Jul 122019
 

Crimson TidestallionI know there are several other guides and posts out there that explain how you can get the Crimson Tidestallion. However, none of those web sites explain it with my flair. Before you can do anything, you will need to free Mrrl and escort him back to your faction’s respective base. After doing so you will meet his friends Flrgrrl, Mrrglrlr, Hurlgrl and Grrmrlg. They all sell some very unique and unusual items.

Dress for the Occasion

Mrrl’s secret items can only be available if you’re wearing the right cloak. You need to get the Azsh’ari Stormsurger Cape which you can get from Benthic Cloak. Benthic Cloak’s can come from missions, a random drop or you can purchase it for 5 Prismatic Manapearls. You are not guaranteed to get the Azsh’ari Stormsurger Cape from a Benthic Cloak, it’s one of four, so that’s fun. Once you have the cape then you have to wait until Mrrl is selling the Crimson Tidestallion. WoWHead is pretty good about letting you know what secret items are available to buy. NOTE: You must be wearing the cape to see the items! So don’t sell/disenchant it until you are done with it.

The Trading Game

When the mount is available, the trading game begins. This is one of those classic scenarios where you need to buy something for someone from someone else but they want something first. The best website to help you figure out what you need to buy is to use the Mrrl.io website (because math is hard). In order to buy the mount from Mrrl you need 4 Cultist Pinky Finger, 2 Pulsating Blood Stone and 1 Hungry Herald’s Tentacle Taco. You will spend about 1,796 gold, but that is incredibly cheap compared to the price of other mounts in the game.

Murloco Cave Location

Murloco Cave Location

The item that will prove to be the most tricky is Hungry Herald’s Tentacle Taco. Mrrl and none of his friends sell this item. You can only get this item by rescuing Murloco, which is a rare event in Nazjatar. You can click on the map on the right to enlarge to see the location of Murloco’s cave. Once he’s been rescued, you have 5 minutes to buy from him. If the event is not up on your server you can search in Custom Groups using the LFG tool, simply search for “murloco“. NOTE: Make sure you are in the cave when you join the group, he’s only active for 5 minutes.

That’s it. Once you have those 7 items, and you are wearing the cloak, you can buy the Crimson Tidestallion from Mrrl. Of all the rare mounts available in the game, this one is pretty easy to get.

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

Jul 082019
 

In August Blizzard will deliver on a promise they made at Blizzcon. Live servers of WoW Classic will go online. So many players are eager to get back to basics; and I don’t understand WHY! The only answer I have is nostalgia, but I think even the nostalgic vanilla vets will be quickly reminded how awful questing is. The other group that may be drawn to Classic are all those that began playing WoW during one of the expansions. These people will be among the first to bail and they will come running back to the current game faster than Barry Allen. Ultimately, I think WoW Classic is a classic blunder; I give it 6 months and the numbers will dwindle.

Honestly, I think this is a money grab. I think Blizzard is trying to rekindle their old subscription numbers by luring back old players. They might succeed. Players who cancelled their subscription several years ago will come back to play classic, and perhaps check out the current state of the game. Perhaps some of those players will keep playing the current game.

Its a “classic” business ploy – see what I did there (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

Oh The Grind, Grind, Grind, Grinding

The first thing everyone will be reminded of quickly is the utter lack of quality-of-life. For example, looting quest items while in a group. For every mob that you kill, the loot belongs to one person, and one person only, including quest items. Therefore the total number of mobs you have to kill, assuming a guaranteed drop, is equal to the number of mobs needed times the number of players in your group. It could literally take an hour to get 10 items for everyone in your group.

Also, to make that grind feel extra special tedious, you will have to RUN …. EVERYWHERE, for 40 levels. You will not be able to use a mount until you reach level 40, and that is assuming you can afford it (which means grinding for cash on top of everything else). So grab a book, bind the auto-run key and … get a few chapters in while you quest in Desolace.

This is just the tip of the ice burg of the missing quality-of-life mechanics in Classic. Here are some additional low quality-of-life items:

  • No group/raid finder (have to use the old LFG channel)
  • REALLY SMALL BAGS
  • HUGE talent trees
  • You have to buy ALL of your spells again
  • You will be broke, all the time
  • Hunters will be destitute because they will have to stock ammo and pet food, again
  • If you’re not in a raiding guild, then you’re not raiding
  • No world quests which means no end game
  • There are no Heroic dungeons/raids
  • Limited Class Selection (no monks, death knights, demon hunters, alliance shaman, horde paladins)
  • NO FLYING
  • Raid sizes are 40 man only (no 10, 25 or Flex)

Lack of End Game Content (for Non-Raiders)

When you reach level 60 you will have nothing to do, especially if you are not raiding. You could traipse around the world and complete every quest you can possibly find. ◉_◉

You could use the LFG channel and grind through dungeons. ̿’̿’\̵͇̿̿\з=( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)=ε/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿ ̿ ̿

Or you could start an alt and do it all over again. (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

Ultimately, your level 60 character will simply collect dust because the only end game content WoW Classic offers is raiding. Oh, and if you thought grinding levels was grueling, raiding in Classic is a whole new level of grinding.

WoW Classic Raiding Will Be A Blunder

If you want to raid in classic you will be forced to join a raiding guild, unless you are lucky and find a frequent raiding group on the LFG channel. Raids in WoW Classic are 40 man only. Raiding will be a daily occurrence if you want to progress. I remember in vanilla there were raid teams meeting 4 hours every night to complete Molten Core. Remember, in Vanilla there are no lock out extensions. You must complete the raid before it resets.

You will need to grind, a lot, to have the consumables and gear. You will need sufficient bag space to hold extra gear because you will need to farm fire resistance armor for Molten Core. For example, if you’re a hunter you will need bag space for ammo, pet food, consumables and fire resistance gear.

Expansion Stop-Gap And Boredom

I think Blizzard is standing up these WoW Classic servers as a stop gap for current players. They don’t want to lose subs because of another lackluster expansion so they are giving players, who are caught up on current content, something to do. I think they are also doing this as a stop gap because the next expansion is probably over a year away and 8.3 will be the final patch for Battle for Azeroth.

Also, for the record, I am a “Vanilla Vet”. I created my first character, a Night Elf Hunter, in vanilla, but I leveled my paladin before they launched Burning Crusade. I am not feeling so nostalgic that I want to grind through it all over again. I did try the open beta and after 2 hours of grueling quests, I uninstalled the game. I might try it again, when I’m really bored, but it won’t be when it launches. In fact it will probably be several months after it launches before I subject myself to that kind of torture.

It Will Never Change

The most baffling thing I’ve heard is that some players are, allegedly, abandoning the current game to exclusively play WoW Classic. I understand if some people think that the current content (while a little weak in story) does feel like a daily grind. However, why would you trade one grind for an even larger grindfest?!? At least in the current game there is some choice and the choices change daily. WoW Classic will never change.

In one year, when we are on the next expansion, WoW Classic will still be exactly the same. When we are two expansions into the future, WoW Classic will still be exactly the same! They can’t change it, or update it, otherwise it can no longer be called “classic WoW”.

If all of that sounds exhilarating to you, then power to ya. I’m quite content with my spoiled quality-of-life World of Warcraft.

/end soapbox

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

Jun 262019
 

From 4000 Steps to 10K RacesMany people comment to me that they don’t think that they could run like I do. Believe me, the distances that I run are minuscule compared to some of the marathon runners I know. Also, anyone that knows me well, knows that I did not just wake up one day and decide to run. I’ve had problems with my knees since high school and this all began by simply walking. A lot. This is how I went from 4000 steps to 10K races.

One Day I Bought A FitBit

Every time someone makes a lifestyle change like this, there is always some catalyst. It might be a health scare, marriage, divorce, having children. For me, it was buying a FitBit. We had been researching ways to exercise and when my wife read about these FitBit’s we thought we would give them a try; that was over six years ago. There must be something about the actual data that became the motivation I needed.

My life was pretty sedentary. I sat behind a computer for 8 hours to work. I sat behind another computer or the television, playing video games when I wasn’t working. My knees hurt going up and down the stairs and I had a prescription for pain killers. Pain killers that are a controlled substance in the state of Ohio. The day I put on that FitBit is the day I decided I was done with all that.

Within the first three years I went from an average of 4,000 steps to 10,000 steps a day and I lost 55 pounds.

Walking Leads to Running

So for the first 3-4 years after strapping on a FitBit, I became addicted to walking. I wanted to take a walk like a smoker craves the next cigarette. One mile lead to two miles. Two miles lead to three. I started walking for my lunch break and I was signing up to walk 5K races.

One day, about two years ago, I was out for a three mile walk and I was walking at a pretty decent pace. Suddenly I had this thought “I wonder if I can run”. I know that my knees would not appreciate the extra stress from the impact of running. However, I was just too damn curious. So I just started running. I started out alternating between running a block and walking a block and just gradually built from there.

Within two years I was running two 5K races and one 10K race. It just takes some perseverance, perhaps a little insanity, and having an addictive personality helps too. You just have to keep working at it and give your body a chance to adapt. Eventually your legs and your lungs will learn how to work together.

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

Jun 122019
 

How about a gaming update! We are waiting for Rise of Azshara, the 8.2 patch for the Battle for Azeroth expansion. We know this patch is on the PTR, and Blizzard is teasing us with a plethora of details (some containing spoilers). While I am avoiding the spoilers, I do read about some of the new content including the new zones, encounters and, of course, the new mounts! However, this isn’t about those details. What is there to do while we wait??!

Raiding and AOTC

Ahead of the Curve (AOTC) is an achievement for defeating the final boss of the current raid tier before the release of the next tier. It’s a goal many guilds use as a guideline for remaining in sync with the expansion storyline.

This patch will remove the AOTC achievement for Battle of Dazar’alor. Therefore raid teams are feverishly trying to defeat Jaina on heroic difficulty before the patch drops. Our raid team, however, has already accomplished that (huge props to everyone that made it possible). While we wait for 8.2 we are working on AOTC for Crucible of Storms, which only consists of two bosses and, therefore, shouldn’t be too difficult.

Non-Raid Goals (i.e. ALTS)

We only raid two nights a week and, since a release date hasn’t been announced, we are not in a hurry to bring down Uu’nat. If your only in-game goals are related to raiding then you’re probably pretty bored right now. Me, on the other hand, have 13 other toons that I would like to get to 120.

Currently I have 9 alts at max level (meaning I have 10 characters at 120). I made it a goal to try to get all of them to 120 before 8.2 drops. My main purpose for this is that I neglected my alts during most of the previous expansion. I waited until the final patch to diligently level the alts. I did not accomplish everything I had hoped to do before the expansion ended. Hence my reasons for more proactively leveling my alts.

Leveling Is A Science

I can usually reach level 120 in about two weeks, a little over one week if the Darkmoon Faire is active. I’ve learned there is a science to leveling in Battle for Azeroth. Before you begin leveling an alt, I would highly recommend picking up the 7th Legion Scouting Map (or Honorbound Scouting Map) from the Emissary. This is a Bind on Account item that will discover all the flight points on Kul Tiras and Zandalar on each character it’s used.

Basically I begin by picking one of the zones and I focus on the main storyline for the zone. I will do a couple of side quests along the way, but I keep doing the main quests until I have the quest for the dungeon (which marks the end of the story). Once you have all three storylines completed then you have a choice.

If you focus specifically on the storyline quest chain, you will not hit 120. Depending on how many side quests you do you will still need about 1-2 more levels. I would highly suggest you work on the three war campaigns next. You can wait until 119 if you want, since you will get an item from the first one you complete. I suggest completing these before 120 because you will want the waypoints out to your faction’s respective camps when you unlock World Quests and Faction Assaults.

If you still haven’t hit 120 by the time you complete all three war campaigns then its more side quests or dungeon grinding. And more waiting for Rise of Azshara.

Happy Leveling!

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

 

May 302019
 
Me shooting AR-15 at a shooting range

Firing an AR-15 5.56mm

I get to strike something off the old Things To Do Before You Die (TTDBYD) list. Granted I don’t have a “Bucket List” in any official capacity, but I do keep track mentally. I’ve always wanted to go to a shooting range. In fact I’ve thought about purchasing a gun and I’ve even done some research into concealed carry permits.

However, this wasn’t just a typical trip to the shooting range, otherwise it wouldn’t really be a bucket list item. There are different types of guns I’ve always wanted to fire, in a safe and instructor lead environment, and that’s what this opportunity was about. The instructor, from Crusader Tactical, brought quite a few different fire arms for us to try out. As you can see from the photo, the AR-15 is one of them.

Which Firearms Did You Shoot?

As I stated previously, it wouldn’t be much of a bucket list item if I were just shooting a pistol since I have several friends who own one. This experience was unique because of the variety of pistols and rifles available to shoot. I have always wanted to fire a 12 gauge shotgun and an AR-15, and this gave me the opportunity to do that. Here are the firearms we were trained to use and fire safely:

RiflesPistols
Mosin Nagant 7.62X59 (bolt action)Ruger Single Action .22 Pistol
Winchester 30-30 (lever action)Ruger .357 Magnum
Mosberg 12 Guage Pump (shotgun)Ruger LC9 9mm
Marlin .22 (tube fed rifle)Sig Sauer P320 9mm
AR-15 5.56mm

The firearms I enjoyed the most are the Sig Sauer, the Mosberg 12 gauge and the (dreaded) AR-15. The AR-15 is the most infamous weapon in the media today because it’s been used in many horrific acts against innocent people. I can tell you, after firing one, it is not easy to hit a target as a novice. You cannot simply pick up an AR-15 and start picking people off. I never felt like I was in any danger. Guns are only dangerous if you do something stupid, just like driving a car. I goof around a lot but I did not goof around at the shooting range. I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable therefore I didn’t want to put anyone else in a state of discomfort.

How Did It Make You Feel?

A common question I get is whether I was scared or nervous? I was never scared, however I was a bit nervous at the start, perhaps even mildly intimidated. I have never been standing next to someone while they are firing a gun. Also, I have never fired a gun. The honest truth is the more time I spent trying the different firearms, the more comfortable I felt. In fact, it was fun.

After 2 hours, all 5 of us walked away. Still breathing, all limbs in tact, and no holes. I did not walk away with a God complex, thinking I now have the power to chose who lives and who dies. I’m already thinking about when I can go back and do it again. In fact, the next time I go back, it might be for the 8 hour safety and training course required for a CCW. Actually, I might be going back to fire my own gun as I definitely want to purchase a pistol (perhaps a Sig Sauer). While shooting the rifles is a lot of fun, I don’t feel the need to own any rifles at this time. Although … I do have a daughter; the sound of pumping a 12 gauge shotgun might be useful around the dating age. 😈

/cheers

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!