Thursday, January 31, 2013

Great Episode! Great Show!

I am writing this after only having listened to half of the latest episode of Tauren Think Tank.  Episode 38 is a great episode that I highly recommend.  Their guest, Mike Langlois, is a psychotherapist who also loves video games and recently wrote the book "Reset: Video Games and Psychotherapy".  For a few episodes before, Rem and Jules asked for questions for this show, and as a result, it is rather long, but full of helpful information. 
I have a son who loves video games probably more than I do, and I have been concerned for a while that maybe the amount he has been playing would be detrimental to his social development.  For Christmas, I bought him a headset to use for school, and as a bonus, he can use it while playing whatever multi player game he fancies on his computer.  Having listened to this episode, I am stuffing away some of my worries, because even I know that MMO games are social in nature. I have noticed him talking to other players, so me worrying that he won't be able to deal with other non pixelated people is silly.
I have a daughter who spends the bulk of her time online.  Tumblr, Tiny Chat, and Ustream are some of her haunts.  I know now that I should not worry about her lack of "real life" friends, because she has plenty of them.  She just can't touch them.  I think I am OK with that...REALLY OK WITH THAT.  One grand kid before I turn 40 is plenty.

So, anyhow, short post to tell you that you must listen to this episode, if not every time they put out an episode. The Tauren Think Tank is an awesome show.  


Monday, January 28, 2013

Low Level Transmogrification

Whew.  That's a mouthful!  Since I have been playing mostly on the Shu'halo server with my two baby blood elves, I have been itching to give them a look they could carry with them through their leveling experience.  The Shu'halo server is a rough place to do this!  The auction house is full of great outfits, if you have the gold to spend.  Anselma is a jewelcrafter, so she is only selling ore and stone she has leveled past.  That makes her enough gold to buy the ore she can't mine yet, sometimes.  Dinnaeh is a miner and skinner.  Normally, this would be a pretty good money maker, but we're trying to level a guild!  Mining supplies are sent to Anselma, skins are sent to Val, and greens are sent to Bows.  What is left?  Random bits and pieces of meat and some stone and ore that even Anselma won't take (snob).

My point?  1500 gold for a pair of boots is not happening.  I think that, even though they cannot afford to grab some items off the auction house, they are still pretty stylish.  Here is Anselma in mostly blue.


Her top, bottom, and axe are quest rewards from the Hillsbrad Foothills.  She got her helm, shoulder, cloak, and shield from the auction house for a song.  The boots, belt and gloves were looted, luckily!  Those items were consistently 1500 gold items on the auction house.  She keeps the items in her bags and mogs over replacements at the end of every session.  As a tank, she must keep up a professional appearance, right?  Her latest conquests?  Gnomeregan and Scarlet Monastery's Armory.

Dinnaeh is a monk, so I tried to keep her look simple.  She has been a blast to level, and I have been fixing her look daily as well.  She seems to replace half her outfit every session, and most of those sessions are only questing and gathering.  She got a few pieces off the auction house, but the most of her gear has been looted with a couple quest rewards.

This is what she looked like before yesterday happened.  Since then, she has replaced her weapons, and since they are not maces, cannot fix their look until the next content patch (whee!) when they promised to make all looks for one hand weapons available.  Also, she added a monk quest reward belt, which seems to go with her outfit, so she left it the way it was.  Yes, Dinnaeh is plain, as far as blood elves go, but she is hard working and strong, so she gets to stay.  She just finished Stranglethorn (except the rescue quest in  Zul'Gurub and the quest line where you turn in Fleetmaster Seahorn's head) and is trying to decide where to go next.  Feralas?  Western Plaguelands?  Maybe Dustwallow Marsh.  Maybe she will just do a few dungeons and wait for the next set of areas to present themselves.

Not bad for leveling outfits, huh?  They get to sit out tonight, as I will be running dungeons with the guys of Channel Massive with Dinnaeh, the Pandarian mage.  She won't be getting a transmogrification soon, as outifts there go for more than even on Shu'halo.  But here is a picture of her with her goggles.  I hope that isn't considered twinking!

I have been fiddling all weekend trying to get a valentine's outfit post up, but Wow Model Viewer is a little wonky, so this is what you get, low level transmogrification.  If you know of a version where the shoulders on some races aren't half their body size, let me know in the comments!  Have a great day in Azeroth and on Earth!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Low Level Stuff

Sharing mounts across my account is awesome.  I have been leveling a new paladin on the Shu'halo server, and hit 20 the other day.  Paladins and their free riding had me using my random mount caller immediately.  I rode through Orgrimmar on a raptor to turn in the quest to join the Horde.

Anselma on her Turquoise Raptor.  Love the war paint!

"Can you buy me a raptor?" asks some random 20-ish person.  I replied in the negative, stating that this mount was earned by another character and I didn't have the reputation.  I thought there might be another reason, aside from the fact that I had about 1 gold on Anselma due to auction house binges for crafting supplies.  It occurred to me to look on WoWhead.  Sure enough, right in the item description for the Whistle of the Emerald Raptor, are the words "Binds when picked up".  Ha!  I now had ammunition.  You see, this wasn't the first time someone had asked me to go get them a certain racial mount.  I'm sure it would not be the last.

I worked hard, first on Halinka, then on Delgadita, to get the reputation required to buy all the faction mounts.  It is even easier than that now.  All you have to do is roll up one of each race and get them to first 20, then 40, to be able to learn all the mounts and then they are available account wide.  One server for Horde, one for Alliance, and you can pass all your heirloom cloth around to help them level, if you have it.

Sallaedrea and her pet.
A week or so earlier, someone tried to dupe me into selling them my pet.  I had purchased a Guardian Cub off the auction house for about 6,000 gold, which I thought was reasonable.  When I stated that I had paid so much for it and would not part with it for less, the guy tried the poor me I don't have that much gold stance.  A level 90.  In a raiding guild.  OK, raiding can be expensive.  I'm not buying the no gold stance.  I can and have made the amount I shelled out for that pet in a few days of running old raids and doing a few dailies.  I have been planting Windshear Cactus so that I can focus on pet battles and old raids so that I can still meet my daily silk cool down to try for the pets that I broke down and purchased, and I turn my silk into the BOE epic gloves and robes for extra gold.  But, I get why he tried.  The character I purchased it on was level 25 or so.  No heirlooms, because that is how I roll, err, level.  So, it makes me a noob, or at least look like one.  What really iced my cake was that a little later I see the guy in trade chat looking for an expensive weapon enchant, and that he has the gold for it.  Yup.  He was just trying to dupe me.

The guild we started leveling on Shu'halo is level 3!  With only 5 people leveling it between raiding and real life, I think we are moving pretty quickly.  Anselma, Sattinka, and Evilval jumped into Wailing Caverns today and got a guild achievement for the run, and new gear all around.  There was a very impatient hunter with us who claimed to have been playing since Vanilla and that they were 60 and an art teacher.  Woo!  That makes you better than me, yup.  That makes it right for you to pull and tank, because that is what your specialty is.  Phooey.  I have been playing almost as long and I am 40 and a lunch lady, which means I have more time to play than you...nanny nanny.  Never mind.  Still a little steamed that this person, even after having asked nicely to let me practice tanking because I needed it, continued pulling and left her pet on growl.  After the instance, we went off to level professions or to level, and I switched to Dinnaeh, my monk.  Now I have two that are mostly 25.  Keeping their professions close, Dinnaeh will continue providing Anselma with ore and stone, and whoever is closest to the auction house will divvy up the remainder.

Just needs to be named.  Awww!
That is what I have been up to the last few days.  I managed to bag an Infinite Whelpling, too!  I'm just a little bored with Delgadita, and this new project couldn't have come sooner.  Hope you are doing well in your endeavours, and I'll visit with you again soon!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pet I Want

Last thing before I turn in.  There are these neat bugs that fly around in the early parts of Pandaria.  You can't target them, and they are really hard to capture, because they fly slow, then dart away, the fly slow, then dart a totally different direction.  Still, I want one for a pet.  It doesn't need to be able to fight, just to be as annoying as it is in the world.  Here it is, blown up many times it size for your seeing pleasure.

Weird Bug.

Want it.  That is all. and NOW I am going to bed.


In the paladin training room, for no reason at all.

Today I spent a lot of time dawdling.  I am a pretty fast 1-40 leveler.  I am hanging on to 19 by the skin of my teeth.  I really should just bite the bullet and go buy a reprieve from Slahtz in Orgrimmar so that everyone can catch up.  I burned through 15-18 in a few eyelash flutters, and from 18 on I said I would mine and work on jewelcrafting, which I did.  Still, I ended up killing some things, because they got in my way.

Lament of the Highborne.

But I had to turn in this quest. I Had To!  It's been months since I have seen this quest end, and I sat there and sang along, badly.  Then, I had to do the fishing and cooking dailies.  Yes, I did.  Then, I decided I was going to go mine ore in Tirisfal Glades, for money and for crafting.  So, I did.

Guess whose tomb this is?  Winner gets whatever crafted pet I have that they don't have.  That includes archaeology, as I happen to have an extra Voodoo Figurine that I am willing to part with.  No, my level 25 clockwork gnome is not up for grabs. Sorry.  

While I was in Tirisfal, I happened upon a young scrub who had lots of new questions.  Seems he had only picked up the game a few days ago, and didn't know much about it.  Being that I was new to the server, I wasn't able to be so helpful that it ruined the game for him, but I handed him a couple extra 6 slot bags and 2 gold coins he could clink together in his hip pouch.  He battle tagged me, and we chatted for a while, him asking, me answering.  Spent at least 2 hours doing that.  That was 2 whole hours where I didn't go past level 19.  Go me!

The sun setting on Tirisfal was beautiful streaming through the trees.  It reminded me that the Ghostlands were waiting for me, and I needed tin.  So, I used my hearth stone and landed back in Tranquillien, ready to find some.  I didn't find too much before real life pulled me back to make sure the boy ate something that wouldn't leave him swinging from the rafters and flinging filth at us.  A real meal set in front of him, the rest finding what tickled their fancy, I set down, sent my regards to the Alliance Laid Back Raid team, and signed off for the night.  This cold is kicking my rear!  Good night, Azeroth and Earth.  More about my ventures when this cold packs its bags and leaves.

Re-rolling, and Other Stuff

Yeah, it's not great. So sue me.

I rediscovered a level 70 ish paladin I had made quite a while ago, and thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a plate wearing healer?  Things have changed so much that, even though I tossed all her dps and tanking gear, I looked at her talent specialty and drew a blank.  What do I choose?  How does she work?  I didn't think I could learn what I needed to know from that level.  So, I left her, talented but probably not the right way, clad in intellect and stamina gear, hanging out in the cold bar in Northrend where I found her.  Poor, sad, Anselma.

This past Friday's Meetup was a blast!  We had 6 people show up, and we chatted a lot about transmogging, raiders who stand in snot, played with our armory apps (they do funny things when the signal is low!), showed off pictures of kids, talked about jobs, and threw well meaning insults at the those who played the opposite faction.  Yeah, I straddle the fence, but my loudest hurrah is "For The Horde!".  I'm still trying to find more people in the Inland Empire (Riverside, San Bernardino) area to join us.  Next month we are probably going to meet at Portillo's Hot Dogs in Moreno Valley, unless we fall back to our old stand by of O's American Kitchen (formerly Pat and Oscar's) in San Bernardino.  Friday, February 8th  at 7 pm is our next meet.  We'd love to meet even more new people!

As a result of the meetup, we convinced a new member to roll horde with us.  Turned out she had already jumped the fence once and had a guild all set up, so she invited us in to a fresh new guild called Hostile Take Over.  She booted all the old characters, set us up with invite privileges  and we started out on several blood elves and one troll.  I decided I would try out a paladin again, and see if I could ride out my "never past 30" blood elf problem.

We have a ready made instance group set up, With a monk and a paladin, a priest, mage, and hunter.  I said I would tank if needed, but that  may change if the monk decides she doesn't like dps.  I took up jewelcrafting and mining so we would have one of the skills everyone can benefit from covered, and today Anselma of the Horde sits at about 50 skill in both, with all the secondaries at least trained, and at level 14, just ahead of the others.  Looks like we might hit the instances tonight!

Got any tips for a semi-noob paladin?  I am really loving Avenger's Shield.  With all the mining I have done, most of the mobs I am questing to kill only need a judgement to finish them off.  What fun!  Oh, and we now have a level 2 guild, all in one night.  Any tips on power leveling a guild are also welcome.  I look forward to your comments!

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm Listen-ing.

I started writing this Wednesday, and have found out since then a few things. Listen is dead, but still functions so long as you find the casts yourself and drop them in your Google reader. The search function I mention later in this article stopped working in November, so no amount of adding pod casts to my reader is going to change things.  Google stopped supporting this because, hey, they want everyone else to make podcast aggregators, or whatever they are called, and put them on their app store.

I love to listen to pod casts.  I listen to a lot of World of Warcraft pod casts  a few general gaming pod casts  a few Frogpants shows, and sometimes I go looking for something different.  Usually the something different lasts all of the amount of time it takes to listen to one episode.  Not that the show was bad or anything.  Just because I rarely remember to subscribe to it after I'm done with it.  Stitcher has been good for browsing, and if you have the data to support it, it's almost a must have smart phone application, in my opinion.  I share my data plan with my father in law, and I have been pretty frivolous with my use of it, so much that I have decided that, this new year, I would do something about it.

Stitcher is a great application to use when you have are in a free wi-fi zone, like home or McDonalds or Starbucks, etc.  Problem is, I don't have wireless internet available at work.  Not that I am expecting them to offer it, far from it!  Just that I end up using my data plan.  That is fine for a tweet or a few minute Facebook check, but for the amount of time I listen to pod casts while I am working, it is not a good idea.  Since February of last year, I have listened to 177 hours of content.  Is that bad?  I don't know.  I do know that all of that was streamed over my data plan.  That doesn't even count the days I decided I wanted to listen to music or news.  Hello, I Heart Radio.  There is another application I could not live without.  I used to stream about an hour of the Bill Handel show every morning, and some days where I just need background noise, I would stream 80's and 90's stations, and sometimes MY FM (104.3 here in the LA/Orange/Riverside/San Bernardino area). More data used.  I don't even see the bill.  I really need to do something about this data addiction I have.

Here is something I am doing to curtail some of my usage.  I am using the Listen application.  It makes a special folder in my Google Reader just for pod casts  I can find podcast feeds and add them to my reader, pop them in the folder, and it adds them to my subscription list. I  can have it only update when I am charging my phone, or even only when there is a wireless signal available.  So, I got up a whole hour early this morning and updated my feed.  I added a few shows I have been loving on Stitcher, and I think I have enough content on there for the rest of the week.

I know you all want to know what pod casts I am listening to.  I figure if I tell you what I'm listening to, you might listen, too.  You might even tell me what I am missing out on!  So, here you go, the contents of my Listen subscription folder. In alphabetical order, not in order of love, because that would be hard.  Oh, and the links are to the podcast feed, so if you want to just copy and paste it into your feed reader, you can.

  1. Channel Massive - This is a podcast about pretty much any game they want to talk about, from any platform.  I don't own and Xbox, and my PS3 is busted, so I listen with interest, but I'm all about the PC titles.
  2. Darkmoon Herald - I have Stitcher to thank for this one.  Listen has a search feature also, but I think there are not enough people using it to allow for the variety that Stitcher has to offer.  I'm hoping to change that!  This show is awesome, and my husband, who doesn't even play WoW, said he likes listening to it, too.  
  3. Hearthcast - Another WoW podcast I wouldn't have found without Stitcher, though I guess another way to find cool WoW pod casts would be the weekly podcast roundup on WoW Insider.  The hosts on this show work well together, and the show is never boring.
  4. Ladies of Leet - I have been listening to these gals since before they were part of the Frogpants feed.  They are a a good mix of life experiences, all finding time in their busy schedules to game and talk about it.  
  5. Realm Maintenance - I have to admit that I added this to my reader today after Googling WoW pod casts   I haven't listened to it yet, but I hear nice things about this cast.  It highlights other pod casts  so I'll bet my list will grow by listening to this one!
  6. Tauren Think Tank - another podcast that came up on Google.  I've heard of them, all good things, so I must listen to them!
  7. Twisted Nether Podcast - An old stand by for me.  They interview all sorts of people involved in the WoW community, mostly bloggers and pod casters  but sometimes they have add on authors and other helpful website representatives on the show.
  8. Twizzcast - I added this to my feed when I saw that Twisted Nether interviewed them on their most current podcast.  So, I'll be hearing them twice, but probably not until Friday.  
  9. Video Game Outsiders - Another old stand by for me.  Michelle and John have been on the show forever, and they have recently added a new co host, Matt.  Kyle occasionally joins them, as one of the founders of the show.  This one is about gaming on all sorts of platforms and just a bunch of fun!
  10. Warcraft Less Traveled - Apparently I was missing a lot on Stitcher, as I found this one on Google as well.  Looking forward to hearing this one, probably Monday!
  11. WoW Insider - I have been on again off again about this podcast.  It's been good when I have listened, so I added it back in.
  12. WoWphiles - I was disappointed when they stopped the show, but Pandaria seems to have been enough to start them right back up. They added a new personality to the show, but I won't spoil it for you.  Listen to them yourself!

I also linked above a bit the Frogpants mega feed thingy, because it gives me variety when I need it.  Music, books, TV, their morning show, AIE stuff, and more all in one convenient feed.  If you have any suggestions for shows I am missing, please comment below!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Laid Back Doesn't Mean Easy!

Throne of the Four Winds.

Last night Delgadita got to finish some level 85 raids, courtesy of the Laid Back Raiding crew.  Last time Del saw Throne of the Four Winds, she was level 85, and just barely geared for the raid (probably under-geared).  She tried  twice, failed both times, and left it at that.  I'm glad it was such a cake walk at 90.  I found my favorite part of the raid was being able to fly around and look at everything after the raid was over.  The raid setting is so beautiful, how could anyone not want to take screenshots.  I took a few.  Here's another.

Just because that raid was a cake walk does not mean that the next one was.  Our fearless crew chose Blackwing Descent at the next raid to attempt.  Most of the raid went smoothly.  Del was healer for both raids.  In this one, you definitely need more than one for some of the encounters.  Especially for the last one.  Del hasn't healed anyone but herself in a very long time, and it showed.  To be out-healed by a death knight was very shameful.  Granted, she outlived us all, taking down the final add before engaging Nefarian and taking him down to less than half his health before she took a dive.  The third time was the charm, with a little reorganization by our paladin leader, I died crossing from one pedestal to another, but four of the group stayed up and finished off Nefarian, giving me another achievement for the night.  So I'm one expansion behind.  So what?

Names were scrubbed to protect the innocent, or the guilty.  Del is that sad dab of darkness in the middle of the screen, hanging precariously from the edge of the pedestal.  This screenshot is the second attempt by one way overpowered death knight at taking on Nefarian alone.  Show off!  

Finally!  Some cool pieces dropped for transmog lovers, and I got enough maelstrom crystals to replace the Enchanted Lantern I keep giving away.  If you are reading this and you don't have one, leave me a destination server in the US and a character name in the comments or in my G-mail, and I'll ship one to you!  

I am looking forward to the next Laid Back Raid.  I have way too much fun hanging out with great players from all sorts of different servers.  I am also looking forward to the next Inland Empire Meetup for WoW players.  Interested?  We'll be at what used to be Pat and Oscars on Hospitality Lane in San Bernardino Friday night the 11th  at 7 PM.  We'd love it if you could join us! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just Because...

...I like the way the shadow wraps around my dragon. The color of my dragon in shadow reminded me of a color but my head couldn't place where until I was doing the pet tamer battles in Outland.  I've always loved the Outland skies.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's A New Year. Whee!

Laid Back Raid (Alliance Side).  Ugly Christmas Sweater Night!

Resolutions.  Every New Year, even if we say we don't believe they work, secretly there is something we want to change for the year.  I have several, and I will share the appropriate ones here.  

  1. Post more often.  Once a week, or twice if I try to get away with a screenshot post.
  2. Comment more often.  Blogs and Podcasts I enjoy, watch out!  I'm de-lurking.
  3. Be online less, but play more.  HUH? I find myself sitting in Halfhill asleep at the keys more often these days.  Game time will be planned!
  4. Halinka and at least one of the Carlottas to 90.  Halinka is 88, and I think Carlatta is 86. Shouldn't be too hard.
  5. Raid. Maybe even heal a raid.  Delgadita is ready for LFR!
  6. Level a paladin.  Anselma sits in Dragonblight waiting patiently. I changed her specialization to holy, and sold off all the other gear.  Might be fun!
  7. Twitter.  Time to de-lurk and join in on some of the fun conversations I have been following. (@shawndrakai is me, if you want to follow!)
  8. Pester game masters for Delgadita's true name to be returned.
  9. Help grow our Inland Empire WoW Meetup.  Interested?  Join us!
  10. More Laid Back Raiding!
  11. Fix the mess that is this blog's place on the web.  I haven't been using the tags, so the cloud only works for really old stuff.  Do I keep the cloud and fix the newer posts or ditch it all?  My banner is two expansions old now, time for a new dragon.  Do I stay as Escapist Scrawl, knowing there is a more important blog out there using the first part of the name I thought I was so clever to choose?  I really need to add a podcasts I'm listening to link area, and update my blogs I'm following area. Deadline: Spring Break.  Because, let's face it, if I don't set a deadline, it will be WOTLK on this blog for another year or more!
Got any resolutions?  I'd love to read them.  Here's to another year of prattling on about a pastime none of my friends (well, maybe one or two) really understand.  I'm so glad you all make time to visit! Happy New Year!