A quick update

This has been keeping me busy. Thought I’d share a pupstar shot with you all…

Yes, his legs ARE as long as that!

Yes, his legs ARE as long as that!

He’s almost 13 weeks old now, around 25 kgs and a bundle of cuddles and love. He’s been keeping me from blogging much, but I read an article by Matthew Rossi about the current story progression in WoW earlier today, and it got me thinking on the directions I’d like to see the Alliance story progression arc take (post to come soon).

Until then, please enjoy another insanely gorgeous (and entirely obsessed/self-serving, yet obligatory) puppy picture.

Fionn likes to sit on the cat. she scratches, after all.

Fionn likes to sit on the cat. She scratches, after all.

Hope you’re all well, happy and content.

Oh, you haven’t seen me around?

I haven’t been slack, I’ve been busy.

Busy with some serious writing projects that seemed to materialise out of nowhere from December onwards, and that are stretching into April at this point. Good thing for me, bad thing for my blogging habits 😦

Busy giving up smoking after 20-odd years on and off, and that shit is HARD. My house is very clean though, and so is my yard.

quitsmoking

Yes, yes I am. I’ll scratch your effing eyes out if you look at me sideways like that again!

My raid buddies haven’t been liking me too much, as sitting still in front of the computer and not being able to SMOKE THE PAIN OF A WIPE AWAY hurts. My partner isn’t liking me too much either, as my new obsession with cleaning and tidying and throwing things out and not standing still is making him feel a tad stressed.

I’ll get over it soon though (I hope). I’ve been playing less WoW in order to keep myself busy and not think about smoking so much, and I’ve also been …

Busy preparing myself for a new addition to the family. No I’m NOT pregnant, but my ‘givingupsmokingehhrmahgherdddi’mgoingtodie’ present/distraction is THIS gorgeous thing…

My new Irish Wolfhound baby!

My new Irish Wolfhound baby!

He’s AMAZING, and he arrives in just under a week!

I do plan on getting back into blogging soon, but given my next post would currently be entitled ‘Fuck Luck’ thanks to some horrendous lack of the aforementioned in our raid team, it might be better left for a week or two. I hope you’re all well and happy! xx

Honour the game

Stubborn over at Sheep the Diamond  has continued the discussion on the WoW community, and how ongoing issues of asshattery and jerkism could potentially be addressed via finding ‘common ground’ . The most awesome thing I got out of his post was a new response to jerks –  in groups, and in general…

“HONOUR THE GAME”

It’s so simple. Any time anyone is a jerk, just reply with ‘Honour the Game’. You may be mocked, cursed or abused, but it says it all, and it doesn’t invite discussion. Check the post out for a more in-depth view – he says it much more eloquently than I can paraphrase here!

Posts and podcasts and tweets – oh my!

I’ve been sitting on this post for over a week now as I’ve needed some time to formulate my thoughts, but it’s been great to see how the WoW community has embraced this issue in the meantime – there have been posts and podcasts discussing it all over the interwebs.

Twizz from Twizzcast got the heads up on my blog from a listener, and discusses the issue in the last hour of Episode 29 – Icy Veins (you can download it free on iTunes). It seems my experience really riled him up, and he’s calling for a crusade on this kind of behaviour!

WoW Insider got wind of the situation via Stubborn’s incredibly cogent post, and it seems a few of their writers found it story-worthy:

Anne Stickney wrote Should players be in charge of accountability?

Allison Robert wrote Sphere of Jerkitude: That’s it, I’m outta here

Matthew Rossi wrote What does community mean in World of Warcraft?

The comments that follow these stories paint an interesting picture on the state of our community, and highlights that the majority of people are sick to death of fun suckers, that they mostly feel powerless to do anything about it as Blizzard haven’t provided the appropriate tools to deal with them, and that long-term players look back with misty eyes at the ‘good old days of WoW’.

Sure, jerks and asshats have always been around, but the community used to be able to better police itself before the advent of LFD/LFR and cross-realm zones. If you were a douche, you would quickly exhaust your avenues for group play, until you were sitting in a capital city guildless and trolling trade chat because everyone had you on ignore and your bad rep followed you everywhere you went.

So, how can we honour the game?

I’d like to share some things I learned as a baby toon from some great player mentors waaaaay back in 2008 that I feel help me honour the game. It’s these things that seem to be fast disappearing in the wider community, and I think the game is poorer for it.

As a guild member, it’s nice to:

  • Say hello when you log in, and say goodbye when you log off
  • Congratulate people on significant achievements
  • Keep a level head on your shoulders – many guilds have players from widely different gaming backgrounds and skill/experience levels – you’re NOT any better than them just because you raid and they don’t, or you have 300k HK’s and they run behind a tree and hide in BG’s – don’t be an elitist pig to the people you see every day!
  • Bother to get to know people personally – what their interests are outside of WoW, what they do for a living etc. You might find common ground for late night drunken conversations!
  • Ask people in guild if they’d like to do x/y/z before queuing up solo – you never know who else would like to help you out/come along unless you ask!
  • Respond when someone asks a question in guild chat, even if it’s noob/derp/stoopid/lazy (the last one tends to get the ‘Google is your friend’ response in our guild, but hey – at least you bothered to reply!)

As a player out in the big wide world, it never hurts to:

  • Buff a player of your faction when you come across them questing
  • LOOK around you when questing/taking on elites etc – there’s nothing worse than an asshat coming in and tagging your mob, then leaving you to kill it!
  • On the point above: if someone else is in your close vicinity when you come across an elite – WHISPER THEM and ask if they’d like to help out – two makes it faster than one! The other person could well have been preparing to engage when you swooped in on your flying mount (damn you MoP and making baby toons run everywhere!)
  • Respond politely and helpfully when a low level character of your class whispers you, complimenting you on your gear and asking for advice or tips – you never know where a new friendship could begin!
  • Offer to help someone out if you come across them and they’re dying/dead to a particularly curly mob. You might get abused, but you might also make someone’s day!
  • Be polite to players on your server, and foster positive relations between like-minded guilds. For us, this has resulted in a pool of players coming together under the <Insidious> banner after many years of friendship and drunken Friday night joint runs. Sadly, this has also been as a result of some great guilds on Nagrand disbanding, but we’re all on the same page, and that helps keep the game fun.
  • Let the leader/s of another guild know when you’ve had a bad experience with one of their members – you might get the kind of abuse I did recently, but any guild worth its salt will take it seriously and at the very least warn the offending player that behaving in that manner isn’t socially acceptable.

In dungeons/LFR, things go more smoothly if you:

  • Say ‘hey all’ and ‘thanks for the run’
  • Don’t start pulling before the group has zoned in/healer has switched specs/druid has done symbiosis (that 5 minute cast kills me) >.< A quick ‘heya – all ready?’ really does set the tone for the run, and makes it more pleasant for everyone
  • Ask if people know the instance BEFORE you pull – you never know what experience the pug you’re in group with has
  • Take the time to explain a basic mechanic that avoids a wipe
  • If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all (I’ve been guilty of responding to trolls in the past out of pure frustration, but my most recent approach has been to wait for the inevitable group kick then grin wickedly to myself)
  • If someone asks a question in a group, don’t respond with ‘DERP NOOB’ or even worse – silence – try and help them out. We were all new players once!
  • DO NOT QUEUE AS A TANK IN PVP GEAR!!! I’ve seen it so often, and my mana pool as healer off-spec hates you for it. Yes, you DO have threat issues, yes, you ARE going down like the proverbial sack of shit when you get hit by a mob, and no, your gear IS NOT just as good as PVE gear! On this point, always make sure you can see your healer’s mana – when they’re empty and you continue to pull then say ‘OMFG WHERE’S THE HEALS’ you’re not going to win friends and influence people.

As a raider, you should always:

  • Be prepared with your own flasks and food, just ‘in case’
  • Listen to your raid leader, and restrict ‘feedback’ to your guild forums unless asked directly
  • Research progression fights or at LEAST run LFR (a more recent tool) to have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into
  • Research your own class and spec, gemming, enchanting and reforging – it’s not everyone else’s job to tell you how to play your toon
  • Be ready for a well-timed joke that gets everyone laughing after the 50th progression wipe – it can break the tension and help lighten the mood, often with great results.

I’m sure there are plenty of ways of honouring the game I’ve forgotten about so I’ll pass it over to you. How do you honour this game we all love?

Anti-Asshat week gains momentum

Even the Daily Blink boys have had enough

Well it’s been a very interesting week, and standing up for my belief that the WoW community should be a pleasant, friendly place to spend your spare time by posting about my recent experience has certainly caused me some grief both publicly and privately, but I think it was WORTH IT.
It all started with Nav from The Daily Frostwolf, whose post, Navi is declaring Anti-Asshat Week set off a number of related posts in the community. In reading these posts, I saw a recurring theme – that people are sick to death of trolls and asshats in game, that most ‘mature’ gamers who have a professional life and family responsibilities are frustrated by the same behaviours, and that Blizzard are nowhere near tough enough on these ‘Call of Duty’ type cretins. I also popped into the Girls Gone Wow podcast at Navi and Sal’s encouragement to discuss the issue – admittedly, after 2 hours of sleep and rather late to the table, which made me a tad fuzzy minded and repetitive, but hey – it happens! *facepaw*

Hit the links below for some insightful reading.

Typhoon Andrew: How to ruin your Guild’s reputation

They Call me Sal: Monday Mischief: Anti-Asshat Week

Sheep the Diamond: Spare the Rod, Spoil the Game – with Lots of Graphics!

Siha Games: Taming the jerk brigade

As a responsible Guild Master who believes that people have a right to play their game of choice in comfort, I’ll take abuse from my aggressors, ex-guild members (who were only ever removed for damned good reasons) and other random asshats who like a good flame war if it means people start standing up for themselves and others by not turning the other cheek when abuse occurs.

I learned very early on in my WoW gaming life that the single most important thing you can do to make a difference is be helpful and polite to the players you come into contact with, and that what you do out in the world reflects on the guild name you wear above your head. It used to actually MATTER before the advent of LFD and LFR – hell, I can remember a particular character on Nagrand called MightyMoe who was the server’s biggest asshat, and whose name was mud to the point that an old officer of mine used to ACTUALLY kick people from the guild if they mentioned his NAME. The guy was racist, offensive in the extreme, misogynistic, a ninja and a general troll.

The end result?

He’s no longer on Nagrand, because the community effectively drove him out. I bet he managed to make most people’s ignore list too.

I reflect on that time with a sense of misty-eyed reverie, and hope that one day that sense of real community can be recaptured.

I know, I know, I’ve been a slack blogger…

But I have reasons!!! I need to DO ALL THE THINGS!

I need to build my farm…. LOOK AT THAT PUMPKIN FINIA!!!

And not to mention….

I need to get me a MONKEY MAGIC mount!!!

As well as…

Falling into the big empty...

Falling into the big empty…

And den?

Some killingz of zee Horde!

And DENNNNNN?!

Raid time – strike a pose and – FREEZE!

NO AND DEN!

Yag found a seashell by the seashore… All kinds of wrong!

I plan on getting back into things full-time soon, but with all the rep grinding and gearing and raiding we’re doing, it might be a bit sporadic for a while. I’m loving MoP so far, and hope you are too!!

 

 

 

Shared topic < 7 Deadly Sins

This week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic comes from Noahdeer.

“We all know of the Seven deadly sins (Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy and Gluttony) and we all succumb to aspects of them at one time or another, but is there one particular sin that affects you more than the others when you play World of Warcraft? Are you a bit too prideful about your armor set? or Do you look upon someone with envy when they have a piece of armor that you don’t have yet?”

Wrath

noun: strong vengeful anger or indignation

RAWR.

Things that make me wrathful include the following wrathy-type stuff:

  • Ze PEEVEEPEE. Makes me RAGE. Especially when Alliance lose the first flag/base and some troll immediately starts up with ‘let them win – we’re fail’. My swear jar if well overfull from my 2v2 arena experiences (priest/mage combo pre-5.0.4 anyone?) Mages also make me wrathful, but not so much now they have given druids back their god given right to shapeshift out of CC!
  • Immature ex-guild members trolling members. Grow the eff up, why don’t you? Get a life, and move on – I don’t want you spam healing me when I’m standing in Stormwind to let me know you’re there – I have you on ignore for a REASON! You’re also not in the guild for a reason!
  • Epeening, arrogant assholes in PUGs. No need to be so nasty to the poor noob healer – how about TRY to explain the boss mechanic/ability etc?
  • LFR Loot ninjas.
  • Did I mention PVP?

Greed

noun: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed

Photoshop skills weren’t good enough to replace coins with mounts, so this will have to do.

Lots of things make me feel greedy, but the following are what I most covet:

  • Pretty mounts make me go bug-eyed. They also make me drool, make my heart pound, and make me wish that all my guildies would miraculously drop dead when one drops.
  • Pets – pretty much the same as mounts.
  • Achievements – I’m greedy when it comes to cheevs – I must. get. them. all.

Sloth

noun: disinclination to action or labour

FUGLY, but how I feel sometimes…

What makes me feel like a furry, butt-ugly animal?

  • Grinding rep – it’s enough for me to want to gouge my own eyeballs out – with a spoon.
  • Turtle mount farming. Just no. FU Blizz. I give up.
  • Have Group, Will Summon made me just a ‘bit’ lazy during Cata.
  • Mount farming in general – while this sounds conflicted with my greedy stuff, what I’m talking about here is parking my 7 other alts outside the same instances I farm, and doing it on them all every week. I was given this advice by a number 1 on server mount whore, but I just. can’t. do. it. I’d rather throw heavy leather balls at guildies in Stormwind while I whinge about it in guild chat.

Pride

noun:the quality or state of being proud, as; a: inordinate self-esteem (conceit) b: a reasonable or justifiable self-respect c: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship

Ok so I put in another Alamo reference – PRIDE works for lions!!

As far as pride goes, I’ll respond to point B:

  • I have great pride in my guild, and the people in it. They’re awesome, and make my hobby time fun.
  • What our guild has achieved regardless of the challenges we’ve faced makes me proud. We’ve kept it together through thick and thin, and we’re now stronger than  ever before. That makes me REALLY proud.

Lust

noun: an intense longing or craving

My future husband and I…

One word: Malfurion. I wish he’d kick Tyrande to the curb so we could get married and have a litter of untamedhellcat/bird/deer baby things together. That is all.

BOM CHICKA WAH WAH.

Envy

noun: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

the green-eyed monster…

What makes me envious? hmmmm:

  • Truly hardcore progression guilds. I’m talking world top 20 guilds. I sometimes WISH I had the kind of time commitment it would take to actually raid at that intensity of progression, but alas, I do not. So I shall sit here and be jelly instead.
  • Anyone with the Ashes of A’lar. Yes, EFF YOU Finia.
  • Anyone else with all the mounts I’ve never seen drop in our raids. We’re cursed…

Gluttony

noun: greedy or excessive indulgence

om nom nom

I’m a glutton for:

  • punishment.
  • peeveepee at the end of an xpac and I’m bored absolutely shitless.
  • Raiding – we’re still trying to farm the last few mounts we can a week and a half out from MoP (See Greed for more info).

This was a great shared topic – I just wish I’d had more  free time this week to do it  justice!

Feel free to tell me about your deadly sins in the comments below 😉

A tribute to the Holy Grail

BEST. DAILY BLINK. EVER.

I didn’t think it was possible that I could ever be more of a fan girl of The Daily Blink than I already am, but this recent comic has made them my all-time heroes! My all-time favourite Monty Python movie, combined with WoW Darkmoon Rabbit references and pure witty humour?!!

*dies and goes to kitty heaven*

I’ve been camping this little bastard on and off all week, so I was sad to log in this morning and see this…

So many bones… did they forget to RUN AWAYYYY?!

Guessing I’ll be waiting a bit longer to fight the fabled Rabbit of Caerbannog now 😦

I warned you – I WARNED YOU!

I’ve consoled myself for now by living vicariously through the angst and nerdrage of other bloggers…

Tome of the Ancient made me laugh out loud…

The Daily Frostwolf is still on the hunt…

Bubbles of Mischief had a beta encounter she’d rather forget…

Blog Azeroth shared topic < What spell would I most want?

This week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic came from Arvash, and was a no brainer for me. With Mists almost upon us, so too comes potentially the most awesome druid ability ever – Symbiosis.

So, what spell would I most want as a feral kitty? Feral Spirit, of course!

Is that you, Brey? Oh no, it’s just your wolves I STOLED FROM CHOO!

There’s something about the idea of having a couple of dog minions running around ripping shit up on my behalf that I find… well… strangely satisfying, and rather funny. Imagine how hilarious it would be to pop Feral Spirit and my new home boys, the treants at the same time?

Talk about a posse! (Diablo Witch Doctor, anyone?)

While I have been too lazy to level to 90 on beta (mostly because I didn’t want to ruin the questing for myself), my research shows that Feral Spirit acts as a mage’s mirror images do – a weaker version of the real thing. Regardless of it’s viability (or lack thereof) on live, it’s still something that excites me!

How about you? What spell would you most want if you had the choice?

untamedhellcat trolls The Queue

DEAD serious.

Why was it dead serious on The Queue, you may ask? I blame The Daily Blink

Trolls on trolls!

for this…

Kitty troll-rick-roll!

The question caused much argument in the comments, and a whole heap of derpheads ‘actually’ thought it was a serious question…. aaaah must be a slow news day. A response from one of MANY commenters, below…

In reality, it is only technically oblate spherical (think a perfect sphere, that is very very very very slightly squished on the north/south axis, so the equator is just a bit longer than any meridian), mostly do to the earth’s rotation and the moons pull over the eons.  Considering there is like 50km difference between lengths, it is less .4% difference: you wouldn’t be wrong to call it a sphere.  A ping pong ball is less spherical than the earth.  Would you call a ping pong ball oblate spherical, or just a sphere?

Gotta love a bit of deep nerd! ❤

Wish they would have used my ‘almost non-troll’ question instead…

What – it was a valid question!!! Stupid Rabbit.

The day a ‘careless whisper’ turned into a new friendship

I had the most amazing experience today of my short blogging life! I was whiling away the hours of my Sunday, playing my baby warlock (who has only just hit 85), when I got a ‘careless whisper’ from a baby mage ‘Miniices’ that started the following conversation:

Miniices: ‘hi there 🙂 I was wondering if I could ask a question about one of your guildies?’

Me: ‘sure?’

Miniices: ‘I was REALLY slow 🙂 I was looking for Arkham. Did he log on to another alt? Or did he just go offline?’

Me: ‘lol no he’s offline – why?’

Miniices: ‘ he was there one sec ago >.< damn :)’

Me: ‘Can I help?’

Miniices: ‘lol I’m a fan of his. Well, his blog.’

Me: ‘o.o from his blog? aaah’

At this point, I had a ‘gut feeling’ about who this could possibly be, as the person she was talking about was Mortigen, one of our long-standing officers and author of Typhoon Andrew’s – Eye of the Storm, a great blog with a history that goes back to 2006. I won’t ruin it for you just yet though, as the conversation continued…

Me: ‘well he’s just logged on to another toon, so whisper Diamon’

Miniice: ‘please don’t tell him – I want it to be a surprise!’

Me: ‘no probs.’

Some time passes, and I asked Mort if my hunch was correct in guild chat. I took it by his silence that he was rather distracted with his new ‘friend’, but he had said ‘this is awesome’ so I then whispered her saying:

Me: ‘Mort is quite chuffed’

Miniices: ‘really? I’m so glad!’

This is where it got AMAZING.

Me: ‘Are you Navi?’

Her initial reaction to this was ‘I’m good ty’ and then it clicked for her.

Miniice: ‘oh! You know who I am!!!’

It was NONE OTHER than the wonderful and sweet Navimie, of The Daily Frostwolf!!!!

Now I must admit, I immediately had chills down my spine, as I’m a long-term lurker on her blog, and had only just read about a horrible experience she’d had a few weeks back when trying to contact another of her blogging heroes for Navispam on another server (which I won’t go into, but suffice it to say I ‘almost’ did something I’ve never done before, which is to stand up for a total stranger on the internet! You can read all about it here at the Big Bear Butt – he was one angry bear, who wasn’t scared to call out the asshat involved!)

So I played it all cool, but I had a massive smile on my face as I told her I read her blog regularly, to which her response was ‘NO WAY!!! I’m all starstruck now! Well I must get a shot with you as well!!’

I got onto my druid main and met her and Mort for some screenies in Stormwind, then we went and met her on her Nagrand Horde toon Navimie in Shattrath for further ‘close-ups’ with yet another great blogger, Dragonray of Azerothian Life.

I honestly felt like all my christmases had come at once! A new blogger, meeting two of her own heroes on a lazy Sunday!

Navi switched back to her Ally mage, and we had a long and lovely conversation about all kinds of things, and realised we’re very similar-minded! I invited her to hit me up any time if she wanted to join our guild on her little baby mage, explaining it would be an honour to have her.

Her response?

‘I feel honoured!’

And thus, a new friendship was born.

If ever you happen to come across Navi on her travels, you’ll find out for yourself what an enthusiastic and amazing chick she is. I tip my hat to you Miss Navi, and look forward to chatting with you again next time you’re in Nagrand’s neighbourhood 🙂

Ultimate honour – Dragonray, Navimie and Mort all in the same place!

(oh, and I’ll update with a proper screenshot once I get hold of one – in my excitement I forgot to take one!)