Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts’ Category
Yea, yea. I know, I’m supposed to be talking about patch 5.0 and how to get ready for it. But I’m not! (I’m such a rebel! Look out now!). Instead I’m going to talk about something else: finishing games.
A couple of weeks ago I saw that there was a new Kingdom Hearts out for the 3DS. I just had to have it, and so I asked Brade if he could pick me up a copy so that I could enjoy it. He gave me the look, you know the one, it’s the one that says “but you have all of these other unfinished games (and unstarted!) that you can play!”. But none the less the next day he came home from work and lovingly handed me a copy of the new Kingdom Hearts and I was quite excited.
However, this copy of Kingdom Hearts, that I just had to have, is still sitting on my desk unopened and unplayed. Which is actually kind of sad, because I can play the 3DS without too much discomfort to my hands. And, well, it’s borderline tragic because hello it’s KINGDOM HEARTS. If you’ve never played the series, perhaps you don’t understand. But getting to kick ass with Mickey and Sora is just, well, magical (plus….Gummy Ships, just sayin’). Read the rest of this entry »
There have been a lot of things over the past week, both in and out of game, that have made me want to throw my hands up and walk away in frustration. I cannot tell you how much I would love September 25th to arrive already, and put idle hands and minds to work with activity. However, I’ve ranted up and down for the past week about those things, and honestly I want this week to start off on a more positive note. You see, I grow younger at heart this week and I intend to enjoy that despite everything else around me.
As such, I’m only going to talk about things that have pleased me or brought me joy over the past week and coming in the week ahead. Maybe this is some hippy mumbo-jumbo, but it seems to me if I want to have a happy, upbeat, pleasant week I need to take control of that from the start and build a good foundation for it to thrive. Or something.
The Outback Adventure
So in the biggest of news of the week, I think, we bought a car. Well, more specifically, Brade bought a new car. I haven’t even gotten to drive it yet! (Granted, that might be because Brade has driven with me before…). Anyhow, we started our Saturday morning at 8:30 in the morning with Breakfast out, and then drove and drove and drove. And oddly enough the first car we drove ended up being the one that was overwhelmingly the favorite.
And so when we got home around 7:00 Saturday night, it was in a new Subaru Outback!
For those of you in the Seattle Area, I will tell you that Sonny over at Chaplin’s Subaru in Bellevue was amazing and provided one of the best car purchasing experiences that I’ve ever had. When all was said and done, the actual purchasing part of the car was one of the most painless things we experienced throughout the day. In fact, I would buy another car from him in a heartbeat. If you are in the market for a new Subaru, I would absolutely recommend going to visit him!
Resto Round Table
What happens when you put 4 resto druids in a room and mix? You apparently get almost two and a half hours of druid talk! We recorded the Waffle Cast resto roundtable on Friday night, and it was a lot of fun. You can find the pod-cast here.
On Enjoying Lunch with a Friend
I have a semi-regular lunch outing with my good friend Tikari. This past week he was kind enough to listen to me ramble not once, but twice, as I had an emergency OMG THIS JUST HAPPENED AT WORK situation that I needed to vent about. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week, as we get together to ramble and rant about WoW, Work and how NBC broadcasts the Olympics (ok, maybe not really that last part!). But mostly it’s just nice to have someone to regularly bounce thoughts, ideas and frustrations off of, and receive an ear or advice in return.
No…not like those ears that you collect at the Darkmoon Faire! Exactly what do you think we do out here in Seattle! Seesh. :)
This past week we went to a newer place in the area, and stumbled on the most delicious thing ever. EVER. Grilled Cheese Fondue. It’s basically a pot full of tomato soup, and you are brought these amazing grilled cheese dippers for them. I am fairly confident that I could have sat there and eaten it all day. In fact, when they lady asked if we wanted more dippers I all but yelled “OMG THAT IS POSSIBLE?!?!”. So. Good. I think I might even go back today for lunch, since I’ve done nothing but think about how delicious it was since Friday!
On Growing Young
If I’m quiet this week, it’s because I have big plans! Tuesday night a friend is treating me to dinner at my favorite steak house, and I’ve been drooling for almost a week in anticipation. Then Thursday we are going to see King Tut. I’m quite excited, as I’ve never gotten the opportunity before and I’ve heard that the exhibit is quite amazing. After spending some time with the Tut, we are going to dinner at another one of my favorite places, and then going to see Weird Al in concert.
I have never seen Weird Al before, but I have high hopes that it will be an evening of frivolity and laughter.
Then on Friday we are going to head to the zoo, weather providing. Last year when we went to the zoo I fed a giraffe. I was completely chicken and pretty much threw my branch into its mouth the second that freakishly long tongue started to head my direction, but it was still a lot of fun. This year I think I’m going to feed the elephants instead. Although I suspect I will likely be equally as chicken when that trunk starts to move in my direction.
At some point, we will probably also go see a movie. As Brade listed them off, he conveniently left Sparkle for last – and then pointed out all of the other fantastic options that he had previously provided, including Paranorman and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I guess he really doesn’t want to see Sparkle if he’s trying to sell me on the two above :)
In short, I’m very much looking forward to the week ahead!
How have you all been? Do you have anything excited planned this week? Are you looking forward to anything coming up? What are you using for your anti-irritant for the week?
Have a video of Heroic Scholomance.
Yesterday Blizzard’s devs dropped a bit of a bombshell on the raiding community that was met with mixed reactions. Namely, they revealed that while there are three instances comprising Mists’ first raid tier, only one will be open at launch. Not only that, but they alluded to the first instance, Mogu’shan Palace, not being opened until the second week the game is live. There was talk about how second two zones in the tier were tied together in a story arc, that admittedly looks kind of cool, and would be released a few weeks after Mogu’shan Palace became available.
These announcements were met with a combination of sighs of relief from some and anger from others. I wanted to take a minute and explain my thoughts on the topic, which may well be a minority opinion amongst progression raiders. I like that the instances will be gated. Let me see if I can articulate why I feel this way. Read the rest of this entry »
Warning: This post will have spoilers for all three of the Hunger Games books. If you haven’t read them yet, you may not want to continue reading this post. If you get to the end, and are pissed that I spoiled something, I will simply remind you that the very first thing I wrote in this post was a warning.
My hands have had a bit of a set back the past few weeks. While the original issue has somewhat plateaued in the improvement department, about three weeks ago I developed additional tendon damage/injury to my left thumb/wrist area. While this has been highly disappointing, and the new injury has affected more than just playing on the PC (trying working with fondant when your hands hurt trying to soften it up or color it, or try shuffling a deck of cards when the action causes pain in your thumb), I’m trying to roll with the punches and facilitate as quick a recovery as possible. Which means that I’m not spending a lot of time on the computer and I am again spending a good deal of time reading, watching TV and doing other things.
I bring this up, because over the weekend as I sat and enjoyed one of the ten days of sunshine we get here in Seattle, I finished up the Hunger Games trilogy. In fact, I was so involved in them that Saturday night found me up way past my bed time trying to finish the final book (I sadly had to give up with about 75 pages left when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any more). Anyhow, as I read through the three books and observed the changes in Katniss and the other characters I had some thoughts on them that I wanted to flesh out, and figured this is about as good a place as any to do so. Before I move on, I want to again remind you that I am about to enter into spoiler territory, and if you haven’t read the books yet, you may well want to stop reading this post now.
Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday morning I logged into WoW to do my daily run of Ahune. I have been doing this daily during the fire festival for the past four years. Why, you might ask, curious if I have some sort of fascination with killing frost elementals that take root in the slave pens. Well, the truth of the matter is that I’m an avid pet collector and in the four years that Ahune has purported to drop an Ice Chip I have yet to see one (I have the flame pet from the first two years – when you could farm them endlessly until one dropped, and endlessly I farmed). To say that I am disappointed at this point is an understatement. It’s pretty much become some cruel joke that makes me want to punch people in the face when they advise me that they’ve seen five, or have one on every alt, or got on the very first time they killed Ahune.
But the frustration with religiously running Ahune year after year for the hope that I will somehow obtain what is apparently unobtainable for me is really the tertiary take away from this post. What I want to talk a little bit about is a conversation that Brade and I had after my satchel, yet again, did not contain an Ice Chip. And that conversation is about the small things that push people away from a game that is nearing a decade of existence. Granted, this has been a topic on the top of my brain anyhow, but my continued pursuit of this particular carrot (the ice chip) and my failure to obtain it after four years of doing everything in my power to do so, seemed to just be one of a number of small, fairly neglected, things – and how they manage to stack up and become much larger problems. A snowball that turns into an avalanche…or something like that.
Basically, after being disappointed yet again yesterday (and again this morning), I said to Brade “you know, it’s the little things like this that would make me walk away from the game if I was no longer raiding”. And it’s true. It seems like such a small thing, one simple pet, but for me (an avid pet collector) to show up as I’m asked to do and do my part only to be rejected year after year, going on four years now, doesn’t really make me want to come back every day and keep trying. It makes me want to walk away and not look back.
I’m not trying to be melodramatic here. I’m really not. But as I looked at my empty bag last night, I thought on all of the hopes every year that maybe this will be the year. I thought about how I logged in every day over the Christmas holiday in hopes of seeing a lump of coal in my bag – yet never did – and sighed knowing that this would be yet another journey like the Ice Chip has been. And somewhere in all of that my brain kicked in and asked exactly what the hell I was doing wasting my time every year putting in so much effort for something that is so completely out of my control. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s things like this that are starting to make WoW lose a lot of the sparkle and allure it once had for me. Which, in turn, made me wonder if this would (or will) be the thing for me that makes me sit down at the computer and decide not to log in.
I mean, I feel that I’ve rolled with the punches for the past 8 years. I’ve relearned my class every expansion. I’ve completely relearned to heal twice now. I’ve survived a reduction in raid size, the advent of 10 man raids and LFR. I’ve handled a reworking of the talent system…and accepted that I’ll have to deal with yet another one in a few months. And I’ve done all of that with a positive attitude. But really, what does that matter? Because at the end of the day, the one thing I’d really like to have, that is stupidly important to me, and that I have been trying to acquire for four years, still eludes me. I get that RNG, and apparently my luck, sucks. And perhaps I could accept that answer for one or two years. But after four years of trying, it’s pretty much highlighted for me that the carrot is no longer with chasing. It seems such a stupid, small thing. And yet it has had such a pronounced affect on how I view the game right now.
I know it seems silly, almost ridiculous. I really do. But I’m just amazed at how much effort is put into keeping people happy on a large scale, and how little seems to be placed at the small things that will inevitably act as a catalyst, that tiny straw on the camel’s back, to push people away.
I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!
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. Read the rest of this entry »
I just wanted to toss out a few quick (ha!) thoughts today regarding the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) in Diablo. For those of you who aren’t aware of what this is, basically it’s an auction house supported by Blizzard that allows players to sell gear from actual, spendable currency. The way it works is that you can list items that other people can purchase for real world money. You receive payment in the form of “Blizz Bucks”, that you can then cash out via paypal for US Dollars (or whatever your currency is).
I didn’t really have much of an opinion on the RMAH when it was announced, and didn’t have much of an opinion as the game released and it was delayed. However, now that I’ve gotten farther into the game and invested more time, I was surprised to realize that I had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to it when it went live yesterday. I think this stems from the fact that I have zero desire to pay money for items, or to use a second currency (blizz bucks) or a second auction house to advance my character in the game. I am already somewhat cash poor – and my gear upgrades on the AH cost an obscene amount of gold (I bought a ceremonial knife last night with mana regen and no IAS, that was a 1700 dps upgrade, for the bargain basement price of 500k gold). I am now worried that with the addition of the RMAH, and eventually the ability to purchase gold, that it is going to cause a massive inflation in the cost of items on the gold auction house to the point that you are forced to utilize the RMAH to obtain upgrades to your gear. Not only that, but I am now also forced to utilize a currency that isn’t innately found or earned within the game itself.
I understand that I can utilize the RMAH without ever investing a dime of my real world cash, but there is just something…offsetting about the whole process. I don’t even know if I can exactly describe why I dislike it so much. To me, the fun in the game has been playing it. Not farming the AH for steals and deals. Not “flipping” items on the AH. But actually participating in the game play itself; you know, going out and smashing things in the face with my dart gun and having my ass handed to me in return. I don’t want to be misleading, I’ve certainly used the auction house to acquire upgrades; but the auction house isn’t what draws me to sit down at my computer and log in.
I guess, ultimately, I have a sinking feeling that if I want to improve my character to its maximum potential I am going to have to participate in a system that I don’t think I agree with. There is just something…cheap about buying gear for real money. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just old fashioned or short sighted. But I have realized that I pretty strongly feel that I should be able to earn my rewards through the time, effort and work I put into my game, and not through how much pocket money I (or anyone else) have to spend on any given day.
How do you feel about the RMAH?