Friday, January 13, 2017

Hitting the Reset Button

Hitting the Reset Button

Well, the inevitable came to pass. My Dominos addon could not be fixed. A complete cleansing was required. I removed the Interface, WTF and Cache folders, loaded Dominos, and then did a restart. Dominos successfully loaded in it's base mode. The unresponsive commands and stuck bars and buttons were now working.

I chose Chaitee to be my test case. I chose her for two reasons: One, at only level 32 she had fewer buttons and spells and stuff to deal with; and Two, I needed her to be fully up and running so she could keep the gold flowing from the Auction House with minimal disruption. Once things looked good I used the Dominos feature, Profiles, to copy Chaitee's setup  to the rest of the 11 family members. It worked a lot better than I thought it would. Not only did buttons and bars set themselves in the right spots, the preset spells remembered where they were supposed to be as well. I haven't tested much, yet, so there may still be some gotchas to fix, but Chaitee and Pulse at least are fully functional. A quick look at the other characters looked good, too, though I will need get them some action to be sure. The end result is that for the first time I have a standard setup that I can use for all my characters. I not only fixed the problem, I improved on it.

Pulse managed to stay engaged despite all of the addon construction going on. She is now in Azshara, level 19, and close to getting her mount. She is still using Affliction spec.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Getting the Hang of Things

Getting the Hang of Things

Pulse eventually got off the Lost Isles and worked her way to the grand city of Orgrimmar. It was exciting to add a fresh horde member to the family. Since she has not yet reached a point where she can use a mount, Pulse chose to set her hearthstone to The Broken Tusk, an inn just inside the gates of the city in the Valley of Strength. Oddly, the hearthstone didn't appear, something Pulse will have to figure out. It seems the hearthstone becomes invisible when the automatic "clean up bags" is used. It eventually reappears.

There is a convenient Auction House right next door as well, should Pulse need anything. The bank is a fair march, though.

Pulse turned 16 while leveling on the outskirts of Orgrimmar at the Rocketway Exchange. On a complete whim, she decided it was time to switch to Demonology. Bad decision.
Ouch. Pulse's first expedition with demonology spec did not go well. She was too heavily armored to get killed but . . .  I really didn't like it. She is back to Affliction for now.

The addon author for Dominos has not been able to fix the problem that has locked the bars and buttons I use for every character. The good news is that all characters except Pulse can continue to use the setup they already have. The problems will come if I ever need to make changes. Pulse is stuck in vanilla version using the vanilla bars and buttons. Usable for now, but it will get more complicated over time if I don't get it fixed.

Patch 7.1.5 launched this morning. Many, many changes. I focused on damage dealing and life saving changes. Most of the family saw improvements. Sista, though, saw reductions in her Gaurdian spec. The patch did not cause any issues that I am aware of, but patches are another obstacle that could affect my button and bar setups.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Make Room for Pulsefyre

Make Room for Pulsefyre

Pulsefyre ("Pulse" for short) is the new Horde Goblin Warlock. Goblin Happyface has a true smile on his face. He'll take take the young lass under his wing once she finishes her training. Pulse is learning the ropes at the Kezan starting area in The Lost Isles somewhere. There's a mailbox there and Happy has been sending her heirloom gear to get her started
Not so good is a problem with the Dominos addon. It is central to my setup. The addon has been in place for a very long time and works just fine - as long as I don't try to change anything. I didn't know there was a problem until I started setting Pulse up. I discovered that many of the Dominos commands no longer work. This is going to complicate getting Pulse ready for action. I posted the problem with the addon author. He no longer builds addons, but he still provides support for Dominos. I hope there is a solution that doesn't require re-installing the addon. In that case I would have to manually rebuild my setup on every character. I've done it before, but it takes time. A lot of time.

As one example of the issue, a quest required swimming underwater to save a bunch of baby fish. Not only was the Dominos addon cluttering up the screen, the artifact bar covered the button that showed her underwater breathing level. She died once when miscalculating how much air she had left.

I am going to test running without Dominos for awhile. At her current level she doesn't have many buttons to deal with so it should be okay. For awhile
Meanwhile, Pulse works around the outside troubles and focuses on progression. She has reached Level 12. With two ranged attack spells and her minion coupled with heirloom gear, she can't be killed unless she gets reckless. By the way, she could only use Affliction in the starting zone. Now she can change over to Demonology but I'm holding her back until the addon mess is fixed. The same goes for the Boost. Until the addon mess is fixed Pulse will continue to level the old fashioned way.

Broken Addon
Welcome a New Additon

Heirloom Heaven

Friday, January 6, 2017

Warlock Madness

Warlock Madness

Tiphaine is frustrated and annoyed. Keya and Sista are at work on achieving Flying in Legion. It requires a huge effort of time and commitment. Now, after long months of idleness, the horde guild has suddenly decided to interfere. Even more damning is that dimwitted Wild sent Tiphaine's own daughter, Plumrosefist ("Fist") to do his dirty work.

Wild was cagier than Tiphaine figured him to be, for someone who has let his guild slip badly to Tiphaine's eyes. She couldn't refuse Fist, though, who asked only that her mother talk to Wild about the resurgence of interest in the horde guild.

Wildshard had spent a long winter brooding in Orgrimmar, unsure of the guild's course. The unusual cooperation of horde and alliance guilds was intended to help both, but once Tiphaine was given a leg up, all support from the alliance came to an end. Wild was determined to get his guild back on track.
Giving his blessing to Fist to begin leveling again was the first step. Tiphaine's relationship with her daughter was fraught with emotional entangles that could blow up at any time. Wild knew, though, that Tiphaine would not interfere with Fist.

The talks between the two did not go well.

"Just because we've stayed quiet doesn't mean that we have retired or plan to." Wild glared at Tiphaine and banged his staff, Kihrawr's Scratching Post, for emphasis. He was tired of fruitless arguing.

Tiphaine didn't hide her flash of contempt. "You don't even have an artifact weapon, and you think your guild is ready for Legion?"

Wild rounded on her. "We have an agreement! We helped you transition to a new guild, worked with you to get it set up, gave you GOLD to help Chaitee get on her feet!"

"Come on, Wild, why rouse yourself from your cosy hibernation?" Tiphaine showed her death knight smile. "You as much as gave up your guild a long time ago."

"No we haven't." Jezzibael ("JB") pressed into the argument. "We are following the agreement. I have a right to improve my skills as the melee shaman representative of both guilds. Don't forget that."

"You know where you can shove that pitiful pair of shaman axes." Demon hunter Keya snorted, flashing her pair of Aldrachi Warblades. "You're still mucking about in Draenor!"

"This is going nowhere," Wild growled.

"You got that right, at least," Tiphaine shot back.

Wild and Tiphaine glared at each other. Wild finally spoke. "The agreement is broken." The two sides parted warily.

Later that day Wild set out his own orders. JB was granted time to level. He wanted to know if a melee shaman could keep up with the tanking classes. He mulled over several other ideas intended to help the guild - and that would piss off  Tiphaine.

Phillypurdue ("Philly") came to Wild with her own request. She once lived on another realm in a guild called The Grunt Foundation. The group broke up years ago, but she has never forgotten them. Wild listened and granted Philly her wish. She would travel the realms in the hope of learning what became of them.

His next action was sure to create even greater friction among the guilds. With Philly on her quest to find her friends, a spot became open. Wild has a diabolical idea. He wants something completely out of Tiphaine's comfort zone. Wild's plan is to bring in a young Warlock to eat up hours and hours of leveling time learning the skills. And then Wild will offer the warlock a Boost to level 100.

Wild dropped into bear form, stretched mightily, muscles showing his formidable strength, and roared. The hibernation was over. Wild is back.

[Note to readers - With all 12 character spots taken, a number of ideas were tossed about how to get around that and advance the story. One idea involved killing off Happyface. Another required opening the second account again and retiring a character. Yet another idea would have required a class change - until I learned that Warcraft does not not allow characters to change classes. I wanted the horde to have a period of growth for awhile, too. So, I came up with this idea - send Philly off to another realm. Simple, I hope. Just a fee to change realms is all that is needed. That makes a spot open - and we'll see if a warlock can hang with the tanking classes.]

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A World of Classes

A World of Classes

Alliance Death Knight, Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Demon Hunter, Hunter: These are the classes in the Autumn Tea Green Guild led by Tiphaine.

Horde Paladin, Monk, Druid, Shaman, Priest, Warrior: These are the classes in the Order of the Dragon Guild.

Every class shared between the two guilds are level 100 or better except for Alliance Hunter Chaitee (level 32) and Horde Warrior Happyface (level 24), both of which run their respective Auction Houses. There is also an unused Boost still available.

The Alliance has chosen almost exclusively classes that can tank - all but the hunter and demon hunter.

The Horde is similar - all tank classes except shaman and priest.
The reason for this is the same with both classes: Most work is done solo and tank classes are the most survivable when working alone.
Then there are the untried classes: Rogue, Mage, Warlock

Where is all this leading? There has been increasing interest in making some changes to the status quo. Chaitee has gotten a taste of battle recently and would like to have further opportunities. Researching the Hunter class more seriously brought up some concerns. Changes brought about by Legion seems to point to a pretty broken class regardless of type. Chaitee may still get some outings, but she is locked into the AH. The rest of the alliance team is already set, needing only time to level.

What about the Horde? Happyface says he's fine where he is. But others in the horde guild are restless for action. The Alliance have a head start, but that gulf is not as wide as the alliance would like everyone to believe. The Alliance has only two max level players, Keya and Sista. No other alliance has reached higher than level 102 (Java).

On the other hand, the Horde have only Plumrosefist at level 101 while the rest of the Horde haven't done anything since Legion launched. Fist would argue, though, that if the pattern stays the same, she should be considered as the next step up given that she is the only Monk and has the requisite resume - she is a tanking class. 

Then there is Jezzibael. She does not have a tanking spec, but the family has had a soft spot for melee shaman since the early days. According to Icy Veins, a melee shaman is extremely convenient to level and good at grinding daily content.

There is yet another factor. The Horde professions are in better shape than the Alliance. Alliance professions are a mess.

If JB were selected she could bring 700/700 Fishing, 575/700 Cooking, 420/700 first aid.
Her prime professions are 700/700 Alchemy and 700/700 Herbalism.

If Fist were selected she could bring 509/700 Fishing, 655/700 Cooking, 700/800 first aid.
Her prime professions are 700/700 Leatherworking and 700/700 Inscription.

That brings up an even more important question - Horde or Alliance? Both Fist and JB are Horde. That could be changed.

Wildshard and Tiphaine talked late into the night. The final decision could come down to guild coffers. What are the guild leaders willing to spend and commit to?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Legion Path Finder Part One

Legion Path Finder Part One

Tiphaine announced that New Year's Day 2017 will mark the official kick off of the guild's quest to unlock Flying in the Broken Isles. This is not a solo effort like the Draenor Pathfinder.

Legion Pathfinder Part One is an account-wide group effort. All members of the family can contribute. Part One has five separate sections. This includes exploring all of the questing zones, completing all major story lines in the Broken Isles, completing 100 World Quests, completing one Class Order Campaign (which Keya has accepted the lead for), and earning Revered with the 6 Broken Isles factions. A tall order. Some may not be achievable (ie, dungeons) but maybe another way can be found.

There is an online tool available to help track the progress, but it only tracks by character. As I understand it, though, contributions from all characters will count toward success. For example, Keya has competed the task of exploring Val-sharah. Java has completed exploring Azsuna. Both of those accomplishments goes toward completing the exploration part of Pathfinder for all characters, not just those two. Right now Keya holds all of the highest scores. That will change as other family members contribute progress.

Below is a spreadsheet to track the completion of tasks. Once a week or so it will be updated to show the current status and the character who holds the highest scores. Here are the scores for this week:

A score of 100 means that an interim task is complete. When all tasks for a Section is finished then section will show as Completed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The 2016 New Years Recap

The 2016 New Years Recap

The 2017 New Year is almost here. Time again to recount the accomplishments and lesser deeds of the outgoing year.

The latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was released on 13 November, 2014. Counting fingers, toes, and other digits, that's going on fourteen months ago.  Wild, Jocy, Tiphaine, and Fist are settled in. The every day routine of the garrisons continues. Happy maintains the Auction House.

Draenor has reached Boring of legendary scale. The family is restless. The gals are getting on Wild's nerves. He is threatening to ask for a male demon hunter come Legion. That "threat" brought cheers from the girl gallery. Fist immediately offered to handle all of the demon hunter's leatherworking, and any other needs he might gave. And this was only one of many situations plaguing the family of late. Nobody is getting enough time, not with six players trying to level and/or work on their garrisons. Philly reached Level 100 in February and asked JB to partner up with her in the dangerous Tanaan Jungle. They were successful at reaching the post of Vol'Mar, but there things stalled. The great shadow of the next expansion, Legion, was already the talk of Azeroth.

In March Wildshard made a decision that turned the family upside down. They had a level 100 Boost available and there were many opinions about who would get that boost. Wild suggested that the boost go to the Alliance. Wild had to yell over the objections.
"Look," Wild explained, "we are all bored and boring. Draenor is sucking the life out of us." There were a few angry looks, some hope for Legion, but not much else.
Wild's next words stunned everyone. "We are going to activate and reinstate families we had to leave behind in the dormant account." Everyone wanted to talk at once.
Wild continued, raising his voice again. "Not only that, we are going to expand the reach of the Wild Family - into Alliance territory." There was bedlum. Wild waited it out.
"It can't be done." Tiphaine shook her head. "But I'm listening."

"It won't be easy," Wild admitted. "Thinking like the Alliance is utterly foreign, I know. The dormant guild is full moldering junk. Bank assets are a joke. Gear must be earned instead of bought. Everything will have to be built mostly from scratch. Not to mention that Alliance lands are virtually uncharted territory. It is a daunting challenge."

To Wild's credit, the expansion and changeover was a success. Today the Autumn Tea Green Guild is a thriving Alliance guild.

The Horde Order of the Dragon Guild is still in place. It's a quiet place now, without a lot of activity. The point, however, is that it is ready and available should the two guilds decide to make changes. Both Alliance and Horde guilds are strong and capable. That is the legacy Wildshard envisioned, and brought into reality.

But getting there still had it's issues. Surprises: (1) Javajoo decided to explore his/her feminine side with a makeover to female and switching from Holy to Protection paladin. (2) Happyface stayed to run the Horde Auction House, so a young level 21 Chaitee volunteered to take the post for the Alliance guild. Her journey from Darnassus to Stormwind City was long, difficult, and dangerous, but she made it safely and is doing a superb job. (3) Sista was given the Boost, going from level 60 to 90. (4) Rakta got a Boost from level 20 to Level 100. (5) On April 19 the faction transfer was finally complete. (6) Chaitee struggles to make ends meet, losing 11,000 gold in her first month on the job at the Auction House. (6) Mahakeya, the first and so far only demon hunter, joins the family and the guild on August 9th. (7) Endless invasions, limitless killing, but the whole family was able to reach level i700 in gear this way, led by Tiphaine.

Amid the growing activity around Legion was a sadness for those left behind. The names: Bruiserbabe (63 death knight), Merytophvy (60 hunter), Hearnoevils (30 hunter), Beanoevils (25 hunter), Hapless (16 druid), Mewgoogaipan (12 mage), Whispersoul (12 warrior), and Alwayslost (12 paladin). As the senior of the group, level 63 Bruiserbabe was given a chance to level as long as the invasions lasted. At Level 70, another boost was available. BB wanted that boost, but it had been granted to the horde as their own demon hunter. No decision was made.

On August 30th, Tiphaine was the first to plunge into Legion. However, the guild's first level 110 was Keya, who achieved the goal on September 21st.

Chaitee got an early Christmas present when Tiphaine sent her off to earn some guild credit she that was long overdue. She rambled across the countryside and had a blast, coming home at Level 32. Just in time for the New Year.

Some Notes:

JB became the fifth and last family member to reach level 100 in 2016. Here is a quick summary of each family member's speed in getting there.

Wild took 59 days.
It took Jocy 134 leveling days. Lazy ass.
By contrast, Tiphaine showed how to do it right. It took her six days. That's not a misprint.
Fist took 102 days. In her defense both Wild and Jocy were still leveling at the time, which cost Fist some days.
JB took a hard charge at beating Tiphaine. She came up short, but did a superb job getting it done in 14 days.

Statistics of the 2016 year in review.

Guild and Character List:

Alliance Autumn Tea Green Guild: Guild Master Tiphaine (101), Sistaphilia (110), Mahakeya (110), Chaitee (32, AH), Rakta (100), Javajoo (102), Whispersoul (12), plus Sinnstarr, Hcab

Horde Order of the Dragon Guild: Guild Master Happyface (24, AH), Jocelyne (100), Plumrosefist (101), Wildshard (100), Jezzibel (100), Phillyperdue (100), plus the following guildies ranging in level from 16 to 70: Narcissus, Beanoevil, Hapless, Erikred, Amarga, Seenoevil, and Briuserbabe. NOTE: The Guild Bank has 987k gold should they ever need it.

Meitha: Guild Leader Grrbaby (i867) [Tala is a Rank 3 player]
    Total Members (# level 110): 495/56 [last year, 479/140]
    Legion Dungeons/Raids
        The Emerald Nightmare (7/7 LFR, 7/7 Normal, 6/7 Heroic -Nice!]
        Trial of Valor (3/3 LFR, 0/3 Normal)
        The Nighthood (0/10 LFR)

Fate Sealed: Guild Leader Ramux [Kikz too and other well known names]
    Total Members (# level 110): 216/33 [last year 213/90]
    Legaris (110) at i878 is their top tier player.
    Legion Dungeons/Raids
        Emerald Nightmare (7/7 LFR)
        Trial of Valor (3/3 LFR, 2/3 Normal)
        The Nighthood (0/10)

Warchild: Guild Leader Grymshot (Rhonna Rank 1), Grmnyght is i859
    Total Members: (# level 110): 81/11 [Last year 72/28]
    Legion Dungeon/Raids
        Emerald Nightmare (4/7 LFR)
        Trial of Valor (3/3 LFR)
        The Nighthood (0/10)
    Comments: Warchild seems to be off to a slower start than in the past.

Mayhem: No longer active, no such guild on Silvermoon.