Saturday, November 06, 2010

Get The Hell Out

Get up, get the hell out of wherever you are and go see RED. Completely effing awesome. Made totally of win and covered in awesome sauce. Go. Git.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


After only 33 hours, my "StarCraft II" download finally finished.

*rubs hands together*

*pushes button*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How To Play iTunes Through Ventrilo On Mac OS X

And there's a whole bunch of steps, because, well, I don't know why. In an ideal world there would be a menu item in Ventrilo, but there isn't.

One-time Setup

You only have to do this once; it isn't required each time you want to start or stop playing iTunes through Ventrilo.
  1. Install Soundflower
    Google up "soundflower code" and it's probably the first hit. The thing was written by a company called Cycle 74, but now it's hosted at Google Code, so that's where you want to go get it. Click on the "Downloads" tab at the top, then choose your version. As far as I'm concerned, "beta" means "my time is worthless", so grab the newest version that doesn't have "beta" in its title.

  2. Start Soundflowerbed
    One of the things that you just installed is an application called "Soundflowerbed". This is what makes the magic happen, so start it up. What you'll see is a little flower-looking thing in the menu bar at the top of the display. If you see it, you're golden. We don't need to dork with it just yet, but make sure it's there.

  3. Copy Ventrilo
    You need a second copy of Ventrilo for your music-playing robot. Open a Finder window and navigate to where Ventrilo lives (probably in /Applications). There's a keyboard shortcut for that, Command-Shift-A, and there's a menu option too, "Go | Applications". Find Ventrilo and select it, then copy/paste it. Mac OS X will duplicate Ventrilo in the same directory and call it "Ventrilo Copy" which is just fine for our needs.

  4. Set up user name for "Music Robot"
    Now you need to start Ventrilo to set up a profile for Music Robot. Click on the little arrow next to the first drop-down box, which is labeled "User Name". Click on "New", then type in the name you want music robot to show in Ventrilo, then click "Ok", then click "Ok".

  5. Set up server(s)
    Ventrilo stores the servers by user name, so you have to set up all the servers you talk on again, but this time for music robot. Go ahead and do that now.

  6. Set up Ventrilo settings for "Music Robot"
    Now you need to set up Ventrilo to handle "Music Robot"s special idiosyncracies. The important parts are (1) no push-to-talk, (2) no key clicks, (3) low but not zero sensitivity, (4) the sound input device should be "Soundflower (2ch)", and (5) Outbound amplifier should be turned way down. After setting all that up, click "Ok" and, back in the main window, click "Mute Sound" in the bottom-left corner. If you don't mute his whole Ventrilo window, you'll hear the music two times, like an echo, and it will drive you batsh*t crazy.

  7. Edit Ventrilo settings for you

  8. You have to change your settings a bit from how you normally have them. Specifically you have to set the input and output devices. The input device should be "Built-in microphone" and the output device should be "Built-in output"

Starting "Music Robot"

Each time you want to start inflicting your choice of tunes on your guildmates, here's what you have to do
  1. Make sure Soundflowerbed is running

  2. Start both copies of Ventrilo
    You have to start your regular Ventrilo for you to talk, plus you need the copy of Ventrilo running so Music Robot has something to use. Connect both copies to the same server. You should be able to talk and listen just as normal.

  3. Use Soundflowerbed to redirect iTunes
    Click on the little flower icon in the menu bar at the top of the display, then select "Audio Setup". You'll get a new window for your efforts. Set the "Default output" drop-down to "Soundflower (2ch)", then click "Ok".

  4. MUA ha ha ha
    Play your "Air Supply" collection in iTunes and you should hear it normally through your headphones, along with the wailing and gnashing of teeth from your guildies. Chortle with deeply heartfelt evil.

Stopping "Music Robot"

After you've had enough and are shutting down Ventrilo, here's how you go back to regular sound settings:
  1. Stop iTunes
    This step is totally optional
  2. Use Soundflowerbed to stop redirecting iTunes
    Click on the little flower icon in the menu bar at the top of the display, then select "Audio Setup". In the new window, set the "Default output" drop-down back to "Built-in output", then click "Ok".
  3. Enjoy a well-earned snack
    Yes, go on ... have a cookie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And Another Thing ...

Our 10-man Lich King kill puts our guild, Army of Ares, at 41st on our realm for 10-man progression and 16th in Horde guilds. Woo hoo!

I also note that says that Obamessiah is only the 68th best-equipped toon in the guild. Apparently everybody else is stocking up on 25-man loot, and yet we're the first 10-man team to take down the King. Apparently skill > gear, and we gotz mad skillz down in "group 2."

Yeah, baby!

P.S. I'm gonna advocate that we take Poxi to get his Kingslayer too, just so I can see trade chat explodiate in a hilarious fashion.

Kingslayer, Baby!

So we downed the Lich King finally. Our long-suffering late night team finally stood atop the corpse of Arthas and put on our "the Kingslayer" titles. Not only that, but we were 10/10 at the finish, and ten people got the achievement at that same instant.

The night we got it, I was driving from my home in Seattle to a new job in Austin, TX. I missed the last scheduled raid night, and they got him down to 12% on their best effort. Since that's only 2% away from the victory RP, I didn't feel like I could miss it, so I stopped early and checked into a hotel with high-speed internet. Sure it meant I had to spend a few more hours in the car over the next two days, but I didn't want to miss the first kill.

I'm just sorry we couldn't have taken Garixx, Memos, and Jaylani too; our team has been together working on this raid for a very long time, and I wish we could all have experienced the thrill of victory together.

Winsong has already scheduled follow-up raids to go back in and do the heroic modes; I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I wouldn't mind getting the T10 shadow gear for if I ever get to dps instead of heal. On the other hand, it's a huge time commitment if I'm going to keep raiding, and I'd like to put more effort into some of my other toons and also getting our Saturday runs farther than 3/12.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wait ... What?

So there's a post on the front page of World of Warcraft today that the arena tournament ended. For the life of me, I had no idea it was so close; it would have been nice to have seen some indication that it was drawing to a close because I would have tried to get Leigha to come play some matches and get her pet and maybe get the title.

Oh well ... at least Kathy, McKenna, and I got our pets.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Holy ArPen, Batman!

My pally tank is not uber, but he's pretty well geared. I'm main-tanking our ICC-10 fun runs, and have flown through more random heroics than I care to recall. But I have never seen anything like yesterday, when I ran into a fury warrior in a random. Pheruan the Kingslayer pulled over 13k DPS. In a five man. Ffffuuuuuuu.

I was doing everything I could to hold aggro and nothing worked. Nothing. Every stupid pally trick I could pull worked for maybe two GCDs, then the mobs were back on him except they were dying really stupidly quickly.

I told him he was a beast and asked the secret. He was sitting at 1400 armor penetration, so he was effectively fighting unarmored targets.

I now have a new goal for my plate DPS toons, because that was totally awesome.

P.S. I checked Elitist Armory: 33 Old Kingdom, 15 Utgarde Pinnacle, 12 Halls of Stone, 12 Utgarde Keep, etc. Apparently I lurb the Old Kingdom or something.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I assume the "zero" in COKE Zero is referring to the amount of quality taste inside the can. Bleah.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Not EXACTLY The Same As "Undergeared"

Gevlon's experiment is a bit more hard-core, but on Saturday we went into ICC-10 on a fun run, for alts and people who aren't raiding seriously. I let myself be talked out of tanking at first (I was on my pally, so I went LOLRET instead). We picked up a guildy on his alt DK tank plus a handful of other pugs.

The DK tank might have had more than 5K gearscore, but he'd have been the only one. We wiped a bit, but we got Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, and the gunship down and had a really fun time of it. By the time we got to Saurfang, we'd been at it a while and so only made one attempt before calling it.

We're going back next week without the DK, and I bet we do just as well and with even more lulz.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm Not Dead

Has it really been a month since I posted something? Jeez, I'm getting slack.

Friday, March 05, 2010


Last night we ran our weekly Trial of the Crusader (10 Man) raid. We had two new tanks, one of them setting foot in ToC-10 for the first time, a new healer, and three pugged DPS. And we cleared the whole damned thing, including one-shotting the Twins.

Good job, y'all.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blizzard Doesn't Want Me To Play With My Friends

In my continuing effort to gear up my pally, I need to run lots more random heroics. Lots more. Like 240 more emblems of triumph more. Lots. Kathy needs more badges, as does Leigha, so we're all aligned. On both Saturday and Sunday, I hop on my pally, we all group up and queue for a random heroic.

The fly in the ointment is that Dan's shaman's gear is srs bzns. He's got all T9 plus the T9.245 offset pieces, plus 1337 trinkets, rings, cape, the whole kit. For both ele and resto.

So the "random" dungeon finder looks at all of our gear and throws us into Heroic Forge of Souls. Both nights: Heroic Forge of Souls. I'm standing in quest greens, with an average iLevel of maybe 150, queued as the tank for Pete's sake, and it throws us into Heroic Forge of Souls.

Both nights, it's two plus hours to clear the dungeon. We stuck it out, but at the end of Saturday night I mention to Dan that's it's a distinctly sub-optimal use of my limited playtime to run the T10 heroics, and then Sunday night Blizzard does it to us again. We got through it both nights, but it's a long slog. After a wipe on the final boss, it takes five or six minutes just to run back, and then everybody has to rebuff and crap.

And to top it off, Heroic Forge of Souls gives four (4) emblems of triumph total, one per boss for two bosses plus two as a bonus for accepting a random assignment; if it's the first random of the day it's only two emblems of triumph (plus two emblems of frost that I may never be able to use on my pally). In contrast, in two hours ungrouped with my actual friends but pugging with random strangers, I could reasonably expect to clear between six and nine T8 or T9 dungeons, at an average of six emblems per dungeon, so 24 emblems per hour versus 2.

The conclusion: Blizzard doesn't want me to play with my friends. What's up with that?

Monday, January 18, 2010


I decided to gear up my pally in advance of the incoming warrior tank nerfs. I got quite a bit of playtime this weekend, and spent almost all of it running random heroic dungeons.

Saturday morning, I had not played my pally at all since he dinged 80, so he was sitting in Dalaran in quest greens and blues, covered in a sheen of dust and neglect. I grabbed Pawn scales for prot and ret from Elitist Jerks, and started chain-queueing random heroics.

By the time I went to bed Sunday night, I had four (4) emblems of frost, because I ran heroics for two days. I had purchased the T9 ret chestpiece for 50 emblems of triumph, the T9 prot gloves for 30 emblems of triumph, and have 14 emblems of triumph burning a hole in my pocket. Quick math check: 50 + 30 + 14 = 94 emblems in two days ... dayum, but gearing up has gotten quite a bit more straightfoward. shows my track record so far, and it looks like at least 16 heroic dungeons. I say "at least" because there's a bug in how the Armory tracks how many times you've completed Drak'Tharon Keep. It shows I've done it at least once, but I don't know how many more times I ran it.

So maybe one more full day and I'll have enough T9 to queue up as a tank, and we'll see how much easier pallies have it than warriors. I also need to queue up for ToC specifically because there are still drops that I need for both prot and ret.

94 emblems, though ... that's amazing.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Threat Plates RAWK!!!!

How did we ever live without Threat Plates? They are made of solid awesome. Go get them. That is all.