Oh, Not This Again

So, the lure of the wild has called. The call of the wild has lured. I am heading back into the frontiers and wilderness to experience this physical, natural science we call geology in all it’s glory. Oh, and there will be potash.

I won’t be gone long, (Field Season 3.5 The Search for OH GOD THIS CAMP IS DRY OH SWEET JESUS WHYYYY????) but I don’t know exactly what kind of time and internets connectivity I’m going to have. There is likely to be some blogular whining about how I can’t play Warcraft and how much I miss my guild and how my attempts to reach the gold cap are falling behind.

I will miss the Good Ship Imposs. I will try and stay connected via out forums, and hopefully someone will take the time to say “hey” every now and then. I will miss the blog communities that I have become a tangential part of. I will miss my my home and my cats and my better half.

On the plus side, I now have both coveralls and a winter coat with my name stitched on them. 8 years of University have finally paid off!!

When In Doubt, NINJA!

So, I wanted to talk a little about some healing experimentation I’m doing, but I’m lazy and when my blog reader coughed up this lovely nugget from Amber of I Like Bubbles, I figured why waste the energy? Plus, it allows me to do some shameless plugging for my blogging guildies. And, as a lovely side bonus, it introduced me to the new blogger who started the whole thing! Hi there Jessabelle of Miss Medicina!

Thank you Amber for just being awesome and a general inspiration!

View the whole crazy link round-up here!

Kelynaria, (a.k.a Amerya, a.k.a. Big Daddy G), your treeness has been tagged!
Myrah, I know you don’t WoW blog very much, but let’s hear a spacegoat’s point of view! (OMG! Myrah has accepted my challenge! Check out her reply here.)

Your mission, should you two chose to accept it:

Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

Onward to the questioneering!

  • What is the name, class and spec of your primary healer?
    Maegwen, the Holy Priest.
  • What is your primary group healing environment?
    Raids, both 10 and 25, with a healthy does of 5 mans. Practically never PvP and absolutely never arena.
  • What is your favourite healing spell for your class and why?
    Circle of Healing (a.k.a CoH). Cause I’m laaaaaazy. Though, Prayer of Mending (PoM or “bum heal” is a very close second).
  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
    lolwell. Because seriously, lolwell.
  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? Versatility and usefulness. Tank healer? Sure! Raid healer? Sure! Buffer? Why not! Pewpew? Of course!
  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Cloth. Splat!
  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel is, in general, the best healing assignment for you?
    Float healing or healing one specific group of people (i.e. melee on XT).
  • What healing class do you most enjoy healing with and why?
    Tree droods have nice compliments to priest heals. Plus, we have a lot of them and I’ve grown fond of them, they don’t want my loots (much) and having more than one around gives me the giddy feeling I’m at a baptist revival. (And brez. Woo brez!)
  • What healing class do you least enjoy healing with and why?
    Healadins. Jesus christ getting a bunch of -adins of all stripes to get their shit together and buff and aura and then not have anyone in the raid whine about the buffs is like fifteen percent of my nightly raid headache.
  • What is your worst habit as a healer?
    Just one? Uhm … prolly a tie between my clicking playstyle and my general lack of attention to my *own* health.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve about healing while in a group environment?
    Lack of concern for the healers in terms of situational awareness. I’ll bring this mob right to the healer! Maybe I’ll run right at them during light bomb! Or eye beams! Healers love eye beams!
  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
    I think trees have a few more tricks up their branches than priests. And I miss my OP CoH. But overall, I think we’re quite good at what we do.
  • What tools do you use to evaluate your performance as a healer?
    Is anyone dead because of my fail? No? Ok, cool. I also check overhealing meters from time to time just to make sure I’m not too far up on them.
  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
    I don’t know, to be honest. Maybe that they’re hard to play?
  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
    Binding heal seems to get forgotten a lot. Mana management is a little harder for priests just learning – at least in my experience. I’ve watched a lot of new healers in all the classes learn and not “panic healing” is a big one for everyone.
  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
    I’m not always on the top – and I’m fairly high up on overheal, but that’s not a bad thing, lol.
  • Haste or Crit and why?
    Crit – it seems to have slightly better synergy with my spec and playstyle. Though I wouldn’t say no to assloads of Haste either.
  • What healing class do you feel you understand least?
    Shamans. Shamans in general are a little confusing for me. Though, I used to say that about paladins as well.
  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
    Errr …. DBM. I mostly WoW naked. I am toying with Grid to see if that gives me any massive improvements. A story for another day!
  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
    Not really, I like to load up on int, but a good balance is best for priests. Which is nice in some ways, but aggrivating in others.
  • Can you tell I’ve been focusing more on my healer and less on my hunter these days?

    Post Scriptum: Updated Blogroll. Observe!

    Real Life Crushing Blow

    So, I guess I’m not anywhere near my RL def cap. Might be that I’m BM specced IRL and I don’t need a bloody def cap! Might just be that I’m kind of clumsy, too. Or might just be the RNG boss critting me.

    I was washing dishes last Monday (I know, so long ago!) night right before bed and there was (unbenknownst to me) a broken glass in the sink. One bone-deep slash down the inside of my thumb, two bloody dish towels, one nearly fainting Significant Other, four hours in the Emergency room and three stitches later, I’m trying to drive myself back home through a terrible rainstorm in the wee hours of the morning and thinking that it’s a damn good thing it’s our week off raiding cause I won’t be able to play WoW for a while. (I also got the tetanus shot buff. Thankfully they’ve changed to tooltip from the last time I got it. “Tetanus shot now applied discreetly in the arm.” is such an improvement.)

    I’ve always had a morbid fear of losing the use of my hands. It’s likely because so much of my life as I know it is tied up in the use of my hands – I’m a gamer, a writer, a craftsperson. (It’s also highly influenced by cultural attitues towards disability – but that’s more than I can tackle right here, right now.) I could likely still end up doing quite a few things in my chosen field if I became permanently disabled, but if I intended to continue to pursue my hobbies, I would have to make some series changes. It’s easy for me – from my temporarily able-bodied place of privledge – to not really think about these things. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to manage to raid, to write my notes at work, to be able to properly dress and groom myself. Something that I had always academically realized but never viscerally understood -that my able bodied status is something that I both take for granted and something that could be revoked very easily – was re-emphasized to me this week.

    I have often stated (indeed a large portion of the blog is based on the assumption) that “gamers” are people too. That the label is no longer one applied to pale-skinned, poorly socialized doods living in basements and consuming vast amounts of processed foods. I am a gamer. My better half is a gamer. Many of my very best friends are gamers and we represent a pretty accurate sampling of the variations of humanity. (Well, some of them. We’re all from a pretty small range of socio-economic classes.) So it stands to reason that there would be people of all ranges of ability who would also identify as gamers and my injury prompted me to wonder what the gaming industry was doing to make sure that the dollars of people with disabilities were as well spent as the next person’s. (I’m not going to be so naive as to say that game developers should be accomodating people with disabilities due to some altruistic notions. It would be a wonderful world if they did – but it’s not and they don’t. Approximately 20% of the general population is disabled in some form or another, so it’s a sensible assumption that a company would in some way want to try to capture a portion of that market niche.)

    I know that Blizz had recently come out with a colour blind setting. Poking around on Able Gamers I saw that there was general approval for Blizzard and their efforts to make the game more acessable. (I also like this suggestion by Gamasutra of having a “sound radar” available for people with hearing difficulties.) Bizz looks like they’re making taking to the community of gamers with disabilities a priority – I was very interested to read this interview of Tom Chilton aka Kalgan by Able Gamers. It makes me very happy to see Able Gamers getting a lot of very good face time with some higher-ups at Blizzcon. This particular interview does open up some good conversations about how to balance the game in terms of difficult level that will challenge and engage players of all play styles as well as being inclusive towards gamers with disabilities.

    I’m glad to see Blizz taking an interest in making their game appealing to an ever wider demographic. I know that this is often bemoaned as “catering to the casuals” and “making the game too easy” but it’s a sound market strategy on Blizz’ part. It also leads them to think about people who are too easily marginalized and forgotten about in the gaming world and to consider the fact that people of all abilities may want to play their games. (It also highlights Blizz’ clever strategy of letting mod developers do their R&D for them. I likes.) I applaud Blizzard in their efforts and I encourage people to continue to give their feedback to the Devs. Its seems that they do listen and they do have the time and the resources to act on some of the suggestions.

    Maybe I should email them my list of suggestions. Certainly couldn’t hurt!

    Post Scriptum: The gold making business is going well. Thanks to a guildie I have a good supply of eternals and my income is stable and high. (ish.) When I decided to strive for the gold cap I had just over 5k gold on my bank toon. (I keep about 500g on each of my “working” toons. So there’s ~2k scattered around that I’m not really counting in my quets to get the gold cap.) I’m now up to 17k!

    Do You Like This Colour On Me?

    So, I’ve been thinking about giving myself a bit of a make over. I’m thinking about turning my blue elf ears in for something a little more … green. Not a faction change, not a racial reroll. I’m very happy where I am and I love my toons the way they are. What I’m thinking about aiming for is the Warcraft Econ Wall of Fame.

    I pay attention to gold making (note: not gold farming) blogs and I follow their tips and use both a few addons and my own ingenuity to make enough money that I can raid, have some very nice craftable epics, epic flying for the toons I want it on and enough to raid comfortably. I enjoy the AH mini game that Blizzard has provided us. I’ve always enjoyed in-game money making, as a matter of fact. I’ve spent a lot of my time in the Zelda universe hacking away at random stands of grasses (hoo! ahh! hiya!) trying to fill my rupee wallet to the top to buy all those lovely goodies. (Yes, that’s farming. But there’s no AH in Hyrule.) I had some very nice little businesses going in the MMO I played before Warcraft. I always got a giggle out of setting up my little shop and selling off some epic staff for a hugenormous amount of cash.

    I also run my guild bank. I keep track of what people donate to it, and I keep track of what sort of items are going out of it, and make sure that we have enough of the items that the guild needs to raid. (I could write at least two more blog posts talking about how and why we provide raid consumables to our raiders and every effect that has on our raid progression ranging from mollycoddling our raiders and making them lazy to providing items they would otherwise need time off of raiding to farm. A thought for another day!) I sell off items over time and I use various crafting tricks to transform less valuable items into more valuable ones. Interestingly enough, I personally have a little bit more money than our nearly 80-person guild does. So there is work to be done, at least for the Guild Vault.

    The thing is, I don’t make the AH mini-game my focus. I sell off some stuff, keep my eye on a few markets and dabble here and speculate there. My focus is guild leading and raiding and every now and then I like to play the game and just have some simple fun, so I don’t give everything I have to obtaining the Goblin Achievement. I know quite well that I could max out my gold if I wanted it. I know I could max out the gold in the Guild Vault as well. (That poses an interesting question, by the way. Does the Guild Vault have a gold cap? Is it the same as the player gold cap? For the same reasons? Inquiring and non-technically-computer-savvy people want to know!)

    I’m not going to change my gaming focus from raiding, but I am going to get myself a pair of nice long, green goblin ears to wear from time to time, and see if I can harvest the hard earned gold of the elemental grinders of the server. I don’t expect to see myself on the WoW Econ Wall of Fame anytime soon, but I’m definitely going to see how close I can get!

    Plus, it’s one of the things I need to do win Warcraft!

    Post Scriptum: WordPress hates me and didn’t publish any of my pre-scheduled posts this weekend. It was Turkey Day here in Canuckistan and I didn’t pay close attention to the blog. So to the three people who tune in for Caturday, I’m sorry. There will be twice as much kitteh this Caturday!

    Green Eggs and Spam

    So, I usually get the regular run of the mill crap in my spam box. People leaving “Hey, I like this blog! Buy my shit!” type comments. Very uninteresting. But, in the 435 spam comments I’ve recieved in the past year, there have been a few that stand out – and they’ve been getting better lately! In the spirit of a lazy Monday, following a busy weekend (read: very little WoW time) I don’t have much to talk about, so I’ll do a lazy ass meta post.
    There seems to be a trend in “feel good comments.” I guess the spam filters are getting more and more clever, and being able to filter out web addresses put into the comment itself. So, the workaround is to put an innocuous comment and then have your name link back to somewhere that you’re selling things.

    Polite Computer Guys 1 and 2: “This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,
    A definite great read.. .. – Computer.Dood@computerstore.com” (I got this post twice, from two different user names. It was spam blocked the first time! Thanks for playing, though.)

    Polite Console Gamer Person: “Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!! – XBOXshitforsale@gmail.com” (Not a console gaming website, but good idea on the cross-niche marketing!)

    Polite Sales Lady: “Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly. – SalesLady@wikipedia.com” (Wikipedia???)

    greeneggs1

    Then there’s the more blatant sellers. Some of whom are not obviously native English speakers, lending inadvertant entertainment to my spam-checking activities.

    Buy My Book Lady: “OMG you are a great writer! You might want to check out my book. You can buy my autobiography on almost any website that sells books, just search for ISBN # ________ – BookLady@newblogwithoneadvertisingpost.com” (Congratz on using the search WordPress tags and finding “books” here. I did check out the ISBN. It’s really real book but I have *no* idea what it’s about, the author has left a crazy breathless runon comment on Amazon that does not in any way make me want to read her book. Sorry.)

    Game Hacker: “Best choice of the week about Crack, Vdts crack, Chem3d crack and War3tft_117a_english crack here http://crack.notakeylogger.iswear.comCrackerHackerNotAKeyLogger@honestly.com” (I was tempted to check this one out and see exactly what cracks were available, but I doubt it’s anything interesting. And I like my keys.)

    greeneggs2

    And where would a Warcraft blog be without the goldspammers? Ahhh, goldspammers. So much enterainment, so little time. (Bonus points for the broken english.)

    Gold Spammer: “used to be? hardcore in wow. but you guys actually farm them yourself? you should check out http://www.ohgodmykeys.comGoldKeySpamLogger@mwahaha.com” (You keep using that punctuation mark. I don’t think it means what you think it means.)

    I do honestly feel bad for these guys, because I know that they’re often regular people just trying to make money for their families. I know my job sucks sometimes, but at least I don’t have to spend all day searching for Warcraft related stuff and leaving my Goldspammer droppings everywhere. Which is why I don’t abuse in-game spammers. I just report them. (Also because they’re often automated – no point in abusing a bot.)

    The runner up for best spam comment ever is this one, from a foreign interest:

    LadyRussia: “Блог отличный. Вручить бы Вам награду за него или просто орден почета. =) – imanokov@CheapComputers.ru” (I plugged that into Babel Fish and got: “[Blog] is outstanding. To entrust to you reward for it or is simple the order of the honor.” Why, thanks! I’m still not going to buy your Eastern Bloc rip off computer equipment.)

    GreenEggs3

    But, the best spam I have ever gotten (to date) is this:
    Pr0nD00d: “Best choice of the month: Creampie, Clit creampie, Creampie mpg and Vagina creampie http://pr0n.popupsatwork.loseyourjob.com/” (I can’t wait to see my search terms now.)

    How did that guy even find this place??

    Talk to me about your spam comments – I’m a pretty small fish in a pretty big blogging fishbowl, other people must be getting much,much more interesting things than I am.

    Beer Tickets

    So, it’s Brewfest again! This is one of my very favourite Warcraft holidays and this year is extra special, because this is the last of the holiday set of achievements that Maegwen needs in order to get her Voilet Proto Drake and the What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been achievement. I’ve seen one of the violet drakes around already, and I’m only 45 beer tickets short of getting all the ones I need – which means I’ll have it done tonight! I shall be Brewmaster Maegwen and Her Flying Purple People Eater!

    There are a couple of tips that I have learned over the years (I think this marks the third year of Brewfest) so I figured that I’d pass them along, even though some of them have been floating around the blogsphere anyhow. In order to get the Disturbing the Peace and the Brew of the Month achievements, you will need 550 tickets! This little gnome here is located at the back right hand side of the Brewfest grounds, and she’s the one you’ll want to see for all of your ticket redemptions.

    Also sells Beer Goggles. You've been warned.

    Also sells Beer Goggles. You've been warned.

    Tip #1: There is a two hour buyback period on the clothing. You will need three articles of clothing for the achievement (one from the ones marked 1, one from the ones marked 2 and one from the ones marked 3). This will cost you 350 beer tickets. If you’re swift about it, you can purchase all three articles of clothing, head to Dalaran, get shittered, /dance, come back to the Brewfest grounds, return some/all of the clothes, and buy the Brew of the Month membership (marked as 4). Saves you 200 beer tickets!

    Try some of Column A, try all of Column B

    Try some of Column A, try all of Column B

    There are two dailies you can do, and one “hidden” daily to earn beer tickets. The first is the barking quest where you have to run around the loop of Ironforge, touting the benefits of either the Thunderbrew or Barleybrew drinks. Easy enough, and you get 15 beer tickets. Just stay on the “yellow” (canter) speed until you incurr about 50 or so fatigue stacks, then drop down to the “green” (trot) speed to let the fatigue debuff stacks wear off. You don’t have to actually turn the quest in on the loaner ram, you can turn it in on your own mount. So you can always complete the barking at top speed, then dismount from the loaner ram and remount on your own if that works better for you.

    The second daily quest you can do for beer tickets is the Dark Iron Attacks. Every half hour, the Dark Iron Dwarves will attack the Brewfest grounds. If you show up just after the attack is over, there will be a large gear on the ground near the back of the Brewfest grounds. It gives you a daily quest which you can turn in for another 10 beer tickets.

    There is also a “hidden” quest that is not a really real daily, as you can do it every 12 hours or so. If you head to this dwarf, who is the fellow you got the This Is Ram Racing …Almost quest from, you can ask him if he has any more kegs to deliver. He will give you another loaner ram on a 4 minute timer, and you can try to deliver as many kegs as possible.

    O hai! I can has beer tickets?

    O hai! I can has beer tickets?

    You will get 2 beer tickets per keg delivered, and an additional 30 seconds of time added as well. I’m good for about 12 or 13 runs. Some of my guildies have timed themselves and report about 45 seconds per delivery, but there have been reports of delivery times taking as little as 35 seconds. Your mileage quite literally may vary.

    Here is the route I use to maximize my beer ticket income! (Which, with the two dailies, is about 50 tickets a day. Not bad if I do say so myself!) Pick up the quest, and head out of the beer grounds and along the road to Kharanos.

    *skiddddddd*

    *skiddddddd*

    Beside the bridge is your first apple basket. This little bushel of treats will reset the fatigue buff stacks on your ram, but they can be a little buggy. I reccomend going along the right hand side of this one and then hopping over the stone wall. (Ram: “om nom nom, apples.”)

    Hey, are those apples? I love apples!

    Hey, are those apples? I love apples!

    From here, you can either go left a bit into the trees and hills and hit the second bushel basket, or you can head (mostly) straight down the road. If you’ve reset your debuff stacks at the bridge bushel, you should be good to head down the road and skip the bushel in the trees.

    Two roads diverged

    Two roads diverged

    Here is your quest giver. As long as you are on the right hand side of the stack of barrels, he will Donkey Kong you a big ol keg.

    It's on.

    It's on.

    Once you’ve got your keg (I reccomend keeping your first bag open, so you can see if it ended up there or not. If there’s lots of people doing the quest, you might not get it, and then you’ll have wasted a trip. *sadfase*) hop on over this little stone wall and run past the left side of this bushel basket of apples to reset your debuff stacks. (Ram: “nomnomnom, I love apples!”)

    *hop*

    *hop*

    Again you can go right into the trees and hit that other bushel basket, or straight down the road. You do have enough time to skip the one in the trees and head towards the bushel basket at the bridge, but you’ll be up to 75 or 80 debuff stacks. Don’t miss that one!

    I chose the one less traveled by

    I chose the one less traveled by

    brew9

    It’s easiest (and very stylish) to leap over this basket and head off to the left a bit towards the quest giver.

    *hophop*

    *hophop*

    You don’t have to get too close to him, just pull a hard left, make sure you’ve recieved your beer tickets, and head back on down the road to get your next keg.

    Once more, with feeling!

    Once more, with feeling!

    …hic!

    Whine a Little Whine For Me

    So, I don’t generally whine. Mostly because I don’t feel that it often does anything. Other than annoy people, I guess. Sometimes, however, I think that a good whine-fest can be helpful. Wholesome. Cathartic. Certainly for the whiner – if not for the whine-ee. And since my concept of this blog has often been like a bottle cast into the brine (or maybe a magic diary that talks back every once in a while) I feel very comfortable pulling up a chair and unloading a whole great torrent of whine onto the ever-sympathetic ears of the internets. (Yes, I’d love some cheese with my whine. Lately I’m really into chevre with figs – if anyone’s asking.)

    But, some preamble before the whining commences. I’ve often felt a little inadequate when compared to my co-guild leader, Adi. She’s more patient, much calmer, nicer, friendlier, harder working, more dedicated to the guild and (from my observations) much better liked than I am. I’m mostly (mostly) okay with that. I know how I come across to people and I know I’m abrasive and bitchy and demanding and cold and I’m mostly okay with that. Most of the time I’m just fine with who I am and how I contribute to the guild.

    But, every now and then …

    I wish I could be more like Adi. I wish I was calmer. Nicer. I certainly wish I was better liked some days. I wish that I didn’t feel so inadequate compared to her. I wish I had the motivation to work as hard for the guild as she does. I wish I had the patience that she shows towards people. (God, I wish I had that kind of patience). There are days that I wish I could be the carrot like her, instead of the stick.

    I keep a little Imaginary Adi in the back of my head. (Kind of like this. Only not really.) And not just in game, either. I’ve found that the advice my Imaginary Adi gives me is pretty damn applicable to my work and family lives as well. When I feel the urge to reach out and slap someone till their eyeballs switch places, I (usually!) stop and ask my Imaginary Adi what she would do instead. One of her best pieces of advice has been to “kill people with kindness” and I’ve found more than my share of situations to apply that advice to.

    And now, the whine.

    I just finished leveling my dorfadin. I’ve specced her tank, which means that I’m able to fill three out of four raid roles now! (Heals? Check! Ranged dps? Check! Meat shield? Check! Melee dps? Errr … I’ll get back to you.) I was really thrilled to be working on her, and the excitement of leveling and gearing a new 80 has been a large part of what has drawn me back into Warcraft wholeheartedly. I spent a load of money on craftable gear and maxed out her Engineering to get myself a Jeeves. I even cajoled a few of my guildies into letting me tank easy heroics like UK and VH and – on the whole – those runs weren’t unmitigated disasters. Tanking is a huge panic-y, button mash-tastic flail for me right now, but I do sort of enjoy it. I was really looking forward to tanking more.

    I was.

    I had my alt guilded so that I could keep one eye and one ear on what was going on in the guild. I could respond to questions, keep a weather eye on the drift of gchat and switch to my main if anyone needed me for anything. I like to have alts that are hidden if I need some space, but if I’m going to be dedicating a large part of my time to one alt, then I usually guild it so I’m not gone too much. Unbeknownst to me, my co-guild leader was leveling an alt as well. She’s been suffering much the same burnout, so she kept her alt unguilded so that she could get some respite from guild demands and just enjoy the game. I have absolutely no quibble with that. What does make me want to have a pouty fit (or at least write down a pouty fit) is that she leveled a paladin. And specced it prot. And she dinged 80 the same day I did.

    *pout*

    I’m seriously bummed about this, you guys. I’m really feeling like my thunder was not only stolen but that I’m being taunted by the thunder-nappers. I know she didn’t do it on purpose, but I kind of feel blindsided by the fact that she knew what I was doing (class, spec) and I had no idea what she was doing. And then adding insult to injury is that I feel like because the guild likes her so much better, that she is the one who is going to receive the bulk of the indulgence that the guild has for new alts. She’s going to be the one everyone will take to heroics and help her gear. She’s going to get the alt Naxx runs and she’s going to get all the patience and tolerance and good will of the guild. And I feel like there will be nothing left for me.

    I was so, so enthused to level this little dwarf and so, so excited to try my hand at tanking. And now I feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails. I’m really dejected about the whole thing. I haven’t logged on my little dwarf since. What the hell is the point?

    I know she didn’t do it on purpose to be malicious. I know that it’s just some alts (both of us have three other toons we play regularily). I know that it doesn’t mean squat in the grand scheme of things – in game or in my life all told. But I am really quite sad about it. I feel like this is just another way that I will come second to Adi, and I know that there isn’t really a lot that I can do about it. I can keep on accepting that Adi and I are different people, with different strengths and weaknesses, and I will. I can work on some other alt and maybe that will take my mind off things. I don’t want to mention it to her, because I don’t want to make her feel bad and I can’t think of any way to tell her that wouldn’t make me sound like a petulant child. And I definitely don’t want her to give up her alt. But I don’t really know what to do.

    *sighs and kicks at the dirt with her toe*

    Maintenance

    So, fall is slowly creeping up on us here in Cowtown, which means firstly mah birthday (!!!) and secondly the anniversary of my first date with my (much) better half.

    We’ve been together for almost nine years now, and I usually spend some time about this time of year reflecting on our relationship – where it’s been and where it’s going. Filing away all the smiles and the laughter so that I can access them at any time and discarding the tears and the fighting. And I readily admit that there have been some bad times. I’ve never bought into the White Knight mythos. I don’t believe in love at first sight and I don’t believe in Happily Ever After. I do believe, however, that like anything worth having at all, a good relationship requires quite a lot of work.

    The love we have for each other is always there, underlaying everything we do like a deep aquifer that slowly nourishes the forest above it. But sometimes we don’t much like each other. Sometimes we have to comprimise for each other. Sometimes we have to sacrafice for each other. Sometimes we fight and sometimes things grow very strained between us indeed.

    But we work at it every day. We work at loving each other more. We work at being more tolerant. We work at being easier to live with. We work at meeting together in the middle. We try harder – harder every day – to be each others’ ally. To be true and equal partners. It’s not easy. Not by a long shot – but it’s very, very worth it.

    My relationship with Warcraft has been under a great deal of strain this summer. There have been more than a few times that I’ve looked back at the interactions of this game and my life and thought seriously that it may not have been worth it. Or, if it was worth it – it may not be any longer. I strongly doubt I will still be playing WoW ten years from now, and I wonder sometimes whether I will even still be in touch with my guildies in that time. And there have been a few times this summer when I honestly believed that that time had come. It was time to bid farewell to the game, the guild, and the amazing people that populate it. I wasn’t getting enough out of my relationship with WoW to make the maintenance worth it.

    I stopped caring about WoW. I stopped caring about making my toons better. I stopped caring about doing all the work that needs to be done to keep the guild growing. The pruning and watering and fertilizing were just so much more work than the pleasure of watching it bloom and flower were even worth. I stopped caring about leveling my alts. I stopped caring about making money on the AH. I really stopped caring about raiding. And I stopped caring about blogging.

    What could I say? I was done with WoW, ready to pack my bags, leave the sofa and the patio furniture, take the TV and the good china and walk out. Make a new start. What could I say about WoW that wasn’t whiny or spiteful or banal. When you stop having any good things at all to say about your partner then you know that the relationship is on the way out.

    I took some time to reflect. I did the bare minimum in game to keep me raiding, and didn’t really focus too hard on doing much beyond raids. I watched House. And Battlestar Galactica. I played some Plants vs. Zombies. I worked in my yard and I read and I spent time with my family. I didn’t think to hard about WoW. I didn’t care too hard about WoW.

    I set a small goal for WoW and I. I wanted the Ulduar craftables for my hunter – boots and belt. They’re not cheap, so I needed to spend some time working the AH to get the money. I got the belt first. I had made enough money that I could start twinking my alt pretty good and made leveling very attractive. I found that I was enjoying the paladannery and enjoying the AH games. I made enough money for the boots. The big patch came out and suddenly there were so many interesting facets to WoW that over familiarity had stopped me from noticing. The interest was back. The spark had come back to my relationship with WoW.

    I’m back blogging again, after several stuttering attempts to do so. It’s one of the things that I’m doing to maintain my relationship with Warcraft and with my guild. I think that this is relationship that still has something to offer me. Still has places to go. And perhaps still is worth talking about.

    Hardcore or Not?

    So, I think I may have found mah muse again. I just have been so apathetic about WoW and WoW blogging lately, mostly due to the eleventy bajillion RL asplosions I have had to deal with. The biggest one was my beloved chicken getting very ill. She had to spend the weekend in Birdie ICU and has to take meds twice a day (which is no fun for either of us, let me assure you) but she’s on the mend. She’s certainly feeling well enough to scream at the cats and to yell over the sound of me and the SSO trying to watch Apollo 13, so I think she’s going to be just fine.

    Also: you can’t claim vet bills. Why?? My benefits policy needs to change!!

    But I have been cogitating upon my two new projects, the Portrait of a Raider series and of course WoW!Geology! The hardest part has been making logos for both – I’m (obviously) a digital image editing n00b. But, I present to you the WoW!Geology! logo:

    WoW!Geology!

    And the very first post in this series! I’m doing this post actually as a prelude to the Portrait of a Raider posts, because I will need to be able to refer back to it while I’m describing guilds and guildies and types of raiders and all that fun stuff. And so, without any (more) rambling preamble, here is Ori’s Guild Hardcore-edness Scale!

    In geology, we use an ordinal scale known as the Mohs Hardness Scale to determine the hardness of a mineral. Hardness is an important method of identifying minerals (and those mineral assemblages also known as “rocks”) in the field and in the lab. It’s possible to quantitatively determine hardness in the lab using machinery, but it’s typically done as a rough-and-ready field test, generally by scratching and/or banging rocks together. Most geologists will carry a few items like a pen knife and perhaps a large quartz crystal with them into the field so that they can quickly do these comparisons and determine just what in the heck it is they are looking at.

    The exact same principle applies to guilds.

    (It should be noted that this is an entirely made-up and subjective scale. If you want to go for some sort of pre-Galileo sort of thing where your guild is exactly at the center of the hardcore-edness scale and everyone else is either a slacker or a loser with no life, you go on with your bad self- I won’t judge. But it doesn’t give us much of a common ground to talk about things like guilds and raider types, sadly.)

    How to Use This Stupid Thing Scale: I’ve put a question at each item on the scale. Answer each question in order (sort of like a flow chart) and move along the scale if you answer yes. Each stage on the scale is inclusive of all of the ones below it.

    Are you a guild?
    Hardcore-edness 1. Congrats! Being a guild is awesome! There are other people! You have a witty/punny/intimidating/obscure fantasy novel reference above your head. You can have a tabbard and some vault tabs! Welcome to the ‘MM’ part of the Warcraft MMORPG.

    Does the guild raid?
    Hardcore-edness 2. Yay for raids! Raids are a fun and exciting thing that you can do with your guild. There are lots of other things guilds can do together, but if you’re doing endgame raiding, then you’re working your way up the Hardcore-edness Scale.

    Do the raids progress?
    Hardcore-edness 3. Yes, this question is very low on the scale, but if your raids aren’t progressing, then you can’t really be very high up on the scale anyhow, can you? If you’re raids don’t progress, that’s cool and can be a load of fun for you and your guildies, I’m not here to tell you you’re bad raiders or bad players, just that there are guilds out there that are more hardcore than you!

    Is there a set raid schedule?
    Hardcore-edness 4. Raiding on a whim can be loads of fun, but if you’re really going to be hardcore about raiding, you need to have a set schedule. Maybe this is something like “any three days a week” or “every Mon/Wed/Fri at 7pm ST” but whatever it is, you’re serious enough about raiding to make a set date and/or time for your raids.

    Are there raid performance expectations?
    Hardcore-edness 5. This generally means that there is someone in the raid watching dps and healing meters or just generally keeping and eye on things to make sure that everyone is doing a good job and no one is slacking.

    Are there other explicit raid expectations?
    Hardcore-edness 6. This can range from anything like “you must have food buffs” to attendance expectations to all of the other things that guilds explicitly demand of their raiders. The more expectations there are, the closer you are to the next level!

    Are these expectations punitively enforced by guild leadership?
    Hardcore-edness 7. It might seem like a very fine point to make, but having expectations and having a leadership that is capable of and willing to do something when those expectations are not met are to me two very different things. And of course, two different stages on the Hardcore-edness Scale.

    Are raid achievements a major part of the goals and successes of your guild’s raids and raid progression?
    Hardcore-edness 8. It may seem verbose but I worded it this way for a reason. Doing raid achievements willy nilly or by accident or just on some night that the raid seems to feel like it or even where you try really hard to do raid achievements but can’t are different things from deliberately setting out to do raid achievements and doing them. And of course there are raid achievements and there are raid achievements. But there are a universe of decimal places between 8 and 9.

    Are Hard Mode boss kills a major part of the goals and successes of your guild’s raids and raid progression?
    Hardcore-edness 9. Similar story here. Wanting and trying to do hard modes are not the same things as actually downing those bosses on hard modes. And which bosses and which precise modes you down them on can be even finer distinguishing levels within Hardcre-edness Level 9.

    Are server firsts a major part of the goals and successes of your guild’s raids?
    Hardcore-edness 10. Pretty self explanitory. Guilds that aim for and achieve server-first boss kills are pretty much at the top of the scale. They also have all of the requirements to meet every other stage on this scale – cause the scale is inclusive, remeber!?

    Are you Ensidia?
    Hardcore-edness 76. What more can I say about this? Really?



    Post Scriptum: In the spirit of edumacating the readership of this blog about geology, each of the little pictures is of the corresponding mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale. And as an added bonus, each picture links to something about that mineral! Look, learning!

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