Category Archives: Uncategorized

Epic With A Capital Purple

I’ve been thinking lately about moments in World of Warcraft that made me go all Keanu Reeves and say “…whoa”. There have been a lot of these moments. I decided to list them. When the list was threatening to become even longer than my blogroll, I had to make a rule that said “No boss kill/PvP/etc. moments”.

So without further ado…

Pike’s Five Most Epic WoW Moments (That Do Not Involve Boss Fights):

5. Like a Virgin… In Darnassus For the Very First Time
I know I’ve written about this before. I was level six on my very first character ever (who you may now know as “Tawyn”), in my very first MMORPG ever, and as far as I was concerned, my world was Teldrassil. This mysterious land of flowers and purple trees and boars and scary spider caves. And bunny critters that I kept accidentally shooting.

And then, somehow, I wandered into Darnassus, and I was floored. It felt like one of the biggest things I’d ever seen in a video game. The music helped to establish this impression. And suddenly there was a thing called “Trade Chat” which was filled with impossible-to-understand jargon like “WTS” and “LFG” and “DPS” and “My mats, your nether”. (haha, wow, who else remembers that one?)

This made a big impression on Wee Baby Pike, and to this day I am rather fond of Darnassus and I go there sometimes just to chill.

darnassus

(…is that a summoning stone in the middle of Darnassus? WTB explanation.)

4. Blackrock Mountain: Wish I Knew How to Quit You
Blackrock Mountain, as a whole, is just the greatest thing ever. I mean… it’s a friggin’ volcano. With lava and giant crazy statues and stuff. I remember the first time I saw the Molten Core instance portal. It was one of those things where you just looked at it and you knew it was epic.

…Google Images is failing me here, but trust me, it was epic. Epic and huge. And you had to go through the longest (and one of the most awesomest) instances ever, BRD, to even get there and get “attuned”.

Also it just looks awesome from far away when you’re in Searing Gorge or Burning Steppes. So yeah.

3. Sparking Imaginations Since… Wait, it’s Frogger but with bombs?
When I went to fight Mimiron for the very first time I wasn’t expecting what I saw. I really wasn’t expecting it. So can you blame my jaw hitting the floor when an air-trolley-thing whisked me away to this?

ulduar_56

Honestly I wish the picture did it justice. It really doesn’t. The place is huge. Huge and breathtaking and there are Frogger bombs at the bottom and a freaking Tesla coil in the center.

Okay, so, Tesla coils? Guys. Two reasons why Tesla coils are awesome.

First, this is the way Ghostbusters was meant to be played. (Don’t cross the streams!)

Secondly, there are three historical sciencey guys that I have a major crush on.* Those three guys are: Issac Newton, Charles Babbage, and Nikola freakin’ Tesla.

Therefore, anything involving a Tesla coil and/or PewPew Lasers is instant win.

Also, air-trolley ride? A+++++ would ride again.

2. Wrathgate: Bolvar is Not a Crook (But Arthas Is)
Obviously this one was going to be in here. I love Dragonblight. And I love this questline. And seriously… the chills down my back still happen:

Oh Bolvar. Come back to Stormwind and ditch the Wrynn guy. He doesn’t love you like I do!

1. The Dark Portal: Because The Outlands Is Not a Lie
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a big Hellfire Peninsula fan. I dunno, I know there’s some great quests and stuff there, but… but… ZANGARMARSH IS RIGHT THERE AND IT HAS GIANT MUSHROOMS. AND UNDERBOG.

However.

There is one thing in Hellfire Peninsula that kicks the pants off of pretty much anything else in this game.

And it’s not the Fel Reaver (anymore) and it’s not aggro’ing that one boss over and over and making him yell stuff.

…no, I want you to think back and remember when you first went through the Dark Portal. There, in front of you, was this war going on in front of your face and this giant level ?? demon thing who is waving his arms around and looking ready to turn you into his bedtime snack.

Darkportal-outlandside

Every time… EVERY TIME I do it, it is just as epic.

Kudos, Blizz.

So, there ya have it.

I realize that I left out a lot of super epic stuff (for example, zombie invasion world event), but I was sort of trying to keep it down to… individual moments as best as I could, and the zombie invasion was more like an extended amount of awesome.

But what are some of your guys’ favorite epic moments?

* Don’t get me started on historical author/writery guys.

[Linux Post] How To: Fix the r6034 Error Upon Installing Patch 3.3

The Problem: You run WoW on Linux via some sort of other program (Wine/Crossover/etc.)

You installed the latest patch and are met with this error upon entering your password:

Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime library
Runtime error!
Program c:\program files\world of warcraft\wow.exe

R6034
An Application has made an attempt to load the C runtime library incorrectly.
Please contact the applications support team for more information.

The Fix:

Paste this into the terminal:

wget http://www.kegel.com/wine/winetricks
sh winetricks vcrun2005sp1 vcrun2005

You may have to hit enter a few times as it does its Linuxy thing. Try loading the game again. If it still doesn’t work, download this and run it via Wine or whatever your thing is.

Have fun! <3 windows-on-linux

(In semi-related news, I can’t watch this without giggling like a maniac. Hey, we’ve already established that I’m a geek. You can’t blame me!)

The Curious Incident of the Penguin in the Blog Post

This is a blog post that started out as a couple of rants and then turned into me negating one of my own rants.

See, it happened like this…

I was cooking up this whole blog post about how I rather dislike the fact that Blizzard really pushes the whole Horde vs. Alliance thing. Like, that Twitter “battlecry” contest or the current photo mosaic thing. I don’t like it, because I love both Horde and Alliance. Why do they want me to choose between my babies like that? And why won’t they just let me say “FOR THE EVERYONE” or hold up signs of both faction emblems? Why can’t we be friends?

Then, that rant segued into a sort of ponder about how I have a hard time understanding people who are really die-hard loyal to one faction. Both sides have such great storylines and great races and great locations, and both sides have good days and bad days and good people and not-so-good people. I mean, I can understand “well, all my friends are [insert faction here]”, I mean, I 100% understand that. But what about the people who won’t even roll an alt on the other side? They’re missing out! I simply didn’t understand.

So I was in the middle of this all and I felt something on my shoulder. I tapped at it, but it didn’t go away, and I turned and saw this:

zendams-coolangeltux

sitting on my shoulder and giving me “the look”.

“Bwah?” I said, rather surprised (as you might expect). “Wh… who are you?”

“I’m Tux,” he replied. “And I’m the global collective conscience of Linux geeks everywhere. And you are being silly.”

“Me? Silly? Nonsense!” I replied in a rather miffed tone as I spun around in my computer chair.

“Look,” said Conscience-Tux. “You’re sitting here writing this blog post about how you don’t understand faction loyalty in World of Warcraft. And yet you whine and gripe anytime you have to use your Windows partition and you just LOVE coming up with excuses to show off screenshots of your Linux desktop and you get all defensive and noble and “patriotic” when people bash it, oh, and did I mention that your whole NaNoWriMo book is a freakin’ allegory for the Open Source Software movement? Hrmmm?”

“But, but, Tux! People just don’t understand!” I babbled. “They don’t understand the chills that go up my spine when somebody says ‘Free as in freedom’. They don’t understand the thrill of breaking and rebuilding your own operating system when you have to. They don’t understand the deep satisfaction that comes from solving a crazy computer problem. They don’t understand what it’s like to be the underdogs, tearing and clawing your way into using something as simple as a driver, and they don’t understand what it’s like to be a part of this great community and group effort…”

Tux held up a flipper to silence me. “Oh, and yet you don’t understand why some people have chills go up their spine when they hear ‘For the Horde’? And you don’t understand why people are loyal to their little virtual community? No, I think you understand perfectly well. Your heart has just already been taken. By a sexy flightless bird, no less.”

I sighed and then grumbled “Fiiiiiine, you win.”

“I always do. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be off. I’ve got an appointment with Richard Stallman in about five minutes.”

“Wait, you hang out with Richard Stallman too?”

“Oh, all the time. Why else do you think he’s so nuts?”

“Hrmm. Point taken.”

“Regardless, it’s been fun. And I hope you learned something from this little meeting of ours.” And with that, Conscience-Tux mounted up on his Gnu and disappeared into the air.

And so it came to pass that I was forced to adapt my blog post into saying, okay, die-hard Hordies (and Allies, though there aren’t as many of you running around), I getcha. It’s kind of a weird, roundabout way of getting you, but I do. …still wish I could say “FOR THE EVERYBODY!” though.

And that is how it went. True story. Even the part with the penguin conscience.

…what’s with the funny look…?

Once Upon a Time…

…Pike wrote a book.

PikeIsTheChampionMyFriends

I’ve mentioned it here offhandedly, and annoyed the heck out of my Twitter followers no doubt, but after four solid weeks of writing I have finished National Novel Writing Month. Not bad for someone who wasn’t planning on participating until basically the day before it started, and who was working from little more than a skeleton plot.

The novel itself isn’t finished– I’m not at the end yet, and once I’ve got it all edited up it’s gonna be longer than 50k words (I’m sorta aiming for 75k give or take, as a personal goal), but I just have to say that participating in this all of November, even to the point of hardly touching WoW and pretty much putting raiding on hiatus, and sorely neglecting the blog as a consequence… has been a truly amazing experience. On this blog, I write stories about a world that I love, but with this book I was able to write a story about a world that I love that I created. I like to say that I’m more of a storycrafter than a theorycrafter, and this little adventure nailed that home for me.

Anyways, I’m still trying to figure out where to go from here. As I said, the book isn’t finished, and finishing it as soon as I can and moving into editing is a major goal, although I already feel lost without the little word count chart. I would like to get back into WoW again but I’ll be frank, playing WoW right now– particularly because it’s basically just the same raid over and over at this point– really doesn’t feel quite nearly as heroic as guiding my novel’s characters through a quest to save their city. >.>

Some of you have expressed interest in reading my book, which is extremely flattering and is something I’d like to have happen at some point.* Currently I plan on finishing and editing the thing, then letting some friends and family read it and offer their suggestions, then I’ll go through and polish it up and maybe self-publish or something. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Primarily this is my official “zomg I wrote a book” exhilaration post, which will be followed by ordering a celebratory pizza and listening to Men Without Hats on repeat. (Wait, I do that last part all the time anyway. Crap.)

Thanks for putting up with it being so quiet around these parts lately. <3 — * You know you want to read it; it has airships and giant robots and dragons in it.

Pike’s Got Mail!

If I have an Achilles’ heel when it comes to blogging, it’s answering e-mail. I stink at it.

First of all, I get a lot of it.

Secondly, I often read it via my cellphone at work. Then I compose a long, grandiose reply in my head.

Thirdly, when I get home from work, half the time I can’t remember if I actually answered a certain e-mail or if I just… well, composed a long, grandiose reply in my head. Then when I go to find said e-mail in my inbox, it’s squeezed in between blog comment notifications and all sorts of non-blog-related e-mail and the like. So then all these lovely e-mails I get wind up unanswered because I can’t find them and I’m terrified of looking through the clutter through them.

SO!

In my best attempt to rectify this, I have a new e-mail address. I’ve stuck it on the sidebar and also made Eltanin the Mail-Windserpent a mailto link. It is aspectofthehare [at] gmail [dotcom]. This is going to be my new e-mail specifically for people who want to get ahold of me or ask me questions. Therefore, in theory, said e-mail won’t get buried between non-related e-mails, or forgotten about.

If you have sent me e-mail in the past and have not gotten a response, and would like one, I promise it’s not cause I hate you and encourage you to send it to my new e-mail. /nods

Today’s Copout Post was brought to you by the letters Q and Q. And today’s “brought to you by” was brought to you by my guild‘s message of the day.

A Circle of Dee Pee Ess

Note: I wrote this yesterday, then wasn’t entirely happy about it so I saved it in drafts and went to bed. Now it seems to be jumping around the blogosphere without me, which makes me late to the bandwagon simply because I waited a few hours x_x, so I did some quick editing, and here ya go:

Anyone who has been lurking around the blogosphere lately has likely seen a “Healing Questionnaire” floating around. This was eventually turned into a Tanking Questionnaire. However, I didn’t see hair nor hide of a DPS version. Never fear, Google to the rescue! A DPS version appears to have been spawned over at a DPS Death Knight blog, Death Goddess.

So, because I felt awkward posting my healing responses here (I should really get over that one o’ these days) and because Pike has no tank, and because the NaNoWriMo site is down which means the word count updatey-thingy (my biggest writing motivator) is down… here ya go!

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary DPS?

Tawyn, dual-spec’d PvE Raid Beast Mastery / PvE Raid Marksmanship Hunter would be my main, although she’s certainly not my only level 80 hunter!

What is your primary DPSing environment? (i.e. raids, PvP, 5 mans)

At the moment I am in raids the most, both 10 and 25man though probably skewing more towards 25man. I do at least one 25man a week (ToC), and occasionally Ulduar or Ony and a coupla 10mans as well.

What is your favorite DPS spell/ability for your class and why?

Feign Death doesn’t count, does it? >_> Umm, hmm. Bestial Wrath is always fun. I really like Silencing Shot when I’m spec’d Marksmanship. Nommy silence.

What DPS spell do you use least for your class and why?

Tranq Shot but you use it a surprising amount of times in ToC. Let’s see. Jaraxxus? Check. Faction Champions? Check. Anub’arak? Check. Now that I think about it, though, I’m not sure if that counts as a “DPS ability”. Hmm. This is a tougher survey to fill out for DPS than it was for heals! D= Does Rapid Fire count? Only cause of the long cooldown.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your DPS class and why?

Well solo’ing and questing and the like is obviously pretty easy but in a PvE raid-ish situation, I’d say the very fact that we are ranged but not magic-based is a strength. On my (very rare) ventures into the Moonkin Suit, I’m always surprised by these weird boss mechanics where you’ll be silenced or locked out of a class of spell. I remember mentioning to my boyfriend the warlock how irritating I thought this all was, and he was like “SEE?? FINALLY YOU UNDERSTAND!” So getting to bypass all of that is nice.

As a Beast Master in particular, I like the fact that I can be doing a ridiculous amount of DPS but I rarely have aggro problems because my aggro is split– about half of it is my pet’s threat, and half of it is “mine”. Having to Feign Death is delightfully rare as a Beast Master, so you pretty much never have to stop DPS!

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your DPS class and why?

The fact that we become screwed at melee range. This can be avoided in most PvE situations, but it sucks in PvP when you’re up against someone who knows what they’re doing. Fortunately I avoid most PvP beyond level 60 or so.

I also think that Blizzard did a somewhat haphazard job of incorporating pets into things. Those fights where you get a gigantic buff? Your pet probably doesn’t. Although this is annoying in raids or instances, the most glaringly painful example of this, to me, actually isn’t in a raid or instance, but in Battle for the Undercity. Guess who gets a giant, massive-stamina-and-constantly-getting-health-restored buff? You. Guess who doesn’t? Your pet. Guess who can’t survive more than two seconds in the AoE heavy Battle for the Undercity? Yeah. That entire quest, instead of being amazing and awe-inspiring, was nothing but me Volley spamming and not having my beloved pet beside me, and being frustrated overall. It was much better when I did it later as a Moonkin.

I also wish there was a way for you to “give” a zonewide buff to your pet instead of you. If I’m out grinding or questing, the last thing I want is some super massive damage buff on me making me pull aggro from my pet. Put it on my pet instead of me, please. Pleeeeeeeeeease.

Similarly, all those quests where you get to pick a reward item of either “gain back health on physical attack!” or “gain back mana on spellcast!” … can there be one for “gain back mana on physical attack”? Please? /puppy dog eyes

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best DPS assignment for you?

Single target, stand-still, pet-friendly, pewpewfest. Patchwerk, in other words. (I’m sure most DPS would say that…)

For Beast Master in particular, we excel at fights where there is a lot of loss of character control or where you’re running around a lot, and your pet doesn’t have to. That’s 45% of your DPS right there merrily DPSing away while you run around like a freak.

What DPS class do you enjoy DPSing with most and why?

There are multiple ways to interpret this question, I’m going to interpret the “with” as “alongside”. In which case, probably something like a feral druid for Leader of the Pack or a bunch of paladins for the buffs.

Or clothies, cause they won’t roll on my stuff. I’M GREEDY OKAY. >_>

What DPS class do you enjoy DPSing with least and why?

Other hunters, which makes me feel kinda horrible, but… I get crazily, madly competitive around other hunters and I just end up constantly checking my position on Recount as compared to theirs. I’d much rather be in a group of all other classes where there is no real comparison between my DPS and theirs, because I know nothing about their classes. Then I’ll usually just forget about Recount entirely and focus on having fun and doing my job.

Really, I love people who play hunters, I just… have a hard time playing with them. =(

In the end though, I’m not hugely picky about who I group with =P

What is your worst habit as a DPS?

Now that I’ve started playing my druid a lot I find myself inadvertently watching healthbars. =X

I also do this thing where I get trigger-happy and overwrite my Serpent Sting before I need to. Gotta work on that.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while DPSing?

BUFF. MY. PET.

Can I make it blinky and in a scrolling marquee? Cause I totally will. Just watch me. Juuuuust watch me.

(In all fairness, I get super irritated when I’m on my druid and hunters don’t rez their pet in a timely fashion. By which I mean, buffs are going out and the hunter knows his pet is dead cause it’s laying in the middle of the floor, and isn’t doing anything about it. In that case, you’ve missed out, bucko. Huh… I’m turning into one o’ them fabled Snarky Healers, aren’t I?)

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other DPS?

The Beast Mastery spec lags behind the others but not nearly as much in practice as I think people tend to assume it does. Both of the facts in said sentence (that it does lag, and that people overestimate the lag), irritate me to some degree.

As for hunters as a whole, I dunno, all the Recount screenshots I’ve seen of superendgame guilds show hunters as really lagging behind, but that must just be a superendgame thing because hunters destroy the meters in my guild. Like, you’ll have that one crazygood mage, that one crazygood rogue, and that one crazygood feral druid, but everyone else toppin’ the meters? Hunters, hunters, and more hunters. So, I dunno.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a DPS?

Recount is the obvious one though I have a love/hate relationship with it. Hunters are just so dependent on buffs, group makeup, fight mechanics, and everything else that it’s silly to use Recount as a be-all and end-all for it. One day I’ll have 6k DPS on a fight and then the next day I’ll struggle to hit 4.5k on the same thing.

Honestly I think it’s mostly an “impression” thing. If I’m getting invites to the Hard Mode Stuff, which I know the raid leaders are selective about in terms of invites, then I know I’m doing good. [Ed. note: apparently I got an invite to a Hard Mode Thing via Twitter in the middle of writing this, so my point is proven! Huzzah!]

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

That hunter is about /send pet and /afk auto shot. See, I have a theory about where this misconception came from. A hunter’s “special attack” doesn’t really look like anything. Okay, so the arrow or bullet might be a little shinier. That’s it. Melee classes spin around and do fancy footwork, casters make all sorts of different things come out of their hands, but hunters are all the same. Pew. Pew. Pew. It literally doesn’t look like you’re doing anything but Auto Shot, and that wiggles into other peoples’ subconscious.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new DPSers of your class to learn?

Pet management and keeping an eye on your pet. For me, it’s so ingrained from playing so many hunters, that a.) Wash is often the last pet standing in a tricky fight, b.) I spaz out when my treants die when I’m playing a moonkin, and c.) I’ve been known to instinctively pound my Mend Pet keybind when I see the main tank low on damage. All of the above are Trufax.

Beyond that, I think that there are little nuances that people don’t expect to have to look into that make a large difference in hunter gameplay– glyph choices, intuitive cooldown uses, etc.

What DPS class do you feel you understand least?

Pretty much anything that isn’t a hunter, although I have a rudimentary understanding of boomkin (seeing as it’s my druid’s “solo’ing spec”) and to a lesser extent warlock, since my boyfriend played one for so long. Lemme put it this way: I could probably play a boomkin for something and not entirely fail, and I’d probably fail slightly more as a warlock but still have a decent idea of what I’m doing. Everything else, I’d be completely and utterly lost.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in DPS?

Omen though I don’t need it very often these days; threat is pretty much a non-issue for Beast Mastery and when I’m Marksman a Feign or two will fix it right up. Scrolling Combat Text and Scrolling Combat Text Damage to see procs and see a sort of visual representation of what I hit for and how often I crit. OmniCC for cooldowns. Quartz for the cast bars and the DoT/HoT timers, though honestly I find that one to be waaaaaaaay more handy for my druid than for my hunter. (Cast bars for the moonkin, and HoT timers for the tree.)

[Your class’s preferred basic stat] over other stats or balanced stat allocation, and why?

Depends on whether or not you’re hit-capped. =P

Beyond that, this one really seems to go into an area of being a moot point once you enter endgame stuff. Install RatingBuster (which is much better than the Blizz default stat thingy.) Compare your gear. ???? Profit! If you’re really hardcore you can even use a spreadsheet or something.

Well, that’s the end of the survey. I tag any of you fine DPS folks who want to fill it out! =D

NANO SITE IS UP *poof*

TreeStory: Contest Winner!

The winner of the “400,000 Site Views” contest was Bloedhoorn, a tauren resto/kitty druid. This sort of presented a unique challenge to me because it meant I could write a story where druids were the focus, which I hadn’t done before. Anyways, as the character was being described to me, I was informed that Bloedhoorn spent a lot of time in tree form jumping around, dancing, and waving, which “comes naturally to being a Tree.” I really liked that last comment so much that I tried to see if I could base a whole story off of it. I also tried to incorporate Bloedhoorn’s love of companion pets. Hopefully I pulled it all off:

Bloedhoorn was in the form of a chocoloate-colored dire raven, flying high, high above Hellfire Peninsula. He rarely went to the Outland these days, so it was an unusual excursion, but he had recently been informed that a young druid from his home village who was following in his hoofsteps was in the area, and as he knew her family he wanted to drop by and see if she needed any assistance.

He circled Thrallmar a few times and then saw what he was looking for: A tree. A treant, to be more specific. Practicing her spells; wooden hands glowing with energy. Bloedhoorn smiled to himself and flew down and alighted next to her. He nodded his avian head and squawked out “Songlark, I presume?”

The treant looked at him curiously. It was notoriously difficult for a druid to speak much while in the form of a tree, especially if said druid was newer to the art and unused to having, quite literally, a wooden mouth. So instead, Songlark made a sort of grunting noise and nodded.

Bloedhoorn chuckled and effortlessly shifted into his tauren form. “I am Bloedhoorn,” he said, and bowed. “You may not know me, but I know your family well. I heard you were here and came to see if you needed any advice from a more experienced druid.”

Songlark digested this information and and forced her stiff mouth to work, although she was sure the words came out sounding a little funny: “It is nice to meet you.” She bowed back, leaves atop her head quivering.

“I see you were practicing before I arrived,” said Bloedhoorn. “How is that going for you?”

Songlark shifted back into her tauren form, where she would have more freedom to speak naturally. “I’m not sure,” she then admitted. “I don’t feel like I am doing all I could be. I know my basic spells– the ones all druids know. But very few tricks beyond that. I worry I may be… a hindrance…”

Bloedhoorn nodded. “I remember feeling that way, when I was where you are at in your studies,” he said. “We have some things to practice, then. But first, we must get out of this wasteland and go somewhere more fitting. Come!” he shifted into his stormcrow form, but Songlark remained stationary, looking a bit sheepish. “I… have not learned to fly, yet.”

Without a word Bloedhoorn then turned into a sleek cheetah. “No worries,” he said, as the younger druid followed his lead. “Now, come!”

The two dashed out of Thrallmar, and not much later they were among the somewhat ethereal woods of Terokkar Forest, both in tree form. “It is easier for a druid healer to practice when among real trees, where we can pull on the inspiration of nature,” Bloedhoorn explained. “Now, Songlark, I will show you a trick. We specialize in healing someone’s wounds slowly, over time, however, in an emergency, we can draw these energies together to heal all at once.” He was about to demonstrate when suddenly he paused. He thought he’d seen something move, out of the corner of his eye…

But then it was gone again. Chalking it up to a bird flitting about, Bloedhoorn prepared to cast a spell. But then, wait! There it was again! Something was moving in the forest.

“What is it?” Songlark asked, but Bloedhoorn held up a branch to silence her. Slowly he scanned the area with his eyes. Nothing but trees.

Trees…

One of them was moving.

A treant! Or more accurately…

“Another druid?” said Bloedhoorn quietly to himself.

It was! Another druid in tree form, watching them quietly. Songlark saw it as well, and the two tauren stared at it. It was downright unusual to see a druid in tree form out in the field, especially alone. And Bloedhoorn, being fairly well-traveled, immediately recognized it as not just any druid, but a Night Elf druid. He relayed this information to Songlark, who gasped. “Does she want to fight?”

“I would have a hard time believing that,” said Bloedhoorn. “One does not do much damage in the form of a treant, as I am sure you have learned already. No, let us take this slowly.”

He took a few steps toward the other tree, and waved. She waved back.

Bloedhoorn pointed to himself and Songlark, and then bowed. He was trying to get across the message that they were friendly, since he knew they would not be able to speak the same language. The other tree watched them intently, and seemed to understand what was being said because she nodded.

Bloedhoorn then pointed to the other tree and shrugged. It was his way of asking what she was doing there.

The other tree pointed to herself and said, “Tamaryn.” It must have been her name. Then, she began a series of wild gesticulations that absolutely baffled the two tauren. She scratched at her face with her leafy hands, then made a paddling motion, then pointed at the surrounding forest, and finally slumped over in a look of despair. When these gestures were met with a confused look on the faces of the other trees, she repeated them.

“What’s she trying to say?” asked Songlark.

“I don’t know, but I think maybe it has to do with it raining orange frogs?” Bloedhoorn guessed. “These night elf types are very unusual.”

“I can see that,” said Songlark.

Tamaryn appeared exasperated at this point, but then suddenly her face lit up, as though she had an idea. Suddenly she shifted into a sleek, dark bluegreen panther.

The two tauren jumped. Such an action was potentially threatening, afterall, since the form of a cat was frequently used to fight. But before they could react, the other druid turned back into a tree and pressed her hands very close together, as though trying to point out that something was being squeezed together… or perhaps…

“I KNOW!” Songlark said. “She is trying to say something is very small.”

“Hrmm…” said Bloedhoorn thoughtfully, his tree-face scrunched up in thought.

Tamaryn repeated this series of actions a few times: turning into a panther, then making the “small” gesture, and then pointing at the forest. And all of a sudden, it dawned on him.

“Small cat. She’s lost a small cat!” said Bloedhoorn. “And it is hiding in the forest somewhere. Perhaps she wants us to help look.”

Bloedhoorn held up a finger to the other druid, signaling her to wait. Then he turned to Songlark. “You use the swiftness of the cheetah to scout around this area. I’ll look from the sky.”

Songlark nodded and shifted into cheetah form. As she did so, Bloedhoorn became a stormcrow and flew high into the sky. As he hovered there and scanned the area with sharp eyes, he found several questions entering his head, the main one being why the other druid did not look through flight herself. He could sense that she was just as powerful and trained as he was. There must have been some reason why she was staying in treant form.

He flew a bit east; he saw Songlark searching every nook and cranny below him and Tamaryn also looking– still as a tree. Realizing this might take a while, Bloedhoorn took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to imagine that he was a pet cat that belonged to a treant. Where might he hide…

…in the branches of another tree, perhaps?

Swooping lower a bit, he flew between the trees of the Terokkar woods. He kept his eyes wide and his ears open, and it wasn’t long before he heard it. A quiet, barely perceptible “Mew…”

Immediately he stopped, wheeled around, and spotted a small white kitten perched atop a very tall tree. Its eyes were wide and it was staring rather nervously at the ground that was far below as it mewed helplessly. Smiling to himself, Bloedhoorn alighted on a branch next to it, gently took it by the scruff of its neck in his beak, and then fluttered down to the ground, where the night elf druid was waiting.

Tamaryn’s face lit up and she cheered as Bloedhoorn set the kitten down, which immediately ran up and hid in the branches atop Tamaryn’s head. A series of words tumbled out of her mouth, which Bloedhoorn didn’t understand, but which he assumed by her expression were words of gratitude, so he bowed at her.

Tamaryn bowed back, and then with a last wave, she walked away into the misty woods– still as a treant.

Bloedhoorn returned to tauren form and watched her go, rather mystified. At that moment, Songlark dashed up as a cheetah. “You found the cat?”

“Yes, it has been returned to its owner. I know why she was in tree form now; the cat appears to live on her head.” He scratched his scalp.

“Huh…” Songlark shifted into tauren form herself. “Well, that was an, uh… unexpected little diversion.”

Bloedhoorn chuckled. “What did I tell you, the Night Elves are a bit odd. You can’t blame them really; they’re purple, afterall. Now, where were we…”

Not Bad… for a Human

So it’s “Aliens” quote day, so sue me. (Best Movie Ever by the way.)

ANYWAYS! For those who missed it, this blog has been infected with a nasty little bug the past few days, so I nuked the site from orbit to try to kill it. Backed up my posts/comments/images, deleted everything, and spent the last six hours trying to bring this back online again after some issues.

Everything, for the most part, should be back– obviously some of the stuff on the sidebar and some theme stuff needs to be fixed, and images are in the middle of being uploaded and probably won’t finish for quite some time, since I have a truck-full of them… but all posts and comments (aside from those comments that were posted in the last few minutes before D-Day, after I’d backed everything up) should be good to go.

Since I’ve pretty much been working on this all day, though, I’m gonna go relax for the rest of the night and finish polishing up the blog tomorrow!

I would like to thank everybody for their patience and for doing things like leaving cheery or silly messages on various phases of the reconstruction process when I was frustrated as all heck. I would also like to thank everybody for your patience regarding the fact that the blog post content here has been pretty craptacular while I’ve been dealing with this problem. =P Hopefully, though, it’s behind us now (if not, it won’t be pretty). Onward and upward~

We're Gonna Take Off And Nuke the Entire Site from Orbit

It’s the only way to be sure.

Newt

So, soldiers, here’s the scoop. I thought I got rid of the nasty bug causing site redirect issues and the like last time, but apparently I’ve yet to root out the Queen Alien, so the issues have returned. I spent some time searching around but to no avail, and since I don’t want to waste my time on this crap when I’ve got stories to write and pictures to draw and WoW to play, (to paraphrase a wise man, “I’ve had it with these motherfrackin’ snakes on this motherfrackin’ plane”) I’m gonna attempt something crazy.

Namely, I’m gonna back everything up, delete EVERYTHING, and reinstall WordPress from scratch.

Then I’ll make all my passwords like three times longer, which means they’ll probably take about ten minutes to type out, but ya know.

If THAT doesn’t fix the problem, then… well, I’ll probably lose it, but we’ll deal with it when we get there.

AS SUCH, you may, over the course of the next few hours/days/whatnot see reduced site functionality, missing themes, the site not loading entirely, random 404s, etc. while I try my best to completely reboot the blog. All comments and posts, as well as the entire site itself, will be backed up in multiple ways so I can always revert it if I mess something up entirely.

Until then, wish me luck– I’m takin’ this thing to the airlock.

So, Do I Have a Bullseye On My Head, Or What?

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this but it must be done, because this blog is about honesty: it appears as though my site has been compromised. Again. As such, I must extend my deepest apologies to anyone who has heard weird music on my site the past few days, been redirected to spam sites, been lambasted with popups, had their Antivirus tell them terrible things about me, etc.

Now not everyone appears to have had this problem with my site– I think Adblock Plus kept a lot of the gunk out– but I know many people did, and since I have, from Day One, maintained a strict “NO ADS” policy on this site, it was rather distressing to me that this all happened.

Furthermore, I find myself wondering what I’ve done wrong. See, I’ve always been of the school of thought that if something like this happens, much more often than not it was preventable. And so you can imagine how embarrassed I am when I feel all secure with my hugely long letters-n-numbers-n-symbols passwords, and my Firefox and NoScript, and crap somehow manages to get past it all anyway. It’s frustrating.

Anyways, you did not come here to hear me rant, I think! Mostly I just wanted to offer this apology and also ask for blog readers to be on the lookout: I think I got rid of the parasitic code that was causing the problem but if you’re still getting weird redirects or popups, let me know. Heck, I’ll back everything up and rebuild this blog from the ground up if I have to in order to maintain the integrity of this site. I want this to be a safe, ad-free place on the internet.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY (because I like those, and I like excuses to make them): If you are a blogger, you can’t be too secure. Change your passwords frequently, make backups, use Exploit Scanner (awesome plugin), and keep an eye out for anything suspicious. The internet is like the “wild west” of today. Wild and untamed and ready to be claimed, but bandits abound and you gotta know your self-defense. And not die of dysentery. /nod

WELL, back to writing~