Archive for the “State of the Blog” Category

I love it when bloggers post search terms that brought people to their website, and express awe / incredulity / outrage / amusement at the outlandish terms that often bring people to them.

But what of the spammers?  Nobody loves them, and yet they submit such masterful examples of the language – whatever it might be.

So, to be different, let’s share.


I do not even know the way I ended up here, however I believed this put up was once great.

Yes, our heyday is long past, and now we’re wallowing in mediocrity.


I do not recognize who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already. Cheers!

I once almost met BRK in real life, this is true.  Perhaps there is another famous blogger I will go to someday. Ratters, you up for a double date?


This write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!

That write-up pressured me to check out as well.


Your writing style has been amazed me.

Again, clearly we’re past our prime.  All but called has-beens!


You recognize therefore significantly with regards to this topic, made me in my view imagine it from numerous various angles.

I am imagining several angles as well, trying to parse this one.


Your individual stuffs excellent. At all times handle it up!

If you don’t handle it up, you won’t get gas.


I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

My sweat says "your welcome".  My sweat is trolling.

I’ve added a rotating wall of spam to the blog. Don’t tell Grimm, let’s see how long it takes him to notice!

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Along with the change to how we’re stocking the blogroll around here, I’m also making a change in what goes into the blogroll.  This requires a slight peek behind the curtain to see the machinery.

Prior to this change, I had five reading folders for WoW. WoW blogs, Inactive WoW blogs, 404’d WoW blogs, WoW bloggers that had moved on, and private WoW blogs.  I shared the first four in the blogroll, but not the latter.

Within that latter folder went the blogs that insisted on running gold ads, video ads, or in some other way offended my sense of propriety where bogging etiquette is concerned.

Rather than continue to police this sort of thing, I’m restoring these sites to visibility in the blogroll, though most of them will end up at the bottom of the page anyway. If you, dear reader, do see something offensive on one of those blogs that I don’t catch, please do drop me a line. I can always flip the "private" flag if they’re really offensive (i.e. porn ads, gold seller ads, etc).

A brief note to bloggers that run ads

You need to take personal responsibility for what appears on your site. I’ve been told by one popular blogger that he couldn’t POSSIBLY police the vast number of ads that are served on his site.  Problem with that is: it’s always the same three gold sellers. You can review three ads, can’t you?

Please don’t use unwillingness to review as an excuse.  It’s your blog, and ultimately you are responsible. Plenty of sites serve up ads without resorting to gold or video ads. Maybe you should get advice from them.

For sites that run unoffensive ads, I always turn off the ad blocker. 

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A few months ago, Google announced that it was discontinuing Google Reader.  A mad scramble has ensued to find replacement readers. This post is not about that.

This post is about a hidden asset that Google Reader provided, namely web clips.  What this was was a way to organize your RSS feeds in Reader, then create links to those folders that would allow you to display a reading list on your blog consisting of the feeds in those folders. Viola! Instant blogrolls!  There was peace in the valley and joy amongst the peasants.

Even now, less than a week before Reader bows out, this still works, but time is running out.  I have no idea what will happen to these links when Reader goes dark, but it can’t be good for your blog.

Now is the time to get busy moving your blogroll from this nicely automated format to something else.  I personally redid the site using WorPress’s own internal link database.  It was clunky as hell but at least I got it loaded. Bonus: the site loads a lot faster now!  It seems Google was a bit slow on inter-site responses (huge surprise there).

So check out your blog, if you blog, and make sure you’re not relying on Google’s soon to be broken machinery for your blogroll.

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Today, patch 5.3 drops, in which things ramp up towards an ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad in 5.4 or later.  This is the first patch day I will have missed since Vanilla, in that I am using a tethered cell phone for network, and my game time is currently zero’d (no point in paying for something I don’t use).

I had barely gotten into 5.2, which my experience thus far leads me to regard it as a vary bad idea1. All signs point to 5.3 being more of the same, with a different location.

Well, I won’t pan it until I’ve tried it, which will be in a week or two, depending on how our move goes this weekend.

Those that wanted more frequent updates, well, they’re getting what they asked for. I feel a little rushed, though – I barely had time to explore the 5.1 story line before 5.2 dropped, and I didn’t have a change of location to blame for that one.  I was still getting caught up with 5.0 things!

The question remains: does the increased frequency in patches also carry over to an increased frequency in expansions? I’m thinking not likely … Blizzcon is the most likely time to announce it, and if they wait until then, the next expansion will be out on approximately the same schedule as the past ones have.

I am NOT one with the doomsayers that say that the last two quarters’ numbers indicate that WoW will be dead by 1Q15.  First of all, two datapoints is a stupid wrong way to draw a trendline.  As an example, if you take the past THREE datapoints, WoW ends 1Q14 – a whole year earlier – instead.  Even they aren’t being that bold, possibly on purpose.  One should only choose the data that supports one’s foregone conclusions, after all.

The one valid point of the we’re-doomed crowd is this: if the next two quarters don’t look better, or at least level off, Activision will likely try to pull the plug.  I realize that the ultimate optimists at Blizz’s core management team claim that Activition would NEVER have that level of control, but I assert that Bobby Kotick’s an assertive enough asshole that he’d make it happen by coup.  Never underestimate the power of a determined asshole.

A final question I have – a hypothetical – is how far Pandaria goes?  Is 5.4 the end, or will there be one more? 5.4 is rumored to be the one where we settle Garrosh’s hash – and who doesn’t like that – but what we don’t know is if that is the end of the matters as far as Pandaria is concerned.  I’m not sure it is.

Well, happy patch day to you. I’m off to replace a heating element in my new place’s water heater.

  1. I am quickly joining the camp of people that think that dailies are a lazy, uncreative way to fill players’ time so that they’ll keep paying, rather than other more satisfying approaches. []

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Astute readers will have noticed a distinct lack of activity here in the past few weeks.  The answer is simple: network access is minimal at best. Grimmtooth Actual is in the process of moving to new digs … network’s on at the new place, but our FIOS contract at the current apartment is up, so what access there is, is via the cell phone hotspot, which is not all that useful for WoW-ing.  Four to six weeks, we’ll be back in the groove again.

Life marches on. Eff the Ineffable has been stalled on the first tier of raiding; a solid block of people don’t have the patience to let us get execution down on, say, Elegon and thus have simply stopped showing up.   I Joined Eff the Ineffable because a bunch of my friends where there. They moved on, and I stayed for the raiding. Now that that’s not happening, I’ve decided to move on to a new server somewhere to hang with some friends again2. We might raid, too, but maybe that’s not so important to me anymore.  More on that when it happens.

Jasra’s guild, the Vorpal Bunnies, managed to down their first boss shortly after I went offline. This seems to be a trend; I don’t show, and good things happen :)  Given that they seem to have a decent healing team going now, I’ve asked if I need to dust off Flora or keep Jas geared. Hard to say where that’s going to go.  I’m flexible, at any rate.

Prior to the enforced downtime, I was asking myself if I was ready to leave the game; the 5.2 content is frankly a downer, with the focus of dailies in place of new content, and the probability that we’ll see the same in future. However, this extended hiatus has not in any way diminished my desire to play, "World of Dailycraft" or not.  Truth is, jaded, cynical, or not, I still find plenty of reasons to enjoy the game, and hundreds of things still to do.  So, we’ll be back.

See you then.

  1. I can’t explain it; OK Go just makes me happy. []
  2. GM has been notified, via Twitter, or at least I hope she got the DM, otherwise this is a rude surprise for which I apologize in advance. []

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I feel stupid and pretentious doing this.  But I took a blogging pill and lost my sense of shame. Here now are what I think are the best efforts of the year, and good riddance.


I had opinions.  I defended damage meters, got to make a B5 reference while commenting on the endless papercuts of an opinionated life, and agitated for more opinions. I got political. I got silly. And I published a huge work on how to succeed in the Glyph market, a document which I have some pride in. 

WoWderata is pretty much my favorite of the bunch, because beneath the silliness is a Zen that really applies to life in WoW, and elsewhere. But the overwhelming (for this blog) response to Walking on Eggshells highlights it as the one that resonated the most with others.


More opinions. I poked fun at the odd creature known as a Raider; expressed exasperation at how most raids seem to be holding pens for bad guys and nothing more; and sniped at a well-known purveyor of straw men. I got sucked into a meme1.  I whined about how unattractive all Hunter gear was2 and presented four mogging choices for my other characters, because, that’s how my herd rolls.

Overall, Imma vote for You can’t bluster your way through a heroic because the concept of hairy dwarf monkey babies appeared in the comments. What’s not to like?


March was a dry month for me, as my system died the death of hard drives, so what I blogged most about was how sad WoW raiding was at 2fps, and so forth. The only real content published was a piece about my support and appreciation for a fellow blogger, though in retrospect it seems to be a group of words having an uncomfortable alliance rather than a finished piece of prose.

So, no best-of for this month, even though my sentiments for Apple Cider remain unchanged – just poorly expressed.


Priest minions get some bad news.  After the relationship between Curse and ElvUI blows up, I elect to replance ElvUI on my machine, and tell you how I did it.  Illume starts talking about frost magery in MoP, which is unfortunate in that that series petered out unfinished.  I related raiding to software development.  Eff the Ineffable achieves 8/8 in Dragon Soul.

While most useful is the how-to on replacing ElvUI, my favorite by far is the vignette from the minion job faire.


Illume started a series on glyphs in MoP, which stalled early on and then finished conclusively a few months later once the designs in the beta stabilized. File that under “one more bad idea”. I opined how Diablo 3 was the true “WoW-killer”

But I think that the best of the month was Illume trotting out a program to auto-update your copy of The Undermine Journal with current realm-specific data. I’ve still not gotten around to making a real UI or installer for this one, but I use it every day!


June was a quiet month, with only three posts in it. I did manage to get a good rant off, this time against the stupidity of robotic “hacker” signature recognition processes and the ridiculous cloak of secrecy that MMO companies place over how they recognize same.

Best of June, however, I give to my Diablo III Post-mortem, simply because it seems to have captured a lot of people’s attention, most which never commented, but which show up in search hits and page landings3. SOMEBODY was interested enough to look, at least.


Another relatively dry month, and mostly fluff. The exception was Illume’s Dead Glyph post, listing all those glyphs that would have no future. What we didn’t realize at the time was discontinued glyphs were mostly getting recycled by Blizz as new glyphs. What I’m saying is that the most significant post of the month was also very, very wrong.


August began on a melancholy note, as Ratshag went out in a blaze of glory, and I eulogized in the way I am best suited for – ripping off someone else’s work. I poked fun at raiders. I tried (and totally failed) to relate game design to String Theory.  I wondered (not for the first, or the last, time) why Blizz has trivialized lowbie leveling so much. Illume did research on ink-to-glyph distribution.  We adopted a cat named Jaina.  I got Navispammed, which also involved a bit of drama. I finally sorted out my mog.

While Jaina’s my sentimental favorite, and Navi’s visit very much in contention, I simply must choose my eulogy for Ratshag as my “best”4 for August.


This was a big month for Jasra, as she took her first steps back into the healing role after sitting out for the entirety of Cata. Illume tried, and rejected, AdiBags5. Speaking of addons, I complained that they shouldn’t be a necessity – yet, they are.  I cheated Alas. Illume introduced a gear comparison tool (I still use it). I made a case for The Secret World, and judging it on its merits rather than the bluster of the studio’s management. I joined the chorus of people annoyed by the implementation of the Theramore scenario.  And I post-mortem’d Cataclysm.

While it didn’t attract a wide audience, I’m most satisfied with the Theramore post. I feel I put it all out there on that one.


Illume overviewed battle pet addons, which is probably terribly out of date. We observed the passing of Blackfallow Ink from relevance. I noticed a slight similarity. Jasra got some storytime. I discussed a terribly difficult subject. I also whined about getting ready for raiding. Jasra noticed that Disco was actually a viable questing spec.

I’m disappointed that the serious pieces didn’t get more play. Either I’ve got some issues in the writing, or got it wrong, or people just didn’t feel like adding anything to it. Still, even if they had gone off like gangbusters, my sentimental favorite is Jasra’s story, for many reasons. It moves her story forward. It fleshes her out a bit.  I’m probably the only person on the planet that appreciates it, so, essentially, I am my own audience. Voices in the head, remember? Smile


Eff the Ineffable got our first kill in MoP raiding. Jasra reflects on Disco healing.  I have a few choice words for professional victims. Grimmie’s Angels hits one MILLYUN gold.  I revel in little surprises.   I posted a screed on dailies, something that figures largely in this new game, and which I revisit in the future.

None of these really stand out for me, but if forced to choose, Jasra’s post on healing is probably the best done of the bunch.


Gear planning – with charts! Banned from Shattrath! And Illume takes potshots at WoW Insider’s resident “goblin” (again).

Oh, there’s no contest.  Banned from Shattrath was by far the most fun I’ve had with a computer in a long time. I wish I could sing and machinama, I’d be doing this much more justice.

And the winner is …

Of the twelve, I’m narrowing it down thusly.

  • In third place, Banned from Shattrath makes a strong end-of-year showing.
  • In second place, my sentimental favorite, Out of Retirement, in which Jasra steps out into the raiding world once again.
  • But my favorite by far is Our Dearest Blood, my tribute to Ratshag, one of the first bloggers I read, an inspiration to me, an inspiration for a lot of what exists on this blog, and a really great fellow. He still blogs, but now as a battle pet aficionado at press ‘5’ to capture.

Aaaand that’s a wrap for 2012.  Here’s hoping for a great 2013.

  1. Again; I’m a sucker for anyone that actually notices me! []
  2. Words I would eventually eat! []
  3. No, I don’t look at my hit counter all the time. But Google analytics can be an effective tool at times.  Leverage versus obsession. []
  4. For some value of “best”. []
  5. That addon was returned to service later on, after the issues we saw were addressed. It really is quite good. []

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Illume’s been busy updating some projects we’ve had in the works for a while, and finalizing them now that we’re just a couple of weeks away from the expansion’s release.  To keep all that organized, I’ve added a "Projects" page to that there main menu up top.  I’ve made the "Hammer of Grammar" page a sub-menu off of that, so despair not if you missed it.

The latest addition is a list of enchanting mats by skill level, to help organize your bag space a bit.  No need to hang on to Vision Dust any longer than you need to, amirite?

Illume will be adding more for all the other crafting professions as well; gotta make sure they’re up to date with MoP, after all.  Won’t be much fuss, so check back as needed.

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In life, I elect not to toot my own horn, to not make claims of adequacy or excellence, but to leave it to the readers and other people I have contact with to draw their own conclusions.  In the ad world, I would be a complete and utter failure, and, in fact, I prefer not having the pressure of competency hanging over me with its incessant demand to meet the day’s quota of awesome. Obscure, but blissfully unaware of the demands of success, that’s me in a nutshell.

Having said that, I’m happy to let the readers speak for themselves.

  • I help readers do their homework.
  • The blog is both informative and stimulating.
  • It looks wonderful.
  • My information is trustworthy.
  • The blog is useful and interesting for relevant information1
  • Relevant to Droid phones (Who knew?)
  • Full of useful information and fresh knowledge.2
  • I work hard.
  • I understand the internet.
  • I realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.3
  • Reliable and efficient!
  • More and better stories!
  • My Diablo rants were cleverly disguised Dyson cleaner reviews.
  • I aid newbies.
  • I make uneasy topics easy.4
  • I benefit you with good text.

And the accolades just keep pouring in, for three pages or so last time I checked.

Damned if I know what they were doing in the spam filter.

  1. This was actually a trackback, not an actual comment, to be fair. []
  2. In a former life I was known as MC Short’n’Fresh. Trufax. []
  3. After all, if a problem isn’t made important, it just goes away! []
  4. I use a combination of easy listening music and chloroform. []

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For close to a week now I’ve been limping along on a backup laptop, for my main system has died. Looks like the SSD1 which served as my system drive has failed after seven hard months of service2.

The backup laptop is nice enough, but it really can’t run WoW reliably enough to raid, so I haven’t bothered installing it.  Instead, I’ve been enjoying watching Civ V crash the system3 and replaying Railroad Tycoon 34.

I finally got around to installing WoW last night so I can get about the business of installing my addons and cloning that over to a USB dongle when my replacement SSD arrives.

The good news is that OCZ is replacing the SSD like a boss. I’m awaiting an RMA number which they assure me is in the works. The bad news is that they have to to so in the first place.

So I’m taking a raiding vacation for a few weeks until we get this all sorted.  We still plan to work the AH and get that million golds done, cause, damn, y’all.

Regards to the Effers and Bunnies.

Oh, and Orv – you can totally drop me from the schedule for at least the next three weekends.  That’ll probably do it.

  1. A solid-state hard drive, no moving parts, TOTES RELIABLE, YO! []
  2. As opposed to most hard drives that become obsolete in seven YEARS and still work reliably. []
  3. Shoulda kept the Civ IV CD, yo. []
  4. Anyone suggesting I purchase Rails! is going to get The Look. Or a crotchpunch if I know your S.O. Fairly warned be ye, says I. []

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What a ride 2011 was for the clan! It was an unusual year to say the least!  In many ways, the story of 2011 is the story of WoW 4.0, a.k.a. Cataclysm.

The Jasra Project truly came to a close just before Cata came out when there was a (according to some) giant blow-up between myself and a guildy and I just stopped wanting to raid or anything else around him. The Vorpal Bunnies’ final charge on Icecrown came to a sullen halt; Jasra took up hanging out in bars in Ironforge and Dalaran, mostly in Shadowform.

To get her out of her funk, she was given the responsibility of maintaining the clan’s money laundering Glyph emporium. That’s worked out pretty well, about which will be written at another time.

Not willing to give up raiding completely, we cast about for a place to raid that did NOT include said unliked guildy.  At this point some really neat people were getting together a raiding guild called Eff the Ineffable. Long story short, Grimm transferred over to raid with some blogging friends and it was good. I’ve never been entirely happy with my performance in that group, but I was never really out of challenges to overcome.  It was fun.

Unfortunately, that lightsaber game (and panda angst, let it be said) pretty much drew off our core raiders. Zel and ATT, Rhii, Morehai, and even our (former) GM, Alas, left to entertain midichlorians or whatever.  A new GM  has stepped up, and we’re trying to get together five or six more raiders of like mind in order to hopefully take down Deathwing.  Time will tell. But, hey – Eff the Ineffable is recruiting, if that sort of thing interests you.

At any rate, Grimm’s now at a crossroads.  Our core raiders just happened to be the friends that drew me in in the first place. Yes, I came for the raiding, but I also came for the camaraderie. This does kinda take the wind out of one’s sails when one’s friends bail out like that. Sure, I’ve been invited to come along and sure, I want my friends to be happy.  Nevertheless, there is woe.  I kind of FRPG-based case of Empty Nest Syndrome. The big personal challenge then is not the raiding itself, but forming new connections within my changed guild, or, if that doesn’t work out, deciding what’s next for the hapless huntard.

After close to a year of not really doing anything with OCV, I did get back into raiding there, first with Illume, then Flora. Having seen all the T11 and T12 encounters at this point, I got to play tour guide.  With a new attitude (namely, I will put said unlikable guildy on mute if he so much as tweaks my blood pressure), I’ve found a new dimension in the game to explore. I’ve seen how it goes if I just walk into a room and start babbling things about the boss. It ain’t pretty. So I’m learning to organize myself better so as to put a better presentation forward when explaining a fight.  It’s almost like being a raid leader, without the responsibility.

We got up to Chim in Blackwing Descent before moving on to some more lucrative T12 raiding in Firelands. We’ve gotten up to Shannox but haven’t downed him yet.  We’re close, though.  Makes me feel pretty proud of our ragtag bunch.  We’ve never been first, but we’ve always been persistent.

Looking forward to 2012, the future’s pretty muddy. Grimm may or may not continue to raid, Jasra may get back into healing, Flora may have returned to Destro.  Every time renewal comes up, I now pause and consider my options because at times, dear readers, I consider other games I have not been playing.  Hell, reading the manual for Hearts of Iron 2 is likely to freeze up my cortex all on its own.

Oh, I’ll most likely not end up in SWTOR; that game’s made for people that watched all the TV shows and read all the graphic novels. The only SW novel I ever read was "Splinter of the Mind’s Eye" by Alan Dean Foster, and I view all the new animated characters in the same way I view Ewoks and Jar Jar.   No, definitely not, but I might give Eve another try, or STO, if I’m inclined towards an SF-themed game.

If I do wander off, this blog will not record the annals of any exploits in other universes.  I’ve had to weed too many newly SWTOR-centric blogs from my blogroll lately to contribute to that problem myself. I will have a nice and tidy good-bye here, probably migrate it all over to Blogspot or WP-free, and if I blog again it’ll be on a new blog.

But enough of that. Right now, today, I’m looking at a renewal notice and getting ready to commit to another three months. And there’s an expansion in the works; I predict delivery this year, last quarter, but I’m probably wrong. Still – monks!

Here comes 2012. I hope it’s friendly.

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