Come Get Some!

I was stuck on the last stage of the Wrathion legendary questline for a week and a half.

I say stuck, what I mean was, I had no interest in doing it.

I had Warlock freshness enticing me to play, so I blew it off. Bah, a gem socket, who gives a shit? I’ll get it done sometime before the new quest stuff unlocks in Patch 5.2.

Not saying I don’t like the legendary quest. I am enjoying having an overall goal to continue to pursue over the life of the expansion. Each patch advances the quest storyline a little further, with mini-rewards and such, and I like it. Well, I like it because I’m only focusing on one character. If I were serious about two or more, I think I would cry. But with one main to advance… it’s all good.


Blizzard, how DARE you place a PvP requirement in my PvE questline!

What’s that? You’ve created some fresh new PvP battlegrounds, and you want to get people in to see them, maybe find out they are fun, get us to try something new, broaden our horizons?

Damnit Blizzard, if I want to be closed-minded and ignorant, that is my right as an American! It must be, I see so many people exercise that right every day of their fricken’ lives.

All good procrastination must come to an end sooner or later, and the Bear Gods decreed that yesterday the stars and Moon aligned, the wild hair alighted up my ass, and the white elk was spotted in the high pass.

That’s right. I was in the mood to PvP.

So, Wrathion wanted me to go kill some Hordies in two Battlegrounds, huh? I’m a true WoW player, let me just queue up without a clue what the hell I’m supposed to do.

The two battlegrounds you have to win, not just take part in but WIN, are the Temple of Kotmogu and the Silvershard Mines.

I queued for Temple of Katmogu first, and was told it was a 10 vs 10 battleground, ‘capture the ball’ style.

I’m sure that tells everyone else volumes, but it didn’t tell me shit… other than there will be balls, and we must capture them. Seeing as it’s people fighting each other on the internet, the idea any of the involved HAVE balls in the first place is indeed news to me.

Maybe that is why Blizzard has to supply them? And why the players are fighting over them?

Okay, that might have been a joke, as opposed to my usual sarcasm. It’s hard sometimes to tell the difference around here. Sarcasm; it’s the water we swim in and the air we breathe.

Come at me, bro.

Temple of Katmogu wins as the battleground I least want to play again, ever.

There are four balls, starting out on posts at the four corners of a multi-terraced arena, and you know what? I played it twice and I just don’t give enough of a shit about it to even try and recap it.

I played and lost, I played and won, and I ain’t going back.

I can see how, if your group is coordinated and communicative, like a pre-made, and you had certain people with extremely good survivability pre-selected to be ball carriers with other players selected as their point defense, and a core group as offense to focus on striking at the enemy carriers, it could be a great concept with lots of fun, tactical give-and-take, all good.

With ten random schlubs, none of whom (including me) knew what the goal was, not so much.

Ah well, we also serve who stand and give free HKs.

On the second game, as I say, we won because, yes, our group had more balls than the other.

Really? This is what we’re reduced to, designing BGs to give us an opportunity to make balls jokes? Sigh.

Still, a win by any other name is still half a quest done.

The second battleground, Silvershard Mine, I also zoned into blind.

But… hold on a minute here. This seems… different.

First, the area was new and fresh. We were in, and hold on tight this will come as a shock… a MINE.

Go figure, right? The whole place is inside actual, like, mineshafts.

Blizzard scores for fresh ambiance, I really liked it.

Second surprise, the concept here was immediately apparent to even the most ignorant of players, namely me.

Mine carts appear in the center, with a big circle around them. They start heading for ore collection points at the end of various tunnels.

The carts move slower than a normal walk.

Hey, maybe we need to… get in the circle of a cart, capture and hold the cart for our faction until it dumps it’s ore. Maybe?

Wow, that IS the goal!

Easily understood objectives for the win.

So, what I’m seeing here is, if I grab a cart, and shunt it to the far tunnel, and stay with it the whole way… in order to take it away from me, the other team has to come TO ME? And to make a difference they have to enter the circle?

Oh, this is going to be sweet.

I am a Hunter. I have ranged attacks, traps, angry dinosaurs, Stampede, oh yeah, go ahead, I dare you to come at me, bro.

You’ll get my ore when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Shit, that was fun. No, really, that was fun. I had the miraculous feeling that as a Hunter, I was fighting in a BG with goals that played directly to my strengths.

You want this ore? You come and take it. No climbing above me and jumping down, no line of sighting over edges to make my stupid Pet AI come running the long way around, just a tunnel, an ore cart, and a channeled avenue of approach.

People must HATE that BG.

I say that, because I was all by myself on one ore cart, and a Horde came to take it away, and I killed him long before he got to my circle of ore cart supremacy.

Then he rezzed, and brought a buddy. Um, no.

Then he brought two buddies. Yes, it takes the cart that long. Um, Stampede, traps, silence, pet. So, no.

My cart, bitches.

My cart finally dumped its ore into the resource bin, and I went and got another cart.

This time, I had a few more people come to give me a hand… and the same three came to contest my ownership of said cart.

I said MY cart, bitches. Go away. Have fun, wave hello to the spirit healer for me!

I was having so much fun the other players of my faction left me to it, and went off looking for some fun.

The Horde came down my tunnel, and they were looking for some ore to steal, they were in a bind and way behind and needing this Hunter to flee.

Um, what part of MY ORE CART BITCHES didn’t you understand? NO. /newspapersmack

I have finally found a BG I enjoyed. I understood the objective, understood what I had to do to complete the objective, and I had a class that had the tools to succeed.

Or, as Baddmojo said, “Must be nice to have a viable class in PvP.”

Shit, it is, isn’t it? Go figure!

For just a few short minutes… I had fun in a BG.

I feel so cheap.

That must be how Gnomeaggeddon feels ALL THE TIME.

I’m going to have to do that again some time.

I cannot believe I just said that.

Well played, Blizzard. Well played.

It’s Funny But It’s True, Damnit

I’ve been raiding one night a week with some folks in the guild, I wasn’t able to stay with a weekend team but I’ve been lucky, these folks can raid on a weeknight late enough that my son is in bed for most of it.

How much can you get done in one night a week, though, when it’s just two hours? I say two hours, because we are scheduled for two and a half, but I need a break in there to get my son tucked into bed.

Yes, I know. I’m that raider on your team you would hate. It’s okay for you to tell me you’d hate to raid with someone like me, I know. I know all too well. There you are, your team is flying high, everything is in the groove, you are just getting cooking, and here comes this dude an hour in, “Hey guys, sorry, gotta go get my son brushed teeth and tucked into bed, sorry for the buzzkill. Be back soon.”


I’ve said it before, I may look like I’m logged in for 6 hours straight, but most of that time I’m afk… no, I wasn’t ignoring you, I was showing my son how to make a new design for a paper airplane. Or looking at a cool scene he wants to share from Transformers; Dark of the Moon. Since when does Optimus Prime have lips? Or watching him take on a pet team two levels higher, and taming a new rare quality Tundra Penguin. Those penguins are badass. Or I’m wandering around upstairs, wondering where I left my book. Is itin the bathroom? No? then where the hell… Or leaving the game on to go eat dinner and watch Top Chef or Chopped, because, hey, why even bother logging out? It’s not like there are people waiting in a queue… and ever since Mists of Pandaria released, it takes about 10 minutes for me just to log into the game, what with waiting for shit to decide if the game is up to date or not. Every. Single. time.

Okay, that one time, I was just ignoring you. But I don’t make a hobbit of it or anything.

With all that distraction, only two hours to raid one night a week, what can you really get done?

Well… for starters, you can clear Mogu’shan Vaults and also take down the first boss in Heart of Fear. ūüôā

We’d been consistently clearing the first four bosses of Mogu’shan Vaults, then taking a couple runs at Elegon before switching over to Heart of Fear each week.

Last night, we cleared through Mogu’shan to Elegon as usual, had a rocky start with the first few Celestial Protectors dying inside the ring when Total Annihilation went off… but despite that we still went on to one shot it for our first Elegon kill ever!

I’m not sure how many attempts we’ve had over the last few weeks… maybe 7 or 8. More? Still, I think we were all a little surprised that after a weeks break, we came back and killed it on our first try of the night.

From there, we went straight to our first-ever run at the Will of the Emperor in normal mode, and we encountered the Convert To Raid effect;

“Yay! First ever kill of Elegon!”

20 minutes later…. “Yay! We’ve cleared Mogu’shan Vaults!”

It’s just like the guys at Convert To Raid say… once you’ve got Elegon down, the Will of the Emperor isn’t quite at the same level of challenge.

One thing that’s interesting is we had two healers for Elegon, but Tom had us switch to three healing on Will of the Emperor. He said that the healers may be bored for a lot of the fight, but once Titan Gas hit, they’d be going into overdrive.

True or not, I know that we one shot Will of the Emperor, but I felt we were right on the edge of having enough DPS to handle the adds, but not a smidgen more. I enjoyed how the fight feels, I felt challenged as DPS to get the adds down fast enough to be able to switch to the bosses when Titan Gas comes up without distraction. Hustle your butts! Keep calm and DPS HARDER.

What a crazy night. We cleared MSV for the first time, all in one night, and had enough time left over to travel to Heart of Fear and get a kill in there as well, making it seven bosses in two and a half hours.

All the cool kids may be off doing heroics and nibbling on the TOES, but I’m pretty impressed with our progress. I’ve been in LFR groups that killed fewer bosses in that time.

Sadly, yes I have.

Grats to Team Dippy for clearing the first raid in Mists of Pandaria!

Raising a Monster

Every time I think I’ve reached the plateau on the Warlock Project, another layer of “what the fuck?” is peeled back.

It’s funny. I’ve kept myself so ignorant about this one class for so many years that I feel like every post is something along the order of, “Guys! Guys! Did you know you can fly in the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor now?

“Oh, no WAI! Really? Um, welcome to 4.0, dipshit.”

Still, exuberance and enthusiasm. It’s what I bring to the table. News, pithy posts and sharp witticisms… not so much.

Pithy. Pithy. It pays to enrich your word power, I wish I were more pithy and less pissy around this here blog.

…. I’m really not feeling well at the moment, and I wish I were on some medication to explain that last bit. Anywhooo.


TANKING as a Warlock. Hilariously awesome.

I reached level 75 a few days ago, or yesterday, or something like that.

I thought I knew the power I could reach as a melee cloth-wearing spell casting tank, and then I hit level 75.

So, here’s the deal. Level 75 unlocks your third Glyph slots… and also gives you access to a new tier of Talents.

I walked into level 75 eager to grab my Grimoire of Supremacy, and have new, sexy looking pet models. Dual-wielding upgraded Felguard? Sign me up!

I casually glanced at the other two talents in the tier… Grimoire of Service, lets me pop an extra demon once in a while… really? That’s what they came up with? Talk about phoning it in.

And the other one, Grimoire of Sacrifice. Execute my pet so I get a buff? How lame is… wait a minute. If I execute my pet, I get a buff that last how long? An hour? An hour long buff… hmmm. that might be doable. It’s long enough that I wouldn’t be forgetting all the damn time, like Horn of Winter.

Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound so stupid. And I get one of the pets abilities as my own? AND some of my other spells get supercharged? And I get a regeneration buff too?

I’m a tank, so I want everything on me anyway. Should I do without my pet, and I turn into an ever more powerful, supercharged Warlock tank? One that regenerates Health too? But I’m a pet class, damnit!

There has to be a catch here somewhere…

Let’s hold off on that for a second, and look at Glyphs.

Siphon Life seems like a gimme, I get 20% of the damage my Corruption does back to me as healing. Can’t go wrong there…

Wait, what is this Soul Consumption shit? I get back 20% of MY HEALTH every time I kill something that gives me XP or Honor, if I do it in a demon form?

Well, does it work in my Dark Apotheosis tanky form, or only in the temporary Metamorphosis form? There has to be a catch here…


So… let me get this straight, because I’m confused how the hell this happened.

I can play a Warlock, choose Demonology, equip the Glyph of Demon Training to get a permanent tanking demon form, equip the Glyph of Soul Consumption to get 20% of my health back every time I kill something that gives me XP or Honor (so long as I get the killing blow, and not my pet), take Grimoire of Sacrifice to execute my pet for a one hour buff that gives me new abilities, increases the power of some of my other abilities, and also regenerate health?

I just… *sniff*… I’m just so confused…

I’d like to know why they chose Warlocks to do this to instead of Druids, you know. I mean, if they were going to just crack open the cookie jar and shower a class with every goddamn thing in the universe, why couldn’t they do it for Druids?

Huh? What did you say? Becoming a rideable mount? Having weapons that make our butts bigger, or catch on fire? Being able to farm materials without leaving Flight Form? Shhh…… those don’t count. Those are OLD shinies. We’re trying to get NEW shinies… Blizzard, what have you done for Druids lately?

This tanking Warlock thing is for reals. They’ve got everything except a proper Vengeance buff and the ability to queue as a tank.

I’m torn, though. I can see how I’d be unstoppable while leveling if I take this Sacrifice thing, but I’m already unstoppable now, with my pet. My Felguard is a big part of my extra damage, so stuffs die fast.

Do I execute my pet for the buff and solo that way, or do I keep the pet with upgraded powers, and go on as I have been? I think I’m killing stuff faster now than I would be.

And if I keep my pet, should I take the Glyph of Siphon Life instead, since my pet will probably get more killing blows than me, and also I intend to run lots of lower level raids once I finish leveling, so I wouldn’t be Soul Consumption anyway?

Decisions, decisions. ARRGGGHHHH!!!!

I tell you what I’d like to do. I’d like to put together a team to take on Cataclysm ten-person raids, that will let me be one of the tanks as a Warlock. I’m curious how it would go. No Vengeance, but ridiculous AoE… adds tank? Yeah, I’m thinking adds tank, but you can’t know until you try…

We’ll see how squishy I feel once the bulk of my Heirlooms shut off at level 80, and I hit Mount Hyjal. That should put the proof in the pudding! Or get the proof out of the pudding… or what the fuck, the proof is in the pudding, but who put it in there, and how the hell would that even work?

Hey, how is your day going? We don’t talk as much as we should, I really miss our chats. Why not pull up a chair and let tell me how it’s HEY! get your hands off me! Where are you taking me? Oooh, that’s a nice coat. And so clean and white! Can I try it on? Hmm, a bit stiff, but it sure does cover! The sleeves might be a bit long, can we get this WHOA

Rolling Ragnar-O’s, Robin!

Last Sunday the cross-realm group had a nice run through Firelands 25 in normal modes.

The goal was to have that one extra week to get more folks in to complete Firelands on normal before we hit achieves or Heroic modes, but we might have had an accidental achievement happen anyway.

Let’s just say that if you’re a bit sloppy on technique on phase three, the true achievement is in NOT having wall to wall meteors on the kill.



There was another achievement earned during the run; it turns out Penguin is a master at guiding players through Lord Rhyolith, so we anti-Ambi-turned like champs.

That is going to do it for the normal 25 runs. From here on out, we’re doing Firelands heroics.

Next Sunday, 6 PM CST we’ll be going in and beginning Firelands 25 Heroic. If you would like to be a part, be sure to be online and ready for an invite.

I hope to see you there.

Wicked Warlockery

The benefits of no longer giving a shit about Valor; I can play whatever poor, neglected little toon I want.

Enter the Warlock.

Here’s the deal. I’ve been playing a long time; most of you have also.

One thing that always thrills me is when there is something truly new to experience.

I’m in the middle of enjoying just such an experience right now. Err, I’m not playing right now, I mean ‘the last week or so’ right now. You know what I mean.

I’m playing my Warlock alt, and I’m doing it as a Demonology spec with the Glyph of Demon Hunting equipped.

I talked about this same thing briefly awhile ago, but I’ve had some time to really get down and dirty with it now. Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.

I gained about twenty levels over the course of the last three days, so you might say I have been enjoying the action. Just a teeny bit.

Let me wrap it all up in once sentence, then get into specifics later; I am thrilled with each and every level I play, and I can hardly wait to get the next level to see what neat new toys I’ll get to play with next.

That’s right. I am leveling an alt character through the exact same shit I have leveled through a million times before (warning: possibly a slight exaggeration there) and I’m loving every level, in every zone. Even Outlands.

I’m in Outlands right now, level 60, and let me tell you something; I killed 15 Crust Bursters last night, and I liked it.

When I first started this Warlock project with my son, we both went Demonology, and bumbled through with the same old assumption; Warlocks are cloth wearing ranged casters with pets. Like Frost Mages, but with a cooler sense of fashion, and more variety in our pets. But no ‘porting. And no sheep.

Time has passed, and that assumption has been dumped by the wayside.

If you haven’t played a Warlock as Demonology lately, it’s a brand new bag.

Demonology Warlocks, with the Glyph of Demon Hunting, are not ranged cloth wearing casters with pets. Throw that assumption right out the window.

The reality is, if you are Demonology, and at level 25 or 50 you equip the Glyph of Demon Hunting, you become a melee tank with ranged AoE attacks, and oh yeah, pets.

I’m not talking about end game level 90 queueing for instances or raids. I’m talking about how the class feels questing in the world.

As a regular Demonology Warlock, your special thing is the ability to transform through metamorphosis into a huge bat-winged demon form.

You get a normal caster form with a special energy bar that acts like Rage called Demonic Fury, and when you have enough you can transform into that demon form, with enhanced/changed abilities. The whole time you’re in that form, you’re burning through your Rage/Demonic Fury, and sooner or later you drop back out into normal caster form.

That turns demon form into an oh-shit cooldown, to me. If you use it whenever you can, it’s great fun, but if you’re like me, most oh-shit cooldowns or limited use abilities get left unused until it’s instance or raid time. So, yeah, if you ain’t using demon form, you’re still just a cloth wearing caster with a pet, and a cool cooldown.

Everything changes when you add in the Glyph of Demon Hunting.

The Glyph gives you a brand new, additional form, including a second form button just like having a second Druid form or Warrior stance.

This new form, when activated, is always on. You don’t drop out of it, it doesn’t cost Demonic Fury to be in it. Just, new form, always on, enjoy.

When in this new form, Dark Apotheosis, you get permanent purple wings. Yes, always on. I love seeing people look at me like they’ve never seen this before when I walk by in Stormwind.

In Dark Apotheosis, you are a tank.

You get tons more armor value from your gear, physical and magic damage reduction, a huge 500% threat buff, your slow cast Shadowbolt becomes an instant cast short-range attack with three charges (on a fast cooldown), you get a special green-colored damage absorption bubble (Fury Ward) that has a ten second duration and a ten second cooldown (basically, always on if you bother to click it), your Curse of Enfeeblement that weakens enemies changes from a single target curse to an AURA effect… you get the idea.

You become a lot tougher, you get a bubble, your opponents do less damage, and your best attack is a short-ranged instant cast that does tons of threat. TANK.

But, and here is the new experience… you still have lots of different magic AoE abilities, like the meteor and your Felguards Felstorm ability, and of course HELLFIRE.

Suddenly, Hellfire is a thing. At higher levels, it’s no longer channeled and doesn’t do damage to you anymore, so heck, why not just have it up ALL THE TIME?

And you still get a pet. All this, and you still get a pet.

It’s been a completely different solo questing experience.

Sure, I’ve played lots of tanks, but having one with ranged abilities, WTF. I have a pet I can send out to start shit, just to drop a meteor on their butts and make them all come to me, and then blow them back and blow them UP.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. One of your special ‘demon form only’ abilities is a cone-effect knockback with a spell interrupt. So I send my pet out to a big group, let it Felstorm, drop a few meteors on their heads to pull aggro on the crowd, have them come running to me, and then RIGHT when they get there blow them all backwards and Hellfire.

It’s hilarious.

One thing I had to do early on was shut my Felguards’ taunt off. It’s just so much squishier than I am, and I don’t want the mobs to be stopped way out THERE, I want them to come on in toe to toe to get smashed by my insane power.

I’m not saying this is a new main. What I’m saying is, as a new alt leveling experience this thing is a trip.

I can’t explain how fun and different this is. I’m a cloth-wearing melee tank, but I keep double checking, yep, still a Warlock.

I also made sure to macro Felstorm to /cast Felstorm just so I could put the button where I wanted on my bar. My UI has my pet bar way off to the right hand side of the screen, I don’t want to reach over there to click Felstorm, I want to use it all the time.

Maybe it’s the novelty, maybe just the shiny new class/spec smell.

I see this as becoming my number three favorite character in the future.

My Hunter is my main these days when it comes to instances, raids and progressing through quest content.  Staying on the edge of gearing and the Legendary questline on my Hunter.

My Druid is my romping around fun character, my “I’ve got to get some kitty dashing, bear hopping action in.”

But I can see this Warlock becoming my new ‘solo old raids and content’ character. Or my ‘run someone else through old content’ character.

The combination of tank-level threat output, tank level damage reduction/damage absorption, ranged/melee AoE, and the talent that lets you do an AoE health drain/self-healing makes it a great choice for holding aggro off lowbies when running old stuff.

Oh, are you getting eaten by a grue? Run to the sheltering warmth of my Hellfire.

I’m just amazed how the playstyle feels. Having ranged high-threat AoE meteors is nuts, having high-threat AoE Hellfire, instant cast 10 yard direct attacks, all this and pets too.

No, you CANNOT queue for randoms as a tank.

But you do get a unique soloing tank experience when questing, and all while you’re still a cloth-wearing caster.

It’s so amazing to have this level of new sensation this late in the game. I’m loving it.

If you haven’t tried one… you cannot get the tanky aspects until you reach level 25 and your first Major Glyph slot. That can be a huge pain in the butt.

Also, I have FULL Heirlooms. The majority of my gear is always scaling, so I have solid blue-quality armor and stats as I go. Your mileage may vary. I’m indestructible and loving it, maybe if you were in all greens you’d feel a lot squishier. I don’t know.

But hey… this is what I’m doing when I ain’t pet battling or Huntering or whatever, and I’m having a blast. Just thought I’d share, in case you get bored and start looking around for something different.

An Open Letter About Hunter Loot

My Hunter is now my main, and as I’ve played him consistently since shortly after Pandaria launched, I’ve found myself at the great position where I’ve got everything I could want from LFR and from Valor vendors… so I don’t have to do a damn thing if I don’t want to and still be good to go in raids.

I even finally maxed my 6000 Valor for Wrathion the idjit punk kid last week, and I’m in no rush to do the PvP battlegrounds. Sooner or later, sometime this week, I’ll do it. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m sure eventually I’ll get the wins I need. Even a blind bear gets the honey sooner or later.

As you may or may not know, I spent many weeks frustrated at the lack of a weapon drop.

I’m not going to belabor the point. It sucked. I had a Legendary gem and desired a weapon with a Sha-touched gem slot, and didn’t get diddly. Not for lack of trying, but random is random, you rolls the dice and you takes your chances.

Which would be fine, except other players on other classes had no problems at all. “Oh yeah, I’m duel wielding ’em. No worries.”

Many, MANY Hunters feel that pain. Some of them have been trying even longer than I did, and all I can say is, I know, I understand, and I hope and pray you get your Taoren too. I know the Godmother is about ready to take an axe to her monitor, and I don’t blame her one bit.

So, on behalf of Hunters everywhere, I’m going to send out this little note to Blizzard.

Blizzard, I like your new LFR loot system.

I know many people whine about large sacks of gold, but I’m not here to whine about your large sack.

I like the lack of loot drama, and am glad to wave farewell to the bitching about who deserved the drop more that used to break out in Dragon Soul.

Also, thank you for the bonus rolls. It’s a nice extra reward for doing daily quests. I appreciate it.

The problem I have is NOT with the loot system.

My problem is with the loot distribution.

Your loot system offers me loot based on the class and spec I am on. When a boss dies, the only loot I might win is what the boss has that I could actually use.

Great idea. Love it.

The problem comes in when the boss has multiple things that could be used by my class and spec.

In the future, please do not place THREE items that a single class and spec could use on ONE BOSS.

Placing three items on a boss that a single class and spec can use means that even if you only need ONE of those items as an upgrade, using your bonus roll could get you any one of those three, or nothing at all.

This is annoying enough in normal circumstances, but bearable, even kind of fun when there are other options.

Like with trinkets, even if you’d really like that one drop, there are alternatives from Valor gear vendors and from BoE Inscription items. You have multiple options, and sure one item might theorycraft out to being the best, or be a Tier piece, but even so you’ve still got choices.

When you place a classes only possible Sha-touched weapon on a boss that has two other usable drops for you, it’s horrible.

If you’ve already got a low chance at winning ANYTHING, and then finally you get lucky and do get something, now you have to hope like hell it’s the one thing out of three you actually need.

I’ve been there, frustrated as heck.

In my case, after enough weeks of failure I took the step of running Terrace of Endless Spring THREE TIMES each week, saving my bonus roll for each of the three Lei Shi kills to maximize my chance of winning the weapon.

All to get four chances at one piece of loot from a boss every week. And it still took more than three weeks after implementing that plan to see the gun drop. Not from a lack of drops, I won gear. Just, not the one piece I wanted from the three possibilities.

For Hunters, Lei Shi has the Ranger’s Chain of Unending Summer (Mail Agi belt), Terror in the Mists (Agi/Crit trinket) and Taoren the Soul Burner, our Sha-touched weapon.

Three different drops useable by Hunters, and very nice items, too.

Just… don’t do that again. Please, don’t do that again.

One usable drop yes, two maybe, three OH HELL NO.

I know distributing all this stuff for so many slots is a pain in the ass. I understand.

But please, please don’t do that to us again.

Hunter Gear – Defiant To The End

Since I can’t have my Safari Set, I’m going to make a different kind of statement entirely.

I’m going to go for a set that says, “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

That’s right, I’m going for the Rowdy Roddy Piper They Live¬†Evil Overlord look.

You can tell the set is a true Evil Overlord set, by the fact that there is no helmet that matches this set. No face-concealing helmets, nobody can impersonate him to assume command of his legions of troops.

You know… just as soon as he gets legions of troops, that will definitely be a big plus.

The set I’ve decided to chase is the Scourgestalker Battlegear (recolor), in a delightful motif of black skulls and yellow plaguey flame.

JUST the thing to wear while stalking your prey through the forest, amiright?



The pieces of the set can be found entirely in Ulduar 10 normal modes, although some have a pretty low drop rate.


On occasion I’ll probably be heard to cry out over my Battletag broadcast channel, ‘Anyone up for an Ulduar 10 normal for transmog goodies?’

If I go every week, why, I might have the complete set in only three or four months! Woohoo!

Shoulders¬†‚ÄstIronaya‚Äôs Discarded Mantle¬†(Auriaya)

Waist¬†‚ÄstBelt of the Blood Pit¬†(Thorim)

Feet¬†‚ÄstBoots of Unsettled Prey¬†(Random Ulduar trash)

Alternative Footsies¬†‚ÄstTempered Mercury Greaves¬†(Mimiron hard mode)

Chest¬†‚ÄstChestguard of the Lasher¬†(Freya)

Legs¬†‚ÄstLeggings of the Insatiable¬†(Yogg-Saron)

Gloves¬†‚ÄstGloves of Taut Grip¬†(XT-002 Deconstructor)

The set definitely says, “Good, bad, I’m the panda with the gun.”

A Teachable Moment

What is a teachable moment?

It’s something that happens in your life that teaches you a lesson, a lesson you will never, ever forget.

Can you come up with a teachable moment in your life? If something leaps to your mind, it probably counts.

I can share one of mine with you, if you promise not to laugh.



Years back when I was young, dumb and full of Marine Corps life, when I wasn’t drinking, reading or playing role playing games I’d get a wild hair up my ass and want to get out and move.

The walls would close in with the same old scenes, surrounded by the same old faces, smelling the same old farts from the Jarhead on the next bunk over.

What I’d do is grab my portable cassette player (which was called a Walkman in the same way all tissues get called Kleenex), and hit the road running.

Didn’t matter what time it was, or what the weather was like. I had to get away from shit, and running while listening to music blaring into my ears got me out of the barracks and out of my head.

This particular tale of the tape took place when I was stationed at MCAS Beaufort, in South Carolina, where I got the wild hair late at night when the sky was dumping chilly rain in a dense sheet outside.

I put on layers of spandex, a hoodie, stuck my cassette player in a ziplock baggie and headed out.

For whatever reason, the wild hair didn’t take me to the normal backwoods snake trails on base that would come out near the Enlisted Mens Club.

Instead, I took a hard left out of the barracks, and headed out on the road that led out towards the Officers transient barracks… and the flight line.

There was a road that headed out that way, a road with no real destination. Just two lanes of black asphalt, a tree-lined tunnel bordered by runoff ditches.

That road would make a loop around the perimeter of the flight line, and running that road committed me to doing four or five miles in the icy rain, late at night. I could tell before I set out that I wouldn’t see another soul for the entire run. No cars, no runners, just me and the rain and the night.

As I ran, there was a part of me that thought about how far I was going, how cold the rain was, and how early I’d have to get up to go running with the platoon in the morning. The half way point loomed in my mind, that point of no return where it would be shorter to keep on going and finish then to turn back the way I came.

But most of me just ran, and listened to the tape on auto-reverse, and tried to clear my head of whatever bullshit was making everything complicated at the time.

By the time I returned to the barracks, I was steaming and sore. Muscles were knotting up, and I still had regularly scheduled physical training the next morning.

One of the unwritten rules of a Marine in barracks duty is that whatever hell you got up to the night before, even if you come rolling in dead drunk 5 minutes before PT, you damn well don’t miss formation. Aww, did you go running all night? Well then, you should have had more sense you dumbass, now get in formation, we’re going on a little light 5 mile run. Double time, harch!

Just saying. Whatever soreness I felt I had to get rid of and get as much sleep as I could so I could be ready for PT the next morning.

I hit the showers, got warmed back up, and grabbed the jar of IcyHot-style menthol/camphor crap to rub into my sore calf muscles.

I worked the blue gel into my leg muscles, and felt the first rush of cold kicking in.

Then I hit the head, took a leak and got ready to go to sleep.

Thus began the teachable moment.

After using IcyHot, or any other topical product with menthol and especially camphor as an active ingredient, WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS.

About a minute after taking a leak, my thought process went something like this; “JUST WHAT THE OMIGOD MY DICK IS ON FIRE WHAT THE HELL OMIGOD I NEED FIRE SUPPORT WTF AH SHIT AAAARRRGGHHHHHHHHH!”

Wow, that was a bad night.

Even now, more than two decades since that day, I can tell you with utter sincerity I cannot look at a container of IcyHot without thinking that there needs to be a much larger warning label on those goddamn jars.

So… did I help The Godmother find her smile today? Hmmm?

Since this story is from a Hunter to help a Hunter smile, I thought it appropriate to use a little Misdirection to reach the punchline. ūüôā

Beartrap the Big Game Hunter

My pet battling enthusiam has brought me to the edge. I got my Safari Hat, and also took down all of the official Master Pet Tamers, including Grand Master Aki.

I have a sad related to this.

I am a Pandarian Hunter, and I do not like any of the mail sets that are out there right now.

I am a Hunter, and not just any Hunter, a Bear Hunter.

No, not a beer hunter, a bear hunter.

I keep browsing mail armor sets in the hopes I’ll find something that grabs me.

The flame set from Firelands was good as a human, but as a panda, I find I’ve got too much surface area to be attractive while on fire.

Plus, you know, the smell of burning fur. Ugh.

In looking over the mail sets out there, the one thing I keep running up against is that none of them say “I go out there and hunt things that would hunt me back.”

There aren’t any camouflage outfits, no gillie suits, nothing of a muted pattern that has any real style.

On the more romantic side of things, we don’t have any archer-style robin hood outfits, or anything I could see a Dungeons & Dragons style ranger wearing.

Instead, Hunter sets seem to say “I went out, killed something, then hollowed out its skull and wear it like a hat. I’m very emotionally balanced.”

Is that what WoW Hunters are? Beings who go out, kill something, then take the carcass and make clothes out of it?

As one style of armor, sure, it’s something that touches on the old D&D idea of¬†being a¬†hunting dragonslayer,¬†going out to seek out materials resistant to¬†dragonflame in order to survive hunting other dragons. Dragons¬†don’t hurt themselves with their own flame, so we’ll make a set of armor out of dragonscales. It’s reasonable, it makes sense.

But for everything? As a concept it’s gone way too far.

What I want is a set that I can wear that feels like I am a Hunter prepared to go out into the wild actually hunting things. Like, on a safari.

Cue the Safari Hat.

Have you seen the Safari Hat? If you defeat 40 Master Pet Tamers, you get the Safari Hat mailed to all of your characters.

It is not transmoggable, not now. It confers 10% bonus to leveling XP for your battle pets.

As soon as I saw it, I loved it.


The Safari Hat is exactly what I want as a Hunter to inspire the set I wear. I am, and play as in my role-playing heart, an old-fashioned Big Game Hunter eternally out there on safari, exploring the wildest places in the world for the new, the amazing, the challenging.

Can you imagine it? I can.

I can picture my Pandarian Hunter, with the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan, wearing the Safari Hat and a safari set of armor looking like a set of linens with a ‘vest of many ammo pouches’, seated on the back of one of the new¬†honking huge Triceratops mounts.

That is how I want to roll.

I want to be a bear,¬†wearing safari threads almost like I mauled a human hunter and stole his stuff. With a massive rifle… riding a dinosaur.

If that doesn’t say TOTAL BADASS, I don’t know what does.

You can keep your freaking laser beams.

I’d like to add, and this is a key thing to consider, I don’t want to be a bear hunter that looks like he killed a human, and then made armor out of the human to wear. Just the safari clothes are fine, aaaight?


Found a couple of pictures of exactly what I’m talking about, the Van Pelt look from jumanji, who even has a big ass cape/cloak and the honking big gun. Even his whiskers are panda-like!



Okay, You may Be Losing a Bear

Back in the day, there was this pen and paper role playing game named Cyberpunk 2020.

I played that game in this real tight window, about 6 really intense months where I had source materials, time and a group willing to take a chance on playing in a world inspired by William Gibson and the explosion of the cyberpunk vibe.

It came, it hit, and aside from a lingering love of books like Snow Crash, movies like Hackers and Nemesis, and pumping dance music, it all faded away and got absorbed into popular culture.

I love Cyberpunk 2020, and I’m not alone. The character creation system was polarizing. The world was close enough to touch, to make connections fire in your head, inspire you to try something personal.

I loved seeing what people made for characters. More often than you might think, you’d see someone come up with a character concept that seemed to really say something about about some inner desire or dream. There was more there than ‘roll 3d6 for stats and come up with a name’. Shit was revealing.

Well, here we go. There is a Cyberpunk game in the works, Cyberpunk 2077, and it’s a collaboration between the original creator of the Cyberpunk 2020 game, Mike Pondsmith, and game developers CD Projekt RED.

Just, wow.

Right out of the gate, they give us something that tells old hands at the original game like me that we’re in for a wild ride.

Just like Tycho said at Penny Arcade, to tackle cyberpsychosis in the first teaser trailer sets a mark, states that this is not going to be a watered down, kinder, gentler Night City. The 57 years that have passed since the original setting have not seen a sudden proliferation of peace, love and fresh bacon sandwiches.

Talk about a hardcore way to tell us where they’re coming from with the game. They’re pulling no punches.

And thank you to IGN for taking the time to really look at the trailer, and explore some of what’s going on with the game.

If the game can live up to that promise, you might just be losing me when this comes out. Just saying.

I haven’t been this excited for a new game, in… well, shit. Huh, I can’t remember.

Excuse me, off to watch that again.