Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

BlizzCon 2013

So I am freaking out right now. I am heading to BlizzCon in the morning.

The first thing I will do when I get off the plane is head over and have lunch with three members of my raid team. That's pretty amazing. We will  head over together to stand in line to pick up our badges... and  I will get a media badge too! Then it's on to the WoW Insider party, where I am on the VIP list to get in. This is getting surreal.

I will be tweeting from media section during the Opening Ceremony and hashtagging things #BlizzConGB so it will go up on the new GAMEBREAKER site.

I'm probably the most excited about the announcement of the new expansion, but the WoW movie has me pumped too. I'll take loads of photos! 

The Converted Episode 18!

Here's the latest Converted!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Converted Ep 17 Pat Krane!!!!!

OK, seriously... this was a great show. Not only were our guests ON POINT with their outfits and raid stories, but we had none other than Pat Krane from Convert to Raid on the show. He answered questions about the upcoming CTR party at Blizzcon.

BTW: BLIZZCON !!!!!!!!!!!

Stoked about that. We have one more show before the big event. I'm already having trouble sleeping because I'm so excited.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Converted Podcast Ep. 16

I know I am a little late, but I HAVE to post all of my vidcasts, right?

Our guest this time was really good. Nalda, raid leader from the CTR team Fite Club, was ready to go for the interview. He had great energy and was interesting. This was one of those times when we probably could have talked to our guest for an hour.

Something different this time was that we were able to put the Converted RoundTable in the actual video, as opposed to using only the audio. I wish we had a better way to record the RoundTable. Bandwidth and computer resources are a thing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

OK, so I'm a baddie

So the powers that be at GAMEBREAKER are always after me to write editorials. The news stuff I typically churn out puts content on the site, but doesn’t generate a ton of hits unless it’s something big. To be fair, it’s a lot easier to report on stuff like the new Elder Scrolls character creation screen than it is to write about how I think or feel, but I’m encouraged to present opinions and try to spark debate.

And one of my recent posts did just that. 

I wrote an opinion post last week that had the lynch mobs out in full force. Seriously, the first word of the title is “Opinion,” yet I had people screaming for me to be fired for presenting my views as fact. My twitter erupted with venom from members of my guild calling me ignorant and suggesting that as a guild spokesperson, I should present my views with more tact.

All I did was suggest, albeit strongly, that 25-man raiding is better than 10-man. Is that so wrong? 

While I appreciate the passion people have for their style of raiding, I will say that my editor spent the weekend deleting comments she saw as pretty severe personal attacks. There were several people that disagreed with me and commented in an adult manner. Others looked up my raid team and picked apart how much we sucked. But here’s a secret:

But I did it on purpose. 

I was trolling. I knew what I was doing when I did it. I was trying to get people talking, and it worked. I had nothing to gain; extra hits on someone else’s web site don’t affect me all that much. I guess I nabbed about 15 extra twitter followers, but it’s not like I get paid for that either. But I did enjoy the back-and-forth I saw on the 10-man vs. 25-man debate. If opening a can of worms get the worms talked about, that’s gotta be a good thing…right?

And another thing!

What good is an opinion if you don’t support your ideas 100%? I’ve gone on record—and have gotten crap for—saying how terrible the Horde is, and now I’ve gone on record about raid sizes. Perhaps I could have said, “This is what I like, but you guys are welcome to like the things you like and they are just as valid.” That kind of article would have got zero people thinking and the conversation would have been just as small. I appreciate moderate views when it comes to politics, but when it comes to a hobby as subjective as VIDEO GAMES, what’s wrong with a little passion? I could say, “Shaman is the best class, and no other class can even touch it!” and I would expect a warlock writer to say the same about their class and a DK to say the same about theirs. Otherwise, why the heck would I read it? (Mages are, of course, exempt from that argument because… you know…)

The fact is: my team, a casual 25-man, had hit a month-long wall with a raid boss. We finally overcame it. I was excited.  The next day, I wrote an opinion piece about how much better my style of raiding is. Some people didn’t like it. You probably won’t like it. I liked it, and as long as I can continue to brush off the “you’re ugly and your team sucks” comments, I will find ways to do more.

So, just to be clear:
25-man raiding is better than filthy casual 10-mans.
Horde should all die in a fire.
Shammies are the best class. 

And while I’m at it:
Star Trek is far superior to Star Wars. 
The Beatles beat out Elvis in every way, and…
Blue is better than purple and anyone who disagrees is wrong. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DebateCraft: The People's Legendary

Pat Krane has dubbed Wrathion's cloak The People's Legendary. I liked that term so much that I decided to take write about it. Me and Ashley plan to write a DebateCraft article every week... but I have zero idea what to do it on next....

The People’s Legendary comes under fire as Ashley and Summer go head to head on the accessibility of World of Warcraft’s legendary cloak.

In World of WarcraftWrathion has sent players on an expansion-long journey that will ultimately lead to what has been dubbed thePeople’s Legendary. It is an orange-quality back accessory with stats so high Garrosh Hellscream will bow to the strength of any raid team equipping them. Past legendary items were reserved for a single member of a team and their entire guild would help them obtain it. What makes this legendary cloak unique is that anyone who has successfully completed the trials set forth by the spawn of Deathwing can have it.
That leads to the question, just how legendary is an item that anyone can seemingly get? In this week’s Debatecraft, Ashley andSummer discuss the pros can cons of the People’s Legendary.

Only The Best  

There was a time when players actually had to work for their legendary. Even when it was a chance drop, only a select few would ever see it. My first attempt at a legendary was Shadowmourne in Wrath of the Lich King. Parts of that quest chain required players to complete the objective in 25-man Icecrown Citadel – this was before 10 and 25 man shared a lockout. As a raider from a 10-man raiding guild, it was amazing that I made it as far as I did. Reaching the point that I did in the chain—even though I never saw my legendary—I still felt like I accomplished something special. 
In Mists of Pandaria, the legendary quest chain can be completed in any mode, including LFR. Anyone can now get this legendary with very little effort put forth. Knowing that my legendary cloak will be shared with players that don’t deserve it—I don’t even think I deserve it—feels off to me. 
Well, if you don’t feel like you deserve it, then by all means skip collecting the coins on the Timeless Isle and stick with the cloak you’ve got. As for me, I did the quests, I collected the materials (hell yeah I used Looking For Raid!), I aided Wrathion at the Thunderforge, and I defeated him in a duel moderated by a freakin’ August Celestial. To be honest, I think anyone who got through that last fight while rocking LFR gear deserves some respect. I had a few pieces of Thunderforged gear and it still took me 20 tries. Having the current version of the cloak equipped shows you are skilled enough to obtain it.
How many people were just like you and never actually completed the process for their own Legendary at the level where it would have been useful? Past legendary items were not reserved for the very best players; they were reserved for the teammates who won the coin toss.

Special is as Special Does

Yes, previous legendaries were drops from bosses, but these bosses were only ever seen by some of the best players. A casual would have never laid eyes on Illidan. That legendary would have still gone to the players who deserved it.  
I remember standing around in Ironforge—with a friend—as we ogled a player with the Twin Blades of Azzinoth equipped. We were in awe of this person. What’s going to happen in patch 5.4?  ”Look, that group of players over there has the same cloaks as we do.” If everyone is special, no one is special.     

There are plenty of ways to be unique these days. Rare hunter pets, mounts and transmogrification can all make your character stand out and be ogled by passersby.
Today’s World of Warcraft player is a different person from Burning Crusade days. I wonder if that same player you were so impressed by still has time to play? Perhaps a job and kids keep them from joining a progression-based raid team. Does that change how skilled they are?
The People’s Legendary provides a way for everyone to experience dynamic story-driven content that would otherwise only be witnessed by perhaps one person in every guild. It is also challenging enough so only those who play at a certain level can obtain it.
At one point in time, Legendaries were considered a big deal. A much bigger deal than a rare pet, mount, and transmog. If the legendary quest drops had been restricted to both regular and heroic difficulties, it could have still be considered a “big deal.”  However, being able to complete this legendary by strictly doing LFR just doesn’t sit right with me.  
Yes, the Burning Crusade days are no longer. Sure, that player I was impressed with may not even have the time to play anymore.  Even so, if that player has no time to play then the legendary isn’t meant for him, skill or not.  
There are so many other ways for players to enjoy the story, aside from a quest chain. The vast majority of players don’t even read the quest text. I enjoyed how Blizzard released the Cataclysm rogue legendary cut scenes so everyone could watch and see what’s going on. That could have been done again. 
world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     Debatecraft: The People’s LegendaryWatching the video simply isn’t the same as playing through the content itself. The scenarios involved in the People’s Legendary quest line offers single-player challenges that don’t exist elsewhere. Sure we can watch videos of lucky people as they attempt legendary challenges, but it will always leave us with the feeling of “I bet I could do that.” Now, we can say, “You bet your ass I did that!”

What side of the debate do you fall on? Do you wish legendary items were still reserved for the ultra-exclusive few? Do you enjoy having access to the content—and the stats—that the People’s Legendary provides? Or are you not bothered because you couldn’t be asked to go through that crap anyway? Let us know!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Solar Flair

We had a famous guy on our podcast! Solar Flair stopped by to tell us about his raid team, The Wrathion Chronicles. It was great to talk to him again :)

It was a crazy, crazy day for me and I basically deleted our show notes. We were flying by the seats of our pants.. and my lights weren't working... and I need a new mic... OMG, I am getting stressed just thinking about it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Converted Podcast Episode 8: KOLTRANE

Not sure why I haven't been posting these all that often, but I wanted to share our most popular video. Koltrane came on and talked to us for a long while. Wow, what a great guy. Be sure to catch the first couple of minutes of the actual interview. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Converted Episode 12

Yep! I still have a podcast. We still do the video even though the overwhelming majority of folks listen to it on iTunes and Stitcher. Oh well! I like the video aspect of the show... and it gives me a chance to show off different hairstyles.

We now have a few segments that go in the middle. Louu talks about raid team progression, Red (who wasn't able to make it this week) talks about Convert To Raid guild events, and this week we have Sueshi who is an expert at the AH.

At the end of the video, we have stuck in The Converted Roundtable. It's a long story about why we only use the audio, but there is a video! This week's topic involved Flex raiding and normal raid nerfs. If you watch and wonder why I am so hard on Boon, understand that he's on my raid team and I have to put him on the spot, haha.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

She Calls Him Sal

“Sal” is a pretty common name. I run into other Sals a lot. There’s a bit of competition for the nickname, but I do not own this or any other moniker. However, I tend to be a bit louder than other Sals and my main character’s name is kind of hard to pronounce so whenever a different Sal comes around, the other person ends up being “other Sal” or “Sal number two”, which makes me feel kind of jerky.

Out of 4100 unique individuals, there are two Sals that I know of in our guild… and we happen to be on the same raid team. Sal isn’t soft spoken, he just chooses whom he likes to speak to. When the guild started out, folks called him Sal, but that kind of tapered off. We even talked about it once. “I’ll still call you Sal,” I said. “Fine,” he replied, “then I’ll be “She Calls Me Sal.”

Sal is a great guy, and he and I couldn’t be more different. 

Ever the supportive friend, when I recently made an appearance on Girls Gone WoW, Sal made sure to download it and give it a listen. He liked the show well enough, but wasn’t too keen on the language the ladies were using. Honestly, I thought the F-bombs were pretty tame in that episode, but to him the explicit label was a pretty big turn-off. Understanding that has made me more mindful when I put pug groups together and set a language guideline.

Sal owns guns. Tons of them. He literally has dozens of guns. I understand having a few—as he is a cop—but he is a collector. He doesn’t go on and on about them, but every now and then he mentions a prized piece or his full gun cabinet and I make some kind of “guns are gross” comment. That’s when everyone else come to his aid and gripes at me for bringing up politics. He can talk about how much he loves guns, but I can’t bring up how much I despise them. I think it has less to do with politics and more to do with how well liked Sal is.

Sal is a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, but he has one vice: disgusting raid beverages. The other day he made a White Russian with a shot of Jagermeister and bragged about it in Mumble. Seriously, that made my pristine vodka martini run and hide. One of our buddies commented, “Salmek, that sounds heinous, dude.” He laughed and said it was pretty good, and he had run out of ingredients for an Oatmeal Cookie.

I could go on and on about things that I love that he finds repulsive or how I spent a large portion of my life avoiding guys like him to make sure I didn’t go to jail. I’m telling you, me and Sal have nothing in common… except WoW. We like killing bosses and chatting about gearing up toons. He and I get along great and we would never have met had it not been for our silly little game. Sal is one of the reasons our Community is so great.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Originally published on GAMEBREAKER.TV

The latest news datamined from the PTR involves the World of Warcraft Legendary Cloak

Heroes! News has come from the future. A realm known as “PTR” has revealed its secrets. We have toiled under the unsettling eye of the spawn of Deathwing himself, Wrathion, to collect small—yet powerful—items to aid us on our quest for greatness. Our efforts will finally be rewarded when we receive our very own World of Warcraft Legendary…cloak.

The World of Warcraft legendary cloak isn’t exactly the fancy weapon we were all hoping for, but MMO champion has datamined something quite interesting. Sure, the items will pack a punch when it comes to our firepower, but they will look cool too! When the abilities proc on the cloaks, there is a spell effect that makes awesome wings or horns appear.

I am suddenly very excited about getting my hands on one of these… or my back on one… or one on my back… you know what I mean. The World of Warcraft Legendary Cloak won’t be easy to get, but once you have it you and your sparkle wings will be the talk of the town.There are four different models depending on your class specialization, but here is the ranged dps version:

World of Warcraft Legendary Cloak

You get a Legendary, and You get a Legendary, and You….

The World of Warcraft Legendary Cloak will be available to all who can get through the tasks set forth by Wrathion. It is part of the Legendary questline that began when the Mists of Pandaria expansion hit. In order to complete the quests, players must perform a series of tasks and collect items from raids. What has made this questline so accessible is the Looking For Raid option that allows anyone to queue for a raid and get grouped up for an experience that is easier than normal mode raiding. 

The questline has been long, but not all that hard. Only recently have players started to have trouble getting through the solo fights, which has slowed down progression. After a while, people will outgear the encounters and will be on their way to obtaining a World of Warcraft Legendary Cloak of their very own. 

The most recent chapter in the World of Warcraft Legendary questline has involved a very powerful cloak, but it isn’t the Legendary that we speak of. I recently obtained the precursor to the 5.4 cloak myself, and the quest was HARD. It made me mad enough to spit, but it was fun to have to figure out a complicated fight. I can only imagine the tasks getting more difficult from here. The World of Warcraft Legendary Cloak might be available to everyone, but not everyone is going to get it.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wrathion’s Cloak: A Legendary Pain In The Arse

And Some Of The Best Solo Content Available 

The Legendary quest line has certainly been interesting. We have been able to hang out with DeathWing’s kid, run errands for him and earn a bit of firepower. He has mostly had us collect items from raids, and the quest line has been accessible to anyone that can get into LFR…until now. At the end of 5.3, we are now tasked with defeating (or saving) Wrathion while the August Celestials observe. Our reward: A Legendary Quest Cloak.

This time around, the solo scenario is hard. It is frustrating as hell and expensive when you consider all the potions, flasks, food, and repair bills involved. Everywhere I look I find people giving up and shaking their fists at developers who must be laughing at all the players who can’t get through it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. I like that I’ve had to sit down and figure something out for a change. I dutifully kept up with the quest line, so I am among the first wave to experience the fight. I didn’t have a lot of guides to refer to. And that’s probably why it took me so long to get my very own Legendary Quest Cloak.

My advice as an Elemental Shaman trying to complete the quest for the legendary cloak: Calm Down. My attempts took place over four wipe sessions and I found that my first attempt of the day was almost always my best attempt. After that, I got flustered. Waiting for cooldowns to come back up was annoying and allowed me to get distracted. In order to be successful I had to regroup, focus, take a deep breath, and go.

Sal’s Elemental Shaman Legendary Quest Fight Strategy: Burn That Bitch

We don’t have much in the way of an agro dump, so our main issue will be the adds. What a lot of spell casters (curse you, hunters!) are doing is burning Wrathion down right at the start. You probably need pretty good gear for this strat. My ilevel was 525. Spec into anything that is bursty, because it is a short fight.

First, I stood behind Wrathion and to the right, because his aoe damage will hit you if you are in the center. Then, I put down my Searing Totem, Capacitor Totem, moved Capacitor using Totemic Projection (talent) so it was right next to Wrathion, popped a potion and then started the fight. About two seconds in, after my gear starts proccing, I pop Fire Elemental Totem and Ascendance. I have Stormlash Totem and Spriritwalker’s Grace macroed to Ascendance. Wrathion is stunned for a bit because of Capacitor so I can pound him with Lava Burst, but walk backwards (using the S key) to use Ascendance to its full extent while he comes towards me. When Ascendance is done, I pop Heroism.

Now, we have to worry about the adds. Hopefully I am far enough away so I can stand still and use Chain Lightning to get them down. If they are standing together, it will take two or three casts to take care of them. If they get too close, I use Earthgrab Totem (talent) to keep them away. After they are down, the key is to STAY BEHIND WRATHION. Do whatever it takes to do this. When I had a good shot at the guy, I used Elemental Mastery (talent) to get as much damage out as quick as I could. When the adds came back up, my Earth Elemental Totem was off cooldown and could handle them while I continued to burn Wrathion and perhaps throw some chain lighting at the adds.

We have it easy for the mirage phase. Just tab target and use Chain Lighting. Wrathion stands still for a bit, so you can get some decent shots in that way.

If I saw that I was in trouble, I used Shamanistic Rage. I have Gift of the Naru on my action bars to get my health up. I might suggest getting lock rocks from a friend if you don’t have access to that spell or others like it. I was not shy about using Healing Stream Totem or if I could stand in one spot for a bit,  Healing Tide Totem (talent).

When I finally got him down, it was right after the first wave of Mirage. After that, the adds get faster and all my tricks are on cooldown, with the possible exception of Ascendance, which I also have a potion macroed to (remember, I pre-potted). Along with using Spiritwalker’s Grace, you might still have a chance to get him down. However it seems to me that if you see a second mirage, you are in trouble.

This fight took me between 20 – 30 pulls, and made me mad enough to spit. My final attempt was also my first attempt of the night, when my stress level was at the lowest…which might tell you something about me. But in the end, I defeated him and got my prize. Now I just need to find a mog set to go with my shiny new Legendary Quest Cloak.