Midsummer – how do I love and loathe thee?

Ahh, midsummer. A holiday that rather puzzlingly starts right about the same time as actual summer. Ever since the first year I did this it has been both my most and least favorite of the holidays.

The first year I did it, it was pre-achievement system but I still ran around with my guild-mates, bowing at every Alliance fire I could find and pissing on the Horde ones – which is hard to do as a girl, just saying. It was probably the most fun I’d ever had with a holiday, as I cackled madly about the gold influx I was getting just for running around and gleefully ignored all pesky torch juggling quests after I tried and failed to get them right in Ironforge and Stormwind. (Exodar for the win on that one)

We also managed to get in a bit of PvP here and there, mostly in Tanaris. It was quite fun, largely because the Horde that attacked us kept backing into the bruisers and getting pummeled. To add insult to injury, we killed a few flight masters wherever we were attacked.

My alts loved it, too. While I never tried to hit every fire in the world on my low-levels, I could certainly be found whirling madly around every pole I saw in order to gain that lovely buff to XP.

I loved the holiday so much that last year I resolved to do as much with it as I could on every character I could. That was a hellish mistake. It started out well enough, as we were able to make whole raids of guildies and all travel about the countryside together like some demented motorcycle gang (only it was a motorcycle here and a mammoth there and then a lot of other people on their own various mounts), whooping it up as we desecrated each fire.

I appointed myself Chief Navigator and we made excellent time. The first time was a delight, with all the company and being able to watch any flagged Horde in our path scatter before our sheer numbers.

The second time was less fun, since most people only wanted to go through the trouble on their mains.

The third time was boring as hell.

The fourth time was torment.

The fifth time was agony and not all the gold in the game could have made up for the sheer monotony of hoofing it around. Again.

The sixth time didn’t happen. Nu-uh, no way. Never again.

On top of all this was Ahune, who wasn’t even tuned for level 80’s but who we still went and killed an awful lot anyway for achievements and whatnot. I hate him so much. Still. So of course this year he won’t drop the tanking cloak which is all I want.

Now here we are again, and I somehow managed to spend most of my play time last night running and flying about on At’s mage (while he plays my DK)…. you guessed it, pissing on fires. It’s actually been nice so far, because holy mother do you ever get a lot of XP for absolutely no work. I (on At’s mage) hit 79 partway through Northrend and Outlands, and we still have all of EK and Kal to do.

So now I am somewhat hooked again and wondering if I should prod my useless dinosaur into action and go globe-trotting on the baby huntard. There’s no reason in the world I couldn’t get nearly every fire in Outlands and the old parts of Azeroth, although I do admit I get a little twitchy just thinking about it.

What’s your take on this holiday? Focus as much energy as you can on getting the gold and XP while it’s hot, or ignore it now that your main already has the “pretty” purple drake?

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A love letter

It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives. It’s easy to lose sight of the good when there are so many sources of stress that press in on a daily basis.

I have been caught up in the difficulty inherent in trying to lead a guild. These people are like cats! You can’t just say what’s on your mind because someone might get their feelings hurt! It’s impossible to log on and just play – everyone wants a piece of me! I’m too tired. It’s too hard. Waa! Waa! Waaa!

Boo-fucking-hoo.

Sometimes something slaps you across the face in a way you weren’t expecting. It’s never pleasant but sometimes? Sometimes it’s much better than what might have been had you not received the wake-up call.

I got my wake-up call today. My wallowing hasn’t been pretty or productive and for that, I need to apologize to my guild-mates. Along with the apology, I want to dwell on some positives.

So in no particular order, here are some positives to help light my way.

Ataraxaven – You’re always the first of nearly any list of things that are good in my life. You provide calmness to balance my insanity. You also manage to rile me up when you fall asleep in the middle of a boss fight, but by the time we’re both heading to bed you’ve usually managed to somehow remind me that it’s probably not really worth actually getting angry over. This is astounding since, as you know, I have a lot of rage in my soul.

Asmod – You’re freaking hilarious when you’ve had a few drinks and get chatty in vent. You’ve also given me tons of sound advice, especially over the last few months. I don’t know why you would want to follow me anywhere, let alone actually support me in my tyrannical ways, but I am grateful to have you as a sounding board and as a friend. If you ever try to leave the capacity you now fill, well, I’ll have to cut you.

Jinxy and Noxy – I have to put you two together because even though I knew Noxy for quite some time before there was a Jinxy, I can’t imagine one of you without the other. I love and depend upon our chats at work – both about Azeroth and about the crappy work environment we all share. I’ve also been grateful to have people in town to get together with for the occasional night out – we all need those! A special thank you must go to Noxy for giving me so many terribad puns to groan at. You know I like to be cranky.

Holly – there’s a reason you have your very own tag on my blog. Holly the cheerful Canadian is just how I see you. I know few people so determinedly cheerful and upbeat – and certainly none that I think could match your optimism in the middle of a long night of wiping on the same new content over and over. You also never seem to mind all my terrible Canadian jokes and will just go right on saying “eh” after nearly every sentence. Oh, and that one time you gave my brother a piece of your mind? I still cherish that memory.

Hanse – You’re also patient with my Canadian jokes and are the perfect straight man to Holly’s exuberance. Whether I am calling you Handsy or A-hacks, you never get ruffled. Or maybe you do. Hard to say since you’re so silent ever since Holls took your mic away. I hope you get it back and that I someday get to visit you for a nice flapjack breakfast. Eh. 

Crispy! You’re pretty much the only guy left from our glory days as nubs together. I will never forget some of the ridiculous situations you managed to heal us through – though I sometimes wish I could forget some of our more interesting times in SLabs. Of all the guildies At and I might have decided to stalk IRL, I’m glad it was you. Thanksgiving was awesome and I am still blown away and honored that you would be willing to open your home to us. You still keep me laughing today with your humble attitude (cough) and your professionalism with the ladies (cough cough). I also adore being able to tell the naysayers in my life that WoW can’t possibly be “evil.” We have a pastor in our guild!

Hisper – I can never decide if you’re still new to the guild or if you’ve been with us forever. That’s weird. You’ve done an admirable job (on many occasions) of leading raids and explaining things in a less sporadic manner than what I sometimes blurt out. Thanks for always being willing to fill any spot that needs filling when we’re madly cycling through the roster for weekly badgers.

Yngwe – well, you’re pretty. And you feed on tears. And even though you have only just become an officer, you have also been giving excellent advice on many things for some time. I could wish that your in-game time wasn’t so limited, but I appreciate how much time you’re on the forums trying to make any hunter in WWAB unworthy of being called “huntard.” There may be hope for me yet! Just probably not so long as I have Tamarind the nearly completely worthless around.

Elfindale and Kimber – I think you two ladies are some of the sweetest and most adorable people I know. (A little misguided, Kimber, for thinking it’s great when I pull out my fail tank and flail around at mobs. I suspect you’re really just enjoying the show.) Anyhow, I don’t know either of you as well as I would like, but I enjoy having both of you in raids for your readiness to learn and your perfect willingness to jump in and do your most awesome best on my sketchy instructions.

Azzah – the guy responsible for pretty much all WoW-related activity in my life. You got me into this game and then onto this server and then into this guild. NOW I’M THE BOSS OF YOU. Or I would be if you would play once in a while. I miss your totems. And I miss drunken explanations of boss fights from back in the day. “Okay guysh, thish ish Gruul. And he’sh basically just a hoof and we all need to spread out ‘cept the healersh who… Wait. What I am shaying? Your mana is out of healer!”

Zel and AT&T – You guys are super new to the guild, but I feel that you’re fitting in well and will be (toxic or not) assets on many fronts. I’m still honored you took a chance on us and hopefully the few speedbumps we’ve hit haven’t been too bad. You’re certainly helping to save us from a summer of no raiding, and for that I am grateful.

Dark, Mrs. Dark, Yuengling, Ertas, Shad – you guys are my “sometimes” guys. I “sometimes” get to talk with you, play with you, raid with you. We’ve had times of that happening quite a bit and times of not at all. Those not at all bits are probably all my fault. Please know I’m always happy to see you log on or accept a raid invite or just say hi as I log on to do whatever tasks I’ve set myself to do. I hope we get more chances to hang out in whatever capacity.

And for all those I have listed here, how many more am I missing or have not gotten to know as well as I would like? I’m guessing quite a few. And how many are missing from guild chat if not the corners of my heart? To those who are no longer with me: Kryll, Dargy, Xaney and Sinna (to name a couple) – I miss you all. Kryll was one of the best tanks I’ve ever had the privilege to run with. Dargy was the third paladin in our 3 paladin, 1 mage team, who was ret before ret was viable and who was also awesome to meet over that Thanksgiving. Xaney and Sinna, your in-game bickering was adorable and I dearly miss hearing Xaney needle Asmod and then laugh his rough laugh. Come back to me.

Anyone I missed, I am sorry. These are the burdens of having so many great people around to make WoW better than it could ever be on its own.

Love and smooches and oodles of strudel,

Alas

Posted in Leadership, Open Letters | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

“I have been connected with his guild… from my earliest days of being a noob”

Chapter 16

As no objection was made to the guild’s engagement with their friends, and all Mr. Collins’s scruples of leaving Mr. and Mrs. Bennet for a single evening during his visit were most steadily resisted, the queue conveyed him and his five cousins at a suitable hour to Arathi Basin; and the girls had the pleasure of hearing, as they entered Vent, that Mr. Wickham had accepted the invitation, and was then coming to the raid.

When this information was given, and they had all buffed as much as they were able, Mr. Collins was at leisure to look around him and admire, and he was so much struck with the size and diversity of the pre-made, that he declared he might almost have supposed himself in the third, alts of alts PvP team with <Rosings>; a comparison that did not at first convey much gratification; but when Mrs. Phillips understood from him what <Rosings> was, and who was its proprietor—when she had listened to the description of only one of Lady Catherine’s main tanks, and found that the GearScore of even the alts was above 5000, she felt all the force of the compliment, and would hardly have resented a comparison with the newest recruit.

In describing to her all the grandeur of Lady Catherine and her guild, with occasional digressions in praise of his own humble gear, and the improvements it was receiving, he was happily employed until the gentlemen joined them; and he found in Mrs. Phillips a very attentive listener, whose opinion of his consequence increased with what she heard, and who was resolving to retell it all among her RealID friends as soon as she could. To the girls, who could not listen to Mr. Collins, and who had nothing to do but to wish for the raid to get underway, and examine their own indifferent attempts at gemming for resilience, the interval of waiting appeared very long. It was over at last, however. The gentlemen did approach, and when Mr. Wickham appeared in the battleground, Elizabeth felt that she had neither been seeing him before, nor thinking of him since, with the smallest degree of unreasonable admiration. The officers of the <Meryton Militia> were in general a very creditable, gentlemanlike set, and the best of them were of the present party; but Mr. Wickham was as far beyond them all in person, countenance, air, and walk, as they were superior to the broad-faced, stuffy Mr. Phillips, breathing port wine, who kept emoting that he was drunk.

Mr. Wickham was the happy DK towards whom almost every female eye was turned, and Elizabeth was the happy priest by whom he finally settled himself; and the agreeable manner in which he immediately fell into conversation, though it was only on the virtue of each PvP target, made her feel that the commonest, dullest, most threadbare topic might be rendered interesting by the skill of the speaker.

With such rivals for the notice of the fair as Mr. Wickham and the officers, Mr. Collins seemed to sink into insignificance; to the young ladies he certainly was nothing; but he had still at intervals a kind listener in Mrs. Phillips, and was by her watchfulness, most abundantly supplied with strudel. When the battle began, he had the opportunity of obliging her in turn, by offering to keep close to her that they might work as a team to defend their holdings.

“I know little of the game at present,” said he, “but I shall be glad to improve myself, for in my situation in life—” Mrs. Phillips was very glad for his compliance, but could not wait for his reason.

Mr. Wickham did not play at defense, and with ready delight was he received at the fore of the offense between Elizabeth and Lydia. At first there seemed danger of Lydia’s engrossing him entirely, for she was a most determined talker; but being likewise extremely fond of chain-fearing and dotting up the enemy, she soon grew too much interested in the game, too eager in casting Rain of Fire and exclaiming after honor points to have attention for anyone in particular. Allowing for the common demands of the game, Mr. Wickham was therefore at leisure to talk to Elizabeth, and she was very willing to hear him, though what she chiefly wished to hear she could not hope to be told—the history of his acquaintance with Mr. Darcy. She dared not even mention that gentleman. Her curiosity, however, was unexpectedly relieved. Mr. Wickham began the subject himself. He inquired how in a hesitating manner how long Mr. Darcy had been on the server.

“About a month,” said Elizabeth; and then, unwilling to let the subject drop, added, “He is a man of very good GearScore and raiding experience, I understand.”

“Yes,” replied Mr. Wickham; “his GearScore is a noble one. A clear ten thousand. You could not have met with a person more capable of giving you certain information on that head than myself, for I have been connected with his guild in a particular manner from my earliest days of being a noob.”

Elizabeth could not but look surprised.

“You may well be surprised, Elizabeth, at such an assertion, after seeing, as you probably might, the very cold manner of our meeting yesterday. Are you much acquainted with Mr. Darcy?”

“As much as I ever wish to be,” cried Elizabeth very warmly. “I have spent four days healing heroics for him and his friends and I think him very disagreeable.”

“I have no right to give my opinion,” said Wickham, “as to his being agreeable or otherwise. I am not qualified to form one. I have known him too long and too well to be a fair judge. It is impossible for me to be impartial. But I believe your opinion of him would in general astonish—and perhaps you would not express it quite so strongly anywhere else. Here you are in your own guild.”

“Upon my word, I say no more here than I might say in any guild in the server, except <Netherfield>. He is not at all liked in the whole battlegroup. Everybody is disgusted with his pride. You will not find him more favourably spoken of by anyone.”

“I cannot pretend to be sorry,” said Wickham, after a short interruption, where he had to death grip a mage who tried to keep out of melee range, “that he or that any man should not be estimated beyond their deserts; but with him I believe it does not often happen. The world is blinded by his fortune and consequence, or frightened by his high and imposing manners, and sees him only as he chooses to be seen.”

“I should take him, even on my slight acquaintance, to be an ill-tempered man.” Wickham only shook his head.

“I wonder,” said he, at the next opportunity of speaking, “whether he is likely to be in this server much longer.”

“I do not at all know; but I heard nothing of his going away when I was talking with anyone from <Netherfield>. I hope your plans in favour of the <Meryton Militia> will not be affected by his being in the server.”

“Oh! no—it is not for me to be driven away by Mr. Darcy. If he wishes to avoid seeing me, he must go. We are not on friendly terms, and it always gives me pain to meet him, but I have no reason for avoiding him but what I might proclaim before all the world, a sense of very great ill-usage, and most painful regrets at his being what he is. His former GM, Elizabeth, who now no longer plays, was one of the best men that ever breathed, and the truest friend I ever had; and I can never be in company with Mr. Darcy without being grieved to the soul by a thousand tender recollections. His behaviour to myself has been scandalous; but I verily believe I could forgive him anything and everything, rather than his disappointing the hopes and disgracing the memory of our GM.”

Elizabeth found the interest of the subject increase, and listened with all her heart; but the delicacy of it prevented further inquiry.

Mr. Wickham began to speak on more general topics, the <Meryton Militia>, the server, the guilds he had opportunity to meet, appearing highly pleased with all that he had yet seen, and speaking of the latter with gentle but very intelligible gallantry.

“It was the prospect of constant society, and good society,” he added, “which was my chief inducement to enter the <Meryton Militia>. I knew it to be a most respectable, agreeable guild, and my friend Denny tempted me further by his account of their present server, and the very great attentions and excellent acquaintances this server had procured them. Society, I own, is necessary to me. I have been a disappointed man, and my spirits will not bear solitude. I must have employment and society. A guild where I am not an officer is not what I was intended for, but circumstances have now made it eligible. Being a GM ought to have been my profession—I was brought up for leadership, and I should at this time have been in possession of a most well-run guild, had it pleased the gentleman we were speaking of just now.”

“Indeed!”

“Yes—our former GM bequeathed me the title when he stepped down and left the game. He was my friend, and excessively attached to me. I cannot do justice to his kindness. He meant to provide for me amply, and thought he had done it; but when he left the guild, it was given elsewhere.”

“Good heavens!” cried Elizabeth; “but how could that be? How could his will be disregarded? Why did he not make you GM?”

“I was not online the last night he meant to be in the game. I had intended to be but a real life emergency arose and I was forced to deal with it. A man of honour could not have doubted the intention, but Mr. Darcy chose to doubt it—or to treat it as a merely conditional recommendation, and to assert that I had forfeited all claim to it by extravagance, imprudence—in short anything or nothing. Certain it is, that the GM position became vacant two years ago, exactly as I was of an ability to hold it, and that it was given to another man; and no less certain is it, that I cannot accuse myself of having really done anything to deserve to lose it. I have a warm, unguarded temper, and I may have spoken my opinion of him, and to him, too freely. I can recall nothing worse. But the fact is, that we are very different sort of men, and that he hates me.”

“This is quite shocking! He deserves to be publicly disgraced.”

“Some time or other he will be—but it shall not be by me. Till I can forget our former GM, I can never defy or expose him.”

Elizabeth honoured him for such feelings, and thought of him better than ever as he expressed them.

“But what,” said she, after a pause, “can have been his motive? What can have induced him to behave so cruelly?”

“A thorough, determined dislike of me—a dislike which I cannot but attribute in some measure to jealousy. Had our former GM liked me less, Mr. Darcy might have borne with me better; but our GM’s uncommon attachment to me irritated him, I believe, very early in our time with the guild. He had not a temper to bear the sort of competition in which we stood—the sort of preference which was often given me.”

“I had not thought Mr. Darcy so bad as this—though I have never liked him. I had not thought so very ill of him. I had supposed him to be despising his fellow-creatures in general, but did not suspect him of descending to such malicious revenge, such injustice, such inhumanity as this.”

After a few minutes’ reflection, however, she continued, “I do remember his boasting one day of the implacability of his resentments, of his having an unforgiving temper. His disposition must be dreadful.”

“I will not trust myself on the subject,” replied Wickham; “I can hardly be just to him.”

Elizabeth was again deep in thought, and after a time exclaimed, “To treat in such a manner the friend, the favourite of his GM!” She could have added, “A young man, too, like you, whose very lines of text may vouch for your being amiable”—but she contented herself with, “and one, too, who had probably been his companion from the earliest levels, connected together, as I think you said, in the closest manner!”

“We rolled our first toons in the same server, within the same starting area; the greatest part of our leveling was passed together; inmates of the same party, sharing the same amusements, objects of the same assistance from the guild.”

“How strange!” cried Elizabeth. “How abominable! I wonder that the very pride of this Mr. Darcy has not made him just to you! If from no better motive, that he should not have been too proud to be dishonest—for dishonesty I must call it.”

“It is wonderful,” replied Wickham, “for almost all his actions may be traced to pride; and pride had often been his best friend. It has connected him nearer with virtue than with any other feeling. But we are none of us consistent, and in his behaviour to me there were stronger impulses even than pride.”

“Can such abominable pride as his have ever done him good?”

“Yes. It has often led him to be liberal and generous, to give his money freely, to display hospitality, to assist his friends, and relieve the poor. Pride has done this. Not to appear to disgrace his guild, to degenerate from the popular qualities, or lose the influence of the <Pemberley> guild, is a powerful motive. He has also brotherly pride, which, with some brotherly affection, makes him a very kind and careful guardian of his sister, and you will hear him generally cried up as the most attentive and best of brothers.”

“What sort of girl is his sister?”

He shook his head. “I wish I could call her amiable. It gives me pain to speak ill of a former guildy. But she is too much like her brother—very, very proud. As a low level casual player, she was affectionate and pleasing, and extremely fond of me; and I have devoted hours and hours to her amusement. But she is nothing to me now. She is a well geared girl, and, I understand, highly accomplished. Since her GM quit the game, she has not raided and spends much of her time in crafting.”

After many pauses and many trials of other subjects, Elizabeth could not help reverting once more to the first, and saying:

“I am astonished at his intimacy with Mr. Bingley! How can Mr. Bingley, who seems good humour itself, and is, I really believe, truly amiable, be in friendship with such a man? How can they suit each other? Do you know Mr. Bingley?”

“Not at all.”

“He is a sweet-tempered, amiable, charming man. He cannot know what Mr. Darcy is.”

“Probably not; but Mr. Darcy can please where he chooses. He does not want abilities. He can be a conversible companion if he thinks it worth his while. Among those who are at all his equals in consequence, he is a very different man from what he is to the less geared or experienced. His pride never deserts him; but with the hardcore raiders he is liberal-minded, just, sincere, rational, honourable, and perhaps agreeable—allowing something for fortune and gear.”

The raiding party soon afterwards breaking up, the players each went back to attending to their gear and making repairs. Mr. Collins inserted himself into conversation with Elizabeth. The usual inquiries as to his success was made by the latter. It had not been very great; he had lost every point; but when Mrs. Phillips began to express her concern thereupon, he assured her with much earnest gravity that it was not of the least importance, that he considered the money spent on repairs as a mere trifle, and begged that she would not make herself uneasy.

“I know very well, madam,” said he, “that when persons sit down to PvP, they must take their chances of these things, and happily I am not in such circumstances as to make five gold any object. There are undoubtedly many who could not say the same, but thanks to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, I am removed far beyond the necessity of regarding little matters.”

Mr. Wickham’s attention was caught; and after observing Mr. Collins for a few moments, he asked Elizabeth in a low voice whether Mr. Collins was very intimately acquainted with the guild of <Rosings>.

“Lady Catherine de Bourgh,” she replied, “has very lately given him a raiding spot. I hardly know how Mr. Collins was first introduced to her notice, but he certainly has not known her long.”

“You know of course that Lady Catherine de Bourgh split from the guild of <Pemberly> but that they have always had an alliance.”

“No, indeed, I did not. I knew nothing at all of Lady Catherine’s connections. I never heard of her existence till the day before yesterday.”

“Her daughter, Miss de Bourgh, has a very large fortune, and it is believed that she and Mr. Darcy will reunite the two guilds.”

This information made Elizabeth smile, as she thought of poor Caroline. Vain indeed must be all her attentions, vain and useless her affection for his sister and her praise of himself, if he were already destined for another guild merger.

“Mr. Collins,” said she, “speaks highly both of Lady Catherine and her daughter; but from some particulars that he has related of her ladyship, I suspect his gratitude misleads him, and that in spite of her being his patroness, she is an arrogant, conceited woman.”

“I believe her to be both in a great degree,” replied Wickham; “I have not seen her for some time, but I very well remember that I never liked her, and that her manners were dictatorial and insolent. She has the reputation of being remarkably sensible and clever; but I rather believe she derives part of her abilities from her rank and fortune, part from her authoritative manner, and the rest from the pride for Mr. Darcy, who chooses that everyone connected with him should have an understanding of the first class.”

Elizabeth allowed that he had given a very rational account of it, and they continued talking together, with mutual satisfaction till one of them had to log off for the night.

Posted in Pride and Prejudice, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

My server is down

I’m bored.

Here’s a picture of a toon I’d pretty much forgotten about. She’s on one of the only servers I have a character on that is actually up. I am not sure what she has on her head. But it makes me giggle a bit.

Posted in Screenshots | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

My scary day

I just don’t have time to make an epic tale of this, so I’m going to condense everything into a few points.

1. If you are webmonkey-dumb, like I am, tell whichever webmonkey you might have in your life that they are in charge of all webmonkey business, now and always, amen

2. If said webmonkey comes around and tells you FTP isn’t so scary and here’s how you update plugins, put your fingers in your ears and go “Lalalalala!” so you don’t hear any of it

2a. If you fail to do so, bad things will happen

2b. And the webmonkey won’t necessarily be to blame

3. If something like, oh, I dunno, WordPress starts saying “Hey! Upgrade me to 3.0!” turn around and run the other way. Do not press the button. omg. Stop! Do not press the bu-

3a. WHY? WHY WHY WHY?

3b. PANIC!

3c. OH NOES MY WEBSITE IS BROKEN!

4. Weep

5. Blame the webmonkey for not differentiating well enough between plugins and anything else

6. Get asked by savvy friend whether there was a backup

7. Look about shiftily

8. Admit you have no idea

9. PANIC SOME MORE OH NOES

10. Wait until the next day when webmonkey is actually in the office, so to speak. Cross everything in hopeful anticipation

11. Get good news around noon that website is indeed functional from the admin end once again

12. Throw parade for webmonkey who is now the hero of this tale

13. Vow to never get hands dirty with webmonkey grease ever again

14. Demand that, for the future, webmonkey ensure frequent backups are made

14a. I mean, really

15. Realize that as an act of superior lameness, this should be shared with the internets

15a. Share

15b. Go back to pulling out hair over software and end of fiscal year deadline tomfoolery

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

A mini-rant because I’m still exhasted from my weekend

This post is brought to you by a combination of some posts I’ve skimmed through this morning and my general crankiness at finding myself back at work after a three day weekend that was more exhausting than it was restful.

Know the difference between the following:

  • your/you’re
  • to/too/two
  • its/it’s
  • there/they’re/their
  • here/hear
  • allude/elude
  • illicit/elicit
  • affect/effect
  • pour/pore
  • lie/lay
  • passed/past
  • horde/hoard

And probably a whole lot more I am not thinking of just now. Please also get a firm grasp on when to use an apostrophe and understand that ellipses are not intended to be used in lieu of commas. Yes, we all have our little tics – I tend to use dashes too much myself and if anyone wants to complain at me for it they can. I do try to rein it in however.

There’s another one. Or three.

  • rein/reign/rain
  • capital/capitol
  • principal/principle

When in doubt, look it up. Use a thesaurus or wikipedia or something. My eyes are bleeding over here.

Big words do not make you look smart

Additionally, if you’re going to attempt to sound smarter than you actually are by using 2-bit words, make sure you’re using the correct one, mkay? When in doubt, look it the hell up. I feel an urge to stab people who toss in a word such as “duplicitous” when what they mean is “duplicative.”

Have you heard of this?

There’s this tool available in nearly any word processing software. It’s called spell check. Use it once in a while. It burns my eyes to have to read something along the lines of:

on wensday i had to tank heroc azn nd it wsa terribal cuz the heeler sucked

It burns. My fucking. Eyes.

Also, there’s a difference between heal and heel, just in case anyone was wondering.

Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. I know I’ve made plenty. But there’s an enormous difference between an occasional typo and a constant stream of errors. Read over your posts about three times or get a friend to look them over before posting. Then, perhaps, those of us who do care about these things will actually read your posts instead of merely skimming over them in an effort to keep ourselves from clawing out our own eyes in rage.

Posted in rant, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 41 Comments

My manifesto

A while back, an officer asked me the following:

What exactly are “you” wanting this guild to be as a whole. ( Casual, Raiding, or something else…) reason I ask this, is mainly because of some remarks and ways that some things have been done. Because honestly it seems you are trying to ride a fence of casual/hardcore but the hardcore is mixing with the casual.

My response turned out to be pretty long and passionate, and I thought it would be worth reposting parts of it both here and at my guild forums. Maybe no one else will care, but I think I did a pretty good job of encapsulating what I want for War Within A Breath.

My Manifesto

If it seems as though I am trying to ride a fence, it’s because I am. I value the casual aspect of our guild – wouldn’t trade the “raid whenever, have fun, level” folks for anything. Nor would I want to see that casual aspect sacrificed in the name of raiding.

I equally value the progression raiding / serious aspect of our guild. I would like to see the Lich King down and I would like to see us continue to field at least 10 man raiding. If we ever got to the point where we had enough people to do either two teams or one 25 man, I would be all for it. However, I wouldn’t want to see the dedication and focus sacrificed in the name of being “casual.”

These are two very different mindsets and it’s insanely difficult to try to balance the two within a single guild.

If the “hardcore” mixes with the “casual” or the other way around, I think that’s less a product of me being more for one mindset than the other and more a product of my basic humanity and being imperfect in my actions and decisions. It’s inevitable that I will be mixing and blurring things.


Hardcore and casual aside, I want this guild to be a Jerk Free Zone.

Our underlying governance for the casuals essentially boils down to Don’t Be A Jerk (no begging, no purposefully making other people uncomfortable, no being a greedy little bastard, DO be helpful and contribute, etc. etc. etc.).

Our underlying governance for raiding also boils down to Don’t Be A Jerk (show up on time and ready, be respectful of other people’s time, no you cannot has all the loots, etc. etc. etc.).

Every decision I make regarding this guild, right or wrong, has that interest at heart. This guild is my family – I’ve said it a thousand times.

I want casuals to hang out and have fun and to not feel oppressed by rules and to be able to raid the weekly raids with us and perhaps beyond if they want to put in the effort it takes.

I want raiders to be serious when we’re working on new content, to feel like they can relax and have fun while doing their jobs on content we have on farm.

I want my officers to be present in the game and on the forums, to know both what the letter of our laws and their inherent spirit are and to be able to enforce them as needed. I want officers to uphold the values of the guild in all aspects and to be a cut above everyone else in doing so.

I want a triumvirate of ultimate authority that works to preserve the soul of the guild while also trying to find our best path forward, whether it’s through a patch of guild drama, a new expansion or just a summer of low attendance and high burnout.

That’s what I want, and however unlikely it might seem, I don’t and won’t believe that it’s unreasonable or demanding too much of anyone.

And to that end, I had a brief meeting with my officers last night. I am building the triumvirate to deal specifically with policy-making and also with the more thorny bits of drama. The rest of the officers will continue to be the peace-keepers of the guild – to demote people who get hacked, for example, or to gkick that guy telling racist jokes in guild chat. I am hoping the smaller size of the group of those who have to deal with the crappy situations no one wants to deal with will help us to be more nimble and to make fewer errors in attempting to communicate whatever needs to be communicated.

In the meantime, I have some announcements to make regarding a few promotions I am happy to be handing out. I better get to it.    

Posted in Leadership | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Tamarind the nearly completely useless

When I first decided to capture and tame a dinosaur and name him Tamarind, I thought the idea had come to me only because of Tamarind the blogger’s admiration and strange love affair with dinosaurs of fuck off enormous size.

Then I realized there was something buried even more deeply in my subconscious. Something that demanded that a dinosaur wear a nice tweed jacket and speak with an English accent. Oh, Brandon Sanderson, you clever man, you struck again. (I am half considering giving this site up from being a WoW-centric site and instead devoting myself to worship at Sanderson’s feet) (Seriously – if you’ve not read his books GO AND GET THEM. Here. Here’s one for free online. You’re welcome.)

Ahem. Anyway. Origins of name and the twists of my subconscious aside, Tamarind has been – well – he’s been a pretty worthless pet so far. Part of it is my own fault, of course. I didn’t do enough research on dinosaur ownership and there are some pretty substantial drawbacks to having a dinosaur around, even if he is only moderately sized.

First off, Tamarind has some ridiculous scaly skin. He’s perpetually dried out and flaking all over the place and the amount of dusting and vacuuming I’ve had to do since he’s come into my life has increased exponentially. I mean, just look at him:

Secondly, Tamarind has extremely bad breath. He enjoys carrion meat more than anything else, the older the better. Between that and his mouthful of teeth, you just don’t want to stand anywhere near where Tamarind might be able to breathe on you. Not only will the smell make you woozy as hell, I defy anyone to choke back their gag reflex upon seeing all the remains of whatever his last meal was still caught in stringy bits between his teeth. In fact, just thinking about it, I – I…..

Excuse me. I passed out for a while there.

In addition to Tamarind’s overall lack of attention to matters of hygiene (personal attention, I should say – he’s always begging to have moisturizers and exotic oils rubbed all over his body. He claims his arms can’t reach anything and I suppose there is some truth to that; they are stubby little things), he just doesn’t do much as a pet. His laziness is nearly unparalleled. Every time I try to get him to do anything, I first have to cajole and plead for something like half an hour before he’ll finally give up sunbathing on whatever rock he’s found for the purpose. I keep telling him all that sun exposure won’t do anything good for his skin, but he just looks at me sideways and demands another coat of lotion before we leave to go kill anything.

My leveling has slowed down dramatically. It’s all Tamarind’s fault. None of my other pets gave me half so much trouble.

Even once I’ve finally managed to drag him away from his oils and his sunbathing, he’s nearly useless when it comes to questing. His brain is far too small for him to take in and understand multi-step instructions. I can’t just give him a kill order and expect him to remember, no sir! I have to point at the first guy I want killed and then wait for him to die before then painstakingly pointing at the next target and waiting for Tamarind to turn back around and go after him. It’s like I have to be his damned GPS. “Turn here. Attack that. Now attack that.” It’s exhausting.

He also has no clue of what is going on anywhere other than right in front of him. I might notice that Tamarind is running headlong into a entire pack of enemies, but he’ll blatantly ignore their proximity and focus only on the first thing that snagged his wandering attention. He’s always getting us into fights with extremely bad odds. And once he does, he utterly fails at holding up his end of the brawl. Despite his being a dinosaur, he’ll only barely keep one guy engaged in battle while I am frantically laying traps and juggling the other four or so mobs in a sloppy fashion. At the end of these fights, he’s usually completely fine, nothing worse than a few scratches and I’ve just taken the beating of my life.

Very frequently, he won’t even try to take all the heat from a single mob. I know he looks ferocious in that picture, but he’s really just standing there yelling “SURPRISE BUTTSECKS!” over and over.

And then I’ll feign death.

And then Tamarind will take over, but only after making sure I’ll get stomped on by the mob. Ow.

And then he’ll get everything in sight attacking both of us and then the death will eventually lose its “feign” component.

And then I have to run back alone and find a safe place to rez and then I have to resurrect Tamarind because he’s a lazy, worthless jerk.

Sigh.

When I complain about this behavior, Tamarind blames it on me, saying I told him to be more “aggressive.” So I say, fine, why don’t you just chill a bit, and he takes that to mean I want him to go sunbathe on a rock again while I get my face eaten off by demon pigs. In an attempt to compromise, I ask him to defend me, but he won’t lift a talon until I’ve already been maimed and then he makes only a half-hearted attempt to do the heavy lifting.

I glare and he just gives me his toothy grin and I pass out again.

It gets worse. If I tell Tamarind to follow me and then, in the course of my getting around, jump off a two-foot high rock, he’ll completely wander off to take the super long way down, probably collecting enemies along the way. I think he’s afraid of heights. And possibly mice.

And other people.

Have you ever had to deal with an introverted, emo dinosaur before? I know that before I made him mine, Tamarind was perfectly capable of being the king of his domain and frequently mauled whoever came through the area in order to get his next meal. He could and would chomp through anyone and anything, it didn’t matter if his meal was encased in plate – he could take care of himself. Now, though. Oh, now he’s completely helpless and expects me to feed him. I have to go out and buy meat from a vendor because suddenly he “can’t” just take a nibble out of the latest pig we’ve killed. What the hell, Tamarind? What the hell?

He wears me right out on a daily basis. I ask him to give me a little space from time to time, but not often. When I do that he gets even more emo and the few minutes I have to myself without him hanging around begging for a meal and another application of lotion are hardly worth all the pouting he does.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, DinoTam, Leveling, Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Of cows and guildies

Sometimes, I start things without really meaning to. I don’t blame myself, I blame my pun-loving guildies for taking my throwaway comments and sprinting with them.

Like that whole bit about about cows last week. That was fun.

And this is one of the many reasons I love my guildies. Without them, what would I have to groan at?

And, uh, none of you saw my typo, mkay? Mkay.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Haiku Monday: Ode to Screenshots

Screenshots are awesome
They make blogging easier
I wish I had mine!

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments