Friday, January 31, 2014

OLRG: Old Milwaukee Style

The theme of this week's OLRG (Old Ladies Raiding Guild) is Tour Bus Style. In Azeroth, this world of Azerothian elites and "no gaijin" doormen, the OLRG is bound and honored to serve all of us who just want to see shit, and maybe, just maybe, make-out with Will Ferrel on buses:


But since we're all about breaking through, bustin' out, expressing our selves, dammit, let's shake things loose!
ATTACK HELPLESS IMPERIAL MOAT!
(no, really, click on this)
But - I have a big favor to ask: Can we try to get Momokawa's druid staff again, please? And I'll sit out for Penitent since my last click seemed to fail. And--can we maybe, just maybe try one of the first wings of Flex with my warlock, for Titan Runestones? She's so close…so very close…and if JD wants to bring his rogue to pickpocket stuff, that's cool, and maybe, just maybe let's go to ICC…

Anyway, Garrosh is hosting some parties, too, so perhaps all of you who enjoy the Horde side of things can meet up with him. He's having trouble with that paternity suit and all, and could probably use some cheering up. There are tons of mog contests going on, screenshot things, I still have a few ideas, and oh yea, got some Dear Matty columns I need to attend to, not to mention coin stories. In fact, about more than anything I wish I could stay home today. But alas, not going to happen. In fact, my job is stressing me out so much, I tried to raid (more on this later) last night, and looked up at myself in the mirror and the circles under my eyes were Stygian black. Maybe I need a dip in the Imperial Moat. Or an Old Milwaukee beer.

ANYWAY: See you all tomorrow, February 1, at 4PM Pacific. Can't wait!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Drunken Fish...

Damn my stupid sh*t sometimes, damn it all to hell! In my impulsive, misguided cleverness I changed the name of my little cottage guild, the one I share with my friend Señor, from the Drunken Fish. I miss it, and tried to change it back, but someone TOOK IT.

I am sorry, my dear friend. So very, very sorry. You do nothing but let me run that guild into the ground, goof around and capriciously change the name, and tell me the stupidest jokes I've ever heard. that crack me up. To make up for losing our guild name, yet again, here is something for you:




"Two Chips" / An Animated Short from Adam Patch on Vimeo.

#wowscreenshotaday February

I think I can manage this:
http://tycertank.blogspot.com/2014/01/wowscreenshotaday-february-2014.html


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wing-man

First: I am an idiot.

I had no idea until Turk told me that I could have purchased a second spec legendary cloak for Mataoka, which really would have helped lousy RNG healing gear luck.  I scrounged up 7K gold and off I went. And -- ! -- I had forgotten to turn in the last part of the Black Prince quest!

I won't give away the plotline, but the ending was thoroughly satisfying.

This is a terrible screenshot, but look at Wrathion's puppy dog expression! Oh sooo cute! Who's a bad dragon, who is? Who's a bad boy? *Toss skull bone*
And Tong, wait staff around the world, from barmaids in Ironforge to bartenders in Dalaran, cheered your last line:

No, Tong, indeed, he is not nice. Not nice at all.

But *swoon!* Look who added me to Google +! Garrosh Hellscream! Coincidence? I don't think so.

GARROSSSSHHHH SQUEEEE

Flex tonight was a mixed bag: Breige from Tiny WoW Guild joined us, and she's so much fun to hang with! She was a witness to some shenanigans. Not saying much else about it, but I will go on record as saying I love my women friends, I have always had women friends and co-workers, and if someone is being a ditz or asshat it's gender neutral for me. This old saw of 'women don't like other women' is a crock of shit. Using that as an excuse is casual sexism, and I won't stand for it. This aggression will not stand, man. The women on the flex team: you're awesome - Landica, you're funny, Hawt, you're a steely-eyed tank with nerves of steel, and for me, I'm funny as hell, (you just need to read raid chat) and Breige, always a darling.

Tome: you know I've got your back. Anytime you need something, call on me. Same goes for anyone.


If you listen to this and are still in a bad mood, you're effed up.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Intolerable Neural Itch...


When I went to my friend's house on Saturday and to catch up with some ladies whom I shared an amazing odyssey with years ago, a few things struck me, and hard: those painful observations which shouted to me emotionally, in many ways, we have nothing in common any longer. We still share the same profession, children around the same ages, but we are varying shades of life experiences. But not a single one has ever, not once, picked up a game besides Candy Crush and understand the seduction, the allure and siren song that is Azeroth or other MMOs. The hostess of the party does know my "deep dark secret" of playing WoW, and how it's interfered with personal goals, relationships, etc. And while she gently discouraged me from bringing it up, that meant I was also discouraged from sharing any of the success I've found from writing this blog, its stories and other ramblings.

Not sure how I feel about that.

From a website appropriately titled Virtual Shackles.
I keep going back to the word "addiction." The justifications and rationalizations we tell ourselves when we get deeply involved in relationship-- alcohol, gaming, gambling, shopping, eating, and yes, love. Many used to label me a 'workaholic' years ago, but I gave that up for Azeroth. We strive for those transcendent moments, those experiences of apotheosis and connection. That's a lot to ask of a little Draenei or Blood Elf, to hold our mouse-hands and lead us to the promise land. Drama Mamas even posted a painful plea from a player whose family member is neglecting all urgent responsibilities to play WoW. We've heard these tales before. And like all addictions, the upping the ante for more endorphins always seems to climb the same trajectory. We play more to get that same sensation, the same honeymoon feeling, and then wonder why we log off more depressed than when we logged on. I fondly look back to those first few months when I started playing, when my internal dialogue between Mataoka and the Sons of Hodir felt magical, or her trying to bolster the morale of the good Alliance soldiers, the steep learning curve of simple game play. But things do change, and change constantly, and I also can't help but do a parallel comparison between my professional life, personal life, and Azerothian one. Something's got to give. Overwhelming change at times, during my optimistic clarity, feels like a worthwhile challenge, a doable task, an adventure. When I am not feeling this optimistic clarity, I panic, log on, try to do something, achieve something, so as to assuage the guilt I feel for not accomplishing real life tasks.

But how can I explain that my real love affair isn't necessarily with Azeroth, but the story stream that plays out in my mind? And when I write it down, and hit the publish button, the deep sense of 'something is done' is an endorphin boost like none other?

CD Rogue and Mataoka in domestic bliss...
CD Rogue and I fuss at each other, quite a bit. I adore him, of course, and couples fuss at one another, that's natural. But most of our fussing and minor skirmishes could be avoided, however, if I hadn't started writing regularly, playing regularly, and just paid attention to him. The fussing comes from both simple and complex miscommunication. Simple in that basically, I am not allowed to sit on my ass and tell him things from the next room, or play WoW, or read Facebook, or anything, but look at him and inform him of things. His defense is that he listens to every word I say. *eye roll* Now please don't misunderstand. He completely supports my creative endeavors, totally, and wholly. And he's right: when I am informing him of the broken garbage disposal when my sake cup accidentally fell in and got ground up to smithereens, and I inform him I got most of the pieces out, and tried to hit the reset button, and it's still jammed inside, he heard this: "garbage disposal broken." Okay. He then tells me "the thing is jammed and hitting the reset button doesn't matter and blah blah blah repeating everything I just told him as if it were new information. Me, in my delicate, sweet manner: "I JUST TOLD YOU THAT." Cue: 15 minute discussion on communication styles. Bottom line: I should have left Azeroth for five minutes, gone into the kitchen, looked him in the eye and told him my complete diagnosis (which was accurate). Now, to illustrate subtext, we're having this discussion whist he is holding the largest screwdriver we own, a screwdriver which is used solely for when sake cups dive down the disposal and shards get ground under the rotary blades. I did have the passing thought about squirrels, knives, and Christmas Eve beer runs. The only thing harmed in this tale is one Pier One sake cup. I have others.

So the course of true love never runs smoothly. I saw this article this morning and it made me think about all the relationships we have, not just our romantic ones. These are meaningful questions that strike me as not unlike chocolate, a little is going to go a long way. Too much and a tummy ache may result. But these questions provide a purity, a simplicity, of navigating emotions (and they make for some damn fine writing prompts):

From Glenn Melton, Questions That Will Save Your Relationships:
When did you feel loved today?
When did you feel lonely?
What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?
What did I say that made you feel unnoticed?
What can I do to help you right now?
Universal truths lean toward predictable, the paradox being while they are cliche, they are also seeking transcendence: we want to be loved, we want someone to love us back. Where it gets messy and expensive is when we don't love the way someone else wants, and vice versa. Simple. I think I've linked this before, because often I feel like I am "cheating" when I play [too much] WoW, or avoid responsibilities to write [right now in fact].

Perhaps another question needs to be added to the above list:
Are you being true to your inner self today?



Watching amazing films is never a waste of time, in my opinion. Enjoy.


 
Apotheosis from GEE / JOSHI on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

OLRG: Que onda guera?

Say "Mortals Are My Cheese!" Yogg! Knee-deep in Yogg-goo….don't ask

Mr. Snerguls here: listen readers, I gots a headache 8-miles wide, or 13+ kilometers for you metric majority…Matty has so many posts she wants to write, so many adventures to share, but she's got a full agenda in and out of Azeroth today, and she left it to my skilled editorial webbed fingers to sort it all out, so fuggedaaboutit, capiche? I can't promise to stay in character either so like a traffic safety study blocking a bridge, you can complain all you want but nuttin' you can do 'bout it. These stories are her scribblings, and man that dame got lots of scribblings'…more than a tapole spawn in an early spring…so here goes:


The Little Mexican Store That Could…Not

There is a little Hispanic grocery store near where I work. It's hard for me to leave during the day, and even though it's within walking distance, I truly don't have a lot of time to leave. Kind of sucks. But thank you global climate change! A warm, soft day in January, and off I go to find pre-made horchata, and I had to buy some Takis for someone to whom I lost a bet. Takis are serious business, people. Don't know what those are? Turns out, two of my friends yesterday didn't know what those were either, and were not pleased when I teased them about it.

This is a bag of Takis:

Now some would say you'd have to eat them if you lost a bet, but they are delicious. When you're twelve. Anyway, off I go in search of horchata, the drink of youth, the elixir of the Aztecan gods, the nectar sung by the praises of Ozomatli himself! I went up and down the aisles in search of a canned version but all I could find were varying forms of Abuelita hot chocolate mix (which I drink all the time and it is EFFFING AWESOME), the Takis, and some amazing perfect bananas. (Must be having a potassium deficiency because I never eat bananas, but I have eaten every one of this bunch.)

Anyway, I go to check out, a young mother ahead of me with a toddler and baby in tow (what is that about kids? They turn to mountain goats and can climb steep candy displays with no effort, but take a nap? Not.) I ask the nice lady where it is, but my accent is so bad, so abysmal, I am not sure if I just asked for watery pantyhose or asked her out on a date. We get to the bottom of my request, and she points to a display around the corner, and I'm thinking there will be cans or bottles there, but no. I consider buying more bananas, but…she gets out from behind the cash register and points me over to the take-out food section where a rookie cash register lady is being trained by a veteran employee. Her make-up application (the vet) was epic. And this is where it gets dangerous, but I promise, I swear, no judgment. Really. Since I have been observing humanity from the time I could hold a crayon, I am fascinated by people watching. Women all over the world wear too much make-up. Bright blue and iridescent green semi-circles of eye shadow, dotted hot pink cheeks, red lip liner with pink gloss in the lines, and caterpillar-like false eyelashes. The thing is, like most of us women, we don't look too bad with a little spackle and paint, but too much is too much. Personally, I am a new woman with the right shade of lipstick, dark circle concealer and mascara. I was so mesmerized by the goddess I could not remember how to ask for horchata, and after several botched attempts at "rice water" "aqua de horchata" or "white water" they figured out they didn't have any, and offered the mango or guava juice instead. I chose those, but was too embarrassed to ask where the lids and straws where, and happily slurped my  juice, open lid, walking back to work. I didn't spill a drop. Takis delivered, bananas eaten, and I figured I would just keep going back until I get it right, but yes, feeling like an ass that something so close to me felt so far away.

Ulduar, can you hear me?
The OLRG ventured into Ulduar yesterday, and it was really fun: Tome hadn't been there before, and it is spectacular. We are not so much a raiding team as a tour bus: but seriously, get out of our way. I'll do a post about next Saturday's potential adventures, and yes, am going to try to see if I can get my DK on the Horde side gear up a bit more, not that it really matters. I know some fairly OP players! Stay tuned, good folks!
Are you there, Old Gods? It's me, Momokawa...
her
Last night we went to see "Her." I don't have enough broadband in the world to begin to analyze the parallels between our pixelized lives in Azeroth and a man falling deeply in love with his OS. If I casually walked up to friends and said, "I"m in a relationship with my draenei and night elves," I would be hauled off to the looney bin. But I have as much said that, and I have been seriously judged, and oh well. It's okay. I do "love" them, and the stories/narratives I create: the subtext of the movie was how deeply imperative and urgent our life narratives are. I'm not suggesting I think the future of relationships, love, and community are bright--I'm saying it gets just as complicated and just as simple as ever. We all want love, we want someone to understand us, and not a single entity can be that for any one person. We need friends, lovers, mates, children, (ours or extended ad-hoc ones). I would love a deep conversation about this film with my Azerothian friends. You may or may not like what it reflects back to you, and at times made me uncomfortable. The pedestal we build, and the clay feet we smash…oh damn, getting too serious. If you want a lighter side, check out Jonah Hill's parody when you have a chance.

But I have to add, this, along with other recent posts about the nature of community, has left me with lots of thought-thoughts having thoughts. 

Okay, see whud I'm talking 'bout? She just goes on and on! I go out for a coffee and canoli and the next thing I know she's written too damn much! Bah, whatevs. Snerguls…out. Gotta hot date with a murloc in another realm named Samantha…she sent me a pic and she looks like this:


Theme song: Think I'm In Love


Thursday, January 23, 2014

OLRG: Death By Squirrel

Sometimes, well, sometimes we wives, we get upset. We get disappointed. We get resentful, okay? We told him to go to the *@*#* store before it closes, we EFFING TOLD HIM, and he sat on his fat ass and went too late…and the next thing you know…

I have a statue of a squirrel. In fact, I have two. I am not the woman in this photo, nor has CD Rogue ever not gotten beer on a beer run when requested. Of any domestic issue, I can at least thank heavens that wanting to bludgeon him with a squirrel is far down the list. Kind of reminds me of this story, but this time it's a chicken. And there was no blood. At least I don't think so.

Okay, sorry. Maybe this lady needs a makeover? Who doesn't love a makeover?!?! 
Ah, looks like Kellda is going to get her roots touched up...

On Saturday, I'll be getting a makeover of my own, and a friend is having a reunion of sorts, so I won't be able to make it back by 4 - or I might, I just don't know. Doubtful though. They're not really dragons, these ladies: in that crowd, I am the only one who breathes fire on a regular basis. So here's what I'll do -- when I get home, I'll log on and see what's what. Anything is fun, and anything is awesome, when I hang out with the OLRG.

So squirrels, er…girls…and guys…I'll be around off and on. I should probably tell CD Rogue he might want to hide those squirrels next Christmas Eve though, just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nothing certain but Death Knights, Taxes, and Love...

Good things:

http://www.orcisharmyknife.com/2014/01/how-to-take-awesome-screenshots-part-1.html which promotes Hugh's from MMO Melting Pot's five-year epic project:


http://deathknightlovestory.com

Gets a little sessxxshy at the end, so won't be sharing it with the PG-13 crowd, but otherwise, pretty good stuff!


RTMT: Trash Talk


There hasn't been a Random Tuesday Morning Thought in quite a while! I was just thinking this morning before I tried to log on the maintenance hours haven't been a regular Tuesday thing, and voila,  here I am ready to turn in imbalanced coins on the characters who don't need them, cry over the ones who do need them, and shake my fist at the RNGs who have blessed me with so many alts, what's a mother to do? Ah well.

I'm not sure how I'm going to tie this in with Azeroth. Any attempt is going to be a thin stretch. Wait, I know: it's about how we learn new things, or about new things. One reason I keep coming back to Azeroth is to feed my curious cat (yes, it's been killed a few times, but hey, nine lives and all).

One thing I learned this weekend is more of a reminder: there are always two sides to every story. I haven't watched a single football game in years, not since the Seahawks last went to the Superbowl in 2005, and I only caught the second half of Sunday's. When they won, and the reporter stuck her microphone in Richard Sherman's direction, CD Rogue and I were kind of appalled at his trash-talk response. One of my friends even said he would use the clip as an example to his children of what not to do. Oh, heroes, HEROES! You are a complicated lot, you! Paladins and warriors are complicated, too. Sure enough, there is another side to this young man.

Also, my friend Señor told me to try horchata. Wait, first he said 'rice water.' Ugh! Gross! Rice water?! Something got missed in the first translation, and then he told me it was called horchata, and that I have heard of…okay, okay, I'll give it a try. Here is a recipe here in case I'm feeling ambitious.  But I'll probably just see if they have it at the store.

What else…oh yeah…I learned that a Sky Golem is kick-ass to fly around in! And that two of my college friends were in town last weekend and I found out through a mutual friend on Facebook, but it's all good - now I know! Hope to see them next time I'm in town. And what else? Oh, it's awesome to get dressed out of the dryer - a warm shirt on a chilly morning is just the thing. Anything else? Early morning meetings suck, but I knew that.

Onward, brave friends! Win that game! Drink that drink! Wear that shirt! May your Tuesday be amazing, and full of good loots and fun!



Monday, January 20, 2014

I'll take you there...

The other day, something came in the mail from my uncle that left me speechless. No, actually, not speechless: I burst into tears with relief. It was kind of a big deal.

Then today, Helke whispered me to come to her server. I was hoping she needed help with something, something worthwhile (because hanging out with a friend is far more satisfying than trying to bond in an LFR). I just started an Orc monk with golden brown eyes and a mischievious smile named Gergas on Helke's server, and --she opened up trade…and….

OH MY SWEET BABY MURLOC!


A Sky Golem.

really

Now, to get to get a Horde character to level 80 or transfer away. Helluva lot easier than 6,500 stacks of ore. Damn, somebody catch me now!


Oh yeah, and the Seahawks are going to the Superbowl. In case you were wondering. Trifecta of joy!

Tiny Story Time: Pennyroyal Tea, Revised Part I, Part II

Pennyroyal Tea
By Mataoka

Part I of III

The night before, while tending to resentful business, next to the iron bank vault, she spied a hibernating druid resting his bony bottom on the floor, encased in leaves, bark, twig and twine: all knotted up tight. Wound as a top, the energy entombed, potential power ready to pop. The iron leached the cadence of the forest from him, poisoning marrow, residing, tainted, and twisted. She saw that he was ill, and heard his raspy sleepy breath, and dared not wake him. Momokawa finished her duties, and discreetly cleansed the druid. She had a new portal spell she adored, and cast it without much thought. The magic did not work as intended, and she found herself in a grove of unintended consequences.

Acrid hazy air spun dusty spores onto the back of her neck, scuttling, skittering like tiny spiders, into the hidey-holes of her pores. Momokawa scratched the back of her neck, her fingernails and tips coming back a dry, baby-kind of brown dirt. This area where she landed on her roulette-wheel of a spell, the spell that would cast her to any area in the world promising of fat, lush nature sent her somewhere—she lost the word. Insecure? She looked up at the sky, and most of the trees covered the sun’s milky edge to the west, too low for summer at the time of day she believed it was, and uncertainty took hold. The hour never seemed to change. The air cotton-balled in her throat. Landing in the middle of a mushroom circle, not perfect, but a confident, I-Dare-You-To–Question kind of circle. The top of her head fit just under the tallest mushroom, and her kneecaps met the shortest of the lot.

The spores dug in further: the meadow straddled in that middle space between decay and regrowth.  Her hair blew around her face, unwashed but not unclean, but beginning to hold small grit from the air. She studied the circle, a bit shaggy in the corners, wondering why her odd spell would bring her here. It had never happened like this before, not one time. She usually transported to tired, wise green forests, so old and soaked with chlorophyll, transforming all living things to shades of emeralds, limes, celadon and citron. Verdant to the point of obscene. Mating in those woods was as natural as life spawns, budding in the open, spiraling fronds and dewdrops, all pistils and stigmas, coated with nectar and pollen. She often wondered why no elves lived there permanently, at least no permanent or stable community. The odd flight master or elder kept vigil, seemingly too ancient or daydreaming to care what visiting druids concerned themselves with under the shades of trees and hollows of brooks. Those old forests offered every protection from the outside world: no harm or fire ever touched them, and druids found no judgment there.

But this forest was old, too, and offered no protection.

Part II of III
In the mushroom circle, Momokawa felt near nauseous with disorientation. She heard running, the distinct crackling of brush and hardened lichen ground meeting sharp hooves, but could not tell from which direction the beast, or beats, came from. There, as suddenly being aware of one’s shadow, two of them, black, sooty stags running in unison, seeming to come near the mushroom circle but pulling away, just so, to the other side, and then back, and then away. Never traversing the circle. Momokawa gasped: Tirisfal stags. She was in Tirisfal. She felt both distress and comfort: these were the woods of the dead, of zealots and the damned, and these were the woods that still had living creatures. Shape shifting to her own stag form, she gave chase. Her creamy fur, with gold and pink baubles on her antlers, and soft wise eyes felt wrong and amateurish. The druids of the world enjoyed a healthy stag form, sickeningly incompatible with the Tirisfal dark form. Their eyes showed too much white, and their muzzles betrayed fear with the foamy sweat. A thought in the back of her mind made her queasy, imagining what they would look like in bear or cat forms. She gave chase, in that desperate friendly manner, and fearful, wondering what they were running from. They never stopped to graze, just endless diagonals through the forest and clearings. Momokawa surrendered—it was clear they saw her, and it was just as obvious they were not going to run with her.


Her ears pricked back to a loon’s call: if the gooey sun could be trusted, there was a lake to the north, and to the west, the city of the Lady, once a Night Elf herself. She was terrified as a little girl when her grandmother told her tales of the three sisters: one forsaken, one lost, and one in grief. She heard an odd thshlump sound, and the mushrooms disappeared. Momokawa instinctively put her hand to her belly, protected by a Pennyroyal leather belt. Nothing in, and nothing out.

Adventures in Strip-Mining

Look, some things…some things we just can't get around. Case in point: Heartichoke. Heartichoke must be a gnome with green hair, and a Death Knight. The name is too awesome to squander on a lithe Night Elf or sturdy Draenei. Heartichoke…damn little gnome, where are you? Stand up! Oh, you are standing up…okay…sorry, apologies…(clears throat)…you are much neglected character, my dear, and the size of my guilt is contrasted by your small stature. But what you lack in vertical achievements you apparently have in engineering skills: weeks, nay months ago, I must have quickly leveled your engineering skills and then promptly put you on the shelf.

Oh, the regret.

Oh…oh no.

You have every cool engineering skill possible, but have squandered days of cool downs. By now, you could have been Level 90 three times over just from mining all the ghost ore you need alone, not to mention the days of 24-hour spell timers.

(Which I hate.)

So, let's take stock, shall we?

 Geosynchronus World Spinner: Forget the Orbs for now - you can never afford them even for your JC mounts, so let's just put that on hold, much like your trip to Paris or new shoes.

Each bar of living steel takes 6 trillium bars. A trillium bar takes 10 bars of ghost iron ore.  Ten bars of ghost iron takes 20 stacks of ore. That means 6 trillium bars = 60 bars, or 120 stacks of ore. Okay, doable. I need twelve living steels, so that's 60 bars of ghost iron x12 = 720 ghost iron bars or 1440 stacks…wait, is that right?
 But these Jard's parts need ghost iron ore too, and have a daily cool down: each one of these requires stacks of ghost iron bars: 10 = 20 ores, so in order to make my rascal bot I need 150 bars, or 300 stacks of ore. Okay, okay. At least there's no cool down to make bars.

So for the Rascal Bot, too, I need 1800 stacks of ore to make 900 ghost iron bars to make 6 trillium bars to make one living steel.

 And then there's the Sky Golem. Add some more of those parts, and I need 30 Jard's, which equals 300 ghost iron bars, which equals 600 stacks of ore.  With me still? Not to mention the living steel, which will take 1800 bars (how come I feel like I lost the math thread somewhere?) or 3600 stacks of ore, or divided by 20, 180 bag slots available.

So: Just for Rascal, Sky, and Geo, am I looking at an ore tab of 6,840 stacks of ore: I know I didn't carry the five or come up with the Pythagorean theorem, but..

It's not like Turk didn't warn me well ahead of the patch, that I would need a ton of materials if I wanted this cool stuff. If I had listened to him, I would have only played my Death Knight, Paladin, and Shaman, who are all skilled miners, and done nothing but hit rocks in the hot sun all day. Kind of makes my real life stuff not so bad in comparison. Too bad I can't crowd-source these items. I don't really mind farming, just…that…oh well. I think the Rascal will be my first choice -- and thank you jeebus for friends like Tome who already gave me Pierre (whom I love). At least Pierre makes me pancakes with a smile.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

There Is No Need To Be Upset, My Roge*...

Someone near and dear to me shared this with me awhile back, and I shared it on Facebook, saying it was my "corn kernel." One of my Facebook friends understood the reference. I love her all the more for that.


*watch the video

In the States, this is a national three-day weekend for government offices, and many employers recognize it too, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Some states, however, didn't recognize it.  The gravitas of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s contributions do not resound as deeply as they once did. We still have work to do. I've been reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Let's just say Columbus Day never should have been a holiday. Nothing against the Knights of Columbus, mind you, but just saying.

But this post isn't about that. I have a three-day weekend, and I am selfishly going to use every minute to my personal, professional, and oh yes, Azerothian advantage.

Kellda + Cloak =Now.

Being at the Secrets of the Empire phase, Luperci dutifully went out and farmed some ore for her, (Mataoka's bags are too full, and Heartichoke can't fly yet.) Momokawa respectfully crafted trillium bars, and Kellda went in instance after instance seeking the Secrets. Not Victoria's Secrets, mind you: those are incredibly impractical:
For the love of God would someone please feed that starving child?

My warlock's been a bit off lately: however, in terms of gear, the RNGs have blessed this one bountifully--drops from Ordos rain down, LFR lovelies, and choices of swords, off-hands, and staffs abound. Valor points for upgrades? No problem. Like a VIP pass to a posh airport lounge, she has full access. But unfortunately, because of her human's slow fingers and sluggish hand-eye coordination, her overall damage is not nearly what it should be. Which may explain why, when seeking the assassination of one General Nazgrim, and the subsequent failure, she offered simple, direct advice of making sure adds went down.

And then a rogue simply, directly said to do more than 27K.

No need to be upset, my rogue! My rouge! My roge!

Oh, wait, what?! What?! Where are my damage meters? This is not possible! I'll show him! And sure enough, 28K, TYVM! I'll show him! I must have been chatting with a friend (yes, damage goes WAY down when in a conversation, but sometimes the chatter with friends is far more interesting than the pew pew), and I managed to get to about 93K, the General defeated, all was well, and only one Secret to go.

All this adventure, all this awesomesauce, while wearing the Pet Battle hat the entire time. 

Ironman? Hardcore Ironman? I say here's a challenge: go into every LFR with a Pet Battle hat and fishing pole equipped, and see how long it takes to get kicked. I just thank the heavens for once, ONCE, I kept my big pie-hole shut. I should send Good Sir Knight Z an apology note for my stupidity. Naw, never mind.

Anduin, I adore you more and more.

I must have too much on my mind that I forget something as simple as a pet battle hat. In my mental clutter, I need to dust something off:

Whose game is it, anyway?

Most players would agree that it's anyone who chooses to have a subscription. But then, in many discussions and philosophizing, I sense some fracturing and splintering happening. Who should be "able" to have access to the legendary cloak seemed to threaten or alarm some players. Who should be made to play with other players, be social? Or, who should be able to have strong opinions, and who should not?

But all this sturm und drang doesn't matter a hill of beans when those who lead us misstep, on occasion. For Blizzard, two statements stand out for me in terms of a company spokesperson being off-mark:

"This isn't the World of Dresscraft" and "boys' trip."
Q. We're going to see Draka, are we going to see Geyah? Since Zaela is going through with Garrosh, is Aggra and Thrall's little one going through with Thrall?A. We'll definitely see Draka, and we'll see Geyah -- although she's not really "Greatmother" Geyah at this point in history. But for those looking for Aggra, we won't be seeing her. Metzen says that that honeymoon period is over, and that this is more of a boy's trip.
He also says something about Thrall's story being too "touchy-feely." I know, right!? A character whose strength comes from his people and loyalties? Bah! Stupid Thrall. And Jainna?! Her whole world blows up, and all she loves dies, and she gets a bit angry, and folks start calling her a bitch? Come on Jainna, where's that pretty blonde mage we all know and love? Give us a smile, girl!

That's cool, Chris. That's cool. I'm sure the number of both male and female players who mog to their hearts' content have made a delicious crow pie for you to eat. And that Lewis & Clarke expedition was a "boys' trip" too, but would have had their nuts roasted if not for a little teenage girl with a baby on her back named Sacagawea.  And who needs to read Howard Zinn's book? Certainly the govenor of Indiana saw fit to ban it. Why provide access or inclusion when you can shut doors, or keep folks in the dark?

But no one cares about that sh*t. It's not Blizzard's responsibility to change the real world, is it? It's their mission to tell a good story, and by and large they do. Hmmmm. It does make me squirm a little bit that my hard-earned money sometimes goes toward someone who says things that make me feel uncomfortable in terms of my own values and beliefs. But I make the best decisions I can, and when voting with my consumer dollar, do the best I can. We can trace many products back to unsavory origins: I don't like Walmart, but I do like Target and Costco. Both have goods that may have been manufactured by workers who are not paid enough. Hell, there are social injustices all over the place! Damn, stepped in another one! Look out! There's one there, too! So if Mr. Metzen drops a few social landmines along the way, at least when they go off we can rez after a few seconds, and all is forgotten and forgiven. (CD Rogue knows, and every man knows, women…do…not…forget.)

Oh, damn, I didn't mean to make this a "very serious Matty" moment. DAMMIT! I'm going to go watch Doge feel better, because a world with flying lawnmowers and pretty dragons, it's all going to work out.

And it does.

Old Ladies Raiding Gulid: I adore you all.

No One Puts Momokawa in the Corner...

Postscript: thank you, Erinys, for this: http://harpysnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/what-the-future-holds-for-vereesa-and-jaina-idle-speculation-time/

Saturday, January 18, 2014

OLRG: Rescue from the Cold Edition

Poor little Grummle, getting his trail mix frozen...
And by cold, I mean head cold. I still feel a little bit punk: like I said, I never get sick enough to make it 'count,' just enough to be off my A-game. Temperature wise, tt's actually not that bad here now, and I think it's warmed up a bit in the middle of the nation, too. Apparently in Australia there are a bunch of Orcs and Tauren sitting on their fannies with no pants on. While I pass the mental eye soap, I really look forward to seeing you all and anyone who wants to join the Old Ladies Raiding Guild this afternoon, 4PM Pacific:

The Docket:
Okay - yes, I admit, though thoroughly burnt from Firelands, I would like to try to get the staff and the Only the Penitent achievement. Remember: put your pets away long before we get there, including warlocks', hunters', and mages' pets, and if Neo is there I'll let him call it out. I am going to watch the video Tome link a few posts ago again, too:


Then after that I have no agenda for today: it's up to all of you.

Do you want to try some of the first LFRs on the new expansion? Do you want to go to Sunwell? Want to go back to Dragonsoul and see what we can scrounge up some more achievements? Whatever you would like to do is fine with me. I just want that Grummle to be okay. (No, that's a lie, they bug the snot out of me.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Show must go on...

All week I've been just yuck enough, just blech enough, that I am well enough and have to go to work, but do so with a slight fever and stomach ache. I wish I could call in sick today, but I have too much going on, which is actually caught me in this stress-loop: I wake up anxious and worried about my job, and then can't sleep, and then…whatever. CD Rogue has been coming home from his commute absolutely deflated: he looks like a man whose air's been let out. The flu's been going around, and well - my shaman owes me. She knows she's been causing me performance anxiety: to compensate, she made me a get-well card:



Another thing that cheers me up is creativity. I saw this link to an artist named Libertad Delgado:

Disney Princesses in WoW themes! http://laughingsquid.com/disney-princesses-redesigned-as-world-of-warcraft-characters/ Cymre just posted this great Mulan homage: http://www.bubblesofmischief.com/2014/01/17/mulan/ If I could stay home today I would play with my pixel paper dolls….


Ah, if only.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grrrr. And Idea.

I finally figured it out, what  contributes to my current efffffthattude.

In my work we get new rock stars all the time. I used to be one of those rock stars. Meh, whatever. But I also recognize when I hit a plateau, and that has most certainly happened in Azeroth (and in Real Life).

But let's not talk about Real Life. Let's talk about my shaman problem.

Last night in Flex, my three trusty coins in my pocket (why don't I have more? Inflation.) Off we went: I made some tactical errors. Some? Okay, more than a few. First, I have no idea where in that mess of pixel vomit one is supposed to click on things to be a scorpion with the Klaxxi, so add watching videos to my list of things to do. (It's a fairly substantial list/) Second, don't ankh unless the RL tells you (Turk, you would be proud of me - I didn't die on the first pulls, but when was asked to switch to heals, died then). Third, don't wake up at 330 AM and not get back to sleep and then think you can make rational decisions and not misclick on coin rolls. Yup, I did that. So we finally downed Garrosh in Flex after four attempts, and there I was with empty pockets, and 19 gold. In fact, it's been gold and more gold for ten weeks. That the RNGs do not favor my beautiful shaman with current gear actually -- what?! -- has me down in the dumps and discouraged.

Don't cry Matty...
Like, "tiny tear welling up in my eyeball" discouraged. Listening to Vent chat for the first 10 minutes or so about how melee (MAY-LAY) is awful. (Mine in particular is especially bad, but that's another story.) I don't mind getting asked to go to heals when I want to do melee, because has 'everyone knows Blizzard hates melee.' But my healing weapon is still from ToT, a 502 level, and so is my shield, because every time I've tried to obtain a new one either in Flex or mainly LFR, the RNGs pull the gear rug out from under me, another reminder I am not allowed to play the character I want to play, or the way I want to play it. My heals were 50% of what the other two healers' were.

No one loves shammies. Even Cynwise provided some data:
From Cywise's Blog

We need more running heals, and not a limping combination of Spirit Walkers' Grace and heals, but true heals-on-the-hoof spells like every other healer in the game. No joke. How do I know this? Because I play every other kind of healer in the game. Druid? Toss leaves, go. Priest? Shiny shiny bling bling, same with paladins: Monks? Stop Drop and ROLL baby! Sure, our big totems drop a manabomb of luscious heals on the crowd, but it's short-lived and stationary. Baby, we were born to run!


Ascendance has an awesome spell, Stormblast, that looks like an AOE spell, but it's not.  Enhancement Shamans are so much fun to play, so much fun to watch, so unique in their niche in Azeroth, but I do fear they are neglected.



So - my idea.
I think it's time to devote one corner of this blog to being an enhancement shaman. LFR does NOTHING in terms of fight mechanics training, and I don't really know how to feel about that. I will never be up to the level of Cynwise or Vixsin but I also know if I don't take a hold of this, and soon, I will mourn the loss of a beautiful character in Azeroth. Perhaps my focus on enhancement shamans will renew the class, and encourage others to take this on, and maybe, it's my hope, Blizzard will consider a few love tokens our way.

Postscript: unless it's a dragon form, I'm not sure we need a new class. We need to make the ones we love better. Okay, Vykrul form would be cool too.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Freedom...

Power, not speed: steady, loyal, and true

For this week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic Dragonray asks:
What are your top 5 mounts – or just the ones you go to all the time because you like the way they ride? What are the ones you really dislike and can never bring yourself to use – does it rub against your collecting nature (if you have one) to buy all the mounts even though you know you will never use them?


Horses at Midnight Without a Moon

 
by Jack Gilbert

Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise 
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing. 
Our spirit persists like a man struggling 
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22888#sthash.fzM722Co.dpuf


A felsteed stays loyal to the end...

A tiny gnome grows large and proud...

A Night Elf returns to the light of Winterspring...

A timid priest and her familiar find a faithful friend...

The price of blood comes with loyalty...

And true love flees while truer love stays...
White War Talbuk

Rested XP

I gave myself one of those arbitrary boundary-settings last night: my Draenei sent me a text and told me to go on vacation, somewhere safe from tigers, pirates, and orcs, to touch textile world, and smell worldly smells. Already my resolve is weakening: a Facebook exchange, while polite and holding true to the protocols of polite debate, has my blood pressure shooting upwards. I am done defending my professional knowledge. I am weary and worn from fighting unseen foes and misguided understandings (that's saying it sweetly). I am deflated in my defense of the humanity of my life, and those around me. My metaphorical sword is dinged, and my shield pitted. I need a life buff.

Wait…maybe it's not Azeroth I need a break from? 

But I am going to try. I still want to try Flex again this week, and of course there is the OLRG shenanigans, which are so much fun.

Haanta is calling…just a few minutes before I go to work…just a few….

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Decollage of Draenei, a Dazzle of Draenei, a Drive of Draenei?

Draenei already look like demons, so….

Vidyala at Manalicious gave me an idea the other day - a complete set of Draenei: http://manalicious.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/draenei-a-complete-set/

I realized I am well on my way! Draenei can be:
1. Shamans
2. Priests
3. Mages
4. Warriors
5. Paladins
6. Monks
7. Hunters
8. Death Knights (limited per realm, though)

Notice anything? Glaring hoofism!!! No rogues? No warlocks? And the fel powers belong solely to those who would drink of the blood? Draeneis are like dolphins, I think--oh sure folks think they're all nice and "higher beings," but no, they are capable of anthropomorphic mischief, too. Draeneis would drink blood, wouldn't they? No? No warlocks? Fine. Whatever.



OLRG: Oathmaker Edition

I am not great at the whole "this is the shared topic week" thing - not sure why. I'm usually pretty good at calendars, enumeration, and transitioning into the "big picture" view too. In any case, I received this e-mail (I'm registered on the feed, of course) about my Blog Azeroth topic, and it was for the week of January 4-10:

Click here for website. (and post links)
And, lo and behold, dorky me, look at all those great posts! I also realized that when I reformatted my blogroll a few months ago, some great blogs mistakenly were missed, and I need to rectify that situation immediately.

Reading the posts is a treat: they are well-written and thoughtful. And it made me think, the Old Ladies have an oath of sorts, too. Imraith joined us on her warlock, and our numbers tipped just over 10, so we were in 25-man mode, and struggled with the volcano-hot-foot chieve. My version of being a 'fearless leader' is in reality more of "nagging scold," I say, "Never give up! We got this! Once more with feeling!" Give up an achieve because of one wipe!? Balderdash. Drop group because you feel squishy? NEVER!

So, to the OLRG, a draft of an oath:

When the forces of evil unite
We Old Ladies are up to the fight
Warchief or King, stand aside
Mount up! Mount up! Onward we ride!
No beast or monster is too strong
No keyboard mishap can make us wrong
No backwards Matty-shirt
Shall make us eat dirt
Or bugged locked gate
Shall give way to hate
No RNG meddling, or mog drop missed
Shall ever take over our desire to /kiss
No silly achievement choreography
Will make us forget simple geography
We are here because we want to be
And unlocking fun, we all hold the key

We the Old Ladies
Shall persevere
To make Azeroth OURS
We ARE the cool-kids' table
And shall make it ours as long as we're able!


Dragonray also has another challenge, with wonderful judges! Navi and Cymre put up links:
http://www.bubblesofmischief.com/2014/01/11/mog-the-world-in-80-days/
http://frostwolves.blogspot.com/2014/01/dragonrays-mog-world-in-80-days.html

And here is this week's current Blog Azeroth topic, Mountable Mounts. Check it out!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

OLRG: SPOILS TO THE VICTORS!

Uh huh.


Oh and the Seahawks won, too.

OLRG: Stormy weather...

Ve are gunna pump-u-up

Unless our power goes out (the wind/hail has been pretty fierce today) I'll see ya'll at 4PM to get our staffs on! 

…er….

Nothing personal.

If you look carefully, Kairoz is seen at the end of the Vision of Time film…roll credits...
Somewhere on a legal pad,whereabouts unknown, the draft for this post sits patiently, with detailed, bullet-point concepts. I don't know where that notepad is at the moment. At this current point in time, I'm playing Kellda, who needs  6 5 more Secrets of the First Empire, and 38 more bars of trillium. The trillium is easy: just some time farming and Momokawa can whip up those ghost iron bars before you can say "Malfurion's beard." Things in our control - wonderful. Things that the RNGs determine? Not so great.

But…those things in our control. That is the tough one to untangle. Even more difficult are the factors that are not in our control, but we are under the delusion they are.

Take for example: other people.

No, never mind.

See that handsome blood elf in her Instagram shot, Kairoz? Well, mark my words, he is up to something, in cahoots with the Prince. The Prince has been keeping Kellda busy trying to get her cloak, and in her evil ways she whispered to the human behind the keyboard, "Hey, psst…you should try to get one for your beautiful healer Zeptepi too, and maybe Luperci, Who Is Not A Fail Tank…and remember Momokawa? Sure, she'd like one too before the next expansion…those cloaks really do make a difference in spells and healing, so…."

Ugh.

Right now, at 9:10AM, I have tried to do the Forgotten Depths many times. Tanks leave, trash is inadvertently pulled, soulstones crushed, you know. Though supposedly the Secrets drop from newer LFRs, I have yet to see a single one, and these older raids seem to promise greater potential.  I am so frustrated with Mataoka currently - is her gear terrible? No. Is it good? No. Did it progress in step with the other Draenei and Human chicas? No, not at all. Finally Haanta received the Gorge Stalker belt recipe (after every PVP gear recipe and some professional leatherworking days with no recipes) and just said "Here ya go, toots…knock yourself out." I realized that I am at a plateau with that shammy, and that is depressing. Should it be? No--it's a game.

Thursday night my big GM whispered me if I come heal the normal. He did not have a chance to tell me it would be only until another regular raider logged on, or only temporary. I had just made myself some dinner, a big, greasy, cheesy plate of nachos, and my fingers were greasy, and won a healing mace in LFR (yes, it's been that long), and wanted to make a quick enchant for it, and he said fine, but hurry. Grease off fingers (as best I could), enchant on, no food or flask buff, and off I went. For some reason, during hotfixes and patches, my whole system goes to junk. That's my polite, lady-like way of saying it. I noticed during several occasions on different characters I would cast a spell and then "POOF" be somewhere else in game, or turned around, or upside down. Kind of makes it tough to heal or dps when one is randomly pixelized somewhere else.

I also noticed that many, many times I am promised the satchel, but since the coalesced zones, etc., the promise of this satchel rarely materializes:
Not only does it not work out, it "disappears" while waiting in queue: quite the bait-and-switch
This has happened perhaps ten times in the past two weeks. Yes, I need to inform Blizzard. Okay, I'll get to it. On my list. Along with finding the legal pad of notes. Along with everything else.

Anyway, back to cheesy fingers and priestesses: I did horrible. I had no idea where they wanted me to stand, no offer of food or warlock cookies, just hurry, hurry, hurry, and though it was only Immerseus, two players died, and I struggled. My fingers slid all over the keyboard, my nachos looked at me balefully, cooling and congealing, and it was frustrating at best. Oh, and course no good loot either. Baby needs a new pair of shoes, ya know. GM said regular raider logged on, thanks for the help, don't let door hit you on the way out. Don't blame him. (He didn't really say that--he's a nice guy.) But I was upset. I realized I hadn't reforged Miss HealyPants Wingbutt in a long time, and since I was waiting for the mace, didn't want to waste my gold. I went in to Ask Mr Robot, and H11oly HOT, Zep - EVERYTHING was wrong, down to the last stat. What.The. Hell.

And the nacho debuff didn't help either.

But even when players are knowledgeable, (I was going to say "we" but can't put myself in that category), things are still ridiculous and stupid. Tome must have known how I was feeling because she linked me this from WoW Misadventures. Even when we try to be in control, the expansive world of Azeroth does not allow us entry. Too many locked doors, too many gatekeepers.

Kind of bullshit if you ask me.

And by not saying "we" it is the truth: the other night two players were in Vent, and one player asked another about being a shaman. I am there, on my shaman, having played her for about four years, and no one asked me. Now, it could be due to casual sexism, that men in game subconsciously think other men are more expert than women, (men are always impressed when women do a good job tanking), or it could just be he had questions he knew this other player could answer. The thing is, I didn't speak up because keeping track of nerfs, buffs, stat changes and the like has become SO EFFFING BORING. (This is also known as: I had no clue.)

There. I said it. Take back my Geek Cred Card if you want. Cut it in half right in front of my face. It's boring, stupid, lame, annoying, and IDGAF. (Figure that one out.) Wait. IDGAFF.

None of these things in Azeroth, however, can be taken too personally, if at all. We play with people we like, and we forgive them, and they forgive us.

Can't wait to see you all, Old Ladies.