Thursday, December 31, 2009

Low level PUGs can kiss my ass!

At and I have been ignoring our horde side lowbies for a while but decided to put them through their paces today. We decided to run a few instances, swapping out on toons so I could pally tank with his priest heals and he could druid tank with my shaman heals. We ran two different dungeons on each pair, making for a total of four less than awesome experiences.

On the first run, where we were in SFK and I was tanking, I pretty much right off the bat had to tell the hunter with us that he better let me pull because I would, by God, let him die. Just to prove it, I calmly sipped my water and told At not to heal the douche and oh, what do you know, he died. As soon as the 15 minute timer was up, he left before I could vote to kick. The other person from his guild followed. We managed to pick up one more DPS and 4-manned it the rest of the way through.

Next it was off to BFD, where I had yet another huntard pull without myself or the healer being there. I chastised him as well and, wow, as soon as the timer was up he was gone. Nothing else major happened as soon as our fresh mage caught up with us.

Swapping over to other pair, we ran Deadmines. The run was actually pretty smooth, right up until the end. We pulled Cookie and the healer bailed, along with one dps. I swapped over to healing and fortunately the good dps was still with us and we got Cookie down, plus the 5 or so mobs that got pulled by runners.

Then came WC, and a duo from Ysondre who in turn, insisted on trying to tank even though one was a huntard and one was a balance druid... pulled everything in sight whether I had mana or no... bitched at At if he switched into kitty form for single pulls... rolled need on everything... and eventually both left mid-pull.

Is it just horde that do this? Or is it the low levels? Or was it just bad luck? I've had a jerk or two running on my 40ish hunter and there has been the very occasional retard in the 75-80 range. I took my 60 warrior out for my first ever tanking experience just yesterday and received nothing but kindness from the others in my party.

But there has been nothing like what I experienced today from the randomly assorted dps in the 18-22 range. As much as I hate horde quests at that level, I just might slog though it rather than subject myself to pugging again. Or trade run-throughs with our DK's. That might work, too.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Further incoherence

Random crap from a tired, hurty mage. 
I'm not really into Role Playing. Every time I have logged onto a RP server, I have felt distinctly squicky. There are always far too many people in Goldshire and far too many of those people are wandering around with perfectly matching outfits. They also wander around at a walking speed and I am left wondering how that could be enjoyable in any way, shape or form. 
However, if I ever were to take up the RP game, I would do so while at my folks' house during the winter months. I would huddle next to whatever wan scraps of sunshine I could find, my laptop in front of me and putting off a small bit of heat and a lot of smoke, like a fire made from wet wood. I would shiver in the chilly air (the house is kept right around 30 degrees, honest) and pretend to be in Northrend. My character would spend all her time sitting in a snow drift and bitching about how cold it is all the time and damn, she should have just stayed in Goldshire for the holidays, even if it is a backwater little town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. At night, I would park her in a coffin somewhere to get some sleep so she, too, could complain about how horrible it is to be away from one's bed and how much it makes one's back hurt.
Gah. I think I am getting old. 
In other news, I created a place to post excerpts of the aforementioned book. However, nothing is there yet because I keep erasing the first paragraph and mumbling incoherent words of rage at the keyboard and monitor, as though either of those things were responsible for the fact that I just can't seem to get going. 
And I am ignoring work, wondering why the clock seems to have stopped moving, and contemplating the idea of calling in "sick" tomorrow. 
Anyone else bored yet? Yes? Welcome to my life. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hi, my name is Alas

...and I am a WoW addict.

It's been five days since the last time I logged in.

I miss my guildies and the game. Gotta get another fix here soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

AFK for the holidays

Hope everyone has a very merry Christmas! Here is my gift to you:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More actual google talk conversations that I was not in

Azzy:       Not raiding
                Oh that reminds me
                They were talking about a boobie run to naxx tonight
                Noobie run
Elfy:         lol, nice
Azzy:       N and b are the same key on this keyboard

Elfy:       right, or it was a Freudian slip

Azzy:      I would top honestly
              Topless naxx woooooooo

Elfy:      i don't want to go if it's a noobie run, was interested in the boobie run
              i have no noobies that can go
Me:       Hahahaha
              boobie run

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It's ridiculously difficult to start a novel that begins with a stormy night and not come across completely cliche all "It was a dark and stormy night."

So, um... "It had been a long day, made longer by a heavy and persistent drizzle that trailed through [] Valley."

Err, hum... buh?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Random stuff

Today's post brought to you by a combination of a poor night's sleep and the fact that I often can't focus on anything for more than a minute.

Open letter to guildies who read this blog

Hai guys:

I rant here. I blow off steam. It's what I do to say a little more sane. Don't take anything here too seriously or personally, mkay? If I have a specific problem with a specific person, I'll put on my big girl panties and come talk to you directly. If I'm able to get the crazy out here in advance, well, that just means that it won't be so bad for you if I should ever have to have that one-on-one talk. There's a reason I didn't just put an open link to here when I mentioned I was writing about y'all. This isn't a formal place for me to talk like the forums are and should not be taken as omg srs bzns.




On the flip side of that, if you want some tips on things to not do so you don't irritate me into a rant, here's a small list:

Alas gets irritated if you:

  • Freak out over vent because you're dying 
  • Attempt to call out instructions when you're not the damned raid leader
  • Point out the bloody obvious like I'm too damn stupid to know that tanks need healing
    • I mean, seriously, no shit? I thought healers were there for looks
  • Decide to blow your special abilities or call for someone else to do so (see prior post)
  • Think you're somehow more special than anyone else in the guild and can bring whatever alt you choose to a raid (see prior posts)
  • Don't laugh at my stupid jokes
  • Talk over me when I am trying to distribute loot
  • Ask me hours before the raid starts what we're doing on a quickie night. How would I know? There are factors that can throw the best laid plans into utter disarray
  • Settle. Guess what? No one ever reaches a point with their main character where they can shrug and stop trying to be better
  • Don't sign up and then act offended when you don't get to go
  • Sign up at the last minute and then act offended when you don't get to go
  • Pretend to not understand the basic building blocks of raid composition and act offended if you don't get to go
  • Tell me over and over that we need to get an alt run together for the weekly raid. What prevents you from organizing that?
  • Give me ultimatums. I piss on your ultimatums 

I could go on, but I did say it would be a small list.

I saw Avatar this weekend. It was awesome and you should go see it also. They have Nagrand! That is all.

I'mma start work on Emergent, which will be a full length fantasy novel. I'll prolly want readers for constructive feedback and I am considering making a whole other area on the interwebs to post excerpts. Thoughts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Open letter to raiders

Dear, dear raiders.

What the hell?

I am not the raid leader because I love to hear myself talk all night long. Nor do I take it on just to abuse raid warnings and other specially colored text. I also don't get any perks from being the raid leader. If you think being loot master is fun, try doing it sometime when people won't shut. up. in vent while you're trying to talk about what's on the block.

I am the raid leader because I'm practiced at being aware of what is going on throughout the raid and not just in my own little bubble. You think that's easy? Try it sometime. I dare you. Try to call the twins sometime and say everything you have to say at the right time in the right way so that no one else gets confused and takes out the rest of the goddamn raid. Just make sure you try it when I'm not there, because frankly, I see a lot of death.

On top of being able to call out what's about to happen and what people should be avoiding/dispelling/targeting/controlling/hitting/buffing/whatever-the-fuck-else-everying, I am also keeping an eye on such factors as, oh, I dunno, how many people are still up. How far the boss has been burned. Who is kissing the floor, if anyone is. Whether or not we're about to hit a phase where we're going to need big DPS or heals or both. And on and on and on.

Do I get it perfect all the time? Hell no.

But here's the rub for me, after the last few nights: I certainly can't do my job if you all won't stop making decisions on your own. Did I call for a battle rez? No? Then don't do it. How about that heroism? I don't remember saying hey, let's blow heroism right now instead of saving it for later when that other guy over there is going to gain additional abilities. Did I determine the attempt was a wipe? No? Then why the fuck did you DI the tank and take yourself, as a healer, out of action?

If you think you can do a better job of raid leading, by all means, let me know and I'll step back and let you try it. But if you just think that your toolbox is your own and how you use your abilities is a decision that affects only you, think again, dammit. And then shut the hell up so I can communicate what I need to without wading through static and calling for something that isn't available because you decided to waste it two minutes ago.

I would really, really fucking appreciate that.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Further thoughts on fire magery

Fuck you. I'm going back to arcane.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thoughts on fire magery

I got to looking a little bit more long and hard at my gear, gems and stats last week. I'm not sure what triggered that, other than suddenly obtaining something like five new upgrades all at once and subsequently realizing that - Sweet Fancy Moses - I have a lot of hit. No really. Tons. More than anyone needs.
Without bothering to put a whole lot of thought into it initially, I respecced fire. The next day, it occurred to me that I might want to put a little more research into the whole spec changing thing. It's been some time since I was fire - like about a year - and there had been a lot of changes I only half-heartedly kept up with since my focus was on wringing everything I could out of arcane. So I cruised by EJ, talentchic and a random smattering of articles turned up by a Google search. I hadn't misplaced too many points, but there were a few that I thought I should change over. Naturally, I went to respec again and farked up one point so a third outlay of gold later, I was finally happy with my build. 
Of course, now that I am writing this, I am contemplating the virtues of dumping Precision and putting some points elsewhere, since I do not at all need the hit. Good thing I have money to burn. 
Anyhow, I ran some 5 mans to try to get used to the rotation again and ended up doing a lot of stupid stuff in the process. Hell, I was blinking when I meant to be casting a pyro last night - still! - so it's not like I've really got it all down just yet. (What kills me is that it's not like I've moved blink from its keybinding, so there's no real reason for me to make that mistake as often as I do.)
But last night was meant to be the real test of my dps output since last night was the first time I would get to raid since my respec. 
So, naturally, the weekly raid was Flame Leviathan. On the plus side, I suggested we leave Freya's tower up, along with Thorim's, thinking that we had downed that stupid piece of metal with two towers still up. Turns out we hadn't, so there were achievements all around, plus a nice epic tailoring pattern that went to me. 
With enough time left to run Ony, we put up a portal to Theramore, swapped some people around to get three heals, and headed down. 
It was a very sloppy run, and thanks to me being a dumbass, I died on the second deep breath. Still, while I was alive, I wasn't completely displeased with my output. 

 There do seem to be a few bugs to work out there. Despite the fact that I had something like 50 iterations of on my screen, I didn't actually get the instant pyro and kept getting hung up on the cast timer, jumping out of it and trying again. But Living Bomb on as many whelps as I could tab to before the bombs all started exploding? Yes, please! I'll have some more! I am looking forward to further experiments with dps output next raid night.
In the meantime, I'm on an addons hunt. Hoping there's something out there like "Shock and Awe" for mages. Anyone know of anything that's specific to fire mages that is a must have?  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Actual gtalk conversation

Noxy: ok.. i'll do that tomorrow. for now i have an epic raid on the Sinkfullodishes

Alas: Good luck with that one
I hear it's a bitch and there's no good loots

Noxy: yeah
and to make it interesting, the dishwasher gquit

Alas: Oh, man, what a jerk

Noxy: well.. no. not true. he didn't server xfer with the rest of us

Alas: Think he might be convinced? Will you have to throw money at him?

Noxy: idk.. maybe. been eying one in lfg for a while

Alas: Might be best to get a new one - those former quitters have no loyalty

Noxy: true story. on that note.. imma go see if i can down that boos :)

Alas: booze?

Noxy: maybe that too

Alas: Woot
See ya later

Noxy: see ya

Alas: ps- this is going on the blog like right now

Monday, December 14, 2009

Le sigh

No sooner do I get done enumerating some of the good qualities of my guildies and then I have to be the bad guy. In truth, I might have acted a bit precipitously, but I think the end result was going to be the same and so perhaps I have only saved myself some headache down the road. Not much point in speculating, I suppose, as there will never be a way to know.
Without going into specifics, I ended up stripping someone of their raider rank. So far as I know, they have not logged on since. The conversation we'll have whenever that does happen is one of those talks I mentioned that I do not like having.
On the heels of that, I was minding my own business, fiddling with the calendar and I noticed that there was suddenly a person missing from every scheduled raid. I combed through the calendar and then the guild roster and then poked at the officers to double check and make sure I hadn't missed something. 
And, sure enough, another one of my snowflakes was just... gone. There were no /gquits in the log (which has suddenly filled with "Alas has demoted" messages, most of them playful demotions because an officer was making fun of me) and so I went to Armory and.... nothing.
All we can do is speculate on what happened. Did she delete her character? Change names and servers? Was she hacked? All her alts were demoted for safety's sake and it gave me one more thing to sigh about, because she was a healer, even if not the most reliable person in the world.
Between those two aforementioned things and the fact that one of my husband/wife healing teams may not be able to afford their subscription fees until he can find work, we are looking very, very slim. I don't particularly want to pug and I hate recruiting and most of the healers we have currently are... not raiding. Or playing.
I am trying not to stress over it too much and might need to just gracefully accept that raiding is going to be spotty at best as we head into the holiday season. Once I make it to the new year, I'll be sure to reevaluate where we seem to stand and then do whatever needs to be done. Even if that means clubbing my real life friends over their heads come New Years and tell them that I have resolved that they get back to the game and their mains and not flake out on me within three weeks like they've done the last few times. Or, you know, recruiting.   

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A step away from QQ

Looking over my past several posts, I am realizing that I've spent quite a bit of time talking about problems and hardships that come along with the whole leadership thing, whether that's on the guild front or the raid front.

Part of the reason is that I do tend to put my problems out there "on paper" to keep them from taking up too much of my mental processes. A purge, if you will, of emotions and thoughts so that they don't become my main focus. I love this game and my guild mates too much to want a repeat of last August, which is when I took a break from WoW for a month, cold turkey, and in the midst of quite the emo hissy fit - one that had been building for months and me with no outlet for it as the pressure increased.

So, yes, this is a place for me to blow off steam and that's valuable and good.

But it should also be a place for me to catalog all the good and wonderful and fantastic times I have nearly every day with this group of people who has become a second family to me. Sure, there's the occasional bratty cousin that needs to have his nose punched in, but by and large, these are great people and I wouldn't trade most of them for all the shiny gold and titles and achievement points in the game. Here are some reasons they are so great:

They're generous. With their time, with their assistance, with their listening ears and sympathy. I've even seen many of them be generous with their gold.

They're funny. I seriously need to get better at capturing screenshots of some of the hilarious crap they come up with in chat. And perhaps start recording them in Vent?

They're genuine. There's really not a whole lot of tip-toeing around the bush with these people. If they think I am acting like a snob, they'll ask me what I've got stuck up my butt. I've returned the favor a few times. There's no pretense in their concern that our relationship is intact and they've been honest when I've approached them over similar issues.

They're smart. Really smart. Many of them work in IT or IT-related fields. Since I fell into the same area by some stupid fluke (I honestly don't know much about computers and their mysterious inner workings), they have patiently put up with my "Hey, stupid question..." pokes in the middle of our workdays. I have also learned a lot about managing people and being more effective in my communication from folks who do those things for a living.

They care. We've talked about everything from bad dates to family issues to jobs we hate and people who have insulted us. These conversations will often get referenced back to at some point or another, proving that they remember and they care enough to ask how a specific situation is going.

They make sure we all stay humble. Honestly, I sometimes think they have done more to keep my massive ego in check than what is really needful. There is a daily exchange of good-natured jabs and pokes that we can all laugh about. I'll go out of my way to share 'nub moments' with them just because it's so much more fun to laugh at myself with someone else.

They are patient. Duuuude, are they patient. They let me talk, lead raids, boss people around, fail tank, fail heal, and occasionally fail dps (I like to think I don't normally fail at dps, but I'm sure I've had my moments). They wade through the mountains of crap I post to the forums and several of them even wade through this and comment here and in gchat and in game. I fail and flail a lot - more so when I've had a bit to drink, which may or may not happen often - and they put up with it all and even, sometimes, tell me I'm doing a good job.

Those are just a few reasons I love them. I might have to do this again after another string of "But leadering is haaaaaard work! Why doesn't anyone get that?" self-indulgent crap. Because I'm pretty sure that they do get it and will continue to be awesome about it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

In which I show my gooey center

I really dislike confrontation. 
Oh, I'll rage at other people on the road all day long (I have to, living here) and will occasionally get so worked up that I might shoot someone the bird and/or honk and them and gesture as wildly as though I, like At, were three parts Italian. I'll also keep up a running commentary out of Vent while raiding. So far, I don't think I've tripped up and hit that PPT key while doing so (unlike certain other people). We haven't yet begun to scratch the surface of the scathing venting I might pour out here, depending on whether or not I get pushed into it. 
But when it comes to putting on my Co-GM hat and actually having to sit down with someone to discuss issues? Oh, I loath it. I will put it off as long as I possibly can, all the while knowing that it probably won't be so bad and I should just do it. Usually, I am correct, and it's not that bad.
I do end up with a bad taste in my mouth though, nearly every time. Because when it comes to that sit down, I aim for firm but not mean and end up waffling right on over to soft. I am so eager to not be a jerk that I will often say my piece half-apologetically. And honestly, why? The person I am talking to screwed up and should be able to take a correction. If they can't and get huffy about it - well, why should I want that person in my guild to begin with?
This is all stuff I know and understand from a logical standpoint but the follow-through is decidedly lacking. I am sure I will have plenty of opportunities to practice delivering my piece without coming across as forcefully as a snowflake though. 
And in the meantime, dear guildies who read this: If I ever have to sit down and talk to you and I end up sounding like I am sorry for calling you on your shit, please know that somewhere even deeper inside my gooey center, I really mean to shape the fuck up or go DIAF. And if you don't, I will kick you out of my guild and tell every GM of every guild you subsequently join that you are a douche bag who cannot be trusted to follow even the simplest of instructions and they will rue the day they ever picked you up, etc. etc. 
Okay, maybe not that exactly, but I really do want everyone to shape the fuck up. Or go die in a fire made up of my burning rage.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Open letter to rule breakers

Maybe it's me. I am pretty anal. But, seriously, guys, c'mon... is it that hard?

You know what I'm talking about. I mean, I'm going to have to work my way around ranks and spend another how many minutes of my life pissing around with moving people up and down and why? Because you're either too damn stupid to have comprehended the raiding rules (rules that YOU signed and agreed to) that said, "only sign up on your main and we'll bring alts in if we need them," or you are so stupid you already forgot about that or, and most likely in my opinion as far as a few of you go, you think that if you sign up on your alt and decline on your main I'll just somehow forget that I wrote those damn rules and have those rules in place for a reason and won't enforce them.

Well, you're wrong. And I'm pissed off because I can't help but see this as pure selfishness on your part. Oh, your one character already got all the loot you can get off this fight? So what? I'm supposed to agree that it's fair for nine other people to have to carry you? Or rearrange what other people can bring based off your different role you think you can just assume? I'm supposed to pat you on the head and give you gear at the expense of someone else's main just because you think, in your mind, that you can have two mains? Or three? Or four?

I don't think so. I really do not.

So now you don't even get the option. Enjoy that.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Patch 3.3

So, here are some highlights and lowlights -

Icecrown Citadel
All three wings of the 5-player dungeon are currently available for testing.
Select encounters in the 10- and 25-player raid dungeon are available for limited testing.
Quel’Delar Quest Chain: The Battered Hilt, the item needed to start this quest line, can now be purchased from all glyph vendors on the public test realms.

Well, yay. I'm so tired of all the old dungeons and I am not even a hardcore badge farmer by any stretch of any imagination. Also, since we made it through ToC at least the one time, that means we're totally ready for Icecrown, right? RIGHT?

Meeting Stones: To use any Meeting Stone, it is only required that the character’s minimum level be 15. There is no maximum character level requirement for any Meeting Stone.


Area-of-Effect Damage Caps: We’ve redesigned the way area damage is capped when hitting many targets. Instead of a hard cap on total damage done, the game now caps the total damage done at a value equal to the damage the spell would do if it hit 10 targets. In other words, if a spell does 1000 damage to each target, it would hit up to 10 targets for 1000 each, but with more than 10 targets, each target would take 1000 damage divided by the number of targets. 20 targets would be hit for 500 damage each in that example.

NOES. How will I artificially inflate my dps now? Dammit.

Players no longer need to kill the final bosses in all four wings of this dungeon in order to teleport to Sapphiron. Teleportation orbs have been added to allow players access back and forth from Sapphiron's lair.

Oh, like it was that hard. Geeze. I'm a casual and this is too damn easy for my liking.

Arcane changes for Mages
Arcane Empowerment: This talent now also grants 1/2/3% increased damage done by the mage’s party or raid for 10 seconds after the mage gets a critical strike with Arcane Explosion, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, or Arcane Blast. This effect is exclusive with Ferocious Inspiration and Sanctified Retribution. This is what I get? I get to help the rest of the raid do damage? Do you think that's going to encourage anyone to give me all the pretty +crit loots? Because it is not. So there is no profit for arcane mages in 3.3. Eff you, Blizz. When are you going to give mages something they can sink their teeth into?

Tentative status added for calendar responses.

Well, glory-glory, hallelujah! That wasn't so hard now, was it? When did I suggest that? Oh right, forever ago.

Ignore list expanded to 50 to match the friends list.

Oh, Blizz - that's adorable! Seriously, make it more like 500 people to ignore. There are so many idiots and I really don't have any patience for them. At all. Ever.

The following reputations have been sped up by roughly 30%:
Argent Crusade
Alliance Vanguard
Horde Expedition
Kirin Tor
Knights of the Ebon Blade
Sons of Hodir
Wyrmrest Accord

Sons of Hodir quests now give more reputation overall.

...I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. FUCK YOU TOO.

Top-level helm and shoulder faction-related enchants are now available as Bind-on-Account items that do not require any faction to use once purchased (they still require the appropriate faction level to purchase).

Never mind. All is forgiven. Are we cool?

I am not even going to touch on the changes to the heroics and looking for raids and all of that. It has been discussed unto death and my only thought about it currently is that it's going to make for some terribad server stability tonight.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pwned a noob!

We just one-shot Anub'Arak and it was most of the guild's first time seeing him. It took a little more to work through the faction champions (three tries) and the twins (like, 6 or 7 tries?). I walked away with two upgrades and then went a bit nuts spending badges. So, that's four things to get enchanted and gemmed tomorrow. For now, I am tired and euphoric and hoping I can get some sleep.

Grats to everyone who was there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to properly gkick someone

I got to gkick a douche bag last night, always a fun event. In all actuality, I'm sort of grateful to the guy because it coincided so nicely with the fact that I wanted to talk about gkicking and how to properly do so.

Here's the lead-up to the events of last night. Everyone is hanging about, minding their own business. There's talk about 3.3 and what people plan on doing as soon as it hits and, honestly, I'm not paying too much attention to guild chat because I somehow got suckered into helping out some priest in Nagrand with all their group quests when all I was trying to do was get exalted with the Kurenai. (See prior post re: Whoring, Me)

But then this one guy leaps into the conversation, which is odd in and of itself since he never really says anything to anyone, and hasn't for something like a year. He's been one of those people you wonder why is even in the guild because he gains nothing and contributes nothing, but since he also harms nothing you don't boot him. So to have him suddenly asking whether the next patch was when we were going to get goblins and worgen was... odd, but just brushed it off as him being stupid.

Then real stupid happened. He started to talk about how his account had been 'haked' and he was naked. Several people who had also been hacked before started to give him advice on what to do. His response?

"u all need to give me ur ore so I can make stuff 2nite."

No one hesitated to jump all over that and tell him no. Then someone in officer chat said that he had taken stuff from the guild bank - random crap that no warrior would ever want. I demoted him and sent him a tell, basically telling him that his attitude was not going to fly and he better shape up if he ever wanted to have privileges in the guild again.

"sry" he said.

A few moments later, he sent me another tell, "it wouldn't make me made if you kicked me frm the guild"

I typed out, "It wouldn't make me sad to kick you, either." Then deleted it. No need to be a jerk.

Then one of the other officers had a good idea. It took a few tries but he finally snagged this guy's meandering attention and asked him which character was his main.

"This is," he said.

Which was not true. So, figuring he had been hacked or sold, and not liking his attitude and theft, no matter if it was petty, I kicked him. (names fuzzed because no one in the guild has really given me overt permission to write about them, ha) 

(Clicky to embiggen, but the gist of it is there.)

No one exactly cried to see him go.

And for me, I had to contain myself just a little because gkicking is such a fun and heady experience. In fact, it was so fun I had to ask if there was anyone else on who wanted to say something stupid. Everyone jumped at that chance and bam, we were off on politics and Climategate.

How many other people employ the SPARTA method for kicking?

And how many weeks will I have guildies logging in and instantly demanding everyone give them all "ur ore"? Since we still have one officer spamming "anyone wanna run SM" about three months after THAT beggar annoyed the piss outta us, I have the feeling it could be a while.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

He crapped his thong, I'm pretty sure

My husband and I have been dabbling with "the dark side" in recent months. It came from a desire of wanting to see how the other side lives, I guess. Having been Alliance for the whole of our WoW careers, the lure of easier-than-anything transportation coupled with the knowledge that leveling horde side can be like playing a whole new game, we started a handful of alts on another server.

One of the pairs we've started is a Shaman/Druid team. I'm the Shaman, he's the Druid. After ever so slowly trying to make it through what I affectionately refer to as the "shitty levels between 15 and 20," (not to be confused with the "shitty levels between 50-58") we took a break from them for the day, out of rested XP and out of patience (at least on my side) with the crummy dps and the utter laughingstock that Druid "tanking" is at that level.

Faced with a another hour or so of play time before we would have to call it for the night, I asked At what he would like to do. He suggested either our Horde side Death Knights, who are currently slogging their way through Hellfire, or our Alliance side Death Knight and Shaman combo. I am also the Shaman in that combo. Not being much of a fan of playing the Death Knight class, I opted for playing the Shaman.

We're both around level 75 on that pair and running around Grizzly Hills, despite my opinion that it has some of the most painful of any Northrend quests. Of course, a lot of that has been mitigated by having the ability to fly so I'm trying not to whine too much. While out questing, we ended up slaughtering the hell out of some furbolgs (don't get twitchy on me now, Noxy) and in my warped mind (I may have compared LotR to a pug raid once) that ended up translating into something like this:

Random Furlbog: It's a lovely day for a stroll, out here in the snow and the cold mountain air, while I wear nothing other than my handy loincloth/thong. Wait - what's going on just up the hill?

At and Alas: Slaughter! Death grip! Earth shock! Die furlbogs, die! Why is this drop rate so crappy?

Random Furlbog: Oh crap. This again.

At and Alas: *Target the furlbog*

Furlbog vainly attempts to defend himself and the sanctity of his thong. Dies within seconds. Begins the corpse run back from the nearest furlbog graveyard.

Random Furlbog: Stupid Blizz, putting me in this place where I am constantly murdered although I do nothing more than go about my own business. All these stupid elites coming through all the time and tearing through me like I'm no more than a level 25 stuck out in Ashenvale! And then there's my stupid NPC mates. They're all here, they can all see the slaughter whenever it happens. But instead of banding together and giving us a fighting chance, they just pretend they can't see what's happening no more than 10 yards away from them. Unless some level 70 rolls through. Then all of a sudden they're hiding balls under those loincloths! Then all of a sudden you can get a Shaman to throw a heal! Ah, here's my body. No one seems to be around...

At: Death grips the furlbog through a narrow hole in the rickety fence, nearly breaking the furlbog's neck in the process.

Random Furlbog: Aw, shit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello December

Well, it's likely a good thing that I don't have an audience to speak of, aside from (I think?) some guildies who know how much I love the comments and yet do not leave them (/eyes Noxy). Still. Bad blogger for leaving a lame ass picture post and then disappearing for a week. I know. 

In my defense, it was the holiday and I did have my family over and when I wasn't busy trying not to commit murder I was very busy trying to kill some turkeys. And shoot rogues. 

Aside from holiday festivities both in and out of Azeroth, I managed to see New Moon with two dudes, both of whom went willingly. Hell, it wasn't even my idea. Apparently, my friend forgot that the book is pretty much all about Bella hurting and moping and hurting some more and there's not really just a whole lot in the way of action sequences. He spent most of the movie bitching about that and then we all went out to dinner and bitched about the crappy makeup jobs and whatshisname's inability to convey any emotion other than constipated. "I love you, Bella." [/looks constipated] "You're not good for me." [/looks constipated] "You're really alive. I'm so happy." [/looks constipated] 

I so did not mean to get off on that tangent.

I meant to talk about my baby toons and what progress they've made. But I find that it bores me to even think about it and surely no one gives a crap that I made it to 10, 20, 33, 40 and 55, plus some headway into 75.  Surely no one cares about how my baby huntard made it through three levels before I realized that the heirloom gear was on my shaman and I was running around essentially half-naked except for the useless shirt. And I was out of rested so it was quitting time on that toon anyway. 

/looks around

/realizes it's true - no one cares

/quietly leaves 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lazy Wednesday

Yep, it's Wednesday and the day before Thanksgiving. I stayed up a bit later than I meant to last night, competing with half the damn server for turkeys so I could level cooking on my priesty, who went from 0-320 in about half an hour. Maybe someday she'll be able to help contribute fish feasts at raids!
Anyway, in the spirit of "I am somewhat tired and not feeling at all creative," here are some random screen shots for your viewing pleasure.

When I die, which I am grateful to say is less often these days, I tend to take pictures of whoever is nearby, which is often the healers. I love me some splash AoE healing. What's sad about this picture is it's from when the exploit still existed for Mr. Unclean and I still died anyway.

I am easily amused, which is why I snapped this shot of Thorim drumming his fingertips in midair. You're not on your chair anymore, silly! Oh, and just so you know, we will kill you soon, you big jerk.

I love cool GMs! And yes, my husband really did catch his turtle mount on his first cast. I sort of hate him. A little. Maybe more than that. Look, I'm still working through it, okay?

I have no idea what's going on here, but it looked pretty cool.

This is me being a dork, a not uncommon event. I may have started singing "I can shoooow you the wooorld! Shiiining, shimmmmering, splendid!" My husband may or may not have rolled his eyes at me and started praying furiously that I wouldn't launch into the "Gaston" song from Beauty and the Beast. He really hates that song.

In other news, blogger + pics stinketh greatly and I don't really feel that this ended up being lazy in terms of fiddling with layout efforts. Still totally lazy in the coming up with words department though.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to mage

I am one of a very few people in my guild who have a mage as their main. In fact, I have noticed a disturbing trend among my guild mates where the mage class is abused as a bank/ah alt. There might be 50 mages in our guild; most of them are about level 2. My campaign for SHaME (Stop Hating Mages Everyone) will have to wait for another day, though. I am still waiting on 9 other people signing the charter and anyone who has ever been through that particular brand of hell knows exactly how long that could take.

In the meantime, I thought it would be nice to give a few helpful hints on how to properly mage.

  • Be surly. Everyone seems to think that mages are all about rainbows and unicorns and smiles. Disabuse everyone you can of this notion. We are not around for everyone to lean on for food and drinks, no sir. We are around to kick some ass and take some names.

  • Stand waaaaaay in the back. This is not because we are afraid of getting hit by the mobs. We just don't want all those idiotic huntards who are supposed to be helping us out instead sticking us with arrows and then doing a /lol /friendlyfire /lol routine. 

  • Make several macros. Unless you're short on space if you have a crappy bar mod. Then simply putting together a one-shot response to all the inane questions you get should go something like this: "/r No, I will not give you food/water/a portal/Focus Magic. I might, however, let you pay me 10g for it." If you have the space, I recommend getting a bit more specific. Make replies such as: "If you're going to ask for a portal it would really be super helpful to tell me both where the hell you are and how much you're willing to pay." Or: "I am not a goddamn vending machine." Note that this will also help you be more surly. 

  • Avoid ever speccing frost. Your dps will blow, people will make fun of you and, honestly, the warlocks and hunters should be taking care of mana replenishment in raids. You have better stuff to do, like own the damage meters. 

  • Assure people that you'll give them levitate slow fall (holy crap, I'm a nub!) before taking a falling shortcut off a cliff or building. Fail to do so and then blame it on the fact that you don't have any light feathers. If they ask you about the minor glyph that takes away the need to use a reagent tell them you have better things to do with your minor glyphs. You don't, of course. But they won't know that because their mage is probably a level 2 bank toon.

  • If you're raiding and your tank and healers are holding up the show, give things a gentle nudge in the right direction. I like to do this by going invisible, walking into a pack of trash and doing a frost nova/blink combo back towards the raid party. If no one reacts quickly enough to pull the mobs off you, you always have ice block! Everyone you play with, especially other clothies, will be amused at your antics.

  • Other players will sometimes get a little cranky about their health and mana bars, especially in scenarios like the one I described above. A good thing to keep ready to come back with is reminding them that you have provided them with all the health and mana refills they could possibly need. After all, it's not your fault they run out every other fight.

  • Get good at sheeping. Get even better at chain sheeping. A fun way to practice is to duel a warrior. You might also want to make a macro for when you sheep since 9 out of every 10 players are too stupid to pay attention to the fact that one of the mobs just got all white and woolly. I suggest threats be used for this macro. I have found "Break my sheep and I'll break your face," to be fairly effective. You might also threaten to withhold buffs, food and portals. Have fun! Be creative!  
Those are just some helpful tips to get you started. I'll be back later with some thoughts on the best builds for leveling and some delightful recipes for roasted lamb. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The way I whore

I am one the hugest dorks I know in real life or otherwise. One of the (many, many) ways in which this dorkdom expresses itself in game is by my racking up achievement points. They are so shiny and worthless, but I love them dearly and will go out of my way to earn them.

Fortunately, I have been able to confine this insanity to my main. The very thought of trying to do it all on all my toons - or even just my 80's - makes me all twitchy. But the insanity has driven me to do lots of things I normally would not do. Like PvP. And Mauradon. And farming those goddamn seasonal bosses for their drops. And fishing. And cooking. And coughing up roughly a bajillion pieces of cloth (even though I have three tailors) to someday finishing cranking out 500 heavy bandaids.

Let's not even get started in on why I have three tailors.

Anyhow, I do have a lot of achievement points. I am closing in on 6000 as of this writing (I like to round up, yo). And there's this tiny little part of me - the part that really stinking loves titles - that wants to get the Insane achievement done. So far, I am resisting mightily, helped in part by my OCD and the fact that I have an even 20 titles right now and a hard enough time trying to pick which one to display.

Which title is your favorite? And wouldn't it be ridiculous if I could display all of mine?

Ambassador, Brewmaster, Chef, Elder, Flame Warden, Loremaster, Matron, Merrymaker Alas, Champion of the Frozen Wastes, Champion of the Naaru, Guardian of Cenarius, Jenkins, the Explorer, the Hallowed, the Love Fool, the Noble, the Seeker, of the Exodar, of Stormwind.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sarth +1

Last night's 'quickie' turned into more of a 'longie.' (longy? long-y? Look, I know it's not a damn word but still...) We headed out to EoE right away, after some initial shuffling wherein I left my poor mage at the stone and brought in my priest for heals because one of our other priesty heals had real life familial sickness come up and had to care for them. He did send me a note about it, which of course he should have because hi! He's an officer! But damn all if I'm not seriously happy that he is one of the few responsible ones. I think I owe him a cookie.

Um, anyway, dropped my mage, grabbed my priest and picked up a dps. It was a quasi-pug, because the guy I picked up is a former guildy. Indeed, his wife is still in the guild, although not an active raider, and he has come and gone so many times it makes me crazy. Still, he has nice gear and decent dps and totems, so we brought him. 

And proceeded to wipe a few times on Maly. Again. This time, errors included several people trying to go give Maly a big old hug instead of strafing to the right.


I have no idea how that even happens, but a few people managed to do it.

Our other significant problem was on phase one. Our only Death Knight had serious lag issues and  most of the other dps seemed to think he was the only person who should be concerned about getting the sparks to drop in the right place. At least, that's how it seemed from the little I could make out in between frantically spamming heals and yelling at the tank to "OMG Noxy! Point his face away from the raid! Away! Everyone else move!" I am sure all would have been much uglier had we not had our helpful druid rooting those damn sparks to the ground. 

After a few tries, my impatience and the aforementioned DK saying he was going to step out so we could get someone without lag issues and my overall unwillingness to subject some random person to a fail pug of repairs, led me to suggest we go try Sarth with a drake up.

Everyone agreed and we went (after swapping out the other mage for a warrior tank) and had some truly epic trash pulls (one tank, all the trash from the front of the room, lolwut) which we weathered beautifully. Pew pew! went the lasers on the first drake. Pew pew! went the lasers on the second drake plus the big guys who pat that far and seriously, I thought everyone knew that, wheee! But no one died and we won and it was very awesome.

We left Tenebron up, of course, because she's supposed to be the easiest one to handle. Our first attempt was somewhat sloppy and we lost half the raid by the time Tenebron was down and still struggled with add roundup and destruction, to the point where my husband and I were alternately calling out: "Healer has adds - get em off!" I was fading every chance I got and bubbling in between and chanting at the tanks: "Don't die, don't die, stop dying!" 

It was delightful. 

We got him to 4% and he enraged and we all died.

The second attempt was beautiful. I was the only person to go down (adds!) and within a few minutes there was a battle rez available. While I was kissing the floor I made sure to call out such helpful advice as "Um, flame wall. Move - uhh, crack!" and "Watch your feet!"

The loot was a damn joke. No one wanted anything except the bag and badges. I suppose there was also a tanking something or other that got picked up. But really, the overall experience was that it wasn't that bad and I don't see a need to ever do Sarth +0. On the flip side, it was enough of a circus that I can't even contemplate the notion of Sarth +2, let alone +3. At least, not on 10-man.  

And through all of that I kept futzing with a new addon since we are going to try the Suicide Kings loot system and see how it goes. As a side note on that, least intuitive opening control panel ever. I must have spent the better part of an hour switching between WoW and the documentation for the addon at the site. And perhaps I missed it in the general frustration and trying to keep up with multiple conversations in game, and goddamn lua errors spamming the hell out of my UI, and everything else that was going on, but no where did I see anything that told me to click the icon in the top left  that totally looks like it's just there for decoration to flip through menus. 

On the plus side, I was the GM for about 45 minutes. Or, as we like to call it in WWAB, the Co-Queso Grande. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So Tuesday and Thursday are 'quickie' nights in my guild. This is mostly because I manage the calendar and I am lame and sometimes think I am funny. The reason for these 'quickie' nights is the fact that our raider base is spread all the way the hell across America and up into Canada a bit. Most of us are Central time people, but there are a fair few of us on either coast as well. As a guild of mostly (really, all) adults, with jobs and kids and other Responsible Things To Do in the Morning, we have to work pretty hard at finding times that we can all overlap enough to have at least 10 people on and able to raid. 

Hence, quickies. The balance is found somewhere among two West Coasters, two Midwesterners and one East Coaster. And there's about an hour in all that overlap that we can head into one of the fast raids, maybe two if we do well.

Last night started off great. We headed out and murdered Ony in one shot, no deaths, no stupid, and a shiny new achievement because for once no one got hit with the deep breath flamey thing. Loot went quickly as always and I looked at the time and then my map. It appeared that we were in possession of Wintergrasp so I proposed that we all hustle our asses out to Vault. Only thing is that when we stepped through my portal to Dalaran there was no "Yay, you have Wintergrasp" buff in my buff bar. Looking again at the map, the dirty rotten horde had control. And we had two options.

"It's EoE or Sarth with a drake up," said I. "And if it's EoE, we're gonna have to lose a tank."

So we voted and shuffled and one of our tanks grabbed her mage and we asked another mage to grab her shaman and headed out to EoE.

Now, in case the two paragraphs above did not make it really clear, we're sort of a casual group with a lot of alts and we still struggle with stupid fights, like EoE and Sarth with a drake up. I think this is mostly because we haven't really tried to master these fights until just recently, and were giving most of our raiding attention to the long raids, like Naxx and Ulduar. But I know if we practice we can usually get something down and on farm status swiftly. Or swiftly for a casual guild. I mean, we went from many wipes a night on Ony to about three to walking in and one-shotting within about a month. 

Anyway, I was riding the high and thought that surely we would be able to make some progress on Malygos. We did okay on the first try. DPS was a little slow on the first phase and we failed to get all our melee up on the discs before ranged/healers started hopping on in the second phase. The third phase was an unmitigated disaster.

There must be something hard to comprehend about stay together, omg, I mean right fucking on top of each other and why the hell is someone way off on their own? If you can't see dozens of other flapping wings overlapping you, you're doing it wrong. Also, "Move!" meaning "strafe to the right for a few seconds!" seems to require some additional processing time. About 30 seconds before the enrage, I was alone in the sky. And then I was blasted out of it.

Before we tried again, I made everyone stack on top of me and pretend to be on their dragons in the air. I started babbling the way I do so well when I am tipsy and then interrupted myself by barking out: "Move!" I strafed to the right. There was a pause. And then about half the raid started off and were followed a second later by those who hadn't gotten there yet. 

"I think," said I, "that I know why we're dying up there."

We practiced a little longer on the ground and I still wasn't happy with reaction time but it was getting a bit better and we were running out of time. We went into it again and managed a fairly quick burn on the first phase. Second phase was really sloppy and we ended up with a few people dead on the floor because the tank suffered a massive lag spike and couldn't pick up aggro or, indeed, even tell what the hell was going on for a few seconds. As a result, the burn was slow and we had maybe 1.5 minutes before the enrage by the time we hit phase three. It was obviously a wipe but I knew the practice would be good so we hung in there. Not too much later, I was alone in the sky again, facing one pissed off magical dragon aspect. Needless to say, I was quickly dispatched and, God save me, we better have Wintergrasp on Thursday because I don't know if I can grin my way through a whole night's worth of wiping on EoE, no matter how drunk I am.  

What tips and tricks does anyone else have for keeping the raid together and reacting well on phase three?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Open letter to anyone with a PhD

Dear person with a PhD:

The fact that you went to school for a long time and wrote some sort of thesis on something that almost no one else in the world cares about does not impress me. You are not glorified in my eyes. Have and use some common sense. Act like a human being. Pay attention to the details of life and appreciate those who end up stuck trying to help you and then we'll talk. Until then, the god-complex only irritates me and makes me want to stab you with a pencil; not help you find the best deal on the most perfect piece of technology to go in your office/lab/whatever. 



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My time in the court

Reasons why I should not be allowed to play racquetball:

  • I have terrible eye-hand coordination
  • I tend to get in the way of the other player(s)
  • My head might still be bruised from that one time I took a racket to the head about three years ago
  • I may or may not have pulled a muscle whilst flailing wildly at the ball
  • I definitely managed to hit my own arm and skin my wrist
  • I fell down for no discernible reason
  • It's only a matter of time before I face-plant into the wall and/or floor
  • I'd much rather sing in those large, echo-y rooms (despite my inability to carry a tune)
  • I am terribly competitive with a need to win and I can't do that when I fail so badly at nearly all aspects of the game, thus:
  • It makes me cranky

Reasons why I should play racquetball:

  • All that flailing and running and getting back up after falling down will probably help me find my waistline. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

My dream

Sometimes I think that I should strike out on my own as a guild leader.

Don't get me wrong, being co-GM is nice. Nicer still is that I share the title with my husband and he freely admits he is a figurehead so I am pretty much free to do what I want. My biggest problem is actually that I have been an officer, a raid leader, a simple raider with no responsibilities, thank you very much and good day, Sir, and then an officer again. This was all within a period of about six months, which makes it worse.

But the truth is, despite the last half year of dramatic ups and downs with regard to what role I wanted to fill in the guild, I pretty much want the same thing I have always wanted. And that is for people to understand that I am always right and they should just shut up and do what I say.

I don't want to be mired down in this committee activity of rewriting our raiding rules yet again and finding myself having to defend my points to the officers and the figurehead GM. I would much prefer to be able to say, "These are the rules and if you don't like them you can leave."

I feel this way despite knowing that the feedback I am getting is important as it helps me to shape my ideas and explain exactly why I think what I think. And for every victory I get in carrying through my points I also get immense satisfaction.

But my impatience often gets the best of me and I don't want to wait for the refined and finished product. I want to go in like the mage I am, silencing my opponents by turning them into barnyard animals and then roasting the hell out of them.

Is that so wrong? 


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Before I croak

One of the things I want to do some time before I die is to write and publish a novel (or, you know, many wildly successful novels). I've actually finished a few but aside from one query letter, I made no moves to try to get either of them published.

The first was something I wrote back when I was about 15-16 years old. It was terrible. Terribly formulaic. I am ashamed to this day that I let anyone else read it. 

The second book was written more recently, something like three years ago. It was one part an experiment to see whether I could, in fact, finish something on the scale of a full-sized novel. It was also terribly arrogant of me to write it. Why? Well, I went into it with the thought that surely I would have no problem getting something published if I wrote for the Christian market. I arrived at this conclusion after a lifetime of reading bad Christian novels. The cherry on that Sunday was a book by a more successful Christian author that was set during the Revolutionary War. Within the first chapter I walked away in disgust. Who greenlighted a period novel and then let whole paragraphs about dating and being happy to see one's boyfriend slip by? I'm still appalled. 

"I could write any old piece of crap," thought I. "If only I dress it up a bit in Christian colors, it'll still be better than 90% of what is already out there." 

Ugh. I was such a jackass. 

Since that, I've started and stopped a half dozen projects. I more or less abandoned the first blog I had and went from posting nearly every day to posting about once a month. Another series of blogs centering around WoW (something I played heavily while not writing) were started and stopped within a few weeks. I did manage to write a decent amount of a WoW-centric fanfiction during that time, but that's about it. 

Maybe it's because my interest in WoW is waning. Maybe it's because of recent personal events that have re-awoken areas of my life that had been dead. Maybe it's because I've recently had the experience of reading from start to finish and was challenged and humbled and inspired nearly every post of the way. Maybe it's because I recently discovered Brandon Sanderson and was blown away by his books. Maybe it's a combination of everything I just mentioned. Whatever the reasons, I find myself wanting to write again. 

Unfortunately, all my ideas are very rough. I have no idea what to write. But I'm working on it and that's a pretty good feeling.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obligatory 'why I done started this here blog' post

It's funny.

Not me so much. But the fact that I have created this place for me to come and write about whatever occurs to me with some degree of anonymity and yet I have already spent all this time and effort in trying to make sure that if anyone does come this way it's nice and easy for them to get my updates. Because, clearly, there are going to be tens of tens of people wanting to hear whatever random crap I write down here.

And yet, if this was meant to be solely for me and my own edification, why put it out where anyone, even my mom who has no idea how to find these blog thingies that all the kids are talking about, could come across it? First of all, I don't think that will happen. My mom, your mom, my husband's mom. No one would have any reason to come here, unless I tag myself up with certain keywords. You know the ones I am talking about. And then I hope no one's mom is the one coming here because that would just be awkward.

I have come to learn the value of the wonderful communities that can be had online. And that's really the only reason to put anything out here to be seen by anyone who might stumble upon it and think, wow, this person, this Alas, is pretty lame/weird/interesting/jerky (pick one). The whole beauty is that no one here will have pre-conceived notions of who I am and what I am about. It won't shock a single person if I should come out and say I love kicking puppies. I don't, by the way. But in this space, this blank canvas, it would not matter if I did. I also won't have my in-laws all crawling down my virtual throat because they know where my blog is. That alone is awesome enough to make me want to just come and toss my thoughts out here, whatever they might be.

Anyway, that is why I am here. Who knows what will come next? I don't, but for my own sake and for the purpose of my own being able to look backwards and remember where I have been, I'm probably going to keep talking like I do have an audience and will likely attempt to entertain that imaginary body of people.