Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shaman Shopping List

I've spent the Holiday weekend healing heroics and have picked up a few Emblems of Heroism. I hope that before I can make it through my shopping list some of the pieces will already be replaced by better gear out of Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum, and the Vault of Archavon. But until I see how the dice treat me in our raids, I plan to pick up pieces as I can afford them. Here's my shopping list of Emblem of Heroism Upgrades.

Lattice Choker of Light. 25 Emblems. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating/mp5.

Heroes' Earthshatter Spaulders. 60 Emblems. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating/mp5.

Heroes' Earthshatter Tunic. 80 Emblems. Spell Power/Haste Rating/mp5.

Heroes' Earthshatter Handguards. 60 Emblems. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating/mp5.


Beadwork Belt of Shamanic Vision. 40 Emblems. Spell Power/Haste Rating/mp5.

Heroes' Earthshatter Legguards. 75 Emblems. Spell Power/Haste Rating/mp5.

The Egg of Mortal Essence. 40 Emblems. Spell Power/Chance on Heal to increase Haste Rating.

Protective Barricade of the Light. 35 Emblems. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating/mp5.

Totem of Forest Growth. 15 Emblems. Reduces mana cost of Chain Heal.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Heroic Gear for the Discriminating (resto) Shaman

I managed to get a few heroic dungeons under my belt today with other guild members. I picked up a few new pieces of gear, due more to luck than design. Other group members were calling the shots on where we headed (after much deliberating). After the fourth or fifth exchange of "I don't cares" which made me tempted to suggest rock, paper scissors as a decision making technique, I decided that I should do more research about what gear I should be trying to acquire. So here's my wish list of items that drop in Heroic Northrend Dungeons.

Helm of Lightning Halls.* BOE Trash Drop, Halls of Lightning. Spell Power/mp5.
Brood Plague Helmet. Elder Nadox, Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating.

Amulet of Dazzling Light.* Anomalus, Nexus. Spell Power/mp5.

Mantle of Discarded Ways. King Ymiron, Utgarde Pinnacle. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating.
Spaulders of the Violet Hold. Cyanigosa, The Violet Hold. Spell Power/Haste Rating.

Shroud of Moorabi.* Moorabi, Gundrak. Spell Power.
Reanimator's Cloak. BOE Trash Drop, Drak'Tharon Keep. Spell Power.
Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape. Ley-Guardian Eregos, Oculus. Spell Power/Haste Rating.

Dalronn's Jerkin.* Skarvald the Constructor, Utgarde Keep. Spell Power/mp5.
Scaled Armor of Drakos. Drakos the Interrogator, Oculus. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating.
Moragg's Chestguard. Moragg, The Violet Hold. Spell Power/Haste Rating.

Bands of Channeled Energy.* Grand Magus Telestra, Nexus. Spell Power/mp5.
Bands of the Sky Ring. BOE Trash Drop, Oculus. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating.

Lightning-Charged Gloves. Maiden of Grief, Halls of Stone. Spell Power/mp5.
Cracked Epoch Grasps. Chrono-Lord Epoch, The Culling of Stratholme. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating.

Slad'ran's Coiled Cord.* Slad'ran, Gundrak. Spell Power/mp5.
Girdle of the Ethereal. Xevozz, The Violet Hold. Spell Power/Haste Rating.

Frozen Forest Kilt. Ormorok the Tree-Shaper, Nexus. Spell Power/mp5.
Patroller's War-Kilt. General Bjarngrim, Halls of Lightning. Spell Power/Critical Srike Rating.

Sabatons of the Ages. Tribunal Chest, Halls of Stone. Spell Power/Haste Rating.

War Mace of Unrequited Love. Keristrasza, Nexus. Spell Power/mp5.
Gavel of the Fleshcrafter. Salramm the Fleshcrafter, The Culling of Stratholme. Spell Power/mp5.
Netherbreath Spellblade.* Skadi the Ruthless, Utgarde Pinnacle. Spell Power/Critical Strike Rating.

Facade Shield of Glyphs. Krik'thir the Gatewatcher, Azjol-Nerub. Spell Power/mp5.
Frostrbridge Orb. BOE Trash Drop, Oculus. Spell Power/mp5.
Temple Crystal Fragment. Novos the Summoner, Drak'Tharon Keep. Spell Power/Haste Rating.
Prison Manifest. BOE Trash Drop, The Violet Hold. Spell Power.

* I have already acquired this piece.

I'll focus on rings and trinkets in a later post. I also intend to make a shopping list for Emblem of Valor Gear.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I will be celebrating with my family by phone this year, but it still counts. Enjoy the holiday and check back soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shadow Priest Love

My Shadow Priest, the character everyone in my guild knows simply as "Tam" received some love tonight, gaining a level and making steady progress through the next. I'm not usually a serial leveler, but now that the Shaman is 80, it's time to start working on the Priest--mostly for her professions, and as another option for groups when healing is covered. She won't be my raiding main this time around, but I still plan to level her tailoring (hello, flying carpet) and enchanting. The synergy between Inscription's Armor/Weapon Vellums and Enchanting will be incredibly useful. The introduction of a way for me to enchant all of my characters without having to bother other people has made me one happy girl.

Tomorrow night is our first "official" foray into Naxx 10. A spur of the moment guild PUG went in last night, but I was still working on hitting the big eight oh. Now that I am the only level 80 Shaman in our guild, I'm looking forward to chain healing my heart out (and pretending that I have a clue what I'm doing). I'm paired up with Mase as my healing partner, which will make us both pretty happy (or at least he better act happy). We used to be a pretty good team back when we were both healy priests, and I still feel comfortable working with him. I trust him to know his job and do it well (unless something interesting is on tv) and he knows my style as well. As soon as we get a few more level 80s (including some more healy types) we will be moving on to 25 man Naxx. But with two groups scheduled for tomorrow night, hopefully we can kick some evil ass and get back into the swing of things.

I'm excited.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Told you I'd hit 80 tonight.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So Close...

Weekend Endnotes:
  • I finished Christmas shopping. Now I just have to ship everything to Texas.
  • I saw Bolt and Twilight (both were worth the popcorn).
  • I ate too much good food.
  • I hate big trucks on the Interstate.
  • I specced back to enhancement.
  • I'm 79.5.
  • I'm camped out in Icecrown in an inn with a Runeforge...not sure how I feel about that.
  • I will make it to 80 tomorrow night.
  • That is all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Even a serious Death Knight needs a Baby Blizzard Bear. Happy 4th Anniversary, World of Warcraft!

There's a quest guy, right?

The Amphitheater of Anguish is a horrible experience. I've done it twice now. Once for me and once for some friends and people have been total idiots about it both times. They stand on the quest giver, kite the mobs out of the arena, and basically act like complete jerks. Why is it that people can stand in line for a venti mocha latte at Starbucks, but can't take turns in the virtual world?

Laptop = Lag?

I am out of town this weekend trying to finish up my Christmas shopping. Before you start thinking I'm one of those people who have to finish their Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, you should probably know that my family is actually exchanging gifts on Thanksgiving. So, I'm not really ahead...I'm actually really, really behind.

I managed to hit level 79 tonight. I brought my laptop to the hotel (the nearest place to really Christmas shop is several hours away from my house) and specced resto for the weekend. I've now healed Nexus, Azjol-Nerub, Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom, Drak'Tharon Keep, The Violet Hold and Gundrak. I think I will really like my resto spec when I can experiment with it without the massive amounts of lag the hotel wireless is giving me.

We're scheduled for our first venture into Naxx on Wednesday. I'll be 80 by then and ready to heal my way through my first raid in Wrath of the Lich King. I'm excited to return to healing with a fresh perspective after spending all of the Burning Crusade melting faces as a Shadow Priest.

My goal is to spend some time after I get home figuring out which gear I should be going after and reading up on guides to Naxx. I'll share anything I learn with my faithful readers. After all, the few friends I've conned into reading the blog need to know that I'm surfing the internets for info. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I wanna heal!

LF1M Healer. It's a common request in my guild chat lately. As more people venture into 5 man content, the demand for healers is going up. I want to heal, but I just can't bring myself to spend gold respeccing Resto for each of these runs (especially since I know some of them won't actually happen) and then speccing back to Enhancement for questing. I seriously contemplated respeccing last night as I hit 78, but I couldn't actually click the least not yet. I will at 80. It's possible I will respec this weekend to heal some runs with my friends, especially since Mars asked for a few instance runs this weekend for things she needs to get done and I don't like roping Mase into everything we want to do. But mostly, I find myself missing Riptide and Cleanse Spirit and feeling useful. Enhancement has served me well on my way through the levels (still only halfway through 78 if you're keeping track--work really has gotten in the way lately), and I enjoy never having to stop to drink, but I hold no illusions that I am an expert at the play style. It's functional for soloing, but I don't think I'll be bashing my way through raids.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Middle of the Pack

The first person to hit 80 in my guild did so on Sunday night. He was not the first person to hit 80 on my server, or even the first druid, but it's still an accomplishment within our guild. Since then, a handful of others have had the big ding. For some reason many of our druids have reached 80 more quickly than the rest of us. A retribution paladin also joins their ranks.

I'm perfectly happy to be in the second wave. I don't feel like I've rushed and I'm enjoying the journey. I've started a Death Knight, gained almost a level on my Shadow Priest while helping my best friend in Borean Tundra, and even took a little time off last night. Despite all those distractions, I hit 78 tonight in The Storm Peaks (thanks for making me miss Colorado, Blizz). I do want to be the first Shaman in our guild to hit 80. And right now, I'm ahead by a couple of levels. I'm competitive, but I don't have to be first in this.

I have friends, though, who do. The first mage on our server is someone I met my first week playing WoW. Before I fully understood how to reply to whispers or use emotes, this male human /licked me and struck up a conversation. We spent hours that night questing together and getting to know each other. For the most part, we've been friends ever since. He's proud of his accomplishment, and I am glad for him. I understand why he wanted to rush through for the achievement and to be one of the first to step into the level 80 raids, but I don't want to emulate him. I'm pretty sure he doesn't understand why I am happy to be in the middle of the pack. But that's ok, too.

My guild will push into Naxx soon enough, and I will be ready to help lead the way. But for now, I'm enjoying my spot in the middle of the pack. Although if another shaman starts to edge ahead, I'll probably rethink that.

Resume Blogging!

I had promised myself that I would write a blog entry every day in November. I wanted to get into the habit of posting regularly, and doing something for a month is one way to create that kind of routine. I didn't make it. I didn't really intend to take the weekend off, but the expansion (and the two days I took off work to enjoy it) interrupted my normal schedule. Staying up until 4am questing for 3 days and then setting my alarm for the next morning to do it again wasn't conducive to writing a blog entry every night.

Things returned to semi-normal yesterday with the return to work. But then work backhanded me with an unexpected marathon docket day at zoo court that seemed to last forever. (Note to self: skipping breakfast on a day that you get stuck at court from 8:45 until 5:15 with no breaks is not such a bright idea.) Last night I didn't even play the shaman except to do her Minor Inscription Research and say hi to a few friends. Then it was off to bed with a book to keep my brain from exploding.

Tonight I intend to do my best to get to level 78. She hit 77 on Monday night at about 11:00. I promptly purchased her cold-weather flying skill and went zooming off into the wild blue (well purplish black) yonder. After a night off, I'm ready to glide around Sholazar Basin and complete some more quests.

And I promise that the regularly scheduled blog posts will resume immediately.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nothing Boring About Borean

I made it to 73 tonight before I called it quits. And I finished all but maybe a few obscure quests in Borean Tundra before heading to Howling Fjord. I know I could move on, and I might fairly early tomorrow, but both starting zones are very well done and I hate to miss anything.

Memorable Moments in Borean Tundra:
  • The murloc quest chain rocked. From freeing the murloc tadpoles (I want one, damnit!) to wearing the extra murloc suit, it was full of memorable and fun moments. I appreciate that instead of turning you into a murloc, the suit still shows seams and a zipper down the back. I laughed during the entire quest.
  • The Orc disguise was also awesome. Again, the realism is what made it work for me, I'm not actually an Orc in the screenshot; I'm still a Draenei, but wearing a green mask.
  • The quest to capture a sorcerer (mage on a rope--or is it rope a dope?) and question him for information was also memorable. I'm not real sure how I would have handled the torture part if I were into RP, but I guess we are at war....
  • I laughed at most of the D.E.H.T.A. quests, and I think it's hilarous that they have a wanted poster for Hemet Nesingwary in their camp. The quest to trap the hunters was...interesting. The scripting was hilarious, but I felt bad everytime a stupid hunter jumped into the trap. At least they weren't lingering deaths, since the death sounds happened immediately. (Bonus points for making me want to save up 20k for a Mammoth mount though).
Those are the ones that stick out the most, but I didn't really find a quest that I hated. Hopefully that continues for the next 7 levels.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

mmm Northrend

Quick updates only tonight.
  • Even kinda scary Wal-marts are ethical. Mine wouldn't sell me my copy until 12:02. I stood in line with a couple who had driven over 60 miles to pick it up, a truckdriver who plays it as a way to keep in touch with his son, and a mother buying it for her son because WoW is better than being a drug addict. Fun stuff.
  • My desktop didn't get the right vibes from the dvd the first time I tried to install. I couldn't get the disk to read for a while, and ended up loading it on my laptop first. When I went to load it on the desktop for the second time, planning to use some of the work arounds listed on the tech support forums, it worked just fine. Weird.
  • I made it almost halfway to 71 last night just from the planned quest turn ins and a few quick quests that I felt compelled to do as I roamed around Borean Tundra.
  • I'm still not 71, but I'm close. Tomorrow I'll go at it more systematically. Tonight was all about fun and exploring.
  • Impressions so far: it rocks. The turtle-boats are way cool. I rode through Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills and cannot wait to actually quest there. The server was stable, and I didn't experience much lag. And Howling Fjord has a awesome is that?
Time to sleep now. I'll write more soon...although I make no promises that it will be any more coherent than this post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dive In!

I have a little less than 2 hours to wait for Wrath of the Lich King to go on sale at my local Wal-mart. I'm ready to dive into Northrend on the shaman as soon as I return victorious from Wally World.

I have a gameplan, and despite the downtime yesterday, I think I'm ready.

I respecced to enhancement (0/53/8) and placed all the lovely melee spells on my action bars.

I completed 21 quests that I intend to turn in for a little leftover BC xp. Tamzz is stationed in Shadowmoon Valley where I have 8 quests to turn in as soon as the game is loaded. Then I'll Astral Recall to Shattrath and turn in 3 quests. Next I will portal to the Isle of Quel'Danas where I'll turn in the 10 dailies I finished earlier this evening. I don't really care how much xp I gain from these leftover quests, I just want to feel like my preparations were good for something. After hearthing to Shatt once again, I'll find the portal to Storwind and catch a boat to the Borean Tundra.

I don't plan on questing much in Northrend tonight; I still have to work (or at least put on a good show) tomorrow. I'm taking Friday and Monday off, so I'll still get in some serious leveling time this weekend, and hopefully give the servers time to flake out without disrupting my day.

I'm ready to sprint to 80 with Tamzz and pick up all the new ranks of spells as soon as I can. It looks like our only two new abilities will appear at level 75 with Lava Burst and at level 80 we get Hex. Despite the wait for these two abilities, I don't think I'll be complaining. I'll be having too much fun using my Spirit Wolves at every cooldown and loving the new ranks of weapon buffs, totems and shocks that start appearing at 71. Rank 6 of Windfury Weapon looks quite droolworthy as it jumps from a 20% chance of two extra attacks with 445 extra attack power, to a 20% chance of two extra attacks with 835 extra attack power.

Is it midnight yet?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Great Mailbox Mutiny of 2008

The servers have been down all day, and as one of the government employees off work today, it has been slightly frustrating waiting to see when they will have the problems fixed. The word is that a glitch in the mail system caused the extended maintenance. I guess all the dancing hi-jinks finally overtaxed them to the point that they refused to give up the goods.

I didn't really have that much planned for today other than doing a few dailies for gold, so I'm not as upset as many of my guildies. I know a few people who were counting on the extra time for last minute leveling. One guildy wanted to work on his shaman that he is trying to get to 70 before Thursday, and another was planning to get his mage to 55. Our guild had also scheduled our last BT clear for 7:30 server time. We've never seen the glaives drop, so we were hoping tonight would be the night. Since it is now 9:45 server time with no end to the server lock out in sight, it looks like the legendary loot will continue to elude us.

Oh well, maybe we'll get the first orange weapons in WotLK.

Remember the Fallen and Honor the Fighting

On this eleventh day of the eleventh month, Americans are reminded that our lifestyle comes with a price--a heavy price for those whose service to our country takes them far away from home and the ultimate price for others who have given their lives. A moment out of our hectic schedules to remember and honor them is not too much to ask.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prepare for Battle!

First, he planted suspicious crates around Azeroth, knowing full well that we are a curious bunch. (Why else would we agree to ANYTHING the Explorers League asks us to do, if not because of our endless inquisitiveness? We want to see what will happen next, or at least whether or not we'll survive it.) When this curiosity got the better of us and we opened the crates, we found the Lich King had not sent us kittens but instead had infected us with a plague that turned brother against brother, guild member against guild member (sorry again, D, I didn't realize that was your baby alt until I'd already taken a bite), and made us desire nothing more than to create as much mayhem as possible.

Second, he invaded us with his necropolises and made traveling through such zones as the Burning Steppes, Blasted Lands, and Azshara (who am I kidding, no one travels Azshara) hazardous to our health. His Necrotic Crystals were surrounded by shades intent on killing us and withholding the runes we needed for epic loot.

You would hope that would be enough--after all most of us were a little grossed out when we came to our senses after eating brains--and that he'd be satisfied with making our major cities zombie playgrounds and parking his ugly flying pyramids outside our capitals. But no. He had to send his minions after our leaders.

Tonight, the so called Lich King went too far. He launched an all-out attack on our home land and endangered the lives of King Varian Wrynn, Bolvar Fordragon, and the people of Stormwind. Though many came to aid the King in defending Stormwind, I fear it is not enough. It's time that we do more than fall victim to the Lich King's plans. We must take up arms against this menace. We must carry the battle to Northrend and deal with the traitor-prince once and for all!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Picture's Worth...

I realized that I've never actually posted any screenshots of my shaman (or any other character) in action. I didn't do too much with her today, instead spending some quality time on my hunter taming a new pet and farming the argent dawn shards. I did get invited to heal a Heroic Magisters' Terrace run where I picked up the sexy robe I'm sporting in the screenshot above as well as a nice chestpiece for leveling enhancement. I just couldn't bring myself to spend the respec fee twice in one day. I'll put her back to dps mode later in the week.

The interface set up I show above has taken some time to perfect, and I'm sure I'll keep tweaking, but it seems to really serve me well.

Addons I don't like to live without include:
  • Pitbull
  • Dominos
  • Autobar
  • Recount
  • Omen
  • Totem Timers
  • Class Timers
  • EEPanels2
  • Simple Minimap
  • ArcHUD
  • MikScrollingBattleText
  • ClosetGnome
  • ORA2
  • BigWigs
  • Bagnon

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can I keep him?

I took some time to enjoy the Argent Dawn offensive today. I don't like the crowds surrounding these kinds of events, and I usually steer clear of them when they are introduced, so this was really my first all out assault on the crystals. I started out the day by testing my new elemental spec in the Burning Steppes since I needed to see if it would be more fun than the ill-conceived hybrid build I tried yesterday. I managed to kill enough undead to damage the crystal, pick up various pairs of pants (2 plate, 1 leather, 1 mail), and almost convince myself that leveling elemental wouldn't be that bad. My priestly buddy offered to come help me with the elites. We quickly discovered that a holy priest who forgets to heal--thanks for fessing up on the corpse run, Mase, your bad indeed--and a spastic elemental shaman was a painful combination for disrupting the summoning rituals. So bad in fact, that I ended up hearthing and respeccing enhancement before we finished. That went better, even with two fellow alliance players griefing us. I managed to get enough shards to buy gloves, shoulders, a tabard, and a pocket pally. Also, I am now able to throw the book at someone in WoW as well as in court!

I think it's pretty clear that I'll be leveling with the aid of Maelstrom Weapon and Feral Spirit. Mase will just have to heal any instances we do; I'm not giving up my cuddly ghost wolves.

Confused...So Confused

I wish I could level my shaman to 80 by healing other people--after all I did it with my priest in TBC (/shudder)--but I don't think that it is feasible to torture myself for the sake of tradition. So I'm going to spend the weekend trying to determine which route I want to go as I level--the "I could heal if my priestly friend isn't around" route or the "just let me bash it 'till it's dead" route. I started off with a mix of the two tonight, and although I killed enough of the scourge invasion guys to get the Argent Dawn Tabard achievement, I don't think the indecisive route worked well at all. Things died, but they didn't die fast and it wasn't that much fun making them dead. And since I plan on making a lot of things dead starting next Thursday, I think it should be both fast and fun. Back to the drawing board...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Apples and Silk

If I had any artistic talent I'd make a WoW Comic about the quest Items of Some Consequence. I'd draw it from the perspective of a female character who is striving to make it in a man's world. I see the feminine adventurer traveling alone through the vast City of Stormwind in search of answers, tracking down the insidious plotters behind the Defias threats. She is bruised and tattered from battling Edwin VanCleef and Bazil Thredd, weary from trudging from one spy to the next, but determined to solve the mystery and gain her reward. She's sent to a gnome who maintains surveilance on the shady nobleman Lord Lescovar and he promises to help lure the lord and his minion out so she can take care of them once and for all. In his dialogue bubbles, the gnome says, "Okay, I'll need you to get me a few things before I can put my plan into effect. I got the perfect disguise that'll get Spybot past those guards. Bring me some silk and a couple apples. The silk's up to you, but Clara's little farm right outside the city has the perfect sized apples." She quickly retrieves the items he needs and returns with the silk cloth and the apples, expecting him to use the unusual items in some clever way to sneak his robot through the guards. Maybe she imagines an elaborate ruse where the robot offers poisoned apples to the guards and, once they are incapacitated, the gnome restrains them with the silk. She's not sure how the gnome will accomplish his task, but she's eager to help.... Until he wraps the silk around the robot and stuffs the apples down the front, giving the heap of metal the illusion of breasts. Then my heroine would shake her head in disgust, pin the gnome to the tree with her daggers and stomp off muttering about men under her breath.

Unfortunately, I have no artistic talent. So the best I can do is paint the scene with words.

Although I am not into role playing, each time I do this quest on one of my female toons, I imagine her shaking her head when the spybot is transformed into a buxom brunette priest and sent in to lure Lescovar to his death. Don't get me wrong, I think the quest is quite clever and I enjoy it, but everytime I complete it I am reminded that in many ways WoW is a game for men. The idle animations for female characters almost always involve some sort of breast jiggling hop. The dances are sexy (except human females--the macarena has never been sexy). And the female models of armor often barely cover the essentials. But I am willing to admit that I wouldn't change any of it. My Night Elves are sexier than I will ever be. I'm proud of my Draenei's derriere. And I go out of the way to make all of my characters pretty. Items of Some Consequence may make me shake my head at the use of apples to make women, but it makes me laugh, and it reminds me that neither I nor my characters should take ourselves too seriously.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Small Town Fail

I confess that I am a procrastinator. However, I wasn't entirely positive whether or not I'd still be living in this small town when Wrath of the Lich King was released, so I have a defense for this one. I decided against moving, so I will be here next week when WotLK is released at 12:00 am Mountain Standard Time. So today I finally got around to calling my local GameStop to see if they were having a party (ha!) and what hours they would be open that night. yeah. I live in too small a place with too few gamers to rate a midnight opening. Who knew? I might have suspected...but I still thought they'd open at midnight for a few minutes anyway. Guess I'll be getting my copies at Walmart.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fun with Trade Chat

I was doing some basic research into the 3.0.3 changes and decided to log in tonight to see how my Riptide was affected by the buff (one of our few it turns out). Unfortunately I logged in right before they declared the winner of the Presidential election. So I'm running around Shatt jumping off bridges trying to injure myself enough to see the heal over time tick, when a fairly new guild member logs on. I don't know him personally, in fact I don't think I've ever spoken with him. Note to self: You are a bad officer. Shame on you! Seconds after he logs in I see a class-colored name pop up in trade chat signifying that he is either a guildie or standing near enough to me so that my mod can pick up on his class. This person proceeds to express his views about the election in non-complimentary terms, even going so far as to use a word that is not acceptable outside a rap video and even then you're probably not getting away with it.

Before my eyebrows could return to their normal position, I was frantically whispering him: "I understand that it is 'just' trade chat and it is out of control already, but do not use that word while wearing our guild tag."

His response? "Sorry, man. I didn't know. I'm not racist. I'm just pissed about the election."

Let's analyze this.

I've already confessed to being a bad officer and not speaking directly to this man before. But I talk in guild chat a lot. Enough that most people know what they can get away with when I'm online and what they can't. And last I checked, I'm not a man. This could have just been his generic address, like the way my niece says "dude" to everyone, but I don't think so. He's rather new to the guild, and I totally get that it's safest to assume everyone you talk to in WoW is male, but how oblivious is he?

Second, he didn't know. What exactly didn't he know? He didn't know that that word is unacceptable in polite society. (Yes, I know I'm stretching the definition of the word polite to apply it to trade chat, but stay with me here.) Probably not--especially since he immediately knew which word I meant. He didn't know that we frown on people making idiots of themselves while wearing our guild tag? Possibly. I guess he never took the time to read our Code of Conduct. The first rule in the Code says "Our members show respect for the guild by participating in raids, fulfilling duties assigned by Officers and Raid Leaders, and avoiding activities that do not promote a positive guild image." Oops, guess he missed that line.

He's not racist. Why is it that most people who feel the need to say they aren't racist still use words that people consider racist? If you weren't racist, wouldn't you pick a different word?

In the end I gave him a strong warning and he logged off. Maybe I should have gkicked him, but it's really hard to get kicked from our guild. Maybe he'll take my warning to heart and start thinking before he types. But I'm not holding my breath. After all, his biggest mistake of the night was speaking in trade chat, and I don't think that's something we can fix.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Peeking Through the Curtains

I must confess that I like the new Achievements introduced in patch 3.0.2. I think it's a fun addition to the game that makes it possible to feel a sense of accomplishment even with short amounts of play time. It's nice to be able to log in for a few minutes at lunch or on a busy night and still have a purpose instead of running around in circles in your faction's city of choice. (I personally like to jump in a pattern following the tile floor in Ironforge, but that slightly OCD quirk is a topic for another day.) Running through a lowbie zone to discover missed areas or actually seeking out a rare pet so that you can one day have a skunk may not be huge accomplishments, but they do bring another aspect to the game that makes it more accessible to those who have lives (unlike me) and cannot dedicate hours every night to raiding or pvp.

All of these examples are acceptable reasons to like Achievements. But the truth is, I just like to watch. I'm descended from a long line of curtain watchers. You probably thought my grandmother made lace curtains for her front windows to balance the need for privacy with the need for sunlight (no, the picture isn't of my grandmother, but whoever's grandmother it is totally understands what I mean). But really, it's just because it's so much easier to see what the neighbors are doing without making them think you are a stalker. After all, the neighbors might catch on if you're constantly moving mini blinds out of the way. No such worries with sheer lace curtains. There's a fine line between "neighborhood watch" and "creepy" and my grandmother has excellent balance.

Achievement spam in my guild satisfies my curtain watcher genes. Thanks to "cheeves" I now know when my guildies are fishing, exploring, pvping, questing, or instancing. I even know when they pick their teeth (although I have to agree with an Achievement hater who vehemently denies that that's worthy of an Achievement). I even know whether they are the kind of person who seeks out achievements, embraces them as they naturally occur, or does absolutely everything they can to avoid them. Achievement spam has given me just as much insight into my guildies as my grandmother ever got from watching her neighbors to see whose car sat in the driveway all night long. But I don't have to pretend I'm keeping an eye out for suspicious characters. Or volunteer to pick up your mail.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rather be fishin'?

I'm leveling the shaman's fishing skill. Today she got to 301. Yay! Why? Heck if I know. I don't really enjoy it, although I guess it is kinda relaxing. At least the water is pretty. I remember when fishing was even more horrible than it is now, so I shouldn't complain. At least you always catch something with each cast. I seem to be suffering from the "Suzie Sunshine" disease tonight. At least this. At least that. At least I'm doing something in the virtual world that I would never do in real life?

I like lakes. My family has a lake house and I love being there. Sitting on the dock watching the boats and jetskis go by. Why aren't there Waverunners in WoW? I guess because if there were, no one would ever level fishing.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I don't really have that much to say today, but here's a list of the projects I'm working on.
  • I started leveling my 65 human pally again today. Mostly just going around doing the Trick or Treat quests. She gets 5500 xp per inn, which isn't bad at all. She went from only a little way into level 65 up to about half. I still need to ride around Outland and finish those before I put her away again. I'm telling myself that even though I could get her to 70 by November 13, doesn't mean I should. I shouldn't, right? Right. Totally not going to level her before the expansion.
  • I'm working on updating our guild's Code of Conduct and policies for Wrath of the Lich King. The Officer's forum on our website has been pretty active lately as we try to figure out what new rules we're implementing and any other changes we need to make. I've finished most of the basic stuff, but I still need to work on a few policies for raiding. Unfortunately, making time to do it is harder than you'd think. When I'm at work people think I should actually, you know, work. And when I'm at home, I'm either playing WoW, reading, or doing any number of other things. Nose to the grindstone tomorrow, I promise. Well, I sorta promise. I want popcorn. So I'm planning on a trip to see Zack and Miri (provided I can find my debit card in my car--don't ask).
  • I'm reading a teen-fiction book by Mette Ivie Harrison called The Princess and the Hound. So far I like it and can't tell where it is going to the degree that I normally can. That's a plus as long as it doesn't go somewhere weird.
  • While searching for the link (and figuring out how to make it a link) at Amazon, I found out Gail Carson Levine wrote something new. Memo to self to pick it up next time I'm in the "big town." Too bad that won't be for a few weeks at least. Silly small town with no good bookstores.
  • I should really get a mousepad for my laptop. Is it wrong to use a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book for a mousepad?
Hmm. Looks like I had more to say than I thought. Back to the book now.