Archive for the “Rants” Category

Where in your lovable Sar goes ballistic about something

I don’t care when Cataclysm comes out.

I don’t care what happens in it.

I don’t care if it is all new and shiny and everything in between.

Why?

Because I am already sick to death of hearing about it.

Today, I unsubscribed to almost every single WoW blog I read.  You in the beta?  I don’t read you anymore.  You talking about stuff that’s in the beta, or the PTR, or anything else?  Sorry, on the hit list.  I’m sticking my head in the sand and waiting for this to all pass me by.

I realised I was having a bit of a weird reaction to the plethora of beta news that’s floating around when I had a rather snippy reaction to someone today.  “Have you seen the awesome lock changes?” they ask me.  “No, don’t know, don’t care!” I growled.  Wait, what?  Since when do I not care what is happening to Warlocks?  Since when do I not care whether things are good or lame or what have you? Well… since people started nattering on about it constantly.

There’s only ever been one real reason why I’ve been excited about Cataclysm coming out, and that was because I thought Wrath was a stinking pile of felhunter poop.  Anything to get away from the expansion that I have had so much difficulty enjoying.  I don’t care about what is actually happening in Cataclysm, so long as it’s more interesting than Wrath.  I don’t much care about class mechanics at this point, so long as they come out OK in the end.  Stuff gets changed, and changed, and changed again before it makes it to live, so I’m not going to bother my pretty little head about it now.  Sure, it may be exciting to some, but at this point… it’s kinda like having a friend narrate the whole plot of a movie to me without me being able to watch it.  And yeah, I know I could download the PTR and poke around, but I can’t be bothered.  Which is how WoW seems to be affecting a heck of a lot of people these days.  I should really make a new character and call it Bartleby, because that’s who I most resemble with my current attitude to WoW, Cataclysm, and blogging about it in general.

Yep, I’m suffering ‘Cataclysm: DILIGAF’ syndrome.  How about you?  Excited, or just plain over it already?

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Comments 20 Comments »

In my quest to get my warlock to 80, I had the distinct pleasure of spending a lot of time leveling through Stranglethorn Vale. A lot of people who play on PvP servers are probably calling me crazy right now, and they’re probably right, however it is one of my favorite zones in all of WoW. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and there is a good variety of quests to keep you entertained. Best of all, most of the quests keep you firmly in the zone. The biggest drawback to questing in Stranglethorn, especially on PvP servers, is the near constant threat of being ganked.

Personally, I have never understood the appeal of ganking. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some good PvP as much as the next guy but that’s just it. I enjoy GOOD PvP. I like the idea of going up against other players of your level and matching wits and blades in open combat. I like knowing that if I’m not at the top of game there is a very real chance that I will get my ass handed to me. It’s that knowing that drives me to improve and excel as a PvPer. Ganking doesn’t provide any of that. Ganking is the absolute antithesis of that.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ganking is the act of killing another player multiple levels below your own. This is a very popular past time for a lot of players at max level and many enjoy targeting players between levels 20 – 40. Often times these max level characters will kill their prey in just one attack. Here is where my analogy of squishing a bug comes into play. Most people will kill bug that is annoying them without thinking. It’s quick and effortless to kill a bug. A lot of us don’t feel any remorse for doing, heck we usually don’t feel anything at all. It’s just something you do and just as quickly forget about it.

Gankers are different. Gankers are that mean little kid, sitting on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass burning ants alive. They relish in playing God over these little creatures and delight in watching them burn. In game, they’re the max level characters laying siege to Southshore or Stranglethorn for no other reason than that they enjoy lording over those who can’t do anything about it. Most days, I couldn’t go an hour in Stranglethorn on my warlock without getting wailed on by someone with too much time on their hands and too little to do.

Most times you just have to shrug it off and keep going on about your business. But sometimes, you’ll get that one guy who just manages to push your buttons and drive you absolutely bonkers. It was a mage oddly enough that finally made me snap. I was mounted up, making my way over to the Rebel Camp to turn in some quests when I passed the mage on the road. He was on foot helping a buddy of his kill some trolls for another quest as I passed. I kept on, thinking I was in the clear when I took a frostbolt to the back and died instantly. This guy saw me, mounted up, and followed me for a good minute or so until he caught up just so he could kill me. That’s like you walking down the street and seeing lady bug on the sidewalk across the street then deciding to go dash across the street just to stomp it. What was the point? What sick feeling of exhilaration could you possibly get from that? This is what was going through my head after he killed me and I just snapped. I immediately logged off and hopped onto my Death Knight.

My Death Knight is level 80 and fully geared in Vengeful and Wrathful PvP gear. I’m not the greatest PvPer. I’ll never see the 2000+ arena bracket but I can more than hold my own in a fight. I immediately flew down to Stranglethorn and began to hunt that idiot mage down. Long story short, I found the mage and made his life miserable for a good 30 minutes. I corpse camped him all the way to the Horde base in the area and then proceeded to kill every living Horde creature in sight. So now I pose the question to you dear readers. Do you have any good ganking stories from either side of the fence?

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Comments 10 Comments »

Hi.  I play a DPS class (2 of them, actually).

As such, I understand that the Triumvirate of Tanks (The Death Knights have yet to be allowed membership into the sacred order – go whinge about it on your own blogs, suckers) and the Holy Healership of, um, Healers require me to surrender the following, immediately:

  • The will to question orders
  • The ability to read anything other than a Tankspot strat, and the Elitist Jerks page for my class.  Reading anything else leads to questioning.  Questioning is bad.
  • My brain
  • A minimum of 10 years of my life, to fit into the ‘immature child’ part of the enforced stereotype

I am, however, allowed to keep the following:

  • My face, because that’s how DPS plays the game, right?
  • A membership in the ‘I, Uh, Duh…. DeePeeEss’ club.  Whether I wanted it or not.

I have complained many a time about how DPS are perceived as stupid, selfish, greedy little bastards who care only about the meters and epeen.  Apparently, it is impossible to make a great contribution to the raid as a DPS.  We are there to follow the orders of the tanks, make sure we don’t drop too low on the meter by simultaneously staring at it and not paying too much attention to it, watch our threat but don’t dare ease back on the DPS because “OMG you lazy DPS are too slow and are killing us!”, and to respect the healers who treat us as the butt of all jokes because they are apparently naturally superior to us.  Oh, and while you are staring at the damage meter and the threat meter and watching where the hell that crazy tank is facing the boss today, make sure you don’t stand in the bad.  Even if it is expected of you, you brainless DPS.

Of course, I won’t even bother going into the fact that I must be a truly inferior DPS, being that I’m a girl, and must only be there for the Vent lols and because my ‘boyfriend’ (who is a tank/healer and therefore important) threatened to drop raid if I didn’t come.  That is a) a whole other blog post; b) something that, as far as I am aware, has never been a problem for me, just many other women and c) let’s face it, it’s a damned tired old topic.

Apparently, my complaints have gone unheeded.  I guess it is time for me to give up and just follow directions (I heard that ‘For once in your life!’, you lot in the tank corner.  Bite me).

So, here you go.

cardboard-box-open-lgI just ask that you be careful.  My brain has been feeling particularly squooshy as of late.

And remember, I’ll probably need all that crap back when I decide to tank or heal on my Druid.  Since that apparently is much harder than my current job.  Just so you are all aware.  Thanks!

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Comments 7 Comments »

There is a perception within some parts of the community that Blog Azeroth is a giant circle-jerk where we all have nothing better to do than pat each other’s backs and tell everyone how awesome we all are.  I thought that a lot of this hubbub and general resentment had died down, but it was mentioned by someone (whose blog I can’t link simply because I have no idea where they write!) in a chat room today that they have issues with BA, and see it as a giant circle jerk.  I’ve heard it referred to as this before, and I’m sure I’ll see it again.  However, I do also believe that this is entirely incorrect.

Oh, and yes.  I am probably very biased.  I should probably mention this right up front.  I used to moderate the BA community for quite a while, before I took a step back because, believe it or not, school teachers tend to be amazingly busy people with very little time for extra activities.  It was either BA moderation or sleep.  I have also been a fan of BA throughout my entire blogging career (as small as it may be).  However, I think my perspective as a moderator of the community gives me, if anything, more insight to how the community works and what it is all about.

“All you guys do is agree with each other!”

Uh.  No. 

If you really like, I can go through my own blog as an example and find posts where I disagree with other bloggers.  And not ‘small’, ‘unknown’, ‘brand new’ bloggers either.  I’ve never been particularly afraid to disagree with the big bloggers, or to write something which might be seen as contentious.

“But those posts are all so old!” you might counter.  And you would have a good point.  I guess that’s mainly because my enthusiasm for the game is waning, people are much less likely to write stuff I disagree with because, hey, hardly anyone writes anything of massive import anymore (yes, I went there!  Link me a post I’m likely to disagree with – and be passionate about – and I might write something).

I see people disagree with others all the time.  I guess the only thing you are really going to notice is that the disagreements, for the most part, tend to be polite.  As a community, most WoW bloggers don’t like to write nasty things about one another.  It’s fine to disagree with someone, but it’s not fine to be an asshole while you are doing it.  If that’s circle jerking, then get me a rubber glove and a bucket and lets get to it! (Seriously -  I don’t like cleaning up mess after my circle jerk sessions).

“Sometimes, people suck.  Yet you guys just don’t say it”

OK.  Why is it the place of me, or any other blogger, to inform someone that ‘their writing sucks and they should just give up’? 

You see a kid on the sidewalk.  The kid isn’t in your way – they are actually across the road from you.  The kid is trying to learn to ride a bicycle.  He’s pretty wobbly, he can’t go in a straight line, but he has his helmet on and a giant grin on his face.  Are you going to walk over there, drag him off the bike, and tell him that he’s never going to be able to ride worth a damn and to get another hobby?

If you think a blogger sucks, that’s fine.  If you think an illiterate flailing octopus could write better than them, that’s also fine.  However, there is nothing that says you have to say that to them.  The internet is a fucking big place, and you can ignore anyone you damn well please.  Blog Azeroth is a big enough community that anyone but the moderators can ALSO ignore anyone they wish to as well.

But when we give someone advice?  Try to help them out a little?  It’s not fucking circle jerking, it’s being part of a COMMUNITY.  Tips on writing, on blog design, on most anything else people ask for advice for on BA… they are there to help people try to be better.  If they are ‘never going to be better’, what does it matter?  Who are they hurting?  I know it’s not hurting me – I just don’t read you.  No biggie for either of us.

Links spread faster through BA than nits in a primary school

Yeah, there’s a LOT of link love in the Blog Azeroth community.  Blogs link each other, get linked back, all of a sudden there’s linked text all over the fricking shop.

So what?  If a blogger over-links, it might make you think they are a bit nutty.  A bit weird.  They probably don’t have much to say.  So your opinion of that blogger might go down some.  Again, you aren’t forced to read their work.  Nothing says you can’t skip over a post.

(Truth? – I subscribe to hundreds of blogs.  Each day I only ‘read’ a fraction of the posts in my reader.  I skim posts by EVERYONE)

Bloggers like to link to other bloggers.  This isn’t only true of WoW bloggers, or of BA bloggers in general.  I read a lot of different types of blogs, and many of those blogs link amongst each other! 

 

At the end of the day, I think a lot of this stupid idea happens because people obviously can’t tell when people disagree unless they are being outright assholes to one another.  Blog Azeroth bloggers have disagreed with each other before.  We will disagree again.  It happens.  However, the Blog Azeroth Community is NOT the following

1.  Twisted Nether Blogcast: BA and TNB are not the same god damn thing.  At all.  One is a forum, one is a podcast.  One has the input of all members, one has the input of two people plus the guest of the week.

2.  An organisation: I can say with a fair amount of confidence that ‘organisation’ and ‘BA’ basically do not belong in the same sentence.  An organisation has an administrator, a ‘vision’, and some form of goal.  BA is merely a forum where bloggers can seek advice and feedback, and organise collaborative events.

3.  A weird closed circle of protection: No, we do not close ranks and bash people up when they criticise another blogger.  There may be commentary on that sort of issue on people’s blogs, but there is never a ‘directive’ or even an ‘understanding’ that we ‘must protect x because they are a BA blogger’.  What a fucking load of hooey.

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Comments 9 Comments »

Seriously, I am going to turn this bloody car around and go home, you hear me?

I don’t know who this is directed at.  It could be everyone and anyone online.  This is just the violent rage that has built up in me thanks to the game community, the blogging community, and that god damn bitch that keeps letting her animals get into my fucking recycling while I am at work.  OH MY GOD, at least pick up the mess!

1.  Play nice.

How hard is it?  Don’t bitch, don’t get involved in power plays, don’t decide that you are suddenly superior to everyone else because you and your epeen say so.  Feel free to disagree with each other, but don’t turn your damn opinions into outright irrational wars where you call each other names.

If you want to disagree with someone else, fine.  Hell, people disagree with me all the time.  Just don’t be insulting while you are at it.  No need to call each other every name under the sun, to draw other people into your mess, and to be a general pain in the backside.

2.  Cut the passive-aggressive bullshit.

If you have an opinion, god damn say it!  No more ‘some people think…’  That’s not what ‘some people’ think.  That’s what YOU think.  Stand up and own your opinions, rather than hinting around and never getting to the damn point.  No one is going to give you any respect if you can’t even own your own opinion.

If you have an issue or a problem, say so.  Being all passive-aggressive about it just makes you look like a whiny little bitch.

Oh, and those people?  Who have ignored people in the same damn guild/chat channel as them?  And then make you pass along their messages like we are in primary school? (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE).  /bitchslap.

3.  Lose the ego, it just makes you look stupid.

Seriously, I imagine every sad sack who thinks he/she is God’s gift to the WoW universe to be some pathetic fool who stands in front of the mirror every morning quoting corny movie lines to feel tough (I do this often).  Simple truth:  the world will go on without you if you up and quit.  No, you aren’t a damned celebrity because you own a blog.  Oh, you have a 6k gearscore?  No one cares!

There is nothing worse than a pretentious egotistical git.  When you whine about how crap everyone else is, or how you hate how popular you are, or how everyone wants you all the time, all you are really saying is “Guess what?  I’m better than you, and I know it!”  And to me, that just screams ‘I am actually a giant walking talking penis!  Who is frustrated because, while I say everyone is jealous of my walking, talking penis self since I am so HUGE… I can’t get laid!  I’m too big!  NO ONE WANTS ME!” /wail

4.  Obsessive fanboy/girling is kinda gross.

Occasionally I see this, and it makes me want to vomit.  Really violently.  Projectile vomiting even.  Especially since it causes the afore mentioned problem more often than not.

That guy there, in that guild.  Yeah, THAT guild.  With the kills and the shinies and stuff.  Guess what?  He’s just a damned person.  Who plays a damned game.  Who probably has a job like the rest of us, a family like the rest of us, and hates his commute/job/house/mother in law JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.  Same for that blogger there.  Just people, guys!  Sure, admire what they do.  Congratulate them even.  But becoming the WoW equivalent of a psychotic Backstreet Boys fan?  Stop.  Now.

BSB-the-backstreet-boys-2204916-400-298Seriously.  Who ever made this makes me want to invent the rusty spoon gun. 

And, really? The whole ‘I’d get your face tattooed on my ass, but that would be disrespectful, ‘cos poop comes out there’ attitude actually freaks me out a little. 

5.  Funny thing – we don’t all play the game the same!

So stop telling everyone to be hardcore!  If someone only does heroics, they only need gear GOOD ENOUGH for heroics!  If someone doesn’t have the time to do everything you do, that’s not your concern!  And if you don’t get to play as often as you like, or wish you had better gear, don’t take it out on those who do raid frequently.  Worry about your own bloody game, let everyone else sort theirs out (unless, you know, you are the officer in charge of that and that’s your bloody job.  Then, yes, carry on.)

 

You guys are supposed to be adults.  Rational, normal, SANE people most of the time.  How’s about we act like it once in a while?

<3 a very frustrated, tired, cranky Sar who is mad at everything right now.

P.S.  If you get my face tattooed on your ass, make sure you get my good side!

Comments 18 Comments »

I tried really hard to not write really angry blog posts. I kept telling myself that people really do not enjoy reading me yelling and raving about how much I don’t like this, that or the other about the game. The problem is… if I’m not ranting, I don’t have much to say. It’s almost like I don’t know how to write anymore if I’m not cranky. So, I guess we get to welcome back the cranky Sar this year!

The game has become full of angry, elitist asshats. It’s like you give everyone a pile of gear, and all of a sudden the egos shoot through the roof, everyone thinks they are better at the game than anybody else, and it all becomes about gearscores , following Elitist Jerks slavishly and everyone treats everyone else like crap.

Even when I am not in the game, I see a stream of tweets. ‘I hate these bads I am stuck with.’ ‘Oh, look, I found a new way to judge people!’ ‘I can’t wait to kick this person from our group’. The new pugging has brought such a negative attitude to the game. People aren’t happy if the people they run with are less than perfect, if they don’t have perfect gear, if they aren’t doing what they think they should be doing. And it’s contagious. All of a sudden everyone starts whinging. The game has become a giant cacophony of whingy whiny spoilt brats complaining and squealing because they don’t get their way.

“Oh my god, look at their gear!”

Oh no… you mean you might be in a heroic with someone in BLUES? The horror! Fancy someone actually wanting some god damned GEAR.

Newsflash: You don’t have to be in ToC epics to do a bloody heroic. Hell, you don’t need Naxx epics… not that anyone wears that stuff anymore anyway. Heroics are tuned for people to wear BLUES. Epics might make it a little faster, sure, but it doesn’t mean it is only possible to do them that way. So, stop being a whiny little shit who drops group because ‘waaah waaah waaah 2 of the DPS are in blues and this is sooo slow and OMG it’s totally killing me to run with you inferior beings’.

Stop being a self absorbed twat who thinks their time is more important than anyone else’s. Your fricking purple gear does not make you special. AT ALL.

“You run with THAT spec? Wow….. noob”

This just outright drives me INSANE. Let’s imagine a world where everyone specced exactly the same way. Every Mage was an identical arcane spec. Every Warlock was affliction. Every tank specced the same as well. And every healer. Why the hell not? Let’s make us all the same, because that’s what makes the world fun, right?

I just have two little words to say to that. Fuck off. Why aren’t people allowed to spec however it is they enjoy playing? It’s a damned game. They are bloody heroics. You know how much DPS you need to do to be able to get through a heroic? Bloody 1500. THAT IS ALL.  People can probably even pull that with the most poorly designed spec from hell that they somehow ended up with when they let their cat control the computer.  Get over it.

 

So, what’s my solution to all the bitching and whining that I see going on in game? Suck it up, princess. Just get your badges, shut your mouth, and move on at the end. Obviously, none of this excuses the following

- Ninja AFKs

- Rudeness

- General Asshattery

- Totally stupid shit like pulling before the tank

Stupidly obvious caveat that shouldn’t need to be said, but if I don’t someone will pull me up on it… the new heroics are a bit harder and require somewhat better gear. The STFU principle still applies though!

Oh… and you guys have to let me off on the whole ‘poorly written’ bit. I am travelling and busy and all that stuff… I’m just sick to death of my twitter stream and chat channels being full of whiny little bitches.

Comments 16 Comments »

This is not a WoW post.  However, I think it is a very important issue, and one which people should be aware of regardless of where they live.  If it happens here, a country which is considered to be fairly democratic, it could plausibly happen anywhere.  That’s not scare mongering either… just a logical assertion.

However, feel free to mark as ‘read’, as it is a bit of a political rant.  And it’s kinda long.  Sorry.

Three days ago, news broke that the Australian Government’s internet filter (dubbed ‘Clean Feed’) has been given the green light, and will be introduced in Parliament next year.  Clean Feed is a filter which will be implemented at ISP level to block inappropriate and illegal material.  The filter will be compulsory for all ISPs to implement, and I am sure it will also be part of the law that users can not attempt to bypass the filter through anonymous proxies.   The government, in all their wisdom, have determined that blocking this material will ‘protect our children’ and will be ‘in the best interests of all Australians’.  Such material will be blocked on the basis of its ‘classification’.  Anything which is marked ‘Refused Classification’ will be blocked.

Of course, there have been mixed reactions to the filter – while a vast majority of Australians are against the filter, some people have gone as far as accusing those who are against it of being ‘pro-child porn’ and other various things.  Extremists on the other side of the argument have said ‘This is just the beginning of extreme government censorship’.  I myself don’t really subscribe to either of those views, but I do have some serious problems with this legislation.

1.  Who determines what is acceptable to be filtered?

The initial media coverage said the filter would cut illegal internet content such as “child sex abuse, bestiality, sexual violence or detailed information about how to use drugs or commit crimes”.  Now, I have serious doubts as to whether a couple of those things are actually ‘illegal content’ – and I know that one of those is legislated on a State level in Australia, not a Federal one, but that’s a moot point.  Today, there were media reports that the test filter was catching a large amount of harmless Refused Classification material, such as gay porn and fetish material.  Attempting to block illegal material is noble, in a misguided sense, I guess.  Blocking material that goes against mainstream moral values?  Totally disgusting and inappropriate.  One ISP involved in the test run reported large amounts of customer complaints because the filter had mistakenly blocked redtube. 

2.  The testing process was inherently flawed.

9 ISP’s volunteered to test the content filter.  Of these, only one ISP is considered to be of significant size.  Many of the others are small ISPs with a very specific clientele (one of these ISPs reported that only 1% of their client base was willing to be a part of the trial.  That amounted to 15 people).  The feedback from the ISPs involved has been minimal – Optus, the only large ISP to participate, refused to comment to the media.  There is not enough information publicly available about the trial and its results.

3.  Australia does not want or need a further slow down of speeds.

The government claims that the filter will not reduce speeds or cause issues in any way.  Unfortunately, the government has shown a lack of understanding of how the internet works.  I could go on about this all day.  Or, if you are actually interested, you could go read this (fantastic interview with the leaders of Telstra, Internode and iiNet – the three largest ISPs in Australia). 

TL;DR version of the article?

  • “Filtering technology, he [Hackett, from Internode] says, is the "antithesis to the notion that we all want to go faster" on the internet. "This stuff will actually make things go slower,"
  • “It’s invasive meaning it is expensive [to implement], and invasive in the sense that installing it in our network is complicated and may in fact cause outages." – Hackett, Internode
  • “"If the stuff goes a bit wrong it will start blocking other content. The trouble is, the internet’s not just web browsers. Other applications that are using the internet may get mistaken for things that are pulling that content and might get blocked or messed with in strange ways." – Hackett, Internode
  • “The idea of having some sort of fairly loose regulations and saying to ISPs, look, you have the capacity to do X, Y or Z and we’d like you to do that is crazy," he says. "If we start doing things like cutting people off on the basis of doing file-sharing, for example, we could finish up breaking laws. We could certainly lend ourselves liable to being sued for wrongfully cutting people off." – Milne, Telstra Bigpond
  • “"If the Federal Government says we are going to stop certain sorts of objectionable content, what on earth is the definition of bad here?" asks Hackett. "Is it the Federal Government’s definition of bad?”
  • “"I do worry that this is the thin edge of the wedge," he said. "That the Government will come in with a small list of sites for the ISP to block, and that just includes the real stuff that everyone agrees on like child porn and bestiality. So we say, OK we are willing to comply with that. But it becomes an area then that can be used for so much more. So you might see the next step is an attempt to block out XXX sites or hate speech sites, and you think, OK maybe we can live with that [too].  But then after that it could be to block out competing political positions or to block out sites about religion or sexual orientation that the Government says is no longer suitable for children in Australia." – Malone, iiNet

Sure, I don’t want children being able to see inappropriate material.  However, we should not all be subjected to the government’s method of controlling this.  Legislated morality?  How is that going to help anyone?  Educate parents and children about the internet.  Encourage parents to supervise their children on the internet.  Spend the money developing a client side filter that a teenager isn’t going to bypass in a few seconds.  Don’t foist your flawed filter on all Australians.

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Comments 10 Comments »

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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So, I was chatting with a friend after my raid tonight, and he got to his usual ranting of ‘DPS are all idiots, when I raid I assume 90% of the DPS are going to be incompetent, tanking is so much more difficult and important, yadayadayada’.

Bullshit.  Let’s dispell some dumb-ass myths here, shall we?

1.  DPS do not need to know what is going on in the fight, tanks do.

Since when does a tank need to be more aware of everything that is happening around them than a DPS?  What, my magical ‘Oh look, I’m a ranged DPS!’ bubble means I won’t die in the fire?  Or I won’t die when one of the tanks goes down, because, ’Oh, I’m just a DPS’.  Everyone in the raid should be aware of what is happening around them, regardless of what they do.  Whether I am tanking or DPSing, I have a fairly good awareness of what is going on.  The only time I am more aware of what is happening to other players is when I am healing, because, hey… that’s my job.

2.  Tanking is harder than DPSing.

So you have a much more complex job as a tank?  Let’s see….

Tank

DPS

– Has to use a few abilities to attack

– Has to use a few abilities to attack

- Has to watch out for stuff on the ground, etc

- Has to watch out for stuff on the ground, etc

- Has to hit ‘Oh Shit!’ buttons where appropriate

- Has to hit ‘Oh Shit!’ buttons where appropriate

- Has to maintain threat

- Has to not pull threat

- Has to live

- Has to live.

 

All looks very similar to me.  Sure, you are all looking at a different side of the boss.  And you have a slightly different view of the whole ‘aggro’ issue.  But, at the end of the day, tanking isn’t automatically more complex just through the virtue of being a different role.

3.  DPS just aren’t as important as tanks.

Yuh huh.  Tell that to the enrage timer.  Or to the boss who has to ‘have that shield nuked down NOW!’ (hai there, Valkyr Twins!).  Or to your healers when they go OOM because the fight is just taking so damn long (although, according to my friend, if you use mana you must be a ‘bad’ healer…).

It’s people like this that really piss me off.  It’s even more annoying when they are friends.  Seriously…

Oh, and your “Clearly DPS aren’t as important because if you lose one, it’s not an instant wipe?” argument?

Stick it where the sun don’t shine, buddy.

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No, seriously, they do!  In my experience, the vast majority of raid leaders and raid assistants have very little understanding of what their role is meant to be.  The typical approach that I have seen to raid leading is very similar to the typical approach that I see to teaching, and while it has its place… it is really not useful.  What am I talking about?

The chalk and talk raid leader, of course.

teacher-doris-day

The raid leader who sits there and lists off instructions in a dry monotone until you think your ears are going to bleed.  Who forgets to emphasise the really important details, because, dang it, you should have read the 10 page long blog post AND the wowwiki strat AND watched the tankspot video.  The one who issues instructions constantly throughout the fight, and never fails to say what went wrong after each attempt, but forgets to mention what went well.  These raid leaders don’t listen to input from the raiders, because they are in charge, they are right, and they view the raiders as a bunch of uneducated peons who are there to serve the purpose of getting the boss down.  And don’t even get me STARTED on loot distribution!

OK, so that might be a little bit of an extreme view.  However, most raid leaders I have worked with have almost all of these characteristics, it is just the strength of them that varies.  For example, if I had a dollar for every time I heard a raid leader piss and moan about how incompetent their raiders are, how they wished they had a better quality group of raiders to work with, how none of this would happen if everyone was as awesome as them, well, I’d be a fricking millionaire.

As a teacher, I feel I have a lot to answer for.  I think a lot of these raid leaders are replicating the experience that they had their whole life – that of school.  Raid leaders are JUST LIKE TEACHERS!  You want to know what we do as teachers each day?  We talk a lot.  We try to teach kids stuff.  Often, they don’t get it.  We then walk in to the staffroom and say how these bloody kids just don’t get it, they don’t want to follow instructions, and damn it, if I worked at that fancy private school in Sydney I wouldn’t have these issues!  Hmmmm… does any of this sound familiar?

Want to know what this does to your raiders?  This feeling of constant pressure, of not being valued, of never being praised?

1.  Raider Anxiety

I see this all the time.  Hell, I feel this a lot of the time.  There is this constant pressure to perform, and if you aren’t up to scratch, well you may as well drop raid, delete your character, and write a letter saying you are sorry for ever existing and wasting everyone’s time.  This happens in raids where your chalk and talk raid leader (conveniently abbreviated to CTRL) misuses damage meters, doesn’t adequately deconstruct boss attempts, and doesn’t clarify instructions where required. 

What impact does this have?  Well… anxious raiders aren’t going to perform.  Imagine two guys at a rifle range.  One of them is calmly firing at the target.  After each round (or how ever the hell people do this crap), his coach says ‘Good effort!  You got 60% of your shots hitting the target, and 15% of them hit the centre.  You need to work on keeping your arm steady, but that 15% is a great result.  Let’s see if you can improve next time’.  Next to him is a somewhat stressed out looking guy.  Every time he fires a shot, his coach says ‘Aim for the centre, damn it!’  When you look closer, you see that his finger is quivering from the pressure of having to get it right every time.

CTRL’s often issue rapid fire instructions mid fight.  They don’t allow for raiders to think out a fight for themselves, because they do not trust them to do it.  They feel that by constantly issuing instructions, they can control the raid and produce a better result.  Unfortunately, this sometimes just plain stresses a raid out.  Then they make mistakes.  Then the CTRL gets stressed out!  All of a sudden, instructions are being yelled, everyone is scared and confused, and it all goes to hell.

Lesson:  Instructions are important, but must be clear.  Do not overload on instructions, and allow people to think for themselves occasionally.

2.  Raider Frustration

‘Aaaargh, I am so tired of wiping on this boss!’  ‘I just don’t GET this fight!’  ‘You all suck! /drop raid’

This also happens a lot of the time.  I mainly see this happen, not because raiders are incompetent, but because CTRL’s suck at giving feedback.  Especially in combination with the above.

CTRL’s often view failure to down a boss as failure full stop.  They then say to the raid ‘This is what went wrong’, but forget to say ‘but we did really well at this!’.  They also forget to recognise progression on attempts, and this also leads to raiders feeling disheartened.  This fosters an environment where people will turn on one another in an instant. People get tired of wiping.  People get REALLY tired of wiping and being told how much they suck afterwards.  So, anyone who is seen as causing a wipe cops a lot of grief.  Some people will just get jack of it all and drop raid.

Lesson: be supportive of your raiders, even on tough nights.  Give constructive feedback, and always remember to praise.

3.  Lack of Raider Understanding

Want to know a secret?  I totally zone out during a lot of boss fight explanations.  I don’t do it on purpose, I try to concentrate, but, well, talk at me for 10 minutes and use the same words repeatedly -  ‘move here, then do this, then move here, then do this, and for heaven’s sake stay out of that, that and THAT’ – well, my brain just shuts down and starts thinking about the football.  Or I read twitter.  Or something.  Then I end up totally confuzzled because I missed something vital… and half the raid missed it as well.  Guess we were all too busy tweeting.

For goodness’ sake, be fricking concise in your explanations!  You know, some fights are really difficult.  I get that.  Any multiphase fight is a bitch.  I can almost guarantee though, you will more than likely not get to phase 1326 on your first attempt.  Give a clear and detailed description of phase one.  Give a brief description of phase two.  Don’t worry about phases after that until you have phase one solid, at least.  Your raiders should still be reading a strat, so they should have some idea of what to do if the miraculous happens and you get to the end straight away.

Also, type a brief summary of major points in raid chat as you go.  That is a basic, yet very important part of teaching someone a strat.  Visual reinforcement FTW!

Lesson: Be concise (opposite of this post).  Use raid chat/warnings as a tool during explanations.

4.  Drop in Raider Confidence

This one is pretty basic, and I won’t go into much detail.  Treat your raiders like morons, and soon enough they will act like it.  Or get annoyed because they will think everyone else is a moron.  You, as a raid leader, are not superior to the raiders.  You are not smarter, faster, more skilled, or better in any way than everyone else.  It’s easy as a CTRL to forget that – issuing instructions makes people often feel like they know more than everyone.  I get that.  But it isn’t true.

Lesson: You aren’t better than everyone else!  Stop acting like it!

 

Basically, the most important thing, I think, is the feedback.  CTRL’s, like a lot of teachers, suck at feedback.  We like to criticise, we like to point out what we should work on and improve.  However, a bit of positive feedback helps a lot.  It makes people more willing to work hard, to put their (virtual) ass on the line for you, and to put every ounce of effort into a fight.

Now… to wait for an angry CTRL to chew me out over this ;-)

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