Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Roleplaying Raiders. Or the Raiding Roleplayers, mayhaps.

I apologize for the lack of updates these past few days. I have a semi-valid reason, I promise:

It all started a week or two back. I think I've mentioned before that our guild is interesting in that it is a newer guild with quite a few people who are all in the same level range-- currently mostly mid-60s (and now 70).

We have also discovered that we like instancing together, a lot. We make a very good little team.

Anyways. A week or two back somebody mentioned something about Serpentshrine Cavern. Someone else said "Yeah, it'll be a loooong time before we get to that." "Wait, isn't that like... a 25-main raid?" "Yep."


And then somebody said it. "You know... we should become a raiding/roleplaying combo guild."

And everybody liked that idea.

So here we are, Entelechy, a guild full of roleplayers who have never done end-game before (or even hit 70 before), slowly keying up for Karazhan a year behind everybody else, and thinking we should do raids.

Crazy? Maybe. Awesome? Yes. We're gonna try it.

Now to why I haven't made any posts for a few days. Basically it was decided that if we're going to be a raiding guild, we need a Ventrilo server. (We have also wanted one for a while just to mess around and have fun with each other.) So we got one set up a few days ago. Problem: Pike runs Linux. Ventrilo does not play well with Linux.

Cue a few-day-long geekathon where Pike desperately tries to get Ventrilo and Linux playing nicely. Hardly any WoW. Just a lot of Dr. Pepper and keyboard pounding inbetween work shifts.

The sad news is that the whole attempt was pretty futile; it turns out there is some weird problem going on in my computer where microphones are not registered. I was able to get Ventrilo up and running, simultaneously with WoW with no slowdown, even... but it was pretty pointless if nobody could hear me talk, even if I could hear them. And the problem was complicated enough that I think it's beyond my meager abilities, at least for now. In the meantime, I still wanted a way to get on Vent so we could start practicing instancing while voice-chatting.

...so, I took a deep breath, sucked it up, and stuck a little Windows XP partition on my hard drive. I copied the WoW folder over, installed Vent, and... there ya go. I now have two different WoW installations, one on Linux and one on Windows. As much as it pains me to say it... I logged into Tawyn on Windows today. My initial impression was that it was pretty much exactly the same as on Linux with Wine. My second impression was that something was off somehow, which I couldn't quite put my foot on... the mouse was moving differently, or something. But, I'm dealing with it.

I'm on Linux now and it will remain my main operating system. I'll hop over to Windows when I'm instancing or get bored and want to dork around with the guildies for a little bit. But the rest of my WoW'ing and computer'ing in general will remain on Linux. And hopefully I can figure out the microphone problem at some point, and come back to "pure" Linux.

So that is why I haven't been around much.

I have one more story to tell. There is a level 70 hunter in my guild who is... maybe just a little less geared than I am, and his spec is similar to mine (though not the same-- there are a few notable and interesting differences). We both have the same ranged and melee weapons, except I've got Savagery on my axe and he doesn't. He's got a windserpent and I've got a cat.

We dueled today about... six times. And he won four of them. Rather resoundingly, too, a few times.

We had a good chat afterwards about the results and how we thought they may have come about. Because the duels really seemed to be going either way. To be completely honest he is a very good hunter and it caught me off guard. I'd never really seen him play his hunter before, usually he's tanking for us on his warrior. So I really wasn't sure what to expect. Anyways we compared specs and gear and strategies and had a chat. Here are my thoughts:

-Windserpents seriously do this thing where they pop up next to you and take you by surprise and throw you off, that's what they seemed to do to me anyway. His strategy is to dump as much focus onto his Windserpent as he can so it can spam Lightning Breath, so I was on the receiving end of that, too. Oh, and the thing about the big wings... yeah. So hard to target the other guy when something's flapping in your face. Definitely time to bring Tux to 70 (he's halfway through 67, currently) and make him the Official PvP Pet.

- He's a draenei and would use Gift of the Naaru on himself right when the duel began. He also has Spirit Bond. So he was regen'ing health the whole time.

- I kept trying to use my attack-power-boosting trinket without realizing I'd forgotten to equip it. Whoopsie... *shifty eyes*

- Also, he somehow has a different strategy than most hunters I go up against in PvP, but I've still got to figure out exactly what it is (clearly more research is required!)

Anywho, why am I telling you all this? Because if you play a draenei hunter and/or you have a windserpent these are awesome new PvP tips for you! I'm sort of jealous of the Gift of the Naaru thing. Granted, he told me a new tip about Shadowmelding at the beginning of the duel to annoy people while your pet eats them (haha) so it's a fair tradeoff.

After the duels though, I was feeling the urge to hone my skills because he'd won more times than I'd won and it was inspiring me to PvP and get better. So I went to AV.

Hey look, Alliance on Bloodlust actually won a "New AV" game and it was the daily too... yes I know, don't go into shock... but aside from that, I've got 239 honorable kills. And that's with the omnipresent Valanos's Longbow. I can't wait for an upgrade. That's what I'm saving up Honor for next, that ridiculous Crossbow. I can't help myself. I'm in love.

Hmm. Sorry that this post sort of rambled on and on and covered at least three different subjects. That's what happens when I put off making a post for too long. In summary: I like my guild, I like my Linux (honest!) and, when it's not frustrating the heck out of me, I like PvP.

And two more quick things: Armory is working again! My unbuffed crit is so very very close to 20%.

And a HUGE SHOUTOUT to Moonglo for coming to visit me on Silver Hand. You guys are all great.


Matticus said...

Happen to have a laptop or anything? Is it possible to sync vent on the laptop and play on your linux partition? Or is that too much trouble to pull off?

Anonymous said...

Another linux user lost to winbloze because of world of warcraft. Think you can get your guild to use Mumble instead of Ventrilo? Open standards and all that, you know

Anonymous said...

i run linux on everything at home too, except for WoW...

but your mic is not being recognized? that seems like a fixable problem - what sound chip are you using, and what kernel?

i think i read somewhere that you run gentoo - is that right?

i might be able to help - if you can get Vent running in linux, mebbe i can blow my XP partition! then my whole house will be Free :) (well, except WoW itself, and one graphics app - did you know Bibble Pro has a native linux binary?)


Since i've never posted before - let me just thank you for the blog, it's always an enjoyable read. AND say that i'm jealous of your roleplaying raiding guild! That sounds like massive quantities of sustained... fun.

// Okage, on Misha (US realm)

Pike said...

Matticus - I actually tried that, however my laptop runs Linux as well, though, so it didn't work out very well.

Anonymous 1 - To be honest I wouldn't consider myself "lost" to it seeing as I am still going to mostly play on Linux and do everything on Linux but Vent. Nor do I plan on this being a permanent solution. =P It's a "messy hack", as my boyfriend put it, to override some problems which I don't have the time or energy to work on right now.

Furthermore Mumble and TeamSpeak will not work for me either because of the microphone problem. Skype still works for some bizarre reason that I have yet to ascertain.

Anonymous 2 - I use Kubuntu 6.06-- basically Ubuntu with KDE or Debian if you want to get more basic. The biggest issue from what I can gather is that a lot of this problem actually stems from a bug in my version of Kubuntu. I don't want to upgrade my version, however, because my wireless card is super picky and does not work with newer versions.

Regarless, my sound card is Realtek AC97 and my kernel version is 2.6.15-29-386

lienna said...

You lost me with all the linux stuff, not something I know much about, but good luck with doing some raiding, its nice just to explore raid areas as they are usually well designed (go visit medihvs bedroom)

~One Among Many~ said...

Lienna, you are not alone. I too am clueless to all the tech-talk going on at the moment.

Pike, that's awesome that you guys are going to try your hand at raiding! It can be loads of fun! I would suggest preparing them for the worst though. Ya know, being the voice of doom and such. People with their hopes up get let down more when they wipe on every try the first boss (if that were to happen). And are more likely to give up and shelve raiding. Best to go into Kara with no expectations except to have fun.

I love it there ^_^

Tengu said...

Hmmm... I tried to google some answer to your Linux problem but the only relevant one I could find in a few minutes were one where the guy tried some stuff that was sugested to him but didn't post again to say if it worked. Also I don't know if his soundcard was the same as yours.

The only other one I found was your post on that Linux Livejournal.

Anyway, those are some interesting tips for PvPing. About the the difficulty of targeting your opponent, did you try using tab to target him?

As for raiding... Well, I don't think I will ever get there since I am in a uber small guild. So no comments about it. : p

But congratulations on getting to that point and hope you have lots of fun raiding! : )

Webmosher said...

In my first attempted transition to Linux, I had a very similar problem. The audio issues were close to impossible to work out for me (and I am a major tech head). I even signed up with Cedega to get it to work. Eventually, I went back to Windows for awhile.

I am now trying my second transition to Linux (Ubuntu Gutsy), and simply will not even try WoW on Linux. There is apparently a sound system called PulseAudio that is meant to fix some of these things, but I cannot get it working properly. I will probably try again when I find some time, but for now I am happy with my new fancy desktop.

Delos said...

Is it possible to run Ventrilo via Wine? It's been a long time since I used Wine, but I hear they've made some good progress. I don't know but that may be how you are playing WoW already so it's just one more step.

Regarding windserpents: Nomakk also recently switched to a windserpent as a PvP AND PvE pet and he could not be happier. With enough focus regeneration that thing can pump out some great DPS and, like you mentioned, its just plain annoying to see around for opponents.

Good luck!

Sellia said...

Yeah ! Tech-talk ! :)
If only I had the time to make my old computer work, I could try Ubuntu ...
(Damn you WoW ! :P )
Continu with the rambling ... it's fun to read. :)

Anonymous said...

Kubuntu 6.06 hmm ... i can understand your trepidation - i hav Ubuntu 7.04 on this lappie, and though i know 7.10 is fine (my gf's laptop and another pc use it right now) - i am reluctant dist-upgrade.

I have heard of a new 802.11x wireless subsystem - but i don't think it's been pushed to main yet. You could hang on for a while... or just put 7.10 on a separate partition and see if the network card support is good enough? My gf's laptop took a lot of work under 7.04, but was easy as pie in 7.10 - i think it's a broadcomm.

But... i was thinking...

If mic support is your problem - why not try a USB headset?

Good luck!

// anonymous2

Pike said...

Anonymous - I tried the USB headset, it also didn't work. The whole system just seems to refuse to accept sound input in most programs. It's very confusing overall. Thank you for your support and suggestions though!

rikai said...

Just letting you know... Ubuntu 8.04, due out in april, may be the answer to your problems. I'm using the alpha, an currently gaming and using ventrilo simeltaneously under wine. Now that 8.04 is coming with pulseaudio, i just installed padevchooser, started it, clicked the systray icon, set the default sink to my soundcard and the default source to my usb mic. then i just opened winecfg, and set wine to use esound, and now vent works like a charm. Feel free to email me if you've got any questions. ;)

Pike said...

Rikai -

I'll definitely look into that, I'm not gonna hold my breath though because I have huge issues with the recent Ubuntu/Kubuntu releases (this is why I'm still using 6.06-- the newer versions tend not to work for me.)