The Legion comes …

So Legion creeps ever closer – after waiting so long for new content, suddenly there almost seems too much to do.  And a lot of it seems to be not particularly well documented.

Oh the bigger things that came with the pre-expansion patch were well known .. the wardrobe and the class changes for example.

But some things have taken me by surprise – the number of things that have gained “toy status” was nice and fairly easy to deal with, but then you look at your professions tabs – sneak a peek at the “unlearned” section (unlearned?  Doesn’t that imply we knew it once?) and realise there is a massive list of things that you have not yet learned – not even including the ones not in the game yet.

Some of these are new and can be bought off various vendors, but others are just patterns that you somehow missed along the way.  Most people will probably just shrug those off, but I just know at some point I’m going to want to start going through that list.

Speaking of vendors – I learned recently of a new vendor in the sewers in Dalaran (Northrend) that spawns only occasionally and then buggers off, who sells a toy and a couple of other interesting class-specific items.  I’ve still not managed to get him, although I now have a couple of alts parked where he spawns in the hope I’ll be lucky.  At least I used the time well, going through talents and sorting out my UI on the various alts there.

Once I’ve got him, I’ll have to work through the useful list on Wowhead.

Not long after the patch, the first Doomsayers arrived in the main towns.  You could speak to these to receive a pamphlet and, if you collected all 12, you gained an achievement – “It All Makes Sense Now“.  This achievement does not show up on your list until you’ve completed it, and takes a while if you’re doing it the conventional way as there is a cooldown between receiving pamphlets.

Currently, there is a trick to this, as the cooldown is removed when you die.  So what a few of us in guild did was find a doomsayer near a graveyard, then drop to our deaths close to it – resurrect taking resurrection sickness and run/fly back to the doomsayer for another pamphlet.  There’s some useful information on this post on Wowhead.

Then there is this new fishing thing that I only learned about yesterday.  I don’t know if it’s “as intended” or a bug, but suddenly fishing has become the big thing as people set up raid groups to fish in garrisons, to try and get the mounts: Riding Turtle and Sea Turtle.

I already had one of these, but joined a group just basically to see what it was all about.  I have the achievement needed in order to take part but it was difficult to get into a group regardless.  I signed up for 5 different groups before I managed to get into one – I wasn’t particularly prepared as my bags filled up pretty quickly (you have to loot the cavedwellers that spawn, as far as I can tell, in order to be in with a chance of getting the mounts) but contributed as much as I was able – yet I was still kicked out of the group, I assume for not fishing fast enough, although there was no explanation.

As least I’ll be prepared for next time – or may set up one myself so I can avoid those pug leaders that have a superiority complex.

The other thing I’ve obviously had to do, is sort out my addons – most seem to have survived the patch fairly well, but there was one notable exception – Auctioneer.  I know it usually takes a while longer than the rest to update, because there’s so much to it, but having gone through the 700+ salvage crates (!!) that I’d had stashed across my account, I had lots of stuff to auction off and just couldn’t wait.

I did a bit of research and discovered Auctionator.  For what I needed, this was perfect.  It simply checks to see if what you’re selling is already on the auction house and then gives you an undercut value to post with (which you can adjust).  In fact this part of it was much easier than Auctioneer.  So I’ve now switched to that.

I’d also been struggling with the wardrobe.  It is a brilliant system and a breath of fresh air as far as my creaking bags, bank and void storage were concerned.  The main problem was – I wasn’t really sure that everything was saved there, without checking first.

I checked the first few, then after that just the occasional thing, and then by pure chance discovered that one of the items I’d been holding on to was NOT stored by the wardrobe.

So I turned to addons again, did a bit canimogitof research and came across “Can I Mog It?” – which is excellent.  It will tell you if you already have a look stored in your wardrobe, if it was gained by a different item, if you can learn it, if you can learn it on a different character or if it can’t be added to the wardrobe at all.  It has the occasional glitch currently – boiling down to it sometimes saying you haven’t learned an item, but another class can – yet when you transfer it to that character it turns out you have already learned it.  But that is easily dealt with.

I can highly recommend that addon for anyone who is interested in adding to their wardrobe.

Now I’ve got all those sorted, I have a new mission to go back through various raids and instances to fill in the blanks – and to find all those tier tokens I have lying around, to get them exchanged for even more items!

Slacking … again

Yes, I know. No excuse. Well, I’m going to make some anyway … but first …  I got a surprise visit from Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf. Apparently she’s been stalking me for a while, but I’m a hard woman to track down 😛

Unfortunately I’d just gone into an LFR with a couple of guildees when she contacted me, so I was conscious of her sat waiting for me to finish, but things were going smoothly and I get very little chance to run LFR’s due to work and other real life stuff – as well as our normal guild raid night(s) etc.  Unfortunately things started going downhill when we lost tanks, then people forgot the tactics (or got distracted *eek!*) … so when we wiped on the last one, and one of my guildees (who also happened to be my OH (erm … Other Half .. for those not in the know!)) had to leave to fulfil his duties as a taxi service, I left too.  Massive apologies to the remaining guildee who I’d forgotten about!!

Anyway, we managed to have a brief chat before she had to go off to work, and I got to show off my new pet:

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She also gave me a talking to for not updating my blog 😛

So … what have I been doing to keep me away from blogging?  Hmm .. gardening (is that a bit sad to confess to?) is one of the main things.  Not that the actual planting of seeds and tending them took a huge amount of time, but we splashed out and had some raised beds put in the back garden, and we perhaps overdid the produce .. so we’ve been frantically trying to eat it all!  We grew: potatoes, beetroot (3 types), courgette, salad leaves, turnips, runner beans, celeriac, garlic, sweetcorn, leeks, strawberries and raspberries.

This little lot was all collected on one day …

DSCF3547So we’ve spent many hours trying to work out what do to with them all .. the beetroot, beans and courgette have all gone bonkers.  The beans especially have grown triffid-like, to the point where their “wigwam” has buckled under their weight and we’ve had to prop it all up in a Heath Robinson method.  It has survived through several very windy days and nights, torrential rain .. we’re just waiting to see if the onset of winter will finally kill them off, or if we’re going to have to go in with machetes!  On the plus side, the bean relish is lovely, only takes 30 mins to cook, and can be eaten straight away 😛

I spent an entire day one weekend making a silly amount of spicy green tomato chutney .. I won’t know if it worked for a few months though.  In the next week or so, the remaining beetroot is getting the same treatment.  If we find enough jars 😛

Other than that .. it just seems to have been a constant round of housework, shopping, ironing, filling in various forms, birthdays and trying to fit in a bit of relaxation on the computer as well.  Oh .. my printer died as well, so I had to do some research on buying a new one (which is brilliant, by the way .. new Canon Pixma IP7250 – it actually prints out photographs that look like I’ve had them developed “properly”.  Well chuffed 🙂 )

Kids are happy too, as it means their homework doesn’t look quite so bad anymore.

When I have had time to get into WoW .. well, one day a week, minimum, is raid night.  Three nights a week I can only spend an hour or two maximum on, on an evening (sometimes manage to sneak on during the day though, for an hour) .. the remaining three evenings are taken up with LFR, helping guildees or just farming.  I have soooo many projects half finished it’s just not funny any more.  I had set myself a project of making the various engineer mounts prior to having to save for the new Golem one, but only got two of the oldest done.  I’ve been trying to collect all the pets, and have nearly all of those tameable from the wild, but still many many to go that drop off bosses, etc.  I’ve also been trying to collect mounts, but I’ve only managed to make a half-hearted attempt at farming Kara and Auchindoun.  Then of course the Timeless Isle turned up … *sigh* …

I’ve just started to attempt the Celestial Tournament – mainly because I really want those cool pets, but it has made me aware that there are still a lot of pets that I seem to need, that I haven’t got to level 25 yet …. so back to BBB’s method of levelling them.WoWScrnShot_101113_085501

I’ve also been having a bit of a play with my User Interface.  The default one had been annoying me for a while .. I think primarily because of those graphics either side of the spell bars at the bottom.  Icy Veins had been pushing people towards Elvui, so I had a crack with that, and it is a really nice interface … immensely customisable but not particularly pretty.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying Spartan UI for a while – I first considered it years ago, but at the time I just couldn’t get it to look right on my fairly small monitor.

I’ve upgraded my monitor (probably more than once) since then, and I spotted it on a screenshot elsewhere recently and was reminded of it again.  I looked into it, but found that the original authors no longer seemed to support/update it.  However, someone does seem to have taken it over, so I’m giving it a go.  I’m having a couple of problems with it, which primarily boil down to not being able to set how I like the layout on one character and then being able to copy that over to another.  For example, I tend to offset the interface slightly to the right, so I have more space for my chat window.

Sure .. there is the “copy profile” option there, but it doesn’t seem to work.

The other problem I’m having is almost the opposite .. sometimes when I sort the bars out for one character, it affects the location of spells, etc, on another.  So still trying to break it in, at the moment.

I would also like to be able to use my standard key bindings as I did with both the Blizzard and Elvui interfaces .. in that those buttons on the bottom left row were assigned to numbers.  I have done this, but I suspect that, in SpartanUI, the “bottom left” bar from the other interfaces is actually the “top left” .. meaning that when another vehicle bar pops up I can’t use my number buttons any more for the vehicle buttons.  And another thing .. in pet battles, the SpartanUI disappears, as it should, however, it is still there when I’m on my farm weed wrangling … ?

I guess I’m just going to have to spend more time staring at my screen scratching my head ….

New Recruitment Addon

Patch 4.1 brought a new interface option in the form of the “Guild Finder”.  This could potentially make recruiting and finding a new guild much easier than in the past – where you had to basically go for word of mouth, trawl the realm forums and basically do a lot of donkey work.

In reality though, this simply gives a slightly easier way for guilds to make their recruitment presence/needs known, and a head start for someone looking for a guild (unless they’re not particularly fussy).  It is very restrictive – you cannot see if any of those who have applied are online at the time you are viewing their applications, you can only “accept” an applicant if they are online at that time and the option to “send message” simply sends them a whisper … which again will not work if they’re offline.

Our guild, like a lot of others, is happy to recruit new members, but will not do so in-game.  We have been burnt in the past by inviting anyone who asked for it – you potentially end up with completely unsuitable people for your guild type, leading to drama and bad behaviour.   We request that people who want to join us first check out our website, get a feel for the type of guild we are before even thinking of applying.  Once they are happy that we are suitable for them, we ask they fill in a short application form so that we can assess if they are suitable for us.

This method of recruiting, although it may have excluded some that would have fitted right in, has lead to a much happier, calmer guild.

This doesn’t mean that we cannot use the Guild Finder though.  We have simply included in the notes that anyone wishing to join, should apply via the website.

Of course, people being people, this request doesn’t always work (and it wasn’t helped by the recruitment text we type to advertise ourselves being cut short on the actual guild finder) – the first week has seen more than two dozen applications through the guild finder – many of which included no information about themselves whatsover other than their level and role.

To begin with, I simply created a standard template that I copy/pasted into the in-game mail, sending each one of them a message thanking them for their application but that we only accepted applications via the website, and directing them there.  Then each one was individually removed from the guild finder applicants list.

This was slow and unwieldy, however, so I was rather pleased to discover a new addon has been created for just this problem – “Recruitment Enhancement“.

With this addon, it will tell you if an applicant is online whilst you are viewing their application, you can create multiple templates and choose which one to send an applicant (you need your “mailbox” open for this to work – something that took me nearly half an hour to work out!!), you can delete individual applications or all at once, you can view previous correspondence you have sent via the addon – even if you have removed the applicant from your list.

In short, it does what the guild finder should have done in the first place and is invaluable for those of us who would rather not spend hours corresponding with people who can’t read a simple advert, but are not mean enough to just refuse applications without a reason.