Tuesday, 17 November 2009

I pity the fool...

So another unique event in WoW begins. I am constantly impressed by the lengths Blizzard go to in adding fun to the game. I guess some may see it as fluff and some others a waste of development time. Not me. I love it.

This piece of fun is particularly appealing to me as it involves the great Mr. T. Ever since I saw him beat the snot out of Rocky many years ago I have been a huge fan of his work. So what if he was afraid to fly (as exposed in the A team) anyone with that much bling before we all knew what bling was deserved my attention. Currently he graces our screens here in the UK as the face of Snickers. The tag line of which is the laugh out loud 'GET SOME NUTS'. In my opinion he can be the face of WoW from now on (suck it Shatner!)

I have already grabbed a set of Mohawk Grenades from a dodgy looking night elf outside Northshire and as you can see from the picture below deployed them with wild abandon.

I hope this is the start of many more such mini events to celebrate 5 years of WoW and 15 years of Blizzard. For all the moaning killjoys who see this as the end of some glorious WoW yesteryear GET SOME NUTS!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Store Wars

On Wednesday afternoon (GMT) whilst tentatively rediscovering World of Warcraft I was surprised to read on WoW.com

Blizzard launches real money in-game pet store

Curiously I read further and with an uncharacteristic girly squeal of delight I had within minutes bought the Pandaren (kung fu) Monk. It seems,however, in my rush of desire to possess this excellent companion I had misunderstood the whole situation.

I was informed in an avalanche of tweets and comments that this was not the game I love offering me new avenues of joy but rather some evil plot by a corrupt money hungry company to exploit it's vast ignorant user base.

I paused for thought and the thought that quickly emerged was BOLLOCKS!

As with many recent 'controversies' regarding WoW a section of the community seem shocked when Blizzard acts like a business. How dare they try and make more money they cry don't they have enough! This just seems odd to me. Don't get me wrong I love getting free stuff however I am also smart enough to know this is not how things work.

The way I see it is if Blizzard wants to sell vanity items that do not effect the core game play then so be it. This caters to the players who perhaps do not always have the time to earn such items in game or those players cursed by RNGitis.

There is the argument that this is the top of a slippery slope. To be honest if Blizzard do ever sell game changing items for real money then that would be a whole different matter but the fact is that would be a bad business decision and the pet store was not.

Your comments and opinions as always are welcome meanwhile look at my kick arse panda below.

(A special thanks goes to @alachia for pointing out that a blog is not just for Christmas and also for giving her Pandaren to someone else and not keeping it for herself.)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Life and how to live it

Life they say is a funny old thing and I agree 100%.

I am writing this somewhat tardy post from the male surgical ward of a large mainland hospital. I have just had something green and white for dinner followed by something yellow for pudding. It all tasted pretty much the same. I am now waiting for something brown to drink which someone has laughingly named 'tea' evidently having never experienced the actual thing.

I, of course, should be home in Jeppy Manor multi boxing mages but it seems that the powers that be felt I was having way too good a time and decided to put a stop to that.

It is often said that you only miss what you have when it is gone. I found this particularly true of the ability to breathe.

The journey from a shortness of breath (something quite common with my heart condition) and me dropping to the floor like a tranquilised rhino was a relatively short one. Though for much nerd cred I did manage to bang out a couple of twitters and an email before the paramedics arrived. I am also told (my own recollection being somewhat fuzzy at this point) that whilst being manhandled into the back of the ambulance I gave wheezing instructions to my son regarding the care and feeding of my many alts.

I awoke 3 days later.

It seems that my lungs had got jealous of all the attention my heart has been getting lately and decided to play silly buggers. I was initially told both lungs had collapsed but it later turned out they had in fact flooded. I am sure many Latin words could more accurately describe the event but I have chosen to call it 'fucked up lungs'

The fact that I am now sat up writing this and not pushing up tulips is mainly a testament to the fine work of medical science and those dedicated to it. It is also partly due to me knowing this particular boss fight pretty well.

It is no exaggeration to say I have faced death on 4 occasions in as many years (if I make it to 5 there is talk of me winning a toaster oven). After each 'event' I take some time to reevaluate, count my blessings, and move on. What else should I do? Live my life in a bubble nervous at every change in temperature? or make the most of the life I have? No prizes for guessing which one I choose every time.

So where does this leave 62*80. Well it leaves it exactly where it has always been a goal I will continue to strive toward. Will I hit it by Christmas? Probably not but as they say life's a funny old thing.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Woah Horsey!

Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the forums Blizz chucks in a hand grenade...

I generally avoid patch notes, nerfs and buffs etc. Although in time all these things will effect my toons whilst levelling en mass they have little or no effect. This weeks announcement by Blizzard regarding mounts, however, had me using the expression normally reserved for road accidents or Oprah. I am sure the following is not news to anyone but it is worth a reprint.

Apprentice Riding (Skill 75)
  • 60% land mount speed
  • Requires level 20
  • Cost: 4 gold
  • Mount cost: 1 gold
  • Mail will be sent to players at level 20 guiding the60m to the riding trainer
Journeyman Riding (Skill 150)
  • 100% land mount speed650
  • Requires level 40
  • Cost: 50 gold
  • Mount cost: 10 gold
  • Mail will be sent to players at level 40 guiding them back to the riding trainer
Expert Riding (Skill 225)
  • 150% flying mount speed; 60% land mount speed
  • Requires level 60
  • Cost: 600 gold (faction discounts now apply)
  • Mount Cost: 50 gold
  • Can now be learned in Honor Hold (Alliance) or Thrallmar (Horde)
Artisan Riding (Skill 300)
  • 280% flying mount speed; 100% land mount speed
  • Requires level 70
  • Cost: 5,000 gold (faction discounts now apply)
  • Mount Cost: 100 gold
So why dear reader should I give a flaming gnome for the above changes well it slaps the crap out of my scheduling and approach.

As I mentioned in a previous post I have a few days left of RAF between my 4th and 5th accounts. I have therefore been busily getting as many Horde pairs on Jubei'thos up to 31.99 (so that future chains they recruit can ding them to 60.99) as possible. My plan was then to take a break from RAF and push the level 60 Alliance teams and all DK teams though Outland and onto 80. This doesn't now appear to be the best course of action.

The question is should I begin another RAF and fill in all the remaining 60 slots and then once complete fly my way around Outland at 150% speed? Or suck it up and push teams through as things stand currently. I would love to say my mind is fully made up one way or another. I know I would love to have some 80 teams sooner rather than later but damn I love to fly!

Still while RAF is running the old world ding fest continues.

The good news for me is that everything will get a whole lot cheaper come 3.2.

Current maths for riding skills and mounts is

2790G for 60% mount 43400G for 100% 55800G for first flyer and a staggering 322400G for epic flight and 62000G for cold weather flying. Ouch this makes an eye watering total of 486390 Gold! This of course takes no account of free mounts for Warlocks and Paladins or any current discounts but still - ouch!

3.2 changes this to the still gut wrenching total of 422530 (but with even more faction discounts) and since 150% flight speed will be more than enough for every team but my main farmers the price drops to 106330. Still a chunk of change but far less likely to wake me up screaming in panic.

Regardless of all this I am stoked for the day that I can muster a 10 man flying squad to guard the roads of Outland and Northrend from opposing faction gankers and to scare the bejeebus out of unsuspecting travellers.

Your thoughts as always are most welcome.

Status Update

OK so this is not exactly hot of the press but once again I blame all that damn leveling and only having a rolling restart last Tuesday!

I had the great pleasure of once again appearing on Ctrl Alt WoW episode 118 and this time not just with the sublime Aprillian and the hunk Ashayo but the highly entertaining Glanthur (follow them all on Twitter). As always I enjoyed myself a whole heap and even managed to squeeze in a status update. I urge you to not just listen to this episode but also plan a spot for it in your listening schedule.

Another podcast that continues to tickle me in places others can't reach is Bind on Equip. I have to say I sometimes have to pause to recover from choking fits caused by too much laughter. A recent episode (28) had their Rock the Horde team amongst the gankage Although not recommended for those unappreciative of pure Anglo Saxon it is podcast gold. If you aren't listening to this week in and week out then words fail me.

I give particular mention to the BoE podcast because it is too their Horde PvP realm that my focus has been recently directed. Jubei'Thos is an Oceanic realm and the BoE Horde guild is called, I think appropriately Pants on Head. They are slowly but surely building up a fun guild of mainly DKs and if you are looking for a place to hang this is it. To join up /join BoE and ask for an invite you won't regret it.

I have been busily adding to the numbers of toons on their server the past few weeks and dinging away like a mad man.

This brings me to another decision my project toons will be mainly grouped on Jubei'Thos (Horde PvP) and Boulderfist (Alliance PvP). It was brought to my attention some weeks ago that I would be committing WoW financial suicide if I spread my toons too thinly across six realms. I will however still have a presence on the other servers planned just not an even split.

As you can also see these main servers are PvP and although this may add to the leveling woes payback will be a bitch for those who make my KoS list. 5 shamans can be quite destructive!

As always it goes without saying if Rawrcast isn't part of your weekly dose of podcast goodness you may need psychological help and if a WoWcast pops up you better grab that sucker too.

Some recent feedback has asked for more in depth breakdowns of the toons I am leveling. What I plan to do is, as they hit 60, add them to www.wow.com and also www.3darmory.com. In all honesty the climb from 1-60 is not where the action is but 60-80 should be more enjoyable to follow (I hope). When I start to get things set up I will let you all know.

Finally I have a question for you all. Although this project doesn't give me heaps of time to blog I am really enjoying it. I was therefore wondering if you would be up for me blogging more general WoW things and not just project stuff?

For example I had the great pleasure to be on WoWCast episode 44 with Alachia and had the further pleasure of interviewing Starman from the venerable WarCast and this is the kind of stuff I would like to blog about (go take a listen).

Anyhow that's more than enough from me for now. Bye till next time.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

To Gank or not to Gank?

The past few weeks as I have feverishly tried to squeeze every level out of RAF I have been in the upper levels (40-60) on my Alliance PvP server Boulderfist. It seems however that somewhere along the line I installed the 'Gank Me Hard' mod. This addon appears to put a huge neon sign above my team which attracts (in this case) angry Horde from miles around!

Now I know I am on a PvP server and should expect to be fighting the opposite faction from time to time but this was turning into a gank buffet with my teams as the all you can kill. I swear at one point people were taking turns to slap the shit out of me. Well I guess all is fair in love and war.

What surprised me most, however, was not that it happened but the way it changed my attitude. I am pretty much a passive guy and had kind of set myself a line as to when I would attack the opposition and when I wouldn't. I did what I considered fair. This changed in the last few weeks! I have become what I just complained about above. When I see opposition I can kill I kill it pure and simple. Does this make me feel good. Well yes and no but to be honest more yes!

Will this be my last post complaining about being ganked - hell no! I can QQ like the best of 'em.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Never fear....

I is here. (name the movie for geek cred)

OK so where are we or more specifically where am I? In a nut shell 'leveling' would pretty much sum it up :)

As mentioned before I set up several 'test' accounts before commiting to the US realm move. This was mainly to test latency etc but even more importantly to hook up with some of the excellent people from the WoWCast channel on BINDpoint. As you can tell given 62*80 the tests went fine and the people on BINDpoint are still excellent,

I ended up with 5 linked accounts and as I added them slowly to the chain this means over the past few days and for a few days more RAF has been expiring at various link points. Now I'm the sort of bloke who hates to waste anything and when a deadline is thrown into the mix out comes the cape and outside underpants. My usual 8 hours a day playtime has jumped closer to 16 as I try to squeeze every level out of RAFs dieing embers.

Some of the multitude of 60s created will go on to join 62*80 but others will not it is a harsh world this world of warcraft.

When things settle down I will of course be back with more posts and who knows some of them may be worth reading.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

It's all about you (and you)

I have found over the past few weeks that reactions to this project vary greatly.

They range from seeming hatred of me and the whole thing to total support for all I do. Unsurprisingly I like the latter way more then the former but the former certainly gave me pause for thought.

On the surface this project could easily be seen as a desperate attempt to get my head above the parapet and be a unique little snowflake in the meta sky. In all honesty that is certainly part of it (you didn't expect me to deny that did you?). However it is definitely not the only reason and far from the main one.


I partly see this project as satisfying my desire for goals and structure to the game I would play for 8 plus hours a day regardless of the 62*80. It therefore goes without saying I love playing WoW (pretty lucky considering) but it is as much about the community surrounding WoW as it is the game itself which keeps me playing.


I honestly don't think WoW would be as popular if it hadn't encouraged and facilitated people getting together for the experience (Recent MMOs have failed to understand this and have made forming community harder not easier). This community is also quite unique in that it continues outside the game in various vibrant forms. These include the multitude of podcasts, blogs and forums.

Fishing for friends?

I therefore also see this project as a huge old net. I guess that requires some explanation!

Many of the people I have met through the game I have clicked with. Initially we share a common WoW language which makes conversation easier but even as I delve deeper I often find there are deeper roots of connection.

WoW is therefore very much the portal to like minded people for me.

What tends to happen is that the 'conversation' will then continue by other means. At the heart of this for me is the excellent BINDpoint and specifically the WoWCast channel. I pretty much consider this my virtual home (as proof of this recent downtime of the service had me roaming the meta streets like a lost soul). If this project can 'catch' more like minded people for me to interact with then it's working as intended.

So grab the lure. Of course if you say bad things about biscuits or tick the fucktard box you may get thrown back in the meta river!

No apology

I won't apologise for not updating recently cos as you can imagine I've been doing a wee bit of leveling :-)

As mentioned before the early stages of 62*80 are all about building foundations on the 6 chosen servers. In the main this means creating a whole ton of 60s and getting the whole gold making process moving. During this stage I am jumping about like a gnome on a hot plate.

In the past (on the EU realms) this was all very unstructured and resulted in toonmegeddon. This is one of the many reasons I am now playing on the US realms (that and the free cup cakes promised by @Alachia) Fortunately 62*80 has brought order and calm to the fun.

I have to say thanks to all those following the blog and the kind words of encouragement you guys have given me. Also I need your help (see you knew there was a catch). I would love to hear what you want to see on this blog as far as project updates. Naturally I am happy to blah blah blah but I am torn about how to show progress. So suggestions are very much appreciated.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Some Answers...

I just realised that some folks had been kind enough to leave comments on some of my posts. Thanks! Here are some answers....

I am medically retired and therefore do not work. Prior to that my life was spent at sea.

My medical condition restricts my movement considerably.

Although retired I am in my early 40s (meaning of life this year).

I am married with 3 children Boy @ 13 and 2 girls at @6 and @10

My family is the centre of my life and I see them way more than I ever did as a working man.

My sleep pattern is madder than a box of badgers.

My WoW PCs are 3 x Zoostorm Core 2 Quad Q9450.

My main monitors are 3 x Dell 2408WFP.

My e-peen is now well polished.

I am playing on the US servers as my unstructured approach to levelling on the EU has left a huge mess (131 level 60s) and I am scared to look!

My Twitter and FriendFeed accounts are ElJeppy. I love genuine followers!

While I level I am 'talking' in the WoWCast channel on BINDpoint (sign up now!)

I listen to Mozart, podcasts and The Modern Scholar (audio education ftw)

and finally... No I could not be Stephen Hawking if I played less WoW and focused on physics!

Fame at last?

Yesterday the folks over at WoW Insider (specifically Mike Schramm) did a write up about my little project.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Mike briefly when he appeared on RawrCast a few weeks back and it was there he heard about 62*80. Very much like in the article Mike obviously felt the whole thing to be somewhat pointless and a waste of time (one of the tags is 'Crazy'). I of course disagree as you would expect!

The article has so far received 90 plus comments and quite a few of them echo Mikes opinion. It seems that several commentators are very worried about how I use my time, how I spend my money and some about my mental state and mistreatment of my children! All very strange.

I am not going to go over again how my personal circumstances effect how I spend my time because quite frankly it's my time!

For the record I agree that simply sitting here day in and day out playing 8+ hours of WoW in order to end up with 62 poorly geared under funded toons would indeed be a waste of my time. Fortunately that is not why I am doing it. You see I have a confession...

  1. I love playing WoW
  2. I love levelling characters
  3. I love the community built up around the game
This project gives all that some structure.

Every realm I have picked for this project has people playing there I want to play with. These groups are mostly built around the podcasts I love listening to and have had the pleasure to interact with. I am a firm believer that WoW is as much a conduit to like minded people as it is a game. I guess one toon per realm could have been sufficient but that forgets points 1 and 2 above.

I am already gaining immense personal enjoyment from 62*80 and regardless of outcome the people I meet and interact with on the journey will have been worth every 'wasted' second.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Three little DKs all in a row...

OK where to begin...

Pretty much the first thing I did when moving to the US servers (Boulderfist) was create a 3 man Pally team and level them to 60. The main reason for pallys - A free horse and their almost cockroach like survivability.

As well as giving me my first set of 60s it also gave me territory wide access to the wonderful Death Knight class. This was a must for 62*80.

So in the beginning there shall be a multitude of Death Knights of all shapes and sizes (many called Jeppy) This not only has the advantage of a level 55 start but also a free epic horse and not a bad set of bags. This all adds up to GOLD!

As you can imagine 62 toons require a fair bit of financing at least early on. Since I would rather fry my left bollock in batter than buy gold I have to make it all myself.

The Death Knight teams therefore go through death and reincarnation (in othere words run through the starting zone) about 4 times on each realm which secures me roughly 400 gold. This is more than enough to get several teams started and the forward motion begun...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The Basics...

OK the blog posts are arriving thick and fast now as 62*80 motors forward....

In order to help achieve my goal I am going to be multiboxing and using 2 periods of recruit a friend (Come on! its 62 frigging toons I need a little help)

I am planning to do mainly 3 man from 1-60 and a mix of 3 and 5 from 60-80.

The Hardware.

I currently have 3 meaty PCs each tied to it's own 24" monitor. Off to the side out of sight I also have an admin PC for twitter, skype email etc.

In 3 man as you can see I run WoW full screen. For 5 man I spin left and right to portrait and run 2 instances of WoW on both.

All in all this setup is fine for my play style and also keeps my room very warm in the winter!

The Software.

I only use two external programs to help me multibox and these are Keyclone and Multiplicity

Keyclone allows me to send key presses to multiple instances of WoW. Multiplicity allows me to use one mouse across all monitors. To be honest I think with out them I couldn't do what I do and they are both wonderfully stable and well supported.

I also use a one stop shop addon for multiboxing called Jamba. This really is a must for anything above dual boxing in my opinion.

The Schedule.

As you may have heard during my time on the excellent Ctrl Alt WoW I have more free time than any grown man deserves. In fact pretty much 16 hours out of each day (ok stop crying). I plan to use at least 8 of these each day playing WoW with extended hours as when I feel like it (based upon my EU levelling this may be more often than not).

As you can see the tools are in place now on with the fun...

And the winners are...

So after much tweeting, stalking and some detective work (mainly asking 'so what realm are you on..') I Finally have all six US/Oceanic servers for 62*80.

PvP - Boulderfist
PvE - Runetotem
RP - Wymrest Accord

PvP - (embargoed)
PvE - Staghelm
RP - Earthen Ring

A few of these servers have already seen 62*80 activity most notably Boulderfist which was my first WoW US home and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Project 62*80 - The Plan.

  1. Create 62 level 80 WoW toons before December 25th 2009.
  2. Have 1 of each class/race combination for both Horde and Alliance.
  3. Spread toons across all style servers - PvP, RP and PvE.
  4. Accept help where offered but try and be as self sufficient as possible.
  5. Play where the fun people play (i.e. The WoW Podcast Community)
  6. Try and learn stuff. (Which faction really does have it easiest etc)
  7. HAVE FUN.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

OK here we go....

Well it's been a busy week or so since I did my first post on this blog. Well busy for me....

I set this blog up to record the doings of my current project.

Project 62*80

In a nutshell 62*80 is my goal to create 62 level 80s before 25th December 2009.

Why 62? Well that is the total number of race/class combinations currently in the game.

Race/Class (WoWwiki) sums it up nicely I think.

I guess the next question is just Why? Sadly there are no links to WoWWiki to explain this one!

Firstly I am an altaholic (stands and waits for polite claps) When I say that I don't mean I have a few alts I mean I have hundreds. If I was to equate it to being an alcoholic I am not the guy who has one too many every night but rather the naked guy chasing your car swinging a golf club and singing My Way (every night). I will try and explain...

The Madness Begins

Living in the UK I naturally started playing WoW on the EU servers. Straight away I knew this game was special. Well I say straight away but my first attempt to play on my son's account ended with me being killed by a level 3 kobold! So it was the second attempt that hooked me.

My first toon was a human warrior named Neowolf. For quite some time he was enough but then I saw other toons blasting stuff with fire and ice so up popped Neomage. Very rapidly I was exposed to the other classes and my obsession began. I entered the pokemon zone. I had to have them all!

The desire to see both factions and experience PvP as well spurred me on and then the fateful day arrived. I tried to create my 51st toon an Orc warrior called smackem and up pops 'You have reached your character limit for this account' For what seemed like an hour I stared at that message. Obsessive nausea flooding over me in waves. Then somewhere a little voice in my head said

'Fuck 'em create another account'

And I did.....

(To be continued)

Thursday, 30 April 2009

I Love YOU all.....

And by YOU I mean the fantastic people at Ctrl Alt WoW, Bind on Equip and last but not least Rawrcast.

Over the past few days I have had the thrill of speaking on these three excellent podcasts about Project 62*80.

Now let me say straight away I am a huge fan of podcasts. The whole concept of niche downloadable audio and/or video is a dream come true for me. When those podcasts discuss my obsession of WoW well then a nirvana is reached.

I try and listen to as many as I can and even though some may not push all my buttons they get a listen anyway.

I grade them thusly do I carry on playing when I listen or do I get a nice cup of tea and a packet of biscuits and really listen. The three mentioned above get the full tea and biscuits! (I also have another category which involves dimmed lights and a fine cognac but so far only Alachia's WoWCast has achieved that status)

Imagine therefore my delight at having the opportunity to skype to all three.

Ctrl Alt WoW

I kicked of with talking to Aprillian and Ashayo on CtrlAltWoW (episode 112) it was split host week so sadly the wonderful Glanthur had already done his bit.

It is fair to say that for the altaholic/multiboxers amongst us Ctrl Alt WoW is the podcast of choice. The hosts, especially Aprillian, talk the talk and walk the walk. Their enthusiasm for the game also shines through and makes a refreshing change from some podcasts that appear to find WoW a grind.

I had a great chat with them and even managed to make Aprillian shall we say weak at the knees with new info about RAF (recruit a friend). It's all about the cascade! I am sure both hosts thought I was several healers short of a raid but I loved every minute.

Bind on Equip

Next up was the laugh a minute guys over on Bind on Equip (episode 23) (Wemb, TheWych and the sublime Tempeste). In the pantheon of WoW podcasts this is a relative newcomer but a most welcome one. I should point out I love laid back but sharp Aussie humour and these guys have it in spades. It is no lie to say that I have spat many drink and almost soiled many a pant at their banter.

The chat with them was truly wonderful and I hoped I did justice to the format. Even though TheWych made me face the cold light of pure maths behind 62*80 I again loved every minute.


Now on to what has to be the hardest working wow podcast ever (episode 16.5/17). Hosted by Stompalina and Hafrot (husband and wife) this again is a relative newcomer. However you wouldn't know it. Stompalina is a veritable energiser bunny with a sharp eye for marketing and seizing opportunities. The banter between Stomp and Haf is not to be missed and the info is solid and plentiful.

My appearance was very much helped by me recently volunteering to be Rawrcasts chat room moderator (or more correctly chat room bitch).

I not only managed to speak during the show proper but also in a special euro edition.

I even got some cautionary feedback from Mike Schramm but that may have been lost in the retmonkey thunderstorm which attacked to end the live episode 17.

At the end of the day I can not thank the gals and guys at these podcasts enough.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


This is day one of the Ten Gnomes blog and I am real excited to get started.

Rather than rush in though I am going to spend some time getting all my gnomes in a row as it were and get motoring after that. So go grab yourself a nice cup of tea (and maybe a biscuit or two) and lets speak soon.