I’m a Priest. It’s what I do.

•October 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have been playing a new game within World of Warcraft.  It’s called “I bet I can make you punch your computer”.  This mini-game is based on the Zombie Plague event that is unfolding in WoW as we wait for WotLK to be released.  This iteration of the scourge invasion started off with some shipments of tainted grain showing up in Booty Bay a few days ago.  Plagued roaches are now showing up in cities that when killed, apply the You’re Infected! debuff.  Wowhead has a great log detailing what is going, so rather than recreate it, it’s posted here.

My game began as I was wandering through Westfall after getting my Green Wing Macaw drop from the Deadmines. (I am only two pets short of the Shop Smart, Shop Pet…Smart acheivement.)  Passing through Sentinel Hill I saw 4 smaller zombies and one named zombie attacking the town.  Without a thought, I Holy Nova’d down the smaller ones and with a single Mind Blast took out the named zombie – realizing at the same time, it was level 38 player who had been turned.  This is the conversation that followed:

Scourge Invasion

Scourge Invasion

Another teen-wanabe told me what he was going to do to my mom (see below) after I showed no concern for apparently “ruining” his game. 

... more Scourge Invastion

... more Scourge Invastion

I know he pays his $15 a month to play however he wants, but I paid good in-game silver for an Abolish Disease spell and I intend to use it.

Heading into Stormwind, there are a growing number of NPCs and players with a green glow.  Abolish Disease cleanses this infection (although sometimes not on the first try) with very little mana cost, so I cleansed a lot of characters and guards alike.  Imagine my surprise when I see General Marcus Jonathan <High Commander of Stormwind Defence> and his surrounding guards infected.  Consider them cleansed along with the player standing near them.  I got this tell:

Scourge Invasion

Scourge Invasion

Ass Face!?!  What a great reaction!

The game is on.  I can cleanse all day long and never run out of mana – and I plan to.  These types of random angry statements make it worth my time in between working on acheivements. 

Kisirani (Blizzard Poster) on an official forum thread posted “It certainly does seem containable, doesn’t it? ” which implies that the event will escalate.  Don’t worry people, I’m sure I won’t be able to ruin your fun for long.

Just call me Nigiri Jenkins.

•October 17, 2008 • 1 Comment

I remember a story from childhood that explained how to keep an elephant from escaping.  You needed to teach them at a very young age that they were incapable of breaking their shackles.  As young elephants you simply put the largest chain around their leg attached to an immovable stake in the ground.  Since they were still so small and not using adult strength, no matter what the elephant tried to do, they weren’t strong enough to break it.  They would get used to the feeling of the shackle on their ankle and as elephants never forget, they would always remember they couldn’t break free.  They believed this so much that you could tie a rope around their leg and they wouldn’t even try to get away.

Last night, I put a very overpowered group of level 70s together to get the Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy! Jenkins acheivement.  Knowing ahead of time that this would be a cakewalk, two mages, one warlock, one palladin, one priest and one druid set into the instance. 

In less than 8 minutes, we were at the rookery.  With minor planning, the 40 whelps were down in 6 seconds and Nigiri has a new title.

I have only done Upper Blackrock Spire one other time as a level 70.  Sunomono and I had just dinged and we grabbed a hunter friend with moderate success.  As a level 60, however, I ran UBRS a lot.  Too many times actually – on my rogue and on my priest.  I remember raid leaders (being a 15 man for a while then dropped to a 10 man) threatening to boot raid members when pulling groups if they didn’t pay attention to not pulling adds.  The Rend arena-like scripted event had to be successful or we wouldn’t be able to continue.  We had to be careful in the room before General Drakkisath and along the bridge to his room.  The strategy on Drak was very specific.  If you didn’t have a hunter or a mage to kite one fo the adds, you pretty much weren’t going to get Drak down.

I have been playing WoW for over 3 years now and sometimes I feel like that elephant.  Our overpowered group decided to carry on to kill Drak just for fun.  Since my in-game memory is that of an elephant, I continued to try to recommend strategy for each pull.  As the rest of my group laughed, mobs went down before any of us could do a second or third cast.

The room was cleared.  Just Drak left.  “Now, put the pally on Drak and we will have to take down the adds first …” – which was overwritten by the pally when he wrote “Burn down Drak everyone” as he went in.  Oh no!  This couldn’t work.  I know we have seven level 70s, but this is a boss in a 10 man instance that is only 10 levels below us.  I think that’s all the thoughts I had time for before all three mobs were dead and the port to Shattrath had already been cast.

Ok, so I forget how much power a level 70 character has.  I get it.  Remind me to write about my experience with 13 well geared 70s in Molten Core last week.  Wow is all I can say.

A PodCast Review … of sorts.

•October 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

A very simplistic review of some of the Warcraft related podcasts I listen to during my commute.

The Instance

Hosts:  Scott Johnson, Randy Jordan

This podcast has been my favourite World of Warcraft source since Taverncast left the WoW milieu. They have something for everyone – noobs, experienced players and the hardcore bunch.  Their regular segments from Patrick and Mean Gene are very informative and well put together.

The last few shows have left me wondering if it’s time to adjust the position of The Instance in my ranking.  They just don’t seem to be doing the research they should.  For example, a listener asks a question regarding controlling iTunes from inside the WoW.  The answer is simply:  “You can’t” – with a caveat of maybe an addon can be  written to allow it.  A quick and easy google search would have turned up information that native WoW on a Macintosh has iTunes keybindings built right in.  This may seem like a very minor thing, but to me it’s indicative of what seems to be a growing problem.

The Instance’s new partnership with Doghouse Systems is indeed exciting, but not at the expense of an entire show.  Content really suffered in their last outing.

Ledgendary Thread

Hosts:  1UP.com

This podcast bills itself as a World of Warcraft and other MMO podcast and tends to be a bit more for the hardcore player.  The hosts, until recently, all seem to play WoW on a regular basis.  Although their ‘Character Sheet’ section sometimes takes almost half the podcast to get through, the news and information this podcast provides is very good.  The banter between the various hosts is quite funny at times.

I can see Legendary Thread moving away from WoW a bit and into other MMO’s in the future if the current trend continues.  It will be a shame to see them give WoW less attention.

The Grind Podcast

Hosts:  Luke, Amanda

A new subscription for me, I have listened to the last 4 or 5 episodes of this podcast.  I’m not sure if there are two or four hosts for this podcast, but I think it’s the latter.  They have some good information and Luke tends to be opinionated enough not to hold back in his criticism of certain aspects of the game.

The last episode I listened to however seemed to be very caught up in poo related discussions for an inordinate amount of time.  It’s ok, we all degenerate sometimes.

World of Warcast

Hosts:  Starman, Renata

The production values of this podcast are fantastic.  It is easy to tell that Starman is a podcaster.  Renata does a fantastic job with her dedication to researching the topics.  Listening to her work on researching reputation gains is a prime example.  Segments of the show are informative and up to date.

Sometimes, however, it is easy to tell that Starman is preoccupied with other things while podcasting.  In fact, he tells his audience he is in game while recording an episode on a regular basis.

In the World

Hosts:  Chris, Dave

For me, this seems to be the new up and comer.  Chris and Dave offer up news and views on WoW that I find very helpful.  They have information that other podcasts don’t deliver and are both very active in endgame content.  This one is not for the noobs.

How I WoW

Hosts:  Patrick, Shawn

Shawn and Patrick interview various players (including some celebrities) about how they play the game.  This is more about the players than about WoW.  It’s interesting to hear how people make the time, how they got involved and what they like to play

WoWcast

Host:  Alachia

This show focuses more on the social ramifications of WoW than actual gameplay.  It is easy to see how revved up Alachia is about the Meta-Game involved with in WoW.

It’s a nice diversion from the same old news that so many podcasts deliver.

World of Podcast

Host:  Uncle Thursday

The host of this podcast wouldn’t be surprised if I said he was a bit loud and opinionated.  This show is a narrative of how Uncle Thursday feels about things happening to his game.  The information included in this podcast centres around how changes made by Blizzard affect the host.  He gets pretty heated.

Still having some problems with production quality and regularity, this podcast is one of the last one I tune into, but I definitely tune in

Noob Warlock Guide

•September 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

A friend of mine has just come back to the game.  Rather than reactivate his old account, for some unknown reason he started a new one from scratch.  He never had any characters to max level, but his warlock was getting up there.  After trying a rogue this time around, he has settled back on a warlock.  He admits to being very rusty and has these words of advice for would be noobs:

  1. To be useful, bags must be equipped in a bag slot rather than in your inventory.
  2. Make bandages before you need them
  3. They didn’t actually nerf imps.  You have to buy blood pact in order for you imp to use it.
  4. When the quest giver tells you to pick up the book from behind him, you probably should.
  5. Demon Armor works better when its on.
  6. If the first time you try to fear a mob it says “IMMUNE” over it’s head, spamming isn’t going to make it work better.  (He tried) 
  7. Fear in a crowded area is not an escape button. (should be renamed “Suicide Button”)

                                                                                Wrancoeur of Mug’thol

Winning the Lottery

•September 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

 I recently read an article in the Vancouver Sun (a British Columbia, Canada newspaper) reporting on the success of Figureprints.  The article states there are still over 25,000 ‘potential customers’ waiting in their random drawing for the option to have their custom World of Warcraft toon three-dimensionally printed.

A few months ago, I was one of the winners of the drawing.  I paid my money (which has gone up by about $30 since then) and waited patiently.  .  Although I think it’s a bit funny that I only live fifteen minutes away from the location where the figures are made, about 6 weeks later the courier came calling.

In hindsight, I may have chosen a different pose than the one I did, but overall I am very happy with the whole process.   I was denied on a few drawings before I was chosen and the figure arrived at my house wrapped in enough bubble wrap to keep my daughter happy for hours and hours.

The overall feedback I get from friends usually revolves around the cost – from players and non-players.  Apparently paying $100 to have my character printed officially makes me a geek.  I’m ok with that.

Hacked – 25 minutes later.

•June 3, 2008 • 2 Comments

Near the end of May, I received an email from Blizzard stating that I had reset my WoW Account password. I, in point of fact, had not made that request. I immediately tried to log into WoW and was unable to. Going to the account pages on www.worldofwarcraft.com I reset my password and verified that I could log in once again. The time between the original email being sent by Blizzard and my successful login to the game was around 25 minutes.

I learned three things: 1) a lot can be done in 25 minutes; 2) these “people” – and I use the term very loosely – can be very sly; and 3) I won’t log in to WoW when visiting my parents.

Initially, I didn’t notice anything was amiss. I logged onto my high level characters and did a check of their gear. Everyone one of them was wearing exactly what they should have been wearing. I came to the conclusion that I lucked out in my timing and thwarted the attempt by checking my email early enough. I have been playing a Horde mage on Earthen Ring over the last month or so and nothing was changed. I don’t log into Skywall much right now since there doesn’t seem to be much of a need for healers, but as I said, all my equipped gear was there.

Notice how I said that – “all my equipped gear was there”. I didn’t look any deeper than that. Nigiri doesn’t carry much gold and had 18g still on her. No reason to think anything was wrong right? INCORRECT.

I went to self buff myself with Prayer of Fortitude. Imagine my surprise to find out I didn’t have any Sacred Candles. I usually carry 60 at all times. I checked my bags and that’s when it came crashing down. I had 4 mounts (reg and epic land and flying), 2 non-combat pets and that was it. My bags were otherwise empty. My bank was empty of anything that could be sold.

After a recheck, all of my characters were in the same condition. A few thousand gold and a lot of elixirs, potions, food items, non-combat pets (see a previous blog post on my former collection), alternate sets of gear and dozens of other items were missing. The void space in my bags is overwhelming.

The ruse of leaving my currently equipped gear worked for a short period of time. The only saving grace, I think, is my timeliness of resetting the password. I didn’t give them time to invade all my characters across all realms.

I am very selective about what I open and download at home. I suppose I should have known my parents aren’t as selective. A few times a year I visit and log in. I will still visit, but no more logging in from their desktop.

Blizzard is working to investigate and within 20 minutes of my reporting the incident, had returned most of my stored BoP gear via in-game mail. They were very understanding and very helpful. The remainder of the investigation will take a few days.

In-Game Mail

As I’ve said, I haven’t played on Skywall for some time. This security issue may serve to revitalize the updating of this blog. My mage on Earthen Ring is also named Nigiri, so I won’t have to change things much.

I’ll keep you updated on the status of my GM ticket.

Cedre and the Warlock (Druid/Warlock PvP Begins)

•February 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Cedre hit 70 and the 2v2 PvP began.  In the vain of being able to solo quest, I started Cedre out as a hybrid Moonkin / Resto spec.  I was told by many to expect loss after loss after loss for while.

Week one brought a lot of dead druid followed by a lot of dead warlock.  I set up a few macros to heal Sunomono at the touch of a button, but the fatal flaw was lack of self healing. Needing to select myself and then clicking the healing spell took just enough time to see me dead in a hurry.  I needed to change that.  I decided I that I either needed to be serious about PvP healing or soloing.  The moonkin hybrid in 2v2 wasn’t going to cut it.  We finished with a rank in the mid 1300s.  I switched over to the common 8/11/42 Resto spec and started to heal some instances to gear up a bit in anticipation of the following week .

Week two brought a small ray of hope to the picture.  With my new resto spec and having adjusted my macros to include a modifier that either instant heals Sunomono or myself, it was time to try again.  Going 4 wins and 6 losses was considerably better than the previous week.  As the healer, I feel a bit useless since I’m doing a lot of watching Sunomono kill the other team but I know he stays up partly due to me keeping some HoTs on him that tick after I’m taken out.

Then disaster struck.  The power supply on my iMac G5 died while I was trying to copy some pictures of my daughter onto a CD.  To make a long story short, no computer for at least 2 weeks.

Here’s my new conundrum: 

I have a few weeks to decide whether to keep Nigiri holy spec’d and have two healers, or switch to shadow for a little bit of pew, pew.  She has about +1750 healing unbuffed with only about +700 shadow damage unbuffed in her damage set.  I don’t think I can stomache that kind of drop in productivity.  Maybe I’ll have take on a role of ronin and pimp her out to raids that need a healer.  We will see.