Monthly Archives: February 2009

Hello fellow Kirin Torites.

I’m not sure how you’d refer to an inhabitant of the Kirin Tor Server.

Kirin Tor-ites?  Kirin Tor-ins?

Not that I’d object to Kirin Taurens.  But, you’ve got to admit, there’d be no use of a Tauren in the staff of the Kirin Tor except as bodyguards.  Unless the Kirin Tor suddenly delved into the realm of Nature magic and embraced the Earth Mother.  They can do that after they drop the pink tabards.  Because, seriously, pink goes with nothing in my wardrobe.

The Barrens chatterers could be Kirin Tourettes.

Anyway, here’s a “Hello” to folks with me on Kirin Tor.


I can use the blog here since out of the handful that swing by to read occasionally there’s at least a few that happen to also be on Kirin Tor with me.

I work on the same installation as one player in fact.  You can imagine our “water cooler” conversation would probably amuse/confuse anyone listening in.

Another I’ve known for a long time, back before Doom even hit our servers for the first time.

Last night, J., a Rogue, saluted me while I was on Honorus at the Cenarian Outpost in Zangarmarsh.  I applied a Blessing of Might before I learned they were a reader of my blog here.  Even told me that my writings inspired not one, but two Shamans, to be created.


I imagine the best diaries are those written with an audience intended.  (Afterall, nothing screams “Read me, read me now!” like a diary left unlocked, labeled “Private, Keep Out!”, and left on purpose on a nightstand or desk.  Am I right?  ;) )

I do write here for reasons beyond me cataloging my play time.

Sometimes it’s fun to play with words.  The allure of alliteration.  Amusing musings, if only for myself.  (I know I’ve hit that niveau when the Mrs. states “Huh?” to a post of mine.)

Or, better, if someone rolls a class I enjoy, or tries an add-on I like, or offers their opinion on something I had an opinion on.

So, while the server is down for a rolling restart, let me take a moment to /salute you, my readers, for bearing with me and my blog.

And now, /sigh, it’s back to gathering herbs for my inscriptionist.

“Dear Diary,  Today I gathered 23 Golden Clovers. … Don’t tell anyone.”  :)


Posted by on February 28, 2009 in Uncategorized


Tagged, I’m it. The 6th screenshot.

The meme happens to be the 6th screenshot in the 6th folder in the screenshots folder.

The tag is courtesy of The Game Dame.

Well, for starters, I lost a harddrive with EVERYTHING, almost, on it about a year ago.  So I did lose a lot of screenshots.

But with all my moving I do backup everything onto other computers as well as my notebooks so I actually have some of my oldest screenshots still around.

Let’s see what the 6th screenshot happens to be…

It’s actually a .TGA file, dated 16 Mar 2005.  I wonder what it could be of.

.TGA was the first format Blizzard used for screenshots.  Before they switched to the more popular .jpg format.  The .TGA file is 5MB and isn’t readable by anything on my vanilla Vista machine.

So it’s off to find and install Irfanview.  One sec.

Ah.  Voila.  Hey, hey.  It’s someone I was just talking about a couple days ago.  My Rogue, Darkhand.

Today he’s level 55.  Going on like 4 years ago he was level 27.  Can you believe it??

And I was already using addons, even way back then.

Anyway, here it is, my 6th screenshot, that I still have, taken back in March of 2005, of my Rogue, Darkhand, who I’m still playing today.  (Albeit rather slowly.)


I’ll have to put off my tags.  (Bear with me.  The wife, as Itarilde, awaits me in Dalaran.)

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Posted by on February 25, 2009 in Memes


All my characters gone?

We’ve just experienced a complete and total character reset, and everyone’s characters are gone.  Without any means of recovery.

So posted Tobold earlier today.

See, I’d just read the start of the post via AllTop, and not the rest, and here’s what I saw:

During today’s maintenance we noticed a bug that corrupted all character data. We immediately proceeded to roll back to the backup version, but accidentally overwrote the backup with the corrupted data instead of the other way round. Now we have no valid copy of any character data left. In consequence we were forced to delete all characters on all servers. Everybody will have to reroll at level 1 again.

Now, I figured this can’t be for real.  I checked the post date, it was early Tuesday.  HMMMM.  Maybe.  It’s not April Fool’s Day, or some funny Belgian equivalent.  (Ketchup on your French Fries Day, or something.)  I checked WoWInsider’s AllTop entry and saw nothing like this.  Tobold was just being speculative.

And contemplating that statement for a second I thought to myself “If this is for real, I’m cool with it.”

No Death Knights.  Not for a few hours at least.

Just all of us, starting out from scratch.  No gear, no gold, no stockpiles of materials in the bank, no Mains to twink the Alts.

And what a restart it would be!

Millions of skilled players, starting over.  The Altoholics would be loving it, all over again.

It’d be glorious.  Like the game was brand new, and we’re back in November of 2004.  Bring it on!

See, I wouldn’t quit.  Heck no.

I’d pick a new server, one on my time zone.

Since I’ve had the opportunity now, over the years, to explore a few classes, I’d probably go Plate, and probably go Paladin.  The Mrs., I can’t speak for.  I wonder what she’d pick to play.  (Maybe she’ll post a comment here!)  But whatever she and I play it would be synergistic.  We’d manage, somehow, to achieve some semblance of the Holy Trinity (DPS+Tank+Heal) with just the two of us.

To answer Tobold’s question, I’d start over in a heartbeat, and love every moment of it.


Posted by on February 24, 2009 in Musings


Random Thoughts. And Darkfall’s “Dinner with Dahmer.”

Today’s post is a two parter.

It was a originally a “Darkfall will fail” post. But then I thought, nobody cares about that, so why bother. I’ll post it at the end here since I spent time typing it up. And it’s the second time I took the time to write up something about Darkfall and free-for-all pvp and the people that’ll play it and why that means it will fail. I find the hype machine fascinating.

Random thoughts about our WoW adventures.

Msaker and Droonda are working for the Sons of Hodir. It took a little while, and maybe it’s purely a guy thing, but the Mrs. wasn’t following along when I pointed at the quest names. “Blowing the Horn” and “Polishing the Helm.” I had to give it away and mention “Thrusting Hodir’s Spear.” “You guys, is that all you think about?” is what she concluded. You know what you’re dealing with when one of the first quests starts “Jormuttar is so fat.” Who is this Hodir, and why are his sons so childish?

And what should we be spending our time on? I’m out of my raiding guild anyway, so I’ve got lots of time just to do what I want.

I don’t want to run through the same content over and over. Sholazar, Storm Peaks, Ice Crown, on every character? Of course the Oracles have a nice Helm for an Enhancement Shaman, the Ebon Blade has the shoulders, and the Sons have some nice Axes. (By “nice” meaning “good enough for a casual player like me.) For a Warrior, the Sons have some nice shoulders, the Ebon Blade a cool looking two-hander, and rather nothing from the Oracles. That’s to say, why, oh why, do I have to level up to Revered or Exalted with everyone to complete the “set.” Okay, that’s easy, because you want me to see all the content. But have you, “you” being Blizzard, considered I can take multiple routes to 80 and I have multiple characters to do it with? I don’t necessary want to follow in the same steps.

Stormsoul’s 80 and doing the Dalaran cooking quests.

Msaker and Droonda are 78 now and doing the Son’s of Hodir thing in the Storm Peaks. They’ll no doubt reach level 80 there in the Peaks.

(Okay, “Sons of …., Oh, dear!” Is that it?)

Greenclaw and Itarilde are levels 76 and 75 now. Just kind of relaxing, doing cooking dailies, helping the Kulak, and otherwise engaged in the fight in Zul’Drak. Then it’s on to whosoever’s got better Druidy gear, Argent Crusade/Ebon Blade or Sons of Hodir.

Honorus and Effilda are levels 64 and 63 and starting in on the Zangarmarsh quests.

Cenotaph and Ombria are levels 65 and 63 and he’s doing Northrend Inscription studies now but they’re also in Zangarmarsh.

I figure one couple will wind up in Netherstorm, and the other in Shadow Moon Valley. The XP gain seems good enough that we’ll be able to clear out of Outlands at 68 without all too much duplication. And always having someone covering our back, Northrend at 68 should be easy enough.

Both of these couples I envision doing the Ice Crown/Argent Crusade/Ebon Blade quests when they get to that point. No sense running Msaker and Droonda through them first now.

Crafting is also, I haven’t mentioned this yet, pretty awesome this time around. Full sets of gear craftable for reasonable material requirements available at 78. Leather of various sorts, plate, mail, etc. That’s really nice. If I put the time in gathering materials I’ll have my folks in decent gear. Yeah, it’s all browns and browns, but still. Not shabby. And some craftable epics as well, with a couple warriors, a couple paladins, a couple deathknights, and there’s a lot of plate and weapons to be made.

Arcarius, the hunter, is not progressing other than as a leatherworker in support of the alliance leather wearing druids. They can quickly farm up lots of leather, he turns it into gear.

I’ve been also working on Darkhand, who was my 2nd real character. He’s all of 55 now and really working at getting to 58 so he can get into the Outlands. But, you know, the thought of going through the Plaguelands all over again, or Winterspring all over again, … Argh!!!!! It’s taking forever!  He’s my engineer and I picture him on a motorcycle in Dalaran.

… Did I seriously say I have time enough to do what I want? Heh.

Part 2.  Darkfall’s “Dinner with Dahmer.”

The misfits, miscreants, and gamers are all abuzz.

Darkfall is coming.

Ooh, the opportunity to kill anyone, at anytime. Better yet, to get into gangs, groups, guilds, whatever, and kill folks. Not just kill them, but humiliate them. And for good measure, strip them naked of all their stuff.

I’m not sure which is the tastier icing on the Cannibal Cake: That you can “gank” them and totally humiliate them with a head chop, and I’m not sure if you get a graphic with the skull rolling away from the body, but the point is you have 60 seconds to toy with your victim, maybe “teabag” them for 40-59 seconds, then decapitate them. Or that you can strip
them of all they’ve earned so far. Effectively meaning all they’ve worked for, except skill ups, is taken from them by someone stronger. And there’s always someone stronger.

Yeah, baby, yeah. That’s what the gaming world was missing. The equivalent of al-Qaida training videos set in a medieval world. (Yeah, that is kind of contradictory, isn’t it?)

See, this won’t work. Because there’s maybe a handful of folks who’ll cooperatively play this. Most folks don’t gravitate into wandering gangs killing other people. Even in post-apocalyptic visions like Mad Max, “humanity” gathered into protective camps wishing to live in peace.

There can be only one Lord Humungus. His followers prey on themselves like starving dogs. He needs victims to direct his people at lest he be victimized himself.

As ever, the griefers will be wondering: “How do I ruin someone’s game? Screw the graphics, screw the story, screw the world, screw the mechanics except where I can exploit it to my advantage. I just want to screw someone.” If they could violate all the women folk in your village after dispatching you, they’d do that too.

And the gist will be they’re surrounded by fellow griefers.

I remember the type in Warhammer. Level 20 something, running around Chapter 2, clearly avoiding the PvP lake, dressed looking like clowns, flagged, and chasing after people want them to engage in combat. They did this solo. Because they couldn’t attack their own ilk. Not in a Free-for-All environment like Darkfall promises.

I just can’t imagine Dahmer getting together with Gacy and Bundy and chasing their counterparts around a world to kill them.

These types tend to be soloists. And you’ll have a handful of subscriptions of people willing to join up, like they did in Lord of the Flies, choir boys gone bad.

If Warhammer boasts 300k in subscriptions, and offers sizeable PvE content, I see Darkfall getting bought by the curious, maybe in numbers sufficient to recover the cost of manufacturing, if they’re lucky. But those willing to make it their primary game will number a few thousand. This is going to be niche to the extreme.

Anyway, that’s my prediction. Dahmer will be dining alone.

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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Musings


A lack of taunt haunts me. Or… What’s that?

So there I was.  The lovely mage Effilda by my side.  I, the Paladin, guardian of his lady love, and together we would take on the enemies of Honor Hold.

And let me say, Retribution is more fun than Reckoning.

“Let me tell you: There’s gonna be a Reckoning!”

“Oh?  When?”

“I Reckon you’ll notice.”

“Oh, ya?”

“It’s a coming!  Reckoning train on it’s way!”


“Oh, anytime now.  You just wait.”


“I hate you guys.  Die already.”

— Man, that Protection grinding was very effective, in a way, for certain mobs.  It’s like the mobs did me the favor by beating themselves to death on my shield and awesomeness.

But for Outlands goodness, and finishing up the Plaguelands business, I’ve been specced Retribution.  And with the change to 30 minute seals, and the 30 minute blessing glyph, and 30 minutes of Righteous Fury, I can now actively do strikes and judgements and hammers and consecrates.  Oh, yeah, single targets are crushed.

My Retribution spec is going to be a lot more fun than waiting for Reckoning to kill of mobs of mobs.

Anyway, as I was saying, we’re outside of Honor Hold.  We move to the Armory and start taking out ghosts.  And I was thinking to myself “I sure wish I had some kind of ranged pull.”  A couple body pulls later I see another icon up by my Righteous Defense icon.  Hmm.  I don’t play Honorus all that much.  I’ve leveled his Inscription so that Minor Inscription Research provides no more discoveries, but not being 65 he can’t learn Northrend Research yet.

But there it was.  My Paladin taunt.  54 mana, 30 yard range.  The Hand of Reckoning.  Available at level 16.  Four levels earlier than Exorcism which used to only work on Undead, but Demons now too.  I note that Hand of Reckoning does a touch of Holy Damage, undoubtedly put in before “any abilities that causes aggro gets you the tap” was implemented.

Well, they’ve sure dumbed down the Paladins, haven’t they?  So much for the Holy Warrior running into battle.  They can stay out of range of all enemies and strategically pull like anyone else.  Like a Hunter, say.

Paladins go from no range pulling ability, to pulling Undead, to pulling Demons too, to now pulling anything.  Today’s Paladins aren’t going to understand what it meant to be a Paladin from the days of old.  When you walked to Shadowfang Keep uphill, in the snow, both ways, on a PvP server.  They won’t be able to relate to the dedication it took.

And, you know, maybe we’re jumping the shark now.  All classes can do everything.

Raiding is pretty much an AoE fest nowadays.  If you can’t AoE you may as well stay home.  Or maybe they’ll invite you along to bring cookies or something.   I purposefully glyphed my Shaman’s Thunderstorm to NOT knock mobs back.  What was a nice safety feature, and useful in clearing mobs off clothies, became a liability.  “Who threw the patrol back into the group we hadn’t pulled yet??!??!”  But, dangit, I needed a means to go stand in the center of a furball and hit EVERYTHING for at least 2500 damage.  Granted, that’s laughable too.  I think Warlocks sneeze and whole populations go under.

So.  Paladins have two taunts now.  A “ranged pull” taunt.  And a “get off my friends” taunt.  Good thing, I never got the boomerang.

Part 2.

Here’s a lament out to the Gnome Warlock we ran into in Zeth’Gor last night.  Oh, you’re a badass.  Oh yeah, baby.  Got the Fel Guard.  You’re a fearin’ and a cheerin, and you’re saving Humanity.  We’re looking for medallions and there’s orcs running around everywhere, chattering skulls indicating you’d gotten them all.  “Good luck to you,” I’m thinking.  I noticed one of those mobs had a real name.  Nice.  Again, “Good luck to you.”

So, color me surprised when this named mob is running at me.  AT me, I’m it’s target.  With intent to kill.  He’s untapped, his name is in red.  Hmm.  Odd.  “One fear too many, my friend?”  Well, Orcs is for smashing, and we take him down, take him down town.  Bookem, Dano.  Tada!  Achievement time.  It seems the lovely Effilda and I earned the achievement of killing a semi-rare mob.  Woot.  He dropped a blue item, some mail armor with +Spirit.  (Are you kidding me??)  I pass since Effilda will get a shard out of it for use in her enchanting.

So there’s the Gnome again.  “Enjoy the loots,” he /says.  “Thanks. … Why’d you lose him?”  “I died,” he whispers.  “Sorry.”

Ya know, the item was meaningless.  I can make blues to disenchant.  I’d have given it to you.  Except for this niggling little detail:  You’re whiney, arrogant, and assumed we’re petty.  Something comes running at me, to attack me, and I fight back and defeat it, damn right I’m going to loot it.  Do a better job at whatever you Warlocks are good at if you think the “loots” should be yours.

Part 3.

This game continues to deliver.

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Posted by on February 16, 2009 in Musings, Paladins


Love is in the air


LOVE IS IN THE AIR (John Paul Young)

Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound

And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyes

Love is in the air
In the whisper of the trees
Love is in the air
In the thunder of the sea

And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming
Don’t know if I feel sane
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when you call out my name

Love is in the air
Love is in the air
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh

Love is in the air
In the rising of the sun
Love is in the air
When the day is nearly done

And I don’t know if you’re an illusion
Don’t know if I see it true
But you’re something that I must believe in
And you’re there when I reach out for you

Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise

But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyes


Posted by on February 14, 2009 in Screenshots


Woo! Next stop: Earth!

The Mrs. was on the rocket behind me as we blasted deeper into the Storm Peaks zone.


It’s these kinds of rides that make we wish I’d just level an Engineer to the heights they’re capable of.

Next stop: the Terran home planet  of Earth!

We are leveling along.  Our Orcs are both 77 now.  I, Msaker, am looking forward to 78 and the new set of Savage Saronite armor I’ve got tucked away for myself in the bank.  He’s still Protection.  You get the invulnerable feeling and trying Fury momentarily made me feel very squishy.  Stormsoul just reached Exalted with the Sons of Hodir and is riding an Ice Mammoth now.  The Druids are doing two Kulak dailies in a quest for the fishing pole.  Shamans or DK’s are the only somewhat easy way of doing the Kulak daily in Howling Fjord.  Two words: Shark munch.  The lovely Effilda got a tour of Scholomance and the live side of Stratholme before being invited through the Dark Portal and starting her Outlands quests.

Is it me, or does everyone regard Outlands as a necessary evil now to reach the fun stuff in Northrend?  If they’d drop a level 58-68 island in the Maelstrom I’d wager nobody would return to the Outlands.  Archimonde and Illidian  are dead.  We’re on Arthas and Malygos now!


Posted by on February 11, 2009 in Musings


I play what I want to play.

I was there, 2004, having to choose between EQ 2 and World of Warcraft.

I never played EQ 1, and I had played a little bit of Warcraft.  I have some very fond memories of some matches played in the office over the network at lunch.  So when seeing a new MMO to play after Lineage II and my stint at combat arms in Call of Duty, I jumped into WoW.  And I’ve yet to surface.  The stuff I’m still seeing new each day amazes me.  (I’d never ridden the back of a crocodile until my 2nd time into Sholazar Basin.)

I did try Warhammer.  Got accounts for me and the wife.  Yes, yes, it’s a PvP game.  Or is it?  There’s PvE to be found there.  But put side by side with Warcraft, it just wasn’t providing me the fun I wanted.

Now, see the header?, I’ve gotten a LotRO account and I’ve joined my wife in Middle Earth.  That is just as different as WAR is to WoW.  What LotRO has that Warhammer didn’t?  Crafting. Meaningful creation of stuff to use and wear.  I like that.  (I’ve got leatherworkers and blacksmiths cranking out gear for our characters.  I’ve leveled up Inscription and Enchanting way past personal use on one character.  I dig the crafting.)  And in Middle Earth we aren’t surrounded by bodies and chaos.  I like that too.

And don’t get me wrong.  We’re going strong in World of Warcraft yet.  Two couples in Outlands, two couples in Northrend, and a couple of couples in Azeroth yet, eyeing that portal and the great beyond.

I play what I want to play.  I’m a lemming to my own personal idea of fun.

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Posted by on February 8, 2009 in Memory Lane


Orcs in space


Msaker and the lovely Orc Shaman Princess, Droonda, are aloft at last.

Level 77 is such a spectacular ding to make since you’ve recovered your own private flying equipment.

And, excuse me, it’s back to Sholazar Basin to stuff the bags full of ore!

P.S.  And maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe it’s just the Icehouse, but I’m seeing more folks suddenly flying Netherdrakes about in Northrend.  Like a mass of people who’ve got one have finally reached level 77 and flight.  About when I did with my own Netherdrake.  That’s further to say anyone who reached 80 in the first month was obviously pushing the envelope and wound up with proto-drakes and faction rewards and that’s what we’ve seen lots of so far.  The Netherdrake represented a slower approach to things perhaps?  Maybe it’s just the Icehouse.  What’d I’d give for a proper IPA.

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Posted by on February 6, 2009 in Screenshots


I’m not even broken hearted.


I’m thinking: Definitely guy humor.  Everytime I find myself in Amberpine Lodge I use the facilities.

I’ve got to say, this outhouse is just one of soooo many cool new things in the expansion.  Not a day doesn’t go by it seems without experiencing something wild, or hilarious, or humorous.

(Work’s been keeping me very busy recently so not a lot of time to post.  Too busy playing with what time I do have!)


Posted by on February 1, 2009 in Musings


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