In-Game Gifts for WoW

I kept a diary right after I was born.
Day 1: Tired from the move.
Day 2: Everyone thinks I’m an idiot.

Steven Wright

In-Game Gifts for WoW

Thankfully my guild-mate doesn’t read this page. Her birthday is in two weeks and it’s time to stack up some presents.

My first question is: what am I loaded with and what doesn’t she have? Actually that’s two questions. But that’s the crux of it all.

My first stop was the Armory to see what mounts and pets that she owns. With a little post-raid grinding I can make a Vial of the Sands for the coveted Sandstone Drake!

I see that she has a level one, uncommon, Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling. I’m an engineer, I can easily use all my stockpiled charms to make a Dragonling and upgrade it to rare and make it level 25.

Okay, that’s two ‘good’ gifts.

It’s time to fill up the bars, our in-game mail offers 12 slots.

I have many (many) hexweave bags stashed on an alt for when the Demon Hunter and the Gnome Hunter drops (gotta love rich alts). So, four hexweave bags.

Unfortunately, you can not gift wrap bags nor anything item that can stack. So, I’ll wrap my Vial and Dragonling.

I’m up to six items: half-way there!

I’ll sneak a Delicious Chocolate Cake out of our party tab, hehe.

A small stack of Mysterious Fortune Cards will be high on the fun factor.

She’s a Beast Mastery Hunter, so a stack of Sleeper Sushi will be welcome.

I think 100 chocolate cookies will give her the You’ll Feel Right as Rain achievement. She’s just got to eat them all at once!

Okay, that is ten of twelve slots and likely enough unless I stumble upon something easy.

  • Search your friends Armory for uncollected mounts and pets.
  • Search your friends Achievements for easy points (you may have lots of mats that they don’t have).
  • Cookies and Cakes are always great on a birthday or any party.
  • Practical gifts like raiding buff food will make their life easier.
  • Mysterious Fortune Cards now take Draenor Inks, I think, which blows and sucks if you ask me.
  • Gift wrap what you can; make it a surprise.
  • Send the mail just after midnight if you are up so they get it when they log in on their birthday.
  • Remember it’s all for fun: a simple Dalaran Brownie will do just fine.

Happy Birthday!


Cookie Cutter Builds

“News travels fast in places where nothing much ever happens.”
Charles Bukowski

Cookie Cutter Builds — in the News.

There are several ways to get information about the World of Warcraft. When it comes time for a player to hone in on their skills, talents, gear and stats; they go look up a guide.

Guides are tricky. They are based on what is called a Sim. They run some simulation software with variables thousands of times to get results. The variables might be the list above (gear, talents etc) and it also might add “heavy movement” to the simulation.

Guide writers post their results sometimes before an expansion drops! To add to our injury, they don’t get updated to reflect new things in the game like Valor Points or the new heirloom trinkets.

What comes out of this is what is called a “cookie cutter” build. You base your talents, rotation, stat priority on what the guide tells you and you walk away knowing that you are informed, powerful and ready-to-play!

You know you are right. You are the best.

The only way to get more current information is to dredge through forums, blog comment sections and dark hallways with envelopes full of cash.

Occasionally, there will be a brilliant posting. It makes sense and it questions what we are doing. Vee Tegen of Ask Mr Robot wrote an article for Blizzard Watch. It is very smart. Soon many bloggers like the respected Thrill of the Hunt responded. Until, even Blizzard posted on Twitter asking for a discussion.

Read it: it is good stuff.

How cookie cutter builds discourage player customization by Vee Tegen (Zoopercat). This link will go to Blizzard Watch.

Celestalon ‏@Celestalon · Dec 10
Discussion Topic for the Day: What can we (Blizzard) do to help solve the problem described in this article?

Personally, I miss swapping Talents between boss fights like we did in Mists of Pandaria. Talents were designed, it seemed, to fit certain fights.

If some Talents are only 5% different, then I want to know information in a different light. I want to know if it is high or low maintenance. I understand that taking a ‘passive’ talent will typically give lower results.

And, I want to know the synergy between Talents. I think that this is the most important. On my healing Druid, I know the Incarnation talent with Tranquility gives a much stronger result: big Big BIG heals!

I appreciate Zoopercat shaming the guide writers for trying to be definitive when there is a lot more leeway. I think the Big Picture is our perception of what we are doing as we play when guided by independent writers.

Gaming the System

The further you get into technology, the further you go into gaming. That’s the general rule.
Nick Johnson

Gaming the System

There are smart clever people in the world. They look at a situation and see if they can exploit the situation for their own gain. Our history is loaded with these people, some are considered heroes and some are scum; at the time they were successful.

When I was teaching a class in web design, I taught how to push the web page to the top of the search engines. I exploited how the search spiders (at the time) were designed.

I don’t trust “weighting” sites like Rotten Tomatoes. Too many movies have way too high of a score when none of them deserve the Freshness. Someone has looked at the rating site, knows that people look to that site for advice, and has exploited the rating system so their mediocre movie will be a success.

When there is money on the line, someone wants to game the system.

Our polls, have mercy on us. Expect them to be under major scrutiny well after the elections. Our media is using them and they’d not want to embarrass themselves. We’ve known the weakness and flaws in polling for sixty years! For example, remember the expressions on the faces of all the media mavens when Mitt Romney lost the election — every poll had said that he’d win. He lost.

A video going “viral” is hokum. Someone is pushing their own product or image or video; they are gaining interest by saying that it is viral: suggesting that viewers like you and me are all in accord independently.

Five Star restaurants and their chefs live and die to be on The List. They know that the difference is so very small and even hour to hour. The Star list generators get a lot of attention because it can make a lot of money. A lot of money. Who made the list of “best burger in Nashville”?

I was in a raid last week and a player said some of his friends got banned for six months. They were using what is called a “bot”. This wasn’t a bot for better fighting skill or making gold. It was for fishing! How elegant is that ban knowing it was for something as trivial and petty as fishing. I loved it.

From Ponzi Schemes to Adele to viral videos to polls to Likes and Views, all these are from people who are exploiting you. Or they want to exploit you. They want your time and money, do you want to give it to them?

Gaming the System is a lawyer’s playground. Producers in Hollywood are millionaires with no skill or talent for television or movies. Politicians use “made up” public opinion to their advantage.

These are smart clever people.

Winter’s Veil – 2015

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
– Shirley Temple

A Holiday in the World of Warcraft
Winter’s Veil

This coming holiday brings some new stuff for us vets of WoW. I’m looking forward to decorating my Garrison.

Much like Hallow’s Eve, we’ll be doing daily quests; this time in Frostfire Ridge. It’s the Horde’s turn to have the daily nearby.

There will be four dailies, one of which will reward two Merry Supplies as a boss kill. The boss is called Grumpus and we’ll keep an eye on him as he drops a mount! Minion of Grumpus is it’s name and, yes, we’ll be riding a Yeti.

Instead of ghosts and pumpkins, this holiday will give us Tangled Lights, Imported Trees, Little Helpers and our guards will wear Festive Outfits! Woo hoo!

There will be a greater need to kill the mini-boss (Grumpus) so we’ll be swimming in Merry Supplies. We can buy a toy, the Crashin’ Thrashin’ Killdozer Controller. This along with the Crashin’ toys in Tanaan and our gift from Father Christmas will complete an achievement.

For the over-flow of Merry Supplies, we’ll be buying (if we don’t send them to an alt) Savage Gifts —-

Savage Gift (Merry Supplies X 5) Extra gifts that can contain various Winter Veil presents (toys, vanity items, etc.)

NOBODY knows yet what are in these savage gifts! This will be very fun for me and I look forward to it.

The holiday starts next week, start planning now!


Legion Level 100 Boost

I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
Oscar Wilde

Legion 100 Boost

With the purchase of Legion, players get one character boost to 100. As I have pre-purchased the next expansion, I took advantage of the boost to get my long-desired Holy Priest.

With the 100 boost, you get:

  • a level 3 Garrison
  • the garrison has a lumber mill and (for me) a tailor hut. I’d imagine if I were wearing plate, I’d have the black smith shop.
  • a trading post
  • ten followers (at lvl 90, green).
  • 350 Garrison Resources
  • 350 gold
  • 640 green gear (a beautiful set, btw)
  • 4 embersilk bags
  • all the flight points except Tanaan

You can immediately join the High Maul LFR and the Black Rock Foundry LFR which I did!

They push you to start with Shadow and have pre-loaded only two DPS spells and two Healing spells in your bars. You have to do some homework.

My new character is:
Female: Night Elf
Name: Alacrity

Update: On 12/15/15 hotfix — Character Boost

  • Starting armor should now have dual primary stats for characters that utilize a Level 100 Character Boost.

A Diary from Draenor – Rats!

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious.
Oscar Wilde

Busy Times.

Blizzard really upped the ante when they added Timewalking Dungeons.
And Mythic Dungeons.

I imagine things will taper off some once people get what they need. I’m 2/5 on Mythic Dungeon heirlooms. The random maybe-it-will drop gear is nice but it sure is random. And, all my pieces are Valor Capped; so the need to run them will fade in time.

The switch to need-to to want-to-for-fun to do will be too welcome.

We have a rat in our guild. He tells us he’s an asshole. He acts like an asshole. He is mystified that people shun him as an asshole. He is feeling the heat from the administration of our guild (he is being ignored). So, he is going super out of his way to be nice to everyone. I’m sure he’s bagging on our leaders, driving a wedge.

The funny thing about rats. What they don’t know is that I don’t care. I’d be just as happy playing with two of my friends than having a full guild.

All you really need is one good friend.

Supergirl: Human for a Day

“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.”
Peter S. Beagle,

Oh Supergirl.

In a nutshell: great story, weak writing.

Imagine Kara’s adopted sister. The DEO is on lockdown and a huge alien is loose. He has psychic powers. He wants to release all the other aliens locked up. She handcuffs her boss, calls the alien that she has the codes and walks to meet him. “Either way, it stops now.”

Embarrassing. A very bad choice. She is risking the safety of the entire world. For what?

There was a nice moment when Supergirl, who has lost her powers confronts some bad guys. It would have been much better if she had done it as Kara and not in her costume. But, what can I say?

Martian Manhunter? I called it. Saw it a mile away.

Okay. We’ve seen the episode where she’s lost her powers. I guess amnesia is next.

The writers have to get better, even if it is with practice. Is anyone, anyone at all, telling them that they suck? I fear they are strutting in Hollywood and thinking that they are hot shit.

Here’s the deal. New artists always claim that they want to shake things up. They first have to prove that they can succeed in the status quo; at minimum, technique.