The Power of Bowie

The other day I was running around Redridge doing some mining for tin ore and someone mistypes “/who” in the chat channel.  I don’t know how other people’s brains work, but mine can be very tangential, someone says one word and suddenly I’m six topics away on a related story because of that one word, meanwhile the person I might be talking with is looking at me like I’m a crazy person because they have no idea of the 5 steps between what they said and where we are now.

Well, just that exact thing happened and from the mistype “who” my mind ends up going “who do?” and BAM I’m humming the words to “Magic Dance” by one David Bowie from the movie Labyrinth.  This started a horrible idea in my head.  And so as I continued about my adventure mining and pet battling, when I would enter a new zone I would simply type six words, and let the rest unfold.  Below is what happened…

STV Bowie

NSTV Bowie

BS BowieBurning Steppes actually made it further than anyone else with lyrics!

SS BowieI got a little overzealous there and typed too fast.

SW Bowie

WF BowieWestfall was amazing and the conversation launched into how amazing David Bowie was, for about 30 seconds, than as all Westfall chat does, it deteriorated pretty quickly with talk of nipples and Mr. Bowie’s package.

HF Bowie

Of course, it doesn’t always go so well, sometimes it’s crickets.

Bowie Fail 1

Bowie Fail 2At least they got the movie?  But come on, this was Elwynn, there are like a million people there, but obviously only one over the age of…25, 30?

 Of course, you can abuse the power of Bowie too.

Bowie Fail 3

Even though this was 4 hours apart, the people in Hellfire Peninsula still remembered.

So here’s to you Mr. David Bowie.  You still live on, in ways you never even knew.

Reise ins Labyrinth, Die

And here’s a link to the video/music should you have forgotten.

 

 

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The End of Stonehaven

It’s been over two years since Jele and I first started the Stonehaven server in Minecraft. And it’s amazing how much it’s changed and grown to include Norse, Egyptian, Medieval, and Asian style architecture and buildings. I never would have imagined it. But even though I’ve done posts highlighting the cities around the world we called Stonehaven, there are many other things that aren’t necessarily associated with cities around the map.

In Stonehaven, there was a sheep emporium. It raised sheep of every color for constant access to the wool. Built by a friend from WoW, this allowed us access to add some color to the extremely stone colored first city of Stonehaven.

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Next is the Anubis Rollercoaster of Doom in the land of Egypt. Completely self propelled, it would start and stop after one loop, taking you up and down, around twists and turns, and into a little temple of doom. 😛

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The Norse village also had a few surprises. One of the buildings had a train departure that would take you to the beach. There was this weird area near the village where there was a beach lake and it would rain and not snow there. It was an anomaly and so Bocat turned it into a beach area. Because who doesn’t love a winter beach?2013-10-24_01.38.37

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Also near the Norse Village there was a big surprise. I had left for a week of vacation and when I returned, I read the new message board that Bocat put up in the Norse Village which claimed that villagers were disappearing! Upon further exploration, I saw this.

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Yes friends, that’s a massive UFO. An amazing project by Bocat and the interior reminds me much of the halls of a Star Destroyer or Death Star in the Star Wars movies!

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Mentioned a few times was the land of Canada. It started out as an exit portal from the nether. We didn’t know where it would exit, but it did on the edge of a snowy zone. Since we had just been working on the Norse village, I plopped a couple similar buildings to make a sort of trading post. This connected back to Warlock City and Chinatown eventually by rail. There wasn’t much to it besides the portal and a resting point, until one day someone added a flag…EPIC.

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Speaking of the nether, we didn’t ever really show shots of it.  We didn’t do too much in the nether, but we had portals in all the major cities which were connected through the nether.  We built structures around the portals so at least you wouldn’t die immediately.  Below is the first portal to the nether from Stonehaven.  We learned that glass does not hold up against ghast attacks.

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There were so many great things we created, from the most recent Pagoda to the first massive project, the castle in Stonehaven, we’ve come a long way. I’ll miss the world but look forward to the new world we’ll start this weekend given that patch 1.7 drops on time. The Viking ships, the Cat Temple and Lighthouse, and Warlock City…all amazing projects. I’ll never forget them and am glad that I now have screenshots of them, I’ll need them to reconstruct a few of the buildings or at least the building styles. We learned a lot and became much better builders! I’m looking forward to the patch and the new biomes and blocks and how this inspires us to create new cities. We have a few new players on the server too who have built some amazing things, so I look forward to their creativity too!

So with this final note, I say good-bye to the world of Stonehaven. So many amazing memories and laughter. So many epic projects. But alas, it’s time for a fresh start. I’ll leave you with one last picture of one of the best things in the entire game we created, that’s the Cat Temple. What makes the Cat Temple extra special is that Bocat did it 99% in normal mode. It was no small feat and I remember her working on it. Fighting away zombies and skeletons at night and working out the details of the cat on top. When it was finished, we were all totally amazed. I can only imagine what the “Queen of Egypt” will build in her next world.

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Updating Heroics

This week, I spent some time doing some Outland dungeons and heroics to try to gather some of the pieces I would like to get for when transmogrification comes about.  My shaman blew through the content earning many achievements.  I did appreciate that you no longer needed keys for these instances and I was able to by-pass running them on normal before being able to do them on heroic.  Saved me some time.

As I ran through them though, killing targets faster than I could switch targets, I realized I loved some of those places.  Sure, the old style had a million trash pulls between bosses, but some of the concepts and visuals of the instances was really great.  I really liked some of those dungeons.  Then I got to thinking…why was I having more fun running the BC dungeons than the current ones?  After contemplating if it was because I could do it solo, or because of all the memories from running these places before, I got to thinking that the answer was this:  variety. 

I’m just tired of running the new dungeons.  What are we, 9 months in?  I’m tired of basically running the same 8 (I guess now 10) dungeons.  I need some variety.  So I got to thinking about how they made heroic Deadmines and heroic Shadowfang keep, and I thought, why can’t they do that for so many of the others?

Updated instances for all those lost heroics (which you can’t even queue for anymore–once you ding 68 you get Northrend, never heroic Outland) would really broaden the variety of the game.  The gear could be the same level heck, even if items had the same stats it would allow you to have a little more variety and options for some things.  Take wands for example…I think I know of what, two in all the 10 instances?  My toons are still running with green ones because they never get lucky.  I have all but given up.  But if suddenly you add all those instances the options for gear expands and mixes it up a bit, I wouldn’t have to hope for Grim Batol to hope for a wand, I’d have other options!

It doesn’t seem like this would be too difficult to bring some of these instances up to speed.  They could trim some fat on some of them and cut down trash to keep them flowing with the current dungeon design, even if they don’t change the instance, changing the number of mobs inside wouldn’t be too hard, I would think.

Maybe I’m just old school that way, but I miss some of the dungeons from BC and LK, even though some of those were just 9 months in the past.  I wouldn’t mind doing a ToC or black morass again and have it feel like it’s a challenge. 

It probably won’t happen, but I wouldn’t mind seeing old heroics kept up to speed or at least some more of the classic dungeons added to the heroic mode list:  Sholomance, Stratholme, Blackfathom Depths. 

Well, a man can dream anyways…

I’ll Never Forget

This last week, my roommates dog struggled battling a disease of the blood.  Her body decided to attack and destroy her red blood cells.  While sometimes this can be overcome, she did not win the battle.  While she was not my dog, in a way she was.  Since I moved in here over a year ago, she has spent every night either sleeping in my room or in my bed.  We’d spend hours playing WoW together, usually her growling or barking when I’d loot gold–she didn’t like the clinky noise.  She was my buddy, and I’d get home from work and say “Come on, Charlie, time to go play video games!” And she’d race me up the stairs and into my bedroom where we’d hang out for the rest of the evening. 

This, for me, has been a terrible loss.  One I would equate with losing a best friend.  And so while I still can see though the tears, I will share this picture.  One of Charlie hanging out under my desk.  That face of hers I was too familiar with, and will miss forever. 

Cata Dungeons Are Meh…

Quick, what’s your favorite dungeon in Cataclysm?

Got it?

Now, why?

For me this is not an easy question, and I feel this is why I just haven’t been into Cataclysm all that much.  We’re 5 months in now and I have 3 level 85 toons.  Considering how quickly you can level up there really is no excuse why I still have so many hanging at 80 or 81.  Even my 85s don’t have all exalted reps.  I just really have not been into this expansion as a whole.  I was thinking about why, and one of the things I really spent lots of time on at max level in past expansions was dungeons.  I never got into raiding too much, sure I’ve had a few stretches, but they usually last less than a few months.  Or I’d just fill in as I could.

Okay, quick, what was your favorite BC dungeon?  Now, what was your favorite LK dungeon?

For me those questions are much easier to answer.  I can quickly come up with my favorite dungeons and on which characters and why.  I’ll share that with you now and try to explain that while things are fresh and new in Cataclysm, I’m really just not finding what made it exciting in the past.

If I had to pick a favorite dungeon in Cataclysm, I pretty much come up empty.  There really isn’t a single dungeon that I am “excited” to see the login screen for.  I think Throne of Tides is the closest one because I like the way it looks.  Under the sea adventure at least makes the dungeon entertaining to look at.  The fights are pretty straight forward, and if needed, my Warlock has proven he can solo the 3rd phase of the final boss.  😉  Though I wouldn’t say I love Throne of Tides, it’s more so the one I dislike the least.

In LK there were several that I really liked.  ToC was the first that comes to mind.  I don’t know why, it was really fun though, and “Look up in the rafters…” never gets old.  There was just something really fun about that place.  It was short, the fights changed based on the champions you got and jousting.  Violet Hold was also another favorite, I think because the pace was kept for you and again the variable bosses kept a little bit of excitement in the dungeon.  This is also why I liked CoS too.  Besides seeing draenei turn into nasty looking balding humans, this instance also provided a little bit of variability with spawn points and having a timer was fun too–and I like the drama of the CoT instances, those have always been cool because they go back in time.  I keep hoping we see Dornaa in one of them though–there has to be a reason they attack her during Children’s week…  Lastly, I was probably one of the few, but I liked Old Kingdom.  The final fight in there was very fun and kinda felt a little like PvP for me.  I always enjoyed it and don’t think I ever died during the insanity phase.

In BC, my favorite dungeons were actually some of the more challenging ones at times.  I REALLY liked Botanica and I don’t know why–I think the extra herbs and the fact that on Elgar I got to use MC to give the casters that 120 spell power buff.  That was awesome.  I also liked Steamvaults though that one wasn’t always pretty, and of course Magister’s Terrace.  I also liked Shadow Labs for the same reason I liked Old Kingdom, fighting your fellow party members is hilarious and everyone is all “I’m so sorry!!” during that second boss in Shadow Labs.  That made for some really good times. 

I can’t exactly say why it is I don’t find the new Cataclysm dungeons exciting…perhaps it’s a matter of why they are where they are.  Just why do I care about the Tolvir again?  At least I knew why I was fighting the Hellfire orcs, the naga in Underbog, and the nerubian in Azjul-Nerub.  I guess I just don’t know why I’m fighting anyone in the Cata dungeons except maybe the naga again and the guys in Grim Batol/BRC.  The rest are just… there?  Of course I could be missing lore since I never did finish up Uldum. 

Okay, long post is getting really long.  But I thought about this today and why I really have been neglecting my level 85s and current content for things like running Shadow Labs again or the hundreds of other “Oh Shiny!” things that I come across.  Cataclysm looked awesome and I was really excited about the world changes and what not.  Perhaps that’s it too, perhaps I feel I have so much to see that I don’t want to miss anything and therefore would much rather look at what I know and how it changed compared to the new things that aren’t really keeping me entertained.  I just can’t figure it out, but after this post, I can confirm that Cata dungeons just don’t excite me like dungeons did in LK and BC.

What if…

This is one of those hypothetical things, one of those, what if I had chosen the blue pill instead of the red one?  I mean of course, what if I had chosen to play Horde instead of Alliance?

I got into WoW when my brother asked for it for Christmas.  I purchased it for him, then tried it myself on the 10 day free friend trial.  His friend played WoW and was Alliance so he rolled Alliance as well, picking for his first toon a dwarf Rogue.  Weird, I know.  Since my brother had picked Alliance, I too picked Alliance, and thought I would enjoy playing a hunter.  My two options were Night Elf and Dwarf, and though the expansion (Burning Crusade) was due out that same month, I had no idea.  And so not being too keen on the short dwarves, I picked Night Elf.  And this is how it all started.

So I got to thinking the other day, just what if my brother had rolled Horde, I too probably would have rolled Horde.  So I travel back in time, to that January day…let’s say I stay with hunter, I would have had tauren, orc, and troll to choose from.  I am guessing that I would have picked troll.  So now I’m thinking how this would have impacted things.  I roll troll, and while showing the game to my friend, she originally rolled a dwarf paladin, if she had been influenced to roll Horde as well, paladin was not an option.  So who knows exactly how that would have turned out.  Perhaps she would have rolled a warrior?  My other friend rolled Kittykat a human warlock that turned out to be Rossini.  She was so vain that I believe she still would have rolled human to be hot.  Ha!  So when I think about it, that means that it’s possible that Rossini would have never existed!

Obviously who I know and don’t know in-game all would have changed, that goes without saying.  And I don’t believe any of the Horde races have the ability to have grand moustaches, so Elgar, the toon for which I am most recognized, would have definitely not existed in his current form.  Elgar and Schubert were both created before I got Burning Crusade, so those toons would have definitely been one of the original 4 Horde races.  But Elgar was born out of the idea that the guild needed healers and to assist Theanna the paladin in her leveling.  So Theanna becomes not a paladin, maybe even not a tank, and I don’t roll a priest because it would either be troll or undead (and I am sure I would not have any undead) and again mages were limited to undead and trolls at that time.  It seems to me that I really would have ended up with lots of trolls due to my aversion to the undead and how they appear.  I’m not just that into zombies!

Many of my other characters were born after BC, so I’m sure that I would have had many pretty, beautiful haired blood elves. 

Okay, so if I didn’t roll Alliance, it’s very possible that Elgar and Schubert might not even exist and definitely Rossini would not have existed in his current form at least.  It’s quite possible he would have race/faction changed. 

It’s a bit difficult to think how if I had rolled Alliance that some of my most beloved toons wouldn’t exist.  But at the same time other beloved toons may exist.  Like a giant tauren druid and an orc shaman.  And while I’m pretty much set in my Alliance now, it’s funny to imagine how it could have been so easily different.  And how would that trickle down to affect others?  Would Ado and Falahla play night elf and draenei if I had been playing Horde when they started?  Would Repgrind have still been playing her troll mage instead of a human one?  Would priest still be my preferred class? 

What if…what if…

Worgen, WORgen, WORGEN!

Okay, the “a” in Patch 4.0.3a stands for Awesome.  This is the best patch I’ve ever witnessed in WoW.  Better than the patch that gave me penance.  Better than the patch that gave be PW:Barrier.  Better than demonology form.  Better than hunter pet changes.  I was totally impressed with this patch.  So where to start…

I had to do my mentoring last night, but at age 16, he’s more interested in looking for used cars on Craigslist, so I took this opportunity to load up my WoW and start a gnome priest on a different server than Winterhoof since I have no more slots there.  The gnome starting area was totally impressive and VERY fun.  You’re basically a gnome left behind and trying to get out of Gnomeregan and then you get cleaned up and off into Dun Morough.  At level 3 I got a staff reward with +1 intellect.  I was like what is this?!?!  Awesome.  I only did the quests up to Kharanos.  Then took on another project.

Human hunter.  Sure, there were like 100 million of us.  But I was curious about the starting area for humans since I had played there with lots of toons.  So I’m getting the first quests and I’m like, WTF, Blackrock Orcs in Elwynn forest?!?!  Then, holy crap!  The vineyards are burned down?!?  I had to put out some fires and slay more orcs.  I was really sad about it and at the same time excited.  I remember the Defias in that vineyard, collecting grapes.  But, out with the old, in with the new!  I only again ran to Goldshire, saw there was a flight path there now, and headed out to get serious.

So I logged onto the priest Elgar.  For whatever reason I had to respec him, though I honestly didn’t notice any talent changes in Disc tree.  So I had for whatever reason, left him in Westfall.  I looked around the encampment there, checked the map for new flight paths, grabbed them, then after seeing 7 flight paths in EPL, decided I would just get all the FP later, when I could fly.  But I was halfway to the FP in Darkshire, so I thought I’d just pick it up quick.  So I run over there, and I’m like, what’s this lady tauren doing here?  THAT’S NOT A LADY TAUREN!  It’s a WORGEN!!!  AND SHE HAS A QUEST!!  (I swear, I almost pee’d my pants right there).  So I did her quest.  “Your reputation with Gilneas has increased by 275.”  O.o  o.O  O.o  What?!?!?  I open the reputation tab SO fast.  Sure enough, neutral.  There were a few other Worgen standing around, so I thought, they must have quests…but I get I have to do the chain to get them.  I flew to Darkshire and picked up every quest I could.  It was awesome.  Then I had to help Tobias, who was a human, but when his undead brother taunted him, he turned into this Worgen and they started fighting!  I grabbed a screenshot before he disappeared.

So I keep doing the quests.  One of the epic questlines in Duskwood before was the whole Abercrombie and Stitches questline.  Basically you run around collecting all this stuff for this guy, but in the end he makes an abomination that would lumber towards the town killing the guards along the way.  But now, Abercrombie is not way in the middle of nowhere, he’s just outside of town, making the access to the quests much easier.  So I get to the end, take the letter to the Mayor, who tells me something like “What have you done?!?” and then gives me the quest to kill Stitches.  He used to come lumbering down the road, so that’s what I’m expecting.  When I come out of the town hall, I see this: 

Of course, again, I’m freaking out in excitement!  So I quickly smite Stitches then run back in and all returns to normal.  By this time, I had the quests all opened up so that I could return back to the other end of Duskwood and maybe have some more quests with the Worgen.  There were several there and I quickly ran around in excitement doing them, just glad I didn’t have to kill 30 skeletons and run back to the other end of town only to get a quest to go back, kill 30 more and collect rot blossoms.  Ha!  God, this place used to suck.  So anyways, I have to capture this one Worgen, and when I bring him back, Jitters is holding him and he breaks free, grabbing Jitters (the crabcake loving friend) by the throat, holding him up, yelling at him that it’s his fault!  I’m expecting to see the end of Jitters, who I sorta have grown attached to after making him so many “crab” cakes.

All in all, I ended up getting something like 4k rep with Gilneas which put me at Friendly.  I was totally shocked!  The best part of whole experience was getting the new BEST item in the game.  [John’s Stylish Robes] I’ll add a link later.  Since I won the Best Dressed award in our recent guild “Grammys” I was totally excited to see that Blizzard put in a quest reward just for me.  Now, to find a matching hat, belt and gloves….

So after all this, I went to Stormwind, ran around a bit and that’s it.  I have SO much more to see yet.  I’ll get to it all, but just for those of you that are curious, the Gilneas Quartermaster can currently be found in Darnassus by the flight master.  The Tabard is pretty awesome.  Someone in our guild got to Honored with them just by doing the quests in Elwynn, Westfall, Redridge, and Duskwood.  Just keep that in mind that when you get Alliance rep, you’re getting Gilneas too.