Saturday, March 28, 2015

Raiding - Kyjenn's tanking has improved!

On Wednesday, Snowcaller was having issues with his computer, so it was a big decision - get Kyjenn to tank again or get Antpugga to tank?  Aimei and Kyjenn like tanking together, so we decided that Kyjenn/Xyn was going to tank, so we warned the raid.

"I've doubled guild repairs for tonight, because Kyjenn is tanking!" I yelled.
Kyjenn was making fun of himself, the good sport he is. I was dreading Gruul, but happy to be raiding anyway.  He'd tanked 5 bosses on normal on his druid so on his paladin I'm sure it would have been no dramas.

Beastlord went down easily, and Thogar did too.  I was a little bit worried because we had some issues on normal, but it was fine.  Hans and Frans, had a few issues (Kyjenn freely admitted he doesn't quite understand that fight as a tank) so we wiped once I think, and then Flamebender had a wipe too but I hate that boss anyway.  Kromog had a number of issues and I truly played like a twit that night and died lots UGH.  But we killed it in the end, and ended the night wiping on our only attempt on Gruul because we were rushing (server restart at 11pm).

Snowcaller was back on Thursday, and we knocked over Gruul, Oregorger and had a number of goes on Iron Maidens.  I decided to have a little bit of fun on the first boat.

I was busy constructing my N (I ended up taking 2 stacks of the corrupted blood stuffing around) and Snowcaller/Exray said "Navi, WHAT are you doing?"

"Writing my name," I said, innocently.

"Looks like a Z to me," said Hwired.  I suppose it does.  But from my PoV it's an N.

We actually got it down a little differently by pushing the bosses before the third boat and then burning them.  It worked well, and we lusted just before the boat and pushed one below 20% (I THINK it was Marak) and then started that crappy turrent LOL turret phase.  We got it in the end, and it didn't seem as hard as previous times.  I still died though.  Navi, the doofus.

Got a new belt and got my 4 piece (though I'm not sure how useful it is) this week, so I'm trying that out a bit - practicing doing 2 Healing Touches before I get a 25% decrease in cost of a Wild Growth doesn't seem like great healing to me, but it has its moments, I guess!

Then we had one go on Blast Furnace and got pretty much to the same spot we had last time.  Hopefully it will go down on Monday!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hey you Gronn! You can't see me with this skull on!

In Earthshaker Gorge in Nagrand there is a skeleton with two Goblins next to it, having a chat. Between them there is a small skull which you can click on.

Goblin Archaeologist says: I'm telling you it's going to work, just trust me!
Goblin Excavator says: I can't even see out of this thing... how's the plan supposed to work if we can't see where we're going?
Goblin Archaeologist says: Just follow the sound of the money you'll make when we sell off all these bones!
Goblin Excavator says: So all we gotta do now is wait until they go to sleep and then scram with the bones?
Goblin Archaeologist says: Right... hey you feel something crawling around in your skull?
Goblin Excavator says: Only a sense of regret for letting you talk me into this...
Goblin Archaeologist says: The disguise is working! Those dumb gronn don't even know we're here!
If you click on the Hollowed Skull, you will have a skull on your head, and Hyade, Aimei and I went and clicked on it as we finished our last steps of the treasure quest Gutrek's Cleaver: The Spirit Forge.

Outside the Spirit Forge
It looks pretty funny and cute when it's on! The other perk of putting this on your head is that the Gronn in the canyon all become neutral and won't attack you!  It only lasts until you leave the canyon, but you can just go click on it again if you need to.  Great for archaeology in the area or when you're looking for Highmaul relics from caches.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Turrents - Laugh or cry, this typo is here to stay

If I said "turrent" to you, you could probably guess that I was actually referring to "turret" which in WoW we're usually talking about a mounted gun that's shooting at you and killing you. I had to dig around on Wowhead to find some pics.

This pic is of the turrets in Iron Maidens, courtesy of Ashleah at The Misty Teahouse.
I've been laughing for the last few weeks because Hwired, who always has such an amusing way with words, says "Turrents" when we're doing Iron Maidens. It's not his only word salad. Hwired also likes saying "shaman" as "Shar-maaaarn" (whereas we either say it as shar-men or shay-men") with a drawl on the "man" part of the word.  It puts the officers in hysterics (Hwired is also responsible for mixing up our agility melee - WW Nok and Enh shaman Sars and calling them "Sock") and fortunately he is good natured about it or he'd be a crybaby as we adopt his ridiculous words as gospel.  It may not be so ridiculous, or perhaps it's a DK thing, because our other DK, Duckalot, also yells out "turrents".

Una and Luxy are grammatically correct people (Luxy and Mctacky went around capitalising all my names in the guild notes because I had them all starting with lower case), and so I would whisper TURRENT to Una to get her fired up. I said that I was going to start saying "DETURRENCE" to the hunters and see if anyone noticed my grammatical error.

But turrent is not a new typo.  In fact, people have been saying it wrong for ages.

If you go to Urban dictionary (always an amusing sources of definitions) you will find this:
"A common misspelling of the word "turret," usually made by people with a fourth-grade education." 
"A prominent typo of "turrets" in many games, particularly Infantry."
I was talking to a friend on battlenet, whom I have always admired for his verboseness and masterful use of the English language, and even he said "turrent" (when talking about Iron Maidens) which put me into gales of laughter, even after he corrected himself in the next tell. He was sad because one typo and I'll be teasing him about it for 50 years... talk about an exaggeration.  I will only tease him about it for 5 years.  But, as you can see, it's a common mistake and it makes you wonder if the mistake is repeated often enough, how long will it be before the word becomes a real word. Or maybe these words are neologisms, or "newly coined words/terms/phrases".

Examples of words used in game that are neologisms or sniglets (words which should be in the dictionary) include:

  • selfie
  • every texting abbreviation eg. LMAO, LOL, ROFL, OMG
  • noob, newb or newbie
  • griefer
  • unlike (which in the dictionary refers to something being dissimilar "that is so unlike him to do that", but in the days of social media it means that you remove a post/tweet/picture from being liked or removing the thumbs up that you gave it)
So what do you think - turrent, should it be adopted as a an alternative word for turret or should we continue correcting people?  Or do you think that continued misuse of it will make it into a real word?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Raiding - Having a Blast in the Furnace

I tried watching Method's kill of Blast Furnace but I could not understand what was going on, and went back to watching Fat Boss.  However, we had a whole night on Blast Furnace and unfortunately it wasn't a great start.

Hwired was explaining the fight and he talked for so long that I was worried that Falln had fallen asleep.  I swear the explanation boss can be more demoralising than the 20th wipe sometimes.

Then Hwired did something weird and reset his UI and then could not figure out his buttons for a good few minutes.  In the end he dropped from the raid and we had a few goes without him.

I was on the left side this time, and at least now I had the hang of it, running with my bomb to the heat regulator and away when I had the other debuff that drops a pool on the ground.  Madcow complained about someone who had dropped their pool in melee, but didn't realise that it was he that dropped it there....

Mana felt better for me on the left side than on the right, and my healing was good when I was on the left.  On the final attempt, Koda disconnected so I ran over to her side to heal and ran back after she got back online.

We made good progress through the night.  Once the sides were down and the heat regulators were disabled we started stacking up and killing... something.  I was busy healing and running away with my Volatile Fire to know what we were killing, and all I knew was that if I was fixated, I had to run to the raid target mob to get it killed.

On our final pull for the night we managed to get to the Heart of the Mountain phase and we hadn't quite figured out that we start from one corner of the furnace and move to the other side, but at least we got to see it, and so I think everyone was really happy that we got that far.  We hadn't even discussed it during the explanation boss!

So this week is going to be an exciting week. We might even get Blast Furnace down!  Hopefully with Kaillynn here for Iron Maidens we can have more variety with healing and have more HoPs so we don't have to sacrifice people for that bloody Penetrating shot phase!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Minipost: Female miners and male peons

I did my invasion and when I was finished, I went back to my main building and I looked at all the miners... and for the first time I noticed they were all female.

Interestingly they were all wearing Bandit gear and recolours.  I have that same outfit....

Kyjenn said that Luxy had noticed that AGES ago.  Well, nobody had ever mentioned it to me!

And come to think of it, you know whenever I do an invasion and a worker is trapped out in the open... it's always a male peon.  I just realised I've never seen any orc female peons.

Anyway.  Weird how these things are.  Wonder if it's the same Alliance side.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Navispam - Literally landing on top of Binkenstein

I was on Navijr and I just stepped through the portal to Darkmoon Faire and standing right next to me was Binkenstein!  I blinked - I knew Blinkenstein was on Oceanic side but was that him?  I decided to ask and he answered in the affirmative!

He was very kind and let me take a picture of him, but I have a rather embarrassing feeling that he thought that I was rather silly LOL.  Ah well, that's what I do!

My daughter was with me as she likes to see Darkmoon Faire and she wondered what I was doing.  I just told her that Binkenstein was someone from twitter who does a lot of Elemental Shaman theorycrafting. You can see his Ele shaman guide at Wowhead, and he has this crazy spreadsheet which I don't understand at Totemspot.

Well, that was a rather cool accidental meeting. For me anyway :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The reasons why I suck at DPS

Aimei/HK is levelling up Lushnek as a healer and was keen to get some dungeons done for hie legendary stuff.  So of course, I went along because I could use the gold, the dust, and the garrison resources. I would have to go moonkin, of course, if he was going heals.  Oh well, I guess it's good practice for me.  After I finished my battleground with Jinjersnaps (it has been a while since I carried a flag in WSG and capped it) I was chuffed because I got an achievement and so off I went to help HK.

Obviously I'm not PvPing enough if only NOW I'm getting this...
So we queued for Skyreach and I was doing my thing and I thought gee, these mobs take ages to die. And my DPS was HORRIBLE.  So I took a +200 int buff and kept going but still I was bottom.  Man, this was embarrassing.  The first boss, Ranjit, took SO LONG, that he did two lots of Four Winds and also did a Lens Flare which I hadn't seen in ages. Then the trash... I couldn't even finish them off before they healed themselves, this was terrible!

So then I thought Ok, maybe I need to pad a bit and use Starfall but all that ended up doing was pulling everything and nearly killing us all. The second boss also seemed to die a bit slowly and my DPS was like 12k or something.  HOLY CRAP I am so embarrassed.  Madcow was tanking on his druid and he was kicking my ass. That's it, I need to go back and practice on a target dummy.

It was on the second last trash pull before the last boss where I thought I'd check my gear (why I didn't do that before, I have no idea) and that explained a lot.  Full PvP healer gear.

Well, once I corrected that, things went much better. That was just damned embarrassing. At least on the last boss I got to show them that I'm no carry.

There are other reasons I'm feeling anxious about my damage.  I have been trying to get platinums on invasions and the last 2 Botani I did we did not get platinum.  BOTANI!  I was so upset the first time as I'd gone with 2 guildie melee, but the second time I took it from trade chat with a warlock and a hunter and we still didn't do it and I poured everything into it. I know I'm the weakest link but am I always the weakest link?  It's a chilling and humiliating thought.

I know I'm not using my celestial alignment properly and I have issues with trying to movement - how the hell do DPS do any damage with all this running around?? And I am forever doing the wrong spell in the wrong alignment.

So back I go again to try and get more practice in.  Tonight is casuals and alt raid, so maybe I can DPS this one and get myself on the right track.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Raiding - Iron Maidens down!

I put this picture in so people can see that these Iron Maidens are actually all female orcs (/cough Grumpy Elf)! I like them they are dressed for battle and bloody scary looking, especially that Marak!

Those 5 ilvl upgrades actually made a bit of difference and fights were a lot easier, smoother.  The night was a bit disappointing to start because it was raid time and none of our two new pallies were on - there were some jokes that they came, they looted, they disappeared - but Kaillynn had to let her hubby sleep, and Ragnarrock was having game issues, but he was fixed soon enough and brought to raid.  Unfortunately though, he was a bit undergeared and hadn't practised the fight so after a few attempts he dropped and we continued.

On our kill attempt it was quite clean - everyone was up this time at the 20% mark and then slowly we started to drop off as mechanics took each of us out.  We still had 2 rezzes then and though the fight was messy as poo at the end with hardly healers or DPS up but they got it.  Phew!

There was nice loot dropping.  Two leather boots, which went to me and Yuuda, and 2 Vanquisher tier which went to Duck and Snow. Protector Tier went to Ultrapwnd and Una picked up a cloth belt.

Then we had a look at Blast Furnace which most of us had only done on LFR, so it was interesting to say the least.  I don't think 3 druids is a great healing comp for that, and it seems a bit tough on mana. Anyway a whole day on Monday to work on it.  But boy were we all happy to get Iron Maidens down, everyone was so relieved!!!  Yay Frostwolves!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Not Selfie-Centred

A lot of people are excited about the selfie-cam, and I see it peppered throughout my twitter.  I think I got the mission for it much later than everyone else and then all I was thinking about is WHY IS THIS THING IN MY BAG taking up space?

I had to get the lens I was told.  Then it would become a toy.

So this bag occupying thing stayed in my bags for another week as I waited for the lens mission to pop up.  When I finally got the lens I was so glad to make it into a toy so it could get out of my bags. Phew! I resisted taking selfies of myself, but then I landed my first achievement that could get me a monument in my Garrison.

 So I thought I'd try it out.  Let's see...

Oh god, I blinked.  These filter things are kinda cool, I guess.  Let me try that again.

I guess it take skill to take a selfie, And sadly I don't have the skillz. Nor am I that photogenic. Guess I've saved the world from my bad selfies.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Raiding - A good show for the new recruits

I have been very excited to raid this week, because not only did I have one new guildie come to the guild last week, but I had TWO MORE who were interested in joining!

I shouldn't get too excited because I might get ahead of myself. Just because I think they were great, doesn't mean that they thought we were great, but I have to admit, we did put on a good show yesterday.

So last week we got Gunnar, the hunter that joined us after doing the Rukhmar guild run.  He seems to be happy being social (though he was from one of the top 3 guilds on the server before but when work changed and he couldn't raid he said that nobody wanted to speak to him anymore) and seemed to fit in nicely because he likes cats... Xyn and Luxy thought that was great.  You know my feeling on cats...

Last week Yuuda told me that there was someone looking for me, about a recruitment post I had sent them.  A holy paladin.  The name was not familiar to me, but they told me where I could find them. I looked them up on armory - it was a holy paladin with similar progress to us.  I was immediately intrigued and went to hunt them down but was unable to find them over the weekend.  However, I was successful on Monday and we had a chat, and she said that she was impressed that I had sent her an ingame mail which was very polite and was wondering if she could come over to our guild - but first wanted to put a low level toon there to see if she liked the feel of the guild.  Of course that would be ok!  I never want people to feel uncomfortable if it's not right for them.

A lot of socials were online when she joined on her alt, and she seemed pleased.  So I was surprised to see that on Wednesday she had already server transferred to Saurfang rather than do a trial, and I quickly invited her to the guild.

In addition to THAT this week, Nok said that he had a RL mate who would like to join and raid, who was a ret paladin on Barthilas with a holy offspec.  He said he was a good guy, nice, decent player and was also friends with Firehybrid/Bleidd.  So had a chat to him, he seemed keen, and so I said he could come and raid with us as a trial on Wednesday.

BIG DAY WEDNESDAY!  Two new people!

So I prepped the officers and so they had a scrutinizing eye on the paladins to see where they were at in comparison to the rest of the raid. And we had a great raid night.

We managed to knock over our 7 farm bosses with only a wipe on Thogar because Hwired called out move to green when we were on green and some people automatically moved to red (including Hwired) and they died.  We also had a DK mis-pull on Kromog so we had to wipe that/reset.  But Flamebender went down easily for once (not like last week), and so did Kromog so it was a pretty good night.  The new guys even picked up some gear!  Kaillynn (our new healer) got a healing 1h weapon, legs and gloves, and Ragnarrock (the ret pally) got a 2H weapon and gloves.  Plenty of tier went out, and for some reason there were no BOEs at all that dropped for the whole raid.  We weren't the only ones - Athanasy complained to me also that they had no BoE's for their whole raid Wednesday night as well.

There were some fun moments last night.  I had a giggle because Nok forgot to tell Ragnarrock not to stand on the hot plate in front of Thogar trash and he died on it.  Falln died also, but he claimed it was to test the healers. I got grumpy at Yuuda because I always let him tranq first and when it was my turn to tranq he said his was up again and he went to tranq and sniped my heals. That's it, he's tranqing LAST next Wednesday!  See how his numbers look then!  Ragnarrock did not die to Oregorger (amazing! I had even taken a bet on it), and Hwired had a tongue tied moment with Nok and Sars, so now Nok has officially been renamed Sock.

Poor Duck though - he has this dreadful habit of speaking constantly and calling out stuff in raid so I had to say to him that he is not allowed to make any calls for DPS, no wipe calls, no target switches or train track moves.  But he can talk for other stuff.  So he ended up not using his mic at all.  It was a very strange quiet raid without Duck talking and saying "Awwww yeahhhhhh" every other boss.

I think the new guys had fun. Hell, I even had fun! I told Rag that he had to transfer over for raid today if he wants to do Maidens, and he said he would.  His DPS wasn't the greatest, but that was probably to do with his gear, and I think as he gears up he will do a lot better.  I'm really pleased with both of them, and so was everyone else I think, so I am thrilled to welcome two new members to the guild.  I hope they like it in Frostwolves!

So, 2 full raid days on Maidens!  I can't think of anything I'd rather do.... except KILL them :D

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Now Gnomecore's Liebstered me! Questions round 2!

I got another Liebster, this time from Gnomecore (whose blog I have never read before) and it was actually a fantastic opportunity to go and find a new blog and discover that Gnomecore is actually really interesting! I had a giggle because he nominated The Grumpy Elf, because I could not imagine him participating in this sort of thing (TGE is one of those people who likes to talk about what he wants to talk about, not what other people want him to talk about which makes him all the more interesting IMO).

Anyway, Gnomecore is someone I shall have to visit more often.

Now I'm going to do the questions (because I love answering questions and chuffed someone would choose me), but I won't nominate any more bloggers and I don't want to share anymore personal thoughts about me - you can see my nominations and the 11 things you didn't know about me on my earlier Liebster post.

What was the shortest and the longest time you spent on writing a blog post?
The shortest time would be 5 minutes.  Screenshot posts are easy to write - slap on a picture and publish.  The longest time would be about a week, because I was busy collecting screenshots or information or waiting for a world event.  It actually could be longer because I have so many drafts sitting around in my blog list and by the time I get around to publishing them it could have been easily more than a week.  Or even a month.  Fiction takes longer to write because I have to keep rewriting things, but posts written in extreme emotion tend to come out very quickly.

Name 3 best Race/Class combinations – considering lore, not gameplay.
As I play Horde, my choices will be rather skewed!
Tauren Shaman - with their earth loving nature, and connection to the spirits, I think Tauren shaman are a great example of a "good" shaman.  Good as in not evil, like what those horrible orc dark shamans.
Blood Elf Warlock - With the Sindorei penchant for craving mana and magic, I think warlocks and sacrificing their pets for more powers seems to fit them rather well.
Orc Warrior - That is almost a given, really.  With their warrior like and savage backgrounds, penchants for war and fighting, Orc warriors are ferocious and bloodthirsty and make formidable foes.

Have you ever applied or associated smth. from WoW with IRL situations, people or objects? Tell about the funniest one.
ALL THE TIME! There are so many examples - how I recruit for my guild is similar to how I recruit for work is just one typical example!  But the funniest one was during Pandaria.  For those who know me, I have this obsession with Dark Soil.  And every time I would see a pile of dirt IRL, I would think Dark Soil and even now when I see a pile of dirt, I think Dark Soil.

Which is the most attractive (or sexiest) race in WoW? You may name 2 – for males and females separately.
For males that's easy.  Whatever race Nozdormu is in humanoid form - is that a high elf?  OMG he is drop dead gorgeous.

For females I actually find draenei females very attractive. The bluish skin and the glowy eyes make them so exotic (as well as their horns, tails and hooves) and their general lack of body hair also is rather attractive to me.

How many toons have you deleted throughout your WoW history?
Lots of level 1 toons (that I have used for Navispam).  In terms of ones I have actually levelled past level 5, only one.  My original first toon, which was a Night Elf Hunter (male).  He was just plain ugly and I was ashamed of him because I played like a total idiot and deleting him made me feel better, as if all those past shames were now erased.

Name your personal perfect location to grow old in WoW and IRL.
I would love to have a cottage in Grizzly Hills... except I would need portals to all major cities from my little hut or I'd be hard pressed to get around with my walking stick staff. Ir reminds me of Canada, and though I have never been the Canadian wilderness, I imagine that is what it would be like.  I could hide with the trees there, as a druid, or go bear form with the bears and play with them.
In real life, I think I'd like to be in a big city with good internet so I could still play WoW.  I will still be playing that game, I'm sure, if it was still around.

Name the 3 coolest movies (cartoons) you recently watched.
Guardians of the Galaxy - I love Marvel movies (and cartoons and comics when I was younger) and I had never read the comics of GotG but when I saw the trailers I thought it was going to be stupid.  However, when I watched it, that WASN'T the case and I took my kids along and they also seemed to enjoy it (my daughter moreso than my son). So I put this up there as one that I was "surprised" that I enjoyed.
How to Train your Dragon 2 - So you don't have to be big and burly to be a hero (you can be disabled but also ride a REALLY COOL DRAGON), and fighting for your home and your family is  way more heroic than fighting for the sake of conquest.
Taken  - I hadn't actually seen any of the Taken movies (with Liam Neeson) and when I was at the movies early this year I saw an ad for Taken 3.  I decided I'd better watch the others and I really enjoyed the first one. Liam Neeson was pretty cool in that role.  Action heroes don't always have to be in their 20s!

Imagine you LFG for 5-man Dungeon and all of your party members happened to be celebrities! Tell us which celebrities are they and what toons do they play?
LOL, I tried to pick people whom I thought would be decent at computer games and also fun to play with. Another thing, everyone would be playing Horde!

Ion Hazzikostas - I'd like him to be playing an Orc DK and tanking the dungeon, and if he could tell me the history of this encounter - like, about how they tuned this or tha boss or ability, started with these abilities but thought that wasn't cool etc.  He has a great way of speaking and of waving his hands around, so listening to him as he tanked would be rather cool.

Zoe Saldana - She always plays kickass characters, so I think she'd be really fun to play with. I've seen her with a bow and arrow in Avatar, with a phaser in Star Trek, and also hand to hand in Guardians of the Galaxy, so I think she would be a great hunter or rogue. And playing a troll.

Tom Hiddleston - I have him stereotyped as Loki from Thor but he is such a cool person in interviews, doing his impersonations and he even sang in Tinkerbell's Pirate Fairy.  I think he'd be fun to have in a group, and I'd beg him for an impersonation and MAYBE a short snippet of song. Blood Elf mage for him, I think.

Lady Gaga - I'm not sure she would play games to be honest, and for all her outlandish behaviour and tweeting, she seems really shy to me.  Maybe she could sing a duet with Tom!  Just a little something!! And she would be transmogged outrageously!  I think she'd be playing a Goblin shadow priest - something ranged, she doesn't seem the melee type.

And of course, I'd be healing.  On my Tauren druid. And I'd want to have everyone on some sort of voice chat too so I could listen and join in on conversation. If only. Good question!

There are 2 others I'd love to have in the party.  I would love to do a dungeon with Grumpy Elf.  I wonder what he is like to play with on his hunter.  The other person I would love to do a dungeon with is Dayani. She could tell me how to heal 100x better than what I am doing right now!

Name two beverages: the one you love – the one you hate.
I LOVE hot chocolate.  Even in summer.  I just love chocolate.  I would have to have Soy though because I'm lactose intolerant.
I hate mineral water.  It's so ... BITTER! Ugh! How do people drink that?

Spring or Autumn?
Autumn because I get bad hay fever in Spring.

We don’t see Jaina Proudmoore much of now – what will she do first on her return?
I never saw much of her before anyway, not as Horde. So I didn't even realise she wasn't around much...
 I secretly would like her to turn evil and became a boss encounter in the next expansion.  Alliance needs more people turning bad rather than Horde ones all the time.

Thanks Gnomecore for the questions!  They were fun :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Raiding - Stuck at Maidens

Having just been released on LFR the past week, a few people would have an idea of the fight.

There's a lot happening on this fight, and if you pay attention to the mechanics then the fight is not too difficult.  However, there are so many places to make mistakes and can be detrimental to the raid. In fact, when we kill this boss, this fight would make a great bedtime story for my daughter.

There are 3 bosses - Gar'an, Sorka and Marak, real badass looking orc females. Every now and then one of them jumps on a boat and a group of us has to go up there and fight them.  On the ground, there are bombs being chucked around and there is a way to dodge them that isn't too hard if you're not doing other things, but there are also other things happening too.  There's a penetrating shot, where Ga'ran aims a red line at a raid member and everyone has to jump in and soak it to spread the damage (like in Paragons of the Klaxxi in SoO). Then there is Blood ritual (the squiggly red line) which is a cone attack From Marakwhich causes huge damage to people affected so we get people with that to run to a designated spot and the tank soaks the damage and everyone else runs the hell away.  Ga'ran does Rapid fire as well, which is shot blast that the targetted person kite away and a path of explosions goes where they've been.

Sounds busy right?

One of the things our raid has decided to do is sacrifice someone when we get to the turret stage (which is when the bosses are under 20%).  There is so much going on that people can't seem to get together for the line and then the people who do make it all die.  So, it was decided to save the rezzes for then (and Hand of Protection a couple of ones too - poor Xyn is the only paladin so he's busy) and dodge turret fire and burn one boss down.

I've got a pretty easy job - I get sent up to the boat.  It's good for mana, and I didn't have to deal with the bombs, and I did worry a little - I wasn't getting practice on the bomb dance and I didn't want to stuff it up when the time came.

So I pugged it for practice (like I did for Thogar) in the previous raid week and the group I did it with played a little differently to how we do it. Firstly, they had 4 hunters. FOUR!  That would be nice for cheesing the Penetrating shot!  And also they soaked every single penetrating shot.  They had way more ranged than us - our raid is heavier in melee than ranged.  We have 2 hunters, 2 ele shamans, a shadow priest, a warlock and a mage; and melee wise we have 2 warriors, 3 death knights, an enhance shaman, a monk and a paladin. I had fun practicing the bombs and I think I've got the hang of it now that I won't be a total liability when I am down on the ground.

We've had a few nights on it now and we're still having issues with the occasional early death from people not moving for a bomb or running a Blood ritual through a bad spot and wiping out some melee. Heartseeker and Dark Hunt are also two high damage abilities that people like ignoring but I run away with my Heartseeker and don't take much damage but the others sometimes get a fair whack by being too close.  Also, when we went to the last bosses the melee were getting pissed off at trying to hit Ga'ran who stands next to a turret and goes all over the place and it was decided we'd kill off Marak first.

I was so happy when I saw Kelthal, Ultra, Una or Dragonray targetted by the Penetrating shot.  Bish took Spectral Guise (honestly, I thought that was only for shadow priests) and he could finally cheese that too.

We got pretty close but no banana. Hwired yelled a bit and apologised straight after, but it was rather frustrating, knowing we were so close but yet so far!  Healers cycled cooldowns whilst we waited for the DPS to kill one of the maidens but we always lost too many people to be able to recover.  Turrets seemed to go down in a reasonable time. It's just trying to stop bad deaths in the beginning and have everyone alive at the end, and we should have it.

Next week will be different as we will all suddenly have upgraded gear.  It might make the fight easier, but we still have to dodge bad things. I hope we can get it down - it will be very satisfying to crush those bloody orcs and snag ourselves some tier.

Why I think the BRF item level upgrade is good (and wish they'd done it from the start of BRF)

There was a blue post yesterday on the forums from Bashiok saying that BRF items are going to go up by 5 ilvls.
The main purpose of this change is to ensure that killing new bosses in the Blackrock Foundry raid feels appropriately rewarding. We are finding that groups coming out of a couple of months in Highmaul could often have an average item level that was just barely shy of the loot dropped by the appropriate difficulty in Foundry. A core part of the experience of progressing through a new raid tier lies in the sense that even if you didn't manage to kill a particular boss this week, the upgrades your raid group gathered along the way will make things smoother and improve your chances the following week. 
This change will be retroactive, affecting existing items that players may have in their possession. Thus, instead of an item level range of 650/665/680/695 for Raid Finder/Normal/Heroic/Mythic Foundry, the loot awarded will now be item level 655/670/685/700 respectively. At the same time, we will be increasing the item level of the new highest-tier crafted and Apexis vendor items by 5, in order to keep their power unchanged relative to the Foundry raid itemization.
- Bashiok, 14 March 2015 
Watcher clarified Bashiok's post with a number of points

..."tier" in the post - it's being used as a synonym for "zone" 
I thought that may have been just a word substitution.  Because if it really was a separate tier I should have reset EPGP.  But we didn't.

Many players coming out of 2 months in Highmaul were in a situation of having to work to learn and defeat new bosses that dropped loot of roughly the same quality as what they already were wearing. 
We thought that too.  In fact even now I am still wearing my Highmaul stuff.  We did think it was a bit funny that it wasn't much of an upgrade and most of our BRF stuff was being passed over because it wasn't much of an upgrade, and not even a sidegrade.  Tier was all we were going for.

That isn't satisfying and doesn't allow for much power progression.
Sars once said that getting loot was one of the best parts of a boss kill. And it is certainly true - when you kill a boss and nobody takes loot you have that feeling of "Well, why did we bother killing THAT boss."  We say that for Oregorger because nobody seems to take loot from it and it seems to be just a pain in the ass.

Then Watcher gave this example:
...Consider a guild that primarily does Normal mode content and eventually progresses into Heroic. This guild may have been 6/7N Highmaul by early January; they ventured into Heroic and killed 2-3 bosses there, and then went back and finished off Mar'gok on Normal. Along the way, they also got some item level 670 loot from garrison mission caches. Now, Foundry comes out. Just because this group killed a couple of Heroic Highmaul bosses after two months in the zone doesn't suddenly make them a Heroic guild - they will, appropriately, begin in Normal Foundry. But their average item level with mostly 655 items (some 661 warforged), and some 670 items from Heroic Highmaul, is likely around 661 or 662 as a raid group. And that simply doesn't leave much room for meaningful reward. And replacing a 670 non-set piece with a 665 set piece is likely a power upgrade, but also does not feel particularly satisfying.
That is exactly what it was like for us.  In fact, we didn't do normal BRF, and we still haven't, we went straight into heroic BRF because we had cleared heroic Highmaul and that seemed to be the natural progression.  I think of all that sharded loot, and it makes me cry.

It still feels funny replacing my mythic Highmaul stuff with heroic Tier but I suspect that once these changes hit, I won't be using my Highmaul stuff anymore.  I have only 6 items of BRF stuff that I use, when I'm in my "mana conservation" gear, but in my output gear, I am wearing 4 items of BRF stuff.  Once these changes hit, I may be more inclined to use my BRF gear as standard.

Would it have changed the way we played and looted if they had implemented this as soon as BRF hit?  I'm not sure to be honest. We have thought about how to address that issues with people not wanting to pay for minor upgrades (for example, an item drops but it's warforged or has a socket and people don't want to pay full price for that tiny upgrade and the item gets sharded.  What we say now is that if someone has EXACTLY the same item, then they only need to pay the EPGP for the upgrade difference (say it's 500 for the item, but 540 for a socketted then if they take the item it would be only 40 GP instead of 540). However, that's only if the item is about to be sharded becuase nobody is going to use it.  I think that it was a really clever change and I think of all the warforged stuff that I've DE'd... makes me sad.

I'm such a hoarder though -  I have kept everything that I thought was half decent, and though I still think mythic Rune Enscribed Hood still has better stats than a Tier helm, I will definitely play around with both to see what it's like (I am using Chestguard of the Roaring Crowd when I use my Rune Enscribed Hood, and Tier chest for when I'm using Tier helm).  But! I will gladly accept those free upgrades though because they are not to be sneezed at - I wonder if I'll notice a difference?  I'm sure I will :) Aimei tells me my ilvl may go up by 2?  We'll see! It will happen next week (though does that mean not this Tuesday but next Tuesday, because the post went up on a USA Sunday, and isn't that the beginning of the week??).

Monday, March 16, 2015

Guild Rukhmar - Take 2

We didn't have a guild Rukhmar kill and Xyn thought it would be a great idea to do one before raid. It was a good idea - we had lots of socials who maybe didn't want to get in on one of those nasty big raids, and it would be fun to have reliable tanks.  I put it in the guild message of the day that we would start at 840pm and do Rukhmar.

I put my kids to bed and rushed downstairs at 830 for Rukhmar, and saw Hyad doing LFR.

"What are you doing?" I said.  "We're supposed to be doing Rukhmar!"

So I logged on and asked for an invite.  "Raid is full," Xyn said.  I looked at the time.  It was early!

"There was a group going already, and there are 10 people in guild in the group, so it should be ok," he said.  Oh well.  I had done it already this week, so I wasn't fussed.

Then there was lots of non-reassuring conversation...
"Why the F are they tanking it there?"
"I taunted it just now when that tank died."
"I'm dead again, this isn't going well."

There were about 7 of us wondering about the Rukhmar thing, so that would have been nice if we had all gotten into it.  So I went over to BRF instead and get a headstart on summons.

And it turns out that they did not kill Rukhmar and we had a raid to start.  So we decided that we'd do it again after the raid.

It wasn't the smoothest of raids, but we managed to get through 5 bosses (though we had to have Sev and Sev's friend Tekno come and help at Flamebender).  Hans and Frans was fine, Flamebender had heaps of issues, Kromog was actually quite easy with a disc priest and only 4 heals on normal.  Then we did Beastlord and Thogar and then it was back to Rukhmar.

Since I was leader, Xyn told me to list it.  I had never listed it before, so I wasn't sure how to do it, and I was also a little bit stressed because as usual, I was lost. Yes I know I should just follow the arrows!  But how do I get to those arrows???

So had a few people promoted and Xyn was doing all the invites and the group was filling nicely.

"You know, sometimes when you do these things, you can find people who want to join the guild," said Xyn.  I thought he was making fun of the whole thing, but he was actually serious!  More on that later.

There was one person being obnoxious yelling to Gelina in raid "I'll suck your dick for a summon Gelina!" and I wasn't particularly pleased about it but Xyn said that's what pugs are like. This idiot did it again and again and I was about to speak in raid about it, but I was too busy trying to relist and raid because it kept dropping out of the premade group thing, and Luxy ended up booting him from the group.

Then someone else from that realm said that the person was sorry and that they would like an invite back and we said OK, they could come back but no more of that kind of behaviour.  They said that he wouldn't.  When he came back he apologised, and I also whispered him to say that as long as he doesn't do that again then all was good.  They were behaved, which was good.

Right before the pull a hunter whispered me:
"Hello excuse me, I was wondering if it would be possible that I might be able to join your guild? you seem like really cool people and I'd like to be in with that."

I smiled to him and said I would speak after the raid.  And though the raid had some scary times, we managed to kill it without a wipe.  I had decided to go Boomkin and I spent all my time hitting adds. Apparently I did ok (Starfall is way OP), but I had thought I had done poorly because Xyn said my damage was decent, it was right above Vivianne's (the follower).  However, Skada adds up everyone's Vivianne so she was actually quite high on the damage charts!

So we got our guild achievement. Yay!

So I chatted to the hunter and he scored an invite, and he seems like a nice enough young fellow.  It turned out that after Luxy kicked the idiot yelling dick things at Gelina, he whispered Xyn saying that he didn't realise that there were guilds out there who seemed to value politeness and how would he get into a guild like that?

Xyn said "Well, you can speak to our guild leader, Navimie," and that was that. He seems like a nice young man so far!

So, I guess it really does matter how we behave in the world, because people look at our behaviour and want to join because they think that we're mature and nice people.  It was a doubly nice outcome for the evening! Now we need more guild world bosses so we can get that darned Pepe achievement done...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dahahka Liebstered me! So what do you want to know?

Liebster tags are going around again and Dahahka has kindly selected me to participate in his questions.

So, what is a Liebster award? It means that the person who nominated you poses you 11 questions and then you yourself have to make 11 questions to ask 5 other bloggers, as well as share 11 random facts about yourself.  So who is ready to be shocked to find out what I REALLY think?  Here are Dahahka's questions!

How often do you go out to a restaurant?
It depends what you call a restaurant. Is McDonalds a restaurant?
But I probably eat out in a restaurant of some sort 2-3 times a week.  We always have Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) at least once every weekend and then take the kids for Japanese or dumplings for one other meal.

If you could design the next playable race for an MMO (of your choice), what kind of race would it be?
As I only play World of Warcraft, there are two races I would like to play which I find it hard to choose between.  Naga is one of the races (putting armour on them would be REALLY interesting) and the other race I would like to see would be mantid.  Why mantid?  I just think that they would be an interesting addition if maybe there was a breakaway cult who didn't want to worship the old gods...

You have to spend the next year in a different culture. Where would you choose to spend it?
I would love to spend a year on Vulcan and try to learn to control my emotions.  Not sure if I would want to keep them surpressed though, but I think the mind discipline is fascinating.

What kinds of things make you laugh in games?
Toilet humour.  Dirty jokes. I find the outhouse and poo quests funny.

Is freedom really free?
Oh my.  This will be TLDR.
In my opinion, there is a fine line between chaos and freedom.  Freedom means little without discipline, without responsibility, without reasonable moral constraints, or without consequences. Freedom without these things is pure and utter chaos.
Every society has different constraints.  But equality will give a better perception of freedom.  If men can do something and women cannot, then that is not freedom.  But that also goes for age, religion, sexual preference as well. And in our society you have the freedom to express yourself within the acceptable social/moral/lawful boundaries.  If you want to express outside those boundaries, then you would have the feeling of not being free. However, being free to tell the world about your sexual preferences or fetishes is that the same as the freedom to kill wantonly because you enjoy it? The freedom to not immunise your child, or the freedom to walk naked in public. Freedom has a moral and social code and a burden of responsibility. Without those codes, society would be a bunch of craven selfish beasts.

Name a book that was better than the movie, and a movie that was better than the book.
World War Z was much more enjoyable as a book than a movie. And I wonder if I will be shot if I say that the Lord of the Rings trilogy was better as movies than the books. Tolkein may have been a genius in his time but there are a lot of gender inequalities in those books that I find it hard to relate to.

If you had no access to a computer/tablet/phone for gaming, what would you do instead?
If you are referring to what would I do for gaming, I would play card games and board games. But if I was not allowed to game at all, then I would be sewing, scrapbooking, making cards or doing something creative.

What is the best pizza topping?
I love any pizza that has peri-peri sauce on it.  Is that a topping?  It's on top of a pizza, right?

Do you think raiding is a net positive or a net negative for MMO games?
Raiding is overwhelmingly positive.  I can't imagine that anything requiring teamwork should be a negative thing other than elitism rearing it's ugly head.  However, people may think this is unfair but in reality, do you really want to be in a class where you are the best and everyone is holding you back?  Do you want to be part of a team where you do all the work and research and organisation and people cruise along with your success without putting in the same effort? Raiding has close parallels to real life and learning to raid effectively in a team, also helps you with your teamwork in real life.

Favourite alcoholic (or faux-holic) beverage?
Mojitos.  I can't drink much alcohol but I do love the freshness in a mojito.

What is the one feature you would love to see in your game of choice that isn’t currently there?
I wish I had more customisation with my character.  I liked how you could alter sizes and weight/bulkiness in other games and that would be cool if I could do that for my tauren.  I would probably like to make her into a micro tauren!

11 Random facts about Navimie.
  1. I would be a good Borg Queen.  I dislike chaos, and I like order. If I see chaos I can't help but want to go and fix it.  This is why I end up with so much work.
  2. I hate scary movies. I can't even watch silly ones like Scream or Freddy Kreuger ones. I am so terrified I can't sleep for days without the lights on.
  3. I enjoy birdwatching and would love to see an orange bellied parrot one day.
  4. I will never say no to a soy hot chocolate.
  5. I have never broken any bones in my body. 
  6. I go to the cemetery in January to pick Bunya nuts off the ground so I can eat them.

  7. My favourite operation to anaesthestise for is excision of an adrenal phaeochromocytoma, which is a tumour that can secrete catecholamines (adrenaline like compounds). The anaesthetic and surgery is rather dangerous and challenging as you try to control blood pressure and the patients need lots of special monitoring techniques, and the physiology of the operation is not only logical but exciting.
  8. 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith is one of my favourite children's books.
  9. I am a strong believer in early toilet training.  I started toilet training my daughter at 6 months and my son at 3 months. It bothers me that people think it's cruel but dont' think anything of toilet training a puppy. Surely a human child is as smart as a puppy.
  10. I don't like being given cut flowers. I feel sad for the flowers.
  11. I've always wanted a pixie haircut but worry that it would look shitty on me or that I couldn't be bothered to maintain it.
So, here are my nominees! All my dear Frostwolves guildies who blog but are oh so quiet.
And answer these questions if you dare!
  1. Who is your favourite villain and why?
  2. What sport do you wish you were really good at?
  3. Tell me who is your favourite Disney character and why.
  4. If you were granted one wish of anything you wanted, what would you wish for?
  5. What is the dumbest thing you have done in regards to your computer?
  6. If you had the ability to go back in time, who would you want to meet and what would be the one burning question you would ask them?
  7. You have won a Nobel Prize!  What do you wish you won the prize for?
  8. Which would be more devastating - loss of hearing, loss of vision or loss of both hands?
  9. In World of Warcraft, who would you like to see as a boss encounter one day, and how would you design that fight?
  10. What is the most embarrassing thing you've said to someone you wanted to impress?
  11. You've been chosen to go onto a game show!  Which game show would you go on?

My addiction to gaming headsets - reviews on the ones I've owned

This post is one of those typical Navi posts that make you roll your eyes - first world problems, too much money to spend, over indulging myself and my family.  If you're someone who is a bit thrifty, then this post is not for you.

I have this really bad habit of buying lots of different headsets.  I have worn out a couple and I bought some as gifts also, but it's unbelievable to me the amount of headsets I have used. I still look at headsets now and think about whether I'd like to own that one.

Now that my daughter is playing World of Warcraft with me, her computer noise is rather distracting, so I thought it was time she got her own headset. More reason to feed my addiction.

When you research headphones for kids there are concerns about damaging their hearing, and the recommendations are:
  • Limiting the length of time the child uses the headphones to 2 hours
  • Limiting the maximum volume of the headset to 85dB.
Comfort and fitting for small heads is another important consideration, and I would also like the kids to be able to hear me when I'm yelling for them.

Some headsets were on sale, so I decided to buy something for my daughter, and I decided to get her an Audio Technica PDG1.  My Audio Technica ADG1 is on the left, my daughter's Audio Technica PDG1 is on the right. And that's my Frostwolf pup 

Audio Technica ADG1

One big difference is that the ADG1 is for big headed people.  This headset was recommended to me by CTwin (who has a big head) and he quite likes that this headset doesn't hurt his head.  I think Xyn also had one once.  I chose the open headset (and was rather skeptical) and after having closed headsets previously, I must say I really love the open headset.  Basically it means that I can put the headset on and hear the sounds around me (like kids talking) and the sound is a little better because the noise isn't bouncing around inside a closed earpiece.  Game sounds are crisp and the headset can also be quite loud, which is not great for kids.  The top of the headset has these paddles which are supposed to rest on your head but it doesn't work well on my head (headset slips down) so I tied them together with some elasticised string so it wouldn't sag so much and drag on my ears. However, the massive ear cups are quite comfy and they have never given me earaches/headaches like other headsets I've had.

The mic is a little annoying on mine, it's little and I feel like I'm licking it half the time when I put it close to my mouth and it doesn't swivel out of the way to mute.  It also feels like it would be easy for my kids to rip it off and break it.

Pros: Great sound, able to hear family talking to me, easily used for PS4, comfortable on ears
Cons: Price ($200+), head paddles and non retractable microphone

Audio Technica PDG1

So my daughter's headset, the PDG1, doesn't have those paddles (it has a proper headband) and the earpieces are smaller.  Though the sound is good, it's not as loud as my ADG1 (Sensitivity of 92dB/mW for PDG1 vs 100dB/mW for ADG1), which is good for the kids.  What I also like is the changeable mic options.  There is the goose neck mike which adjusts nicely and a 3.5mm audio jack (which you can use for PS4); there's a smartphone cord with a built in mic; and a long extension cable for 3.5mm for audio and mic.

One thing I worry about are those little red cords between the earpiece connector and the headband.  I nearly cut them off when I was removing the headset from the box, and I worry that they will be easily broken or damaged because wires hanging out are just bad news with kids around.  Some idiot is going to pull them...

So far, it's been great. She's used it for her Ipad, we can use it for the PS4 and I've even used it on my phone! I think I'm in love with this headset!

Pros: Fits on kids heads, great cross functionality, good sound, easy to use
Cons: Sits a bit tight on adult head! Expensive for kids item ($150+), might be a little fragile for child use

Sennheiser G4ME one

I bought my husband a Sennheiser G4ME ONE open acoustic headset, as he liked my headset a lot but wanted to try something different, and, well it's a SENNHEISER. And it was pricey like every other Sennheiser!

When I speak on it, Luxy and Xyn said similar things - Luxy said I sounded like I was in a small room, whereas Xyn said I sounded like I had my head stuck in a box. It might be the noise cancelling mic that makes it sound like that.  The mic is on a large boom and easily swivels to mute, and I like it because it looks sturdy

Hubby Hyad also said that he preferred the sound on my ADG1 - he can actually hear outside better with my headset than with his.  The sound is still good, but it's more enclosed and I think the headset is a little hotter on the ears than mine because it seems to be a little less open.

The other crappy thing about this headset was that it didn't come with adapters for the PS4.  It would have been nice if it did, though I know they are easy enough to buy.

Pros: Comfortable, good sound, easy to use
Cons: Lousy mic, price ($250)

Steelseries H Wireless headset

On HK's birthday I got him a Steelseries H Wireless headset. To tell you the truth ever since I put a Steelseries on at Blizzcon I wanted to get one (though that was a Siberia), but they really weren't getting excellent reviews.  However, this one seemed neat because of the wireless part, and Aimei was my guinea pig to see if I wanted to get one for myself. Wireless headsets are great for taking to the toilet kitchen and still hearing what's going on.  I love wireless headsets!

It has a spare battery so that when the battery in the headset runs out, you just pop in the second batter which is charging in the base unit. However, Aimei reported problems in that it would sometimes NOT charge and then he'd be stuck with no headset.

The audio isn't as good as my AT - it's very bass-y, and teenage boys love their bass.  Also the ear cups are not as comfortable and my ears get sore after a while - not sure about Aimei's ears but the headset can get a bit sweaty.  The mic is reasonably clear and is at least easy to put out of the way and less likely to be snagged by naughty grabby kid fingers.  And oh, this headset is PRICEY.

Pros: Mobile, exchangeable battery, good sound and mic. Comfortable
Cons: Price ($200+). Can be fiddly. Not easy to find replacement padding.

Corsair Vengeance 2100 wireless

I didn't get much opportunity to use this headset. However, I bought it before I bought the Steelseries for Aimei, and I wanted to try a cordless headset.  This one was cheaper than the Steelseries, and seemed to be easy to setup. I liked the fit of the headset and I liked the mic boom being able to be flicked out of the way.

It has to be plugged in to charge, but at least you could still use the headset whilst it's charging.  I felt like it ran out all the time, and so I left it charging most of the time.

It had this hissing sound through the headset which really irritated me, and I was quite unhappy about it.  I am not sure if it was because I didn't have the right drivers or wrong audio setup but it was irritating. The mic was reasonably clear though, with little complaints.

However, it only lasted a week.  On the left ear piece side you can see the rectangular power button and I never turned off my headset when I hooked it up to charge and walked away from the computer.  I left it charging overnight with the computer off and then the headset didn't work, and I couldn't turn it off.  I let it run down and tried to recharge it and see if that "reset" would fix it.  It didn't. So I had to return it and it was fully refunded, but I would not recommend this headset to anyone.

Pros: Wireless
Cons: EVERYTHING. Price ($150+). Bad sound with hissing. Mic was slightly muffled sounding. Unreliable electronics because it broke and was unable to be used because of a strange electrical fault.

Logitech G930

My longest lasting headset, but it worked well.  The reason I changed because I was tired of USB headsets and wanted to go for a more standard audio/mic combo.  My headset had some little glitches like it wouldn't turn off unless I unplugged it from power, but at least you could charge it whilst you were talking.  In fact, the on and off button was annoying, having to press it for a long time and it was hit or miss if it would turn off or on or not.

Sound quality was decent. It was my first wireless headset and I liked it - the mobility convenience was cool. The mic did a good job and was muted when you swung it back to the upright position. However, the headset could get a bit hot and my family complained that I talked very loud when I was using it because it was enclosed and I couldn't hear them talking to me.

HK had the same headset and he must have some rough ears, because he wore out the earcups.  I gave him mine and hopefully he can get some extra life out of his headset.  This headset is not too expensive and I wouldn't mind buying one again.

Pros: Mobility, easy to set up and use, good sound and mic, Comfortable. Soft parts easy to replace.
Cons: Price ($150), that dongle thing is irritating and takes up desk space, on/off button fiddly. Also a pity I couldn't use this for the Playstation, that wireless thing would be really useful.

What would I think of buying in the future?

So, my son needs a headset for his Ipad and he is really rough with his gear.  I have been thinknig about what I would choose as a headset for him and I think a headset that covers the whole ear (rather than pressing on the ear with a soft pad) is the best thing. Unfortunately, a lot of the headsets are closed headsets and it would make it hard for him to hear me. And he doesn't talk to anyone so he doesn't need a mic or a gaming headset.

Sennheiser HD201

This headset is cheap ($35-$50), durable and also has a lot of impedence so that you can't get the volume too loud.  The big ear cups look comfortable and it has decent sound for a child who isn't going to worry too much about the 7.1 surround sound or the lack of extra bass.  The cords are also a bit long (3m) which means there is the risk of tangling, tripping or breaking the cord.

Skullcandy Slyr
OK I said that he doesn't need a mic or a gaming headset but this headset is just so sturdy looking, and it's a midrange price ($140).  I like the colours, and it looks like it would fit a child's head.  It's also another multifunction headset compatible with PS4, Xbox or a mobile device.

Audio Technica TAD300

I know I do love these open headsets, and this is another one, but the big drawback is the long cord. It's $89 and it's not too loud.  Sound is good but I'm not sure if I should have another Audio Technica headset in the house - might need some variety!

Monday, March 9, 2015

#WoWBrunchANZ WoW talk, pancakes and more WoW talk

@Msmiggi invited us Sydney twitter peeps to a brunch - and I had totally forgotten about it (the initial date she had set was not a convenient one - middle of Chinese New Year stuff) and she then sent out a tweet with the date of which I was last to reply to... because I hadn't looked at my twitter.

I take that back.  I hadn't replied and had to be poked by MsMiggi in a DM to RSVP.  Which I promptly did!  Eek, I am the worst guest ever!

I decided to drag Hyad and the kids along because there were others going as well taking their kids (notably Moogyver and Nataniepally taking along Gizmo and Sprocket) and I should have been more prepared and brought some Ipads electronic distraction devices along, as I mistakenly thought chocolate pancakes and other foods would keep them occupied.  I should know better, having been a parent this long. Lucky Cymre was there as well so Hyad didn't feel like he didn't know anybody.

We caught the ferry in (gotta love Sunday Family fun day with $2.50 all you can ride public transport) and that was a nice pleasant ride.  However, it deposited us on the far side of Darling Harbour to where the restaurant was so it was a long hike to get there.

We went in and got to the group and sat down, and I finally to to meet Spanxx, whom I have chatted to multiple times on twitter but she was just as excitable and enthusiastic and friendly as I imagined her to be.  Here are some shots by Msmiggi (which is why she isn't in any of the shots).

Most of them were Alliance players. I was a bit quiet as I listened to them talking about raiding, and I realised that a lot of guilds are in a similar or worse position than us - these guys play 10 man but often have a few missing. Spanxx, Scuudoo, Spazzwesson and Sirius were all in the same massive guild (CtR) but because the guild is mostly American, it's hard to find people in their play times. They use the premade group finder tool and though it helps fill the roles, it doesn't necessarily help them fill their raid group with permanent players. Also got to meet Oliver (@ohriiight) who was unfortunately stuck at the "kids" table - poor guy!

There was lots of WoW talk.  Down my end of the table it was hard to hear so I snuck up to the top end a few times to chat and listen.  I had a chat with @Kittie2Kat about parenting and raiding (she is the GM of her guild) and then spent the rest of the time dealing with fussy children.  Their time limit seems to be about 2 hours - Moo and Natanie also were having fussy kids by that time too.

There was a little trivia time and we all got a little goody to take home! This is from Moogyver's twitter feed:

So a big thank you to Marie/MsMiggi for organising the event and it was awesome to meet people! I am sure the next meetup will be bigger, and there will be even MORE people to meet :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Minipost: I know why you can't share your Garrison quests sometimes!

Since 6.1 hit everyone has been excited to find out who has what in their garrison. People have been looking for traders, Harrison Jones, or Kura! And it's great that you can share them - people look for them on trade channel, advertise in the group finder tool and these days it's quite easy to get an invite and people seem quite happy to share.  That's very nice and community minded of them!

But we did have some funniness about sharing the quests.  Someone in guild would say they had it and then we couldn't get the quest when we went to their garrison even though the quest person was there. At first I thought it was a glitchy thing that would fix with a relog or zoning out of the garrison but that didn't fix it when we tried it this morning trying to get the Harrison Jones quest from Madcow's garrison.

Then later in the day I got it from Luxy's garrison but when Aimei and Faith tried to get it they couldn't get it.  Luxy was out of her garrison when she invited them.

And then she hearthed back to the garrison and they could get the quests!

So the moral of the story is: be in your garrison if you wish to share your quests!  Oh, and btw, it annoys me that the quests are not sharable, but I guess that's just something we have to live with.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Guildie Guest Post - Crooked's Thoughts on Garrisons and Levelling

Woohoo Guildie Guest spot has been revived! Crooked is one of our Elemental Shamans and has been with Frostwolves since mid 2014. He is usually reserved but when he feels strongly about something he will not hesitate to speak up. He has been an amazing at filling out various raid roles and chores in a pinch.

Navimie and Mctacky prompted me to do a guest post. But I didn't know what to write about. So I thought about what aspect of the game people will remember 6.0 for, that everyone can associate with, and it has to be garrisons, and how they tied into levelling. So this post will offer a glimpse at my perspective on that. 

The one constraint is that my perspective is limited to horde side. I will eventually experience alliance side, but from most accounts I've read, whilst people generally prefer the alliance garrison, the differences appear mostly aesthetic and thematic. 
- Crooked


I've never personally wanted player housing in WoW. This is mostly from never having played another game where it was a substantial, memorable feature. The closest I can remember would be Skyrim, where the houses acted as somewhere to dump my excess stuff, due to weight limitations on what you could carry. I never got into decorating and buying all the furniture, as the default chests never seemed to get full, and I didn't plan on hanging around there because that’s not where the action was. But, I recognise player housing is a popular, oft requested feature, and the only reason to reject the idea of them is if it detracted from other content.

"What a lovely house you have..."

Before garrisons were announced I would have imagined player housing in WoW as a small instanced area in a capital city, much like Brawler's guild or the old Hall of Legends. It might be 'bigger on the inside', but it wouldn't be more than a couple of rooms, with somewhere to hang trophies and keepsakes from your accomplishments, like a mini version of the trophies that appear around Orgrimmar when a major raid boss is defeated. Alternately, a 'guild hall' where guildmates could hang out and interact, with the decorations based on guild achievements.

I didn't expect it would be a new frontier, a launching pad for major questlines and lore, a focal point for professions, or a default destination. Parts of which have been surprisingly cool.

Establishing and growing

Saurfang experienced a horrible bug on release where few could get their garrison built on the first day. Then there were persistent issues with being able to even enter them. I'm pretty tolerant of server issues, but it did not help with first impressions of garrisons when they became a hindrance to playing.

The level 1 garrison's small and ramshackle appearance (with an abundance of logs, despite the lumber mill building later emphasizing that there are few trees in Frostfire) pales in comparison to Bladespire Citadel, the Frostwolves city that you help liberate from the ogres. That place is massive and imposing, despite it basically being ruins, and it is disappointing that you visit it 2 or 3 times during questing and then you are done with it. But in the scheme of things, the level 1 garrison doesn't matter, because you spend so little time there.

It wasn't until I established my garrison on an alt, without server issues and heavy competition for quest objectives, that I realised how quickly you actually reach level 2. The cinematic suggests that this was originally planned to become available much later, but was brought forward to enable players to get to the crux of the garrison sooner.

"I have seen you and your armies win many hard fought battles across Draenor" - but I only just got here!

At that point your character will be roughly 92, and the next and only remaining garrison level upgrade becomes available when you reach 100. But while levelling, reaching 100 is already your primary goal, so level 3 garrison just becomes a reward for doing so. It is not something you work towards, you just purchase it with currency once it is available to you. It is the WoD equivalent of flight licences becoming available at max level in previous expansions - purchasable with currency, great to receive, but not a goal in itself. I think most players would feel this is fine - it is effectively a content unlock. But it is not one that you have any connection to. Ask anyone that worked to unlock a class mount or druid flight form to understand what I mean.

In effect, if we were given the equivalent of level 3 garrison immediately, the experience would barely change. Our progression would still have been dictated by lack of resources, building plans, achievements, and character level for quest eligibility to unlock secondary profession buildings. Garrison level has little meaning, so we don't get to truly experience the reward of seeing our garrison itself grow as a result of our efforts. That is left to the buildings.

Exploring the building options, starting to work on the achievements and rewards, and using profession buildings to help level your professions, was quite enjoyable, even if I made some poor, well intentioned choices (primarily, overlooking the Salvage Yard, and taking the Spirit Lodge, with the reasoning that flying would be available in 6.1, therefore it would be most useful to have sooner rather than later). For the most part, the achievements and currency required to open level 3 buildings were balanced and achievable as well.


But for the garrison as a whole, I felt disconnected. The garrison just snaps from one state to the next. I suppose this is represented in the garrison resources you spend to upgrade, but it is not done well. And Vol'jin congratulating you on your progress in the level 3 cinematic was out of the blue.

For this reason, I would have liked to see some sort of garrison level progression at end game. One possibility being more garrison levels beyond level 3 that you gained through end game content. Or, tying garrison level to a factor other than your character level, such as the number of followers (eg 1 garrison level per 10 followers). That way, you could still experience levelling of your garrison whilst levelling your character, but it wouldn't stop at 100, and it would make it feel like you had an impact on growing your garrison, rather than just saying 'make it so' when your peons present you with an upgrade because you dinged.

In the same vein, rather than just being lumped with building plans, it would have been nice to earn them - or their level 2 upgrades. Instead it all seemed rather arbitrary. I think they had the right idea with the salvage yard (a small building) - find and assist someone with the skills/knowledge to help you establish the building. I would have liked to see more of this, perhaps tied into follower profession skills.

For example, rather than just being granted a mine, rescue a follower with the mining profession from a goren infested mine in Gorgrond, who in gratitude helps you establish a mine in your garrison. Or, complete an arena based event like the Ring of Trials in Nagrand to recruit the gladiator for your gladiator sanctum. A small change, but sometimes that's all that is needed to better connect you with the world you are exploring.