Thought Bubbles

Thoughts

If each of those bubbles was a thought, there probably still wouldn’t be nearly enough in the picture.  People ask me where I’ve been as of late, and I can’t say it didn’t come without fair warning that I’d grow quiet.  Some suspected I had sent my laptop off for repairs, but that’s not the case.  It remains wired to a television upstairs, which actually works alright.  It’s just near impossible some days to read the chat window.

I’ve been asked a little bit on my thoughts about 5.2 and I’ll try to articulate a post when I actually care.  That harshness isn’t directed at Blizzard or the content or anything like that…I just…well my interest in a lot of things lately (including WoW) is there one moment and gone for many more a heartbeat later.  So when WoW’s not of interest, it can be hard to want to even write about it.  So aside from the Transmog Contest, I really haven’t had much to say for some time now.

It’s weird.  One moment I want to race change my Worgen Warrior to a Pandaren, and the next I’m ready to cancel my subscription.  I haven’t, and in the near future I won’t.  There are times when I very much want to hop into Azeroth, and so I’m not turning my back on it.  I’m sure a few of you have seen me pop on here and there for moments at a time…and yet I never logged in for the Darkmoon Faire last week and aside from the first two days, completely skipped the Lunar Festival.

That brings me to Laid Back Raids.  With everything going on (and yes, I know exactly why the things I’ve talked about are the way they are), by the time an LBR comes around, I can be completely exhausted.  I’ve pushed through it most nights, but it takes more effort not to (unfairly) snap on people over trivial comments or matters that come with booting through a raid.  Trust me, for those wondering, you never genuinely bother me in the slightest.  As the ex always tells us, “it’s not you, it’s me.”  That’s the case.

But, LBR is important.  It’s a tonne of fun and there are always people up for it on some level.  As such, I’m continuing to schedule them and will even show up I’m sure.  My appearances are just going to be sporadic for a little while (much like my WoWing in general).  With that in mind, I asked both Healblade and Repgrind if they would be contacts and both graciously accepted.  Their contact information is on the LBR page, and I can’t thank the two of them enough for looking after things in my absence, especially when the two of them can almost always be counted on to be in attendance and bring both wisdom and laughs.  Kinda suits the LBR model (not that I ever bestowed much wisdom).

I’m trying to work on more chapters of Posthumous.  Yesterday’s was honestly written ages ago, but I kept forgetting to pull the image from my computer.  Yes, I’m obsessive like that.  I couldn’t publish it without that little raptor image.  I’ll see what I can do about posting more soon.  It’s a matter of getting the writing bug and the time to dedicate to writing it.

Saw an article that Trivial Pursuit is putting out a WoW edition later this year.  That’s exciting.  Combines two things I happen to enjoy a lot, and Mrs. Amateur is a trivia addict (and an Illidan damn wealth of knowledge to boot).  I can see it ending up in our collection in no time…barring an elaborate price tag.  Personally, I’d like to see them replace the pie with a generic character that has spots for Legendary weapons instead of pie slices.  That would be sweet.

Speaking of Legendaries…I think I got the quest that starts Tarecgosa’s Staff with Tum.  I doubt I’ll get past that first part, much like Siori’s daggers.  I know folks were willing to help me, but if I’m not on much…let alone when others are, it’s kinda hard to complete.  But, I’m ok with that.

I guess ok is probably the best way to sum things up all around.

5.2 Thoughts

Property of Warcraft Pets
While you wait for the second round results of the Transmog contest (sorry, work slipped in the way…I should’ve looked at the calendar when I set the round two dates), which will be up later today, I figured now is as good a time as any to share some thoughts on the next big patch.

Isle of the Thunder King
This interests me, though I have a long way to go before I get to it.  In the same context of the Isle of Quel’Danas, it’s the new Daily Quest Hub.  Alas, I think it’s still going to have a Molten Front feel to it and I know that’s not going to go over well with many players.  That one can choose whether to do PvE or PvP quests is a nice touch.  Also, parts of the island become available based on a Realm level rather than an individual one.  That has mixed potential, but we’ll have to wait and see. 

Blacksmiths
We still don’t have dailies for every profession, which I think is absurd.  However, the Smiths are getting some love.  Proceed far enough on the Isle of the Thunder King and you’ll come upon the Lightning Forge.  Apparently this will allow for the creation of some very unique items, including old weapons that I’m guessing have been removed from the game over time.  Oh, Moggers are giddy with anticipation…or just me.

New World Bosses
I’ve always liked World Bosses and I’m sure the folks farming the Sha would love something different. Two bosses will be coming in 5.2.  One is part of the phased island, but it seems Oondasta the giant armoured dino will be found north of Kun-Lai Summit right from the get go.  Also with this comes a slight change to the World Bosses themselves.  Blizzard refers to it as “Tap to Faction.”  If your faction tags the mob, so long as you take part you have a chance for loot -whether you were in the initial raid or not.  However, you can only earn said loot once a week (and the bosses will spawn more frequently).

Pet Battles
-Pet bandages are now bind to account…thank goodness.  This will most assuredly save me some bag space (they also stack to 25) instead of having several on several toons. 
-The Nether Roach will no longer die during an Apocalypse.  I mean, it was unique and fun that it was the one that could, but roaches be roaches.
-Players earn xp for pet battles as well, so long as the battle is within five levels of your highest level pet (so for most of us that would be any pet battle in the 20-30 level).
-PvP Pet Battles can also drop Battlestones now.  Interesting.  It would be more ruthless if you had a chance to win one if it was in your opponent’s inventory.  Stealing it outright would cause pandemonium, but being able to receive an equivalent to the one in their bags would be fun. 
-If you flee a battle, the pet you were fighting no longer disappears, but the fleeing squad will suffer some damage.  I like that.  Penalty for a tactical retreat and it makes sense if you’re running from the critter that it doesn’t disappear.
-Elite Battle Pets.  Oh my.  I know people where these will become the bane of their existence.  They spawn by themselves, too, so I suspect Pet Battlers are going to be in for one hell of a fight.  But, if you can beat them all you’ll receive a Red Panda pet (yep, the one up top there)

Buy The Farm
Even now that Tumunzahar has started questing out there, the whole farming thing does nothing for me.  Not even for potential gold profit.  Seriously, get it away from me.  Having said that, I know exactly how popular it is and the chance to own the deed for the land you’ve been cultivating is no doubt exciting to those indulging.

Notable Class Stuff
Pretty much every class (at least the ones I am familiar enough with) has some sort of notable changes going on.  I would suggest checking out the notes for what’s coming to your favourite role.  Warriors losing a 10% damage reduction for defensive stance is certainly one of the ones that jumped out at me. 

Green Fire!
Speaking of class stuff, Warlocks are dancing in the streets…if they’re into dancing.  The opportunity for Fel fire spells is finally coming to pass with the quest line now in-game.

Get Your Motor Runnin…

Trike

That would be Oddfodder flying off one of the hills on his fancy new Goblin Trike.  Got Pésus to 20 this morning so that I could stroke that off my small to do list.  This morning yet I’ll also likely have my pet bank toon set up.  Depends if I work on that…or house cleaning.  I do have the transmog contest ready to post so it isn’t like I’ve been idle thus far.  Though, I will admit Carrera hasn’t had her experience bar move in the slightest.  I was too busy getting Horrux to 60 because I decided I wanted to take him into the Laid Back Raid later tonight.

Speaking of which, just a friendly little reminder for those attending that it is Gaudy Sweater Night in the Molten Core.  Nothing says fun like an ugly sweater and Horrux’s Skullflame Shield as far as I”m concerned.  Also note that we’ll be starting a little early.  Further to that, we can do an attunement run around 7pm EST for those who might need it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to do a pass through Storm Peaks again.  I was there yesterday, found a skunk to fight, and proceeded to get my arse handed to me.  Two skunks in the battle resulted in way too much healing for the pet configuration I had.  As such, I still need a capture from there for my Northrend Tamer.

Player Inclusion

So recently I was playing another MMO.  For the sake of discussion, we’ll call it “Build S’mores Too.”  You see, the folks behind BST are beginning to make good on their promise of releasing monthly content, or at least have for two straight months after nothing the opening month -which makes sense.  After all, there’s more than enough to do the opening month of an MMO.  I missed the first event, which was centered around Hallowe’en and according to the rave reviews is unfortunate for me.  But, I wasn’t missing this one.  Okay, actually, I did miss the kickoff to each phase because of real life.  But, I did find time to take part in the actual goings on.  Considering I’m level 16 and the content is endgame, or level 80, that is no doubt a head scratcher.

Really it isn’t, because the Build S’mores Too folks are wise you see.  They introduced this content for level 80, but any character in the game could take part.  See in order to access the content you had to hop on a boat, which took you to the new island.  Anyone who went to the island was level 80 while in the zone.  What a novel concept!  This genuinely floored me.  A company taking endgame content, prevalent to their story and lore, and making sure no one got excluded. I’m still amazed.  Even after the event the island is still there, and as of yesterday I was still 80 while I was there.  I’ve since gained two levels in doing so, which is an equal bonus.  Yes, you read that correct as well.  Not only did the game boost my abilities to level 80 (though I didn’t learn any new ones in the process), I still gained experience appropriate to my true level while doing so.

This is something our friends at Blizzard could really learn from.  Back when they did exciting pre-expansion launch events, the stuff was a tonne of fun.  But lower level characters could only do so much.  Then you have the joke that was Theramore, where it wasn’t even lower level characters who couldn’t do it -there were 85’s who were shit out of luck because of a stupid ilevel requirement.  World of Warcraft events encompass anything but the world.  Now, I get that things in Azeroth are very much about endgame.  The system there has pretty much always been that way, regardless of whether you like pet battles, alts, or roleplay.  The developmental emphasis still remains getting to the level cap and then truly playing the game.  But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t adopt this philosophy on occasion.

Particularly when it pertains to the lore, and Blizzard wants to make us feel immersed.  We all know Garrosh is the big baddy at the conclusion of Mists of Pandaria.  I agree that only the truly Heroic (90, ilevel 1 bajillion) should get to face him and bring him down.  But what if the Alliance and Horde have to push back the Sha as part of it?  I mean, I expect our forces bringing violence and rage to the lands is just going to be a buffet for the dark energies and eventually that’s going to get out of control.  Reigning that in could be open to anyone.  You’re limited to the region of the battle, but while you’re in that region you’re level 90 regardless.  If implemented in the same idea as Build Smores Too, I think things like that could work.  The key is that you would have your abilities increased but wouldn’t learn the new ones between your current level and 90. That would likely result in you being able to help out, but still not as powerful as those higher because you may be lacking key spells.  Doesn’t mean in a team atmosphere you can’t still succeed.

The bottom line is being able to take part in something, even for a weekend, regardless of your true level is a fresh feeling.  It puts an emphasis on the fact you don’t need to race to the finish just to see everything.  It can’t happen all the time in WoW, because the game is a different dynamic.  But it certainly couldn’t hurt to do some of the time.

*Poof*

So, yeah, I haven’t been the most active of bloggers as of late and you’ll have to forgive me for that.  There’s a few factors playing into that.  The medication I started taking two weeks ago just destroyed my sleeping at night (so the time of day it’s taken has now changed), and that was leaving me barely awake to be a dad, let alone blog post.  Also, my laptop video display went kerput (we’re thinking faulty wire at this point) and thus I have to HDMI to a tv in order to use it.  Otherwise I slip on Mrs. Amateur’s, but that’s no good for the blog as all my good screenshots are currently on the other one (and moving them over is not something that popped into my head all that fast).

I haven’t had a chance to talk about all the stuff coming with 5.1.  There are several items from the data that’s been made available so far that deserve their own post, to say nothing of just all the items in general (ugh…no more Thrall already).  I haven’t discussed some of the gold making tips I’ve put to use lately that are pretty straightforward and easy.  Nor have I done any of the transmog stuff I wanted to.  But hey, at least I managed to update Laid Back Raids for several weeks again!

Tied in with this has been my lack of gameplay as well.  Sure, some of you see me with great regularity, but you might have noticed the duration of those logins aren’t all that long lately.  I’ve focused primarily on one particular task and because it’s important to me to meet that goal, I haven’t been doing much else.  Plus, I just have other things going on (relating to the previously mentioned medication) that I haven’t really been all that “Azeroth here I come.” 

It’s not going to get much better mind you.  I realized today that I missed out on an awesome Guild Wars 2 Hallowe’en Event and was sad face panda because of it.  However, there’s a new…I don’t even know if event is the word I would use…well, I guess I’ll have to.  There’s a weekend event coming next weekend that’s only going to happen once.  It’s apparently going to introduce a new island to the game, and evolve some aspects of the world a bit in-game as well (this is something I’ve long though MMO’s should do by the way).  I’m intrigued by that and as such will be putting in some time in Tyria.  I’ll still be hopping on WoW, but only to do specific things (like LBR!) I would imagine.  That’s the short term plan.  The way things are going, that might change by this time tomorrow.

In closing, the Cinder Kitten looks amazing and I plan to snag three, given the proceeds go to Sandy The Storm victims.  One’s for me and one is for the Mrs.  Of course that begs the question, what are my plans for the third one?  Stay tuned…