Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Well, We're Moving On Up!

Battle Priestess has moved!

We have moved from a Blogspot blog to our own self-hosted domain: http://battlepriestess.com.

Please update your blog links or RSS feeds appropriately.

Hope to see you at the new site soon!

Friday, October 8, 2010

There's no Add-ons like... no Add-ons.

I've done it. Oh yes I have.

Gearscore is now... uninstalled. /cheer!
I've also uninstalled the following add-ons:
  • MikScrollingBattleText
  • SexyMap
  • SlyProfits
  • Forte (and all it's associated modules)
  • kgPanels
  • ButtonFacade
  • Prat
  • Deadly Boss Mods
  • FuBar and it's assorted modules (MoneyFu, DurabilityFu, GuildFu, etc)
Basically anything that serves no real function or offers far more functionality than I need was culled.

For now, I'm keeping the following mods:

I love this mod. It's the easiest and most intuitive bar mod that I've seen, and the ability to move/resize all the bars is invaluable. I particularly like the fade option for the bars with my heals, they stay out of view until I absolutely need them.

A lighterweight Auction House mod than the old favorite Auctioneer, it's not as inflated as Auctioneer due to the fact that it scans items only as you search. You get much less lag with Auctionator, so it's a keeper.

Shadowed Unit Frames:
I actually was going to try to go with the default unit frames, but I couldn't do it, mostly because they cannot be moved around the screen. Of all the various unit frame add-ons out there, Shadowed is my favorite. Again, it's simple, super-lightweight, easy to configure, and doesn't have a million extra modules eating up memory.

I have to have an all-in-one bag. Enough said.

I love this mod, particularly if I'm doing heavy Auction House activity. It allows you to pull all incoming mail, items, and gold with one click, rather than individually clicking each item.

This replaced my old FuBar and MoneyFu combo. It's a small button attached to your mini-map, and when you click on it, it opens a separate window with all of your profits and expenditures broken out by category. It'll also show how much you've made by Session, Day, and Week, and how much gold you have across all your characters. It's a seriously fantastic add-on, and one that I wouldn't want to do without.

This is the other must-have add-on in my arsenal. It's a huge timesaver as it lets me see my alt's professions, banks, guild banks, profession windows of guild mates, any alts that have mail that's about to expire, and so, so much more. If you are serious about alts, you need this add-on.

There are three more add-ons that are currently on the chopping block, waiting for a decision: Decursive, Recount, and Carbonite. Decursive is useful in some situations, I'm just not sure how often I'll actually use it. Recount is helpful for spotting problems with DPS, but considering how I'm wanting to shift away from over-analyzation and competitiveness, it might be better to cut it. I like Carbonite's quest tracker better than the Blizzard version, but overall, it's probably bulkier than it's worth.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blog Azeroth - Shared Topic: What's in a Name?

What takes the longest to choose, is the first thing people see, and is the one thing they always remember about you and your character? Your name.

How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)? How long did it take you to come up with your name? Has your character name become your online persona, or maybe the other way around? Do you have any tips for naming your characters in WoW, or any other game? Resources, name generators, mythology websites, sources of inspiration, etc.

So much can be said about names. What does yours say?

This week's Blog Azeroth shared topic from Llani at Pocket Heals is a subject near and dear to my heart: character names. I love naming characters, and picking out just the perfect name to go with a character concept. I can peruse baby names websites for hours, and keep a running list of good names (some "real" names, some made up names) to use in MMOs. I try to look at a lot of different things: ease of spelling and pronounciation, names that sound like they fit in the game world, names that aren't overused in books/games/pop culture, names that have interesting ethnic backgrounds and meanings.

She's my main and was the first character to hit level cap during vanilla. Originally her name was Brynne, which came from looking up Welsh/Gaelic names, which I thought would fit a female dwarf well. It means "black-haired", which was perfect for my dwarf at the time. I thought it was a simple enough name, although it ended up being a very difficult name for people to pronounce... a lot of folks would call me "brine" in vent! Eventually I just became "Bry" for short, which was fine.

After a server transfer or two, I ended up having to choose a new name for her shortly after Wrath of the Lich King came out. I wanted it to start with a "B" for continuity. My husband had at the time just given me a Betsey Johnson purse for Christmas, and that was my inspiration for Betsea. I still think it sounds dwarfish, but cute, and the shortened version "Bets" is what my guildies typically call me these days.

For RP purposes, even though the character is technically the same character, I RP Betsea as being Brynne's daughter. I changed her hairstyle and color so that she looks different, but still resembles the original Brynne in the face. Her last name is "Stoutheart", and to be honest, I don't remember exactly where I came up with that. It fits her well though.

Tip: When picking out a name, consider that the first 3-4 letters is likely what people will call you. If your name is Malapridiusch, you're always going to be "Mal", both in voice chat and in game chat.

I thought of this name a few years ago when Warhammer Online came out, and it was the name of one of my elves there. Sadly, I don't think the elves were ever leveled past 10 or so, but the name quickly became one of my favorites. Soleil is French for "sun", and most people know of Cirque du Soleil or Soleil Moon Frye, otherwise known as Punky Brewster back in the day. I ended up naming my Rune-Keeper in LotRO Soleile, and after I turned my WoW druid into a boomkin, it seemed extremely appropriate for her as well, considering the eclipse mechanic.

I pronounce her name So-Lay, which may or may not be correct, but it works for me. The only downside is that Soleile is a bit complicated to spell.

My gnome mage has been through more name changes than any other character. She started out as Chixie, then became Whimsie, then Whimsi, then Chixi, then Chixea, then back to Chixie. Mostly this was due to my fickleness, and then trying to fit her name into a naming convention that I set up and later scrapped. Anyways, Chixie just seems like a good gnomish name.

It's also a bit of a throwback to my very first MMO character. My first MMO was City of Heroes and my first character there was named (don't laugh) Cyber Chick. She was a energy/empathy defender with a cyberpunk outfit, hot pink crazy hair, and a bad attitude. My gnome also has pink hair in the cute new pigtails style, and Chixie reminds me of that original name.

In the weeks before The Burning Crusade released, my friends in the guild I was in at the time were working on draenei names and backstories for our draenei. It was admittedly a little rough, as it was a totally new race, we only had the names of well-known Eredar to work off of (Velen, Kil'Jaeden, etc), and we had no draenei NPCs to get inspiration from. I finally ended up taking the "Jae" portion of Kil'Jaeden and named my draenei priest simply "Jae".

After dual-specs became possible, I turned Jae into a horde priest and changed her name. When I recently rolled a new draenei shaman, I decided to use "Jae" as inspiration and changed it up a bit, making it Jhaelia.

Shockingly, this name wasn't taken on Steamwheedle Cartel, and it is being held as the name for my new human hunter. It's of Irish origin, and is also known from the movie Quigley Down Under.

My Quigley will be a female hunter from either Redridge or Westfall, with a boar, a moonshine still, a southern accent, and a very big gun. It should be fun! I still haven't decided which spelling variation I'm going to go with, but I'm leaning towards the original "Quigley".

I currently have a blood elf rogue named Paislea, although I'm strongly considering deleting her and rerolling a female worgen rogue named Paislea instead. When I look at the Worgen, I get a very British, Tim Burton-esque, Sweeney Todd type of feel from them. Paislea was one of the names on my list and while it's Scottish in origin, I think it would be an appropriate name to go with a darkly themed two-sided race.

So, what would I recommend to folks who are trying to find new names? Name generators are fine, but sometimes the names they generate are either incredibly long or downright ugly. I certainly recommend sites like babynames.com to search for names of a particular ethnicity or feel that you think would fit the race you're naming. Consider alternate spellings, within reason. Special characters in a name will just make it difficult for people to invite you to groups and guilds. Just like when you name a child, think about what nicknames, both good and bad, might be derived from the name. If you want a name that is actually two words (like Windfury or Leafblade), then for RP purposes, think about having that be your characters last name, and having him go by his last name, military-style.

And if all else fails, start a list! Sometimes I'll be out doing something completely un-related to gaming and a certain word will strike me as being "a good WoW name" or "a good gnome name" or such. Keep a list and it'll make things much easier when you decide to roll a new character. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

December 7!

Blizzard has officially announced that Azeroth's day of infamy will also be December 7. It's good to finally have a release date. Now we can stop guessing, folks can start arranging to take time off, and there's a definite "finish line" for Wrath of the Lich King.

I've been giving a lot of thought about my goals for Cataclysm. Towards the end of TBC, I decided that I wanted to join a raiding guild and start raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, despite the fact that I had never really enjoyed raiding in the past. That lasted for about 2-3 months after Wrath launched, then I left my raiding guild for a casual guild. While they also raid on occasion, the intensity of the raids has always varied according to guild interest.

Anyways, this time around, I'm going to be true to myself and my playstyle. I'm done with raiding. I'll still happily do 5-mans (but not every night), questing, exploration, reputations, RP, collecting, and crafting. Archaeology is what I'm most looking forward to, and it sounds like it will be right up my alley. I'm still mourning the loss of Path of the Titans, but it's understandable if that concept didn't work out. I have at least 2 alts to level during Cataclysm, and there's a possibility that number might go up to 3. So there will be no shortage of things to do.

I still need to clean out my banks/bank alts, get crafting supplies together and sorted, make bags, and so on. I also think now would be a really good time to clean out my add-ons. There's a good number of add-ons that I likely won't need anymore, so may as well clean those up as well.

I'm working on getting Netherwing reputation on Betsea, 3 years late! I just had never gotten around to doing it before, although admittedly it's much easier now considering that there is zero competition for eggs, ore, and mobs. It's a good mini-goal to get while we're still in waiting mode.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

RealID: an Epilogue

Blizzard announced this week that they finally implemented the functionality that many had been asking for regarding RealID: A way to turn it off (that didn't involve Parental Controls), a way to turn off the Friend of Friend feature, and a way to turn off the Facebook integration.

It's certain that in regards to the WoW community, Blizzard has their job cut out for them. To be honest, the WoW forums are full of trolls, pot-stirrers, and people who can barely type a coherent sentence. It's embarrassing, and the WoW community has developed a terrible reputation. Terms like "U mad bro?", "lulz", "QQ", "bads" and other silliness is the equivalent of saying "kewl" back in the AOL days. It looks borderline illiterate.

So yes, it is in Blizzard's best interest to do something about the situation, and it has been long overdue. The pros and cons of RealID have been debated at length elsewhere and that dead horse is glue at this point, but now that the RealID issue has settled down, what can Blizzard do to improve their forums going forward?
  • Force people to use one unique identity. I would be perfectly happy if everyone was given a unique username, or barring that, people had to choose one specific character to be tied to. Take away the option to post on alts, and that will be the first step. This will force posters to be held accountable for what they say.
  • Add in a reputation system. Allow posters to give positive or negative reputation to other posters. People that make better, more helpful posts, should be recognized as an MVP. People that troll should be recognized as such.
  • Add more community managers, and better enforce community standards. Posts that are well-written and present points and opinions in a constructive manner should be encouraged. Flamers should be warned and banned both from the forums and in-game on the third warning. 
  • While we're at it, Blizzard could also use more in-game GMs. Any time that I've submitted a ticket or a report I've gotten a message that they are experiencing a heavy load. Blizzard could react more quickly and with harsher penalties on people who are spamming [anal] jokes in Trade Chat or who are harrassing other players.
I guarantee that if Blizzard were to implement at least unique identities and the rating of posts (and my understanding is that they are considering doing both), it will improve things drastically. Add in the rest of those ideas and it would be even better! Would Blizzard lose some players? Possibly. But considering the sheer volume of subscriptions that they have at the moment, I doubt that they would be missed. An improved community could likely even bring back many players who tried WoW, liked it, but left because they didn't want to put up with such childishness.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wild Thing! ... and zombies!

It's a slow, slow time in the WoWiverse right now.

Other than quick log-ins every day or two to check on guildies and see what's going on, there's really not too much to say about WoW at the moment. Oh yeah, there IS this...

Born to be Wild!

Yep, 2 years later, I finally decided that my meager stash of gold could be easily replaced in Cataclysm, so I splurged and bought a bike. I also found a fairly decent set of bike gear, which will be worn anytime I'm out riding the countryside.

I'm excited about flying in the old world, true, but I love this bike so much.

Hmm... what else? The guild is growing with lots more casual players and altoholics. Seriously folks, if you're looking for a good, decent, group of people to play WoW with, and as long as you don't care about raid progression, look no further. GearScore, elitism, and bad attitudes are not allowed here. Unless you're riding a badass bike, in which case you can have a little bad attitude.

Rumor has it that Cataclysm will be out sometime in early December. Well yeah. We're getting down to the wire. It's October now and we haven't yet seen the build-up patches plus BlizzCon is happening later this month, so that rules out October. November is still a bit close as well, considering that it would have to happen in early November due to the Thanksgiving holidays. That leaves early December... unless they push it to early January.

I don't know, right now, I'd be happy for something, anything. As close as December sounds, it also sounds very far away. It's incredibly slow right now. I don't even remember the pre-TBC and pre-Wrath periods being this bad. I'd happily take a zombie event right now. Oh yes, even ZOMBIES.

Speaking of zombies, in my non-Warcraft time I've been playing Minecraft. No, it's not related to WoW. Yes, it is incredibly fun. If you were to mix the Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Dig Dug, and the WoW mining profession together, set it all into a zombie horror survival game, and then put the whole mish-mosh into a world of 8-bit Super Mario Bros. graphics, you'd about have it.

It's currently in Alpha, but you can already order the game at half price, for around $13 US. You'll get free updates and upgrades from that point forward. You can customize your character with player-made skins, and there are a bunch of player-made texture packs that can turn your game into different environments, like an RPG paradise, or an autumn/halloween landscape.

And it's creepy. Really creepy. It messes with your mind. I am a wimp and play in peaceful mode most of the time, because I like to build and I like to be able to sleep at night.

So if you're looking for a good way to pass some time while waiting for Cataclysm, Minecraft might be a good choice! Check out Arkenor's videos if you'd like to see more info on Minecraft.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Fork in the Road

Yep, that's one big fork. Thankfully, my fork isn't so huge. I think.

I've been giving much thought to the state of my blogging lately. Originally, Battle Priestess started as a World of Warcraft blog, and for the most part it has stayed a WoW blog, although over the past few months I've expanded it to be more of a general WoW/MMO/Gaming sort of blog. And honestly... that's not working so well. I need focus, and lately much of my focus has been taken by LotRO. Right now there's a weird sort of co-existence between LotRO and WoW on this blog. While I still enjoy playing both games and want to continue blogging about both of them, I don't care for trying to balance between them in a blog context. I would guess that it's also somewhat disorienting to my readers as well, especially if you're really only interested in one specific game.

So to that end, I'll be splitting off the LotRO content from this site. My new LotRO blog is at The Woodhall Post and I'll be moving most of my LotRO content there. So, if you're a LotRO player, please come visit! I'm really excited about the new blog and the opportunities that I'll have there to go more in-depth on LotRO and Tolkien's Middle Earth. I've also set up a new twitter feed to go with the LotR side of things as well: @WoodhallPost.

But, if you're not a LotRO player, never fear! Battle Priestess will remain here as a WoW blog, as well as a little bit of geekery and general gaming. Cataclysm is coming folks! ::cheer:: Of course, if you play (or are interested in) both games, by all means, please continue to follow both blogs.

Also, I have to say a big thank you to my readers (I know you're out there!) that have put up with my gaming schizophrenia all this time. :)