Saturday, April 30, 2011


As with many of the collectibles, Mat has been a bit passive. But when she saw the adorable panther cub, the reward of a quick-n-easy quest chain with the new patch, she hastily ran around, got the dwarf his boots, (she would never deny a dying Dwarf his last request) and panther cub was hers. No matter that the mother of the cub had to die, too; a lot of blood sacrifices are made for these boons. In addition, there is a Winterspring Cub available for 50g, whether it's the pick or runt of the litter, and it is sooooo cute....! Like a "free kittens" grocery store box, she helped herself to a few and gave some as pets to friends. (And we wonder where her gold goes...?) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I don't care what they say about us...

Mat's got a Raid date! Woot! Rifling through her closet, trying desperately to figure out what to wear, eat, and drink beforehand, she's hoping a Fairy Godmother will shell out a few Murloc clams for some new threads. Before she turns into a pumpkin, she's got to make a love connection first: Looking over the Bad Boys of WoW, she thinks, "Hmm...which one is the man of my dreams?"

Bachelor Number 1: A fiery, hot-tempered soul, this bachelor has been chasing down Draenei tail for light years. If you don't mind the smell of a little brimstone after-shave and a penchant for ever-lasting fiery pits, then he's your demon!

Bachelor Number 2: Moody and dark, this emo gent will romantically sweep any young blonde* off her feet (or hooves) with his big hammer and righteous sense of sacrifice. On the rebound from a recent break-up (sorry, Jaina....) he is up for grabs! Don't let those icy hands turn you cold, though, cause things can get pretty hot and heavy with this lonesome prince-turned-king!

Bachelor Number 3: With that granite chin and those rock-hard abs, this willful beast will fly into your heart like a firestorm and make your head spin! Never mind his bitter resentment and hardware, he's coming to your town and straight for you!

Well, for this date, she chose Bachelor #2 - and is very excited! Going to try ICC, and see what's what. But if she sees her name written on the bathroom walls, she's got her own cab fare and she is GONE. If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.

Welcome to the jungle.

Here, kitty kitty...

See the time of this post, approximately 5AM PST? That's because I'm infected with a bad case of jungle fever. And I don't mean the Spike Lee variety. Guildmaster got a group together for a run at the new 4.1 Heroic Zul'Gurub last night. It started around 8PM, and I had to, HAD TO, log off around 11:30PM. There were disconnection issues, more disconnection issues, learning the fights (the very bestestmostfunnest part) and then there was fire. Lots and lots of fire, or its facsimile. That I stepped in. A lot. Was told not to. But I didn't listen. It was like playing in a giant sandbox of fun and crunchiness, and I kept finding all the cat turds. I only got through, what, maybe 4/6 of the bosses, didn't get to finish (sad unsmiley face) because of real life responsibilities, those same responsibilities I may not be able to face or render because quite frankly, I don't feel so good right now. I think my mojo has been drained, and those trolls' voodoo dolls are working overtime, sticking pins in my homonculus' tummy even as I write.

In any case, here are some things I learned (besides fire bad, which I knew, but in trying to be my "one shammy-size fits all" and hitting cleanse, healing myself, etc., which didn't really work out so well, I quit being good at anything towards the end of the night):

  • Rats= no good. Use them for an achievement, of which I am far, far away from. Thought that giving the cat a rat to play with would keep them occupied. Instead it just pisses them off even more.
  • High Priestess Kilnara is one bad kitty-cat. Kilnara reminded me of some scene out of Cat People . Still putting antiseptic on the claw marks on my back. It was kind of fun fighting her though, gotta admit.
  • Technically the first boss is Venoxis, but he was the last one I encountered before I had to go. No wonder why I have a tummy ache. The first one we did was Zan'Zil, and he was fun. Really. Completely agree with GM: interesting and engaging, and took some thought. A few other bosses in this instance are really just big, dumb trash disguised as bosses. But don't underestimate them, as I did. 
  • Trolls will throw dirt at you. Bring some Visine.

I am really looking forward to many successful runs with the guild on these, but not so much in PUGs. There are some complicated mechanics, at least for me, and I really want my guild's guidance and support. They were quite patient with me last night, but I don't want to try that patience too much. When I start getting tired, my fingers turn to sandstone monoliths, crumbling and clumsy, and my DPS skills melt. And as much as I hate to confess this, perhaps by writing it down and exposing it, owning it, one of my worst mistakes I made a few times was due to my big mouth. (Friends gasp in mock surprise!) I would be talking to a buddy with tells, and then accidentally reply to them while trying to hit a spell, and look over in horror as I would see the pink* 25565323424623 etc. (or something like that) stack up, my tail just dipping and dripping in junk and fire. Almost wish my beautiful little Mat avatar would jump through the screen and slap me.** Erase, hit return, and then, too late: gagging on goop and gore, I'm dead. (Oh, like you've never done that.)

But trust me, my fellow heroes, I will learn and do better next time. I can make this vow because I am a reflective player, and that's not a bad buff.

So, I'm going to go heal myself in real life, and then if I have time later, refill the bags with food, flasks, and bandages, because I pretty much emptied out my stash last night, as would many who were fighting Jamaican-accented trolls for a few hours.

Theme Song: I wan'na be like you- The Monkey Song/JungleBook
Nod to priest/warrior friend (thanks for this link!) WoW RHCP
Of course Buffalo Solider/Bob Marley

Vague Overview: Heroic Zul'Aman Guide
Zul'Gurub: Walkthrough
*My typeface color is deep pink. Whatever.
**GTFO wasn't working due the patch, my "you are too stupid to play this game" add on, but endorsed by Guildmasters everywhere. Well, DBM is anyway.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

For you--maybe

My good friend, if you had needed me to do this, you know I would have. Congratulations on your Noble achievement. I will hold your hair back while you expunge those 700 eggs.
(Really? This is a good idea?)
(And yes, I know this is supposed to be an ogre, not an orc.)

Me olvide de aprender espanol!

(I have questioned my reasoning more than once regarding taking high school French versus Spanish. What the hell was I thinking?)

Yesterday, trying to get the heroic 70 valor points done quickly, ("check, please!") queued with a buddy, and of course: Stonecore. There is nothing quick about Stonecore PUGs, it seems. Handsome, dark, and well-dressed, the tank was the strong, silent type. But Miss Mat sensed something else: call it her shammy senses, but the brave paladin seemed a bit shy, too: cut to the wipe scene: Senor Tank spoke Spanish, was from Argentina, and was apologetic to the group for not being able to take down Ozruk. He said everything in Spanish: how did Mat understand? To be fair, although this is a tank fight, we were damn close the second round: his life-support was about to be pulled, and then, el hombre muerto. Y asi hicimos todos.

Now, the healer and druid bailed. Mat tried desperately to go to Google translator to find a phrase to make the tank feel better. Why? Call is shaman intuition, but there was something very kind and sweet about this player, Mat could feel the embarrassed tone of apologies. Some things are not lost in translation. With an avatar and the use of a few key emoticons, many things can be understood. 

Mat and friend didn't complete Stonecore. He went to Tol, she to Deadmines (Dios mio, Vanessa, por favor senorita, get over yourself!)

Ozruk: Voy a matar a usted otro dia...

Human's to do list:
1. Get Mat in all epic gear (hahahahaha)*
2. Get Mat in PvP epic healer gear
3. Get Luperci up to a playable level so she can have a play-date with a healer friend
4. Get Haanta to level 85 and quit ignoring her
5. Continue to ignore Morphemia
6. Play Zeptepi of the Light Feathers more
7. Do old dungeons, raids, etc.
8. Do new dungeons, raids, etc.
9. Kill Ozruk once for every time he's killed Mat
10. Learn to speak Spanish (hahahahahahaha--crap. Help me, mi amigos!)

*Postscript: One happy thing: In Deadmines, the beautiful Druid healer (tank and healer were from the same guild and were very much in love--gag), told Mat that watching her play made her want to play her enhancement shaman again--wow! Cool!

While searching for a performance by the Gipsy Kings/Hotel California, I came across this: 


Just found this interesting, and thought you all might, too:

It’s Love at First Kill (Click Link to read the entire article)

Bonny Makarewicz for The New York Times
Pete and Hannah Romero began their courtship as avatars on World of Warcraft, then met up and are now married.
THIS is a love story. It began on a hot summer night in Santa Barbara, Calif., when Tamara Langman helped kill the yellow-eyed demon known as Prince Malchezaar. She was logged into World of Warcraft, the multiplayer fantasy game, and her avatar — Arixi Fizzlebolt, a busty gnome with three blond pigtails — had also managed to pique the interest of John Bentley, a k a Weulfgar McDoal.
Jennifer Silverberg for The New York Times
Tamara Langman and her boyfriend met as avatars.

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
A note to the uninitiated: World of Warcraft is a vast online game where monsters are meant to be vanquished, but it is also a social networking experience. When players aren’t battling monsters, their avatars are exploring fantastical landscapes (lush jungles, snowy forests, misty beaches), where they can meet and gab via the game’s instant message feature, or through voice communication software.
And so Ms. Langman and Mr. Bentley found a quiet spot for their avatars to sit. Hours evaporated as they discussed everything from their families to their futures. Sometime before dawn, Ms. Langman realized that while she was in the fictional world of Azeroth, she was also on a date.
For the next two months, Ms. Langman, 27, and Mr. Bentley, 24, rendezvoused in Azeroth, until one day they decided to meet in Santa Barbara instead. When Mr. Bentley stepped onto the tarmac at the Santa Barbara airport on a bright October afternoon in 2008, Ms. Langman ran to him. Mr. Bentley scooped her up into his arms and spun her around.
He had planned to stay for a couple of weeks before returning to Atlanta. But two weeks became two years, and Mr. Bentley and Ms. Langman are still together.
Who knew a World of Warcraft subscription could deliver more romance than
Ms. Langman and Mr. Bentley are hardly the only couple to have forged an avatar love connection. Gaming forums are rife with anecdotes from players who are dating and marrying. Some couples have even had their avatars marry. (You can watch videos of the ceremonies on YouTube.)
And while it may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, more people are likely to meet this way as the genre (known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs) continues to grow. With more than 12 million subscribers, World of Warcraft is one of the most popular games of its kind in the world (others includeEverQuestAionGuild Wars). That’s a sizable dating pool., by way of comparison, has fewer than 2 million subscribers.
“It’s giving people something that they’re missing in the real world,” said Ramona Pringle, an interactive media producer and a professor of new media at the Ryerson School of Image Arts in Toronto. “It is a really primal experience. It’s about survival. It’s about needing someone.”
Ms. Pringle, 29, first observed gamer love connections while working as an interactive producer for the PBS “Frontline” project called “Digital Nation.” At BlizzCon 2009, a gaming convention in California, she was stunned by the number of die-hard gamers holding hands and pushing baby carriages.
She thought about her friends: successful, striking and yet struggling to find love. She herself — willowy with wide green eyes — had just had a breakup with a boyfriend. “What’s going on that these people we consider the fringe, these gamers, are finding love?” she said, nursing a beer at a bar in Austin, Tex., last month during the South by SouthwestInteractive conference. She wanted to see what gaming might teach her about love.
So instead of turning to religion or therapy to mend her heart, Ms. Pringle said, she turned to World of Warcraft.
More than 40 percent of online gamers are women, and adult women are among the industry’s fastest growing demographics, representing 33 percent of the game-playing population — a larger portion than boys 17 and younger, who make up 20 percent, according to the Entertainment Software Association, an industry group.
To help her navigate World of Warcraft, Ms. Pringle enlisted Brent George, the animation director for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, to be her guide. They began playing last summer — she from Toronto, he from Montreal — as many as six hours a night.
As Ms. Pringle tumbled down the rabbit hole, she found herself directing her avatar — Tristanova, a graceful blue-skinned night elf priest — to run excitedly up to Mr. George’s avatar, Caethis, a heroic-looking warrior. “It’s remarkable to me that you can have a crush on someone’s avatar,” Ms. Pringle said.
But she did. The two have never been romantically involved, yet when Mr. George told her that he would be her knight in shining armor, “I have to admit, my heart skipped a beat,” she said, “even though we hadn’t met in person.”
Multiplayer games encourage such alliances. The beginner’s guide to World of Warcraft notes that you can go it alone, “but by going it alone, you won’t be able to master some of the game’s tougher challenges, you will likely take longer to reach the endgame, and you won’t have access to the game’s most powerful magical treasures.” Ms. Pringle thinks that is analogous to love.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Warm sun...

Late this week, having a tough time of things, personal life carrying over into "play," once again, I am reminded of those who are my friends in Azeroth. Thank you to my friend who said I was a "good healer" after we did that dungeon together. I didn't feel "good" at anything that day, and that really helped. Wonder who was the real healer then? 

Don't tase me, bro:

Not sure what to think of this:

In real life, there are political parties and unions. I have often thought that a union, a really good union, would function as a guild of yore, or perhaps just a romanticized view of what I imagine a guild was like. Guilds, which is a synecdochic term for its members, would help assist widows and orphans, raise social status, and promote the general welfare of its members, while in turn, its members abide by rules, laws, and social contracts of culture and ideals.

Now, to get to level 25 is no small feat. Recently, I discovered through odd acquaintances (it's a small virtual world after all) two (women) players, who are both guildmasters of level 19+ guilds. One is a GM of a Level 25 guild. (And no, I am not joining their guilds. I wouldn't even ask. I like RWS, and I like my little kitchen-grown guild, ETTDB, which is just for fun and to quote The Big Lebowski lines in macros). I don't know if I'll ever feel qualified enough to join a raid with RWS; there are a whole lot of BoT trash runs and garbage pails I'll need to empty out first, I'm sure. But so far, aside from having filthy mouths, (which doesn't phase me one bit) everyone is really funny and friendly. (And they quote Shakespeare.)

But it was hard to give up my "exalted" achievement with my own little guild, Ever Thus. I do wish I could have brought more to the table when I joined RWS, not only to help my own ranking, but to help theirs, too. Why have these restrictions on guilds, Blizzard? I can only imagine the fury of many of the players the GM weeded out in Lucky Strikes: he probably pulled out a few roses too among the thorns.

I have witnessed the fall-out of a union strike, and it is ugly. The ones who hold power tend to keep power. The purpose and intent of a union is to raise everyone's level of professionalism and benefit all, even if a few weak members are carried, too. Kind of a "you're only as strong as your weakest link" theme, except it does put more pressure on the superstars; however, sometimes we all need a little help, too. Perhaps the weight of too many players crushed the shoulders of the giants. Or maybe they (the guildmaster and officers) are just jerks. I don't really know. There are always two sides to every story, sometimes more, but there are some hints of hubris: boy, does that sound like the worst break-up line ever? "You'll be better off without me?" I call bullsh*t on that one. Unions require dues. No one gets to level 25 on their own. There needs to be a better way to allow players to break off into smaller guilds so everyone who does want to raid, can, or level, or whatever. Conversely, I am sure those players were warned. At least I hope so. Maybe there was some writing on the castle walls?

Anyway, if I ever get too big for my britches, all I need to do is look at the note from the GM on my officer's note (which I shall not repeat here). Having a sense of humor is required, and with that, I am exalted.

Theme song: Hit the Road, Jack- Ray Charles
Optional: Knight of the Round Table scene/Monty Python/Holy Grail

Silly rabbit...nobility is for kids!

May have taken it a bit too far this time: what happens when you combine an overachiever, type-A personality with a doable series of holiday quests, and a willing and helpful guildmate? Yes, a one-day title achievement--Mataoka the Noble. 
The only thing real in this photo is the sweat from a million silkworms that made those pajamas...

The morning started off easy enough; do a few dailies, talk to the human, you know...but then, multiplying faster than amorous bunnies, the desire and achievement lust overcame Mat's brain. The bunny ears must have evaporated any and all necessary brain cells she needed to get through Grim Batol safely and more financially stable, or was it the tight-fitting bustier, which is a requirement to serve cocktails in the Grotto, that cut off blood and oxygen circulation to her brain? The only thing missing from the Noblegarden is a Hugh Hefner stand-in, magically pulling in his playmates with cash and Viagra. Or perhaps he was disguised as a troll in Dalaran?

This achievement is not very difficult: the only things that are required are a blood lust for the Strange Trip It's Been meta-achievement, the willingness to push small children players face-down in the spring grass and step on their heads for an egg, a small PvP flagging, death by Horde, and a cross-dressing Orc female. The animalistic libidos of the bunnies come naturally, so "making" rabbits fall in love is a breeze. As far as the "Shake Your Bunny Maker" is concerned, a shameless, no-apologies approach is best: yes, you will need to peddle your tail on the dusty streets of Orgrimmar and throw flowers at Horde players. The concern for that portion is truly over finding female Orc, Tauren, Undead, and Dwarfs...Blood Elf girls are a dime-a-dozen (kind of like Draenei girls, come to think of it). The Undead girl was okay--needed a breath mint, though. The Dwarf girl was a little hard to catch, but her stubby little legs couldn't run that fast. The Orc female was a ringer, but rare indeed. And the Tauren female, a healer, was actually kind of comforting, like a big old dairy cow. But here is the caution: unlike other achievements where you may coordinate with friends to start level one characters on the other side, for this series the female characters must be at least level 18. Wouldn't want any minors at the mansion, you know?
Mat got hit with Hero just before the shutter clicked...but still...damn

The Stormwind Guard is happy to see Mat...
Bunny would spontaneously jump between Mat's hooves...

Next up: For the Children. Stupid orphans. Especially School of Hard Knocks. This means Mat will not be able to hide behind warriors, hunters, and paladins in battlegrounds, but might actually have to do something besides entertain the troops. What do you say, friends? Premades, please?

Theme song: Discovery Channel song....(blush) - look it up yourself

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Game Experience May Change

Last week when I did Baradin Hold, I was top DPS. Everything was peachy-keen. This week, I got a "whos the fail sham" and a "fu mataoka" from a warlock.

Tears welling up in my big glowing eyes, my favorite dwarf hunter was there to dry my tears. (Thanks, Mo.)

Here's the thing:

It was a 25-man PUG.
We wiped twice. TWICE.
I think we had 3-4 healers - I didn't even bother to count because it is not that tough of a "raid" - more like a big dungeon. Tanks dragged in off the streets, but seemed fine.
I was top 5 - 6 DPS those first two times, but then..those wipes.

Got me spooked I guess.

And the last fight, at the very last second, I did make a dumb mistake, but no one died. It was just dumb, I don't even want to write it. Didn't cost anyone anything but my own embarrassment.

And that is what those players remembered --my one dumb mistake. Out of 25 players, I get the "fu?"

There was one other mistake, and that was when I placed hero. I wasn't the only shaman there, either. Okay. It was bad placement, but mostly I follow raid leader's orders on when to put it out there. The rogue who raid-chatted trash-talking me did politely answer my whisper when I asked him something about it, and I got a good answer. He wasn't the raid leader though. Maybe he remembered that after the two wipes when he asked the lower DPS half to "suck less" I wasn't in that ranking, so even though publicly he was mean, in private conversation he was relatively polite and helpful.

Talking to a ETTDB guildie, he said, "You know, I've consistently been top damage on so many battlegrounds, my play and my presence affected the outcome of the game. And yet I still get punks saying "fu" and "u suck."

We all know trolls live under bridges, and that trash-talking is part of this game.

But it doesn't mean I have to like it.

Postscript: I go into a lions' den everyday. But those lions know I see them, and they see me. Can't imagine a single one of them telling me "u suck" to my face.

Theme song: Forget You/Official Music Video/Cee Lo Green (I was feeling a bit more Atari than Xbox) - this version is the 'cleaner' version.

Gonna look to see if there was something else I missed:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You got served.

Recently an exceptional Druid tank I know well confessed considering moving to another server. The population of Whisperwind has declined, and though the traffic may not be as congested (I am still quite frustrated over the loss of portals), his thoughts being, with a higher server population finding raids will not be as difficult. He is, first and foremost, a raider. Questioning his blood lineage, (perhaps there is some Vandal or Viking in there after all), this is extremely important to him, and he has the play skills to back him up. He currently belongs to a large raiding guild, and has done his share, but is not enough. (He also shared his opinion that female players, once in awhile, tend to be, and he was VERY diplomatic about this, not...quite...the...same as their male counterparts. Raised eyebrows aside, his example from a recent raid also had me considering again male/female play styles, but I've already covered that ground.)

Going over the list of servers that are available to start new characters on were too many to waste time counting. As we all know, the RP/PVP/Normal and population concentrations run low to high. Mat's put down some earthroots in Whisperwind, and has no intention of leaving. But this does beg the question: what makes people choose the servers they do, and why do they stay or go? The transient masses move for a variety of rationales in the real world, so it is probably true in Azeroth as well: there are political, social, emotional, and professional reasons to put a For Sale sign on the drake and head on out.

Would be interested to know your thoughts. And let me know if you need a good real estate agent: there's a Blood Elf in Sisters of Elune who has dirt-cheap property, a mansion just listed in Deadwind Pass.

Wait- that wasn't me, I swear!

On the hooves of the Astral Walker title post, I see this article on Bible of Dreams: How Not to Make a Good Impression in Your First Raid -- excellent post. And I just feel the need to make an observation or confession, or a little of both -- I am not that player. I say little or nothing in a new raid in Vent, especially, I try to learn everything I can beforehand when given notice, and would never, ever, EVER presume to tell any other player what they should or shouldn't do, especially the leader. I work far too hard in the real world to create dynamic teams, and believe it or not (yes, my friends, I realize some of you are laughing and say NOT!), I do my best to learn and listen. I have gotten in more trouble by asking (dumb) questions than not. And I did let the person who invited me know, very early on, what my zero level of experience was, but was warmly encouraged to try it. Now, I cannot control their opinion of me or my play style afterwards, but I was forthcoming. I know my limitations as a player, but I also know my strengths. Hopefully my friends in Azeroth will come to know those, too, and appreciate them, as I hope to appreciate their styles, too. And friendships.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh, and by the way...

Made it past Oz without dying today. Just sayin'.

Gaseous clouds.

Sometimes being impulsive works.

Take yesterday for example. Talk about dumb-ass dumb luck.

Just hanging out, getting a few things done on Luperci, and guild-mate asks if Mat wants to do Yogg. She assumed he meant shots of Scandinavian liquor, but that's not what he had in mind. Sure! Why not?! What's the worst that could happen?!

That was kind of like telling a someone to go get a steak out of a bull while there were still hooves attached. With a butter knife.

Okay, it wasn't THAT bad. But the thing is, the mechanics of the Lich King raids and dungeons are still hugely unknown to Miss Mat. She is so...freakin...clueless sometimes. But, you know what? So were several other of the players there too. (The raid leader was as cool as the moon, a young woman, who is someone anyone would feel safe with if she was the pilot of a plane or captain of a ship. And there's an iceberg. With tentacles.)

Quickly into the first round, Mat abandoned all hope of being in the top DPS of anything while she was trying to figure it out -- she talked to the player with the invite, and this person was so supportive and sweet. Another guild-mate was frantically whispering tips: she had done the raid a few times back at level 80. Even with a roomful of level 85 players, it took three tries to get Yogg down, but down the drain he went. She helped a little bit. Maybe. Kind of? 

In any case, off to see the wizard, that starry-eyed "I am a robot and feel no love" monologuing man, Algalon.

Holy Nebula --  that is a breathtakingly beautiful "dungeon." 

Astronomy for Dummies

Mat was so star-struck, while looking in her bags for a pen and an autograph book, she forgot she was in a raid and stepped in a black hole, kind of Wiley Coyote style, and landed face flat on some astro-turf. She got in some pretty good hits before she went all nova-blast, and watched as other players slowly twinkled out...but there were a few left standing, and down the wormhole Al fell.

She made all her wishes on those players' stars, and title was achieved:

Moral of the story?

Gotta fight the fights to learn the fights. Yes, watch videos. Yes, read up on them. Absolutely. Positively. Don't go in as ignorant as Mattycakes. But don't be intimidated either. If someone asks you to the dance, go. If you fall on your, um, tail, say Kirstie Alley style, just get back up again. You can stand on the shoulders of giants sometimes.

PS (Did not accept any loot - just didn't feel like I deserved it)

Theme song: Space Oddity/David Bowie
or better yet: David Bowie songs performed by Seu Jorge on The Life Aquatic soundtrack

To watch it on a grainy YouTube video on this raid:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hammer & Nails

There's an old expression: when all you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like nail. Or something like that. Luperci, of the Tanks of Little Patience guild, has made it to Level 50. I bought her a new can of armor polish and a shield, because this:
Termite Shield

...wasn't working. It's a piece of bark from one of those...dungeons...that...she hopes never to visit again.
She's been running through Blackrock Depths and Zul'Farrak. Whispering to the healer today that he was doing a great job, and the defensive healer responded by telling Luperci to shut up. Quizzical, she said, no, really, no sarcasm. The healer, lacking trust (perhaps it was because Lupe was lying face down in the mud next to a boss in Blackrock), cautiously said 'thanks.' Has it come to that? Are we all so rude to each other that when we are kind or polite our instincts are to knee-jerk a huge "ur a d*ck?" (And not a duck. Trying to keep this PG-13 people, without a lot of success.) One mistake made was when the DPS's were critiquing Lupe's play style, and someone kindly said "naw she's doing good." Why did that seem like the right time to show that she was top in DPS damage? Perhaps not the best timing. Recount = shame & sadness. Perhaps that is why when they fought the boss the DPS pulled the mob group to themselves (even though she said not to) and left her and the healer on their own to fight him. They ended up killing him anyway, even after Lupe pulled the boss to the side for a quick and easy kill. She'll watch the post-game videos later, but in all honesty, is not really sure what can be done to improve PUGs when they're that full of, um, d*cks. Except for the healer. Who later got in a fight with the hunter. /sigh

Oh well. In any case: she did get these new leggings, (Lavacrest Leggings) which are stunning:

From the trolls she got a Shriveled Troll Heart, although the hunter tried to tell her that (even though stamina and strength were its attributes), because it had a hit rating, a tank couldn't use it. Did I miss something? Luperci is going to need all that strength and stamina to make it to level 60, and then Suicide Ridge, I mean, Hellsfire Peninsula. It's an item level 49 item with strength and stamina. Hammer and nails, baby. I know hit is great for warlocks and their ilk, but was thinking it'd be pretty cool.  And her sugar momma bought her a new shield. She is covered in head-to-toe in plate armor, including heirlooms, so look out d*cks. You all look like nails now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gone fishin'

If there's one profession that can get under Mat's scales, it's fishing. She can be as calm as a pond or as stormy as a sea, and this activity can also both soothe or irritate her. In many ways, the whole fishing experience is somewhat analogous to the entire game experience. You have to be both patient and attentive, and not too disappointed if you reel in some junky flotsam.

Perhaps it also has something to do with the fact that many years ago, Mat's human lost about two months of her life to Animal Crossing*. She caught every rare fish, and paid off her mortgage to the raccoon several times over. She never did get the hang of feng shui, and the weeds just kept growing.
That's right, (insert favorite expletive here) I said Animal Crossing
So many regrets, so many things unknown. She thinks if she had known really how precious Seth's graphite fishing rod was going to be, she never would have made room for that saronite ore instead. Let down a little orphan boy? Oh, Mat - you are going to suck during Children's Week.

She didn't really understand what the professions meant. Dang, sometimes I wonder how the hell she made it to level 85 at all! Dumb Draenei. If she had known then what she knows now, she would have been casting her line in every swirly pool of fish with every kind of bait. All she really did to level up, come to think of it, was questing. Her guildmates didn't seem to notice (or care) to show her around dungeons and raids; she had not a clue. And she didn't even do that right! Where were those tabards for the Ambassador achievement? Why does she still not have a Talbuk mount? Oh, she did her fair share of battlegrounds, poorly, and if she had to fight in a war for real she would be front-line infantry without any hope of an officer's promotions.

She did have fun on some of those, though. There is one quest chain in Northrend with the Vykrul women, and she ends up with this fantastic disguise every time she flies over Brunnhildar Village:
Mat's gained a few...hundred or so...pounds.
Right now her skill level is about 358- just shy of 100 points for the Skills to Pay the Bills achievement. There are titles for catching rare fish, and such as Salty (which she would love, but doesn't think has the patience for). She'll keep casting her net wide and deep, though, and hope she catches something cool besides a cold.

Doing some goofy old-content stuff with guild the other night, she crossed over the thin line to exalted with the Silver Covenant. Now on top of Tol, JC and fishing dailies, she wants to do those for the Silver Covenant to earn her Argent Hippogryph. Only about 75 more days to go. Or over two months.

Theme song: Sitting on the dock of the Bay --Otis Redding

Patience, Mat, patience. Grab another beer from the dwarf's cooler and relax.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Editorial "We"

Okay - I apologize. I'm sorry. Sometimes, I just post things too fast, and then think of something later, or an image I want to add, or, heavens, see a typo or grammatical error that needs fixing. I don't have a staff of murloc copy editors on the payroll, with red pens in fins, gurgling out mistakes and errors. I am an impulsive writer; sometimes I can fall 65' without dying, and sometimes I can't. Feel free to troll those typos, my friends.

Thanks for understanding.

Oh, and I don't think this is a typo: $175/ticket:

And YOU are?

Mat is not, repeat, NOT, having an identity crisis. Her human may be, though.

You may find the use of third person omniscient voice in this narrative may be a bit weird; and, I, writer, have thought that from time to time, too.

Aside from that, getting to know the dynamics of a group who's been working together for some time is tricky for anyone.  As the rounds of introductions are being made in the new guild, leader has decided that "Mataoka" is too tangled (this is all in Vent, by the way), "Mat" makes him think of dudes, (and apparently cross-dressing Draenei females are not as appreciated), so Mat's name is transmuted to Mathilda.

No, please.

Now, it's all in good fun, but human nor toon is a "Mathilda."

But that's an unexpected consequence of having others step into a narrative.

So, perhaps it's time to give a brief background check into human's toons' names (Note: perspective, point-of-view abrupt switches happen suddenly and without explanation):

  • Mataoka is a derivation of Matoaka. Matoaka is Pocahontas' formal native name. Romanticized and European-centric views aside, I still think that she was a fascinating historical figure, and deserves to be researched and considered.  Mat is not a cross-dressing Draenei shaman. All acceptable: Mat, Matty, Matty-cakes, or real ID if you know it.
  • Luperci is from the Roman priests who were in charge of the Lupercalia. I'm thinking this would have been a better name for a shaman, you know, with the spirit wolves and all, but what's done is done. Lupe (loo-pay) is fine.
Red? Blue? Is there a purple option?
  • Morphemia, the most neglected Death Knight ever, is a derivation of Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams. Yes, and a pivotal character in the Matrix. Morphemia is not a pivotal character in any narrative right now. She chose the wrong pill.
  • Haanta is a derivation of Hanta, or "hunter" in Japanese, kind of; not being able to speak Japanese, I just did my best with Google translator. Yikes. Original - no, hardly. The names of Haanta's pet have more of an interesting history. Haanta is currently cooling her hooves in Mt. Hyjal, sporting the greens, a level 83.5, and will get to level 85 someday. Her pets include Sweater,  Huli, and some other pound puppies and kittens. She's thinking a  monkey would be great from Deadmines.  If such monkey is procured, name: Archie. Less talk, more monkey. And what is this Loque more masterful players speak of?
We've all looked ourselves and others up and down in the armory, too. Come on. You know you have. Admit it. And when you check the name rankings, it's interesting to me how many other players share the same toon names. Mat shares her achievement rankings with a few under-20 level-something Tauren girls, and otherwise, remains fairly firmly ensconced as the queen of the Mataokas. There are a few more Lupercis, and quite a few Zeptepis. (And I thought I was being so original--nothing new under the Azerothian sun, eh?) So if there are many incarnations of your character, and you've reached some top rankings, that's quite an achievement indeed. You could be like me and name your toons silly, unpronounceable names, and be at the top of the list without much time or effort.

To that end, as we're all getting past the "My Name Is" meet and greet phase, I promise to:

* not to refer to myself in third person during play --I've tried not to do this, and don't plan on starting now, especially knowing how annoying, weird, and bizarre that would be to other players. That being said, all bets are off if it's a "/me (orange) Mataoka  (space) taps her hoof impatiently" emote. Okay. Wait. I don't promise I won't use third person for emphasis sake, but how about, "I'll try not to annoy you?" vow?

* keep my sense of humor. If you want to call my shaman Mathilda, fine. I'm over it.

Let me get the curlers out of my hair, please...
*try to show up, on time, to events, just as I try in real life, to be punctual, prepared, and pugnacious (always ready for a fight, if need be). But if you call on me last minute to get my tail somewhere, just know I do move as fast as I can. There are some real life obstacle courses in the way, though, on occasion.

Little Urban Achievers Post of the Month: I Like Bubbles

Ghost in the machine - Mat's Current Resume

Theme song: David Bowie/Fame

Postscript: Need more ponies.
Oh: Why does Billy's voice sound a lot like Mr. Bill's?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Is there a doctor in the house?
Apparently, no.
At least not yet.

Did you hear a collective sound of "YOINK!" this afternoon, as the life drained from her raid party members?

Not that our Miss Mat is especially skilled with her DPS*, but she thought it was ether-high time to get on her restoration spec. She's played with elemental, and finds it awkward. We know she loves getting in the mud, blood and beer of enhancement DPS, but also knows that her dance card is usually pretty sparse with that spec, too. And who doesn't like a sexy nurse? (Dwarfs around Azeroth hear that like a dog whistle.)

So--she's trying to be a little less this:

And a bit more that:

This morning, when her human should have been doing other work to save her own tail and the world, she thought, "Hey, golly-gee, why don't I clean out the bags and bank?" And like finding a skirt that was two sizes too small suddenly fitting, she tries on all of her healing gear she's been hording like a crazy reality TV show psycho. Some of it was even too low level --vended it straight away. But she had some okay pieces, making it to level 346 with her bandages and antiseptic ointments. (Ointment=worst word ever.) A few gems, a few handy enchants, and voila! Said in the voice of Dr. Nick Riviera, "Hi Everybody!"  she looks herself over and thinks, "This is better than a medical degree from Undercity Medical College!" She asks a few willing cadavers, um, friends, if they'd be willing at some point in the week to be her guinea pigs to practice on in normal dungeons, etc. A resounding yes! Success! She gets to play doctor! Hooray!

And now--for the malpractice suit. And she's not sure she has the gold for the deductible. Guildmate* asks her to join a PUG raid - again, a lot of hurry up and wait -- no biggie. She warned this esteemed guildmate she was literally in her new scrubs for the first time. Ever. One fixed action bar, and few moments of review, and bam! Worse than delivering a baby in the back of a taxi cab, faster than a shark attack, the group tries twice to bring down Magmaw, and dies. Misdiagnosis, couldn't stop the bleeding, and it was all code blue and no crash cart. Watching her mana drain faster than a $6 Starbucks spilling on the truck's floor, she now understands more deeply what the issue has been with healers in Cataclysm. It can hurt.

About a week or so ago, a shaman healer was in her dungeon group. Mat stepped in something, and bam - dead. The healer said to her, "Disculpa no pude hacer nada." (Translation: "Sorry, there was nothing I could do.") Mat doesn't want to be that healer, who just gives up all hope, rips off the latex gloves and says, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor!" If she's going to do this, she wants to do it right.

This may mean--sigh--going back to Tol dailies to get an epic trinket; (she's gotten all the purple gear she can from the new factions for healing), and to need roll on heroic healing gear, even if she is accused of being a ninja or misunderstood. She will research talent trees, gems, enchants, and other great healers of the realm. She may never be the cardiologist or neurosurgeon, but she will try. Funny -- her human is thinking of working on her PhD someday, but the anagnorisis of understanding how complicated healing and managing mana can be may prove more challenging.

*Getting there --she can hit some pretty damn high numbers these days, but sometimes she's a swing-and-a-miss, too.

If Elvis can be a doctor, why not Mat?
Postscript: Priest healer friend: Didn't think I could respect you any more than I did, but now I'm in awe.

Addendum: Oh -- okay:

*Players speak Spanish to Mat a lot. She is not sure why. Maybe it's the Ambassador title? No se.

(*Another blog lie -- it was the guild MASTER - who seems very cool, but not the best way to make a good impression -- kind of toilet-paper-on-show-skirt-tucked-in-pantyhose embarrassing...)