Saturday, August 25, 2012

Heroic Intimidation

Time to Queue

I was still well short of the gear needed to queue for End Time. I wasn't overly excited about using PvP, fearing it would be an instant kick from most groups, but now I had enough gear to try queuing for a regular Cataclysm Heroic.

I have to admit I was more than a little intimidated by the idea. I know how groups in WoW can be, especially to someone who actually could use the gear that drops. I knew my DPS was going to be low, and I mentally prepared myself to be kicked out of the group.

The queue came up and I got Heroic Deadmines. I had run it many times on my Warrior and Hunter. Never on my Paladin. This was in-progress group about to pull the big robot boss. The tank asked me to drive the robot. Well, at least no one would question my DPS. I did okay, no one died. The boss dropped a two handed mace. I was still using the axe you get for completing one of the chains in Earth Elemental zone. The Warrior tank asked if he could roll on it for his PvP set. I hit need, but didn’t comment. I’m not sure if he rolled on it or not, but I won it. Upgrade!

We finished the entire instance, and I even got a couple of achievements, including the one for finishing the dungeon. I guess people just quietly accepted me. With the hutner doing 30k dps, I guess they figured we were okay. 

Throne of Tides

The next one I got was Throne of Tides. Again, I knew the place from my other toons. My DPS as still south of 10k, but the mage and hunter in this group were also in that range as well. The tank, a Death Knight, was leading the entire group.

I guess I shouldn’t be so focused on my numbers, but I just hate the idea of being dragged through something or being a boat anchor that holds the rest of the group down.

I did get a comment on my title. For a while on Honors, I’ve been going around with Hand of A’dal. Old player. Old title.

I picked up a Relic on this run. i can’t remember if they changed relics to be used by Shamans, Paladins and Death Knights before I left or after. 

In each run, at least one person asked for grace because they hadn't played the toon they were on in 9 months to a year. Finally I asked if they were just changing toons for the expansion, or were coming back to the game. In every case, they said they were returning players.




Despite the two runs I was still short of being able to try End Time. I talked to my friend and he told me to check to see what I could buy with Justice Points. Apparently now Firelands gear was available. I had enough points to buy the chest, so I did. Then I saw someone advertising to sell the Justice Point bracers for just 200g. That was about 10% of my funds, but I bought them anyway. 

Stiffed by Trolls

I gemmed it up and queued again. This time I got Zulu'Gurub. Uh Oh. It was a rather long haul. The Paladin tank didn't know the dungeon and the Resto Shaman had to talk him through it. I did okay. I died on the snake boss after getting painted into a corner. Somehow the group didn't kick me. The other bosses weren't too bad, but I ended each fight with Forebearance after using my Bubble (oh how I've missed you on my Warrior/Hunter). Long Arm of the Law helps a ton on Zanzil, and Holy Wrath is great on the final boss. 

I got really excited when it looked like we had a shot at killing the final boss. He drops a sweet axe. I knew the Paladin tank might roll on it, but I would still have a shot. 

After two wipes, we got him down, but he dropped two staves. 

When I logged off, I was still about 9 points short of the iLevel needed. I’d really like to see End Time before my free time is up, but I'm going to have to make a decision this weekend. I may just make up those last two points with PvP gear and go for it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Accliminated

With my addons working I could post some of the crafting materials on the auction house. That helped both with the inventory space problem and hopefully will help me rebuild my coffers. Next up, I knew I needed to do some dailies.

All These Buttons!

The game can be intimidating for a returning player. I didn’t even remember what half my buttons did. I leveled as Retribution, and pretty much as soon as I hit 85, I stopped playing him. First thing I did was turn on verbose tooltips. Then I went through and looked at what each button did.
My next thought was to go whack a target dummy. I was pretty terrible. My friend who sent me the Scroll directed me to icy-veins.com. This is a very nice resource for all classes and specs. At least now I knew what I was supposed to do.

The first daily I did was the cooking daily which involved flying all over Orgrimmar and picking up crawfish. That was when I realized I hadn’t trained my cooking since Wrath. Oops.

I had a couple of quests in my log that were introduced with the major patches. I had done them both on my Hunter and Warrior. One was the troll quests in Stranglethorn, and the other was the Thrall quests in Hyjal. Both quests were very different this time around as I was practically the only one doing them. It took a little longer for the Thrall quests, but I managed to get both of them done without dying too much. I got the epic cape from the Thrall quest and picked up the Retribution one.

Blast from the Past - Ice Crown Citadel
While I was out doing the Troll quests, the guild was putting together a raid. They were going old school and doing ICC25 because one of their members, a Death Knight tank, was working on his Shadowmorne legendary quest. They invited anyone online to go including myself.

It felt really weird to be back in ICC. It felt even weirder to not be tanking. I may have burned out a bit on tanking before I left WoW, but I definitely miss it sometimes. We cleared up to Blood Queen but couldn’t kill her before everyone got mind controlled. I’m sure my DPS was sub par.

Tank?

With everything changing in just a few days, I don’t see where it benefits me to try to learn to tank again right now. Once 5.0 ships, I can start working it out with everyone else. I’ll be recording all the information I gather and decision I make on the blog. Hopefully, people will find it helpful, even though I feel like I’ve gone from a guy who could write the guide to the guy who needs the guide. But honestly, even when I was blogging full steam, I really just collected and syntheized information which is much the same thing I’ll be doing now.

If I stay for MoP, I think I’ll level as Prot/Ret and then just see what the guild needs. With another tank added to the game, I wonder how the tanking mix will work out. Once I hit 90, I see what the guild needs. Tank spots are ususally pretty tough to come by, and my schedule will be decidedly more casual now.

Goals 

There’s two things I’d really like to do before my free time runs out. I’d like to run the new End Time heroics, and I’d love to see Dragon Soul, even if it’s on LFR difficulty. I'm building my Ret set because I figure it will be easier to do Dragon Soul for the first time as a DPS rather than as a tank. The problem is my gear isn’t good enough to queue for the new Heroics and the guild isn't running them.

I had a completed quest in my log for killing a boss in Stonecore, and I needed to turn that in at Therazane. I couldn’t even remember if Therazane was a current reputation. I checked and saw it was. I was close to Revered with them. I was at Honored with all the other Cataclysm reputations. I saw a bunch of dailies to do and figured I should give it a go. I had done the dailies many times on my Hunter and my Warrior so I knew basically what to do. By the time I was done, I was revered and picked up some new gear.

The next thing I did was go open the Firelands dailies. I’m pretty sure you can get some nice gear from them, and I had never done those on my Paladin either. The dailies would help the my lack of gold as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Addon Issues

Filling up Void Storage helped with my inventory issues, but didn’t do anything for my gold issues.

Before I used the free transfer to the Nessingwary server that came with my Scroll of Resurrection, I wanted to move some of my gold to my Paladin. That’s when I made the amazing discovery that I had already moved most of my gold to my Hunter who now Alliance and on another server.

All that money I made when epic gems came out, and doing all those dailies (Shattered Sun I’m looking at you) was stuck on another server. I was sitting on less than 2000 gold.

I needed to make some money. I had two options open to me, the auction house and dailies. Neither seemed like a great option.

I was still stuck using the default UI. I had downloaded some addons, including auctionator, but none of them were working. The little Addons buttons was missing on the log in screen. I did a google search and found out all kinds of information about problems people had when they upgraded from WinXP to Win 7. My game was a fresh install on Windows 7. There was also some advice about putting the game in a directory called C:\Public\Games which didn’t exist on my computer. I installed it on my E drive. I have two hard drives in my computer: a small one for Windows and system stuff, and a large one for pictures, music, writing, and games.

I was starting to think I needed to reinstall WoW, but then I came across a thread on the Customer Service forum. The Blizzard Customer Service representative talked about how the addons come as zip files and sometimes there’s an extra folder in the zip.

For instance, you unzip Recount and you wind up with a folder called Recountv3.1.6. If you put that folder in your Interface\Addons folder, the game doesn’t see it. Under Recountv3.1.6 is another folder called Recount. That has all the files for the actual addon, and that’s the folder you need to put in your Interface/Addons folder. Once I fixed all the folders for my addons, everything worked.

I didn’t go too crazy with addons because I don’t know how long I’m going to stay and even if I do, I’ll have to rebuild the UI for Mists.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Coming Back to WoW

As I hinted at in my last post, I've returned to the lands of Azeroth. I'm still playing SWTOR, too, but when SWTOR announced it was going Free to Play in November, I decided I should check out what WoW was doing.

SWTOR Free To Play

I'm just not a fan of the Free to Play model, and I'm really confused by SWTOR's. You get the entire leveling game for free, levels 1-50 which gives you all the incredible class stories that BioWare made. What you have to pay for is Operations (raids), War Zones (battlegrounds), and Space missions (a very fun little mini-game). You also have to pay for extra characters slots, and bag/bank space.

Essentially, I can pay for each class story I do, and that seems completely fair to me.

It was when I started working on my Smuggler, and I noticed I was zoning out during some of the planet quests that I knew I was in trouble. The class quests are fantastic and unique for each class. You also have a planet quest line that every player of your faction does for that planet. I found these fun twice (once on my Knight and once on my Trooper). Third time around, they weren't as fun. The class quests tend to be pretty spread out. With the Knight, you seem to get about one per zone, but with the trooper, it felt like one every other zone. In retrospect, I wish they had gone much heavier on the class quests.

Everything Changes

When I left WoW, I was on my dwarf hunter. For a while now, I've missed playing my Paladin. Of all the classes in WoW, I think the Paladin fits me best. I love the lore of the class, I love the Paladin heroes like Tirion and Uther, and I love all the pseudo-religious connotations of the class.

I was still on the fence, but then I found out that a couple of my former guild mates were also planning on returning. One of them already had. He hooked me up with a Scroll of Resurrection. He told me to try it for a couple of days and see what I thought.

So I'm going to try it for a week and see what I think when the free time on the Scroll expires.

I logged into my Paladin and was completely overwhelmed. My addons were gone and all I had was the default UI. I didn't know where anything was, or even what gear I had on. My bags were absolutely full.

That first night, I didn't do much more than transfer a bunch of stuff into Void Storage. I really wish they had this feature in the game before I left. I also really wish there was a way to show off your Void Storage. I was a terrible pack rat before I left. I wonder how many Horde Paladins have Verigan's Fist in Void Storage.

I haven't done anything with Transmog yet, but I'm going to transmog something into Verigan's Fist.

I'll see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow.

(P.S. If anyone needs a 24 port hub, I have one for sale on eBay.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Money, Money, Money

Gravity and Tobold were both discussing the recent sale of Tankspot, and that led to a discussion of monetizing or making money from Blogging. Tobold even has a standing offer that his blog could be bought for a measly sum of $100,000. You can see the details on his blog.
Honors Code costs me absolutely nothing but the little time I take to write it. It’s gotten a little harder to find that time since I can’t blog at work any more, but I would still blog even if I didn’t have as many readers. I haven’t checked my numbers in a while but I get anywhere from 300 to 700 hits per day. The most popular page is still my Leveling Guide. Since Honors Code costs me nothing, it doesn’t make any sense to me to try to make money off my blog. I doubt anyone would pay for the content I produce, except for maybe the leveling guide.
It got me wondering what my blog or account might be worth. Tobold put a price tag of $100,000 on his blog. I’m no where near as popular as Tobold, so I can’t be worth nearly as much. I’d offer Honors Code with all its archives for the low, low price of $25,000 (US). I’d even throw in the occasional article if you want.
Now what if somebody wanted Honorshammer? This is a toon I’ve worked on for the past 4 years. I ‘ve got mounts, pets, gear, and titles, some that can no longer be attained. I’ve taken to wearing Hand of A’dal instead of Kingslayer in PuGs. A couple of hundred bucks wouldn’t move the needle. I remember someone doing a blog post asking if he’d sell his character for $5,000 (US). Then I saw Ferraro make a Twitter post about be offered $4,000 (US) for her account. If someone offered me that kind of cash for Honors (plus my other three 80s, and all the alts, banks and mules), I’d have a really hard time turning that down.
Do we create value from the digital assets we create online. The very fact they are sold indicates we do, but I have serious doubts I’ll ever even reach the ‘coffee or two’ level of money making from my blog. I have and will continue to blog for you, my readers. May you continue to enjoy what you find within the pages of Honors Code. And if you really want the blog and/or my account, you only need to give me the (in)appropriate reasons to hand it over.