Friday, 29 October 2010

Greek Yoghurt!

Greek yoghurt with honey is delicious, with a bunch of granola and a bit of cinnamon. Crank up Joe Cocker's rendition of 'The Letter' (Live) from his Ultimate Collection Album and I get a glint in my eye and a grin on my chops.

See you all soon

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

I love ThinkGeek but customs costs and delivery systems blow

I love and no, they're not paying me. I am awaiting a small order of geekish goodies from the states. Being in Blighty (Britain) I expect this will take some time to arrive, but NO! it crosses the Atlantic in one day and is delivered to my office the next day, where apparently I'm not available (the 20thOffice hours, week day, I'm there) and I've 'refused' to pay the customs. Day two, I'm given a slip from the post room, from UPS. I call them, I pay the customs, super smashing great, next day? NO! On their site I'm tracking the package, I'm not available again and I'm still refusing to pay the charge (The one I paid the day before) I ring up UPS, they apologise (ofc) and say next day, which again turns out the same. I phone them back with that 'I'm so angry I'm now scarily calm' voice (Are the lambs silent now, Clarice?) and they explain they didn't have a reference for my payment (Thankfully I did) so got that sorted and they'd organise it for the next day (Today)

The tracking site says 'Destination Scan' at 5 minutes to 4 this morning. Here's hoping! I will also find out if it was the post room being arses, the loading bay being difficult, or UPS being numpties. All in all, I'll be getting them sent to my sister in Milwaukee next time, she can post them to me and avoid all the shenanigans.

UPDATE: I spoke to the post room, they confirmed they'd sign for anything that comes in, which they have in the past, loading bay simply refer people to the post room, so it's not looking good for UPS at this stage.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hallows End\Hallowe'en\Samhain\Divali

The End of October is upon us again, so whether you're celebrating it with trick or treating or as a festival proper, have a good one. I will be celebrating in two ways, trick or treating with my little boy in his vampire costume (Very cute), then afterwards, I'll be having a small bonfire and a bottle of mead to celebrate Samhain and see my new year in.

Still milking the headless horseman for all he's worth. Is it me or is this one less rewarding than last year. Last year my DK cleaned up, helmet, trinkets, mount, the works. This year, the same trinkets over and over, a Squashling, a mount. I suppose it's been balanced by the ease of going there, but it just feels a bit tight this year. An 80 version of the Horseman's Blade wouldn't go amiss.

I wonder if they've juiced up day of the dead this year? A big papier mache skull helmet would be ace, and pure comedy gold for my Gnome Warlock. The event is now 2 days long, which seems a bit odd for a 'Day of..' type arrangement.....

Well, I may blog beforehand but if not, have a great Hallowe'en/Samhain/Divali

Friday, 22 October 2010

Back in the loving busom of my guild

I'm back in Civil Society! Yay! Due to my good woman being sick, and my boy howling his head off, I had to bail on an ICC10 man run. Unfortunately, it was right after I read a tool tip wrong and asked for an AP trinket. It was seen, understandable, as loot roll, fail, log off and sulk. I came back on the next morning to find myself without a guild.

I took time to explain myself in a calm and reasonable manner and was invited back. w00t! It's nice dealing with reasonable people.

The nights are becoming longer and the mornings darker, soon we'll be turning the clocks back/forward (I can never remember which) and the days will be practically non-existent. I like twilight best, so I'm laughing.

I got invited back for next month's ZUGgaming blog carnival, so I'm flattered.

Hope you're all well, and I'll see you all soon.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Making Gold in Cataclysm

OK, the possibly most covered topic in WoW ever since, like, July. So I'm going to take a different tack. I work by day in a banking/investment firm (Boo hiss you say, I'm sure, but hey, I'm not biting the hand that feeds). One thing I've noticed, money makes money, so I guess gold makes gold. If there's something on the AH that can be sold for more, chances are it's already quite expensive. Do you have 12.5K to buy chopper parts? If so, I'm sure you'd sell the chopper for 15K, right? Not possible if you don't have the initial outlay, or a very understanding guild. So let's take this to Cataclysm. You're 80, wandering around the new zones, you can't fly in Azeroth until you purchase the license, so therefore, if you're a gatherer you're a step behind the ones that did get it. This means you miss the crest of the wave. When TBC hit, new materials cost a king's ransom, but undercutting worked in the buyers' favour and prices normalised at a high point, then eventually the true prices became commonplace. If you want to take advantage of other people's gold reserves you need to supply their needs before another seller does. Remember the old maxim: If you don't look after your customers, someone else will.

So, my first gold making tip for cataclysm is something of an oxymoron - Make Gold in Wrath and stockpile it. You'll need it to get your flight license, train up gathering skills and simply for stamina. Do you want to have to go back to the Argent Ren faire for gold while others are cruising around new and knackered Azeroth mining all the nodes? Didn't think so, either.

Second tip: Go get things now you can't have in Wrath - The Razzashi Raptor pet, for example. There will be a number of things discontinued by the Cata update 4.0.3, so go read Zuggy's brilliant tips and other sites that list what's going away. Thanks to Breanni for his brilliant site on pets.

Third Tip: Pets - People pay damn good money for them. The Pet Mini Tyreal is going for $985.00(!!!) on eBay. I'm not suggesting you break Blizzard rules, but look at that in gold terms, people will pay good gold for pets in game. With a little travelling (And you can use this time for some archaeology, and XP from travelling - my favourite thing ever - lol) you can amass a decent collection of pets and flog them on your faction's AH for a tidy profit. Part two of this is to organise with a friend to sell pets, roll an opposing faction toon, and visit the independent AH and sell Alliance pets to Hordies and Horde pets to Alliance bods. The secret is to have your friend on Ventrilo or Mumble or somesuch similar. You then sell your friend a grey item for 150G, he uses this to buy his faction pets, he puts these on the independent AH for a tiny amount (With you there on Vent, Mumble etc ready to snap them up before someone else does. You then sell them on your Faction AH, and reverse the process, dragonhawk hatchlings were very popular at start of TBC. Your hordie can farm Black Cats from Hillsbrad Fields. To sum it up: I sold moths for a tidy sum from the Exodar AH, the buyer was a Draenei in the Exodar. This was exploiting one great virtue of WoW players, sloth. (I know it's a sin, but if you're selling to a sloth, it's a virtue)

Fourth Tip: Buy the stuff levellers will need when it becomes cheaper in WoW. When the new ores and cloths and leather hit, the old ones will probably nose dive. People slightly behind the curve (And remember, new expansion means new players, not everyone will be 80 on launch day) will need these things that no one is gathering to level. You could always go gather these things and corner the market, too. Case in point - Wool Cloth. End of the argent ren faire cycle, 5th alt to 80, bored of questing for rep, go to the AH, spend silly money on Wool cloth and get a rep hike with the NPC's outside the tailor trainers in the capitals. Wool Cloth is easy to get for an 80, as in every cloth, ore and leather.

Fifth Tip: On the subject of ore and leather, if you have the slots, or are planning to level a Goblin or Worgen or other alt, roll two chars. Get one to do Mining, First Aid, Skinning, Fishing, Archaeology, and Cooking. Get the other to do Herbalism, First Aid, Skinning, Archaeology, Fishing and Cooking. The reasons are thus: Mining and Herbalism are on the same minimap. This means you can't use the minimap to locate both herbs and mining nodes. The rest of the professions are to gather needed materials, mainly to sell, but some to level your alt and gain access to better materials to sell, level and so on and so forth.

Sixth Tip: (Although you've probably already done this already) Form a Bank Guild. Roll a toon (one of the above ones), go to your nearest capital, and get a guild charter with signatures (You'll probably need to pay people to sign as un-guilded toons are something of a rarity, and they're all trying to make gold too) and get one of your toons to supply your bank toon with bags and gold. Buy all the slots in the guild bank and bags slots in your toon's bank. Use this to store your crafting mats, selling mats, BoE drops for auctioning etc. etc. You can post all your greys to this toon too, because if you leave them in a city, they can vendor all the vendor trash, and use the money for auction fees for the other (decent) stuff you send them. One fun thing to do with Bank toons (And why I recommend Warrior alts as bank toons) is to clad them in interesting garb (I love my warrior wearing the Unadorned Chainmail from the Belf starter area, looks really cool on a female dwarf with a red plait, which is another reason to get a friend to do the honours with an opposing faction toon)

All in all, keep your eyes open, save your gold and spend it wisely. And of course, enjoy :D

Cata is coming: run like £&@k

Yes, World of Warcraft's next expansion is nearly upon us, and yes, I want the ZG raptor mount like never before. I hope today's 'scheduled' maintenance doesn't include this getting itself disparu'd.

Jimbelle joined a new guild, they're fairly big but they are based on the credo that people have lives and jobs and stuff. I must say it's very refreshing, although did manage to do Sarth 3D on second day with relatively mint 80 'lock, so quite impressed.

Talking of maintenance, my shelves will arrive today, with a smudge of luck, so I will spend the weekend rebuilding the computer room. I have pro arms to mount my monitors on, the old telly (36" LCD) so I can stick films on while the Mrs is working (she works from home taking orders and stuff for a large mail order firm most nights, and she can't be disturbed) and the oft-put off PC maintenance including multiple monitors and card to my server, the usual round of updates and defrags. On top of that wiring a sizeable chunk of the house with cat6 cable to avoid trailing wires that have plagued us for months.

WoW and IRL: been invited back by Zuggy to contribute to the next blog carnival on gold making in/for Cataclysm, so watch this space.

Be good, or be careful!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Cataclysm - The Meh!

Yes, I'm meh-ing Cataclysm. Two valid reasons:
1. I'm now officially bored of Wrath. I could probably write a guide on alternate levelling methods. This is my own fault for taking 7 toons to 80, one to 79 (Later today, Ding! in advance) and one to 5 (A bank char!), having killed off a 40, a 20, and a 10 (This'll probaboly 9 to 80 and one to 40 by the time Cata Collector's edition lands in my grubby paws. Also, having my fault for having done them all as Alliance, I've seen the same content over and over. Hell, I've even started trying to do it differently this time. Barely any Grizzly Hills PvP (Got the Grizzled Vet Achievement just for gits and shiggles) So the actual reason I'm meh-ing Cata is that I can't wait for it. I'm actually bored of waiting for it, just want it to happen now.

2. Secondly because Wrath has no new content, and that is Cataclysm's fault. It will also mean that Northrend will become as empty and dead as Outland. I flew through Outland last night. It's gorgeous. It's now also completely wasted. When I started levelling my 60's to 70, it was full. When I levelled the last of my alts to 70, it's was starting to feel a little spooky and empty. Northrend is starting to feel a bit empty. From my WoW friends on Facebook I've twigged that most have let their WoW accounts lapse and will only renew once the expansion hits. This means I'm filling my time until that happens, grinding money and rep etc that won't really be much use until December.

This isn't a direct criticism. Blizzard have done a fantastic job of their expansions, and this causes them problems. Namely (Words to the effect of, as I'm paraphrasing) 'We'd like to release an expansion every year' 'Dance Studio' 'Path of the Titans' etc etc

I'd especially like to say that Greg Street, he of the Ghostcrawler variety, deserves your respect. Can you imagine how much crappy comments he gets? I take it personally when someone looks at my work even slightly askance, this bloke has rhino skin. Respect due.

Hell, I'd like to be able to grind Nerubian rep. Those two dungeons are fantastic, challenging, clever and beautiful. Everything you could ask for in content. If they could have made the Nerubians a faction, it would have been brilliant. Maybe now the Lich King is dead(-ish) you can help them reclaim their home etc etc as part of revamped 70 to 80 content. It would be nice to do something that worked vertically instead of horizontally. Like Sunken Temple for complexity.

I worry that you won't step into Outland or Northrend with all the new content in Azeroth. I would really like Blizzard to make these two zones newly relevant in the expansion. I appreciate that if wishes were fishes we'd all eat well tonight (Unless you don't like fish, or can't ingest too much Mercury)

Also, a big thank you to Totalbiscuit of The Cynical Brit for his Blue Plz podcasts. I might take his advice on the ISP he openly rates.

Neeeeed sleeep, and braaaaaaiins

Monday, 4 October 2010

Jimbelle's all grown up, and my leg bloody hurts.

Back pain - Meh! It feels like the tendons in my left leg have become shorter, and yes, it's damn painful.

On a lighter note. Life is pretty sweet. My son doesn't listen to a damned word I say, the Mrs is working too much (Which is good for WoW but a pain for housework/seeing her time) but work is going OK and my WoW-life is awesome.

Could really use more sleep though, but as a parent to a toddler, realistically expecting to not get any. Just been informed the little man may have chicken pox. I need that like a hole in the head.

The computer room is an absolute pig sty, but I now have all the necessary parts to build my ultimate super-dooper computer room. Unfortunately, I'm actually quite lazy, so it's not as likely to happen as soon as you'd think. I really want to fix it up, but I'd like it to fix itself up more. Yes, I'm praying for faeries to come sort it out.

This past 2 weeks have all been about Jimbelle. My pint sized girl Warlock, has hit 78, and is participating in Brewfest, that wonderful frost emblem farming...oops....seasonal celebration of beer. I even had to speak to the lovely GM's last night, my Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest vanished in the ether. I had a wonderfully upbeat and chipper GM reply and get it posted to me. w00t!