25 January 2012


This is my second week of irratic game play time. Aaarrrrrrrrgh! Even Blizz is messin' wit me, can't make up der minds wit the maintenance schedual days. What the heck.

So it's back to work on a new blog header image today, along with some scattered readings. We all know I'm not a raider....yet. That doesn't stop me from reading blogs by people who do raid quite well and successfully. Someday, the information will come in handy I'm sure. This morning I was treated to a thoughful posting over at World of Matticus. Aygaren is 61 now, and still struggling to start tanking dungeons. Thoughts of Black Temple and Illidan are in the back of his mind, barely noticeable. I have to wonder though if places such as Ulduar, will amaze him as much in the future, as they did for those who saw them in real time. Maybe the LFR will be available for him by the time he gets to that level.

Having just started in Outland though, there are several other things on his mind. Such as the Bloody Rare achievement. Many of the alt kids have quite a spread of rare kills under their belts, but not one holds this achievement. He also got some kind of bug inside his new plate armor and feverishly traveled wide and far Honoring the Elders. There are a couple of stray Alliance ones still giving him headaches though!

Back to the Bloody Rare thing. By way of another blogger's blogroll, we've come across a little gem to help out clearing Outland of rares. "WoW Rare Spawns Guide." As luck would have it, she is currently posting the Outland zones. This is a great find. Very detailed information on the rares, spawn points and paths, and videos!

Transmoggie stuff: Sure, at lvl 61 and greatly limited dungeon experiance, Ay doesn't have a stash of great looking gear laying around. But his eyes are wide open watching for possibilities for future use. He recently made a special trip to Winterspring to find an out-of-the-way vendor who held a cool looking sword blacksmithing plan. Which he kindly shared for eight (8) shiny gold pieces. It's got a fair sized material list to smith one, but it does look really good and has potential. Ay's still holding on to that shield he likes from Feralas, it may or may not look so good with the sword, time will tell. He's also still at soloing earlier dungeons, so other stuffs may pop up unexpectedly. LOL, he may turn out to be hap-hazard unique looking!

Okay, as my rambleings finish up here and you're ready to move on to more saner readings, I'll leave you with this mornings' Breakfast Topic at WoW Insider. Going through the comments, I just had this: "OMG! I know all these people!"
Traveling through Darkshore

Have fun everyone, cyl!

22 January 2012

New Stuffs!

New stuff ahead!

I don't know too much about you, but I like to read bloggers "About" pages, if they have one. Which is why my own page has been a consistant, sub-consious thorn in my side in like, forever? Questions like "what" and "how much" do I write there plague me. After all, I'm just another player in a sea of millions. Maybe average, maybe not quite, who knows.

Over the past couple of days I've been intent on drafting a "real" about page. It's done now, more or less. Long wall of text though. I'll try to add some intermitent screenies as I go along. If you're feeling like one of Azeroth's Heros who dare to tread anywhere, feel free to go have a read. But, maybe take a snack and drink with you!

I'm also working silently on a new blog header image, one which I feel will be more agreeable with MJ's post contents. So don't be surprised or think you've stumbled into the wrong place sometime when it changes. Even the layout is self-adjusting these days, lol.

As always, drop a comment if you so wish. I really don't bite, or any other such thing. Unless you're a troll of sorts. Fair warning. Just saying.

I hear Aygaren yelling for my attention. He's trekking around in early Outland and likes to drag me along. Soooo, happy gaming all. CYL!

18 January 2012

Those Little Pleasures

Every so often, you just have to sit back and relish those simple, little pleasures and surprises that happened your way seemingly out of nowhere. Such as, a very young Aygaren on his very first trip into the new Darkmoon Faire on it's first day. And lucky enough to fish up the Sea Pony.

Then there's the more subtle surprises which magically appear. I had no clue DBM kept such records, and made such announcements.

Deadly Boss Mod announcement
And after all those years of sneaking, nose-dives and stealthing into Org on Alliance toons to no avail, only to have about the newest Hordie finally turn in this catch. Fourth cast, doing a simple fishing daily.
We must not forget all those odd little sights along the way as well. Like bears stuck in trees.

Interesting, yet meaningful cave decor:

Or those off-road little get-aways where you can just fish and drink the day away:

Nat Pagle's Island
 And sometimes, a particular piece of quest reward gear just looks awesome to you. So much so, this shield waits in the bank for much later transmog use:

So tell me friends. What little odd-strange-simple-unusual memories do you hang on to?

17 January 2012

Bucket List? No way!

I find myself with some 'away-from-game' time, two days this week and possibly two days next week. Unusual for me, though perhaps for unknown reasons it has it's purpose for being so. We shall see.

I'm not one for making those new year resolution lists. Or "bucket lists." /lol At my current 'state-of-the-union', I'd be lucky to maintain enough focus to get through one project at a time. It's all good anyway. It's kinda sorta like randoms. Just never know what's going to happen until you (I) get there.

Not that I don't have little things I try to accomplish, either in game or here, on the blog.

About the blog: I have been making some headway with sorta dressing it up a bit. Like adding that screenie of tree leaves from the Darkmoon Faire Isle as a background. It'll probably change from time to time though as different images grab my momentary attention. :) I've never really been satisfied with my attempts at an "About" page here. I really need to spend some time with that this week. Just don't hold your breath in the meantime! Then there's my blog reading lists...yes, multiple lists. They could stand a bit of cleaning up and organization. The one positive move I've made thus far, is to make sure I comment on at least one blog I regulary read each day. I enjoy reading so many WoW blogs, I should at least let authors know their efforts are appreciated. My thoughts at least.

In game: A whole other world of multiple lists of things I attempt from time to time. I really cannot remember the number of alts I've created over the years and all their specific purposes in mind at the time. Off-hand, I'd venture to say that the current number of characters is between 20 and 25. Many are also collecting dust atm, lol.

Aygaren is the main attention getter. He's just leveling way to fast though while practicing his skills enough to feel confident about entering random dungeons as a tank. I need to cut off his supply of XP for a bit. As soon as I figure out how to, anyway. Some of his practice has included going solo on early level dungeons, imagining a group with him. How he positions things and where a possible group may be positioned. Other practice has been with world questing, but gathering up 3-4 mobs at a time instead of just single targets.

Achievements: a source of constant distractions. As with collecting companion pets and sometimes mounts. These need to be channeled more effectively, somehow. Over the years, the sum of all characters would perhaps easily compile at least two Loremaster titles, but no single character holds said title. The same condition exists for pets, mounts and possibly all the faction exalted reps. One would think by now that I'd have at least one character with several desirable titles. Alas, I don't. It would be nice I think to finally rectify these conditions. Someday. What's that I hear? It's almost time for the Lunar Festival to begin?

So the cause for all this rambling on is due to my own distinct random ways of doing things. I have a lot of fun with the game for sure, which is good. Although, I would also like to be better at it overall. Someone needs to shoulder the responsibility for this change.

I'm looking at you, Aygaren.

14 January 2012

Method to the UI Madness

My last UI mumbles weren't just out of the blue. :) I had (still have) fairly good reason for all the changes. They come in the name of Aygaren. Remember him? That Tauren pally who wants to L2tank?

The basic goals of adjusting the UI were such: Useable across all characters; maintaining current/already known keybinds and, "field of view." Little things like swapping out different character rotation spells/attacks to match the keybinds sort of came with the territory, minor stuff.

Not that far from the subject, I happen to like reading several specific columns over at WoWInsider. The "Know Your Lore" column tops the list I guess. If I'm particulary working a specific class, there are the class specific columns nice and sometimes helpful to read. One such column I've followed regulary is the "UI of the Week." Each week a player submission is offered up and discussed. It's just been quite useful over the years for seeing different UI set-ups and the add-ons the player used. I'm am pretty sure it was somewhere in one of these year end columns, that I recall a slight mention of a UI trend which moves everything over to the side of the screen, instead of the staple bottom of screen.

Dufit, (my resident Horde testing subject) got the call to come up with something along this line and to determine it's usefulness. Part one, the set-up, got all arranged with only minor adjustments for everything to fit within the KG panel. There was some slight action bar position changes per personal taste, though everything pretty much held it's original settings otherwise. Dufit field tested the set-up, things went along pretty well, so now all the brothers in arms are field testing as well. Here's what the set-up looks like:

Side-based UI set-up with Aygaren
(Since this screenshot; casting bar, player and focus frames have been moved down to sit between chatter and omen frames. Much more visibility)

I was pretty good with the previous UI set-up (last UI post here). It looked good, worked out pretty well for me and all. Although I had managed to make that bottom bar panal as small as possible yet still useable enough for me to quick sight things I normally click outside of rotation, I still had the feeling that I didn't have quite enough open viewing area along the bottom. Here again, personal taste. Along with the thoughts that most groups Aygaren might possibly tank for could possibly end up in that area slightly hidden from my view. All things considered, the basic line-up of tank>melee>dps>healer, I had a little fear that one or some might end up LoS poor. I know. I'm being nit-picky. But the concern for me is real so the possibility of a side based UI went into motion.

So, most everything got moved off to the right side. My unit frame, casting bar/info, focus and target of focus frames got moved down some more. Omen became a bit smaller, but is easily sizeable during play as needed. And, there is plenty of open viewing area around these bottom elements now.

I like it. Initial field tests out in the open world of questing are showing good promise. Dungeon tests are yet to come. What do you think of it? Have you used something simular before? Any suggestions/thoughts are welcome.

08 January 2012

Aygaren's Letter

Aygaren writes to me of his adventures, at least once in awhile.

"I was doing this kinda long mercenary thing in Felwood the other day, inside some barrow den the cenerion folks wanted recovered from some baddies. A rather long and drawn out venture deep into the earth. Having just finished off the baddie on their hit list, their voices spoke to me in my head. Obviously, they had more in mind for me to do than they first let on to know.

Sure enough, they had a second, albeit slightly bigger baddie they wished to be removed. So I started the trek deeper into this barrow just knowing within, that there was surely more to come. Of coarse, there's plenty of guards and watchers along the way, but so far no big problems.

Then from around the corner, running up out of this den comes some puny Alliance human paladin. He's not on my current hit list, so I simply go around him and continue smacking down any and all that get in the way. Some days, the blood just has to fly every-which-way...this was one of those days. Shield flying about, mace beating heads in. Yes, it's a good day.

Then I caught sudden sight of someone following me, but holding back a ways. Turned out to be that puny human I saw running out earlier. Taking time for a quick snack and drink, I pondered the possible reasons for his behaviour. He's not showing any signs of possible aggression, so I decided to just sorta move on while keeping one eye behind me. Being a Paladin himself, I was thinking he'd at least show some sign of respect. Nothing. Just quietly following me, watching as I dismissed one after another with ease.

The second so-called big baddie went down rather easily. As expected, that voice announced it's arrival right on cue, with yet another request to rid the world of these evil creatures. This continued on through a fourth bossy type baddie before the end was in sight. All the while, the humie followed in silence. After the third guy went down, I actually tried to communicate with said humie. Gave him one right and proper salute I did. Nothing. No response. Just waited for me to move on to the next. Apparently, he had been here before. Which made me wonder all that much more about his actions.

The fifth and surely the last baddie kinda caught my tracking skills off a beat. I thought he was down in a pit of sorts so off I went. Turned out, I had to back track a bit after some minor dismissals and head up and around on a ramp to reach him. I really should have noticed this, but it didn't quite register. When I had started down, I recall seeing the humie head up. He had quickly joined back with me though, so I just though he was the one lost. Oops.

I got up the ramp to a bridge, where said baddie was on the other side waiting. Big. I mean really BIG. Time for another quick snack and drink while I ponder my attack plans. The humie waits. I let him wait. After all, I can charge in there just so many ways and it would be nice to know a little bit about the area he seems to have kinda all to himself.

*Sigh* Last one, get it done. Up I jump and start across the bridge. The humie is somewhat faster with his puny build, he's over the middle several steps ahead of me and opens fire. He takes a hit, it don't look good at all. Earthmother, give me strength. I jump on this big baddie. I knew I could take him down and down he went rather quickly.

Humie got the kill. Humie then quickly jumped into the portal provided by said employers of this merry jaunt. Not a word or sign from him, no farewell or thanks for saving his puny backside. Left me standing there, waiting to see if this monster might muster a second life. Perhaps I'll be lucky and he was just unconsious for a bit. Hmmm, I sorta needed that pay off for going through all this.

As luck would have it, said monster suddenly rose to life once more and the battle was on. Hurummmph! Me, Aygaren the victor! Then it dawned on me. Said humie had already tried this and failed. The only logical reason he would have had for following me all the way back through this dark place when he was so close to the front door. I walked through the portal, collected my payments and set off for a quiet rest in Org. During the trip, I vowed to self if I ever see that humie again in Felwood, I will irritate every mob within reach and let them feast on him. Surely, Earthmother will understand." ~Aygaren

Hope you enjoyed Aygaren's adventure in Felwood.

07 January 2012

lol and the UI update

I happened across this little datamined script over at MMO Champion one night.

TIME_PLAYED_ALERT = "You have been playing for %s. Excessive gameplay can
cause inconvenience in your daily life."

OOPS! They're on to me. How the heck am I going to convince them that WoW IS my daily life? Roflmao!

KK, more slightly serious stuff ahead.

Some of you may remember way back when I first ventured into the world of add-ons and UI changes. If not, the UI post with screenies is here.

I confess to being rather slow in doing such things for reasons I'll not bore you with. I must take my time with them. I do a little here and a little there, play with them for some time to get a good feel for the changes, then take time to consider the next change. To bring everyone up to date more or less, here is the current list of add-ons I'm using. Also note that instead of linking each one, I get all my add-ons from Curse.com, via the curse client. Makes installation quite easy :)

  • Chinchilla Mini-map
  • Omen (threat meter)
  • Recount (damage meter)
  • Bartender4 (action bars)
  • Deadly Boss Mobs (PvE modifier/alerter)
  • Tidy Plates (name plate mod w/threat indicator)
  • KG Panels (shiny stuffs to pretty things up)
  • Chatter (obvious useage)
  • Pit Bull unit frames (group/party unit frames)
  • Quartz (casting bar/buffs and timers)
  • Healers Have To Die (Khrox's battleground favorite, lol)

The KG Panels, along with tweeking out Bartender4 and adjusting my camera max distance, are the most recent adjustments I've made. One of the other important considerations I keep in mind during all changes, is the ability to use my set-up across all characters. Important for two reasons. I don't want to go through changing the overall appearance, and I don't want to be changing keybinds.


UI screenshot4
I've got my KG panels thingy about as small as possible, where I can still recognize the icons at a glance if needed. My main rotations are keybound to the same keys across all characters. This required moving some spells and such through Bartender4, but no big deal. I just needed to use the same keybinds for my own memory sake, lol.

Now that most everything is pretty well contained in the bottom portion of my game screen, I further tweeked my "camera max distance" view to 35. (settings range from 0-50, default is around 15? as I recall) This was done for the benefit of Aygaren learning to tank, and needing to see more of what was all around him including the deeps squad and healer positions. I started with distance 35 which may or may not change after a few try-outs. My middle mouse scroll button still covers camera zooming for on the spot needs. There are still a couple of other camera settings I'll probably try out in time. What I've managed to do so far is good though.


camera max distance 35
Other minor notes: Recount isn't all that necessary any more, though still has some uses. I have it set to auto-hide when in combat, so it works well on top of Omen which I do use in combat. And, though all my characters gain duel-specialazations abilities, I haven't really worked with those changes to the action bars yet. Yep, I'm one for staying in my main chosen spec because I like it that way.

Keybinds and macros are set to the left of the minimap, clickable off spells/self heals and such to the right of map. Professions, food, drink, necessary pots/flasks and such are in the two down-sized right side bars. Very much out of the way.

Quartz-must have for me! Centered above but near the KG panels, leaving room for the timers and such to show. My own character frame is to the left, slightly lower. And my focus frame is to the right of it, along with the "target of focus" frame.

I still have work to do on the group/party frames. For now, they show up near the top, left side of the screen as long columns of ten. I would like to tweek them to more of a 'block' style. Some sort of a 5x5 thing or such.

Bagon: shows all bags as one. Mouse over an item, I get a total count of it plus seperate counts of in bag and in bank. Along with the quantities of all alts on that server and wheather in bank or bag. Pretty useful for me.

Chatter allows me personal customization of the chat box and various seperate channels as I use them.

All in all, it's been a slow learning process which I'm quite happy with so far. Everything just looks so much better, and is easy to navigate and manipulate when necessary. Add-on's can be very useful to your game play. Personally, I use them sparingly and as learning tools. Most all that I have, are really basic when compared to more serious players/raiders. That is just my personal view though, I am something of a minimalist in my ways, lol. So...

...if you're new to the game world of add-on's and UI adjustments, take your time. Start out with just one, maybe two. Get them set-up and use them for a bit. Then proceed at your own pace. In time, you'll probably come up with something quite useful for yourself, and have fun using it.

If you happen to be pretty good with game mods and UI's yourself, feel free to add any helpful suggestions for beginners in the comments. Most of my post here is about what I use, not how to use them. Though I will mention that most add-on's come with a readme.txt and usually a link to their website and possibly tutorials. As I recall, a couple were 'good to go out of the box,' to which I made only minor adjustments over time. But this was according to my personal tastes and useage. Your milage will certainly vary.

HappyGood gaming everyone!

Okay, just one fun one for the road-lol!

Gizzel and his baby naga's