Aug 262019
 

We were expecting announcements at Disney’s D23 expo this past weekend. Disney delivered as promised. I think a lot of people were expecting more about The Rise of Skywalker. Disney did not disappoint there either, with the release of the “Special Look“. However, this post is about the official trailer for The Mandalorian series.

Check it out!

I think this is going to be an amazing debut of the first Star Wars live action series and I cannot wait. The Mandalorian comes to the Disney+ streaming service November 12th. Let another countdown begin!

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.

 

Aug 222019
 

In 1999 a brilliant company was formed; ThinkGeek. An online retailer that sold products catered toward the geek culture. I have more merchandise than I can recall from ThinkGeek. I’ve been a loyal patron for many years. In 2015 we were shocked to discover that ThinkGeek had been sold. For a mere $140 million ThinkGeek became the property of GameStop. Initially I was skeptical about it, and I still am (more on that later). Then, just a few months ago, the unthinkable happened.

So Long Timmy, and Thanks for All the Fish

In June of this year GameStop announced they would be shutting down the ThinkGeek online store, permanently. It was a sad day, indeed. The upside to this news is that there will still be an online ThinkGeek location, it’s just become a section of the GameStop website. I have quickly perused the new ThinkGeek section of the website and, overall, there seems to be a lot of familiar merchandise. It’s somewhat refreshing.

The bigger picture, however, is the fact that GameStop’s earnings are down. Perhaps the acquisition of ThinkGeek is supposed to help bolster their bottom line. If that does not succeed then they are going to be in some financial trouble. GameStop already has a reputation for their “pennies on the dollar” trade in program. Most people take their games there if they are desperate to get rid of them, with the knowledge that they won’t get a lot of return on their investment. If GameStop fails, then ThinkGeek goes down with the [mother]ship.

It’s A Niche Market

My biggest lamentation of losing ThinkGeek is its unique merchandise. There are very few, if any, competitors out there that sell similar merchandise. Jinx and Blizzard’s Battle.net store come close but they don’t have the diversity of products ThinkGeek had. They were selling to a very specific sub-culture and, while niche markets are typically a seller’s unicorn, clearly they were still not moving product fast enough. A union with GameStop makes sense, from that perspective, because it exposes the products to a much larger audience.

So the greatest travesty would be if GameStop goes under next. ThinkGeek, and all its fantastic products, will be gone. I have not found another retailer that sells products similar in nature to the things I was buying from ThinkGeek. I honestly hope another retailer emerges or, if anyone knows one that already exists, please leave a comment. Until then I guess I will be a more frequent GameStop customer.

/cheers


When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it’s a point of pride in a weird way.” – J.J. Abrams

Aug 132019
 

I’ve been quiet for over a month now. The reason is two fold. The first reason is I really haven’t had anything to write about. I have a post in the works but I haven’t gone back to finish it yet. The other is just a busy end to the summer. Between a tumultuous time at work and back-to-school starting, I just haven’t had the time to collect some thoughts into a cohesive and blog-worthy post.

Don’t Panic. I’m sure the creative juices will begin flowing again, especially as we draw closer to Blizzcon and the release of The Rise of Skywalker. Also, I might do more posts about obtaining rare mounts, similar to my previous post. The Lucid Nightmare might be another “guide” post I do, although I did use a lot of the suggestions I read on other rare mount guides.

There isn’t much to talk about in terms of our raiding progress through heroic Eternal Palace. We are on track and hitting the usual obstacles (i.e. DPS checks). I’m not too worried yet.

Anyhow, I’ll be back again with more things to talk about.

/cheers

minions_icon

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

 

 Posted by at 9:51 am
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!