Friday, February 5, 2010

Annnd, we're done here

So if you like being inflicted with my BS, please to head over to

There are still a few rough edges I need to take care of, but it's at least there and imported and readable, more or less.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Looks like I am going to be moving sites. Blogger just isn't really working with me in a lot of ways. Stay tuned for details.

Things your raid leader shouldn't have to say...

...that you need to know anyway.

1. Do not sign up on multiple toons for a single raid. I know who your alts are and if I need them, I will bring them. You should read the fucking calendar invite and note where I spelled out "Accept on your main only."

2. Don't presume to dictate the raiding schedule for the night to me. Nearly everyone else has shied away from handling this job. If I get all the headaches, I also get final say on what we're doing and I don't give a shit if your alts want something from a particular fight. You might feel like a princess, but that doesn't make you one.

3. If you don't sign up for a raid more than once a month, you will not get preference for the one time you do happen to get around to doing that. Quite the contrary, I will consider you dead last.

4. If you always sign up as tentative you're sending me a message, and it's not a positive one. Want to know what tentative means to me? It means you're a lazy asswipe who thinks that he can sneak around the rules but no, I see what you're doing. And I am not impressed. Even if you're not trying to sneak around the rules, it tells me that you are unreliable and that's just really not who I need in my raids.

5. Our raid schedule isn't complicated. At all. It's also been on the calendar for a month. Don't get on and start asking clueless questions such as "Are we raiding tonight? Where are we going? Am I confirmed?" That information is as available to you as it is to me and I'm not here to hold your hand every step of the way.

6. Hanging around trying to snipe a raid spot doesn't impress me at all. I will always, always go to people I've put on standby first.

7. Sign up and show up, means just that. There are no hidden clauses or secret rules in there. My rules apply to everyone equally. Along with that, "be ready" means I don't want to wait for you to repair or make potions or buy a gem off the AH. Again, these raids are not surprises and no one is forcing you to come. You chose to come, you damn skippy better follow through.

8. If we have done a fight many times, don't pretend that you're in there for the first time. You know what your role should be and you know what the important targets ought to be. You also know our kill order. So don't focus on the unmarked mob when we have a skull right there.

9. Don't talk over me in vent. Ever. If I am explaining a fight to the new guy, wait until I ask if there is anything else that should be noted. If I am passing out loot, I don't care to hear over vent that you're passing or you like the looks of those particular pixels. Just, really, shut up and bid when I say to. Blather all you want on easy trash pulls or on boss fights that we can do with our eyes closed, but otherwise show some respect.

10. Don't stand in the fire/green crap/black holes/blue lines of doom/red circles/clouds of putrid/whatever else Blizz throws at us. If you can't make it through a raid without my barking at you to move outta the damn hurty stuff, you maybe shouldn't be raiding. Because it is not my job to watch my feet and those of nine other people, if I think I can get away with it, I will not say anything and let you die of your own dumb and hope that maybe next time you'll remember. More and more, that hope is frail and wasted and you are making me die inside.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Looking for a point

Things are fuzzy over here today. Not bear fuzzy or kitteh fuzzy. Just a sort of looking through the bottom of an empty wine glass fuzzy, after that wine glass has been drained something like seven times. I've been trying all morning to think of what it was I was going to post about here, but instead have been flailing about from topic to topic in my head and failing to make any connections.

Patch day? Meh. Easy heroics are easier. Big whoop. Nothing happening to my class either, soooo.... yay?

I don't really have anyone or anything to yell about just now either. I mean, there is this guy and he is annoying me slightly, but it's too hard to work up a good rant through this blanketing fog.

The apathy is smothering my rage! I think I'll take a nap instead.

/wanders off to say happy birthday to the sister on FB

/peruses Twitter feed... lols at WoWTabloidNews

/stares at screen in puzzlement

/scratches head

So, here's an observation. Since I have declared myself to be the GM of WWAB, I find that people have also automatically started calling me the GM. Not, "co-GM," not just "Alas" hell, not even the GM's girlfriend (long story).

(Okay, not a long story. Some jerk face left our guild a long while back and his friend was still around. The friend logged on and started saying shit about the guild and said his friend left because the GM's girlfriend was allowed into Kara at level 69 and he didn't think that was right. I said, "First of all, I'm the GM's wife. Second of all, your friend left because he's a prick with no concept of commitment to anything other than his own selfish goals and thirdly, I had to take the druid in because I ran out of 70's who weren't saved and, my God man, it's Kara, not BT. Then Noxy gkicked him and the peasants rejoiced. Something like that anyway. It was a while ago, back when I thought my druid would be my tanky tank.)

Why, yes, this is how my mind works when I'm not really awake.

Right, I have an idea for tomorrow. I'm going to write it down and hope that it makes any sort of sense to me when I (hopefully) have a more clear mind.

Oh, and just wait for allergy season, guys. I really get circular and roughly 76.82% more pointless when I am jacked up on Benedryl. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

In which my guildies bring teh funny

Also, At helped me finally find something to appreciate Google Wave for. Namely, that you can just drag and drop any photos you want into a wave and it is much easier than dealing with emailing crap back and forth and attaching files the old-fashioned way and blah, blah, blah.

Hence, I have a lot of material. But I will attempt to pace myself. Click to embiggen if needed.

 And by "tomorrow," I of course meant "whenever I manage to get the SS edited to size and sent to myself."

Later on that night. I am sure I don't want to know half of what goes on in the healing channel. (Holly and Hanse are married, so.... that's why that's funny.)
I think that conversation from the other morning speaks for itself...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Look! Over here! Not over there!

This post brought to us from Holly, my favourite Canadian (see what I did thar?) and the most cheerful person I know, even more than At. 

Let's talk about tanking... and PUG's. Let's talk about tanking and PUG's.

First I'd like to say, I'm not a great tank. I'm a good tank. I know how to do my job, but honestly? Some days I'm just mashing buttons and running around like a headless chicken. I have good gear; not stellar but some great gear.

I know good tanks when I see them... and there have been quite a few. I remember wanting to be Haneen for the longest time.

I recognize bad tanks when I see them... and that's because I've seen good tanks.

I'm a tank. It's all I ever wanted to be and I strive to improve, to get feedback and to accept constructive criticism. I have a mage and a rogue that I fool around with, but I'm a tank at heart. Don't ask Holly to DPS, you'll see a grown woman cuddling her blankee in the corner and whimpering.

That being said, I had the pleasure of experiencing and OMFG. WORST. PUG. EVER. dungeon last night.

Let me start at the beginning. I was late getting home. I log on, say hi to the guildies and they're all busy. This I can handle, I figure I'll herb some and grab someone later for my random heroic, bring on the frost badges, run. Then I get a little bored with my healer husband out of town. I can PUG it, I think, I'm a tank... everyone wants a tank. I get compliments when I PUG, I hear things like "thank heavens, a geared tank". It's good for my ego and it's just a random dungeon. Who hasn't run every dungeon in Northrend at least 20 times before this random dungeon finder thing changed our lives?? Don’t answer that, it was rhetorical.

We pulled The Nexus; a baby dungeon, even on heroic. 20 minutes and I'm outta here, I'm thinking. Even with brand spankin' new 80's, The Nexus should be a cake walk. First couple of pulls and I'm feeling even more confident, pretty good DPS, mage is a bit out of control, but we're handling it. We get through the Hall of Stasis without any casualties. We're heading up The Librarium and just outside the entrance to Grand Magus Telestra. Pull and down the first group at the top of the ramp. No pat (mage slayer with dogs, you know the ones) so we head across the way to the group on the other side. ALWAYS take out the mage ascendant first, that bitch polymorphs. Well I no more than turn my head when the Mage Slayer pats into my druid and my mage. Before I have a chance to finish off the first four (thank heavens for the rogue and warlock in our group) and charge my way over there, the druid and the mage are dead. So we finish off the patrol and wait for people to come back. I want to say here, we didn't wipe...we lost two people.

This is where things get a little weird. The druid, the healer, says... "Can we speed this up; I've got to go in 12 minutes". WTF? I'm not sure how to respond to this. First, who gets in a group when they can't stay? I know that shit happens, mom calls, the cat catches fire and people sometimes have to leave without warning but to only plan to be there for a limited time? Inconsiderate bewb. Second, I can roll with the punches as good as any, but her body is still laying there after 3 minutes and she's (her character was female so we'll go with that) not back in the instance yet. For someone with a time crunch they're sure taking their sweet time getting back in the game. So I say "Let me see if I understand this. You want us to go faster but you're laying there waiting to be rezzed?” This is where it gets fuzzy for me, I'll admit, because it got kind of surreal. She comes back with some comment about "who would rez her (right, she's the only one with the power but why else would she be taking so long?) and she was actually contemplating leaving and did I have any more snide comments to make?". Well ladies and gentleman, let me tell you, that got my back up. She's on a time crunch and just spent 3 of her 12 minutes contemplating leaving and I was the one being unreasonable? So I said, and I quote, "Go to hell, you try and find a geared tank who'll put up with your shit" and I left. As I left I noticed her last comment about how I couldn’t keep anything off her…

Hasty? Maybe, but it's a frackin' PUG and these are not people I care about one iota. I was prepared to put in my 20 minutes, get my badges, say my thanks and run. It's a game and I'm here for a good time, there are other PUG's out there. Moving away from a druid with an attitude seemed like common sense.

Here's where it got insane. She (still a female toon) whispers me on my server (I know she was on Shattered Halls) about how I’m not that geared and not that good a tank. Are you fucking kidding me? I whisper back “Says You” and “Leave me alone” and then I put her on ignore. It’s got to be the healer right? So I start telling officers about what just happened. These people are my friends and they’re going to tell me if I’m off in my own world or should have behaved differently. They’re vindicating my side when I get whispered by another female toon with a similar name to the one I just ignored.

OK. This is just psycho now. She’s going on about how badly I behaved and how pathetic I was. I remember responding with “I’m pathetic? I didn’t just create a new toon on a different server to give a stranger shit”. She effectively ignored this and accused me of being selfish. “Don’t you have to go yet?” I’m thinking her 12 minutes have to be up by now. My GM wants to know her name so that she can straighten her out. I’ve had enough and have put her on ignore again.

She then proceeds to talk to my GM for 30 minutes! No, you can’t make shit this ridiculous up. Alas, back me up here, honey. (It's true! -Alas) Alas is in a rebellious mood and spends the 30 minutes making fun of her. I still can’t get over that. THIRTY (30) MINUTES. Apparently I’m leading Alas around by the nose making her believe I’m a good tank. It’s true. I’ll say it here, please sit down ‘cause I want you all to know that I just faked beating the bosses in Ulduar and TOC and that I’m a phony. You all have carried me for the past 3 years.

I forgot to mention. The reason she took 3 minutes to get back in Nexus? She got lost. She couldn’t find the entrance.

Also, if I was such a good tank why was I running randoms and not running with my awesome guildies? Turns out there’s only room for one tank in FoS. If she’s so great, why was she running randoms? Huh? Nub?

Anyway. There’s a reason its midnight and I’m listening to Sugarland’s “It happens” over and over. I’ve got to write this down before I forget. I’ve got to get this out!

Tanking is a thankless job but I love it. If someone dies, it’s my fault. If someone pulls agro, I must not have been doing my job. My hunter husband knows I’ll let him die if he pulls agro (we give a whole new meaning to “wife agro” in my house). If the group succeeds it’s all thanks to the uber DPS. But WOW, there is nothing quite like the rush of being the first one to run into a fight with the rest of the guild behind you. Better than any drug, or sex, or party or organized cupboard I can tell you. If I die, but we get the boss down, I know I did my job. If I don’t die, it’s even better.

Tanking a PUG though? It’s work. Hard work. I want a pug puppy but I don’t know if I can do it. Not with people like that druid healer out there.

Thanks for letting me rant. I’m Hollybrynn and I just want a hug.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Leadership from three angles

I know all of this has been covered elsewhere, likely by people far more clever than me. But recent events have made me stop and compile everything I know about leadership and from all the angles in which I have experienced leadership. I don't expect this to be groundbreaking by any means, but I wanted to organize my thoughts.

Leadership from the bottom
In my real life job, I unfortunately have been working in non-leadership roles for the past several years. So I know what it is like to feel like the under-appreciated, unknown, faceless and nameless cog in the business machine. From down here, it is certainly tempting to believe that everyone who is in a supervisory role has perks that I will never get.

In the position I held before this one, I was expected to keep the phone/desk covered at all times, along with another secretary in the department. This meant having to coordinate lunches with her and being as punctual as I could be. If either of us made it to work a little late, that was a problem. Leaving early was nearly out of the question. And God forbid we ever wanted the same day off or both happened to get sick at the same time! To see every other person in the department strolling in whenever they felt like it, taking long lunches, going to the gym mid-day, being able to go to the bathroom without having to clear it with someone else first (no wonder I hated that fucking job), yeah, they had perks that came from their position.

However, I made a lateral transfer to another department where the requirements are different, and suddenly the game has changed. I take long lunches. I can come in a little late and work over to make up for it. I don't have anyone making me dress up 5 days a week. I also get stuck with all the grunt work no one else wants to do and I see my supervisor abusing the living hell out of his "Exempt" status (no one has as much sick time as he takes). There still seem to be perks I will never have.

I have to assume that there are parts of these leadership positions that are less desirable. Perhaps dealing with the budget or attempting to steer an agenda through the turbulent waters of campus politics is more onerous than I imagine.

Still, it's difficult to respect most middle management here - the "officers" of the business world. There are some who clearly watch out for their teams, but there are just as clearly some who play favorites or seek only their own interests. Some seem to be completely checked out as far as interest in their jobs. Sometimes the person watching out for their team might also be the same person who then plays favorites among them.

So what are the bright spots for a lowly grunt? What are the positives I have seen from management here and how might I be able to take that and translate it into watching out for my guildies? What should I avoid because it'll make me look like a jerk? Here are things I would like to tell my boss (only without the WoW references, obviously).