WoW is amazing.

A couple of days ago my screen started blacking out.  The system was running, but the screen would just go black.  Then it started happening on boot up.  System running, no screen.  Even the bios splash screen wasn’t showing.

Obviously a bad graphics card.  So I pulled out the not that old GTX760 and plugged in a GTX750 I found at Best Buy.

The GTX760 has two connections to the power supply.  The 750 gets it’s power from the PCI slot.  The box says the 750 expects 400W power supply.  And I’ve got a 650W unit.

Then the 750 started doing the same thing.  I could boot, fire up WoW and Landmark, but it would soon go black on me.

So it wasn’t the graphics card.

Back to the store it went.  I joked with customer service.  “I can build a computer from the motherboard up, but I can’t open a cardboard box.”  (It didn’t make sense to me how they thought the box should open so I cleanly sliced it open on the long edge.  The side of the box just pulled out.)  They refunded it.

And now I’ve ordered a new PSU from  In the reviews of my old model they said “It’s an acknowledged issue for these RM units below stock number X.”  Amazon won’t take the return, I’ve had it too long.  Oh, well.  That’s me.  So I ordered a different make, and 850W just to be sure.

But, in the mean time, I’m using the graphics chipset on the motherboard itself.  I always assumed those graphics were pretty basic.  Just enough to boot, show a screen, from which a graphics card can be installed.

But, wow, this on-the-motherboard graphics chip is actually good enough to run World of Warcraft, and it looks so good I forget my case is pretty much an empty shell without the honking twin fanned with cooler graphics card in it.  Playing graphically rich video games it should be like me functioning without a brain.

MSI Computer Corp. Motherboard ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z87-G45 GAMING – good motherboard!

Without a graphics card I can’t run Landmark.  I can, to an extent.  I can log in.  But the LAG makes it unplayable.  The graphics and scenery are all there.  But I can’t really move about.  But it was good enough to float up to my roof and paint a few tiles, then reverse it.  (The PSU will arrive before rent on my portal-side property is due.)

But World of Warcraft looks just as good without a graphics card AT ALL as with a pretty good one.

And we wonder why World of Warcraft is successful?  It gets so much more right than it might get wrong.  Ten expansions later, with imagery never better, and it runs on the default graphics chip.  I remain impressed.

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Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!

WoW Insider, may she rest in peace, has returned as Blizzard Watch.

My daily fix, with clean, uncluttered articles, to see what’s going on will continue without a hitch.

I like the name too.

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Wow, these are some changes afoot.

AOL is shutting down WoW Insider, Joystiq, and Massively.  A great pity.  I went to WoW Insider pretty much every day for years and years.  Even if I wasn’t subbed, like I was in a war zone or something, I could go visit and keep tabs on my favorite game.  (Things like WoW Insider was probably keeping AOL modern and relevant.)

I read WoW Insider for the guides, the upcoming things, the funnies, and tips to some pretty fun wow videos.  Like The Lament of Capt. Placeholder.

And over at my Landmark beta, Sony Entertainment Online has been sold to an investment company and has renamed itself Daybreak Gaming Company.  These are the guys that brought us Everquest.  Now they’re being sold off to who knows what kind of fate is in store for them.  (Overall opinion is It’s not a good thing.)

Like Todd Hoffman over at Gold Rush might say, “What the frick is going on???”

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2014, for what it was.

Ah, 2014.  Coming back from a year overseas I was about to get my life back.  And that included a little gaming.

Landmark.  The wife had gotten interested in something called, back then, Everquest Next Landmark.  I got my own Founders Pack as soon as I had a machine again that could play it.  I was in on the final weeks of Alpha, and have been playing in the Closed Beta since then.  “Playing” is probably overly broad.  “Logging in and paying rent,” is a more apt phrase.  For building buildings, it’s great.  And the ones really devoted to building can do some incredible things.  It also seems a few “voxelmancers” are teaching Sony, and the engine developer too, what the engine is capable of.  They’ve now introduced, finally! for some, combat.  Bunny hopping, circle strafing, if your melee you’re doing it wrong, combat.  Some suggest that’s what EQN is going to be like.  Probably too late, and means I’ll likely take a pass on EQN.  EQ and EQII appear to be deep and rich.  It would seem they want EQN to be superficial.  Their business.

Archeage.  Was I interested in it?  Was I looking for something new?  Sure.  Was it?  No.  Reminded me a lot of Lineage (it would) and the cheesy character models (everyone is 16 and beautiful to a fault, except the hideously abhorrent models).  Their implementation of a pay-to-play cash shop convinced me it’d be a pass though.  Add to that the hackers and botters and, oh my, d.o.a..  Even paying a subscription wasn’t going to get me as far as cheating would.

Wildstar.  Loved the game.  Loved the style.  Loved the humor.  But I’m not playing it.  I’m already paying one sub.

World of Warcraft.  The comfortable pair of shoes I’ve had for ten years now.  I had to make a table in order to track progress on all my characters towards their Level 2 Garrisons.  I’ve got eight of them now.  One of those has graduated now to Level 3, and tonight, maybe, my 2nd character dings 100 and I get a 2nd Level 3 Garrison.  Then I worry about more mounts, more companions.  And after leveling Archaeology from 0 to 600+ just to work towards heirloom pants, I think I could work on my pet battles too.

2015?  Nothing new on my horizon.

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Close enough! Ding, 2015!

Happy New Years folks.

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About dang time! Ding, 100!

My first character has finally reached 100.


It’s the same one that visited all the Cataclysm dungeons in order to help the wife’s level 80 Deathknight, deleted and restored, reach 85 without doing more quests than required to get an underwater mount.

It’s been fun.  He accomplished a lot in Frostfire Ridge, and then journeyed to Gorgrond and Talador.  Leaving a few quests undone in Talador (and probably Gorgrond) he journeyed to the Spires of Arak.  He’s got 3 more quest chains to complete before the questing achievement in the Spires is done.  (I believe that gets me a follower.)

Just when I get to thinking “Ah, I can concentrate a little more on the rest of my army,” I see there’s now proving grounds, the war continues, there’s a daily assault, …

And there’s the Garrison to upgrade still.  Work, work.  Who’s the Peon now?

P.S. It’s been a month and a half?  Ten levels in a month and a half?  It’s funny.  I really don’t remember what all I’d accomplished in the first month and a half after picking up the game in November 2004.  I really, seriously, doubt I even had my first level 40 yet, riding on a mount. … Okay, if I think of it like that, I’ve *only* leveled up 10 levels.  (Maybe two years between expansions is a little too long.)  (I wonder if I should feel even a little bad for people who leveled those 10 levels in the first night.)

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Savoring the slow crawl through Draenor.

When I’m in my favorite steak house, and the steak arrives and it’s cooked just right, I take very small bites, savoring each one.  “Mmmm mmm.  That’s some tasty steak.”

I’m doing the same with Draenor.  This is evidenced by having two eggs currently incubating in my bags (one on a 3 day timer, the other on a 7 day timer) and only yesterday hitting level 96 with my highest level character.  (He’s my soloist Death Knight.  And it really does feel like he’s outpacing the content.  I’ve vowed not to leave Gorgrond until I’m done there, and I just noticed he’s level 96 fighting level 93 mobs.  (What?)  No wonder he’s cutting through the bad guys with quest rewards like butter.  He did pop into the Spires of Arak, which wasn’t tough either, and after doing a couple of quests (picking up archealogy from one of the arrakoa npcs) headed back to Gorgrond.

The environments I’ve been through have been really cool.  The swampy area of Gorgrond is awesome.  So lush.  The mineral water pools of the desert interior look great.  And the forests I saw in the Spires looked really very nice.  (I’ve already gushed about Frostfire Ridge and Shadowmoon Valley.)

Part of my slow pace is explained by being a madman about garrison produced resources.  I’ve got 5 level 2 mines to harvests.  One level 2 herb garden, and more as soon as I can get it done.  These do take time.

And it’s cool that these garrison resources pretty much fill the entire need I have for crafting.  (I think that speaks to the limited crafting I *can* do.  The “good stuff” depends on work order output, which is a limited amount per day.  (Meaning I can’t ride endless loops through a zone filling stacks of materials, and crafting a full set *before* I set out and do any quests.)  The “common” stuff was gated by level.  (Lvl 91, 95, 98, or something like that.)  My blacksmith only knows 3 of the ? pieces of armor which just use ordinary ore.  Otherwise he’s learned plans for a full set of gear, OF WHICH he can only wear three of at a time??  Three of anything crafted at that level???  So I craft a Saber (100 truesteel ingots, this I’ve done), Shield (another 100, working on this), and then I can only take one more “good stuff” item??  Like a ring from my Jewelcrafter, or…

Maybe the point is to get me out there and earning the other stuff the “social” way.  (You know, by killing people and things.)

One of the cooler looking sets I managed to complete was the level 90 Deathknight PvP set.  (Transmog gear should Draenor not have me “complete” by the time I’m 100 and “done enough.”)

Before I wrap this up… houseplants.  I’ve got a sentient shrub wandering around my herb garden, and a walking tropical plant wandering around my garrison.  Very funny.

And Dagg, the funny rogue.  (With his “captured ogre” disguise.  Too funny.)

Draenor is a very tasty dish.

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