Piloting, from hercs to mechs.

Piloting, from hercs to mechs.
A running recap of what I'm doing for fun, between active duty flying, technology, gadgets, and some of my favorite games.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

So, today I begin the process of really learning how to play my favorite MMO again.  That is, I am beginning to study the game with the intent of playing at an above average level.  My end goal is to be a competent, competitive player when I do log on, even though that will be less frequently than the 19 year old college student with infinite time to play games.

I might never raid properly, on a schedule and at the higher levels, but I do intend to gear up and have fun with PVE instance play.

If anybody has returned to Warcraft after a long leave of absence, they would immediately be struck by the sheer amount of options that exist the moment they log in.  Here are some of the questions that I had right away:
Where am I?
How do I get back to Org?
How do I get to the panda island?
How should I set up my UI?
What addons are good now?
What is the best healer in the game now?
How should I level, and which character should I level first?
Should I run through the extensive quest line?
Should I run instances before I hit 90 (level cap)?
How should I spec my priest?
What spec should I use for questing?
As I approach 90, what do I do now?
What factions are out there and what do they offer?
Where do I find the daily quests, and which ones should I do?
Where do I start getting better gear?
What stats do I want on my gear?
How do I make gold now?
What professions should I work on first?
Is farmville useful or a pure waste of time?

So, that is what my first few hours of gameplay were like, although I managed to grind through a few mini quest lines on my shadow priest/disc priest.  I started doing some google searches and found some decent forum answers:
I just hit level 90! Now what? : wow
Level 90... Now what? - Forums - World of Warcraft

Here are some good things I've learned so far:

  • Disc priests are still quite viable in MoP, which is the acronym for the newest expansion.  They are good in instances because they can DPS while they heal.  Other priest specific resources indicate that spirit is important for mana, and intellect is now only tied to spell power.  Good to know.
  • At level 90, buy the flying ability for the panda area at the Shrine of 7 Stars.  It's called "Wisdom of the 4 Winds"
  • Some of the factions in MoP include: Klaxxi, Golden Lotus, Shado-Pan, August Celestials, Angler, Tiller, Cloud Serpent, Shadow Pan Assault, and Kirin Tor Offensive.
  • Valor points are used to buy pretty good gear.  You can only get 1000 Valor points each week.  If nothing else, make sure to get those 1000 Valor points every week.  You get them from heroics and dailies.
  • Dailies yield reputation and Lesser charms of fortune.  Those are turned in at the Shrine for Mogu runes of fate.  Those allow you to roll an extra time in LFR and raids, helping you get better gear.
  • Klaxxi have an item level (iLvl) 522 Epic neck at honored for 1250 Valor points.  This should take about 1 day of dailies after I have done the Dread Wastes quests.  Mobs yield amber shards.  Turn those in for "Lesser runes."
  • Each faction has a badge at revered that gives 100% increase to rep gains for all characters on the account.
  • Tiller dailies are all about planting and farming things.  They provide extra mats and stuff for my character or professions.
  • Three primary options exist for PVE groups.  Random scenarios, 5 man heroics, and LFR (Looking for Raid).  LFR requires an average ilvl of 460 for the first set of bosses.
  • Random scenarios queue quickly and have less people in the party; they are supposedly much faster.  Scenarios offer 450 and 463 blues, and sometimes 476 epics.  They give 40 Valor points for the first one done each day.

Right now I'm 89, about 2/3 the way to 90, on my priest.  Apparently, the real game starts at 90.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 Recap and Summer in Abilene

2013 has been an exciting time, with a lot of travel, Air Force trips, and good career development.  Limited gaming time, and very little computer work though.

I now serve as an Aircraft Commander in the C-130J, a primary scheduler for my squadron, and a deployer-to-be once again.  Later this year, in true herc pilot fashion, I'll be saying adios to the U.S.A. once again for a while to do what we do where we do it.
I spent 2 months in Montgomery, AL, where I knocked out three classes towards my Theology masters degree, completed a leadership course, and played a good deal of Starcraft II.  The internet connection was so shoddy that I could not play Mechwarrior Online, which was a real shame for me.  In that time, I drifted so far back in the MWO scene that I am hesitant to pick it back up seriously.  And, while I have a lot to say about SCII, my playtime on that game has been 0.000 since returning to Abilene.

Now, as I begin to anticipate a long stint in another deployed location, I've started looking for some good hobbies I can bring with me to help me pass the time.  I have not upgraded my Macbook Pro since the last deployment, so that is somewhat restrictive if I want to get into something released recently.  After what seems like endless google searches for good MMOs that do not hinge on fast-twitch latency, I have decided that there is simply nothing out there that topples my old staple.  That being said, tonight I began downloading the client for WoW and, coincidentally, I resurrected this old blog.  I will also be posting randomly to the Born to Waddle blog as I aim to improve in the area of running and core fitness this summer and while deployed.

This blog was conceived as a catch-all for hobbies, leadership lessons, and career accomplishments.  So, I fully intend to capture the things I am learning as I fly, as I fire up an MMO once again, and as I practice leadership concepts in the best laboratory ever created (the military).

Here are my simple precepts:
  1. God, family, others and me - those are my priorities in order
  2. Fly safe, operate professionally, and always improve as a pilot, officer, and husband
  3. Work hard and play hard, in that order
  4. Play efficiently, work smarter not harder in games, and capture lessons learned
  5. Be duplicatable in everything, whether it be dealing with airmen or leveling a character
Stay tuned for more updates on leveling my first character to cap in Mists, lessons learned as I try to improve processes in scheduling airlift operations, and trips and fun during my precious few months left at home.

July is already completely scheduled out, with a brief TDY to MS, some good family travel, a checkride, and a lot of deployment preparation.  One of my personal goals, with respect to the deployment and connectivity, is to consolidate all the equipment that I want to bring with me when we ship out.  I'll be thinking about routers, LAN equipment, wireless equipment, carrying cases, power options for 240V infrastructure, and good ideas for software that I'll want to have with me.  I'll be trying to set the laptop up for easy use and limited download requirements once I'm over there.  I'll be looking into good video communication options to use so I can talk to my wife.  It's certainly going to be an interesting time once again.

Thanks for reading the revived Priest and Pilot blog.