Warlords of Draenor

  • Posted on: 11 November 2013
  • By: Keiya

So the new WoW expansion is as expected, WoD: Warlords of Draenor or more accurately: Way Over Due. I really was not expecting to be this excited about the WoW expansion. Truth be told, I wasn't even planning on returning to the game or buying it at all because let's be honest; While the last two expansion packs have many good qualities (improved graphics, improved questing mechanics and flow, wider variety/more level cap activities), as a whole they have at least in my opinion, felt mediocre and too far removed from core lore of the Warcraft franchise, if the lore even matters anymore. WoW for me peaked in WotLK, which has been my favorite expansion by a huge margin.

As things may be, Blizzard announced exactly what they needed to announce in order to entice me back to WoW. So come WoD time, both Dave and I will be back in business! This will be the first expansion pack in which there will be no new races or classes; So that in theory should mean that the time and energy normally spent developing the new starter areas will be distributed elsewhere. I guess we will see. Things that I am really jazzed about

  1. Garrisons
    I honestly did not think that player housing would ever happen.
  2. Insta-90
    I think that a lot of people romanticize the journey from level 1 to 90 and lose sight of the fact that for most of the player base, that so called journey was spread out over 9 years. Those 90 levels are a pretty daunting barrier when all that many new players want to do is play with their friends. I’m really interested in seeing how gear will be handled and if crafting/gathering professions will be factored in. You know what’s even more tedious than level a character from 1 to 90? Being level 90 and having to travel back to starting zones for the sake of having to pick weeds.
  3. New character models
    WAY overdue by at least 5 years but still very much welcome nonetheless. The fact that the environments have improved so much just further served to accentuate how out of date the character models were. Overall, I think the pictures and animations that have been shown so far look great and do a good job at capturing the feel of the original models.
  4. 10 levels
    I’ve never been much into leveling but the past two 5-level expansion packs have felt... I don’t know, not half-assed but, truncated?
  5. Bloat removal
    So far, there seems to be a lot of fat trimming with the announcement of Item Squish and the removal of reforging as well as the more useless gear stats. Also consolidating gear by having your items use your spec's primary stat? Probably one of my favorite announcements thus far.

Regarding other BlizzCon announcements: HoTS may be the MOBA that I end up playing purely because of the fact that I am familiar with Blizzard's franchise. Also, if blizzard is even mildly serious about eSports and the WoW arena they need to separate PvP and PvE abilities at a major level. Ultimately, I feel that both gameplay types would benefit from a change of that nature as balancing around both PvP and PvE simultaneously has never worked out all that well.


Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar

  • Posted on: 15 August 2013
  • By: Keiya

Not going to lie, it's really tempting to resub for the upcoming patch but I don't think I have the time or motivation to gear grind or raid anymore :


Ding, Level 90!

  • Posted on: 7 October 2012
  • By: Keiya

Not so much WoW time this weekend since we were out of town most of the weekend or out and about. Did manage to get enough playtime in to hit 90 while questing in the Dread Wastes, which is by the way very dready and wasty I suppose. Hopefully more instancing and what not next week. Oh man is it nice to fly again...


Mists of Pandaria, Week One

  • Posted on: 2 October 2012
  • By: Keiya

Ding, level 88! I know, I’m the fastest leveler ever right? I swear that most people are either at or approaching level 90 but now and hopping on the gear treadmill. Definitely glad that I am not really feeling pressured to rush to the level cap, though being towards the bottom end of your social group's leveling curve sucks a bit. It was exciting back in the day, running heroics ASAP at the front of the pack, it I just don't seem to have the time or interest for that sort of play style anymore. Also, I will get there eventually so I don’t really see the point of rushing through everything.

I *gasp* actually got my crap together and started tanking instances the other night, which was interesting considering that the last time I had seriously tanked since what, the end of Burning Crusade? My tanking gear is mostly crap, in fact the vast majority of it was replaced by a half-night of questing. I must say, it was nice not having to wait for a tank in the LFG queue for a half hour.

So anyway, questing: Valley of the Four Winds was a fun zone, the brew quests are a blast. I like the WoW farming mini game, despite thinking that it sounded a bit silly when it was first announced. It's simple, quick, different, and feeds right into the cooking profession. Currently working on Kun-Lai Summit. I am enjoying the East Asian martial arts aesthetic quite a bit; From peaceful meditation, training montages to trekking up a mountain Everest style. Departing from run-of-the-mill high fantasy archetypes is a breath of fresh air. The lighthearted pseudo-Chinese theme reminds me of Avatar the Last Airbender, which is most definitely not a bad thing in my opinion.

Like all MMO's, I am curious as to what the general feel for MoP will be 3 to 4 months from now once the most people have settled in at the level cap. That was about the time when Cataclysm attrition has started to hit (for myself included), so I am very interested in seeing what Blizzard had planned to mitigate player loss.


Mists of Pandaria: Day One

  • Posted on: 26 September 2012
  • By: Keiya

Two miracles happened today when logged into WoW (thus ending my approx 6 month hiatus). One: My user interface didn’t explode and utterly break as expected. Aside from a few errors and missing elements (my holy bar had vanished...), I didn’t have to do much of anything other than download an updated copy of my addons (against my better judgement I used an addon updater because I am lazy). Two: There were no server problems or queues on Proudmoore when I had logged in during prime time on release day. I downloaded the updated last night, logged in when I got home from work this evening, played, logged out when I was done. No queue, no serious lag, no server crashing. I’m not sure if that means anything anymore, but release days have traditionally been somewhat of a nightmare for past expansions.

I am half way through level 85. I did one of the starting dungeons shortly after logging in, leveled in Jade Forest and did the other starting dungeon. Had an absolute blast playing with friends again, which is really what much of the game is about for me; Good times all around. Jade Forest is a gorgeous zone by the way, hard to imagine that a game approaching it's 8th year can look this good! Not planning on rushing to level 90 to raid as I did with past expansions. I think that I am looking forward to taking my time for once and not rushing through everything to stay on level with everyone else. Also, I don't think I can really commit to a hardcore or even just a 2 to 3 night a week raid schedule anymore. I would love to raid again with a regular group at some point though.

Totally forgot how to play my paladin which was interesting considering that I was invinited into an instance right off the bat. Yay muscle memory! Also, I may actually go tankadin again this expansion but we'll see.


On The Raid Finder

  • Posted on: 7 February 2012
  • By: Keiya

Two weeks of Dragon Soul runs since returning to WoW after a two month Skyrim/whatever break and I manage to snag 5/5 pieces of Tier 13. Nice. This almost makes up for 6 years of bad rolls. Also, if you were in that one run with me where I broke the one item per run rule and won two of the armor tokens, I'm sorry :(, trigger happy.

I like the raid finder; It's simple to use and gets people who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to raid (or like myself, don't have the time to participate in a regular schedule and don't want to sit in LFG all night), into the new content with minimal hassle and server drama.


BlizzCon 2011 Photos (Better Late Than Never)

  • Posted on: 27 December 2011
  • By: Keiya

And I post this two months or so later. Oh well. Long story short, BlizzCon, our self anniversary gift to each other was fun. So fun that we both started up WoW again after a 4 month absence, then kind of stopped playing again when Skyrim came out a month later. I kind of haven't logged in for patch 4.3 yet and I swear that I will one day if I can make it past the pile of games yet to be played. Speaking of which, it's probably already too late to buy it but the Humble Indie Bundle #4 is a fantastic deal.

I think I like the idea of playing WoW on a more casual basis. Should I decide to log on consistently, it would be nice to raid again at some point, though I am not sure that I am interested in another fixed weekly raiding schedule. I'll give Looking For Raid a try at some point. By the way, the cross-server Real ID friends dungeon running thing is a great feature. Being able to instance with my friends is again is pretty sweet, huzzah.

So the con: We ended up watching quite a few of the StarCraft 2 matches more than any other particular activity at the convention. Being able to attend the GSL finals was a real treat by the way ( both the main hall ad the RTS stages were packed). I really really wanted to stay until the end but since I was falling asleep in my chair, we ditched out at around midnight.

Here are a couple of photos. I suck at taking pictures by the way :/.


BlizzCon 2011: Ticket Success

  • Posted on: 21 May 2011
  • By: Keiya

Success! It looks like we are actually going be able to go this year! I was number 700 in queue, a marked improvement over last year's position at 5k. The maximum number of tickets allowed per transaction was reduced from 5 to 4 this year, which probably helped a little bit as well as the Internet Gods being extraordinarily kind to me this morning. Also, I am sure that having literally only Google Chrome open with absolutely no one else and no other application sucking bandwidth out of the networked helped as well. We were all on Vent and WoW when tickets went on sale last year.

I really wish that the ticket price wouldn't keep creeping up, but whatever. Looking forward to meeting up with folks and what not in late October :D.


Non-WoW MMO's

  • Posted on: 15 May 2011
  • By: Keiya

I'm getting the WoW itch (and the blog itch) again. I haven't been playing all that much for the past month or so, in lieu of other game releases, real life business and the like. In fact, we just got around to finally running Zul'Aman tonight (one of my absolute favorite raid instances back in the day, glad it's back in the game).

Is it just me or does the 60 to 90 day mark seem to be the make or break point for most new MMORPGs? That span of time seems to be the period in which most of the converts either get bored of or burned out on the new game and start trickling back to old WoW habits. Though, if you truly do play that MMO consistently for about a month or so, that's actually not a bad value in terms of time:money. A month of solid play isn't bad for $60, considering how most games nowadays are at about 10 hours of gameplay if you are lucky, some significantly less (or more if you count multiplayer I guess).

The market is pretty saturated with fantasy MMOs to say the least. Do we really need more of them? I would absolutely love a good future themed game (with relatively fast paced action). Word is that Blizzard's next-gem MMO, "Titan" will be sci-fi themed. If there is a game that I will consider replacing my WoW habit with, it would probably be that. And honestly, Blizzard is probably the only company that's going to outdo Blizzard. That's my 2 coppers on other MMOs for the time being.

Also, on an unrelated WoW note: I am kind of a backseat tank ?_?; Not in group of course because that's fucking rude. Most of my in-head and whisper conversations to certain people have been inane concerns about the current PuG tank, how they fail at threat generation, fail at marking, etc. Though in my defense, we really do have horrible luck with PuG tanks. Properly marking mobs and assigning targets is a lost art apparently. I should learn to tank again, it would make our queue times shorter.


KeiUI 4.0 Info & Download Link

  • Posted on: 12 February 2011
  • By: Keiya

A couple of people have requested my UI setup, so here you all go; Many apologies for the uuuh delay lol. A full description of KeUI is included in this post. This interface has been exclusively designed for and used on a 1920x1080 windowed setup. It should however, still work properly with any windowed 16:9 ratio screen resolution.

As a word of warning, I don’t play anything else other than Keiya most of the time so my interface is very retribution paladin centric (though I am looking into more class generic addons to replace things like Holytrinity and clcret). If anyone else uses a Logitech G13 and is interested in how I bind everything in accordance with my G13 profile, the keybindings configuration files are included within the WTF folder.

Installation Instructions
I sanitized all of the addon profiles as best as I could. After a fresh install, the correct profiles for each mod should load without having to fuss around with Reflux. If you want to use your file, just make sure to set the following values:

SET gxResolution "1920x1080""
SET gxWindow "1"
SET uiScale "0.76999998092651"

Aside from that, setup is standard fair. I have included general instructions below; If you need more assistance, Tankspot has one of the better guides that I have seen in regards to uploading, downloading and configuring custom UI setups.

  1. Please please please make sure to backup your original Interface, WTF and Fonts folders. Both are located within your World of Warcraft root directory. Either rename both of these folders to something like, WTF_OLD or create a new folder and move them into it.
  2. Download the .zip file attached to this article and extract it into your World of Warcraft directory. The .zip file should contain three folders: Interface, WTF and Fonts.
  3. The following folders within the WTF folder will need to be renamed: YOUR_ACCOUNT_NAME, YOUR_SERVER_NAME and YOUR_CHARACTER_NAME to your login name, server name and character name respectively.
  4. Login to WoW. At the character selection screen click on the “Addon” button located on the lower left. Click the checkbox at the top labeled, “Load out of date addons.” All of the major addons included within my UI compilation should be fairly recent, but I can’t guarantee how often this .zip file will be updated.
  5. Load your character and enjoy.

List of addons
The list of visible addons are included below.

  • Bartender 4
  • Chocolate Bar
  • ClassTimer
  • CLCRet
  • HolyTrinity
  • MikScrollingBattleText
  • Omen
  • OmniCC
  • oRA3
  • Pitbull4
  • Prat 3.0
  • Recount
  • SexyMap
  • SimpleTankFrames
  • TidyPlates
  • XPBarNone

If anyone has a request or configuration question, I would be happy to address them in this thread or via email when I have time.


My Logitech G13 WoW Setup

  • Posted on: 6 February 2011
  • By: Keiya

I have my Logitech G13 broken down into three different states: M1 (default), M2 (red) and M3 (blue). By default the gamepad will always be in the M1 state. However, I have the Logteich software setup to allow me to momentarily shift into M2 and M3 while I have the two buttons below the thumbsticks pressed down. That way, I don't have to manually press the M2 or M3 buttons at the top of the keypad to access any of the red or blue buttons. The colors by the way, correspond to the LCD backlight coloring for each state as well as my N52 setup. This is generally how I tried to organize each of the three states:

M1 (Default): Frequjently used items, combat abilities and regular shift modifiers (Shift, Control and Alt)

M2 (Red): Blizzard interface elements such as the guild screen, map, professions as well as party targets (F1 through F5).

M3 (Blue): Raid icons, auras, screenshotting, camera views and other stuff.

The new gamepad software, version 6, will allow you to assign a button that will toggle you into any of the M states by right clicking on a button and going to Edit > Fuction. If you are using the old software, version 3.0.6, you will need to add a script  (included below). FYI: I have G23 assigned to M2 and G24 assigned to M3. If you prefer another configuration, that shouldn't be too hard to change.

function OnEvent(event, arg, family)
if ( family == "lhc" ) then
        if ( event == "G_PRESSED" ) then
            if ( arg == 23 ) then
                SetMKeyState(2, family);
        if ( arg == 24 ) then
                SetMKeyState(3, family);
        elseif ( event == "G_RELEASED" ) then
            if ( arg == 23 ) then
                SetMKeyState(1, family);
            if ( arg == 24 ) then
                SetMKeyState(1, family);

Keys G9, G10 and G11 are where I naturally rest my ring, middle and index fingers. I tried to keep important abilities centralized around this area. It's worth noting that, to avoid any possible EULA violations, I don't use the G13 to script anything that couldn't already be macro'd in game. I have quite a few items bound to awkward key combinations in game (Shift + Control + F1 to toggle Recount for example). Not so easy to press on a normal keyboard, trivial to bind on a gamepad. Also, I have jump, autorun and 4 or 5 other things bound to my mouse.

If anyone is interested, my configuration file is included in the zip file posted below. Beware, it's highly customized to my awkward in-game keybindings...


WoW Update: Week in Review 1/23/11

  • Posted on: 23 January 2011
  • By: Keiya

Well actually, the past two weeks in review. With pictures even! Here's a quick summary of what I've been up to in WoW lately. Apparently my official Magmar duty is to ride the giant worm. We've started raiding again by the way. Fun times in Blackwing Descent.

My equipped gear average is about 347 for my Retribution set and 343 for my offset, possibly a bit higher since the last time I have checked. I finally respec'd my offset to protection the rebuilt, gemmed and enchanted most of my tanking set, which is actually pretty decent at the moment. I reforged to meet the hit and expertise cap but, was I supposed to do that? That won't make me too squishy will it? I mean, a bit of Dodge and Parry was sacrificed. The only thing that I really need to do now is to tank a couple of things and gather feedback. But really, I just wanted to have a viable offspec to fill in any tank shortages.

Yay Skeletal Raptor mount! By the way, is there some sort of goat or player that I can sacrifice in order to make the epic troll sword proc on my archaeology screen? Just about everything else that I have wanted has already popped up. I can't quite decide which profession is less interesting, archaeology or fishing and I feel compelled to do both.

I didn't realize this but, there's a fun mounting bug in the Throne of Tides.


WoW Hodgepodge: Defias, Deathwing & Top Hats

  • Posted on: 5 January 2011
  • By: Keiya

Hahahaha I found this gem off of WoWit today and thought that it was pretty funny. Garrosh may be a dick but Varian Wrynn kind of is one too. It is pretty interesting though how the front of Stormwind had been on fire for a good two months. Those construction workers sure don’t look like they are doing a whole. But on the other hand, it’s not as if Varian is going to pay them. Oh those silly Defias. I guess you shouldn’t stiff the bill We can’t judge him too harshy. I mean he is a single parent raising the one and only teenage character in the game lol.

Oh, I finally got that stupid Standing in the Fire achievement. Deathwing literally flew over me while I was doing the Ramkahen dailies in Uldum.

I have been running heroics regularly for a while with marginal drop success. My luck has been somewhat better this week though: I finally managed to replace my cape as well as both of my trinkets. The axe that I wanted dropped off of the cache in heroic Throne of Tides but the DK tank won it. Bah, next time. The only plate items that seem to drop are for tanks and healers. QQ.

I started leveling my Worgen Druid. The Worgen starting area is quite nice, I was almost sad to have to move on. Looking forward to checking out the 1 through 60 zones and how they have changed. 60 to 80 will be a pain in the ass but by then I will have hopefully accumulated some of the guild heirlooms (close to guild level 10 at the moment). How can you not love a wolf with a top hat? So dapper.

Oh: Leveling blacksmithing sucks.


Cataclysm (4.0.3) Smart Mount Macro

  • Posted on: 4 January 2011
  • By: Keiya

Edit 1/17/11: Here you all go, modified the previous macro to make better use of LUA logic. This one should be somewhat shorter than the one posted a week or so ago, allow for more random mounts  to be added before reaching the 255 character cap. Actually, I should have just searched WoWpedia before bothering to do all of this. I reinvented the wheel!

Anyway, I had trouble re-finding a smart mount macro that actually works in Vashj'ir. So as of 4.0.3a, this one will summon the appropriate mount type in all of the Vashj zones as well as everywhere else. The following macro will automatically summon a random mount of your choice depending n the zone that you are in. The number of mounts that you are able to randomly select is limited by the 255 character limit.

/run if not IsMounted() then g,f,s={g,g},{f,f},{s,s} t=(strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming()) and s or IsFlyableArea() and f or g CallCompanion("MOUNT",t[random(#t)]) end

The bolded variables within the curly brackets need to be replaced with the numbers corresponding to your mounts; You will need to open up your mounts tab to find that. 'g' is for ground, 'f' is for flying and 's' is for swimming. Keep in mind that they are counted from left to right, top to bottom. Whenever you obtain a new mount, you will most likely need to update the maro since everything is going to be shifted over by one.

  • If you are swimming in Vashj'ir your swimming mount will be summoned. You must be swimming and not standing on the ocean floor.
  • If you are in Vashj'ir and NOT swimming (on the sandy beach for example), your flying mount will be summoned.
  • If you are in a flyable zone, your flying mount will be selected, if not you will summon your ground mount.
  • Pressing the macro while mounted will dismount you.

For example

/run if not IsMounted() then g,f,s={14},{31,8},{1} t=(strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming()) and s or IsFlyableArea() and f or g CallCompanion("MOUNT",t[random(#t)]) end

The ground mount that I want to use, the Fossilized Raptor is located at position 14 (second mount on the second page of my mount tab). Since there are two flying mounts that I like, I want the macro to randomly choose one to summon when I am in a flyable zone. These mounts are the ugly purple drake and the bronze drake at positions 31 and 8 respectively. Additional mounts can be added with a comma separation.

Full explanation
For anyone who is interested in how things work, here is a somewhat verbose explanation as to how the macro and its individual parts work:

/run if not IsMounted() then g,f,s={g,g},{f,f},{s,s}
Only run this line if you are not mounted. If you are mounted, skip to the last nine and dismount. We are declaring three arrays: g, f and s for ground, flying and swimming respectively.

t=(strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming()) and s or IsFlyableArea() and f or g
This is the main logic chunk for the macro. If you look at the last line of the macro (well second to last), 't' is being used to randomly summon a mount. The entire purpose of this line of code is to assign the correct array ('g', 'f' or 's') to 't' depending on where you are in the world.

LUA handles binary operators (AND, OR) a little differently. For AND operators: Instead of just returning a binary value (true/falso, 1/0) to an expression, WoW LUA will return the first argument if the first value is false and the second argument if the first argument is true. So for example let's evaluate this statement: false and pie. Since the first argument is false (literally and figuratively), false is returned. Now evaluate this statement: true and cake. Since the first argument is true, cake is returned.

OR operators are handled in the opposite manner. If the first argument is true, the first argument is returned. If the first argument is false, the second argument is returned. So for example: false or pie. The first argument is false so pie is returned. Second example: true or cakes. Since the first argument is true, true is returned. So breaking this line down further:

(strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming()) and s
First argument: (strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming())
Second argument: s
Operator: AND

If you are swimming in a zone starting with the string "Vashj", the first argument is true. Given what I have stated above regarding the AND operator, the value 's' would be returned and your swimming mount would be summoned. If the first argument is false (you are not in Vashj'ir or not swimming), false would be returned and we would move on to the next statement below

(strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming()) and s or IsFlyableArea() and f

First argument: (strfind(GetMapInfo(),"Vashj") and IsSwimming()) and s
Second argument: IsFlyableArea() and f
Operator: OR

If 's' was returned we are done; your swimming mount has been summoned. If the first argument however is false, we move on to the second argument. If you are in a flyable area, 'f' is returned and your flying mount is summoned. If not your ground mount is summoned.

Hope that was clear enough.


Cataclysm and DX11

  • Posted on: 2 January 2011
  • By: Keiya

So finally, after about a year of waffling back and forth between various upgrades, I bought a new video card last week. I was going to go all out, I didn't really have a budget per se, but I settled on a 1GB Radeon HD 6870 (upgrade from a 512 8800GT), which didn't actually cost that much. WoW runs at a consistently smooth rate, in combat, instancing, flying, etc. The only performance drop that I have noticed is while navigating through the Stormwind Trade District or really any area with a huge concentration of players. Other than lowering the shading options, I don't think there's a whole lot I can do about that.

Heat, noise level and of course, performance were the main upgrade factors. My old card could run WoW at almost maxed out settings, but it would chug and heat the card up to around 77 °C at 80% fan speed (85 °C at 100% speed during the summer). That's fine, it's within operating range of the card but whenever the fan ramps up to 60% speed+ it makes an awful whirring sound (tiny ass single slot cooler fan).

The stock fan on the new card is almost completely silent so long as it stays below 50% speed. Luckily, I haven't seen it go much over 30%, even after stress testing it at 100% GPU usage in Futuremark several times. It stays relatively cool too: 62 °C while playing WoW, low 70's at 100% usage. I probably care more about the noise level of my computer than I should, but it's a pet peeve. I specifically built this machine keeping that factor in mind. It was irritating that the one and only part that made any sort of noise was my video card.

I know that there was a small graphical difference between DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 in the Cataclysm beta, but I don't think there is now. Aside from a small performance boost, everything else looks the same at max settings. I took quite a few comparison screenshots over the weekend, specifically focusing on water and lighting. I was going to post them, but since I really couldn't see a difference I don't see a point. However, here are a couple of screenshots of WoW with maxed out settings. It's worth noting that I run the game at 1920x1080 windowed with vsync enabled.