Category Archives: General

Making Changes

I’ve decide partly in an attempt to get myself to write more that I’m going to shift this blog from being World of Warcraft specific to being a general gaming blog. I play so many games that having a place to write about all of them consolidated in one place just makes sense to me. There will probably still me more WoW than anything else, but this way I can write about more without violating the nature of my blog. Thanks for any that are actually still reading, hopefully I will be writing more for you to read soon.

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Goodbye to an Old Friend #ThankyouWoWInsider

Yesterday we got confirmation that AOL is closing down Joystiq and all sites associated with it.  That includes WoW Insider.  I made a quick tweet about it yestyerday.Tweet

I actually mean that.  If it wasn’t for WoW insider, I don’t think I would be part of the twitter community.  I started on twitter as a way to keep track of new posts and to gain insight from the writers as many times they would answer questions on twitter as well.  What I found once I started exploring was a rich and vibrant community.  A group of people that are supportive and all share a great love for this game that Blizzard has made for us.  I’ve become friends with many of these people and even managed to find the guild I am now part of because of it.

But that isn’t all that WoW insider has been to me.  If it wasn’t for WoW insider I don’t know that I ever would have started blogging at all.  By showing me these blogs with all these amazing writers with such passion for their subjects, it made me want to share my thoughts as well.  WoW Insider has even affected the way that I play WoW.  My main is a shaman and has been almost since I started.  Until I started reading the shaman posts on WoW Insider, I would only heal for friends and then only on old content.  I didn’t have the knowledge or toolset to really consider healing otherwise, but seeing @LodurZJ and the other shaman writers have such a passion for healing as a shaman led me to dig deeper in the information and eventually try it myself.  I still don’t main spec heal, but I no longer have the trepidation about healing when needed.

I’m sorry to see what is happening to the site and all the outstanding writers and I hope all of you find a way to land on your feet.  I look forward to reading/seeing your work in whatever fashion it may come in.  May your passion continue to shine through, and through all of us may WoW Insider and the community it created live on forever.

 

It’s Been Awhile

It’s been about a year and a half since I last tried to be serious about blogging and wrote anything other than a quick thought or quick update post.  It has been an interesting few years.  In the summer of 2012 I retired from the military and embarked on the adventure of a civilian career.  I found very quickly that my breadth of experience was both a boon and a hindrance.  While it would get me in the door for interviews with most companies, it wasn’t comprehensive enough to get me the jobs that I wanted.  Partly out of frustration I took the first job to come along that was willing to pay me similar to what I was making in the military.  It wasn’t in my normal wheelhouse, but I was able to adapt and learn quickly. About this same time I also started going back to college.  It has now been 2.5 years since that day.  I have changed jobs once, to get me back to Florida, and as of earlier this month, I’ve now completed my degree.  This has given me an opportunity to actually play some video games again.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t been playing, I just haven’t been able to dedicate the same amount of time to them.  I’ve tried to stay active on twitter and in the conversations as I have been able, but it’s hard sometimes when I was sometimes only playing once a week, if that.  I’m still not sure if this will be a true return to blogging, but it is something that I enjoy doing when I get the chance.  I ask that you don’t expect regular posts, but I do have a few ideas brewing that I am planning out posts on, so we will see how that goes.  Hopefully there are some that still want to hear what I say, if not, I write these mainly for me anyways.  Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Gear Thoughts from a Sometimes Raider

I’m seeing a lot of discussion on twitter today on about gearing in WoW and thought it might be a good idea while the thoughts are running through my head, to put them down somewhere.  First where I’m coming from.  I’m  a part time/causual raider at best.  Most of my experience this expansion has been flex with some normal thrown in and a lot of LFR.  My iLevel is in the 550 range because of this and taking the time and Valor to do upgrades and such.  Now here is what I think.  I expect to get gear commiserate with the content that I’m doing.  If I’m raiding, I should be getting raid drops, if I’m doing heroic dungeons, I should be getting dungeon gear, and if I’m fighting a world boss that is considered Mythic or Heroic level, I should be getting drops that match that level.  Do I deserve the full mythic raid set just because I’m fighting a mythic level world boss?  No, but I should be able to get some mythic level gear from him.  It probably shouldn’t be tier gear, but it should be of equivelant level and stats.  I guess what I’m saying is if you want the gear do the content, with LFG/LFR you still have ways to do the content on your time.  Just my two cents.

Other site shut down

Because of my lack of blogging and the fact that I’ve moved recently, I shut down Amongtheelements.info  If I post anything new it will be here until further notice.  Not sure if you will see anything or not, still working that out myself as I’m kind of taking a bit of a break, but if I do, I will let you all know.

The State of the Horde – A Layman’s View

The Horde through Cataclysm has been stretched to the breaking point.  In my opinion, it’s only a testament to the threat that is Deathwing that they are still together.  Lets step through each of the races and I’ll explain why.

The orcs are the best off of the races.  The introduction of Garrosh for them is a return to the Warchiefs of old.  The orcs love battle and conquering and for them Garrosh’s expansion and aggression fit right in.  The one issue that the orcs currently have is that Garrosh is ill suited to the positions of Warchief.  While he makes a great general and leader, he has little patience for the politics that come with running a nation.  This of course also extends to his interactions with other races.  Garrosh also doesn’t handle being questioned in his decisions or criticized well as evident in his interactions with  Vol’jin and Cairne Bloodhoof.  Garrosh has also spread his elite forces a little thin as he now must keep an eye on a revitalized Sylvanas and the Forsaken.

Sylvanas begins the expansion with a new enemy on her door step and a problem that must be solved on how to continue to grow her race.  Sylvanas has taken care of the latter problem by recruiting the Val’kyr and using them to create new forsaken by resurrecting the fallen of her enemies.  This ends up being most fortuitous as three of the Val’kyr sacrifice themselves to bring her back to life after she is killed by Lord Godfrey and his minions.  Garrosh is using the forsaken to establish a major foothold in Eastern Kingdoms with Sylvanas controlling it under his watchful eye.  Sylvanas and the forsaken army have already wiped out Gilneas and South Shore;  established major operations to wipe out the remaining scourge and push out the alliance from the plaguelands; and pushed into the Arathi Highlands and the Hinterlands looking to gain more ground for the forsaken.  Sylvanas has used the opportunity to refocus her wrath and ensure a safe buffer zone around Lorderan to protect her forsaken.  She has also shown she is not above any means necessary to accomplish her goals, so much so that Garrosh has assigned one of his generals to keep an eye on her and report back with everything she does.  Even with this, Sylvanas and the forsaken are happy with their place in the horde.

Of all the non-orc races the Tauren have the most reason to be upset with Garrosh.  The duel between Garrosh and Cairne cost them a beloved leader.  Garrosh’s incursions into Ashenvale has indirectly caused the destruction of Camp Taurajo.  Surprisingly though, the Tauren still tie their fate to that of the horde.  Baine and the rest of the Tauren feel that they still owe the Horde for saving them and helping them establish a homeland.  Additionally, they know where the responsibility for Cairne’s death lies, squarely on the shoulders of Magatha and her tribe of Grimtotems.  The Tauren did not even ask for help in reclaiming Thunderbluff, the responsibility for that was entirely on the Tauren.  The Tauren’s honor firmly entrenches them with the Horde.

Anyone who has played through the troll starting area since the beginning of Cataclysm knows exactly how Vol’jin feels about Garrosh.  Tensions between the orcs and trolls have never been higher.  Things have gotten so bad that Garrosh has actually banished the Trolls away from central Orgrimarr.  I think the only reason that tensions haven’t been higher is that the Darkspear have been busy dealing with the Zandalari menace in both Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub.  I expect tensions will get worse between the Trolls and the Orcs as Vol’jin has zero respect for Garrosh.

The last and by the opinion of the rest of the races the least of the races, is the Goblins.  The Goblins are currently led by Trade Prince Gallywix.  The Goblins are part of the Horde because they saved Thrall from the Alliance.  Garrosh tolerates them barely.  He likes there capability to build him war machines, but he doesn’t like them as a whole and as such as relegated them to their own slum away from central Orgrimarr.  Even for the mistreatment, the Goblins aren’t going anywhere, the Horde protects them and provides them a good profit source and as such, provide all the Goblins need and want.

The Horde through all it’s stretches and strains has remained mostly strong through Cataclysm, but the cracks are there.  For now though, the future looks bright for the Horde.

As always comments and criticisms are appreciated.

Shared Topic: Gaming Distractions

The shared topic this week comes from Oathblade of Info About wow from the Altaholic.  She asks:

We all like to do other things when we game. What do you do? Why?

I’m one of those guys that plays with my game on my desktop and my laptop up.  Normally on my laptop I’ll have Tweetdeck open to monitor twitter and have my browser open to either a gaming site or a streaming site (Hulu, Netflix, or Pandora) or sometimes even both.  Normally because I share my office area with my wife we’ll have the TV on or the radio going for background noise.  I have also recently started hoping on the Sleepyhams mumble server from time to time to talk and listen with some of the fun people I interact with on twitter.

Why do I have so much extra going on?  Mainly because there are lulls in the game and you want to fill them with something.  Another reason is because I have for a long time had an issue concentrating on one thing without other things happening around me at the same time (I blame it on coming from a big family, there was always noise).

As always, comments and criticisms are always welcome. Thanks.

Sixth

This is from the sixth challenge put out by The Daily Frostwolf.   This morning Syrcorax challenged me as part of this.  This is how the challenge goes.

This is how it goes:

  1. Go into your image folder
  2. Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
  3. Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couln’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
  4. Challenge six new bloggers.
  5. Link to them.

I don’t have six screenshot folders, but here is the sixth image out of my screenshot folders.

This image is actually from one of the blizzard competitions where they wanted you to show your corehound in interesting locations in game.  This one was taken  on top of the black dragon at Bloodgulch.

As far as challenging other bloggers here goes.

WoWMiri

Beru

Lizzia

Saz

Effraeti

HayFayFay

You have been challenged

Playing What I Want

Let me start by saying this post stems from a twitter conversation that happened recently in my timeline and I want to thank @aspana, @glyneth, and @returningtolife for their comments.

During a recent discussion on twitter my timeline kind of exploded with people joking at how simplistic (faceroll) the rotation is for an arcane mage.  I jokingly commented that I wondered if I should be ashamed that I actually enjoy playing arcane.  The three people above quickly posted that I shouldn’t be ashamed and honestly I’m not and never have been.

To me WoW is a game and a real fun one, and because of that I’ve never felt I’ve had to play one spec over another.  In fact for some reason I have a tenancy to play the less popular specs and don’t always have to have the best cookie cutter build at least to start with.  I experiment and because of that I’ve continued to enjoy the game immensely.

Experimentation is what allows the top raiders to eek out that last bit of dps that puts them over the top.  Why should it not be alright for all players to experiment?  Why must there be one right spec?  I do know the answer to the second question at least, gaming is a competition, and we as modern gamers have developed into min/maxer’s always trying to find that magic spot where we are reaching our fullest potential.  There is no real issue with doing this, but to me when you feel that you have to do this with every character you play, it takes away the fun of the game

While I may be in the minority, I kind of like that they try to balance the class and specs dps wise.  I don’t think any player should be brought to a raid just because of their spec or because of a particular buff.  Did I bemoan the lost of being a sole person with Bloodlust, of course I did, but it was needed.  Now we shaman just need to teach those pesky mages and hunters exactly when to use their versions of it.  I actually applaud the decision to completely revamp the talent trees and do like the current direction Blizzard is taking with them.  By changing the trees to skills that are selected every 15 levels no matter the spec will allow players to better tailor how they play.  I don’t think it will change things from some specs are better at some things than others, but I think it may open up for some possibilities that just didn’t happen before.

Well to steer this back on the topic at hand, never be ashamed to play the class/spec you want.  In the end World of Warcraft is a game, and games are about having fun.  So play what you want how you want and ignore those that try to ridicule you for it.  It’s a game folks, lets have some fun.

As always comments and criticisms are welcome.

I apologize in advance for being all over the place, but it felt right to write it this way.

Looking Forward – 4.3.2 and Cross Realm Raiding

I don’t know about everyone, but for me with this expansion, Blizzard has unleashed a feature bonanza.  From Real ID to Looking for Raid content has never been more accessible to more of the community.  Has it brought with it problems, of course it has, but to me, the benefits far outweigh the issues I’ve seen arise (mainly trolls within LFR, but honestly they have been around forever).   To me this new patch just adds to the bonanza with the ability to now form raids using Real ID (and hopefully in the future Battletags).

I’m really looking forward to this one, and I think a lot of the community is too.  I know on twitter and the blogosphere there is talk of doing raid nights and I know personally I will get the opportunity to see content that I haven’t been able to see before.  That and getting the opportunity to play in game with the people I talk to all the time on twitter and within the community is something I really look forward too.

I know some in the overall WoW community see this as the death of the traditional guild, but honestly I think they are wrong.  Raiding guilds will still exist because for progression you need a central place to pool assets and honestly it’s easier for coordination.  Other guilds will honestly still exist whether it’s because of guild perks or because of friends.

I think 4.3.2 will do a lot to re-energize the community.  I hope to raid with you all in the future.

As always comments/criticisms are welcome and appreciated.

I was waiting on permission to add this so it wasn’t in the original post, but Saz of World of Saz has created a website for people to get together and setup raids for the new LFR Raiding.  You can find us at Twitterland RaidingLook forward to seeing you all in game.

Wanted to add another quick note for two more sites that have decided to work with getting people together for cross realm raiding.  @vitaemachina has Sleepyhams  a mumble server that has been setup for people to get together and connect for raiding.  Additionally @_Reliq_ has setupLFRaid a place for people to setup profiles to create teams for cross realm raiding, has both EU and US capability.