Gaming kills your education? Bullshit.

If games negatively affected school performance that drastically, I’d still be in Primary School.

An FCC Commissioner made a silly comment about games and drop-outs, and WoW Commoner has a nice write-up. Go read, bookmark the blog, then lets continue.

You might find it alarming that one of the top reasons for college drop-outs in the U.S. is online gaming addiction – such as World of Warcraft – which is played by 11 million individuals worldwide.

Arrrg, c’mon folks:
(a) most drop-outs have nothing to do with a person’s hobby. Get some stats on how good the course is, or money, family, drugs, relationships as causes; then tell me where mmo or other games are on the list.
(b) get some stats period! Not just a general feeling, then step to the podium.

Blaming a computer game is like shooting fish in a barrel, as nobody who isn’t involved really understands or cares. Blame the ones who nobody understands is a great political tool used since cavemen started having elections.

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The first steps at 80

There seems to be a few forum posts out there about what to do at 80. Now if that question is about the long term view, then nobody can tell you what you’ll enjoy. However if its about what you must do first, then there are some obvious things. My first steps upon reaching 80 were:

  1. get the tabards for eac of the reps that is important. and wowhead/wowdb are handy for looking up the reps.
  2. get level 80 skills trained
  3. consider a respec, I needed one
  4. check the AH for bargain upgrades for key items
  5. get your last  Glyph slot filled
  6. go to the final zones and complete all the quest chains to unlock the quest hubs. Ebon Hold for example does not exists as a hub until you complete a few quests.
  7. get all the flight points
  8. get your epic flier, so you don’t have to pay the highly expensive flight point costs
  9. max out your professions

Points 6-9 I am still working on, and they’re as fun as the leveling process. The gold rewards at top level make it still really worth doing the quests too.


pokemon-ballWe were having one of those silly discussion in the kitchen at work, when the something totally broken was dreamed up: PokéTamaCraft. Thats right, the ultimate in kids toy which combines the Pet management of a Tamagotchi, the pvp of a Pokemon and all in the flavour of the World of Warcraft.

PokeTamaCraft = Warcraft +Tamagochi + Pokemon = Win


  • pvp with your friends, folks on the bus,
  • spec your pets, just like the new patch
  • have  stable of pets, both Hunter and Warlock and perhaps even mage, Death Knight and Shaman pets
  • build it on iPhone so that the iStore will handle distribution, with a base fee and a low on-going payment model for updates and new pets and powers.

“Doomguard, I choose you”

“Oh no, he has the v3.0.8 builds already”

BBB speaks to new DKs

Go have a read of Big Bear Butt’s post on death knoobs (name gave me a chuckle). Totally agree with him, and all DKs should take heart and think. However my comment to his post stands:

Last night we did Halls of Lightning with a DK Tank, a DK-Unholy (me), a Hunter, Rogue (or something), and Resto Druid. At least 3 separate occasions the Hunter pulled aggro on the off-target before either Skull or X was dead. At the end of the last boss only the two DKs were standing. Hunter died really early in, and the Rogue contributed almost nothing on DPS – to the point that I’m not sure he wasn’t an NPC in disguise.

DKs may be new and bad, but the Huntard name stands proud. They’re all still out there, and after years of playing they still suck harder than anything else.

It’s like they have a hidden bag of fail that cannot be emptied. Continue reading

80 DK at last

Perhaps the last casual to do so, but I got there.Perhaps the last of the casuals to do so (grin), I have finally ding’ed 80 on Mortigen. Now begins rep grinds, re-spec, heroics, and trying to get as much face smashing gear as I can.

After going 55-80 I still love the Death Knight and this game.

Metamorph Quests

Two great quests in Northrend – one lets you appear as an Iron Dwarf, the other as a Golem. The affects on your toon, weapon, etc all remain – but you become a runed sociopath. Can this be permanent?

This is hwat Dawrf Death Knights should look like - totally bad arse

This is what Dwarf Death Knights should look like - totally bad arse

And then you take on the form of a Golem, to beat the smeg out of a particular mob. I initially killed the NPC the hard way, and it was tough, with the Golem form it was cake.

I am Iron Man! {queue music}

I am Iron Man! {queue music}

If the Lich King gave me these powers I’d kill the good guys all day; no complaints.

And then yesterday I rode on a Golem. Continue reading

Unholy love for PTR 3.0.8 Notes

Overall I like this patch. Lots of changes, with the highlights that I like the most:

  • Death Knights on any Realm – does this mean you have a 55 on one realm, and then you create a 55 on another? If so that’s strange but good for allowing re-balance. Not that I need anothert DK, but its good regardless.
  • More graveyards is a good thing, and hopefully we get a few more places to run from in Northrend and Outland too.
  • Run speed while dead has been increased, yay.
  • Most of the DK changes are great, but a touch of love for the Frosty tanks might have been good. I can see the Unholy changes really helping, and I love the fact that Horn is now no cost and gives RunePower. I can’t see Gargoyle as a real option still, the RP cost is too high compared to chat the Ghoul can do.
  • Swipe for Feral cats at 71 is wonderful.
  • Tapping a target makes it yours, and any action that Aggros is a tap. Woot.

All the notes after the fold, and yes, I see the improvements while being dead as very worth while. Its part of how I manage Aggro. 🙂

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I’d Tap that!

From the PTR notes:

Tapping: all player spells which cause a creature to become aggressive to you will now also immediately cause the creature to be tapped.

What this means is that anytime you aggro, the kill is yours. Huzzah, finally! Its like the Devs finally got frustrated and fixed something that was a major pain in the arse.

All my best Christmas wishes go to Blizzard this year for this, and for the DK changes coming.

Found via Misery blog, thank you.

Give me a Blacklist

Greedy Goblin has a post about leet-speakers, boosters, and the idiots who happen to play Warcraft (my words, not his). I agree with him totally, and have ranted a few times about oxygen thieves like this. GG advocates the IgnoreMore mod, and being on the front foot with adding people to your ignore list.

Good idea, but not far enough. I want an in-game Blacklist.

I want to be able to add an account to a list so that I’ll never see anything the Player says or does again. This would need to be added by Blizzard, and not publicise the toon names except the one you added it with. Basically this would stop major pains-in-the-arse players from ever being an issue. If I group and I can’t see somebody’s chatter, I’ll know I added that player to my Blacklist, and then I know to kick them, or leave the group.

All the goldspammers, the Trade Channel wankers, beggars, yellers, etc, will all be invisible.

As I said to greedy in the comments the response “[playername] has blacklisted your account.” will send the right message.

Ignore is not strong enough.

80 Reasons you’re not Hardcore

With the posts and comments about who is and is not level 80 (thank you Ghostcrawler and others), I’m feeling like a slacker again. Normally I’d have a crafty reason for being 74, but its just life at the moment. So much to do at this time of year.

This little issue is much like most rants and opinions spread around the internet – some folks like to be awesome, and others want to share the word about why they are not. Its a storm in a tea-cup, that needs some sarcasm.

Here is (the start of) 80 reasons you’re not level 80:

  1. you lost your authenticator at the last Trek conference, and the wow subscription is in Mum’s name
  2. the introduction of Death Knights has made you an Alt-a-holic
  3. you used all your ISP download quota on BitTorrent on the 3rd season of Dexter
  4. girl/boy friend acquired, or returned to town (screenshot it or it didn’t happen)
  5. warlock keyboard facerolling does not work since v3.0
  6. or you finally rolled a Warlock for the Subby pet, or a female Blood Elf and now just stare drooling at the screen
  7. just trying to to get exalted with Cenarion before leaving Zangamarsh
  8. budget can’t stretch to pay for Wrath after all the ales and wenches
  9. account hacked! all humour aside, I feel for you
  10. suspended due to ass-hat forum comments! I hate you, re-roll hello kitty now
  11. you’ve stopped to smell the roses (level slowly), and got hayfever
  12. developed a new phobia where you can’t ding a level which is not a prime number
  13. still looking for a healer for normal Ramparts, Nexus, or anything
  14. spent all your time reading blogs and not actually playing
  15. confused and intimidated by the new gear, so instead playing in Goldshire where its safer (well safe-ish, unless you count requests for 1st floor private encounters)
  16. several friends just signed up to WoW and now you’re a high level steamroller to help then powerlevel
  17. you can’t consider another MMO until you defeat the Fashion Derelict Boss in Barbie Online, and get your hairstyling skill to 450
  18. Spent all your time WRITING blogs and not actually playing
  19. Wasted time compiling your WoW Code because of TyphoonAndrew*
  20. Actually read quest texts rather than just hitting accept and looking at QuestHelper*
  21. Find reading Jame’s Leveling Guides more interesting than actually leveling yourself*
  22. Wasted time coming up with 6 more reasons I’m not hardcore*
  23. Noticed that TA lists your blog as pally-specific, wonder whether you should do anything about it and what* (hmm, ty Gwaendar – I’ll fix that. The Twisted Nether list has me in general, and a Paladin Tank used to be my main)
  24. you consider love > work > games, which is also why the guys at the chess association have stopped counting on you for midnight games
  25. in your industry the silly season is all about stupid deadlines and even stupider clients. silly indeed
  26. the Deeprun tram is the only instance you need for your hardcore gameplay. never mind what the final boss looks like
  27. the optimal build for AH farming only requires level 1 (and a few mods, and the patience of a stone)

I thought it would be horrid to make a list of the reasons you’re not 80, but its kind of fun. So feel free to add a few if there are tounge in cheek reasons I’ve missed.

I’ll add more as I think of them, send them in (marked with a * next to them)!

WoW Code – show and share your passion

In an attempt to understand where players are coming from, here is a code for World of Warcraft which lets you tell folks about your passion. Who are you, your attitude, how often do you play, what classes, what levels, what style, etc.

Initially I was thinking of a Myers Brigs personality test to tell people how I’d rate them as players, but that is just making subjective judgments about players. Never good. So instead using this you can classify yourself, and tell others what you think you are.

Up front disclosure: this is darn geeky. Its akin to having an IBM monogrammed pocket protector in 1985, so if you’re one of those “chic” wow players I apologise – you may not get it.

Update: I ended up also creating that Myers-Briggs schema for classifying gamers – in a way to remove the terms Casual and Hardcore.

TyphoonAndrew is

N: Mortgen, M:DK75, Mb: 8/0/57, Mr: Dr,  S: Nagrand-Oceanic-Pve, G: Epilogue, Pvp–, Pve+, Y2005.6, D+C, Ori-ZG, TBC-Gru/TK, L+, RP+. :|,  V0.2

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RL Grats & Woot

I’m overjoyed that my partner has passed the 3rd year Medical exams, which means she’s one year away from being a doctor. These exams were the barrier exams in the post-grad course, and were the most difficult tests I had ever heard of. Insanely hard. Mind breaking, soul crushing type difficulty – where everyone I talked to was sure that they were in trouble.

The past year and especially the past 6 months have been grueling study; and she’s done it.

Grats Liss, you’ve earnt this one several times over.

Whats missing from this picture? (rant)

missing_coffeeQ. Whats missing from this picture?

A. The damn coffee machine!

Everything feels harder, stranger, and less elegant when you’re not dosed to the eyeballs with caffine. Is it true?


Many years ago a (now ex) girlfriend of mine said that I was addicted to caffine and sweeteners. Further, she said that removing the copious amounts of legal drugs I intake each day from my diet, will in-fact make me healthier, happier, more friendly.

Hmm, interesting proposition, I can quit anytime I want.

Rather than my normal first response which would be to rant, ignore her, and crack open another Diet Coke – I decided to quit all caffeine products for 3 months. You know, for science (and because I’m a pig-headed kinda guy).

After a few days I felt like crap. Headaches, sick gut, you name it. I felt poor and was not enjoying the experience at all. I started thinking that she might have had a point. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I’d promised myself to see through 3 months. After several weeks thought everything started to settle; and the good news for me was that I was feeling ok again. 1 month later felt pretty normal.

The bad news for her was that apart from the initial withdrawal my mood did not change one bit. I am the same ranty, sarcastic bastard with or without coffee, EXCEPT that I enjoy drinking it. So now I’m going without something I like because I’ve made a stubborn promise to myself. Imagine giving up something you enjoy for 3 months, and it not making you angry? Nope, didn’t think so.

In fact the overall impression from my friends was that I was more acidic when not having coffee, than when I’m on it. Likewise good food, alcohol, etc. If I’m not overdosing, and its in moderation, then but the hell out.

Lessons of the story:

– Coffee is a wonderful thing that has some side affects. I like the affects and happily accept the side affects and damage its doing to my system. This is not a cigarette folks, its OK.

– Don’t ask somebody to quit something, unless you’re really sure it will help.

– Don’t be a stubborn arse and promise yourself to hold off for 3 months. Its fine to have strong will, but sheesh – I messed the stuff.

– Chocolate coated coffee beans are the fastest way to inject caffine into your system after a few days off the stuff. I love them.

I want to be an Airforce Ranger

The two starting areas are great, with a different feel to each; but this is gem from Howling Fjord is cool.

mortigen_jetNow that’s what the multi-seat Engineering flying mounts should look like! This wasn’t even a core feature of the quest, just a fantastic way to get to the quest location, you know: basic a-to-b transportation. No wonder folks are raving about this expansion. The eye candy as you level is excellent.

Today I’ve been a robot, flown in a jet, surfed a harpoon, trained and controlled a hawk, used the lifts, and rained fire down on a coastal village. Damn having to work tomorrow.

Its too quiet, and I’m grumpy

grindstoneThere is a lot of silence in the warcraft blogs recently. I’ve noticed the daily stream of feeds has slowed from about 45 to about 20 a day. I’d guess this is because we’re all flat out in the pre-Christmas hubballoo, or too busy actually playing and getting Dings.

For my part its due to “Relationships + Work > WoW”, but then if we look at what I’d rather be doing its actually “Relationship > WoW > Work”, but that leaves no way to appease the gods of Rent and Mortage (yes, I have both).

So between the distractions and fun I play. My Death Knight is now 72, and I love the leveling at the moment. My only grumble is that the rewards for quests are OK, but really not suited to DK gear needs. I don’t think Haste has much use, and I’ll never use SpPower, Int, Mana-regen. Obviously its good to balance the rewards for all Plate wearers so that nobody feels left out; but sheesh.

Maybe we could get more than 4 reward choices for key quests, given there is a lot of Plate wearing needs: Pally-heals (1), Pally Warrior and Death Knight Tanks (3), Pally Warrior and Death Knight DPS (3). That is 7 plate types, or at the very least 3 types that don’t seem to be well represented.

Or maybe a token that we turn in for a choice (yes I know the DPS roles are very similar in gear needs). And stop with the Haste/Expertise gear please!