The Dragons must have taken all the ducks

The Mystery has finally been solved as to where all the ducks had gone.

Many years ago, we realised that Azeroth had no ducks. I complained a little when I realised after a visit from my sisters Duck in my Post Where are all the ducks?

Blizzard has taken the missing creatures to heart and have managed to locate them in the new Zone. The Dragons had them all along,

It’s also noted in the Embassy Visitor Log as a reason for your visit when you sign the guest book.,

There is an escort ‘toy’ that puts a duck on your head ( fits nicely safe and snug in my crown helm)

It looks like we now have a selection to collect as pets,

And in the Wild there are all sorts of ducks – including duck meat for cooking.

These may not have been the fluffy ducks I was looking for – but I will take it.

Twas the night before the next expansion…. goodbye Maldraxxus

and all the citizens of Azeroth cleaned out their bags in preparation for the next collection of Junk.

I’m going around saying my goodbye to my very familiar friends in the Seat of the Primus, in Maldraxxus. I am going to try and use some of the keys in my bag to open up some final chests. There won’t be a need to come back here for a while.

I’ve hugged Plague Deviser Marileth for the last time. He still burns.

I am reminded of all the Metal Music references in Maldraxxus as I say goodbye. Wowhead has a list here : Maldraxxus is METAL

One of my favorite Bands is Lacuna Coil – an Italian metal band with an amazing lead singer Cristina Scabbia and there is a character called Chiara Coil in the Seat Of The Primus. I was lucky enough to see them play in Sydney a few years ago, and they were also a trigger to finding some life long friends at work, when in a happy discovery we were talking about slightly obscure music for Australia and “You know who Lacuna coil are…” meant instant bond. ( and I will be seeing them tomorrow during the WOW expansion launch night in a Concert with Gojira instead of playing WOW but that is a happy sacrifice)

Also in Maldraxxus is Tapani Nightwish, another favorite band of mine, Nightwish

and Lyra Hailstorm for Lzzy Halestorm of the band Halestorm ( playing in Sydney next year )

Yes, there are other Metal homages in Maldraxxus, but these were the ones that meant more to me.

Goodbye Maldraxxus, I have felt more at home as my Shadowey self here than any other zone.

Warcraft Story on Twitter

This was a cool little thing that they did. We know a certain social media site is well, going through great change and there needs to be a shuffling before a new ‘normal’ will set in and how those final cards are played and who will be left and who has a blue tick is currently unknown. Its a bit undecided where people are going to move to, if they will move etc I don’t have any immediate plans to do anything yet. /popcorn

#WarcraftStory

Don’t forget we have that ability to /share within our game with a direct connection and Integration to Twitter – I wonder if that will remain. It was added to the game in 2015 as part of patch 6.1.0 according to Wowpedia ( which also includes some instructions on how it works) Steam also allows you to tweet, and of course you don’t need an integration to talk about gaming

Twitters own gaming related marketing page calls out Gaming as an reachable audience – apparently there is 91 Million of us gamers out there ( or was in 2021)

But a Warcraft story was a cute little engagement piece. A very positive community engagement. I saw a few people got a ‘ only died in fire # of times’ but I am happy with my /Cheers even if this actually seems a little low to me, it’s not like I am /cheering everyday but I know when I am on flag carrier escort duty healing in say Warsong Gulch when we cap I try to /cheer the flag carrier.

Relieved that critter killing was not my story and frankly – dying from falling as a priest that takes absolute pleasure almost in jumping from heights to levitate would have been embarrassing. This was fun ( despite the number of people failing to follow the directions required to get the BOT to pick up the right information and I will admit to getting the hashtag wrong the first time in a now deleted tweet)

10,000 hours v 21 hours

416.666666 days

Apparently makes you an expert.

I’m past that on my main. Yes this is a little shocking to me too.

Yes I also read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Shiva got me to read Blink, another one of his books a long while ago) .

It’s spun my head around a little,  we don’t always think about successful people as having the talent, and the drive,  but also the opportunity to be great.  Some people are very much instrumental in creating or prolonging their opportunities and others it’s chance, and being there at the right time with the right resources.  Could have our computer and programing greats been as great if they didn’t have access to a mainframe until years later? Or did all they can to extend their allocated computer time.

One of the concepts that resonated with me,  was  the 10,000 hours it took to be GREAT. I’m not sure that number has to be exact,  but the general concept is more you practice the better you come.  Some peoples learning curves means they might get there faster,  but after 10,000 hours you should be a master.

To do anything for 10,000 hours,  I think you really have to have a passion for it,   I can’t imagine making a kid do 10,000 hours of math homework, or force someone to play a instrument, or practice a sport for that length of time.

I used to play flute in school, and I’m no where near the 10k hours, but I was decent.  The skill remains with me  now though and I still have the flute I bought, but as for self made opportunities,  I’m not interested, no drive, and I shall never be a Master.

So lets relate this back to a WOW

With the pre-Dragonflight leveling bonuses I leveled my new Hunter in less then 21 hours from 0-60. I’ve played a hunter before (41 days worth according to /played ) but 21 hours to learn a new character/ experience content, train to use my abilities in a variety of circumstances – is this really enough?

There are different talents, choices and rotations and the Dragonflight talent trees have messed up what I learnt anyway – ( why for no multishot in my build, not hating the serpent sting change but need it to proc on more abilities)

So far my experience playing with people who are minting new level 60’s in prep for Dragonflight have been ok. We certainly aren’t masters but we seem to have been around the block enough times that 21 hours to 60 was enough for dungeons we have already played – I got my gear score up and now into heroic dungeons and will probably dabble in some LFG raids and park her till Dragonflight so I have something else to play besides my Priest and new Dragon ( Dracthyr Evoker).

I am finding though that an OP tank that out dps’s everyone and drags us panting through a dungeon to get it over quick might be efficient but we aren’t adding to our skills by being carried.

I dismay a little at the grind, particularly the covenant my main went through, and am grateful I could skip so much on my new hunter, but I feel a little jibbed, if we no longer need extended learning curves or time to get used to new abilities or new mechanics because we have done this before the only reason to play a storyline is to 1) extend the experience and 2) enjoy the story and the scenery.

Then to consider 10,000 hours on my priest thats gone through every expansion, talent trees, tweaks, chopping blocks, its been fiddled, poked, minor and major adjustments. Its not 10k on the same spec even. So does it even matter her played time is so high, and the real mastery learned is resilience and our ability to play in the face of change and new content again again.

The time I have spent with my main means I have formed a deeper connection to my identity with my character, the hunter has no such connection. Time causes bonds to form, even if its with pixels and so 21 hours to build, learn and bond is way too short.

Can’t do that while stunned

Can’t do that while stunned.

Can’t play, can’t attack, can’t move, but you CAN queue for dungeons and PVP.

I Dc’d during a Solo Shuffle PVP match while dead. The CAT cable to my pc runs under a hall rug which becomes a slippery slide for one of my cats, so the cable is a little sensitive and just needs to pushed back in. I spawned back in Oribos being unable to move ‘Can’t do that while stunned’ the error said. Couldn’t cast or do anything involving an ability. So I googled, and read some forums on how to fix.

One recommended logging in and out again, another wait for 10 min. So I tried both. Logged back in and still stuck. logged out again figured I had other priorities and I would try again next day. Same problem

The I used the self service move character to a safe place. Nope, ended up frozen at Sentinel Hill. Gnolls and soldiers locked in battle and poor me stuck in the GY. I was off to PAX so figured try when I got back. Still no movement.

So I raised a ticket – no category fit so it went into other issue request. I checked the progress of ticket Sunday morning and 6 days in with a 22 day wait period.

This was annoying – I can count the tickets I’ve raised on one hand, and to be honest pretty sure I’ve only had two GM interactions over the course of play. But 22 days is almost a month of playtime and this bug meant I could not play my main character at all.

Did some more googling – one forum post suggested that you needed to die to reset the bug. Dieing on Sentinel Hill is kind of hard. Even flagged for PVP the chances of a horde player finding me was low. So in despair I queued for WSG – the only BG I could think of where a Horde player quickly enters a base and could put me out of my frozen status

A whirling Tauren Warrior spun into the flag room, breaking my stunned chains and when I rezzed at the WSG GY I was able to play again – so thankyou Warrior I was not AFK in flag room, am frustrated that I needed to get to that point – that the one time I needed help, it was so far away.

So this post is hopefully for anyone else that needs to find the unconventional way of solving your own Bug problem with ‘ Can’t do that while stunned’ Solution was for me, was for my character to die.

PAX AUS – Writing Panel

I am in Melbourne for my third PAX – covid meant we had to skip a couple, and there are so many people here together for the love of games. I’m on the three day pass and I don’t feel like that’s enough, I remember Fridays being the quieter day, but not this year. So far have been in panels and queues and wandering the floor. ( started writing this in a queue)

While writing isn’t necessarily a medium thats dying -I feel blogs have had their day, and even now WordPress wants me to do a ‘Story’ post with more media. I’ve been writing since I was 9 in some form – poems, songs, stories, book attempts, and a finished book, but writing is why I went to the Panel ‘Pen is mightier than the Joystick – writing for and about games’ and got to hear some different backstories and journeys of how the panel ended up writing for or about games.

There was some great career advice about having a portfolio, transferrable skills and finishing projects are more important then ideas on a hard drive ( I have a fair few draft posts that will never see the light of a webpage) and it was pointed out that while creative industries aren’t always job secure that any job can change – be restructured or disappear. Creative opportunities can come in many forms so grab what you are able.

Besides blogging I’ve never tried to write about games or for games – and panels like this make me worry could have I, should have I, should I? I’ve been pursuing certificates and currently a post grad in my career with the same passion as I used to have for gaming. Work is pushing me and I’m doing well but I worry that I have chosen the more reliable path of a stable professional career then a creative one that sates my desire to write, both make me happy, but writing has always been a need.

I promised once I graduated from the course I’m finishing I would focus on creative me, and NaNoWriMo is on in November. I met the goal last year, and I can this year, so I can make that, and this – this panel the boot up the butt to pursue being creative. I also might dust off and clean up some of those drafts if there is anything rescuable

Satisfactory – Employee of the Planet

I have achieved ‘Employee of the Planet’ a true FICSIT pioneer and employee in Satisfactory the game and got myself the Golden Mug for endless caffeine which shows I have finished the delivery four on the space elevator. This was my second play through and I did it in approx 300 hours of game time. My first attempt was abandoned after finishing delivery three when I realised just how much work was needed to set up for the final stage. I have pushed through after starting in fresh in a new space on a different part of the map, determined to be clean neat and tidy and gave that up very quickly and cared not for the chaos of my base. My aim was to bring as many resources from all over the map and have them filtered into the storage containers on the right hand side which fed them where I needed them to be. It worked. Ran it on two nuclear stations and about 14 coal burners closer to the coal nodes which require a water source. I conveyor belted my plastics and packaged aluminum from a 2nd base that was power self sufficient through fuel burners and burning petroleum coke from heavy oil as a poor mans substitute for coal – it crashed a few times when my storage contains filled up and it needed it’s production to generate it’s own fuel, but fixed that after a few failures and more conveyor belts back to my main base. I recycled water where I could ( un-packaging aluminum at my base was useful water wise for for Sulfuric acid and then for batteries. ) I’ve started setting up a nuclear waste refining facility, my waste got three massive towers of storage contains tall and there’s plenty of empty space on the map so I don’t think it’s going to get out of hand any time soon.

Instead of trains/train tracks, I turboed tubed as much as I could between the bases. This is much fun, especially when you go under the map because my tubes went underground. I built massive ramps to get to hard to reach places like the uranium node I used this time round on top of one of the highest mountains, and like my priest in wow, levitating down to the ground with a jetpack was also a lot of fun. ( I really like to do that in any game )

There have been mishaps along the way, I was particularly destructive with my vehicles,

I really like this game. The spiders still make me jump, you will be running along exploring a new area as it slightly gets dark and then a massive furry multi eyed, multi legged beast jumps out you, spitting sulfar, fire, or just scurrying around you in a swarm. The big bugs were often bugging out which made them easier to kill though,

You don’t notice so much because of the first person player POV but the main character is a woman, dubbed as ‘Becky’ by the community, because as a pioneer you are clone and property of FICSIT.

As a time sink, as an automation exercise, exploring, problem solving game this game is awesome, it’s got so many amazing places to pollute, destroy, cut down or just sit and contemplate the view, and it’s still in early release! Update 6 soon.

I didn’t die as much to begin with the second time playing through, but I still did stupid things like tried to use a parachute off a cliff and hit too many buttons so it canceled and I fell, pushed off a cliff by an angry beast and so on. It’s been meditative, and fun making widgets.

Update 6 is soon so I am looking forward to the changes and some new foes,

Personal update: Still playing wow, and I decided to go back to Uni, as an adult, with a full time job, a life, and an interest in time consuming hobbies like gaming, it’s been a challenge, but it’s been really helpful in filling up the time that being allowed to work from home since Covid has given me. I’ve booked to go to PAX in Melbourne later this year, and looking forward to being emmersed in gaming on that scale again.

Hope everyone is staying healthy and well.

New World – A New Grind

The lonely road ahead

I’m still playing New World, on a dead and dying server. I’m level 55 and have probably been cripping myself a little by continuing to do lower level quests to build more reputation for settlement bonuses – particularly increasing my storage in my home settlement. Traveling is extremely expensive – Azoth the currency we use to travel between places is capped at 1k, and for example to get from one end of the map to the middle of the map with a full load, it was going to cost me 466 Azoth for one teleport. Animals drop 10, I have a bonus on tools so trees and rocks give me 1 Azoth, doing corruptions, dungeons, raids, and quests etc gives Azoth.

It’s grindy, but its manageable. Running the long roads takes way too much of my time because free traveling around the map between and my home only get me two free hearths, but along the way if you farm everything you see, that’s how you get the mats for your crafting requirements. There’s been discussions around the punishing crafting requirements. To make Gold you need Silver, and a reagent. Each level of material requires some of the previous level material. It’s grindy but were we really expecting to cap out everything in the first couple of weeks?

The economy hasn’t found it’s equilibrium yet. Bots pushing out the real players from the market trying to sell resources for gold, and where buying a a crafted item ( for example a silver chain on my server to then make jewellery) was cheaper then buying either the ore, or the ingot required to make the chain )

People pushing for 60 the max level mean that there’s little need for lower level gear, and the only thing you can do with the gear you pick up, is sell the more desirable items cheaply, or ‘trash’ it for repair parts and a small amount of gold.

I propose that they make vendoring the trash / selling the gear and weapons you don’t need for a better price would improve the economy because people would have more gold, and then when you need a town recipe for cooking, and you need 12 onions you’re more likely to spend the gold to get it.

Can we talk about the taxes… you are taxed to craft, taxed to own a house, taxed to sell. WOW has an Auction house tax – but it does make sense from an economic perspective to charge people to use your forge, loom, kitchen or alchemy lab.

Even with a 28% reduction on my house taxes, I am still paying over $800 gold every 5 days just so that I can have a house. I can own up to 3 houses now, but I can’t afford to.

The house gives me extra storage and 1 hour hearth. One advantage of the house is you can pay Azoth to reduce your hearth cool down, and its way cheaper then paying for quick travel, but only if you want to go home.

This is the inside of the house, I crafted most of the things myself inside, and found or bought from the auction house some extra bits. I found one person who used all their spare cupboards to make themselves a taller fence outside their hour. I could have filled my house with all the bunk beds I have crafted. I really like the house. I think it serves it’s purpose well, while there is limited colour options, it feels cozy enough and does what I needs it to.

Home

Outside I looted the fancier stuff, arhhhhh for my pirate wheel and got the two dogs from a dungeon run.

Pirate style

I picked a single story open house, with a small backyard that really needs it’s lawn mowed. It is next to a small stream running through the settlement which is nice, and has an ok view.

Backyard with a view

Apparently they are going to start forcing server mergers and once I turn 60 I will want to join some of the rushes/ wars and I will need a bigger server population for that. There has been a few complaints about the lag though. The game is keeping me entertained, I am not playing wow, and I feel like I have plenty to do for now.

There is less Bots and coin sellers in Chat now. I was getting annoyed reporting them, but it was important to do. The faction and general chats sometimes get a little toxic but generally I don’t feel it was a bad as Wow was, and sometimes still is.

I’m going to keep playing – I am having fun, and a new grind, we love grinding! ( ok, not always chopping tree after tree after tree after tree, look another tree! )

New World

It’s a new world, but not a new player base.

I bought New World, and on launch night I tried to join the server that some ex wow guildies had designated to be our server. It turned out so did everyone else in Asia Pacific because the queue was 21.5k long. As I stared into the queue abyss I decided I really wanted a chance to play that night so was pleasantly surprised when all the other available oceanic servers were only 2k deep. So I picked one and about 40 min later I was in.

Anything new and shiny is always exciting, and I enthusiastically dived in. Since launch I had not played WOW. The server issues were fixed ( at least for us ) ques were smaller, but there’s still a lot of lag especially in the cities. I’ve only logged in briefly tonight to WOW because New World Servers were going down at 9pm for several hours upsetting all the people in general chat at having to log out.

I had been trying to rush my first dungeon for a couple of quests and we had to disband before killing all the required mobs, but I got at least one important quest done while we were in there. The bones to get my pet will have to wait.

I’ve been spoiled with wow, New world has less buttons to press, but targeting feels a little clunky and even though I’m playing a Tank Spec in heavy armor with a 2 hander. I have had to level up a range weapon so I can chase down those pesky Does, Elks, and Buffalo for settlement quests. As it is your often competing to get the skin because while your target has been leading you around the map, other players have whipped out their ranged weapons and are trying to kill it too.

I have done SO MUCH running. Even with hearth points and fast travel my legs have been churning up the roads. No mounts in the game, and the only speed boost I had was when I spec’d into a charge with one of my weapons so I could move forward on cooldown.

I’ve not tried PVP – feeling a little better about my gear and at Level 30 and there’s active wars between factions territory’s which will be fun as long as the servers can maintain their player bases and there isn’t a dominating faction..

I’ve been having a lot of fun, it’s great timing given the negative sentiment around WOW right now, it’s familiar enough of a game to be comfortable but different enough that it’s different to WOW, and the grind! We all love a good grind, Chopping, gathering, mining, crafting, cooking, milking cows, getting honey from bee hives, and killing a lot of zombies.

My first dungeon was a little chaotic – we had at least 1 healer but I’m pretty sure there were at least 3 tank/dps and we were all doing our own smashing.

Player housing is going to be what I thought Shroud of the Avatar was going to be, but no real world money. You buy your house at the town of your choosing if you have the gold and the standing, and you then need to pay a property tax. You can outfit your house with crafting recipes, and drops. 2.5k Gold is the cheapest house, but I have my eye on a larger one with at least a front grass area. Your house ‘overlays’ other peoples, you always see your house, and if you invite someone in they will also see your house. Benefits of a house include another hearth cool down, and more storage. You do need to pay property taxes to make full use of it though, and for now- it’s a little steep to justify just yet.

Speaking of storage and grinding and crafting. You need a lot of space for all your bits , every settlement has independent storage volumes, you can transfer between banks for a fee if the settlement locations are controlled by the same faction.

I’m not too keen on the chat. It takes up too much of the screen, too many channels and way too much spam. I didn’t know what a discord kitty was. I knew, but I didn’t know the lingo ( age is showing ) I learned because of the chats and the requests for discord kitties, in game girlfriends, sugar daddies etc… people were already boasting about coming back from bans in game already, the usual name choices you see when people are pushing inappropriate naming conventions, but in the last few days it feels like it’s been cleaned up. For a new game, they have a lot of adverse media to read about from Blizzard and learn from.

The patch tonight is going to prevent whats being referred to as an AFK running into the wall hack – players run themselves into wall so they don’t get logged out. When queues are long for some people to get in trying to prevent logging. The patch will also bring in the groundwork for server transferring so the orphaned people on launch don’t need to re-roll and can pick a server and play with friends.

I’m having fun, turning into a hoarder, gathering all my crafting material and looking like a tanking bad ass. Server populations need to be kept high enough for all the aspects of the game to function – so once the initial frenzy is over the test for Amazon will be how to sustain peoples interest.

Almost level 31 at the moment which is a fair crack – fast travel and killing anything with a quest icon above it to keep completing the quest boards in the settlement which help the settlememt raise the tiers of their crafting stations. Kill 25 rabbits, bring water, craft a potion, fund some buckles. It’s been adding up.

Faction identity & working together

Are you Alliance or Horde to the core?

There was some suggestions floating around Facebook, Reddit, and forums that allowing Alliance and Horde to work together more, would decrease overall toxicity between players and in the game, and that our factions just seek to divide us further and encourage hostility towards each other.

I’ve been flagged for PVP all of Shadowlands – its a nice little bonus and for the most I get left alone. There’s the odd bones of a death sitting around the steps on the Seat of the primus in Maldraxxus, where I have made my home. It’s a reminder not to go AFK at the flight master, and on occasion there will be some PVP and general chat calls all the warriors to home to defend against the enemy.

When we quest in Korthia there’s a bit more action and Horde and Alliance travel around in small packs and we have a bit of a tussle – this only often lasts as long as it takes for either one of us to finish our quests, it’s more of a you’re there and flagged so you are fair game rather then a true faction hunt and destroy.

I used to be afraid of World PVP, didn’t think I could hold my own, and didn’t want my game play and fun interrupted. Now its an acceptable dalliance,camping is never fun but if your silly enough to keep coming back to the same spot on a quest (yes me, in the hope they have moved on ) then dying a few times and a corpse run while still an inconvenience, it’s not too bad.

I know there was controversy when they removed the /spit emote. It wasn’t one I felt I needed to use. Most the /spit’s I saw were in battlegrounds. Being that hateful to your opposition never really seemed to be a Alliance v Horde thing, it’s we are taught generally in society that if they aren’t on your team then they are the enemy. I don’t think it’s going to matter who the opposition is, even if we bring in Alliance v Alliance PVP matches – the other team is still the other team. Going back to playing sports as kids and playing other schools – being taught ‘sportsman’ like behavior and shaking their hand at the end of the match was one thing, but truly considering them mates, or equals or even having a friendly chat didn’t happen. In professional sports team bonding is encouraged amongst your own team members to keep the team strong and loyalties clear. Do we need to feel like we belong to a team to the exclusion of all others, and would breaking down those lines between Horde and Alliance going to make everyone nicer to each other?

Generally I think if people want to be asswipes and /spit its not because of a faction is because they are asswipes. Faction wars is just an excuse ‘ But they are horde… ‘ or they are filthy Alliance… ‘

I like the idea of reducing pure Alliance v Horde PVP – I want a good game, and if that means that they can do better matching and faster queues then that’s great. I don’t think it matters if my team mate is an Orc or a Gnome, if they are on my team and we have a flag in mind, we both want to win that game. Mixing up the starting positions in PVP also means we are forced to adjust strategies and get a better feel for a map rather then starting at the same gate every time.

I don’t think we need to keep the lines between Alliance and Horde so strict – and I am supportive of blurring these where it could. We are currently fighting for the same world.

Will it make toxic players less toxic? I don’t think so, there will always be ‘otherness’ faction , race, gender. It won’t matter what your otherness is – some people will always find a way to use that to divide.


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