The Blind Approach

Ugh. This was half an hour after I ignored the first one.

After talking about Cross-Realm Zones yesterday and how the ideal solution would be to allow us to toggle them off or on as we see fit, another switch popped into my head.  Guild Interest.  On my toons that have no guild, I’m getting an absurd number of blind invites these days.  Heck, I’ll get three from the same person in a one hour period.  At least, I used to.  I finally found out (because it never occurred to me to look until AFTER I started writing this) there’s a way around this.  In the interface options you can choose to turn off guild invites.  Amen!

I have yet to figure out if it blocks blind signature requests for a charter though.  I blew a gasket at another player about a week and a half ago.  I was running my auction scan and it was in the final ten seconds of an eight minute scan (because I accidentally closed the window after the quick scan).  Suddenly everything closes and I’m looking at a guild charter request for signature.  After tearing a strip off said player (who I don’t think was at all ready for such a response), I flat out told them had they just whispered me and asked for the signature, I would have happily given it to them.  Instead, they sent the request blindly without a care for what the person is doing.

And that’s one of those things in-game that just irks me.  You’re so desperate for someone to help you out or beef your guild numbers, yet you can’t even take the time to be courteous about it.  I actually have had players invite my Mage to a group and when I ask why it’s “I need a port.”  Then they wonder why I drop group and put them on Ignore.  A little bit of manners is all I’m asking instead of taking for granted that people will just jump through hoops for whatever pittance of service you seem to need in that moment.

Even the guilds that do send a whisper with their invites.  It’s generic as can be about how they would love to have me and they just know I would be an asset to them.  Um, how so?  You’re a level 25 guild that raids 3-4 nights a week and you’re talking to a level 14 bank alt.  At least the RP servers get creative and suggest my character has been presented with the opportunity to be a part of said organization (generic paraphrasing here, of course).

It’s to the point where if someone actually whispers me with a kind and polite request, without a guild logo flashing on my screen…I’m almost dumbfounded.  Very rarely do I actually accept the invite, but at least in this case I will reply and make a point of praising the courtesy they showed me by actually making the effort first.  In the long run, that actually makes the guild look better.  If I change my mind and decide I do want to be a part of a guild, I’m aiming for that girl, rather than the spam-esque folk.

I realize people are jerks behind a computer screen, and I know I’ve discussed it at lengths.  I suppose I just continue to be amazed at the deterioration of common decency and courteousness.

Thuzad Teh Bashturd (Oh, And Dragons Too!)

“Psst..Mage.  Yesss, YOU.  Magik man.  How about just nuking all your friends here?  Excellent.”

“Hey there, Druid.  You’re insane, right?  Being a cat isn’t nearly as much fun as a bear.  Why don’t you shift and then show your friends all that pent up pet battle frustration you’ve been supressing.  Just…let it all out.”

Yeah, you can have the middle finger and then some KT.

The Alliance Laid Back Raid hit up 25-man Naxxramas last night.  Yes there were 10 of us, but a few were 90.  So we pretty much had it made.  Except, of course, for one teeny tiny itty bitty detail.

Kel’Thuzad casts Mind Control.  And he’ll cast it on level 90’s.  It was not a pretty sight.  So after the raid got ripped a new one a few times, we decided to call it a night.  It was getting late, thanks large in part to me getting in the  door about a half hour after we were to start.  But we had a tonne of fun and learned that Glyph of Confession really is the best Glyph in the game.  And some folks got some spiffy Transmog gear as per usual.

The night before, the members of Claws of Nature who were on decided we wanted to go back and visit Sarth for the mount.  However, with only four of us, I felt a little underpowered.  I sweet talked Draynee and Repgrind into joining us and booyah it was a cake-walk.  Mrs. Amateur won the mount, so that leaves Magik to get it next week (unless Grex is on, then it’s 50/50 again).  But after we were done folks were keen on doing something else yet and somehow we decided on Onyxia and also 25-man.

There was a bit of concern whether or not we had the power to do it, but figured if we failed we could just drop it down to ten.  Well, the fight probably took the normal amount of time, but we knocked it off.  Once again the fun was had and oddly enough I picked up the 22-slot bag from Onyxia and from Sartharion.  Tum’s a bit happier now.

She took her last deep breath…

Going into the instance, I actually saw a Spawn of Onyxia.  So, I battled.  Not only did I win against what I suspected was a rare based on the insane stats….but I killed the damned thing.  Not my finest hour.  Fortunately, coming out of the raid I found another one.  It was a poor quality, but the end result was a taming.  In sheer befuddlery, Tum actually captured it on the first try instead of his usual fifth or sixth attempt (yes I have improved traps).

Hallow’s End Is Here

World Events and achievements might not be for everyone, but Hallow’s End is definitely one to consider putting time into if you’re not capped at 90.  Reason being, trick or treating is easy and it grants you XP.  Heck, it even grants guild rep.  Nothing like getting to Exalted even faster.  I started doing the trick or treating with Carrera, and at level 65, she was getting 6.6k experience (that’s with a single heirloom).  That worked out to about 3 quests to a bubble.  Sure, that suggests it will take a while, but for those who are out and about pet battling, you’re passing through half these areas anyway.  On Paramita, it worked out to 4% a quest without anything other than rest (she’s 35).  Personally, I still have my Recruit-A-Friend account active for another week or so.  The idea of triple the XP for these is definitely appealing.

Another reason to do them is if you do like achievements, especially titles.  This is the time of year to earn “The Hallowed.”  You can see in the picture what the achievements are that are required for the title.  Seeing that I only need a couple, I might try for it myself this year.  The nice thing about Tricks And Treats of Azeroth is that it only requires Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, and Outland.  There are achievements for Northrend and Pandaria, but they’re not requisites for The Hallowed.

Perhaps you don’t want The Hallowed all that much but are keen on 310 flying speed for cheap?  Or you want the Violet Proto Drake.  Basically, “A Long Strange Trip” is you goal.  In that case, you need The Hallowed to complete the meta achievement.  I know that’s the case with Magik, and I’ll be doing what I can over the next two weeks to help him with that.

And there’s just the simple fact that it resembles Hallowe’en.  For many people, that’s reason enough to celebrate and take part.  Maybe off the Horseman once or twice (or as someone referred to him today, the Headless Lootman).  Get creative with the transmog’s and create a festive costume.  Regardless, the latest seasonal event is upon is and there’s certainly plenty of reasons to indulge in the goings-on.  Whatever your reason, hope you enjoy yourself.

The Laid Back That Was

The Dirty Half-Dozen

Normally by now I’ve warmed you with the latest tale of the Laid Back Raid.  However, it’s been a mixed week and I’m only just getting to it.  But rest assured, the fun was had!

As you can tell by the photo above, we had six of us for Trial of the Champion.  I was a bit concerned until I saw what level 90’s can do.  Dear Illidan that’s disgusting.  Blizzard seriously needs to learn to scale gear and stats.  I’m just saying.

To put it in perspective, we downed the tournament with the greatest of ease.  You know it had to be easy if I was healing on Saintvache and didn’t have any trouble.  Actually, the nice thing on nights like this is actually starting to get a feel for how Paladin healing works.  Crazy talk, right?

So we zerged the place.  I mean seriously.  Anub didn’t even get his frost business off (to say nothing of the rest of the baddies).  We then decided to go hunting dragons: Sartharion and Malygos.  Sarth was 3D and Maly was his usual self.  All three raids were done in just under an hour.  That’s how a couple of 90’s can change the face of things.  Speaking of which, it took me until we were fighting Anub to notice LBR had it’s first Panda!  Draynee’s husband joined us and was sporting his Pandaren Warrior (of level 90).

Saintvache in a Draynee sandwich. Mr on the left, Mrs. on the right.

So we knocked off the raids by 9pm EST (and Draynee won the Black Drake by the way).  So Healblade and I headed Alliance side to do some guild stuff.  I saw we had our own 90 on in Grex, and that we had VoA!  So a few minutes later four Claws rocked our way through Archavon and his bodies.  It was nice to finally see the other two.  No one ever wants to go there, save for people on LBR and unfortunately it’s not a cross-server instance.

Now, I need to pause a moment to share a great bit of fun for my fellow Priests.  Right before one of the bosses I got this brilliant idea.  Keep in mind it’s only brilliant if you’re in a position where it’s not going to cause a tonne of grief…and the person you’re going to do it to has a sense of humour.  These are details of utmost importance.  In my case, it was VoA and a zerg…and, well, Magik.

He was on his Paladin tank in this particular scenario and it suddenly hit me.  I turned to Mrs. Amateur and said “watch this.”  The moment he went to run at the boss and start the fight, I Leap of Faith’d him and watching him go charging away from the party, the boss, and the room itself in utter confusion.  If there was ever a time I laughed so hard I nearly peed, this would be it.  I was in tears as my dear friend asked what the hell just happened.  I wish I could’ve screened it.  Heck, I wish I could stop laughing about it now…but I can still see that dwarf Paladin tearing off in confusion.  So in short, it’s hilarious.  Just make sure you do it to someone you know will also think so.

So, after my moment of amusement we finished up VoA and decided this group would now try for Obsidian Sanctum 3D as well.  We grabbed Killthryn and there were five of us and I was the only one who had the Black Drake already.  This meant good things for any one of the guildies who were along.  In the end, Healblade ended up getting the mount this time as we had zero difficulty taking down Sarth.

A Laid Back Raid night and a little guild laid back night.  Can’t really complain about that, now can I?  Good times were certainly had by all and we even saddled up a couple of new mounts for people.  This weekend will probably result in more transmog gear than anything as the Alliance side heads to Naxxramas.  I know there’s a slightly better set of shoulders for Tum’s current outfit so I would say it’s a safe bet who I plan to have in attendance.

Guild Leader Giving Thanks

So, I’ve ragged on Blizzard a fair bit as of late.  Probably for the last month or so, on a number of topics.  It wasn’t that I was anti-Blizzard or anything, the negative just always seem to be what inspired my writing or thoughts for the day.  So I’m quite happy to be able to say something good about the company (aside from the great thoughts I’ve heard from others regarding the expansion thus far).

Since Patch 5.0, our little social guild has gone up five levels.  By little, I mean we have basically seven people being anything resembling active.  That’s better than half a level a person and in a couple of cases these are a result of characters that aren’t even close to 80, let alone 90 (by the way a shout out to Grexinimi, our first capped member).  Why is this happening?

Because Blizzard did the right thing.

When guild levels and rewards were introduced, they were a great idea.  From the get go, absolutely brilliant.  However, if you were a small guild you basically got crapped on or forced to expand if you wanted anything worthwhile.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the people who thinks a lot of things are handed over way too easily in the game, but this was the opposite.

Sure, with some 85’s you could actually crank off the guild experience at a decent pace and contribute to the overall success.  If you had alts of lower level, you didn’t really want to touch them though.  A dozen quests post-80 did more for the guild than if you went 1-79.  Why?  I have no idea.

Fast forward to the current system where basically all quests reward the same amount of rep and contribute nearly equally to the leveling of the guild itself.  That is how it should be.  A character who puts in fifty levels with a guild should be Exalted with them.  Much more so than the 85-90 character, in my humble opinion.

This gives small guilds some of the benefits from actually being a guild.  They’ll get to the heirloom cloaks at level 10, the chance for more skill points and even the Dark Phoenix pet and mount.  There are still somethings that a small guild won’t obtain and that’s because they are achievement rewards.  I have no problem with that in the slightest.  That’s where balance comes into play and is properly implemented.

So, from the leader of a small guild, I wanted to thank Blizzard for this change.  The members are proud we’re gaining levels (when there were times it seemed like the Guild XP bar wasn’t moving) and some of the rewards that come with that.  Even included a little is better than not at all.

Pandas: Day One

If you’re reading this, you’re certainly among a select few at this point.  It’s as though something has pulled almost everyone away from blogging for some odd reason.  All kidding aside, the blog has taken a hit in views over the past 12 hours as everyone digests the new hotness in Azeroth.  As you can see in the picture, I started the day off (WAY TOO EARLY) grinding out the last bit of rep that Tumunzahar needed to be Exalted with the guild.

This was actually after I wanted to level Jewelcrafting.  Turns out you need the expansion to go from 525-600.  Stands to reason.  Though getting the gold for my JC panther will take more care on my part.  More flipping and relying on others it would seem.  But, in going for the guild rep this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cooking tokens were now merged (and yet, Jewelcrafting still gets shanked).  That will make getting the missing Dalaran recipes much faster.

I also began the process of evaluating Team Amateur.  What that basically means is going through, character by character and performing the following checklist:

  • Is the character remaining?
  • Do I have any plans for them if they are?
  • What is in their bags?
  • What is in their bank(s)?
  • How are their professions?
  • Again, do I have a reason to keep this character?

It probably sounds silly to ask the question twice, but after evaluating that information it’s good to reconsider the idea.  It’s also odd to see what I have in some of these banks.  Now granted, I always advocate doing this type of thing before an expansion but as I am not partaking in said expansion…well, now seems as good a time as any.  So far Mortevache and Kinahta (Kirin Tor) are gone, but the latter was re-rolled some time ago on Blade’s Edge.  At least three more toons will be deleted and I think I’m going to move my 57 Warrior to another server.  More than anything, I want to get certain things to my Horde toons, such as Heirlooms (and yes, gold and transmog items).

Pet Battles.  Son of a bitch are they fun!  I mean, I kind of thought they would be.  I didn’t think I would be as into them as I am.  No, really.  Check the evidence:

I believe at this point I am 16-3.  I’ve seen some people say they’re hard.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been using the Spirit of Competition, but the only time I come close to losing is if I take on a level equivalent creature and forget to heal him up first.  Like I said, it’s fun.  I just need to figure out how to profit off of it.  I’ve certainly figured out ways to get some of the pets dirt cheap (seriously, I snagged a Red Dragonhawk Hatchling for a silver and Tome managed to get Willy for 11g).

Another pleasant surprise this morning was Draynee tipping me off that Pandas are available to anyone and everyone.  Mists or not.  Apparently the story goes, Blizzard didn’t want people inviting their friends to play WoW and those people getting irked at not being able to roll a Panda off the hop (this happened a fair bit in Cataclysm).  So I can make Pandas.  I hadn’t planned on making a Panda.  I hadn’t wanted to make a Panda.  Damnit…I’m making a Panda.

Unfamiliar Territory

Siori hung her head a little as she watched the ships begin to sail off.  Her sister Naeda was on one of them, and it left her feeling empty.  For the first time in five years she would not be at the forefront of battle this time.  Well, the shadows of the forefront.  Mattias Shaw had always included her in the missions.  She could still remember when the ships landed in Howling Fjorde.  When her fellow Night Elves called out to take back Mount Hyjal from the forces of the Firelands, and how she joined countless others on the Molten Front.  Holding the ground endlessly.

But all she would hold on this night was her daggers, and hope for her sister.  That and 40 silver would buy her a pint at Bruuk’s Corner in Ironforge.  Instead of returning to tell stories of war, she would spend this Winter Veil listening to them.  Of course that meant familiar faces would return from this new land that had appeared to the south, among the mists.

Siori was an Elder now.  She could pass on her wisdom to others, but the days of battle had passed her by.  She knew it, though it was not made any easier.  She looked at the ships, her eyesight still better than ever, seeing Kuroma, and Magik, Killthryn and finally Wontan the Gnome.  She had imbued the latter with what knowledge she could.  Truth be told, where she excelled in the shadows and espionage of the mind, he was the equivalent on the battlefield.  In that regard, he would be a better asset on the front.  She was proud of all of them and knew they would bring great victories.  Still, she wept a little.

As they sailed out of sight, her eyes lingered for a time longer before she pulled her white mask over the lower portion of her face and turned inwards toward Stormwind.  She would head to the Dwarven Mountain.  Tumunzahar would no doubt be there -with a meal, wine, and laughter.  And most of all, a shoulder.