What is a “Block”?

I don’t know what a block is but it is blocking me from writing this blog. Where are the images I uploaded?

It is confusing, I’ll guess I’ll be back when I’ve figured all this out.

I was doing fine before, I really was. WordPress looks like it upgraded itself to a pro version when I am certainly not that!

Shadowlands Launch Date and More

“Premiering a new opera is probably one of the hardest things in the world to do, and opening nights of any opera are always pretty stressful.”
Rufus Wainwright


Shadowlands Launch Date and More

Well, well, well. The launch date has been announced, October 26th in my neighborhood. And, I believe, the new raiding/m+/pvp season will start on November 10th. With no announcement of when the pre-patch drops, we are still in a holding pattern and circling around and around.

I am excited to get to the Shadowlands. The start of the journey will be the pre-patch and I have all kinds of questions.

Like, do I keep water walking on my mount? I think we all chose this because we knew that the water strider would no longer do the job and it was popular as a mount. But, how much water will there be? My impression is that each covenant will be it’s own zone and maybe even instanced. So, we’d not water walk to the next zone but need a portal or boat or something.

Will the water walking pet for my hunter still do the job? I could easily macro the pet spell to my mount and have water walking and then use the non-stun unit instead. We know that the goblin gliders from WoD will work for two (or three?) minute gliding. So, what is the best choice?

What about Relics from the Past? This will be turned on for the pre-patch. And I have a lot of cloth. A lot. Like over 2000 bolts of linen cloth. I could do the very tedious process of upgrading old cheap goods and then vendoring them for 50 gold. Do it 100 times for 5000 gold, is it worth the “time spent” even in the pre-patch? Maybe someone will make a script to use.


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Are my Alts ready? This one worries me because, like everyone else in the entire World of Warcraft, I want to bring over many Alts. Since I am a bit of a mercenary, they will be herb pickers and alchemists and inscriptionists and miners and engineers and so on.

I think that we’ll have a pre-patch event. Maybe quests or invasions or cutscenes to build excitement and explain a little about what we need to look forwards to. Hopefully this stuff will reward gear and that will be the marker for how highly geared we need to be to be entry-level successful.

If it is a one-month long pre-patch era, then it will be around September 26ish. That will be the clear signal to me to start tossing all the BfA junk in my bank and what a relief that will be! I’ve been cooking and flasking and potioning for two years now and I am stocked up and ready to dump that junk.

I worry that I’ll have to re-design my action bars for the new spells that we’ll get in the pre-patch but also for the spells that we get in the covenants later on. My action bars were never really “by design” they sort of evolved over time by the needs of the moment.

Alright, is everyone as excited as I am?


George Bernard Shaw: “Am reserving two tickets for you for my premiere. Come and bring a friend – if you have one.”

Telegram inviting Winston Churchill to opening night of Pygmalion.

Churchill wired back: “Impossible to be present for the first performance. Will attend the second – if there is one.”

A Tally, A Peeve, The Achieve

“I am not young enough to know everything.”
Oscar Wilde


A Tally, A Peeve, The Achieve

It is mid-August and nearing the end of this expansion. Let’s look at the numbers:

Total mounts: 423


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Mounts that I can ride:


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Frustrating, no?

Toys: 488


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Though it is really one more since I picked up the:

Coifcurl’s Close Shave Kit
Item Level 120
Binds when picked up
Toy
Use: Place Coifcurl’s Close Shave Kit on the ground at your feet for you and others to peruse. WARNING: Shave kit may be under dark influence. Satisfaction is not guaranteed! (1 Hour Cooldown)
Requires Level 10

Treasure: Coifcurl’s Close Shave Kit
Zone: Vision of Orgrimmar

It makes me bald!

Total unique pets: 1065


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I skipped the Slimy Pets in Nazjatar.

And I got this one yesterday:

Stinky Sack
Item Level 120
Binds when picked up
Use: Teaches you how to summon Rotbreath.
Dropped by: Lord Aj’qirai
Drop Chance: 2.35%

This is a screencap of my cat mount on the water near Light’s Hope Chapel:


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I was bothered that there was no splash animation and changed over to my water strider who has great water animation:


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No splash animations when walking on water.

I feel a bit ripped off and I hope that they fix it for Shadowlands. Some of the original charm to this game was watching the footprints left in the snow and sand. The water strider splashiness was surface-tension terrific.

Achievement points up to 24910 which, to me, is pretty good since I don’t PvP have that whole range of achieves are missing in my tally book.


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Finally, camping rares in Uldum is really camping! Just look at this screenshot.


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Good Morning, WoW!

If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tallulah Bankhead


Good Morning, WoW!

At a comfy two million gold, I feel like I am ready for Shadowlands. While avoiding a lot of the datamining stuff, I am very curious why there is a castle! I read that they are doing raid testing in a castle and am wondering how and why a castle would exist in Shadowlands.


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And, for me, no more herbing. The flask market has tanked. I have six cauldrons for our raid team. We kill N’zoth on Heroic on the first day now. So: much to my satisfaction, we are doing achievement runs.


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Uldir was a walk in the park. I think we wiped once on the Dazar’alor raid on Jaina, we had to learn how to build a “Frosty Snowmon” for Snow Fun Allowed. And we did the first few on the Eternal Palace with some really silly achievements like on one boss you have to run around and around and around! Much laughter and groans.


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All of this free time in WoW has lead to the pet achievements. They are designed to be a bit tedious, I think. While I use Xu Fu as a guide, I know that there are other sources when you face something and you don’t have the pet for their recipe.


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New Title, Minion of Mayhem!


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New toy which lets you channel and see through your battle pet’s eyes and you can run about for a small while. Good stuff.


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And I have a new character to level, a Vulpera! A huge dose of cuteness and welcome here in early August.

One Fun Week in WoW

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
Bill Watterson


One Fun Week in WoW

This has been a good week in WoW. Our raid team blazed through bosses and we got our second Heroic N’zoth kill on Wednesday. Which means (I hope, I hope) an achievement run!

I’m still fiddling with my new Heartsbane toy:


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This is my little level one night elf in Darnassus.


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The poor thing is corrupted already! Or witched maybe? She is an elf, after all, and gets green glowy fairies around her feet. I’m not quite happy with the macro build but this is a start.


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The Arachnoid Harvester is a rare in Mechagon who can rarely drop a mount. I spent plenty of time camping this boss on my main and three Alts. With about a half-an-hour spawn time, you can show up about ten minutes before and then time the next kills so you don’t spent all of your time camping.

But, there is time to kill. I learned that Mr. Smite writes over your druid forms. So: why not go tree form and stand in a camp fire and burn Mr. Smite?


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Yep, easily amused here in the wild World of Warcraft. Also, if you are a little shy to dance in the Brazier of Dancing Flames, you can use the Doomsayer’s toys to cover your naughty bits and still join in the party.


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The big bronto mount deserves some flavor, especially camping for a rare mob with other players. Everyone is showing off and making train noises. Here is my current macro. Central to this build is the Mr. Smite’s Compass which makes the Bronto mount massive and it dwarves the other players.


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Sometimes you can be rewarded and surprised.


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Yep, it is time for my alts to hearth out of Mechagon. Here is my hunter strutting and clanking around Boralus.


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I bitterly and utterly failed at the pet dungeon in Blackrock Depths yesterday. Those fights can be complicated and demand a very wide range of pets. I’ll probably get it done today though and get the toy that gives you “eyes of the beast” on your battle pet and run around some. I have already read that the toy wipes out your magical biscuit and Narcissa’s Mirror toy and I’m slowly, with Hallmark tissues, getting over it before I’ve even earned it.

In all, a fun week in WoW.

Adventuring and Treasuring the World of Warcraft

“Take your army to the Haunted Forest and bring me that girl and her dog. Do what you want with the others, but I want her alive and unharmed. They’ll give you no trouble, I promise you that.”
The Wicked Witch of the West


Adventuring and Treasuring the World of Warcraft

No matter how great those words are in the title, the reality is that it is a list of achievements under the Exploration tab for this expansion. Look up Treasures of Vol’dun, for example, and then track it and look each one up on Wowhead!

I’m not kidding, these caches, crates, boxes and chests are well hidden or need a code or candles lit, so Wowhead is the way to go. It is kind of fun and satisfying. And, Elune have mercy, there are a bunch of ’em.


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The Adventurer ones were the easiest because I’d already stumbled upon many of them in all of the zones, fill in the final few and ding the achieve. The Treasures ones were harder and better hidden, often in caves or on some boat way over there or … right in the capital of the Horde. It is good to go looking around the game.

It is a bag filler, opening all of those chests over and over. You’ll collect some toys and gizmos that might come in handy. I am very pleased with the Heartsbane Grimoire. It is from one of the treasures in Drustvar.


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Use: Places the user under the spell of the Heartsbane Coven.
“Filled with the forbidden charms and cantrips of the Heartsbane Coven.”


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I think it looks cool. It has all this witch animated stuff floating around you. It is up for one hour with a one hour cooldown, so; why not all of the time? Adding another toy like the locket looks cool and not quite as dark as my regular night elf.


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The spell is channeled, so it can’t be macro’d with a hearthstone or mount. But, I might try a stand-alone macro. It looks cool!


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AOTC: N’Zoth

“Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship.”
Dorothy Parker


AOTC: N’Zoth

I had a neighbor who moved away a few months ago. She was a die-hard Trump fan from Texas. Passionate, angry, defensive; she was furious that she was losing friends and she was fighting back by deleting people on her friends list on Facebook. Like I said, she moved away and I’m sure she never thinks of me, a neighbor who chatted in passing.

I think about her now and then.

Do you ever wonder if there are people out there who think about you while they are long gone from your own mind? What are they remembering?


Last night we downed N’Zoth! Attendance was high because this would be the night of “the kill”. We had our Vantus runes and did runs and wipes learning the fight and our roles and duties.


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It is one of the better designed fights in my opinion. Once you enter the final stage, you are almost sure of the kill. No very nasty mechanic in the twelfth minute of the fight. For this fight, you know that you are failing early (enough) on and players can jump off the edge and suicide to save the repair bill. And once you enter the final stage, you stack and focus and get the goods.

There is nothing very hard in this fight except for two things. One is the Paranoid phase where you have to race to your buddy and stand by him or her. The second is that the raid has to split. Dividing the raid team on two different realms puts the onus on each individual player to perform.


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For a cynical and tired raid team, we celebrated! We all collected our new mounts and went down to the Goldshire Inn to park on the roof and show off our new mounts. That was pretty fun with much laughter.


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Then, just outside Stormwind, we made a circle of our new mounts so everyone could get a screen shot of our victorious moment.

I’m glad that it is over. And we are sure to return for more of the same, probably with Alts. There is hope for an Achievement Run on Normal at some point. But we are sure to lose some players now that “the kill” has been successful, for them there are other games to play and activities to do in this game.


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The achievement goes on the Feats of Strength list. The glaring and bitter missing one is the Eternal Palace – that is when everyone was leaving WoW and raid teams were falling apart and we called it quits until the next patch came out.

So, my friends, done and done!

WoW: I Enjoy Being a Girl

“It’s not that I don’t like reading about myself. But I get unhappy with the kind of things that are written about me. For instance, after ‘Suzie Wong’ . . . I was being written up as a kind of sex kitten. I’m not really at all like that.”
Nancy Kwan


WoW: I Enjoy Being a Girl

When I first started playing the World of Warcraft, my character was male. This is because I am male and it made perfect sense to play a male. Being female would have felt like a lie, I think. Since then, almost all of my Alts are male!

With the big spike in online blogging during the Wrath of the Lich King, I read a lot about WoW. One thing that interested me was a statistic (don’t trust it) that said that 80% of the female characters in the game are men (don’t believe it, how could anyone know). The motive, they said, was that a girl character would get random presents and carrys and more.

Well, I can be as girl crazy as the next guy. But I had zero interest in throwing gold at a girl character to impress him/her. Nor would I take that step to be a female character to try to gain some kind of advantage. It feels all wrong.

In the Cataclysm expansion, as I recall, a new toy came out called Kalytha’s Haunted Locket. It turned me into a female night elf with blue vagueness around me. I liked it because it was different. And then, and then, I noticed that the animations were very different and that they were my animations!

Well then, I decided to level a female character; my profession alt with alchemy and inscription. Yes, a night elf for the flip animation. And then, a female gnome and what a character she is! Feisty, determined, zeal for life; this is a very well animation-and-sound-designed character. And I love her, she is so much fun.

Now, there is talk of a gender change coming to the Barber Shop. And, I dunno. My male characters have always been male and mercenaries and adventurers with, well, I’d not call them back stories so much as attitude stories. Doing a gender change on my established toons would make no sense at all unless it was to do it just because I can.

Gender change is now a paid service. I’m guessing that if it will be shuttled to the Barber Shop that it would cost beaucoup bux.

So, I like being a male with a male character but I also enjoy being a girl.



Finally, if it is ringing a bell, I Enjoy Being a Girl is a song from Flower Drum Song. And if it is not ringing a bell, I’d not be surprised; the movie came out in 1961 and you’d have to be a kind of a fan of musicals to watch it.

Still, all learning is good and why not enjoy the terrific Nancy Kwan sing about being an Asian young woman in America in the time period.





Whoa, early 60s!

WoW: Farming in the Lull

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”
Will Rogers


Farming in the Lull

Hi-ho, the derry-o I find myself farming, of all things! Like many players, I am interested in collecting the Echoes to buy corruption tokens. My logic is that if I am going to run the LFR for Echoes and fun, I might as well earn a satchel with about 900 gold.


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And if I have to contend with 45 minute queue times, I might as well do some herbing even though the prices are tanking in a lull. The thing that I found out is that you can’t just leave the panel open and expect a satchel run to pop up. You have to open and close the panel again and again, hoping for it to show.


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I should do a full feature on my favorite toy, the one from Killsaw. This is from Mr. Smite’s Compass and the toy looks marvelous. One of his animations is scratching himself and using a spinning saw blade must hurt!


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Lull farming has found me finally leveling up the follower in Nazjatar. I’ll do the other two also, I suppose.


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The next is a horrible screen shot! It is a player who is multi-boxing. There are four Sky Golems all tied together at one keyboard. I’d hate it truly but the player is not on my realm. Personally, it looks like a little bit of fun but I can’t imagine paying for four accounts, especially if I relied on farming during a lull to pay for them!


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Lock Outs.

Blizzard offers the choice to save a lock out and not have it reset at the beginning of the week. This is so that you can continue. However, once you get to the next-to-the-last-boss, Wrathion is there with the quest to kill Ra-dan, Vex and the other guy four times and you can earn a portal that will jump you forward.

So, we anticipated this and carried an alt to save the lock out before those three end-wing bosses. And, that guy with an alt swapped to his main to kill the three and reach Wrathion for the quest. But when we zoned in on Sunday, all of the early bosses were up. So now we are doing a new set of lock outs and re-clearing everything for another person to extend a different lock out.

Sound confusing? It is. We were frustrated and angry last night trying to figure out the lock out mechanic designed by Blizzard. And we spent our night trying different combinations with other people and using rogues to sneak to see if the doors were open; and the catch is that you have to kill the first boss no matter what (I think)(you can’t get down the hallways if Wrathion is up)(the whole design is a disaster).

So, this coming Wednesday we’ll finish killing the early bosses and building a new lock out until we have two separate lock outs with running out and resetting the raiding in the middle of the evening and, someday eventually, we’ll actually face the final boss.

Egads.

One thing we clear, we are very much stronger than when we started. The Soccer Boss only sees two ball runs instead of three, that sort of thing. So, ever optimistic am I!

Happy hunting.

A Hasty Game

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde”


A Hasty Game

Nope, we have not killed N’zoth on heroic yet. I think our lockout will be used now. We get newer players to gear up and others drop out. Our main tank has a different job and job hours and so: we train a new tank.

For me as a resto-druid, I had two choices. Either stack Haste for more ticks on my heal-over-time spells or Mastery for more bang-for-the-buck. I chose Haste because it also reduces my cast times. Small reason but it tipped the choice.


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With the Expedience effects of corruption, I watch as my haste rolls up and down while I play. I’ve seen it get up to 125%. This is kind of fun when this happens.


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Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ll watch my haste panel while fighting a boss! No, not ALL of the time; but it is a bit of flavor to add to the treat of raiding.


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It is summer. We are in a lull. Players are restless because of the pandemic. We have to be forgiving when people act up. In the LFR, I always make a case to never kick anyone; even the AFK guys. I’ll say in chat that after a 30 minute wait to play the game, getting kicked really sucks and you don’t want to go to the bathroom in case the queue pops up; so you wait until you get into the raid.

And if a tank pulls before a player can run back. I heap the guilt! Maybe I have a little mother in me but not enough, I just don’t have those skills.

I’ll continue to say that the toy drop off of Killsaw continues to amuse me. I have it macro’d to my hearthstone and recommend that you do too.

As you can see, with this toy that fishing can be a dangerous business!


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