A Book Buddy

“The older I grow the more I become certain that it makes no difference what words we use to tell the same truths.”
Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon

Book Buddies are Rare

Nope, this is not about the World of Warcraft.

A Book Buddy by any name you want to call it is a precious thing.

My first was a guy named Dan. I was a kid, smoking weed, and very interested in the counter-culture. He gave me The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. Forty years later, I still own this copy. It still has two rolling papers glued together to be used as a book-mark.

That book led me to Ken Kesey and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which led me to Robert Anton Wilson which led me to … well, you get the idea.

A Book Buddy is a rare friend. He will read a book and pass it along to you, thinking that you might be interested.

I remember well, my best friend slipping me Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice. This was THE book that changed an entire genre. This was the book that started all the Twilight series, the stuff you see on HBO, the erotic/horror genre all comes from this first book.

I was working a gig that took at least twelve hours a day, we were swamped. But I still read a few chapters every night. My friend and I would talk about the book, where I was in the sequence and, really, how cool vampires were.

I have a book buddy now, a precious friend to be sure.

I am often the leader, suggesting books that we might read together and discuss as we travel along the artist’s trail each journey.

Together we have read:

  • Ender’s Game
  • The Mists of Avalon
  • 1984
  • The Dragonriders of Pern (the whole series)
  • Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Anita Blake (about eight of the series) by Laurell K Hamilton

I’ll betcha that I’m missing a couple of books! These are the best of times. It is fun and we each bring our own perspective to the experience and embrace the joy of reading.

I’d like to squeeze in The Jungle Books by Kipling soon, the trailers for the upcoming movie looks great. There will be a pre-movie book for Warcraft soon as well.

If you ever, ever, find a Book Buddy in your life — hold on to that friend. They are precious and rare.


Big Love Rocket Macro’d

A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode.
Astronautics, issue 38, October 1937.

Big Love Rocket Macro

This holiday mount is rare enough, we might as well show it off!

#showtooltip Big Love Rocket
/summonpet Gold Mini Jouster
/use Bubble Wand
/use Brewfest Banner
/use Power Converter
/use Pretty Draenor Pearl
/cast Big Love Rocket

The Gold Mini Jouster is a lovely flier who will follow you in the air, it also makes a nice flash when summoned!

Love is in the Air!

The Long Voyage

“Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.”
Charles Dickens

The Long Voyage

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…

Yep, Dickens said it best. The above paragraph (clipped for length, the man could write) pretty much sums it up. My favorite part of an expansion has got to be when we are powerful and walk like gods across all the lands.

It is easy to feel that you have a very long list to do. Raiding with your team can pile onto leveling Alts, getting Achievements, choosing your boost, learning new classes; all things that you want to do and wanted to do for every expansion.

In this epoch of incredulity, I see poorly thought out achievement lists. Designers simply dumping lists into professions like Archeology or garrison buildings.

In this age of wisdom, we can not allow the list to decide our destiny.

An Alt can stay parked in an inn for months. Their job was to entertain you when you wanted to “get away from it all.” An irony upon the irony is that you started WoW to get away from it all and now you are leveling an Alt to get away from it all.

In this epoch of belief, I have faith that our next expansion will deliver a new world for me to explore; timid to begin and godlike in the end.

These are the best of times!

“And a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done– done, see you!– under that sky there, every day.”

(Quotes are from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)


“Take away leisure and Cupid’s bow is broken”


Since our holiday, Love is in the Air, has arrived, I’d like to give a nod to Peddlefeet. As a pvp battle pet, he can be pretty handy.

He’s nasty against Dragonkin (a popular class for pvp). He holds his own against other classes and, personally, I like to open with Peddlefeet.

Mind you, I don’t use addons to scope out the enemies spell choices or track their cooldowns; if you are going serious, get those addons.

For me, to pvp pet battle is totally fun and should be approached with a bit of joie de vivre.

My spell choices are:

  • Rapid Fire for his aoe hits. Pasting the back line is always satisfying!
  • Lovestruck to stun my enemy, forcing a swap or interupting their rotation.
  • Love Potion is a heal for 25% health on a three turn cooldown and always goes first.

There is still time, see if you can add Peddlefeet to your fleet during this holiday event!

The Legion Hunter

“There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.”
Frank Zappa

Beast Mastery vs Marksmanship

One thing that I am challenged with is my judging past and future units by the moral, ethical and standards of today. That judgement on my part is un-fair to those events as there is always change on the sliders of what is moral, ethical or what that standard might be.

I am not alone.

An example:
Thomas Jefferson. A great man and leader and a founder of the United States. Today one of the main things we know about him is that he owned slaves. Rather than a rich knowledge of this man’s achievements, this fact always seems to come up. This is because we are judging Mr. Jefferson by today’s standards and seem to find him lacking — which is bullshit and narrow-sighted and fairly ignorant on our part.

Beast Mastery or Marskmanship
I am teetering on Occam’s Razor, trying to decide which choice has the fewest assumptions. I WILL have to decide once Legion arrives. It is a big choice and will decide not only how I play this game but also my satisfaction early in the expansion (since I can change my mind after being burned).

The Crux
I can read the data-mined new talents and spells. I keep thinking of how they’d apply to the game I play right now (they look cool!). However, I have no idea what the encounters will be. Making a judgement on the state of the class by the standards of today’s raids is a mistake.

Reverse Engineering
I am pretty sure that Blizzard designs the classes first and then designs the encounters. The focus throughout Hell Fire Citadel was a mantra to the point of sarcasm, “adds before boss”. They must have an over-arcing style in mind for our future raids that will make them signature to the expansion.

We Can Not Know
People still use “A Patchwerk Fight” as a dps standard. Will we be running for our lives like we did with Thok? Will we be full-time flame-throwers like in Brackenspore? Will we be jumping into vehicles like in Malygos or Flame Leviathan?

Reverse Engineering Again
The class design is what we’ll see at the end of the expansion.
The leveling up and gearing up is to fill in the pieces that have been removed to be part of our journey in the expansion.
At first glance, it would seem that Crit plays a big role in Beast Mastery; we could be weak early in the expansion and be monsters at the end!
They said that we will finish our Artifact weapon in one to three months. There is no way that is our final weapon of the game, future patches will give us more … sockets, spells, flavors.

For every major plus in each of the class designs, there may be an extremely large number of unknown possible facets to the classes.

Noodles in Azeroth

“‘That’s exactly it,’ replied Don Quijote, ‘that’s just how beautifully I’ve worked it all out — because for a knight errant to go crazy for good reason, how much is that worth? My idea is to become a lunatic for no good reason at all.'”

More Noodles in Azeroth

My Guild Master says, “there is always something to do in WoW.”

I agree, I can keep pretty busy. Mind you, I also get out of my apartment. There is a great outdoors and things to do.

Would you join the Alpha or Beta (when it arrives)? I don’t think that I will. My interest is very much in how will my character play in Legion which will be revealed in the pre-expansion patch. The questing, zones, dungeons, pet battles, leveling, raiding and all of that — I’m very happy to simply discover!

They call this the “lull” before the next expansion. I find it a nice time to play catch up and enjoy being over-powered. Go a-questing! Find an Achievement!

What to do:
Stockpile Pet Charms. This is easily done as a short daily in the menagerie. Some of my world-famous bad math incoming — 8 charms x 10 characters is 80 charms a day. Today is Feb. 20, 2016. If the new expansion is in the summer, that is about 200 days from now (we could hope!). 80 x 200 = 16,000 Pet Charms. That is absurd!
If it takes 200 charms for one random epic upgrade, 16000 divided by 200 takes us back to 80. So, potentially if we are faithful, 80 pets maxed at 25 which are Epic.

Stockpile Gold. This is a bit crazy. We have our garrisons and followers with the Treasure Finder trait. Running these twice a day on all of our characters is tedious when an unknown need. Will we need that much gold? Will we need any gold? I’d say to dial this back a bit. Let your regular adventures pay for gold.

Free to Play. The WoW token is pretty satisfying. I used in-game gold to pay for another 30 days of WoW. Not using my real world money to play is a-okay. On the other hand, fifteen dollars a month is a LOT of entertainment.

Alt Leveling. I have a general rule and that is to always have an Alt to level. Commonly not associated with any guild, this character visits zones I’ve never explored. It may take months and months to get this character up but it is like visiting an old friend in another town.

Min/Max. My main needs just a few more pieces of gear. I’d love to start finding replacement pieces that have more Crit on my hunter. 75 crit (a gem, for example) is equal to 600 DPS.

Play with Friends. The best reason to log in. Whether it is raiding, questing, farming old raids for mounts or simply fishing side-by-side and chatting on vent. This is the raison d’etre to be in WoW

World of Warcraft: Chronicle Vol. 1

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
Lewis Carroll

Noodling around Azeroth

World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
A book with pretty pictures is coming out from Blizzard. It covers from the beginning of WoW up to the Last Guardian. As I understand it: it covers Warcraft 1, the first Real Time Strategy game that I never played.

On one level I’ve always resented that our MMO, the World of Warcraft, has been embedded into prior games. I didn’t play those games, so when a player says, “oh look, it’s Blackhand!” I have no idea.

Still, Warcraft is a franchise and all of it’s history and story is involved.

It is not out yet, March 15, 2016. You can pre-order at Amazon. I recommend the hard-cover strongly. I have bought stuff like this for Kindle but the scaling for the beautiful art work doesn’t translate well to Kindle.

You can watch the preview here on YouTube and see Chris Metzen lie through his teeth. It’s a nice video preview of the book … and animation is amazing.

I found this image on MMO Champs. You can read a page from the book!

It’s a tough call. $25 dollars is a lot to fill in the gaps of a story not told well in the game. Still, I was questing in Area 52 last night and totally confused on why the Kirin Tor were on Outlands living in a city that looked like Stormwind.

In any case, check out the links and decide for yourself!