Archive for the “General” Category

I sometimes see people wonder where writers get their ideas.

For me, there is no answer to that question. Ideas come whether you try to have them or not. Ideas don’t really give a shit if you wanted to have one, or whether now is a particularly convenient time.

In fact, I think my ideas wait for me to be taking a shower or driving to work so they can slam into my brain, stun me with how awesome they are, and then slip away so I can’t pin them down and make them work for me.

I get to a pad of paper and think, “Where are you NOW, you prick? Get back here! I wasn’t done with you yet. That was good dialogue, don’t leave me like this. Grrr.”

I do think if you don’t spend some of your time investing in your daydreams and letting your mind wander over the cool and the weird, you’re not going to have as many chances to get ideas, but maybe that’s just me. I like to think I’ve made my head a friendly welcoming home for the occasional wacky idea to come set up shop, stay a while.

Here is my latest idea, which I had yesterday and then vocalized in a burst of enthusiasm in vent last night;

What I’d love to see in Warlords of Draenor is a new Caverns of Time raid, a BIG one. A raid that gets unlocked by doing some hardcore stuff in the normal progression raids, the way Raden only got unlocked when you completed heroic Lei Shen.

You know, a rewarding, insanely challenging boss fight and the flip side of Siege of Orgrimmar.

What I’d love is, once the normal progression of raids is complete in Warlords of Draenor and we have seen where the storyline will take us with the Infinite Dragonflight interfering in events, we have to prevent a big all out push for an ultimate weapon.

As part of the Timeless Isles weekly quest chain, you empowered the hourglass and saw visions. One of those visions is what would have come to pass in Stormwind if Garrosh won.

In the War Crimes book, which I have NOT read, I have heard that the Infinite Dragonflight makes a reappearance, something we thought was inpossible with the closing of the Nozdormu/Murozond loop in Cataclysm.

What if our empowering the hourglass has been the first true event that causes the Infinite Dragonflight to come once more into being, and we’ve armed them with the power to travel the timeways again. Now they’re bound and determined to create the world that the Black Prince tried to shape in Azeroth, a world united under one banner prepared to defend against and win against the Burning Crusade. Only the world they’re going to shape into a weapon against the Burning Crusade is one without the corrupting taint of the Old Gods that drove Nozdormu insane; Draenor.

Nobody says it has to be the same Infinite Dragonflight as before, with the same goals, right? That is why Garrosh travels to Draenor to inspire and unite the world under the banners of the new Iron Horde; to be united and strong in the face of the incoming Burning Legion.

But what do we do? We follow Garrosh through the red portal, we interfere, we undermine the Iron Horde, we divide them by uniting with the Frostwolves, we emplace our Garrisons and prevent a single, strong Iron Horde from ever rising ready to fight.

Then the Burning Crusade crashes down.

After all of that major questing and story development, what if we had one capper of an all-out last ditch play by the Infinite Dragonflight, their attempt to get an ultimate weapon to turn the tide, an unstoppable leviathan of destruction so overwhelmingly, ridiculously overpowered that the Iron Horde would have no choice but to follow such a leader and along the way crush the Azeroth forces?

What if the Warlords of Draenor ‘Raden-style’ boss was set up for us to go to the Caverns of Time and be sent to a Stormwind from an alternate timeline where Garrosh won. You know, that timeline you see in the Timeless Isle hourglass quest visions with Stormwind in flames?

Your goal is to prevent the Infinite Dragonflight from capturing Garrosh, who is riding through the streets of Stormwind on the back of a tamed Thok.

Can you see it?

Garrosh, fully empowered by the Old Gods but in full control of the power instead of an unwitting pawn, an avatar of unspeakable might, riding through the streets of a Stormwind in flames on the back of Thok, the mightiest mount the world has ever seen, riding the edge of it’s blood fury and together tearing apart the city?

And you have to drop in on that and destroy Garrosh and Thok in a massive final battle where not only are you dealing with them, but also the attempts of the Infinite Dragonflight to stop you.

The great thing about it from a story point of view is that it wouldn’t matter which faction you were, your goal isn’t to save the city because it’s from another timeline. The goal is to deprive the Infinite Dragonflight of their ultimate weapon.

And come on… dropping down into the middle of a Stormwind in flames, with Alliance troops trying to slow down Garrosh so refugees can flee, and work to block waves of True Horde forces from reinforcing him while you try to reach him and destroy him?

If Horde characters were transformed to look like Alliance the way Escape from Durnhold changed our appearance to better fit in, so much the better. Can you imagine having to try to rally Stormwind forces so they can hold the line against True Horde reinforcements and keep them from making your fight against Garrosh more difficult?

I’m squeeing in delight just imagining the fight.

It doesn’t matter where ideas come from… all that matters is that we enjoy the hell out of them when they get here.

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StuffofLegends

I stand on the very edge of glory, and I only need to reach out and grab it and hold fast, and I too could be the stuff of legends.

For quite some time I’ve been following the Dragonwrath Legendary quest chain, not as an all-consuming purpose but instead as something I do when the opportunity is there. Someone running Firelands? Sure, happy to go. Nobody is collecting that particular drop? Great, I can use them.

Now, that time has past.

I finally reached the stage where certain tasks were Delegated to me.

I had to gather four Charged Foci to be able to unlock a gate within the Firelands, and take on a special raid boss that you can only access in this way. Not that has loot, but that does provide the next step in the Legendary quest.

I have done this. I have the four Charged Foci in my possession. All that waits is to gather a group and go.

Ah, but what then?

After I have completed that part of the quest, things return to a ‘gather lots of stuff from raid bosses’ cycle. To continue on the quest, I’ll need to kill Firelands bosses often.

Maybe even clear the instance once a week.

Like maybe… as a regular thing?

So I am sending out the call.

I would love to have a few people join me in clearing Firelands each week. I’m not sure of a day yet, but I’m leaning towards Monday. Thursday isn’t out of the question, but Monday seems like a nice, innocuous day where little is left to do but wait for a server reset.

If you’re interested in going, please let me know. I’m not thinking of anything too formal, just getting together and knocking over Firelands in whatever difficulty we’d like at the time for transmog and such.

I know it can be done fairly smoothly with three, since Pankration the monk tank, Tom the Disco Priest and I on my Warlock cleared Firelands 10 normal in very little time last week, and that was including my screwing around with all the charged Foci. Get five or six of us, and the world is our oyster or mollusk of preference.

Even better… since I’m fairly far along on the Legendary quest already, there is room for more to get started collecting stuffs.

So, who’s interested in going back into Firelands with me and kicking a little molten ass?

Contact me on my Battle-tag, BigBearButt#1737

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I think it should go in the record books as the strangest first raid night for a new team I’ve ever seen.

Team Wanda of Band of Misfits met for their first 25 person raid last night, doing Siege of Orgrimmar in normal mode.

I was puttering around in the house, glanced at the time and thought, “holy crap, it’s 15 minutes to raid time! I better log on, I meant to be there chatting a half hour before the start.”

My expectation was that we’d all log in, see how many showed up, and then find out how many spots we had vacant we’d have to fill.

Hah!

I almost didn’t get to go on the freaking raid.

13 minutes before posted raid start (8 PM central time for those interested in these things) and we were only short three people.

Out of twenty-five.

Or were we?

I say short, but I tell a lie, because really the only folks in the team at that point were the ones invited from our own server.

Invites to cross-server folks went out, and at 5 minutes before we were even supposed to start we already had trash cleared and 24 people standing in front of the boss, buffed and ready to go.

One person, only ONE person from those originally expected to attend wasn’t there at that point, and several folks that were on the “Hey, I’d like to go list” were, guess what, online ready to go.

Eight O’Clock on the button and we’re pulling a boss for the first raid night, and at 8:03, the missing person showed up.

8:03.

“Hey, they just logged in, what do we do”, and the immediate answer was, “Sorry, guess you should have been on time. We’re full.”

Tom has adopted a new motto he seemed overly fond of, “Five minutes early is ten minutes too late.”

Harsh? Amazingly enough the solution is within the power of the person to control. If you want to go, you show up early!

It’s not like anyone is being asked to struggle and suffer for this.

You want to talk about suffering to raid? Do you remember raiding in Burning Crusade? Do you remember all of the scrolls, the potions and flasks, the food, the various buff stones and mana stones and sharpening stones and shit you had to bring to be ‘ready’ for each progression raid?

Shall we discuss… attunement chains and keys and resist gear? Shall we? Let’s not.

Somewhere on this blog I once made a list in BC to help folks be prepared and on time, I should go find a link to it, just to have something to point at and laugh.

Better yet, print it out, place it on an altar surrounded by lit candles, play some monk chants on a CD player, get a bunch of friends together and point at it, laugh at it, and thens et it on fire as a sacrifice to the Gods of utter futility.

These days, you just gotta be reforged, repaired and bring a flask. Someone even brings you the best food on a noodle cart, it doesn’t get more relaxed than that.

Next expansion, we won’t even have reforging to worry about. What’s next? Removing food buffs? Removing potions so you’ve only got a single possible flask buff per role, and a health or mana pot per fight?

These days, you don’t even have to sweat repairing first. If you forgot to repair, someone will have a Jeeves. And if you didn’t reforge? Well, you can go kiss my ass, but sure, someone probably has one of those crazy 100,000 gold mounts.

I can’t tell you the last time I saw someone show up for a raid only three minutes late, and be told “Whoops, you’re too late, spot’s already filled and we’re pulling. Other people were hungrier, next time pack a lunch.”

Eagerness and timeliness are a good sign. :)

On the progression side of things, the raid lasted exactly one hour and forty-five minutes without breaks, and we cleared up to and through General Nazgrim. We debated going after Malkorok in the 15 minutes we had left, but Tom felt there was too much trash in the way to get it done exactly by the two hour mark.

You have to give him credit. He may expect you to be on time, but he also respects that when the raid is supposed to be over, the raid is supposed to be over.

First night with a brand spanking new 25 person raid team, everyone early and up for it and 8 bosses down in normal mode.

I’m not all that sharp at times, but even I think this bodes well.

Second raid night is Sunday, we’ve got four hours to kill six bosses.

Somehow, and I know this sounds crazy, but somehow I think we might do it. Maybe, just possible, kind of magic eight ball says all signs point to yes levels of expectation.

Want to know the secret of our success?

It helps when more than half the team are normally part of a 10 person heroic-geared progression team, including both tanks and several healers, and everyone knows the fight.

It also helps when most folks don’t need anything from normal raids, they’re waiting for us to get settled in and begin the heroics. We might on the average overgear normals. Maybe.

My favorite parts of the night were the repeated times Tom would start explaining how we do a fight, and someone would immediately do some crazy shit like drop Rain of Fire on the Sha or wander near a Dark Shaman puppy and facepull the boss.

“Blah blah blah OH SHIT WE’RE DOING IT LIVE GO!”

Really, the only fight that didn’t go smoothly was General Nazgrim. Lots of ravagers up for some reason, and at the end Tom decided to push the kill and keep fighting through Defensive stance when Nazgrim was still at 18% health.

We killed him, but it was a case of ‘last few standing, bring home the flag.’

So. Much. Ravagers.

If World of Warcraft were modable like Minecraft is, wouldn’t you like to be able to swap one thing in a mechanic for something else?

Like, say, swap Nazgrim’s Ravager Axe for actual Outlands Ravagers?

That would be so much fun! Every time Nazgrim gets too much rage, another ravager critter would appear and chew on someone’s face with the Firelands Rageface mechanic.

Can’t you just hear the screams of “get it off, get it off, GET IT OFF OF ME!!!!!”

Also, that would give people a reason to hold a personal grudge against someone else in the raid that stood in the splash and gave Nazgrim tons of extra rage. “It’s YOUR fault I got ragefaced! How’s about next time you get your slow ass out of the splash?”

Such hilarious fun it would be! But at least then you could burn down the extra ravager and move on with your life, it wouldn’t be floating around the whole match.

Anyway, all I can say is, in the words of Shang Tsung, IT HAS BEGUN!

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I’m back in World of Warcraft where I belong.

It was a cold, lonely two days unsubbed without Azeroth to call my home.

I’ve come to the realization, and it’s a somewhat surprising one to me, that over the years I’ve gone from being a solo player to being a raider.

I don’t have to raid all the time, and I don’t have to raid serious progression, but I play the game first and foremost to have fun times with friends doing stuff together.

In World of Warcraft, that means raids.

I enjoy pet battles, and flying around looking for ore, and putzing around leveling alts I know I’m never going to play at max level. That’s still good fun.

There will forever be something magical in riding a dragon, soaring through the sky over mountains and green valleys, scanning the ground below looking for something to kill. Death from above!

For me, the true gaming pleasure boils down to either looking forward to (and preparing for) the next raid, or being IN the raid.

I log in and look at my in-game friends list, and that song from Frozen runs through my head, but the lyrics are changed. What I hear is;

Do you wanna kill a dragon?
Come on, let’s go and raid!
I never see you logging on
Come on get on
Don’t you want to come and play?

Yeah, I’m very excited to be back in World of Warcraft. It’s raid night, baby!

Tonight is supposed to be the first night our raid team in Band of Misfits begins 25-person raiding in Siege of Orgrimmar.

Will we still be called Team Wanda? Inquiring minds want to know, this is serious business!

The first raid will be tonight on Wednesday, and there is a second scheduled night each week on Sunday.

Doesn’t seem like much, is it? Two nights a week to do raiding.

It might not seem like much, but it’s enough to give me something to look forward to. There will be good times, fun conversations, people joshing with each other in vent while internet dragons are battled.

When it’s over, there will be reasons to go out and get stuff to make more flasks, some food, get some Valor to upgrade things maybe or seek out new items in old content to build a new transmog set to wear to the next raid.

There is one truth we all know by now. In order to get a group of folks together on a consistent basis, there has to be a reward those people want. Fun in groups gets most people there the first few nights, but self-interest and the carrot of an actual reward gets people coming back time after time.

A rare mount, a pet drop, that item for transmog, and above all else a better gear upgrade, these things are motivational. Sure, we all want fun, but we also want loot.

That is why raids are going to continue being the thing that brings people together. So long as there is a potential upgrade or achievement or shiny new thing to seek, you’ll get the seekers banding together.

I’m sure some of the folks tonight are only coming because they hope to get gear upgrades, and if it wasn’t with us it’d be with someone else.

I’m sure others are just bored and here is something to do. Maybe they’ll last, maybe not.

Still more might be starting with us tonight because there is nothing in it for them today, but it’s an investment of time now to ensure that when the Garrosh heirlooms get a higher droprate they’ll be right there to get a shot every week.

And of course, most of the core team are doing this now in the hopes of a smooth, speedy transition into the new Mythic raid format once Warlords of Draenor pops it’s cork.

Me… I resubbed, and I’m going tonight, and I’m going to do my damndest to be there every Wednesday and Sunday for raid because I finally got it through my head… I just like playing with friends, and the folks in Team Wanda? They’re my friends, and I like to hang out with them.

Same with Tuesday nights. I’ve been priviliged to run with some of the fine Horde folks in Elitist Jerks in flex runs for the last several weeks, and you can imagine my surprise in finding out they’re a bunch of great folks, too.

Who knew fun friendly folks that know what they’re doing still play this game? From the drama on social media you’d think it was dead. Amazing.

People can bitch about whatever they want to elsewhere, or get enthusiastic about another game, or whatever. It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t affect me, and it doesn’t change my experience in the game that I do play with the people I like playing with.

World of Warcraft remains a great game. It’s controls are smooth as silk for me, there is a ton of interesting and enjoyable content to play through, and there are still many things I’d love to do, most of which takes a group to do and wouldn’t involve rewards or upgrades for other people, which is why I haven’t done them yet. :)

I remain hopeful and enthusiastic, however. Even the worst night playing with friends is a damn good time.

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Since WoW is now dead to me, at least until I totally cave in and resubscribe because I am cracking up and can’t take much more, I have lots of free time on my hands.

I spent some of it tonight fixing my music playlist.

I go to the gym most every morning, and I use my iPhone and the Amazon Cloud Player to manage my music because fuck iTunes.

Some songs get too burned into the brain to keep getting the blood thumping, and others are momentary flashes of fascination before I lose interest, but for right now, this is my absolute ultimate “just hit random and go’ music selection.

Since this is me, I have infested my playlist with my own personal sense of humor and touch of hell. As an example, I derive great joy from making Nickelback rub up against both Rage Against the Machine AND Skrillex. I like to think Nickelback wakes up each morning screaming from my own personal brand of voodoo hoodoo, and that RATM and Skrillex would be getting together and plot some kind of vicious blanket party except, you know, they hate each other too much to drop the fashionable scowls.

See if you can spot some of my other “I may love this song but I’m going to make the artist feel dirty” song arrangements.

It doesn’t matter what order they’re in anyway, I always run my playlist on random, so don’t read anything into which is top or bottom. They’re all evensies.

Keep in mind, I’m an old bastard, and I really don’t care if you like these or approve of MY liking them or what. This shit gets me moving, and at my age, that’s a freaking miracle. Also, I am long past the age where I worry what people would think of my music choices. My music choices should all be grateful I choose to like them, it’s like bestowing a blessing upon them from on high. They’ve been anointed, and that leaves room for more beer.

Do you hit the gym or work out and are on the hunt for something new to freshen your playlist tracks? Something here ought to get it done. If it doesn’t, you’re dead.

Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
Rihanna – Where Have You Been
Within Temptation – Faster
David Guetta (feat Sia) – Titanium
Rihanna – We Found Love
Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness (fast remix)
Nemesea – In Control
Nonono – Fire Without a Flame
Dragonforce – Through the Fire and the Flame
Audioslave – Like A Stone
Agent Provacateur – Red Tape (from the Jackal soundtrack. The Jackal. It was a movie with Bruce Willis, damnit, sue me)
Shakira – She Wolf
David Guetta (feat Sia) – She Wolf
Nonono – Like the Wind
Havana Brown – Warrior
Nonono – Jungle
The Cranberries – Zombie
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
Lady Gaga – Applause
Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
Nickelback – Side of a Bullet
Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of
Avicii – Wake Me Up
Nonono – Pumpin Blood
Christina Aguilera – Fighter
Eminem – Lose Yourself
One Republic – Counting Stars
Avicii – Hey Brother
nicki minaj – Super Bass
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Of Monsters and Men – King and Lionheart
Katy Perry – Wide Awake
Ke$ha – Die Young
Katy Perry – Roar
Pussycat Dolls  When I Grow Up
Veronicas – Untouched
Vast – Touched
The Crüxshadows – Eye of the Storm
Rihanna – Disturbia
The Offspring – Lightning Rod
Dragonforce – Fury of the Storm
Namie Amuro – Hide & Seek
Concrete Blonde – Tomorrow, Wendy
Johnny Cash – God’s Gonna Cut You Down
The Offspring – the Noose

I put together every one of these that I could find in a shared playlist on Grooveshark, to help make it easier to try them out. Nonono isn’t on there that I could see, and neither was Namie Amuro, who does the song Hide & Seek on the famous Blind Machinima video. I was shocked by how many were, so hopefully the playlist there works for you if you’re interested in listening to any that are unfamiliar to you.

I am always on the hunt for more pounding songs for my workout, so if your personal favorites aren’t here (and I can’t imagine that tehy would be), please share them in the comments or on Twitter.

Have a great weekend!

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