Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It Sold!

Woot! Remember that Elixir of Brute Force I was going to try to auction off?

Well much to my very own surprise it sold. And I didn't even have to drop my price too far. This is the biggest sale I've ever made. This was a good day in WoW.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Great RP Experience!

I am so jazzed right now! So here's the story (beware I'm easily excited). I was getting a little bored with WoW lately and so I have been tooling around on an RP server for fun. I rolled a priest and figured I'd see what I could do with one character only. I have no money, no bags, etc...

I knew one of the first things I would need is a wand. Specifically the level 5 wand that Enchanters make. Since Stormwind is a poor substitute for Diagon Alley, I kept going to the Auction House and none would be available. And the few times there was one, I didn't have enough money.

So I took up mining and skinning and I've been slowly eeking together a silver here or there. A LOT of rabbits died at my hand, thank you very much. And mining has been really tough at such a low level. My plan pretty much consisted of luck, guts and a whole lot of grabbing my pick and some ore and running for my life from the Defias. (They have this snap kick now, did you know this?)

Finally I had a few silver at the same time that a wand was up for sale. Jackpot! I bought it.

Now, I know this is weak RP or whatever but I figured what I'd do is send an email to the seller and thank him for putting it up and at a reasonable price.

Look what I got in return!

A letter back and a level 13 wand. Exactly the one I'll need next! How cool is that?

(I warned you I was easily excitable.)

Me <<<<-- Jazzed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Download Options

So these are our options for downloading the big patch (2.0):

And here is the Background Downloader FAQ.

Included in Patch 2.0 ("Before the Storm"):

I selected the download to happen after I exited the game. To date, however, I haven't noticed it kick in. Something tells me some Tuesday soon I'm going to be patch girl again.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Solo vs. Botting

Originally, this forum thread peaked my interest because of something said in the Original Post. I'll summarize the thread, but you may enjoy reading it yourself. The drama of it is pretty funny. Hopefully I can capture some of it for you here:

The original poster (OP) starts off by including this statement about a topic that quickly didn't matter because the thread was about to be hijacked:

But for me its more about the journey as an independant, unguilded individual, who did it "my way" as some old man used to say.

It sounded to me that this was someone else who might play solo. (Note the reference to Sinatra's "My Way." It'll show up later.)

But soon thereafter another player (BB in post #7) says what seems to be the innocuous:
lol@your way

/afkbotting AMIRITE

To which the OP responds:
You couldn't be more wrong if you tried. I report a few dozen botters a week...

Then in post #10 you see BB come back and ask the follow up:
So you've never used a bot for anything?

Now, if you were raised by my mother you would be immune to this trick. "You were at the library all night, right?" Trust me, that should be your first sign that you're caught NOT being at the library all night. But the OP falls for it and says:
Nope..wouldn't know where to get one or how to set it up...Didn't have computers when i was in school so I am self taught.

Well the trap was set and now it's sprung. In post #14 BB comes back to say:
"Then I'm sure you'll remember this:" and posts a link to this video starring the Original Poster apparently doing the thing he just said he's never done:

(In case there are problems with the embedded video, here's a link to the video on Google Video.)

Now this looks bad. Very bad. Because in the video two alliance characters come upon this guy, the OP, (a hunter) and thinking he is botting decide to test him by killing his pet over and over. The OP, however, does nothing and lets this happen. He just keeps fighting.

Queue the many posts stating that the OP was just completely owned:
That is ownage on a scale that has never been seen before.

etc, etc...
When the OP finally replies he says he was drunk and being stubborn (to keep resurecting his pet) to see if they would stop bothering him.

Now, this all interests me, particularly as it pertains to any perception that being alone and unguilded means someone is botting (only two of my characters are guilded - unless you count the day I was showing my mom the game, but that's a story for another day). See post #116:
You're unguilded atm, which REEKS of "I don't want guildies to find out that I bot, so I'll join a guild after I'm done".

Hmmm, is that what people think? Hopefully this guy is just talking about this instance.

Nonetheless, I'm paying attention to how this unfolds. What are the perceptions now? And this guy is going to be one more data point in building future perceptions - either as a legitimate unguilded player or as someone purposely avoiding guilds because he's botting.

From my own perspective, I tried to determine if this could be legitimate. I'm not fond of the PVP aspect of the game myself so I don't roll on PVP servers (except maybe as a tourist). But I do play solo a lot and when someone does something that bothers me, I often silently let it pass. Offensive whisper? Just ignore it, they usually don't keep bothering me. (Except for the showing my mom story - again - story for another day.) Begger? No response. Although on the stubborn front - just today someone (same faction) ran up to a copper node I was mining and started mining it as though I wasn't already standing there mid swing. That time I just kept mining, trying to beat him. Then I moved along my way. I wanted to yell at the guy but what would that gain? So I said nothing and went about my business.

So when this guy defended his actions, I thought... maybe... maybe... He certainly makes an empassioned plea that he was at the keyboard and not botting. I can't help but think, though - why didn't this guy run away? Anytime I am near a member of the opposing faction (and I'm on a PVE server and rarely if ever flagged), I'm scared I'm gonna get PK'd. I just couldn't reconcile this whole thing's being on an RPPVP server and this player didn't think - uh oh - I'm horde and these are two alliance in a guild known for ganking - I should run away. Log off. Something! I sincerely doubt I would continue to go about my business.

Anyway, back to the drama,... BB says - I've got more video coming and then later posts this follow up video with subtitles set to the tune of, of course, "My Way":

(Link on Google Video.)

So it really appears that the OP was botting. This is not good for perceptions of the unguilded.

I've also taken away two learnings. First - maybe it wouldn't hurt for me to utter a word or two on occassion to make sure players or Blizzard or whoever knows I'm not on autopilot and that I'm actually at my keyboard. When I walked away from that guy who tried to steal my copper mine, maybe he thought I was just a bot because I didn't acknowledge what he did. (Maybe he was the bot, hmmm can they do that?)

And second - /thanks mom! Because I'm just a little bit better on my toes today for your sleuthing skills while I was growing up. I can't believe the OP fell for it. At least I got a good laugh out of the thread for it though. Hopefully you did too.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Heroes Honored

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

In honor of the day, I thought I'd post some follow up pictures to the Harvest Festival.

Here's the horn I received in the mail after completing the Honor Uther quest:

And here's my having a bit of fun after I realized I could make the heroes /cheer and /salute:

Now I'm off to go find that pie vendor in Ironforge. I think I'll send some treats to a few old friends today. :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Doubly Cursed

One day I was in the schoolhouse in Moonbrook in Westfall and I managed to get doubly cursed by Stalvan. You know, the stinky one that makes you look like Pigpen from the peanuts.

Two of us had arrived individually to do the same quest and I helped the other guy out but got cursed in the process. Knowing that that curse always comes after opening the footlocker, I figured I had had the desert before the meal and happily went to do my quest. Unfortunately, I wound up getting cursed again, despite the existing one. Doh!

So then I was in Stormwind with this curse and stumbled upon a group of higher level players who were presumably readying for a Horde raid on the child king. There was a lot of standing around.

So I waited for a while, thinking I could watch a cool fight or something and realized as I sat there that I must look pretty pathetic all low level and stinky to boot. And yet, no one thought to get rid of the curse for me. It's not like it's not outwardly visible.

So I decided it would be nice if there were a place where players could go in each major city and find someone to de-cursify or un-disease us when we needed. I found this empty building (on the right) in Stormwind. It might serve well:

Maybe players would stick around and wait for weary players to come in. It could be also be a place where rogues could wait for people who want boxes opened or anyone could walk in and get buffed. Tips would be offerred, declined, but then "oh, ok, if you insist." Perhaps there could be a consignment NPC where disease freeing Jungle Remedies, or similar, could be turned in and resold to those who need them.

These are the kinds of ideas that make me go roll a new character on a new server (probably RP for this kind) and start out on a grand scheme that never develops.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fear My Glittery Wand!

These are just some random shots I pulled together of my fighting with Starfaller in Duskwood one day. It just slays me how much it kicks butt AND has a sparkly little trail. Gotta love the juxtaposition.

Yup, that's me getting a good smack to the chest as a Halloween Skeleton:

Seriously, I never would've made it through this final Worgen quest without my trusty blue wand.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Apparently I like finding rares. Now that I know the silver border means a rare spawn I'm aware enough to recognize them when I see them.

Sludginn in the Wetlands:

And while in Loch Modan in and near the Excavation Site:

And the first rare I ever realized I was looking at:
The Clutchmother Strider in Darkshore:

I knew she was different. When I looked her up in Thottbot I learned Silver=Rare in the comments.

So I decided to download a mod called Raretracker to help me find and track them. Last night I ran around Elwynn Forest picking up new rares.

Yup, this is another time sink waiting to happen.

Oh - and p.s. yes, the fun part is killing them. :)

Raretracker on ui.worldofwar.net and Curse-gaming. I'm running version 1.5.3 with no problems.

Also my thanks goes to this Livejournal discussion where I learned about the Raretracker mod.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

But I Bought The Music!

While I was in Vegas I saw the news that Google had bought You Tube (which has been a favorite of this blog) (Google Press Release).

But amid all the talk about the purchase, I saw a few things that disturbed me. Namely about the active efforts to stop those videos set to music. (Apparently they're the cause of the fall of civilation or some such. )

An MSNBC article said:

Under the agreements, YouTube also must develop technology to identify copyrighted content in videos so the labels can filter out material they don’t want on the site.
Now it's opinion time. The way I see it, an amateur video set to copyrighted music on YouTube is a far cry from pirated music. I'm not loading these videos onto my iPod to listen to in the car. I'm not even recording them with a 1985 tape recorder held up close to the speaker (oh those days were horrible!).

Instead, I more liken those videos to radio. They introduced me to music and artists that I might not otherwise have known. Music that I then went and bought. Sometimes I had to track down exactly which song it was. Sometimes I wasn't able to find the exact ones. But in the end the artist got money as a direct result of those videos. Not the video maker.

So from my admittedly narrow point of view, it's a mutually beneficial arrangement that would be nice if it could continue.

Here are some of the videos that prompted me to buy music from the artist:

Time of Our Lives by Paul Van Dyk:

Battle Without Honor or Humanity by Tomoyasu Hotei:

Human Beings (Cream Team Remix) by Cosmic Gate:

Aeternal from Requiem For a Dream (Remixed):

(The Cosmic Gate album didn't have that particular song, but it was a nice compilation of songs.)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On Naming

I made a rookie mistake. Normally I take quite a bit of time to ruminate on a name before I create a character. Normally....

But I named two characters on the same server both with names that start with the letter "J." That doesn't seem like a big problem except the fact that I mail things to myself all the time. Herbs to the alchemist... items to be enchanted... food from the cook... armor kits from the leather worker... etc. And by naming two "J" characters I broke my general naming rules and my normally orderly mailing (read: autopilot) has now turned to chaos (read: no idea where I just sent that).

Here are some of my general naming conventions:

Name to take advantage of Autofill - Unique first letters
Step 1 - Put the names of my alts in each of the others friends-list.
Step 2 - When I mail something to an alt, type just the first letter and the mail system autofills from the names of people in your friends list.

And as I learned after the great Friends-List-Wipe of 2006, if there's no one in your friends list it autofills with the names of the people in your guild (which for me is filled with alts who haven't logged in since the great There's-Not-Enough-60's-In-This-Guild-To-Raid-With main-character-migration of 2005). It took a month for all that stuff to get kicked back to me.

Autofill, my one time friend, turned into my new problem with the two J characters. I would enter the letter J, for "Jill" for example, but instead it autofills "Jack" because his name sorts first. Oops, wrong mail. Again. At least this time its still to me, so it only takes two hours to fix.

Name to take advantage of Autofill - Avoid certain letters
I also try not to have names that begin with "W" or "B." Why? Because I can't tell you how many times I am in the middle of sending a piece of mail but change my mind. I then try to walk away and press "W" or try to open or close my bags and press "B." Instead of closing the Send Mail window, I wind up filling in the name of someone on my friends list. ("Briar" actually gets a lot of errant mail that way.)

To show you how truly lazy I am, my new rule is to pick names of characters whose letters are around the WASD keyboard position. E, C, V, R, T, G, B, F ... all good choices. This way my left hand barely moves. You think I'm kidding; I'm not. Someone can actually BE this lazy.

Although I tell myself it's "efficient."

Anticipate future name variations - Titles
This isn't really a problem for me because I don't engage in PVP. But I still try to anticipate what a name will look like with a title in front of it. The name "Rume" may sound fine on its own but rank up to "Private Rume" and expect some weird whispers.

Compare to Other Character Names
When you're naming you may benefit from reviewing Naming Patterns courtesy of PlayOn (Exploring the social dimensions of virtual worlds). It's a very interesting read. Also check out the link I mentioned previously that can show you existing player names across servers.

More Links:

  • Blizzard's Naming Policy
  • Sample Mule Names
  • WoWInsider's Take on Naming

  • Update 8/2/2007: Mark of the Wild's Naming discussion with good comments.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Where the Crocolisks Roam

    If you're ever questing in the Wetlands and have to do one of the numerous "kill small/medium/giantsized crocs" quests I have a trick. Walk out of Menethil Harbor and make an immediate right - directly into the drink.

    All types of crocs swim in this watery inlet. The young ones are closest and the giant ones are furthest. No more dodging murlocs, invisible Fen Creepers or Hogger wannabes to find one or two croc mobs.

    See...? Lots of dead croc-ery goodness:

    For those with no special underwater breathing abilities, I recommend a nice Elixir of Water Breathing. Some of those giant crocs like to hide near the bottom.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Magazine Updates Fall 2006

    New "Massive" Magazine
    About two weeks ago I went to the local super sized Barnes & Noble to see if I could get another copy of Becket's Massive Online Gamer. I didn't find that but I found a new magazine called "Massive." Got a "first" issue. :)

    Computer Gaming World's Last Issue
    I also got my last issue of Computer Gaming World (last one on my subscription actually) before they switch over to Games for Windows. Perhaps by now we can go back and get a first issue of the new magazine.

    Previous Post On These Magazines

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Elixir of Brute Force

    I did it! (twice)

    You may remember I mentioned the Bloodpetal Sprouts and the Dadanga is hungry! quest.

    Well mostly, what you get from Dadanga is quail, bananas and dew. But, very rarely, less than 2% of the time, you can loot the recipe for the Elixir of Brute Force. It provides +18 to Strength and Stamina for one hour and you can't buy it anywhere. Rare, awesome and worth a fortune.

    Well I looted one recently and was thrilled. I sent it to my alchemist for safe keeping until she can learn it. But - then I looted another one strangely quickly after looting the first. So I'm going to try selling the second one. I know my price is ambitious (150 gold with 250 buyout). But I don't want to price it too cheaply. I can always go down in price later. We'll see how it goes.

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Speed 100%

    (Updated 2/22/2008 with data from Blizzard's Flying Mount Page)

    I have to admit that I didn't realize when they said the "Turtle Mount wouldn't slow you down," and went at "100% speed" - apparently that means it's the same speed as run speed. I thought it meant it was the same speed as all other mounts. (Yeah, I musta skipped the day they talked about movement speed.) Figures. I should've known it was too good to be true to get a real mount before 40.

    So I decided to make some crib notes on movement speed. My research pretty much consisted of some internet searching and a couple of days with a speed mod. Below are the results. I included links to some of the sources (identified with a letter or note of some sort because sometimes the same source provided multiple bits of speed data).



    Druid Table *
    Swim (Normal)


    Druid Table *
    Druid in Prowl Form


    Druid Table
    Stealthed Rogue


    Can be increased by talents.
    Post S


    Druid Table *
    Druid Aquatic Form Swim


    Druid Table
    Druid in Travel Form


    Druid Table

    Wisp Spirit (while dead)
    (Not the Wisp Disguise)


    25% faster than normal ghost
    Source NER *
    Standard Mount (Land)


    Blizzard Source M *
    Flight Public Transportation


    Source P (#34)
    Druid in Flight Form


    Blizzard Source FM
    Engineering Flying Machine


    Blizzard Source FM
    Epic Mount (Land)


    Blizzard Source M, Source P (#34)
    Blizzard Source FM
    Druid in Epic Flight Form


    Blizzard Source FM
    Engineering Turbo-Charged Flight Machine


    Blizzard Source FM
    Epic Flying Mount

    (Rares 310%)

    Blizzard Source FM

    * = I saw this myself using the Speed mod.

    WoWWiki on:
    Druid Forms
    Movement Speed

    Disclaimers: ...estimates only.. blah, blah, blah, ... enchants, skills, etc., ... blah, blah, blah, ... all other disclaimers... I never should've deleted that druid... blah. blah. blah.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    That's a Big Keg!

    Thelsamar, Loch Modan.

    I go there quite a bit. Not as much as the human areas but enough to be surprised if I notice something new. New and freaking huge. And in front of my face this whole time...

    When did they install the monster keg factory?

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    No Turtle For My Twink

    My brother (the one that plays WoW) called me at work yesterday. The conversation went something like this:

    Bro: Hey.
    Me: Hey.
    Bro: Soooo, I bought another box. (obvious sounds in background that he's in his car)
    Me: (laugh) Like big box? How much is that?
    Bro: Bout a hundred bucks. I'm not trying for the Turtle Mount anymore. The drop rate was terrible.
    Me: (laughing)
    Bro: Did I just say drop rate?
    Me: Ya.
    Bro: Oh and you can't have it at any level, you have to be level 20.
    Me: What? Nobody said that. It was all "Turtle any level."
    Bro: Yup. So no Turtle for my twink. I decided on the tabard. I went to order a box of the booster packs but Upper Deck was sold out.
    Me: You should try eBay I bet it'd be way cheaper too.
    Bro: Did that. In fact I even signed up for it. But while I was looking around I found a tabard for like 99 cents, no buyout. I didn't really want to buy it, cause it's like buying gold ((he doesn't think that's any fun)) but figured, hey it might be worth it for $0.99. So I bid on it.
    Me: Nice.
    Bro: No because I was immediately outbid. So I bid again. And I was immediately outbid again!
    Me: (laughing) It's not like the WoW Auction House. You can put in a max bid and the game, I mean eBay, will keep bidding it up for you. It's not like there was some eBay alt at the other end of somebody's computer constantly outbidding you.
    Me: As you were apparently sitting there waiting to outbid them.
    Bro: Yeah, well I gave that up anyway and went all ((Delaney)) on it.
    Me: As in?
    Bro: I used their Store Locator thing and plotted out a bunch of stores to drive to in sequence on my way home from work. I figured I'd keep going til I found one that wasn't sold out.
    Me: Nice. And...? (flipping through papers on my desk in case my boss walks by and sees I'm not working on the thing we need done asap)
    Bro: Found it first store.
    Me: Nice.

    There was a whole section of the conversation that I don't remember the details well enough to recount with justice. I think I was actually paying attention to the paperwork I was shuffling in front of me too well, which turned out to be a good thing because my boss actually DID walk by.

    Essentially the employees of the Comic Book Store where he first stopped thought the tabard was a Real-Life tabard and not an in-game item and therefore thought it was "over-the-top." My brother (I warn you we're a bitter folk) refrained from mentioning that as employees of a comic book store, they had long passed over-the-top. But he remembered he was standing there in same said comic book store making a goodly sized purchase himself so he really couldn't talk.

    I decided not to traumatize my brother with the knowledge that one could indeed be more over-the-top by describing what a LARPer was, what they might do with a real-life tabard and that those employees may have been thinking that's what he was.

    Me: So you gonna open all those up tonight?
    Bro: Yup. I'm home now. Got some dinner and gonna dive in.
    Me: Cool. Remember to bring some of those cards next time you come over so I can see what they look like.
    Bro: Count on it. I want no evidence in my house that I ever had these.
    Me: And yet the whole point of buying them is so that you can proudly display something from them in game.
    Bro: Yup.

    And so it went, probably with much more laughing on my part because my brother cracks me up. I also cleaned up the language (cursing is a bit of a sport among my siblings) but that's essentially it.

    According to the calculations from wowinsider.com my brother should have enough points for his tabard with that box, but I'll hold my breath before declaring any of us done with the collectible cards.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    2006-November Events

    From the Events Calendar for November:

    Darkmoon Faire (Mulgore)Mon November 6 - Sun November 12
    Call to Arms: Warsong Gulch!November 3 - November 6

    Call to Arms: Arathi Basin!

    November 10 - November 13
    Call to Arms: Alterac Valley!November 24 - November 27

    During a Call to Arms, emmissaries from that Battleground will be found in the major cities, and honor/faction rewards for performing objectives in that battleground are increased.

    The next Holiday event is THE Holiday event (imho) - Winterveil. But we have to wait a bit - it is currently scheduled to run December 15 - January 2 (according to the Winterveil page) or December 22 - January 4 (according to the Events Calendar page).