Archive for July, 2009

I Feel Dirty

I just sent a fellow guildmate a link to Nightcrowler’s Feral By Night addon. You know, the one I’ve so maligned in the past?

You see, I have a new kitten. (Feral Druid, not a real kitten) And he wants to raid with us. Now, I’ve got a pretty hefty pride for my own class, and for ferals in particular. The very LAST thing I want to see is a feral scraping the bottom on numbers and I’ve been warned this particular person has some… issues.

With pretty much everything.

But it seems he knows he’s bad, so that’s a plus. If you think you’re awesome there’s no room for learning new things. A willing mind is a wonderful thing to teach.

I still feel dirty for throwing crutches at him though. I’m a bit of an optimist when it comes to people. I try (consciously) to believe that, given enough effort, anybody can learn to be good at something. I tend to learn pretty quickly, but I’ve worked with those who don’t and all they require is a little more patience.

I’m giving him crutches because I suspect he’s one of the latter. A person who will take a while to learn things, and I’d rather get him up and running (and raiding) now, than wait 3-4 weeks while I sit behind him with a wooden yardstick and watch him at the target dummies.

That wouldn’t be fun, for either of us.

In other news, if you’re over the age of 18 and enjoy horror flicks, definitely check out a little game called Requiem: Bloodymare.

My husband picked it up a few weeks ago and I dabbled my toes in it too. I really like the graphics. Poly counts are good, textures are really nice, but the animation takes the cake. Really, this game has TOP NOTCH animation. It’s very, VERY good. Fluid, weighty, believeable, and oftentimes creepy as all get out.

There are a few problems. Quest destinations can be vague at best and outright wrong at worst, randomly characters will jump sideways when they should go forward, and there’s a complete lack of proper text formatting. (Word integrity is not preserved)

Observe:

I play a ‘human’ Templar. Well, she’s a
templar right now, I plan to level her i
nto a Radiant when she gets to the right
level. I can only heal myself right now
but I hope to have proper spells eventua
lly to heal other people.

That’s what text boxes are like. It’s a little maddening for the literary-minded (like myself) and completely irrelevant to the non-literary-minded (like my husband).

It’s free to play, and definitely worth a look. If you’re curious, you can find me on the PvP server (there’s only one). Just look for Alegra, Maelix, or Shmee.

Offtopic: Inspiration to make you weep

Just another Monday. I woke up and came to work, browsed a couple of blogs, keyed up a podcast and set to grinding through a stack of ads to be done.

Lunch came and went, punctuated by leftovers of last night’s amazing impromptu-soup I had made.

Over the weekend I eschewed all contact from WoW. Instead I dabbled my toes in Requiem: Bloodymare and ploughed through memory lane compliments of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

I also made kale chips. Mr Tigerfeet demanded more when I told him I didn’t use up all the kale. Well, after dropping the mashed potatoes on the floor and then spilling scalding soup all over myself and the couch I was all cooke’d out on Sunday.

He’d get his kale chips on Monday.

I promised.

But my weekend, despite cooking a fantastic meal on Sunday (humble, aren’t I?) and having a nice time with some family, felt depressingly lackluster. I didn’t get a whole lot done.

No Lamentation comic, no FeralBar updates (there’d be more if I had winzip on my computer here at work), no housecleaning, no nothin’.

It’s depressing, it really is.

But then, while meandering through various food blogs, I keyed up some coldplay and almost cried.

Back in college I was an avid role-player. Not just RPGs, but actual face-to-face roleplay interaction. My venue of choice was ADRP. I made a lot of good friends, but more importantly, I learned to attach theme songs to my characters.

Our Game Master liked to run his games with a boom box by his side and an arsenal of CDs in his notebook. (Ipod? what was that?) Any change in scenery was always accompanied by a brief rummage followed by a knowing grin as he keyed up the appropriate track.

Player Characters had theme songs, NPCs had theme songs, different places even had theme songs. It was a wonderful way to set the mood while we played in an otherwise bustling student lounge.

So, as far as character theme songs go, I never really shook the habit of assigning them to my characters.

During college I wrote a terrible piece of vampire literature and scored the whole thing liberally with Thou Shalt Not. The same thing has happened with Lamentation, but instead of TSN, it’s Coldplay, VNV Nation, and a healthy dose of Andes folk music along with a little Canadian diddy that won’t get out of my head.

I find myself being heavily inspired by music and I have, in the past, written while under imaginary influence. There’s times while I’m writing where my characters feel so alive and vivid, that I can’t deny them. When I’m writing like that I don’t feel like I’m writing. Instead, I feel like I’m merely watching things as they are unfolding, like a little play in my mind.

As schizophrenic as this sounds, I’ve been assured by other writers that this state of mind is quite common amongst the more talented and a real blessing when we can grasp it.

So, I keyed up Coldplay and as Viva La Vida swelled in my ears I nearly wept as Virgil turned his face to mine and smiled.

I saw him sitting astride a bay horse, ambling down a small forest road clad in dappled sunlight. He turned to some shadowy companion to his right that I couldn’t quite see, and he smiled, laughing at some shared joke.

He showed me that he wears his hair long and wavy, just at his shoulders. Its normal light brown bleached to a sunnier chestnut did absolutely nothing to compliment his normally sallow complexion. He’s a poppet of the Govorness, though, and because of his antics, pale pallor has come into style.

He’s also the most stuck-up, spoiled-rotten little bastard (yes I use this term properly) of a younger brother you’d ever meet.

I can’t wait to start writing him again.

In More Ways Than One

On this day, one year prior, I started Secret Agent Cat. I inagurated myself with a rampling post and an assurance that I had no idea what I was doing.

Lots of people celebrate their blogaversary, but this one to me means more than you might think.

I’m a notorious procrastinator, and have a terrible habit of starting things I never finish. My webcomic has languished for months, my garden wasn’t planted this year, the kitchen’s dirty, I’m not exalted with Silvermoon yet, I have 40g to my name, and I still haven’t asked for time off in August so I can go visit my family.

But this… though there’s been hiccups and even a recent slow-down, I’ve managed to keep up with my ramblings for a whole year now. I can’t hardly believe it, it doesn’t feel real. I don’t feel accomplished either. I’m happy, but more in a “Huh, well whaddya know” kind of way as opposed to a “Hurrah I did it!” kind of way.

I’m a notorious coaster, one of the lucky few who could zone out in class all day and still ace tests. An A and B student, with honors, who never really had to try all that hard.

I trained myself to coast, trained myself against commitment and against stick-to-it-ivness. This blog is standing as a testament that I can do better.

It’s encouraging, that I’ve come this far.

I’m Such A Narcissist

Raiding update!

ZOMG I KNOW RITE?!

First off, we were going strong until the 4th, then summer came and crit us hard. We did our best to muster a full 25 last week but this week, again with flagging attendance, we decided to cut our losses and assembled an ‘elite’ team to kill Yogg-Saron on 10-man.

The result? Well, first take a look at this video of our Thorim fight last night, shot by a warlock (who has a rather spiffy UI setup I noticed)

Ok, the embed didn’t work SO HERE’S THE LINK LOOK ISN’T IT SPIFFY!?!

You’ll notice in comments towards the end of the fight that Thorim was our third keeper to kill, at only two hours into our raid time. We raid for three hours.

Before this video we had done Flame Leviathan easy-mode in order to get through faster. Then we’d turned around and did XT’s hard-mode (a guild first). We knocked out ‘With Open Arms’ on Kologarn and cringed our way through the Auriaya fight (does anybody like this fight? We don’t).

Then we took out Hodir and were pleasantly close to his Hard-Mode. We lost a ranged dps, who I then had to resurrect, depriving Hodir of both of our tender touches for a few crucial seconds. I’m pretty sure that the difference was enough to make up that DPS, or almost.

After Hodir we paid Freya a visit with her waves and waves of never-ending trash. In 25-man we like to keep the multi-specie groups (those big packs with trees and spirits and a dragon etc) under tight Crowd-Control. This time, however, we Naxx’d them (Gather up and AoE). Only special consideration was to make sure to point the dragon away from anybody important (squishies and the like). Our DK tank handled that and I did my best to pull what mobs I could off of him so he wasn’t getting overwhelmed (though I’m sure if he had to he could’ve single-tanked the lot of them).

After Freya (all bosses were 1-shots and our only wipe was to an unfortunate pull on Hodir trash) we continued to Thorim, above.

That video features our second Thorim attempt.

What happened the first time?

We got Siffed!

The ONLY reason it wasn’t a 1-shot was because of a small lapse in attention by two key players at the same time. A healer stood in the lightning, and I saw the 3-minute enrage warning pop up and taunted Thorim too early. With a healer down and an unexpected tank taking damage I went squish and things fell apart from there. You can hear my frustration with missing Sif on our second attempt too. (I’m the one calling right-left in the tunnel, and berating myself at the end for moving too quickly)

I think having ranged and healers cluster right behind the first boss in the tunnel so they’re that much closer to the adds in the hallway would be valuable. Oh yeah, we don’t tank the Acolytes, we just let them run about as they please. It works very well that way actually 🙂

*deep breath*

Ok, let’s continue.

After Thorim we went and whupped up on Mimiron. I believe he was a 1-shot as well and then… and then… with half an hour left on our raid time the way to Vezax was open to us.

He took four tries. One of the attempts ended in a 3% wipe which was, as one of our DK dpsers put it “Like a punch in the balls”. The feminine portion of the raid agreed that yes, if we had those organs we’d imagine that’s what it felt like.

But it was 10pm, time to call the raid.

We put it to a vote. /readycheck, yes for LET’S GET HIM! and no for ‘need sleep nao!’

The reply was an immediate and overwhelmingly enthusiatic LET’S GET HIM!

So we did 😀

Half an hour or so past raid time Vezax dropped, a Guild first, and the way is open for us to spend our second two raid nights on Yogg-Saron.

Now why can’t we roll up our sleeves and do this on 25-man hmm?

Side Note – I’m not leading raids anymore. That shiz is hard! What was I thinking?

OH OH OH!

(no I’m not quite done yet)

I also picked up Hoperender off of Vezax, replacing Journey’s End for my DPS set. I rolled offspec on it and so did our DK (raid leading) tank. For offspec gear we call for a /roll.

I desperately wanted this polearm and when I called for the roll (and rolled a 31, *groan*) Mr DK-face passed it to me.

What a peach!

Druids Don’t Belong in Stable Slots!

So my buddy Brajana is hosting a neat-o SPCA charity drive!

I love animals too (if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em right my fellow druids?) and since Mr Tigerfeet and I don’t really have the means to donate money, I decided that, to help out, I would donate artwork instead.

What kind of artwork?

UI Artwork!

Observe my personal UI below:

My current UI, with Snazzy Artwork!

Note the Artwork

Now, my UI isn’t your UI. Nor is everyone reading this blog (or participating in Braj’s charity drive) likely to be a Feral Tauren Druid whose favorite feral forms are the ones featured above.

Nope, what I’m offering is a custom-built UI JUST FOR YOU!

Play a hunter? Bows, pets, traps! You got it!

What about a warrior or rogue? Lots of weapons, blood splatters!

How about something completely different? I will make a My-Little-Ponies in stealth with backstabitty goodness UI if that’s what you want.

No porn though, sorry folks.

Now, So far I’ve only used BTex for my artwork, but if you know of another addon (like Sunn, for example) that you really REALLY want to use just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Even if you do choose to use BTex, I’ll want a screenshot of your current UI. What’s the point of getting snazzy custom artwork if you have to move everthing around? I’ll do my best to integrate aesthetically pleasing art into your current UI.

A final note – this custom UI will be just for you (should you win). I won’t share it with anyone else!

So, go and take part in Braj’s charity drive, and good luck!

Rawr!

DruidBar is coming!

PolarBar shall be first!

Here, have a preview!

Picture 1

Your face, I bites it!

In other news, a huge honkin’ load of stress has just been lifted from my shoulders, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things with posting again.

I also expect to rediscover my long nascent wonder and joy in WoW that was the spawn of many of my best posts in the past 🙂

Also, Runes of Magic is kinda neat. That’s what the Mr is playing these days. I of course had to make an account and a character so I could run around and know what the heck he’s jawing my ear off about.

It doesn’t have druids though, and no shape-shifters. Boo!

Dip’n Mah Toes

I’m touching into UI design.

I’m not certain I have the know-how to make an entire UI compilation, but I have been working on artwork for Btex.

My current UI, with Snazzy Artwork!

My current UI, with Snazzy Artwork!

Yes, that’s how excited about the new artwork I am, I went and made UI art to reflect the forms I intend to use, so that I can look at them even when I’m running around all ugly and wyvern-faced.

Here’s a preview of the Night Elf version:

Click for full-size

I’ve also got a shaman version made, but I’m not entirely happy with it. I had trouble finding the totems in WoW Model Viewer so I initially used elemental spirits instead.

Then I couldn’t read my chat text over the top of mr fire-pants.

Then I noticed the smoke I’d put in was way too dark and I needed to re-do it but I was damn tired and re-painting smoke was not something I had the mental capacity to do at that point.

So it’s still waiting to be done.

I’d also like to note that I don’t use a mac by choice, they make me, at work.

I really REALLY like this UI by the way. It’s a lot more de-cluttered than it was before. My raid frames are in the lower right and omen shows up right on top of the bear. My Rogue Power bars are front and center, where Omen used to be, and the only issue is that my DBM warnings bars now pop up right on top of my rotation bars, being distracting and obnoxious.

I’ll get around to moving those, eventually.