Tuesday, 30 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Favourite Festival

Subtle hint?

If you've read this blog for any length of time you'll know that I'm an old romantic, through and through and if that doesn't give you enough of a clue as to which Festival is my favourite then please refer to the picture above. It is, of course, Love is in the Air. Pilfkin-Mk-1-who-is-now-Shadrynne has the Love Fool title and I was chuffed to bits when I finally got it. This was, uhum, last year? Maybe the year before? I know that they changed it all this year *sad face* which made it less fun. No more flirting with guards *sniffle*

I like the mini achievements - I spent ages with heart candies filling up my bank slots that I'd been sent or given by admirers friends in game and I couldn't bear to trash them. Call me soppy, but I liked being showered with rose petals, and I (should) have a PhD in Flirting with Disaster... Romantic picnics - bring them on - as often as possible. Little black dresses? A staple of every woman's wardrobe surely - one more is no bad thing! Roses - always welcome (hint, hint to ALL the men out there...!) Chocolates - ummm, hullo?? Getting shafted... oh *that* sort of shafted - not *that* sort of shafted... Ahem. Love rockets? Oh dear, this post is about to go horribly wrong... PvP achievements - grrrrrrr! Hated by PvPers and non-PvPers alike. Please take these out...

I know that people hate Valentines Day - I always felt sorry for my partner as it's the day before my birthday so they have a double hit to the wallet, and I understand that it can be a crass commercialisation of emotion but actually... and please feel free to grab yourself a bucket or similar now, I like celebrating love and romance. They're two things that can make your life amazingly joyful. And I know that you don't need chocolate, flowers or sexy dresses to celebrate - but isn't it nice to have an excuse (in game and out?)

Monday, 29 November 2010

This is not a Blogger Challenge Post...

The 20 Days of Warcraft Challenge has been keeping me (and a few other bloggers) occupied thus far, so I haven’t really had a chance to do a squeeeee post about The Shattering. It won't be an immensely interesting post anyways (keep reading for proof of that) because I’m still playing WoW in very bite size chunks – partially because I don’t have a decent (by which I mean an office-style) chair to sit on, so if I play for too long my lower back punishes me. I’m a fragile, delicate flower y'know…

And also partially because people really annoy me. I deliberately kept slots free on AD on the basis that the asshat quotient would be lower than on my PvE realm (and I’m sure that it is really) but I’m still seeing players called things like Gogadgetgo. And I want to cry, really I do – this is an RP realm for goodness sake! In fairness, I’m also seeing a lot of people with fantastically appropriate names, especially in the troll starter area – which, as I’m sure you are aware, is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Having deliberately not rolled a druid, as I wanted to play a troll one, I then foolishly made a troll warlock as well. Which do you think I’ve played? That’s right… I also have a Forsaken hunter who I’m getting quite fond of. All of which worries me slightly as I don’t want to abandon my belfs (and especially not for trolls and undead!)

Even better, Himself and I vaguely attempted to game together (something that we’ve never really done before), only having my teensy MacBook on the desk next to his Mac of insane hugeness (screen wise anyway – seriously playing WoW on a 30” screen is like being at the movies!) means that I’m even more crunched up and my back is even crosser. So the playing together-ness lasted about 20 minutes. In that time, though, I did hear him do his troll accent in real life, which was possibly the cutest thing ever (and also worryingly sexy…!) and is still making me smile whenever I think about it. We’ve decided that when we buy a house (that’s the ‘joy’ for 2011 by the way – it’ll be a quiet year, all we have to do is sell my house, buy a house and get married – how stressful and exhausting can it really be to cram that into a year…?) we clearly need a study with room for a huge desk so we can game side by side. My daughter thought that we couldn’t get geekier in general, bless her, and then she saw us shoulder to shoulder, WoWing together – “You two are soooooo sad! Poor girl – that’s another few therapy sessions when she’s older I suspect.

Back to game stuffs though – I’ve only done the new undead and troll starting areas and ventured into Orgrimmar (where the hell is everything??) but I assume that they’ve all been partially re-vamped? If the areas I’ve been to are any measure of how all the start zones are then I like it a lot. Linear questing – bring it on. Obvious quest hubs – yes please. I appreciate that everyone won’t feel the same but from what I’ve seen so far it’s a vast improvement. I like the addition of NPC buddies to hold your hand at the beginning – it’s sweet (bitter sweet at times, yes.) I like the fact that the quest item drop rate seems a great deal higher and that when you’re questing together you both get the drop. I adore the fact that eventually most newbie quests give you a bag at some point /cheer. I love the fact that you can wear your racial tabard from the get-go – never mind that I don’t plan to go instancing, it makes me feel more ‘attached’ to the character and their kin (I worry that I’m getting troll pride!) and I think, but I might be mistaken here, that there are markedly more herbs kicking around. Which is obviously fab and groovy. So yes, I’m having fun in small doses. Often the best way, don’t you think…?

20 Days of Warcraft - Beggars (and how you deal with the same)

Gief teh shinies naaaao!

Before I even start writing about people who beg, nag, whine or pester for gold I should hold my hands up and admit that I'm possibly one of the worst people at making money in WoW. Truly, I'm atrocious at it. Every time I've bought epic flying it's cleaned me out, leaving me juuuuust enough money for raid repairs that evening (uhmm, that should read 'when I bought epic flying'... the second time it was bought for me. Ahem.). I'm that bad. And that's not because I'm feckless (much), lazy (much) or expect gold to turn up in my bank for no effort (much), it's because basically I'm quite shite with money IRL and in WoW. If people need flasks for raids I'll give them to them, rather than selling them on the AH. If people were in need of one more titansteel bar for their thingy weapon (yes, this is how long ago I last went near epixx) I'll give them the one I've just made rather than selling it. And when I say 'people' I should point out that I mean fellow officers and guildies I'm close to, not your random bod yelling in Dalaran. And also - dailies *yawn*, all that Auctioneer malarky *yawn*, sorting proffs to make money *yawn yawn yawn*. Actually, it is idleness. Mostly.

But, but but. I have never asked for gold from anyone. Nor have I begged for it (shudder). The mere thought of asking people I don't know to give me their gold makes my toes curl. Which hurts, so I'm going to stop thinking about it. I think the original question asked if a level 3 called 'yurmom' asked you for gold, what would you do, but to me, the name is irrelevant. These people annoy the bejesus outta me! A while ago Oath (who, by the way, messes with gold sellers in the best way imaginable) wrote a post (which I now can't find) about explaining in words of one syllable, to a 'giv 3g plzzzz' player how, if you go and kill the beasts in Durotar, they will drop small amounts of money and items which can be traded for (equally small) amounts of money. If only I had the patience. To be honest, unlike some, I don't even bother with /ignore usually, I'm not sure whether they've removed the upper limit on how many people you can have on ignore, but seriously, on a PvE server, the list would fill up damn fast.

Dealing with gold sellers is a bit different. I used to meet 'Hi, how are you today?' or similar with a response that varied according to my mood. Until the day where someone whispered me with something along the lines of 'Hey Pilfkin - how are you?' and I replied 'I've had a shit day, I've got raging fucking PMT and I'm not in any sort of mood for dealing with asshats. Now either tell me what you want or get to fuck.' The response? 'Oh, it's Blonde. Sorry honey - didn't realise you were having a bad day /hugs.' Oh..... Now I shift-click on their name and if they're a level 1 orc in Durotar (or a level 1 human in Elwynn) I just take no notice. Or I 'report spam'. So nothing witty or extreme from me I'm afraid. Just more laziness... It must be contagious!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Class/Race Combo

Ok, so this one was always going to be interesting. Going from how 'I' see myself, I'd clearly be a Sin'Dorei of some description. I wasn't sure about class. However, Himself saved me from any real brain strain by this: "In your head you're a highbourne elf of some description and probably a rogue, but a classy, mischievous one. When in actuality my darling," (hug) "you really are a dorf priest." This might have been, in part, my fault for showing him on the creation screen, how similar to a dorf I actually am (and also the reasons that I have never played a dorf. This is a fantasy game ferchrissakes, I don't want to look at a pixelated version of me - I'd go play Second Life if I wanted that...) This was going to be the point where I gave you an actual RL photo of me (no... not *that* sort of a photo...) and a screenie of a dorf to show you just how... similar the similarities are but I decided against it (actually my daughter decided against it by pointing out that on this blog I'm not 'me', I'm 'Pilf', so I why would I shatter all you illusions by giving you a RL screenie of me??? She's wise above her years, is my daughter, a trait she obviously gets, umm, from her mother.). However, I think it's... possible to see why he feels the way he does. In my head, I am indeed a Sin'Dorei - for all the reasons I wrote here when I explained why I loved the race. However, in reality I think I am more likely to be a prosaic, straightforward dorf. I also think that dorf wimmin fit most readily into the 'wench' spec... and that might kinda be my default spec IRL as well.

Class - I'm clearly not a mage (not fragile enough - I'm quite robust - hence dorf), warlock (not conniving and evil enough unfortunately), shaman (don't do all that crystals, myth and mystery stuff), death knight (err, just no, m'kay!), druid (not natural and earthy enough), hunter (I don't really like animals all that much), rogue (see above) or warrior (not scary enough), which leaves either paladin or priest. I don't think I have enough fiery self righteousness going on to be a convincing paladin (feel free to disagree!) so I guess that leaves priest. Which is actually ok - I can have my nice moments (that's my holy spec), my less than nice moments (that's my shadow spec) and well, we'll just leave discipline well alone shall we...

Friday, 26 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Favourite Guild Name

(Yes, I missed out Day 5 - I'd kinda written a post a few months back about it and I was having too much fun with my Forsaken hunter chick - so sue me!)

Today's one is an insanely hard question - mainly because I'm really good at seeing guild names and thinking, ohhh that's awesome, then forgetting it 5 minutes later (also called creeping onset of old age, I know...) But I've trawled my memory banks and come to the conclusion that what I really like in guild names is a bit of wit. I don't *need* them to be particularly relevant to Azeroth, as long as they've got a bit of humour or bite. It's why I still think that guilds called things like 'Control Alt Elites' are amusing. Equally I like ones that almost give your character a 'title', for example 'Has Cookies' or 'Knows How to Party' - not relevant to WoW but still quite amusing. My guild, PvE side is 'Synergy' which I like, it's not particularly imaginative, I know, but it's simple and says a bit about the guild ethos (hmm).

I am arsey about guild names, I should admit this. Every single guild called things like 'Sapped Girls Can't Say No' has resulted in me opening a GM ticket and nagging until it gets changed. It's not about a sense of humour failure its about appropriateness. In a nutshell the quote below tells you all you need to know about how I feel about the use of the word or the implication of 'rape' in screamingly inappropriate contexts:

"Let’s talk about rape for a moment. Rape is not what George Lucas did to your childhood. Rape is not what happens when a sports team beats another sports team by a wide margin. Rape is not what happens when your electric bill is higher this month than it was last month. Rape is when a person violates another person in the most despicable, degrading way imaginable and among the myriad of terrible things humans can do to one another, rape is among the worst. I think the casual misappropriation of the concept of rape extending all the way to its widespread comical usage is disgusting even by Internet standards. Off my chest." - Jeffrey Rowland - Overcompensating.

And breathe.

When push comes to shove the guild name I love the best is one from my old PvE server. Bovine Intervention. The meaning behind the name - although probably embroidered on over the years, is straightforward. At the time, the top Alliance guild on the server were called 'Divine Intervention' and, as is the way with the 'top' guild, they weren't universally loved, especially Horde side. So a group of friends (who mainly played - wait for it... *drum roll*, Tauren) decided to make a tongue in cheek guild - Bovine Intervention. Happily they went on to become one of the top 5 progression guilds on the server (mainly, I suspect and from talking to people who played with them, by accident rather than design.) So for a) having an awesome name, b) for mocking an Alliance guild *ducks*, and c) for putting the Horde side back on the map progression wise - it's BI for me.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Dungeon Favourite

I’m going to ‘cheater-cheetah-cougar’* as my daughter would say (through gales of laughter...) – I’m going to take ‘dungeon’ to cover ‘raid’ as well and write about that. Cheater though it may make me.

I can haz atmosphere?

So then what is it? Karazan, without having to think twice. Kara was where I cut my teeth as a healer. I vividly remember hitting 70, having been a good priesty and taken up tailoring so I could have the mooncloth set that was, back then IIRC, entry level Kara gear, and realizing that I was still a few pieces short of being able to make the whatever-the-last-set-piece was. And the most awesome priest of awesomeness ever – Sai stepped in and gave me the cloth I needed as he wanted me to get learning how to play my class ‘properly’ by which he meant ‘in a raid setting’. Sai was Swedish and had the deepest voice I have ever heard. When he used to say ‘Now Pilf… this time you are going to remember to refresh your shackle whilst you heal, yes?’ down vent I could virtually feel the vibrations in my ribcage. His voice was that deep. It also gave him the distinct advantage of pretty much everyone stopping mid sentence when he did the throat clearing thing that meant he was about to speak as everyone was just a little in awe of him. However, moving on from fan-gurl-dom. Yes, learning to heal, and shackle, often simultaneously – ‘What do you mean I need to CC – I’m a healer! I shouldn’t be expected to have to do that as well as keeping you alive...!’ Learning LoS, trying to triage effectively, finding an addon that let me know who broke my shackles, then growling down vent, learning how to focus target, how to write macros, how to get out of the bad - Shade of Aran anyone - and realizing that I was so fragile that even with buff food, trinkets and the imp out for a stam buff I could only just deal with the arcane missiles he dealt.

After a few runs at the first bosses we needed another raid and therefore another raid leader and fool that I was, I volunteered – the officer corps was small at that point, and it felt like the right thing to do – no-one else was stepping up and we had enough people to slot two 10-mans. Raid leading taught me a whole ‘nother set of skills (mainly interpersonal ones), and made me actually learn the boss fights – although I did have to refer to my book every time we did Moroes as I could never remember which add did what therefore what the kill order should be. I remember the Opera event with huge fondness ‘run Pilf ruuuuun!’ as I always got turned into Little Red, the frustration of Romeo and Juliet, the hilarity of Oz. I remember Chess (most pointless ‘boss’ ever?), Netherspite of the multi coloured portals, Illhoof and his deranged imps, Curator and the rest, with HUGE affection. I’m sure whichever raid was your first you look back on with rose tinted glasses but I’ve never loved a raid like I loved Kara.

* Not quite sure why she classes me as a cougar as Himself is vastly more geriatric older mature than I am but meh.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Main's Name.

The naming of ‘toons is a serious matter; It isn’t just one of your holiday games…

Names are one of the things that gets me ‘stuck’ when I’m thinking about, or creating, a new character. Race and class I can usually decide relatively easily, appearance ditto, but the length of time I spend staring at the screen, wracking my brain for a name that ‘fits’ is disproportionate in comparison…

As I play on both RP and regular PvE realms, one of the most noticeable things is the difference is names (the other being the general levels of literacy in chat channels). I’m guilded, on my PvE realm, with a Holipalli, a Cricketlord, a multitude of Dk- or –dk’s and other names that make me shudder. Don’t get me wrong, you have every right to call your character whatever the hell you choose to (within Blizzards T&Cs etc) but it still makes me /facepalm when you feel the need to have your race/class/both (Bélfmàge anyone?) as your character’s name and don’t get me started on those people who are called things like belfmage either (urgh - Blogger won't take stupid fonts *growls* imagine one of those odd capital B's will you please...?) If your name is taken just pick another one – don’t (if you’re English anyway) pick a name that requires accents. Occasionally my grouchiness is ameliorated because there is wit in the name – I came across a resto druid the other day called Chucknourish which made me chuckle and I have always longed for a resto shaman called Shambulance… So I guess I haven’t got much room to talk. That said, on popular realms it can be really hard to find a name that is available. I’ve played with a Cat (feral druid), a Mischief (warlock), an Empathy (disc priest) and a Noir (warlock). Those are the type of classic names that I envy – unfortunately they require you to be present at virtually the creation of that realm…

I’ve placeheld (much to my amazement) the names of my troll druid (Nonna) and my goblin something (Nikflip – see what I did there?) for Cata. My multitude of alts have names that appeal to me – whether they mean something or are just made up of letters and syllables that feel right to me. I’m a big fan of gendered suffixes (don’t ask me why!) and I go through phases – sometimes I want multi-syllable names that I can shorten, sometimes I want then to have ‘bite’ and be short. Mainly, it depends on my mood.

All of which is a lot of writing to avoid answering today’s question: what is your main’s name and the meaning behind this. Being the alt-whore that I am Having the commitment issues that I have, means I don’t have a ‘main’ per se but if I did it would doubtless be Pilfkin. There isn’t a deep and meaningful explanation I’m afraid. It’s been a handle I’ve gone by for a while, I like it and it fits ‘me’. It’s tied in deeply to my WoW life – it’s the name I’m called by most people regardless of the character I’m playing. It’s the name that is tied to my blog. It’s ‘me’ online. And that’s all the explanation that is needed!

Monday, 22 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Favourite Emote

Right then - on with the memery. I do use emotes, I've given lots of /hugs and /kisses, a fair share of /soothes, the occasional /flirt. I /applaud, usually in a sarcastic sense rather than out of a sense of admiration. I've never /spit on anyone. Nor do I do /fart (hullo - do you think belfs actually DO that??) and I'm sure there are masses of emotes that I neither use, nor am I aware of. But that's ok. Because...

My favourite emote isn't technically an emote. But it is a wonderful line of code that should be revered by all. Imagine Warcraft with no /ignore function. We all know about the theory on the left don't we? The theory that sensible, rational people turn into asshats on the interwebz? Whilst I'd much rather have Sven's Greater Internet Romantic Hero Theory, I accept that John Gabriel's one is more likely... Now, I like a good debate as much as the next person - I'm getting more practiced at it since moving in with Himself who appears to have missed his calling to the Bar, it's a shame really; he'd be a QC by now and I'd be a lady what has bi-weekly manicures, a wardrobe full of Chanel and elocution lessons. Imagine that.

Ahem. But I only really enjoy debates, discussions, etc when there's some point to it - whether that's to win educate yourself, score points have a good conversation or something equally positive; I don't like insult hurling. Example: when I lived in London in my 20s and the fact that I'd a) grown up in rural Cornwall, b) grown up as a nice girl (shuddup...) who had ponies and c) spent most of my summers at Pony Club Camp, came up, people would instantly lay into me about fox hunting. Now I'm not even (argh - my daughter's teenage syntax is rubbing off on me - 'I'm not even' yuk yuk yuk!) going to start a debate about that here *yawn* but it was the assumption that those 3 points equalled point four - that I was pro-hunting, that irked me - in fact I've never hunted - my parents were anti, and I can make reasonable arguments for and against it but I just never bothered. It wouldn't be productive or informative and it would be a mud slinging match. Bored already.... move on and talk about something interesting please...

This is what the /ignore function is for. People like the tool that Issy blogged about recently. People who just want to troll, beg for gold, insult your gear, spec, class or race. People who are just... weird. And people who are downright fucking scary. WoW should be fun escapism. I deal with enough asshats in RL that I can't escape from - RL clearly should have a /ignore function (maybe it does and mine's just faulty...?) but my downtime is too precious to waste on eejits.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Favourite NPC

Hmm, interestingly, this is one that I thought would be easy as I had a gut response of Sylvanas. But, but, but... then I started to think about it a bit more and although I do really like Sylvanas it boils down to just one thing: she's one of the (very) few strong, female characters in Azeroth and I don't really want to bang my feminist drum all over my blog, so I thought some more. Once I started to think on, the list turned into some sort of Who's Who - Bad Boys in WoW scroll: Putress, Archimonde, Illidan, Mal'Ganis, Varimathras (Nathrezim - oh the yumminess) and so on and so forth. And then the answer became blindingly clear. Have you ever wanted something (a job, a relationship, a lover, a drink, a drug) so badly that it became an obsession? Wanted it badly enough that every spare moment was spent thinking about how you can obtain it? Desired it strongly enough that other parts of your life receded or become white noise? Pursued it to the detriment of other parts of your life?

Can you therefore empathise with Kael'thas having been told by Vashj that his kin, his people were addicted to magic, just like the naga, and how they would need something to sustain them? Imagine his frustration as he tried to plan for their survival now that their primary source, the Sunwell, had been ruined by that bastard Arthas? The desperation that the Prince of Quel'Thalas must have felt - the last of the Sunstrider dynasty, the uncrowned King, unable to provide magical sustenance for his rac and in failing to do this, dooming his people? Shafted by the Alliance, mistrusted and barely tolerated by the Horde he enthrones himself in Tempest Keep where he waits for his kin to join him. He resides in The Eye, with the skull of his father, a Vial of Eternity and other artifacts he thinks will be needed to restore the Sunwell. Initially, his loyalty lies with Illidan but Illidan's insanity drives him to an about-face - he pledges loyalty instead to the Burning Legion which confirms his final betrayal of Illidan and, more importantly, his total betrayal of the his kin. His alliance with the Burning Legion leads him to summon Kil'jaeden from the Sunwell

So why is he my favourite NPC? He's not a particularly honourable character is he? Well I think that he is, but in a complex way. All his madness, his many changes of loyalties, stem from a desire to see his kin regain their rightful position once more. This will never be within the Alliance, certainly, but he had has to watch his once proud race reduced so severely in numbers, watch them be tolerated, rather than accepted by the other Horde races, watch then battle their addiction and watch the Wretched rise where once proud Sin'Dorei stood - could there be anything worse for a leader? If the world is bisected neatly into 'good' and 'evil' then Kael would probably sit on the 'evil' side. Once you accept that this is rarely the case, that shades of grey are more likely, and that good people do evil things and vice versa, then Kael becomes a good man who has done evil - for the sake of the greater good of his people: "Energy. Power. My people are addicted to it. Their dependence made manifest after the Sunwell was destroyed. Welcome to the future...a pity you're too late to stop it."

Saturday, 20 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Race Favourite

Ok, I had an internal debate with myself over this - is it cheating to pick the race that I love the mostest, even though they aren't playable? If, in your opinion it isn't, then look left and don't worry about reading the rest of this post (save the next few sentences). I adoooore dragonkin. I've spent a very large quantity of time in game just sitting in the zones that they inhabit (favourite being, of

course, Seradane). They're the places I go to when I'm logged in to be sociable, rather than to actually 'play'. I've never understood why people log into cities to sit there and chat when there are so many gorgeous places and such wonderful scenery available to gaze at whilst you natter...

But... moving on to the playable race. Hmm now what could possibly be my favourite? Disclaimer: I suck at lore. I'm completely hopeless. I try to be less hopeless and I can't remember it. So this is written from a subjective, rather than objective, PoV, m'kay?

I can't even pretend that there any contenders to my personal throne for my favourite race. It's Sin'Dorei. I'll let you pick yourself up the floor and get over the shock. Here, have a cup of strong tea. That's how we Brits deal with the unexpected /soothe. I think that writing about why you like a particular race, especially if you RP your characters, is intrinsically tangled up in your personal view of that race. So, whilst I will expound, at length probably, about why I love the Sin'Dorei, you may feel that they are vain, vapid, arrogant and general overblown Barbie dolls. And that's fine - everybody has a right to an opinion, everybody has one vote.

So, Sin'Dorei. It's not really the looks. I do quite fancy the male ones (oh gods, I can't believe that I wrote that) in an abstract way, not in a dodgy 'sit at my screen and type one handed' kind of way. Argh - now I've creeped myself out... And as I singularly fail at RP'ing a character of the opposite gender (though I really intend to try and commit to trying properly at some point) I play female Sin'Dorei. I think I explained all this before so I'm not going though it all again.

So as it's not looks, it's about how I view the race as an entity. They 'feel' right to me. Himself comments (all too frequently) on what he calls my 'inner belf-ishness' which is short-hand (I think) for being insecure, a trifle neurotic, over-analyzing everything, assuming that everyone/thing has an agenda or deep meaning behind it, adding a bucket-load of complexity to simple situations and generally not taking anything at face value. Ahem. There's a slight possibility he might be right. But that is how I view the Sin'Dorei. They are (understandably) insecure - umm hullo? Recent decimation of most of their race? Their society is highly political in a covert way (as opposed to the Thrall vs. Garrosh 'get in the ring biatch' style 'political') so jockeying for position is both commonplace and an accepted/expected part of society. They know that the rest of the Horde considers them untrustworthy incomers and they were hardly welcomed with open arms by any of the other races! Ever heard of covering neuroses with a defence mechanism, folks? That might explain the perceived arrogance, might it not? They have the most fantastic ability to carry out multi-layered conversations. Pretty much everything that comes out of a Sin'Dorei's mouth will have at least two meanings. There will be the polite, societal response, cloaking what they really mean. I adore it (and when it's RP'd well it's just a thing of beauty).

And talking of things of beauty - I love the architecture and the scenery in the Sin'Dorei areas. Many months back Jaedia posted a challenge whereby you visited places in Azeroth, soaked in the atmosphere and wrote about it - The Grand Tour she called it, and one of the places I took Pilf to, and wrote about, the first place in fact, was Silvermoon City. I've just trawled through the post and found the quote I wanted: "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." That is exactly how I feel about Silvermoon. I love the circular towers, the golden trees, the gauze curtains instead of doors, the myriad little alcoves to court, seduce or plot in. The City fits perfectly to the race.

So that's the Sin'Dorei. I could probably expound for pages, in details, about why they're my race of choice but you'd get bored and doze off. And no-one finds qwerty face attractive do they? And thanks again to Ama.

Friday, 19 November 2010

20 Days of Warcraft - Class Favourite

Ama's meme kicks off for me today with the simple question: What is your favourite class and why? I made a vague effort to not answer 'priest' straight away, but as I was discussing the various questions with Himself last night, he answered 'Well, it's priest isn't it?" in response to me saying "What do you think my favourite class is?" whilst I was faffing and trying to convince myself that it might be... something else. But, natch, he's right. Although I actually do have more warlocks than priests - a fact which I have to say has stunned me rather - as I only appear to have four priests. That's counting on both *ahem* accounts and on all realms.
  • Level 80 Blood Elf (disc/shadow)
  • Level 73 Blood Elf (holy/shadow)
  • Level 17 Night Elf (holy)
  • Level 6 Draenei (will be shadow)
So four of one class isn't that excessive, right? I think that's pretty reasonable, for a class that I love.

I'd like to say, with my hand on my heart, that my first ever character was a priest but it wasn't. In fact, and here's something that never fails to make me chuckle, it was a rogue, who made it as far as level 40, a feat which I have never managed to repeat... Then it was a mage who made it as far as level 50... ditto. Then, finally, a warlock who was my first character to hit 60 and possibly to hit 70. I re-rolled as a priest as a calculated decision - I wanted to raid during BC and my guild, staggeringly (!), were lacking healers. I quite fancied being a healer, having a pretty fluffy attitude in general and as I wanted to play a Draenei the other alternative was to make a shaman... back in the day when shammys were pretty bloody complex to get a grip of so my basic thought process was something along the lines of 'umm, totems, umm totems, umm nah I'll have a priest thanks!' Thus Pilfkin the First was born. She was holy from the get-go (in the days before dual spec existed) and it still is a source of pride to me that I went from 0 - 70 as holy.

Priests are fabulous though. They are so incredibly versatile and although, in my heart, I'll always be holy, shadow is pretty awesome too. Disc wrecked me - sorry, I know people adore it and it became the priest spec of uber in Wrath, but it just didn't work for me. Raid healing is where I'm happiest. The versatility of the holy tree (pre patch 4.0 anyway - I haven't played holy since the talent changes...), the joy of my fail angel and the numerous 'oh shit' buttons make me happy. Unfortunately healing burns me out... But that's why I've taken a break and I hope to go back to it in Cata...

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Homeward Angel

Allegedly, you can never go home again. I'm starting to disagree. You can go home, as long as you accept that 'home' has moved on whilst you've been away. It'll still be familiar - you'll probably recognise street names, buildings, landmarks. Many of which will mean something only to you, but that's why it's your 'home'.

AD has been my 'home' since I migrated my characters from my PvE server back in the spring of this year. I've still got many characters there, but I was recently hit by a longing to go back to my old 'home' and see what (if anything) was happening.

Actually, I've got characters scattered all over a multitude of servers now. Characters on Moonglade because a RL friend, who I never seem to manage to sync my WoW time with, plays there. Characters on Earthen Ring because, as I was working my final day, prior to moving house, a colleague came over and muttered that she'd started playing WoW and although she couldn't remember the realm name, she'd text me with it and could we maybe quest together as her Other Half was some high end raid dude and she didn't quite feel up to that...? Characters on DMF, poignant, these are now as they were my 'escape' characters I played with Erc, and now a baby Draenei shadow priest, along with Himself who I'm trying to make understand that wonderfulness of the Draenei, horns and having a tail... Call me a glutton for punishment but I'm enjoying spuddling round, not knowing anyone, not having gold, bags and heirlooms and basically not having any social obligations (yes, believe it or not, I have moments of extreme misanthropy, and in those moments I go somewhere where nobody knows my name rather than being a mare to people who are friends on days when I'm less snarly!)

I had a few characters left on Khadgar but they were bound to show up on friends lists and I wanted to go back, yes, but on my terms, i.e. with anonymity. So I made (with some encouragement from Himself, who is a mage-devotee) a mage. A fire mage. And because my old friends are Alliance I made her a Draenei. This made me incredibly happy from the get-go - the 'original' Pilf was a Draenei and it feels like a long time since I played an Alliance character and then I did a /who of my old guild. My screen filled immediately with familiar names, officers, raiders, alts, mains and it made me smile. On my first trip to The Exodar, the server know-it-all (meant in an affectionate way), who singlehandedly fights the battle for grammar, spelling and lucidity on Trade chat was once again, explaining in words of one syllable, what the invasion event was and I squealed with glee - some things don't change. Looking through the /who list I whispered a good friend who I'd kept in vague contact with via email, a guy I'd raid led with during my raiding and officer time and who I'm incredibly fond of. After some conversation he hit me with a list of people to say hi to, and a question. Did I want to return to the guild?

Now, I didn't leave the guild on especially happy terms. I was burnt out from raid leading and raiding 7 nights a week, fed up with having oil barrels permanently grasped in both hands, the better to assist with the troubled waters that flowed through the guild and frustrated by being the go-to 'fluffy carebear' officer who provided soothing strokes to egos, had meant that WoW had turned into a second unpaid job. Rather then be sensible and take a break I ploughed on, feeling like to do anything else would mean I let people down, until one night, well I'd had enough. Typically, I left with a bang rather than a whimper, I hate confrontation and the guild wasn't going to change for me or anyone else (rightly so, I think) so I left a brief message on the Officer forum and then I took a break from WoW, my interest only really resurrected by Tam and Miss M and the SAN project.

I'm considering his offer but I haven't decided yet. I've been clear that I'm a confirmed casual these days - I have no desire or plans to return to raiding, and returning to Syn would not only mean going home but returning to the same bedroom I slept in whilst I grew up, complete with Mallory Towers books on the bookshelf. I'd love to be a part of them again socially, but I know that I'd end up defaulting into officer-dom eventually and that's the road to madness. I'm happy bumbling around playing as and when I want, with whoever I want. But that longing to go home, to be a part of something again is a siren song...

PS: This is a fantastic idea. Whilst I'm not going to try to do all of them ("Favourite battleground?" None of them!), I'm going to give a number of them a good shot.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

There's a light that never goes out.

They will have you believe that WoW is just a game.
They will tell you that no-one is who they say they are online.
They will scorn anyone who tries to explain how online friendships and relationships can be more intense and tangible than real life ones.

They talk shit.

They can't comprehend anything more complex than face to face interaction, with all the judgements and stereotypes that go hand in hand with it.
They have never had the privilege of getting to know someone minus the clutter of physicality.
They would shake their head and roll their eyes at the sight of someone sitting at her computer with tears streaming down her face and shoulders shaking with grief, mourning the loss of someone who she'd never 'met'.
They would never understand how many lives you touched in Azeroth, and how many people will miss you, and cry over your passing.

Your light will never go out.
You'll shine on, eternally, in the hearts and minds of those who knew you.

Soar above us, look down on us, and know that you're missed.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Warlock Redux (AKA Pilf - write about something other than 'locks!)

This post could just as easily be titled: Warlock Vanity Glyphs That I Want To See. Thanks Ghost Crawler - the masses have their sparkle ponies (grumpy old men aside that is!) so now I have a small request. As I understand it, and I might well be wrong here, as I'm playing locks of lowbie-ness, the current minion situation is as follows:
  • Destruction - Imp
  • Demonology - Felguard
  • Affliction - Succubus
Just so I can get it off my chest there's a rant en route (all images 'borrowed' from WoWWiki) so y'all have, as ever, been warned...

Psycho Felguard
Tressa loves her felguard and now you can get them at level 10 as a demon specced 'lock why would you use any other pet? I remember getting this on my original 'lock and being just made up beyond words. The felguard is an awesome tank of awesomeness (and that's a whole lotta awesome right there!) But actually, that's just a little bit sad. Does any demon specced 'lock even consider using their voidy now? yes, I know they're a PITA (see below) but voidys used to be tanks for all 'locks. And as I'm going to rant (briefly) about gender stereotypes a bit more later, I'd better hold my hands up and admit that the felguard is obviously quite gendered. As in, it would be hard to convince yourself that it's anything other than male. I really want to be able to rename my felguard, then I could call him Dolph (and really? A Masters in Chemical Engineering?) and it would give me happiness every time I summoned him. I also like their badly suppressed anger at... well, everything and everyone really.

That Annoying Blue Thing Voidwalker
AKA The most-annoying-tank-evarrr but despite being a big blue blob we are all grateful when as a lowbie clothie we got something that acted like a meat shield. If you're not demon specced you'll be cussing the huge quantity of space he takes up for some time yet, which yeah is an annoyance. But that "What do you want from me?" is quite endearing. And I'm referring to it as 'he' because that seems to be the gender that fits (possibly something to do with the gravel voice) but I'm happy for this to be debated! I know there's a Alliance quest in the Wetlands that 'reveals' the 'true' gender of the minion but it's been so long since I've done it, I'm afraid I've forgotten how it all works out.

GM Puppy Felhunter
Aww bless - throw the doggie a bone, c'mon, have you no heart? I know opinions divide on the felhunter but since they provide Fel Intelligence they're quite useful to have around. I've never really used them, as they USED to be the affli pet of choice but they look like a hell-hound (sorta) and if 'locks had pets... well I think they'd look like this. I gather they've been usurped by Herself (see below for yeah...rants etc) Devour Magic is still pretty damn useful (I assume especially in PvP especially with those other pesky casters) as is Spell Lock. And who doesn't want a puppy really? Look at those big... erm... glowing eyes.

Right... deep breaths....

Scary, frustrated male fantasy Succubus
Angry Pilf remains angry. Seriously, there is nothing about this chick that doesn't piss me off. Her fucking stupid voice, her inane pseudo-sexeh fingernail-inspecting, butt-spanking indifference. Ugh. It makes my head ache. Ok, I get what a succubus is, but I also get what they aren't. I'm fairly sure that they shouldn't be something that looks like it was dreamt up by a sexually frustrated teenage boy (who's actually quite scared of woman) in his bedroom with his dick in his hand. Sorry rant nearly ended.

However, I should in the interests of fairness and honesty, point out that Himself muttered that if I could have an incubus I'd see it differently. And clearly, as is often the case,Himself has a point. Now I'm happy for the felguards to come in a female version as well, just for the record, but I really would like a incubus. Himself's view is that what I'd actually like is a leathered up, male belf. Ahem. He may have a point.Something like this... would be sufficient. To begin with. I'd happily tinker with pixels... For a while. *sighs* Just a bit of equality for all - that's not too much to ask for is it?

Youngest Daughter Imp
How can anyone not adore the imps? They're just the most darling minions - cheeky and cartwheely, muttering and chuckling away to themselves? Surely, this would be everyone's minion of preference given an option? What I want is an imp that can tank. Then I can play destro (which I love) but not use a voidy (which I don't love). Which brings me, eventually, to the point of this post: GC gimme a few vanity glyphs - one that turns my voidy into an imp - looks wise and one that lets me choose the gender of my incubus/sucubus. And the gender of my felguard, lest I be accused of being sexist and only interested in tender young belf flesh...