Profession-centric leveling and why I shouldn’t do it

So I’ve been on Moonrunner for a while, right? And when I switched servers from Azuremyst I got all, “I don’t need to pay real money for transferring all my alts! I will just roll new ones!”

This was all well and good, but then I got this crazy notion that I should make as many of my alts as possible into Transmute Alchemists so that I could… I don’t even know…. make bank on Living Steel or whatever the next equivalent is.

Armed with a plan, if not with a terribly clear goal, I put my otherwise unplayed-since-hitting-90 rogue to work. And I organized all my alts in a spreadsheet, making sure that they had Alchemy and something else, probably another crafting profession, because I have a thing about having all the crafting professions. So my rogue farmed. A lot. Ore, herbs and then more of both.

I started living for the advent of the Darkmoon Faire because FREE 5 POINTS OF SKILLUPS, MAN!!! and nearly every character I have now carries around a stack of Moonberry Juice just so that I have it when it’s time to get those Alchemy points.

Over time, my spreadsheet evolved (largely due to At also thinking for some reason that Many Alchemists, Handle It! is the way to go) until it has actually started to dictate which of my alts is going to get to see some playtime.

professions

Right now, my shaman is closest to the next level and to being fully maxed out in both professions, so that makes her the priority. My warlock obviously has the furthest to go1, but I also craftily left her 20 skill points in both of her professions so that I can not feel bad about going to the Faire on her before she gets leveled further.

And that’s why I shouldn’t let my professions be dictating who I play. Because I get all dumb and bent out of shape over things that don’t matter in the long run. Five skill points a month for FREE isn’t a lot, but I work my gaming life around it anyway.

I think this is what happens when I have no one to talk to and no one to do anything with.

Please send halp.

  1. The hunter is exempt from this, being a part of Project QuATT
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Lady in Red

Alas ditched her ugly pink and green Outlands getup and went red:

Red Alas

I think this is a change we can all live with. As fun as it was being a nerve-jangling eyesore (for about five minutes), I find a return to something simple makes me feel better about seeing her on the screen. Now if I just address her bag space problem, maybe she’ll feel playable again. If not, the army of alts is a nice diversion.

Posted in Mage Related, Screenshots | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Hope

As a followup to my last post, I want to talk about my One Word for 2014: Hope. As I mentioned previously, this is going to be quite a bit more personal than last year’s word was, and probably emotional, at least for me.

Why Hope?

After more than ten years of marriage, several of which had been spent believing that it just wasn’t possible without serious medical intervention, I ended up discovering on September 30, that I was pregnant.

It was shocking. I cried.

I felt a lot of different things over the weeks that followed. I was mostly just surprised, but there was a bit of fear, a lot of uncertainty, some days of pure ambivalence and moments of sheer dislike (for the various “joys” of being pregnant more than anything else). But most of all, I was really happy about the pregnancy. I grew up thinking occasionally about what it would be like some day to have children. Children were always in the plan until it seemed like they weren’t. To have that plan suddenly revitalized and dropped in my lap was overwhelming, in both good and bad ways.

The most difficult thing for the first several weeks was not talking about it. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Except I didn’t, because that first trimester can be so chancy.

So I kept my mouth shut, except for with a few people. And I didn’t tell anyone except for those people about all the other things that suddenly became huge considerations. Like that we were going to sell my new car and the house because otherwise, once I wasn’t earning my income, we were going to eventually end up in a financial hole.

Long story short, I kept a lid on things and finally endured enough days and weeks to go to my first midwife appointment. Going in, I had a premonition that there wouldn’t be a heartbeat and I’m glad I did, because I think that lessened the shock of discovering that, in fact, my baby had no heartbeat and a miscarriage was imminent.

Three days later, I did miscarry. I would have been 12 weeks had the pregnancy remained viable.

After the numbness passed, there was more tears and more mixed emotions, but mostly there was grief. There still is. I don’t believe this is something I’ll ever really full get over.

At and I would talk about various things in the days that followed. Did we want to try again? Did we want to try try or just not prevent? Was he okay? Was I okay? Talking about my pregnancy in the past tense was surprisingly difficult and I eventually got fed up with referring to the baby as an “it.” So I told At I believed he had been a boy but that I still wanted to name him Hope, because whatever, it wasn’t like anyone would pick on him at school. At countered with his belief that she had been a girl, and he thought Hope was fine name in any event because that’s what she had brought us.

So we named our baby Hope. And hope is my One Word for 2014, because, for as difficult and terrible as it was for me to miscarry, I don’t regret that any of it happened. I learned a lot about myself along the way, and I think I have grown as a person as a result. I also feel that my marriage is stronger now than it was before. There was plenty of good mixed in with the bad.

As I greet 2014, I want to do so with hope in my heart and a reminder that I get to choose to be thankful, or to look on the bright side. I get to choose to change my life if I want. I get to choose to try again.

And I get to choose to talk about the whole experience now and how it has impacted me. I honestly feel a bit like a fraud saying things like, “When I was pregnant,” even to At, just as a frame of reference for the time I’m talking about. But just because I didn’t tell many people about my pregnancy when it was happening doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen and didn’t change me profoundly.

I want to let it continue to change me. I’ve never been an optimistic person before, but given all the circumstances of the past few months, I really want to learn to allow myself to always hope for better days.

Do you have a One Word for 2014? What is it?

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A One Word 2013 Retrospective

We’re creeping up the end of 2013 and I’m as shocked as anyone at how quickly it has gone by. At the beginning of the year, I blogged briefly about my One Word for 2013 and how I wanted to apply Focus to my life.

In that post, I talked about a few things I wanted to focus on. So how did I do?

Weight Loss

I did fairly well here. I wasn’t always totally committed to Weight Watchers, but neither was ever totally uncommitted to it. I honestly couldn’t say how much I have lost over this past year (not currently being subscribed to WW because reasons), but I definitely lost! As of this writing, I am only one pant size away from what the top end of my goal weight range was and have reached the top end of my healthy BMI. I have 15-20 pounds more to go and I’m hopeful that 2014 will see that happen.

Writing

I also did fairly well here, although I can’t claim that I was ever entirely focused on this either. Still, I made myself a sort of sub-resolution that I would finish a certain writing project. As of now, I have two chapters to go to reach the end of it. For me, that’s only about 7000-9000 words. Definitely achievable before the calendar rolls over, especially since December tends to be slow at work. It’s been a good experience and I’m eager to get started on the next book.

WoWing

This was certainly the area where I did the worst this past year, and I can’t honestly say I care. I think things would have been different had my guild continued to raid, but it didn’t. Without that and with a hefty does of being unwilling to try to find a new New Guild when I had just gotten comfortable in ProCo, there was simply no incentive for me to keep up on my gearing or to keep playing at all. I’m still dabbling, but I’m also dabbling in SWTOR again more recently, and may at least run some Story Mode Ops with some old friends.

Other General Stuff

I didn’t touch too much on the personal areas I wanted to focus on except to say I wanted to develop some better friendships with local people. There were some mixed results there, with one of my friend prospects turning out to be an insane narcissist and another of them not ending up that being all that close of a friendship. That might be for the best since the not-that-close-but-still-friends person is moving away in a few weeks. Still, I did more with more people this year and that was difficult for me, but also rewarding, so I am calling it a win.

Looking Ahead

As I look ahead to 2014, I have a new word all picked out. That will be its own blog post though, as it has a lot to do with my recent loss and will doubtless be an emotional topic for me to try writing about.

Before I go, I want to say that I hope everyone else had an excellent 2013. I haven’t been around much and I’m not sure I see that changing, but having this outlet and the few hangers-on from when I was more active has always been a comfort to me. I love you guys and wish you all the best, as well as a safe and happy New Year.

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On Returns

Ah, BlizzCon. An exciting time even for those of us who are keeping up only by virtue of Twitter or gaming news sites. Exciting even for those of us who haven’t been logged in for several months.

I won’t even attempt to add to the discussion surrounding the announcements of the new xpac and all the changes and additions that should come along with that. I will say I have liked more or less everything I have seen and heard, particularly that part where it’ll be a full 10-level xpac. Call me old-fashioned, but the 5-level xpacs never sat right with me. It might be my love of even numbers talking there.

I can certainly see myself coming back to the game when the xpac drops, though probably not much before. The main hurdle as I see it is that I don’t have a guild to come back to. The secondary problem is that I’m not sure what sort of guild I’ll even be looking for when it comes time, except to say that I would like to see a few familiar faces from the WoW community at large and I will need it to be active, even if I’m not directly part of the activity. The crushing silence of a mostly-dead guild got to be too much for even my introverted ass to handle in the last few months I was playing.

Part of me thinks about making a go of rebuilding Eff, possibly on another server since Azuremyst is out of the question. I doubt it would actually happen. While I can think of one or two people who might join me, the sad truth is that most of my pre-existing WoW family no longer plays the game and isn’t likely to make a return. Also, I’m aware that my Real Life situation might not permit me to take the time that is involved in GMing, let alone Srs Raiding.

And do I want to start over on another server again? I put a lot of effort into supporting alts on both Azuremyst and Moonrunner. Walking away from the Moonrunner alts might be more effort than I can make.

All in all, I have a lot to sort out. Lucky for me I’ll have time to do so. At least I know I will be back and I am excited to see what they will have to offer for end game content!

Posted in Eff the Ineffable, Leadership, Leveling, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wherein it becomes even more apparent that I need to get Zel back to playing WoW because she is comedy gold

Conversation1 this afternoon between me and Zel. You guys remember her. She’s freaking hilarious and I miss her snark in the green text that is guild chat.

Zel: so the lawyers in your office remind me of my cat
when I bring fresh water out, she has to drink it all
like just snarfs it up
and then gets this LOOK and yaks it all up and spins around like a damn sprinkler
and I’m wiping mostly water off the floor with the occasional bit of cat food in it
going GODDAMMIT
and that is what I imagine your office like
they all flock as soon as you put something out and then make the biggest mess they possibly can

Alas: That is… accurate

  1. Edited slightly for maximum readability
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Procrastination is for winners

So it’s almost July 1, and I finally decided that maaaybe I should work on getting a Google Reader replacement. Thank goodness for Grimm’s recent reminder that I would therefore also need to work on the good old blogroll. You’re a champ, Grimm.

I worked on it today since I was feeling all self-satisfied about having gotten a Reader replacement, and added some new categories. A lot of blogs have gone all defunct on me1, so I was way overdue for a pruning. What few WoW blogs I do still read made for a small and dispiriting list, so I decided to toss some other categories up there. It’s all still a work in progress as I seem to have somehow lost some feeds along the way. I’ll get there eventually. You know, if the procrastination doesn’t set in alongside my general apathy and cripple all my good intentions.

Anyhow, if you’re a blogger of some stripe and you have some reason to think that I do read you and managed to leave you off a list, let me know. If you are on the list and something is wrong, let me know that, too. Adding links in manually is so effing painful that I stopped paying close attention somewhere after the fifth or sixth one.

  1. I remained subbed to all of these, but generally speaking, if there was not a post within the last three months, I didn’t make a link.
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Odds and Ends

Remember when I had something to write about every day?

Me neither.

Oh well. Writing has not been something for which I have had much mojo lately, for which I blame several stressful months at work. At least my terrible coworker is finally gone and the good coworker who precipitated the whole mess by going part-time in the first place is back to being full-time and I stuck him with my old hours and my old job. That’ll teach him to leave.

I have been playing WoW somewhere in all the odd moments of time to myself but there hasn’t been anything super exciting going on. Nothing that seemed to merit its own blog post, anyhow. But if I put it all together in one mess of a post? Well, it’s still not that exciting but it is what you get today.

The guild remains quiet and not raiding, which is still a bit sad but not enough to make me pursue those fleeting thoughts I have about starting up my own guild and recruiting and remembering why being a peon is so nice and being a guild leader isn’t.

Besides, my army of alts is still keeping me plenty busy. Franq is 87 and still spends all her time running around with At’s Druid. He’s a bear and she’s finally started to live up to her name by having gone resto. The spell I accidentally cast the most and at the worst possible times? Tranquility. I really ought to make a macro that points out in some clever fashion that Franquility is casting Tranquility. Again. Even though we’re all just standing around trying to decide what to roll on the loot that just dropped and no one is even thinking of taking damage.

In other news, my rogue went Gnome and changed her name. I just dislike the dwarf models enough that I couldn’t stand playing Alexxira any more and what use is a level 90 that I won’t play even long enough to do farm dailies and such? None. I haven’t done much more with her in her smaller state, but she sure is cute!

As cute as a Gnome can be, anyway, seeing as how they are vaguely creepy.

As cute as a Gnome can be, anyway, seeing as how they are vaguely creepy.

When I’m not on an alt, which is rare, I’ve been working on pet gathering on Alas. I’m working on the Raiding with Leashes II achievement, which has been slow-going with only three pets in the same number of weeks.

I did, however, somehow manage to finally obtain this:

Totally disappointed with the mount, to be honest.

Totally disappointed with the mount, to be honest.

And yesterday I finally managed to find the wherewithal to finish beating the Outland Pet Tamers. Pet battling is just barely manageable when I barely pay attention to it while I’m indulging my shameful Candy Crush addiction on the second monitor.

Naming pets is far more enjoyable, but that has also been a slow process. I was pleased to finally come up with a good name for my Lil’ XT yesterday. I was yelling “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!” at the screen as he did his tympanic tantrum and then commented to At that I am always reminded of Tamarind’s having described Lil’ XT as a “histrionic little bastard” and… well…

Although "Lil' Bastard" would have been fun, too

Although “Lil’ Bastard” would have been fun, too

Last but not least, I’ve indulged in a bit of ‘mogging recently, tired as I was of Alas’ all-white look. The result of my careful planning and dedicated gathering is rather epic, if I do say so myself.

Now that your eyes are bleeding, I'll call this post a wrap

Now that your eyes are bleeding, I’ll call this post a wrap

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a long-neglected hunter who is waiting to finish up her Loremaster of Northrend achievement. Project QuATT will eventually see an end. Probably. Eventually.

Posted in Leveling, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Engineers. What a bunch of bastards.

One of the best things about having parked my boatload of baby alts in the Shrine is that they usually get a chance to be the toon to talk to the Blingtron 4000 and have a chance at getting 5 free profession skill-ups.

Profession skill points are one of those things you sort of grow to covet when you decide to make nearly every character you have a dual-production profession character. Like I did. When I decided I needed an army of alchemists, with 7/10 of my existing toons busily engaged in making potions and flasks in a bid to corner any current and future transmute markets.

But that’s another story and not a very exciting one. It’s just the reason why seeing this in the Shrine one day made me see red:

Rude

I ran around the Shrine for… a while, trying to track that sucker down. Was it downstairs and outside? Was it on the roof? Was it upstairs on one of those inside balconies, appearing to be more central on my minimap than it actually was?

No, no and no. It was on a random platform just inside the door, far out of reach for any of my baby toons who cannot fly at all anywhere, let alone Pandaria.

I sulked.

I growled a bit.

When At started laughing and saying he was going to find even more difficult-to-reach places, I declared that Engineers must have an inherent jerkishness that makes them quite unpleasant to even be around.

Out of reach

 

I mean, really. Don’t they know that Blingtrons are for me and my use?

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Focus, several months later

I blogged towards the beginning of the year that I wanted to make my One Word for 2013 be the word “Focus.” I’ve been awfully quiet around here as of late, so here’s a quick post talking about my progress so far.

Let’s start with the good, shall we?

Writing

Not only have I been working diligently on my fiction, I’ve been working on the project I’ve determined to get finished this year. Just yesterday I took all the words from all the individual documents (I post it to ff.net so it’s been easier to write it literally a chapter at a time) and compiled them into one big document. My word count is sitting just a hair under 64000, so I’m pretty close to getting that finished up. It could be anywhere from 40-60k words more, but I am less concerned about that than I am in actually telling the story. Plot-wise, we’ve turned a major corner, so I’d put things at roughly halfway done.

Once I finish that, I’ll be turning to a more serious pursuit. Like, the book I think I could actually make a run at actually publishing. Whenever I can’t bring myself to focus on the JAFF1, I plot ahead for this other project. When I first got the idea for it last October, I immediately hurled some 17k words at it, so I have a decent beginning and almost can’t wait to write more.

All in all, my writing is in a good place. Possibly the best it has been in over five years.

The Social Life

I am very pleased to report that my real life social life has also been going rather well. I’ve made a few friends at work and those interactions have progressed to the point where we’re actually getting together outside of work and I’m actually going to open up my home to one of these women for three weeks while she is between living situations.

I’ve also gotten closer with my sister and a few people from her circle of friends, again, even hosting them on several occasions. As my home is very much my retreat from the world, these are big steps for me. What’s been great is that they haven’t felt like big steps. We’ve just been having stupid amounts of fun and it doesn’t seem to matter where.

I believe At is much relieved to finally have other people to interact with again. Poor little extrovert living with an extreme introvert!

On the downside, I feel like the more time I make for the people I actually see every day, the less I am inclined to socialize online. I’m sure that’s more of a downside for me than it is for anyone who might otherwise be willing me to shut up already on Twitter.

Weight Loss

Coming up in a grey area as having been neither terribly awesome nor terribly terrible is weight loss. My tracking has been out the damn window and with all the social events, I am not eating or drinking as little as I ought to be.

On the other hand, the job is keeping me very active most days. So, I have lost a few pounds but only a few. I keep telling myself to focus and to track and combine the activity with a rigorous approach to eating, but my best intentions keep getting swept away on the weekends when I share a meal and some wine with friends. Sometimes multiple days in a row.

All of that being said, I totally need to get out and buy some smaller pants and that’s always a good feeling.

WoW

Of all things, my focus in WoW that I had planned to be on my main is coming along the worst. To be fair, there doesn’t seem to be much point in working on my raiding skills when I’m not actually raiding. I’ve stalled out on the new rep grind and the legendary quest line. I’ve only been to the new raids two or three times and haven’t even seen past the turtle boss guy at all. See? I don’t have the slightest idea what his name even is.

My alts are getting most of my attention and time, as I’ve (somewhat ambitiously) decided to make most of them dual production professions. My rogue, who is a dual-gatherer, has been mining and herbing her little heart out and I’ve been trying to establish the flow of materials based on who is the highest level and who is the lowest. I also took the time to get all of my alts up to at least 75 points in both of their primary professions and all but one of the secondary professions (archaeology being too painful to level without flying, imo) in time for the Darkmoon Faire.

Next month, I will have to take care not to attempt to run all of them through the Faire in the same day as that got very tedious. But it is over and done for this month and I am blissfully ignoring the Faire dailies since I have all the mounts and pets at last.

Looking Ahead

As this year continues to turn, I plan to keep my focus on my writing and the weight loss issue. I feel that my social life is happening naturally enough at this point that I don’t need to push myself to get out there and do more. If there is a shift back towards raiding in my guild, I’ll worry then about really being diligent on Alas, but feel that it’s okay to be a bit lackadaisical about her now.

An area that I would like to add to focus on is in developing my career. What I said about my book above notwithstanding, I don’t want to work a succession of crappy, low paying jobs just to write. I am proving to myself that I can fit it in when I make it a priority and I’d like to transition to a career that will be an actual career.

The idea has stumped me until recently, since I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted to do that I had much of a prayer of getting into. After all, I’ve spent over a year watching my company’s postings looking for the “dream job” and the closest I can get to it seems to be a part time shift with crap hours.

I’ve at last landed on obtaining my PMP certification and hopefully breaking into doing Project Management for IT. It seems like something that my skills would complement nicely while also being something that would challenge me.

Anyhow, that’s how my year of focus is shaping up so far. Maybe in another couple months I’ll get desperate enough to blog again that I’ll give another update. I haven’t even posted this one yet (well, I will have by the time you’re reading it, but… whatever) and I can practically feel the excitement you guys have in all the boring details of my boring life.

  1. Again, a vaguely steampunk/urban fantasy Pride & Prejudice; ping me for a link if that is your cup of tea, though I will throw disclaimers at you first
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