Monday, October 31, 2011

Stay thirsty, my friends...

Matty gently coaxed Morphemia out of the shadows..."My sweet little death knight, I realize you faint at the sight of blood and always have a runny nose from the chill, but please...come out and play..."

Well, good things do come to those who wait. 
Morphemia the Maladjusted went from a steady level 74 to 75 in a heartbeat. (You need to understand, this was after she sat for months at 74.) While leveling up on inscription, she made some Recall Runes, which is like hitching a ride on a small tornado - you just never know where you'll end up. This time, she landed under the house with the Wicked Witch of the East. 

There she was, just getting sand out of her, well, chinks in the armor in Tanaris, hanging with Don Carlos discussing celebrity millinery wear, when a shock of red light doused the evening sky. 

Could it be? 


Death Knight Death by Deathwing
Faster than you can say "habañero," the fires swept through like a gasoline alcoholic with a lit Camel cigarette. Only one or two other characters have survived the fire, and for this happenstance to occur for the death knight is truly a testament to the power of the RANDOM NUMBER GODS...boom boom boom...they roll when they roll.

And of all of my brave little goat and elf girls, the death knight has by far shown the best on battlegrounds. It's like she was born, or reborn, for it. Keep it up, girl - you're on fire.

Where do you get that hat, anyway?

Postscript: But the happiest thing - so glad to see my long-lost friend back in the world, even if it's temporary. So glad that sneaky rogue girl didn't fence all of the guild contents. Señor, I needed those potions tonight while healing a heroic dungeon. You're always there, just in the nick of time. Gracias.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Story Time: A Paladin’s Tale (Chapter 9: Locked)

“Kill me, and your sister is dead, too, rogue,” whispered Gaenlon.
Micah spun his left-handed dagger into the air, caught it by the spine of the blade, and placed it back in his heart-side sheath. A tiny of drop poison perched on Gaenlon’s neck, like a blackbird on a branch, deciding which way to fly. It soared down his neck, landed on his clavicle, and nested on his chest.
“I have no intention of spilling your blue-blood, paladin. I only wanted your attention. You have something I need: your skills. It churns my stomach and makes me want to shit the words instead of speak them, but you have the truth of it. Spelling things out is something I am not used to, but I forgot I was dealing with less complicated folk.”
Gaenlon sat up: the rogue’s dagger to jugular vein shook him up more than he wanted Micah to see. His exhaustion had made him precipitously careless.  
“Who is this girl? She seems…superfluous,” Micah asked.
“Her name is Daci. She is, first of all, no concern of yours, and second of all, can help us both. It will take all three of us to bring your sister out of there alive. You were ambitious to think I could do this with only you as my joker in the deck.”
Daci began to stir out of the sap; the smell of her bruised scalp was almost detectable. Her worg pup had been off chasing night voles and rousting rabbits out of their dens. He now squirmed next to Daci, agitated, nudging her awake. He could smell the wound. A rogue’s sapping not only bruises the skull, but also casts a deep burn inside one’s brain, lingering like a cheating hangover, the pain without the pleasure beforehand.
“Joker? Go to hell, paladin. This is serious, and we need to move forward. I didn’t count on extra baggage, but if you say she stays, she stays.” Gaenlon was surprised by Micah’s seemingly genuine admonishment, his brief vulnerability. The moment felt oily and thick.
In Daci’s swirling stupor, she dreamed. She was small again, and there was the boy. His face contorted in mocking cruelty. He called her Ugly, Stupid, Worthless. Ugly, Stupid, Worthless. Ugly, Stupid, Worthless. Again, she picked up a mud clot, and instead of breaking on impact, it was a rock. But this time, instead of leaving a knot on his forehead, it shattered his grotesque mask of a face. She woke on impact. The image of fear on his skull sprinted by, as quickly as a wink. Fear behind the mask.
Dacianna stood to her full height. The effects of the sap wore off. She unwrapped her cloak, and shook it out like a rug, not caring if most of the dust blew into Gaenlon’s and Micah’s eyes. She casually put on her cloak, and walked up to Micah, gently brushing back his hair, and accusingly touched the small knot on his forehead with the end of her pointer finger.
“We’re even, little boy. You still have your scar tissue, and you have taken a bit from my noggin, too. Guess neither one of us is going home crying to our mommas, are we?”
Micah stared at Daci. In the hour beyond the moon’s reach, in the dark, he realized who she was. His night vision was excellent, but her dark skin and hair made her features difficult to discern at first, even for him. The smoldering campfire offered little illumination. But her words lit up his memory. This was the little girl who stood up to him, who threw the rock that flattened him out. There had been so many girls and women who had hit, slapped, and cursed him—but her rock and true aim—that one left a bump.
“Mudpebble?” ventured Micah. “Is that you? All grown up now, eh?”
“My name is Dacianna, and I am a paladin, same as my colleague here. I understand you need our assistance,” she said in her most formal manner. “I’ll kindly ask you once not to use any of your rogue tricks on me again. They will not kill me, but you know as well as I, power lies with the righteous. I knocked you down once, and I can do it again.” With that, she pointed toward his head, but didn’t touch him.
The three knew the path. The three knew the way. But that didn’t mean the three knew what lie ahead. 
And in a room, lined with silk and satin, Micah’s sister cried. Her tears made the ink on her face shine like patent leather. The tattoo on her face, a permanent marking of banditry and honor among thieves, both signified her willingness to mar her natural beauty, and announce her unsavory affiliations with lesser gangs and thugs in the kingdom. Survival for her had meant staying loyal to her brother, even if that loyalty meant making difficult promises. Promises to stay away from love, promises to think for herself and her brother only, and broker no allegiances to her own hearth, home, or heart. She knew Micah was only trying to protect her. If she knew how to pick-pocket, if she knew how to fight, and she knew just how worthless love and marriage were, that they were about as valuable as the spit of a grub, (lessons from their father), she would be among the survivors in their tribe of two. She didn’t realize what she had sacrificed for Micah’s sorrow.
The girl stopped crying.

Drabble: Three wishes.

She lit three candles: one, for hope; two, for peace; and three; love, of course. Wishes and curses are cousins, but did you know that? They both ask for small payments. The price of a wish, or two, or three, is desire. The cost of a curse is doubled. And when there is a want, it becomes a need.  The three lights in the darkness granted her wishes: one: she received more than she could hope for. Two: she felt peace again. Three: love and friendship ruled the brief hour. Costs: One tiny tear. Two quick smiles. Three large laughs. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Too much awesomeness.

How did I miss this post?

Simply fun to read

I wish we could name our feral spirit wolves. Maybe I will make an introduction macro.

Last night and for the better part of today, I'm getting my restoration gear dusted off, gemmed up, enchanted, and tailored, er, reforged. I went to see the wizard, Ask Mr. Robot, about what I should have, and golly gee, are there a lot of points for intellect. This seems counter-intuitive to me, that spirit, like GO TEAM-level spirit, would be more sought after. I am sure, SURE, my mentors in the game can and will clue me in on why intelligence and mastery trump spirit, until my eyeballs roll back in my head.

Speaking of wolves, I wish, I wish, I wish I could call them out anytime. That would be sho-kewl.

Avoidance Therapy.

Yesterday I went home sick with a bad tummy ache, the kind where the flu may be trying to crash the party. It was a very distracting feeling, and though I could have muddled through just fine, didn't want to risk it, or get anyone else sick.

I'm not feeling too good about a few things right now. Nothing major, just little problems behaving like  uninvited house guests who pee in the pool. If I had a pool, that is. 

Considering my lackluster performance on Thursday night's raid I may be causing my own proverbial waves. I had switched from Confirmed to Tentative earlier in the day, because of changes and curve balls in real life. I ended up being able to go, but I am slightly ashamed to admit my head wasn't completely in the game. However, I did succeed in managing to wipe the raid once - I moved right when my GM wanted me to go left, even though he said right: but that is exactly his previous point. Paraphrasing, his desire is that I need to know the fights well enough to think for myself and react accordingly. I don't know what it is, but somehow my mistakes feel bigger than other's. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Beavis and Butthead in a reflective moment...

This recent opinion piece came out from one of my favorite blogs, WoW-related and otherwise, posted by Shimm from Planet of Hats. This quote resonated deeply for a few reasons:

There was an interesting interview titled “The Hero Factory” on Eurogamer last week with Chris Metzen, otherwise known as the voice of countless Blizzard characters and the grand Loremaster of Blizzard’s fantasy worlds.  It was illuminating stuff.  Chief among its observations is that Metzen’s heroes are unambiguous, uncomplicated, chiselled ‘ideals’ embodied in the form of strong white men, exercising their virtuous power through application of force.  What especially sprang out at me was this quote of his: “as a dumbass kid from California, I certainly am not cosmopolitan enough to know what all these paradigms are.”  Paradigms, eh!
Because of my background, my context, as I’ve grown up I’ve had to confront and struggle with all sorts of issues relating to stuff like race, gender, social class, wealth, ability, sexuality and so on.  And because of my field of study, I’ve had the opportunity to explore many such issues in some depth.  Not everyone has these kinds of experiences, and not everyone who is offered the opportunities they represent acts on those opportunities.  Maybe guys like Chris Metzen have never had to encounter or wrestle with these sorts of issues in a personal context.  Maybe they have, and the childishly* simple representations of games like Warcraft are their way of dealing with them.  There’s a certain appeal, in a confusingly complicated world, in creating an uncomplicated fantasy in which to escape.

Dumbass, indeed. Girl, please. Don't play ignorant with that hefty cajones-sized ego we all know you have, Mr. Metzen. With all due respect, the time for polarization and polemics of divisiveness is past and should be long buried. This struggle to maintain shaky footholds and filling up the moats around ivory towers in a wired world is a hill I don't think any of us want to die on. Of course there is an appeal to create uncomplicated fantasy worlds--many of us do want simple recreation time without being constantly reminded of the negativity in the world. (But, and this is a big counter point: that level of avoidance and apathy is dangerous--we should never be totally comfortable...)

So here is my question/dilemma:

Can I support playing WoW if I know that its creators are, intentionally or not, causing rifts, cliques, and rewards to the Beavis-es and Buttheads of the real world? (And when I say "reward," the constant "For the Horde!" that comes from Metzen's pie hole, or having Corpseginder twist and shout hate ditties, supports and gives a winking nod to, what's the word, oh yeah: sh*t.

There is no story without a conflict. Life just becomes a big sloppy mess of flavorless blancmange. I guess the answer is, I'll go into my real life trying to fight the good fight, to be inclusive, welcoming, and kind to all. In the virtual world, I shall endeavor to do the same. 

And get out of the pool and not expect someone else to check the chlorine levels. 

Luperci throws her troubles away on the fire...

That's better.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Story: Three Draenei Girls Gruff

Once upon a time there was a bitter troll named Mandiblestank Grubsnucker. He was neither young nor old, and basically unremarkable in any way. His tusks were average, his physique hunched just so, and his piercings and pokey-places mediocre. He lived under an inconspicuous bridge, near the south end of Booty Bay. But he possessed one talent that sustained and delighted him. He loved to eat dander and hair follicles, the remains of growth, and the effluvium of existence.

His quirks, nay—fetishes—were even too much for his troll tribe. His mother, concerned with his obsessive and compulsive need for hair and dander took him to the village’s best witch doctor. The doctor performed every trick he had, purged and cleansed, dispelled and disenchanted, to no use. Over time and increasing creepiness, Mandiblestank become an outcast from the other trolls. He just couldn’t stop. The final condemnation came when he sidled up to the chief’s daughter, taking her long rat-tail hair in his fingers, sniffed it, and declared it “delicious,” did they finally drive him away forever.

In that steamy glen in south Booty Bay, his bridge was neglected. Heroes and monsters alike had little cause to cross, but on occasion, travelers journeyed on foot or hoof over the splintered planks. Any passersby who crossed his bridge would inexplicably scratch their scalps, and yank out hair in amounts that could not be explained by the normal shedding or molting of every day existence, such as the loss of dead skin and hair cells expected on any living creature, fish, fowl, mammal or other. He would peer up through the cracks, catching dander droppings on his tongue like snowflakes. Everything from stringy, greasy hair kept under pirates’ head rags, to earthy, tangy, loosed-locks of Night Elves, and the flossy candy-colored tresses of gnome girls (which were a little too sweet for him), and the nail and hoof clippings from draenei hooves and horns, all sifted down to his awaiting pots, pans, troughs and tongue to be savored and swallowed. He relished the wiry, coarse hair of Dwarfs, though it choked and gagged him, and occastionally put him off his feed. But of all the flakes the flittered and filtered down, he loved the shaggy leg hairs of draenei girls the best. He wasn’t satisfied, though, with the droppings and bed bug sized meals. He needed more.

One fine spring morning, the kind he detested for its clarity and cheer, a beautiful draenei warrior went climp-clomp-climp-clomp over the bridge. Mandiblestank, or “Manny” to his friends, if he had any, stirred from his nest of empty Brewfest bottles and leftover Lovefest charms. He looked up and peered under the robes and cloaks of the young adventure seeker, obviously not very skilled or equipped. Her gear was pale and weak, and her coin purse jangled with the thin sounds of coppers, with a pinched clank of one or two silvers. She paused overhead, turning to the west, turning to the east, when the sun’s harsh light slapped her eyes. Not having eaten in twenty-one days, Manny was famished. Not satisfied to wait for her goat-y fur to fall naturally, his tummy growled with greedy, deadly intentions. He reached his long, scrawny arm over the side, snatched her down, sliced her open from stem to stern, roasted, toasted, added a dash of jerk seasoning, and ate her all up.

The meal satisfied, like a python after boar-and-piglet dinner, however for only for fourteen days, though. Good fortune smiled on him like a dirty joke—funny, but with a foul punch line. A more skilled, but elementarily naïve, draenei shaman skipped over the bridge, lightening bolts in her pockets, sparking off light like Elders’ fireworks, and flashes of fire on her bracers. Her flying mounts had been temporarily repossessed by the gryphon masters for failing to make a few payments, and instead of waiting for the goblins to stop by and break a few two or four kneecaps, she decided to get lost for awhile, hang out in the Bloodsail Admiral’s hold for a spell, and stay low. (She had done them an unsavory favor in the past, and though their loyalties were varying and gelatinous, their rum was also sugary and plentiful. Coming home on a warmer evening, and a bit into her cups, she thought the bridge provided a good hidden spot to, well, get rid of some of the extra rum she was carrying. She sang a little song about an elf and a tauren, a ditty a one-eyed, emerald-green parrot taught her, and she never felt the troll’s warty hands around her neck. The smell of barbecued goat with a hint of Bloodmyst Isle red crystal hash hung in the air for days.

Though Manny picked and plucked the hairs, horns, and hooves from his hapless victims, cleaning them down to the marrow, he never felt a shadow of remorse. In fact, he was more irritated than ever. There was another craving he could not name. “This just too easy,” he thought, “Where is the challenge in living under a bridge and snatching stupid draenei girls?” He grumbled, rolling over onto some broken glass, quest items, and shredded scrolls and guild news parchments, he slept with a sour stomach.

The smell hitchhiked on a western breeze, and was carried off to far braver, intelligent, and heroic nostrils than the warrior and shaman’s. A draenei mage had heard the rumors of the troll terrorizing the area for years, and this smell of radioactive burnt fur confirmed her worst fears. It took her seven days to locate his bridge. Flying overhead on her drake, once she opened her eyes, she chided herself for not finding it sooner. His vermin’s nest of a home blared out at her like a trumpet call. There he sat, crusty and barnacled, under a bridge that served no purpose. On that seventh day, she stood on the sad apex of the bridge, and called out to the troll.

The evening was warm, the sun not giving up its post. She sang:

“I’ll cast you out, you small little sheep
With frost and fire, your soul to keep
Come out, come out, you black-hearted freak
Your hours are numbered, and rendered weak.”

The troll had been under the bridge, waiting to spring, to enjoy the taste of mage-enhanced draenei delicacies. (It is well known mages have a particular aroma of pine trees, juniper berries, and crisp linens. They smell lovely, and keep malarial mosquitoes from biting.) He spied her from the slats in his bridge, flying overhead. “Foolish mage!” he scorned. He prepared for her by promising himself that he wouldn’t gobble her up in one sitting, but put her in a stew to last him a week or more at least.

The night was hot, the moon curdling its whey. She hollered:

Well, come along! I've got sharp spears,

And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;

I've got besides two curling-stones,

And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.

She heard him grunt, with an undertone of smugness. This was his bridge to molest, to harass. She couldn’t do a bloody thing.

Steam came from the moon, when she heard a sound like someone getting up, but only to spring, to get ready, to go. She shot out:

“Sick tiny coward,
Come to meet your meat
But you will not be getting any of this treat
Get out and show yourself to the light of the night
Try to break your bread, with all your might!”

And with that, he sprung up, but miscalculated his frog-like leg strength. He had lived far too long under the bridge. Before he could say “Juju Mon,” she changed him into a sheep, arcane blasted off his wooly pelt, and sent him into dark oblivion. She knitted a scarf out of the wool, but it always felt itchy and choky. And it never did take to the proper dye cast.

No one knew why the area felt safer somehow; but, she knew she had done her best with this place. She resigned herself, though, when she smelled the scent of finger clippings and unwashed hair on a fire pit a few weeks later, and the rise of public grooming practices increased. Ugh. She shrugged. For all of her powerful spells, she chose to ignore the trolls: just too many bridges for them to hide under.  Starving the pests, cutting off their food supply, was the wisest course.


Wildhammer Diamond Import Business, (and who are you calling a ho?)

It's off to work I go.

Here is the big question: When does play become work?

My impulsive comments (Backpeddling Powers: ACTIVATE) on my "1%" post drew some attention from  my guildmates. (Told you I would hear about it later.) I'm still a little fuzzy on some of the bullet point targets my GM was trying to shoot, but that is not his fault, but mine, since I am a woman and have no logic or reasoning facilities. That was left at the apple tree at the beginning of time. It's probably baked in a pie somewhere: Mmmmm! Serve that logic up ala mode!

Anyway, the discussion centered around this comment:
Answer: No, no I don't. In my defense, I have a million and one things on my mind, always. I have not devoted the time to watching every fight over and over, and anticipating every scenario that can come my way. I screwed up. Won't happen again. I was so used to the shard dance, I forgot about the other fight mechanics. If I did spend that time, to raid leader level, of understanding and studying all fight mechanics, there are many players who wouldn't listen to me anyway. Kind of seems pointless at this stage of my life. Yes, I want to contribute, yes, I will do what I can to do so, but I cannot and will not overturn any more of my life to this very fun avocation.
His point, if I understood correctly (see Diagram A, subsection xiv, paragraph 3) was that indeed, I do have time. What I am doing is making choices about that time.

He's right.

No question.

Let me just analyze the avocation that is WoW in my personal life:

Currently, I have two accounts, three if you count the trial one I used to try to get a friend a rocket. I need to clean that one up, and possibly go back to just one account. Between the two main accounts, I have Mataoka, and on the other Haanta, Luperci, and Zeptepi. Those are all my level 85 toons. One comment that struck me during a more lengthy discussion with my GM was that "back in the day," a player would have their main, and any other alts were truly just that: alts for something to do, something else interesting to play, but would never get the care, feeding, or grooming like the main show dog. The alts don't get to play in the raids, don't get trotted out much, and do not get the resources as the main does or would.

All right. Fair enough.

I did not heed the gentle warning of Manalicious' blog post, "How Alts Ruined My Raiding" because I was not there yet, still getting used to my metaphorical training wheels being taken off. In other words, I wasn't so sure I would even be raiding on a regular basis--I just kept showing up and being allowed to go.

In general, a theme for me personally has been I went from a control-freak to not, or at least relatively. I used to think that if I organized, listed, prepared, anticipated, front-loaded, etc., that somehow I would control the future of myself and those I love. I learned, harshly in some moments of despair, that that is not the case. So the control pendulum swung to too much letting go. That hasn't worked for me either, and now I am seeking the balance.

How this plays out during my leisure time playing WoW may come down to this: I cannot be fixed on a "main," and I believe that my GM will and does respect my choice, as long as I do some of my homework. His point was that I am not expected to know everything every role does for every fight, but to yes, know my OWN role. Agreed. How could that personal accountability be anything less of that expectation? It can't, and there's no justification or rationalization. His other key point was that all of us should never be of a 'fixed' mindset, but of a 'growth' mindset --learn from mistakes, adjust, flex, progress, and well, duh, grow. (See the work of Dr. Carol Dweck.)

But the conflicts of choice come into play: Another player chooses to leave the guild. Another player choose to play only one main. Another player has scheduling conflicts that affect everyone else's life schedules. Accommodations and compromises are made. And that is where I do not envy a GM's role. GMs make choices constantly about their own management style. And if we all had a gold piece for every time this has been said, "GMs don't get paid," we'd all be snorting Vials of Sands off of gnomes' heads. We don't spend our leisure time in the pursuit of money, that being the only goal. For those of you who have jobs that are both fulfilling and pay the bills, you are the truly blessed. (Mine doesn't pay all the bills, unfortunately, but I do love it.) For every player, there are their own reasons why they play.
Snow White faints from over-thinking.

And in the time I wrote this post, I could have been watching the Bale'roc fight again, or brushing up on my Alysrazor. And I will watch videos again-but I'll also just jump in there and get my maces dirty and play, cause they're not the bosses of me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bad company.


So. Pandas.


First of all, in no way, shape or form am I ungrateful about the chance to go to Blizzcon. But, BUT--just because one gets to meet the Emperor doesn't mean one shouldn't speak up if said emperor is wearing no clothes. Blizzcon had on a lot of great outfits, but there were some nip-slips here and there, too.

Here's what works: 
The opening ceremony.
Chris Metzen's caffeinated rants.  (Rock that soul-patch, bro.)
The forums where they carefully and succinctly describe upcoming class changes.
The introduction of new raid and dungeon content: and let it be known, Blizzard felt that WoW was too dark for too long, and wanted to lighten the mood.

And there is the inherent potential for disaster:

They made the huge mistake of listening to their fans.

And now we have pandas.

Let it also be known that Blizzard came up with Mists of Pandaria long before Kung Fu panda.

The story goes that George Lucas listened to his kids, and we got Jar Jar Binks.

The scenery is beautiful, the addition of a martial-arts monk makes sense, and there are new and fun things to do, such as save a brewery. Nope. Not dark at all.

But, damn.

Jar Jar.

I have been trying to wrap my brain about the potential for explosive cultural stereotypes and fungal-growing racism that may spring from this direction.


Now, I have to admit--though the Blood Elf girls get the attention, I found those who took a different perspective on cosplay far more fascinating.

Night Elf girls should not have visible panty-lines. Jin'do drops epic Spanx.

Worth the price of admission: Draenei in Brewfest costume, 6'6" man, Scottish accent, working the floor. 

Diablo III

It will be released, or in the words of Blizzard, "It's done when it's done." I got to try it out for a bit, and what I liked about Diablo III the best was the figurative artwork of the female barbarian characters. She's not too fat, not too thin, not overly muscle-bound: think Raquel Welch in "One Million Years BC":

You wonder where all those 30,000 critters go when they die?  Now you know.
All in all, I must admit the highlight was the cross-dressing Draenei chica you see above. I plan on forgiving and forgetting about the Pandas for awhile. No other company has done anything like Blizzard has with WoW for as long, and like any big experiment, successful or no, there are bound to be a few miscalculations. Just like fighting in front of a boss.

Theme song: The Animals/House of the Rising Sun

Update: So, today, while sitting in parking lot to pilfer Internet, I got the chance to read a few blogs. And upon reflection, I remembered something my very wonderful friend said about being a panda, and how we could level up some pandas together, and you know what? It's not going to be that bad. Not bad at all.


This is not a complaint, whine, or pique: merely an observation.

Last night, still visiting my Blizzcon host, I logged on and was asked, sweetly, to join a spontaneous Firelands' raid. The usual suspects were there, and all was fine --I realized too late that my host's set up was not the same as mine at home, sans Vent, add ons, etc. Not having a way to communicate is problematic in a raid--and I seriously ask myself now, "What was I thinking?" For some reason, the guildmate who actually motivated us to go could not get in the raid group. He knew I didn't have Vent, and was graciously helping me from the sidelines, sort of like a seeing-eye dog with 'tude.

During the Bale'roc fight is when push came to shove, however. He spikes up these Shards of Torment, and the dance/choreography around them requires being able to hear, read, and move. Since the party knew I didn't have Vent, they decided I wouldn't be doing this dance, and would just DPS--and that is when I did stuff that was really dumb. I mostly stayed in front of Bale'roc, which is bad. Badness. Very bad. We didn't wipe, downed him, and I trotted about my merry way, oblivious to my faux pas.

Until I get a raid chat message, "Matty, do you know what the hell you are doing?"

But this simple raid message masked the underlying misogynistic nerd-rage going on. GM was, as always, a bit more gracious in his questioning of my errors.

Answer: No, no I don't. In my defense, I have a million and one things on my mind, always. I have not devoted the time to watching every fight over and over, and anticipating every scenario that can come my way. I screwed up. Won't happen again. I was so used to the shard dance, I forgot about the other fight mechanics. If I did spend that time, to raid leader level, of understanding and studying all fight mechanics, there are many players who wouldn't listen to me anyway. Kind of seems pointless at this stage of my life. Yes, I want to contribute, yes, I will do what I can to do so, but I cannot and will not overturn any more of my life to this very fun avocation.

I have many observations of Blizzcon, but the first thing I noticed was there were no lines to the women's restrooms. Ever. There was a sea of young men, from 16-39, of mostly Caucasian and Asian races, including one young man who was in line next to me while waiting to get my photo on the Frozen Throne. We struck up a conversation, and he was very sweet (I am going to be one of those old ladies who talks to everyone in the grocery store line...sorry in advance.) Now, I am thinking, that if he and I were in a pug, and I screwed up, how sweet would he be then? Hopefully, the small amount of ambassadorship I was able to manage may help all of us who feel that the game in general has gotten too angry. I will never live up to the standards my guildmate requires, I fear. I envy those guilds where everyone teases and is friendly to one another, even with mistakes. I am not going to make any hyperbolic or emotional decisions based on one player. However, in conversations with my host, he knows of players who thoroughly enjoy intentionally going out in the world and destroying other's game/play enjoyment. His criminal mastermind is invaluable to Blizzard in terms of seeing how can other players destroy others' enjoyment. Granted, he is rare, but he is out there. If I were truly evil, and I know what bothers this guidmate so much, I could use my Derping Abilities of Doom to really upset him. But I just don't have time for that nonsense.

Life is just too damn short.

Postscript: Before Alysrazor, I bowed out--wasn't fair to the group to stay through the fights without the proper communication tools. The guildmate who was helping me got to join, and I hope they had fun. I'm sure I'll hear about it later.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Story Time: A Paladin's Tale (Chapter 8: Blood Loss)

One might think, that with the endless buffet of the traitor’s rations Gaenlon had been feasting on, that when Micah tracked Gaenlon to the cobwebby corners of curmudgeonly cravenness that Gaenlon may not have cared, that his nihilistic apathy would have protected him from putting himself in harm’s sites again. But Micah was a gambler, and could read men’s souls. He took a chance. Once Gaenlon was renowned throughout the kingdom as the superlative protector of the realm. No scourge or revenant, seen or unseen, could match his or her dark soul to his power of light. It was unthinkable.
Daci was lying on the scratchy grass, wrapped by her cloak. The materials were strong and rare: the finest virgin wool, carded by blind ogre-wives in the hills, interwoven with savage leather reinforcements and boiled truesilver dust. The needlework displayed a pattern her mother designed, something to represent her family’s past traditions and present conditions: a lasher-flower bathed in golden light, with human hands encircling the petals.  She had worked months for this cloak: her trainer tested her through a series of high-stakes war games that had deadly consequences for the losers. Fortunately, she was not one of them.
She slept so deeply. Gaenlon watched her. The breeze from sighs of the foothills tickled her cheek with her hair, broken loose from her braids, but she did not wake. Breathe in, breathe out. The ground could not have been remotely comfortable, even with her thick cloak. He admired it when he noticed it. Her gear was not the highest quality, but it was excellent. Most look handcrafted, which is not as prized as those found in epic quests, but made with a magic that elitist warriors would not find. Someone loved her, and had set her into the world as prepared as they were able. He vaguely remembered her parents, just strong, proud Draeneis who were always working. Daci’s father was a man Gaenlon would not have liked to cross. Gaenlon thought to himself that Mudpebble could take care of herself just fine. He envied her sleep. His own heavy cloak kept him warm in the damp night air, and her earnestness exhausted him. The night took him over, as well.
Micah shadow-stepped like a tomcat. Following them for the day, and watching them both fall off guard, neither seemed a threat, but they were obstacles. Micah sapped her strength so she would not rouse quickly in case she awoke. He needed Gaenlon to step up the pace a bit, and time was running short. His companion was a hindrance, baggage, to getting to his sister. He put his dagger to Gaenlon’s throat, just so. 

Previous Chapters

Panda express.

I took notes, a lot of notes, at Blizzcon. But right now, I'm enjoying a beer, finishing up some Hallows' Eve quests, and enjoying my kitty-cat who wears a hat and flies on a broom next to me. Be patient as a monk, grasshoppers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drabble: Gentle.

There were strange customs at her present lodging. The hosts kept the windows open, never fearing intruders or harm. Cats walked sentry around the perimeter. The stone fences, ineffectual but musical, acoustically enhanced the water brushing the edges. She put her things on the wooden ledge: comb, apple, ring. She ate the apple, a little taste of home. Something extra: candy. How did that get in her bags? Was it a left over from last year? And if she didn’t think of the first time, the first smile, was he lost forever? Savoring sweetness, the taste lingered.

Coming soon...

Trying to explain one's passions or devotions to others is a tricky, vulnerable act. The receiver may not 'get it,' or think that it's foolish, wasteful, or just plain dumb. The thing is, I know all kinds of people who play WoW, from the plebeians to the powerful, and everyone in between.

Many of made the journey to their personal Mecca: Anaheim, California, for Blizzcon.

Be patient with me as I untangle this social phenomena, and rock my "Imaginary Horns of Excellence."

Reports from the front to come soon...

Looks like the biggest thing I will have to watch out for is fighting some Foo...

Theme song: All My Life/Foo Fighters

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kind of a big deal.

Almost named this post "Matrix Naked Men," but then the blog traffic I might get would be, um...quite a bit of a detour for a site I'm trying to keep PG-13.

In any case, big hullaballo in Whisperwind yesterday, when mysterious flower-letters were floating through the air. Investigating further, this:

Yes, beautiful dragons and naked male humans with big staffs. Oh, this is the stuff dreams are made on...

Bad rap.

I had a hedgehog named Juju once.

Anyway, website you may want to check out:

Checking out the Reputation Calculator is being than reading your stats on the bathroom walls at truck stops.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's a Dead Man's Party

Matty is disappointed she didn't get the Headless Horseman mount, yet again...

I feel sorry for countries/cultures that don't have some version of Halloween. Or should I say, some way to distribute candy in a doorbell-ringing festival. Well, suck it, Timbuktu: the U.S. is covered, and so is Canada. And Mexico has Dias de los Muertos, which I actully think is super-cool-awesomeness. Celebrate the dead, have a party, pour a shot on the grave for the homies, too, and get all Danny-Elfman-up-in-there.

Okay, you will need more than a pumpkin patch and a blue blanket for this one, but Hallow's End has begun yet again in Azeroth. (Yay, North and Central American cultures, with cultural influences from ancient Pagan times, hooray!!!) It has some great changes, and won't give you cavities:

Theme song: Ain't No Rest for the Wicked/Cage the Elephant

Monday, October 17, 2011

Drabble: Dragonheart.

Laughing at the sun...

The young druid nudged her, “Come on, be a dragon! He wanted you to have it!” The weight of the Vial of Sands was heavy in her bags for a day and a night. She wanted nothing more than to take flight, to feel power and freedom. For once she had tried to be patient, but with a gift this wonderful, even if it came from a sad loss, how could she be? On the count of three, she emptied the vial, and transformed. She had no way to get a message to the other side, to tell him, “thanks.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Story Time: A Paladin's Tale (Chapter 7: Pathway)

Tally-mark the moon: Full. Waxing. Taxing. New. Waning. Gaining. The sun always knocks on the front door, wiping its feet politely before entering the moon’s house.  It is never taken to the back, dark room.
In the great hall of his parents’ manor, a small castle really, is a gathering of large portraits of the male lineage of his noble ancestry, the last acquisition being one of Gaenlon. The commissioned artist chosen was a technical genius with materials: paint, lacquer, varnishes, and mediums were at his symphonic command. Sable-tipped brushes in a range of widths and girths were like extensions of his hands and fingers when equipped. With composition, he intuitively understood balance, weight, and structure. On the topic of figurative, anatomical knowledge, he was as skilled as a physician, and his subjects felt three-dimensional and animated on canvas. What he lacked in artistic insight was the ability to capture the nature of a being, of a soul: if there was any sort of complexity to the subject’s personality, this artist often failed to capture these intricacies. The viewer of his portraits were often so awed by his technical ability they failed to realize that once having seen one of his masterpieces, they had no further insight into the person in the painting. He failed to capture heartache, joy, or tragedy: ultimately, he failed to capture complex consciousness. However, the exception was Gaenlon’s portrait. The artist painted the youth just after his vows to the Knights of the Silver Hand. To be fair, there was only ego in the portrait, and not capturing Gaenlon’s pride would have been as remiss as not capturing that the light came from the eastern window, or craftsmanship of his cloak pin. Gaenlon’s smug expression, with an edge of both entitlement and innocence, had a presence equal to the pigments and varnished layers. Every brush stroke displayed Gaenlon’s self-involvedness, even as a young man.
Gaenlon had been bred to believe in his unconstrained role as protector, hero, and that he was uniquely qualified and chosen. From the tales of the first paladin, Lord Uther the Lightbringer, all paladins hence carried this light with demigod-like powers.  Paladins were both holy men who could both enlighten and smite with gods-like judgment. Gaenlon’s vows were taken long after Uther and his trusted friend, Terenas, had turned to ash and were boxed away in masonry sarcophagi. Nowadays, those who were a paladin by choice, birth, or happenstance, would find themselves in a precarious profession. Paladins, though loyal, true, and powerful, were also a divided, diminished, and conquered lot. Only their egos remained, flying banners of self-preservation, barely one step up from swords-for-hire, taking others through the treacherous and perilous, scarcely hanging onto disparate groups of both heroes and villains, fighters and monsters. It was difficult to tell who was on what side, for light and shadow fell on everyone alike, so that all were shades of grey. Once the light and cause of righteousness were extinguished, squabbling and self-interests became the rule of law. He had turned to mercenary acts to earn gold, his training being solely as a protector. He had no other skills or trades. A well-educated door hinge was how he felt now. Keeping out the wolves while keeping in the pigs, in and out on the threshold, depending who had the better offer.
Not all paladins were aware of what had been truly lost by Arthas’ deeds and betrayals. The forsaken would never forgive nor forget, and somewhere two proud Ladies, as different as the sun and moon, pragmatically, without sentiment, continued to fight their enemies, but they had each paid too high of a cost. By the time Daci had taken her own vows, she was oblivious to this history of the order. Rather, she was oblivious to the ramifications. She knew what the history tomes read, and she knew the stories. Ask her a factual question, she would answer by rote. Ask her to consider what it meant, however, Daci would feel tricked. What she lacked was the ability to see how the past directs the future. Daci lived in present tense. She looked down on Gaenlon from the top of her elekk: she would stable the beast at the next resting point, and retrieve a shorter mount so they could ride more as equals.
The pathway, ensnared by weeds, brambles, and thorny vines was in a neglected, forsaken area of the kingdom. The breeze smelled stale and slightly sulfurous. These were old, old lands. Daci seemed in no hurry to be anywhere else but next to him, patiently waiting for him to tell his tale, ask for her help, or tell her to get lost. He made pleasant side-chatter, but even her honest nature was suspicious.  Obviously, he was in sorry shape. He looked haunted, just there…see? The specter stayed behind his eyes, behind his muggy smile. All he would allow about his current state was that he had been asked to help a rogue—just another dangerous call, nothing out of the ordinary. And, would she be so kind to help? Was she up for an adventure, for old time’s sake? He imagined the mission, a rescue mission he told Daci, would be fairly routine. She guessed he would get around to the details at some point. She heard a human say once, “The devil is in the details.” What a silly thing to say. “What did that even mean, anyway?” Daci mused to herself.

There, to the west, a ghoulish banshee screamed. Daci’s pet worg pup chased after it, but it left no trail. They decided to set up a small camp for what remained of the night. She was just happy to be next to him, even if she didn’t know what to do with her hands and arms suddenly, or scuffed her hooves in the dirt, digging grooves where she dismounted, taking care of her horse and gear. Daci began to feel something, a nagging something. Like she had done something wrong. She searched through their history. She knew it by heart, and took stock: he was the boy she followed. He followed the older girl. She worshipped the older girl, too. He couldn’t have been anything more to the older girl than a friend, because she was a few years older and probably interested in older boys. He hadn’t asked about the other girl, either, so maybe he had forgotten about her, or didn’t care. Daci shrugged. He had just been through a lot, she supposed. His omission of details were more dangerous than what he did tell her.
He had committed one act for which he could not find forgiveness. When the rogue found him, he had almost bleached out the memory of what he had done.
He loved her with all that his heart had room for. He told her one night, just her and the stars, all his fears, that he had been promised that he would be a king in the world, and now his status was reduced to existing as a shield with legs. He told her he was afraid of never being enough for his parents, his king, or her. She listened, and soothed him. Her Draenei gifts were too much for his human body to take. She was too much. He realized with jealousy, that for all of his consecrated and hallowed light, gifts of gold, and power, there were other gods more powerful than his. Hers were the other. And he was suddenly afraid of her gods, and her. And his fear weakened to cowardice, and that made him angry. And his anger made him hurt her. He confused fear with cowardice. He could no more control her than control a storm. And he didn’t want to try, didn’t want to understand her, and didn’t want her. When he hurt her, she left, braver than he would ever be. But all he felt was betrayed at her final act of self-preservation.
He remembered the turn, the night of her betrayal, and his.
The rogue’s rough blade sliced her, surgically, imperceptive, along the rib’s thread, near her heart. And for one who hated to show weakness, this sting caused the rims of her eyes to burn with tears. He was merciless, menacing in his attack, even her wolves could not protect her…. dying, reborn, but diminished. To heal, she would have to bathe in a pool of Elune, sacred and holy to the Night Elves, and fiercely guarded. But if she did not tend to this wound, wickedness would bleed her. Scarlet, thin, poisonous.
Deeply muscled thighs clutched the curve of the saddle, her tail painfully marking every jolt on the cantle. She pushed her stomach into the swell of the seat, the motion making her feel more in control, as if she could somehow will her mount to fly faster. The hour was past late, the time when changelings are exchanged and mothers are indifferent. Only the moon shrugged at her presence. The late-layered spring air, warmth and frost, was undecided. The drake circled in on a pool, flowing waters bubbling silently, lit by its own bioluminescent forces. Elvin guards stood at their posts, never resting, but subdued this evening. Perhaps the crinkling and balmy spring night fogged their keen intellect. Even with those magnificent ears, they did not hear her dismount. Elune forgive her…she had to be healed. She couldn’t summon the power of the Na’aru on her own. Her iridescent lavender skin turned grey. One hand holding her wound, the other unbuckling armor, the chain mail falling like scraped fish scales, the armored boon she had fought for and earned. Cursing her carelessness and pain, her warrior’s training made it possible to finish undressing and slip in the pool, unnoticed. The water…the water of the pool is not of this world. It is a life force of its own, magic and dark matter. The water sinks into her skin, like an emollient, deeper, holding her; she lay on the bottom using her water breathing spell to stay under as long as she could. Elune was kind to the girl. Water sought out her architecture, her curves, her inner places, she became the water’s home.
Regaining strength, she composed herself on bended knees. The wound and its toxins dissipated like mage smoke. No amount of elfish healing could erase the thin silver scar though, her memento of impulsive battle mistakes. The stars, being outmatched by incoming clouds, angrily protest that they will not be able to witness her beauty for much longer. The moon nods away, the crepuscular light matching her skin color, returning to her soft shades of indigo horns, periwinkle cheeks and moon-spun hair. Body and light mix as lenticular imagery.
The new, and perhaps more dangerous dilemma than dying by a rogue’s blade: How to exit unnoticed, and find some safe place to sleep?
He’s been tracking her since the battle. He could not get to her in time when the troll attacked. His rage, his frustration felt nearly unforgivable. But his forgiveness is not his salvation; finding her is, just as she had found him.
But he could not protect her tonight. She makes too many miscalculations. Believes she is more redoubtable than she is, or in contrast, underestimates her powers, not using them to full capacity. He would like to shake her sometimes; she is so bloody infuriating! His human pragmatism is indeed strength, but also fogs his ability to see how complex she is; this is one fight he can’t win. But King and country help him, he knows her as much as anyone can.
Here she is. Curse her…in a pool of Elune! Those night elf guards will surely catch her, and although allies, have none of their druidic patience for this trespass. He grabs the saddle blanket off of his horse, and anticipating the guards’ moves and looks, gets to the edge of the pool, whispering her name – amazingly, she doesn’t make a sound…stepping out onto the ground, he wraps the blanket around her body, rubbing her dry as best as he can. She is shivering, and her own body can’t decide between the frost and heat. How does he always find her, exactly when she needs him?

He did find her that night, and cared for her and protected her. That was the last time he felt more than a man. But after she had left him, he fell.  And when Fandral found him a season or an eternity later, for he had lost track of his days, and questioned him about the blood in the sacred pool, he confessed. Not quickly, and not without complete loss of honor. Gaenlon tried to stay strong in the face of fire and heat. Gaenlon knew Fandral had lost all that mattered to him, a son, and a granddaughter, so maybe Fandral would show him mercy if he were forthright. Fire is cold comfort for the love of a son, a child, but Gaenlon had no concept of this level of pain. And the fires were coming fast.

Chapter 6 and other chapters

Are you a dummy?

Mataoka opened her mail, an ordinary thing to do on an ordinary day.

The post, however, was far from ordinary. "Bewitched" may be a better word.

Out poured a level of generosity and largess she had never seen previously.

The requisition listed the following:

200 +/- Hypnotic dust bundles
50 Greater Celestial Essences
32 Heavenly shards
16K gold pieces
3 Maelstrom crystals
1 Embersilk bag
1 Vial of the Sands
and 1 Calico cat (freshly groomed and neutered)

A nearby paladin caught her before she fainted on the curb, while a friendly warlock grabbed her smelling salts. Matty took a deep breath, and promised her benefactor she would keep all safe in case he changed his mind.

Postscript: One of my favorite scenes in the movie based on the Roald Dahl book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is when one of Charlie's grandfathers tells him not to give up his Golden Ticket for something as common as money:

Grandpa George: There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there's only five of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy? 

I tried to look for my copy of the book to verify its existence in the original story, but got distracted by a cup of coffee and load of laundry. 

My GM calls me "Matilda" from time to time. I am in good company. Think of this quote, too:

“Matilda said, "Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...” 
 Roald Dahl, Matilda

Friday, October 14, 2011

Story Time: A Paladin's Tale (Chapter 6: Matters at Hand)

Daci spun her elekk around, surprisingly quickly, considering the tight radius for such a large beast. This sweet giant followed her like a lapdog, not aware of its size, and its ignorance in its own dimensions made him responsive as a lynx. (Certainly, on occasion, he bumped into a plinth or two, disturbing the statuaries, but what are a few cracks in clay feet among friends?) Gaenlon couldn't have gone far. 
Gaenlon’s reaction rankled her. Who did he think he was, or rather, who did he think she was now? Daci misplaced his dismissive act as a personal insult. She was no longer the little nuisance who followed them, him and the older girl, behind the keeps, cottages, and campsites. Her training had been rigorous and structured. She had earned her place among the paladins, and her devotion was solid: no one was more loyal or dependable. But intuition, sensuality, and sensitivity were not her gifts. When she did have small epiphanies they almost caused her pain. It wasn’t that her intelligence was being taxed; it was that her narrow ranges of emotions were. She knew right, and she knew wrong, and what he did was wrong. He was headed toward the stables, on the southeast side of town. The narrow alleyways in Old Town were in for some bumps and bruises from her sweet elekk.
The gods must have had a change of heart about the day, and the day's glory become a prank. If one had bothered to look up toward the hills, they would have seen the slight-of-gods'-hands: puffy grey clouds materialized out of unseen vapors, like a magician’s trick—surely there were white rabbits being pulled out of top hats on the mountainside, turning clarity into opacity. The fall crispness exited the stage, and the curtains opened to wooly unbleached clouds and muted debris. No applause, but trepidation from the audience of citizenry. The winds picked up. Daci found Gaenlon haggling with the stable master, bits of sticks and straw swirling around on quick air funnels, blasting stinging dust in eyes and discoloring everyone’s cloaks and shields.
Both he and the stable mistress turned in Daci’s direction as she dismounted. She approached the pair with one hand on her satchel, and the other on the hilt of her sword. A heavy elementium shield protected her back. Her posture was perfect, as if her spine and shield were attached. Emeralds and amethysts ornamented the sigil, the only small announcement of femininity and grace.
“Stable mistress, is there an issue with my friend here?” she asked, authoritatively.
“Mudpebble, this is no concern of yours.” 
The stable mistress, a muscular human female, leathery as a saddle, believed that paladins should only be of the human race. A Draenei paladin was insulting, and a disgrace to the memory of Terenas. What did those others know of honor? They were really demons in disguise. She could barely mask her disgust, but this paladin may have the gold necessary to buy this deadbeat’s mount out of her stables to make room for paying customers. The stable mistress had taken good care of his horse. She would never be cruel to an animal, only the talking two-legged ones. Besides, paladins still carried some jurisdiction, and though good King Wrynn was preoccupied with recent events, she did not want to bring down the judgment of those in power. Manure piles and shovels did not decrease her shrewdness.
“He owes me 150 gold pieces for the care and feeding of his mount. He has seventy-five. He does not seem to understand math, and I am tired of explaining it to him. He cannot have his mount until he has paid his debt.”
Daci reached in her satchel and counted out seventy-six pieces. “Gaenlon, give her your seventy-five, and here is the balance. Consider it a loan. My good lady, please bring us his mount and tack. An extra gold for your expediency.”
The stable mistress pocketed the money in some secret cavity in her chest piece, and retrieved his mount. She tossed the horse’s plate armor to the ground, along with its other raiment and finery. The horse seemed to be the only creature in the group sincerely pleased to see Gaenlon. She nuzzled her soft chin groove next to his cheek, and when he rubbed her withers, seemed to shiver with delight. Daci helped him pick up the pieces, saddle up his horse, clean the bags, armor, and gear. Her focus on the task distracted her from the sudden onslaught of debilitating shyness. Here he was…behind the pallor, the crust, she still saw him. He wasn’t going to escape now—he owed her. Daci was the one who was momentarily stunned.
Another cruel joke of the gods is this: once in awhile, without reason or sense, a body calls out to another, weakened, armor-less, and vulnerable. Sometimes the other body and soul calls back, or not. Nothing to be done for it. Wait and hope, or wait with resignation. But it never changes. Some call it lust, and some called it true love, but it was something else. No matter how the visage changes, or time steals beauty, the call waits. Only death can change it, and sometimes not even then. Daci felt that way about Gaenlon.
When she saw him, she was right back where he left her. Ignored as a child, and then a maiden, he never saw her, but his being crushed her. A heavy weight. When she was near him, she could barely move, or stay away. Her tongue would tie in knots, and then blurt out silliness. She would punch him on the arm during a serious task, and be devastated at his admonishments. 
“Daci, my thanks. You’re an angel, little one. I believe I owe you more than gratitude, however, and am not sure how I will repay you. It was always like you, wasn’t it, that you would just show up?” He was going to add, “…when unneeded,” but didn’t say it. He felt the warmth again from her Draenei aura. And the weight of the remaining 500 gold pieces the rogue had given him in his satchels.
“Mudpebble, or should I call you by your beautiful name, Dacianna? Do you have time for a ride? In any case, we can catch up, now that you’ve helped me back in the saddle.” Tapping into his redheaded charm, he offered her a smile and this request. She couldn’t refuse. 

Make it so.

You may not listen to me, but you will give Captain Jean-Luc Picard his due:

On-Line Degrees in Sanitation Engineering.

Wrestling with the Trashman

Nod to all of the great video makers who inform us noobinousses about how to down bosses in raids. Your time and technical energy does not go unnoticed. I have been wanting to create machinima myself for some time, but haven't had the chance--I'll just keep writing my little stories, in the hope that people read them, enjoy them, and have fun casting their own characters in the roles. But the big, sweeping on-screen sagas are not what I need.

Was talking with young elite druid this morning about my Firelands' raid experiences last night. First of all -- it was a blast. I failed miserably again at running away from fiery tornadoes (oh, like you've never done that!) and wasn't quite clear on what to do on the trash bird, which leads me to my desire: I would LOVE videos that talk about the trash in instances. More trash has killed me or my comrades than the bosses, I would wager. No one talks about the trash: it's like some dirty little secret no one wants to admit. 

I have such tunnel vision sometimes in a raid--fighting fighting fighting and bam--we're wiping wiping wiping, and I don't even know what happened. This is where my GM should earn solid cash for his work: if I tap him on the whisper shoulder and ask, he will patiently explain some mechanic or step that I just don't see. I have told him many times he should start his own podcast (great voice, timing, and insight), so maybe if I keep nudging, he will. He could call it "Trash Talk." (Yes. I am copyrighting that, so back off.) This podcast would describe exactly what to do with the trash. 

Players may dismiss trash as no big deal, scoff at the notion that the trash is easy. But sometimes getting through the clutter is the hardest part.

Call in the experts.

A pro-player blogger is starting a shaman:

Not sure whether to encourage of discourage, the root being "courage." Can't wait to read their insights into our often misunderstood and maligned beauties.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dances with warlocks...

I have my own cut-scene fantasy for work, which entails when some act of treason or villainy occurs; next, I am standing on a table, brandishing Beatrix Kiddo kitanas, and cut through the bullsh*t and bloody red tape that is my current reality. Instead, my current spells include articulate and logical e-mails, at the cost of personal mana, spirit, and humor. It costs me lots and lots of humor. (But then I think about yellow jumpsuits and Japanese girl trio bands, and get happy again.)

Read Manalicious' retro-post about her experiences with tanks and healers, and I must say, it is great. When we find those who we feel most comfortable and safe with, when there is trust, nothing stops us. Nothing. Get one snake-in-the-grass, empire-building phony bologna bullsh*tter, then all is paradise-lost. But, again, this isn't about those pendejos. This is about appreciation to those players who have helped me level, and not just gear scores or character achievements, but who boost me up, make me laugh, and never miss a beat. You all range from the passing character in a PUG to longer-known friends. Gracias, amigas y amigos. Tell me to keep fighting the good fight, because my yellow jumpsuit is getting a bit faded and my kitanas dulled.

Manalicious: Of Tanks and Healers


One inescapable dynamic of a guild is the teasing. It dissolves  to this family dynamic, where everyone plays their roles, labels, that they had at the beginning. I have a reputation for accidentally pulling trash and getting lost. This is not wholly undeserved. I have accidentally pulled trash, and gotten lost. The short-cut to the spider boss is especially tricky, and last night I could not get my pixels to MOVE up the hill. I sit there, helplessly watching my mount not get any traction, and all I succeed in doing is annoying the GM. I have never fallen off the side, because I do not trust my pixels, and have always gotten a ride. I asked about four times for a ride, and resorted, like a temper tantrum, to asking in all caps, and got teased. I am pretty sure one of our tanks talks over me in Vent on purpose. That's okay. His southern twang is melodious and angelic.* In any case, many times I have been just standing around, filing my nails, and some trash comes careening up the path to our group. Not. My. Fault.

I have resigned myself to the fact that amongst my guildmates I am "Matty, The Trash Bringer and GPS Breaker," and will wear this title proudly, because just like in a family, if they've known you long enough to tease you, you're probably proven your worth, too. Maybe.

*But if he ever makes me think about Andrew the Hack Lloyd Weber ever again....