Monthly Archives: June 2009

I’m conflicted. No, I’m in harmony.

Oh, come on.

Enough already.

Faction changes for a price now? linked to this post by a Blizzard Blue.

“… the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm.”

Just wait.  They’ll be offering Middle Earth Hobbits, Stygian Rangers, Greenskin Choppas, and a whole slew of other classes and races to play with their *NEXT* announcement.

Say What?

Somebody, for the love of Azeroth, call 911 and get the paramedics over to Irvine now!  Somebody’s been partaking very heavily in the ‘shrooms and they’ve got access to blue accounts and they’re posting the trippiest comments.

My own head is about to explode, so I can’t imagine what they’re going through now.  Get them some help before we’re all playing Second World of Warcraft Life.  (Wait, was that just a white rabbit?)


Meanwhile, let me get back to farming some money for my Templar’s new chocobo.  That’s going to be so cool.

P.S.  Oh, oh.  Wait!  While those ‘shrooms are still instilling that mind expanding feeling, can you reconsider your decision, and go ahead and take that 2nd green proto-drake out of my (Msaker – Kirin Tor) inventory and depositing it in my wife’s (Droonda – Kirin Tor) inventory?  It would be real groovy of you if you could.  Kind of think it like I’m passing around Puff, the Magic Dragon, and how cool is that?  Thanks!  And, yo, peace out, man.

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Posted by on June 29, 2009 in Musings


Patch 3.2 will play for you.

Coming on the heals of the announcement that Patch 3.2 will show quest objectives on the world map, we’ll be hearing in the next announcement that Blizzard sanctioned bots are going to be introduced.  Now that QuestHelper and Carbonite are relegated to the trashcans of countless desktops, replaced by an in-game feature duplicating them, players will also now be provided an in-game version of the glider bot.

In the interests of getting every player into Ulduar, one need merely log on and activate their characters “glide mode,” in effect auto-piloting through the content all the way to the end-game.  That’s right, not exactly pre-made level 80 characters, but close enough.

With Blizzard content programmed directly into the Blizzard bot characters, you’ll level faster than ever, shooting straight into Ulduar faster than you can say “Give 10 gold plx.”

“The Raiders have spoken,” said an anonymous Blizzard accountant.  “‘Give us Ulduar, or … uh…’  We want them to know we got the message Loud and Clear!”

When will the surprises in 3.2 end?  What next? Plate Armor for Shamans?  Happy Paladin players?  Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria!


Posted by on June 23, 2009 in Musings


3.2 = 3.1415926

What the heck’s going on in Irvine?  Have you seen all the changes coming with the 3.2 Patch?

If you haven’t, if you’ve been living under a rock, say, or busy doing your dailies, fishing for Mr. Pinchy, whatever, go check out’s coverage.

Today we’re learning about substantial changes to Paladins.  (Seal of Blood no good anymore.  Not working as intended?  Too harsh?  Blood Elves came up with this masochism???)  Then you’ve got new pets.  A Winterspring type mount for the Horde (Ravasaurs).  Argent Tournament mounts, something new for Paladins (yay!) and other gear and goodies.  Like heirlooms?

I mean, do we get out our water skis from storage and hook up with Fonzie to go jump that shark?

shark jump

Or are we talking about stuff whose value is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space? I.e. it’s all pi?

pi plate

I mean, who doesn’t like pie?

Why are they throwing this much at us, all at once? Before BlizzCon even? … Is there going to be “bad news” at BlizzCon?  (Did you notice:  “Blizz” Con.  NOT “World of Warcraft” Con.)  Is something going on that the average Joe is unaware of?  Because we’re too busy, and happy, eating pie?

I’m wondering if this is going to be tasting a little like Andrew Zimmern’s saurkraut pie that he got up in Minnesota.


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Posted by on June 18, 2009 in Uncategorized



We went to a new area and found this beautiful lake.


Check out the water.  I want this for my backyard.

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Posted by on June 13, 2009 in Screenshots


A Three-Crest Mohawk. Leveling speed accelerated.

Our Druids saw a little Zul’Drak action last night.

We’re into the second cluster of quests there now, I’m level 80, the wife 79, and with instant flight the getting to and conducting the required fights are trivial.  HOWEVER, I’ve planned to see as much of Zul’Drak with our Druids as possible, and it won’t be over until the fat lady sings.  (Yes, the Valkyr are up in Storm Peaks, that’ll be our next stop.  I guess that’ll be when she sings.)

So I’m in Cat Form DPSing and I noticed how clunky the current cat form really is, graphically. 

Swift Flight Form is gorgeously detailed.  The jewelery, the armor pieces, the wings and claws and everything.  The  Bear and Dire Bear (why can’t the bears get different looks??) are ugly to the point I’d rather not play them.  (And I like my DPS fast and furious, cat style, and not slow and plodding, like bear style.  So I rarely see my bear form.)  Travel Form is cat-like, but smooth.  It’s not adorned with a three-crested (or is it just two?) Mohawk like Cat Form, Night Elf version, is.

The new version of the Night Elf Cat Form (and otherwise all the cat and bear revamps for both Nelfs and Tauren) are finally up to speed with current level of “the best” in-game graphics.  Some alternate ideas, like Scene Kid Cat, were happily passed over by the development team.  However, they appear to have left the dangly glow-in-the-dark baubles intact.

I’m planning on the dark blues cat and bear, and the wife liked the look of the white ones.

I’m happy to see that development is continuing in WoW.  Even if the development is being used to test-bed things for the next MMO out of Blizzard it’ll be worth it.

Oh, yeah.  As we zipped quest to quest there in Zul’Drak, and I was marveling how fast it was to do quests so easily by flying place to place, it suddenly occured to me, reminded me, that flight will be available at level 60 come the next patch.  And faster flight to boot.  That means the Outlands will be a lot less painful than it has been.  (And mounts earlier, and faster sooner, than ever before.)

Blizzard appears intent on keeping the 1-80 experience (DK and Super Druid experiences aside)  for most everyone.  “Vee haf content, you vill see it.”

On the otherhand, they’re accelerating folks through it in record time with changes like this.

Is it a good thing for new players?  Yes, if the point is to race them to the end-game where all the cool kids are.  And no, if you consider what they experience is nothing like we old codgers experienced.

Should rabbit ears, vacuum tubes, and round black and white screens be a pre-requistite to enjoying HDTV on a flat screen?  The more you experience of the previous content, the more you appreciate the new content.

“How do you play WoW?  I’m new to this.”  “Join a guild and get a level 80 Death Knight to catch you up by running you through all the intervening content.”  <— This can’t be anyone’s idea of a good thing. 

I suppose speeding up travel is a middle-ground solution?

Some day there will be a fantasy game, without an “end-game” and without “PvP required.”  More of a world, less of a goal.


Posted by on June 12, 2009 in Musings


A month with LotRO, and the next WoW.

Just about a month ago I picked up LotRO again.  As I related then I wasn’t really into it the time previous and the wife was suggesting we simply cancel my account.  But I wanted to see what she saw in it, and surely Middle Earth should be a fascinating place to visit and adventure in.  I was simply going to focus on one character.  Perhaps diluting things like I was, too many alts, no “main,” and otherwise still fully engaged with WoW, wasn’t helping.

So I created a Warden, Geirmund, and the wife a Rune Keeper, Culedhel.  He’s level 25 now, she’s 24.  He’s a pretty solid fighter.  He’s got ranged attacks from day one, he can tank, aoe tank too, his class is a “tank” class, and he can DPS well enough that I can go farm mats with him.

Since the crafts are so interdependent, and I wanted one each of weaponsmith, armorsmith, tailor, and the ability to gather what I wanted at will, my Champion is back in play, level 20 now, and my Burglar is nearly there, level 19.

I’m still figuring out how the craft mastery works.  You can do enough of a trade to advance it to the next level, and then start things on that new level.  But you have to do the previous level once through again, in order to achieve mastery in it.  That’s to say I can smelt enough bronze to advance it to the next level, where I can mine and smelt barrow iron.  In prospecting, at the initial level, I’ve got a bronze anvil icon.  If, however, I want to get “critical successes” while smelting bronze I need to have mastered it.  I can’t do that with barrow iron, so I need to work with more bronze until I get the gold anvil icon.  Then that level of things is truly done.

A new character, Skjoldr, a Dwarf Guardian, has been getting some recent play time.  In addition to getting him to 15 so I can see what dwarven heavy armor looks like on a dwarf (not half bad) he took a lot of detours while running quest to quest to gather wood, copper and tin, and collect hides.  He boils the hides and smelts the metal in order to advance his Forestry and Prospecting to the next level, and then master it as well.  The boiled leathers, though low level, went to Geirmund, my main tailor, now, so he can achieve his mastery there in Tailoring.  That’s happening slowly since he’s only crafting one leather component that he sends to Angthir, my metalsmith.  Skjoldr sends Angthir the bronze, and he, with the leather components from Giermund, is mastering his metalsmithing.  And the completionist in me is just loving it!

And, if you’re out collecting medium leathers off bears, it’s kind of a zen experience where you simply get in a zone and cycle through an area.  It’s like a lottery because there’s chances at random purple items to drop in addition to the hides that you expect.  Like they say, “Wasted time is not time wasted.”

So the month with LotRO has been really good.  I’ve finally gotten into it enough that it’s found a place in my gaming interests right alongside WoW.

I will say, though, that if both games came out with expansions next month, I’d probably head to WoW and take it all in.  Blizzard’s expansions are over the top NEW.  TBC brought new races, new starter areas, and a new world with out-of-this-world looks.  WotLK brought a new class, a new and improved starter area concept, and a new continent with looks that have matured from what we had earlier like a fine wine.

WoW’s next expansion I’m predicting will offer either the Emerald Dream and/or the Maelstrom.  And I’m predicting it’ll be the Maelstrom, and then the Emerald Dream as the last and final expansion.  The Maelstrom will bring in the last of the earthly bad guys (Azshara, and a reawakened Sargeras), new underwater zones, the islands and the southern continent.  (See the Explorers tabard.)  And then, for the grand finale, the last expansion, the Emerald Dream, in which the Druids, who were the first in battle against the Burning Legion, and those other classes, defeat the Nathrezim, whose works corrupted Sargeras in the first place.  It’ll be Nature versus the Twisting Nether, and it’ll culminate with players reaching level 100.   The new lands could be any number of planets as we march across the universe like Paul Maudib’s Freman setting things in line for a better future.

We’ll be ditching all of our Northrend somber rust, earth, and metal toned gear for the Maelstrom and I predict the gear palette will be bright, fishy, and tropical for the Maelstrom expansion.  (Just look to the Naga for inspiration.  Nevermind all the hand-me-downs they wore in Zangarmarsh.)   The Emerald Dream will revert to something somber again, earthy and woody.  Anyway, that’s what I think.

LotRO, you already know what’s coming.  You know the land already, you’ll just have more and more access to it.  So it doesn’t have that same level of improvement about it’s expansion like WoW’s will undoubtedly have.

LotRO is offering porterhouse steak versus WoW’s magic mushroom.  Munchies anyone?

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Posted by on June 9, 2009 in Musings


You’ve come a long way, Baby. Again.

effilda made it

The wife finally beat me to Dalaran.  Mages get in at 71!   Nerf Mages.

Honorus is sleeping on a cot down below in Star’s Rest.


Posted by on June 7, 2009 in Uncategorized


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