Sunday, July 13, 2008

Random Musings

As the very first post on this blog, I was having trouble figuring out what to write about. I'd like to make this a place to discuss my various hobbies, which consist primarily of World of Warcraft and japanese anime, but those are pretty broad topics when it comes down to it, and there isn't really a good place to start in any one of them. In the end, I thought I'd make this first one a bit like a section in one of my favorite video game podcasts, 1UP Yours, called "Whatcha' been playing?" or in this case, "What have I been doing lately?"

The WoW front has been relatively single focused of late, with the leveling of my shaman alt Konata from the low 20s all the way up to ding'ing 65 tonight in the space of about two weeks. The 2.3 patch that increased the speed of leveling from 20-60 turned out to really be no joke, as my time played at 60 was a mere 5 days and change, and I was messing around and AFK'ing quite a bit. Combined with the Summer Fire Festival ingame event buffs, leveling went far faster than I would have ever imagined, which has in turn motivated me to finish the grind to 70 on this third character. I'm looking forward quite a bit to gearing her out for what raiding I have available to me when I hit 70, since my other alt, a protection paladin named Loor, is pretty much topped out in tier 4 and badge gear, with no real room for further progression at the moment.

My main character, Cyria the rogue, has basically stalled despite being in a position to get new gear from higher level raiding. This is due to several factors. First, badge income has been shaky the last few weeks from shody Karazhan groups wiping or ending early to people leaving. When you're looking at upwards of 400 badges to obtain all the upgrades available from the vendor, 5-10 per week from unfinished Karazhan runs just isn't going to cut it. While I have no issues doing the occasional heroic instance with the guild, I really just don't have the willpower these days to PuG them for the steady stream I'd need to really get gear. As such, that avenue of gear acquisition has stalled for the moment.

The other obvious place to acquire upgrades would be high level raiding, which is the whole purpose of having the gear. If you had asked me 3 or 4 months ago where I thought I'd be at today, I'd probably have dreamed of a set of tier 6 armor and a chance at Illidan's legendary warglaives. With the geared and prepared group we had back then, I truly believe that might have been possible. That group fell apart piece by piece however, mostly due to real life commitments, and since then we've been rebuilding the group to try and start progressing again. After several weeks of fruitless wiping to Naj'entus in Black Temple, we finally decided to take a step back and return to tier 5 to gear up and get the new members into the flow of raiding better. Rather than relying on old content in Serpentshine Cavern that half the group farmed for months, we decided to take a gamble on seeing some new content and went with Tempest Keep to try and boost interest in attending again. Our first raid this past Friday was by all accounts a success, even though we didn't kill Al'ar by the end. If the majority of the group that was there can make it this week, I'm sure we can change our 2% wipe into a kill easily, at which point we can move on to Loot Reaver again (which we have killed before).

I won't go into much detail after everything about WoW above, but I'm currently watching the following anime series weekly as they air in Japan. Some I watch in raw form, some with fan translated subtitles. It depends quite a bit on how complicated the terminology in the show is whether or not I need help understanding what's going on. A rough translation of the titles are in brackets if it isn't in english already.

Code Geass: Lelouche of the Rebellion R2
Hidamari Sketch x365
Nijuu Mensou no Musume [The Daughter of 20 Faces]
Shugo Chara! [Guardian Character!]
Slayers Revolution
Zero no Tsukaima -Princesses no Rondo- [Zero's Familar -Rondo of Princesses-]

It's a possibility I'll end up watching more as the season goes on, as sometimes a sleeper hit gets recommended on a forum and I'll marathon up to the current episode, but to be honest this season doesn't have a whole lot just starting that interests me. I was hoping with all my might that the new season of Suzumiya Haruhi (of which I'll likely discuss at another time) or the animation of the CLANNAD After Story would appear, but both seem to be delayed for at least another season with no solid word of a start date yet. This is particularly troubling in the case of Haruhi, as since the end of last year and a few Newtype Japan images, not much has been said regarding the next season of the anime, and the 10th short novel has yet to emerge after over a year of waiting on a cliffhanger in volume 9. Hopefully the delay is nothing more than a marketing ploy to have a Haruhi explosion of the anime, novel, and inevitable associated character goods coming out all at once in Japan.

There are some other things that I've been doing as well, but they may have to wait for next time, as this has gotten pretty long for an opening post. Perhaps something on the manga I read, or maybe a rant on a class I play in WoW. I own a lot of DVDs as well, so maybe something from that angle too. Time will tell.