31 October 2010

Speaking of "Shattering"...

Sol has been looking forward to The Shattering, and all those ramp up events leading to the arrival of Cataclysm. At this point the understanding is, that patch 4.0.3 will implement all the necessary changes, and patch 4.0.3a will be the actual events. The actual timeline is blurred somewhat, although that does not dampen the growing excitement. Some posts around the web have suggested that 4.0.3 will most likely come right after the Hallows End holiday, which seems plausable since that will only leave about a month until the actual xpac release. Yea!! I was actually tired of all the pumpkin heads running about anyway.

Apparently, a bunch of editors at WOWwiki jumped ship and went over to a new site called Wowpedia. It was here that I found a page discussing The Shattering events and the Elemental Invasions. The level of difficulty during these invasions sounds to be relatively high, but perhaps possible to attempt solo (not being in a raid group). There will be plenty of other players in the cities, and I'm sure some will be grouped up. So it won't be like you're taking on everything all by yourself. Now Sol can solo, with reasonable expectations of success, a level 80 elite between 150-200k life. During these particular invasions of elementals though, he will have to really think about what he's doing and manage his resources at optimum level. He does love to challenge himself in these ways though! That's the thing soloing so much has taught him though, how to plan out his attacks, keep his distance and survive the encounter. And since 4.0.1 landed, he's had to make some serious changes to maintain that surviveability. (that's another story all-together)

All in all though, the sounds of war and massive battles ahead ring out a bit louder each day. The earthquakes are lasting longer and becoming more violent. Kiamara was in Stormwind last week when the King and other leaders were discussing the events and possible reactions. It was quite a conversation to listen to and she dutifully passed it along to Sol. It's so nice when the kids (alts) share all these bits of info they come across. It's kind of like having spies all over the world! If you're a story-line and lore seeker, I would reccomend popping into the King's chamber and take the time to listen to (read) this conversation. I would think that there are some simular events going on with the Horde leaders as well.

Are you excited about all this?

30 October 2010

Of bugs and patches...

Not a whole lot of things going on lately, mostly just leveling the kids here and there, Sol getting himself together for The Shattering.
Around here, the 'about' page never really set that well, so it has undergone a bug-fix and patch of it's own making it now readable. Been a bit more tired than my considered norm, don't even have a pretty screen-shot to toss out today. Looking forward to a better week ahead.
Kiamara had quest reason to go visit the Stormwind King this week, which was quite interesting. Has anyone ever really listened (read) through the conversation he's having with those leaders in attendance? Everyones' concerns over the earthquakes? 

20 October 2010

Wow! What a week it has been...

since the 4.0.1 patch dropped on live. So many changes and things to address in game, that it about felt like the Cataclysm did start up. All those earthquakes really stirred up new difficulties to overcome. How I love a challenge. /grumblegrumble

What seemed to be the most pressing issues was getting Sol re-specced into the new talent tree. It also seemed like a good time to re-do the keybinds and rotation since some spells went MIA. First up, reset keybinds to default, then jump through a Dal portal to the trainer in SW. It wasn't exactly a free re-spec though, it did cost a few gold, not much really. I got my balance tree back working, grabbed up the training and checked out the new glyph processes. Not too bad at this point, seemed to go rather smoothly.

Then it was off to the local AH. More earthquakes shaking things up, including the sellers who were taking big advantage of the conditions. To say that price gougeing went into effect, is stating the condition rather mildly. Just about everything saw price hikes ranging from 200 to 400%. *tries to hold spinning head still* Fortunately, I already had most of the immediate glyphs I needed, only had to pick up one or two as I recall and they weren't that earth shattering. Took some time to sift through the gem market as well. Decided to wait a bit before adjusting mine as the cost was a bit outragous. This did spur my posting of gem transmutes though, a small collection I usually put up once a week or so. (Sol transmutes the gem mats that JC's need to cut their epics) The market for these was nearly tripled at the moment, but I just could not bring myself to act in the same manner. My thoughts here also followed the coarse that if I only mark up slightly, they will sell really quick, very quickly it turned out. I don't use any AH add-ons, everything is done with simple logic and common-sense. The weekly batch of transmuted gems which usually made me about 600 gold or so sold within the hour for about 1,000 gold. Not bad at all. Seeing how everything else was in the same condition, I dumped off some stuff which had been collecting dust for some time. Like batches of inks and pigments from a former scribe alt, some Iceweb Spider Silks and such. All in all, I probably made about 2k gold over 24 hours. Thankyou Deathwingl, for shaking things up a bit. This was a one-shot moment and I'm happy with it. I expect things will settle down fairly soon enough.

Moving on, I decided to skip the training dummies and put the new stuff straight to work on some tourney dailies. Hearthed back to Dal, then off to tourney grounds. Disaster struck! And not from where I would have expected it to come from. BLACK SCREEN! The graphics chipset stopped working with Wrath content. I found that I could play in the old world but not in Northrend. /GRRRRR! Rumaged around a bit and found a graphics card to drop in the comp and finally got things going again. Will have to work on a lag issue, but at least Sol is up and running again. What next!?! (btw-that new return to graveyard button sure works great!)

Sol had also been soloing some instances for a little extra gold before this mess occured. So, after a few dailies, it was off to see The Baron again. (Strat) The rotation felt odd and some things did not seem to be hitting as hard or doing as much damage as before the patch. He used to be able to gather small groups (3-5), pop a hurricane and take them down. Now it takes two pops. Hmmmm? Where Sol would normally spend about 2 gold in repair after a Strat run, this one cost him close to 20 gold. Talk about mark-ups being everywhere. I obviously need to make some healthy adjustments.

Off to Outland next. Several, about 5 instances there I normally would solo. I started with Settketh Halls. Major problems here, I kept dying in the first room! So I moved over to the Mana Tombs....same problems, death was ruling the day. Soooo not good! Is this a sign of times to come? I really wasn't having any mana issues, but my overall damage dealing seems to be nerfed quite a bit more than I expected. Even applying myself to a more strict rotation with the new eclipse factor did not seem to help. This is one really, really unhappy Moonkin for the moment. So much so, that I moved on to the alt kids to allow for a time of reflection. At least they seemed to be in much better shape overall.

I would imagine that Blizz may get things worked out a bit with balance druids, or at least I hope they do. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to work with what I got. I'm sure that skipping the target dummies and forgeting to keybind my spells again probably had something to do with the overall mess of things. Still, I cannot help feeling that some of my spells have been nerfed for the worse. Hopefully, Sol will be a viable asset again by the time Cataclysm does go live.

12 October 2010

OMG! - 17 hours of patch!!!

The wait wasn't all that bad until Blizz added that last 2 hr. extension, making it 8pm my local time. *grrrrr

Just like a gazillion other players I logged in the moment servers started to come up, anixous to see how much havoc was dumped on my main. Some of the usual sort of thing for this kind of patch, talents wiped out, another trip to the trainer for new and revised spells. Although, this time I had to spend some gold. Not all that much extra, but noticeable. Then there was the glyph issues and placements. *makes note to self to purchase more glyphs tomorrow* I breezed through the balance tree though. Being no stranger to re-speccing, I had earlier gone through my list of preferred theory-crafters to see who had the most recent and viable spec posted up. Yeah, sort of cookie cutter mode, but they have been great points to start out with when in doubt.

The new interfaces for character, spell book, professions and talents look really good. I like the way my alchemy can now be sorted to get through all the possibilities, going straight to the section I want to work with. I tried one of my gem transmutes just to see if the cd was gone yet. It wasn't, but only showed a little over 5 hours of cd instead of the 19hr+ norm. Maybe just because of patch day, but I hope it stays this short. I did return to default all my keybinds since I planned to refine them anyway. Ughhhh! Master Flight Training--5k gold!!! Oh well, back to gold grinding tomorrow. Maybe by weekend I'll be able to get it. I also tried out Reforgeing on one piece of gear since I found my new self comfortably over hit and haste cap. It works out pretty good I think, but it will cost you gold also. I paid 11.5g for the one I tried, exchanging out some massive crit stat for some mastery.

It was really funny though, to see the amount of alliance players on-line tonight. Very unusual. Someone in trade labeled this as 'The Day the Alliance returned to Spinebreaker.' I did notice some minor glitches so far, like not being able to de-select a NPC once you were done with them. I had to leave the area until distance finally de-selected by default. This did cause one unsuspecting NPC to gain a MotW he really didn't need.

All in all, it was an interesting and exciting 90 minutes for my main. Latency and fps were off, but workable. All my add-ons were listed as out of date, a simple check to load anyway fixed that for now. And enough done for tonight. Tomorrow will be the real test working with the new rotations and going through all my daily routines which I suspect will not be so routine.

How about you? What are your plans now that the patch is live? Did you notice the occassional shaking and rumbleing going on? I did, while I was in Ironforge. Hmmmmm?

02 October 2010

Info Overload-Press Any Key...

*Dazed and Confused* wearing off, I found myself staring into the double barreled scatter gun. A rather unique weapon obviously meant for major life-changing damage. Even the item color was unlike any I've ever seen. They called it...."Cataclysm".

Attempting to tread water in that turbulant sea of information, the stark reality of those nay-sayers who claim the world is ending suddenly held some truth. Rumors of patch 4.0 going live, (perhaps as early as this week) and the expansion perhaps only about a month away from that, are being broadcast from the highest peaks. Nerf hammers, if you wish to call them that, are already falling on balance druids in the PTR and Beta. What started out looking pretty good, even awesome, has become just more questionable in nature. (*my personal thoughts) Either way, I've become tired of treading water. Call it information overload.

Being what I guess to be an average player, I went from vanilla into TBC more or less blind. Just jumped in and began playing, exploring all the new quests, etc. The same was true for WotLK. No previous research, no lingering upon the words of master theorycrafters, just jump in with both feet and learn as I go. I thought, suppossedly with the wisdom of a now experienced player, that I would dive into that sea of information available pre-release Cataclysm. That I would go into the expansion a more knowledgeable, know your class and play it well Druid. I am beginning to question my thought processes now. As Netherones' little imp would say, "Is this really necessary?"

There is a constant ebb and flow nature swarming all around the changes which Cata will bring. One specific thing, be it a talent, spell or whatever, goes from being good- to being not so good- to having no synergy- to being just being there for ?? Ebb and Flow. Everyone going back and forth in their thoughts and opinions on the same item, so much so, that one may wish for it to just go away. (and I'M the *dazed and confused* one?)

Before everyone gets on their war mammoth and starts swinging their ban-hammers at me, let me state for the record that I am not attempting to deride or dismiss all the fine theorycrafters out there. They happen to be a fine bunch, quite knowledgeable and I'm sure useful for many players....including myself !

With that said, what can go so wrong for the average player who may just pop into their local retailer, grab up the shiney new expansion, and just play the game? Let's look at this for a moment.

You won't play as good as the hard-core and pros: So what? You share a boat with a few million other players just doing the same thing, playing the game.

It will take you longer to quest and level-cap: Duh! You just might enjoy more aspects of the game, taking the time to do more things other than rush to end-game raiding or whatever.

People will, with malice, call you "NooB" I promise you, at one time or another, they were just that as well. The only difference now is that their brains got swallowed up with their egos and in essence turned into the green goop you see on the dungeon floors. Just as in the dungeons where you avoid the "fires", you can easily avoid them.....it's called..../ignore. (Note-the more mature players will offer you a tip or two instead)

You might die...a lot! Simple process here, return to body-rez-live and learn. Anyone can do it, multiple times if necessary. And everyone has done it! Soon enough, you will learn how not to die as much.

Okay, you get the idea here. Nothing can go so wrong with going into the expansion blind and just play the game. Yes, it is really great that there are such proficient and knowledgeable players out there willing to dissect and share the anatomy of your race/class throughout the game. And double yes, I do advise finding yourself a small group to learn from. The wealth of information available though can be mind-boggeling, to say the least. Just don't let yourself slide into that state of "information overload" to such a point that you lose sight of playing the game for enjoyment. All the rest will come to you in time.