Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chasing Battleground Achievements

Crooked is good incentive for me to do battleground PvP achievements. I have to admit I have been enjoying boomkin PvP even though I am not particularly good at it.

The best thing about it is that I can actually work on some achievements! It helps to kill stuff if I want flags returned and stuff, and on a side not I can also get some bloody coins. I didn't realise that it was a 100% drop rate for bloody coins with an honourable kill in a BG (I thought it was a chance) and so every time I get a coin I get so excited. I even tell Crooked about it, who is well on his way to having 2500 bloody coins so he probably just smiles indulgently whilst I gush effusively about it.

Last night I got an accidental achievement, not realising I didn't have it already.

I've been enjoying playing with Splatzor in PvP. Warriors are good value, especially when the rest of us are casters, EXCEPT that he kept stealing all the flag returns! I was frantically clicking the ground where the flag carrier fell but he somehow beat it to me every time! I did manage to get ONE return (and I was healing that time!) and that was only because Splatz didn't know the flag had been taken.

At the moment I've been working on Isle of Conquest. I must have done a lot of it back in the day because I have a number of achievements from there, and only have two left to go - disarming bombs and winning 100 games. I'm having difficulty trying to disarm bombs (and apparently you can do it from the other side of the gate) but I will make a more concerted effort. It's interesting, the strategy to win that game. For Horde, it seems to work best if we ignore middle, rush hangar and get people to kill glaives. Everyone dropping into the keep from the zeppelin and running bombs seems to work really well, and it only seems to muck up when the Alliance keep is well defended. As long as a few stay behind to defend our keep then it seems to work well.

In Battle of Gilneas I only have one more achievement to do, and that's kill 10 people at each flag. I actually find that very difficult! I wonder if we go around in a group of 5 trying to kill everyone, perhaps I will have more success with that. I often get caught up trying to do the actual objectives of the game and miss out on those killing spree opportunities.

Alterac Valley has TONS of achievements that I need done, and it's a shame because I am sure that some of my work in Vanilla would have counted for those achievements.

I need a few more wins in Temple of Kotmogu before I can stop queuing for Temple. Nearly there! We actually had quite a good run of Temple last night with us holding 4 orbs - the disc priest from the first game was absolutely outstanding heals, and I am a bit bummed I didn't get to whisper them to compliment them on their healing.

In Eye of the Storm I need to kill 5 flag carriers. Well that's going to be horrible without a DK to grab them.

So on my non raid days I need to do more battleground achievements. So if you see me just standing around in my garrison - nag me to go do some battlegrounds!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Blizzcon on NO budget - BTW what is the opposite of a Shoestring?

This is not one of those Blizzcon on a Shoestring (Lonely Planet style) type posts. This is me talking about how I get a bit excited and throw money around when I am determined to go to Blizzcon.

As I wrote about earlier, I had been trying to secure tickets and I was fortunate enough to get tickets thanks to HK constantly refreshing and spamming the broken Universe page when the Benefit tickets came up for sale.

It took an hour before it miraculously was fixed, and due to HK's persistence we got tickets. There were a few people that had given up, hoping that Blizzard would announce a new time to get tickets, but that didn't happen and some people missed out.

The money is going for a Orange County's Children's Hospital. I wonder if there will be any doctors there? There will probably be some hospital executives, but I think it would be nice to chat to one of the doctors - after all, I am a general paediatric anaesthetist as well, so I am happy to support a medical cause.

The good thing is, flights are cheaper than they were the last time I went. Flying return on QANTAS on an A380 (after flying American Airlines 4 years ago I am NEVER flying that again) cost just over $1000 return. Virgin Australia also has some tickets at a similar price, and the flight time is about 14 hours each way.

Then we have accommodation.

I stayed at the Red Lion last time - fantastic family hotel. I decided I would stay there again. NOT surprisingly, the rates are VERY PRICEY during Blizzcon nights, but relatively cheap the other nights. For the 3rd to the 5th of November, the cost per night was a whopping $582, whereas the other nights were $196, $181, and $150. That was a bit of a gouge! However, Shab is staying at Super 8 and he's staying for 4 nights for a total of under $700.

But the action is not just at Blizzcon - there are all the parties around Blizzcon as well! Wowhead has a party every year and they often have lots of raffle prizes and cool things to take pictures with. Last year it was at the Hilton. There are often a lot of famous people dropping in at the Wowhead party so it's good for people watching!

Con Before the Storm (which was formerly known as the World of Podcasts - that party was in my hotel in 2013) is a "party organised for fans by fans". Done in conjuction with Ask Mr Robot, the party had 4000 attendees last year! A lot of my podcast friends will be there - and of course a lot of my friends who follow those podcasts will be there, so this is the party I would like to attend. They currently have a Kickstarter crowdfunding set up with a ton of packages to choose from, some with some cool benefits. You don't even have to back one of the package amounts, you can even just give a small donation if you like! There is a pre-party that does require a paid ticket (Throwback Thursday Pre Party - and you have to wear an old school gamer T to be in theme) but you can get that with a $75 donation package and the party after is free entry.

For someone like me, who has community friends and contacts CBtS is great, but for the general player I think that the Wowhead party would be a lot more happening (but it is usually SUPER crowded! I wonder if that has changed over the last few years).

All these parties are free to enter, so don't feel shy, and just turn up and meet other Blizzard fans! I know I was a bit hesitant to speak last time, but I shall try my best to be less shy. I think there are other parties around - I believe there is a Twitter one but I'll see what else I can find.

Ultra, Aza and Exray got their tickets so they are thrilled to bits! Sev might be going as well if I can secure him a ticket, and he's going to share costs with Shab. Ultra, Az and Exray will be sharing accommodation so I'll have to find out where they are staying.
(Edit: They are staying at the Anaheim Majestic Garden hotel - which is a bit further away from the Convention centre but close to Disneyland)

That doesn't even cover places to eat! I am sure there are plenty of places to be eating, so I won't worry too much about that. However I will need to make plans for dinner with people who would like to catch up!

Oh, and there is one more thing. This time I'd like to give a little token to all my friends that I see at Blizzcon, and I thought I'd make some badges to give away. Last time people gave away stickers, magnets, business cards and the like, and I thought badges or pins to stick on your lanyard would be cool. It will be something that will be very Navimie I assure you! Anyway, it will be fun!

So here is the run down:
Wednesday: Land in LA.
Thursday: Go with Shab, Sev, Az, Ultra and Exray to get their tickets. Go to Con Before the Storm Throwback Thursday preparty, then go to the Benefit dinner. Meet up with friends afterwards.
Friday: BLIZZCON! Dinner with friends.
Saturday: Breaking bacon with Ceraphus and Xia, then MOAR BLIZZCON! Then more dinner with friends.
Sunday: Shopping and socialising
Monday: Depart

Will see how many people I can see in that time! After all, Blizzcon for me is only once every few years - and this year is a particularly baller one so I'm going to go all out this year. I am planning to go home with something from the charity auction!

But to all my readers, I hope you back the Con Before the Storm on Kickstarter for even a small amount - help make a great party, even if you can't be there! I promise I will take lots of pics and tell you all about it :)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Raiding - Ah back to guild runs and early mythics

Ah, first guild raid since I got back! I always enjoy Wednesdays, despite my trepidation earlier in the day that it could have been ugly. We had a couple of non guildies hanging around (Medio and Manataan) but we decided it was a good enough group to do Archi/Manny.

Unfortunately we spent most of the night wiping on Archi because we had little things not going well. 4 healing it was better, but we did struggle a little bit, and Rag and Koda were on their alts who had not done Archi before, so they at least got that down at the end which was satisfying. Unfortunately I was dead at the end, so I'll just put that down to out of practice.

Also, my healing is TERRIBLE when I'm slightly panicking! I go back to relying on rejuv spamming instead of concentrating on throwing my lifeblooms and wild growths around. It was rather embarrassing!

We pushed a bit later than normal and finished the first 4 bosses on the bottom floor, so maybe we can have a slightly more interesting night tonight. Lower floor is a yawnfest!

I was happy to get some of our more casual players like Clint and Gorvek in for lower floor. Gorvek's first raid with us, and I was a bit embarrassed for him when Voe said loudly "Who the hell is Gorvek?" to which I replied he was a guildie and Koda said "AND a Shaman!" I did giggle at that. Hopefully Gorvek didn't feel affronted!

It was much more enjoyable for me in the final bit, just healing and bumming around. I felt bad that I had to have a bit of a chat to my guildies - it felt like they were being a little bit naughtier than usual (even though I could tell they were being fun by being boisterous and loud) but it can be a little intimidating and just slightly too loud for my liking in a raid - even a fun one.

Saturday night did some mythics again, and this time felt a bit more warmed up so I was feeling a bit competitive and tried to up my output a bit to keep up with Annabelle. Dunno why I didn't use it before, probably because I liked the mana conservation part and getting to wrath for fun, but I guess now I had to concentrate on healing! We did the first 5 which means all day tomorrow is Gorefiend. That will be one expensive repair bill!

I unfortunately had to DPS for the first few bosses in mythic, but I did get to heal for Council and Kilrogg so that was good, at least. It was funny that Reaver was a one shot but we died a few times on Kormrok - apparently it was the opposite last week.

It's a bit of shame (and I don't blame them at all) that Nostalgic now have enough interest in their guild to almost fill their runs. We were only ever going to be fill-ins anyway, so we aren't guaranteed a spot, but now it's just the 3 of us hanging around in raid. Today it was HK's pally, myself and Neuro. I mean you can understand, most guilds want to do things AS a guild, and Frostwolves is no different. I don't begrudge them that, but I sorely wished it was my guild that was raiding! But, I've already said we aren't, we aren't going to recruit for us to do so, and I do enjoy getting to just turn up, or NOT turn up if I have something on. I'll just keep riding this ride while it lasts. That's the best I can hope for.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What would I talk about if I went to the Blizzcon Benefit Dinner?

In our last ditch attempt to get tickets, we are going to attempt to get tickets for the Blizzcon charity dinner. Here's a banner from 2015.

The dinner is on the Thursday at 6pm at the Hilton, and you can only get 2 tickets at a time. Each ticket is a whopping US$750 and you get to chat to Blizz employees for the evening in a "relaxed dinner". You also get a signed Blizzcon key art print. Proceeds will be donated to the Children's Hospital in Orange County.

I have no idea what the likelihood of getting one of these tickets is, and when I mentioned it to Az and Shab they did balk a bit at the cost, but they do still really want to go to Blizzcon! Naturally if I did manage to win any of those tickets I would want to go the charity dinner. Imagine who I could meet there!

Az did laugh at me, saying that I would ask Dev's silly questions. However, I am not sure I want to talk JUST about Warcraft or Blizz games - I would just like to get to know the people behind the scenes! And then I thought who would I really like to meet?

I would like to meet Michelle Morrow - she seems really fun to talk to! And of course Chris Metzen looks super engaging and LOUS, and I would love to shake the hand of Mike Morhaime as well! And who knows who else! As long as there is FOOD I'd be happy to go, I don't care if it's a fancy meal or just cocktail food!

The weird thing - why am I unable to find any pictures from the charity dinners? Are pics not allowed? Or do people not take pictures at these functions? If I did go the Benefit, I would take lots of pictures with everyone! And of course I'd be taking pictures of the food - I am sure people would be curious, right? Because I sure as hell am!

I wondered - do devs just want to talk about the game and answer questions all day? Surely they'd like to talk about other things right? I'm sure at a charity do if I had to attend as an employee, I'd just love to have a nice night out and talk about fun stuff at work and not have to listen to someone whinging at me about some broken mechanic or what was WRONG with any of the previous expansions. Imagine if I turned up to a hospital benefit and the attendees where complaining to me about hospital wait times and complications of operations we had done! OMG that would not be a fun night out at all!

This is all wishful thinking of course. Who knows if I can even get tickets at all! But, I can tell you this - if I go, there will finally be photos on the internet about the Benefit dinner!