Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Archive for the ‘Linking Love’ Category

Sunday Linking Love

This week has seen me spending a lot of time in front of the computer with a weird cold (It’s weird because I felt awful but it was never a full-blown cold). I’ve been catching up on silly achievement things that Millya hadn’t done yet. For instance, I had to get Vidyala the reputation to buy the schematic to make this bad boy:

In actual fact, I don't think Millya would ever have a license plate that says "pwn" because it's not grammatically correct.

So I’ve been having fun creating noise pollution and generally looking badass (come on, you can’t tell me that doesn’t look badass) and not really writing anything of my own… But I have read some blog posts lately that are worth a look if you’ve missed them!

Heavy Wool Bandage wrote about Intellect Issues – not the stat. To me, this post is a reminder to have patience with everyone who is playing and think about the things you say. We’re all playing for different reasons and with different skill-sets, and sometimes it’s easy to forget. That’s different, not “better.”

I’m not linking to a specific post, but in case you missed this news, Jaedia is blogging again at Jaedia’s Menagerie after a hiatus. Drop by and say hi!

Kamalia posted an image of a curly-haired Tauren I just love. You may have guessed from my own character, but I like curly hair. It’d be great to see some new Tauren hairstyles in general.

Akabeko at Red Cow Rise wrote a short fic about an archaelogy item that’s bothered me, too. I found it poignant and sad.

Finally, Shintar shares some of her pug stories from recently. They aren’t horror ones, either, further reminder that sometimes pugs are just fine. (I think we all need that from time to time).

Voss and I booked our hotel for our trip at the end of June. We’re not going to Blizzcon, but we are going to Vancouver and we’ll meet three guildies/WoW folks during the trip! I don’t usually do this, but I’m trying to build a buffer of posts to schedule for while I’m away. If you have any requests or ideas for posts or things you’d like to see here, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do! No promises, but the muse could use a bit of a hand right now.

Orcalicious

Sometimes when you hang around friends a lot, you can start to pick up on each other’s habits. Speech patterns, habits, you know. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I haven’t been true to myself. As a result – please click through to see my blog redesign and a new name, too!

This is the real me, you guys. I’m just Horde at heart, and I was meant to write about orcs.

Home sweet Orgrimmar.

I’m still going to write about mages, though! Because of course, some things never change. I’m afraid if you want to read about draenei from now on, you are going to have to go and check out my good friend’s blog. It’s awesome! It’d be even better if it were about an orc, though.

Others’ Endings Are Not My Endings

I’m generally a very empathic person, and that’s true in my ‘real life’ as well as my gaming one. When it comes to board games, my friends know I’d rather play one where we all work together rather than compete. It’s a big reason why I took to MMOs so readily. Oh, I’ll PvP sometimes, but what I love about MMOs and what I love about WoW is working with a group of other people towards a common goal. It’s kept me engaged in this game for almost three years. When you laugh, I laugh with you. When you cry… sometimes it’s hard for me to recognize that the reason for your tears isn’t actually anything wrong in my life, I become so upset on your behalf.

Learning to recognize when the emotions and feelings of others are affecting me too much is probably going to be a lifetime thing for me. It comes and goes, and it depends on where I am in my life. As Voss and I have dealt with his father’s illness and the natural fears and feelings that arise from that, it’s been a bit harder for me to detach myself from the feeling of the WoW community fracturing, diminishing. For a few weeks, it felt to me like every time I opened my feed reader another blogger was closing their doors. It began to be draining. It makes a person wonder, “Is there something I’m missing? Am I still here only because I refuse to admit that I should be leaving?”

I’ve been thinking about this. I’ve been struggling to write here, not for lack of ideas – I’ve started at least six blog posts over the past week, each one that I think would make a great post! But I get distracted, and I don’t seem to be able to finish them. My writer’s block is not the same thing as being ready to leave or ready to stop, although I think it could have picked a better time. (Is there ever a good time for writer’s block?) I’m sure it’s especially difficult to be one of the ‘old guard,’ bloggers who have been at this for many years. It’s always tough to see your contemporaries leaving. That feeling of loss and uncertainty has threatened to drag me in, too, but I realized something today.

I still have things to say. I still have people to talk to, and the WoW community brings me so much. You’re not even remotely done listening to me ramble, and I think that’s okay. In the wake of Tam leaving, and again with Larisa’s decision to stop blogging, I’ve heard people say things like “We can’t ever be the same without them,” or suggest that the end of their blogs is somehow a sign of the end. It’s bothered me that some comments seem to be that there will be nothing of quality left. In a way, people are right. The community can never be exactly the same as it was when Tam brought his philosophic ramblings to bear on it. We will miss Larisa’s cheerful hearth. It won’t be the same, because it’s going to be different, but not because it’s ending.

New bloggers are opening their doors all the time. Some of us are still going strong and nowhere near ready to quit blogging. There was a series of blogaversies that has stretched from December through January, and these are the people whose enthusiasm for blogging I have shared, contemporaries and colleagues, friends and friendly rivals. We haven’t gone anywhere, our voices are still here. Don’t miss reading an excellent blogger because he/she isn’t a blogger that’s come before. We can’t duplicate the exact approach or personality of those big names, but there are plenty of us still well-worth reading, and new ones joining our ranks all the time.

The unfortunate thing with being empathic is that it’s easy to read others with complaints or feeling tired about the game and to “catch” that feeling. Then you start to wonder if it’s you, too, if it’s just time to move on, if you’re finished. It’s okay to wonder that, and it’s okay to stop blogging too. But make sure if you do that it’s actually your feeling you are addressing, and not just a reaction to change. I hate change, myself. I hate when voices I’ve come to expect are no longer here for me. But I also feel that there are many voices left that I love listening to; many of us with a passion for the game and the words we write about it.

I have a challenge for you, whether you are a blogger or just someone who enjoys reading blogs.

If you’re a blogger: Find a new blog today that looks promising, that you enjoy. Link to it on your blog. Leave an encouraging comment! The Blog Azeroth author introduction forums are a place where new bloggers can introduce themselves, and you can surely find a gem there. What I’m talking about doesn’t even have to be a new blog, though, even just ‘new to you!’. You can find great treasures in people’s blogrolls if you browse around. Link love, recognition, and feedback are what make us more than just a random grouping of people talking to nobody in particular. They keep us together, they make us a community. Instead of being upset that some of the paragons of the community have moved on (although of course, pay them a respectful, loving, or tearful farewell) – today I intend to focus on people that are still here. It’s our attitude and recognition of each other that will ensure we continue to be engaged and enthusiastic about blogging.

For my part, I’ve started reading Stubborn over at Sheep The Diamond recently, and I’ve found his words funny and insightful. His is a new voice I’ve been quite glad to hear!

Here’s my second challenge, for non-bloggers. If you have found a blog recently that you enjoy reading, if you appreciate the content there – whether it’s guides, points of view, or just something to make you laugh – leave a comment. It doesn’t have to be a LONG comment, and you don’t have to leave twenty comments a day on various blogs. But taking the time to comment is a huge part of what encourages bloggers to keep going. Knowing that people are reading but not saying anything can be worse than knowing that nobody is reading. Even if it’s just a comment saying, “Thanks for taking the time to compile this information, it’s been really helpful.” Knowing that I’ve helped someone, or made them think or even just brought a smile to their face makes my day. It’s part of what has kept me blogging for over a year, and why I see myself continuing to blog in the future. I don’t know any bloggers that don’t love to receive a comment. We thrive on it, because it lets us know that people care about what we have to say.

So leave a comment, link a blog, read a blog, and remember that there is a vast community of players of all stripes writing about a multitude of topics – and that’s what makes our community so awesome and will keep us strong for a long time to come.

Tuesday Art Day: More Mini-Sketches

You might remember on my anniversary post I was giving away freebies, of sorts. Here are some that didn’t make it into the first batch or that I’ve finished since! If you requested one and I’ve missed you, maybe you could call my attention to it? I had folks who wanted one but didn’t share an armory link and I’ve gotten a bit confused keeping the comments all straight.

Anyway, mini-sketches, 5-minutes each, you know the drill.

In somewhat related news, you can see the gentlemanly murloc I did for Zelmaru over at Murloc Parliament and check out her snazzy new layout while you’re at it!

Rades and Beru each wrote posts that were tear-jerkers for different reasons – Beru’s a moving story of success, Rades’ a lament for a lost friend.

Also, my friend Liala featured me in her comic, Disciplinary Action – after I complained that there was a serious lack of draenei representation. She set out to teach me that the cliche is true – you really do have to be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

There’s no patch tomorrow, unfortunately. I’ve never anticipated a patch quite so eagerly – I really want those new meta gems. How about you, are you looking forward to the patch for any reason or wish it wouldn’t come? Voss observed cheerfully, “Well, that just means I get another week of being OP!” He has a way of looking on the bright side.

Tuesday Art Day: Wildhammer and Link Love

I feel both guilty and gleeful about the look on the fish's face. The answers to the question, "What does a dwarf feed her gryphon?" were pretty awesome, incidentally, and ranged from "dead orc heads" to...well, fish. You're probably happy I chose the former.

I know that art day posts are a bit boring (what do you say about them?) so I’m combining two time-honored traditions, art day AND link love. I’ve had some links stored away in my file for several weeks now, so it’s time to get caught up! This was a sketch that strong-armed its way into becoming a semi-paint, it’s still a bit rough but for a warm-up sketch, I’m happy with it! (That’s two and a half hours of warming up, by the way).

Without further ado, link love!

Cynwise wrote a great post about warlock CC, if you’re into that kind of thing, but many of the tips and macros could be re purposed easily to apply to mages or most any other class. It’s a good read!

In a similar vein, Ophelie over at The Bossy Pally wrote about all the types of CC there are. I suppose some people feel now that CC is no longer necessary in heroics and everything has become an AoE zerg-fest, but for many of the tougher pulls we’re still CCing. It doesn’t take long and it makes life easier for everyone!

I enjoyed Spinks’ short post about the Women of Cataclysm. I’m always happy to see stronger female characters taking a place in WoW! I would hasten to add there are some great Wildhammer characters there too (have you done the quest with the gryphon rider in Deepholm? I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say she is tough as nails).

Perhaps you’re back into raiding again, but do you know how your raiders learn new encounters? Kae wrote about this a few weeks ago and I thought it was an interesting read. I’m visual and tactile myself, which means the videos don’t generally work well for me (and the talking in them mostly annoys me). A good diagram and some hands-on experience helps me more than anything.

Finally, this post is old but I happened across it when the topic came up for us the other night. Anexxia’s post The Changing Face of Spirit talks about how the stat fits into Cataclysm gear. Have you decided what your raid is doing about gear with +spirit? It’s something to consider before you are caught unprepared!

Monday Linking Love

I have another edition of linking love for your Monday – welcome to the week! (I’m not actually that chipper, but by gosh, I am trying!) I’m even writing this a day early because I know it’s not going to happen tomorrow morning, that’s for sure.

First up, Anafielle at Righteous Defense has a message for Low Level Paladin tanks. (Voss thinks the message is “roll a warrior instead,” but I think he may have a slight bias).

ArcaneTinkerTank at Murloc Parliament has some advice for getting your financial house in order for the coming Cataclysm. It’s pretty simple, really – and yet I still have more junk in my alt guild than I’m willing to admit to!

Cayleb from Bubble Hearth is starting an interesting new leveling experiment - The Ethical Alt. I have something of a soft spot for these kinds of leveling experiments, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as he progresses!

For anyone wondering what the upcoming patch entails and confused about all the announced changes and what’s going on – Beru at Falling Leaves and Wings has a post breaking it down. It’s simple and no frills. Just the facts, ma’am!

This is a sketch. This is only a sketch. This has been a sketch of the emergency image for a blog post needed system. Had this been a real drawing...I probably would have coloured the bottom of her robe.

I am a big fan of the series Pewter at The ‘Mental Shaman has been writing about World of Warcraft fan art. This past week she tackled the representation of Troll women. I have to admit that I find myself thinking more carefully about what I draw and how I draw it since Pewter got me thinking about it. Well worth a read!

Shintar at Priest With A Cause is getting into the Cataclysm events. Now that’s what I call an invasion!

Linedan from Achtung Panzercow discovered new meaning in the Crusader Bridenbrad questline. Read about it in his post I Feel For The Guy, But… Even before this I knew Linedan and I would have to agree to disagree about Bridenbrad and his quest chain. I have always really enjoyed it and couldn’t quite say why.

Finally, I have a new guest post up at Sword and Board for people who like lowbie warrior tanking stuff. The posts there take me much longer to write generally – and Voss tries to include helpful information.

All of that ought to give you plenty to read while you’re having much-needed morning coffee!

Tuesday Art Day: Talwen

Back at Pugging Pally I used to do art posts fairly often. I think it’s a fine tradition that I wouldn’t mind continuing!

Here is a commission I just recently finished for a friend of Lara‘s. This is her draenei paladin, Tal, and she is awesome (if I do say so myself). The armour was conceived of by her and assembled/altered by the two of us with our brainstorming; it’s a combination of the Tier 8 paladin set combined with Tier 6 (shoulders and crown). I changed the colours of those pieces so that they would look as if they were part of the T8 set.

Because you all know how I feel about draenei. Draenei. Are. Awesome!

So that is thing one; I always enjoy sharing some art I’ve been working on! Secondly, I have written a guest post that is the probable first in a series of guest posts for Vosskah over at Sword and Board. Yes, that’s right, Vosskah, infamous raid leader and utterer of French expletives! Those of you who have been sad I don’t write about pugging as much may like this series, because…

I made a warrior.  And all she’s been doing is tanking (ulp). Meantime, Voss provides useful information about tanking. I think it’s a fun combination, especially for anyone else who may be interested in leveling lowbie warrior tanks. That’s something that Vid was always lacking as she leveled – I couldn’t tell people about good choice to make because I really was just figuring it out as I went along. Unlike me, Voss knows what he is doing.

It may take my little warrior a long time to level this way, but the journey promises to be a nerve-wracking one. Mosey over and read Looking To Be A Great Warrior? if you are so inclined!

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