25 May 2013

put a face to the inner demon that chides you...

and draw it...

and yeah, it belongs here, not on the other blog... even if it is something that I could paint or draw...

I'm not playing WoW because I feel like I'm sitting in a vortex in the game. On the one hand all the things I love are still there... and on the other hand they have become old, familiar and same-y... and as seems to come with that realization they are also somewhat expectant because I am also old, familiar and same-y...

So along with shaking things up in my regular day-to-day life, I'm going to poke this inner demon right in the eyeball with a sharp pencil and call him what he is... boredom... and I will overcome him by choosing instead to fall back in love with the game.

Because this is what I know first and foremost about WoW and about my relationship with the game... I have never had a group of people I loved more to play with... or a group of people that I had invested more in than the guild I'm in. I did not make those investments unwisely... I have not loved playing with them because I needed to or had to... I enjoy the game and the people I play it with because for whatever reason I do... a lot.

So rather than letting myself become hesitant and burned out when things get a little same-y and routine, I can find something else to do.

my demon is boredom and my solution is to get out of the grind...

or more importantly... find another one... and another one... and another one... my warriors are stagnant, my monks are parked and my warlock is half there... all because I don't want to farm the materials and rep and and and... well... time to challenge myself.

and avoid the same-old same-old routines that are eating me and making me want to run away.

kill 'em all and let their Gods sort 'em out... it's time to play World of Warcraft!

09 March 2013

new awakenings and old stings...

I think I'm finally "over" WoW as a primary addiction. Every time I go back for any length of time I find myself so irritated by /trade and so frustrated by the interpersonal myopia that I am more and more easily distracted and find myself taking any excuse to be offline.

It could be the guild feeling alien and awkward... and it is likely not so much that as it is that I feel like I'm not the best fit for the guild that I like the best. I want a strong leadership style that is proactive and strong in our guidance... this is not that guild. Two of the officers weren't even at the last guild officer meeting because we thought it was going to be on one night and didn't even check to see that it was a different night this time. I am included in that.

For the first time in years I'm experiencing what it must feel like to be a casual player that is often left out of content or experiences by my more experienced and tight-knit brothers and sisters. I haven't actually been a part of this group since Decadence, Inc. was in the process of being gutted by Ominous Latin Noun.

I was less knowledgeable and this extended to my being naive of sites where I could become more knowledgeable about the things I wanted to do and didn't understand. Lexi finally took pity on me and led me through some dungeons with attention to detail as if they were raids and I took help from a really fantastic fury warrior who was on my server AND willing to help a total newb and between them I managed to build the foundation for what it would take to raid and do the things I wanted to do.

And I ran with it. I've never been an epic class raider, either... always somewhere in the smaller guild beating our head against the content level of raiding... and I've been happy there. Friends from the game repeatedly tell me that they loved my laid back attitude to learning curves, and my ability to teach on the fly for people who were excellent at what they did and just new to the content.

And now I find myself sitting in a place where the type of struggle is no longer fun to me... the challenge of the grind is defeating and the reward for the work is hollow. I love the raiding and I detest what I have to take or do to get to it.

I say this and I've just made a new friend on my server, a warlock kicking serious ass who is also friendly and willing to help. And I currently have up on my browser in separate windows WoW Heroes, Icy Veins and the Wiki about a new little island where there are fun pets and things to be gotten.

Because everyone in the guild went and got their new pets and went to find their new funness and started their grind at the Isle of Giants and I wasn't there so I wasn't included.

Now, I wasn't around for my own reasons and they have a lot to do with my original statement here... I'm burned. And really, it's not burned it's just disinterested. The way I got with Rift once the high of everyone working together was done. Ask 100 times in the guild chat if anyone would like to do anything and 1/2 of them are noncommental entirely and of the rest you'll get "in an hour" and "I already did it" and "I'm not up to doing something like that" and perhaps a single yes, if you're lucky.

One person at a time we're "remaking the guild" but not really working together as a management or leadership group to accomplish anything. We're building a casual/raiding guild (you can see any number of posts through my history about what I think of those terms together) without any real consideration to what we're doing. Optimism rules until it is guided only blindly and without concern to what it is you're undertaking.

And who cares? The old sting of knowing that I'm almost done with this thing and not ready to be done with the people is beginning to become familiar, like the hurt in my hips when I wake up and the hesitance of being overweight and wearing ill-fitting clothes to a job interview. Familiar like so many uncomfortable things in my life that I live with rather than change.

And so really all this and so many words to say the same thing I said before... once this is settled and we're all done rerouting the guild I'll take a look around myself and see if the new energy is enough to sustain me for a few more months or if I'm really done with WoW for awhile. And if I'm done with WoW will the guild allow me to share the experiences of ESO with them or would they rather that was done separately? And if they'd rather it was done separately do I pull my toons from the guild and leave them parked on Baelgun until the next time I feel like playing and then move them to the new server to join the newest member of their family?

I have no idea what shape what comes next will take, and I know what comes next... sadly.


06 March 2013

meet Jack...

half of the practice team for ESO... that's Jack and Jules... though I haven't decided who gets what name... lol

Jack the Spellsword, a heavy armor wearing magician who relies as heavily on her spells as on her blades and takes advantage of as many different perks and abilities as she can to come out victorious. She is the warrior as likely standing on the lip of the crater slinging spells down into the fray as she is face to face with the monsters and covered in their gore.

Her partner is Jules, the unlikely healer who can hold his own and still manage to pull out the saving heal on his partners when necessary.

Or is it Jack who will heal and Jules who will be the spellsword?

if you have not done the Dragonborn DLC and do not want it spoilt, please stop now.

I'm still torn on whether I'll go Breton and Orc and play Daggerfall Covenant or whether I'll go Nord and Dunmer and go the Ebonheart Pact route... either way I want a spellsword and a balanced support healer of some sort. The Dunmer presents himself as a perfect spellsword and the Nord as an unlikely support healer... and ultimately it will all depend on our choices and whether we're locked in one alliance per server since there are three factions and coordinating around the grievers* will be hard enough already.

tons of pics cause I love pics of my girls... and words in a silly story to support them, because I also love words about my girls.

This is the story of a girl named Jack... she wasn't born to that name... it just sort of happened and then got stuck when there wasn't anything that she couldn't do and the boys in town got tired of hearing about it... so they called her teasing names and made fun of her until she left town and they forgot all about the girl they called Jack-of-All-Trades.

Jack didn't know she was going to grow up to be as exceptional with spells as she is with blades or that she is the Dragonborn, or would marry a Destruction mage who would teach her everything he knew and then find her books when his own knowledge was lacking. She didn't know that one day she would be the bane of the World Eater and would stand alive in Sovngaard with the Tongues of history or that she would have to choose to hunt dragons into extinction or make another path through the world that would include another Dragonborn and many more dangerous adventures.

When she crossed the border into Skyrim she very nearly lost her head when she was taken captive by an overzealous Imperial hellbent on destroying Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the Stormcloak Rebellion. By the grace of an epic accident she found herself freed and on the run.

She joined the Imperial forces in Solitude after a nasty run in with some Nords in Ulfric's own home town who were hateful and horrible to all the other races and allowed a little girl to starve rather than feed her. She rose through the ranks quickly and Jack became a hero of the Empire in the war against the Stormcloaks so that by the time she left her service she had enough money to buy a home in Solitude.

She met a handsome young mage in Riften while on a mission for the Empire and she asked him to marry her and help her care for her adopted children and they were married and they lived with their girls first in Whiterun and then in Solitude once she had been able to furnish the home properly for two growing girls. Her husband taught the girls to fish and to hunt and encouraged their dreams of becoming mages or bards or hunters, depending on where they lived.

Jack worked and traveled the world to make enough gold to build a home in Falkreath so that when she retired from adventuring each girl would have a home of her own without fear of ever being uncared for again. She filled each with gems and weapons and armor of all different types as she adventured across the world, always bringing home a sweet little treat or a new dress or toy for the girls who were so happy just to have a home and family.

And Jack discovered that she had a destiny... and like every doom driven hero before her she pursued her destiny with a voracity that could not be matched... facing Alduin, The World Eater without fear...

And when the day came that she ended the World eater and had to decide which dragons to let live and which to see an end to she decided instead to let the dragons choose and sought her adventures across the sea. With her place in Sovngaard secured and the Tongues awaiting her return once her life had been well lived, Jack returned to Tamriel where she was attacked by cultists claiming she was a false Dragonborn. As a girl often mocked for her accomplishments, she was going to Solsteim to prove the guy wrong.

And Jack learned that she wasn't the only Dragonborn, she was just the only one still living and walking the land... and so she resolved to learn all that she could and make sure that the world was safe from yet another destroyer.

And she made two very bad deals in rapid succession. 

A deal with the devil himself... one that brought her more power and more knowledge than she could ever hope to fully comprehend (and more books than she could ever read) and placed her on a path that could only end with the death of a Dragonborn.

And a deal with a madman... one that led her down into barrow after barrow... killing draugr...

and more draugr...

and still more draugr...

until she was finally able to defeat the madman and the ultimate evil he served.

With the heart and voice of a Dov she felt she might just be ready to take on the Dragonborn bent on world dominion.

The story btw, sucks and I know it, I'm working on an RP fanfic one that will post sometime soon... and the stories aren't why I play the game. ^^^ is why I play.  LOOK AT HER! Look at the "dragon aspect" graphics... they write in the voice of a dragon and then the heart and soul of one, too... OMG! Who doesn't want to play the doom driven hero who saves the world not once or twice but as often as the opportunity arises? Who doesn't dream of being able to drive their own destiny through so many amazing adventures, each with cooler outcomes than the last?

In the Bethesda temporary ESO forums (one presumes this means they'll actually make us some eventually) we had a discussion today about whether gamers should play the same sex character as themselves or whether it matters... and why so many folks don't gender bend when they play and why so many others of us do almost intentionally... many players, particularly in Skyrim and TES games spend hours making their pixels match their real world images... there are even mods for folks running the PC version that will make you look just like yourself in-game by using a photo... and this disturbs me.

To me they cross the line into a place where fun becomes dangerous and where trying to have fun WITH them becomes even more dangerous for us both. None of my characters really looks like me. Some look like I might if I lived in their world... mostly though they look like they should to be whomever they become in the world where they live. Some cuter and smaller and some larger and without the grace of fine looks to carry them.

Some of my girls are redheads, more of them are blonde... some of my boys have blonde hair, too... the realism of the game, the beauty and the thrill of it never bypasses that place where I am the girl at the keyboard with the mouse in one hand who can, at any moment, get up and do something else. And I'm as RP as it gets, really... I think.

I just like knowing that sometimes it rains inside the game and sometimes it rains outside it... and either way I have a choice not to get wet.

Just LOOK how beautiful it is... who WOULDN'T want to play here... with her?

*grievers: folks whose sole aspiration in a game or online forum is to create problems and grief for other players or posters. they existed before MMOs and found their perfect niche in the societies created by MMO and other online worlds. they're a menace, they make almost anything you do online frustrating and manage to meet and exceed their own expectations for being loathsome little worms.

in this reference the grievers would, if allowed, race like they do in WoW where you can have characters in both factions on the same server (and in Rift where everyone can see the posts regardless of faction,) to broadcast plans of attack or torte to the other alliances on a server making coordination and success almost impossible.

27 February 2013

uh oh... I've been here before... and AWESOME GUILD!

Excerpted from The Syndicate: How the Longest-Running Guild Stays On Top
By: Kimberly Wallace
GameInformer # 239 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If any guild has set a model to replicate, its The Syndicate. Not only does it hold the Guinness World Record for being the longest-running guild at 17 years, but it's risen to such popularity that it's name is trademarked. The Secret? This isn't your everyday guild. The Syndicate is focused on nurturing a mature and intelligent community with barely any turnover, drama or recruitment problems.

Sean Stalzer formed The Syndicate in 1996 when he was fresh out of college, fueled by his frustration over other guilds that split apart over drama. "I felt there had to be a way to overcome those challenges and make a community that actually worked together and cared about the overall community and didn't fracture and implode when issues arose," he says.

What provides The Syndicate with staying power? The answer is obvious, but challenging: developing a true community. Their membership doesn't exist for any particular game. Instead, it's built around the people first. "By recruiting great people and by focusing entirely on them as our reason for existing, we have built incredible loyalty," Stalzer says.

The Syndicate has a strict policy to ensure only the best candidates get in. Applications aren't considered unless a member can vouch that an applicant's personality, play style, and values mesh with The Syndicate. Even if a candidate has a strong recommendation, they're not a shoe-in. If the guild has even a little doubt, membership won't be offered: "My rule is that being 99.99 percent sure of someone is a rejection. We need to be 100 percent confident," Stalzer says.

The lofty standards are key to sustaining membership, which currently stands near 1,200 members.

Approximately two people leave per year, a phenomenally low turnover rate. Karen M, a member who prefers to go by her online name "Surrina," says the low turnover all comes down to "The friends-first approach." Placing emphasis on the individual behind the avatar is so important that the guild holds its own yearly event called "SyndCon" for members to bond.

Success is a word synonymous with The Syndicate, and it's clear that the guild has something special. As Stalzer says, "True success in the online world is not about collecting pixels. Even getting those pixels sooner than someone else is really not a measure of long-term success. Kudos to every world-first person and group out there, but a huge percentage of [them] from two years ago no longer exist. Why? Because they didn't exist for their people. Our people are why we exist, and they in turn ensure our continued success."

I’d like to say from the onset that I’ve never been in that epic of a guild. I know it’s my fantasy perfect guild and part of me figures now is the time to volunteer myself for it… except that I have loyalty to helping the guild I’m in and connected to grow itself in the aspect of The Syndicate. Not that I have business aspirations for Renaissance or even that I expect that we’ll ever be as big or respected or successful as The Syndicate. I just really love the guild I’m in, or rather… I love the guild I joined.

Jon asked me the other day what I joined for and why was I worried now that there’s a reorg in process.

I’m worried because I joined the guild we say we are online. It is not what we are, though, and I’ve tried really hard for almost a year to model behavior and communication that is befitting of what we say we are online all to no effect. I’ve made some awesome friends and I have had some excellent experiences and really, in a year I’ve gathered my personal friends and family around me to join the excellent people I found in the guild and really we are still not the guild we say we are online.

I’m worried because I think a lot and have learned from my experiences, perhaps better than some because I’m pretty clever… so I know without having to think on it now that a casual leveling guild cannot just roll over one morning and decide without introspection or guidance that they are going to add a raiding core, a social focus and a pvp core to their ranks without some serious problems. Not because it can’t be done… I keep saying that and it’s not fair of me to limit anyone that way.

It can be done with a lot of work and careful consideration of the leadership of each core and enforced guidelines and expectations of the guild as a whole that are in alignment with those new groups. It can be done by a guild that is in touch with their focus, goals and directions and that is strong in its membership. It can be and is being done by guilds like The Syndicate all over the world every day. And it is because those things do not exist in Renaissance that I believe it cannot be done by Renaissance.

It wasn’t able to be done with all the effort, research, seeking of guidance and application of a million different emergency saves of Alex and myself for Decadence, for a whole group of leaders and seekers and thinkers in DI and was too much for Levi Somnus. I’ve been in SO many failed social and or leveling guilds that I just have a spidey sense that goes off now when I can feel myself headed down the same path and Renaissance is desperately close to an implosion, one that nothing I say or do will avoid.

And I’m an optimist!

The truth is that the guild is going to have to form itself from the core members and come to some really hard decisions and I wont be providing much input because of my growing sense of dread and all of the ways that it would color my responses and suggestions… and when they have redefined themselves I’ll decide, along with all of the others, where my place in the guild is, or isn’t, because that’s a realistic possibility and I’ll act accordingly. I’ll still be above reproach because that’s my personal standard for my behavior. I will still model the expected behavior and behave in an ethical way because that is who I am.

And I think I’m really glad that TES Online is coming and soon because no matter what else I know and think and do, I know myself well enough to know that if I’m already aware that I’m uncertain of my guild membership then I am also very close to looking for another guild the first time I feel like bookin’ ass again… and I’d rather have a distraction that includes building a place for the friends I have to come play somewhere else under slightly different leadership styles.

Peace... and if it can't be peaceful then find a pocket where you can manage the peace and let the rest of them kill each other. LOL

07 February 2013

final calendars all mailed

here are the final proofs, if you will...


sorry about spacing, blogger or my computer lag time hates me tonight. :)

13 January 2013

thoughts on a desk calendar


and whether I'll ever even print one for myself or just use them as desktops. :)

 I'm vaguely bothered by being tied to a 7 days a week format for a calendar that can still be understood... I do like the "cracked" font... :)

Why oh why isn't there already TES calendar and prettiness? LOOK how luscious this is? lol

 Use of color and voila... no need to worry about strict 7 days stacked on 7 days formatting. I do prefer this one to the next one... not just for bronco's references, but because the picture is the color for me.

Again, that resistance to being tied to 7x5 calendar shapes... just am not sure that this is preferential to a line of 31 blocks UNDER the image... if we're doing desktops and not printed calendars... hmmm... 

This is what they look as a desktop right now... 

Just a thought. I'll continue to put stuff here and let the few folks around vote. :)

01 January 2013

the holiday party pics as promised...

 Aroogala - Goblin?

 Art or Wentz?

 Art, Greg, Celebdor, Jaykit, UK, Aroo and Oke

 Artrekz in Amber

 Boreas 1

 Boreas 2 - Variation on a B&W Theme? :)

 Celebdor 2 (first he's puttin' on the ritz, worgen style above)

 Gregar and Jaykit

 Jaykit, UK, Aroogala and Oke

 Oke and Jules


 Okeret, Master of the Ways... ONNA MAMMOTH!

 Wentz, Art, Greg and Jaykit

 Art or Wentz, Greg and Jaykit 
(I think the bugs are Art... pretty sure he had the naga pet and Wentz was rockin' the dragonkin)


  Wentzky and Gregar

UK, Wentz, Boreas, Celebdor, Gregar and Kilijan

Renaissance Guild Drake Tree!

Now please vote for the "best" costumes... silliest, sexiest and most different from themselves.
The winners will receive their prizes and have their pictures featured on the guild site with titles. :)
be creative when you vote, you just might give them the title!!!

Happy Holidays to all... I'm not sure how much of the festivities will translate to next year's celebration and how much of it will just be a fond memory. There were no "tag" or "hot potato" contests and hide and seek was a full scale Wentz sweep. LOL

Thank you for all of your participation. It was a real lot of fun.