Saturday, July 25, 2009

The lack of good information

As previously mentioned in this blog, I've started tanking with my paladin, Oakley. I've reached my defensive cap of 540 for 5 man heroics. I also managed to gather just about all the gear I will need prior to raiding Naxxramas or any other 10 man raid instances.

That being said, it's been a real chore to find any decent information on what gear or technique is good for tanking as a paladin. There is always, Elitist Jerks, but that's more information that I would ever know how to properly digest and at times very confusing. There is also Tankspot, which is pretty fantastic with pull techniques and tanking suggestions, just not a lot of info specifically for Tankadins. Sure there are lots of good sites that specialize in retribution paladins or Holy paladins, but nothing specific to a tanking paladin, which is a shame since we make pretty good freakin tanks IMHO.

So here is the plan, here on this blog, I'll try and impart some of the wisdom that I have gained through trial and failure from time to time. I'm not a numbers person but I will give as much useful advice as I can about tanking as a paladin and the short cuts I have found for gear, best group make up, and strategies.

One of the first things I want to suggest is RAWR. It will allow you to upload your character off the armory and will help assist you in optimizing your gear, enchants, gems, etc. It will give you as much or as little information as you need to help figure out what combination of gear will best help your character advance, so will know where to go looking for the next ugrade. This is not a mod, but a program that will run off your computer. If your not comfortable with running something like that, then I can suggest a website that does something similar, albeit in a much more limited fashion.

Lastly, I recently discovered a nice paladin blog that covers all specs called Blessing of kings. Lots of good info and it's been added to my blog roll.

Harry Potter and the Half Plot Movie

Last Thursday, the wife and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I really enjoyed the movie, except for a bit of the rough dialog, some of the stiff acting and the butchering performed on an outstanding plot as originally told in the book.

Not to say I didn't laugh out loud a during the teen angst or enjoyed all the other parts they hacked up to put in the movie, but still, they should have made this one a two parter as they doing with the last book, because it really deserved that kind of fan service.

All in all the movie is one of my top Harry Potter movies. I just wish the actress playing Ginny, Bonnie Wright, had done a better job. At times I wasn't sure if she was just too stiff or just too scared to act in each scene with Radecliffe. Course, that could have been what the director wanted, who knows.

They jump around a lot, trying to cover as much of the books highlights as possible which at times, seems too much, but still, if they provide an extended version on blu-ray, I'll be picking it up.

One good thing about seeing the movie is that it's finally gotten me to read the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So far, its very good, but I'm only a few pages in. I'm sure I will enjoy it just as much as I have the rest of the series.

Over all I would give this movie a B-, but that's just one Dwarf's opinion.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

My previous post has been deleted and the following is the reason:

I've come to realize that a blog is a huge responsibility. Sure posting your rants and raves about games and MMO's is a lethargic way to release bent up joy and frustration, but its really not a venue for releasing personal stuff, well it is and it isn't.

Recently, I posted about a recent unfortunate issue that I had with real life friends inside World of Warcraft. I was hurt, angry and very upset. I needed a place to air my issues and since this is my blog, I chose here. I'm not saying posting personal stuff on the web isn't helpful or therapeutic, but this particular issue was a misunderstanding between friends and as such, it should have been kept between friends, not aired out in the public. I didn't remove the blog to sensor other views or to show that I'm a poor sport when comes to these kinds of issues. This was a personal matter that needed to be handled, personally and that didn't give me the right, nor the reason to post my issues here. The break down in communication is evident in this situation and a phone call would have been a better way to clear things up than a blog post, because as I discovered a simple matter often turns into a "he said, he said" argument and then things start to get way out of whack. Obviously, there are two sides to any issue, and we could go on pointing fingers at each other all day, lines could be drawn forcing things to become crazy and get out of hand if they aren't already. But I realized, thanks to my sanity anchor and friend Ysharros, it had just turned into a crazy childish argument where I envisioned two nerds with flailing arms and hands trying to bitch slap each other like in an episode of "The Big Bang Theory".

Too often I have seen people post blistering rants about how they are treated. who did or said what, and it just ends up being this huge drawn out Internet drama that, well, is meant for places like high school and television soap operas. As someone that fell from blogging grace, I understand that venting as I did, is necessary but the Internet is really no place for this to happen. As an adult I should have known better especially since I usually point my finger at people like that and go "CRAZY" all the time.

You can exercise your inner demons but I could have done it in a better way. I'm not by nature a mean, unbalanced spiteful person, well, most of the time I'm not. But on occasion, when things hit me the wrong way, I tend to only see red and once I start trashing the china shop, I just have to let the broken pieces settle and then try and figure out, in the long run, how I will pay for all the damage. If I was a person who was always quick to anger, I think I would have handled the outcome better because of years of experience, but since I only rage once in a blue moon, I tend to over do it and it's usually something that happens with close personal friends, which is unfortunate, but hopefully in the long run, they will understand.

That being said, I'm sorry to have posted it all here. Airing my dirty laundry isn't my proudest moment, but learning from my mistake is very valuable.

We now return you to our regular humble gaming blog, already in progress.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's in a name?

Well, this isn't a post about gaming. This is a statement about my favorite coffee. Grant you, not a paid advertisement for my favorite coffee, Venti, bold, 5 sweet'n lows and a bunch of cream.

This is about the different types of establishments that are under the name, Starbucks. There is the stand alone, brick and mortar, Starbucks, and then there are those that are nested inside another establishment, like Barnes & Nobles or your favorite grocery chain. People might think that this are the same, but in fact, they are not. I'm here to straighten that out.

The stand alones, which are the true, official Starbucks operated by trained Barista's, and always have coffee and always have it nice and hot, no matter what what the weather. These are the ones I frequent the most. Every time I walk in, I order my Large or Venti coffee and every time, I get it in a matter of seconds, piping hot, be it the middle of winter or summer. It's always the same cost and they never, well ok, almost never, try to sell me anything other than what I am buying. I might get the "want to add a chocolate chip cookie to that order" once in every 20 visits.

Now, lets talk about the faux Starbucks, which are located for convenience, inside your local Barnes and Nobles or corner grocery store. Every time I visit one, and I do visit them because they are convenient, especially since those in the Barnes and Nobles will take my discount card, reducing the already crazy price for coffee down a few much needed cents. They NEVER have coffee when I arrive. I mean, never. I tried going at different times, different days of the week, and still upon ordering my venti coffee, I would get told, "would you mind waiting 3 minutes while we brew you some fresh coffee?" Not just every now and then over the course of 2 months, but I mean, ever single time this would happen. It even happens at the local grocery store. (I won't mention the name because my company does a lot of work for them.) It was like a conspiracy. I even asked to talk to a manager once, just to let them know that this happened all the time, and she said something about a new system for rotating coffee out every so many hours, and yadda yadda yadda, sorry for the inconvienence.

But if that was true, why didn't I have the same exact problem at the brick and mortar stores. The "Real" Starbucks stores never left me hanging for a cup of coffee. Every time I go in, boom, I get coffee no waiting, no give me 2 minutes to make some fresh, I'm in and out in less that 4 minutes depending on the teenage couple in front of me snuggling and chatting about how good their flavored iced latte will be. Even then, its fast.

The main product at these faux Starbucks is coffee, so how can they not have any ready to go, hot and fresh? I understand that during the summer, there isn't a lot of need for a hot beverage, but still, if your a coffee house, you should, well, have coffee ready to server, right? I honestly don't think the guys in Seattle know how bad these franchise Starbucks really are and how much of a bad name they are giving their real stores. I mean, in a 5 mile radius of my house, there are 3 different Starbucks, two are the fake ones, and one is the real deal. In a city that rolls up its streets at 7pm on a friday night, I hardly think they need 3 Starbucks, especially since two of them are always out of coffee.

Well, I've gone on long enough about coffee. Let me just warn you, if your headed to a Starbucks later, just make sure you go to a real one, and not one nested inside another business.

Now you can see why I tend to be unbalanced, too much caffeine.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Return

OK, so I'm back from the west coast.

Truth be told, I've been back for 2 weeks, but apparently I've been too busy playing World of Warcraft to actually do any blogging.

So lets dive right in.

I've been extremely busy with WoW of late. One of the first things I managed to do was complete the [For The Alliance] achievement the reward for that was a nice Black War Bear to ride around on, as pictured above. Now, I'm stylin' and profilin'. Course, props go out to my fellow guild member, Silenced, who helped get me into the raid to kill all the heads of the horde cities. Funny thing is I was just there to help and have fun, I had no idea about the achievement or the reward. I was going to leave after the 3rd boss, but he convinced me to stay, which I am very grateful for.

After that little triumph, I managed to get my blacksmith over the 440 mark so I could craft my Titansteel Destroyer. An exceptional mace I must say and it makes a wonderful sound when killing horde or at least that is what I envision every time I kill one of those pesky vermin. Also got in a few arena rounds, got my points up and was able to buy a few pieces of nice PvP gear at a greatly improved discount.

So far I'm really enjoying life at 80. Sure there are a few times when I get bored and just hang out farming honor in a battleground or mine ore to sell. But for the most part I'm staying pretty busy, doing heroic dungeons, working on getting my jewelcrafting up and helping guildmembers reach 80.

I did manage to be part of a 10 man Naxxramas raid a week back. Now to set the stage, it was a bunch of guild members who joined up with another guild that a friend of ours was in. We used their guild ventrilo and they ran the raid. One thing I discovered, I don't like letting other people run raids other than our guild members. People take raiding way to serious and in our guild, we don't take anything serious. That's our nature. We are there to have fun, not bitch at who isn't holding agro or who is pulling agro or who doesn't have a high enough damage per second, etc. We take things light and have fun. Gaming is about fun, not about work. Well the raid didn't go as well as expected. The guild running it was a bit bossy and took things a bit too seriously for our tastes. In the end, we, Noobs, have decided that we just can't play well with the Anubis guild on Darkspear. It has actually spilled over into a few heroic runs where a member of Anubis would be rude or bossy to the point were we would have to leave. There just isn't any cause for that kind of behavior. Its a freakin game, get over yourselves.

I have more to cover, but I want to show pictures of my new in game toy, but apparently, Blogspot tends to get all wonky if I add more than one picture in a post, so I'll post about it tomorrow.

I've been commenting over on Copra's site, another World of Warcraft player, trying to convince him that Northrend is the place to be. World of Warcraft has gotten much easier to play, I'm convinced of that, even at end game. Previously, it would take me forever to acquire a set of PvP gear, but now, I'm averaging about 2 pieces a week and at this rate, I'll be fully decked out in about 2 weeks. I don't have problems getting into any heroic groups nor do I have problems acquiring gold at this level.

Normally, I'd be bitching about how the easy mode of WoW once again ruined the game. I commented on it when I was leveling my paladin up, people just would be unable to play cohesively as a group because they didn't learn the fundamentals while leveling up . I'm here to say that isn't a problem. A large portion of the new instances, even the heroics are so freaking easy to do, that the player would have to be a complete moron, and in some cases that's even ok, as long as your healer and tank aren't. Getting what you need as far as gear can be easily accomplished with the minimal amount of involvement from another human being. Because of the ease at which things can be done, people don't take issue with doing PuGs.

Sure, you get your occassional tard, but thats more of a rare thing now when forming a pick up group. I've done dozens of instances, some heroic and I think I've run across maybe 2 people that just didn't know what they were doing. Nine out of ten times, I get a fantastic group and I have to say, its all Blizzard's fault for making the game easier.

Now if they would just fix the lag and the over poplated instance servers, I'd be in heaven.