Millions of Mosquitoes

For a brief time I thought about shutting down my various sites for the day.

I thought about it, and decided against it.

It’s not that I support SOPA or PIPA or any of the other bits of alphabet soup that will try to chisel away at our freedom of speech. In fact I hate them with passion. Instead I am going to post this about how I addressed the issue as citizen, and a consumer.

First and foremost, I contacted the offices of both my House and Senate representatives and asked them politely not to endorse the bills. Essentially I outlined that they are bad pieces of legislation and asked them to vote no if they are ever considered.

Then I set about my business for the week, only this time armed with a list of organizations that are pouring money into getting these bills passed.

It just happens it was time again to order a years supply of contacts from 1-800-Contacts, the company I have dealt with for years. Funny, they are one of the sponsors.

I called them up and let them know it was time to reorder, pointed out that their sponsorship had cost them a regular customer, and took my money elsewhere.

I scroll down the list, making notes, remembering things.

That Harley I have been saving up for? Never going to happen, they just burned that bridge. I’ll just keep riding my old Honda.

I have always been one that is on the fence between Gerber and Leatherman multi-tools. Looks like Leatherman just lost out on that, and I order for my maintenance department as well.

Walt Disney apparently wants me to vacation elsewhere, Wal Mart wants me to shop elsewhere, Sony and Nintendo both really want me to buy an X-Box.

You get the idea.

I have three ways I can address attacks like SOPA and PIPA.

I can write about it, for now at least.

I can hold my elected officials accountable, I tell them what my concerns are, and I vote.

Lastly I can hold those companies that would pay to break the internet by taking my money elsewhere.

You think the tiny little bite I put in these companies is worthless, well maybe your right. I’m little more than a mosquito buzzing around them. Tiny, relatively harmless.

Then again, if you think a mosquito is insignificant, try sleeping in a room with just one.

My friends, there are MILLIONS of us.

Think about it.

.

You folks have an awesome day. I’ll be back posting about WoW again soon enough.

~Dech

I am no longer Nameless

I started Benameless four months ago on a whim.

I was sitting around and thinking of all the lists and little guides and such I had posted on various guild forums. At the time I was going back through my pile of links to access it all and found that some of it had simply vanished. Guilds disbanded and forums gone. So I went to my handy backup stored on a USB flash drive. I found it had been cleared off to make room for music files by one of my kids. Lists, guides, screenshots, and jokes….Gone…just Gone. I should have safeguarded my saved a copy, lesson learned.

I gathered what I could still find in an effort to safeguard it. Some things on still active forums, a few saved files, and some handwritten notes, even one post I dug up on the Wow forums. Once I got it all in one place and looked at what was left I realised that although I wrote things for myself the reason I kept posting and re-posting things was that others might use it as well.

At that moment I decided to start putting what I had salvaged up in the form of a blog. I intended it to be a site distanced from myself. A place to post my little guides and lists and such where interested people could still find them. Like a shelf in the garage where I could safeguard them from further loss.

What I did not foresee was the amount of enjoyment I would get from writing about things other than just lists and guides. I thought that the site would be separate from both my real life and my characters within the game. Like many other times, I was wrong. I have written about both more than once. This site has become more than a closet to store my old notes till I need them again, it has become my place on the Web. It has outgrown what it once started as.

Be Nameless no longer fits. It has grown beyond that, and so have I. I am no longer Nameless and neither are my characters. I am Dechion *hold out hand* pleased to meet you.

To those find this site while searching for something, those who subscribe to my feed, and those most excellent folks who link to my blog, please take a walk down the hallway with me. From this nameless site over to Dechion’s Place.

I will keep Be Nameless up and running as long as it still gets traffic, however this will be the last new post I make here. I am no longer Nameless.

Just a thought.

Just a quick thought for the day.

 

 

The achievement system which is apparently going into place with the next upcoming content patch has in it (at the time of this writing at least) a series of achievements for “first to level 80″ per class on each server.

I am not sure how much thought Blizzard has put into the behavior this achievement is going to promote. The time is not based on an actual played time from 70 to 80 but on who actually makes it first based on what amounts to a stopwatch that starts as soon as WotLK goes live.

What was put in place to encourage a bit of competition in efficient leveling will have a bit of a different real world result I think. It will likely more boil down to who can either organise the best team of people to play in shifts or for a single individual to play continuously with little time for distractions like sleeping and eating.

The first option essentially encourages cheating. The only way I can conceive of it not being in violation of the Eula is to use the clause that allows a parent to allow their minor child to play on their account. The parent could then take the kid(s) out of school for a few days and set up a rotation so one could sleep while the other levels. Somehow I don’t think this is the kind of activity Blizz is thinking about encouraging.

The second option is even worse. I have done a few marathon grinding sessions in my time but this is just way over the top. This would seem to be pointed at rewarding the person who takes vacation/calls in sick/cuts school and does nothing but level their character and (hopefully) sleep. Eating at the computer and possibly using the restroom while in flight (don’t think about laptops, just don’t go there). All this in order to get an achievement and if rumor holds a title.

I really do think the idea of rewarding efficient leveling is a good one, hell it’s one of the things I enjoy most about the game. I do not think the way this is set up encourages good behavior though, if anything it is encouraging the opposite.  The only way I can think to implement something like this without the downsides I just mentioned would be to have it based off of a /played time from 70 to 80, weighted for rested XP as well.

  • Take a snapshot of a characters /played time when they are both level 70 and have WotLK installed.
  • keep a separate counter of played time for achievement purposes, so that rested XP would count double.
  • make the achievement instead of “first to 80″ something like “fast to 80″
  • set it on a timer so it would award the achievement if you reach 80 within a certain amount of /played time from 70.

I think something like this would go a long way towards rewarding the behavior that I believe they are trying to reward and not promoting behavior that is not really even close to being healthy.

830 Days

730 days.

104 weeks.

24 months.

2 years.

In the spring of 2006 I picked up a copy of World of warcraft on the advice of a friend and coworker. A friend who introduced me to the game and unknown to me until just recently made sure I leveled the hard way. Knowing that the guildies who would eventually become my friends would have helped me out he insisted that I be left to my own devices. He came down and dropped off a few bags and that was about it. Learning the way I did made me a better player. When I see him again I’ll have to thank him for that.

I played through the month that came with the game and then a 60 day game card before I let it expire for the summer.

That fall I received a game card for my birthday (the 37th if your curious). Since it fell on a Tuesday I decided not to start it back up until the next day. So that is how it came to pass that my oldest character Decado (now named Dekado after a server transfer) came to be born. August 29th, 2006.

Looking back on the last two years I realize how lucky I have actually been.

I have made some friends, several that talk to outside the game now more than I do inside. People who were there for me when I needed an ear to bend about the curve balls life throws at us all. People I have listened to when the curves were thrown their way. I don’t care what anyone says, people met online can be just as much a friend as someone met in person.

It is a lot to think back on. Two years of memories.

This weekend I am going to head out camping, and Dekado will be spending it in the Worlds End tavern. I will be sitting (possibly mildly inebriated) at a campfire enjoying the company of the friends that happen live close enough to be there. I am sure my thoughts will from time to time drift over to the friends I have made through the game. There might be more distance involved, but they are friends just the same.

I just figured I would drop in and tell Dekado “happy birthday. Have a good time at the tavern, I’ll see you next week.”

A good question

I had a friend ask a question of me recently that really got me to thinking.

Kind of a simple question, more of an opinion thing really. Carrying on in my best “will you STFU already” traditon of looking way to deep into things I managed to turn this one simple question into a 45 minute discussion. I like to look at things from different angles, to pick things apart and find out what makes them tick. Sometimes it’s a gift, sometimes it’s a curse. Today you will have to be the judge.

“With an expansion coming, should I farm badges for the epics for my current 70, farm and stockpile stuff for once it hits, or just level up my alts?

Now my friend (yes I have friends, quit looking at me like that /huff) is not a raider, he already has several alts. His one and only 70 is a hunter that is mostly used soloing or helping out lowbies in his guild. He is not in a raiding guild, although he does Pug Karazan probably 3 out of ever 4 weeks. His focus is mostly on making the guild he runs (Oops, forgot to mention that) an awesome place to hang out and socialize.

We talked about farming for epics, weather it be in running Kara for badges or running battle grounds for honor. He mentioned he had started doing battlegrounds for the fun of it, then he gout caught up in the gear. He found himself choosing what to run based on which marks he needed for the nest upgrade. He literally had spreadsheets of what to farm and when to maximise battleground weekends and such.

He got to the point that he would look at his “to farm” list and not even want to log in. He took a part of the game he really enjoyed and turned it into a job. He spent what honor he had and threw away the list. As far as I can tell he has not done any PvP since.

Now he is asking if he should do weeks of grinding to farm mats that will likely be outdated right after going to Northrend. I think in his case (and mine as well) farming up a huge stockpile of anything is a bad idea. The way he gets into things he will likely burn out on solo PvE as well and end up quitting the game with a bank full of goodies he will never use.

My suggestion?

Quit worrying about the expansion. Yes it is coming, yes it will change things, no you do not have to be prepared for it in any way. Think about it, do new players stop at level 60 and spend a few weeks farming mats, gear, and rep before going through the dark portal? No one that I know of. Most that I know hit 58, clear thier bags and quest log, and head for Hellfire. Northrend will be no different.

If it is designed to be playable by level 68′s in quest greens a level 70 in thier dungeon set with a couple of epics will overgear it quite a bit. Does he need better gear to be able to level? No. He might level a bit faster, but likely not enough to pay back all the time farming.

Should he farm up a pile of mats for later sale? While having a pile of herbs on hand might help make some auction house cash once inscription goes live, I don’t think it will be as pronounced as when Jewelcrafters were buying up ore for outrageous prices. People learn (usually) from the past, so many porential inscritptors already have a stash of herbs. Once again, not really worth the time invested for the possibility of marginal gain later.

But what am I going to do then? He asks.

How about all those folks you are always rattling on about in your guild? Get together, go run something, do quests, do dailies, do anything. But whatever you do do not make it another job.

Remember why we are all here. It’s a game, have fun

Honest, I just borrowed this post. I’ll give it back….

JustOneAnna posted the National Education Association’s Top 100 books, part of NEA’s “The Big Read” program. Responding to a suggestion from another blogger, she did the following: 

  • Look at the list and bold those we have read.
  • Italicize those we intend to read.
  • Underline the books we LOVE 

Several other bloggers have followed suit including Kestrel of Kestrels Aerie whom I swiped borrowed this idea from and Dammerung of Two and a half Orcs.

One thing I would like to know after doing this however is exactly who made the list? What were the criteria? I can think of several works that should be on this list that are not, and several that I don’t think should be. How do you for instance say that The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which I loved) would have more to give the reader than the intracate multilayered plotting of Robert Jordans The Wheel of Time series? They are two totaly different styles of writing. I loved both but only one made the list, and honestly it surprised me which one.

So without further babbling here is my contribution to the list.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (abriged)

A bit of fun over the weekend

This weekend I was sitting around trying to decide what to do. I was tired of doing dailies after a good long time never missing a day. I already have my epic flyer for Drupadi, don’t really need one for Dechion at this point. No one was interested in running anything at that time of day

Usually when that happens I will either run aimlessly around Shattrath chatting with folks, perhaps even offer up my services as an enchanter. This weekend on a dare I decided to do something a bit different.

After a little research and a trip to the auction house for a few invisibility potions I headed off to Zangermarsh to try my hand at sneaking far enough into Steam Vaults. I planned to try to get the fragment for my Karazan key quest. I have never been one to solo instances, I prefer to run with a group. It just always has seemed more fun that way.

I will just say I had an absolute blast trying, even when I died due to a feign death resist it really got my heart pumping. Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will leave you with a screenshot of the end of my third attempt. (yes I use the default UI, wtb customization knowledge. pst)

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