Monday, February 28, 2011

Magically delicious.

Just wanted to read it again:

"...the shaman gains magical resistance (in amount equal to what a protection totem/aura would grant stacking with such buffs) to the spell school(s) of the interrupted spell (except for Holy spells), lasting 10 seconds."

Lucky charms.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Come on baby, light my fire*

Happy Patches:

Really looking forward to the enhancement shaman changes:
From the website: 

The Story of the Grumpy Healer

There is a disorienting effect when you've queued for a random, and the big ENTER DUNGEON pops up, and you're plunked in the dungeon obviously after a fight has ended. This means usually one of two things: Someone disconnected or there was dungeon drama.

Yesterday Mat was witch-house dropped right after the BRC first boss, Rom'ogg Bonecrusher. Mr. Bonecrusher is not a nice boss. Mat has had several experiences with him, some successful, some not. The most successful one was when a skilled paladin gave her a macro to use on the chains that worked beautifully. When she tried to share this macro with some comrades in another run, she was met with some derision. (We all wiped, by the way, though Mat did break free of the chains, but since bosses are not downed alone, well...)

We all know Mat has been working on her DPS. It was fine. She knew this dungeon, and the first obstacle was burnt down. She didn't ask what had happened, and no one offered. But Mat has a key survival skill, and that is to read the mood of a room or group quickly and accurately (another underrepresented stat). She noticed in party chat that one player, she thought was the tank, was being a  critical player - "guess I gotta do it all myself...blah blah blah..." and then she read the chat closer and realized the smack talker WAS THE HEALER. Now she doesn't remember the name or realm, but the image of this beautiful blonde human healer (class? priest? paladin? unsure), talking trash about other people's play and skills was shocking, kind of like if Gwyneth Paltrow started singing country music. (Oh...wait...) Anyway, Mat opened her sweet mouth, and said she thought things went well.

That is when the blonde bully turned to Mat and said: "Tell me where you live because I'm going to come to your house and beat you up after this."

Mat has encountered bullies before. Another survival skill is humor. Weighing Justice/Valor points over a bully's, um, bull, won out. Thinking fast, Mat replied: "Great! Look forward to it! Would you like me to bake you some cookies?"

Perhaps the healer wasn't used to being killed with kindness. But it seemed to soften her up. Yes, indeed "she" (Mat still has an image of Comic Book Guy behind the blonde toon) would like cookies, chocolate chip - Mat: "Ice cold milk, too?" "No, I like juice." Mat: "So you want to get all sugared up?" ...smiley face and a yes....and no more threats.

Sometimes our worst enemies are other players. And they won't all respond to offers of cookies. But you may not want to leave a forwarding address either.

Filing a workman's comp claim on these bosses:

Me and my hunter friend need a dungeon redemption on this one:

Demanding satisfaction: Dueling, losing, and the hidden talent of tenacity

Just when Mat thought it was safe to go back in the dungeon, she first sought the advice of a trusted friend. Much gold, gem socketing, and rearranging of gear later, she is redone, again. And on the advice of this council, will be redone several times. She is still working on getting her DPS over the minimum consistently (that's the key), and being stripped down and modified was painful but effective. She still has a way to go, but needs to go work a bit to fill up the coffers again. Makeovers are expensive.

To test her new agility, dueling commenced. She lost. But not as fast as she normally does, which she will take as a positive. In her good nature, and keeping her sense of humor, she kept getting back in the ring as long as the flag was posted. And she will try again. Right now she's going to lie down on some scratchy Dwarven rugs and get some sleep. And see maelstrom strikes and lava lashes in her dreams.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.

Jessica Rabbit in a reflective moment...

Resolved: To stop apologizing for my DPS performance. This is it. I'm tired of the analysis, the exhaustive search for the perfect talent tree, the rearranging of glyphs (dust of disappearance is making me sneeze), and the gearing up. The point-of-truth is: I may never be the "perfect player." Not competitive with others by nature, it was never my intent to battle and play while having recount scores thrown at me. I always just thought, wrongly I've been told, that it was about having fun, learning, and gaining skills. But it's not: it's all about the numbers, or all about being #1. Well, buddy, we can't all be diva ballerinas - some of us have to wear the goose feathers while others are the swans.

And for the record: while an enhancement shaman may be scoffed at, patronized, pitied or poked, I can still get the job done and look damn good while doing it.

We can never totally understand why players choose the mains they do, (or do the mains choose them?). It's like trying to understand a marriage or relationship ("what does he see in her?"). What does Jessica really see in Roger?  It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma topped with secret sauce. Give up.

The REAL Stats:

This is a suggestion for a new Stat column that really should be added, and would be the most revealing about a player's true skills:


  • Arrogance: Over cap on arrogance can make for some lonely play time when we all tell you to go farm yourself
  • Confidence: A very positive stat: hit the cap on confidence, and make sure not to reforge arrogance or hubris by mistake.
  • Hubris: Extreme arrogance: Don't post the recount scores after every fight. 
  • Generosity: Usually seen in healers - don't know why you do this, but we love you for it.
  • Friendliness: Ready to help noobs? Good on you.
  • Humor: the most important stat of all; without it, wiping is certain, and sad frowny faces all 'round
  • Flirtatiousness: Not sure why this is a problem. /hug
  • Neediness: Understanding social nuances and cues about party groupings is important. 
  • Ninja-ness: Like to need unnecessary loot? Whatever. Instant karma's gonna get you. (Give my hunter her bow, you no-talent a** clown)*
  • Moodiness: Feeling a bit emo? Cheer up. Really. Cheer the flip up.
  • Talk/Chatter: Over-share: not good; under-communicating: equally problematic
  • Background Knowledge: Having some knowledge of the game and play +20
  • Applicable Knowledge: Having some knowledge of the game and knowing when to apply it to new situations: +25
  • Curiosity: A very positive trait, especially when working out new strategies and using one's brain power instead of sheer brawn.
  • Risk Taking: Same as curiosity, but with more added overall damage

Oh, I could go on--I've capped out a few of these already. Maybe it's time to see the reforger again.


*No Talent A** Clowns : Another good guild name?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Lighter spirit.
Keeping a cache of mana and spirit in my pockets,  just for rainy days...

Trader's Remorse.

Mat, Mat, Mat....when will you EVER learn? Please don't be swept up in the moment so much that your generous nature and spirit overwhelm your good sense!

Last night, while bouncing on the giant water-bed-Playboy-Mansion-grotto-pool that is the Throne of Tides, (by far the most stunning of dungeons, even if it does smell a little fishy), she needed or greeded a trinket. It was pink and shiny. And she needs better trinkets, to be sure. She won it. Not sure if it was soulbound or not - think so.

Tank, in tank-speak, bluntly reminds our fearless Mat that the trinket is designed well, for tanks. (Which is true - tanks don't lie, generally speaking.)

So, she quickly offered to trade it up, not bothering to ask anyone else in their group if they had an off-spec need of a dodge trinkety-thingy. What really caused her the most remorse was that her new healer friend took up her side, and tried to buoy her up, and gently, politely, remind the group that the tank had gotten another epic ring, something about a whale...

To be fair, the tank gave her a chestguard in return, which will be a good place to start when she starts (cough) her restoration spec. (But we all know that isn't going to happen: she'll make it rain, and do a chain heal once in awhile, but doesn't plan on drinking Bactine for mana potion any time real soon.)

She reminded herself of a time, when she was still learning and all nooby, and a kind player realized he had gotten some mail leggings that would be perfect for her spec, and promptly gave them to her at the end of the dungeon. Those leggings have longed been cleaned out of the bank, but the kind gesture lives on.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going solo.

Playing in the world is only truly fun with friends. Need to chat? Call up your gnome mage. She'll give you the latest gossip (how does she know all this?!). Need to laugh? No better soul than a dwarf tank. And if one should need council, a mature druid is best (as a healer said the other day, young bear tanks make them nervous). And of course, when one needs a shoulder to cry on, who to reach for? Well, no one better than a shaman. Unless, like me, she's a Draenei, then you may need a step-ladder to reach her pauldrons. 

I never want my human counterpart to take the (digital) magic for granted. Laughing when a friend turns into a plant, having my breath taken away by a leap-of-faith spell, or gazing at stars over Storm Peaks, it is a beautiful UI world after all. But, the real life world is serious and important. There is real work to be done. In Azeroth, there is no real stopping place, no finite goal that can be reached --it's always just one more quest, one more valor point, one more piece of gear; it becomes more strict Confucianism and less Buddhism by the Stormwind minute. 

When the humans need to do other things, and sharing the grind of dailies, battles, and dungeons becomes a 'table for one' activity, the flavor gets a little bland. Time for a short break. I'll pack my frostweave bags lightly.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Top Ten Things to Do While Waiting in Queue

These are random thoughts. You may add, annihilate, or arrange in any way you choose:

10. Around your desk/play area, create a diorama scene from your last Tol Barad battle using paperclips, hand-sanitizer bottles, bills, and paperweights as props. Gain understanding on Horde battle strategies.

9. If you are playing a Night Elf hunter, get a tablespoon of Nutella and eat it like frosting. (JUST ONE - that stuff is eeeeee----villllll.) (But, if you are a human warrior, peanut butter; a Druid, almond butter, natch; gnome, apple butter; and, if you are a Draenei restoration shaman, priest, or paladin, butter butter. Because good mana flow requires lipids. (And not margarine - real butter*.)

8. Drink a new potion or two. Surprise yourself. Make sure you get the key off the table first before you drink and shrink. Alice made that mistake.

7. Write five haikus about your character's weapons, personality, guild, etc. Remember haikus? Japanese poetry form with a 5/7/5 syllable meter, similar to a limerick but much classier. Usually. For example:

tapping hooves in queue
patience blows cold tissue thin
ready for wiping

If limericks are more your style, they are a five-line poem that go in a "a/a/b/b/a" rhyming pattern. For example:

There once was a dwarf, all Ironforged
On barrels of brew he gorged
Till one day he spewed
Right when he queued
And the contents were all disgorged

no - that doesn't work - let me try again:

There once was a girl from Goldshire
Whom all the men would admire
Till one day her achievements
Would not make the payments
And she had to start tanking for hire...

That's awful too. Oh well. 

6. Look through your achievement lists and see if there's anything you've missed that would be an easy fix

5. Make a list of your pets/companions and name every single one. Challenge yourself and use one initial letter: I am going to use names that start with "Q." 

4. Go /hug every dwarf in Ironforge. They could use it.

3. Get off your tail and practice your Night Elf girl dance moves. Get up. Now. Dance. 

2. Keep dancing.

1. Dungeon's ready! Go kill some bosses.


Friday, February 18, 2011

It's just common sense...

Sometimes Mat does some pretty stupid stuff.

Like, today for example: Not releasing after a wipe when she was face-down, on the glass, close to the boss.

She did ask -- because sometimes, healers have gotten their wands bent out of shape when a player releases  prematurely, so to avoid this, she did...politely....ask.

What she got for her good manners was oh whole lot of "you're too stupid to rez" attitude.

She released. She ran back, (in ghost wolf form, or as the salty dwarf described in another euphemism she won't repeat), got back in the fight, did her DPS best, (which wasn't too shabby), and conquered the big mean genie, who thinks he lives on a glass fortress, but we all know it's really just a Kenmore dryer. Maybe even a Whirlpool Maytag?

Mat can be quite a stormy shaman herself. Quick to anger, but just as easily soothed and calm. Realizing when to bite her tongue doesn't come easy for her: she will continue to ask questions. How the responder responds, well, is up to them. It is in that moment of truth the true heroes come out in the wash.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dirty (Dungeon) Dancing (Or, no one puts baby in a corner)


Get your headgear out of the Dalaran sewers: It's all in good fun.

This post is dedicated to all those comical players out there who make me laugh, not cry, in dungeons. Their schtick is polished and comedic timing flawless. Something must be in the air lately, because almost every single dungeon my hunter has gone through this past week has been nothing but a love fest. Last night, for example: the dwarf tank on Haanta's sixth or sixtieth (lost count) trip through the Nexxus, was no exception. Aside from gently teasing the Montreal druid, n'est-ce pas, this spunky shawty had it goin' on a la Cee Lo. Deftly running us through the bug-infested dungeon, (Old Kingdom School style), he set the tone and mood from the start. By the time the party entered the Nexxus, promises of naked tanking were made: and kept. (The surprise appearance of him sans gear took us all by surprise, but dang if he didn't tank that mob!)

(Dwarfs wear boxers, not briefs, by the way, in case you were curious.)

Not wanting to overexert the healer's mana supply, nor catch pneumonia, he put his gear back on (whew), but Haanta was so distracted from laughing, she forgot to take off aspect, and that resulted in some problems for the group. Tank had it under control, and all was forgiven. 

Other PUGs/runs resulted in shared gear, good communication, fair play, and general camaraderie. (In contrast, there was one run where no one said a word. Perhaps no one spoke the common language, or perhaps they were just tired, but it made for a lonely run.) Perhaps like anything, when we take ourselves too seriously, groups get gunky. 

Maybe when we say 'walk in the light,' we're really telling you: Sha-ten Up.

Lost in translation:
File this under really bad plots:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Not a spectator sport...

Mataoka enjoys a bag of Hot Cheetos near Stormwind Keep while World watching...

There is a lot of downtime in the World. Waiting for queues, flight paths, boats, battlegrounds and questing friends: more time is spent not doing things than doing them sometimes. Being a patient shammy, I rarely tap my hoof and cross my arms -- I just let it flow. The human, though, is a tad more restless. There are piles of things to be done in the real world. And while I, Mat, get labeled Away Away while those chores, duties, responsibilities are managed, my ever-curious side-to-side looks are a subtle yet powerful force and pull on the humans. We want them to play, and this is how we let them know:

The Humans: 
Males: They must have all suffered a sports injury to their shoulders in high school, they are all periodically rotating their shoulders, in desperate need of a hot pad or ice. 
Females: That sigh. That damnable sigh. (Males sigh, too.) But when the female humans sigh, it's kind of a downer; perhaps they should take a cue from their elf friends and be a bit more, sporting about the whole thing?

The Elves:
Males - tend to be a bit distracted, gazing about the room: are they following the path of an invisible bee?
Females: the athletic type, (maybe in need of a good sports bra,) jump up and down, ready for anything; exuberant, cheerful, and eager to go...

Males: Though they look side to side as the females do, it's not nearly as pixie-ish, in my opinion, or cute as the Draenei females. 
Females: While riding or waiting, they whip their cute faces (if I do say so myself) OVER this way and then OVER that way, as if to ask, "Hey, did I miss anything? These horns are affecting my peripheral vision!" 

The Dwarfs: Both males and females are a bit more grounded, but I can't help but wonder if they get wedgies when they run...

The swaying hips, the can-do attitude - if you don't have a gnome for a friend, go home.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh, the cupidity...

Silly invent a holiday based on love and passion? It is somewhat shameful that this has to be demarcated in the celestial wheel; why not have love in the air all year 'round?

And while I will not profess to understand everything there is about humans, (in fact, I'm not sure I understand anything), one great benefit of this time of year is that I can create more, um, 'aromatic' dwarfs. They do tend to forge a certain, shall we say, funk?
What's love got to do with it?

To get the latest chocolate sauce on this holiday achievement, this is a straight-arrow resource:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Series: How I met your Hunter

Do not underestimate the power and persistence of Achievement Seekers.*

The kindred spirits of achievement seekers have a preternatural sense of who we are: we are the holiday participants, and we want that mount. We find each other in the gathering spots, trying to decipher just what exactly it is this NPC wants us to do...

This is how Mat met her best achievement seeking buddy, and kick-butt DPS hunter, Kaylyne. The holiday quests are not like any other; you will need to eat food a certain way, click differently, and navigate through hostile territories. You will be killed by an elite NPC on the other side, for certain. If you're seeking with a friend, it makes the wounds heal much more quickly. Someone to walk back from the graveyard with. True achievement seekers/friends always share tips, websites, locations, facts, and strategies. There is no competition in this area - it is all for the shared glory, title, and yes, there will be enough mounts to go around, not like ninja'd rolls in dungeons or raids. You give a little bit to the team, and are guaranteed a reward.

If it takes us all year, which it will, we will seek any elder, barf up any Hallowed candy, or kiss any Orc if that is what it takes.

Kay and I have become more than achievement seeking friends: we help each other in so many ways. Good friends just 'get' each other - we know when we need a hug, a confidence booster, and a drag through a dungeon without some macho tank yelling some profanity at us. We do have something to prove: female players do have to be 'better,' or will endure the scoffs, smirks, and sarcasm of some (not all) of our male counterparts. If this sounds a bit defensive and "girl power," well, just look at Kay's DPS score in a dungeon and shut your pie hole. Which, by the way, you will get if you're nice to us, we'll bake you a pumpkin pie.

Kay and me flirting with the guard...who was eavesdropping

*Some have other, more unsavory, epitaphs for "seeker." Watch your language, please.

Series: How I met your Paladin

A soloist, straddling, balancing on a poorly crafted leather saddle, the Draenei shaman sighs with reverberating restlessness. It is in her nature, her soul, to know what others are feeling, to take up axe or mace to fight and defend, and protect her own self interests. She can do this well, all on her own. Her wolves are fleeting, ectoplasmic allies. No feathered fellow shadow casts  upon her mount. No connection or link at this hour. Thinking her own thoughts and keeping her own counsel. She finds trust...challenging.

On the ground, a young naive paladin is in over his head. These elites may prove to best him. No guildmates answer his call; they can't be bothered with this initiate, this amateur. Let him pay his dues, even if it means paying with his life, several times over. He puts the call out...not a  yell, not a shout, but a request...simple and humble. Anyone out there...can help....kill elite?

She did hesitate. Just for a moment. But quickly remembered how difficult it was to find aid, assistance -- in a most dire hour. She answers his call, and is rewarded...with a friend and a champion...