WoW That Escalated Quickly

escalation

Well, here’s a post I never thought I’d write.

Heck, I never thought I’d be able to write it. There was a time I never thought this day would happen, that it was just, well, impossible.

I guess it just goes to show, nothing is impossible, and everything has to end sometime.

When it comes to playing World of Warcraft, I played constantly since the launch of the Warlords expansion. Not a single day went by that I didn’t plop my big butt down at the keyboard to spend at least an hour in the game.

The last few months of 2015, my playtime shifted away from doing FUN things to just keeping up maintenance of my Garrison. Log in, spend some time running through my characters completing and reissuing Garrison Missions, gather some shipyard loot, maybe do a quest or two on someone I was leveling.

Maintenance.

Things shifted into overdrive at the end of 2015. The special in-game holiday saw me spending hours every day in a frenzy to take full advantage of every daily on every level 100 character I could, amassing wealth and mounts, selling things on the auction house, getting all those lovely rewards for turning in crates of loot.

The very day the event was over, I stopped. Stopped playing, stopped logging in, stopped World of Warcraft.

I burnt out.

I didn’t make a conscious decision to stop playing, it just happened.

I stopped logging in before work in the mornings to do Garrison missions. That time was better spent on sleep.

When I got home from work, instead of going downstairs to log in and do, hey, Garrison missions, I’d rather do chores instead. Dishes, trash, straighten up. When it came time to do something, I’d consider logging in, but then I’d do the daily for Marvel Heroes instead. Or, increasingly, watch anime on Netflix or log into Destiny on the Xbox.

WoW just became that thing I used to do. I could log in, but why? And do what?

Since January 1st, I’d say I was actually logging in to clear out Garrison missions only once every four or five days. I don’t know, I didn’t track it or anything. I’d just have that sense of time passing as the garrison resources stack neared cap, that knowledge that there were probably a lot of Tailoring cloth work orders built up, so maybe I should go in and clear that out, give it a chance to build up again.

Burnt out. And really, why bother logging in? There was nothing I wanted to do, and with the things going on in the real world, a soon-to-be teen in the house and other games to play, what is there in World of Warcraft so exciting, so pressing that it’s worth a toss to log in?

With hundreds of thousands of gold in the bank when in previous expansions TEN THOUSAND GOLD was the most I ever had in my hands at a single time, why bother killing myself just to keep doing missions each day? How much gold does one player really need?

No new content, too many alts, everyone has nice transmogs, no time for raiding with friends on a consistent basis…

I could feel myself drifting away.

And now it all led up to this, the thing this whole blog post is about. This thing I never thought could ever possibly happen to me.

A few nights ago I logged in to my Warlock character, the one that holds all the gold for my account, and I thought about where I was at in the game. So many alts at maximum level, so many maxed Garrisons, maxed transmogs, all the mounts and the pets. So much gold, just an insane amount of gold.

I thought about all that time spent seeking out rare drop mounts from dungeons and raids over the years.

I went through the motions like I do every time I log in, go to the auction house and see what mounts might be for sale that I don’t have, how many pets. As has been the case for a long time, none. I have all the mounts and pets that are usually seen there.

I checked the Black Market Auction House vendor in the Garrison, just to see what big ticket things I don’t care about might be found there this time.

What I saw this time was new. The proto-dragon that Skadi can drop from his dungeon was up on the BMAH, for about 60,000 gold and was only a long wait, which is supposed to mean anywhere from two to twelve hours.

Meh, I can fly out to the BMAH, drop a bid. Why not? I’m never going to bother logging in every day to run the dungeon, let’s see if I can nab it from the BMAH. Probably not, but it’s all good.

I flew out and dropped my bid on the mount, and instantly was informed I was outbid.

Wait, what?

As far as I know, you put a bid down and that represents your maximum bid right then. What you see the bid displayed at IS the maximum bid, so if you bid more you’re the new top bidder until someone else comes along and actively outbids you.

What I’m saying is, you can’t see an auction for 60,000, put down a 500,000 gold bid as your upper cap, but have the system only add the bare minimum a bit at a time needed to keep you on top of competitors until your cap has been reached. No, that is NOT how it works. If you put in a bid of 500,000 gold, it goes immediately to 500,000 right now, no waiting.

So that means if I was instantly outbid on the mount, someone somewhere is sitting there camping the Skadi mount and waiting to outbid competitors a teeny bit at a time. On a long duration auction.

Damn, really?

Okay, well, I don’t really give that much of a crap about the mount, but that’s kind of annoying. I was just planning on going out, dropping a bid and then logging off to check in the morning to see how far I’d been outbid. I didn’t expect my bid to last three seconds.

Heck, I even advertised in guild chat that the mount was up because I figured somebody that actually gave a shit about it might be interested.

Well, fine. Somebody wants to camp it and be all “I want the mount super cheap with a low bid but I’m going to watch it for twelve hours to make sure I win”, let’s give you something to chew on.

And I upped my bid to 90,000 gold.

Instantly outbid.

Oh, okay. That’s fair. Let’s go to 125,000.

Instantly outbid.

Oh, really? Oh you want to fucking play games, we can play games. This mount just got expensive, smartass, we’ll go to 250,000 gold.

Instantly outbid.

OH YEAH WELL FUCK YOU 400,000 GOLD YOU SON OF A BITCH, YOU WANT IT YOU CAN FUCKING PAY FOR IT.

….

……

Um, this is where you are supposed to outbid me.

Okay, no, really, you can outbid me now. You’re supposed to outbid me so you end up paying a lot of gold for that mount. It’s a super rare mount you know.

You can bid now.

Oh well, that’s okay, they’re just going to the mailbox to get their gold back from the previous outbids. It’s okay, I’ll just look in the morning and see how much it eventually went for. I’m sure someone will eventually outbid me, after all it’s a really rare mount and everyone else has lots more gold than I do.

The next morning, heading off to work I remember the events of the previous night and figure, hell, might as well log in and see what it sold for.

OH NO YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME I WON THE MOUNT OH HELL NO I DIDN’T WANT IT NO, PLEASE NO. PLEASE? GIVE ME BACK MY GOLD.

PLEASE?

I WANT MY GOLD BACK!

Is it Bind on Equip? Maybe I can no fuck me it’s soulbound.

Sigh.

Never, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine the day would come in game where I had so much gold and so little common sense that I would end up writing a post about getting into a pissing match on the black market auction house and blowing 400,000 gold on a mount I didn’t even want in the first place.

Fucking sigh. So the days of being filthy rich have come to an end. I’m broke.

All right, I’m not BROKE broke. I still have a little over 100,000 gold left.

But compared to where I was last week I might as well be broke!

A paltry hundred thousand gold? Shit dudes, might as well sell the summer cottage in Darnassus and let them repo the Dreadsteed, how will we be able to afford feeding all these mounts and pets NOW?

Ain’t that a kick in the balls.

Guess I’ve got a reason to log in every day now, don’t I? In the mornings… twice in the evenings… and hey, maybe if I start running Kaz the Dreadlord every week for Felblight drops I can start crafting gear upgrades to sell on the AH again… and maybe I can start selling those 30 slot bags, they might go for a few thousand gold a piece.

Well, shit.

Hey, anyone want a ride?

What, this thing isn’t even a PASSENGER MOUNT? What kind of cheap ass proto-drake can’t even perch a gnome on it’s posterior?

Well, kiss my big ass butt.

Better Than Chocolate

So what does a Bear do to drown his sorrows?

The same thing any gamer does when faced with disappointment. Kill shit with a big sappy grin.

Virtual shit, that is.

Our preferred foe is, of course, the eponymous internet dragon, favorite target of millions of frustrated players the world over.

You could almost feel sorry for internet dragons. Almost.

Yeah, right.

Okay, there is one internet dragon I feel sorry for, that I wish I could cuddle and give a small dragon toy to and assure that the mean ol’ nasty players won’t come to hurt them anymore.

Atramedes.

Who can have a hardened heart when faced with the blind internet dragon, Atramedes? Who can kill him without a care in the world?

Apparently, the crew I was with last night.

Shortly after my latest blog post went up, Tyben of Elitist Jerks whispered me to see what I was up to. See, she plays with a bunch of her horde friends, awesome people one and all, and on Friday nights they do what they call ‘gold runs’. Setting the controls to the heart of the Sun, also known as 25 player heroic mode, and going after, oh, just about everything.

THIS is why I used my level 90 boost on a Horde Hunter. So I wasn’t limited to playing with Alliance-only friends when Horde friends want to get up to trouble. So many people are Horde 4 Life, so it’s nice to swing both ways. Um. I mean, to keep your options open. To play both sides of the fence. Oh, fuckit.

Never mind. It’s things like this that cause Google Chrome to say I’ve got a bad reputation. Like I’m Joan fucking Jett or something.

Don’t know about you, Google Chrome says I’ve got a bad reputation, my first thought was, “FUCK YES!”

But that’s just me. I still love you, Chrome! Love you long time. You just can’t handle the bear lovin’.

Tyben, Elitist Jerks, gold run Friday night. Right, back on track.

Tyben invited me to come on board, and next thing I know I’m in a massive blast through the Cataclysm greatest hits.

Heroic 25 Firelands was first, a place I know well. So very well. Every Monday for how long now? No matter, here we are and I was fortunate enough to be there when Ragnaros went down and one of Tyben’s friends got their Heart of Fire, meaning another worthy soul will be wielding Dragonwrath today.

After that, it was kind of a blur.

Dragon Soul, Bastion of Twilight and Sinestra, Blackwing Descent and Atramedes, Throne of the Four Winds… that’s a lot of Cataclysmic stuffs.

I killed so many internet dragons last night I got the Dragonslayer title! Okay, you get that for killing Sinestra in Bastion of Twilight, but it coulda been from all the internet dragon killing.

We ended up in the Shrine, where I was glad to take a break. So many raids, so many dragons…

“Okay, someone find out where Sha of Anger is hiding…”

Wait, they’re not done? Are you serious?

Sha of Anger beaten up, okay time to go to sleep. Someone pipes up, “Okay, moo moo vaults next!”

Oh, hell no. Now all of Pandaria?

It turns out, there is a definite limit to how many dragons I need to slay before my bloodlust is sated for one day.

Those are some crazy cats in Elitist Jerks. Crazy, cats, crazy.

Ah, cross realm Horde side fun.

I do like my Blood Elf Hunter. I have a crow pet, and a crow battle pet, and I’ve now named them Huggin’ and Muggin’. They shall be at my sides, close enough to rest on my shoulders, every time I play.

Don’t judge.

Just goes to show, just as Monty Python says, always look on the bright side of life! Sure as heck wasn’t how I thought I was going to be spending my Friday night, now was it?

You never know how your day may end up. So cheer up!

The Ballad Of Aldyrr Spiderthief

Pull up a chair my friends, and let me share with you a tale of adventure… yes, adventure, but adventure shadowed by woe!

The story may be warmly familiar, but if you stay with me to the end there is a lesson to be learned within.

On an evening much like any other, a small band of misfit wanderers joined together. The purpose of their gathering was to enter the exciting Firelands, land of fun and frolic.

Firelands! A name that once spoke of endless hours of toil and grinding desperation, but now inhabiting that blessed ‘sweet spot’ for raiding; too easy for serious raiding, just difficult enough to need more than one person, lots of goofy mechanics, cool looking transmogs, and the possibility of super-cool rare mounts. Who could ask for more? Do a barrel roll!

Indeed, Firelands is now a place that is a joy to engage, taking only a scant handful of friends to romp merrily among the murderous minions, but having a bounty of potential rewards. Not least of which, of course, is that most wonderful of raid oddities, a Legendary weapon that multiple classes can use, that has little if any element of RNG, and that has so many stages lots of people can be doing it all in the same raid!

These few, these few, this band of misfits had fought together many a time before. MANY, MANY times before. I mean, seriously, that Legendary chain seems to take a coons age to get through.

Moving through that chain is kinda like trying to move a kidney stone. Lots of screaming and yelling, all out of proportion for the itty-bitty thing you get out the other end. And while it’s really important to you, nobody else really cares how the progress is coming. No, really. They don’t want to hear about it.

Of all of these friends that had gathered together, four had been there the longest.

There was Baddmojo, the Rogue, the tank in leather and the queen in red. Known chiefly for his alcohol consumption, Baddmojo could be counted on to be right up in the face of anything you cared to name, first to fight, warbling his mighty battlecry, “Cloak of Shadows, Cloak of Shadows, blood and souls for my Cloak of Shadows!”

Baddmojo is also known as the master of “where did he go, how the hell did he get to the next boss already, I didn’t know you could fly from Alysrazor direct to him, WTF.”

There was me, of course, the Warlock in spite of myself. Ever in pursuit of that next dribble of Smouldering Essences. What weapon do you have equipped, Bear? What’s that, Bear, did you fight a boss with your legendary staff-in-training equipped again? GG, Bear. GG. Did you remember to switch weapons, Bear? Did you, Bear? DID YOU? OMIGOD WHAT IS SO F’ING HARD ABOUT REMEMBERING TO SWITCH WEAPONS, BEAR?!?

By the way, did you remember to switch weapons back, Bear?

Then we had Elynea the fair, Elynea the Deadly Druid, Elynea of the everlasting hunt. Elynea, who has been on almost every single Firelands run with me, and every single fricken time the fire kitty staff has dropped, she has lost the roll to another Druid that came on our run for the first time and never, EVER came back again. And yet, she hasn’t yet killed me with the powers of her mind through the internet.

Tesh, I’m looking right straight at you, buddy. Firekitty staff ninja.

And of course, our course core foursome of diehards would not be complete without Aldyrr.

Aldyrr the Hunter. Trapmaster. Finder of rare pets. Talented multi-tasker and all around great guy.

Or is he?

There we were, once more unto the breach, facing the rocky chunks of magma, flames shooting into the skies.

We were so close. SO CLOSE.

For me, the road had been long, but I was finally nearing the end of the very last collection phase of the legendary questline. Smouldering Essences, that was my game, and the hunting had been good. 208 of the 250 were in my pouch already, and tonight would get me almost the rest of the way. If not tonight, then on our next visit ‘twould be a certainty.

And might not the mistress of chance smile on me yet tonight? The odds were long, but they could fall my way and this could be the very last night of chasing the chain, and the first day of being bound body and soul to the might of a majestic blue dragon for all time.

It could happen. It probably wouldn’t but IT COULD HAPPEN.

Never piss on the fingers of fate, they might wash their hands of your RNG chances for the future. Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful. It could happen. If not this time, then cheer up, next time for sure!

This was to be a special trip, my son was joining us after many months away from the game on his mighty Warlock Wooffie, and Elynea had brought her daughter along for her first full Firelands fun.

Also, and this was new, we would finally take a serious look at the Penitent achievement for Staghelm. I was sure, with the proper coaching and the use of /kneel macros we would get that one down, after our many half-assed attempts on previous weeks.

We began to kill the many, many trash needed for Shannox to get riled up, and it was so chaotic with summonings and late visitors and invites and scurrying around that we very nearly facepulled Shannox before I ever knew he had spawned.

Accidental boss kills are never a good sign, but first down and time to get a move on. Beth’tilac next, Bear which weapon do you have equipped? The right one? Good furball, here’s a cookie, keep it up.

Time to face the spider, my son wants to go up topside, being on the spider’s web is something he enjoys and remembers fondly it seems. I say sure, the more the merrier, I watch as it seems the entire group goes up top, and I’ve barely given the trash down below a glare and a scolding before Beth’tialc comes tumbling down, the web… comes tumbling down.

Loot, mount up and almost everyone dashes off to the next boss (magma!) as I swap weapons to my baby-almost-legendary and wait out the 30 second cooldown before I can drain the cold, dead corpse of it’s Smouldering Essences.

12… 11… 10… 9…

Beth’tilac disappears.

huh.

Wait.

WAIT.

WAIT ONE MOTHER (^)*(&^)& MINUTE HOLD THE PHONE WTF OVER!?!

WHERE THE FUCK DID MY SPIDER GO?

I SAID WHO STOLE MY MOTHER FUCKING SPIDER IN THIS MOTHERFUCKING RAID?

I look across the suddenly vacant space in shock, to see a lone Hunter standing there, looking back at me.

Standing there.

Hands full of spider leather.

SPIDER. LEATHER.

Aldyrr skinned my Beth’tilac. 

SKINNED HER WITH MY SMOULDERING ESSENCES STILL ON HER COLD, DEAD CORPSE.

Spiderthief, I name you. Trapmaster, Pet Finder, and now Spiderthief.

I’d call you a base, deceitful leather whore, but I’m actually afraid of what that would do to search engines and my traffic. Also, Leather Whore sounds like a pretty cool job description now that I think of it, I used to do leathercrafting, some of the stuff people would ask me to make I coulda put that on a business card, “John Patricelli, Leather Whore.”

I turn to my wife, I turn to her and I say, “He skinned her. He skinned Beth’tilac! He skinned my spider! I could have finished the quest tonight but HE SKINNED MY ESSENCES.”

And she looks at me, eyes devoid of sympathy, Cassie looks at me and she says, “Well, there’s a lot of leather on one of those. Also, you never would have finished the quest tonight. Get over it.”

Really?

Sigh.

Well, fine, but I can pout and write a really long blog post all about it, can’t I? That’s what mature adults do when they get all pouty over a video game, right?

oh, they don’t? they suck it up and move on? hah, you ain’t been around here much, has you?

Dedicated with loving respect to my buddy Aldyrr, make sure you go cheer him up on Twitter, his handle is @jhdesynz and I just know he’d love to hear from you.

The moral of the story, the lesson, the key thing to take away from all this, is… if you’re doing this chain watch out for your buddies, now that Baddmojo knows Beth’tilac can be skinned he announced he’s going to be using that knowledge for evil from now on, I’m telling you, watch your friends, they’re not to be trusted with this kind of power.

HUNTERS – It Has Begun!

Do you recall, many moons ago, sweet Elune it was way back in 2008, I did a post called “I don’t know what it is, but it has Aggro?

My good buddy TishToshTesh came up with this insane rendering of my son’s idea for an Engineering Hunter Pet.

You know…

THIS THING.

Gnomish-Aggro-Fish-Tish-Tosh-Tesh

Some of you thought it was an impossible dream.

Some of you even laughed, and not an evil genius, mad scientist laugh appropriate for the occasion but a mocking laugh, a laugh tinged with a tone of derision.

Let’s see who’s laughing now, chuckles.

The first stage of the process has begun.

In the game?

Hell no, in the real world!

Feast your eyes on this, and gaze unbelieving upon the seeds that sow the coming apocalypse.

fishonwheels-kickstarter

And THIS is the video for what they call the Fish on Wheels Kickstarter project.

Look at it.

LOOK AT IT!

Yep.

They’re coming.

Wheels and a guidance control system today, CHAINSAWS AND ROCKET LAUNCHERS TOMORROW!

Mark my words.

You think this is an accident? Oh sure, you see the cute little fishie in the video, they have you thinking, “Aw, how cute, what threat could they possibly be?”

That’s exactly what they want you to think.

But look back up there at the picture at the top. See the grin on that goldfish in the picture?

DO YOU SEE THE GRIN?

There is a day coming, mark my words, there is a day coming when you will walk into a supermarket looking for some tunafish, and there in the aisle will be a dolphin in an armed ATV, and that dolphin will yell at you through their tinny little  speaker, “That better be albacore, BITCH!

And on that day, you will remember.

I warned you, but did you listen? No!

Oh, and while you’re here, why not check out the aggrofish shirts in our lovely gift shoppe?

April Fools has gone too far!

I’m about done with April Fools as a thing, since most folks I’m seeing on the internet seem to see it as an excuse to be assholes.

As if anyone needs an excuse, right?

Still, some bits are funny.

I loved the lighthearted and sometimes pointed references to concerns past and present in the Blizzard Warlords 6.0 patch notes, I think they were awesome and fun. I really liked them, and I was surprised by how a lot of the remarks felt, well, spot on. Like a private in-joke for those of us that have been deeply involved with WoW for years, and know all the trials and complaints and outright begging and bitching we’ve endured over the years.

I won’t dwell on the negatives much, although I do want to call out The TV Addict website for being outright assholes. No, really, fuck you.

Through all of the troll lol lolling, there has to be a winner, though.

I hereby present my vote for the most surprising laugh-out-loud April Fool moment today;

Ladies and gentleorcs, I hereby present to you my UI when I logged in a few minutes ago;

elvui_helloaprilfools

 

I use ElvUI for a complete UI replacement, and I love it dearly. I LOVE having the mix of standard button bars and the health bars bottom center, and basically everything being where I’m looking so I’m never called to look to upper left to check status or health or whatever.

Little did I suspect, when I installed my UI that I was soon to be on my way to Hello Kitty Island Adventure.

What you don’t see in this screenshot is, those little kitties are dancing. Yes, they’re animated.

OMG so cute!

Even after the day I’ve had, this put a big smile on my face. Well done, ElvUI. Well done.

Confessions of an Inveterate Bouncer

Once upon a time in a magical, far off land there was a bear.

The bear liked to growl and dance, and talk, and eat heaping piles of bacon.

But above all else, the bear liked to bounce.

From dragons and dungeons to instances and invasions, his big brown butt could be seen happily bouncing to the beat of nations.

Times change, talents were added, tweaked, moved and were lost, but the bounce went on.

Damage was mitigated, reduced, dodged and avoided, but the bounce went on.

Finally there came a day when mitigation became active, and something had to give. The bear could either be bouncy or be beat on, but not both at once.

With sadness, the big brown bear realized that if he gave himself over to being the most active, properly defensive bear he should be, he would have nothing left over to bounce with.

The bear felt his world turning quite gray and cold. Bearing on the bounce was what prevented feeling old.

“A bear without bounce, that just will not do! Oh bother,” the bear thought, “bouncing has gotten too hard to do! Perhaps it’s time to leave tanking for the fast-fingered crew.”

The bear settled down and his days turned quite slow, for he had no more oomph and no particular place to go. He rested in his tree and ate bacon all day, and wondered through the hours what new games he should play.

“I loved being a bear and bouncing all day, and swiping my paws in the enemies’ face. I wonder what’s out there, what else I could do to bring the good times bouncing back with a good swipe or two.”

The bear looked around, and read through the lists, of character creation and leveling kits. Monks and Pandaren, Priests and Paladins too, so many options to choose from but none that ring true!

But wait, what am I thinking, the choice is quite clear! It’s a pandaren hunter that can bounce it’s butt near. I’ll grab a big gun and have a funky dance, and when it comes to bouncing just watch that groovy ass!

Off the bear went, and felt his soul on the mend as he hunted Isle mogu with his dinosaur friend. Growls and stomping, leaps and chomping and a fat feast of feathers flew, the feral spirit was returning with a bear bouncing through.

The hunter tried raiding while shaking his fluff, and bouncing around goofily soloing stuff. The Island of Thunder got smacked with a bow and a gun shoved quite rudely where no gun should go.

It just wasn’t the same, some essential something was missed. Did he make the wrong choice in the character class list? The bear felt himself sitting in front of the screen, wondering “Should I keep logging on in, or start shopping on Steam?”

He didn’t know what to do, was his time over in WoW? If there was no more joy, stick a fork in it now.

He finally decided to make no sudden rash moves. “My father procrastinated, I’m going to too! Why act right away to decide what to do? I’ll putter and potter and mutter and ramble, and mess with some alts while I chat and I scramble. In time I’ll find out if the magic’s all gone, or if theres still some fat spark lurking deep in the wand.”

The bear played with his Pally, his Warrior and Priest, but though they were okay none of them bounced like a beast. The paladin felt clunky, the warrior lacked range, and the priest looked all awesome but couldn’t move worth a damn.

Then he tried something new, something he’d always abhored; he rolled a slimy warlock (but at least it wasn’t a Horde).

The Warlock seemed crappy, it had pets without style, everyone summoned the same with random names from a file. If you’re going to have pets, at the very little least you could let us enslave them for a variety of treats!

Why isn’t this Warlock the same as the Hunter I know, but with red and green fire and a staff not a bow? I want it all different, but also the same, because I want it new but still different, yes I’m completely insane.

Why not give it a chance, why not try out the specs, see what demonology is like, I hear it’s a tank with a pet.

I tried all the specs out, and was flabbergasted to see that the more that I played it, the more it was ME!

The warlock could leap and could bounce and could hop, all while spitting red fire and sending pets out to chomp.

Demonology meant you could leap forward quite far, be tough as a tank and chew bad guys like sharks. You grew giant bat wings and great honking horns, and the ground at your feet swirled with purple arcane forms.

Affliction meant you were a poisonous beast, and it was everything I hated in my original priest. I didn’t want to drop DoTs on a bunch of bad guys, and sit watching as they took forever to die.

Then someone suggested I give destruction a try if I wanted to bounce and tear around on the fly. “You get to rain fire and dance all about, lords a leaping and chasing and shooting green dragons up the snout.”

I gave it a try, it all seemed pretty cool, but I’m a bear in my heart and this warlock felt crude. I’m not about evil cackles and eating your soul, a chomp on some bacon’s as far as I’ll go.

I know it’s all fun and I’m having a blast, but do I really want to play some evil asshole in a mask?

Turns out yes I do, I just pretend I’m not evil, the fire is quite nice and doesn’t REALLY burn people. I’m a sleek deadly warlock that destroys all evil in sight, I like long walks on the beach, provided there is a warbringer to fight.

Yes, I know it’s not proper that a bear turns to fire, but the DESTRUCTION LETS ME BOUNCE WHILE I SET THING ALIGHT!

I can fire and torch baddies from morning til noon, and all the while bounce like a big fricken loon.

The pet thing turned out to be fine in the end, there is something reassuring about a dedicated tank friend. When my blueberry is out I know right away that it’s tanking he’s doing, I don’t have to respec a thing. If I want to shoot fire I whip out the imp, and when it’s time to turn freaky I bring out the whip.

The more I wanted to hate it the more my love grew, this Warlock all bouncing and in sweet evil clothes.

Now I spend all my time in the game like I should, bouncing around having fun like a happy bear could.

I may be purple and green and throw red fire about, I have a blueberry for a pet and scare things when I shout, but I can solo warbringers and kill DeGei with a portal and I can bounce all I want while I rain fire upon you.

I know it’s not proper for a bouncing bear butt to say, but in the heart of a warlock I found a reason to stay.

I Will Not Move When Flame Wreath Is Up…

One of the things I love about World of Warcraft specifically and social multiplayer video games in general is the way we are actively building a cultural history.

A video game environment used to be pretty personal. You played a game, and the most social it ever got was people watching you play on the TV set in your living room. You want to share what yuo’re doing, you tell people later.

Now, streaming and Twitch and all sorts of stuff. Why play a game when you can watch the streaming video of other people having fun? Or something.

But in the middle, in MMO land… groups of people getting together, forming guilds, linking with typed chat and voice comms, and sharing experiences.

Experiences that happen to you… but not really you.

It’s your avatar, and no, we’re not wired in to feel it’s pain. Yet. If it ever does happen, we know who will be driving it.

ERP.

Still, your avatar, and you’re invested in what happens to you, but you can’t actually die when you screw up by the numbers.

You can do something galactically stupid, and look! it ain’t intensely personal and private anymore. Oh no, you just shared that with all your friends. They saw it. Some of them took pictures and laughed.

And some of them made a video, posted it to YouTube, and you went viral. Have a nice day.

We’re growing our culture as we go. Things happen often enough in game that it’s the new normal. We take it in stride, and move on.

But how would the squares, those sad types out in the real world react to some of this stuff?

Thats the best bit. As time goes on, we become the new normal. What we get used to, and how we talk about it, gets absorbed into the outside world.

People will start adopting our terminology and ideas, even if they’ve never played a game before. Suckers.

What is the most contradictory new concept we’ve created?

I think it’s obvious.

Standing in the fire.

Think about it.

The entire concept of standing in the fire, just wtf.

In the real world, you stand in the fire, you catch on fire, and you have no choice stuffs start moving.

If your body can move, and you catch on fire, there may be a split second where your nerve endings haven’t reported latest events, but just as soon as you catch up to OMIGOD PAIN HURTS your body already moved you. The challenge is to stop moving, drop and roll. Your body doesn’t like that plan, it wants to run around screaming.

Standing in the fire? Not something that happens in the real world.

Only in a video game can ‘you’ stand in the fire and not even notice.

But you still take damage. And your friends, who are there playing with you and who might be responsible for keeping you alive? They’ll notice. And as history has shown us, they won’t be shy about letting you know that something might be happening to your nether regions, and perhaps, just maybe, you should do something proactive about it.

“Hey, Dipro? Get out of the fire. Get out of the fire. No, really, you’re standing in the, just holy crap dude, don’t freaking debate about it, just move, you’re on fire.”

It’s only one little thing in the game, but it really shows the difference between a virtual world and the real one. How can you not know you’re on fire?

Only in a video game, ONLY in a video game do you need someone to tell you to get your butt out of the fire.

The idea of someone just standing there with their feet on fire, totally oblivious? Someone so stupid they wouldn’t even move if we set them on fire?

That’s out there. We gave that to the world.

You’re welcome.

I’d love to see a title added to the game, from a tracked achievement – Character took more than 50 million cumulative damage from standing in environmental damage. Title awarded? “The Hotfoot”.

Alternate title, “The Hotstepper”, but that’s only because I’d like to see a character named Hossenfeffer the Hotstepper.

What else are we creating in our artificial game worlds? What other new cultural baggage are we creating that will seep out into the real world, stuff we take for granted but is unique to life in an MMO, stuff we might not even be noticing?

I love how this concept is enduring. Not just the standing in the fire, but the standing in the fire oblivious while your friends yell at you.

Case in point;

Throne of Thunder.

Looking for Raid.

Wing 4, boss 3.

LEI SHEN.

I have never seen more people standing in the fire than the first week of Lei Shen in the Throne of Thunder LFR.

After your first phase 2, when a pillar is destroyed and that entire quadrant of the floor is arcing with big old glowing blue lightning?

Yeah… it’s blue fire.

The first week Wing 4 came out on LFR, and our guild was in there typing over and over;

“The floor is on fire, get off of it. Move. It’s on fire. You’re standing in fire. No really, move out of the blue lightning. No, don’t drag the boss in that quadrant, it’s on fire. The floor, it is on fire. It’s pretty blue fire that hurts, stop standing in it. Hello? Fire check? Still burns. Move please? Please?!?”

Standing in the fire. An enduring legacy we leave to the generations that come after us. God help them.

Pandaren Monk training video

I know Preach Gaming is supposed to have the best ‘how to play your class’ Youtube videos, but I think this video of a bear with an equipped staff is pretty OP.

You can try to nerf bears all you like, but we just upgrade by getting our noses into it.

Noses… feet, whatever.

We can kick your butt with a staff while nibblin’ on our toes, so just step back.

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”.

Ermahgerd, Gastropod!

A large part of the guild queued for the second part of ToT LFR last night, but had to date only cleared normal Throne of Thunder through (and including) Tortos.

I say only, but I haven’t even set foot in Throne of Thunder Normal myself yet, so yeah. That wasn’t to denigrate their progression, but to nail down how much of the raid they’d had a chance to see so far.

As we approached the trash leading up to bird brain (my name for the third boss of the second part of ToT), Tom entered our vent channel. He wasn’t queued with us, but he’d done it in the morning in LFR and wanted to hear this.

He was damn near chortling over how much he loved the trash before the bird brain.

“Some of the best trash in the game”, was one spontaneous review, and “Wait until you see the snails!”

Snails?

How the unholy hell can a snail be a viable trash mob?

I mean, a snail. Shell, slime and slow, right? Wavy eyes on long tendrils? We are talking snails here. Shrivel when salted? “Oh no, it’s Crazy Snail! Quick Tom, break out the Bat Salts!”

Yeah, I made a bath salts pun. Sue me.

We worked our way through the trash after the second boss, mostly spiders on ramps.

Where the heck… Ah hah! There, at the top of a ramp we beheld our first snail. Er, Gastropod.

Hmm.

Yep. Huge freaking snail. There has to be a catch here.

Is this a ninja snail? Does it vanish, only to pop in and bump you gently from behind with it’s soft, slimy snout?

Nope.

Maybe it’s a lightning snail, and blazes a swift trail, achieving ludicrous speed to pounce on resto Druids and munch placidly on their leafy heads?

Nope.

Mind control snail? It takes over Warlocks and makes them devour the Gastropod while talking with a French accent, resulting in acid indigestion?

Nope. But getting closer.

I know! Slime Slaughter Snail with extra Mucus action!

Ding ding ding ding.

So, okay, a snail. What’s the big deal?

Tom says, “check out the buff on the snail.”

I mouse over the Gastropod, and sure enough it has a buff.

Devoured.

Anything it touches (10 yard range) it, ahem, eats alive.

Devoured
You’re being eaten alive!
2 seconds remaining

And after that two seconds, boom, you are DEAD.

In the words of my Dungeons and Dragons youth, no Armor Class, no Saving Throw.

Oh, hell yes.

I had to test this.

Rades, this is proof you don’t want me on your raid team. I saw that buff, and the very first thing I had to do was run over and stand in front of it.

Well, maybe you’d understand.

That’s right, it slowly, SLOWWWWWLLLYYYY approached me, and then killed my butt. Instantly.

Which didn’t help my raid team any, but had me howling with laughter at home. Oh, if only you were left with a 15 minute green cloud and the flavor text buff “You’ve been slimed!”

So, if it kills everything it touches, how can you possibly fight this most terrifying of terrestrial snails?

the way it works is, it fixates on someone, putting the big eyes of doom over their head, and then slowly slimes it’s way towards the fixate target.

This was massive fun, and I’ll tell you why.

It can fixate on Hunter PETS.

It fixated on MY pet. It fixated on BARRY.

Greatest thing ever.

As soon as I saw the eyes appear over Barry’s head, I popped him on passive so he’d run back to my side, which took a few seconds because apparently Barry really wanted to eat the snail, but whatever. I actually think Barry is just stubborn as hell. He seems to have an attitude.

After a suitable amount of cussing and swearing, Barry finally returned to my side and I was able to lead the damn snail around and down and over the ramp away from the rest of the raid… or most of the rest of the raid, who tended to spread out to cover all available space like an avalanche. That let everyone else stand back at a distance and drop a ton of bricks on it from safety.

Not everyone who got fixated had the same thought.

Oh yeah, there’s more than one of these badass snails.

I saw more than one player with eyeballs over his head back slowly through the center of the player group, DPSing as he went as though he were trying to burn down an Undying Shadow from Ziang in the Spirit Kings encounter.

One does not simply burn down a Gastropod while kiting it through the raid.

Unless you’re doing it for fun, but that’s another story.

New drinking game… every time a fixated player kites a snail through the raid, you down a beverage of choice.

We wiped on snails a few times.

It was so fun! Best damn trash in history.

I’m not even going to go into any more exposition.

I’m gonna let you think of all the ways having a super-high health mob that insta-kills anything it touches and fixates/chases a player (albeit slowly) can be used for good… or evil.

Mostly evil.

Thank you, Novalas, for reminding me I was going to write about the joys of Gastropodony. And for posting that awesome picture of the Gastropod Siege of Orgrimmar.