Monday, February 28, 2011

I want hakas before pvp!

The national rugby union team of New Zealand, the All Blacks, traditionally perform a haka before their international rugby matches. War hakas were traditionally performed by Maori warriors before battle, in order to intimidate their opposition and show their strength and prowess. Amazingly enough the All Blacks started performing hakas all the way back to 1884, when they first toured overseas.

Here are the All Blacks before a match against England:

Here are two more amusing videos of the All Blacks performing a haka, though both are against the national team of Tonga, another country with tribal roots. And the Tonga team responds with a war dance of their very own!

The white All Blacks player at the head of this haka below totally cracks me up:

PvP has been on my mind a lot lately because I am grinding towards the 50,000 HK achievement. I have about 2,500 kills to go. I think if you get 50k HKs as an alliance toon, you should get some sort of extra credit for the achievement compared to getting it as Horde. Seriously.

But can't you just imagine performing a haka before your next AB or WSG or Strands match? =) Heck, the alliance could use anything to help us in our bgs... /sigh.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drama, a story, and Twitter

My guildies are probably clueless to this, but fellow bloggers and avid blog readers are well aware of the blog "drama" going on within the blogosphere. I think some of this drama went down while I was taking my break from the game (and subsequently the blogosphere last fall/early winter) so there was some stuff that I was clueless about and had to catch up on.

Now there's been talk about proper blog protocol or ethics or whatever for big and small bloggers. But I don't really consider myself a big or a small blogger. Honestly, I would consider myself more medium sized. Where are the blogging protocols or standards of practice for us medium sized bloggers? Huh? On behalf of medium sized blogs, I am offended! How have I even continued blogging for over 3 years without standards of our medium sized blogs' very own? /boggle! and /flail!

Ok, more seriously though... here's the thing. Yes, the thing (OMG bold!). In each of the situations mentioned on the various blog posts, while I have perhaps leaned more towards agreeing with one party, I have also understood the other party and agreed with some parts of what they had to say as well. And even though I may have leaned more towards one party, there have been parts that I have also disagreed with.

- I agreed and leaned towards Zelmaru but also disagreed with some parts. But I genuinely like Zelmaru.
- I agreed and leaned towards Chastity but also disagreed with some parts. But I genuinely like Chastity.
- I've agreed with Alas but also disagreed with some parts. But I genuinely like Alas.
- Finally, I've agreed with Tam but also disagreed with some parts. But Tam already knows how much I genuinely like him.

I don't know... I guess I just want to like most bloggers? And even when I disagree with some things! OMG! Disagreement! Scary! Contrary to popular belief, disagreement is not analogous with not like, or hate. Now what's interesting about my bulleted list above is that I have leaned towards both "sides" in all of this hoopla. It's almost like each situation speaks differently to me, or sparks different emotional responses? Hmmm...

Really the only interaction where I am still struggling to see anything is the whole Larisa/Xeppe situation. I completely missed that interaction last year and I re-read Larisa's original post at least 5 times to try to find how it could have been offensive and set as an example for bullying. I think I could read it 500 more times and still be in the same place. Completely confused.

While its always unfortunate when people's feelings are hurt, I think its completely reasonable to address another blogger's blog post by posting about it on your blog. The thought that you would have to email the blogger to get permission or even to just let them know out of courtesy just boggles me. BOGGLES! If you are putting something out on the public interwebs, its out there for anyone to respond to, whatever the supposed "size" of their blog is.

Now the manner in how someone "of questionable and yet to be determined blog size" responds to the post is another thing. I would hope that they disagree respectfully and debate the idea (not the person) so as to foster discussion and dialogue. Again whatever "size" the blog is. This constant mention and distinction of size makes me a bit uncomfortable. Like we're in some sort of naughty discussion with our shadow priest Nikolai.

Anyways. What has also been interesting in all of this current and past drama is how quickly people get angry and take sides. I wonder how much this "side taking" is really thinking about the issue at hand and seeing where your opinions lie vs having some sort of preexisting friendship or some level of emotional attachment to a certain blogger. Different bloggers, their blog post subjects, and writing styles speak to us in different ways, thus I think it's understandable and natural that we create different levels of friendship or emotional attachment. And when this happens it's natural to want to "defend" them.

Coming to the defense of friends actually comes very naturally and instinctively for me in real life. A quick back story... I had a good friend in college, J, who was the sweetest, most innocent girl I knew. J was also stunningly beautiful and thus seemed to often pick up girls who were quite open with their hostility towards her. Though J was always clueless as to why these other girls didn't like her and quite often hurt and upset over it.

Now our senior year in school, J started working as a hostess at a local restaurant, where unsurprisingly a couple of her male co-workers took quite a liking to her. This angered another hostess who had already been working there to the point that she became quite hostile towards J in front of her face as well as behind her back.

I had heard about this girl previously from J, who was really uncomfortable with the tension and aggression of the situation. So one night a bunch of us are out at a bar, and this other girl, let's continue to call her psycho biatch from now on, was at the same place. Perhaps it was the alcohol, perhaps it was pent up anger and jealousy, but all of a sudden, psycho biatch came up and grabbed a fistful of J's hair, and started pulling her head around while yelling nonsense.

Before I was able to even process what was going on, I had grabbed psycho biatch's hand, twisted it off J's head, pushed this girl back by the shoulders and started screaming naughty naughty obscenities. I think psycho biatch got scared and left the bar soon after. In doing all of this though, I actually broke a finger on my left hand, and spent the next several weeks with my finger in a splint. It was quite the humorous conversation piece within my circle of friends for a long time afterwards.

Why did I tell that story? Not to say that anyone who disagrees with me or my friends are psycho biatches, but more to say that I can completely understand how people want to come to a friend's defense when they feel they are being attacked. In reading some of the nastiest comments on some of the blog posts, I wondered whether there was some of this going on. But really what I did in my story, was completely my doing, my friend J had nothing to do with my actions all.

So its probably not surprising to hear that I do not think a blogger is "responsible" for the actions of their readers at all. Should they be "aware" of their readership? Beyond following the already mentioned concept of debating ideas (not people) respectfully, no, I don't know what being "aware" of their readership or recognizing their blog "size" (omg ew size again!) really means.

Now given how I have a real life history of broken fingers in the process of defending friends, it probably isn't a huge surprise to hear that there is a part of me that wants to defend some fellow bloggers from some of the most ugly (and I believe unwarranted) comments, even though none of these people really need my defending at all. So I shall refrain from doing the blog equivalent of breaking my finger.

Finally, let me talk about where I've seen some of these ugly comments. Yes, there were plenty in the comments of the various blog posts, but I've also seen them on Twitter. Ah, Twitter. It's interesting how Twitter has changed the nature of the blogosphere from just a couple of years ago.

Now, I am not on Twitter and really have no plans on joining Twitter any time soon, or, er ever. For me, its just too much. But I do have some bloggy friends who are on Twitter and sometimes point me to "hot" tweets. In reading some of these Tweets yesterday and following them through to other Tweets, I wondered if bloggers are more apt to forget the "don't blog when you're angry rule" when tweeting. Maybe since putting out a tweet takes much less effort than crafting a blog post?

There is a part of me that thinks it is kind of cowardly for folks to tweet something negatively about someone else, but not have the balls to blog about it. So its ok to put out a little snark on Twitter but you don't have enough snark, or enough thought behind the snark to do it intelligently in a blog post?

When people talk about getting an impression from someone's blog posts, I think that folks should recognize that people generate impressions from your Twitter feeds as well. I'm also curious... for everyone who argued that you should get permission or let someone know when you are blogging about them... does it apply to Twitter? Should you do the same when you Tweet about someone? Especially when this "someone" may not be on Twitter?

So yeah. Twitter. My time around the Twitter world yesterday did a couple of things. It confirmed that I like some people. A lot. It confirmed that I dislike some people. A lot. It introduced me to new people I never knew before that I now dislike. A lot. It also confused me about some people who I thought I really liked a lot.

Here I am at the end of a huge wall of text, and I'm not even sure anymore what the point of my post is. I guess I just wanted to get some things out that have been noodling around in my head.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging and WoW friendships

Mmm what to blog about, what to blog about... perhaps this comic from Incidental Comics will help me with the empty blog post screen?

Being unassigned to a project. I haven't had any work to do for about the last three weeks. But interestingly enough, I find myself blogging best or more often while I'm working. When I don't have to work, I find myself playing WoW more than blogging about it. Maybe its that I need some time away from the game to be able to ponder or think through blog posts. I am actually going back on the road on a project this week so we'll see what the next couple of weeks look like around here on the blog.

So yes, with all my free time lately I've been playing a lot. Perhaps more than I should. It's always a back and forth with me whether I'm playing too much or not... but hmmm something to ponder?

In other news an old friend of our guild told me last week that he is taking an extended and perhaps permanent break from the game. For the couple of years I've known him, Venezia has always been a great player, but more importantly a genuinely nice and fun person to play with. I've always been a sucker for his Czech accent (ok, ok I am a sucker for any accent) and will very much miss his Czech accented "taunt, please". For a while now when he'd whisper me hello, I'd usually respond with "nerf warriors!" He says he's getting out before that happens.

It's weird when a friend you really only know from the game says goodbye. Many of my guildies and I have forged connections and relationships outside of the game, so that even when someone leaves the game, there are still the occasional emails and facebook posts. But when you've known someone only from within the game, it's kinda weird or creepy to say, "Hey email me or find me on facebook", when you haven't done that to this point, you know?

I am glad though that Venezia allowed me the opportunity to tell him how much I liked playing with him over the years and wish him luck with what he is doing next. It's always strange and mind boggling to me when someone you considered a friend or a guildie just completely goes MIA and quits the game without a word. It makes you wonder if the relationship meant as much to them as it did to you. Or maybe to them ingame relationships aren't really "real"?

I recognize that not everyone looks at the relationships you forge within game the same way. But being the way that I am (pretty heavy on the snark and attitude), I only give back what I get. As Jess astutely remarked, I am like a very generous retirement plan. If you show or give me 100%, I will give you back 200%. But if you show me 0%, I will give you back 0%. And the way you leave a relationship leaves a heavy mark on how I look back at the relationship as a whole. I wish I wasn't so harsh, but I am how I am.

Anyways, when your friendship was only within game, I guess that relationship just kinda ends within the game when someone leaves. It's natural of course, for relationships to have their place and their time, as people enter and leave your life all the time. It's not like you are still friends with every single person you have ever been friends with. I guess the best you can do is appreciate the friendship for what it was at that time.

So farewell Venezia, thanks for the great times!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Kill shot reenactment

Hooray, kill shot reenactment! So last week was our second week of raiding, and look there is Halfus with his two headed self and Omnomnom's four man posse. So lets then go around the outside and I can tell you a bit about the guildies.

Starting on the lower left we have Eregon, our conservative Republican of tanks. Continuing clockwise, we have Kalthan our hunter. Kal has two pets out with him, his monkey named Nikolai and his crab named Keredria. Nikolai and I are currently planning our revenge. Then there is Nkm who is bound to be archaeologizing when he isn't raiding.

Next, there is our dark intent couple, Buns and Nikolai. I've put our other mage Darcness on the Deathcharger's Reins from Stratholme because this is my reenactment and it's going to happen Darc, I swear! Then we have our pally tank Chanticleer, aka pretty purple diamond, and look, he haz a frisbee!

Finally lets address the healing druid, pally, and shammy. So in this accurate reenactment, Jess' shammy Makawee and I are running out of mana while our holy pally Lorosia has a full mana bar. Thus, what Makawee and I are doing is what I believe should be added in the next patch. Other healers should be able to siphon mana from holy pallys. For reals.

So I think our raids have started pretty well, though there has not been a single healer drop in two weeks of raiding. FFS! In other guild news, we finally learned the seafood feast last night! Woot! As Nkm said, we pwned those fishies!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

That's some serious customer support

So I just posted here, but then I came across this gem that I couldn't resist posting for the second time today. The earlier post is more for my guildies anyway, so some humor for everyone else.

WoW customer support is apparently for more than just WoW related issues:

It makes me wonder if WoW Customer support is just as good at philosophy as they are at calculus. I'm tempted to put in a ticket asking them about the meaning of life or the secret to happiness or something.


Back to raiding

Last week was our first real week back at raiding due to losing half of our raiding team from Wrath and recruiting new members. In a way, it felt like going back to school after a long summer vacation. I think the biggest difference for me from going from 5 mans to 10 mans is learning not to "save" anything for the end, i.e. tree form, trinkets, and innervates. Pop em early so you can get as many uses in within the attempt!

Here's our first kill shot of the expansion:

Look how cute our gnome couple, Buns and Nkm, as well as our new dwarf couple (first dwarves we've ever had in this guild) Lorosia and Chanticleer look! On Magmaw we had our hunter Kal kite and kill all of the worms by himself, for which we gave him a temporary reprieve on getting crap from the guild, as hunters should in any guild (the crap, not the reprieve).

One of the changes we've instituted this expansion is going down to two raid nights a week. I do think that with the two nights, we are trying to use the time more efficiently. People showed up much earlier than they used to, and we even pulled one night before the scheduled time! Though I still think there is opportunity to tighten up our raid time, we've gotten a lot better.

Oh, so another momentous event in our raid week. We had our first couple of epic BOEs drop off trash! Oh my freakin' goodness. One of them was useful to someone, and the other one I have posted on the AH. The last time I sold an epic BOE was Ulduar. Ulduar FFS! Epic BOEs dropping again in 10 mans? I feel a little empty now that I'm going to have to cross this off from my rant list.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Doing my part to keep Chicago lighter

Check out this map (yes I love maps) that charts the profanity level of the US by looking at tweets. The darker the area, the less profane, the lighter the area, the more profane.

So what is causing me to curse up a storm? Tol Barad and archaeology.

First, Tol Barad. Yes, yes I know the design is broken and changes in the patch are coming. But you know what the patch is not going to fix? The utter utter stupidity of Alliance on Drenden. I don't understand how they still don't grasp the concept of Tol Barad. Hey, standing with 30 other people in ICG may cause you to not die, but you know what? We're not going to win.

The alliance on the server also are so ridiculously slow to react. If we do get a big group to take over a spot, 90% of those people stand around there and wait for it to fully go alliance instead of getting a group to quickly run to the next obvious spot that the Horde is going to defend.

Yes, arena and general battlegrounds make me swear. But it doesn't even compare to the swearing that Tol Barad causes. And to the rest of the Alliance on Drenden, the patch changes to Tol Barad are not going to fix your f'in stupidity. FFS.

Secondly, archaeology. On a slightly positive note, I did get Ring of the Boy Emperor. But I am still at it for Tyrande's Favorite Doll.

I know all of the nightelf dig sites like the back of my hand. I have completed Scandalous Silk Nightgown a ton of times, the most of any common night elf item. I mean really? Are you trying to tell me something O Cruel Cruel RNG?

It's a funny (if funny actually means sad and devastating and crushing) thing, this archaeology. While your brain tells you that you should just give up because you're never going to get the item you are going for, there is still that tiny tiny sliver of hope in your heart that keeps you at it.

Those couple of seconds while you are creating an item and you see that bar go across your screen... right before the bar is completed and the next item appears on your screen... you hold your breath and for a second genuinely believe that you're going to get something good. But then you get another crap item, and you feel foolish for having believed even for those few seconds.

It's those couple of seconds of hope that Blizzard is exploiting with archaeology, keeping all of us still at it. Damn you, Blizz. You should have just called it hope-ology.