Post Card from the Epic Journey
I was hoping to have a picture of Rykga (my paladin…most readers knew of her at one point, but I’m pretty sure her and I have been long since tossed into the “lost and forgotten” pile) hanging out in the Dalaran beer garden, just like in my blog banner, for her last (at least, for the time being) logout. Lacking in foresight, though, the last time I logged out of WoW (I remember it like yesterday, I was sitting on the floor of Melbourne airport temporary terminal huddling with like 6 other people, waiting for my flight to Sydney to board), I said to myself “I still have a month of game time left, surely I’ll log in before then“.
Internet access in Australia is a gamble, though, so it ends with no Rykga in the Beer Garden. We’ll all have to use our imaginations instead. Or just look at my banner and pretend it’s a screenshot.
While I don’t have enough internet for WoW, I am able to blog for the time being, so if you are interested in the Epic Journey at all, I warmly invite you over to the personal blog.
I’m not quite up to date, but I’m making the effort to work on it every night before I go to bed, so there should be some type of regular updates for at least the next two weeks. Should you feel the need to encourage me, don’t be shy, any encouragement is likely to make me work faster and with more focus (hint, hint, wink, wink.)
I suck at Twitter because it blows through my limited internet, but I am on Facebook a fair bit (you can find the link if you dig enough on the personal blog, or you can ask me via email – just make sure you accompany any friend invite with a message saying where you know me from. I get a lot of Facebook spam so invites from people I don’t immediately place tend to get unfairly declined), I check my Bossypally email every few days and I promise to answer blog comments within a reasonable time frame. So if any of (the three of) you (who remember me) want to to keep in touch, I’ll be overjoyed at the idea of correspondence.
Some final notes before I stop writing about gaming for the foreseeable future:
I had this fantasy of updating my blogroll before I turn out the lights. My last few weeks before moving were nothing short of hell on earth, though, so it never got done. And now, well, I don’t feel like it’s worth the amount of data or the time investment to do.
There are two shoutouts I want to make, however. Shoutout that are almost a year overdue.
The first is My Mom Plays WoW. Noritam and I exchanged a few emails awhile back and I’ve been really meaning to add her to my blog roll. I haven’t been following her blog over the past couple of months for obvious reasons so this may no longer be true, but when I was reading, Noritam was discovering WoW (and computer gaming) while playing with her adult daughter. The two have a great relationship, and reading Noritam’s adventures brought back a lot of memories, both of being a novice MMO player and of playing with novice players. I think both mother and daughter would also fit in really well to the blogging community and I highly recommend stopping by their blog and saying hi.
Gamer by Design, written by long time comment Talarian is the second. I was so excited when he started blogging that I never even realized that I hadn’t added his blog to the roll. He mainly focuses on game design, but unlike a lot of game design blogs out there, most of the content is very accessible and interesting to those, like me, who don’t already know a lot on the topic. There’s also occasional Holy Paladin content for extra goodness!
I also added the Icy Veins Class Guide page link under General Paladin Info, since Icy Veins has become pretty much the de facto information site on WoW. I haven’t checked their recent holy paladin 6.0 update (and even if I did, I wouldn’t be in a position to critique anything), but from what I remember, that guide is top notch.
So my raid/guild leader has been checking the blog eagerly since mid-July to see if I called him a big meanie the way I sorta did when writing about our 10s Heroic Garrosh kill. (I learned the hard way that the rule in blogging about Cadenza is “never write anything you can’t stand to have read back to you on Vent” XD)
Anyway, not long at all after my last post where I had no faith in getting a Heroic Garrosh kill on 25 before having to leave, I got a Heroic Garrosh kill on 25. I think I may even have gotten 2 or 3 kills (I can’t be arsed to check Rykga’s armory and it all happened so long ago in another life. What matters is that I got at least one beautiful, glorious kill.)
My memory is more hazy on the 25 kill than the 10 kill, probably because I’m writing about it months later instead of days later and I was significantly less terrified during our attempts, so I can’t really give a play by play recap of the kill. From what I do recall, though, I was super happy to have gotten the kill, I was really grateful to have been given a spot in the raid (at the time, we had a lot of healers, most of them far better, more dedicated players than I am) and I don’t think my raid leader was mean at all.
Another happy ending was finishing Gold Challenge Modes, not only on my pally, but also on my mage. Our success was a combination of Ben‘s fantastic organisational skills (you’d think getting 5 people together one night a week would be easy, but it most certainly is not.) and Arielle‘s immaculate photographic memory of every single challenge run in Pandaria (as well as his ability to get the rest of us to perform the mechanics in a somewhat reasonable way), but still, getting all the golds on my mage, even if I was sorta carried, has got to mean that there might be some teeny tiny glimmer of hope that I might not be a completely lost cause when it comes to DPS.
Also, gotta thank Megan/Poneria from Fel Concentration from saving our butts the last few weeks. Was really awesome getting to meet/play with her, if only for a short time.
If you want a chuckle, here’s a picture of the setup I did my last Challenge Mode Gold on with:
I remember, almost down to the second, the aha moment I felt with the gamer label and the gaming community. It was during the summer of 2000 and I was 15 years old. Looking for a hint on the game I was playing at the time, I stumbled onto a Final Fantasy message board. Reading their General Chat forum, I experienced two revelations:
1) These people were just as dorky and awkward as me.
2) These people were not ashamed of being just as dorky and awkward as me.
Of course, I didn’t know then that all teenagers were just as dorky and awkward as I was (you rarely get this insight until it’s too late to be useful). But it wasn’t so much that part that stayed with me as the unashamed and unapologetic attitude these people had. Up until then, I thought that my extreme shyness, my fascination with fantasy (be in video games or books) and my general clumsyness were awful faults to be embarrassed about and to hide at all costs. Browsing that forum made me realize there were circles out there where those traits were nothing to be ashamed of and even, sometimes, things to be celebrated.
Since then, I’ve met up with so many other gamers (as of a few weeks ago, after hanging out with a guildie in Melbourne, I’ve literately been half way around the world to meet other gamers), I’ve been to a ton of conventions and, of course, I made countless friends through game blogging, game message boards, Twitter and MMOs. My experiences have generally been good (I think every single one of my in-person experiences has been pretty good) and I’m the first to encourage other video game lovers, especially those who seem a little shy about their interests, to get involved in the (or rather, one of the) gamer community(ies).
I’m not blind, though, to the darker events surrounding the communities. When I hear stories of people being threatened and harassed, sometimes brutally enough that they have to flee their homes, my stomach turns. One of my Facebook friends posted an article about Gamergate today. Most of the events surrounding Gamergate happened while I was on the road so I don’t really understand most of it, but I still cried when I read it. It’s also not the first report of movements in the communities to have broken my heart too. It’s becoming increasingly hard to see what others do under the “gamer” label and still want to associate myself with that label.
I don’t feel like hate/cruel behaviour/other bad stuff is exclusively the domain of the gaming community – everyone and their cousin is either bullying or being bullied online – the internet is still in a state of nature and has become very crowded, everyone’s at war with everyone else until some kind of structure is put into place. But us gamers, we tend to be very present on the internet, so I can see how we’d have a large representation in all this bullshit.
Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, only that it’ll be the last time I get to talk about gaming for awhile, and that I had a wonderful time mucking around on this gaming blog. I really hope, really, really, really hope, that other teenagers, dorky and awkward like I was, who like to talk about their video games have experiences more like mine with lots of cool encounters and unapologetic self acceptance. I know there’s a lot of bad out there and sometimes it seems like there’s only bad out there, but that’s only because talking about the good stuff is just too repetitive.
And with that, I’ll say that when my globe trotting adventures end, I’ll be fighting off my post-vacation blues with some Warlords of Draenor, some Dragon Age: Inquision and whatever other fun games come out while I’m not paying attention to the gaming news.
Tata and hope to see you over at The Giant Spoon (without the Bossy Pally) until I get home!Beyond WoW, Blogging, Guild actions, Paperwork