The Circus – PONIES

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I think today is going to be an Erasure day. I loved that album, sure did. I am so 80s. As mentioned yesterday, we had free tickets to the Circus Roncalli, one of the contemporary circuses à la Cirque Du Soleil. They had a beautiful location right by the river in the park in Düsseldorf.

The entrance to the circus

The entrance to the circus

The show lasted 2.5 hours, plus a 15 minute break, and despite my bum aching quite severely on the hard benches (free tickets didn’t get us plush velvet seats in the front, bugger), it was a fantastic show I would highly recommend to anyone who happens to be in Germany and in a town where they perform. Not that it’s very likely for most readers, but… My personal highlight was a group called Opening, trapeze artists from Kiev who all have giant mohawks. They were absolutely incredible.

Those were some power mohawks, I tell ya.

Those were some power mohawks, I tell ya.

Roncalli doesn’t have any wild animals. It’s mostly artistic elements broken up by comedic moments. My SO, who is a giant pony-lover, had seen ponies in the flyer, so was all excited when after the break there was sawdust in the ring. And then we got this:

They were also incredible. I mean, really. I don't get excited about ponies but...

They were also incredible. I mean, really. I don’t get excited about ponies but…

Good times.

Wednesday is for LFR

I recently recruited my friend Fi and her husband to my guild. I am totally to blame for them playing WoW in the first place, as I gave them WoW as a wedding present in…2005, I think. Time flies. The two of them have never raided and I lured them to the dark side. Fi is now finally ready for raids, and so yesterday was the big moment. But I wasn’t there to hold her hand through it, so I did LFR with her to explain the differences between LFR and normal, Heart of Fear being the target raid. From all I heard she did fine, but sounded like a bundle of anxious nerves after the raid when I came home. I feel slightly guilty now because I feel responsible for her. Have you ever recruited someone to try raiding and then they hated it or did not like it as much as you expected?

I only did the first part of ToT on Yata, so today I have to do parts 2 and 4 for another shot at shoulders. Grrr, shoulders. I will be halfway through Revered with Shado-Pan Assault, so I know there will be shoulders in my future, but I want shoulders now! I hope queue times will be okay today. They’re terrific on Wednesdays, EU reset day, 5-10 minutes even as DPS.

Today shall also be the push to get the priest to Outland, but I need to get my pet battle team ready for Outland as well!

Thoughts on raiding difficulty

Earlier this week I linked to Zellviren’s post about how normal raiding is too punitive. I am now reading the summary of an interview that the Convert to Raid podcast did with Ion Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer. I am heartened that Blizzard is recognizing that the current raid model is not quite fitting the bill for more casual guilds. My quote of choice: ‘There is a group of players that wants to do group raiding, but they aren’t well served by the current difficulty choices. This would include the friends and family type guilds that don’t remove players because they aren’t performing at their best. In Wrath of the Lich King, 10 player normal difficulty raiding served these players well, but there is now a gap between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.’ Unfortunately he then went on that they need to keep 25-man and 10-man difficulty similar, which is not so heartening. At least he admitted that the tuning going from Jin’rokh to Horridon is a disaster is not as smooth as it could have been.

I am not unhappy with our raids, because despite the multitude of wipes, we’re having a good time in fun company, much like Spinks describes in her latest blog post. I just wish the difficulty progression was more like going through ICC or Ulduar, with a ramp-up, without running smack into a mountain-side.

Board game updates

I got a ton of recommendations here and on Twitter yesterday, so now I have a bucket list of games for us to try. For anyone that’s also interested, here are the recommendations I received:

That should keep us busy for a while! I might try to go to the Spieliothek for some of those. It’s basically a library for board games where you can rent them for a very small monthly fee. As some of the more opulent board games can be quite pricey, it’s definitely worth a trip. I’ll keep you guys posted how boardgame progress is going.

Steam game of the week

I finally settled down on a choice what to play and went with The Longest Journey. An oldschool point-and-click adventure by Ragnar Tornquist, the mind behind The Secret World. So far I can say that the story and the characters are fantastic. Honestly, wonderful characters. You control April Ryan who lives in the 24th century, in a metropolis called Newport. She’s an art student jobbing in a cafe, plagued by particularly vivid nightmares. Around her, strange things happen, and there’s the mysterious Cortez, who seems to know more about what is troubling her. There are many conversations, and the characters are all very interesting. I have a fondness for the lesbian landlord of April’s, unsurprisingly.

It is however a game from the year 2000, and runs in a small resolution which on my screen means I get a tiny window in the corner of my screen. I will have to look into fixing that, because that’s no way to play. I mean, I don’t want fullscreen, the pixels would be an eyesore. Also, it’s a point-and-click adventure game. I suck at those. I am not ashamed mentioning I frequently have to use a walkthrough. I am currently in chapter 2 and have to get into a movie theatre. I got stuck and went to a walkthrough, figuring out I need items from April’s job and from the subway tracks. I didn’t spot anything in the subway station earlier, and it never occurred to me that I would have to go to other non-related locations to pick up items. Sigh. I hope I am not the only person in the world who enjoys adventure games and yet sucks at them.

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