The Cub Report – And Then Reality Came A Calling

Happy Fathers Day!

It was a pretty nice day, today. I got to spend it with my family, and that’s a good thing. Cassie only kicked me in the nuts once! You could tell it was going to be a special day.

Alex built a DVD cabinet, one of the Sauder wood kits, while I supervised/show me/tell me. Turned out very nice, he’s proud of it. He likes hammer time.

We also spent some time in World of Warcraft, and his Death Knight dinged 85. Woot!

In anticipation, I had the 397 BoE bracers for him, Lierthes had given him a present for when he turned 85 which turned out to be the 397 boots, and I had also crafted the entire PvP Vicious Pyrium Plate set.

You know where this is going. 🙂

Silarkias helped heal him and my Druid through Crucible of Carnage to get him the 333 two handed sword, and then Cassie got on her Enhancement Shaman to join us for his first ever heroic… Heroic End Time.

I’m sorry, but I fricken fracken HATE all the lower level 85 instances, normal and heroic. They make my fuzzbutt hurt with irritation.

I tried to take ‘Fuzzbutt” as a character name once, it was already taken. Sigh. So was “Fuzznuts”. Just saying.

I still love me the three heroic Twilights. I  run them for fun, any role, to get Valor. In fact, I prefer to heal or tank those for fast Justice Point gains whenever I want something you can get from the Justice vendor. Turning in Justice for Honor to get the PvP mounts is my latest thang. I’m not kidding, I run the three most recent heroics all the time, and I’m still not tired of them.

I do prefer Hour of Twilight, though. No real reason, except maybe that a good tank helps casters on the second boss by being predictable in waddling out of the smoke cloud, so the casters don’t get silenced if they know to stand behind your big butt.

Anyway, Alex equipped his new gear, hit iLevel 365, Cassie logged into her Shaman, I queued as tank, and we went into his first heroic ever.

Since Alex is sitting in the same room as I am, I was able to coach him on the mechanics easily. We had Azure first, followed by Ruby.

I was happy to see that he was not being carried. In his first heroic instance, he was pulling over 12k DPS, and he did not pull aggro, did not stand in front of the mobs while fighting, did not pull the wrong group, did not stand in the fire (even the purple fire in Ruby), did not stand behind the ghoul in Ruby but went all out on the correct target and moved into the safe zone after (unlike the Mage, that I had to Battle Rez the first time, and who died again the second time. Sigh.), he did a great job blowing cooldowns on the Bronze Dragonflight, yadda.

In other words, he did better as DPS than quite a few Death Knights I’ve run into before in LFG. He didn’t even pop Army of the Dead on boss pulls! Shit, that puts him in the top 10% in my book.

He got lucky, too. He got the plate Helm drop off Bronze, a very nice upgrade. That plus the Gloves as a quest reward, and gemming everything out, and our lad from the underground was doing right well. I was looking forward to seeing how he would do in his second heroic after getting so many upgrades right out the gate.

And so we queued again, and got the second heroic in the series, and that was cool, because that meant he’d get more quest rewards. And heck, 5 heroics by Monday night and he’ll have enough Valor for the relic!

Oh yeah, his second ever heroic instance, with his mother and father right there along with him. Grand times for a Father Day.

This is literally what greeted us within two seconds of zoning in;


You know, I can’t easily remember the last time someone was a jackass in chat for absolutely no reason. Even the trolls that try to wipe you, I just don’t see outright… well, be jackasses like this. For one thing, they usually troll by being afk or by pulling the wrong thing in utter silence, so it’s harder to /ignore them.

Here we are, second one he’s ever been in, so far a special night all around, he’s just jazzed and excited and happy and he’s passing on everything he can’t use and kicking ass despite PvP gear, and playing really well. He’s playing at adult levels of proficiency,  which is all anyone can ask for.

But it’s a group activity, isn’t it? And we didn’t control all five slots.

I had us leave the group immediately, and incurred the thirty minute deserter debuff.

He’s gone off and trained and enchanted his sword with Fallen Crusader, he’s sitting here beside me right now, saying, “Wow, I don’t have to worry about experience any more, do I? I can do whatever I want. I feel so free.” He’s exploring Twilight Highlands, he finds the Maw of Madness fascinating. I can’t wait to unleash him on Lovecraft when he turns 16.

He went and bought the Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade as a reward to himself for dinging 85. He could of got it earlier, but he saved it for now. He noted that he has no more abilities left to learn. He’s at max level. No more skills to get ‘someday’.

It’s just starting to sink in that he’s max level. And he’s doing so well.

He doesn’t pay attention to the chat text. I long ago turned off all trade and general chat on his characters, and I activated the profanity filter, and it doesn’t matter much anyway because he generally doesn’t ever look at the chat box. I’m there beside him to talk to, he doesn’t have to get his info from the box, so he doesn’t watch it like I do. He never sees people in guild saying ‘grats’, so I usually have to point it out to him, and even reply for him sometimes.

So it’s not like this was a traumatizing event. There is a profanity filter for a reason, and this was the reason. There are other tools in the game to report a player for inappropriate language, and Cassie and I both did so.

It can also be argued that nine years old is too young for a multiplayer MMO, even when supervised at all times, for precisely this reason. But then, that’s why I play with him and watch what’s going on. I wouldn’t leave him to play all alone in game any more than I would leave his ass out on the street. Not that I don’t trust any of you, but I don’t trust any of you. I trust Cassie, I trust me, and that’s it. Oh, yeah, and my mother-in-law. Hmmm. I’d trust my brother-in-law, too. Yeah, I think that’s about it. Leaving him alone and unattended? Oh yeah, you’re real funny. Excuse me while I go clean my guns. Watch where you step in the yard. Oh, no, no reason.

Ooh, somebody let loose with bigoted hate speech in an instance for no reason. Nope, you’re not going to find any outrage on my part, I’ve been playing this game for a long time, I know what kind of people play it.

The answer is, ALL kinds of people play it. All kinds of people, meaning every kind of person there is. Nice people and asshats, intelligent people and idiots, polite people and vulgar, respectful people and selfish trolls. Morons and the wise. All kinds.

The world plays World of Warcraft. You’d think that the modern media outlets would pick up on that at some point.

And that would be my point here. His second outing in a heroic, and he has a perfect chance to encounter in a controlled environment exactly the kind of asshat he will have to learn to deal with in the real world.

But here, he has all the power. Never forget that.

In the game, you have all the power. I know that there have been some truly terrible stories of abuse and stalking between players in the game, but there is a very real difference between a relationship that falls apart after emails and real names and Real ID and addresses have been exchanged, and some jackass you ran into in a random instance.

In the game, if a total stranger approaches you and is rude, you can put them on ignore, and they are gone forever. You can also report their behavior for investigation, and if they physically annoy you in game by standing on your mobs and such, you can hearth, take flight points, log into a different character, a different server… you have the choice. You have the power to walk away and there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it.

You may be annoyed that they are trying to hassle you when you’re not willing to log off that character at that precise time, but then, that’s your choice. To choose to ignore the idiot because you are more interested in what you’re doing right then.

Not that they can follow you against your will in a raid or instance, or Battleground. They can’t force you to pay attention to them, as real life bullies can and will do.

Obviously, I like the fact that you can get proof of in-game behaviors so easily. Screenshot, and guess what, it DID happen!

Like the screenshot earlier. Explain that away, bigot.

There is a reason why all our WoW accounts have the Elephant addon.

I had Cassie and Alex drop that group, even though it cost us a thirty minute deserter penalty, because that was my choice. I never run with bigots, ever. Ever. Thirty minutes? I’ll gladly pay that price to never see you again. I have a strict “no runs with asshats” policy, and I stick to it.

And I made sure Alex understood, that was not running away. We could have all put Marsie on ignore and got what we wanted. But, that would have given Marsie the run they wanted. By leaving group, we gave them the inconvenience of finding another tank and two DPS. Maybe it only took 2 minutes for that to happen, but it was a consequence. And of course, I didn’t have to carry them or wonder what other asshat thing they would pull in a group while Alex is learning the right things to do.

That is the lesson I hope Alex will learn from me, as he gets older. Don’t ever be a victim, don’t ever accept abuse, don’t ever give another power over you unless you choose to. And whenever possible, stick their hate right up their ass.

Living well and being happy is the best revenge. Let them twist on their hate, fuck ’em.

There are always options, and in the real world, the consequences are often a lot more severe than a thirty minute deserter debuff.

Standing up to bullies, in the game or in real life, can come with a cost, but in my opinion it’s a cost worth paying. I know that’s not the politically correct view, but then again, I joined the US Marines, not the Peace Corps. If he chooses to turn the other cheek, good for him. I will wholeheartedly support him. If he chooses to stand his ground and to hell with bullies, I’m right there with him as well.

You don’t usually expect your video games to come with a moral lesson, do you?

But the lesson for the day is, if there are people to be found anywhere, then there will be offensive, immature little asshats. I don’t care if it’s Lego Universe or WoW, the playground or the classroom, people will be people, and the asshats will make their presence felt.

Best to learn how to deal with it and rise above it, than to hide or pretend it can’t ever happen. If you start hiding now, when will you ever decide to stop?


The Cub Report – Yuscha told us where to go!

This is a special report!

Holy crap, what a fun couple of days.

First, a bried recap.

In our last Cub Report, I talked about our smash and grab through Deepholm, and the trials and tribulations of Pebbles the potential pet.

Since that post, I’ve been checking each day, and we’ve managed to get two Lost in the Deeps in a row, out of ten needed for the Pebble pet achievement. Either they buffed the frequency, or we’ve been seriously lucky with the pop rate on that quest at Throne of Therazane.

In the comments of that post, Yuscha talked about and linked a related pet-providing Daily Quest, Underground Economy.

I say pet-providing, but only sorta.

I had studied this one back in the day, but since I only collected pets on my Druid, and my Druid didn’t do and WASN’T going to do Deepholm, I didn’t look too close.

Suddenly here was Yuscha, reminding me that things have changed. Pets will be shared across account. I’ve got lots of other characters exalted with Therazane to do quests.

This mission just got reactivated, Mr Phelps.

Hey Yuscha, how hard is this Tiny Shale Spider gonna be to get?

In the Crumbling Depths, that tunnel full of gyreworms in Deepholm, there is a Daily Quest giver named Ricket (yes, the awesome Ricket from Storm Peaks and the Molten Front!) that CAN have a quest for you called Underground Economy.

The way this works is, just like Lost in the Deeps, Underground Economy is a Daily Quest that may or may not be there each day. Even more interesting, it shares the time slot with Lost in the Deeps. If Lost is up, Underground ain’t. I think Wowhead said there is also a third quest it shares with, but that didn’t give me a pet, so screw that one.

The second interesting thing is, Ricket is to be found INSIDE the Crumbling Depths tunnel, before you reach the untargetable/unkillable elite massive gyreworm that goes in endless circles. And if you are not IN the Crumbling Depths tunnel? You do NOT see the quest exclamation point on your map!

That’s right, you can’t just fly overhead looking for an icon for the quest giver. You have to go inside the Crumbling Depths to see if she’s there.

The hilarious thing is, the quest doesn’t give you the pet… it just gives you the means to get to where the pet is. Or at least to Jadefang, the rare mob that has a 100% chance of dropping the pet… if Jadefang happens to be there.

Jadefang is pretty popular. Not only is there a 100% pet drop, but Jadefang is a cool green shale spider pet that hunters like, for her green color. Goes with a Blood Elf’s eyes, don’tcha know.

Yuscha and the Wowhead link made it clear, clear enough even for me to get; If Ricket is there in the tunnel, you get the daily quest from her, and she gives you bombs. Unlimited bombs.

These bombs have knockback. Hellacious, insane knockback… controllable knockback. Send you UP and BACK knockback.

Inside the Crumbling Depths, there is an upper ledge easily within view of the first large cavern after you get past that Elite Gyreworm that keeps running circles around and around.

When you get in that first big cavern, there are lots of tunnels that come off from it, and directly across is one higher ledge. That’s the one Pebble appears at when you get the Lost in the Deeps quest. Well, if you look to your upper left from the entrance to that big cavern, next to Pebbles ledge you’ll see another, slightly higher, ledge. THAT is the dead end tunnel where Jadefang hangs out.

Boiling all the comments in Wowhead down, all you got to do is get to the ledge where Pebble usually hangs out, stand on the edge of the ledge with your ass pointing in the direction you want your character to fly, making sure the big cystal/white rock isn’t gonna block you, and drop the bomb.

Boom, instantly blown to the Jadefang ledge, first time, no problem. Easy as SHIT, man! Right?

And once you’re on the ledge, you’re good. You could drop the daily if you wanted, but why do that? As long as you’ve got it, you’ve got bombs to get back there whenever you’d like. But you’re on the ledge. Log out, check in every once in a while, try odd hours, sooner or later you might get lucky.

Well, last night I went and looked with my Priest, and there was Ricket with some bombs to hand over.

I took the boomies and ran, man.

I got to the ledge first time, just as I said.

No Jadefang. Aww.

According to comments in Wowhead from the dedicated and hard working rare farmers out there (Like Perculia), I could anticipate a nine to twelve hour respawn timer… but I had no idea when Jadefang was last killed.


Camping time! Where’s my Kindle, it’s John Ringo time! Time to get comfy, stay a while and readem’.

I’m not gonna give you a blow by blow for the rest of last night.

Everybody camps in their own way. For me, I tapped the keyboard to jump every once in a while, waved to other players that hopped in and then saw me and logged out in place when I saw them, and read my Kindle.

This had all the makings of one long, tedious, boring night. Some fun, right? Hours of camping.

Ah, but this isn’t the Bear report. This is the CUB report!

Cue the Cub, who wants to see what Dad is doing.

I explain what I’m doing… and as expected, he gets interested, logs into his Death Knight, and flies into his beloved Deepholm to explore the Crumbling Depths.

“Is this the quest giver you were talking about?”

“Yep! She’s the one that gives you wings. I mean bombs.”


A little while later, I walk over to the ledge and look down. There he is. I point over to where Pebble spawns. “You want to get over there, then blow yourself over here.”


And not long after… I have a visitor. Who blew himself over to the ledge in one shot, I might add, did it himself.

From that point, as the saying goes, Hijinks Ensued.

You see, I grouped up with him, and he discovered the joys of setting bombs and blowing himself all over the place. Then I taught him how sneaky Life Grip can be.

Then we started experimenting.

One thing he found was if you set your bomb, then time a jump, it has a bit of a radius effect. It will still bounce you even when you’re in mid-jump.

Then he found you can set bombs while on your mount. Blowing yourself up while in mid-flip on your Golden Dragon mount looks pretty hot.

Then we started playing with mutliple direction bounces.

See, if he stood there, and I stood behind him, and we timed it, he placed his bomb about 1/3rd of a second before I placed my bomb right behind him, then his bomb would go off first launching him backwards just as my bomb went off flinging him in the other direction, leaving a zig-zag contrail in the cave.

We also found out it’s fun to play ‘tag’ with bombs.

As an adjunct to that experiment, I can tell you with 100% conviction that a Priest can use Leap of Faith to pull another character up to Jadefang’s ledge from the lower level. Even after you blew them off with a bomb.

Ah, good times, good times.

Which is a damn good thing, because I camped that spot for seven hours and no Jadefang.

But there would always be other nights.

We both logged out in place, and went to bed at our seperate times.

When I woke up this morning to work out at 4:45 AM, I logged in quick to check…

Jadefang Up! Woot!

Boom, pulled, punched, pet acquired, instant regret sets in.

Shit, I should have logged Alex’s character in to get it first! Son of a bear!

I had good reason not do it at the time, but I had second thoughts immediately afterwards.

Alex wanted to do it himself. He wanted to see Jadefang, he wanted to fight him, he wanted the thrill of victory for himself. That a pet would come from it was the bonus, not the point.

He loves “boss fights”, he loves the experience of taking on the big bad. So I wasn’t going to take that from him, I grabbed Jadefang myself to get it out of the way.

As soon as I did, the second thoughts came rolling in about wasted opportunity.

I get up lots earlier and stay up lots later than Alex does. I have more opportunity to camp than he does, so the first lucky shot should have gone to him to make sure if there isn’t a second shot, at least he got the pet. He only has a very limited window, right at prime time.

Was it right to sacrifice a sure thing in the hopes he’d get lucky again later?

Crap. Crappity crap crap.

When Cassie and Alex came to take me to lunch at my work, and yes I do like my new job thank you, I told Alex about waking up this morning early and getting the Jadefang kill, and the Tiny Shale Spider pet. I also told him that, with the respawn timer, Jadefang might be up again early this afternoon, so he should log in and remember to check.

Alex was super stoked. He wanted to know what the boss looked like, what the pet looked like, how hard it was, etc. I told him it was a giant green version of the little Depp Spiders he’d been knocking off in the cave last night. Cool!

I’m sitting at work today a little after lunch, and the phone rings.

I pick it up, and there’s a seconds silence before an excited young Cub starts screaming in my ear “I got the pet, I got the pet, it’s so cute oh wow it’s so cute, it’s awesome!”

Turns out, when they got home from lunch, Cassie went downstairs to check since she didn’t trust my respawn math assumptions. Sure enough, she logged Alex in, looked around, there was Jadefang standing right behind him. Jadefang wasn’t hostile, btw. It didn’t start eating his face right away.

Cassie pulled him with Death Grip to tag him, then yelled to Alex to come running before he got his face eaten off and turned the reins of power over for the actual kill. 🙂

Well, I guess it all turned out all right after all.

Seriously. If I had had any idea how easy it was to get to that ledge with the bombs, I would have done this months ago, hell, a year ago. Of course, it would have been far more heavily contested then.

So, I don’t know when it respawned exactly, but I killed that sucker at 4:45 AM, and it was back up by 1:30 PM. So, less than eight and a half hours at least that time.

We had so much damn fun in there.

It’s a rockin’ fun place to party down.

I have these visions of a small meeting of friends just heading into Crumbling Depths and partying, drinking, chatting in vent and blowing each other all over the caverns for an evening. Talk about a wild time!

Next time you have a guild meeting, why not have it in Crumbling Depths? If yo’re a member of the guild, and your officers are all stodgy and stuck up, mention it to them as a way to seem ‘hip’ and exciting.

Then while the serious officer types discuss the TPS reports fro your last heroic DW raid, the rest of you can drive them crazy blowing each other up. For extra fun, bring lots of crafted leather balls and paper zeppelin kits!


The Cub Report – Rock Guys Rock!

This last weekend saw a lot of movement, mostly in an upward direction.

Alex and I spent a bit of time on our Death Knights questing, and saw the 100% completion of Deepholm.

Alex has achieved level 84, and thanks to some of his Archaeology adventuring my DK only reached 83.

So, we’re in Uldum. We did the first two sets of Harrison Jones quests, and then he had me turn off his XP gain, because he wanted to get more experience learning PvP before hitting the “big time”.

I now have the opportunity to catch up so we are both 84 before continuing on together. I think we’ll ding at about the same time, I’ve had experience leveling with Cassie before, where we both dinged at exactly the same time on the same quest. it just takes careful timing. Queue ‘The Gambler” soundtrack. 🙂

We both played our Death Knights as Unholy two handed the entire way… without any research. No guidance, and I’ll be honest, without really caring what all the buttons did. We spammed whatever lit up, put everything new on our bars, and hey, stuff died so it’s all good, right?

We were having too much fun chatting side by side while exploring the mysteries.

Oh, and fathers, just in time for Fathers Day, don’t ever forget the awesome power we wield. It’s not just the finesse of choosing the perfect age to watch Star Wars, Transformers or Indiana Jones together. (Note: It is not yet time for Raiders of the Lost Arc. I give it another year or so for the spiders, dead bodies impaled by spears, and snakes).

As an aside, I think nine is the perfect age to first introduce Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Galaxyquest.

No, but beside that, just think… if you time it just right, YOU will be the one to pass on the rites of manhood.

Such as the Beans song.

Teaching the Beans song to my son has elicited hoots of laughter.

For those of you whose fathers did not accomplish their mission;

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
the more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel,
so hey let’s have beans for EVERY meal!

These are sacred mysteries. You must not be derelict in your solemn duty.

What the heck was I? Oh, right.

You only think I’m joking when I lose my train of thought. At this point, it ain’t really a train, it’s more of a wind-up tonka truck.

Hey, did you know Tonka Trucks originally came from here where I live in Minnesota? They were built in a factory in Minnetonka, Minnesota, hence “Tonka Trucks”. I think they’re made in China now or something, but hey, fun facts, right?


Oh, right. playing Death Knights like whack-a-mole.

I finally went and visited Elitist Jerks forums to see what they suggested for specs and ability synergy and all that. And Glyphs.

After that, I went to the Training Dummy, and did it my way. I got about 3800 DPS. I had Alex go for it. He pulled in about 5200 DPS. Pretty good, pretty good.

Then I respecced myself, optimized the abilities, moved stuff around so I could hit what they said were the best ones, and tried again.

I got about 8000 DPS.

Alex is now rocking about 10,500 DPS. Sustained.

I’ve been in LFR with people sporting lower DPS. Not that he’s gonna be in LFR any time soon, but still. I think that’s good for going on into the level 81-84 PvP bracket for a week.

Alex really likes the Harrison Jones quests, although I’m curious what he’s going to think of Schnottz.

Oh, who am I kidding. As soon as Gobbles burst into flames, he went into a giggle fit. Did anyone fail to see that coming?

The biggest hit of leveling so far, I think, was Deepholm. As a self-professed fan of “Rock Guys”, exploring and questing in a world devoted to all things Rock Guy was the bestest thing ever.

I’ll admit to a twinge or two along the way.

He doesn’t quite get the philosophical design reasons behind mindless grinds and repetitive, miserable questing to get something cool. He just doesn’t have the same beaten in, fundamental grasp that some things you think are neat and cool have been intentionally designed so that items most people who will want them won’t ever get them.

The idea that someone would want to intentionally exclude players from having something neat just hasn’t occurred to him. As experienced players, we all know that Blizzard intentionally designs some super cool, neat things so that most people won’t ever get one. Won’t ever even SEE one.

They are always things that do not affect or hinder progression in PvE or PvP. Things that nobody in the game is stuck without. I’ve seen them called vanity items before, but they’re really just… cool, neat stuff.

They’re items that are neat and cool, that you don’t have to have in order to play and succeed in raiding or PvP, that are kept rare either by making them super-rare drops, or requiring extensive research to know how you get them through questing, or through Rep or Honor grinding.

We’re used to it, right? It seems normal.

You see something and think, “Oh, sweet! That rocks! I’d love to have that!”

Then you research it to see how you get it, and find out that if you farm this one remote critter for about 48 hours straight, you might get one. Each kill only has about a 0.01% chance of having the pet Whelp or Firefly or whatever drop, though, so you might just be the exception that blows the curve. Good luck on that Baron Mount!

So it’s kept rare, only those folks that are willing to suffer enough, invest time enough, or pay money enough will get it.

I know that I’ve read that the rares are thus more desirable from a certain point of view.

I know I’m freaking weird. I accept that. I might be the outlier on this one. No offense, but as far as I can tell it’s the point of view of “Nyah nyah, I’ve got one and you doooooon’t”, but what the hey. I’m more than willing to admit that I might be the idiot that doesn’t get it. I mean, I love the Creepy Crate, and it’s not rare at all. Anyone that wanted to do the quests last hallows End can have it, and it rocks. Likewise, I love, love, love the Red Drake you got for running timed Culling of Stratholme.

What I love isn’t having stuff other people don’t have, it’s having a complete collection. God help me, if I let myself, I will try and collect an entire set of… well, anything I think is cool. I hope Alex doesn’t have it as bad as I do.

Anyway, we get all of that about neat rare stuffs. We get that, if you really want something, you have to prove your commitment through sacrifice. Kinda like, if you really want to get the opposite number to go on that date with you, you have to cut your ear off and mail it to them to prove you’re serious. Right?

Oh, wait, wrong support group.

Alex doesn’t really get that part of games, not so much. The first twinge I had along these lines in Deepholm, of course, came the very moment the cute wittle Pebble appeared and offered us quests.

What was the very next sentence uttered by Alex? Oh c’mon, you know what it was.

“Oh, he’s so awesome and cute! Do we get to keep him later as a pet? He’s the greatest!”

Aw… just, crappity crap crap.

Thus follows a fun teaching moment.

“You don’t get him as your pet at the conclusion of these quests, son. You feed him and help him and spend time with him, yes, but he is not a permanent pet just yet. If you want him for a permanent pet, you have to complete all the quests in Deepholm until the daily quest givers are unlocked at the Throne of Therazane, and then you have to check every single day to see if there is one particular quest available, called Lost in the Deeps, and then you have to do that quest a total of ten times. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get the Rock Lover achievement, and you’ll get Pebble mailed to you for your very own pet.”

“Oh. Okay! So I have to do the daily quests for ten days? No problem! It’s just like when we did daily quests to earn our Wintersaber mounts and it took a month!”

Sigh. Yes, that would be the logical thing to expect, wouldn’t it? To simply invest ten solid days of daily questing to get one cute little non-combat pet that you want because you love “Rock Guys”.

“Actually, son, it will probably take more than ten days. In fact, when we finish questing we’ll want to check back every day. You see, the quest doesn’t show up every day. There are all sorts of quests that can appear, a different selection ever day. And if we’re really unlucky, why, we might never see that quest at all.  So, it’s actually something you have to devote a little time to checking every single day for the long haul. So the question you have to ask yourself is, just how badly do you want that pet Pebble?”

“If I get Pebble, will he fight with me?”

Sigh. Oh, do you mean will there be more of a reward for your time and effort other than a standard pet? No, no there won’t. But of course I won’t say that. He just has an honest question. he knows what it takes to get normal pets, and he knows there are pets he has gotten from quest chains, and even pets from the Darkmoon faire dailies. So, if he has to go to what seem unusual lengths, it seems fair to him that there be unusual rewards.

Ah, the innocence of youth, when you still think the game developers LIKE you and just want you to be happy. Giggle.

This is more the area of Tish Tosh Tesh, but the Pebble pet seems to me to be a perfect example of this particular design concept. You don’t have to have that pet. It doesn’t affect raiding proficiency, running instances, PvP capability, it won’t even harm future pet battles.

There are no buffs, debuffs, escapes, evades, achievements coming FROM the pet. The pet is the result of getting an achievement, just like other pets like the little fawn and the skunk. It is a reward for doing stuff that you do not have to do to advance by what is considered progression in the game.

It is 100% entirely optional. It is just one of many potential time sinks.

And thus, there is no requirement on the part of Blizzard to make it easy to obtain in any way. It can even be bugged and never appear ten times as the daily quest, and it doesn’t matter. There is no need to fix it. Random is random, better luck next time, it’ll be even better then. And the more rare it is, in some lights, the better it must be, right?

So. It’s gonna be very interesting to see how badly Alex decides he really wants that Pebble pet.

I’m betting, based on how he handles things, that he’ll log in and check Deepholm a few times over a week this summer, and if he doesn’t see the quest for a few days straight, he’ll never even think about it again. He’ll move on to some other fun thing, either in game or out.

Time will tell.

From what I’ve seen of how he handles goals, he prefers taking on a task where he can see progress, even if it’s just a little at a time. He doesn’t like random blind grinds, he likes being able to see that there was some movement, even if it’s only a little bit, rather than just whack and whack and never know if you’re ever gonna see that one drop.

Like what he’s doing right now, which is playing a couple of Eye of the Storm and Arathi Basin matches each couple of days with XP locked, gathering Honor points for the Death Knight set he thinks looks the best, the Brutal Gladiator’s Dreadplate.

It’s interesting he likes that one so much. And after I went ahead and developed a set I thought would indulge his love of crystals!

FYI, if you’re interested in what went into this set, let me know. I can break it down. I know I haven’t seen it on any of the normal Transmog sites, but I love it. Alex, however, has more Brutal tastes. With spikes.

Well, that’s not really what he’s doing RIGHT NOW. That would playing be on his new level 2 Undead Warrior alt, murdering innocent people and eating their brains and stuff.

Okay, now I’m intentionally taunting the silly peoples. Bad Bear! Bad! Sometimes, I can’t help myself.

/sarcasm off

The Cub Report – Does it Hurt When I Eat Your Face?

… Too soon?

As I raided on Saturday night, my level 9 (I mean nine year old, damnit!) son Alex wanted to take his level 60 Druid into some instances.

Here is where I’m going to admit to some probably poor logic on my part.

I asked him not to go into the level 60 Hellfire instances as part of a group yet, because his gear is mostly scattered lower level stuff. I know that, once you hit Outlands, people start getting pissy about having good gear. They have ridiculous “You should be able to solo this place at level 60” expectations, and generally piss poor elitist attitudes.

I’ve seen it on every character I’ve leveled since the Cataclysm. I don’t know why. The heirlooms people have, if they have them, are the same ones they had since level 1.

Maybe it’s that people are confused by all the changes to the original instances and cut each other some slack, but once hitting Outlands everything is the same as in the old days, and so it’s worthy of arrogant disdain?

Is it that most people ran the old instances until they had them memorized, and they are so poor at introspection they can’t conceive of someone else seeing them for the first time?

I dunno. I do know I’ve personally seen a serious shift in attitude among players once hitting Outlands, so before Alex hits them I’d like to make an effort to get his gear at a reasonable baseline of kickass. After all, he has no heirlooms to OP the stuff, he has to get by on drops and skill. 🙂

So, since I didn’t want him to be subjected to abuse by petty little asshats in Outlands instances, I suggested he try queueing for one of the PvP Battlegrounds instead.

Oh, shush. I never said I was overly blessed with common sense, did I?

Wanting to have fun stuff for another Cub Report had nothing to do with it, I swear!

I suggested he get on his level 82 Death Knight, and queue up for Arathi Basin. All this while I was in Dragon Soul getting my healing on.

I told him, “It’s okay, it’s easy. All you have to do is go in there and kill Horde.  Try not to be all alone, find some other Alliance and tag along with them. If you see Horde, kill ’em. If you’re all alone, you might die, so try not to get surrounded and cut off from support.”

Then I let him go have fun.

As he was waiting in the hut for the timer to go off, I pointed out that there were five flags, what the locations were called, and that generally whoever held the most flags the most time won. So you could capture flags, and defend flags if there were too few people at your location, and go try to take flags away from the Horde. Bye! Have fun storming the Lumber Mill!”

He did Arathi Basin, and then he queued for another, and then he did an Eye of the Storm (or two). There was also an Alterac Valley in there. I mostly tossed a few words of advice and let him roll.

As he played PvP, and as I raided, the achievements started rolling on in.

An Honorable Kill. Damage Control. The Grim Reaper. Know Thy Enemy. Stormtrooper. Take a Chill Pill. Eye of the Storm Victory. 100 Honorable Kills. That Takes Class.

I was just telling him “grats!” and pretty much not paying too much attention to the Achievement spam, until he got to “Stormtrooper“.

Wait, what the hell is he doing?

That is when I looked close, and he’s in there just freaking dominating the center of Eye of the Storm, ganking the flag carriers from the Horde side and protecting the carriers fro the Alliance that picked the flag up.

I suggested he go try and capture some of the bases. Like the one the Fel Reaver dominates.

Then I turned back to the raid… but every once in a while, he’d say something as he muttered to himself while running around killing all the things.

I was listening and enjoying the commentary, but there was one line that made me pull out the pad of paper and the pen to write some of the true gems down.

“I’ll kick their butts until they’re red, sore and dead.”

Oh yes, I’m bringing him up right.

“What what what?!? I just noticed the Horde are controlling THREE BASES! Time to get rolling!” No, I’m not joking, that’s exactly what he said, while standing over the body of a dead Horde flag carrier.

I knew he was one of us at heart though, when he finished an Arathi Basin loss, and had this to say;

“I swear, that last one? The Horde had seventeen in AB, because there were ten swarming us in Lumber Mill, and then seven holding Blacksmith! That’s not right!”

Ah, he’s already begun complaining about how the Horde cheat in PvP. God, my chest is just swelling with pride.

As I was tucking him into bed for the night, I asked him how he liked his first time in player versus player battlegrounds. This is what he told me.

“I think the Horde get more achievements than the Alliance.”

You know, Alex, you’ve got a Goblin Hunter. You could go Horde.

“That’s right! I could join the winning team!”

Ah, from out of the mouths of babes. Or baby face eaters, anyway.

He was so excited to get in there again, he got up early this morning, raced downstairs and did some PvP on his level 60 Druid. Then he switched over and tried his Goblin Hunter once.

Apparently, the one time he did it on his Goblin, they lost.

When I got up out of bed, I asked him how it went.

He looked at me sorrowfully and said, “I think I’m cursed. I even lost on my Horde.”

I started to try and reassure him that he wasn’t cursed, that a single win or loss doesn’t indicate a trend, when he told me, “Oh, I know I’m not really cursed, I just like pretending I am.”

It was like rockets went off in my head, exploding with sudden understanding. The epiphany rocked me on my ass.

Suddenly, I understood all the whining QQ threads from people who endlessly bitch on the WoW forums about PvP wins and losses, class nerfs, other classes getting buffed, and all around whaaaaah.

Sure, sometimes there are very valid issues that people want to report on the forums in order to help Blizzard understand key issues in the game.

But then there are all the rest of the posts on the forums, and it’s not always that people really are screwed over in PvP, or nerfed, or annoyed at other people getting buffed.

It’s that it can be fun to have something to bitch about, even if you have to make that something up! Then you’ve got a reason to wallow, if only for a brief moment, in the “Oh woe is me, why am I so persecuted, it’s not fair” land of sadness and sorrow.

Holy shit, why didn’t I see that before? Now it all makes sense!

Well heck, now I understand the forums. Talk about clueless, I finally get what it was all about.

Wait, what the hell was my last post about? Oh, shit.

Uh, excuse me, gotta go delete something real quick. This’ll take just a sec. BRB. /scurry

PS. I’m planning on talking to Tesh, but I can easily envision a new Alex-inspired T-shirt. A huge Horde symbol, with the words “Go Horde! Join the winning team!” on the front. How hilarious.

The Cub Report: He’s In UR Groups!

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

No, on second thought, you should be shitting your pants right about now.

My 9 year old son is joining LFG random teams, and I am coaching him on what to do in the background.


You know, I used to make jokes about the ultimate power I held. I have a son who I can teach any kind of crazy shit to, and he’d believe it. For a while, at least. If I was convincing, sincere and made an effort to keep my story straight, it is entirely plausible that I could raise him believing that almost anything is really reals.


I did not use my powers for evil, unless you count sitting him on my lap and training him to say “Baby versus Rhino” and giggle while yet an infant, using my Penny Arcade t-shirt as a visual cue.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Baby. RHINO! *giggle*.

Mostly, they only giggle at rhinos. Mostly.

Okay, so there was that whole ‘take pictures of Disney characters’ butts’ thing, but hey, if I took a sneaking pic of your booty would you hold it against me?

Don’t answer that.

And if that was cool, we could maybe overlook that whole “posted it on the internet for millions to, err hundreds to… okay, for Frank to see” thing?

Note to self… don’t ask dangerous questions, or you might get a visit from The Law. We don’t got no truck with The Law, we’re all about teh kaoS around here, baby.


My son is in ur groups, whacking ur mobs.

I have coached him carefully.

The rules as I made them known for a beginning are;

  1. Never get in front of the tank, for that is how you face pull.
  2. Never attack before the tank does, for that is how you tag team aggro.
  3. Never taunt, and take Growl off your pet, for that is how you yank aggro.
  4. Target a mob, attack with everything you’ve got, and if the nameplate (Threat Plates) turns red, switch to a different target immediately.
  5. Always pay attention at all times. You never know when the tank will run and pull something.
  6. If you are getting eaten, run over and stand on top of the tank.
  7. If you are attacking as melee, get behind the bad guy and TEAR UP HIS BUTT!
  8. Pass on ALL LOOT, unless it is the correct TYPE of armor or weapon and STATS.

It’s fairly simple. It is a beginning.

He started by entering instances on his Goblin Hunter, who at the time was a freshly minted 15. Cassie and I didn’t have anyone on Horde side at all to run with him, and I had given him the options for leveling;

  • The Questor: Quest through the zones, killing and exploring as you go.
  • The Grinder: Ignore quest objectives, kill anything and explore anything you like.
  • The Grouper: Queue for randoms and pass the time between queues however you’d like.
  • The PvPer: Queue for BGs to kill other people, and pass the time between battlegrounds however you’d like.
  • The Skilled Worker: Grind Archeology and Gathering professions to gain level up XP.

Of course, you can mix and match however you’d like, but it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of options for gaining XP and leveling. What would he choose for his Hunter?

He chose to Group, and kill stuff and explore while waiting.

I was a little… nervous when I let him loose.

I’m sorry, but the fact is… a lot of players are pricks. It is what it is, and I’m not saying there are more pricks in WoW than in other games, but there ARE a lot of pricks out there. I tune it out, but we’re talking a nine year old, and I’m not going to shut his Party Chat off when there may be important information in there from the tank or healer.

So, I sat there hoping that, armed with my advice, he would not attract the ire of the asshats.

I don’t hold out much hope for over the long run, he’ll see it and have to learn to deal with it maturely, because there are a lot of pricks that attack people in groups without any basis for their hostility at all. There are people that just pick someone at random, and unleash their inner asshat all over them. Nothing you can do to avoid it, all you can do is recognize that the problem isn’t something you did, it’s just them being them.

Not something I like contemplating for my son, any more than I like seeing it happen to any other stranger out there that may be just like my son.

Regardless, you don’t learn or grow by being wrapped in bubble wrap and sheltered in a box. You can’t prepare yourself to fight evil if you don’t even know it exists. In our modern world, learning to deal with internet bullies and online harassment is probably one of the most important lessons we need, so might as well get started sometime.

I’ve watched him in instances, and he’s outstanding.

He doesn’t say a word in chat, because he doesn’t type all that fast, although he does like typing in “/say Hello”.

Regardless, he’s been rocking the place, and I’ve seen other players offer to trade him items that he could use, and I have yet to see anyone be mean to him at all.

In fact, he’s been doing so well that when he wanted to queue in randoms on his Feral Cute Kitty O’ Doom Druid, even though he is level 56 and had some massive places in his instance list, I let him give them a try.

He did so well in a Sunken Temple run, that the others asked if they could requeue as a group and do it again. And again. And again, even.

So, he’s doing well. I’m very proud of him.

Throughout it all, he finds the funniest things to get interested in.

I’ve been letting him go solo to see what he’ll get into. I’ve been pushing him on his Death Knight, who is level 82, to explore. As I’ve said to him, “there is very little in the entire world that has any hope of hurting you. You can travel wherever you’d like, get in the face of just about anything, and eat their lunch. Except here (points to Twilight highlands).

So, why not go looking?

He spent some time killing Hogger and clearing out the Stormwind Stockades. He liked running the instance solo, and feeling powerful.

When we did Children’s Week, he saw all of Nagrand, and went nuts.

His big thing has always been ‘rock guys’. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but he has loved elementals in the game for as long as I’ve played WoW, and rock dudes are his favorites.

He would love to see me kill rock dudes, and watch them split up into smaller and smaller rock dudes. Absolute favorites.

Well, he saw the rock dudes in nagrand, and spent the next two days killing rock dudes, then water guys, then I showed him the fire guys on the Elemental Plateau… he had a blast.

Then he went off the grid. I was raiding, and wasn’t watchig him too close. Next time I looked over, he was in Shadowmoon Valley, and he went on a demon killing spree that was unprecedeted.

He found the entrance to Black Temple all on his own.

He LOVED killing Uvoros the two-headed demon dog. The GIANT two headed demon dog.

That led me to show him the Petopia website, and I had to bookmark it onto his desktop and let him spend an hour browsing the awesome pictures of tamable pet designs.

And then… he went to Hellfire Peninsula, and without any prompting from me in any way, began hunting Fel Reavers across the entire landscape.

And now… he has come full circle.

He has discovered the Raging Colossuses, the giant rock guys around the red crystal just to the west of the Temple of Telhamut.

These are the holy grail of rock guys.

You see, when you start attacking these guys, they get a little smaller as you damage them, AND they make MORE rock guys.

He has also noticed… the Raging Colossus has, ahem, “Tushie Cheeks”.

This has been a new source of giggling amusement.

To the Blizzard graphics designer that decided ‘rock guys’ needed tushie cheeks? Well played, sir. Well played.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I am being summoned to watch as my son kills another Fel Reaver, or, as he says, Watch him “Demolish a Fel Reaver of Doom”.

Watching my son destroy a Fel Reaver in fiendish delight, and exclaim with joy as the pieces fall apart and drop, scattering all over the place, is magical.

The Cub Report – Happy Easter!

In a previous Cub Report, I mentioned that Alex was a huge fan of dragons, dragon mounts, and the golden dragon mount in particular.

We redirected his love of dragons (seriously, he brings home books about dragons from the school library) by running his Death Knight through the Culling of Stratholme timed run, and getting him a nice dragon mount that way.

He was quite happy, and everyone went on about their lives.

Easter time came, and with it the Noblegarden Egg Hunt.

Alex decided that hunting for eggs was the appropriate action for a worgen Druid, and proceeded to camp out in Goldshire for eggs.

His goals? Well, his first goal was to maintain rabbit form uptime as close to 100% as possible. The angst he displayed when the buff began to wear off was adorable… to a point. Thankfully, with the egg basket reward, he could have buffed run speed without being in a form other than bunneh.

Alex also decided that his chosen method was a mix of both camping and chasing… chasing until he found out just how vicious grown adults can be over digital eggs. Holy crap, people. Really?

His reason for collecting? The white bunny ear hat, the BLACK bunny ear hat, and the, of course, yes, the 500 egg mount.


Over the last week, Alex collected about 150 eggs. Oh yeah, and Cassie and I gathered the rest on his character. We made him finish it out, and then he went and did another 50 to get those black ears.

So, he has a mount, and he has black bunny ears (which he wears) and he has the white ones he got as a drop, along with four pet bunnehs, one for him and three to send to his alts.

It was a bunny extravaganza. He also has about ten of those bunny wands, so it’s going to be a long year of bunny parties.

He now cannot fly or fight for an hour, because he won’t do anything to cause his bunny buff to drop early. I fully expect his Druid to remain unplayed for the next six months, just so he is still a bunny.

Oh yes, and the Easter Bunny brought one other thing for Alex as well.

There might have been a golden dragon found inside one special egg.

He was just thrilled beyond words! He was having a sad face because he didn’t want to play his Druid and lose the bunneh buff™, but THIS caused him to forget that completely in his excitement!

The Easter Bunny gave it to him, and he is very happy, but we all know that the Easter Bunny has help, right?

In this case, the Easter Bunny was helped by a wonderful reader named Kyre, who decided to go out of her way to make a little boy’s heart light up with gold one day.

Now, Kyre decided to send Alex a golden dragon mount, and while he was told it was from the Easter Bunny, Cassie and I both know who it was that did that for him, and from both of us and from Alex too, thank you very much for your generosity.

And now, let me be the first to tell everyone else, please don’t send us any gifts. While it was very sweet and he is very happy, at the same time we have an arrangement, you and I.

Come closer, that I can whisper it in your ear.

I write stuff, and so long as you find it amusing, you read it. No gifts needed, no monetary encouragement required, no ads to skim past.

Sound good? I never feel that I am offering you top value in my writing here, so offering me gifts makes me feel just a little bit like a thief. I’m just writing this prattle, and you’re giving my son a moose. Er, pony. DRAGON! Right, dragon, sorry.

I think we got the better end of that arrangement, is what I’m saying. Not fair to you, not at all.

Now, once I get my fantasy novel completed to my satisfaction and in e-book form, then you might see me pandering here, okay? But until that time, this is all just between friends, you and I.

We’ve got an arrangement.

Now, that being said, I’m going to go buy Alex the new golden dragon pet, so he can have the pet next to him as he flies. He is going to freak!

Thank you again to Kyre, and also to everyone that continues to read, you are all my family, and it pleases me no end that we all get to be dysfunctional together.

The Cub Report – Death Knights Still Breathe

Good afternoon, everyone.

We’re back at home, safe and sound, and just in time!

I heard there was some news about WoW or something released, but screw all that… time for a new Cub Report!

We arrived back in town late Thursday night, and celebrated our trip to Walt Disney World resorts with some Death Knight leveling.

Alex and I were level 78 in Sholozar Basin Friday morning, and today we’re level 80. While that doesn’t sound very impressive, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

We only did about half of Sholozar when it occured to me that we could easily hit 80 without ever having seen Icecrown. That just wouldn’t do!

Off we went to report for duty at Argent Vanguard, and I proved I know my cub well.

He quickly grasped the concept of attacking the undead spiders, and loved how rescuing web wrapped people could cause a spider to erupt, sending you flying.

He instantly adapted to the situation as any true role playing group leader would… by sending the least suspecting, or most trusting, person in to ‘test’ for traps for him. “Look, if I attack them and a spider pops up, I go flying! But if I send my ghoul in for me, he gets blown up instead of me! That’s so cool!”

Ah yes, a future 1st lieutenant in the making if I ever saw one. All he was missing was a 10′ staff to give the ghoul to use to poke the webs.

Alex loved the phased aspect of the Argent Vanguard and Argent Pinnacle. The idea of the world changing through our actions is a powerful one, and he loved it. The final aspect of it, holding off waves of undead as the pinnacle is claimed, was very exciting for him. He threw me for a moment as the battle was won, expecting an immediate change in the area. I took him back to turn in the quest, and then made the special trip to the Pinnacle, and he loved the fact it was now ours, that we had made that happen. A more positive version of phasing than the Death Knight starter area, and it captured his imagination much better.

The next step was to train level 80 skills, and fulfill on a promise I had made.

Alex loves mounts. He loves mounts and pets.


When the golden dragon mount was released, for the first time I saw my son with lust in his heart. He wanted a dragon mount.

I promised my son he could HAVE a dragon mount… that once he reached level 80, we could get him a dragon.

He had hit level 80. The time had come.

So off I went on my Druid to the Caverns of Time.

What, you didn’t think I was going to drop that kind of REAL money on a golden dragon, did you?

Well, I almost did, but that’s why Cassie is in charge of the Bear household. She set us straight, and I improvised.

I did Bearcat through the Culling of Stratholme, Cassie blasted mobs on her Rogue, and Alex did his best to pull aggro. Damn, that boy likes to Death Grip stuff.

As an aside, the Feral Druid/Rogue combo was able to clear the timed instance with 9 minutes to spare, in case you were thinking of doing it yourself. Everyone should have at least one dragon in the stables.

One run through Culling of Stratholme heroic, one dragonoid dead, one Bronze Drake won and delivered to Alex the Death Knight, 4000 gold coughed up by Cassie so he could train epic flying and learn the mount. 

The moment when Alex stood in Stormwind at the trainer, mounted his bronze dragon for the very first time, and took to the air with a whispered “awesome”?


I asked him, now that we were level 80, where did he want to go next. Mount Hyjal, mountain of fire and reclaiming the earth, or Vash’jir, sunken undersea world of mystery and seahorse mounts.

Off to Vash’jir we went!

I was glad of one thing. On the Alliance side, I’ve never understood the whole “Budd” thing, with him seeing a shiny and diving overboard. I thought it was childish and stupid.

When Alex was with me, sound on and seeing everything for the first time? He was wondering wtf right along with me.

I guess it wasn’t childish after all. Just stupid.

Have you taken the time recently to stop and look at Vash’jir? The damn place is gorgeous. For a child that had just spent time at Epcot doing Turtle Talk with Crush from Finding Nemo, the Nemo ride, seeing all those vibrant colors… they nailed that feel.

You get a seahorse to tame and ride, there are slowly swimming sea turtles, sharks, large claw dudes, crabs, colors and activity everywhere.

Yes, I know the actual gameplay in Vash’jir is kinda sucky.

One thing right off the bat, you do a LOT of quests before ever seeing your first gear upgrade. In Mount Hyjal, the gear is thrown at you right from the beginning. In Vash’jir, we died multiple times against the crabs and naga and gilbin, basically whenever one of us was on our own and got swarmed by two opponents.

One thing Alex asked was, how come Death Knights can drown and need an air bubble? Aren’t they already dead? Umm…… oh, look at that sea turtle!

I may be a Bear and can’t parry, but apparently I can still cast distracting shot. So… why the hell DO Death Knights drown? Are they only mostly dead?

What about Undead players? Are they not really quite dead dead? What does that mean when they cannibalize others?

Let’s not go there.

Stepping away from the game for a moment and taking stock of why we were dying so much, I realised we had leveled so fast that we still had mostly crafted level 72 gear on. When I checked Alex, I saw that he had somehow acquired a set of leather bracers, epic SPELLPOWER bracers, equipped on his character.


Another thing Alex loves are gear sets. So, I sent Alex off to bed for the night, and then built an entire set of level 80 blacksmithing crafted tank plate for him, along with the level 81 two handed sword. I farmed ore for a few hours, Lierthes gave me a lot of Obsidian Bars, but we got it done. A full and complete set. I made some Redsteel pieces for myself too, but he got a full set, and that was the goal. When we got up on Saturday, I sent him off to check his bank, and helped him equip it all.

I warned him there was a tradeoff. Gear is either optimized for damage, or for defense. If it does one, then it’s gonna be weak on the other. I did the whole “hands leveling” thing to show him that if something is high on the one side, it’s low on the other, and he went “oooh” and nodded his head just like he knew what I was talking about. I thought that was promising, after all how many Druids over the years have failed to understand the difference between Stam stacking and Agility/Dodge?

I’ve noticed that with the tanking gear, his damage output is about the same as mine… but he’s got 12k more health than I do now. He’s over 30k while I’m still in the 22k range.

Needless to say, we don’t get eaten by crabs anymore. We didn’t even need the special lotion!

There is so much in the game right now that is fun.

I know that there is a ton of info, clarification, and confirmation that got released today about mists of Pandaria. I’m glad to see it, and I enjoyed reading through some of it. Most of it was just a confirmation of what we were already told, along with a billion screenshots.

As an experienced player, I walked away from the big fancy info dump saying, “A new character slot, female pandaren look GREAT, and pet battles will be really real and really released and pets will be shared on account. Freaking awesome.”

Yep, that was all I really cared about in the info dump.

But as cool as the next expansion will be… this one was pretty damn good. There is still a lot of fun left on the table. Alex needs to get his Druid to 60 and see what Flight Form is all about. I’ve never finished getting Archeaology pets and mounts. I haven’t played PvP with Gnomer, although that might be corrected soon. He’s putting together a ‘who would I like to see die’ team, and my name came up. Or something like that.

Yes, I’ve heard what the final patch of the new expansion will be about… and why they felt the need to announce that plot twist a year and a half before it would drop is beyond my understanding, but okay.

For now, the Cub and I are happily playing the game, he’s got his own dragon to ride, and we can sing along as we kill fishies, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, what do we do, we swim, swim….”