Friday, August 15, 2008

Getting back in the saddle

We're going to try again.

I'm only using the brand new iMac. I've changed the passwords. And then changed them again. I'm going to get an authenticator once they come back in stock. I've installed anti-everything software.

Let me repeat.

I am a "mature" grown-up. If you are an "average" WoW player, then I am old enough to be your mom.
I love leveling and so would never have a reason to even look at power leveling.
I know how to make gold, even at low levels, so no reason to ever visit a gold selling site.
The only WoW sites I visit are the regular ones like wowinsider, wowhead, and of course, Big Red Kitty, and his friends.
No one else in the world, not even my husband, knew the password. Certainly not my children. No else uses our computers.
All the scans for keyloggers, etc, on all the computers came up negative. All of our computers are Macs.
I honestly don't know how else to do to protect our account.

If this happens again, I am canceling our accounts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hacking recovery update

We got everything back, except the gold. 1200 gold from the main. 100-200 gold from nine alts. And about 2800 from the guild bank. Having no gold at level 67 makes life really hard. I can't buy ammo.

This really takes the wind out of my sails.

I scanned all of our computers. All are Macs. And they are all clean.

I'm the only one who knows any passwords. And I've never shared that info. I would no more give out my WoW password than I would give out the password to our bank account or investment accounts.

No one else has access to my computers.

So how does this happen?

I talked to my brother who plays and knows something about computer security. He suspects may have been just brute force. He thinks a lot of hacking WoW accounts is brute force. Apparently it's not hard to write a program that just tries millions of combinations for passwords. As for getting the account name, with so many people playing, someone somewhere is going to have any random account name. Sign up for a trial account and enter random account names. If the system says that one is taken—try again, you know you've got a live one.

I've changed all of our passwords to much harder ones. Not just WoW, but everything.

For now, until this is all resolved, I've locked up all of our wow accounts. When and if new authenticators are available, maybe I'll unlock them. To tell the truth, I'm afraid to play now. It's just not fun any more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Yup, we were hacked. This morning at about 4:30 a.m. local time. Stripped Theothana of almost everything, and then went to work on the guild bank. Then they went through all of the alts and took their gold, but only one other toon's inventory. It was our bank alt. Only mom's account and only on one server. For some reason they didn't go through anyone's mail and so we were left with some stuff.

How did this happen?

I have no idea. The only thing could be I downloaded something with an addon, but since I only use addons from Curse or Ace, that seems unlikely. I've been through all of our computers scanning for anything that doesn't belong and nothing came up.

The GM said they'd be able to get almost everything back.

In the meantime, I guess were playing with low level alts.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Almost to 70 at last

I can hardly believe it. Theothana is half way to 68. From 63 to 67.5 in what seems like no time at all. No more leveling alts for a while. I think we can make it to 70 this week, just in time for us to go on vacation.

Hunter Macros

Here's our new pet somewhere in that mass of feathers. Yes, we tamed a lovely white and black striped two-headed carrion bird.

We're using macros more and more. Our favorite is the follow macro which allows my kids to follow me or each other around.

/follow Mom

Next is the pet feeding macro.

/cast Feed Pet
/use 0 16

I just have to make sure that there is always appropriate pet food in the last slot of our backpack.

But my two favorite hunter macros are a bit more complicated.

First is the steady shot/kill shot macro. I've messing around with this since we first got steady shot. But once we got the Kill Command, I had to get it right. I was doing okay manually weaving the in the steady shots, but I knew I was missing some. However reading endless blog and forum posts on the mechanics of different versions of this macro was making my eyes bleed. So once again I went to my favorite hunter to see what he recommended. Thanks again Big Red Kitty.

After reading pages and pages on this topic, it is once again driven home to me that no one explains WoW hunter stuff as clearly as the mighty BRK. Good writing is rare on the internet, and Big Red Kitty is one of the best. Even my husband, the professional juournalist with a wall full of writing awards, like his posts, especially the military ones.

But back to macros.

My life-saving utility do-it-all-for-you-dolly macro is number 5 on the main action bar
# showtooltip
/target [target=pettarget,exists]
/petattack [harm,nomodifier]
/cast Hunter's Mark
/cast Auto Shot

I use this when we get an add or three. Or when I send the pet into a group. This lets me shift from one mob to the next without having to try to tab through them or manually pick out my next target from a group. Drop a freezing trap, throw off a pet mend, a sting, move around a bit. Next thing I know there are a whole bunch of corpses waiting to be looted. It might not be AOE, but it sure is fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fishing: How, where and why to begin

I level every character in fishing. Why do I do this? It actually occurred to me with our latest toon that it's sort of redundant. We got all the way to level 26, without picking up the old fishing pole.

But then we tamed Washe Pawne, the most lovely red wind serpent ever, with level 3 lightning breath. And wind serpents eat fish, as well as bread and cheese.

But fishing is where it's at. It's free. It can make money.

My brother, who in real life owned a fishing shop for a few years, leveled fishing all the way, but never cooking. I have both maxed out on our main. So he sends me the fish to cook up for him for raids and such. When Golden Fish Sticks go for up to 2 gold or more apiece on the AH, it's so helpful to be able to do it yourself, not to mention a nifty money maker.

And it can be efficient, at least for me. Today, my kids had their piano lessons. The music store has free WiFi. Now 25 minutes is not really enough time to go do a quest or something, especially when it can be interrupted by one of the kids, the teacher, a store employee, or a chatty parent who is also waiting for their kid to finish a lesson. But Fishing is perfect. I can start and stop and start again. While waiting for the boat from Rachet to Booty Bay, I could check our quest log, or dance, or make bandages, or fish. Plenty of time to get a skill point or two before the boat sails in.

So that's the why.

Now the how and where.

Well how is easy. Buy a fishing pole, a shiny bauble and get training.

Where? Horde side I find Bloodhoof Village is best. You'll get both level 1 brilliant smallfish, as well as the next level of lake fish which is the longjaw mudsnapper. And everything you need is right there. The trainer. The guy selling the fishing pole and the cooking recipes for the fish if you need to level up cooking at the same time. There's a big fire for cooking fish. Plus there is a cooking trainer is just across the camp in the big tent. No running from one side of a city to the other and back again. Or from the lake or sea shore into a city and back again. It's just all so convenient.

I don't play enough Alliance to know the best place.

I fish here until I'm up to about 75, or else have about 55 smallfish which is enough to level up cooking to be able to cook the mudsnappers. Raw Mudsnappers also sell well on the AH. Their vendor price is only 1 copper, but on the AH they go for between 1-3 silver each.

Before leaving, don't forget to train up to the next level of fishing. And cooking if you need to.

Then it's off to the Barrens. Pick a pool. Any pool. They yield about one deviate fish for every 3-4 raw bristle whisker catfish (between 5-10 silver each on the AH, or 1-2 gold per stack). Deviate fish, however, are the main ingredient in Savory Deviate Delight, the coveted and highly priced treat that will turn the diner into a priate or ninja. The deviate fish themselves can go for almost as much as the finished product. You don't need the recipe to make money off deviate fish.

Savory Deviate Delight

I have to admit that I have the recipe on four servers. Just lucky, I guess. Or else it could have something to do with leveling dozens and dozens of alts. And had one drop for me the other day. So if you have horde toon on Kilrogg and send Theothana a stack of deviate fish along with a mild spice for each fish, I'd be happy to cook 'em up and send 'em back. Just for reading my blog. The other servers where I have the the recipe are Caelestrasz, Drenden, and Velen. I'm happy to do it on these realms, too. But you'll need to send me an email in real life because I don't usually check those regularly.

Back to fishing. Between 125 and 150, you'll need to find Old Man Heming in the lowest level of Booty Bay. He sells a book for 1 gold which teaches fishing to 225. You can actually use the book at any level. I have. Where to fish. Well, since fishing skills up at the same rate no matter where you are, you could go back to the Barrens for more Deviate Fish. I level one toon all the way to 300 there. Or just fish where ever you happen to be questing or grinding. Bring along a lure or two, just in case.

At exactly 225, you need to go find Nat Pagle who gives you a quest to catch a four different fish all over creation, or at least Azeroth. Bring a couple of lures. Make that 4 lures. After that it's smooth sailing until you hit the Outlands. Then find Juno Dufrain in Zangarmarsh for another fishing book.

Happy fishing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm writing a book

Forty some years ago my mother wrote scripts for a variety of early TV shows. And then she wrote a "treatment" for a movie for Disney. The folks at Disney loved the story, but thought it would be too expensive to produce in 1964. So they suggested she do it as a book first.

But she didn't.

Instead she gave birth her fourth child, and then her fifth and then her sixth. And then she wrote a different book called Women of the West. which is still in print to this day. Turns out that my mom's book was an important book. It was the first to argue that the western frontier experience liberated woman from the repressive norms of Victorian society. After the book, she went to work for the Governor of California as an advisor on historic resources. After that she went to law school and became a law professor. The manuscript gathered dust in the attic.

Well the manuscript has been found. I'm going to take a shot at it. I've got kids who love to read so I have a pretty good idea what they like.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I love leveling, which is a good thing since it's what I mainly get to do.

The boys create a new character. They play for a while. Then mom either levels said character if it is well loved. Or deletes to make room for another.

And mostly I love leveling hunters. Our latest is an Orc Hunter, Larashu on Kilrogg, and she's already at 24.

I've streamlined our leveling quite a bit. The levels fly by so fast I have to be careful to finish up the lowest ones before they turn grey.
For the horde, levels 1-5 in the starting zone.

5-10 is the next zone of quests, plus whatever professions.

At 10, I pick up all the quests for Ragefire Chasm, which in and of itself will bring the character up to lvl 11-12 just by discovering new zones, and doing the short quest chain to get the Hidden Enemies quest from Thrall, which give a nice choice of weapons at the end.

Then we run Ragefire Chasm. Sometimes twice. There's not a lot that drops in there, though. So for cloth wearers I try to make sure they get The Robe of Evocation and/or the Crystalline Cuffs. For almost everyone else the Subterranean Cape will take them all the way to about level 20 or even beyond, with stats almost as great as those on the coveted twink cape, Sentry Cloak. The experience from RFC and then turning in all the RFC quests will get the character to somewhere in mid lvl 13-14.

On the way to turn in the RFC quests at Thunder Bluff, though we stop off at the crossroads and pick up the following:
Fungal Spores and The Forgotten Pools.
And then we do them quick and easy. Then off to Thunder Bluff and turn everything in.

Ding 15.

And back to "home" — being Brill or the Crossroads or Tranquilien — to finish up a few now green quests and get to about 16 and a half, grab some training, and back to the Crossroads to finish up the quest chain for the big horde quest for Wailing Caverns, Leaders of the Fang, dodging and then killing snapjaws for The Stagnant Oasis.

We pick up all the Wailing Caverns quests in Rachet and in the cave over the Caverns, themselves.

We do all the quests that we can outside the instance: Serpentbloom, Trouble at the Docks, Deviate Hides and maybe Smart Drinks, if we've done the Raptor Horns prerequisite. Turn those puppies in and Ding, Ding we are on our way to 17 or more.

Next up is Wailing Caverns. Nice loot in there but if something doesn't drop, I don't worry about it because in a couple more levels we're going to do SFK, and then BFD, and then RFK, while doing whatever quests in between that we need to in order to get the quests for the next instance.

And these will take us to the Scarlet Monastery and RFD.

Except for this new hunter. It's so much more fun to just level by questing on through the Stonetalon Mtns, Ashenvale and Thousand Needles.

Monday, August 4, 2008

"A whole new world..."

We got a new computer, a new iMac fully loaded with a gia-normous 12" screen. An Azeroth is a whole new world. After playing for a year and a half on a tiny iBook and then an only slightly bigger MacBook, this is incredible. The colors and the details. The wider screen. Last night the moon was rising over the Barrens, turning the cliffs to silver. I am seeing things I never saw before like secret mountain passes. It's like seeing the whole game again for the first time