Dragon Attack kills horse. Grr

So I have a manor in Falkreath and I read a book recently on a legend about a famous mage being murdered, something about his three sons, and the whole thing being stricken from the records of history, yet the legend remains. I decided to use my horse since it would be a bit faster for me to get from the south all the way up tot he ruins mentioned near Solitude.

So about one minute after I hit the road, riding along on my horse, did something large go WHOOSH right over my head. Oh bother, I think to myself, another dragon… well, when it comes to dragon bones, scales, and souls, enough is never enough. So I dismount and shoot an arrow at the dragon.

He breathes fire at my horse and kills it.

Now I’m really pissed off. I mean sure, with my perk points in speech, I can sell dragon bones for almost 1500 gold pieces, but still, MY HORSE!!! YOU KILLED MY HORSE! TALOS DAMN YOU!

Then he flies back to my manor and kills my chickens. Thankfully my highland cow made a run for it while my steward tries to go blade to tooth with the dragon while I sprint back to the manor. All the way back I’m yelling, “OH NO! NO! THAT IS NOT WHERE YOU GO FOR BREAKFAST! DON’T – YOU – DARE!!!

So yeah, I get there and all three chickens are dead, I don’t see the cow, and at this point I’m thinking it either ran away safely, or the dragon ate it. Thinking of the latter, I’m thinking, DAMN IT! TALOS TAKE YOU AND ROAST YOU ALIIIIIIIVE!!! I shout my frost breath shout at it, but it’s only two words instead of three.

Then he lifts off and goes hunting some wolves, forcing me to run over grass and rocks and fallen tree trunks after it. I’m shooting arrows at it like a machine gun (or like those automatic crossbows from Shrek 2) at this point, and Inigo finally gets to confront the dragon on the ground with his Blades Sword and Ebony Blade. Maybe I should have given him the one enchanted to do more damage to dragons… oh well. We managed to down it in the end, and upon closer inspection, I realize it was an ancient dragon, far more powerful than the whelps I’ve fought before. No wonder he was smart enough to avoid me and kill everything else.

Damn dragon killed my horse and chickens.  So I kill him and take his soul... eye for an eye I guess.

Damn dragon killed my horse and chickens. So I kill him and take his soul… eye for an eye I guess.

I head back to the manor, overlook my dead chickens, recall my dead horse by the damn lake, and see my long haired cow mosey on back into his pen. Yeah, don’t need a cow herder to do that, haha. Smart animal that one… as for the chickens, well, no wonder I’ve called them “bird-brain”.

After I catch my breath and store the dragon bones and scales inside, I head back out to check on my steward and ask her to buy me another horse and some more chickens. Maybe next time I go for a ride, and giant freak lizard won’t dive bomb me and cook my horse. >.< FML.

Markarth Conga?!

Hey look! It's the Markarth City Conga Line! Ya-dada-dada-da-DA!

Hey look! It’s the Markarth City Conga Line! Ya-dada-dada-da-DA!

Speakinspell is BACK!

This is a popular addon that was originally created in 2008 for the MMORPG game of World of Warcraft. Speakinspell is a unique addon, complicated even, but once you get to know it it becomes easy to use and quite possibly your most favorite addon of all.

The Ins and Outs

The way it works is once you’ve downloaded it and put it in your addons folder, you start up the game and just start playing as normal. Speakinspell is already working for you by watching what spells you are doing and what interactions you make. You get repairs from a veondor, you could greet the vendor as you do so. You start attacking something and you shout a random battlecry. You get a resurrection from another player and thank them with a whispered message. The way Speakinspell works is that is watches what you do, and then you can create announcements for whenever you cast these spells or trigger these events. The best way to get started would probably be to start attacking a target dummy so that the addon will detect what spells you use.

Like for example, I’ll create a new one right now so you can see how to do it yourself. As a night elf druid, I just attacked a rare monster and used Solar Beam to interrupt it’s self heal. Then when the fight is over and I’m in a safe spot (30 feet straight up as best), I open my addon’s window. The list to the left are the various menus of the addon. Click on “Create New” to get started.

Now to find your speech easier, let’s say I’d like the event to trigger when I start casting the spell in particular. Under the filter options on the create new page you’ve got a drop menu that lets you select what type of events to chose from. Let’s select that one, the one called, “Spells, Abilities, and Items (start casting). Now the second drop menu will have all the spells you’ve ever started casting that Speakinspell is aware of. Of course, another way to find it is to type the spellname, or even just a few words from it, and then select the event you’re looking for. Select the spell you want, for purposes of this demonstration it’s going to be when I start casting: Solar Beam, and then hit the Create New button.

Now we’re at the menu to edit the speech in question. When you hit the create new button, it loads the even that takes you to it so you can edit it, but from here you can edit any speech you already have in your records. For now, look at this closely. The first part at the very top is the Search option, in case you want to look for a particular spell to edit. It features the same options as the create new menu, on this will search for spells you already have “created”. Below Search will be Select. This is where you select the particular spell, in this case Solar Beam.

Now the third option in this editing menu is of course called Edit. This is where you change the settings for the event in question. Under the How Often box, there’s a checkbox to disable the event in case you don’t want it to trigger anything at all but you want to keep the event around instead of deleting it forever. Below that is a red button for deleting the event, don’t press it unless you really really mean it! Then below that is another check box, labeled as “Show these options.” Click on that, and it’ll reveal all the things you can set to make the event trigger the way you want it, and for the How Often settings, it shows two sliders: Random Chance % and the Cooldown. For most of my spells I prefer to give it a somewhat low random chance, so let’s set that to 33%… and then give it a cooldown of about 200 seconds. You can either use the sliders to adjust it, or to be more precise, just type in the numbers it the little boxes. With a 33% chance to proc, this means the spell will trigger a message only once in a while, and with a 200 second cooldown, it will prevent a second message from proccing right away, so it will help reduce spam. One note: the only speech I’d give a 100% proc chance and a 0 second cooldown would be for resurrections, because if say you don’t have the mass rez ability and you’re the only person alive and you must rez folks one by one, do so, and each one will get their own rez message when you start casting it.

The next part under editing is called “Which Channel?” and this menu is where you set how your addon says it’s speeches and when, as in when you’re by yourself, or in a party, or a raid. I’m hoping we can implement when you’re in an instance someday as well because when you Que for an LFR or a random heroic dungeon, or even a scenario, the addon does not recognize you as being in a party or raid group and therefore will not announce speeches. So hopefully we can get this feature updated. For the meanwhile, I set all my speeches to /say so that it’ll announce it no matter what kind of group I’m in.

Then we come to the next menu called “What To Say?” and this is where the fun really begins! Now a useful note is that if you’re character’s race has two languages, then you can select whether to use the default language, the alternate language, or randomize it! This of course will not work on Humans, Worgen, or Orcs, because they only have one language they know, which is the default Common for the Alliance and Orcish for the Horde. But in my case I’m on my night elf, so my two languages of choice are Common and Darnassian, so what I can do it select it to use a random language. Now a new slider appears and this is the gauge that will determine how often to use Darnassian. It’s automatically set to 50%, but I’ll lower it to 10%. Now below that will be where we can create our speeches.

In Random Speech, there is a black box that contains the space you type your speech in. I type in a sentence like, “Look at the shiny light!” and click on the button that says Accept. This will save your newly typed or edited speech! Now a new black box appears below speech one, so I can make another… and another… as many as I want, up to 50 I think… but I won’t make that many! About 3 ideas occur to me, and I type in those 3 speeches and save them one by one.

Solar Beam's message proc, one of them anyway.  I activated chat bubbles so you can read it more easily, I hope!

Solar Beam’s message proc, one of them anyway. I activated chat bubbles so you can read it more easily, I hope!

Now I’m ready to test it out! Let’s go find something to kill… or if you don’t want to kill something, attack a target dummy. I’m out in the field however, so I’ll just attack stuff and cast my spell when I can.

Bingo! It works like a charm!

So with this guide I hope you can get into the addon and create speeches for your characters. I’ve come up with several of my own for shapeshifting and using items, even for some professions like mining and gathering herbs, and even archaeology! I have a few speeches where I ask if there are any peanuts when I talk to a flight master, and a few for when I talk to a vendor or quest giver. And not just for my druid either.

When It Almost Died…

Now the addon hasn’t been updated for two years, so you can imagine the changes that happened to the game that the addon did not keep up with. For instance the inclusion of Goblins for the Horde and Worgen for the Alliance, and the Pandaren for either side! Then the new class, the Monks, they have their own spells and abilities. How about setting a speech to apply the vulcan neck pinch when you successfully cast “Touch of Death” and your foe dies? I did! But it’s not in the default settings… yet.

RP Helpers Night Elf... Sweet Elune!

RP Helpers Night Elf… Sweet Elune!

You see, another setting for the addon is under the left menu called “Import”. Under here you can import speeches from your friends or guild mates or even from a targeted player who has Speakinspell. But another thing is that the addon comes with some default speeches and some extra speeches created by the original writers of the addon. As you can see in this screen shot, there is a drop menu here, and if you look closely, since I am on my Night Elf Druid, you see some default categories for Druid and RP Helper Night Elf. When you select those, you can chose from a list of events from talking to a vendor to casting class specific spells. For example there’s a built in setup for Entangling Roots where the druid will say something like, “Halt in your tracks!” You can import this speech, then edit its settings, and there ya go!

Unfortunately, the addon does not have any default speeches included for the Goblins, Worgen, Pandarens, or any monks at all. Again, the addon was out of date for two years, so if you wanted some lore-specific speeches, you had to make them yourself. An example would be when you’re playing on your goblin and you use someone’s repair bot in a raid, and your goblin suddenly says, “Time is money, Jeeves!” Or you’re entering combat while playing a worgen, you can create a battle cry that makes it yell, “By bite is far worse than my bark!” Or you’re on a Pandaren and you talk to a vendor, you can create a message event that says something like, “White Tiger watch over you!” (this last one would also be good for any monk players regardless of race). But you’d have to create these speeches yourself.

But then one day, Speakinspell was pretty much broken. The original makers of the addon hadn’t updated it for years for an unknown reason, and this left a lot of users disappointed. Looking at the project site, you can see that last updated release was December of 2012, and it was downloaded over ten thousand times. That’s a lot of users! So when the addon started to break and wasn’t being updated and repaired, this was when people started to despair. Was this a unique addon that was doomed to disappear from our lives? It was very unique, one a kind. No other addon out there provides a large source of random macros for every spell you cast or every event your trigger. Congratulating guild members, scoring a critical strike, faking death as a hunter, shadowmelding as a night elf, bezerking as a troll, when you log in. even custom events that you create yourself. No other addon out there does what this one can do, complete control over your own spell event announcements, as serious or as silly or as witty as you wish!

The Return of Speakinspell!

I'll rip the secrets from your flesh! Wait, do shas have flesh? They're elementals... hmmm!

I’ll rip the secrets from your flesh! Wait, do shas have flesh? They’re elementals… hmmm!

So when I started to feel down about it, I mentioned it to my friend, who’s a computer programmer, and he offered to fix it for me. When he did, he decided to contact the original authors of the addon and ask permission to take over the addon so he could keep it up to date. The original creator of Speakinspell was overjoyed, responding within 24 hours of contact, and in a few short days, my friend was learning how to addon was coded and started fixing errors. Then he uploaded it to the internet and now it’s being downloaded again.

It’s latest release, which included the fix for the arenas that Blizzard changed a while back, is online. Speakinspell version 5.4.02… and int he last two days since it went live, it’s been downloaded over 500 times! I can only imagine the users of this addon jumping for joy at the realization that the addon is being updated again.

Then I got to thinking, I came up with new ideas for some spells and events, and especially had to since there were still no defaults for Worgen or Goblins or Pandaren. And hey, a new class, Monks. I’d have to invent something for them too, and I did. So I got to thinking, maybe I could create my own default templates and have my friend who is now keeping Speakinspell alive for me could add them into the code so everyone who downloads it can import them! Now you saw me mention importing speeches for night elves and druids. Imagine if you downloaded a future version of the addon and saw that you could import random speeches for your Goblin! Or battlecries fit for a savage Worgen! Honorable greetings for a Pandaren. And battlecries for a Monk based on things like the Karate Kid, Bruce Lee, and so on? Oh man, we have a lot to invent here!

So maybe in the very near future, I’ll come up with some new speeches to add into Speakinspell’s default settings. I mean with the addition of patches and changes to the game some spells still work, but others were changed entirely and are no longer worth anything in the default settings, like the hunters Mongoose Bite, or the mages spell for ritual of refreshment. That mage table used to require other people clicking on the portal to assist the mage with summoning the mana strudel, and the speeches for that event is still in there, still advertising stale strudels. But even if you imported that from the default speeches for the mage, it still won’t trigger because the spell name and how it works has completely changed. Now the mage can cast the spell and in a few seconds the table is there! No help needed, no need to charge gold for reagents since they were removed, and now it serves mana buns (which I have taken to calling Cinnamon Rolls) instead of strudel.

What I ended up doing was casting the spell, then creating a new speech event for it, and then creating my own speeches for it. “Strudels! Cakes! Cinnamon Rolls! Get ’em while they’re hot! No cookies thought – that’s the warlock’s department!” “Step right up folks and get your Mana Meals! Strudels, cakes, and cinnamons rolls galore!” Now imagine if I could have my friend remove the old speech event and replace it with the new speech event, maybe copy and past the old mage summoning table speeches or update them to reflect on the fact that you get mana buns instead of mana strudel, and this way you can import the speeches for your mage summoning table and it would work. Otherwise, you could import the no longer usable spell event, create the new one, and copy and paste the spell speeches one by one. Tedious isn’t it? So if we can update this, it would be awesome! The same for warlock cookie jars! And hey, there are speeches for portals created by the mage for every city, but no new ones for a portal to the vale! How would you like that to be available in the mage default settings? I mean you make a portal to Undercity and call it a sewer, or a portal to Stormwind and ask why would the player want to go there since they see humans all the time in real life? How about a portal to the vale and ask the raid group to pick some flowers and kill a mogu? Or advertise a pandaren food or two and tell them to swing by a restaurant for take-out specials? Hmm! And Tol Barad is another portal with no speeches in the mage defaults too. Maybe a few speeches for that. “Quickly! We must get to Tol Barad and take over the prison complex before THEY do! GO!” Image that!

So some old default spells are obsolete, there are a few new abilities that the old classes have, we have one new class to create events for, and three new races that can use their own speech events from vendor chatter to combat nonsense. I plan to help bring the Speakinspell up to speed. Even now I’m preparing some speeches to be implemented into the code, and I’m hoping to also set up my own template. You might notice in the imports that there’s something called Dire Lemming’s speeches, like his hearth stones and rez macros? and Durema’s Crowd Control speeches? In the future, you might just see a new one to import – Owlaf’s Witty Druid Collection. This way, I can share my speeches for when a druid player shapeshifts into any animal form. Bear, Cat, Moonkin, Travel Form and Flight Form and Aquatic Form. “They call me Flipper! Flipper!” “Time to haul hoof!” “Let’s break the sound barrier!” It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and now I have a chance. But first, I think I’ll focus on the 3 races and new class first.

Bringing it up to speed. Or, as my druid would say as she shifts into swift flight form: “LUDICROUS SPEED! GOOOOOOOOO!”

Warp 9 Druid

Happy New Year!

2014-01-06_00002Happy New Year, from Amaki’dar. Traveling on horseback through The Rift, where the snow won’t fall, we’re heading to Riften to get some Black-Briar Mead to celebrate the new year. Later in the night, I suppose I can shoot off fire arrows into the sky to celebrate since I never bothered with destruction magic spells.

At any rate, welcome to 2014 to all fans Skyrim!


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