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I haven’t posted to this blog in a VERY long time.  It’s not that I haven’t been playing World of Warcraft.  My ability to post was more related to a tinge of OCD or what some consider perfectionism.  I could edit a post 20 times before I’d consider it good enough to live on the web forever and some times posting seems more like a daunting task.  What’s changed in a year?

I have six natural level 90 characters now – 5 Alliance, 1 Horde and two unnatural level 90 characters (boosted).  By natural I mean I actually spent the time to level all these characters up the hard way.  My main character, Shavai, now has iLvL 547 gear instead of struggling with quest gear (and the top level of gear has gone up twice).  The guild master from my old guild quit the game to focus on other things in life, but very kindly helped me transition into my own guild.  Most notably, my son and his girlfriend are now both playing World of Warcraft with me.

Playing a game for over a year gives you an amazing perspective on the game and the people who play it.  World of Warcraft has so much to offer in play types and places to play, yet many people want quick and instant gratification. In a game so rich with things to do and places to go, finding those who really appreciate all the game’s aspects is a rare and joyous occasion.  We’ve had a few people join the guild with alts, but none who are regular players.

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Currently, I own two Level 25 guilds – one Alliance on the Dalaran server and one Horde on the Gnomeregan server. My hope is to make our guilds learning guilds.  I look forward to getting all my characters up to Level 90 so I can concentrate more on creating guild resources and do guild recruiting. Our goal with the learning guilds will be to provide tools and tips to everyone who wants to explore the depth of the game and more casual, less regimented opportunities to try and learn some of the harder aspects of the game such as raids.

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At the end of this year, Blizzard will release a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft called “Warlords of Draenor.”  If bootleg videos of people flying over unfinished lands is any indication, there will be plenty to explore in addition to being able to create your own town.

If you are new to the game and interested in trying it Blizzard offers a free trial. As someone who went the trial route and ended up playing the game I recommend just jumping in as the trial route creates two different accounts which can get confusing to newer users.  You can usually find the game software on sale.  I recommend buying a 60-Day play time card from your local Wal-Mart and getting a link to special perks which gives you an opportunity to get triple experience and a special “Summon” ability from the person who gave the link to you regardless of which class you are.  These perks only last for a couple of months though so it’s best to make use of them immediately.  You can request a special link to these perks by e-mailing knightsoftwistedfate@gmail.com with the e-mail address you’ll be using for your World of Warcraft account.  It’s important you have this link available for use before creating your account.

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Chances are upon creating your first character you’ll be bombarded by requests to join a guild.  Make sure you choose a Level 25 guild to take advantage of all the perks (a list of these is available on the home page of our Alliance guild web page).  Don’t worry about being stuck with any one guild.  You can leave at any time and switch to a guild that better suits your play needs.

You may want to find a guild that caters to newer users so you don’t suffer the wrath of players who treat new users with contempt.  Unfortunately, abuse of new players has become the staple of today’s barely raised children looking for a way to feel better about themselves at the expense of others.  There are plenty of mature users in the game.  You just have to find them.

Playing World of Warcraft can be a fun way to keep in touch with family who are no longer physically near you.  It can also be a good way to teach your child to be a responsible internet user instead of an internet abuser.  It’s a great way to focus on something else when dealing with daily pain management and a great way to relax if you have smaller children who go to bed early.  It allows you to socialize and achieve things all in the safety of your own home.

Now is a great time to get ready for the Warlords of Draenor expansion whether you are a new player or coming back to the game after a long period of inactivity.  Hope to see you there! 🙂

 

I freely admit I’m a noob.  The universe seems to be testing my resolve When it comes to World of Warcraft.  These last two weeks have been the most mentally exhausting weeks since I started playing, which means I had one good week and then it all went down the toilet.  I was lucky in that Blizzard happily transferred my character from the trial program to the main server when I purchased the digital Battle Chest they offered for $9.99.  It left two WoW server log-ins though.  I kept hearing that the old trial server log-in would disappear in a week.  It never did, but I was too happy about being able to keep the character I had already leveled.

As I got to higher levels and started reading about where good places to find materials for my professions and leveling were, I noticed people talking about add-ons.  I thought they would be a wonderful addition.  WRONG.  I started with something simple like Atlas, TomTom and something that claimed to allow me to move any of the user interface windows on my screen where they were more effective for me.  None of the add-ons were as helpful as billed and in fact made my life more miserable with their incompatibility with the Blizzard UI. I finally gave up, took the add-ons off and removed the Curse.com installer.

Several things happened at the same time I uninstalled the add-ons.  1) I finally got around to telling Blizzard I wanted to return my non-working authenticator…the same one that locked me out of my account for half a day while I waited for the west coast to wake up and go to work.  2) Someone at Blizzard looked at my Customer Support ticket and completely ignored what I said and instead of telling me how to return my authenticator which I carefully explained was my purpose for filling out the ticket, returned my digital upgrade for Mysts of Pandaria.  3) Doing so destroyed my account right after everyone on the west coast left work for the day, leaving me locked out of my account for another 12 hours.  I was livid (mostly because these last two weeks I’ve just been waking up when Blizzard employees are going to bed so that was my prime game time). 4) Right before this happened, I did a quest that went from Stormwind to Old Town and noticed my blue EXP bar had disappeared.

Let’s start with the last item first.  Here’s a note to people who are new to World of Warcraft.  Just because a web site, wiki or forum says a NPC is in one place, doesn’t mean that NPC will actually be there when you go to find him. My first example of this phenomenon was Morbent Fel, a NPC who the wiki showed a picture of in his bedroom.  Morbent has since relocated to under the crypt that is guarded by a HUGE bone animation (lots of hit points) with a million undead ready to have their way with you.  He’s also a bit of a badass now with his fancy clothes and spells.  The same is true for Behsten, the guy who gets your EXP bar put back into your user interface.

Blizzard didn’t just move Behsten from the Old Town warrior training area, they made him opaque so you couldn’t see him unless you looked very carefully.  I don’t know which spell controls fading out, but he’s chock full of it.  As you may or may not be able to see him in the picture above, he is located in the battle room to the right of the King’s (possible) throne room at Stormwind Keep, at the very farthest left-hand corner in front of that table.  You have to wait for him to show up and what you see in the picture above is as real as he gets.  If you right-click on him, he’ll offer to toggle your EXP bar, but keep in mind if he does toggle it OFF, you will no longer be chalking up EXP points.  I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m not even sure how mine got turned off as it appears you have to PAY Behsten to turn it off.  Inasmuch as I couldn’t even find the guy to get it fixed, I have no idea how mine got turned off.

Back to my Blizzard drama – once the Customer Service Representative turned off my Mysts of Pandaria digital upgrade, I could no longer log into the server.  I figured it’s easier to communicate with Blizzard through their e-mail type system, but it’s clear I need to give that idea up. How anyone could mistake the words “Mysts of Pandaria” for “authenticator” are so far beyond me, I can’t fathom what they were thinking.  Oh wait, I remember.  I had to buy my digital upgrade through battle.net, while the authenticator had to be ordered through the Blizzard store.  It created two different orders.  Clearly, the guy answering my request for information on how to return the authenticator back to Blizzard just clicked the first order they saw, leaving me with no way to get onto the server. Or they’re a sociopath who likes to screw with people for shits and giggles.

Having reached my limit for being shackled by the lack of Customer Service “open” hours, I pounced on my phone the minute 1:00PM ET hit my clock. Luckily I only had to wait a couple of minutes.  We discussed the merits of how to distinguish the words “Mysts of Pandaria” from “authenticator.”  He explained to me that my inability to connect to the game server was simply a happy coincidence with my Mysts of Pandaria being taken away and that add-ons were the root of all evil.  He very kindly put my digital upgrade back and gave me instructions for uninstalling ALL of my World of Warcraft software (all 20+ GBs of it) from my Windows 7 installation so I could start with a clean slate.  They consisted of this:

In order to remove World of Warcraft from your system, please follow the instructions below.

For Windows Users:

1) Go to the Start/Windows button, and click “Control Panel”
2) Look for “Uninstall a program” (Windows Vista/7) or “Add or Remove Programs” (Windows XP)
3) Right-Click on the World of Warcraft icon and select “Uninstall”

This will begin the uninstallation process.

If the game is not listed in the Add/Remove Programs, manually uninstall the game by deleting the folder directory where WoW was installed.

After uninstalling, there may be remaining game files on the system. Search the hard drive for any Warcraft related files and delete them, including Temporary folders and the Blizzard Entertainment folder from the Common Files folder. These folders will normally be located at:

C:\Documents and Settings\<YourName>\Local Settings\Temp
C:\Windows\Temp

Select and Delete these folders if they exist.

C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft
C:\Program Files (x86)\World of Warcraft
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Blizzard Entertainment
C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft
C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Blizzard Entertainment\World of Warcraft\

To reinstall the game, please do the following:

1) Install from disc(s) or download the installer from (https://us.battle.net/account/management/download/)
Downloading the game client will install a more current version which may save you some patching time if your disc has an older version.

2) Patch to the latest version of the game.

After the game is re-installed, please make sure to not reinstall any custom UIs. Connect to the game servers and download the latest patches to test the game.

Unfortunately, I still had errors that were keeping me off the server (Error: BLZPTS00002 – We Could Not Connect to the Battle.net Patch Service). Luckily, it was easy to find the solution here.  Apparently, even though I had rebooted my machine before trying to install the game again, some background program on my computer was still causing problems.  I followed the easy directions about closing background applications and was FINALLY reconnected to the server to download the game again.

The re-installation is what caused the picture at the top of this blog entry.  It was funny when I first installed the digital copy of the trial program I had the same thing happen at a much lower degree.  All the flowers and plants on the ground were that horrid void green.  Blizzard will install enough of the program so you can play immediately while it chugs away at uploading the rest to your computer.  I take it from the fact that my horse turned up all green that mounts are a low priority as well.

One of the other things that used to bother me whenever I tried to reload the UI by deleting the WTF, Interface and Add-On folders in the World of Warcraft sub-directory was when I tried to log back in, it asked me what server I wanted to log in to and what character I wanted to make.  I already had a new character, I thought it was supposed to reload itself.  Luckily this time, selecting the server I was already on (Dalaran) brought up both my characters.  I guess that’s the good thing about playing on the server.  No matter what happens to your PC, your character will almost always be there (unless someone has hacked your account and destroyed everything).  Even then, I think Blizzard keeps a back up.  While the guy from Customer Service was telling me about reloading the software to my computer, he also made my authenticator work.  I’m just afraid to start using it without Customer Service being open in case it doesn’t.

At one point, I put my tale of woe on the Blizzard forum.  Apparently I’m the only person who can have so many bad things happen.  I guess it takes a noob to make that many special things happen at once.

BTW, I’m very proud of the fact that I FINALLY have boots that cover all of my feet.  I’ve been getting new armor pieces, but I’m at the point where the attributes on the armor is really coming into play.  I had a cloak with +7 strength for a long time because I liked the extra strength.  I know priests aren’t supposed to need it, but I found it annoying not to have it.  I’ve slowly been weaning myself off the armor that has STR on it, but it hasn’t been easy since my intelligence and spirit are so high it seems negligible to swap out a couple intelligence for strength.


WARNING: There are spoilers for the Morbent Fel Quest below.  If you don’t want to know where he is, don’t read any of the text between the red “SPOILERS” indicators.  I’ve been looking for Morbent Fel for three frickin’ days. Seriously. According to the map, he’s supposed to be in his house on Forlorn Rowe, but when you go there all that’s left is a hat I used in the previous quest. (NOTE: Some web sites claim he is still in his house surrounded by three bodyguards. Yes, the guards are still there, but Morbent Fel is not.)  After looking at several different resources online, I had even LESS of an idea where this guy was.  All the pictures I could find of him showed him in front of beds. The house had no beds.

The guild I joined was no help.  Someone offered to help me find him one day, but they wound up forgetting about me (life as a low level player) and then they logged off.  I asked a question on guild chat a few times during different periods when I was in the game and the one person that responded said they didn’t know anything about him.  Oddly enough a couple of hours later as I watched guild chat go flying by, I noticed a level 12 player talking about how thankful they were these other people in the guild let them tag along so they could learn.  Even though I’ve only been playing since Sunday (six days ago) I still have many, many questions.  No one in the guild ever asked me if I’d like to tag along.  Including the very nice person who recruited me.  This was a bad sign of things to come.

A couple of days ago I posted a question in the guild forum about deciding how to choose a guild.  I was told the reason people randomly ask players to join their guilds is because everything you do generates money for their guild and if they are not maxed out for quest experience points you contribute to that balance as well if you are doing quests.  In my case, not knowing anyone else who plays WoW I had to make a decision whether it was worth staying in a guild that was unhelpful as this one was beginning to seem or leave and wait until I was of more use to someone as a high level character.  I opted on the latter and left the guild I had just joined.

Had I known guild requests were all about what you could give the guild, I would never have joined one to begin with.  Sure, there are some benefits (extra spells, movement of character, discounts at stores), but they pretty much are offset by what your playing gives to the guild.  If you are new to the game, I recommend waiting until you are level 85 or higher to consider joining a guild unless it’s a group of friends from real life.  The WoW forums have one area specific to discussion about guilds – who’s looking for guild members, who’s looking for a guild.  You can look through the ads of people who are looking to add players to their guild and ask questions.  Some of the guilds are very competitive so if you’re not going to be playing WoW every hour of the day that you’re not at work, you might want to shy away from them (I read one notice that said if you weren’t producing up to quota, they’d kick you out). Also, be sure the guild you are interested in is on your server.  If not, you wind up having to pay $25 to get your character switched over.

Back to Morbent Fel. Since I’m a new graphic RPG player, I was very focused on following directions.  No matter how many times I stood on top of the quest indicator, Morbent Fel would not appear.  I kept reading the quest again and again.  It spoke of catacombs, but I had been in the catacombs (the part that wouldn’t end my life endlessly) and he was not there. Don’t get me wrong.  I’m really not afraid of dying. I do it with some regularity in places with a lot of aggressive NPCs (such as Raven Hill Cemetery in Duskwood where the Morbent Fel quest takes place). I had my special Morbent Fel buster (some object received in the quest line to take away his special mage powers) to use as soon as I found him.

[SPOILERS] The reason I couldn’t find Morbent Fel is because he’s located in a connecting catacomb that will kick your rear end!  At least at Level 27 being a human priest.  How did I finally find him, even though I had been in that catacomb in spirit form (after being killed, having not picked up my corpse yet) and not seen him there?  I started at the catacomb I could survive, went all the way to the end where the little tunnel is, went to the end of the tunnel and peered very carefully into the larger catacomb area.  Someone had gone through there already and killed the aggressive NPCs.  The bigger guys at their tables were staying still. Don’t get me wrong, there was still one aggressive big guy standing next to Morbent Fel who dispensed with my living body very quickly (with one hit – I must not have had my power shield on), but someone must have killed him while I was running back to get my corpse from the area.  All that was left standing once the body was retrieved and I was alive again was Morbent Fel.  I shielded up, used the Morbent Fel quest thingy that took away his power and went to town on him.  He wasn’t very hard to kill once there weren’t a bunch of other NPCs trying to kill me at the same time. He has about the same number of hit points the jerk who walks around Raven Hill Cemetery with a big sword ( Mor’Ladim) does.   Mor’Ladim loves to be part of a gang banger.  If two or three NPCs from Raven Hill gang up on you, Mor’Ladim senses it and comes running! [END SPOILERS]

I have to laugh about the whole armor thing in this game.  I’m not a big clothes person.  I buy my stuff from the Walmart and after wearing it a couple of years it falls apart and I have to go back to the Walmart and get new clothes.  I don’t care whether they’re stylish.  All I care about is whether I want to run screaming when I see myself in the mirror (not a ruffles person).

I think about that when I log into WoW every day.  I’m not the kind of person who believes in shoulder pads, but they are VERY good armor so I’ll keep these funky squares shooting off of my shoulders for now.  I waited a long time to find something to put on my shoulder area.  I still have head, neck and trinket spots to equip now.

I’m going to see if there are any WoW meetings in my area so I can find people that might be able to give me tips on the interface and controls and the like.  There’s so much about graphic RPGs I don’t know about, so I’ve got a lot of area to catch up on.  I haven’t done anything but quests this week and it seems like there are a lot of other things to do.

For now, I’m going to bask in the glow of completing the Morbent Fel quest.  It was bugging me for a LONG time and I couldn’t find ANY web sites through the search engines that actually had information about how to find the little brat.  I don’t know if I couldn’t find him while I was in spirit because he WAS a quest NPC or whether someone had just killed him before I died.  I just know I had looked at that exact location when I was in spirit, but he wasn’t there.  It was great finally completing that quest. Now if I could only complete the one where the prisoners of war are without dying a million times. LOL!

A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away . . . yeah, I know. It’s cheesy George Lucas, but that’s where I am today. When my son was nine years old, he introduced me to a text game on our local BBS (Bulletin Board System for those of you who weren’t even a sparkle in your father’s eye at the time). The only people using the internet back then were college students and government workers and the recreation on the server was MUD (Multi-User Dungeon for those not of the geek persuasion). It came in lots of different shapes, sizes and types.

The best thing about MUDs were they were easy to program and easy to make new worlds for. After all, the only requirements were imagination and being able to type. If you had any intelligence at all, you could tell how each of the world, item, MOB, etc. files were coded – it was all ASCII text.

In this time before the internet, you called up your local BBS for social recreation when it was either too late to be out or you had kids in bed and work the next day. So it was my nine year old son who taught me how to play CircleMUD, mainly so I could be a Cleric and heal him as he tore up the towns.

Unlike my son, however, I stayed with the game for several years. I was a God in some versions, created new zones for others – there were always a large amount of different MUDs to choose from. As my health became more stable, however, I didn’t have as much time to devote to the game. About the same time my son started playing first person shooter Nintendo games and the rest is history; the internet we see today.

I never made the transition from text to graphic games. When my son started playing Golden Eye 007, just watching him made me nauseous. The screen went by so fast I couldn’t get my bearings and had to turn away. I decided I would simply be one of those people who couldn’t switch over to graphic games.

Later, when Facebook started putting graphic games online, I started playing Restaurant City – a likable little cooking game. At least until EA got it’s greedy hands on it. Soon after it was sold by Playfish, things went downhill and the game was removed by EA. Having noticed a trend in professional gaming companies to try and suck people dry until they no longer wanted to play their games, I swore off Facebook games.

Having been a Eureka fan for a while, I became a fan of Felicia Day when she started doing guest shots on the series. This led to the Geek & Sundry channel on YouTube and many other pleasure entertainment pursuits. Her YouTube series The Guild was funny and while I could appreciate some of the jokes from being a MUD player, I still had no idea what World of Warcraft was like. With my health being in the state it’s in, I figured now would be the best time as any to learn. I finally had tech that would meet the minimum requirements to play the game and an operating system that didn’t make my life a living hell trying to connect to the server. (BTW, if anyone would like to buy me a nice, new gaming computer, please feel free to do so.)

I don’t actually personally know anyone who plays World of Warcraft. I’m 53 years old. Most of the people my age are playing with their grandchildren. Lucky for me, I didn’t give birth to my son straight out of high school, I waited until the ripe old age of 26. He graduated with his Engineering/Physics degree a couple years ago and just like I did he works 18 hours a day trying to make ends meet. He’s not much gaming help to me.

For those of you who don’t play WoW, the part that allows you to play with other people costs $15 per month on the Blizzard server. Since I have to budget my money wisely, I figured I should just jump right into the trial they offer (20 levels for free!) and see if it was a pursuit worth picking up.

Shavai - Human PriestI created my character, leveled it up to seven and upon realizing I wasn’t getting nauseous decided to take advantage of the $9.99 digital download they offer when you play the trial version. That’s pretty cheap for a video game considering I’d probably never look at the books that came with the software anyhow.

The thing I liked most about it was Blizzard keeps all your gaming information on their servers – what you’ve purchased, all your characters. If my tech decides to take a nose dive (and if you knew how old it was, you’d understand) all I have to do is download the program again on the replacement computer (or something like that – I’m sure a call to tech support will ensue).  BTW, you will wind up having to call Blizzard if you start with the trial so your character can be consolidated into the one digital purchase account.  My experience with their customer service was incredibly happy.  In my book, good customer service is usually the hallmark of a good product.

So I’m good for a month. While everyone else is playing the new add-on Mysts of Pandaria I’m running around some world that comes with the Battle Chest Starter Edition (Dalaran). The sad thing is if I decide to switch to the Mysts (which I’m sure will be offered to me at a discount at some point along with the other add-ons I don’t own), I have to start a new character. It doesn’t look that hard. I’ve only played a couple of hours and my priest is up to level 9 and that’s without knowing anything about the game other than point and kill all by myself. I just figured out how to reply to a message today. Grouping with someone is going to require reading the directions though. LOL!

Yes, there are a hundred other things I need to learn about World of Warcraft, but I’ve got plenty of time to learn them with my current physical challenges. The funniest thing I got stuck on yesterday was figuring out that once you get up to level three, you have to click on the name of the quest you are completing in order to get your goods. 🙂 That’s what happens when you first switch over from a text based game to a graphic game. You don’t know where the heck anything is or how to use it. I hope it doesn’t take forever to learn all the little things.

February 2017
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