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

Archive for the ‘Linking Love’ Category

This Was A Triumph

Here's a shot of Deathwing before he became too busy tossing people off his back in LFR to burn the world. This was taken moments before I met a fiery end while trying to fish peacefully in Uldum. "Oh, the fire won't extend this far..." Famous last words, DW, but I got my revenge.

I was actually awake when the NDA for Mists lifted! I could have written a blog post then and been a forerunner in blog news. Instead, it’s a few days later and everyone has had time to pick over and digest all of the new information and so you won’t learn anything new here!

Of course there were some things I am interested in with Mists. One is a new character slot – hallelujah! Of course, I would have preferred a few new character slots (five, maybe?) but I’ll make do with one. The hardest thing for me is looking at my roster of characters and deciding who is going to die. Which one gets the axe? I know there are some folks for whom deleting characters is actually somewhat cathartic or commonplace, but for me it’s a big deal! I’ve only ever deleted one character who was higher level than 40; my ill-fated hunter. I just never “clicked” with her. Actually, I lie – I didn’t even delete that character, I transferred it to Voss’ account. So the highest level character I’ve ever deleted was twenty.

I’m not sure if it’s because of my inherent RP attitude that it’s tough to do – although I did joke that I “killed” my night elf priest when I race-changed her into a draenei. It’s like I’m murdering a person? Anyway, I need at least two new character slots, one to house my draenei monk and another for a pandaren of some persuasion. Characters that are currently on the chopping block:

-Sarika, 32 Draenei warrior: Warriors are pretty fun and all, but I seldom play her and don’t have much interest in tanking generally. My intent was to level her as a tank and blog about it. She doesn’t have much story or background to speak of either so as far as “murders” go it’s pretty low-risk.

-Jun, 16 Night Elf rogue: I finally made a rogue but I only played her for a day. I have to admit, the lowbie rogue experience seems to be lacking in some way? (Or else it’s me that’s the problem). I learned poisons but they didn’t tell me squat about poisons, and the only way I found a poison vendor was looking on Wowhead. If I had been a new player with this rogue I probably wouldn’t have put poisons on my dagger for approximately 50 levels or similar, as it was it’s a miracle I remembered that you could put poisons on EACH dagger. So Jun’s fate is uncertain, at the least I will probably keep her and use the name for my pandaren.

-Mildred, 41 Forsaken priest: Actually, Mildred’s name probably doesn’t belong on this list because I can’t bring myself to delete her because her name is Mildred. Even though I have little interest in playing a priest or a Horde character at this time. I’ve considered deleting her just to remake some other class so I can experience the “new” Forsaken experience everyone is talking about. But Mildred is the perfect foil to my Millya, so she’s probably okay. Plus Voss has adopted her name as a means of referring to someone who is doing something annoying, such as running halfway across a zone to pick a Mageroyal, losing track of every person in your leveling group, then stopping to pick 8000 Peacebloom. He hollers, “MILDREEEDD!” I suppose you have to hear it to appreciate it.

Anyway, one of those characters will need to die so I have sufficient slots. I had intended to level Jun so we could work towards the Classy Night Elves achievement, but I grossly overestimated available time and interest. Maybe Mildred should be a mage instead (because I need another one! No, really!)

Mists sounds like it’s going to be pretty great for pet collectors, clothes horses goats, and folks who have a sick addiction to dailies and rep grinds like I do. I played Farmville for awhile, until the pressure to harvest imaginary vegetables made me ask myself, “Why am I logging in at specific times to plant more blueberries when I could be playing WoW instead?” Now I’ll never have to experience that dilemma again. I’m not even being sarcastic, I’m excited to plant Warcraft vegetables. I think this addition might just tip the scale and get my Mom to play WoW too, which is why I’m not going to mention it to her. I was telling some guildies the other day that I asked my Mom if she wanted to try WoW because I thought her tolerance for repetitive activities would make her the ideal herb-farmer and miner. In her off-time, she would collect pets. I’m informed that considering using my Mom as an herb farmer makes me a horrible person, which is probably true. But she’d be so GOOD at it!

I like the female Pandaren models. I’m interested to see more of their faces, but I think they are much better than they could have been; they are obviously not an afterthought as female worgen were, which shows that Blizzard was listening to those criticisms, which I appreciate. I’ve heard that some bottom dwellers have already come out of the woodwork to complain that they are fat, to which I say, they are PANDA PEOPLE. Get over yourself! She could have been even fatter and I would’ve been happier, but she’s fine the way she is. I’ll be happy to play one, which is pretty different from my initial feelings about the Mists expansion.

Generally, everything I read about Mists made me more excited to play it. I think the story sounds interesting, I think exploring the continent sounds exciting – even the 10,000 waterfalls, which I will no doubt visit because I like a healthy dose of masochism with my gaming. There will be so much content at level 90 that I can’t possibly be bored. Not being a Warcraft III player, I had no basis for the existence of Pandaren but as friends urged me to keep an open mind I put any premature judgements on hold. Even Voss has warmed to the Pandaren and is looking forward to leveling one with me. The only thing that will need addressing before Mists is my serious dearth of bank space. I finally sold my Darkmoon Card: Volcano just the other day in desperation and to free up one more slot. Farewell, old friend. You served me well for three tiers. You will not be missed.

I eagerly await the time when mounts are made account-wide so that I can ride my ridiculous and awesome rooster mount on any character. They’ve said it’s next on their list after pets, now that the tech is in place to make it happen. That’s a feature worth having, as far as I’m concerned! Cory Stockton also said that there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people who are raiding since LFR was introduced; he had to be a bit sly about specifics, so no percentages or numbers, but that’s pretty neat to hear. LFR obviously has its upsides and downsides, but the ability to queue for it with friends from other servers has made a big difference to me. Plus, I’ve been using loot from it on my main for months now so I should probably not say much!

Last but not least, here are two links to things that caught my eye today.

My fellow Moonrunnerian (Moonrunnerite?) over at Double Protection wrote about a topic near and dear to my heart: Loot! Don’t lie, you love the purples too. Specifically, he’s addressing a problem that our raid group has experienced – loot distribution for tens. We had six weeks of constant Conqueror tokens, I’m not even kidding. We only recently started to get Vanq again, I got my four-piece bonus just a short time ago, and two of my pieces were from LFR. I like some of his ideas.

Alas of Kiss My Alas fame is sadly wishing the Warcraft blogosphere farewell (Kiss this Alas goodbye). Alas’ voice will be missed, also her querulous sheep that never fails to make me guffaw. (Okay, I’m biased, so what). Best wishes, Alas! Mage mage.

And Cynwise did a reading round-up just today, so in a lazy roundabout way you should check out his post if you’re looking for yet more great posts!

 

 

Then and Now Update

I wanted to thank everyone who participated in the “Then and Now” challenge. I’ve really enjoyed reading your reminiscing and seeing your screenshots from back in the day! Thanks to MMO Melting Pot as well, who featured it. I thought it’d be a shame to miss out on the great posts from folks who wrote on this topic, so you can see them below. I based my list on comments or trackbacks I received, so hopefully I got them all! Nineteen blogs participated, so there is a lot of great reading here. It’d be a shame to miss out on these posts from around the WoW ‘sphere. I had been updating the original post but I didn’t want those links to get buried.

Apple Cider Mage

Orcish Army Knife

Dancing Runes

Water Bender

Power Word: What?

Info About WoW From The Altoholic

Warcraft of the Worlds

Need More Rage

Jaedia’s Menagerie

I Like Bubbles

Kamalia et Alia

Tiny WoW Guild

Bubbles of Mischief

The Daily Frostwolf

Jed’s Corner of WoW Shenanigans

Killing ‘Em Slowly

Sugar and Blood

Need More Rage

Ironyca Stood In The Fire

The Stories of O

Raiding After Dark

Friday Link Love

It’s been a definite adjustment to me learning to juggle the needs of a webcomic, a blog, a guild/raiding and oh, that real life thing, too. Unfortunately it’s been Manalicious that has suffered the most because I consider the webcomic to have a hard deadline, and I’ve given priority to some RL things as well. (For example, visiting my Grandmother weekly, which I consider time really well spent).

Anyway, long story short – I haven’t written here but I’m not dead and it’s just for lack of time. Today I’m working on finishing off my Secret Santa Art Trade piece, which I’m excited to share when it’s done. Look for it next Tuesday! If you check out that link on the 25th or later, all of the art should be up.

If you haven’t otherwise been reading From Draenor With Love, we started a seasonal story arc a few weeks ago. You can check it out starting here:

Winter Fail (Part One)

It has rockets, gifts, and snow, so it’s pretty much the perfect holiday gift, in my humble and extremely biased opinion.

I also took part in a cookie exchange organized by Liala over at Disciplinary Action. Rather than mailing cookies, we traded and baked recipes from mystery givers, while someone else baked our own recipes. The cookies pictured above were not my cookies from this event, I made them last year but I can’t resist using the picture again. They are draenei! But also gingerbread!

Mana Cake Musings wrote a nice Fire mage specific guide to Dragon Soul, if you are a mage of the fiery persuasion it’s worth checking that out.

On a more serious note, Jaded Alt writes about Mental Illness and WoW in a piece that I found both insightful and personally significant. If you’ve ever struggled with depression, you’ll probably recognize yourself in what Windsoar describes. For me, WoW has been at times an unhealthy escape and a blessing. It’s good to have a way of being in contact with people, however minimally, at a time when your tolerance for socializing might be low. It’s also good (for me) to take myself away from WoW sometimes to get out and meet with folks face to face. I usually have to force myself to do that if I am depressed, and it usually does help.

Redbeard at Parallel Context has been writing about how the blood elves and draenei are really more alike than they’d like to think. He starts part one here, but it’s a four part series so make sure you read the later three if you’re interested!

Tzufit has a post about The Ethics of Raid Finder Loot that’s very thought-provoking! You may have already seen it as it was linked from WoW Insider, but if you haven’t it is well worth a read.

Many WoW bloggers took part in the Furtive Father Winter event and their posts are starting to be posted! I didn’t take part myself (because I was already doing the art exchange and I was already behind on doing it so I knew I wouldn’t have the time) but I’m sure there are some great gifts that came out of it. It’s always fun to discover new bloggers this way, too.

These are just a few items from around the WoW blogsphere I wanted to mention. Meaning, these are people who have been writing when I haven’t. I hope you find something you enjoy, and Merry Christmas to you if you celebrate it, happy holidays otherwise, or have a great weekend if none of the above apply to you! I’m going to be curling up with a good book and eating too much with my family. We already ate most of the baking, but it’s as if the chocolate in this house is multiplying (not that we mind).

 

 

Tuesday Art Day: Surprise!

So, for weeks I’ve been hinting on Twitter (annoyingly) about a “top secret” project I couldn’t talk about. Well, folks, it’s finally done (which is to say, begun)! Although if you’re fortunate enough not to follow me on Twitter, you didn’t know about it anyway (and I didn’t annoy you).

From Draenor With Love is a webcomic that I have been collaborating on with Rades of Orcish Army Knife fame. We both worked on the website, although all the CSS fancy-stuff was his doing. I made graphics! I do the art for the comics, he writes the comics and we discuss them at length. I originally pitched this idea to him along with a half-completed comic that was made even better after he added his ideas to it, thus proving that two creative minds really are better than one! The painting part is a bit more solitary, but it really is a joint process in many ways and I’ve been loving it! We’ve been cooking this up for over a month now getting it ready to go “live” and I’m pretty excited about it. I hope you’ll enjoy it! It is going to update weekly on Wednesdays (yes, today it is Tuesday, it won’t update this Wednesday.) This is a bonus, one day early comic, but not a moment too soon! I wrote more about that over at FDWL, so all I will say here is:

Go check it out! I’d love to get any comments you might have if you’re inclined to leave them. We’re both really pumped about this project and the anticipation of tomorrow feels a bit like Christmas to me to finally pull back the curtain on something we’ve been spending so much time on. I know it’s only one comic (so far) but we’ve actually completed many more than that! If you enjoy the work of either Rades or I (hopefully both) I think there should be something for everybody. Plus, it’s not Horde or Alliance-centric. There’ll be a good mix of both viewpoints and factions, which is part of why I’m excited about it and what I think is a bit unique.

I think I’m just rambling. Hooray, comic launch day!

Minipost: Third Time’s The Charm

The other week, one of our priests stepped out of the raid for someone else after a wipe. Inexplicably, his body floated there long after he'd gone. It was creepy. Our rezzes are so powerful they grant levitation!

I just wanted to post quickly to mention another podcast I was on recently, My Epic Heals. Eade and Wolfshade were our gracious hosts and I was there along with Kurn from Kurn’s Corner. It’s an episode about holy paladin healing. We talked about Ragnaros and a bunch of other stuff if you want to give it a listen.

Also note, in case you missed it, my silly paper dolls post from the other day! I probably would have ordinarily saved that post for today, but I’m impatient like that, so instead it was posted a few days back.

Hot Off The Presses: Thursday Link Love

I was recently journeying through Bloodmyst when this happened. Augh, I'm a shadow of my former self...and I'm half the size of this guy here! Also, I have no hooves. What is the world coming to?

Here are some posts I’ve enjoyed from around the community in the past few days! If you’re looking for a read or a laugh to get you through one last work-day before Friday, check them out!

First, Akabeko at Red Cow Rise writes about the Midsummer Fire Festival . It’s not a guide, it’s actually about the festival. I loved the comparisons to ‘real life’ traditions from various cultures.

Rades has some tips (including videos) for folks struggling with the torch catching dailies that are part of the festival. I don’t know about you guys, but I had a harder time with this task than I remember having in the past! Now that I’ve remembered it I’m fine, but initially? Wow. I thought it was a problem of Vid’s for awhile there. (Clearly her, not me.)

Runzwithfire (Do you see my theme, here?) tried his hand at his first vlog. I guarantee you that every blog post would be better if it involved a British accent.

My friend Saif over at Raiding After Dark has a letter to all raiders. I won’t spoil the ending.

Finally, Ophelie at The Bossy Pally is back after jaunting all over North America! I might be biased because one of her stops was in my city, and we hung out, but I love reading about trips and WoW blogger meet-ups. I’m going to be writing about meeting her soon, myself (as soon as I stop procrastinating) but in the meantime, you can check out her trip account here.

Odds and Sods

I have just a few odds and ends for you this Monday afternoon. First of all, Business Time is recruiting! We’re looking for a dedicated and awesome healer to fill out our roster. You can check out our recruitment thread here for more info. The one class we’re missing is a resto shaman but we wouldn’t discount any other type of healer. All exceptional applicants will be considered. I’d like to note that even though recruitment in this expansion has been crazy and we’ve had to bring more new people on board than ever before, that I’m proud we haven’t had to resort to bringing people “just to make the numbers” that really aren’t a good fit personality-wise. We are a group of friends that loves to get things done and clear heroic content, but people have to fit in with our small posse first. We’ve never compromised on that account, and so BT continues to be a great place to play. You should check us out! The sooner we can find the right person, the sooner we can get ready to hit Firelands together.

Now, for some link love! I’ve read some really great posts over the past few days. First up, check out When The Healer Says “Pull Bigger” over at Heavy Wool Bandage. Glorwynn has summarized everything that makes me irate when I’m on either a tank or a DPS character (naturally, as a healer I never tell my tank to do much of anything besides let me drink and don’t break line of sight). I’m not even going to try to express it, because she’s already said it so well.

Zinn at Jinxed Thoughts has some interesting insights into the difficulties that 10s and 25s have faced so far in Cataclysm. Speaking as someone who has been focused on tens for as long as I’ve been raiding, I think these things are always interesting to analyze and think about. Well worth a read!

Finally, The Daily Blink writes a blog post to follow up the comic Lament Of An Ex-Mage. Remember the private hell of tanks and healers, my DPS friends, lest they forget where their taunt button is located!

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.

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