corrvin: gray cat lying on the floor, text "I'll get right on that" (right on that)
So, within 24 hours of my getting a new laptop, Raven's computer fried its motherboard. This has been an expensive day. (Though I am grateful to have the money to replace things when they break, and not have to wait two weeks.)

Speaking of expensive, it's time to take Dim to the vet to get tutored-- hoping we can get him in later this week. We have three to get done, but with the other two being girls, it's crucial to get him fixed first. Sure, there are low-cost spay-neuter places, but again, I have the money to support a relationship with our local vet, who is six blocks away, and avoid a long trip with a miserable cat. Dim might turn out to be a car rider, but he might not be, and I'd rather not have him squall miserably and be trusted to strangers if I can help it.

And the kid needs her eyes examined again. It's like I'm made of money, some months. I'll call Monday and get that appointment for her.

So, Raven and I are playing LOTRO (when his computer works, he's playing) on Silverlode server. They've got a free-to-play deal going on, if anybody happens to have a computer that'll run it. My character is Huldis if you'd like to find me. I'll likely be on Saturday and Sunday mornings both...
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Yes, we did Kara last week; we smoked our way all the way to Curator, and wiped miserably there due to lack of DPS and coordination.

WoWWiki article on Curator

This week, I've spent some time thinking about why we failed. The general take from the rest, as I'm understanding it, is that we didn't have the DPS to succeed, we didn't kill the flares fast enough, and we ran out of heals.

My personal take on this is that we ran out of DPS because we ran out of mana, we ran out of heals because we ran out of mana, and we ran out of mana because I was on DPS duty on the flares with everyone else, and flares die too quickly to make any mana back from Vampiric Touch. Along with a few other shenanigans, of course.

In this week's plan, I show up with some arcane protection potions and do DPS on Curator for the mana regen for my group. We'll see how that works...

Also: [livejournal.com profile] pentane links Character Audit on be.imba.hu
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Note: No Kara report last week, I was interrupted by my dad calling about my granddad; so I was there for about three trash pulls.

Cut for drama )
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Nick Yee's website, The Daedalus Project, does surveys and reports on people who play MMORPGs.

I participated in one of the latest ones, "Kids and MMOs," and actually got quoted-- twice-- in the writeup. :)

I'll talk more later about the context of what I wrote, but here's the article itself if you're curious. The two quotes attributed to the 33 year old female are mine. Kids and MMOs

The quotes, for those who don't wanna click through:

From a page regarding benefits of playing MMOs:

Leadership Opportunities (7%)

Where else in the entire world can a teenager lead a group of people including adults into accomplishing a common goal? [F, 33]

From a page asking what advice the players had for other parents:

Parents should not only 'sit down and try' the game, but learn what the basic unit of time is where something can be accomplished. [F, 33]

And Nick Yee's own conclusion:

"In talking to parents and teenagers during my Qwest trips, involvement and setting up expectations are the two themes I stress. We’ve done informal surveys at high schools and it’s often surprising how many young teenagers have internet-enabled computers in their own room without any clear rules or limits about internet use. Whether it’s spending too much time online or misunderstanding the nature of online relationships, parental involvement is the key to mitigating many of the risks present when kids play online games."


Expect a follow-up to this later today when I'm not at work.
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Low-sugar pectin: $1.50 for a 3 pack, over in housewares; compared to $2.12 for a one-pack in the baking aisle.

This makes the cost of...um, 8 cups of mulberry jam, a whopping:
60 cents sugar (4 cups out of an 8 cup bag for $1.20)
50 cents pectin
96 cents jar lids (not reusable, the jars are however)
--
$2.06 for 8 cups of homemade jam, plus the labor of picking/cooking. In case of storing the jam in just plain reusable jars, that cost is halved. (But it only keeps for a couple weeks in the fridge that way.)



Yarn: "Freedom Spirit," 100% wool, by Twilleys of Stamford. 50g/120m. Bought at The Wool Pack in MA. Shade 506.

Finally getting around to using the blue/brown colorway I had stuck back; it's a pretty dual-strand of blue/purple/sky-blue/tan/brown. Much nicer than it sounds. I'm making another insulated lunchbag, as my current one isn't big enough when I bring jam and bread to work.

I just pretty much cast on some stitches for a bottom and started knitting, then I'll pick up around all 4 sides when I'm done and knit til "wool and patience are nearly exhausted" (per Zimmerman).

It feels good to be back knitting again. I really should knit more, and clean up the house more, but when I also really, really want to get my priest to 70 and raid with the guild... well, I need to set some priorities so that I can fit things into the corners of my life.

I have about 4 levels left to go, and a general estimate of time spent per level is 10-12 hours. I don't expect to get this done in a week, of course, or even two or three; but I really would like to fit in 4-5 hours at least on the weekends.
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I think I'm over my first mad about the whole thing. Basically, the guild I was in felt it was important not to offend current guildies by asking them to change their behavior. This resulted in a couple of folks having some very bad insulting arguments in /guildchat, and some folks choosing to leave the guild because the disagreements weren't conducted in a respectful manner.

Contrary to popular opinion, asking people to abide by the guild rules is not "trying to take the guild leader's job"; answering an obvious factual question when the guild leader is busy is also not "trying to take the guild leader's job." Neither one is, as it was charmingly put, "gaytarded."

So, I really do wish them luck in Kara on Sunday, especially missing two of their ten regulars (and three if Anthrak decides not to go too). Much as it might give me a private moment of satisfaction to see them fail miserably, I don't really want that to happen...more than once. Ya know?



Anyways, drama being over-- I had Torvish (the warrior who's been tanking Kara for the past few weeks) over for dinner Thursday night. He's a pretty cool guy and the cats seem to like him. I made some chicken on a stick and mashed potatoes, and it was all et up.

I was also exceedingly proud of myself for one thing-- I accidentally got chicken breasts with bones, but rather than throw away the bones and remaining meat, I made some stock, with which I made chicken rice this morning. (Stock and little bits of chicken picked off the bones.)

I'm currently reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I will review a bit later.

That's it.

May. 23rd, 2008 05:20 am
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Talent build was this:
23 disc 22 shadow 7 holy

Going full-shadow (41 shadow, 6 holy, 5 dis) for more face-melty goodness. I've never respecced, so it'll only cost me a gold.

15% more pew pew, get out of my way you floppy-eared shadow-specced weenies who've been KSing me all night with your improved reach!
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The lineup, * indicates additions to the usual raid crew:

TANKS:
Torvish, warrior
Mensenox, druid

DPS:
Enhtiar, shaman
*Demina, warlock
*Massiag, Serenity guild (spelling fixed, thanks Kiz)
*Dangerousone, hunter
Frogvete, hunter

HEALS:
*Multon, new shaman in guild
Galee, priest
Anthrak, shaman

The gory details )
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Actual Kara recap next post, when I get home with my list of character names.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT and general whinge:

As per this informative thread, characters are "saved" to particular higher-level instances which reset once a week, when they enter the instances and kill the first boss mob there.

Extended quote (in italics) from reply in that thread:

"This is done for two reasons:

1. To save the instance, so that slower, more casual guilds have time to work through them... as opposed to normal instances which reset when vacant for 2 hours (or something like that).

2. To stop guilds from farming 500 pieces of loot at week.

...If you look at the entry in /raidinfo, it has an instance id#.

If you enter an instance, and the raid you are with killed a boss yesterday, but you weren't there. You do not get saved simply for entering the instance
[[ETA: This is apparently not true. You DO get saved for entering the instance, or it's as soon as you kill trash.]]... As soon as you kill a boss with them however, you are saved to their instance ID.

You could join another raid, and go to the instance. When you zoned in, you would be in 1 instance, and they would all be in another. Or, if you entered before them, they would enter your instance. Any boss you killed with the other [first] raid would be dead already. Any boss you then proceeded to kill would be dead when members from the first raid you entered with came back."


Karazhan (Kara, KZ) resets at 5am Tuesday morning. This means that if you go with someone else's guild on Saturday, you can't go with your own guild on Sunday morning (unless they enter after you, and then they get the instance that you've already partly/fully run with other people.)

Now, you wouldn't think this was a big deal, but when nearly half our guild's raiding force doesn't notice the text line when they enter KZ (it reads "this instance will reset in __ days __ hours") or the line that appears when you kill a boss saying "You are now saved to the instance" and then goes and saves to someone else's instance the night before we have a scheduled Kara run, it makes things suck.

It makes Enh'ar a very unhappy shaman, too, when she voluntarily passed on equipment (which was an upgrade) to give to another guildie for whom it was MORE of an upgrade, because Enh'ar was thinking of the raid team as a whole, not only of herself, and when that guildie takes the equipment they were given and the equipment they rolled for as part of our guild's raid team, and goes to play on someone else's raid with their new stuff.

Of course, there's a law that you should never attribute to malice what can be explained by sheer stupidity, and perhaps that should be our guild motto.
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As a sad note, <Defiance> is disbanding this week, so Anth and I left in order to join <Nightstalkers>.

The lineup:

Tanks:
Torvish <Defiance>, warrior
Mensenox, Druid Who Has Learnt Something But Who Still NEEDS OMEN DAMMIT

Healers:
Anthrak, resto shaman (now in <Nightstalkers>)
Galee, Priest
Mourl, druid and Red Shirt

DPS:
Draculette, aka Ms No Longer In This Guild, warlock
Dangerousone, Hunter
Frogvete, Hunter
Freedomguy, Hunter-- he just started instancing last week
Enhtiar, shaman and Keeper of the Boobies

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no reason --Jack Handey )

E-peen report:
Enhtiar 3rd place (out of 10, obviously) on DPS report, which is I think pretty okay for the lag I had and the number of times I had to chase target;
Enhtiar 4th place on heals report. Behind the 3 healers, but close behind.

Benchmark for today: Nhinx (priest) is level 57 1/4, goal for Monday is to get to 57 3/4, and be ready to hit Uberlands on Tuesday night.
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Göttlich, in guild, swears by addon called QuestHelper.

Is that what you were looking for?

ETA: Added link.
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This week's lineup, from memory, and I'm hoping [livejournal.com profile] pentane can fill in gaps for me:

Tanks:
Bloodlíne, warrior, <Nightstalkers>
Fineilldoit, warrior, same

Healers:
Galee, priest (I think; it was definitely a guildie priest)
Mourl, a.k.a. Mr. Redshirt, druid, guildie
Anthrak as resto shaman, (Anth is in Defiance).

One priest who joined early on and then left, more about which in the commentary.

DPS:
Enhtiar, shaman
Freedomguy, hunter, new to instancing, guildie
Frogvete, hunter, guildleader
Niteprincess, who went LD early on, replaced with some caster later
Draculette, warlock, whose alt is Lenka the priest.

Anthrak cries out for tanking! )

To explain the "cries out for" cut tag, I'll mention that there is a setting in the actual WoW software (Or in Cosmos, I'm unsure). What it does is when you reach a certain point for health or mana, it will announce in an emote, either "Name is low on mana" or "Name cries out for healing!" There's also a voice option that says "I'm low on mana" or "Heal me!"

I find this setting to be annoying and insulting. If I'm the healer in the group, and you are not getting healed, one of three things is happening.

1)You don't actually need a heal. Or someone else needs one more.
2)I can't heal you because I'm trying not to die.
3)Either I have lag, computer issues, or some RL emergency.

In none of these cases does setting your software to DEMAND healing do you any good. I can see your HP right there on the screen, just like you can see my mana.

Some people don't realize that this is an automated setting that triggers at a certain percentage of health, so it may actually distract people into thinking that you are really emoting that on purpose.

The main reason I find this insulting, though, is that both of the settings are for the benefit of tanks. If you're the healer, shouting "heal me!" won't do you any good, and shouting "Low on mana" just saves the tank from having to waste a precious brain cell.

What would the equivalent healer or DPS settings be?

--Shaman cries out for people to stop pulling away from the totems. (Totems don't help you if you're out of range, folks!)
--Mage cries out for people to stop breaking sheep. (AOE. Nuff said.)
--Priest cries out for people to DPS more slowly. (DPSing early and often leads to aggro, which means the priest has to heal everyone, not just the tank, and that leads to priest aggro, and priests are tender cloth-wrapped morsels.)
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After a not-so-great Ramparts run on Monday (not on my usual server), we did a <Nightstalkers> guild run on Tuesday night.

Well, sort of a guild run; two of us have alts there.

Tank:
Neogensis, 59 paladin, prot spec

Heals:
Anthrak, 70 shaman, resto spec, geared appropriately for Karazhan, <Defiance>

DPS:
Enhtiar, 70 shaman, enhancement spec, Kara-geared, <Defiance>
Ryanmann, 60 shaman, enhancement spec, caster-geared
Moshman, 63 warrior, arms spec.

After the previous night's run with a roughly equivalent group where I was tanking, and got frustrated by the group's inability to let me get aggro, I decided to hang back and let the paladin tank.

After all, he's a fair decent tank already, but if we're going to take him to Kara, he needs to learn what to do through practice, not be walked through by a bunch of 70's.

The tank did really, really well; he managed to get, and keep, aggro on quite a few occasions. Considering that I have seriously superior DPS because I have 11 levels and quite a bit of gear on him, this was an achievement.

We had a discussion about "what to do when you die"-- that if you click the "release spirit" button and go to the graveyard, it's much more difficult for anyone to resurrect you because they have to go and find your body and click on it. Also, while your spirit is out of range, you won't get to roll on any items that are looted during that time.

And, lo and be-freakin-hold, after this discussion, on the next near-wipe, NO ONE RELEASED. Hooray!

The other other shaman and the warrior didn't do too badly, though the little shaman kept following me around into places where he should have feared to tread, and kept dirt-napping because of it.

All three bosses went down fairly easily, especially since Enh was able to take quite a bit of damage once the MT went down. We had a good time, everyone followed the loot rules and was courteous, and I would definitely go again with these folks.
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Karazhan, April 27th, 7am server time.

Tanks:
Fineilldoit, warrior, <Nightstalkers>
Mensenox, druid, <Nightstalkers> (a.k.a. Fox in Sox)

Healers:
Anthrak, resto shaman, <Defiance>
Mourl, resto druid in <Nightstalkers>


DPS:
Frogvete, hunter, <Nightstalkers>
Enhtiar, enh shaman, <Defiance>
Rantu, warlock, <Defiance>
Niteprincess, mage, <Nightstalkers> (late joiner)
Draculette, warlock, <Nightstalkers>
Mariothebull, hunter, <Nightstalkers> (I'm pretty sure it was Mario; it was definitely a guild hunter)

As previously stated, the ideal Kara makeup is 2 tanks, THREE healers, 5 DPS, so we were one healer short and one DPS high.

Soooo, um. )

Hey Lintra, can I give you a cookie to make "L2Pull" video, showing a pull around corner?
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So, a couple further gaming issues.

WoW players:

Please critique the following regarding right-click to attack )

And a morality question:

The warrior that drove us nuts, objectively, isn't a bad player all by himself. It's that he orders other people around, and either doesn't listen or pushes the wrong button repeatedly, and that's what drives everyone crazy.

So, yeah, it's just ONE thing he's clicking, once, and that's screwing it all up. It could easily be an honest mistake, once. It could as easily as that be a scam. (People do that, "oops! I pushed the wrong button, I take the expensive item!" quite a bit.) The question is, how many times do you forgive someone for making an avoidable mistake? How many hours of your own time do you put into letting them take advantage of you?

...and yeah, it's hypothetical for the future, I won't be grouping with him anyways.
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Blackrock Depths, Saturday 4/26

Participants:

Nhinx, level 50 priest (Shadow/Disc spec), main healer

Neogensis, level 58? paladin, protection spec, main tank

Zoomba, mid-50's warrior, DPS spec, DPS and off-tank

Lintra, 50 paladin, prot spec, DPS

Charisty, 48 hunter, beast spec, DPS

the nitty-gritty details )

Summary: We did some l2p (learning to play) and had a good time, got some loot, finished a quest. We might do it again soonish.
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Blackrock Depths.

Saturday, 7:00am guild time, 8 Central, 9 Eastern.

Minimum for summon is level 48.

(Icecrown server, in case any of you other faithful reader types has a character there and didn't tell me...)
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Soooo, I had a li'l incident in game tonight that I think might amuse some of you gamers. However, I'm struggling to put it into understandable terms for non-gamers.

So, for once there's a real use for multiple LJ-cuts, and here you go.

the non-gamers' explanation )
the gamers' explanation )

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Corrvin

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