October 26, 2010

Not dead, just busy

Posted in Guild things, News, PvP, Tattered Legends, The Player Behind the Toon at 6:24 am by Aduial of WrA

As far as the lack of posting goes, things got insanely busy all of a sudden. Sadly one of the downsides of working from home, such as it is, in my case at least, seems that everything’s either really slow or super-super busy. Just when I was getting back on track, too.

Anywho, most of my online time lately has been spent trying to get Ruvi to 80 in a hurry so I can get the latest achievement, the Hallow’s End’s one, on him… I don’t know why I seem to want titles on him I never wanted even on Adu, but I do. There has been a bit of time spent farming old world stuff on Adu and Mani, for mounts and enchant formulas respectively, but beyond that, yeah, all Ruvi.

Speaking of which, Ruvi will officially be my raiding main in Cataclysm by the looks of things, while I will be giving a PvP guild another go on Adu. Well… that’s the plan, at least. The guild I’ve got her in (apparently going to be trying to BG with the group ahead of time on her to prepare for rated BGs) is the guild of a good friend who I’m sure I’ve mentioned here at least once… He was pretty much the only reliable raider that wasn’t an officer in Tattered Legends when we were raiding before. He left and started up and “old world” raiding guild, which had strict rules and capped themselves at 60 to raid then progress together to 70, and then branched off, some still raiding, while the others went to a newly formed guild (himself included) to be an 80 raiding guild (85 in Cata). He and I actually have, or at least had, tentative plans to sort of alliance our guilds together so we didn’t suffer from number issues again, and we’ve proven we work well together before, but recently they decided they were going to “branch out” in Cataclysm and have both separate PvE and PvP aspects, though people are allowed to do either or both.

As of yet we don’t know if our schedules will mesh or if either of us will actually have numbers issues, so the alliance plans are still very tentative, however I’ve put Aduial into his guild for the PvP aspect. I’d had her in a PvP guild already for a short time before it broke up, and it had its pros and cons, and while there was talk of that guild reforming in Cata I’m honestly not as sure that’s the sort of PvPing I’d want to be doing again, while the one I’ve got her in now I’m almost 100% certain is exactly what I was looking for in a PvP guild. So here’s hoping.

As for the guide! I’m really sorry I haven’t worked on it (at least not visibly) further. Honestly, I’m rather stuck on the rotation part, though I keep thinking on it a lot (and practicing and trying to figure it out on Ruvi). One of the big hangups for me is that now, well, he doesn’t really have a rotation, honestly. I can press a random number of buttons a lot of the time and do good DPS, which… well, rather saddens me. I also want it to be a good leveling guide, in a way, so I can’t just assume everyone reading it for assistance will have all the tools that Ruvi has at 69… Er, well, 70 now (he just hit a bit before I started writing this post up). So I’m having to go back and see what levels are what spells and try to figure it all out and… It’s taking longer than it should, really, but I am still rolling it around in my head and trying to figure it out, and once I have it won’t take near as long to write the rest up, then polish it up, add in links, all that jazz, and actually have it finally finished!

Beyond all that I do have some other goodies I’m working on, and hopefully will be able to post at least some of them as soon as things start calming down again and I can get my head above water around here.

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October 15, 2010

I should know by now…

Posted in News, The Player Behind the Toon at 6:40 am by Aduial of WrA

Ith’s always right. Or at least, better at being right on WoW-related things than I am.

I didn’t think the patch would hit this week, but it turned out, yep, it did. I honestly didn’t think Blizzard would make us play through an unbalanced patch for about two whole months, and I know they won’t be balancing it around level 80 when they’re concerned about it being balanced for level 85… But alas, I was wrong.

So the fire maging post I was working on pre-patch is kind of useless now. I won’t be taking it down, but I won’t be finishing it like I’d hoped, either. However, I am hoping to get a headstart on an updated version of it for 4.0.1. Probably tonight (this morning?) actually, since I’ve finally got a bit of free time and I’m looking over the talent spec I’m planning to use on him and debating it, and if nothing else trying to explain why I’m taking what talent can help to solidify in my mind if it’s a good talent or not… I know I ended up editing his spec a bit last time I did it, because when I was explaining why I took certain spells it was just like, “Actually, this is stupid to have. That’s better.” so I tweaked his spec a wee bit while writing.

I’ll admit right now I’m not the keenest on doing it just yet… I’m not sure how many changes will be coming soon if any, if anything’s going to be hot-fixed, etc. I also haven’t actually had a chance to play… I haven’t logged in since right before the patch dropped, between not having time, the time I had ate up by actually downloading the patch, and, okay, I’m a little bit scared of how much has changed across so many toons. I want to play Ruvi, I know, and I want to make him my main in Cata if I still enjoy him after the patch as much as I did before the patch, but to play on one toon and one toon only isn’t really my playstyle. If nothing else I’d want to get on Mani and do some auctioning, but if I don’t put a spec on her (both specs, actually, since she’s got dual-spec) and update her bars and glyphs and everything, well, that would bug me. A lot. I’d also need to get on Adu and get her sorted out since I’ve been trying to get the tiger mount to drop in Zul’Gurub before Cata hits and ZG’s removed.

I also did something I probably shouldn’t have during the downtime for the patch, and pruned my addons (which I usually do every major patch), and pruning them in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but I downloaded some as well. Well, not a whole lot, really, but the idea of having to set up new addons on top of everything else just adds more intimidation to the act of logging in. Skada perhaps won’t be so much to set up (I’m looking at it to possibly replace Recount), but I know DoTimer, if I can make it work how I’m wanting it to, will be quite a bit to set up.

Anyway, nothing ever gets done by procrastinating, and if I spend all my current free time here writing I’ll never get anything done, so I’m off to start drafting up the updated Fire Maging post and hopefully get my butt in the game.

September 27, 2010

Mixed bag of goodies, er, I mean updates

Posted in Musings, News at 1:58 pm by Aduial of WrA

I think there’s some sort of hidden law that says as soon as Ith and I get into a nice rhythm on a pair of toons one of us has to get bored and want to play a totally different pair. Lately I’ve been really enjoying playing my fire mage (who’s 53 now, and I finally updated the Where to find me page to reflect his new levels as well as others’), while he’s been leveling a second druid who keeps flip-flopping between specs. As of last night he’s now Resto (which I totally saw coming and he didn’t believe me), and we were rocking out dungeons and got a few levels… but in one of them there was a shaman. An enhance shaman. And so it begins!

We’ve had a pair of draenei over on Farstriders sitting unplayed at around 66 for a while now due to several reasons, his was a shaman and mine a paladin, so when he saw this shaman he ended up wanting to play his. As things stood however neither of us particularly wanted to go back to the realm itself, so we planned to transfer them off in a couple days when we could afford it and play them then, but it turned out that wasn’t soon enough for him. Now we’ve ended up with plans to just reroll on Wyrmrest after we each delete a toon (and get him enough badges to have heirlooms, which thankfully won’t take too long with Coren badges), though I’ll be juggling bank guilds around since currently the one I’d be deleting is the bank toon I rarely use anymore who’s also the only toon left in that guild which I want to keep.

I’ve also decided, though, that my reroll will be a warlock, one of the classes I haven’t personally leveled to 80 yet, but fell in love with when I was leveling Ith’s for him back in the day. I really don’t know how well it’ll go… I have a level, eh, 6 I think, warlock on my second account who I never really got into, though I don’t know if that’s because she was an orc or because of being a lowbie warlock or just because I was leveling her alone, so I’ll be finding out. The plan so far is to kill Coren later today then run the one heroic or so he’ll need for badges for the last heirloom, then figure out a new situation with the banks, delete toons and be playing before the day’s over.

As far as my goal to find a way to enjoy Brewfest this year goes, so far I seem to have been successful. I’ve been doing Coren daily on Mani and Adu, and doing the other dailies on Adu and Ruvi both. I really want Brewmaster on Adu, and started to get it on Mani but it really just didn’t… fit with her, so I’ve just been going for the frosties. Unfortunately, the mount hasn’t dropped for Adu… but it dropped the very first time on Mani. To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. I’ve also been doing as much of the Brewmaster stuff on Ruvi as I can, considering he isn’t the right level to do a lot of it. I wasn’t even sure why, really, since I knew he wouldn’t get it until next year, but then I looked at the Brewfest outfits on him, and… I found I really wanted Ruvi in a dress. A rather odd urge, I suppose, but something I really did want. And so I got it. And it was awesome. (Screenshot coming at a later date since I didn’t think to get one before!)

Speaking of Ruvi, I’ve been asked no less than twice now, basically, how to fire mage from two other fire mages. I’ve never really been asked any questions like this before… possibly because Ith usually ended up getting them… and maybe it’s not terribly out of place when someone’s usually top DPS by a mile, not uncommonly almost twice as much DPS as the next highest, but it’s surprised me both times. I’ve never really thought of myself as a good player, and in most cases I’m really not, but for some reason everything just seems to… to click, on Ruvi, I guess. I’m loving him so much and seem to be good enough at him, I’m actually seriously contemplating him being my main in Cata if things aren’t too off (I haven’t looked at anything regarding Mages in Cataclysm… or regarding any class I think I might play, really; I’m one of those weird folks who would rather be surprised and try to figure out what all’s changed on my own than be told, I suppose). Anyway, after the first time I started thinking about maybe just writing a post about it in more detail, and have had that in my mind since, and last night (when I was asked the second time) I figured I must be doing something right enough that maybe it’s really not such a bad idea, if for nothing else to maybe be able to point to the post in favor of typing it all out every time (well, assuming I”m asked again, at least)… So I’ll be working on writing that up soon and hopefully have it posted by the end of the day or perhaps tomorrow.

Oh, and since I almost completely forgot to mention this… I’ll likely be updating the little Armory feeds to the right soon, since there will be new toons to list on US. I think I’m at four at the moment though with one I’ve been playing not on there (my priest, actually) so with her and the new warlock, unless I can figure out someone to remove I may end up with two US armory feeds, since it’s capped at five characters per feed (Gah, am I really playing more than five toons? No wonder so many of my RSS feeds and not-terribly-important emails have been getting backed up…). I also may be temporarily removing the EU feed; that account is currently out of time (again) since the money I’d set aside to pay for it went to vet bills when Sindragosa (no, not the dragon, my youngest cat who Ith helped name) got sick and needed antibiotics, and I’m unfortunately not quite sure when I’ll be able to start it back up.

August 30, 2010

Looks like we’re not as dead as I thought

Posted in Guild things, News, Tales from PUGland, Tattered Legends at 12:03 pm by Aduial of WrA

So for whatever reason, people in PUGs really seem to like Ithraen and I. I mentioned before about at least one person we met in a PUG who changed servers to play with us, there was the priest who rerolled a rogue last post, and then of course there’s Eric over at Out of Range who had transferred his main after playing with us on his paladin (although he was already here on his paladin and a guildy over in SnM, we hadn’t really talked a whole lot before doing our first dungeon, so I’m counting him here). And despite not really, you know, seeing our appeal as being that great, it happens surprisingly often (at least to me). Tattered Legends also has a new priest (or, okay, 2 and a druid) who’s been as active as the rest of us since rerolling, which in and of itself is surprising… We have a DK who was a warlock we met who rerolled that hasn’t signed on in a couple months, which is what I usually expect of people who reroll; they still have mains aside from us who get priority, and, in time, they just… forget to login to WrA at all.

We’d met her while doing randoms on his druid and my mage (who are now actually in their thirties, though a wee bit stalled there), and we of course ended up doing several runs together. Most of them (actually, all of them, now that I think about it) were Scarlet Monastery Graveyard. We learned sort of the hard way that the last room respawns… fairly quickly. We’d requeued at one point and I’d teleported out while they stayed in, and they ended up in combat… So I ported back in and started running, keeping blink on CD, and then I reached the actual graveyard. The mobs we’d killed with the group were back. So I’m soloing the ones I have to in an attempt to get to them, and then… they die. “Yeah, you’re not going to make it back inside, Ruvi.” That was the last time I ported out before they did.

Anyway, this was a couple days ago, and after we were done dungeoning she rolled up a new little priest on our realm. She was actually trying to level her to catch up to us, got to 6 before she started dragging through levels. While she was leveling and we were all talking, Ith and I had switched toons; he to his priest, I to Mani to check on auctions and do all that jazz. All of a sudden over guildchat there’s a bunch of random letters and along the lines of, “I should have known better than that.” This was from the mini-priest… followed by Veive getting Duel-licious. This of course piqued my interest so I ran out to where they were, and we all ended up taking turns dueling and just basically hanging around. I think my favorite part of that was still, “Here. Let me heal you. *Holy Shocks, wins the duel, instant FoLs them back to full.*” But maybe I’m just easily amused.

The three of us were out there for at least an hour I think, I didn’t really keep time, and were joined later by Nosher (Esgal’s real life friend who he got into WoW a bit late, so we haven’t run much with him but he’s been a regular member in TL for a long time now) who hung out for a while, too.

Well, by about mid-point yesterday our mini-priest, Peeps, had met the whole active TL crew (all 5 of us) and we’d all gotten along great, so she ended up deciding to just transfer her higher priest over. So now we actually have about 5 people in the same level range (that isn’t 80!) for once in a long time, though until 40 we lack a tank (Ith decided to go DPS until then). And since Ith and I seem to have the most time to play, with Peeps coming in second there, it’s been interesting trying to sort of keep our levels together; Eric’s got his healing druid at 33, there’s Peeps (who’s Shadow) and I at 31, Ith at 30, and Esgal’s sort-of-Shadow, sort-of-Disc priest trailing in at something like 28 or 29.

I actually have very little faith Ith and I (and probably Peeps, too) won’t end up outleveling the other two.. or at least Esgal. But here’s hoping we’ll be able to stay together at least until 60, because Esgal’s really been wanting to underman UBRS at level again (we’d done it a long time ago and had a blast, so I think he’s hoping it’ll be as much fun doing it again on different toons). Though I’m still looking forward to trying it on our 80s with me healing 2 warlock tanks through it (which we almost did night before last but didn’t really have the time for it).

Oh, and since I’ve already gone just about everywhere with this post (sorry!), there’s been a few small changes in site layout, if anyone’s noticed. There was an RSS/subscribe module at the top of the right column that I ended up removing, and I added in a couple RSS feeds at the bottom, the first with my US characters’ activity and the second with my EU character’s. I don’t know if those will actually stay, but at the time I thought they could be a neat addition… On second thought it may just be an odd thing to have there, so I’ll see how it works out (and any feedback on the changes would be loved!).

July 8, 2010

RealID is a Real Threat

Posted in News, The Player Behind the Toon at 7:59 am by Aduial of WrA

I know I’m probably coming fairly late into this party, but I wasn’t going to torture anyone with trying to write up a post while I was half-zonked out, so eventually I managed to pull myself away from watching the train wreck that is Blizzard’s latest announcements to get some sleep.

Now, I know that there is already hundreds of posts about their RealID on the forums changes, and I’ll get to that, but first I’m going to talk about something that I’ve seen getting thrown under the wagon a bit by said change.

Apparently, there is a huge flaw with RealID in the game, in that if you have it enabled at all (just deleting your friends won’t deal with this, either, my friends have had to say we’re our own parents just to turn on parental controls to disable this feature), anyone smart enough to run a piece of code, or who uses any of a certain number of addons, you can have your full name shown to anyone who cares to look, without knowledge and without permission.

This is not a joke. This is real. And it’s a real problem.

For anyone who didn’t click that last link or doesn’t want to bother going through to find what he’s talking about, here’s a direct link to the quoted. And I’m going to quote it for good measure.

This isn’t the only interesting news to come out today.

http://www.wow.com/2010/06/security-flaw-allows-addons-to-expose-full-real-life-names-witho/

Apparently there are select of certain addons you can use to find out people’s names NOW, before the forum conversion.

Step 1: get a trial account, and addon that lets you use this exploit in aformentioned article.

Step 2: Go to google and get the person’s information that would normally need for billing support (ie, address, phone number, etc)

Step 3: Call blizzard billing and tell them you lost your login information

Step 4: Attempt to login, find out that they have an authenticator.

Step 5: call Billing again, give them the billing information again and ask them to take the authenticator off the account.

Step 6: login

Step 7: ??????????

Step 8: Profit!

Now, I can’t vouch for how easy it’d be to get an authenticator removed, but realistically how many people out there have one attached, still? Not a horribly large amount, I’m sure. I also know if you are polite enough and have all the information you need off the account, Blizz can and will bend over backwards at times, because I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes. That rule about not being able to transfer toons between accounts with different names? Doesn’t always stand, for example. Of course, there was a good reason for it to be done in the case I’d been witness to, but to the best of my knowledge they had no corroboration that the caller was telling the truth and couldn’t get such, and how many would-be hackers can come up with a decent, plausible lie in the spur of the moment? I’d imagine quite a large number likely could.

I know this method has also been done. I linked one above, who was our raid assist who got hacked not that long ago. Though we finally did get out stuff back in about a week. But he’d been fairly careful with his information and such, and while he didn’t have the authenticator yet, the most plausible way is the one above. The same goes for Ithraen.

And yes, Ithraen, our main tank and our raid leader, got hacked while he was on vacation. He hadn’t even been online in 5 days. He found out because he gets email notifications on his phone, and he apparently got banned out of nowhere for 72 hours for money trading. Again, he hadn’t been on, hadn’t had time to get on, and didn’t have a wifi connection to get on… He, too, had been careful. His screwup that allowed him to get hacked? He had RealID turned on.

So that’s two people out of what’s actually a relatively small number of people that I talk to regularly, that I know have been hacked, that this is the most likely way that they did get hacked; needless to say the rest of us have already turned off RealID via parental controls.

For anyone who doesn’t think this is really possible… Yes, yes, it is. You really can get all that information from just someone’s name. People have already done it. Bashiok, a blue, gave out his name in what I understand was a good faith measure, that it wouldn’t give away anything… Only to have his privacy severely violated. There’s a post floating around where someone just picked a random name from credits and found out a lot about him. My friend had me search to see how much and of what I could pull up about them from going on just their name, and while my googlefu skills are decent, they aren’t the best. I pulled up everything I needed to stalk them, just about everything I needed to impersonate them to Blizzard, and if I’d paid just a few dollars I could’ve had what was needed to steal their identity. I could do it with another friend–who has been careful to safeguard all of his information–just because his family is on the internet and not as safe as him about their information.

How many people have a friend or family member or old classmate or even a teacher through the years who knows something about them? How many of them have ever been on the internet, or have had photos posted, or have facebooks, or something? If that number is even one, then the chances are high that there is information online about you, whether you post it or not, that can usually be found for free. Even if it can’t be found for free, it all can be bought.

Now, if all of that can be done from only your name through a flaw in game, where there’s only a limited number of people who can see it, even with the addon… How much bigger is that window of risk, when it’s involving anyone who searches the new Blizzard forums (which are public)? And as those adds always say… Do you know who is searching for you?

This is not paranoia. This is real. This is a threat. All of those comments on the forums, from the few people I’ve seen supporting the RealID change, one of their biggest arguments is “you’re not that important.” Sure. Maybe you aren’t. To them.

Our raid assist wasn’t important to many people but us. He wasn’t even the kind to make any enemies, even if Ithraen is. He’s been a victim. Ithraen’s been a victim. Hell, I’m a nobody and I’ve been stalked twice through my years playing WoW for reasons I don’t even know and probably couldn’t grasp.

You don’t have to be important. You just have to be there and you can be a target.

This is all aside from the fact that it is all too easily to be important to someone. You don’t have to be important to the world, even if you aren’t a target. You just have to be a target for one person. This would be a good time for a link to that Counterstrike story. The person who stabbed the other in a game wasn’t terribly important… But that one act, that one moment, made him important to someone. And that someone decided to track this person down and seek revenge, for that stabbing in a game, by stabbing them in real life.

For the other comments, no, it doesn’t have to be everyone. I don’t think much of anyone’s thinking that the whole of World of Warcraft will be slaughtered by one person who dislikes PvP, or something. But it doesn’t have to be. Just one person is more than enough… One single person is too much.

So, obviously, this is a threat. Even just the security flaw in game, while only now used for hackers, is a threat, and now Blizzard is trying to carry over this threat from the people on your server to everyone capable of using the internet. You can turn a blind eye all you want, bury your head in the sand… but it doesn’t make it go away. If an 18-wheeler is barreling down the road and you’re standing in the middle of said road, it doesn’t matter if you close your eyes and pretend you’re in the middle of a forest, that 18-wheeler is still there and still coming straight at you. You still need to get the heck out of its way whether you pretend it’s not there or not, because that doesn’t change reality. And if that 18-wheeler manages to stop before it hits you, that doesn’t mean you should advocate that everyone should stand in the middle of the road instead of getting out of the way, because while you may be lucky… That doesn’t mean everyone is.

And now it’s time for me to link, because there are so many aspects to all of this I don’t even know where I’d start on my own, and I’d probably just mangle their pretty wording.

Why would Blizzard do something like this? Perhaps Korean law is behind it.

Maybe it’s just another thing to add to the list of their history and another peg on BNet 2.0.

Well, here’s Hitler’s take on it all.

Here’s something on it from WoW Insider.

World of Matticus talks about it in a rational, is somewhat disagreeable at points, manner.

Here’s a post over at Big Bear Butt that I rather like on it.

Another post over at Empowered Fire that I liked and agree with.

Here’s a post at Broken Toys about it, and he does us the service of linking in said post to his previous post on RealID when it first came out, which a good though longer read this this 2-liner.

There was a rumor that while we would have our names shown, Blizzard in fact would not, and here WoW Insider gets some facts on that.

Here’s a Spinksville post on it all. Aaand here’s another, with a ton of links from things she’s found herself.

And finally here’s a post from good ol’ Chastity on it over at Righteous Orbs, and this is actually the first post I read about all of this going down.

June 28, 2010

Hackers need to die. In a freaking FIRE or pool of acid or something equally horrific.

Posted in Guild things, News, Tattered Legends at 10:18 pm by Aduial of WrA

No, I didn’t get hacked, but our raid assist did. About 10 hours ago, by the looks of things. Went through every single one of their alts and took everything they could.

Subsequently we’ve lost several thousand gold worth of items, including BOEs, plans, flasks, feasts, etc.

Yes, we already have a ticket in, and we’re doing all we can, but this is so.. so.. GAH.

And yes yes I know it will be alright eventually and that Blizzard will restore everything and that we should have had better security and an authenticator before and to not get upset because supposedly that lets them win or some shit but quite frankly I do believe I have every right and am justified in being pissed and upset and frustrated that everything is gone and that we even have to go through this stuff.

Also, we were planning to have our first raid tomorrow evening and following through with it with a progression run Wednesday, but they took all of our feasts, flasks, etc, and what we needed to make more.

February 11, 2010

Plushies now, Blizz?

Posted in Musings, News, The Player Behind the Toon tagged , at 6:57 am by Aduial of WrA

As recently reported by Wowhead, Blizzard is apparently releasing new (real!) plush pets that come with an in-game version of the pets.

So far the only two available are going to be baby versions of the basic flying mounts–a baby Wind Rider bearing the Horde’s logo, and a baby Gryphon bearing the Alliance’s. Apparently they’re not going to be faction specific, so you could be accompanied by a baby Gryphon even if you’re an orc, or a dwarf with a Wind Rider.

Of course you can’t mount these… I’d think that a bit cruel, anyway, mounting a baby anything, pixels or no… but I think they’re neat regardless. Then again, I’m a bit of a pet collector, though it’s more spread out through my toons unfortunately so there’s no one with the big achievements (yet?).

Personally I think I like the Wind Rider best–maybe it’s because I play Horde, but even when I played Alliance I liked the Wind Riders… But I think the baby is absolutely adorable, even if the mount’s model in game could use some touch ups to bring it up to par with the current art. I also have to wonder, if these sell well, will Blizzard do more things like these? Perhaps every color of the mounts available, or different ones? If your faction’s ground mount were available as a plush, would you buy it? Would you buy it before or after you’d buy the ones available now?

I’d love to have real life versions of the mounts and pets I have in-game, myself. I’ve also heard people comment on the KT and Pandaren pets–why spend money on in-game items you don’t benefit from outside of the game–and I have to wonder, would they look differently upon these, or would they have the same attitude?

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