Monthly Archives: March 2012

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 9

This is the ninth installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

Your First Post

Since I can’t just toss this out there without looking back a little bit, I’m going to make a few comments at the end. But first, that very first post:


This blog comes from all of the things I’ve been reading about World of Warcraft: what I have found lacking in the guides department; the joys and challenges I’ve faced as the leader of a tiny guild; and the musings of an alt addict.

My primary (main, if you must) toon is Shoryl. My guild is Higher Authority (US-Ysera), and at this moment in time, has a whopping 13 member accounts (49 member toons).

Shoryl is my second paladin, which has led to one of my personal memes: Everybody has a pally alt.  Taoiseach was my first paladin, and the one who gets the memories of raiding in vanilla. There’s a story about that, but I’ll save it for another blog post.

I’ll be posting once a week, on Tuesdays (to give people something else WoW-related to read while we can’t get into the game).   I plan to post on one of 3 rather broad topics each week:

  1. Instance Guides.
    Yes, I know there are a lot of instance guides out there. But they lack information for people who don’t have the support of a great big guild behind them. What does that trash do? What’s the fastest way to get to the achievement? So I’ll be perusing lots of other guides and resources, and posting my own, with pictures!
  2. Life in a Tiny Guild.
    Tiny guilds face some unique challenges, but also have some great benefits.
  3. A Perspective on Altitis.
    There are plenty of closet altaholics out there. Altitis is serious business, and managing your altitis is important for your success in WoW.

My Thoughts

Well, I’ve managed to hit on points 2 and 3 pretty well. I’ve tried a couple of different types of guides, but never seem to get back to them. Guides require research, and while I like doing a certain amount of research, I can’t do it at work any more, which means it has to eat into my WoW time. It makes me grumpy to have to research in my play time, so the guides have gone by the way-side, at least for now.

I really did enjoy putting together the Achievements by Zone guides, though. They’re more fun than the average guide. 🙂

I need to start including more pictures. I’d love to start a silver dragon gallery, as well as maybe chronicling some achievement hounding.  But we’ll see how all that goes.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 8

This is the eighth installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

In proper top 10 fashion, we’re going to go backwards.  Unfortunately, I’ve let slip several things about me in my recent blogging, but I’ll try not to let that hold me back.

10.  I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states in the US, (Hawaii is still on the list) and 5 countries outside the US.

 9. I’ve been married.

 8. I’ve run two separate BBSes, one with my ex-husband and one as a solo venture.

 7. My first ever online game was PernMush, which I didn’t actually like.

 6. Until I stopped attending them two years ago, I had attended science fiction convention(s) for 20 years with only one one-year break. Once I went to four different conventions in the same year.

 5. I’ve been in 8 guilds in WoW, though two of them didn’t last two weeks.

 4. My primary non-computer related hobby at one time was making chain mail; and I cut my own links.

 3. I didn’t get my driver’s license until my mid 30s.  And now, I own a car that I drive only a handful of times a year (because Sona much prefers to drive compared to me.)

 2. I was accepted to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, but had to turn down the scholarship due to a sports injury making me ineligible for service.

1. My other hobbies today – outside of video gaming – include scrap-booking, cross stitch, and collecting stamps.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 7

This is my seventh installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

The reason behind your blog’s name

Tiny WoW Guild is somewhat self-explanatory.  I am the guild leader of not just a small guild in WoW, but a tiny one. The difference, in my mind, is about scope.

A small guild is often a lean raiding or PvP guild. One that is built with just enough players to maintain a roster for whatever end game activity the group plans to pursue.  A small guild of this type may only have 10-15 members, but it’s by design. Social guilds, however, can be utterly huge; yet a common size seems to be around 100-200 members.

Higher Authority, however, has fewer than 20 member players. Of those member players, I know at least one who isn’t playing WoW at all right now, four who play primarily on different servers, and two who primarily play in their own vanity guild. While we are closing in on 60 toons, they’re mostly alts.   There are some others who are sort of MiA, but since we don’t make any requirements on anyone’s time; there’s no reason to remove them from the guild.

I figured, in all honesty, no matter what happens, I will always run my guild like a tiny one. And it probably won’t grow into anything bigger than a small guild.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 6

This is my sixth installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

Your workplace/desk

Since I work in a bank, I can’t show you my work desk. It’s a pretty standard short-wall cube affair, though. With a couple of pretty significant differences:

  • The “back wall” of my cube is a montage of all of my favorite pieces of art from the calendars that I’ve had while in the position. There are many dragons, several old-fashioned maps, some Escher prints, and the little corners and crevices that didn’t get neatly aligned are filled in with various WoW bosses.
  • I have a bunch of origami scattered around my cube, because this year’s calendar is a page-a-day origami calendar.
  • Most WoW noteworthy, however, is that the poster I received for going to the midnight event and picking up my collector’s edition of Cataclysm is on the side of my desk – the only place it would fit!

But let me show you where I play WoW:

I sit on the left

That’s Sona’s PC on the right. It really is two desks, but they’re just wide enough for our towers and our knees.  The cat on Sona’s desk is Leia (pronounced Lee-ah, not like the noteworthy princess).

And here’s the view out that window. Sadly my phone can’t take pictures to do it justice.

11 Stories up, you can see for about 2 miles on a sunny day

A Personal Note

I’ve had several ideas for good, meaty blog posts fly out of my head this week.  I could try and blame a lot of things for this, like forgetting to write them down.  But what it boils down to is this is a very stressful week for me and my partner.

I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t want it to define me, but two years ago this past November, I was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma.  I’m not going to talk about how that has changed my life in this post, except to say that it really seriously made me think about how I spend my time – particularly the time when I relax.   It allowed me to define my WoW experience on my own terms, not based on what other people think I should or should not do.

Anyway, the stressful week part is that yesterday I had a CT Scan, and I won’t get the results until Thursday. This particular one is very important, as it marks two years post treatment. If all goes well, my odds of no recurrence get significantly better. It also means less doctor visits.

But, to talk a little bit about WoW, I’m going to mention that OMG is there tons of info about MoP! I’m starting to get excited for the expansion; and also starting to look at my list of want-to’s from this expansion. Oh, my!

Update: The scan results were as we all hoped, with no changes!! This is absolutely the most fantastic news I could have possibly gotten!

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 5

This is the fifth installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

Favorite Item(s) in Game

This is an interesting one, which is actually difficult for me. I don’t tend to covet items (though that might change as I get more interested in transmogrification); I am a mount collector, and pet collector to a lesser extent; but overall, items are flavor for playing a game… so I’m going to change the name of it for a bit of fun:

Most Notable Item(s) in Game For You

There, that’s much better.

Yesterday, I talked about the Lawbringer Boots. And how I saw so many drop before I got my own, and how they were what completed my Lawbringer set.  Ironically, when I took Shoryl (II) to Molten Core to get her the Lawbringer set for transmog purposes, the boots were the last item she got. Suthine got at least three pair (those were the ones he linked to me when he was doing it) in his own instances locks before I got mine.

There’s also the Reins of the Albino Drake, which I had coveted since I knew they existed. I’m honestly a little sad that Blizz didn’t make the model notably smaller than the other drake models, as it would be a beautiful reference to Anne McCaffrey’s White Dragon. Shoryl is the proud owner of an albino drake, though Taoiseach never did get one.

Since I’m a mount collector, another one I’m quite fond of is Ashes of A’lar. Which, of course, have not dropped for me. Oddly enough, I had a moment of elation when the white chicken did drop. Until I realized is wasn’t ashes. Sonaira has her Pheonix Hatchling now, though, so maybe I’ll get the Ashes eventually.

I’ve wanted a Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros since vanilla, but I haven’t quite worked out how to solo Rags on Gurdrid. Shoryl and Sona can two-man it, but we’ve got nothing else to run the whole huge instance for any more, now that Shoryl has her set.  Oh, wait, there’s a rep in there…

Shoryl (the first one) carried a rabbit’s foot for quite a while. I had this notion that it might be an Easter Egg of RNG love.  I think I got rid of it right around the time of the 8th or 9th drop of Lawbringer Boots…

There’s also the Zhevra mount, which I got when Sona and I recruited her parents into the game.  I ended up giving the mount to my warrior because I didn’t think Taoiseach (then Shoryl) would get much use out of it, since paladins still had to quest to get their epic mounts, so they were becoming rarer.

I made my first “fortune” on theSuper Healing Potion. That was the first time I broke 10,000 gold, which was a lot more than it is today in BC. Sadly, I’ve never been able to reproduce the consistent sales of those things. 


20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 4

This is the fourth installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

Your Best WoW Memory

This one is by far the easiest for me. During Vanilla, it was considered impossible to PuG raiding. 40 people had to be coordinated. Gear was not easily obtainable without a solid group, and the rare set gear (often called Tier 0) for more than one class wasn’t actually the stats you needed. The paladin set, for instance, had strength on it in a time where paladins were healers in raids.

Karih (the friend who sold me the computer…) wanted to raid. He’d transferred to Thunderhorn from a PvP server (Archimonde, I think); levelled an alliance warrior, and convinced me that we could actually put together a PuG. It was just a matter of recruiting people, he said. And so, we began. We set up a website for our guild, with a special section for the raiding team we were putting together. We ran 5, 10, and 15-man dungeons. When we had smooth groups, we invited people to look at the site, and consider joining us.  We had set ourselves a target date one month from when we started to recruit. In those weeks there were also several BRD runs to get the folks who wanted to join us attuned. That helped with interest, as we took whoever we could get to help out with it, not always people we’d already recruited.

About a week beforehand, we spent a couple of hours each evening hawking it – we were short healers – priests in particular. And as the day grew nearer, we found we had a waiting list for rogues and mages, as well as enough of every class except priests. I fretted. Karih tried to calm me; but it wasn’t until opening night, as he sat in Ironforge hawking and I sat next to the entrance of Blackrock Spire, both hunting for priests. It came to time to start invites, and he started sending out the invitations. It was a slow process, inviting 40 people who may not yet be online. The minutes counted down. We were still shy a priest.

I was in Blackrock Mountain, showing people the way to get into the Core. Watching their gear as they went by.  So many greens. I knew that we really wanted a lot of people in blues, and Karih and I were worried; but we’d take anybody who could get in the instance, really. A few people had fire resistance gear – I was in almost all green gear – I had one blue, to be precise. But I had above average fire resistance.

It was time to start, and we’d been hawking and bugging people in the raid to see if anyone knew a priest. Finally, Karih asked if anyone knew a druid. One of our rogues had a druid alt, and we had a rogue online and on the waiting list. We made the swap, promising the person who swapped that we’d give his rogue priority next time.

We all stood in the instance. Or hopped, or danced, or ran around. And Karih stood quietly in front of everyone, two molten giants looming like bodyguards behind him. He asked the warriors to step forward, and he checked over their gear while he explained how to pull and kill the trash. He whispered me in game, telling me that the very first pull might be a telling factor – the group wasn’t geared for this. We’d never run all together. He wasn’t sure we could do it.

He picked his off tank, called two hunters more or less at random to misdirect onto the tanks, and we started. We managed to get one behemoth down, but Karih died just before we changed targets, and his behemoth was running amok through the healers, then on to the DPS as none of the other warriors were quick enough to pick it up. Karih yelled at us through vent to run through the portal, and we did. A few folks didn’t make it, but there were some of us with resurrections who made it out. He called us back in when the second behemoth reset.

We pulled and killed the second behemoth without diffiuculty, and then looted. On our very first kill ever in Molten Core, we got our very first epic. The warlock wrists dropped. We had explained the loot system several times, including on the boards; but in the heat of the moment, we felt it was important to explain again. Four warlocks rolled on the loot. I noted the winner, Karih passed him the gear. We continued, explaining how to do each type of fight we would encounter. We wiped on trash more than once, but that Epic made it real for most of us. We were raiding.

The trash up to Lucifron was slow. Over an hour into our three hour run, we stood in the little alcove as Karih carefully explained the fight, and everyone’s role. He explained how important getting the curses and other debuffs off quickly was going to be. That it was our first priority as paladins and mages. He stressed killing the adds first, and called on his two chosen tanks for those. He told everyone it was likely we would wipe on our first attempt, that it didn’t make us bad, only inexperienced.  And he called for the pull.

I healed like I never had before in that fight. I spammed my decursive button when it was called for. My Lay On Hands was put to good use, saving Karih as the second add fell. With only Lucifron left to die, we had more healing power for him, and our mages and healers worked nearly nonstop to keep him alive while our DPS plugged away slowly at his health. And then it happened. Lucifron fell to the ground. We finished decursing; and Karih looted. I had to pull my headset off. Vent was so loud! But at the same time, I couldn’t believe it. We’d not only killed Lucifron, we’d one-shotted him.

The Lawbringer boots dropped that night. I lost the roll. I would see 10 more pair of those boots before I got them myself – which would finally complete my set.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 3

This is the third in my installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

Your First Day Playing WoW

I’d like to say that there was something really interesting that took my attention, but, well… there’s  not much that I can say. As I mentioned in my Then and Now post, a friend sold me his computer so I could play WoW.  Now, this was an awesome deal… it was a gaming PC, well above the minimum standards for Vanilla (it got me into Wrath, though I had to dumb down the graphics by then) – So everything was bee-you-tee-ful. My previous PC hadn’t been replaced since. um. Well, for quite a while, because I didn’t do a lot of heavy-duty gaming with it. The most exciting thing I did was play Civ II.

Anyway, so I had bought the computer, and the game. And since I’d just bought the computer from him, it was already pre-installed with WoW, which was nice, because it meant I didn’t need 5 months (or so) worth of patches. I could dive right in.   I picked my server, and there I sat, at the character creation screen.   Now; I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons, and AD&D in various editions, so I thought I knew what all the characters did.

But my friend urged me to read about the different classes, and also explained about tanks and healers and dps. I didn’t want to start with a mage-type, or a pet class. Those both sounded squishy and complicated. I’d thought about a warrior, but that tanking thing sounded, well, complicated.   I didn’t think I’d like healing, but… I wasn’t planning on raiding – getting 40 people together sounded like crazy-talk.  So I pondered. I was rolling Alliance, so everything I was thinking was leading me towards rogue. I hovered over the selection. And then he said that if I wasn’t going to be running dungeons much, I wouldn’t have to heal on a paladin. And so, my first character was born.  I knew it was important to pick the right class for that character, as I planned to use my online handle of over a decade for it. He warned me that I might not be able to; and I sat there smugly as I clicked the accept button and my human paladin, Shoryl, was born. He wandered off to go raid while I began to learn to play.

As I recall, I got to level 6 or 7 when he came back upstairs to see how I was getting on. I’d just about made it to the inn, and I told him that I thought I had the basics, I wanted to test out some other classes. And he rolled his eyes as I carefully mapped out how to make one of each class, (yes, I had a horde shaman), and a male and female of each Alliance race.

Besides Shoryl, the only one of those first 10 characters that still exists is Caitlinn, who still lives on Thunderhorn, and who I got to level 50. While I once again have a stable of 10 toons, none but Taoiseach/Shoryl has stood that test of time.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 2

This is the second in my installment of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

Why you decided to start a WoW blog

I’d been thinking for a while about writing a blog about WoW, but I wasn’t sure I really had much to add to the blogosphere. After all, I don’t raid, I don’t do extreme hunter antics, I don’t, frankly, do a lot of things…  And then I realized it – there’s lots of blogs out there about those things (okay, maybe not a lot about extreme hunter antics, but… you know.) But there’s almost no voice for the little guy. The guilds who are not made up of RL friends and family, aren’t lean raiding guilds, and aren’t giant social guilds. The Tiny Guild. 

Since I’m the Guild Leader of such a guild, I realized that I had something to share with the community at large that gets overlooked – and so it started.  I still wasn’t sure, so I started reading other blogs.  And then I got hooked up with Blog Azeroth. 

While a lot of what I write isn’t actually about leading a tiny guild (after all, only a few people means less guild maintenance), it’s still about the way I play, and the way people in my guild play – which has a lot to do with the pulse of the tiny guild.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 1

So, I’m jumping on another bandwagon: 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge. I know I’m coming to this party quite late, but that’s the joy of blogging – you get to do things when you want to for the most part. (At least, if you’re not writing guides or theorycrafting).  In some ways, it’s a theme with tiny guilds, anyway. We do old content raiding if we want to see the raids, because we don’t have the bodies to do it when it’s relevant…  Anyway, without further ado, we’ll start with Day 1.

Introduce Yourself

Hi! I’m Shoryl, guild leader of a tiny guild called Higher Authority.  I’ve been playing WoW since early 2005.  I’ve always had a paladin main, though there have been three different paladins filling that role: Shoryl-turned-Taiseach, then Shoryl, and now, sort of a cross between Shoryl and Gurdrid.  I play Gurdrid more because Shoryl is tied to Sonaira, my partner’s paladin.  I raided in vanilla, tried to raid but was behind my guild’s curve in BC, and chose not to raid in Wrath or Cata. I’m a cross between an altoholic, an achievement junkie, and a rare hunter. I tend to really enjoy content that other people find repetitious – possibly because after a while it becomes zen-like.

In real life, I’m in my 40s, and an accountant for a bank – not that I actually do any accounting now, because my job really entails more of the maintenance stuff (like updating databases and writing procedures).  I also have a wonderful partner who blogs about not-WoW, has a gajillion hobbies (to my half a gajillion, for the record) and generally lets me do whatever I want with most of my time. She’s absolutely wonderful.   She doesn’t play WoW as much as I do, but that’s ok.  She plays a prot paladin.

As I mentioned, I have half a gajillion hobbies, which include WoW, origami, cross stitch, philatelly (stamp collecting), and very minimal scrapbooking.  I also like to get out and see the wonderful city I live in, with orchestra and Broadway Across America season tickets each year; as well as a few local plays, other concerts, and area events thrown in for good measure.