Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day Reflections...

For those of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that everyone has a chance to meet up with old friends and family and take some time to give thanks for the good things and even the bad that help shape who you are.

Needless to say, I have been reflecting a bit about my WoW time recently.  I still play as much as possible, but I feel that the time has been partly empty.  I log in to do the things I like doing, but just feel like there is something missing.  I raided Firelands last night with my guild on the progression team, and I think I know what my problem is... I have lost the focus I once had.  I still love WoW and am going to play it for as long as I can.  I think what I noticed last night, was that I did not feel a part of the raid team, only a substitute, since someone could not make it.  It was not the raid team, several of them are my friends and were very open to having me be there.  I just felt like a "third wheel" for the team.  We did down Ragnaros and when it came time to roll for the tier helm, I did something that is uncharacteristic for me.  I rolled and won the tier helm!  Not that it is a bad thing, but it was the first time I ever rolled on something and did not want to pass on it for the sake of progression gearing of the group.  I think in part it was the feeling of not being in the raid team normally, so I figured I may not get another shot at the helm.  I realized that I may be feeling a bit out of place in the game and just not having the care for other players that I once had.  For a lot of players, being selfish comes easy to them, but for me it feels out of place.  I prefer to help my team, but without a team at this time I just feel empty. 

Boo Hoo!!!!  Poor me, get over it!

So to get over this awkward feeling for me, I would like to take a few moments to say five things about WoW  that I am thankful for:

1.  The opportunity to engage in a fantasy world rich with story and game play.
2.  Being the most handsome Troll in the game.
3.  Being able to shoot rogues with a Turkey Shooter.
4.  Making friends with some incredibly interesting and fun people.
5.  Being part of a community of gamers who have a passion for something that we all love to do.

What are you thankful for?  What keeps you coming back to play?

Time to go enjoy some turkey and family time...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finally reached a Personal Goal

First of all, I would like to take a moment to thank all of the Veterans for their selfless service and sacrifice that they and their families have made to serve their country.  I have several friends in the military and family members who have served in the military.  I understand the personal sacrifices they make in order to follow duty and honor while serving their country.  For these and many other reasons, I salute them all and thank them for all that they do.

I know that I have been quiet lately on my own blog.  It has been for a number of reasons, including guest appearances on podcasts, such as Group Quest and All Things Azeroth.  I have also been working on a project with a few WoW friends of mine to discuss our love of the Diablo franchise with the Shattered Soulstone podcast.  I have also been working on the Legendary Staff quest and trying to figure how to get it, since my raid team fell apart while I was working nights for a few months.  As you can tell with my activities, I have been divided in my interests and time.  I have not been logging in with any regularity or focus on reaching any specific milestones.  Last night, I decided to collect my mail and found this after I collected it:

Yes, I did it!!!  I reached that goal of collecting 1 million gold before patch 4.3!

I hit 900,000 gold, several weeks back, but felt that I lost some motivation to get to 1 million.  Perhaps it was because once I hit the 900,000 mark, I figured 1 million was just something that was going to happen.  When 4.2 dropped on 6/28/2011, I was sitting at about 600,000 gold.  I also had a stash of gems and enchanting materials to use for selling in 4.2 and the Firelands raid.  In August, I decided that my goal would be to reach 1 million gold by the time patch 4.3 was released.  It appears that 11/11/11 would be that day that I finally reached my goal.

I am the type of person that likes to have goals to reach.  It gives me drive and focus to help me stay on target and to enjoy the process of what I am doing.  I hate the feeling of doing something, just to do it.  It feels to me, empty and hollow.  I know people find different things to enjoy when playing a game, but for me, it is having something to accomplish, whether that means raiding, doing pvp, or making gold.

I am thinking of doing a retrospective of how I reached the million gold mark.  What format would you like to see this?  Should I do blog posts, a short podcast, or a combination?  Let me know, and I will work on what media people are most interested in hearing.

Thanks for stopping by...

Time for some more hockey games... that is what Saturday with boys is made for, right?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blizzcon 2011 Predictions...

It is that time of year again!  Blizzcon 2011 is in less than a week and all Blizzard fans are eagerly anticipating any new information about their favorite Blizzard games.  Every year for the last few years I have made my personal predictions about what topics will be covered, but never really shared them with anyone.  Sometimes I was right, and other times I was wrong.  This is all meant to be fun and speculative.  I thought this post would be a fun opportunity to share what I expect to see at Blizzcon 2011 and how close I might be to it.

I will be watching much of Blizzcon through the Virtual ticket this year.  I will be splitting my time watching between the Diablo 3 coverage and WoW coverage.  Thankfully the streaming is saved and can be viewed during downtime after the panels are over. 

Anyways, here are my predictions for what news we will be at this year's Blizzcon, including some "wild card" predictions of new content.

Diablo 3:  Most of Diablo 3's features are already known by the Diablo community, so I do not believe that we will see any earth-shattering revelations at Blizzcon.  That being said, I think that we will be privy to a host of new art, lore, and game play aspects that we have not seen; not even from the Beta videos that have been release by various people.  For those of you who are not in the Beta, the game play only involves the first part of Act I and up to level 14, I believe.  That leaves an enormous amount of game play not even seen by the Beta testers.
     1.  More information on the followers and what abilities they have during game play.
     2.  Examination of the Crafting done by Artisans.  (incomplete on official D3 site)
     3.  Skill trees and explanation of the resources for each class.
     4.  New monsters and bosses not currently available in Act I on the Beta.  (story or art display)
     5.  Information on Deckard Cain's Bestiary book to be published and a new novel to be released next year for Diablo 3 to add to the lore.

 World of Warcraft:  Like a lot of people, I believe this will be a huge news cycle for WoW during this Blizzcon.  Everyone is anticipating the release of information regarding the next expansion.  I tend to agree with some of the "tin foil hat" ideas from WoW Insider and various podcasts that think the WoW expansion will involve some sort of undiscovered series of islands that have been forgotten from game play, but not Warcraft lore.  I think we will see news of Kul Tiras; of islands hidden from the Maelstrom storms, such as lost civilizations (yeah maybe Pandaren, or not); of the undiscovered home of the Goblins, Undermine; and of a hidden staging ground for the reemergence of Sargeras (or at least his avatar).  Much can be left up to the imagination of WoW fans, but I think many more questions will come after the announcement next week.
     1.  Whatever the next expansion is, I believe that it will be very heavy on the end game content.  Cataclysm was a reboot on the early game, but its biggest criticism is the lack of sustainable end game content.
     2.  More information on the Dark Moon Faire, such as hints to its lore, some of the carnival game features, like Pit Fighting, Shooting Gallery, and other carnival games.
     3.  The Dark Moon Faire will also introduce the return of items taken out of the game for use in Transmogrification and will lead to future features of new art assets (uncommon gear without useful stats) to use for Mogging.
     4.  Introduction of new BoA items for item slots not already in use.  Also, they will discuss a new implementation of the BoA gear, much like the items from the Blizzard store that are available to any toon on any realm on a single account.  BoA will be unlocked in game with gold, Justice Points or DMF tickets and the "unlocking" makes it auto available for any toon created after you unlock it on any realm.
     5.  Next expansion will be levels 85-90 leveling only.  Pacing will be adjusted for the new content so that there is not such an outpacing of the new zones with each level gained.
     6.  Next expansion will include more exploration and end game content.  Some new type of game play mechanic at end game that will engage the max level toons.  Possible the return of a redone "Path of the Titans" or some unknown end game content.
     7.  Maybe some sort of new pvp battleground or 3 new ones.  New type of games specifically designed around the 10v10 rated battlegrounds.  Maybe some sort of item capture and control for resource points.  If there is an island theme, maybe a boarding and ship capture pvp battle ground, as in a "pirate style" naval battle.  Another possibility is that there is some sort of sporting event, much like SWTOR's "Huttball," only WoW style (whatever that might be).
     8.  LFR will enable them to release the content they want for the "casuals" and the "hardcore" raiders.  LFR will be great for those looking to get end game content and see the story and raids designed by the raid development team.  Normal and Heroic will continue to be available for higher levels of difficulty.  This is to broaden the end game content for "casual" players, while satisfying the more "hardcore" elements of the player base.
     9.  The raiding end game content will involve Lady VashjirSargeras, including the return of the Burning Legion.  We might have an earlier raid patch including retaking of Undermine from non-goblin forces, or even Island nation empire, like MOAR TROLLS!!!!
     10.  New profession?  Trying to think of what they might do to spice up the profession market, the introduction of a new profession might be good.  Not sure what the resource would be or what they might want to do.  Before the recent announcement of 4.3 changes to WoW, I would have ruled out adding a new resource, like herbs, skins, or ores.  Now I believe that they could add a new gathering resource, especially with the addition of new lands.
     11.  Changes coming for the talent trees again.  Not a major overhaul, like we saw in Cataclysm, but something along the lines of eliminating damage modifiers, but increasing more proc-based or situational talents to give us more choices within our specs.  Remember, the current version was thrown into the Cataclysm beta rather late and now that they have had more time to evaluate it, they may have found some better ways to achieve their design goals.
     12.  Possibly see the 4.3 Dragon Soul cinematic along with a preview of the Deathwing encounters.
     13.  Discussing new ventures in publishing, possible new manga series, and Cristie Golden to discuss her new book on Jaina Proudmoore (leading into the expansion's release). 
     14.  Maybe the interesting non news will be a lack of a "hero" class and no new playable races.  Blizzard knows they lost a lot of subscribers due to lack of end game content.  I think that will be their focus, not having to chase around re-balancing of classes around a new hero class.

WoW Wild Card bonuses (for fun):
     1.  Introduction of 2 or 3 man dungeons that are short encounters and can be done without tanks, dps, or healer specific roles.  They will drop lower level items than 5 mans on the same tier.
     2.  Discussion of a 3-4 movie deal for the Warcraft series.  One for the start of the orc invasion, 2 about the varying stories of the Horde and Alliance, with a final movie coinciding with the final WoW expansion release.

Well, there you have it.  My crazy predictions for things to watch during this year's Blizzcon.

What do you think we will see during Blizzcon?

Time to go to bed....night all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hey you Handsome Troll, what'cha been up to?

One simple thing to sum up my lack of posting: Real Life.  It happens to us all, family and work commitments overwhelm most of your time and that limits your free time for other things you like to do.  Basically, the very limited free time I had was just spent playing alts and working on my goal of making 1 million gold on my server.  So, the other aspects of my hobby, including raiding and blogging, had to sit for awhile.  Finally, now that the school year has settled and schedules are more consistent again for everyone in my family, I can begin to show you all a bit of what I have been doing.

First of all, I have been condensing my WoW playtime to manage auctions and professions more efficiently.  This has helped me to continue to maintain a steady stream of gold income throughout this busy period of my life without hogging up too much of my limited free time.  I am happy to say that as of this morning, I am less than 50,000 gold from my million gold goal.  At some point in the future, I would like to share with you some screenshots of my weekly totals from this year.  Patch 4.2 was a great boon to my gold making totals.  I estimate that patch 4.2 alone netted me over 500,000 gold.  I know if I had stocked more items, I could have made even more.

Secondly, with my work schedule, I had to quit raiding for a while.  I return 2 months later to find that my raid team is no more, but such is a part of life.  I guess they all missed my handsome face...  Anyways, went on an alt run and received a few more Eternal Embers to come to a total of 19 of 25 for the Legendary quest.  I was surprised at how nerfed this content really was since I left.  Two months ago we were in the middle of progression in Firelands with being 4/7 and working on Alysrazor.  Now on this alt run, aside from me, we cleared up to Ragnaros in under 2 hours and with lack of gear, continued to wipe on Ragnaros.  It was fun to see that fight finally.  I do have to say that after fighting the other 5 bosses, fighting Majordomo Staghelm was quite a let down.  We one shot him with a group of alts and me never seeing it or it being explained other than "move here and here."  The nerfs really did hit the Firelands hard.  So, until things get reworked in our guild for 4.3, I guess I will be watching the progression group and going on alt runs.  I don't mind too much because my boys are both in the middle of hockey season already and it does leave my schedule open for other ventures.

Speaking of other ventures, I want to introduce you all to a new Diablo podcast that I have recently become a co-host of along with Nevikjames and Jen.  Nevik is a co-host of The Overlores podcast for some time now at the Twisted Nether network.  Jen is a co-host of the music podcast, Half Way Around the World, from the Dawnforge Productions family.  We have been speaking quite a bit about our love of the Diablo franchise and the fact that we all share the same passion for the latest version, Diablo 3.  So, we decided to record a beta episode of our Diablo background and some of what we know of the upcoming Diablo 3 release.  We all felt that this beta episode was so good, with our chemistry and ease of discussing Diablo topics, that we needed to release this for everyone to enjoy.  We really want this to become a fan driven podcast and would love to hear from all of you about what you enjoy most about Diablo and what you are looking forward to.  You can find our show's website at

Thanks for stopping by, its been good to talk to you all again.

Now it's time to work on my predictions for Blizzcon 2011, I have a blog to record it on this year...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Hiatus continues....

Yes, I know, I have been a terrible blogger.   No updates for months on end.  Just wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive and have been doing several other things both in RL and in gaming that has taken up a bit of time.  So, my blogging activities have been set towards that bottom of my to do list these past few months.  I do intend to come back for more blogging time, but that may not be regular until the kids are all back in school.

I do have several projects that I am working on which I intend to share with all of you in the coming months ahead.  Yes, I still play wow and have been keeping up to speed with the community on what has been occurring at Blizzard.

Just a note for now to let you know I am still here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Time to hang with the boys and play some board games...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I accepted the Treasure Finding Challenge... I had fun losing!

Over on the Power Word Gold website, Flux issued a challenge to his readers for the "Treasure Potion Trash Dash."  To sum this challenge up, you drink a Potion of Treasure Finding and go kill as many Cataclysm level mobs as you can in 1 hour to loot them.  You can only count the vendor value of items looted in your totals for this challenge.  Gold looted from the mobs does not count, but the Tiny Treasure Chests that you loot as a result of drinking the potions do count.

So here are my results and compared to others who have weighed in on this challenge with upwards of 200 gold or more, I have lost this round.  I was able to gain 117 g 54 s and 11 c in this first hour.  I did this on Breja, my main as a shadow priest.  I decided to go to the Twighlight Highlands and fight Ogres and Ettins outside of the "Twighlight Gate" near the horde outpost of Crushblow.  As I was leveling, I had done a series of quests that phased these mobs into packs of 5-8 fighting with horde and alliance npcs.  I died once at the beginning due to my not realizing that multiple Ettins hit like trucks against a clothie :-).  So I basically went to the groups DOT'ed them up and burned them down individually.  This did not result in the most kills in the hour I may have been able to get, but against lvl 84-85 Ettins it helped me stay alive and reduced downtime through not stopping to drink water at all.

Below are the results of this run:

[Item] Quantity Vendor value each Total vendor value
[Roast Beef] 11 9 s 99 s
[Sparkling Oasis Water] 2 6 s 18c  12 s 36 c
[Scavenged Animal Parts] 17 17 s 44 c 2 g 96 s 48 c
[Ruined Embersilk Scraps] 26 15 s 30 c 3 g 97 s 80c
[Singed Shoulderpads] 1 1 g 79 s 44 c 1 g 79 s 44 c
[Melted Cleaver] 1 5 g 57 s 97 c 5 g 57 s 97 c
[Robble's Wobbly Staff] 1 5 g 17s 77c 5 g 17s 77c
[Clammy Mail Circlet] 1 1g 17s 42 c 1g 17s 42 c
[Dirt-Caked Gloves] 1 96s 96c  96s 96c 
[Bleached Plate Pants] 1 3 g 27 s 42 c 3 g 27 s 42 c
[Bluefen Cowl of the Eagle] 1 5 g 86 s 43 c 5 g 86 s 43 c
[Crystalvein Breastplate of the Earthfall] 1 12 g 51 s 57 c 12 g 51 s 57 c
[Highperch Helm of the Monkey] 1 7 g 86 s 84 c 7 g 86 s 84 c
[Mysral Shoulderpads of the Seer] 1 5 g 69 s 37 c 5 g 69 s 37 c
[Highperch Legguards of the Zephyr] 1 10 g 84 s 85 c 10 g 84 s 85 c
[Ravenholdt Waistband of the Monkey] 1 4 g 67s 79 c 4 g 67s 79 c
[Embersilk Cloth] - looted 270 75 c  2 g 2s 50 c
Tiny Treasure Chests 12 43 g 81 s 77 c 43 g 81 s 77 c
[Volatile Fire] 4 8 s 75 c 35 s 
[Volatile Air] 5 8 s 75 c 43 s 75 c
[Volatile Life] 4 8 s 75 c 35 s 
[Volatile Water] 1 8 s 75 c 8 s 75 c
[Volatile Earth] 8 8 s 75 c 70 s
[Pyrite Ore] 9 10 s  90 s
[Embersilk Cloth] - tiny treasure chest only 73 75 c  54 s 75 c
[Elementium Ore] 3 50 c  1 s 50 c

Total for 5/20/2011 Pot TF run 445
117 g 54 s 11 c

Here are a couple of things I have learned:

  1. Make sure you have empty bags before you do this run; I lost about 4 minutes due to having to empty my bags.  ( I was not expecting to get so much Embersilk Cloth.)
  2. Spend a few minutes researching the mobs you are about to face;  I would not have been taken by surprise with the Ettins had I thought about how hard they hit (at least the Potion of Treasure Finding persists through death, hehe)
  3. Find ways to keep up your mana, energy, rage, etc; this was easy for me to time disperse while looting and rotate Dark Archangel and shadowfiend, thus never stopped to drink.
  4. Find a place that will respawn mobs quickly; this spot I had included several groups of 5-8 mobs that constantly respawned as I moved across the area.
  5. HAVE FUN!  I put on some music and whipped through the area for that hour.  It was focused time and enjoyable to just take out some bad guys for a while.

Where do you think you might go to do this challenge by Flux?  What toon is your favorite for farming mobs?

Thanks for stopping by and go have fun challenging yourself today!

Time to get everyone together for my son's game, its almost playoff time for him!  We are excited around here...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Hello friends!  I am still around, but sometimes life just does not give you enough time.  My boys are in the middle of spring sports and that takes several hours away from free time for me.  Also, several unexpected RL issues have taken more of my time and energy away.  So any free time I have had has been playing rather than talking about it.  I plan to get everyone caught up with a few things I have been doing since my last post, eeeek, about a month ago.

First of all, I have eclipsed the 500K gold level weeks ago, but have slowed as I have not had the time to commit to it.  Another factor slowing my gold making down is that I have been spending at the AH like a drunken sailor.  All of this, I will go over in the next few days.  I want to thank Flux and Jokinee over at the Power Word Gold podcast for providing great information and entertainment that has kept me going in WoW these past few weeks.  If you have not heard from them before, you should check them out.  Its like listening to good friends chat about some of my favorite topics.

Anyways, onto the reason for this post today!  I want to congratulate my 10 man raid team for clearing our latest hurdle in defeating Cho'gall.  It has been a rough past few weeks getting the group back together and pushing on in progression, but we finally did it last night.  For the last few weeks, my oldest son has been taunting us as he watches us try to down this boss.  He morphed an old cheese joke, "What do you call cheese that isn't yours?  NACHO CHEESE!"  When I mention the next day that we still did not down him, he would ask me, "Dad, what do you call the boss that you can't down?   NACHO'GALL!"  Followed by a roar of laughter from both of my boys.  At least, their sense of humor kept things in perspective.  The best part... I told them that we downed Cho'gall last night, I got a big hug and grats from the boys.  :)

So, keep plugging away at whatever is keeping you down, because believe me, its all worth it in the end when you overcome that obstacle.

What obstacle is in your way currently?  What do you think you can do to get over it?  Who might be able to help?

Thanks for stopping by and seeing our latest conquest...

No its time to return some hugs and get my boys to bed.