Saturday, November 12, 2011


Few things on my mind lately, and I'm not sure how to quilt them together. It seems that most things in life are uncontainable: I get one aspect under control (regular exercise/diet) and another falls apart (battery dies, unexpected bill). Life is a lot like whack-a-mole for me.

One thing I thought I had under semi-control was that damn shaman.

Trust me - I am under no illusions that Blizzard is out to keep a steady stream of income flowing--they are a business, and a breathtaking business model at that, and for all that is right and ingenious of making bank, hats off to them. No sarcasm, no anything. Sell entertainment at a moderate cost and keep it going. Crack dealers could learn a thing or two. No one gets hurt, and there is no rehab necessary. The worst that may happen is the beds don't get made and dinner is late, but hey...what else are microwaves for?

In other words, I know that "she" would not be contained for long, and with the next patch, there will be new content to seek out.I know that there will be all kinds of new instances, new ways to learn something, new content, gear, and quests. Fantastic!

My issue is this: right before Ragnaros the other night, my GM asked me to change my mouse style. I have had training from an elite young druid, who in fact has downed heroic Ragnaros (I say this to add some professional clout to my comment or situation), and he helped me reconfigure the key bindings to be spells and quick movements predominately on my left hand, and use the mouse for adjustments/movement on my right as needed. Now, I grew up in a time when being taught to type the QWERTY method- I know exactly where each of my ten digits should go, and am a fast typist. If I do fail, or don't get out of fire fast enough, it has more to do with a bad habit of mashing, or spazzing. Nothing more. These are the typos of the game, and there is no spell or grammar check to get me out of the fire. I am pretty sure, but wouldn't bet gold on it, that in fact, NO, I did NOT get hit by the hammer in phase two, but someone did, and what wipes one in that fight wipes all. I'm not saying I didn't stand in the fire once, but I did run. Did you? Or you? Or, hey you in the robes, you?

My real-life job constantly involves looking at what is working, what is not, and how to change it. And here's what I've learned in seven years: it just doesn't matter.

Now, I don't mean that apathetically. I mean it philosophically - there are failures and successes, and it only matters in terms of our own tiny narratives.

As my cross-dressing rogue said the other day, and I quote him: "No one knows what they're doing, and no one is in charge." This is his impression after reading the Steve Jobs biography.

Most of life is just that: plain dumb luck. Period.

Now, as far as applying this to game play, here are three things that affect my style:

  1. Practice does help. I fail when I fall back on my bad habit of mashing spells. This is my worst habit by far, and one (until this post) is invisible to my GM. Mashing comes from being fatigued, spazzing out, and panicking. My other really bad habit is yes, movement. The fire tornado things have killed me on Alysrazor the three or four times I've been in that fight. I wish there was a practice run I could take that simulated the real instance. (Oh, wait, is that what PTRs are for?) I survived for one fight, but because of real life stuff, could not go into raids on a consistent basis every week. Which leads me to my next point:
  2. Consistency: The more I play, the better I get. When I have to skip a raid night, perhaps it's exponentially detrimental. But I think that's true for the whole raid team. I cannot remember many nights when everyone was "there," the same players, the same slots filled. This cannot be ignored. I'm not sure what's to be done about it, but I will offer my GM this sacrificial goat: if I am not the shaman you need, let me know in a conversation outside of the raid. I understand your frustration with all of us. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar, so if you need to replace me, let's talk. 
  3. Life and Game distractions. There is an inherent guilt associated with playing and not meeting other responsibilities. Everyone in life has responsibilities, duties, and other callings. Work, school, children, spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc., all want our attention, too, but those little pixels sing quite a seductive siren song. My friends know that I love movies. I haven't been 'keeping up' on new releases and obscure films as I have in the past simply because Azeroth is like making a movie on the go--the story unfolds as I play. I plan on finishing A Paladin's Tale this weekend (no...not writer's block exactly, just need to make some tough choices). 

Looking forward to:
Bible of Dreams added her Friday Five - a list of things she is most looking forward to in 4.3. It's a succinct and articulate list. Manalicious added her research on mage gear and wardrobe changes. A mage is one higher level character I do not have, although it's been on my mind, because for our Classy Draenei achievement for the guild, I've given them a hunter, and am currently working on a warrior. Perhaps our GO human mage will go draenei mage just for a day, twenty bucks be damned. Doubtful, so I guess I'd better roll another draenei mage because little gnome-chica mage Heartychoke with the green hair may have to go in for some plastic surgery.

Or, just wait for transmog. Patience, little shaman, patience.

Theme Song: Golden Years/David Bowie (back when there was no shame in lip syncing)

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