Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year, "Imbecil."

Not much lost in translation...that's Portuguese, not Spanish, by the way: Google translator politely showed me the way.

Sometimes I weep for humans, especially ignorant, racist, jackass humans, of the United States variety specifically. Possibly because this is my native country, and idealistically, naively, and am operating under the delusion that we have such potential to be great, because we were literally handed the operating manual and instructions, scribed in ink and blood, and if we could just all pull our heads out of our...dark places...then somehow we would see how cool our country, our people, are. But alas, I fear, this is not the case: U.S. continues to slide precipitously down the path of poor education, cycles of poverty, and government misdeeds.

But no matter, in Azeroth, we leave all that behind, right?

Warrior/dps role: racist jerk: How do I know this? Because when our comrades spoke what we thought was Spanish, he said racist things. I told him to stop. He didn't.

Paladin tank: Kept asking for 'bikkies" and meant biscuits, or cookies. Said he was from "antartica." I said cool, but you misspelled it. Now, maybe in another language it's spelled that way, but in my dictionary, it's spelled "Antarctica." When he asked for bikkies, that tipped me off that he may have been from Australia, and he may well indeed be from Antarctica, or maybe he was just a jokester from Australia who doesn't know how to spell Antarctica. Or, perhaps he wasn't really asking for mana cakes after all, but ecstasy pills. Sorry, dude, don't have that in my spell book. 

Priest and Boomkin: Portuguese - from Brazil? Portugal? 
Mage/me: Fire mage extraordinaire and defender of truth and justice. 

Now, here is what I do think, and dare I say the four-letter word, "hope?" -- I think there is going to be some backlash here soon. Maybe not backlash per se, an intolerance of the cowards on the Internet, but something is going to change. When the mouthbreathers and knuckle-draggers stop getting their way, perhaps. That is my hope for the New Year, and I plan on doing what I can outside of Azeroth to enlighten and mentor those whom I personally have an area of effect. 
"Sure would be nice to not have an idiot who starts a search when everyone is not ready."

The hard larger truth is, and I am saying this on good authority, is that not everyone will be ready at the same time. But it will take leaders to actually lead, show the way: don't look toward some figurehead or elected official, not some 'other.'  I wish you all courage, kindness, and love this  year, and for years after. And for heaven's sake, when you're spending time with beautiful jewel-colored pixels, chill.

Haanta checks out her friend's new transmog look. Boy, that sure is a suit of armor!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Half-a** Holiday, or "Stop Fighting in the Road."

Compulsively, or usually, I finish projects. This particular winter vacation, however, my actions have been somewhat fragmented. Take the tree down? Sure. Leave three boxes next to it and hope elves come and wrap up the ornaments and haul the carcass away (actually, I pay Boy Scouts to do that). Need those pants ironed? If I lay them next to the iron the wrinkles will magically disappear! Not sure what I had in mind, but now my vacation is almost over, and time to make those resolutions. One year I resolved that I would always match my pairs of socks right out of the dryer, so as to never lose one again, and by God, I managed that one for years.

The point of this tedious thought is this: I feel I am kind of at a crossroads here. I look at my hesitation for just jumping in with Zeptepi into the new dungeons again, or the LFR for that matter, and Luperci the Tripping Tail Tank, as a symptom of a larger malady. I had also intended to use this time to write, let the creative juices baste my imagination turkey (oh wow....I did not just write that), but alas, my muse seems to have gone to the Bahamas and has no intention of coming back. Hell, he left faster than Paul Gauguin can leave his French family for Polynesian goddess. Can't say I blame him. I stopped and noticed the absurd lack of light here in the northwest this time of year. Only Tom Robbins has been able to describe the Seattle area sky adequately. 
If you want to read a story about a red-headed princess and a wayward rogue, this is your story. Oh, a pack of Camel cigarettes has a starring role, too.

Maybe in the quest for valor I need to look at things differently: first, do the tough ones first, such as the healer or tank, and then dps wünderkind, Mataoka. I've been capping out her valor first because it's easy, with the notion that "I'll do the others later." Later doesn't happen. Second, maybe just say the heck with it. Maybe I am just a leveling dork after all. I did end up giving my death knight Morphemia to someone who can make her shine (she is now a human male DK--change hurts), and so far have no regrets. I have been having a fire-ball leveling Magadora, and my buddy has been helping me get Rökkr to a workable state (she'll be level 70 soon). The other diversion has been leveling Haanta as a PVP hunter with my dear friend. People can downgrade PVP all they want, but it is a different style of play and strategy that can be very satisfying, and not just when my side wins--though of course that is nice. I treat it more like a game of touch football or pick up basketball game. The level of fun comes from the synergy. And, advice for Tol Barad: defend, defend, defend. And always, stop fighting in the road. Just stake a claim, get it done, and win! 

Time to kick some elves in the tails.

I am such a girl: I found axes with pink handles. 

PS Reading and learning HealBot is one of my game goals:
Some good dwarfs may be sacrificial cadavers before it's all over.

Theme song:
Well, Beatles' Why Don't We Do It In the Road - too obvious
Robert Johnson/Crossroad
The Decemberists/California One

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Drabble: A Lady

She realized, too late, what he had given her. In her over-enthusiastic joy of finding the unsurpassed axe to match her skills, she overlooked that he may have needed it, too. But he gave it to her, with a gentleman's bow and grace. She did not deserve it. He summoned his enchanter, and put a valuable spell on it, and her new armor, too. She scurried for the materials, collected gold, and even danced in the streets for passersby to throw coins in her helm, but she gathered the resources. Now, looking at the blade, she hoped to serve well.

No'Kaled, The Elements of Death
Spiritwalker's Cuirass

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Haanta.

Gracias, Señor. As always, astonished by the gift of your friendship.

Dear Matty: Nerd Rage Makes Baby Jesus Cry Edition

Dear Matty:
I am still learning my chops as a tank, but for the most part, for the average dungeon, I do just fine. I think it's pretty cool that I get the Satchel of Leftover Pixels from Blizzard, and all in all, enjoy tanking. I also have a dps and healer, so I know the fights from different points-of-view. But one thing that still shakes me up is the mean dps pendejo. Today, there was a shadow priest named Agar*** who was doing amazing. In fact, I wrote his name down to look him up on the armory to check out his configurations of glyphs and talents for my own priest, But just like "Ramses is a real douche" in Nacho Libre, this guy turned out to be a real douche, too. One of those eyeballs started to eat his pretty face, and I tried to get it off of him, but his aggro was just too strong. He did have time, however, instead of hitting fade, to type: "Yo, tank, $!K!J@ q12^%&$&*$#!!!" Told him I tried. But he didn't stop. He went full nerd-rage from that point on, how his warrior could do better, and on and on.

Fortunately, a buddy of mine who has a shaman was there and told him in her sweet, southern drawl to "Not act ugly."* We continue on. At the Queen Azshara fight, he continued on during the fight, though all was well, except that at the beginning of the fight the DK left--just left. At that point, I was determined to NOT WIPE, even though we had four players. And we did not. It was epic, truly. But the moment of victory was pissed on by this player, who was still calling me names and berating me. I finally whispered him to stop being such an ass, and replied even angrier. He never once offered any constructive feedback, just a lot of "fail, get off the internet, etc." I had him kicked, and the horse he rode in on. His parting whisper to me was, well, you can imagine, but also added that I could not take "constructive criticism." Apparently, he is not quite aware of what constructive criticism means.

So, Matty, at what point do you think a tank should take being verbally abused or should I have kicked him sooner? How do you not let mean players ruin your game?

Leggo My Aggro

Postscript: We did just fine on last boss, but alas, I was still so shaken up, didn't notice my bags were full, and didn't get the trinket that I won. *Sob*

Dear Leggo:
First, I hope by telling your side of the story you got some of that negativity off of your chest. I think in some ways, we all could just relax a bit more in general in Azeroth. I was recently in a dungeon with a very grumpy "you all fail" healer. Why this pleases players and makes them happy, I am not sure. I think this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere is a tense time anyway, and many a young punk player is home on winter break, adding to the foul language pool.

I have come to the epiphany, quite late, I know, that this is the game we play. We play with humans, and many humans are a**holes. Remember the epic feeling of winning the Queen fight with only four players, you being the tank?!?! You must have done something right! My advice to you is practice a 'cleanse' spell on yourself a little sooner - go make someone smile, or watch a funny Youtube video, and imagine it is that player. If anything, have pity on his small heart and soul. He just spent twenty minutes with some nice people, and he didn't realize it.


And, isn't the world a better place that such wondrous creatures inhabit it? 

"I'm not doing this because it's cool, I'm doing this because it's important."

* (That's how southern girls say it when you're being an a**hole - you're acting ugly, because nothing in worse in southern lady culture than to be construed as "ugly." Trust me.)

Postscript: The player in question is from my same realm. Yikes. Better watch my tail.

Theme song: Jane's Addiction/Jane Says
Theme song 2: The Cave/Mumford & Sons

Let them eat pepperkage!

This is amazing:

Cannot believe I had to go to Google translator to figure out "pepperkakedrage. Duh! Gingerbread dragon! Makes total sense - pepper cake dragon - nothing lost in translation.

Hot Mess, revisited: Good Advice for the Messy Tank

Luperci at level 32, back in March...

Luperci at level, mess, and ever thus clueless.

I am quite honored that Theck at Sacred Duty responded to my more "touchy-feely" question. Even masterful theorycrafters put their heart and souls into it. For a great post, read: Ask Theck, Round 1 

Morning after pill.

I stayed up too late, the dishes were dirty, and the Christmas tree was knocked down. Worried about trying to tank and heal (and get valor points for Luperci and Zeptepi, accordingly, after a few failed attempts at healing), I thought I would just clear the decks. Hate that mild anxiety of going into dungeons after the anagnorisis moment of knowing what I'm in for and how frustrating it can be. Late last night, Guarf sent me this clip, (he does that after a few flagons of mead), but I didn't get a chance to watch it, until this morning.

Dishes done, tree back up (minus a few ornaments and pine needles), and watched it:

Onyxia Wipe Animation.*

I will never, ever, take this game seriously ever again. Friggin' hilarious.

*If you don't like bad words, don't watch it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Music to my ears.

Put a new Page on the blog, a collection of the theme songs I've linked in posts. Enjoy!

(Still under construction: my soundtrack is wide and deep, with a strong penchant for Beck, RHCP, and Neil Finn.)

Powerful mojo.

Thanks, to the blog Manalicious for her post on Friday, which led me to this blog:

Now, if I can only figure out how she got those wonderful cookie cutters:

Maybe there's a tinsmith in Goldshire who can help me out. (look at the octopus one)

Yes: apparently I have some time on my hands this morning. Elves are sleeping, bear cubs laid out, and the ogres snoring away. But before I get my next cup of coffee, just wanted to say: To my friends in the waking world and in Azeroth - peace to you and yours, be light of heart, full of hope, and thank you for the love and kindness of your friendships.

And please tell me where to get those cookie cutters.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Love and Death(s) in Northrend

Rökkr, with the grand help of two very dear friends, got carried to level 68 today: that is an especially sweet milestone in a character's progress. Let me be straight: I have no idea what the hell I am doing as a rogue. Stabby-stab-stealth-stealth. A young elite rogue reviewed my action bar and spells and shook his head in disgust, grumbling something about the uselessness of sinister strike. Fortunately, I have a few things going for me: I am kind of smart, and I have very good friends who have rogues of renown.

Rökkr stays at the same lodging as the others...clean sheets, chocolates on the pillow and turn-down service.

Now the real work begins, and choices to be made. The quest line in Northrend is rumored to have been reduced 30% with Patch 4.3, so I hope this is true. Just leaving Outlands and seeing all of the bright yellow "!" everywhere made me feel a bit guilty. But I paid my game dues with leveling Mataoka, and a little reduction in effort until I get to level 80 and that boring grind from 80-85 begins, I'm going to enjoy my time in the great Northrend. Got a little overexcited and the second I stole borrowed gold from the guild bank and purchased Cold Weather flying, I fly to dangerous zones and tried to pick the daisies. Made a few trolls very grumpy, but it was fun trying (dying, but fun). Snuck past some of them, and plucked a few.

So, a rogue for Christmas - thank you my friends. Now just try to find her!

Where I was directed for help: Shadow Panther

Theme song: TMBG/Spy
Other Spy Songs (click)

Naughty, nice, and all in between...

Haanta considers a race change...nah...

Matty emptied out her bags, banks, and bagatelles: she found an old, spent totem, (she had made that in summer camp when she was very young, its clay mortally flaking), some torn netherweb spidersilk, a few jaggal pearls tumbled out, rolling into the cracks in the floor (lost forever now), and some Scarlet Crusader gear she kept in case she felt righteous. "This will never do," she thought, "They all deserve so much more than this." Chiding herself for thinking and knowing, oh, ever knowing, that Winter Veil's big festivities were right around the corner, and now less than a clock tower dance around the dial, why didn't she save more gold to buy her friends gifts? They had all been so generous to her all year long, and yet, once again, she was a day late and gold coin short, as always, and was having a difficult time reciprocating. "Ever thus to deadbeats," she sighed to herself. She was even weary of her mooching ways.

If she could, she would give gifts that her friends truly wanted and would cherish:

To Kaylyne and her kin, though, there was not much that they didn't already have: bravery, steadfast loyalty, and humor. Maybe continued belief in themselves, and courage. Perhaps at the new year festival, they could sit for an ale or two at their favorite pub.

To Isabeaux, she would give an elixir of Trueheart Aim Potion*. She never seemed to need anything, no matter what Matty offered. Isa had gems, fish, enchants, the best weapons, the finest gear, and most intelligent hunting pets. Isabeaux was too aloof, in Matty's opinion, so perhaps the potion would soften her up a bit.

To Guarf, she would surprise him and clean up his little house. He had given her an enchanted broom, which she had been longing for for some time now. Perhaps this was one of those gifts with not-too-subtle-hints: a little magic to mix with the elbow grease. She would get right on the task. Maybe if she cleared a path to his door, the Widow Shannon would venture inside.

To guildmasters, former and current: For former, a trip to the goblin realm for rare whiskeys and rums, and a note, expressing just the right words of gratitude. To current, just a basket of treats from Dalaran. The current guildmaster and officers were very kind, but she wasn't quite ready to completely invest her heart and friendship. Matty noticed something, and wondered if this was true in most guilds, that there is one flirtatious paladin in every guild (what is it with paladins? Humans, dwarfs, and draenei: put a uniform on them and their amorous confidence increases). Well, Matty didn't blame them. Taking the world on one's shoulders deserved a mild joke now and then, of course. The paladins whom she considered her friends, near and far, were truly gentlemen of honor and valor. One who was far away, she knew he was doing well, and always thought the best of him. If she could give him a gift, it would be to continue his journey with success, always. She offered up a prayer to the gods, and felt that it was heard.

She came to the bottom of her bags, and pursed her lips. She would have to call in her sisters for help, because for a mage, rogue, death knight, and priest: these gentlemen had been her friends since she stepped hoof in Dalaran for the first time. The mage had taken up cooking, and there was a set of gourmet pots and pans in a little blacksmith shop in Burning Steppes of all places. (She guessed that if one had to live in that godforsaken dustbowl, at least they wanted delicious food to eat.) For the rogue--new daggers, if he wanted them. He seemed to be in a bit of a slump lately, which was doubly sad, considering he was a gnome. Slumping gnomes are extra tiny, and she wanted to make sure he was all right.

The death knight had armored himself well, so he didn't need anything in that regard. She didn't know, but the tiny cub she had given him he kept in his pocket (he loved that little cub), so he didn't really want anything else from her.  However, he liked this special rum--perhaps a few jugs of that?
Why is the rum always gone? 

For the priest--he was definitely a challenge. Robes, staffs, spell power -- all great things. But he deserved something special.

Suddenly, she knew just the thing, and went on her way to find it. Keeper of secrets and agent of surprise, she smiled, satisfied, to herself. She hoped he liked it.

*I made this up. Don't look it up on wowhead.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


This is a Wordle created from my tags. I love "magic Matty" most of all. If you're looking for something quick and fun to do, this definitely tops stupid computer tricks.

Conspiracy Theory.

More than a handful?

"I HAD IT IN MY HAND!" my hunter friend shouts--I laugh so much my shoulders shake. Yes, another adventure in LFR. He was reaching and rolling for the Vinshanka, Jaws of the Earth bow.

"Let me guess...lowest dps won it?

"Nope, actually..."

"...fourth lowest. To be fair, it will help him."

Of course.

Now - discussing the derping psychology of Blizz, here is where the conspiracy theory-crafting happens: is there something more than Murphy's Loot Law at work here? Did Blizz somehow stack the decks so that low level performers in LFR would get the loot? Are they truly behaving like crack dealers, breaking bad, and giving the noobs a taste, so they're successful and keep paying their monthly dues? Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me (nods at Woody Allen).

Now, I was thinking (I do that sometimes) last night that one thing that would really be, interesting (?) is to only allow those who are top activity performers in their class during LFR roll on loot. Talk about a true competition. No kicking allowed - just focus on performance only. If players heal at the same output, then all may roll on healer gear, for example, or if there are more than one hunter, but all the dps is within a margin in order to be allowed to even roll on a bow, or warriors and hunters on guns. Since we're already in competition for loot anyway, why not make it more interesting? Every one has off days, are trying to do better, etc. I'm not suggesting this happen in every LFR, but a "King of the Mountain" sort of option would give this an edge that has been lacking in the past.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dark side of the test tube.

Okay, at the risk of Guarf in his "man voice" telling me I am obsessing, I need to share this story. (One shaman's obsession is another dwarf's shrug.)

First of all - moral to the story: listen to instincts. I had come home after a long day, trying to explain that Fantasia the Disney movie was NOT Fantasia the wayward American Idol singer, and that naked animated fairies showing innocent butt-cheeks do not demand giggles (especially since most of the audience watches Family Guy and Tosh.O regularly, and laughed over fairy fannies?)

Exhibit A: Fantasia the movie:

 Exhibit B: Fantasia the singer:



I  just wanted to have my own fanny meet couch, laptop, and a pick ax and farm some ore.

That did not happen.

Went to LFR with about five other guildmates. All was fine. No loot, of course. Got to Wrymrest, with the globby things. Tank does or doesn't do something, I don't know. We wipe. Next globby group - we wipe again, someone pulled something (pull my finger is more like it), I get accused of pulling it, even though I was hitting marked target, and promptly kicked. No trial, no Miranda rights, nothing. Guildmates are indignant on my behalf, and try to kick tank, but no luck. And to add insult to injury, was kicked while dead, so got an empathic pat on the back by the angel, took the rez sickness, repaired, and cried. (Was it my mood? The 169 repair bill? The injustice of it all? Or, being out of Grey Goose vodka?)

No more LFR. No. More. Do not care if there are loot and valor points, or Deathwing himself invites me to tea. I am really done and over with witnessing and experiencing time and again some fat a**hole sitting on his nerd pole shepherding the sheep to do the whole pitchfork and torch gig. Enough. And, I want Blizzard to do something about it. What? Not sure. Maybe if one gets kicked by damage/dps was in the top ten, they pay for your repair bill. Or, you get a few valor points. Or they give you a new damn pony. I am not talking about the disconnect kick or the super low performer kick, just the kicks that are more like a roundhouse to the face for fun and spite than anything else.
Thinking of going to Aylied's house in Stormrage and leaving a bag of flaming poo on his doorstep.
(The top warrior died too, and pulled the first goopy group, by the way. Just being a tattle-tell, I know.)
So, I was relating this anecdote to my cross-dressing rogue, and he related this to me, just how groups are known to behave, with substantial scientific data, in the face of authority. Morality and ethics are the first things to go. PLEASE: I am NOT comparing getting kicked from LFR to the Holocaust. The only psychological question that I am pondering is all levels of human mob mentality. And, it's an interesting study to read up on, if you're into that sort of thing, you know, human psychology and whatnot.

Milgram Experiment: The experiments began in July 1961. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the question: "Was it that Eichmann and his accomplices in the Holocaust had mutual intent, in at least with regard to the goals of the Holocaust?" In other words, "Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?" 

So, if you are looking for the most beautiful enhancement shaman in all of Azeroth, she is probably hitting rocks with her mining ax, doing a quick dungeon, transmogging some outfits, or having a Grey Goose martini. Cheers!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Noobs need not apply.

A few stealthy souls I know have been working on this:

It's a good thing they have the pocket-picking ability, because even just to start it I was told takes about 10K.

Poor Rökkr--she and my Death Knight Morphemia were the second and third characters I started, and by far the most neglected. Not sure even legendary weapons will inspire me to play my rogue more, and am seriously considering sending Morphemia to boarding school.

But, damn....batwings? /sigh.

LFR and the Single Shammy

Your fortune teller reads the lines, and your prospects look smelly.

With great power, comes great responsibility, or something like that. One thing I Like Bubbles, or any of you, will most likely never experience in LFR is what happened to me Friday night. I guess I have kind of a thing about capping out Valor Points before the Monday night 'turn-into-a-pumpkin' server deadline. I tend not to procrastinate, but usually it's not a matter of procrastinating, but more I just have too much to do. (As you can see above, going to Archie McPhee's in Seattle is top of the list. Who doesn't need a set of tentacle finger-puppets?) Anyway, when I say great power, LFR is truly power to the people: went in with my buddy warlock who was playing his rogue. He is just as adept and awesomesauce on his rogue as his is on his warlock. His gentle good humor and kindness is always welcome. Friday night I was wiped out (no pun): I can't even tell you in a way that you would believe me what happened at my job on Friday--it was a Greek comedy/tragedy from morning until evening, and I swear with my barnacled fingers I am not being hyperbolic. I mention this only to set the stage: wanted to get through some dungeons, be on my way, and have a glass of wine. He talks me into a LFR group. We go. We wipe. Tank doesn't do something or someone doesn't push the button, whatever. We wipe again. Most of the DPS is below 10K. I'm doing over 20K, and am sixth. Not great, but in the top ten. LFR is a FUBAR experience for me--like putting twenty-five prima ballerinas on a stripper stage and there's one pole. It's a mess visually. And without the benefit of mutual or shared Vent, not a lot of communication happens. People start to get kicked. And then....dun dun dun...I got kicked. WUT? My friend said that the message on the kick screen said, "She looked at me funny." And this shows me how far I have come with WoW: I think it's hilarious. Kind of an Amy Poehler/Seth Meyers REALLY?!?! moment. So, once again, the best of players, and the worst of players, only exacerbated by the great unwashed and ignorant, dysfunctionally trying to work together for a common goal.

Moral of the story? I don't know. Will I try it again with a random group and not guildmates? Perhaps. When I peruse Mr. Robot for my main characters, Mataoka, Luperci, and Zeptepi, there is a lot of gear from Firelands and now Dragon Soul that those chicas 'need.' But then again, no one "needs" tentacle fingers. You just want them.

Postscript: My friend went back in, and then left during the fight. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Drabble: La Reina del Gremio

“If you’re going to leave, don’t do it now, please. Wait until I’m gone.”

A simple, pragmatic choice, she owed an allegiance, a debt in a way, to a larger guild, and another comrade. But she had spent weeks making a home, and here she was queen.

But this was not like him, his reaching out. Her heart felt it, even if her mind did not. This was not hesitation from cowardice, but an alarm to stop, out of love and friendship. Her leaving was not right.

“You never ask anything of me,” she said, “So this is easily given.”

Tome! Look!

On a weird Internet service right now, but wanted to tell one and all about this, especially Tome of the Ancients: This is going to be released with Diablo III, however, but it seems like it will work for all Blizzard games. Good - now I can be my warrior girl in Diablo and still change and meet friends for cocktails in Stormwind by nine.

Theme song: Tone Loc/Funky Cold Medina


I have been formulating some kind of response for some time since I read Vidyala's post on her blog. At the time of reading, there were no comments posted yet, and now there are thirty-three (soon to be thirty-four). I got something out of it that other commentators in her blog dialogue didn't seem to touch on, so this is purely, squarely, my opinion: I believe what she was writing about is a bigger issue than recruitment or guild rankings, but like most things in life, how we view ourselves in terms of being successful, or failures, and how it affects us. My tendency is to start quoting Joan Didion's essay On Self Respect, but for the love of Pete, will give it a rest.

Vid states:

It’s no secret to my friends and guildies that I am pretty hard on myself a lot of the time. Each time we slipped down a rank or failed to achieve a kill, it felt like a personal failure of mine. Why was I unable to keep those guildies from losing interest in the game? Why couldn’t I retain these members who’d been with us since ICC? Why didn’t we get that kill? Why didn’t we achieve this within a “reasonable time frame” (as measured by other guilds’ accomplishments?)
The big problem for me personally is a saturation of information. Twitter and blogs allow us to be connected to fellow players more than ever before. Heck, I have Twitter on all day long and when I’m not home I have it on my phone. Thus I’m in a position to see messages come rolling in like, “Just killed x boss,” or “Finished the entire raid!” and anything less than that feels like a personal failure. I actually think the raiding community is a lot smaller than we think it is. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of “coincidences” in the form of raiders joining our guild who used to raid together, or people leaving to join another guild that someone else is in who I am personally acquainted with. I think it’s more than just coincidence, it’s the fact that our pond is actually a lot smaller than we think it is. Which is part of the “too much information” syndrome.

It is absolutely true we are inundated with media and information: there is nothing to be done for it now, except for one thing, (one thing which has always been true), and that is to define our personal successes for ourselves. There is so much happiness and joy in her post about her memories of her time with her guildmates and playing, and that is truly, (not to be maudlin or cliche), what it's about. The young druid I know may have accomplished all that Firelands Heroic mode had to offer, yet left the guild that was controlling, unfriendly, and anxious. Teasing out accomplishments versus personal satisfaction is not easy, and often the two are intertwined inextricably. Bands break up. (Say what you will, but John Lennon seemed pretty happy with Yoko.) Guild rosters change. People move,  friendships fade. We all have touchstones, crossroads, where we have to redefine who we are and what we want. Filtering out the overload of other's choices, successes, and pathways is important.

It read to me that Vid was in the process of mourning those changes, and just needed time to do so. Vid--be gentle on yourself. Keep your standards and expectations, for sure. I know a woman in her 50s who keeps a list on her refridgerator with the most important qualities she wants in a mate. On this list are words like "kindness, responsible, and she wants to talk to them as much as they want to talk to her." Big, vague concepts, but I know she'll know it when she sees it. (I wish her luck, by the way.) But those moments do happen, and you will find and create a new way of play that suits you to a "T," and I don't even think you need luck. Keep us posted on your journey, because for me, that is what I like about you most of all--your ideas and insights. If there was a guild ranking for that, you'd be top of the list.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bubbles Does LFR

Once again, in her terse prose (damn, no one will ever say that about my writing!), I Like Bubbles sums up Looking for Raid: Figure it out or die trying, no loot, and Murphey's Law.

She's right on all three counts. I must admit, my occasional ventures with the new guild and LFR have been pleasant, surprisingly so. But the loot thing: while dusting off neglected Luperci the Benched Tank last night, running through a Well or a Time or a 100-meter dash or something, the demon boss thingy dropped an ax Matty needs. Of course. Of. Flipping. Course. Now, here is my cautionary tale: I had two accounts and had moved Mataoka to the new one. Blizzard warned me I would lose all guild affiliations, which I did. I moved her back to the original account a few days ago, and before I got a chance to explain to my new guild I would need an invite back and why, I found out they were really sad--they like me, they really like me! And, of course I was invited right back, and told the guildmaster about what happens when you change accounts, etc. She had been considering changing accounts, but the thought of not being exalted with her own guild gave her pause. The point of that randomness was I then had to spend a bit figuring out my key bindings again, so no dungeons, no loot, nothing.

The other unforeseen consequence is you also lose all of your key bindings, so that is my tech chore for today, because da-ammmmm, my key bindings were my life-line in play. Lightening bolt! Lightening bolt!

Theme song: Looking for Love

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Writer's Block.

I realize I failed on the National Write A Novel in a month challenge last month, but in my defense, my current real life situation only allows the sprints of writing, not the marathons. Someday, someday. I created a Page on this blog as a place to capture the fiction I write, so check it out when you get a chance.

Understand, I am not a great editor or proofreader of my own work. I sometimes write sporadically and impulsively. I may not have fleshed out the greatest character development or captivating plot lines. Please do not judge; however, if you ever have a critique of my writing, I wholly welcome it, in fact, encourage it.  I will always answer with a simple "thank you," and then choose to alter or not as I choose, just as I would expect and encourage anyone who is trying to put something creative out there in the ether.

I have been sketching out another short little story for about two weeks or so now, and am a little stuck. Always love my beginnings. Every day should start off with a "Once Upon A Time" in my opinion.

Postscript: Just re-read Chapter 5 of Blackberry Winter. Like enjoying my own cooking, that's not too bad!

Tools come in all sizes.

This is dedicated to my previous GO* who had recently discovered the delights of 'The Jersey Shore' (which I confess, have never, ever, ever, ever watched. Some images get seared to our brains and can't be erased.**)

Apparently, there is an Irish version. Be warned. I don't know if it's...(can't use the word heartening)... that cultural diffusion is the least of our worries, mild garbage the US pours out to other shores, or the most depressing thing I have ever seen, but here you go: Tallafornia.

600+ Euro=838 USD

**Wonder how many Euros it costs to buy eye soap.

*She is not the tool in this scenario. She is intelligent and funny.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Mataoka met a friendly goblin, a Janus creature with two faces, who knew his business well. To have something, a token, from her ancestral shaman past would be worth its weight in salt and gold. The brief ethereal week the faire was there, the fairy circle that would disappear at midnight, was not enough time for her to do all she needed to do to earn this mask. (Her shaman pockets were filled with dirt and grass, never gold or tokens.) She shrugged - next time the moon was full the faire would sprout in the dark woods again, barking blood and entertainment. The cage fight was certain to be for the benefit of the carnival workers, for their delight and amusement. Wondering what was up the path, down this glen, she transformed into her wolf spirit, and explored. She came upon a grisly discovery: a rookery of cages, filled with small bones, strongly bolted still. The cages looked almost new, but the bones, stripped of all flesh and remnants of clothing, told another tale. Whose bones were they? Goblins, gnomes...children? She sniffed, but the scents of cakes and beer overtook even her sense of smell. Movement: another wolf, just over there. He was gone, quick as a spark to ash. Her heart felt heavy, and slowed down her movement. Mataoka returned home.


Being a man is tough.

Being a man in the 1950s was tough:
The seafood fest especially frightens me.

Being a man in the 2150s is going to be tougher still:

All right. Have kind of a tough thing to bring up. According to one report, 40% of WoW players are female. Just as there are all kinds of personalities represented by the males of our species, there are various archetypes of the females. One in particular concerns intrigues me, and that is the "damsel in distress." These are the players who typically are not necessarily elite, pro, or have any desire to do much in terms of research, or when they do get advice, shun it with a sweet "hmm-mmm." The on-going victimization works well for them in terms of attention, game time, and fun. And I can't say as I blame these Penelope Pitstops--everyone loves the Daphnes and no one wants the Velmas (being squarely in the Velma camp myself, which has worked pretty well for me. I'd rather have a Shaggy than a Fred any day.) These females see other females on two speeds only: competition or matrons. Sharing in the sandbox with the other skirts is challenging at best.

But caution, all ye males who fall for this: I have an acquaintance, an IT gentleman with whom I work, who told the tale of a friend of his whose father played WoW and pretended to be a girl in order to get things. I realize his shenanigans are not original. But if you're thinking that hot little draenei is fawning over you and your big, strong virtual muscles just because you're hunky, you may want to edit that fantasy just a hair (in a manner of speaking).

"I'll play the victim!" Wednesday Addams: "All your life."

Revised theme song: Self Esteem/The Offspring

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Malpractice (with revised theme song)

I deserved that.

Nothing like removing a tank's boot from one's tail to jar some sense of renewed healing responsibility. On my beautiful priest, Zep, things were moving along okay, but had forgotten that I played with my talent tree a bit and I think pruned it too much. In one of the new dungeons today, Mannoroth always gives me a run for my mana, and today was no exception. I have enjoyed the backing of great dps and tank friends when I play as my healer, and a quick sprouting of a set of angel wings doesn't seem to cause most alarm. Mannoroth takes a lot of mana out of girl, though, and combine that with yucky neon-pee colored fire, resurrecting back into it, will try even the most charming of tank's patience, as it was today. The tiny, sycophantic words, "You are no longer in this group's instance" sting like a flu shot--needed, but it's mean medicine.

So, back to the drawing board. Put back on Circle of Healing, looked at the trees again, tidied up the action bar a little bit. I know I need to use Vuhdo, but I really hate its interface, so I've just been using raid frames and Spellflash/Omni.

Before I took a long hard look at my FAILURES--I went into that dungeon again. Little more mentally focused, but tank died, and he apologized. I warned them all that if there was fire I would abandon them all and to not take it personally. They didn't-- in fact, were all quite charming. Someone missed the interrupts on the Queen - one wipe. No. Big. Deal. We adjusted, got it right, and did it again. Everyone went home with 150 Valor Points in their gift bags and a smile on their faces. But, I am glad I got kicked from the first one, because really, the second time was tough, and it was time to take a hard look. I'm not sure if what I reconfigured will work better for the new dungeons, but we'll see. I have the number of a good lawyer if you want to sue for damages and mental anguish.

Theme Song: Last One Standing/Neil Finn

Quick Holy Priest Notes

Revised theme song: Somebody I used to know...Gotye
(Man is that video going to look dated in ten years)


Read this article in Wired, "9 Awesomely Geeky Spots Where You Must Check In," (and although editorially it should be "Nine Awesomely Geeky Spots Where You Must Check In"), it made me think about nine places I personally feel are my touchstones in Azeroth while leveling a character. And, for the record, even though I use these terms, "alt" and "toon," I still kind of like "character" best. Must be the dork in me. (Get thee to a RP server...I know.)

So, looking over the passports of Haanta, Luperci, and Zeptepi, I realize those characters have been pretty sheltered in terms of their questing and reputations. Even that snooty shaman has some more traveling to do. I feel like I learned my game lesson when it comes to grinding though: don't do it. The push for capping out valor points and getting the "next thing" or all the virtual tickets, tokens, and tithes is still a dangerous sirens' song, but will only lead to drowning in tedium.

I love it when I hear the 'new land discovered' sound and see the little golden yellow typography letting me know what part of the map I have uncovered. Venturing blithely into the Darkmoon Island woods, my only disappointment was that there didn't seem like much more of the world to explore. I naively brought my hunter there to see if she could tame a Darkmoon wolf, but alas, his feral nature could not be overcome by my measly handful of dog biscuits. And, ya know what? Good.

So, I am going to think about my nine places in Azeroth. Off the top of my head I must say just about anywhere in Uldum, but hanging out with the Sons of Hodir would top the list, and some of the beaches in Tanaris. But as far as actual "geek" landmarks versus vacation attractions, I need to give that some thought, those areas that signify to me I just haven't properly been through Azeroth until I do this or that. There are a few dwarfs in Northrend who look forward to seeing me, and certainly more than one bartender. I tip well.

PS Love to know what your "get your geek on" places are, too.

It's 7AM and pitch black outside: do you know where your Winter Solstice is?

Drabble: Darkmoon Wolf

Challenged the alpha, and lost: no pack, or mate. But here, I could peacefully drink the hot blood of hares and deer. First the small men came, green and squeaky. Hammers pounded and the windy striped squares rose from the ground, an odd forest. The smells of their food made me insane.  Too much. On the wind I smelled her. She chased poisonous toads into my dark forest. Confused. Behind the smell of others, she smelled like wolf. A whirl of silver light, another form, an insult to my gods, she appeared. I slunk away. Go away. Marked my territory.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weapons grade.

What the hell kind of crest is this?

*Matty* is desperate for some new weapons. Although comic relief of using the upgraded Tankards of Terror was necessary at the time, the punchline (get it? Punch? like drink punch? punch in the face? get it?) has gotten stale, just like that pun.

I am sitting on (not literally...ouch) four daggers right now. Enhancement Shamans should use maces, or better, axes. I have had this explained to me why. Something to do with my spells, slower speed weapons, and packing more of a punch. If I looked at the upgraded daggers purely from a numbers' perspective, I see all green lights, so that's why I get a little confused. But, my tankards have served me well; however, I need some axes, my weapons of choice. (And I am going to take my favorite Death Knight into the Halls for cool transmog stuff...)

Because I just don't pay attention sometimes, (I mean really: I am swinging two large tankards at seriously can I take myself?!) I should have been praying to the RNGs for Baleroc to drop the Eye of Purification ax.  But alas, that has intelligence on it, and I am a dumb shammy. According to my armory profile, for I have lost count, I have killed that shard-pooping behemoth seven times. What, bro, can't drop an ax for a girl? Whatever. Didn't need it anyway. I did however, need the Gatecrasher. Come on, man...what's a girl gotta do?

Going to do a little more research on what axes, and then maces, I should be saving my landslide enchant materials for (another small complaint: that enchant is not pretty. It leaves dirt all over the floor. I only like pretty enchants, not ones I need to clean up.) Looks like there's a gorgeous on called No'Kaled, The Elements of Death that is made just for me. 

Oh, but this looks interesting: Vial of Shadows. New lipgloss color? Very trendy.

This may be outdated, but it's still funny, and admittedly, love the analogy about Stonecore:

Enhancement Shaman 4.3 MMO-MeltingPot

General 4.3 Quick Advice: Click here

Theme song: Molly Hatchet/Flirting with Disaster*

Oh, Southern Rock...need a large keg of cheap beer and plastic party cup. And a field. Maybe a large linebacker boyfriend. Yikes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Primordial soup...

Going for a theme of green with Mataoka...all junk, all picked from the yard sales and sale racks, but it is pretty hawt...and no, those leggings do NOT make her tail look fat...

Bring a friend?

Imagine all the draenei...or "Put on a Lupe Face."

Was inspired this morning by Tome of the Ancient's great post about a "what if" scenario. She has photos and everything!

My comment to her was:
This is WONDERFUL - this could be explored so many ways. Gives fan fiction a whole new perspective! Thanks for the inspiration, and the photos are fantastic. I rock my imaginary horns, hooves, and tail every single day, clicking on the rage button when I am most unhappy angry face. If only others could see it, then at least they would be warned. Of my characters, the shaman and paladin are the most similar to me: if they came to visit, the shaman would be putting out her fire totems constantly to keep warm, the paladin would be arresting n'er do wells, the rogue would be looking for silver to pawn (sorry girl, none here), the priest would be reading steamy romance novels, and the hunter would be looking for the woods. 

The reason I posted the comment here I guess is more of a creative place-marker for myself: unfortunately, I don't have time to write this morning. I don't have time to do anything. December is the month for doing: it is a balancing act of somewhat forced cheer, production values, (last year I waited so long to put a tree up the guy at the tree lot gave it to me free...), and transforming the real world into a festival of lights, food, and a few pounds. Last night I went to Firelands for the first time with my new guild. There were some definite game highlights, including a very kind guildmaster who actually led me through the Alysrazor's fire tornadoes. Seriously. My cold, wet wolf nose was so far up her robes... The level of patience and humor I experienced was personally a better fit. Now, unfortunately, and I'm not the only one, though they have downed Rag many times, I experienced some life aggro at a critical moment, and I'll be honest, my stamina for being in a raid for three hours when I've been up since 5am is not...great. Fingers and reflexes get fatigued. But, I did see the fight further than I ever had before, so that's a good thing.

My personal parallels of game play and real life are getting fairly entrenched. Right now, I have a few nagging bosses that need to be downed, and there is some 'trash' in my professional life that loves to throw arrows and spears at my head (well, one co-worker anyway). There is one dart-thrower in every job it seems. The bully who offers nothing positive, no move to change or affect an outcome, save for the negativity and delight in letting you know how wrong you are. I'll have the fall-out of an event from yesterday to deal with today, and am not looking forward to it: those are the moments I put on my paladin persona. "Luperci" is brave, brooks no bullsh*t, and protects the less fortunate and marginalized from harm.

So, off to fight the good fights, once again. They last more than three hours, have way more trash, and there is no RNG boon. But there are cups of hot coffee and smiles. That works.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Loco para dama de rojo...

Oh, my friend - thank you so much -- if both of us don't have nightmares about Jaina and Arthas chasing us through ice tunnels, I'd be surprised. The third time was indeed the charm to get my bow for Haanta, and I scrounged through the sale rack at the Auction House for things she could equip in themes of red:

I am off to dinner, and my friend is off to the fair. Hard to describe that I am truly, simply, just having fun again --and I haven't even gotten a monkey yet.

theme songs: Loco por Juana
Tu Sabes Muy Bien (La Nalga)

You're going to wear THAT?!

Mataoka is still struggling to find just the right thing to wear, but Zep and Lupe have it figured out, at least for now:

Yes, that is the very same petrified bark shield  Lupe got back in the day. She needs to find some different horseshoes, er, footwear, er, hoofwear? Want to get a funky sword for her. Tried to equip the Horseman's, but the specs were varying. Rules for transmog? Dang.

When considering transmogrification, I never intentionally went for one complete look. I've always loved vintage clothing shops and wearing hand-me-downs that are unique and detailed. If I could still fit in the felt-wool skirt with the embroidered applique squirrel my great-grandmother made for me I would. Most of my real life outfits are T-shirts and jeans, but my hand-painted clogs and funky socks are my signature items, not to mention hand-crafted jewelry. So, my approach to transmog is very much the same as my 'fashion' choices in real life, meaning--put on what is clean, comfortable, with a modicum of style.

Zep has taken a more formal approach:
Buying wine, cheese, and catnip in Dalaran

There is so much new content, and yes, the Darkmoon Faire is all I wanted it to be. Feel like a lost boy when I'm there, and getting the Dancing Bear mount is going to take some grinding. Pretty sure most of the carnies have done some time, and most of the games are rigged, but no matter. The new dungeons are easy (which people will complain about), but I for one am NOT: after the trials and tribulations of the Zuls, I need a vacation. Tried the LFR with a few guildmates yesterday, and did all right--not great, but all right. It's not that hard, but with so many, the lag was horrible and my dps wasn't that great, in my opinion.

But now it's time to go see the fashionista himself, Mr. Robot---these girls need new gems and enchants, because as they say, that is what separates us from the animals, the ability to accessorize.

Other related posts:

and of course, in her terse prose:

and one more: