Archive for the “Cub Report” Category
I’m not actually a blogger anymore, I just narrate the adventures of a nine year old WoW raider. How did my life take this turn?
I think the way this has happened is, now that he is level 85, my mind has been turning to things we can do together, a Bear tank and a powerful melee DPS. And when you factor in Cassie, who can get 30k DPS out of her Enhancement Shaman and also provide emergency heals, well then, what might we try?
So, as I said in the last post, we’re now doing the Glory of the Hero.
We’re not just dabbling our toe in those Vrykul-filled waters, either. We finished the handful I needed (including a feral Druid solo of the Incredible Hulk, that was fun figuring out), and we have a few more to do for Cassie to get her Red Proto-Drake, and from there, yes, we have committed to work together to get them all done for Alex as well.
I can certainly understand it. He’s got mount collecting fever, and I’ve said it before, those achievement mounts look awesome. The Red proto-Drake really looks cool.
This means a lot of Northrend instance runs, right when our Northrend burnout has finally started to fade.
But wait! Act now, and we’ll through in an Ulduar 25 run courtesy of Nymphy and Orvillius of Eff the Ineffable!
That’s right, we did an almost full clear of Ulduar 25. I say almost, because Alex had to leave for bedtime right after Kologarn. I stayed until the end, though.
And then there was that whole heroic Icecrown Citadel raiding last night, but y’know, why mention that, right?
When I stop to think of it, Alex has gotten in more raiding action in two weeks than I saw the entire last expansion.
I loved this stuff when I saw it the first time, back when being level 80 and wearing blues was okay to do heroics. Remember those days? That crucial 15 minutes between blues being okay for random dungeons, and needing a 15k gearscore to do normal Occulus?
Wasn’t much middle ground there.
Huh, wonder how many people went running shrieking into the wilderness from gearscore flashbacks just now? Ah well.
It’s like the jackals saying “Mufasa” to each other in The Lion King, isn’t it?
“Gearscore” [shiver]. “Gearscore” [shiver].
Being with Alex, I’m not just seeing the Northrend stuff with his new eyes, there are things I never saw before too!
I’m not going to break everything down into some boring after-action report. Instead, I’m going to hit the absolute highlights, the things that he thought were awesome.
In Ulduar, with me driving a tank while he was shooting the cannon, blowing things up on the run and destroying Flame Leviathan?
Hands down, best thing ever. He was shooting down ALL the things. That was the winningest moment in WoW. Well, killing Deathwing might have been number one, but this was definitely a number two.
That didn’t come out right.
Shit. Stop it! Arrggghhh! It keeps coming out! Arrgh! Help me, dear lord help me before I innuendo again!
Whew! At least I got that behind me.
Look, let’s really talk about Ulduar.
Alex turned and looked at me about halfway in, and asked me, dead serious, if they were ever going to do anything that cool in the game again.
He wasn’t talking about a tank battle. He was talking about the endless awesome of driving tanks, fighting giants that shove players in the hot pocket (he didn’t get hot pocketed, and he was really hoping to be), fighting jumping jack robots with weird voices, giant stone robots, a cosmic being of pure light within a chamber floating in deep space, and the capper, a giant titanic being with hands thiiiiiiiiiiiiis big.
The epic scope of it. Boss after boss, deep space and teleporters and never knowing what’s beyond the next bend.
He spent time marveling over the artwork, the architecture, the marvelous grand destiny of the place. He was awestruck.
As I was tucking him into bed that night, he asked me sleepily, “Who is the end boss of Ulduar?”
“One of the Old Gods”, I answered, “You fight a giant brain in a room filled with tentacles that grab you, and the brain is so creepy that if you stare directly at it, your character starts to go insane, and you could turn into a big tentacly thing too! And to kill the boss, you have to have some people go into the brain and beat him up from the inside!”
Alex yawned, and as he settled into bed, he told me, ‘I hope I can go in his brain and beat him up some day, that would be neat.”
Algalon the Observer was an exciting fight as well, and we both wanted top spend more time sightseeing and less time frantically fighting.
The fight also pointed up a pretty strong failure on my part. Alex didn’t know how to battle rez someone. The ability wasn’t even on his bar. So we wiped on Algalon the first try, with a healer down and Alex and Cassie flipping through his spellbook trying to find the ability. We didn’t even remember off the top of our heads what it was called.
The second time someone died… Alex by golly rezzed them. His pride at doing it right was just perfect.
Do you remember feeling like that? Do you still feel it now? To learn a new skill, have a situation come up that requires that one skill, and then use it at just the right moment to help the group? He took a very simple, very real pleasure in knowing he did it right.
Kologarn blasting out was great, by the way. I knew it would be. The titan contruct popped up, hands spread wide, and Alex just turned and looked at me with eyes as big as dinner plates. That’s a money shot, right there.
So, Ulduar was a big hit.
The ICC run last night was pretty cool too, more great examples of interesting and exciting fights.
The trash packs before the first boss? That set the tone of the whole night. Random chaos, people running in panic and confusion, and killing all the things.
Rogues and traps? Dude, we’re a rolling raid of Druids and Hunters. We face pull all the things.
Okay, we had some token other classes. They kept us pointed in the right general direction, but otherwise, chaos ruled.
Giant undead bone whirlwinds with scythes? Freaking cool. Right?
Gunship battles? Hell yes.
Ahem. GIANT UNDEAD PUPPIES?
Yeah, he loved those big old slobbery puppies, and enjoyed the fart-filled Festergut & Rotface extravaganza.
As we prepared to take down Professor Putricide, he was bringing me over towards the sides of the room, showing me how you xcould look down into the rooms where we fought Festergut and Rotface.
When we were fighting Putricide the first time, I askwed Alex what he was doing. He was standing over by the alchemy table, trying to drink the potion labeled “Drink me!”
Good thing he wasn’t there for Mimiron, or that big red button would have been pushed in record time.
Towards the end of the night, we faced down Velithria, and with his first words, I knew Blizzard had gotten the story of the world across very well.
Deathwing? Alex loves killing Deathwing. Cool dragon, has a huge poster on his wall, but Deathwing is an internet dragon meant for the killing.
As soon as Alex saw Valithria Dreamwalker, he said, “That dragon is friendly to us, look at the green name! And he’s sleeping. We’re not going to have to hurt the dragon, are we?”
“No Alex, you’re right, we’re not going to hurt this dragon. We’re here to save the dragon from the bad guys.”
His answer was a simple, “Good.”
You might think he doesn’t know what’s going on, but he does. He understands far more of the story and whats going on than you’d think.
Being a snotnose or an asshat is not a function of age, and when we call someone acting like that and call them immature, we’re diong the young a disservice.
Shit behavior isn’t excused by youth, an asshat is an asshat. I’m starting to notice that more and more. The young may not have the wealth of experience yet to integrate things the way an adult does, but youth does not automatically mean an asshat.
However, it does mean fart jokes equal instant giggling.
When Alex plays WoW, he knows we’re here to be the heroes, and he does pay attention. He keeps his eyes open for opportunities to be saving people, and likes that bgetter than always hunting them down and killing them.
When he finds an opportunity to aid rather than destroy, he prefers it.
He likes having the chance to save the lost and injured, to defend the weak.
I’m thinking, it would be nice to see a few more of those kinds of quests, to balance out all the assassinating.
He’s got no problem with being tasked with destroying a threat to the world, or to wading hip deep in dead slimes to save a village.
He just likes the option of choosing actions that are, without reservation, good.
We never did the torture quest Alliance side in Borean Tundra, and that quest would be one where he would prefer an alternate choice, hands down. He’s playing a hero, and while heroes make hard choices sometimes, they still have a choice to make, and consequences of their actions.
He worries about consequences,. He wants the power to make the choice. To know that we are not there to kill a friendly green dragon, but to try and find a way to save it, instead.
Thinking about some of my talks with him, I have an idea I’d like to throw out there.
When we do raids, the bosses now have a Looking For Raid version, a Normal version, and a Heroic version.
The way things are now, those difficulty settings simply change things like enemy health, how hard things hit, debuffs and constant AoE damage that affects the raid, numbers of adds that spawn, that kind of thing.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to have each setting be a different attempt at resolving an encounter?
To have LFR and Normal be “kill this guy like always, with brute force”, but heroic mode would be where you try and save someone, coerce someone, overwhelm and capture someone, or deceive someone instead?
Where the heroic version represents the fact that sometimes the easy route is to use a bigger hammer, but the hard route is to win without just dropping a big ass nuke. To capture instead of kill. To convert.
To face off against Deathwing, and take on the truly impossible task of redeeming him and purging him of the taint of the Old Gods rather than taking the easy route and killing him.
You want impossible? Redeem Deathwing. Restore him sanity, enlist him in the war against the Old Gods.
That would be impossible. And a challenge worthy of a heroic team of champions.
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Two Minute Reviews – LEGO Batman 2 (Wii)
Quick preface – we have a nine year old boy in the house, and he likes video games. We as his parents like to find games that are appropriate for young players, but also, and how can I put this?
Games that don’t suck.
We’ve learned that ‘games for children’ tends to translate to “games we phoned in with 30 minutes of content, shitty controls, horrible graphics and terrible gameplay because your kids aren’t smart enough to know any better, and they don’t pay the money anyway, all we gotta do is sucker the parents with the pocketbooks with our license.”
Dora the Explorer and the Purple Planet, I’m looking at you.
So, the eternal challenge of the geek parent; find a video game appropriate for kids that doesn’t suck.
This brings me to the LEGO series of games, and specifically LEGO Batman 2 for the Wii.
The LEGO games have a hit or miss record. Some of them have been very good, like the LEGO Star Wars I and II games, bringing good gameplay and cute design with a lot of content.
Others have been okay, but short and kinda boring, like LEGO Indiana Jones.
Then there is the middle of the road, like LEGO Star Wars III.
Guess what true believers, there is a new bame out, it’s called LEGO Batman 2, and here is your two minute review.
It’s a very good game.
I’ll run down the positives, as told to me by my 9 year old LEGO game expert son.
1) Lots of funny cutscenes that rock. LOTS.
2) Plenty of missions that have a lot going on.
3) You can play as Batman, Robin, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, even Cyborg from the new Justice League line up.
4) Superman is invulnerable! And he has x-ray vision, heat vision, he can fly, and he can fly, and did I mention he can fly?
5) Batman has lots of costumes, he can even shoot rockets!
6) Robin can get a hazmat suit that lets him suck up this green or red or orange glowing acid goop, and then SHOOT IT AT PEOPLE.
7) There is an amusement park with fun rides, slides, ferris wheels, games where you can smash ducks with a hook to earn Gold Bricks, it’s awesome.
8) If you beat up bad guys extra awesome, they have a chance to surrender and you can buy them to join your crew for reals.
9) Four words: GIANT JOKER ROBOT BEATDOWN
There you go. Alex endorsed, parent approved. LEGO Batman 2 for the Wii is actually worth the money they be asking for it, mon. Plus, hey, cooperative play!
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This Cub Report is fairly overdue, but I wanted to accumulate datas.
Yes, I said datas. I’ve noticed recently that adding a plural (s) to words that are plural without one is, apparently, cool. I, therefore, being the antithesis to cool, wanted to use it to kill that stupid fucking trend dead in its tracks.
In the last two weeks, Alex has enjoyed all that being level 85 means in the game.
We’ve run a lot of Twilight Heroics, and those are cool. It’s boiled down now, though, to wanting that damn two-handed axe that WILL NOT drop. Time takes time, and luck of the drop.
I’m waiting for the moment it drops, and a Paladin queued as healer wins it over him. That should bring his training in the dark side to it’s conclusion.
Until the day Darth Alex rises, we’ve also been doing many things to get pets.
Every single day, I group up with Cassie and Alex to tank Ahune to try and get them the pet. It’s a frosty Pebble, of course Alex would love it.
I refer you to previously mentioned affinities for ‘rock guys’.
So far, I got one on my Druid (who already has one), and I saved it in the bank.
Can anyone explain why the pets are not BoE? I thought this was already covered and announced to be a BoE future for pets and mounts, did Blizzard just totally phone in this seasonal event or what?
I’m saving my extra Ice Chip in the bank on the off chance that Alex or Cassie won’t win one before the end, and Blizzard decides to someday change the Soulbound to BoE after it’s too late to win it but could be bought on the AH for about 5000 gold..
Not that anything like that would ever happen. Sigh.
On the subject of Ahune… tanks? WTF, over?
I’m running it as a Druid tank, and I’m running it as a healer for a chance at the staff.
I am seeing tanks just acting like freaking beheaded chickens, are you kidding me?
I swear, I ought to Fraps a run just to show that chaos and panic does not have to be the rule of the day. At least I would if I had any idea how to turn Fraps video into a Youtube thing. It’s been years since I did one, I’ve forgotten.
Look, I understand, it’s not what you’re used to. But try to calm down and handle it, all right? It’s embarassing.
When the Ahune encounter starts, there will be one large add that hits harder than the others. Be ready and grab it. Lay down a solid whack to get threat and be prepared to be near the ice slick around the boss, but not in it, to grab the two new adds that will pop up.
Grab them, and huddle them together. They can cast at range but respond to threat as melee, you can gather them in. AoE them two times, then auto-attack to conserve Rage for the 1 second it takes for the next set of 2 adds to emerge.
Stay there at the edge of the ice slick. You can grab all of the adds as they emerge, if you just stay there on that boundary between ice and ground. If there is an ice spike forming beneath you, move further along the edge of the ice. Sometimes, if ranged DPS is really fast on the trigger, they may grab one that heads away from you fast, but that is what a ranged Taunt is for.
You don’t have to grab one like a terrier and ride it down to death. Focus as your prime task on gathering them in to you and hugging them, then looking for the next pair (or three on the second round of adds) to collect on the fly. The DPS are powerful, trust in them to finish the adds off, your job is to grab them and hold them and look for more.
Enough said about that, I hope. I’m starting to call Ahune ‘the chicken run” in my head when I queue to heal it, and that’s not a good sign.
Some of our other pet-related shenanigans have included doing the Troll quests in Stranglethorn Vale enough to get the Panther Cub, and sending hmi on an epic quest to…. get a chicken.
That one was hilarious. I showed him the chicken in my companion panel, and asked him, “You wanna go get some chicken?”
Ah yes, how fun. I just told him to head out to Westfall, and once he got there, i coached him on finding a chicken.
Then I told him he had to learn to talk chicken to get it to give him a quest, so he asked how he learned chicken.
There is only one way to learn to speak chicken. Practise.
I made him type out /chicken to the chicken, and then made a macro for him, and told him to get to it.
He started faltering in his resolve after no more than 15 or 20 /chickens, but I got through to him by explaining to him that the chicken can’t understand his accent. You gotta just keep practising on that chicken, it could take up to 200 times!
Pretty soon, sure enough, he got the chicken to takl to him, got the quest, got some special feed, got the egg, and boom! Fresh chicken.
He did this before I sent him after the Panther Cub, and this caused issues.
He rode his ground mount the whole way to the Stormwind Docks.
Well, he couldn’t take a flight or get on a flying mount, the chicken might vanish. Yes, he could resummon it, but that would hurt the chickens feelings.
So he rode all the way from Westfall to the Docks just so the chicken would stay at his side.
The whole time, he’s singing a purely improvised ‘chicken song’. Just singing uder his breath the whole way, ‘My chicken is the best, my chicken passed the test, my mount is slow, my chicken is fast, you better step away or he’ll peck at you next”.
So, pets are his big things. He wants all the pets he can get, and I’m trying to make a list of all the ones I can send him after.
the other thing he loves is raiding.
He wanted to do Dragon Soul for as long as he’s seen me do it.
A big part of that is simply wanting to do the same things mommy and daddy are doing, sure. But he’s also doing it because he likes it.
He loved Deathwing. Just flat out loves him. he loves seeing the fight, seeing us kill him, seeing screenshots and having the big image of Deathwing on his computer wallpaper.
He even got me to buy him a Deathwing poster for his wall.
Me, I hate the LFR for the second half. The fights are fun, but more often than not the groups just fall to crap. Sooo frustrating when you wipe from lack of give a shit in the group! The first four bosses, though, they seem to be too streamlined for even LFR groups to completely lose their cool over.
Ah well, it’s not about me. He likes the Deathwing.
Last week, my goal was to begin easing him into running the Twilight Heroics so he could get the gear he doesn’t know he needs to do the raid.
This is a point that others have made very well, but when you’re leveling up and even running instances, there isn’t a lot of emphasis on the need to gear up first. The gear upgrades are there, and they are nice, but for my son what the gear looks like is of more importance than how powerful it is. The numbers are just numbers, but cool looking shoulders, that’s something to cheer about!
Once he hit 85, he thought he could just play, do whatever. He thought the hard part was learning what to do, developing the skill he would need to do the raids. No worries, we got that straightened out, and he likes running the instances.
I’d gotten him all clear on the way that it works. I crafted a bunch of stuff so he could jump right into the Heroic Twilights. Then we’d run with him as DPS and me as tank until he had all the gear upgrades he could possibly get from the Twilights, plus some Valor and Justice upgrades, and then he’d be ready to step into LFR and try a raid for the very first time.
It made so much sense.
So of course, the second day he’s 85 or something like that, a week and a half ago, the alt night raid is forming up on Wednesday, and I’m asked if I’m up for going.
I let them know I’m hanging out with the youngster getting him geared, and they suggest I bring him along.
To normal Dragon Soul 10. The normal, full on raid.
Well, I guess patience hell, he’s gonna get to go in and kill somethin?
This is the point where a responsible adult would say, “Gee, thanks guys, but I think he should learn to do the Twilights and nail down his class a bit first.”
Instead I reminded them that he was brand new to 85 and undergeared, would have crap DPS, and they said, “Meh, bring him, we don’t care.”
Yep, an adult would put their foot down and say no, thanks just the same, right?
So there we were, in normal Dragon Soul 10, and…
Oh, shut up. I never said I was a responsible adult. Or, if I did, and you believed me? Bwahahahahaaha! Sucka.
So there we were, all plans of careful coaching and preliminary prepwork tossed right out the window. We ran with our computer desks side by side as usual, and blasted through boss after boss. In the few moments killing trash before a boss pull, I gave a briefing on the strategy on the boss, what to expect, and how we’d do it.
What was hilarious to me were some of the things he called our raid out on.
As an example, I’ve trained him to expect a star or icon over the main tank, so the DPS can see at all times where the lead tank is, and know where to shift when he moves instead of waiting to respond to the boss. If the tank is on one side, you get behind the tank’s target. If there is more than one target, you see who the tank is on, and that is who, in most cases, you focus on. From behind. On the butt.
So of course, we go running in and he’s right there saying, “But which one is the tank? None of them are marked and I don’t want to be on the wrong target and pull aggro.”
I’m so proud! Oh, and guys… can someone put a mark up on the tank? BTW, my son says lrn2play, noobs.
Before that night was through, our long-suffering guild endured a player that played as well as could be expected, but whose DPS was simply not up to snuff. We didn’t have any problems at all up to the ship, but once we hit Spine, it was tough. Too tough to continue.
Alex learned a lot, managed to make it all the way through Ultraxion alive and kicking, and did his best, but we just couldn’t quite hammer a nail into Spine. Can’t recall how many times we gave it a shot, but normal Dragon Soul is still a real raid, and a woefully undergeared Death Knight has no place being there. end of story. nice of the guild to have him along, but, no. Not until he is fully geared and pulling his own weight, in my opinion.
On the other hand, he got the tier leggings for his Death Knight set, so he gets to be the first Death Knight on his block with 397 tier pants, and a 347 blue mace.
We’ve run LFR since then, all of the run last week, and the first half again last night.
At first, he said he liked the first half better, and now last night he’s back to liking the second half better.
We tried to stack the deck in his favor for last night on tier drops, Cassie on her Rogue, me on my Druid, intending to do our damndest to roll and pass tier on to him.
Feel free to hate us for it, it’s okay. I’ve long been on the side of feeling that if you did your best performance to help the raid succeed, and the gear you just rolled on is for someone who will be able to actually USE it as a major upgrade, there should be no problem. Rolling just to trade for something else you want later isn’t quite the same to me, but not everyone feels the same way, I know, and I accept that.
What is funny is, we’re in LFR fully planning on rolling on gear to pass directly to Alex, and he goes and wins, with his own rolls, both the tier gloves AND the tier shoulders!
Now he’s got three piece of tier, almost enough Valor for the necklace, already got the Relic and Wrist and Boots, and STILL with the 347 mace!
Tonight, tonight by golly I’m going to get into the second half with him, and if you read something into my queueing on either my Ret Paladin or Fury Warrior, well, you might be onto something there. And Cassie might be on her Ret Paladin as well. No real reason. *cough* sword hacks *cough* :)
He’s so serious when it comes to raid. He soaks up the instructions like a sponge, and he’s right at that age where as soon as something is explained to him, it’s as if he knew it all along forever, so don’t come along later asking him if he remembers what to do, of course he does, duh. Just tell him, show him, then let him loose.
Sniff. My little boy is all grown up and killing internet dragons. Sniff.
They grow up so fast! Soon, he’ll be killing dragons all on his own, he’ll get his Druid up to max also, and he’ll be saying to me, “Hey dad, did you know that the target doesn’t have to be in front of you to use Growl on it? And that if you hit Berserk in bear form your Mangle hits THREE targets all at once?”"
“No son, no I’d never heard that before. That’s very cool. Now, when you’re done with raid, can you help me program the VCR to record the Rockford Files? Thanks!”
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Happy Fathers Day!
It was a pretty nice day, today. I got to spend it with my family, and that’s a good thing. Cassie only kicked me in the nuts once! You could tell it was going to be a special day.
Alex built a DVD cabinet, one of the Sauder wood kits, while I supervised/show me/tell me. Turned out very nice, he’s proud of it. He likes hammer time.
We also spent some time in World of Warcraft, and his Death Knight dinged 85. Woot!
In anticipation, I had the 397 BoE bracers for him, Lierthes had given him a present for when he turned 85 which turned out to be the 397 boots, and I had also crafted the entire PvP Vicious Pyrium Plate set.
You know where this is going. :)
Silarkias helped heal him and my Druid through Crucible of Carnage to get him the 333 two handed sword, and then Cassie got on her Enhancement Shaman to join us for his first ever heroic… Heroic End Time.
I’m sorry, but I fricken fracken HATE all the lower level 85 instances, normal and heroic. They make my fuzzbutt hurt with irritation.
I tried to take ‘Fuzzbutt” as a character name once, it was already taken. Sigh. So was “Fuzznuts”. Just saying.
I still love me the three heroic Twilights. I run them for fun, any role, to get Valor. In fact, I prefer to heal or tank those for fast Justice Point gains whenever I want something you can get from the Justice vendor. Turning in Justice for Honor to get the PvP mounts is my latest thang. I’m not kidding, I run the three most recent heroics all the time, and I’m still not tired of them.
I do prefer Hour of Twilight, though. No real reason, except maybe that a good tank helps casters on the second boss by being predictable in waddling out of the smoke cloud, so the casters don’t get silenced if they know to stand behind your big butt.
Anyway, Alex equipped his new gear, hit iLevel 365, Cassie logged into her Shaman, I queued as tank, and we went into his first heroic ever.
Since Alex is sitting in the same room as I am, I was able to coach him on the mechanics easily. We had Azure first, followed by Ruby.
I was happy to see that he was not being carried. In his first heroic instance, he was pulling over 12k DPS, and he did not pull aggro, did not stand in front of the mobs while fighting, did not pull the wrong group, did not stand in the fire (even the purple fire in Ruby), did not stand behind the ghoul in Ruby but went all out on the correct target and moved into the safe zone after (unlike the Mage, that I had to Battle Rez the first time, and who died again the second time. Sigh.), he did a great job blowing cooldowns on the Bronze Dragonflight, yadda.
In other words, he did better as DPS than quite a few Death Knights I’ve run into before in LFG. He didn’t even pop Army of the Dead on boss pulls! Shit, that puts him in the top 10% in my book.
He got lucky, too. He got the plate Helm drop off Bronze, a very nice upgrade. That plus the Gloves as a quest reward, and gemming everything out, and our lad from the underground was doing right well. I was looking forward to seeing how he would do in his second heroic after getting so many upgrades right out the gate.
And so we queued again, and got the second heroic in the series, and that was cool, because that meant he’d get more quest rewards. And heck, 5 heroics by Monday night and he’ll have enough Valor for the relic!
Oh yeah, his second ever heroic instance, with his mother and father right there along with him. Grand times for a Father Day.
This is literally what greeted us within two seconds of zoning in;
You know, I can’t easily remember the last time someone was a jackass in chat for absolutely no reason. Even the trolls that try to wipe you, I just don’t see outright… well, be jackasses like this. For one thing, they usually troll by being afk or by pulling the wrong thing in utter silence, so it’s harder to /ignore them.
Here we are, second one he’s ever been in, so far a special night all around, he’s just jazzed and excited and happy and he’s passing on everything he can’t use and kicking ass despite PvP gear, and playing really well. He’s playing at adult levels of proficiency, which is all anyone can ask for.
But it’s a group activity, isn’t it? And we didn’t control all five slots.
I had us leave the group immediately, and incurred the thirty minute deserter debuff.
He’s gone off and trained and enchanted his sword with Fallen Crusader, he’s sitting here beside me right now, saying, “Wow, I don’t have to worry about experience any more, do I? I can do whatever I want. I feel so free.” He’s exploring Twilight Highlands, he finds the Maw of Madness fascinating. I can’t wait to unleash him on Lovecraft when he turns 16.
He went and bought the Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade as a reward to himself for dinging 85. He could of got it earlier, but he saved it for now. He noted that he has no more abilities left to learn. He’s at max level. No more skills to get ‘someday’.
It’s just starting to sink in that he’s max level. And he’s doing so well.
He doesn’t pay attention to the chat text. I long ago turned off all trade and general chat on his characters, and I activated the profanity filter, and it doesn’t matter much anyway because he generally doesn’t ever look at the chat box. I’m there beside him to talk to, he doesn’t have to get his info from the box, so he doesn’t watch it like I do. He never sees people in guild saying ‘grats’, so I usually have to point it out to him, and even reply for him sometimes.
So it’s not like this was a traumatizing event. There is a profanity filter for a reason, and this was the reason. There are other tools in the game to report a player for inappropriate language, and Cassie and I both did so.
It can also be argued that nine years old is too young for a multiplayer MMO, even when supervised at all times, for precisely this reason. But then, that’s why I play with him and watch what’s going on. I wouldn’t leave him to play all alone in game any more than I would leave his ass out on the street. Not that I don’t trust any of you, but I don’t trust any of you. I trust Cassie, I trust me, and that’s it. Oh, yeah, and my mother-in-law. Hmmm. I’d trust my brother-in-law, too. Yeah, I think that’s about it. Leaving him alone and unattended? Oh yeah, you’re real funny. Excuse me while I go clean my guns. Watch where you step in the yard. Oh, no, no reason.
Ooh, somebody let loose with bigoted hate speech in an instance for no reason. Nope, you’re not going to find any outrage on my part, I’ve been playing this game for a long time, I know what kind of people play it.
The answer is, ALL kinds of people play it. All kinds of people, meaning every kind of person there is. Nice people and asshats, intelligent people and idiots, polite people and vulgar, respectful people and selfish trolls. Morons and the wise. All kinds.
The world plays World of Warcraft. You’d think that the modern media outlets would pick up on that at some point.
And that would be my point here. His second outing in a heroic, and he has a perfect chance to encounter in a controlled environment exactly the kind of asshat he will have to learn to deal with in the real world.
But here, he has all the power. Never forget that.
In the game, you have all the power. I know that there have been some truly terrible stories of abuse and stalking between players in the game, but there is a very real difference between a relationship that falls apart after emails and real names and Real ID and addresses have been exchanged, and some jackass you ran into in a random instance.
In the game, if a total stranger approaches you and is rude, you can put them on ignore, and they are gone forever. You can also report their behavior for investigation, and if they physically annoy you in game by standing on your mobs and such, you can hearth, take flight points, log into a different character, a different server… you have the choice. You have the power to walk away and there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it.
You may be annoyed that they are trying to hassle you when you’re not willing to log off that character at that precise time, but then, that’s your choice. To choose to ignore the idiot because you are more interested in what you’re doing right then.
Not that they can follow you against your will in a raid or instance, or Battleground. They can’t force you to pay attention to them, as real life bullies can and will do.
Obviously, I like the fact that you can get proof of in-game behaviors so easily. Screenshot, and guess what, it DID happen!
Like the screenshot earlier. Explain that away, bigot.
There is a reason why all our WoW accounts have the Elephant addon.
I had Cassie and Alex drop that group, even though it cost us a thirty minute deserter penalty, because that was my choice. I never run with bigots, ever. Ever. Thirty minutes? I’ll gladly pay that price to never see you again. I have a strict “no runs with asshats” policy, and I stick to it.
And I made sure Alex understood, that was not running away. We could have all put Marsie on ignore and got what we wanted. But, that would have given Marsie the run they wanted. By leaving group, we gave them the inconvenience of finding another tank and two DPS. Maybe it only took 2 minutes for that to happen, but it was a consequence. And of course, I didn’t have to carry them or wonder what other asshat thing they would pull in a group while Alex is learning the right things to do.
That is the lesson I hope Alex will learn from me, as he gets older. Don’t ever be a victim, don’t ever accept abuse, don’t ever give another power over you unless you choose to. And whenever possible, stick their hate right up their ass.
Living well and being happy is the best revenge. Let them twist on their hate, fuck ‘em.
There are always options, and in the real world, the consequences are often a lot more severe than a thirty minute deserter debuff.
Standing up to bullies, in the game or in real life, can come with a cost, but in my opinion it’s a cost worth paying. I know that’s not the politically correct view, but then again, I joined the US Marines, not the Peace Corps. If he chooses to turn the other cheek, good for him. I will wholeheartedly support him. If he chooses to stand his ground and to hell with bullies, I’m right there with him as well.
You don’t usually expect your video games to come with a moral lesson, do you?
But the lesson for the day is, if there are people to be found anywhere, then there will be offensive, immature little asshats. I don’t care if it’s Lego Universe or WoW, the playground or the classroom, people will be people, and the asshats will make their presence felt.
Best to learn how to deal with it and rise above it, than to hide or pretend it can’t ever happen. If you start hiding now, when will you ever decide to stop?
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This is a special report!
Holy crap, what a fun couple of days.
First, a bried recap.
In our last Cub Report, I talked about our smash and grab through Deepholm, and the trials and tribulations of Pebbles the potential pet.
Since that post, I’ve been checking each day, and we’ve managed to get two Lost in the Deeps in a row, out of ten needed for the Pebble pet achievement. Either they buffed the frequency, or we’ve been seriously lucky with the pop rate on that quest at Throne of Therazane.
In the comments of that post, Yuscha talked about and linked a related pet-providing Daily Quest, Underground Economy.
I say pet-providing, but only sorta.
I had studied this one back in the day, but since I only collected pets on my Druid, and my Druid didn’t do and WASN’T going to do Deepholm, I didn’t look too close.
Suddenly here was Yuscha, reminding me that things have changed. Pets will be shared across account. I’ve got lots of other characters exalted with Therazane to do quests.
This mission just got reactivated, Mr Phelps.
Hey Yuscha, how hard is this Tiny Shale Spider gonna be to get?
In the Crumbling Depths, that tunnel full of gyreworms in Deepholm, there is a Daily Quest giver named Ricket (yes, the awesome Ricket from Storm Peaks and the Molten Front!) that CAN have a quest for you called Underground Economy.
The way this works is, just like Lost in the Deeps, Underground Economy is a Daily Quest that may or may not be there each day. Even more interesting, it shares the time slot with Lost in the Deeps. If Lost is up, Underground ain’t. I think Wowhead said there is also a third quest it shares with, but that didn’t give me a pet, so screw that one.
The second interesting thing is, Ricket is to be found INSIDE the Crumbling Depths tunnel, before you reach the untargetable/unkillable elite massive gyreworm that goes in endless circles. And if you are not IN the Crumbling Depths tunnel? You do NOT see the quest exclamation point on your map!
That’s right, you can’t just fly overhead looking for an icon for the quest giver. You have to go inside the Crumbling Depths to see if she’s there.
The hilarious thing is, the quest doesn’t give you the pet… it just gives you the means to get to where the pet is. Or at least to Jadefang, the rare mob that has a 100% chance of dropping the pet… if Jadefang happens to be there.
Jadefang is pretty popular. Not only is there a 100% pet drop, but Jadefang is a cool green shale spider pet that hunters like, for her green color. Goes with a Blood Elf’s eyes, don’tcha know.
Yuscha and the Wowhead link made it clear, clear enough even for me to get; If Ricket is there in the tunnel, you get the daily quest from her, and she gives you bombs. Unlimited bombs.
These bombs have knockback. Hellacious, insane knockback… controllable knockback. Send you UP and BACK knockback.
Inside the Crumbling Depths, there is an upper ledge easily within view of the first large cavern after you get past that Elite Gyreworm that keeps running circles around and around.
When you get in that first big cavern, there are lots of tunnels that come off from it, and directly across is one higher ledge. That’s the one Pebble appears at when you get the Lost in the Deeps quest. Well, if you look to your upper left from the entrance to that big cavern, next to Pebbles ledge you’ll see another, slightly higher, ledge. THAT is the dead end tunnel where Jadefang hangs out.
Boiling all the comments in Wowhead down, all you got to do is get to the ledge where Pebble usually hangs out, stand on the edge of the ledge with your ass pointing in the direction you want your character to fly, making sure the big cystal/white rock isn’t gonna block you, and drop the bomb.
Boom, instantly blown to the Jadefang ledge, first time, no problem. Easy as SHIT, man! Right?
And once you’re on the ledge, you’re good. You could drop the daily if you wanted, but why do that? As long as you’ve got it, you’ve got bombs to get back there whenever you’d like. But you’re on the ledge. Log out, check in every once in a while, try odd hours, sooner or later you might get lucky.
Well, last night I went and looked with my Priest, and there was Ricket with some bombs to hand over.
I took the boomies and ran, man.
I got to the ledge first time, just as I said.
No Jadefang. Aww.
According to comments in Wowhead from the dedicated and hard working rare farmers out there (Like Perculia), I could anticipate a nine to twelve hour respawn timer… but I had no idea when Jadefang was last killed.
Camping time! Where’s my Kindle, it’s John Ringo time! Time to get comfy, stay a while and readem’.
I’m not gonna give you a blow by blow for the rest of last night.
Everybody camps in their own way. For me, I tapped the keyboard to jump every once in a while, waved to other players that hopped in and then saw me and logged out in place when I saw them, and read my Kindle.
This had all the makings of one long, tedious, boring night. Some fun, right? Hours of camping.
Ah, but this isn’t the Bear report. This is the CUB report!
Cue the Cub, who wants to see what Dad is doing.
I explain what I’m doing… and as expected, he gets interested, logs into his Death Knight, and flies into his beloved Deepholm to explore the Crumbling Depths.
“Is this the quest giver you were talking about?”
“Yep! She’s the one that gives you wings. I mean bombs.”
A little while later, I walk over to the ledge and look down. There he is. I point over to where Pebble spawns. “You want to get over there, then blow yourself over here.”
And not long after… I have a visitor. Who blew himself over to the ledge in one shot, I might add, did it himself.
From that point, as the saying goes, Hijinks Ensued.
You see, I grouped up with him, and he discovered the joys of setting bombs and blowing himself all over the place. Then I taught him how sneaky Life Grip can be.
Then we started experimenting.
One thing he found was if you set your bomb, then time a jump, it has a bit of a radius effect. It will still bounce you even when you’re in mid-jump.
Then he found you can set bombs while on your mount. Blowing yourself up while in mid-flip on your Golden Dragon mount looks pretty hot.
Then we started playing with mutliple direction bounces.
See, if he stood there, and I stood behind him, and we timed it, he placed his bomb about 1/3rd of a second before I placed my bomb right behind him, then his bomb would go off first launching him backwards just as my bomb went off flinging him in the other direction, leaving a zig-zag contrail in the cave.
We also found out it’s fun to play ‘tag’ with bombs.
As an adjunct to that experiment, I can tell you with 100% conviction that a Priest can use Leap of Faith to pull another character up to Jadefang’s ledge from the lower level. Even after you blew them off with a bomb.
Ah, good times, good times.
Which is a damn good thing, because I camped that spot for seven hours and no Jadefang.
But there would always be other nights.
We both logged out in place, and went to bed at our seperate times.
When I woke up this morning to work out at 4:45 AM, I logged in quick to check…
Jadefang Up! Woot!
Boom, pulled, punched, pet acquired, instant regret sets in.
Shit, I should have logged Alex’s character in to get it first! Son of a bear!
I had good reason not do it at the time, but I had second thoughts immediately afterwards.
Alex wanted to do it himself. He wanted to see Jadefang, he wanted to fight him, he wanted the thrill of victory for himself. That a pet would come from it was the bonus, not the point.
He loves “boss fights”, he loves the experience of taking on the big bad. So I wasn’t going to take that from him, I grabbed Jadefang myself to get it out of the way.
As soon as I did, the second thoughts came rolling in about wasted opportunity.
I get up lots earlier and stay up lots later than Alex does. I have more opportunity to camp than he does, so the first lucky shot should have gone to him to make sure if there isn’t a second shot, at least he got the pet. He only has a very limited window, right at prime time.
Was it right to sacrifice a sure thing in the hopes he’d get lucky again later?
Crap. Crappity crap crap.
When Cassie and Alex came to take me to lunch at my work, and yes I do like my new job thank you, I told Alex about waking up this morning early and getting the Jadefang kill, and the Tiny Shale Spider pet. I also told him that, with the respawn timer, Jadefang might be up again early this afternoon, so he should log in and remember to check.
Alex was super stoked. He wanted to know what the boss looked like, what the pet looked like, how hard it was, etc. I told him it was a giant green version of the little Depp Spiders he’d been knocking off in the cave last night. Cool!
I’m sitting at work today a little after lunch, and the phone rings.
I pick it up, and there’s a seconds silence before an excited young Cub starts screaming in my ear “I got the pet, I got the pet, it’s so cute oh wow it’s so cute, it’s awesome!”
Turns out, when they got home from lunch, Cassie went downstairs to check since she didn’t trust my respawn math assumptions. Sure enough, she logged Alex in, looked around, there was Jadefang standing right behind him. Jadefang wasn’t hostile, btw. It didn’t start eating his face right away.
Cassie pulled him with Death Grip to tag him, then yelled to Alex to come running before he got his face eaten off and turned the reins of power over for the actual kill. :)
Well, I guess it all turned out all right after all.
Seriously. If I had had any idea how easy it was to get to that ledge with the bombs, I would have done this months ago, hell, a year ago. Of course, it would have been far more heavily contested then.
So, I don’t know when it respawned exactly, but I killed that sucker at 4:45 AM, and it was back up by 1:30 PM. So, less than eight and a half hours at least that time.
We had so much damn fun in there.
It’s a rockin’ fun place to party down.
I have these visions of a small meeting of friends just heading into Crumbling Depths and partying, drinking, chatting in vent and blowing each other all over the caverns for an evening. Talk about a wild time!
Next time you have a guild meeting, why not have it in Crumbling Depths? If yo’re a member of the guild, and your officers are all stodgy and stuck up, mention it to them as a way to seem ‘hip’ and exciting.
Then while the serious officer types discuss the TPS reports fro your last heroic DW raid, the rest of you can drive them crazy blowing each other up. For extra fun, bring lots of crafted leather balls and paper zeppelin kits!
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