Category Archives: World of Warcraft

SDCC 2017

SDCC was last month, and despite not getting tickets in the first round, I did manage to get a ticket again this year! I debuted a new full cosplay and a new pseudo-cosplay, which was very fun.

Antonio, gem, and I drove down Wednesday after work and had Berkeley Pizza for dinner. It was a short night, because we didn’t get down there early.

Thursday was the first time I wore my Tamatoa (the crab from Moana) cosplay. It was way too hot for it, but I enjoyed wearing it.

We met up with Tram and her friend Christian, and we spent most of the day with them. Maybe they’re good luck, because we got into Hall H for the first time. For reference, usually people line up overnight to get into Hall H. We heard an announcement that Will Smith would be in Hall H, which I just found silly. So what? It’s too late now. Antonio pointed out that maybe they announced it because it wasn’t full. He was exactly right. We walked right into the Netflix panel about Bright and Death Note. Will Smith was on the first half of the panel for Bright, and the whole thing was moderated by Terry Crews. It was pretty cool to be in there with them!

After Hall H, it was time for the Lick King’s Ice Cream Citadel! We got some tasty ice cream and posed with the Lich King! By then I was tired of my Tamatoa costume, so I changed into normal clothes because it was so hot. We had Greek fusion for dinner at Meze, at which we ate the last two years as well.

On Friday I wore my Magikarp Jump cosplay. It wasn’t 100% authentic at all, but it was fun. gem had the idea to use Boomerang for the video. Nice suggestion! We met up with our friends Krista, Kaitlyn, and David. I always run into Krista and Kaitlyn at the coolest places!

This was a day mostly for panels. I saw Robin Hobb: Beyond the Page first followed by Dare to Be Dynamite: Creative Vision with Pierce Brown, an author that gem loves. In the evening we watched a Mega64 panel and the Super Geeked Up Improv show, which was fun, although I wish there was more improv.

My favorite panel was Superstars in Children’s Fiction with Greg Grunberg, Lucas Turnbloom, R. L. Stine, Jarrett J. Krosocka, Jenni Holm, Matt Holm, and Molly Ostertag. We went because we thought it would be fun to see R. L. Stine, but we had no idea that Greg Grunberg, Parkman from Heroes and Wexley from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, would be there and is now a children’s fiction author. He was super nice! We chatted with him after the panel, and when I asked to take a photo of him and gem, his son (I think) offered to take one of the three of us.

My favorite part of the panel was when Greg asked R. L. Stine about the future of Goosebumps TV shows or films. R. L. Stine said he couldn’t comment. Greg told him that he’d trade him information about the next Star Wars movies. Too awesome.

gem wore her Woody costume, which was modified since last year. Previously she tried to keep it authenticate. This year it was more interpretive with a dress. I think she rocked it!

On Saturday, Antonio and I snuck in as professionals to skip the line. Yay. gem took some cool photos of me by the water in my Tamatoa costume.

I had to fight Maui of course. Why wasn’t he transforming? “Well, well, well. Little Maui’s having trouble with his look…”

There were a lot of great Moana cosplayers! Thanks to gem for taking so many wonderful photographs 🙂 There are more on my cosplay page.

We went to another tokidoki signing as always where Simone signed my tokidoki x Overwatch notebook. We also chatted with Jaycee, who worked for tokidoki. She remembered us from previous years, and we followed each other on Instagram.

Let’s not talk about waiting in line over an hour for a Star Trek panel but not getting inside. At least I got to chat with some cool people in line!

Kaleigh joined us that night, although we split up for a bit. gem and I hung out while Antonio met with her at the train station. We all met up briefly, but then that evening gem, Antonio, and I went to see the best brothers around, the McElroys! We watched My Brother, My Brother, and Me live in San Diego! It was really fun to see them in person. Too bad we didn’t get to talk to them. I had a question ready to ask, but there weren’t microphones on the balcony where we were sitting unfortunately.

On Sunday I wore a tried-and-true cosplay, Fix-it Felix Jr.! During a panel, I ran into Erin, a Vanelope von Schweetz cosplayer! We took some photos together after the panel. Her car was super amazing!

After chatting with her, we went to a Disneybound panel with Leslie Kay, Kit Leitmeyer, Loni Clark, Neil A. Williams II, and Sara Katz-Scher. It was pretty interesting to hear about how they come up with their outfits.

I ended the convention at the Disney group shoot! It was organized by Robert T Photography, who also took the photo above. You can see more of his photos from the event here on Facebook.

One videographer took video of us for the end of his cosplay music video. I’m in it briefly at the end as I dance around 4:51, but I’m right in front so you can see me clearly, haha!

 

Look how amazing this little Dopey cosplayer was! He seemed to have a great time with the other Disney cosplayers.

Antonio took this photo of me and gem in her Steven Universe cosplay! I think she did a great job with this. A lot of Steven Universe cosplayers carry a ukulele just as a prop, but this cosplayer can actually play it! Yeah!

There are plenty more photos of my Fix-it Felix Jr. cosplay here.

On our way out of San Diego, we stopped at Kafe Sobaka Restoran Pomegranate for Russian dinner. This is the khachapuri, which was filled with delicious cheese. Oh my god, I definitely need to eat this again. I also had chanakhi (lamb stew) as my entree.

And for dessert, I had sweet vatrushka with sour cherry and farmer’s cheese. Yum!

Until next year, SDCC!

DMV server installation job and Nor Cal trip

I recently finished a temporary, contract job as a field technician for Form 10 installing computer hardware in California DMVs. Each day, two technicians would arrive at a DMV at 2:30 PM. We’d install new a new uninterruptible power supply and rack server, remove the old UPS and server, remove the old camera workstation, install and configure a new one, install new fingerprint readers at every window, and remove the old fingerprint readers. We’d leave whenever we were finished (usually between 7 and 10 PM), and then one of us would come the next morning to watch from 7:30 AM until 10:00 AM. And then we’d drive to the next DMV. As the team lead, I also had a bit of paperwork.

It was nice experience installation the rack servers. The hardest part was the physical act of getting it racked. It was also interesting seeing the DMV from the other side. DMVs have a reputation for being slow and boring, but in reality they’re staffed by normal people who are for the most part trying to help customers. And some of those customers are pretty bad.

The real difficulty of the job was the hours. Every other day I didn’t work until 2:30, which sounds good. However, when you consider that I’m in a different hotel each night, waking up, eating breakfast, working out, checking out by 11, and then driving to the next DMV by 2:30, there wasn’t much time for anything. There were tiny pockets of time. Maybe I could work out quickly enough, check out early, drive to the next DMV as soon as possible, and get there by 12:30 or 1. That gave me maybe two hours, but those free hours were in an unfamiliar place without any physical space for me to use. It was tough, especially being in Northern California or the Central Valley for a few weeks without being home.

Surprisingly I ran into three emergencies. First, one of the security staff members at one of the DMVs was taken away on a gurney. I don’t know what happened to her, but she was able to walk to the gurney herself. At another DMV, I heard a bit of a commotion between the staff and found out that an ambulance came for a woman who fell in the parking lot. It was raining hard that day, and I heard she fell unconscious. I don’t know if she slipped in the rain, hit her head, and was knocked unconscious or if she suddenly lost consciousness, causing her to fall. What I do know is that I saw security coning off a part of the walkway the had a puddle of blood. Apparently she broke her nose. Lastly, my partner and I witnessed a woman pulling away from a man, yelling things like, “get away from me” and “don’t touch me!” I got security, and my partner brought her inside while the man followed. It seemed to be a domestic dispute. Maybe she was overreacting and he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Maybe he was doing something wrong. I don’t know. But I do know that at the end of the day, she was okay, and that’s what matters. The police came and talked to both me and my partner, and they reviewed the security footage right next to me as I installed the server. It was an interesting day.

There was some chance for fun as well. I had some down time one day and decided to visit the local university, Stanislaus State.

I had never even heard of it, but I enjoy universities, and this one was certainly beautiful.

I also saw some cool wildlife. Yes, this photo is terrible. But there are wild turkey in the center!

And here’s a terrible photograph a baby deer! It’s right under the bush in the center at the top.

While in Sacramento, I had the chance to visit the Capitol Building.

I had to take a photograph with the bear! Former-governor Schwarzenegger bought this and left it in the Capitol Building.

I met an interesting woman with whom I went out twice while in Sacramento too. She teaches fifth graders, including many who have hearing impairments. She uses ASL in the classroom. I found it particularly interesting to realize she has to watch for children signing during tests as a way of cheating. She also plays roller derby in Sacramento, which is pretty sweet!

Chuck Sommerville, creator of Chip’s Challenge, lives near Sacramento. I asked him if he’d like to join a fan for lunch, and he agreed. It was awesome. Chip’s Challenge is one of my favorite games; I have an autographed copy of the original Lynx version. The lunch was a pretty amazing experience. He’s a bit of a personal hero of mine and has done a lot of cool things. He always has fascinating projects and shares progress on Facebook. Over lunch he told me a lot about the development of Chip’s Challenge, Chip’s Challenge 2, and Chuck’s Challenge 3D. I also heard about some more of my Lynx favorites like Klax, Todd’s Adventures in Slime World, Gates of Zendocon, and California Games (Chuck designed the skateboarding game). He also told me about John Romero (designer of Doom) and how they were both huge fans of each other’s work.

Chuck now works with LEDs. One installation of which he was particularly proud was the “Sensing YOU” installation in San Jose, which I had a chance to check out. It interacts with the phone game, Ingress, and responds to the motion of pedestrians passing under it. He actually got me playing Ingress now too. It’s a location-based game made by Niantic, the same developer who later made Pokemon Go. Ingress and Pokemon Go use the same underlying data.

Here’s a video of the installation that I took! I was with Matt and Katie, who I stayed with one weekend. They were very gracious to let me stay in their home and are truly terrific people. I had a wonderful time with them!

I’d never put up Christmas lights and enjoyed the opportunity to help them.

They looked great!

Matt has an arcade cabinet at home that his brother gave him as a gift. Here’s Matt and Katie playing Bomberman together. This photo makes me really happy honestly! They’re wonderful together, and I might have a soft spot for arcade cabinets too.

Visiting them was really fun. I got to see my friend Marc a couple nights that weekend as well. It’s practically unbelievable to me that I originally met these great friends through World of Warcraft!

That’s my trip! I got to add rack server installations to my resume, see all sorts of the more rural parts of California in which I had never stopped, visit Sacramento, and even meet Chuck Sommerville. It was a pretty good gig!

Hello, 2015

Last year was a pretty fun year. I was pulled on stage during a clown show, went stand-up paddleboarding, and went wakeboarding. I attended Katie and Matt’s wedding. I started doing yoga this summer and have stuck with it consistently. I switched to a bodyweight workout routine and have been doing that regularly. San Diego Comic-Con was a lot of fun, and for the first time, the roles were reversed; people asked me for pictures. (I was in my Aquabats costume.)

I attended a ton of concerts, including but not limited to Reel Big Fish, The Maxies, The Originalites, The Aquabats, Koo Koo Kangaroo, GOGO13, Half Past Two, Sugar Stems, The Interrupters, The Holophonics, The Skatalites, Suburban Legends, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Los SuperSpies, and so many more. I watched a bunch of improv, mostly at ImprovCity and Spectacles. I attended some Risk! Live. I went to a Teenage Mutant Pizza Party and the Scott Pilgrim Picture Show with CinemAttack! There was Dapper Day, Walking with Dinosaurs, a Civil War reenactment, The Great Gatsby party, the OC Fair, and LA Kiss. There was some Yadi Presents burlesque, a performance of Wizard of Oz, Chicago, Big River – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Man of La Mancha, and other performances. Lots of fun stuff.

Edit: Oh, man, how can I forget the Tall Ships Festival or being a guest on the Twisted Nether Blogcast?!

Work continues to go well. I cleaned out my closet. And yes, that’s worth mentioning. I attended Henley’s first birthday party and gave him a big smile with his present. I finished off Mists of Pandaria and started Warlords of Draenor. Sorry, but a little video games had to leak into this too. I got my backlog (my list of games, books, movies, etc.) that were purchased but never finished down to 340, which is pretty good. When I started counting in April, I had 471 items that needed to be beat/watched/read. I got rear-ended while driving for the first time. That’s not really much of an accomplishment, but I handled it at least. It was my 10-year high school reunion a few months back, and that was a lot of fun. I also cooked a bunch – stuffed bell peppers, pizzas, calzones, salads, salami wraps, pork chops, steaks, a cake, lemon bars, brownies, and more delicious things. I, a straight man, went out for a drink with a man I met on a dating site. I got stung by way too many bees.

It was a cool year.

2015 started with a party with close friends. Just a minute or two into the year I got to witness a friend propose to his girlfriend.

We’re off to a good start.

Birthdays, plays, farmers markets, yoga, and more: a very full weekend

What a super full weekend. Friday was Halloween, also known as Jonathan’s birthday! After work, I rushed through some last minute Hallow’s End activities in World of Warcraft and Mad King Thorn in Guild Wars leaving for the long journey to Jonathan’s party. It was downstairs. I might have had about 3900 calories worth chips, wings, pizza, alcohol, and other food that day. Maybe. And that might have been way too many carbs yet still under my protein goal. Whoops. Anyways, it was fun hanging out and watching Jonathan play scary games. I got to give some candy to trick-or-treaters too!

Strawberry-dipped donut

On Saturday morning I headed to the farmer’s market and picked up some usual treats – hummus, feta, and dolmas. When I was about to leave, I saw this donut and had to get it too. I can happily report that it was tasty.

Saturday was also my mom’s birthday, and my brother had the idea that we could take her to a show. The Man from Earth was playing at Stages, so I picked up some flowers and met them at their house before we went to the play. It was really good! It’s basically the story of a man at his going-away party who explains to his friends that he’s a caveman who has survived for more than 14,000 years. It was very interesting even if the quick summary there sounded kind of dumb. After the show, we ate at Angelo’s & Vinci’s Ristorante, where I had eaten once previously. The service was kind of iffy, but I liked our waitress anyways, and the food was delicious.

gem found out about a free yoga class on Sunday at the Anaheim Packing District. I went with her and definitely enjoyed it. The instructor owns a nearby studio, and a woman in the class just got back from China because she works for Disney and was there for the new park. After the class, we went to that farmer’s market, because you can never go to enough farmer’s markets in a weekend. Oh man. So many good foods. I bought spicy feta, olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pluots, persimmons, strawberry Greek yogurt, and cheese crisps.

Grilled cheese and salami

Next we went in the Anaheim Packing House for lunch. I had an amazing grilled cheese with salami from the Black Sheep Grilled Cheese Bar. The salty flavor of the meat went so well with the grilled cheese. I’d definitely eat there again.

popbar

I keep hearing so much about Popbar’s gelato, sorbet, and yogurt bars, so I had to stop there. Somehow I thought gem was raving about, but she’d never been there. I think all the great things I’ve heard have actually just been from Anela. But she was right, because it was pretty fantastic. I had a pumpkin gelato bar dipped in white chocolate, drizzled in dark chocolate, and covered in waffle cone crumbles. Man. I want another one right now.

Dinner

Sunday was later filled with chores around the house, video games, Netflix, and of course, more eating. This time it was just eating a bunch of the foods I purchased at the farmer’s markets. And then I needed to sleep it off!

Birthdays, Restaurant Week, and more

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There were lots of things happening last week! Saturday the 22nd was gem’s birthday. I baked her a turtle cake, which I talked about previously. She and Edward came to my place for cake before we went out to celebrate. gem wasn’t sure what she wanted to do ahead of time, but she decided to go to Color Me Mine.

Horde plate and mug

I painted a Horde (from World of Warcraft) plate to go with my Horde stein. I had actually painted the stein years ago, but it broke during the firing process and I never got around to fixing it. Luckily the people at Color Me Mine this time told me that if I brought it, they’d glue it together for me, which they did!

After painting, we wen to Gen Korean BBQ. We got there just before last call, so we were trying to order a bunch of food. The waiter was nice enough to just pick stuff for us, and he placed a big order. We were all stuffed, but we managed to get through it.

Sunday morning Collin and I went to Newport to eat at Zimzala. It was fairly empty, but that just meant that we got to hear some rocking tunes from Danny Maika and make a lot of requests.

Later that night, I went to Zenko Sushi with Anela and gem for the weekend’s second all-you-can-eat meal. We had a nice time!

By Monday I had gained 4.70 lbs since Friday. That was expected. Unfortunately, I felt a little sick, but I didn’t think much of it. Monday night Duncan treated Collin and me to Chipotle. It was fun eating with them. We brought it back to the house and watched… uh… Twitch Plays Pokemon on the living room TV.

I guess Chipotle was the last straw for my stomach. Something made me pretty sick, and I was up most of the night. I ended up calling out sick Tuesday and Wednesday. On the plus side, I lost all that weight I gained and much more! Tuesday morning I still tried to eat normally, but my stomach rejected everything. Even my mouth rejected normal foods! I chipped a tooth eating a protein bar. I should note that the protein bar isn’t crunchy in any way.

Get well soup

gem recommended I make soup, so I did just that. My stomach didn’t seem to hate it, so I ate it Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, and early on Thursday.

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I was still incredibly bummed about Harold Ramis dying as well, so I decided to spend some of my limited waking time watching Ghostbusters. Let’s not dwell on this, because I’ll get depressed.

I was feeling a lot better although not perfect by Thursday. I finished the soup for my lunch that day. Late that night, gem came over because it was my birthday and she had a gift for me. She bought a cast iron skillet! I had been wanting one for a while, so that was pretty cool. We also decided to order pizza. It was a terrible idea since I was getting over food poisoning, but it was also my birthday and I love pizza. Luckily my stomach accepted it without complaint.

Friday I celebrated OC Restaurant Week by going to Marrakesh for Moroccan food with Collin, Duncan, and Mimi. The food was delicious, just like I remembered it. I had a tasty salad, lamb, baklava, and tea. I also had a Lebanese beer and some mixed drink called a Belly Dancer. It was tasty, but I can’t remember what was in it.

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After dinner, we all headed back to our place to hang out, watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and have some wine. There might have been an extraordinary amount of Snapchatting as well.

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On Saturday I went to The Melting Pot with gem and Edward to celebrate my birthday. I’d been there a couple years earlier for my birthday and really liked it. It didn’t let me down! First there was a tasty salad. Next there was a Wisconsin cheese trio with bread, veggies, and apples. For the main course there was a nice broth with chicken, steak, mushroom ravioli, shrimp, and lobster tail. There might have been a glass of wine and dirty martini in there too!

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For dessert we had dark chocolate fondue with marshmallow cream and crumbled Oreos. We dipped Rice Krispy treats, brownies, pound cake, bananas, strawberries, cherries, and cheesecake. The cheesecake dipped in the chocolate was so amazing! Because it was my birthday, they also brought me a chocolate covered strawberry with a candle. The waiter told Edward to sing for me because he wasn’t going to do it. He mentioned something about how it’s too bad nobody had a ukulele. Unfortunately, we didn’t have gem’s ukulele with us.

So that was my week! Being sick was pretty miserable, but I had a nice birthday and enjoyed celebrating gem’s as well.

How do relationships in game affect relationships in real life?

Breakfast Topic: How do relationships in game affect relationships in real life?

Most of the time, relationships in and out of World of Warcraft are completely separate. There are people I know in the game and people I know out of it. With the number of available realms, even the people I know in real life who play WoW are on different realms. This contributes to keeping in-game and out-of-game politics separate. But what happens when these two parts of your life come together?

I like this one the least of my published WoW Insider articles.
Also, what’s with the picture they chose?

Are you a closet roleplayer?

Breakfast Topic: Are you a closet roleplayer?

Most players don’t actively roleplay in World of Warcraft — however, it sure seems like some people do without realizing it.

WoW Insider just published my second article! This one is a Breakfast Topic on creating back-stories or thinking as your character without actively roleplaying within World of Warcraft.I very rarely roleplay in the actual game, but I think I “closet roleplay” actively!

Has your perspective of Azeroth changed over time?

Breakfast Topic: Has your perspective of Azeroth changed over time?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider’s pages.
The very first time you load into Azeroth, you don’t know what to expect. If you’re familiar with previous Warcraft games, you might recognize some places, but many of the locations will be new to you. As a level 1 character, you can’t ride a mount at all, let alone use a flying mount. The world is huge, and it’s actually difficult to get across a continent.

WoW Insider just posted the first of three articles they purchased from me! I have to admit, checking their site has been the first thing I’ve done every morning since they purchased them. I’m very excited!

Seed

SEED

Your content has been submitted!
What happens next?
Your submission will be reviewed by the requesting editor on or around May 11th. You’ll be notified via email about whether your article was accepted by the requesting editor. If it’s not chosen, it may still be published elsewhere at another time.

It’s worth a try.

4.1 Trailer

“The Horde is my people. If it be war you bring, then I stand against you.” – Vol’jin

Too cool.
But I’m not sure why they let him live and walk away, or why the Gurubashi aren’t upset by the Zandalar tribe taking them down.

April Game Update

Playing
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm for PC
I’ve been doing a heroic and BG most days now. I’ve received a lot of new gear, which is cool. After a lot of thought, I rejoined Carpe Flux Capacitor recently. It sucks to see Playground Brigade fall apart, but it’s nice to be back in Carpe. A couple weeks ago, BFF took me on their guild run of BWD, although I didn’t make any new progress. I have managed to break 80,000 HKs, get Cataclysmically Superior, and finish Hyjal though. Boy, Hyjal was a badass zone at the end there! And lots of cute quests involving animals too.
Surviving High School for iOS
While I haven’t been playing this as much, I’ve been playing through the weekly episode every week.
Anomaly: Warzone Earth for Steam
This is a game I’m reviewing for Game-Boyz, so I don’t want to talk about it too much here until after I post the review. I will say that it’s a reverse tower defense in which you control a line of units going on the offensive against stationary turrets. I beat it this morning, and I really enjoyed it. There’s a few bonus modes that I’d like to play more of before I call it quits on this game.
Hoard for Steam
Another Game-Boyz game that I can’t talk about too much. Even if I could though, I just started it. It’s a strategy game in which you play as a dragon attempting to hoard gold by destroying cities, scaring peasants into giving gold tributes, and kidnapping and ransoming princesses. Seems fun!
Plants vs. Zombies for iOS
I finally managed to finish the New Game+ mode in this and am working on the last achievement – unlock every plant. I still have a few more to unlock, but I’m sure I’ll get it soon since I’ve been playing it a lot in my down time.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 for WiiWare
I beat and reviewed this recently. It was a solid entry I think, and I enjoyed it. While I didn’t gather all the chaos emeralds, going after them really wasn’t that fun. I think I’m done with this one.
Stopped Playing
Mirror’s Edge for iOS
I’ve just grown bored of this. The levels are pretty repetitive and sometimes annoying. I’ll probably end up finishing it after a while through playing it in small chunks.
YumYumBoy for iOS
I’m still trying to post the review on this one, but Game-Boyz has been having some problems. I might pick it up from time to time, but I think I’m pretty much done with it.
Considerations
I picked up Portal 2, so obviously I want to play that more. I’d also really like to figure out where I put Force Unleashed 2 so I get back to it. I should probably get back to Ballad of Gay Tony and Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp as well. Further down the line, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Rush all sound appealing. I purchased Unbound Saga, a brawler for XBLA recently and should probably check that out. I’ve also been wanting to play Scott Pilgrim and Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime when I get the chance.

KYL: Horde Politics

Know Your Lore: Update on current Horde politics

…as far as the Horde is concerned, there has never been as tumultuous a time as right now in Cataclysm. While some of the conflict is out in the open, other signs of discontent are found in hidden away or in discreet areas, out of sight unless you’re directly looking for them.

Anne Stickney of WoW Insider posted a great Know Your Lore piece on Horde politics tonight. It contained some really interesting little details that I never noticed.

Foures

Breakfast Topic: What role do you fill in your guild?

Aside from official ranks such as officers and raid leaders, there are plenty of niche roles that guild members can fall into. I’m personally of the opinion that every guild can benefit from having a designated whipping boy to call their own. You know who I’m talking about. Everyone cracks jokes at his expense. Failures are blamed on him, even when he’s not logged on. From the outsider’s viewpoint, it might look suspiciously like everybody hates him! Yeah, that guy.

I miss Foures.

Patch 4.1

Patch 4.1 Public Test Realms Coming Soon – World of Warcraft via WoW Insider

That’s right, folks. Development on the first major content patch for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is well underway! We’re currently making preparations to bring some of the initial content and updates we’ve been working on for this patch to the Public Test Realms. So you ask, “what will we find in the first 4.1 test client?” (You did ask that, right?) Well, let me tell you!

4.1 will come with lots of minor tweaks that I don’t feel like talking about. But the fact that we have notes on it means it’s coming soon. If it’s coming to the PTR soon, it’ll be live not too long after. I really don’t think finishing heroic mode and the achievements of the current tier is going to be an option. However, as we’re 8/12, I think finishing normal mode is achievable.
The patch also mentions new heroic dungeons! Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman will be back as heroic 5-man dungeons in a new tier of heroics above the current Cataclysm heroics! The rare mounts will all be back with updated models to distinguish them from the originals! Yay, rare mounts!

Troll mohawk hat

World of WarCrafts: Cozy knitted troll mohawk hat by Anreha

With that in mind, today’s World of WarCrafts looks like something that would be incredibly welcome while venturing out there in the cold: a warm, knitted hat made to mimic the style of trolls and their outrageous mohawks. This warm and fuzzy creation was put together by Anreha of the guild on Proudmoore (US-A)…

Please make me this, someone.

Conclave of Wind and Chimaeron



Conclave of Wind and Chimaeron, originally uploaded by theuser.

Last night we downed the Conclave of Wind and Chimaeron, putting us at
3/6 BWD N, 2/4 BoT N, and 1/2 TotFW N, half way through the normal
difficulty content. They were both fairly interesting fights I
thought. Staying so split up for the Conclave of Wind was interesting,
even though Elizabeth and I just hung out on one platform for the
majority of the fight. It was fun though! And it was fun chatting
during low points of the fight. The Skywall is gorgeous, and I love
being there.
One platform gave a stacking debuff that you’d clear by going to a
different platform for a period of time, but you also wanted to be on
that platform at a certain time. I was annoyed that people had trouble
understanding that some people, by nature of when we were telling them
to initially go to that platform, did not have time to go at the
designated time, get stacks, leave, drop stacks, and get back in time
for the next designated time. Eventually we changed strategies that
allowed them to start on that platform earlier, giving them time to
leave and get back in time for split-damage AOE, and that worked well.
But of course, the super awesome team consisting of me and Elizabeth
was awesome anyways.
Chimaeron went really smoothly once Corey and I were actually focusing
on different groups rather than accidentally healing the same group.
This fight has a mechanic that forces all incoming attacks on players
that are over 10K health to bring the player to 1 HP at the least. In
other words, they might be higher than 1 HP, but it won’t kill them as
long as they’re over 10K. This makes it interesting because people
only need to be at 10K HP or above, not anywhere near topped off on
health, which also means that I can spend ridiculous amounts of mana
actually using Flash Heal, my fast but inefficient heal, because I
only need to quickly get them to 10K.
So far, I’m loving the difficulty of Cataclysm raids I think. We’re
making progress every night. Most fights (not all) have still provided
a challenge during which we wipe repeatedly, which is of course good
because I want to work for kills. But I like that we’re still
progressing each night. I don’t want to raid nightly, and I don’t want
to be super hardcore, but I do want to see these raids to the end. I
haven’t seen what others are saying about the current tier or raiding,
so I’m not sure if the consensus is that it’s easy or how it compared
to the start of Wrath. Remember that I only started raiding in 3.3.
Hardcore raiders who want more of a challenge have heroic mode
anyways, so I feel like having normal mode be at a pace that actually
let’s us move through it without weeks spent at the same boss is good.

Leap of Sap

You can cast Leap of Faith on a sapped, frozen, etc. target.
This is so fun and helpful in PVP! gem yelled “get me out of here,” so I ran over to heal her. Then I realized exactly what she asked for, even though I think she meant for me to come heal her, so I broke my cast and life gripped her to safety. It seems like a good way to save someone, at least temporarily, from rogues. I’ve also enjoyed using it to help speed the flag carrier on his or her run or to remove him or her from a combat zone.
I’m loving this skill.

Halfus Wyrmbreaker Downed



Halfus Wyrmbreaker Downed, originally uploaded by theuser.

We killed Halfus Wyrmbreaker for the first time tonight. It was an
interesting fight. For the most part it was pretty easy. The mechanics
were interesting. Three of five possible drakes are involved. Each
gives the boss a buff, and talking to a drake causes him to temper
that buff but become mind controlled and fought alongside the boss.
The strategy comes from deciding when to engage the drakes and which
ones. But for me, it was a matter of stepping out of fire and casting
heals.
1/4 Bastion of Twilight
Chimaeron, on the other hand, was not easy. We didn’t down him.

Grim Batol



Grim Batol, originally uploaded by theuser.

How long are heroics supposed to last? I know they take longer in
Cataclysm than they did at the end of Wrath. An hour? An hour and a
half? Two hours and forty minutes when gem and I queued for a random
heroic. It was our second heroic, but our first was with the guild.
After two hours we had switched a lot of players because they kept
leaving, and only one other DPS stayed with us. One tank even yelled
at me (a disc priest) for DPSing when I should have been healing.
Clearly he hasn’t heard of Atonement. Also, it’s hard to heal the tank
when I have to heal DPS that make mistakes. Anyways, we brought Collin
in to tank and then things went a lot more smoothly.
While that might have been particularly bad, I still can’t see myself
wanting to do a 45 minute heroic after work. I suspect I’ll be doing
most of my gearing during my days off.

Knights of Valiant Fury

The Classifieds: Guild videos are awesome

Rehmaar is the guild master for on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). The guild is an all-blood elf roleplaying guild, and it’s just getting started in the last few weeks. Rehmaar created this video from soup to nuts to help advertise his guild and get the word out about their themes and goals.

How come my guild doesn’t have a sweet, RP video? Or any RP? This guild looks really fun!

Various Things

Hello world!
Today felt like a good day for the most part! That’s always a plus. The store was super busy for a while, and I spent a while in music. Things went fairly well though, which is always a confidence boost.
I played Agricola a few days ago with some friends. It’s a board game focused on farming with the goal of having a balanced farm. I scored 25 while my friends scored in the 40s. Oh well! Next time I might actually know how to play, because I didn’t grok it until a couple hours into it.
I finished Daredevil Visionaries – Frank Miller Vol. 2, collecting issues #168-182, which was really good. I never realized how totally awesome Daredevil was, and I can thank Kyle at work for getting me interested.
Lately I’ve felt in the mood to watch some movies or television but wasn’t sure what to watch. I prefer funny over serious usually, and the only thing funny I still had was Sex and the City. I watched two episodes and thought it was pretty bad. I think it’s supposed to be empowering towards women, but the show trivializes sex. Then last night I started asking for suggestions for movies and watching more Sex and the City. Three more episodes into the series, and I think I’m liking it, although I dislike how it portrays sex. I know, that’s kind of weird considering that’s what the show is about.
Anyways, recommended movies were But I’m a Cheerleader, Little Miss Sunshine, My Best Friend’s Girl, Couples Retreat, and Private Benjamin. I had seen the first two but not the last three, so I’m going to try to watch those soon. (Side note: After getting the recommendations, I claimed that I thought Little Miss Sunshine was okay. And just now I checked my movie log, and I gave it a 10/10. It doesn’t seem to hold up in my memory, but I must have enjoyed it a lot when I watched it. Odd.) Today when Andy found out that I had watched more Sex and the City, he gave me a stack of DVDs – Social Network, Archer Season One, Community Season One, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season One, and Inception. I’ve already seen Inception, but the rest I want to see. I wasn’t too interested in the Social Network, but everyone keeps raving about it, so I’ll give it a go.
So what did I watch? Well, tonight I actually watched But I’m a Cheerleader. Every other time I’ve watched it, it was on television and I was interrupted, so I wanted to watch it straight through. Evening though I knew where the story was going, I still felt kind of sick about some of the shit in the beginning. But then love blossoms and it’s okay. I like that movie a lot, and it’s also important to me because of the circumstances surrounding it when I first saw it in high school.
And last night I hit level 85 in World of Warcraft. Now to grind dungeons so I can start grinding heroics so I can raid!
Edit: Been using Tumblr even more. Damn it. Also logged into Deviant Art for the first time in years. Over 9000 (*giggle) notifications.