Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Moment of Silence

Over the course of the last couple of days, my heart has broken for the Connecticut community that lost so much. I cannot even begin to comprehend the feelings of loss and sorrow that is now being felt there. As a parent of a small child, my heart weeps for that community and I simply wanted to let them know that they are in my thoughts. Setting aside all political, religious, and other such views, we simply need to take a moment and realize how precious life truly is.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Nub Seeker Episode 7: Moraya

I hope everyone is doing well today! Time has been flying by lately and we are literally just days away from MoP going live! In the coming days I am going to be writing up some of my thoughts about the Cataclysm expansion, but until something more relevant comes along... I present episode number seven of the Nub Seeker!

 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Holy Paladin: Shockadin Debate

Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure you have heard the recent "debates" regarding Holy Shock being extremely over powered. As someone who has played the Paladin class since the beginning, I have tried to avoid this discussion because I feel my viewpoint is one that would be biased and jaded. However, due to the fact that this topic simply refuses to die, I do feel it warrants a closer look at the underlying question of should the current concept of the Holy Paladin be split into two distinct specs (much as was done with the Druid's Feral spec) or should this concept be put to rest permanently?

First let's look at what a Paladin is, as defined by Blizzard:

"This is the call of the Paladin: to protect the weak, to bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world. These Holy warriors are equipped with plate armor so they can confront the toughest foes, and the blessing of the Light allows them to heal wounds and, in some cases, even restore life to the dead.

Ready to serve, Paladins can defend their allies with sword and shield, or they can wield massive two-handed weapons against their enemies. The Light grants Paladins additional power against the undead and demons, ensuring that these profane beings corrupt the world no longer.

Paladins are not only zealots, but also guardians of the righteous, and they bestow blessings on those the Light would shine upon. The Light radiates from Paladins, and worthy allies who stand near them are emboldened by its power."

So from reading this description, we do not see where Blizzard states that Paladins wield the Light to cast Holy spells at their enemies; however, I think it is important to note that the Paladins originally were trained as both a Priest and a Warrior. So how does Blizzard describe a Priest?

"Priests are devoted to the spiritual, and express their unwavering faith by serving the people. For millennia they have left behind the confines of their temples and the comfort of their shrines so they can support their allies in war-torn lands. In the midst of the terrible conflict, no hero questions the value of the Priestly order.

These masters of the healing arts keep their companions fighting far beyond their normal capacities with an array of restorative powers and blessings. The divine forces at the Priest's command can also be turned against foes, smiting them with Holy fury.

As light cannot exist without darkness, and darkness without light, some Priests tap into shadow to better understand their own abilities, as well as the abilities of those who threaten them."

So you may be sitting there asking yourself why I am going over what some may consider to be extremely basic information. I do this because I think the very first thing we need to do is establish if a Paladin can in fact wield the power of the Light as a caster against all enemies and not just against demons or the undead. Now after having reviewed both what a Paladin is and also what a Priest is, I think it is safe for us to establish that the Light's power can be cast at all enemies, so long as the Paladin believe that the cause is just and true.

So now that we have concluded that there is room within the lore of the game for a Holy Paladin who cast offensive spells, the question now shifts to does the game need an additional ranged caster? This question is slightly more difficult to answer, because it is going to come down to your own individual opinion; however, let's ask when was the last time that Blizzard added a new caster class or spec? In Burning Crusade, we received two new races and had the Alliance receive Shaman while the Horde gained the services of a Paladin order. In Wrath of the Lich King, Death Knights were introduced as tanks and melee DPS. Moving to Mists of Pandaria, we are receiving the new race of the Pandaran. Along with the new race is a new class, the Monk. The Monk represents a brand new style of healing class, adds another melee DPS class, and provides an additional option for tanking. It would seem that we have not had any new additions to the ranks of our ranged DPS. If the question is simply should a new ranged caster be added? Then I would say yes because we have had, in some cases, multiple new roles added for everything save the ranged DPS.

This then brings us to the point of this debate, should the Paladin be given a ranged DPS spec? That is a hard question to answer because it is tied to both the emotions/feelings of the player base and the game design itself. I think given the fact of what Holy Paladins have shown to be capable of doing in terms of DPS, that the spec can be made a reality, but should it? Are we heading in the direction that Hybrid classes should be able to perform all functions in this game? (Tank, Heal, melee DPS, and ranged DPS) Does the ability for classes like the Druid and Paladin represent an unfair advantage to those player who choose to not play these classes? Would it create an imbalance in class representation? These are the questions that truly matter and there is no firm answer because they are going to be answered based upon emotion rather than pure logic.

Logic says that having more classes being able to fill more roles will lead to larger groups of players being able to play the class they love in the way they desire. This is a good thing isn't it? I think the issue for Blizzard is far deeper though. If they give in to the Paladin community, then what about the Shaman community who have (more quietly) asked for an Enhanced build that would allow them to tank once more. What do they say to the Warlocks, whom have been teased with the ability to tank utilizing talents that enhance their demon's abilities? Should they look at the very small minority of Hunters who want to have a Survival build that allows them to duel wield once again with melee weapons? The list can go on literally for eternity.

At the end of the day, I am a Holy Paladin. I have chosen to forgo the glory of landing the killing blow in order to pave the way for my brothers and sisters in arms to land that blow instead. When a difficult foe falls, I stand quietly in the rear of the party and take pride in the fact that no one lost their life. This is the path that I have chosen. I do not want, nor need a caster build; however, I am certainly not opposed to the idea. In fact, I would welcome this concept with open arms. Was it not Blizzard who said, "Bring the player, not the class"

My own opinion is that by opening more roles up to more classes, it stands to only improve the overall game. Should every class be given a fourth spec? Not at first, but I could see it becoming more prevalent as time goes on and opportunities warrant it. I do feel though that Blizzard has been flirting with some of these concepts for quite some time (Warlock Tanks & Paladin Caster DPS) due to talent builds and glyphs that have crept up periodically over the years in betas and PTR patches. As none of us know what will truly happen, I simply offer my own perspective on it and welcome any comments or ideas that you have on this subject. As always, I want to thank you for reading the blog and I hope you have a blessed day! See you guys next time!

Closing In

My goodness I cannot believe that a month has passed since my last post over here! Time has just been flying by and I wish it would slow down just a little. This is just a quick little post to let you all know that I have not forgotten about you and I have a ton of stuff to talk about. In addition to this, I am debating on changing the design of the blog itself. I just do not like how it looks and I want something better! So given enough time and some creativity, I hope to make some major changes around this here place! I hope you all are doing awesome and I will see you all in just a little while!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Use To...

be a blogger, but then I took an arrow to the knee! I haven't forgotten about the blog, but just been slightly busy as of late. The school year is upon us and that means yet another schedule to balance into an already full day. Keep checking in though because I have a lot of stuff to discuss and hopefully, in the near future, we will get back on track! Hope you guys have a great day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can't Get Enough of Somenub

In lieu of having any Minecraft content I am going to share a video I made for a friend. I sat down yesterday to work on my Nub Seeker series, but instead came across some footage of my buddy giving all he had to a fellow guild member. One thing led to another and I ended up spending a couple hours busting out this video for him.



My apologies to the viewers who live in Germany. Apparently the copyright laws prevents the song from being played there. Well, I hope this brought a little smile to your face to begin the work week. I will catch you guys later.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Brunch: Cool

Another Sunday brings another Brunch! I hope you guys had a great week! My week was incredibly busy, but I consider it to be a good busy. The highlight of the week for me was on Wednesday when my new window arrived and was installed. I cannot tell you all how happy this makes me, especially with the record setting heat wave that has this part of the States on lock down.

With the new window installed, I hooked up my window air conditioning unit on Thursday and was happily sitting in air conditioning that night. This also provided me with an urge to actually play video games out here on my main system. I hit the arenas in WoW on Thursday evening with my friends from MAS. I followed that up by raiding Friday night for the first time in months.



This time of year is also a lot of fun because it is the Steam Summer Sale! I patiently wait all year for this to come around because of the deals you can get. Sadly, I believe that today is the next to last day. I hope you guys were all aware of this and picked up some great games. In years past I have jumped as soon as I saw the game I wanted, but not this time around. No, this time I decided I would wait and look at each daily deal and/or flash sale for the games I truly wanted. With this method I was able to pick up several great games at savings of 75% off or more. Some of the games I picked up were: Saints Row the Third (and all downloadable content), A Bunch of Heroes, Orcs Must Die, and Terraria among others. I have a couple other games I am hoping to see as daily deals though so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The only other thing that I have been spending a considerable amount of time on is playing Backyard Monsters on Facebook. I love that game and it has me completely addicted. This week they dropped what could be considered a new content patch where you have to defend your yard against waves of enemies and then after a set amount of waves go and attack the enemy's yard. If you have never heard of the game before, then I would recommend you check it out. I would classify it more as a real time strategy game than anything else. It does have some flaws, but for a free game it is still a lot of fun. Perhaps I should do a review of the game at some point down the road...

Well, I think that about wraps things up for this week. If you guys bought some games from the Summer Steam Sale, then tell me about it in the comment section! Hope you all enjoy what is left of your weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Brunch: The Return

I hope you all are doing great today! The sun is shining outside and it looks to be another beautiful day here. Now if we could ditch the humidity, then it would be a near perfect day. As you all know Sunday is the day that we have brunch and talk a little bit about what has been going on in my life recently. With the disclaimer out of the way, then I am assuming that you are still reading because you are interested in the non-gaming side of my life.

This week marked the return to my job. Now I honestly do not think I have mentioned this in the past, but I had been off work for over four months due to some personal health issues. Without going into the specifics of it, the doctor and I felt that it was a good time to tread the waters and see how the stress of working would go. The good news is that I have not yet snapped and hurt anyone. The bad news is that the steering on my car blew out on the second day back. The end story for this week is that I dealt with the stress of returning to work and the car breaking down without having any sort of health issues creep up. So that is a big plus in my book.

This week also saw the launch of the brand new MAS Gaming Community website. I can honestly say that when it comes to that site, I have very little to do other than try to organize some things and provide feedback. The true credit goes to Haqzore (formerly Scrawny). He came to me a couple weeks back and mentioned he had been working on a new site. We talked about some ideas and then opened up to the rest of the community's staff and I think the end result turned out very well. If you guys get a chance, swing by the site and let us know what you think about it. In the future I plan to spend some time here talking about the community we have, but today is not that day.

In closing I just wanted to say that I appreciate you guys for taking time out of your day and stopping by here. I truly miss when I do not get to post and it feels good to (hopefully) get back on track. Well, go and enjoy what is left of your weekend and I will see you guys later!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Apologies

Have you ever read one of those "How To" types of articles? You know the kind that lists step by step instructions on how to achieve things. Well, I use to way back when I first started blogging. I would seek these articles out and attempt to follow their guidance in hopes of improving myself. I then would fail miserably and begin to loathe myself for being unsuccessful. One thing that was pretty consistent in those type of articles, was the concept of never apologizing for anything.

Fortunately for me, as time progressed, I quit trying to compare myself to the check list of failure and instead worked on just being me. Which by the way, is a full time job! I basically chucked those horrible guides out the window and decided that the world did not need a million clones, but probably could use one more individual. So having said that, I am now going to apologize to all of you for not having content up on my regular schedule.

The last two weeks have been two of the most stressful, nerve wrecking weeks that I have ever had. If it could go wrong, then it did go wrong. The good news is that I survived each disaster and have found myself actually able to laugh them off. So at the end of this short post, I just want to say thank you for your continued support here at the blog and look for much more content in the near future.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

20 - My Favorite WoW Item

Another Thursday has dawned upon us and with it comes another post in the ongoing series of 20! Today's topic is my favorite item in World of Warcraft! This is a really hard question to answer because I think it depends on what character I am playing. Now I could take the easy way out on this and just list my favorite item(s) for Ruhtra because this is a blog about Holy Paladins right? Well, I do not believe in easy and so I am going to attempt to go through all of my characters that I actively use. If you need a bathroom break, then you may want to go before I get into this! I am just kidding, but I am going to break down the list into specific categories like which will be gear, mounts, and vanity pets.

Favorite Gear

This is an extremely difficult decision here because I have a lot of gear scattered across all of my characters; however, at the end of the day I have to go with my single favorite item... Kang the Decapitator! I had this bad boy drop for Ruhtra way back when I was first leveling him in the Hinterlands. At the time, I was in need of a lot of gold in order to complete the quest for my epic mount and Kang fit the bill for earning me a big pay day. I really hated to sell it, but I knew I needed the gold more than a weapon that would become obsolete in the Outland zones. It dropped a second time for me when I was leveling my Hunter in the Hinterlands as well. With no transmogrification around and my Paladin well beyond the level of it being useful, I once again sold the axe. Quite some time later, there was a guild member who had been leveling a Rogue and sure enough, Kang dropped for them. I believe this was during the early days of Wrath. The Rogue did not want the item and was having a hard time selling it on the auction house. I stepped in with an offer to trade them an old world epic dagger for Kang. They agreed since the dagger would be useful for them. I was ecstatic to say the least. I immediately sent the axe to my Warrior, Muel. To this day, Muel has it safely stored within his bank where some day in the future he will transmogrify other weapons to resemble my favorite piece of gear.

Some other items that were considered were: my current transmogrified gear set on Ruhtra (made to look like a Blood Knight), my Warrior's (Galran) complete Scarlet Crusade gear set, the bow from Kara that my Hunter (Lrem) uses for transmogrification, and Quel'delar (Ruhtra). While all of these items are awesome and somewhat difficult to obtain, I feel Kang the Decapitator wins hand down due to the history of the axe with me and also the rarity of the old epic world drops.

Favorite Mount

While some items might create much more debate, the Time Lost Proto Drake wins hand down here. Of all the mounts I have, this is the only mount that cannot be earned. It can only be obtained by luck. The only other mounts that would give it a run for the money would be the old ZA and ZG mounts; however, I do not have them and so there is no competition in my stable for favored mount.

Favorite Vanity Pet

This category is by far the hardest for me to choose from because I use different pets for each of my characters and they all are special to me because of this; however, I must select one who shall rule the others. I believe that I shall have to go with my little Teldrassil Sproutling. I call him my pocket healer and anywhere the Ru goes, so too goes he. Mr. Grubbs came in a close second though due to his leaping for joy!

So you guys now know my favorites. What item gives you the most pride in World of Warcraft? Leave your comments and share you stories! I will catch you guys tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Here in the States we spend this day, July 4th, celebrating the birth of this great nation. So for those of you that read the blog here in the States, have a happy and sage fourth of July!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Too Hot for Brunch!

Alright, so I have been attempting to write this post now for about an hour or so. You see I am a creature of habit. I have certain routines I like to follow. If something throws me off though, I then suffer and have a very difficult time regaining my focus. Enter now the ridiculous heatwave that has settled on a large part of the States. Now the heat is not really too bad given the proper precautions of drinking plenty of water and attempting to stay cool. The cool part has got me slightly baffled. My newly established office is lacking an air conditioner. It is also lacking a window that opens. This basically makes it comparable to the "box" in prison movies.


The good news is that I did talk to a contractor who has ordered the window and once it arrives he will be out to install it. I then shall be able to add a window air conditioning unit and avert any more heat issues. Now had he only responded sooner to my original call, I could have avoided undue sweating...

So I was thinking the other day that things could not get worse. I should really learn not to think such things as Murphy's Law always comes back to haunt me. I was attempting to have a semi-peaceful day on Sunday when my wife came out to my office. It was not a "I want to hang out" type of visit though. No, it was a "my computer just blew up kind of visit". I head inside to investigate the issue and it would appear that the second brand new video card has fried itself. Well, at least that is my assumption. I am trying to get one of my brother's friends to come out and provide me with his professional opinion... for free. If it is the video card, then I think I am going to just buy one separate from the company where the computer was purchased. I hate to spend additional funds on it (because I do not have the extra money), but I also do not want a very expensive paper weight sitting on my wife's desk.

Of course with her new computer out of action, I now have an office buddy. Well, they say misery loves company and I cannot think of anything more miserable than hundred degree temperatures with high humidity and no air conditioning. At least I have a nice refrigerator with plenty of cold drinks in it. On a side note, you can most assuredly expect a review of the experience I have had with buying this alleged "gaming" PC from a "gaming" PC company. Lesson learned, I should have just built the computer myself.

So that pretty much sums up my weekend. Well, aside from an afternoon doctor's appointment on Saturday. With the oppressive heat and computer frustration, I just decided to attempt to relax for what little bit of the weekend was left and write Sunday Brunch today. You guys don't mind though do you? Anyone else suffering through this heatwave beside me? If so, share you story because misery truly does love company. Stay cool guys and I will catch you guys tomorrow!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Forum Fridays: Pot

 Hello everyone! I hope you guys are doing great today. It is extremely hot here where I live and if you guys are feeling that effect, then I hope you are able to find somewhere nice and cool. You guys all know that Fridays equal forums around here and today I have one that made me laugh when I read it. I hope you guys enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

20 - Your Best WoW Memory

Good day to you all! Another Thursday brings another edition of 20! Today's topic is to describe my best WoW memory. This is a hard one actually because there are just so many good memories I have had over the years. As I sit here thinking about it, there are a couple that are battling it out in my mind for top honors.

Naked Tauren Hat Dance


This basically was a night of fun that ended in Nagrand at Garadar where several of us ended up naked with only Don Carlos' Hat adorned upon our bodies. I honestly cannot even remember why we were there or what was going on. What I do know is much fun was had by all and every now and then someone calls out for a naked Tauren hat dance.

RUN!


This one is memorable only because it involved a rather large scale world PVP battle that started in Hilldbrad and raged across a whole lot of zones. It was your typical battle from back in the day, we attacked South Shore and then the Alliance responded by fighting us back to Tarren Mill. Something though went horribly wrong on this particular night because we ended up getting steam rolled in the fields between the two cities.

We made several attempts to regroup, but quite frankly were just getting our asses pounded by a much larger and equally geared Alliance group. Finally a few of us were able to get up and get to safety, me being one of them. However, I felt bad because the Alliance were still camping our friends and guild mates. So myself and one other person decided we would lure the Alliance away by running through the middle of them. This worked somewhat well, but took a few passes to get them all to give chase. Now usually at this point in the night, the Alliance players would only chase for a while before becoming bored and going on about their business. This night was not one of those nights! I do not remember how, but I ended up alone being chased by at least twenty Alliance players. I ran through no less than seven zones with them chasing. At one point I rode into Silverpine Forest and /yelled RUN to my friends and guild mates who were chilling at the Seplechur. The downside to that was that they were no longer flagged for combat; whereas, I kept running into PVP zones, thus keeping myself flagged. I do not remember how long I ran, but it is the stuff of humorous tails now told to new members.

Well, I could go on reminiscing about the old times and all the fun I had, but what about you guys? What memory stands out in your mind as one of the most fun times you have ever had in the game? Well, I think that does it for me today, I will see you all tomorrow! Hope you have a great rest of your day!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

(MoP) Mists of Pandaria: Holy Paladin - Level 15

I hope you are all doing absolutely wonderful today! The sun is shining here where I live and this puts me in a great mindset to talk about Holy Paladins and the Light! So let's do a minor disclaimer here that what we are discussing today is as of the current build on the beta for MoP. Please keep in mind that as the days begin to pass, this information may in fact become outdated. With that in mind, today we are going to take a look at what happens when you hit level 15 as a Paladin who happens to be a follower of the Light.


At level 15 you become eligible to select your first talent ability. I am going to assume that you are aware of the changes being introduced with the new Talent system and so we are going to forgo any discussion regarding that. The choices for level 15 are: Speed of Light, Long Arm of the Law, and Pursuit of Justice. The underlying theme of these three talent selections is going to be maneuverability and speed. So the first thing I want to do is provide you with the details for each spell.

Speed of Light - This ability will consume 3.5% of your base mana. It is an instant cast spell with a one minute cooldown. Upon use the ability increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds.

Long Arm of the Law - This ability is passive, which means that it activates any time that you successfully use your judgement spells. Upon the successful use of Judgement, your movement speed will increase by 45% for three seconds.

Pursuit of Justice - This ability is a passive ability that provides a flat 10% movement speed at all times. In addition to this flat increase, it will also provide you with an additional 10% movement speed per current charge of Holy Power. This bonus will be provided up to a stacked maximum of 3.

These three talents provide a very similar bonus on the surface, but how you will use each is what will ultimately decide which you choose to go with. Right now I am leaning very heavily on using Pursuit of Justice for my leveling and beginning PVE content. I like the consistency of the talent and the overall buff is nice to have while traveling during quests, especially with not being able to fly until level 90. The harder decision is in terms of PVP. As a Holy Paladin, we spend most of our time pole humping and positioning ourselves away from our opponents. So naturally both Long Arm of the Law and Speed of Light should be considered. The question is which one to use?

The answer to that question is going to factor in a lot of things such as your composition, are running random battlegrounds or playing in an organized setting where communication is good, and you personal style of play. As I have no way of (or desire) to write about the first two, we are going to talk about the later. When approaching being a Holy Paladin in PVP, there are two conventional schools of play. The first being just a straight healer. I would classify this person as someone who specs for healing and the ability to survive above all else. The second would be the Holy Paladin who will use their offensive abilities during a fight. 

To me the clear cut winner between these two talents in PVP is going to be Long Arm of the Law. My thought behind this is that most Paladins will judge as often as possible. There are multiple benefits to this that will become apparent as we go deeper into the talent tree. In addition to the talents that become available, we have a base ability in Holy Insight which provides us many bonuses, not the least of which is an increase of 15% hit rating for our Judgement spell. With that ability, we are only looking at being slowed down for three seconds before we can judge again.

Now I do not want to appear biased, so let's talk a little bit about Speed of Light. The one positive thing going for it is that it is not on the global cooldown. This means you can hit this ability whenever you need it. That is extremely useful and should not be discounted. The downside is that right now it is showing up as being part of the holy magic spell school and as such it can be removed from you. So combine that with its incredible one minute cooldown and that large speed boost, in my opinion, is not nearly as great as it seems.

Now I realize this is my pure opinion and as such is completely open for debate. As a matter of fact, I would love to hear your thoughts about these three talents. As always you can leave them as a comment or email me directly at Ruhtra@HolyShock.com. I hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your day, and I will see you guys tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5 O'Clock!

Yup, I started writing this post today at 5 PM! My day has just ran away from me and as such there will be no Holy Paladin post today. The good news is that I will instead be posting that tomorrow. Unless something major changes, we will be continuing our look at Holy Paladins in the MoP beta. So make sure and check in tomorrow for that.

Due to my inability to get the post up today, I was thinking about how better to streamline my schedule. Here lately I have definitely taken a lot more on and in the next couple weeks, things are even going to get more busy. Soooooo... I am thinking that I am going to keep Monday as my dedicated Minecraft day. The only catch here is that there will either need to be some sort of Minecraft related update in the game itself, or I will have to have actually completed something in my own game that justifies writing a post. In the event that this does not happen, Mondays may just be a random type post day.

Now Tuesdays I have wanted to spend dedicated to Paladins, but I find that typically I need a day between regular series to actually have time to study the subject at hand. So with that in Mind, I am moving my Holy Paladin posts to Wednesday. I believe this will work fine for the foreseeable future.

Thursdays are good with the 20 series as is. That series I can write up ahead of time and does not require any research or in depth thinking. I like that.

Fridays have become the day for forums. I like this and I plan to expand on this. I am going to not just pick silly forums, but I inted to expand it to any forum that I feel has a good subject to it. Now in practice, this should focus mostly on WoW, but if a good forum pops up somewhere else, then we may speak about that. I definitely want to keep it gaming focused though.

I think the series that has surprised me the most has been the reviews I have done on Saturdays. I have received a lot of positive feedback on these, and so I will continue to do this. I have some additional thoughts on things I would like to do with this, but I am going to save those for one of my random days.

Sundays are pretty much reserved for me. I have no real goal here and I am still sorting out how I want to handle these posts, but for the time being expect them to focus purely on me and what all I am invovled in.

Well, guys I am heading out for the evening. Hope you guys had a great day and I will see you all tomorrow!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Brunch That Wasn't

Hello everyone and welcome to a special Monday edition of Sunday Brunch! I hope you all are doing well today and starting yourselves off with a good week! I have a lot to talk about today and so I am just going to jump right into it alright?

First thing is that Minecraft Monday has been on hiatus due to my lack of getting anything done. Unfortunately, my free time is limited and I have to choose which games and projects to invest my time into and Minecraft is rather low on that list right now for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that I am working on an extremely large scale project pretty much all by myself. Now I could take pictures, but I do not think me clearing a one hundred block by one hundred block area would make for very good viewing. I do have some ideas for some other Minecraft related stuff, but I am nor sure if I want to pursue those here on the blog or through YouTube. So for the time being, just expect that Minecraft Mondays will probably be more on a bi-monthly basis for the foreseeable future.

The second thing on my list of "stuff" is the guild transfer. I really did not say much about it here on the blog, but for the last month the officers (first), then the entire guild held a month long debate over whether the guild should consider transferring servers. The end result was the transfer of the guild from Daggerspine to Kil'Jaeden. From the guild standpoint, it just made sense to leave a server that was dead. From a personal standpoint, I really hate it. I hate that I am leaving behind some good people who simply cannot afford to transfer (or do not want to). I hate that I am leaving behind a stable of characters that have had a lot of time invested into them. Most of all I hate that Blizzard has allowed their servers to degrade in such a manner. Too little, too late and they reap the rewards of the transfer. That having been said, I do plan to write a review of the guild transfer feature probably for this Saturday's post. If you are interested in learning a little bit about the process and how it "actually" works as opposed to "should" work, then check back on Saturday.

When the decision was made to transfer the guild from the server, I had reached out to a friend to see if they could create a video for the move. They said they would, but time was running out and my own quirks had me create the video. I actually really enjoyed making the video and was impressed with how well it turned out. Typically a video will take me around a day or two for editing and what not, but I cranked that thing out overnight last Wednesday. I definitely saw some things I didn't like, but at the end of the day I was extremely satisfied with it. Make sure and check it out on the MASGamingCommunity YouTube channel or on the upper right hand (currently) side of the screen.

The third thing on my hit list of brunch items is that I am completely horrible at making banners for the website. The only thing I really like about the newest one up top is that the light is casting shadows on Ruhtra. I am not going to bore you with the details, but I probably have created five or six different banners just to arrive at the one above... which I dislike. So look for additional changes to keep taking place up there. You know what, let me share with you some of the lowlights of my work!


As you can see, these are just three of the "didn't make the cut" list. Okay, so maybe I talk a little bit about what I was thinking with them. The top one I was trying to create a casting pose where a blast of "holy energy" would come out and have Holy Shock spelled out within it. I never made it to the editing it because I felt it looked horrible enough as it was. The second banner, which I actually like in a way, is more of a picture than anything else. My thought was to make something that looked like the "Hollywood" sign, but with a beam of holy light getting ready to be blasted at you. I do not know why I thought of this, nor do I know why I thought a "Hollywood" style sign would be cool. The third banner was a direct result of the second banner. While I didn't like the sign idea, I thought replacing the "O" with a bright ball of holy energy (aka sunburst) would look cool. It did look nice, but it made the immediate background go completely yellow. The one I finally chose, took the sunburst and placed it in Ruhtra's hands, like I was getting ready to Holy Shock your ass. My issue with it is that I now do not like the font type I chose. I do think I have a font type that looks better and would work with the overall feel for the blog. So look for a change to the banner eventually.

The fourth item on my list of things today is along the lines of the banners. I actually had been debating on opening up an online T-Shirt shop for quite some time. I was just extremely lazy, but while working on yet another side project finally decided to open the shop. Right now I have two designs posted up, but I have a lot of ideas in my mind and as I find the time to create them/commission them (I am looking at you Edy), I will add more. I will eventually add a link to the store somewhere around the blog. More than likely to the upper right side of the blog.

The side project which led me to deciding to open an online T-Shirt store was the desire to create a character image for a character biography page. Stay with me because this is going to get a little confusing. You see, over at the guild's forums we added a role playing section a while back. In this section we invite registered forum users to participate in open role play (such as the Whiskey Jar) or to create stories along or in select groups. We also have a section for character biographies. I have written a couple small pieces here and there. As such I felt it would be fun to bring those biographies over here to the blog under a section that highlights my characters. In preparation of that, I wanted to create some images of my characters in different gear sets and poses, and thus that led to my eventual decision for the T-Shirts. I did manage to create one character image that I really liked as well. Of course this led to me creating a poster like image as well.

Now with all of this time being used for all of these side projects, it has slightly hampered my recently launched YouTube series, The Nub Seeker. The good news is that I still have a few more quests that I have the video footage for already. I do however need to go in and add the audio commentary to the videos and then edit everything so that it looks half way decent. My goal with YouTube really is just to have fun and do something different. That is the big reason behind my choosing a Warrior to earn a title by doing something I simply hate. In truth, I am hoping to actually understand Warriors better by leveling straight through. I also have to admit that the quests that I have done since leveling new characters have really been well done. So no complaints there either. At any rate, keep your eye on the YouTube channel or on the tab here that I will continue to embed the episodes into.

I have a couple other things I am considering doing with YouTube, but I am hesitant only because of the time it takes to produce a video. I cannot imagine how long it takes people who really machinimate their videos. I have a whole new level of respect for them. One thing you can be sure of, if I do decide to work on any other YouTube series, then you guys here will be the first to know about it.

I have lost track of what number I am on, but I did want to see that I have both a Facebook and Twitter account for Holy Shock now. If you guys want to follow or friend me through those services then feel free to do so. I am not too big into the whole social networking thing, but I am trying... definitely trying.

Well, I think I hit all of the important stuff that has been going on with me. I hope you guys like these little informative posts as much as I like doing them. Make sure and add the blog to your RSS reader so you don't miss any posts. As always if you guys have any comments, questions, suggestions, then drop me a note in the comments section or send me an email at Ruhtra@HolyShock.com. I will see you guys later!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Reviews: FTWitachi

I am going to be straight up honest with you guys today and let you know that I sadly have not had the time to sit down and prepare anything for today. This was largely due to the transferring of my guild from its old server (Daggerspine). With the transfer, I wanted to do a video sort of highlighting what the guild had accomplished in the past and to get the members pumped for the future. If you missed the video then check it out here. The video took a lot more time than I had expected and actually caused me to fall behind on several projects (blog articles, fan fiction stories, my own video series, etc.).
 
I however do not like to see too many days pass without a post around here and so then the thought hit me... it is a review day right? Well, why not review a YouTube channel? So today we are going to take a look at a guy who had made a forum request on the official WoW forums. Now first let me say that I rarely ever go to any channels that are posted up in the WoW forums. I made an exception and so let's see what I found.
 


 
So having watched the entire video, here are the things I feel that were done very well:

  • Intro - I think one of the biggest things that can set someone apart from the plethora of play throughs and instructional videos is a nice introduction. Now that introduction could be a logo with some theme music or a nice animated piece, but it tells me that you take some pride in your channel and you put some work into it.
  • Video Quality - One of the first things I look for in a video is the ability to switch the mode to 1080p or 720p at the least. I paid a decent amount of money for my monitor and I want to view videos in it that put its technology to work. This really falls into that whole area of taking pride in what you do, and to me if you don't care enough about the viewer to make your video look good, then I am probably going to not return to view further videos.
  • Focused - I like the fact that the video is extremely focused on one particular topic, in this case running a dungeon in the MoP beta. I hate when you search for a video (which I do often) and the title is vague or has nothing to do with the video being shown.

Just as there are some things which were done well, I definitely feel there are some things which could be improved upon:

  • Voice - At the beginning of the video and certain parts during the video, it is difficult to hear what is being said. Now this could be due to using a headset instead of a an actual mic. Now this is not a deal breaker, but if you are looking to grow your audience it is definitely something to consider investing some funds into. A good mic is available starting around $80 (US).  
  • Strategy - During the portions where instruction on the boss fight is provided it sounded more like it was being read. Now this is definitely not a bad thing because it was all good information, but I like when people take something like that and make it their own and not sound so scripted. 
  • Credit - This is more of a suggestion than a negative. If you are wanting to get more involved with YouTube (trying to make it into a job), then you want to make sure that everything you use is either creative commons or covered under a general usage license. For example, in the MAS Rising video that was done, the song there was used under a creative commons license and properly marked in the information of the video. The WoW video footage is permissible under Blizzard's video usage policy as well, but they like to have you let everyone know that. This can also save you some headaches with YouTube later on.
So my final thoughts are that I think this particular YouTube producer shows some promise. The trick to anything though is to continue working on it constantly, which it sounds like he is. At the end of the day, making any type of video game commentary, walk throughs, play throughs, guides, etc., is never easy and the market is flooded with so many. You really have to find a way to get your name out there in order to even get someone to take a look at your channel. So in closing, my recommendation is that if you enjoy seeing guides on the beta, then you might want to take a look at what this channel is producing. I definitely think that they take some pride in their work and any support shown can only help them to continue working to produce even better material.

Now that I have spent all that time reviewing their video, I now feel like my The Nub Seeker series has a whole lot of work that needs to be done! I guess I know what I will be working on later this weekend! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BREAKING NEWS

I have alluded to it in prior posts. I have hinted at it in round about ways. Now I am coming out and announcing that MAS is moving!

20 - Your First Day Playing WoW

With Thursday comes another post in the series of 20 questions! Today's questions wants me to describe my first day of playing WoW. That has been so long ago, but I do remember some of it. It really all begins around the end of my playing Everquest. I had been really bored since quitting and was looking for something new to fill my spare time. One day at work, I overheard a group of my friends talking and laughing about something that they had been playing recently. You guess it! It was WoW.

As I listened to them, I couldn't help but feel compelled to play. I resisted for quite some time, but after much prodding I finally went out to a local store and bought myself a copy. Now I did not tell them that I had done so because I wanted it to be a surprise of sorts. My thinking was that I would level my character in secret and then reveal that I was playing. From talking with them at work, I knew the server they played on and so I installed the discs and waited patiently for the game to load.

Upon the game loading, I decided I would create a Dwarf! I loved the little guys and at the time did not realize that my friends were all on the Horde side. So I zoned in for the first time and ran around killing rabbits, because that is what we all do! Right? I had a lot of fun and so thus ended my first day of playing WoW.

How about you guys? Anyone want to share a story of their first day? If so drop a comment letting us know or a link to your own blog where you share the story! Thanks for reading guys and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(MoP) Mists of Pandaria: Black Market Auction House

Hello all and happy hump day! There has been a lot of information coming out lately about the beta that covers a wide variety of things. I had actually written up a pretty lengthy post about the Black Market Auction House and my belief that people are blowing things out of proportion for nothing. Then I came across the following post on the WoW forums by Zarhym and decided it actually stated everything I felt in a much more civil way. So enjoy!

No one should count on this even being close to a viable option for gearing up a character. If you can raise that kind of gold in the game, you're going to have much better success paying your way into raids for gear than hoping the right items appear for you in the black market AH (which doesn't include set pieces), hoping you can afford to outbid everyone else on your realm, and hoping you're the last one to bid before the auction ends.

Sure, it'll have some of the best rewards for sale. But that doesn't mean it'll be remotely reliable for one person to gear up quickly. It's the black market, after all. :)

Ultimately the system is going to benefit the extremely wealthy and the extremely lucky. But in all likelihood the benefits won't at all be consistent, even for those who can pony up the gold.



That right there pretty much wrapped everything up nice and tight in my opinion. Yes, people are still going to complain and cry unfair, but that is the nature of these glorious interwebs is it not? In the end of the day, I believe that this new auction house is going to be a good thing and only time will truly be able to tell how this turns out.

In other news, you may have noticed that I added a new page here at Holy Shock! That is right, I have added a page where you can go to view the ongoing series entitled The Nub Seeker. I just wanted to say that I appreciated everyone who took the time to watch any of the episodes. If you guys haven't check it out, then please do so. Also feel free to comment, rate, and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Well guys, I think I have taken up enough of your time today, hope you guys have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(MoP) Mists of Pandaria: Holy Paladin - GC Speaks

So I was preparing to continue on talking about the class as it stands currently in MoP Beta; however, there has been a very good discussion occurring on the forums. During the debate, GC popped in and said the following:

A few things:

It's hard just to compare heal costs and numbers without looking at the whole package. Paladin heals tend to be expensive because so much of their healing costs no mana. Likewise, we don't balance around perfect Beacon transference, but you can't ignore it either.

If you look at how much paladins actually heal in a fight though, it should be pretty competitive with the other healers. I know that's not easy to look at right now on beta, but it will get easier once A) raids are open, B) we enable mods again, C) more theorycrafters conclude that we aren't fiddling with numbers so much so that their time isn't being wasted. (We aren't fiddling with numbers nearly so much, so maybe that will encourage some theorycrafters).

Remember though, that each healer is different. Example: Resto shaman look great on fights where everyone can cluster for Healing Rain and Chain Heal and any time everyone stays very wounded for very long.

Because paladins have so many mana-free heals, they actually can't subsist on fumes as long as other healers. If every healer decided just to cast their Holy Light equivalent and nothing else, paladins would go out of mana faster. Now there shouldn't be any situations where you really heal like that.

Two concerns that I think warrant us looking at further are the healing of Holy Radiance and the crit chance of Holy Shock. We nerfed Holy Radiance so that Light of Dawn can be stronger -- it feels weird when the "finisher" is puny compared to the "builder." On the other hand, healers don't always have the luxury to wait for the finisher before doing some heavy healing.  We've heard a lot of feedback that Holy Radiance is a little weak, so we'll take a look at it.

As far as Holy Shock goes, it did suffer from the pruning of many of the passive talents and glyphs that gave it such a high crit rate. In a vacuum, it doesn't need a high crit chance. It is an instant, relatively cheap heal that delivers on Holy Power. You're going to want to push it. But we agree that Infusion of Light is intended to help mix up what heals you cast and that it needs to proc at a reasonable rate.

I would encourage you all to go and read this forum as it contains a lot of relevant information regarding where things stand currently. As for me, I am going to take a wait and see approach with our healing. It has been my experience, that we Holy Paladins, tend to have to completely learn a new style of healing every expansion., and so right now this is just par for the course. If I were to be concerned about anything it would be our longevity. As GC stated, our spells tend to cost quite a bit (and with good cause), but with the current amount of mana regeneration I am unsure if we will be able to comfortably heal tanks at the beginning of the next expansion. I do believe though that for the time being, we need to not rage on the forums, but rather supply our genuine concerns and feedback to the design team. After that, all we can do is wait and see.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Satruday Reviews: New Artwork!

Around here we review things on Saturdays! This Saturday I have some artwork that is up for review. It all started out as a silly little joke and then it just slowly turned into an idea in my head and I just had to have it made. So I spoke with Edy from over at Code Red and asked (commissioned as the artist kids call it) her to make me a design with the only stipulation being the theme of a "Boomkin in a bush".

I have to admit that I was blown away by what she came up with. I also have to admit that she is a hell of an artist and I would highly recommend her if you are looking to have something created. I say created because she took my little stipulation and created the awesome piece below!

I mean seriously, is that not an awesome drawing? Now I did not tell her that I would be doing this, but if you like the style of this drawing and want to view some of her other art, then go check her out here!

She has been working really hard on some personal projects and I am pretty sure that you guys may find her other artwork to be just as good. Also before you ask, no her other artwork is not big eyed cute little critters. If you want to learn more then make sure and check out the link I posted. If you want something drawn, then send her a request through her sight or via our forums and I am sure she would be happy to speak with you and see if some sort of arrangement cannot be made.

As for this little guy, I am working on having him made into a poster for my wall! Yes, I really do like him that much. Alright, I think my time of giving free advertising to friends is over for today. I hope you guys have a great weekend and do not forget to go and check out her art work!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Forum Fridays: Paladins Need Buffing!

I think that the picture pretty much says it all! What! You disagree? Tell me why in the comments section! Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

20 - Why Did You Start A Blog?

It is Thursday and that means another edition of the limited series I have titled 20! Today's topic question is why did I start a blog? Well, the really simple answer to this is that I did not feel there was a lot of Holy Paladins out there blogging at the time. I believe I even stated that way back in one of the very first posts I ever wrote around here. Well, since that time I have taken a couple of breaks here and there. So let's change the question to this:

Why did you resume writing your blog?


1. Passion

I think passion is a good word to describe the biggest reason for my return. I like how the Merrium-Webster Dictionary defines it: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. Those are extremely descriptive and powerful words, but they do describe how much I truly do enjoy writing.

I remember that when I was growing up, I always loved to write. Whether it was playing school as a child or attempting to keep a journal as a teen. I just enjoyed writing. The only thing was that I enjoyed writing about what I wanted to and not want someone wanted me to. This attitude caused me many an issue during my junior year of high school. I had a teacher, whom every year decided that they needed to save a student. That particular year, it was my turn to be the student. I had this teacher for both my English class and my Journalism class... talk about bad luck!

In English, the teacher wanted us to keep a journal. They wanted us to write about the days activity and to share any personal insight about things we may have been feeling at the time. This completely went against my own beliefs and so every day I would write, "Today was a good day." This did not sit well with the teacher, but it did get me passing grades and allowed me to sidestep their intentions.

The Journalism class was much more difficult to deal with though. She had heard that I did some comics on the side for fun and wanted me to do this for the school's paper. In truth, the comics she had heard about were stick figures of varying degrees of inappropriate jokes. Due to my refusal to do the comics she threatened me with a failing grade. There was only one other option presented to me, and that was writing an editorial piece each and every weak for the school news paper. It was during this time that I truly fell in love with writing opinion based pieces. As much as I hate to credit this teacher with anything, I must admit that they did open my eyes to the joy of writing.

As much as I enjoyed writing, I never really considered it anything more than just something to do when bored. Upon graduating high school, I attended college with the goal of graduating with a business degree. During my freshman year, I took a blocked group of courses. What this did was basically allowed me to take classes with the same group of people and have the instructors of those courses plan the courses more to the direction of business than what they normally would.

It was here, during my English 101 course that I came across a professor who really changed my mind. They had provided us with an assignment to write about a place that we spent a lot of time at. I chose to write about the common grounds of the college campus as I spent several hours between classes there. To this day I still remember the sights and sounds of that place. At any rate, I wrote my paper and the professor simply loved the paper. They loved it so much they asked if I would mind if they had placed into an annual book they published about the campus. I had no issues with that and really appreciated the insight that the professor shared with me throughout the remainder of that course. My only regret is that I never actually purchased the book that the paper was published in. Talk about stupid decisions as a youth.

It is really these two stories which cemented my passion for writing and the blog is the avenue in which I get to release that passion and that is the single biggest reason that I returned to writing here at Holy Shock.

2. Unfinished Business

I am a driven person in life. I hate the feeling that I did not give something everything that I have. When I started writing the blog, I really had no huge plans for the blog aside from just writing. During this time I had also changed jobs, lost my Father, and moved. Those are three huge events that will change your life in ways that you really cannot fully ever be prepared for. To have them hit all at once in that order was extremely difficult for me to deal with. Two things really helped me through that stretch of time: 1) Friends/Family, and 2) Writing.

I poured myself into the blog at first, but because of everything that was going on around me I never felt as though I was able to give 100% of myself to the blog. I think this is evidenced by how much time passed between posts and how random some of the posts truly were back then.

I came back to Holy Shock because I do not want the past to be the representation of who I am. I want people to come to Holy Shock and know that they are going to find something here every day. Do I expect to have Pulitzer stuff written up? Doubtful, because that is not who I am. What I do expect to have up is stuff that comes from the heart and that shows there was some thought put into it. Will every day be a thought provoking post? I doubt it, but I want you to want to check the blog every day to make sure though.

So there you go, those are the two main driving forces behind why I returned to blogging and writing here at Holy Shock. I appreciate you guys stopping in and reading the blog and if you have any questions for me that you would like to see answered, then leave me a comment or email me at Ruhtra@HolyShock.com. Hope you guys have a great day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Bold New Era!

So some of you may know that I have a YouTube channel. If not... now you do. I really have never done much with the channel other than watch videos. I believe at one point I had a couple of our guild's promo videos posted up, but not much else. Well, I have been wanting to get more involved with YouTube for quite some time and I finally decided to just go ahead and take the plunge!

I decided that for my very first YouTube video I would do something that is completely out of character for me... quest! In this, my very first ever video series, I am going to take a little level one female Troll and have her go on a journey to become the Seeker! Three thousand quests is a lot of quests and this is an achievement that I have not earned on my main character even.

My initial goal is simply to do a single quest per video. You may be wondering why? Well, the reason is that I am afraid of a quest reset liken to what happened with Cataclysm. If I stick to one quest per video, then it will become much easier to track in the event of something horrible happening. Now I realize that some quests, like those found in dungeons, are best done in tandem, and so those I will definitely do together.

I believe I mentioned it in the video itself, but I am not making this an Iron Man character. So I am accepting any and all help. Wink wink, nudge nudge! In truth I am actually looking forward to this because so much of the original zones have changed since the last time I had a low level character. In addition to the changes that I completely missed out on, there is the fact that we are at the end of the expansion and while I could focus videos on the MoP beta, I just feel my time is best spent doing something different and fun.

As of right now, I have no actual idea on how often these videos will come out simply due to my schedule being all over the place right now. In a perfect world we would be looking at two to three per week. I do not live in a perfect world though. No, I live in a completely screwed up and crazy world that never seems to go along with what I think would be good. So, I am only going to say that I will attempt to get them out as often as I can.

With all of that having been said, I am going to ask you guys to support me and subscribe to the channel and let me know if there is something you would like to see while I am attempting this crazy thing! As always I appreciate your support here at the blog and in the brand new endeavor over at YouTube. Now without further delay, I present to you Episode Number 1: Rise of the Darkspear!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

(MoP) Mists of Pandaria: Holy Paladin - Core Abilities


Today marks a historic day here at Holy Shock! It is the day , that we return to our roots and focus on being a Holy Paladin! From this Tuesday and every Tuesday going forward, we will begin to dive into the Mists of Pandaria beta and learn what it is to be a Holy Paladin!



As basic as this sounds, today we are going to look at what Blizzard considers to be our core abilities. One thing I noticed right away is that Blizzard took the time to create a tab with the core abilities for each class' spec. On the tab is listed that spec's core abilities and a very simple explanation of what that ability is used for. (See above) So let's take a look now at the core abilities for a Holy Paladin!

1. Holy Shock

This is an instant cast ability which can either damage an enemy or heal an ally. It will also generate a charge of Holy Power. The thing that is important for new Holy Paladins to remember is that they need to cast this ability EVERY time it is available. If you learn nothing else from this post, then learn this.

2. Flash of Light

This is a quick cast heal that requires a large amount of mana. One of the biggest mistakes I see is when a new Holy Paladin becomes rattled and resorts to casting this heal versus any other. It is a knee jerk reaction that will lead you to /oom very quickly in PVE situations.

3. Holy Light

I think the screenshot above does not do a very good job of describing this spell. While this is a cheap heal, it is also your main heal. You want to use this often and freely. So long as the incoming damage does not require a larger heal or quicker heal.

4. Divine Light

This is the heavy artillery of our healing book. You will switch to this heal when large amounts of damage is coming in on your target. (Hopefully this will be the tank so mitigation helps you out!) Be just as careful when using this heal as you are with Flash of Light, as it too has a large mana requirement as well. Take note though that its cast time is the same as Holy Light.

5. Word of Glory

What is not to love about a free heal? As soon as you three charges of Holy Power, you mash that hot key, click that button, activate the mouse over macro... well you get the point right? This is the reason that you want to cast Holy Shock every time it is available. Free heals are a good thing.

6. Beacon of Light

This spell has always been one of my favorites due to its simplicity and complexity. Its simplicity is in the design. You cast it on your target and that target receives a portion of every heal you are casting. The complexity comes in mastering who to have it on at what time to ensure maximum benefit.

So there you have it! These are the core abilities of a Holy Paladin as it currently stands in the Mists of Pandaria beta. I realize that this is really basic, but this is deliberate. I want to make sure and take the time to go over the basics of being a Holy Paladin in a way that is extremely easy to understand for the beginner. As always, thank you for reading and don't forget to comment with any questions or suggestions!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mine... Not Today!

So it has been a little bit of time since I last posted and my apologies for that. Today's post is just a quick one to let you know that things are starting back up after our brief break. I hope you all are doing well and I will see you guys tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still Holding

Hey guys I hope you all are doing well. I had some stuff come up over the last few days which has kept me slightly more busy than I had anticipated. To that end, expect regular posts to resume beginning this coming week. Thanks for the understanding!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Servers Are Down!

Every game I have tried to play today has resulted in some sort of "Weekly Maintenance" or "Error". I think I may need to find me some new games! Any suggestions? Well, in lieu of having been extremely lazy and not having take the proper time to prepare a post for today, I leave you with my Moon Guard experience...


Monday, May 28, 2012

Minecraft Mondays! 5.28.12

I just want to wish everyone in the States a happy Memorial Day. Stay safe out there today people! Now then, it is a Monday after all and with it being a Monday, that means we need to talk about some Minecraft stuff! This week I put in a lot of work over on our MAS World and here is the results!

I had originally just being piling up a lot of dirt back there because I figured I would not really do much in that direction. I promised myself when I dug my first little hole into the ground that I would not undertake any huge projects. Yeah, we all see how that worked for me huh?

Well, with my building projects getting closer to the giant pile of dirt, I had to come up with something to do with it right? Well, one night I was watching some sort of political commentary and they had the Washington Monument in the background. Then the idea hit me to create a MAS Monument. With this in mind, I used a ton of cobblestone, glass, and lava and built up the monument itself. I then felt it needed something more. That is when it hit me to put the water in, but according to my standards, everything must have fire!

I believe the dimensions are 73 blocks in length, by 15 blocks in width. I dug down four block layers in order to have enough room to lay down the netherblock and have room for the fire on top of it. I had originally intended to use glowstones for this, but felt the fire fit in better with the overall feel of how I prefer to build things. The worst part of all of this was the removal of the terrain in the area. It was a very hilly area and thus I spent most of my time digging and picking my way through the landside. At the end of the day, I feel it turned out great. It looks completely awesome at night in my opinion, and it serves to help me not become lost as I venture out to survey the ground for other projects!

Speaking of other projects, I have two in mind at the moment. The first being creating an actual city which surrounds my current building project. Now this may get a little tricky as I have several people who have built extremely close to where I am currently at. I will need to get with them in order to make sure that they do not mind the thought of a massive city springing up all around them. The second project is to create a very large version of a well known store. This is something that may or may not come to pass. It really just depends on my frame of mind and if I can get it all worked out in my mind. For now, I am making plans for the city as it is something I feel is more manageable. Only time will tell for sure. If anyone out there has any suggestions, or even a challenge for me to build something, then feel free to post it in the comments section! Well guys, that wraps up the post for today, time for me to go enjoy the holiday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Brunch 5.27.12

This week seems as though it flew by so quickly. In truth though, that may be a good thing because it means nothing actually stressed me out too bad. My son's last day of school was Wednesday and that has definitely livened things up around the house for the last few days. I am really trying my hardest to not be short with him, but he definitely tries my patience sometimes. I figure I will give him a pass on some things because it is the end of school year excitement that is wearing off and I do not want to ruin that for him; however, by next week the summer rules are going to be more strictly enforced so that he and the rest of the family can get into a good routine.

Speaking of routines, how are guys liking the new series that have been launched around here? I know I am really enjoying having more of a structure to write within. I honestly feel like the quality of the posts have really improved from this change and hope to continue it going forward. One thing I noticed when I was looking things over was that the writing has been a little light in terms of healing and Paladin content. The reason for this is because I do not feel there is enough relevant new information to write about at the present. Now that does not mean that something will not pop up every now and then, but I just do not feel there is enough to warrant devoting an ongoing series at this time. I do expect this to change in the near future as more information is released through the beta. Now having said that, I do have some plans going forward to devote some time to a couple series that are focused on WoW and more specifically playing particular classes and filling the roles that those classes have available. Stay tuned for more information on that!

Well, this week was a good week for me as I cleared a lot more of the clutter from what is slowly beginning to resemble a really nice office (or man cave if you will). I cleared out the largest bulk of the old paperwork this past week and then treated myself to a reward. A new small refrigerator! Nothing better than gaming with ice cold drinks at hand. Next up on the list of renovations is to replace a window that is probably 50 years old! I desperately need this because summer is coming on quickly and ninety degrees with humidity is a bit much to bare without some form of air conditioning. With that in mind, I have a gentleman coming out from a local store to take measurements at the first part of this week. Hopefully I can then get the window installed by the end of the week and have a new window air conditioning unit installed soon after! High five for not sweating while gaming!

Speaking of sweat, it was so miserably humid the other day that it looked like I went for a swim in the river after spending a couple hours out in the yard planting flours. While the weather was miserably, planting perennials will certainly be a great thing come next year when I do not have to repeat this grueling process. Next up on the list is probably getting some vegetables planted. I have a small side area to the yard which gets a large amount of sunlight and I think it would be perfect to plant some tomato plants!

Well, as you can see not a whole lot has been going on with me this week aside from just some housework. That actually is a blessing after the prior three weeks I had. Well, if you are here in the States, then you will be celebrating Memorial Day on Monday. I hope you all have a great holiday. Stay safe and if you know a Veteran (past or present), make sure and thank them for their contribution for your freedoms. To everyone, hope you had a great weekend and an even better Monday!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Reviews: Weebly

Quite frankly I hate the title, but I like the concept! So what is Saturday Reviews exactly? Well, this is the day that I will talk about services that I use, equipment that I have bought, add-ons that I support, and a whole other bunch of stuff like that. When I review something, I will be straight forward and completely honest with you guys. If it is a case where I have an affiliation/association, then I will also disclose that to you guys as well. Alright? Then let's begin shall we?

Today's review is going to be focused on the services of Weebly. I am a member of the Weebly affiliate program, just so you guys do know this. As a member of their affiliate program, I am only compensated if someone buys a service by clicking on the link I have located on my blog. I do not receive any compensation for someone who simply goes and looks at their site or opens up a free Weebly web page. I felt that important to share with you guys. I only recently joined that program, but I have been a user of Weebly services since June of 2009. So the big question is why?

The main reason I chose to go with Weebly above any other service that was out there at the time was because of their easy to use platform. I knew very little about using HTML at the time and the ability to just move my cursor, click on something, drag it to where I wanted it, and then drop it into the webpage was simply awesome. On top of that, it was free! Nothing beats free right?

Speaking of free, here is a list of all the drag and drop features you get with your free Weebly webpage:

  • Paragraph w/Title
  • Paragraph w/Picture
  • Picture
  • Title
  • Paragraph
  • Contact Form
  • Multiple Columns (Which I use to have so much fun with by the way!)
  • Custom HTML
  • *Button
  • Photo Gallery
  • Slideshow
  • File
  • Flash
  • Google Maps
  • YouTube Video (Not really sure what this does since I always used the embed code from YouTube.)
  • Google AdSense
  • Product Block
  • Product Small
  • Product Regular
  • Product Large
  • Divider
  • Feed Reader
  • RSVP Form
  • Survey
  • Hundreds of Themes
  • Multiple Pages
  • Ability to add Site Editors
  • All sorts of settings to optimize the ability for web browsers to find your page
  • Blog

* I marked the button because this is kind of cool. You can place whatever kind of text on the button you would like to and then have it direct to a link that you have preset. It is pretty basic, but depending on what kind of website you have, that could be useful.

The thing that always amazed me was how powerful these tools really are. As I started learning how to create HTML code, it really opened up a lot of room to customize the site you are working on. For instance, you can use the column code and then insert other items inside of it.There is just so much potential in these tools and that potential only grows every year as they continue to bring out new features.

So with all those awesome features you may have noticed that I have my blog located here instead of there. The simple truth is that a lot of my readers, at the time, were unable to view Holy Shock on Weebly due to security at their company's work location. I truly believe that the majority of us do in fact read blogs during the day while working, and so I felt it best to keep the blog easy to access for you guys.

That having been said, I did purchase my domain through Weebly. I shopped around and compared pricing between some of the larger, more well known domain services, but at the end of the day Weebly simply beat them hands down in terms of pricing and customer service.

Customer service is a huge part of my life and when I find a company who responds efficiently and quickly to my inquiries, they have me for life as a customer.. unless their prices become unreasonable. Which I am happy to say is not the case currently, and I hope it never is the case. The truth is that I really have nothing but great things to say about this company and the services that they offer. If you are looking for an easy to use website creation service, then I would recommend checking them out.

As a side note, I didn't even go into talking about what their paid services offer because I believe that if you try to free service, then you will know that their paid service is just as good. If you decide to check them out, then please feel free to click the link here on Holy Shock!

Have a great weekend guys!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Forum Fridays 5.25.12

I rarely go onto my server's forums now days. The reason is that the server had long stopped being active on the WoW forums, but I was extremely bored the other day and so I decided to take a peek and I found this:

This post amused me for two reasons, the first being that we in MAS have finally realized that the server has hit the point where there are just not enough P.U.G.s available to fill the open spots that arise when the guild raids. The second is because I loved those wrestling segments where Ron shows up and hollars "DAMN!".

Have a great weekend guys!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

20


Around a month or so back I was going through some old links that I had in order to see if I wanted to keep them or not. While doing this I came across a blogger who had done a series called, "20 Days of Warcraft Blogging". I really liked the series and decide that I would do it eventually. Well eventually start right now! The only difference is that I am not going to do this in consecutive days. No, I am going to post this every Thursday until we manage to get all twenty days!

Day 1 - Introduce yourself!

So for day number one, it calls for me to introduce myself. Well, my name is Art and I play video games! I am 34 years old and married to a wonderful woman. Together we have one son who is now 7 and two ACD (Australian Cattle Dogs). I have been writing the blog Holy Shock on and off for almost four years now. I was hooked on blogging by my friend, Fish, who has stopped blogging.

I am currently playing Angry Birds (Facebook version), Backyard Monsters (Facebook version), Castleville (Facebook version), Diablo III, Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced (DS), Minecraft (PC version), World of Tanks, and World of Warcraft.

As this is a series about Warcraft blogging specifically let's talk a little bit about my resume! I currently have nine characters at max level. That amounts to every class except for the Mage. My Mage is level 25 and is on his fourth incarnation. This one might make it to level cap some day. I have been playing WoW since right before the launch of the BC expansion. My main character is my Paladin, Ruhtra. He once had a bad dream that he lived as a Dwarf until level 28. I prefer healing above all other duties, but have spent some time both as a Prot and Ret Pali. My current main realm is Daggerspine US. It is a PVP server that is pretty much dead though and so the guild is currently discussing alternatives.

My favorite character to play, when not on Ruh, is my Rogue, Whoopy! I rolled a Rogue originally because I wanted to camp lowbies. I remember getting one shot by Rogues while leveling and having to look up their names in my combat log. I chose the name Whoopy because of that. I felt it would be funny to see that Whoopy can in fact kill you. Yes, that was an extremely poor attempt at humor.

I have been the guild leader of the Mass Affluent Slayers since its inception. I have poured my blood, sweat, and tears into that guild. I have seen the guild grow from a joke to a very solid raiding guild at the end of the Wrath expansion. Currently the pool of players is light and our server does not offer much hope of recruiting solid candidates. In spite of that, we have managed to take our core group of raiders and clear the Dragon Soul raid tier. I do not write much about that aspect of playing due to being so late in the current tier for clearing.

I think that pretty much sums up everything that I could possibly say, but if you want to know more then check out my very first blog post and my about me page which might possible have a little bit more information about me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What's That?

I wanted to talk today about something that has been weighing on my mind here lately. It is one of those topics that I feel a lot of bloggers have an opinion on, but rarely do we ever talk openly about it. The topic I am referring to is advertisements on a blog. Over the years, I have seen a wide range of opinions expressed upon this topic, but have remained silent myself. The reason for my silence is because I can see both sides of this opinion.

I understand the feelings of those who prefer not to have advertisement, or see advertisements upon blogs. Many a time have I looked at a brand new blog and immediately left it because I saw an advertisement for something I did not agree with. Typically the ads would involve gold sellers, power leveling, or something that I felt degraded the true spirit of the game that the blog was focused on. There has been some occasions where I have stopped reading a blog (or website) because I felt as if they are being influenced by the items they advertise. Now granted these are typically more associated with technical blogs/websites, but there has been the occasional gaming blog where this has happened as well.

On the other hand, I also can understand why someone may choose to allow ads on their sites. There is an underlying cost to the hobby that these blogs cover, and any amount of revenue that can help offset the cost of upgrading the blog, website, or computer equipment is a good thing. The real trick becomes how to safely monitor what is being advertised and does it seem like the focus of the blog shifted from being about the love of the hobby to being more concerned about making money off of the hobby.

To me, I have always shied away from allowing ads because of that last part. I never want anyone to feel like the focus of Holy Shock is anything other than being about having fun and playing video games. Lately though I have really been looking into the possibilities of placing some ads here on Holy Shock to help cover the cost of the domain name and some minor equipment upgrades. After really thinking about this, I decided on looking into affiliate programs. An affiliate program is a type of referral where you place an ad on your page. If someone then clicks on that add and decides to make a purchase, then the referring site will be compensated for the referral.

I have decided to start out with affiliate ads for the time being for a couple reasons. The first reason is that with affiliate ads, I make the sole decision of what ads will or will not appear on the blog. Secondly, the affiliates I add will all be companies with whom I have dealt with personally. This means that I can vouch for their services. To me that is extremely important.

So what does this mean for you guys? Not a whole lot. I simply wanted to make sure that you guys knew my reasoning behind placing ads here on the blog. Any company or product that I will have an affiliation with, will be located under the "Recommended Services" section. If you are looking for a particular service and you see it listed there, then you can go check them out and help out Holy Shock if you decide to make a purchase.

I just have one other quick thing to talk about with this and then I promise I am done! As you guys know, I have been working on bringing out different series in order to allow you guys to know what content will be up on the blog on certain days. With the roll out of placing ads on the site, I am going to start providing reviews about the products and services on Saturdays. As this is something that is extremely fresh I do not even have a name for the series, but make sure and check the blog out on Saturdays to find reviews for products and services. I will probably expand the reviews to include all products and services that I use because I believe in letting people know about the good stuff that is out there!

As always if you guys have any comments or questions, don't hesitate to leave them here on the blog or email me at Ruhtra@HolyShock.com! Hope you guys have a great humpday!