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Whirligig: the generation, jury rigging, and joys of the gyrocopter

...And associated technology



Since the very dawn of sentience, since the first daring Gnome looked skyward and said "Hey what's up there," since the first drink addled Goblin fell back near-insensate and said that those birds weren't so great, anyone could fly if they had a mind to, before falling into a Dark Iron Ale-induced coma, it has been our dream.

Since the first parachute cloak failed to deploy (Engineer 2nd Class Amplebottom regrets packing her bloomers in that pack, and points out respectfully that the quantity of cloth involved did slow Engineer 1st Class Plummetorque's descent somewhat), we have held out hope.

Since the first Engineer took flight in Outland, we have dreamed, demanded, planned, protested, and raised our voices (amplified or otherwise) as one, crying out to the great Engineers, the Blue Gears of the World, for succor. Let us, we have cried out, slip off at last the line and mooring, the chain and the anchor. Let us, we called from Shattrath and Stormspire alike, cast off into the air, in machines we have made ourselves, and trusting only our craft and our skill, reach out to touch the skies themselves!


Many of us, however, died in the process. Turns out our craft and our skill are not always the most trustworthy of companions, much less copilots, much less sole source of support between our posteriors and the unforgiving, unresilient ground below. However, after much research on both flight and gravitational acceleration, Engineers have at their disposal two crafts for aerial flight. Herein we discuss the components required for each model of the Engineers' Flying Machines, and possible advantages therefrom derived.

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Filed under: Engineering, Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Guides, RP, Mounts, WoW TCG, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

A Tinker's Personal Protective Equipment: specialties and specifications of sartorial safety


"We can dance/ We can dance/ Wearin' the Safety Pants!"

Engineering is a dangerous line of work. At every turn there's caustic chemicals, grinding machinery, explosive reagents, angry law enforcement officials, disgruntled fire brigades, out of control dragonlings, and steam tonks running amok. Many an Engineer has lost track of a finger or two from time to time, and many others have put considerable research, born of necessity, into the design of prosthetic limbs to offset such professional risk.

But there's no need for such damage to occur to a right-thinking Engineer. While we're no great hand (or hoof) at stitching together many garments, there exist plenty of items which can be worn not only for protective purposes, but also great aesthetic effect. Herein, we will discuss the varieties of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, available to Engineers, with an eye to not only safety, but fashion.

Head Protection: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.
Headgear is where we'll start with this lecture, as it's the part of your PPE gear you're likely to be able to make yourself. Of course the signature of the Engineer's look has long been thought to be the goggles. This is the easiest part of the PPE ensemble to obtain. A monocular goggle is better than nothing at all, but any number of goggles exist which provide better coverage as well as better utility. Remember, always keep your head on a swivel, and keep that swivel calibrated to within acceptable limits of swivelocity.

For those Engineers who are unwise Goblin enough to be unconcerned with the eyes, there is also the pair of Foreman's Helmets: the Enchanted version for spell slingers, and the Reinforced version for mail wearers. Even the most staunch M.E.G.A. member must admit that the head is also important, though some Taurens in the workshop have never quite understood the need to protect their already well-protected (and some say solid bone) heads. The production of the Foreman's Helmets is left to those of you who are members of G.E.E.K. Hoof and Horn, as ever, disavows all knowledge, responsibility, or even vague understanding of the Goblin Engineer's craft.

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Filed under: Engineering, Items, Tips, Odds and ends, Humor, Guides, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

Theoretical Engineering: postulations and prognostications pertaining to prostheses


"I'd give my right arm for that schematic."

Periodically, Hoof and Horn Research and Development will offer a lecture on theoretical engineering. These lectures will deal with concepts, rather than existing designs. None of the schemata presented in Theoretical Engineering lectures exist, nor are they slated to exist.

Engineers are innovators of ideas, testers of limits, and blower-uppers of objects. All three of these traits combine in the Engineer in various percentages, but all three can be found in some quantity within each Engineer. As such, many an Engineer has lost an eye, or a horn, or even a yard or more of their total height. And many have lost limbs. Many an Engineer has observed, over the years, that few professionals are better equipped to replace (not to mention cause) the loss of one's own limb. A precedent exists. Gerenzo Wrenchwhistle, a gnome in Stonetalon Mountains, is known to have developed and implemented a functioning mechanical limb, which serves him quite successfully. Many a demon has been observed using mechanical limbs as well. Unfortunately, the design of both Gerenzo's and more fel-sourced limbs have eluded even the longest beards and sharpest horns of Engineering specialists.

For years Hoof and Horn R&D has developed and designed plans for a variety of mechanical limbs. Herein, we will discuss the potential for this technology to improve our lives, our technical abilities, and perhaps even our arena rankings.

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Filed under: Engineering, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

Mechanical mechanics: The models, makes, and manufacturing of mechanized merchants and robotic repairmen


"Where's the coin box on this thing?"

Welcome to the latest in a series of lectures by Hoof & Horn Research & Development. These lectures explain, or attempt to explain, some of the ins and outs of Engineering. For advanced technicians and amateur tinkers alike, the finer points of Engineering can never be too often reviewed. Engineers will tell you: your life may just depend on it!

It happens to the best of us, in the best of situations: our armor breaks. Our ammo runs dry. Our reagent sack starts to feel a little light, and we're too far in a dungeon to make a run for rum, much less take a shopping break. Some dungeons have repair facilities, sure, but not everyone's made a good enough name with the Violet Eye, or Cenarion Expedition, or even the Broken of Terrokar, to be sure of a quick repair near a dungeon's entrance. Not to mention the times when the need for repair comes deep into a dungeon, far from the friendly smith at the entrance.

As with so many of life's problems, Engineering offers the solution as well as numerous contributory factors to the problem. Engineer 1st Class Flimsy is known to have told his students often that breaking things is the hallmark of an inquisitive Engineer. Some of his students are thought to have taken this a bit far. EFC Flimsy's whereabouts remain unknown. But among the things they, and we, have at our disposal to make up for the shortcomings of fragile armor and finite ammunition are the Field Repair Bots. Herein we will discuss the manufacture of the two models of repair bot, as well as what supplies can be obtained from them and what methods have been used to coerce money inserted into one back out.

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Filed under: Engineering, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Humor, Screenshots, Guides, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

The Chirurgeon's Craft: Healing with engineering, over patient objections


"You may want to brace yourself."

It will come as no surprise to skilled Engineers, apprentices, and innocent bystanders alike that Engineers have a vested interest in their own health. Perhaps more than most tradescreatures, the Engineer has far more opportunity to need healing as a result of his own craft. As a result, Engineers have devised a number of ways in which they might come to the aid of their compatriots, their allies, and even their own devices. Herein we will discuss the various methods by which Engineers can heal themselves or their allies. Methods of making amends for having caused the damage thereby healed will be left for a later lecture.

Potion Injectors: Don't worry, it won't hurt a bit, stop struggling.
A boon to many an Engineer who is short on space and long on supplies, the matched set of Potion Injectors can save a great deal of room, before they even begin saving lives. Each injector carries twenty doses, and takes up a quarter of the space a like amount of potion would. Further, the injectors can be stored in an Engineer's toolbox, unlike potions.

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Filed under: Engineering, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Humor, Guides, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

Brrzzap: The requirements, regulations, and rigamarole of ray guns


"Oh no, I've debigulated us all!"

The arsenal of the Engineer holds an array of combat gear for use at range, close up, or even on a time delay. The Engineer's toolbox might produce explosives, or decoys, or rockets, or snares. Some Engineers have even used their talents to convert themselves into high altitude bombs, though the result is often as bad for the Engineer as for his target.

However, an old standby of the Engineer cannot be overlooked. Pushing the envelope of our technical prowess, Engineer designers have produced a family of weapons which have been considered at times our signature pieces: the ray guns. Herein we will discuss the creation and use of the ray emitters available to all Engineers, with particular attention on what has long been a prize piece of the Mechanical Engineering Guild, Associated: the Gnomish Death Ray.

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Filed under: Tips, Odds and ends, Humor, Guides, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

About the bloggers: Brian Karasek

What do you do for WoW Insider?

I just recently started as a blogger here. I focus mostly on Engineering. I try to take a mostly in character approach, as though I'm writing not just an article for WoW players but an actual training lecture for Engineers.

Outside of WoW Insider, you might also know me as Palehoof, if you read the official forums.

What's your main right now?

I play, as I have for three years, a Tauren Hunter named Palehoof, currently on Lightninghoof (RPPVP). I'm a niche market gamer, and always have been. My first main was a Tauren Hunter named Palehoof on Kel'thuzad (PVP), and I played him for a year before rerolling him as essentially the exact same character when a new RPPVP server opened. The wisdom of leveling one hunter to 59 before starting the same hunter over again has been mentioned to me.

Palehoof is a Gnomish Engineer with mining, having 375 in both, as well as fishing, cooking, and first aid. I've been into Karazhan enough to get some loot, but not enough that I'd call myself a raider or even a regular. I call myself a second string filler DPS/CC. That's how I've gotten into Kara most times, a friend will ask if I can fill in for them on one boss. I've had excellent luck with that sort of run.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Lore, About the Bloggers

Advanced animatronics: The creations, calibrations, and controls of combat companions


"You call that a sheep? I'll show you a sheep!"

Welcome to the latest in a series of lectures by Hoof & Horn Research & Development. These lectures explain, or attempt to explain, some of the ins and outs of Engineering. For advanced technicians and amateur tinkers alike, the finer points of Engineering can never be too often reviewed. Engineers will tell you: your life may just depend on it!

Advanced Animatronics

An Engineer is a threat to his enemies. At any moment he might deploy a device, activate an assembly, or engage a gauge which can destroy his target, himself, his immediate environment, or his reputation with the local druids. With this in mind, Engineers are often asked, and in some cases required by local statutes, to refrain from employing their most potent creations in public, or mixed company, or at all.

In light of this unreasonable stricture placed upon us by those laypeople who are unusually fearful or have unfairly accurate memories, Engineers over time have devised a way in which we may quite literally throw our own party. Throw it at our target, to be sure. Herein we will discuss the various forms of self-motivated Engineering devices which may be used in combat, as well as the varying results which one might see from the use thereof.

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Filed under: Engineering, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Humor, RP, (Engineering) Hoof and Horn R & D

New servers spotted on Realm Status? Think again!

After receiving reports of new US realms, we feel it is our civic duty to inform you of the truth behind these mystery realms. Fairly regularly people see new servers on a realm status report. A name they have not heard, a realm they have not seen. And they announce, breathlessly, that there is a new server. The fact that no one can create a character on the "new server" does not appear relevant. The urge to see a new server is far too great to overcome a simple fact: Blizzard announces new servers. Forum posters do not. And these new servers, for the past year, have never actually become live servers on which we can play. They're testing, configuring, event servers, who knows? Blizzard won't say, that I've seen. But they're not Live and not intended for Live, and in a year they've never gone Live.

There's no sense in getting our hopes up for something like that. Blizzard has said there will be no new servers until further notice. A friend on the forum who posts a link to Realm Status showing a previously unseen server is not a Blizzard announcement. This concludes our public service announcement for the day.

Filed under: Realm News, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items