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Giving Survival Another Shot

December 14th, 2010

Ever since I switched from Beast Mastery to Marksmanship mid-Wrath, I have never looked back.  I enjoyed the complexity of the shot priority and it seemed to all flow very well.  But Cataclysm has changed things.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying MM anymore, but overall I think I’m still trying to get used to the whole focus-management aspect of things.  My timing is often off by a bit, or I get distracted and forget to use Chimera, and it’s having a pretty adverse affect on my dps and my sanity.

So tonight I’m going to give Survival a try.  I tried it once way back, and I did not enjoy it nearly as much as MM… but I feel like there’s no better time to try it than when I’m having issues with my rotation as it is!

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85!

December 11th, 2010

Discovery experience FTW.

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Cataclysm Day 1: Vashj’r… Anticlimactic or Bugged?

December 8th, 2010

Although I did have to work a full day yesterday, I still managed to get a few hours of Cataclysm leveling in. I’ve finished (maybe…?) Vashj’r, and hit level 82.

At first I thought Vashj’r would be horrible. No one likes the water levels! But it was actually quite fun. You get used to the swimming pretty quickly, and even appreciate it (it’s like being able to fly without flying, ya know?) Since Blizzard hasn’t explored a water world before, there were plenty of new creative opportunies. Lots of new creatures, mechanics, and scenery to enjoy.

And, I got my horsey.

And a new demon fish hat.

And I even had a small heart attack when I swam into a dark cave and THIS APPEARED! (You have to click the link for the picture, otherwise there’s no suspense!)

If I were to give any criticism to my first experiences in this expansion, it would be this: Blizzard has gone a bit overboard with the pop culture references. Usually it’s a once-in-a-while, tongue-in-cheek, cute reference. But sometimes it gets on my nerves… particulary the quest name “What? What? In My Gut?” (If you don’t get the reference, consider yourself lucky.)

Okay, I actually thought this was cute.

The other big problem happened this morning: I did the epic final storyline in Vashj’r (Defending the Rift), turned the quest in, got the achievement, followed the guy into the Abyssal Maw, and…. Nothing! That was it. My quest log is empty, I’ve got 142/150 quests finished in the zone, and there is no one telling me to head to the next zone. I don’t even know where the next zone is!  I’m aware I could just go to Orgrimmar and pick up the breadcrumb leading me to Deepholm… but it just doesn’t feel right.

And with the expansion only being a day old, there’s not a lot of help out there. A lot of people got stuck finishing the last quest – I didn’t. I finished it. I’m stuck AFTER the quest.

If you’ve finished Vashj’r and you know where I’m supposed to go to get the breadcrumb leading me out of Vashj’r… HALP ME!

Assuming I find a way out of this zone, tonight I hope to hit Deepholm and make my way to at least half way through 83.  If I’m still stuck in the middle of the ocean, I’ll let ya know.

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Brajana Makes a Cataclysmic Return!

December 7th, 2010

Cataclysm has finally officially arrived, and as promised, I am making an earnest attempt to return to blogging. Hope you haven’t missed me too much!

I took most of the summer off from World of Warcraft to get a chance to play some of those other games that I’ve bought and never had time to play.  But since the release of 4.0.1, I’ve found my excitement about the game growing each day.  I’ve tamed a slew of new pets (I’ll surely introduce them in an upcoming post), I’ve started a new alt to explore the new Azeroth content, and I’ve even started doing dailies again – saving up more gold than I’ve had since I bought Epic Flying in Burning Crusade.

Luckily most of my guild has returned to the game as well, and it’s great to be playing with my friends.  Without them, I’d certainly not be nearly as excited as I am!

I’m not one of those lucky (or unemployed) people to have the day off, but I did manage to get a couple of hours of playing in this morning before I had to leave for work.  I ran around upgrading my professions and riding skill and then took the boat out to Vashj’r.  My observations after a couple of short hours:

  • Logging in was anti-climactic.  No installing, no cinematic, I couldn’t even really tell if my account had actually upgraded at first!
  • It will take me a while to get used to flying in Orgrimmar.  I still find myself flying through gates, like the one to the Valley of Honor.
  • Vashj’r was a good choice.  Not very much competition, and swimming really isn’t that bad!  Also, SEAHORSE!

Stay tuned for pretty screenshots, funny stories and maybe even a guide or two!

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6 Steps to a Fresh UI

September 13th, 2010

With Cataclysm looming, we all know that there will be serious addon issues that arise.  Every few months I take an afternoon or so to do a complete UI refresh on my system.  It helps to keep the game from getting bogged down, keeps things up to date and gives me a chance to experiment with some new ideas I’ve had for the game’s look and feel.

I thought I would share my recommended process as it might be something you find useful to prepare yourself for the coming chaos.

Step 1: Take screenshots of your current UI.

Multiple characters, in combat, out of combat, under whatever conditions you think are important.  This will be helpful later when you’re trying to set up addons to look a certain way and so you don’t forget about anything!

Step 2: Move/rename your addon related folders.

You want to start from scratch, eliminating any settings or saved variables that might be left around. The folders you are looking for are your Interface/Addon folder and your WTF/{AccountName} folder.

Step 3: Play WoW.  Naked. (The game, not you… that part is up to you!)

Play around with the in-game Interface settings.  The idea here is to step back and decide what the Blizzard UI is really lacking for you.  I wouldn’t recommend jumping into a raid, but maybe a dungeon or some farming and dailies.  Make a list of what you find annoying or unusable without addons.

Step 4: Set up your action bars so they are usable from the Blizzard UI. (Optional, but highly recommended)

If you’ve been using a bar mod for a long time, your action buttons probably aren’t logically set up to be used with Blizzard’s UI.  I recommend changing that, in case you happen to play at someone else’s place or in case your addon breaks for some reason.  (This is called “degrading gracefully”) Later, when you reinstall your new bar mod, set up your bars around your action buttons, not the other way around!

Step 5: Research your addons.

Maybe you’ve got an addon you’ve been using for a while, but it’s no longer being maintained.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen!  Try to find out if there is a supported addon with equivalent functionality.

Step 6: Install the addons you find necessary.

Enable them ONE AT A TIME and configure it to your liking.  This way you don’t end up with random UI components that you can’t find the source of.  Repeat until all your addons are set up.  If you simply can’t get something to work or look how it did before, you may want to explore your previously saved screenshots and saved settings files.