I get asked all the time ‘Why do you quit and come back ALL the time? What is WITH you?’ And, you know, it is probably really annoying for you guys as readers that I do that.
Anyway, I guess blogging is often the first thing to go when life suddenly becomes a little more than I can handle. The first time I quit, I was at a low point with the game in general. I wasn’t interested in playing, I wasn’t interested in anything Warcraft related. I thought ‘If I’m not playing, I bloody well can’t write about Warlocks, can I?’. Then I transferred servers, rediscovered my love for the game, started messing around some more with my Druid, and lo and behold I was happy in the game again.
The second time, things were a little more complicated. My real life had taken some significant beating: Work was going down the shitter because my new boss is an asshat, my personal life kinda sucked ass (let’s just say that, like any other Warlock, I don’t take rejection well, and leave it at that), I was in possibly the worst financial trouble I had ever been in, I was having huge family dramas… things weren’t looking pretty. I just couldn’t handle all the responsibilities I had online on top of all that drama, and I snapped and went ‘OK, that’s it, I quit!’. My inspiration had been flagging for a while anyway, and I was finding it hard to care.
I was also getting driven insane by how the community had become all ’you need to be hard core and take this shit seriously and OMFG don’t have a life outside WoW and blogging or we will track your ass down and beat you up with our keyboards like the incompetent blogging bitch that you are!’’ Seriously.. oh my god. People, I say this ALL THE DAMN TIME. It’s not about subscriber numbers (please don’t unsubscribe!!!) It’s not about page views (although you had better all click through or else!). It’s not about being a bloody B-grade internet celebrity, because, guess what, no bastard out there is actually going to know who the hell you are.
So, why did I come back?
Well, I was going kinda stir crazy. Without blogging to keep me entertained, I was telling my pets all of my problems instead of spouting them on the internet. I found dealing with rejection is even HARDER when you don’t have an internet to distract you. Without blogging, I was spending way too much time worrying about work. And I needed something to keep me entertained during my insomniac hours when the WHOLE BLOODY WORLD is asleep. Seriously.. WTF.
And, I thought… there has to be some sad loser out there who will write any old shit on their WoW blog. Who won’t get into page view and subscriber competitions. Who won’t start a podcast because it’s all FotM and awesome and shit. Who won’t live their life desperately waiting for wow.com links and seeing that as the be all and end all of their blogging success. Who will just write random shit because it’s fun and she enjoys writing and mouthing off. And you all know that you need someone to irritate the WoW playing masses by ranting and ravingabout shit that everyone but me loves.
… and probably regretted it right afterwards hehe. I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a guest on an Episode of the Epic Dolls Podcast, talking about my favourite thing in the whole wide world… Warlocks!! I haven’t listened to it yet (I have a thing where I hate the sound of my own voice, not to mention I am kinda scared to hear what bloopers slipped out of my mouth while I was talking!) so I can’t guarantee that I said anything at all useful. Leala and Rae, however, were great! Many thanks again!
Firstly, I will admit that I haven’t had a chance to look at my reader yet this morning – I am currently at uni trying to puzzle my way through a Research Project while writing some units of work for the kids when I go on internship. Busy busy busy! So, someone may have already found what I am going to blog about, and you have probably already read it. If so, apologies for being boring to you, and apologies to whoever I unintentionally rip off!
Last night before I went to bed I did a quick flick through my reader again (I have to check it at least 3 times a day to ensure that I rarely have more than 50 posts to read at a time), when I found this nice shiny bit of information over at Tobold’s. The judge has finally made a decision in the Glider bot case, and Botting (or any other manipulation of the copy of World of Warcraft in the RAM) is a copyright infringement, and is therefore illegal (for the full technical stuff, please see Tobold’s post, where he has quoted the judge’s exact statement). They basically were able to come to this conclusion through the fact that when you purchase WoW, you do not purchase the game, but rather a license to the game (which is why you do not own your character, and technically you are not able to ‘sell’ your character).
This has immense implications for players. Of course, combined with the release of the Blizzard Authenticator, there should be a massive cut down in illegal activities in the game. Blizzard will be able to threaten gold farmers who use botting technology with legal ramifications (as opposed to previously just banning their accounts). Of course, I don’t suppose for a second that this will stop RMT at all, but it will certainly hinder the process just a little bit. At the very least, gold farmers are now going to have to find more legitimate ways of farming their gold. In all honesty, and I will probably get flamed for this, I don’t especially believe that gold farmers who farm their gold through ‘honest’ means (rather than account hacks or bots) really hurt the average player significantly. There are arguments that they artificially inflate the economy (but any more than daily quests, might I ask?) although in some ways they do provide a service. With the advent of dailies, many people no longer farm primals, herbs, etc to make gold. IF gold farmers make their gold through this process, they are simply providing materials to players in the AH, and also creating competition, which helps to keep costs down. I also suspect that most people who buy gold use it for large, extravagant purchases like epic flying mounts, which really do not affect the economy at all. This is NOT to say I support RMT by any means! I could also be way off base with my economic theories (after all, I am an English major, not an economist!)
The more paranoid amongst us will suggest that this could also potentially mean the end of modding as we know it. Logically, I believe that common sense will play a major role in this – bringing a case to bear over something as ridiculous as a harmless mod would be an expensive exercise with no real benefit to anyone concerned. This judgement wont mean that harmless mods are going to be affected, despite them ‘technically’ constituting an offense (I guess – I don’t get much of this computer mumbo jumbo!) I just hope people remember that common sense almost always wins out.
Now, for a small community service announcement!
Patch 2.4.3 is now active, which means that you need to update all your mods. Many people have complained about their mods being ‘broken’, when they haven’t updated. I know it’s a pain in the ass, but it has to be done people! :)
Now, I have always known that Ammana (one of my DB guild mates, and good friends) is a dab hand at sewing. Thanks to WoW Insider, now you all know!
Squee! Grats Amm!!
(Oh, and to those negative commenters out there, I find it amusing how you feel ‘brave’ enough to attempt to insult a complete stranger through a basically anonymous forum. I really have to wonder about how secure you are within yourself if you need to make yourself feel superior by bagging on someone you do not even know. Just go and bathe, I am tired of seeing your filthy presence on various forums, dirty trolls!!)
… OK, so they aren’t really. However, this is this weeks BA shared topic (brought to us by Lasira, inspired by Matticus). What would YOU do if you found out that WoW was ending in five hours time… forever?
Personally, I found this to be a really difficult question to answer. 5 hours? Eeeep! The first thing I would do would be to try to round up all of my old friends from across Cenarius. I would really want to share my last few hours in the game with them. From there, well, the list of things that I would like to do would be HUGE!
1. Raid a Horde city – Yes, I have never ever raided a Horde city. I really am not much of a PvPer, and raiding a city never appealed to me. In fact, it just doesn’t seem to happen all that often at all anymore anyway. Occasionally there is a Crossroads raid happening, but killing a bunch of lowbies never appealed to me. It does look like it could be fun though!
2. Explore all my unexplored areas of the map – I am sure that I do have a couple of places lying round… Horde starting areas, all that sort of stuff. I think there may be a couple of tiny hidden areas in some places still… and most of Kalimdor, come to think of it. I never did like questing there!
3. Wipe for old time’s sake on some of the world dragons – Heaven knows that my friends and I have done this sort of stuff enough, but it is some of the best fun that I ever had!
4. Go run round a couple of Azeroth raids, simply because I never got to see them – Have I set foot in Onyxia’s Lair? Nope. (although I am attuned). Ventured into Molten Core? Nope! I have set foot once I think into ZG… for about 5 seconds. Then I died. So I would definitely have to do that.
5. Finally, get the contact details for all my really good friends – ’nuff said. I can normally find them in WoW, but if it didn’t exist anymore, I would have to be able to talk to them some other way!
“So, what would you do, if your mother (or me in this case) asked you?” (to paraphrase Dr Seuss)
The other day, Kalf and I were discussing mounts. Namely, the fact that my dreadsteed kicks his chocobo’s feathery behind. Want to know why?
His chocobo reminds me oddly of Plucka Duck (especially in the part of that video where he is running with the Cricket Team)
If it doesn’t look like Plucka, it certainly looks like a genetically mutated chicken
My dreadsteed has hooves of firey fury
His mane is also firey fury
Only warlocks can have the ‘real’ dreadsteed!
I suppose for me the last point is the kicker. I love my dreadsteed because not everyone can get one. They add that special flavour to the warlock class, emphasising the fact that I may look cute, but am evil as can be! However, if I could choose any other mount in the game to ride, it would have to be the mechanostrider. Darn being human and being too tall. I say this is discrimination! I want a mechanostrider!
However, I am running a poll to see which mount is REALLY the best. Limited to racial/class mounts (simply because I am too lazy to include every single other mount there is available in the game). Choose your favourite! Go Dreadsteed!
Edit: I can’t seem to get polls showing up. As soon as I fix this, you can vote!
Who needs a Riding Crop when you can combine Travel Form with a Swift Frost Sabre? Druids? OP? Of course not! ;)
Sometimes there is nothing more entertaining than a ‘broken’ screenshot. One where something has lagged, or bugged, or just plain gone wrong in the system. These screenshots can run the gamut between funny and outright weird. I am not sure how they happen, but who cares? They are fun!
So, I am inviting you to share your funny screenshots with the world! Send your screenshots to me at destructivereachATyahooDOTcomDOTau, and I will post them up, announcing a winner! Entries close in one week’s time (7th July 2008). The winner gets… well… not much to be honest. The satisfaction of winning?
Just a couple of basic rules:
Please no more than 2 submissions per person
Screenshots which aren’t Photoshopped to be funny are preferred
How do you judge the level of knowledge and skill a player has? Do you go off their progression so far? Or do you go off things they say and do? Do you go off past progression perhaps? There are so many ways that we judge the depth and breadth of knowledge that a player has, often without even thinking about it. I am not sure how many times I have suddenly ‘lifted’ a person in my esteem when they mention that their main is in x guild, or has killed x boss. Of course, they quite often plummet right afterwards because they follow this up with bragging, which makes me feel just a bit ill. I find it amazing though that we immediately assume that a person is a good player because they have a hefty amount of shiny purples, or have killed a certain amount of end game bosses. I have always been a loud and firm advocator of ‘the person before the gear’, but I too quite often judge people superficially.
Now, this superficial judgement rarely leads us astray. Generally, those people in the shiny purples do have a great level of skill. You often need to have this level of skill to even get near one of the bosses in most cases. However, it is easy for an occasional person to ‘slip through the cracks’. Especially in the good old days of 40 man raiding. To get the gear without the skill. Generally these people are easy to spot. They will be the ones where people mutter ‘ebay!’ under their breath.
However, it is incredibly easy to be confused and mistaken in the other direction. To look at someone’s gear and progression, and undervalue their knowledge on this basis. I’ll give you an example that I heard over Vent the other day.
Basically, one of our paladin healers are respeccing to prot (because we have a total utter lack of prot pallies). He was asking some questions about how much dodge he would need. Since the people who were in vent were unable to provide him with a satisfactory answer, he decided to ask an old friend.
Pally: Well, I asked my good friend, and he said I should aim for this much dodge. (I don’t remember the number, cut me some slack!)
Elitist person: Oh, I wouldn’t listen to him.
Pally: Why not? My good friend knows heaps about Prot Pallies. He has been playing since launch!
Elitist Person: Yes, but it’s not like he has exactly progressed very far… at all
Pally: Well, he has got personal circumstances which mean he can’t raid. He used to do old end game raiding, but he can’t anymore. He has a family and things.
Elitist Person: I just don’t think he knows enough. You should try Elitist Jerks or something. Look at the paladins in Afterlife.
This exchange did get on my nerves a little bit. I know the ‘good friend’ in question, which is why it got to me. We aren’t the best of friends, but he is one of the best Paladin tanks I have ever met. I’ll put it this way – Kalf is also one of the most elitist, judgemental people I know (sorry dear, but it’s true :P). Even HE likes this pally tank! Sure, he is still in Kara epics. Maybe a piece or two from Gruul’s. I think that his skill is evidenced though the fact we were desperate for a Pally tank for Hyjal. I asked if he could help out. For someone in such ‘low’ gear, he held aggro off us admirably. The healers had to work a little harder to keep him up, I’ll admit. But he did do incredibly well. I have seen well geared Pally tanks fail in there.
So the assumption that people do not know their class based entirely on gear does get on my nerves a bit. I think this is also reflected in the blogging world – we are all in different states of progression. Some of the WoW bloggers who are still in Karazhan know so much about their class – they know how to play various specs, they know the benefits and disadvantages of each, and they are able to give sound advice about most everything. Progression isn’t a sole indicator of skill and knowledge.
Today one of my guildies accounts was hacked. We were in the middle of transferring between Hyjal and Serpentshrine Cavern, when he disappeared all of a sudden, and then logged back on within five minutes. Of course, we noticed straight away because he wasn’t responding to tells, and he dropped from the raid group. So out guild leader demoted him to prevent any access to the guild bank, and we just sat there.
I have to say it is one of the most horrible feelings in the world sitting there, completely helpless, just staring as you know your guild mates things are being sold or deleted. In my usual impulsive anger, I sent a series of abusive tells to the hacker. I really don’t know what I was hoping to achieve with this, and I got no reply, but the venting at least made me feel like I could do something, even if it was tiny. Of course, I got no response back. Perhaps my abuse actually made the hacker feel more inclined to destroy things. If that is the case, then I am deeply sorry. Especially since not all the things the hacker did were at all beneficial to anyone.
The hacker only accessed one of his characters, his main, and screwed with him. He sold off a variety of things from his main set and from his bank, so his main has been rendered essentially useless for the time being. He also dropped his alchemy profession, which I think is really low. Dropping a profession that people have worked at, spent time and gold on and value, for absolutely no profit is stupid and outright nasty. I hate to think that this was caused by my tells to the hacker. Especially since I am unsure if Blizzard can restore professions to a person.
Now, I am not sure why he didn’t try relogging in to boot the hacker off. I am guessing there is a reason why he didn’t, but I can not guess what it could be. He did try to change his password, but had trouble remembering the answer to his secret question (remember, always choose a secret question that you can easily remember!). By the time he got back in, it was too late.
So, in an open letter
Dear Mr/Ms Hacker,
Let’s be honest here. I really have no idea what your motivation is for hacking. I can not imagine that in this era of dailies you are that desperate for gold. I do not know whether you work for an RMT service, or whether you hack for personal gain. I can not fathom what it is that makes you want to steal other people’s things rather than earn them yourself. However, since you have some form of motivation, I would like to address some other issues.
If you hack into my friend’s account, could you please do the ‘decent’ thing and sell all the items? Please do not disenchant things, because it makes it very difficult for people to get items restored to them. I know you do not much care who you hurt, but if you could lessen the impact of these things, then that would be wonderful.
Do you really need to drop somebody’s professions? I assume the only motivation for hacking into someone’s account is profit, so there really is no need to undo many many months worth of work. Doing so is nothing more than petty and malicious. Sure, you may receive some tells from angry guild mates while you are in the middle of looting and plundering. You can’t expect these people to not be angry! These are friends of the person you are stealing from, they will feel defensive and upset. You would not like it if someone was stealing from one of your friends, would you?
Lastly, I urge you to reconsider your reasons for hacking. As I mentioned previously, there are easy (and much more honest!) ways of earning gold, which do not impact on other players in the game. Please remember that every character out there has a real person behind them. Yes, real people. People who get hurt and upset when their things are taken.
There has been discussion of this rampant across the blogosphere, and the server. This is just my personal account of the thing which I will term ‘X-pac syndrome’. A syndrome where the server is suddenly empty. Guild chat is quiet, or outright hostile as new recruits clash with the old veterans. Raids are becoming dominated by pugs because people just aren’t showing up anymore. 5 man groups are almost non existent.
I think this all started with the decline of the 5 man to be honest. A while back myself and several others commented on the difficulty in getting a regular 5 man group going. Heroics were slightly easier to obtain, but the focus was solely on badge farming, so it was generally lots of people running the daily, and the easier heroics. People were concentrating heavily on getting those badges for the shiny new gear.
Karazhan has also become something of a curiosity. A raid instance where one now must be over geared, and after badges. No longer is wiping in Karazhan acceptable for many. I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing messages in LFG saying ‘Kara speed badge run LFM. DPS needed, must be in all epics, prefer T5′. T5 for Kara? WTF? This has led to alts being pushed out of the Kara PuG picture in many cases, and left to find guild runs.
Well, guild runs of places are getting increasingly hard to come by. Take the example of my two guilds. Dying Breed has stopped running guild runs of Karazhan, and hasn’t fielded a guild run in at least a month. The sign ups just slowly died as people started to find better things to do on weekends, and possibly got tired of running Kara all the time. Even now, 5 man all guild groups are difficult to get in the DB. There is a big focus on alts, and in a logical (yet frustrating) response to the previous tank/healer shortages, most every alt is a tank or a healer! The other day when I was logged on, we had 3 druids, 2 priests, and 4 paladins online. That was it. Nothing that could field a respectable 5 man! Many people have also taken their mains to raiding guilds in a last ditch effort to see content before WotLK.
Arcis is rocked by the other form of guild meltdown. Raiding guilds are starting to struggle for signups as well, with people just ‘taking a break from WoW’ before the expansion pack. A freeze of sorts in progression has also left many people frustrated, and many have /gquit over dissent about the direction the guild is taking raid wise. The mass recruitment of new players has caused there to be a bit of a gap between the gear we have as well – often fielding a 25 man into Hyjal with half the raid in Kara and Gruul’s gear. I myself still have zero pieces of T5 (granted, I could have had the gloves many a time, but they are a downgrade). New recruits also seem to be clashing alot with the old guard in some cases, which is causing a great deal of drama. (I might post a bit more about my drama-lama experience soon enough!)
The wonder that is dailies has also caused a bit of burnout, with many people spending their playtime doing dailies on all their characters to get gold. By the time they have done that, they are bored of WoW and just want to log. A great reason for me to not do dailies!
I do believe it is a combination of these things which are killing guilds left right and centre. Dailies – Blah. Most content meaning ‘nothing’ anymore? Blah. On my server, if you haven’t basically finished BT and Hyjal, then you are ‘no one’. This attitude from the top raiders does filter down to the rest of us, and yes, it is disheartening hearing that sort of thing. It is also summer for most of you (which makes it especially crappy for me, down here is Oz, entering my winter hibernate in the house phase!), and you all want to go out and enjoy the sunshine, which is always great. I hope you do enjoy it, and I will see you all back again (I hope) when WotLK comes out!
On to other news:
Counting down – approximately one week I guess until my self hosted blog is up and running. Many kind thanks to those of you who have been dropping your entrecards on my site, and applying to advertise. Much appreciated!
Also in the countdown, I have just one assignment left, and then the ‘studying’ component of my degree is basically finished forever. When I hand that in tomorrow, I will be cheering! Three and a half years down, only half a year to go. Then I am an official certified, dignified, bonafide high school teacher! Well, maybe not so much the dignified part, I am still working on that one! Funnily enough, for someone who said they wouldn’t be posting much, I think I actually wrote more this week than usual!
The Dying Breed forum is also back online! Huzzah for me, I can go back to hours of trolling!
I have always said that I will never run advertising on Destructive Reach, and that is still true. However, the costs of hosting my blog are beginning to get to be beyond what I can afford.
IF you happen to have a spare dollar or so lying around, and IF you would like to donate, I would very much appreciate any amount of money you were willing to donate to keep Destructive Reach up and running. However, please don't feel pressured into doing so!