Flowers for Garou


More Flora


It feels really strange to follow up yesterdays post.  Those were a bunch of things that I felt like I needed to get out there, and to be honest about the doubt that I had been struggling with.  As it stands right now I am for certain taking a break over Memorial Day weekend rather than either pre-writing posts or arranging for guest posts.  I am also contemplating starting to make weekends optional.  Sunday is really the day that becomes madness for me because I am also scurrying around that morning trying to wrap up the various stuff required for posting an episode of aggrochat.  As far as this weekend, it was honestly one without a ton of gaming.  Instead I spent a large amount of time hanging out in the backyard.  Scope creep is a term we use in development when a project has gone beyond its boundaries in the number of features the user is requesting.  Our backyard has long since entered scope creep territory and that’s okay.  The original goal was just to make it more livable, and this has involved a whole sequence of smaller steps leading up to where we are today.  Once again I took a panorama of the progress, and you can see the larger version here.

We have now kept the original batch of flowers alive and actually thriving for two weeks now… so of course we doubled down on the proposition.  We spent a bit of Saturday afternoon tracking down more of the shepherds hooks so that we could have matching ones to the ones we had picked up at ALDI a few weeks back.  The other night while walking with a friend, my wife saw a hanging basket at a near by pop up nursery that she really liked.  We also happened to have a coupon from that same pop-up that if we spent $20 we could get a free hanging basket, so the end result is us adopting the purple, yellow and white hanging baskets and adding them to my “flower babies” as I have taken to calling them.  The only big things left are to wait on the grass to finish filling in where the weed treatments left barren patches… and so far it has started.  Then there is of course the idea kicking around about replacing the table we have with something that sits a little lower to the ground and that we could use our pseudo-Adirondack chairs with.  Then I am contemplating getting another of the umbrellas we found on sale to go in a post on the far deck side of the pool to add a little shade there from within the pool.  Like I said…. scope creep abounds.

The most interesting piece of scope creep over the last week however is the fact that we have entered the realm of bird stewardship.  I’ve not been able to take a great shot of them but we have soooo many birds.  In the panoramic shot you can see on the right side that I have a feeder hanging in among the tree that is really an overgrown hedge.  I’ve begun feeding fairly regularly, a first a blend from the Audubon soceity and later a bulk blend we got from Sam’s that fairly closely matched the nutritional mix of the first one.  Sunday morning while watering the flowers I filled the feeder up to roughly the halfway mark because it was ultimately what was left in the 40 pound bag after dumping the rest into a tightly sealed container.  This was at roughly 9 am… by the time we were out in the yard after my wife got home from church around 11 am… the feeder was completely empty again.  There have been times I have counted a dozen tiny sparrows feeding at the same time, with a bunch of cardinals, bluejays, and various sundry other birds that I cannot yet identify roaming around.  We have a couple that look like doves of some sort, and another couple that look like pidgeons.  Basically the entire time we have lived here I have wanted birds to hang out in the backyard and in the evenings I have been able to watch the baby sparrows hop and play around on the deck.  Unfortunately they are all pretty skittish at the moment, except for the Robins… they seem more than happy to roam within close distance of us looking for worms.  In any case… this is the non-gaming activity that is taking up a good chunk of my time.  On the weekends and evenings we tend to eat outdoors hanging out in our rockers watching the flora and fauna.  Yup… I am officially old, but not minding a minute of it.

Surprising Whim

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Most of my weekend gaming was spent in Diablo 3, doing various things…  and largely without purpose.  I managed to get my stash tab on Friday, and from this point on everything else is gravy in Season 6.  For awhile now even before the season, Diablo was the game I played when I didn’t know what else to play… and I spent a huge chunk of the weekend not knowing what else to play.  Normally Destiny would fill this niche but I didn’t really want to hang out upstairs when the couch was so damned comfy.  During the weekend I found out that my good friends Chestnut and Chaide from Wildstar have decided to re-up World of Warcraft, and the glory that is our collective community managed to recruit them to hang out on Argent Dawn Alliance with us.  I ended up logging in to do some invites last night and wound up sticking around and playing my Druid.  There was a part of me that thought… wouldn’t it be glorious if I could somehow ride into Legion with a full army of level 100 characters.  The actual leveling game of World of Warcraft is something that I have enjoyed greatly… it is just the Garrison busywork that ends up getting me down and making me no longer want to play.

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So the idea is simple… if I can focus heavily on leveling and or gearing my characters I might be able to get back into the game for a bit.  While watching my Sunday night shows, I managed to push from 91 to 93 and make a big dent in Shadowmoon Valley.  Normally speaking I take this abbreviated path around Draenor, jumping each time a new zone opens up to me.  This time around however I think I am going to just focus on the questing, because that is the thing that seems to be able to hold my focus even when the rush to end game doesn’t.  I mean with this character I am not pushing to get anywhere, and Hellfire Citadel feels stifling at the moment so I am in no rush to get back there with LFR.  As it stands I have my Druid, Priest, Rogue, Mage, Warlock and Monk to level… and I am sure that this current burst of interest in World of Warcraft won’t probably sustain my way through all of them, but I might be able to at least springboard this into a renewed interest in MMOs as a whole.  The absolute hardest for me is going to be the Mage because… really I could care less about finger wigglers and the least is always the pure finger wigglers.  I can pretend the Discipline Priest is a cloth tank, and I can focus on the awesome demon pets on the Warlock.  However with that mage… all I am left with is the fact that I am slinging spells which never really feels amazing.  Anyways who knows how long I will be around for, but I enjoyed myself last night.

Quintessential Quintet

Farewell to Arts


I did another really quick video yesterday since we are supposed to have an impending server reset.  In the holiday weekend since the last restart folks have filled the server with all sorts of nifty stuff.  So I thought I would do a really quick video showcasing some of the cooler things.  The highlight for me is the alligator.  I am wondering who built it, because seriously it was perfect.  The server has essentially exploded with pixel art everywhere, some of it seeming to be freehand which is pretty amazing.  While this is all interesting I am hoping soon we get a bit more substance.

It was rumored that we would be seeing a new patch today or tomorrow and in it I am really hoping they introduce two things.  Firstly I want to see the crafting system and all the nifty things it can produce.  This is likely going to be a massive thing because this also means they will likely change they way the blocks work so that we actually harvest them instead of just destroying them.  Currently the game works a lot like Minecraft creative mode, where you have pretty much unlimited resources to place at your disposal.  While this is cool for free range building, the game however right now is lacking a “game”.  Wandering around and exploring, engaging in combat is fun but I feel like we need something to give us a sense of purpose.

The second thing I want badly is the cornerstone concept, aka your plot of lands that persists to each server you play on, and that no one else can disrupt.  Part of why I have not built much of anything yet is the fact that we still have way too many mad bombers on the server all to willing to destroy your hard work.  In fact I railed on Shawn Shuster of Massively a bit in the video as in his walkthrough that was posted yesterday… he was all too happy to blow up other peoples creations. 

There have already been some pretty epic works of art destroyed by some idiot who would not suppress their inner poo flinging monkey long enough to appreciate what had been created.  While I realize this is a side effect of having a game with no rules yet, it still depresses me to see the world as Swiss cheese.  I am sure once the new patch has gone life I will do another quick video showing off what it added.  So stay tuned to my channel and I will post something up there as soon as it is available.

Quintessential Quintet

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Also last night I managed to push my paladin Exeter to 90 and with it came an achievement that I was not expecting.  Apparently Quintessential Quintet is a thing?  I cut an odd path on this one, by the time I left Jade Forest I was already 87 thanks to all the mining nodes.  From there I made a beeline for Kun Lai, and critpathed my way through the zone until I reached the quest chain that lead to Townlong.  Similarly in Townlong I quested my way through the Shadopan chain until I reached the jumping point for Dread Wastes.  All of which was to set myself up perfectly to be able to start working on Klaxxi quests as quickly as possible.

Why you might ask?  This is my blacksmith, and all the nifty things you can create seem to be on the Klaxxi vendor.  Namely I wanted to be able to start creating masterwork weapons for all my other characters as I get them to 90.  That seems to be the big weakness as it comes to the Timeless Isle content.  You can gear your alts up with 496 extremely rapidly, but you have a few glaring holes…  namely your weapons.  Also I seem to have a much harder time getting Curios for trinkets, and the neck/ring slots to drop on the Timeless Isle.  So as a result I have ended up spending a fair amount of time trying to remediate their gear just so I can be able to queue for something.

Timeless Isle is nifty, but I really miss the equivalent of the Icecrown 5 mans.  I wish there were heroics that I could run that actually provided something viable for filling out a set of gear.  I feel as though they should really have put in a new 5 man that dropped 496 weapons to go with all the gear they are handing out like candy.  Even with epics…  a crappy weapon is still a crappy weapon.  Right now my paladin for example is using the treasures of pandaria BOA one handed sword that you find on the ground.  Which is better than anything he has gotten yet, but at least being able to create the masterwork hammer will be something slightly better.  I think those are 463 ilvl which is essentially what the heroic gear is.

What Next?

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I have to say getting Exeter to 90 was a pretty cool thing.  He technically was the very first character I created, and my intended main.  For years my internet handle was “Exeter” and quite honestly “Belghast” was my main over in DAoC, and it was not until late in Vanilla that I started to play that character as a main.  All the while through vanilla my main was Lodin the hunter, and it was an almost accidental occurrence.  I had a death in the family that pulled me away from Warcraft a few weeks after the release of the game.  As a result I got rapidly outpaced by the rest of the guild, and back then soloing a Paladin was a truly painful experience.

Hunters were the gods of soloing, so I started leveling Lodin just to be able to keep up with my friends.  Within a very short amount of time I had caught up, and when we hit 60… I got drafted into the raid group of a guild member as they wanted to replace a troublesome hunter.  I had no intent to actually play a hunter as my main, and in truth I am not terribly suited for the class… but I did for almost all of Vanilla because it was my “Raid main”.  Once you start playing a character in a raid group you are pretty much committed to always play that character until they no longer need it.  The positive effect however is that I met so many life long friends through raiding, and that the Late Night Raiders hunters were all such amazing people.

As soon as Burning Crusade was released, I saw this as my opportunity to leapfrog Lodin in gear and start playing Belghast as my main.  That is the awesome thing about expansions, the gear reset lets you change your focus.  From that point until the tail end of Wrath of the Lich King, I was a warrior main tank.  It was not until I needed a break from the hot seat that I switched focus to the Deathknight and fell in love with it.  All of this time I felt horrible for leaving Lodin abandoned in the dustbin.  It was not until Cataclysm that I actually managed to level him out of the outlands.  During one of my last sessions playing I pushed him up to Pandaria levels, so I feel as though it is probably his time to shine again.  I pretty much permanently run around in Giantstalker transmog in honor of the fun times I had with him raiding during those early days of Vanilla WoW.