About Zeirah

I play and raid on Barthilas as a Resto druid though I am a serious altoholic. Stop by and read up on my random musing on my adventures through Azeroth.

Pretty Pretty

FF14 has a new patch coming out tomorrow so all the servers are down for pre-patch maintenance. I figured it was a good time to have a look through some of the pics I’ve been taking in the game. I’m screenshotting away everywhere and I’m still blown away by how pretty this game is.

I absolutely love the detail in the clothes and accessories in the game. One really cool thing is when you equip rings and necklaces they actually show on your character.

I’m having trouble choosing my favourite outfits, both my Mage and Bard have really different styles. I’m really quickly running out of inventory space because I’m trying to keep every piece of clothing I collect.

When you emote /hug, your characters arms go out and make a hugging motion, which is awesome if you’re standing close because you can really cuddle!  

You can collect pets in the game; they’re called Minions which I think is hilarous. I love my little owl that I got from a dungeon reward, he rests on my shoulder when he’s not out and about flying around my head.

It’s screenshot heaven when a world boss is up and the zone is packed with other people because everyone has minions and mounts that are so fancy. You can dress up your chocobo mount with different armor and if you feed it different foods, you can change its feathers colour

Some of the casting animations actually has my Bard actually playing an instrument.  I’m loving my Bard so much which is surprising since I hardly ever play a dps role in WoW.

And look, they have the Frequent Flyer achivement I blogged about wanting to see here.

Such a pretty game! 

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The Final Fantasy

Hello friends!! oh wow it’s been so long, too long, since I was here. I keep meaning to come and chatter about games, but then actually spending all my free time playing game gets in the way of writing about them.

Years ago one of my friends recommended I try Final Fantasy 14 and I wasn’t interested at the time , but a few weeks ago I decided to give it a go and I was pretty much instantly hooked.

This game is gorgeous and is a real treat to play at the moment. Like all mmo’s there’s probably downsides to it, but I haven’t been playing long enough to find them. I’ve been levelling with Dec and 2 other friends as we all started the game together and it’s made it go by so fast, having four of us running around questing together and no dungeon queues as dungeons only need 4 people.

The game has a main story quest which you follow through every zone and it unlocks everything in the game as you work though the story.  The main quest story is really well done as it leads you to a lot of the dungeons and main features of the game as you go. There are tons and tons of side quests I still need to go back and do as the main story line gives the majority of the exp you need to level.

The game is super cut scene heavy though, I watched quite a lot along the way but there were  heaps I skipped through. I might make another toon one day and work my way slowly through the story and watch all the videos, though I can see that taking weeks to level a toon. One of the cut scenes for the ending of the story  went for over 15 minutes.It was so immersive though, it felt more like you were watching a movie than just a forced break in the questing process.

One design that is really interesting is that one toon can play all the different classes  in the game as it’s the weapon you equip that determines what job you are. There are so many different jobs you can do in the game but I decided to stick to what I usually play in a new game and started out as a mage.

The levelling for the different jobs is done really well with a completely different story quest for each one in addition to the main story quest that everyone works through.   We got our toons to max level 70 a  few days ago and I pretty much instantly decided I had chosen a class which didn’t really sit well with me.

The mage is fun to play with lots of flashy fire and lightning spells but the super long cast times and inability to move while casting was starting to bug the heck out of me in the higher dungeons where I’d either be hit by every mechanic, trying to stand still to cast or run  around like a headless chicken and do no damage. I decided I’d try a new class and started to level a Bard. Way more movement abilities and some really awesome cast animations. She’s currently level 60 so I’m rushing to level her up so I can swap her out for my mage before we get too far into the gearing and raiding part of being at end level.

This game has hooked me a lot now and there’s so much I want to explore in it that I can see it occupying a lot of my time.  There’s a few other jobs I’d really like to try out and so many professions. Unlike WoW where you can choose 2 main professions, you can access all the professions in the game as they are tied to weapon type as well. So far I’ve dabbled in  Culinarian, Weaver and Botanist but there are so many I haven’t tried out yet. All the professions have their own quests and armour as well so it looks like it could be a long process getting them all up to a decent level. They also have super cute animations when you’re crafting. My culinarian really cooks her own food!

For the first time in, well ever, I cancelled my WoW sub. I figured I didn’t really need to be paying Blizz monthly to not log in at all. I’ve got access to the Beta but it’s not grabbing me enough to log in just yet. There’s still a few weeks before BFA comes out, so I have time to muck around in Final Fantasy a bit longer before I have to decide if I want to be a Druid again.

There’s bound to be more FF14 posts and pics coming up, stay tuned!

Looking cute in Old School Runescape

The WoW lull for me is still going; I have my bucket list to do but even with it, it’s proving hard to get engaged in the game. I’m still spending a great deal of time in OSRS and having quite a bit of fun.

As you level up you get access to better armor and I can finally now wear the pretty red Dragon armor I’ve been eyeing off for so long.

Questing gave me access to buy a winged helmet and flashy white cloak to round out my set. Low-res graphics and all, I do still like seeing my toon all dressed up.

The recent Easter event in game gave me an awesome cosmetic bunny outfit. You can wear all the pieces individually so there are tons of players running around in full amor and bunny ears at the moment.

There’s a new raid coming out soon and for testing there were max level worlds opened up for a few days. I popped my toon over there and was able to try on all the different armor in the game.

My favourite is the 3rd Age armor, which is super super expensive and rather rare but also so pretty. It’s a set I wouldn’t mind wearing IRL ;p

My OSRS bank is getting full with all different outfits and clothes I’ve come across. This game needs Transmog!

 

 

 

Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge Topic 33: What Achievement would I add?

Cinder and I have opened up our shared blog topic challenge for everyone to join in on. The more the merrier!   Posts are meant to go up fortnightly by taking in turns, but I must apologise that I have really dropped the ball in the last few months and most of everything I do has got shunted to the side or procrastinated or simply not been done as I work through personal stuff, and that includes our blog challenge. Cinder has been amazing taking up the slack but she shouldn’t have to do alone, so I’ll be trying to make sure my fortnightly contribution gets done.

But this fortnight, Cinder has come up with an awesome topic and given us a chance to talk about an achievement that we could make and put in the game and I know exactly what one I would like to see. Because I’m a completionist addict, it of course has to do with collecting and it’s “Frequent Flyer”. Awarded when you have clicked on every single flight path master in all the zones.

I’ve always wanted there to be an achievement for finding and clicking all the flight paths in the game and am really surprised there isn’t. It sort of goes hand in hand with The Explorer achievement but should be recognised on its own.

The rewards could be a jaunty little winged hat, or more in line with current collection achievement rewards, you could be awarded with a tabard with a big green ! on it and 10% off every flight fee from then on.

What do you think? Should we all submit suggestions to Blizzard today for recognition for all us flight path hunters out there?

 

Copyright and Blogs

A few weeks ago, I noticed there was a pingback on one of my blog posts to what looked like a Warcraft blog judging from its title. I popped over to have a look expecting to see another WoW blogger and instead I found 3 of my own posts inserted into someone else’s blog.

I was a bit confused at the start and read through the site and saw that the 15 or so posts on the blog had all had been posted on the same day. The posts they had taken from me had been set in a way to give the impression of new blog posts in chronological order. They helped themself to my about me page content (complete with my toon’s pictures), and used that as their first post, and the legion bucket list post,  and very strangely and it was the one that linked back, my post on rock drakes (nothing to do with WoW lol). After my posts  were a bunch of others. I read through them all wondering if they were stolen too and I might be able to recognise the blogger but I couldn’t. I typed in enough of the text from a few of the posts to find that all the other posts had come from a 2015 article on Kotaku about best memories of playing Warcraft,  each of the articles on that original post were from different authors so I would believe they were all stolen posts too.

My first action was to leave a comment on each of my posts asking for either recognition, or to remove the posts. My comments went immediately to moderation and I never got a response. I tried using the contact options the blog had, with again another no-response. I started googling about it and found that it’s actually quite a common occurrence to ‘content scrape’ a blog post, usually with the intent on putting it on a blog that generates money from viewers. In this case it wasn’t that;  there’s no adds on the site, it’s designed to look like a genuine warcraft blog. I also found that there are legitimate WordPress addons that will content scrape for you, on the proviso you should be using them for good and credit where you got the post from.

I was pretty unimpressed by this point and started looking for official complaint avenues. I found that you can lodge a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaint and it would be investigated. It helped that this person was using an official WordPress site, as it made lodging the complaint a lot easier as WordPress have an option to do this. Here’s the kicker though, that made me hesitate for a few days before lodging the complaint – you have to disclose a lot of your personal information in the complaint form – name, address, phone number, email AND that information is then given via the full complaint form to the person you’re accusing.

Great, someone has no qualms about stealing my work, and I have to hand over more of my personal details to them? However, I then noticed you can use an agent to lodge the complaint. So I ended up using a different address and phone number, though still legit in case it went further, and lodged the complaint. And a week or so later, I got an email saying my complaint was successful, though the owner of the other blog post was being given time to lodge a counter-claim but in the meantime, all my posts were taken down and this was in their place.

I’m not overly impressed that my name was put onto their website but at least my content’s gone.

Prior to this, I never thought much about my blog posts being subject to copyright but seeing someone steal my posts, and pass them off as their own made me realise that my work is original and if someone finds my words attractive enough to take and display, I really should be getting the credit.

Given content scraping is such a common occurrence and often the author never knows, I was really lucky in the case that one of the posts that was taken had an internal link back to another of my posts which triggered the pingback. I’m going to get into the habit of trying to internally link all my future posts, as well as put a disclaimer on the bottom of the posts.  This only works though in the case of content scraping via RSS feeders which keeps the post intact. If someone was determined enough to go through manually and remove your links, you might never know if a post was stolen.

Have you come across stolen content before?

 

Content from zisforzeirah.wordpress.com

 

Writing with no aim

Do you ever just feel that you need to write some days. That you want to stand at the edge of the page and throw words at it? Well that’s me tonight and I have nothing I want to write about, to throw at this page. What I would love to write about one day, when I’m feeling braver is anxiety and the crushing weight it is, but not yet. So let’s talk about something more random, more throwaway. What have you been watching lately?

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Netflix, to the extent that when I first discovered it, I got a 2nd monitor so I can be watching away at a show while I’m playing on the other screen.

I’m a big fan of drama, preferably based on true stories so some of the best movies I’ve watched in a while have been “First they killed my Father” which was a story about a woman and her life under the Khmer Rogue in Cambodia and “The Innocents”, a story about a monastery of Polish nuns who were raped during WW2 and the aftermath, including pregnancies and the bonds they forge with the French nurse that is let into their world to help them.

Self/less was the most recent movie I’ve watched and it was pretty awesome. An old dying millionaire has his conciousness transferred into what he believes was a lab-grown body. During the movie, he realises that wasn’t the case and the body comes with a life and backstory that he gets involved in. It has a bittersweet ending but the plot is comes with sci-fi, action and Ryan Reynods so it’s an absolute winner.

I rarely watch comedy, though I broke with that the other night and watched “Run, Fatboy Run”.  A british comedy about a man trying to win his ex back so he enters a marathon with no training. It has Declan Moran from Black Books who is a gorgeously funny actor who cracks me up everytime Honestly a 10/10 watch, especially if you love British comedies.

I’ve recently finished bingewatching my way through all 7 seasons of Pretty Little Liars. Normally I’m terrible when it comes to sticking out a full TV series, but this one had me hooked from the start. It follows the story of 4 girls after their best friend disappears and then is found dead.. or is she. The twists and turns throughout the 7 seasons were awesome, and nothing was as it seems. I managed to keep my curiosity in check and didn’t search ahead for (too many) spoilers. One inconsequential nagging thing I had through the whole show though, is what 16 year olds drink prodigious amounts of coffee?

Now that’s done, I’ve decided to start on a Doctor Who marathon. It’s a show I’ve never really been interested in, but I caught an episode from the last season a few weeks ago, and I was hoooked. I’ve started at the beginning and I’m loving the episodes so far. I’m really not sure what was turning me off from watching any episodes for so long.

The other series I’m working my way through, is Pokemon. I usually watch one of the more recent series on free-to-air during my breakfast on a work day, and I’ve started at the other end watching from the series 1 on Netflix. It’s funny watching the two different seasons at the same time. In series 1, Ash is a little know-it-all that you just want to slap, and in the later season he’s mellowed and grown into a good trainer. I can’t wait to see the transition of his character as I get further in.

So tell me friends, do you have any suggestion of shows or movies I should be exploring?

 

Random Tuesday Mutterings

Random Tuesday Mutterings is the perfect place to put the random assortment of what-nots I’ve got up to in games each week.

I’ve played a little bit of WoW this week, despite my good intentions to log on, I just never seem to have enough time in any of the games I play. But despite it being a small amount of WoW time, I had a lot of fun and was super lucky.

I thought I’d take my priest through Antorous lfr just for something to do and to play a bit more on shadow. One of the addons I haven’t reinstalled is recount, so I’m most likely doing horrible dps as a spriest but I wouldn’t know lol. She is so pretty to play now, it makes me wish I actually did know how to play a priest, I love their animations so much, especially the way she rises into the air.

She got quite lucky off one boss, I forgot I had my loot on Shadow and she picked up a trinket, so I turned her loot spec back to Holy and bonus rolled and she picked up a holy relic! Then after killing another of the bosses, she got a really nice surprise and a mount dropped into her bags. I actually feel a bit guilty that I’m picking up mounts off bosses that I don’t even know the names of.

But hey, I’m not going to look a gift mount in the mouth!

I figured after that she deserved a bit more play time, so I went along and picked up the Disc Weapon.

I ended up doing 90% of the quest line as shadow as it was mostly just killing mobs, turning to holy at the end to be able to heal the npc I was with, so it was nice as fast. I really like the disc Balance of power so it might be something I look into to get the appearance before too long.

Zee finally unlocked the Argussian Reach rep, so I can make void elves!

They are incredibly pretty but I’m not sure if I want to level a mage, so I’m tossing up making a warlock one. Warlocks are usually much more fun to level than mages, but as I don’t have either on Alliance side I’m a bit torn over what class.

My little Cow is levelling along slowly. She’s still a cutie pie!

Levelling is probably by far my favourite activity in WoW, getting to see all the beautiful zones, and listening to the in-game music is really awesome.

So far she’s been through Northern and Southern Barrens fully and has just entered Ashenvale. I’m coming across so many quests I’ve never done before, as most of levelling has always been done as Alliance. I’m having trouble deciding to keep her on Kalimdor or take her to Eastern Kingdoms. I want to see all the stories, all at once.

Aside from WoW time, I’ve been playing a lot of OldSchool Runescape. The game is still interesting and the quests are so well done. Despite there being nowhere near as many as Wow, I think the questing is actually better. The storylines are really well thought out and quite engaging. I’ve hit a point where the quests now have higher mobs to kill than I can easily do, so I’ve been spending a bit of time levelling up my combat skills to be able to kill the quest bosses again.

That’s me in the red armor

I’ve just learnt about the raid in the game, and I’d love to go try some of the bosses but you need to be a really high combat level and levelling in this game is not quick so it’ll probably be quite a few months of grinding my combat skills before I could even meet the requirements to walk into a raid.

There’s a ton of skills in the game that are really interesting and one of my favourite ones is construction. You basically can build a house room by room as you level up and then furnish it. My house is so basic at the moment as I’m really low construction level but I can’t wait to level up and be able to make more items for my house.

And that was my week. How was yours?

 

Content from zisforzeirah.wordpress.com

 

Holy Cow, that’s a cute Tauren

Excuse the bad joke, I couldn’t help myself. To be honest, Tauren have always been my least favourite race and I didn’t think I’d like the Highmountain Tauren any more than I like the normal ones but I decided to unlock the scenario anyway, which felt like it went forever compared to the Nightborne one so I could see the story and then decided I’d make a little Druid just to see what they were like.

I was not expecting to actually like how she looked but I can’t get over how cute she is. I didn’t think the tattoos and antlers would make much of a difference but she looks so much better than I was expecting.

And then I went into travel form and I was so surprised that the form was a Moose instead of the brown Stag I was expecting to see.

It looks so good. I would have liked to see the tattoos match the colour of the ones I chose for the normal form but that aside, I love the new travel form.

The kitty form looks pretty great too, I like the mini-antlers that I get.

Bear looks suitably derpy, but I haven’t seen a Druid bear form I actually like for any of the races so not a big surprise this doesn’t grab me.

I adore the jokes, especially the one that says she knows Ethel is actually a fast walker who just likes to mess with tourists. Waiting for the slow old Tauren to wander her way into Thunder Totem infuriated me so much that I only completed it once.

I wonder if this might be the first Tauren that actually gets levelled?

I started taking her through Stonetalon Mountains and it felt a bit weird at first to have taken a Tauren from her Highmountain home and thrown her immediately into a skirmish between Orcs and Elves in a strange new land, especially as she would have been used to working alongside both races back in Highmountain, but I’m guessing that feeling will go away as I spend more time questing with her.

Random Tuesday Mutterings

After thinking about the hacking for a bit, I came to the conclusion that it was quite possible it wasn’t my email being hacked from an external location but that my  PC had been compromised with a malicious program letting someone into it through a backdoor somewhere.  I decided the only way I’d feel remotely safe on my PC again would be to start all over with a complete reformat of all my drives and a fresh install of windows. I decided to be very ruthless and only backed up photos and a few files I was certain weren’t touched.  It’s been a pretty big job re-setting everything up to be as secure as I can and I’m hoping I haven’t left any weaknesses this time. I realised I still had ports open from when I was running my Ark server, so they all got closed, passwords to everything was changed to unique ones and everything that would let me have 2 step protection was set up. I almost have authenticators for my authenticators.

It’s taken me a week to get around to reinstalling WoW again but the lure of Allied races pulled me back tonight and I logged into Z at just the right time to see a call in my guild for anyone who wanted to go raid Orgrimmar. This was the last leader I needed for The Alliance achievement so I jumped straight onto it. Orgrimmar was dead empty which made the raid go nice and fast and I collected my pretty Black War Bear.

Then it was time to pick an Allied race to go try. Void elves would have been my first choice but I haven’t quite finished unlocking their reputation requirement, so next up was Nightborne.

I don’t really need any classes that the Nightborne can be on Horde side, so I ended up going with a Warlock. They’re fun to play and level and I figured somewhere along the line my new toon would have been studying the Legion and learning to control the demonic power for herself. What better way to seek revenge than to command the demons herself.

I have no idea how long it’ll take to level but I’m interested in seeing what the new levelling is like. Maybe with the scaling I’ll actually stay in Outland and get through the entire zones as Horde this time.

One thing I did lose that I regret a bit, is all my addons for WoW. It was probably pretty unlikely anything nasty was hiding in my WoW folders but I decided not to keep anything and didn’t back up any games. Now I have to start again with remembering what addons I was running and rewriting all the custom Tell Me When alerts I had.

Over the course of so many years, my addon folder had bloated badly, so I probably don’t need them all reinstalled but I do want the main ones back but  I’m having trouble remembering just what I did have. I know I had one that  put a timer on all my spells so I could see how long they had left to come off CD but I can’t remember the name of it at all.

Let me know what addons you run and can’t live without, so I can start building up my library again.

Cyber Security, it’s not a game

I’ve been playing a fair bit of OSRS lately and loving it. The game takes account security pretty seriously and even has a quest/achievement where the quest answers are all about account security and to unlock the final reward.. a pair of gorgeous rainbow boots, you need to set up an authenticator. I have one set up on WoW and I really wanted the boots so was more than happy to set it up to keep my account safe.

Fast forward to tonight and I try to login and the game wants my authenticator details, which was odd as I had just re-entered it 4 days ago (the game makes you refresh your auth code every 30 days or so) and after a few false attempts where it wouldn’t recognize my code I ended up logging onto the website and disabling my authenticator to be able to log in. To find in the 18hours or so I’d been offline, my toon had been logged into from somewhere else, all my gold taken and all her armor, gear, items sold on the auction house, and that gold transferred too. Pretty fucking devastating initially and then incredibly scary as I back tracked through what had to have occurred for my account to be hacked through an authenticator.

Was it 100% my fault? In a nutshell yes. Let’s backtrack 4 days ago.

OSRS wanted me to update my authenticator code. In the last 30 days, I had got a new phone and hadn’t got around to putting the authenticator on it. So l decided rather than go turn on and probably charge my old phone, I’d just add the authenticator to my new phone. But it wasn’t that simple getting the authenticator to recognise being loaded onto a new phone as I already had an authenticator set up elsewhere, so I logged into  OSRS and disabled my authenticator. As part of having issues getting through emails saying I had enabled/disabled the authenticator I mucked around with my email settings and… disabled the 2-step verification I had on my email account. For god only knows what reason I thought this was needed, but I did (Mistake 1). {just in case you don’t know, 2 step verification means if someone tries to log into my email, even with my password, it send me a SMS with a code I need to enter before I can access emails}

I got the authenticator working on my phone and re-enabled it on my OSRS account but forgot in my excitement to get into the game or dead-tired brain fog from a stupidly busy day or whatever, forgot to re-enable 2-step verification (Mistake 2). Pay attention to my stupidity in that one step there.

The next morning, rushing out the door I noticed I had an email saying someone had tried to change my security questions to my Mojang (minecraft) account. I hadn’t logged into Minecraft for years and I brushed it off  not thinking it through far enough; to change my security questions probably meant they had gotten into my account, and promptly forgot about it (Mistake 3).

2 days later (today), someone tries to change my password on Riot Games. I didn’t see this email as I’m stupidly busy at work and never get a chance to look at my phone to see emails anymore. Then 5 hours later, I find myself staring at a cleaned out toon and coming to the realization that what has most likely happened is someone has hacked my email account password and lifted details and game logins. And here’s another mistake, I was rather lazy with my gaming email account and games and a number of other accounts typically had the same password so once they had one, they probably didn’t have to work hard to get the others.

It is fucking scary not really knowing what was read in my emails, or if someone just used my email account to change passwords or have they rifled through all the emails and pieced together more information and website logins than I even can realise yet. And with the lovely helpful inter connectivity of my google account and it wrapping it’s little google fingers into everything I do, the amount of information a simple gmail account could bring to a person’s finger tips is downright scary.

I’ve spent the last few hours changing every password I can think of to many varied and random ones and running my anti-virus through multiple virus scans just in case the first 1, 2 or 3 missed something.

There’s so many questions this brings. Where was my account details taken from? It was my Mojang account which I never use that was accessed  first, how did that go to  my OSRS account getting cleaned out. Did someone systematically go through emails to find links to games?

The only place I’ve ever entered my OSRS account details into is the official website. I’ve never bought gold, the relatively small amount of gold they took was from levelling professions and selling as much as I could. And the one question I really can’t wrap my head around, is why after hacking my account would they re-enable an authenticator and where did the emails saying my auth had been disabled and re-enabled go? I can’t find any history of them even in my deleted items.

It’s a strange and scary place I feel like I’m sitting in right now. I hope to god I take this lesson to heart and not brush off cyber security because living with so much of my life online in various websites and accounts, scares the hell out of me not knowing what information might have been touched.