Friday, January 16, 2009

The Lag Beast

Such a mysterious creature, this lag beast is. A creature with no actual corporeal form, yet can produce area effects that transcend epic proportions... The Lag Beast is actually so mysterious, that it is often hard to determine if it is truely present...
Detection methods usually go something like this:

Insta-damage spamming Ret-Pally: "Are you guys getting some lag?"
Leetz resto druid healer: "OMG I can't remove that curse before another one is applied!"
Feralie cute druid tank: "Hmm my swipes just aren't connecting very fast.. watch your agro okay?"
Loud Caps-lock using Enh-Shaman: "WTF! LAG SPIKE! I HATE THIS LAG!"

At this point we can usually confirm that the Lag beast is indeed present and that is has initiated it's surprise attack by now. All of the party members then begin to brace themselves... The tank may pop some emergency buttons, a few Tauren might try to warstomp to slow some of the beastly damage.. Clothies might begin to flee and cower in corners....
Many of us also brace for the unfortunate "You have been disconnected" message and get kicked out to the character loading screen to spam the connect button and grumble as the "server is unavailable" message for the next X number of minutes... Eeek

What can we do to fight back?
Well one thing certainly does help.. The use of a voice communication program to communicate within the party can rule out if the lag is due to Blizzard server issues, or if it is a possible internet hub that is lagging. Also the detection of this mysterious beast is confirmed much more rapidly when verbally communicating rather than typing in party chat. The Lag beast hates us and wants to make our lives miserable. Taking away our ability to work together is his favorite evil deed! I mean, don't you get more frustrated if you experience an issue but then can't even tell anyone about it? If your power fails due to a lightening storm, but you can't call the raid leader to let them know you won't be back for an unknown amount of time.. and you pace in your pitch-black home fretting, knowing they will let that ..other guy.. have your raid spot because you can't tell anyone anything?
lol Okay well maybe that hasn't happened to you but..

Everyone has been a victim of the Lag Beast at some point in time.
Probably the worse lag beast attack I have had was when tanking the adds that come into the Muru chamber in Sunwell. Of course missing even one of the 3 adds means that likely someone is going to die.. and usually it's that resto shaman that was keeping you up by throwing insanely awesome heals on you creating healing agro through the roof...

Lag Beast --> 12849375
Random guild of High Occupancy server ---> 0

There some trends though.. that one can be aware of and be prepared for. For example... Naxx resets on Tuesdays.. so what is almost every guild doing on Tuesday? Running their Naxx runs most likely. So our guild has bumped our Naxx run to Wednesdays. We have been able to complete a full Naxx 25, plus 25-man Malygos, and throw in a 25-man Wintergrasp at the same time. ... leaving us with just Sartharion + 3 drakes for our Sunday raid day.

The Lab Beast has tried to thwart our raid progress!! But it has failed... Perhaps I'd like to blame it for our guild not achieving the Immortal achievement yet, but I think it's player attention span that we have to blame...

Possible precautionary measures:

  • Evaluate UI and remove all that isn't necessary
  • Examine game video settings and use minimal detail settings
  • Upgrade your internet service to higher speed
  • Buy a new top of the line computer system!!!

I guess I'm limited to the first two options. I have only been able to do some minor upgrades like like .. extra memory added, newer video card, newer monitor, upgrade version of windows...

But nothing will stop the Blizzard generated Lag Beast..

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January: New Outlook for the Future

I never used to feel like I had to try to make a New Year's Resolution in previous years, but this year seems different. Maybe I'm just getting older and time seems to be speeding up for me.. so each year is a bit more precious.. Time is a gift. I'd like to make the most of it.
So I ponder... What can I do that I might actually stick with so that it's not another wasted good intention? I'm not going to blow 250 bucks on a gym membership... Instead I acquired a barbell that I ignore in my bedroom instead of ignore the gym as I drive past.. It's free.
But I already have been through that phase....
This year it's more about my children.
This year I hope to spend more time with them making their childhood really count.
I hope to convert their bad soda drinking habit to drinking healthy beverages like water with lemon squeezed into it (helps speed up metabolism), and fruit juices like cranberry juice and limeade.. oh and lots of tea with honey. *warm fuzzy*

We also happen to own a Wii.
This is a novel game console in the sole fact that it (mostly) forces one to get off of their couch potatoe hind quarters and get some increase in heart rate in for the day! Wooo!!! (and actually have fun challenging yourself and others in the process)...
I got addicted to Elobits for a few days... but that's not one of the really high body movement types of games. Just a point and click thing... obsessively.. so if you have carpal tonal, avoid this game..

So now here it is a week into January, and we've had a case of water and all of our lemons are gone already... (several of them were used to make some great cranberry new year's day punch.. mmm)... and I don't feel like I can do enough to get ready for this up coming year....

I know that things will be easier for me in my virtual world... WOW - the druid tanking.. because a good friend of mine is going to play a feral druid and we will be taking turns raiding rather than both of us being required to have almost 100 percent raid attendance. He was our top DPS shaman, and I was the only feral druid. Now we have new recruits, and many of the classes are rather interchangeable depending on what spec they are at the time. Death knights have some pretty amazing abilities, and with paladins on the horde roster, our raids are much stronger than they ever were before both of these classes were available.. So stress levels are decreased in the area of raid responsibilities for both of us. (Thanks Olati for embracing my idea to share the feralie goodness wealth!).

I wonder what else I can do... to make more of my life... and I don't really know. I have many good intentions that I never quite managed to manifest into reality... They end up being lost into that special future good intentions vault in my mind.. saved for the right time and place, but the motivation to make them happen just isn't arriving...
I again have to ask myself how much do I want something in order to get my little legs into action. I wonder if I could get angry about it to generate some kind of extra energy, but I'm not the angry type. I wonder if I think really hard about how it will affect others, is that going to help spark me into action? Maybe some of these things just aren't rewarding enough for me to pursue. I have numerous artistic ideas that I haven't ever taken the time to create.. but who would benefit from it in the end? The wall will have another portion that is no longer bare? Who else but me will benefit from my artwork? People gaze upon it and smile for a moment.. why can't art be more lingering? *shrug*
I guess it's not the result of the product but the enjoyment of the creation itself? I guess the thought of the mess to clean up inhibits my initiation of products...
But luckily there are outlets of artistic abilities that don't cause all of the materialistic mess...
I guess that's why I still log into Spore and check out my Spore friends creations and make the occasional interesting critter or space ship or building myself... it's the perfect art outlet for someone who already has enough on their daily plate to not want to clean up after play time..

Best wishes to all who are working on their New Year's ideas...
Good health to all out there. .. When in doubt... remember to be.. mostly harmless, and stay happy-go-lucky.