Blogging – Petoholics Anonymous http://wow.wolfdragon.net Because you can never have too many pets Sat, 16 Nov 2013 15:57:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 1574202 Just making official what you already guessed http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2013/07/just-making-official-what-you-already-guessed/ Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:13:29 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1739 Well…since it’s been over a year since my last post, I’m sure most of you have already guessed that this blog has been abandoned. If anyone is still lurking around, I can confirm the rumors. Petoholics Anonymous has had a good run but like all things, it must come to an end eventually.

This has always been a WoW blog so it only makes sense that when my interest in WoW waned, so did my interest in posting here. I really should have made this post months earlier than this, but I didn’t really have the heart to until now. For that year and a bit, even thinking about WoW brought back bitter sweet memories. I won’t burden you all with the details but let’s just say things are getting better for me now.

If you’re still interested in my blogging, I’ve been posting infrequently on Lair of the Wolf Dragon, mostly about the random games I’m playing at the moment. Which from my posts seems like a lot of Wurm Online.

I’m also on Twitter and Facebook if those strike your fancy.

For anyone interested on what will become of my name generators, I’ve uploaded their sources to Github. If anyone wishes to continue their development/maintenance, you can do so with my blessing.

As for what will happen to Petoholics Anonymous, I intend to leave the blog up for archive purposes for at least a little while. Eventually I will turn comments off to discourage spammers.

For a parting note, I would like to thank all the commenters and supporters for encouraging me to keep writing my little tales for 5 years. It’s been a wild ride and I don’t regret a moment of it.

And to all of you gamers…keep loving your hobby, no matter what game you play or what anyone else says. Live your virtual lives to the fullest.

Game on, my friends.

-Faeldray

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Storylines and Quests http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2012/02/1331/ Wed, 15 Feb 2012 14:12:57 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1331 This was inspired by a little conversation Niqora and I had regarding the role of storyline in WoW, especially with regard to questing in the world at large, and the role of the players in those quests. There seems to have been a decided change in design as expansions come out, and both tendencies I have seen have their own drawbacks and advantages.

 

From what I have experienced in quests while doing Loremaster, back before Cataclysm changed the world, the original model for WoW seemed remarkably like Skyrim or other Elder Scrolls games as far as story was concerned: a great deal of random quests and encounters that made the game somewhat of a sandbox (albeit defined by level), with longer chains every now and then that would tell a specific story. The history and fate of Trol’kalar in Arathi, for example, or the tale of the Redpath family in Darrowshire both required long, world-trekking effort and multiple stages. (Obligatory shoutout to the excellent song by Cranius here) By and large, it was up to you to seek out these quests and pursue them, and frequently you would know nothing of a quest if you did not find the giver out in the wilds, be it in the wilderness or in a dungeon niche. Generally, the shorter quests were sensible and not earth-shattering; you provided aid to those who needed it according to your stature as a heroic but not world-shattering agent. Even in the longer quests, you rarely received a large amount of recognition for your actions—you were a player in the great scheme of things, but you were aiding and aided by a great number of more important beings. These effects mesh well with the very large raids of the day; in a 40-man raid, there is much less of a ‘strike force’ feeling and more of a feeling that you are a part of something greater, an army to battle the terrible forces that oppose you. However, this same feeling can make it feel like you don’t matter, particularly before the widespread use of phasing. While TES games let you change the world in little (but visible) ways, in classic WoW, the bandits still exist, the monster in the hills respawns to terrorize the people again, and the man you helped from danger will be back again in a few minutes to be rescued again. Above all, however, there are rewards, little and big, for exploring beyond where you are led, and this is something I have always enjoyed.

 

Comparatively, modern WoW (starting in Wrath and definitely hitting a high note in Cataclysm) has much more focus on telling a story in the outdoor zones, and focuses much more attention on individual agency and influence as it relates to the player. Many zones are far cries from what they once were; one has only to compare Silverpine Forest’s tightly-controlled war narrative to the meandering quests of alchemy and security that were once its staple to see how differently questing has been approached. Entire zones have little to no optional quests now—if you skip past them through dungeons or grinding, you will find almost nothing new until you work through the story as presented you. This allows the player, with heavy use of phasing, to effect visible change to the world. Take Hyjal, for instance, where through the quests you battle back the elementals and slowly recover ground, which is healed through the aid of your actions. Troubles with grouping aside, this can be a great feeling—you’re involved now, and the world responds to your efforts in a way you don’t get in the older quests. However, from a role-playing standpoint, things get problematic. As such an integral part of such grand events, you cannot fade into the background, and everyone has been the hero of Hyjal, or the savior or the Tol’vir emperor, or any of the other great acts. There is a canon you create through questing that isn’t easy to shuffle aside, and I’ve found myself and those I RP with simply ignore the vast majority of the questlines. This is in stark contrast to some of the more epic questlines of vanilla; the Darrowshire quest in particular has been a unifying experience for a few of our characters because of the way it was handled, as a large group quest at the end. Raiding, too, focuses more on the players, as the rise of 25 and then 10-man groups has made everything a little more personal. To be sure, I enjoy 10-man groups more than the larger one; this is not a judgment of value but merely of flavor. There are also more smaller humanoid bosses; though I’ve never seen the original Naxxramas, the bosses from Molton Core and Ahn’Qiraj are typically on a much larger scale than those in more contemporary instances.

Another central facet of modern quest design is the consolidation of questgivers. Very, very rarely is there anything in a zone that you will simply stumble across—breadcrumb quests and regular quests both bracket virtually every quest now, making it much faster to level and quest because both the givers and objectives are always bundled neatly nearby. This is an efficiency vs. verisimilitude argument, and one I am torn on. Some of the questing in vanilla was simply tedious, with way too much walking and general distance involved, but as I mentioned before, I like finding interesting things in the wilds when I’m wandering, and the consolidated design currently used makes it impossible to find something you haven’t been essentially led to by the hand.

 

It is difficult to say which one I prefer, personally. The new techniques have definitely been more effective at weaving a cohesive storyline that the general populace gets to experience, and it is nice to get both recognition and results from your work, but it also rings false occasionally, without the opportunity to give character by careful quest selection. Little things, like not finishing the quest in Hillsbrad where you poison a dog, are often key to bringing some depth to a character, and when there are no options with what quests to take, the chance to build on your character is gone. I honestly am not sure what I would do, given the chance…perhaps keep most of the flowing quest chains that are common now, but scatter more optional quests around the wilds, so those like myself who love the little thrill of exploration can have their cake and eat it too.

 

 

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The prodigal blogger returns http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/09/the-prodigal-blogger-returns/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/09/the-prodigal-blogger-returns/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2011 21:00:53 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1263 I was missing Wow so I bought a month’s worth of time, telling myself that this would be the test to see how I feel about the game. That was over a month ago and I’m still here, still enjoying it.

The strangest thing of all was that I had really wanted to play my baby rogue. Yep, I came back because I wanted to play an alt. I’ve barely ended up spending any time on her since, as the rest as been filled with all sorts of other activities on other characters.

I realized how much I missed my characters. When I went on hiatus, I sort of thought of them as taking a break too, that they were world-weary like me. But then I came back and discovered that my quiet, gentle Niqora had become angry and was pacing like a caged animal. She wants to shoot things in the face, particularly Deathwing and Garrosh. Saraku’s gone to new levels of awkwardness. Aroqin is hitting on everything that’s male (okay, that’s not new but it’s happening a lot more often). Niqo’s son Tuyok is growing up, getting stronger and bolder. Here I thought they were all resting peacefully but it turns out that time as been marching by for them as well.

I’d missed the familiar sights and sounds, the music, the lore I know at least marginally well. I missed the crazy roleplaying and the silly jokes. But most of all I had missed my friends and was elated to see that they had missed me as well. It was kinda awkward coming back to the guild I had been a part of for 2 1/2 years and see a bunch of people that I didn’t know. But I think I’ve found my place in it again.

ALL HAIL THE LEADERSHIT

ALL HAIL THE LEADERSHIT

Yep, making immature jokes at the expense of my guildmates (especially the guild leader). But hell, that’s what ALL of our jokes are like and I love it!

So, this is letting everyone know that I’m not dead (yet) and that I’m truly enjoying my play time. And all while still playing Minecraft on the side (ghasts are the bane of my existence).

So let all know that Faeldray has returned and that my new warcry shall echo throughout the halls: FOR THE LEADERSHIT!

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Hiatus http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/05/hiatus/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/05/hiatus/#comments Mon, 02 May 2011 17:38:13 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1255 On January 25, 2007, a new account was created for World of Warcraft. It was that day that I joined the millions of other subscribers who populated the servers. Since then, I have always had an active subscription. Today that changed.

My account now says that the subscription is cancelled and will be expiring on May 7. For all intents and purposes, it’s already done as I’ve checked my mail and auctions on all my characters to make sure nothing gets lost in the nether of the Azeroth Mailing System.

I won’t go into the details as to why I’m taking break, other than to say I’m not to be counted among those who are leaving because they’re unsatisfied with WoW. I still love the game: the world and setting, the lore, the graphics, the music, the gameplay, and most certainly my characters and my pets. I know I will miss it but emotions are too raw right now and I just can’t face logging in at the moment.

Since this is a WoW blog, it seems appropriate to let it fall dormant with my WoW account. I will certainly continue gaming and for anyone interested, I’m going to try to revive my personal blog with all my gaming and non-gaming ramblings. I warn you though, you’ll probably get spammed with Wurm Online updates. >.>

When will I be back? I don’t know, nor do I know in what capacity. I think this is an appropriate place to go with Blizzard’s trademark “Soon”.

…I’m feeling at a loss for words on how to end this, so I’m going to cop out and let some song lyrics say it for me:

See never say goodbyes, because you don’t have to, it ain’t over
–Never Say Goodbye by Kyprios

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There is no “Faeldray” in “Community” http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/03/there-is-no-faeldray-in-community/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/03/there-is-no-faeldray-in-community/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 19:59:38 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1164 I know that I missed my last Machinima Monday. In my defense, I got an awful cold right after the wedding, spent the week working in the comfort of my home. This past Monday had been my first day back in the workplace, where I actually had to wake up early and couldn’t hang out in my pajamas all day, and I still had a lingering sinus headache and cough. I was not in the mood to write anything that day. However, I hope to resume the regular feature next Monday.

I want to tell all of you about the great time I had at the wedding, my latest activities in WoW, and a whole lot of other things on my mind. But before I do any of that, there’s something I need to get off my chest. There’s an issue that has been pestering me for months. It’s been jabbing insistently at the back of my brain for a long time, despite my various attempts to beat it into submission. I kept telling myself that it was inappropriate to bring to the table, that I was just being my weird self and whiny. Poor Kazi has had to listen to my rants about it, just as he’s always willing to listen to my rants about anything. And I was going to keep on ranting until BBB reminded me of something I should really try doing more often: Being myself.

Well.

My issue is with the WoW blogging community. Or I really should say “community” with the finger quotations and all. Because lord knows that I do not feel much a part of any community there.

Perhaps I should put it a different way. Due to the fact that I have a blog about WoW, I am indeed a member of the WoW blogging community. Just like how I was one of about 300 people in the community of my small town. Some people knew me and I knew them. We lived in close proximity to one another so we had at least one thing in common.

However, I did not feel like I was a part of my home town. In the same way, I do not get the warm and fuzzy feeling of being a part of the WoW blogging community.

Back in February, Larísa wrote a post suggesting that the blogosphere may be a better place to make friends in WoW. I remember reading it with a confused expression, trying to understand how this could be possible. I quite enjoy Larísa’s blog but this post did not strike true to me at all.

I will admit to not being the most social person in the world. In fact, I will readily agree that I am rather shy and anti-social. Large crowds and new people make me slightly nervous and uncomfortable, so it should be unsurprising that I have few friends, but they are close ones. I’m picky with my friends and frankly, I like it that way.

This “community” that WoW bloggers keep referencing in glowing terms reminds me of high school. There were 36 kids in my graduating class and I had known some of them since kindergarten. We were a community as far as we all lived within an hour’s bus ride of the same school and we were all born in the year 1985. It’s true that we weren’t at each other’s throats every day. But this did not make us all best friends.

Just like high school, WoW bloggers appear to me as a series of cliques, formed around certain topics or alliances. In the almost 4 years I’ve been blogging about WoW, I’ve seen “elite” clubs formed and disband, vicious jabs and sneers being thrown around like candy, new people flailing against the current of the more established and popular, some becoming popular simply by befriending someone popular, and others leaving in tears and anguish, never to return again. High school can be a vicious place. Apparently so can the blogosphere.

In high school, I was one of those who stood outside most of the drama and cliques and simply watched this real-life soap opera unfold around me. I wasn’t popular but neither was I despised. I have come to realize that this is also my position within the WoW blogging “community”. I’m never someone who’s named when popular or long-timed bloggers are praised, but hey, at least I’m never caught in the crossfire of all the mud slinging.

Maybe my efforts haven’t been enough. I tried to get into Blog Azeroth but quickly lost interest. I try to comment whenever I feel it’s warranted and I’m not simply mimicking someone else’s response. I do have a Twitter account but let’s face it, it’s not a conversation like some claim. It’s a bunch of people saying random things that happen to them/pop into their heads, taking no heed to the random things that other people are talking about. I’ve imagined that Twitter is like a room full of people all talking at once and the majority of the statements or questions get lost in the general chaos. More often than not, my own words disappear into the Nether. Which mirrors the feelings I get at times in regards to my blog posts.

I’ve been aware of Alas‘s guild Eff the Ineffable since she first mentioned it on her blog. It certainly sounds like a good idea and more than once I’ve toyed with the idea of joining it. I might finally be able to start raiding and what better way is there to become a part of the “community” than to join a guild that boasts so many bloggers?! I was getting ready to roll an alt to test the waters when I stopped myself and confronted reality.

Was I really considering transferring to another server that had absolutely no roleplaying, where I would have to change Niqora into an Alliance race, and join a group of people that I barely knew? I could see myself now, quietly hanging around guild or voice chat, feeling miserable for not just being friendless but for coming there on some disillusions of the “community”.

In my guild Bloodriver, I can identify just about every member. Our characters are intertwined with RP stories and we as players are bound by many memories. I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, done stupid crazy things with them. I’ve even met some of them in person and did more crazy stupid things that made me laugh and cry. I’ve been furious when my members have been betrayed, I grieved for days when a prominent member passed away, and I was elated when I was able to attend my guild leader’s wedding. These people are my community, my family, for better or for worse. Sorry blogosphere, you’ve got nothing on these people.

I’m certain that Eff the Ineffable is a great guild. Just as I am certain that not all bloggers belong to their own created factions that war with each other and look down their noses at “lesser” bloggers. There are bloggers who are kind and friendly, who always make you feel welcome and a part of something bigger than you are. Maybe one day I’ll even get to know some of them better and be able to call them my friends.

So to the bloggers who tout the virtues of the WoW blogging “community” and how close everyone is, I’d like to humbly disagree with you. Everything is not all peachy and not all of us feel a part of the “community”. Friends can indeed be found within the game, as I found almost all of mine there. I won’t ask you to change but I will ask that you realize that you’re like that person who remembers their high school life through a rosy haze. And I’m getting tired of you walking up to me and talking to me as if I was your BFF back then. Simply being in the same class makes us nothing more than acquaintances.

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Name generators updated http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/02/name-generators-updated/ Sat, 12 Feb 2011 19:55:11 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1103 Just wanted to leave a quick note to let everyone know that I finally got around to updating the PANDA WoW Name Generator (which now includes goblin and worgen names) and the Pet-o-licious Namerator (which now includes beetle, dog, fox, monkey, and shale spider names). My apologies for taking so long. You can imagine how daunting going through over 300 emails can be. >.>

Also, I’d like to apologize for the rest downtime to the site. My webhost moved everyone to new servers and for whatever reason, my sites were the only ones who had any problems with the transition. It took over a week just for us to figure out what was wrong, the problem was that obscure. >.< I promise that if anything like that ever happens again, I’m changing hosts. So if anyone ever sees any problems (site is down or loads slowly), please contact me through this form and if that doesn’t work, I’m always available through my Twitter account.

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A sign of things to come http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/02/a-sign-of-things-to-come/ Fri, 04 Feb 2011 21:23:38 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1088 Well, maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, inspiration struck me and it looked so pretty when I finished it that I thought I’d share it.

Click to see the fill 1920 x 1080 version

Whenever I look at it, I hear the song Echelon in my head. So I’d say it’s rather appropriate to call is “Rare Changes”.

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Introducing a new face http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/09/introducing-a-new-face/ Wed, 08 Sep 2010 19:47:41 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=952 Well, he’s not exactly knew as I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about him 19,382 times by now. My beau Kazimierz will be joining me here at Petoholics Anonymous, bringing his wit, eloquence, and superb story telling along with him.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I can now blame him if anything goes wrong on this blog. Nope, totally not that.

This came after my host decided to delete his blog along with mine that got hacked, despite the fact that his had never been touched by those jerkoffs (I still feel awful/angry/upset about the whole issue). While I was thinking of the best way to get his blog back up and running, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t remember asking if he ever wanted to join me here. I think you can figure out what happened after that.

So, with that, I’d like everyone to welcome Kazi as the new co-author of Petoholics. He even has admin rights and everything. Shiny eh?

Hopefully he will grace us with a post soon. 😉

Totally unrelated note: I’m still catching up on my Google Reader after my 2 week vacation and whole crap, did the blogosphere ever erupt with that feminism in WoW issue. I did like how it has created some wonderful thought-provoking posts but certain people sure got nasty about it all. Having said that, if people aren’t sick of talking about it, I have a spin-off post that’s been forming in my head.

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Back in business…almost http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/09/back-in-business-almost/ Thu, 02 Sep 2010 19:35:57 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=945 So…you as my readers may have noticed that Petoholics Anonymous disappeared for about a week and is now back, albeit with missing posts and other bits. Hopefully I haven’t lost a lot of readers in that time because they thought I had just disappeared off the face of the earth.

I won’t give you all the long ranty details but I will say that 2 of my domains, including this one, got hacked by some religious extremist who thought it was great to spread their propaganda at the expense of someone who blogs and makes websites simply as a hobby. Great work, guys. From the sounds of it, it wasn’t anything on my end but instead a security backdoor in my webhost’s server. And there were at least 3 other accounts hit by the same group so I wasn’t the only one.

Myst told me about the hacking as I was away on vacation at the time and much more interested in spending time with Kazi than blogging. I in turn notified my webhost about the hacking and they decided to “terminate” the domains accounts that had been hacked. Then followed several days of slow responses from them, where it went from “Just reactivate those accounts and remove the hacker’s code :)” to “You can’t find the accounts? We’ll look into it” to “It’s all gone. Hope you have backups”.

So all the files and databases from my two hacked domains plus, for some reason,  Kazi’s blog (despite the fact that he had never been hacked)…all gone.

See that? That is not my happy face.

I know that the only person to blame for not having a great backup is myself but I mean…really? Did they have to take the lazy route and just delete everything and clean their hands of the issue?

*cough* Anyways, I did say I wasn’t going to rant (I really only did a little).

So, over the next couple of days, I’m going to work on restoring those lost pictures and posts as best I can. All I can say is thank god for search engines that cache websites. All I’m really going to lose is the comments on each post since March.

If you see anything missing or not working that was posted after March 2010, please let me know.

And let my example be a warning to all bloggers: back up your stuff regularly. I know I’m going to be buying a backup tool for just that.

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Linkback: Totems 101 and Azerothian Diets http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/04/totems-and-technology-updated/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/04/totems-and-technology-updated/#comments Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:24:00 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=918 The other day, I offered my dear Kazimierz an opportunity to move his blog from Blogspot to a WordPress install that I would be the web host for. After seeing all the customization I do for Petoholics, he jumped at the chance, which lead to a fury of activity including getting him a new domain name and customizing a theme to exactly the way he wanted it. I’m still making tweaks here and there for it but overall, I’m pleased with the way it turned out, and Kazi is very pleased.

He has written some great posts, including a very interesting one about the possible culture cuisines that the races of Azeroth could have. For those of you interested in lore or roleplay, I highly recommend that you take a look at it.

If you have any interest in playing a shaman, he also wrote two very well summarized articles about enhancement and restoration gameplay. He is very skilled at playing both of those specs (even though he doesn’t like to admit it 😉 ) so he knows what he’s talking about.

Please give him a visit and let him know what you think of his posts and shiny new theme!

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