Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Going Insane!

The past two weeks, I've run a raid almost every day, and boy am I tired.

But we've gotten a lot done in the past two weeks.

Busy busy busy:
We beat Hodir. Yes! Unfortunately he gave us the warrior/hunter/shaman legs. Our hunter already had them and our group makeup was: Prot paladin, spriest (had a tank alt that helped with the trash), mage, mage, mage, warlock, hunter, hpriest, hpally, rdruid.

We geared out a new paladin tank, who's the reroll of our DK MT, it's been done in response to the DK nerfs. His warcrafter score after two weeks is 1782. His DK who's being retired is 1811.

Our hunter got his DK alt to 80 and we've got him reasonably geared out. His intention was to make the character a tank for when we really needed it, or when someone needed time off. Tank heroics and ten man stuff on occasion. His warcrafter scor after two weeks is 1765.

One of our priests got their cousin, a shaman, to xfer to our server and level. That cousin hit 80. After one week he's at 1459, we had low drop rates on shaman stuff for once.

We imported a Warlock who got to raid with us last week. We had a rough week, I fear we've made a bad impression because they seem really quiet. Perhaps I need to put more effort into dragging them out of their shell.

Recruited two new people--DPS. A ret paladin who has some prior ulduar experience as holy but wants to go ret and a dps warrior.

I then found a girlfriend/boyfriend duo of healers (with dk and hunter alts) who were looking for a late night group. They've done some raiding and describe themselves as casual, and were looking for a casual raiding guild. I haven't been able to include them yet, which sucks.

If I can get those new healers for 25 mans 3 days a week, when we switch to doing 25 man ulduar, we'll have 5 decent healers in our core. (2 priests, 2 druids, and me).

With the new DPS we went and did OS+1. We tried Maly 10 but apparently phase 3 makes other people's brains explode just like mine. We made it to P3 with about 4 minutes left. I'll need to find a way to fix this.

I've sort of adopted a rogue and shadow priest who seem to be RL friends.

I fear there are more roadblocks ahead.

Incoming Roadblocks
I'm coming up quite quickly on what's going to be a rough part for the team -- Not enough slots for everyone that wants to go. People are already getting pissed at me for not having enough room.

Having Naxx25 gives a 100% chance that ALL the people will at least have something to do for sure 2 days of the week, but that may or may not be enough.

One of our tanks is driving the rest of the raid crazy. He's in a 25 man guild that raids Ulduar25 already so he won't be able to tank for us. I really need to find a tank to take over for him.

Going Insane:
When I introduce myself to new members, I let them know I can craft virtually anything they want, sans ulduar25 crafting stuff, due to being an altoholic. My guildlings have lightly said "that's because you're insane."

On several occasions they suggested I do the "Insane" achievement grind. I've decided I'm going to very casually persue that.

I'm starting with farming stranglekelp casually on my druid during my downtime, and buying cheap stranglekelp and bruiseweed off the AH to make rogues decks.

I plan on grinding ravenholdt rep idly too. Once I max out on that, I can go periodically pickpocket things for lockboxes on my rogue.

Could you imagine? Altoholic, the insane. Guild leader, raid leader, and healing lead of guild.

I also kind of aspire to start a group like Leftovers on my faction side of my server, however, I think their web software enables them to pull of things that they otherwise wouldn't be able to. Their software isn't up on the internets for download so I'll either have to find something else or find a developer. If I can't find an lua developer to mod epgp for me, how will I get a while massive open raiding community going?

Five Boxing Progress Report:
After running a raid a night for the past two weeks or so, I've gotten 65+ heroic badges, 60 valor badges, and a few conqs.

I'm going to not bother with having two ARs for my warrior for TG leveling. I think that I will be more inclined to level new toons than old toons atm. I can always get an AR later.

I've secured bow #4.
Goal 1: 260/260 for 4/4 bows -- Completed!
Goal 2: 65/195 for 3/3 axes -- Pending
Goal 3: 0/195 and/or -- Pending
Goal 4: 0/150 or 975 sks for Staves -- Pending

And... shoulders.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


About a month ago, we began working on Hodir in Ulduar10. We cleared through the crazy cat lady and through the trash and started making potshots. We made some progress but it was already late at night on our second day. We resolved to return and work on it some more.

Unfortunately the next week I, the raid leader, had to be out of town on a business trip and there were no raids.

I returned and while I managed to rile up the natives on the first day (not raiding a week made this difficult) several of them were absent the second day, so we went and did Vault, OS10, and Naxx instead.

The next week we got in there and hit him pretty hard on our second day in. We came pretty close to beating him, having him at around 10% when we hit enrage timers. The team had a guest warlock with us because one of our regulars had RL happen. (This is why I'm trying to recruit more dudes!) Psyched, we released and made our corpse run only to find that all the adds had respawned. We said "Well fuck it."

This week we cleared up to Hodir in the first night, came close to beaitng him 5% wipes while hitting enrage. 5am rolled around and people couldn't go on so we called it.

Yesterday we resumed, fresh and ready to go. We wiped about three times before defeating the boss. We got a bow and warrior/hunter/shaman legs (which our only member on that token already had from running VoA). We managed to keep all of the NPCs alive the entire fight and got an achievement as a result.

Thorim is next.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are you a mod author? Want some cash?

The Altoholic is running a raiding group and a guild.

The Altoholic likes EPGP, in fact, the addon is near perfect for me, and EPGPLootmaster makes the system even cooler.

In case you don't know, EPGP is a loot system that rewards awesomeness with loot. The more awesomeness you show, the more reward you get. It, in theory, could let me reward my raiders for being on time, prepared, for helping each other, and doing other things that make them awesome.

It creates a mathematically powered meritocracy, it's hard to argue with math if you define all of what can be rewarded ahead of time. It also makes sure that everyone gets a fair shot in the long run, prevents point hoarding, etc.

The addon's also handy in game display is perfect for me as my computer screams bloody murder if I try to load up webpages while running 2+ WOW clients.

The Altoholic has two problems with the EPGP addon (and its associated addons): Altoholic likes her officer notes and her raid force includes people in other guilds. The members of the raid force who aren't wearing our tags are decent people, for whatever reason they wish to stay with their current tag (most of them is RL friends in their small social or RP guilds) I do respect that. They'e been loyal to us since the beginning, I feel inclined to treat them as fairly as possible, and the EPGP loot system addon with the officer notes just doesn't do that.

I can't expect every person who ever runs with us to create an alt to put in our guild.

The person who seems to be speaking for the addon development seems to be against the idea of doing the data saving anywhere but the officer notes.

So here's the deal:
I'm looking for someone who can take a look at the two aforementioned mods (EPGP and EPGPLootmaster) and create an alternative way for saving the information that would allow me to track outsiders. I'm willing to pay real life money for it (100 dollars or more) and I'm sure others would also pitch in to pay for services rendered.

There are other addons like RateRaid that must store their information some way.

Addons like Alotholic, which I adore, allows me to sync data across accounts (and with other players if I wanted). There must be some way to broadcast.

Make it broadcast when officers log on, say "I have a save date of X!" "I have a save date of later!" "Well let's compare notes!"

Do it at the start of raids and whenever a new person running the addon joins (when out of combat).

Having the data still be exprtable to web utilities would be great but I don't care much about that.

Addon must be free for others to download, use, and edit, so even if you, the original developer, stop playing or discontinue working on it, someone else can pick it up.

I feel this is something very much needed. Guild tags aren't everything, it's the people behind the tags that really matter.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gold Farmers Gone Suicidal!

Today, someone used an exploit to lift characters high into the air and kill them to create words on the ground linking to a site that I would assume will compromise your computer and steal all your golds.

While taking a screenshot of the absolute despiration of these knuckleheads, I saw one come up and do its thing. I waited and after a while managed to capture one via FRAPS.

I'd say "This is why you should get an authenticator", but Bliz is constantly sold out of those.

It appears they're being bought up by third parties and resold for much more on places like ebay.

Having one of my authenticators die on me, I can tell you that unless you know the battlenet account the authenticator was purchased on, they won't replace it should it break.

They said they'll replace it if it goes bad within the first year of having it. There's no way to guarontee that the person who resold the authenticator to you will give you that info, say, eight months down the line.

Less hackings. Less creative advertising. More authenticators in stock.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anticipating 3.2, Insane Badge Update

So I was looking at my guild bank last night and grumbling.

I have a lot... a lot of eternal shadow. I use every other eternal but shadow. I recalled briefly that we were going to be able to transmute rare gems plus an eternal into an epic gem. It looks like the Eternal Shadow gem output is orange, which isn't too bad.

So I'm going to save a nice stack of each type of gem and each type of eternal. 20. I have about 60 of each rare gem and varying numbers of eternals. I'm going to change my two alchemists from potion and elixir master to transmute master. I'll just make a bunch of flasks and potions before the patch so when it does come time to switch, I can.

I'll do transmutes every day, get epic gems, profit.
The question is which epic gems to get?

I'm thinking yellow and red, because dps loves them red gems and healers love their int gems. I may hoard JC tokens on all 3 of my JCs so I can buy a few popular cuts as soon as the patch comes out.

Of course, that would require me to stop trying to complete a stack of Dragon's Eyes in the guildbank and to stop making rings and necklaces for new people.

Fiveboxing Update:
I've now got 3 BoA weapons, bows, because the idea of having a team of hunters amuses me. I miscalculated my initial goal: I need more than three of certain weapons, like bows, as I did not previously have one on my main account as my hunter is on my other account.

So I have 3/4 bows, that's 195 of 260 Emblems of Heroism.
0/3 Staves - 0 of 260 Emblems of Heroism.
0/3 Axes - 0 of 260 Emblems of Heroism. (I actually have 3/6 as I wanted two for the sake of TGing on my warrior, however, I may just transfer one of them away, as I probably won't leve my warrior before I do my RAF stunt.)
0/3 Maces - 0 of 150 Emblems of Heroism.

I have 0/4 leather shoulders.
I have 0/3 plate shoulders (I actually have 2/5)
I have 0/3 cloth shoulders (I actually have 2/5).

Grand total?
195 / 1200 Emblems of Heroism
1005 Emblems or 4020 Stone Keeper Shards left

16% to goal.

I run Naxx10 tonight. Naxx25 tomorrow. Go go.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three things the Alotholic loathes.

The Altoholic hates three things in WOW more than anything.

3) Dailies: At first, I thought Dailies were a great idea and a great way to make money. Quel'danas was neat because it was a great source of money. But try doing the Quel'Danas grind every day on 6-8 toons like I did by the end of BC and see how interested you are in doing dailies. There are only 2-3 dailies I can bring myself to do: The JC daily, the Fishing daily, and the cooking daily. Two of the three i have to do on multiple characters.

How does the Alotholic make money? Playing the auctionhouse, being profession insane (and doing the JC daily), and farming. When between your own alts and your roommate's alts you can output enough titansteel and dragons eyes to make tons of epics, you get money.

How did Alotholic get exalted with Hodir? I threw gold from being a professionoholic at the problem.

2) Vehicle Combat: Hate hate hate hate hate! I like to strafe. Some vehicles can't strafe. The whole playstyle is clunky, awkward, and screwy. I hate the first fight of Ulduar and the last phase in Malygos, I won't touch Oculus with a ten foot pole.

1) Jousting: Words cannot describe how much I loathe Jousting. Let's just say I'm not planning on running the new instance with the manditory jousting unless the rest of my party can carry me because there's no way in hell I'll do it successfully. I've given up on finishing the Argent Tournament because I know I'll never beat whatever the mob is to become a champion, so I've just given up. I collect mounts and pets and I've given up on the tournament because I am that bad at jousting.

In regards to 2 and 1, Some people have called me inflexible. Some people call me a bad player.

Nevermind that I can play every class in the game effectively, and have raided on 8/10 of them, I don't suck, I grasp most game mechanics, and, you know, I'm not an idiot. The fact that I can't do jousting when I can do everything else in the game with decent skill might say something about the design of these poorly executed mechanics.

I think it might be easier if I could change the way the things are keybound. I don't like to do 112, I like to do extra mouse button 1, extra mouse button 1, extra mouse button 2.

Altoholic is displeased with the dickery of 3.2.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fiveboxing Progress report.

I go through frozen orbs like candy. Being a guild leader and a crafter with every profession maxed out, I can create in any given day a stupid number of epics, and often do. I've given people as many as six items in one day to help them get their gear better for raiding.

I seem to be ok at making money. I'm no goblin... yet, but my ability to make tons of gold when I really want to does exist. I've brought in 10k in a day before, I bought 6 tabs in our bank, 5 tabs in my alt's bank, and 3 tabs on an overflow alt bank. Knowing this, some of my raiders come to me when they really really need gold. They sell me frozen orbs for 100g or so, sometimes they just give them to me.

As you know, I've been trying to get 1000ish badges. Yesterday I went and spent a large amount of my badges on BOA items so I wouldn't go spend them on frozen orbs that I'd likely use to craft things with my mats to give away to people. I got two BOA bows.

I decided this morning to create my first team, or at least reserver their names. 130 badges of 735 for weapons. That means 605 left to complete my weapon goal and 0/360 for shoulders.

I already have Kemnebi (egyptian for Black (kem) panther (nebi)) the male belf hunter. I have picked the names for the rest of my hunter set, the Nebis.

Kemnebi has some RP about him. He's a non-speaking character called "Kemnebi the Meek" with a note of he who does not speak.

The new names translate to White-nebi, Red-nebi, Orange-nebi, Gold-nebi.
Each will have their own title, their personalities being somewhat different.

This is subject to change.
White = Brave
Red = Vivacious
Orange = Impulsive
Gold = Wise

At this point, I can level one of the placeholders to 10, along with the former red haired mage bank toon who's level 7, and one of the two priests I have resting on my main account. (Do I really... need two priests on one account?)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The death of an authenticator.

I have (or had) TWO Blizzard Authenticators. One has a strip of sticky label wrapped around it colored red (primary account), the other is blue (secondary account).

I got multiple authenticators for several reasons, one is because I don't want to be screwed out of all my access if my one authenticator dies. The second is that I have RL friends who occasionally ask (usually in person) if they can use my accounts to try out a class they haven't played before to see if it might be something they want to level. Having to hand them my authenticator when we're gaming together on laptops can get annoying, it's just easier to toss them the keychain and let them hold onto it until they're done.

It used to be you can create high level toons of assorted classes on the PTR but I think they got rid of that feature. They should really bring it back.

Anyhow, I decided to take my authenticators with me on a business trip (ok I went to a fandom convention, it was work related, honestly) and blue became damaged and would no longer display its happy button. This means that I could no longer access my account.

Luckily we had to drive all the way home, a 24 hour van ride, and I had time to lay around in the van and do nothing. When 8:00am pacific time rolled around I started calling Blizzard.

The line for Blizzard is busy a lot. I think it took me several tries to get through. I decided to call every 10 minutes. I think I got through to them at about 9:00am.

I spent about 30 minutes on hold. This probably tore through the minutes on my prepaid phone, which was roaming at the time, bouncing between tmobile and at&t network. Oh well. Their hold music needs some work, the volume of each soundfile is different, some come out very loud, some are very quiet.

When I finally got to talk to someone, I was greeted by a pleasant guy's voice. His name was Gilbert and he spoke perfect English, it was quite refreshing.

I gave him my name and I couldn't remember the exact answer to my secret question (name of my first pet, which isn't actually the name of my first pet but the pet I consider MINE) and had to guess a few times. Once I got it right we proceeded to remove the authenticator from my account. I read him the number from the back of the unit and he removed it.

He asked me how it broke. I said I don't know. It may have been banged up during the trip, but offered to send it to them so they might be able to investigate.

Apparently because my authenticator is not too old they're going to replace it for me for free, I just need to send it to them, of course I need to know which battlenet account I purchased them with. Luckily I have my printout from when I purchased the silly things last september. Hopefully I can use that to figure out which battlenet account is the one.

I now have both accounts bound to my red authenticator. I should order a few mroe for when I start fiveboxing.

My conclusion is that Bliz's account support is pretty good, they do need to do something about the line being busy.