Yak Vendor in World of Warcraft

One of the two most commonly searched items I’ve found was the Yak Vendor in World of Warcraft. The other had to do with Anise’s Cabin in Skyrim. Considering where the vendor is, it’s no wonder people have a hard time trying to find him, so I decided to give a heads up for those who needed help.WoWScrnShot_060614_102237

For one thing, it’s no wonder we have a tough time tracking down this salesman… he’s a grummle, so he’s very short to begin with. His name is Uncle Bigpocket, and considering how much gold he asks for these mounts, he’d naturally need a big pocket to hold them all. Shame rogues cannot pickpocket friendly NPCs, or they’d be crazily rich.

One way to spot him to to use the target command, “/target Uncle Bigpocket” So juct use the command within the quotation marks, but don’t use the quotation marks – you’ll only confuse the game.

Another way is if you use coordinates. You can use an addon or two that allows you to see where you are on the X/Y axis of the game world. I use addons like Titan Panel and Sexy Map, and they both have a few features to enhance information you get from your game. For example you can select Sexy Map to display coordinates for you, or as with TitanPanel one of the things it can display is your location, which you can modify to show the name of the area you are in as well as the zone name if you wish, and more importantly the coordinates of where you currently are.

Based on this information, I have Uncle Bigpockets pinpointed at coordinates 65, 61.

WoWScrnShot_060614_104649Or let’s say you don’t use coordinates. Maybe it only gives you a headache, or you just want a visual guide of sorts. The quickest way to the Yak Vendor in WoW. No problem. Assuming you got all the flight paths in the game, take a flight (taxi) to a village called One Keg. The Grummle Bazaar is due east from there. If you look on your map, you’ll see that One Keg has map artwork of a Pandaren building, as well as a flight path symbol. Look to the right of that and you’ll see a similar house icon to the east of One Keg, though it has no flight path, but then it’s only a quick walk/run away from One Keg that it was probably hardly worth setting up a flight path there. Another way to find the Grummle Bazaar is to travel on the road going south from the Temple of the White Tiger.

Another tip to help you find it, if you’re a pet battle trainer like me, or playing a hunter character, then odds are you have the Stable icon appear on your minimap. The stable is an NPC who offers to store extra hunter pets so they can go tame other beasts for their combat uses, and it is also the NPC who can revive your companion pets for pet battles as well. The Icon is in the shape of horse shoe on your minimap. Now the Grummle Bazaar has no flight master, but it does have the stable master, so if you have that trackable on your minimap, then you’ll see where the stable master is on said minimap. The stable master at the Grummle Bazaar is named Herder Muskfree, and in the paddock behind him are the yaks, and Uncle Bigpockets.

… these grummles sure have weird names, but then I bet they think Owlaf is a weird name too!

WoWScrnShot_060614_102305So there you have it, the location of the Yak Vendor in Wow. Due east of One Keg (which has a flight path) so you can simply take a flight path taxi to one keg, then travel east to the Grummle Bazaar, or you can pinpoint his coordinates, which again is 65, 61.

As for the gold…. it costs 106,000 gold pieces to buy the grand expedition yak… I can’t help you get it, though I can suggest daily quests galore. I have yet to see an actual gold coin drop on the Timeless Isle, so I don’t recommend farming there if you’re after gold.


Children’s Week in WoW 2014: No News


Can you hear that? It’s the sound of crickets chirping.

It’s Children’s Week once again in World of Warcraft. This Massive Mulitplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) is online all the time, around the clock, all year round, and it has holidays for various occasions that mimic the real world holidays. This week, from April 28th till May 5th, it’s Children’s Week, which is most likely based on Japan’s holiday on May 5th, which is Children’s Day. The holiday lasts for one week in World of Warcaft however, which gives players plenty of time to get into the game and complete quests and achievements during the event, and it usually takes place during the first week of May. For the Japan Holiday, is is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month, and it is a day that is set aside to respect children’s personalities and celebrate their happiness, which I think is kind of cool and I wish there was a holiday for that here in the states. After all, we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents Day. My hope to you, my readers, is that you take the time to enjoy your time with your children and to celebrate their being in your lives, because they truly are the greatest gifts in life and very precious.

In World of Warcraft, the theme is that… well… war, I suppose. The idea is that warriors fought and died bravely on the field of battle, but unfortunately their children were left behind from the conflict. Or perhaps the children’s village or city was sacked by the enemy and their parents were just simple farmers who were killed. Either way, there are orphans in Azeroth, and this week is when you get to temporarily adopt an orphan and take them on a whirlwind tour of Azeroth and get them Ice Cream and fly a kite. The Alliance gets a human orphan, and the Horde gets an Orc orphan, which in a way I can see this as an homage to the original video games from Blizard, “Warcraft: Orcs and Humans” or something similar.


Dawn’s Blossom, the first place in Pandaria where you get to see Pandaren Cubs (not counting the Pandaren starting zone).

Now recently, they’ve been updating the artwork of the original races of Azeroth, giving them newer and better looking art. The game is almost 10 years old, so it could definitely use some polishing up to make it look nicer, but the orphans have never changed. We don’t see any Tauren calves or troll kids running about… or Night elf kids climbing trees or Dwarven children climbing the beer barrels outside the Thunderbrew Distillery. No Goblin kids that are afraid of water due to their home island sinking, or Worgen kids that change from human to wolf depending on the time of day. Forsaken… well, undead don’t have children… maybe they can have the Trick-or-Treat kids from Nightmare Before Christmas… Gnome kids would ask for the player’s help on completed a rube-goldberg device that automatically ties their shoes and stirs their chocolate milk.

Probably the most notable thing this year is the lack of new quests, particularly in the new world zone of Pandaria. Pandaria was shrouded in mist for thousands of years and was recently discovered and explored by the Horde and Alliance. During this period of history, the Sha corrupt the land and Garrosh Hellscream commit several terrible acts that, well… just weren’t nice. An insurrection occurs and Garrosh is removed from the Horde leadership, but there is no denying the fact that Pandaria has suffered from his hand and from the effects of the Sha.

So why then are there no Pandaren orphans? You expect me to believe that the death toll is zero? Did Pandaren warriors fight against Garrosh and die? Did the sha corrupt the land and send Pandaren farmers packing, or even kill these Pandaren? Did any cubs lose parents during this time of hardship in the land of mists?


The lair of the Jade Witch.

It seems not. There are still orphans in the Horde and Alliance, in the Outlands, and in Northrend, but it looks as if the only thing Pandaren Cubs should fear is the Jade Witch, a woman Pandaren who lives in the Jade forest and has a tendency to turn intruders into green statues. Players who complete the quest chain involving this will free the ones who were transformed into jade and all the cubs will return to their homes safe and sound. After this, the Jade Witch no longer appears in her hut, the kid statues are gone, but some jade panthers will still prowl the woods, the last remnants of the witch’s influence. And the Pandaren cubs live happily ever after.

So yeah, no Pandaren orphans, in spite of the sha infestation and Garrosh’s influence and attacks on the land. Seems that either the Celestials were truly watching over the Pandaren families, or the game developers couldn’t be buggered. After all, they are coming out with a new expansion soon, updating art and animations. No pressure. There’s always next year.

Meanwhile, this is another holiday I will be skipping out on. You can get pets as quest rewards for taking time to be with an orphan and show them the world, but I have them all. You can get achievements and earn a title “Matron/Patron”, and I already have that. No new things this year.

I saved a bunch of Pandaren cubs from the Jade Witch during the normal quest chain that can be done only once at any time of the year, as you’re playing in Pandaria, and my reward as a lot of fuzzy little smiles and a green raccoon trinket that I’ll never use. I wish that was a pet. Or maybe a new box kite.


Socks is the name of the raccoon that got turned into Jade during it’s adventures in the forest.

Jade Raccoon Trinket

The trinket summons Socks the Raccoon, but it doesn’t stay out permanently like other companion pets and you can only have it out when you use the trinket.

Snow Veil Sanctum Answer

I was looking at my blog stats this morning and came across something interesting. In one of my stats I get to see how people reached my blog, and one of them is searches. One of the searches was this:

snow veil sanctum after you are shot you end up outside is there any reason to go back in

I never went back before, to be honest. Snow Veil Sanctum is only accessible during the Thieves Guild quest line, and going in there not only gets you ahead in the quest line for the Guild, but there are some rewards to discover as you go through the tomb. The dungeon is almost a test of your skills, but sometimes Mercer Frey will attack when you’re trying to sneak past a group of draugr, or you try to kill one and he wakes the other five nearby.

However, there are some notable items that can be found in the sanctum while you are tripping the traps and waking angry demented zombies:

  • Model Ship can be sold to Delvin Mallory (when attempting to pick up the model ship, avoid shooting the explosive lanterns above, as they will throw items nearby all around the area making it difficult to loot some of them).
  • Light Armor skill-book Ice and Chitin in the same room as the Dragon Word Wall
  • Skill book, Three Thieves – bone chimes room.
  • Word Wall – Disarm

The word wall for the Disarm shout is one of the last things of interest in the ruins, except for the quest itself. Once you’re shot, the quest ends and the new one starts when you recover outside. The last room in the dungeon is locked with a puzzle door, and Mercer Frey uses his own “key” for unlocking it, and if you’ve completed the entire quest line, you’ll know which key this is. When you go in, you get shot and a cut scene occurs. Once it’s over you’re outside the sanctum. The only thing worthy of note in that last room is a skeleton, presumed to be Gallus.

If you managed to find the skill books, the model ship, and the dragon shout, and if you completed the quest in question, then there is no real reason for going back in there unless you wanted to sneak past Draugr that might have respawned. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gone back, never saw a need to since I always get the word wall and the model ship, which are the two things I recommend getting if you never want to go back in there again.

I hope whoever was searching for the answer to their question reads this, and I hope it helps.

Eyes open. Walk with the Shadows.

Another Owlaf Druid. Hoot Hoot!

It's an Owl!

It’s an Owl!

My favorite realm of Feathermoon has all 11 character slots filled, so when Feathermoon was merged with Scarlet Crusade, I was able to make more characters and have them in my guilds that are on Feathermoon. In a sense, the two realms are one. The only annoyance is having to exit the character menu to select the realms in question. If Blizzard Entertainment reads this, then my recommendation would be to come up with a way to display all characters on merged realms. Use an arrow to scroll through the list… or make them all minimized icons, and when you click on it to select it, it loads it’s basic information such as level, class/race, location, professions, and so on. Of course, it’s just an idea…

At any rate, I created a new druid on Scarlet Crusade, a Troll named Owlaf… Yes yes, I already have an Owlaf on Feathermoon, and now I have another one. When I type /played, it shows me that I’ve played a total of 3 days and 17 hours. That much play time and I’m at level 86. Woot!

So I pug into a couple of dungeons just to do the quests and hope for some blue items, and I still need to replace my shoulders, but while in Jade Temple, the warlock dies and goes AFK during the first fight. By the time we’re at the third boss area he still hasn’t said a word, let alone released and rezzed. The rest of us get into a little discussion as to what to do with him.

Why we kick people who go AFK... and how we come to that reasoning.

Why we kick people who go AFK… and how we come to that reasoning.

Even in a dungeon group with random, total strangers, they still refer to me as Owl. I love it. 🙂

Or at least they recognize the Owl part of my name, which is a nickname I enjoy using. With my comment in the instance channel, I was thinking of myself as a troll witch doctor, sort of. Yet because of my name, I was still thought of as an Owl. I was surprised.

Owl guess that this is the beginning of a lot of fun times… times of shrinking heads, playing with voodoo dolls, and pecking the eyes out of my enemies. Taz-dingo!

Low Level Mount – Sea Turtle FTW!

Meet my newest toon – Amaki. A female Troll hunter. Being at a low level I always like to come up with ideas on how to develop my toons in World of Warcraft early on. So for my hunter, I once again decided to go with mining and engineering. Now engineering was great for making bullets and arrows for ranged weapons, which was a must up until the end days of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, but then right as Cataclysm was being released, Blizzard did away with all ammunition, so now hunters never run out of ammo. Now I do admit it is nice not having to worry about restocking your supply of ammo or worrying about having the best ammo equipped, but I do miss being able to make my own ammo and working hard to get the best. The best arrows/bullets at the time were a reward for gaining reputation with the Ashen Verdict, and almost right after I got the recipe for that, they released the change that removed them from the game forever. FML.

Turtles all the way down!

Turtles all the way down!

But with engineering, you can still make weapons. Early on you can make sticks of dynamite that you can throw at a targeted location on the ground, and you can make scopes that you can attach to any gun, bow, or crossbow, and you can even create these ranged weapons as you level up. At end game, you can make the best scopes to attach to your weapons, and when you first hit max level, if you leveled your engineering up too, you can probably make a decent weapon to use until you can get a better one to drop in a raid or heroic dungeon. So as you can see, Engineering is an excellent choice for a hunter. Not to mention being able to make helmets that resemble goggles.

So as I was leveling the engineering and mining skills, I recalled that the Darkmoon Faire was open for the week, so I took a teleport from an NPC in Orgrimmar and headed on in to play the games and do quests for my professions. Then on a whim I decided to hunt and kill the Darkmoon crawlers that lurk in the waters around the island for their meat and claws so I could level my cooking skill. Sure, I could wait till I get to Pandaria and level my cooking in a pinch there, but I also like to cook as a level as well. Each to their own.

Now as I was swimming about and sniping level 10 crawlers, a thought occurred to me… These crabs were spread out in the water and I might eventually get all the way around the island, but I swim so slowly! Then I remembered the Sea Turtle.

The Sea Turtle is the only mount in the game that has to level requirement or skill requirement in order to ride it, even though the game will tell you otherwise. To get the idea, if you have a low level character, You can open your pet/mount window by holding down SHIFT and pressing P. When you do that, select the tab for the mounts you have on your account. Below level 20, and without training, they should all be grayed out. Even the Sea Turtle will be gray, and mousing over it, it will tell you “You do not meet the requirements for this mount.”

But in fact, the Sea Turtle CAN be used at ANY level. Normally I’d click and drag a mount icon to my action bars so I can click on there easily to mount up, but at a low level you can’t do that until you get the riding training. Yet there is a way. You can make a macro that lets you mount on your Sea Turtle, if you have one.

Open up the menu by pressing Escape, then click on the word “Macros”, and name whatever name you wish for your new macro, and in the edit box for the macro’s programming, just type the following:

/cast Sea Turtle

and that’s it! You can even leave the icon for this macro as a question mark, and it will automatically use the icon for the sea turtle itself if you did this correctly. Then you can move the button for the macro onto your action bar, then click and voila! You’re on your sea turtle!

The Macro Menu. I use an addon called Macro Toolkit, just fwi

The Macro Menu. I use an addon called Macro Toolkit, just fwi

Now as far as mount speed is concerned, the reason you CAN mount on this at a low level is because the sea turtle is the only mount in the game that moves at the default run speed on land, so your sea turtle won’t go faster than you can on foot. However, it is a fast swimmer. Normally when you swim, you move at 67% speed in the water. 100% speed is your run speed on land. On the sea turtle, your swimming speed is increased by 60%. That means on a Sea Turtle, you’ll be able to swim in the water at 108% speed. That’s faster than walking on land, and it’d way faster than swimming dog-paddle or froggy style.

And here’s a bonus: The guild perk for increasing mount speed applies to the Sea Turtle, but only on land – swim speed is not altered. So players who are not in a guild or are in a low level guild without the perk, their turtles would move at the same speed as walking on land – but for guilds who have the perk, the sea turtle will move at 110% on land. It may not seem much, but imagine to look on that player’s face when you pass him up on a turtle on the way to the quest giver!

when you're not moving, hit the Spacebar or type /mountspecial to see what your mount does. Horses rear up on their hind legs, wolves growl. The Sea Turtle goes into it's shell!

when you’re not moving, hit the Spacebar or type /mountspecial to see what your mount does. Horses rear up on their hind legs, wolves growl. The Sea Turtle goes into it’s shell!

Now the question you might be asking yourself is, where can I get this fabulous mount? Well, that’s the tough part. You’d have to fish it up, and be extremely lucky as well. You can fish this mount up from any pool of fish (not open water) in Northrend, Cataclysm zones, Pandaria, and from the Shipwreck Debris around Darkmoon Island. I got mine unexpectedly while fishing for Emperor Salmon just outside the Stormstout Brewery in the Valley of the Four Winds in Pandaria. I don’t remember if I was using bait or fishing gear at the time, but my jaw did drop when I got this mount.

From me to you, I wish you all the best of luck for this mount if you’re still fishin’ for it, my congratulations to those who got it, and my thanks for reading this blog. I hope you make use of this macro for your low level toons that have the sea turtle in your collection. 🙂

Heimskr… Fixed by Unofficial Skyrim Patch, and Scorned by Inigo!

Behold Heimskr! This resident can be a target for the thieves guild on occasion, but once his house is destroyed by the civil war he no longer can be robbed or anything like that. But perhaps this character in Skyrim is more known for standing in front of a statue of Talos and giving his speech all day long. He is a priest of Talos, and a doomsayer of sorts. His sermons can be heard as you head to the temple of Kynareth, or up to Dragonsreach, or over to Jorrvaskr where the Companions are located, so odds are you either stood nearby to listen to the whole thing, or you heard bits and pieces of it over time and heard the whole thing anyway. Some players may kill Heimskr just to silence him. I did in one game, and came to regret the decision because as I would traverse Whiterun from the shops in the market up to the palace, I’d hear nothing; it felt as though something was missing.

After I completed the civil war questline… I probably should mention that I always join up with the Stormcloaks, mainly because first thing in the game you are a prisoner of the Empire and are about to have your head cut off. Given the choice, I’d go with the Stormcloaks any day of the week. That being said, I’m not sure what happens to Heimskr after the battle for Whiterun if you sided with the Imperials, but I do know what happens when you side with the Stormcloaks and win the battle for this city. As far as Heimskr goes, his house is destroyed, but I think that along with Severio Pelagia’s house is always destroyed no matter which side you are on. However, Severio will always die, but Heimskr will live. Heimskr’s house being destroyed, he will set up a tent between Jorrvaskr and the statue of Talos. Since I never side with the Imperials, I don’t know if he continues to deliver his sermons in front of the statue or if he’s arrested and thrown into the jail in Whiterun. But if you sided with the Stormcloaks, he sleeps in his little tent at night and delivers his sermons during the day in front of the statue.

To the left you can see Inigo, and behind him is what's left of Heimskr's house. To the right you can see Heimskr himself, fully clothed and preaching away.

To the left you can see Inigo, and behind him is what’s left of Heimskr’s house. To the right you can see Heimskr himself, fully clothed and preaching away.

The only problem before was this: After the battle for Whiterun(Stormcloaks), Heimskr would be in rags instead of his robes. A bug to be sure. My thoughts would be that when you deliver the axe to the Jarl, he tells you to take it back and then asks his Steward to get some ink and the good parchment, so he can send a letter to Solitude to officially side with the Empire. Once the Imperials arrive, have to enforce the White-Gold Concordat, they arrest Heimskr for worshiping Talos. Then the battle for Whiterun occurs. Unbeknownst to us, the Stormcloaks release Heimskr from prison so he can resume his sermons to the great and mighty Talos… but thanks to a bug in the game, they forget to give him his clothes.

And that is why, folks, Heimskr will preach Talos in rags (or undergarments if you wish to call it that).

Fortunately there is a way to fix that. A certain series of mods that applies fixes to the games is available, the one in particular is called “Unofficial Skyrim Patch,” written by a team of programmers I assume who devote themselves to discovering bugs and repairing them as well as editing graphic problems, fixing broken quests, audio and subtitles, you name it! I can’t begin to explain all their fixes, but suffice it to say that they’re constantly doing what Bethesda is not (or so it seems to me), and that is making sure the game continues to run as best as possible.

The most recent file was released on February 19th, 2014, as of this blog anyway. I’m sure they’ll come out with more fixes in the future, but there was one fix I saw in their changelog that made me laugh out loud. I quote:

  • One more chance Heimskr, either you’re fixed now or we’re undoing everything we’ve been trying to fix for you!

I saw that and laughed to myself, and I guessed that this was in reference to the fact that after the civil war quest is completed on the Stormcloak side then he’d still be cloaked in rags. So I updated my mod and loaded the game and went straight to Whiterun, because he was still in rags to me and I wanted to see if it was indeed fixed.

Unfortunately he was still in rags. So I fast traveled to the stables nearby and made a fresh save (I’ll call this “Save A”). Then I exited the game and opened my Nexus Mod Manager(NMM), the program I use and recommend for adding and organizing mods to Skyrim, and I unchecked all the Unofficial Patch mods so they would not load. Then I loaded the game and “Save A” at the stables, and immediately saved it as a new file, let’s call it “Save B”. Once saved I exited the game again, then in NMM I reactivated the Unofficial patches and reloaded the game, and loaded “Save B”… Save B was the clean save, so now with the patches activated, it should work correctly. I fast travel to Dragonsreach so I can run down the steps and see Heimskr.

Sure enough, performing a clean save uninstall/re-install worked like a charm. Heimskr was delivering his sermons as usual, and he was wearing the orange and yellow robes of the priesthood like he was supposed to. Congratulations goes out to the Unofficial Patch Project Team, it works as far as I can tell! Fixed for sure!

Now I do use another mod, called Inigo. It adds a unique follower to the game that has many dialogue options, witty comments in casual settings or in combat, and even tells you how he thinks you’re doing if you ask him. He’s a khajiit, with a unique coloring of fur that is not seen on any other in the game, and he behaves like any other follower in the game, except he’s more chatty and witty. Normally I never play with a follower in tow, but after I discovered this mod, I never go anywhere without him.

Inigo's comment about Heimskr.

Inigo’s comment about Heimskr.

So today as I was testing out the fix for Heimskr, Inigo and I were near him, and he made a few comments I never heard him say before, and it made me laugh.

If I were to recommend some mods for this game, one would be the Unofficial Skyrim Patches, and they have more than one, so if you have the addons for Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and even the High Resolution Packages, then you’d want to have the Unofficial Patches for those too. The other mod I’d recommend would be Inigo. Take him with you wherever you go. Granted, there might be a few places he can’t go with you, like to jail or the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary in Falkreath for example, but in all other places, he’s a riot! A must have for you adventures in Skyrim!

Talos be with you!

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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