Friends – Petoholics Anonymous Because you can never have too many pets Sat, 16 Nov 2013 15:57:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 1574202 The prodigal blogger returns Mon, 26 Sep 2011 21:00:53 +0000 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.



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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Different priorities Wed, 18 May 2011 21:31:55 +0000 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.

Responsibilty and fun Mon, 18 Apr 2011 10:17:12 +0000 Well, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything and I’m in a mulling sort of mood right now, so get comfy…Uncle Kazi’s going to be dropping a nice wall o’ text on all you fine people.

A little bit of news to put things in context: Bloodriver has just made our first kills of Magmaw and the Omnotron Defense System this weekend after a loooooooong hiatus from raiding. The last time we raided seriously (excepting Baradin Hold and things of that nature) was just after the pre-Cata patch, and since then it’s been heroics or nothing. With a new raid leader and a motivated team, it’s been an excellent experience (wiping for ~9 hours last week notwithstanding), but it did get me thinking of the changing sense of responsibility that a player must accept as they progress through the game.

When I first logged in to WoW, I was level one, alone in the world, with absolutely no obligation to anyone or anything. It was marvelous, for a long time, as I flitted from alt to alt, learning broadly of all the options before settling in with my shaman to finally reach towards endgame. As someone who soloed near-exclusively, it didn’t matter when I played, how long I had, or if I had disruptions—I was only accountable to myself. This lack of obligation to others makes for a fine game so long as you are personally excited about the game and what you are doing in it. Even the grindy parts of WoW didn’t seem bad, because I was heading for a goal and fresh new territory. However, during long stretches between the few friends I had in-game logging on, I did slowly become tired of what there was to do. Once the luster faded, the lack of ties started cutting both ways, and I felt I maybe shouldn’t be dropping my 15/month for something like this.

When I had more friends in-game and learned the joy of the 5-man dungeon, things changed quite a bit. It was new again, and my enthusiasm grew, but now there were obligations to deal with: you had to know at least a little of what you were doing or face the fact you were wasting everyone’s time, for example, and you could no longer lapse guiltless AFK. Additionally, things were more structured: if you didn’t have a healer AND a tank AND some DPS, and you no longer set your own pace. The social aspect was much heightened, cutting again both ways—you could do things directly WITH your friends, but on the other side of the coin, you could be leaving people out of a tight-knit group, and if someone was both a good friend and totally inept there were difficult choices to make about grouping.  In the five-mans, especially at heroic-level, the first layers of complexity start folding around you: game mechanics, social networking and teamwork. It’s easy enough to get in, and the benefits are legion compared to solo work in both social and in-game rewards. However, from what I’ve seen from BC to Cata, the degree of perceived responsibility also depends hugely on the length and difficultly of the dungeons: the longer and more difficult heroics of Cata and BC meant that a heroic team was a weekend or all-night affair, in many cases, while the end of Wrath saw easy, casual heroics that were an easy way to spend time with friends  and strangers alike.In both, however, there was little pressure to do more—you were always replaceable, and if you wanted to (for example <.<) wander off with your sweetheart to explore the sights of Outlands and talk, you weren’t letting anyone down.

Raiding is where I, at least, found things getting complicated. The requirements of skill and time alike are vastly magnified in order to get anywhere, and you need to negotiate at least ten people. For our little guild, this absolutely required scheduled times. Pressure for performance and reliability vastly increased with the jump to raids; you’re wasting a whole bunch of people’s time if you’re suddenly late, and finding replacements for critical roles that could negotiate the mechanics satisfactorily became very difficult. Tensions were higher as well—a single person’s mistake could frequently ruin the excellent work of all the rest, and people who were less prepared became more and more frustrating for those who did. Most of us took a lot of time researching stats and talents and rotations, and gathering money or materials to be buffed up and ready to go by raid time, only to wait up to an hour for others to arrive, filter in, and obtain the things they had all the week before to acquire. The increased sense of responsibility certainly caused more tension, and a number of nights spent in considerable frustration about lost time and wasted effort. However, on balance, it’s an incredibly intense experience to be part of the group that works week after week to drop that boss for the very first time in your guild, and all the focus and enthusiasm of the raid as a whole helps keep individual spirits high. Yet the longer I raid, the harder it is for me to enjoy the old solo fun I used to have…a once-dedicated quest junkie, I’ve barely scratched at the new zones and quests. Part of this may be available playtime, but I know another part is that once you have felt the joy of sharing experiences so tightly with another, or a group, it’s very difficult to find entertainment in the more lonely parts of WoW, or indeed any game with a similar structure. Raiding is without a doubt more fun to me than those activities, but it’s paid for with a substantial loss of freedom.

Recently, I’ve been a little dubious about raiding…I want to do it, Faeldray certainly wants to raid, and we are both fairly respected and valuable members of our raiding team…but some days, I do miss being able to just wander the world and do what I or we want without worrying about who might be offended by exclusion, or if one of the dozens of things outside my control makes all our effort vain, turn our fun into frustration that ends with curt farewalls after Mumble silence. It’s wonderful to raid with our guildies, without a doubt…but it is nice, sometimes, to be able to do exactly what you please on a weekend’s night, and which of those ideals seems best has never been clear to me.

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When do you tell a guild member no? Mon, 24 Jan 2011 18:32:03 +0000 Say you have this hypothetical situation. You’re in charge of a guild raid and since these are your friends, people you know who are kind, your looting system is just random rolling. You’re still master looter but anyone who wants an item can /roll and whoever is the highest gets it.

These are the people who will argue over loot in the fashion of “You take it, you need it more” “No, it’s okay, you won it fair and square so it’s yours”. It’s not uncommon for this to go on for several minutes, your guildmates are generous people.

So everything should go smoothly right?

Then say that a vanity item drops. Everyone can use it, and it’s not super rare but certainly not everyone has it. So several people roll on it and one wins it.

Now say that winner can’t use it right away when others who rolled could have. And say that their character won’t even been their main anymore in a month or so, as they have already announced they’re switching mains. What if this person has also been known to roll “need” for an off-spec item that another guildie could have used for their main spec?

This person has been in the guild for a long time and certainly doesn’t seem to be malicious, perhaps they’re simply unaware of how they appear. But either way, their actions can come across as rather greedy to other guildmates.

What would you do in that situation? Can you teach a grown adult how to think of others instead of just themselves? Or were they perfectly within their right to take something within a guild that’s more like a family?

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Grace Thu, 04 Nov 2010 18:22:31 +0000 At one time, the Shu’halo warrior would have had little trouble dispatching the two centaurs that loomed in the doorway of the kodo-hide tent. Had she not been heavy with child, she would have been able to twist around and block the incoming slice behind her after she had smashed her shield into the face of the stormcaller. But she had not been so fast and the sword raked down her back and sent her crashing to the ground. She had enough sense to bring her axe down on the stumbling stormcaller as they both fell, the caster dead before they even hit the dusty ground. The remaining centaur let out a roar of rage and stabbed his sword down through the warrior’s shoulder, pinning her down as she screamed out in pain and then suddenly went limp. Growling his satisfaction, the centaur whirled around to face his true prey, a small group of young Shu’halo huddled in terror in the corner of the tent. At the front of them stood a lanky black-furred Shu’halo that was older than the rest but still a child, blue eyes steadily meeting the centaur’s despite her shaking legs betraying her fear. However, the centaur had been too preoccupied with the pregnant warrior to notice that this young one had snatched up a gun from nearby. The first bullet pierced through his shoulder and sprayed the tent wall behind him dark with blood. Too late he reached for his sword as a dune-coloured mass of claws and teeth leapt onto his back and dug his fangs deep into his side. Twisting sideways to try and rid himself of the lion, the second bullet cut through his rear flank and he went down, swiftly being finished off by a powerful rake across the throat.

The black Shu’halo dropped the gun as if it were a glowing red coal and scrambled past the centaur corpses to the fallen warrior. She cried out with all her might for help as her hands fluttered around in an attempt to stem the bleeding. But the wounds were too long and deep and the sword was still impaled in the warrior’s body, blood bubbling up around its edges with each wheezed breath the adult Shu’halo took. The young one’s body trembled as she screamed out again for aid, praying and hoping with every drop of her essence that someone, anyone, would hear her.

Niqora watched the Lich King’s body clatter to the ground with feeling nothing really more than surprise and a sense of finality. The world around her seemed to fade to mere background noise as her clanmates cheered, ghosts of those fallen spoke, and the ice crackled into being around Bolvar on the throne. In this numbness she vaguely heard herself reassure everyone that she was all right and simply needed some time to herself, Blacky circling around her in agitation the entire time to drive the point home. Suddenly her clanmates were gone and the only living souls remaining on the platform were the hunter, her pet, and Tirion. Both humanoids were lost int their own thoughts and might as well have been on different planets for all they acknowledged each other’s presences.

The wind was still vilely cold this high up but its edge had since disappeared, leaving it feeling almost empty. Niqora’s hoofs felt heavy and rung sharply against the stone as she took the few steps towards the center of her platform. All that remained was the shattered blade of Frostmourne, Arthas’s body having been removed sometime when the Shu’halo had been trapped in her own world. Weariness overcame her and she fell to one knee before the sword, not even daring to touch it. Blacky slowly inched forward to her side, stretching her neck out to sniff the air around the sword tentatively and then pull herself back with a whimper. Niqora’s hand automatically reached out to soothingly stroke the wolf’s fur. Frostmourne shone dully as her own memories of her friends and family slain by the Lich King spilled forth unbiddingly…and it was then that the tears came.

The warrior had lived only long enough to bear her child, a healthy little boy with the largest brown eyes. Niqora had overheard her mother talking with another druid later, telling her how the warrior had used all her strength and will to keep herself alive so her child could survive. Upon seeing and hearing the crying baby, she had let herself go knowing she had accomplished her final task, falling still and quiet with a gentle smile on her face.

It was many moons later that Niqora sat with her father before a small fire that snapped in response to the silence of the night. Cain had offered to watch the baby that night and after feeding it some zhera milk, it was now snoring softly in a bundle next to another baby, Niqora’s new sister Anuniaq. Niqora, unable to sleep from nightmares involving the flash of centaur blades, was watching the fire even more quietly, hugging her long legs to her chest.

“Each death diminishes us, Niqo,” her father’s deep voice said softly and smoothly as not to wake the babies. They had been sitting in silence so long that him speaking had surprised Niqora and she whipped her head around to look at him. It was in his eyes that saw sympathy and worry for her and she quickly lowered her gaze.

“That is why we can not live forever, why it is unnatural to,” he continued. “We must kill to eat, we must kill to survive, and we cannot stop others around us from dying as well. Death ages us. It makes our bones weary and our minds addled. But where there is death, there is also life. The beasts of the land feed on the plants and we in turn feed on them. And then one day, we shall grow old or be wounded and join with the Earth Mother, our bodies turning to earth and birthing new plants. The cycle then begins anew, and we can rest peacefully knowing that we will provide for our descendants.”

Niqora could feel his eyes follow her expression as she turned to watch the two sleeping babies. “So the more death we experience, the sooner we will die?” Her words surprised her with their weariness as soon as she spoke them.

She could sense Cain shake his head even though she could not see it. “The Shu’halo are long lived for a reason, my little Niqo, even with all the death we see.” He paused, the snap of burning wood the only sound to fill the gap. When he began to speak again, his voice was so soft, it was almost a whisper. “Honor your ancestors and friends since passed, keep them alive and happy in your memories. Make each kill as quick and as clean as possible, with respect for the life you have taken. Learn to forgive those who have wronged you, and learn to forgive yourself when you must slay to ensure your survival and the survival of your tribe. And then pass these words onto your children, and your children’s children when you are old and frail. It is in these ways that you will walk in the Grace of the Earth Mother. And while death may diminish our bodies still, her Grace will forever keep your spirit alive.”

Cain fell silent as he watched his eldest daughter simply stare at the two bundles beside them. The little boy suddenly yawned and squirmed a little before falling back into peaceful sleep again.

“His name Halruum, what does it mean?” she finally asked in a quiet voice.

Her father smiles softly and reached out to squeeze her shoulder gently. “His mother chose it herself. It means ‘life given’.”

Seeing Niqora blink quickly and hastily turn back to the fire with bright eyes, her father very carefully gathered the two sleeping bundles in his arms as not to wake them and carry them back to their tent. In the morning he would find his daughter sleeping peacefully before a dying fire, not a single nightmare haunting her dreams.

These many years later, her father’s words still echoed in Niqora’s head, just as they did now as she swiped her hand across her eyes. Memories of her husband, of other lives cut short at the hands of the Lich king flashed before her, and though they did hurt and weigh down upon her, she could now feel that the load was not as heavy. Only time would help soften the ache of the wounds now but there were other things to consider now. She could recall the dying words of Arthas, the last words of the ghosts, and the exchange between Tirion and Bolvar. She stood slowly without her eyes leaving the broken Frostmourne, though when she spoke, she was not speaking to it at all.

“I forgive you. May you walk now with the Earth Mother.” She closed her eyes and let her head fall a little lower as she whispered, “And I am sorry for what I had to do.”

It was in silence she ascended the stairs to the Lich King’s throne and stood uncontested before Bolvar seated upon it. Blacky tilted her head back and let forth a soulful howl, but Niqora had already said all the words she needed to.

Only the wind blew after that, and not even in response to what had been said. So the hunter and her companion simply left, never once looking back over the frozen platform.

It was so much warmer back in Mulgore that Niqora had to remove many of her fur layers from her armor and cram them into her packs. Blacky’s pink tongue lolled out the side of her mouth, partially from not being used to mild weather and partially from the rather pleasant mood she was in. Together they watched the windmills of Thunderbluff slowly turn in the lazy wind, merely the span of a small valley separating them from the structures. The hunter absentmindedly patted Brakk’s shoulder in thanks, her worg mount jostling a little under her happily.

Somewhere inside the Shu’halo city were Niqora’s mother, father, and younger sister, all of them keeping a watchful eye on her adopted son Tuyok. It was there that her family waited (our family she corrected herself as she glanced down at Blacky and Brakk), anxious for news of her clan’s raid into Icecrown Citadel. A sharp pain in the center of her chest reminded her that her husaband, Mysthowl, would not be there waiting with her and her hands involuntarily clenched Brakk’s reins. Blacky perked her ears towards the Shu’halo and whimpered softly, to which Niqora quietly murmured that she would be all right. She then realized that she truly believed she would be all right.

Keep them alive and happy in your memories. She knew she could never forget him, forget any of them, for as long as she lived. And she would never forget a warrior who had given so much to try and save a group of children not her own, and then give everything for one little baby. But she also knew she had ones who cared for her in Thunderbluff, in her clan, and standing with her at that very moment. Life and death were mere parts of a cycle, arms of a great turning windmill.

“We are home,” she said with a soft smile. “Let’s walk into it with Grace.”

Congratulations to Bloodriver for taking down the Lich King!

We all worked really hard on every fight in there, especially on the Lich King. It was tough sometimes but in the end, we did it! I am particularly thankful for those of you who helped us through the other bosses but couldn’t be there for the LK kill. Don’t worry, we’ll get him again for you guys too. 😉

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Neither gold nor glory Fri, 01 Oct 2010 17:46:57 +0000 I finally did it. It took me several weeks, mostly rep grinding, some of it due to the help required for raids not being available at five in the morning when I came home, but the Scepter of the Shifting Sands is now mine, forever in a place of honor in Kazi’s bank. After all the preparation, slaying trash in AQ40 for reputation, gathering the obscenely expensive materials and rare meats for that crazy gnome in Tanaris, hunting through hostile territory for book fragments and the epic Moonglade event with Eranikus, a single night of raiding finished the job: a quick Onyxia run, followed by begging our only semi-active rogue (we really could use someone who mains a rogue in Bloodriver) to accompany us to Blackwing Lair. Afterward, we trekked to Azshara to finish off Maws, and finally to Silithus to finish the chain for good. There was no epic event, at least not for us—the Scarab Gate had never been closed on Wyrmrest Accord,  as it’s quite young.

As my guildies (seriously, thank you guys! I couldn’t have done much of anything without your help) dispersed, I couldn’t help wondering…what drove me to do such a long, painful line of quests? There was essentially no reward; the dagger and robes I received during the course of questing don’t have unique skins, and the cost of the materials for the arcanite buoy was close to ruinous. The legendary mount and title are long past obtainable, no other items can be shown to others—the Scepter isn’t even an item that can be equipped and shown to other. Why, then, did I spend many hours of my own time and that of my guildies to finish this archaic questline?

I believe it’s my completionist desire, the same one that drove me to get Seeker and Loremaster, and which still propels me on occasion to keep questing on Kazi. I pay my money every month for this game, and I love it…and like every other game I’ve loved, I am doing everything I can to prolong the game. Which, I suppose, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in a game which continuously updates, but it keeps me busy. The questline has also tantalized me for a long time; I’ve written before on my fascination with the entire Ahn’Qiraj war effort event, and this questline was in many ways the focal point of that event. It’s also going away in Cataclysm—it’s been confirmed that the blue dragon which gives an entire third of the scepter’s questline is being removed, and it’s likely they’ll remove the rest as well. Regardless of why, it’s still a major thing I can check off on my ‘To Do’ list…now, to get that Eye of Sulfuras….

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Introducing a new face Wed, 08 Sep 2010 19:47:41 +0000 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.

Blarg Wed, 19 May 2010 20:08:26 +0000 Yes, Blarg. That’s about how I’ve been feeling about WoW lately. Maybe it was a combination of things. Anuniaq hit the big 8-0, meaning that I now have 4 80s, 2 of which are hunters…as well as female taurens. I have no plans for Anu, she’ll pretty much be an RP and a sometimes I-feel-like-playing-this character. It’s scary that she hasn’t done a single heroic and is already pulled 1700+ dps as a beastmaster. I’ve seen dps in randoms who do much less.

I also feel like I’ve done it all. All of the starter areas have been done several times, and I’ve seen all of the areas on at least 2 characters. Raiding has even lost its appeal as we keep trying to progress in Ulduar (aka seeing the same 4 bosses over and over again to get to the one we really want, only to spend an hour on him before needing to head off to bed). I like Ulduar, I really do. But I wish it was split up into several wings, each with its own lockout. We just don’t have the time to kill the same 4 bosses every night and still attempt at progressing. And don’t even talk about ICC…we can only get down Marrowgar. It doesn’t help that we’ve lost 3 of our members to an upcoming move so our attendance is low to begin with. So yeah…I haven’t even felt compelled to log in for that.

Then there’s Cataclysm coming. I’m excited for a lot of the new features they’re going to implement, including the redesigned leveling zones. Alts have been my normal time-killing activity but what’s the point when the content is going to change soon? It also doesn’t help that my home server is completely full, including slots saved for Cata characters. I’m always reluctant to delete a character and I don’t think I could ever delete an 80.

I’ve also been putting a lot of work into web hosting and designing lately (there’s more about that on my non-WoW blog), as well as making the completely new Bloodriver site. My renewed interest in this has also left me feeling a little blah about WoW.

So all of this resulted in Kazi and I not really touching WoW at all for a couple days. We watching some Mystery Science Theater and played some other games. Warcraft 3 proved to be cool but I can only play the same RTS for so long. We could not for the life of us get Age of Mythology to connect using GameRanger so that was quickly abandoned. Dungeon Siege 2 was going great until two crashes left my character far behind Kazi’s (WTB autosaves) and combined with the frustration of high level mobs in the worst places, it’s been pushed to the side. We started playing Neverwinter Nights together, which Kazi has never played and I’ve always enjoyed playing. The pace is a little slower than what we’re used to but hey, at least it has a great story line and autosaves!

I think we’re slowly starting to get back into things now. With the upcoming announcement of Real ID being implemented with the next patch, we saw an opportunity…the chance to play more not just cross-faction but also cross-realm while still being able to stay in contact with our friends. This is just about as good as more character slots per server would be. So in a sort of impromptu preparation for that…we rolled a couple of Alliance on the Farstriders server. We chose Farstriders because a) it’s an RP realm and we like those and b) that’s where Fhionn is located and guess who had enough money to buy us bags?

Well, at least buy bags for Kazi’s dwarf paladin. I, on the other hand, rolled a death knight, a class I hadn’t touched since I had my troll DK Githinji commit suicide. And because I wanted to boost their numbers…I made her a female dwarf. I think this character will last longer than poor depressed Githinji. I was already joking about calling her undead mount Sparkles or Rainbow, and how my corehound minipet was feasting on the bones of my enemies. I’m still fleshing out her character concept but I think it’s safe to say that she will not be the depressed sort. 😉

However, if you don’t see me post for a while, that’s probably because Kazi and I are kicking it in another game or watching some movies or something.

But if you already think that this blog has some sort of time schedule, you are sorely mistaken, dear readers. 😉

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The Adventures of Kazimierz and Saraku: Hidden Tauren House and Jumping Off Tall Things Tue, 20 Apr 2010 20:03:53 +0000 I did have a post drafted up about hunter mods and macros, but due to a bunch of things happening, it’ll be postponed for a little while. After having two members of my guild hacked, organizing Ashen Verdict rep runs, and trying to deal with RL things like work annoyances and doing my taxes for the first time on my own, pretty much all of my free time has been dedicated to simply having fun in WoW.

So in lieu of a post that actually requires me to write, >.> I give you a long overdue and hopefully entertaining episode of The Adventures of Kazimierz and Saraku!

Hidden Tauren House

This first video is Kazi and Saraku’s visit to the little tauren camp that rests in the mountains between the Barrens and Mulgore. This place is of particular importance to me because when the wall-walking trick was still in-game, I discovered the way there all on my own when I was still a newbie (Niqora was level 40ish or something) and it was my very own secret spot. I was saddened when they removed wall-walking and thus removed my only way to get to “my” house. With the introduction of the zeppelin that travels between Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar, I was able once again to visit my favorite spot in-game (although now it’s less special now that everyone else can too). Regardless, it was great fun to wander around it again with my adventuring partner, Kazi.

Jumping Off Tall Things

Everyone knows the Temple of Storms in Storm Peaks, right? It’s only one of the tallest things in that game that you can get to the top of. In the next two videos, Kazi and Saraku get a bunch of their friends together to participate in an activity that in character, Saraku calls “jumping off tall things”. In the first video, we slowfall/levitate all the way to the Emerald Dragonshire in Dragonblight. In the second one, we make it to Venture Bay in Grizzly Hills.

By “we”, I of course mean the people who were lucky enough to remain within casting range of the mage/priest. Poor Kazi. 🙁

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Linkback: Totems 101 and Azerothian Diets Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:24:00 +0000 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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