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.

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hot tip: wrathion questline

I finally got to 10/10 10/10 sigil jiggers today, and was able to move on to the next step in the legendary quest chain, which is killing the Sha in Terrace of the Endless Spring and looting a chimera thingo off him.

This bit is where the tip comes in...

This bit is where the tip comes in…

As I had already done Terrace LFR this week, I thought I would test if you could still loot the quest item if you were saved to the instance loot-wise.

The short answer is that it was a SUCCESS – you can INDEED do Terrace for a 2nd time in the same lockout and loot the Sha for the quest item. The ensuing questline is awesome, to say the least (spoiler alert!)…

Gimme some love - and a gem!

Gimme some love – and a gem!

I now have my drool-worthy Sha-Touched gem – now all I need is the weapon I can socket it into!

I hope this tip helps!

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.

On being irked by jerks…

Yes, yes I do.

Well I’ve been busy plugging away at raiding and gearing and dailies and everything else that goes with MoP (hence my lack of blogging), but it appears that no matter what you do in Azeroth, one thing remains constant – asshats.

In a recent Sha run I was putting together, I had the great displeasure of encountering a member of a new guild on Nagrand, Vault Hunters. This ‘warrior‘ joined the run as I was putting a shout out in trade chat, and a few pugs in the group asked for a brief run down on boss mechanics, as they hadn’t done it before.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in plenty of fail Sha runs, so I responded with ‘sure – once the run is full I’ll fill you in’ – after all, I’d rather one-shot the boss than wipe and have it tagged by the Horde on the corpse run back!

From this seemingly innocent and helpful response, aforementioned warrior pipes up in raid chat with ‘you just dps the boss – it’s not hard’.

Mhmmmm – right.

I continued to fill the group, as the warrior repeated himself a number of times – overandoverandoverandover again. I decided to respond politely with ‘well there are a number of people who have asked for a rundown, so I will be explaining basic mechanics. I prefer not to wipe because people don’t know what to do, and it doesn’t take long to explain. If you don’t like it, you’re free to leave – your choice’.

‘YOU JUST DPS – IT’S NOT HARD!’

*remove from group*

Alot of ‘thank god for that’ comments in raid chat. Within seconds, what do I get?

WARNING: Offensive language!

Just – wow.

I responded intelligently, and then put them on ignore. End of the story? I think not!

This asshat then took to trade chat, and abused me for an hour. I had them on ignore of course, but the abuse was so bad that people from other guilds were telling the guy to STFU. Now I know you’re probably thinking I shouldn’t have responded to this vitriol at all, but after the carrying on this person did in raid chat, I was getting pretty pissed, so figured a basic response would get them to bugger off.

As a female, I took great offence to the word used, so I did what is commonly perceived to be the ‘mature’ thing in an MMO -I did a /who and looked officers up on armory. Luckily (or so I thought at the time) one was online, so I whispered them to confirm this, asking ‘hey there, are you an officer?’.

Officer: ‘Of what?’

…..

Me: ‘your guild?’.

Officer: ‘so are you gonna have a cry to me about one of my guildies? You need to get a life, take a break and realise this is just a GAME.’

Me: ‘…… errr forget it.’ *ignore*

No asking what the issue was, just straight out abuse right off the bat. Charming.

After this, I sent an in-game mail to the GM, explaining the situation so that they knew how their players were interacting out in the world. There was no demand of a gkick, punishment or the like – just a factual account of the situation and an explanation of why I found the situation so offensive.

(As an aside, you do NOT just dps the effing Sha – Icy Veins wouldn’t bother to post a STRATEGY on it if you did! Yes, it is relatively simple, but you still need to stay out of Bitter Thoughts, break MC targets and move away from other players when you get Growing Anger – DERP.)

Need I repeat myself?

A day or so later, and after many, many abusive and borderline psychotic whispers from various members of this guild on mains and alts to both myself and other members of my guild (some of which went along the lines of ‘please tell your GM to stop harassing me and my guild members’ and asking ‘is it a woman? It must be a woman’)…

Errrr – what the serious EFF?! Yes, go ahead and report me for continuing to put you and your guild members on ignore…

To which I responded with ignore after ignore. Then their GM whispered me.

Well, at least he was polite…

He went on to tell me the worst offender was a 17 year old kid. Five years older than my own daughter, who would never consider speaking to people in such a manner, and who happened to be looking at my screen on one of the nights I was being sent foulmouthed abuse, which I spoke to their GM about (as she was upset that her mum was being spoken to that way). Apparently being a wow player means I am also neglecting my child…

Oh yes, I am the loser on the internet, abusing YOU?!?!?! Please, do continue!

Now I wouldn’t normally ‘name names’ in this kind of situation, but the abuse didn’t stop after multiple in-game tickets. It has stopped now, but I’m presuming that’s because I spent 2 hours on the phone to Blizzard until I could speak with someone about the situation, and they put in a strongly worded ticket from their end.

I’ve only shown the absolute ‘pearlers’ here, but suffice it to say, I have never experienced this level of harassment in all my years of wow, and if this is how the community is evolving into a ‘younger demographic’, I’m going to need to reconsider where I choose to spend my gaming time.

On a closing note, I have one last, rather hilarious screenshot to share with you…

It’s all good little boy, I don’t need to send it to Blizzard – that’s way too old school. I’ll just share your asshattery with the entire internet instead 🙂

I would advise all fellow Nagrandians to give these douchebags a wide berth.

/end rant

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!!

 

 

 

Between a rock and a hard place > when casuals want to become core

The sign says it all…

I’ve had this ‘insidious’ feeling of anxiety building over the past few weeks that I just haven’t been able to put a cause to. But with MoP now only days away, I’ve finally figured out what’s been scratching away at the back of my mind…

What will happen to our guild on launch week?

Having been a WoW player since 2008, I’ve seen my share of tiers and expansions, and the inevitable comings and goings of raiders over time. This experience tells me that Insidious could (potentially) be in for a challenge in a little over a week.

The great thing about our guild is that we have non-raiders, social members, casual raiders and (hard)core raiders all actively engaging with each other through various interests. They talk about stats and gems. They talk about addons *rolls eyes*. They are beginning to talk about class changes, and theorycraft. On rolling a new character, they ask questions of people with that class as a main, and they get cogent, helpful answers without any elitist epeen. They tell dirty jokes in guild chat while the core team is raiding, often leading to outbursts of laughter and spitting of wine in vent (*note to self – turn guild chat off during raids – your keyboard can’t take much more wine abuse!).

They roll outrageous panda names ‘Huflungpoo & Yooflungpoo’ on placeholder characters, run to Stormwind and get all up in the grill of some Enigma players outside the AH.

The offending soon-to-be-panda trolls at the scene of the crime…

This is the magical mystery woofer – afk as usual…

On that note, does anyone know of an addon that can enable players to see the main of someone on an alt? This woofer worgen we were taunting was a truly magical being, as he went quiet for a bit, then came out with ‘Genowen & Finia, huh.’

uh oh, busted.

“YOU’RE A MAGICAL WOOFER MYSTERY WORGEN! PLEASE DON’T TELL MY GM, OR I’LL HAVE TO KICK MYSELF IN THE ASS!!”

He found out our mains from our little baby pandas-in-waiting?! What the, Mr Magical Mystery Worgen!! Does anyone know of where this trickery originates?

*cough* ok, back on topic. I just had to ask if anyone knows how he did it.

All this shows that we promote a guild culture where it’s the people, not the progression status, that keeps everyone logging in. Everyone has value – hell, that’s why they’re in the guild!

With a 3-night raid schedule, being a lootmaster currently trying to get her non-math brain around implementing an EPGP loot system, and the additional responsibilities being an active GM requires, I sometimes feel a bit ‘stretched’ to do what I do best – getting to know every member of the guild through actually spending time with them, doing what they want to do. (Wanna kill a world boss? No problem, even if the whale shark DID kill us 10 times last time)! I have a feeling it’s about to step up a notch.

Here is where the rock and a hard place comes in…

What happens when casuals want to become core?

I’m blessed to be part of a great guild of people who range in age from 16 to 50+ (the 16 year old LIED TO ME! but we let him stay, as a pet. And we tease him, mercilessly), and I’ve had the great pleasure of 5-manning, raiding, pvping and being a general dingleberry with all of them. All have varying schedules for their WoW time, and that often impacts on the content they consume in-game. Over the course of cataclysm, we’ve seen various core raiders take a step back for real life stuff, and we’ve recruited to fill the gaps.

What we have right at this moment is a highly competitive raid team that have been playing together long enough to have developed that x-factor of raiding – group synergy. We’re running a core roster of 14-15 on progression content, and we’re planning a second ‘casual’ team for Saturday afternoons in MoP so that guildies with more limited schedules can still access current content through a more relaxed approach. We’ve pre-planned as much as is humanly possible, but there will always be a curve ball we didn’t anticipate.

There will always be players who really WANT to play in the core team, but who just can’t commit to 3 solid nights of raiding. They always have the best of intentions, but there are some people you just know can’t realistically commit. Also:

  • Some won’t be happy with what they see as a ‘B’ team, even though that team can be just as competitive on a more limited schedule – it just takes more planning and preparation.
  • Some will push for a core spot based on time in guild, history, raid composition etc, and will be very vocal when they’re politely declined.
  • Some have only recently started playing the game, and don’t have the experience needed for progression content – these guys would benefit most from a casual team.
  • Some simply don’t have the reaction speed required to raid competitively, even though we love them to death.

It’s always a tricky situation to be in. Do you:

  • prioritise skill over friendship?
  • make contribution to progression during the most recent tiers a requirement?
  • prioritise friendship over skill?
  • ignore all history, and create an optimal core team from a pool of classes and skill sets?

Grrr… arrrgh…

It’s really doing my head in. It’s important to keep my guild as happy as possible, but it’s impossible to please everyone. I’ve made some big long posts on the guild forums about our expectations for the core team, which we’ve never done before. It shows how we’re evolving as a ‘core progression raid team’, but doesn’t impact so much on non-raiding or casual guild members.

I think the other part of my anxiety is that I’m anticipating comments along the lines of ‘you’ve gone hardcore, but the guild is ‘social progression’ oriented’. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t want to hear it that a guild doesn’t have to be forced into being ‘one thing’. Our experience during Cataclysm taught us:

  • that truly difficult content (think t11 pre-nerfs in 346 gear) will always bring the committed players to light
  • that when the going gets tough, the dedicated members will see it through, and the casuals will drop off
  • that if someone was once Horde, they will likely return to the Horde side when you’re at a progression road block to chase that boss kill – once a Hordie, always a Hordie *evil grin*
  • that people all have a different idea of what ‘hardcore’ is – some think it’s time investment or heroic v/s normal content, others think it’s mentality
  • that people will get upset when they’re not included in the core run, but will also understand why when it’s communicated properly
  • that Malfurion is a sexy beast, and needs to get rid of Tyrande…
  • that our first crack at a formal loot system via Konfer Suicide Kings really didn’t work for serious progression; in fact, it favoured and even sometimes encouraged casuals/casual behaviour
  • that most of our more casual guildies are laid back about raiding, and are happy to fill in when they’re online or sit out farming gold by dancing on a mailbox or trolling guild chat for lols
  • that there are plenty of fun things to do outside of PVE raiding, and it’s only going to get better in MoP.

Now do you see why I feel so freaking anxious?!

And what about returning players??!!

Returning players – I LOVE them! Our ‘retired’ rank is rather overstuffed at this point, and Mortigen mentioned to me over the weekend that we should probably have a clean out of people who hadn’t logged in for over a year, but I just. couldn’t. do. it. I believe my immediate and vehement response was something along the lines of:

‘NO! They might come back one day! I don’t want them to feel all alone and be guildless if they log back in.’

I just get so excited when an old friend logs on out of the blue after a long absence, but it always brings its own set of challenges for the officers to manage:

  • established groups will change as a result of shifts in the guild’s social dynamics, potentially leading newer members of the guild to feel marginalised through the lack of ‘history’ old friends share
  • raid spots in the core team are already competitive, and good players are hard to find. There could be pressure to include a returning player over an existing raider for various composition/skill reasons
  • people returning after progression has commenced who are behind on the gear curve and need extra help.

My tentative approach is going to be to err on the side of caution until people hit level 90 and are geared for raiding. We have made the expectations clear, and we plan to enforce that, even if it means delaying our start to progression. This includes initially saying that returning players or people who haven’t raided t12/13 won’t have any priority for core spots.

The people who have done the hard yards recently are those who ‘officially’ get priority, and I think that’s a good thing – it rewards those who have gone the distance with us through a challenging expansion.

We plan on getting a second team up and running, which will also help the core roster with being able to rotate experience in and out of the casual team. We’ve done all we can, and now it’s up to the gods to see what happens.

How about you? What do you think the challenges will be for your guild in MoP?

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…

CAT DURID IS 4 FITE!

Ok, that’s it. I’ve made the decision to stop lurking on other feral druid blogs, waiting for any measly little scrap of conversation about the almighty kitty spec, and create my own.

After all, CAT DURID IS 4 FITE!!

CAT DURID IS 4 FITE!!

CAT DURID IS 4 FITE!! (from massivecrits.com)

To my long-time heroes who have gone before – Alaron of The Fluid Druid, Vallen of Feral Aggression and John Patricelli of The Big Bear Butt – I salute you, and hope that I can contribute some meaningful thoughts to the feral community and somehow fill your big bloggy paw prints!

While I’m not much of a math chick (I was in what we called ‘Vegie’ Maths in high school) which means number crunching really isn’t my thang, I do know and love my feral druid spec – hell, I’ve been playing main spec feral since I first started playing wow back in 2008, and I’ve never EVER EVER looked back.

Aaahhhhh…

Memory, all alone in the moonlight, I can dream of the old days, life was beautiful then….

  • Swiping away at all those lovely trash packs in the first room in ICC *drool*. Pulling extra mobs while ‘thinking’ no one is watching to push your numbers through the roof and shadowmelding on the tank. ‘NO IT WAS NOT ME! IT WAS THE HUNTARD!’
  • That AMAZING dps buff on Blood-Queen Lana’thel. AMAZING. ‘cept when I’d get the first bite from my insane threat generation and everyone would yell at me 😦 ‘I BLAME THE TANKS!’
  • Berserk used to remove stuffs in PVP. Really – it did.
  • Those days before they took away our DRUID-GIVEN right to shape-shift out of that GODDAMN FREAKING CRAPPY MAGE ICE CC JIGGER!

And they’re only a few – the old brain isn’t what it used to be. I don’t just do PVE – I PVP too, but it makes me a ‘little bit’ angry so I try to only go in when rambling, slurring drunk.

Bit of a random post, but more will come – soon.