Druid at 79; Cataclysm Coming Up!

Feeling rather ill this weekend, I did little again outside of working on my druid. I managed to really push her, landing at 79. Hopefully, if I have enough time tomorrow (or this week), I’ll get her up to 80 fairly quickly. Then it’ll be on to Mount Hyjal.

I want her at 85 quickly so I can continue to work on her Inscription skills as well as having someone with the capability to find Volatile Life. Afterwards I can continue to level either my hunter or my shaman (maybe even my warlock).

That all said, I’ve been interested in seeing how other feral druids DPS rotation is handled. One thing I’ve noticed is that there’s little information on solo feral druid DPS rotation with the current patch. Most of the information is geared towards raid bosses or situations where you have a tank. The reason for my interests is that cats supposedly have a complex rotation. But I think that rotation is more for bosses. From a solo perspective, it seems a lot easier.

As a solo feral druid, I have two methods: prowl (always when out of a fight), pounce (when it’s on cooldown), ravage, rake, feral fire (which stacks 3x), mangle x5 and any remaining energy goes to rip. When pounce is on cooldown, my next method is prowl, ravage (from behind), rake, feral fire, mangle, tiger fury, then mangle x4 and rip. Usually, between kills, I alternate in letting the cooldowns between pounce and tiger fury wear off so that I can start up again. Also, I have a macro that turns on my cool downs such as berserking, berserk, trinkets and whatnot. Right now, I think it’s busted because there might be some excessive abilities that get prevented as a result of some other ability on global cooldown.

I did read one comment on wowhead lamenting when people use mangle as the premier combo point builder as opposed to shred. Because shred requires you to be behind your enemy, I think for solo feral druids it’s impossible to use unless there’s an easy way to paralyze a mob so that you can build combo points. Realistically though, shred seems to be the combo point generator only in boss fights or where you have a tank managing the direction of the mobs for you.

At any rate, I am looking very much to yet another level 85 toon coming up. I can’t wait for her to be able to make relics and darkmoon cards for my toons.

PMI == BS

I just took a mega survey that supposedly was to help my friend. Originally, I thought that I would be simply writing a recommendation. Instead, I took a buzzword compliant mega form that made the SATs seem like a pre-school exam.

After reading through all the various terms, I wanted to thoroughly shove my head in a toilet filled with murk because that certainly would be cleaner than the garbage spewed by that institute. I mean, seriously, is project management that difficult? Is this the reason why large organizations fail? That is, because there’s so much BS created through this discipline that it forces companies to a halt?

I do see the validity of a project management type of role in large organizations to help prioritize and manage resources within a company. However, I think that the extent demonstrated in that survey is overkill. The survey honestly sounded like someone with way too much time on their hands decided to take this idea and make it into an overburdening discipline.

To me project management is like playing war/strategy games like Starcraft or Command and Conquer. Given some resources, you have an objective you need to complete with those resources. Perhaps, the only complexity that might be involved is the human factor of getting people to do actual work. But no amount of academics can ever prepare you for the incalculable number of personalities that emerge in the work place. And no amount of training can ever prepare one for the way these personalities can react to each other and the manager.

For software at least, I find this subject matter pretty irrelevant. I think software projects are more prone to succeed if you have software people working on them, including the project managers. I think it’s pretty rare to find non-software people being able to succeed in heavy technical environments unless they’re willing to delve into the tech side in creating that bridge. And certainly you don’t want to throw a n00b PM into a monstrous software project if they lack any technical background.

But it is kinda scary from my point of view where the whole PMP/PMI thing is being shown as this academic discipline. It’s just not realistic. Reminds me of the movie Aliens where they had the incompetent lieutenant Gorman who flew 38 simulated combat drops, but only 2 real ones (including the doomed one). If you go strictly by the book, you end up with a snafu like Gorman, lacking the ability to compensate because you don’t have the necessary experience to handle difficult scenarios. And god help you if you’re in a different cultural environment (happened on a project that I was on in Japan).

At any rate, this is a major reason why traditi0nally MBA programs wanted students to have at minimum 5 years of working experience. I think PMPs should definitely have something similar (not sure if they do; but if they don’t they better change that aspect immediately!)

Long, Productive Week

This week was truly brutal. The first two days I was living off of Redbulls (despite my exigency not to down those things anymore) as I had things I needed to accomplish. I only managed to hit the gym once this week as I just felt physically burnt out. From Friday, I started getting a slight sore throat and thisย  weekend I just felt physically atrocious.

That said, there has been glimpses of a light at the end of the tunnel.

One thing is that we won a nice award over at Launch, receiving the “Most Likely to Succeed” trophy. It’s not our first and we’re still in the finals for the Stevies. The president gave us some great stories when he returned for our all-hands pow-wow and I just felt really pumped in hearing the positive reception to our product.

I do believe that the next two months will probably see some blood shed in terms of hours and clearing towards the home stretch. However, all things considered I do think it’s worth the effort. Part of why I’m so high is simply that what I do has high visibility in the company so I can directly impact the bottom line. Sure, we’re still a start up so naturally everything people do in the company contributes.

However, I feel certain that this is where I need to be. I’m not lost in a mess of established cliques trying to vie for recognition with upper management. Instead, I can help establish the foundation and achieve bragging rights for whatever I do.

As a result, I feel extremely motivated and am willing to put forth the necessary effort to help move things along. I think my 12+ years of experience in the industry is starting to really pay off as I can contribute in a positive fashion. Add to the fact that I enjoy the environment and what I’m doing, it makes things less painful compared to prior situations where my existence had no meaning.

I’m very much looking forward to putting my stuff out into production and seeing the reactions of our customers and future customers. I think that the product can only get better.

Down the line, the other thing I’m looking forward to is the company growing. It’ll probably be a while before we make some major growth (maybe a few months). But when the engineering side (especially my group) expands, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

How the World May End

There was a really cool video shown from NASA about the sun having a monstrous solar flare today. While supposedly we were lucky in being out of harms way, one has to wonder if our luck will run out some day. Of course, considering recent talk about the so-called end of the world predictions, seeing something like this somewhat reifies an otherwise ludicrous pronouncement, making the situation reminiscent about an old Saturday Night Live gag where a prophetic quiz taker repeatedly answered “meteor” (for which, his opponent got crushed, thus allowing him victory by default).

Obviously, one day the earth that we know will be consumed by the conflagration of our illustrious neighbor. There’s not a lot people can do about that, but supposedly that true dooms day is way off in the future (unless some alien is secretly planting a reactive device in the sun that can cause it to erupt). When most people ponder such an event, they probably wallow in sorrow (except for the hardcore religious people who feel that something divine will eventually save them in some unidentified, abstract fashion). For myself, I couldn’t care less.

The whole idea of the world ending draws little to no sympathy from me. One, no one knows for certain how it will end. Second, no one for certain knows when it will end. For me, it doesn’t matter. The only thing I can hope for is a swift end to consciousness such that my pain receptors instantly dull upon that moment of non-existence.

But I do feel that most people would mourn the fact of loss. Loss of what? Memory? Culture? Civilization? Materials? Relationships? Sure, I would feel bad for a few things that would go missing. My giraffe and innocent stuffed animals. My chart of 50-100 women that are listed on my secret file that I would ask the aliens for my upcoming UFO to allow to accompany me. My home and my mom. Maybe some friends.

However, to mourn over the entire civilization as it exist today is utterly arrogant. Call me harsh but I honestly feel most people are here by accident and lack of planning. It’s why people are constantly resource constrained. That guy sitting over there takes up a percentage of your food, water, income, etc. and acts as a general impediment. I can become more specific than that.

Going through the drive through at Jack-n-the-Box (I never learn…), I encountered two utterly incompetent workers. They completely gave me the wrong change on two occasions, relying on the cash register to properly guide them. Then the guy didn’t even bother to ask whether I wanted any condiments, which is pretty standard. More than likely he was either new to the job or stressed out as a result of the guy in front of me (it looked like he got his order screwed up as well), but that didn’t give me much confidence in humanity. The woman, who I assume was the manager, didn’t fare much better. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. In these situations, my saying is “Well, there’s a reason you work there.”

Regardless, I’m utterly certain down the line this type of job will some day be completely automated, removing the necessity for human intervention at least at the fast food chain level. That said, somehow the way society works is that it’s currently designed to put these people, who lack skills or competence and probably ended up as an accident in this world, to use somehow because we need taxes, certain elements of labor, etc. That said, I feel that it’s completely unnecessary (probably as upper management probably thinks software people like me are absolutely unnecessary…more on that in a minute).

Similarly, I found this link online about a woman who complained about her treatment at a theater. I won’t summarize it but my general feeling is that after reading the article and listening to the recording, I concluded that I absolutely hate people. Things like this make me really hate people. I didn’t feel that the woman nor the theater were any better than the other.

Going back to my situation about how upper management (not necessarily my company but George Carlin’s so-called “Owners”) probably sees me as a slow, useless, incompetent software guy, well those people are equally sad. My justification for why I’d like to not be classified with the Jack-n-the-Box duo is that I actually try to contribute something useful to society in some way, whether its through how I attempt to help friends out, software development, writings, money donations, etc. I’d like to think of myself as someone that is not an obstacle on the critical path, but someone that can hopefully enhance this world by a tiny bit in a positive direction (minus my rants). I truly hope those “Owners” do not lump me in with the rest of these people.

I could probably point out hundreds of instances easily of similar situations. But rather than providing myself a case for committing suicide through utter depression, I will say that the notion of feeling sorrow for the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t cross my mind for one second. In fact, I kinda embrace it. Start from a clean slate if there’s enough smart cookies that manage to figure out how to get off this rock in time to avoid total destruction. Then those that were smart enough can hopefully utilize history to avoid repeating all these mistakes (although the idea of rebuilding would be pretty damn hard considering that more than likely all the resources beforehand are probably gone, unless you do something like that 2012 movie where you build large arks to preserve wild life, etc.)

Again, if the world ends like that, I’m only hoping that the aliens that people supposedly have seen have identified me as a positive member of society and are willing to let me board their craft and choose around 100 people (or so). I think the number really is around 500, but the 100 people are my, uh, special list, if you know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰

World of Warcraft: Movin’ on Up

I just got my druid to level 68 and moved her to Northrend in the Borean Tundra. Her inscription is now at 361 and I plan to do a few round wandering around the area to do some gathering. Although I predict the next few days to be somewhat busy, I’m hoping that this weekend I’ll be able to get her to Dragonblight as well as some green gear.

I must admit that the two heirloom pieces have been a tremendous boon. While I cannot enchant them, the fact that I never have to deal with picking up chest nor shoulder pieces is great. Not to mention that accelerated leveling from the 25% experience bonus (including my guild’s +5% bonus).

Since I’m no longer free these days, it’ll take me a little longer to level her up. Perhaps two weeks. But pretty much my focus will be completely on her. The end goal is to get her to 85 as soon as possible so I can work on the highest inscription capabilities. That in itself means creating relics and the epic trinkets. Also, my other goal is to have someone dedicated to obtaining volatile life.

On a side note, I found it interesting that my hunter was able to sell off his old leatherworking materials. I didn’t earn as much gold as I would’ve during the Wrath of the Lich King patch, but it was nice to clear some room and make some change.

Of course, I can’t wait until my shaman and warlock hit high numbers for their levels so I can dominate the professions market. That’ll come in due time once my druid caps at 85 ๐Ÿ™‚