Saturday, June 30, 2007


This is the 40th post I've made this month. Hawt. The rest of you are slackin' so get moving!

Behind the Toons

A little while ago, I logged in with the 'lock and was greeted by two familiar and old friends from the Onyx days, Rap and Muf. We talked for a bit (mostly about Jagoex luvin') and then the always punctual Muf asked me when I was going to "come home." Their guild, Equinox, is pretty much as close to old-school as it could get for me, so when it comes to my Alexstrasza family, it's very true that home would most closely resemble the peeps at Equinox. After talking about their Warlock class recruitment being closed, Muf shot me an invite to the guild just like that. How could I say "no?" =)

I've been struggling with the whole guild thing, what I'm going to do with Jagoex, whether or not I should even stay on Alex, and the like. What it pretty much came down to for me, at least at that very moment when I received the invite, was how the people I spend my time with approach relationships (because that's a huge aspect of the game). Now, just to give you a bit of perspective -- other guilds that I am very familiar with and who are very familiar with me due to a great deal of history would have probably had me fill out applications and take part in other "official" business before extending me an invite. That's all fine and what not, but to me, that shouldn't be more important than the relationships and people behind the toons. Loyalty. Friendship. Fun. That's why I clicked "Accept."

So, I find myself in a new guild with old friends and very familiar players. I'm not sure how active I'm going to be or even if I'll be of much use at all, but it's good to be "home" again. I wish I could say that there were more old-school players in the guild that I'd love to play alongside with again, but such is the fragmentation of Alex. And, while, I'm sure I'll be met with some animosity, I'm also sure the time I spend with these guys will be a good time. And if it's nothing else at all, well, then it will still be worth it.

Sixis, time to come back man. Lets get this party started.

Oh, and btw, I composed this on an iPhone. Pretty wicked. ;)

Play Better

The wife (she hates it when I call her that apparently), in all of her Glitz-ness, was telling me about her gaming experiences the other day. She said that she was feeling frustrated and annoyed at the fact that she wasn't making decisions fast enough. For example, she was having trouble deciding when to drop out of Shadowform to heal, vs. pushing heals via Vampiric Embrace, who to heal and in what order when multiple people are taking damage, how to manage aggro, and other issues that I was really excited to hear her talking about. I told her that all of those questions would be answered for her with time and experience, but being the type that requires instant-gratification, she wanted more. Here are a few of the basics I told her:

1) Visit the Priest forums and read a lot. The class forums are a decent source of valuable information, although it's definitely in a good amount of rough.

2) Talk to other Priests regularly. While you may not always get good info, gaining a knowledge of all perspectives gives you a better sense of things you should and shouldn't be doing, and why.

3) Slow down your DPS spell-casting. Wait a few seconds between Mind Flays, Mind Blasts, etc, to build a little less hate.

4) Don't use Mind Blast whenever the cooldown is up. Use Mind Flay mostly, and Mind Blast sparingly.

5) Don't throw small heals just to keep health bars at full. Instead, use bigger, mana efficient heals while paying attention to the amount your heals land for and how much health the player needs.

6) Carry lots of pots and bandages. Bandage instead of healing VIPs when you can.

7) Use your pots early, so your cooldown timer is up sooner rather than later.

8) If Hunters aren't CC'ing, ask them to put a trap in-front of you.

9) Always be aware of Undead and be ready to Shackle those running free and damaging healers or other VIPs at any time.

10) Use Psychic Scream only as a last resort.

11) Wand, wand, wand when out of mana.

12) Don't forget to buff and be buffed. If there are Mages, Paladins, and Druids in the group, don't hesitate to ask for AI, Wisdom, and MotW.

Nothing complicated right? I mean, I'm not a Priest, so I can't really get into the in-depth Priestly ways, but I think I covered a few key items. What do you guys (especially you Priests) think? Anything you can add to the list?

Title of the Blog

While on the topic of names, I've decided that it's probably a good time to change the title of the blog. The current title was actually the name of my Prom Kings officer ventrillo channel, which you know just made way too much sense if you were a part of the guild. But what's done is done, and since that's done, it's time to finish up the title with something new. I've got a few in mind, but I wanted to see what you guys had to say first.

So, what do you guys think? Any suggestions?

My Main

We all have names. That's a given. Evilcheese, for example, is Evilcheese. Sometimes Cheese (but always evil), but the name is almost always the same, at least in my mind. I'm Jagoex. Blawle is Blawle. Demordrah is Demordrah, and so on and so forth. But what happens when players take on different characters, and other players start calling them by the names of those toons in which their first introductions took place?

I met Xaytanic back when he played his Warlock, Xaytanic. Since then, he has ditched the 'lock and has played two Rogues, Plauge (not a misspelling) and Nahtia. I call him Xay, people who met him while in AoS Guys call him Plauge, and those who have met him just recently call him Nahtia. So, I guess it comes down to when people meet... but that doesn't ring true all the time, nor does it take into account personal preference (one's new main).

Lycanno, for example, I knew as Rainnu the Mage long before he started a Druid. While in Onyx and AoS Guys, I always called him "Rainnu" or "Rain" or something like that. Then we joined Prom Kings and everyone was calling him "Lycanno" or "Lyc" and would always ask me "who the hell is this Rain guy you keep talking about?" Lycanno was rarely on his mage, and it became less and less a part of his identity as time went on. So, I started calling him by his new main's name.

Maybe that kind of thing will be happening more frequently now that we've had so many people re-roll Alliance or new toons Horde-side. I know that Cheese's main isn't Evilcheese anymore. Blawle has long ditched his Rogue for a Pally/Mage combo (thank goodness). Krarr has been playing on his alts for some time now (...), and apparently no longer wants to play the Warrior PK worked hard to gear up, so what do we call him? Demordrah has a billion alts. Still Demordrah? Actually, that one is a yes, because no matter how many toons the guy has, Demordrah will always be his main, and therefore, his main.

So maybe it all comes down to mains. My main is Jagoex, and it'll probably always be that way... even though he's currently Glitz's bitch and is only around to do her bidding. Oh look, a married couple playing WoW mimics their real life behavior... awesome.

But before I digress down that road too much, there's the whole issue of our REAL names. I personally prefer to be called by my toon's name, but I can see how using one's RL name could simplify matters greatly, unless of course, you hate your real name, like Zyphre (Ralph) does.

So anyway, if I'm calling you by some name you'd rather not go by anymore, do let me know and what you'd wish to go by. For me, well, you can always call me Jagoex. That'll never change. ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


This post is a bit late, but still noteworthy imho. Look at who's Lvl 60 and looking fab on her very own Red Skeletal Warhorse. =)

This is only the 2nd toon on my account that has made it past Lvl 34, and all the way to pre-TBC bliss at that. Kudos to the wife for keeping with it and pulling off an amazing amount of playtime to get the girl from 58 to 60.

Here's to hoping the next 10 go just as smoothly. =)


A few days ago, I found that my wife was in a Scholo run with none other than a former guildmate of mine from War Lords and fellow Rank 14 grinder, Bansheebang. For those that don't know the story, Banshee was the guy who pretended he was a girl, couldn't get into Onyx, became very bitter at Onyx PvPers, and tried to screw over those who were working together, helping one another to reach Rank 14. We Onyx peeps had an order of sorts, and we'd never pass the people who were supposed to be ahead of us "in line" for HWL. Well, Banshee agreed to that order and as a result gained access to a very highly efficient "Honor Train," as Sixis called it. They were basically BG groups composed mostly of Onyx members that would win very regularly and very quickly, resulting in a lot of fast honor. Banshee followed the order most of the way, but towards the end, she (he...) decided she wanted to cut in line and get more honor than everyone else to get to Rank 14 before anyone else (myself included) in the queue, essentially going back on his word. With that declaration and his self-confidence, he tried, but in the end and after roughly 1 million in honor gained per week by those of us who "uncapped" ourselves, he failed, miserably, and cemented his rep on this server as such. Now on to today...

Turns out Bansheebang has a Lvl 61 healer by the name of Bansheeheal (shocker, right?). He put together a run for Hellfire Ramparts that my wife wanted to attend. We had already had a discussion about her being involved in runs with Banshee, and I told her she would regret doing it someday, because the kind of person who would do what Banshee did back in the day definitely doesn't hold himself or others to any type of standard. She was anxious to play and went anyway. I grabbed a drink and the "I told you so" banner I carry with me most places and sat dow to have a watch at the retardedness that would ensue.

A few pulls into the instance, and after about 10 tells of Banshee talking himself up about his +700 Healing gear and asking that Glitz pass on the Healing pants he wanted (and my wife for some reason agreeing if he would in-turn pass on DPS gear), the group had already wiped 3 times. Then one pull away from the first boss, Banshee, who put the group together, said he had to leave for a guild run. No help finding a replacement. No respect. No responsibility. No maturity. No class. Classic Banshee. Bang, gone. Ten minutes later, the tank said his girlfriend's toon needed help, and he dropped group. The hunter then proceeded to pull and wipe the group 3 consecutive times. At this point, my wife was getting pissed, especially because I was laughing my ass off. XD

"How old are you?" She /yelled at the Hunter. "10?!"

"11." Said the Hunter. "I'm bored."

I rarely hear my wife swear at people. But oh did she swear. The group disbanded at the first boss in HR as a complete waste of time. GG kids. GG selfish mofos. GG Summertime WoW. GG.

My wife and I now have an agreement. No more Banshee for either one of us. I recommend the same to all of you. ;)

One Run

You know what I was talking about before? About hating playing WoW during the Summer so far? All that stuff about little kids being out of school and being on all day long, ruining the gaming experience for everyone else and what not? Well, here's what happened during the one run I've taken Glitz on today:

1) After two pulls into Hellfire Ramparts, both pulls in which the tank mis-pulled and wiping us twice, the Hunter in the group declared he would take over pulling. At that point, the Tank, without a word, logged on us.

2) We got a guy named "Visastudent" to replace him. That should say enough about his ability to follow directions given in English.

3) Well before the first boss in HR, the Hunter who was now pulling declared he had to leave because his brother was being an ass.

4) Players released after dying during a boss encounter.

5) Other players looted during that same encounter, before resurrections were given.

6) The Lvl 69 Mage we brought in to replace the Hunter was going to roll on
the Pauldrons of Arcane Rage even though HE WAS LVL 69 and already wearing comparable blues that had + 25 dmg and + crit.

7) That same Mage left the group 1 pull away from the last boss due to "family issues."

8) Three of the players kept going afk, resulting in about 25 - 30 mins worth of idle time.

I can't believe how bad it can get, and how bad it does get for PuG groups out there. I may have to rethink this whole guildless thing afterall. =/

How it All Began (Pt. 2)

I've had a lot of luck when it comes to the amount of "free" time I have had since playing WoW. Work never created an issue for my game time, since, well, I either worked a half-day or was able to login at work, hiding behind a laptop and trying to look as busy as possible. It wasn't necessarily the "therapist playing tic-tac-toe" kind of thing, but it was pretty close. =) I never thought the work I had taken on would allow me this much /played time (and indeed I restructured my gaming and even guild-associations accordingly), but even now, when I start my new teaching position on Monday, I'll only be on campus until about 1:00 p.m. daily. So the trend of having plenty of "me" time and therefore, probably way too much WoW time, will continue.

Because of all of that free time, and the fact that the wife was working 12-hour shifts at the hospital (meaning I was home alone for hours), I was able to level the Warlock fairly quickly. I passed ol' Biggie and was doing rather well for myself... or so I thought.

Knowing nothing about gear, dungeons, drops, etc, I relied on buying new weapons and armor from vendors to "gear up." That's right. I was one of those guys. White items. No stats. No equip effects. Just a little bit more armor. Those were my "upgrades" for quite a long time. I wasn't even working on professions at all, and when I did, I didn't know about the "Find Herbs" button until after I had already hit 300 with Herbalism (that was a source of LAWL for a lot of people). I didn't know about dungeons or anything like that, so I ended up out-leveling RFC, WC, and the like. Pretty pathetic, I know. I was finally introduced to dungeons in my mid-lvl 20's, while questing near the Sepulcher for some reason, when I ended up running into Shadowfang Keep.

The Belt of Arugal was my first blue, followed by the Feline Mantle. I started to catch on to how gear issues actually worked, although I still didn't know that there were specific-stats I should be looking for. I needed help and realized that my play would benefit greatly if I was in a guild (which I was just figuring out were the titles beneath player's names...).

I joined Living Reavers. A small guild with a lot of other noob players like myself, and one player that seemed to know what she was doing. She was a warrior, so she couldn't help me with my class (and lord knows I needed it at that point), but she did lead many runs through dungeons daily, which helped my leveling greatly. I stuck with that guild through a majority of my leveling, met some nice people, and helped out as much as an under-geared, poorly-geared Warlock could. I mean, I was stacking Intelligence and Spirit "because that's what casters do" ffs. I was even stacking Agility because I "couldn't get hurt if I wasn't getting hit." I forget who told me to do that, and that's probably a good thing. >=O

Yeah, so I was pretty much a nub that had no real clue what I was doing even through my 30's and 40's. Unfortunately, I didn't do much to change what I was doing because I was being called a "good" Warlock. I was getting quests done, instancing for new gear, and was making some new friends along the way, including a Rogue who was always nice enough to open locked boxes for me for free. Sixis was his name, and like many other things, I was oblivious to the guy's rep on the server as one of the best of the best. He never thought he was too good for my boxes, and I am still grateful for that. /fuzzywogfeelings. I also met Xaytanic, a Warlock in the same guild as Sixis (some guild named "Onyx") and who was incredibly geared and sitting on a Dreadstead at the UC mailbox. I was in awe of this guy, and we struck up a conversation and he was kind enough to offer his advice on a regular basis (there's a side-plot to this I'll get into later).

Around that time, in my early Lvl 50's, I left Living Reavers because the GM had basically given up and went AFK for a very long time and without word (a pretty sad trend on Alexstrasza, even today). I was approached by Mysticdeath of War Lords, which was led by a great guy in Ixithra, and joined up with his crew. I Lvl'd to 60 with them and had an amazingly fun time, for the most part. I was able to enjoy helping out, and the guild did "great" things for my "progress." The Warlock Officer, Ferryman, had me sport a Mooncloth Robe and other "not for a Warlock" items that had me at 0 +dmg, very little Stamina, and smothered in Xaytanic's laughter. That's when Xay pretty much pulled me aside and taught me the ropes of the Warlock class. Ya know, what we're supposed to be stacking, what our roles were in dungeons and in PvP... etc.


I started to PvP for Stamina and Spell Dmg-heavy type gear that I now knew should have been my goal from the get go. I spent much time in the BG's, with Onyx (the very dominant PvP guild on the server) when I was lucky enough to have Xay or Sixis get me into one of their groups, and had Ferryman fuming. We got into it big time one day on Teamspeak and in Guild Chat with him accusing me of focusing too much on items not meant for a Warlock and not knowing how to play my class. Mystic demoted Ferryman (Ix was on leave for RL stuff) and I, not wanting to instigate anymore drama, simply walked away.

Oh, and just for kicks, here's Ferryman's Armory. Pay close attention to his enchants...

So anyway, that's how I started the whole PvP grind thing. I applied to Onyx and got in (after weeks of PvPing with them), and apparently was a part of a project put together by the dominant Onyx Warlocks, Darcla and Xaytanic. Demordrah and I were taken under their PvP-tutorship and the two wanted to see which of us would make it to Rank 14. We both did, and Demordrah and I are still good friends today. Darcla and Xay, however, I don't speak with anymore. Darcla plays a healer another server and Xaytanic plays a BE Rogue on Alex, Nahtia, and doesn't care to interact. Meh, I kicked both of their asses in our last duels together, so I'm okay with it. ;)

Most of you guys know the whole honor-grind story, so I won't bore you with it other than the fact that the wife hated it (what free time she did have, I was "stuck" at my comp grinding honor), I missed out on an entire summer, and Bliz pretty much negated the whole damn thing by restructuring PvP to accommodate casuals above everyone else. GG. I will never be that dedicated to any aspect of any game ever again. It was just pathetic.

After that, the Onyx-fragmenting occurred, followed by my stint with AoS Guys and then Prom Kings. Most of it is just drama and had nothing to do with progress whatsoever, so it's not really worth going into.

So, yeah. That's pretty much it with WoW up to that point. With regards to the RL situations that allowed me to do so much in-game, I wish I could say they didn't interact at all. My wife and I really had it out a few nights when I would stay up until odd hours of the morning, playing while she tried to sleep. The friction pushed me to want to escape (read as "play WoW") more often and all that really did was make things worse. For someone who knew behavior so well, I truly was doing all the wrong things. So yeah, there was a little bit of trouble there, but nothing too serious (as some people my suggest... damn politicians), and things can't be better atm.

Well there ya have it. Some uber boring cliff-notes about how I got to where I am now. I wish it were more interesting, but it really isn't. I dunno, maybe someday I'll open up about the drama I've seen. It makes for a much more interesting time, for sure, but it's also quite pathetic - stories of love triangles, girls flirting with guys for gear, young boys planning on moving in with such girls, guilds breaking apart because of it... ya know, lame, crack open a container of Bon Bons and have obscenely more amounts of free time that even I can conjure kinda stuff.

Maybe someday... but until then, gotta use the free time I have to help level the Glitz level to 70. =)


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How it All Began (Pt. 1)

Sixis asked for a post like this, and, well, what Sixis wants, Sixis gets (unless Bliz has anything to say about it, unfortunately).

My introduction to WoW happened in January of 2006, after I got a call from a long-time friend of mine whom some of you may know as Bigbrawn. He was a dental student at the time, and apparently, dental school consisted of simply sitting in the back row of a lecture hall and playing video games on laptops provided by the university. Knowing my friend was a fan of games like Diablo and Neverwinter Nights, his classmates let him install a copy of WoW to try out. He bought the game that very same day, and gaming together as much as we did back in the day and through college (18-hour Golden Eye dorm tournaments ftw!), he decided to introduce the game to me as well.

He showed up at my place later that week. We installed the game on one of my laptops (which took about an hour... ugh) and created a guest account using one of his passes. He was explaining all sorts of details, ranging from character creation to lvling, racial abilities, etc. This was all new to me -- I had never played a MMORPG before, and what RPGs I had played in the past were fairly simplistic, ala Final Fantasy VII, etc. So, all the talking he was doing might as well have been in a different language. I just went along with it and figured things out as they happened. I mean, it was just a game, "how complicated could it possibly be?" I thought to myself. Heh...

Time to choose a realm. Bigbrawn was recommended Alexstrasza when he created his toon, and since we naturally wanted to play the game together, that's the server I selected. Hmm, I never really thought about it, but I never really chose to come to Alexstrasza -- it was just by default based on my friend's recommendation, not my own.

Time to choose a race and class. I was immediately drawn to the Undead. I don't really know why... it was probably just because of the way the Undead looked - really badass and not so cartoonish (there's a little bit of metro for ya). And really, because I was so new to this kinda thing, that's all I really had to go on. Not knowing anything about the significance of the racials, I paid no attention to them whatsoever. When it came to choosing a class, it was pretty much more of the same shallow b.s. I wanted to play a magic class, again, because I thought it was cool, not because of how useful it would potentially be during leveling, for PvP, or raiding. The Mage, Priest, and Warlock were my options, and my thoughts were literally "that guy in that one 1980's Warlock movie was a badass." And really, that was it. No insights into Fear, Deathcoil, Seduce... nothing. And just like that, will little fuss, I was an Undead Warlock. Lucky me, right? ;)

The name was a little more thought-out. My favorite fighting game at the time was Killer Instinct. "Jago" was already taken. "Jago X" wasn't an option because of the space in the name. "Jagox" would be pronounced like "Jaa Gox." "Jagoex" had it right though, so I went with it.

If you can't tell already, I approached character creation in a very casual manner. Being that I had never been interested in games like WoW before, I didn't think I would stick with it, and because I was on a 10-day trial account, I didn't really take the process too seriously.

So that's pretty much how it all began. Since I don't want to totally overwhelm you guys, and because it's 3 a.m., I'm gonna cut it off there for now. Next time, I'll get into how I approached Warlocking as a baby 'lock. Trust me, it's quite the laugh.

See ya'll then.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My First Secret

After Jade introduced me to the PostSecret blog, I make a point of reading them whenever they are updated every Sunday. I think it's fascinating to read all of the thoughts people are holding on to. It's something I always wondered about when walking through a public place... everyone has a story, a thought, a memory, a secret. I think that fascination was why I chose to study Psychology, damn fascinations...

So anyway, I was sharing the website with the wife when she asked "So what would you write?" Since I tell my wife EVERYTHING (yes, I even told her about that), my only thoughts came to people I encounter every day via WoW. Hmm...

"You had no idea who you were grouped with, and once I found out who you were, I wouldn't allow my wife to be grouped with you again. You're that much of a douchebag."

That'd be my first secret, and I'm sure there will be many more to come. ;)

Fly Back

After the much needed trip I took earlier this month, and with the demise of Prom Kings potentially having an effect as well, I find myself enjoying watching my wife play WoW more than I do playing it myself. Maybe it's the fact that I'm not sitting alone in my office or awake in the bedroom anymore, that I'm in my element helping her along as she levels to 70, seeing her cuteness in her giggles and shrieks like when she got surprised by the Crimson Courier, or a combination of those plus many other elements that just make my current position much more enjoyable.

As good as the recent experiences have been, there is a bit of unease, however. Today, I've been lounging around and prepping for next week (when I start my new position) while watching her level Glitz from midway through Lvl 58 to almost Lvl 60 now. Incredibly impressive, and she seems to be doing better and better with each passing day... as she seemingly becomes more addicted to the game.

Now believe me, there was once a time when I thought that playing alongside my wife would be the most ideal thing that could happen for my WoW gaming hobby. Recently, I'm not so sure that'd be a good thing. See, my wife was always the voice of reason when it came to my bad habits, and I do indeed classify WoW has an incredibly bad habit, as does she. Yet, as she plays this toon now, and seeing her delight with each passing level, the game's classification is beginning to take a backseat to the reinforcements it offers... just as it did with me a year or so ago.

So yeah, I'm watching her fly back to the Swamp of Sorrows to head back to the Portal (after incorrectly telling her she can Hearth to Shat, repair, and then fly back to Thrallmar -- apparently they're not connected flight paths). She'll probably be hitting Lvl 60 sometime today, and I'll probably PvP with Glitz tonight so she can get an Epic Mount other than the Chocobo. Again, more reinforcement.

I must say, though, with Jagoex essentially being her bitch and doing nothing but, it's not as bad as it could be. I mean, we can keep ourselves limited to one account, and we're both not completely ignoring each other while completely involved with our own toons. So maybe I shouldn't worry too much about her increased play time.

It's not like I have much to care about in-game anyway.

Something Good

I'm not a Nintendo fanboy, nor am I anti-Sony. I'm a gamer, and when something good happens for gaming, I go with it.

Today, something good happened in gaming, for gaming, and for gamers everywhere. Nintendo's market share value was, for a short time, rated above Sony Electronics. I'm sure some of you know about the history there, but what's more important imho is the significance this event holds for modern gaming and gamers.

You can read more about it at this LINK. Enjoy. ;)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Game Addiction

A recent post at one of my fav tech blogs, Engadget, reads:
If you've been thinking lately that your video game habit is getting a bit excessive, don't worry. According to reports this week, doctors backed away from a proposal that would have designated certain types of video gaming as a mental disorder (similar to alcoholism or gambling addiction) -- so you can rest easy knowing that whatever it is that you're doing to yourself probably isn't that big of a deal. We attempted to speak to two avid gamers concerning the decision, but one was busy fighting Razorgore the Untamed in WoW, and the other claimed that he didn't have a problem and could quit whenever he wanted.

lol... yeah... here's the LINK to the article.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Something I Didn't Mind Missing

Last summer, I was "busy" doing the Rank 14 grind, so all of my attention was pretty much focused on that and I didn't notice or care much about what was going on elsewhere (I didn't really have a choice, unfortunately). This summer, now that I'm actually able to enjoy the game, I'm noticing some pretty disturbing trends. There is CONSTANT immaturity going on in the Trade Channel, which is being bombarded with "HAAHAHAHAAAHA *insert random rare or epic item here* HAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA," frequent WTBs or WTSs about "your mom," and other weak sauce insults that I swear I haven't heard since the 6th grade.

That's not where it stops though. There is a complete lack of respect in PuG groups lately that's even bad for an Alex PuG. I swear, the few times I've experienced one with Glitz, it seem more like an afternoon at the daycare instead of LBRS, Strat, or Scholo. And don't even get me started about the lack of skill, class-knowledge, etc. I mean, I can't count the number of Warlocks out there who are stacking Intelligence and Spirit. Hell, I even saw one using a Stout War Staff... and not as a joke...

This influx of spoiled, inexperienced, and retardedly immature behavior is something I didn't mind missing last summer, and can only mean one thing. School's out. All the little Elementary and Junior High kids are home with no homework, no jobs, no responsibilities... just WoW. I think that officially makes this the worst time of year to play the game.

As if we needed anymore of this nonsense on this server...

Friday, June 22, 2007


Okay, I've been called metro and what not, but even I'm incredibly disturbed by this. Trust me, it's gonna leave a "wtf" taste in your mouth forever...

...although I must say, I have the sudden urge to hula-hoop with fire all of a sudden.

So, yeah, the wife is playing WoW and I'm watching weird videos on YouTube. And there ya go, betch. I hope you have nightmares tonight. =P

A Real Ninja

So I'm watching my wife playing WoW right this second, and low and behold, after being called a ninja for rolling on a healing item as a priest last night, she actually got to see what a real ninja is all about.

The Hurricane dropped when their group was in the BRD vault. I was sitting next to her and noticed that a warrior in the party, Zordiak from ILL, rolled Need almost immediately. I said aloud "that's odd," and then had to explain the common courtesy rules involved with rolling on BoE items, and especially related to epics. Everyone else in the party rolled Greed and congratulated Zordiak on his new bow... the one that he then wouldn't equip.

"But I rolled Greed." he said. "Oh, I must have misclicked." That lit a fire under the party's ass.

"See babe, that's a real ninja."

The group started pressuring him to equip the item when they started to realize what was going on. He didn't. Then a party member suggested that everyone rolls for it if it indeed was a misclick, so that everyone could have a fair shot at it, obviously testing Zordiak's story. He stayed quiet, and his toon didn't move. My bet is that he was alt-tabbed, checking to see how much the item was worth and whether or not that amount was worth soiling his rep.

We sat there for 10 mins watching the happenings on the screen, and talking about why people would find it necessary to screw others over like that. Like many behaviors we've seen recently, I simply can't fully explain the motivation behind them.

After a good amount of idle time, Zordiak finally equipped the bow, but the damage was already done and the run was called a short time later. Before it was, however, the wife received a tell from him, saying that he was going to ninja it but then decided it was wrong to do so, and that he just wanted to be honest about it all. In other words "it wasn't worth nearly as much as I thought it would be, so I decided to keep it instead." Ass.

Now the wife fully understands that she wasn't in the wrong yesterday. She knows what a ninja is all about now, so I guess something good came out of this. =)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Calling her a Ninja

Yesterday, my wife fulfilled every WoW-playing man's dream. No, she didn't dress up like a Blood Elf and #$%^ the living *@&$ out of me. She actually played WoW again, a trend that I am so hoping will at least continue regularly. But after a particular instance run she had, I'm not so sure that'll be the case.

I was logged in with Glitz and had already ran BRD and Scholo with two different groups and was about to run LBRS when the wife said "Okay, my turn." No hesitation there. :) She jumped into the instance with two members from Deaths Head Templars and they ran an almost flawless instance. Glitz was healing, and I had to remap a few keys for the wife to make the job easier for her, but she did a stellar job. So stellar, in fact, that they invited her back for a 2nd run later in the day. I was so proud! /tear

Between those two LBRS runs, she was invited to a BRD run, Glitz's 2nd of the day (those invites come left and right when logged into a priest, lemme tell ya). She jumped into the group, a pug group, and started the run. Confident after seeing her LBRS play, I left the room. Maybe 30 minutes later, I hear her scream "Hey, come here quick!"

I show up to her arguing with the Paladin healer in the group over whether or not she could roll for the Second Wind trinket that had just dropped off of Lord Argelmach. The Paladin wanted free reign over the rolls so that he, being healing spec, could walk away with it scotch free, even with two healing classes in the group. He argued that since Glitz was Shadow spec, she would essentially be ninja'ing the trinket if she were to roll on it.

We tried to explain to him that we were both healing classes that were looking to gear up (independently of each other) as such, that having two sets of gear (one for DPS and one for healing) as a Shadow-spec Priest is a almost necessary, that she didn't have any healing trinkets and could definitely use the upgrade, and that therefore, it was Glitz's right to roll on the item and may the best roll win. He wouldn't budge. He wanted it and didn't even want to chance that he'd lose a fair-game roll to someone else. He was being incredibly unreasonable, selfish, and a complete douche, even though my wife had the courtesy of asking him whether or not he'd mind.

She rolled Need anyway, and won. Well deserved imho opinion.

They started calling her a ninja and bashing her in party chat. I told her that if they were going to continue doing so, to just leave the group and find a more reasonable and mature party to instance with. They kept at it, acting like QQ babies, so she left, and that's when the whispers started. "Ninja!" followed by a /ignore, ya know, the usual stuff. I told her not to worry about it and to go ahead and take her 2nd invite to a Deaths Head Templar's run in LBRS. She did, where she healed, and healed very well. I opened up her talent window and SWS add-on and took a screen shot, just to remind her how well she did.

So yeah, it was an interesting moment. I hope she won't shy away from WoW too much because of it, but I think her good experiences with good, mature groups overshadowed the bad. Thanks to Deaths Head Templars, btw. You guys were apparently a class act.

Oh, and Evil, stop hitting on her. Kthx. =P

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Trinkets That Should be in WoW, But Aren't...

While my wife was playing Glitz today, I got REAL bored and put together this list of trinkets that SHOULD be a part of our Alexstrasza experience, but are not. They are based on a few people I've recently encountered in one way or another and are mainly just make ya giggle a little. They range from Uncommon to Legendary (guess whose is Legendary =P), and actually consist of as many negative stats as they do positive ones. It was actually a little fun putting this together, so I'm sure more will come. Have fun with it. ;)

Trinkets That Should be in WoW, But Aren't...

Amani's Bicycle
+ 5 Agility
Use: Teleports you to the nearest LAN center.
Equip: Decreases rep with the opposing faction by 270.

Blawle's Ass
- 79 Spirit
+ 57 Strength
+ 49 Agility
Use: Blinds your target with their own tears of QQ for 8 secs.
Equip: Increases resistance to children by 51.

Demordrah's Alts
+ 60 Stamina
Use: Calls forth 39 Sicilians to fight at your side.
Equip: May cause a strong urge to watch The Princess Bride, decreasing Intellect in party members by 30.
"Never cross a Sicilian when death is on the line."

Evil's Cheese
- 12 Intellect
+ 50 Stamina
+ 49 Spirit
Use: Launches a flame at the target, dealing 1722 - 1975 fire and ego damage.
Equip: Increases troll-feeding tendancies, resulting in a much more interesting blog.

Ferraro's Microphone
- 14 Strength
+ 14 Stamina
+ 14 Spirit
Use: Causes surrounding targets to hear manly voices in their head, causing them to flee in terror for 3 seconds.
Equip: Increases stealth by 34.

Jagoex's Couch
+ 109 Stamina
+ 85 Intellect
+ 79 Spirit
Use: Causes your target to enter a state of complete self-doubt, lowering ego resistances by 350.
Equip: Increases stealth detection by 278.
Equip: Increases mental damage and healing caused by logical tells and effects by 425.

Jezza's Box
+ 34 Strength
+ 44 Agility
Use: Calls forth an angry teenager to fight at your side until he's suspended.
Equip: Increases stealth by 48.
"Injuring the box will lead to serious pains in the groin."

Knoxx's Kitty
+ 60 Spirit
Use: Causes friendly targets to purr at you.
Equip: May cause you to speak in baby talk at random.
"Such a gooood kitty aren't ya! Yes, yes you are!"

Measty's Logic
- 14 Intellect
+ 12 Spirit
Use: Causes your target to run around in circles aimlessly for 2 secs.
Equip: Disguises you as a suit-wearing politician.

Nahtia's Identity
- 19 Spirit
+ 22 Agility
Use: Horrifies the target with sounds of Xaytanic's laughter, causing them to flee for 5 secs.
Equip: Increases the chance enemies will attack you, causing constant and unnecessary raid wipes.
"For kicks."

Oort's Mouse
+ 60 Agility
Use: Confuses the target's mind with clicking sounds, increasing time between attacks by 20%
Equip: Grants immunity to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Quickshift's Bunk Bed
- 18 Intellect
- 17 Spirit
+ 14 Agility
Use: Raises your resistance to reality by 70 for up to 56 years.
Equip: Causes surrounding targets to laugh uncontrollably.
"I call top bunk!"

Sixis's Golden Showercap
- 22 Intellect
+ 54 Stamina
+ 49 Spirit
Use: Releases a stream of energy at the targets legs, damaging them for 956 - 1184 fire damage and slowing their movement speed by 50%.
Equip: Will cause Nikto to break up with you.

Zyphre's Mind
+ 60 Intellect
Use: Causes target to enter a state of existentialism, decreasing their haste rating by 27.
Equip: Increases bullshit detection by 70.

Well there ya have it. The first list. Now, before you go and be a copycat on your own blog, give me some feedback here (freakin' ninjas). ;)


Grats to the Horde

Mag is finally down Horde-side, Alexstrasza. Took long enough, right? Grats to Majinn, Ibn, Fleshrender, and all the other members of RA that finally got the job done, after months of trying. Kudos.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No RSVP Required

Dearest WoW Gaming Majority,

You are all cordially invited to attend to our esteemed offerings, to be held in SSC, TK, and The Eye, respectively. There is no fee associated with your attendance, and food and drink catering will be provided at minimum cost to you. Casual dress is encouraged. No RSVP required.


The WoW Catering-to-Casuals Development Team

P.S.: If you see a former Rank 14 player at one of our gatherings, try not to remind them of the time when we rewarded items they worked so hard for to casual PvPers at a fraction of the effort... you know, pretty much what we're doing to hardcore raiders now. Thank you.


As I start preparing for potentially becoming involved with arena teams that have some serious PvP aspirations, I'm beginning to think heavily about possible Warlock specs that would be most beneficial to the team. Of course, there's lots to consider, like the number of players on each side, class composition, and my style of play, to name a few, but hey, I gotta start somewhere, right?

Hoping to get some solid insight into the modern PvP Warlock, I've spoken with a good number of 'locks that have had success in the arena setting (1800+ team ratings). Some suggested going with a variant full Destruction spec, citing their success and linking me to some Korean player's 'lock who achieved a rating of 2100 with a similar build. Definitely impressive.

Others suggested a more Demonology heavy build, giving props to the insta-cast Corruption and availability of Shadowburn, paired with the complete "wtfpwnage" of a Felguard (yes, it was said just like that) and protective Demonology talents. Interesting to say the least... but a Nubguard??? I don't know that I could ever spec for one. Ever. But we'll see. ;)

One suggestion that came up quite frequently and that caught my attention was a variant Affliction-Demonology spec. Lots of positives in this one: Soul Link, Demonic Knowledge, Master Demonologist and Demonic Aegis paired with Insta-Corruption and the deliciousness of Siphon Life, Curse of Exhaustion, and Nightfall. I can definitely see how this could provide a Warlock with a decent amount of survivability while giving him tools to be quite useful to his team. Definitely some potential here, but with 0 points in Destruction, there are some serious drawbacks. Still interesting, though.

And then there's my current spec, a hybrid PvP/PvE build that I kinda just put it together on a whim when TBC was released. It combines an insta-Howl of Terror with Demonic Aegis and Shadowburn. Yummy. I haven't changed it since release because it has just worked out so well from a PvE-DPS standpoint, and although it's not the BEST PvP spec out there, it has definitely held it's own quite well. A variant of this would be to drop some Demonology talents and pick up Ruin; a build that would definitely up the nuking DPS, but at the expense of some stamina and healing effects.

I think what it'll end up coming down to is experiencing the arena at length, and then tweaking the spec to adapt to what the team needs accordingly. These specs seem like a decent starting point though, so there's one less stress to worry about.

I'll let you guys know how it goes. For now, I'm off to remove some of this PvP rust that's built up over the past 10 months. Catch ya'll later. ;)

Alex's Loss

It's official. Alexstrasza has lost another active raiding guild that was worth a damn. Prom Kings is no longer a raiding guild, according to Jade, and has no more plans to pursue end-game content. It's a bittersweet moment, as the guild GM put it. Bitter because a premiere group of raiders, the first to clear Karazhan Horde-side, is now fragmented and the potential that was once there is now just a memory. Sweet because the members won't have to put up with the b.s. of having other players transfer to Alex after being recruited by Jade, only to see them poached. No more teasing. No more frustration. No more pressure. No more expectations. No more disappointment. A collective sigh of relief, if you will. Personally, I think it's much more than that.

PK calling it quits is symbolic of everything that's wrong with Alexstrasza's Horde. If you look at the events leading up to the guild's raiding demise (losing MT's left and right, having members and transfers poached, the harassment of the female GM, etc.), one thing rings true: most of the parties involved in the associated acts can't seem to see beyond themselves in any given moment. Some would describe that as a very limited consciousness or an inability to understand the grandeur of experience outside of themselves. There's no real responsibility here to anyone but one's own, and that, my friends, is why PK failed, and why other guilds like it are bound to fail as well. Alex's loss, for sure.

This kinda thing should really get everyone thinking about what it takes to make a successful guild. I mean, it's obvious no one has a plan in place, given that none of our guilds have made it past Gruul. But if anyone gives a damn, maybe it's time we actually change things up a bit Horde-side and start trying, yeah? Otherwise, we're gonna have guilds stuck on Mag for months on end and trying to save face by calling each most recent attempt their "first real attempt." Personally, I'd like a little more for our server. Hopefully everyone does. Otherwise, what's the point?

Heh... maybe that's what Jade was getting at...

Anyway, /salute to PK and to Jade for a good run. Thanks for the good times and for the lessons learned. You guys definitely had a believer out of me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hope the Best

I logged in earlier today to find that a few more members, including the guild's best Paladin, Majinn, quietly jumped ship during the night. It's fairly disappointing to see that trend continuing, but to be quite frank and 100% honest, it's not all that surprising given how things have been going over the past many months, and that the environment Alex creates for a Horde-side guild doesn't really make it easy to get things straight once they've veered even a little off course.

What is surprising, however, is how quickly these members found a new guild, and that the new guild is Reformed Again. Personally, I think it's a little rash of them to join a guild so quickly, but in all reality, what I think of what they do is of little value. I wish them luck with their new crew and hope the best. Maybe they can help that guild finally down a boss they should have downed months ago, and Maj and the gang definitely bring the skills necessary to do so. Here's to hoping we see some Horde-side progress within the next week as a result.

This server... it's something, isn't it?

For the Alliance. Seriously.

Good PvP

Last night, I took Jagoex into WSG for some good old-fashioned PvPing. I was a little hesitant at first, being that my last memories of the battleground were ones of frustration, regret, and involved a complete distaste for lazy, sub-par players like Grimhorn, an honor-leech, one of the biggest disgraces to the HWL tag, and just a bad, selfish person all-around. I had sworn off PvP after the Rank 14 grind, but I am guild-less, already leveled Glitz from 51 to 53 earlier in the day, and had nothing better to do. So I figured, why the hell not.

Upon zoning in, I saw a Warlock from Illidan with the Gladiator set and a Nub-guard. "Great..." I thought. Then I saw another 'lock, with a Fel Hunter. "Better." I checked the little room in the southwest corner (the AFK room). No Grimhorn. "Excellent." I summoned the Imp, conjured a Healthstone and Soul Stone, cast it on myself, and was good to go.

I was the first one out and into midfield like a nub, and to my surprise, I didn't see anyone else from the opposing team. I checked the scoreboard - 10 Alliance, 7 stealth classes. "Wth?" I waited for a few others to catch up and then I headed to the Berserker hut. No buff. "Shit." I dismounted immediately and cast an instant Howl of Terror. THREE alliance appear - 1 Rogue (daggers) scatters in terror, 2 Druids (feral) start wailing away on me. Sick dps. "Oh noes." I DoT'd them as best I could and focus-fired the Dr00d that started healing. Unfortunately, focus-firing as an Affliction Warlock takes time, so by the time I dropped the healer and feeling incredibly rusty in the process, the other two had me to about 10% health and sans a Healthstone. At that point, we picked up their flag. "Nice."

I used my SS when the coast was clear and started heading towards their tunnel to help our FC, except that the coast wasn't clear and I got jumped by 2 DIFFERENT Rogues. Now, at half health and half mana, there's not much I could do about that other than warn the team. I DoT'd them to get them to burn their "Cloaks of Skill," and figured I'd just res and help defend our flag room. Then, as I'm standing at the GY waiting to res, our flag gets picked up. "Here we go."

Being as cold PvP-wise as I have been, I wasn't exactly sure what to do upon resurrecting. I knew the Alliance FC was going through the tunnel, so I announced that in BG chat, but then I saw a cluster of teammates on the mini map coming down the eastern edge of the field. "Slow down their FC or help ours?" The question was answered for me when a bunch of dots on the mini-map started disappearing and reappearing at our GY. "ffs..."

When I got to our Druid FC, he was getting hammered by 2 Rogues and a Druid that were already smothered in DoTs. "Their cloaks are on cooldown," I thought to myself. I cast an iHoT that sent the Rogues running, then hit the Druid with an Amplified Curse of Exhaustion (which I didn't ever use until I started raiding with Jade, oddly enough). The Alliance Druid popped out of cat form... /cast Curse of Tongues. He didn't heal himself in-time.

I followed our FC up our tunnel where two more Alliance Rogues were waiting for him. I mean, it was f'n brilliant. The placement of their stealth classes literally stretched our team apart and took us to the brink every single time. This team was good. And I mean REAL good. Thankfully, ours seemed to have it's act together too. Our Druid FC locked one of the Rogues in a whirlwind and we burned down the other quickly. We dropped the 2nd Rogue soon after, with the FC healing me through some pretty hard hits, and then we headed up to the roof to wait to cap. The dots on our mini-map were at the Alliance base. "Be ready."

Two Druids kicked the shit out of me before I could even do anything or get a heal. Again, their stealth class placement was shockingly perfect. "Our flag's about to drop, get ready to pick up again." As I was standing in the GY, I saw our FC running toward it, still getting hammered but healing through it. Then something odd happened. The flag dropped and our FC had a bubble around him. He turned around and tried to grab it but couldn't, and it was returned by a Gnome Rogue that had just come out of stealth. One of our Paladins must have hit him with one of those protective bubbles or something, and it cost us the flag. No one said a word in BG chat.

Then at almost the exact same time that they got their flag back, ours was returned and theirs was picked up again. I mean, it was quite literally "boom, boom, boom," all at once. Some teammates headed to the flag room to defend. I headed toward our FC... it was the Warlock from Illidan.

Now, I've heard that Demonology 'locks are pretty good when it comes to flag running, but to me, it seemed like a lot of work to get him across midfield successfully. We had two healers healing the hell out of him, and I was having to do my best catching Alliance with CC's all over the place. It did work, though, so I guess I can't really complain about it. As we approached our tunnel, our flag was picked up, stopping us in our tracks. We didn't want to run into them but we also wanted to slow them down, so we split up -- two 'locks and a healer taking the flag to the roof and the rest of the group going for our flag with the Alliance FC. A Druid jumped our Priest midway through the tunnel and dropped him VERY quickly, but then being smothered in DoTs and being hammered on by an Imp and Nub-guard, he didn't last very long himself.

We made it to the roof where we stood for only 10 seconds before our flag was returned. We dropped down and were immediately met by a Rogue and a Druid. The Illidan 'lock Deathcoiled one, I Deathcoiled the other. Score: 1-0.

Amidst the excitement in BG chat, we still had to see to the Alliance in our flag room, and that's where the Illidan Warlock's nub-ness really came out to shine. At first, his pet was motionless. Then, he put it on the Rogue I had feared (breaking fear after one hit). Then he proceeded to DoT the Rogue that was on me instead of doing direct damage to it or fearing it off of me. The Rogue was going down, no doubt, but now that both were back on me, he wasn't going down before me. The Illidan 'lock didn't fear once, have his Nub-Guard intercept once, or anything. "Sigh..."

Whatever, we were winning and had already grabbed the flag again. Upon resurrecting, I noticed that most of the Alliance was in midfield. They were getting flustered and deviating from a plan that was actually working very well for them up to that point. Time to have some fun. =)

I mounted up and grabbed the Berserker buff, popped a damage trinket, headed over to the group of Alliance trying to take down our FC... /cast Seed of Corruption over and over again.

I wish I had taken a screen shot of the explosions that took place. They were huge, and wiped out the entire mob that was heading upfield. BG chat went nuts with "OMGs" and "LOLs" and just like that, we scored our 2nd point. Talk about totally boosting our moral while completely crushing theirs. They were falling apart, and after something like that, you can't help but expect them to come back, and they certainly did.

The last few minutes of the game, I spent in midfield going DoT and SoC crazy while our FC carried the Alliance flag on by without a hitch. It felt like one of those "Onyx" moments, when teams would completely disregard the actual battleground objective, essentially giving up the win, and hoping for a few honor kills before game's end. It was a good feeling, and it reminded me what good PvP is all about and how much I actually miss it. Of course, we won, so that definitely helped. ;)

After that experience, I plan on getting some more PvP in with the 'lock in the upcoming weeks. I never thought that'd be the case after spending the Summer of '06 grinding to Rank 14, only to have Blizzard screw all of us who did it by giving everyone else the gear in a fraction of the time. And yes, I am still a little bitter about it, but this is just a game, and it's all about having fun. That Warsong game was definitely fun. Here's to hoping for more experiences like it.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Back to the Usual

You know those moments you experience when your internet cuts out? You know, when you feel totally lost and flustered, sit around doing nothing but waiting for it to come back online, opening your browser every 10 seconds to see if it can establish a connection, restarting your modem and router to see if that'll help, restarting your computer hoping that was the problem, checking every other computer in the house to see if any single one of them can get online, etc? Yeah, we're pretty dependent on the internet that way, and although I was uber excited to go on vacation this past week, I was a little worried I would experience internet-withdrawal as I so often do when the net goes down.

I totally didn't.

It was nice to be without the net and back in reality for a while. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery was just amazing, and the wife and pups were having an awesome time. It reminded me just how much I'm missing by being stuck behind a computer all day long, whether it's for work or WoW. I mean really, how many of us actually think about what's passing us by while we're logged in? Probably not many of us. So, yeah, it was good to have a reminder (wife in bikini > net any day).

So anyway, it's back to the usual daily grind. I start my teaching position in a few weeks, and found out a little bit ago that my classes are in the morning and finish before 1 p.m. every day of the week! So it looks like I'll be able to enjoy my summer after all. =) Plans? I really don't have any at the moment. I really didn't think I'd have much free time but apparently, the trend of me having waaaay too much of it will continue. I guess that means I'll get Glitz to 70 and maybe even PvP a little w/ the 'lock. Ugh, just the thought of it makes me a little sick. Maybe I'll just stick to raiding...

Oh, and one more thing:

That's what coming home from vacation is like. So, here's to time off and hoping that we all get more of it, even if it's just the net going down for a bit. /cheers. =)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Got my gear packed up, vehicle fueled, family excited, and we're good to go. I'll post some pictures from the lake if I can get connected up there. If not, I probably won't be updating this thing with anything until Saturday at the earliest. If that's the case, in the meantime, I hope you all have an amazing week. =)

Monday, June 11, 2007

What now?

News, even when unimportant, apparently travels fast. I've been getting a lot of messages from Alex players asking me what happened. To answer that briefly, there isn't any single reason why I left, nor is there a really short explanation. My departure from PK had actually been discussed for about the last week, and yesterday, Jade and I finally talked about it in length. Jade the GM wasn't happy, of course. But Jade my friend completely understood where I was coming from (thank you for that, btw). So yeah, what's done is done.

So, "what now?" is what I'm being asked atm. In all honesty, I have no clue. I've had a lot of fun playing Glitz lately, and I'm thinking about making her my priority until she hits 60, at least. As for guilds, I have no plans to apply anywhere atm and am completely okay with going stag for a while, even if that means I have to give up raiding. No biggie.

I PvP'd with Glitz a bit ago and did fairly well for my first time. I can see why Ressara thought he/she (whatever it was) was so good, because Shadow Priests really do feel like god mode, in the 50's bracket at least. Of course, I don't just sit in Shadowform and press the same sequence of 3 buttons like Res did all day long (I also don't run away from warlock imps like he/she did, lol). I do drop Shadowform and heal regularly (ended up 4th in dmg and 3rd in healing in AV) and then shadow back up when I need to. It's a very dynamic balance, and I'm liking it much. It'll be a nice change from my daily routine, me thinks.

So yeah, that's it for now. Going on vacation tomorrow, so I should probably get ready. Lates. =)

Some Changes

Lots has happened over the last 24 hours, since my last post. The most obvious and maybe even significant change is that I am no longer a member of Prom Kings. On the surface, that may appear to be a very bad thing both for me and the guild, but I can assure you that's not the case. Some changes are for the best, after all. I'll get into the details of things later, but for now, I just wanted to thank everyone that has helped me to progress as far as I have, and for the many great memories and friends I have made along the way. I wish the best for PK and if I can ever be of any help, just ask. =)

Tonight, I spent some much needed time offline with the wife (who just bought a new Nintendo Wii for us to enjoy XD), and then with some old Onyx guildies and Zyphre on vent while I studied some notes for an exam I am taking later today. In that time, for the first time in a very long time, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. There was no rush, no stress, no expectations. It was good to have a reminder of what that's like. I definitely needed it.

So yeah, more details on this stuff later. I just wanted to get it out there that everything is okay, and really, as it should be.

See ya soon. =)

Sunday, June 10, 2007


You know, I had this very long, crit-worthy post written about "Reason vs. Passion" and how passion breeds instability and yadda yadda yadda. I then realized that my post was based in passion and therefore would undoubtedly lead to instability, drama, etc. So, I wiped it clean (Reason > Passion ftw) and just have this left to say:


If it's meant for you, you already know exactly what I'm talking about. Take it to heart. Seriously.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Act of Charity

Recently, I've been spending some time catching Glitz up on some much needed experience. I spent a good portion of my playtime yesterday killing mobs in Azshara, which netted me a good amount of XP and took me from Lvl 47 to Lvl 48 with very little effort. Good stuff. Even better is that in just 12 more Lvls, I can finally get that Red Skeletal Warhorse I've been wanting since taking over Glitz, and can then get rid of this THING Blizzard tries to pass off as something other than a Chocobo. Definitely something I look forward to.

I also spent some time working on Glitz's Enchanting skill. I sat in the UC most of that time, handing out free Spirit and Strength bracer enchants to whoever wanted them (and some to those who didn't XD). I didn't think much of it at the time, especially since people didn't make a big deal about it and weren't tipping me or anything, so I just kinda went along with it. Towards the end, however, one player whose bracers I enchanted reopened a trade window with me and gave me 5g. I was a little taken back by it, since the mats for the enchant didn't cost more than 30s. She (I think it was a she) insisted I take the tip and that she was grateful to see someone giving away enchants for nothing, even if it was for my own gain. I thanked her and went along with it, continuing to give out enchants left and right.

This morning, I login with Glitz and find about 30 various shards in her mailbox, a high-lvl enchanting formula, and a message that read "I hope this helps with your enchanting. Good luck, and thanks again." It was from the same person, the only person, that had tipped me yesterday. I was stunned.

I responded to the message with a lot of "wows" and "are you sure?" and she responded back to me saying she just wanted to help and good luck. There were no expectations for repayment, no favors, nadda. It was just a completely selfless act of charity, and it really got me thinking about what I do to help people out, and if I do it enough. I mean, I give away items people need all the time, go on runs people need every now and then, and try to do my part, but is it enough? Is it ever enough?

I dunno, I may be having one of these random philosophical moments of clarity, but it seems to me that there isn't enough of what I saw yesterday and today on our server. And I'm not really talking about people being too loot-whorishness or selfishness or anything like that. I'm talking about people being good to one another, who look out for one another, who are willing to set themselves aside for a moment for someone else. That's a very rare thing on Alex, where egos seem to rule all.

I challenged myself to keep this experience in mind whenever I am approached by someone who needs a favor, a quest, or whatever. Now, this doesn't mean I'm always going to say "yes" or go along with whatever someone else wants or needs or hold everyone's hand, but it does mean that I'm going to keep checking myself to make sure that I'm in this not just for me. This is a very social game, and it's good to look out for one another. I think it'd be more fun that way.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

7g 60s 80c

Dreadmist Leggings - vendored for 2g 4s 75c.
Dreamdmist Wraps - vendored for 97s 27c.
Dreadmist Sandles - vendored for 1g 36s 39c.
Dreadmist Bracers - vendored for 81s 38c.
Dreadmist Belt - vendored for 85s 93c.
Dreadmist Mask - vendored for 1g 55s 11c.

Finally letting go of that garbage, which took me ages to get - 7g 60s 80c.

6 free bank slots ftw. =)

Any of you guys holding on to gear you'll never use again, just for the sake of having it?

How to Melt a...

In this edition of HtMa, we're gonna be taking a look at a basic outline of how to burn down a Priest with some Warlock goodness. First, a Shadow Priest.

How to Melt a Shadow Priest:

- Roll a warlock.
- Cast Curse of Tongues on the Priest.
- Cast Shadow Ward on yourself.
- Have pet attack (you better use special abilities manually, though).
- DoT with Corruption, Siphon Life (where applicable) and Immolate.
- Cast Fear.
- Cast Drain Life until your health is near 100%. If your health is already up there, toss a few SBs or Incins instead.
- Be sure to keep CoT and Shadow Ward active.

At this point, the priest is thinking about healing, so make sure you have your interrupts ready. Deathcoil is an obvious choice, but an instant-HoT works beautifully as well. If you have a Felhunter out, Spell Lock ftw, so use it wisely. If the priest does get a heal off, just continue with keeping him CoT'd and DoT'd. Shadow Priests beat Warlocks by making the 'lock Life Tap himself to death, so if you use your mana wisely and prevent his heals, you won't end up beating yourself before you have a chance to beat him.

Also keep in mind that as a 'lock, you'll probably get resisted a few times against a Shadow Priest, so don't be surprised if you have to cast spells more than once to actually get them to land.

Other than that, just play smart. CoEx kite even, if you have to. =)

How to Melt a Holy/Disc Priest:

- Kick his brother out of the guild.

I crack myself up. =P

Really though, there's nothing complicated here. Just keep him DoT'd and CoT'd, keep interrupting his heals, fear when necessary, and you're golden.

Next time, we'll take a look at Fury Warriors and a beautiful thing called the Insignia of the Horde. =)

New Lappie

I ordered a new laptop today to replace my current Dell laptop, which has been relatively good to me, but has never been without issues (screen flickers, crashes, low video performance, etc.). I snagged one of the newly updated Apple Macbook Pros (the 15-inch model with the 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT gfx card), a laptop I've been waiting to see a refresh for since the beginning of this year. Finally, this morning, it happened and I didn't hesitate. Of course, it happens after I am scheduled to start a new job (Prof. Jago, anyone?) and classwork that may not allow me to sneak in some WoW time.

Such a tease, I know.


Timelapse Shard Confusion

At Exalted with the Keepers of Time, you gain access to a trinket called the Timelapse Shard. If you're too lazy to click the link, it's an epic item with +27 stamina stats, and two equip effects. The first is that it reduces your threat to enemy targets within 30 yards, which is just awesome for a PvE'ing aggro whore like myself. Sure, KTM makes aggro issues a thing of the past (ideally), but this trinket would allow you to increase your dps some while maintaining a similar amount of threat. Sexy.

The other equip effect has me a little confused. Along with reducing threat, the trinket also improves your resilience rating (decreases the chance you'll be crit and the damage you take when you are crit) by 24. These two effects don't seem to compliment one another, do they?

If you're getting smashed on, hopefully it's on purpose, and this thing would protect you from crits a bit. But since the trinket also reduces threat, it would make keeping aggro a bit more difficult, wouldn't it? And on the flip side, if you don't want aggro, which the threat reduction is great for, and you're getting hit, you're most likely screwed anyway (maybe you drew aggro or it's a wipe), and resilience is pointless in that scenario. I mean, maybe for that split second if one were to draw aggro, the resilience would keep them from potentially getting one-shotted, but if one is aggro-aware enough to equip this trinket for it's threat reduction, I doubt that person would also find themselves in such a situation, ideally, of course.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not exactly sure what to make of this thing. It seems like it has one real application in PvE and one real application in PvP. As an epic item, one would think it would have complimenting stats or something. I may just be unaware of a scenario where this pairing would be useful, and if that's the case, do let me know. Otherwise, I'll just continue to visit the Quartermaster that sells it and end up walking away, utterly confused by it yet again, and wondering if Blizzard employees designed this thing while drunk.

Some combinations make sense. This one, doesn't.


Sunday, June 3, 2007


I'm totally a big fan of psychological thrillers, and there are two coming out this summer that, although some would call them horror movies, totally fit the bill. The first is based on a short story by Stephen King, called 1408. It reminds me a lot of Silent Hill 4: The Room, which was a much better concept than it was a game, but this movie seems to apply the concept much more efficiently. Have a look for yourself:

The next one gets a little more realistic, as strange is that may be to hear about a horror movie. It's Rob Zombie's take on the Halloween franchise, and more specifically, his perception of Michael Myers, who is the only popular horror movie character that could be real. He's just a guy gone insane - a complete psychological anomaly, and I totally dig it:

So what do you think? Both movies are set for release this summer, which is looking to be a hawt movie season (Rush Hour 3, anyone?). If you all have any other good ones to suggest, do tell. =)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Changing Behavior

If you guys haven't read the inaugural post over at Zyphre's blog (yes, THAT Zyphre), you should definitely take the time to do so. In it, he dives into the topic of behavior modification, or more specifically, his very personal bout with addiction, and questions about how to approach breaking the cycle within someone close to him without seeming the hypocrite, since he was just able to break the cycle within himself. Good stuff presented expertly, to say the least, so head over there when you get the chance.

The mechanism of behavior mod is a totally interesting one. It's embedded in all sorts of instances and has countless applications based on basic principles of reinforcement. Want to get a girl to go out with you? Behavior mod (hopefully not much of it). Want your parents to get off your back? Behavior mod. Want to stop yourself from acting like a jackass at job interviews, or even get yourself to a job interview in the first place? Behavior mod. Yup, it's everywhere, even in a PK guild meeting we had earlier this evening (kinda). Of course, creating a behavior mod program that actually works is the tricky part, and this is where most people who don't know much about it fail miserably.

The main problem can be summed up by one truth: knowledge alone does not change behavior. Think about it. How many people truly know that exercise is good for one's health, but don't engage in physical activity? Ask your average obese American and he'll tell you he knows he should exercise, but doesn't. The same goes for smokers. How many know it's bad for them, yet continue to smoke anyway? Probably a huge majority of them, if not all. Kinda depressing if you think about it.

So, what is it that causes the discrepancy between what one knows, and what one does? On a basic level, non-immediate negative consequences, for one. The longer one has to wait between an act and it's consequence, the less likely the consequence will change the behavior. Using smoking as an example, lung cancer just doesn't happen after the first cigarette, so that consequence isn't viewed as threatening. The fact that people can enjoy smoking's benefits (it makes you look cool!) without immediate punishment is a big reason smokers continue to slowly kill themselves while making corporate America rich. Hooray for capitalism!

Potent reinforcers are another variable that separate knowledge from behavior. Using smoking again, think about the chemical "ahhhh" people get when they take in a puff of nicotine. The relaxing feeling and "tastes like happy" result of cigarette consumption (especially paired with non-immediate negative consequences) reinforces the behavior, i.e., causes it to occur again and again. The knowledge of poor health promotion fails yet again.

A third, and somewhat more in-depth variable behind the fact that knowledge fails miserably is Cognitive Dissonance, which is the feeling that arises from engaging in a behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs about that behavior. What ends up happening is that a person restructures their perspective in order to justify their act. Smokers may argue that they can quit whenever they want to, or that smoking itself isn't as hazardous to one's health as they've been led to believe. Yeah, that actually happens. A bit crazy, eh?

So yeah, knowledge fails miserably. So talking at people and talking at people alone is essentially a waste of time. One must construct a system of reinforcers associated with behaviors that compete with those one wishes to change, in order to see a positive result. This doesn't have to be incredibly complex or anything, but it does take a bit more effort and planning than many people are aware is necessary.

So, when you read Zy's post, think about your behavior, what drives it, what reinforces it, and what you think would be a beneficial approach to changing it that he could potentially apply to his situation. We're all a part of this addiction, so, we may just come up with something useful. I'm totally interested to read what you guys have to say.

Gl Zy.

Let It Go

For those of you that drive, you've experienced the frustration of approaching a red light at night, when no other vehicles are around. You hope that the light will turn green before you have to slow down too much, or worse yet, come to a complete stop. When it doesn't, you stare down both sides of the cross-street, searching for on-coming traffic. Nope, not a single vehicle is in sight. The frustration becomes even more pronounced at the realization that your time is being completely wasted, because a machine that doesn't know better than you do is calling the shots. You then think about breaking the rules and running the light, but we all know that the traffic gods have a cop approaching the intersection somewhere, probably in your blind spot, and that it's probably not a good idea.

You sit patiently yet infuriated at this incredibly unnecessary inconvenience when you notice a car approaching on the cross-street. His traffic light has been green for what seems like an eternity now, and oh what he must think of you as he crosses the intersection, the light from his vehicle glaring off the whiteness of your knuckles as you clutch your steering wheel. You begin to get philosophical. "Why me? Why not him? What did I do to bring myself to this position at this very moment in time?" When you fail to answer those questions, you start to daydream about ramming your vehicle into the street light, knocking them over into power lines, exploding into the most amazing light show on impact, then getting out of your vehicle and smashing each and every one of those traffic lights in with the bat you have hidden under you passenger-side seat.

And as you drift off into the bliss that is such utter mayhem, your light turns green, reminding you why you were daydreaming in the first place, how angry you were just a second ago, and why you of all people were the one that was caught up in that moment of antagonization. You scan the cross-street to make sure the traffic has come to a stop, and when you see no one else having to endure the same nonsense you just experienced, you raise your fist and curse the traffic signal ahead of you when the light, almost reacting to your enraged state, smiles back at you, and turns yellow. You slam the gas pedal down as far as it will go while in a complete verbal tirade and your vehicle screams through the intersection, leaving the evil dancing lights in the distance in your rear view mirror.

You continue to grit your teeth, cursing aloud to yourself as you barrel down the road, daring the lights at the next intersection to pull the same stunt the last ones just did. You think to yourself, that if they so much as even think of it, you'll show them. You have insurance and an airbag, right? You'll slam yourself right into them, fulfilling that dream you had just a second ago in an act of complete delight. You snicker to yourself at the thought, as the memory of that last intersection continues to weigh heavily on your mind.

You finally get home, not really remembering the rest of the drive because you were still so busy being angry. You sit down to dinner with your family. You talk about the street light. A friend stops by. You talk about the street light. Your boss calls you to see if you can come in early tomorrow. You talk about the street light. You tuck your kids into bed. You talk about the street light. Your spouse kisses you goodnight and you say "GDI LEMME GO!" as you continue to think about the street light. On the couch where you'll be sleeping and where your dog visits with you, you talk about the street light. When your dog has had enough, you turn on the television, and talk to Conan O'Brien about the street light, until you pay the street light a visit in your dreams.

You wake up the next morning, and every morning since that night, talking about the experience over and over again. You continue on, even though you find that everyone else has moved on and doesn't care about it anymore. Your family doesn't care about it. Your friends don't care about it. Your bosses, co-workers, parents, cousins, therapists, and fellow WoW players don't care about it. No one but you, and maybe your crazy brother (I had to add a negative reinforcer in there somewhere) care about it.

You have no reason to linger on the subject anymore, but for some reason, even though that's the case, you continue to do so. Heidegger, the great philosopher who heard your rants the night of the incident, would say you lacked presence-at-hand. Most others would just call you crazy. Most others would call you immature. Most others would call you socially retarded. Most others would tell you to stop bringing it up. Most others would tell you to move on. Most others would tell you to let it go.

Oh, and about that light. The reason it was red that whole time? There was a pedestrian walking across the street. He had hit the crosswalk button and the light was giving him a moment to get across. What seemed like an eternity to you, was only a brief passing in time, and there was a good reason for it. There is always a good reason.

Remember that the next time you find yourself driving at night, approaching a red light, with no other vehicles around.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Alex Forum Recruitment Thread

It's been a while since the guild has posted anything on the horror that is the Alexstrasza forums, but I figure I'd give it a shot tonight. I called the thread "Why is the [H]Guild so Sex for Recruiting?" Epic, no doubt.

Expectations are realistic, though, which means I'm not expecting much. If something wonderful comes around, though, you can bet we'll jump on it without hesitation. ;)

C'mon, Alex. Show us what you got!

June Gloom

I'm not exactly sure what happened last night, or how or why it happened, but it definitely wasn't a pretty sight. Five Prince attempts in a row failed miserably due to unlucky Infernal placement and, more importantly, less-than-stellar play on the part of a good majority of our raid. It's like we showed up expecting easy Infernal placement or something, because when things started getting crazy, we looked like a bunch of chickens running around with our heads cut off. Players were running into Infernals trying to get away from Prince's Shadownova, and some were slammed by it anyway. Players who don't normally have a hard time healing were getting caught off-guard and couldn't top-off our tank in-time. Players who don't usually have an issue maintaining mana were running low early. Players who usually last through an encounter were dropping like flies. It was a mess. Thankfully, the guild did pull it together and managed to defeat him, as we usually do, very easily. It was just an off night, I guess.

So tomorrow, I'm not quite sure what to expect. Not sure if we will raid or not, but if we do, I'm hoping the guild brings it's A game. We definitely need to pull it together after today.

Oh, and I finally got my Netherwing Drake mount. I was totally torn between the Purple one and the Onyx one, and ended up going w/ the Onyx Drake after much help from Bixxie (thanks girl!). I'm very glad that's over and done with -- I can finally get to sleep early!

Gnite all. =)