Random Musings: The UI, Guild Updates, Grinding & /wave

Hi gang. As per usual, I have a whole slew of partially completed posts and ideas in my draft folder that might actually be useful, but who has time to write those? So instead, you get this random version of stuff that’s been keeping me interested in and out of the game until such time as I get something nice and shiny done :)

The UI

I’ve been using ElvUI for the past few months, and I must say, if you want something that looks pretty out of the box, updates easily, and is easy to configure, Elv is the UI for you! However, I got bored with it. There was sooo much black. There were giant bars of buffs and debuffs, and I just hate bars on my screen. So I went back to a home-made UI one night an hour before a raid. Protip: Giving yourself an hour before the raid leaves you with a lot of tweaking, but I’ll be buggered if it doesn’t make you motivated to get everything at least functional real quick!

Sure, I Could Hide My Buttons, But That'd Take Work!

Not As Clean As I'd Like, But It Gets 'Er Done

The base of my UI is Stuf Unit Frames, and I took a whirl with Grid2 this time around. For buffs/debuffs I went with Raven which seems to be a pretty good replacement for an old favorite: Satrina Buff Frames. I’m still using Weak Auras because I just *love* the interface, added Bartender, and a map addon, and I was ready to roll!

Guild Updates

As you can see from the sidebar, Production Company is still recruiting. We’ve got a tank itching to down grade his raid time but we got a kicked last week when our shadow priest informed us of some spousal aggro and went haring off to a raid time that accommodated his home life better. We also took our first attempts at H. Rhyolith last week and got him down in 4 pulls, making us wish we hadn’t been so zealous in killing off our normal mode bosses. All was not lost, however, as we went back and finally snuffed out Al’Akir leaving us 4/7 HM T12, and 11/13 T11 (yes, we like to clear everything ^^).

This week we wisely *crosses fingers* decided to avoid killing everything we don’t *think* we’ll get down, and made our first attempts at Beth’ilac.

Things I learned from the enounter:

  1. Beth’ilac is evil, and the phase transition spiders that hang from the web cannot just be left dangling until get around to it.
  2. Soaker is a relative term if said soaker stands in the puddle and DIES.
  3. Man, you really can’t out-run those fixated suckers. I mean, they REALLY stick. Not that it matters, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it being ok for things to hit me… ever.

Random Segue

This is also somewhat guild related so I’m adding it here. If you are a tank and applying to a guild, World of Logs is good for you too! Make sure to include one. Even better, make sure you prime that sucker with judicious use of all your cooldowns, not just the ones that keep you alive. Use Rallying Cry. Use Hand of Protection and Lay on Hands. And for the love of God, check your enchants/gems/reforges before you click Apply!

Grinding and LotRO

I’ve been playing LotRO a bit over the summer and it has spilled into the fall. It’s not because I don’t enjoy my WoW time (I am rapidly rebuilding my stable of alts on Moonrunner), but I really love the change of pace. In many ways, LotRO reminds me a lot of my early MMO experiences in that the questing is not the only objective, or at least, it seems like a long natural arc that can be filled in a hundred different ways.

Spinks had an article today that I think really encapsulates why I’m enjoying my time in Middle Earth so much. Once you find a character you really love, you don’t feel any need or desire to start a lot of alts, because there’s just too much to do on your one character. Now that I can continue the major storyline in a solo fashion, I’ve really been impelled to return to my hunter and get some more work done. Although I recently hit level 40, I haven’t really been spending a lot of time questing the last couple of weeks, instead I’ve been… for lack of a better word… grinding!

Plinking Away!

I gained some achievements for killing certain things, I’ve collected Mathoms and Sashes and Barrow-Gold, and I’ve explored the wilds and deeps of several zones. My real goal was to finally get the “master” level of apprentice level wood-working so I could continue leveling all my other various levels now that I’ve reached artisan levels, but it’s so easy to do other things and enjoy them while doing something as simple as running around the world collecting dead-fall.

Even better, because it isn’t a quest or a specific achievement type activity, I don’t feel impelled to finish it all at once, and can gradually meet me goal in 5, 10, or 30 minute increments as I have time around my other activities. I also have no compuction about just getting up and walking away from the game to do other activities as I’ve got zero committments to others in the game.

I actually had my favorite “story line” LotRO moment last night as I met my first Ent and helped him root out a troll infestation. I think Ents were my favorite “race” in the Lord of the Rings series, and I was having a full-blown fan-girl moment as I pew pewed alongside my new-found friend. I also discovered some new LoTR lore while I was there, which just made the whole experience richer and more vibrant.

On the Road Again

Finally, I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be out of town for a couple of weeks. The hubby and I are visiting some family in New England and will be out of pocket barring major internet withdrawal. I’m all set since I got a new e-reader this Fall, and plan on doing a ton of reading in addition to a visit to the Big E (and maybe even the Big Apple). Of course, my only experience with New York is the George Washington bridge and to say it left me feeling uninspired and a raging motorist would be an understatement ^^

As always when I’m /afk, I’d be more than happy to schedule anyone who’d like to dip their toe in the pool and try out a guest post. My topic range is broad, so if it’s about MMO’s I’ll probably take it ;)

5 thoughts on “Random Musings: The UI, Guild Updates, Grinding & /wave

  1. Good to see you, Wind, and I’m glad you’re enjoying your LotRO. I’ve been wondering how it was changed by going free to play. DDO was, in my opinion, ruined by the constant interruptions of the pay system. Is LotRO less interfered with?

    If you’re heading to NYC, let me know; having lived there for six years, I can probably point you at a few out of the way places that’d be a blast to visit. I may also be able to set you up with a place to stay for cheap, but I’d have to find out if the house has any rooms available. One of my WoW (and real life) buddies’ parents own a big house that they rent out rooms in, so if they’ve got an unused spare I’m sure they’d be interested in filling it.

    Also, I love the minimalism of your UI. I used to have a nice, simple one like that, but I felt it was making WoW load too slowly, so I went back to plain old Xperl. Seeing yours, though makes me itch to clean my screen.

    Anyway, have a good trip!

    • I found the LoTRO in-game store to be ok. You get points for achievements, and the achievement system is somewhat unobtrusive. I just don’t click on the button when I get new points, and I don’t have to worry about looking at the “you win points! visit the store!” There is quite a bit of notices around various screens, but I don’t consider them too intrusive.

      We likely won’t be staying in the city itself as my brother is stationed a bit north, but we’re hoping that we can arrange to meet up with my GM. However, we’re in New England often enough, I might poke you for that boarding information at some point :)

      I’m sure some folks are tired of seeing my riff on the same ol’ UI, but I keep coming back to it!

  2. That UI sure did catch my eye.

    Really simplistic. But in a practical way. The only issue i can see is it stacking too high and may block out a little of what’s just beneath your character (AoE in mind). Otherwise I like it :)

    Interesting post,

    – Jamin

  3. UI is such an interesting thing because it’s so personal. A lot of the ones I’ve seen around look so cluttered and difficult to use, this one you’ve shown looks very calming.

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