Monday Musings – Catching Up Editon   17 comments

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!

On WoW
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.

We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.

I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90′s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.

I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely.

On Inferno Diablo
Brade and I made a push before patch 1.0.3 hit to knock out the big bad guy himself…and didn’t get it done. We just ran out of time, and had to do that adult responsible thing and go to bed. I was a little sad about this, but we were attempting it in a group of 4 – with three glass cannons. Maybe not the best approach to the encounter. But that’s OK, because it’s how I chose to play.

Anyhow, Brade and I both took a heavy hit to damage in the patch. As such, we spent some time reacquainting ourselves and farming some of the old content. Well, yesterday we had a little bit of time in the morning and spent a couple of hours throwing ourselves at Diablo again. We still haven’t killed him, but we saw progress, fairly regularly making it into phase 2 and even getting our shades killed now and again. However, after a couple of hours we both came to the conclusion that we could both still use additional gear. Sadly, we don’t have millions of gold to spend on it in the AH, so we are doing it the old fashioned way…grinding!

On a side note, I’m really enjoying the change to Nephalim Valor. It’s nice to kill an elite or champion pack and know that you will be getting a shiny at the end. Even if that shiny has a 99% chance of being complete rubbish!

On Mists of Pandaria
I know that I say this every expansion, but for reasons that I don’t have fully fleshed out myself as yet, I think MoP will be the last expansion that I raid seriously. It’s not that WoW is tired, or being ruined by this group or that group, it’s not even that I’m “tired” of it. It’s more that as I get older I want to do more, and sadly raiding and being part of a leadership team for a raiding guild really places limitations on the time that I have to explore other things, and I think I’ve reached a point where the side of the scale holding “other things” is starting to tip more heavily. I have no regrets, and I’ve had amazing experiences and created amazing friendships in my love affair with WoW. In fact, I’d wholeheartedly recommend gaming and raiding to others. I’m just starting to think that, for me, the time commitment that it takes to raid is becoming more than what I want to give.

This isn’t bad, it just is what it is. And for all I know I could re-evaluate things in two years or so and completely change my mind. But as it stands right now, and where I am right now, I think that anything I do in an expansion following MoP in WoW will probably be at a more casual level, where I can get up and walk away from the game without consequences or having an impact on 24 other people. I’ve always questioned if I could play the game that way, and it may turn out that I cannot, but I think I’ve reached a peace with what I want to do outside of the game meaning that I will no longer be able to play the game as I have to date. And I think I am okay with that.

Until that time, however, bring on Pandaland! I have another full expansion of internet dragons to kill and purple pixels to loot!

On Movies

With it being summer again we have been frequenting movies almost every weekend. We both enjoy movies, and it’s been fun playing preview roulette and deciding what looks worthy of seeing, what doesn’t, and what Brade will endure because I want to see it. So far this summer the movie of note, I think, would hands down be The Avengers. I have seen this movie four times in the theatres. If you are looking for something entertaining to go and see, I cannot recommend this one enough!

Other than that, most things have been one offs that we’ve found moderately entertaining, such as Men in Black 3 (Brade would probably argue that Dark Shadows was not entertaining). We saw Brave this past weekend and I thought it was wonderful and can’t wait for BluRay so that I can see it again! I’m still debating on if I want to drag Brade to Rock of Ages. We both want to see Moonrise Kingdom (and may go this weekend). I’m on the fence about Spiderman, but know that I will go see it because I love Emma Stone. I can’t wait for the final Dark Knight movie and I’m intrigued by Jeremy Renner’s take on the new Bourne movie.

There is, however, one catastrophe on the horizon. And that is that The Hobbit and Les Mis come out on the same day! WOE IS ME! I will not lie; I am seriously considering taking a vacation day on December 14th just so that I can see them both that day. And even then, I am torn on which one to see first! (probably Les Mis).

On TV

Brade and I have been slowly catching up on television from the past month (yes, Diablo really has taken up most of our free time!). We finally finished Game of Thrones, and I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with some of the scenes. They could have been so much more! Regardless, even though I disagreed with some of the casting, I continue to enjoy the show and I am looking forward to next season. Oh, and Peter Dinklidge is pimp. Dude could stand in the middle of a white room reciting sonnets and I’d be hooked and hanging on every word he said.

I have continued to love Smash. I know some people (stupid critics!) have felt that it was “cheesy”, but I have enjoyed and loved every last minute of it and seriously hope that it was slated for a second season. It ended such that it perhaps it won’t, but I would watch the shit out of season two! Just sayin’!

True Blood, on the other hand, has jumped the shark so much that I’m not sure I’ll make it through this season. Maybe it’s because I read the books and was so attached to those characters that I’m turned off of the HBO spin off, but it seems to me that the only relationship the series even has to the books anymore is that they have characters that share the same names. We almost didn’t finish watching the season opener. We made it through the second episode last night, and were both left with a WTF feeling as we went through the episode. I guess we will have to see where the series leads, but so far color me not impressed.

On Reading

I just finished the newest John Grisham book, and I’ve got to say that I loved every minute of it, and thought it was one of his best books recently. I would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something to read, and wouldn’t even call this one a guilty pleasure! Of course, that leaves me without anything queued up on my kindle to read so I’m open to suggestions!

There is a new Sookie book out, as well as a Mary Higgans Clark book that I haven’t read yet and I think Elizabeth George has two out that I haven’t read. However, Brade really wants me to read the Hunger Games series (which is free with Amazon Prime right now!) and I also noticed that the Harry Potter books are open for Amazon Prime members to check out as well. So I may go that route for now. I need to go look and see when Jim Butcher’s next book will be out, and to see if there is any word on Book 6 in the Song of Ice and Fire series (unlikely!). I am, however, always open to suggestions if anyone has anything they’d like to recommend as a good read!

So, how have you all been? Seen or read anything good? Looking forward to pandaland? Still enjoying Diablo? It’s been so quiet around here (my own fault!) I’d love to catch up!  :)

17 responses to “Monday Musings – Catching Up Editon

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  1. I’ve not read the books myself but from what my wife tells me, wasn’t True Blood taking serious liberties from the very beginning? Tara wasn’t much of a character, the eric/witch story was actually from the maenad, and eric is actually a viking and not a zoolander character claiming to be a viking. In any case I’m still enjoying the show, but yeah a lot of my friends are saying that its getting quite tired for them.

  2. I understand your sentiment about raiding. In fact, I didn’t make it all the way through cataclysm. That said, there is life after progression raiding!

    On the reading front, I’ve become completely enamoured of the two books Patrick Rothfuss has out, “The Name of the Wind”, and “A Wise Man’s Fear”. I couldn’t put them down!

  3. Have you given any thought to still raiding seriously, but not in a leadership role? Or at least, not in THE leadership role? I know it’s far off, but that might be a way to get the best of both worlds – serious raiding plus a lot more free time! (Obviously this would rely heavily on finding a GM who would run things at a standard you could accept, since it would probably be torturous to have someone not as committed or dedicated as you have been as GM.)

  4. Snow White and the Huntsman is a worthwhile movie – for me anyway :D

  5. The Hunger Games Trilogy is definitely a must read. As for book 6, GRRM has chapters up on his blog that he rotates out every so often. I think there was a Theon chapter up last month.

  6. I’ve mentioned the Patrick Rothfuss books to her, but I don’t think I did a good job selling them. They are exceptional and I just wish he’d get the third one out already.

  7. I just read the latest book from Mira Grant, Blackout. It’s the final book in a trilogy about zombies, as experienced by a group of bloggers. I really enjoyed the series.

    I’ve been watching True Blood, which I personally think jumped the shark way back in season 2. It’s one of those shows I find absolutely ridiculous, but can’t seem to stop watching. I’m also watching Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen, which I might not watch too much of because of how obnoxious everyone on it is.

    I thought I was done with Diablo once I finished normal mode, though I have been dabbling in Nightmare mode, mostly when I should be doing homework or something and want to procrastinate. I don’t really find the gear grind or AH aspects of the game appealing.

    • I agree that True Blood is like a train wreck that you can’t look away from!

      I’d like to kill Inferno Diablo, and I’d still like to play the other classes casually. The only one I haven’t started yet is a monk :)

  8. You should have a go at the Hunger Games, especially if they’re free. I was quite impressed with them and even if you end up not enjoying them, they take only about 3 seconds to read.

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