Archive for the “Everyday WoWing” Category

So… people say skiing is easy.

P1000539

Does this look like the face of a competent skiier to you?  Because, to me, I look like I am about to pee my pants in absolute terror of falling over.  It didn’t get much better from their either… My first fall (which was my only ‘proper’ fall, I must admit’ resulted in me crashing into my sister and taking her out.  Of course, we both just laid there in the snow laughing for about 10 minutes while we waited for her boyfriend to help us up.  My second fall was when some random guy crashed into me, took me out… and made me fall on someone else as I went down, taking them out… very messy!!! 

The third fall was probably the best.  My sister and I decided that we were getting kinda chilly, and we weren’t confident enough to ski down the slopes since the visibility had dropped to next to none.  I had the brilliant idea of skiing down the road, like I could see other people doing.  I made my way merrily down the hill, and then suddenly realised I was at an incredibly sharp corner… with an oncoming drop.  Yipes.  So, rather than try to get around the corner (and probably not turn enough and go plummeting off the edge), I decided to run into a giant wall of snow that would have been at least as tall as me.  My sister then tried to come down to help me, and managed to stack it in the snow about 8 metres up the hill behind me.  Of course, I had to get up, pick up my things, toddle all the way back up the hill, pick her up, and find her things for her and pick them up too… I think the fall kinda scared her.

I think she described it as ‘You were going down the hill, and it all seemed to be fine… then you suddenly turned 90 degrees and faceplanted into the snow wall’.  I am nothing if not dignified.

 

Also… all the pictures of blonde alpine beauties are also a lie.  You know how they run around in their ski jackets and stuff that makes them look shapely (and a lot less like a blob, which is what I look like in the above picture)… and they have this long, flowing blonde hair that always looks gorgeous and just brushed and glowing?

Well…

P1000556 I think more appropriate descriptive terms would be manky icy hair that looks… well… manky and icy.  Especially that GIANT LUMP OF FRICKING ICE that attached itself to me.  Of course, my hair was also constantly freezing itself to my jacket, so whenever I moved I made weird little squealy sounds of pain.  Tomorrow I am wearing my hair in a bun.

It was pretty fun though, even if I did drive the ski instructor nuts with my inability to make pizza legs properly :-) 

 

And, since we all like pictures….

P1000551My sister and I.  The weird thing all Japanese girls seem to do in photos with their fingers is clearly contagious.  I also have an epic case of beanie hair, and the bags are the result of a horrid sleep on a futon mattress.  Urgh.

P1000549I don’t remember exactly what happened here… but it’s scary.  The person lying on the ground is my sister’s boyfriend… she is the one doing the questionable movement in front of him.

  P1000548 Um….  See the whole ‘arctic beauties are clearly a lie’ thing?  Scary stuff.

 

I might post more photos from my trip later on :-)  I think these are horrific enough as they are!

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I was doing a spot of reading here and there, and I read something that didn’t quite ring true to me.  Nothing unusual for the internet, just one of those random comments you see on news articles about celebrities occasionally “I’m six ft tall, blonde, thin and gorgeous, and look JUST like this celebrity, only hotter!” yadayadayada.  Anyway, it got me thinking:

What are some of the white lies (or perhaps not so white?) lies we tell in WoW? 

I know I can think of a few I have done:

– “Of course I am defense capped!” (I was only a smidgen off!)

– “Yep, I have run this heaps of times… I know what I am doing!”

– “I don’t have a healing offset, sorry”

– “What do you mean, ‘Did you repair before the raid?’  Of course I did!” (as I heal with broken pants)

– “I know I have a flask in these bags somewhere…”

– “I am confident I can do x amount of DPS” (While thinking ‘OMG OMG I am so boned’)

– “Ooops, the cat just jumped on the keys.  Sorry!” (to be fair, this one is also sometimes true)

And a couple I have been sorely tempted to do….

– [Alt + F4] “Oh no, I’ve disconnected!  I can’t get back in!  I guess you’ll just have to replace me”

– “Whatever gave you the impression I’m a girl?  I’m a guy, seriously” (OK, OK, so sometimes I think it would be easier to pretend I’m male in certain groups.  Is that really a crime?)

And some I have seen….

– “Well, my main is [insert class here], and I’d just like to say, you’re doing it all wrong”

– “I’m a girl, honestly… that’s my male roommate talking on vent for me”

– “I always Main Tank for my guild, and I never have aggro problems with them”

– “I did not fall asleep at the keyboard!”

– “I’ve had 30 drinks before raid… lets go!” (what is it with people exaggerating how much they have had to drink to a STUPID extent!?!?)….. (although, when raiding with Aussies, this may actually be true.  There is no Aussie in Moderation).

 

What sorts of white lies have you told in the game?

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Twitter was all aflutter this morning at an ‘article’ published on World of Warcraft’s European site, about a couple of female gamers who do art and stuff.  And who play WoW, obviously.  I had a quick peruse of the article (and I suggest you do so as well), and it’s really just your basic fluff piece.  You know “Ooh, these girls play WoW and make art and stuff”.  Nothing especially exciting or interesting, but there you have it.

Well, of course, as I looked at Twitter in my half asleep daze, I saw people complaining about it everywhere.  “How DARE they say females playing WoW are uncommon!”, “Why did they have to choose two super-casual players who draw, rather than hard core raiders?”, “Why does it even matter that they are girls?”.  In essence, I really got the feeling that most people saw it as a way of isolating women within the community and drawing attention to the things we apparently have been trying to patently ‘fix’ for however long.

1.  There’s heaps of girls who play WoW!

Sure, there is.  I know plenty of women who play the game.  However, proportionately… a lot more men play WoW than women.  Sure, we have enough girls in the game that we can have female only guilds, that most people raid with at LEAST one other woman, but we all know the game is somewhat skewed to the male side.  Various studies have put the game anywhere between 16% to 45% female.  I’m personally inclined to believe it is somewhere in the middle of those 2 ranges… the 16% was from 2005, and I think the female player base has grown since then.  However, 45% seems excessive, almost ridiculous.

So, sure, there are a lot of girls who play WoW.  We aren’t a ‘minority’ anymore, so to speak.  However, I would not go so far as to say there are just as many girls as there are guys.  So, this feeling people are getting that Blizzard are saying ‘There’s less girls who play WoW than guys’?  That’s because there probably IS.

2.  The headline ‘Girl Power’ is not an attack, ladies.

Blizzard using the words ‘Girl Power’ isn’t undoing all the ‘hard work’ (may I ask… huh, what?  Burning our pixelated bras and choosing wrinkly faces or something?) girl gamers have done over the years.  Pointing out that yes, these people are female, isn’t the same as saying ‘and that is the most noteworthy thing about them’.  Headlines do not equal articles.  Only one of their questions actually drew a distinction between the experiences of a male and a female player (and there will always be a difference.  Just as there are differences in our experiences everywhere ELSE in the world!).

The thing I find most amusing is that many women who vehemently complain about this sort of distinction being drawn are often the first ones to point out that they are female.  Ladies, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  And, really, does it matter?  For instance, I have read MANY good blogs where the fact the writer is a female is discussed in the name of the blog (Chick GM, Girl Meets WoW… damned if I can think of a current example that is still being updated).  Neither of these websites make a point of saying that being female is a benefit or a detriment.  Being female just is.  It’s not something to rub in someone’s face “Ooh, I beat you at PvP, and I’m a GIRL!” nor is it something to use as an excuse “I suck, but that’s because I am a girl”. 

3.  Urgh, by choosing casual players, they reinforce the whole ‘Chicks can’t raid!’ idea!

Um… huh?

I just read the article as ‘look at these two artists’.  I really thought it was about their artwork, not their raid style.  We all know there are chicks out there who raid.  Hell, there are whole guilds dedicated to both sides of the coin (Female only guilds, Male only guilds… all the same.  Although why is one socially acceptable and not the other, I wonder?)  I honestly believe the average WoW player knows that girls play.  That, my goodness, we DON’T suck.  The last three guilds I have been in have been LED either fully or in part by women (entirely a coincidence, by the way).  The guild I raid with has several women who are active raiders (and yes, we are competitive with the men… except for maybe me.  WTB new gear!)

At the end of the day, I really don’t think this article has in ANY way put down female gamers.  We have much more important places to be pointing the finger when it comes to sexist stereotyping and marketing.  I also think it takes away from the achievements of these two ladies when we complain about the article.

I’m a girl.  I play WoW. 

Does making that statement immediately mean I am ‘putting back the cause of female gamers’?  I think not.

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I was kinda reluctant to post about this to be honest.  I think that it has been talked about on most every blog out there, and I really have nothing new to contribute to the conversation.  But, hell, it’s been a slow week, I have little to talk about on my Warlock, so here goes.

Pets.

For money.

Ho hum.

I can’t even really define what the mass reaction is.  I don’t think there is really a mass majority in one camp or another.  There isn’t even a majority in the ‘I don’t cares’.  But, I am sure it will be a massive success for Blizzard, who can not make enough money off us it seems.

Now, don’t get me wrong…  I’m not saying that I dislike this.  At first, I was all like:

Reptar

ZOMG RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!  How DARE they make a pet where all you have to do is buy it?  That is the STUPIDEST thing ever!  Where is the fun?  Where is the reward?  Where is the OMG I FARMED FOR FRICKING HOURS AND I FINALLY GOT MY OOZELING AND OMG SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Instead, we have something akin to

“Hey… I think I have ten dollars left before I max out my credit card.  I am totally going to blow that cash on a set of pixels.  Yeah”

But then, well… I kinda got over it.

And then I had a thought.  Which led to another thought.  And another one.  Next thing you know…

Sar TV!  In which Sar seeks to educate you all about things which cost about $10.  And stuff.

NOTES ABOUT THE VIDEO:

- I misuse the word ‘exponentially’ once.  I was having a brain fart moment, it’s been a stressful week, give a girl a break!

- It’s blurry as all hell.

- If you were wondering, the cats’ names are Kamiko (the tabby) and Suki (the white fluffy one – pronounced Soo-key, because it’s NOT THE JAPANESE WORD).

- Yes, I have got a fat roll.  I blame the Chupa Chups.  And the coke.

- It’s been a while.  I’m out of practice.  And I was never much good anyway – just ask the trolls!

- Stupid microphone on camera hates me.  I suspect it’s because someone hasn’t actually installed the drivers or something *looks innocent*.  So, I have to wear my headset.  And yeah, I know, the sound quality sucks.

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So, I have been sitting here, scratching my head, trying to think of something to write about.  I haven’t written anything at all Warlock related for a while now, and as I was pondering what on earth I could say that was new about Warlocks, some comments from other bloggers and readers have come to mind.

    • Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted about <insert class here>
    • There seems to be a lot of ‘General WoW Blogs’ cropping up.
    • I just can’t find anything new to say about <insert class here>
    • I’m finding it difficult to define my audience now/It is hard to tell what my audience is looking for
    • I can’t find myself a niche anywhere!

The fact of the matter is, content becoming more accessible has killed what many bloggers write about.  Now, I am not saying that accessibility is a bad thing… it’s just harder to write about something which is talked about everywhere already, because, hey, everyone is doing it!  I have never been one for writing guides anyway (seriously, a guide from me comes out drier than a piece of burnt toast, and just as nasty tasting), but in BC I kinda had a little niche of my own carved out.  I didn’t really see too many other Destro Warlocks out there blogging about end game content.  ‘Twas just me (and probably a billion zajillion other people as well that I just happened to miss!)  Perhaps it’s because no one else could see the potential in blogging about a class with a one spell rotation (believe it or not, that one spell rotation led to some insane theory crafting.  When your rotation is THAT simple, you have to min-max everything to the millionth degree, or people are totally on your ass about it). 

And, hey, I was proud of myself for being in end game content.  That sounds completely dicky, but it’s true.  I mean…

    • I had never played a computer game before WoW except The Sims.  And a little Warcraft: Orcs and Humans waaaaaaaay back in the day.  Like when I was 12, or how ever old I was when that came out.  And I totally sucked balls at it.  Still do. (Of course, since I started playing WoW, I have also played some DotA.  I suck at that as well.  Figures)
    • When I started playing WoW, I was the world’s BIGGEST noob.  I had no idea what I was doing.  You know the stereotype of ‘Chick starts playing because her boyfriend does.  She totally fails, and he has to help her out with everything.  People think she is a ditz’?  That was me!
    • I have NEVER been one to dedicate myself to grinding stuff.  Blah.  Grinding?  How is that fun?  Of course, everyone told me that to succeed in end game, you had to grind.  I guess I proved that wrong.
    • And, since I am totally one to brag, using the ‘Gear+Skill+PC/Connection+Spec = Performance’ equation… I totally kicked Warlock ass during BC.  Gear?  Definitely never as good as the other locks in the guild.  PC/Connection?  Hello, laptop running at 10fps on a 1500/250 broadband connection!  Oh, and using wireless?  Yet, I still out-dps’ed most of them more often than not (except for one, who I was always neck and neck with… and his gear was sooo much better than mine!)  /strokes epeen

Now, well…

I guess I am in ‘end game content’, depending on your interpretation.  Certainly the accessible level of end-game (no hard modes for me, no sirree).  Somewhat like the rest of the raiding population.  What can I say about that which you don’t already know?

DPS wise, I am very ‘meh’.  Totally unreliable damage.  When I get my rotation running sweetly, I can get up there with the others.  When I can’t, well, it all goes to shit.  Not to mention, my gear, well… it’s not of a standard that you would expect at this point in the game.  So, I am hardly qualified to talk numbers when my own are so all over the place.

I don’t talk strat.  That’s what all these other sites are for, not to mention that the strats are so darned straight forward that there is no real point.

I feel like I have gotten way off topic here, but essentially – I understand where this ‘so what the hell do I blog about?’ slump is coming from.  While accessibility and homogenisation are no doubt good for the game and the community, it makes it damned hard to write!  And, that, my friends, is why so many blogs are changing focus.

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So, I kinda blurted it all over Twitter before I even got to write a blog post about it.  Whoops.  hence, you all kinda know this, but no one knows the full story.

One, somewhat drunken night (being Saturday night just gone), I finally did something that I have been tempted to do for a long time: I cancelled my accounts.  Both of them.  The alt account finishes in just a couple of days, and the main one finishes on the 10th of October.

Why?  Well, it’s pretty simple really: I just got tired of the game.  I haven’t been enjoying it.  Every time I log in I feel guilty about not getting this, that or the other done, about not being prepared enough, about not having gold… I just don’t have fun anymore.  Even raiding seems to have lost its lustre.  I don’t know whether I am craving something a lot more hardcore, or what it is.  At the moment I spend about 20 hours a week raiding between my 2 servers, which I consider to be an awful lot of hours put in, but I don’t seem to feel any sense of satisfaction at the end.  You know, the ‘We just did a really hard fight and I am SO fucking proud of everyone’ feeling.

And the grind is god damn killing me.  Why do they keep adding more shit to grind?

Things I Like About WoW

Things I Hate About WoW

Raiding – Nothing is more fun to me than running around with 10 or 25 people beating the absolute crap out of things (or healing them while they do it) Raiding – there doesn’t seem to be the sense of satisfaction that there was in BC in downing stuff, and the harder bosses just feel gimmicky (think – Faction Champions)
The People – all my guildies are awesome, and the guild I raid with on Hermia are almost like a 2nd home in themselves. The People – pugging crap on my Druid constantly made me realise just how much the average person in a pug sucks ass.  I think it’s the feeling of ‘I don’t know these people, so I can treat them like shit’ that does it.
Blogging – I love this blog.  I love the people.  I kinda waxed lyrical about this last post. Blogging – sometimes, I’ll admit, it feels like a chore.  And sometimes it’s hard to come up with new stuff to talk about!
  Daily Heroics – I don’t like doing heroics.  They are boring and stupid.  Why do you make me do a god damn heroic every day?
  Daily quests – see above re. Heroics.
  Time sinkiness – to do everything I should do in the game, I would have to play far more than I do.  And I would have to turn the game into a chore.  Yuk.

 

So, WoW has until the 10th to try and balance the table, or swing it back to the other side.  If it can do that, I’ll resubscribe to my account.  After all, I do love this blog!

But, what can WoW do to make me love it again, like I used to?  To bring back that ‘honeymoon’ feeling?

  • Make PvP fun – LOL.  Never going to happen, I am just not wired to enjoy PvP.
  • Reduce the grind – OK, so making gold has always been a bit of a grind.  I have never had a decent amount of gold for that very reason!  However, I don’t enjoy grinding out badges to get current gear, either.  Let me get my gear the old fashioned way – by raiding!
  • Just be fun already – nothing feels fun or fresh anymore.  Cataclysm may fix that, but I suspect it’ll just be the same old stuff in a fancy new wrapper.

Not sure why I am disillusioned, but I am.  However, don’t unsubscribe yet – there’s still hope!  Not to mention, a few possible fixes for the blahs that I am pondering, if I have the courage to do them ;-)

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I don’t know what it is though.  I still love the game as much as I always have, but I just don’t feel motivated to do anything that I am required to do.  I used to be able to do the bare minimum that was required to get by, but now I can’t even do that.

What am I talking about?  Dailies, of course!

My anti-daily stance has always been pretty well known.  I really do not believe in logging in to do a boring monotonous task which I would rather not be doing.  I don’t pay $15 a month to do the equivalent of house work.

Now, I feel like there is even more pressure to do all these things I really hate doing.  I have next to no gold on my Warlock, and the list of things that I need to do is piling up like crazy.  I don’t have enough of the stupid new badges, because I don’t do the heroic daily (hello?  I graduated from heroics when I started raiding, and have no interest in them!  Why do I have to do them now?)  It’s getting to the point where it is ruining the rest of the game for me because I log on, feel immediately guilty about not doing all the boring crap, get frustrated and then log off.  And end up in situations just like tonight… it’s raid night, I have no gold, no consumables, and the thought of doing dailies makes me want to go and shoot myself.  Seriously… I spent all day cooped up marking exams and compiling statistics – the last fricking thing I want to do is dailies!

I love WoW.  I love raiding.  I love goofing around with friends.  But boy oh boy do I hate having to do pointless repetitive crap to get anywhere in this silly game!

(PS – I also hate the Faction Champions fight too.  And I hate that anyone who asks for help with it on the forums or asks questions about it is told that they are a noob.  Growl)

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So, once again, I am planning on getting back to levelling my Druid.  She is a mere 72 at the moment, but hopefully some hard work and a couple of weekend’s worth of spare time will change that.  Of course, Sar will be my main (as always) and I will try to get back to more Warlock based content here, but it is very difficult to write about a character and a class that I get very little time to play.

Basically, Saresa is dead in the water progression wise.  I have been told in no uncertain terms (and I totally understand why) that I am not really welcome in Ulduar – I am too undergeared, my latency and tendency to suffer lag spikes means I am considered too unreliable, and I just don’t put out the numbers they require thanks to those two things (plus a certain amount of Failboat thrown in for good measure).  Unfortunately, Ulduar is all that people raid on the days I can make it, so there is little I can do about the situation.  My options are basically either to pug, change guilds (again!), or find something else to occupy my time.

So, the levelling of alts shall begin.  First will be my Druid obviously, who I am levelling as Feral, but intend to change to Resto as soon as she hits 80.  The only real reasoning behind this is that my guild has a plethora of tanks, including 2 Druid tanks, but we have no tree healers.  The faster I can get her levelled up, the faster I can start to learn the ways of the flailing branches.  Feral will always be my real love when it comes to Druiding, but, well… I am more than happy to give Resto a try since it doesn’t involve rolling Lifebloom like a trained monkey anymore!

Then, since realistically I shall have about as much as I can do with her as I can with Sar at 80, I’ll move on to my Priest.  Then the Mage.  Then maybe the Hunter.  I plan to have a veritable ARMY of 80’s by the time the next x-pac hits!

… Let’s see how long this lasts before my hatred of questing kills the plans.

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will be announced as soon as I can get this damn video working. I’m sick, so my brain is not working properly and I am having trouble with the whole thing. Sigh. The winner has been emailed though – just to ruin the suspense for y’all.

<3 Sar

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I have a secret I have to spill

.

..

It’s really hard to come back to World of Warcraft.

There.  I said it.  Done bun can’t be undone.

I always thought that quitting WoW would be one of the hardest things.  It’s kinda like when I gave up chocolate for a year – I thought it would be near impossible.  People said I wouldn’t last a week.  Sure, I cheated a little… I ate Nutella, I still ate chocolate cake, but I didn’t have any real, honest to God bonafide Chocolate for a whole year.  By the end of that year, I wasn’t really hanging for chocolate anymore.  I had kinda gotten used to it!

Well… I have found myself a Nutella.  I have found myself a chocolate cake.  While I haven’t been able to play WoW, I have played some Warcraft III.  I have re-read all my books.  I have immersed myself in my (frankly demanding) job.  Finding the time to get WoW and blogging back into my already cramped schedule has been difficult.  Almost impossible.  If I didn’t need to sleep, then sure, it would be fine.  But I look around and see that I still have to vacuum the house, I haven’t finished unpacking from when I got in last night, I have a load of washing waiting to be hung out and another to go in the machine, and my car needs washing.  WoW is slipping further and further down the list of priorities.

This doesn’t mean I will be quitting.  No sirree.  It just means that I will be coming back to the game, and to the blog, on my own terms.  I won’t be letting other things slip to make sure that I have an entry up every day.  I won’t be ditching social engagements because I had a raid to go to.  I certainly wont be slacking off on my job to make sure I can keep up here on the blog.

61089116.TheDeepEnd_35169

I tried to play the other day.  I got caught up doing all the things I found exciting when I first played – fishing to see what I would catch, cooking to see what I could make, running around just LOOKING at things.  I tried to raid, and it was like learning how to walk again.  I couldn’t remember my key bindings.  I had trouble working out spell rotations.  I was so busy focusing on where the hell all my buttons were that I couldn’t even watch what I was doing.  My situational awareness was well and truly fubared.  I was so stressed out about what damage I might be doing or not doing that I died continuously.  It’s not fun being thrown back into the deep end.

I figure I will be back to my usual blogging maybe in a month or two.  Hell, I might be able to blog most every day regardless!  I just can’t get WoW back in my life properly.  When I do log in I feel at a loss for something to do, I am out of rhythm and step.  Quitting WoW cold turkey is bloody hard.  Getting back in like nothing ever happened is harder. 

… I sound like one of those ‘Quit’ smoking ads.

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