Gitr Visits the Isle of Quel’Danas

After the great patch download of March 25th, 2008 that is known as Patch 2.4, Gitr immediately flew from Stormwind to the Isle of Quel’Danas, which was conveniently already a flight point. After flying right up to Ironforge, the game went to the zone/instance loading screen and I was suddenly flying over the North Sea toward and island.

The flight path takes you around the south and west side all the way up to the very northern tip where you are dropped off at the familiar (if you’ve played a Blood Elf) area around Silvermoon City. I recognized the ship as being from near the partying belfs, the area to the south look exactly like the starting zone, and the area was hopping with people. There were at least 300 toons running around the immediate area on Silvermoon realm, taking my normal 55fps down to a crawling 20fps.
Isle of Quel\'Danas
The first thing I did was scream. Bloody murder! My UI was completely broken! Well, I did neglect to check the ‘load outdated addons’ from the character screen, but that’s beside the point. My WoWaceupdater refuses to work since I installed XP Service Pack 3 RC2. I know that was dangerous, but it solved my BSoD issue. I logged out to work on my research paper and slowly whittled away at downloading about 100 Ace addons.

When I logged back in later, I had most of my UI working and was able to complete 2 dailies for 9g each in about 10 minutes. As of this morning, Silvermoon is 47% done with the goal before Phase 2 opens up. I was very confused for some time until I researched what the heck was going on. I couldn’t figure out why people were killing things everywhere if there weren’t any more questgivers around.

I had a chance to run Magister’s Terrace, but it came a bit too late in the evening to due the trip justice. I’m probably a little better geared as dps now, but with good healing, I should be able to main tank it and enjoy playing it my way: toe to toe.

Did you get a chance to enter the Isle or Magister’s Terrace? How did you like it?

What I’m Most Looking Forward to in Patch 2.4

I have been in the dark about Patch 2.4 for a while because I started to seclude myself from the WoW news while I was sick. I just didn’t care to follow anything.

Now that has all changed. I found the changes they are putting into the patch and I’m totally stoked about some of it. Here’s my list:

  • Magister’s Terrace – There’s going to be enough well-geared people in my guild to let me run along on such a nice 5-man instance. I can’t devote the time to Kara, and I’m not geared for anything above that, so this is my end-game action for now.
  • The end (finally!) to getting CC’d mobs broken with multiple mob actions, such as Cleave, Multi-Shot, Avenger’s Shield, and Swipe. This is going to be a major improvement in the terrible life of PUGgers who have to group with idiots who can’t play their class.
  • For me and my pallies, I will enjoy Turn Undead working on demons, too.
  • In groups with druids, everyone will benefit from 20% lower mana cost on Regrowth.
  • Characters will now retain talented spell ranks so when they retalent they do not have to relearn the spells from trainers. Woot!
  • From wowwiki.com, “A representative of the Keepers of Time has been spotted at the World’s End Tavern in Shattrath. Players in good standing with the faction will be granted ease of passage to the Caverns of Time.” ‘Bout time! I hate getting to Tanaris from Shattrath.

Here’s to hoping it comes out Tuesday.

Trudging Along… in Life and WoW

The great Chinese flu of March 2008 hit my household 3 weeks ago, and its effects are still being felt. It was great to stay home for 4 days a couple of weeks ago, but the headache and coughing that ‘luxury’ required downright sucked.

There’s been a great need for gold in my account, so I’ve been playing Gitr for a few hours and getting through a bunch of level 68-70 quests. I’m still waiting to go back to Kara, but my school and work schedule seem to be making that impossible. All I can do is wait for Magister’s Terrace with the patch, I think.

I’m literally back in the saddle again, with Protectr climbing through level 41 with his practically free charger and jumping back and forth between Tanaris and STV for the next leap in mob leveling. Things get much better in Tanaris as level 43-44, but a protection pally does just fine as long as I don’t get overwhelmed. In fact, a level 40 prot pally can beat Caliph Serpentsting if he gets pulled away from his bodyguards. It only takes about 7 minutes to grind his level 46 butt down to dead.

Phil and I are enjoying leveling at the same pace and doing 5-mans with some semblance of sanity for ugly PUGs gone bad. At least we can /w each other nasty things about sucky players. We got into a group in SM Monday that turned stupid when the mage wouldn’t sheep the Monks or Abbots until they were the last mob standing. So I’m whacking it, Phil has curses on it, and I keep hearing a brief “baaahh!” with a flash of smoke.

How some people manage to tie their shoes, I’ll never know.

I’d like to take Phil into Uldaman with one healer for my butt and see how we can rock the joint with a real group. He still needs his silly warlock hat, though, so I think we’re going to be spending more time in SM for some more loot. I guess the silk won’t hurt my First Aid any, either. There’s no gear for a plate-wearer in there, so it’ll be a labor of love for later on when I need mad dps to join me somewhere.

Blue Screen of Death Remains – Latency Fixed

I have to give Phil (Tastes Like Burning) full credit for pointing me to this solution yesterday. I’ll fall short of saying he saved my life, but that he sure saved me a lot of money avoiding my toons to a new server. He referred me to Doomilias’ site A View From Behind.

I knew that there was something fishy with a recent WoW patch, but I had no proof. It messed up my computer in general with those BSoDs with WoW, Media Player, and who knows what else video-related that I hadn’t discovered. I have been hopping mad at having to reboot my computer and immediately load WoW at sign-on in order to successfully play.

Things took another turn recently, as the lag on Silvermoon has made playing as a paladin unbearable. With the constant dancing around my consecration, sealing, judging, and healing while grinding, the last thing I needed was a 2 second delay in my spells. My latency was posted as 230-350ms, but the delay was much more than that. Sometimes I had to hit a seal several times to get a response, and I’ve almost developed carpal tunnel syndrome from spamming my judging key.

Apparently there is this thing called Nagle’s algorithm that puts your commands into a queue of packets to send to the server until there are enough packets to warrant a transfer. What that means for casting spells is that a single keystroke often isn’t enough information to see a response in-game. Moving is fine, because you hold down a key that transmits rather soon after you start moving, but even that was herky-jerky.

Blame it on Blizzard again, folks. In patch 2.3, they started using Nagle’s, but when the problems arose from it, they “fixed” it in patch 2.3.2. I say that in quotes because they simply removed the code from the game and their servers, but didn’t tell your computer to stop using Nagle’s. My suspicions and symptoms were correct, because as soon as I downloaded and installed FasterPing and re-booted my machine, the problems were completely erased. Just for you, I’ve placed a copy on my server for queue-less downloading.

Bottom line, before shelling over $25 for a paid character transfer due to lag, you owe it to yourself to turn off Nagle’s algorithm using whatever method you want. This is just an easy one.

Now if only the darn BSoD will go away, because the BIOS stuff didn’t work and my RAM voltage appears to be lower than my motherboard goes. I’m at a loss there, so I’m going to save up for new RAM. I just don’t know why it didn’t do it for the first 6 weeks.

Worst. Priest. Ever.

You would think that by the time you get through 27 levels of playing a class, you would have some clue about being in a group of two. Yes, the number 2. Let me set the stage for you.

I was running through Duskwood with Protectr (Level 27 Protection Pally) to go turn in a quest in Darkshire, and passed the path to Stalvan, when I Blessed a priest. He gave me a Fort buff and asked in the /s channel if I was questing. I said I was about to kill Stalvan. With that, I sent the invite and he accepted.

We went to the area and I immediately noticed that he was running out of mana on level 30 ghoul. Not a good sign, but I trusted that he knew that Stalvan would be an endurance fight for 2 lvl 27s.

Never trust a priest who uses /s chat, I suppose. I don’t know, but that’s the only thing that I can say could be a tip-off about what followed.

Twenty seconds into the fight (just after I told him to start using his wand), we got an add, because he wouldn’t follow me as I dragged Stalvan back to the area where we already killed the wandering mobs. Noooo. He stood there and aggroed on in the field, so I had to go rescue him and hope he could heal me. No such luck, as he was already out of mana.

By the way, his response to my:

[Protectr]: Wand him.
[Idiot]: Wand?

No, I’m not kidding.

After we died, I told him once again to use his wand to do damage to conserve mana to heal me, unless he wanted to tank and me heal him. He said he didn’t want to do that because then he couldn’t do as much damage.

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I fell short of yelling and calling him a stupid noob and ask him how old he was. I told him to just do it or we’d die again. We died again.

[Idiot]: What happnd that time? It wouldn’t let me cast any spells or heal you.

I logged off and went to watch TV.