Co-op WoW: The Adventures of Carapinka

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Or, What To Do When The Xbox Breaks Down.

Over the weekend, Gadgets and I were spending our time working our way through the seasons of IT Crowd.  Unfortunately, the Xbox controller decided to stop functioning (yes, I tried changing the batteries!) leaving us stuck with nothing to do.

We tried hooking up his new 24″ monitor and watching on the computer, but with a broken soundcard… it just wasn’t going to happen.  Since we didn’t have 2 computers to play alts together, we decided to play AN alt together.

We turned WoW into a 2-player cooperative game… and it was awesome.

Here’s what we did:

Grabbed a set of dice.

Rolled a d10 to pick our race.  4… Gnome it is!

Rolled a d6 to pick our class… MAGE!

While I know there is a function built in to randomize appearance, we decided to randomize manually through each feature, because it was more fun to do it one at a time.

Then we took the first randomized name that wasn’t already taken.

Meet Carapinka.


But how do you play one character with 2 people?

Easy!  Gadgets took hold of the mouse, and he was responsible for targetting and turning.

I was in command of the keyboard, responsible for casting spells and moving forward and backward.

It took a bit to get the hang of it, especially since I’m a mouse-turner and he’s a keyboard-turner… but we worked quite well together.

Once we hit level 5, it was time to choose our professions.  Get out the dice!  To avoid some horrible combination like Jewelcrafting/Blacksmithing, we decided to roll for a gathering and a crafting profession.

We pondered over the worst possible combinations… Skinning/Jewelcrafting, maybe?

While we didn’t get the best combination (probably Herbalism/Tailoring for this guy), we didn’t get the worst either… Skinning/Enchanting.

At least he’ll be able to make his own wands.

And while we haven’t reached this point yet, we do plan on randomizing our talent points… to some extent, at least.

We’re also planning to join the first guild we see recruiting players of all levels.

It was really fun, and if you’ve got someone who you normally play with, I recommend giving this a shot! :)   It takes a lot of teamwork, but it’s like a whole new game!


Ghugh’s Heroic Adventures

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Well, I’m almost recovered from my wisdom tooth extraction!  It’s been five days, but I learned this morning that it’s still not safe to eat mini-wheats.  So I continue on my pudding and mashed potatoes diet until further notice!

I spent the last 4 days at home sitting around… playing my paladin.  Almost exclusively.  Boy oh boy, do I love playing retribution! <3

Ghugh got to run half a dozen or so Heroics, and even managed to get in on a PUG OS10 run.  He started off Thursday morning with mostly quest blues and greens, and now he’s only 1 item away from his [Superior] achievement – his Libram, which probably won’t be replaced til Naxx.

"So what're you in for?"

"So... what're you in for?"

I’ve also decided to spoil this kid rotten with BoE epics when I get the chance.  He’s already sporting [Spiked Titansteel Helm], [Ice Striker's Cloak], [Titansteel Destroyer] and I even spent a solid 1.5k gold on [Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress].

Between PUGs, he’s been finishing up some questing… and I have learned how much I hate Icecrown quests.  HATE.  Some of them sound neat in concept, but they fail to mention if you don’t do it just right, YOU’RE GONNA DIE! Grrr.  And all those group quests?  Yeah, screw that.

I must admit I haven’t even logged onto Hydraxis since Tuesday’s raid… it’s been a nice break.  It’s also been interesting to see the differences in each class.  It’s great to be able to heal myself, and I feel more valuable to be able to cure diseases or whatever (you know, click the little decursive buttons when it yells at me!)  But I have yet to master the art of GTFO of Whirlwind.  Sigh.


How Ghugh Got His Groove Back

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Did he ever lose it?  I’m not sure.  But when I initially hit 80, I was a bit lost about what to do.

But now I’ve realized my mistakes:

  1. Just because I’m 80 doesn’t mean I’m ready to run Heroics.
  2. No one runs regular 78-80 dungeons.
  3. I don’t need to gear for both of my specs at once.

So I’ve decided to focus on rep grinds and getting some Titansteel gear together.  I’ve already replaced his Ingvar’s Monolithic Cleaver with a Titansteel Destroyer, and after tonight, I’ll also have a Spiked Titansteel Helm to replace his Helm of Brutal Slaughter.  My goal is to get Ghugh’s retribution set (his main spec) Heroic-worthy, and then start running Heroics as DPS (hopefully with a bear-tank so I can steal all the plate tanking gear that drops!)

So for now, Ghugh has made his home in Icecrown.  It’s not a very pretty place to hang out, but it’s got everything I need:

If I’m not questing in Icecrown, I’m doing my Argent Tournament & Knights of the Ebon Blade dailies.  If I’m not doing dailies in Icecrown, I’m mining a buttload of Saronite and hoping to pick up some Titanium.  If I’m not mining in Icecrown, I’m at the closest mailbox/forge making Titansteel and taking advantage of my mage’s Transmute: Titanium skill!

It’s going to be pretty slow going, but I don’t mind.  If Ghugh has to wait til 3.2 to start running Heroics… well, that’s ok!  Better gear then, anyway!

I just have one thing to say - HOW do people do it? Maintain multiple 80s?  I’ve got just two now, and it’s difficult to keep up!  Sheesh.


An Inverse Correlation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

It was a holiday yesterday up here in the North, and I decided to take the day and see how far I could get my beloved Paladin.  He was all set with his Charger at level 61, ready to head to Northrend to slay demons and red Orcs.

After about 10 hours of playing yesterday, I managed to go from 61 to 64.  That’s practically halfway done Outlands!  In a day!  Hah!

I even picked up dual specs, he’s my very first character to specialize.  I made up a prot spec for his secondary talents and tried to learn what it’s like to tank as a paladin.  I haven’t had a chance to try yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

I did want to try some instancing though.  So I jumped into LFG while questing, and hoped for the best.  I get a few “u healz?” whispers, which I promptly answered no to.  Then I got an invite.

Ramps PUG attempt #1: 2 Death Knights, a Rogue, a 64 feral Druid, and me (62 Ret/Prot).

Group Leader DK asks me if I’m a healer.  I say no, I’m ret/prot.  Druid pipes up and says she can heal, she is our most viable option for healing and doesn’t mind doing it even though it’s not her main spec.  Sounds good to me!  “Who’s tanking?”  I ask.  “I’m not, DUH, I’m BLOOD I don’t tank” says Group Leader DK (this is the same guy who insists on a ret paladin healing).  I volunteer, since it’s my second spec.  “Ghugh you are HEALING.” he says.  /facepalm.  The druid and I both say that she’s volunteered and is a better option to heal.

We run to the instance.  We zone in, I Bless everyone.  “OK so Ghugh you are healing let’s go” says Group Leader DK.  I say, “Uhh… why me?”

You have been removed from the group.

OKAY!  Well, it probably wouldn’t have gone well anyway. A little while later, I get another group invite

Ramps PUG Attempt #2: 3 Death Knights, a DPS Warrior and me.

“We need a healer” says DPS warrior.  I tell them it’s not my spec, but I put my healing gear on and seem to heal effectively enough for a Ramps run, and the tank is 64 so that should help.  We start running off towards Ramps.  A couple of us fail to make a jump and end up splattered on the ground underneath Ramps.  We all have a good laugh, blame Crusader Aura and start the run back to our bodies.

DK #1 has left the group.

DPS Warrior has left the group.

OKAY!  Looks like we’re done here.  Back to questing.  I get a whisper from a healer.  He invites me to a ramps group as DPS, says he has a tank already.  That’s a good sign!  We pull a group together quickly.

Ramps PUG Attempt #3: 1 Death Knight, 1 Feral Druid, 1 Holy Priest, 1 Elemental Shaman and me.

We made it into the instance.  This is a good sign.  We pull the first group – this is the furthest any of my PUGs have gotten.  Good sign!

We make it through the run with no Deaths.  Huzzah!  Success!  I can’t say it was a perfect run, but it was something.  We all agree to go again.  This is where the problems started.  I believe the healer and tank began to get a bit cocky.  “Just chain pull” says the level 59 healer.  “Just pull the entire room” hears the 61 DK tank.

I started noticing a strange behavior.  The DK was just… standing there.  Tanking.  He used some abilities, but he was NOT auto-attacking.  I target his target – it seems he’s always got whatever mob is BEHIND him targeted.  Man, DKs must be so easy to play if you can tank without even facing your target!  Things got worse and worse – after a wipe, he pulls before the healer is even into the zone.  He pulls when no one has mana.   He facepulls and lets the ele shaman and I try to pull the adds off of the healer.

We get to Nazan… make it through the Rider’s phase pretty smoothly, but then everyone forgets the “don’t stand in the flames” rule.  Priest gos down, Shaman goes down, Druid goes down.  It’s just me, the DK and the Dragon now.  My eyes look towards the very close instance exit and I contemplate making a run for it.  But no – I’m at nearly full health and mana, I can do this!  Holy Light!  Judgement of Wisdom!  Holy Light!  Judgement of Wisdom!  Luckily I’m regenning enough mana with my Judgements to afford my big heals.  It’s a long fight, but we take him down.  Just the two of us.

Ramps PUG Attempt #3: SUCCESS!

Today’s lesson: 

There is an inverse correlation between the number of Death Knights in a PUG and the success of the PUG.


Bring the Player, Not the Keybindings!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of character jumping.  Raiding on my Hunter, leveling my Paladin and my Mage too.  These three classes do not have very similar playstyles.  In fact, they are almost as far apart from each other as you can get. Ranged with a pet, melee with heals and spell casting clothy.

This makes it difficult for me to switch between them smoothly.  Last night I played my paladin for a bit, then switched over to my mage, who I hadn’t played in a couple of weeks.  It was… a shock.  I was too used to my buttons and keybindings, expecting different things from different abilities, quite a disaster! (Let’s just say Polymorph != Holy Light and Pyroblast != Exorcism)

I realized I need to adjust my alts to follow a similar keybinding strategy to my main.  I need to know where everything is in a pinch.  So I need to decide what abilities I associate between each class.

So here are the major categories of situations/abilities and which spells and abilities I associate them for each class.  Hopefully this will help me sort my keybindings out so no matter which class I’m playing, the same button will have approximately the same effect.

OMG I’M GONNA DIE, GET IT OFF ME! (Aggro drop/damage protection)

Crap, he’s a runner!  Get him quick before he pulls adds! (Intant ranged cast)

You’re trying to heal?  I don’t think so! (Stun/Interrupt)

They’re EVERYWHERE!! (Area of Effect)

YOU! Stay there while I kill this guy.  kthx! (Long-term Crowd Control)

Any other situations that you need to be readily accessible instinctively?