Test Your Skill At Snark!

I was thinking about the difficulty of dancing around the point in last night’s post, when I struck upon the solution.

I’m turning this into an opportunity for you to show off YOUR writing chops!

I’ll present the same setup as was on the Phineas and Ferb “Where’s Perry?” Part Two show last night, and you share YOUR idea for the perfect sarcastic, snarky retort!

The genius is, the setup is classically cliché, so when a brilliant retort comes, it breaks your expectations. You get a cliché setup line, you expect a cliché response.

That makes the “holy crap” factor all the better.

So, to set the scene.

Two people, normally enemies, have been forced to work together towards a common goal. We’ll call one the evil mad scientist and the other one the snarky action hero.

Right in the middle of a crisis, where the mad scientist is whipping together an invention to save the world but in the process is making a big mess and stealing parts from just about everything the action hero will need to survive, and the two might plummet to their deaths at any moment because of in flight parts cannibalization of their plane, the mad scientist turns to the action hero and says;

“One day we’ll look back on this moment and laugh.”

And then YOU instantly reply…

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Best. Phineas and Ferb. EVER!

Excuse me a moment, while I give a /salute to some truly epic writing.

There is good writing, and then there is that miraculous moment when someone nails a line so well, it is instantly quotable.

A line of dialogue, a retort, a reply, a snarky comment that is so freaking spot on perfect that the second you hear it, you try and memorize it for later.

It becomes legend.

Tonight, the second part of the “Where’s Perry?” storyline played out on Phineas and Ferb.

Alex and I recorded it, and watched it together.

There came a moment, as Doctor Doofenschmirtz verbally sparred with Major Monogram, that such a line of dialogue happened.

It wasn’t just me. Major Monogram said it, and Alex and I both did a simultaneous spit take, then roared with uncontrollable laughter.

I won’t sully the moment by rendering it in cold, dead print, because with many of these moments, part of the perfection is the delivery. And the delivery was perfect.

If I’ve enticed you, I’m sure you’ll be able to find the episode soon enough, the internet seems made for spreading video like a virus.

But honestly… here’s to you, the writers and voice actors of Phineas and Ferb, for giving me a line of dialogue that was right up there with the best of them.

Yippee Kai Yay, Motherfuckers.

Lawsuit Bait

All right, don’t rip my head off for thinking this, but isn’t there something ethically wrong with the whole Superman/Clark Kent thing?

Specifically, Clark Kents job as a reporter.

I mean, let’s see if I’ve got this right.

You’ve got a guy, he works for a news reporting service, he’s a journalist, he’s supposed to provide news reporting from an impartial, unbiased point of view.

But when something comes up and he goes to report on events as they unfold, if things don’t go the way he likes he takes action to change things to his satisfaction as he sees it.. and then reports on the new situation without making any mention that, hey, you know, shit might have happened differently if the REPORTER didn’t become part of the story.

Am I the only one who ever wondered about that? I mean, how do you objectively report about how you saved the world?

“And then Superman, his manly muscles gleaming in the early morning Sun, swooped below the falling airliner and grasped the airframe in his large hands, and holding the entire thing together by an act of near godlike will, he carried it and it’s grateful passengers to safety. Many of whom would have thrown their panties at his feet, had he but asked.”

You mean, YOU did that. Right? You’re reporting on what you just did. And that’s okay?

And what about all those exclusive interviews he had with.. himself? I am sure he asked himself some very, very tough questions. I bet he really put himself on the spot.

Like just what he did with all those robots in the Fortress of Solotiude, anyway. You had robot duplicates of Lois lane and Lana Lang? Wasn’t that a bit invasive? How did you make sure they were… correct? X-Ray vision?

Did you ask consent first?

In other digressions worthy of a lawsuit…

Does anyone else remember the Shazam!/Isis Power Hour show from the late 1970s?

The premise of the Shazam! part of the show was the kid, Billy Batson, was driven from town to town by his mentor, in a Winnibago. They’d go to a new town, the kid would wander into trouble, and then turn into a super-powered adult to smash the bad guys.

Now, putting aside the whole ‘Winnibago super-hero’ thing for a minute, which all by itself is comedy gold, let’s look at this concept in a modern day world.

Pretend, just for a minute, that the whole “adult and young boy traveling from town to town in a van’ thing is done scrupulously clean and wholesome. Let’s just pretend. We’re bigger than that.

If this were to be on the air today, how could this not take a dark trip into “trolling for child pornographer” territory?

It’s a perfect setup for a plotline where a young boy is sent out as bait to entice child rapists and pornographers, only to have him transform into a super-strong, invulnerable godlike being who then tears them all apart with his bare hands, can fly to catch them when they run, and use the wisdom of Solomon to outwit their attempts to escape his wrath.

I’m just saying, was I just too young to get what other people were thinking about the show, grasp the subtext or connotations of the chickenhawk, or were we really that freaking naive back then? 

If this show came on the airwaves today, all I’m saying is, there better be some serious bloodshed, some wrath of the gods brought down on the unjust.

I can’t imagine it ever being green lit in modern time, because talk about touching a nerve.

Don’t we ALL wish our children could turn into invulnerable super-heroes to save themselves from the very real evil that hunts them out there?

Every time I see the news, the children going missing, the bodies being found, the people with child pornography on their computers, I know I wish MY son was an invulnerable super-strong being, because the real world is fucking terrifying to a parent.

And yet, I see that movie Kick Ass on the screen, and they almost went there, but not quite. So maybe it is something that could make TV. Or be in Kick Ass 2.

Sigh. Oh, for the good old days where a ward was just a ward.

What are your plans for the expansion?

I was chatting a little with the Godmother, asking her about her plans for the expansion, and it got me to wondering… what the heck are my plans?

Do I have plans? Shit, I don’t even know.

No really, it’s almost here. I’ll be installing a new expansion. Then I’ll have to do something when I log in.

What am I going to do? Log in and stare at a character list and whistle?

There will be a new class and a new race in the expansion. A new area to start up in, and a new land for max level characters to explore.

And there will be new instances, raids, group content, etc.

New profession caps and recipes!

What to do, what to do? Crap!

Well, what’ve I got cooking?

I have a max level character of every class… except Monk, Warlock and Shaman.

Shh. My 85 Shaman is on another server. She doesn’t count. Or wait, does she?

Hmmm.

I want a panda. I’m not sure I want a monk, but I want a panda. They’re bears, damnit, and klook hilarious. I mean awesome. Awesomely hilarious.

Fear my leet bamboo sichuan kung fu!

So, how about this?

I can create a new panda monk to play through the new starter zone, and really get immersed in the total awesome experience. From what little I let myself see in beta, it looked freaking great.

If I end up not liking the panda monk, I can let it stall out wherever, probably in the Badlands quest levels. Grrr. Ooh, or should I be a Horde Monk? I could slap the busy out of Garrosh!

Didn’t Horde players used to hate Blood Elves for bringing a ‘cute’ race to the Horde? Good lord, are we gonna see fury at panda furries?

I think I’ve got some popcorn. Oh, if only there was some true outrage to watch. But I think folks have lost their Horde ugly/Alliance purtypassion a long time ago.

I can save up some money, server transfer/race change my Shaman to become a panda… and I get the best of all worlds. A class I was liking with full maxed professions, on the server I play on, on a race that looks cool. Without the leveling grind from 1 to 85!

Except Cassie says they are screwing with Enhance Shammies, and the whole totem thing (without doing research, I’ll admit) sounds too much like micromanaging bullshit to me. I just wanna hit stuff with twin flaming axes, you know?

What, like, ever. That would be a few months down the road, but doable.

So, I got the plan down for a new character, Bouncybutt the panda monk. I saved the name over a year ago, haha suckers!

I got a plan for further down the road to bring my Shaman back to life. Maybe. Probably not.

But what about who to level for the 85 – 90 content, to run groups, instances, raid, level professions, etc?

My Druid. Definitely.

My Druid is a max level Herbalist and Scribe.

I am very excited about Scribes being able to make polearms, upgradeable polearms, and have the new Glyphs for my friends and guild, and I want to level my herbalism and feed myself, my Alchemist, and Cassie’s Alchemist as well. The professions are a good match.

My Druid is also the only character I have that is a max level Archeologist, and the main pet collector. So, spiritually I am poised to be able to get the most out of that content in the expansion on my main, too.

My Druid is going to level solely as Guardian, and I’m going to be doing the group runs, tanking and getting short queues for our family, so it’s a great fit for what I like to do solo and also be there to get the family the quicker queues.

And at max level, I might be able to tank for the raiding, so I’ll be ready and gearing as early as possible to get prepared for that!

Beyond that… what to do? There are so many factions, grinds, dailies and stuff, I’m not just overwhelmed but feeling that it is impossible to continue playing and enjoying multiple alts with so much out there to do, when reputation gains are NOT shared across accounts.

Sure, achievements are shared, but just as with Archeology, whatever reputations and daily quests you do on one character doesn’t carry over to anyone else… and there are just too many rep grinds and factions for me to split things up and make my focus shallow and wide.

I will need one character to be doing the daily quests and rep grinds for rewards, and the others will just have to be played for shits and grins occasionally.

The only thing I’m going into this expansion worried about is the way recipes are being distributed among the factions, and the BOP nature of drops.

With my Druid being played the most, that is good for Scribing, but my Engineers certainly aren’t going to be getting the mats for any of those nifty rides anytime soon.

Let’s mention for a moment, as one example, that I liked being able to provide my family and all of our characters belt buckles when needed. It is, honestly, the ONLY thing I got out of having a max level blacksmith, aside from making a few of the iLevel 365 weapons before the Firelands raid went active. And those ilevel 365 weapons were a long time ago.

Now, if I want to be able to make the onlylong-term guaranteed useful thing on my blacksmith… I’ll have to grind The Klaxxi to Honored. It’s not bad, Honored is not bad at all, but I’m still going to have to find the time to play the character high enough level to be able to do the stuff neded to get there. I’m not giong to be able to just my blacksmith ore to level and get the recipe. it’s something to keep in mind. Time takes time. 

No worries, but it’s good as always right before the expansion to remember… one character cannot possibly benefit or make use of everything that will be in the expansion, all at the same time, and for alts to do things useful, they’re gonna have to get played… sooner or later.

I guess what it comes down to is, despite how much I love my Hunter, and how neat the new trackable tameable combat pet content seems to be, and how cool the new tameable  combat pets look, I think I’m going to be walking into the expansion abandoning the “all the alts, all the time, bring what you need” approach in favor of maximising one and only one character for at least a few months, maybe longer.

It seems silly to think about these things so far in advance. But it’s coming, and this is the first time I really stopped to think, “What will I do after it’s installed?”

I haven’t farmed any herbs to stock up ahead of time. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to level my Scribe off of old world mats at all to get started. Should I be farming herbs? Is it already too late?

I don’t care about the cash. I know some folks are really prepared, and have sotckpiled gold to be able to buy a Yak mount or other wonderful things right away, but that’s not my thing. I’m not into wealth, I’m into the things wealth can buy you to have fun with. And at the start, I’ll have my Travelers Tundra Mammoth, my Dragon Form, flight form, and over 100 mounts shared across accounts for the achieve. How many mounts do I really need?

A good polearm never goes out of style. Plus, you know… Stag. Because I guess every Druid feels a little horny, now and then.

Or are antlers made out of something other than horn? Digression is diverting.

It’s going to be fun, and I think I’ve got a good mix of things I’ll be able to do on game day. I’ll be broke as hell, my herb cupboards will be bare, and my hard earned purps will be tossed out in favor of early zone greens, but that’s all good.

It’s a new expansion. Sounds to me like business as usual.

And, hey, bonus! I get to wear my “Green is the new purple” shirt again!

From talking to the Godmother, I know that her plans are nowhere near as aimless and, err, shiftless as mine. She’s got things nailed down so well (love her series of preparedness posts, it’s fascinating to see people who know what they’re doing), so I know everyone is heading into this different.

How about you? Are my readers more the prepared and ready type, or the /kermitflail type like me?

The Journey Is Almost Complete

Every Sunday evening for several weeks now, I’ve been getting together with a group of good folks across multiple servers, plugging away at the achievements for Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25 person).

The journey has been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot about how the whole cross-server raid thing works along the way.

Did you know that you can’t use summoning stones in cross-server? The trick to cross-server grouping is that since you’re all on seperate realms until you step foot into the instance, anything you try and do from outside the instance only applies to folks on your own server. Summoning Stones are not in the raid instance with you. So, summoning methods only work if done from within the raid instance, and even then, you have to be near the instance portal. Blizzard changed things a while back so you can’t just bring folks right to you if you’re deep in the dirt. You have to surface to breathe the fresh air, then pull the people in to meet you.

Works great when almost everyone has Have Group, Will Travel to summon the raid to you, though.

Good thing there weren’t any plans to take that away or anything.

Oops, oh, right. They ARE taking away HGWT. They are replacing it with… Ride Like The Wind, faster flight path travel time by 25%.

What a STUPID idea. It’s almost as though someone stopped and asked themselves, “What one quality of game life thing can we change to screw over people who enjoy playing together as much as possible? Ooh, I know, let’s take away Have Group, Will Travel. That way, instead of just summoning everyone to the raid location and getting busy having fun, we can return to the days of blowing a half hour with flying and hearthing and shit waiting for people to get there. Nothing better than standing around for a half hour waiting on stragglers, I always say.”

My suggestion is, take your Summoning Stones and stick them just INSIDE the raid instance instead of leaving them outside. Then they’d actually fulfill their functions for all raid groups, both home grown and cross-server.

What is funny is, I’m writing this without knowing if they already moved the summoning stones on the beta or not. I haven’t heard anyone really talk about Have Group Will Travel since, like, April. Maybe they just moved some summoning stones into instances and raids and eliminated the issue. Got two people in your group that can get there? Then you’re covered.

But then again… maybe they haven’t.

Aside from seeing the truck of stupid barreling on down the road at us, the Sunday night raids have been a lot of fun.

We’ve managed to get every single achievement necessary now, with the lone exception of The Orb Whisperer.

We even managed to get “Been Waiting a Long Time” on our Lich King kill last night, on our first try! I was totally expecting that to take like five tries!

We are sooo close now. Just one lone Orb Whisperer achievement left to go.

The Orb Whisperer has turned out to be the most challenging achievement of the bunch for us. It doesn’t matter how much health you’ve got in your pool when the achievement requires you to kill the bosses without anyone in the entire group taking a set amount of damage in one shot.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re bubbled, either. It only cares that you got hit with it, if the bubble absorbed some it still counts. You need to use the mechanic of the purple orbs on the Kale tank to mitigate the damage from that one effect, and handle all the other spell effects properly, period. No bullshitting around.

Having tons of DPS to burn the bosses obviously helps a lot, because the faster they die, the less dancing you have to do.

Also, having tons of health does help since you can have a much higher DPS to healer ratio in your group. On each of our Orb Whisperer wipes last night, it took longer to actually die when we stopped fighting so we could get a chance to restart it than it did to give it a real go.

Okay, are we clear now? Good.

Now that I’m a few paragraphs farther down the page, I can reveal that I was just playing a practical joke on Matty. I’ve been intending to do this ever since we started talking about doing these achievements. In truth, we didn’t even get to Lich King last night before we were done for the evening, let alone try to give Been Waiting A Long Time a shot. We finished the raid after killing the Dreamweaver. 

But I was telling the truth about only having one achievment left to do. You see, what we really accomplished last night was finishing that pesky Orb Whisperer after all. 🙂 It took us about a half hour of wiping on failed attempts before we got the coordination down, but we did manage to do it.

You have no idea how panicked Matty has been about not being there when we attempted Been Waiting a Long Time. Whisper whisper whisper. I just know that when she read that paragraph up above, the ensuing screams could be received by Curiosity, and damn the silent vacuum of space.

I ask you, if you can’t prank your friends, who can you prank?

But yes, that means that the actual and for true last achievement we as a group need is Been Waiting a Long Time  – Lich King kill.

Sadly, we have come so close, only to have to take a two week break, as the Bear family will be out of town next weekend.

Some folks still need Heroic mode kills of bosses, but we can’t even get that coordinated in my absence due to the second drawback of cross-server raiding… needing to be the Real ID or Battletag friend of someone forming or inside of the raid. 

To be cleaqr, you don’t all have to be Battletag friends with the raid leader. The raid leader can invite one person, convert to raid, check “make all assistants’ so everyone can invite, and then anyone else in the raid can invite people to join, even folks from their own Real ID friends list or just in their guild, no worries, no need to have one single point of failure.

Once Battletags go live in WoW, we could conceivably all share our Battletags on a forum and link up that way regardless of Bear time, but barring that, if the Bear is away, the raid cannot play. 😦

Tt looks like the Mists of Pandaria official release date will come just in time to see a whole passel of people proudly plying the skies with dead drakes. I for one will salute our undead dragon mount overlords.

Once the expansion comes out, I expect to take a bit of a break as I level my Druid (as Guardian) to 90, and start my new Panda Monk,

Give it a month though, and I will definitely be looking to start up another such cross-server raid accomplishment group again. It’s been too much fun not to. Just gonna have to wait until we get settled into the gay ’90s first.

Maybe Firelands achieves and flaming bird mounts? Who could say where the whim may drive us on that fine day?

Been having a great time while we’ve been waiting a long time, my friends. Thank you to everyone that has been taking part, it’s been a blast, every single week.

It Takes a Keen Eye

Alex was running around gathering pots in the Dalaran Sewers, and he noticed a spot of instruction going on.

There was this rat… and he seemed to be teaching a class, with four little turtles eagerly listening to every squeak.

I wonder… is he preparing his pupils for the coming of Pet Battles?

Are these turtles of teenage years busy honing their ninja skills?

ouch!

Sorry, stuck my finger. I have to go pull this Splinter out… be back soon!

A Guardian Druid Guide to Believe In!

To follow up on a post I made a few days ago, I did some searching to see what sources have been developed so far to guide a Guardian Druid in the changes coming in Patch 5.0.4 and the Mists of Pandaria.

By far, my favorite resource is to be found in the Icy Veins forums.

If you’re looking at what changes are being made and want to mentally prepare yourself, I really encourage you to go check it out. I’ve certainly got it bookmarked!

Icy Veins Guardian Druid Tank Guide