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I See Old People

I’m sitting outside an Olive Garden at the moment.. there has got to be some old people convention in town because that is all I see here..
And I really hope there is a Red Hat Society meeting or else that old woman has really poor taste in color choices. Purple and red? Who does that?
I’m thinking Olive Garden was a mistake, but that’s what I get for going to eat with an old person I guess. If only they would show up…

(Side note: I hate it when you yawn and almost lose your gum)

I guess this could be considered a stream of consciousness post, because there is a slightly noticeable train of thought behind the insanity. Really.

But only I know it.

I have a personal theory, one that I can’t remember if I’ve shared it with you before or not (pretend edit: yes I have):

When a science, an orderly method of finding or communicating information, progresses to the point that only a select few can even comprehend the full meaning of it, you have created a science.

Music qualifies as art. It is almost impossible to reduce it to a simple science. Yes you can talk about the waves and particles that cause sound to travel through the air, the precise mechanics of each instrument as they produce various pitches and tones. But to truly understand the full meaning of music, there is too much to be a science. Music is art.

Political science. No. It is so complicated that only a select few even care to understand it anymore, it should be called Political Art.

Blogging I think, is now an art.

It’s not as simple as typing random words. Or even in researching various topics for the purpose of having a well-thought-out post (ha! like that will ever happen). When was the last time I had a serious post? When was the last time you came here for ridiculous amounts of numbers and theorycrafting?

Theorycrafting?

Ha!

In a way, numbers are both what make a game fascinating for me and what bores me to tears. I will explain.

I am a role-playing gamer. From the first time my dad introduced me to the old pen-and-paper to the time I found WoW, I love RPGs. The idea of upgrading my stats and attributes, whether it’s +10 to dragon slaying or +720 haste, or the difference between Remarkable (26) and Incredible (36) and the implications to my maximum True Flight speed.. I love those details.

But there is a point where those details become a grind. Enter Runescape.

I played Runescape for a good 4 years. I was seriously into it. My favorite part of the game was the quests, so much more involved than WoW’s quests. A quest was never “go talk to this person” and only incredibly rarely “kill 100 of these”. There were numerous steps, find this cave, kill that boss, collect these items, craft them into this, solve that puzzle, craft something else, use those crafted items in the right order to solve this other puzzle, then kill the final boss”.

Those were the fun quests. There were usually 2 or 3 new quests each month.

I completed them all. Back then there were 150 quests, I completed every single one of them. I got a shiny new cape to show it off to, it comes with a custom emote that involves lightning and floating in the air. Completely awesome. And then a new quest would come out, I’d lose my cape, then I’d finish the quest and get it back. I finished up to I think 175 before I quit playing for good. Now there is probably over 200.

What I did not like about the game, was the grinding. Correction: I loved it too much, which made me hate it.

Skills were insanely grindy. Take the Firemaking skill for example. The skill had almost entirely no purpose to it. Having level 1 Firemaking allowed you to make a fire out of “normal” logs which you could use to cook anything (except a few dishes which required an actual stove). With level 15 Firemaking you could burn Oak Logs. There was no real purpose, except that Oak gave more xp per burn. Level 30 was Willow. Again, nothing better except more xp. Then Maple, Yew, and Magic. (I don’t count Teak or Mahogany, in case anyone actually knows the game).

Willow logs were by far the most common logs used for training your cooking skill. This was because a very high number of players could chop them, the trees were commonly available, and they were cheap. Magic logs came only from about 6 trees located in the most inconvenient locations possible with very long respawn timers and low chopping rates. But they gave a lot more xp.

Burning willow logs gives 90 xp. Magic logs give 303.8

Burning a set of logs takes about 1 second. Then you walk 1 space over and start another fire. Then another. Then another. Inventories could only hold 28 items (no extra bags!) and 1 had to be used for a tinderbox, so you could burn 27 logs per load. Then you run back to the bank and get another load.

There is a ton of ash all around the banks in Runescape.

On average, a focused pyromaniac could burn through 1k logs in an hour. If you were using Willow logs, congratulations, you just earned 90k xp.

The maximum level, level 99, requires 13 million xp.

Let that sink in.

Achieving level 99 Firemaking with only Willow logs takes 144 hours of non-stop monotonous clicking.

Oh yeah, and what does this accomplish?

Nothing.

A level 99’er has zero advantage over a level 1 for all practical purposes. You do get a shiny firey cape, but that is it.

Did I mention Firemaking is considered the fastest of any of the skills to level? The others can take longer, in some cases much longer.

Here was my problem, I calculated everything. Knowing you only have 144 hours of monotonous clicking left to go does not help at all. But that was a simple skill, let’s try another one.

Magic.

The Magic skill in Runescape was both a combat and a non-combat skill. Again with a max of level 99, each level unlocks some different spell, it might be a new level of an attack spell, or it could be some random utility spell. Every spell consumed runes when cast, and runes tended to be expensive. There was a separate Runecrafting skill to create your own runes, or you could buy them from others. To craft your own runes you needed Rune Essence, which you had to mine with the Mining skill, or buy it from other players.

I wanted to do it all myself, because I was not super rich in the game, and I wanted to actually make money off of this process. Here is what I was going to do:

Mine several thousand Rune Essences. Again, you can only carry 28 at a time (you could actually wield a pickaxe, unlike a tinderbox), and then you had to run to the bank to deposit them. If I remember correctly, it took about 2.5 minutes for a round trip.

Then I would craft these runes into Nature runes, needed for the Alchemy magic spell. Nature runes could be crafted, again in loads of 28, at about 3 minutes a run. 2 minutes if you used the slightly-dangerous shortcut.

The Alchemy spell turns an item into gold pieces, or “gp”, the currency in Runescape. Better items become more gold, of course. Far and away the most common items used for Alchemy were Longbows, because they could be crafted relatively cheaply with the Fletching skill.

Fletching uses wood chopped from the Woodcutting skill, as well as Bowstrings crafted from flax using the Crafting skill.

So here was my plan:

Mine ludicrous amount of Rune Essence

Craft ludicrous amounts of Nature Runes

Craft ludicrous amounts of Bowstrings (at least I didn’t have to pick the flax myself)

Chop ludicrous amounts of Yew Logs

Fletch ludicrous amounts of Yew Longbows

Use Alchemy on ludicrous amounts of Yew Longbows

??? Go insane???

Profit!

 

I actually did this. All of these steps. For awhile anyway. Until I finally calculated how long it would take me to get to 99 Magic. I would of course get 99 Fletching and Woodcutting along the way, and be fairly close to 99 Crafting. Mining Rune Essence gives pathetic xp, and wouldn’t be all that close.

An insane amount of hours. Hours and hours and hours.

I bored myself out of the game because of my calculations. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So I found a different game. A game with stats and numbers and things to theorycraft about.

Out of nowhere, whaddya know I have like 4 months /played in less than 2 years.

..

I hope I haven’t bored you all to death. This post literally came out of nowhere. It is long enough, I will end it here.

-Del

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Never Gonna Give You Up

For your listening pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/aqanwf

Renekton looks AWESOME but none of you seem to care about that.

Kennen nerfed, Heimerdinger buffed, Jax buffed?? Lux fixed, Pantheon nerfed (finally), Rammus nerfed, ok.

/sigh

Last night I cooked up the amazing Beef and Broccoli recipe from @Asmenedas again, still amazing as always. It was double amazing, in case you were wondering. I may have gotten a few too many heads of broccoli, we will definitely have leftovers for several days.

Shocking broccoli is just the best thing ever. I don’t know if he would want me spoiling his secrets.. alright I will.

Full credit to @Asmenedas.

Fill the pot half way with water (don’t put the broccoli in yet) and bring to a rolling boil.
Fill the bowl half way with iced water.
This part is important. Once the water is really boiling, drop all the broccoli in at once
and let boil for about 45 seconds. With a slotted spoon or ladle, quickly remove all
broccoli and dump into the ice water. You can use the boiling pot for the rice you’ll want
to serve with the rest of the dish.
What you’ve just done is called Shocking. You might notice that the color became an
intense (for broccoli) emerald when it hit the boiling water. The brief time in the heat
made the flavor of the vegetable come out without losing the crunch, but it took away
what I call the “dirt taste” that many green vegetables have. Then the ice bath completely
stopped the cooking process so the broccoli is now very green, very tasty, and will hold
up to the rest of this recipe without coming out limp, slimy, and dirty looking. It will also
have all the flavor of everything else as well as itself. This is how vegetables should be
presented. Yes I’m a Food Geek, laugh it up. You wanted the recipe remember. πŸ˜‰ I
absolutely learned that from watching Alton Brown on the Food Network (when I still
had cable).
Okay now pull the chilled broccoli out of the ice bath and put in something just to hold it
until you need it. You can dump the ice water as well.

The broccoli really is the main component of this dish, but don’t quote me on that. πŸ˜‰

I just quoted you on that.

This cooking strat really works, so the next time you try some IRL powerleveling, check out this recipe if you can find the mats. (yes, this sentence was a feeble attempt to make this post wow-related)

The broccoli comes out tasting grate, but without being soggy and limp. The taste of cooked broccoli with the texture of raw broccoli, but better. And then when it’s in the soy and hoisin sauce, wow it soaks up so much of it. I feel satisfied just thinking about it. And I have leftovers to eat tonight πŸ˜€

..

On a different topic, I want to play Warcraft II. I really want to play Warcraft II. If any of my readers (all 2 of you, and no this joke never gets old) has an old copy of it, I would gladly pay shipping if you don’t want it anymore. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on YouTube and it just takes me back.. oh the memories..

Short post today, I’m going to try something different tomorrow, then Thursday Three Things, then an RP post on Friday to finish out the week!

-Del

Jacque isn’t at work today, so I have no one to talk to.. incoming rambling post!

This oatmeal is really good.

Why am I eating oatmeal? Because I can. I think, therefore I eat oatmeal.

It also means I went grocery shopping. Because I am now responsible for all my own food.

I have moved in to my new apartment.

I haven’t put the bed together yet, so I’ve been sleeping on the mattress on the floor. My dresser drawers are still all over the room. I set up my laptop though! (first things first of course)

My roommate and I went to HEB to load up on a ton of food.. at least 2-3 weeks worth (more if we count top ramen)

I will never complain about not having enough clothes ever again. You have no idea how much stuff you have until you have to move it. I got rid of half my closet of clothes, and I still have way more than I need. Insane.

I don’t go clothes shopping. I just don’t. Except for yesterday.

Mistake: taking your sister to a clothes store when she has a $75 gift card. It will take foooooooreeeeeever. I just stood around for an hour and a half pretending to look at dumb expensive clothes I didn’t like while waiting for her to try on 32 different things in the dressing rooms. Dumb. Lesson learned, never do that again.

The only reason I had even considered going was the ad I heard on the radio, $5 jeans for the weekend. I thought hey, that sounds decent, I could use another pair of jeans or two. Well, this sale is only on their clearance jeans, which for the guys’ section means you get 10 to choose from. None in my size, or even close. Great.

Stupid trendy clothes stores. My sister had warned me it would be 75% girls clothes, no, more like 95%. There were other non-clearance jeans of course, but those were like $20-30. I’m not going to spend $2o on a pair of pre-ripped “designer” jeans when I came looking for $5 jeans. I already have 2 pairs of jeans, I don’t really need more right? Dumb..

I hate clothes shopping.

The only kind of shopping I ever do is for computer games and books.

Or I guess I shop for groceries now too.

But back to the books.

I got a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas. Yeah, my family really knows what I like.

I considered at first getting a book on Android programming. I have an Android phone, and it looks like the language is similar to Java which I’m a little familiar with, but I don’t know. The book was also a fair amount more than my gift card, so I settled for a book on C++. I’ve put this off for I don’t know how long, and now I’m not sure why. C++ is the standard for game programmers everywhere. Sure there are some browser games in Java, and a few other fringe games in other languages, like Lua/Python (I mean seriously, who would do that?), but the standard is C++.

I already have books on Visual Basic and on Java, time to move up to the big stuff and just learn C++. Maybe someday I’ll actually program something. I’ll let you all know.

Notice I just said “you all” instead of “y’all”. I just don’t have a Texan accent. Lived here my whole life, you wouldn’t know.

I’m guessing no one is reading by this point.

Some kid thought I was 47 last week. His friends were all like “no way dude, he’s only like 27!”

Gee thanks, now I feel old. 27 is ANCIENT.

They would not believe me when I said I was 18. Whatever.

I’m hungry.

I actually brought my own lunch today.. kind of a personal crusade to not eat fast food for awhile. I’m aiming for a week at least.

(I’m not going to mention that the lunch I brought is a leftover Red Robin burger… oh wait)

So I’m kind of sort of trying to be healthy? Is that what I’m going for?

Something like that.

I intend to have some sort of a real post tomorrow, and then a continuation of my RP story from Friday sometime this week. I’m going to shoot for 1 a week, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully someone out there enjoys them. Have a good Monday!

-Del

Corruption

Something was different.

To say that something was wrong would be incredibly ironic for someone like me, but I suppose that the moral types would say that. For one of my profession it all just felt… right.

The change had been sudden, as if overnight. And yet I could only imagine it had been brewing for months, we had only just noticed it. Whatever it was, it certainly had the brutish cow-types in a frenzy. They paced back and forth repeatedly hour after hour, creating a loud and obnoxious thundering sound. They were on the verge of tears from the stress, conversing with each other in hushed whispers as if some great evil were listening in on their conversation. But of course, the sound of cows whispering tend to carry:

“What say you, brother? The Earthmother groans as if about to give birth, but weakened from the strain. And what of us? The balance has shifted. Why should we gain in strength as the elements falter?”

I snorted at hearing that. They of course took no notice, a snort is a common enough occurrence in a Tauren camp. They say they had “gained in strength” and yet they milled about in a nervous wreck. Fools. The tree-worshippers did not know what true strength is.

Still though, it made me wonder. The earth seemed weaker to them? To my ears it sounded depressingly more alive, the beasts around the camp seemed more lively than before. Could they just be restless for the same reason? Perhaps this confusion could be turned to advantage. Besides, there was work to be done.

Leaving the camp, I followed the road to the south and into the dense forest. The tall trees towered high above me, almost completely blocking out that blasted sun. In the cool, damp shade of the woods, I slowly made my way toward my target.

The frantic chattering of the squirrels and birds overhead covered my approach through the underbrush perfectly. I suddenly broke though into a clearing around the base of one of the large trees to see a half dozen gnolls around a pathetic campfire.

Gnolls. The disgusting creatures were the reason I was down here. Well, one of the reasons. Their puny armies had been a small nuisance to the Tauren up on the hill, and they had asked for some help. I suppose their “morals” prevented them from exterminating the vermin themselves, but no matter. Genocide is one of my specialties.

The dim-witted creatures had not even noticed my arrival. Always one for the theatrical, I prepared a special surprise for them. I whispered a few choice words that were heard not on this plane, but that reached through the nether..

The portal appeared right in their midst, a dark gaping hole to the void. For a moment, all was silent, every noise being whisked away into the nether. The gnolls were frozen in terror, and they watched as two glowing eyes appeared through the gateway.

The silence was shredded as Hathphog cleared the portal and the rip in space and time folded in on itself. An otherworldly roar filled the clearing, and then the vermin were silent no more. They screamed and began drawing their tiny stick-weapons. Pathetic.

My long ears tingled then, sensing a power I had not felt before. It lay at my fingertips, desiring to be set free. I tensed, sensing that some awesome power was about to reveal itself, and then I released it, waving my hand at the gnolls.

I had expected flame. I had expected fiery explosions as their very flesh melted on itself. My expectations did not come to pass, but I was not disappointed.

Their shrieks ceased immediately. They writhed in what was clearly agony, their muscles spasming beyond their control. And they could not scream, not even having command of their vocal cords. As if afflicted by some communal seizure, they continued their erratic convulsions.

I watched, fascinated. I then reached deep within, drawing at the darkness covering the fragments of my soul, and unleashed the corruption within. Blood turned to poison as the screams began anew. With their final breaths I drew upon their souls, not even allowing them the peace of a happy afterlife. Assuming such creatures have an afterlife.

Searching through the primitive camp, I found what I was looking for. A map. Battle plans for a full-on assault on the Tauren base. The implications took a few moments to sink in.

The Tauren had been suspecting something like this. Recently the attacks had been fewer, but in almost an organized way. There was a mastermind at work, a level of intelligence that clearly could not belong to the gnolls themselves.

I inspected the map again. The artwork was crude, and yet disturbingly accurate. It gave clear instructions for a direction of attack, but did not give away the location of other bands. Smart. Too smart for gnolls. What was this?

Kneeling down to the gnoll “leader”, the biggest one of the group, I spotted a small metal insignia hung around his neck. A single purple eye gazed at me. I suddenly had the feeling someone was watching me.

I looked over my shoulder and of course there was no one there to be seen. I did not like this. Things I do not like must be dealt with, painfully.

I strode off again to the south, Hathphog at my side as we re-entered the brush. I was determined to get to the bottom of this.

Thursday Three Things

Why is it that my shortest post of the week about the least important things is always the most popular? Why?

 

Side note: I have officially surpassed the 10k view mark. Thanks guys! Now for the 1k comments.. we’re getting closer.

 

#1. I’m moving out on Saturday. Finally. Ha.

#2. I’m taller than Slice. 6′ to his 5’7″. Short asian man πŸ˜›

#3. I play online games with an insurance claims guy, retirement planner, pizza deliveryman, someone who works in telecom, someone who works at a chinese restaurant, a technical writer, a combat medic, a nutritionist, and an insomniac grandmother. A lot of people would classify this as “weird”. I call it “awesome”.

 

There ya go. Probably the shortest Thursday Three Things ever. And this will still be more popular than my LoL post. /cry

-Del

In the days leading up to Cataclysm (you know, when I was actually playing) there was a great deal of discussion on the future of healing and mana management. Namely, that we would actually have to manage mana.

I will be the first to admit, healing was easy in Wrath, at least from a mana standpoint. As soon as I got that snowflake from the ICC 5 mans, I was set. It was the snowflake wasn’t it? The one they had to nerf because of resto druids and it was still overpowered.

Once I was in full raid gear, I would actually try to run out of mana. On any of the first 10 fights in ICC, I kid you not, I would spam my abilities on anything and everything that had lost even a little health. And then keep full hots up on everybody. I would not run oom. I just wouldn’t.

For the Lich King, ok, I actually had to try there. And it was easy if I tried.

All this has supposedly changed. I wouldn’t know. I have not healed so much as a 5 man since 4.0 dropped, let alone Cataclysm and level 85 content. Which brings us to you.

Anyone who reads this blog (all 2 of you) who heals (ok, 1 of you), I want you to fill out this meme. Either a blog post of your own or just a comment is fine. Here is what I want to know:

..

Do you play a healer class and spec as your “main”:

No, I don’t anymore. I’m a fire mage.

 

How many characters total do you have at level 85?

0. Nada. None. Zilch. My mage is 83.

 

What is the more advanced current content you have (tried to) heal? 5-mans, heroics, raids, heroic raids? 25-man heroic Deathwing hard mode?

I have healed solo quests in Vash’jr.. go go Evocation!

 

Did you heal in Wrath? Do you heal now? Why did you or didn’t you switch?

Yes I was a tree. No, I am a mage. FIRE!

 

Is healing really “hard”?

 

What is the most different for you?

 

Why?

 

..

I’m just curious really. I don’t know if I’m fully qualified to start this meme to be honest. I don’t play the game, I don’t heal, I don’t even really have that many readers to spread the meme too. But I want to know, so there you go.

Title unrelated.

..

Ok guys, you win. You don’t want to hear about what I want to talk about. So I won’t talk about what you want to hear about. So there.

No, I’m not bitter or anything, why do you ask?

..

Let’s tell a story of fail. Fail stories are always good. But first, this fail story begins with success.

I bought a new car 2 weeks ago! New to me, although it already had 72k miles on it. It’s a one-owner Toyota Corolla that has been taken care of very well, and I am very pleased with it. Only $169 monthly payments too, very excited about that.

Silver, if you must know. Not my first choice. Actually my second-to-last choice. If it was white I would’ve just walked away from it.

So I signed the papers and everything 2 Wednesdays ago. They cleaned it up real nice, did all their final inspections and everything and I picked the car up the next day. They gave me a full tank of gas, one that lasted me 9 days. In the old minivan I had to fill up twice a week >.>

Then we get to last Saturday. I wanted to show off the new car and take one of my friends to dinner. It took forever to decide where we were actually going to go eat. She has a stomach condition so she can’t eat Mexican or Indian food, or anything spicy. She said she wasn’t in the mood for anything Asian. And not burgers. She started naming a bunch of places I’ve never heard of over the phone, and I’m almost positive she searched Google for “most expensive places to eat”. Yeah that’s not going to happen.

We ended up at Panda Express.

And it was good! I get Panda once or twice a week, and it can be a hit or miss kind of thing. This was a hit, the fried rice was great and the beef and broccoli was amazing. Maybe it’s the quality of the company that makes the food more enjoyable or something. I have a similar theory about movies. But that’s another topic.

We had been sitting there eating for about 10-15 minutes, when I glance out the window and notice my lights are still on. Whoops.

I stand up, put my hand in my pocket to reach for my keys… no keys.

I walk outside to the car.. and I hear it running. The door was unlocked. I got in, turned off the car, took the keys, looked the door, and went back inside.

I left my brand new car with the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked.

Fail.

Lots of it.

..

Change of subject: Tol Barad. Is it really as bad as everyone says? I obviously have not been there, but every blog and news site out there seems to be announcing the death of PvP as we know it in WoW. Blizzard even announced yesterday their theory behind Tol Barad, how they want it to be difficult for the attackers and yet rewarding for the defenders.

What is that sound I hear? The sound of a million people going DUH!

In other words: they want PvP to be balanced. No really. This game is how old now? They’ve come out with how many battlegrounds, had how many seasons of arena? And then they come out with this PvP zone that is as broken and unbalanced as anything?

Again, this is only the impression I’ve gotten from reading third-hand accounts of the situation. Is it really that bad? I would like to know.

In case I ever get to play it.

We’ll see.

-Del