2012 in review

10 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. (Only 6 posts this year? Oh my! Maybe I’ll better this year!)

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 28,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

(Bonus: Top viewed pictures is Thor shirtless. You know you wanna see that.)

—Misha

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City of Heroes: Pictures from the End of Days

29 Nov

I’ve been taking quite a few screenshots as the end of City of Heroes draws near (see my post on Saying Goodbye to City of Heroes for more on that matter). I’ve put them into a slideshow here for now, as I’m moving soon and don’t have time to give them all full commentary right now, what with my free time being filled with packing (but mostly procrastination from packing by playing City of Heroes). Hopefully I’ll find time to write more about them after the move.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And here is a gallery of (most) of the images in the slideshow, if you want a closer look:

-Misha

Saying Goodbye to City of Heroes

28 Nov

My friend, in high school, introduced me to this pretty neat game she had picked up. It was a game you played online, like the MUD we hung out in or out AIM chats, and you could be a superhero. Pretty sweet. I watched her play and I knew I had to get that game to play as well.

How could I not? Neat graphics, but more importantly you could be a super hero.

Such was my introduction to the City of Heroes.

City of Heroes Game Box

City of Heroes

I don’t remember if I had purchased the game right away or didn’t receive it until that Christmas (it was likely the latter).

Celt Paladin - Winged Costume

Celt Paladin

I do know I never played it while school was in session; my parents wouldn’t allow it and I couldn’t afford it (money and grades wise. Given the choice between homework and fun MMO, I think I would’ve picked the MMO every time). But the times during the break I played a lot of CoH.

It was fun. My first character I made as a tanker, like my friend’s fire/fire tanker. Of course, I picked one of the worst combinations (Mace/Earth), but it made for a great character concept. Thus Celt Paladin was born; a knight out of time and place.

Adiutrix

Adiutrix

I made many other characters there as well; Audiutrix, a healing/dark mutant who’s face is creepy enough that it’s always hidden. Snow Kitty, plucky young student who studies magic on the side. Madame Tempest, a government scientist harnessing the power of weather for good. The EPA – that’s right, the Environmental Protection Agencies own super hero (I don’t think I played on her very much, but the concept still makes me grin).

Oh the fun we had, joining exciting mission teams with others (CoH definitely encourages teaming with others, especially when your tank has trouble killing things or your blaster (or blapper, as they might be) keeps getting killed. Task Forces — a series of missions in a related story, likely to take down a named villain of some kind — were very fun too, if you had the time to sit down and do them.

Killing Hamidon

Killing Hamidon

And my friend often did this thing called a ‘Hami Raid’ with the super group, that I only recently got to experience. That’s right, my friend was Level 50 long before I even got there, yet due to CoH’s innovative mentor/sidekick system, she could still play with me and vis versa. Few games have implemented a system like that, which easily scales your enemies and teammates to the appropriate level for the encounter. They later changed it to be even more convenient, something I wish other games would do even more.

Sorceress Silvae

Sorceress Silvae

And much of that took place before the City of Villains expansion, for which I was quite excited. I made Sorceress Silvae, Celt Paladin’s ancient rival who for some reason also ended up in the same future. Silver Tiger, a stylish ninja fighter who for good amongst the bad. Palandromic, the mastermind of symmetry, with her minions HannaH and TattarrattaT (and more recently, ReinieR).

Palindromic and her ninjas - HannaH, TattarrattaT, and ReinieR.

Palindromic and her ninjas – HannaH, TattarrattaT, and ReinieR.

The gameplay still works great. The leveling can be a bit grindy, but the game has so many good bones that many other games have either copied or never picked up for themselves. Achievements? Please – CoH had badges since forever! Travel powers? Only other super hero mmos grabbed these, and not quite the same way. The enhancement/power system is still complex, with many interesting and challenging character builds available. I still get moments of awe and wonder when someone who has a powerset I don’t comes around and does an awesome ability/buff that makes me go ‘I want one of those! (Too bad I’m slow at leveling, because all the cool powers are the last you get)’.

And now we’ll never see this game again because a company doesn’t like the odd game out and isn’t making enough money from it. 😦

This is partly my fault, in theory — I haven’t paid for the game in ages.

Celt Paladin hanging out with Detective Doom

Celt Paladin hanging out with Detective Doom

I had just started playing again with my friend, having resolved the next time we’d play I’d start paying small amounts of money to reinstate my invention usage. And then out of the blue they announced they were shutting the game down. Just like that.

Obviously they aren’t going to change their minds about this, no matter the amount of protesting done. And no one wants to buy it (or could afford to), and they don’t want to sell. City of Heroes IP will be locked away and we shant see it again, the original and perhaps best super hero MMO, even though we’d like to.

What surprises me the most is that they just pulled the plug. The dev team was taken by surprise (I think), to hear that they’re somewhat profitable game was getting the can, along with, you know, their jobs. Apparently the people at the headquarters were just looking at some bottom line somewhere, that they didn’t even attempt to rework how things were going or cut the dev staff and development of the game (because I’m sure people would be alright with little new content, or less new content in general). Instead the whole game is just gone. Awful.

Hami raid is preparing to attack...

Hami raid is preparing to attack…

And CoH didn’t show the signs of an MMO that is going away, at least not the typical ones. The dev team was working away on a new release that they had been promoting just days before it was announced the game would shut down. There were no mentions of loss of profits, no desperate server moves, no doom and gloom talk making their way around the interwebs. Just one day it was said it was shutting down, with little reasoning nor fanfare.

There are many aspects of the game I will never get to see. I had not been playing when the Going Rogue expansion came out, and now I wish I had (of course). The Praetorian Earth storyline seemed really neat, and the ability to switch some heroes or villains to the opposite side seems like it would’ve been nice to try out. Plus many options that were available previously (such as becoming a Peacebringer) had been locked from those without paying accounts. Now with the store gone, it is impossible to try out these forms of gameplay.

But even with that there is still so many things to do in just a few short days. My friend and I are spending some time playing the game again, maybe as a way to say goodbye. I know it’ll be harder for her than it is for me. She’s been max level for a long time. The game — and the people in it — helped her through some tough times during college.

Celt Paladin's ID - Level 50

Celt Paladin’s ID – Level 50

It’s been a long goal of her to get my main, Celt Paladin, up to level 50 instead of sitting at the mid-fourties like I have for years, which was finally completed when I dinged to 50 this weekend after a two month-long effort to get her there.

It’s always been there as a backup, something to pull out and play again. Maybe that’s what makes it shutting down even more bitter. Not like an old console game you can pull out again to relive the memories. Once it’s gone it’s gone.

Will I boycott NCSoft? Probably not, unfortunately. I enjoy some of their other games, mainly Guild Wars. But will I forever associate them with this decision, to shut down a game before it’s time? Yes. And will I trust them not to be so callous with their other games? I don’t think so. Will I be the first to jump on their new MMOs and games, whatever they may be? I don’t think so, either.

City of Heroes Characters

Most of my City of Heroes characters, posing with their awesome costumes.

Further Reading:

Ten Things To Do In City of Heroes Before It’s Gone

A Mild Mannered Reporter: The Passion for City of Heroes

A Mild Mannered Reporter: The Cost of Closing City of Heroes

Jukebox Heroes: City of Heroes Soundtrack

Meta’s Verse: City of Heroes Innovations

A Mild Mannered Reporter: Potential New Homes After City of Heroes

For the… Horde? Thoughts on MoP So Far

29 Sep

I went to pick up my Collector’s Edition from Best Buy Tuesday night (I had to order from a Best Buy farther away because the closer one didn’t have any for some reason). Stopped at a Wendy’s for dinner to avoid cooking, so that way I could get straight to Pandas! I’m gonna share with you what I did that evening, and why I haven’t been (entirely) gripped by this expansion (yet).

Making Pandas… Later

First thing I thought I would do would be to make a baby panda monk on my main server. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of a name that fit my naming scheme (must start with an M!) and I really didn’t want to just rush one together. Thanks to @_anea for suggesting Maizhu; that just might do. We’ll see.

I did like the look of the new character creator though. Pretty spiffy.

Also, what is up with hair highlights for Pandas? Weird, amirite?

Panda Hair Highlights!

Their technology and culture are so advanced that they can make hair highlights! I haven’t decided just how many of my pandas will get said highlights though… (It’s neat you can have black fur base with brown hair highlights!)

I Choose You, Lil’ XT!

So abandoning panda creation for the time being, I logged onto my main and made a beeline for the pet trainer. You know, to train battle pets. Then began the arduous process of picking out my favorite pets (like near half the list), then adding some more favorites to make sure I had a good cross spectrum of abilities there. And then the battles began!

Pet Battle - Capture That Dung Beetle!

Pet Battle – Capture That Dung Beetle!

And it was very fun! It’s a little repetitive if you do a lot at once, but it makes for a nice break. I kept switching my pets around so I would always have attacks that worked to my advantage (after the first disastrous battle in which I had the weakness!) It would be nice if you could save sets for your team. Maybe this would be a good addon… (and it turns out it is! Fancy that. Thanks to @vitaemachina for pointing that one out!)

I also love that I’ll now have another activity to do on my bank alts, or on my twinks/leveling toons while I wait for a dungeon. I have plenty o’ pets that could use some leveling, so I think it will last me quite some time. A much better mini-game than archeology, I reckon.

Only downside about it being account wide is that you’ll get achievements for collecting pets and winning battles on alts instead of your main. I know the achievements are account wide, but it bugs me seeing an alts name instead of my main’s name. Maybe because instead of them being “Mishaweha’s pets” they are now “Everyones’ Pets”. Obviously this means I’m going to need duplicates.

He's Mine! Achievement on Methril

Sweet! An achievement! … on Methril? But Misha did most of the work!

Did I Mention I Dislike Questing?

Because I do. A lot. I’m not sure why; it’s probably because I prefer healing to dps. And if I’m not in the right mood for questing, it seems to take a loooong time and I get bored easily. I suspect I’ll get most of my leveling done through instances and not quests, and it will still take me forever. (I have a feeling my guildies are making bets as to when I’ll hit max level and are probably placing it sometime late October, haha…)

My Fugly Enhancement Gear

My Fugly Enhancement Gear. It’s mostly leftovers from raids. Turns out we didn’t have a lot of people wanting mail agility gear. Either way, I’m too cheap to transmog something that will be replaced soon.

But if the storyline is interesting enough, I’ll be more willing to quest. And while the Horde introductory questline is interesting, it really rubs me the wrong way, which is not good for my ability to keep questing.

And that brings us to the title of the post:

For the… Horde?

Because I don’t think I can support the Horde if they keep acting like real, actual bad guys.

As that is what they are most definitely doing with the introduction to Mists (Nooo Theramore) and the few quests I’ve completed (I haven’t gotten very far yet; I’m still in the first zone. Hopefully things change direction and I’m just jumping the gun here. But it bugged me that much!)

It’s a little rough, coming in with a Manifest Destiny attitude to an obviously well developed and lived in land (did we not see those ANCIENT RUINS and this VILLAGE WITH PANDA PEOPLE IN IT?) when throughout the rest of the game we have been Heroes of the Horde. Suddenly attacking (presumably) defenceless alliance because Garrosh made angry faces at us? Not a heroes style, certainly not my character’s or mine at any rate.

Sure, I can understand that in theory, a good portion of the Horde is following Garrosh. But I’m presuming the majority of players are definitely not with him, and not having a voice — in-game — to voice a dissenting opinion is a little annoying.

And I know the Horde and Alliance have fought in many places throughout the game (*cough*Battlegrounds*cough*), including the destruction of town in Cataclysm itself (excluding Theramore), but for some reason the current expansion’s initial entry to Pandaria seems more direct and generally more unpleasant. From the sounds of it, I can only expect it to escalate the rest of the expansion.

Even the Pandaren we meet early on seems to question the Horde’s idea to “paint the continent red” – why are we fighting? (Wait that sounds familiar…)

Mists of Pandaria - Gi-Oh's Quest Text

You’re preaching to the choir, Gi-Oh. Preaching to the choir.

At least we (probably) get to kill Garrosh later, which should smooth things over a bit (I hope). But how can I, in the meantime, support the Horde like I have in the past OOC like when we are obviously the bad guys now? The Alliance can always hold this against us forever, so then I have to be all apologetic all the time. What a pain.

Unless the Alliance do something equally as horrible as what the Horde does, at which point we can both just put our atrocities behind us and be friends. Right? RIGHT?

Post Them Glyphs!

Anyway, all this ‘killing alliance because we can’ business got me down (and the infinite mob spawns that were swarming me got me down too, but nevermind that), so I decided to check my auctions for a bit.

Glyph sales have actually stagnated for me a little bit, from the 15k in one day high it was when the patch first hit. I’ve had a little more competition than I usually have had (Ysera has quite a few people who post glyphs); usually I see a decrease in my sales when someone new joins the fray or I happen to get caught posting right before my competitors do.

However, I think sales will pick up as people start leveling more, maybe later this week or next week. Either way I think I’ll stop refreshing the auctions every day and go back to my two-ish day cycle for awhile.

Cancel/report glyphs every day? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Cancel/report glyphs every day? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Leather, Glorious Leather

Inspired by the auction house and incredibly fast mob spawns, I logged back onto Mishaweha and started farming leather from the cats in the first zone. Mmm, leather!

One of our guildies always used to say “Just leaving money on the ground!” when there were leather mobs unskinned (and unlooted. She would always call out to the people who didn’t lot their skinnable mobs so she could skin them!) And boy, is there a lot of money on the ground! I followed a few people around and skinned their kitties (and helped them kill them too, once I knew they weren’t going to skin them. That’s the one thing about skinning other people’s mob – you wait until they leave the kill site before going in the skin them, lest you steal their skin!)

I got a little over 3 stacks of the base leather, which isn’t too shabby considered most of the leather was sha-touched. Still haven’t decided if I’ll sell it or use it for my LW. I know you’re supposed to sell it but I hate buying mats off the AH because I am cheap. And I’ll need about 300 leather or scales to level LW up, too! Sounds… fun. XD

Exotic Leather

The Leather – It is Exotic! Also, check out those prices! Let me waffle on selling them until it is too late.

Running Dungeons

The last thing I did was run a dungeon with a mostly guild group. I was skinning while we waited for one person to get his iLvl up high enough to run the instance.

We got the brewery one. I had a pretty fun time, though I didn’t get a chance to really read anything that was going on because my guildie tank is definitely of the ‘gogogo’ mentality (also, he’s good at tanking and I’m good at healing so no problem there).

However, we did hit a little snafu at the first boss when I and two others followed the monkeys out of the boss’s room and then got locked out. Whoops.

So that just left the tank and the pug dps fighting the boss. Needless to say they died. Whoops.

Both a guildie on vent and @NicolaiGrunnet commented that this was a fairly common occurrence, even in beta, so I feel a bit better. I felt even more better after I got to ride around on barrels during the fight itself. Whee!

But the rest of the instance went well. It was pretty fun, actually. Like the part when you heal while drunk (in-game). Whoo! Blurry screen!

So how have your pandaland adventures gone so far? Let me know in the comments!

Mists of Pandaria Login Screen

Ah, this is much more pleasant than staring at Deathwing’s face.

Heroic Raiding and Other Shenanigans

27 Aug

I’ve been quite content the past few months, with nary an update. I seem to only get motivation to write at work or while otherwise occupied, but today I’ve finally decided to write — if only because there will be little point to talk about this expansions exploits with Mists just around the corner!

While my out-of-game time has been filled with house hunting and playing in the Pathfinder Society (and work), my in-game adventures have been filled with Heroic Raiding (a relatively new experience for Xcessive!) and Auction House playing. Both activities have been done with great success.

Heroic Raiding

As of writing, we’re 6/8 in Dragon Soul Heroic. This is, by far, the farthest we’ve ever gotten on Heroic in any dungeon — a huge accomplishment for our raiding team, even if we’re definitely not ‘cutting edge’.

Our first successes were Morchok and Ultraxion, which I think it fairly typical for raiding teams. We stuck with them for awhile until we felt ready to tackle Yor’sahj.

I had looked up the Yor’sahj Ooze calls on Icy Veins’ Heroic Yor’sahj Strategy Guide (and I would highly recommend their site for looking up boss fights – it’s very informative!) Based on their recommendations, I came up with the prioritized slime kill order… and therefore became the person who called out the slime kills for the fight. I think on our first day it only took 2-3 attempts to get him down, and we got the Rainbow achievement too, haha. So from then on I became the slime call person, which works out pretty well since I can easily tell the other healer when we need to count our heals.

I’ve even put them kill order into a handy dandy chart to read, though it’s a little late to be helpful now. Oh well. 🙂

Oozes, Slimes, Same Dif

After Yor’sahj, we moved onto Zon’ozz (it took a little bit to get the fight but we have it down pat now, as long as the DAMNED BALL BOUNCES CORRECTLY). Ahem.

Hagara gave us a bit of trouble for a few weeks, but our fearless raid leader found appropriate strategies for both the lightning and ice phases that lead to minimal deaths. I believe we have only four people total chaining lightning during that phase, so it’s easier to heal. We’ve got that phase down very well. Ice phase takes us longer and people are more likely to die, but now that we know you run inside to be dispelled we can actually do it. We’re definitely better off when the fight starts with lightning phase though.

And just recently we’ve got ship down. Most of our trouble was with the ship dying right before we got to the second phase, but we worked on our ‘standing in purple’ thing and I’m very certain we can repeat our success.

We’ve looked at the Spine fight, but I’m not sure we’ll get it down before Mists, especially with the patch that will change everything arriving tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m not really looking forward to it, because Spine is one of my least favorite fights of the dungeon; it’s a competition between it and Zon’ozz.

Raiding Shenanigans

Raiding is only really fun when you’re doing it with friends who can all joke around. And be flexible with strategies.

For example, did you know you can have a Shaman soaker for Heroic Ultra? It can be done — I know from experience! However, it can only be done once… and only while reincarnate is off cooldown. 😉

(We didn’t plan it that way, of course. One of our soakers just happened to die pretty close to the time they were going to stay out, so I merely stood in their place).

Also, make sure you look out for mealstroms in your raid. I’ve heard they can rain mashed potatoes on your head, with a side of peas.

(Yes, someone said mealstrom instead of maelstrom. It was funnier then, you had to be there.)

Auction House

I’ve steadily kept up with the glyph market. Some weeks I post every other day (or slightly more often); other times I barely make it once a week. Either way I’ve done fairly well for myself the past year+. I’m up to around half a million (that sounds much more impressive than five-hundred thousand, doesn’t it), though if I moved into more markets and/or posted more often I’m sure it’d be higher. After all, that’s pretty much my entire profit for the year or two I’ve been doing it. I know those ‘real’ AH players make waaaay more than that in the same amount of time, but I think I’m doing pretty well for myself.

It’s been easier since I’ve branched off to three characters to post my glyphs. They all get the right amount of glyphs so they can hold extras of every glyph without running of of inventory space so multiple trips to the mailbox aren’t necessary as they were in the past. And I only craft when I need 3-4 more glyphs, which cuts down on the number of times I need to craft in a week, which is the major time-sink.

And all my success of late is due to TSM, the heavyweight AH addon. I setup my groups in there and bam — don’t need to think much about it anymore. I’ve taken to using it for setting up other characters to sell ‘random items’ and other mats I have extras of that aren’t part of an active crafting business. I have a few who do that on my main server, and quite a few on my ‘alt’ servers as well! They bring in the money for my Ally toons, as I am accustomed to a certain kind of gold stockpile as I level. XD

Other Shenanigans

I’ve been up to quite a few other things as well, as presented here in no particular order:

  • Transmogging Misha’s gear with gear I already have on hand
    • Because I’m too lazy to find other gear right now
  • Using Mogit obsessively
    • But not buying gear because I’m too lazy to write out a list of what I need
  • Lazily leveling my DK
    • She’s halfway through 84 (still)
  • Running random lower level toons through instances and pvp
    • Weirdly enough, most of these toons aren’t on my main server
  • Twinking a level 24 druid
    • That I still need to acquire gear for (see aforementioned laziness)
  • Planning out new characters to roll for Mists
    • Including which ones should be recruit-a-friend buddies, because I totally need more accounts

Busy times, I’m sure! And we can add to the list ‘relearning my class, again’ once the patch hits tomorrow.

What have you been up the past few months? Hopefully it’s something fun!

-Misha

Mists of Pandaria Commentary: Pandaren and You

20 Mar

In case you haven’t heard, there has been a deluge of information about Mist of Pandaria, since the NDA was lifted. Suddenly, press releases abound! (I’ve been reading (and stealing images from) the excellent information compiled at MMO Champion and Wowhead. Mmm, information).

There’s a lot of really interesting stuff about the expansion there, and I’d invite you to read it (if you haven’t already). I’ve only skimmed the content myself, but that doesn’t stop me from opining on it! Today I’d like to focus on the Pandaren, specifically the female model!

Pandaren

There has been much speculation on the female Pandaren model for many months now. It’s only ramped up since Blizz posted a teaser image last week (I know about that since my site hits shot up with search for ‘pandaren’!). But the long wait is over, for behold the Pandaren female model!

Female Pandaren!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this design! Sure, I would’ve been happier if the model was a little more similar to the male Pandaren model, such as in the fanart I had linked to before:

Fan-made Pandaren Female Design

She’s a little bit wider and a bit shorter than the official female model, as this drawing was based on the male model (which already existed before the female ones, as Blizzard seems to like designing the males of the race first). It is fairly close to their official design, though! And I think it’s better than design in the art Samwise had done. Having a Pandaren look like a skinny red panda (or in this case, more like a fox!) would not be cool!

Although you can still give your panda some red fur:

Red Female Pandaren

That’s fine by me, as we all can’t be the awesome black and white pandas, can we? Also, this fur color supposedly gives you a tail, so there’s that.

A minor critique against the female model (besides it not being quite big enough) is the fact the faces look a little too… cute. Sure, cute faces may be preferred, but I could totally use some fierce ones too. Especially when a lot of the official art has the male Pandaren looking totally badass while the females… not quite as much. And I’m pretty sure they could kick your butt just as well as the men could.

Case in point:

Male Pandaren Horde Concept Art

Look at him — he’s all ready for battle (For the Horde!) Awesome.

Now check out this art of the female Pandaren:

Female Pandaren Concept Art

She’s, uh… probably not ready for battle.

Now I figure that drawing is mostly to pin down the anatomy for the model, but why don’t we see the concept art of a male Pandaren in some fancy skivvies? (Wait, maybe we don’t need to see that).

Oh well. I’m just going to say that this sweet-looking Pandaren art is of a woman, to even things out:

Awesome Pandaren Concept Art

Learning from Worgen?

I’m going to interrupt myself here to talk about Worgen. You remember them, right? The big hairy wolf people who came out in Cataclysm?

Well I recall that when Cata was being developed, male Worgen models were out fairly early in the process. After all, they were vaguely based off existing models/designs so I assume they were fairly easy to make. And they looked pretty impressive too, with their broad shoulders and general wolf-like physique.

Except when wearing ugly robes.

Although they look fairly ridiculous when casting spells…

Trust me, it looks much funnier when in motion.

But besides issues of them casting with long, dangly arms, the Worgen model was pretty solid.

And so we waited for them to show off the female Worgen model.

And we waited.

And waited.

Dangerously close to the release of the game*, the female Worgen model was finally finished.

*I may be exaggerating slightly, as time ruins my memory completely.

Many of us were not impressed.

Tall, spindly women with dog and/or fox-like features (with an incredibly annoying sniff noise) were Blizzard’s answer to female Worgen. They didn’t look very scary or fierce like their male counterparts.

Reby, a female Worgen

They aren’t bad models, not the worst you could get, but they most likely could have been better.

Did they lack a clear vision for what the female Worgen should look like? Did they get sidetracked on perfecting one model that they ran out of time for the second one? Did their initial design test poorly so they had to redo from scratch? Beats me.

But could some of their issues with the female Worgen model been fixed if it had been completed sooner in the process? Say… like the female Pandaren were?

Perhaps. And I think the female Pandaren model benefited from its earlier release. Perhaps Blizzard is learning.

(Now only if they start designing female models first…)

Where will these Pandaren go?

If you’re an altoholic like me, your main server’s character list is probably full… which would make it a bit difficult to roll a Pandaren there. However, there’s good and bad news on that front.

The good news: The available character slots are increasing to 11! 😀

The bad news: The available character slots are only increasing to 11. D:

There had been rumors in the past that the account limit of 50 characters would stay, while the server limits would be removed. I was really hoping that would be the case for this expansion, but alas, it is not to be.

So yes, I can have a Pandaren on my server. Just one. And if I want a Monk on my server too, well, I’d better make that Pandaren a monk! Just like everyone else! Unless I want to forget the whole thing and use that spot for a goblin!

/sigh

Luckily for me, I can use my second account to make one or two other Pandaren characters. But even that account is running low on available slots.

I really hope the reason why they only increased the character slots by one was a technical limitation (too much effort to code, server space issues, etc). Otherwise, I’m liable to think it’s motivated by greed. What’s a better selling point to an altoholic than saying you get a new character slot every expansion (as long as you buy it)? Or encouraging you to race change to Pandaren if you want more of them on your main server? Cha-ching!

Ysera Character List

Any of you want to be a Pandaren? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

(Yes, I know some of you would race change a toon anyway. I personally have only race-changed once, renaming the character, and then re-rolled the old character. Yeah, I’m crazy like that.)

If they ever do bump the character slots up to 50, I assure you I would definitely keep two accounts going (100 characters, 1 server!). Not only that, I’m pretty sure I would start racking up character transfer costs as I moved old alts onto servers I currently use.

But alas, that plan is for another day…

Your thoughts on Pandaren?

What are your thoughts on the Pandaren models? Awesome? Not awesome? Just okay? And how about the rest of the announcements that came out? Let me know in the comments!

Secret Santa Art Trade 2011 – Now With Art!

15 Mar

The Twitter Secret Santa Art Trade 2011 finished late December and was quite successful, if you ask me! Tons of great art are posted on the site, and I’d encourage you to check it out!

I received my art from @rithtthewarluid, and it’s of Likal, my night elf hunter, and her pet Kanoni!

I just love it! I currently have it as my twitter avatar. And even more excitingly for Likal, I’ve started playing her again (at least a little bit). She’s ecstatic to get some attention again. Thanks again, Rith!

And of course, I ended up making some art too. This year it was for @greyseer!

Here’s a re-enactment of me on the day @Technophobia was drawing names out of a hat for who would draw for who:

Please not a person with a male character please not a person with a male character please not a person with a – Greyseer? Let’s check out his refs… Doh!

No offense Greyseer — I’m just not that good at drawing guys! And I knew I’d have a hard time expressing the awesomeness that is Tharion, because he looks totally badass.

My inability to draw guys probably shows a bit in the drawing, especially since I spent quite a large amount of time on the background and maybe not as much time on Tharion himself. (but check out that foreground cliff; it’s so pretty!) Also, I maaaay have left out some weapons and armor because they are also hard to draw. >_>

I saved “in-progress” images as I worked through this design so later I can do an in-depth post about my drawing process! And I may write an RP post describing what Likal is doing in the picture Rith had drawn; it just screams for a story, doesn’t it? I’ll probably do this for last year’s image too. :3

In the meantime, you really should go check out all the amazing art that was made! And if you participated, I hope to see you around next year for another year of art trading!

-Misha

2011 In Review

6 Mar

Happy New Year!!!

Why, it seems like only yesterday I was celebrating this joyous occasion with my friends and –

What’s that? It was over two months ago?

Well. Better late than never, right?

At least the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys weren’t late when they prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog, similar to the one they put together last year. Only this year’s version comes with lag-inducing graphics.

Those same lag-inducing graphics make it slightly harder to pull into a fully commented blog post. But fear not, for I have carefully transcribed copy/pasted the text information over here so I can write snarky comments.

If you’d like to see the dazzling webpage in all its glory, just click here to see the complete report.

If you’d prefer the transcription (with my comments, in dark red), then read on!

WordPress.com presents

Me, Myself… And All Of Them

2011 in blogging

There are lag inducing fireworks for each day I wrote a post. I don’t know if they loop — I went and read the rest of the report instead. If you have the patience to watch, feel free to let me know. 😀

Happy New Year from WordPress.com! And a very Happy (belated) New Year right back atcha, WordPress.com!

To kick off the new year, we’d like to share with you data on your blog’s activity in 2011. You may start scrolling! If I can through the fireworks lag. Does all this lag mean I need a new computer? I think it does.

Crunchy numbers (Om nom nom nom…)

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. That’s a pretty solid number there. But doesn’t it sound even more impressive when you use last year’s comparison? A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers, which means 11,000 people would fill 26.44 jets! Or, if you gathered the lifetime production of saliva from 11,000 people, it would fill about 104 Olympic swimming pools! (Thanks again, Weird Converter!)

In 2011, there were 62 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 103 posts. There were 245 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 246mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week. I have a tendency to upload images first, ask questions put them into posts later.

The busiest day of the year was April 27th with 190 views. The most popular post that day was My Guild Still Doesn’t Understand Me.

This section had four images in it. I assume these images were from some of my most popular posts.

The largest image was this one, from the ‘most popular post’:

Followed by three smaller images also from popular posts.

The first one is related to Xena searchers, as it was when I was introducing Xena the cat, even if her picture wasn’t pulled:

Mishaweha rides a black cat with white-fire tipped wings.

My new kitty!

The next are people, who like me, were looking for some Thor fanservice:

(Speaking of, I can’t wait for The Avengers to come out. I hope it’s good!)

And lastly, my perennial popular post contains this most awesome picture:

Power of the Horde, by Blood

Power of the Horde, by Blood

Someday I’ll find out who this Blood person is so I can ask gush about their awesome art!

How did they find you?

The top referring sites in 2011 were:

  • twitter.com Thanks for reading, Twitter Friends (and spam bots!)
  • daily-quests.com I drew Fyreuni for last year’s Secret Santa Art Trade and she posted it on her site. I think some of her readers stopped by to visit. :3
  • spiritbond.blogspot.com Thanks for putting me on your blog roll!
  • wordpress.com Whoo, wordpress works its magic!
  • Google Reader Thanks for reading through the magic of Google Reader (now with new privacy policies)!

Some visitors came searching, mostly for xena, unamused, xena warrior princess, unamused face, and texas hash. I’m getting steady traffic from people looking for these images. In fact, I had a huge traffic spike after Lucy Lawless was arrested… Keep it up, Google Searchers — you boost my ego!

Where did they come from?

At this point there is a map of the world with generic MSN-messenger shaped people over each inhabited continent, sized relative to how many people have viewed the blog from those locations. You can then mouse over them to get up to the top 5 countries for each continent.

Most visitors came from The United States. The United Kingdom & Canada were not far behind.

And here are the detailed stats that I am helpfully writing out instead of making you mouse over, going from largest to smallest person-thing. Unfortunately, they don’t provide the overall percentage for each region.

North America

  1. The United States 82.9%
  2. Canada 13.2%
  3. Mexico 2.2%
  4. Honduras 0.2%
  5. Puerto Rico 0.2%

Europe

  1. The United Kingdom 23.6%
  2. Italy 8.3%
  3. Netherlands 8.2%
  4. Germany 6.3%
  5. France 4.7%

Oceania

  1. Australia 86.4%
  2. New Zealand 13.2%

(I guess there are only two places in Oceania that viewed the site. >_>)

South America

  1. Brazil 65.4%
  2. Columbia 11.0%
  3. Argentina 9.6%
  4. Chile 7.0%
  5. Peru 1.5%

Asia

  1. Philippines 15.5%
  2. Indonesia 13.4%
  3. India 12.5%
  4. Malaysia 7.8%
  5. Israel 6.9%

Africa

  1. Egypt 55.6%
  2. South Africa 29.6%
  3. Algeria 5.6%
  4. Sudan 3.7%
  5. Ghana 1.9%

Whoo! Fun stats, eh?

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2011 was The Return of the Link Round Up! Best way to get lots of comments on a post: Link other people and respond to all comments. That way the count doubles! XD

These were your 5 most active commenters:

  • 1 TheIdiotSpeaketh 5 comments WoW bloggers may not be familiar with this gentleman, but he writes one of the most hilarious/interesting blogs in the world! I encourage you to check it out!
  • 2 Faeldray 5 comments Writer of Petoholics Anonymous, she is filled with much awesomeness.
  • 3 Cynwise 3 comments If you don’t know who Cynwise is, I… I don’t know what to say. Besides telling you to follow her him on twitter and read all his blogs immediately!
  • 4 Jasyla 3 comments Jasyla cannot be tamed! No really, that’s her blog. Go check it out. :3
  • 5 kamaliaetalia 2 comments She’s a Shaman, just like me! Go read her blog too!

Perhaps you could follow their blog or send them a thank you note? Or I’ll just thank them here. So thank you all for commenting. And YOU all should check out their blogs, posthaste! They all are super awesome!

Attractions in 2011

These are the posts that got the most views in 2011. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2011. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again. What was that WordPress? You think I should put in more google image search pictures to attract more google image searchers? CAN DO.

The main report page goes on for a little while longer, but it’s mostly WordPress telling you to keep blogging and the like. All in all, it wasn’t a bad year. Hopefully this year will be just as good, if not better. After all, I’m off to a great start

Cheers!

-Misha

Where I’ve Been For The Past 2 Months

21 Feb

… As told through a series of pictures.

At first I was playing a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Logo

Quick! Hand me a lightsaber!

I also spent a lot of time putting items into void storage in WoW.

Mishaweha Void Storage

Yup, that void storage is sure filling up fast!

Then it was time to go visit the folks for a week and a half over the holidays.

A cartoon of a family in a car with lots of luggage on top of the car.

It's a four and a half hour drive... which I do about once a month.

Then Christmas happened.

Cartoon Christmas Tree

PRESENTS!!!!1!

I may have gotten a kindle.

A Kindle Fire

I downloaded a Google Reader app to keep up with blogs. Then I downloaded Angry Birds and haven't looked back.

Then I made some more Star Wars characters.

Star Wars Mask of Nihilus Character Loading Screen with Ashandi

Ashandi was my first character but then suddenly two more appeared. I have no idea where they came from... >_>

Xena demanded pettings.

Xena, a white cat, sits on an ironing board.

PET ME!

We drove back home because the holidays were over and it was time to go back to work! Boo!

A cartoon of two kids in construction outfits, moving an i-beam.

This is what you get when you google 'working clipart'. And it has nothing to do the type of work I actually do. XD

I then caught a nasty flu and was sick for about 2 weeks.

A cartoon of a woman sneezing.

Like this, only ten times worse plus a lingering ear infection.

As I found out, you shouldn’t transmog outfits while sick:

I think I might have made it worse. Maybe this 'as few items transmogged as possible' idea isn't the BEST idea. XD

Right when I was getting better I remembered I needed to draw comics for the student newspaper ASAP (my second ‘job’)

A panic button

PANIC! I FORGOT TO DO SOMETHING AGAIN!!

After the comics were drawn I went back to playing making more characters in SW:TOR.

Star Wars Lord Adraas Character Screen Chakaara

Wait, when did all you guys show up here? >_>

Xena wanted more attention.

Xena, a white cat, sits on an ironing board.

PET ME!

I visited my folks for a weekend — at least 3 of them had contagious colds.

Stay Away From Me

You all better not get me sick!

Back again, just in time for more Roleplaying, both in WoW and SW:TOR!

Star Wars RP Session

RP Time! I've had lots of RP time in both WoW and SW:TOR - there's a lot on my schedule!

Xena demanded even more petting.

Xena, a white cat, sits in a box.

Pet me or I won't leave the box!

Yup, that about sums it up. There’s definitely more that happened the past two months (like the Secret Santa Art Trade!) but I think this summary if adequate.

Hopefully there will be some more normal blog posts soon. If not, see you in two months!

-Misha

P.S:

Xena, a white cat, lies in a curled fashion next to some newspaper.

PET MEEEEEE!!!!

Happy Holidays!

26 Dec

Happy Holidays from me to you! And Mandlebrot wishes you well too. Isn’t that right?

“I’m not going out in this.”

Aw, come on. I went through all that effort to get you dressed up!

“You made me walk across Orgrimmar and open some presents.”

And now you don’t want to show off your present to all the nice people out here? What kind of Christm— I mean, Winterveil spirit is that?

“A sensible one.”

Oh my, whatever will Xaviera say when she hears you didn’t want to cooperate?

Sigh. Fine.”

"Happy Winterveil..."

Now that’s the spirit!

“Can you please get me some pants?”

What’s wrong with the ones you have?

“…”

They have good stats for your level.

“….”

And you have such fine, manly legs.

“Tuxedo pants aren’t that hard to get.”

But they have no stats!

“But… But I just sell auctions….”

And?

“… Sigh. Could I at least wear the tabard again?”

I guess. But you got to say the line again, with more vigor!

"Thank you! Happy Winterveil!"