Rantings – 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 I am a ninja and a “theif” http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/i-am-a-ninja-and-a-theif/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/i-am-a-ninja-and-a-theif/#comments Sun, 27 Nov 2011 18:33:50 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1293 At least according to one death knight that I met last night. Here’s the setting: I finally got up my courage to try tanking on my undead DK Iyocene and it turns out that I’m not too bad at it. At least I haven’t gotten anyone killed so far and I can mostly hold aggro. So I’m running through BC dungeons with my friend on his mage and somewhere along the way we picked up a hunter that liked spamming the queues with us. We get into Sethekk Halls with another DK and some random dps and healer. The run goes fairly smoothly as usual, with the only death being the healer when said DK pulls 3 groups when I’m not ready at all.

Talon King Ikiss, the end boss, hits the dirt pretty fast and coughs up a shiny plate belt.

Deathforge Girdle

I’m still wearing this belt.

The Plaguebringer's Girdle

Since this has a nice chunk of stamina and those gem sockets, I naturally assume that it would be perfect for both my dps and tanking sets. The other DK and I both roll need on it and I win it. Little did I know that this was where the fun would start. I’ve provided a screenshot of the conversation (with handy annotations!) for your viewing pleasure.

DEY BE STEALIN OUR COOKEHS

I almost feel sorry for the guy. He was either truly convinced that the belt was solely for a DPS, or he was just a very poor loser. I wonder if he realizes that he’ll be replacing all his gear with Wrath greens in a couple levels…

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In Raiding News… http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/in-raiding-news/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/11/in-raiding-news/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 19:53:33 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1288 So it occurred to me that after my post about a non-guild raid group, I should give everyone an update. Since blogs are suppose to be updated on a regular basis… *cough*

Anyways, let me start at the beginning. I began by scraping most of the requirements that I had listed previously and wrote up a simple macro to spam in General chat.

Want to raid but don’t want to leave your non-raiding guild? Tired of PUGs and want to raid at the same time every week? I’m putting together a regular raid group for people who want to have crazy fun while killing big bad bosses. PST for more info

I was actually surprised by the turn out that I got. After using it irregularly for only two weekday evenings and a Saturday, I got 7 people who were interested in the idea as well as the weekend raiding times. So I set up the first raid for that Sunday and between them and my guild, I had 16 confirmed players.

We ended up clearly all but Chimaeron and Nef in BWD on the first time. I had to sheepishly admit over Mumble that I hadn’t read the strats for half of the bosses because I didn’t want to go in with high expectations in case we failed, so I had assumed we wouldn’t get this far this fast.

Chimaeron proved to be a thorn in our side as it took us 3 raid nights to get him down. But every night everyone agreed that they wanted me to carry over the raid lockout so we could make our attempts again and again. It was a relief for everyone to finally see him die.

It was still early in the night and everyone was in high spirits so we continued onto Nef. This also took us several tries for several reasons: switching which tank goes on which boss (hey, maybe a pally would be better for Ony since she has a shadow debuff!), switching out players because my healer fell asleep mid-pull (WTF?), a tank learning that you need to constantly be moving when kiting the adds on phase 3 (oops, my bad), etc. Because of the player switches, I ended up bring Saraku to tank, which I was perfectly happy with because Niqora had already gotten the achievement anyways.

Each time we were making progress though, until he finally keeled over and gave up his dragon-flavored loot. Which was a good thing too because Kazi (who had been healing me) had died and I was out of cooldowns. I <3 Kazi’s shammy heals. Plus I think he died because I dragged us through Nef’s flame breath but THAT’S BESIDES THE POINT.

We have killed the dragon! ...Again. Was Blackwing Lair merely a setback?

We have killed the dragon! ...Again. Was Blackwing Lair merely a setback?

So now that BWD is done and over with, we’ll be continuing to BoT this weekend and see how far we get. I suppose it’s back to reading strats for me.

Things that I’ve learned from this:

  • MS/OS/Greed rolls are the way to go. If only the items that dropped were useful for anyone. (Cloth drops when we have a single mage who’s geared to the teeth. Why, RNG?)
  • Generally I’m pretty open with varied strategies but sometimes I need to set my foot down. On Chimaeron, I was originally going to go with a Break tank and an offtank that takes the Double Attacks. The tanks didn’t like this idea because of all the taunting and wanted to try taking 4 breaks/switching or taking 1 break/switching. That didn’t work out so well because the tanks kept dying. >.< Eventually I insisted on my strat and it worked out. Not to say I R RAID LEADER, I IS ALWAYS RITE because lord knows 9 heads can be better than 1.
  • I can’t multitask. Or at least not very well. Trying to call out when to taunt on Chimaeron, calling out when to collapse for System Failure, and dpsing at the same time does not work. I have to let others take responsibility sometimes.
  • Everyone will be whispering me when it comes to raid invites. EVERYONE.
  • I’m expected to know everything about every encounter, including trash. What, do I look like some sort of leader to you people? >.> Unfortunately with my poor memory, it’s impossible for me to retain all the information I just read and we will be essentially winging it the first time. Once I know how to “do by doing”, life gets a lot easier.
  • I’ve never been nitpicky over talents and gear, and I will generally bring anyone who wants to fill a slot. However, I have found some limits. A death knight tanking in all PvP gear? Sorry, no. A warrior tank alt in blue gear because “this character could actually use the upgrades”? Also no. Maybe it seems callous and I shouldn’t be picky but what I’m worried about here is the fun AND success of the raid as a whole. Wiping over and over again because of bad gear is not going to get us anywhere.
  • You can find some freaking awesome people this way. There’s a healer who insisted at the beginning that she wasn’t geared enough and should probably be replaced, but she has been fantastic at her job and a pleasure to play with. She has also signed up and shown up on time for every raid so far. I want to keep her forever.
  • Our mage refuses to die, even when I order him to just wipe it. Except when he’s kiting adds, then he dies all the time! (Still love you, Keys.)

Things that I still need to work on:

  • I may need to get better at scheduling regular breaks and making sure people know that there shouldn’t be AFKs in between. Or I at least need to get people to TELL me when they’re going AFK. Seriously, is it too hard to type “brb bio” or “brb baby”?
  • WHY U NO TELL ME THAT UR SO TIRED, UR FALLING ASLEEP MID COMBAT?
  • Getting some folks to sign and be on time is still a bit of a trial. :-/ Unfortunately (or fortunately), I haven’t had any people warming the bench to take their places. At least it hasn’t lead to any drama yet.
  • It can be really hard at times to keep everyone’s spirits up. What can I do short of breaking out into a comical song about how we should keep trying again and again?
  • I’ve had both non-guild and guild members who have signed up multiple times and not showed altogether. I should probably just not invite the non-guild people again but what about the guildies?
  • I’ve got to learn a better way of absorbing strats. So far Tankspot videos have not been cutting it.

As a side note, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever so I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be posting here much, if at all, in the month of November. Nice to know for once that I’ll be busy ahead of time, eh?

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Different priorities http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/05/different-priorities/ Wed, 18 May 2011 21:31:55 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1257 I’m technically still on hiatus since my WoW subscription is still cancelled. But there are some things I really need to get off my chest because the fact is I’m losing sleep over them.

I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of what caused me to leave WoW in the first place. As tempting as it would be to drag certain names through the mud right now, I know I’m just thinking that because I’ve transitioned from the hurt stage to the pissed off stage, and I’d regret my actions later. What I will say is that tensions had been high and still on the rise in my guild, and when I get frustrated, I frantically try to fix things. There were some miscommunications that occurred which lead to me receiving one nasty message, the kind that I would never expect to hear from a friend. I was completely shattered by it and spent a few days after trying not to burst into tears randomly, and resisting the urge to crawl under a rock and die. My trust was broken then and I still don’t know if it can be repaired.

It was all a big giant mess and still is, to the point where the shockwaves seem to have shaken up the guild despite me rather silently disappearing. I don’t know where my friendships and futures lie with a lot of people and while some of them are optimistic, I’m afraid I can’t be. At least not for another good while.

But personal issues aside, this s$#@storm made me realize one thing that I believe was a major underlying stressor. To understand this, let me give you a brief overview of my playstyles over the years. When I first started WoW, I would only play hunters, rolled them sporadically on several servers, and essentially did everything solo. Then I was drawn to roleplaying and eventually join my guild, which was medium-heavy RP guild at the time. We’ve been always prone to rolling alt upon alt and chatted a lot so we began to tack on words such as “casual” and “social” to describe us. In Wrath is where we made our first ventures into raiding, at first in conjunction with another guild. I was reluctant to go to these at first because I didn’t particularly like the other guild and found them kinda boring. Soon we had enough members to break away from them and form our own raids. Suddenly…raids were fun. There were bumps in the road of course but we raided for most of that expansion, leading to one of my proudest moments where we killed the Lich King together. I didn’t care that we did it with the full buff; I didn’t even care what he dropped. Just the joy of doing it with my friends, while it was still current content, was the part I liked the most. Somewhere along the way going into Cata, we had picked up a number of people who didn’t roleplay so we stopped calling ourselves an RP guild. But we weren’t a hardcore raiding guild either, because we didn’t particularly care about hardmodes or achievements. So we began calling ourselves simply a casual guild.

Anyways, the word “casual” unfortunately has different meanings to different people within my guild, which I think is why this whole mess happened. I happened to come across a very old post by Matticus that really struck me as what I’ve been trying to say all along. Here’s the excerpt in particular:

From my various experiences and chats with other guilds, casual to THEM means:

Not reading up on strategy before hand
Not listening to the raid leader
Not paying attention or having any kind of situational awareness

And they wonder why they have such a hard time in SSC and TK.

This is what casual means to me

Not spending more than 6 hours a night raiding
Not spending more than 3 days raiding
Not being stupid while having fun

1 definition describes a guild that is struggling night after night in T5 instances and wonders what they have problems. The other is having a blast exploring Mount Hyjal and Black Temple.

If you add to the first definition “not bothering to sign up/show up for raids” and “long-time members feeling a sense of entitlement without putting in the effort”, then that essentially summarizes the majority of our members. They’re certainly not all like that by a long shot, but the ones who do enjoy raiding and are good at it keep telling me, “We’re a casual guild, not a raiding guild.”

Their definition of “casual” is a guild that doesn’t necessarily raid. My definition in more in line with Matticus’s, being a guild that doesn’t raid hardcore. Since we were able to before ourselves in Wrath, I’ve been of the opinion that there’s no reason why a guild like ours shouldn’t be able to raid.

I’ll admit it, one of the main things I want out of WoW right now is raiding, to see that content while it’s still current. And I think one of the reasons I fought so fervently for it was because it’s one of the few things I can do in game these days, and the only thing we do as a guild anymore. We have too many non-RPers in the guild to have large RP events. Cata heroics are a horrific boring grind that can leave you locked in them for hours on end. I have 4 level 85s and I have no urge to try and gear them all thanks to said heroics. All 10 slots on my server are taken up by alts and there’s only so much new content you can see before level 60. Raids were the one thing I could do with my guild that were new and shiny and challenging. Only now, even those aren’t being done, because we’re “casual”.

I know I should have realized this before as it’s been said to me many times in the past that we were a “casual” guild. I guess I was so attached to my online family that I didn’t really want to see that our priorities had taken different directions. But now as certain bonds have been shattered and others tested, I wonder if any return to WoW for me will require a new beginning.

I want to be in a guild where roleplay happens frequently and raids are scheduled every weekend. I don’t care about how many boss kills they’ve had or hardmodes, I just want to see Deathwing dead at my feet before the next expansion rolls around. I want to be able to shoot the breeze with guild members, play my alts to death in the downtimes, and maybe, hopefully form some of the same bonds I did within Bloodriver. I want an online  family who has the same goals as me…the only problem is, I don’t know if I can find that again in Bloodriver or on any other server.

Only time will tell I suppose.

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In which Kazimierz gripes about loot http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/04/in-which-kazimierz-gripes-about-loot/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2011/04/in-which-kazimierz-gripes-about-loot/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 14:51:04 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1235 I noticed something interesting and somewhat annoying—two things, in point of fact. Firstly, after talking to some of our resident feral druids, I noticed they had the same trend that us mail-wearers have to deal with: all the agility leather in raids is based off the the rogue t11 models, just as all agility mail is based off hunter t11. If you want to have offset pieces as feral or enhancement, you’re going to enjoy the tremendous clash of styles inherent in mixing tier sets. The odd water/murloc themed hunter tier armor clashes horrifically with the more subdued shaman kit, but as a dedicated agility addict, I’m going to be equipping them regardless, without even the stylish kittehform of a feral druid to hide in. Now, I know it probably can’t and won’t be changed (or else they’d have to double up for skin variety), but having the option to trade in pieces for identical, skin-swapped clones would be an amazing bit of consolation. Bah, ah well, at least that’s purely aesthetic.

The other gripe came to me as I was taking a gander at the loot lists for the raids we’re attempting. Virtually every class and spec can get a weapon from one of the first two or three bosses in Blackwing Descent or the Bastion of Twilight, except for one. Guess which one?

Go on, give it a try.

Yeah, you guessed it. Enhancement shamans are limited to trash drops from BWD with one exception…Nefarion.The freaking end boss is the only one who drops slow Agi one-handers that aren’t swords.

Given this, you can guess why I’m poor again. Do not weep for me, however: my DPS soars like the eagle with my shiny new purple axe. Weep instead for my gold, for it shivers small and cold and alone in the vast emptiness of my once-full coffers.

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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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Patch 4.0.1 Resources and Impressions http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/10/patch-4-0-1-resources-and-impressions/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/10/patch-4-0-1-resources-and-impressions/#comments Wed, 13 Oct 2010 19:44:23 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=1005 Right off the bat, I’m going to give you a bunch of fantastic posts written by Jaded Alt and Revive & Rejuvenate that will help make sense of the chaos that is the latest patch.

Now, do yourself a favor and read those over before logging in. Because otherwise you might be like me and panic a little.

I knew a lot was going to change. Of course it’s not until it’s right in front of my face that I realize just how much. Did I mention that I don’t generally like change?

If you do log onto your hunter and are completely overwhelmed, do this:

  1. Visit a trainer immediately and learn everything available to you. (It helps if you visit the right city too.)
  2. Then you can visit the stable master and fix your pet setup. (I had a spirit beast as one of my active pets despite being untalented, and Blacky was in the inactive pets.)
  3. If you used a macro to call out your pet, this has now changed. The command is now “/cast Call Pet 1” (or 2 or 3 or 4). So put your favorite pet in the first slot and call him/her.
  4. Read the tooltips for all your abilities and place the useful ones (for you) on your bars.
  5. Work on setting up your talents. You can use one of the hunter guides listed under the class guides link, or use this BM spec or this MM spec as a general guideline.
  6. Visit a target dummy (if you can find one that’s free) and go to town on it.

Of course when I first logged on, my brain went in about a million directions as to things I needed to do so I was just standing there paralyzed with choice for a little while. Don’t be like me.

Random thoughts I had over the duration of the evening

  • Oh god, my UI has exploded.
  • Where did all my macros go? Oh, they just removed them from the bars. Now I can’t remember where they all went.
  • Where are all my abilities? Oh god, they removed that many of them?
  • Oh god, Dalaran hurts my framerates.
  • Oooooh, water is very shiny.
  • Where’s my pet? WHERE DID YOU PUT BLACKY?!
  • Oh, she’s in the stables.
  • What are these new spells?
  • Did the ground just shake? O.o
  • Why do half of my macros not work? Dear lord I have a lot of macros.
  • God, half my addons don’t work and my screen looks like it threw up on itself.
  • Note to self: WoW likes to crash or not log me in if I activate too many addons, especially ones that are deemed “out-of-date”.
  • Oh, is THAT what the default UI looks like again?
  • OOOooooo, shiny water.
  • Talents aren’t terribly bad to figure out but I still feel a little lost.
  • I feel REALLY lost when it comes to my rotation/shot priority. *mashes buttons*
  • The ground shook again. I wonder if there’s anything else going on elsewhere…
  • I’m utterly confused by this new glyph interface. And I feel naked missing some glyphs.
  • *jumps over to scribe* I think I know them all? At least I hope so. How would I learn more?
  • Bah, I forgot to make majors. Ah well, none of them are particularly useful outside of the Bestial Wrath one.
  • Back to searching for a target dummy. But hey, at least I’m in Thunderbluff  and not Orgrimmar.
  • WAIT! I need to go tame some pets! Woohoo for gigantic stables!
  • And I curiously have no clue what I really want to tame. Let’s start off with a ghost sabre!

Unfortunately I had to work today so I couldn’t stay up for any more experimentation/go on a taming spree. I have however been scouting out new UI layouts (since my old one is apparently broken and discontinued anyways) so I’ll be working on that tonight. Hopefully more on that in a couple of days.

In the meanwhile, I hope you all are having luck installing the patch and getting into the game to check everything out. Just remember: Don’t Panic and carry a towel!

(Yes, I am a huge geek.)

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Female gamer vs. female non-gamer http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/10/female-gamer-vs-female-non-gamer/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/10/female-gamer-vs-female-non-gamer/#comments Fri, 08 Oct 2010 16:28:46 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=997 The other day, I finally told some of my coworkers that I play World of Warcraft. Well, it was more like a psuedo-interrogation where I sheepishly admitted to it and then pretty much dashed out of the room because hey, it was the end of the meeting anyways. It started off in a planning meeting for social media (my company is a wee bit behind on the whole trend) and I was giving my input on the way a “particular gaming company” does their Twitter feed and how I thought it was successful. As they continued onto other topics, I thought I had gotten off scott-free until right as we were saying goodbye (it was a teleconference), one of the directors pipes in.

“So out of curiousity, what gaming company were you referring to?”
Um…Blizzard Entertainment.
“Oh really? What game do you play of theirs?”
*high pitched shy voice* Uh…World of Warcraft.

Everyone had a little chuckle at that, and then one of the guys, who has seemed in the past to be more knowledgeable about technology and teh interwebs, mentions something about how he plays too and asked if I was excited for the next expansion release. I was mentally rushing out the room already so I peeped a yes, I had already pre-ordered and then made for the door about as fast as I could muster without seeming like I was in a rush.

Thoughts about this situation stirred in my mind again when I was talking to the same guy over the phone about a work project and he briefly steered the conversation back to WoW, asking me what server I play on and such. In about the 2 whole minutes we talked about it, I managed to figure out that he’s been playing since Vanilla (he mentioned AQ40), misses world PvP, is most likely Alliance, and at least used to if not still is rather dedicated to the game (waiting outside in a Canadian winter for 45 minutes to get the Burning Crusade release takes some effing determination). Then we unfortunately had to get back to work but he said that we would chat more about gaming another time.

I’ve been wondering as to why I am so shy about this and it just so happened that Tamarind’s post came at a rather convenient time.

Now I’m not going to rearrange what he said about (self-)loathing as a WoW player/geek and declare it a good post. But I would like to add to it from the perspective as a female WoW player.

I’m also not going to go on about how it’s difficult to be a woman in a (man’s) gaming world because I personally have found the gaming world rather accepting of me in general. Plus those topics have already been covered by The ‘mental Shaman for interested readers.

Back to my initial shyness in the first meeting, I’ve been looking at it and trying to dissect why I’ve been so reluctant to admit that I play WoW as a hobby. It’s not as if I’m afraid to be a geek, as the Serenity/Prince Bride/Dr. Horrible t-shirts I purchased the other day to specifically wear at work are any indication. I’ve also had an enthusiastic chat with another coworker (who unfortunately is a ex-WoW player) about WoW when he noticed me wearing my “For the Horde” hoodie.

Putting aside my in-person shyness in general, why is it that when my cubicle mates ask me what I did last night, I mumble something about playing video games and socializing with friends? The answer came surprisingly easily…all the coworkers I’ve been uncomfortable with have been women.

In my mind, there’s always the chance that a man will have had more exposure to video games and even if he does not play them, he will in general be able to understand on some level just why I play WoW. The majority of women, on the other hand, seem to look down on gamers.

A particular conversation comes to mind where one of my cubicle mates went on a bit of a rant of how her children would never play video games because she didn’t want to let them get “fat and lazy”. I spent the conversation silently working on my computer, mentally going over the pros of video games such as improved hand-eye coordination and linear thinking. Many months later in a separate conversation, she told me that her husband loved the game Diablo but she could never get into video games. Does that make her husband fat and lazy then?

I think that women as a whole have a more negative outlook on video games than men, whether it’s from guys they once dated who appeared to pay more attention to games than them, or being hyper-vigilant about what their children learn and do. And it’s created quite a rift between female gamers and female non-gamers.

Having said that, I will be the first to admit that I have very few things in common with the “average” woman, so perhaps my perception of the rift is more pronounced. I despise reality shows and dramas, and barely watch any TV at all. And what I do watch leans  towards the fantasy, sci-fi, action, and horror genres anyways. I’m unable to comprehend why my female coworkers have 50 pairs of shoes and enjoy purchasing hundreds of dollars of clothing every month or so. Hell, I feel like an over-spender having just paid $100 for those 4 geeky t-shirts. And possibly one of the largest gaps is that I don’t coo and aww over babies and small children. Whenever someone brings their little one to work and the other women are squeeing with glee, I’m hiding in my cubicle trying to look busy on the computer and hoping that the kid doesn’t start wailing and give me a headache.

Possibly the only thing that I have in common with most women past having two X chromosomes and all that entails biologically is that I find fuzzy animals adorable. And it’s rather difficult to only talk about puppies and kittens when we go out for lunch together at work. They’ll be talking about kids and laundry and what happened this week in reality shows and all the while I’m thinking about the ICC raid last night, how close my next alt is to leveling, and dear god, I wish I could talk to someone who knows that a “tank” doesn’t necessarily mean a big metal vehicle that blows things up!

Looking even further back for me, there was a certain group of girls that I hung out with in high school and they were a lot of fun. But after high school, we pretty much all got up and went our separate ways. I haven’t talked to any of them in at least a year, some of which I pretty much stopped talking to my first year of university. It was then that I came to the realization that we all never really had much in common, except for the fact that we never had other people to hang out with. Our school was incredibly small so once we went out into the “real” world, we simply found other places to fit in. I think this is why female geeks and gamers tend to be “one of the guys”, not because they’re shunning other women to fit in but because it so happens that the people they have more in common with are of the opposite gender.

The friends I have outside the game are men. Most of the friends I have in WoW are men. I didn’t look at them and say, “Oh look! XY chromosomes! I must befriend it!” Instead what I saw were people I had something in common with, that I could talk to and relate to. Lord knows that I would never turn down having a female friend, but when they ask me if I want to go walk around the mall and buy clothes, I want to run in the opposite direction…or drag them to the nearest gaming store.

So…this creates a rather interesting predicament. Because I “like things that guys like”, I’m perceived as a bit of a tomboy. But I don’t have these hobbies simply because I want to be “one of the guys”, it’s just what I like and I can’t help that. But being that little outlier on the great big graph of women can be rather uncomfortable at times, leaving me feeling vaguely shunned. The problem is that there’s no simple solution to the problem. I’m not about to make other women change their hobbies for me, because I wouldn’t ask that of myself.

I have to wonder though if perhaps more exposure to “non-feminine” hobbies such as gaming and being assured that there is nothing wrong with getting involved with them would coax more women to step outside of their comfort zones. Or if young girls would receive Xboxes and Legos for gifts rather than frilly pink dresses and dolls.

I’m not sure where I’m going with any of this. I just felt I needed to ramble on a bit about the gap between female gamers and female non-gamers. For myself, it’s this rift that I feel more clearly than male gamer vs. female gamer and so on. Is there anyone else out there who feels the same way?

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The birth of a name http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/09/the-birth-of-a-name/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/09/the-birth-of-a-name/#comments Sat, 11 Sep 2010 17:08:16 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=962 Larísa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn wrote about how difficult it can be to come up with a good character name, especially when one has an army of alts. That got me thinking: I have an army of alts that are more or less named differently from one another (as in I don’t have 5 Niqoras running around on 5 different servers). So I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to show some of the ways that I pick out a new name for my character.

There are a couple things to consider when choosing a name. The obvious one is that you can’t choose a name that is already in use on your server. If I’m already on the character creation screen, I try to avoid getting the “That name is not available” spam by inputting my possible names in the WoW Armory. There’s always the chance that some alt under level 10 will have the name and you won’t know it but it can give you an idea of the name’s general popularity.

Then of course you must consider what nickname others will call you by, usually the first three or four letters of your name. For example, I was thinking of using the name “Yakone” for a tauren druid, an Inuit name that means “red aurora”. I then realized that if I chose this name, I’d be known on that character as “Yak” or “Yako”. Not the most delightful nicknames. River-dark pointed out the same issue with a character nicknamed “Rash” and her own paladin whose full name is “Hardlove”.

The last two are ones that I take in for personal consideration; you might think differently. I for one have never put any accented characters into any of my names. Not only does it make it really hard for people trying to type in my name, but I myself would have an awful time figuring out how to type them in. (Yes, I know there are keyboard shortcuts but I never remember them.)

With characters I create these days, I like their names to be relatively or completely unique. If there’s more than say 30 people with the name I want in the Armory, even if none of them are on my server, I will go in search of a different name.

Couple all that criteria with the desire to have a name that is good for roleplaying and suits the character’s personality and you’d think that I’d have a hell of a time naming my characters. But really, I don’t find it too terribly hard. So, onto my naming strategies.

  1. Use a name generator. Niqo’s original name Nicora was given to me directly from the in-game name generator. Zulrea was taken from my own PANDA WoW Name Generator.
  2. Pick a name from a different culture. This one is fairly easy, you just have to find a good site that gives you names. My personal favorites are Behind the Name and Names by Chinaroad. Yes, I know the second one is for pets but who’s to say you can’t use those for your toons? I tend to give my tauren Inuit or Native American names, while for Alliance characters I lean towards Irish and Celtic names. Some examples are Anuniaq, a tauren, and Aithne, a blood elf.
  3. Change a couple of letters around or add some. Often times, just picking a name is not good enough. Just look at the number of Nicoras listed on the Armory. But by changing  the “c” to a “q”, I now have the only Niqora on the Armory. And the name is said the same way too. Similarly, I wanted to reserve the name “Rahela” for my worgen but I found that it was already taken. No problem, I simply added an “h” on the end to end up with “Rahelah”, same pronunciation and I will probably be the only one on the Armory.
  4. Play around with naming conventions. As I’m sure a lot of you know, Saraku is a netherdrake in the form of a blood elf ICly. When choosing his name, I went to the wowwiki entry on the Netherwing dragonflight and found out that most of their names end in “-aku” or “-us”. Figuring out the rest of his name was just a matter of scribbling down some possible combinations and picking one that seemed right.
  5. Make your own template for the Fantasy Name Generator. This generator has both a simple interface that’s just drop-down options and button clicks, or a more advanced interface that, as they say, is “almost limitless in its flexibility”. If you take the time to read the instructions and work out your own template, you could have some unique names to use for your characters. I’ve used it to come up with the name for Niqo’s warp stalker, Grakoth. I wanted something guttural sounding, a name that an orc would growl before spitting on the ground and taking a swig of his mead. So I made up my own template and tweaked it until I had the perfect name for him.
  6. Make something up. Take the first name that pops into your head. When I had got Niqo’s first epic mount, a black war wolf, I was staring at him when I suddenly realized, “His name is Brakk.” Now I can’t think of him by any other name.
  7. Combine two names. I have an orc called Machalor. Her name is a combination of “Macha”, an Irish goddess of war, and “Balor”, the king of the Fomorians.
  8. When in doubt, try reversing it. This one is self-explanatory. My druid Aroqin got named after I realized that “Niqora” backwards was quite a good name. After I realized that I couldn’t name a character “Yakone” without being shamed, I switched it around and my new druid on Earthen Ring is now called “Enokay”.

If one of those methods doesn’t work for you, try a combination of them. Pull up a baby naming website, find a scrap of paper, and write down anything that piques your interest or springs into your mind. Don’t worry if it sounds silly at the beginning. With a little tweaking, it could become the perfect name for your character.

And remember, the next alt that you make on a whim could be your new main in the future. And you don’t want to be always known as “Lolhax” now do you? 😉

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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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Whiny Post Day http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/03/whiny-post-day/ http://wow.wolfdragon.net/2010/03/whiny-post-day/#comments Wed, 17 Mar 2010 22:25:18 +0000 http://wow.wolfdragon.net/?p=856 Today is St. Patty’s Day (AKA the day that Faeldray spends like every other day because she does not drink alcohol. Shocking, isn’t it? I must be 1 in 1000 at least.) It has also been declared Whiny Post Day. I do love Righteous Orbs’ whiny post.

Now I certainly hope that I don’t whine too much most of the time but you know what? Today’s the one day where I will just not care. So now all of you lovely readers will get to hear me rant about some things that have been bugging the hell out of me. Be warned, there will be some swearing. Let the complaining begin!

Still here, eh? You must really want to know what’s on my mind. Well, let’s get started.

People who don’t play with mods and/or macros and are proud of it

Now, I will start off by saying that this does not apply to everyone who doesn’t use mods or macros. Hell, there are some awesome players who can do without and they have my utmost respect because they can do all that shit at once. They can buff flawlessly, do their rotations without mistakes, and heal using the F-keys while interrupting that nasty spell the boss is casting and not standing in the bad stuff. These people have my kudos and should be awarded multi-tasker of the year. Because seriously…I can’t do all of that. I rely a lot on PallyPower to help me organize my buffs, on ShieldsUp to watch my shaman’s shields, and on numerous macros for my hunter that do everything from my shot rotation to making sure my pet is alive, healed, and fed.

There are also the people who solo for their entire WoW career and only need to work about what happens to them and no one else. So they don’t need mods like Omen or Recount because they’re having fun on their own. Or And there is nothing wrong with that. As well, the people who are stuck playing on older or cheaper computers and just cannot run WoW with addons.

No, the people I’m referring to you have probably come across in a pug 5-man or raid. They are that paladin gives Kings to everyone because it’s too difficult for them to organize their buffs. Or that shaman healer that doesn’t interrupt the nasty debuff the mob is casting because they’re too busy clicking on portraits. Or they are that DPS that is constantly pulling aggro or asking how their damage was because they would never have Omen or Recount installed.

And then they BRAG about it. What the hell are you bragging about? Congratulations, you suck at your job because you’re too damn stubborn to get tools that could HELP YOU. I don’t give a rat’s ass that you’re playing “au naturel” because WE WIPED DUE TO YOUR NEGLECT. For pete’s sake, we’re suppose to be working as a team here. There’s enough void zones and fires on the ground that I don’t want to have to deal with you not being able to pull your weight around. I mean really, I do go through the trouble of installing and setting up PallyPower just right, so I can make sure that I’m giving the right buffs to the right people. And I have mouseover macros for my heals in combination with Grid so I can interrupt if needed.

Mods and macros are absolutely no replacement for skills and knowledge. What they do allow is for you to focus on the million other things that are happening at once. They help to allow the basics of your class to become easier to use, so you can impress everyone with all the other neat tricks you have. You can be a carpenter without electric tools but you become a hell of a lot more efficient when you plug in that circular saw. (Yes, I took some woodworking courses. I’m an awesome gal that way.)

Really, dead people are not going to be impressed by your lack of mods or macros. Even less so when they have to run back to their corpses.

This post has been dedicated to the pug paladin who buffed my hunter with Wisdom and wouldn’t change it. What. The. Hell.

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