Thursday 11 December 2014

Rebuilding is Hard

It's interesting, I've sat down and started to write a dozen times and published nothing. It's hard to know what to talk about when my go-to topic isn't something I can talk about anymore. This may be evident, but I'll reiterate - I'm not coming back for Warlords. While it's true that I sometimes miss WoW, I've learned that what I really miss isn't something that I can get back. Vanilla WoW is gone, and with it left my friends and guildmates. They're not coming back either and it would be silly for me to sit around in Stormwind or some other capital city, pretending to have fun and wishing they would just sign on.

I sometimes wonder if re-naming or putting up a new template would make it easier. Maybe deleting all of my content or simply moving domains and setting up shop in a brand new, spiffy blog that doesn't carry all of the memories from before. I don't want to walk away from this blog, and I'm not sure that I can commit to frequent postings with my job and real life taking up most of my time. I do; however, want to start doing this again. I still play video games and I'll be talking about whatever I'm playing when I play it.

What I've been playing recently:
Dragon Age Inquisition
Farcry 4
The Walking Dead.

While I really want to start talking about Dragon Age, I do think it's a little bit to early to start spouting spoilers but, once I start my play through Nightmare mode next week, I will be spoiling and cursing. So, I just want to get that warning out there.

Also, I'm looking for a new mouse and keyboard and would really appreciate some suggestions.

Happy to be back,


Sunday 10 August 2014


Hello all,

After much deliberation, I've decided to reposition this site. Unfortunately, one cannot be a WoW blogger who does not play WoW. Having canceled my subscription more than a year ago, I think it's safe to say that I am not returning to WoW. Obviously, the phrase "Never say Never" applies, but at least for the foreseeable future, I will not be among the denizens of Azeroth.

This is not to say that I'm done with games. I am absolutely still gaming, and I'd like to focus more on what I am doing now, than what I was doing in the past. My time in Warcraft is something that I will look back on and remember fondly and as such my original content and links will remain intact, the main difference will be what I'm posting about. I want to talk about the games that interest me and that I play now.

This alteration will likely come with a new look, and maybe a new name, all to be finalized within a few weeks.

Friday 21 March 2014

Multi-player is not my enemy

It's taken me a long time to come to this conclusion.

When I first left WoW, it was because I couldn't stand to immerse myself in a world that reminded me of Cy. In the beginning it was because I couldn't bring myself to see him online on my real-id, not because he would talk to me - he wouldn't we were stuck in our lease and I was too stubborn to move out so if he wanted to talk to me all he had to do was approach me in the living room, but more because I couldn't yet bring myself to purge him from my life and therefore my list. In the following weeks I continued to stay offline because I could no longer force myself to play with other people. His endless criticism of my caliber as a player had become a nagging voice in my head, telling me that I wasn't good enough to play with other people.

The mere thought of entering dungeons or playing with other players caused me a great deal of anxiety. So, I simply avoided it.

I became a staunchly single player gamer.

I played the crap out of Assassin's creed 4, but did not platinum because I couldn't bring myself to play one round of multi-player, much less play enough to earn trophies.

I even played Payday 2 offline, because it was more fun for me to get mad at the AI than it was to potentially screw up someones heist.

So, when I started playing Diablo 3 again, I was firmly set on playing alone.

Let me just interject here and say that when J told me about the new patch several months ago, I was less than stocked. "How can they make a game that was brutally so un-fun, fun?" I asked. He doesn't play Blizzard games, so he couldn't tell me whether the patch had fixed the anti-fun that was Diablo 3. "Just try it" he said. Now, something like 2 or 3 months later, I finally did and I'm glad I gave it another chance.

I love the dynamic difficulty of the monsters. It's a way better system than tying the monster level to the difficulty setting and the quest you're on.


So, I downloaded the patch and logged on to my Demon Hunter, who was at the time level 55. I played on Normal for a little while, and eventually made my way up to Master difficulty after the former three difficulties proved to be too easy. Eventually, I thought for a lark just to try a public game.

It's been great. Everyone that I've partied with have been nice to me - or at least very quiet. Unlike WoW, Diablo was made to faceroll so I haven't had to deal with any co-ordination which was half of my problem (I was very much volentold to do a lot of mechanics and fill roles that I was absolutely not comfortable doing) but I'm finding it to be a positive, and frankly fun experience.

I've noticed the drops are a lot better. I've gotten a ton of legendaries, my favourite being "Pig Sticker" due to the random squeal noises that it makes.

In short, I'm rediscovering multi-player as a fun, and positive alternative to single player.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

So... it's been a year.

It's been nearly a year since I signed in here and honestly, pretty much that long since I canceled my WoW subscription too. In retrospect, I wish I had posted a farewell or provided some notice that I would no longer be updating frequently, or as it turned out, at all.

I can't say that I've missed WoW all that much, the game as I knew it has been over for a long time and none of the friends that I played with originally still play save one, my father. That's not to say that the new friends I made along the way were lesser than the originals though they were fewer in number. Eventually, I went from playing with guildies\friends every night to being more of a loner and you don't get very far in MMO's as a loner. My home realm population dwindled and with the introduction of guild levels the small family guilds with tight knit raid teams that I loved became a thing of the past.

Over the years I've been in a number of raiding guilds with varied success - to me it was more about enjoying the people I played with rather than the internet points and imaginary prestige. At some point, I lost sight of that goal and got into some hardcore raiding with a boy I was seeing in real life.

Ultimately, it was the dissolution of that relationship that also ended my love affair with WoW. He sucked the fun out of my game and broke me down from a confident young woman who loved playing the game with other people and turned me into an anxious girl who didn't want to queue for raid finder out of fear of screwing things up.

It's been nearly a year since he broke me, and while my real life bounced back quickly, with the help of some of the best friends I have ever had, one of whom introduced me to a man who builds me up and has made me the happiest I have ever been, my online presence has never bounced back. I'm not really sure why that is, I suspect it has something to do with deeply my ex permeated my online life, but lately I've been missing this blog and while I'm not sure I'll ever go back to WoW I miss the friends I made here and on other blogs.

I make no promises, I don't know what I want this blog to be about if not solely about WoW. I still game just generally not online. Mostly, I wanted to put this out there - I've missed you and I'm thinking about getting back into this, whatever it is.

In the meantime I would like to try Hearthstone, so we'll see where that takes me.

Monday 25 March 2013

Disappearing Act

I know, recycled screenshot is bad. Tough.

I just wanted to pop in briefly and acknowledge that I have not been around for the last little bit. Everything is ok, well it's all getting back to ok. School has been ferocious lately and I fear it will be worse in the coming weeks.

Fear not, my regular nonsense will return, when I get a spare moment (read: Easter Weekend)

Thursday 14 March 2013

Raiders on Reserve

Could not find a picture from my raiding days... borrowed one of Cy's

This started as a response to Navimie's post "When both sides of the story are right" and sort of took on a life of its own, so rather than clutter up her post with all of my opinions and experiences I decided to move it in here.

 To begin, I want to first let you know where I'm coming from. I am not a raid leader. I am not a guild leader. I am not actively involved in a guild at present. My opinions and experiences are not from a leadership perspective: I have never been a raid leader. I have never actively made these decisions and I do not envy those in a position to implement them. What I am is a former raider in a number of different guilds enough to consider myself fairly well educated on the impact that these types of decisions can have on the average raider and the effect they can have on a guild. My experiences are all from the view of someone who observed the implementation of these guild policies and had little no no say in the decision to implement them in the first place.

Through my raiding years I've run with many different raid leaders and guild groups and it's been my experience that they all have their own way of solving the overcrowding issue. While there is no "right" way to deal with it, there are ways which are "less wrong" than others and ultimately the measure of the solution is whether your raiders feel it is a fair solution and leaves the least amount of hurt feelings.

When you have a fair amount of players sitting standby, but not enough to justify increasing your single 10 man raid to 25 man perhaps the most desirable, or obvious option would be to set up a second raid team. Then you can get everyone currently sitting out raiding and no-one would have to be cut from the guild roster. In a perfect scenario you would then have 20 people all of whom show up regularly, and are participating in the raid content that they want to be in. The problem is that the ideal scenario never works out exactly the way you imagined.

Having been recruited to fill out the secondary teams for several guilds the problem I most often run into is that people consider the casual or second group to be a stepping stone or, for recruits, an interview before getting bumped up to a spot in the primary group. I've always found this problem in progression driven guilds who have two groups that are running progression content in which one group is doing significantly better than the other and as a result, a spot in one group becomes more desirable for progression minded players and breeds discontent among members who feel they deserve to be among the better performing team and ultimately results in a high turnover rate for the second group which causes its performance to suffer further. I feel like there are two ways to avoid this:
  •  Having two raid groups with a sense of loyalty and unity among group members. If you have a secondary group of people who all get along, and want to raid together, perhaps with a healthy dose of competition between the two raid groups - with members trying to do better than the other group, rather than trying to get into the other group. I had one guild in particular where a guild officer and raid member had a change in his schedule so he could no longer run with the guild raid team. So, rather than leave the guild he requested that he be allowed to lead his own raid team that would run at different times so that he could continue to raid. I ran with them for several months and he was an excellent raid leader, who put the due care into recruiting a raid team that would work well together. Each week we had a friendly competition with the original raid group, trying to do better than them and in the end it made our team that much better.
  •  Have two raid groups with two different functions. One raid group is for progression oriented players. One group is for causal raiders. Each group recruits independently for the type of raider they were designed for and the casual group is never used as an audition for the progression centered group.

Clearly, 25 man raiding or splitting into two 10 man groups are not for every guild. Many guilds then need to implement a way to place people on reserve without causing friction between raid members and every guild leader and raid leader has their own way that they sit people out and not all methods are created equal.

It's hard to decide who sits out in a fair manner, and even then it's easy to read into being sat out.  Some of the methods I've experienced are:
  •   Performance based rotation -  Toward the end of Wrath I was recruited into a guild that I had been casually running with. They were frequently short a healer and Cy was part of their main raid group so I was frequently drafted in to help pick up the slack. After several weeks of being called in the guild leader asked me what I thought of joining permanently and after I thought about it for a while, ultimately I joined on full time. We didn't start putting people on reserve until Cataclysm when the original raiders that members like myself had been recruited to replace came back to the game and expected their place in raid was guaranteed. As we entered the Cataclysm raiding scene it became evident that people would have to sit out and the raid leader proposed a rotation. His idea was that the first people to show up to raid get a raid spot and if someone was not performing they would be rotated out and a reserve brought in. I feel like singling people out in raid is not ok, and being rotated out of raid because you're not doing well enough is the ultimate form of that, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
  •  Favouritism - In Cataclysm I was recruited into another guild that was looking for casual raiders by the guild leader, not the raid leader.  As it turned out there were a number of other priests in the guild with seniority over me and after several successful weeks of raiding some of them started signing up for raids and suddenly I was passed over every week despite being one of the top performers. The reasons why I was always placed on reserve were never formally discussed but it felt like they were choosing old friends over fairness.
  •  Volunteer reserves - I've seen this work really well and really poorly. It is a great way for a regular raider to "take a day off"; however, often the same people continually volunteer to sit out.

What I think is ideal:
  • Scheduled rotation - Everyone who wants to raid gets to raid equally initially, and attendance is rewarded because raid members who show up every week will get to fill in for members not in attendance.

Like I mentioned, every guild has a way that they handle placing raiders on reserve and they work on an individual level - not every method is for every guild. Ultimately the method you employ should be based on the raiders in your guild and what works for you.

TL; DR Dealing with placing raid members on reserve is hard and the method for dealing with it that works is something that each guild needs to deal with on an individual level. Also, I've been in some pretty lame guilds.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

20 Days of WoW Blogging - Day 11

Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws

I can think of lots of these, so I've narrowed it down to my top 5 bad habits/flaws:

1. Procrastination - Why should I do something now, when I can do it later? I am horrible for putting things off and then rushing to finish them at the last minute, or rationalizing not doing them at all. I tend to do things when I feel like doing them, rather than when I should be doing them hence why I have never been able to stick to a proper exercise regimen because and why I have yet to finish a single reputation that requires dailies.

2. Keyboard movement - I'm primarily a healer. I use clique and grid so that I can "click to heal" and because of that I have trained myself that my mouse hand is for spells which leaves my left hand, the one on my keyboard, for movement. 90% of the time this is not a problem and when it comes down to it if I need to make a quick turn and run away I drop my healing and run away (Sindragosa's Blistering Cold comes to mind). I'm not sure if that on its own makes me a bad player, but it does make me a bad dps because I have had a lot of difficulty breaking my healer habits and learning to use my keyboard and key-bindings for dps and mouse for movement.

3. Defensive - I'm not good at taking criticism. Instead of taking things in stride, I get defensive. There's a right way to give me advice and a wrong way and a thin line in between them. Often, it ends with me walking away from conversations that get too confrontational. Ultimately it's played a part in me abandoning dungeons and quitting raid teams. Sometimes it's not about who's right and who's wrong. With me it's often about knowing when to drop something and letting me learn to do things on my own. For example: I have a "friend" who refuses to accept any opinion other than his own as having even a little bit of merit. This results in him pressing the issue with me when we have differing opinions and with me getting frustrated, and defensive and ultimately walking away from the conversation.

4. Competitive - I love recount. I love it. More than that, I love to have my name at the top. Sometimes this gets in the way of being a responsible, mana managing, good healer.

5. Obsessive compulsive - I like things done a certain way and some trivial little things left out of place bother me. Little things like leaving the bathroom light or a coffee cup on the table bother me. I have a particular way that I fold laundry. In WoW this manifests itself when people break etiquette or do fights in a new different way.