Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Still Here

It always amuses me when I come back and write a post at how much time passes between posts. It also annoys me because I truly enjoy writing down my own thoughts and opinions; however, lately finding the time to write anything has been challenging to say the least. When I am at my house, it is very difficult to find some time to just sit and organize my thoughts. I use to do the majority of my writing while I worked, but since joining my new company I have discovered that they block you from logging into Blogger. Now I have looked over some alternative options like writing the posts ahead of time and scheduling their listings, using my cell phone to write posts, and other such options. To be honest, I simply do not like any of these. The only other option that I have available is to switch from Blogger to WordPress. While this is a viable option, I do not really enjoy the thought of moving the articles of this blog to a new blog.

In comparing Blogger and Wordpress, I have to admit that they both have some positives and negatives from my own personal view. So I guess I will ask you all what you think. What do you like about Blogger?What do you like about WordPress? Is there anything really good or bad that you wish you would have known when you first started writing? Any and all information will definitely be appreciated as I weigh my options over the coming weeks.

With that being said, I am looking to return writing more regularly as I miss you all. Now I know I have said this in the past, but things are looking to be lining up in a positive way for once and I definitely want to take advantage of this. Some things I am looking to do with the blog is expand some of the topics that I discuss. Of course that is all dependent upon actually settling on where to keep the blog. Well, I appreciate everyone who continues to check in around here and I promise I have not forgotten the blog or you all. I am unsure if I will be posting anything between now and the first of the new year so allow me to wish you all a very festive, happy, and safe holiday season!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gotta Catch Them All!

So I have been feeling a little under the weather lately, but this has given me some time to think about how I want to approach some of the information that was released from Blizzcon. To be honest there was so much information given out from the panels and interviews being conducted between the segments that I felt it would be best to look at the major portions individually. So today I want to talk a little bit about the announcement of the Pet Battle System.

I have to admit that I like this concept. I am going to openly admit that I have a few of the Pokemon games for my Nintendo DS. I actually use to take this into my work and would play some of my co-workers on days where things were slower. It was a lot of fun. The thing I found the most fun in was trying to collect all of the hidden Pokemon. I remember in one week, we created something like twelve games in order to share all of the starting Pokemon via trading. It was something that was so simple, yet was a lot of fun. I truly hope that fun experience can be brought over to WoW's version of this game. As a parent, I like that there will now be something for my son to do with me when he is online. We can go out and hunt for wild pets or spend our time online together training our pets against one another. I also want to say that I understand why Blizzard is making this move. It makes perfect sense for them to do this. They have a very large player base with entire sites designed by fans for these pets. For some of these people, this is the only thing that they do. They love to collect their pets and work on their achievements. This simply adds another layer of the game to this core group of players.

I know there has been some criticism against Blizzard in regards to things such as stealing ideas from other companies or adding more useless features, but I do not see it in that light. If we look at almost any game that came out after WoW became successful, at least in terms of MMORPGs, you will see that the companies took what they considered to be the best parts of WoW and added to them as they saw fit. It is an evolution of sorts and there is nothing wrong with this. In terms of adding useless features, Blizzard has to address the millions of players that it has, not just the vocal minority. Blizzard is monitoring a lot of data, not just in terms of the game play but also in terms of why have all of these people left the game recently. My own belief is that many of the features revealed at Blizzcon in relation to WoW are a direct result of the questions you are asked when you cancel a subscription.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Such A Long Time

My goodness I cannot believe how long it has been since I took some time to post something around here. I truly miss writing, but right now I just seem to not have enough time to do everything. That simple truth means that I have to start cutting back on the extra things like blogging. The good news is that things are normalizing (for lack of a better word), and with that comes a little more free time here and there. So hopefully in the near future we will get a little more regularity around here. Now that being said, who is excited for Blizzcon?

I find that I am a complete geek and love everything about it! One of these years I am going to have to actually go. Oh well, until that happens I am content to hang out at my house and watch the event happen on my monitor. Every year I look forward to the Lore Panel and the eventual Red Shirt guy moment! The other thing I love is the streaming of the actual tournaments for both WoW and SC. I am blown away by the level of skill of some of these players and how quickly they not only can process everything that is going on, but also how quickly they react and seem to know the perfect counters. Simply amazing!

Well, I know this was just more of a quick note than an actual post, but I hope all is well for all of you and I will see you next time around!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Sound of Crickets!

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately haven't they? Well, the truth is that I have not had a lot to write about and when something does cross my mind, it is usually at a time when I cannot sit down and actually formulate a thought. I do miss writing and sharing my thoughts on things and so I have managed to sneak away from my daily routine in order to give an update on what's going on with me in game and out.

One of the things that has been consuming my time is clearing out all of the old video footage on my computer. I had a ton of stuff stored up from old raids and the previous arena season that I wanted to get rid of. The only problem is that the process to create a video and/or delete footage is really time consuming. If you have never messed with recording in-game footage and then using a program like Vegas, then let me tell you that a simple five to six minute video will typically take an hour to two hours to edit and upload depending on the quality of the video you are trying to produce. I had hours of footage...

Aside from the video editing, I have been working a lot on my Rogue in both PVE and PVP. The PVE side of things is coming along nicely. I feel that Combat is competitive in most environments and so far has been fun to play. In PVP it has been somewhat weird. I realize that Combat is the least useful of the specs. So much so that Arena Junkies (last time I looked) didn't even have a guide up for PVP Combat builds. It has made it fun, but also made it challenging as I feel somewhat alone out there. So on Monday night, my arena partner decided that we would try using the Rogue on our 2v2 team with his BM Hunter. We came out fairly strong and won the first six, but then struggled to get two more wins to cap of my Rogue. I think we ended up going 8-8. At the reset on Tuesday, we ran some matches and ended up with a 1-8 record. Not so good, but about what we expected. The humorous part was watching my partner sit there and not use his defensive abilities because he was waiting for a heal. Priceless! On a side note, quite a few of the matches were lost because I do not have the trinket to break CC effects on my Rogue. Bad PVPer! Bad!

The guild has finally decided to start doing some raiding in Cataclysm and so I have been devoting Friday evenings to healing for the BWD runs. We are seeing good runs each week. The only down side is with raiding on only one day for a couple hours, you really have to make that time count. That is where we struggle. The first week in, we downed Magmaw on only a few attempts. I was actually surprised at the success. Then eventually, after fifteen thousand breaks for various reasons, we one shot the Omnotron. We then proceeded to eventually check out a couple other bosses, but lost too much momentum to random breaks. The second week, we went in and was a little bit more focused and downed four of the bosses in BWD. We did have a third week, but we were missing some members due to personal reasons and so it was more of a let's go in and goof off kind of run. We had fun and people got gear and seemed to be enjoying it. All and all it is working out well for shaking off some raiding rust. Hopefully over the remainder of this month we will return to our fine form of previous raid teams.

The only other thing I have been doing with WoW is messing with my Hunter. Basically if someone asks me to run a random with them, I give them my Hunter. When I am bored I log on him and some random BG's, which have been God awful. Now that is a topic that I may look to explore in the future. Anyway, I have leveled my Hunter to 84, but have no real plans to play him on a serious level.

Something I did do just recently was reactivate my Star Trek Online account. I had read some stuff about the Foundry and a few other things that made me curious. I really enjoyed the time I spent in the game yesterday. Although I did delete my character because the game had changed so much from a year ago. The thing I really have enjoyed the most is the player created missions found in the Foundry. There have been some seriously annoying ones, but the majority of them have been well written and founded very solidly on the lore of Star Trek. By the by, if you play STO send me a shout because I literally know no one in the game.

So in my absence from here, what have you all been doing? Anyone dabbling with a new class or new game? Maybe an old game has drawn you back in?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back!

So I had recently been suffering from system issues that knocked my computer clean out! (Look for a weekend post probably about that!) At any rate, I have recovered the system and have it running nice and smooth and figured I would share what I have been up to recently:


That is a Twin Peaks battle that resulted in the Alliance only managing one single kill for the entire fight. Let me zoom that picture in for you!


Since my system melt down, I have only configured four of my characters and have been spending a lot of time with my Rogue, Whoopy, lately. I have never been a huge lover of any melee classes, but I decided to give Whoopy another look since I was enjoying my Warrior, Galran, so much. Next thing I know I am running through battlegrounds looking for that one person who will be my new best friend (aka: BG Ganking). I honestly cannot say if I will pursue using Whoopy or not, but it is definitely a lot of fun right now.

If you are wondering I use two Combat specs, one for PVE and PVP. I know it is not recommended, but I am just really comfortable with the spec. I am debating on trying out some of the other builds, but I am a pretty stubborn fellow and will probably just continue playing the spec I know best. That and I hate changing macros and hot keys on characters.

Well, hopefully barring any more issues with my system we will get back on track with posting around here!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Proper Way To Do Things

A few days ago I came across an article that had some really good information that was presented in a very bad way. To be quite honest, the whole article just rubbed me the wrong way. The best part of this article is that it was about how to be a better writer. I truly wish I had marked the site so I could link to it, but you are just going to have to take my word on things. The heart of the article was a how to piece on becoming a better writer and it really was more focused to the "amateur" set who write blogs. Not my words, but theirs.

I know something like that should not have bothered me, but it did. You see when I write, I try to present things in the same light as I feel about them. Sometimes this will be in a very nice articulate, well rounded thought. Other times it will just be an emotional pile of stuff. No matter what though, it is me. I think that is the thing I didn't like about what this person was presenting. They wanted you to no longer be you, but be them. Be cold and calculating and write to increase readership in order to capitalize on the opportunities that come from having a larger reader base.

Maybe I view blogging differently than others, but the bloggers whom I admire, are the ones who have a personal touch to their style. What do you all think? Do you like someone who is technical and follows a rigid pattern for their blog or are you like me and like the people who write from their heart or share a part of themselves through their blogs?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mastery Sucks or Does It?

So I was reading the Holy Paladin thread at Elitist Jerks yesterday, and can I just say that they need to moderate that thread a little. I believe there were two distinct conversations going on, and a few side comments from some folks who had no clue what was going on. Of the two conversations, the one that drew me in was a debate about the viability of a Mastery stacking Paladin in a twenty five man raid. It was actually really interesting to read, but extremely confusing to read if you really did not understand the finer points of Paladin healing.

In the end, I do not know if either side gave on their opinions and I do not think it matters, as something like that is going to be very dependent on the overall set up of your healing team, which was a very valid and recurring point in that thread. Another thing I would point to with most of the forums there, is that the majority of the stats are coming from perfect conditions that many of us, the average players, are not going to have in our own raid teams. So why are the resources like these so popular? They are popular because they provide you with a clear cut goal of what could be.

Quite often, if you really read an entire thread at places like that, you will discover that there are a very strict set of conditions that must be met in order to obtain those results. Usually this will involve variables that you may not always be able to control such as a proc occurring at the right moment, having a specific class present with the perfect build or perfect timing for an ability that is needed for your perfect heal.

So what is this post all about? Am I bashing on places like that? Hell to the no! I am constantly going there and a few other sites to review builds and check in for new concepts in order to improve my own game play. No, what I am saying is that you really need to make sure that you truly understand the entirety of what is being said and not just the last page or two of a thread. I bring this up because I have seen far too many people who like to throw out links and tell people they are playing incorrectly, when in fact they are probably playing correctly for their own conditions. Knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Holy Paladin DPS?

I saved this post for a weekend because it is more a behind the scenes kind of thing, but one I found amusing and thought I would share. I rarely look at numbers that much in regards to my blog. Yes, I care if someone is showing up and reading what I am writing, but it is not an obsession. I typically look at the blog's stats on a weekly to bi-monthly basis. This means basically when I get bored and nothing else crosses my mind to do. So a few days ago I was looking over the numbers and I decided to take a peek and see what sites were referring people here. Thank you to HolyPaladin.net for being the number one referrer! Go check out the site as they have a great list of Paladin blogs! Okay, now that the cheap pop is over (wrestling reference) let's get back to the point of this post shall we?

So I went below the referring sites section and I saw a list of key words that were used to search for something that led people to this blog. Naturally there were the words "Holy" and "Shock", but there was one phrase that just tickled me: Holy Paladin DPS. So for the person who found Holy Shock by searching for Holy Paladin DPS, let me be clear in saying that we are incapable of doing any serious DPS in current PVE content and our role in PVP is to apply key pressure at precisely timed moments in order to get a kill. The Shockadin build, as much as I loved it, is a build that will only get you ridiculed and spoken down to. We have been fortunate to have fun with different versions of the build at different times during WoW, but it is not something that you want to put any serious time into. Trust me, others have tried to make it work and they will tell you that it is just not viable.

Sorry, I had to make sure that we were clear on that. Another funny thing I noticed is that during the history of Holy Shock, we have had a decent amount of referrals from sites that talk about making money, selling inexpensive furniture, and my personal favorite... a sex health blog. I am not linking the sites because I personally cannot vouch for them being clean and viable sites. It really is funny to see how people find your site. If you haven't looked at this information, then I would encourage you to do so. If you have, then have you found any funny referring sites or search words?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Burning Crusade Burned Me!

So I have been sitting here trying to formulate my thoughts around talking about my experiences recently in Burning Crusade heroics and unfortunately no matter how hard I try, everything keeps coming out negative! It is not negative about the instance design, but the random players I had in 75% of the dungeons I ran. At first I started thinking that I was being too harsh. One bad apple ruining the bunch sort of thing, right? Wrong!

I have to be honest here and say that it was not bad tanks who annoyed me. Actually I was pleasantly surprised that the crop of tanks who are coming up were taking time to mark things and ask questions if they did not know the run. Believe it or not, but it wasn't the DPS who annoyed me either! Do not get me wrong, there were a few folks who struggled but they said up front they had never done the instances before. No, the group that I am glaring at is the healers! At one point, after having died to trash in heroic Mechanar, I wished that I had a healer in that range to log on and provide relief to the groups who were being subjected to very bad healing.

So I have to ask the community, is this how it always is? Do you guys encounter this sort of thing as well or is it just my random luck?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!


Wishing everyone here in the states a happy fourth of July! Be safe out there today people!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Strange, But True

I have discovered that I love playing a Warrior! One of my oldest characters is actually a Warrior named Galran. He was actually the character who originally set up the guild charter for MAS. I chose him because back in the day, my main and the majority of my alts were already in a guild that was stable. My selection of Galran to start MAS was because I despised playing my Warrior! Now over the years I had picked him up here and there, but always ended the attempts at leveling him (and other Warriors) after very short periods of time.

Something has changed though and I would love to say it was completely Blizzard, but the major change is in myself as a player. When I first started playing WoW, I turned with my keys, did not know anything about using hot keys, and would never have dreamed of attempting to use a macro; however, over time I have learned to move with my mouse, become extremely comfortable with my hot keys (and binding abilities to my mouse), and definitely have learned a thing or two about macros (not a pro, but not a nub). Basically, I have grown up as a gamer!

You see my biggest issue with Warriors (and most melee classes) was that I felt slow in responding to things. So this left me disliking the melee classes for the most part. I would say for me it was a gradual progression. I wanted to become a better healer and not just be reliant and point and click reflex healing or being stuck with being a bot healer. So I started experimenting with some rarely used abilities that could be useful in certain situations. I would set these up as hot keys, and then look for the opportunity to use them. This then led me to exploring macros to combine abilities. I am not sure if this was because I was a lazy player or because I wanted to better myself.

Then one day I decided I wanted to level my Rogue. This made me really start looking at how my key binds were laid out in relation to when and how I might use certain abilities. It was during this time I was talking with one of the Rogues in my guild and they mentioned that they bound their two most common abilities right on their mouse wheel. They would simply scroll up or down to activate the move they desired. I decided that I would try this and so I began experimenting with some pretty crazy and often times funny bindings onto my mouse.

All of that has brought me to a point where I feel really much more at ease playing my Warrior. Am I the best Warrior out there? Hell no! I am, however, having fun with my Warrior for the first time in a long time. I am definitely still learning and studying the class as I am leveling, but it is definitely a lot better than I remember. So how about you all, any classes that as you have grown as a player you have decided to give another look at it?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shoo Crickets!

So much to discuss and so little time! So by now I am sure everyone is knee deep in 4.2 stuff! I know for the last two days, I have spent probably 75% of my WoW time running random dungeons (both regular and heroic) in order to test out the changes to the Holy tree. I have to admit that it felt really, really good. Now I will admit that my group completely overpowered the regular dungeons, but baby steps right? In the regular dungeons, I cast whatever I wanted, however much I wanted and never noticed a drain on my mana. At one point I dared my arena partner to pull down four sets of mobs and that was the only time I heard my low mana warning go off. Pretty damn impressive really.

So, I kicked it up a notch and went into heroics on day two. Now I did go in again with a group that was pretty solid. Not quite as strong in terms of balance and skill, but still pretty damn good. First run out of the gate was heroic GB! I will not lie that my heart sunk just a little bit. Honestly though, on the mobs that were dealt with properly (think utilizing CC), I did not even flinch in terms of mana consumption. On the mobs that we just zerged into on purpose or accident, it really didn't bother my mana either. On the bosses, I did notice that my mana was used a little more than I am accustomed to. I dealt with it easily enough by timing my arcane torrent (love my Blood Elf racial!) with my trinket (go go spirit increasing trinkets) and the sporadic use of Divine Plea. DO NOT FORGET TO JUDGE FOR CHEAP MANA. All and all I am happy with the mana change.

The flip side to this increase in mana cost is that Blizzard returned to us the ability for Beacon of Light to provide 100% of Holy Light to pass through to the target of our Beacon of Light. In other words kids, we are healing two people for the cost of one (at least for Holy Light). To be quite honest, that should cut down on the heavy use of Flash of Light and Divine Light. In my experience, I rely on the larger (more expensive) heals because I fall behind when having to heal Joe the Warlock who doesn't try to avoid Blitzkrieg (sorry Warlocks, but I was in a run with one of your kind who ate 90% of all Blitzkriegs!). Now when Joe stands his ground, I can spare a Holy Light or two in an attempt to keep him in the game.

I wish I could try out the PVP side of things, but my partners were not on and I did not really feel up to doing the Wargames alone. (If you can even do them alone.) I am assuming that the new season should start this coming week barring any sort of set backs on Blizzard's part. However, if you are looking for some information, then go check out YouTube and watch this video. So what do you guys think of 4.2? Angry? Happy? Could care less either way because you said eff it and started playing some other game?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Guild Entry

Blizzard's guild finder tool is quite a great idea, but it rather rough around the edges. We currently have twenty-four people who have expressed interest in joining the guild. The problem is that we are not always on to talk with the people about joining the guild. We attempt to reach out via the in-game mail system, but it feels so cold. What I would like to see is a form of communication that is set up via the tool itself. Among the options would preferably be a way to actually invite members when they are not signed in. Just a thought on a way to make life simpler. I wonder if anyone has found a way to use this system effectively?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It Is Finished!





That right there is the end of a years worth of work. Well, more like three years, but I am not counting the first two because I disliked achievements back then. I went this morning and purchased 35 juggling torches to complete the final achievement for the Midsummer Fire Festival. It took quite a bit of juggling to get all 40 done in fifteen seconds, but with some patience and the ability to drum roll like a heavy metal drummer, I completed the task and watched as achievements started popping on my screen!





Now adding my Violet Proto Drake to my collection led to me finally completing my 100 mount achievement! Thus I added the Red Dragonhawk to my collection as well. I know I have red a lot of people complain about having the simple dragonhawk model as our 100 mount achievement, but I like it. All I have left is one Hawkstrider and I have every Blood Elf mount in the game! Go Team Blood Elf!!!

Oh and now I can fly really fast! Yes, I was cheap and waited six months in order to get the 310% flight because I knew I could get it for free.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Post Missed

So yesterday I had a post scheduled, or at least I thought so. Instead I marked it as draft and so nothing came out yesterday. My apologies, but it was more of a filler post and I shall leave it in a draft status for the time being. That having been said, anyone else notice that the Midsummer Fire Festival has started? For me, this is an important event this year. It is the final holiday achievement for Ruhtra to get for the What A Long Strange Trip It's Been meta achievement. I stayed up last night, later than I should have, flying all over Azeroth and Outland to knock out as many achievements for the holiday meta achievement as I could.


Is that not a gorgeous shot? It looks amazing in HD, simply amazing! Anyway, I managed to sneak into all of the Alliance capitals with nary a shot fired at me, except for the Exodar. That has to be the single worst city design I have ever seen. I charged into it on my Mechanohog, since sneaking wasn't an option, and made my way straight to the Draenei's bond fire. I was covered in guards and so I resorted to something I rarely do... bubbled! I then grabbed the fire and ran like hell. May I say that being in Prot spec with a mixture of PVP gear and tanking gear saved my life.

I felt bad on the way out because I saw two Horde Hunters going the wrong way below and they were being chased by a mob of guards. My assisting them though would have killed us all and so I decided to just make my way out the exit. Bubble plus Lay on Hands immediately upon being permitted to cast it is a winning combination!

So as I sit here right now, all I have left to do is juggle 40 torches in Dalaran and the long achievement chain is over! Oh and so is the collecting of 100 mounts! Have to love multi-tasking complex achievements right? Oh, and if you are working on the Seeker title for doing 3,000 quests, then make sure and do the honoring/extinguishing of fires as each fire counts towards your quest achievement as well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Should Kids Play WoW?

I was reading the forums the other day and I came across a post that asked if anyone knew of any add-ons that would assist with making WoW more child friendly. He stated that he had disabled all but a handful of chat features (things such as general, say, and trade). It was an interesting forum post to read as so many people had so much to say about it. The comments ranged from him being a bad parent to it being great that the family wanted to play together. So it made me start to think about when is the appropriate age to play Wow?

So let's take a look at what the biggest fears of allowing children to play are:

  • Addicted
  • Exposed to Inappropriate Material
  • Unhealthy

These were the three most common complaints brought up in the forum post that had valid points to them. So let's examine these three fears a little more closely.

Addiction is a legitimate concern with WoW. There are countless articles and reports that have been done on the subject. So is there a danger to a child exposed to WoW at an early age becoming addicted to it? I think that there could be, but it is the parents responsibility in this situation to not utilize WoW as a substitution for their attention. In other words, the parents must make sure to maintain a healthy mixture of activities in the child's life. Is it unhealthy to have a child doing sports? I think we would all say no, that sports are extremely healthy. What about when it is the driving force in someone's life? Why do you think that we see people who will risk their health in order to take "performance enhancing drugs"? They do this because they want to be the best. They are driven to excel and when they reach their own physical limitations, they then resort to utilizing these substances to take them beyond their own limits. Why do they risk it all? They risk it all because at the very root of the issue is that they are addicted. Not just addicted to the actual drugs, but rather to the feeling they are getting from the drugs. Naturally we could substitute any sort of drug into this, but addiction comes in many different forms and not just in a little pill.

The second legitimate argument was in relation to the content of the game and if it is appropriate for young children? This is something that is mildly concerning due to the mild language that is used in some of the narratives during some the newer quest lines that take place in locations like Silverpine Forest. While there is not much that you can do in these situations to lesson the impact, I have to ask if we are so naive that we do not believe that our children are going to hear this kind of language elsewhere? If anything, the language found in WoW is not nearly as bad as when we are just scanning cable channels looking for something to watch. Let us not forget about the older kids in school who find it cool to use language that we adults deem to be improper. Also, we should remember that perhaps not everyone views certain phrases and words to be offensive and so their children may be using this language already. So while we want to think that we live in a perfect world, I think we need to face the facts and actually start to listen to the sounds going on all around us.

Others associated this second concern also with the community which has several individuals on every realm who enjoy spewing as much inappropriate material in the general and trade channels as possible. To me, I do not worry so much about the issue of the community since Blizzard provides the tools to be able to turn off any number of the communication channels. This will effectively remove the community at large as an issue, but I felt it worth noting here at least.

The last major point of concern that I felt presented in this discussion was the question of is it healthy to let a young child play WoW? I think the simplistic answer to this question is that it is as healthy as you make it. If you play it, or allow a child to play it, all the time with no other activity, then it is completely unhealthy. However, if you limit your child to just a couple hours a week, then you are in fact teaching the child to develop a healthy habit out of playing all video games.

I think after having spent some time truly thinking on this subject the answer comes down to creating a balance in a child's life. Too much of anything is unhealthy in my opinion. I have spent the time thinking about this subject because my son has expressed an interest in playing WoW with us as well. To this point we have not allowed him to do anything more than mess with my wife's Hunter in Dalaran. We have decided though to use the ability to play WoW as a reward for behaving good throughout the course of the week. I sat down with my son on Father's Day and together we created a character especially for him. We explained that if he behaves throughout the course of the week, then on Saturday we will permit him to play WoW for an hour with us. As he gets older and is able to comprehend things better, we will then look to expand the time he is permitted to play throughout the course of the week. So what are your thoughts on this subject? Good, bad, or non-issue?

P.S.: I will not be noting the name of my son's character.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Technical Stuff... Sorta

So I have come to the realization that not many people actually read blogs on the weekend. This is not going to stop me from blogging on the weekends, but I may use the weekend as the days where I post the stuff that I think some of you may not find very interesting. Now this doesn't mean that all of the posts will be mindless dribble of nothingness, but instead may sometimes focus on the more technical side of things. While I do not consider myself to be a great web page designer or technical guru, I have learned a few things along the way that may be of some use to some people. That is a long way to say that on Saturdays, Holy Shock may not be the read for everyone.

At any rate, I did want to point out that I have started working on a list of my characters! I prefer to use signature generation sites simply because I am lazy and they save me time. I previously was using zebit.com (I think that was their name), but they recently switched how their signatures work and quite frankly I do not like it. So I pulled up old Google and did some searches and came across a site that is ran by Guild Launch (the people who help some guilds create websites). The name of their website for signatures is called Sig Launch (go figure right?). Now they claim that they automatically update your character as you level and your stats change, but I cannot guarantee this to be correct as I just recently came across it. It does generate the signatures in several formats so that you should be able to use it just about anywhere. It is extremely easy to use and takes next to no time to generate a code for your character(s).

The one thing you may have to do, as I did, is adjust the height and width of the signature. I will show you how I did this in hopes that maybe it can save you some time if you are not the world's most tech savvy person. So when you first generate a code, it will turn out like this:

img src="http://sigcdn.siglaunch.com/sigs/wow/8/1/5/6/2/4581562cdNDh.png" border="0" (I removed the < and > at the begging and end of the code so it does not display the banner.)

This is one that I just created for Ruhtra. In order for me to fit it here on the blog, I needed to add some restrictions to it. The code that was generated however does not have the necessary structure to do this and so I had to add a little extra on it. So I replaced the section that says:

border="0"

with:

style="border: 0; height: 95; width: 425px;" /

Which gave me a perfect looking box that lines up evenly with everything on that side of the page. Now if you need to play with the height or the width, then you simply replace the 95 or 425 with whatever numbers you think would be necessary. It is more of a trial and error for me, but I figured I would share with you guys how I got that to line up so nicely. I hope this didn't confuse you more than help you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

One Day I May Quit... Not Today!

It seems like every day I am posting up another mount that I have added to my collection, and today is no different. Today I present to you the Sunreaver Hawkstrider!


I am now only missing one Hawkstrider (that I am aware of) to complete owning every Hawkstrider in the game that I can obtain. I do not know why, but part of me finds it important to have all of the racial mounts for the races that I play. Do you find this odd? Do you have any quirks that you have in WoW?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Holy Smoke!

On Tuesday nights, my guild has been running what we refer to as retro raids. I started this a while back so people could get to see older content that they never had the experience of seeing for whatever reason. I also started it as a way for myself and those achievement hunters in the guild to go after the achievements that we want. The very first thing we do every week is go out and zerg OS. We do this so that every member in the guild can acquire the Black Drake if they so choose. I am not gonna pretend to be a saint. I have organized this simply for the chance to get the drake myself. That selfishness paid off last night as I added mount number 98 to the collection!


Typically after this we go and hit up Onyxia's Lair as well. We have not even seen the drake drop yet from there, but perseverance is the key to mount hunting. This week we stopped by and kicked the snot out of Malygos as well. He did not relinquish any of his mounts, so I imagine we will head back there again as well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Cow Throwing It Down!

So last night I was feeling a slight bit burned out on running stuff with Ruhtra. So I did the daily quest to try and get my white polar bear mount, did the argent tourney dailies for more tokens to eventually get another mount from there, and then I ran some 2v2 arena with my partner to cap my points for the week. Now at this point in the season, I am just collecting the conquest tokens to turn in and buy some PVP gear for my Prot build. I doubt very seriously that I will ever use the gear in a serious manner, but it is a nice comfort having it on while doing dailies and what not. After all that I decided I wanted a change of pace and so enter the cow!

I switched to Holeycow and decided that I would run a couple of random dungeons and work on acquiring some new gear for him. Now my goal with the cow is to get him geared for PVE first and then PVP second. So I queued up for my first run and got a pretty good group. Well, everyone was good except for this one Death Knight. Why is it always the Death Knights? So we are in the Lost City of Tolvir (?) and we get to the second mob which is the individual mob that does the Shamanesque (?) type earthquake move. The poor DK stands in it and proceeds to die. Yes, I still refuse to heal stupid. So after we finish the mob, I apologize for not healing the guy and rez him. Well, I tried to rez him, but he didn't take the rez. I asked him if he got the rez and he tells us he is on a two minute timer. Really? I couldn't help but laugh to myself. He eventually rezes and then we proceed to the first boss.

The tank had whispered me and said I was being extremely nice to the DK at this point and I responded with some jokes and we started in on the boss. Things were going smooth for everyone but the DK who stood in every AoE that the boss had to offer and promptly died because of this. We waited for him to run back in to us and I mentioned to him that he may want to move out of any spell that pops underneath him as the nasty stuff was killing him. Remarkably he didn't get mad at me for making the suggestion. He did end up needing to go and get his gear repaired and that took him quite some time to do. He finally managed to find someone to fix his gear and he returned to us. He actually managed to stay alive on the croc boss, but made sure to make up for it by going out in the second phase of the next boss. I do not know why, but he decided to stand in the bosses AoE and die rather than do what everyone else did. I covered for him some by dropping my elemental totems and popping bloodlust.

At this point I figured this guy was either new or trolling us. Either way, I just wanted to get done. So one the last boss I made sure to tell him to kill the adds and then let him know when it was okay to attack the boss. We completed the run and no one had died except the poor DK. So at his point I really do not know if this guy was really that bad or just trolling. Either way it made for a fun night of laughing at the many ways he found to die. I can say though that he killed he my desire to heal any more dungeons last night. I retreated to the relative safety of Backyard Monsters on Facebook.

So you guys had any runs like that? Where someone was so bad it was just funny?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finally

So after quite some time of farming fairly regularly, the boys over in Magister's Terrace finally convinced their boss to give me the damn bird!


So this leaves me now to move on and start focusing on the Barron's mount more closely and the Blue Proto Drake. This also puts me 3 mounts shy from 100!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Holy Talk

Well, I finally forced myself to take a look at the patch notes currently available for 4.2 (updated 6/10) and I am really not happy or mad. I am somewhere in the middle, which is where my feelings have been about the game overall since Cataclysm's launch. This is largely due to the constant barrage of quick fixes, nerfs, buffs, and patches that have since followed. Unfortunately, I think this is going to be the way it is for this expansion and we might as well just learn to live with it. Alright that is enough of that. Let's get into some patch notes specifically focused on our favorite class spec, the Holy Paladin!

So the very first thing I see is that they are increasing every healing spell we have by a few percentage points, except Holy Shock. This fits in with their desire to have healers be more selective of what heals we are using for certain situations. I really do not care about this one too much because my mana regeneration has been so good during this expansion that I do not think I will mind it too much. That and I would rather have them mess with my mana than an outright actual nerf to the amount we heal.

Moving on we see that Beacon of Light can no longer be dispelled, but wait... what is this? It is now going to transfer 100% of Holy Light to our beaconed target? In my own opinion, that is the single greatest thing that Blizzard could have done. Yes, I am greedy and would like to see them return it to its former glory of all heals going through, but at least it will now work for the spell that many Paladins use as the spam heal. Very good news and I cannot wait to get out there and see what effect it truly has. My guess is that it will make life a little bit easier for us!

The change to Denounce is pretty much useless for PVE. As trying to DPS as a Holy Paladin simply will not work at 85 due to the lack of scaling for our class. In terms of PVP, it is slightly interesting, but honestly how many Paladins are taking these talents? I have messed around with different builds in an attempt to incorporate the talents that provide me with a little punch, but have come to the conclusion I would rather take talents that simply help my overall healing. So again, it is interesting, but unless they come out and try to make Holy a viable caster DPS spec then I feel it is just wasted talents.

Now the change that was added in specifically for this most recent update, as it appears in red, is in relation to our mastery. For me personally, I have avoided mastery rating like it was the black plague. With this change it makes me somewhat curious as to the overall effect it will have. If you have not read the patch notes for this one I will post it for you here:

Illuminated Healing (Mastery) has been adjusted slightly so that if a paladin refreshes an existing copy of his or her own Illuminated Healing on a target, the new absorption amount will be added into the old absorption amount and the duration will be reset. The total absorption created can never exceed 1/3 of the casting paladin's health.

It sounds really nice and it makes it seem like it will add up to be quite a large amount when you see that it cannot exceed 1/3 o the casting Paladin's health. The problem is that in the higher end content, a lot of the damage coming out will eat your little absorption before you get a chance to stack another one it. Do not get me wrong. It is a nice start, but I do not think that in a lot of PVE situations that it will be as useful as it appears. Now I could be wrong, but I think it is one of those changes where it sounds much cooler than it actually will be.

In terms of PVP, I think it can be used to a slight advantage for the right type of team in arena. What I mean is that if we start healing before the match begins, then we have a good chance of building up the absorption to the maximum level and all we have to do is simply spam our strongest heals once we have our partner(s) buffed up. That could provide a nice little buffer and make certain comps approach teams with Holy Paladins on slightly different. I do not think this is a make or break change, but I do think it is interesting and I look forward to playing around with this change on my own arena teams. (I sometimes feel sorry for my partners as they are just giant guinea pigs!)

The Infusion of Light change is a nice one if not abused. I say it that way because if we abuse that and cast Flash of Light at the speed of light too often, then we will find ourselves in a sad place very, very quickly. I say it that way because as I have ran on some alts that were not healers, I have come across quite a few Paladins who flirt with running out of mana becuase they are using Flash of Light far too often.

The changes to Speed of Light are interesting. Triggering it off of Divine Protections, as well as Holy Radiance is going to be extremely useful for Paladins in both PVP and PVE. After all, more PVE situations now cause us to move and we are always running for our lives in PVP. To me it is a minor change, but one that can improve our quality of life. Oh and let us not forget that we can hit Holy Radiance more often as well!

The last change listed is the one regarding Walk In The Light. This one is nice because it is boosting Word of Glory by 30% in addition to what it has done since they rolled out the new talent trees for Cataclysm. I use Word of Glory as often as I can and I welcome any increase in healing to any of my spells.

So there you go. I think a lot of what they are doing with the Holy tree is interesting to say the least. To me it is a lot of experimentation with tweaking minor things in order to see if it helps improve the overall feel of the spec right now. The increases in mana cost for our hard cast spells would be significant if they were not providing us with so many minor changes. As I looked at each one individually I was not overly impressed. It was when I started thinking about the overall picture that I felt much better. We get more healing off our beacon now, we are much more mobile with being able to get our speed boost off of Holy Radiance and Divine Protection. They reduced the mana cost of Holy Shock, which feeds us Holy Power and that in turns allows us to cast Word of Glory which will now be healing for 30% more. It is a give and take change, but one that I think offers us a lot more for a few percentage points of mana.

I think of all the changes they have talked about up till now, the one I could care less about is going to be in regards to mastery. In my opinion, I would still take haste first, crit second, and if all else fails then mastery. I know a lot of people have made suggestions about how to better utilize the Paladin's mastery rating and I too have my own opinion. I would personally like to see them scrap the absorption concept and have mastery allow an extra percentage of heals from all of our spells to pas through to the target of our Beacon of Light. The percentages would have to be carefully set up to not allow this to become too overpowered, but I feel it would be a better overall boost to our healing and also fit much better in with the perception of the class versus an absorption. I do not work at Blizzard though and therefore I have no say so, but a guy can dream can't he?

So what about the patch has you excited or scared? Any nerfs to your class that makes you want to reroll?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Minor Additions

I hope everyone is having a good end to their week! This post is more of a quick note of a couple minor changes I have made to the blog. The first one I wanted to point out is that I finally enabled all of the old posts from Holy Shock. Most of the information in these posts are severely out of date, but it may be fun to go through and read some old posts every now and then. I was reading a few of them last night and I couldn't help but chuckle at some of the first few I had written and also at some of the more colorful posts from Rather when he was writing here as well. Anyway, feel free to browse through them for a good laugh!

Another addition to the blog is the little link that I have on the right side with our Minecraft server information. I am a huge lover of Minecraft and a few of us from MAS have a great server and we are always willing to add more folks to it. I believe right now it is smaller with only eight slots, but if you love Minecraft and have been looking for a multi-player server to dabble in, then feel free to get in touch with me here through the blog and I will be happy to talk with you about that.

One thing I have not added yet is a list of blogs that I read. Part of my apprehension with this is that I read a wide variety of blogs. Some of which I really do not agree with, but I find interesting to see what things may (or may not) be of importance to them. I also do not want to get into one of those situations where I link someone's blog because they read mine and vice-versa. So for now, I have chosen to not list any. This will change in time I promise. Along those lines, if you know a great blogger or happen to write your own blog then drop me a line as I am always interested in reading different people's perspectives.

One thing I am debating on doing is adding in the posts from the other blogs that I have dabbled with while away from Holy Shock. There are only a few posts that would be brought over as I never really could stayed horribly focused on blogging when not doing it here. I may or may not do this. It honestly just depends on my own time as that would take a little longer then going under the posting options for this blog.

Well, that is all that I really have for today. Sorry it is a boring day, but I want to keep everyone up on what is going on around here. Even if it is only the mundane maintenance of the site. Don't forget if you know of an interesting blog to drop a comment on here since I am always looking for a good (or bad) read!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time For Chores...

Before I get into the post today I just want to take a moment and say that due to some personal turmoil with-in my family, there may be some days where I do not get to post anything up. This is a good thing though as far too often in life we see people put a lot of things in place of their family and friends. Also, do not worry about me. It does not directly effect me, but in life I have learned to make sure and be available for family and friends when they need you. Even those black sheep that we all have.

Now moving on to some other things. I wanted to talk just a little bit today about a limitation that has been in this game for a very long time that needs to be removed in my opinion. What am I referring to? I am talking about the limit of only twenty-five daily quests per day. Stop and think about how many dailies there currently are that are available to do. For example, many of our professions (both primary and secondary) have daily quests associated with them. On Ruhtra, I only do the JC daily personally. Now often times I will also do the Deepholm dailies because I am still trying to pick up the achievements for rescuing our little buddy and beating up that evil Glop family! Now we throw in the mix that I am still attempting to get my White Polar Bear mount and we have another one from there. I am still working on collecting all of the Argent Tournament mounts, vanity pets, and tabards as well. Is anyone keeping track of all these dailies yet? Well, lock down the number because it grows huge when we throw in the dailies for TB!

You get my point right? There are a TON of daily quests to do that have a lot of beneficial rewards attached to them. Now granted most of those rewards do not affect the current content yet. However, if you read the latest water cooler post from the Blizzard development team, then you know that they are planning to add in a ton of dailies to the game going forward. Which by the way is completely awesome and I encourage everyone to check out the article and the quests on the PTR! Some really awesome stuff there. The point remains that I think Blizzard should consider lifting the twenty five daily quest limit, or at least up the limit by five for each expansion which would give us the ability to do forty daily quests.

So what do you all think? Am I wrong in this thought or do you think Blizzard should increase the number of daily quests that we can do or remove the limitation altogether?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Forced Specs

Should Blizzard continue to try to balance the classes or should they say enough is enough and make certain class specs just better at PVE or PVP? Just look at the Frost Mage as a prime example. The class is tremendous in PVP situations. They have great control, strong burst, and really good survivability; however, in PVE situations when compared to an Arcane Mage they fall short of reaching the same level of damage over the course of an entire fight. So my question is why not just draw the line in the sand and declare that this class spec is for PVP and that class spec is for PVE?

I may be completely alone on this thought, but I remember a day when not every class was able to do everything. I remember the day when balance was directed towards each faction having similar abilities and classes, but not exactly the same thing. Remember those days before the Alliance had Shaman and the Horde had Paladins? Now I will say straight up that Blizzard has never said that X class should only be doing PVP, but they never use to have to spend so much time in a vain attempt to balance every class to make them viable in some fashion or form to both PVE and PVP.

I do see them getting closer to drawing that line in he sand though now. There have been several posts that have asked why does my class (Boomkin, Hunters, etc.) suck in arena? The response from Blizzard was basically informing these individuals that while they do suck in arena, they are doing quite well in rated battlegrounds. In other words, X class is much better doing this than doing that.

I think what prevents them from doing something of this nature is the community itself. Whenever a minor change is noted in the PTR notes, the forums light up calling it the end of the known world and all the rest of the wonderful posts that we have all come to know and love (NOT!) So just imagine if in patch 4.x, Blizzard would announce that due to the feedback from the community around balance that the ______, ______, _______, & ______ classes would now only be effective in PVP! There would be mass rioting in the streets... Even if the classes named were the ones that were currently being used primarily for PVP. So instead, Blizzard very quietly continues to make subtle changes to certain classes that will endure them to be used for PVP purposes while trying to feign that they are making all classes balanced to do all things. After all didn't they say bring the player and not the class?

So what do you all think? Would you like if one day you woke up and Blizzard said that Survival Hunters were now the only Hunter who could PVP with any sort of success? How would you feel if they said screw you Boomkins, you are for PVE only?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Enchanting Argument

Should enchanters continue to be forced to disenchant items for groups that they are running with? This is a question, nay I say argument, that has been going on for some time. On one side you have the camp of the non-enchanters who say that enchanting is a double-dipping profession. This basically means that they can both gather and craft with one profession which thus allows them to pick up a second profession for even greater profit. On the other side is the enchanting camp who claims they are having a hard time gathering materials to level their enchanting and once leveled are losing out on materials to help cover the cost of their profession. Now both sides have a very valid argument, but which side's argument affects the game more?

My opinion is that Blizzard should remove the automatic disenchanting feature from the random groups. In my mind it does not make sense why we force one profession to offer their services for free, but allow all other professions to reap the full benefits of theirs with no consequence. For example, in Ulduar there were plenty of scrap bots that could be broken down by an engineer. In both Wrath and Cataclysm there are multiple elemental bosses who can be mined. Let us not forget that there are the occasional nodes that appear as well for miners. Also on the thought of the elementals, some of these can be looted by herbalist as well. Do not even get me started on the skinners out there who slow groups down because they are skinning every animal they come across in the instances. That being said, Rogues and Blacksmiths are not required to use their services for the lock boxes that drop during runs either. Yet for some reason, Blizzard demands that the enchanters provide their service free of charge.

It use to be the belief that enchanters needed to offer this service because they held a monopoly on the enchanting materials and thus the enchants as well. I have to pose the question though to the majority of the player base, do you really not have a character who can (dis)enchant? I mean I know that for the time I have been playing that I have managed to have all professions covered and have a few key professions (such as enchanting) covered multiple times. So I have to wonder, is this an argument simply for the sake of an argument?

The only valid reason that I can think of to keep this system as is to prevent ninja disenchanting (?). Basically, a long time ago people would offer to disenchant items for you. Upon receiving those items, the enchanter would just log off. Now this was always handled easily enough by opening a ticket. You got your item back and the offender took another step up the ladder to being banned. The down side is that it created more work for the Blizzard staff. A simple solution to this is to simply configure the disenchanting to work similar to how enchanting works. The person requesting a disenchantment would need to put each item individually in the bottom trade window. Upon disenchantment, the enchanting materials would automatically go into the item owner's bag and a small tip could be traded if agreed upon. There we go. End of the issue of ninja disenchanting (?)!

Now I realize there are far more pressing matters with-in WoW right now, but this is something that is constantly coming back up and could have a seemingly simple fix, or does it? What say you out there? Is there something that we enchanters are not seeing? Is there some sort of benefit or advantage of this system being removed? If you think so then feel free to drop a comment with your opinions!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Great Debate

I was reading a forum post today that was discussing (or trying to) the aspects of moving with your mouse versus moving with your keyboard. This led to more posts that started to discuss the concept of using key bindings instead of clicking on abilities. This got me thinking about the two distinct styles of play and why some prefer one over the other. I think for most people it comes down to what they plan to do in the game. For example, if you just log on and run some random battlegrounds or dungeons, then you may not really see a difference between the two styles. However, if you plan to play at a high level of end-game play in either ranked PVP or true progression raiding, then you will definitely see a difference between the two styles.

So what is the difference in the two styles really? The style that people refer to as keyboard turning is where you are utilizing your keyboard to move. This typically is accompanied by using your mouse to click on abilities that you have set up on your ability bar in-game. The other style is where you are using your mouse to move and have your abilities set to certain keys on your keyboard. Now, there are also combinations of these two styles, but for the sake of time we are only going to look at the two basic styles.

So why do people view using key binds to be superior to clicking? The easiest answer is that pressing a key is much quicker than moving your mouse to select an ability that is set up on your bar. Remember that some of the biggest things that are used to measure your skill is DPS (damage per second) and HPS (heals per second). In other words, seconds are extremely important in this game and the belief is that if you are losing even a half of a second per ability by clicking on it, then this will be costing you a very large amount of damage or healing over the course of an encounter that will last anywhere in the neighborhood of five minutes and up. I like to compare it to a drag race. The difference between the winner and the loser is quite often how quickly they come off that line (barring any sort of mechanical issues).

Now the problem that faces many players who prefer to click is that they are quite often not as mobile because they are using their mouse to select their abilities rather than move their characters. In my opinion this is not as detrimental in PVE as in PVP. In PVE, you are quite often needing to move out of an AoE ability or something of that nature, so you can easily just push the forward key and be clear. So why does this not work in PVP? Quite simply because in PVE, you are doing a scripted fight. In other words, the AI is programmed to use certain abilities and move in certain patterns; whereas in PVP your human opponent may see you step forward and decide to get behind you. With certain classes like Rogues, this will permit them to deal more damage. Also, if your opponent is behind you, how can you fight them back? The real problem then becomes that if you are using your keyboard to turn, then you must wait for the character to slowly change its direction. With using a mouse, you simply need to flick your wrist and you are facing the opposite direction. In truth it just boils down to shaving off a few seconds in your reaction time. (Drag racing anyone?)

I think that over time, players naturally begin to change their play style and adapt based upon what they are doing. Most people who do any sort of serious PVP will begin to utilize key bindings and movement with their mouse because it really does matter in your response times. I think that PVE is a slight bit more forgiving because you are doing a scripted encounter that if given enough time you would be able to memorize where you should be, which will then allow you to compensate how long it will take you to be somewhere at any given time. My own personal play style is to use my mouse for movement, bind some abilities to keys, bind some abilities to the mouse itself, and then just click any miscellaneous abilities that are not used all that often. Do I look down on players who choose to not play the same way I think is best? Absolutely not. How about you guys? Do you hate the thought of a keyboard turner in PVP? Does the mere mention of someone clicking their abilities in PVE make you want to rage?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Hits, They Keep Coming!

When it rains, it pours! So yesterday I wrote about how I had managed to get lucky and come across the Time Lost Proto Drake right? After I wrote the article, I began to do my daily routine which is finish my quests for the Argent Tournament and then I run two dungeons for mounts. I know it is weird, but I only do two to avoid burning myself out. So I ran H SH, and low and behold the Raven Lord dropped for me too!


I cannot tell you how happy I am to have managed to get these two really nice mounts in just a few hours of each other. So if you haven't gotten your mounts that you are hoping will drop, then let me just encourage you to hang in there and keep trying for them!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lady RNG, My Apologies

So the other day I was talking about mounts and how I have no luck with getting mounts on Ruhtra. I went on to speak evil things about our Fair Lady RNG and she went out of her way to prove me wrong by giving me this:


I honestly could not believe it when it literally spawned right on top of me as I was getting ready to land to do my Argent Tournament daily where you catch the Snobalds! I almost lost it. I had to compose myself real quickly so I flew too it and dropped from above and hit Hand of Reckoning to get its attention and then proceeded to pummel it into submission. The worst part is I had no one to tell. It was early in the morning and everyone in my house was sound asleep. No one was on from my guild either. So I figured why not just hop on here and post about it?

So there you go. Be careful when you bad mouth something because you may just have to turn around and say I am sorry! Oh well, this was an apology that was well worth having to make. Has anything like this ever happened to you guys?

Friday, June 3, 2011

What To Do?

I have come to the realization that I enjoy leveling alts. I may not enjoy playing them all at end game or PVP, but I enjoy the experience of seeing what life is like on the other side of the tracks so to say. So at this point I am trying to decide what class to level next. Currently I have a Holy/Prot Paladin, Disc/Shadow Priest, Combat Rogue, and Resto/Ele Shaman.

Now I have been on a huge kick here lately of wanting to have one of each type of healing class/spec so it would seem like I would want to either look at a Resto Druid or a Holy Priest. Way back years ago, my current Priest was a Holy one and man was it brutal! I almost want to experience that again, but I could easily respec from Shadow to Holy and have that issue solved. The problem there is I love m Shadow build for when I want to dailies or things of that nature. Although I have to admit that you have decent survivability in Disc it seems like too. I am leaning towards taking one of my Druids and leveling them. I will probably go with a Bal/Resto build simply to take advantage of all the heirloom gear I have and get twice the bank for the buck.

The big trick for me in this expansion is not spending all my time with alts. I have done this in previous expansions and then when we get near the end I feel like I missed out on a lot. So this time around I have been really forcing myself to get on Ruhtra every day and knock out a couple quests that I haven't done yet, run some dungeons for mounts, make sure and do my arena with my partners for their points, and all of those little things. In truth, I am going to try to do this with both Ruhtra and Holeycow so that I have them both in shape for their respected roles.

Speaking of roles, lately I have been really enjoying the tanking side of things. I may consider going full time into tanking for PVE and stay Holy or PVP. It is hard to say. One thing I know is that I am one of the best level 85 tanks you can get for old level 70 content! Ha! What about you guys? We are the point in the expansion where most of our main(s) are geared and where we want them. So what are you doing? Going fishing? Working on achievements? Leveling an alt? Taking a break from WoW until the next major patch drops?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Micro Transactions

I have to be honest and admit right up front that on Tuesday I purchased two of the Winged Guardian. One was for my main account and the second was for my wife. I found it interesting that when I went to make the purchase, I was somewhere in the twenty-thousand range of the queue. The queue was being processed extremely quickly and so the purchase went smooth with no worries. While I waited I ran and did some dailies to earn some gold for Ruhtra so I could get something accomplished in-game besides shelling out fifty bucks to Blizzard.

It got me thinking to when the Sparkle Pony was released. I remember the outrage and sheer hatred of some people over Blizzard providing a nice mount for a nominal fee. Man there was a lot of raging going on back then. Well, come to think of it, there was a lot of raging today too! Of course this raging was more of the QQ variety since after you purchased the mount you still needed to wait around an fifteen minutes to an hour for Blizzard to process the request. All in all from start to actually mounting the lion was roughly an hour. That is not too shabby.

I also have seen that it looks like we may be getting a themed Diablo style murloc for watching Blizzcon this year. The reaction I saw in the forums tonight was kind of half loving the idea and half not thrilled that we are getting yet another murloc. I personally love the murlocs and cannot wait to get the little fellow. It got me to wondering though about what item they will include with-in their Collector's Edition Diablo III bundle. I expect they will package a little something extra as they did for the Star Craft II Collector's Edition. I guess time will tell.

While I am on the subject of wasting time collecting pets allow me to say that the rare mounts from the old dungeons must simply hate Ruhtra. Every one of my alts that I have played half serious for the last year or so has managed to get the rare mounts that elude me on Ruhtra and it is well over a month now of running MGT and SH with nothing to show for it. My friend, who took two years off, came back and ran maybe a week and got both of them in a matter of days. Oh Lady RNG is a real bitch! Oh well, the side effect to running these two instances is that I take a little extra time and pull every mob in the place and then send the cloth to Emprius to produce Netherweave bags, which still sell really well on good old Daggerspine. So at least I can make a little bit more gold while running this old content.

I would be more aggravated over it if I was being super serious about it, but honestly this gives me something to do. I feel bad for the people who have spent years attempting to get some of these mounts. How about you all? Is there anything in the game that you have spent a decent amount of time working towards?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Get Out of the Water!!!

I pretty much hate anything that has to do with water in WoW! I do not know why, but after six months of Cataclysm I have yet to manage to take any of my characters through the new water zone. Did you see that? I do not even know how to spell the damn zone's name. (Vashsomethingorothercangodieinafire amiright?) The zone and its instance literally messes with my damn eye balls and you know what? I think Blizzard knows this because every other random I get is that blasted place.

The other day I did six random instances and three of them were in that damn instance. Even worse is that my add-on that I use to keep my buttons outside the screen screws up royally in there. The best part is that it has a box marked to temporarily disable the parts of the add-on that is messing things up and it still looks God awful. Even better is the fact that there is so much stuff to not stand in during that instance and none of it shows up on my screen because of the add-on. The kicker is that when Cataclysm released, I could run the instance and at least not have the issues that I am currently having.

Oh well, hopefully Blizzard has learned from this and next time they will just send someone to my house to poke my eyes out with a dull spoon.

(Yes I realize this rant may actually make no sense to anyone other than myself, but I had to get that off my chest!)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Something Borrowed

I have been doing a lot of healing here lately with my Shaman, and let me say that I am jealous that my Paladin cannot handle groups as easily as my Shaman can. Now before anyone thinks that this is going to be a post filled with complaining and whining, let me reassure you that it is not. Instead it is a post that suggests borrowing an idea from both the Priest and the Shaman classes, attach a small instant heal onto the Paladin cleanse ability.

I know I am always preaching about how I hate the homogenization of classes, but this is one thing that would benefit all of the classes. I know that when I heal with both my Priest and my Shaman, I am much more apt to actually remove the nasty things that are eating away at my party members; however, on my Paladin I rarely cleanse those things because it is extremely expensive and I would rather just heal through the majority of the stuff on my party.

I think one of the reasons that I like this idea is that it would have very little effect on balance issues between PVE and PVP. In PVP I do cleanse often and getting a nice little (key word being little) heal would be a nice bonus. In PVE I would actually cleanse more often if there was a heal associated with me using a global cool down on someone. The big thing to pick up in this is the word "little". The heal should in no way be comparable to Holy Shock, but it should be enough to notice.

So what about you guys? What do you think could be some minor changes that would help to improve your role or class? Is there a minor ability like Cleanse that could be tinkered with that would give some sort of incentive to use it more?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

So today is an official holiday here in the states where we take a moment to honor those who are no longer with us. I felt that this video was a very appropriate choice in honor of Memorial Day:



Warning: Personal  Non-WoW Related Talk Ahead!!!!

To me this is one of those holidays that hold a special place in my heart. When I was young, my parents would take me and my brother out to honor the family members who were no longer with us. We would visit each location and leave a simple flower arrangement and make sure that the area was in good order. During the course of the day, we would hear about different family members and the lives that they lead. This really helped give me a strong sense of family and a pride in the heritage of my family.

It saddens me that over the years there seems to be fewer and fewer people who visit the grave sites surrounding those of my own family members. It saddens me because it signals that the stories of those people will not be carried on. That a part of our history, as a whole, is slowly disappearing. How many times have we said (or been told) that as long as we carry on their memory, that they will live on in us and be remembered? It seems that slowly over time that everything fades away, including the memories of these wonderful people.

My only hope is that as my son grows older that he too will embrace the rich history of our families and carry on the tradition of honoring those that have gone on before us. I realize that he may not be able to physically visit each and every grave, as even I have forgotten how to find some of them. No, my hope is that he embraces the sense of pride in the family heritage and that he carries that forward and passes it on to his children so that the next generation may look back as I have and be thankful for the sacrifices of those that have gone before them.

So in closing I wish everyone a great Memorial Day! Be safe out there and have fun today!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Playing

So I almost missed writing this post today because I was too busy using my free time to play Battle Pirates over on Facebook. This struck me funny because it use to be that I would spend my free time lost in Azeroth. Here lately though I have been spending my free time with Battle Pirates, Left 4 Dead 2, Minecraft, X-com UFO Defense Force, and a few other games as well. This led to me asking why do I really continue to play WoW? Or better phrased, what about WoW keeps me coming back?

I actually have spent about an hour thinking about that very question and came up with the two reasons why I continue to play WoW. The first reason I continue playing is because of the relationships I have with-in the game. What I mean by this is that I play with a wide variety of people, many whom I consider to be my friends. Now some of these fine folks were people I have worked with in the past, while others are individuals I have met with-in the game and have come to count as good friends. Along with them, there is my wife who plays and our son even loves to take control of our characters and attempt to run them around.

The second reason that I continue to play is because I have an invested value in this game. Yes I have the currency investment from purchasing the collector's editions, vanity pets, mounts, and other items of that sort, but you also have to consider the time value that has been invested into the game as well. I have been playing since before the launch of the Burning Crusade expansion straight on through the current Cataclysm expansion with no breaks at all. In other words, WoW has become a hobby of sorts. And just like any other hobby, there is a level of commitment that I have given to the game. It's like the old saying, "time is money".

So I have to wonder what is that keeps so many people playing and what is it that has made others leave the game?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

R.I.P. World PVP

I think it is time to come to terms with the fact that World PVP is dead. I remember way back a long time ago when I encountered my first corpse camper. This guy was a pro. He had the tent pitched, the fire was burning bright, and he was roasting a smore on my corpse! Man, I was so pissed at first. I would try to rez and run, but back in the day you didn't get super fast mounts till forty and that meant no chance of getting away. This guy had me seeing red. However, as time went on and I struggled to level and spent a lot of time corpse running, I soon came to appreciate this sort of thing. It taught me to be alert. Some days it seemed like you spent the entire session of play looking over your shoulder. I remember the old days of war between Southshore and Tarren Mill. The battles would rage from one town to the other as each side would be trying to call in their friends and guild members. I even remember in Outland the fear of looking up and being one shot by a falling level seventy. Yeah, things like that really use to make me mad. I would dare say it frustrated me. I hated it on a certain level, but at the same time I loved it. I loved it because I knew that when I hit level cap that I would be doing the same thing because someone else did it to me.

Things have changed though. Blizzard has really stepped in to attempt to stop any sort of World PVP like the old days. For instance, try attacking a city now! If you step foot in any town and kill something, then you get flooded by level eighty-five guards. It is insane! The first few guards you can handle, but it is the fifth, sixth, and so on that really messes you up. Then there is the whole issue of flying mounts everywhere! You will never see those kind of pitched battles like back at Southshore/Tarren Mill because no one wants to be a loser. Well, at least they do not want to be perceived as a loser. So now the concept of World PVP is to perch up high and snipe at low levels or to fly around on mounts in a deadlock because no one wants to die.

In my opinion, Blizzard should simply kill the concept of PVP and normal servers. It is easy to see that their idea of World PVP is to be zones that are clearly understood to be PVP in nature. This is evidenced by Wintergrasp from Wrath and now TB from Cataclysm. The sad part is that I am actually in favor of this change. I use to love World PVP. In the old days, I would always go to Tarren Mill if word spread that there was some action going down. Now days, PVP has become personal. It is no longer just meant for good fun, but eventually you have very pathetic individuals who will whisper you on level one alts to either attempt to piss you off by insulting you or to complain about how something was unfair. Yes, I know I touched on this yesterday a little too, but the sad truth is that I am losing my desire for World PVP because it simply does not resemble anything that I remember. Am I the only one who feels this way? What has changed that you use to love, but now has become something that you really just do not enjoy?

Friday, May 27, 2011

To Gank or not to Gank, That is the Question?

So last night I ran my butt off in arena. I ran my Paladin on his 3v3 team, my Priest on his 2v2 team, and then a buddy of mine was gracious enough to run with my fresh Shaman with no PVP gear. The results were mixed. We did well and we did not so well. My very first match with my Shaman though was won and I consider that to be a tremendous success considering the fact that he still has some green 289 item level gear. Thinking about it, I feel bad for the team who lost to him. Hell, they should feel bad for losing to a team with a scrub Shaman like mine. Oh well, that really has nothing to do with what I want to talk about other than to set a stage.

As we were waiting to run 3's, one of my guildies mentioned that they had been ganked in Hellfire Peninsula. I had been out there earlier on my Warrior and had seen some pretty bored Allis out there messing around. They would run into Thrallmar and wreck a lowbie and some guards on the way out of town. Apparently three hours later, they were still at it. First off let me say that I am all for any sort of World PVP. There is no prize other than just having fun, regardless of if you are the one killing or being killed. So my team decides to head out there since we were bored and there were now two of them out there playing. My Warrior partner arrived first and I was second with my Paladin. When we landed and hit them, the Allis ran! Now this is not an Alli bashing post, so let's not go there. It is however a simple question. Why go gank low level players if you do not want to fight?

I know I have been guilty of going to a low level town and stirring the pot. We did it though in order to draw out some people who wanted to fight. We never use to roll into town, one shot all the lowbies, and then run away from the actual people who could be a challenge. The thing I have noticed is that it does not just happen in World PVP, but also in battlegrounds. I know you have seen the types who come charging into you when they have you out-gunned, but take out the support and watch and see if some of them do not turn tail and run. So I have to ask this, why go and kill lowbies if you do not really want to fight someone that will actually be a challenge?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moonlighting

So far in this expansion I have leveled my Paladin, Priest, Rogue, and Shaman to 85. I have a Death Knight, Hunter, and Warlock all at least to level 80. Then I have a Warrior at 62, a Druid at 52, and a Mage at 11. Now this is just my main account mind you. My problem is that I just do not know what I want to level next. I sat down today and got my Druid all set up with a full compliment of heirloom gear and started laying out my bindings and what have you. I believe I even hopped in an instance and ran one with him. I was bored. Could it be healer burn out? After leveling three healers, that could be the case.

Now I had to run out shortly after the instance and when I returned I hopped on my Warrior. Now I am completely clueless with Warriors. I am even more clueless with one that is over half way leveled and has not been touched since probably mid-BC expansion. I quickly realized that his set-up was all wrong. I mean how could he actually do any damage while wearing his tanking gear in a fury build? So I hopped over to one of my other accounts and sent him all of the heirloom plate gear, the DPS heirloom cloak, and the new exalted guild tabard. I figured I would make him look spiffy while I proceeded to get him beat to a bloody pulp all over Azeroth and Outland.

Once I equipped the gear I think he felt a little better. I mean he could at least be fashionable while getting his beat downs right? The next thing was to examine the specs that he was in. Oh my good Lord! They were a mess. I really do not know what I was trying to accomplish with the build he had. It looked like I had set him up while being severely drunk. I figured what the hell and erased both his specs. I decided to go with Fury and Arms primarily because I didn't feel that people would want to see this poor confused Orc trying to tank for them... at least for now. I set up my fury build first and worked out what I wanted his rotation to be. I also stopped off in Orgrimmar and exchanged some honor points to pick up the level 60 PVP weapons. They were a slight improvement over his former weapons and what Orc doesn't look cool duel wielding two axes?

The only thing left to do was take him for a spin drive into Outland. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the hour or so that we spent together. He was knee deep in bloody corpses of boars, birds, and the occasional Fell Orc that crossed his path. I may actually continue to play him some on the side. My big issue is that I do not want to invest too much time into him because I know that if I level him to 85 that he will probably join my Rogue on the bench. I always have a fun time leveling melee classes, but once they hit cap I just never quite enjoy playing them very seriously. I always end up going back to my healers, but I figure while the mood is striking me I might as well moonlight wit my Warrior!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's Up With That?

So here we are on the fifth day of my second run here on Holy Shock and we have yet to talk serious about Paladin stats, talents, and all that other good stuff and you may be wondering why that is? That is a fair question to ask of a blog that is named Holy Shock right? Well, the simple truth is that with Cataclysm, Blizzard really went to extreme measure to dumb down stat priority. I think it is pretty obvious that we are only getting Spell Power off of our weapons, and perhaps an enchant if you so choose. It is also fairly easy to see that Intellect is still the bread and butter for us as well. I think most healers at this point is in agreement that Spirit is a must have. It is also a great thing to point out that the majority of our gear is going to be loaded down with both Intellect and Spirit.

That leaves us to debate the usefulness of Critical Strike, Haste, and Mastery. To be honest, all three of these merit some consideration given how they affect the class, but quite frankly unless you are running hard mode fights it is not going to matter to the average WoW player. Sorry, but you know that is the truth. In reality, it is going to come down to your own unique play style. The majority of us are probably looking at Haste right now as edging out Critical Strike simply because quicker spells means more heals. It is really just that simple. The interesting debate should come once 4.2 drops as it will increase the critical heals substantially. That is a debate though that should be saved for 4.2 and theory crafting sites. I personally think that our mastery is simply God awful. I am not even going to go into it, but in my opinion it is completely useless for us to really take it that serious.

So as you can see, there really is not a whole lot to talk about with our stats in this expansion. I wish there was, but it simply does not merit any more mention than this single post. Now once 4.2 drops, we may be able to revisit that old discussion of Haste versus Critical Strike...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why No Heals Man?

Have you ever heard that question? Every time I set foot in a random BG as a healer, undoubtedly some random person will yell at the collective group of healers inquiring why they were not healed. For some reason this always just goes straight through me. I manage not to blow up and troll these folks, but it does irritate me. So today I am going to answer this question for all of you out there who have ever asked this!

Reasons Why I Do Not Heal You

1. My ass is getting pounded on by the other team. That is right, once the opposing team identifies you as the healer there is no running from them. They swarm on you like an angry hornet's nest. Now if you are fortunate to be in a solid BG group, then your teammates will make sure and mow down the ones attacking the healer first. Unfortunately in today's group of players you seldom find someone with three brain cells functioning on sub-optimal and therefore you die... alot!

2. You showed up in all your PVE glory! Now I am not knocking anyone for being geared out for dungeons, but if I show up wearing my PVP gear in a random heroic you guys will blow up on me. The same feeling is had by those who PVP when you show up wearing your all-star PVE gear. What this signifies to me is that you will die quickly due to lack of proper gear, chants, gems, and the all important talent tree builds. Again, there are huge differences in survivability between people geared for PVP and those geared for PVE and I am going to use my mana to keep the guys alive who look to be geared for PVP. It is a personal choice for me.

3. You are an asshole. Yes, that is right. You are an asshole. That was very simple. You are the person who arrives in the BG and begins to tell all how glorious you are. The team then hits a brick wall and you begin yelling at everyone and everything. This annoys me. I do not respond well to name such as fuckface, dickhead, moron, loser, nub (or any variation of said word), or any other negative name that you can come up with. I do respond well to someone who is polite and knows how to play well with others though.

So there you go. I have just educated you as to why your PVP healers will not heal you. This will save you hopefully from being at least in category three. Category two cannot really help it as we all have to start somewhere. Category one is the group that actually puts me in a foul mood and makes me that much more irritable towards the other two groups. Well, as the old adds use to say, "the more you know, the more you grow"!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Enter the Cow!

Something I have always wanted to do, but for some reason never actually completed is role a class for each healing spec in the game. I have come close in previous expansions, but for Cataclysm this has been a secret little goal... until now! Last night I added my third level capped healer to my roster! That is right, the terror of the Daggerspine Horde Auction House, Holeycow, hit level 85!

So at present I now have a Holy Paladin, a Discipline Priest, and now a Restoration Shaman! Go team heals! My next healer is going to be a Restoration Druid and should be fairly simple since I have him already sitting at level 52. First though, I need to get this cow some gear. It did help though that I had turned all my honor into justice points and upon hitting level 85 promptly went and purchased the 346 chest and helm. I added a couple pieces of reputation gear and have hit the dungeon scene fairly well to gather a few other minor pieces. I figure in a day or two (at most), I should have enough gear to begin the trudge through heroics. Once I get him geared well enough for heroics, I will then focus on getting my Druid under way.

Is there something wrong with me? How about you all, is there a certain role that you love more than any other and are striving to fill it? Tanking? Melee? Ranged?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Elemental Bonds

I do not know if I have ever mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of the lore of Warcraft. Yes, I am one of those guys who have bought all of the novels written about the game(s). I even go on the website and read the short stories that are officially put up by Blizzard. I am actually not ashamed to admit this at all. In fact, I could very easily be one of those guys like "red shirt" at Blizzcon last year. Well, scratch that. I have a wife who would hog-tie me before I ever made it into the line. (Unless I distract her with a shiny!) Anyway, my point is that I love the rich lore of the game and I love it even more when Blizzard brings it into WoW.

This brings me to 4.2 and the storyline that they are introducing about Thrall and the events that transpire from it. Do not worry, I am not going to reveal any of the events of the quest line. I do not want to be the spoiler of a great quest chain. I am going to say though that there is a lot that gets said about certain things during this quest chain that really gives you a look into one of the deepest characters in the WoW universe and I for one loved every moment of it. I cannot wait to see the finished product in all of its cut scene glory!

So why am I talking about this if I am not going to directly give out information? The answer is simply because I feel like we, as players, miss such a large part of the game by not taking the time to actually read the quest logs or the conversations that are had by the NPC's, or even some of the common items found in the world. For instance, one of my favorite shields I have ever found in the game is the old barn door that has a phrase that says something about it being available. Sure that has nothing to do with lore, but it shows a side of humor that is missed if you really do not take the time to explore the environment of the world around our characters. 

I think that Blizzard has been doing a really great job lately with their expansions on the story telling side, and they are not getting credit for this. During Wrath, all you heard were complaints about game mechanics or difficulty of the game itself. Very few people took the time to really point out how wonderful the lore was and how great some of the side stories were. I myself was really guilty of this during Wrath. I did not even realize all the really cool stories that were out there until I started working on leveling one of my Shaman recently. Now I will admit that they did not get it perfect because there were some stories that felt out of place (Argent Tourney) or did not receive the attention it should have (Ulduar and Yog), but overall they definitely brought more life to that expansion than they did to BC.

In Cataclysm, they really shine through in the story telling department in my opinion and it does not seem to be slowing down at all. I hope this continues because it makes me want to log in and see what has changed or what new secret plot twist has been revealed. The only fear I have is that they may try to take on too much at once. For instance, the latest bout with the Trolls. They could do something really special with that, but I am afraid it is more of the filler variety that seems to always fall on the Trolls. At least they do not need to feel bad  since the Old Gods get no better of a treatment. Oh my, I think I may have wandered off my original topic just a little bit, but isn't that a good thing? 

I remember when I was little, that me and a buddy of mine would read the same comics and then we would debate what was going to happen. We would wait every month to get the next issue to see if we were right or completely wrong. That is exactly what Blizzard is doing to me now. They have me hooked on their story line and I am eagerly awaiting each patch in order to see what is going to happen next. What about you guys, is there an aspect of the game that you feel is overlooked by the community like the story-line? Perhaps the artwork? Changes to the scenery itself? Is there any little thing that has been done that you think deserves some credit in WoW?