Archive for the ‘Blogging’ category

Wrapping up Cataclysm

September 22, 2012

Not long now!

I’ve procrastinated tons and now I’m stuck with a long long to-do list:

- Collect 24 dailies to turn in
– Tune up my ret gear to make leveling faster
– Pre-order MoP
– Install MoP on my desktop and laptop
– Fix my laptop’s WoW UI

I think the only thing I’ve done so far is prepare enough food for me to not have to cook at all next week. (Why am I not surprised that food was my top priority?)

How do you measure an expansion?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

-“Seasons of Love” Rent

So many bloggers do their expansion recaps and it’s interesting to see who uses what as their expansion milestones. Some measure their expansions in class changes, some in game changes, some in tiers.

Me, when I think back on Cataclysm, the first thing that comes to mind is my guild chronology. I suppose then, that I follow the song and measure my expansion in love. Erm.

The Beginning of Cataclysm

Shortly before Cataclysm, the GM of my guild at the time asked me: “What are your plans? Are you staying with us? Will you still be playing your pally?”

I told him his questions were silly. I’d been happy in that guild for over a year. There’s no way I expected my feelings to turn very sour, very fast.

But they did, for a list of reasons too long for me to write out. So long, in fact, that I’m pretty sure I don’t even know all the whys to my change of heart.

I left, was devastated, held my ground, tried not to make an ass of myself (I slipped a few times), licked my wounds, checked out different raiding styles, got to know my inner-raider better, moved on, became a more grown up person.

More or less in that order.

I made up a lot of excuses for my not throwing much of a hissy fit. Mostly noble bullshit like how “I’m not like that” and “I’m going to be the bigger person” and “I learned my lesson last time”.

Yeah, that’s right! Bullshit!

The main reason I restricted my hard feelings to private conversations and comments on other blogs was because I didn’t want to burn my bridges.

Yep. Just in case I could be “just friends” with my ex guildies later on. It’s been a good plan so far. Since leaving the guild I’ve had good times with them at Blizzcon, in PuGs and occasional real life meetups. I’m proud to say I have the best ex-guildies in the world. So yeah, my advice to anyone grieving after a /gquit: never ruin the potential for perfectly good friendships down the road.

Those friendships might be a worth a lot more than your passing frustrations.

What else happened the beginning?

I remember there being a lot of bosses in three (four?) different dungeons. I liked that. On the progression race, having a lot of bosses clearly favoured guilds who raid more hours, but on the “I get bored of the same thing real fast” race, it was very satisfying. We didn’t have to start with the same boss every raid, or even the same dungeon. I like variety and I was served.

I remember the heroic 5s instances being a bit more challenging than we were used to. I liked that too. I didn’t find them particularly hard, even in PuGs, (maybe us holy pallies were just OP at the time), but they did force me to use all my spells, my teamwork skills and my favorite muscle, my brain.

Speaking of pallies and spells, the beginning of Cataclysm brought us Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. Stirred us up a bit, after single-target healing for so long. I found we were still the most ideal single-target healers, but at least the addition of multi-target heals gave us the opportunity to take single-target healing vacations and try something new.

Then the middle of Cataclysm

I gave casual raiding a whirl. At the same time, I gave 10s raiding a try. Not that 10s are necessarily casual (apparently you get things thrown at your face, even through the computer screen, when you say offensive, sizist things like 10s = casual), this just happened to be a more laid back group who also did smaller sized raids.

My teammates were tons of fun (I do mean to crash their Mumble parties sometime in the near future!) but I learned pretty quickly that casual raiding is not for me. When I do something, I do it all the way. And while my pathological attachments to guilds may lead to believe otherwise, I’m not really a social person. Raid time is for raiding. Not telling stories, not waiting for people to log on, not reforging gear (unless there’s a strat change) and certainly not for going to the bathroom. I raided with them for about a year, but after some soul searching and a few entertaining (for everyone else) yelling matches between me and the main tank, I decided to be “just friends” with that guild too and move on to a more compatible team.

This is a good place to plug thoughts on 10s and 25s

Opinions on 10s vs 25s and on “the death of 25s raiding” never cease to be shared.

To me, it’s a personal thing. I’m a 25s raider. I like the occasional 10s as a side-raid to get to know my guildies (and more importantly, to get to know what my guildies are like when they’re drunk), but my little raider heart needs the beat of 24 teammates. I gave 10s a fair shot with Team Sport, but I missed having a large healing team, I missed being a single link in the chain, I missed the complex strategizing, I missed the large-scale wack-a-mole of 25s healing.

It’s not about what’s “harder” (I’ve found difficulty to depend more on who my teammates are rather than on my number of teammates), though I did wish 10s and 25s were treated like separate entities within the game. After all, the style of raiding is so different.

On those epeen sites, you can see the decline of number of 25s guilds. On recruitment forums, you can, however, see that there are plenty of 25s guilds. More guilds, in fact, then actual raiders. 25s raiding is not dead. Yet. Maybe one day Blizzard will decide that having a 25s tuning isn’t cost effective. I’ll totally understand and not be angry. However, I suspect that I’ll also stop playing WoW on that day.

What else happened in the Middle?

Heroic Ragnaros was a badass and gave lots of players nervous breakdowns. But not me. I was in a normal mode guild when the content was relevant. And when it stopped being relevant, I couldn’t really find the motivation to do extra hours when I could be doing so much fun stuff IRL.

There was a lot of questioning as to why Heroic Ragnaros was so much harder than final boss Heroic Madness. I question this questioning. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Heroic Madness is accessible to any somewhat disciplined raid team. Thus, for the first time, many, many players were able to end their expansion with a satisfying “I killed the last boss! On Heroic!”. And customer satisfaction is an important goal for a business, no?

I think it was a smart strategy to make the bragging rights boss (HRaggy) different than the satisfaction boss (HMaddy).

Also in Firelands, there was a lot of anger (and in my case, annoyance) when Blizzard decided to nerf Fireland by 20% in one go. I didn’t understand that one. The nerfs were supposed to accomodate guilds like the one I was in: normal mode with a slow and steady progression. Thing was, we were progressing just fine. We weren’t sick of the instance yet, we had to work for our kills but we weren’t discouraged either. Then Blizzard came in, yanked out the carpet, took away the discipline requirements for the bosses. We didn’t progress much faster after the nerfs, really. Once you take away the discipline requirements for a normal mode guild, you take away the discipline. Instead of killing bosses faster, we just goofed off more.

In the End of Cataclysm

When I left Team Sport, I went guild shopping which was scary and hard work. (I do have a post about it, but I never got around to finishing it. Post writing is also hard work.)

I did, in the end, find myself a home. I love my raidmates, I love the leadership, I love the raiding, I love my healing team, I love my fellow holy pally. They do tend to raid a tad early (I spend the beginning of my raids changing out of my work pants, stuffing my mouth full of food and trying to not to autorun into mobs), but otherwise I’m very happy.

I hope MoP does not have the same effect Cataclysm did.

ps. Important! If you are guild shopping and suspect your raiding interests to be similar to mine, I encourage you to check us out at http://www.occasional-excellence.com/ We still have a couple of open spots for MoP!

What else is at the End of Cataclysm?

Dragon Soul brought us LFR. I liked LFR. Early on, spending an extra night running it was tough, but I did like having it available if I missed a raid. It also made gearing up for my guild change much easier.

While, yes, the fights were stupidly easy and your LFRmates stupidly…stupid, I really didn’t mind LFR and I was glad to have that opportunity.

Dragon Soul wasn’t a well loved instance, and I do agree it lacked the epicness of Karahzhan, Ulduar and even Icecrown Citadel or the creativity of Zul’Aman (the original) and Black Temple. I didn’t hate it, though. I don’t think it would be my first pick for a final dungeon, but it had a few good moments. Notably the gamergasms Ultraxion’s Blue Crystal gave me time and time again, until Ultraxion started dying before the crystal came out (damn Ultraxion that minute-man!).

Of Blogging and Podcasting

I do miss blogging. I miss the excitement of watching my stat page, the amusement from reading search engine terms, the delight of discovering new comments and the satisfaction of publishing a Bossy Pally-approved post. And, most of all, I miss the friendships.

But at the same time, I don’t expect a sudden increase in post count. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the offline world – now that I’m no longer a student I’m finally living the life I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid. Between living it up and working a demanding job, I’m just too tired to be coherent. It’s a good thing, mostly, it just means that the blog will most likely keep its current posting rate and its current reader count of approximately 3.

I feel like I’ve grown away from the community too. I still subscribe to a lot of blogs, but it seems that everything I read triggers one of 3 reactions:

1) I’m not interested
2) I’m interested and I’m thinking about it, but I don’t have the energy to write a response
3) I want to throttle the writer and scream at them: “OMG HAVE YOU EVER EVEN LEFT YOUR HOUSE BEFORE!?!?”

I suppose that’s how life goes. You grow closer to some groups and away from others. I do plan to keep the blog somewhat alive, I’m not deleting the personal blog either (it may even get some extra attention in a couple of months when my big big big project/dream comes closer to fruition) and I’ve told Oestrus that I’m not against recording the odd episode of the Double O Podcast.

I think a post-MoP grind episode might be a good follow up to our pre-MoP episode. And who knows, maybe a reader/listener will suggest a topic they’d like to us discuss and we’ll be overcome with inspiration… It could happen!

Looking for me? Or really looking for Holy Paladin MoP info?

August 2, 2012

You may think that I have run off to the mountains to do shitty stunts like, I dunno, a 22km hike in the pouring rain and spending the next 48 hours trying to get my body temperature back up. And then go climb another mountain 2 days later.

And take horseback riding lessons for 2 hours. And jump headfirst into Bikram Yoga again.

You may be right.

(My poor knee is so mad at me right now. It confined me to my living room, where the lack of physical exertion is slow causing me to lose my mind. If it doesn’t hurry up and heal, I suspect the search and rescue party will find me in my apartment all rabid and drooling like a crazed caged animal.)

It’s all because of things like this:

I mean, really, how can you resist that?

But! I haven’t been totally absent.

Summer Podcast Funsies!

While Oestrus and I wrapped up the Double O Podcast, you can still hear my delicious (and by delicious, I mean, squeaky and off-key) voice at a few places.

I guested on the 5 WoW Things podcast back in June.

It was a blast. I remember how nervous I got before podcasts a few years ago. I still get nervous, but instead of the old “OMG I AM GOING TO DIE FROM NERVES“, I get a feeling of “OMG I CANNOT CONTAIN THIS EXCITEMENT!” Now, while I was probably the pottiest mouth to ever get through pharmacy school, compared to most of the world, I am an extremely polite, mild mannered lady. Which makes me sound a little weird on rowdier podcasts. But I love it. When I manage to throw off the shackles of a lifetime of high pressure, I have so much fun. BGO and Jan wasted no time with the unshackling and I think the end result was pretty good. And by pretty good, I mean most excellent.

Then O and I were guests on the Grand Old Podcast in July.

I am thrilled with Sayomara’s executive decision to put my name first in the title. I don’t get to have my name first in titles very often, so I just had to point it out.

For those of you who frequently scold me for not talking enough when O and I record together, I think you will be happy with my performance. Sayomara was an absolutely brilliant host, asking all the right questions to bring out the differences in O’s and my personalities and spark some heated discussions. A lot of the topics that came up stayed in my head for days, and will probably find themselves into blog posts, should I ever come down from the mountains long enough to write regularly again. It made for a fantastic and enjoyable (in my not-so-humble opinion) show, and if you’re curious at all as to what an in-depth confrontation between an extrovert (Oestrus) blogger and an introvert (myself) blogger sounds like, you will be most satisfied.

And the future in all this?

The game is not over, not over at all!

This Saturday, Megacode is hosting a holy paladin roundtable with the most excellent paladins Kurn, JoeEgo and Chase Christian.

Your humble servant will also be there (which means I’ve got about less than 2 days to finish studying for MoP! I’ve been working hard, though, so I think I’ll do ok!) so she can be reminded how wonderful it feels to talk about paladins again. I don’t think we’ll be recording live, but I’ll be sure to post a link once the show is available.

Because many have asked (it blows my mind that anyone cares, but I am definitely flattered), I will be raiding in MoP and I will be playing my holy paladin.

Rykga’s been getting a break over the summer, but within the next few weeks, she’ll be attending training camp for MoP. And by training camp, I mean the Beta, and hopefully some Dragon Soul runs in 5.0.

My interest in WoW had indeed wavered a lot in the spring and I’ve been really enjoying the past few months of indulging in single player games. It’s not WoW’s fault. I’m not a nerdrager, never have been, never will be. It was really a combination of the exhaustion following several years of booking 2 to 5 nights a week off to raids and my real life suddenly becoming extremely enjoyable.

After my guild killed Madness on Heroic and started to talk about expansion plans, I knew I was coming back. But my decision wasn’t based on WoW, but rather on having found a guild I adored. I felt like there was so much more I could experience with these guys and gals and I couldn’t just waste this opportunity.

I think that is good news, but the even better news is that, lately, I’ve been finding myself missing my guildies and raids (most of us have been on hiatus for a couple of weeks). I downloaded the Beta (which took almost a week, stupid thing) and logged in. To my greatest surprise, deep inside me somewhere (gut nerve endings are so vague, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact location of these feelings) I felt some excitement.

I started reading about MoP. I’ve got a few of my own MoP posts in the early drafting stages.

Good times, I think, are on the horizon.

But…I don’t want to wait for new posts, where can I read about MoP and holy paladins NAO?

Elitis Jerks has been oddly quiet about holy paladins, but Plus Heal has a few discussions going.

Ruthra and Megacode have been writing about the Beta for some time. The Crimson Hammer has an interesting post on the interaction of Druid Symbiosis and Paladins.

And if you’re looking for a must-read with some solid stats information, JoeEgo did an excellent writeup on mana and mana regen in MoP.

I’ve been doing my best to keep an eye out for relevant holy pally information for MoP, but I probably miss quite a bit (you silly, shy bloggers and your fear of self promotion!), so feel free to point me where I haven’t looked and I’ll gladly update this post.

Official Maintainance of Blog and Blogroll

June 24, 2012

This was probably due a few months ago, though, really, you could say that about any of my posts.

I toyed around all morning with how I wanted to fix my blog to make it easier to navigate and less orangey on the right. In the end, I decided that it’s probably best to leave it as is for now. Maybe if I wake up one day and start oozing guides all over the place I’ll create a separate page for informative-type posts, but until then, we’ll have to do with orangey. This blog theme isn’t great for extra pages and changing to another theme meant resizing my header and, yeah, totally not worth it.

The orangey side bar got a new section for “Other Games”, just so I had somewhere to stick my Mass Effect ending guide (which, of course, will be outdated this Tuesday). The About page got an addition that I’d been to put in for a year.

I also redid all my categories. Back when I started the blog, I really underestimated how useful categories are. I just made a bunch of random ones, which most of my posts ending up in “General WoW”. But more than 3 years and nearly 250 posts later, I felt the need to offer something to people thinking “I wonder what she’s written about topic x”. Not that anyone really wonders that – my once a month posting schedule has likely bored most of my readers away. But, you know, just in case someone finds the blog through a search engine, happens to want to find more on the topic… A girl can dream.

The Blogroll

I’d been meaning to add Megacode’s Healing Spec for ages! My apologies to him for taking so long! His blog is most excellent, and even now, so close to MoP, he continues to provide solid, useful content, making him one of the very few bloggers, all classes combined, doing so.

We also have a holy paladin blogger who left awhile back, but has returned to us! A warm welcome back to Ruhtra and Holy Shock! He writes on a variety of topics, including holy paladin MoP coverage, which is very appreciated by those us who haven’t dabbled in the beta yet.

In other changes, I added a link to WoW Insider’s paladin category in the “General Paladin” section. I’m not sure why I hadn’t done it before. It only occurred to me as I sadly moved two of my favoritest blogs, Righteous Defense and Haz Mace, Will Raid, to my “Inactive” section that, wait a minute, I could just link all the Paladin goodness happening at WoW Insider. So yes, new link on the Blogroll.

Speaking of links I should have added ages ago, the “Your Enjoyment Guarenteed” section was missing the awesomeness that is Orcish Army Knife. I am happy to say that it is not missing anymore.

The Search for New Blood

I miss the old days of blogging where new pally bloggers would just introduce themselves to me and I could add them to the blogroll. Nowadays it’s like everyone is hiding. Or just doesn’t exist. That makes me sad.

Anyway, if you’re a pally blogger, or know a pally blogger who’s not listed here, let me know, as I would love to link to you. My general criteria require at least one post in the last month, and a couple of months of blogging (just so that I don’t set up a link to a blog that stops existing).

Heeding the Call of the 666s

February 19, 2012

I don’t get tagged in memes often (I was even TOTALLY neglected in the last resurrection of the Circle of Healers questionny thing, over which I STILL cry myself to sleep. I’m a sensitive soul, what can I say?) so I was thrilled when I was tagged by Nymphy and Rivs and Jaedia (<3) in the 666s meme.

The meme was started by our resident trendsetter Gnomeaggedon and is traveling around the blogosphere at an impressive speed (in other words, I’m going to have a rough time tagging people who haven’t already done the meme). In Gnomer’s own words, here are the rules:

Go into your image folder
Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couldn’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
Challenge six new bloggers.
Link to them.

The internet, I think, will be pretty disappointed to hear that I don’t keep WoW pictures in my pictures folder. My screenshots are kind of all tossed together with a bunch of other crap in my normal documents folders. It’s very out of character for me to not have my WoW pictures optimally organized, but yeah. I’m not one of those people who takes pride in my WoW pictures. Screenshots get taken to colourfy the blog, then get buried and abandoned.

So what is the sixth picture of the sixth subfolder hiding in my pictures folder?

Probably not the most exciting picture I’ve ever taken, but, that’s my sixth of the sixth. Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park. I took my girl Cocoa (who was an SPCA resident at the time, but has been recently adopted to a great forever home) up to Jasper and to the Cadomin ghost town, where I had fun taking some pictures of the scenery.

Cocoa, of course, was very interested in getting her picture taken and showing us her pretty face.

Interestingly, when I open my pictures folder directly from WordPress, my subfolders get messed around, so for your visual pleasure: the sixth picture of my other sixth subfolder.

Kind of had a lighting problem there. Also not the best haircut I’ve ever sported.

In the background, Kelowna, British Columbia. Taken during my BC backpacking trip 2 summers ago.

Because I kind of feel bad for cheaping out of the WoW pictures, here are some sixes from folders that may be hiding WoW photos.

Sixth picture in my default WoW screenshot folder:

Aw, good ol’ days of ICC with Conquest. My UI may look cluttered, but to me, it’s pristine.

Sixth picture in the Sixth Game Stuff folder subfolder:

Ok, I lied. Sixth Gaming folder subfolder only has 5 pictures. This fifth photo was taken special for none other than Gnomeaggedon himself, in honour of the Blog Azeroth Secret Santa of 2009.

Sixth picture of the Game Stuff folder:

YESSS Adrianne Curry playing WoW naked! I borrowed that photo some time back to help me write a post about Valentines day 2 years ago, Love is in Singles Appreciation Day.

Time to tag

THERE YOU GO. If you’re still looking at this post after that display of picture folder exhibitionism, you’ll discover that I’ve tagged the following people:

Bravetank, from Bravetank (I’m sure she’s got good stuff stashed away)
Morrighan, from Caer Morrighan (who never posts pictures)
Saunder, from Non-Squishy Heals (because I haven’t been in touch with him for forever)
Saif, from Raiding After Dark (who is far too quiet)
WJRez, from The Epic Chef’s Hat (my first regular commenter whom I haven’t talked to in awhile)
Either Matt or Dan (whichever one of the two is the most fun) at Nerf-Herders (yay for cross game meme-ing!)

Paladins on YouTube

January 10, 2012

A bit over a week ago, I got an email from Freckles, a Holy Paladin who’d recently made a how-to video on healing Heroic Morchok.

The email was immediately followed by this reaction on my behalf: “OMG! THERE ARE PALADINS ON YOUTUBE!!!”

That reaction was shortly followed by me reacting to my reaction: “Well, duh! Of course there are paladins on YouTube. You can find anything on YouTube, even paladins.”

I guess it kind of goes to show how little I watch videos. It’s funny to say that videos don’t do much for me because I’m visual, but that’s how it is. I need to see words to understand them, and most videos don’t have subtitles. I do all my research via written text. So I’m completely out of the loop when it comes to the WoW YouTube scene.

Which is a shame because there are some fantastic resources (like Freckles’ video) out there, and there are a lot of players who really benefit from videos, and I, who tries to be the Librarian of Paladin Content, haven’t shared them.

It’s time to remedy that.

I added Freckles’ YouTube page Channel to my blogroll.

I did a search through YouTube to find more Paladin videos, but YouTube is so huge that it’s hard to find relevant videos amidst everything else. I wasn’t kidding when I said you could find anything on YouTube.

Some recently updated pages I found were:

Hellseth’s Channel has 2 Holy Paladin guides for 4.3
CrAcK123Cr’s Channel has some videos on Leveling a Human Holy Paladin
PalawinFC’s Channel has some Heroic 10m Videos from a Paladin’s perspective
RXthames has quite a few videos about PvP and tanking
mehie’s Channel has a lot of helpful videos on a variety of topics, among which you can find a number of Paladin-themed videos.

Note that I can’t necessarily attest to the quality of all the channels I listed, but there are paladins out there in the YouTube world, and some of them may be entertaining, informative or all of the above. If you’ve got some paladin channels you’d like to share, let me know and I’ll be happy to update the blogroll to include our cinematographic cousins.

The Quintessential New Years Post

January 1, 2012

I actually had to look “quintessential” up since I didn’t know it’s exact meaning. My use of it is misleading since I’m not writing a list specific resolutions, thus making this post not a quintessential New Years post. But it’s such a fun word that I refuse to change it. This is my blog and I can name my posts whatever I want. So there.

I hope everyone welcomed in the New Year is a good way. (And yes, I consider sleeping to be a good way!)

I found that while Christmas Eve made me miss my family (my parents are building their new house and don’t have a phone or stable internet yet so I couldn’t talk to them), New Year’s Eve made me miss my hometown.

Generally I appreciate my quiet, hardworking new compatriots (being a quiet, sortof hardworking person, I fit right in), but for one night, I missed the rowdy, overly affectionate way we highlight the changing of years. Americans talk about kissing someone for New Years. I think this is the first time in my adult life (with the exception of the New Years I spent in California with Clockwork Bard, where we cooked all day and ended up spending New Years half passed out on the couch, watching Serenity) where I don’t lock lips with what feels like half of Québec city. But it was nice to meet some other young people in town, I had a blast chasing the kids around the house, and OMG I’m hooked on Dance Central. I’m heading to WalMart like RIGHT NOW to buy an XBox Kinect.

I wasn’t going to do a New Years post, but after reading everyone elses, I feel like I have things to say.

Of Resolutions and stuff

I don’t do resolutions because when I decide to make a change, I just do. I don’t wait until a special occasion. Last year was an exception – as I was thinking about 2010, I reflected on how much blogging (aka learning to really write) has had a positive impact on my life. Speaking is extremely difficult for me so I need to rely on writing to get by. Blogging helped me develop writing skills and throughout that year, those skills opened a lot of doors for me. I was suddenly angry that not everyone receives that opportunity: there are tons of Canadians who are illiterate. So I resolved to become involved in literacy.

Which I didn’t do.

The closest I came was writing a 3 part FAQ on blogging (part 1, part 2, part 3).

But maybe this year I will. My town does have a literacy program. It focuses on English Second Language, not on primary literacy, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

2011 in Blogging

My most read post in 2011 was actually written in 2010 so it doesn’t count. It was that post on Holy Paladin reforging. It’s so terribly outdated too. I cringe whenever I see the hits come in from search engines.

Otherwise, 2011 was pretty quiet on the blog. My real life was hectic with clerkships, graduation, Pharmacy Board Licensing exams, moving across the country, my parents selling the house I grew up in and building my new career (made especially difficult by the fact that the store I was sent to was in terrible, terrible condition when I got there). Blogging obviously took the hit, with real life holding my interest far more than my virtual one.

I don’t believe I did any real comedy posts. I miss writing funny posts (I’m very proud of WoW on the First Date), but I’m:

1)just too tired to look at the world in an amusing way
2)too comfortable in the blogging world to feel the need to rely on jokes.

Let me take a nap, then pull the rug out from under me. Should make me spill comedy posts all over the place.

Anyway, my favorite posts of 2011:

WoW and The Social Contract

This post completely summarizes my attitude toward guilds and playing with guildies vs playing with strangers. Accept the Social Contract in your guild life, accept that PuGs are very close to a state of nature (there is a social contract in PuGs, but it’s very temporary and very shallow), and your WoW life will be way less stressful.

How to Keep Shyness from Ruining Your Game

I usually write about social phobia in a comical way because I believe that my eccentricities should be used positively. And thus I clumsily attempt to turn them into an art form for the enjoyment of all.

I get annoyed at the social premise that shyness is bad and should be eradicated at all costs. Obviously, a crippling mental illness that prevents you from enjoying the things you’d like to enjoy in life is bad. And social phobia/anxiety is that horrible mental illness.

But there are ways to work around shyness to get what you want out of life without changing who you are as a person. It’s totally possible to live a satisfying life (and play multiplayer games…we’re still talking about WoW, right?) and love yourself while being a shy person.

When I started ignoring those who want to turn me into a social butterfly, I came to like being shy. Being shy forces me to think more, it forces me to appreciate the people in my life more, it makes me appear to be a gentler, calmer, more sensitive person, it teaches me empathy, it prevents me from acting impulsively, and it inspires me creatively.

So yeah, social phobia = bad, but shyness = neutral personality trait with a shitton of upsides.

Don’t let shyness ruin your game.

The 5 Traits I Want in a Leader

This post was so much fun (and so therapeutic) to write. The grievances I hold against my past guilds (all woopin’ two of them) are all leadership-related. So I thought about the WoW leaders I enjoyed working with, and what about them made me tick.

It’s a personal post. Different people appreciate different leadership styles. That post was me, reflecting on which style makes me happiest.

Onto 2012

I make no promises. I have lots of blogging ideas for both this blog as well as the Giant Spoon without the Pally one, but so little energy. I’d like to write lots of funny posts. I’d like to share more travel stories. I’d like to talk about paladins more. But “like to” is not a promise. I do what I can do, and accept what I cannot do.

I hope to play more different games. I hope to play different games with the guildies that I’m about to leave.

I’ve always been the type of person who plays the shit out of a game, them moves onto another game with shit that needs to be played out of it. It’s impossible to play the shit out of WoW, so I haven’t played many other games. And I’ll say that it’s kind of embarrassing, when asked about my gaming, to say that I haven’t played much other than WoW in years.

I’m not done with WoW and you’ll probably see me around in each expansion to come. But maybe hell will freeze over and I’ll have a year where my real life is stable (stability bores me, but maybe gaming will help), maybe I’ll expand my gaming horizons a teensy bit.

And with that,

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Love is in the Paladins: Updating the Blogroll

December 16, 2011

The ol’ blogroll was due for a good scrubbing.

I did the sad task of deleting all the blogs that hadn’t been updated for a bit over a month, then took on the daunting mission of finding the new and promising paladin blogs waiting to be discovered.

I swear that finding new pally blogs gets harder and harder. I do come across exciting new blogs…only to have them die before they’ve been around long enough to link to.

Don't DIE! (Note: No paladins were injured in this screenshot. Character is not a paladin.)

And it seems that new bloggers are getting shyer about advertising themselves.

New pally bloggers, I beg of you, stop making my blogroll task so difficult dammit. I want to find you, so quit it with the hiding!

The Goodbyes

I was pretty merciless in my pruning. Whether they were friends, or bloggers I didn’t know too well, I hit the “delete” button for when I noticed that their last post was over a month ago.

The one blog that did make me do a double take was Paladin Shmaladin. Notice I didn’t link to it? I had noticed their lack of posts, but I wasn’t expecting to find a “page does not exist” when checking the blog.

I never liked Ferraro (oh yes, I am totally mean girls!). The content was often questionable, and, mostly, the writing style had always been a little…off… To the point that when it was revealed that the writer(s) behind Paladin Shmaladin had been stealing someone elses identity, I couldn’t understand why anyone was surprised.

But, in all fairness, Paladin Shmaladin had some excellent moments.

I have to give at least some respect to the person who posted the rotations of every spec of every dps class using game icons, to prove that ret paladins weren’t the most faceroll class out there. I can’t imagine how many hours that took. The guides, while usually not very accurate, were still the best illustrated and easiest to read in the blogosphere. And, most of all, Paladin Shmaladin provided us with the most fascinating blog drama I’ve ever witnessed in the WoW community.

So in thanks for the countless hours of entertainment, I give a goodbye salute to Ferraro and Paladin Shmaladin.

Welcoming the new general paladin bloggers

In the general paladining category, you can now find a link Ask Mr Robot. Mr Robot isn’t paladin exclusive, and I’ve yet to really use the resource myself, but it comes highly recommended as a starting point reference. New to your class and want a basic idea of how to build it before giving yourself a headache deciphering Elitist Jerks? Ask our friend Mr Robot.

I also added Miri’s blog Guarded by the Light. I’m actually not sure why it wasn’t already there… She was our pally tank rep on The Double O Podcast’s Tanking Roundtable, and is fluent in both Protection and Holy. She writes about general WoW topics as well, making her an excellent addition to any feedreader, paladin centric or not.

Welcoming the new Holy bloggers

As usual, Holy is the most active link list. I’m not sure if I just stumble across Holy blogs more than Ret or Prot blogs because I’m Holy, or if it’s just that us healer-types are chattier.

I added the podcast My Epic Heals. It’s not paladin centric, but Eade is a paladin (his blog, My Pally Heals, used to be on my blogroll, but I had to take it off for inactivity. Don’t panic though, the podcast is still going strong!), and they are healing-centric.

We’ve also got Amowrath joining our ranks with The Light’s Wrath. Out of all the holy bloggers who’ve opened shop since my last update, Amowrath is one of the two that are still among us. Head over to his page, give him some love, and convince him to stick around!

The other holy paladin blogger is Dreamy from Drunkard’s Regalia. Her style is completely unique, and, in my opinion, a refreshing change from the many more formal blogs out there. She’s fun, bouncy, and a tad gory. If you’re looking to add some spice to your blog reading, Drunkard’s Regalia is a good place to start.

Oh, and I fixed the link to the Paladin forum at Plus Heal. You can now use it again!

Welcoming our new Retribution brother

We have a new retribution blogger! And a good one at that! Chronicles of a Casual (and don’t let the name fool you, he is a raider, a dps paladin, and informative) fills in a huge gap in the paladin community by writing, with a teachy approach, about his adventures as a ret pally, both in raids and with the target dummy. Considering that I’ve slowly been learning retribution as an offspec myself, I’ve been following his blog in earnest, excited to see what he’ll show me next.

I added a link to Rel Pal too, a great resource for beginner Ret pallies (like me!) as well as more intermediate ret pallies.

Welcoming our new Protection sister

Bravetank is, well, bravely, leveling a tank through Azeroth’s deep dark dungeons. She shares her observations, be they about tanking or about the people she meets or about the general game in frequent, juicy, meaty posts. If you’re leveling a tank too and want some chicken soup for your soul, or if you just like to read solid blog posts, you’ll love Bravetank.

And non-Paladin links!

I don’t usually do a lot of maintenance on the non-pally blogs. Deciding which ones I’m going to link is always frustrating. My paladin blogroll is already quite long and if I added all the blogs I read, we’d have the list that never ends (yes, it goes on and on my friend). I aim for active blogs on general topics and/or blogs of more personal friends (because, yes, it’s my blog and if I want to play favorites, I’m totally allowed).

So I added Clockwork Bard. If you’re a long time WoW blog reader, you might recognize the writing style of More Bars Than You‘s Skip Cocoa. He’s a close irl friend of mine, and more importantly, a fantastic writer with an endless imagination. And thus Clockword Bard appeared on the blogroll.

The other blog I added is Healer by Nature by my guildy, raid leader and friend (I hope!) Thespius. Normally I’d require a tad more frequent posting for a blogroll listing, but because Thes is awesome, he gets to be an exception.

Know other Pally blogs that I need to list?

As mentioned in my intro, I’m totally open to shameless self promotion. Us pallies need to stick together and the only way we can do that is if we know each other.

As long as a blog is written in a paladin perspective, has been alive for a couple of months and has been active in the past month, there is a spot on my roll for it.

By the Light!

Blog Azeroth 2011 Furtive Father Winter

December 4, 2011

It’s stupidly cold outside. I frostbit my fingers digging my car out of a snowbank otherwise knows as my parking lot. It’s dark all the time. I wake up in cold sweats every night, after having nightmares about semester finals of Decembers past.

But it’s ok. It’s all ok.

Because all these things mean that it’s just about that time of year! That time of year, oh yeah, for this year’s edition of Blog Azeroth‘s Christmas event!

You may remember the exciting exchanges from last year’s 2010 Secret Santa and all the laughs we had with 2009’s Kris Kringle.

And this year, Blog Azeroth is back with the Furtive Father Winter 2011.

For those of you unfamiliar with the theme, it’s quite simple:

1- Sign up
2- Receive the name of a fellow blogger.
3- Creep Secretly learn a bit about your fellow blogger
4- SECRETLY write a guest post for your fellow blogger and email it to them.
5- Receive a surprise guest post in your email.
6- Post your received post on your blog.

Easy!

It’s a great way to get to know other bloggers and draw some attention to your own work, while celebrating the season.

Ok, you say, I totally want in this, but how? How can I sign up for such awesomeness?

Again, easy!

Get the attention of your hostess for this year, Akabeko through one of these methods:

- Send her an email using this form
– Send her a tweet
– Leave her a comment in her announcement post.
– Drop by the thread at Blog Azeroth and leave a post with your interest.

The deadline for signing up is December 15, but don’t wait that long. Sign up NOW!

Blogging FAQ, Part 3: Building a community

March 3, 2011

Welcome to part 3, the final (yay!) part of my compiling and know-it-all-ingly answering of some really common WoW blogging questions.

If you can’t find your question here, check out part 1 and part 2 for the earlier installments of this scarily long WoW blogging FAQ.

Questions on how to get comments and how to build a good relationship with readers are those that seem to come up the most (since, for most of us, interacting with readers is what makes blogging so addictive), so they’re getting their own dedicated post.

I also feel the need to mention that while most Laws of Blogging are pretty universal, I’m writing with a focus on the WoW blogging community. Each blogging circle has a culture of its own and our local customs might not necessarily be applicable to the blogging world at large.

(more…)

Blogging FAQ, Part 2: Content

February 27, 2011

I need to confess. In Part 1, I was wrong.

In Part 1, I said this FAQ would be divided into two parts because I was too chatty. I was wrong. Because I’m that chatty, this FAQ will actually be divided into three parts: the basics, content and building your community.

So here is part 2, with my (personal, selfish) answers to the most common questions I notice and receive on blog content.

(more…)


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