GW2 UI Mod for WoW

I’m usually not one for UI mods, but the GW2 UI Mod for WoW was good enough to convert me.

The GW2 WoW UI takes most of the Blizzard UI modules and makes them look like GW2’s interface. I’m particular to the center health globe with the split action bar as well as the simplicity of the target unit frame.

Depending on your class there are class-specific UI touches. The menu icons, minimap, and quest tracker are also nicely skinned.

All of the various modules can be turned on or off and moved. In terms of customization, it’s great.

If you’re like me and want a clean, minimalistic UI with all the functionality of the default WoW UI, then check out the GW2 UI Mod for WoW.

How to Tame Mechanical Pets in WoW Legion Pre-Patch

I’m going to show you how to tame Mechanical Pets in WoW during the Pre-patch!

Tekton the Mechanical Sheep – Elwyn Forest

Tekton the Mechanical Sheep Pet

Fly just northeast of Stormwind. Tekton is on a ledge near a house and a bunch of other sheep. Be sure to use a freeze trap to avoid being blown up!

Mechano-Strider & Haywire Battle Chicken – Loch Modan

mechano-strider and mechanical chicken pets in WoW

These two mechanical pets are found in a cave in the southeastern corner of Loch Modan. You can also find Optimo, but he’s a rare spawn.

Friender the Mechanical Wolf – Gnomeregan

Friender the Mechanical Wolf pet in WoW

Friender is by far the most fun to find! You’ll have to go into Gnomeregan and make your way to the Engineering Labs. Then it’s just a matter of activating all of the buttons until they light up. Simply find the pattern of which lights turn on and off when you press certain buttons to solve the puzzles. You can’t mess this up, so feel free to trial and error your way through.

Once Friender wakes up, wait for him to run close to you then pop Aspect of the Turtle and tame!

I hope my fellow hunters found this information useful. More to come! 🙂

Surviving the First Few Days as a Survival Hunter Pre-Legion

I’m having a lot of fun in WoW right now. I’m still in that “WTF is going on” phase where I’m still figuring out tradeskills, my spec, my gear, etc.

Survival Hunter Spec in Legion

My spec is Survival, which has the toughest rotation I can remember playing in WoW. Bear tanking in WotLK was all swipes. Mage play in Cataclysm was nuke nuke dump. Shaman healing in Pandaria was literally casting the same 3 spells depending on how badly someone needed a heal. Survival Hunter is all about using cooldowns at opportune times and building stacks using abilities that increase my ability to use stacks.

WoW Survival Hunter Talents for Legion

I’m both excited about playing something that’s challenging, and apprehensive about actually being able to do it.

I plan to provide as much useful WoW Hunter content as I can. I’d like to get back to the point where I’m actively contributing useful information, insight, and critiques for a class in a MMO. The launch of a new expansion to WoW could be a good opportunity for that.

Working on my Tradeskills for Legion

Engineering is awesome. I made a Gnomish Gravity Well. I can basically send myself up really high into the air with it, then use my Goblin Hanglider that I made to fly around. That’s going to be an awesome combo for Legion where I won’t have flying for a really long time.

KGC Guild is Up

We formed a guild (KGC) on Fenris, Alliance. We decided it would be nice to have a guild vs. being in someone else’s, and we’ll run the 5-man Mythic Dungeons which will get us gear that rival raiding until the highest tiers — which we will farm later.

If you want to join us for Legion, give me a shout. Alternatively you can join us on Discord where we have an active server with 6-10 people on nightly. We chat about WoW, form groups, and just have fun. It’s a great community.

 

Legion’s Pre-Patch: Jumping into the Madness

The pre-Legion patch dropped on Tuesday, and I jumped head first into the madness. You all know that I’ve been waiting to play a Gnome Hunter. So as soon as the patch was live and I managed to get home, I boosted my Gnome Hunter up to 100.

Thankfully I started with some decent gear. Blizzard provides iLvl 640 gear and mailed everyone a new set of weapons with iLvl based on their HFC progression. Given that my gnome was brand new, I received a fairly weak weapon.

What to do first?

This was my biggest question. I realized I was woefully unprepared. I need gear. I need to level crafting. I need to learn what my abilities do, and figure out how to actually play my class again!

Transmog All the Things!

I decided to tackle Transmogs first. The new system is really great because it’s one window with filters and all the items you have. I logged into various characters to unlock the transmogs that I’ve held onto for over a decade. I found my Rhok’delar bow, my full set of Giantstalker, my Dragonstalker set, etc. Awesome.

Then I logged into my dozen other characters with all of their gear and got those unlocked. The process took longer than I had anticipated due to the transmogs taking a while to propogate (server lag). I built myself a nice little set of gear that looks fantastic on a Gnome Hunter. Look = Done.

Tradeskills

My Gnome Hunter is going Engineering/Mining. I fumbled my way through Ashran looking for all of the recipes and trainers. I learned what I needed then used all of the ore I had saved up. In less than 10 minutes I had my Engineering up to 645. I’m told I only needed like 300? I still don’t understand that. Anyway, I’m now still trying to figure out what I have to do to get some Engineering goodies. Are there teleporters I need to get? If so, where? Anyone know?

Now the mining problem… The Garrison Blizzard gave my boosted Hunter only has a level one mine. I don’t have Draenor flying because I couldn’t stomach the dailies in Tanaan. So now I have to roam around and look for nodes and somehow manage to get that up over the next few weeks.

Stats and Balance are Messed Up

With every expansion comes a retuning of stats and abilities. Legion’s artifacts exacerbate this problem because our classes are tuned around having abilities and stats we do not yet have. I jumped into a Mythic Dungeon (already a mistake with iLvl 640 gear) with some friends. They said they’d carry me. I facerolled my hotbars having no idea what I was doing.

We wiped a bunch and realized that Mythic Dungeons were ridiculous. Blizzard confirmed this yesterday by saying they were nerfed, but we tried them again shortly after that statement and came to the conclusion that the nerf must not have been implemented yet.

PvP Scaling

So we jumped into PvP thinking maybe I could get some gear there. We thought it was tuned, but sure enough it isn’t I had 243k HP, and people in gear had 300-400k. Definitely not working. That ended with my slapping people with a wet noodle and being obliterated.

Learning the Ropes

I’m becoming more confident in my Survival Hunter spec. I feel like I finally understand the gist of gameplay. I wasn’t prepared for the rotation to be so intense. I have to worry about executing a lot of abilities at their most opportune time. I also have to worry about keeping certain abilities up.

My experience will most certainly improve as I actually get into Legion content, have an artifact, have more abilities in my rotation that make more sense, and build muscle memory around my skills. I also need to tweak my UI to better show my Mongoose bites, etc.

Preparing for the Burning Legion’s Invasion

The invasion comes in probably two weeks or less. I’m slowly improving my gear already. I’m almost to iLvl 670, which really only takes a bit of Tanaan to accomplish. I want to be about 680’ish before the invasion in order to give me a chance at surviving the fights and feel like I can burn though them. The higher the better.

The invasion will give gear 700+, so that will be more than enough to prepare me for Legion — at which point the first quest drops will replace everything anyway.

More to come on my adventures.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review

Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 brings to an end one of my (now) favorite gaming series. Just two months ago I picked up the Nathan Drake Collection and fell completely in love with the first three games. Something about the adventure of pirates, treasure, and glory captured my heart and I was hooked. While the first three games were very much about the adventure, Uncharted 4 takes quite a spin focusing more on a mature (meaning grown up and serious) narrative.

Nathan and Elena are a little older now. Several years have passed since the events in Uncharted 3. They’re trying to retire and live normal lives. The game begins with the two in their home where Naughy Dog immediately showcases their story-telling finesse. Uncharted 4 definitely shows the effect The Last of Us had on Naughty Dog. You can feel the tension of two people living a life that neither are happy with. It was only a matter of time before Nathan sucked them back into an adventure — one that may be their last.

Graphics

Uncharted 4 has superb graphics. You can see the dust in the air, the rocks sliding down a hill, etc., etc. It’s gorgeous. It’s 60fps on console. The engine is one of the best I’ve experienced. Underwater scenes are gorgeous. The world feels legitimate.

Uncharted 4 Graphics

General Gameplay

Gameplay is cinematic to say the least. Even the most intense combat scenarios where you’re under fire from all sides and making ridiculous decisions that no game developer should have been able to foresee end up feeling choreographed into the perfect scene. The parkour is crazier than ever with the introduction of sliding and grappling hooks that make Drake give Spider-man a run for his money. Traversing terrain still feels a little ridiculous for any human to accomplish, but the controls are such that you feel like you’re controlling Nathan’s arms and reaching for ledges.

Shooting mechanics vary game to game in this series. I tried using the assisted aim and while I’m a sucker for auto-aim on consoles, but version nearly got me killed. I quickly disabled it and found the standard gunplay very comfortable and I was making head shots without any form of assist.

Elena in Uncharted 4

The Campaign

Uncharted 4 returns to the idea of pirates. This time, Nathan is going after the pirate Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure. From Monaco to the Scottish Highlands to Madagascar, there’s plenty of diversity in scenery.

The campaign itself has its ups and downs. While combat and various scenes are choreographed perfectly (the car chase in Monaco comes to mind), the game runs into several moments of rinse and repeat. Every time you find your way deeper into the adventure, suddenly the bad guys are already well established ahead of you and you have to take them all out again.

Stealth plays a larger role in this one. I almost felt like I was playing Assassin’s Creed during a few points. I like that a lot more than guns blazing all the time. Puzzle solving is also back better than it was in some of the previous games. I do wish there were even more puzzles, though.

Uncharted 4’s biggest issue is its second act. The pacing is so boring. People critique the third act, but I felt like that was Uncharted 4 getting back to its roots and rounding out that story they’ve been trying to tell over 4 games now. No spoilers will be given here, but the third act contains dialog necessary for building the emotional connection to what the characters are going through. Yes, the third act was a little slow, but I liked what it represented for the characters involved.

A  Thief’s End

The ending is perfect. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you still playing through, or who one day will fix their mistake by not having played these games.  After the game seems to end, stick around. Play through until Game Over on the Crash Bandcioot scene. This ending was very fulfilling. I eat this stuff up. Both my wife and I thought that it was a very fitting end. There’s a reason people are calling this, “The greatest story ever played.”