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  • ummeiko
  • Member Since Jul 14th, 2009

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The Queue: Re-Vita-lized {WoW}

Feb 11th 2012 1:16PM When achieves become account wide, do you think the title/mount/pet rewards be grandfathered in? My priest has a number of achievements, specifically titles, that are no longer available - Immortal, Undying, Hand of A'dal, Herald of the Titanst (still technically available but requires a lot of coordinating) to name a few. I'd love to have these on my alts, in part because they are the type of achievements that you generally could only get on your focus character, and in part just to prove I'm an experienced player even if my current alt is still gearing.

On the flip side, I could see that it would be weird to have a level one bank alt or a fresh character on a new server be The Immortal.

The OverAchiever: Help update our list of evil achievements {WoW}

Feb 10th 2012 12:11AM Right now what kills me are the holiday achievements where you have to find x class of y race and throw snowflakes/flowers/rabbit ears on them. "Have... Have we Met" falls into the same category. Because our server is horribly, horribly inbalanced. Like, .000001% Alliance.

To me, right now, these are brutal. But, if I was Alliance on the same server, it would probably be really easy. So... I think evil is situational here.

Been working on Bloody Rare and Frostbitten for a few years now. The time investment is still significant. I've been stuck on one mob for Frostbitten since right after the Ulduar patch. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a camper and King Krush is still a commodity for hunters.

The Camel Hoarder is pretty rough. I consider myself lucky. I got it on my first time by pure randomess. I've not seen another camel, real or dud, since.

Master of Wintergrasp is pretty brutal right now, particularly Didn't Stand a Chance and Wintergrasp Ranger. Unless there's a server out there that still has populated Wintergrasp battles. Even so, Wintergrasp Ranger takes you far away from the battle. Some of this can be cheesed with cross-faction friends, but doing it straight up as intended will probably take awhile.

Replace Chef De Cuisine with Iron Chef. Wowhead lists 207 cooking recipes, but lists both factions for each thanksgiving recipe. So take five from the list. Then there's Dirge's Kickin Chimerok Chops, which is now unavailable to players, and Thistle Tea, which is rogue only. That means, if you started today as a non-rogue, you would need every recipe in the game, both factions. Some of these are holiday only - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Day of the Dead. And two guild achievements.

Lazy Eye is more difficult than it seems on paper, just because the eye phase goes on so long. It's like, you think you're done, but no, and then you get boxed in. It's the only HoT heroic achievement that still eludes me. I have a feeling many of those have gone 30+ seconds in eye phase. I also don't see this one getting easier with gear, until the boss is solo-able.

Wrecking Ball is a nightmare for me as a healer. However, my low level warlock has it so I'm not sure it's evil. 250000 kills seems like a long dream off.

Non-raid Achievements I don't even bother with on more than my main:
Iron Chef
It Belongs in a Museum
125 pets
100 mounts

Long Strange Trip is still such a huge time investment. I'm on my third round of this. Taking a game break, whether a voluntary break or a "real life calls - I have a wedding/funeral/vacation/finals" can set you back an entire year. I'm going to Vegas in May and it hit me that Children's Week is in May and I almost panicked - not that I'd give up Vegas, but waiting another year for the last holiday meta leaves something of a sour taste.

Addons that you wish were still around {WoW}

Feb 9th 2012 1:44AM The original incarnation of Decursive was the first big mod that I recall Blizzard breaking. It's pretty much not even necessary anymore (that is, if it still worked as it used to). Blizzard encounter design now favors dispellable debuffs on only a few people at a time, as opposed to "blanket the whole raid with this magic/curse/poison" that was more common in vanilla.

I also remember Whispercast, which was helpful for trying to keep track of buffs on 40 different people (and when buffs weren't raidwide).

There were a few side things in the CT compilation, beyond the raid frames, that helped with quality of life issues. I'm sure separate mods exist for some of them.

And I had a mod, I think it was called SpellAlert that would basically tell me if someone of another faction cast a spell nearby. Was quite helpful levelling on a PVP server when it would pop up with "Character casts stealth." (I was a squishypriest... I feared rogues).

And while they still work, my raid frames, SRaid, are no longer being actively updated, so I'm guessing I'll have to look elsewhere sooner or later.

Spiritual Guidance: How to increase your HPS as a discipline priest {WoW}

Feb 7th 2012 2:20AM I think the number 1 thing disc priests can do to increase their output is to truly know the encounters. While all healers should be thinking pro-actively, it's absolutely the utmost importance for disc priests. You're not going to shield someone AFTER the big hit. At the same time, you're not going to shield someone too early. If you want to use your shields to help with impale on Madness, don't throw the shield up three hits before impale, leaving you with a shieldless tank with weakened soul who is now going to take a considerably larger amount of damage. Know when the big hit is coming.

Yes, you should learn who's going to take the most damage in a fight, whether by intention or just by poor play. You are going to want to shield them often, of course. But not because it'll make you look better on the meters, and not because it decreases your teammate's hps. You shield them because you know that's where your shield is most effective at that moment. Because you know shielding the hunter who never takes damage is a waste of your shield and your mana, but shielding the mage who you know is about to be half a second two slow to get out of the bad stuff that you know is coming (because you intimately know both the fight and how your teammates react to various parts of the encounter), that's the best use of your shield at that moment.

Know timers. Exactly how long do you have before the next big hit to the tank or the raid? Know damage patterns. Know buffs and debuffs. Know damage spikes. Know damage down times. When it's better to lightly shield and when you need to pull out every spell in the box for 30 seconds of nonstop spamming. As you continue to progress, learn your mana patterns. From there you will learn when you have the mana and time to throw an extra heal, an extra shield. Know when you have to be inefficient. When you can push yourself for 5 more seconds and not run out of mana.

Learn the fights. Not just what it says in the dungeon journal. Not just what it says on the boss strategy websites. Learn how your raid handles the fight. When other healers are moving. When other healers may be struggling. When the dps is struggling. Watch how the tank moves. Watch how the mobs move. Where the movements may cross and lead to extra damage.

Know the encounters, inside and out.

The Lawbringer: A very special cake {WoW}

Feb 4th 2012 5:01PM Honestly, I'm probably a little more lenient than I'm supposed to be by store standards. But yeah, there are times I have to turn down cakes that a) wouldn't be hard, b) would be FUN to make, and c) I doubt one cake would cause a legal uproar (unless maybe it was Mickey Mouse - everyone is scared of Disney it seems). I think a lot of it just comes from working where I do. When I do personal cakes at home for friends and family it's another story, and I generally limit myself only by what my skill level is.

Two follow-ups:
1) Is it technically still trademark infringement any time you use/make unlicensed art, or in this case, cakes and cake decorations? There gets to be large debates on the cake decorating forums I visit. Some people are strictly on the side of "any use is illegal." Some lean towards "If I don't sell it, but gift it for free/make it for my family, it's okay." Some recognize that they can't use Mickey Mouse, but still use things like sports logos, Hello Kitty, and Jack Daniels. Some don't seem to care either way. It's more of a question I think for the smaller in-house decorators and the hobbyists - most of the people with the bigger businesses and lots of clients, they just go straight for "no."

2) Regardless of whether or not they fear a lawsuit, it could simply be a blanket company policy that "we will not do any trademarked character cakes beyond the DecoPac kits that we have already purchased" It can save the decorators a lot of hassle, particularly in grocery stores/Wal-marts where the skill of the decorators may vary. For example, I'm pretty artistic and have the skill that allows for custom designs, but we have three decorators all of various skill, I don't work every day, and not everyone can decorate beyond the kits and pictures we get. Additionally, sometimes we just have so many orders and other work that we don't have TIME do be doing a lot of customs.

The Lawbringer: A very special cake {WoW}

Feb 4th 2012 1:41AM I wish I would've seen this topic earlier this evening...

ANYWAY, I'm a cake decorator in a bakery for a very large, well-known department store. I have to turn down these types of orders a lot. Not because I think Blizzard is going to knock at my door. But because being a large corporation, we are watched like a hawk by some other companies when it comes to trademarks and copyrights. And there has been legal trouble in the past.

There's a line that has to be drawn. And in general, the safest path is just to say "No" to everything. If it becomes known that we are doing custom Warcraft cakes, next it will be "I heard you did a Warcraft cake, I want a custom Mickey Mouse cake." and "Why won't you do my Star Wars cake if you did that Starcraft cake?" And "My friend got..." and "Last time you made me..." And it becomes rough to close the gates once they have been opened.

We actually have to do the same thing with professional pictures, such as during graduation. It basically comes down to "We do not have the rights to copy this photograph and then sell the copy (in the form of edible image)". The photographers around here are all generally willing to give us permission (either the customer brings us a one-time use release form - the easiest for us, or occasionally we will call the photography studio), but being a worldwide corporation, we tend to attract the crosshairs, and there have been lawsuits in the past at other stores.

My advice? Skip the big chain stores, the big grocery stores, Wal-mart, Target, etc. You might find someone there that will do your cake, but more than likely the standard response will be no. The stores get hundreds of customers, and the scale of who can potentially see your cake can rise rather quickly. Even if it's not openly up for display, someone could see the decorator working on it, employees can see it, word can get around, etc. Then the customer takes their cake home and uploads it to the internet and it can be sniffed out. And then they find out that say, Target is doing unlicensed Mickey Mouse cakes (even if it was only one), and the Disney lawyers show up. And then someone's facebook photo goes around saying "Check out this sweet custom Star Wars cake we got at Wal-mart." Yeah... it happens.

A smaller, local place may yield better results. It's still using trademarked characters and art, but it's a much smaller scale, and much fewer potential eyes. They still might be wary of something like Disney or Nickelodeon or Star Wars or even Mario (I've contacted Nintendo about a personal cake at home and their response wasn't entirely a hard line, but that's a tangent...), but other video games and niches are probably more likely to yield a "sure, I can do that".

So in many ways, it depends on the store and the company who owns the trademark. Blizzard might not go after Angie's Cake Shoppe in suburbia for doing one Warcraft cake, but that doesn't mean companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, Lucasarts, and Major League sports aren't on the lookout. Now throw in a large chain store like Wal-mart or Target or Kroger or Hy-Vee that get hundreds of customers a day, and these companies have to step in to protect their trademarks and make sure they aren't being misrepresented and that others are grossly profiting from their creations.

The Queue: Rolling the bones {WoW}

Jan 30th 2012 3:47PM Are there any sites or blogs that have done any research or data compilation on post-cataclysm treasure chests? Things like spawn timers, locations, contents, etc?

I know they got a lot rarer and a lot more valuable in the expac, but I've come across some in my recent endeavors. I have a system of places I commonly check in certain zones, but I wonder if any more work has been done on the matter.

Breakfast Topic: What NPC do you miss the most? {WoW}

Jan 24th 2012 1:33PM I miss Eris Havenfire in EPL. I have 2 priests with Benediction and my main has an extra Eye of Divinity. I used to occasionally go out and watch other priests do their quest or just ride by. Her story and dialogue were sad and very meaningful.

I also miss Duke Hydraxis. It was a right of passage of sorts every time I swam a new character out to his island for the first time.

The Queue: Catbed.jpg {WoW}

Jan 8th 2012 2:44PM Spoilerific Q for the Queue:

Now that Ysera has lost her job, or at least her title as aspect, what does that mean for the Emerald Dream? Additionally, between the Stormrage novel and the removal of aspects, to me it seems like Blizzard is giving themselves a way to wrap up The Dream without having to integrate much, if any at all, of it in the future of Wow. Thoughts?