Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gettin' Ferrous

So I've been curious about the WoW Iron Man Challenge of late, having first heard about it viaPysnister's post and subsequently seeing the official post of approval from Blizz. I know it's already been 'beaten' - apparently the first victor was Ironsally, a warlock on Zangar.

I'm thinking I might give it a crack, because it's not as if having an armload of seasonal events, an84 Prot Warr and an up-and-coming holy/shad priest doesn't give me enough to do (Oh, and I should really get around to playing Skyrim and god knows what else).

Class Selection
Psyn himself posited that a hunter or lock would be the go-to, since having a pet means an extra level of protection, an I'm inclined to agree. For a minute I considered attempting to totally fly in the face of common sense and roll up a warrior (this is the problem with having a pet class, you start trying to use it to fix everything), with the argument that a Fury spec would be able to spam Bloodlust and Victory Rush for an unstoppable instream of HP.. but the I remembered that Iron Man Mode means no spec, which means not only no Bloodlust, but Dual Wield doesn't even unlock.

So back to class choice. I'm trying to think outside the box, but when it comes to pet classes, there isn't much left in terms of options. Frost Mage is out (speccing for pet required), same with Unholy DK (again, speccing required, also, no DKs in IMM). So here we are again at this Hunter vs Warlock juncture. Personally I think I'd go Hunter because a) I've had more experience with the class, and b) the focus pool mechanic seems to be more reliable than mana. Sure, locks are excellent at resource regen through various talents, but without +stat gear to buff that Int count, it's going to be a long hard road.

Faction/Race Selection
Psyn's sage advice recommended Troll for this, and I can definitely understand why. There are some quite reasonable perks that would be useful for the task. However, I'm not in a Troll mood right now. I've actually been committed Alliance for a while now, but have always appreciated both factions and art styles - so I think I'll keep it Horde just for some variety. So, no Trolls, but within Horde.

I'm actually leaning towards Undead. Why? I'm not really sure. The perks are.. varied.

Cannibalize - probably the best of the bunch. Munch humanoid corpses for HP. 2min CD means that it's got limited use, but since all I'll have is bandages otherwise, anything helps, right?
Shadow Resistance - not useless, but of negligible benefit.
Underwater Breathing - not useless either, but still of questionable value. I guess it might save me from an embarrassing death if I'm forced to AFK unexpectedly, plus I'll likely spend more time underwater if I'm questing to 85 than if I ran dungeons/PvPed.
Will of the Forsaken - long considered a gimped PvP trink, this will cut a charm, sleep or fear effect. I'm not anticipating a lot of use out of this, but I might stick it in the corner of my bar just to have on more panic button.

I suppose that I should also consider the other races' racials.
Tauren actually has merit, despite Cultivation being 100% useless (no professions in IMM), but Endurance being a helpful HP buff, Nature Resistance being perhaps marginally more helpful than the Shadow variant, and War Stomp being a handy way to get some distance between you and a mob, even with the 0.5sec cast time.

Orc has another interesting mixed bag. Axe Specialisation is mostly useless given a hunter will be dealing death from afar. Blood Fury is a nice way to apply some burst in a clutch situation. Command could pay off in a big way, since having a pet to tank for you will always benefit from more damage, and thus more threat. Hardiness is probably negligible though, but you never know.

Goblins are probably less convincing. Alch boost is pointless, Vendor discounts are redundant since I anticipate having gold out the wazoo (thanks to having to vendor basically everything I find, and questing all day err day), bank access seems like a wasted racial in this incidence, Rocket Barrage is pointless with a 2min CD although the Rocket Jump is a nice GTFO option, and the haste buff is probably of limited general combat use - and I'm pretty sure pets dont benefit from it.

While researching these I've just gone over the Troll racials again and realised how good they are. They are so good. For this, they are actually seriously good. Beast damage, bow crit, haste CD, root shortening, health regen in combat. I'm not going to go into further detail, but I can see why it's the race of choice. Damn it, now I have to roll Troll.

(Oh, and I didn't forget Blood Elves. I just refuse to play an unfinished class. Blizz still haven't released male character models for them. (PS - their racials really are useless here))

Server Selection
This might be a no-brainer to some, but I've actually thought about it. Because we're doing solo world PvE, being on a PvP realm is asking for trouble. I'm no expert, but getting ganked by some chucklehead twenty levels above me when I'm fragging boars isn't fun even when you're playing normally, so having it happen when you're playing Hardcore mode is going to be a hair-tearing moment. I'm also going to want to minimize lag, which means going for a server close to me as possible - in my instance, that's going to be an Oceanic server. Finally, I'd like it to be a new server, or at least one that I don't have any previous Horde toons on. This is simply to reduce the temptation of getting a 'helping hand' from one of my mothballed alts or guildies with long memories (Like I said, I've been Alliance for a while now).

I've actually gone with Saurfang, for no reason other than it's a qualifying PvE Oceanic and I remember the name. I actually had some Ally toons there once, but I jumped on a free transfer to Dreadmaul and never looked back.

In the gaps whilst researching/writing this, I've actually rolled up. I've decided on a Troll Hunter on Saurfang, and when (if?) he hits level 10 you should in theory be able to see him here.

Yeah, I called him Ferromagnet. Because it's the Iron Man Challenge?
Geddit? Huh? Huh? Geddit? Yeah, I'm hilarious, I know.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Got lazy with teh blog again.

In other news:

-Killed my old workphone, got it replaced by a big, ugly, Chinese knockoff Nokia analogue. Not a smartphone, less friendly UI, and will be measurably harder to kill. Not that I want to, but being a figurative ape in a land of supermen is starting to get old.

-Still playing WoW, but would really like to kick it before The Hitch. It's not an addictive thing, but I guess I'm just getting tired of doing the same thing over & over. Still don't have an 85, and I think that'll be the yardstick by which I'll measure having 'done' the game. Maybe that's why I'm avoiding it. As if I don't have enough digital goodness yet to play with; wanna finish Batman AA, have preordered Skyrim (hells yeah), and still haven't uncrated New Vegas yet. Decided I'll wait til all the DLC has dropped for that last one, then I'll blitz it.

-Moved locations at work, twice. Last time I was updating I was in a literal hole in the ground, left that, now gone back to a (different) hole. Shows potential, if I show a little motivation. Not nearly as mindnumbingly boring.

-Projects: OUA training needs to get back on tracked after I bombed it last. PieOhm dev has stalled, but I run over the details for PurpleDB and CMPD in my head almost daily. Will have to go check up on the Wolfire guys too, really should pick up the Overgrowth Alpha so I can consider the engine.. I know The Big Project is a pipedream, but how awesome if it actually got off the ground, and I could share the spotlight with a group of motivated indie developers. I should get Overgrowth really anyway, even if the genre isn't my thing, the story looks great (see above paragraph about towering stack of unfinished games).

-Might be changing residences. Pretty excited about this, theatre room, opportunity to get my network on, etc. Contingent on difficult sale, so I guess we'll see.

-Dicking around with Twitter again, mostly just following OZHH news and comedic tweets. How those pricks get so much humour in 140 chars is beyond me. Nothing else big happening in Social Media, except I got my Google+ invite, which I accepted and summarily did nothing with. Guess I'll move in if it really does start looking like a serious fb competitor. I like The Goog, I really do, but hey, eggs-in-one-basket etc. (And as ridiculous as it sounds, if any one company could get a Death Star going, they're the guys.)


Monday, May 23, 2011



I need a smartphone.
Sure, I have the company phone.. but it's not a smartphone, and it's locked out of data use anyway.

I thought getting a company phone would be awesome, but now I've realised I'm a mile behind everyone else. I can't access a calendar or basic web resources on the go, and I'm rapidly realising that those are some of the things I've been dreaming about being able to do for years.

I'd even settle for an iPhone at this point, although tinkering with the calendar features on Android devices has led me to beleive that they might have the superior 'daily planner' setup. That being said, owning an iDevice would lend me a certain amount of group conformity, and as a result, an improved understanding of the device and it's troubleshooting quirks, which would be a major help if I ever follow through on some of my dev ideas.

Oh well. I guess I could always aim for a promotion into a position that entitles me to a Blackberry (ick).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wow! Belated Gratitude.

The title of this post is more than a terrible pun.

Perhaps a month ago it was a typical workday, but I had a meeting scheduled at around 9am, at an office closer to home than my normal base of operations. The net result was that I had an extra hour or so to kill before starting work. Jules had already shot off for the day and I had nothing better to do, so I fired up WoW and logged in to my brand new Shammy.

I was dicking around near the edge of the Northern Barrens, perhaps level 8 or 9. All of a sudden I get a wisp from somebody I don't know. Shift-click, what? An 85 Orc Shammy. What does he want with me?

I don't remember the dialog exactly, but it basically boiled down to this guy claiming he was leaving WoW and wanting to spread his accumulated assets around before he left. Admittedly I was pretty skeptical but I figured since he wasn't asking for anything in return, what was the risk? All of a sudden out of freakin nowhere, this giant drake descends from the skies, with him riding it. Keep in mind I'm a practically naked Tauren in greys/whites slaying wandering wildlife. Him coming down and landing next to me was fucking majestic.

Up pops the trade window, and with no questions asked, a bunch of greens, level-appropriate gear appears. I grab it, and it wasn't until the trade was completed and I open my inventory that I notice the cash. 30,000 Gold. Thirty Thousand.

Now I'm not some mad farmer or hardcore player, so even 1K is a big deal to me. But Thirty Thousand G? Jesus. It's like somebody handed me an envelope with.. Christ, I don't know how much. Let's get some perspective. Depending on where you shop, WoW gold is valued at around $0.01 USD a piece. So in that sense, it's like somebody handed me $300. But in game, Buying the parts and tipping for assembly for, say, the motorcycle mount, is around 12 to 16,000 gold. He gave me enough money to buy two motorcycles.

In the end, he was really nice. He was moving on to Rift, he'd been a part of the WoW scene for a few years, and it was time to move on. It seemed to mean a lot to him that I was an enhancement shammy, as he was, and he asked to follow me around and slaughter a few beasts with the new gear I'd been gifted. I was more than happy to oblige. It was part RP, part charity, and all awesome.

I'm not going to post his name here, in case somebody stumbles across is and starts bugging him for free stuff. But for what it's worth.. I don't know how many others got gifted that day, but I feel that in some way I'm his in-game spiritual successor.

So thanks, friend. Thanks for the stuff, thanks for the cash. Thanks for being so friendly. And most of all, thanks for creating an immersive, amazing experience that will stay in my memory for years to come.

Monday, February 21, 2011


>quiet day at work
>google up sum PDFz
>feel guilty about reading a stolen ebook from an author who is awesome and deserves to get paid
>realize I actually already own this book these books in hardcopy and just haven't gotten around to reading them

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Geography vs Science Fiction

Eastern European SF is not the same as Western SF. Not better or worse, just different.

I don't know much about Asian SF. Will have to investigate.

Monday, February 7, 2011


To any moderately advanced robot civilisation, wouldn't our pervasive use of computers look unnervingly like a society that keeps brains or hearts in jars?