Rewind and Fast Forward

18 02 2011

It’s been a while since I updated, and I always feel awkward writing here after such a long hiatus.  It’s kind of like running into that friend in WalMart.  You know, the one you were cool with once but haven’t spoken to in a long time.  Not really awkward, but just kind of…weird.  I figure a good way to return to the blogosphere would be to recap everyone on what I’ve been up to in my absence, and the cool things that I have coming up in the near future.

REWIND

  • I’ve finished my first round of P90X, and I was more than impressed with the program.  Over the course of 90 days I lost 36lbs, went from about 23% body fat to 13%, and got into the best shape that I have ever been in.
  • Since I finished P90X, I’ve gained about 15lbs of the weight that I lost back.  I wouldn’t really say that I failed at maintaining my diet and condition.  It’s more like I didn’t even try to.  After I finished, there was Thanksgiving, my wedding, Christmas, New Years, and two birthdays in the family (all of which we ate huge dinners for).  So for the two months following P90X, all I did was pretty much eat junk and not work out.  But thats okay, I’ll be getting back on track again soon.
  • I’ve very casually leveled my Shaman, Peedrinker, up to level 72.  So far, I’ve really enjoyed getting back into WoW.  The portion of Cataclysm that I’ve experienced so far, which was the revamped zones in Azeroth, was a blast.  I had a lot of fun leveling through them with my friends.  I’m now a full blown Elemental Shaman, running a Resto offspec, and enjoying every bit of it.
  • I’m sad to say that Latency Lowlifes, the guild that I was raving about a while back, has since crumbled.  With the release of the Rift beta shortly after the Cataclysm release, mostly everyone else lost interest in WoW after getting into the familiar BC content.  But thats okay.  I still keep in touch with them on twitter, so I’m not groveling yet.  Once I hit 85 on my Shaman, I’ll be looking for another guild that I can be active and raid with, which I am looking forward to.
  • Look up.  I changed my header!

FAST FORWARD

  • Starting this coming Monday, I’ll be officially kicking off my 2nd round of P90X.  I’ve attempted to start round 2 already, but wasn’t able to get very far because of sicknesses and other unforeseen circumstances.  But I’ve spent the past week or so preparing myself mentally, stocking up on the food and supplements that I need, and getting myself excited to do this thing again.  This time around, I’ll be cutting as much weight as possible during the first month, and adding some bulk during the last two months.  I’ll be making a post in the next few days on how I plan to do this.
  • I also haven’t forgotten my promise to review OxyElite Pro, and will be posting that up in the next week or so as well.
  • During my journey to expand my Shaman skills, I’ve found some very resourceful blogs that helped me out a lot.  I’ve noticed, though, that there are multiple good blogs for Resto, and not very many for Elemental.  So I plan to start posting more about my Shaman, the useful things that I learn while I level and raid, and the experiences that I find humorous and intriguing as well. I’ll probably take more of an active blogging approach to WoW and the Shaman class in general that I have in the past, and the health and nutrition information will probably take a backseat to that.
  • I hope to change the theme of the blog soon, so if you see something that looks jacked up, thats most likely why.  But just in case, leave me a comment or email me and let me know so I can get to fixing it.
  • I’ve marked off a thing or two on my list of goals for 2011 already.  I’ll be marking off more as I go.

And thats about it.  I’m excited to get this blog rolling again.  I have some big changes planned for this year and I can’t wait to bring them to life.  Hopefully I’ll have a few folks around to enjoy them with as well.





Wow-Pro: A World of Warcraft addon review

16 12 2010

As is the case with every expansion release, everyone is leveling characters up. Maybe you’re like me and leveling a new character (probably Goblin or Worgen) from 1 to 85, or maybe you’re just getting your main up to 85 for endgame raiding. Either way, almost everyone is doing at least SOME questing at this point in the game, whether its dailies for reputation, for leveling purposes, or for other reasons. So I thought I would review an addon that I use which really helps with my questing and leveling. That addon is Wow-Pro.

Addon: Wow-Pro
Author: Jiyabi (Sarah Herzog)
Website: http://wow-pro.com
Category: Questing/Leveling

Wow-Pro will greatly suit anyone who is looking to better their questing experience in Azeroth .  Whether you are leveling an alt, going for the Loremaster achievement, looking to make some extra gold through questing, or leveling your main to 85, Wow-Pro will make your questing experience more efficient, more productive, and most importantly, more enjoyable.

There are numerous addons that are designed to make your questing experience more productive, more efficient, and more fun (questhelper, lightheaded, cartographer, etc).  And although these addons can be helpful, all of them that I have used have had their fair share of drawbacks.  Almost all of them are huge memory hogs, they feel very clunky to use in general, and are not very user friendly.  WoW-Pro is better than all of these addons in nearly every way.

WoW-Pro takes almost all of the quests in a single zone and lays them out for you so that you do as little backtracking as possible.  It is used in conjunction with TomTom, so that as soon as you complete a quest, a waypoint is added to your map at the location of the questgiver.  Once handing the quest in, a new waypoint is added at the location of the next quest objective.  It is almost like turning an entire zone worth of quests into one huge quest.

By utilizing Wow-Pro, you will level at a pace incredibly faster than with any other leveling addon, and with zero extra effort.  There is less time spent alt+tabbed and studying quest text, and more time spent actually getting XP and level gains.  It even tells you where to set your Hearthstone in order to minimize travel times.

There are almost no drawbacks to this addon.  If I had to come up with one, it would be that it limits travel a bit due to having to set your hearthstone to the inn corresponding with the guide.

Simply put, Wow-Pro is the cream of the crop when it comes to questing assistance.  I know, Blizzard has introduced their own questing guides, which can be helpful at times.  But in no way does it stack up to the features, benefits, and pure awesomeness that is Wow-Pro.  If you want to level faster, more efficiently, and have more fun doing it, then I highly suggest trying it out.  If you want more information on the addon and what it has to offer, then check out their website.  Theres a great informational video that you will find helpful.





My post cataclysm thoughts and impressions

9 12 2010

My Goblin's name is Peedrinker

As I stated in my last post, my plan for cataclysm is to level my Goblin Shaman from 1 to 85. I would like to do this uninterruptedly, meaning I’m really going to do my best to not even log onto any of my 4 level 80 characters until I reach 85. I really want to relive every aspect of leveling up to endgame, only in a new and interesting setting and with new friends.

So far, my impressions of cata are very good. Sure I’m only level 15, but I had fun completing the early Goblin quests in their new starting zone. I love how well they implemented the phasing into my little journey. It kept things interesting and made it rally hard for me to stop playing and go to bed at night.

I’m hoping that playing and leveling with my new guild of fellow bloggers will add the missing element of fun that I’ve been looking for since way back at the release of BC.  I can’t wait to start hitting the revamped 5 man dungeons with them.  What are you guys looking for in cata?  To enjoy the new content?  The guild ranking system?  Pwning noobs while they are innocently attacking a murloc?  Or are your goals and expectations similar to mine that I mention above?





Cataclysm will eat my soul

6 12 2010

Its no secret that the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft comes out tonight at midnight. I’ve even seen it mentioned on news websites, tv stations, and even saw a cloud in the shape of Deathwing yesterday. The WoW community as a whole has very high expectations for Cataclysm (I’ll just call it Cata from this point on), and for good reason. WoW has been a stagnant mmo for quite some time now. Many debate the reasons why, but there is no denying that the game is simply not as fun as it was in the glory days of vanilla. But I think that Blizzard has gotten a good grasp on what people are looking for in their game. They performed a lot of experiments in Wrath of the Lich King and I feel that they will really deliver on this expansion.

So what are my plans for Cata? Well, I want to fully experience the new guild ranking system, the new leveling content, and the new races. I’ve already joined a guild of great people (more on this later) and I’ve locked down a name for my new Goblin Shaman. My plans for Cata are to level my new shammy up at the pace of the rest of my guild. I want to fully experience and enjoy the new questing content in a way that I haven’t since my first character in vanilla. And I feel like that is completely possible, mostly because of the guild I’m in.

My guild, Latency Lowlifes, is a group of fellow mmo and gaming bloggers. Some of them I have known for quite a while, and a few of them I have hardly met. But the one thing that I do know about all of them is that they are great people. I can tell this from their blogs. They’re all fun, easy going, and best of all, not the elitist prick that everyone else playing WoW these days seems to be. I can’t wait to see all of the new and exciting things that Cata will bring to the table alongside these guys. I think it will not only add a higher level of fun and excitement to the game, but to my blogging as well.

So until Azeroth is shredded and gorged into tiny little bits, I should probably do the work that I’m getting paid to do right now.





Halo: Reach – My impressions

27 09 2010

Before I begin to unload my thoughts on Halo: Reach, I want to apologize for my lack of updates over the past week. I had to replace my phone due to a blown external speaker, so I was phoneless for a few days. Without my smartphone, I’m unable to access the internet at work, which is where I write most of my posts. So again, I’m sorry. Now on to the juicy stuff.

I recently picked up Holo: Reach from Gamestop for the low price of $65 (shoot me now). To be honest, I have never been a fan of the Halo series. I’ve owned every installment leading up to reach, but traded them in after cakewalking through the story mode for the achievements. But at the suggestion of a friend, who has an opinion on gaming that I respect, I bought Reach with an open mind. After playing it constantly for about a week, I am hooked.

In the previous Halo games, I couldn’t enjoy the multiplayer gameplay because of how slow the game felt. I always felt like I was moving around in knee-deep mud. It just made the experience seem awkward and unnatural to me, and as a result, I grew bored quickly. But Reach has rectified that with a sprint ability that does actually speed the pace of the game up considerably.

There is also a jetpack that can be utilized at certain points in.the story mode and in some multiplayer matches as well. It adds a fun factor that was somehow missing before, and it brings me back to great times playing Tribes online until the sun came up.

The graphics in this game are incredible. Easily some of the best graphics I’ve seen to.date, on any console. Bungie has done a great job of making an environment that is foreign and fictional seem very real and believable, and the smoothness of the movement and controls really make you feel like you are a part of the world itself.

The online play is very addictive. The different maps and game modes are fun, and the competition is fierce. I have yet to experience any law or packet loss, and the experience is honestly the best I’ve seen when it comes to a polished multiplayer experience. The ranking system rewards those who prefer to play online, and the daily/weekly tasks add another aspect of enjoyment to the matchmaking system.

I.definitely give this game my solid recommendation. Both the story and matchmaking modes are exceptional and engaging, and you will have a hard time putting the controller down for work or sleep. So buy a box or three of cheezits, call in to work sick, and get ready for a solid gaming experience with Halo: Reach.