Flask Half-Empty

ramblings about warcraft, other games, & randomness

Category Archives: miscellaneous

Of Griefing, Oddities, and Pyllgarr’s Mighty Banhammer

With the changes to LFR that came with patch 5.0.4, I’m pretty sure most people were as excited as I was to finally be rid of the constant loot drama and whining that came with every random raid group! But as I started running through with my various alts, I started noticing more and more griefers that just made groups (particularly on Fall of Deathwing) completely miserable. Many others have noticed the same, even mentioning that there are entire groups of people streaming griefing sessions on TwitchTV and the like. Navimie’s fictional story this weekend, Diary of a WoW Griefer, reminded me of a recent horrible-yet-bizarre LFR experience. In general, I usually drop group if there’s more than one wipe, and I’m never much for getting angry over pixels. Especially with random strangers! But this one time was like none other…

Our fancily mogged and H DS-geared (lol?) tank just WOULDN’T STOP BOUNCING…

Everything looked fine when Cyrelle (my shadow priest) zoned into the second half of LFR. There weren’t any flames flooding the platform, nobody was dead, and Ultraxion went down like a breeze. As the corpse was looted, the fanciful tanks dropped group and were replaced with less fanciful tanks, but all seemed to be ready to go for the next encounter. And away everyone went to board the lootship!

Ysera knew better than to stay on the Failboat…

The fight began without too much trouble, but halfway through the trash the tanks started dropping like flies and with them any aggro went flying out the window! Half the raid was dead within a minute, and it was a wipe. An eager shaman popped up and mass ressurrected everyone, but suddenly the DBM timers were showing on-screen and Twilight Barrages began again! With nobody ready, it was another wipe and many of the group released and ran back in since the whole group had the mass res debuff. As we zoned into Ultraxion’s platform, some ported onto the ship quickly, and about half of the raid sat on the platform to eat/drink and buff before going in. Before we knew it, the DBM timers went off again. Half of the raid (including the main tank) stood on the round platform, watching the portal shrink. Before we knew it I was watching all the little bars on my raid frames drop like flies, and soon half of my Grid was speckled with dead indicators everywhere!

Dash, dash, dash!

The main tank was super frustrated, and took the lead of the raid by saying that nobody should port onto the ship until everyone was resurrected and that the griefers were kicked. Names were thrown out and kicks were initiated, and we thought we were good to go. But before everyone got on board and was buffed, someone started again and it was another wipe! This happened at least five other times afterwards, and in the meantime a good half of the raid ended up spending 30-40 minutes on the Ultrax platform just messing around and waiting to identify the culprit(s). People dropped in and out of raid, and only a handful boarded the boat. Everyone else hung back with our tank before the portal. Looking back, I don’t know why I bothered to stay that long to do nothing but wait since I had such a long queue. But I guess a bunch of us were waiting patiently while goofing off and doing silly things: my priest was life gripping random, unsuspecting people and we were all dashing around the platforms with her angelic feathers. A couple other people took out archaeology toys and trinkets! I guess when it comes to silly fun stuff, my patience can be tested…

The raid group finally filled up, and we all buffed and started porting into the ship. And guess what? Before the main tank ported in, someone started again! But at least this sometime, many people in the raid identified a jerkwad of a paladin who kept doing it. Even more annoyingly, he was purposefully wearing all heirloom gear and started taunting people in raid chat with “ooh report me, I’m soooo scared!”  He was quickly kicked, but to our amazement LFR had dropped him back in our group a minute later! How weird is that? But by that time, I was kind of done and had things to do IRL, so I finally left group. Probably should have done that an hour ago! Before I logged, I filed a ticket about the situation with some chat log time frames. Many people from the LFR group were planning to file tickets, but I figured another one wouldn’t hurt and that hopefully some response would come about from them.

And indeed, when I logged on the next day there was a reply!

Greetings Cyrelle!

Thank you for contacting the World of Warcraft Game Master Department regarding the inappropriate behavior of the player _____________.

*Swoosh*

I heard there were shenanigans afoot and I came skipping as fast as possible! With no time to waste, I made sure I knew exactly what you were reporting and immediately sprang into action! Here’s what I did to ensure your report was handled accurately and completely.

Kapow!  *Polishes the Mighty Bann Hammer of Justice*

That’s the sound of digital justice, my friend. I have many fearsome tools at my disposal, but what separates me from the rest is how I use them. I can read over logs quicker than you can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, there’s no place that the violating actions can hide from my watchful eye. I scoured the logs for this person’s reported actions and swiftly set their pants aflame! =O

I have to keep my heroic abilities a secret though, so any specific details about how I handled this situation were burned along with those pants. Despite how awesome my powers are, I’m still held to lawful standards.

*Listens intently*

Harassment in progress? I must go, my people need me! Before I fly off again I wanted to tell you something – We do appreciate you taking the time to make this report. We want to make sure that your experience has as little disruptions as possible, so rest easy knowing that your report was fully investigated into and that all actions regarding the situation were reviewed.

If you still need to contact us, please feel free to do so! I want to make sure that everything has been resolved properly. I hope you continue to enjoy your Adventures in Azeroth and beyond!
<(^_^<)  ^(^_^)^  (>^_^)>  ^(^_^)^   *Pyllgarr Dances Away!*

Regards,

Pyllgarr
Specialist Game Master
Blizzard Entertainment

Too funny. This was quite a surprise in the little ticket answered box, as I haven’t been particularly impressed by my previous GM encounters — the last one I spoke with directly through in-game conversation was ridden with typos and spelling errors, and took 10 minutes between each of my simple questions regarding fixing my Sons of Hodir reputation issues, only to give me answers straight from WoWWiki. So this speedy and quirky response was quite a welcome sight in my inbox! But regardless of whether or not Pyllgarr’s Mighty Ban Hammer were true or just something they say to make us feel better, it sure made me smile. Plus, evil Cyrelle was only too amused by the mental images of setting said person’s pants aflame… ;)

But anyhow, I’ve been pretty happy with the changes to LFR, but I sure hope these kinds of instances don’t continue on into MoP. For people like me who don’t have time to adhere to a regular raid schedule, LFR has been a very fun (at times) opportunity to see some epic battles. And especially for those of us who have many alts, it’s an incredibly simple way to get some decent gear. It would sure be disappointing if people still ruin the fun come expansion release, because I honestly think the griefing is multitudes worse than any old loot system. Hopefully people are just bored by DS and are just antsy waiting for the launch of Mists. Just two weeks away…

Edit: Look at this neat item Navimie made me! Thanks, Navi! :D

*Kapow!*

To Worgen or Not to Worgen?

Artwork by Makani (Heather Campbell)

As of late, I’ve been very seriously considering race-changing Ninevi to Worgen in preparation for Mists. With account-wide achievements coming into the scene, I won’t have the worries of “who is my main” anymore, and my druid will likely one of the (if not the) first of my characters that I’d like to take through all the new content fresh! I think she deserves the attention too, being my oldest character but with least played time. :)

I’ve very much wanted to go back to trying out feral, as Ninevi hasn’t played as kitty since her leveling days. During the short time that I tried it on my Horde druid during Wrath, I just couldn’t get the feral DPS rotation down, and it made me feel like a nutcase every time I tried it out. I did, however, really enjoy bear tanking a lot. Combined with what I’d read regarding the class/spec this expansion, I hadn’t been much bothered to try it again. So throughout Cata, I just went along and added my druid to my niche of healers. But a new expansion is on the near horizon, and it’ll be a new learning curve. What better time to give cat druid-ing another try, right?

Along that, Ninevi just hasn’t been feeling too in touch with her Night Elf roots recently, either. It kind of makes sense, though. After four years, I guess it’s only natural that a shifty druid would want some change and to bring out the beast again! I haven’t had many issues with character changes in the past (ie: my paladin, who has a bit of a personality disorder…*cough*) but it’s hard for me to decide because Ninevi is the first character I ever created! I do very much like the Worgen druid forms, and I don’t really understand the abhorrent “female chihuahua” remarks that some claim (since my Alliance main is also Worgen)…

So, what do you all think? Have you ever had experience in deciding whether or not to change something about one of your main characters? Maybe help me decide? :D

Off-Topic: Photoset – Traveling, Botany, & Heritage

Note: This post is off-topic and contains lots of photos!

Oh my…it’s been a couple weeks since I posted, hasn’t it? I’m not doing so great on keeping up with this new blogging thing! *scolds self* This month’s been super busy, and I’ve been on travel for the past two weeks or so at conferences for work (ASM/ASMCUE 2012) in San Francisco, CA. Such a beautiful city and lovely weather! It was super nice to have 60°F weather and sunny skies instead of constant summer thunderstorms and mid-90′s like at home. Despite being mostly busy with presenting at the conference and visiting all the exhibits (omg, all the automated lab machinery on display was AMAZING…) I did get the last day to go about the city and do some exploring! This was maybe my 3rd or 4th time in CA, but first in SF. It’s so different, and I loved it! I like taking pictures, so I wandered through downtown, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Park with my camera, trying to avoid the overly-touristy places and hide from overwhelming crowds since I was alone. And I got to see some things that are really dear to me – gardens, nature, heritage, & culture.

So instead of me rambling more, I thought I’d share some pictures (even if they’re off-topic from this blog…!) :P

Some aerial photos I took while in flight!

 

Hazy, sloped city!

 

“Fear Head” by Roman Cesario, Mitsu Overstreet and Roberto Gonzalez @ Tenderloin

 

Not sure of artist(s).

I live in the suburbs, so street art is always something I look forward to when visiting cities. :)

Historic San Francisco cable cars! :D

 

Is the street tilted…or am I??

 

Such colorful houses :D

 

Some random noms: egg tartine w/ fresh tomatoes, dim sum, green tea bubble tea, 馬拉糕 (ma la gao)

 

Some more random noms…gyoza, “mother & son” sushi roll, chicken paratha fold & gulab jamun, fish tacos!

 

Various Chinatown scenery, shop fronts, street art

Going to SF Chinatown was really an amazing experience. I’ve been to different ‘towns around the US (Atlanta, New York, Chicago, & more) but SF Chinatown was HUGE. Just entering and being among all the shoppers (regulars & tourists alike) was really very humbling, and it made me nostalgic for Taiwan, where my family is originally from. SF Chinatown is really a city within a city, the oldest and largest community outside of Asia. The sights, the smells, and the sounds brought back memories & made new ones, and I was kind of sad I had nobody to share it with except me & my camera! But now I can share some pictures with you :)

Religious sector, bakery & roasted duck/bbq

 

Dried goods & herbal medicine stores, cake shop with all sorts of flavors

Seeing all the dried goods/herbalist stores reminded of my grandfather, who I guess you can say was a real life herbalist and apothecary! (Oho, I snuck a WoW reference into this OT post! See what I did there?) He had a small eastern medicine and herbal store in his own home in Taiwan, and he was really active in tending his gardens and flowers. I wish I could have bought a little of everything, but just a few grams of many of the dried goods were so expensive!

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

I guess here is where I get a bit nutty and druid-y! I majored in environmental science/ecology in college, and I’ve always kind of had an obsession with plants and botany…(*spam heals Regrowth to watch leaves falling*) so going to conservatories, botanical gardens and the like excites me like none other and turns me into a major nature dork. I kept texting my friend Pneu while spazzing out about all the flowers and amazing plants, and I’m sure I was probably very annoying! D:

Just some of the hundreds of photos I took of the gorgeous flowers & greenery…

There were also some really neat pitcher plants, and I couldn’t help but keep thinking…”Oh look, it’s a Victreebel…!”

Raptors in the conservatory?!

 

Stegosaurus! :D

 

Oops…

 

Japanese Tea Garden

 

Adorable gift sets.

 

Succulent garden @ SF Botanical Gardens. I love succulents! :3 I wanted to buy them ALL and take them home with me!

 

& going home…(with crappy phone pics lol)

So that’s it! I’m back home and waiting for my next big adventure to start (ie: grad school — eek!) and hoping to have more time to write more on-topic stuff here, as well as finish Diablo 3 and get ready for Mists! :P And it’s Midsummer Fire Festival already, so I hope to make a post about that sometime soon, too. Lots to do and little time.

If you enjoyed my photos, feel free to visit my Flickr (homepage) – or the specific sets: San Francisco or Golden Gate Park for a lot more pictures. Thanks for reading or browsing! :D

D3: Still Puttering, but Halfway Through

New Tristram Cathedral : Artwork from Act II Cutscene

Things are winding down a bit in the real life (I say this on the eve before I fly to the other side of the country for a weeklong work conference, heh) so I’ve finally had a chance to get a decent bit of game time lately. My better conscious keeps telling me, “No, Ninevi! You should be working on your End-of-Cata bucket list and getting ready for Mists! Or exploring more of the Beta! Or working on your WoW Ironman Challenge attempts!” Alas, I’ve pretty much done all but that and been spending some time with my demon hunter on Diablo 3 instead. She’s so cool, and D3 is just. So. Gorgeous. And horribly, horribly addicting. Jumping into game and blasting away at demons and barrels and more demons has just been more satisfying than the frustrations of RNG and the loot gods in WoW nowadays.

I’ve really enjoyed just turning of the Auto Join feature and playing on my own. Even though the Public Games option is there, I haven’t bothered to try it because I’m satisfied just exploring by myself and my templar! I finally finished up Act II (still on Normal…hush!), and the Belial fight was incredibly fun. It took me two tries to get him — the first time was annoying when he skewered me into pools of green bad, and I couldn’t move, but thankfully that didn’t happen on the second try. I can’t wait to try him on harder difficulty. Now I’m onto Act III and halfway through the game, yay! And I love that the scenery has changed to be all snowy and fortress-y. I also found a super neat crossbow that heals me whenever I deal damage, so I’ll maybe have a bit less of a hard time with evil ranged/caster mobs now!

I really like my templar follower, and the things he says are so silly. He reminds me almost of Castiel from Supernatural. Although his conversations can be a little repetitive, they make me smile and I don’t mind that he’s there! Although, he really does channel Castiel’s semi-innocent and naive-ish-ness by stupidly standing in fire sometimes and then asking me, “I bleed…?” To which, I shuffle around madly in hopes of moving him away and shout at him, “Yes, you’re bleeding! Get out of the bad stuff! You’re dying! HEAL YOURSELF, YOU SILLY, THAT’S WHY I GAVE YOU THAT TALENT!” And then he’ll finally roll out of the fire and be all like, “We did it!” Yes…we did it…very messily. Herp derp, silly paladin templar, but I still love you! I still somewhat irrationally get excited every time I find a better piece of gear for him. “Yay, here’s a pretty and awesome shield!” And he’s always so grateful. :D Although, it was annoying that I’d found all of the other followers’ relics before I found one for him. But at least the stats were appropriate, and it came with an achievement!

Besides all of the small details in the game, my next favorite part are probably the gorgeous cutscenes. It keeps having me wonder, why can’t Blizzard invest in a CG film? Even a short one? It would be awesome, but I don’t remember hearing any updates regarding the Warcraft film. Watching the cutscenes in Diablo 3 remind me of when Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children had just come out — I must have watched the movie at least twenty times, in both English and Japanese (terrible dubs and all), because Square Enix’s CG work was just fantastic. If Blizz were ever to consier a CG film, I think the fangirl inside of me would die from squeeing too much!

But while playing, there are definitely some features from WoW that I keep wishing also existed in D3. It may be that some of them exist, but I haven’t yet discovered them yet out of my newbieness. And ignorance, I guess, since I’m continually turned off by the D3 official forums and haven’t been too thrilled by the general D3 player community in general…surprise, surprise. But I definitely need to explore the Wiki pages more at some point so I’m not completely poking around in the dark and being less than optimal in game-play, especially if I’m going to attempt the harder levels later!

Here are some miscellanous things I’d love to have, some are silly and probably not so important:

  • A “Dressing Room” feature – So much gear drops, and I’d just love to see what they look like on my character, even if she can’t wear them. Maybe even a feature to preview dye before I use them would be nice, too.
  • Better stat distribution on loot – I still don’t understand why I find so much gear like Enchantress mirrors with +Str and so forth. Really? I don’t use my enchantress at all, but wouldn’t she want more +Int? And why in the world would I want +Str on a Demon Hunter specific item? Do not want…
  • A way to sort Auction house – There’s probably some easier way to search/sort, but I still have issues finding exactly what I want from the AH. For instance, I don’t really want to look items as “bid” only, as I tend to just buyout everything. I don’t know if I just got bugged or what, but I couldn’t sort any of my search results at all, and it was frustrating.
  • A naming feature for followers – Well, I think we all know who I’d name my templar after… >_>;;
  • Some jumping feature or auto-run – I haven’t played a click to move since my Lineage II days, so it took some getting used to, and I still really want to move around with WASD every now and then. I still find it irritating that I can’t just jump over some little ledges and so forth, though!

Oftentimes we compare certain games to others ones we’ve enjoyed playing or continue to play. Are there features or aspects from other games that you’d also like to see in Diablo 3? If so, how do you think they might be implemented if at all possible? Bashiok replied to this post on the forums, discussing many WoW-like improvements — do you agree with any of them or find them improbable?

Top Three Most Loved Items

For this week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, Cymre from Bubbles of Mischief suggested:

What are the top three items on your main that you just love for sentimental, fun or silly reasons and would hate to lose? Tell us a story, what makes them so special and as always illustrate with screenshots.

My characters generally don’t have too much in their bags, aside having MS/OS/PvP gear already takes up most of the space. But with what room is left, I have a terrible habit of hoarding all sorts of trinkets (see: Rainbow Generator and Gus’ First Aid Kit to even old raid trinkets that I have a hard time tossing out like Grim Toll.) along with all the miscellaneous artifacts I’ve solved from Archaeology. (I like all the little toys in the game…it’s a growing problem!)

Here are the top three things that I’d hate to ever lose:

Landslide makes them even shinier…!

1. Fang of Oblivion – Yes, I know. The shiniest, sparkliest dagger of all. The first time I got to do the Algalon the Observer fight was during a PuG transmog run, and I swear by it when I say my rogue is my luckiest toon. The dagger dropped, and I won with a 94, beating out about 4-5 others. Offers were made to trade for it, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything! What’s strange is that I kept having it in my head that it was the spell dagger, Starshard Edge, but on closer glance at the stats, it was indeed the Agi one. Not that the stats mattered at that point, but it made me feel even more tingly with joy! Aside from me probably using this dagger model for a long while or until I tire of the shininess, I think the Algalon fight is one of my favorites in the game, and I only wish I could revisit it again. Reading this post from WoW Insider’s Know Your Lore really had me in even more awe.

Chalice of the Mountain Kings

2. Archaeology Toys – Okay, okay, I know this isn’t just one item. But it’s so hard for me to choose, and at times I’ll pop all of their cooldowns while standing around in a raid or dungeon, or even just waiting around. I’m not sure what’s more fun — having people ask where the sword-dancing dwarven ladies came from, or having another Archaeologist pop their Bones of Transformation at the same time! There was even once when I was in a random Hour of Twilight dungeon where a shaman and I would pop random artifacts in a kind of “go-fish” fashion while waiting for the RP events. Ancient Amber? Nope, go fish! Fun times, fun times.

Maybe one too many…

3. Hallowed Wands – Halloween is my favorite holiday, and my love for it stems in-game to Hallow’s End. I’m not sure when I decided it was a good idea, but I have a good assortment of all of the wands available (Bat, Leper Gnome, Ghost, Ninja, Pirate, Skeleton, Wisp) across my characters. It’s kind of embarassing. While my bank doesn’t look exactly like the screenshot over there, I’m sure it’d be similar if I combined the bank slots from all my alts. I have a few that have a couple charges used, so I really should take them out and use them. But I’m too sentimental and just don’t want to use them up…!

So there you have it! Now if only we had additional Void Storage or toy chest that would accommodate all of my trinkets and toys…