[Orlo] whispers:

Guest post: by orlowski

Blizzcon has been going great. Having learned my lesson from last night, I showed up an hour in advance of the doors opening. I was greeted with a hefty line but was confident because I already had my badge, bag and mount; not much to lose now. For at least 30 minutes people were streaming past me, towards the end of the line, so I felt like I had come just at the right time. The line went into and out of the adjacent arena, but by the time I reached the outside, it was 10:00 and the doors opened. The line quickly dissolved into the convention center and I was in!

I will let some of these pictures speak for themselves. I do have one mystery to solve this weekend, though. I’m pretty sure I understand the sources of the smell of rotting clothes, but the *multiple* sources of the smell of baby powder are still elusive.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Nick.orlowski/Blizzcon

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You Received Item: [BlizzCon Ticket]

Guest post: by orlowski

I’ve been playing a game for the past 24 hours. It’s called “Who is going to Blizzcon?”. You play the game by looking around and trying to guess if whether a person is going to Blizzcon. I’m pretty good. Meg (girlfriend) played the game: “Maybe there is another girlfriend here who wants to go shopping tomorrow”. I don’t think she fared as well.

After some anxiety, I finally picked up my Blizzcon ticket and goodybag tonight. Around 3:00 (pacific time) I showed up with Meg for pre-registration. I thought “Oh, its 3 in the afternoon. Surely, most people already have their tickets and I can just waltz right in and pick mine up”.

We parked the car and followed the shallow herd of people around the corner, looking for the registration booth. I imagined we would come upon some neatly-trimmed, slightly tired co-ed team in white blizzard polo shirts, standing behind a weathered folding table handing out passes. Boy was I wrong. The building is one big circle, so there aren’t exactly ‘corners’ to walk around; but as we circumscribed the building, the image of a line of people began to appear. We walked further. The line got longer. Further, longer… until finally it ended. The reason it ended was because it was going BACK INSIDE THE BUILDING. Disheartened but not defeated, we decided that since I had already purchased my ticket, there was no need to stress out in this line and went to eat Chinese food.

We returned nearly 3 hours later, fortified by lo-mein and greanbeans, and decided to stick through the line and just get it over with. This was when the true amazement set in. We returned to the same place in this Klein bottle of a line and walked to find the end of it where we left it, inside the building. We went inside, and kept walking, kept walking, kept walking. Thirty yards we did this until finally the line turned a corner and… went into what looked like the floor of an empty UPS warehouse hub. I estimated that four concurrent football games could be played in this space without confusing one field goal. The line was no longer restricted to run along the outer wall of the convention center, but was let loose in this grand arena to twist and wind its way 6 times. I’ll have pictures as soon as I can get a converter for Megs camera.

The line moved quickly and I spoke with the people around me, eagerly awaiting what would be in the SWAG bag. We soon found ourselves near the front of the fast-moving line, and finally were sequestered into a second line for the ngu-pas section of the alphabet to recieve our ticket. This line was short and the people lively. The friend of the kids in front of us had already gotten their bags and were showing off what was inside:

  • 1 Box QQ n00b tissues
  • 1 Tin Diablo III ‘Sinamints’
  • 1 Inflatable Frostmourne
  • 3 Keychains
  • 1 Blizzard Authenticator key
  • 1 Starter set Wow TCG deck
  • 1 Orc halloween mask
  • 1 Glowy Blizzcon pen
  • 1 Canister zerg creep with zergling
  • 1 Stress ball of some sort from diablo III

and of course…

  • 1 Polar bear mount code
  • There were some other cool things in the pack that will be revealed throughout the course of this weekend by Blizzard via RL quests and such, so there will be even more to stay tuned for.

Notes from Blizzcon

Guest post: by orlowski

Dear Gregorus readers,

This is Orlowski, a newly-appointed guest author for Gregorus. I’ll be contributing this weekend about my trip to Blizzcon in Anaheim, CA. Try to keep up!

It’s 6:30, way too early to be up. Not only am I up, but I am already at the Dulles airport waiting to board my flight. My typical schedule involves consciousness no earlier than 8:45 am, but today I’m going to California. The thought of the 5 hour nap in the sky is keeping me going long enough to eat my bacon egg and cheese sandwich from the airport version of Five Guys (which emulates the real Five Guys very well).

Why the land of raisins and wine you ask? I’m going to Blizzcon, Blizzard Entertainment’s quasi-annual celebration of their fantastic game universes: Warcraft (1,2 and world of), Starcraft and Diablo. Gregorus has been gracious and courageous enough to allow me to contribute as a guest author, so I’ll be keeping you all updated on the goings on at Blizzcon, as well as some of my reactions, opinions and first glances at all the snazzy new stuff Blizzard is putting out. I’ll also be gloating about the sweet SWAG I’ll be hoarding.

So stay tuned for more Blizzcon pics and info tomorrow and Saturday!

Shadow priest: 2v2 arena partners

I know most of my readers are not big on WoW, so I’ll put most of this post under the fold. I actually haven’t played in over a week, and I’m not up on the newest patch, but I can share my thoughts on who you should go into arenas with if you’re a shadow priest. The list goes from worst to best…

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Penny Arcade Short Fiction Contest Entries

So, my coworkers tell me that Penny Arcade is having a contest to find the best stories set in World of Warcraft that can be told in only ten words. I decided to have a hand at this, and I thought I would share my entries with you:

  • The shadow priest logged out. Faces are safe… for now.
  • “Kek,” said the Tauren, a trail of gnomes behind him.
  • Ride off the mill full speed! No light feathers? Mommy!
  • She rerolled, at level seventy, after tiring of the Macarena.
  • He thought he was safe. Then, eighty rogues unstealthed. Oops.

I doubt any of these are top top quality, and some are a little inside baseball, but after this I can claim to have entered a short fiction contest.

Right?

Shadow Priest: Spell Rotations!

Shadow Priest Spells

So, we’ve already established that even though I’m playing WoW very rarely these days (only about 4 times in the past 3 months), I still consider myself a shadow priest in good standing. So, I might as well contribute what little wisdom I have gained by playing my only main character for so long and for so often. If Warcraft is incomprehensible or boring to you, feel free to give up at this point, though I will try to make it as painless as possible.

A bit of a caveat here: I do not know any of the theory involved. Everything I know is from experience, practice, and trial and error, and most of my experience is on the PvP side of the coin. I have raided before, but not seriously. I can’t tell you what my damage per second is, and everything I do is not mana efficient.

My plan here is to tell you my spell rotation for PvP, specifically for arenas. I could also go through what I do in PvE but I would probably be embarrassed by that. We’ll see if the demand is there.

If you have notes about how to improve my arena spell rotation, let me know! Here it is:

  • Mind Blast
  • Shadow Word: Pain
  • Mind Flay
  • Vampiric Touch
  • If SW:P has been dispelled: SW:P again
  • Mind Blast
  • Shadow Word: Death

At this point, they should have enough shadow weaving on them that dispelling them is less of an option, which is why I delay VT a little bit in the rotation. Also, I am usually one of the first ones being hit, especially in a 5v5 situation, so unless I have a great healer, this would be the best time for me to bring out my emergency reserves (especially since I am a little too comfortable using SW:D when they are very much still alive).

If you’ll note in the image above, on the right side, I have a bit of an emergency area. When I am in trouble, I hit:

  • Desperate Prayer
  • Battlemaster’s Audacity
  • Prayer of Mending
  • Healthstone
  • Renew
  • Shield

in that order, and that usually gives me about a 5-7000 HP buffer. Given that all of these heals are instant, I can fear, move around and PvP trinket as needed to stay alive. This usually frustrates the other team enough that they will switch to someone else, also, I can hide behind things and frustrate them even more. I find this to be a good strategy, except when they kill me, which is about half the time.

Just for good measure, I’ll throw in my PvE rotation for criticism:

  • Vampiric Touch
  • Shadow Word: Pain
  • Vampiric Embrace
  • Mind Blast
  • Shadow Word: Death
  • Mind Flay
  • Fear
  • Mind Flay
  • Mind Blast
  • Shield
  • Shadow Word: Death

It’s something like that. This seems to work well in any situation, except for the fact that you will run out of mana in the long term, but I usually just substitute wanding for Mind Flay when that happens, and now that we have Shadowfiend, that helps too.

Am I still a shadow priest?

shadowcropped.jpg

It’s been about two months since I quit playing World of Warcraft. I have a new rule about only gaming socially, when invited by other people, which I hope will prevent me from going overboard and losing myself after Melissa leaves (which is tomorrow). I haven’t even opened my copy of Smash Bros. Brawl. But, in any case, I have been invited to go back to WoW by some of my old gaming friends on Sunday. So, I think I will do that for at least one day. I hope it’s a good one, and I can get in a little bit of all the old PvP we used to do.  I might also be able to play more when I move in with my brother, because we can play together, if he is interested.

Anyway, I was a shadow priest before it was cool to be a shadow priest. Back in the day when we were rejected for groups, called noobs, and generally subjected to all manner of rudenesses. I even got a shout out in a post about how terrible off-specs are! But these days we’re sometimes requested! (at least up until two months ago we were).  I liked the persecution and the uniqueness, but now I’m an accepted member of WoW-society.  So am I really still a shadow priest, or have I lost something?

I really am.  No matter how loved I am, I can still take pride in having been an outsider when it counted!

Has anyone ever quit cold turkey and then come back to be a casual player?  I’m talking casual player like 6 or 8 hours a week, because any more than that and I’ll never get out there and build the friendships and relationships I want to.  Any advice on whether I can and how to do it successfully would be happily accepted!