Archive for the ‘Goofing Around’ category

Diablo Sequels. And Stuff.

May 24, 2012

I’m actually playing a game at the same time as everyone else! Instead of being months behind for once, I’m only days behind.

Disregard the fact that my only experience with the earlier Diablos include, when I was about 12, telling my brothers they were stupid to play such violent games. And also 15 minutes of the first Diablo at Blizzcon. (It’s a vivid memory because I totally panicked after my friends got tired of waiting for me and left.) It’s a very new and exciting feeling. Since I know that any tales of Diablo would be absolutely riveting (and because I’m compelled these days to write about anything but WoW on my WoW blog), I will share the chronicles of my perilous quest to mindless kill stuff to trap demons in a rock to save the world from the forces of evil.

Choosing My Hero

I like to get things right the first time. I read the description of each character, I reflected on their possible lore and personality. Then I looked at the most determining factor: the outfit.

How badass is that?

You can’t imagine my disappointment when, in the next screen, my character was wearing a loincloth.

After playing a lot of Bioware games lately, the lack of customization took me a little by surprise. Not that I minded not feeling compelled to spend a half an hour debating the depth of my hero’s eye sockets. I just didn’t realize they (general “they” of course) still made games where you didn’t spend as much, if not more, time designing your character than actually playing the game.

So my default, loincloth-clad, tiny witch doctor made her way into the world.

The Annoying Friends Thing Everyone’s Talking About

When the concept of Real ID came out, I was a little worried about not being able to hide from my friends when playing alts. Then I discovered that the following conversation doesn’t hurt at all:

Friend: Hi!
Me: Hi! How are you?
Friend: Good, you?
Me: Good! Just raiding/checking out Diablo/trying to dig up that stupid archeology artifact.
Friend: Cool.

It also helps if you choose to only add non-annoying people and utter strangers who’ll never talk to you anyway to your Real ID list.

I haven’t been having trouble with people demanding to play with me. I think having a mildly obsessive compulsive personality is great at keeping overly friendly people away. Playing with me goes kind of like this:

Friend: Where are you going?
Me: Don’t you see that sliver on the other end of the map? It’s still blacked out.
Friend: There’s nothing there, we just didn’t get close enough to that wall for it to show.
Me: I don’t care. It’s blacked out on my map. I want it not blacked out.

Friend:
You need to go to town AGAIN?
Me: Bags are full.
Friend: You realize greys only sell for 2g right?
Me: I DONT CARE I’M NOT LEAVING PERFECTLY SELLLEABLE GEAR JUST LYING AROUND.

And if that wasn’t enough of a deterrent, I also have terrible problems concentrating.

Friend: Um…where are you?
*5 min later*
Me: Oh sorry, I alt tabbed out and got distracted by something someone posted on Facebook.
Me:
Me: Have you seen that video of cats trying to do the YMCA?

Friend: Um…where are you?
*15 min later*
Me: Oh sorry, I got hungry, there was nothing in the fridge so I started making popcorn.

Friend: Um…where are you?
*6 hours later*
Me: Oh sorry! You totally won’t believe this! I fell asleep right with my face on the keyboard and slept thought the night!

Yep, I hardly ever have to turn people down!

More seriously, I’ve taken to hanging out on Mumble with my friends while playing. They’ll play together, I’ll play on my own. That way I’m still hanging out with my fellow D3 players, but I can keep my own pace.

Getting Around

When I first got my town portal, I thought it too good to be true. I expected it to vanish if I spent more of a couple of seconds in town. If I had to leave some stuff on the ground when porting from a dungeon, I didn’t expect it to still be there when I got back.

But it was. It was true. It was good and it was true.

Then I thought it would trivialize the game the way portals trivialize WoW. But if you’re like me and lose sleep over discarded items, and have so little bag space, the portals are necessary to keep you actually playing the game and not spending most of your time running to town. So they feel just right.

Playing with the Mouse

In WoW and SWTOR, I used ESDF as my movements keys. In Mass Effect, I use WASD. Which means that when I play D3 and the fight gets a little intense, and I have to move, my Spell Selection Interface pops up.

Damn you “S” key!

While I’ve got non stressful movement down (maybe a little bit too well…whenever I go back to playing WoW I spend the first minute panicking because no matter how much I click, my character won’t move), I haven’t managed to unlearn using the right mouse button to talk to NPCs. As a result, all the poor vendors and crafters (and my bank stash) have to regularly stand in the graspy hands and icky snakes.

Oops!

Followers

Why do I need multiplayer mode? With my Dogs, my Giant, my Templar and sometimes Leah (and sometimes my chicken shaman – go go chicken shaman!), I have lots of (imaginary) friends. It’s a far cry from Bioware’s companions (wtf why doesn’t my witch doctor get a sex scene with the templar?), but Bioware is Bioware and Diablo is Diablo.

Diablo, I discovered early on, I play to blow stuff up. Barrels? Boom! Crates? Boom! Urns? Boom! Little pesky spiders? BOOM!!

With so much gleeful destruction and massacre, the story and my relationships with my followers take a backseat. The camera angles and voice acting aren’t conducive to good follower-relationship building either. Usually I find myself skipping through the speech and going back to read it after. It also doesn’t help that my followers prefer to start yapping while I’m trying to listen to a lore book snippet.

But I do enjoy the random conversations that occur between my followers and between my followers and my character, granted they occur at the right time. They do keep you company, and, this is one thing Diablo followers have over SWTOR companions: they talk spontaneously and say different things each time (until they run out of things to say and start repeating themselves).

Booming and Smashing and Beyond

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to keep playing once I finish normal mode. Mostly likely I’ll take a break, play some SWTOR for 2-3 weeks, then come back. (I still have a couple of months left on my SWTOR subscription and I’d kind of like the money to not go to waste.) Maybe dabble with some other classes then start the harder modes.

Right now normal mode is taking forever, but I suspect that the storyline is actually very quick if you don’t obsess over OMG discovering and looting EVERYTHING. So maybe I will get a chance to see all the classes and MAYBE reach Inforno mode. Maybe.

And to answer everyone who’s asked me how I like the game, well, I love blowing shit up. I love not having to think. I love how gorgeous the scenery is. I’m very impressed at the cinematics (the cinematics panel at Blizzcon has been my favorite for the past two years. Last Blizzcon we got to meet the Diablo cinematics team and get a glimpse of their work. It was impressive, but I never in a million years would have guessed that there would be so many and such polished movie scenes. Sometimes you have trouble telling if you’re watching an animation or if you’re watching a live scene. If I ran Blizzard, I’d totally give the cinematics team a well earned bonus!)

Unlike my disgruntled friends, I’ve no cherished memories of early Diablo games clouding my enjoyment. So I’m just sitting back, relaxing, admiring the view and, really, basking in glorious, glorious violence.

This Is Me, Making Fun of People Who Gank Me

March 22, 2011

I know it’s somewhat unconventional, but I don’t really mind being ganked. I don’t kill others (partly because my ego would never recover from the embarrassment of loosing), but, yeah, if someone kills me, I’m sort of annoyed, but, you know, it’s part of playing on a PvP server.

When I die, I run back. If I’m getting corpse camped, I entertain my opponent with my awe-inspiring alt-tabbing out madskillz. (I guarantee you they get fed up before I do.) I don’t sweat the small stuff.

But know what I learned pretty fast?

Most gankers are stupid. Like really stupid. Like really, really stupid. I suppose that picking on weaker than thou typically is compensation for a lack of strength upstairs, but I never cease to be amazed at exactly how lacking upstairs some these people are.

So for your educational pleasure, I will teach three lessons I learned from being ganked, as well as some pointers for gankers looking to become less mock-worthy.

A note for you picky semantics folks (picky semantics folks like me), I realize that the word “gank” has a broad spectrum of meanings. It can mean grouping up to kill someone, it can mean killing someone who doesn’t stand a chance (like a lowbie), it can even mean corpse camping. (Sources include Urban Dictionary, Wowwiki and Wiktionary) We’ll say it means attacking someone when you have the unfair advantage. And since I’m a poor pathetic, pvp naive little holy pally, we’ll say than any attempts to kill me will be called “ganking”.

1- The Stranglethorn Rogue

When I do Archeology in the low level zones, I like the Holy Radiance run bonus of the Holy Spec. I rarely get attacked, so self-defense isn’t a concern.

One day in Stranglethorn, I was a bit startled to see flashes around me. Going by the debuffs on my frames, it looked like one of those rogues who move like wasps.

Sigh. I Holy Shocked myself and thought about what to do. He didn’t seem to be damaging me much, but my holy spec is very much for healing. It takes me a year to kill a level 82 mob, there’s nothing I can do to decked out level 85 rogue.

I healed myself again and figured I might as well fight back a little bit. As I went to judge him, he vanished.

I looked around for him. I mean, by then my heart was pounding. I was ready to go down with a fight. But no, nowhere.

It occurred to me afterward that while I’d never kill him, I’d obliterate his nerves with my healing loooong before I run out of mana. Stupid rogue.

What I learned: Even if I can’t do damage in world PvP, I’m still far more annoying than any rogue.

Ganking 101: Check the mana bar before you leap.

2- The Feralas Druid

I don’t get attacked often during Archeology, but it does happen. This apparition out of nowhere was a Druid. He took me by surprise. I was in Prot spec this time. A spec for digging in Uldum that I hadn’t really played yet. I couldn’t heal my way to giving him a nervous breakdown so I would have to either let him kill me or fight back the old fashioned way.

His critty kitty was doing quite a bit of damage to me. My tanking spec was a nice copy of something I’d borrowed from Rhidach, but unfortunately blogs don’t offer a gear borrowing service.

I forced myself to remember how to PvP. The #1 Rule of PvP? Be as annoying as you can. Seal of Justice is pretty annoying. I put that up. Kitties do physical damage. Devotion Aura is annoying to physical damage dealers. Stuns are annoying. Especially stuns while standing in crap. I smacked him with Hammer of Justice and dropped a Consecration under his feet.

It occurred to me that I might be able to go down with a fight. I reset the match with a Lay on Hands and flexed my brain about how to play Prot. My heart was pounding and the blood was starting to get in the way of my thinking. Pounding… If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s keybindings. I was shaking too bad to hit the buttons, but if I formed a fist with my hand…

It was facerolling (well, fistrolling) at it’s finest. Even switching to bear form couldn’t save this guy from my fancy keyboard work.

I looked at his corpse in shock. I’d never killed a max level character on my own before. Keybindings or not, PvP dps isn’t my forte. This guy clearly had no idea what he was doing. Why, then, did he try to kill me? What an idiot.

What I learned: When you have good keybindings, you don’t need to know which button to push. Just make a fist and pound, pound, pound.

Ganking 101: Even if your gankee is a total n00b, you still need to have some basic knowledge of how to play to kill them.

3- The Felwood Paladin

Archeology again. I swear I don’t get attacked often! It’s just that the few times I run into pests, I happen to digging up crap.

This time, I was level 67. The flying Shield from the Skull-level paladin knocked me down to under 20%, his flying Hammer finished me off. Sigh.

I don’t mind being ganked, but, man, he made me loose some Night Elf fragments. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW PRECIOUS NIGHT ElF FRAGMENTS ARE? DO YOU??????

As I was running back, I peaked at my combat log. His name was “Jizzin.”

I did a double check. Jizzin? As in ejaculate? Oh. Emm. Gee. Most blatant TOS violation EVAIRE.

Two can play at this being a pest game, oh yes. Two hours later, a Blizzard GM answered my ticket saying that “they take name complaints very seriously” and that “measures have been taken”.

What I learned: Payback doesn’t always require power.

Ganking 101: Don’t make revenge so damn easy!

I’m Just a PvE Girl Livin’ in a PvP World

In my time on PvP servers, I’ve learned that:

1) Ganking doesn’t happen as often as you’d think. Most people just ignore each other, especially during Archaeology.
2) Those who practice Ganking usually aren’t part of Azeroth’s intellectual elite.

But hopefully this little bit of snarky wisdom has contributed to educate gankers everywhere, allowing their ganking experience to be more fulfilling. Remember, though, that while I don’t make fun of people often, anyone with ganker status is fair game to eternal mockery.

The Chronicles of Ophelie the Wussy Pally

November 24, 2010

I want to thank everyone for your words of encouragement, it really helped keep morale up over the past few days. In the grand scheme of things, two weeks of being a bit sore with less mobility really isn’t a big deal, but I’m a huge wuss and my arse was thoroughly kicked. It took me a few tries, but this post was written lightheartedly and is meant to be read in the same tone. As my friends always tell me: “If you’re not worth a few laughs, you’re not worth much.” (I know, I have really nice friends.)

They say that when really bad things happen, you sort of change your view on stuff. I guess that’s kind of true. For example, I now view 5pm as a perfectly acceptable bedtime. And I view 16 hours as a reasonable, good night of sleep.

Mostly, though, its everyone else who changes. People talk louder, have more off key voices, smack their gum more, have more loud colds, make more noise when they turn book pages, have this annoying habit of existing… At the hospital, they ask about suicidal ideation but, really, its homicidal ideation they should worry about.

There’s always an ambiguous feeling when you’re sick. Part of you is all “NO! I WANT TO DO THIS MYSELF! I CANT ACCEPT RIDES TO CLASS OR ANYTHING I HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF ME ME ME!“. The rest of you is overwhelmed with despair at the thought of having to wipe your own arse at the toilet (not that I have that problem right now, bowels were among the first functions to shut down) or to chew your own food. Chewing is srz bzn, I assure you.

I’ve always criticized other MS patients I meet in the hospital about their whining, but now I kind of relate. I’ve been providing anyone within shouting distance of my progress: “Well, today I can flex my legs a bit more and my left foot is slightly less tingly, but my hands are still very tingly and my back feels sprained from about the fourth vertebrae down, and it hurts when I lean slightly to the left and- Hey!
why are you walking so fast! I can’t keep up! Stop running away from meeeeeeee!

(more…)

WoW on the First Date? A geeky chick’s take

September 11, 2010

My guildie Redhawks wrote a post about dating as a WoW player a few days ago. I’ve always found the stereotype of the WoW player who can’t find a girlfriend (or boyfriend! let us not be sexist or homophobic) to be silly in itself, because, as a singleton WoW player, I’ve encountered way, like WAAAY more players who are romantically committed than players who are single. The rare fellow singletons I’ve met tend to be either very young or, like me, too overwhelmed with life to have energy left over to give another person.

It’s been so long since I’ve had the urge to be completely silly. And what better way to be silly than to exaggerate one’s misadventures while exploring Western (and other) society’s 2vs2 team ideal. Smug marrieds (the term, as well as the term “singleton”, belongs to Helen Fielding but is so appropriate) can feel even more smug about having married their high school sweetheart at the age of 18 (because, you know, EVERYONE was attracted to other people and had a sweetheart in high school! …there were a total of 2 remotely attractive guys at my high school and I was too shy to talk to either of them) and other singletons can feel satisfaction in the fact that, no matter how hard they fail, there’s always someone failing harder.

The UI Theory

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty open about gaming. I’m just as open about my other hobbies. My rational is that we’re either compatible or we’re not. 98% of the time, I’m very satisfied with my IRL default UI. If I’m going to download an addon for it, it better meet my system requirements. No point in risking a wipe by teaming up with someone who’ll send my real life FPS through the roof.

And from what gamer guys say, you’d think that, as a girl, uttering the words World of Warcraft on a first date would equal instascore. To illustrate this, I’ve unscientifically guestimated the following statistics:

Yeah, you’d think that, as a girl, uttering the words World of Warcraft on a first date would equal instascore.

I won’t lie and say WoW’s never gotten me anywhere. There was that one time I crashed at a WoW friends’ house while on trip a few years ago…he offered to show me his WoW, I showed him my WoW, one thing led to another. What can I say? Neither of us could resist a well designed UI. I’ve also had a number on longstanding non-romantic friendships in real life! come from gaming discussions.

Buuuut, in general, WoW hasn’t gotten me very far.

This summer, it dawned on me that I was about to turn 26. I had a couple of collegues who were 26. They often talked about their husband, their children (yes, with a ren on the end), their permanent residence and their year-round job. Forgetting for a moment that I don’t even want any of that (ok, I do I want children, but pregnancy is NOT my thing, I’ll adopt, tyvm…and a year-round job would be pretty nice eventually, I am sometimes curious as to what it’s like to live above the poverty line), I panicked: “Oh noes! I haven’t even dated in years! I should give it a try again!

The WoWophobe

You’d be amazed what you can find on Craigslist.

Next thing I knew, I was face to face with someone who was slightly too young for me, but not enough for it to be creepy. He was cute, we had mountain biking and hiking in common and we were both casual about other outdoorsy sports. Then I cleverly brought up WoW.

Me: I saw the Prince of Persia movie last week. It actually reminded me a lot of the game.
Him: Yeah, movies based off of video games are pretty cool.
Me: I wonder how the World of Warcraft movie will turn out.
Him: My buddy had a girlfriend once who used to play World of Warcraft for like 9 hours a day. All she did all day was was play the game.

We awkwardly stared at each other for moment as we watched our rep with other person go down.

He did send me an email that night, but I never heard from him after that. I suspect he found my Twitter account and subsequently, my blog. (If you’re reading, hi!)

The WoWoholic

Of course, not everyone associates WoW with “crippling time wasting addiction”. Sometimes, the opposite happens.

Me: I play video games.
Him: Me too. I mostly play WoW.
Me: Awesome! I play a pal-
Him: I don’t really have a main though. I raid with one of my hunters, with my shaman and with two of my druids.
Me: Oh, I just raid with my pal-
Him: I’m not finished. I also have a level 80 rogue I used for pvp, and an 80 shadow priest, dual specced warrior, DK-
Me: Oh, I-
Him: and a 78 mage, and two warlocks that I’m levelling through LFD.

Jerk didn’t let me talk AND HE DIDNT HAVE A PALADIN. Like WTF.

The Geekier-Than-Thou Attitude

Sometimes it’s also hard to have both WoW AND other hobbies in common.

Me: That’s so cool that we both play WoW! What else are you into?
Him: I deeply appreciate extreme left wing eastern european cinematography.
Me: That’s interesting! I love learning about new cultures and languages.
Him: Negative, I possess no desire to aquire such knowledge, my primary concern is despair determined from the failings of our unscrupulous and inadequate politicians. I firmly believe in the revolutionary power of anarchy…
Me: Zzzzz.

Ok, he used way more words than that, but I kinda fail at bullshit speech. Besides, I lied in that description. My game crashed (read: I fell asleep) way earlier on. (I can’t be too critical though, I talk boys to sleep fairly often too.)

There’s also the geek who took his geekness a tad bit too seriously. He didn’t like that I played WoW, oh no. Apparently, WoW is to gaming what Lady Gaga is to music and what Twilight is to literature. Since I rather enjoy dancing to Lady Gaga and haven’t read Twilight, I’m not sure where he was coming from.

Sometimes it’s not you they want anyway

By the end of the summer, I was pretty discouraged. As lovely as a real life default UI can be, IRL guildies tend to pressure you in to getting relationship addons and nastily hint that maybe the reason you haven’t even had a fling in a year and a half might be because there’s something wrong with you. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since there are a whole lot of ugly and not very nice people who are blissfully married.

Fortunately, I randomly met Gropey McGroperson one day. He wasn’t a gamer, but really didn’t care whether I was or not. He didn’t care about much, now that I think of it.

Him: Here, come stand closer, I can’t reach you.
Me: I like to play video games.
Him: You wanna come over to my place? My family’s gone for awhile, we’d have the place to ourselves.
Me: Oh, you probably shouldn’t put your hands there, it’s a little awkward with all these little kids running around. Anyway, yeah, I’m really into raiding, but I haven’t had a lot of time to play lately.
Him: You have such a nice ass, I can’t believe you don’t have a line of guys hitting on you already.
Me: I have 3 paladins. Um, no, don’t undo that button, we’re in public and it holds my pants up.

He got a little offended when I didn’t let him stay the whole night and wasn’t interested in seeing him again.

Him: But we have such a good connection!
Me: Sir, you and I have at least 4k latency. At least. That is NOT a good connection.

On the bright side, that probably extinguished my sex drive for the next year and a half. I’m no longer worried about there being anything wrong with me and I’ll certainly save on batteries.

As usual, Candace Bushnell has the answer

In the introduction to the edition of Sex and the City I read this summer, Candace Bushnell talks a bit about being single, dating, fantasies and eventually concludes that deep down inside, those of us who are single are single because we want to be.

I don’t think mentioning WoW makes a difference in dating either way, regardless of gender. All of my experiences have just reinforced my notion that we’re either compatible or we’re not. Human beings are way too complex to just be classified as WoW player and non-WoW player. To me, though, having a lot of common hobbies is really important so I still have no issues with bringing up WoW on the first date, whether it gets me anywhere or not. And not getting anywhere makes for better stories anyway.

15 Things I Learned from my Vacation *with pictures!*

May 12, 2010

I’m back home now (as a manner of speaking) so I should get back to my regular blog posting shortly. But just before all is back to normal, I thought I should share all the things I learned from my 2 weeks of backpacking around British Columbia. Of course, I learned some interesting things. Such as what to do when you fall out of the boat while white water rafting, why you shouldn’t swim under trees in rivers and the stages of mountain pine beetle infestations. Nothing, however, is more valuable than the life lessons cast upon you while hiking around in the wilderness (and urban wilderness), carrying your own weight on your back. These life lessons, I share with you. Some pictures included.

1 – I am skilled at charming the following: 2 year olds, cats, dogs and llamas (this actually isn’t a very good picture, the photographer wouldn’t wait long enough to take them)

2 – When meeting up with guildies who live on the other side of the country, all of the following will occur:
– I will get a rash on my face from the climate change (yay makeup)
– My new eye makeup remover will make my eyes red and puffy
– I will knock over a table
– I will spill coffee all over myself
So much for trying to not be a stereotypical geeky chick.

3 – Wetsuits never fit. Most of the time they’ll be too small, but every now and again they’ll be a dozen sizes too big. Big wetsuits are easier to put on, but you’ll freeze to death in them.

4 – Nothing forges a bond with a group of Japanese teenagers quite like jumping off a cliff into a Canadian river in the first week of May. Regardless of language, cultural and age boundaries, those who freeze together, stick together.

5 – I have no idea what animal this is, but apparently they cross the road a lot in the Shuswap area.

6 – Quick Dry clothes are the greatest invention in history. Anyone who argues has never been caught by a rain storm followed by a hail storm while mountain biking around the Okanagan.

7 – If you injure yourself during your trip, it will invariably be a part of your body you’re not allowed to complain about.

8 – The Auberdine docks were inspired by the docks in Chase.

Which one of these goes to Stormwind again?

9 – Ashenvale also exists IRL

10 – When traveling alone, avoid reading novels that contain a love story, especially ones with good sex scenes. Especially if you’re staying in the same hostel as 3492384723 super hot german guys. If the frustration doesn’t kill you, it will cause you to go insane.

11- When visiting your Asians friends in Richmond, expect them to bring you to bubble tea…and have you read Japanese fashion magazines…and convince you to eat Spicy Pig’s Ear (which is apparently literally ears from a pig). (Also nevermind the really unflattering picture, this was taken pretty late at night)

12- Stores in Vancouver sell cream that whitens your skin. Why the heck anyone would want do that is beyond me, but apparently it sells very well. I’ll pass tyvm, gimme some bronzer.

13 – Bridges make great picture taking locations. Please admire this view of Vancouver as seen from the Burrard bridge.

14 – Sea Monster Sushi destroys hunger and is delicious for you.

15 – No matter how hard I try to avoid being a typical tourist, sometimes I break down and take pictures next to touristy objects such as the Gastown steamclock. Especially if it means showing off my new sandals. OMG LOOK AT MY NEW SANDALS.

Thus ends my adventures of wearing the same 3 outfits, arguing with bus drivers and complaining about the weather (sidenote: despite all the QQ from locals about how Vancouver gets nothing but rain, Vancouver was the place that gave me the best weather. I EVEN MANAGED TO WEAR A DRESS ONE DAY!)

And now, back to our regular programming.

I Don’t Want to Write Something Useful, so I’m Going to Talk About 10 Man Raid Leading

March 23, 2010

GM: How’s your 10 man looking this week?
Me: It’s looking good. But it’s not really my 10 man.
GM: It’s your 10 man.
Me: It’s not mine!
GM: You took it over, therefore it’s your 10 man, no ifs, ands or buts.

So I ended up with a 10 man raid. Apparently it’s “mine”. I’m too new age-ish for that. It’s mine and 9 other people’s. It’s ours.

Actually, raid leading is one of those things where I can’t decide if I really like it or really hate it. I enjoy the planning, the list making, all the logistics that go into getting a 10 man together. And when it all works out, it’s extremely rewarding. However, as shocking as it may sound (yeah, I know it’s hard to believe, ha!), I have a terribly anxious personality. I need everything planned and sorted ahead of time and any last minute changes are the end of the world. Not to mention that I’m one of those slow, deep thinkers that take forever to make up their minds. Which is great in certain circumstances. For example, I never make impulsive purchases. In a raid context, however, my lack of spontaneity can be problematic.

*DPS dies*
Druid: Should I battle rez?
Me: Um…

Me: Um…

Me: Um…Yes. Err, no, wait, the boss is already dead.

I had two 10 man teams going in my old guild, although I usually only actually led one of the two (I can’t two box). The experience was bittersweet. We did get some cool guild firsts under my lead. But I also have memories of getting in fights with the backseat raid leader who kept arguing with me (I’ve actually said “Who’s leading this raid, you or me?” before). And the very last raid I led with them ended with wipe after wipe after wipe on Faction Champs, normal mode. In my discouragement, I was crying so hard I couldn’t even speak enough to call the raid. (Apparently, no one noticed which is good!)

So about a few months ago, this happened:

Guild leadership:
We don’t have enough time for progression so we’re taking 10 mans out of our regular raid nights, you’ll have to do them on offnights.
Regular raid leader: I’m starting something on Wednesdays.
Someone else: I’m starting something on Sundays.
Me: I’m free whenever.
Guild: You’re going Sunday.

Then, after a week, the guy who ran Sunday’s group left the guild. In a rare moment of impulsiveness (I guess there’s hope for me yet), I started a new thread, got everyone from the original group to check in and built a new team. Before I knew it, it somehow became known as “my” raid, even though I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.

I was pretty nervous. I’m not an aggressive leader at all. Even in my old guild where everyone was older and laid back, I had no authority whatsoever. I’m the kind of person who says please before telling you to move out of the fire. With a shaky voice.

Luckily, things have been working out so far, the group is fairly disciplined so I don’t really need to be authoritative. I raised my voice once. Immediately, I got 4 whispers:

Four people: Lol, you got mad!

The harshness in my voice was really just me trying to control my giggles. I’m not very good at getting mad.

Oh and I’m obsessed with having my group confirmed as early as possible in the week, as well as with starting the raid on time. The raid is scheduled for 6, we must pull at 6, regardless if only the mage and I are inside the instance. Attendance and punctuality are pretty much the only things I’m inflexible on. And by inflexible on, I mean overly anxious about:

Me: You’re coming on Sunday right.
Raider: Yep.
Me: You’re sure?
Raider: Of course.
Me: Really sure?
Raider: Yeah.
Me: Are yo-
Raider: OMG YES.
*night of the raid*
Raider: Um, I had something come up.
Me: *nervous breakdown*.

And of course there’s always some smartass overhearing me sob on vent.

Smartass: You don’t handle stress very well, do you?
Me:

We’ve had our hurdles. To name them: Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break, Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game, Sindragosa. I don’t think we’ve ever had two consecutive weeks with the same 10 people. There’s always one person who has to work unexpectedly, who has computer issues or needs a night off. Then there’s the stress every week of “3 people want badges, 3 people won’t go if we have to clear downstairs, 2 people don’t know what they want, 1 person doesn’t understand the in-game calender system and 1 person hasn’t discovered we have guild forums yet.”

But amazingly enough, week after week things work out. Except Sindragosa, 1% wipes omfg. Unless there’s been a planned delay, we’ve started our raids on times. In about two months, we’ve only had two signed-up-but-didn’t-shows, and one of those was actually a /gquit I hadn’t been aware of.

We’ve become used to playing together. And by that, I mean that our druid doesn’t even have to pay attention to vent or look at her raidframes to know who needs a battlerez and when. We got to know each other and our teammates’ IRL eating/flasking/buffing habits pretty well. During downtime and trash, we joke around on vent and share TMI (unlike the other 10 man team…I sat in their channel once and it put me to SLEEP). They even sorta forgive me for stuff like bopping the tank. My teammates are also great about communicating what they want so the rare times where we can’t resort to a vote, decisions are easy to make.

I get tons of help from the guild leadership, which is a first for me. In the past, I had always been met with “your raids, your problem, we want no part in this”. But now I get a regular supply of answers to my questions and pats on the back when requested. When the other 10 man moved their raid on top of ours, the little conflicts and frustrations that inevitably came up were short lived, despite that we still give each other crap over them.

In the end, even my fears of being a crappy “leader” were resolved when I discovered that one our priests (I’M GOING TO LET YOU ALL GUESS WHO) was probably a sport commenter in a past life. Not only does he seem to know when I’m wishy-washy about a certain fight and need someone else to jump in, but also narrates entire fights in a very entertaining and engaging manner. I can just sit back and hit buttons. (Unless I’m tanking…I haven’t learned my new keybindings yet, so when I tank, I sit back and pound my fist on the keyboard in hopes that my character does something.)

So now I don’t have to say that I lead a 10 man raid, I can say I coordinate a 10 man raid, which sounds much nicer to my ears.

Oh and I’ve become quite attached to the task of getting the group together every week.

Me: OMG we’re going to fail, no ones going to show up, we’re not even going to get Saurfang down. Why the hell did I volunteer for this?
Fellow Raider: I can take over if you want.
Me: NO. MY RAID PAWS OFF. MINE MINE MINE.

Blogger Elder Project: 5-Man PuG Social Rules

March 6, 2010

EDIT: I kinda feel bad for not posting anything actually useful for what was supposed to be a helpful event. If you came here looking for some fairly applicable Bossy Pally tips, check out my guide to tanking heroics without running out of mana, some techniques for effective complaining and my holy paladin talents discussion.

So I’m a little last minute with this Blogger Elder post (why isn’t anyone surprised?) But I’m getting it done AND THATS WHAT COUNTS MKAY?

I run a lot of 5-mans PuGs. Being a healer (and if I have to wait longer than 2 minutes in the queue, I magically become a tank) really helps my number of 5-mans:time ratio. I’ve noticed that quite a few people don’t know how to behave in a 5-man PuG. There is some sort of 5-man culture. Tourists unfamiliar with that culture, they stick out.

Due my inability to take anything seriously, I present to all 5-man tourists, a quick run down of social rules in a 5-man. After my quick tips, you’ll never feel out of place in a random PuG again!

1- Greeting your PuGmates is accepted but not encouraged.

It’s ok if you say “hi” at the beginning of the instance. Nothing longer than “hi”. Others may say “hi” as well. It’s not encouraged, though, so don’t come to expect greetings and certainly don’t expect answers. “gogogo” is another acceptable alternative to “hi”. Note: never capitalize. Delete the shift key from your keyboard.

2- As you zone in, type in “might”.

Even if you play a mage and even if there’s no paladin in the party, you should still type “might” as you zone in. If you are feeling particularly social, it’s ok to say “might plz”.

3- After the first pull, do not communicate with your PuGmates unless desperately required.

You can always spot a tourist by their strange small talk. Small talk is a big no-no. If you are grouped with a small talking tourist, look the other way and pretend not to be reading party chat.

4- If you must communicate, use words that are 1 letter or shorter.

“r u r y” is an appropriate sentance, “Are you ready, yes?” is not. The goal here is not to be understood. Besides, everyone is busy pretending not to be reading party chat anyway.

5- Follow each request by “ffs”

Need to ask your healer for a “h” ? “ffs” Want the tank to “p” faster? “ffs” You don’t have a “k” buff? (Whether or not there’s a paladin in the group is irrelevant.) “ffs”

6- If you are dps, during trash, always attack the creature the tank has the least threat on.

Check the tank’s threat level on all the mobs before unleashing and always choose the one where the tank has the least threat. Never attack the tank’s target, always go for the one the tank has the least threat on. If you take too much damage, type “h”. If you die, “ffs”.

7- After a boss kill, if anyone asks if they can need, DO NOT ANSWER!

If you need something, it is acceptable to ask if you can need, but it is not acceptable to respond if someone else asks. If the asker waits for a response, “ffs”.

8- After the last boss, wait to see if anyone rolls need on the orb. If no one does, roll need at the very end.

Some groups might say “roll need” or “r n” at the beginning. In that case, you can roll need the second the boss drops. Also, if another person rolls need before you roll, you can safely go ahead. However, if others are rolling greed, do not roll until the very end! And whatever you do, do not ever greed on orbs.

9- Before leaving group, “thx” is acceptable, but not encouraged.

If you’re an especially nice person, you can say “thx” at the end of the run. If your group was exceptional, you can tell them they were a good group as well by typing “gg”. It’s not encouraged, but no one will hold it against you. Nothing more though! No full words! Only “thx” and “gg”. And like the “hi” you may say at the beginning of the run, it’s completely normal if no one answers.

10- Don’t ever be the last person to leave the group

I don’t know what happens if you’re the last one to leave. I’ve never tried. I’m sure it’s terrible, though. So play safe, leave group ASAP!

With those easy rules, you’ll fit right into random 5-man culture! Say goodbye to awkwardy touristy moments and embrace your new local pugger self!

Of course, if you want some more serious WoW advice, check out Khi’s original post at her blog, The Tree Burglar and her Blogging Elder Project thread at Blog Azeroth.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,028 other followers