Emissary of War and The Very Best

Another two weeks have passed in Azeroth, which means another two weekly special event quests com­pleted.

Last week’s event was Emissary of War, which involved completing four mythic dungeons. The last time this event came around, it was very difficult to find a group with which to run the dungeon because my guild is inactive and I had a pretty low item level. If you’re not familiar with the recruitment interface, it shows the party leader a list of applicants sorted by their item level, so because mine was around 700, nobody wanted me.

This time, because I upgraded my gear quite a bit since then, it was easy for me to find groups. I also wanted to continue upgrading gear with mythic dungeon drops, so I ended up doing more than I needed. Out of the ones I completed, three of them were for the first time – Grimrail Depot, Upper Blackrock Spire, and the Everbloom.

Mythic: Grimrail Depot

Mythic: Upper Blackrock Spire

Mythic: The Everbloom

The last time I had to do four mythic dungeons, it was pretty difficult because not everyone in the group knew what they were doing. If I remember correctly, I think there might’ve actually even been one instance where everyone else gave up and quit, and I had no other choice but to leave because nobody ever joins a group through the custom group finder with only one DPS player sitting inside it.

This time, it seemed marginally easier, possibly because everyone’s item levels are slowly going up due to the fact that they’ve had a longer time to play, and any errors they might make during the boss fights become less punishing.

This week’s event was pet battling. I have a full team of tanky, area-of-effect pets that do decently well against any composition, so I ended up defeating five opponents and finishing the quest pretty easily. I only suffered two losses – the first because the opponent both had a better composition than me and outplayed me, and the second because I was the unluckiest person alive and missed three attacks in a row with a 90% hit chance.

Merciless Pet Brawler

While I was in the spirit of pet battling, I also got my Overstuffed achievement, which you earn by leveling an Elekk Plushie to 25.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor - Overstuffed

The tricky part about this is that the Elekk Plushie can’t actually battle. All of its moves do nothing, so you can’t train it without swapping out to another pet and having them win instead.

Fortunately, I’m decently wealthy (not in the sense that I have piles of gold, but in the sense that I already have everything that I want and need, so I can spend gold at my leisure on whatever comes up). I went on the auction house and found a level 24 rare Elekk Plushie, most likely designed that way specifically to sell to someone who wanted the Overstuffed achievement. I bought it for a few thousand gold, and finished the last level with a stone.

I was planning on naming my Elekk Plushie “Mammoth” and using it as my companion pet, but apparently, it doesn’t actually move either. When you put it down, it stays in the same spot, and when you walk too far away, it just despawns.



Heroes of the Storm Psychology: Diffusion of Responsibility

I finally made another video for Tempo Storm, this time about the diffusion of responsibility.

If you’re not familiar with the Storm Psychology videos, it’s a series originally written in article form by Corey Tincher for Tempo Storm, where he picks out a psychological concept, connects it to Heroes of the Storm, then explains how you can either take advantage of or avoid falling victim to the topic.

Diffusion of responsibility is a phenomenon where people are less likely to take action when in a group.

(This video also features a guest appearance by my sleepy dog at the end.)

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=1MihYpMhNww&list=PLRz2JWFFHXPe0dE7zosqHLbxgrppwgeeg



It’s snowing sideways

Literally two days ago, I posted that it was finally warm enough to go outside and not feel chilly.

Today, it snowed sideways.

In what seemed like the strangest weather I’ve ever seen, possibly as a one-day-late April Fools’ joke by nature, it proceeded to snow sideways (not literally, of course … it was snowing normally, but the wind was so strong that it looked like it was falling sideways and upwards), then cleared up and became really sunny about an hour later.

After another hour, it poured rain, and about another hour or so later, it cleared up and went back to being sunny.

Then, with absolutely no clouds in the sky, it hailed.

And now we have a clear night sky.




Why I made an important announcement for Tempo Storm on April 1

The Internet has an excess of information.

There’s so much content you can consume online that you could spend an hour browsing, and decades’ worth of new content will already be available during that time.

This much information being dumped on the Internet inevitably means that some of it is going to be mis­leading. It can either be a blatant lie, or be suspiciously close to being real, but not entirely true.

Because of this, everyone should try their best to think critically about everything they read – not only be­cause the extra thinking will make you smarter, but also because it will help you identify stories that are false, and not fall victim to the wrong information. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this…

… except for on one day of the year. April Fools’ day.

On April 1, most people on the Internet read things so cautiously, carefully, and critically that most jokes, and even false things that weren’t intended as jokes, are caught. This type of attention to detail is what people need in their everyday lives, but unfortunately, it’s only done on a day dedicated to pranking others.

Of course, I’m not implying that everyone should be checking sources on everything, and doing extra re­search to ensure that everything is true. Instead, I’m suggesting that people should stop reading something with a bold statement (like a lot of the stuff on those clickbait websites), and instantly believe it 100% with­out a single doubt.

In this vein, I decided to post an important news announcement on behalf of Tempo Storm, today, April 1, April Fools’ day.

A lot of people were wondering why we would post a serious announcement on April Fools’ day, and ques­tioned the sanity of the administration for doing such a thing. I’m here to clear this up and let everyone know that I single-handedly made the decision to do so, without being prompted by anyone else. Although I work together closely with many other people, I’m usually the one that comes up with the particularly bold and audacious plans, such as this.

So, if you missed it, here’s the announcement – one of the original players on our professional Heroes of the Storm team, back from our very first competitive roster, is deciding to step down from the starting lineup.

Source: https://tempostorm.com/articles/tempo-storm-so1dier-steps-down-from-the-competitive-roster

This is my passive and implicit way of telling people that the level at which they thought about this news post – wondering if it was legitimate or not – is the kind of critical thinking everyone should apply to their everyday lives. Because of technology, we are inevitably becoming more automated and less alert in our lives.

Don’t let your mind decay.

And yes, So1dier really did step down from the roster.



The Outdoors

Today was more-or-less the first day of the year where it was warm enough to go outside and not feel a bit chilled.

Our family business wasn’t very busy today (probably because most people were out enjoying the weather), and the martial arts academy next door didn’t have any students attend the first class of the day, so we went to a nearby field and played with a frisbee.

Playing frisbee in a field

I was obviously taking a picture, because I rarely head to this place called the Outdoors, as I am usually an indoors building dweller.

I guess Chris didn’t realize I was taking a photo, and just threw the frisbee at me anyway.



The Daily Post: “Conceal”


Source: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/conceal/

Something that I always found funny is people’s dedication to going back and concealing stuff they’ve al­ready put on the Internet.

On multiple occasions, I’ve seen people I know apply for a job, and hide or delete as much content on their social medias as possible so their prospective employer can’t figure out information from their past. This prac­tice has become so common that I expect people with hidden social media histories to automatically have a disadvantage, simply because their employer would probably assume they went back and hid every­thing, because they had something to hide.

I’ve actually personally chosen not to hire people almost solely based off their lack of social media history. Not only is it a bit suspicious, but in the Internet and entertainment industry, a solid social media presence (or at least a solid understanding of social media) is pretty important.

I personally have never really had a problem with concealing stuff I’ve put on the Internet. Apart from going back and deleting accounts off gaming fansites that I made when I was 10 years old and acted like an imbecile, I’ve never really regretted anything I’ve posted, simply because I’m such a cautious and calculated person.

It might just be that I started taking the Internet very seriously starting from a very young age, and I became familiar with reputation management when I was first starting to produce content. Every time I post something online, I think about how people will react to it, and how I will react to it in a few years, and this process seemed to help me quite a bit.

The problem for me actually goes the other way around – I’m not trying to hide anything that I posted in the past, but rather, stuff that other people might post about me that is false or misleading. Although I haven’t really had this problem go out of control, there have still been multiple attempts in the past for people to make things up about me, or impersonate me and pretend like they’re me making a statement.

Having an official website as a central hub to all my content has helped mitigate any damage that might’ve possibly caused. I tag in the URL to my website pretty much everywhere I post, and it’s very clear that my own website is important enough to me that I would post anything important or official directly on here. This has also become clear to most of the people who know me, so if there’s anything with questionable validity, they usually come here to check for the facts.

Overall, reputation management can be a difficult thing, especially if you haven’t really been thinking about it, something bad already happened, and you’re trying to backtrack and fix things. However, if you always keep it in the back of your mind and change your approach to posting on the Internet, it really isn’t that difficult, and with time, it comes naturally.



I finally got my legendary ring, Nithramus, the All-Seer

After a few months of grinding, I finally finished the legendary quest storyline and unlocked Nithramus, the All-Seer.

It started with farming my final two Tomes of Chaos immediately after the instance resets happened for this week. I went back to my Shipyard and turned in the quest, and was sent over to the Coliseum, where I received a blessing from the Naaru.

Chapter IV: Darkness Incarnate

After receiving my ring, I was sent back to Hellfire Citadel, where I had to defeat Archimonde in the Black Gate.

Darkness Incarnate

Upon turning in the final quest and bringing the entire legendary storyline to a close, I was allowed to up­grade my ring with Crystallized Fel and Valor Points.

Unfortunately, I was so excited about finishing the quest that I killed Archimonde in LFR difficulty, which is not eligible for Crystallized Fel drops. But, I had 5,000 Valor Points stocked up, so I went over to Tanaan Jungle and bought four upgrades to my ring, bringing it up to item level 747.

Nithramus, the All-Seer

The highest item level the ring can reach is 795, and I’m pretty excited to eventually make my ring that powerful. I was sort of getting bored of World of Warcraft again already because of how a lot of the content didn’t really have much purpose (seeing as I was already maxed out at 5,000 Valor). But now, I can pretty much do anything I want again, seeing as most activities yield Valor Points and there’s another reward-based reason to play.



The Daily Post: “Edge”

Source: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/edge/

When I see the word “edge,” I think of “edgy,” which means to be uneasy or nervous about something.

Then, I think about how words change over the years, and how edgy is now used in pop culture to mean some­thing that is trendy or cool. I’ve seen it used more negatively than positively, where young children are edgy when they think they’re cool, but they’re actually not, and they’re just falling victim to marketing strat­e­gies that make them think they’re being cool.

Seeing as I’m pretty involved in the gaming culture, I most often hear this word being said by Twitch chat in the few moments I have to read it before I navigate through my settings to turn it off. I also hear other words, like “salty,” being used in ways the word was not intended.

Being salty, even in the informal sense, means to be tough and aggressive. Salty does not mean to be upset or resentful. There is another proper word for that, and that word is “sour.”

I absolutely hate that, for whatever reason, Twitch chat decided to change the meaning of a word to mean something it does not. It continues to boggle my mind that so little people know the true meaning of English words that everyone is willing to hop onto the bandwagon and say people are salty when they’re actually being sour.

Sure, I’m in support for the evolution of language. Words can change meaning over time, based off shifts in culture. But, when one word changes in meaning to mean something else – a “something else” that was already perfectly described by a different word – then we start having problems. That is no longer evolution of language, that is being stupid and not calling out other people who are being stupid.

Another thing that Twitch chat seems to have birthed is placing the United States dollar sign on the wrong side of the numeral. Monetary values are written $1.00, not 1.00$. Infants learn this in elementary school. It confuses me out of my mind that adults are getting this mixed up.

I’ve heard absurd arguments where the dollar sign was put at the end of the numeral because it prevents people from adding extra numbers to the end of your value to increase it. Take a few seconds to think about how stupid and invalid of an excuse that is.

If you write a check for 1.00$, I can change that to 11.00$, or if I’m infuriated at your stupidity and want to make you go bankrupt, 9,999,991.00$.

If you write a check for $1, then sure, I can add a bunch of zeroes at the end of the 1 and make myself a billionaire. That’s why you use both halves of your brain and write the check for $1.00, so any additional numbers I add at the end are fractions of a cent, and you don’t have to foreclose your house to pay me.

Yet, I’ve seen people continue to put the US dollar sign after the number. That is incorrect. Stop.

I continue to see people using the word “salty” to mean “sour.”

That is incorrect.


And, because I know this is coming … no, I’m not being salty right now. I’m being sour.



u r da bomb!

I found this screenshot from exactly two months ago, of a game of League of Legends Simon, Ed, and I were playing:

(Click to enlarge)

Yes, that is Simon randomly saying “my support … u r da bomb!”

Simon’s outburst of randomness was so confusing to Ed that he proceeded to forget to lock in his pick, and we got kicked out of champion select back into our lobby.

For his age, Simon is probably the most unexpectedly joyful and youthful person I know.



Path of Exile’s Currency Stash Tabs are the best thing ever

Path of Exile is a great game. It doesn’t really seem like a game that would pull me in, because the setting feels a little old (and I tend not to like games where I feel like I’m traveling back in time). But, for some rea­son, after giving Path of Exile another try a few years ago, it pulled me in.

I’m not sure if it’s the somewhat intriguing storyline, the straightforward gameplay, or the relatively higher level of “casual” difficulty that caught my attention, but since actually starting to really play it, I’ve always gone back to continue playing it after every large gameplay update.

Although this isn’t exactly a “large gameplay update,” Grinding Gear Games released a new update that was big enough for me to want to come back to the game and play even more, even though I had already recently played quite a bit as a result of the Ascendancy expansion and the release of Labyrinths.

Path of Exile now has a new microtransaction for Currency Stash Tabs.

One of the more annoying things about the game, in my opinion, is how there is no universal currency, and instead, you have currency-like items that only stack to 40 in your inventory and stash. I very much enjoy hoarding, but it’s difficult to do that if you can only have 40 of one item for each slot (and eventually, you’re going to run out of space pretty quickly).

However, I never really got into trading and merchanting, and I very rarely buy items from NPC stores, so it wasn’t really that big of a deal for me. I accepted that it was a bartering economy, and I just played as if nothing was different than games with other types of economies.

With the release of Currency Stash Tabs, Grinding Gear Games provided the players with a very convenient way to improve their quality of life when playing the game, and made a very compelling feature from which they should probably be making a ton of money to fund their development.

This is so compelling that even I proceeded to get an Aspirant Supporter pack from their shop, then use the 450 points that come with the package to get myself a Currency Stash Tab. While I was at it, I also used some more of my points to upgrade my current stash tabs to premium stash tabs.

Path of Exile - Currency Stash Tab

(Click to enlarge)

A long time ago, I used to be very stingy when it came to gaming, and I would only play games that had no cost to me, apart from my time (and with that being said, micro­transactions were completely out of the picture). After getting more involved in the gaming and online entertainment industry, I’m more inclined to support developers who make games and products that are really good … and this was an example of a really good product.

As you can see, I’ve gone ahead and organized my stash by moving all my currency into the new respective tab, then sorting the rest of my newly-named and color-coded tabs.

My personality type really likes seeing things neat and organized, and even the process of turning something from a mess into an organized masterpiece makes me excited. To me, sorting all my in-game belongings was probably more fun than actually playing the game.