The Cub Report: The Mystery Revealed!

Okay, are you ready for the big reveal?

I bet you scrolled down to see the pictures first, didn’t you? You scrolled down, then scrolled back up. Shame on you.

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Pac Man? Is that you? Wakka wakka…

What was in the box is a Figureprints statue of one of my sons characters, Wooffie. Well done Andrew for your accurate guess, even if you talked yourself out of it immediately.

Figureprints statue of World of Warcraft warlock character Wooffie, a Worgen in purple robes clutching a staff

Wooffie the Worgen Warlock!

Yes… yes, it is a Warlock.

How Wooffie the Worgen Warlock became a Figureprint is fairly interesting to me.

I asked our son what he thought. If any one of his characters could be a statue, who would he want it to be?

I tried to ask in such a way that he never once suspected it might actually happen. This kind of questioning is usually the province of Department of Homeland Security gestapo, and spouses desperate for birthday ideas, but I did my best.

I expected the answer to be his Worgen Death Knight. That is the character he actually plays, the character he’s run numerous raids with, Dragon Soul, Molten Core, he has his bank with full 22 slot bags and his entire Void Storage choked with transmog gear.

Nope.

He wanted Wooffie, his Worgen Warlock to be a statue. And he was serious about it.

He knew the exact outfit he wanted to be wearing, as well as which weapon. How? Because he spends more time in game browsing the MogIt addon than he does actually playing.

Which reminds me, I really need to try and get enough people scraped together to get his Worgen Death Knight the Molten Core chest piece. He has the rest of the set along with the heroic mode chest armor, but that flaming red doesn’t blend well with the nice orange of the normal mode. Someday.

Anyway.

We made sure to run raids until he had every piece of the Warlock Tier, looked smoking hot, that Warlock was on fire, man. He also got the staff he selected as his transmog weapon.

I revealed that this was for real, we were actually going to do a Figureprints statue. His reaction was so cute, I swear he squeeed.

We went to the Figureprints website, where we were able to import his character and equipment directly from the Armory.

I was shocked to see Figureprints does Minecraft as well. I was quick to hide that from Alex, I shudder to think what could come from THAT revelation!

Our first surprise in browsing the character options was that you weren’t limited to gear you actually had equipped on your Armory page. You could also browse character sets, and choose from among them to deck out the character you wished you had instead of the one you were stuck with because that damn helm won’t ever drop.

After browsing sets for a while, he went back to ‘HIS’ Wooffie, and then chose his own pose, base, colors for his name, everything.

He got to bring his own character to life, and we placed the order.

What might have thrown you off in your guesses from the previous post is how big the box was that arrived. It’s a big honking box.

That is because the statue is HUGE!

I had in my mind that this thing would be, okay, bigger than a wargaming miniature, but not much bigger. Maybe as big as normal action figures in the stores these days, around 3 1/2″ tall.

Um, no. This thing is around 10″ or more tall, and very wide. The entire thing is sturdy as heck, and I’m not kidding about how big it is. This is a statue under glass, something extremely noticeable on your shelf. It doesn’t get lost among the clutter.

Wooffie the Warlock statue, with a noticeable matte 'dust' appearance.

Wooffie the Dusty Warlock

So, to the good. It looks great. I don’t know how these pictures will turn out, but holding the statue in your hands, it looks incredible. It IS Wooffie, right there, big as biscuits and gravy. I was concerned about the fine details of the armor and glowy bits, but in person it looks incredible. There is absolutely no question what this is, and he looks good doing it.

The one thing that isn’t a negative but is something you notice is… as you can see, the manufacturing process does leave the product with a slightly dusty finish.

I think, for a character wearing cloth, it looks great. It leaves stone spikes and skulls and cloth all looking very good.

Alex did notice the dusty finish right away, not so much as a complaint as in thinking that it may have gotten dusty before the glass dome was put on. “Can we take the glass off and brush it off?”, so it’s certainly there and does give the impression of a light coating of dust.

Again, looking closely at the staff and cloth armor, it doesn’t take away from the figure at all.

My only thought is, if I were a devotee of ‘slut plate’, or chose a character wearing shiny metal armors or lighter colored tones, would the dusty appearance have mattered more?

I have no idea. I’d love to get the opinions of others who have Figureprints of characters wearing colorful metallic armors, and especially pictures I could feature, to find out more.

I was talking to Tesh of Tish Tosh Tesh, the Master of Peep Mayhem and Marshmallow Mastication his thoughts about the dusty finish.

He thought it might be possible for someone to use a clear coat polymer over parts that are supposed to be metal to get a nice effect. He did point out it gives you more of an incentive to play a cloth or leather wearing class. 🙂

I agree with him, but when you’ve invested in something this special, it would take massive guts to experiment with paints and coatings. Or to breathe on it too hard.

Overall, it’s fantastic.

I know I teased you yesterday, but I hope the final surprise was worth it.

Thank you to Cassie, who took a lot of pictures and, to my mind, did a great job of getting details through the glass case. Thanks, sweetie!

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It’s a Mystery

I have something special to show you, something really neat.

I’ll show you pictures, I’ll do a big reveal.

When you see it, you will laugh, you’ll cry. It’s not a hoax, not an imaginary tale.

It’s real!

But… you’ll have to wait.

For now, all I will say is…

Whatever it is, it’s in the box.

Closed carton, marked this side up.

It’s a Mystery. Ooh, spooky!

You Have to Earn Respect

Of all the roles in World of Warcraft, tanks tend to get the most respect just for showing up.

Players who go for DPS are there doing what everyone does everyday. Since everyone does it, there isn’t much inherent respect for someone as a DPS player. Nobody is sitting in LFR thinking, “Woah, a Beastmaster Hunter, that must be one heck of a skilled player!”

No. Nobody says that.

Healers are a mixed bag when it comes to respect. Those that have never played a healer often seem to think they just stand there playing whack-a-mole on a grid of health bars, afk half the time watching Benny Hill.

In fact, healing is mostly noticed in the absence. You don’t know how the healers are doing or that they’re even there until people start dying. I’ve noticed in LFR that many people don’t care WHY someone died. Apparently mechanics are out the window, and it doesn’t matter if you were standing in purple or not, if you died, it was the healers fault because LOL LFR.

Of course, those of us who have played as tanks know exactly what kind of hell we put healers through, and God bless you, you poor, sad, abused souls.

But tanks?

Tanks get respect just for showing up.

The tank is the boss, the leader, the supreme poobah that is going to lead us out of the desert and into the promised land of 90 Valor and great big heaping… bags of gold.

Now more than at any other time, 25 random strangers appear in a room, and all eyes turn to the tanks to lead the way and go go go.

The tank is expected to automatically (and instantly!) take charge and lead the raid, right up front in the spotlight, all eyes upon you. Better not screw this up.

It is the tank that starts marking, controls where bosses move, and has the full responsibility for positioning everything properly.

The difference between a run that goes smoothly and a run that has you screaming hatred at the monitor is generally how experienced the tank is with the fight, and whether they know how to position everything/taunt/tank swap properly.

So, full respect for tanks, right? They choose to take upon their shoulders that responsibility, and I for one am very grateful to them.

Most of them.

Sadly, not all tanks in LFR are up to the task.

Maybe it’s precisely because I respect those who step up and tank and fully appreciate what is involved in tanking well done that when I see someone queued as a tank with a piss-poor attitude, it sends me into paroxysms of rage.

Look, the only thing a tank truly has to have is the right attitude.

You don’t have to have maxed out epic gear or prior experience as a tank on the boss fights. In fact, you don’t even HAVE to have been in the LFR as a DPS or healer first to get some experience with the base fight, although I strongly recommend it at least once.

What you have to have is a desire to perform your role well, and enough give-a-shit to prepare a teeny bit ahead of time.

Let me tell you something. If you can’t be bothered to do the bare minimum necessary to have a clue what to do before you step in the raid, then pick something else to do in the game. You aren’t cut out to be a tank. Don’t let people think they can count on you, you’re not ready for it.

At the point where you don’t care, that exact point where you really just can’t be bothered, but you’re going to queue as a tank for fights that you have never seen before and have no idea whatsoever is about to happen, it is at that point RIGHT THERE that you have lost my respect, and I hope you get the reaming that you are due. Even for LOL LFR.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I could macro it, I see it so much,  “Don’t know the fights? Never been here before? Next time why not try Fatboss strat videos on YouTube! Guaranteed to keep you from looking like a noob or double your money back.”

How to be better prepared to tank LFR, by the numbers;

1) Watch a strategy video.

This is an easy step to take. There are a lot of videos out there, easy to find, and many of them are funny to watch with great commentary. The Fatboss series of videos is good for this, and can be found on Youtube. No cost, easy to find, great sense of humor. A quick watch and you will understand what the basics of the fights are, without ever having stepped foot in the place.

Watching a video while someone else spoon feeds the fight mechanics to you is so easy that not doing it is inexcusable.

Maybe you want to be surprised by the mechanics, you want to experience it fresh and new.

Great. Go do it with friends on normal.

LFR with 24 complete strangers, queued as the tank with everyone relying on you to have a clue is not the time to be a dumbass. You want a fresh spoiler-free look at the content, do it on your own time with friends who love you and will put up with you because friendship transcends the stresses of time and stupid people.

2) Read the Dungeon Journal.

There is a resource built into the game that gives you detailed data on every boss in the new raids, every mechanic, every situation. Consider it a Gamefaqs for WoW raiding, a cheat sheet for chasing valors. Many Bothans should have died to get this information to you, and it’s all there, the weaknesses of the enemy, presenting you with all the info you need to shove your missile right up the enemy exhaust port.

The resource I speak of is the Dungeon Journal, and you can find it on your button bar. It’s okay, go look for it, spend some time reading through it. It’s pretty cool. And it’s free! They just GIVE this shit away! It’s like they want you to win, or something. Knowledge is powa, grasshopper.

It’s not perfect, I know. What the Dungeon Journal will not do is tell you what the ‘commonly accepted’ tactic is for handling a boss fight. It tells you what the bosses will do to you, not what you should do about it. But if you watched a video, they probably talked about the ‘commonly accepted’ tactics already, so you’re good, right?

And the Dungeon Finder will give you LFR specific information!

3) Do an LFR as something other than the tank FIRST, at least once.

I know you want tank gear. And I know that, until patch 5.3 rolls around, the only way you can queue as one spec and have a chance to get the gear of another spec is to change specs  on the fly after the boss is dead but before you use your Bonus Roll for that boss.

Don’t lose hope, that DOES work! I’ve seen it happen.

If you have never done an LFR before, please run it as something other than the tank the first time. Give yourself that one chance to see the basics and integrate them before you add on the specialized tasks of the tank. You have no idea how critical the proper positioning of the bosses can be for these runs. Tanks make or break groups by how they position mobs, and both tanks are necessary for most of them. You can’t just queue for tank expecting to be the unnecessary offtank, and coast off of someone else doing the real tanking work.

If you really have to run it as the tank even for your first time, then I refer you once again to strategy videos and the Dungeon Journal. There are still ways you can prepare without announcing in full-on ignorance, “This is my first time in this raid ever, what do I do? Is there a taunt?”

4) Immediately whisper your co-tank when you step foot into LFR to coordinate with them.

When all else fails, talk to your other tank and work with them on who will do what. Maybe they will be experienced and will guide you on what they want you to do to back them up, maybe they will be in the same position as you, and you can agree to work together, boldly advancing into certain death.

It’s sad, is what it is.

I wish I could be sure that the people who need to see this ever would. The runs I’ve been on that make this post necessary leave a bitter taste behind.

I truly never expected to see a day when a 25 person raid would get someone who proudly proclaims, at the start of EVERY fight, “I’ve never seen this raid before ever, what do I do?” And it’s not a joke, or irony, or any of that! Dead serious, ignorant and queued as a tank anyway because why should they care? The queue was shorter and they’ll get better chances at tank gear. Truly has no idea, is in all greens and blues, but is there as the tank so yay.

First half of Heart of Fear, and on the fifth wipe of Horridon we are still trying to get through to the tank, “Stop, please stop standing in the purple circle. Please. Please, stop. Stop standing in the purple circle. Dear lord please stop doing it. Please. I just want my 90 Valor and to go curl up in a corner and cry, please stop.”

You don’t have to show up dripping epics to be a good tank. You don’t have to have run it a billion times. You don’t even have to have done it before, everyone runs everything for the first time sometime.

What you gotta do is, you have to care just a tiny bit that you are assuming a role that carries with it some responsibility. Just a little bit.

You have to give a shit.

When I think back over the years to some of the really nice people I’ve known who wanted to tank, who really wanted to try it but were afraid to because they weren’t confident in themselves or in their skill, who were nervous of failing under the pressure of all those eyes, judging them in case they weren’t great…

When I think of all the people I know who cared so much, who tried so damn hard to be perfect tanks, the stress of tanking for strangers could make them cry if things didn’t go well…

I want to take some of these new asshats and put their nuts in a vise. Just, give them a first class case of the nutcrusher.

Serious, no shit, I wish I could put an account on the ignore list and vote to kick them off the internet.

Ignorant louts. You give tanks a bad name.

Running With The Wolves

Before going further, I have an important (to me) announcement to make!

Tonight, my son will be attempting to play his Unholy Worgen Death Knight in his first Mogu’shan Vaults LFR.

I will be running with him and offering tips and encouragement, and Cassie might be able to go as well.

If you would like to join us, you would be very welcome! We’re planning on running the first half of MSV for sure, possibly the second half was well depending on queue times.

I know that quite a few of you have run with the Cub and his Death Knight in Icecrown Citadel, Firelands, Black Temple and Sunwell. I would be delighted to have you join us while he takes on what is in my opinion a hellacious step up in difficulty when it comes to getting out of the big bad.

I can’t really give you a specific set time when we’d be going. The best I can say is tonight, and we would probably try to start around 6 PM to 6:15 PM Central standard time.

It kinda depends on how long his homework takes. Such is life in the pint size bracket.

Oh yeah, and since this is Alliance side cross-server LFR, if you’d like to go and haven’t done the Battletag stuff with me before on the fun runs, just send me a Battletag friend request at BigBearButt#1737

I hope you’re able to make it tonight! It would be fun to chat with friends as we steamroll some LFR together.

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In other news, the Cub got a Key to the treasure trove yesterday, and went in for his first shot at the vault.

Up to this point I’ve done it for his character to ‘maximize’ his chances at Elder Charms.

Yeah… he blasted through the first room clearing more chests in less time than I usually do. And that is with the first BIG chest bugging out on him, lid opening but not giving him loot, just like you sometimes see with serious lag spikes in game while looting corpses.

I told him to leave it behind and keep going and all the rest opened fine. It was just that first big one that bugged. Go figure.

In the final chamber, he loves having Burial Trove keys to use. He loves the random element. He looks around, and says “That chest looks like it was being protected by that dead mogu, I’ll try that one.”

It’s fun seeing him create stories about what might have happened, and making his decisions based off of that. I know it must seem silly, but when you remember your children as the small little handful that could sleep on your wife’s lap while she played Spyro or Animal Crossing, to see him engaged in a fantasy game, thinking about what he sees and naturally imagining what might have happened and having fun…

It’s the best.

I just keep counting the months until he’s old enough or at the right maturity level to appreciate the things we love…

Like, on the edge of my seat waiting until he’s old enough to see The Lord of the Rings movies and enjoy them as exciting without being scary. Y’know?

I do have a sad, though.

I can’t convince him that The Princess Bride would be a cool movie to watch. He’s just old enough to need to be bedridden and unable to move before he’ll allow me to put any movie on that has the word ‘Princess’ in the title.

Damnit!

“But… but it’s the GOOD PARTS VERSION!!!”

I used to have that book years ago, the good parts version. Maybe I need to get another copy and read it to him to suck him into it. Grrr.

 

A Long Time Dead

If I were the sort given to introspection, I might be worried at the direction my Warcraft gaming has taken.

I started this journey full of life and hope, an Elven Druid devoted to nature, given to the wild fury of the storm, a tiger to my foes, a stalwart bear to shield my allies.

Over the years, the journey found me seeking a companion to travel alongside, sharing each new vision we came across, me and my pet against the world, both of us excited to see what might lay on the far side of the mountains, under the cloudy skies.

But now… now, I just don’t know.

I’ve been exploring the darker side of life, playing with fire, taking my meals in the shady side of the streets. Hiding my light in the bushel of the Slaughtered Lamb, and isn’t that a creepy place to hang your hat and drink your draughts?

It’s hard to imagine sinking any lower than consorting with demons, even if your version of consorting involves some real consort-type action. What’s that? Nothing on the telly and 1-800-SUCCUBUS on the magnet by the fridge? Sounds like just another Warlock Saturday night.

Yeah, it’s hard to imagine sinking any lower than that.

It’s only hard until you’re faced with finding something to do on a Saturday night when you’re going to be a long time dead.

My Hunter looks forward to spending many a fine evening camped under the stars, massive dinosaur by his side. He will be there all summer long, a panda and his dino, toasting bacon, marshmallow and chocolate smores over the fire. The breeze feels mighty fine.

My Warlock is full of nervous energy, trying to claw and scrape her way towards power and wealth just as you’d expect. Always in sight is the need to deal death and destruction on an ever-larger scale, and when the Twin Emperors in old Ahn’Qiraj died in a millisecond this last weekend, all she could mutter was “Could’ve used a bit more oomph in the fire there. Could have cut a bit deeper. I can’t be having with any dilly-dallying on the fire.”

She’s never satisfied. Nothing is ever good enough, and a Valor Point left unearned in a week is simply unacceptable. There must always be more… more striving, more goals.

There can be no stopping until the stars themselves know what it is to wither and die beneath her crushing will.

But while she has the ambition and the will, she lacks the power to rain death and destruction on her foes at the scale she desires.

That might be a good thing, at least to everyone but her, but don’t tell HER that. She gets cranky.

As strong as her desires for destruction may be, even she pales beside the depths to which I have now sunk.

I’m dead, Jim.

I have spent the last week getting my undead groove on, aiding my sons Worgen Death Knight to take his first, fateful steps into LFR.

I say aiding, but it’s me on the reigns as he loses himself in Skylanders Giants and the new Luigi’s Mansion for the 3DS.

A dead Worgen, skeletal fleas nibbling on rotten ears, coated in a rime of frost, steeped in an unholy mixture of foul pestilence and rotting blood worms.

It doesn’t get any lower than six feet under. Does it?

Through this week, my playing has accelerated as a few horrifying truths have come clear.

Dear lord, Death Knights are so ridiculously overpowered I feel ashamed to log in.

No, wait, seriously now.

My Hunter has been on a few raids with lots of trash, and I don’t sit on my hands, mark you. I know Beastmasters are powerful on single targets, but I have still tried to support the team with the best AoE I could do.

I think my Hunter reached nearly to 99k once on the fourth boss in Heart of Fear. Once. At the peak of my iLevel 494 gear.

I ran Mogu’shan Vaults once all the way through a few weeks ago on the Death Knight, didn’t win any usable rewards. I ran it again this last week, and also worked hard to get enough Valor to purchase an iLevel 522 necklace. That finally qualified the DK to enter Heart of Fear.

Last night, I ran both halves of Heart of Fear for the first time ever, and capped the evening with the last three bosses of the Terrace.

First night even qualified to get into Heart of Fear, and that was with some crap gear cheating my way into the raid sitting unequipped in my bags.

I was worried, of course. Will my DPS be so poor that they boot me? I don’t want to be a drag on a team.

Let me put it this way.

On that fourth boss for Heart of Fear, Wind Lord Mel’jarak, I had 116K DPS, and fourth place on the chart.

That’s not a typo.

ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN THOUSAND FUCKING DEE PEE ESS.

And that is as UNHOLY. I keep hearing as to how Frost is so awesome, because y’know, Howling Blast means it has strong AoE.

That’s bullshit, that is.

It makes my power-mad Warlock weep bitter green tears, it does.

And for questing? I got Alex set up with a Blood spec, because the Dread Wastes were tough for him leveling as Unholy.

I fired the ol’ DK up as Blood and started rolling tide across the Isle of Thunder and, well, shit.

You know why I like questing as Blood DPS?

I like it because I can kill anything, I don’t have to pay attention, and I end every fight with full health.

I feel dirty.

Who knew the soil of the grave would leave me feeling so unclean?

Yeah, that’s what it is.

I was wondering aloud upon the incredibly bullshit OP nature of the Death Knight in guild chat last night, and Arrakeen remarked that there are few things in game quite as annoying as seeing a Blood Death Knight in the Brawler’s Guild, ignoring mechanics and gutting it out past the enrage timer.

I had to laugh. I think I saw the same fight.

“Oh no, you probably just saw one of many.”

You know, when a class is really overpowered, I always have just one thing to say.

Good on yer, and now let’s see some of that love spread around, all right then Blizz?

I’m sure it will last just as long as the next patch balancing, when somebody else will rise to new heights of WTFdom. It’s all good.

This trend of mine can’t continue. Where will it end?

For one thing, I can’t imagine what I would have to play to sink down any deeper than this.

I mean, I already HAVE a Hunter.

And no, I’m not race changing to Night Elf.

Or Blood Elf either, nice try.

And I absolutely draw the line at renaming him “Lolgalass”.