11 August 2009

Belegorad's Travels

One time you'd better be a druid if you decide to One-Pull the room where you summon Gahz'rilla in Zul'Farrak.
I was running a couple friends, a lock and a druid, through ZF on my paladin, a normal run where I grab a bunch of shit, make it dead, and move on, and everything was going nicely.
I got to Gahz' room and decided I would save them some time, and just one-pull the entire room, all the while ignoring some little voice in the back of my mind shouting that it was a very bad idea.
So, I'm running along, gathering mobs merrily as I skip (Well, run, but I'd rather have been skipping) and I'm noticing that there are an awful lot of Shadow Hunters and Witch Doctors in this room, (Again, little voice says "Uhm...!") but I think to myself, "Aww, oh well, just means they'll mostly be ranged and healing, no biggie" and move along. When I get out to the hallway where my lock and druid are loyally awaiting my return, I do as usual and drop into tanking stance, consecrate, Holy shield, sacred shield, and get ready for a long combat. About a second in I see the druid and warlock AoE's dropping in. (Again little voice says "Uhm...?")
That was when I learned why that little voice, having run Z'F before, and having hated every second of combat, was so determined to stop me. About the time I got hexed, some part of me whispered "Oh, yeah... the Shadow Hunters CC the tank, that's why I hate them..." ( little voice says "Told you so...") ("Wait, CC the tank, then...") I watch the druid die in a flurry of angry troll weapons ("...attack the next highest threat" *facepalms*) It was about then I finally managed a brief "Oh. Shit..." in Vent as the druid and the lock say almost in unison "Alex...? Why are the mobs..? Oh... Shit..!"
As I come out of hex, I turn to see that the lock is alive, but missing, and there is a lengthy trail of totems ("Oh, duh, the healers do most of their healing and almost all of their DPS with totems!" *facepalms* "A constant HoT that is immune to AoE damage..." *facepalms*) leading in the general direction of the door. Following the totems like bread crumbs, I'm counting a minimum of 15 healers in the group. I round a corner just in time to see a mob of rather irritable trolls swarming onto the warlock, who admittedly only lasted longer than the druid by benefit of a headstart, before turning around and storming straight up the hallway at me. I drop once again into tanking forms, and promptly start hopping all over my pretty little consecration.
And so the battle ensues, me cackling like a witch, and hopping like, well, a frog, and the rest of the party running in. The entire time, all I can think to myself is "I'm going to die." After hopping around a few more seconds I pop out of frog to drop a consecrate and promptly drop back into frog form, watching all that pretty DPS being swallowed in the heals while my health -slowly- creeps down from 33k. So, things continue, and being a frog, I don't really need to focus on my DPS, so I turn my camera to observe a shadow-melded druid and mounted warlock, both facing towards the instance gate, and just chilling in the hallway about 30 yards away, before breaking frog to consecrate between froggings.
By this point, I've learned that the froggings refresh one another, and prevent me from avoiding attacks, so, even at only 15-30 damage an attack, I will inevitably die without healing, and the battle is essentially endless without DPS. So I once more pop off a consecrate between froggings, and the battle resumes.
After four or five minutes, measured by the Lay on Hands I blew earlier on to recover having taken a boss before this pull, the angry, writhing mass of trolls has finally managed to DPS me down to 10k, death is at last in sight, and we can come back and try this again, with fewer froggings, if I may request.
It's about now that I finally understand how Onyxia must feel, constantly having miniscule amount of her health trickle away, and not having anything to do about it except watch as the group of raiders slowly kill her. Except, unlike Onyxia, I don't have a massive AoE damage I can drop on the attackers to down a few of them... Also unlike Onyxia, I come back with 30% of my health when I die, and can keep doing so so long as there is at least two minutes between deaths. (*facepalms* "Oh, yeah... protection spec.")
So, another four or five minutes tick by, my LoH is nearly cooled down, and I'm dying only to stand back up every two minutes, as that is how long it takes them to do 10k to me, and the fight continues with the occasional consecration between froggings. By this point I'm praying that hopping on their toes at least interrupts their casts, or something to help me in some way.
It was then that the first of the hunters ran out of mana and meleed instead of frogging my foolish, and by this point hopeless Paladin ass. So, still consecrating between froggings, I am getting enough time to actually kill something faster than it can heal from the 15+ healing totems smattering the field around me. (Being a frog, I also had time to count most of them.)
So, the tides turned and I eventually got my rotation to involve more killing than hopping, and eventually the mass died, ironically by consecration.
(for most of that fight my rotation was something like this... [Frog] [Frog] [Frog] [Hop Uselessly] [Consecration] [Frog] [Hop In A Cute Fashion] [Frog] [Frog] [Consecration] [Frog] [Hop On Toes] [Frog] [Eat A Bug] [Frog] [Frog] [Frog] [Consecration] [Frog] [Croak Hopefully] [Frog] [Hop Aimlessly] [Frog] [Consecration] [Frog] [Frog] [What Ever Else A Paladin Can Do In Frog Form] [Frog] [Consecration] [Frog] [Frog] [Cry] [Frog] etc...)
So, two outcomes from a fifteen minute battle of hopping, consecrating, waiting, frogging, dying, and foolishness.
A.Belegorad has hereby earned the spell [Frog Form] and deserves an achievement for the sheer hilarity of it.
B.Only a Druid tank may hope to one-pull that room and down the mobs in any sense of a timely fashion.
Respectfully submitted;
[Pally Hop]
Belegorad- US Uldaman, GSM
Belegorad's Travels (to be continued...)

19 May 2009

Here and WoW...

Pics of me real and imaginary.
World of Warcraft is a two dimensional world where two-dimensional characters live and interact with other two-dimensional characters. We create them from a stock number of possibilities that expand with time to include new hair colors and styles but that never really become less stock. These two-dimensional constructs are manned/peopled by real, living and breathing people who are very three-dimensional and real outside of the game. We have needs, biases, desires and lives that become entwined with these die-cut paper dolls we play in our made up World of Warcraft.
This is the most addictive part of the game for me. I’ve played very little in the way of video games, even less of the MMOPRG types of games like WoW. In fact, World of Warcraft is the ONLY game of its sort I have ever played.
Interacting in real time with a pre-formatted and pre-existent cartoon world full of pre-destined situations at the same time that I meet other people in the same world who are as real as I am was instantly and amazingly addictive.
From the start I was confused by the way that some people seemed naturally warmer to Syn than to Julienne or vice versa, and how people could love them, or create fixations on them and not have any real grasp that a real woman was behind them.
There are no fat or misshapen or damaged characters in WoW. The programming doesn’t allow for them to be. There will never be a body that represents me in WoW.
My girl warriors are my flagships in the magnificent World of Warcraft where I spend so many of my real life hours. I have so many other characters I’ve created, and these two are the favorites.
Syn is a spoiled beautiful girl created with the features and details of what I think of as a spoiled and overindulged girl… Julienne however, as the first character I ever created, probably most truly represents me.
In every way that Syn has been protected or neglected by her “brothers in arms” in Circle of Swords, Julienne has worked her way up often alone and confused and making mistakes to get where she’s gotten. Syn was taken through things but not expected to learn them, Julienne was taught things so that she would know them and could use them later without the help she had in the moment. Over and over the two characters became so different in how they were treated and perceived that I got to a place where I was confused about the girl on the other side who supposedly “controlled” them both.
They are different, my girls. Because I made them that way.
Julienne fishes in overalls barefoot because it was something I wanted her to do. It’s something I would do. She flies on a black-winged griffin that is visually stunning in his less than perfect coloring. She will own a motorcycle to ride in game and a drake when she flies, but will spend very little on extraneous additional mounts. Julienne’s one sentimentality is in the pets she has gotten for herself or been given as gifts until she has a virtual zoo of creatures and critters to enjoy.
Syn was to be my spoiled girl. On a PvP server where life is hard, I wanted her to be a kept child, imagining in my mind when I made her the perfect sexy girl raised in a monastery by loving and celibate men sworn to her protection or something. She became a pet, or sorts, for one player who didn’t expect or even want one… and that relationship took on all the developing story of a real world epic affair with none of the real world support for it.
It’s been sort of an understood silent joke between us that Syn was his diversion, a pretty little thing who needed him in a way he is unneeded in his real world. It culminated in a photo shoot of her many wardrobe options in different places and didn’t really become poignant for me until I stepped Syn off a floating island by mistake and she was dead in a pretty white dress in the green fields of Nagrand that a story was telling itself in the pictures we were taking, but it wasn’t the story we were playing at telling about a rendezvous or even an affair…
Neither of these girls is me. Not really. They are flat, made from my mind. The last thing the girl I am could be called is flat or two-dimensional.
And both of them are me. Together. A picture can be glimpsed of the real girl by stepping back and away and studying the two-dimensional me’s in the game. Very few have found her, I’m only just beginning to see where she is and am sad, because now the two girls I thought were so different are in fact very much the same.
And I’ve never been an “other woman”… not in the real world or otherwise.
But Syn has… in a very painfully and shockingly real way.
Not to the friend in the pictures, mind you, but to me.
Syn was an attempt at an escape for me. Created to be something I’m not that sadly has now become just who I am anyway, no matter how hard I tried to make her something different. Even her name stood her apart from the others… not named to define a character like Skadi and Venal were or named like a real girl like Julienne, but SweetAsSyn… a girl so sweet she should be outlawed and warned about. An addiction but always supposed to be out of reach. And now she has become known as Syn… a girl. Because try as I might, I just couldn’t make her something I didn’t want to be. Even in a game.
And for one bored and indulgent friend and myself one night we accidentally found that place where the sad or tired or frustrated “here” where we live transcends magically into the vivid and comically perfect place called WoW for a few minutes playing that had nothing to do with quests, or rep grinding or even exploring the game.
Not romance. Not even sexy. Just funny and sad and a whole lot thoughtful… and it all started with a request for a sexy vixen outfit for the spoiled girl named Syn…
I found a new best friend. Someone silly and thoughtful and injured and equally beautiful and different from his two-dimensional selves.
Here first... and then WoW.

14 March 2009

Guilds in World of Warcraft

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

what they mean to the different people in them...
We are members of many different guilds.
Talmuraan which Belegorad founded on Garona to stand out as a group of individuals who are more interested in helping each other and even strangers... real world Paladins with a need to help and who enjoy helping others.
Circle of Swords which was created by a friend and his best friends as a family on Akama, a PvP server where they felt a real need for brotherhood and togetherness against the constant competition for materials and completion of their quests. We've had our up's and downs and now only one of the original three remains on as guild master... it's about solidarity and togetherness and is NOT a twink guild as we were originally told. This is a leveling guild, a group determined to have the end game in which to play and grow and enjoy themselves. And they do. These individuals have more pets, more epic armor and gear... more willingness to come out and level up their lower guild mates than any guild I've ever been in. I met the game in a whole new way here and I love them for the spoiling my warrior Sweetassyn has gotten from them the whole way up the ladder.
Decadence, Inc. created by a woman who is now only a little character who auctions and otherwise sends pretty things to her guild mates and passed the reins to her friend... Twinkfairy is aptly named. This guild is NOT a leveling guild, finding higher level characters to assist in instances or simply run a character over and over through an area until a certain piece of gear is obtained isn't really something you find... this is a crafting guild of extraordinary proportions... and a twink guild. Pretty items are vaulted for lower members or mailed directly, and if someone needs help catching a profession up this guild can find 1000 plants or pieces of leather in 10 minutes. They love each other and they love their game. Julienne has struggled to be a part of the brotherhood I share in Circle of Swords and has still never missed the friendly family of helpfulness.
Lava Rulez is the brain child of an incredibly sexy and inventive and creative lady who wanted a family of other individuals who love to play World of Warcraft, almost but not quite a sister guild to Circle of Swords, Lava Rulez is in a quiet rhelm called Misha where they started out on the Horde side and then created characters on the Alliance side as well. Only the founder and her sister and a friend remain of their original cast of many... they are helpful if absent on other servers often, and they love the game. It's really a guild of learning to play and learning to enjoy even the harder aspects of a very complex world full of complex situations. I love our guild mistress best of any I have in any guild. Because she's learning, like me, and seems to get the point of having fun better than any of the rest of us. I'm learning from her every day.
Guilds are groups of like minded individuals who share a common goal... and in my experience they are also really families, with all the disagreements and differences as they have similarities.
In a perfect world I'd have the resources to have my own guild... one that brought the highlights of all of these guilds together... the brotherhood and want to build a group of combatants as connected as the Knights of King Arthur's Round Table who are also able to share like skills and abilities and still encourage one another to share, enjoy, take time, have fun and be successful at the same time that they are helpful and giving to others.
I know... suddenly it sounds less like WoW I'm talking about and more like the real world.
That's the trouble with these sorts of games, really... they mimic and even highlight the real world they are played in because they're played by real people.
I love my guilds. All of them. The people are real and wonderful and difficult and fun.
I'd still combine them if I could.