Monday, April 30, 2007

LOTRO, or "Threat to Warcraft?"

The Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG is currently undergoing Beta testing. It does have a monthly fee (as of yet undetermined), but the graphics seem more detailed than Warcraft and if the fee is less and the creators more interested in player input (something Warcraft fans don't appreciate about Blizzard), WoW has some serious competition on its hands.

Drawbacks include a seeming lack of pvp, since players have only 4 races to choose from: Humans, Elves, Hobbits, and Dwarfs. But new, interesting classes may tempt players: champion (offensive warrior), guardian (defensive/tank warrior), captain (inspirational warrior), burglar (rogue), hunter (no-pet hunter), minstrel (story-teller, support class, maybe similar to priest), lore-master (knowledge keeper, support class, maybe similar to priest).

All in all, I think the lack of world pvp will hurt the game's chances to lure more Warcraft players away, but the Warcraft players who play an elf because it's like The Lord of the Rings, or who liked Warcraft for having the best graphics around, will be weak enough to leave. Still, if LOTRO doesn't live up to Tolkien's legacy and its own hype, we'll probably see players leaving to try the game and then a slightly smaller number of players coming back.

LOTRO Wikipedia

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fun with Chat, or "What a Conversational Montage"

Just a few of the most recent, interesting conversations I've experienced.


More chatting in front of Alliance while waiting to enter an instance. Nevari was agreeing with the garbled something-or-other one of the Alliance said. I had just used my custom emote "Dustfire has given the Alliance a wedgie."

Waiting in queue for Warsong Gulch, a random guy starts talking.

More discussion about weird names. Here, I'm making a list of all the people who pass me in the bank who have names that couldn't possibly be anything more than banging a fist on the keyboard, adding some vowels to make it pronounceable, and hitting "Accept."

A little more situational. Nevari is teasing Manasseh (warlock) for seducing her sheep -- so the baddie was both polymorphed and seduced, which is overkill. The problem was that her chat bubble seemed to be coming out of the dead body, and I was VERY confused and a little frightened. It took me a minute to realize who was talking.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Orb of Deception, or "There's a Horde in Stormwind"

Very fun, very expensive. Goes for 100-800 gold on the AH. Best drop rate is from Lethon (31%), a dragon that is hard to kill with a full level 60 raid group.

The orb drops occasionally from other things (mobs, chests, bosses), but nothing close to as often as with Lethon.

The Orb of Deception makes you look like the other side for 10 minutes, and has a 30 minute cooldown. Like Savory Deviate Delight, it only changes your appearance, nothing else, but it's still pretty fun. Purely an entertainment item -- no help whatsoever in battle, fooling the other side, or bolstering your stats.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


For Alliance players, "stables" in the title would be "farm." I've just been playing a ton of Horde, so whatever.


The Game

Arathi Basin is a capture-and-hold game. You succeed in capturing as many of the 5 resource nodes as you can. When you hold a node, it gives you "resources" (a number, which grows more rapidly when you hold more nodes) until you reach 2000 resources and win. To hold 3 or more nodes steadily means that you are accumulating resources faster than the other team and are acquiring a huge lead. A horn sounds when one team hits 1800 resources, and that team is likely to win even if a node is lost, unless the score is very close.

The Gameplay

(Click on image to see full size.)

15 players.

The red-circled numbers are the resources you collect, and that's how you keep track of them. Resources collect per node thus:
  • 1 node= 0.8 resources/sec
  • 2 nodes = 1.0 resources/sec
  • 3 nodes = 1.7 resources/sec
  • 4 nodes = 2.5 resources/sec
  • 5 nodes = 30.0 resources/sec
The minimap to the bottom right shows the nodes (shift-M to toggle it). You'll see that one is blue, two are red, one is blank, and one is half-half. I edited the image to show what nodes look like when you or the other team holds them. Blue is for Alliance, red is for Horde, blank is neither (they are never blank again after you start), and half-half means it's being contested and no one holds it, though the color on it (red, on this example) is the one taking it.

The nodes are thus: Stables (blue), Mine (red top), Blacksmith (blank/center), Lumber Mill (half-half), and Farm (red/green circle). Memorize these, because people will abbreviate them in-game.

The beginning point and main graveyard of the Alliance is behind the stables. The Horde is behind the farm. When you hold a resource node, you adopt its graveyard (each has its own graveyard) and dead players will go to the nearest graveyard that their team controls. Here in my made-up example, Alliance would go to the stables graveyard and Horde would go to the farm or the mine. Not the lumber mill, because that is contested and no one owns it yet.

The green-circled yellow dots are your fellow players. You can always see how many people are at which node, though you can't see where the other team is.

The blue-circled button on your personal minimap will give you more info about the other team when right-clicked. This can tell you what classes/levels/names you'll be going up against, but that's about it.

The terrain is very confusing until you play a few times. I suggest going in with a friend who's played a lot and following them, paying attention to where you're going.

The Morons

There is an incorrect supposition that taking the stables or farm will hurt the other team worse than taking any other node. Some people believe that these nodes provide more resources than others, being close to the enemy's base (they don't). Some people believe that taking these demoralizes the other team (it doesn't, and if it does, losing the game demoralizes them muuuuuch worse). And some people believe that this is a way to cut them off from their graveyard (as previously stated, you can spawn at whatever graveyard you own, NOT just your beginning graveyard -- you can even run from one owned graveyard to another in spirit form, which is called "Spirit Run").

Grabbing farm/stables are the easiest to keep if they are close to your base, but the hardest to keep if close to the other team's base. So when people pass up perfectly good nodes in the middle to charge stables/farm, they are putting their team at a disadvantage. In any sensible Arathi Basin run, you should only go after stables/farm if you're able to take stables/farm without losing ground elsewhere. This means keeping two other nodes as well as stables/farm. This, however, is very hard to do, as stables/farm needs a lot of extra manpower to keep up.

This is how it went with me (slightly dramatized, but not really):

[upon 8 people trying to zerg (overpower by numbers) the stables and failing]
Dustfire: I don't think the stables is a very wise place to attack. I think we should take LM or Farm, which are both wide open.
O-guy: Yeah, guys, get off of stables.
Dustfire: [with Guildmate and Shaman at the mine] I'm on D for mine. We need to take these things and hold them.
[fighting spreads out as some people listen to us and some don't]
O-guy: Let's take the lumber mill, and hold blacksmith and mine, guys!
[farm is lost to alliance]
S-guy: We need to retake the farm!
O-guy: No, keep on blacksmith!
Mage: Losing blacksmith -- abandon it -- everybody run to LM!
Rogue: No one is at farm! Help!
Guildmate: (party chat) Let's help at the farm.
Dustfire: /s (out loud to Shaman) Headed to farm. Call us if you need help. [wonders if Shaman is mute or foreign, as he doesn't reply]
[get there just as everyone else dies, shield Guildmate, shield self, fear 3 enemies]
Dustfire: Not many at farm, maybe 5 or 6. Guildmate is very good, and can take several, but not all.
[I die, wait for resurrect, mine goes under attack]
Dustfire: We're getting there to support just as our teammates die. We need to group before we get there and go in together. [checks minimap] We have several at BS, 3 at LM, [notices 2 guys in particular] . . . why are people still at the stables?!
[the mine is lost]

Yeah, we didn't win. Surprised? Different people were giving different orders, people ignored us about the stables, and no one really stuck together. We put up an okay fight, but we totally lost, and not even by a little.

If you do not coordinate, you do not win. Period.

The Strategy

More in-depth strategies, most useful for pre-formed groups, but generally useful for everyone: WoWWiki Strategy Guide

(I kind of like the one where you leave 4 at each of three bases to defend and have a group of 3 travel together to aid whomever needs it.)

First, know your character and know its pvp strengths. You want to work your debilitating spells hard. Fear (warlocks, priests) is VERY powerful, as are stun (rogues), polymorph (mages), frost trap (hunters), seduce (warlock+succubus) and anything else that can slow the enemy down so that your melee teammates can kill them. Also, for priests, "Dispel Magic" is very important. You can remove slowing/harmful spells (like freezing trap) from teammates or remove helpful spells (like Power Word: Shield) from enemies. Also, Dispel is something you can cast while moving, which is great. (I suggest having extra taskbars: Main Menu, Interface Options, Advanced, Show _____ Taskbar.)

Second, coordinate. If you cannot work as or in a team, you cannot win. The minimap (shift-M) is important so that you'll know where your people are, and so you can meet up with groups to aide them. If you try to solo the whole thing, you will die often and weaken your team in the process. People who ignore group consensus are forcing the team to work as if with a man down. When facing a strong opposing force, this cannot be done. This is true for any battleground.

Do not head out to kill a specific enemy or take a specific flag on your own. Boneheaded players who insist on doing their own thing are how Arathi Basins are lost. Even when out-geared, you can still outplay (I'm level 36, wearing level 19 robes, and was key in keeping the mine this morning against 39's). But you must work with your people and not against them. I didn't run up and start beating on people with my wand -- I shielded the fighters, healed where I could, and Psychic Screamed (feared) when people came after me. It's a team effort.

Third, defense is boring but necessary. I have stood at the Lumber Mill with my husband, shielding him as he cut his way through enemy after invading enemy, and triumphed. I have stood at the Mine, bait for hunters who want to take down a lowly priest and score one for the home team, only to watch my rogue friend ambush, sap, and steal their life away.

Fourth, don't join a battleground until you're in the upper half of your bracket. (36 is fine, but 35 isn't. If it's your first time, wait until you're at the top of the bracket to minimize death.)

Fifth, keep your team apprised of things that are happening, especially in defense. (/bg is how you get into battleground chat.) For example, "6 enemies at mine, 3 defenders, dying, help."


Get some boots with +speed on them from the Arathi Basin vendor in Hammerfall(H)/Refuge Pointe(A). In any battle, you cannot win if you can't keep up with your opponent. This goes along with the slowing-spells thing.

With gear in general, you want stamina to increase your health -- consider getting +stamina enchants on your gear if you want to be more protected in pvp (though they're expensive). In pvp, you want to outlast your opponent. In case you're a little like I was when I started, here are your five basic stats:
  • +Stamina: +10 health
  • +Intellect: +15 mana
  • +Spirit: Percentage of mana regeneration. This is better for priests than most classes, because priests can use talent points to improve mana regeneration by spirit.
  • +Strength: Percentage of attack power. Good for warriors, rogues, and other melee classes. Useless for casters.
  • +Agility: Percentage of dodge and critical strike chance. Best for hunters and rogues because it also gives them attack power.
My shadow priest, Dustfire, focuses on Stamina and Intellect (as well as +shadow damage) when choosing gear. So Spirit isn't always the best choice for priests.

Better gear will not assure you a win, but it will help you survive. My guildmate, Ihsahn, stands by the idea that twinks (players who outgear everyone else) only twink because they aren't good players, and beating others by having more health and mana is the only way they can win. So he firmly believes that it's possible to outplay someone who is heavily geared, as long as the team works together.

Winning v.s. Losing

Note that I'm on defense at nodes that we never lose. We held the Mine in the losing image the whole game.

If the text is too hard to read, this is how it goes:

Dustfire: Guys at BS/LM are spread out -- decide on one, and team up.
Destinity: nonononono
Destinity: bad

Um, hello, I'm on the only one we haven't lost! Shut up and listen to me. (Didn't say that, just let them lose, because it exhausts me to fight with idiots.) Near the end, they actually told the people at the mine to LEAVE and help at the blacksmith. Leave the only well-defended node we owned so Alliance could get a 5-node lead and win that much faster. Yeah, right.

It really sucks, too, because I'm trying to build up enough honor for my Insignia of the Horde (a trinket that resists stun/polymorph/fear), but I'm still not farming for honor. I'm playing D, with less action and less chance for honor, because I want our team to do well. (You get bonus honor if you win, so that's good too.) And then stupid people like Destinity just keep fighting and dying and never changing strategy, both getting more honor than me and losing the game for our team. Yuck.

So, just tell me where to find Destinity, and I'll go beat my honor out of him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Siamese Cat, or "Stealing from Murlocs"

The Siamese cat is an occasional drop from Cookie in the Deadmines. It dropped when we went in, but my brother got it.

You can run the Deadmines starting at level 17, but I strongly suggest 18-24. If you have a pick-up-group, you should be 22-24, to minimize dying.

Cookie is on the ship at the end of the instance, after you start fighting pirates and just after you board the ship (after fighting a Tauren boss). He's on the northern tip, behind some crates. If you look on my image's minimap, I'm standing close to where he starts -- if I were to walk forward and around the crates ahead of me, I'd see the spot.

The cat does not always drop, but it drops often enough that you can usually find it on the AH.

Monday, April 23, 2007

PUGs, or "I'd Rather Get Slapped with Three-Month-Old Halibut"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

A PUG, or Pick-Up-Group, is a group of strangers banding together to run an instance. Most instances can't be handled with less than 5 people, and if your friends aren't on (or you don't have any friends), then you may just have to settle for a PUG.

The "Looking for Group" icon is a small green eye on your task bar between the Social and Main Menu buttons. Most PUGs are formed by players using this resource to find other players who want to run the same instance. Other PUGs are formed by players loitering at the entrance of an instance and begging to join anyone who passes by.


Can I say, for the record, that Dustfire is NOT and NEVER WILL BE available for running instances with groups of complete strangers? Dustfire, believe it or not, has friends -- friends who won't let her subject herself to the social equivalent of eating kitty litter.

And even though I know that the people who have been asking me EVERY TIME I LOG ON to instance with them will never ever ever read this, I just want to say: No. I don't want to instance with you. It would be horrible, you're just asking me because I'm a priest, and after finding out I can heal about as well as an Oily Blackmouth, you'd end up leaving me to die.

I think I'm going to start paying more attention to their names and "ignore" them if it's the same people every time. Because I'm not kidding -- I've been asked to instance 1-4 times (by complete strangers) every single time I've gotten on since my vacation. I keep saying "No thank you." Some of them even tried to argue with me about it -- like if they pressed me hard enough, I'd stop questing and run to their aid. I'm sorry, but I'm a full level lower than the rest of my group, and that's after all the questing I've done this weekend. I'm playing catch-up. So I have that on top of all the extremely rational, sanity-saving reasons to say no to random people.

Now, how do I know PUGs are bad?

Let me recount a few stories.

Story 1 (Dramatized)

Guildmate 1: Level 44 Shaman
Guildmate 2: Level 36 Paladin
PUG 1: Level 40? Rogue
PUG 2: Level 38? Warlock
Dustfire: Level 33 Priest

Guildmate 1: Wanna run Scarlet Monastery Cathedral?
Dustfire: You aren't a complete stranger, so yes. Thank you very much.
Guildmate 2: Terrific.
[inside the instance]
Dustfire: I died?
PUG 1: I lived. No one else did, but I'm a rogue and can't resurrect you.
Dustfire: I'm pretty low level for this. Should I leave?
Guildmate 2: No, it's cool. I'll heal.
Dustfire: Ok.
PUG 1: [leaves]
PUG 2: Let's go!
Dustfire: I died again.
Guildmate 2: I'll res you.
Dustfire: Yay!
PUG 2: [disconnected]
Dustfire: Oh dear.
Guildmate 1: [very smart tanking]
Guildmate 2: [very smart healing]
Dustfire: [vampiric touch + shadow damage = tiny healings] + [Shields for everyone!]
[We 3 Guildmates Finish Without Dying Again At All]
Dustfire: Yay!
Guildmate 1: Good job, guys. Gonna hearth. [hearths]
Guildmate 2: Let's run back!
Dustfire: Ok! ^_^ [elated]
[upon leaving the instance]
PUG 2: [who has been standing by the entrance, probably waiting for another group] Oh, hi. lol
Dustfire: /wave [almost dies] [hearths]

That was actually a pretty cool experience, because we took down the bosses with just us three. It demonstrates the power of decent teamwork (and NOT overaggroing!).

By the way, disconnecting yourself is a sneaky tactic sometimes used to get out of a group without having the stigma of just leaving. I know Nevari has done it before, when she was in a group that was turning out to be one of the worst mistakes of her gaming career. But more often, people disconnect when one member leaves because they think that a 4-man team can't possibly run an instance. Irony was, we did it with 3.

Story 2 (Dramatized)

Two of our level 70 guildmates joined three level 70 guys from another guild for a Steamvaults run. Our guys had been waiting for a group all evening and needed a few drops and some reputation.

This is copied verbatim from my guildmate's post.

Jerks: Which way to the Key fragment?
Guildmate 1: Worry about the key fragment later... lets get some stuff done... we gotta open unlock this door.
Jerks: Nah... we don't open any doors... just go into the water...
G1: We are doing the whole instance right?
Jerks: Yeah... I want my robe.
G1: Ok good.
insert section where they just jump into water and grab their key quest]
Jerks: Ok... we're done... we gtg
G1: /spit Jerk1
G1: /spit Jerk2
Guildmate 2 (in Vent): HAHAHAHAHAHA! You make me laugh so much... I think you should be a comedian! On the television! And completely rich! Lets get married!
Jerks: Oh... we were just here for the key quest.
G1: So... when I asked if we're doing the whole instance and replied yes... you were lying... lying to keep us in your group so you could get your key and then ditch. It was your intention all along, and it's downright rude!
Jerk3: Don't worry man... we'll get another two guys for DPS
Jerk3: /disband


I'd wanted to add a third, where I went into an instance with nothing but a PUG, but didn't have the guts for it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I'm a coward. I'm afraid of really bad Warcraft experiences. (Seriously, I kept thinking about it, thinking I should do it for the sake of the blog, and then I'd cringe and back down. Like when someone dares you to belly-flop into a pool and you just know it's going to sting like the dickens. . . . Except this would sting for about an hour.)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Jerk Phenomenon, or "What's With All the Dumb People?"

A while back, in real life, Manasseh's car started to slide down an icy hill toward a car stopped at the bottom (at a stop sign). Manasseh, realizing the danger, began to honk.

Though Manasseh did regain control of his car before he reached the bottom, he was flipped off for his trouble.

I wouldn't be surprised if the guy in the other car played Warcraft. Because you really do get a lot of that attitude from other players in the game.

It makes me glad that I play with reasonable human beings instead of idiots. ^_^

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mounts, or "I Want to Ride a Cow"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

Mount: At level 40 you can train (90g) to ride a mount (10g), which will increase your movement speed by 60%. At level 60 you can train (900g) to ride an epic mount (100g), which will increase your movement speed by 100%.

If you have the expansion pack, you can get a flying mount (5,000g) that can only be used in the Outlands.


You can't tell me that's not the most precious thing you've ever seen. Seriously. I would get every last one of my characters a cow if I could.

You can have more than one mount -- as many as you can hold, I guess. Each race has its own mount, but you can get another race's mount if you achieve Exalted status with that race (by doing quests and earning reputation).

My human is going to get a ram mount . . . eventually. After I'm allowed to play her again (she's my grouping character, but we're grouping on horde), and after I reach high enough level to work for dwarven reputation. The rams are just so CUTE! ^_^ A-do-ra-ble!

There is one really tall, fancy ram that you can get from playing battlegrounds. I prefer the squat, happy dwarven rams, but this is an interesting alternative.

Fancy Ram -------------->

There are other PVP mounts available from playing the battlegrounds, but the ram that is available is black. I don't know how my holy priest would look on black, but maybe it'd be worth it?

Any other info you want on mounts is here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Macros, or "Making Your Life Easier, One Taskbar at a Time"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

Macros are an in-game programming option, where you can connect strings of code to one button to make your playing faster and more efficient. For example, my husband is making a macro for our rogue friend so that he can equip a dagger in stealth to ambush, then immediately re-equip a sword to fight.


I made some very easy macros just to show you how to do it. I haven't gotten into the macro building like my husband, but I'll do my best to give you a quick starter lesson. *love*

First of all, open your main menu (using the computer button at the bottom or hitting "Esc") and then click on "Macros."

In the macro panel, you have General or Specific macros. Specific are JUST for the character you're on. General will show up on other characters. (On other servers? Yes, indeed.)

You can see the three emotes I've connected to buttons (/crack, /hug, and /curtsey). We're going to make a new one that will let us hit a button and automatically emote /hello.

In the "New" panel, you decide on a name and icon. The name should just be a few characters, otherwise the button will trail the word off, like in my "Curtsey" button. The icons are really fun for me, because you can choose from any of the in-game buttons. To keep confusion to a minimum, make sure you don't use an icon that matches one of your spells.

Hit "Okay," and begin your coding. For an emote, you just have to put the emote itself in the box. For this, we just need to put /hello. Then drag the icon from your macro listing to your taskbar. That's all! Just test it out to make sure it works, and you're good. ^_^

In the above image, you see I have an extra taskbar on the right side of the screen. You can use this taskbar and a few others by enabling them in the Interface Options. Main Menu --> Interface Options --> Advanced.

If you want to hotkey these taskbars (your "1-0," "-", "=" are hotkeys for your regular taskbar), you'll go to Main Menu --> Key Bindings. I have the taskbar right above my hotkeys as "shift-1 to shift-=". Just be careful not to unbind any keys you use a lot, like the spacebar (jump) or enter (chat). Know what your hotkeys do before you reassign them, or you'll waste time fixing everything.

A Smidgen More In-Depth

My next macro will be entitled "WIN!" and will be a custom emote: "Dustfire has given the Alliance a wedgie." I'll use it when I kill someone in PVP. I'm not sure yet if I can get it to automatically run when I get the killing shot on an opposing player. I'll check it out.

So, can macros only be used for emotes? Heavens, no! I have a macro for a healing spell on my draenei paladin so it auto-targets her, and I don't have to click on her.

Macros are very useful for all kinds of spells -- you can combine spells on one button, so you click it and cast Spell1, then click it and cast Spell2, and it can auto-reset to Spell1 when you leave combat. Like, for a rogue: you have to work up combo points to use certain spells (decrease their armor, increase your speed, etc). So combine those spells into one button in the order you use them: -Armor, +Speed, Finishing Move. This will free up taskbar space for other spells. (I want to try this on Birdfall.)

One of my friends made a macro because he had the same hat in two colors and didn't know which to wear. So his macro let him switch hats between battles.

Learn Macros:

Example Macros

Panic Button for Priests:
Casts Pychic Scream, Desperate Prayer, and Fade all at once.
/cast Desperate Prayer
/cast Fade
/cast Psychic Scream
Change Gathering Status: Changes from Find Herbs to Find Minerals when you click it.
/castsequence [nocombat] find herbs, find minerals
Equip + Fish: Equips fishing pole, then fishes. On alt-click it will requip normal weapon(s).
/equip [noequipped:Fishing Pole, nomodifier:alt] Insert Name of Your Fishing Pole;
/equip [modifier:alt] Insert Name of Main Hand Weapon;
/equip [modifier:alt] Insert Name of Off-Hand Weapon;
/cast [equipped:Fishing Pole, nomodifier:alt] Fishing;
Random Polymorph
/cast [target=focus,exists] Polymorph
/castrandom [target=focus,exists] Polymorph, Polymorph: Pig, Polymorph: Turtle

Almost forgot to post this. I wrote these posts last week, or there wouldn't be one today. A friend of mine got seriously hurt last weekend when a man invaded her apartment in New York City. Please pray for her, guys.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gobbledegook, or "Communication Between Enemies"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

When you're playing an alliance member, and you come across a horde player, and they speak, it's completely garbled. (And vice versa.) You just can't understand each other. This is because the two sides are at war, speak different languages, and should not be able to communicate or collaborate.


(Our Resident Druid and an Alliance Druid)

Although standard emotes cross the language barrier (not /e emotes), and hopping together in bear form is always in style, sometimes you just wonder what the other people are chatting about. So I took a screenshot of what my team said to a random alliance team in the Scarlet Monastery. (Chat expanded artificially -- I combined the chat of three screenshots so you could have it all in one shot.)

Click on image to see full size.

I think this speaks for itself. (I have no idea who Bleedingbow is.)

It might also be nice to point out the dead body of our rogue friend by the girl gnome Tozza, and the fact that they were camping him. We were going to resurrect him when they left (he accidentally got flagged, they were level ??, we watched him die), but Tozza just kept stealthing and waiting around for one of us to blunder into a res. Shenoah finally got sick of it and resurrected him, but she killed them both instantly anyway.

Suffice it to say, we don't camp people who can't put up a fair fight. We think it's kind of low, even if it is completely allowed on a pvp server. Shenoah and Kbone, however, have brought back some very nice stories about ganking red level players -- not just one at a time, but sometimes two-on-two. Our boys are just plain good, and prowess wins even against higher levels.

I'm proud of them.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hacking, or "How to Avoid Your Account Being Stolen"

A lot of this information is from my horde guild because they talked about it recently. The post was called "Careful what you click on!" For references, I know that at least three of our guild members are trained programmers and one is a (nice) hacker.

Seglda had his account stolen early on. He says that they just cleared the gold and gear out of his highest level character (who had less gold than another character, actually), and Blizzard returned everything to him after a good long wait.

"When I was hacked, I was using Firefox to browse, a seemingly reputable site. The spyware came from an inline frame which was rented out by the people who owned the site, nearly ten thousand people were hacked by this before WorldofWar removed the advertiser. Nothing I got back was Soulbound, while I don't recommend getting hacked, it's not all that bad, except the living without WoW for nearly 3 weeks while Blizzard support sits on their hands part." (Seglda)

Thanks for the info, guys!
  • Please guys don't click stuff in any forums online, make sure you know what the link is before you go to it. Also use Firefox, it's generally a lot safer. (Kbone)
  • Never ever go to a WoW site with IE. Invitation to disaster. Never follow links from a forum, ever. Only download addons from a trusted site (i.e. Curse) and only then if it's been rated up a bit and isn't brand new. (Shenoah)
  • Download Opera and use that, it has fewer security holes than even Firefox and has NEVER been penetrated in all of my testing (and I've done a LOT of testing, trust me). (Seglda)
  • If an addon downloads as an EXE, don't execute it unless you're 100% sure it's safe, even then, I still wouldn't execute it.. >_> (Seglda)
  • Firefox is widely used, and widely used software is targeted more by hackers. (Seglda)
  • Use a Mac. (Malloc)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Noblegarden, or "NOT TODAY"

In a blunder of magnificent proportions, the official Warcraft website events page has been advertising Noblegarden, the Warcraft Easter celebration, as April 14th. I know this because I put it on my google calendar, thinking "How lucky! I'll be home from vacation to look for eggs!" And I really just wanted one of the pretty dresses.

It was held on Easter day, April 8. Though I knew the 14th was the Saturday after Easter, I shrugged and went on with my life, never expecting to get screwed for my trouble.

The date, now that Noblegarden has PASSED, has been corrected on the official events page. I couldn't tell you how soon before Easter it was changed, but I promise I checked it since the Lunar Festival in late February, and it hadn't changed. I guess this just shows that you need to check the date the month of, and not just a month or two in advance.

Needless to say, I'm really frustrated. I didn't have my computer on Easter (visiting family out-of-state), but I could have been expecting to miss the event, instead of jazzing myself up for it.


According to sources, the event wasn't very fancy at all. No decorations, no hooplah, just some eggs scattered around. As to where they were or how hard they were to find, maybe some readers who pity me could fill us in on more details.

Friday, April 13, 2007

/ginvite [player], or "Plague in the Low Level Lands"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

/ginvite [player's name] invites the player to your guild.

Guilds are player groups that can be managed and maintained by the Guild Master, the person who started the guild. It costs in-game money to start a guild, but a guild is a great way to coordinate players and get things done quickly. It's a small (or large) community within the game itself.

Guild chat is usually bright green, as you will see in the screenshot I took.

Charters are the sign-in sheet that you have to fill with 10 signatures (of different player accounts, not just different characters) to make your guild official. They look exactly like quest logs, and a popular method of filling them is to offer silver to anyone who signs.


Since Kbone mentioned that resting has a cap, I decided to get my draenei mage, K______, to level 10 in the Night Elf area. The NE area was chosen in part because of her backstory, part due to how well I know the night elf area from leveling Birdfall, and part due to the fact that she'll look awesome on a night elf mount.

But MAN, had I forgotten how people like to invite non-guilded players to guilds! K______ is pretty well a loner by nature, but I'm thinking about trying to get her into an all-girl guild because, in her backstory, she was attacked by men and doesn't trust them. And because, frankly, if you're not in a guild, you will be PLAGUED FOREVER! And I'm not talking about the nice people who whisper you and are like, "Hey, wanna join?" I'm talking about the reason Auto-Decline addon got created.

So I was killing furbolgs for the chick riding around near Dolanaar, and this night elf hunter was as well. And I was kind of expecting a group invite, since it was a "kill" quest and it would therefore be faster with two people. So when the invite popped up, I accepted, thinking "We'll kill three or four and go our separate ways."

Oooooooh, no. No, no, that would be too easy. GUILD invites apparently look exactly like group invites. Which I didn't know. I thought guild invites all looked like charters. I'm a buffoon.

Read the text on the image below to see how this played out. You'll be glad you did. (The person talking to me is not the person who slapped me with the invite. That person never said a single word to me ever.)

(Click on image to see full size.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pwn, or "You Want Buttermilk With That?"

Non-Gamer's Guide to this Post

Pwn is a variant of "own" which is used as a verb in gaming tough talk. "I will own you" means the "I" will wreak humiliating defeat upon the "you" in the sentence. "Pwn" has more stringent connotations than just "own" and may be described as "wreaking extremely humiliating defeat" instead of just plain old "humiliating defeat."
While no single usage of the term can be definitively identified as the original source, it most likely arose and spread naturally from a misspelling of the word "own", arising from the proximity of the 'p' and 'o' keys on a standard English keyboard. However, it has been claimed by many gamers that the origin of the word comes from the PC game "Warcraft II Tides of Darkness" where a programming error results in the message "You have been pwned." When the player gets defeated by a CPU controlled opponent, the correct message should have been "You have been owned." This phrase would soon become an internet icon for online gamers across the globe. (Wikipedia)
My husband has also heard a theory that pwn comes from Counterstrike players and is an abbreviation of "pistol-owned," because pistols are the weakest weapon in that game, and to be owned by one would be pretty humiliating.

It is generally accepted that "pwn" is pronounced "pone." (Rhyming with "phone" or "clone.")

Non-Southerner's Guide to This Post

My mom has a chicken and dressing recipe that includes "half a pone of cornbread."

A pone, according to my mother, is the whole of a round cornbread cake baked in a skillet. It can be used as a noun in place of the word "cornbread," and it can be singular or plural with the attached "s" where cornbread cannot. For example, you may have a pone, two pones, or ten pones, but you may have one pone of cornbread, two pones of cornbread, and you may eat a heap of cornbread. You may have "cornbread" for dinner, but not "cornbreads" because that's just silly.

Cornbread is "a staple of Southern U.S. cuisine" and "a popular item in soul food enjoyed by many people for its texture and scent. Cornbread can be baked, fried or, rarely, steamed. Steamed cornbreads are mushy, chewier and more akin to cornmeal pudding than what most consider to be traditional cornbread" (Wikipedia).

My daddy eats his cornbread crumbled into a tall glass of buttermilk. Thus, the post title.


All of that to say this: Every time I see the word "pwn," I think, "Cornbread?"

So you can see why I might find "pwn" to be a little ridiculous as a word in general. I knew what a cornbread pone was before I ever even heard of Warcraft. I'm afraid "pone" pwns "pwn" for me.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Savory Deviate Delight, or "Shiver Me Timbers, I'm a Ninja!"

The recipe for Savory Deviate Delight is a very rare drop from any kind of beast in the barrens.

If you come across one (meaning the recipe, not the food), you can sell it for anywhere from 50s-100g, depending on your economy.

It is easier to find on the horde auction house because the Barrens is a horde leveling area.

Requires: 1 Deviate Fish, 1 Mild Spices