Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank you and farewell

I'm not really sure how to start this post, as this is an incredibly difficult post for me to write, one that I've put off writing for a bit. I have a lot I want to say, but I'll start with the most obvious and maybe go backwards from there.

This blog, Tree of Life, is going the way of our old tree form. OMG the irony! Heh. But seriously, this blog is going where resto druid blogs go to hibernate. Wherever that is, I'm sure Phaelia, Bell, and Amanna (do some of you guys remember Amanna from way back in the day?) will welcome me with branchy arms. :)

For the last couple of weeks, I've actually taken a break from the game. As I shared with my guildies, I have some other aspects of my life that I need to focus on right now. I last raided with the guild over two weeks ago and those last raids were incredibly hard for me. Tears were literally streaming down my cheeks and I think some people died because their grid boxes got a little blurry. Oops.

I think the incredible draw of WoW for so many of us is how sneakily it brings in this social network and real meaningful friendships, right inside your house. It's incredible how you end up talking to your friends and guildies in game more often than you talk to your closest friends. It was incredibly difficult for me to imagine not having that.

So my break from the game started early this month but I wanted to think very carefully about what I wanted to do with this blog before making any rash decisions. I guess I just wanted to make sure that things felt right. It's a decision that is still very hard for me, but I know it's the right one to make right now. I guess my head says I need to do it, but my heart is a little sad. I was a little concerned that I was so sad over closing this blog, but then again I guess stopping something after doing it for over 3 years, no matter what that is, is a bit of a change.

Now in terms of the break from WoW, while I was initially kind of worried about it, it's actually turned out really well. As I told Jess the other night, I'm really really happy right now. Things are good, and it has seemed like my life and various opportunities have opened up to fill the space that WoW used to occupy. Who knows, maybe they were always there and I can just see them clearly now. But this doesn't mean that I don't miss the guildies tremendously, because I do. :(

Jess has known for the last couple of months that I was struggling with this decision. In discussing it, we talked about this whole concept of real life and online life. I'm not sure it's completely right to say that I decided I was going to focus on real life right now. Because who is to say that my online life wasn't "real"? The incredible relationships, the camaraderie within the guild... damn straight it's all real, damn it!!! (Could I say damn one more time?!?! Hmmm) Perhaps as this whole MMO phenomenon develops over time, there will be less of a distinction between real life and online life, and that your online life is just a part of your real life. I think that's the balance I need to find for myself right now.

Am I going to come back for Cataclysm? I don't know, but I hope that I do. Part of my reasoning for this break is to just experience my life without WoW for a while so that if I do come back for Cataclysm I can play it with a better sense of balance, a balance within a fuller and richer life, if that makes any sense. Will I start blogging again if I come back for Cataclysm? I've learned that you can never say never, so really I don't know.

While I know I don't do any sort of serious posts here, I think I've also spent too much time reading other blogs and trying to finding stuff I find humorous to post about here. I think if I do come back for Cata, the time spent playing WoW should be enough. We'll see. It's hard though because I've really fallen in love with this blog and blogging. So much so that yes, I am going to start a personal blog where I can continue to crack myself up with completely random stuff and not have to try to relate it to WoW somehow. I'll probably end up sharing some more personal stuff on there as well.

To my guildies, thanks for creating an incredible family. I'm so glad that while we had some minor ups and downs that we generally always kept the mindset of a group of friends hanging out together through raiding. I've also loved that you guys read and commented on this blog. And to Jess, you know what you've meant and continue to mean to me. When I think about WoW, this old screenshot is what will always come to mind:

So thank you to everyone who has read or commented over the years. I've really loved being a part of the WoW blogosphere and having those familiar names pop up on my comments. I don't kid myself at all and think that this blog made anyone play WoW better or provided any real game strategy beyond blaming all bad things on the tanks (t'is true! It's a good strategy!). I guess what I do hope is that I made you guys laugh.

Much love,


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Patch Day

Something to amuse you while you wait for the patch to drop:

Hahaha, that cracks me up every time. Last night, I had to make sure I got one last screenshot of K in voluntary and permanent tree form. /cry

Remember, for all tree 4.0 stuffs, go read Keeva's 4.0 guide.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One last arena post

Oh arena... my dear arena. I don't know if I have done anything in game that provided such highs and lows as arena did. Sure we had our struggles in raiding (I am reminded of one of our last raid nights that caused me to use multiple f-bombs in one sentence over vent). But I don't know, arena was just somehow different than the highs and lows of raiding.

As I look back on Season 8, it was the first full season of arena that I participated in where I not only had experience, but started out with a pretty decent set of last season's gear. Though we had some highs like actually hitting 1700 as a 5v5 team, which allowed some of our casters to pick up purty new wands, we've struggled with the lows of a less than optimal team makeup.

All in all though I think we've done ok given what we had. I do think that my reaction time is definitely faster after a full season of arena. How much that helped with raiding, I don't know. And yeah, going into battlegrounds with arena gear on is pretty sweet!

As I think back on season 8, I think this quote from Charles Dickens summarizes my feelings on the highs and lows of arena quite perfectly:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way"


Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Blogaversary Jess!

A month after my third blogaversary, today is Jess' third blogaversary! Crazy we've been doing this for 3 years now. Yay female warrior! I think Jess should look at picking this new weapon up:

If that doesn't say badass, I don't know what does. But there is a more tender side to the warrior. Here is a cute pic of us tending to our sproutlings:

I'm sure Sam, Nkm, Buns, and Darc would love to wish Jess a happy blogaversary as well:

How awesome is this screenshot?!?!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where WoW meets the Mushroom Kingdom

I was a huge Mario fan as a kid, playing old school Nintendo back in middle school. So what happens when the mushroom kingdom and WoW collide?

Part 1:

Part 2:

So cute!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National stereotypes

I'm having a hard time lately finding inspiration for blog topics, which is sad, but even sadder for me given that I don't even blog about strict WoW stuff most of the time.

Anyways, so in keeping with my "not really related to WoW at all" blog theme, a kind of funny and not necessarily politically correct lesson in reminding us that we're each looking at things from our own perspective with our own stereotypes. Yanko Tsvetkov has created a series of maps depicting Europe according to national stereotypes.

Europe according to Americans:

Europe according to the Brits:

Europe according to the Italians:

Europe according to the Germans:

Europe according to the French:

Ok, maybe I should at least try to bring it back to WoW somehow. So we have US, EU, Oceanic, South American, and Asian WoW servers. I wonder whether server or pug or raiding dynamics differ based on cultural and country differences. I mean is there less pvp graveyard farming on EU servers? More pleasantries and hellos in pugs on South American servers?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brewfest and info overload?

So Brewfest. It's actually the last holiday achievement I need on K to finish the holiday meta. Yep, it's taken 3 years worth of holidays to get it done. I don't know, I've always participated in the holidays but I guess I never felt the urge to finish all the achievements.

It is super nice that you can instantly just port to the holiday boss, isn't it? But as Jess noted, it does seem incredibly cheap somehow when you pug it. Heck, if folks don't say hello in random heroics, they sure as hell aren't going to for the 2 minutes it takes to get the holiday boss. If a daily random heroic is a one night stand, what is a pugged holiday boss? A quickie at the bar?

Anyways, in honor of Brewfest (and for my beer drinking guildies), a pretty interesting beer chart (see full size via link or click on pic below):

In other news, I did see the info on the new resto druid mastery, which looks awesome. I'm trying to keep up with the new resto druid info at the very least. I'm not sure why I can't keep a handle on the rest of the information.

So you get a sense of how well I keep up with Cataclysm info, I was talking to Jess and Beru just last week about the guild talent stuff. They were both like uh, K, they got rid of that a while back. What? Huh? Really? Oh, ok.

Oh well. I thought it was a neat idea, as I would have liked to have had the opportunity to make decisions specific to the needs and interests of our guild. Or at the very least it would have been a good chance to tell Jess what to do. Hmmm, I shall find another way!

I'm not sure if I just have a hard time reading about stuff as opposed to actually experiencing it. Maybe all the new Cataclysm info is just info overload for me? Or maybe I just have a short attention span?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cataclysm talk and my tree-ro

I rarely blog about Cataclysm because honestly, I just don't really keep up with the info all that much. I tend to go into patches or expansions sort of knowing what the changes are, but for the most part I go in semi-blind. What I have been doing though is whispering Beru (who also just got 10 man hard mode LK!!! Woots!) whenever I have any questions about Cataclysm changes. She's kinda my go to source for all things Cataclysm.

While I'm still coming to grips with losing tree form, the way we heal isn't going to be a huge difference for me. I've been a weird tree for a long time because I currently use regrowth and nourish a lot more than most trees. A lot. But from what I hear, as things stand now, I'm going to be oom all the time which makes me really grumpy. I don't think there is any more helpless of a feeling than a healer out of mana.

With the idea of losing tree form and being oom, let's add something else that gets me really really hot under my collar. It just so happens that if you google the phrase "10 man BOE gear" the very first result you get back is an old post of mine. Look!

Ok, if I'm the first google search result, I should really continue to take up the cause. I'm not sure why this gets me so riled up, but it does. My guildies will try to joke around sometimes and know that all they have to say is "10 man boe gear" and they'll get a couple of f-bombs from me.

Now I think I wrote that post back before the Cataclysm raiding changes info came out. But seriously I am going to be pissed... F'IN PISSED!!! if 10 man bosses in Cataclysm raids continue to not drop BOE gear while 25 man bosses do.

Please please please, give 10 man guilds the opportunity to sell BOE gear for guild funds or to gear up alts. Don't screw us for choosing a different path from 25 man raiding.

Finally, I'll end on a positive and less bitchy note. Kae and her guildies at Vortex have notched the world second and US first strict 10 kill of hard mode Lich King. I can't even comprehend the level of skill, near perfection, perseverance, and tenacity required to get a world second kill, a kill that is seemingly impossible in strict 10 gear. Awesome. Just awesome.

As I commented on Kae's post, she is seriously my tree hero. My tree-ro.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday post!

A couple of old pics from Kimchee I wanted to share. She's raided about half of ICC! OMG! I've dps-ed a raid! Look how freakin' cute she is:

Freakin' cute! And here she is after an unsuccessful Putricide attempt:

OMG so sad, so sad. After that attempt, she had to definitely readjust her Pigtail Holder, a gift from her friend Pinchy:

Kimchee still does a lot of pvp and her pvp set is now as good as it can be before doing arenas. She hit 10,000 HKs this week! Go Kimchee, go! Now she was in AB the other night and was at the mines with another DK. We were fighting off 4 or 5 hordies and in the midst of it all, the DK actually whispers me.

DK: "Why don't you fear?"
Kimchee: "I am! It's called diminishing returns!"


Finally, most of you have probably already seen these posts, but a great post from Ophelie about dating and being a single woman in WoW and from Kae about what it means to be a girl gamer.

I missed the LK kill for Vyp last week, but I'm glad I made it into the story. Check out this incredible story from Ratters.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yay stereotypes!

An article just recently published on, "Five bloody new video games for guys".

#4 on the list: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Blizzard, PC)

"We know: Despite what you see on "South Park," women love playing this sprawling online fantasy saga just as much as closet barbarians.

But nothing says "screw it, I'm going dateless this year" quite like its latest add-on, which offers enough new areas and quests to keep any dashing knight's social calendar gridlocked for months. Hey, at least flying mounts don't get mad when you go three days without showering."

Really? And beyond the "for guys" bit... WoW? Bloody? To be listed alongside Halo? Really?


Geek and Gamer Girls Song/Video*

*Edit: I didn't know that Metaneira at Empowered Fire already posted a much more well written post about this. Go check her post out.


I came across this video parody of Katy Perry’s California Girls on Geekologie. First, take a look at the video:

And yes, that was Stan Lee in the video. The video (click the link to see the video if the Youtube video ends up going away for copyright stuff or whatever) was on Wired. An interview with the group, Team Unicorn, provides interesting information like:

Why the name “Team Unicorn?”
Because like unicorns, geek girls are not supposed to exist!

Why do you think it’s important that geek & gamer girls stand up and be proud of their geekiness?
Everyone is a geek about something, whether it be football, gaming, politics or comic books! It’s so amazing that girls are becoming more accepted and holding their own against a typically male-dominated field. Really, we’re all just enjoying expressing what we love so much, and we hope other girls feel the same!

The interview article also has the full lyrics of this song, which include:

Epic Lootz
For the Win
Hyjal’s what we’re raiding in

Gamer ladies? (Yeah?)
Raidin’ tonight babies? (Uh huh!)
I’m all up on y’as
Cuz you representin’ geek and gamer girls

Ok, I'm not even sure where to start. First, let's just start with the lyrics. Raiding Hyjal? Really? Really? Come on, if you're going to make a WoW reference, at least make it current.

Ok next. While I'm all for the notion of female gamers, I have a hard time getting behind this video. I don't know, maybe its the girls lying conspicuously naked with their goodie bits covered by geek paraphernalia? Perhaps it's part of the Kary Perry parody? I guess I find the whole notion of trying overly hard to not just make it about geek and gamer girls, but hot and half naked geek and gamer girls a bit irritating.

Here's the thing. I do appreciate the notion of getting out there that yes, normal and even attractive girls could play video games. I mean look at Felicia Day in The Guild's two videos. They clearly highlight her looks, whether its more in a spirit of a parody or not. So I don't know, is Felicia Day pretending to get spanked in "Do You Want to Date My Avatar" really that different from this video?

I guess my thought with this video is that it seems to overly make the girls sex objects, parody or not. While it's nice to get out into the common conscience that normal everyday females play video games, it'll be even nicer when that notion doesn't have to be tied to hawt model type girls.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Illustrated fail pug stories

Most of the time I've spent so far on my gnome lock (who I totally have an infatuation with... is it weird to have a crush on your toon?) has been doing pvp. She has about as good a pvp set she can have without stepping into arenas. Though this weekend, I spent some time running pugs on Kimchee for badges to gear up her pve gear.

Now K never really did real pugs with the LFG function when it first came out. Her runs were pretty much all guild runs, and if we had to pick someone up via the LFG, it might have been one dps. So yeah, this weekend was probably my first time experiencing the range of pugs you encounter. Let me share some tales with an illustrated commentary.

First, there was the tank who was equipping a lvl 70 weapon from Hyjal. Really buddy, really? Look I don't need a 6000+ gear score tank. I'm all for doing heroics with new level 80 tanks. But come on, come somewhat prepared!

Just because it's purple doesn't mean you should be still equipping it. His total health was around 19k, less than Kimchee's. Then a couple of nightmare pulls later, he hearths saying that oops, he should really train first. Luckily he left soon after saying he had to go because his "mom was trippin'". Fail!

Then, there was the elemental shammy who kept asking for dmg meters after every other pull and gloated that he was on top. I guess he didn't care for the fact that he pulled insane aggro nearly every pull and got himself killed (and pissed off the healer) a couple of times. Fail!

Then there was the dk tank who couldn't hold aggro to save his life. And the 3 dps were really trying to behave! Fonzy told me to check if he was in frost presence. Yep, he was in blood presence. I asked him to switch to frost presence, which he did but then asked why. /sigh

Finally, I couldn't think of an appropriate pug story to go with this pic, but I had to share it because I feel its my duty as a responsible blogger to warn you guys to keep your hands to yourself.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arena ratings and another great controversy

We had our typical arena night this past Monday again. It's been frustrating because while we may end our nights going 7-3 or 6-4, we hardly go up in our total arena team rating. What I don't understand is how our matchmaking rating is somewhere around 1740 when our no one on our arena team is rated above 1690 and none of us have ever had a personal arena rating past 1700. WTF. I don't get it.

Secondly, we're coming up against a good number of 1800+ rated teams who end up getting 48 points for whopping us. Which from what I understand means that they have individuals with much higher personal or matchmaking values and the system is giving them 48 points to bump them out of our bracket. I don't know, maybe with the season going so long a number of high rated teams are carrying newbies.

The crux of the matter is, we still haven't hit 1700. Thus the arena rating system is flawed. Flawed I say!!! (Actually it probably means we're a high 1600 rated team, but it makes me feel better to rail against the system than to admit that). /sigh.

Anyways, there has been a lot of controversial topics in the blogosphere lately. Let me add to the controversy via this interesting graph from this study of regional variations in the use "Pop" and "Soda" to describe generic carbonated soft drinks:

And for the record, its soda! Let the trolling from the pop users begin!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Is this how it is to off tank?

We had a really good week of raiding this past week, after a month or so of up and downs with raiding attendance. This meant we successfully completed 5 ICC hard modes for the first time this past raid week! Woot! It's been really nice actually having loot drop that people really need again. It's also been nice being challenged on bosses prior to LK and recalling how it was when we first saw those bosses in normal.

Part of the reason we've been able to raid successfully lately is because we've had some old friends from Emerald, a guild we've long known, run with us. Last night as we were seeing heroic Blood Queen for the first time, Venezia shared this video from a guild called Kamigami that we just had to watch:

LOL! It was perfect for us last night because we had a feral druid off tanking. I love the elevator music during the clip. But it's also hilarious to look at the madness going on in the background. OMG red line of death! OMG purple cloud of death! OMG bite me before you go insane! OMG scary fear and massive blood bolts! OMG! OMG! OMG! And the bear is just playing bejeweled. Sigh.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Three year blogaversary and I'm back (I hope)

So yes, as Jess mentioned, today is my 3 year blogaversary. Though as a typical WoW hubby, he forgot the date until I told him. /sigh. I can't be too mad at him though because he did post a really sweet post about our relationship.

I don't feel particularly great about the blogaversary this year though, since I've been sort of uninspired and offline from the entire blogging world for a month or so. Beru asked me last night what I thought about all the posts going around on feminism, and I had to get a run down from her about it as well as what the main arguments were. I think I'm still sort of confused.

Perhaps though this blogaversary (and hopefully a quieter September at work) will be the impetus I need to get back into blogging a regular schedule. Maybe I just needed a little break to recharge. Three years, eh? Geez. And it just so happens that the math works out that I've done 500 posts over these 3 years, with this being my 501st. As long as I am playing WoW, I hope to be blogging. And when the time comes for me to leave Azeroth, I will most likely start a personal blog.

Last year as this blog turned two, I noted that perhaps I would enter the terrible twos and blog with a lot of screaming and crying and ranting and throwing tantrums. Hmmm, for this third year, let's just hope I get my blogging mojo back.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Longest arena season ever and Starcraft course

We're still doing 5v5 arena matches for what I call the longest arena season evah! This season 8 started on February 2. While arena seasons typically run about 5 months, this one is nearing 7 months, and I'm wondering if this will just run until Cataclysm.

We had a really bad week a couple of weeks ago where we met up against a ton of 2000+ rated teams, but it's been half decent for us the last two weeks. We're sitting around 1660 team rating and I really think we can hit 1700. Unfortunately for me, there is nothing I really want with arena points until we hit 1950 rating (wrathful helm).

Last night we even won a couple of matches in our squish burn makeup, 3 priests (2 disc, 1 shadow), a frost mage, and me. I felt kind of bad for the teams we beat, because come on, its bad when you lose to such a squishy group. We're the little chicken here:

On another note, I came across this article about the University of Florida offering a new online course, EME2040 21st Century Skills in Starcraft. Yes friends, Starcraft.

This 3 credit class, 8 week online course is apparently designed for students who already have a knowledge of Starcraft and intended to use aspects of the gameplay to teach skills for real world situations. U of F seems to have taken down the link to the course description, but from another site:

"With society becoming increasingly technology-based and fast-paced, it is important for professionals to be highly proficient in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making.

These skills are fundamental in Starcraft and therefore make the game a highly effective environment for students to analyze and take action in complex situations. Computer and video games of all types have become a major part of today's entertainment and technology worlds.

This course includes required weekly game play, viewing and analysis of recorded matches, written assignments which emphasize analysis and synthesis of real/game-world concepts, and collaboration with other students."

Real college credit for applying Starcraft to RL?!?!


Friday, August 27, 2010

An actual WoW related post!

Awmigawd! I'm actually going to talk about stuff in game! Brace yourselves...

Anyways, so last night's LK kill was awesome because the attempt that we killed him on was so flawless. Not a single badly placed defile. Not one use of the 3 battle rezes at our disposal. Incredibly smooth transitions between phases with no adds up. It's crazy how things can go so wrong, then things can be so perfect. It was also amazing given that we had one person who had never even seen the fight before.

On an earlier LK attempt, I was the first one sucked into the sword. I said on vent, oh no guys! Get ready to die! I kind of made the decision that I was not going to do the whole switching into kitty or bear and do the interrupting thing. Its just really uncomfortable for me and I get all nervous. So yep, I decided I was just going to brute force heal it. The healing wasn't as bad as I expected actually. Hooray! I survived the sword!

So raiding has definitely slowed down a lot, but I'm glad we still can get together for some raid nights. Oh a really funny pic from last week when somehow our friend Venezia's gnome mage got onto the stage of Buns' demonic puppet show. Dance for us Rum! Dance for us!

Now a couple weeks ago, our cutest gnome mage evah Nkm asked Jess and I to help him with the crazy Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline. It's a long old world questline that opened AQ back in the day.

We went with him to Duskwood, and it brought back some memories of the good old days when Jess and I were leveling up as wee young night elves.

Awww. We then went with him to Moonglade to summon Eranikus. It was really neat to see this huge impressive event going on outside of a raid and to see all the NPCs in Moonglade come to action. It was also pretty crazy that the three of us could do it! We did have one boomkin run up to us in the middle of the event to ask what was going on. Nkm had to tell them not to kill the dragon!

Anyways, the funniest part was when Eranikus was above us and throwing down some sort of minor aoe. It wasn't a big deal for us at all. I mean, it tickled a little bit, but meh. However we were pretty close to the druid trainer in Moonglade and there was a poor level 18 or so druid that got one shot while he was training. 15 seconds later, back comes the level 18 druid and rezes right where he died. And sure enough, 2 seconds later, Erankus does his aoe again and poof! Dead level 18 druid! Awww sorry Mr level 18 druid! But you sure gave us one hell of a laugh.

Some more pics from when Tyrande finally showed up:


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scary feedreader and douchebaggery

It might be kind of obvious that I've cut back on blogging a bit. For me, its not so much that there is less going on in the game since a lot of my blog posts are pretty random and not necessarily WoW related. But work has gotten incredibly crazy, which again is where I do a lot of my writing.

I haven't even been following other blogs too closely lately either. My feedreader right now scares me. SCARES me! I think my WoW feedreader is at over 500 right now. Yikes! My hope is that things will calm down in September and I can get back to a more regular posting and reading schedule.

I did want to take the time to call out a total asshat, since I do post about them from time to time. So who was the asshat this time? That would be me, Keredria of US-Drenden, of The Left Claw guild. Why? Well we were raiding in ICC the other night, and I won't go into the specifics of why or to whom the whisper was intended, but long story short, instead of whispering the healing done for Dreamwalker, I ended up /s it.

Ugh. Just ugh. I felt horrible. I'm not sure why my meters screwed up my intended whisper, since I don't think I've ever made this mistake before. But it was total douchebaggery and I apologize to everyone else who was in the raid. Again, just to clarify the total DOUCHEBAG, that would be me, Keredria of US-Drenden, from the Left Claw. /points finger to self

Why am I posting about this? Well, I do post about asshats from time to time. And asshat behavior is not immune to being blogged about just because it was me. /sigh


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chicago Clawcon

This past weekend was the second of our summer Clawcons, this time in Chicago. It was a bit of a different Clawcon compared to the west coast one we had in Indianola, WA. The west coast one was in a house we rented together. We spent most of the time at the house just hanging out and cooking our meals together. There was drinking (yay pirate night!) but it wasn't anything too crazy.

This Clawcon was at my condo, so the boys got to see where and how I live, and probably got to know me a bit better that way. When we're raiding or arenaing or whatever, they now have a mental image of me sitting at my desk in my office looking west towards the lake. So it was a bit more personal in this way, at least for me.

I did have the boys do some stuff for me at my place, as Heidi fixed my surround sound, Sam suggested wall colors, and Jess gave me suggestions for overhead light fixtures. They laughed at me and my shortness and what I have to do to get stuff from my tall ass kitchen cabinets. When we arranged to meet up with our friend Thormaine for lunch on Saturday, I told him that we'd be pretty easy to pick out of a crowd, four tall 6'1" to 6'5" guys and a short asian girl.

We went out to eat more at this city Clawcon (mmm Tango Sur... mmm Lou Malnati's), and did some touristy things including going up to the Sears (er ok Willis) Tower and checking out their four plexiglass platforms that hang over the side of the building, 103 floors up. The other difference was that this weekend was just Claw folks, no spouses or kids. Thus, I think there might have been a bit more drinking and staying up late. I also introduced the boys to shots of Korean soju.

Since I had wireless at my place, we did also take the opportunity to play together a bit.

There is the pic of my table. I also ended up pulling out my work laptop and putting it on a little side table so we ended up having all 5 of us at the same table. The 5 of us did two battlegrounds together, Arathi Basin and Eye of the Storm. I'm not sure if it was luck, or the fact that the five of us were sitting at the same table, but we totally pwned both of them!

Makes a pretty damn good case for the importance of communication in a bg, which I think we knew already. I think a couple of folks said that they were instinctively pushing their push to talk button, which was funny as well. We're not on vent kids! We can yell at each other face to face!

It was also very interesting to look over folks shoulders and see how other people play. What? Your screen looks like that? Huh? What is that there? Whoa, what are you doing with that left hand of yours? Why is it moving all over the place? What's all that clicking you got going on there? Oh the Razer Naga mouse? You use the mouse like that? What you use the arrows?

All in all, another great time!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Behavioral interviewing

As I previously mentioned I'm in the process of looking at a couple of other consulting firms. I've had some phone conversations and have some in person interviews coming up as well. One of these firms I'm exploring is big on behavioral interviewing, a style that is based on the assertion that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation.

I've been on both sides of the behavioral interviewing fence before, so I'm pretty familiar with them. But because its been a bit of time since I've been the one being interviewed, I decided that I'd brush up by reviewing some basic behavioral interview questions and thinking through what examples I'd use.

As I was reviewing lists of questions, I found myself thinking how applicable a lot of these questions would be to WoW. I'm not sure what was more surprising, the fact that WoW has so many commonalities with a work setting or the fact that my mind went to relating these interview questions to WoW.

Anyways, need some good questions for your next guild application? Some of these I kept in there because I could give a really really funny WoW related answer to them. Hmmm maybe I should answer some these questions myself in a future post...

1. What are your short term and long term goals? How did you develop these goals?
2. How would you define "success"?
3. What performance standards do you have for yourself?
4. How do you manage and schedule your time?
5. Describe a situation that required you to do a number of things at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
6. How do you assign priorities?
7. What has been your biggest disappointment or failure? What happened and what did you do?
8. What is the most competitive situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
9. Describe a major change that you had to deal with. How did you adapt to this change?
10. Describe a time when you were able to effectively communicate a difficult or unpleasant idea.
11. Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person, even when that individual may not have personally liked you.
12. What have you done in past situations to contribute toward a teamwork environment?
13. Tell us about some demanding situations in which you managed to remain calm and composed.
14. Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.
15. Tell us about a time when you had to convince someone in authority about your ideas. How did it work out?
16. When is the last time you had a disagreement with a peer? How did you resolve the situation?
17. Describe a situation where you had a conflict with another individual, and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome? How do you feel about it?
18. What was the most stressful situation you have faced? How did you deal with it?
19. What is the difficult part of being a member, not leader, of a team? How did you handle this?


Monday, August 16, 2010

Lich King isn't anything...

...compared to kids! Yes, kids.

Let me explain. So about a month ago we had a situation where one of our folks was hacked because he had to temporarily take off the authenticator tied to his account. Why? Well, his son flushed his authenticator down the toilet.

Last night, another of our folks lets us know that her son was playing with her iPhone and continuously entered the wrong password, thus locking her out and requiring a reset. Because the authenticator she uses is on her iPhone, she had issues logging on and staying logged on last night.

You think LK is scary? Maybe Halion with the scary cutters? Hell, apparently we should be more concerned of our guildies' kids as they seem to be more of a threat to our raiding!

Honestly though, I find this all kind of amusing. :)


Friday, August 13, 2010

Blame game and putting guildies to work

We've had a lot of people in and out on vacations, so raiding has really slowed down for us. But last night I was able to put together enough to go take a crack at some ICC 10 hard modes with 6 guildies, 1 Thormaine, and 3 friends from a guild we've long done stuff with, Emerald.

It was interesting because this raid was a melee dps heavy group, while our raids are typically very caster dps heavy. Thus, Saurfang was quite different for us. It's also been a bit since we've had a good raid group to push any progression stuff, so I don't know about the others but I did feel kind of slow and rusty.

As I shared and exhibited last night, I really do think that successful raid leading is all about the proper assignment of blame. Healer somehow fails to see Mark of the Fallen on someone? Hunter's fault! Healer somehow gets hit by malleable goo at the worst possible time? Tanks' fault!

Do you have classes or people that you always blame? Hunters? DKs? In our typical runs, we don't have a hunter and while we have Qyburn tanking and Vyp dpsing as DKs, they typically don't get blamed. Hmmm, I think my blame game has less to do with certain classes and more to do with my personal relationship with the people.

Last night I alternated between blaming Bubble the hunter, Thormaine the ret pally, or the tanks. Venezia as a warrior tank had to get some blame, probably because I was transferring my typical practice of blaming Jess. I mean, I see a brown box in Grid, and its just natural and instinctive to send some blame that way.

Anyways, hopefully we can make this a decent raid week since next week is going to be tough as well with Clawcon-Chicago. This Clawcon feels a bit different to me than the last one. It probably feels this way for me since 3 folks are crashing at my place.

As I was telling Jess, it seems kind of personal and intimate that these guys are going to be seeing where and how I live. They'll get to know me in a different way. When they leave and we're online again, they'll be able to picture and envision me at my desk in my office, dropping f-bombs in arenas or bossing people around in raids.

Though with three guys crashing here, I've already put together a short "honey-do" list of things I need tall guys to do around the condo. Hahaha, I'm going to get my guildies to do a couple things for my place. Got to take advantage of it, no? Is that bad? :p


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gaming and science

Things are really slow for us in game right now, with more raids being canceled than not. Unfortunately I don't think things are going to get back into a more reliable raiding schedule until later this month.

Anyways, an interesting gaming/science news related story I wanted to share. Kinda super geeky, but I find this interesting as my undergrad degree was a major in Biology, minor in Chemistry. I've done scientific research in the past, and have two parents who work in science.

An article came out in Nature last week that discusses using gamers to solve problems in predicting protein structure (one of the most difficult problems in molecular biology) through a game called Foldit.

Foldit is similar to Tetris, where gamers use different tools to interactively twist, jiggle, and reshape proteins. Interestingly enough, they found that gamers beat computer algorithms at this because they brought spatial reasoning and decision making to the table, as well as radical moves, risks, and long-term vision. Apparently there were 57,000 Foldit players at the time of publication.

Foldit has a mix of the three main motivators in online gaming: competition (players score points and are ranked), camaraderie (teams can play, sharing strategies and dividing labor) and immersion (players can lose themselves in the game).

"The integration of human visual problem-solving and strategy development capabilities with traditional computational algorithms through interactive multiplayer games is a powerful new approach to solving computationally-limited scientific problems".

The primary investigator noted that "he hoped that "the whole genre of scientific discovery games will really take off." and that:

"We're opening eyes in terms of how people think about human intelligence and group intelligence, and what the possibilities are when you get huge numbers of people together to solve a very hard problem."

I especially love this quote from the article:

"Our results indicate that scientific advancement is possible if even a small fraction of the energy that goes into playing computer games can be channelled into scientific discovery."

Wow, gamers and scientific discovery, eh?

* Press release here.
* NY Times article here
* Economist article here


Friday, August 6, 2010

WG asshats

I used to post now and then about asshats I've encountered in game. The WoW universe must have known its been a while since I've done such a post, so it presented me with some asshats last night.

So Kimchee is 80 now, right? Thus, she tries to get into Wintergrasp every time its up so that she can collect the WG marks for PvP gear. Well last night she got into a WG run where a little over a minute before we were going to win, I got booted from the raid group. By the time I ported back to Dal, ran back to the WG guy, and rejoined a WG group, the victory had already been recorded. This means I did not get the 3 WG marks I fought for.

Apparently I was not the only one. A bunch of people were kicked from the raid I was in. People were hot! Hot, I tell ya! As was I. Turns out the offenders were from a ridiculous all caps guild (always a good predictor of a fail guild). After they booted a bunch of folks, the 3 of them obviously purposefully stood on top of the quest givers on mammoth mounts, for at least 10 minutes. I know this flavor of asshattery isn't new at all, but it was just icing on the cake after kicking people from the raid.

I wonder if Blizz can do anything so that WG groups don't get assigned a raid leader who has the power to kick people from the raid. Asshats and guilds who obviously get off on screwing with people are using this tactic to compensate for their ridiculously small, shriveled, and underutilized private parts.

So Gankafish, Moron, and Therealchazz from FASHION POLICE (no, I don't feel bad at all posting their toon and guild names): Fuck you.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kimchee hits 80!

Throughout this game, I have never been an alt person. I found there was enough to do between gearing K up with pvp gear or making money and going for gold cap. But I did start my little gnome lock Kimchee a while back. And while guildies were making fun of my slow leveling (I was busy leveling professions or doing pvp), she finally hit 80 last weekend. So yes, finally I have a second 80!

There's definitely a different feel playing her. She's little bundle of spicy cuteness and there is a sense of feeling more bouncy or cheery when playing her. I definitely relate to her shortness since I'm 5'2" IRL. And yes, there's probably some cute underhanded evilness I also relate to. :p I'm going to play her affliction and have an PVE and PVP affliction spec. As I've joked with the guildies, the pvp rotation she likes to use is dot-fear-giggle. It's a good rotation.

That I did my friend, that I did. I love seed of corruption. Love! Though doing a ton of bgs on Kimchee does make me appreciate K even more. It's hard to find healers in bgs.

Now I was saying on guild chat a while ago that somehow I feel like K and Kimchee would be best of friends. Like when I log off, they hang out together and go adventuring or something. I could see the tree stoically protecting her little spicy friend. Shat said that it might be like the Keebler elves, with Kimchee living inside of K.

Hahaha... precisely Shat, precisely.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Blizz art exhibit and murloc hoodies!!!!

Two interesting bits of information recently posted on Kotaku. First, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei will host an art exhibition by Blizzard running from August 20 to October 10. The exhibit, called "The Fights, Flights & Frights - Inside the Storm" will feature 800 paintings, sculptures, installations, and videos from StarCraft, Diablo and WarCraft.

There is so much incredible art produced by Blizz. I think it's neat that it'll be featured in a museum of contemporary art.

Secondly, murlocs. Ok so it may seem that I have a slight fascination of murlocs as exhibited by some past posts. But, check this out. Dinohoodie has created murloc hoodies!!! ZOMG!!!

Ok, ok. I admit it. My name is K and I like murlocs.


Mmmm humble pie

Last week we took what we thought was going to be a quick saunter (yes, saunter) back to RS to see Halion. It had been a while since our last Halion kill, but we had done it before so I think everyone figured it'd be cake.

Now our raiding schedule has definitely slowed down a lot due to folks being out, and we took a week off for Clawcon west. But perhaps we were really out of practice because after a perfect first attempt where we wiped at 2% due to something crazy (I don't remember), we screwed up every subsequent attempt after that.

It was just crazy because we had clearly done this successfully before, yet there we were making random mistakes. I joked that we must have been cursed that night, cuz we were just so so off. The funniest part of it was that around 4 wipes or so I spoke up on vent, saying something to the effect of "Ok guys, let's focus and not screw around. We're wasting time". Then what happens? Very next attempt, I do something ridiculously stupid and die. /sigh Mmmm humble pie so so tasty.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blocked blog and recounting guild history

It's been kind of a crazy week getting back into the swing of things. I finished my previous project that I was assigned to since November '08 and started another one that should take me through October. The only bad thing about this is that things are crazy learning the ins and out of this new client, doing hospital tours, and having to do hard core data analysis and financial models again.

But the worst thing? Well I'm working out of our corporate offices for this new client. And get this! My blog is blocked there! ZOMG! WTF! BBQ! (Mmmm BBQ) Jess' blog isn't blocked there! No fair! I'm not sure what this is going to mean for my blog posting schedule because as I've previously mentioned, I do 99% of my blog posting at work. So what? I'm supposed to work now?!?! /sigh I'm going to have to figure out how to work this. As Jess said, the blog must go on!

Anyways, it's been nice getting back into the game as well. Jess and I did a pretty big debrief the first night we were both back on. It's been interesting because now you have this perspective of people outside the game. I think one of the sweetest things for me was seeing how my guildies interact with others, their spouses and especially their children. I saw another side of them.

On one of the nights during Clawcon, Jess and I somehow ended up recounting the entire history of our guild going back to spring of 2007. Recounting old names, situations, and yes, because no guild is ever without it, drama. As we recounted the moments of drama in the guild over the last 3 and a half years, something occurred to me.

I would say that 95% of the drama in our guild has been due to one thing: healers. Yep, healers. Or more specifically, the lack of healers. I think for most of our guild's raiding history, we've been short heals, given that a lot of our raids at the time required 3 healers. And because of this, we've allowed people and situations to persist that should have been dealt with earlier. Our ever present need for healers meant we had people in our raiding group that just weren't right for us. I think sometimes we were too slow to react and turtle like, and perhaps others we were too frenetic and bunny like.

I am hopeful that now that we recognize this, we can try to limit drama from happening in the future. But damn, I just wish we had more heals. Things would be so much easier. But I think by recounting our entire guild history, Jess and I also were able to talk through things we did, decisions we made, and how we've dealt with people and situations. I hope that by understanding this better, we can do a better job in the future.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Clawcon debrief

I'm going to write some initial thoughts about our Clawcon-west meetup, though I don't know exactly how coherent I'll be given that I flew out of Seattle on a red-eye last night, got into Chicago at 5:50 am this morning and drove straight in to work.

The pic above is the view from the front porch of our beach house in Indianola, WA. Purty! A couple folks joked (or perhaps it was a thinly veiled threat) about whether I was going to be posting any pics from the weekend on the blog. Come on guys, give me some credit. I would not post pics of you guys on here! This landscape pic is about all that's going up here.

Anyways, at one point when we were hanging out, I closed my eyes for a minute and all of a sudden there I was back at my desk in Chicago talking to these people on vent. Then I opened my eyes, and ZOMG, they were right there! I could give Jess or Shmoobert a face or a look if they said something not of my liking! Hooray!

I did end up calling people by their toon names probably 95% of the weekend. Even in front of strangers, which was sometimes quite funny and perhaps embarrassing for them. Now unfortunately this beach house we rented did not have internet access. I do think it would have been quite amusing to watch each other play.

Anyways, in a nutshell what I learned is that yes, you can get to know people well through this game. Damn well. No one really surprised me. The core impressions and feelings that I had of them through the game and vent conversations were the same impressions I had after hanging out with them for four days.

I think I expected this going into it, perhaps more so than anyone else. While others were slightly more nervous about meeting each other, my take on it was come on, we already know each other! It was thus amusing to see some of these impressions confirmed and to think, "Geez you really do get to know people online and via vent". That gut instinct reaction you have about the core of people, as well as the chemistry you have between people truly does somehow travel through miles of cords and wires.

And yes, there was a lot of WoW terminology thrown around. Some could only go so long without bringing in some WoW reference. For example when we were grilling corn on the cob in the husks and the husks caught fire, there was a mention that we should have put up a fire resist aura. We had comments and jokes like that all weekend. All weekend. Sigh what geeks we are...

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that for the last couple of months I have been unsure if I will play Cataclysm. This was something that the guildies and even Jess didn't know. I shared this uncertainty over the weekend, with the addendum that now that we've hung out, it makes the decision even harder. I think the pendulum has swung back to playing Cataclysm.

We come from such different places and backgrounds, that for most of us there is no way in hell that our life paths would have crossed if it hadn't been for the game. It blows my mind that this game can bring people together in this way at a depth comparable or even deeper than some real life relationships. It's so much more than passively watching a movie or TV, or knitting, or whatever other hobby you want to insert in there.

This game brings people together. And for the people I've met through it, I am incredibly grateful.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

What?!?! PvP reduces stress?!?!

Last week I needed to get 4 daily BGs done to get the 100 arena points to pick up Wrathful Gladiator's Kodohide Robes. Oooh shiney! Well, I haven't done too many battlegrounds on K lately. Sure I'll very occasionally do the daily BG and I do try to get in Wintergrasp a couple times a week, but its been a very long time since I've had to grind a bunch of BGs on her to pick something up.

I guess because it had been a while, I kind of forgot how painful it can be as alliance on Emberstorm. I think what I experienced was 35% total ass whooping by Horde, 20% total ass whopping by Alliance, 10% actual close hard fought match won by Alliance, 10% actual close hard fought match won by Horde, 25% not total but close to total ass whopping by Horde. If you do the maths that's 70% Horde victories, 30% Alliance.

I had one particularly bad string where we got annihilated in Strands of the Ancient. Then my very next random BG was Eye of the Storm, where while the Alliance only had 1 tower, 80% of my "team" was in the middle battling it out for the flag. Um hello, learn how the battleground is scored and won FFS. FFS!!! It caused a scary outburst in guild chat that went something like:


Some guildies got a little concerned. Others got a little scared. I think after another set of painful BGs, I told Shat that I had to log off to go do some pilates to center myself and find my inner peace. Honestly though, sometimes this is my reaction to BGs:

I think the only thing that keeps me half sane while doing BGs is seeing how many Horde it takes to successfully take me down. Resilient tree is resilient. :)

Anyways, so related to my little expletive laced outbursts, you know how there has been a lot of talk in the news about the danger of violent video games? Well, an interesting opposite take on this came out last week.

A Texas A&M study found that violent games may actually reduce hostility, rather than increase it.

"In this study, 103 young adults were given a frustration task and then randomized to play no game, a non-violent game, a violent game with good versus evil theme, or a violent game in which they played ‘the bad guy.’ The results suggest that violent games reduce depression and hostile feelings in players through mood management". "It does seem that playing violent games may help reduce stress and make people less depressed and hostile."

Hmmmm interesting. Though honestly, any of my guildies who have come across me right after a spell of bad BGs know that I am definitely not less stressed. Though who knows, maybe it is an outlet for stress from RL.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Total absurdity then total cuteness

First the absurdity. You know the crazy people (and yes, I am rightfully judging them as crazy) of Westboro Baptist Church who go around picketing stuff in the name of "God"? Well turns out they are picketing Comic-Con which starts in San Diego tomorrow.

Their listing of this picketing event is described as below:

"Are you kidding?! If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do! Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent - so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry."

Apparently us geeks need to be saved or something. Hahaha, what sheer inane (and insane) ridiculousness and absuridity. I wonder if they will picket Blizzcon. That would be hilarious because I would assign some of you going to Blizzcon to mess with them.

After the nonsensical and idiotic ramblings of the WBC, I think we need to bring something good back to this post. Like a piglet. A piglet in red rain boots:

Ah ok, now I feel better.


Monday, July 19, 2010

The social aspect of being the guild mom

I've mentioned before that Jess is my WoW hubby and I am his WoW wife. Thus, this makes us sort of the dad and mom of our guild. I think something interesting that has surfaced lately is how the roles of the guild dad and guild mom play out in our interactions with guildies.

Now Jess has known for a while now that a lot of guildies whisper me during and outside of raids with little things whether that be suggestions, frustrations, annoyances, whatever. And I think it kind of irritated him a bit that people didn't come to him. But really what it is is that folks are really only going to go to Jess for the big serious things. If anyone wants to vent or gripe, they typically come to me.

I've also shared with Jess recently that I think part of this also has to do with the fact that I talk to people a lot more than he does. It's very common for me to have at least a small whisper conversation with 7 or 8 people within the 10 man raid. Some nights its every single person. Sure, some of the things I say could be done within the raid chat or over vent. But I think I do it in a way because I want to establish that personal relationship with everyone within the raid if that makes any sense.

Outside of raids, I also have many more personal conversations with people. A good part of this may be because I am particularly nosy and want to know what is going on with everyone. No, but seriously I think given how much time we spend together, and how long we've known each other, I'm genuinely curious about people's lives. I guess I like establishing that personal connection outside of just playing our pixelated toons together. I think these type of personal connections is part of why our little guild has been running together for over 3 years.

Thus, I've had some very personal and in depth conversations with people from everything to jobs, to family, to relationships. And in having these conversations, I also share a lot about myself as well. Its interesting though. I wonder if this social nosiness thing is easier or more accepted for me to do as a female. I mean I wonder if it'd be weird if Jess started to whisper folks and ask how their family was, or how their new job was, or whatever.

I think that there are a lot of similarities in how Jess and I interact with the guild to typical roles within a family. You tend not to really go to your dad with anything unless its really serious. And typically you tell your mom more personal stuff about what is going on, probably because she's the one who is asking "How was your day honey?"

Does your guild have a guild mom?


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guild loyalty

I was chatting on vent with Jess, Rap, and Fonzy last night and I shared that I am in the early stages of switching consulting firms. I really like what I do on an every day basis, but I would just be doing it for another healthcare consulting firm. Why? Well, while I have some minor concerns about the future of my practice and the ability of the senior partners to sell large projects, the bulk of the reason is that I know that I could be making more money elsewhere.

It's interesting, or kind of sad depending on how you look at it, that you make the biggest jumps in salary by switching firms. Loyalty and sticking to one place won't bring you the same level of salary increases. And my guess is that women are more loyal to employers than men. I wonder if this, along with womens reluctance to negotiate and ask for things, is a part of why in this day and age female salaries still lag behind men.

So I have a call setup to speak with a former colleague who is at another firm. So this is just the very early stages of exploring other opportunities, and you know what? I already feel kind of bad. In all honestly I probably should and could have made this switch sooner, but I do think loyalty had something to do with it. I know that I have every right to be looking at other opportunities, but there is a part of me that feels bad and disloyal to my current firm.

While I was talking about it last night, I mentioned how I had some thoughts around this topic as it relates to WoW. Fonzy was like, "Of course you do, because that's what you do". Hahaha. Yes Fonzy, that is what I do.

Anyways, so my jumbled thoughts are this. I wonder given how women think about their jobs carries over to the relationship that women have with their guilds in game? Now I'm not saying that female players never leave guilds. Because yes, they do. But, when its clear a guild isn't working? Who jumps ship first? Is it more likely that the men leave guilds earlier? And are men more likely to switch guilds out of the blue simply to join a more progressed guild?

And when women do leave guilds, or consider doing so, do they have a harder time with it? Do they feel more guilty or disloyal? Or maybe it isn't that women are more loyal, but just that we just agonize over things like this more?

Myself, I haven't been in a position in game where I was in a guild that wasn't succeeding and folks were making decisions to leave for other guilds. But those of you that have, what do you think? Are women more loyal to guilds?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Clawcon thoughts

I've previously blogged about our guild The Left Claw's plans for real life meetups, which we've brilliantly named Clawcon. Our Clawcon-West is next weekend in the Seattle/Bainbridge Island area. And yes, Shmoo, its really happening! Get your Canadian ass ready!

Now for those who can't fly out to the west coast, a date for Clawcon-Midwest has been set in August, to be hosted by yours truly in Chicago. Thus, I've had a lot of discussions lately around planning for both Clawcons.

I've blogged before around wondering what we'll call each other. Perhaps once we meet and hang out, it may change, but honestly I can't see myself calling folks by their real names. At least not until the second day? I guess I've very much separated my real life self with my toon self. When Jess wants to bug me or freak me out, he calls me by my real name. And I twitch. For some reason, its just wrong to me when he calls me anything but K.

Anyways, I think Shmoo is unsure about us publicly calling him any one of the myriad of names we call him. Apparently he made the case that his toon names are all more embarrassing or weird than Jess and I. Well we'd be calling Jess, who we've previously established here is a he, by a female name. And folks would be calling me K, which if overheard would be assumed to be Kay. Which is fine I guess, though I associate the name Kay with a 70 year old grandma with white hair and frosted pink lipstick.

I think some people are also not necessarily nervous, but pretty curious about how we'll interact in person. Will things be weird or awkward? Should we come with paper bags with our toon images on them so that people feel more at ease? Should we put our headsets on to talk so we feel more comfortable and can pretend we're on vent? Will folks click the way we have online? (I do think that there is an element of chemistry, even in platonic relationships).

Overall though, I'm not really worried about this. I guess I feel like we already know each other really well. I mean is it naive to feel that we are all just good people and would get along? Maybe. But I guess I kind of feel that we'll just be able to fall into comfortable real life friendships.

I was joking the other night about whether I will boss Jess around as much in person as I do online. This got me to thinking about the fact that there is a part of my personality in game that is a bit different than how I am in real life. I was saying to some others that in real life groups, I'm actually a bit more shy and reserved than how the guild has come to know me. The guild likes to joke around about my take charge and bossy f'bomb dropping attitude.

But I would say that I'm much more outspoken and bossy in game, everywhere from our 5v5 arena matches to when we raid. Now I wonder why that is? I think part of the appeal of WoW is that you can be anyone you want to be. Not only in terms of a fantasy character you play, but also in terms of how you act and are perceived in social interactions with guildies and in game friends.

So did the anonymous aspect of the game enable me to say and do things that I would be more cautious about in real life? Thus, do my guildies have this picture in their mind of how I am? Will they be surprised when we hang out and see that I am a shy shy gentle wallflower? (Ok I exaggerated that last bit there).

How will other guildies be different than the impression I have of them from the game? Will they be more outgoing or shy? Funnier or more serious? I'm sure there will be surprises. Who will be the most surprising?

Though to flip this around a bit, I also wonder whether the experience of being the bossy tree in game has affected how I am in real life. Could it be that I have become more outspoken in real life because I've picked this trait up in game, one that I was able to hone and perfect in an environment with much less risk than there would be in real life? Hmmmmm.

Ok, where was I before I went off on some confusing real life vs in game personality tangent? Oh yeah, Clawcon. Anyways, its pretty exciting I think that I am planning to attend two weekend guild related gatherings this summer.

Oh and I am also hoping to meet up with Beruthiel at Clawcon-West as well to talk very very important tree stuffs. So I'm meeting up with people I play a game with AND a friend from the WoW blogging community. How crazy is that? I've never played with Beru, but we've chatted and traded emails for a while now and as Tam correctly predicted, we get along famously. You have to come hang with us Beru so we can make fun of our tanks together!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making decisions is hard!

Now that we've unlocked heroic ICC 10, we're in a situation where we have to make decisions. Its very interesting how they've enabled hard modes in ICC in that you don't have to kill a boss on a hard mode to toggle the hard mode on the next boss.

So how do you make the decision to keep working on a certain hard mode as opposed to moving on to a supposed easier hard mode? Especially when you are soooo freakin close (2% on heroic Saurfang... damn you!) And then there's the question of how should we balance hard modes with just getting more Lich King kills. When a guild has just unlocked their first week of hard modes, I wonder if we should have spent the time working on them or sped through to LK again.

Mmmmm decisions. What did your guild do when first starting on hard modes?

Here's another hard decision to make. Which bear has the cutest ass?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Left Claw's Ruby Sanctum pic

Since last week we were too focused on finishing off the Lich King, this week we decided to go pay a visit to a purty purple dragon. Unfortunately I forgot to take a screenshot of this kill, thus I had to recreate the event via a drawing.

If you look at the reenactment drawing closely you'll see:
* a crazy white bear
* a warrior tank who loves to lecture
* a mage with a zoo full of pets and mounts
* a mage with pink bubblegum stuck in his beard
* a shammy bringing the chain and the healz
* a big ass shammy squishing a tiny mechanostrider
* a ret pally never without his coffee
* a dress wearing holy pally boy
* a warlock never without her glass of wine
* and finally to round it out, a tree!

I should really remember to take the screenshots so I don't have to subject you guys to reenactment drawings.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The only good thing about the Real ID changes

Ok, I'm not going to link to all the bloggers talking about this crazy Real ID change (huge compilation of all the blog posts here). The only one I'll specifically mention here is Gnomeaggedon, who has canceled his account. I'm so sorry to see Gnomie go and hope that he keeps blogging. :(

It's funny that this change was announced yesterday because through some other links (why the hell bloggers still link to her, I have no clue), I found myself back on "Ferarro's" blog for shits and giggles. Remember this whole Ferarro debacle? I posted about it twice, here and here.

So apparently "Ferarro" is leaving the game and is doing some grand count down of the 10 reasons "she/he/whatever" is leaving. In one of these latest posts, "she/he/whatever" says:

"But then the Ferarro debacle happened, and I felt sorry for her in some strange way. I know a lot of people want to burn her at the stake as if she murdered a golden bus full of children holding baby unicorns, but the truth was she never said she was Sarah Townsend, you know? She never used her real name or any of her real life information. Ever. She never said where she lived or worked. She never mentioned any of her family. She just copy-pasted a different avatar instead of her own. This isn't me defended what that Ferarro did, by the way. But I understood it. Not condone... just understood."

Wow an actual admission that this Ferarro took pictures from Sarah Townsend and ripped them off as themselves? Did "they" admit this before? I can't remember. It was an interesting read (or a lame attempt at justification?) just as all of this stuff about the Real ID changes and the concerns about privacy were floating around yesterday. And what I thought was exactly what Adam Holisky twittered:

"You know, this new forum system will at least let us know who the real Ferarro is"

Let's make Real ID on the forums only active for this Ferarro person so we can get the real story.

I was thinking about why Blizzard is making this change and I recalled the Forbes story I blogged about last week. Some of the thoughts that went through my head was whether Blizz is trying to force a societal acceptance of gaming by integrating our game with the social networking concept. But when this said society and your gamers aren't ready for this change, and there is no choice in the matter, it just seems like a bad idea.

Anyways, to end of a random note, the pic above is from a very cute new blog, Stuff No One Told Me (but I learned anyway). Some other cute entries from this blog related in my mind somehow to this Real ID hullabaloo: