Hanging Up the Halo

So, my priest is officially my alt now.

I waffled back and forth over the issue for the better part of a week. I was very stressed about the decision and have been stomping around the house in a state of great agitation while I weighed out the pros and cons of the choice. I always had the same thought running as a mantra in the back of my skull as each point and counterpoint of arguement vyed for attention: “is this what is best for the guild?”

Is it? Is it really?

I need a break from healing. The guild needs healers.
I want to play my hunter more than anything. I like playing my healer.
I’m a very good healer. Am I a good enough hunter?
We the officers keep telling people to play what they want to play and how they want to play. Do I get to do what I want, too?
Can I live with the guilt of knowing I’m leaving my healer and dpsing when my co-leader wants to do that too but isn’t?
What will my officers say? What will the guild say? And what will they think but not say?

I don’t know if it was just my inner turmoil or if I really was getting the cold shoulder from my officers for the first week. The first week while I logged the priest on maybe twice, and had brought the hunter to level 74. And maybe it is still my inner turmoil that is making me feel like I’m getting a frosty reception from the guild at large these days.

Am I wrong to want to have fun? Am I making up flimsy justifcations for doing what I selfishly want rather than what I should be doing as a responsible Guild Leader?

I’ve QQ’d at length to a few folks that I thought would listen, and been told the same sorts of things by each of them:
“You’re the Guild Leader, you do what you want.”
“Play what you want to play, it’s a game. You’re supposed to be having fun.”
“You can always recruit more healers.”

And my responses are always the same:
“I’m the Guild Leader. I have a responsibility to the guild before myself.”
“I have fun healing, I really do.”
“Oh? If it’s that easy, you do it.”

Now this is why I love my co-guild leader so much. She finally came to me and asked me if I was upset with her. I just about started crying. I told her that I was so worried she was upset with me and I had been sort of avoiding her because I didn’t want to make her more upset. It sounds very silly (not tomention very girly) but I think it’s a prime example of why our leadership works so well. We care about each other very, very deeply. She told me to just play my hunter and enjoy it and it was like the hand of God coming down on my soul. It was such a relief to hear it from her and for the next few days I gloried in my hunter.

Over the past few days, though, I’ve heard some grumblings from the guild that there aren’t enough healers and there won’t be enough to raid with. As well, there have been a few very pointed comments about me not being on my priest. So I made a post on our forums today and officially told everyone I will be hanging up the healing wings, at least for a little while.

I’ve seen that a few other Guild Leaders have decided to change classes and I’ve taken heart from that as well. I’ve realized that we have no officers who play dps roles, and our dps really needs some leadership. I need a change to keep the game exciting and fun and fresh for me. I want to try raiding from a different standpoint, I want to try leading from a different standpoint.

And if it doesn’t work, well I can only hope that my pride isn’t so much I can’t polish up the halo and put it back on, dents and all.


All the News That Fits, We Print

So the photoblogging site is at least functional.

Not so much in terms of content. But I’m working on it. Will likely take me the rest of the week to get the site working the way I want it, and maybe a bit longer to get all the photos edited and everything up and running properly.

I have a lot of old screenshots to go through. But I’m really looking forward to the little vacation into the glory gaming days of yesteryear. Or at least earlier this year.

Anyhow, if you have any comments on the style of the blog (such as it is so far) or any other good WoW photoblogs I should be looking at, let me know! And thanks in advance for your input.

The Acronomicon

So, just what the hell is everyone talking about these days?

I don’t think I will ever forget the day I was finally bold enough to ask over Trade Channel “Just what do LBRS and UBRS mean anyhow?” For anyone new to WoW, the burden of learning not only internet slang like ‘omw’ and ‘brb’ and ‘afk’ but all of the in-game abbreviations can be a formidable task. New ones crop up all the time, too. It was only a few months ago I had to ask someone what ‘iirc’ stood for and I’m certainly no noob.

It’s well known that jargon, lingo and acronyms are a way of defining the ‘in-group.’ If you know what we’re talking about, you’re one of us. If you don’t, well then you’re not worth talking to anyhow. Scientists are one of the worst groups of people for using and overusing lingo, and I know that when I head to the office or to the lab, my day with be filled with talk of CBM, TFX, the MRM and a vertiable kegger’s worth of greek letters. (For the record: Coal Bed Methane, Mixed Tidal Flats, Muskeg River Mine)

So what are we going to call all this new stuff? When Patch 2.4 came down, and we were introduced to the Sunwell content, I recall a day or two where there was discussion over various guild and chat channels about just what we were going to call all this stuff. “SWP” was an easy enough assignation, but we already had an “MT”. Two, in fact, though it was pretty easy to guess from the context if you were talking about dead draenei or … well actually I guess a Main Tank could be dead draenei, too. Hmm. I digress. I know on Thorium Brotherhood we eventually settled on “MagT” for the new 5-man, though I much preferred the runner-up, “MrT.”

But when I came online yesterday and said over guild chat “WTB group for AN” I was met with more than a few “wha?” I decided it was time that we sat down and figured out what exactly we were going to cal all this new crap so that we could understand each other.

I’ve already coined one new term, by the way, which is “ninja ghouls” for the little geist creatures in Utgarde Keep and Azjol-Nerub. And so I was happy to see people using the delightful “AKTOK” for the Old Kingdom instance. It’s fun to shout. I don’t think it will catch on in the server at large, though.

WoWwiki lists all the instances and some acronyms for them, not all of which I have seen in popular use on our server yet. It will be interesting to me to see which shake out as popular, especially with the tortuous spelling of some of the new names.

As an intersting aside, it’s also odd that people have different tolerances for what acronyms are allowable to be pronounced as-is and what should be spelled out. My own personal preferences range from thinking it perfectly acceptable, and even fun to say “ooo-burrs” or “luhr-burrs” (especially with a slightly german pronunciation on the latter) to tolerating “lawl” as long as it is meant sarcastically to kicking people off vent for coming on and asking how “wattle-kay” is treating everyone.

So talk to me, tell me about your acronoymic gaffes, what sort of abbreviations do you allow or disallow, do you have any specific to your guild and how many people spent the first few days stumbling over ‘Utgarde Keep’ or quested all day in the “Howling Forge”?

Quoth the Lovebird …

So, I have The World’s Most Evil Lovebird.

She’s cute, on the surface. She’s not very large, as parrots go, maybe 15 cm tall and is poofy and yellow with an orange face and pretty pink cheeks. But inside lurks the soul of a Tyrannosaur. She’s generally a sprightly little creature, chattering away to me or the cats or any sort of random thing she sees outside the window. But she can be surprisingly vicious at times, battering the side of the cage with her beak and wings, screeching. Mostly though her noises are pleasant parrot chatter or mimicing the “call pet” whistle. (I think I play my hunter too much.) She can also talk. She can’t say much, but she does get a lot of mileage out of her limited vocabulary. He favourite word is “pretty” which can mean anything from a sleepy, “oh, is it morning already, Mom?” to her “prittyprittyprittyPRITTYPRITTY!” battlecry before she launches herself across the room at some hitherto unsuspecting cat. The cats are all terrified of her, by the by.

The first week in Northrend was basically a duet between the two of us. Every sight, every new creature, every breathtaking vista, caused me to exclaim something along the lines of “ooooooh, pretty!” Which of course would be echoed by the bird.

Now, I thought BC was very nice looking, for the most part. The first zone, Hellfire Penninsula, wasn’t so much to look at, but it did an incredible job of evoking the feelings of an entire world shattered by war and otherworldly forces. Tempest Keep and especially A’lar were just breathtaking the first time I saw them. And Nagrand. Oh, Nagrand. I love Nagrand so very much. I love the gnarled trees, the hanging waterfalls, the floating bits of debris, the twisting nether out there in the sky. And the talbuks. The talbuks are so lovely, so effortlessly elegant. They are in my opinion the epitome of what can happen when a game designer creates a fictional, fantastical animal based on sound zoological principles. Admittedly it wasn’t much of a stretch, but really it didn’t need to be. They’re sublime and I could (and do!) spend quite a bit of time just contemplating their grace.

What bothered me about the rest of BC was that Blizzard had started to move into the much bemoaned “brown gritty realism” school of game design. I have always been attracted to the bright, cartoony, fantastic sort of look to Warcraft, and so much of Outlands was grey and dreary. Or brown and dreary. I despise questing in dark, depressing places like Duskwood or Shadowmoon Valley. While I understand a certain amount of dark and stormy nights are necessary to be all things to all players, I think the color palette really shifted with BC, so it was with a heavy heart I loaded up WotLK expected more of the same.

I love the Howling Fjord.

I really have sat in front of my computer with my mouth just wide open in amazement. The fjord is unspeakably beautiful. My eyes go dry when I play because I stop blinking, I’m so intent on not missing any of it. I love the details in the architecture. I love the shine of the the snow. I love the colour of the grass. I love the way the snow melds into the grass. I sat in the grove with the ice-nymphs for half an hour watching them prance and toss their silvered manes. And throw snowballs at each other. Even the quest items are pretty! The new “crystallized X” icons are gorgeous.

And Dalaran. I can’t at this point talk about Dalaran without gibbering. I’ve tried to express how I feel about Dalaran and it usually comes out as, “Ohmygoodness Dalaran! Hagga wagga argle fargle ….” I am actively searching for a way to plant myself there and never ever leave. Ever.

The beauty of Wrath is the perfect thing for me these days because I’ve taken a much greater interest in digital graphic design lately. I do a lot of drawing and paper crafting, but I’ve only recently begun to realize that digitized pictures hold just as much potential. Ive always been a fan of striving to capture The Perfect Screenshot, and I’ve been playing around for a while with the WoW Model Viewer program for quite a while now, creating desktops and all sorts of other nice pictures for myself and now for this blog. I’ve decided that with WotLK out and a whole new suite of bosses for us to start downing soon, I should collect and properly display some of the screenshots I’ve forced my guild to endure. I’ll be starting a photo blog as soon as I can get my rather inept brain around how to use WordPress a little more effectively.

I’m going for the Loremaster achievement, so I have only just started questing outside of the Fjord. I’ve moved on to Dragonblight and I have to say I’m a little saddened. It’s grey. And snowy. If I wanted to look at dreary grey snowy things I’d look out my window all evening instead of through my computer screen. I’m going to leave Dragonblight for now and head to Grizzly Hills, I think, if only to drink in some more of the specactular scenery for a while. (Aside: Scenery that makes geological sense is as delightful as animals that make zoological sense. Exquisite job on the Grizzly Hills terrian, gents.)

I have high hopes for the artistic and visual aspects of this expansion, so don’t expect me to be teaching the parrotlet any new words any time soon.

Miasaurus Regina

Post Scriptum: I think I made up for my week off with this week’s flurry of posts. It’s been a bit of a complicated thing for me to properly tune my mind so I can communicate the sound and fury of Wrath. I’ve just been bombarded with so much from the game it’s been very hard for me to focus on one thing and get it up here in green and gold for you all to look at. I’ll be better next week, I promise.

It’s Been One Week

So, here is what Wrath has brought to Impossibilium.

successWe have three of our players to 80, and at least 5 over 75. One of those dings to 80 was the server first for Night Elves. I was really hoping we were going to get a few more server firsts, we were close for warriors, druids and for blacksmithing, but alas, ’twas not to be. I’m pretty excited about the presence Impossibilium has on the server. The realm first really drummed up some interest in us and seeing our members amongst the select few who are flying around Northrend or pounding around on their mamoth mounts really warms my heart. We were one of the top 10 raiding guilds on Thorium Bortherhood (top 5 for Alliance) and I’m glad to see we’ve really come into our own.

tensionBut the success has brought some tension. There is already some grumblings that the people at 80 are not looking forward to the heroic and rep and badge grind and want to raid right now. Well before Wrath came out we set Feb 1st to be the date we would start raiding again. The leadership felt that this was a good date to give enough time that our members would be able to enjoy the content, learn how to best utilize all the changes to their classes, enjoy their Christmas holidays and do some badge and heroic farming to be well and truly raid ready. There has been some noise from some our of 80 and near-80 people that the Naxx requirements are not hard to meet at all, so I can has raid nao plz?

balanceOur class balance has changed quite a bit. One thing we gave to our members with Wrath was a Change Your Main Free card. There were more than a few people who wanted to make a really big change in Wrath and so some of our tanks are now healers, some of our melee are now tanks and some of our healers are now ranged. Things are still shaking themselves out and we’ve given everyone until New Year’s to make a final decision. My own decision has been causing me no small amount of stress, but I think I will write about that a little later. It’s sort of odd to see all the changes, close to a quarter of our membership has switched up their raid roles, so I’m excited to see some of the new dynamics developing.

silverliningWe’re growing closer as a guild. There’s a real sense of “us against them” in Imposs these days. I’m well aware of the Internet Ashattery Equation but it seems to me that something about Wrath has brought out the Inner Shithead in everyone. There are a few guilds known on our server for being complete wastes of space, and their up to their old spawn camping and kill stealing tricks and no one is batting an eye. But what is really staring to bother me is that people I have seen behave in much kinder and more generous ways are suddenly transformed in to slavering, lurching, grasping Monsters of Greed. It’s not doing a damn thing for the tone of the server, but it has tightened the relationships within the guild, so I guess I should be looking at the mithril lining here.

awardIn BC we took a page from Blizzard’s playbook and introduced the concept of an earnable title within the guild. We called this title “Dedicated” and it was awarded to raiders who showed exceptional dedication to their class, their guild and our raids. It came with some perks, namely a discount from the bank, preference for limited raid spots and a discount on the amount of points you’d have to spend to win raid loots. It was a very good system for us, it brough out some healthy competition and it reiterated to the membership that raiding is what this guild is all about. Along the same lines, we’ve instituted Guild Achievements now for Wrath. There is a sticky post on our forums celebrating the first of each class, race and profession to max out, as well as our first Explorer and Loremaster. The crafters get a bundle of mats from the guild bank as an award and the first of each class and race to 80 get a complete package of all the emotions food so that they can get themselves the achievement.

guild tagI’ve talked before about how Burning Crusade was the Guild Killer and how our officers were working as hard as we could to make sure that WotLK would not do the same to us this time around. It’s still a little bit early to tell, but I’d really like to think that all our hard work has paid off. There has been no great cataclysm, no astounding upheavals and I havn’t (yet! knock on wood) seen one hair of the drama llama. I know that we will have to tread cautiously to keep the guild cohesive, and to keep the slow levelers and the hardcore levelers happy and I know that once we start raiding it will be a whole new box of frogs, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Keep up the good work, guys, I’m more proud every day to wear our guild tag!

/rw Don’t Talk to Domo!!

Blog Azeroth Shared TopicSo, this is the perfect vehicle for the retrospective wrap-up of TBC (and some Vanilla WoW) that I have been struggling to write. I thought about doing lists of things I would or would not miss. (For the record, I will miss Warp Splinter. I will not miss Magtheridon. Or Kael.) I also contemplated reminiscing about lost gear loves, mostly staffs. I have a bit of a thing about staffs. Staves. And I would like to know why the Caster Loot Pinata of Black Temple never dropped the Priest on a Stick for me. However, I really adore this particular take on the end-of-an-era post, suggested as a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic by Starman of Casual Raid Leader.

A WrathChild:

  • Will not laugh when I tell the raid “Don’t Talk to Domo!”
  • Will not know the pain of crossing a Flame Wreath.
  • Will not realize that riding a dragon is something spectacular. Something that you grind rep for weeks for. Northrend is lousy with dragons to be ridden!
  • Will not know what it is like to be stuck with one hair colour. Or name. Or server.
  • Will not point and laugh at a retadin in a raid. Or a moonkin.
  • Will not understand what Lootreaver means.
  • Will not wipe on the Gong Boss of ZA. Or the Elevator Boss in SSC.
  • Will not have to go through the pain of buying an item with the most wonderful stats and then equip it only to realize it looks like something the game developer’s two year old came up with.
  • Will not back up to kite a mob and fall off the edge of the world. Will not call a ground mount instead of a flying mount and fall off the edge of the world. Will not run from a mob and fall off the edge of the world. They also will not fall off the edge of the world just for the primal joy of it.

  • However, a WrathChild:

  • Will respect naga as formidable enemies, not mind-numbingly common and tedious trash mobs.
  • Will experience that intoxicating, enthralling joy of – finally – learning to take to the skies.
  • Will fish, love critters, cook, explore, quest, experience the passing of the seasons, raid and PvP with the Achievement system marking (and announcing) their progress every step of the way.
  • Will laugh at us curmudgeons complaining about how raiding used to be hard, how those cursed ‘casuals’ are ruining the game, how it used to take us five weeks of hard questing and instance rep grinds to get through Outland. Barefoot. Uphill. Both ways.
  • I’m happy to be an MC Raider, but I welcome all the WrathChildren with open arms and I can’t even being to speculate upon what a wonderfully fresh and free perspective they will bring to my guild.


    Now is the Time

    So, sell! Sell! Sell!

    Let Momma Ori tell this to you bluntly. Winning a server first crafting achievement does not put gold in your pockets. It just doesn’t. So you really need to decide if your e-peen is more important than your e-purse.

    I am baffled by the fact that people are crafting and/or hoarding crafting mats. Stop that! Stop that right now! Do you realize that prices will never, ever be this high again? Ever! I am making 80g or more for a stack of Felweed-equivalent herbs. That’s absolute insanity!

    I am selling every last bit of crafting material I can. Cloth. Herbs. Ore. Meat. Everything. I’m not even going out of my way to farm it, I’m just selling what I get from roaming around questing. I’m making a ludicrous amount of money and that to me is a Good Thing. Because in a week’s time, the prices will settle. The more farmed Northrend starting areas will clear out of adventurers a bit, making gathering (well, maybe not skinning) easier. And making the mats cheaper.

    Don’t even get me started on enchanting mats. I’m selling those as fast as I can get my little hands on them and giggling in tune to the sound of gold pouring its way into my coffers. I’m doing the same for the Guild Vault, and we’re making a killing. And in a week’s time when people tire of or complete the leveling rush, they will start crafting again and old BC materials will see a little price surge.

    I keep having to repeat this bit of advice to my guild and my friends, so I figured it was worth sharing here as well. Carpe that old diem, folks. Make your money while you can!

    From Northrend, With Love.

    So, I’m not even sure what to say.

    I’m back in the world now, I suppose. I plugged the phone back in, I’m back at work (*sigh*) today, I’m answering my emails and I’m back into the blogsphere. My Total Wrath Immersion is over and I must once again walk the line bewteen the two worlds.

    I’m not sure I like it. On one hand I loathe getting up in the small, chill hours of the morning and propelling my haggard carcass through the motions of the Daily Commute and the Daily Grind. On the other hand by sometime around 11pm Saturday night I was so angry and stressed and frustrated with Warcraft I had a bit of a fit and swore I wasn’t playing any more that weekend.

    I’ve realized that I can’t just work. But I can’t just WoW either. It’s kind of odd. I feel like a kid that’s been allowed to eat nothing but pizza and ice cream and drink pop for a whole week and then spends the next few days with horrid stomach pains. All I have to say is “be careful what you wish for …”

    I will coallate my thoughts better in the next day or two, and do some more posts on how exactly we as a guild have weathered Wrath. (Short version: All’s well.) But it’s going to take me some time to get back into the headspace of living both as a functioning member of society and as an accomplished gamer instead of someone who oozes back and forth from computer to unmade nest of bedclothes as the demands of the body and the soul compell me.

    WotLK is more than I bargained for.

    What Kind of Priest Are You?

    Blog Azeroth Shared Topic So, I’ve decided to try my hand at a bit of a poll, or more correctly, a questionnaire. This is one of the Blog Azeroth Shared Topics, suggested by Sydera. I’ve been mulling it over for a while, and trying to come up with enough things that are actually funny. Or at least worthy of a twitch of the corner of a reader’s mouth. So, if you’re feeling brave, go ahead and click the picture below, and find out what kind of priest you really are.

    And don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know how it turned out! I’m super interested to know if there are more Discipline priests out there than I suspect … or if shadow priests really are slowly taking over the world.

    *shifty eyes*

    Picture for the Holy Priest is from here.
    Picture for the Shadow Priest is from here.
    Picture for the Discipline Priest is from here.
    And apologies to Blog Azeroth for messing with their logo.

    Balance, Without the Feathers.

    So, how’s this for a kick in the pants?

    I have been living and working in a tar sands mine since April. I have been home for less than 7 days out of every month since then and when I am up at the mine working, its 12 hours a day, everyday. In a open pit mine. There went my summer. And some of my Fall. I did it because it needed to be done and because I wanted to earn some political clout with my company. I also did it because every hour I worked (44 extra hours per week) went into my nest egg of banked overtime, or Time In Lieu (TIL). Which meant when I returned from my tarry exile I would have a joyful little bundle of days off that I could use for things like extra-long weekends and trips to Ireland.

    Now I know you’re thinking “Wow, Ori, that sound fantastic! I’d love to have a little extra holiday time stashed away!” Or maybe all you heard was “Ireland” and now you’re just thinking “mmmmm …beer.” But I just got a letter in my email that says that the time I have cannot be carried over into the next year and must be used by Dec 31st. Still not seeming like a problem? Bust out a calendar. No go do it, I’ll wait. Now take a good look at it. I have 300 hours of banked overtime. And on top of that, 60 hours of paid vacation. That’s 9 weeks! Does that calendar have 9 weeks left on it? Does it!? I didn’t think so. And I can’t even just take the time and be like “Catch y’all in January” because I actually have work to do.

    And the real pisser, the real slap in the face is any time that I can’t use between now and when Auld Lang Syne starts playing on the CBC will be paid out. At regular time. And taxed.


    I’m pretty annoyed and it’s really affecting my quality of work. I’m finding myself spending more time lurking on forums, sending SuperPokes to my sisters on Facebook and blogging. And staring off into space. Lots of space. That’s full of stars ….

    But I digress. I’ve finally decided that I’m going to stick it to The Man and just take as much of the time as I can. Every Friday off? Check! Three weeks off in December to deal with Stressmas? Check! A week off in November to revel in the delights of the new expansion? Check!

    I have honestly booked holiday time so that I can play a video game. Is that the absolute pinnacle of nerd-dom or what? I got laughed at a bit when I told some of my guildies that I’m doing this, but one or two brave souls agreed with me and said they were taking some time off for Wrath as well. I mean, I’d be taking the time off even if I didn’t have eleventy bajillion hours I needed to use, but it feels so deliciously sinful to do something as frivolous as book holidays for the sheer pleasure of plonking my ass down in front of the computer for as many hours as I can handle.

    I’m so crazy excited about Wrath and I want to be able to stay up until sunrise on Nov 14th just soaking it all in that I’m taking the whole damn week off. The officers and I are already planning a Vent party the night it comes out, so that we can all be online and on Vent talking and laughing and exploring and discovering with some of the people who matter most in our lives.

    I’m nervous here because I have ordered a Collector’s Edition online, as well as ordered a regular version from the store. I’m planning on going at midnight to pick upmy regular edition, because I’m worried that the CE won’t come in time. When I bought my CE for Burning Crusade, I was able to install it over the regular edition, and get my code for the regular edition refunded. I certainly hope that I can do that again this time, because I want to be able to get in on all the fun times in WotLK as soon as I possibly can (which will likely mean loading the regular edition) but I hate wasting money. So we shall see.

    Though I must admit that I’m curious as to what other folks are planning on doing on release day. Who is going to go pick it up at midnight? Who is going to wait a few days and pick it up at the store once the lunacy has subsided? What do other guilds have planned for The Big Night? Lemme know!

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