What to do, what to do.

I apologize for not updating the blog much in the last couple of weeks; I’ve been a bit pre-occupied with work and getting my new transmog site running. I’m quite pleased with the database side of the xmog site, though the aesthetics of a free Drupal theme leave much to be desired. If anyone can direct me to a theme that doesn’t look like something from 2002, I’d be eternally grateful.

Not much going on in the world of raid soloing lately, at least as far as I’m concerned. I was able to solo the Will of the Emperor fight in Mogu’shan Vaults, meaning I can now claim to have cleared the entire raid on Normal. That fight is a nasty combination of a hard core gear check and RNG hell. I soloed it once, and if I never do it again it’ll be too soon. Heroic Stone Guard went down as well, but that was a MUCH easier fight. I tried soloing Tsulong in Terrace of Endless Spring, but I just can’t get the hang of the Day phase.

Oh! Elizabeth Harper at Blizzard Watch wrote a very nice article on raid soloing on Friday, and was kind enough to link to my blog and YouTube channel! I’m both humbled and a bit proud to get the mention, and also somewhat embarrassed. I’ve let my guides get a bit out of date in the last few weeks, so I think I need to do a bit of polishing ASAP.

Lunchtime Ramblings: A New Site, and Some Other Stuff

After a couple of weeks of manual data entry and struggling with various modules, I’ve successfully migrated my transmog gallery to a Drupal site (it’s here). As much as I prefer the presentation options offered by WordPress and associated plugins, WP is definitely NOT a good CMS for things like image libraries. The amount of time and effort it took to maintain my WP galleries was mostly spent wrestling with the back-end of the system. Drupal may be ugly, but I can customize my image data, write custom filters, and basically do whatever the hell I want with it. If any of you have linked to the old transmog gallery, you might want to update the link. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

NEW RAID BOSS SOLOED! This time, the victim was Stone Guard 10 Heroic in Mogu’shan Vaults. It’s actually a very easy fight to solo, if you can solo the Normal version without much effort. The strategy is exactly the same: kite the dogs around the room and don’t stand in stuff. Heroic mode has the additional crystal/floor tile mechanic, but I didn’t bother activating it. I hope to have a video posted in the MSV soloing guide by next week.

Progression in Normal Blackrock Foundry continues at my guild’s normal leisurely pace. Last week we took down Operator Thogar , putting us at 7/10N. I like that fight, but DAMN it’s hard to worry about the trains with everything else that’s going on. Luckily, we have a DPS that’s good at calling out such things, which helps immensely. Our remaining targets are Iron Maidens, Blast Furnace, and Blackhand. Wish us luck!

Lunchtime Ramblings: 6.1 is Here!

First off, I’m not going to get involved in any “this patch is BAD, I’m unsubbing”-type debates. All I’m going to say is that 6.1 was designed to be a systems patch rather than a massive content patch, and it delivers. So, here are my impressions of the various changes and features that I’ve encountered so far.

S.E.L.F.I.E. camera: it’s silly, it’s fun, and people seem to either love it or hate it. I find it amusing, but not enough to use it constantly. What I DON’T like about it is the sheer randomness of getting the mission to obtain the camera. Some people got it the moment they logged in post-patch, while some STILL haven’t gotten it. Seems like it should be automatic for everyone, considering how much Blizzard promoted this feature.

Twitter integration: again, people either seem to love it or hate it. I love it, mostly because it vastly simplifies the task of tweeting screenshots of things (the Crop feature is awesome). The tedious chain of “take screenshot-open Paint-find the damn screenshot-crop-save-write a tweet-find cropped screenshot-send tweet” has been broken! Those who hate it seem to be most annoyed by perceived “Twitter spam”; I guess it depends on who is doing the tweeting. Personally, integrating Twitter with WoW won’t make me tweet more often, but it will make my tweeting easier. If it bothers you, go ahead and block/unfollow me since you must not have been paying attention to my Twitter style for the past couple of years.

Heirloom tab: meh. I’m not a big user of heirlooms, so I’m probably not the intended audience for this feature. However, anything that removes clutter from a player’s inventory is a welcome change as far as I’m concerned.

Garrison NPC “visitors”: bah. I’m not a fan of this at all. Crafted gear already has a massive amount of RNG baked in with the stat budgeting, so adding another layer of randomness to obtaining the new recipes is a Bad Idea. It doesn’t encourage “socializing in your friends’ garrisons”, rather, it encourages complaining and endlessly waiting for that ONE NPC to spawn.

Create All work orders: YES!!!! It’s about damn time!

Stacking Miner’s Coffee buff: zoom zoom! I love it!

Garrison jukebox: SWEET! This was one of the features I was looking forward to since the day it was announced! No more awesome-yet-tediously-epic music on repeat! I’m not totally pleased that a large number of the scrolls are non-guaranteed boss drops (out of six raids I entered yesterday, four of them did not drop their respective scrolls), but at least you get a “starter set” of scrolls from your faction’s capital cities. The quest to build the jukebox is available to everyone upon logging in for the first time post-patch, so there’s none of the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera RNG nonsense.

Bug fixes and class tweaks: um , yay! As a Protection warrior I got some survivability buffs: Shield Barrier is no longer completely useless! Also, allowing tanks to use cooldowns during Suplex in the Hanz’gar and Franzok fight is incredible: I went from dying 2-3 times per fight to none after this fix!

That’s what I have for now. Enjoy!