January 19, 2010

I thought I had won… I thought I was in the clear!

All signs were pointing to Xperl as the source of my rampant random disconnecting from WoW, so I merrily deleted it from my addons folder and downloaded the highly-recommended Pitbull. I went with Pitbull 4 (currently in beta) as it was touted as much easier to configure than the behemoth that was Pitbull 3. (As the developers put it: “Options will be much, much simpler. In 3.0, there’s about 200 panels that you can mess with, it’s overwhelming. I want to bring this down to somewhere around 10.”)

After an hour or so of tinkering with settings on my various toons and getting it all prettified the way I like it (screenies later!) I optimistically joined a guild raid to knock out the weekly quest and had no issues. Feeling sprightly and confident, I ran a few heroics on Avvy and then switched to my druid to attempt healing one.

This has been the bane of my DC problem, and the reason I am mostly terrified to heal instances on Nadeau lately – without fail I will DC at the most inopportune times, say, when the group is taking crazy damage, or in the middle of a boss fight. I have only run heroics with guildies on poor little Nade – I am far too terrified of not only ending up in a crappy pug, but then disconnecting and getting booted from the group. At least with guildies there is some measure of forgiveness inherent.

So I joined my guildies in the random heroic queue, cautiously optimistic about my lack of disconnections thus far in the evening. Up popped Drak’theron. Easy peasy! Everything was awesome until the hallway leading to the first boss when my screen froze. I heard my computer churn and felt that familiar exasperation-slash-rage feeling sinking through my midsection. BAM – disconnected.

I don’t really know what else to try at this point other than once again going through my addons one by one (I didn’t seem to have problems whilst running NO addons, but I didn’t test it in a raid, either). None of my other games boot me offline like this so I doubt it’s my computer… though I am fairly due for a new video card (I’m running this baby… I know, UBAR, right?!) If I can’t solve the problem I’m not sure what I’ll do; it makes me an unreliable and risky player in a raiding environment, especially in movement-heavy fights or fights like Rotface that rely on individual player actions to succeed.

/sigh… back to the battle!


Battling the evil disconnect boss

January 18, 2010

My nasty disconnecting problems of late came to an ugly head last Saturday in the ICC-25 pug I’ve been attending (due to conflicting schedules with guild ICC runs). I probably DC’d about 20 times over the course of the 3 hour raid and probably more, often at inconvenient times – Avvy has a slime on Rotface! DC! Avvy is disarming a trap! DC! The boss is at 5% and I’m one of the last DPS alive! DC! At one point the raid leader asked me why I was always saying “no” when he did a ready check and I had to tell him it was because I was usually going offline right as he did so.

So as you can guess, I’m pretty freakin’ fed up with it. To review, I’ve tried suggested fixes ranging from completely deleting my addon folder and re-downloading everything, deleting the patch.MPQ files and letting the repair tool re-download them, disabling certain bandwidth-hogging addons, and even put on my tinfoil hat and changed my password. (I have an authenticator [and you should too!] but figured I might as well anyway).

So last night I renamed my addons folder to keep the game from using it and booted up wow, forcing the game to create a brand new one. I shut it down again and copied over my “bare minimum” addons from the original folder – dominos, need to know, omen, DBM, decursive – and started up the game.

OMG my unitframes

Can I just say I loathe the default Blizz frames… sooo uglyyyyy

Anyway, I took Oyasumi on a trip to Scarlet Monastary to test the mettle of the DC gremlins. Aside from battling with my crippled UI it went fairly well, and I even got to witness a rogue in a dress (/facepalm) who rolled Need on mail items (to the delight of the hunter in the group) and then complained when he couldn’t equip them.

rogue in a dress

forgive my UI, I had Xperl disabled, amongst other things


this was followed by "wtf it wont go on"

Afterward I took my level 80 toons on their daily random heroic adventures and experienced nary a DC. As this has happened before – the game acting sweet and innocent during menial tasks and going all Jekyll and Hyde on me once in a raid group – I joined a group of guildies heading to Malygos to go after the speed kill achievement to further test my setup.

Fifteen minutes and one achievement later I was still DC free! \o/

I’m too jaded to assume I’ve definitey found the problem at this point, but if it IS fixed, that points to Xperl  as the likely culprit (and it seems other people have had this issue too, I just discovered!)… which means UGH, I have to find and configure a new unitframes addon. I tried Pitbull once and lasted about fifteen minutes before my eyes glazed over at the sheer massiveness of the config panel, but I hear a new version is coming out that’s attempting to simplify the process… so maybe I will give that a go. A few guildies suggested one called Stuf as well so I might check that out…

Assuming I don’t DC ten times in tonight’s raid, that is x_x

Arright, back to work!


January 5, 2010

Well, my victory over the dreaded Disconnect Boss was short-lived. I was feeling all sprightly and carefree, coasting through my dailies with nary a DC, and decided to test my mettle in a random heroic. I tossed my name in the hat and had time to eat dinner, do my fishing and cooking dailies, and putz around Dalaran for a bit before the LFG tool told me my dungeon was ready.

ToC 5-man! (for some reason I’ve usually had luck with this instance and get a group that can clear it effortlessly, so it doesn’t tend to strike fear into my heart like perhaps it should.) I zone in and pick up my lance. We beat down the mounted trash and move on to the final three. I’m charging the giant tauren and…

My screen freezes. Seconds pass. My computer makes churny noises of doom and I realize I am disconnecting again. BAM! Login screen. I shake my fists to the heavens.

I log back in and apologize to my group for the DC and am greeted with this little gem from one of the asshat 12-year-olds of the Whirlwind battlegroup:


In hindsight I wish I had left the group right there, but I had already waited half an hour just to get into a dungeon.

We move on. Suddenly I’m lagging like crazy, the screen freezes again and when it un-sticks I find myself dead in green goo. The asshat shaman from Misha calls me a “jew” again (seriously… what the crap?)  and I squash the growing urge to flip him the proverbial wow-bird. Alas, I still have the Ignore list bug and cannot add him to it, so I put his name on my craptard-list for future reference. Of course, at the end of the instance, he Needs everything he can and leaves immediately.

I switch over to my restodruid Nadeau for another random heroic, hoping in vain that the DC in my last instance was random bad luck and not related to my problems of old. Fortunately by this point some guildies want to run randoms, so I queue up with my friends Annabela and Brighthammer and a few others. We are assigned an instance immediately – AN! woohoo! Quick and easy.

Right after the first elder pull I DC again and my wow client completely flips out and won’t let me log into my server at all. I kill wow entirely, start it back up, and log back in whilst muttering rabidly under my breath. My guildies, uber as they are, have already killed the first boss, completely minus a healer. Go guildies!

Then the DC gremlins got bored with me, or wandered off to torture some other poor sap, and I was able to finish the instance in peace. Afterward Annabela wanted to run her new 80 tanky druid through normal ToC for the trinket and insisted I bring my brand-spanking-new-80 pally along with. As Nik still reeks heavily of that fresh-80 smell I was a little nervous about taking her in there (heck, the LFD tool won’t even let her queue for normal ToC! I think its exact words were “your gear is too fail, nub”) but my guildies are awesome and insisted I come along.

Sadly, Nikoel puts out more DPS as a wee 80 than I think my kind-of-crap-but-kinda-ok-geared shadowpriest does now (when not Mind Sear-ing her way to loldeeps). I leveled Nik mostly through quests and this first level 80 5-man experience was eye-opening. Titan Critline was having a heyday. NEW RECORD! NEW RECORD! I think she  hit 3k at one point – not terribly shabby for a toon attired almost entirely in heirlooms and quest greens. Wings + Divine Storm = weee!  Retadins are FUN!

Of course, the RNG not-so-subtlely dropped a ton of spellpower plate as if trying to lead Nik down the doomed tenuous path of healbot-dom. I will resist!


I just heard there’s now a blue drake mount that drops from the last boss of Oculus. Well… at least you can say Blizz is making an effort to fix the group-dropping plague that seems to afflict at least 50% of the people that set foot in there.

Victory music!

January 4, 2010

Last night after my attempted wow-fixes I logged in and managed to stay connected for about 2 hours without a DC before logging for the night. I ran a random heroic on Avvy (during which  I discovered I have a bug wherein I can’t add players to my ignore list, which apparently Blizzard is “aware of” but has no fix for at this time… augh, how shall I shield myself from the ninjas and asshats of the Whirlwind battlegroup now!?) and, after a few quests in Sholazar, dinged 80 on my paladin (woohoo! another toon ready to be mocked/kicked in heroics) – so it looks like my DC problem may be fixed! I would still like to see if it happens during a raid, where it’s the most frequent/tourette’s-inducing… but I’m cautiously optimistic.

80 80 80 hoy hoy hoy

my pally is 80! haha, I caught her blinking

Before bed I logged on my wee shammy with determination to at least get her to 40 at some point so she has a fancy fast-moving elephant to ride around on. I respcced her Elemental (Enhance and I had a bad relationship, I realize this is likely because I didn’t quite hit the point of being able to talent into dual-wielding, but I was just OVER it) and sent her some heirloom gear, hoping to be able to both dps and possibly off-heal my way through lowbie instances, which is highly preferable to questing through Tanaris/Feralas/STV/Badlands/etc for the 8th time. So now she looks slightly ridiculous in her T2-knockoff heirloom shoulders…


having played Alliance forever, I never got to experience these babies in Vanilla wow

Is it just me though or does it feel like you need like 20 action bars to play a shammy? I already have a metric crap ton of totems and my little toon is only 38… her bars are already crammed full of all the spells and tricks that shammies get. (My rogue on the other hand has room for music macros, vanity pets, etc etc) I don’t know how I’m gonna fit more crap on there. (I suppose reading up on what’s needed for the spec might be helpful…)

Guess I’ll go back to working now and maybe read up a bit on protadin-ing for my fresh 80 pally if I get some time… not that I WANT to be That Tank with 26k health, but we all gotta start somewhere!

(BTW, in reference to the title of this post, this mod is awesome if you like Final Fantasy victory music to play when you down a boss, or fail music to play when you don’t :3)


Edit 4 hours later: I’ve barely made a dent in this post on protadins over at EJ, and my eyes are already glazing over… there is a crap ton of stuff to think about as a tank x_X Is it really that complicated? Can’t I just throw on some defense/stam gear and have a go at it?

*watches healers flee in terror*

All DC’s and no play make Avvy…

January 3, 2010

In doing some perusal of the mighty intarwebs I’ve found I’m not the only one DC’ing with ferocious abandon since the recent patches hit. Suggested fixes seem to range from “disable certain addons and your combat log” to “delete the patch.MPQ files and force the Repair tool to redownload them (a hefty 4GB of patch files I might add).” As I’m hopelessly addicted to my fleet of addons, I’m attempting option 2 as we speak. Before I did so I backed up my Screenshots and WTF (WTF!!!) folder as suggested and found that over 5 years of play I’ve accumulated 1.54 GB of screenies. That’s a lotta Print Screen spam!

To pass the time while I wait for wow to redownload itself, here are a few funny (well to me, anyway) screenshots of old…

klaus fakes a lot of things

from the days of Restrained Chaos circa '06. I miss Klaus and Pure :(

klaus links his mount while flying

more Klaus shenannies (I should clarify it was his flying mount, heh)

rocket helmet away!

I used to have itemrack set so that whenever I got on my mount, it changed my helm to the Rocket Helmet you got from some quest in Netherstorm. I mean hey, what if I fell off my gryphon!?

pure's outta there

dangit Pure, come back to wow, I miss ye :P

RIP wall climbing

back before the great wall-jumping nerf of whenever you could climb up to the top of the dome in Nightbane's room in Kara. I made it all the way to the top... once!

shortly before my old video card finally gave up the ghost in 2007, WoW’s graphics started tweaking out in wacky ways (ignore my craptacular old UI, that was before I discovered the wonders of minimalism)…

Avvy on acid?

If I moved around that mob, the colors would change like a prism o_O

red rain?!

red rain?! holy crap it's the end of the WORLD

more like tweakystone

my hearthing animation... I don't even know how to describe this.

Oo, looks like the Repair tool is finished… guess I’ll log in and see if the DC’s are gone.