Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Brave New World... or something like it

My brand new pretty shiny computer arrived on Friday, December 17th.  Coincidentally, my 9 year old niece was staying with us that weekend so I didn't get a chance to even unpack it Friday when I got home from work.  (But I did admire the box with a big, goofy smile on my face.)  Saturday, the hubby and I pulled it out of the box and started the process of loading Windows and transferring programs.  Sunday, I was able to play for a couple hours and marveled at how amazing and wondrous the world looks on ultra settings and solid 60fps.  It didn't take long to finish up Mt. Hyjal and if I hadn't been so psyched at the beauty and ease of it I probably would've cried at the amount of time and frustration I'd spent previously.

Being so close to the holidays I didn't get much of a chance to even log for the rest of the week.  (Both my brothers and their girlfriends were "home" for Christmas and every spare moment was spent getting together to just hang out and enjoy visiting face-to-face.)  As much fun as I had hanging out with my siblings, I was dying to really test my new shiny so I decided to take Boxing Day (the day after Xmas) and give it a good marathon run.

After some vacillating on what to do first, I settled on rolling a Worgen.  I was thoroughly enjoying myself and role playing my way through the starting phases, taking time to walk around and explore and try to interact with other players who were far more interested in rushing through the whole experience.  (Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with an RP server.)  Still, I was having a grand old time, gratified that my frustration and waiting had finally paid off.

Two to three hours in, disaster struck.  My pretty shiny new machine froze for no apparent reason.  Thinking it a WoW glitch, I dutifully restarted only to have the computer freeze again.  And again.  And again. I finally gave up and just left it off until the hubby could take a look at it and figure out how I'd managed to break something brand new. (I tend to have that effect on technology.  Especially computers.  It's why he gets annoyed when I borrow his.) 

After a week's worth of cursing and crying, having the hubby and my brother (who's an IT guru) toy with it, we finally isolated the issue to a bad graphics card.  The hubby talked to CyberPower (I was too upset to talk to them myself) and on Jan 3rd they shipped me a new graphics card.  It arrived this past Thursday and the hubby had my pretty shiny back in working order by the time I got home from the office that evening.  Since then, all seems to be going well (on the technical front) once more and I spent Sunday giving it a proper test run of 10-12 hours.

I took Caela (the main) into Deepholm, which I like far less than Mt. Hyjal.  It isn't aesthetically pleasing to my eye -- well, except for the pretty gem pillars and floaty bits that break up all the monotone earthiness -- and the quests aren't anything to write home about.  At least so far.  (At least Hyjal was pretty, and some of the quests made me laugh even as they made me curse while I chased frightened bunnies and chucked squirming bear cubs.)  I managed to hit 83 and get Cae's first aid up to Embersilk.  Not that I ever use first aid, being a Pally and all, but you never know when it might come in handy.  I still haven't rolled a Cata random.  It's been so long since I've tanked an instance... I'm out of practice and... I think I've got cold feet.  >.>

I took Kamyla (the Rogue) out to Netherstorm for some questing and ran her through at least half a dozen randoms.  Her spot on the dps chart seems to vary quite a bit from group to group.  In a group of melee dpsers, she's typically racing the tank for the top spot.  (Which is where a combat rogue belongs IMO.)  In a group of mainly casters, she's dead last.  It's highly depressing and I'm glad I did so many runs or I'd be seriously doubting myself and her specs.  (Of course, remembering to reapply poisons when they fall off helps immensely too.)  As it is, I'm simply torn between continuing to quest and grind rep in Outland while it's still level appropriate content or to abandon Draenor for Northrend and push for the level cap.  I'm leaning towards the former, but the latter also has it's appeal.  I blew through Outland on Caela, and I have to admit I'm rather enjoying doing quests that are new on not just one, but two of my toons. 

As far as I'm concerned, the Sunday test run was a resounding success.  The only fps dip I noticed was in Mana Tombs where it dropped down to the 30s several times.  But my settings are on ultra, I'm still running Windows XP and there were a lot of casters in that group.

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