July 2010


Yesterday was terrible weather here in the mountains. Cold, rain, wind, plague, that sort of thing. I ran around and did all my errands in the morning and by the mid afternoon I was sitting at home with a bottle of red wine, some cheese and a biscuit. I really should do some shopping. I’ve been on a bit of a Civ4 revival the last few weeks, but suddenly that fell by the wayside. Isn’t that weird when that happens? You’re fully into a game again, even checking out strategy on the internet, (if you thing elitestjerks are full on, go and check out the freaks at civfanatics), and then suddenly you load up the game and … poof, the desire is gone. Sums up most of my relationships.

Anyway, I logged into WoW. It was the early afternoon and my rogue was in Dalaran. This depressed me, so I immediately jumped to Ironforge which for some reason depressed me even more, so I thought, fuck it and I rolled a new alt. I decided to play an undead for the first time as I’ve never played one of them before seeing as I associate people who play undead as emo-goth-freaks-of-fucking-nature, but I hadn’t seen the starting clip yet, so I thought I’d give it a go. Undead it was. I didn’t even play with the facial features, I mean why bother? They all look like an undead dude. Is my face more falling off in this one? So the opening clip was extreme … meh. I think the death knight clip has spolied us, because this was rubbish. Anyway, there I was, a new undead. The thing that doesn’t make sense about the undead race is that they’re all human. So presumeably no other race can come back to life and … oh wait, the death knights. Anyway, the choice of which class to play came next. I’d done all of them, but the only one that I had never got to level 20 was the priest, because back in the day it was soooooo painfull to level a priest. So I figured I’d use this as a little experiment to see just how much easier the game has got, or just how dumbed down it has become depending on your cynical point of view.
So with my festering priest named Drek in tow, I headed out into a new zone for me. First there is the incongruity of having level 65 NPC’s bravely “holding the fort” against a bunch of marauding level 1 monsters. The next thing that caused me to sigh was the fact that every building design is the same in the world, apart from a very few places such as Booty Bay. Hey Blizz, in Cataclysm can we change up the inns a bit? And the barns? But the real difference, the one that made this a faceroll and made no sense absolutely whatsoever, is the fact that all mobs in the starting zone are yellow. The last new starting zone that I did was the Tauran one. Having all the mobs yellow there isn’t so bad seeing as it’s populated mostly by random creatures that just want to get on with their measley lives. But the undead zone is populated by “rampaging” undead and the Scarlet Crusade. Now you would think that this last bunch would be a bit hostile, but no. I strode into their camp, wandering from one to the other blasting them away with my priestly deadliness. It was sad.
I remember the human starting zone when I first joined the game eons ago. Those bandits in the vineyard gave you a lot of problems. I mean, you had to pull very carefully in there. But more to the point, if there were other players in there with you, it was almost mandatory to group up and try to get through it together. This grouping up had the effect of quickly identifying who was a moron and who was not. The cool players that you found would inevitably join you into Elwyyn Forest, and maybe on to Hogger and the Deadmines. In the undead starting zone I just skipped through the daisies from one helpless sap to the next. There were some other players in there with me. I was surprised by how many there were. No interaction at all, why bother? I didn’t need them, and they didn’t need me.
On to Brill. This is an cool town, isn’t it? The biggest graveyard I’ve ever seen in the game. And a much more impressive sized town than other starting areas, it leaves Goldshire for dead. I spent some time in there. What professions? I decided on herbalism for my gathering for quick cash and tailoring because I never know what to do with all that cloth and I’m a masochist. Oh I forgot to buy thread … oh, the tailoring dude is out of town, goddamit.

I’m at level 8 and so far it has been an absolute faceroll. I have another idea in mind with this alt. Can I level it and do instances without using the dungeon finder. It will mean that I will need to start talking to other players, actually “making friends”. I can see me now wandering the streets of Orgimaar asking people in trade chat to run wailing Caverns. I wonder what sort of reception I will get …?

My favorite rogue blogger, Akiros at roguerogue has quit the game and blogging. Now, this wasn’t much of a surprise as he hadn’t posted for over two months, but you still harbor some scant hope that maybe, just maybe he’s away skipping through fields in the Ukraine and will be back soon with awesome stories of Ukranian babes to tell us.
Sadly, this was not the case. He has done the goodbye post. I like his goodbye post as he states some interesting points about the game and where it is. In particular he speaks about world PvP and how, not only that it doesn’t happen anymore but that todays players are against it. Witness the reaction to a world PvP video as evidence. This made me realise that I really miss the Gankers project. The thing about the Gankers was that we never sat around in Dalaran. We were always out, roaming the world, hunting down the horde. In short, we were playing the game. When we switched to the PuG project, the immediate glaring difference was that we began hanging around Dalaran, killing time between raids. I got so bored that I actually dropped enchanting so I could spend some time levelling another profession. And at the end of the day, co-ordinating 10 players to take down a boss so you can get some loots doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as jumping a bunch of horde trying to do the fishing daily. I don’t know how to resolve this. Perhaps I could undertake a solo ganking project to become universally hated by the opposing faction on my PvP server. It’s a nice idea, but unfortunately I have a life, so it probably wouldn’t amount to much.

So roguerogue is dead. Long live roguerogue! It was the best rogue PvP site out there by far, and Akrios was a great blogger and an awesome player. I hope he leaves the site up for posterity.

The next month is full on shit time crazy for me, what with running a bar, guiding a raft and playing in a band. So no real time to play WoW, apart from logging on every week or so for 5 minutes so Gevlon doesn’t kick me out of the guild. Therefore, the following month will be a little quiet on the blog front, although I will jump in and wade into battle in my oh so subtle way if anything juicy comes up.

A few people have asked me to post some video’s of the band in action. While I do have these, I am not one for completely outing myself on the internets to a bunch of weirdo video-game playing stalkers such as yourselves. So you’ll just have to take my word for it that, yes we are the awesomeness. If you’re really curious then I guess you’ll just have to pop over and spend some money in my bar, won’t you.

Chase has his latest Encrypted Text article up at WoW.com. In it he speaks about the new talent tree system and how rogues are now being made to take non-dps talents like improved kick and improved sprint and how much of a wonderful thing this is. Because apparently if it was left up to us rogues, all we want to do with the talent trees is use them to improve our dps. So Blizzard has to “force” us to take these non-dps talents which then improve our game experience and make us have more “fun”.

Chase says: “…How else could Blizzard get us to flex our options, to truly try out some of the fun talents built into our trees? Rogues simply won’t do something unless it increases their damage, and Blizzard has caught on to that fact…”

Well, I call bullshit on this whole argument. The reason that rogues do everything we can to improve our dps at the expense of all other “fun” talents is because Blizzard has designed the game that way. There is no more use of crowd control – fact. That was not our choice. Blizzard has turned us into pure damage machines and now they are surprised and wish to force us into fun talents. Because, according to Chase, apparently the Blizzard developers know what is best for us.
People keep arguing that this will not be the case in Cataclysm, that heroics and raids will change thus making these talents necesarry. I see no evidence for that. What is more, improved sprint, reinforced leather, blade twisting – what the hell have these got to do with crowd control? Rogues might be forced to take these talents to get to the dps talents that they want, but unless Blizzard changes the fundemental premise of how heroics and raids operate, no rogue worth his dps will ever be actually using these in an encounter.

Lets take the entry raid for Burning Crusade, Karazhan. When I raided in there I never once looked at a dps chart. In every fight I used every ability that I had, running from one mob to the next, locking this one down, stunning that one, then getting some time on the boss, then repeating over again. My worth was not based on my number output at the end of the fight. My worth was based on whether or not I could do my job and stay up for the whole fight. In Wrath that situation changed completely, to one of spending the fight looking at a bosses butt and a dps chart, interspersed with running out of the fire/purple/green/ bits.

Now Chase says that us rogues are just dps monsters who must be bullied into using non-dps talents by the all-knowing wise ones at Blizzard? As my ex once said to me, I find this all a bit hard to swallow.

A bit of a different post today, but I thought that I would share this as its awesomeness factor is up there with grilled cheese, and seeing that a large number of my readers are from Europe, and this is the summer holidays, maybe you’ll have a chance to go and visit this place.

Gudelon is a castle in the making, being built in a forest in France. It is being built with only tools, equipment and knowledge known in the 12th century. All the artisans on site use materiels collected from the immediate surroundings. The project was begun back in 1996 and is planned to go through to 2025. Check out the site and watch some of the videos. And imagine your leatherworking rogue striding up to lend a hand.

I get a lot, and I mean a lot of scam attempts on my noisyrogue email address with the intention of hacking my WoW account. But on my actual WoW email address I get none at all. Which is why I was somewhat surprised to get a message from “Blizzard” the other day on my Battlenet email address. It was plausable enough to warrent me having a good look at it for a few minutes until I could spot that it was a scam. Here it is in full:

Greetings,

This is an automated notification sent from our account security system. You logined your account successfully at 2:41 on Jun. 30th form the 207.29.143.* IP range. According to the report of many players, we found that the account published spam information in the game which harassed other users seriously. This action has violated the EULA.

As too many customers’ complaints, the IP range above has been blacklisted. We are concerned about whether your account has been stolen. In order to guarantee the legitimacy of your account, we need you check your account status as soon as possible.

To do so, simply click here:

http://www.battle.net/account/support/login-support.xml

Blizzard staff will verify your account information submitted in two days, please do not modify your account information and password during this time . It will not affect your game uptime.

For more information, click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions or to contact the Blizzard Billing & Account Services team.

Regards,

Account Administration
Blizzard Entertainment
Online Privacy Policy

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it. The ‘click here’ quote is a link to the real Blizzard EU battlenet support page and the ‘online privacy policy’ at the end is also a real link to battlenet. Once you know where to spot the scam though it’s quite easy to see. If you mouse over the link that they want you to click you can see that the actual web address that shows up at the bottom of your screen is http://www.battle.1ogin, with a 1 replacing the letter ‘l’. Like I said, I get so many scam attempts that I am usually hardened to them but this one tripped me up for just a minute. So I thought that I’d share it with you all just in case you may get the same one and fall for their nasty little trap. The links aren’t showing up on my copy and paste here however, so you’ll just have to trust me on these as I don’t want to put their real links up and have someone actually click on it by mistake or because their moron factor is too high.

I haven’t been posting much lately as this time of year is bat-shit-hell-fire crazy for me in terms of work load. To top it all off I’ve been getting a band together as I finally discovered a great bass player in my little Italian mountain valley. It turns out he’s been living here almost as long as I have, so how we haven’t bumped into each other yet I do not know. But anyway, we also have a more than competant drummer who understands how to play softly, and with yours truly on guitar and vocals, tonight we’re going to rip it up for our first performance down in my bar. Interest has been huge so hopefully we’ll pull it off. This mornings practice session sounded pretty awesome though. Loud enough for the local copper to stop by and tell us to turn it down. Yeah baby!

So this is our play list for this evening:

First set:

Scooby Snacks – Fun Lovin’ criminals.
Soul to squeeze – RHCP
I will Survive – Cake’s version
Walking on the Sun – Smash Mouth
Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz
Always on the Run – Kravitz again.
Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger

Second Set.
Winter Solistice – The Tea Party.
Gallows Poll – Led Zeppelin
Ms Jackson – The Vine’s version
Troubled Man – My own song this one.
Pride & Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughn
Root Down/Sabotage – The Beastie Boys
Killing in the Name of – Rage against the machine

The Winter Solistice song is great, as my bass player uses a Bodhràn Drum on it. Check it out here:

We do the first three songs of the 2nd set sitting down on stools as I use an acoustic guitar for these. So anyway, this has been taking up my time, but hopefully I’ll be writing and playing a bit more soon. Later kiddies.

Oh yeah, the name of the band is, “The Love Machine”.

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