Friday, 30 July 2010

Psychometric testing and... raiding.


I'm on chapter 2 of my 9-day management development training (yes... more role play, but actually less cringe making now I can just shrug and tell myself that if I can be a blood elf I can do this) which is actually turning out to be more interesting than chapter 1 was. We also get to play croquet after our (3 course) lunch but that's another story...

Part and parcel of this course is a fairly high dose of various types of psychometric testing which I tend to be a bit 'meh' about, but the last two that we've done are sadly fairly accurate. Yesterday's one was a bit Transactional Analysis-ish, all about 'drivers'- basically there are 5 'types': Be Strong, Try Hard, Hurry Up, Be Perfect and Please People. Anything over 75 is considered a 'strong' style. I got 90 in two of these categories (much to the hysterical delight of my fellow delegates) whereas most of the others got mid 60s, maybe a 70-odd. And I couldn't even bloody argue with it, as it matched up nicely with the two other sets we'd completed... So yes, Be Perfect and Please People (it was the latter which caused no end of hilarity (and... suggestions) amongst the group). Of course, neither of which is necessarily the best set of traits if you're managing people but explains why a) I hate delegating and b) run myself ragged tying to smooth feathers constantly. Lots of 'learning points' for me there then!

At work, my job is basically to liaise and co-ordinate and keep people happy (as much as possible) so Please People makes me pretty good at my job. Equally I have to be very accurate with reporting and stats so I need to Be Perfect.

But - here comes the game tie-in, concentrate... it explains why I hated (and failed at) raid leading. And raiding. And PuGing. Not the best set of traits to go along with gaming; wanting to be perfect and keep everyone happy. On the basis that, y'know, it's quite hard to achieve perfection (the first time please!) when you're fighting a boss that no-one's seen before. It's also quite hard to keep 24 people happy, isn't it? And if this is what 'drives' (i.e. motivates) you and it's fairly unachievable you will be beating your head off the nearest surface, crippled with doubt, misery, stress and other tools of self-flagellation. Equally, if you fuck-up and stand in The Bad you won't shrug it off and get on with it, you'll swim around in the vat of self-loathing for some time.

Can I 're-learn' my drivers? Get some NLP on and change who I am inherently am? Probably, if I put enough time and effort in. Do I want to? Just to enable me to be 'better' at a game? Nope. Is it nice, though, to finally fucking 'get' what the problem is? You betcha. Never let it be said that management training doesn't teach you anything....

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Plans, they are a-changin'

The characters I had in mind for Cata were very clear. I was planning on having a resto troll druid and a goblin warlock to begin with. I've got no pressure on me to fly through five levels to start raiding, heaven knows I'm not convinced Pilf will have hit 80 before Cata hits anyway and neither Ahine or Kythes needs to get to 85 with anything approaching speed. I'm quite happy in my acceptance that end game raiding is behind me and pottering about with alts is the way forward for me. Not that I'm even doing that at the moment, ennui seeming to have me in a death grip... But yes: troll druid, goblin lock. Troll's name is placeheld, goblin's name is a work in progress (i.e. I have no clue and anything I can think of sounds either silly, OTT or cliched...)

This was a good and sensible plan and I was very pleased with myself but then Youngest caught onto Worgen. In fairness to Youngest, she is a huge Twilight fan, and y'know, she's 12 which is approximately the right age to be into Twilight. When you're in your 30s it's a bit... sad really, isn't it? (Even though hot young muscular men are, well, hot and muscular...ahem.) So it's completely understandable that she would want to play a Worgen - IF she wanted to play WoW. Which she hasn't. Oh she had a vague dress-up session afew years ago when I'd just bought TBC but since then no interest at all. Zip, nix, nada. But now she has friends at school who play. Female friends I might add, looking at you again Nick Higham, female friends who don't play Farmville either! Nor does my daughter. Sorry *breathes*. She's also been encouraged in her Worgen dreams by Himself... Nuff said. So whilst I'm oh so pleased that I'm raising a gamer-geek daughter (the inner geek's always been there with Youngest, it just needs a bit of encouragement) I want her to play a Goblin with her Mum. I've even shown her how off the hook the Goblin female hair is (I'm choosing to ignore the raging inappropriateness of the Goblin flirts on the basis that it'll be censored before release...) but she's still insistent on her bloody werewolf *sighs*. It's not a faction thing, I hasten to add, whilst I'm all 'For the Horde' rawrrr at present I've no quibble with Alliance other than I don't want to play a Worgen. Even for the top hats. And especially because I know the accent is going to make my ears bleed (see previous link.) But I really do want to play with her. She's a gem is Youngest and we'd have huge fun. I've tried bribing her: "If you play Horde side I can give you money and stuff." Tried guilting her: "Don't you want to come and have fun with me?" I've even tried scaring her: "If you play Alliance I won't be able to look out for you, and there are some odd people playing WoW." Pause. "Like you and Himself you mean?" Pause. "Umm, well, weirder actually." Eye-roll. "Yeah...right!" And none of it has worked. She's set on a Worgen. Which means I have to either *shudder* roll one as well... or leave her to play on her own (well on her netbook behind me anyways) and persuade her to roll on a PvP server so I can pwn her of the superiority of the Goblin race some other way. All suggestions welcomed...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

I live to nurture - ask a scientist.

I'll start with Ben Goldacre - that bastion of rationale and snake-oil myth-busting. If you haven't met him add him to your bookmarks... This Saturday morning, as I was gradually waking up with coffee and Himself was getting his fix of playing with his iPad news he showed me this article with huge glee. The bits you actually need to read are in the first paragraph or here (from the Daily Mail) and here (from the Telegraph). Disclaimer: If you choose to follow those links don't say I didn't tell you where they came from. I chose not to, relying on Goldacre's summary that shopping causes infertility in men (Telegraph) and that housework prevents breast cancer in women (Daily Mail). Himself obviously thinks this is marvellous news (in a totally tongue in cheek way, lest anyone thinks Himself is a complete arse when he's completely lovely) and the morning has been punctuated by requests for coffee and toast, in a completely selfless manner, as he is after all, only looking out for my health....

Moving to Radio 4, bless them (there is a relevant game related tie-in coming, I promise that I'm not just randomly venting!) Another bastion of sanity in a mad world. Radio 4 is just so reliable isn't it? It's a British institution after all, and it's one of those odd coming of age (maturity?) moments when you give in and tune your radio to Radio 4. Mine is obviously tuned to Planet Rock, but Himself being of a slightly more intellectual bent than me, insists on Radio 4 in the mornings. So the reporters are conversing away in a low key manner (actually not all that low key as today's news is full of the Jon Venables debate - hardly romantic, low key discussion...) when the word 'gaming' filters through my semi-awake brain and I turn the volume up, like you do. Oh genders and gaming. This should be good, after all it's Radio 4 - amirite?

Unfortunately, the Today programme doesn't appear to be an option on iPlayer, or I'd give you the link and let you listen in all it's glory, but insted I can give you the quote from their schedule:

0816
Nick Higham reports on the growing numbers of women playing computer games and how the games industry is starting to reflect their interests.
Sounds reasonable doesn't it? This has potential to be a well thought out piece after all. We know that whilst getting 'reliable' stats about how many women game is hard, it is now acknowledged that we are a significant demographic. So ladies - what games do we play and why? We play Farmville, of course. Bite-sized games, because we don't have the time to commit to anything more time-consuming (read: stretching/challenging?) and because these types of games fulfil our need to socialise (a la Facebook) and, most importantly of all, because they nurture us. WHAT THE FUCK? SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK RADIO 4? WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT? THIS IS THE SORT OF SHIT I EXPECT FROM THE DAILY 'MALE' NOT FROM A 'SERIOUS' RADIO STATION.

The reporter chittered on, in a deeply patronising-male way, about how women 'want' these types of low key games, that 'we' take emotional succour from Farmville - effectively from harvesting sunflowers and collecting chicken's eggs. Basically we want to fulfil our biological destiny and look after cute things and take care of them and cater to their every whim. Isn't that sweet? Aren't us women just dahling, unthreatening, fluffy things? And let's not forget the RMT (micro-transaction?) element. If doing all this is just too much for out little ole' brains we can always just fork over some (of hubbys) cash to buy it all. Because, you know, shopping's our other source of emotional fulfilment (but don't take hubby in case he becomes infertile - just his credit cards will do nicely, ok?) And, ohmygod, and we want to do all this at the same time as being sweet, sociable things via social networking sites. Because then we get double emotional fulfilment - we can talk about like, shopping and nail varnish and hair straighteners and Big Brother and stuff with our girl friends and grow flowers as well!!11!! At the same time.!!11!! My life is now *officially* complete. No more MMOs for me...

You know what? I don't want more things I have to fucking nurture! I nurture my children, my colleagues, my friends, I attempt to nurture Himself (although he may disagree.) When I game I do not want stuff that I need to look after (I realise that having played a holy priest for sometime causes a minor blip in the argument but I'm choosing to ignore that on the basis that, y'know, emotional illogical female here...) I want do to stuff that causes pain. I want to wtfpwn. I want to make things die a slow agonising death with DoTs. I want to melt faces. To mind sear (yes Nick Higham, I'm looking at you right now, buddy). To generally cause mayhem and pain. The only time I want to play with a field of sunflowers is with a fucking flamethrower. Then, to just compound the insult - they had voxpop on the 'streets' with the sort of giggly, hair flicking (I assume) early 20-something girls who were all *giggle giggle* 'oh well, yeah, I like, play, like Farmville, but I'm really, like embarrassed about it, because you know, it's like a computer game isn't it...?' Oh Gods, kill me now, please...

Anyway, if you'll excuse me I need to go and take Himself his breakfast in bed... anything to stave off those nasty illnesses huh?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Enough already.

Ok - I finally hit the wall. I'm barely able to drag myself out of bed in the mornings at present nevermind hold my head up and function all day, before collapsing in a heap the minute I get back through the front door in the evening. My holiday is still just over 2 weeks away *sulks* and I have no idea if I'm going to make it that far. Something has to give. And it has to give now. Unfortunately, few things in my life are optional - daughter needs to be gotten up in the morning and fed and watered and shipped off to school, then looked after in the evenings, I have to go to work, catch up with my (slightly neglected) mates, shop, clean the house, do the laundry and the ironing etc etc. The weekends are hectic in a wonderful way, but I'm running out of hours in the day and days in the week.

I'm barely logging into WoW at the moment - unlike Himself I don't have a beta key (and I'm not sulking about this, obviously...) and I can't blog about a game I'm barely playing, so I'm easing off the gas a bit for the summer. I'll post as and when the mood takes me, but, for a while, my days of posting (nearly) every day are on hold.

I hope y'all have a fantastic summer - both in game and out and I'll reappear properly in September.

*huggles*

Pilf and Sally

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Take a deep breath (again)

And so we move to Alliance cities (I guess, out of fairness and all...)

Ironforge. Oh boy. It was a trial finding this image. Never let it be said that I don't devote myself to my blog... (and be really grateful that this was the one I went for!) Ironforge obviously smells like a greasemonkey (in the nicest way). All those inventive dorfs and gnoams and their labour... all the forges and fires banked around. Himself has a view that Ironforge also has random freshly baked cake smells wafting through it - I can't see it myself. What I can imagine is candyfloss. I'm not 100% sure why (maybe it's the female gnome hair...) but hot, almost burning sugar. And on a side note I bought one of the daughters candyfloss perfume for Christmas one year and it was gorgeous. Not something that I'd recommend a grown woman to wear admittedly but on my daughter it was scrumminess beyond belief.

The Exodar - again, I struggled with this. Himself instantly said Dettol, which is a trifle harsh but I can kind of see where he's coming from. I hate Dettol, it reminds me of the school san but I do agree with the whole 'everything being polished within an inch of its life' theory. I'd like to think beeswax or lavender polish but in reality I suspect not. It's probably more bleach-and-synthetic-lemon 'suburban-fresh' than old-country-manor-polished-furniture 'nice'. Interestingly (because I am possibly the least likely person to experience any form of synesthesia) The Exodar feels to me as 'sounds' rather than 'smells'. Odd but anyway - clear glass bells being rung *nods*.

Stormwind - quick disclaimer here, despite being quite Horde-y, I adore Stormwind. I really, really do. Of all the towns Stormwind is the one that really feels convincingly city-like to me. I adore the cobbles, the quarters, the cathedral looming over it... everything about it makes me go 'yes, this is a City'. Bits of Stormwind smells like pubs (how pubs used to smell, that should be, back in the days when I was a (really exceptional) barmaid in my yoof). Bits of it, like the mage quarter, have that slightly lingering post-firework scent of smoke and gunpowder, slightly bonfire-y somehow.

Which leaves Darnassus. Eau de Darnassus is distinctly floral. But nice floral, not overpowering and sickly. It's sweetpeas and stocks and roses and English country garden, herbaceous border floral. I'm not totally sure why. I guess because it's open and clean and fresh. And you know, night elves and nature and druids and everything... It might be a little bit Thunder Bluff - I can imagine patchouli and joss sticks as well, but mainly floral.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Take a deep breath...

Pillow talk should really, really not lead to blog posts, but it seems to at present - and there's possibly a whole new high (or low) of geek-dom reached in that sentence. However, I was expounding last night on perfume apropos of... something I can't remember now, and commented that should I ever have a windfall and become exceedingly rich, one of the things I'd really like to have done is to have a custom perfume made for me. This is partially because I'm a bit fussy about perfumes and partially (mainly) galloping ego-mania - I don't want to smell like other people. I'm enough of a special snowflake to want to smell just like me. And Himself commented that I'd call it Eau de Silvermoon... Quite. But, once I'd stopped beating Himself savagely, and we'd mopped up the blood and bandaged his wounds we got to discussing what Eau de Silvermoon would smell like, and Eau de Orgrimmar and Eau de Thunder Bluff. I think the new rule says that whoever says "There's a blog post in this" gets first bite at the cherry and I won this round.

So yes, Eau de Silvermoon. Himself argued that whatever else it had, it would also have overtones of perspiration but I'm disagreeing with this on the basis that belfs don't sweat (as my darling mother would have it: horses sweat, gentleman perspire and ladies merely glow) but I can't even imagine belfs having sweat glands if I'm honest. They'd certainly be far to fadistuous to ever smell of anything... bodily related. I'm going for something heavy and cloying... something that's a bit OTT, a bit 80s power dressing.... a bit like Poison in fact. It needs a little something else though, I grant you or it wouldn't be very complex. Top notes of something really overpowering. Something along the tuberose family, I'm going for. So Poison mixed with Fracas. Just to ensure that you're totally overwhelmed.

Moving onto Thunder Bluff then - this one was kinda easy. It's all peace and love, earth-and-sky isn't it? So it either smells like a Lush shop (and this isn't a bad thing!) Or it's just quite hippy and earthy and warm. Patchouli and joss-sticks. Basically what I smell when I have to walk through Glastonbury to go to meetings. I see Tauren and this is what I think of. For me, there is no other scent for Thunder Bluff. Other than, and this I can't find a photo for, the way the grass smells just after a rainstorm. Fresh and just all round yummy. Which is odd when I really can't play a Tauren...

Orgrimmar I'm struggling with. It's a bit rough and ready, a bit frontier town. Orgrimmar is a bit whiskey and cigarettes for me. In fact it's not just whiskey, it's bourbon. And it's not just cigarettes, it's Marlboro Reds. Oh yeah baby. It's got that 'Real Man' thing going on. (And yes, I know, drinking and smoking doesn't make you a Real Man. I know smoking and drinking is bad for your health and the health of those around you and doesn;t make you sexy or cool.) But the issue I have with this being Eau de Orgrimmar is that there are (also) trolls in Orgrimmar. And I can't reconcile Eau de Troll with Orgrimmar, so that might have to wait until the trolls get their own place. Or until I've wandered round Zul'Grub a bit more....

Okay, and I forgot Undercity. How is this even vaguely possible? Undercity would smell like the inside of a mad scientist's alchemy lab wouldn't it? All billowing green smoke, choking chemicals, overlaid with the (yummy) smell of old musty books. But the Canals, euch, I guess we need to add a bit of Venice in mid-summer to the mix to really capture Undercity.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Modern Sisyphus

Welcome to your life.

I'm not in the best of moods today, I should warn you. Work last week was shit, I've still got this low grade virus thingy that's making me grouchy and my weekend isn't how it should be. For want of anything better to do today I've done a fuck-ton of housework. This is commonly known as 'displacement therapy' - or as my mother would call it, 'ants in your pants syndrome'. It manifests itself by stopping you from being able to settle to anything, not gaming, not books, not music, not TV, not idle surfing, not nothin' (go on, correct my double negative - I dare you!) And it's seriously irksome.

However it does have its plus side. For the last 2 months my house has has the briefest of surface-deep-only cleans. Just enough to prevent Himself thinking that I'm some sort of lazy, sluttish type who'd rather read a book than dust her Venetian blinds. Ahem. I started last night - I've got an ancient floor to ceiling dresser in my sitting room that's very close to my heart as it belonged to my beloved great-grandmother. Over the last year or so it's turned into the repository for all the kipple that I can't find a home for and it was getting past a joke. Now it's sorted. Then I hit the bathroom this morning, sorted the (copious quantities of) girl products and make up. Chucked a lot out. Washed the tiles. Sorted out the thousands of copies of New Scientists in their quietly composting piles.

Then I did the ironing and sorted out the utility room. And the shoe shelves (recycled many pairs, I even tied the laces together like it instructs me to on the recycling box) and Gods how it pained me. Am I ever going to wear 5" wedged sandals? No. Can I cram my feet into the sparkly pink Converses that were cheap on eBay years ago? No. Do I need two pairs of knee-length boots? Oh hell yeah! Then I cleaned the kitchen properly. By this time it was about 2pm and I'd started at 9am. I'm leaving the sitting room for tomorrow and my bedroom has been a boudoir for a few months now so that's always tidy (no smug grins here, I can assure you) once I've carted the wine bottles and glasses downstairs anyways...

I am getting round to making a point though - just hold on for a few more sentences. You know what really pains me about all this effort? (Other than my mother's assumption that it's being done purely to prove to Himself what a 'good little wifey' I'll make. I jest not - good job she was in another room when she made that crack, I can tell you.) What pisses me off is that my house will look lovely for a day, maybe two. Then it'll go back to being covered in clutter again. Housework is the modern equivalent of the trial of Sisyphus.

And here's my WoW tie-in (finally, thank you for your patience.) This is why I hate daily quests. Fucking despise them in fact. Technically, each day I should log my three level 80 characters, take them through the daily cooking and fishing quests (which I don't actually mind) and do the daily jewelcrafting quest on my jewelcrafter. Then I should take each one to the Basin and do the Oracles dailies (nope, no playing nice with the puppymen for me) because only one of them (Shad) has the mount of loveliness. Then, oh I can barely type this... I should take them to the damnable Argent Tournament and undertake jousting. I'm not sure I have a enough profanity to quite get across how much I loathe these dailies. Every thing about that place winds me up. None of my characters have the Crusader title and the ones I was making vague headway with lost everything when they faction transferred. Thank you for that Blizzard. You could make all the other rep transfer across but not the Tournemant rep? Back of the fucking net. Really.

I've not always hated dailies by a long way. Way back when, when the Isle of Quel'Danas was where the kool kidz hung out, I used to spend a happy hour every day working my butt off for the Shattered Sun guys and gals. Kill naga and free murlocs? Check. Bomb bad shit in the Dead Scar? Can do. Pick berries? No problems, sister. I loved the Isle. It was like a cosy neighbourhood. General chat was full of names I knew and in-jokes. I ran into guildies and friends all the time. And I was made-up the day I got the title. The dailies used to net, what about 100g (ish?) and take an hour - maybe less. I used to do them whilst sitting in the officer vent channel and sorting out the nights raid. It never felt frustrating and pointless, like the Tournament ones do. Part of my hatred for these ones stems from my inability to control any sort of 'vehicles' in WoW. I've never killed Malygos. Bastard. I'm directionally challenged and my spatial awareness is... lacking. So yes, vehicles equate to gnashing of teeth and wails of despair. That's why I hate the Tournament. I'd rather shove a boulder up a hill then joust.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Six degrees of separation? Not likely.

Oath wrote something here a while back which ties in nicely with a post I was meaning to write. We all make friends within the game and really, really occasionally run into people in real life who play WoW (in my case in excrutiatingly boring training courses). Both of which are fun. However, one of the most 'interesting' experiences I have had with the whole '...I know you...?' thing was in my former guild. I'd been in the guild forever and was an officer. In the vent officer channel one of the other officers, Arca, who's a similar age to me, was mocking my 'saff lun'un' accent and trying to establish which particular part of 'saff lun'un' I was from. He'd eventually narrowed it down to the right area and something approximating the following conversation took place:

Arca: So which bit exactly?
Me: *Names bit*
Arca: Seriously? Oh my god, I grew up in *very close area*
Me: Wow! But you lived in the posh bit...
Arca: Yes, I'm much posher than you, we know this. Did you go out much locally?
Me: Yeah... it was kinda my wild child time so... yeah...
Arca: Which pubs did you drink in?
Me: Mainly *names pub*
Arca: So you know Esther? (the landlady)
Me: Yeah, wow you used to drink there too? Esther was fab. God, I adored that place. I had so much fun there!
Arca: Esther is my cousin.
Me: ... Serious??
Arca: Yeah, god I used to get bladdered in that place.
Me: Me too...

[Silence as everyone else in the channel has decided that this conversation had just gotten quite interesting]

[Tumbleweed]

My brain: Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. Please tell me I didn't..... Oh fuck, oh fuck oh fuck. I hate my misspent youth. Oh fuck, shit, bollocks.
Arca: Errr I don't think I know your RL name...
Me: And I don't know yours. (Not that it would help mind you, I forget names after copious quantities of tequila)

[More silence, then a fractic conversation via /whisper.]

The first time I 'friended' (Gods how I hate that expression) a guildy on Facebook was Arca, in a desperate attempt to ascertain whether we 'knew' each other. Yes, in 'that' sense. And - saints be praised, we discovered that we didn't. But seriously, of all the servers in Azeroth I ended up in a guild with a fellow officer who I probably stood next to at the bar at some point...

Bwah?

WTB translation please???

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Tangled up in blue

So the first six months of 2010 have meant that I've been in a semi-permanent state of flux. Everything seems to have been moving and changing faster than I can keep up with it.

In real life there have been changes on the family front which were tough to work through - my eldest daughter went to live with her dad and step-mum in January, the right thing for all concerned but really, really hard for everyone, and my youngest daughter has gone from being my 'baby' to being a goth emo scenster complete with jet black hair and a pechant for depressing music. I've obtained two secondments, work-wise which means that I'm back to daily commuting rather than walking to work, both of which are great experience but are proving somewhat... challenging. I've had a long-term relationship end, and a wonderful new one begin. Winter has turned into spring, which has turned into summer. My daughters finish school next week and go back in September, another 'year' older. I'm going on holiday abroad (proper abroad - where they speak foreign and not English) in a few weeks - for the first time since I was 15 (and it's too far away - gief holiday nao plox!)! Looking at my diary, I've got one 'free' weekend (the upcoming one) between now and the middle of September. Which is.... delightfully odd. My weekends have been a sea of blankness for so long that I'm charmed by having things planned!

In my WoW life I've gone from not wanting to play at all, to re-rolling on AD and discovering RP, through a few mini burnouts, via slightly 'interesting' situations to where I am at present. You know, I'm playing a lot less than I have in years. Hugely, noticably less. So much so that I was really confused this morning when, for the first time in ages I woke up early and thought I'd put a few levels on the shammy. But it's Wednesday - so yeah... maintenence day right? Gods it took me whole minutes to work this out...

I love my alts and I'm going back to loving Pilf. As of Monday she's getting played again. If I max my ignore list, so be it. If I file harassement reports with GMs, so be it. I'm not paying (more) money to server transfer her - fuck that. I'm taking her back to Northrend and playing her. I'll give her therapy as we go along and she'll come right, because dammit, I've got too much 'invested' in her to walk away from her. And I want her at 80 - because then I'll feel like I've 'completed' her. Even if I then desert her to be a goblin in Cata, I'll feel like I've done the 'right thing' by her. She'll take it very easy on the RP front to ensure that things don't get (more) complicated.

I'm trying to decide with the beta now very open, and the blogsphere full of stuff, if I should relent on my Cata-vision and start to look at what'll be happening. Not in terms of zones and quests but talent trees and mechanics. I really need to decide what I'm going to play and start thinking about my characters, and possibly purge my current alts that aren't going to see light of day.

But what I really need is a period of calmness in my life. A period where I can just 'be' with nothing cropping up that requires me to expend a great deal of emotional energy, no more change thanks, not for the short term. I have a feeling that medium to long term, more change will be inevitable - after all, that's what life is about, right? But for a while I'd just like to float along, without twisting my ankle in the potholes....

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

What have I learnt? That the headgear don't make the player.

Blog Azeroth's shared topic this week asks us to look at what our hours (days, months, years...?) spent in Azeroth have taught us. Much as I'd love to write something lofty about learning how to make £££s IRL via goblin-ish AH ways, or tell you that I'm a much better manager having raid-led, it wouldn't be true.

What WoW has taught me is hard to define, but I'm going to give it a try, at least.

Waaaaay back along, when I started playing, I was completely new to gaming. I had no idea what an MMO was and it took me quite a long time to wrap my head around the fact that all these other characters running around, duelling, questing, talking and things were, in fact, other people. I'm trying to remember, through the mists of time, quite how enthralled and charmed I was by this concept. But I had no desire to partake in it really. I mean, I understood (eventually) the concept of guilds, but still, I didn't really want to be a part of one. Fortunately for me, husband the second had also taken a shine to the game and had bought himself a copy so we kinda moodled around together. And yes, eventually we joined a guild, and then left, with a few others to form our own one, then... stuff happened and hubby the second became ex-hubby the second and eventually I joined another guild which had people in it who raided. And this was a big scary concept - raiding. It was something the elite few did and there was obviously no way I was going to do that. Ever. And the rest, as they say is history...

But back on topic - kinda. I'm a trusting soul, in the main, someone who takes people at face value, even on the big scary interwebz. Which obviously is utterly insane isn't it? Because online, no-one is who and what they say there are, are they? It's the first rule of the web. Everyone knows that - doh! You know what WoW has taught me? Actually, many, many people ARE who and what they say they are. Not that they're blood/night elves, obviously. But that what you 'see' is what you get. Only you don't see them do you? What you get instead is their personality, their shine, their sparkle. I accept that fact that many people... 'edit' themselves online. Which might seem like an odd way of putting it - but when I say 'edit' I don't mean that they wilfully and deliberately mis-lead, rather that they heighten certain parts of themselves and lessen others.

The person I am online isn't 100% who I am in real life, but that's got a lot less to do with mis-leading people then it has to do with being... free. We all wear 'hats' - work hats, family hats, relationship hats, friendships hats. I'm a certain person at work, a certain person with my kids, a certain person with my parents, my sister, my wider family - not that the differences are big by a long way, but there's subtle stuff going on, I think there is with most people. When I'm in Azeroth (and putting RP aside for the moment) I'm just being who I want to be, unshackled from the expectations that people have in the real world. Himself has a friend who he refers to as the 'drunken philosopher' who argues that personality isn't intrinsic - that we are shaped by our interactions with others and the reactions we get from people. The first time Himself expounded on this theory I scoffed but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. When was the last time you felt 100% free? When you didn't have to bite your tongue, placate someone, support someone even though you're shattered yourself (because that's what you do, isn't it, for your friends?), when you didn't tell a white lie to behave in a socially acceptable manner?

But I digress again. What I'm trying (and failing, I think) to explain is that what I've learnt is that the majority of people in Azeroth are just getting on with their fun, their gaming, their socialising and being themselves. Do we really want to wear another 'hat' in our gaming life? Or do we just want to shrug off the expectations and get on with it? That's not to say people don't choose carefully who they 'share' themselves with - I'm not referring, in this post, to the random person that you PuG'd with once, but rather the guildies that you hang out on vent with. I've gamed with students, housewives, bankers, scientists, teachers, professional poker players, policemen and army types. And these are basically the 'verifiable' people who I've carried into RL 'friendships'. I haven't come across anyone who really, intentionally lied about who and what they are, with malicious intent. I've gamed with girls who play male characters to lessen the 'hassle factor' of being a female gamer. I've played with at least one 'genderless' person, for over a year in fact, in raids 3 or 4 times a week and it was never a big deal. Mischief was just 'Mis', a really decent, intelligent, witty person. They were deliberately genderless (gender free?) because it was how they felt most comfortable - more power to them.

In summary: what has WoW taught me? That whilst not everyone online is who they portray themselves to be, a lot of people in Azeroth are.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Is this some karmic-chi love thing happening here baby or what?

This is why I RP as a belf...

Online liaisons are a topic that is (in my experience) rarely talked about. The RP community understandably isn't wild about discussing this, as they feel, rightly or wrongly, that the 'public' perception of RP-ers are people hanging around in Goldshire/Silvermoon looking for ways to get their cyber rocks off at the expense of true RP (however you wish to define this) and they would like to move away from that perception thankyouverymuchindeed. Like I said, completely understandable and I'm sure that 'public' cyberlols (my chosen term as I can't write ERP with a straight face) are against a multitude of T&Cs as well as giving offence to most people around.

But... how many people, especially, I would suggest, playing a female character, haven't been on the receiving end of a suggestive whisper or six? And, you know, if you can't write your own flirts, Blizz has given your character the ability to do this. I would point you in the direction of the new goblin flirts which I'm sure will be toned down but presently are very unsubtle and require, well, very little imagination to interpret: "I like my women the way I like my fuses: Short, fast and ready to blow." - goblin male. "So then, he asked me to go up on him!" - goblin female. [Gold star if you spot the, ahem, recurring theme...?]

And how do you account for the quantity of people who walk round with 'Mature Roleplayer' as their Flag RSP setting? Maybe it's me, maybe 'Mature RPer' merely indicates your willingness to engage in a deep and complex in-character storyline; my view is that indicates your willingness to engage in cyberlols. But I could be completely wrong and utterly prejudiced, I'm going off my own experiences here. And, in the interests of honesty, I'm willing to say that I've been on the receiving end of a multitude of flirts, some discreet, others exceedingly full-on. I'm equally willing to say that Pilf has been known to engage in some heavy flirting, and on one occasion, something, that in retrospect, could have been better thought through. And this is where things get sticky - and the separation between the 'character' and the 'player' get confused by some, if not many, people.

Examples - during Pure Shores it was Pilf and Zal flirting, not Sven and I. A fairly good example, of a RP 'liasion'. Not 'euch I need a shower with bleach and a brillo pad' yukky. Not 'insert Tab A into Slot B' graphic. But with... overtones. The separation between character and player was clear and as a result there haven't been issues. When Pilf met her poet, again it was intense but it was good RP. And again, it didn't breach any comfort (or decency) barriers. Again, character/player separation very clear. My one misjudged RP 'liaison' has made it damn near impossible to play Pilf and this is a problem. The mis-alignment between myself and the other player was fairly huge and this is a serious issue for me. I'm at the point of transferring servers because basically it feels unpleasant playing her on AD. And this is NOT a plea for sympathy here - I made an ill-judged decision and I know that I have to deal with the consequences of this.

So if we accept that cyberlols do happen, it is possible to put prejudice aside and look at why? Or do we get too clouded by, and hung up with moral judgements to be able to do this dispassionately? I'm not convinced, personally, that cyberlols can be particularly fulfilling, but I would also wager that they're a lot less risky than picking up a stranger in a bar for a one night stand. (And I also realise that it isn't and either/or scenario!) Seriously, if you've never had an issue with misjudgement 'romantically' I salute you. But I have and I'm here to say that the situations you can create in a virtual world are a great deal less fucking dangerous than you can in the real world. Worst case scenario is that you write /ignore a lot of times. Or server transfer, if push comes to shove. Is it then 'acceptable' for consenting adults to partake in a liaison of their choosing, in private when they are not impinging on the game time of other players? Yes, you can argue that it's hard to define 'consenting adult' in Azeroth and I realise that this raises a whole barrel of other 'issues' but again, putting that aside, is it acceptable to sit in judgement on what people do and how they get their kicks? Would it not be better to be glad that people are fulfilling their need for excitement/kicks/whatever virtually?

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Ambassador at last

Finally, bloody finally I managed to get Ambassador on Ahine. I've been trying to finish my Thunder Bluff rep grind, in a very half-assed way for weeks now, without, needless to say, going anywhere near the damnable Argent Tournament and their equally damnable dailies. Which I know is the easy way to do it, but I fail so unimaginably at jousting... well it's not even pitiful. They'd need to invent a whole new set of words to give 'credit' to just how badly I fail at jousting (and quite how filled with rage I become too). So it's been the old fashioned rep grind via questing thing for me. Which is why I'm so pleased I'm done.

Ok, there was a teensy-weensy bit of cloth turn in involved. But only 60 runecloth over the first set of hand-ins... because I was losing the will to live.

Poor Ahine, she's my first ever proper character and it's taken me so long to get any title at all for her. Unfortunately, as she was my first, she'd done all the obvious TB quests like Ashenvale *shudders* and Thousand Needles *shudders more* and Stonetalon *tries to stop shuddering to no avail* back in the days before I knew enough to stay the hell away from those areas as they are pits of despair. Sorry. I ended up doing Feralas quests (not an area I usually go to) and even Ragefire Chasm to get to nearly exalted. Then, yeah cloth turn-ins did it, as above.

And then I logged off, and stopped bending Himself's ear about finding the right bloody harpies to kill... So tomorrow it's back to the Shamalama!

This is how we (re)roll.

It's Sunday, it's hot and thick (it's like sitting in a cloud of... I don't know - something thick and unpleasant) and my darling daughter has generously given me her summer bug. On the plus side, I'm hoping that this goes someway to ensuring that I'm not sick when I'm on holiday. Also, it gives me carte blanche to do bugger all, aside from collapse in my chair and game. It also means that my head is full of damp cotton wool so I can write a rambling blog post and not care too much! Alt round ups and stuff that's been making me giggle this week (and nothing involving Real ID) follows below.

I cannot play mages. This is my first point. Maybe it's because I love warlocks too much, maybe it's because I don't appreciate the beauty that is magey stuffs, I don't know - but I'm not enjoying my mage at all. And I have tried, really I have. They go out of mana so fast it makes killing things painful. On my lock I just life tap and drain life and I rarely stop to drink. This is quite pleasant. It would help if the drinks I can create on my magelet topped up more than half my mana pool I'd be less grumpy about this - but they don't. And it is a fail. So goodbye magelet (again).

Point the second: I love my warlocks - gods how I love 'em. Sassi is actually getting some playtime at last and I've re-specced her to affliction - having historically levelled as either demon or destro. She's not high enough for afflic to be really imba yet - but she's such good fun to play I don't care. I'm not playing Ahine much - other then to herb when necessary, but that's ok - I just log into her sometimes so I can go "mmmmmm, love lovely warlocks with big destro crits" and log off again. I'm going to have issues in Cata - goblin locks sound sooooooo good - but them Himself has informed me that troll warlocks will also be playable as well. Himself, natch, is over the moon about this, having somewhat of a troll fetish ... thing liking for trolls, but I'm still going down the road of "Oh oh oh - female goblin with HUGE felguard - squeeeeeeee" myself. And as Ahine is destro, and Sassi is afflic, I can legitimately go demon with the goblinette!

Shamans - my server transferred shaman is getting no playtime at all. Which is a pity but when I play her, she's just pixels. So I decided that I'd make another one. And as I've never really played an orc, I figured that I'd do just that. Isn't she fab?

I'm going to have to do the poxy totem quests again though, which makes me sad... And question - she's currently got the BoA 'PvP' staff equipped, but I also have the 'PvE' one. Any advice on which is 'better'? And anyone who points out that shammys should have a mace and shield equipped - I know. But I don't have the BoA ones (if they even exist). Nor is there any way in hell that I'm going to sanity tap to get enough badges, emblems, whatever the hell they are now called to sort this, m'kay? And I realise she's wearing cloth shoulders. See previous argument. But she'll be elemental - because the thought of me playing a melee shaman is frankly laughable... I nearly pushed the boat waaaaaaay out and made an orc warrior - but then I shook myself hard and normal service resumed.

Props to Tobold and Miss M for making me laugh with their RL Reviews. And to Tam for being the fashion police - Azeroth style. This is just fabulous - even if you don't follow the instructions it works - but it's better if you do!! Saga's blog is a new one on my reading list and when I get round to updating my blog roll she's going on there for sure (oh, that's a plan for later actually) and OddCraft is another blog which me massive amounts of joy whenever I read it. Same with Psynister (ok, really am updating the blog roll soon). I always want new blogs to read - if you have something that you've stumbled across please drop me a line or a comment. And of course - this week wouldn't be complete (for me) without giving you my views and Sven's responses. Though his inability to understand come to terms with the female psyche means he shouldn't be getting any link love at all..

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Everyone's Sugarmomma

So Saga has written a post on this weeks Blog Azeroth Challenge: "When should a healer let someone die?" here via this and it kinda resonated with me. Plus Jong wrote a post waaaaaaaaaay back that I still love (and it's soooooo true!) I'm a bit out of blogging inspiration at present* so I figured I'd set to work on writing my thoughts on the topic... but I only managed 3 1/2 hours sleep last night so the 'thoughts' might be even less coherent than usual.

First of all, I was a 'reasonably' good healer, back in the day, when I was a holy spec'd priest and raid healing. I'm a horrible healer now - disc really wrecked healing for me, in conjunction with Ulduar (and apologies to all the disco-dude(ttes) and Ulduar fans out there) hence why I'm holding out hopes for resto-druid healing in Cata - totally different to priest healing so yeah, I'm gonna try and regain ma healer-mojo that way...

One of the things I really struggled with as a healer, was healer guilt. I hated it when people died, and always took it as a personal failing. Nevermind that you can't heal stupid, nevermind that you can't heal with no mana, nevermind that you can't heal when the DPS are out of LoS... If someone, anyone, died, no matter how fucking stupid they'd been, I felt personally responsible for it. You can imagine how much fun I had raiding, right? Actually, it wasn't so bad. My halcyon days of raiding, were, without a doubt, good old Kara, and healing didn't stress me out too much there - raid leading was the stressor! I guess the main reason healing in raids is (un)pleasant is to do with your fellow healer team. If you all gel as a unit, and stick to your 'assignments' whilst having each others backs it's just a joy and a delight. If your fellow healers snipe heals, don't have the faintest fucking clue that an 'assignment' is just that - not some optional shit that your raid leaders are wittering about down vent... With Kara it was the former - the other healers were great!!

Due to the above-mentioned healer guilt - I didn't let people die. Ever. If someone died it was because I physically couldn't keep them alive. Sure, I had people who I would... prioritise, I guess, but that's not the same thing as wilfully letting someone die. And before you flame me, telling me that stupid DPS who don't move deserve to DIAF, I'm not disagreeing with you per se, I'm justifying my healer guilt, m'kay? I find it slightly odd that healers have that much... influence in their role. You rarely see a tank refusing to, umm, tank or generate threat (well, not intentionally anyways) nor do you often see DPS-ers failing to pew. Ok maybe since the dungeon finder you might do, but in general you didn't used to. If a tank said, or implied: 'nah, I think I'll just generate a bit of threat when I fancy doing so' the rest of the group/raid would be slightly wtf? but it seems to be accepted that healers pick and choose who they heal. Which, I would suggest, is a potentially awkward power-(im)balance.

But yeah, the people you do want to heal are those who just go fractionally out of their way to make things a bit easier for you. The hunter who puts a trap at your feet, the rogue who bandages, the mage who sheeps the add who thinks you look tasty. Hell, I'm shallow as a puddle - I used to heal the retadin in my raids who used, umm seal of pally-emo as was (I forget the name - possibly Martyr?) because basically he was a fucking superstar and a complete bitch (in a good way) and because he thanked me for my healing. See - I'm so shallow that I have hidden shallows. If you were nice to me you got a reserved spot on the healer list. And not 'nice' in a creepy 'give me epixx' way, just 'nice' in a 'civilised human being' way.

Actually I did (kinda) let someone die once. And it was the main tank. In Ulduar. BUT I can kind of explain... The MT healer I despised, he was an arrogant SoB who was never in the wrong, and of course, he was awesome-healer-of-leetness-extraordinaire... Except that he wasn't. He had the thickest skin of anyone I have ever met. He made Gevlon look like a touchy-feely- tree-hugger. And I was fed up with picking up after him and covering his ass (which he denied - umm, hulloes? Last I saw druids didn't have sparkly fucking heals - that would be Penance that well-known disco-priest heal !) So I stopped healing our MT, I was on OT duty so it wasn't like I was standing around whistling, and the MT died and we wiped. What a shock (sorry Khef, but I couldn't stand it anymore) and then it happened again. But then I admitted it (kinda) in officer chat and carried on as before. Point proved. But I still feel slightly guilty - not about Rifka (you arrogant git) but for Khef, our lovely tank who wasn't used to dying so always sounded so shocked and disgusted at the point where he ate dirt.

Generally, though, I was the happy go lucky (externally anyway, inside I was emo as this) healer who chucked sparkles and rainbows around in a carebear manner. But I don't heal nowadays and I suspect that LFG, which, let's not forget, I can't handle as a DPS, would make me retract my above stance completely...

*The only other post topic floating round in my head was a fairly NSFW one along the lines of whether (un)successful raids have an effect on your... *ahem* never mind. And blame Himself for that one.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Hallelujah

Thank you for this. And everyone said the voice of the community wouldn't matter...

Thursday, 8 July 2010

No, you don't get my soul either!

Gods I had to trawl through pages of shite to find this image. I nearly went for this, which might have been better (or made, dare I say it, my male readers happier, yes, you know who you are!) - but my inner feminist kicks me hard at times.

Everyone is either fuming about Real ID, commendably trying to lighten up the blogsphere, and some are even quitting over it. There is an alternative (thanks Sven), which I've taken as a... deferment, I guess. Ok, no more linkage - everyone's feeders are full of posts about this, if you haven't found your way to many excellently written opinions about this in the last few days then I guess you've been hiding in Azeroth under a rock.

So where am I? I guess my last post made my point clear. There was some discussion on guild last night (and I'm assuming that it's the standard line from the Blues on the forums) where people expressed that there is a 'choice'. Which, technically, there is. You have a choice not to engage with the forums. This my friends, is commonly known as Hobson's Choice. From Wiki:

"Hobson's Choice is a free choice in which only one option is offered. As a person may refuse to take that option, the choice is therefore between taking the option or not; take it or leave it."

That really isn't a choice. And basically, that's why I'm pissed off. Yes, I've gone through my account details and pretended that my daughter uses my account - which was an odd and slightly unsettling situation (and, obviously she'd kill me if she ever found out!) so, at present, it's 'resolved'. But I'm afraid that I continue to be unhappy. Cross Pilf Sally is cross. And yes, I am making a point by using a RL name. Because it's my fucking choice. No-one else's.

I'm playing less WoW and I'm having less fun in Azeroth, which is balanced by more fun in Real Life anyway. I'm trying to work out whether WoW has run it's natural lifespan for me, which is saddening. I was hoping that Cata would revitalise my gaming and it suspect it would do/will do. But I am so deeply unhappy with the current situation that I'm not sure. I'm trying very hard not to have a knee-jerk reaction here, and I agree with Himself who feels that this might be some 'bait and switch' technique. And that's just worse isn't it??? But no knee-jerk reactions *breathes* so I guess, in the short-term I'm just going to sit here and see what happens over the coming week(s). But I'm certain that, when I make the decision, it'll be somewhat easier, given the events of the last few days.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

I'll be who 'I' want to be, thanks.

There are many bloggers more lucid than I am writing about their opposition to Real ID and the forums. Sven's post here provides links to many of the 'big names' in the WoW blogsphere and their opinions (though I would suggest that if you chuck a metaphorical stone at the community you are 99.99% certain to hit an 'anti Real ID' post). I think it's fair to say that there's a lot of opposition.

Leaving aside the whole who the fuck are you to decide what information of mine I choose to share issue for a moment (as I hope the bold text makes my point) I'd like to extrapolate this forward a little.

How many forums have you posted to on the internet in the many years you have been using it as a medium of communication, idea sharing, leisure activity etc? And how many forums have you posted on using your 'real' name? Because for me, the answer to that two-part question is a) a lot, and b) none. There is a reason that most internet forums are posted to by people using pseudonyms, and not just because of John Gabriel's theory either. I don't want my details splashed all over the web thanks. I don't necessarily want my internet life linked back to 'me'. In WoW I don't really want Pilf/Sassi/whoever linked back to Sally (gosh, yes that's my first name...!) but you see I'm blessed in as much as even if you did have my real name, it's so common you'd have to work quite hard to find me via Google (I'm sure you could using other sites but I don't know enough about them to make any informed comments). I've been online for about 10 years, so since my early 20s. If all the forums I'd posted to were connectable to me, well I might be a bit embarrassed at times, and completely mortified at others, but it would chart, I think, my changing interests and views in a way that's really quite personal to me.

Pushing a little further, my employer spends a fair amount of time instructing its employees (via email) that their internet presence must be unblemished. It's also written into our contract, as it probably is for most people, under a vague catchall phrase like 'not bringing the organisation into disrepute'. Sure, what they're getting at is Facebook and 'social networking' sites but I'm not sure that I'd want my colleagues and bosses knowing the ins and outs of my internet life because it's none of their fucking business. Now my daughter's generation live their life (it seems to me) in full view of the world via Facebook. And it truly makes me cringe and explain ad nauseum, ad infinitum (in their view, at least) how much they might live to regret it when they're in their 30s. But maybe they won't. Maybe the world will have changed so much by them that everyone will expect to know everything about everyone via the web. But as it stands at present, life ain't like that for my age group. And people do judge.

A while back I wrote an RP story in two parts about Pilf, that I subsequently took down after someone pointed out that a) it could be very seriously misinterpreted, and b) queried whether I would be comfortable with people I knew in RL reading it. Both of which were valid points and the Fel posts were subsequently removed. I'd never have posted them under my real name. Pure Shores would probably not be up if my real name was linked to it. Because this is my 'fantasy' life not my real life. And I don't see why these boundaries should be blurred.

TL;DR: I don't post to forums, and I don't use Real ID but I'm still vehemently opposed to this change. And for anyone who has ever has issues with harassment via the web or in real life, I send you my support. It hasn't really touched me but it has touched people I know and care about. And anything that makes it easier for the stalker minority to ruin people's lives is not acceptable.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Well I don't know why I came here tonight.

Raptors to the left of me,
Silithids to the right,
Here I am - stuck in the Barrens (again)


I'm determined to take my mage through The Barrens. It has a lot of memories for me - as I suspect it does for most Horde players. It was the start zone I did a lot (before I fell in love with belfs) and it was there I was probably at my most newbie like. Vendoring stacks of wool cloth for 33c, for example, before I was brave enough to use the Auction House, where it sold for over 5G a stack - the Horde not having a Stockades equivalent where it would appear that you are shearing sheep rather than killing Defias...

Also, bemoaning the lack of animal parts - my memory of the immediate area outside The Crossroads is akin to a scene from a slaughterhouse, and paradise for skinners! I'm struggling with The Barrens this time, after so much time in Eversong/Ghostlands where the quests are much more linear and the hubs are, in my view, better designed. But I am going to. I might even follow it up with the pain that is levelling through Thousand Needles - because, let's face it, it'll probably be the last chance I have.

After that somewhat meandering introduction, what I really wanted to do was to look at favourite quests - the ones that you go totally out of your way to do for no other reason that you love them, the lore aspect is important, they 'fit' right for your character, or any other reason, come to that. There are a few that stick out for me - I loathe and despise Un'goro Crater but I never level a character without doing Chasing A-Me 01. I am a complete Kevin Smith nut and I love the little things that Blizz puts in as a nod to pop-culture. I know lots of people who do the Pamela Redpath quest chain as well. I'm quite crap, unfortunately, and an Aquarian so a bit watery (i.e. I cry over most things) so this chain makes me a little sniffly. As does the DK one; regardless of faction I do get most upset by this.

I also, without fail, do this quest. And have an amusing screenie to prove the regardless of faction and race, somethings NEVER change:

Pilf's inner turmoil also has a Draenei form....

I also do the Banshee Queen quest as often as I can - but usually on the belfs, because the Lament of the Highbourne is probably some of the most beautiful in-game music. And again, it makes me teary.

Stunned into (rare) silence.

And, there's a quest in Zul Drak which I love. I continue to think that Loque'nahak is the most beautiful pet in game so I love this quest chain, which enables you to help Har'koa.

And I miss my pony-tails...

I really need to get my ass in gear and get levelling my alts so I can do some of these again... And equally I really need to get on board with hunters in Cata so I have have shiny, beautiful pets!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

WoW Hunks (aka there's blog post in this)

Himself and myself were talking over supper last night, apropos of dating and relationships, single friends (mine) and their fury and ire that I'd met Mr Wonderful by gaming. This is of course, Not Right, because all gamers are either teenage boys or sad men living in the basement eating Doritos etc etc. They should not be functioning, sorted, intelligent (swoon-worthy) adults with good jobs, their own place and a shiny mid-life crisis car (cough). However if we'd met online dating then it would be perfectly acceptable but to meet via really 'geeky' stuff is Not Acceptable. One of my friends actually came right out and said words to the effect of "Ok, spill. Where is this fishing pond and how do I get there?" which made me choke a little because I hadn't ever contemplated Azeroth as somewhere to chuck out bait and see what nibbles, turns out she was actually perfectly serious. And Himself said, in the midst of my monologue "Ok, there's a blog post in this - write about WoW hunks...!" Which of course, all leads back to Sven's Greater Internet Romantic Hero theory here. But Himself was possibly right - so I'm chucking it out there... and you know - there's always this to support the argument:



(I don't care if he doesn't actually play and it's all just for goldz euros, everyone needs their fantasies, m'kay!)

And in case you needed more swoonage try this (get through the first annoying minute please, it's SO worth it for Vin Diesel...!):



Then there's this and this - which may or may not be valid. And this (sorry I'm a bit over huge YouTube things in my post) which might only appeal to a specific few (OMG me included *swoons*) and equally this with the same credo (OMG - horde guitar *swoons more*). But I'd say there are some hunks out there - amirite?

In fairness, most of my friends know that I game. It's not something that I've ever felt particularly ashamed of (but equally it's not something I forcefeed people either!) and once people get their heads round it as a form of social interaction they become less ... weirded out by it. That said, I'm not sure I would advocate treating WoW (or any form on online interaction) as a dating pool per se. There is a huge leap of faith involved and the transition from online guildies/friends/whatever to Real Life can be odd (proved, I would suggest, by the recent mixed reactions towards Real ID). Himself and myself chose (probably not quite the right word) to do this game --> RL in an insanely accelerated way (think less then a week from phone call to first date - which is of course madness but hey - I'm still grinning like a loon) which I would never advocate to anyone I knew and cared about, but ummm, yeah I'm better at giving advice than taking it... And in fairness, at the point where Himself and myself went from msn/email to phone number exchange via lengthy text conversations and finally 'the' phone call, he gave me a long lecture on the dangers of "creepy men on the internet", in, I fervently hope, a tongue in cheek way. But yes, let's de-personalise this a little shall we?

In my raiding guild the gender bias was towards men. I think in all the guilds I've been in, this is the situation, therefore extrapolating from my experience, there are a lot of men out there. Normal, funny, intelligent men, with good jobs (and yes I know it can all be secrets and lies in this glorious medium, (Thank you Mike Leigh) but I'm assuming that it probably isn't with guildies you've known for years...) who prefer to game in a fairly 'sociable' manner than to sit goggle-eyed in front of the tv on their own for hours every night, and don't have the inclination to go bar/club hopping. The types of guys that, yes, if you met them in a bar and got chatting to them, you'd probably see them again and give them your phone number. So why are people so bemused/appalled/freaked out when you explain meeting via WoW? It is the 'online' thing or is it the 'gamer' thing? I'm assuming it's the 'gamer' thing because as I've said, no-one freaks out about online dating nowadays do they? But why does that make people uncomfortable? Surely, in some ways, it's better. You get to know the 'person' before anything else comes into it. As long as everyone is being honest about who and what they are (which again, I accept isn't true all the time) then you meet the 'real' them minus the clutter that comes from sexual attraction, or even making judgements based on looks. If you like the person and are attracted to that - is that not a better recipe for happiness that working off what my mother would refer to, with epic amounts of scorn in her voice as "just lust"?

But I've wandered OT again - I apologise, I'm sleepy and slightly overfull of Archers and exceptionally good chocolate torte (go out NOW and buy one and eat very small slices and just float away... the joy of Waitrose recently opening a branch in the town I live in is something that I'm not sure I'll get bored of...) because what I actually wanted to get at was this: Is there a pool of single WoW hunks out there? And I'm defining 'hunk' by the way, as someone you'd want to date - rather than your generic steroidy hunk... And if so - why are they gaming rather than going out and meeting my single friends. Please go out and meet them - I'm so fed up with my girl friends bemoaning the lack of eligible men out there! One actually did get as far as (I kid you not) going to wow-europe and looking but was thrown by all the info...

Saturday, 3 July 2010

I used to be indecisive

So I've deleted my belf mage and re-rolled as a troll - I must get over my belf obsessions *nods* and I figured that playing a troll mage would be good practice for Cata and my troll druid. Especially as someone sent me this linky - which has troll druid forms so don't click if you don't want to know. But omg omg omg squeeeeeeeeee!!!

Also I'd quite like to go through The Barrens again before it gets completely changed. So no belfy anything for me with my mage - how will I survive...?

Have a good weekend y'all.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Friday frolics (or NOT)

It's Friday today - y'all had worked this out already, amirite? And you may (or may not, if you're not a SANer) have noticed that recently I haven't been in Azeroth much Friday to Sunday. This is because I'm busy being loved-up (in real life!) Friday nights are when Himself comes down to spend the weekend with his woman (Darling, I expect you're reading this ... close the web page down now please! If you choose to read it, well ... just pretend to me that you haven't, capisce?) So basically this post ain't gonna have a whole lot to do with Azerothian life (in case you hadn't sussed that already) but if I work it out correctly I might manage a few vague tie-ins somewhere along the lines...

Friday evenings are generally spent beautifying the house (well, when I say 'beautifying' what I actually mean is battling the general kipple levels. And if you needed to click the link and aren't already aware of the majesty that is Philip K Dick go and read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Now, or tomorrow at the latest) and also beautifying me, which takes even longer, vastly longer in fact, but does have the advantage of the butterflies-in-tummy thing. Sorry, I guess I should have provided adequate ... facilities in case anyone is caught off guard and feels ... nauseous. Here, have an air-bag, don't say I never give you anything.

However, this particular Friday will be different, on account of Himself devoting his time to a better cause (I know, a better cause than me! Surely such things don't, or shouldn't, exist?!) on Saturday (it actually is a better cause, much as I hate to say it), all of which leaves me feeling a bit at a loose end. And of course there are a hundred constructive things I could do. For example, it's been too damn hot all week to iron. So I could do that. I could wash the kitchen floor properly rather than just vaguely waving the mop in the right general direction. I could, heaven forbid, be doing a few hours of household/personal admin *yawns* or maybe not ... Equally, I could be reading a 'proper' book, one from my reading pile that hasn't lessened much recently because, and I apologise for the revelation, I'm re-reading my TrueBlood set (sorry, sorry, sorry - this is nearly as bad as 'fessing up to the Twilight saga isn't it?) But I won't be doing any of that, I'll be sitting at my 'puter, listening to soppy music *cringes* and counting the hours til Himself arrives and hugs me again ... Another air-bag? Of course - here you are. Thank you for choosing Pilf airlines, please fly with us again.

However ... if you're still reading, I can actually tie this in to WoW. When I gave up raiding I did it 100% cold turkey. I went from 7 nights a week to nothing. And boy, was it bloody strange. I also kinda gave up WoW for a bit, on the basis that if I logged on I'd be twitchy round raid time and ... I'd end up raiding. And it was beyond weird for the first week or 10 days. I'd spent so much time gaming that really I wasn't too sure what to do with my free time, other than ... game, and yes, I realise writing this that that comment sounds vastly sad. That's honesty for you, sometimes it isn't so attractive! I've never been a big TV fan - I spent most of my childhood without a television so it's never equated to relaxation/downtime for me. I did read a lot but I had the edgy, fidgety, unable-to-settle thing going on which meant I didn't really take in what I was reading. Eventually I watched a lot of House on DVD - series 1 to series 4 I think. Then I made a lot of alts. I like routine you see, and deviation from what I view as 'routine' throws me a curve ball. But I did get used to it, and since I started gaming again, I've been much more measured in my playtime, in the main.

So with the next few Fridays (actually, the next few weekends in their entirety) consisting of Himself being Otherwise Occupied (again, quite legitimately, I should add) I need to find Stuff To Do. Otherwise you might end up reading this type of thing again. And that would be B.A.D would it not? So I'm going for:

  • level Sass a bit,
  • pick lots of flowers on Ahine,
  • possibly even take Ahine jousting (noooooo, I can't be that bored!!)
  • read up on troll lore and RP,
  • avoid beta info *cries*,
  • maybe play the mage (who isn't fun compared to 'locks) a bit just to prove I can,
  • write no more posts that will make me die of embarassment when I read them the next day...

Wave goodbye, wave hullo.

Peace at Last.

I did it - I found the right place and she's now there, peacefully contemplating Halaani Basin, wearing her fantastic robe and her stave of loveliness. It did take me a long time to find the 'right' island (nothing to do with not wanting to leave her) but I think she's going to get herself together and I'll make sure I visit on occasion to see how she's doing.

Breaking with stereotypes.

So that there *points up* is Ahine. She's going to be my Pilf replacement - in a good way. She's lovely - and amazingly, having put a bit of thought into her (and dragged my head out of the PvE mentality - as she's never raided that wasn't hard), I like the way she 'feels'. She's got all her angsty stuff out the way (might be something to do with all the gender, race and faction re-alignments) and she's pretty sorted, a lot older and wiser (in all ways) than Pilf and I'm happy with her.

Despite being a belf she's sort of my anti-belf. Or non-belf ... or something. She's a warlock (and Gods but do I adore 'locks) however, she's very un-warlocky, aside from her deep and abiding affection for Belnip, her imp ... She's a laid back, chilled out 'been there, seen it, done it, got over it' woman who now just wants to ride round looking at interesting plants. Her FlagRSP reflects this - identifying her as a 'botanist' and focussing on her grubby-round-the-hems robes, her mud covered boots (or feet!) and the soil often left under her unvarnished fingernails! She doesn't like cities at all, I basically always leave her outside. She's like a long cold drink of water on a hot day.

I've no real 'plans' for her per se. No complex backstory - other than she might be either a distant relative of Sass or become her mentor eventually, but aside from that she's just getting on with it. She's friendly enough, to all races; travelling all over Azeroth and spending time camping out has made her much less discriminatory when it comes to race, but she's not wild about aggression and blatant violence. However I suspect she actually quite likes chucking her subtle magics around, given a chance and a reason... I prefer destro spec but playing her in her affli spec feels better, even if I then do 'incorrectly' have her imp out not her fel-puppy!

So yeah, rambling post is rambling. And if you haven't yet listened to this and you're having a bad day/week, it'll cheer you up no end. There are teeny-tiny spoilers in it (goblin /funny and /flirt) but they made me roar with laughter. I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll sanitise them a bit though....

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