What the future holds (plus a bonus story)

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Cataclysm is looming on the horizon, and patch 4.0.1 is right around the corner.  However, aside from telling you folks that I only log in once every other day or so to sell [Solid Sky Sapphire]’s, I have nothing WoW related to talk about right now.  But that’s not really new information.  I already told y’all I’m on hiatus–although clearly I’m not very good at hiatus-ing.  I guess it’s only a ‘sort-of hiatus’.  A kind of, ‘I-may-or-may-not-write-posts-now-but-they-won’t-be-at-all-regular-and-probably-won’t-be-WoW-related-until-Cataclysm-comes-out hiatus’.  Sometimes I really want to tell y’all an anecdote or two, but I don’t want people to be disappointed if/when I don’t write regularly.  However, I also want to make sure that y’all know that regular (the goal is to get up to twice a week again) posts of some form or another will be forthcoming upon the arrival of Cataclysm. I hope so anyway.  If not, I’ll have to re-evaluate my blogging goals.

I see one of 3 things happening:

  1. I love the expansion, it fires me up about the game again, and I continue much as I have been; passionately and intelligently discussing the game while occasionally tossing in non-WoW-related anecdotes.
  2. I only kind of like the expansion and grow bored with it rapidly.  I no longer have anything interesting to say about the game, because the game no longer holds my interest.  I let my WoW account lapse, and stop updating this blog until eventually I make one of those lame ‘farewell posts’ and 2a) stop posting, but leave all the previous posts up or 2b) delete this blog in its entirety.
  3. I loose interest in the game and/or writing about it, but still want to continue blogging.  In that event I would 3a) stop posting on this site and ‘freeze’ it–locking posts and comments–but move it to a domain name that I don’t have to pay to renew every year; 3b) completely stop posting about the game, but leave the site as is and continue to blog about whatever tickles my fancy under the guise of ‘The Cranky Old Gnome’; or 3c) archive all the WoW related posts (re: delete from this website and store them either on a free domain name or just my own hard-drive) and only talk about non-wow things.

I can’t predict the future so I can’t really say which of these things will happen.  I do know which ones are most likely.  Regardless of whether or not I enjoy Cataclysm I will keep blogging.  If I no longer want to post about World of Warcraft related topics, I will probably let this site revert back to it’s original “https://crankyoldgnome.wordpress.com/” domain name, but leave all the posts up and continue to allow comments.  Then I will probably start up a new site, and talk primarily about what it’s like to work in the entertainment industry.  Maybe call it something like “A Hard Day’s Work”.  Or something.

Now, here’s a story about my creepy roommate.

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I’ll be back

September 9, 2010 § 3 Comments

So it turns out that planning a wedding takes a hell of a lot more time and energy than I first realized.  So basically, all the free time I used to have to dedicate to wow and blog writing has pretty much been swallowed up in what promises to be one hell of an awesome wedding!

With that, I’m just letting y’all know I’m not dead, and that I fully intend on coming back to the game and to the blog.  But for now, I’m on official hiatus until Cataclysm actually comes.  At which point I’ll start up again for reals.

One a different note–Operation Gnomeregan started yesterday!  My reaction to it? The event itself was lots of fun.  Fighting for the glory of the gnomes was fantastic.  And, despite my political differences with the High Tinker, it was an honor fighting along side him and the myriad of other characters they introduced (whose names I don’t remember at the moment).  However, the ending left me feeling…empty.  ‘Is that it?’ I thought.  I mean, at least in the Fall of Zalazane we actually get to kill Zalazane.  At the end of this little Operation, Thermaplug is still alive, and Gnomeregan is still full of radiation.  All we retook was the surface.  Really?  That’s it?  That’s poppycock.  Poppycock I say!  I sure as hell hope that something more happens when Cataclysm drops. Cause if not, what the hell was the point?

Also, I know I could probably find out by researching the beta stuff, but I’m really trying my damnedest to avoid spoiler info about Cataclysm.  It’s been a real challenge by the way.  I’ve pretty much given up on reading all my usual WoW blogs because I don’t want to risk it.  So don’t go posting spoiler info in the comments or I will be very disappointed in you.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”

~Fizz

PS: Oh yeah, one more thing, I finally downed the Lich King the other night!  It took us 134 attempts.

Reducing your lag

July 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

One of the most frequently used search terms to find my blog is “reducing lag,” so I decided to do a post on it.  I’m not super computer savvy.  I mean, I know enough to get by and enough to fake my way through most things, but I do not purport to have any type of ‘expertise’.  As such, I am not going to get super technical or try to explain all the ins and outs of all the game settings that might reduce your lag.  All I am going to do is tell you what I have done that reduces my game lag.  All how, no why.

If, by the way, you want a detailed explanation of the video settings in World of Warcraft, someone named Natala has done a magnificent write up on the official European forums.  Link.

Ok so I’m sure every single person that has played World of Warcraft has at some point experienced game lag.  It can be immensely frustrating to zone into Dalaran and try and get across the city in spits and spurts.  I actually avoid going to Dalaran if I can, preferring to use Shattrath as my hub point.  But I have discovered a few things that you can do to help reduce lag.

The setting that helped reduce my lag in Dalaran more than absolutely anything else, by a wide margin was reducing the view distance to its lowest amount.  Don’t get me wrong, I love when I can increase the setting to its highest.  In fact, I think that changed my game play when I ‘discovered’ the setting.  I change this setting a lot.  Unless I’m in a raid/heroic or questing, I have the view distance all the way down.  Just be aware that if you increase the view distance it will reload the UI every time.

Also, turn the shadow quality all the way down.  Unless you have a fancy system with super graphics, this setting will just drain your resources.

Next, if you are in an area with a lot of ground clutter (plants specifically), you’ll want to reduce the Ground Clutter Density and the Environmental Detail.

The rest of the settings don’t really do a whole lot in your average area.  Well, I guess having player textures on a low setting is helpful in Dalaran.  But aside from that I haven’t really done much testing to see if anything is consistently a major drain.  Usually I just have everything (minus the aforementioned settings) at their medium setting, and that suites me just fine.

Oh by the way, make sure to keep projected textures on.  Complicated technobable aside, if you turn this off you’ll die in fires.  Because you won’t be ale to see them.

Moving on from the video settings the other way you can reduce your lag is by turning off addons.  Seriously.  Do you really need to be running quest helper, auctioneer, gatherer, and cartographer while you are raiding?  Probably not.  Think about what you will be doing during your particular game play session.  If all you are going to be doing is hanging out in the city, you can probably turn off your raiding addons.

Outside of the actual game you can help improve game performance by not running other applications in the background.  Every application you run uses up your machines resources.  If you are running a lot of other things, there will be less resources for World of Warcraft.  My machine is old and tired so I don’t run anything except WoW and Ventrilo.

Finally, I prefer to use a wired internet connection rather than a wireless connection.  Again, I’m not smart enough to explain the whys and wherefores, all I know is that the game runs slower on a wireless connection and is less laggy on a wired one.

So, hopefully that has helped you out a little bit.  If you are a smart computer person, please feel free to explain and expound.  But don’t be an ass about it.  I don’t need to be ‘proved wrong.’  I don’t need some smug ass telling me what a fool I am.  Sorry…I recently had an encounter with a smug and arrogant ass that decided it was more important to prove me wrong than actually contribute anything constructive to the conversation.

But by all means, if you are a computer person and can explain it better and correct anything I might have gotten wrong, and can do it without being a douche, I welcome the input.

For now though I just hope to be able to relieve some of the pain and agony of Dalalag.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”

~Fizz

That just seems…mean

June 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

I’m currently leveling a druid (my horde guild is trying for an all-druid raid) and I came across a quest in the Searing Gorge called “Kill ‘Em Softly With Sleep Deprivation”.  The idea is that the Thorium Brotherhood is looking for ways to cause the Dark Irons trouble.  So they have me go in and steal their pillows. It just seemed really….silly.  After I’d stolen some pillows a large group of sleepy Dark Iron Workers showed up and yelled, “Our pillas! Someone has stolen our pillas!”  and then later, “We’ll not let this act of madness go unpunished!”  Finally a very large, angry looking dwarf named Chambermaid Pillaclencher showed up and yelled some nonsense about her pillows.

(pause for gratuitous booby joke)

(moving on)

It just seems like a really mean thing to do.  I mean, kill the Dark Irons and destroy their base of operations — that’s war.  But going in and stealing their pillows so they have to rest their heads on rocks is just…mean.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”

~Fizz

How to keep content interesting

June 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

We are firmly implanted in the twilight of this expansion, and if you’ve been playing for any extended period of time, you’re probably feeling just as burnt out as I am.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways that I can keep myself interested in the game while I tick off the months in anticipation of Cataclysm. I’ve come up with a list of suggestions that might help you (and your guild mates) stick around.  By the way, this is not a post about what Blizzard can do to keep our attention.  This is a post about how you can keep yourself entertained with content that has long outlived it’s initial wow-factor. (wow as in amazing, not as in WoW)

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A Fresh Start

June 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Sometimes I delete my Cache/Interface/WTF folders because it’s a cathartic thing to do.  Typically this happens after three or four point patches (re: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.3.3, 3.3.3.3.3.3.3.3.3.3.3.5).  First, I want to make sure that I’m not getting unnecessary errors by having out of date addons and bad settings.  Often I find that there are a lot of old addons that I don’t even use anymore, cluttering up my folder.

Also, I like to make sure that I don’t get stuck or  complacent in my game play.  I’m a little obsessive compulsive and kind of a control freak, so I tend to like things the way I like them because that’s the way I like them.  The problem is that often allows me to fall into bad habits and prevents me from correcting mistakes.  So every once in a while, a good addon/wtf flush is a good thing.

When I start fresh I have a chance to rebuild my UI from the ground up.  I take everything I have learned over the past few months about tanking or healing or any other aspect of the game, and I try to incorporate it into my gameplay.

I hadn’t planned on doing that for this particular patch, but since I’ve been experiencing issues logging in, I figured this was as good a time as any to start the process again.

My goal this time around is two fold.  First is to find a good set of every day utility addons, and configurations for them.  These addons would handle things like questing, banking/auctioning, professions, mail and so forth. (I already have a good idea what those addons would be.)  Second, I would like to improve my set of raiding addons.  Right now everything feels so cluttered.  All the information is there, it just doesn’t get displayed in a very clean and efficient way.

My three biggest hurdles right now are buffs/debuffs, ability procs/cooldowns, and action bars.  I’m decently sure I can find something to handle the first two, but I’m struggling with the third–primarily because I don’t like action bar mods.  I really like the default action bar set up that blizzard has.  I like those giant birds hanging out at the bottom of my screen.  I like the relationship between the action bars and the utility/bag bars.  I just wish that there was a way to resize and move that frame.  Because I need a little more space on the sides and if I could resize the action bar frame (but keeping the default skin) I would be golden.  Until then I will just keep angsting away about it.

The other thing I may do is change some of my key bindings for my shaman.  Most of the healing I do is through healbot so I could probably move around some of the healing spells and just put in more dps spells.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”

~Fizz

Bulletin from the Gnomeregan Gnews Gnetwork, Re: The Ice Stone

June 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

I wrote this during the great Ice Stone disaster of 2009 back before I started this blog.  Originally it was posted in a Tankspot thread, but I thought I’d post it over here.  I know it’s not timely or particularly topical but I did the midsummer festival event today and was reminded of it when I caused the Ice Stone to melt when I summoned Lord Ahune.  Also I think it’s a pretty funny post I thought I’d share it with y’all.

And for those of you who have no idea what the Ice Stone disaster of 2009 was here’s a brief recap.  During the 2009 Love is in the Air event there existed a bug.  A fairly annoying, then amusing, then annoying again bug.  For a few days, at random intervals there would be a server wide emote that said, “The Ice Stone has melted!”  Nobody had any idea what was going on.  Most people had no idea that the Ice Stone was related to summoning  Lord Ahune, and those that did were confused because the midsummer event was months away.  So, people all across the internets started coming up with various theories and amusing jokes about it.  This post is my take on it.

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