people in the raid last night will argue that point. As the realization that we had finally done it started to settle in the group was absolutely ecstatic. To be completely honest, I don’t think that a kill has affected me quite as much since we took C’thun down. And that’s saying a whole hell of a lot because I have had some epic kills in my 6 years playing this game. To be honest, I don’t even know what happened. It was what would have likely been our final pull of the night, after almost 4 hours of pushing at him, and the first two pulls before the kill were a disaster. Somehow everything just…clicked. I don’t have any better explanation for it than that.
I’d like to say that I had some eloquent, William Wallace-esque speech that just motivated everyone in the raid before that last pull, but there was no such thing. Somehow we survived each defile, each wave of vile spirits, each trip down to the frostmourne room. And when we came up that last time we knew. Read the rest of this entry »
On Raiding –
We are still working at HM LK in our 10 man group. We went in last night, after having a not so great Tuesday, and did alright. We had 20 pulls left for the week, and spent 3 hours on 15 of those pulls. It was a fairly productive night of work with him, and I didn’t feel like killing kittens when we were finished. Of our 15 pulls, 5 of them made it into the final phase. Several of them had RNG mishaps – the disease dying on a ghoul that delayed behind while we were moving for the transition, the disease stacking poorly on shamblers and going into the final phase with a shamble up, etc. But all in all – it was a very good night’s worth of work.
We actually started working on our new soaking strategy, and had a few pulls where the soakers were doing great…but we failed at defile. So, as we took a few pulls towards the end of the night, and it became clear that our focus was spent, we decided to “practice” our defile. We flipped the sucker to normal and spent about 30+ minutes just practicing defile and soaking in phase 3. Sure, things line up differently, but we forced ourselves to learn how to move from the defile. I felt it was very productive.
The group as a whole has been dedicating more time to the encounter, which is commendable because this is their off time. The end results being: getting into the first transition in less than two minutes, getting out of the third phase in four valks (less if our warlock gets picked up), having only one raging spirit up as we come up from the first harvest soul, and learning to maneuver with/around defiles in our final phase. I think we should have a kill soon. I hope. It needs to happen before 4.0 hits – I am concerned that I will not be able to deal with the tank damage with the changes to my class.
25 Man Progress
We are still chugging along. We made some progress on HM Halion again this week, which is always encouraging, and the majority of our raid team seems to want to go back in for Alone in the Darkness. We plan on taking a few pulls on this next raid reset, having cleared Ulduar out with the weekly this week. We are continuing to feel out our raid team very carefully as the end of the expansion looms even closer.
On Patch 4.0 –
I am concerned. As a guild, we tend to raid until one or two weeks before the expansion releases. My biggest concern is with our ability to be able to continue and do this with the class changes coming in 4.0. Most notably with healing. My concern lies in the fact that everything the devs have said regarding healing in Cataclysm, and the direction they are taking, being a very large move away from the WotLK healing model. So…exactly how are we supposed to continue healing in ICC with a new and vastly different tool kit that was specifically designed for a completely different healing model? We are supposed to heal “spammy” damage with a toolkit focused on “non-spammy” heals? Am I missing something here?
Perhaps I’m just being a worry wart, but I am hugely concerned by this. Maybe everything will be ok, maybe it won’t.
On Alts –
Elentari – She is about half way through level 70. I actually have some really interesting thoughts on how healing on a low level druid without all of the tools that you may be used to on a higher level druid can make you a better healer, that I’m debating doing another post about. Other than doing the daily with her, I’m just stockpiling some of her rested XP. She also learned the Crazy Alchemist’s potion – so I’m pleased about that!
Nadine – She has made it to Northrend and is about half way to 72. I have truly enjoyed the Northrend questing with her, and found the Vyrkul storyline that I’ve seen in Howling Fjord to be fantastic. As horde I always wondered why we were battling against the Vyrkul – so much is explained in the alliance story line!
I’m still trucking along with tanking, and so far, it’s not bad. I think my biggest complaint is that Righteous Fury isn’t automatically active when you switch over into a prot spec. I often do the first pull of an instance before realizing that I don’t have it turned on. Also, Divine Plea solves so many problems. Why aren’t paladins given this sooner?!?! (I know, I know, they do in Cataclysm).
All in all, I’m mostly enjoying my space goat. And since she’s on my second account, it gives me something to do while camping for my Frostbitten achievement on Beru.
On Achievements –
Speaking of achievements, I only need Dirkee for Frostbitten. I managed to snag both Aotona and Vyragosa yesterday. And actually, I only snagged Vyragosa because I’m such a fail ret paladin, and after dying (again) I tabbed over to Beru – and there she was! I was so excited. Now if only Dirkee would spawn, I’d be finished with this horrible achievement.
Of course, then I will continue to work on Bloody Rare. But supposedly the TBC rares are easier, due to the zones being less crowded.
On Cataclysm –
There are changes a brewing. We are having some discussions currently about the direction we’d like to take the guild in Cataclysm. We will also be offering folks the opportunity to switch their mains in Cataclysm. This is something that I’ve given a lot of thought to, as I’ve been fairly unhappy with what I’ve been seeing reported about resto druids in the beta. Not only that, but the seeming lack of concern from the devs regarding the feedback they are receiving from druids in the beta.
I am worried, and I have considered moving to one of my other healers for the expansion. But, I’ve been a druid since Vanilla. I just can’t see changing now, especially with all of the work I’ve put into Beru. So, for better or worse, I’m going to stay a druid. I spammed healing touch, I rolled Lifebloom, and I learned to love rejuv. I’m sure I’ll fare fine with whatever changes come my way.
Speaking of Cataclysm, we opened up a fun little contest to the guild to guess the release date of the expansion, and we’ve gotten some very interesting guesses! Personally, I picked 11/18/2010. When do you think it’s going to release?
(quick edit! I am a little behind in replying to comments. I promise, it’s coming!)