Posted tagged ‘guildies’

Settling Back in After a Wild Journey

June 22, 2011

Here’s a secret: it’s hard to get back into things after being gone for so long.

Ok, it’s not a secret, just one of those things I don’t consider until it happens to me.

I have lots of blog post ideas but no desire to sit still long enough to write. Instead, you should all just tap into my brain and absorb anything you wish. If there happens to be anything there you wish to absorb.

So I’m back from my epic backpacking trip. I wish I had more time to travel, but at the same time, I had my cross-country move on my mind, so toward the end I was having more trouble concentrating on having fun. I know, I’m a sad person. I need to work at having fun.

Needed to go all the way to Buffalo to get my wings fix

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Blizzcon Casulties, part 2

October 28, 2010

You didn’t expect all my adventures to fit in a single post, did you?

The Guildies

The best part of Blizzcon, of course, is the people. Initially, it was the only reason I wanted to go anyway. Just to put faces and bodies to the names and voices I’ve spent so many happy evenings with.

Borrowed the picture from Matt since I didn't get one with everybody on it. Nevermind how terrible I look. IT WAS LATE AT NIGHT.

I’ve met guildies before, but this was the largest meetup I’ve attended. If I counted it right, a total of 14 guildies from past and present made an appearance. Murmurs of WoW Insider and the official forums fame stayed with us as well and became an honorary guildie (even if we didn’t see him much, popular guy that he is. PS. he’s super cute).

To those who’ve never met guildies, I wish I could explain what it’s like. The closest I can come is by saying that it’s exactly like being on vent together, except that we can see each other’s faces. The conversations we had were just like those we have online, but we could still understand each other if more than one person spoke at once (unlike vent).

I had been really worried about being the only girl from the gang, but it was a non-issue. It felt just like hanging out with my brothers. They even tried to make me feel like one of the gang by trying to pair me up with random guys at the WoW Insider meetup. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling so hot (less than 3 hours of sleep and more than 12 hours of travelling in the past 36 hours), so it was pretty disastrous:

Guildie (to random guy): Hey, have you met Tina?
(They had this system where all the guys were nicknamed Ted and I was Tina)
Random guy (to me): Hey Tina.
Me: Hey, how’s it going?
*awkward silence*
Random guy: *points to my drink* What am I drinking?
Me: *thinking he’s asking about my drink* Um…*trying to remember what my drink was* Jack and Coke.
Random guy: Nope, I’m not drinking anything. See? My hands are empty. You’re wrong.
Me:….

I rudely waved him away and turned around. By then the room was spinning and I felt like I was about to throw up (and no, I wasn’t drunk, the Jack and Coke was almost full), so I finished up my drink, ran back to my hotel and burst into tears.

So, guy in this story, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry! I’m not usually that rude, I just really, really don’t travel well!

I didn’t get iced, although I told them I’d be up for it. I was partly grateful, partly disappointed. I’d like to see if I could do it and feel like part of the team. At the same time, my stomach was bothering me the entire trip and I was desperately trying to avoid being sick. There’s no way I could have kept a sweet drink down!

On a side note, I have to wonder about those people on TLC shows who eat almost exclusively junk food. I only had a couple of junk food meals and yet felt quite horribly ill from all the fat and salt.

My guildies also came up with what ended up being somewhat of a rally call. Whenever Matt was around, Bruherd, especially, kept yelling, WE’VE GOT THEE MATTICUS! FROM WORLD OF MATTICUS DOT COM! WE’RE RECRUTING FOR CATACLYSM!

Most of the time I wanted to crawl under the sidewalk, but it did come in handy. Whenever I had trouble finding my group, I’d just stop and listen for the THEE MATTICUS call. And it was apparently contagious: even Ghostcrawler exclaimed “It’s THEE MATTICUS!” at one point.

Meeting Non Guildies

The magical thing about Blizzcon is that you’re surrounded by all sorts of people. Grandparents, small children, prom-queen types, individuals who haven’t left their bedroom since Blizzcon last year… All sorts of people. Yet, not matter how different we are, we all have that one thing in common: we love gaming enough to be here.

I met so many people last week, old friends and new friends. It was amazing. There’s no way I can tell all the stories, or do justice to all those who crossed my path, so here are some select (mostly embarrassing) highlights.

One of the events I was most looking forward to was the TNB meetup. TNB played a huge role in getting me to start blogging in the first place, so I’d been counting down the days until the meetup.

I spend some time with the lovely ladies Beruthiel (whom I wasn’t expecting to see at all! Such a pleasant suprise!) and Anafielle. I have to say, it was wonderful to hear about other topics than booze and sex! I completely fell in love with both of them and the evening was just too short!

I also got a picture with the Righteous Defense duo Rhidach and Anafielle. Back when I was tanking full time, I studied Righteous Defense religiously. When I saw both of their names on the TNB list, I was thrilled! I was even more thrilled when I saw that they both made it to the meetup. Rhidach was pretty quiet and only came out for a few minutes, but I was so fangirly and giddy that it was probably a good thing. Wouldn’t want to embarrass myself any more!

Speaking of being fangirly and giddy, there was one point where I was right next to Turpster. Right next to him. And I was so shy and intimidated that I couldn’t say anything. I ended up mumbling something like “take my raffle ticket”. Without making eye contact, I clumsily shoved my raffle ticket at him and ran off. I’m really smooth like that…

I hope he at least won something with it.

Exploring the Area

One Friday, I had the day to myself as my guildies were all at the convention. I love walking and exploring, so I leisurely strolled down Katella Ave. Then I leisurely strolled down Main St. About two hours later, my legs sort of hurt and I found myself in downtown Santa Ana.

It was like stepping into a different world. I turned off my iPod, but kept the earphones on. I didn’t want strangers pointing out the giant “TOURIST!” sign hanging above my head. I listened to the conversations around me. My Spanish is decent, considering my last Spanish lesson was over 10 years ago, but I couldn’t understand everything that was being said. I also didn’t want to take the risk of pulling out my camera.

I drifted by all the discount jewellery and bridal shops. I went to the grocery store and practiced my Spanish a little. Olà! Gracias! Ok, maybe I didn’t practice it very much.

I walked a little further and found the Artists Village. I stopped for lunch at a gorgeous place called The Gypsy Den. I then made my way back up Main to the Bowers Museum. I’m a huge nerd who loves museums, especially cultural anthropology museums, so I was served. I floated from exhibit to exhibit, learning about arts and craftsmanship in Oceania and China.

By the time they kicked me out so they could close up, I was exhausted so I decided to take part in the joyous experience of Orange County public transit. (As a general note, to those who want to become backpackers, I highly encourage sampling public transit wherever you go. Nothing will give you a feel and a taste of a place the way sitting on a crowded, or deserted, city bus will.)

My guildies were supposed to meet me at the hotel at 6 for supper. Well, 6 came and went. 6:30 came and went. No sign of guildies. My phone doesn’t work in the US, so I had no idea how long they planned on making me wait. I also wanted to be at the TNB meetup at 9, so I was furious. Furious. The jerks.

(Matt, who was doing his big-shot blogging stuff that afternoon and wasn’t supposed to meet up with us until later at night, ended up saving the day by making an appearance and texting the guys for me.)

Saturday night, I skipped on the Hilton party to get a feel of the reputed LA nightlife. Unfortunately, by then I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. A guildie and I ended up going to a small place nearby in Fullerton. In the end, it was a great idea. The music was fantastic and the crowd was friendly and unpretentious. I danced for hours.

My poor foot (the same one as the huge blister!) got stabbed by a stiletto. I think I made a very high pitched sound and the stiletto wearer found herself flying into the crowd. We kind of stared at each other for a moment. Neither of us apologized, but I guess it wasn’t necessary. We were even: her stiletto was very sharp and I don’t know my own strength.

I had another adventure on Sunday. Most of the gang had gone home, but our raid leader, Evan, had stuck around to drive Matt and I to LAX. Matt wanted to be at the airport early and I wanted to go to Hollywood. By then, my brain-mouth filter had broken down and for those few hours I was quite possibly the most annoying person on the planet. Kudos to Evan for humouring me. I actually lost my voice from talking so much.

No one had a map, so after dropping off Matt, Evan and I randomly drove around until we found Hollywood and the walk of fame.

We did eventually make it. And we probably would have made it earlier had I not been wrong with every guess of direction I made. On the bright side, the drive was very educational: we unintentially toured a ghetto where all the houses had barred windows, a red light district and a number of freeways.

On the way back, we stopped off for food and in my exhaustion, I forgot how to act in a restaurant. I talked really loud (why Evan didn’t shut me up, I don’t know). Then I couldn’t figure out how to put the tip on my receipt. I forgot that I hadn’t paid yet and that I would get a paper with a tip line after my credit card was returned. After paying, I just sat there, forgetting that I could leave now.

I didn’t drink much during Blizzcon. I don’t have to drink to be stupid.

And now I’m home

My flight to Toronto was packed with Blizzcon enthusiasts, but I was so tired that I just sat on the ground (there aren’t enough seats at LAX) and stared blankly at them. The stares they gave me in return were just as blank. No social mana left at all. Shame. The three semi-passed out across from me were hawt.

I did get some exercise in the Toronto airport. 15 minutes to go through customs and security… Yeah, I didn’t make my connection. Well, I did, but only because they held the flight for me. My carry-on only challenge paid off: the only reason I made the flight was because I had no checked luggage.

I made it to my 1pm class on Monday. My flight landed at 11:30am, so I even had time to go home and take a shower!
I still haven’t completely recovered, but my voice is slowly coming back, the sore throat is almost gone and I’ve been awake for at least 4 consecutive hours.

Now to catch up on all the schoolwork I missed…

How I Met My Guild

August 4, 2010

For months, I’ve been thinking about writing a guild seeking guide. However, the Universal Laws of Blogging dictate that the more and longer you think about writing on a topic, the less likely you are to get around to doing it. Or maybe it’s not a Universal Law, maybe it’s just a Bossy Pally Law. Either way, I’ll probably never get around to writing an elaborate, step by step, failproof, satisfaction guaranteed or your 5 minutes back guide to guild shopping.

Besides, even though I could write a saga on how to tell good guilds from bad guilds, it would be total hypocrisy. While I did read guild website after guild website and made lists of what I was looking for, I ended up screwing it all and went with the very first guild I considered anyway.

I get teased a lot about being indecisive. Anyone who’s ever been to a restaurant with me (or worse, who’s ever had to choose a restaurant with me) has some pretty dramatic stories to share. But it’s actually the other way around: I know exactly what I want. If what I want isn’t an option, then I don’t care what I end up getting.

I love telling the story of how I met one of my best friends. I’d been in the US for a total of two days as a very exotic Canadian exchange student (while Americans are not exotic to Canadians, apparently Canadians are exotic to Americans). I ran into another girl from my home school who invited me to a party at her dorm. I had other plans (I think they involved playing WoW) but my roomate kicked me out for the night and I ended up at the dorm party. I walked into the room, looked around, picked out one guy and thought “that one“. Even though it turned out that we were both silent types who don’t speak to strangers, we somehow ended up talking. Until 4 am. 5 years later, we’re still super close.

This is us, in Zangarmarsh

Picking a guild was just like that. I was listening to a podcast. I can’t remember if it was the WoW Insider Show or The Elitists (which at the time was a WoW podcast), but Matticus was there and talking about the hard modes his guild was doing and how they raided on tight schedule. I thought to myself “I wish that was my guild“.

A few weeks later, I was in that guild.

I wouldn’t say it was impulsive. I did think long and hard about whether I wanted to leave the guild I was in at the time. I did go guild shopping, trying to find a serious raiding guild with a middle-of-the-Atlantic-ocean-pharmacy-student-friendly schedule. I browsed the recruitment forums, I browsed WoW Progress, I fine-tooth combed WoW Headhunters. I bookmarked a few interesting guilds and followed their progression for a little while.

I did everything by the book, but the more I research I did, the more I realized that I had my mind made up all along.

I get attached to guilds, so the transition was painful. The culture shock was also…shocking. I came from a guild mainly composed of professionals in their mid 30s to mid 40s. My current guild has an age range of 15 to 38 with players from all walks of life. The dirty dirty humour from my old guild (I guess older people who are married with kids are more comfortable with their sexuality or something) was replaced by the rowdier, more aggressive joking around of a younger crowd.

There were a few “OMIGOSH” moments.

The very first raid I ran with them was a ToC 10 alt run. I’d just server transferred, so I was feeling a little spooked. I was eager to get involved, though, so I jumped at the occasion.

As we were zoning in, I noticed we’d be 2-healing ToC. Until then, I’d always 3-healed ToC, but I had been wanting to try 2-healing since, like, forever. Early on Northrend Beasts, I was welcomed with this conversation:

Random person: The healing is really bad.
Me: *Thinking* Shit.
Random person: The healing sucks and it’s not the pally.
Me: *Relieved*

Sure enough the priest was a dusty alt that hadn’t been played in months. He stood around trying to find where he put his spells. So I can almost say that on my very first raid, I was forced to solo heal ToC. (Note that this was back in October, before everyone was solo healingToC.)

Another memorable first impression moment was also in ToC. I can’t remember if it was my first or my second 25 man, but it was 25 man and it was heroic. I’d never done heroic before. I was terrified during Northrend Beasts, I was terrified during Jaraxxus. And then I was standing in front of Faction Champs. We did pretty badly. We came back and did pretty badly again. After a few times of doing pretty badly, the raid leader lost his shit. Or maybe he didn’t, but compared to the soft, gentle, soothing voice of my old guild’s raid leader, this certainly sounded like someone losing their shit.

I don’t like the word petrified because its been abused too much by bad fanfiction writers, but there’s no better way to describe me at that moment. I stared at my screen with my eyes wide open wondering if my muscles would let me try to hide under my bed. I couldn’t really make out what was being said, I get confused when people use too many swear words, but I was sure it wasn’t very good.

A few of the guys protested. Tempers all around were getting heated. Then those angry guys went and destroyed those Heroic Faction Champs.

I learned quite a bit about men, motivation and mobilization that night.

Even during those first few awkward weeks, I never looked back and I never regretted my decision. It’s been, what, about 10 months? I still haven’t had any second thoughts.

A few weeks ago, my GM asked everyone, one by one, what their plans for Cataclysm were. When asked why I’d be sticking around, I thought of Zath who yells “HI RYKGA HI RYKGA HI RYKGA HI RYKGA” everytime I log onto vent. I thought of the guildie whom I shall not name who gave me a Stratholme Lily after I gave him a Paper Zeppelin Kit for Christmas. (I still carry that flower in my bags all the time.) I thought of Kimbo and his many hilarious attempts to get a reaction out of me. (I’m not a reactive person, but I do love attention.) I thought of how I’ve always felt welcome on vent, even though I rarely say anything. I thought about how there’s always one or two people noticing my absences if I’ve been critted by real life a few days in a row. Had I been asked the question today, I would have also thought about how they make room for me in raids, rustiness and outdated gear and all, on the rare nights I’m not working.

It was too long and complicated to explain so I just answered “because I’m happy here“.

The point I’m trying to get to isn’t really that my guild is more awesome. I’m happy, but there have been others who weren’t happy and who moved on. The point is more that I think, deep down inside, we all know what we want. It’s good to look around, to consider all our options, but really, sometimes we look too far. I don’t get people who want one thing, purposely go after something else then complain about it. Be honest with yourself, take things for what they really are and listen to your gut.

So I suppose my guild shopping guide could be reduced to one line: stop bullshitting yourself and go to do what you’ve secretly always want to do.

/ignore And Why I Don’t Like It…Much

June 28, 2010

- Jerkface is ignoring you -

What. the.

My face was suddenly sore from e-slap. Why is Jerkface ignoring me? I thought we were pretty good friends. We ran heroics together all the time, played on the same arena team. We’d even gotten smashed and wandered the streets of Toronto until 4 am once, just the two of us. Yes, the real life Toronto! Not Stormwind or Ironforge or Exodar. He did have a bad temper. Maybe we had a disagreement lately? I played the last few in-game days over in my mind. No. No fight.

An accident maybe?

Somehow I doubted it.

FINE, I thought, you ignore me, I’ll ignore you.

Smugly, I put him on my ignore list and went about my business. But I really wanted to know what he was saying. Really wanted to know. Really wanted to-

He must have stayed on my ignore list for grand 15 minutes before I realized that the idea was absolutely stupid.

To this day, I’ve never used the ignore feature since, save for a few beggers in Ironforge who made the list just long enough to get the hint.

I’m not a fan ignoring other players, with the exception of maybe really annoying strangers trying to take my gold or sell me theirs. I know the mentality is “if you can’t put up with someone, just put them on ignore”, but I don’t like that. Whether it’s puggers or guildies, hiding everything someone says doesn’t fix any problems and just makes it more difficult to get the job done.

/ignore in PuGs

Surprise, surprise, players in pugs can be socially inept, jerks, annoying or plain stupid. You’re only in a group with them for a few hours at most, you’ll likely never play with them again, why put up with their idiocies?

Well, you’re only in a group with them for a few hours, you’ll likely never play with the likes of them again, so why not just roll your eyes at their dumb contributions to chat?

Despite all the stupidity floating in the air, I still like to know what’s going on when I’m pugging. When I’m playing with strangers, I imagine the worst case scenario and in the worst case scenario, I’m going to have to cover for everyone elses mishaps. So the more information I have, the better.

And if that information is mainly “anal [random name]” or “ur mom”, then so be it.

/ignore in guilds

You don’t like someone’s sense of humour, you don’t like their attitude. Just /ignore them. Easy, right?

Not really.

I’m sure it’s great for a short term fix. Just hide what they say and you won’t have to worry about it ever again. But can you go on, day after day, week after week, raid after raid just not knowing what they’re saying?

Not being able to see their chatter might relieve some stress at first, but even if you can’t see it, they’re still talking. Their attitude is still infiltrating your bubble. They’re still there. (You know, in ur raid, offending ur person.) And not only are they there, but they’re your healers, your tanks, your healees, your teammates. Despite the (what you consider) crap they might spew out, in a raid setting, they might just say something useful to the success of the raid.

And that’s without counting the inevitable tension that slowly builds between yourself and your ignoree. Every time you play you remind yourself that you’re ignoring them because you can’t stand them and they remind themselves (because, yes, they will figure out soon enough they’re being ignored) that you’re ignoring them because you can’t stand them. In a world of thick skinned internet beasts, it may take awhile for tension to build, but it will built and it will explode. Then there’ll be ooze and blood and we’ll have to clean up and no one likes cleaning up.

You’re never going to like everyone

I’m often accused of being too nice and of liking everyone.

It’s not that I like everyone. Nor does everyone like me (as the story at the beginning of this post has proven to us!). I have my own personality and morals and they do clash with others at time. It might come as a surprise to some that, while I left my old guild of two years because I didn’t care for the playstyle and leadership structure anymore, it was an exploded personality conflict that burned my bridges and kept me from looking back. It’s not that either of us were terrible people, we were just terribly incompatible people. So, yes, no one likes everyone all the time and that’s completely ok.

How to put up with annoyances?

1- Pick your battles carefully. You won’t win them all, and those you lose will be like fuel on a fire. (Tell a bunch of boys they’re not allowed to say the word “rape” and the only word you’ll hear from them for the next 3 weeks will be “rape”) Unless someone is really crossing a line, it’s best to just tune them out without physically ignoring them. Also, the less often you put people in their place, the more impact you’ll have when you do.

2- Remember that human beings aren’t 2 dimensional. With some individuals, it can be really hard to remind yourself of their redeeming features, but for the team (and your sanity)’s sake, you have to. Many WoW players are very socially inept, but behind the strange facades they put up, you’ll usually find intelligent, helpful, passionate people who appreciate any kind of attention you give them. Also, what looks like nastyness to some can actually be a sign of people comfortable enough with each other to tease

3- Master the art of subtlety changing the subject. WoW players are passionate folk. If they stray onto a topic you don’t like, bring up class changes, patch notes or whatever else they feel strongly about. Problem solved. When all else fails, the line “now, now, that’s not very nice” has the double effect of causing laughter and ending the current conversation. (I have to give credit to my GM for that one, I stole that line from him and tried it a few times, works like a charm.)

4- If it can’t be fixed, it might be time to move on. I’m guilty of getting attached to guildies and convincing them to stay despite elements of our guild culture making them absolutely miserable. What I’ve realized lately is that by doing this, I was just causing everyone tons of stress. Some personality conflicts can’t be resolved. When it gets to the point where you just can’t allow yourself to see what a person is typing, then it’s time to find a more fitting home. There are a lot of former guildies that I miss with all my heart, but I much prefer to hear them speak excitedly about their new teammates than comfort them as they complain about my teammates.

At the end of the day

At the end of the day, the ignore feature is great for getting rid of gold sellers, gold beggers and that annoying level 2 guy in Exodar asking how to get to Stormwind. It’s not so great for stretching out an unresolvable personality conflict or masking a too-big guild culture shock.

At the end of the day, we play this game for enjoyment, whether that enjoyment comes from downing bosses in the most efficient way possible or from socializing with people from across the continent or a mixture of column A and column B. If you have to entirely block out an individual, you’re doing neither of the above. Go, go and be with people you don’t have to block out.

Just sent me an email once in awhile, because, you know, I kinda get attached to people.


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