Blogging about Blogging

Even if it is one of the seven deadly sins of self indulgence sometimes a little introspection is a good thing.

Why am I here?

What's this all about?

Can I get away with attacking that before my mana is fully regenerated?

The answer to the last one is usually 'no' but moving into the mid-20s is changing that a bit.

For the other two; my original plan was just to keep notes on myself as I let World of Warcraft into my life and inevitably change me.
Kinda like 'Supersize Me' but with video games.

One of the main things that fascinated me was the culture.
I play games, I know gamer culture but the MMO thing looked like something else entirely
Even before I started playing I did this 'WoW Curious' thing where I'd listen to The Instance and try to schedule a good time to do the ten day trial where I could get the most out of it. For all the world like a wannabe junkie not ready to jump into the pool.

One of the most surprising elements of W0W as a culture is the sheer breadth and depth of it. In particular the blogging side of it. I knew there would be blogs, of course.
I suppose I knew there would be blog lists aggregating and categorizing them.

I didn't know that there would be aggregating blog lists entirely for, say, Druid blogs.

I didn't realize that the culture would be so advanced and developed.
In the short time that I have been involved three highly regarded and well loved members of the community have left blogging all in different ways.
Phaedra from Resto4Life has gone to have a child.
BigRedKitty, who's developed incredible high production value educational material for Hunters had to make a choice between WoW and his family and chose them.
And the Greedy Goblin who played and blogged the trading/economics part of the game has literally earnt all the money it is possible for a character to earn.

Even though these people were high value members of the community who had been in place for years it doesn't feel like the whole thing is dying.
Quite the contrary.
In fact it seems more like the kind of natural process you would expect to find in a stable and mature forest: there's a constant cycle of growth and rebirth that is bigger and stronger than any of it's individual parts.

All of this is partly a round about way of saying that I'm now listed on the Twisted Nether Wiki and very much appreciate the inclusion.

I guess it's also a personal admission to myself that I want more out of this blog than a convenient place to take notes. I do want to join the larger conversation. I do want people to read it and I do care whether they find it interesting or not.

There, I've said it.

Hello everybody!


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10 Similarities Between Warcraft & Wine

Yesterday I woke up with my head looking and feeling like this. Then somebody did it to my Toon. I didn't even know that was possible.
But it got me thinking, which was an achievement in itself.

Reasons that WoW is like wine:
  1. Two Major Factions
    Red wine is strong, proud and vital like the Horde. White wine is weak, thin and suitable only for church garden parties.
  2. Accessibility and Depth
    Anyone can pick up Warcraft in the same way that any fool can get mindless on dodgy plonk. To master the subtleties takes dedication and talent. A great player is in every way as impressive as a true Piss Artisté.
  3. Cellaring
    You get better faster if you leave your Toon in the tavern for a long time.
  4. Claret = Blood
    It's not called World of Hugcraft. Nuff said
  5. EU Servers
    French stuff is supposed to be the best but most people still get mass produced Californian.
  6. Jargon
    Both have an effect on your ability communicate. Too much of either and become incoherent. Interestingly, in both cases you can usually be understood by someone who has partaken roughly as much as you have.
  7. Weird Place Names
    Seriously does wine have to come from Screaming Monkey Valley? Or Chateau du Flange? Clearly Blizzard are using the same naming software to come up with this stuff.
  8. Goes Well With Snacks
    Mmm... cheese! Or little bits of deep-fried chorizo. Or olives stuffed with garlic. And on Warcraft no-one has to smell your breath either.
  9. Too Much Is Never Enough
    For only US$15/month you can really mess yourself up.
  10. Codependants & Enablers
    If you can't keep it under control your spouse, partner or significant other may well have something to say about it. On the other hand if they share your addiction then you can probably just keep dancing as the ship goes down.

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Authentic Guild Experience

Not too long ago I joined my Guild in the on-line equivalent of an off-site team building event. Rather than cross imaginary rivers by tying different coloured thinking hats together we ran around Orgrimar in our underwear.
“To lose one Guildie is unfortunate,
lose the whole Guild and you might
want to bathe more often”
—Oskar Wildemane

It was a game of hide'n'seek that brought us together in a spirit of fun and camaraderie. This time, however, I think they've gone too far.

Now that we've all got to know each other a couple of people have had a spat. Somebody had a hissy-fit and took all the money and loot from the bank and the Guild has been dissolved.

Now I'm alone
And I'm in Desolace.
Which, let's face it, is not named for it's serotonin enhancing properties.

I tried finding other hide'n'seek partners but they tried to eat my soul. Which was awkward to say the least.

Actually I'm not that bothered. I still feel out of my depth whenever I group up so I tend to spend most of my time soloing and trying to figure out the game. From what I hear on things like The Instance or Twisted Nether it seems like people are doing that all the way up to the quasi-mythical 'endgame'.

The other impression I get is that this kind of Guild drama is pretty common. I'm looking on it as yet another unforeseen and and unexpected part of the great WoW learning curve. Finding a Guild that clicks seems to be that rarest drop of all.
(As in 'who do I have to kill?')

Anyway I never figured out how to use the Guild Bank...
And I've already made a new friend.

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Sushi Beasts

I suffer for my art; you have to.
I've been sticking my foolish Tauren nose-ring into all sorts of unsafe and unsavory places in order to collect the screen shots for this blog.
Today's piece is entitled Magic Seafood.

The suffering came because that was the last of 10 such clams I was supposed to be collecting and I got jumped by multiple nasty ocean-going things while I was taking the snap.

Now, when I'm taking a shot I turn off the interface and zoom in to first-person perspective. In this case I was also in underwater travel form so I was even more exposed than usual. (That's a photographic term meaning 'gankable')

I've learnt to be pretty quick getting all that back to normal in an emergency. And now that I'm leveling in the early 30s it seems as though I have a lot more scope for group combat. Basically early battles that didn't go well were over before I could do very much. Now I can fight and heal and even throw in a little crowd control if I'm not too panicky.

But there were three of them so they got me.

Then when I returned resurrected they attacked me again. This time I was ready but as the fight went on another different kind of crab thing came and ate the bloody clam.

So I made them very sorry.
Here they are in the contrite pose of the dead lobster.

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An exhaustively researched analysis of character specifications and the new Ulduar content for the new or casual low level player.

If you're like me you will have been hearing a lot about the new expansion to the World of Warcraft. Everybody's very excited and you should be too.

Sure, you wont get to the same continent as the new content for tens of levels...

Sure, you probably haven't calculated the specifications of your character for a razors edge advantage that could buff or nerf in a moment...

Sure, you're still working on collecting the first tier of armour and weapons and don't expect to need tier 8 anytime during this month or the next...

But it's still a really big deal.

Okay it isn't.

But your talents will all get re-set so don't forget to re-apply them. I did and it didn't work out too well for a bit. Then I fixed it and I'm all better now.
That's my tip. Hope it helps.

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Angels Without Pants

On Saturday I participated in my first official Guild event.
Was it a raid? It was not.

Instead the Angels of Darkness took to the streets of Orgrimmar to play naked hide and seek.

It was about as disorderly and disreputable as it looks. Here's Wesker sneaking up on a Boomkin.

Quite a few people attended although I don't know exactly how many. Ranging from those who could give and receive cryptic clues to their location with ease to people like me who learnt that if you type /roll that you get a dice roll.

The other thing I learnt was that if you roll the lowest number and have to be the first seeker then it's really, really hard. I mean partly because I suck, no denying that, but also because Orgrimmar's really big and has lots of places to hide.

Eventually I found Branthos first.
To tell the truth he took pity on me and added me to a group as I charged past oblivious. Then he was relatively easy to find.

Gratifyingly other people also found it difficult to be the seeker. Here's me hiding behind the cooking trainer's door...

Even in naked hide and seek I think it's okay to keep your hat on if the hat is a) new and b) rockin'.Anyway I had fun and I definitely have a greater awareness of my fellow guildies. Thanks guys, see you ingame.

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Gears of Warcraft

I may have invented a new term. Or at least an new way to screw up.

Probably not: It seems like everything that can be done, especially noob errors, has been done countless times before.

Nonetheless ladies and gentlemen, I submit for your entertainment: OverTwinking!

Basically as my (now Lvl30) Druid has started to get green magic items pretty regularly he has been merrily posting anything that's cloth and mage friendly back to Grexel.
Big dumb ox that he is Paronymous wasn't too fussy about the level requirements so Grexel's now got her bag spaces filled up with tantalizing bits and pieces that she won't be able to use for another five levels or whatever.

She could have sold them, or disenchanted them for parts but they're all just so... so... nearly available.

I now realize that what She should have done is left them in the mailbox. I suppose she could post them out again in some sort of Gear Mail Tag effort but that seems just too annoying and fiddly to me.

She just needs to keep grinding forwards.
That is, after all, what makes the World go around.

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Centaur Porn

The inestimable Dan Savage held forth on his podcast for last week about the dangers of Centaur porn. In particular he was referring to a current Old Spice commercial.

Now anyone with even a cursory awareness of Mr Savage knows he is very much in favour of sexiness as a general rule and people getting their rocks off however they may like to in particular. However, in this case he suggests that there is a real and present danger of creating centaur fetishists.
The tragedy of this being that someone with a special place in their gonads for centaurs would never be able to truly fulfill their kink.

By extrapolation there's all sorts of possible harm that Warcraft could be doing.
I guess it is by definition a fantasy realm so the exoticism and body-perfection is kind of inevitable.

Also it is almost certainly going to be a reference point for the cyber-sex fantasy holo-deck thing that will eventually absorb us so that Blizzard can use us as batteries to run their post-apocalypse server engines.

In the interests of fairness I would like to point out that as a Sagittarius my views on the subject are inherently biased and unreliable. I would like to apologize and state furthermore that I welcome our New Blizzard Overlords.

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Bloody Tourists

It's probably just the same effect that causes everyone to assume that everyone else is having more sex than them. On the other hand it is possible that I am the actual worst World of Warcraft player in the world.
Somebody has to be.

I don't think it's really that bad. I just get the impression that other people run faster, level more efficiently and generally understand what it is that they're supposed to be doing on a fundamentally different level to me.
Which makes me wander around in areas I'm not supposed to be going to yet just to look at the pretty pictures. Like I say, bloody tourist.

There seem to be a fair few more players lurking around Thousand Needles so maybe I'll settle here for a bit and try to work my way through some stuff systematically.
It's a game.
I'll see what I feel like.

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