26 November 2018

Sweets Has Peeled Off Again

I know... I know... I said I wouldn't do it. And I should have learned by now that any time I say I wont do a thing with that much conviction I'm waiting for someone else to prove me wrong. LOL It's like an internal dare... "Challenge accepted!" I hear myself say.

Well... Dalaran, US is FULL and terribly so. I've actually had login screens that waited awhile already and there's been no new content.

Lions Guard, Dalaran, US

I'm  hard leveling her 102-120 and just sort of DYING to get to 110 and away from the Legion content.

Lets recap. Because I just interviewed for a social casual raiding guild and was a little let down that these questions weren't asked.

Toons on my roster:
Julienne, Fury Warrior name changed to Allumette on Baelgun -- Uldaman, Cenarius, Uldaman, Baelgun
Bazooka, Fire Mage -- Uldaman, Baelgun
Kilijan, Destruction Warlock -- Uldaman, Baelgun
Holle, Unholy DK -- Akama, Akama Horde, Uldaman Horde, Baelgun Alliance
NowYaDont, Combat (Outlaw) Rogue -- Baelgun
Julz, Fury Warrior name was Julienne and necessitated name change of my main which has since been corrected -- Baelgun only
Synnedagain, Retribution Paladin -- Farstriders Horde, Baelgun Alliance
Havwemet, Shadow Priest -- Baelgun only
Sigvorth, un-specified Monk -- Baelgun only
Freyaschild, Beastmastry Hunter -- Farstriders Horde, Baelgun Horde, Baelgun Alliance
Sweetassyn, Arms Warrior now rocking Fury for awhile -- Akama, Akama Horde, Uldaman Alliance, Baelgun, Dalaran

Akama = PVP server
Baelgun = PVE server
Cenarius = PVE server
Dalaran = combined PVE server, which I believe they all are, now... with the advent of WarMode
Farstriders = RP server
Uldaman = PVE server

I've played since 9-4-2012. All of them combined have played 313 days as of today's count, and don't include deleted characters, of which there are very many. Every faction change or server change represents money spent to consolidate characters, escape shitty situations or otherwise try something new. Remember, before Cataclysm we couldn't chat across the servers and so if you wanted to play with a friend you had to be on the same server with that friend. We're talking probably close to $2,000 and a whole lot more if you count expansion costs, monthly fees and all the pets and mounts that could be purchased, not to mention paying for other people's moves (that friend thing again) and faction changes and pets and mounts as gifts and guildie time codes etc...

Also: I sat there gobsmacked while the GM "interviewed" me by telling me that they play games, they do PVP and RP things and also do runs together. They gather together etc... and I so badly wanted to talk about the games we'd created and that we hosted... and it just never really fit in. We played Hide and Seek all over the world, we raced around the world with SUPER low level characters in Death Races to see if a group of high level toons could work together to keep a lowbie alive. We had costume parties and photo shoots and made guild calendars that were printed and shared to the whole guild as gifts. We had trivia and even created separate chat channels for it so we could play the whole time we were "playing" the main game. We played Naked PvP to teach people how to get over feeling like everything was always gear and instead to just have fun. I have been an officer or creator of almost every guild I've ever been in because I love playing the game like a whole complete world inside of our own world.

I started the game on Uldaman, US because my friend Mike played the game there.  At that time that's how the game was played. I made Julienne and shortly thereafter I created Kilijan and then for the Lich King expansion I created Anubusson, a DK who has since been deleted. On Farstriders, US server where we kept our Horde side toons I started Freyaschild and Synnedagain. Then my friend Jake convinced me to come play on Akama, US, a PVP server... in part because I had been told on both of the other server types that it was VERY hard and that I probably couldn't level, I started another warrior. There SweetAsSyn was born and soon joined by Holle, my Blood DK. By the end of BC I was raiding a little bit and I developed a serious taste for it. By the end of the LK expansion I'd learned what it meant to grow towards raiding as a goal and what it was like to be excluded because I wasn't the best, and the damage done by having a tight-knit group with the knowledge and an agenda towards building a 10 man raid group that excluded others regardless of ability.

I learned that the play-style actually DID affect the way that you see the world, the way that you interact with the other players and in some really important ways can really affect the way you relate to your characters. And most importantly I learned that having a tight-knit group of friends that you play with is what addicted me to the game, and never reclaiming them or having them reliably again is what has allowed me to walk away so many times. Because if there's no one else there to care, or to work for it WITH then who cares? LFR might be a great tool... and it's only a tool full of tools. I hate it in all the ways that I hate most of the other grouping tools. I like tanks who pay attention and who don't skip and run through and put us all at risk of accidentally not meeting their requirements of skipping half of the content just because they're lazy. I hate lazy players of all types. And LFR and LFG has destroyed the idea that a group goes in and carefully clears the dungeon like they're playing a table top game that's gone 3D and fully interactive! LOL

I learned that some types of guilds are incompatible with other types of guilds. And no matter how many times or places I moved or tried to convince the new leadership of this I was argued with or told that "they could do it when others couldn't" and while I hold myself accountable to stopping playing at the end of Cata, at the end of Pandaria, at the beginning of Draenor, and again in the middle of Legion I really can't blame myself for everything... the fact that at each point the raiding became a thing that I couldn't do because of proving grounds is on Blizzard and I'll hate them forever for it because I STILL fear things like them as the gates they really were and are because I'm just not going to be good enough in all the ways to get my pantheon of characters through all the trials and that meant that I couldn't play my main in two expansions. And the guild and constant in-fighting and struggling to get things together and the unfair weight placed on too many individuals INDIVIDUALLY was just too fucking much. So at the end of Legion I left the game after going into a guild of me myself and Jon and that's where I've stayed.

And here we are in BFA... and so far so good. I really love it. I have a bunch of 120's with no experience in dungeons or raids because my ego is squashed... I'm afraid of that wall that I wont be able to overcome that keeps me from being able to play one or more of them and so I haven't gone looking for it in an attempt to keep playing and prove to myself that I can both like the expansion AND play in it for longer than the first 9 or 10 months. LOL

And then Jake finds a really good guild. And he wont quit telling me about it. Pressuring me about it. A guild that seems to understand the rules of engagement AND knows that to keep it social it can only ever be casual raiding, it cannot be a hardcore raiding or anything else guild. I feel the pressure in the Discord channel already... lots of the hardcore raiders are drifting in and we'll have to see if they can drift back out gracefully or if they find a home there anyway and are just held in check by the leadership. And I'm afraid of letting anyone be my tank because if they're lazy I'm going to cry. The first time they leave half of a room under a godsdamned ledge where we have to be able to tightrope walk down a hedge and through the patting mobs in order to get where they're taking us so that it becomes OUR fault that the whole group died my mouth is going to say things that I wont be able to take back. (No, really, this is THE THING now... skipping content by cutting walls, climbing rocks and sliding down the other side and trying like hell not to aggro shit... rather than just taking 10 seconds and KILLING THEM. I will admit to walking face first into these situations sometimes accidentally and sometimes "oops" on purpose because, well, once you've done it accidentally it's clear that someone is going to accidentally again or you can just do it on purpose so it's done.)

So... I know I said I wouldn't, and honestly I'm not planning on taking Kil or Julienne anywhere... Bazooka COULD go, I just think it would frankly be easier to build another mage and boost it than to mess with moving a toon so integral to the world I've built in the quiet place on Baelgun. Right now they have compatible professions to save me some cash and have all built their reputations and "/trade personalities." LOL Annnddd... Bazooka only costs $50 if it's a failed experiment AND she's already leveled... so... kinda thinking about it hardcore. (and if Alex doesn't move Laleigha then we still have an enchanter... *snort*)

And I'm doing an experiment that might hurt. But it will only hurt so much that I have to pull Sweets back for another $25 and plug her back into my own guild quietly and calmly and without lamentation. Because Blizzard changed the focus of the game forever when they introduced the idea of solo leveling and LFG and LFR and all of the tools that have made it better for a new generation and so frustrating for the old one. Terry still can't love the game because there are always dungeons required in the zones and in the professions and he simply cannot PUG in, it's been too awful of an experience for him. I don't even know if I can... I've had such a rough time of it of late that I called the tank an asshole and left a group after he held me accountable for a mistake someone else was making... and insinuated that no RANDO could ever do what he could do because "raid guild." I wanted to say that the biggest douche bags in the game are all in raid guilds and that the best players I've ever played with were all met as randos, and that was almost a decade ago now... so probably no longer even true.

So we shall see. LMAO in 313 days of playing and being the raid leader AND the tank, and just the raid leader... from being the GM and just a guildie... from being asked my opinion and being actually heard AND understood to being asked my opinion as a frame of politeness and being ignored from the moment I started answering... social guilds that were destroyed by raiding, social guilds that were only social, raiding as a PUG and being really good at it to now being afraid to PUG entirely because I don't feel confident after two expansions that pretty much told me I wasn't good enough... yeah. We shall see. I am hopeful and I really want it to work and those are both really good things in a "we shall see" scenario, at least for me.

26 September 2018

A First Time for Everything...

So, since I started raiding at the tail end of BC in WoW I have had online guides and "experts" I could go to and ask for help. In LK I actually FOUND the number one Fury warrior in the US and messaged him and asked him for help. I also approached the number one on my server (at that time I was on Uldaman, US) and found that his help was more attentive and thorough (he showed up and actually stood at a target dummy in a party with me and watched my numbers and the recount data... he was VERY helpful.) I learned a lot about my specialization and I learned a lot about other players and the people who also love being Fury warriors.

As time has gone on the same ranking out and complaining about Fury warriors has gone on with each new expansion. We're clumsy, nit-picky rotations, not reliable... blah blah blah. Until Draenor I was able to find an expert for help when I got stuck, find guides and otherwise managed to find the information I needed online. In Draenor I was defeated by the "trials" that held me in a place where I couldn't get into the raids to get the gear I needed and didn't have the time to dedicate to farming all alone without them. I got stuck at the third level and finally quit.

Hilariously, the same thing had happened to me in Pandaria. So two expansions where raids were utterly denied me by an in-game mechanic that had nothing to do with how well I could play or with my raid awareness but just with my ability to follow a scripted and BS test of my skills in order to progress.

I was hesitant in Legion because I was afraid the same thing would happen to me. It didn't. There was almost too much choice in the tree on my weapon... and it led to places where I spent a lot of time online figuring out "the best" way to spec my weapon for the best DPS and power out of the gate between leveling and dungeoning or raiding. And the damned "tests" were gone. WOOOT!

I came back to Battle for Azeroth and discovered that my weapons I'd spent so much time researching and learning to use and spec and make the most useful things ever were gone. Retired. Gray letter pieces of junk to be replaced with the first decent drop I could find.

And a new tree... a new tree that I could actually sort of understand. (I say this because of what's coming, not because of how I feel... bear with me.) For three expansions my warrior sat almost shelved because I just couldn't manage to pull her DPS out of a funk, figure out the right balance of gear and stats and spec so that she'd be as awesome as she used to be. For three expansions I pulled my warlock and my mage and other "secondary" characters out of the dust and mothballs and parked my main "almost but not quite finished." And now I can get her all the way up, I can crank her DPS and I can manage to get her powerfully geared and outfitted using tools in the game that aren't gated away from me or made difficult to impossible to achieve. And she has a talent tree I understand, sort of.

See... I still can't figure out my damned stats. I change one piece of gear and the beastly DPS craters and I'm up a creek. I haven't done the "call a friendly expert" thing yet because of this... below are what the experts employed by each of the top three "help" sites recommend for my stat priority based on the same weights and numbers for each of the 5 primary statistics every character uses. THE SAME NUMBERS, NOTE THIS IMPORTANT THING:

Noxxic: Strength>Critical Strike>Haste>Versatility>Mastery
Icy Veins: Strength-Haste-Mastery-Versatility-Critical Strike
WoWHead: Haste>Strength>=Critical Strike>Mastery>Versatility

Even the experts don't agree. Not even a little bit. I have been following Noxxic because I follow the logic of the build, and because my specialization and talents don't exactly match I may want to go see if there's something closer to my build somewhere else and match my stats more closely to theirs.

Or maybe I should just screw with it for myself and publish my OWN specialization, talents and stat priorities here and give good reasons why.

There's a first time for everything, and it's just entirely possible that WoW has managed to create a game where the experts can't be right about everything, just right about what works for them. And that means we can all be experts. Right? LMAO

OMG... I'm too tired for this today. Right now Julienne isn't doing the same numbers she was three days ago... and they're still really good so I'm not going to mess with it yet. I'll keep gathering gear first. I mean... we can't be all right or all wrong... so the answer is somewhere in all these conflicting expert guides. I hope.

I'll leave you with a screen cap of the placement of Bazooka in the new PvE (means no actual players killing players going on) Warfronts. Where she has much more reliable DPS and comes in high on the data because she's able to hang on for dear life and whack the crap out of stuff. LOL

04 September 2018

BtWQuests, TomTom and Trial of Style

I play WoW... that means lots of different things happened this week. 
I hope your week was also awesome and eventful. 
Quick review of a couple of addon's.
Dead... in many different places.

BtWQuests - excellent at helping you find your way through quest chains. I love this!
TomTom - excellent at helping you find those quest chains, and your dead self. Less in love with this. LOL

This is what one of the armor sets (I don't have the tusk shoulders in red yet) looks like in the Battle for Azeroth expansion. How many Trolls did we have to scalp for this headdress?! 
(I know they're feathers.)

Trial of Style - Sept 2018
Kilijan and Julienne won 1st Prize
1. anyone can enter, you just need patterns in your transmog sets and/or gear and white letter items to put on with and in place of your armor. The transmogrifer will save your sets, so you can be as creative and clever as you want to be and then just switch it up in the competition.
2. transmogs are free during the event. you can play often and still save your hard-earned gold.
3. shirts are account wide and can only be applied if your character was wearing a shirt to begin with.
4. tabards are account wide and can only be applied if your character was wearing one to begin with.
5. groups can go in together. it's a really fun way to kill 10 minutes!
6. in case you're blonde like me, the arrows on the vote screen allow you to toggle between the two contestants on the stage so you can vote with sincerity.

I got this one for Julienne because LOOK at it! :D
This look is saved as NotAPally

20 August 2018

Before the launch of each expac...

first, I left all the drama in this blog because I feel like transparency is honesty.
08/20/2018 1 week post expac launch, almost to the hour... Julienne is 120

So... before the launch of each expac since the Lich King, which I was too new to appreciate I have walked the streets of Stormwind in WALK (that's / on the number pad) and just kind of thought about the game. And actually, it's possible that I do this BECAUSE of the Lich King, as we got our warrior King back and since then it has been like that first night racing up and going to see! Anyway... if you don't know, his end was sad and painful some years later.

I start at the front gates from Goldshire and I walk in through the town, up through old town and where the original garrisons were and now there's a whole area, then around and up to the palace and in and around, then down into the Dwarven district and across the bridge to visit the church and the graveyard and then down through the park and up into the Mage's district before ending at the bank that will always be Julienne's bank. LOL

It started as an RP ritual... something to do as a little bit of role-play before Julienne heads out on her next great adventure. And starting with the first time it was also a reliving of every weird and fun and hilarious and stressful situation she's had (translate: I have had) on those streets. From falling in the canal the first time I was there (Uldaman server) and freaking out to protecting her fine streets from vandals in the form of plagued monsters who insisted on coming in and ruining the city for us all (Uldaman) and sitting waiting for Jimmy to get Myrrdin to Stormwind because we were going fishing (Akama) and all of the other fun things. Blasting the city with smoke bombs with Renaissance guild, playing hide and seek (Uldaman and Baelgun) and other games in town. Respeccing Julienne for the first time and spending 100's in gold all of a sudden and seemingly for no reason only to have the LK expansion make it unnecessary to have done it at all. Oh... and leveling Inscription... all of it on the steps of Julienne's Bank and the auction house.

What's important is that none of the things that made me leave guilds comes up. I have a deep sadness in me that so many of the guilds that I have been a part of weren't home. And I have a tremendous happiness that the game is still a place I like.

In fact... I really like it for the first time in a long time. I saw an interview that the developers interviewed a real lot of players who'd left the game, read our comments when we ended subscriptions and talked to the real WoW stars of all time to find out why we weren't playing, what they could do and where it could go. And this is what we got. It's awesome! Rebalanced in a way I feel is playable for Julienne, and for my baby mage who stalled in Legion because it was so poorly done... a world to explore that we kind of know... a system that makes sense and the same WoW art and world that we have always adored. At least I have. And my main has her name back... her sad replacement is the auctioneer and is now Julz.
the first two girls through the adventure... Julienne and Bazooka
So... Yayifications is still a guild only for friends. For people I've known a few years and care about and trust. No more raid guild bullshit. No more assholes I don't like in my guild. This is where I will play alone until more people join me. And I love it. LOL Pst me in the game or on Facebook or wherever if you wanna join.

27 October 2016

An Open Letter To Renaissance

I joined Renaissance in the middle of the Cata expansion and at that time I was leaving a hardcore guild looking for a more social and casual one. I actually interviewed Okeret asking him a number of questions about the environment and members before asking him if I could join the guild because I wanted to find a good fit in a social and fun and friendly group of people who liked to play WoW.

After I left my old guild a number of the more social and less hardcore members followed me to Renaissance. For the first few months things were awesome. I talked my real life friends (including your current GM) and family into joining me on Baelgun in Renaissance and became an officer in the guild because I believed I had found the guild I'd been seeking.

With the release of Pandaria came a focus on growing the guild and adding more raiders as well as more casual players. At that time I was very clear in the officer's meeting that I thought we needed to identify the type of guild we wanted to be because a rift occurs in a social guild when raiders start coming in. I was concerned that we needed a clear vision before we recruited so that we didn't accidentally bring in players who would not fit in with our more casual existing membership. I was told not to worry about it and was given tasks to do to help recruitment, make the guild more social and keep everyone as happy-go-lucky as they had been just a few months earlier.

I met a lot of resistance in officer's meetings and in the guild from new and returning founding members of the guild. I also really wasn't in love with the content. I felt like we were going in a bad direction in the guild and like I was contributing to making Renaissance a place I really didn't want to stay. I drifted away and quit playing rather than keep doing a thing I didn't believe would work or leaving the guild I'd talked my friends and family into joining with me.

With the release of Draenor I returned. Okeret had let me remain an officer and again the focus of our first officer's meeting was an effort to grow the guild. I talked to other officers and again tried to explain that I felt like we needed an identity for the guild before we could recruit for new members. I felt like I was treated like I was borrowing trouble and that because I'd left and hadn't been helping in the guild during the time I was gone I didn't really know what I was talking about or have any say in where we were going or what we would be doing. I also really didn't like some of the changes in the expansion and was being shot down or treated poorly in guild chat when I asked for help. As the tension in the guild and in the officer's meetings continued to grow and my enjoyment of playing the game diminished I left again. This time entirely. I didn't even pay my subscription fees. I quit WoW. I honestly and truthfully had no intention of returning.

And I REALLY missed the game.

When this new expansion came out I returned and discovered that the guild was even quieter and more distant. It had become a guild of players with their heads down and their eyes on personal quiet little prizes that mattered to them. I got feedback almost immediately that I had been really missed and that my positive and social attitude had been lacking. I was asked by the new leadership of the guild to step up and bring the social back to a guild that was hurting for it. 

When Anpu asked me to become the social heart of the guild I was VERY clear that Renaissance is NOT a social guild... it has not been a social guild since the end of the Cata expansion. Renaissance is a quiet place for familiar people to do their own things with other people doing their own things, occasionally with other people who need the same thing, and still mostly alone. I was begged please to step up and try to bring back the heart of a fun guild.

I tried, I really did. 

I met constant and very vocal resistance or interference from the same individuals who had been the issue before and had no interest from the guild in anything remotely social. I posted 5 events to the guild calendar and even the other officers were unable or disinterested in attending. It was clear to me that the guild was happy the way it was and that trying to change it was only going to cause problems.

I took a look at things and realized I'd spent more time not playing than playing since I'd joined the guild because I didn't even like it anymore. I also realized that this time I like the expansion enough that I have no intention of leaving the game so I quit the damned guild like I should have done a long time ago.

My boyfriend Jon and I turned a bank alt guild into Yayifications, a *Casual Adult Social Guild. This is a guild for friends and family and stands for the things we want it to stand for. I miss some of you too much not to invite you to come and play with us.
So all of that to get here... 

If you would like to join Yayifications and play because we're friends and we want to play together then please go to our link (click the word Yayifications above) and read the information on the front page of the guild page and the note from the GM. If I shared this link with you myself you will become a member of the guild immediately because you're already a friend and I miss playing with you. If this has been passed to you, please apply and note who you know in the guild for an invite.

And remember, Yayifications isn't a Progression Guild or a Raiding Guild or a PvP guild or any of the other types of guild... we're just a group of friends and family who play WoW.

I miss ya, a lot. Even if you don't want to join Yayifications I'd still like to play with you so please message me on RealID.


Casual = Maybe you played WoW today, maybe you played something else or had a life. You're still a friend so you're still in the guild. Haven't seen me in awhile? Call me or message me in real life, you know I'll do the same with you.
Adult = Members are old enough to vote and use adult language and decision making skills - this isn't an invitation for adult content. 
Social = We are in a guild to play together, not because we're forced to interact with others in order to get to our end-game goals. I must add that this doesn't mean every time we're online we're doing a thing together, it means that when we are playing together it's because we want to be not because we have to be or are in some weird way obligated to be. 
Guild = Another word for a club, group, or society. A group of people who have joined together in pursuit of a common interest.

26 October 2016

On WoWing While Working... LOL

and other stuff.

So I haven't been online much so I haven't been recruiting much for Yayifications. I thought "I can do retail..." and I'm right. I totally can do retail. I can take the face-to-face like no one I've ever known... even when they're REALLY ugly with me... and the register and counting money and making sure to keep all the rules in mind? I'm a pro.

Standing on my feet all day? Not so much. Period. End. I am actually having to quit the job because the pain level I'm at by the time I leave work each day is compounding in the hours NOT on my feet until I'm waking up in pain at night even taking 2 different pain meds before bed AND a sleep aid.So... yeah... sucks. I could TOTALLY be awesome at this job if I didn't have my back and legs rebelling against me. Retail isn't easy. It's not even a cake walk, which the Food Network folks showed us is ALSO not easy.

In short, it's time to start recruiting... more on that tomorrow or later.

Now... what this blog is ACTUALLY about...

 WOOOOOT!!! Now THAT'S more like it. :D 
Not many big multi-pulls in this one, either... so it was a good reflection 
of the DPS she can pull without flasks but with food and 
some strength buffs in the form of old world potions.
And the start of a new "mini" series for this blog only.
Things I've Missed In WoW... perhaps some sarcasm here... 
logging in to do a fishing daily and discovering I have inadvertantly interrupted
someone's RP tryst... LMAO

And no, I didn't log or move. Not my problem. LOL

23 October 2016

so that it's been said in public

This is a list of the reasons I left Renaissance:
  1. I don't like the every-man-for-himself attitude.
  2. The presented identity of the guild and the reality of the guild are in conflict and this has been the case for five years. Renaissance is not a social guild. It hasn't been a social guild since some of the original founding members returned with the old image and ideals of the guild they'd left and were returning to still firmly in mind. (Something you might not know: Renaissance was originally a raiding guild made up of friends with similar interests. They slowly melted down and one by one left until Okeret was just sort of abandoned with the guild and had to make the choices and decisions that made it into the guild that it is today. Remember that when someone says anything nasty about him... he was a member of a guild that was passed from one person to the next by promoting someone else to GM and then dropping guild and he was chosen because he happened to be online at the time the last GM left. He picked up the responsibility for the guild and rebuilt it and the new face of the guild was what he and the officers and members made of it. Casual and social weren't accidental in the Renaissance that I joined... they were intentional choices made by a membership that didn't include many of the current raiding members or leaders.)
  3. I hate the structure of the guild and ranks and perks. I don't like having to be an officer just to be able to use my guild bank and the structure of multiple levels and ranks in a guild that is not specifically made to be a progression guild don't make sense. I am particularly turned off by the idea that a guild that calls itself social and casual needs to have a punishment or punitive rank or rules that you have to play in a certain length of time or be kicked from the guild.
  4. I don't like having to play with people that I don't even like. I am not going to pay to play a game with people I don't want to know anything about or who treat me like they don't want to know me.
Here is what Yayifications offers that Renaissance does not:
  1. This is a *Casual Adult Social Guild... first and only. We're a guild because we're friends and would rather play together than apart.
  2. Our identity is VERY clear and floats over our heads and is obvious on our guild page and even in the artwork on our tabards... we are a social guild. There's nothing hardcore here anywhere. We are playing the game to have fun... Yayifications! :D
  3. This is a flat rank guild. Except for the GM and bank alts we're all the same rank. Once you are a member of the guild you have the same rights and privileges everyone else has. Also the same rules and responsibilities as every other member.
  4. The only way into the guild is to be friends with a member of the guild... or to be willing to be a recruit until we all have time to figure out if you're compatible and able to become friends with the members of the guild.

11 October 2016

Some of the girls... new and old...

Allumette (formerly known as Julienne, before there were 2 and I had to choose which to rename) after fancy fish feast... LOL

Julienne, the second... ready to head out after a 3 expac retirement... whatever will she do?! Well, her adventure begins in Draenor, so she must now go answer Khadgar's call.

And Bazooka... the fire mage now arcane and just building to get back to fire again... :D With Pepe... because.

Just 3 of 14... :D

Oh, and for the record... this is the first expansion WoW has done since LK that I really love. The story, the world and quests... even the rediculously stupid way they've gated the world, quests, professions and everything else... (really, 3 levels of each type of flower to pick? really Blizzard? Nomi? I've been cooking since day one 8 years ago... and let me tell you, any asshole can poke a stick through a fish and manage to cook it enough not to die from it... without turning it into inedible cinders. Any idiot except, apparently, the idiot I TRAINED IN PANDARIA)

A little bit of wardrobe and in-game family change

REALLY FAST THEN the WAAAAAYYY BACK HISTORY... I was in a social guild of friends and it was amazing, then I was in two guilds and they were both awesome... all WoW fanfic came from these times, all stories and histories for my mains came from this time.

Then I met raiding about 3 months after the rest of my social guild did so when a bunch of them left to form a raiding guild I was left behind and couldn't find a way to raid and so I left the first guild, then I left the second guild over differences of how to do raids and stuff.

Then I was in a bunch of guilds and then I was on a bunch of servers, in both factions and in lots of guilds... and then I started a guild and decided I hated it and went away from the game for awhile and then I was on Baelgun where I was in UC for awhile and then interviewed and joined Renaissance. For about 5 months or so I felt like I was finally back in that first guild. The one I never should have left and should have been a total jerk to the new members who joined right from the start... but I wasn't, so they couldn't gut our guild and ruin it. Well, then suddenly I felt the same thing all over again, a need to be nasty and rout some new members before they could gut the guild. And I was told they were actually the founding members of the guild.

Well, since then I've stayed in one guild... determined not to leave. Regardless of how many times I was told to do a thing and then not supported when it made people uncomfortable or complain or how many times I was told that what I wanted to do was impossible and then not backed up even a little bit on any decision by the leadership of the guild who fails to lead even when followed. There was just potentially too much drama in the guild or server hopping and WAY too much money to a game company that really doesn't love me as much as I love their products.

So, when the going got tough in this guild I tended to get going. About 7 months the first time in Cataclysm. About a year spread over two long breaks in Pandaria. And then the cake topping cherry of them all, I was gone all but the first three months and last month of Draenor. Going away and just not facing the problems I was having was easier than arguing or dealing with people I didn't even like. I had different ideas, I do things differently and somehow my differences are intolerable while I am bent over backwards and twisted into a pretzel to accommodate others' differences. Any smart person would have run away sooner. I was being irrationally sticky because of my past... LOL

So I left Renaissance and I have given formatting and suggestions to my boyfriend who has started us a guild. Yayifications! WOOT! Now the same guild name and leadership for our Rift guild AND our WoW guild...

Right now only a couple of my friends are in the guild with the Yayificator and all 14 of my toons... I've done everything I can to not even remotely encourage others to leave Renaissance. In fact, because of my friendship with their new GM I have not even pointed out to him that if he gave them back their guild and came to ours that they would finally have all of their original membership back and could lead or self-destruct from within without him as a scapegoat which seems to be what the title GM has meant for them for about 7 years... and would be infinitely better than the topping from the bottom nasty way that some get things done and the spineless unwillingness to make a stand bullshit they've pulled from the start.

See... social means lots of things to lots of people. What it means to me is that you're friends first and guildies second. And that the new people you meet and bring in fit in so well that you wonder how you ever played the game without them. Mostly in WoW these sorts no longer exist without really digging through the layers. I have a few of these friends and I left them in Renaissance out of loyalty to Jake who is first and top among them. He and I play for totally different reasons and in completely different ways, and he's family. Leaving the guild he now is the GM of hurt a lot more than I wanted it to and because it hurt for the wrong reasons I just left... dick move if ever there was one and sometimes that's just the way it is.

I no longer want to play with people I don't even like. I can do that in LFR and LFG and at every world event or time out in the wide world of WoW... when I'm "home" in my guild I don't want to have to deal with people saying nasty things about their children because it's "cool" or whispering behind other member's backs because they can or selfishly hoarding supplies for themselves and being accusatory and nasty when asked to help supply mats for items they're using as a member of the raid group or planned guild event... when I send you a godsdamned toy in the mail I want you to say "Wow! I have this one... thanks for this... do you mind if I send it to [insert name here] who just started playing and might not have it?" Not treat me like a moron who spends way too much time on the unimportant stuff.

And if I am never called out in guild chat (only to be then followed up on Facebook) during the only 3 hours I have to play the game that day for not understanding that people have lives outside of WoW because I had the gall to suggest that our flagging raid team might want to do LFR together instead of each individually burning it again then it will be really too soon, because that was the last straw on a crippled camel's back.

See... I prefer direct communication, not volatile "gentle" communications from people who have never had a nice thing to say except about themselves in 6 years, or whimpy spineless accusations of too much structure and damage to the guild in the past bullshit. To me that's not how ANY guild works, particularly not social ones. But then... as I said, I see things differently. I felt like a toxic element entered the guild 5 months into my membership there and by the time I'd identified that I didn't want to be there anymore it was too late and I'd brought so many friends and family in that I feared it would gut the momentum they'd started to build because I still blamed myself for the critical failure of that first ever social guild I'd been in.

You know what?

I'm not that cool.

I'm not that epic or important.

If somehow there is a coincidence of membership following one individual then there's something wrong with the guild... not with the individual. When 1/2 of your guild peels out because I go then it wasn't really your guild to begin with, it was mine. So the "hence" and "how come"  of how I finally left.

I'll say it here and now and be done with it from here forward... I didn't kill Decadence, Inc. My leaving Renaissance is just that. If I also happened to leave right before it collapsed then perhaps that's survival instinct... I could smell the water and you refused to admit the ship was sinking.

And now that that's all off my chest... I can leave it here and not look back. Except I will, that's why it's here. LOL One who forgets is destined to repeat. One who cannot move on, however, stays stuck in the already done.

You might possibly know some of the people involved, so this is my side of all the dumbness... mostly brought on by my inability to /gquit because I had talked my friends and family into this guild and then decided I didn't like the direction it had started going. I own this in my life... I don't have to own anything else from that strange place I left myself stuck in ever again.

WOOT... all that's gonna be said on that... ever.

02 October 2016

I hate it as much as I love it...


This is the final reward for me for a job well done... I level and I get stuff done and then if I get it all in the right order and did it all to the best of my ability I get to play with the big kids and do stuff together in a group and get even better toys.

And I've been in a social/casual/altaholic but NOT raiding guild for 6 years... and I'm learning the hard way that this isn't the way to raid. Unless I could become the kept pet of some raid guild somewhere that doesn't care that I'm not in their guild... then it would be perfect. The best of both worlds. Friendly people always willing to go the extra mile for someone just because they're in the same "family" online and ALSO the chance to beat my head against the wall of getting 9-24 other people to all coordinate and get some challenging and awesome thing done just for pixels and accolades in an online game.

Instead we have a whole lot (90% of the guild) of people who play for themselves in their own heads for their own goals and don't even regularly see the chat window... and even less regularly have anything to say in it. They are in a guild for the comfort of not seeing themselves in the world alone and still are all about their own goals and their own activities. The concept of gearing and specing for a group that will check everything down to the enchant on their shoes because they thought it was funny? not so much. LMAO

I'm not saying it's bad, I'm saying it sucks to be in a place where I know what needs to happen and not really want to make it so. Everyone plays the game their own way... and the weird disconnect between wanting to raid because it seems cool and actually raiding is tremendous.

I found this article and it just says what I have been saying all along. You can't just go raid. You can't even just go raid if you have the gear from dungeons because tanks are assholes and overly confident LFG assholes abound everywhere and dungeons are, for the most part designed around the lowest common denominator, not the middle or highest. You can suck at awareness and preparation and everything important in raiding and still have the gear. Sometimes the RNG seems to reward the loser in the group more than the one busting their ass. Not always, just sometimes.

What I just said there is an asshole thing to say, btw... and it's true. You can have the gear and not have any idea what to do with it... just like you can be in my gear and still be competitive DPS at your level and have enough raid awareness to survive most things... most of the time.

So what is the answer? I just don't know. I can't get the big kids who are all too important to come and do the lower stuff because it's below them... I think they'd rather PUG out to the bigger raid guilds until the rest of us catch up. And as is always the case we have a bunch of folks who just aren't ready for the higher stuff who would benefit greatly from doing the next level down raids from WoD.

We'll see if LFR doesn't kill me with ineptitude.

09 September 2016

So... it's been awhile...

I have this love hate relationship with WoW that is no secret here in this blog... from guild disorder to outright frustration with mechanics and bad balancing...

Legion bears the stamp of a development company that "gets" what the hard and true players really loved... and still bears the reak of what the nasty little gamer turds also like... so it's a mixed bag of good and awesome and some sort of frustrating stuff.

Overall... this is gearing up to be an expansion like Lich King... and I am loving it. Scale of 1-10 I'm at a 9.9... and that's good. I'm ignoring the proving grounds and might continue to do so... I've leveled only Allumette and everyone else is standing on the starting line with heel-kicked starting blocks ready for launch. It's so much fun and so densely packed that until I've leveled three or four I don't even think I'll see much overlap except for the story-line.

On the super plus... they seem to have taken a lot of the squish out of our rotations... a few buttons will do ya... except... as with all things WoW... that's not entirely true. There's still only one "right" way to do things if you want the max DPS and I haven't been doing it... so... I may have some changes to make. And overall you hit the ground running in a direction that is clear and fun and rewarding and you do it with all of the hero aspects clearly detailed from the beginning. YOU are the world's only hope... LOL We all know everyone else playing is ALSO the world's only hope... and that's ok. The enemy is clear, the reason we're doing these things is clear and the treats, pets, toys and other boons are awesome enough to make you want to suspend your disbelief for awhile. LOL

On the super low... world area flagging for PvP of all factions against all factions and rewards for farming. No kidding. Go to the Underbelly and let the guards go on break. It's awesome... and I wont say in a good way. Everyone wants you dead... how else will they get the marks they need to buy a 200,000 mark special mount? Go to certain World Quest objectives and get farmed by your own party as soon as you enter the grounds because they really need that iLevel 815 trinket! I fucking hate this shit... either we're always PvP or we're NOT PvP without choosing to be and at NO time should someone that is in my party with me be able to turn around and maul me dead. This constant back and forth and really desirable items overlapping them makes me insanely angry. It is clear that there are members of the WoW development team who measure their penises by the number of ways they made someone else's day suck, at the same ratio as they exist in the game and that makes me sad.

Everything else is everything else... same old same old with guild wanting to grow and go different directions and me wanting to play and get good at one thing at a time and all the ways that you can lose a few hours in the game without realizing it has even happened balanced amidst it all. It's really good and awesome and this time I have pledged to walk away before I allow myself to drown in the stuff that makes me hate logging in.

My goal for Legion is not to give a fuck and to avoid the things about which I give fucks in a bad way and completely immerse in the things about which I give fucks because I enjoy them.

Lets see if I can manage not to quit for 2 years again. I really really wanted to love Draenor... I LOVE that area of the world and all of that lore... and I left some toons behind to level through it so I can see it when the nasty little cherrios huffing pussies are busy grieving in the Legion content. LOL

I really think that lowly of them. I really do. Other people carry PvP server scars... I carry griever scars. And I have a watchful wariness of the developers of this game I like so much because they clearly enjoy my misery.

All things in moderation... even WoW... and they've guaranteed it... perhaps I should just be thankful.

The new face of Dalaran... :D

lots and lots of new. :D

21 October 2014

Memory Lane

Looking back I can see how I have struggled all along with what I wanted and what I am getting from the game that I play.

GUILD: An association of men or women belonging to the same class or engaged in the same industry, profession, interested in the same leisure, literary or other pursuit etc... see also FRATERNITY

I am a social player. Period. This is not to limit me to a single little box in which I must live to feel comfortable. I'm also an optimist and an extrovert, I still like my quiet time. I got really lucky when I started playing WoW. I found a social guild that understood extrovert and optimist and social and learning by asking and exploring and learning curves. I also found a guild where I didn't know it at the time and I was sort of an odd ray of light in the otherwise somewhat sedate and closed group of friends.

See, when I started playing WoW it was the first REAL video gaming experience I'd ever had in any honestly submersed experience in my life after being the queen of Simon and Frogger as a kid. I was recently shown an article that I wish I'd read before I started playing WoW. The article, in the briefest format, explains that through extensive research scientists can prove that the human brain does not comprehend the difference between playing a game and living a situation. More precisely this is "remembering a situation" and, the point is the same. When you are stressed in a situation in a game the exact same part of your brain is active as if you are physically doing it. Walking, running, climbing, problem solving, feeling fear.

I started a character in a new game that my son recommended. I picked her features and I selected her race and her class with some thought and then I started up the game and everything was bigger, grander, scarrier and more alien than I could have imagined. It took me a week to find out that I could equip new gear. I died in Fargodeep mine and experienced actual fear because I felt lost and outnumbered and overwhelmed.

I was told over and over that I had no idea how hard this game really could be. I had never "done it on a PvP server where everything is tremendously harder."

Ok... so I started a second warrior less than 2 weeks after I started the first one, and I found a PvP server to do it on.

I joined Circle of Swords and I leveled PvP - and I leapfrogged my warriors up by groups of levels depending on who was online and what degree of social I could get. I did it cushioned and protected in one family and I did it side by side and brave in another.

I sat on the hill in Westfall on a PvP server with mixed groups of horde and alliance (I used to mistype Hoard all the time, too, much to the chagrin of my guildies) and I used the /me emote trick to communicate in English with other players from the other faction and I watched good natured jesting and duals and learned why some of my skills were more effective in one situation and others in another.

My first face to face experience with a member from the other faction was a nerve-wracked "Now just don't target him and leave him alone and he wont screw with us because I'm a little higher level than he is..." sort of moment on the boat from Booty Bay to Ratchet so that a friend could take me out to the Barrens... the scary place where the Horde played and leveled... so that I could fish up the fish that I had learned could be cooked and make me into a pirate! or a ninja! And would make me money when sold on the auction house. I circled the Tauren warrior and admired how the gear that was moderately revealing and not quite so massive on my own character looked so awesome on a bigger frame... and I emoted a whistle. And we danced and had some fun until someone's warlock got offended and bad stuff happened and my guide managed to blink off of the ship and the rest of us died in the overlapping area of effect damage around us. When he left the Tauren targeted me and waved.

I was left wide-eyed and spellbound by the time and attention paid to every detail of the game, from the nails in the boards on the boat that I died on to the flowers and the trees and the animals all around me. Sunsets that were spellbinding and situations that were bigger than me and each one was explored, savored and conquered.

Sometimes I intentionally chose which warrior would have an experience first just so that I could explore it in a different way.

I never did really experience that life is harder in PvP - or PvE... really, life was impossible in RP. As girly and irrationally interested in my character's back stories and lives as I am, I am not cut out for RP as it is presented and practiced in World of Warcraft. I have no interest in pretending my pixels are doing something to someone else's pixels that is always best left in the real world because it feels so much better out here than it ever will in a game. And I did my share of "falling in love" and having serious WoW crushes, to the extent that I brought a GM from Arizona to Denver in the hope that the connection we felt when we played together was real outside of the game. It wasn't, and actually led to ruining the gaming experience AND my affiliation with the guild. Because I'm a girl, and I do RP really well in the real world, I guess. I'll always have Myrrdin, though, even if Grug is someone else's honey and even if Jimmy has his own wholly fulfilling life outside of WoW now.

I had marauding Tauren and Blood Elves stop what they were doing and give me tips and pointers, or just spend time hanging out with me even though we weren't supposed to be friendly. I've had opposite faction players mow down my obstacles so that I could get to what I wanted to do and I've had them play tug of war with my pixels all over Hellfire on the day that Death Knights were released into the game with what would become my all-time favorite expansion in the game. And I still didn't discover the all important difference between PvP and PvE that everyone told me about.

In pick up groups in Trade I met as many schmucks as I met really awesome players who would hang around for hours teaching and leading and just killing for the sake of having someone else around who was fun and into the moment in the same way (or a compatible one) they were.

ALL of this... not just a little bit of it... ALL of this is because my first guild in World of Warcraft was filled with people who valued me as a player for who I was and what I brought to their experience of the game they were also playing.

Walking through the tram on an in-game date just to see Nessy swimming in the "fish tank" that is in the middle of the Deeprun Tram. Meta-gaming and min-maxing my first Darkmoon experience and introduced to different places in the game by different higher level friends who were honestly and truly sharing things they loved while simultaneously competing with other friends on other servers who were doing the same and wanting to be first because my every reaction was real, in the moment and unadulterated amazement and excitement. I went wide-eyed and wonderous into every experience, no matter how dangerous, for the moment it brought.

I have looked for those moments over and over... in two expansions I have sought that same wide-eyed wonder where the game I love to pay is filled with other wide-eyed and adventurous players. Sadly, I'm on my own. What I want from the game isn't something I can have anymore, and so I'm in the process of finding new ways to experience the heart pounding first-time watching what happens in Shattrath City when you're allied to the "wrong" faction and make your way onto a tier you shouldn't be on. For those moments when hours of playtime FINALLY meant that I had all of the flight points on the Eastern Kingdoms continent, some of them 20 levels over me and all of them an adventure of searching and asking for in-game landmarks. For those rises and sunsets and stunned silent moments staring at a glade nestled into an area where nothing much of anything except a couple of houses and an explorable place exists, and only because someone might find it.

With every expansion Blizzard has taken a little more of what I loved most away from me in stages. Content too flat to keep the players who loved the raw engagement of Lich King, /me no longer translating across an imaginary language barrier to keep the PvP players feeling somewhat more elite and less challenged by the ability to communicate, flying on Azeroth so that the running between places and actually being IN the game has been replaced with a soaring experience well up and out of it all... so many distractions and too many players whose idea of perfection is to stand around in their quickly earned gear and chatter like morons in a channel created to sell and... gasp TRADE things for other things. Guilds and game screens and chat channels filled with players who are more interested in what they're getting from their hour of play than in what has been said, offered or is even going on in the game for anyone else.

And still I play.

Because there are places I've known that have changed and become something different and every once in awhile I find them and I am spellbound in wonder at the changes... and the things that stayed the same. Broken chat, broken specs and whining babies all over the game and here... a rediculously 80's glowing swamp full of lighted animals and a surreal rainbow of flying and striding creatures, all still there to be found in Zangarmarsh. Untouched by time for 6 years. And here a broken dam and pieces flowing down into a zone where my favorite NPC now has his own whole area complete with a garrison and an inn... Rethiel, my Greenwarden.

The park is missing and I still remember walking proudly with my heart pounding through the rebuilt retextured Stormwind on my way up the hill and into the massive castle for a first face-to-face with the human WARRIOR King. I play a human warrior first and foremost, and here was my payback for my determination.

SO many experiences, places and people... with every expansion there is something less, and something more and the very real experience of exploration and at the same time avoidance because the race begins towards the top one more time. And every time there are complaints and I want to slap people, I really do. "Try losing the soul of your experience and trying every time you turn on the game to find it again in some small way," I want to say to them angrily. "Try doing this my way just once and tell me it's not absolutely more damned fun to EXPERIENCE it. The mastery comes naturally as a result."

I only play for the experiences I can get with the guild I'm in. That's why I stay in social guilds. And even that has changed just a bit... and so I'm searching again on the eve of a new expansion into my most favorite "other world" in the game. Searching for the things and places that make that place in me just that little bit excited... for the things we can do and share and explore... and for the experiences that the whiners and complainers say don't exist, can't be had or have never found because their eyes are on the keys and not on the screen.

My boyfriend says often that everyone is playing their own game. Mine is one where tons of other people are loving the same things that I am loving because I like to find people where I am with similar interests. Every time I log in to WoW I have that experience. Sometimes I have to look for it. I am standing on the precipice of a whole new expansion and I am not bemoaning my lost skills or all the grinding I will eventually have to do... I am gathering myself at the starting line and digging starting blocks with the toe of my shoe because it's almost time to GOGOGO again... and when I'm done there will be familiar old faces and names and places in the game to go back to and remember, and some will be comfortably unchanged and all of the rest will be just a little new and different to remind me to look back more often.

It is just who and what I am that I can bring to any experience... and it is only who and what you are that you can bring... are you ready to really play this World of Warcraft?

Because sometimes it has been said before in another way on another day and still holds abundantly true.

and pics... because I'd forgotten how much I love the faces of my girls...

I feel like I'm doing my sentiment no justice... and that's ok. :D

I know what I meant.

peace... and if it can't be peaceful then mount up on a land mount and choose a random direction to ride for 15 minutes. this is world of warcraft.