Friday, August 14, 2009

Project Achievements: Westfall

I thought it would be a good idea to get some focus on my playtime. As such, I am picking out an achievement and working to complete it. It may be better if I spent the time to figure out what achievements can be done concurrently so I can get them done faster, however, I am prone to losing focus on things and I have hard time multitasking like that. So, one achievement at a time.

The first one I want to get done is the achievement for Quests. And since Tyrol was parked in Stormwind, I figured I should start there. At first I was just going to collect all the quests in Stormwind, but I started to realize that my quest log was going to get real full, real quick. So I ended up with a quest that took me to Westfall, and I am going to knock out all the quests there and move on.

Its interesting going back there. A lot of nostalgia for me in that area. I remember taking one of my first characters over there and doing a lot of questing. She was a Night Elf Priest named Inwe. I remember thinking how hard the zone was and how big it was! I also remember wasting a lot of time swimming from Westfall to Booty Bay for no reason. The world of Azeroth seemed so large and I wanted to see all of it, so off I went.

I may yet get sidetracked though. I have always wanted to Solo Onyxia and I have never gotten around to it. I take that back. I tried once on Solerian, but I failed miserably. Then again, that was around level 75. With five more levels and better gear on Tyrol, it should be easier. The reason for this though, is I read a post on Doofy The Paladin (here) that Blizzard might be doing something with Onyxia soon that would not allow me to solo her. So I am probably going to take a crack at her soon.

Aside from that minor detour, I should be able to stay on track. And I will probably do that once I have exhausted the Westfall quests. Wish me luck.

May the Light embrace you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Making the right choice.




So now my account is active again (see my last post), and I am left with a decision. I can and will make time for only one character. That's it. The question is, which one? I have two that I can choose from at this point, Tyrol and Solerian. I really don't want to start from scratch and I want to keep playing as a paladin.

Anyway, comparing armory for the two of them it would seem that Tyrol is the obvious choice. However, I really like Solerian and I like the server (or at least I did when I quit, I can't imagine that its changed much at this point). I also think Solerian just looks cooler. But, Tyrol has more gear, more achievements, and a bit more money.

Then there are some things that are a little less important, like lore and cities. I actually really enjoy the Horde lore. They are painted as the bad guys a lot, but I think that on the whole, they are a group of races comprised of those who got the short end of the stick. The Blood Elves got screwed when Arthas came through. The Horde had been screwed by the Humans on many occasions. The Undead are victims of an incurable disease, and are ruthlessly hunted for it. The Trolls are the last survivors of their clan. And they have proven to be reliable and loyal to the Horde. The only ones who weren't screwed over were the Tauren. They just picked a side for the most part.

The Alliance doesn't seem to be as interesting from that perspective, although they are making the back story for the Dwarves pretty neat now.

Then there are the cities. The Horde has Orgrimmar, Undercity, and Silvermoon. I really like those places, they each have their charms. In contrast, the Alliance has Ironforge. That is the only place I like. Stormwind is ok, but I don't love it. I also tend to like the Horde areas in Northrend better. They pull me in and make me want to hang out there.

So I guess it really only comes down to those things. And its easier to get excited about playing if you are excited about what you are looking at and who you are going to be playing with. However, I am very proud of the progress I have made with Tyrol, and I would hate to throw that away. However, since Blizz has announced that they will be allowing faction swaps in the near future, I think it may be a good idea to ride it out with Tyrol and switch her over once it becomes available. In the meantime, I can work on cleaning up all the Alliance quests and doing the Alliance specific achievements. I would assume that they would carry over once the faction swap takes place.

So I guess there is only one thing to say.

FOR THE HORDE!!! (eventually)

Blood Elf Paladin

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The journey starts anew.

So I was playing hooky from work the other day to get some homework done and I found that I was having trouble concentrating on learning how to make loops in VB. So, being that nerd that I am, decided that I should reinstall the 8800GT I had laying around.

The story with that is, it used to be in my computer. I bought it as an upgrade from the integrated turd that cam with the motherboard. I was actually very pleased with it, especially since it was only like $99 bucks.

So one day I am sitting around typing up something and I was getting distracted by the really really loud sound coming from computer. It sounded like a Dirt Devil that was spinning a little too fast. So I messed around with the computer for a while and I noticed that the CPU fan was running really really hard. I then noticed that 8800GT was giving off tons of heat. I thought that maybe the heat generated by the video card was making the CPU hotter, which in turn made the CPU fan turn faster to try and cool down the baking piece of silicon under it.

So I pulled the card, and no difference. Then I thought "Well maybe I need to let this thing cool off for a few hours before drawing a conclusion." So I shut the whole thing down and probably watched a movie or Robot Chicken or something. I came back later, and the damn thing was still loud as hell. After lots and lots pondering and checking things, and searching forums, I somehow figured out that the problem was actually the CPU fan settings in BIOS. I changed those around and voila! Quiet computer.

However, at this point everything was nicely buttoned up and I couldn't be bothered with reinstalling the video card. Hell, I hadn't PLAYED a game for months, so what good would it do?

But it always bothered me that it was laying in a drawer when it really should have been in my computer. Which brings us back to Monday.

So there I am bored and I reinstall the card to kill some time. After a BIOS update and driver install, everything thing was working great. Except, it served no purpose. I had one game on my computer, Diablo 2. And really, anything now can run Diablo 2 like it was Minesweeper. So the video card is doing me no good at all. Unless....

Unless.... no. Well maybe. Hmmm.... well, World of Warcraft did run really well on that card. And, I wouldn't mind taking a trip down memory lane, I reasoned. So I reinstalled Warcraft and reactived my sub. I played for six hours on a level 23 (now 24) Night Elf Druid I had laying around. In that time I realized that I really couldn't play properly without my game pad installed. Everything felt... off.

So I dug out the old Saitek Cyborg Commander Pro and dusted it off. And of course the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean was playing in the background. You know the one where you first see Jack Sparrow? No? Well pretend its some epic theme music. Anyway, I dusted off the old game pad and gave it quick clean with a monitor wipe to get some of the crud off of it, and then plugged it into the PC. Its red glow immediately fired up. I had already downloaded the drivers and software, so within minutes I was ready to program.

I remembered more or less how it was setup before as well, so getting it programmed took about 10 minutes. I loaded my new profile and fired up Warcraft again to see how she felt. Night and day. Now it felt like I remember. Now it felt like it was supposed to. Movement was quick and fluid, hotkeys accessible, and I felt comfortable. And yet. I was still missing something.

Addons. When I quite there were about 20 different addons that I used. I needed them back. I had to dig them out of my memory though, and a lot has changed in a few months time. Some of them have stopped being maintained, others have been replaced by better things. My core addons were still there though. X-Perl, Dominoes, WIM, Carbonite Quest, Recount, Omen, Auctioneer, Reagent Restocker, and LightHeaded. That was enough to get me back in the game. I am sure I will remember more, and think of new ones, but those are the ones that I needed.

So graphics card installed, game installed, gamepad installed, and addons installed. I am back in the game. But this time it will be different. I will be playing on my Paladins, Tyrol and Solerian (I need to decide soon who to actually use, kinda torn). Same as before. But this time, I will not sit around and focus on catching up. I am going to do things that I want to do. There is so much the Blizzard has put in this game. Most of it will go unseen by most. And why? Phat lewt? Purples? Server firsts? I don't care about any of that. I want to see the game and experience as much of it as I can. I am not going to struggle to become good enough to start raiding and burn up all my free time trying to get there. I can easily do 5-mans as it is. But more importantly, I am a very good soloist. And that is what I will spend most of my time doing. Conquering the game on my own. Beholden to no ones demands or time tables or wants and needs other than my own.

One of the biggest time wasters I experienced in this game was getting a group together and getting everyone to the same place to get started. Of course, this usually means pugging. Very rarely did I have a full group of people that I knew doing Heroics with me. It would have been nice though. In any case, I am going to try and get as many achievements as possible. And I only plan on working on this when I am bored. If I start noticing that I am logging on the first thing when I get up in the morning, then I am going to have to rethink this whole thing. I refuse to get that caught up in a game again. But, $15 bucks a month to have a good way to blow off some steam or kill some time whenever I want to... seems like a good deal to me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009