Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Name That Tune Tuesday: Samurai Pizza Cats (American Theme)

The Samurai Pizza Cats is a prime example of just how bad Saban would botch what they imported.  The theme and script are completely different.  The main villain is not actually a rat, he is a fox.  But that didn't stop me from watching religiously when it aired.  I still love the thoroughly stupid American theme song.   

Monday, April 29, 2013

Golden Banana

Tulips and her crew staring into the ocean with a big banana.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Azerothian Agriculture

 A few months back I was discussing with a friend his decision to start playing WoW again, only to decide pretty quickly to stop.  He expressed he really didn't want to level cap a character again.  I tried to point out that there is so much more to Mists of Pandaria than just level capping.  (That really goes for every expansion, some just do it better.)  My big sell was farming, but he just laughed.  At that point in time I did not realize that maintaining a farm in Pandaria was completely different than your secondary professions.  The obvious difference is that it isn't a profession, so you don't have to level it.  I originally thought it was a way to make gathering cooking ingredients easier and more engaging.  Turns out that farming, when done right, is one of the bigger tools for post level cap projects.

Before I go into why I think farming is awesome, you should know it is something you want to start early.  Your farm land is in the "town" Halfhill in the Valley of the Four Winds.  Rarely is anything just given to you in Warcraft.  You have a rather long quest chain to complete if you want the full potential and all 16 plots unlocked on your farm.  At first you get one plot to be taught how to farm, which then unlocks 3 more.  You are pretty much stuck with those 4 plots until you reach level 90.  You get 4 more when honored, another 4 when revered, and your last 4 when exalted with the faction known as the Tillers. Unfortunately you can't grind rep with them until level 90.  That doesn't mean you can't make good use of your farm while waiting, it just takes a little dedication.  When you plant your seeds you have to wait until the next day to harvest.  It seems like a bother, but 4 plots are easy to take care of in the beginning.  I usually tend to my farm first thing when I log on, then I go onto whatever I need to accomplish that day.

When tending my garden I sometimes have to destroy vermin.

Now on to how farming can help you.  Firstly, it helps raise your cooking skill.  Pandaren cooking is a bit of a pain in the ass, to be perfectly honest.  I loathe to think how difficult it would be without farming.  Without going into too much detail, there are sub levels to Pandaren cooking that you have to level up if you want to level up your main skill.  From when you unlock your first 4 plots until you reach level 90 you should be focusing on what vegetables you need to level your cooking skill.  Keep in mind that one seed will produce at least 5 of said vegetable when harvested.  If you haven't leveled your cooking skill at all, you may want to reconsider.  If you plan to level up with the Cloud Serpents, you will need cooking for some of their daily quests.

You can use your garden as a means to collect Ironpaw Tokens, as well.  These tokens are awarded from completion of certain dailies in Halfhill and when Replenishing the Pantry.  It takes a 100 of the same vegetable plus the proper container to make a bundle of groceries, which will earn you 1 Ironpaw Token.  These tokens can be saved and used to purchase a variety of cooking needs such as recipes, ingredients, and clothing.  When you only have 4 plots it will seem like forever, but it is better to start early.  A few minutes every day before you begin and it won't seem so daunting.

Tending my songbells.

Not everyone is concerned with their cooking skill, and I understand that.  When you hit level 90 your farm will become a lot more important.  The first step is to faction grind with the Tillers to unlock all your plots.  If you log on every day and do all the dailies, you could be exalted in a month or less with your first character.  Harvesting your crops actually levels up your reputation with the Tillers, which is a small boost in getting it done.  If you have multiple characters, then you will want to max out their farms, too.  Work on just one in the beginning, though.  Once revered with a faction you can buy an item that doubles rep experience for that faction with all of your characters.  The others will be done in a blink at that point.

Golden Lotus picking up the goods from my farm.

If you are big into reputation grinding and/or mount collecting like I am, then maxing out your farm will have already benefited you with the Tillers.  The best part is that your farm will help you grind reputation with other factions, too.  There is a work orders board that doesn't do much of anything for the longest time.  When I started doing quests for Golden Lotus and Klaxxi I started receiving work orders for them.  You have to plant 8 seeds and harvest 40 of the crop, then turn it into a little wagon on you farm.  The daily quest technically takes two days to complete, but you get 400 rep points.  While that may not seem like a lot, that is 400 more than you would get without the farm.  Plus, the whole thing takes very little effort.

The last thing I have found farming to be useful for is farming for trade skill materials.  Farming for mats used to mean killing countless mobs for drops or traveling zone after zone to mine/harvest those yellow dots on your mini-map.  Now you can literally farm for materials.  Once you become revered you can buy seeds that grow leather, cloth, herbs, ore, and even Motes of Harmony.  This is also where having farms on multiple characters will come in handy.  I will use my situation as an example.  Moblin is a tailor, so she will be able to make bags with 28 slots.  (That is a big deal, for those who don't play.)  Reputation grinding for this pattern is the least of my worries.  The materials for this bag are 12 pieces of Imperial Silk.  I can make this silk in two ways.  The first involves 8 bolts of windwool cloth, but I can only make one piece a day.  To do the second way I only need 5 bolts of windwool cloth, but I also need 3 Spirits of Harmony.  The second way can be repeated as many times as I have the materials in a day.  The second option seems like the way to go, right?  Well, it takes 10 Motes of Harmony to make just 1 Spirit of Harmony, and both the Mote of Harmony and Spirit of Harmony are BoP (bind on pick up, so I can trade between characters).  See where this is going?  So what I do is have Moblin plant and harvest the Motes of Harmony, and I have Tulips plant the windwool cloth and mail the harvest to Moblin.  By the time I finally grind my reputation high enough to buy the pattern, I will already have quite a bit of Imperial Silk stocked in my bank.

Farming materials can also help you when you need a material that isn't part of your profession.  Do you practice mining/engineering and need leather?  Instead of buying it off a skinner in the auction house, you can just grow it!  To be honest, after having mastered this new feature I find myself wishing it had been added a bit sooner.

In closing, farming kicks ass.  If you haven't given it a try yet, I strongly urge you to.  And if you don't play World of Warcraft, then shoot me a message.  I would love to send you an invite for a free trial.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Injustice: A Preliminary Review

 I wasn't originally planning on buying Injustice by Netherrealm Studios.  Not because I didn't want the game, because who wouldn't want to fight as Batman in a Mortal Kombat style game.  Rather, I was not sure if finances would allow for it.  I am only a couple hours in, but I am super glad I bought it.  Being only a few hours into story mode and not having played the other modes, this is just my very early take on the game.  I will probably do a follow up once I have tried out some of the other features.

I am a little surprised I am enjoying the game as much as I am.  Yes, I do love Batman and his crazy cast of villains, but I really don't care for Superman or Wonder Woman.  In fact, I know very little about the DC Universe past Batman.  The real selling point for this game was the fact that Netherrealm Studios is behind it.  I really enjoyed the latest in the Mortal Kombat series.  I think it is pretty safe to say that if you enjoyed the most recent Mortal Kombat and have a basic knowledge of Batman and Superman, then you will have a pleasant time.


The Story Mode in Injustice plays just like it did in Mortal Kombat.  The main story is told through the perspective of different DC characters, so you don't get to choose who you are.  I enjoy this because it gives you a chance to test out players you normally would not think to.  Aquaman is a good example.  I always thought of his character as a bit of a joke.  Not only is he bad ass in Story Mode, he is quite fun to play as well.  You start out as Batman and get a great rival fight pretty early into the game.  I am not terribly sure just how long story mode goes, but I have already had a few arch rival match ups for a few characters.

Injustice does have some new features.  One of which is a tutorial before you play Story Mode.  I highly suggest playing through all of the tutorial so you can get a feel for the changes.  I did not, and I ended up quite confused when my opponent started throwing pieces of the level at me.  So please play through the tutorial.  The game gets bonus points with the tutorial because you play as Batman and you get to beat the crap out of Superman.  With that said, the level interaction (also new) is awesome.  Some moves are based more on your opponent's location, like the throne room of Atlantis.  If your enemy is in the center, you can throw him against the throne.  Other levels aren't nearly as picky.  When Joker fights Harley Quinn, there is a dumpster I kept throwing at her.


It is still early in the game, but my initial verdict is that you need to run out and buy this game.  Fighting games have some of the best replay value, in my opinion.  That makes it a pretty sound purchase.  I will write more once I have had a chance to play it some more.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Richard Cheese - Star Wars Cantina

I absolutely LOVE Richard Cheese's parody song of Barry Manilow's Copacabana, Star Wars Cantina.  I don't know how you can be a Star Wars fan and not like this song.  I went browsing Youtube for the song and found this fun fan video for it.