Blog Update

You will notice a new little advert on the bottom right side for charity. It costs you nothing just to review some videos when/if you have time and the money goes to a good cause. Minimal effort + someone else’s money being donated = an easy decision to add it.

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Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Restrospect on Taste of Tacoma 2009

Well first off, I overslept my preplanned time to get there 30 min after it started and instead got to the Taste at 12:30 in some blistering heat. The crowds were already there and the music playing. I loved that they had multiple stages going on splitting people up and in the shade for one of the stages.

Let me say I was sad to see Porter’s BBQ wasn’t there this year. Their Man Sauce is some spicy stuff and I like testing myself vs occasionally.

I started the day with Crepe Thyme’s Cinnamon Sugar Crepes. I had skipped breakfast (and honestly it was on purpose). It was tasty and good but I regretted it. Mostly because it was a bit too much like an elephant ear but not as cinnamony. Still good, but I should’ve gone for their chocolate or nutella masterpieces instead.

The hub and I shared a Steak Philly Cheese sammy from Sizzlin’ Phillies which was good but not great. But then in their defense Fid has had them from their home state and has high standards.

My overall favorite food from the bite? Ohh wait for it…Tandoor’s Kabab Stick. Oh it was soooo good. And with this spicy sauce that was just fab. I can’t go on enough about how amazingly tasty this was. The hub promised to take me back to their restaurant for more food soon.

But wait I told you about the Wine and Roses and I assure you I did not miss it this year! I got introduced to a great new winery with my first sip!.  Barefoot Winery had this wonderfully light and fresh Moscato. I really did fall in love with the wine. I also tried a lovely port, Pink! which had a very nice peppery affect. The roses were in bloom and the heat really make their bouquet a pleasure. The hub and I sat in the shade taking in the cool breeze filled with roses and the riot of color around us as a jazz band played by the winery stands. *sighs* it was simply divine. I’m not a vinophile (go urban dictionary but it really was a pure pleasure. No drags on our time no where to be but there, and there was shady, tasty, and a pleasure for the senses.

I planned to end the Taste with a strawberry shortcake, but it was just a mass of strawberry syrup and sticky overly sweet blah. It was my only downer. I ended it instead Kaleenka Piroshky. I had my first piroshky with cheese and potatoes. Very good I was honestly impressed it was delicate flavors inside and even on a hot day it was yummy.

Overall the Taste was an improvement over last year. I LOVED the Burt’s Bees tent! Which was a life saver since they were giving out sunscreen lotion. (With my super fair skin I burn FAST). I will say it works since I forgot to put some on before we left (I blame the oversleeping) and it did help minize the burn. (afterall I had been in the sun for over an hour before I got the lotion on. I credit it for keeping the burn from being worse AND I didn’t blister like normal)

Published in: on June 29, 2009 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Illisan makes a new friend!

Sometimes I find myself making friends that honestly should have already been friends. Take this weekend for instance. A guildy sent me a tell asking for help on a little group quest kill in Zul’Drak while I was leveling Illisan. I ahd seen the name but wasn’t familiar with the person, but it was a guildy asking me to help kill something, what kind of hunter would I be if I passed up the opportunity to kill something new. ( I didn’t even have any of the flight points in ZD yet!) So I said sure and hopped a flight to Grizzly so I could fly up the ramps (Did I mention Illisan made 78! and got the antifreeze for her gryphon?)

Throbriks turned out to be a niffty feral spec druid, and one hell of a peachy little elf. Which is nice since Illisan doesn’t usually make nice with druids. Back when Silver Hand was a new server and I rolled my hunter LOTS of people actively role-played. Her first experience with a druid was in Ashenvale killing th angry bears there. Hunting with a roguish friend and his new druid friend killing the bears which seemed to have over run the landscape. It was a simple question the druid pondered out loud, a simple question if someone wasn’t a druid. “I don’t understand why the bears attack us when we go into their caves.” *sigh and face palm*So begain Illisan’s not so open disdain for druids. Fandral Staghelm’s attitude toward…well everyone didn’t do much to improve her dispostion on the few times she was sent to speak with him.

So where was I? Oh yes! I ran across a very nice player and while I don’t think Throby is an rper ( I have yet to ask) she is a damn peachy person. Not only was it a quick kill quest which died very fast to the druid/hunter team., but she is a Leatherworker as well and has been sending her extra leather to Illisan so I can work her skill. And if being free with her leather wasn’t enough Throby has been mailing me extra gear she makes for Illisan to wear when I make 80. It was unexpected but super appreciated.

While it would be easy to sa, “Of course you like the person they are giving you free stuff.” But wait! there’s more *in best pitchman voice* Since grouping up I’ve gotten to know the player a bit more. Which is awesome, I’m the chatty type and Throby has been added to my chat to list. Not just people I say hi to, oh these are ppl I will chat to in raids because well I enjoy the chatting with them.

It also reminds me to keep up on the list of odd names in the guild and not just assume they are someone’s alt. I mean I have a budding tank for Illisan to abuse now! And a druid worthy of respect, I mean so far they haven’t made any strange comments which lead me to believe they are perhaps a warriror in disguise.

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Tasty Weekend Event

Side track into the real world for a moment on one of my side interests. Food.

I love good food, I love new food, and I especially love good new food. So! This weekend I will be meandering my way in the Taste of Tacoma. If you are over 21 (and I am!) then you will find the Wine and Roses tasting event in the Point Defiance Rose Garden is not to be missed. $15 gets you 1 glass and 5 tastes of regional wines. But more you get a gorgeous setting to stroll around and sip your wine in. While not my first stop (I need the food or I get tipsy easily) it is a stop I have yet to miss when attending, as my cupboards will prove. (Honestly having the commemorative wine glasses helps, because when it is gloomy and rainy out, I pull out a glass, pour some wine and remember walking in awesome heat around lovely roses…amazingly the rain isn’t so bad then) And if wine isn’t your speed fear not! A beer garden awaits you.  (and less alcoholic drinks as well)

But the Taste isn’t just about wine and roses. So many different restaurants participate that it is a great change to discover a new place without having to commit to an entire meal. To keep costs low and encourage participates to have a “taste” of any food that catches their eye, the Taste has created tastes which are $3. But the saving option goes beyond just little tastes. The prices are kept under $7 for food, and a coupon book is available as well giving a 15% discount. (btw the first time I had gator was at my first of Taste J )

Set up just down from the food vendors are craft merchants galore. Nicnaks not your speed? There is a comedy state and music. (I can’t comment on this year yet but last year there were carnival rides set up for kids as well. And…a wii station *nods* ohhhh yeah I loved it. I wanted the wii car sooo bad, so bad.)

Everyone’s budget is tight specially this summer with the economy. But if you can squeeze the money and know to watch your spending while there the Taste of Tacoma is a great splurge. If you get there early you can find free parking, or park at the Pierce Transit and take a ride down for $3.50. After the weekend I will let you all know how it holds up to last year.

Btw Can’t make it this weekend? Bite of Seattle next month!

*Updated a pricing error

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PTR Disc changes

Ok all I’m going to touch on is the priest changes.

The reason for the change on Prayer of Healing has got to be the Tier 8 2 piece set. That is all I can think of. The good people at Plus Heal have calculated it to be a 1K lose of healing. That freaking hurts as a disc priest sometimes charged with group healing for say…HODIR!

I just plain hate them for the 2 sec change to Penance it is a complete nerf to the glyph which reduces the cooldown. Look out for  Blizz to take the glyph away from us as well.

Their reasoning for these two drastic changes? My money is on pvp. Blizz really does a piss poor job balancing pvp vs pve content. I may not play Warhammer anymore but the one thing that game did well was balance the two aspects of the game. They accepted they were a pvp game and all their pve instances balanced on of pvp.  So an encounter was properly tooled for your abilities. Blizz? not so good at tooling their encounters after nerfing. Oh sure they have nerfed Uld, but I’m not so sure you will see the touted “Bring the player, not the class” surviving with these nerfs. If I can’t successfully heal my group in Hodir why bring me if we already have 2 pally healers for the tank? You wouldn’t you’d bring a better aoe healer. Say a shammy since they are buffing them. Which is great when you have shammies that sign up!

As you can tell I am not pleased. We’ll see if they make it live. But after the nerfing to the ground Beast Mastery got and they ignored the hunter community saying they didn’t understand the numbers being used. I don’t have any faith they list to people or hope. I’ll just roll with the kidney shot to my heals.

Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 9:20 am  Comments (3)  
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D&D: A look at 4ths biggest complaints

This morning I got up totally prepared to do a rant on a campaign setting I love for D&D. Oh I still intend to post it but while sitting here this cold June morning, sucking on cough drops to keep me from tearing my own throat out due to the scratchiness there, I thought about the new edition and the common complaints I hear about it. We are going to look at the common complaints people have about the new edition and why they are wrong.

First, we have to accept there are still gamers that anything beyond basic D&D is evil and they play an edition so old I wasn’t yet born. Elves wasn’t a race option it was a class option. So I’m not talking to anyone so in love with their edition that any change is heresy. I can respect your dedication infact. I have a deep love for Alternity and to this day will start a long winded rant about the game and it getting canned. I’m with you I get it, and because of that I won’t bother trying to convince you.

Complaint one: This game isn’t anything like 3rd ed!

*claps* You are right. Now, go back in time when 3rd was released and you will notice MASSIVE changes from 2nd to 3rd. And I do mean massive! OMG thac0 is gone to start with. The changes were seriously huge. I remember goimg,”Hmmm They are messing with gold here, wtf??” That said I came to love 3rd. So when 4th came out I was like…oh sugar you have got to be kidding me again? But take a step back and really look at the bloat of books in 3rd, many of which just became an arms race so you had to get the next book to out power the book you have etc. It sucked, I hated it as a GM.

Really, I think instead of viewing 4th as updated 3rd, it is better to look at it as its own thing all together. Don’t compare, don’t look back. Accept that it is influenced by MMOs (because even the preview made it glaringly obvious it was) and that alone may help more people come into the game. More people in the game equals game survivability (a good thing).

Comment two: All the classes are just like sorcerer used to be!

I know…I thought the same thing. But let me tell you something there. First, Sorcerer way more sexy in this ed instead of being a gattling gun mage like last ed. Second, it is way more satisfying as a cleric to be able to still cast spells when my heals have run out than just being reduced to melee swings. Combats are way more dynamic now because the at will abilities are actually pretty useful… I hear way more “OMG what did you just do?” from players boggling and some awesome move pulled off by another player in combat. Combat is funner because of it.

Comment three: Lack of wizards being powerful.

Yes overall wizards do feel less powerful. *shrugs* I play in a game with a level 19 wizard and he feels less powerful than he would’ve last ed. Wizards still get more powerful as they level up (but yeah so does every class). They got rid of the world shaking power of the wizard at higher levels, parred down the spell selection, and moved a lot of spells over to rituals. The change over to rituals particularly causes ire.

Comment four: Combat moves too slow/too many counters.

Personally I think the combat takes the same amount of time. And yes,  there are WAY too many counters in the fracking game now. *nods* I can’t argue it, it is simply true. The higher you go in level the more your little mini will be standing on a stack of effects and having to track if they are saves ends, until next turn, or until end of the encounter. It adds a level of upkeep to the game I do not enjoy. I give you half of this one. *bows*

Comment five: Daily use limit on items.

Well *looks around* I’m gonna put this to you from the point of view of a dm and then explain it in WoW terms. First, the higher level you got and the more magic items you got the game used to get unbalanced and start to fall apart. I don’t know how many dms I’ve talked to at cons where we shared our tips on getting around this issue without taking crap away all together. The mechanic does the work for us. It is that simple. Second, this part will only make sense if you play wow, think of the items has having stats on them AND on use benefits. Most of your items are like that now, they just share insanely long cooldowns. 😉

In closing, the only thing that angers me when I hear people trash talking 4th is that by and large it comes from  people who haven’t even played the new edition. Give it a solid chance and THEN come to me with complaints. I recall a thread on LO I was involved with where the people bitching hadn’t played yet. So put your dice where your mouth is and give the game a solid chance all on its own. Don’t bring baggage to it. Just play it.

If you are wondering why the sudden D&D post? Why because I am planning on running Forgotten Realms soon! And besides I pointed I play on the about page 😉

Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 9:09 am  Comments (2)  
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Gamer Minds

There are certain truisms about gamers. Topics that I can only imagine psychology students look at with glee as fodder for their term papers. It goes beyond MMO gamers and is found in all aspects of online gaming. The phenomenon is so wide spread I beat myself for not getting a psychology degree myself to expound upon its deeper meaning.

Lucky for me I have a blog instead 😉 To start with however, we need a definition for the behavior before I expound upon how it crops up in games.

Verbal abuse: (as defined on wikipedia)

is a form of abusive behavior involving the use of language. It is a form of profanity in that it can occur with or without the use of expletives. Whilst oral communication is the most common form of verbal abuse, it includes abusive words in written form.

Also known as reviling- to subject to abusive language-Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

*nods* I know sounds awful doesn’t it? But it is a common event for participants to be subjected to long bouts of abuse either with in game chat rooms or voice chat. Whilst not a FPS gamer myself I sit next to one in the cozy comfort of my home and get to listen to the tripe that is spewed over the voice chat at everyone in the channel. (the hub has a policy of just leaving servers that do little more than harass anyone coming to their server and ranting.) It is very common for me to be able to him log into a new server and hear just the amount of BS and name calling on a server for say Team Fortress 2. It’s the one where he picked a class spawned and immediately people were cussing at him about how that class sucked blah blah blah…*quit* Oh wait the yelling stopped. Why? He had the sense to get the hell out of that crap asap!

Recently a friend let me know she had left a successful raiding guild because the raid/guild leader repeatedly came over their vent server; screaming and yelling expletives at all the raiders. A few raids with this behavior and she was just ready to be done. However she watched as other friends stayed, allowing themselves to be treated so. Which leads me to believe people are so worried about losing their spot in a raid group they will allow themselves subjected to such retched behavior out of fear of not getting in somewhere else. (btw my friend? Did get into a less psychotic guild and is doing well with her gear. J )

At what point do we as gamers sit back and really think about how we act. Is it simply the anonymity of the Internet that allows us to so easily cast of standards of good behavior? If so it speaks volumes about the kind of people that behave this way, but perhaps even more about the gamers who allow themselves to be treated this way. The same anonymity that allows some people to act in such a vile manner also protects those subjected to it. How hard is it to do as the hub does and switch to a different server or as my friend did to switch to a different less caustic raiding guild?

Ultimately we are responsible for the manner in which we are treated. We can be angry at the way others speak to us or treat us, but unless we do something to stop it we have given them permission to do so. Suffering in silence, hoping things will change, does nothing but allow these people more opportunity to spew venom at you.

(Friend’s name not used because I didn’t see her in time to ask permission-freaking time zones keep us apart for weeks a time)

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Chill Wind Finds Illisan

Frigid ocean winds whipped up the shore, bringing Illisan back to the task at hand. Here the scourge thought to lay to waste the fledgling keep perched on the rocky shore. A dark grin lit up even her eyes, for behind the pathetic creatures on the shore was the will of the great twisted thing she truly hunted; a being more deserving of blade and bow than Illidan’s lost soul. The hunting would be good indeed.

The look of defeat on Maeve’s face has been a counterpoint to the victory in the Black Temple. Illisan had watched her keenly, wary of the warning Maeve represented to all those who hunt. Bow was laid down and a simpler life taken up. When the first calls of war rang, deeper into the branches of Teldrassil Illisan ranged. The haunted look in Maeve’s eyes, the demon she ran from.

No place in Azeroth is safe from Northrend’s chill these days. Visiting Rut’theran Village, intent to make her way further on to the tranquil lands of Moonglade, Illisan happened upon one of the boats bearing missives from the Northern War. Cursing herself for not marking the day and avoiding any who might try and bend her ear to the latest news. Illisan pulled her cloak’s hood over her head and hoped none would take note of her passing. Elune was not with her however, as a voice ringed out from the dock.

“Corporal Illisan of Darnasus?”

How long had she dodged having to answer to her old rank, a reminder of duties past? Old habits must die hard, for her back snapped at the boatman’s words.

“It’s been long since I lent my bow to war. Just a hunter now, tending the leaves of Teldrassil”

“Right…There’s a parcel here addressed to you ma’am. The hand is hard to read, an odd mix of dwarven and darnassin.” He handed over the heavy parcel, eyeing her; likely in hopes to the story behind the strange writing. He found none as Illisan wandered off holding the heavy parcel.

Illisan didn’t need to look at it to know who sent it and guess at the contents. The script and mix of language a clear sign of who the author was and if she was a day over 100 she knew the lashing likely heaped upon at the writer’s hand. Illisan had made Cruzor a promise before joining in the final offensive on the Temple, should war come he would find her by his side in the hunts to come. Cruzor would dance around it but Illisan couldn’t…she was an oath breaker for letting him walk into the frozen wastes alone. No amount of telling herself that Henry’s claws would keep any trouble from Cruz would change the fact; she should’ve gone and not run.

Moonspell looked up at her, black tail flipping from side to side, waiting for the inevitable decision to move north came. Looking down at the great black feline, Illisan shrugged, the letter could wait for the long boat rides ahead; first to Stormwind and from there north. Moonspell’s hackles raised and Illisan patted her bow as a north wind began to howl.

Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Feel the Power…Auras

Renewed Hope!

Renewed Hope!

I have begun my tentative experiment in the use of Power Auras. Too many UI shots with nice HUDs made me decide perhaps I will try it out.

I’ve started with a little ring to show me when Renewed Hope is up. A nice purple glowy ring around me. Which I should have up at all times. Thus, I picked a color I was extra fond of.

This also lets you get a look at how my very day UI looks. TA DA! nothing too drastic. Power Auras is my lastest toy and I found in Uld Monday it really did help me keep up shield more. For Thorim we’ve been running a strat that has me just chain casting mass dispells. I wasn’t tossing enough shields in my spamming dispell really to keep the 3% up before. The glowying reminder came in handy. Situational perhaps, but still I am thinking of setting up Prayer of Mending this way too to pop up an image when it is off cooldown when in combat. We’ll see how it goes and if I don’t find the flashing lights more bother than help.

Published in: on June 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm  Comments (5)  
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Hunting

So you know back when I said I wouldn’t be dusting off Illisan and would be focusing on my new alts instead? Obviously I was wrong because I took Illisan out this weekend and got her two levels. It really is amazing what a proper leveling spec can do for a hunter. I’ve kept her Beast Mastery and focused on talenting my pet for survivability and damage. Which really helped bring back the love I have for the hunter class.

The moment I remembered the quiver changes was a moment of pure glee. Stacking ammo? I think the guild got sick of hearing me squeel over the changes. But it is really nice to be playing her again. Even with all the changes the feel is still the same. Track it, find it, and kill it. 😉

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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