Can You Handle The Heat?

This was another idea that was inspired by a Twitter conversation.

I was chatting with @chicknlil, @tedthethird, @anafielle and @tishtoshtesh, when I was hit by another vision. A bold vision.

If you don’t know who those tags represent… you should!

The vision didn’t need to be nurtured, developed or refined. I saw it, all at once, exactly how I knew it must be, and resolved at once to make that vision a reality.

You know…. if Tesh went along with it. ūüôā


I proudly present to you something I am truly proud of. It works on so many levels. It’s artsy, cause it’s got subtext!



Okay, so it’s just a bumper sticker.

That is exactly how I imagined it. In every possible details… except, you know, I love what Tesh did with the rocks. That might have been a bit better than I imagined. Especially the way the sizes of the rocks imply that you’d be welcome to walk up, plop your butt down on one of the small flat wide ones and warm yourself.

Alex just walked up behind me, saw the picture, and announced “That basic campfire is so cute!”

See, our candidate is more photogenic, too!

LOL. OMG Alex just went off on Garrosh. “Even a slug would make a better Warchief. Thrall had everything working perfectly, and Garrosh had to come along and ruin the entire setup.”

That was a direct quote.


Ascent Into Madness

I’ve been asked before, “Where do you get your ideas?”

Today, I do something different.

Today, I take you through the entire process of where it all started, and where it eventually went.

In the end, you’ll see that you don’t have to be crazy to write here… but it helps!

All this took place in about three minutes in my car.

I was cruising along on the way home from work, and thinking about the design that Tesh did for me just this last week.

Tesh has really been great for no reason other than that he’s a great guy, he’s done these designs just from fun and a love of creating cool stuff, and I wanted to show him how much I appreciated the work he does making this stuff just because “I thought it would be cool, would it be hard to draw?”

So, I asked him if I could send him a shirt from the store, and he’d said yes… the awesome one he’d done a while back based on my son’s idea for a Fish Tanking Pet.

I got shipping notification today, so that got me thinking about the shirt, and that led to me thinking about the original design Tesh did, and where it came from.

Thinking about that design reminded me of how cool it was that Blizzard introduced the Companion Pets that are fish floating in bubbles of water. When we’d originally talked about Alex’s idea, the open-topped fishbowl with the attachments just rocked, but there was nothing in-game to link it to.

Shirt design… floating bubble fish.


So, we’ve got pet fish in the game now, something that didn’t exist when the shirt design was made.

What if… what if we took the design, and the bubble fish…

The original goal was a mechanical Engineer-crafted combat pet for Hunters.

We’ve got a fish pet now. It’s in a bubble of water. So, all that is missing is the mechanical stuff for the fish to ride inside.

Like a mount.

Like the Engineer would craft a vehicle, like a tank chassis, and you’d let your fish pet enter the vehicle, and then THAT would be your Hunter combat pet.

So a Gnomish Engineer could make, in effect, a reverse submarine! The water goes on the INSIDE, and all you do is let your fish get inside, and then it takes control of the mechanical chassis. A little fish-driven turbo tank with drill arm attacks and turtle-style shields. And portholes showing the blue water inside.

Heck, maybe even the fish occasionally opens the top hatch and sticks his head up, wearing WWI biplane goggles, to take a peek around as an idle animation!

That would be so freaking cool.

The purity of the vision, a land shark with a goldfish inside, overcompensating for NOT being born the king of the sea.

Almost like a short Gnome surrounded by giant idiot humans, overcompensating by building giant destructive devices… would there be some kinship there? Some sense of “You and me against the world, we’ll show ’em what we’re really capable of. The fools. For science! Muahahahahahaaaaaa.”

Okay, but we’ve got the Gnomes, but Engineers are traditionally Gnome and Goblin.

Gnomish Engineers already have one style of Engineering crafted pet, while Goblins have another. Why not Gnomish and Goblin-specific mechanical tank chassis that goes with your Mists of Pandaria Fishy pet?

On both the Horde and Alliance side, every player that completes the quests for the Pearlfin Jinyu or the Forest Hozen are rewarded with Fishy, a fish in a bubble. They don’t have to get it by fishing. So it’s a pet that you as a designer could reasonably expect every level 85 either would or could have.

So, since every character that does the quests will automatically get the Fishy, and it’s Bind on Account, and limited to those players at level 85 qualified to do Jade Forest… why not build around that?

Goblins and Gnome Engineers could have their own inspired design for the Fishy Tank.

Yes, that’s right.


You don’t like it, deal with it. I said it, it’s done.

Fishy Tank.

And come on, you know that the Gnome Engineers would be the first to think of something that crazy. A tank designed for a Fishy to drive, with gear-styled wheels (of varying sizes, probably), and drill arms like Tesh designed, and a big engine on the back with pipes puffing out smoke.

But the Goblins, seeing that… you just know that they’d have to design their own, more impressive counter to this.

Something that has that crazy shark-grin painted on the front cowling.

Oh, how insidious that design would be. A goldfish piloting a vehicle with a sharktooth grin painted on the outside. Oh, lord.

I could even see it occasionally going off on it’s own to pounce on Seagulls and other fisher-style birds, like you see the coyotes and wolves in the wild do in-game. Like… getting revenge. You’re just strolling along on the beach, and your goldfish goes tearing fin across to pounce on and destroy a seagull.

Oh, hell yes.

I can see it. Oh lord, it’s like a shining light, coming down from the heavens.

Goblins. Gnomes. And a design war on who can build the deadliest, most over-the-top Fishy Tank.

That would let Blizzard have fun designing two different approaches to a Fishy Tank, and it would give Hunters a new mechanical-based combat pet they could craft themselves towards end game…

What if this was the alst thing that finally opened the door to allowing Gnome Hunters? We’ve already got Goblin Hunters, why not Gnomes, especially if they could eventually have a mechanical combat pet?

Good lord… Gnomes. Pets. What if the formerly Gnomish Engineer-only companion pet Lil’ Smoky became the design foundation for the starting Gnome Hunter pet?

Gnomes, wielding complex guns, with fancy goggles, sending their programmed combat machine out to destroy the enemy… tossing Big Daddys and smoke bombs here and there…

The horror… the sheer, beautiful horror….

There. You see? That is exactly how we went from a starter idea, to whatever the heck we have now. Pure stream of my wandering crazy.

Look, I tell you these things, I tell you exactly how deep the hole is, and if you keep coming back here to read them, don’t blame me when we all ascend into madness together.

I warned you!

Boneheaded Bear Breaks Bow… and Butt!

Sorry about the title, we were talking about alliteration in guild last night.

In case you were ever in doubt, I’m for it.

Todays topic is:

Tell me the one thing you ever did in a raid, ever, that was¬†so boneheaded you¬†still look back on it and think, “I can’t believe I did that. What was I thinking?!?”

I started this raid week down exactly one Sigil of Wisdom from completing that part of Wrathion’s quest chain.

That left me eager to run Heart of Fear to try and get it, before queueing for Terrace to down the Sha of Anger.

Thus began my night of comedy.

I did get my Sigil, but the groups I were with were… sloppy. Felt half awake, going through the motions. Perhaps just hitting that wall.

We downed trash and bosses, but we usually had multiple people die per trash pull, half the group dead by the end of a boss pull, and we flirted with enrage timers and sometimes even went over them.

Elegon… let’s just not talk about Elegon.

My boneheaded, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment¬†came during Will of the Emperor in Mogu’shan Vaults.

You know, the dude what can drop the weapon upgrade for me.

We played as sloppy as I’d come to expect on the trash right in front of the control panel, and over half the raid died before the trash finally went down.

Some folks released to run back, others were waiting for a ressurection, and some moron decided to start the encounter.

Oh, joy.

This has no bearing on my mistake.

I did my best. I know the fight, I have plenty of tools to work on the adds, and all¬†I wanted was to get the fight over with, see if the bow would drop, blow an extra roll when it didn’t, and then move on with my week.

So, I’m running around doing the add killing dance¬†as fast as I’m able, when halfway into the fight most of my buttons go dark.

Like, ‘out of range’ dark. Or, ‘you’ve been stunned/silenced’ dark.

I could still use my Kill Command, Glaives, all that extra cooldown and pet stuff, but I’ve got no shots at all.¬†

What, I ran out of arrows? WTF? I know I got tagged by that one¬†Emperor’s Strength, but that stun only lasts like, what, 3 seconds?¬†

It took me over 30 seconds of trying to figure out what happened to finally get it.

My weapon was broken.

I opened up my equipment list, and sure as hell. All my epics were fine, durability 100 out of 180, or whatever.

The only thing I had broken at 0 durability was my 463 blue Tempestuous Longbow.

Apparently, it’s weaker and more susceptible to breakage than epics? And hey, guess what… I died a lot in that raid.

So… halfway through the last boss fight I intended to do for the evening, I ended up with¬†no weapon, reduced to telling my pet to attack that target, now that target, okay Bestial Wrath and go Kill Command that one. And after that… well, i still had my fists.

Paws. Whatever.

I was reduced to punching the adds.

For over half of¬†the fight,¬†I’m running around punching bad guys and waiting for pet attack cooldowns to wear off.

That’s a long time to feel embarassed.

One of the healers locked out of the raid by the early start began telling us all how much we sucked.

Specifically, how bad us DPS sucked.

In fact, he began talking about the worthless sack of shit Hunter that was so bad he should get out of the raid and kill himself for being so bad.

For over five minutes, and then past when we did finally wipe, he kept up the stream of venom, directed at sucky DPS in general, and the one horribad sack of shit hunter in specific.

I was embarassed because, yes I can’t believe I was in a boss fight with broken equipment, total fail move, but even worse, getting called out for it by someone that really, with that language and hostility, I’d have liked to kick square in the nuts for being an asshole.

Worst part?¬†The feeling that, even though the way he went off was nasty bullshit,¬†I felt he had a¬†point. I was terrible, and¬†I did feel embarassed. I won’t go so far as to say I was ashamed, but yeah, that was pretty fail. There was no good excuse for my not knowing what my durability was going into a boss fight.¬†

The healer’s tirade increased, and he started linking meters to the¬†raid channel, and calling person such and such with blank DPS out, and such and such did blank…

I suddenly realized something even more horrifying.

He wasn’t talking about me.

As bad as I was in that raid, spending most of it with a broken weapon, punching adds and controlling my pet as best I could, little though it was… I still ended that one fight with¬†a little over 22k DPS.

I wasn’t the worst DPS on the fight.

I wasn’t even close.

It turns out¬†I wasn’t the Hunter he was swearing at like a deranged beast. I thought I was, but he’d never called anyone out by name before. I just assumed I had to have been, by far, the worst in the run.


The Hunter he was talking about had 12k DPS.

I still feel a little light headed thinking about it.

The healer, seriously, he could go die in a fire. Whatever moron started that run was the person to blame for our overall failure, not one DPS in the group. There is never any call to rant and rave and swear at someone else. You don’t like how someone else is performing, and if you truly think they are doing it on purpose, then you say what, and why, and who, and ask people to vote kick them. If enough people agree, then fine, you kick them and move on. If not, and you feel that strongly? Leave. Or shut the hell up and soldier on.

The swearing and venom? Shove a cork in your ass, I don’t want to hear it.

I feel okay about saying that now,¬†seeing as how he wasn’t talking specifically about me. ūüôā

I am still trying to wrap my head around that. With a minimum iLevel of 460, a Hunter (a Beastmaster hunter at that, same as me) did 12k DPS on a  boss fight.

I did almost twice that with a broken weapon, punching the adds. Yes, my pet does reasonable damage on his own so long as I am using all of my Kill Command oand other attack cooldowns, but still. The other person is a Hunter too!  

In other words, as bad as I sucked, how could there have been someone even worse?

I feel like I entered in a “who can suck the worst on this fight” contest, and came in second place.

This did not make me feel better about myself. I mean, if you’re gonna lose, at least lose BIG. If you screw up big enough, spectacularly enough, there is a story in that.

Did¬†I wonder what that Hunter was doing? Yes, briefly. Then I moved on. it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

It’s not relevant in any way. What he did is what HE did, not what I did.

I’m the one that fought a boss with a Broken Arrow.

About that Hunter… here’s a hypothetical for you.

You sit down, queue for a raid, and it takes 45 minutes to get one, which is what it took me. You expected 20 minutes, that is what you’re used to, and that’s what your addon told you was the current average wait time, so that worked for you. You’ve got limited time to play before you have to get your kids tucked into bed, but this is workable.

For 25 minutes after that 20 minute¬†‘average’, the duration kept getting extended by a minute at a time. ¬†You thought, ‘okay, what is one more minute”, but that was 25 minutes ago.

Now, 45 minutes in, and the hour and a half you budgeted for the run is half gone before the first pull.

You’re running out of time. There are things you have to do¬†with your family. But you can take it to the wire. Maybe this group will¬†get it done fast and smooth.¬†

But no. The group sucks. Wipes on trash, AFK people, early pulls, all sorts of things that serve to drag this out.

Finally, you get to the last boss, the boss you came for because you’re a Hunter and you need a weapon and he could drop your weapon. You really don’t want to have to do all of this over again later, you don’t have much time during the week to play.

But it’s time to tuck your kids into bed, past time really, so you’re up against it, and when game and famliy go head to head, family wins. Of course.

So, as soon as this trash pull is done, you’re going to tell everyone you need to be afk for a few minutes, so you can at least go tuck your kids into bed.

Then some asshole pulls early, before people¬†have even run all the way back or been rezzed. There are healers locked out of the instance, five people still dead…

Well, that’s an obvious wipe, so you say to hell with it, set your character to auto-attack the boss, sic your pet on it, and go¬†get your children tucked into bed, tell your spouse you’re sorry that the run went so long, and get back to your desk to recover after the wipe.

Sound reasonable? Sound like an outside possibility?

Yeah… I’m not going to judge, and I’m not¬†going to assume anything.¬†It does not matter why someone else had issues, what matters is what¬†I did,¬†what I have control over, and what¬†I can do better next time.

Our second run? Everyone was there, healed, buffed and ready.

We killed the Will of the Emperor easy as could be, and everyone, including that Hunter, did a great job.

After our wipe, I teleported out, repaired, and ran back. I had to, not a single person there would drop a repair bot for me. Fortunately, I got back in time before the pull.

Oh, and the healer that spent all that time swearing and frothing at the mouth?

Didn’t heal a single person the entire fight. Just stood there, metaphorically with arms crossed, watching as everyone around them did their jobs while¬†just afked through the fight.

Isn’t that just special. So apparently, he was so offended at how people didn’t do anything the last run (while he was safely on the other side of the doors, doing nothing), that it gave him the right to do nothing himself to, what? Get back at us? Prove he can intentionally suck worse?


Doesn’t matter. We won without him, easily, so the only thing that got proved was how nobody needed him around¬†in the first place. he was not a value add. ūüôā

What matters is, I have furthered the legend of the Huntard.

I haven’t felt so embarassed in a¬†long, long time.

I’m in ur raids, punching ur mobs.¬†


So tell me, make me feel better. What is your “I cannot believe I just did that” moment?

OMG The patch is here!!!

The patch is here, oh the patch is here, life is bacon and life is beer, I think the most wonderful time of the year is the patch, I do! Don’t you?

‘Course you do!

Pets will be cuter when the patch comes.
Skies will be brighter when the patch comes!
My class will be more fun when the patch comes.
Those dirty old Warriors will be nerfed when the patch comes.
Hunters can now move their asses when the patch comes!

Old school raids will be run when the patch comes.
We’ll be stealing C”thuns bunny when the patch comes.
Warlocks are the flavor of the month when the patch comes.
I still won’t get a bow upgrade when the patch comes.
Because Raigonn remains a huge douche when the patch comes.

You’ll get fresh new quests and rep when the patch comes.
All your gear can be upgraded when the patch comes.
But you won’t have the Valor to spend when the patch comes.
Because the new rep brings ring, belt, trinket and boots.
Now aren’t you glad you bought the old valor loot?

You got your PvP in my PvE when the patch comes.
We be ganking BG noobs when the patch comes.
6000 Valor will be a breeze when the patch comes!
I will kill for the Black Prince when the patch comes.
What could go wrong serving a Black Dragon when the patch comes?

Everything you ever wanted will come true when the patch comes
unless the thing that stays the same is you….

When the patch comes.

What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen

My conceit is that I think of myself as being knowledgeable in the ways of the world.

The truth is, the world is not only stranger than I know, it is stranger than I can know.

Even in the most mundane of daily activities though, that strangeness can sometimes shine through and, holy shit, I’m left to babble incoherently into my Mountain Dew.

Case in point.

This past weekend, my family and I were engaged in the usual weekend routine. We travel as a unit to gather food stuffs, dry goods, trim the fur when necessary and partake of honey, grubs and larvae.

It was while stopped for said grub, at a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, that the nightmare unfolded.

I’ll give you a warning, here. This story will be safe for your work, but it might not be safe for your peace of mind. Once you have been exposed to this knowledge, you cannot unlearn it without repeated applications of the Ball Peen Hammer of Forgetting +5 (lbs).

Abandon all hope, ye who read further than here.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken, for those unfortunate souls who do not live near one, is one of the strangest fast food franchises in existence. They seem to go out of their way to keep the consumer confused and avoid letting you eat their tasty yummy treats.

Their menu changes without warning. That’s the first thing. You’ll go in, and immediately wonder, ‘What the hell did they do to their menu? Do they have drinks anymore? I don’t see them.”

They will have some very tasty items that actually don’t appear on their menu at all and that you have to ask for at the counter. No joke. One I went to would have mashed potatoes and fried gravy simmered with bits of leftover chicken from the night before. They’d serve it if you asked at the early morning crowd over biscuits. No, I’m not kidding.

Some franchises just won’t carry some things, others will run out of odd stuff at random, and their prices can be pretty damn high for 3 pieces of fried chicken and a coke.

All that being said, I do get me a craving for some extra crispy, now and again.

KFC. The restaurant I go to despite their best efforts to stop me.

So I had a craving for fried chicken breast and wings, and Alex loves their popcorn chicken. Off we went.

It only took visiting two KFCs before we found one that had both items on their menu. The first KFC we visited had, for whatever reason, eradicated popcorn chicken from their menu in some kind of scorched earth anti-popcorn warfare that left me asking, “They do still make it, right?” To which the lady behind the counter answered, “I really couldn’t say.”

Like, WTF did popcorn chicken do to that franchise owner that it became the menu item that must not be named?

We stood in the middle of that KFC as I leveraged the power of the smartphone to call up a list of other KFC franchises in our area, and called ’em up one by one asking, “Do you have popcorn chicken?”

I was smart, though. After I found one that did, answering in a tone of voice that strongly implied, “Of course! We’re KFC, why wouldn’t we have popcorn chicken, you moron”, I did think to ask if they had extra crispy breasts and wings. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I’m on to this game.

We drive back across town, ordered our delicious fried chicken, and began filling our beverage cups.

Alex chose a Mug brand root beer, and filled it himself.

Life lessons. He filled it a bit too full too fast, and the foam rose rapidly, threatening to spill over the cup.

I warned Alex that he may want to spill some of his beverage out of the cup into the drain so it didn’t overflow, making the sides of the cup sticky.

Cassie said, “You don’t have to do that to get rid of the foam.”

I looked at her as if to say, “WTF”, but what I asked was, “Oh? How else can you get rid of it?”

She looked at me in that knowing, always right way she has that lets me know I’m about to get schooled again, and said, “I learned it when I worked at Dairy Queen in high school. You can’t do it to someone else’s cup, that would be icky, but you can do it to your own cup to get rid of the foam.”

I’m just staring at her blankly. I have no earthly idea where she’s going with this. “What in the world are you talking about?”

She grins at Alex, and says “You just touch your finger to the side of your nose, and then touch the foam. All the foam vanishes, instantly.”

Alex immediately shouts “Cool!” while I just stare at Cassie in horror.

She looks at me and says, “What?”

“You’re full of… you’re full of it.”

“No, really, it works.”

“You touch the side of your nose, and then touch the foam in the cup, and the foam vanishes.”



“No, it really works.”


“I’m not kidding, it really does.”

“I’m still calling bullshit, prove it.”

“No, it’s Alex’s cup, I can’t do it to his cup.”

“I don’t care, I’ll buy another cup, I want to see the foam disappear.”

She touched the side of her nose with one finger, and I mean a touch on the outside, not some finger-mashing booger-picking low crawl. Just a gentle touch, lasting but a moment.

The she touched, just as gently, just as briefly, the foam right where it was touching the edge of the cup.

Instantly, and I mean instantly, the foam vanished, starting from that small point and spreading rapidly like some kind of scourge-created nose plague.

Just, one little touch and fwump! All the foam was gone, leaving bare liquid in a cup.

What. The. FUCK.

Okay. I’ll admit it.

I thought I knew a lot of stuff, and while I will admit I don’t know everything, I thought I knew most of the neat bits in our common everyday life.

That shit flanked me and left me flat-footed, ripe for ganking. Thank god KFC is a Sanctuary zone.

I live in a world where you can have a carbonated beverage overflowing with foam, touch your finger to the side of your nose, touch the foam, and the foam vanishes instantly.

Where the FUCK was I when this was talked about in class? Huh?

That’s what I want to know. I spent HOW many years in the public education system, and nobody thought to clue me in to this shit before now?

Hey, I was good, I took chemistry, I took physics, we even had an astronomy class. I paid attention. I paid my dues. I stayed awake through some boring ass shit, man, and some horrible teachers.

Nobody ever thought to demonstrate this shit to me?

Goddamn it, do you people even KNOW how to get kids interested in science? You show us freaky shit we can do with it, man!

How the hell did the public school system let this one go?

You know what I’m gonna tell you.

You’ve gotta go try this.

You have to go out there, to a public restaurant, get a big foamy glass of some kind of soft drink, touch your nose and then touch the foam to make it vanish.

In front of a crowd.


Test Your Skill At Snark!

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

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

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

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

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

So, to set the scene.

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

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

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

And then YOU instantly reply…