Just a link shoutout

I want to give a nod of great appreciation to the blogs I read that either inform me, delight me, or do both.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I refer all questions on the resto side of Druid life to Resto4Life. If you have any questions on restoration specs, or want a very good read, you definitely need to go check her blog out.

On the feral side, another blog that I’ve been reading lately that kicks butt is Of Teeth and Claws. Very good, and he’s covering a lot of great tanking topics. If he keeps doing such a great job, I’ll soon be out of topics to post here.

And of course, since I’ve been leveling a Priest alt lately (level 22! Woo!) I’ve been looking for great Priest blogs to peruse.

Well, if you too want to learn more about the life of the Priest (the frisbee throwing kind), then you need look no further than the Egotistical Priest (love that name) or Priest Power.

All four fulfill my requirements when reading a blog.

A) Good info, tips and insight.
B) Fun writers whose humor and personality really shine through, and make you want to kick up your feet, stir up some hot chocolate and hang out for a while.

You could easily spend a week going through their archives and enjoying yourself.

If you haven’t checked them out yet, what are you waiting for?

P.S. I’d give a shoutout to Big Red Kitty, whose infectious humor on his Wednesday WoWInformer column drew me into this, but he’s a mega superstar, so pffft.

From the mailbox – Relic Emanation addon Ogri’lazy

Szobi said:
Quite a nice guide. Thanks to you I finally did the chain and started the Ogri’la dailies.As for wrangling: getting them down below 20% is sufficient to wrangle. I found it most comfortable to do in bear form, I tended to over-dps in cat.As for the relics: I found whispering to myself better than writing down on paper. I just number the pads from one to four, then pop enter and write the sequence down. There’s also a mod here to keep track of it:
http://wow.curse.com/downloads/details/7774/but i haven’t tried it yet.

Thank you for the comments Szobi. You’re right, the amount is 20%, and as soon as I see the comment on being able to be wrangled, I try to switch to caster form instantly to stop doing DPS. I like your idea of not letting it get so close before switching forms, and switching to bear instead of caster to slow down the pain. Thank you very much, I’ll have to do that. Although if I do that, how will I ever level my staff skill? Lol.

As far as the addon is concerned, on your suggestion I downloaded it and took it for a spin.

The addon is called Ogri’lazy, and what it does is, when you start the Relics Emanations quest, it automatically opens a small popup on your screen that has some empty space, and four colored icon buttons.

As you can see from the image above, the box that appears has four colored icons in the right hand side. In the image, the colors of the icon buttons are aligned with the four mini-game buttons from the Relics Emanations.

In real life, the buttons do not align themselves. Also, be aware the box appears only after you have activated the quest. (Maybe you can open the box early. I didn’t see a way to yet though.) So when you start the quest by inserting your Apexis Shard, the box pops up and you need to either have already spun and zoomed your view so that your colors will match, or take the time to do so now.

As the mini-lightning bolt lights up each button, you must physically click each of the tiny icon buttons in the addon window. This adds an icon to your string in the addon. As you can see from the picture, I am at round 6 of the quest when the screenie was taken.

As soon as the mini-game has finished activating buttons, you can follow the sequence as shown in your addon window.

The neat thing is, as you click on a button, one of the buttons vanishes from the addon window, so you can always keep track of which color is next.

I have NOT tested a few things on it… such as, if I click the wrong color by mistake, does the displayed icon in the addon window vanish anyway? I wonder if it is looking for a correct button press, or just ANY button press to trigger the icon to vanish.

At any rate, I used it successfully, first time, and I have to say that it worked better than paper and pen.

Personally, for all the people that wrote in suggesting to use the /say box to keep track….

What can I say? Sometimes I’m just not that bright. I like the /say box method now that I’ve tried it, but I’ll probably give the addon a chance for a while, since I installed it already.

Kitty Burst DPS and you

Let’s talk Cat form DPS.

If you leveled your Druid like me, mostly as a DPS cat, you probably have developed your own way of taking down your prey. You’ve gotten used to your power and speed, and I’m sad to say that if you are like me, you might have gotten a bit sloppy in how you fight in cat.

Do you walk up to targets, hit Faerie Fire (Feral), and then spam Mangle until it’s dead?

If so, this post is for you.

There are two main ways we can try to optimize our damage output;

Burst (for soloing and PvP)
Sustained (for Raiding, aggro throttled)

In this post I am only going to focus on Burst DPS.

If you have not been involved in end game raiding much, it is likely that you have, without consciously realizing it, optimized your build, gear and playstyle for Burst DPS.

If you have dedicated Cat gear, then you’ve probably sought out the gear with the highest Strength for the 2.2 Attack Power per 1 point of Strength (with Heart of the Wild bonus), gear with lots of Agi for high Crits, and lastly stuff that has pure Attack Power. Stamina, sure, if you get the Attack Power and Crit goodies first.

Burst is a race to see which goes down first; your health or your targets’. The faster you pump out high DPS, the faster your target goes down, the less chance your target has to hurt you, and the greater the chance you live.

This playstyle can have the effect of encouraging lazy tactics.

With the ability to pop out of cat, hit barkskin, cast your three HoTs and then shift into bear for added damage mitigation and top end Stamina if you find yourself in trouble, it can be very easy to just run straight in as a kitty and pound away, trusting in your shifting roles to keep you out of trouble in the case of multiple adds.

I see it all the time. I have a couple of real good friends who both run rogues. I’ll group with one of them, and shift into cat. We’ll both approach our designated targets. I’ll see the rogue slip into stealth and maneuver behind the target, and I wonder why he is going to all that trouble, right before I run in, hit Faerie Fire (Feral), and start spamming Mangle.

Well, the rogue doesn’t happen to have an ‘Oh shit, I bit off more than I can chew’ technique that lets him suddenly have the healing support of HoTs and the armor of a tank. Instead, he has to rely on being sneaky, on maneuvering for the best possible advantages, and if everything truly goes into the pot, relying on sneakiness like Vanish to slip away, and not just stand and bear the pain.

So rogues get into the habit of approaching each fight carefully, and with forethought. Well, I hope they do, anyway.

I have been guilty, when soloing, of just running up to a target in cat form, without stealth, without Tigers’ Fury, and wailing away spamming Mangle until I’m out of Energy, and then waiting for white damage to take him down that last little bit until I have enough energy built up to pop Ferocious Bite and finish him. Then, maybe a quick shift for a Hot, and shift back and run off after the next one. Why? Well, maybe I’m grinding Kurenai rep at level 70, and I want to blast through those damn Ogres for my beads as fast as I can.

Style and finesse?

Finesse my ass, I want to kill and leave piles of the dead behind me.

Worse yet, with my current gear and enchants, I’m pulling down over 2200 AP in cat form. My crit chance is over 30%. It’s actually encouraging me to be sloppy because so far, I can get away with it.

I finally realized during my rep grinding for Netherwing that I was getting really bad. I’ve been treating mobs of 70’s and multiple pulls like I used to treat Deadmines trash on a speed run.

That sounds good, but it’s not. If you don’t maintain your skills, they won’t be there when you need them for a really tough challenge. And it is good to be proficient in our shifting abilites… but they shouldn’t be the crutch we use to get us past our poor DPS output.

Working on my own skills has inspired me to go over the basics of smart Burst DPS output, and get back in the habit of proper gameplay. Hopefully some of you can find some benefit from these tips, as well.

Remember, we are talking about maximizing your kitty advantages, and treating your opponent seriously and with respect. If you do everything in your power to take him down, and you still have to use your other hard-won shifting skills, then you can at least be happy in the knowledge that you took down a worthy adversary.

One note: Cat form abilities cost energy to use. You start out with 0 energy when you shift to cat form, plus 40 instant energy if specced into Furor.
You regenerate 20 energy every 2 seconds, whether you are in combat or not.

Follow along with this plan for burst damage and use of your feral gifts;

1) As you approach your target, slip into Prowl.

2) As you get close, activate Tigers’ Fury. This does NOT break Prowl. If you time things right, you can activate Tigers’ Fury as you approach your target, and be at full energy before you are actually within melee range.

3) Once you reach full energy and are within melee range, activate Pounce.

You do NOT have to be behind your target, but if you wait until you are it sets up your next attacks perfectly. Pounce gives you a nice 3 second stun plus 1 second if specced into Brutal Impact, puts a DoT on your target and gives you a Combo Point (unless your target is immune, like rock elementals). Pounce costs 50 energy.

4) Now that the target is stunned, move behind your target (if you’re not already there). Shred his butt.

You should be able to pop off two Shreds before the stun wears off, if you have 2 points in Shredding Attacks. If not, you can at least get 1. Shred costs 60 energy (instant cast), and 2 points in Shredding Attacks reduces that by 18. So with Shredding Attacks you need 42 energy per Shred.

When you hit Pounce, your energy dropped to 50. You hit your first Shred, your energy dropped to 8. In 2 seconds, you’ll be able to hit Shred again, and your target will still have 1 second left on his Stun duration. If you are very lucky and specced for it, you might get an Omen of Clarity proc on a Shred and be able to get a third Shred in there for free. You now have 3 Combo points on your target total, and if your Pounce or any of your Shreds were crits, you have 4 or more Combo Points. The target, you will note, is still stunned.

5) NOW you pop off Faerie Fire (Feral).

6) And now the target wakes up, says “Ouch”, spins to face you, and you pop your first Mangle attack right in his face. You now have 4 Combo points minimum.

What you do next depends on your situation.

If your target is pretty low on health, do white damage while you wait for your energy to regenerate enough to pop Ferocious Bite. Ferocious Bite will drain your energy back to zero, but it has a chance to crit and will either come close to finishing off your target, or actually do it. It is, and should only be used as, a finishing move.

If your target is NOT close to death, if he still has decent health and you are going to be getting serious with him, then use Rip to burn your Combo points, and keep up the cycle of using Mangle every time the cooldown is up, and Rip when your Combo points are full.

Rip does a base of 1092 damage over 12 seconds. It also gains a 30% damage bonus from your Mangle Bleed debuff. Rip only costs 30 energy. For a long term fight, it both does more damage per Combo point, and gives you more energy to spend on other yellow damage attacks like Mangle.

Ferocious Bite does a base of 935 to 968. It has the possibility of critting, but it gains no advantage from your Bleed debuff, and it uses every last drop of energy right when you want to be building it for Mangle. I’m serious, only use it as a potential finishing move.

Now, if you are getting freaky on your target, and doing serious damage to him, but you are also taking serious damage yourself, then instead of using Rip when your Combo points are full at some point during the fight, use Maim instead to stun your target.

You instantly stop auto-attacking, and it lets you shift to caster, pop off both Lifebloom and Regrowth on yourself, and shift back into Cat, build up your energy and launch right back into the battle.

Why Lifebloom and Regrowth and not Rejuvenation? I’ll let an expert like Resto4Life answer that one in depth, but I’ve found that on a heal per mana basis in a catfight I like Lifebloom better, and Lifebloom stacks so I can pop it a few times in a row for better heals over time, cheaper than Rejuve if I need them ticking fast.

As an advanced move, requiring you to know your target pretty well, if the target has very high armor, then right after your first Mangle and Rip you should throw a Rake on the target.

It benefits from your Mangle Bleed debuff, stacking another Bleed DoT on your target, the Bleed DoT ignores armor, and stacking your Bleed DoTs makes maximum use of your Mangle.

Against normal armor targets, Mangle is far superior in effectiveness vs energy cost to Rake. I’m just saying that against high armor targets it’s effective.

Generally, in conclusion, remember you should Mangle whenever the cooldown is up, never use Claw, and reapply Faerie Fire (Feral) if it expires before your target.

Now, THAT is how you go to town like the DPS machine you can be.

EDIT: I’ve been asked to add a Raiding DPS guide for those that will have the luxury of being a kitty DPS, lurking behind the enemy while the Tank is keeping it occupied. I think it’s safe to say that if you tank, there are always going to be fights where the off tank or main tank don’t need you in bear, and so you can switch to cat and mix it up. rather than go into it in detail, I am going to post what Elitist Jerks have in their Feral Druid Megathread, and I invite you to go there for more in depth discussions on the how and the why.

DPS Cycle

The standard cycle is:
Mangle -> Shred to 5 combo points -> Wait for 70+ energy (preferably 80+), Rip->Mangle, start again.

Due to the way Rip scales with combo points, a four combo point rip is almost as effective as a 5 combo point rip (there is a static gain, AP doesn’t scale between 4 and 5). This makes it quite effective to use a 4 combo point rip if your mangle has already run out (as a non-mangled shred is pretty pathetic in comparison to a mangled one).

Daily Quests Part Three – Ogri’la and Sha’tari in Blades’ Edge Plateau

Daily Quests Part Three – Ogri’la and Sha’tari in Blades’ Edge Plateau

If you followed the steps listed in Part Two, then you are now Neutral with Ogri’la, and are ready and eager to get started on some rep grinding and daily questing.

The Ogri’la camp questing begins with Chu’a’lor at (29, 57), way up high at Ogri’la in the Blades’ Edge Plateau.

Ogri’la and Skyguard Outpost combined is the second major Daily Quest hub. Ogri’la is in the south half of the camp, and the Outpost is in the north.

If this is your first time ascending to the western plateau, I advise you to begin your journey from the lower areas of Blades’ Edge around the Sylvanaar Alliance base at (37, 64).

The reason for this is that, just to the north and south of Ogri’la, are two Forge Camps, and each camp is equipped with an array of Flak Cannon that WILL shoot your ass down if you are flying a standard speed flight mount. And I honestly don’t want your first visit to Ogri’la to consist of “Oh boy this is gonna be fun, hey what the hell was that green flash, whoa! Aw, crap.”

The quests you find here will keep you in the western part of the Blades’ Edge Plateau.

Warning – Ogri’la is a hostile place.

It is bordered in the east by fields of crystals being mined by hostile Flayers. There are hostile Hellboars and neutral Aether Rays that wander about the crystal plains.

The plateau is bordered by Forge Camp: Terror to the south (mostly fire demons) and Forge Camp: Wrath to the north (mostly Shadow demons). Both Forge Camps are defended from aerial visitors by Flak Cannon emplacements.

Wandering groups of warlocks will path down from Forge Camp: Wrath, infecting the wildlife they pass with a disease. If you get too close, even airborne, they will attack you.

There is a dragon flying over the plateau, mostly over the area immediately to the east of Ogri’la. If you fly too high, you are likely to aggro it.

And there are little complexes of crystals called Apexis Relics, surrounding a single honking big crystal called an Apexis Monument. The complex is camped by hostile non-elite mobs that make you have to clear the area and work fast to use the Apexis Relics for your dailies before they respawn.

Basically, maintain your spacial awareness here. Everything except the Aether Rays wants to eat you.

The Dailies

Your first step is to speak with Chu’a’lor in Ogri’la. You will not be able to interact with the Skyguard Outpost quest givers until some Ogri’la quests are completed first.

Chu’a’lor will first assign you The Crystals – a simple gather quest to collect 5 Apexis Shards. These Apexis Shards can drop from just about any mob here, so go out and kill some Hellboars or Flayers until you get them.

A note about apexis shards; Most Daily Quests awards 15 apexis shards, each turn in. You’ll quickly increase your supply. They accumulate in stacks of 250. They get used for many things; energizing devices, summoning bosses, summoning dragons, and buying your Ogri’la faction loot. My advice? Collect them until you have two full stacks, 250 Shards per stack, and then dump the rest until you summon and/or buy everything you want. You use 35 each time you summon a boss or dragon, so you want enough on hand.

After you hand the 5 apexis shards you gathered over to Chu’a’lor, he gives you the first of what I (and everyone else) have come to refer to as the ‘Simon Says’ quests, called An Apexis Relic.

An Apexis Relic requires you to travel to any of the Apexis Relics in the area, and use an apexis shard to activate it. You must follow the progression of steps to gain the Apexis Vibrations buff (6 successful rounds completed).

You must have an apexis shard to activate an Apexis Relic. The tall central crystal is an Apexis Monument; it is used to summon a boss. The smaller, outlying crystals are the Apexis Relics.

An Apexis Relic consists of a small projecting crystal, surrounded by 4 colored buttons flush to the ground.

When you click on the upright crystal of a Relic, it asks for an apexis shard. Using a shard activates the mini-game.

How it works

The first round of the game, the center crystal will fire off a mini-lightning bolt at one of the four colored buttons, chosen at random, causing it to briefly glow. It then waits for your response for a brief time. You must click on the colored button that it struck. This ends round 1.

The second round, the center crystal will fire its’ mini-lightning bolt at first one, then a second colored button, and wait for you. You must then click on the colored buttons, IN THE ORDER THEY WERE STRUCK, to continue.

This sequence will repeat, adding another colored button each time, until either you stop clicking (in which case nothing happens, and the mini-game eventually times out) or you click on the wrong button out of sequence, and you get struck by a red lightning bolt for 4000 damage. If you chose wrong, depending on which round of the game you were on, either you will have a second chance to choose correctly, or the mini-game will simply end and you will have to use a second Apexis Shard to start over.

To complete this first quest, you must successfully complete 6 full rounds. That is a sequence of 1 color, then 2 colors, then 3 colors, then 4, then 5, and then 6.

After you have completed 6 full rounds, you will be awarded the ‘Apexis Vibrations’ buff. The game will continue, but you can choose to simply walk away, your quest completed. For a brief time after achieving the Vibrations buff, your movement rate will be slowed.

Turning in this quest does two things.

It unlocks the Daily Quest: The Relics Emanation.
It opens a new quest from quest giver Torkus, Our Boy Wants To Be A Skyguard Ranger, required to open Skyguard Outpost for questing.

Daily Quest: The Relics Emanation
Rewards: 15 Apexis Shards
11 gold 99 silver
Reputation: Ogri’la +250

The Relics Emanation is the exact same quest as An Apexis Relic, except that you must complete 8 full rounds of Simon Says instead of 6.

My comments on The Relics Emanation.
I have seen many suggestions on how to do this quest. I will give you mine. I preface this by saying that I am exalted with Sha’tari, Ogri’la and Netherwing. I have done every tip I give you, many, many times. They have worked well for me, but you may find a different way that you like better. If you do, by all means post it in the comments!

First, I don’t recommend doing this quest if you are suffering graphics-jittery lag. The lightning bolts that light up the buttons may lag, causing you to miss seeing a button light up through no fault of your own. I have personally never experienced this lag while doing this quest. I have always been able to see which button was the next in the sequence, even if the sequence went very fast. But others have reported the problem, so I’m warning you ahead of time.

Get a small notepad and reliable pen or pencil, and keep it beside your keyboard. You will use it when the color combos get too long to easily keep track of.

Now, pick your Apexis Relic location, and clear all the mobs from the area. Stand as close to the center crystal as you can. Rotate your view so you are looking as close to straight down as you can, so that the four colored buttons are to the upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right of your screen.

At this point I arbitrarily assign each button a number, starting at the upper left and proceeding as though reading the buttons just like reading two lines on a page; upper left = 1, upper right = 2, then second line lower left = 3 and lower right = 4. If this is not automatically comfortable to you, find a pattern that is. The choice of which color is in which position is unimportant. You need to be able to repeat the sequence.

When you activate the Simon Says sequence, follow along as well as your memory lets you. I usually make it about 5 colors before I get too lazy to bother. When a color is lit up by the lightning bolt, I actually say the number I’ve assigned to that button out loud as a mnemonic aid. So if it hits upper right, upper right, lower left, lower right, I call out verbally 2, 2, 3, 4.

Once you are no longer comfortable following along by memory, after you have clicked your last button of your current sequence, let go the mouse and grab your pen and paper. As the lightning bolts strike the buttons, quickly write down the number you associated with it. Results may vary, but I had no problem writing down the numbers without looking away from the screen to see what I was doing.

As soon as the last button has been chosen by the relic, you simply look at the numbers you wrote and slowly click through the sequence. Make sure you wait and watch for each color you select to be accepted. Move too fast and it may not see that you clicked it, and zap you.

I usually end up the week with scratch notepads, with scrawled strings of numbers 6, 7 and 8 digits long, scattered around the house annoying my wife.

One last note. There are ALWAYS non-elite mobs standing on every Apexis Relic, and two on the Apexis Monument. These areas are heavily farmed for the Daily Quest, so if you walk up to one that does not have a mob, don’t use it, either choose another and clear both the Apexis Relic you are going to use, and clear out the two mobs on the Apexis Monument as well, or wait for respawns. It truly sucks to be 7 rounds into the Simon Says game and have the mobs spawn on top of you, or aggro from the Apexis Monument.

Okay, you’ve unlocked one Daily Quest.

Now you must complete Our Boy Wants To Be A Skyguard Ranger, given by Torkus.

Torkus wants an Unstable Flask of the Beast. It takes 10 apexis shards to buy one. You should have 15 apexis shards right now, a quest reward for The Relics Emanations.

Completing this quest will immediately open up the quest to Skyguard Outpost, but I recommend completing the follow up, A Fathers Duty, as well first.

The follow up, A Fathers Duty, is going to also need a flask, The Unstable Flask of the Sorcerer, which costs 10 apexis shards from a different source. You only need to farm 5 more.

Once you have 20 apexis shards total, there are two places you need to go to buy your flasks.

First, go to either (33, 41) or (30, 81). At either location there is a green forge with small green bubbles floating out of the top. That is the ‘store’ where, by clicking on it, you can choose to trade in your 10 apexis shards for an Unstable Flask of the Beast.

Now, fly to the far northern Blades Edge Plateau, to the Bash’ir Crystalforge at (54, 10). You’ll need to clear some mobs, but you can do so easily. Clicking on that ‘store’ allows you to use 10 apexis shards to buy your Unstable Flask of the Sorcerer.

When you turn in the first flask and complete Our Boy Wants To Be A Skyguard Ranger, a quest will open up from Chu’a’lor, The Skyguard Outpost, that leads to the Skyguard Outpost quests.

When you turn in the second flask and complete ‘A Fathers Duty’, it opens up a group quest. Once of those 5 man ‘summon a boss’ things I mentioned earlier. It also provides much comic humor as you follow the antics of Torkus Jr, and his attempts to join the Skyguard Rangers.

Now, accept The Skyguard Outpost and go north a bit to talk to Sky Commander Keller. He’ll send you to talk to Sky Sergeant Vanderlip (standing just 5 paces away).

Sky Sergeant Vanderlip assigns you Bombing Run. Bombing Run (and it’s daily follow up, Bomb Them Again) are your next Daily Quest here.

Bombing Run (Bomb Them Again)
15 apexis shards
11 gold 99 silver
Ogri’la +500
Sha’tari Skguard +500

That’s right, it gives BOTH Ogri’la AND Sha’tari rep. Not bad.

The purpose of this quest is for you to take a stack of bombs, and fly over to either Forge Camp: Wrath or Forge Camp: Terror, and destroy 15 stacks of Fel Cannonballs. The stacks have huge bright targeting arrows hovering overhead, making them clear and visible targets from a distance.

You must be able to select and use your bombs quickly. I recommend moving them to a hot button on your taskbar, so you don’t need to fumble with your bags.

The bombs you use are the same concept as the ones you used for bombing runs in Hellfire Penensula –You click/activate your bombs, and a ground-following cursor appears on the ground under your mouseview. If the cursor shows red, your cursor is out of range of your thrown bombs. If a bright green targeting circle appears, then you are within range. When your green targeting circle appears, click your mouse again to fire your bomb.

As you approach the Forge Camps while in flight form or on a flying mount, the Flak Cannons will start tracking on you, and after a second, they will start to fire a barrage of green fireballs in your general direction. They are pretty smart, and they will see your current direction of travel, and ‘lead’ you a bit to bring you down. If you are manuevering in zipping motions, changing direction and altitude constantly, you avoid them a little better.

If you are struck directly by a fireball, you are dismounted and knocked back in the direction the fireball was going. Also, the fireballs explode for green fire AOE clouds, just like flak, leaving mid-air or ground bursts that are persistant for a few seconds.

If you are hit, OR if you fly through the green fire, you WILL get hit by one or even two DOTs that will do 2000 damage EACH over time. And oh yeah, the DOTS will also serve to dismount you. So even if the fireball misses, being near enough will get you DOTed and dismounted anyway.

At least the falling damage can be minimized by Soft Fall, Levitate, Druids’ Cat Form, and Engineers’ Parachute Cloaks, among others.

Most people I see do this;
Line up on your target at a fixed altitude. Then, ready your bombs so you have your targeting cursor moving within range on the ground. Then, approaching the Fel Cannonball stack that is your target, move rapidly from side to side to try to throw off the Flak Cannons’ aim. The instant the targeting cursor is over the Fel Cannonball stack, click to release your bomb and then pull up/gain altitude rapidly and move out of range, away from the area.

The problems I have with this technique is that the green fireballs leave one hell of an AOE cloud, and you can think you did everything perfectly and fall to your death anyway.

So, now I’ll give you MY method. As a Druid, this is an easy, if slow, way of doing things. However, I have told others of my technique and I know that it works with a regular flight mount as well, if not as fast.

First, you stealth or fight your way to the ground area where a bunch of Fel Cannonball stacks are to be found. My favorite hunting grounds are the Fel Cannonballs at Forge Camp: Wrath (the northern camp, around 38, 38).

Clear the whole area of Mobs. None of them are elite, they have a chance to drop loot and cloth, and the elite Flak Cannons don’t attack you when you are on the ground.

With the area cleared of mobs, walk up to the Fel Cannonball stack. Activate your instant-cast flight form (or your flight mount) and once hovering in the air activate your bomb, target the stack, and fire as fast as you can.

As soon as you are mounted, the nearby Flak Cannon will begin to fire. However, you can get your bomb off and then DISMOUNT and run like hell, and about 30% of the time only get hit with one DOT. And since you ain’t taking falling damage, and there are no demons waiting below to rip you a new one, you eat/drink/heal/bandage and move on to the next.

If you stay mounted/airborne, even if youa re running on the ground, the Flak Cannon thinks you’re flying. So you have to dismount.

I used this method until I got my epic flight mount. Once I had my epic mount, what was a truly annoying chore became the most fun repeatable quest out here. I run Bomb Them Again just for fun now, because the speed difference on the epic mount makes you damn near untrackable by the fel cannons.

Completing Bombing Run the first time unlocks the Daily Quest: Bomb Them Again, and it also unlocks the last Daily Quest available at Neutral Ogri’la reputation, Wrangle Some Aether Rays, from Skyguard Katie.

Daily Quest: Wrangle More Aether Rays!
Reward: 11 gold 99 silver
Reputation: Ogri’la +350
Sha’tari Skyguard +350

This is pretty simple. You must go out there into the Blades’ Edge Plateau and use the lasso you are given to capture 5 neutral Aether Rays.

The tricky parts are that, as this is very easy, it is heavily farmed and people can be amazingly rude about getting the first hit in on a Aether Ray you just cleared the mobs for.

The second tricky part, is that Aether Rays don’t want to be lassoed. So you have to beat them into submission first. So you have to attack an Aether Ray, and beat them down to about 5% health before they will submit. When they submit, you will see a message that says “The Aether Ray Appears Ready to be Wrangled”. At this point you can use the Wrangling Rope to subdue them.

Why is this tricky? Well, frankly, because if you have good DPS gear, it can be hard to beat them just so far to subdue them, without killing them before you deploy the damn Wrangling Rope. Whatever you do, don’t use DOTs on them.

At this point, you are Neutral with Ogri’la, and you have 3 Daily Quests available to you here. If you add the two Daily Quests you have unlocked at Blackwind Landing, you have five Daily Quests yielding 59 gold, 95 silver, and two potions.

Once you reach Honored reputation with Ogri’la, a new quest chain becomes available that leads to the fourth and final Daily Quest in this area.

As this post has already gone on way too damn long though, I’m going to address that in the next section.

Have fun!

Congrats to Jayboi on reaching level 70!

This post is a testament to the determination of a truly noble, and tragic, figure.

Our own Jayboi has reached level 70 with his human Mage.

YES! On this day, his quest to level (and beat my hunter alt to 70) is complete.

Let us take a moment to contemplate this achievement.

As seen on Warcraft Census’ website, Jayboi has played this character since the very first week of July.

Although the first time Census takes note of Jay is July 6th at level 23, we can assure you that he reached that level within a weeks time. If that.

Indeed, think of this noteworthy accomplishment. Jayboi came to us a refugee from Star Wars Galaxies, a victim of the hideous “NGE”.

He had not played WoW before that time. He was lured by the power of the dark side of the force… um, oops, I mean by his friend Ymi. (Which in some circles is considered the same thing).

And here he is in the space of a month and a half, a lofty level 70 Mage.

And his gear is quite exceptional due to his unflinching assault on all instance content.

Jayboi has, sarcasm aside, been an inspiration to me in the way he remains willing to tackle instances with strangers, despite the many, many, many, many horror stories I am sure he could relate.

Yes, Jayboi has accomplished a feat that I believe shall remain unequalled amongst all my friends. Never again shall we see his like, a powergamer par excellance.

Jayboi, we salute you.

Now, two things.

1) Go back and try to experience some of that lovely content you blew past with your alt.

2) For gods sake man, go outside and look at the Sun!

Jay opens his door…. “Aieee! It burns! It burns!”

Daily Quests Part Two – Becoming Neutral with Ogri’la

Ogri’la and Sha’tari in Blades Edge

This is the second major Daily Quest hub. I lump them both together because they are actually sharing the same little camp, with the Ogri’la in the south half of the camp and the Sha’tari in the north. The Sha’tari camp is kind of like a little heli landing pad with three huts. The Ogri’la, on the other hand, have a full service station with vendors and quartermaster.

I’m covering the section on becoming Neutral with Ogri’la next in this sequence because there are many pre-requisite quests necessary before you can begin questing in the Blades Edge Plateau.

In our first section, the Sha’tari Skyguard in Terrokar Forest, all you had to do was run a simple “kill 20 ogres” quest to open the area up for your plundering.

Here, it takes a lot more dedication. But it is still doable solo, if you are patient and help a group out.

In simple terms, consider the Ogri’la and Sha’tari Skyguard in Blades Edge Plateau to be one group. While completing the quests here gives you reputation with BOTH factions, you must complete the quest pre-requisites to become Neutral with Ogri’la to open the entire area up.

Let me be clear about this; you cannot quest with either Ogri’la OR Sha’tari in Blades Edge Plateau until you become Neutral with Ogri’la.

This is a common stopping point for many unguilded or casual players. The quest chain to become Neutral with Ogri’la is a series of 5-man party mini-boss fights, requiring all members to have flying mounts or flight forms.

The good news is that IF you are patient and polite, you CAN get this done without being in a 5-man party. We’ll talk more about that later.

First, your qualifications. As in our previous section, you need to have Riding Skill of 225 and a means of flying, whether it be a Druid flying form or a Flying Mount. You also must be level 70. You do NOT need epic flying skill of 300.

There is a quest chain you must complete to become Neutral with Ogri’la. This chain starts with V’eru (57, 45) in Shattrath City. He directs you to speak to Grok (64, 69) in the Lower City portion of Shattrath.

As a side note, I find it hilarious that, in order to reach enlightenment with Ogri’la, first you need to ‘Grok’. Yes, yes, I know, I have a silly sense of humor and a passion for the works of Heinlein. It still cracks me up. Anyway…..

Grok will send you to speak to Mog’dorg the Wizened, the quest giver that will be sending you on all your tasks. Mog’dorg is located in Blades Edge Mountains at (55, 45), near the Circle of Blood, and is only reachable by flying up to his perch.

Mog’dorg will initially assign you three group tasks that require a good party of 5 to safely complete. All tasks that he assigns will have to be completed before you can continue. This part of the chain is usually referred to as the ‘Gruuls Sons’ quests.

Mog’dorg’s first challenge is for you to kill each of the three sons of Gruul, and loot an item in their possession. Each son has their own quest. All three quests must be completed before the last two group quests will be offered.

Important note! Many folks that I see doing these quests in Blades Edge make the mistake of accepting the three ‘Gruuls Sons’ quests, pulling together a 5 man PUG to complete them, and then disband the PUG before completing the turn in. These poor souls then find themselves faced with more group quests, and with their PUG scattered to the four winds. Don’t be like them. Be aware that it ain’t over until you are proclaimed the King or Queen of the Ogres!

So don’t let your group go. You’ve been warned!

Okay, now at this point you’re saying, “Crap, I really hate PUGs, and I run casual so I don’t know if I’m ever gonna have the time to get a group together and do all that.”

Well, I have good news for you.

The first thing is, the Gruuls Sons quests, in fact every step of this quest chain, do NOT require you to actually kill the target. All you have to do to fulfill the quest requirements is to loot an item that drops from the target.

“So what!” I hear you cry, “You have to be in the group that kills the target to loot it, so what’s the difference!”

Ah, NOT SO! Here is where they gave casuals a chance. The item you need to loot for each quest is NOT in the targets’ inventory. Instead, it appears next to the targets’ body, and is lootable not just by the group members that killed him, but also, for a short period of time, by anyone that happens to be nearby that runs over and loots it.

What this means is that you can have many more than 5 people doing this quest and working together to complete it. You can get two complete 5 man groups together, or a 25 man raid if you want, and everyone can get the reward from killing the targets just once.

Or, for example, you can find out exactly where the target you need to kill is located. You can then hang out near the target, and wait for a 5 man group to come along. You can then do the polite thing, which is wait for the group to engage the target, and then heal them or add your damage to the target, and when the group is done killing it and looting it, you can run in and ‘politely!’ loot your quest item also. The quest item does not disappear when looted, you will not be ninjaing anything. (If that is even a word).

So if you are casual, and have no friends in the world (which would be sad in an MMO), you can still accomplish the entire quest chain by being patient and camping your target. Eventually, there will be more folks that need the Ogri’la chain that will be by. I think my friend Daak completed the chain in this way, and it only took him one night of following a particularly good group.

Ok, let’s get back on track. The quests themselves are;

Grulloc Has Two Skulls

Maggoc’s Treasure Chest

Even Gronn Have Standards

Grulloc Has Two Skulls requires you to loot the Dragon Skull from Grulloc. Grulloc is located at (61, 47) in Blades Edge Mountains. He is very close to the quest giver Mog’dorg, kind of at the end of the little valley just to the south. Again, when Grulloc is dead, the Dragon Skull drops at his feet.

Maggoc’s Treasure Chest requires you to loot the Treasure Chest from Maggoc. Maggoc is in Blades Edge Mountains, and paths around the Razor Ridge from (68, 74) in a loop to the North and then around to the Northwest, terminating at about (58, 61), kind of circling around the Razor Ridge area that encircles Deaths Door in a fishhook pattern. Again, when Maggoc is killed, the Treasure Chest drops at his feet.

Even Gronn Have Standards requires you to loot Slaags Standard from Slaag. Slaag is located at (19.7, 15.3) on the Terrokar Forest map, in a stone building on the Barrier Hills overlooking Shattrath City. Remember those Gordunni Ogres you killed for Sha’tari? Yeah, he’s up there. Again, Slaags Standard drops at his feet.

Once you have completed all three of these quests, and turn them in, Mog’dorg will have a new 5 man group quest available.

Grim(oire) Business requires you to loot Vim’gols Vile Grimoire from Vim’gol the Vile. When Vim’gol is dead, the Vile Grimoire will be at his feet. Vim’gols’ summon location is at (77, 31) in Blades Edge Mountains.

Grim(oire) Business is a little more difficult, in that it is not a typical tank and spank. Most of these can be completed by various types of groups, including ones that consist of 4 or less members. This one requires you to have 5 members, because each of you must stand at one of 5 points around the center raised dais, in order to summon Vim’gol before you can fight him. Like all the other targets though, he drops the Vile Grimoire at his feet when dead, so have no fear. If you find him challenging, just recruit a few more support types to hang out and help your group take him down.

Turning in Grim(oire) Business takes you to your last step. When you turn in the Vile Grimoire, Mog’dorg gives you your last group quest in the chain;

Into The Soulgrinder requires you to loot Skulloc’s Soul. This is the last quest, and it is a big event. And fun!

You must take Vim’gols Vile Grimoire to a summon altar at (60, 24) in Blades Edge Mountains. There, you use the grimoire on the altar, and Skulloc begins to be summoned.

As Skulloc is summoned, and begins to form, the multiple ghosts of Skullocs’ victims begin to spawn, and will attack the altar to try and stop the summoning. You must fight them off and destroy them or they will halt the event. This gets fun as there are lots of spawns, and no one can sit back in support, there is always a bunch of scurrying around to stay on top of the ghosts as they spawn all over the place. Great fun for the whole family!

Once Skulloc is summoned, it is a typical tank and spank. The victims disappear and you can focus on taking down Skulloc. When he dies, Skulloc’s Soul appears at his feet for the taking.

Turning this in completes the quest chain, makes you Neutral with ALL Ogres in Blades Edge Mountains, allows you access to the quests in Ogri’la, and gives you the joy of having your name proclaimed as the King (or Queen) of the Ogres!

As a side note, once you are proclaimed King (or Queen) and are Neutral with Ogri’la, you are now Neutral to ALL ogres in Blades Edge. They are no longer hostile to you, and will not attack on sight. You can still attack them, and you will NOT lose rep by doing so, but they will say funny (and sad!) things while you’re killing them. They will also now respond to your emotes, such as /fart and /dance. Honestly, I find it fun as can be.

All in all, it’s pretty damn cool.

Your work with Mog’dorg is done. He will give you one last quest, to speak with Chu’a’lor in Ogre Heaven… which is of course actually Ogri’la at (29, 57) up on the western Blades Edge Plateau.

This concludes the section on how to reach Neutral with Ogri’la. Our next section will be about the actual Daily Quests that you can do in your newfound stomping grounds.


Daily Quests Part One – Sha’tari Skyguard

Daily Quests Part One – Sha’tari Skyguard

Blackwind Landing

The starting quest to unlock Blackwind Landing quests requires speaking to a quest giver standing next to the flight master in Shattrath City. He will give you a quest called Threat From Above. You must fly to the Barrier Hills overlooking the northern part of Shattrath City, and slay 20 Gordunni Ogres. These are easily soloable for most classes.

Once you have completed and turned in Threat From Above, you will be given a quest to deliver an Explosives Package to Sky Sergeant Doryn at Blackwind Landing. Blackwind Landing is located at (64,66) in Terrokar Forest, in the Skethyl Mountains. The Landing is just outside a bowl shaped area surrounded by high mountains called Skettis, home of the Skettis Arakkoa.

Once you deliver the Explosives Package, you will be able to take quests from the Sha’tari Skyguard here. The first Daily Quest is immediately available from Sky Sergeant Doryn, called “Fires Over Skettis”.

Daily Quest: Fires Over Skettis
Reward – 11 gold, 99 silver
Sha’tari Skyguard Reputation +350

A few notes on Fires Over Skettis;

You can do this quest in Druidic Bird Form. The explosives DO work.

The Monstrous Kaliri have a dismount attack that unseats riders, usually plummeting them to their death. You are immune to this in bird form. They can hamstring you, but they cannot shift you back to human.

When you inevitably aggro a Monstrous Kaliri, you have two choices – outrun their aggro range or land and fight. If you immediately ascend straight up, the Monstrous Kaliri cannot attack you while ascending to match your altitude. This works best when you are in normal flight form.

Epic flight form (or mount) simply moves too fast. On an epic, you will reach the ceiling cap and stop before the Monstrous Kaliri loses aggro, giving them the opportunity to hit you. I have found that if using an epic form/mount, it works better to scend and move forward simultaneously, and at the apex of your climb, mouseview without moving to look behind you, and then instantly use the mouse to change your direction to move right back where you had come from. For some reason the Monstrous Kaliri don’t respond fast enough to hit you during the brief altitude change when you are moving away from their direction of travel. Your mileage, however, may vary.

The second daily Quest is now also available, but does not come from a Blackwind Landing quest giver. Instead, it is an escort quest that is activated by finding the Skyguard Prisoner, an NPC that spawns in one of three locations in Skettis.

Daily Quest: Escape From Skettis
Reward – 11 gold, 99 silver and choice of EITHER 2 Volatile healing Potions OR 2 Unstable Mana Potions.
Sha’tari Skyguard Reputation +350

A few notes on Escape From Skettis;

The Skyguard Prisoner gives the quest, and spawns in one of three locations (see below).

He is always on the upper level (but under a roof) of an Arakkoa platform, in a bamboo cage, with a gold exclamation point overhead. The platform he is on will always connect to another platform via a bridge, and that connected platform will have a walkway leading to the ground.

The escort quest consists of you guarding the Skyguard Prisoner as he walks from one platform, across the bridge to the other platform, and then down the walkway to the ground. Aside from any normal mobs on the platforms or Monstrous Kaliri that may aggro, there will always be two Skettis mobs that spawn to attack you.

There is only one Skygaurd Prisoner at a time. If someone else is doing the quest, everyone else must wait for it to be completed or failed for the Skyguard Prisoner to respawn.

The quest can be shared amongst an existing party. If there are other people already camping a spawn of the same faction (Alliance or Horde), ask for a party invite for the quest prior to the Skyguard Prisoner appearing. Most folks will be glad of the help.

The instant the quest is completed by anyone, the Skyguard Prisoner spawns in one of the three locations; it can be the same location as the last spawn.

· (60, 75)
· (75, 86)
· (68, 74)

Finally, it can help to quickly discover if the Skyguard Prisoner is at one of the three locations while flying by creating a Macro that looks like this;

/target Skyguard

Spam it when approaching a spawn point to give a fast idea if he is there or not. If not, you can wheel around to one of the others.

Daily Quests – Introduction

Daily Quests – Introduction

Minimum requirements – all daily quests require level 70 and a standard flying mount minimum.

The Netherwing Daily Quests hav the additional requirement of 300 Riding Skill (epic flight). You do not have to have the epic flying mount yet. The achievement of Netherwing – Exalted reputation grants you the choice of a free Nether Drake Mount.

There are three Factions that have Daily Quests available.

Sha’tari Skyguard

Each faction also has normal quest chains associated with them. The purpose of this post is not to go into all quests available in detail. This is to help you identify, prepare for, and unlock repeatable Daily Quests for reputation and Gold grinding.

Sha’tari Skyguard has two quest hubs, each of which has Daily Quests.
Blackwind Landing, located in Terrokar Forest. (64,66)
Skyguard Outpost, located in western Blades Edge Mountains. (28, 51)

Ogri’la has one quest hub.
Ogri’la, located in western Blades Edge Mountains adjacent to the Skyguard Outpost. (28, 57)

Netherwing has one quest hub.
Netherwing Ledge, located off the southern edge of Shadowmoon Valley. (66, 87)

Work, work, work

Well, today was another day of not much time…. had to make up all the yard work I got out of by sleeping in yesterday.


I knew I’d only have about 30 minutes online, so I chose to spend the time doing dailies to farm alt money.

On that topic, I think tomorrow I’ll spend some time working on a request I had back during the Gold and Epic Mounts post for a detailed list of what daily quests there are, where to find them and how to qualify to do them.

I research so you don’t have to!

Have fun clawing faces, and I’ll see you online!

Casual gamers – and angry spouses

So, we’ve talked about gaming and family. Let’s give a fine example of trying to balance the two.

My friend James, who has just celebrated the baptism of his youngest, Joey (congrats again, buddy), also plays WoW.

He has a dwarf Rogue named Melpo, which has been his only real character for about 1.5 years. He’s level 70, and trying to finish his Kara attunement.

So last night we had a bunch of friends on, some in the Singapore time zone and just starting their day all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and some of us here in the central time zone staring 10 PM in the face.

Our respective children are in bed… nothing stopping us from playing for a bit. Of course, we know we have to get up early in the morning, what with the baptism and party, etc. But no reason we can’t run the next stage of his Kara attunement…. Old Hillsbrad.

Well, at least in theory there is no reason. In the real world, we have what I call ‘too much infantry, not enough support’.

Among the 4 of us on and ready to go, we have two mages, a rogue, and myself as the tank.

Hmm…. not a single person that can take over tanking from me so I can do heals… and not a single other class that is a hybrid that can heal either.

Ironically, most of us have started leveling priest alts cause we’re getting tired of this, and want to melt faces. That’s quite beside the point, which is, at this present time…. no healers.

Now, it’s a 66-68 instance. I’ve run it many times before. The perversity of a warrior always being on the runs where the tanking ring drops from Lieutenant Drake, and also of course winning the roll, is beside the point. There will be no warrior on this run, so I know the ring won’t drop. We’re gonna run it for Jamie.

The question is… can we find a healer amongst our friends, one from our guilds, or a PUG healer to fill out the group, or will we have to run without a healer and DPS our butts off?

Well, by the time we all assemble in the Caverns of Time, get buffed, and everyone is all set and the respective children are ALL accounted for, it has gone from 10 to 11. I consider Old Hillsbrad a 1.5 hour run. In the group, I am the only one that has run it, so I’m figuring if we get going, I’m looking at 1 AM. That is doable. Sleep, phooey. Time enough to sleep when I’m dead.

The rest of the group decides to make a concerted effort to find a healer. One good friend comes online, that has specced her druid to resto, but she has a work assignment scheduled for early the next morning. She just CAN’T do it. Calls go out to the guilds we are a part of, but no healers are to be found. Trolling the LFG channel nets nada. Zero. Zilch. Zed.

And then lo and behold, Kemangi, the wife of our wondrous mage Tikky, comes online with her Warlock. “I can help” she announces. Outstanding, we’re gonna try and DPS our way through. Hah

Of course, we then run into the wonderful time sink that is the quest “The Caverns of Time“, an escort quest that is mandatory for every player to do, to be able to enter the Old Hillsbrad instance. Guess what? It is about 15 minutes of wandering around following a blathering idiot. And since this is the first trip for some of us, it has to be done. Twice. And one of our group has the bug come up where you can’t get the quest to start if you are mounted when you accept it. So we waste even more time trying to figure out why it won’t work.

By the time we bite the bullet, and everyone is ready to go, it’s midnight. We have no healer. But what the hey, what’s the worse that’ll happen? I’m used to getting up on 4 to 5 hours sleep, so I’m not too worried. Jamie, on the other hand, is going to have one crazy busy day. We do a gut check, he says he’s fine, he really wants to get this done. I’m not so sure, but he’s a big boy, and I figure if he thinks it’s ok, well, we’re doing it for him, so let’s get cracking.

So at midnight we go in, when we had 4 people ready to go at 10 PM, for a run that should take 1.5 hours. Welcome to casual land.

Let me tell you something though, having two mages on a humanoid only instance is highly amusing. Each pull in the barracks, and in Durnholde, we mark for two sheep, I take one or two to tank, and everyone DPSes anything else down first. James the rogue is tanking the targets that are the first to down as the DPS pours in, and the pulls go smooth as silk.

I rarely have any health problems, and even on the Thrall Death March, culminating in Thrall tanking one of the two healers supporting Captain Skarloc, and preventing us from sheeping both healers and burning Skarloc down first, we are able to do the whole thing with excellent results. A couple of times in there we have someone die, but the first time I have a rez, and the second it’s not that far a run.

All this changes with the last event, the Epoch Hunter. Everyone say it with me, class….. Dragonkin can’t be sheeped.

Damn it.

We burn through the first two waves of Dragonkin, but the third wave is just too much. I lose aggro on one that gets loose amongst the casters, I can’t keep my health up that long even with popping out and spot healing between waves, and the only reason we don’t all wipe is that Thrall dies and the Dragonkin fade out. Only two were left alive, Jay the mage and James the rogue.

So we regroup. I look at the time. We have reached 1 AM. I am dog tired. And I don’t see a way for us to handle all three waves and still be in good shape for the Epoch Hunter. So I call it. And I am really upset because we kicked butt all the way, but just couldn’t do it without a healer of some sort, or crowd control on Dragonkin.

Ah, I hear you scream “Wait!” as I say that. “But Big Butt”, you scream, “Druids can hibernate Dragonkin!”

You are absolutely correct. All I can say is that except for the first wave where we were ready and waiting, I did not find a moment during the succeeding two waves where I could safely pop out to hibernate one without having two mobs being tanked on top of me. I am sure a better tank could have done so. Maybe I could have if I wasn’t so tired. I dunno.

But I announce that I am too tired and I don’t see us finishing it this time, when at that moment James says that he has a paladin from his guild that is willing to come get the last boss done. At 1 AM server time.


Of course, now we need to decide who is leaving the group to make room, we have to run out of the instance to summon him, etc. Jay the mage decides he can bail since of the 4 of us he was the only one not 70, his mage is level 67. Not that we noticed, he does the DPS of a 70, I kid you not.

Well, we get ready to go… and the paladin can’t get in the instance.

He needs to do the escort quest first.

Everyone types “pizza break” and splits for 15 minutes.

When we come back, he is still on the escort quest.

When all was said and done, and the paladin was in and ready to go, it was about 1:45 AM server time.

We kicked off the fight…and about 5 minutes later it was done and successful. It was ludicrous how easy it was with a paladin providing healing support.

Yeah, yeah, I know, a well balanced group of 70s in Old Hillsbrad. It should be easy. At 2 AM it feels like a pretty hard earned victory if you ask me. And I am trying VERY hard not to ask myself if the results are worth the lost sleep and potential wife aggro.

So we get it done, James gets his next part of the chain complete, James is happy, everyone is happy, I thank everyone and bail for bed. I am grateful that I ahve managed to ahve a good instance run with my freinds this week. I know it’ll be at least another week before I see everyone online again together at the same time.

Bless my wife, she lets me sleep in until 9 AM without asking, letting me out of breakfast duties, AND letting me out of mowing the lawn for the day. I don’t think she knows just how late I was up, but she also knows I will be watching our son so she gets to sleep in Sunday, and I’ll be making the breakfast then, so it’ll balance out a teeny bit. But she makes real good waffles and bacon, so I’m still gettting the best part of this deal.

We head down the state for the baptism, and I see my friend. I was wondering how he would be doing, since he seemed intent on continuing on when I logged out. He’s doing good, he’s showing no signs of stress. He’s handing the guests and keeping track of his three little menaces with panache.

But at the end of the evening, his wife and my wife get their heads together and compare notes. And his wife tells my wife that James didn’t come to bed until 2:30 AM because of ‘that damn game’, and she looks square at me and asks me why I made him stay up so late! And my wife then looks at me and says, “Wait a minute, you didn’t come to bed until 2:30?”


All I can say is… if everyone was asleep when the playing was going on, and I wasn’t out drinking at a sports bar and risking a DUI, was it so bad? I promise I’ll get up early Sunday. Sweetie? Honey? It’s okay, right?

Uh oh….