On farewells

I’m writing this on the slow and hated laptop as I sit on a camp chair in what is largely an empty house. The movers came yesterday and I watched as they wrapped up all my furniture and carted out all my boxes. It felt surreal. It still does.

There are only a few more days to get through – days spent with my family for the holidays, one more day of work, a few days of driving right after everything between here and there has been slammed with winter storms.

To say I am stressed would be an understatement. Even in these few and fleeting quiet moments, my mind is full of what I must do for real life to get through the next several days and this is good because it takes my mind off what I’ll have to do when I get back to WoW.

I really didn’t need for a game to become another source of stress, but it has.

It seems strangely fitting to be now surrounded by empty, echoing rooms and to be looking ahead to a difficult journey. It seems right that it should be difficult to let go of a place that, no matter how much I dislike it, has become familiar and even comfortable. And it makes sense that the place to which I am going will be familiar but so different from what I used to know. It helps that there will still be familiar faces, if not as many.

And so it goes. The  whole world changes even as it remains exactly the same as always.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Homework for raiders?

Dear prettyfull readers,

I keep starting posts and then never finishing them because I am getting waylaid by details about moving and then it’s time to bitch about my boss being a jackhole and then it’s time to look at more houses online (and wonder whether there are dead hookers in the floorboards because why did that house drop 50% in price anyway?) and the next thing you know I have some randomly connected paragraphs that appear to have been composed by a deranged squirrel on speed who is possibly also drunk.

Much like that paragraph in fact.

Anyhow, Zel thinks I should make you lovely readers do the heavy lifting here, since I’ve clearly had enough heavy lifting IRL.

This idea totally works for me, so I put it you, my lovely and smart and awesome friends, what expectations would you place on your raiders if you were in my shoes? I’m not going to be able to be in game to push and prod and plan people into shape, but I do have a bit of time to lay out some things I would like to see accomplished by the time I am able to get back into game.

If you were about to take a few weeks off to move cross-country, what would you ask people to do in your absence? What prompts would you give to get people moving in the right direction? And how many exclamation points should I put after the sentence “Please don’t bother with your alts until your main has accomplished these things”?

In my scattered and distraught way, I love you all.

-Alas

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Leadership, Open Letters, Raiding, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mage CC – not just sheep anymore

Despite how many hours we’ve had to divert to packing, At and I have managed to play for a bit of time most nights and have made our way through Hyjal, Deepholm and Uldum. We’ve also run a few dungeons along the way: BRC, The Stonecore and Vortex Pinnacle. We’re most of the way through 84 and could easily have hit 85 last night but thought that since we won’t be getting to really play any time soon we might as well take our time and get a little more rested XP saved up before we knock the rest of it out.

That and we were sleepy. Packing up one’s books is a chore.

So far, The Stonecore has been the most intensive in terms of needing to crowd control. Both times I have gone there, the dps has been myself, ATT and one of our warlocks. We cleared absolutely everything in there the first time through and I noticed that I have managed to get rather rusty when it comes to keeping my target sheeped. Fortunately, my first run was enough to remind me of what I needed to do and subsequent runs went more smoothly as far as my CC was concerned.

So much for sheeping – it’s hardly a new mechanic and nothing has changed in how to properly manage a CC target. But mages did get a new toy which, while it has a limited use, can and should be used to take the edge off of either an initial pull or an accidental pull gone wrong.

I speak, of course, of our Ring o’ Frosty Flakes. I admit I was not the one to leap to the conclusion of how useful it could be on a large pull – that was ATT – but he hasn’t got a draft on this so I get to be the one to talk about it like I am smart.

This is not the ring of frost you're looking for.

What we were able to do was to either take turns pulling packs of trash using Ring of Frost – with the other mage ready to sheep the target that would be too far outside of the range of the frost ring or the one that would be frozen but who would stay at a range when they got free.

Ten seconds isn’t a lot of time, but it did help with keeping more of the trash at a distance and allowed the tank to pull his targets away from the ones that needed to be sheeped. (Our first non-ring of frost pulls would have frequent CC breaks due to Hammer of the Righteous, Holy Wrath and the occasional Consecration.)

So that is the best use I have seen so far from this new spell. How have other mages been using it?

Posted in Mage Related | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Things about being an officer that should be wildly apparent (but seem not to be)

1. Being an officer is a job, not a perk. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to roll my eyes about this one. It’s rather funny how some people react to the idea. Y-you mean, you expect me to work? I thought I was just here to feel important!

2. Officers should be more open to performance criticisms, especially as it pertains to their level of skill in game. I didn’t hear about this at the time, but our resident number cruncher told me that one of the officers who recently left refused to hear his advice on how to improve their play style because he couldn’t talk to them like that. Officers do not take advice from peons. I beg your lolwut.

3. Officers lead by example. It’s not acceptable to tell everyone else in the guild that you expect them to hold to a certain standard and then clearly and obviously make yourself the exemption from that rule. If you don’t want to be held to a standard, then stop trying to lead anyone else. That seriously garners no fucking respect.

4. Be a grown up. Seriously. No one wants to follow a child. Tantrums and whining aren’t attractive or inspiring.

5. Work to earn respect. There’s a lot of people out there who aren’t dumb enough to be impressed by a title, no matter whether it’s in a game or out of it. Don’t think an arbitrary title is going to be enough for someone else to want to listen to what you have to say. Make an effort to listen more than you talk – and when you do speak, make an effort to apply some logic to your words instead of just speaking from your gut. I mean, yuck.

This post brought to you by the number 1, as represented by the middle digit, the letters F and U, with promotional consideration from Bee Pit Enterprises QQ-grade Mulch.

Posted in Leadership, rant | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Mulch my boss, mulch this job!

Hello all –

A quick note here just to say hey and give a quick wave. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to write about WoW since I have scarcely been in it since the 7th. Alas and At both got as far as level 81 last night, questing through Hyjal. I’ve not seen much, not done much and possibly will be one of the last people in the guild to hit the new level cap.

I will say I’ve enjoyed what I have seen thus far and it feels good to be gaining xp on the main again. Not to mention being engaged in about three rep grinds, all of which are fun for a change after the past few months of pirate-killing and Ogri’la daily-doing.

Real life is something of a bitch and I want to take a moment to bitch about it because I imagine someone out there might pat me on the head and say “There, there,” in a comforting sort of way. You see, I was supposed to be off work yesterday, today and tomorrow. I had it planned months in advance for obvious reasons.

Then work got in the way and my boss commanded that all hands be on deck for some pre-implementation weeklong workshop. Okay, fine, I cancel my plans. I can be a team player. Things went really wrong as far as the vendor being able to get to us in a timely fashion so my boss is reacting poorly, as though it’s the vendor’s fault that weather is generally uncooperative. On the heels of this, he finds out through the grapevine that At has been offered a job and accepted it.

So now he’s pissed at me. Because… because… he’ll have to interview people to fill my position and it’s inconvenient? I really don’t know what the deal is.

All I know is that suddenly this pre-implementation thing is now a place where I am persona non grata. But I still have to be at work. Because someone has to warm this chair up. And it would be unreasonable to allow me to have my vacation plans back because my boss just wouldn’t be able to work up to the same levels of pettiness that he is currently achieving.

I have a rawr and a sad and a burning desire to end my official letter of resignation with: “And you can take this job and MULCH it!”

Posted in rant, Real Life | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Mind dump (because I can)

Welcome to another real life post, courtesy of my inability to contain myself.

Big, big things have been underway recently. People on Twitter may collectively yawn and bugger off if they like, since I have made disjointed updates there. Well, so can people not on Twitter, but some of this should at least be new.

The first thing is that At finally received a job offer in Utah. We weren’t certain whether or not he ought to accept it since the pay was quite a bit lower than what we were hoping for. After as much thought and discussion as we could possible fit into the small window of time we had for that process, we decided he should accept and we would just plan on him living out there with my family until I could sell the house here and move to join him.

We also reduced our asking price on the house and soon after got a call from our realtor’s office telling us that they had two showings they would like to have on Saturday. We cleaned up and cleared out for a few hours, and I ate alligator meat. (This has no bearing on the story other than to say that I tried it and thought it was rather like greasy chicken.) Yesterday morning, we got a call with an offer.

It was low so we counter-offered and waited some more. Early afternoon rolled around and we got another call. Our counter-offer was accepted and could we come down to the office to sign some preliminary paperwork?

Now, I’ve been wanting to get out of Missouri ever since I landed here several years ago. There’s really nothing I like about the area in which I live and in all my time here I’ve only made one local friend who has stayed local. The people At associated with out here never accepted me as anything other than the Whore of Babylon (because I wear pants and drink wine and don’t keep my head covered at all times) – which is fine since I have never accepted them as anything other than misogynistic nutbags.

My home has always been Utah and I have wanted nothing more than to get back there.

So it makes perfect sense that my reaction to selling the house was to cry, right? And I’m not talking tears of joy, since the whole thing is so surreal that I still haven’t accepted it as being true. I have yet to experience happiness or excitement. Sheer terror, now, that’s something I have conjured.

I have a bit of the headless chicken syndrome now, since you know, we have less than a month to pack and move and plan for all the thousands of little details that go along with that. Like THE FOOD IN THE FREEZER WHAT WILL WE DO WITH ALL THE FOOD IN THE FREEZER?

I’m totally disgruntled that there is no “guild vault” sort of option in real life. I mean, that bank is perhaps the most magical thing in all of WoW. You might be in Shattrath on ANOTHER PLANET and you can still stick in some raw meat, take a week off from doing anything, come back in some backwater giant tree with a city in its branches and yank that raw fish right out, no problems.

Try to do that in real life and even if you could still get that fish out from a totally different location it would have caused everything else you’ve ever owned and put in the bank to smell like rotten fish. I call shenanigans.

Anyhow, all of this is to say something like, “I think I’m moving 1000 miles cross-country and will need to find both a job and a place to live upon arrival. Since all my free time away from work will be spent packing, I’ll be that late-to-the-party idiot blogger two months from now saying crap like, ‘Hey guys, this xpac is pretty neat, eh?'”

I’m okay with it. I just wanted to get the news out of the way so that I can focus whatever spare bits of time I have in the coming months to talk about the game or my guild or anything other than boxes and ow! my back huuuurts and wah! winter moving is made of fail.

But just as I am about to escape the snowy climes of Northrend, I’ll be heading to the snowy climes of the Wasatch Mountains. I think I deserve a chance to snivel about the timing.

wtb time on a sunny beach, pst.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

In case further proof was needed

More evidence that I am super!lame:

I… I’m sick. And I was cleaning all day! Yeah. No telling what sort of fumes I might have inhaled.

If you don’t get the reference, look here.

ALSO, Zel demanded I include a link to the Bee Pit. Although if you don’t what that is by now, there’s just no hope for you.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

A plague on me!

/cough

/sniffle

At shared his plague from last week with me and real life has generally been taking over in other ways. So it’s great for me that I have another pile of link love to share. Let’s get to it!

More times when I told people what to write (and then they actually did it):

From Windsoar of Jaded alt, we have A Failed Attempt at Saying Happy Blogaversary! Now, to be clear, I don’t think it was a failure. On the contrary, I think Windsoar did a great job of taking a strange prompt and making the most of it! My continued apologies for tossing that one your way!

Next, from Apple of Azeroth Apple, we have Raiding, from a lore perspective, which is a look at how Apple’s character feels upon facing down raid bosses. I certainly never thought myself to try to see raiding from Alas’ eyes, but Apple clearly put some thought into it.

Lastly, from Ano of Mysterious Buttons, there is For Alas: Why, how and who. I’m honored to have such a lovely and poignant post dedicated to my name when it’s even more for the people that Ano gets to play with. I found myself wishing I could be a part of that guild, even if on a part time and temporary basis, because the love that exists there is nearly tangible. Mushy, I was it.

I think I still have or two prompts that were sent into the void. I’ll still be looking for those posts and sharing them if I see them!

Other Stuff

In terms of more random posts that I have liked lately, head over to Manalicious where Vid has been posting just a whole slew of good stuff, including I Am A Damage Dealer (which was a response to Tam’s also-excellent musings on the divine right of tanks ), Fostering A Sense of Teamwork For Tens and sharing recipes that are guaranteed to add some poundage to my waistline this holiday season if I can’t keep myself from breaking down and making them…

Ahem. Meanwhile, Cynwise has shared with everyone his Case Against Heirlooms, which I found very interesting. While I have been plague-stricken, I’ve been rolling a few alts on various servers just to see and explore the changes. Even without heirlooms, leveling is going wicked fast and I think between that and Cynwise’s post, I am convinced that the Worgen rogue I’ve been planning for the last year will likely be going without heirlooms at least part of the time.

Lastly, Christmas is coming and if you needed some awesome ideas for Perfect (and cheap) presents for that WoW-player in your life, check out Disciplinary Action’s fantastically clever designs and ideas. I still must obtain the Runic Healing Potion as a shirt.

Oh, and while I am on the topic of Disciplinary Action, you must go check out the comic of I, Gerald. It is brilliant and my only regret is that it will be the only I, Gerald comic because kobalds are generally difficult to work with. But maybe if enough people beg or sign a petition…

And that’s it

I just heard that our house is being shown twice tomorrow so I am going to take advantage of being home with the plague to do some cleaning. And disinfecting. Ew.

Posted in Just Links | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

No means no, dammit!

Chapter 19

The next day opened a new scene at <Longbourn>. Mr. Collins made his declaration in form. Having resolved to do it without loss of time, as his leave of absence extended only to the following Saturday, and having no feelings of diffidence to make it distressing to himself even at the moment, he set about it in a very orderly manner, with all the observances, which he supposed a regular part of the business. On finding Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth, and one of the other guildies together, soon after dailies, he addressed the officer in these words:

“May I hope, madam, for your interest with your fair hybrid healer/dps Elizabeth, when I solicit for the honour of a private audience with her in the course of this morning?”

Before Elizabeth had time for anything but an emote of surprise, Mrs. Bennet answered instantly, “Oh dear!—yes—certainly. I am sure Lizzy will be very happy—I am sure she can have no objection. Come, Kitty, I want you for this instance.” And, gathering her plans together, she was about to leave the Vent channel, when Elizabeth called out:

“Dear madam, do not go. I beg you will not go. Mr. Collins must excuse me. He can have nothing to say to me that anybody need not hear. I am going away myself.”

“No, no, nonsense, Lizzy. I desire you to stay where you are.” And upon Elizabeth’s seeming really, with vexed and embarrassed sighs, about to escape, she added: “Lizzy, I insist upon your staying and hearing Mr. Collins.”

Elizabeth would not oppose such an injunction—and a moment’s consideration making her also sensible that it would be wisest to get it over as soon and as quietly as possible, she silenced herself again and tried to conceal, by incessant employment the feelings which were divided between distress and diversion. Mrs. Bennet and Kitty left the channel, and as soon as they were gone, Mr. Collins began.

“Believe me, my dear Miss Elizabeth, that your modesty, so far from doing you any disservice, rather adds to your other perfections. You would have been less amiable in my eyes had there not been this little unwillingness; but allow me to assure you, that I have your respected leader’s permission for this address. You can hardly doubt the purport of my discourse, however your natural delicacy may lead you to dissemble; my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken. Almost as soon as I entered the server, I singled you out as the companion of my future raiding life. But before I am run away with by my feelings on this subject, perhaps it would be advisable for me to state my reasons for recruiting—and, moreover, for coming into this server with the design of selecting a healer, as I certainly did.”

The idea of Mr. Collins, with all his solemn composure, being run away with by his feelings, made Elizabeth so near laughing, that she could not use the short pause he allowed in any attempt to stop him further, and he continued:

“My reasons for raiding are, first, that I think it a right thing for every tank in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of leadership in his guild; secondly, that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly—which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling GM. Twice has she condescended to give me her opinion (unasked too!) on this subject; and it was but the very Saturday night before I left my server—between our pulls at ToC, while Mrs. Jenkinson was arranging Miss de Bourgh’s kill order, that she said, ‘Mr. Collins, you must recruit a dedicated healer. A tank like you must have his own healer. Choose properly, choose something other than a paladin for my sake; and for your own, let them be an active, useful sort of person, not brought up high, but able to make a small amount of guild-funded repairs go a good way. This is my advice. Find such a healer as soon as you can, bring them to our server, and I will visit them.’ Allow me, by the way, to observe, my fair Elizabeth, that I do not reckon the notice and kindness of Lady Catherine de Bourgh as among the least of the advantages in my power to offer. You will find her manners beyond anything I can describe; and your wit and vivacity, I think, must be acceptable to her, especially when tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite. Thus much for my general intention in favour of recruiting a healer; it remains to be told why my views were directed towards <Longbourn> instead of my own server, where I can assure you there are many amiable healers. But the fact is, that being, as I am, to inherit this guild after the loss of your honoured GM (who, however, may play many years longer), I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a healer from among his raiders, that the loss to them might be as little as possible, when the melancholy event takes place—which, however, as I have already said, may not be for several years. This has been my motive, and I flatter myself it will not sink me in your esteem. And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection. To fortune I am perfectly indifferent, and shall make no demand of that nature on your GM, since I am well aware that it could not be complied with; and that one thousand gold in the four per cents, which will not be yours till after your guild disbands, is all that you may ever be entitled to. On that head, therefore, I shall be uniformly silent; and you may assure yourself that no ungenerous reproach shall ever pass my lips when we are raiding together.”

It was absolutely necessary to interrupt him now.

“You are too hasty, sir,” she cried. “You forget that I have made no answer. Let me do it without further loss of time. Accept my thanks for the compliment you are paying me. I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than to decline them.”

“I am not now to learn,” replied Mr. Collins, with a formal wave of the hand, “that it is usual with raiders to reject the addresses of the tank whom they secretly mean to accept, when he first applies for their favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second, or even a third time. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said, and shall hope to lead you to the server transfer screen ere long.”

“Upon my word, sir,” cried Elizabeth, “your hope is a rather extraordinary one after my declaration. I do assure you that I am not one of those raiders (if such raiders there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last healer in the world who could make an effort to keep you alive. Nay, were your friend Lady Catherine to know me, I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation.”

“Were it certain that Lady Catherine would think so,” said Mr. Collins very gravely—”but I cannot imagine that her ladyship would at all disapprove of you. And you may be certain when I have the honour of seeing her again, I shall speak in the very highest terms of your gear, mana management, and other amiable qualification.”

“Indeed, Mr. Collins, all praise of me will be unnecessary. You must give me leave to judge for myself, and pay me the compliment of believing what I say. I wish you very happy and very rich, and by refusing your offer, do all in my power to prevent your being otherwise. In making me the offer, you must have satisfied the delicacy of your feelings with regard to my guild, and may take possession of <Longbourn> whenever it falls, without any self-reproach. This matter may be considered, therefore, as finally settled.” And beginning to remove her headset as she thus spoke, she would have quitted the Vent server, had Mr. Collins not thus addressed her:

“When I do myself the honour of speaking to you next on the subject, I shall hope to receive a more favourable answer than you have now given me; though I am far from accusing you of cruelty at present, because I know it to be the established custom of your type to reject a tank on the first application, and perhaps you have even now said as much to encourage my suit as would be consistent with the true delicacy of the healing character.”

“Really, Mr. Collins,” cried Elizabeth with some warmth, “you puzzle me exceedingly. If what I have hitherto said can appear to you in the form of encouragement, I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as to convince you of its being one.”

“You must give me leave to flatter myself, that your refusal of my addresses is merely words of course. My reasons for believing it are briefly these: It does not appear to me that my hand is unworthy your acceptance, or that the establishment I can offer would be any other than highly desirable. My situation in life, my connections with the guild of de Bourgh, and my relationship to your own, are circumstances highly in my favour; and you should take it into further consideration, that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of leet raiding may ever be made you. Your gear is unhappily so substandard that it will in all likelihood undo the effects of your loveliness and amiable qualifications. As I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my desire for a healer by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant healers.”

“I do assure you, sir, that I have no pretensions whatever to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable tank. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant healer, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart.”

“You are uniformly charming!” cried he, with an air of awkward gallantry; “and I am persuaded that when sanctioned by the express authority of both your excellent guild leaders, my proposals will not fail of being acceptable.”

To such perseverance in wilful self-deception Elizabeth would make no reply, and immediately and in silence withdrew; determined, if he persisted in considering her repeated refusals as flattering encouragement, to apply to her GM, whose negative might be uttered in such a manner as to be decisive, and whose behavior at least could not be mistaken for the affectation and coquetry of an elegant healer.

Posted in Pride and Prejudice, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Circling back around

I talked about applications a while ago, asking what people thought of them in general. I now want to go ahead and dump some text here for a critique from anyone who would be so kind. We’re still hammering things out, but I am interested to know what an outsider would think of our app. I would also be very interested to know if there are any questions we do have that we shouldn’t or should have but don’t. In short, what do you think of this from the point of view of a potential applicant? And what do you think of it from the point of view of someone trying to screen people?

Please note that parts of this are incomplete/not here because this is a first draft and references things that will be on the forums when this goes live but that are not there yet.

Intro

WWAB is a guild that puts real life first while still trying to progress in raiding 10-man raids and conquering content while it is still current. We raid three nights a week. While we will try to make raiding available to everyone who wants to participate, we have to keep in mind class balance and probability of success.

As a raider you are expected to sign up, show up, and be prepared. More details in our raid document [link]. As such, we are looking for responsible individuals who have decent control over their playtimes so they can commit to raid times in advance, and give advance notice if they can’t make it for whatever reason. While as a casual raiding guild, we do not expect people to farm the best of the best, we do expect reasonable out-of-raid effort to improve gear, obtain consumables, and research their class and the encounters.

If you are not interested in raiding, we still accept casual guild members, though there may not be as many organized activities for you.

General/Guild Questions

How did you hear about War Within A Breath (WWAB)? Do you know any current guild members?
What about WWAB do you like? Why do you think you’d be a good fit for our guild?
How long have you been playing WoW?
Please provide a history of guilds you have been in, and why you left them.
What is your main character (provide armory link)?
Do you have any alts that you would plan on bringing to the guild? How much time do you tend to work on alts versus your main?
Do you have any alts that you would plan on keeping in another guild on this server?

Raiding Questions

What is your raiding experience?
Where do you go to learn information on your class and raiding encounters?
How much of our raiding schedule [link to topic] will you be able to make with consistency?
Will any of our raiding requirements (Omen, DBM, Ventrilo, authenticator, preparation, or other requirements) be a challenge for you? If so, explain.
What is your favorite trick for adding a little extra dps/hps/tps?
Do you mind wiping on new bosses and farming for repair costs needed (WWAB does not subsidize raiding and expects that flasks, food and repair costs be provided by the raider)?

Personal Questions

Pirate or Ninja?
How old are you?
Tell us a little about yourself. What would you like us to know?
What sort of sense of humor do you have or what type of humor do you find most funny?
Which do you value more: Progression or friendship?

Posted in Leadership, Raiding | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments