Pepe Goes To The Faire

I found that little jerk Pepe the bird sitting just out of clicking range in my garrison.  Using Google F. Search, I bound “interact with target” to a key and then jumped up and down spamming the key like a moron until Pepe perched on my head.

I thought Pepe would be bored hanging around the garrison, so I took him to the last day of the Darkmoon Faire

We set off fireworks

We set off fireworks

I took him flying! Yes, I know birds can usually fly.

I took him flying! Yes, I know birds can already fly.

I need to find more productive ways to spend my time.

The Golden Age of Parenting

I always said, wistfully, when I was retrieving Mouse instead of raiding that ONE DAY this child will farm gold for me.

That day has arrived.  Well sort of.  She’s not great at combat yet.  But garrison farming she can totally do.

And, get this, she thinks that garrison farming is fun and that we’re doing her a favor by letting her login as us and plod through our mines and gardens.  She empties the garrison cache.  Then she follows that stupid dog to its treasure (more garrison resources).

She’s even learned how to send out our idiots… um I mean followers.  I explained about matching traits and for the most part she gets it.  Maybe it’s not the optimal matching but what do I care – I’m not the one having to do it!  As long as she’s at least making the effort to get them to around 70% before sending them off, I’m fine with it.

I’ve paid my dues with many sleepless nights.  I deserve to take a nap while my spawn handles my online chores.

If only she’d learn to fish.

Fishing Sucks

So I’m an alchemist.  I was leveling by gathering the appropriate plants, crafting, training, finding out what more plants I needed, going back to gather them.  This was, obviously, annoying and time-consuming.  Damn you, goldthorn!

I heard that Draenor had catch up crafting, which I was really excited about, but then when I trained it all my recipes required fish.  Wait, let me rephrase that – except for the daily transmute thingy all my recipes required more than one fish and nothing else.

I had avoided fishing in the past because, well, it looked super-boring, but it seemed there was no way of getting around it now.

I was right. Fishing does totally suck.  It’s very boring and those dumbass fish take up too many slots of inventory – the big ones, the small ones, their stupid flesh, and their dumb bait for each variety.  The fishing quest is a pain in the ass, but getting +15 is really worth it because now that I hit around 400, I’m getting a skillup maybe every 5 fish.

Well this is "fun".

Well this is “fun”.

At this point, if I ever change servers or factions, I’m paying good money for that transfer because there is no way in hell I’m ever doing this shitty grind again.  Looks like I have a druid main 4 lyfe!  DURID IS 4 FISH!

Selfies At The Darkmoon Faire

Twig and I attended the Darkmoon Faire this week.

She. Loves. It.

I will be so sad when it leaves.  All the stuff there is just fun, with no real danger, the perfect place for a kid to mess around.

Anyway, I glyphed my stag to make sure she’d have a ride (she’s still working on navigating the game world “No, look at your minimap, see the dot…” or “Just follow the orange circle, see, it’s right over my head.”)

Mommy, am I heavy?

Mommy, am I heavy?

No, but your flaming swords burn my butt.

No, but your flaming swords burn my butt.

We rode on chickens and whatnot…

I look like a moron.

I look like a moron.

And looked at the weird people

She calls this one "diaper monster" because, well, his outfit.

She calls this one “diaper monster” because, well, his outfit.

And then she asked how to take pictures.  I explained alt-z and the screenshot button.  And then she ran off to do what every kid nowadays does – take selfies.  Apparently screenies are the new selfie.  The rest of the pictures are from her screenie folder:

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Checking In

Whew!  I’ve been spending so much time doing actual playing (and other real life garbage) that I’m not doing any blogging.  Shame shame.  So here’s what is going on in the world of me:

I decided to make my druid my main.  I do love druid but it was largely process of elimination, as I went through the other healing classes and decided that some of their mechanics were just a deal-breaker for me.

I leveled from scratch because I’m too cheap to transfer my druid and THEN race change (Worgen turned out to be NOT my thing).  And I don’t want to blow my lvl 90 boost quite yet.  That thing is worth $60, even if I got it bundled in the expansion.

Remember how I said that leveling a monk was painful because of the order you learn the spells?  Well, druid is not as bad, but still pretty bad.  You know when you get your first aoe heal?  Level 74.  I shit you not.  Until level 74, you’re screwed. And that first aoe is Tranquility, for emergencies only.  You don’t get Wild Growth until level 76!  OK, maybe they’ve screwed with the other classes in a similar manner, but I HATES IT.  I don’t care that I get a piddly lifebloom early if I have NO aoe tools until my mid-70s.

Outside the world of healing, I love the hell out of druid.  The new travel form combo is the most awesome thing ever.  Sure, I grumbled at first, but then I went flower picking.  So my birdie dives into the water, becomes a seal, gathers the kelp, hops back to the surface and…. turns back into a bird.  Having bird was always better than a mount in that circumstance, since you could jump out of the water and spam the bird button until you got it to take.  No “swimming to shore and resummon” shit.  But the smooth transition from seal to bird in one silly jump is enough to make me a convert.

I still hate how the reindeer looks.  I expect to turn around and find Santa hitching a ride behind me.  But I’d rather have a fast-travel glyph than a cheetah glyph, so I’m stuck with Rudolph for now.

Anyway, the druid is level 90.  I haven’t even set a toe in Draenor.  Sigh.  I’m super-behind. which is OK, since I’m still on gaming training wheels after a 3 year break.  Probably nobody wants me in the first round of raiding.

Coming up in the world of blogging, which I will totally do, at some point, honest:

Druid Weak Auras.  I made some.  I tend to avoid button-looking ones since if I wanted to look at buttons I’d just look at my action bars.

Grid2.  Yes, I’ve abandoned Grid for his much more attractive younger brother.  It’s not hard to set up, and I don’t have to worry about plugin updates.  I went very minimal this time – no icons, almost no numbers.

World Of Twigcraft

Guess who is 6 years old, has an ever-changing number of teeth, and just got a wow account?  Yeahhhhh…

It’s every parent’s dream, when your kid can start farming gold for you. And by “farm gold” I mean “swindle us out of all our gold to fill up the pet journal and the toy box because, seriously, pets and toys.”

We find it highly amusing to listen to her yell at the bad guys, or more often hear her character say “I need a target” or “I need to get closer.”

And, if you’re wondering, I locked that shit down so hard with parental controls.  Especially when I considered that she might be walking through Goldshire.  Granted, her reading isn’t that good yet, but there are questions that I do not want to answer.

I locked her out of Real ID, obviously, but also “muted” her account which means she cannot hear any players saying anything in any channel ever.  We can group with her, although she cannot see group chat.  We were allowed to send her mail, but I suspect any messages along with the mail items would have been stripped.

I also set “playtime limits” which amounts to me cutting it off during the night so she doesn’t sneak out of bed to play video games at 2am.  This has happened.  I was both annoyed and proud.

Stay tuned as I feebly try to curb her swearing at the screen, because I have no idea where she picked that up… (I blame Star Lord.)

How To Make Pugging Better

Dear Blizzard,

I know you listen to me because I’m important, right?  Well here’s what you need to do to make pugging better before I tear my hair out.

1. Better Notification of New Spells

Back in the day, you went to the trainer anxiously hoping for a new spell, and when you got one, you were so psyched that you read about it and slapped it on your hotbar, and, most importantly, you knew you had a new spell.  You had to know.  You just bought it.

In the post-trainer world, there needs to be some in-your-face notification that You Got A New Thing but not necessarily a trip back to the trainer.  Either you have to buy it on the fly for a nominal fee, or you get an obnoxious popup.  When I level, it goes by so fast that unless I’m watching the scroll, I could miss it.  The name of new spells are buried in the list of unlocked instances.  And once the new spell is learned, it just goes in alphabetical order into the spell book, with no indication that it is new.

Here is a good example why we need a spell notification: I met a level 60 warlock that did not know he could summon other players.  Did not know that summoning was a thing warlocks did.  At 60.  For real.  And, as dumb as I thought this guy was, I could see how he could be plodding along and just plain miss it.

Another time, the group stood around stupidly while I was dead on the floor because I had a mass rez debuff.  I said to the monk that he could rez.  Like just normal rez, no mass about it.  This was a big surprise, apparently.

2. Spirit Healers Right Outside The Instance Door

In the group finder world, it’s a safe bet that nobody in the group has any idea where the instance is located.  It’s also likely that none of them have wiped on said instance because instances are pretty easy, and because leveling is so fast you are unlikely to get the same one too many times.

Well, then, when you do manage to wipe by some miracle of stupidity, and you’re in a random area of Zangarmarsh and it’s not particularly intuitive that you have to walk out to the center of the lake and swim down a pipe.  If you weren’t here in 2007 or so, you’d have no freaking idea.

Also, I never did find the door to maraudon.  I had to wait for the rest of the group to run back and resurrect me.  It was embarrassing.

In conclusion, these are my reasonable demands.  I mean requests.  Totally requests.

XOXO

Zel

Or I Could Be A Druid

Warlords of Draenor Approacheth

I’m so glad I started out with Monk.  If I had done it as an alt, I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to it.  It’s got completely different mechanics and the dual resource system is quite the challenge.

That said, not sure I want to raid with mistweaver.  Some classes just click and others not so much.  I like monk, but I wonder if I could be any better than average at it.

So I am trying Druid again, since I haven’t healed on a druid since Lich King, and I remember why I liked it, and why I stopped playing one.

One of my beefs with Druid in cata was the loss of tree form.  Yes, it’s just sentimental and stupid but goddamnit you cannot take my tree.  Now there’s a glyph.  When I realized this, I was a little too excited.  I grabbed that sucker and I’m back, like retro style, healing stuff with my branches waving in the air (like I just don’t care).  I know the glyph does nothing substantive.  I don’t care.  It’s so awesome.

It's OK to be jealous.

It’s OK to be jealous.

So far, I’ve noticed that druid flows better than monk in terms of when you get abilities.  Mistweaver Monk is horribly gimped in the leveling process. The only thing I’m missing right now on Druid is an aoe.  I feel weird without ANY aoe, not even an oh-shit button.  When do I get Wild Growth? Not soon enough.

You’re probably wondering at this point why I don’t just use my 90 boost.  The answer is that, even though I know how 2 druid, it’s been so long that I didn’t want to boost to 90 and then go duhhhhh.  Right now I’m learning, getting a feel for new abilities, glyphs I like, etc.  It’s funsies.  Also, it will be super-crowded leveling 90-100 anyway, so why the rush?

Supervillain UI: Gaming in Style

Remember how awesome my UI looked after I got it all prettyfied with ElvUI?

There, you see, he's INVISIBLE

Shiny

Well that little dream got dashed all to shit when it was revealed shortly thereafter that there was a “backdoor” in Elv that was a Bad Security Problem.  Since the offending code was removed, I did not immediately panic and uninstall it.  However, I did start searching for an alternative.

Many of the so-called UI replacements are really just a cobbling together of a bunch of different addons, with someone else’s settings applied.  I wanted something like Elv where all the moving parts are mostly dealt with in the same options menu, and dragged around in the same move-screen (it is SO difficult to line things up when you have to move one addon… then lock it… then open another addon to unlock THOSE windows…)

Then I found Supervillain UI and there was no going back.  I fully admit that it has less customization than ElvUI, if only because it does not have a community of plugin-writers adding to it.  However, what little bit it lacks in customization it makes up in sheer style.

Observe the awesomeness.

Observe the awesomeness.

It reskins everything.  I mean everything.  Like the initial login screen everything.  And it looks fantastic.  The comic theme goes well with the so-called “cartoony” look of WoW.

Ready Check Screen

Ready Check Screen

An example of the comic-themed tooltip.

An example of the comic-themed tooltip.

Me: (sees warlock is out of range) I think we’re missing the warlock.

Thehusband: I don’t think anyone ever misses Chlamydia.

Ok, caveat, if you don’t like comic book style, and you want your UI to look more SRS bzns, you might be unhappy.  It might be very labor-intensive or impossible to strip all the details.  But really, why would you want to make your UI more boring and less awesome?

The little touches are so cute and giggleworthy.  Unfortunately, I don’t have screenies for the BAM and SOCK and BLAMMO sort of things that appear on-screen like in the old Batman and Robin TV show.  But they appear.  And it’s so much FUN.

Raid frames are perfectly functional out of the box.1  You can have them horizontal like the default frames or like the defaults in Vuhdo, or in little vertical squares like Grid.2  I mostly used the vertical squares version until about level 85, and it worked fine.  However, I needed a more a healer-specific highly-customizable setup 3 as I neared 90 for raids.  The default frames have ambiguous coloring on debuffs and lack of hot timing or customization of hot display.  For purposes of DPS, tanking, or low-level healing, it’s completely workable and probably shows 90% of what you need to see.

And with that, let’s talk about what the addon does not handle and what you might need an outside addon for.  Mostly these are things beyond the scope of a UI replacement and things that Elv didn’t have either.

Click casting will need to be done through Clique.  You can do mouseover macros but I cannot recommend that! See, mouseover works on both frames AND mobs/friendlies in the world.  If you’re in group mode, it’s very easy to have your cursor slip and um… end up healing your own jade statue.  Clique only works on frames, and you can blacklist certain frames at that.

Supervillain UI doesn’t have boss warnings, but does skin both Bigwigs and DBM (and I think a couple others).  It also skins Recount if you’re into that sort of thing.

This is my UI with the dbm warnings and bars and proximity monitor.

This is my UI with the dbm warnings and bars and proximity monitor. Boss bars are on the right side, under the map.

The mod reskins the default scrolling text to Awesome Font, but does not otherwise modify the display of scrolling text.  Probably I’d use Mik’s, the industry standard, but I have not braved the setup yet.

Player Buff Frames are not very customizable.  I’m currently using Raven, but it lacks a consolidated buff bar.  Raven can also handle dot and hot timer bars and a cooldown line similar to Coolline.  BUT WAIT!  Apparently Satrina’s Buff Frames (SBF) is back!  I used that back in the day and after Satrina works out the kinks (after being out of game for a few years) I am going to take it for a test drive.

Weak Auras 2 because duh.  The default spell icons look horribly out of place in the slick UI, so I downloaded Masque Clean Icons to make them look square and more like the supervillain theme.  It goes without saying that I made the fonts in my auras match some of the supervillain fonts for consistency.

A resource tracker.  I’m currently looking for an updated one since the one I use is terribly old.  I just like having my mana/chi front and center, separate from my unit frame.

Crafting and auction stuff.  Pick your poison.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an alternative to Elv, or just for a snazzy new interface, join the dark side and go Supervillain.

  1.  Group frames have TMI, but can be fixed.  Although currently you have to scale group frames to match raid frames separately, and it’s kind of annoying copying settings across different sizes of raids because each size has its own settings, apparently there is a patch to fix that in beta.
  2. If you pick the grid option, it overrides specific size/buff display settings for each raid or group size and makes the squares uniform.  This was great since I’m lazy.
  3. As it happens, I settled on a healing addon, Grid2, but that’s a subject of another post TBD.

Open Letter to PUG Hunters from your PUG tank

Dear PUG Hunters,

Since getting back I’ve leveled up a warrior as a dungeon finder partner with Zel. I tank, she heals, no queues. Here I am with an awesome helm.

smallwall2

 

Since I’ve pretty much just done PUGs since level 30 I’ve noticed a few trends in your class that I feel I need to point out. Now I know there are good hunters. I’ve seen them, I’ve raided with them. But based on the hunters I’ve seen the last few weeks in PUGs, I am starting to realize the good ones might be the exception than the rule.

What I find annoying can best be summed up with three examples of bad play:

The Tale of Mr. Fluffy
One thing that happens more than it should is pets have some kind of taunt on. This makes sense when questing. It does not make sense in dungeons. In the wilds of Azeroth, a hunter would prefer angry things hit its pet, than its shiny mail armor which happens to be the second toughest armor in the game. Heaven forbid anything bleeds on it.

Anyway when in a group you (the hunter) have someone who signed up (the tank) to take the bloodstains you normally put on your pet. That person has a design for each pull, where they want the baddies to stand, where the baddies should face. When Mr Fluffy or Porkchop or Fartingbearlol taunts, that whole system your PUG tank is working for has been derailed. Bosses have AoE cleaves, and you pet can endanger the nice rogue who set up for back stab action.

The Tale of the Coke Fueled Ferret

The second bad bit of play I see involves a jumping hunter who thinks they can decide on the speed of the pulls. Maybe I’m not ready. Maybe I noticed the healer is low on mana. Maybe I’m waiting for a patr… Oh fuck you did it. Shit shit shit. Now I have to taunt it off you and okay I got this. WHAT THE HELL DID YOU PULL THAT OTHER GROUP FOR? SON OF A B—

[RELEASE SPIRIT]

The Tale of the Clueless Pull

So the first two tales are so generic they are ubiquitous. This last one is just too perfect to leave in general terms. In a PUG for the Throne of Tides we had a paladin who was pretty cool, and a hunter who seemed kind of clueless. It was fine because he actually didn’t fall into one of the first two problems. We had a wipe or two as we all struggled to remember the mechanics of the bosses and were headed down a hall that had these nasty little goblins with poison spears. If the tank rolls into the pull they all throw a poison spear at him and it is easily half to three fourths of the tanks health. The other mobs in the hall are these horrors things that do a nasty ground slam.  We managed to get to the second to last pull towards the third boss in the place. The paladin and I asked the Hunter if he could send his pet in to take one for the team (meaning “pet dies from the yucky poison rather than the tank”). He didn’t get what we were asking so we told him to have his pet attack, figuring this last pull of goblins was particularly bad and better to have a dead pet than a dead tank. So off his pet ran…to the two horrors just past the goblins, thereby pulling the two hardest pulls in the place at once. After the wipe the hunter dropped group. The paladin and I were just dumbstruck. Even when you give them instructions to pull a group, they still manage to screw it up.

The conclusion that I’ve drawn here is that when I see a hunter come up in my group I am preparing myself for the worst. I don’t want to, but collectively you’ve pushed me to say that hunter is BELOW warlock in my class estimation at the moment. If you turn off taunt and just not pull, I think you can regain my esteem, but I’m not holding my breath.

Sincerely yours,

Arcanetinkertank