Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Re-writing history.

So in the last post I introduced you (vaguely) to Shad. Staggeringly, she hasn't just pinged into the ether... well maybe she kinda did. She was Pilf-the-First, the one that a long time ago (the GM informed me it was 6 months O.o.) I deleted in a determined (but failed) attempt to stop playing WoW. I was burnt out from raiding and officer-dom and for paying to have a second job; the usual story, move along folks, nothin' to see here...

I've been loving playing Pilf, but often there is this little niggle inside me that made me miss her namesake and eventually I got to the point where I thought 'what the hell' and sent a begging letter to the GMs asking if I could have her back. We then had multiple aspects of fail - about an hour later I had a mail from them saying the usual, in case you've never had a character reinstated I'll precis it for you:

Dear [player]

We have reinstated your [race] [class] [character name] as you have requested. Please be careful in future as character deletion is meant to be permanent. If you cannot se your character please make a level one character of any race and class and delete them. Your list of character will reset.

Yours sincerely,

GM Whoever.

It's longer than that but you get the gist? So I went 'squeeeeee' logged out and... she wasn't there. Made a level one character as instructed and deleted and ........ still not there. Logged back in and sent a follow up ticket. After a short period of time a GM who's name I wish I could recall whispered me and we had a chat. He was apologetic and humourous that the re-instatement hadn't worked, promising to get the first GM to stand in the naughty corner, told me that he'd solved it, log out and then log back in to confirm with him. Yaaaaaaaaay. I log out, nothing. Make a level one character and delete, nothing. Log back in, send him a tell explaining still nothing. Pause. Hmmm. Make comment about him needing to join his colleague on the naughty corner. He pokes his tongue out at me.... He asks whether it was this server the character was on. Yes, I tell him, it was. He asks if I'm sure...? Hmmm, am I sure... getting less certain it has to be said. Uhh, I *thought* it was this server, I say. Seems like there's a little bit of fail on everyone's behalf tonight xD, comes the reply. Then he tells me that I changed relams with her just over 6 months ago, and deleted her not long after. DOH. So I log out, swap realms and sure enough there she is. I log back into the other character and send 'squeeeeeee' via tell to him. He responds with a :D and asks if that's confirmation that she's back? I reply that yes, yes she is and thank him for his help.

When I deleted her I deleted all her epics. You know that box that comes up that you have to type DELETE into? I wrote in that box a lot of times that night. Good by Heroes gear, goodbye Valorous gear, goodbye my Ulduar lollypop, you get the idea... When I logged back into her I was confused. She was wearing clothes, okay she's wearing her DPS set and okay her tier stuff is in her bags. How the hell did that happen? I guess the GM decided that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to give her back nothing? I don't know, but I am very grateful.

I sealed my joy at having her back by finishing my Timbermaw grind which netted me three achievements: Teddy Love, Lots of People Love Me and Yes, Sir I can Network. Then I finished up the night by firing up my disco spec and going and healing a normal Nexxus instance with some fellow SANers. T'was a fun night...!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Meet Shadrynne

She's my happy-go-lucky, well-adjusted blood elf. She's also a Diplomat. You'll be hearing more about her soon....

Monday, 29 March 2010

Because 'vanilla' content rocks

It ain't that comfortable, as thrones go, and I seem to be missing a crown!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Grand Tour Part 4 - The Forbidding Sea

When I was a child, my father used to call me his 'little water sprite' such was my love of water. Ponds, streams, rivers, fountains, the sea - I was enthralled by them all. I have always been able to calm myself by immersing myself in water; bathing, swimming, even just paddling if nothing else is possible. We were blessed in this regard, rivers flowed through the Woods and the coast was never far away. Father used to gather us all up and take us to the coast as often as he could - we were all confident and capable swimmers from a young age but he was always willing to swim, for hours at a time, it seemed, with me hanging onto his broad shoulders as if I was weightless. He would plough effortlessly through the sea, droplets of water glistening on his dark hair and catching in his beard. On the rare occasions I felt fear, when the shoreline receded a little too far for my liking, he would comfort me and ask what harm could possibly befall his little sprite? I swam better than mermaids, he told me, and the shore was always closer than it appeared to be, why, if I held on tightly we would feel the sand under our feet again in no time, and sure enough, we would soon hear my sibling calling and see them waving to us.

Father, everytime I venture to the shore here I scan the horizon just in case the last few years have all been a mistake, a terrible nightmare. I squint my eyes, praying that I will catch a glimpse of your dark head bobbing above the waves, your powerful arms and shoulders cleaving through the water. I know this will never happen, that you, along with most of our kind, died in a futile battle to defend our lands and homes from the Scourge. But I have had no body to mourn nor no grave to tend, how else am I supposed to remember you? I hear your voice in the waves, I see shadows moving in the depths of the ocean and I remember you. How could you have left us Father, how could you have left me? If it was not for the kindness of your extended kin I would remain with Mother, as the rest of my siblings do. They have been unable to see through her, choosing to believe her wicked lies, her selfishness, her greed, her cravings.

That I look so much like her haunts me, each and every time I catch my reflection. Mother dearest whose features I inherited; nose, mouth, chin and cheekbones all identical. The same black hair, with silvered tints. I keep mine tied up, not for me the vanity of having my hair cascading down my back, I leave that all to her. Why do I not look like you Father? I would much rather be broad and sturdy like you are, like you were. It is some cruel trick of nature that I resemble the person I despise the most? A constant reminder of what I could become? How much did you know Father? Did you know of her cravings, her addiction? Did you acknowledge this, did you try to help, or did you look the other way, leaving her to indulge herself discreetly? My siblings have told me, at length, that she did not suffer these cravings when you were with us, that this is her way of coping with the trauma, the loss of her beloved husband. I know this to be untrue. I remember her being short tempered when I was a child, I remember her eyes glittering unnaturally, that she seemed to be a different person sometimes, unpredictable in her manner. I remember being told to mind the others whilst she attended to unspecified business. With hindsight and maturity I am able to see this business for what it was, she was going to indulge herself and her craving wasn't she?

When it became clear that I had magical aptitude she was overjoyed. She would have unlimited access to powerful magical essence. Her own daughter, Father. Her flesh and blood. She would have kept me a virtual prisoner, Father, so she could indulge herself at a whim. If it had not been for the kindness of your cousin's family I would have had no choice, Father. No choice. Naofa's mother took me in when I fled to her. She made me welcome and did not judge me. She has never pressed me for an explanation, Father. You realise what this means? The whole family knows, Father. They know of your wife and her disgusting addiction, her disregard and distain for anything other than the pursuit and consuming of essence. I owe them a great debt, Father. One that I fear I shall never be able to repay. And the guilt, Father. The guilt I feel for leaving my siblings to manage her, I have tried my hardest to persuade them, to remove the scales from their eyes so they can see the reality, not just the image she wants them to see but they refuse. Eventually, they told me to choose, and if I did not choose her then I did not choose my dearest kin. I could not do it Father, even for them. I could not accept that my life, my talents, all that I could give my kin, my people should be handed to her on a golden platter. It was the hardest decision I have ever made, Father. So I stand on the shore, far from another soul, and I vent my fury and my frustration into the air, letting the breeze carry the sounds far over the sea. And when I can scream no more I sit on the rocks and listening to the waves lapping and try to imagine that you can hear me, Father, and that somehow you will be able to guide me.

On having two personas.

The more I play Pilf, RP with her, and write 'as' her, the more confuddled I get. I bitch and whine about the fact that she spends gold on outfits, finds fishing and cooking demeaning, and I generally portray her as a vapid and vain woman. I make her shallow, snobby and egotistical. Under my control she's happy to drink most concoctions, get tipsy and cuddle orcs. I make her chew gum...

When I 'become' her, put myself into her skin, 'be' her, she is none of these things. She's a definite individual, trying to find both her way in the world and her 'place' in the world. She's trying desperately to gain her independence in a number of ways. She's chasing emotional independence from her fairly shadowy (unwritten about) extended family who she loves but feels smothered by and slightly responsible for. She worries about the high standards and expectations, set by both herself and her family. Both her personal history and the history of her race haunt her.

She is fond of her 'distant cousin' Naofa (I agreed with the Other Half that having them as a couple had potential to cause a host of issues and yet having them as sibling was just...yukky. I try very hard to minimise writing in detail about Naofa as he has his own story which is for him to tell, should he choose to do so) and is grateful that, by association with him, she is able to travel and escape the confines of her kin. She worries a great deal about being bound to a man who is not of her choosing and her concern that her family will press her into a 'suitable' match means she strives for financial independence; she is secreting monies away, earned by an education that she has hidden from her family, to enable her to flee if matrimony rears its ugly head.

She enjoys her solitude but at the same time, she is miserable most of the time she is away from her kin and her City. Most suprisingly (from my point of view), she views any form of relationship with great suspicion and views displays of emotion as weak, almost a character flaw. She seems both scornful and jealous of people who are able to have fun and let their hair down. The concept of losing control seems to terrify her. I don't yet know if she has lost a lover, is suffering youthful unrequited desire or she's just seen what a mess relationships can get you into, especially if you are female... She constantly suprises me. The process of both RPing as her and writing as her is such a dissociative one that I sometimes read over what 'she' has written and wonder where it has come from.

All of which is a long worded way to say I'm trying to decide what to 'do' with her. I adore her. I'm loving the creative writing process so much, and I'm finding that I have imaginative powers that I thought didn't exist within me! But it feels a bit uncomfortable that I give her traits which she doesn't really have. The trouble being, of course, that a repressed, moral young woman would be less enjoyable for me to 'play' than the style-over-substance elf that I like.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Reasons to adore RP Realms

I've waffled at length before about how much I adore both AD and SAN. I'm going to waffle again here because I've spent the best part of three hours sat in the Gurubashi Arena with a lot of fab guildies watching some of the most incredible PvP I have ever seen, chewing on pink gum (srsly - best buff possible), necking slammers, tequila and murloc juice - and all courtsey of the Strongest of the Horde IV. I used to watch Sleeper Cartel events and yearn to be on a server that did that kinda stuff. And now I am. I cannot imagine the commitment put into these sort of server wide events, and, the Alliance behaved well, with a few notable exceptions - first time I have ticked a GM about a player behaviour, so congrats to the paladin that popped my 'report for griefing' cherry /frown. I have no idea how many people attended but these might give you an idea:

This is madness - no this is Gurubashi!

What a bloody marvellous way to spend a few hours. And a shout out to SAN's own representative, Gerrard, for stepping up and fighting! PvP doesn't do it for me, it actually gives me (try not to laugh) low level adrenaline that makes me shaky and as a result I never engage in it. Having to step up (well, down) into an Arena in front of that number of people takes enormous amounts of guts and Ger, I salute you!

I have no history on this server at all, I haven't even sussed out the 'good' guilds as yet (mainly because I have no need to) and no idea about the server history, lore, grudges, bonds or anything, which potentially made knowing who to cheer on interesting. Pilf was feeling itchy though, surrounded, as she was, by trolls, orcs, tauren and forsaken (blood elf attendance appeared low), so she made it easy and cheered for her race. Which was fine most of the time, but a little untactful when she cheered on the chap who had knocked Ger out of the tournament... She did manage to overcome her aversion (slightly) to the other races and hug him though. I think she might even have given Issy a cuddle too (but I'm sure she would blame that on the booze!)

The Old Dope Peddler

The breadth and imagination people put into their characters and their RP never ceases to amaze me. Every time I'm in Silvermoon there's something happening, and NO, not *that* sort of something either (for which I am grateful - despite the 'ERP central' repuation that Silvermoon has I haven't come across anything that unsavoury as yet - I guess I'm not around at the right times or places). Last night Pilf was walking down Murder Row when she was accosted by a troll dressed in non-descript clothing but with an awesome hat on. Pilf, as we know, isn't a huge fan of trolls and this may just have compounded her views! (I didn't manage to catch his opening line due to my screen shot failz but if I tell you it was "Yo Pilf, you one fine Momma!" you might understand why she starts off fairly icy!)

He was fantastic!! I wonder, slightly, why someone would choose to RP a drug pusher mind you. And Pilf was incredibly insulted (compounded by the fact that I had been making her fish earlier - she didn't have a good day yesterday, poor thing) so I didn't really get a chance to do anything other than a brief interaction.

Can you tell from the body language that she is royally pissed off? She really, really need to meet some trolls who are witty and intelligent... and soon!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Grand Tour Part 3 - Seradane.

~Inspired by Jae's The Explorer Task~

I have had to adapt (as have we all) to this new era. The expectation of my once fertile and plentiful family, now decimated in both number and morale, is that everyone contributes in a multitude of ways. We have financial, moral and emotional obligations and we are encouraged to keep these foremost in our minds. The simplest of these obligations to manage is the provision of gold. I am fortunate that I displayed both magical aptitude and the strength of character to be able to retain control of myself in the face of such constant temptation. I am able to earn gold as a result of my training and talent, most of which I send to my family. A simple exchange, I might add, which ensures everyone prospers. I have paid my financial dues and, in doing so, I also buy myself some freedom. Whilst travelling can be exhausting and draining, both physically and spiritually I have so many options compared to some. I have, thus far, escaped a life of drudgery, of menial labour, a life driven by the desires of a husband and the needs of children. I have the freedom to travel and I often overlook this, I forget how privileged I am to be able to go where I please. The family assume Naofa accompanies me the majority of the time, presumably to ensure I do not stray (in any way), especially when I am far from home. Often this is the case; he is never far from my side for any length of time, but he accepts that there are times when I do not desire his company, nor the company of anyone.

I have also been fortunate in finding someone willing to instruct me in botany and teach me how to recognise useful (and valuable) herbs and roots. All the big cities have many people, anxious for herbs to support their alchemical businesses but lacking time or staff to gather these themselves. This skill, I confess, my family remain unaware of. Oh, Naofa surely knows about it, but has the tact to remain silent. Why, he himself spends his free time mining ore, which he then smelts and creates armour and weapons from. I have never asked him whether he gives the family a share of his 'profit' but I suspect he does, he is honourable you see. He is also a man. I have good reason to secrete this gold away, and it is not to provide myself with meaningless luxuries - my deepest dread is that one day I will expected to marry 'well', not necessarily to a man of my choosing. This would not happen to Naofa; he will, of course, have the support of the family should he decide to marry, but it will also be understood that his devotion will always be to the crusades and that his needs can be satisfied discreetly and without commitment. When I begin to worry that my family are making arrangements for me I will speak with them and explain why this path is not for me. If they do not listen I will flee, and when I have run far enough I will vanish. I hope this time is far off but, in case it is not, I am amassing enough gold to sustain me for some time. I have a deep bond with my family, and I am aware (for how am I ever to forget) that I owe them much, but I will not be bartered away as a chattel.

As my botanical knowledge increases I travel to the remotest parts of the Continents for the scarcest herbs are valued accordingly and so the attendant effort is worthwhile. The freshest leaves are picked far from townships and their attendant pollutants so I venture off recognised roads, pathways and tracks into verdant green countryside, where the vegetation often reaches my waist. In Seradane I pause and admire the proud dragonkin patrolling the marble ruins and occasionally catch glimpses of the huge, green dragon circling overhead. He has freedom such as I shall never attain, no matter how much gold I amass. The ability to glide through the air, to pass over the heads of creatures, to land only if the whim takes you. To be answerable to no-one. Would I be lonely? Would I trade my family and friends, those complex relationships that simultaneously bind us and sustain us, if I was promised eternal freedom? I suspect I would not but should it, would it, ever be all or nothing? I do not feel that I have enough certainty, enough clarity of judgement (enough maturity, I am sure my beloved ones would say) to make decisions such as these yet. I therefore work hard and without rest, bending and gathering until my back aches, laying the leaves and roots into my bag carefully, to ensure that tomorrow I will be able to sell the results of my labour and continue to buy myself time.

When RP and RL collide.

I'm currently undertaking the utter joy that is management training, normally the bastion of prickly-armits-of-shame inducing role play. I got through all of yesterday having not had to take part in, or watch any role play, or even any having any inkling that it would be on the cards. I was celebrating internally, like you do (I imagined little cakes that have RP in a circle with a slash through them, kind of like a road sign, being handed out to all delegates and us having a group hug to seal the deal) and feeling huge relief that finally trainers, sorry, facilitators as I understand they now like to be called, have cottoned on to the fact that no-one enjoys RP (except the select few exhibitionists) in front of their colleagues in twitish, unrealistic scenarios.

As is the way with these courses, in my experience anyway, there are a given number of you, on this (3 day) course there are fifteen (including me). Out of these people two, maybe three will be people who are cracking and you would, outside the work environment, want to spend time with them. Six or seven you will feel fairly neutral about which leaves the remaining uh... four or five as that special, bottom of the gene pool, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fuckwits, ones that you cannot, for the life of you, envisage a set of circumstances in which you would want to breathe the same air as them. Everytime they open their mouth (which, by the way is often, I find these sorts of people to be very vocal), glance your way, move (breathe!) you wish you had the ability to silently and permanently silence them. What I actually mean, of course, is vapourize them. Ho-hum. This, in case you hadn't gathered, makes the group work aspects potentially fun. Or something. I was asked today, sotto voce of course, by one of the cracking ones, who, by the way is called Sullie, god bless her parents for that, if I was actually having trouble restraining myself from biting one of them...

And why when they are putting you into 'random' groups can they just not give you a number??? Lots of groups - it's one to three then. Fewer groups, it's one to five. But this would remove the fun of writing fucktard things on cards and making you walk around saying things like 'I'm Alice, who are you?' (characters from Alice in Wonderland) or better still, in my case, giving you a card saying 'Baby' and making you find the other Spice Girls. I wish I was making this up. I am as far removed from Baby Spice as it is possible to be whilst still being female and human. Sporty, natch was the highly overweight (even by my lax standards, I'm no svelte angel I assure you), going bald, middle aged man. Scary was the meek middle aged woman wearing a hand knitted jumper... I'm chewing my fingernails to bleeding stumps just recalling this.

Anyways, another of the cracking three is a chap who works in IT who we will call Ross, being as how y'know, that's his name. Ross and I had gotten into 'trouble' yesterday, for being slightly 'hyper-critical' of one of the opinionated (Daily Mail reader stylee) asshats due to his ability to totally derail the discussion and turn it into yet another example of his uber-leet 'management style'. Being told off, of course, only re-enforces the bond, natch, so by the end of yesterday we were making a significant effort not to catch each other's eye due to the snigger-snort factor. Today we amble in and grab coffee. Ross sits next to me and we shoot the breeze and as the caffeine begins to kick in I notice his t-shirt. You've guessed by now where this is going haven't you? He was wearing a dark shirt with a blue logo on it. And that blue logo represented what boys and girls? That's right, it was the Alliance symbol. (I would like to add this has never happened to me before, I have never met a random person who I know with 100% certainty plays WoW, unless you count the time where I was having coffee with my mother and some incredible loudmouth on the next table was bragging about his (less than successful) raid to, uh, I can't remember exactly where now, and my mother said, in her very carrying voice, 'Darling do you think you'll still be playing that ridiculous game when you're as old as him or do you think you may have grown out of it by then?' (I was possibly 31 at the time. He was on the wrong side of 45.) If looks could kill I wouldn't be writing this post, that's for sure.)

Back to today though. I say, in my best snarky tone, 'Nice t-shirt Ross, bet you like playing your death knight.' Ross nearly falls off his chair. Then, of course, we gabble at each other about race, class, spec and server. Turns out he plays on an RP server as well - Moonglade in fact. He's amazingly knowledgable about lore and RP and very encouraging of the baby steps I have taken so far. Then, don't you know it, we have to pay attention to the training and inevitably it involves role play. I'm not going to go into the cringe inducing details. Ross and I are inevitably paired up and we fail miserably to do what we should do. Later on, again, I'm not making this up, we do an exercise around 'effective listening'. In a nutshell we have to listen to the trainer facilitator read us a fairy story. We are not told why, but told we can take notes. We spend the time scribbling the WoW version... and trying not to giggle helplessly. Then we have to state 'true' or 'false' to twelve statements. And of course, it's all bollocks: 'True or false, Griselda was a wicked witch?' 'True or false, the victorious stranger was a knight?' etc etc. And inevitably we (along with most of the group) get all the answers wrong, because it was designed to prove how much we assume rather than listen. When he asked why we made all these assumptions I made a remark about fairy-tales being oppressive studies in gender politics (because I was pissed off with idiotic exercises) and the facilitator said, in a fairly defensive manner, that I was missing the point. Ross muttered, 'You play a priest. Hit your Fade button and dump the aggro onto the mage.' I corpsed so badly I had to leave the room. I'm actually worried that I'm going to have to explain this situation to my manager when she receives feedback from the facilitators that I wasn't my usual angelic self. Can you even begin to imagine how I'll explain it?? Oh and I have another day to get through tomorrow. It's slightly scary actually, how much (more) trouble we could potentially land ourselves in...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Grand Tour Part 2 - Frostfire Hot Springs

~Inspired by Jae's The Explorer Task~

I find that my increasing experience and greater powers come with a harsh cost. I am often bidden to travel to the outermost regions of Azeroth. Each fresh journey, it seems, takes me further and further from my home, visits to my beloved City become fleeting, brief snatches of pleasure, stolen as often as I am able. Many of the places I visit I cannot wait to leave; villages and townships are scattered across the Continents, homes to the dispossessed few, visited often by travellers such as myself.

Relationships and friendships are fragile, and I make these with great caution and sobriety, if at all. I have witnessed too often the results of being overwhelmed with loneliness and longing, the driving need to connect with another person; such liaisons, usually enflamed by over-indulgence of local 'liquor' only lead to regret, at best. One should to learn to manage such feelings, to develop a shatterproof external wall. I learnt from a young age that weaknesses will be exploited for all they are worth. Whilst your heart breaks and the pain appears overwhelming, your head should remain held high, your back straight and your walk proud for your heart beats the refrain blood elf, blood elf. Everyone feels grief, hate, love, lust; many are unable to manage this and give in to their emotions. I will not. Whenever I want to break down, to let the tears flow, I remember who I am, what I am, where myself and my kin have come from, and how much we have to regain. There is no room for self-pity, self-centeredness and emotional outbursts.

Few of the outposts I travel to appeal to me; they are either crammed full of travellers, are in unhospitable and unsightly terrain, or, at worst, are a combination of both. The places that inspire me though, I visit whenever I am able. Though nothing could soothe me as much as my City does, I take my moments of pleasure wherever and whenever I am able to. Winterspring I visit when it is practicable to do so. Despite the cold, frozen as it is in perpetual winter, the landscape makes my heart sing softly. It overwhelmes me with its purity, the small footprints I leave are soon filled in by the falling snow, if only all tracks and mistakes could be removed so easily! If only we could err, secure in the knowledge that, in moments, all evidence would be erased. The other travellers are few and congregate in the goblin township; it is possible to walk for miles and not see another person. Much of the land contains only creatures, and whilst it is advisable not to venture into the ice caves; the yeti-creatures within them protect their homes and display hostility and aggression to intruders, and to be wary while walking lest another creature feel threatened, it is possible to find a vantage point and watch the owls swoop and hunt in the neverending dusk for their small prey. Hot springs are scattered around, wafting their steam gently into the air. The water within is incredibly hot but when I have spent hours walking I allow myself the luxury of a brief bathe there, to relax my muscles and to revitalise my spirit. The contrast is almost unbearably pleasurable, the chill crispness of the air I breathe counteracted by the heat of the waters, such heat would not be possible to bear in the confines of a room but outside, alone, with the owls circling and calling overhead, it is a guilty pleasure that I am unable to deny myself.

Unknotting myself

I'm trying to make a plan. This has been precipitated by a few things.

Firstly, getting close to hitting 60 with Pilf. I said to the Other Half from the get-go that when I hit 60 I would level her tailoring and herbalism, cooking and fishing, before going to Outland. Pilf may battle with me with regard to the fishing by the way, I might need to sedate her somehow, or buy her new clothes (a disguise maybe?) or threaten her with something. The loss of her wardrobe my bank space, might do the trick. Additional suggestions (threats too) gratefully received. So the tailoring is pretty much on track, the herbalism is so-so but helped by an hour or so last night doing laps of the Swamp of Sorrows. The fishing and cooking should (will!!) go hand in hand but be a bit time consuming.

I also really, really want to get to some of the classic raids that I've never been to (yes, this might well happen post-60!) because, as someone pointed out to me last night, who knows what will happen to them once Cata hits. Plus the ongoing joy of being on an RP server is that you can justify level 60 old world epics on the basis of looks *smacks Pilf* go on the basis that it's something your character would have. But mainly because there is a shedload of content out there that I have never seen. Basically, I am in no rush to get to Northrend.

I'm also more accepting of the fact that I loathe and despise my 'home' server with a passion now (I used to just moderately dislike it) having played on AD for a few weeks. This, coupled with the realisation that even if SAN eventually goes tits up (I don't think it will (and I cross my fingers that it won't!) but it's been factored in to my thinking) means I would want to carry on playing on this realm. I miss my darling troll shaman and my evil rotting lock and I continue to yearn to server transfer them. Realistically I'm not going to go back and play them unless something truely horrendous happens on AD, but bah for yet more transfer fees... doubled because the Other Half would also be transferring his 'matching' characters and as he pointed out last night, the other half of my shaman is... can you guess...? His tankadin. Actually he could respec. Hmm.

There is a downside to server transfers though and it's something that's continuing to stop me doing so. Feel free to point and laugh here but, ummm, I like getting into Pilf's head (not so keen when she invades blog posts that aren't hers but what can you do - other than be thankful for strikethrough) and I'm debating whether I would be able to do that and enjoy it as much if I also had to, eek, get into the head of a troll (I know that I'd lack the patience for 'dis is de way we talk mon' thing certainly!) and, double eek, a forsaken. I'd feel like I was committing and odd, fairly undescribable kind of infidelity. Yes, I know, feel free to emote slap me next time you see me. But genuinely, I'm enjoying it so much that I don't want to feel... itchy... when I play other characters.

At present I'm not going to move anything. I'm having more fun with Pilf than I've had in forever a very long time. And if it ain't borked, don't fix it and stuff, eh?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Grand Tour, Part 1 - Silvermoon City

~Inspiration for this provided by Jae's The Explorer Task~

I awake slowly, stretching whilst my eyes are still shut, overcome with that certain type of lassitude that is the result of an excellent night of sleep and the certain knowledge that I have no plans or commitments in the day ahead. My distant cousin and near-constant companion, Naofa, left me at the inn last night, explaining that he had been summoned, along with many of his bretheren, for a minor 'crusade' of some sort. He did not offer detail and I did not press him for any. He will doubtless return this evening, weary, hungry and thirsty, more likely than not bloodstained, and with his armour, carefully polished last night, dull and battered, but glowing with triumph and exhilaration. I do not worry about him or fear for him. I know that he will return, he is the constant in my life, and has been since we were both young.

I nestle deeper into the chaise lounge that has served as my bed for the night and pull the thin cover over me. The bliss of being comfortable, of being in my home city, overwhelms me once more. Too many nights have been spent in unhospitable hostelrys in remote places, trying to sleep in rough hammocks slung here and there, for me to not treasure this moment. My visits to Silvermoon have been fleeting recently, we have been travelling in far-flung corners of Azeroth and it has not been practical to return as often as I would like.

Sunlight rarely penetrates the interior of the Silvermoon City Inn, however judging by the muffled noises in the streets outside, it's well into morning. I realise that I must rise, otherwise I am likely to remain here for much longer re-visiting the past, and that will do me no good at all. Fortunately, my head is clear, I drank little last night and retired to a sheltered alcove alone, drew the drapes and let the sounds of my kin enjoying themselves lull me to sleep. After performing my morning ablutions (hot, clean running water - the bliss!) I dress in a fresh robe and wander down the stairs. The inn is peaceful, the staff are restocking the bar quietly, mindful of last nights patrons who ate and drunk well and are now sleeping off their excesses. I smile briefly at them as I leave; a part of me hopes to return here tonight, the rational side of me knows that I will not.

Silvermoon, clothed eternally in red and gold, my heart is always here, regardless of which continent I am on. I wander through the streets, often passing the Silvermoon Guard, the brave men who keep our city safe, clothed themselves in the red and gold livery of the City. The enchanted brooms that enthralled me as a child, work tirelessly, brushing away dust, detritus and the thistledown which floats in the breeze. Occasionally I feel slight tremors in the ground and move quickly, if I can I seek a sheltered corner to sit in until they have passed, for I avoid the Arcane Guardians as much as possible. No matter how many times I am assured that there will be no more 'mishaps', no more loss of control, I will never forget the rogue ones that wander the Ruins, and the entities that patrol my beloved city issue 'orders'(thinly veiled threats infact) to ensure we do not, for a moment, forget our struggle.

I visit the shops in The Bazaar and talk to their keepers. Trade is slow, they tell me, but they continue nevertheless, what else should they do? Our people are still few and the other races rarely visit; I cannot understand why. They would prefer to be in Orgrimmar, a city slung together from wood and mud? Perhaps Undercity, with its slime filled 'canals'? Or Thunder Bluff, perched atop the hills of Mulgore, a testament to the earth magics, where perilous bridges carry you across chasms? Ambassador Kelemar passes by with the Horde Emissary and I cringe. They are unable to appreciate our City in it's glory and stature, preferring to jest about the lack of inhabitants. How can he bear it? As if it was not insult enough to have to spend time with the orcs, trolls, tauren and forsaken must he also listen to their crude jibes? As if we are not aware that the streets often echo with emptiness, where our footsteps ring out, unmuffled by the incessant chatter and noise present in the other cities! They think that enough time has passed and healed the wounds in our bodies, hearts and souls?

At every turn the big wooden doors are sealed, a reminder to all of the addiction and single-mindednes of the Wretched. Visitors to the City have only two options, the enter via the Spire or to come through the front entrance, leading to Eversong Woods. This is the Walk I follow now, it has been sometime since I set foot into the Woods and watched the dragonhawks fly. I walk through the Shepherd's Gate and sit for a moment on a bench, drawing in deep breaths of the sweet air. All looks peaceful, our green and pleasant land, but a few steps takes me to the edge of hell. Carved through the midst of the Woods is the Scar, the permanent reminder of the desecration wrought upon my race. I cannot bear it, my eyes sting and I blink fast, trying to keep incipient tears at bay. Will I ever be able to stand here and not feel desolate?

Before I give in to futile weeping I retreat, back into the comfort of the City. I have idled the morning away pleasurably but I need to spend this afternoon attending to errands, for when Naofa returns we shall leave again, and I have no way of telling when I will next be able to return.

~EDIT~ This is the first time I have ever written something like this, so be gentle, it's taken a lot of courage to put this 'out there' for public viewing!

Monday, 22 March 2010

'In Character' confuses me (but Pilf's fine with it)

The trouble with playing a priest, especially one who walks round in simple looking robes is that people inadvertantly think that Pilf is a nice person, probably a healer, a follower of the light, somone who cares. As I am finding more and more, Pilf can actually be quite unpleasant. Despite all my efforts to the contrary, she is a bit of a snob and seems to look down a little on the other races. When she is in Silvermoon however, a remarkable transformation takes place and she interacts with other people in a civilised and pleasant manner. I assume this is due to the inhabitants of Silvermoon being mainly other blood elves and her superiority complex (which I would like to put down to insecurity rather than bitchiness) lessens.

This makes playing her in character somewhat of a challenge for me. I often find it deeply alarming at times that she is such an... I'm not really sure how to describe it best... an 'independent entity', I suppose, that I find myself typing away and then being slightly ashamed of what she says; at the fishing competition, for example, people were admiring the island and she said "Well, it's certainly rustic". Which she didn't mean as a compliment. In one of my first attemps at writing about her I emphasised how much I disliked the blood elf view that they were superior: "But not arrogant, that's an aspect of the belf race that I don't like much, their arrogance and their 'we're better than the rest' stance". Pilf seems to have taken it upon herself to correct me here and do it her way.

But back to Silvermoon. Pilf is at the Auction House deciding whether she really needs more clothes (another aspect of Pilf's reign is that my bank is filling up with robes that I do not need but that she wants 'just in case' the opportunity to wear them arises. This is not funny when Pilf is a tailor and spending gold on additional robes). She sees a man dressed in dark leather clothes waving at her and realises, to her suprise, that she is also being addressed. This man is asking for her help. I hold my breath, wondering if she is going to raise a condescending eyebrow and walk away, spit a pithy remark at him or find another method of being unpleasant... but wait, she replies and asks him what he needs! He explains that a friend of his has been cursed and that he is trying to find someone who can offer assistance. Pilf smiles and offers assistance straight away (bet she wouldn't have if he'd been a troll with an undefined curse, oh no, but put a handsome blood elf with a shiny blond ponytail and well kept leathers in front of her and suddenly she can't do enough to help strangers). The stranger asks her to follow him and she does so with no complaint.

They walk out of the Auction House and across The Bazaar to where his friends stand (one of whom is a death knight - I have a momentary panic that I am going to be asked to somehow 'cleanse' a death knight and I whimper slightly behind my screen). He introduces Pilf to them and the youngest chap asks whether he has explained the situation to Pilf. The stranger explains that he has, briefly, but that she might require more detail. The young mans explains that he has been cursed by someone whose name he cannot speak (argh... shades of Harry Potter but I persist regardless). Pilf smiles calmly and explains that in order to be able to help she requires a little more detail (see, she *does* have patience!! When she wants to...) and the chap explains that he has 'tentacles' (ok a part of me died here in an 'okay this better not be ERP in broad daylight' moment but I figured that if is Pilf will give them whatfor) that... wait for it.... was a curse from Illidan Stormrage himself (in some ways worse than ERP lore-wise admittedly). Go on Pilf, I think, give him whatfor, but again she does the polar opposite of what I expect. She is sympathetic. More than that she is humble. She explains that her powers are not great enough to remove such a powerful curse and that that aid should be sought from someone who wields greater power than she. The young chap thanks her for her time and calls her 'kind one' (first and last time that anyone evers refers to her as that I'm sure!) she drops a deep curtsey before him, bids his friends farewell and leaves (to collapse on a bench whilst I regain both my breath and my nerve).

So what do I take away from this? That even though the idea of participating in 'staged RP' (I'm sure that's not the correct term, probably something like 'arranged' or 'organised'?) terrifies me (and it does - I nearly lost my nerve and didn't attend the fishing thing due to my brain going blank when RP is on the agenda) unexpected RP is fine? That given a situation I should just relax and let Pilf take a hold of the reins and drive for a while? That, like many things, the more often you let your character take hold the easier it is? Helpfully, Jaedia suggested something that I'm going to try. At some (undefined as yet) point, when I have some spare time I'm going to let Pilf take a walk around Silvermoon then let 'her' write her thoughts. I have a feeling that the more I let her go, the easier it will be and the more fun both she and I will have!

Mob Rule?

A query on gchat today about which warlock pet to use in instances triggered a discussion about the death of crowd control in Wrath and made me think a little about how we used to use crowd control in the 'good ole days'. Just to be clear, I'm not looking back at The Burning Crusade, or Outlands with rose tinited glasses, there are mant many things that were heavily improved in Wrath, from armour to the ability to run through an instance without putting aside most of an afternoon (I'm looking at you Mana Tombs and you Shadow Labs in particular) but Wrath did bring the end of crowd control.

Pilf-the-First, for example had Shackle Undead and she had it set to a macro, something like this:

#showtooltip shackle undead
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help
/cast [target=focus,exists] shackle undead

I remember being totally panicked at the thought of a) having to use focus target (and needing to be talked through it on vent duh!) b) needing to have a macro set up and c) having to watch that and heal a tank. But gods it made life easier. It was also the point where as co-raid leader I downloaded and addon to let me know who was breaking the crowd control, because we used to set up the Moroes fight very carefully; moon was for sheep, skull was for Moroes, circle was for shackle, triangle was for trap (I think) etc etc. Yeah, that was when fights had a kill order as well...! Ah nostalgia...

I've been reading WoWWiki's crowd control page and I'm stunned by how much variety there is. When I think of crowd control it's the classics that spring to mind: hunter traps and polymorphs, but there's masses of other ones as well. Not being someone who ever participates in PvP I couldn't say which ones do see use in arenas and battlegrounds, and I'm sure that people use it for levelling, but in instances? It would seem not. I'm trying to remember, with complete honesty, if I've ever seen crown control being used in Northrend dungeons as a matter of course, and I'm coming up empty. I've seen traps, polymorphs and hexes being cast as an 'oh shit' button, to prevent a wipe but routinely put in place and marked up? Don't think so. Even in the raids I went on (Naxx and Ulduar) crowd control was rarely uses. The occasional banish possibly, frost traps on the Gulth fight but not much else. I'm in no position to discuss ToTC or ICC having not been to either but I think if crowd control had made a huge comeback I'd have heard something about it.

So, do we miss it? Or is the "mob 'em up and mow 'em down" (terminology TM to a guildie!) strategy more effective? It must be swings and roundabouts for tanks, paladins were not hugely popular in The Burning Crusade but now have excellent AoE threat generation; even in Scarlet Monastery level instances the Other Half was grabbing a pile of mobs and the DPS could AoE til their hearts content. In all honesty, I was bitching the other day about it. Mages have their frost AoE, warlocks can burn themselves almost to death or use something less painful and shadow priests have DoTs. Pilf will get her AoE of uber awesomesauce at level 75. Sulk. But yeah, tanks. Paladin threat generation is lols. Warriors and bears I'm not sure about. I know they can both get threat on multiple mobs but I'm not sure if it's as easy as it is for paladins? So maybe whilst the paladins lolsauce kinda puts the kaibosh on crowd control bears and warriors make it easier? All of which is me thinking aloud you understand.

As was pointed out in the course of the discussion on gchat, many of the 'crowd control' abilities are talents and are needed to get further down the talent tree. So should we wave goodbye to crowd control forever and hope that when Cata hits the talent trees are rejigged (which we know is happening) to remove them altogether or make them 'optional'? Or should we hope that the 'lost art' of crowd control is revitalised once more? Mind you, for Pilf that would mean chaining stuff up and mind controlling... um... yeah, I might leave that right there!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Here fishy, fishy, fishy!

SAN's inaugural fishing extravaganza was today. I can't think of a better way to describe this than with screenshots* so incoming wall of images...

The participants await the competiton start eagerly and Pilf feels hemmed in by the number of trolls present!

Our Master of Ceremonies explains The Rules.

Some of us make better participants than we do fisherman! (Might break a nail after all...)

Wab explains time's nearly up.

Pilf has a screenshot fail as she realises that for the first time ever she has won a competition involving appearance! And she's won the most adorable bear ever.

Congrats to Seph for her winning entry!

Though some were befuddled by this....

And we had a muddle regarding the biggest catch - but Naofa accepted that Standing was victorious!

Kum speaks for all when he thanks Wab for his hard work.

And SAN invades Dalaran for a celebratory meal!

On a completely serious note I had so much fun today. Mind you, I discovered that Pilf is an exceedingly sneery belf when she is in the presence of a lot of trolls. In fact she's a bit of a bitch. Apologies to all for that! And huge quantities of love to Wab for the thought and effort (and gold!) he put into the event.

*I've left names in the screenshots on the basis that it was a fun event and no-one is getting dissed. If anyone isn't comfortable with that please let me know and I'll blur them.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Are appearances only skin deep?

So I'm back to thinking a bit about RP, specifically whether the costume 'makes' the character. Okay, maybe that's over stating it a bit, but in my life the clothes I wear partially depend on the impression I want to make or the image I want to project, so why should RP be much different?

Back in my early twenties I was a goth chick extraordinaire, complete with piercings, black hair, lips, eyes, nails etc . That gets you a certain kind of attention and people make certain judgements (good and bad) depending on their age, outlook, values etc. Nowadays, when I know I have a big meeting and/or need to kick ass at work I make sure that I'm suited and booted and have immaculate makeup and hair (and my 'don't fuck with me' face on too sometimes). At home I slop around in jeans and a t-shirt. When I go to parents evening at school it somewhere in between - you get the idea...

So it makes sense, to me at least, that Pilf has some clothes that fit who she is at a given time. Of course, when I'm straight out levelling her she's wearing the kit that gives her the most effective stats but in cities or when she's having down time I like to dress her in other clothes. I mentioned a while back that I'd bought an RP outfit for her which I liked a great deal, and I still do like it. But it was purchased and put together before she had her mid-life crisis (aka when she was a holy priest). Whilst it's not exactly vestal-virgin robes (too much skin on display!) or particularly 'priest like' (whatever that is) I like it on her. I like the silver and grey combo and I like the fact that the robe is purchased from a vendor - it's not even 'green'...

And it was what I was wearing when I had my first RP 'experience'. That alone makes it special and always will do. I assume that the player who initiated the RP did so having inspected me and seen that what I was wearing had some thought behind it and, whilst not as obvious as FlagRSP, meant that I was willing to RP. And quite rightly too. Her outfit sticks in my mind as well, if memory serves it was this which doesn't exactly scream warlock. And quite rightly, she was a cloth merchant with (poisoned) apples...

But Pilf also needs another set of clothes, now she's shunned the light and embraced the shadow and all, (and the Forsaken, to the point where she is willing to steal their lines, it seems). And is seemed right to get her the shadoweave set. So she also has this:

I especially like the concept of covering most of your face, and your arms and legs, but leaving the tops of your shoulders and your midrift on display. That's a good example of mixed messages...Of course, she also has the option of this when nothing will do quite as well as being enshrouded in a miasma of darkness (but from my point of view it makes playing dress up a bit less fun...)

Friday, 19 March 2010

Working nine to five (is no way to make a living)

~DISCLAIMER~ In no way do I expect sympathy for the whinging and I know I'm 2 days over whiny post day and that I had my whine then!

But powerlevelling professions is srs-bznz y'all. And I'm a fool to myself because I regularly vow never ever to do this again. Never will I powerlevel herbing/mining/alchemy/inscription/JC etc etc. But I always do. Because I can't leave professions alone. Hullo - my name is Pilf and I'm a professions addict. All my characters, on every server, have two professions, and most of them have additional fishing/cooking/first aid as well. Some of them have switched professions at least once, in my defence however, this was usually due to my 'attempts' (in the loosest sense of the word) to min-max back in my raiding days.

So Pilfe spend far too long yesterday in Thousand Needles, to the point where even when I shut my eyes I saw the orange rock engraved somehow on the inside of my eyelids (or maybe onto my retinas? I don't know but it wasn't fun!) I have copper ore coming out of my (elegant yet pointed) ears. How much tin ore do I have? Sod all. But thanks for asking. And why is this? Thousand Needles gives you masses of copper nodes and masses of iron nodes and what do you need between copper and iron, people? Yes, you need tin. Goddammit. And what do you need to get through low level jewelcrafting? Lots of moss agate, lots of lesser moonstone and bronze. And what do all these things have in common - say it with me now: tin ore! AD has, what I believe is referred to as a 'mature economy' which means that tin ore isn't cheap. Ok, it's not zomg-gtfo-expensive either but it's say 15g a stack. Prospecting takes 5 ore at 20 ore per stack. That's 15 gold for potentially 4 lesser moonstone/moss agate. And you need a lot of it. A fuck-ton of it in fact. And, if you're me you are a) perpetually broke and b) dis-inclined to buy stuff you can mine. And yeah I know about Gevlon's stance on this... But it's ok cos I'm capable of loading up iTunes and zoning out while I ride round and round, keeping half an eye on guild chat to keep me awake. But dear lord it does get boring.

Today I've basically graduated onto iron which at least means Arathi and a change of scenery but also a prickle of impending doom. Because as frustrating as tin is, it's nowhere near the 'stick rusty needles dunked in vinegar in my eyes' pain that is the mithril/thorium grind. The thought of which has my feckles, heckles, hackles and schmeckles up (and pointing at you) already. The final insult, of course, that that jewelcrafting (as with most professions at low level yes, I know) makes feck all money. Oh there's the odd blue that you can sell but basically everything that I make has one of going into the (overflowing) guild bank and the rest going to the Other Half's DK to disenchant. On the plus side, it must be levelling his enchanting. because that's a fecking awful grind as well.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Oops I did it again

I have rolled numerous Death Knights since Wrath hit. There was Sinderella Mk1 (the gnome who had a fabulosa voice). Sinderella Mk2 (the belf). There was another one whose name I forget. There was Pilfkin (to please a friend playing on a PvP server... not a good idea). There was another one whose name I also forget. There was Eskie. And now there is Pilfe. (I missed a few somewhere as well). I have this switch in my brain. It goes 'click: time to roll a DK' and my brain toodles off into The Ebon Hold and lo: I have a DK.

You would think, then, that the start area would take me half an hour but you would be wrong. Oh so very wrong. However I have gone from loathing it to actually taking time to see when Blizz are having funsies with me:

No, no Mr Initiate, I think you will find that the ownage will be mine!

And I go from laughing to blinking-fast-with-smarting-eyes and all because of this quest. I think it upsets me regardless of race because the dialogue is heart-rending:

"Come to finish the job, have you?
You'll look me in the eyes when...
Pilfe, I'd recognize that face anywhere... What... What have they done to you, Pilfe?
Think, Pilfe. Think back. Try and remember the majestic halls of Silvermoon City, where you were born. Remember the splendor of life, sister. You were a champion of the sin'dorei once! This isn't you.
Listen to me, Pilfe. You must fight against the Lich King's control. He is a monster that wants to see this world - our world - in ruin. Don't let him use you to accomplish his goals. You were once a heroine and you can be again. Fight, damn you! Fight his control!
Knight Commander Plaguefist yells: What's going on in there? What's taking so long, Pilfe?
There... There's no more time for me. I'm done for. Finish me off, Pilfe. Do it or they'll kill us both. Pilfe... Remember Silvermoon. This world is worth saving!
Do it, Pilfe! Put me out of my misery! "

But after that it's funsie time again:

Srsly: This is NOT a tree. Nor is it a remotely viable "disguise". If you are fooled by this, well you deserve everything that cometh to you.

And in much the same vein:

This is not a member of the Scarlet Crusade. Do the glowing eyes NOT give it away? Please refer to previous point (above).

So now I have my own ore mule and jewelcrafter. And the name... I have no excuse for. I was feeling decidedly off yesterday and I had no imagination. Plus she'll be lucky to make level 70. I can't play melee classes. However the Other Half has plans. Oh yes. The Other Half knows of my inability to play DKs and has a cunning plan. He too has a DK and he plans to drag me, by the hair if necessary (no, no, not my pretty blond locks!!), through Outland and into Northrend. And, stubborn as I am, the Other Half can be infinitely more stubborn...

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

*Tabhair póg dom, is Éireannach mé

(Nothing to do with WoW - feel free to skip if you wanted to read WoW related whinges.)

Today is St Patrick's Day and The Other Half is Irish. We are in England. My brother and sister in law to be are in Ireland with a day of serious making merry in front of them. I am in England and will be, as ever, chained to my desk listening to people bitch and yell at me (it's my job, usually it's ok but today I mind dammit). And you know what, I don't want to be there. I want to be:
  • across the water, imbibing copious quantities of alcohol getting ridiculously 'I'm still in my 20s (I wish) and can handle drinking until I can't stand/talk/see' drunk.
  • somewhere watching a parade with leprechauns skipping around, wearing a bunch of shamrock and generally being Oirish.
  • checking out my sister in law to be's possible new squeeze.
  • wearing a stoopid hat.
  • singing along to depressing songs (which kinda make me feel guilty for being English but I still love).
  • bantering with my brother in law to be.
And I hate, hate, hate the fact that all the airlines make it impossible for us to get there by adding a few hundred to each flight each way. And the fact that it falls in the middle of a school term.

It's official: whiny post is whiny. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

*Kiss me, I'm Irish

Monday, 15 March 2010

You know how fairy tales end... right?

I'm excessively over-excited about something that most people would view as insignificant and minor. Can I get a drum roll please?

I RP'd. (I'll give you a sec to pick yourself back up from the floor *pause*. Comfy? Good.)

Having logged on I was vaguely meandering around Silvermoon with Pilf. Having spent far too much time staring at the AH this morning I have found myself a set of 'city clothes' (calling them 'RP clothes' doesn't sit very well with me, I'm not too sure why) that I liked (subject of a soon-to-be-written post) so I was wearing those. Not quite as in your face as FlagRSP (which I might investigate forthwith) but enough that I guess it says 'RP'. I was actually talking to a friend in party so parked myself in the Silvermoon City Inn - possibly not hugely intelligent admittedly if one wanted to chat undisturbed to a friend, and as my brain processed that I got up and started to walk out. The beginning of what followed is below:

But due to my screenshot fails isn't complete. *sigh* However I accepted the trade window (!!) which contained apples and /e 'takes a bite'. At which point she whispered me ((it's poisoned)). And wahey I knew that ((...)) signifies an OOC hint thing! Ok so I know that might hit people's buttons re 'controlling' the other person but what the heck. I swooned and fell into a deep sleep (thank goodness for emotes that I know!!) And she cackled and left.

I know, I know tiny RP by most standards but I was utterly thrilled, as anyone present in gchat heard. In fact I still am completely charmed. It was minor but at the same time completely captivating. Just a very small, insignificant connection with someone for no reason at all, other than for the hell of it. And I did fail at least once. Anyone spot the newbie mistake? It took me a while afterwards to work it out. I'm not *supposed* to know that she's a warlock am I? She was wearing white and had no minion. But she recovered well (good job someone did) and I'll know for next time. Mental note: people do not walk around with classes displayed over their head *doh*.

On that note I might go investigate FlagRSP, just, y'know, out of interest and all that...

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mid-Life Crisis

(Not me - Pilf)

Something happened when we got to the trainer. It involved handing over some gold and changing talents and I'm still not 100% sure why. I assume some trauma has taken place somewhere along the line - either that or Pilf looked at the fact that she is now in her mid-30s and has decided that she needs to snatch her last chance at rebellion before she hits middle age...actually that's more likely. So she's now shadow specced. Which requires me to have a complete re-think about her. *sigh*

It worries me slightly as well; this new approach means that she's now positively revelling in killing things, and as many things as possible at that. Naofa also seems to be bemused. Who has his back now? Who keeps him alive while he's getting smacked in the face by mobs? Well, Pilf does, but only when she remembers. And when she sees fit to stop melting faces that is.

I'm certain that she does this on purpose, to keep me on my toes...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Improving on death (and other non-related musings)

Pilf hit 30 this morning, and as most holy priests know, the 30 point talent in the holy tree is Improved Death. Which is a kind of funky spell. However I'm sure when I was raiding I dropped it in favour of something else. Mind you, that was in the good ole days of rofling through Naxx, and as I dropped holy in favour of disc when we hit Ulduar I can't remember exactly why I dropped the talent. Other than, I assume, I wasn't using it enough to warrant it. But why would this be so? I know that I died a fair bit. I know that if gives freebie heals and that it boosts your spirit... I'm confused...

Anyways whilst it's a fine, funky talent to have in groups (and raids?) it's not all that (and a bowl of potato chips) when levelling! Ok I *guess* the spirit increase helps a little with mana regen but as I'm not specced to pew my mana regen is atrocious when I'm smiting things. Yes, it will help in instances but I think, in dungeons my of level, that if the healer is omnoming on dirt it's fairly likely that the group will wipe. But... it's so shiny. It didn't ever get old for me this spell: something smacks you hard, you die and then you are (temporarily) resurrected to continue assisting your companions. How can you not love that? And it's so very me. (Seriously, it's really bugging me why I dropped it!!)

In vaguely connected news there's been moar drama in the blogsphere. As someone who should hit 40 by the end of next week and who has virtually no pew I can feel a certain sympathy*. Yes, she plays a priest, and you know what? It is tough levelling as holy. In fact it's bloody hard work. Masochist-style hard work. At 40, as a shadow priest, you get evil darkness. Which helps a lot. Sorry but it does. However, going holy from the get go is a choice as well. And healing as a shadow priest isn't the easiest thing to do. Because you are not specced to heal. Therefore, really, you have a choice. Do you intend to play with a partner (as I do)? Or in groups? Do you intend to level basically running instances? If the answer is yes, go holy and more power to you. Alternatively, if you intend to level mainly by questing/grinding then go shadow.

Alternatively earn the gold. As people have pointed out, it isn't that hard to do. Whether you want do to it is another matter. I have always failed at making gold. I don't want to be spending time staring at the AH, running Auctioneer, grinding mats or whatever. I don't even really want to be doing dailies. Ergo, I accept that I will never be *rubbing hands* rich. But I managed to by epic flying when I needed it. I managed to pay for my repair bills, consumables, gems and what-have-you. When my shaman hit 40 I bought her dual spec because whilst I was running a lot of instances I wanted to have some oomph while levelling too. So I took 1k off my (relatively) rich main and bought it. (Hence why I want to play her, 1k is a lot of gold for me...) Was it 'worth it'? Hell yeah. But I'd have to be very bloody sure I was going to play that characters a lot to cough up for it at level 40.

With Pilf I won't have that problem. I honestly cannot imagine her ever in shadowform. The thought brings me out in a cold sweat. Which is good, it means that my RP plan is working out for me. I can imagine her nose wrinkling in disgust: You want me to do what??? To turn myself into some wraith like thing? And cast no holy spells? You want me to fill myself with dark magic? Have you met me? Do you not see my distaste, feel me flinch every time you make me use this? I think that's quite clear then. No dual spec for me....

*I have never and would never buy gold. There's too much bad karma for me there.

Friday, 12 March 2010


I'm neglecting my other characters. Shamefully, wilfully and in cold blood. There, I've said it. I have a shaman about to hit 60 on my home server, not to mention a warlock in the mid 40s who was getting fun to play.

But, but, but... argh. I love playing Pilf on AD. I'm having fun with her like I haven't had in a long time. The complete lack of pressure, the time to smell the roses - yes, I am walking in cities, and yes it is enjoyable; slowing down sometimes and looking at what's around you rather than sprinting from AH to bank to trainer can change your view of the world a great deal.

I'm having huge fun with SAN. How can I not love a guild who devotes the best part of half an hour chatting about whether saving murlocs should be a daily quest:

(Image credit to Post Cards From Azeroth)

Or chatting about what the kobolds do in the caves with candles? (Best not to ask really) And trying to work out how their personal ads would be written? (Again, best not to think too long about this)

It's been so long since I played just to, well... play. To be able to log on and natter (and vaguely quest in between). To not have to do anything. Do fanny around and pick flowers. Or sit in Silvermoon watching the world go by. Or find a rocky outcrop (preferably one that isn't surrounded by things that want to kill me) and watch gchat scroll past (and try and keep up with it).

I'm vacillating about whether to transfer my shaman over. I'm current on the 'no I won't' side, as most people are messing about with low level characters and it seems pointless to transfer over someone who is at Outlands level. Because what would I do with her? Storm through Outlands for a few levels and then, yeah... take her to Northrend. It's not that appealing in all honesty...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Who then am I?

(Basically a question for me to answer. Unfortunately between my work computer refusing to play pat-a-cake, reports that wouldn't load properly, the phone ringing non-stop and other such detritus of work life I haven't really had time to think much about this today.)

But I've started to do some reading around RP, focussing on two main points: the blood elf lore and priests. The things I always (shamefully) forget about the belves is how recent a race they are and how autocratic their society is (amazing that this is easy for me to forget really, when one sees the arcane patrollers, uh, patrolling Silvermoon issuing semi-threatening statements about conformity, not to mention the rogue ones in the Ruins of Silvermoon!) There's another facet too, that seems to appear with semi-regularity, which is one that I'm less than comfortable with: their percieved promiscuity. Maybe subconciously this is why I made a (holy) priest? To remove the sexual element? I don't know... please don't tell me people fetishise the clergy, I'm sure they do, I just don't want to think about it. I can't fathom if this is a serious suggestion, or one borne of longing: the belfs are sexy/pretty/attractive/whatever therefore they must sleep around? (Personally I can't get past belf eyebrows, makes me want to grab my tweezers everytime 'cos, y'know, they'd tickle something awful. I haven't really though a lot about this. Honest.) Maybe it's do do with most of the race being wiped out, the biological imperative thing? Maybe it's the fault of the Silvermoon town planning board who removed doors and replaced them with flimsy curtains... as incentive to...snuggle (a serious suggestion on one of the boards I've read, not my inner depravity externalising itself in a weird Arabian Nights manner!) I spent more time than I was going to considering that. So moving on...

I have established that I want Pilf to be holy. I now have to marry this (somehow) with the fact that she will use shadow spells, I'm no where near being hardcore enough to just use holy magic. So while she will use dark magic to defend herself and her friends she will always feel unsettled doing so. (See, I'm getting there.) Her primary calling will always be the light and using her magic... how? To heal her friends? For 'good' (how do you define 'good'?) Argh... I was doing well for a moment there.

I also want her to be more closed off than than I am. A lot more. (Not in gchat, that'll be all me until you hear to the contrary!) She's effectively, in my mind, come from a sheltered retreat (no nunnerys in Azeroth but something similar) and isn't totally prepared for close interaction and communication (also gets nicely me off the hook of integrating a lot into RP until I become more comfortable with it - I am fully aware of my limitations). And not in a creepy 'hello brave knight, I am but a naive priest looking for someone to 'instruct' her in the ways of the world' kind of way either. Urgh I just creeped myself out then /shudder. I want her to have some reserve. Some grace and poise (so she's the complete opposite of me already - is this common?) and lots of integrity. Sort of aloof. But not arrogant, that's an aspect of the belf race that I don't like much, their arrogance and their 'we're better than the rest' stance, but meh, I can work on that somehow.

An old guildie of mine used to play on an RP server and said that while she liked the fact that there was a lot less l33t speak and general trolling, she never felt comfortable roleplaying per se so she made her character a mute who used to stare off into space a lot. She also warned me about warlocks, but that's another tale entirely. Her view was that your character is just that. Yours. You should be able to play her in a manner that makes you feel comfortable whilst trying to stay true to the RP atmosphere. I guess that's probably a wise bit of advice. So for the meantime I won't be installing addons as I would feel much more obliged to RP then, it somehow says to me 'willing to RP' if you have a specific addon installed and I'd rather avoid that for the moment. Until I flesh this out a bit more certainly. But it doesn't necessarily mean that I won't be in character in my head. I am also going to try really hard to walk in cities.

To be continued...

Potential for fail = high

Last night on gchat there was some discussion about RP (fairly unsuprisingly) which was interesting to read. SAN seems to comprise a mixed bag of players, some who have always been on RP realms, some who have limited experience and some (myself included) that could be be described as 'RP-curious'. One of my guildies toodled off to down load an RP-addon which, in brief, lets you create a bio of your character and in turn read other people's bios. Already, see, I'd fall at the first hurdle. You can give your character a second name. What on earth would I call Pilfkin? She barely gets called Pilfkin, she's been Pilf for so long now I have trouble with her 2 syllable name, nevermind giving her a surname as well! Back in the days of Pilf-the-First she had a fair few titles which I used to rotate, based on my mood and the need for lols. But and honest-to-gods second name? Not a clue.

And this is also when the failing-at-lore debuff kicks in too. As well as the special snowflake crit. Don't give yourself a surname too reflective of the lore (i.e. don't pretend to me minor (or not so minor) royalty). Thrall (poor chap) has a million love children, so much so that he'll end up having to rent out all of Orgrimmar to pay the child support. Don't give yourself a title (cos, y'know, you can get legit ones from the world events which yes, makes you less of a special snowflake but makes the general populace less inclined to mock you mercilessly). Don't be a half-vampire lesbian. Obviously.

Now we move onto the description text. Waitwut? Now I have to descibe her? But only pointing out things that cannot be seen by clicking on the character portrait. Ohkaaaay. Do (or don't) have an interesting scar. Pilf doesn't want to be scarred!! Call it vanity, call it being a long way from the mobs, call it prudence but no scars thanks! Equally, don't (if you're female) have a magical amulet that you stroke (thereby calling attention to, ahem, the flesh below the amulet). Don't say you have Arthas' sword equipped when in actuality you don't. And anyways, it's much cooler have have boots made by Tobold. And it would be even cooler, dammit, if I could remember who's blog had that screen shot *grinds teeth*

And then the backstory... again, don't claim famous ancestors unless you can make it really, really good. So now I have to sort out lineage for her? My RL family is so darn big I have trouble keeping up with them, nevermind thinking about Pilf's Ma and Pa. And again, I bang into the brick wall that is the lore. Ok I vaguely know where the belves came from (I think, no testing me on that please!) but it's kinda vague. And I don't really know much about struggles, oppressions and uprising(s). And my brain doesn't have enough free space to retain anything I do learn, I'm at that age, see, where any additional info I need to retain, such as my computer at work needing its idiotic password changed again has to have some space freed up for it. And, bingo, I forget which year my eldest daughter was born in (that's a random example by the way, I categorically did not fill in the wrong year on the school application form, resulting in her first day at a new school being spent in the year above her!) So any lore I do pick up in passing gets... discarded along the way.

None of this means that Pilf can't have a personality. Character traits. That kind of thing. And that, ladies and gents, is how I intend to occupy my downtime at work today...