Posted tagged ‘shared topic’

Shared Topic: Do Your Alts Know Each Other?

April 4, 2011

I’ve been running a writing about WoW drought lately. I think that may have something remotely to do with the fact that when I’m not logging in to raid, I’m only logging in for an hour or so in hopes of finally digging up that trinket. Want to know what’s ruining WoW for me? Tyrande’s Favorite Doll, that’s what.

Besides, if you look at my scale of Important Things in Life, you’ll see faded, used ol’WoW on one side. On the other, you’ll see getting a podcast up and running, planning a backpacking trip in Cuba, finishing up clerkship, studying for pharmacy legal/licence exams and preparing to move to Alberta. WHICH SIDE OF THE SCALE DO YOU THINK IS HEAVIER?

Very good.

For Confused People who've never seen an old fashioned Scale

But anyway, this week’s Shared Topic is perfect for the person who can’t really remember a whole lot about WoW. Because if there’s one thing I remember, it’s how I feel about my characters. Kamalia from Kamalia et alia came up with a Topic I fell in love with: Do your alts know about each other?

Me and RP: A Background

We’ll get this out of the way: I’m not an RPer. In fact, if I tried to do any sort of RP on my blog, RPers all over the world would be horribly insulted and hate me forever.

RP and I just don’t click. Not in real life (the big cardboard box in my closet at my parents’ house that’s says “Roleplay Costumes” on its side is dusty for a reason) and not in games. The few times I tried, I felt silly, followed by embarrassed, followed by bored.

I don’t even like reading other people’s RP. I haven’t gotten though a piece of fanfiction since the last Digimon lemon I read when I was about 16 (hey Mat and Tai were HAWT ok! In my imagination they were older than 11). I’d blame my distaste for fanfiction and RP on bad writing and the overuse of clichés like the word “trembled”, like female characters with hippy names and physical traits like “sky blue eyes”. I’d blame it on that, but I don’t even like the good fanfiction.

But…the Small RPer Within

I think we’ve established that there’s no converting me to RPing. But…sometimes….it feels like my brain tricks me. It tricks me into thinking that Rykga, my paladin, grew up in Stormwind. It tricks me into thinking she was a merchant’s daughter. It tricks me into thinking that she was sort of innocent, but adventurous and resilient.

It even tricks me into thinking she’s got a sense a humour, that she secretly loves to blow up faces but can’t take herself seriously long enough to put a +Strength weapon to good use.

I think somewhere, hidden, I might have an RPer-within. One that will never be completely revealed to the world- if I start writing bad fanfiction and the word “trembled” with any type of seriousness here, I swear I will burn my blog to the ground. But one that graces me with a glimpse of her (decidedly my RPer-within is female) presence once in awhile.

As for the Alts

The alts…my mage, the squeaky Eloise, the cynical death knight Snowfia, the stuck-up but lonely paladin Ophelie… they all trembled- Just kidding! They all seem to have their own little personalities. And my low low lowbies, I feel like they have personalities too, but I haven’t discovered them yet.

Elo's Encounter with the World

But there’s one thing that never crossed my mind – have my characters ever met each other?

No, they haven’t met

There. It’s official. None of my characters has ever met, or will ever meet one another. They’re far too different, or far too obscure, to cross paths.

As for whether they know about each other, Elo and Snow have heard of Rykga. After, she DID kill Arthas, badass that she is. They come across some old stuff she’s left lying around. Snow’s even done some business with her, operating the Auction House and the Bank for her.

Ophelie’s Horde, though, and, even though she’s ready for Northrend, she’s still too unlearned about the world to have a firm grasp of who Rykga is. Other than having heard the name once or twice in Taverns or Inns, she’s got her head up her arse and doesn’t pay much attention to the world.

Doesn’t that just weird you out?

I’m no RPer. Not now, not ever. Yet I know all this stuff about these characters (and their sky blue eyes…). That just weirds me out.

And you know what? I kind of miss hanging out with my toons. Once the real world gets boring again, I’ll probably be back watching my girls grow up.

Want to join in on a Shared Topic? Head over to the forum at Blog Azeroth for all the upcoming Topics. Blog about that week’s Topic and leave a link back to it in the appropriating thread.

Shared Topic : What’s In a Name

October 9, 2010

As a Shared Topic this week, Llani from Pocket Heals suggested a classic: Your name, where did it come from? Quite a few people got involved and you can read all their of their responses by checking out the thread over at Blog Azeroth.

As for mine, Ophelie (pronounced Oh-FAY-lee) doesn’t have much of a cool story, so I’ll tell of how I came up with my paladin’s name.

So I went to this really artsy high school. It wasn’t an arts school by any means, just the neighbourhood public high school for those who can’t afford private or specialty schools. Yet for whatever reason, our school culture was very artsy. (I blame the resilient cloud of marijuana smoke that had hung over the desolate building for over 30 years. It made us think funny.) It was considered completely normal to make your own clothes. There was a list of all the cool, outgoing kids: it was the advanced theatre club roaster. The even more cool and outgoing kids were also allowed in the improv team. (I was a shy, nerdy kid so I was condemned to normal theatre and film class. Granted, I would have been condemned to them anyway since I needed to take physics and chemistry for the college program I wanted to get into, which didn’t leave enough room in my schedule for any type of advanced arts.)

But what kept my attention the most were the impressive large wall paintings made by past students. For a school catering to working and lower middle class teenagers, it has nurtured an unbelievable amount talent over the years. One of these painting in particular, hiding on the wall of a lesser starway, I was especially fascinated with: a slender elf, with short, bright red hair, was face to face with an ogre, her arms crossed, a curved dagger at her side and a look of defiance on her face.

It was a gorgeous piece of work and, several times a day, I’d make detours to use that staircase, just to admire the painting. I never found out what it was inspired by or who painted it or when it was painted. I did, however, give that beautiful elf a life of her own. I fit her into the stories in my head, the ones I tell myself when I’m bored, or anxious or just feeling creative. I made up a past for her, a family, a personality. Over the years, she grew up and became an adult, so I invented a future for her too.

Most importantly, I named her Rykga (pronounced RYE-kah). I like to toss together letters that fit a character. And the harsh sounding yet feminine and graceful Rykga was perfect for that tiny, badass, red headed elf.

When I made my paladin, I was sick of the screen name I’d been using over the past couple of years. So I cycled through my cast of stories-in-my-head characters. I picked Rykga. I wanted to use Rykga.

Nevermind that Rykga-the-paladin is not an elf, that she’s a bit pudgier than Rykga-of-the-painting, that she uses a sword, not a dagger and that her hair is a darker and browner shade of red, the name stuck and I’ve played my paladin Rykga ever since.

Shared Topic: When should a healer let someone die?

July 14, 2010

I’m cheating a little bit with this Shared Topic, it was actually last week’s Shared, but it’s such a perfect Bossy Pally topic that I’m stretching the week a little bit so I can participate… To my greatest joy, Ecclesiasticaldisc from Ecclesiastical Discipline brought up the Ultimate healer question for our Shared Topic: When should a healer let someone die?

It’s a great topic and a lot of people joined in, so click on the links to the other posts in the thread at Blog Azeroth (I will get around to doing the Twisted Nether writeup after this) to check out what others have to say.

What I’m Supposed to Answer is This:

It’s never appropriate to let someone die if it can be avoided. Of course, prioritizing what’s best for the group (such as keeping the tank alive!) sometimes results in a few casulties, but a healer should always do their best to keep everyone alive. The healer version to one of the Great Tanking Rules ™ is this : If someone dies and your cooldowns are still up and you weren’t saving them (your cooldowns, not the dead player) for later on in the fight, then that death was your fault.

What is Closer to the Truth:


A Nicer way of Putting it:

Ok, I don’t see it as letting people die. I see it as…um…readjusting my priorities. Yes, that’s it. Readjusting my priorities.

As Ecclesiasticaldisc seemed to nervously touch on in her post on the topic, in a 5 man, healers are the backbone of the group. Very few tanks can carry a bad group without a good healer. A good healer, however, can carry 4 blundering idiots through just about anything.

I don’t let stupid people die. I don’t understand when healers say: “I let this idiot die because he was dumb!” I never let a dumb player die. They take care of that all by themselves. Hey, if I was busy healing the tank (either the apparent tank or the actual tank – the two are not necessarily the same person) and someone who’s not the actual tank just happens to jump off a cliff/run into the next pack of mobs/whatever else they might do to die despite my cooldowns, well, I didn’t let them die. Sorry.

If someone’s annoying me (which is rare, I have amazing obliviousness skills), then maybe they’ll drop down the priority list. Maybe, oooooh, maybe I’ll suddenly be preoccupied with redoing buffs until the foul mouth pally tank’s Ardent Defender procs. Maybe I’ll have a need to focus on the tank while the jackass of shadow priest stands in crap. Or maybe Hand of Protection will be on cooldown when the whiney mage pulls aggro. Maybe. ‘Cos, you know, it can happen.

Is it right?


Do I care?

This is me caring: -_-

Raids are a different story

In a 5-man, my goal is to get my badges using the least effort possible. Which means no wiping and no major dps losses. That leaves a lot of room to my whims.

On a raid boss, we need everyone. The fights are longer and even a foul mouthed underperforming dps can shave decent seconds off a boss kill. Also, I typically run raids with my guild. On an average day, there’s no one pissing me off to where I can’t find it in me to heal them. There’s been the odd occasion, on a below-average day, where I’ve showered certain non-tanks with less heals, but according to the Strict Healing Assignment Rule ™ (HAHAHAHA!) I’m not supposed to stray from my assignment (typically the tanks) anyway….

So, When Should a Healer Let Someone die?

What you should do, is you should never let someone die if you can avoid it. That’s what you should do.

Shared Topic: Conquering the Pre-Expansion Slump

June 9, 2010

No you’re not a dreaming! It is indeed a Shared Topic! Feels like forever since I’ve done one of these! This week’s topic may seem a little redundant after after my last post, but appearances can be deceiving. I totally have stuff to bring to the table. The topic was suggested by Jaedia, our Lazy Sniper and is very timely. To read other people’s takes, be sure to check the thread at Blog Azeroth.

What am I doing to conquer the pre-expansion slump? What a good question! A guildie of mine who was losing interest asked me that a few weeks ago. I answered almost instantly. My 10 man team. She quit the game a few days later. Wrong answer I guess.

Then my guild redid the raiding schedule and I got a job (in real life) with irregular hours. Now, not only do I no longer have a 10 man team, but I mainly kissed raiding goodbye altogether. (Just on my working nights and just for the summer though!)

But, I’m a project-type person. As long as there’s something to plan, some data to sort, some lists to make, I’m absolutely fascinated. So here’s a list of ideas for the fellow project-type person:

Gear wish lists! Gear wish lists for you, for your offspecs, for your alts….and 15 of your favorite guildies.

Quest drop rate reports. Because someone should really prove that the quest in Swamp of Sorrows where you have to kill the whole zone 10 times to get a piece of paper is just inhuman/inelf/intauren/inorc/indwarf/ingnome/introll.

Prank a guildie. Put those secret alts to good use to farm/follow/tbag/disrupt the AH postings of the guildie of your choice. The more elaborate the better. (And no, Isumi is not me.)

Cross-server Auction House reports. Which server has the cheapest flasks? The cheapest glyphs? The cheapest gems?

Collect useless but cool items. Have a Super Simian Sphere yet? How about a Deputy Pa’trolla Badge?

Spread some happiness. Roll a male draenei, strip him naked, pop him on top of a male mailbox and have him /yell the lyrics to All the Single Ladies. If Glee club isn’t your thing, go around and /hug as many random strangers as you can. Take note of how long it takes for you to get warned about sexually harassing other players.

Give in-game public transportation an IRL feel. Hang out by the ships, the tram, the zeppelins. Chat up those waiting by asking them about their shoes, which movies they saw last and what they think of Jaina Proodmore. Throw in some begging for change to add to the effect. May possibly be less entertaining on an RP server.

Get to work with all of this, and you won’t even notice the time between now and Cataclysm. Unless you get banned, of course.

Shared Topic: Starting Over

April 3, 2010

Last night I got the Skyshattered Achievement!

I hadn’t been planning on taking part in this week’s Shared Topic. Not because it’s a bad topic (it’s a great topic and tons of bloggers participated!), but because my energy level is still pretty bad. I’m always amazed and proud that I manage to make it to the bathroom on time and all my blogging attempts come out like wdedxgnfsdknhjfraswdj.

But the Skyshattered Achievement really inspired me.

I know a flying race seems to have nothing to do with a topic called “Starting Over”, but bear with me. This is, as usual, a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic. It was suggested by Pieces from Blasting Away and you can find links to the (many!) other takes in the thread at Blog Azeroth, appropriately named Shared Topic: Starting Over.

I kinda live in the moment. I rarely get excited about things until they actually happen (Cataclysm? What is this Cataclysm?) I also don’t hang onto regrets. Whenever I fill out one of those teenagery Livejournal/Facebook surveys, I have to give a boring answer to the “what’s your biggest regret” question because, quite honestly, when something is over and done with, I forget all about it. (This also makes me really bland at the truth part of truth or dare because I never remember my juicy, embarrassing mistakes.)

So my original answer to this topic would have something boring like “If I could start all over at WoW, I would do it all exactly the same!”

Then, last night, I was flying around Outlands and thought to give that race over by the Netherspite a try. I’d only ever managed to get past the first race, and I’m sure many of you have seen this video of me as I did my many attempts (yes, I’m totally an animated blob IRL, didn’t you know that?).

This time, almost two years later, I gave it another shot. I kept my eye on the NPC I was following, I used the mouse to navigate and the space bar to move up. I ended up one-shotting every single race. Sure it helps that at level 80, I wasn’t accidentally pulling all the other stuff flying around, but still, I was shocked at how much better I’ve become at controlling my character.

It made me think of how different my playstyle is now compared to when I first discovered WoW. In my head, I went over the misconceptions I had when I started the game.

“I’m always going to pug instances”

“I don’t want to make friends in-game”

“I don’t want to raid”

“Raiding is super serious and scary and takes up all your time.”

You know, I really hesitated before joining my old (very casual and understanding) guild because I was nervous about having to play seriously. Ironically, one of the reasons I moved on two years later was because I wanted to play more seriously.

So, if I were to start over, I’d still play a paladin. A human one. I might level with a better spec…(random talent allocation isn’t ideal!) yet I’d probably still be respeccing all the time to explore my character more.

But knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t be so intimidated by other players and by end game content. I missed out on pre-BC raiding and that makes me sad. If I were to go back in time and do all over again, I would definitely focus on leveling faster, I wouldn’t sweat buckets before joining my first raiding guild and I would experience at least Molten Core, with 39 others, the way it was intended.

Once upon a time, I thought I couldn’t do the Sky Shatter race, just like I once thought I couldn’t level at a proper pace, that I couldn’t find a guild I enjoyed and that I didn’t have what it took to raid. But last night I discovered I could do the race just fine. And it reminded of everything I missed out on in game because I foolishly thought I couldn’t do it.

Shared Topic: Posting blog links on Armory

March 17, 2010

No, posting blog links on the Armory isn’t a new feature. But say it was. Would you post a link to your blog?

Yep, it’s time for a Shared Topic! This one was suggested by Anea of Oh Look, An Alt! and you can find other takes by checking out the forum at Blog Azeroth. (And even if you don’t want to read Shared Topics, you should go to Blog Azeroth anyway because I said so.)

So would you post a link to your blog on the Armory?

I totally would.

Granted, had I been asked that question 6 months ago, my response would have been more along the lines of: “OMFG NO! WTF ARE YOU THINKING!” Then I would have panicked for a few minutes at the thought of strangers reading my pitiful attempts at writing about WoW.

And it seems pretty unanimous among those who’ve responded so far that posting a blog link on our Armory page isn’t appealing.

Still, I would do it.

While it took me awhile to get the hang of writing (and I’m still pretty embarrassed about my early posts), I’m comfortable with my content. When I blog, I keep in the back of my mind that anything here may be read by anyone. It’s just how I am.

We have this illusion of anonymity on the internet, but that’s all it is, an illusion. I wouldn’t be surprised if a potential employer came across my blog. And if I’m comfortable with a potential employer reading my blog, I really don’t have a problem with random strangers reading it. Besides, having random strangers read it is kind of the point of having a public WoW blog in the first place (in hopes, of course, that these strangers will lose their stranger status).

A question asked the other bloggers who’ve answered the topic so far has been: Who would be armoring me anyway?

I don’t think my armory page gets many hits. Maybe some from guildies (who know about my blog anyway), maybe some from former guildies (who also know about my blog), maybe some from blog readers (who obviously know about my blog). But other than that? I rarely PuG or PvP, I’m not vocal on my server. No one cares about my armory. (Wow, that actually sounds kind of emo, hmm….)

Even in the rare chance that I piss someone off to the point where they go to the armory, find my blog link and give me a hard time, so what?

Another point raised by others who’ve answered this topic is: What if I’m applying to a guild?

After all the discussions about guilds and blogging, it’s been made very clear that different bloggers have different relationships with their blogs and their guilds.

There are some bloggers who seem to go as far as take pleasure in bashing guildies on their blogs. I can understand how they may not enjoy a new guild reading their blog. On a less extreme side of the secrecy half of the blogging spectrum, a few bloggers said that they just enjoy their privacy, their right to talk about the game without guildies breathing down their neck. I can certainly respect that.

Personally, though, if a guild can’t take my blog we have a problem. I don’t see why they would have a problem with my goody-goody, very PC, OMG-lets-all-love-each-other-and-be-friends style, but as we’ve all discovered at one point or another, people read what they want into your writing. And since getting used to a new guild is something I’d like to not do too often, I’d prefer to know ahead of time if they’d iffy with the topics I blog about, with my articulateness (or lack thereof) or with my personality. Maybe not so much when I was a new blogger (note that my GM recently made sure the world knew that I didn’t link my blog in my application). Now that I have decent sample size of posts, though, some very personal, some very dry, some very WTF, making sure a new guild is fine with my blog before I join would a be a top priority.

So, yes, I would link to my blog on my Armory page.

I don’t think it would generate much traffic (and I must admit, I would be very curious as to exactly how much traffic it would generate), but I don’t see why I wouldn’t link to myself. Shamelessness FTW.

Shared Topic: Eavesdropping WoW Conversations IRL

March 12, 2010

Overheard while in line for coffee at the University Center:

Guy: (to friend) I got my warrior tank defense capped!

My ears perked and I wiped around.

Me: (in an annoyed voice) It’s not a cap, it’s a minimum.

Ok, I lied. This never happened. And the fact that I fantasize about these kinds of conversations says a lot about me.

Anyway, this week’s Shared Topic was suggested by Oath from Dressed to Cuddle and it’s all about overhearing conversations about WoW in the offline world. Most of the stories shared so far are quite funny so I suggest you check them out by heading over to the Shared Topic forum at Blog Azeroth.

As open as I am about my gaming, I don’t come across other WoW players too often. When I do, it’s usually planned, as in, ooooo you should meet my friend/brother/cousin/dog, they play WoW too! The only random conversation I recall overhearing was, in fact, an unpleasant one. I was studying at the coffee shop when my ears suddenly groaned in pain.

Girl 1: So, my, like, boyfriend, is, like, playing WoW with his friends right now? Like, I don’t get it? Like, why would any want to, like, play a stupid video game for, like, hours?

Girl 2: I dunno, it’s, like, so stupid? Like, people get, like, so obsessed over a, like, game? They, like, starting playing and, like, that’s all they, like, do? I’d rather, like, have a social life?

No, I’m not exaggerating their speaking style. Their brain spasms probably retained my attention way more than the fact that they were mindlessly bashing WoW.

I could have jumped into the conversation. I could have told them that playing WoW is a hobby, no different from taking guitar lessons, or playing volleyball on Mondays, or watching TV on Tuesday nights. I could have told them that the average WoW player is an average person, with a social life no different from non-WoW players.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t see the point.

I hate arguing. I like discussion. I like being corrected, I like firing back with my train of thought, I like coming out of conversations feeling as if I’ve grown as a person. Arguing does nothing of that. When I argue, I quickly realize that I’m getting nowhere, that nothing I say is going to matter because the other person isn’t listening. I just get heated up and leave the conversation angry and feeling stupider than I was before.

The problem with preconceived notions such as “WoW = not a fun game, an obsession and must be aquired by trading in your social life” is that they’re not based on anything reasonable. Based on anecdotal experience maybe, based on “I heard that…”, based on old stereotypes. Trying to reason with that wasn’t going to get me very far.

I was reminded of a colleague I had, in the summers where I worked at a camp for children with ASD. There were other camps on the site, one of them was a DnD-style camp. The kids ages from about 9 to about 12, wore medieval costumes, beat each other with foam swords and acted out adventure stories. The type of thing I would have loved when I was 9. I told my colleague how much fun it that camp must be for the kids. She gave me this haughty look and replied with the most disgusted voice: “Really? I was just thinking about how stupid their camp is.”

Again, no reason behind it. She thinks it’s stupid for 9 year olds to get dressed up and play make-belief. There’s no point in arguing because she’s not going to hear anything different.

I was also reminded of this really weird guy I ran into at a party once. One of the first things he said to me was: “By the way, I hate your province“. Being a homesick expat, I tend to be very patriotic. I asked if he’d ever been there. His answer? “No, but I don’t have to be kicked in the balls to know that it sucks.”

I was stunned for a second, stuck somewhere between wanting to burst into tears and wanting to punch him in the face. He was obviously one of those guys who like to talk politics without actually knowing anything about politics. (He, also, sadly, was a WoW player, the type who reinforces the stereotype of the 20something scrawny looser with a bad haircut who can’t hold a job and lives with his mommy. When I meet WoW players like that, I kinda forgive the two coffee shop girls.) I just gave him a pity look and turned away.

So back to the coffee shop girls with the cliched notion. I just shook my head and wondered how many hours they’ve wasted on Farmville.