Friday, August 29, 2008

Tree of Life history lesson

Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

The name of our tree form, and the phrase across the top of this blog is Tree of Life. I don’t think that the association that trees have with life comes as a surprise to anyone. But did you really know where this connotation comes from? Are you curious? Well I was, so being the geek that I am, I did some wiki research.

The Tree of Life symbol is an important one found in nearly every culture, symbolizing wisdom, protection, strength, bounty, beauty, and redemption. It is believed that people were easily able to identify to trees because we, like trees, develop roots, strengthen our trunk and branch out to a wider vision of life as we grow (I like that). Just look how vast this tree of life concept spans (and I’m only listing a few here):

* Norse mythology: In Norse mythology Yggdrasil is known as the World Tree. Yggdrasil is an ash tree that stands at the center of the universe, linking and sheltering all the worlds with its strength. Yggdrasil reaches up with its branches to the spiritual realm of Asgard (representing the higher self), its middle is the world of Midgard (representing the world of the human ego and persona), and its roots reach down to the underworld of tree dwarves and elves (representing the unconscious senses). Yggdrasil is the strong axis around which these three planes of existence revolve.
Yggdrasil totally reminds me of Teldrassil… is this where they got the name from?

* China: In Chinese mythology a carving of a Tree of Life is depicted with a phoenix and a dragon. The dragon represents one's essence and the phoenix the fire of changing but immortal life.
Hmmm yeah I wish us trees could be immortal in WOW…

* Ancient Egypt: In Egyptian mythology, Isis and Osiris are said to have emerged from the acacia tree of Saosis, which the Egyptians considered the Tree of Life, referring to it as the "tree in which life and death are enclosed". Also, the ancient Egyptian symbol for "plant", or "Tree of Life", was three sacred lotus lilies.
You see, this is why I should be picking all of the Fel Lotuses!

* Buddhism: Buddha was said to have redeemed the whole universe under its protective branches of the great Bodhi tree, the great Tree of Enlightenment. Under this World Tree, the Buddha transformed all negative temptations and energies and achieved perfect enlightenment.
I wonder how I am doing with enlightening my guildies?

* The Maya: For the Maya, the Tree of Life, called Yaxche, represented the axis mundi, or the stable world center. It constituted a symbolic vertical line, that united the three realms of underworld, earth, and heavens. Yaxche, traditionally a Ceiba tree, was often depicted with four branches representing the four cardinal directions significant to the Maya.
What's funny here is that the Tree of Life is the center of the four directions... funny because I often get lost.

* Kabbalah: In Kabbalah, Tree of Life is a term used to describe the mythical unity of ten attributes that God created, through which he can manifest. The mythical unity of these ten attributes, or sephirots, is called the Tree of Life.

* Judaism: "Etz Chaim", Hebrew for Tree of Life, is a common term used in Judaism. The expression, found in the Book of Proverbs, is figuratively applied to the Torah.

* Armenia: In ancient Armenia, the Tree of Life was a religious symbol and was drawn on walls of fortresses and carved on the armor of warriors. The branches of the tree were equally divided on the right and left sides of the stem, with each branch having one leaf, and one leaf on the apex of the tree. Servants stood on each side of the tree with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of the tree.
Hey… servants? Where do I pick up my servants?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prices back down?

I have also noticed over the last week or so that prices on Drenden have come back down from the ceiling they plastered on after patch 2.4. This includes prices for herbs, super healing/mana pots, and earthstorm/skyfire diamonds (which is bad for me since I am selling these) as well as for green level gems and primal earth (which is good for me since I buy these). Is it the same on your server? Is it because we're losing more and more end-game raiders pre-expansion?


Its not me, its my class?

So healing... a word derived from the old English word hælan, meaning to make whole, sound, and well. Most of you know that I am doing 10 man healing right now, in Kara and ZA. Well in the last couple of weeks I have had guildies and non-guildie friends make comments to me in the effect of "You're a great healer, you're the elite healer, blah blah blah".

Here's my question. Because of their ability to cast instant heals (lifebloom and rejuv) on a large number of people, doesn't that give resto druids a large leg up in 10 mans? Whereas in 25 mans, where a tank may take a huge amount of damage, I may not have enough big heals? In 10 mans, could the great healing be more just a function of my class, not me?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The sky is falling!

I was in IF last night and trying to access the guild bank. However, I couldn't open it! D'oh! I wondered if my tank jokes had gone too far and Jess had prohibited access. But then I tried to open my bank and couldn't do that either. Then look, all the auctioneers in IF disappeared!

I believe I know what happened. Not too long before the server crashed, I had been in a non-premade WSG and we won, 3 flags to 0. It was probably just too much to take... that an alliance non-premade could win. The server probably froze over and crashed. Oops. Sorries Drenden.

However all of this pvping was so that I could pick up Merciless Gladiator's War Staff so that when I am a boomkin, I could do some decent damage!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Edited daily quest rotation

A while back I posted about the sequence of daily quests that I do. I have been meaning to do an up date on this post for a while.

As of some patch ago, the Multiphase Survey daily in Nagrand no longer gives you shattered sun supplies. So it has dropped from my list. In its place I have added the Blast the Gateway quest given out in Hellfire at the Throne of Kil'jaeden. The quest giver stands at 58,18. She'll give you a quest pet you must open. Then just run around and kill the Fel Sparks until your flare becomes unstable. You don't have to be the one to tag a fel spark for it to grow your flare. You can stand next to someone else who is killing one. These Fel Sparks also have a nice drop rate on motes of fire.

This Blast the Gateway quest is the first one I do. I don't know if its been the same for you, but I have found that this quest has the highest success rate of getting a badge of justice from all the quests that give you shattered sun supplies. So I do this one first, then if I get a badge from it, I forget the two other quests in Blades Edge and Netherstorm for that day, because I believe you can't get more than one badge of justice daily from the shattered sun supplies.

On a totally unrelated but humorous front, I was online yesterday with a bunch of guildies when I received a work email from a co-worker. This email was sent to a large group of people (including our boss) and it seriously, I kid you not, included the word "noob". Now noob is basically gaming specific is it not (vs general internet jargon)? After I recovered from laughing, I ask in guild chat what kind of person uses the word "noob" in a work email. To which Buns answered, "Uh, a noob?" Touche Buns, touche.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How to grow into a nice strong tree

We have a new 70 in our guild and our second resto druid, Dest's alt Tygira. I am quite excited to have another tree in the family. I am currently calling her my bebeh sapling. She said she had a lot to learn from the master (yes, that would be me) so I wondered what kind of advice I could start her out with. Here are a couple of tips Tygira.

1. Trees need water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Go in tree form to Zangamarsh, take a nice swim, then spread a towel along the lake and lay out to soak up some sun while munching on some felweed.
2. Make sure to keep your branchy arms in tip top shape as you’ll be throwing them up above your head quite often. Three sets of 15 arm curls should do the job. For dumbbells find two gnome volunteers.
3. Trees also need maintenance and sometimes you may need pruning/shaping. Find someone with a nice sharp axe that you trust completely. Or at least someone with whom you can enact revenge (oops, I "accidently" forgot to heal you!) if they prune your leaves into a crazy leaf-fro.
4. Keep an eye out for pesky feral kitties and bears who could confuse your trunk for a scratching post. They’ll try to carve their initials or something like “Adamas wuz here”.

If Tygira follows these tips, I am sure that she will grow many many rings into a big strong tree.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Random thoughts/questions

1. Our pets have grown?

Here's a picture of my Seb last fall.

Now here's a picture of Seb this past weekend.

What happened? He went from level 1 to level 70! As a level 70 he should actually do something when I'm getting my ass whooped in ZA. This leads us to...

2. Fire... bad. hot hot hot.

We got our butts torched by Jan'alai, the third boss in ZA. Sometimes we seemed to have the egg hatching thing under control, other times we didn't. And when we did have it under control, people died from the fire bomb things which were just all over the place.

3. New barbershops

There have been pics and posts about the new barbershops and hairstyles coming out in the expansion. Here's my question around the barbershops... will they be packed when guilds breakup?


Friday, August 15, 2008

When your WOW self and Blog self collide

For a long time my WOW self and my blog self were very separate. I blogged to note what we were doing, to be silly, or often would blog about something that I knew Jess would find amusing. I think Jess was my only real overlap between my WOW self and my blog self in that I definitely knew Jess was reading this blog.

Last couple of months though, the two selves have been colliding. I've had strangers whisper me in game, introducing themselves to me as readers of my blog. Oh and Ratters raided with us one night! On the other side, a lot more of my guildies beyond Jess are now reading this blog. It took me a bit to realize this, as I would mention in guild chat something that someone commented about on this blog. And they'd say, "Uh yeah K, we saw that on your blog."

So I guess this means I can't give my guildies a hard time on here, huh? Well, except for Nio, because he is well, Nio... and Jess, well because it is every healer's duty to give their tank a hard time.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mixing it up

We had a slow raid week last week, well actually I guess it wasn't as slow as it was paused. As it has been the case with many other guilds lately, we had too many peeps away to do a ZA run as planned. So instead we've been running daily heroics and to change things up, I decided to go boomkin moonkin funky crit thunder thighs owl beast chicken for a couple of days.

Let me just say first that if you have never seen a moonkin dance, your WOW life is just not complete. Here I am, I believe mid hip thrust. Watching the boomkin run is also quite amusing, as I have the flabbiest (but still cute) rear end. So when I wasn't being amused by myself, I marveled at how much faster it was to kill stuff. Finding really big mobs and sending insect swarm in on them is fun. And I've come to understand what a panzerkin really means. 40% increased armor in moonkin form? Wow! Oh and having a posse of three trees to send in to smack mobs around a bit is fun as well. Except when they are horrifically cut in half after 30 seconds. That really pains me. Is there really a need to make that graphic so... graphic?

Anyways I've run a heroic Slave Pens and Shadow Labs in moonkin, and its interesting doing something different. What is awesome is that I was able to do these runs on the same character, as the badges from these runs gave me enough for new healing pants Grovewalker's Leggings. It was also nice for the group to have a backup healer. However, a couple of times in heroic SL when I saw people get low in health, I couldn't help but just switch out to heal, even if Muriel (Jess' priest) had things under control. So yes, I am still a healer at heart and we will hopefully be going back to ZA this week with me back as a lovely tree.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's worse than not having time to play WOW?

For me, that would be having more time than usual to play, but not being able to. We had some very strong storms roll through Chicago on Monday night and I was not only without WOW, but without internet and TV from then until this morning.

The first twelve hours of withdrawal were the worst, as it is with any addiction. There was shaking, sweating, bouts of irrational anger... But then I got a glimpse of how life was before I played WOW. I watched some movies I had been meaning to watch and spent a lot of time unpacking (which is still a work in progress). I now have less boxes in my place than I did before, which is great. All in all it was probably good for me to be forced away from the game for a bit.

But what did I do as soon as I saw I was back up this morning? Well get back in WOW of course! You know what they say, you can take the girl away from the game, but you can't take the game out of the girl. :)


Monday, August 4, 2008

What good is all that intellect?

It doesn't look as if I am using all of the intellect that I have to its full potential. Why? Well during the last couple of raids, I have had the problem of not realizing that I still had on Charm of Swift Flight until I go and try to activate my real trinkets and it says its not equipped. Ok, so that's bad, but I would figure it out pretty quickly.

But this past weekend it wasn't until after two wipes on Prince (we had also already done Illhoof and Shade) that I realized that I still had on Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat! Oh my goodness! Luckily the two wipes on Prince were mainly due to bad infernal drops, not inadequate healing or me running out of mana. When I took a real close second look at this fishing hat, I realized that it actually has more spirit than my real pve helm! Anyways, I need to stop raiding with silly fishing or flying fast gear on.

Speaking of fishing, I tried the fishing tournament yesterday for the first time in I don't even know how long! I wanted to see if I still had it. I went with my same old strategy, but lost badly, having only had like 29 of the fish when the winner was announced. The winner was super fast, as he won no more than 20 minutes after it started. Couple of observations.
1. There were a ton more people in "my area". I still tried to run away from where everyone else was going. I may try to go back next Sunday and try the other coast and see if that is as populated.
2. The track fish feature didn't work on the tastyfish when I won the tournament. It makes it interesting now that you can see the little gold dots appear on your minimap before you could actually see the pool.
3. I think they increased the amount of money you get for turning in 5 tastyfish. Its over 1 gold now for every turn in of 5 fish. As the pools will stay up for two hours every Sunday, it could be an easy way for a lower level character to make some gold. Just as long as you can deal with the level 40-ish mobs around.

Finally, our little guild has gotten a good number of new members in the last couple of weeks. We now have more than ten active level 70s and I am a little concerned for how planning our runs will go. We'll have to sit people out for one 10 man raid, but don't have enough for two 10 man raids. Hopefully we can figure out the right combination of respecting seniority, but welcoming the new members so that we can grow into having two 10 mans or even having close to enough people for a 25 man with some friends from other guilds.

But a big welcome to Dragosilver and Lilmiss (who've been with us for a while now, I have just been slow in my shoutout), Sindrin, Mumu, and Kaho! Now Dragosilver, Lilmiss, and Sindrin are hunters. I had to explain to Drago and Lilmiss last night that when we make hunter jokes, it is due to and directed at Nio and Ricochet... not at them. I mean when a hunter (ahem Ricochet who I like to call Mr. Suave because of Rico Suave... remember him?) mistakes his land mount for his flying mount and goes flying off Aldor Rise on a big elephant, what will happen? Well, one there will be a big big splat and two there is justification for all our hunter cracks. :)