Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sailors and Leaves

I wake up this morning to see that Nico popped by the blog to say hello and call me plant girl in the midst of doing whatever it is Navy sailors do. Well, what a coincidence because I had planned on mentioning this Department of Defence article that was talked about on this Joystiq article. The article says that the Office of Naval Research has found that "video game players perform 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than normal people that are non-game players". "We know that video games can increase perceptual abilities and short-term memory. They allow the player to focus longer and expand the player’s field of vision compared to people who don’t play video games".

The article continues in saying that they want folks to be agile and adaptable thinkers, "being able to work outside your present mindset, to think beyond what you have been taught, to go beyond your experience to solve problems in new and different ways." And that "video games can help adults process information much faster and improve their fundamental abilities to reason and solve problems in novel contexts".

Hmmm, interesting eh? On a totally unrelated note, a beautiful pic of leaves from a Flickr account:


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If WOW had Facebook

Have you seen these if so and so had facebook things going around? One of my favorites from If Star Wars had Facebook:

There's a similar series of If Lord of the Rings had Facebook:

Not quite sure how these were created, but someone should do one for WOW. My suggestion? Start with Jaina. She could say my guildie Shmoopsypoo's favorite line of hers: "But I just wanted to study", then Kael'thas could say "Yeah, I've heard that before", then Arthas could say "She didn't have to study with me Kael'thas". Hahahaha /sigh. I think I need more sleep.

On a side note, Jaina sort of irritates me, but I can't exactly put my finger on why she does. Apparently she may have been named after Jaina Solo, the jedi daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia (on Jaina's wowwiki page).


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tree on the outside, gnome on the inside?

Sometimes what you see on the outside is not what is there on the inside, hence the super cute pic above. (Is that not the cutest?!?!) Anyways, I have mentioned on this blog multiple times that I am a mainaholic. K, has been my main in every sense of the word, being not only my only level 80 toon, but the first toon I ever even created.

I do have a level 67 alt, a human priest who was created almost three years ago as well, not long after K. But its been a struggle to level her (um hello, its taken almost 3 years to get her to 67?!?!), yes in part because I always had a ton of things on K that I wanted to do (pvp, farm, gold cap). So I've leveled this alt in spurts but I don't know if I ever really felt excited about her.

Well, guys meet my new alt, my lock Kimchee:

The name? Well, duh, I'm Korean remember? Plus she may look innocuous, but if you aren't careful she will burn your ass off. She's spicy! She's just a bebeh but I am absolutely in love with her and have great plans for her to be a incredibly cute, yet evil and deadly affliction lock. And yes, I know, I know... a female gnome with pink pigtails seems so cliche, eh? Well I don't care. It's cute, damn it! Maybe I was inspired by the most famous pink pigtailed gnome of them all?

Can I just digress here for a moment and ask what it is about gnomes that causes comments like "gnomes were meant for punting"? Whenever I've talked about how cute my gnome guildies Nkm and Buns are, I get some evil comment from River, Klepsacovic or Eversor, who has even titled his new blog "I love gnomes... they're delicious". I mean come on guys! Do you guys what, kick puppies and kittens in your spare time when you aren't playing WOW? What is with all this animosity towards gnomes? How could you not love them? They are the cutest!

I was saying to T-baby last night that its been surprising to me how much I've been taken with Kimchee. I mentioned that in real life, on the outside, I am very much a tree. Folks who don't know me well see me as kind of stoic and reserved. But once people get to know me, they see a whole new silly and funny side to me. I think I've figured it out. On the inside, I am a cute gnome.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Raiding update

We haven't been able to do much lately in terms of raiding progression, in part due to what I call the dominoes effect. You see, earlier this month we temporarily lost our dress, er kilt wearing pally healer Nicolause. He's doing US Navy training things somewhere until mid next month. In a 10 man raiding guild, losing one person, especially a healer is a huge deal.

Because Nico has been away, Jess has switched over to shammy healing and we have to hear "Chealz! Chealz!" all the time now, in addition to Makawee standing in the middle of the totems and calling it "the power center". /sigh. So this means that Jess isn't tanking, and as much as I hate to admit it, Jess sorta knows how to do the tanking bzness. So now Qyburn is tanking more, which is fine and all since Qyburn is well geared and knows what he is doing. But when Qyburn tanks, that means that we don't have him on Nkm. And that is sad because as a gnome mage, Nkm routinely tops not only the cute meters, but the dps meters. You see, dominoes!

For the last couple of weeks we just have not had enough raid nights with the right group composition to progress in ICC. We tried two healing Festergut one night, which was very very bad. We then went with three healers another night, and we just didn't have enough dps. /sigh. We've tried Rotface maybe 5 or 6 times and while we haven't gotten him down, its been nice to see definite progress each and every time. Can I just say the word ooze sounds really funny and kinda odd, almost like you're saying it wrong, especially after you hear it on vent so many times? Ooze. Ooooze. Oooooooze. Weird. Is it just me?

Oh, so I picked up Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff from Saurfang a couple weeks ago, and oooh is it shiny. The staff enchant on it is also quite mesmerizing if you stare at it adoringly for a long time. Not that I've ever done that, er... uh...

All in all, while its a bit frustrating to feel that we could be doing better if we had the right raid team, I guess in a way I'm not in a huge hurry since this is the last raid instance before Cataclysm. We will most definitely be finishing ICC later than most raiding guilds. I wonder what folks are supposed to do before Cataclysm comes out when, this fall/winter?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bloggers: what differentiates us?

Let’s take a look at a conversation I had with Jess a while back:

K: Do you think because we both blog, we analyze and dissect things that happen in game more than others?
Jess: No, I think we were that way before we started blogging.
K: So maybe because we tend to analyze and think about things more, is that why we happen to be bloggers?
Jess: Hmmm, maybe.

So this got me thinking. What qualities did Jess and I have prior to us starting our blogs that made us more likely to become bloggers? What differentiates us bloggers from other players?


Well, I think its clearly obvious that there are tons of top players who do not blog. And from my personal experience, I've played with folks who know how to play their toons incredibly well, who do not blog.

But how about a WOW blogger compared to an average player? Well, I would guess that a WOW blogger who takes the time and effort to blog about this game would do the same about maximizing knowledge of their class, and perhaps yes, thus be better skilled than average.


Mmmm, I think most bloggers have some sense of humor or entertainment value so as to entertain readers, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that bloggers are any funnier than non-blogging WOW players. I know a ton of hilarious folks who don’t blog, but really probably should.


One of the anonymous commenters on a post here a while back said that I must be arrogant to be a blogger, saying "I'm getting the impression that you seem to think very highly of yourself - after all, you do blog for everyone else to see your thoughts". Really? Hmmm.

Well, from the standpoint of being arrogant in terms of skill, I’m come across a bunch of arrogant folks who cannot play worth a damn. So hmmm, are bloggers more arrogant about skill? On a whole, I would probably say no... bloggers are not any more arrogant than the average player.

However, I can sort of understand what this troll comment was referring to. What makes us bloggers think we have something that is of enough value or entertainment factor for others to read? Is this arrogance? Or maybe more appropriately, could it be called confidence? Is it arrogance to feel that we have something to say, something to contribute to the WOW blogosphere?

Analytical? Neurotic?

By analytical, I'm referring to the tendency to analyze, dissect, think about things more than the average WOW player. You know, if Jess and I serve as examples, I think we definitely analyze and think about stuff more than the average WOW player. I know this because we talk about this to each other. Our chat logs are pretty interesting.

So as Jess mentioned, I think it may be true that we are not more analytical and neurotic because we blog. We were that way before we started blogging. Thus, we were more likely to blog about this game so that we had some place for these random thoughts to go as opposed to getting our heads all muddled up.

If I had to say any one thing differentiates us bloggers, I would say it is most likely this quality. We are blogging as a survival mechanism so our brains don't explode. :)


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What a coinkidink

Call me crazy (it wouldn't be the first time, trust me), but I haven't used an authenticator this entire time. Bad K, bad! But yesterday I finally downloaded the mobile app on my iPhone (I know, I know... having an iPhone, I've had no excuse) and linked it to my battlenet account. Well, let me be a little more specific on what might have finally convinced me to do this. Checking my blog statcounter info, I've found a couple of IP addresses that are repeatedly accessing my gold cap post. Hmmm. Gold sellers? Hackers?

So then I log on last night for the first time post authenticator, and I check my mail to pick up my corehound pet and I find a note from Nkm. He had sent me some enchanting mats with a somewhat confused note saying that he wasn't sure where these went in our guild bank, so I should take care of it. Sidenote: I am sort of a guild bank nazi in terms of where things go, which tabs they are in, and general organization.

I read Nkm's note with a bit of confusion, because its been obvious for a while where our enchanting mats go. Thus, I head over to our guild bank, pop it open and what??!? We have pretty much lost every single enchanting mat we had. All that was left was 7 Infinite Dusts. In its place, a bunch of crap was put in the bank. I then check out the other bank tabs and find that someone has withdrawn some potions, flasks, and all our fish feast as well.

What's even odder is that this is a more casual player who has been in our guild a while, but someone who does not raid with us. Hmmm. It did seem unlikely that they would ninja the guildbank, so Jess then goes to look her up on the armory. Jess finds that they have been stripped of all of their epic gear, probably having been disenchanted because enchanting was one of her professions. Aw man. She, and our guildbank have been hacked! What a coinkidink... on the day that I personally chose to download the mobile authenticator!

I feel horrible for her, and I hope that the process of restoring what she had isn't too painful (though I've heard it can take weeks). While it sucks that we lost things from the guildbank, it could have been much worse. Luckily we had limited access on the gold in there so no money was taken. Jess put in a ticket, and we'll see if any of the stuff ends of getting replaced. My comment when we were talking on vent and how we could replace our guildie's personal stuff as well as the guild bank?

"Hmmm, we should find someone with a ton of gold. Do you know anyone?" :p

P.S: Screw you hackers
P.P.S: Screw you gold sellers to whom hackers sell the gold that they hack
P.P.P.S: Screw you players who buy gold from gold sellers, thus perpetuating this cycle

Ok that is all.


Monday, January 18, 2010


1. Sometimes trade chat makes me go "Awwww":

2. Sometimes trade chat makes me go "What in the?!?!":

But really... is this guy for real?

3. Sometimes I find innervate a hard word to say:

Often in the course of raiding, someone will refer to our awesome druidy innervate ability. Well, I said something on vent recently about how I was ok on mana because I hadn't innervated yet. Nikolai/Sammy then proceeded to make fun of me (what nerve!) saying that I must be drunk or something because apparently I pronounced it weird, or slurred the word, or something.

Even though I've been a tree for almost 3 years now, I still find innervate an odd word to pronounce. Folks seem to pronounce it differently, with some giving it a stronger i and others giving more emphasis on the second n. Anyways, that's my story. Innervate is a hard word to say. I wasn't drunk.

4. Sometimes I don't want to know:

Have you seen the Battered Hilt drop in the new 5 mans yet? Well, our first battered hilt drop in a guild run happened this weekend. The winner actually already had the weapon, so after some discussion and examination of the corresponding weapons, there was a consensus decision as to who it would most benefit.

So the Battered Hilt is a hot item lately. In handing it over from one guildie or friend to another, what would you trade? Gold? Gratitude? Time in terms of runs for an alt or something? Those are all reasonable options I guess. Well, what was mentioned in this specific exchange was a hot cyber session. I think someone else mentioned that we would all have to be on vent to listen. Hahaha. Only in this guild... (or maybe not).

(To protect the innocent, or not so innocent, the two specific party members above have not been named.)

5. Sometimes a death makes me go "Awwww":

Deaths are so common in this little game of ours, that we just kind of quickly release and move on from it. But have you ever really looked at your dead toon? Or a guildie's dead toon?

Here is a recent shot of a dead Nkm, our cute little gnome mage. While I was mourning and dying a little inside, Shmoopypoo came by and D&D-ed the area, hence the red background.

Heartbreaking, isn't it?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Flash mobs

Its funny or scary or sad (depending on how you look at it) but as a WOW blogger, random things that I come across often tend to remind me of something in game. The latest? This whole concept of flash mob dances. Have you seen these videos?

Antwerp, Belgium (I love the reaction of the people in this one):

Stockholm, Sweden:

London, England:

On one front, these reminded me of BRK and BBB's famous sponsored races. If I remember correctly (which is always iffy) I took part in a gnaked gnome race and a tauren one. I think our reaction to something completely unexpected tends to be similar whether its as one of the spectators in any of these flash mob dances, or as someone who happens to come across one of these races ingame. I remember the reaction of the folks we came across on these races were half "WTF?!?!" and half "LOL".

On a smaller scale, I'm sure we've all come across spontaneous events in game, be it a group of dancing toons (druids dancing together are the best, because uh... we are the best), a traveling line of mammoths, or a bunch of drakes parked on the flight area in Dalaran. I think the longer you play this game, you get kind of jaded on this sort of stuff, which would have probably been pretty cute and fun to you when you just started playing the game.

So next time I come across another one of these spontaneous events, I'm jumping in!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When work and WOW collide

Things have been pretty busy with me at work and thus work has been on my mind a lot lately. Three things I wanted to share around work and WOW.

1. WOW in the Workplace
I think that gaming is becoming more and more commonplace and hopefully the stereotype of gamers is slowly turning around. But how open are you about the fact that you play WOW? How would you feel about all of your colleagues and co-workers knowing about it?

I ask because I have had a number of meetings with someone who is a director level person at their organization. The first thing that I noticed when I stepped into this person's office is a huge huge map of Azeroth on their wall. At first my reaction was, OMG! But then I had to give this person props for putting their gaming allegiance out there so openly. Have you encountered anything similar at work? Could you be so open about your gaming?

2. Career change?
I got an email from an old business school classmate of mine a couple weeks ago. She emailed me because she thought of me when a recruiter contacted her for an open job position. Some excerpts from this job description:

* opportunity with one of the leading gaming studios that is gearing up for the US launch a version of a game that was incredibly popular in Korea
* participate in the developing of a ground-breaking game while serving as an international liaison between the Seoul headquarters and the Seattle studio from a business perspective
* work hand-in-hand with the content and localization teams as they perfect and tweak the user experience in the game
* a passion for the video-gaming arena will be crucial, as this will make the job tremendously more enjoyable

Some digging around has made me believe that this position is for the MMO Tera from Bluehole Studio. Wow, so what an opportunity, huh? Is this my opportunity to get out of the healthcare industry and get into gaming?

Well, there's one more piece. They are looking for someone completely fluent in English and Korean, with experience as a professional translator. D'oh! While I am fluent in Korean, my Korean isn't to the level where I could be a professional translator. Oh well. There's plenty of work to do in the crazy healthcare industry anyway, though it was fun to think for a second what it would be like to work for an MMO.

3. Gaming resume

From SideQuesting, the most awesome resume I think I have ever seen! An artist/designer wrote their resume to read like a character profile:


Monday, January 11, 2010

Intentional typos?

I'm super busy at work today. What in the?!?! Craziness! I'm supposed to be able to blog here damn it! So just a quick funny comic to share. Next time you see a blog post with spelling errors, consider this from Shoebox Blog:

Hahahaha, what bloggers will do for comments.


Friday, January 8, 2010

What gold cap has taught me

I did it guys! I hit the goldcap for one toon of 214,748 gold 36 silver 46 copper earlier this week (I actually went a couple thousand gold over if you count several toons). It came much earlier than anticipated for two reasons. First, one of my biggest inscription competitors left the market in December. I am almost certain he left because he hit the gold cap. Second, the influx of triumph badges via the new LFG system has allowed folks to gear up their alts, thus increasing demand.

The details? About 70% of this gold was made via inscription and 30% was made via alchemy. Though in all reality, the impact of inscription was even greater because it was made over a much shorter period of time. I know a lot of people are curious about inscription. If you really want to use it to make gold, you have to go big. I was posting over 500 glyphs a day. And yes, addons are an essential component of it, specifically Quick Auctions 2 and Postal. Ky at Casual Hardcore has an excellent guide on how to post and cancel auctions via Quick Auctions 2.

So while inscription was my big money maker, I do have to say that I've always been able to make money much more easily than most. Back when I was leveling up, I always found a way to play the AH or make the most of my professions. Now I don't want it to seem that hitting the gold cap is easy. Yes, inscription made it easier, but it does definitely take time and effort. Towards the end of my gold cap run, I started to get a bit impatient and tired, so I also dabbled in a bit of reselling based on market timing. What does this mean? Let's take a quick look at a graph because I am a super geek.

Yay, econ! Yay, supply and demand curves! Basically what I did was buy things like Frost Lotuses on weekends when a lot of people have time to farm them (large supply, thus decreasing prices), and held them to sell on big raiding days like Tuesdays or Wednesdays or when a new patch came out (high demand and lower supply, thus higher prices). Yes, a profit of 15g may not seem that much, but when you do it in large enough quantities, it adds up.

So does this mean I have only always saved up gold and never bought anything? Heck, no. I bought the traveler's tundra mammoth as soon as it was available, I bought all the Kirin Tor rings, and multiple gear upgrades for high amounts of gold. I probably spent 75k on these items which weren't really necessities, but things I wanted. All in all hitting the gold cap was a personal goal of mine. I wanted to see if I could do it, plus I've always been intrigued by the WOW economy (remember I'm a geek).

My plan has always been to share this money once I hit the gold cap. Now this is where the story gets very interesting. My initial plan was to give away almost 70% of the gold, because really one person has no need for over 214k gold. Especially a person who has no level 80 alts. Because gold making is a personal hobby of mine, one that I am very good at, I wanted to share this gold with friends and guildies who have meant a lot to me in this game, those who let's just say may not be so good at making gold. I affectionately call them gold noobs.

Now I knew that the hardest part of this would be convincing some folks to actually accept my gold. I anticipated that I may not succeed with a number of people but I thought that I would be able to convince/beg/argue my way into making them take my gifts.

When it came time for me to individually talk to folks to tell them my story and why I was doing this, it was one of my most memorable moments in WOW. Yes, there were some folks who I ultimately was not able to convince to accept my gifts. It was very interesting to me that money, even virtual money in WOW causes different reactions for different people. I very much respect the folks who couldn't take it, because I would not want them to feel uncomfortable at all. They were however very touched by the gesture. A wise guildie said to me that he understood why some may not feel right doing so, because even if it is virtual money, it represents my actual time and effort. Hmmm.

Now for those who did accept my gifts, folks were shocked and touched. It was very sweet. It was fun to brainstorm with people about what they would use the money for, now that they had more gold than they've ever had in this game. Again, gold noobs (though I love these gold noobs). As time passed folks whispered me with what they ended up using some or all of the money for. It was fun for me to see them accomplish individual goals in game. I did really feel like Robin Hood and all philanthropic like. It sounds so cliche, but truly it was better to give than receive.

At the risk of being super sappy, reaching the gold cap and then being able to share my gold has taught me again that at the heart of this game (for me at least), are the relationships with the people you play with.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Apparently I need to try Bawls

From, their latest flowchart on what soda you should drink. Click on image to make it a bit more readable, or follow the link.

Their past flowcharts (equally hilarious) are also listed on the link. Cereal was hilarious. I'm sure my beer drinking guildies would be amused by the beer flowchart.

Edit: To clarify, Bawls is the drink shown in the top right next to the mountain dew, two of the options for those of us who "pwn noobs".


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For the Migets!

Sometimes you get good pugs. Sometimes you get bad pugs. Sometimes you get pugs so bad, or so good depending on your point of view, that they become epic.

Let's step back. The other night we had 8 folks on and were working on trying to gear up some alts. So we did a quick VOA, with a number of people filling new roles. We then decided to go to Onyxia but decided that to speed things up a bit, that we would pick up two pugs.

This was how we had the pleasure of meeting the epic DK, Lichkingtwo. I would normally black out the name since I am not calling him out on asshattery or anything, but I think you need to know his name in order to get the true flavor of what transpired.

We quickly learned that Lichkingtwo was quite a fan of midgets, fully dedicating himself to the cause of our short statured friends. My-gets? Huh? So, he (I am totally betting he was a 8 year old kid) apparently hasn't quite yet learned that there is a letter "d" in the word and much hilarity from the guild ensued in chat and over vent. My-gets! My-gets!

When T-baby yelled "For the Migets" just as we were running into the boss, everyone cracked up. I laughed the hardest I had in a long long time. But then it got even better. When Onyxia was airborne, this DK whipped out his air rifle, the gift from Winter's Veil and yes, I kid you not, started pelting Ony.

And you thought we were cracking up before? Holy crap, we were now damn right hysterical. Just hysterical. Let's look at the air rifle quickly, shall we?

It all became too much for poor T-baby.

We gave him the axe off Onyxia, because I think a number of us started to feel kind of bad for the kid. He was quite excited, which was very cute.

So thank you Lichkingtwo for providing the most entertaining raid we've had in a long time. Heck, I'm sure very soon we won't even remember last week's raid in Icecrown (damn you Saurfang! Drop the staff!). But I know that I will fondly remember "For the migets" and "Eat my air rifle Onyxia" for a long long time.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Suspend my healing card

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone had a good holiday and is getting back into the swing of things as painlessly as possible. For my first post of 2010, I'm going to be apologizing for some fail healer behavior. Way to start the year, eh?

Now I've been doing my daily random heroic like a good little tree. Some days I go in a total pug, while others I go in a full or nearly full guild run. One day last week I was in a complete pug and we got heroic AK. The tank was a geared pally tank, and the dps was fine as well in terms of the numbers they were putting out.

Our first pull of trash goes fine, nothing out of the ordinary. I then realize that on the second pull, the lock was pulling a bit of aggro. It wasn't anything hard to heal though, so I just kept the lock up. Afterwards, I said something in party chat about "Lock tanks FTW", to which the lock responded with emotes of hugging me and loving me. So I thought that hmmm, perhaps the lock got aggro accidently or something.

Next wave of trash, I see not only the lock continuing to grab aggro, but now the hunter as well. I think it was around then that the pally started pulling multiple groups as well. Being that it was kind of early in the morning and that I was only half way through my first cup of coffee, I think it took me until after the first boss to realize what was going on.

The group had realized that I was a well geared and experienced healer, definitely geared beyond what heroic AK needed, and decided that they could go all out. I'm sure a lot of other healers have experienced this in pugs recently, where being a good healer can invite bad behavior. But here's where I misbehaved. It really was not that hard for me at all to keep the group healed up so I just continued doing so. It actually made it somewhat less of a snoozefest run for me.

I know, I know. It's not the point that it wasn't difficult for me. It was still misbehavior. But sometimes you just get tired, you know? Sometimes its just easier to heal through it then to speak up. Especially when its morning and you're still drinking your coffee. (I know, I know... not a legitimate excuse). Sometimes you actually want more than a snoozefest on these heroic runs.

At the end of the run, the lock is telling me how much she loves me, saying she wants to bring me back to her server... the hunter is following suit... and the pally is also giving me props on my healing. There was all sorts of <3 being directed to the tree. But I just felt crummy.

I felt crummy because I took the easier road out, which was to just heal through it, thereby excusing their misbehavior. I felt bad because the misbehavior would definitely not have been ok in a heroic FOS or POS run... or in any run with a newer or less geared healer.

So yeah, I failed for excusing their misbehavior. I should probably get my healing card suspended. Or at least do healing community service. Some humiliating manual labor maybe? Going around and cleaning tanky shields or something? (shudder... the horror)