26 February 2011

The Fun of it all!

I'm still tinkering around with the blog design, and the newly planned resources page is actually in draft form atm.
In the meantime, Kaimara has offered up a couple of new screenies during her adventures in Outland. One should note that this little mage has no fear, and will go at anything in her path.

Kai boldly faces Teribus

Teribus the Cursed

25 February 2011

Armor for (blog) Wars?

I've been around the wow internets a fair amount of time now, albeit, silently. I have this tendency to avoid getting personal about anything, to be publicly opinionated on any subject or to take up sides in any of the often heated debates that pop up. It's just me.

Considering some recent events though, along with a virtual all-out bar fight to boot, this crickity old one with the fragmented mind is going to say a few words. /Shockwave! Yes, I do have opinions from time to time and sometimes, they may even border upon intelligent. (rare, I admit)

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before just how much of an avid blog reader I am. With google reader bursting at the seams and my favorites tab showing signs of middle age spread, there's not much I miss out on while bouncing around the wow blogosphere. Well, at least it seems that way. Obviously, I don't read every rss subscribed or favorited blog every day. My hap-hazard system allows me to scan through all posts from all blogs I've found an interest in for some reason or another, snatch up the ones that strike an immediate interest within, then move on to the ones I do read all posts from regulary. Yes, it's a strange journey indeed.

Now, here is where it gets a bit sticky for me. I get to know blog authors. Not personally, but through their writings. I receive and formulate distinct thoughts of and feelings for them through their posts. It's kinda sorta like kindred spirits. I don't always agree with my favorite bloggers at times, but respect their right to voice their thoughts/opinions, and continue to patronize their corner of the community.

What saddens this ol' heart, is seeing one of my favorites stop blogging. That "final post", does tend to make these eyes a bit blurry-visioned. One can easily accept the reasons of: long time player quitting wow, real life changes, etc. But to see blogs go awry or even shut down over all out "blogging warfare", is simply un-acceptable.


Even like-minded people are not going to have perfectly matching opinions. Differing views are what makes the world go 'round, and grow. You CAN agree to disagree. You CAN disagree totally, and enter into intelligent, RESPECTFUL debate over the issue. MAYBE even come to a mutual understanding of each others views. Hell, if it weren't for all the personal slandering and blood-letting, you might even come up with the best resolution for the issue, or whatever it was that got lost in the heat of the battle anyway.

Would I be speaking about morality, or some form of blogging 'Table of Manners' here? No, not really. Just a little common sense and human decency will do. The old saying is that it takes two to fight, and, there is always two sides to any story. I'm quite sure that open communication and respect will go a long ways towards solving any disagreement. Well, most of the time. Maybe. It is after all, World of WARcraft. (yeah, I went there :))

I hear (read) about the warcraft blogging "community". Within that community I find a virtual truck-load of intelligent, well-versed and knowledgeable writers of all flavors. A grand horn of plenty. Human nature seems to dictate that two people will argue over just about anythng. Why does it seem at times that such a great and wonderful community finds it difficult to rise above this rather simplistic and demeaning aspect of human nature? Blogging warfare. "Is this really necessary?"

19 February 2011

Still dressing it up

Just a little quickie update:

I'm still working on dressing up the blog a bit. Newly added things include a seperate page for "The Family". A brief description of my most regulary played characters in-game and a short 'why' I don't list everyone. Page tab at the top for ease of locating. I've also tried to include links for their most recent activities.

Another little goodie is that wowhead links should be mouse-over active. This looks like a great idea when I'm talking about more specfic items, quests and such that are part of the post.

Also in the mixer for near-future additions is a resource page. It is currently in the making and link checking stages and should appear before too awful long. There are so many great blogs and sites available for everyone and this seems like the best way for me to be helpful if even in a small way. Otherwise, MJ will pretty much remain as random and personal in it's posting as it has been.

Happy gaming everyone!

13 February 2011

Taking it easy weekends

It's the weekend, or actually the end of it for me. I don't usually do much with Sol during weekends. Generally very high realm attendance, upswing in both server and home latency, low framerates. Big difference from week days when school is in session. So this is a time when Sol kicks back a bit from his regular routines. Archaeology and fishing pretty much rule the day. Perhaps some AH sightseeing, just in case there might be some great buyouts he can use somewhere. Or maybe something special for the alts.

Beyond all that excitement, the weekends are generally good for playing the alt kids. Their lower levels have them tucked away in various parts of Azeroth, usually questing zones that are fairly void of the higher population. At worse, occassional level cap gankers to deal with.

This weekend belonged to Kaimara, that uppity little human mage (frost/fire), whom has been sitting around a bit since the fun questing is over for her. Yep, she passed 60 a bit ago, now at 63 and touring Outland. She has covered a good part of Hellfire in spite of the gankers, so moved her squishey little self over to Zangermarsh. With all those over-grown mushrooms about providing quite a dense cover for ground movement, she's been able to run enough quests to make that jump from 61 to 63 without seeing nary another soul.

It is kind of odd though, not actually seeing anyone else about and yet, those pop up slap-you-in-your-face guild invites seem to find her on a regular basis. I really dislike that. No hello or anything. Just a blind guild invite out of nowhere. Same thing holds fairly true when she does run into someone doing the same quest she's on. No talk or hello, just that sudden group invite. I often wonder if it's because she's a mage and out there kicking butt all over the place, but she really isn't that arrogant. It's more likely just the general way of this server's population. Maybe? Could be? Whatever. If someone cannot find it in theirself to at least say hello, all their invites get quickly declined with the same rudeness in which they appeared. "Nuff said."

Kai, as I like to call her, did provide us with some recent screenies to add to our collection. We've got a new View from Above, a nice look at Honor Hold and that wonderful night sky. Kai also provided some recent shots of herself. After wearing her Tattered Dreadmist Robe for so long, she got the bug to try out her new Queen Azhara's Dressing Gown today. It actually looks rather nice on her. And she also showed off her new little questing home in Telredor. A nicely furnished little cottage so to speak, suits her rather well. Comfy pillows around, incense burners, what a nice get-away.

So what about you, have you got one of those nice little get away from it all places you like to camp out in? Or do you just call it "home" where ever you happen to be? Kai will set her hearth in the closest major city where she's questing, such as Shattrath for now. Being able to teleport to most anywhere else in Azeroth she needs to be is a plus. But she likes to spend her nights in some quiet place alone. Actually, many different places she discovers during her travels. Tonight, it was the pillows and incense.

Enjoy the screenies, and have a great week ahead!

12 February 2011

Shineys and Interupts

Surely by now, everyone is at least aware that I have this "Ohhhh, Shiney!" affliction. I could be in the middle of a serious quest chain, fighting a small pack of mobs or even just flying to the next place I need to be when something catches my eye and waylays me off on a completely different objective. Herbs and fishing holes are prime attention grabbers, but not alone in the woods so to speak. At least, they only side-track me for a relatively short period of time. Not a big deal, right?

Another culprit (make the plural), would be the odd-ball achievements which suddenly show their face. Like just finishing up a batch of dailies and realizing I'm close enough to Org and still need that one fish for the Fishing Diplomat. *Minor thought reminder to self / me ally + horde heavy pvp server = time consuming multiple corpse runs.* Well, not enough of a deterrent obviously, as I'm flying in over the mountains tops and kitty stealthing large jumps down to a little out of the way nook next to a waterfall. All this to hopefully get a ten minute crack at that damn fish again. Getting in and when necessary, out of Org are the easy parts. Actually fishing for a whole minute or two is the real challenge. And let's not forget that bugged Limnologist achievement, (I KNOW I've caught ALL those damn fish before), still saying I need some bloated fish specimens. Okay, 'nuff said.

Other things that tend to waylay me fall into either useful or vanity grinds. Like faction reps. These can be useful, sometimes. Except for the time period I was grinding them just for the 20 faction exalts achievement. I never completed them during leveling so it was a "go back in time and grind them" sort of project. And don't get me started on the horrible rep grind for the Winterspring Frostsaber Mount. The vanity stuff usually involves completing some very old quests I didn't do back then, just because I desire some little companion pet which caught my eye. Or some, maybe unusual, mount. Most recently, this involved the three escort quests for the OOX-??? dohickey contraption. Why? That little adorable mechanical chicken at my feet.

Then we have: Archaeology. ATM, there are only two good things I can say about this addictive compulsion. One, Blizz buffed up the vendor payouts for the commons. WOOT! On patch day, I logged in to collect a quick 500 gold and gain some much needed bank space. Two; I now have 11 rares solved, which delight me to no end. Still haven't found the jar with the Sandstone Drake recipe as yet ;( but I am still spending hours at a time OCD digging away). And I mean, HOURS! Many, many HOURS! Oh yeah, those daily dungeons I should be running, actually want to be running...wait...there's a red spot on my map not far from here. Just one. It won't take that long. Really! Just one. Well, maybe I'll come up with THE jar this time.

Oh, and btw, my name is Solitudeone and I'm an altoholic.

09 February 2011

First Cata Dungeon

It was early evening for me. Just about that time when I usually call it a day with the game. I was in guild chat just casually talking about beginning the normal random norm dungeon thing, about beginning to learn how to pve. Next thing I know is my guild mate popped up a group invite and que'd us up, saying something along the lines that it was a good time to start learning. As good as any I thought, though I had many self-doubts about my abilities and being able to make worthwhile contributions to the group.

Earlier that afternoon I had spent some time at the training dummies pushing out as much dps as I could. I wasn't real happy with the results, the overall average coming out to around 5.7k. I didn't think this was acceptable, and wondered if I couldn't somehow do better. So, the sudden jump into a group and dungeon certainly had me concerned, but jump I did. I just hoped that I didn't get the group wiped or cause some deaths I shouldn't cause.

Halls of Origination, my first time. I must say right here though that I was surprised and pleased with the group. Especially after my bitter distaste for dungeon groups at the end of Wrath. The tank knew the fight, the healer was my guild mate, and the pally seemed to know the tank. So overall, the tank took time to briefly explain trash pulls where necessary, including CC marks. With each boss, he was brief but very precise about the abilities to expect, what to watch for and avoid plus any incidentals. I liked the tanks' delivery. Short, to the point, no long winded fluff. Though I did not know the fights at all, I later realized that what the tank did say was exactly everything I needed to know.

Now, I don't know where HoO stands in so far as difficulty compared to the rest of the dungeons. But for me tonight, everything from the trash to bosses seemed intense. The health pools on all my targets certainly looked very large to me, actually, somewhat bordering insurrmountable. The run went well though. A couple of deaths, three, as I recall, but no group wipes. At times, the tank actually showed joy at how well something went.

I wasn't very pleased with my own preformance, dps seemed rather low to me and a few other things I'm sure I should have done better on. Half-way through the run, I also got dis-connected from internet. You can imagine the words I had to say over that. But, managed to log back in quickly enough and was still with the group. After the last boss was down and I ported out, I realized that half my add-ons suddenly stopped working. LOL- I couldn't even log out of game normally! Once out though, I found that three of the mods where waiting for sudden updates.

All in all, I had quite a night and my first Cata dungeon is now history. I learned that movement did put a dent in my dps a little bit on some fights, but on others it wasn't that much of a factor. So it had more to do with rotation I think, and what I did/did not do during movement. I'm sure as the balance of this night progresses and my fragmented mind replays the scenes a few times over, I'll think of many other things I need to improve on. In the end though, I'm very happy that the group succeeded in downing everything.
1 down---42 to go!

06 February 2011

Adjustments to the Cataclysm

I, or perhaps Sol, have been busy trying to get somewhat organized. The main reason for the lack of posts around here lately. We've always been a bit scattered, or "fragmented" as our new header graphic says. Time has come around though and the desire to become something more has risen from the depths within.

I'm fairly sure that this lurking desire to be better has reared its' head in many players, probably multiple times. We find ourself shifting different alts around, maybe even deleteing some, and re-positioning our main for a new path to travel. Kind of like taking a look at the big picture from a different angle. If there needs to be a reason to justify this sudden flurry of activity, it would be logical to assume that the starting point lies within why you play the game. Even though most players know, that even this changes over time.

For over four years now, Sol has been something of a silent, lone adventurer in the world of Azeroth. Single-handedly bringing death and destruction to many mobs, clandestine groups and rift-raft bosses.

Very late in Wrath, the choice to enter some serious PVE came along. A lot of time was spent improving gear and such, and the early random dungeon normal modes were attempted. Too little, too late though. The bulk of players were already downing LK, farming heroics and face-rolling the 10 and 25's content. The now infamous gearscore and achievement requirements, were little more than a major roadblock for Sol. Needless to say, the attempt failed in the most horrible of ways.

Cataclysm has altered everything imagineable though, for the better overall. Even though Sol still soloed those new five levels, he came out of them much better geared and feeling more prepared to attempt the end-game PVE world. Although he isn't quite ready yet, people have already sent him invitations for various groups, and even PvP teams! It would seem that the mindset of groups and guilds has undergone some major changes as well. At least for most people. Many of the jerk-butts are still hanging in there, although somewhat less noticable. Anyway, Sol broke from his old ways. He sold off his personal guild charter and bank, and ended up joining a guild. Now, the guild invite did not come from any of the well-known progression guilds on his server. As though blessed by the old gods and goddesses, the invite came from a guild with a lot of friendly members, and a lot of potential for growth.
I feel that as time goes by, this will turn out to be one of Sol's better choices that he's made over the years. Sol is happy now. Things are going well atm, and that is why he plays the game. To enjoy its' many aspects, to have some fun, and perhaps help make Azeroth a better world along the way.