Monthly Archives: April 2012

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 12

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

A Usual Day in your Life/Online Time

I could very nearly give you the timeline of my entire day, including an outline of my job, but I’m an accountant, and accountant’s jobs are boring. Sometimes even to us. So, instead, I’m only going to highlight the fun parts of being at work. I’m going to use a work day, because the weekend model is what I’d like, and rarely what actually happens.

6:15 am – I get up, feed Screech (my cat) her morning food/medication; preferably without Sona’s cat (Leia) realizing it. Give Leia treats because she knows Screech got nummy wet food.  Go get dressed for work.

6:30 am– Eat breakfast that my darling Sona has made. After breakfast, I get free time until 7:00, this is usually between 15 and 20 minutes. That is often WoW time, sometimes nap time, and sometimes kitty cuddle time. (Usually the kitty cuddle time is instigated by one of the kitties, because I’m really trying to have nap time, but I’m right there, doing nothing, in the good chair.)

7:00 am – Pack the items for lunches that are in the refrigerator. Deal with bedhead and spend time with the kitties so they know we love them before we leave for work.

7:15 am – Head to work

7:30 am – Do boring accounting things.

9:30 am – Go for a walk with Sona. Our desks at work are a chess knight’s move away from one another. We do actually like this.

10:00 am– More boring accounting things.

12:00– Lunch time! Lunch is also with Sonaira, and after eating, we take a short walk.

12:30 pm – Back to boring accounting things.

4:00 pm – Run away!!!! The work day is done, time to go home.

4:15 pm – Feed the cats again. Screech is frequently living up to her name upon arrival. (She is part Siamese); spend time dinking around with my computer. Frequently WoW, sometimes reading blogs, sometimes playing other, simpler games.

6:00 pm – Dinner time. Sona cooks most of our meals on Sundays, so things get thrown into the microwave for a reheat, and then it’s time to eat.

6:30 pm – Screech gets fed and gets her evening meds. And then I generally get to relax with a quiet evening of WoW, other hobbies, or spending more direct quality time with Sona. I try to dedicate Tuesdays to other hobbies, and Wednesdays are me nights. Thursdays used to be the Dwarven Dungeon Crawl, but are now dance lesson nights. (DDC is on Sunday during the lessons)

8:30 pm– Tea time.  Sona and I stop our separate endeavors to have tea together. Which may or may not include tea. It’s a nice way to reconnect.

9:00 pm – Generally back to our own thing. This is a time that Sona frequently takes a walk, and I frequently just go back to what I was already doing.

10:00 pm – Prep lunches for tomorrow, do dishes, get ready for bed.

11:00 pm – Bed time! G’night.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 11

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

Bad Habits and Flaws

I try to be a very self reflective person (no, I do not consider this a flaw), so I could probably go on at length about a wide variety of character traits that I consider flaws.  But, while I’m willing to put some of it out there; I’m not really willing to bare my entire soul to the internet. So, you’re going to get a short list of probably some pretty run-of-the-mill flaws. Sorry, love you all. Don’t love that guy over in left field who doesn’t know how to say anything nice on the internet.

I’m a procrastinator – I will procrastinate on anything I don’t find fun. Laundry? Sunday afternoons, folks, because I need those clothes tomorrow. That really boring group of data I need for my boss. Yep, you guessed it, put together a half hour before he needs it.  And no, I do not try to assuage my procrastination by saying I work better under pressure. I don’t. I know I don’t.

I’m passive-aggressive – I debated whether I would actually put this out there as a flaw, because I’m not really passive aggressive in that annoying severe way of examples. I’m merely generally a very passive person, right up until something just really bugs me. And then, I’m aggressive.  I will bend until I am about to break, but once that moment arrives, all bets are off.  (To be fair to myself, I try not to let myself get that far; I usually succeed, so I think I’m doing much better than I used to.)

I’m relatively sedentary – I say relatively only because I have built into my work day a total of almost two hours of walking a day. It helps that I walk to and from work.  Every summer I say I want to get more active, and every winter around DecemberI realize I’ve spent the last two months only getting that walking in for exercise.

I can be obsessive-compulsive  – I do not have OCD, but I can be very obsessive-compulsive. Gurdrid did all 25 of her dailies for over a month. She did every one of her Molten Front dailies from the time she unlocked it until she finished it – unless I didn’t log on to WoW at all. This one probably causes the most strife at home, too; because when I get obsessed with something, everything else flies right out of my head.

I’m a keyboard turner – Even though Vuuk quite thoughtfully wrote a very good guest post for me to get me to break the habit… I just can’t do it.

Defining the Player Experience

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the player experience in WoW lately. Some of it is because of feminist bloggers talking about abusive language and treatment from the community. Some of it is because there’s a lot of chatter about WoW being “dumbed down”. And some of it comes from my own experiences. 

Abusive behavior from other players

It happens, and I’m not going to deny it. While I do believe that women deal with more of it, and more insidious types of abusive behavior; I don’t believe that it’s just women who have to deal with it.  I really wish there was more respect around. There’s a huge difference between respect and being able to be a little bit flip; but it doesn’t always come across well in text, so I try to avoid sarcasm unless I think it’s going to be painfully obvious.

 Frequently, I don’t want to waste my energy on abusive players, but luckily, I don’t have to deal with them much, because of the way I choose to play the game. I solo a lot. I do PuG on Gurdrid, because there’s no wait time for tanks, and I enjoy it.

So, the other night I was doing some PuGging, and my first PuG was Grim Batol. (Normal, I’m just not all that confident about heroics. They’re thinky, and I wasn’t in the mood).  Things were going just fine until we got done with the dragon strafe run.  Now, the strafe itself was amazing. There were dead mobs all over the place, and lots of nearly dead ones.

And then the hunter started pulling before I was even off my dragon. And the warlock started in right behind him. They chain pulled their way all the way to the first boss, at which point I said “So are you going to pull the boss without me, too?” and the hunter replied “Yes.”  He didn’t, actually, and we burned down the boss in no time.

When we got to Forgemaster Throngus, though, things started the horrible spiral. Not in  terms of players’ ability, but my enjoyment. See, one of the drops was Throngus’ Finger. Which started a whole list of horrible, horrible jokes that started getting into other body parts as well. And three of my four party members were in on it, and from the same guild. I decided the best way to get through it was to ignore them and just run as fast as I could.

I did die once because I overstretched my healer, which was only sort of my fault – you see, the healer was one of the problem people.  I sarcastically asked if I was going too fast for them now. Which was met with silence.  We wiped twice on the last boss; I’m not sure why the second time. The first time could potentially have been my fault, but I’m not sure. The littany of comments didn’t stop throughout the fight, so I can’t imagine that any of them were performing at a high rate of competency. I dropped group before the second wipe actually occured, I didn’t relish being there any more.

A lot of people wouldn’t call that situation abuse, and I don’t think it was directed at making me uncomfortable; but it did, and it made my experience unpleasant. If that had been my first instance, I don’t think I would have ever PuGged again. Ever.

WoW being Dumbed Down

There’s a lot of chatter about this; but I think it all boils down to two things. The first is simple smart business: Why would a company spend the majority of its resources on content that a minority of its customers see? Unless that minority is somehow gaining privelege (paying more for the services), they shouldn’t be getting anything different than anyone else. In fact, from a purely business standpoint, the casual player is a better customer for Blizzard – the casual player demands less content because they don’t work through it as quickly. The casual player absorbs a smaller amount of Blizzard resources (bandwidth, Support time, etc) per month. And the casual player pays the same amount if they’re paying for a monthly subscription.

And the second is a little more subjective, but I’ll throw it out there anyway. I don’t want my video games to be incredibly difficult. Because of that, I don’t raid. But I like Lore, and all the big lore bits end in raids. All of them. (or off screen, but that’s not much better). So that dumbed down content, that’s for me. It’s not for bleeding edge raiders. That’s why Blizzard leaves stuff hard for a while, then nerfs it, or gives players buffs. That’s also why there are hard mode achievements. To give the players who want to do the hard stuff the bragging rights.  Sure, I can go get the Wrath dungeon hard mode achievements pretty easily now; but that’s not the current bragging rights.

My Reasons and Experiences

Video games have been a hobby of mine for over three decades. I’ve never been highly skilled at them, but I am persistent, and they have always brought me a great deal of happiness. It’s just the way it is.  When I first started playing WoW, my girlfriend (not my current one) voiced concern that people had gotten addicted to the game. I shrugged her off, knowing that I’ve always played video games with most of my free time.

Shortly after I started playing, it became the One True Game for me. I do this a lot. I did it with Civilization II, and before that with the Bard’s Tale games.   So I still wasn’t worried. Then she started playing, and she joined the guild I was in. And her other partner started playing about the same time, and joined our guild as well.  

At that time, I was raiding in Vanilla. We raided three nights a week, for four hours each stint.   From what I remember of Vanilla, we were actually quite casual for raiding.  And all of a sudden, I was playing WoW too much. Now, mind you, she and I didn’t live together. My family (who I was living with) did not feel that I was shirking my chores. I went to work. I did not miss a date with her because I wanted to play WoW.  But somehow, I was suddenly playing too much. 

Then, I happened to be feeling somewhat ill on New Year’s Eve. I was supposed to meet her at a party (full of people I hardly knew, and many of whom I didn’t care for). I called her and told her I didn’t want to go out. I wasn’t feeling up to it. (I’m also an introvert). I did play WoW for about an hour that night, and I happened to be able to get a guild group together to get my paladin her epic mount. That took most of that hour, and I was in bed by about 8:30 that night.

But after that, because I’d gotten my epic mount when I was “supposed” to be at a party, I had definitely crossed the line. She started trying to schedule things with me on raid nights, and I would tell her I wanted to raid, could we do it another night. That wasn’t good enough for her. Important things, like her daughter’s birthday party, or other events, I would happily call of raiding. But going to hang out on a Thursday night instead of raiding? Not so much. There are four other days of the week to just hang out, thanks.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was recovering from a surgery. And while I was on the initial pain medications, I couldn’t play WoW because the movement nauseated me. The nausea was so bad, in fact, that the only video game I could play was mah jongg, with all the fancy tile movements turned off. I had to close my eyes while the layout was being set up.  That lasted for about a week, I think, and I hated every minute of it. I would try every morning to see if I could play WoW yet.

Now that all of that is done, I play WoW more than I ever did. I still get my chores done, and I still go to work; but much of my free time is taken up with WoW. And I’m ok with that. One of the things that you learn when you have something like cancer in your life is what’s really important. And one of those things is happiness.

My partner and I have an understanding. She tells me when she needs me to do extra things, especially if it’s during my dedicated WoW Wednesday. (Really, it’s not dedicated WoW time, it’s dedicated ME time, but I usually use it to play WoW.)  I do go out less, but it’s not because I play WoW more. It’s because I want to be at home more, because home makes me happy. And so does WoW.

My current partner doesn’t have issues with the way I spend my free time. Once in a while she’ll ask me to not play WoW and do something else, and I generally oblige her. I play more than she does, but that’s because I have fewer hobbies than she does, and WoW is my primary one. WoW is not her primary hobby, so it doesn’t get as much of her attention. That’s all.

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 10

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

Blog/Website Favorites

This one took longer because I spent some time thinking about who to highlight. There are so many awesome blogs out there, and my reader now contains over 20 WoW blogs.  Considering a year ago, I barely read three blogs about WoW, that’s a huge change.  Here’s my thoughts on what appears in my reader…

There are several by raiders, even though I don’t raid. Navimie of the Daily Frostwolf – Druid Edition talks not only about raiding, but also about achievement hunting – both her own and other guildmates. I think it’s really cool that she chronicled her guild’s rogue getting his legendary daggers. She’s really genuinely excited about everything her guild and guildmates achieve, and that excitement is infectious.

Caer Morrighan might be famous for her Crib Sheets, but what I like about her blog is posts like this one.  I love the discussions of the community, of our foibles, of the problems within.   I wish I could write such compelling arguments. 

 There are a couple of blogs I’ve added to my reader recently, most notably Amateur Azerothian because of the Mog Madness contest, as well as 2012 in 2012.  Talk about someone who comes up with interesting ideas for the denizens of Azeroth! 

Also new to my reader is Martha – the WoW-specific part of her blog being the Perish Twice section.  Even if I never intend to dual box, she’s still got plenty interesting to say. Also, I find the rest of her blog just as interesting, even if it’s not about WoW.

I’ve also now had the pleasure of running an instance with Ratters (okay, so not actually Ratshag, it was Ratdorf, but we needed some good face melting on the last boss of that run, so Ratdorf was a perfect fit) of Need More Rage.  He caught my attention with his abuse of the English language, giving him one of the most unique voices in our blogging community. Better yet, he makes poignant statements with only a few words, and I love him for it.  For the in-game help, and for the great blogging about everything from Dangermouse’s outfit to calling people out for doing something he doesn’t see as right.

I could go on and on and on. Cymre and Kamalia are my transmogrification heroines, though they make me wonder if the Horde gets all the good clothes!  Poneira makes me think of skipping on over to the dark side with juicy warlockery, and now you can read her work on WoW Insider, too.

I think these are my most common reads from my reader. It might be because they are also the most prolific posters, but there you have it, folks.

The start of a new chain challenge – Mog Busting

Here’s the challenge, it’s a pretty simple one:  Tag another blogger to create a mog outfit for one of your toons.  But that’s not all. To get a really good mog outfit, they’re going to need a little bit of background. So here’s what info you should provide:

Character name, race and gendger (and server, so they can go look at things like hair color and facial features!)

Character class (and spec, if you feel it’s important)

If desired, an item you’d like them to use in the outfit

A sentence or two about your character’s personality, or what you’re looking for in the outfit.

And here we go!

I’m going to tag Cymre of Bubbles of Mischief, with a request for help for Sruith!

Name: Sruith, a female dwarf (US-Ysera)

Class: Shadow Priest

Item: Whitemane’s Chapeau

Notes: Sruith wants to have a great silhouette in shadow form, so she’s particularly fond of gloves with a little flair; but she also wants to look good when she’s pinch healing!  (Also, she will do plenty of dungeons, but no raiding, so while you don’t need to limit her to gear she can wear today, it would be nice to not have gear that is only available to raiders.)

The Thread of Mog Busting Challenges:

Cymre created two looks for Sruith, and tagged Kamalia.

Kamalia created two looks with a few options for Tallys, and tagged Effraeti.

Effraeti has come up with a lovely ensemble for Tallys, with a few options for accessories, and tagged Erinys.

Erynis has provided not one but three looks for Effraeti; and tagged Chatmay.

Chatmay has weighed in with a lovely purple number for Twiceshy; and tagged Dizzy.

Since it’s been a while, and Dizzy hasn’t answered Chatmay’s challenge, Navimie has provided some frighteningly beautiful duds for the warlock Debutante; and tagged JD Kenada.

JD provided the perfect “warrior” tanking look for Navimie; and tagged Rhuanious.

Rhuanious has done three completely different frost mage sets for Elcombe, and has tagged me.

Shared Topic: Homebrewed Hardmodes

This Blog Azeroth shared Topic comes from Stringtheory

I’ve seen a lot of challenges making the rounds lately, from the more traditional ‘you die, you’re out’ to the more complex ‘no spending money on anything’. Leveling only through crafting looks fun, leveling without any gear looks impossible, and making a bazillion gold on the auction house is something I really need to try someday. *ponders*

Anywho, why do you think these sorts of bring-your-own-hardmode are becoming more popular? Is it because the normal game as gotten too easy? Or repetitive? Or that it’s not challenging in the right sort of ways? Could Blizzard incorporate any of these methods of madness into the game itself or it there an inherent appeal to ‘house rules’ versions of the game?

Thinky thoughts, I am thinking them… *solemn nod*

Oh, and if you are participating in (or have already won) any of these events say so! Link ’em so the rest of us can cheer you on!

And for the record, I discovered this shared topic reading her blog!

I’m actually doing the Ironman challenge; Ironshoryl, noted on my sidebar, is a whopping level 16. The problem is I have to be in the right mood to play Ironshoryl, partially because she’s a rogue.

I plan to level my bank alt in Mists (who may or may not end up continuing to be my hunter) via dailies within Stormwind; which isn’t really hardmoding, so much as it’s being lazy and not taking her out and about much.

I’ve seriously contemplated the 2012 in 2012 challenge, but my big limitation here is that I am fiercely loyal to my guild; which means playing toons not in guild is, um, unlikely. To get all my guild toons to 85 would only give me 680 levels. Just not enough; also, to have 2 of every class and at least one of every race requires, um, both factions and at least two servers… not to mention having to have two rogues.

One of my long term plans is to have one of every profession maxed.  Currently, I need engineering,  inscription,  tailoring, enchanting, and archaelogy.   I’m trying for this in the hopes that one day I can get on the front end of the goldmaking bandwagon, instead of trying to scrape by on the other end.  I also do this because I suspect I will be playing WoW when there really isn’t much of an economy any more because there aren’t enough people playing.

Otherwise, I tend to just kinda hang out and do whatever it is I want to do on a particular day.  I don’t play video games for them to be hard; but I think that the longer I play any game, the more likely I am to try and come up with counter-intuitive goals.  I wouldn’t call them hardmodes, per se, though. 🙂

Burnout, Other Things to Do, and um, Stuff

I’ve kinda felt burnt out on WoW. Which is funny, because it hasn’t kept me from logging in. Gurdrid just completed1000 Dailieslast evening. She’s over halfway through the Noblegarden achievements (only having the traveling stuff to finish), and has gotten her mount.

About the mount. It dropped from an egg. It dropped from an egg when I had already saved 400 of the 500 chocolates I needed. So most of my alts are also going to have bunnies, since I needed to do somethign with my chocolates.

When I get burnt out with WoW, though, is not like when other people do. I still play. I just don’t feeldriven. I don’t run home from work to log on. I also don’t usually focus on just one thing. I’ll do a few quests on an alt, I’ll spend some time doing archaeolgy. I’ll run a couple of dungeons.   I’ll hunt some rares.  I’ll farm some esoteric thing for myself or a guild member (this past weekend, it was Sunfury Signets and Arcane Tomes for Scryer rep; and cloth and greens for our guildie whose enchanting is stuck in outland mats (he’s a tailor, which is why the cloth went to him as well).

I’ve gotten my MoP beta invite (over a week ago, actually), but I’m still torn about whether I want to take advantage of it. On the one hand, I want to see if I really want a Panda; or if I really want a Monk.  On the other hand, I want to keep Pandaria as fresh as possible so that I can really enjoy the expansion when it releases.  I know I’m not the only one.

I’ve been playing Playstation 2 games (okay, really only Lego Batman) for my dearest while she lays on the couch trying not to hack up a lung. (She’ll be okay, it’s not all that serious, but she has one killer cough).  I’ve been playing these incredinbly silly little free games on my phone. I’ve been pursuing my hobbies a little bit. And I’ve been getting away from the house altogether.

But, I’ve still been playing WoW. I think the spark might have returned with Noblegarden, but we shall see, once Shoryl has her mount, and Gurdrid has her achievements.  I think the lack of spark is part of why I didn’t post last week. But again, hopefully the spark is back.