Archive for the “Altitis” Category

cuddles

I have a few more things I’ve noticed that I thought worth a mention.

I previously noted that I had my own Battle.Net account, and I had made a second one for my son when he began to play World of Warcraft.

I recently merged his World of Warcraft account onto my Battle.Net account, and I have been seeing first hand what this means.

Last time I talked about this, I mentioned that every item that said “Bind on Account” could be mailed to BOTH World of Warcraft accounts.

I also mentioned how every pet and mount I had, his account also gained.

I revealed how, as the account that was moved, ALL of his pets were wiped, and that I had fortunately caged every pet I could before that happened.

I told you that the handful of mounts he had on his account that I did not own WERE added to my account.

Well, there are a few new things.

First, I had every reputation Commendation that you could buy in the game. As you may know, many of the Pandarian factions had Commendations you could purchase from their reputation vendor that would allow any other character on your account to get TWICE the reputation gains from items or quests.

My son’s account did not have any such Commendations. Now that we are merged, he has ALL those Commendation benefits on his characters. I tested this by doing some solo farming of the Zandalari Warbringers and Warscouts, those mobs can drop tokens that are Bind on Account that give you 1000 rep a shot. Yep, if you’ve got a Commendation on your account, they give double rep, multiplied yet again if you are Human and if you have the Guild Level rep bonus.

I leveled my son’s reputation with Golden Lotus, Shado-Pan and Klaxxi from baseline to Exalted in less time than it takes to tell. If your second account has a tailor or enchanter, this can be a very good way to get that Celestial rep to Exalted for the bag or bracer enchant recipes.

Second, I had never purchased a World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition of any of the releases before.

Today, I took advantage of the $20 digital upgrade to make my own World of Warcraft account of Mists of Pandaria a Collector’s Edition.

I logged into my son’s regular old normal World of Warcraft account, and sure enough my new Collector’s Edition pet and mount are both shared with him, and usable by his characters. Upgrading one WoW account gave the pet and mount benefits to both.

Another note. You might not have considered this before, but the Recruit a Friend mounts that I had previously earned, such as the Swift Zhevra and the Scroll of Resurrection mounts are all shared with his WoW account as well.

So. More and more the only two downsides I’ve found to merging an account is that only the first person who logged into the Battle.Net account can actively pet battle or level pets (although all WoW accounts can access and display the pets of their choice), and also that there are Battle.Net account chat issues.

Specifically on the chat issues, my wife and I are used to chatting exclusively on the Battle.Net friend channel, and IF she were merged onto my Battle.Net account, we could no longer do that. We’d have to either create a custom in-game chat channel (which we’ve done in the past for special events such as the Raid for the Cure charity drive), or just do the traditional whispers.

What we’d permanently lose would be the ability to chat with each other across factions, if she or I were playing Horde for a change. Battle.Net friend chat is something I need to explore more, to see if there are any workarounds.

I hope this has given you a little more info on how merging accounts can work for your family. I know it’s really cool to consider that if any of us level a pet, we all benefit. Likewise if one of us scores a rare mount or an upgrade in pet rarity, we’ll all get it.

And of course… if I am lucky enough to score a Heirloom weapon from normal Garrosh, I can share that with my son. Wooffie the Warlock has certainly not been complaining about his new staff.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

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Saber Sushi

I logged in last night to see we had a surprise gift from Blizzard.

It was the start of World of Warcraft’s 9th anniversary!

Nine years.

That is one hell of a long time to be playing a video game.

Surely I’ve seen everything there was to see, been every place there is to go after living for nine years in a virtual world, right?

I got a present, too!

Blizzard gave me a token that puts the ugliest damn tabard I have EVER seen on my character, and oh yeah, a buff worth +9% bonus XP and reputation for killing stuff!

Woot! Time to go fish up some bonus rep with Nat Pagle!

Um… so. Fishing gets me fish, but I’m not actually killing anything? What, not even the damn fish? Look, I gots this ittle club, I catches the fish and then I gives ‘em a whack behind the ear, kills ‘em dead. Look! LOOK AT ME AS I’M KILLING THESE FISH GIVE ME THE REP DAMN YOU.

Yes, fish have ears. Hey, in MY world fish have ears. And my billy club of whacking is +5 to hit against fish ears.

Don’t make me show you what a lightsaber can do to a fish. I will! Don’t think I won’t. Saber Sushi is all the rage in Northrend.

Um. What was I saying? Geez, I gotta cut down on the coffee, wtf.

RIGHT! That’s it, ninth anniversary.

Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads… 

Woah, sorry, flashback.

After nine years, what, Blizzard thinks I’m still focused on leveling up alts? They give me a buff so I get bonus XP when I kill stuff? Who the HECK is still leveling up characters in this game?

So, at the moment my big focus in the game is leveling up my Warrior alt, so I decided last night I’d…

….what? Yeah, yeah, whatever. So what, they got me pegged dead to rights. Alts4life.

It feels like a lame gift, but it IS only the ninth anniversary. Show me a buff item like this (and that horrible tabard, it’s almost as bad as the sweater) for the tenth anniversary, there will be some serious disappointment over here.

I’m talking sad bear eyes.

Sadbeareyes

Don’t make me give you the sad bear eyes, Blizzard.

Back to my warrior, HOLD ON I said I tried something new.

I reached level 68 Sunday, so last night I started out in Northrend, having fun kicking some Scourge butt in the Borean tundra.

As I tooled around in my sporty purple vest, I thought of doing an instance. I blew through two levels in an hour, didn’t need the XP, but what the heck. Cassie and Alex both enjoy hauling my butt around instances and I take a definite joy in blowing up ALL the old content with my Warlock.

But wait! It’s the ninth anniversary of World of Warcraft.

I’ve got to do something to make this different, to make this occasion special.

Maybe…

Maybe I could try to run MYSELF through a dungeon!

After all, it IS an MMO. What better way to celebrate all that I love in the game but by trying to remove all other signs of human existence? Turn it into a solo excursion!

A three hour tour….

I logged my Warrior in, and then I tried to start a second World of Warcraft game on my computer, and logged in as my son’s Warlock.

They both ran side by side!

Hmm.

I’ve never, ever done this before. Is this dual-boxing? I always thought that meant having two computers side by side with both characters on the screen simultaneously, as if I had, dare I say it, dual boxes.

And I thought dual boxers did stuff like have keybinds and mapping and some arcane software so what their main character did the other characters would mimic. I ain’t gonna try any of that crap, I’m old.

But I can have the game running in two windows on my computer, load up both characters, and then tab between them.

So I have the warlock invite the warrior, tab out and back into the warrior and shit, not fast enough, invite timed out. Try again.

Okay, gotcha! In a group.

I fly the warrior into the Nexus, then tab over and fly the warlock in.

Okay. Quests!

Get the quests on my warrior, walk up and tell the warrior to follow the warlock. Stay! Good boy. /pats head.

I tab out and back into the warlock, okay this could be a pain.

Let’s go!

I walk forward and begin blowing up bad guys.

So far, so good.

I blow everything up, looting on the warlock (on free-for-all), and at the first boss, after it’s dead I tab out, flip into the warrior, pick up the quest item book, loot the commander, re-follow and tab back in.

Fine.

But what happens when the warrior gets attacked?

It turns out that, even though the warrior got attacked once, it didn’t stop following. I really only had to flip back when I wanted to loot a boss.

Um, I did find out one sterling piece of advice I could pass on.

You know that point after the rift platform where most of us learned to jump down as a shortcut?

Yeah, don’t. Don’t do that.

But seriously, I don’t know if that was dual boxing or what but I ran myself through the Nexus and then through Utgard Keep, and it was easy as pie.

Since getting attacked doesn’t drop the follow mechanic, I didn’t even have to tab in and out all that much.

I did find out my computer can’t run two windows of WoW AND run Chrome as a browser at the same time, holy crap Chrome about took my system DOWN on a stutterfest. Closed it out and everything was fine again.

All these years of hearing people talk about dual boxing and all that stuff, all the times people talk about doing recruit a friend with themselves and leveling up two alts side-by-side, and this was the very first time I even thought to try it.

Go figure, it was kinda fun, and certainly convenient.

It will never replace Cassie or Alex running me through old content and letting me die from getting eaten by ghouls, though. NEVER.

Still, I can see those two AM drunken instance crawls, me dragging my son’s hunter alt through Molten Core for no reason other than to see how far he can aggro shit and how fast I can blow it up before he dies.

Happy ninth anniversary, everyone. I hope you all find something new and different to try out to keep it fresh and fun!

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As the weeks go by on Patch 5.2, I’m settling in and finding out what I like most by looking at how I’m spending my time.

Apparently, I like the rares on the Isle of Thunder best.

As a bit of background for those not engaged in this, on the Isle of Thunder there are many rare spawns that can appear. Each enemy appears in one specific geographical area, is a level 92 elite badass, and can be dogpiled by anyone and everyone.

There are a few different maps out there for who spawns where, MMO champion did one that is very good for the experienced hunter, but the one I used to start out came from WoW Rare Spawns, because Euphyley had notes for where they’d appear, which I needed to first get started.

Take a look at those maps. You can see there are a bunch of different rares that can spawn on what turns out to be a fairly small island, and more are coming as each phase unlocks. My server should hit phase 4 today, and who knows what THAT will bring? Aside from one new rare, that is.

The key to how awesome this is, is that they really CAN be dogpiled by anyone and everyone. You do not have to be in a group, you don’t have to be the same faction as whoever tagged it ‘first’.

If a rare is up and you attack it, so long as you tagged it you can loot it when it’s dead. Of course, there is a mechanic to prevent a simple insta-zerg. Each person who tags the bad guy boosts it’s health by 50%. The more people who jump in, the longer the fight can be delayed, which just gives more time for a bigger dogpile.

The rares all have one guaranteed drop, a Tome of Valor that grants you 15 Valor Points when you use it… has a two hour duration and is unique, so you can’t stockpile them beyond the week if you valor cap. You get it, you use it, you move on.

The rares also have a chance to drop the Sealed Tome for the Warlock Green Fire quest chain, and according to an update by Netheara on Twitter the Sealed Tome is ‘first come first served’, first Warlock to loot the body will get it if there is one there to find.

There are two other possible drops from rares that concern us. First is the epic Key to the Trove of the Thunder King, which seems to be an almost but not quite guaranteed drop from the first rare you kill in a week. Log in after server reset for the week, kill a rare or two and off you go to the Treasure Trove.

The second is a pet, which can only drop from the Haywire Construct, which can only  spawn on the Skumblade beach.

Let’s recap, shall we? Warlocks can get the Sealed Tome but are in competition with every other Warlock to loot first. Everyone gets 15 Valor Points for every kill, MORE if another character on your account is capped for the week, money, and for Haywire kills a chance at a pet.

Rares can be found all over the place. But not every massive badass elite is a ‘rare’. Please don’t chain pull the giant dinosaur.

This is how I now spend my time.

I hunt rares.

Oh, I don’t camp them or just run the rotation. Well, sometimes I run the route, but there are usually plenty of quests to do too.

What I do is get on either the Warlock or the Hunter, start the daily quests on the Isle of Thunder, and then do quests while checking out the rare spawn points in the quest zone. If someone announces a rare is up, I drop everything and beeline there to help kill it.

I have grouped with Cassie a few times for dailies, and it’s driving her nuts. Quest, quest, quest, “Oh, Mumta is up let’s go!” and zoom off I go.

Mumta dies, a call in /1 announces “haywire is up!” and off we go right back to the beach! Goda? Gone. God-Hulk? I’m a backdoor man. (There is an easy way to get to God-Hulk by taking the beach and avoiding the mobs in the terrace area who could dismount you for precious seconds. The wall is broken there too).

I love it. The 15 Valor Points is just enough of a lure to make me drop what I’m doing and chase after a rare if I have a shot at it, while it’s not so much reward that I feel I should just spend my time doing nothing but rare hunting.

It’s what I’m doing. If I’m in the queue for anything, I’m likely to be on the Isle doing dailies and chasing after rares.

Now, here’s the funny thing. I’ve seen folks hang back when they are first to a rare, send out the call and wait for backup. When I’m on my Hunter, I do that because some of them (like Haywire) put out some serious damage and if you get a couple extra adds on you (like those god*(^% Seadragon Skumblade things with their damn traps) it’s a pain in the ass.

On my Warlock? If it’s up, I go for it, and if I have to, I solo it. No problem.

Destro Warlocks are… um, err, they’re not overpowered. Nope, not at all. Just right. Maybe a little on the weak side, right Blizzard? [wink wink, say no more]

Still, even though the Warlock is, yes, a little weak compared to other classes, through some amazing luck I just happen to be able to solo the rares as a Destruction ‘lock, enjoying all the self-healing the class has available. Which, um, makes up for the weak dps. Yup.

Okay, seriously for a moment… Destruction is god-like power for soloing stuff. As my friend Monstre said, it feels like how Ret Paladins did back in all their glory.

It’s amazing. But that’s a different story.

Whatever you think about daily quests, I highly recommend you at least try playing the rare hunter mini-game when you’re questing on the Isle.

Just follow one of the links, print out a map, and check out the spawn sites.

Then, the next time you’re at the Skumblade area, swing by the beach to see if Haywire is up, bounce on up to the mountain peak to see if the knockback saurok from hell is there.

If you’re killing Mogu, why not take a quick trek up the stairs to see if Mumta is home?

Coasting through the troll quests, go for a little ride along the beach, enjoy the waves. And didn’t that trip me out, the first time I saw there were these shadow wave things out on the water?

Yep, I’m enjoying hunting rares. It breaks up the quests, makes the Isle a place to hang out rather than endure.

And because of those rares, I capped on both my character for the week. Don’t underestimate how those 15 Valor Tomes add up over the course of a week.

If you’re enjoying them, or hating them, let me know.

When I first saw the map I was overwhelmed, but now I know it’s a GOOD thing there are so many. That means even if you miss one, another one is bound to be up somewhere else very soon.

Comments 14 Comments »

A follow up to my Consumables post, a tangent that is obvious, but still amazing to contemplate.

In my last post, I ran down a situation from a raider’s point of view.

Given a need to prepare Flasks to last 10 raiders for 4 hours, you need Crystal Vials, various common Pandarian herbs, and 40 Golden Lotus.

One level 90 player exalted with Tillers and with 16 garden slots can make 33 Golden Lotus each week, regardless of gathering or crafting professions.

So.

First thought that comes to mind, of course, is what happens if you’ve got two level 90s with 16 garden slots?

66 Golden Lotus. Each week.

So.

At the very end of Cataclysm, I know a lot of people had leveled so many characters to max level, they NEEDED the new character slot that came with Patch 5.0, just to be able to make a Monk.

Can you picture it?

Can you see, off in the distance, the players who will level all of their characters to max, park them in Halfhill, and grind the Tiller rep to exalted to unlock their farms?

All those players, toiling away every night on 8 – 10 characters, harvesting, planting, mailing.

All those characters, sporting titles like “Defender of a Shattered World”, or ‘Kingslayer”, relegated to farmbots.

I can see one of those level 90s, in farming hat and coveralls, leaning on their shovel, gazing off towards the Golden Falls, saying to Farmer Yoon, “You know, I killed the Lich King. I was there, the day that Deathwing died. I have fought an elder god, and I have faced the celestial titans themselves to save our world from destruction.”

And Farmer Yoon looking back, and saying “Ayup. I’m gonna head in and take a nap. Mind you pull those weeds now, or that Songbell won’t grow tomorrow. And make sure you water the crops afore you leave for the day.”

You can see it, can’t you?

I know you can. Maybe not you, and maybe not me… but they WILL be out there. Even now, they are working on their third, and wondering when the patch to speed up alt rep leveling goes live.

To truly picture the full potential horror… imagine those multi-boxers, with multiple accounts and 20 or more level 85s, all looking at their character lists and calculating just how many Golden Lotus or whatever other materials purchasable by Spirits of Harmony they could accumulate, if they only spent x amount of time farming on each and every one, each and every. single. day.

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Our merry little band went into ICC 25 person Sunday evening for the last official night of achievement runs. If a member had been fortunate enough to be able to go every week, then this would be the last run for the last achieve… before we do a makeup week, anyway.

As usual, we started a half hour early to pop off some Sartharion with all drakes up, and it started things off with a big surprise.

I was already at Wyrmrest Temple, and I began inviting to the raid group from within the sanctum, hovering just outside the portal to the raid instance.

As the invites went out, the airspace within the temple sanctum grew crowded with raid members.

Wait a minute…

Holy shit.

HOLY SHIT!

We formed a cross-server Alliance raid group, and while in the open world, as a member joined the group, they joined the real world environment we all shared.

The cross-server zones are active with patch 5.0.4, and one of the side effects is to allow cross-server raid groups to meet in the real world, not just in a raid instance!

You know what this meant?

We can use the summoning stones in a cross-server raid to summon people!

That was just… that blew me away.

Do you remember my one big complaint? That with the loss of “Have Group Will Travel”, cross-server raid groups like ours would be hosed, unless they put the summoning stone inside the instance?

Well, Blizzard went me one further, and let cross-server raid groups meet wherever the heck we want… as long as it ain’t in a capital city.

Any world zone that can be cross-server, is now effectively a shared zone for your raid.

Totally flabberghasted. Didn’t see that one coming!

At any rate, last Sunday a week ago we cleared all of ICC 25, up to the Dreamweaver, in preparation for tonight. A little over an hour later, and the Lich King lay dead (re-dead?) at our feet, and for many of us, the final achievement was finally won.

My thanks to all of those who came with us, who forged a group out of such wild, untamed creatures as us Hunters and Druids (with the token class here and there. We even had Thelandira on her Warlock last night!) and brought us to victory.

It was a long time in coming, but here they are, your Glorious Icecrown Raiders!

Once it was all over, someone had the brilliant idea of taking advantage of the new cross-server zone and raid thingie phenomena to go do a flying mount photo shoot outside the gates of Stormwind. Elwynn Forest was host to a lot of frozen chickens tonight!

Other players started getting in on it, which is fine, but we wanted just a few more with the team, so Laia, our long-suffering and masterful main tank (and Guardian Druid) found us a nice ledge just off to the side, and so there we perched… and I see someone managed to get a big frozen chicken butt in the picture. Sigh.

 

This marks the successful completion of the first ever BBB Cross-server Raid of Awesome People… or CRAP, for short.

This was so much fun, I think we’re going to keep doing these on Sunday evenings, for as long as folks are interested in showing up.

Next Sunday, we will be doing a one-shot, a blast into Ahn’Qiraj 40, to kill that bastard C’thun.

The week after, we will be doing a single makeup run of ICC 25 for a few of the achievements some folks are missing, such as Neck Deep in Vile.

Here is a new announcement for everyone!

If you have not been a part of this series of runs and would like to be involved in the future, simply send me a friend invite at my Battletag, BigBearButt#1737.

There is no obligation… but I do intend to do Ulduar 25 full achievement runs in the very near future, and after that and we’re all level 90, who knows? Do I see some Bastion of Twilight? Some Firelands?

Just not Heroic Spine. Dear god, no Heroic Spine.

Something old, something new, something not too tired, something quick to blow through?

Congratulations, my friends.

Tonight, we accomplished something that took effort, planning and persistence, and it really paid off. Thank you to everyone!

Hi ho, silver frozen chicken butt, and awaaaaay!

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