Bumbling Around

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Yeti Power

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After a Tuesday night spent chasing Legion Invasions and being an Illidari, I felt like last night I needed a nice relaxing night of being a completely different sort of Demon Hunter.  By nice and relaxing I mean a night spent pushing rifts and causing anime style rocket explosions as I cleared entire rooms at the same time.  It is strange how Diablo has morphed over the years for me.  Originally it was that game that I wished I could play with friends… but didn’t have stable enough internet to be able to play it.  Then it when the second game was released it absolutely become a game I played almost exclusively with friends.  When three was released, I was in a place where I was largely soloing and found it a less than amazing experience.  Now several years later each time a new season is launched it becomes this focusing force that brings a bunch of us back together for another trip happily through the paragon and gear grind.  For most of the night last night I was joined by my fairly regular demon slaying buddy Grace, and we also managed to snag Thalen and bring him along for the fun.  The night as a whole was pretty great because on our first tag team attempt at bounties… a Menagerist Goblin spawned dropping this extremely awesome Yeti pet named “The Bumble” for me to go wandering with.  Additionally I was able to knock out several pieces of gear off of my list, and I finally managed to get the last of the three legendary gems needed for this build.  The highlight of the night however was getting an Ancient Yang’s Recurve to drop…  which admittedly made Grace super jealous.  However because of this it is now my duty to tag along in any D3 madness to push hard for folks so they too can get their sweet ancient drops.

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The other thing that happened last night is that I attempted the “Numlock Trick”.  One of the more annoying things in Diablo 3 is that most builds have some sort of buff that they want to cast essentially anytime it is available.  The goal of the build is usually to get enough cooldown reduction so that you can keep it up 100% of the time.  For the Multishot build I am using for my Demon Hunter, it is focused largely around getting keeping Vengeance up 100% of the time… and right now I have it close enough that I maybe have a second without it up at any given time.  The other day I heard something mentioned in a build video talking about “using the numlock trick” on one of these buffs… and I had to investigate to satiate my curiosity.  There is apparently a strange glitch in the game that allows you to essentially constantly be spamming a button press.  I mean in theory you could do the same thing with hardware macros on a keyboard, but this just sort of “works”.  The idea is to bind the 1-4 hotkeys to have a secondary key which relates to Numpad 1-4.  To toggle on autocast for any of the abilities you turn your Numlock key on, hold down the keys you want to autocast and then turn off your Numlock.  Just like that the key keeps repeating over and over… which causes some weird behavior.  Firstly if you are holding any key the cast will not fire… so if you are holding force move or the left mouse button down… just ease up on it to let the next cast go off.  Secondly… it has the strange behavior of interrupt abilities like identification or teleport.  What I do to get past those is to start the channeled cast, and then hold any key.  In my binding I have S set as an alternate bind for Shift… which is to stop moving and hold still.  Holding this down while channeling works well to keep my auto casts from interrupting whatever ability I want to do.

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The other “strangeness” that happens is that any time you shift games, and sometimes when you just downgrade difficulty it can turn the autocasting off completely.  In this case you just flip back on numlock, hold your keys down, and turn it back off to set the glitch back up.  Now that I know this exists…  I am wondering what other uses can be had for it.  Supposedly folks use this regularly for Taeguk builds on the monk side to keep the stacks.  In theory I could do the same trick to make sure I am evasive fire shots in with my hunter, to build hatred and keep up the damage shield.  For the time being however I am keeping it simple and only using this to try and keep Vengeance up as often as possible as well as my Companion ability.  I was always horrible at using these cooldowns, and tended to save them until I reached a point where I had a lot of elites to attack rather than just constantly using them knowing that I had another cooldown just around the corner.  I need to spend some time working on achievements so I can catch up to the point Grace is currently in the seasonal journey.  I am still not sure if I am going to go for the stash slot this time around…  but for the moment I am going to keep playing so long as the game feels fun and fresh.  Tonight however I have earmarked to go do Broken Shores scenario on my various alts… because I have yet to actually see the new cinematics.

Winter and Yeti

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Winter Arrives at Casa Belghast


So something I am realizing yet again is how badly I need a schedule to function.  During the work week, I am on super tight time constraints.  I get up at 5:30, make coffee, pack my wife’s lunch, and then am usually upstairs sitting at my keyboard by just a little after 6.  Then I bang out a blog post, feed the animals… play with the ferrets because they are begging to be picked up… and then am out the door at around 7 am.  On the weekends however….  and on this holiday break…  I am completely all over the place with my blogging.  When I know there is no real time constraints…  I feel free to screw around in the morning.  I’ve been reading twitter and blogs for the last two hours…  and finally it is getting to the point where it is kinda embarrassing that it is 11:30 and I have yet to produce a blog post.  While I complain about stress, I am also apparently one of those people who thinks most clearly when the shit is hitting the fan…  or at least I am bumping up against a deadline.  It is like my creativity flows more freely when I know there is something riding on the line.  I know that at pretty much I can start writing and come up with a post…  and because of that… it means when there is no deadline I keep putting it off.  I am the king of procrastination…  and among the list of things that need to do today is book my hotel room for Pax South…  which is only a few weeks away.

As you can see in the above image, Winter has finally arrived in Casa del Belghast.  For most of the Christmas break so far it has been windy as hell, but still pretty warm.  On Saturday, it started raining, but between the showers… it was still nice and warm outside.  The thermostat started to turn down yesterday, and overnight the constant rain turned to ice, and eventually as of this morning snow.  The Monday morning commute was apparently hell, based on conversations with the folks holding down the fort.  This is one of those moments when I am damned happy that I still have essentially another week to go before I have to worry about it, and by then I am hoping that we have returned to the balmy conditions we have been in recently.  I am perfectly fine with not having a “real winter” here in Oklahoma, because our normal Ice Storms suck.  If we got fluffy and happy snow like the rest of the world seems to, I would be perfectly fine with winter.  Instead we get ice… and lots of it… that usually starts out as sleet and then eventually becomes glaze ice that freezes to anything it hits…  high means power lines.  Why the hell we have above ground powerlines still boggles me… because the ice can snap the aerials like very brittle twigs.  Thankfully from what it seems, this is going to be our major day of ice and snow… and then it will warm back up shortly after.

Mission Yeti: Accomplished

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I told Lodur last night, that he would have to hold down the fort without me… because I am officially out of the Team 360 No Mount business.  I’ve talked over the last few days of my Christmas gift that required a little work.  A really good friend of mine read my commentary about the struggle to get the holiday Yeti mount, and when she managed to get two of them…  pinged me that she had a gift for me.  The gotcha of course was that it was on a server that I have zero characters, so I rolled a level 1 druid and have been leveling like crazy over the last few days.  It took me roughly two days of marathoning Star Wars movies to go from 1 to 40 and last night I wrapped it up getting the final two thirds of a level in Feralas.  I stopped what I was doing as soon as I dinged and made my way to Orgrimmar to learn Journeyman Riding, and of course learn the mount.  From there I fiddled around and got to an interesting vantage point to take a few screenshots.  I am super happy to have the mount, but also really enjoyed the “Catte Durid” leveling process.  The only problem is… that this character is now stranded on a server that I am not sure if I will play much on.

I talked a bit about the general toxic environment I encountered while leveling the character, which does not give me warm fuzzies about staying there.  That said this is the only server that my friend really has characters on.  The frustrating part is that to move a character it is $25 each, which seems like a lot of money when you are looking at an army of alts.  Considering that at this point moving a character is a scripted process, and requires zero manual intervention…  the game as a whole would be a happier place if they just adopted the Rift system of server transfers.  In that game you can move one character per week for free, pending that character is in good standing and above the level of 15.  That means over time you can move servers with your characters, and sure you have to wait a week per… but it lets you get out of bad situations without being taxed into oblivion for doing it.  There are many times that players end up getting stuck on a server that they literally do not know anyone playing the game anymore.  So it seems like insult to the injury of losing their friends…. to ask them to cough up another $25 per character to move off of the bad environment.  Sure you can always group with Battle.net but there is something you miss by not having access to the friendly green spam of guild chat… and all the while I was leveling this druid… I felt the pangs of not having access to my friends.  At some point I will likely delete the druid I have on The Scryers and move this character to that server, but in the meantime it will serve as a sort of hiding out alt…  which is largely why I have not mentioned the server name yet.