Category Archives: State of the Blog

A specialized Rogues Gallery

image

I’m not generally one to patronize streamers – hot tub or otherwise – or other people that just talk to a camera, offer to write your name on their head, or change outfits for money (one assumes off camera but I’m not falling for that one again).

But one kind of people I’m always glad to help out when I can are those that do things – I mean, real things, things you can download and view and stuff. Artists fit right into this category. Kruithne is one of those artists that also does software and other interesting work. They do a lot of on-commission 3D art of WoW characters and, coincidentally, is one of the few 3D artists that also shares information on how they do the deed, albeit behind a Patron paywall (obviously not an issue for me).

It was that knowledge that drew me in, so I joined the Patron for what I could afford and immediately gained knowledge (mind you, the procedure they provided blew up my Python install, but, being a steely eyed Python boi, I was able to get that squared away).

Creation of WoW 3D art outside of the model viewer is not an easy or trivial task, but Kruithne works hard to make it achievable if you put a little effort into it. As a techie, as a former 3D artist in another era, and as a WoW fanboi, I highly recommend them and encourage you to throw a few gp into the till.

To my surprise and delight, recently we patrons got a bonus, an artwork with all of the first 100 patrons (that wanted to be) in it, as a group photo.

Can you spot the Grimmtooth?

https://www.kruithne.net/home/files/patreon/art/patrons-1080.png

The New Hotness

As countless happy people log into the beta, I’m sitting  here looking at a bog standard login in battle.net. But there are compensations.

Once again, our internet angel Vidyala has reached out and provided me with a reason to be of good cheer, in this case a most excellent commission of myself and my favorite pet, Bumbles, in our favorite hunting grounds. She hadn’t been taking commissions, but for some odd reason accepted my moniez in exchange for this awesome artwork. As you can tell, no matter the price, I came out on top in this exchange.

I am not here to brag on my good fortune, but merely to a) explain why this image may appear in the headers from now on (it will), and b) to sing the praises of all things Vidyala.

And now, prepare to bask in the magnificence of my turbulence.

Grimm_full_resolution

Thanks, Vid! As always, it is a genuine pleasure!

On Retirement

As I’m retiring the blog, I hate to leave the various inhabitants of this blog in limbo. Here, then, is the resolution of each thread of their existence, virtually speaking.

Flora

Floramel

Flora eventually retired from adventuring, having never achieved green fire, refusing to run anything but Demon spec. By “retired” we mean, of course, that she took out Milo Oddcog, the leader of the criminal underground in Stormwind, and promptly assumed his station and ran things the way she saw fit – starting with, of course, a huge shift in how the syndicate dealt with young orphaned girls, especially as they achieved womanhood.  She died thirty years afterward from buffalo wings that were so powerful, they projected her soul into the wrong dimension and it was eaten by demons.

Sizing Her Up

Jasra

Jasra retired from raiding and settled in at the Legerdemain Lounge in Dalaran, where she worked as a barmaid in the day and relished life to the fullest with her lover Amisi Azuregaze and her husband, Arille. While she freely donated healing and services to the Dalaran orphanage, she never healed in anger again.

Faiella

Faiella

Faiella finally burned out the rage and pain gifted to her by the Lich King on Icecrown Glacier, fighting the remnants of his forces near the Well of Souls. She died never having betrayed the trust of her family, and that was a gift beyond measure, for her.

Slithmere

Slithmere

It’s complicated.

For many years, he courted Illume, as he was smitten. She rebuffed him, saying she was in love with a man in Gilneas and she would not turn her back on that.  When the Graymane Gate was shattered, he used his resources within the Syndicate to locate said person – who was still alive, though Worgenfied – and hired assassins to end him.

Illume was not without her own resources and, upon discovering this chain of events, had Slithmere put to death in the city square of Gilneas. He did not appreciate the irony that she hired the same assassins that he had earlier.

Illume

Illume

After settling matters with Slithmere, she seemed to decide that instead of explaining things to the rest of the clan, she would go into exile herself. She was last sighted exploring the ancient libraries of Eldre’Thalas, learning from the masters of the High Elves remaining there, and generally trying to keep a low profile. She rebuffed many attempts at renewed contact from Grimm, Flora, and Jasra, and either died or disappeared in those halls.

Kutath

Kutath

Kutath settled with the Dwarven shamani of the Twilight Highlands and married an impressive dwarven lass named Magenta Ironcask, herself a capable student of the elements. He dedicated his spare time to the art of brewing fine ales, and was renowned as far away as Shadowforge for his talents.  When asked why she married him, Magenta claimed that she fell in love with is penchant for drinking songs.

Orlee

Orlee

Orlee took up the shield and died on the battlefield in Draenor Renewed, finding more than enough Orcs to sate her lust for revenge.

Amus

Amusmoses

Amus never left Grimm’s side when he wasn’t off serving as a soldier of the Light. His greatest battle is yet to come.

Yarlee

Yarley

Yar never gave up trying to save Azeroth from the corruption of the Horde, and died fighting the Horde in Warsong Gulch, trying in vain to save one more tree from their vile axes.

Wojo

Wojo

Wojo eventually left Khaz Modan to take up studies with the high Monks of Pandaria. She didn’t return until Gnomeregan was finally retaken.  When  she did, she dedicated her life to bringing harmony to the troubled city, and lived out her days doing just that.

Grimm

Grimmtooth

Grimm settled on the outskirts of the Twilight Highlands, as close to Grim Batol as he could manage, and spent most of his time helping with the effort to rehabilitate the city. Mogdug’s curse still prevails, but he has hopes of some day seeing the forge refired and reclaiming his family’s legacy. 

He married, having been proposed to by the Widow Holly Hearthstone on the occasion of his fifth Brewfest in the Highlands. It is said that the two of them made a wedding present to Kutath and Magenta of his grandpappy’s lost ale recipes, but nobody has ever confirmed that they even exist, and nobody’s telling.

Once a year, the remnants of the clan, excepting Illume and Slithmere, gather together at Grimm’s place and toast those that have been lost; those that are absent; and to celebrate those bright days of yore when we gathered together to fight giants, dragons, and legends.

Some say that they speak of doing again, someday.  Some say they already have. But everyone agrees that the land is brighter, the moons shine fairer, the ale is sweeter, and the songs are merrier when the whole clan comes together.

Those were the days of legend, friends. None shall see their likes in Azeroth ever again.

To all things, an ending

I’ll have wordier things to say in the month yet to come, but I want to make An Announcement.

Namely, that in a month’s time, this blog will be going offline.  I’ve decided that it’s no longer worth $100/year for what amounts to essentially a vanity project.

I’ll still be playing WoW – I have enough gold to buy tokens for years to come – but as time goes on I see less of interest to blog about, and certainly not worth paying real money to blog.

I may open something on a free platform, so I’ll make the announcement as to where it is, if I do.  grimmtooth.wordpress.com isn’t available, as I once opened it then closed it and, apparently, that’s irreversible. Go figure.

My gratitude goes out to those of you that have taken the time to read, comment, argue, scoff, laugh, and celebrate this strange world that is World of Warcraft with us. It is very much appreciated.

 

As you know, the subtitle of this blog is “Say hello to the voices in my head.”  This is a reference to the sort of internal roleplay I do with my toons in order to develop some internal sense of consistency in how they behave, dress, craft, and fight.  While Grimmtooth (/wave) is more or less a direct channel to my daily internal monologue, the others – Jasra, Floramel, Illume, Faiella, Slithmere, Orlee, Amusmoses, Yarley, and Wojo – all more or less inhabit some crevasse of Grimmtooth Actual’s brain.  And as such, I intend to write up a send-up for each of them, collectively or individually, I haven’t decided.  More for my internal peace of mind than anything else.  I’m pretty sure nobody else really cares that much where Floramel ends up when she retires. 🙂

Peace out, friends.

Everybody does search terms

I love it when bloggers post search terms that brought people to their website, and express awe / incredulity / outrage / amusement at the outlandish terms that often bring people to them.

But what of the spammers?  Nobody loves them, and yet they submit such masterful examples of the language – whatever it might be.

So, to be different, let’s share.

 

I do not even know the way I ended up here, however I believed this put up was once great.

Yes, our heyday is long past, and now we’re wallowing in mediocrity.

 

I do not recognize who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already. Cheers!

I once almost met BRK in real life, this is true.  Perhaps there is another famous blogger I will go to someday. Ratters, you up for a double date?

 

This write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!

That write-up pressured me to check out as well.

 

Your writing style has been amazed me.

Again, clearly we’re past our prime.  All but called has-beens!

 

You recognize therefore significantly with regards to this topic, made me in my view imagine it from numerous various angles.

I am imagining several angles as well, trying to parse this one.

 

Your individual stuffs excellent. At all times handle it up!

If you don’t handle it up, you won’t get gas.

 

I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

My sweat says "your welcome".  My sweat is trolling.


I’ve added a rotating wall of spam to the blog. Don’t tell Grimm, let’s see how long it takes him to notice!

Slight change in policy

Along with the change to how we’re stocking the blogroll around here, I’m also making a change in what goes into the blogroll.  This requires a slight peek behind the curtain to see the machinery.

Prior to this change, I had five reading folders for WoW. WoW blogs, Inactive WoW blogs, 404’d WoW blogs, WoW bloggers that had moved on, and private WoW blogs.  I shared the first four in the blogroll, but not the latter.

Within that latter folder went the blogs that insisted on running gold ads, video ads, or in some other way offended my sense of propriety where bogging etiquette is concerned.

Rather than continue to police this sort of thing, I’m restoring these sites to visibility in the blogroll, though most of them will end up at the bottom of the page anyway. If you, dear reader, do see something offensive on one of those blogs that I don’t catch, please do drop me a line. I can always flip the "private" flag if they’re really offensive (i.e. porn ads, gold seller ads, etc).

A brief note to bloggers that run ads

You need to take personal responsibility for what appears on your site. I’ve been told by one popular blogger that he couldn’t POSSIBLY police the vast number of ads that are served on his site.  Problem with that is: it’s always the same three gold sellers. You can review three ads, can’t you?

Please don’t use unwillingness to review as an excuse.  It’s your blog, and ultimately you are responsible. Plenty of sites serve up ads without resorting to gold or video ads. Maybe you should get advice from them.

For sites that run unoffensive ads, I always turn off the ad blocker. 

The Final Countdown

A few months ago, Google announced that it was discontinuing Google Reader.  A mad scramble has ensued to find replacement readers. This post is not about that.

This post is about a hidden asset that Google Reader provided, namely web clips.  What this was was a way to organize your RSS feeds in Reader, then create links to those folders that would allow you to display a reading list on your blog consisting of the feeds in those folders. Viola! Instant blogrolls!  There was peace in the valley and joy amongst the peasants.

Even now, less than a week before Reader bows out, this still works, but time is running out.  I have no idea what will happen to these links when Reader goes dark, but it can’t be good for your blog.

Now is the time to get busy moving your blogroll from this nicely automated format to something else.  I personally redid the site using WorPress’s own internal link database.  It was clunky as hell but at least I got it loaded. Bonus: the site loads a lot faster now!  It seems Google was a bit slow on inter-site responses (huge surprise there).

So check out your blog, if you blog, and make sure you’re not relying on Google’s soon to be broken machinery for your blogroll.

Happy patch day

Today, patch 5.3 drops, in which things ramp up towards an ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad in 5.4 or later.  This is the first patch day I will have missed since Vanilla, in that I am using a tethered cell phone for network, and my game time is currently zero’d (no point in paying for something I don’t use).

I had barely gotten into 5.2, which my experience thus far leads me to regard it as a vary bad idea ((I am quickly joining the camp of people that think that dailies are a lazy, uncreative way to fill players’ time so that they’ll keep paying, rather than other more satisfying approaches.)). All signs point to 5.3 being more of the same, with a different location.

Well, I won’t pan it until I’ve tried it, which will be in a week or two, depending on how our move goes this weekend.

Those that wanted more frequent updates, well, they’re getting what they asked for. I feel a little rushed, though – I barely had time to explore the 5.1 story line before 5.2 dropped, and I didn’t have a change of location to blame for that one.  I was still getting caught up with 5.0 things!

The question remains: does the increased frequency in patches also carry over to an increased frequency in expansions? I’m thinking not likely … Blizzcon is the most likely time to announce it, and if they wait until then, the next expansion will be out on approximately the same schedule as the past ones have.

I am NOT one with the doomsayers that say that the last two quarters’ numbers indicate that WoW will be dead by 1Q15.  First of all, two datapoints is a stupid wrong way to draw a trendline.  As an example, if you take the past THREE datapoints, WoW ends 1Q14 – a whole year earlier – instead.  Even they aren’t being that bold, possibly on purpose.  One should only choose the data that supports one’s foregone conclusions, after all.

The one valid point of the we’re-doomed crowd is this: if the next two quarters don’t look better, or at least level off, Activision will likely try to pull the plug.  I realize that the ultimate optimists at Blizz’s core management team claim that Activition would NEVER have that level of control, but I assert that Bobby Kotick’s an assertive enough asshole that he’d make it happen by coup.  Never underestimate the power of a determined asshole.

A final question I have – a hypothetical – is how far Pandaria goes?  Is 5.4 the end, or will there be one more? 5.4 is rumored to be the one where we settle Garrosh’s hash – and who doesn’t like that – but what we don’t know is if that is the end of the matters as far as Pandaria is concerned.  I’m not sure it is.

Well, happy patch day to you. I’m off to replace a heating element in my new place’s water heater.

Who’s house are you haunting?

((I can’t explain it; OK Go just makes me happy.))

Astute readers will have noticed a distinct lack of activity here in the past few weeks.  The answer is simple: network access is minimal at best. Grimmtooth Actual is in the process of moving to new digs … network’s on at the new place, but our FIOS contract at the current apartment is up, so what access there is, is via the cell phone hotspot, which is not all that useful for WoW-ing.  Four to six weeks, we’ll be back in the groove again.

Life marches on. Eff the Ineffable has been stalled on the first tier of raiding; a solid block of people don’t have the patience to let us get execution down on, say, Elegon and thus have simply stopped showing up.   I Joined Eff the Ineffable because a bunch of my friends where there. They moved on, and I stayed for the raiding. Now that that’s not happening, I’ve decided to move on to a new server somewhere to hang with some friends again ((GM has been notified, via Twitter, or at least I hope she got the DM, otherwise this is a rude surprise for which I apologize in advance.)). We might raid, too, but maybe that’s not so important to me anymore.  More on that when it happens.

Jasra’s guild, the Vorpal Bunnies, managed to down their first boss shortly after I went offline. This seems to be a trend; I don’t show, and good things happen :)  Given that they seem to have a decent healing team going now, I’ve asked if I need to dust off Flora or keep Jas geared. Hard to say where that’s going to go.  I’m flexible, at any rate.

Prior to the enforced downtime, I was asking myself if I was ready to leave the game; the 5.2 content is frankly a downer, with the focus of dailies in place of new content, and the probability that we’ll see the same in future. However, this extended hiatus has not in any way diminished my desire to play, "World of Dailycraft" or not.  Truth is, jaded, cynical, or not, I still find plenty of reasons to enjoy the game, and hundreds of things still to do.  So, we’ll be back.

See you then.

Best o de blogg

I feel stupid and pretentious doing this.  But I took a blogging pill and lost my sense of shame. Here now are what I think are the best efforts of the year, and good riddance.

January

I had opinions.  I defended damage meters, got to make a B5 reference while commenting on the endless papercuts of an opinionated life, and agitated for more opinions. I got political. I got silly. And I published a huge work on how to succeed in the Glyph market, a document which I have some pride in. 

WoWderata is pretty much my favorite of the bunch, because beneath the silliness is a Zen that really applies to life in WoW, and elsewhere. But the overwhelming (for this blog) response to Walking on Eggshells highlights it as the one that resonated the most with others.

February

More opinions. I poked fun at the odd creature known as a Raider; expressed exasperation at how most raids seem to be holding pens for bad guys and nothing more; and sniped at a well-known purveyor of straw men. I got sucked into a meme ((Again; I’m a sucker for anyone that actually notices me!)).  I whined about how unattractive all Hunter gear was ((Words I would eventually eat!)) and presented four mogging choices for my other characters, because, that’s how my herd rolls.

Overall, Imma vote for You can’t bluster your way through a heroic because the concept of hairy dwarf monkey babies appeared in the comments. What’s not to like?

March

March was a dry month for me, as my system died the death of hard drives, so what I blogged most about was how sad WoW raiding was at 2fps, and so forth. The only real content published was a piece about my support and appreciation for a fellow blogger, though in retrospect it seems to be a group of words having an uncomfortable alliance rather than a finished piece of prose.

So, no best-of for this month, even though my sentiments for Apple Cider remain unchanged – just poorly expressed.

April

Priest minions get some bad news.  After the relationship between Curse and ElvUI blows up, I elect to replance ElvUI on my machine, and tell you how I did it.  Illume starts talking about frost magery in MoP, which is unfortunate in that that series petered out unfinished.  I related raiding to software development.  Eff the Ineffable achieves 8/8 in Dragon Soul.

While most useful is the how-to on replacing ElvUI, my favorite by far is the vignette from the minion job faire.

May

Illume started a series on glyphs in MoP, which stalled early on and then finished conclusively a few months later once the designs in the beta stabilized. File that under “one more bad idea”. I opined how Diablo 3 was the true “WoW-killer”

But I think that the best of the month was Illume trotting out a program to auto-update your copy of The Undermine Journal with current realm-specific data. I’ve still not gotten around to making a real UI or installer for this one, but I use it every day!

June

June was a quiet month, with only three posts in it. I did manage to get a good rant off, this time against the stupidity of robotic “hacker” signature recognition processes and the ridiculous cloak of secrecy that MMO companies place over how they recognize same.

Best of June, however, I give to my Diablo III Post-mortem, simply because it seems to have captured a lot of people’s attention, most which never commented, but which show up in search hits and page landings ((No, I don’t look at my hit counter all the time. But Google analytics can be an effective tool at times.  Leverage versus obsession.)). SOMEBODY was interested enough to look, at least.

July

Another relatively dry month, and mostly fluff. The exception was Illume’s Dead Glyph post, listing all those glyphs that would have no future. What we didn’t realize at the time was discontinued glyphs were mostly getting recycled by Blizz as new glyphs. What I’m saying is that the most significant post of the month was also very, very wrong.

August

August began on a melancholy note, as Ratshag went out in a blaze of glory, and I eulogized in the way I am best suited for – ripping off someone else’s work. I poked fun at raiders. I tried (and totally failed) to relate game design to String Theory.  I wondered (not for the first, or the last, time) why Blizz has trivialized lowbie leveling so much. Illume did research on ink-to-glyph distribution.  We adopted a cat named Jaina.  I got Navispammed, which also involved a bit of drama. I finally sorted out my mog.

While Jaina’s my sentimental favorite, and Navi’s visit very much in contention, I simply must choose my eulogy for Ratshag as my “best” ((For some value of “best”.)) for August.

September

This was a big month for Jasra, as she took her first steps back into the healing role after sitting out for the entirety of Cata. Illume tried, and rejected, AdiBags ((That addon was returned to service later on, after the issues we saw were addressed. It really is quite good.)). Speaking of addons, I complained that they shouldn’t be a necessity – yet, they are.  I cheated Alas. Illume introduced a gear comparison tool (I still use it). I made a case for The Secret World, and judging it on its merits rather than the bluster of the studio’s management. I joined the chorus of people annoyed by the implementation of the Theramore scenario.  And I post-mortem’d Cataclysm.

While it didn’t attract a wide audience, I’m most satisfied with the Theramore post. I feel I put it all out there on that one.

October

Illume overviewed battle pet addons, which is probably terribly out of date. We observed the passing of Blackfallow Ink from relevance. I noticed a slight similarity. Jasra got some storytime. I discussed a terribly difficult subject. I also whined about getting ready for raiding. Jasra noticed that Disco was actually a viable questing spec.

I’m disappointed that the serious pieces didn’t get more play. Either I’ve got some issues in the writing, or got it wrong, or people just didn’t feel like adding anything to it. Still, even if they had gone off like gangbusters, my sentimental favorite is Jasra’s story, for many reasons. It moves her story forward. It fleshes her out a bit.  I’m probably the only person on the planet that appreciates it, so, essentially, I am my own audience. Voices in the head, remember? Smile

November

Eff the Ineffable got our first kill in MoP raiding. Jasra reflects on Disco healing.  I have a few choice words for professional victims. Grimmie’s Angels hits one MILLYUN gold.  I revel in little surprises.   I posted a screed on dailies, something that figures largely in this new game, and which I revisit in the future.

None of these really stand out for me, but if forced to choose, Jasra’s post on healing is probably the best done of the bunch.

December

Gear planning – with charts! Banned from Shattrath! And Illume takes potshots at WoW Insider’s resident “goblin” (again).

Oh, there’s no contest.  Banned from Shattrath was by far the most fun I’ve had with a computer in a long time. I wish I could sing and machinama, I’d be doing this much more justice.

And the winner is …

Of the twelve, I’m narrowing it down thusly.

  • In third place, Banned from Shattrath makes a strong end-of-year showing.
  • In second place, my sentimental favorite, Out of Retirement, in which Jasra steps out into the raiding world once again.
  • But my favorite by far is Our Dearest Blood, my tribute to Ratshag, one of the first bloggers I read, an inspiration to me, an inspiration for a lot of what exists on this blog, and a really great fellow. He still blogs, but now as a battle pet aficionado at press ‘5’ to capture.

Aaaand that’s a wrap for 2012.  Here’s hoping for a great 2013.