Found In the Woods

November 21, 2008

Video formats for n00bs

Filed under: Media,Tech — bsullivan @ 12:37 pm

I found this post about making sense of popular video formats & codecs on Gizmodo quite informing. A snippet:

H.261 is not a term you have to worry about, but it’s the technology that most video standards and codecs were originally based on. Originating in 1990, it’s the first major digital video compression standard, and like other “H” standards, it was developed by the International Telecommunication Union. This one was primarily for teleconferencing over ISDN lines, and as such, it looks like ass.

November 18, 2008

Woodsballin’

Filed under: Blogging — bsullivan @ 3:07 pm

Dave taking cover, ready to reloadThe first ever official Camp Bennett paintball war was held last weekend, and a great time was had by all. Over the last couple months, Kevin and his crew of diligent workers/volunteers have been clearing brush, building structures, planning games and organizing to put together one kick-ass paintball field. Some of us have been researching gear, finding deals and looking up info on how to play. Marcus even bought an authentic AK-47 paintball gun!

Most of us are very new to the game, so it was much of a learning experience. I think we still have a long way to go in order to figure out some good techniques, tactics and games to play that aren’t just hide & seek or capture the flag. The group played hard, got muddy and had a blast. No serious injuries, and plenty of war stories to tell. Upcoming games are going to be more intense as we all get the hang of this exhilarating sport.

November 14, 2008

WotLK: First Impressions

Filed under: WoW — bsullivan @ 11:44 am

Well, I have to say, I am excited. I have had very mixed expectations for the latest x-pack, many of them revolving around the fact that I really didn’t meet all the goals I had for Burning Crusade. I never got to see the inside of Black Temple, only downed one boss in TK, and got Rage Winterchill to 1% one night in Hyjal. Our alliances did manage to get 5/6 in SSC (with our first look at Vashj last Monday night! – got her to about 40% but the raid was more interested in seeing the Scourge Invasion event in Stormwind than avoiding the Elementals & Elites). I never really got to raid the way I wanted to, mainly due to my own fear of stepping out and getting into a more active raiding guild, but moreso wanting to stay close to all of the great friends I’ve got in Regulators. I have more fun with those guys than I’ve ever had in the game.

So the goals can wait, hopefully our raid alliances will still do old stuff from time to time and we can go mess around in BT/MHJ and I’ll get to witness that stuff. (Same thing with old-world, pre-BC instances, but that’s another story) So… WRATH!

This game is truly a revolution in Warcraft. The game was basically reinvented from patch 2.4.x to 3.0.2. We got revamps of nearly everything. Even bread and butter stats, techniques and methods (habits?) were totally reworked and changed. Streamlined, some may say. It all shows a tremendous effort by Blizzard and the community (which it seems to react to very well) to get it right. And right they got it. Departing SW and arriving in Borean Tundra, the epic feel of struggle against losing odds, against a tide of darkness, being on the front lines of battle, is very real. The atmosphere is so well crafted, textures, characters, quests, music and storylines are all just wonderful. It’s challenging to head out to do quests that no one has done (except us lucky beta testers… even though I didn’t play beta as much as I wish I had), not knowing which way to go, looking up loc’s on Wowhead.com and finding that the pages are blank… can be frustrating. BUT, nowhere near as frustrating as trying to kill a miniboss mob while about 10 other people are trying to do the same thing! (spamming AoE, instant casts, hostile pet… lag wins in the end)

I chose to bring Hossenfeffer, my hunter, over to BorTun first. (Dob went to Howling Fjord and Healtacular to BorTun too) Mainly because he’s a Miner and I wanna get a bit of a start to the Blacksmith process for Dob. Quests go extremely fast at first, they are well grouped up at Valiance Keep and at a nearby mine. The D.E.H.T.A. quests are also grouped up nicely and are a blast. I didn’t expect that one, and it’s a pretty amusing storyline; Nessingwary will get his! My hunter has a gorilladin, Panzerwagen, who I am most impressed with. The AoE pet tanking thing is just a wonder to watch. I’ve been following BigRedKitty’s Wrath posts pretty closely and I knew months ago the Gorilla was for me. So far, he’s an amazing tank and fits extremely well with a leveling toon. I’m able to group up tons of mobs and AoE them down so gathering quest items goes a lot faster.

So, yeah. I’m loving it. The place is HUGE. Northrend is ENORMOUS. Spent a day and a half playing and still only see a little bit of two starter zones. Barely! Got my hunter to 71 on Thursday about 5pm. First in my guild, so that was fun. We hit up Utgarde Keep last night but got pinned on the second boss. Tank needs a bit more gear and we should be good to go. UK is just the most georgeous instance I have seen in ages. It’s got a Nordic theme, and it’s done extremely well. You can just smell the place in there, heavy wood and metal, smoke and hay. Incredible. I’m like a kid in a candy store with this x-pack. There are new things to see and try around every corner. It’s still so new, people are spamming general chat constantly, looking for trainers and quest mobs. it’s very weird, being that I’ve never experienced an expansion launch like this before. I’m looking forward to progressing with my friends, to seeing new content, challenges and achievements. it’s going to be great.

November 13, 2008

The waiting is the best part

Filed under: WoW — bsullivan @ 6:11 pm

The line
On Wednesday night I showed up at the local GameStop around 9:50pm to get in line to grab my two copies of Wrath of the Lich King, the new Warcraft expansion pack. There were only a few people there so I gathered my things and headed over to stand in line with the other nerds. It turned out to be a fun experience, pretty low key, full of heated discussions over which class combinations are more powerful in Arena matches, what it was like raiding in early BC (“OMG remember when Magtheridon hit the tank for over 1k each time? That was nuts!. We used to have healers for our Shadow Priests just to keep them up”), how lame RP is, how much Rogues *used* to suck, and how l33t old school pre-BC raiding was. I had a good time eavesdropping in on the various conversations and soaking up the excitement as the line grew and the level of anticipation for the 1.5-year-wait that was coming to a close.

One of the coolest things that happened, besides getting my copies a few mins after midnight, was I overheard a few of the guys at the front of the line talking and recognized a name they brought up from an old guild I was in. Actually, it was my first guild, and I was only a social. Invited by a RL friend of mine, I soaked up a lot of good stuff in that guild. They were off running high-end pre-BC raids when I was just getting my feet wet in Elwynn Forest on Dob. They were plowing into Karazhan when I was falling in love with tanking, head first in Zul’Farrak. Well, it turns out the few guys at the front of the line were all in Shadow/Legacy/Requ├»em, and the guy at the front of the line was no other than Aranor, the GL. He’s a really nice guy and it was pretty damn cool to finally meet him in the real world. We shared some stories about the old days and swapped war stories from recent adventures. He told me to transfer a toon over to Cho’gall (where a lot of those guys play now) and join them, but my commitments to Cenarion Circle are deeper and I’m having so much fun working on things over there. It’s tempting, I guess the jury’s still out. Maybe I’ll transfer my mage or something. Who knows.

Midnight hit, the manager let us in one-by-one to pick up our already-paid-for copies, and we all ran to our cars, smiles a mile wide, booked home and installed the x-pac for a long night of leveling in Northrend.

November 12, 2008

Sad Penguin

Filed under: Blogging,WoW — bsullivan @ 10:46 am

I just learned, or rather admitted to (I’ve been in denial these last few weeks, really) the fact that my nUsed Mac PowerBook G4 (1.5 GHz PPC G4, 2 GB DDR SDRAM, Mac OS X 10.5.5) will not be allowed to run the new Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Apparently us G4 processors aren’t good enough for Arthas and his scourge. Well, HARUMPH!

    PC:

  • Windows XP SP3 or Vista SP1 (Windows 2000 no longer supported)
  • Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1.5 GHz (up from 800 MHz Intel/AMD). Dual-core recommended.
  • RAM: 512 MB/1 GB for Vista, same as before. 1 GB/2 GB recommended.
  • Video: GPU with hardware transform and lighting and 32 MB VRAM, same as before. Recommended 128 MB VRAM.
    Mac:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.11 (10.3 no longer supported)
  • PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz or Intel Core Duo. G4s are no longer supported. Intel 1.8 GHz recommended.
  • RAM: 1 GB, up from 512 MB. 2 GB recommended.
  • Video: Hardware transform and lighting, 64 MB VRAM. 128 MB VRAM recommended.

Catching up… again

Filed under: Blogging,WoW — bsullivan @ 10:33 am

Wow it’s been a long time since my last post. I’ll try to do better to keep up with all my loyal listeners and fans-a-plenty. I’ve been pretty wrapped up in WoW raiding and prepping/leveling for Wrath of the Lich King. My online mind has been elsewhere. I just learned that November is NaBloPoMo (http://www.nablopomo.com/) so I’ll do my best to contribute; probably a lot of WoW content as I truck it up to Northrend at midnight tonite!