Posted tagged ‘Blogging’

Friendly Neighbourly Update

February 13, 2013

I think I used up my periodic word quota. Sorry. No exciting paladin stuff for a bit. I do plan on updating the Holy Pally 4eva series while I’m in the city next week, though. That’s right, I need to drive 3 whole hours, all the way to civilization JUST so I can drink delicious coffee in a trendy coffee shop while polishing up my blog.

But, even when my brain is fried and I’m out of words, I still like to write things, so here we are. I’m writing things.

A Mood Lightening Body Pillow, Just for Vik

My own mood-lightening body pillow, just for Vik!

First off, I wanted to apologize to the people who commented on my last post – I normally answer most comments, but I didn’t get a chance for those. I still read them all and appreciated them, big thanks to you kind people as well as to those of you who left me feedback in other ways.

Those who asked for more World of Logs posts, you will be served. I have a few in mind. In the meanwhile, if you check out the right side of my blog, you’ll see a lot of orange links. Scroll down enough and you’ll find some of my past World of Logs posts. The featured fights are outdated, but WoL really doesn’t change that much so there’s still useful info there. You can also check out Jasyla’s guide to evaluating Holy Pallies with World of Logs (I don’t know how she does it, but she always manages to achieve levels of clarity and conciseness I only dream of). And if you’re really enjoying log parsing, Jasyla has guides to evaluating most other healing classes too.

In other Holy Paladin related news, if you haven’t come across it yet, the Holy Paladin Roundtable is up and available for your listening pleasure! It was an absolute blast to record and Megacode, Gina, Pardeux and Getsu are just overflowing with knowledge and good advice. (I’m there too, but I’m like the n00b that everyone else explains stuff too. Makes for an entertaining dynamic.)

Public Service Announcement: Looking for a friendly 25s guild?

Awhile back, I was complaining on Twitter about how hard it is to find 25m guilds as a healer. It’s like every one is bursting at the seams!

Shortly after, I received a Tweet that Ambermist‘s 25s guild was looking for healers. They weren’t quite what I was looking for and by the time I got back to my computer, it was the next day and it would have been weird to answer. But! In case you are looking for a friendly, laid back (I think!) 25s guild, I suggest you check out Chi Cerca Trova. I don’t know if they’re still looking, but it never hurts to try!

My Own Guild Situation

So things didn’t work out with Conquest. It was disappointing. I really, really wanted it to work, but in life, when you’re given a hard lesson, you better learn from it. Last time I was in Conquest I learned that there are situations I can’t control and that I should walk away before making an utter fool of myself.

Conquest is good people. Their guildies have been in and out of my life for what? 3, 4 years now? They’ve always welcomed me to their raids, their meetups and their Mumble channels. And no one, no one, makes me laugh like my Conquest guildies. I think that when it comes to raiding, though, their values don’t quite match mine.

It’s not a question of right and wrong – seriously, for a guild to have existed for so long and have survived what they’ve survived, they’re clearly doing it right!

But, sadly, for me it came down to the age old debate of friends vs raiding.

This time around, the issue was way, like waaaay too many healers, and the lack of a decent benching system. While the “official” rule was “best raid comp/performances for each fight”, reality was more like “random raid comp/performances for each fight and one spot is always taken, whether necessary or not, by the healing lead.” No matter how well I did, I spent more time on the bench than in the raid (as did most of the other healers), which, for someone who spends all day looking forward to her raid, is pretty tragic. And, as a nice way to put it, the healing lead and I weren’t compatible.

I complained a lot. I brainstormed solutions. I lost a lot of sleep. I gave the healing lead a hard time. I considered going ret. I considered going PvP. I kept my eyes open for heroic 25m Alliance guilds that raided on schedule compatible with my work.

Then out of the blue, I received a pitch on Twitter from a guild who had just lost some healers to real life.

A few hours later, I had interviewed with them and switched my work schedule around to meet their raid times.

Their standards are considerably higher than anything I’m used to and I’m don’t know if I’ll pass my trial – which is why I’m being vague with details – but I’m sure ready to find out.

I’m excited to see where this goes. If I fail my trial, I’m thinking I’ll learn to PvP. I love learning, and I’d have plenty to blog about. But, really, I’m praying that I won’t nosedive into, oh I dunno, a Wind Bomb on Wind Lord (which I have only done once in the many times I have done that fight!), and that I’ll find a compatible guild to spend a good chunk (if not all) of the rest of my WoW playing time with.

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!

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).

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.

This Is Me, Getting Mushy About Blizzcon. While Sober.

October 30, 2011

It’s been more than a week since Blizzcon. Since then, outrage has, well, raged, on all fronts, from the game-related announcements (what cute, zen pandas aren’t badass?), to the step backward in the evolution of gaming culture taken at the closing ceremony (I honestly didn’t notice the slurs until someone pointed them out to me- contrarily to what some bloggers wrote, the closing ceremony nerdrage was heavily censored- but yeah, I agree that there are ways to express nerdrage without hatespeach). And I believe I may have been drawn into, without my active participation or even knowledge, a social outrage (I feel so famous and important now).

So much excitement, and I missed it all.

Curse you, internet drama, for only happening while I’m busy looking out of train/bus windows instead of at my computer screen!

While the rest of you have discussed Blizzcon to death and have moved onto the bigger and better things, I’m just getting started.

Yep, only picture I thought to take during Blizzcon. Too busy to take pictures!

I had a great Blizzcon.

I really did. Blizzcon exceeded my expectations by millions and millions of…whatever it is you measure expectations in.

Oh, I’m not sure what I think of Pandaria. I got to play it a bit – the world is gorgeous and I love the Asian feel, but, um, I like me some epicness. Place me in the “wait and see” crowd.

Otherwise, I’m excited about Diablo and I’ve felt stirrings of an urge to fire up Starcraft 2 again (how awesome was the Blizzcon tournament finale? I’m not sure what impressed me most, the competitors or the emotional involvement of the audience). And the cinematics panel! How I love the cinematics panel! Again this year I squirmed in excitement, admiring the work that goes into making a game cinematic (in this case, the Diablo III trailer).

And, of course and as usual, the community was the greatest attraction at Blizzcon.

Really, what a great group of people! Not perfect by any means, but to me, our imperfections only make us even more awesome. We come in all shapes and sizes and colours and ages and social backgrounds but we’re all gamers, and proud of it. We do great things and we do stupid things. Geeks we may be, but we’re all so totally human.

I met so many fellow bloggers, podcasters and twitterers. I won’t attempt to list them as I’ll likely forget several and I don’t want to play favorites. But there is one encounter I do have to share!

Why I wouldn’t make a good socialite

It was early in the WoW Insider party. Not quite warmed up yet, I was chasing after my friends, trying not to lose them in the big, scary mass of people. I’m shy and it’s been awhile since I’ve come face to face with a crowd. I was debating sketching off early. Too many people, too many nerves, feeling sick and lightheaded.

Then out of nowhere, I hear: “Hi I’m Theck!”

I was a little confused for two reasons. One, I was kind of expecting Theck to be a sort of ethereal godlike creature, not a normal-looking human being. Two, how on earth does someone like him know who I am?

I stood there with my mouth open, speachless and starstruck. All I could squeeze out was a lifeless “I’m such a huge fan”

Yep, I’m just an endless reserve of social grace. I hope he forgives me.

The 1 Year Guild Reunion

In case you enjoy emotionally-charged guild stories and were waiting in anticipation with big bowls of popcorn… I did see my old guildies again. I was expecting to run into them at some point, but I had no idea what would happen. What impression did I leave behind? Would my hard feelings cause me to make an ass of myself? And most importantly, would they even remember who I was?

Well.

All I can say is this:

It was perfect.

Or at least as close to perfection as all our personalities would allow. I had some great moments at Blizzcon. Some engaging conversations with interesting people. I had a lovely dinner with my ex-guildie, conveniently named X (to whom I certainly owe one). But the highlight was Friday night, after TNB, after hanging out at the Hilton for a bit.

I found myself in the same hotel room I partied in last year, sitting on the same floor I sat on last year, watching my friends play the same drinking game I watched them play last year. It was also reminiscent of all those nights I spent idling on vent/mumble listening to their banter.

Yeah, I know I’m stupidly sentimental, but I don’t think I can be happier than I was at that moment. It wasn’t quite the same gang as last year – some were missing and there some new faces, but the feel was exactly how I remembered. Though Conquest sort of branched off into two separate guilds a few months after I left, my ex-guildies from both sides were hanging out and getting along great. I savoured the moment. For that little snippet of time, I was home.

I think it did help a lot that I’ve grown to love my current guild and I really enjoy working with my raid team. Seeing my former guildies made me realize how much I missed them, but it wasn’t a “I wish I could play with you” missing. It was a “I’m so happy to spend time with guys again” missing. I could really lean back and enjoy the night without any bitterness.

They were also nice enough to walk me back to my hotel at 5 am (which took about an hour!), to put up with my guild history blabber, help me look for my ereader (which was likely stolen by hotel housekeeping, grrr) and even drive me to the airport on Sunday.

The Uncomfortably Sentimental Ending

As I float from city to city on my post-Blizzcon tour, I spend hours (and sometimes days) gazing out of bus and train windows with nothing else to do but think. And the thoughts that surface the most are about those fellow gamers all over North America (and sometimes beyond!) that I’ve had the honour and privilege of being acquainted to.

My awesome ex-guildies of course, but also my awesome current guildies, and the many others who’ve given me kindnesses without asking for anything return. Fannon and his family, Voss and Vid who, though we’ve only met a few times feel like a brother and a sister to me, Oestrus, my eternal partner in crime, all those who’ve supported my silly little WoW projects, who’ve read the blog or listened to the podcast, who’ve emailed me, who’ve talked to me on Twitter.

I have no idea what I’ve done in my past lives to deserve such kindnesses and the company of such wonderful individuals, but I am grateful. So, so, so, so extremely grateful.

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.

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Blogging FAQ, Part 1: The Skeleton

February 23, 2011

If you hang around this blog, or Blog Azeroth, you’ve probably heard my spiel about blogging. You know, how it’s great for improving your writing skills, for boosting confidence, for reflecting about stuff, for giving your skin that sexy, healthy glow you’ve always wanted. If you haven’t heard it yet, you will at some point.

As a result of my lengthy ramblings about blogging and my tendency to frequent corners of the internet that encourage such discourses, I get asked lot of questions about blogging. The same questions often come up (apparently us bloggers all share the same worries when we’re first starting out) so I thought I’d compile the more popular ones (and ask on Twitter if anyone had special requests) and, because I’m nice like that, my answers to them.

As I was trying to give each question the attention it deserved, I realized pretty fast that I had way too much content for one post. Turns out blogging is such a mysterious and complicated endeavour that an FAQ cannot fit comfortably into the ideal 500 to 1000 word length (see below) so we’ve got two parts: Part 1 on getting started and part 2 with all you wanted to know about content.

You get part 1 today and you might get part 2 tomorrow or Friday IF YOU ALL BEHAVE.
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