How to hide your rage so you look like a civilized GM

I once watched this extremely terrible movie called Vertical Limit. At least, I assume it’s terrible because I don’t remember much about it, other than that there was a lot of snow and a bunch of nuts trying to climb a mountain.

I also remember this quote:

Don’t mind her. She’s French-Canadian. Some days she’s Canadian. Can be quite pleasant. Today she’s obviously French.

This stuck with me because of all my mongrel descent, I’m mostly French-Canadian myself. I wouldn’t say I have too many “Canadian” days, but if we’re going to take a stupid quote from a stupid movie and extrapolate a sweeping generalization that French people have short tempers and/or are jerks, then yes, I have a lot of “French” days.

This doesn’t play well with being an officer, let alone the GM. At least, not in a guild where we’re all expected to be more or less nice to each other. And as someone who firmly believes in leading by example, my weaknesses are a nearly constant source of struggle for me. I’ve been commenting a lot lately in general conversations that I have no business being the GM of WWAB because most of the time, I haven’t any damn idea of just what the fuck I’m doing. I have still less business actually writing about anything leadership-related and expecting people to take me or it seriously. But I do! – err, write that is. I have no expectations of being taken the least bit seriously.

But in my struggles as an officer (and a gentleman GM), I have learned a few things that have helped to make me look less like a raging jerk and more like a civilized and semi-rational sort of creature. Here’s some things I have learned that are helpful to me and that might be helpful to others in the same boat.

1. Have a process for responding to your hot points

Few things make me see red as swiftly as seeing other people being blatantly selfish. People who sign up for a raid and then don’t show up are near the top of the list for me. People who want to bring all their alts through our multiple weekly raiding quest runs while ignoring the fact that someone else’s main still needs a shot at getting in are also there. Those who pull stupid shit in raids just so they can top the damage meters make me want to never invite them to another raid ever again. Officers who don’t do anything that looks even remotely like work but who piss and moan that they don’t like the way the guild is heading make me stabby.

My natural first instinct to most of these things is to call the offender(s) names, bitch about them behind their backs and generally fume until I’m so worked up that I finally explode in a sort volcano of seething rage.

What I’ve been trying to do lately is to have a process set up for how I respond to specific situations. Someone doesn’t show up? I replace them with as little fuss as possible and then, when I see them log on (assuming they log on that same night… otherwise I try to send them a note through some channel or other), I ask them why they failed to show up. I find that it’s easier for me to remain calm even when their reason for no-showing was that they fucked up because I’ve gone into the situation without assuming they fucked up. This helps me to not sound accusatory and prompts the person in question to display more remorse and less defensiveness.

2. Have a place or person to whom you can safely rant

I work out a lot of my immediate and latent anger here on this blog. Every rant I have ever written here is based on something that has happened at some point or another in the guild. That might not work for everyone who blogs – it can feel dicey as hell when I do so here since I don’t hide the fact that I do blog from my guildies and I know several of them read this often enough that they would probably know if I wrote something about them. So far, this hasn’t been a problem for me but I acknowledge the risk and the potential consequences and choose to rant anyway.

I also have several people who are my safe havens if I need to verbally vent my frustrations. At gets this dubious honor most often. It explains that twitch in his right eye.

3. Know thyself

Not in that way, you perverts. I mean, know yourself well enough to know when you’re being an irrational freak. From what I gather from listening to other people, this isn’t an easy thing to do, but I figure if I can train some more remote part of my mind to calmly tell the rest of me when I’m behaving like a lunatic and that I am running on emotions and not logic, surely anyone else could do the same. I haven’t quite gotten a good enough grasp on myself to snap out of my overwrought emotional states, but I am pretty good at not acting on them.

4. Have sounding boards

This is very similar to point number two, but it’s with all the ragey emotion stripped from the equation. When I am unsure of something, or feel I am overthinking it, I like to pose short questions to other people. I’m always asking random crap on Twitter. I’ve asked here on the blog. I have a special forum where, if I’m not ready to present something to the officers as a whole, I’ll put it to a very small sub-group to get their advice and feedback.

I think the most important thing about sounding boards though, is to be sure to consult either a wide range of people or have one person who usually disagrees with you until they can understand your entire thought process. I can’t even tell you the number of times a private conversation or two with my sounding board has caused me to take a step back and look at an issue from a completely new angle.

5. When in doubt, shut the hell up and wait

Patience and calmness are the hardest things for me to work on. I tend to spot an issue and want to work it over until I have a solution or can say I fixed it. But since I am often dealing with other people, the solutions are rarely easy. If I went with the first idea I had on how to fix things, sought no feedback and went at it with an emotional rather than logical slant, well, I’d have a guild comprised of myself and maybe At.

Just last week, I was in a state where I could have done something very, very stupid. I could have torn apart the core of the guild, had I moved forward with any of what I was thinking. This is not to say that I don’t still have a change I want to implement, but acting on it last week would have been a disaster since it was all fueled by emotion. It might still be a disaster even after I come at it again without the rage and angst that was ruling last week. I don’t know.

There’s so much I don’t know and again, I realize I am staggering around blindly, making as many mistakes as I make good efforts. But the exercise has shaped me and changed me, which is pretty awesome considering I play the game for fun – not for it to be an interactive self-help tool. Maybe someday I’ll be more Canadian than French.

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I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding

Chapter 11

When Elizabeth next logged on, it was to find Jane back in the game and able to do jousting dailies, where she was welcomed by her two friends with many professions of pleasure; and Elizabeth had never seen them so agreeable as they were during the hour which passed before the tanks appeared. Their powers of conversation were considerable. They could describe an entertainment with accuracy, relate an anecdote with humour, and laugh at their acquaintance with spirit.

But when the tanks came online, Jane was no longer the first object; Caroline’s eyes were instantly turned toward Darcy, and she had something to say to him before he had greeted anyone. He addressed himself to Jane, with a polite welcome; Mr. Hurst also said he was “very glad;” but diffuseness and warmth remained for Bingley’s salutation. He was full of joy and attention. The first half-hour was spent in offering to tank any group quests she might have, lest she should suffer from incompetent tanks; and she removed at his desire to the other side of the zone, that she might be able to work at some of the dailies he was on. He then joined a party with her, and talked scarcely to anyone else. Elizabeth, at work in Dalaran, saw it all with great delight.

When dailies were over, Mr. Hurst reminded Caroline of the trinket he wished to farm in FoS—but in vain. She had obtained private intelligence that Mr. Darcy did not wish for FoS; and Mr. Hurst soon found even his open petition rejected. She assured him that no one intended to run heroics, and the silence of the whole party on the subject seemed to justify her. Mr. Hurst had therefore nothing to do, but to spend time attempting to fish up the turtle mount. Darcy took up a reputation grind; Caroline did the same; and Louisa, principally occupied in working on her jewelcrafting, joined now and then in Bingley’s conversation with Jane.

Caroline’s attention was quite as much engaged in watching Mr. Darcy’s progress through his rep grind, as in attending to her own; and she was perpetually either making some inquiry, or looking at wowhead for advice. She could not win him, however, to any conversation; he merely answered her question, and ground on. At length, quite exhausted by the attempt to be amused with her own rep grind, which she had only chosen because she had always wanted to be loved in a tunnel, she gave a great yawn and said, “How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like working on achievements! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a rep grind! When I have another alt of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not many exalted reputations.”

No one made any reply. She then yawned again, hearthed to Dalaran, and cast her eyes round the screen in quest for some amusement; when hearing Bingley mentioning a raid to Jane in vent, she said:

“By the bye, Bingley, are you really serious in meditating a raid at ICC? I would advise you, before you determine on it, to consult the wishes of the present party; I am much mistaken if there are not some among us to whom a raid would be rather a punishment than a pleasure.”

“If you mean Darcy,” cried Bingley, “he may go to bed, if he chooses, before it begins—but as for the raid, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made fish feasts enough, I shall send round my invitations.”

“I should like raids infinitely better,” she replied, “if they were carried on in a different manner; but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of killing were made the order of the day.”

“Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a raid.”

Caroline made no answer, and soon afterwards she began linking her gear in their shared channel. Her gear was elegant, and she gemmed well; but Darcy, at whom it was all aimed, was still inflexibly studious. In the desperation of her feelings, she resolved on one effort more, and, addressing Elizabeth, said:

“Miss Eliza, let me persuade you to follow my example, and link your gear. I assure you it is very refreshing to gather other people’s opinions of your enchants and gemming.”

Elizabeth was surprised, but agreed to it immediately. Caroline succeeded no less in the real object of her civility; Mr. Darcy looked at the shared channel. He was as much awake to the novelty of attention in that quarter as Elizabeth herself could be, and unconsciously ceased his rep grind. He was directly invited to join their party, but he declined it, observing that he could imagine but two motives for their choosing to link their gear together, with either of which motives his joining them would interfere. “What could he mean? She was dying to know what could be his meaning?”—and asked Elizabeth whether she could at all understand him?

“Not at all,” was her answer; “but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it.”

Caroline, however, was incapable of disappointing Mr. Darcy in anything, and persevered therefore in requiring an explanation of his two motives.

“I have not the smallest objection to explaining them,” said he, as soon as she allowed him to speak. “You either choose this method of passing the evening because you are in each other’s confidence, and have stat stacking to discuss, or because you are conscious that your gear appears to the greatest advantage in comparing cloth to cloth; if the first, I would be completely in your way, and if the second, I can admire you much better as I do not compare it to tanking plate.”

“Oh! shocking!” cried Caroline. “I never heard anything so abominable. How shall we punish him for such a speech?”

“Nothing so easy, if you have but the inclination,” said Elizabeth. “We can all plague and punish one another. Tease him—laugh at him. Intimate as you are, you must know how it is to be done.”

“But upon my honour, I do not. I do assure you that my intimacy has not yet taught me that. Tease calmness of manner and presence of mind! No, no—feel he may defy us there. And as to laughter, we will not expose ourselves, if you please, by attempting to laugh without a subject. Mr. Darcy may hug himself.”

“Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at!” cried Elizabeth. “That is an uncommon advantage, and uncommon I hope it will continue, for it would be a great loss to me to have many such acquaintances. I dearly love a laugh.”

“Caroline,” said he, “has given me more credit than can be. The wisest and the best of men—nay, the wisest and best of their actions—may be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke.”

“Certainly,” replied Elizabeth—”there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without.”

“Perhaps that is not possible for anyone. But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule.”

“Such as vanity and pride.”

“Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride—where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”

“Your examination of Mr. Darcy is over, I presume,” said Caroline; “and pray what is the result?”

“I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise.”

“No,” said Darcy, “I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding—certainly too little for the convenience of a guild. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”

That is a failing indeed!” cried Elizabeth. “Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me.”

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil—a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”

“And your defect is to hate everybody.”

“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them.”

“Do let us have a little PvP,” cried Caroline, tired of a conversation in which she had no share.

The party had not the smallest objection, and the battleground was queued for; and Darcy, after a few moments’ recollection, was not sorry for it. He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention.

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

Haiku Monday?

I, Alastriona

Am an arcane mage of doom

Pew pew pew pew pew

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Just when you thought I wouldn’t post…

I had to say something. It’s like a drug to me.

Okay, not really.

Well, maybe.

Um, while I sort out my feelings, please enjoy this delightful comment. I think it’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

You got a positively practical blog I have been here reading in behalf of yon an hour. I am a newbie and your triumph is selfsame much an sparkle in the direction of me.

Okay, no, it was just really weird and I giggled.

Scattered Alas is scattered. Graduation (and family and friends incoming) is tomorrow, but hopefully things will settle down a bit after that (she says, thinking of the job hunting and house selling that will ensue).

Posted in Real Life, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chappy 10

The day passed much as the day before had done. Louisa and Caroline had spent some hours of the morning running dailies; and in the evening Elizabeth joined their party. The LFD screen, however, did not appear. Mr. Darcy was writing something on the forums although he was logged into Vent, and Caroline was repeatedly calling off his attention by messages to his sister. Mr. Hurst and Mr. Bingley were dueling, and Louisa was observing their game.

Elizabeth took up some tailoring, and was sufficiently amused in attending to what passed between Darcy and his companion. The perpetual commendations of the lady, either on his vocabulary, or on the conciseness of his paragraphs, or on the length of his post, with the perfect unconcern with which her praises were received, formed a curious dialogue, and was exactly in union with her opinion of each.

“How delighted everyone will be to read such a post!”

He made no answer.

“You type uncommonly fast.”

“You are mistaken. I type rather slowly.”

“How many posts you must have occasion to write in the course of a year! Posts of business, too! How odious I should think them!”

“It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of yours.”

“Pray tell your sister that I long to see her.”

“I have already told her so once, by your desire.”

“I am afraid you do not like your keyboard. Let me get you a wireless one for you. I spend money remarkably well.”

“Thank you—but I prefer this keyboard.”

“How can you contrive to type without making many mistakes?”

He was silent.

“Tell your sister I am delighted to hear of her improvement with her offspec; and pray let her know that I am quite in raptures with her ability to choose her professions, and I think her infinitely superior to Miss Grantley.”

“Will you give me leave to defer your raptures till she is in the room again? At present she is in the kitchen.”

“Oh! it is of no consequence. I shall see her when next she logs on. But do you always write such charming long posts, Mr. Darcy?”

“They are generally long; but whether always charming it is not for me to determine.”

“It is a rule with me, that a person who can write a long post with ease, cannot write ill.”

“That will not do for a compliment to Darcy, Caroline,” cried Bingley, “because he does not write with ease. He studies too much for words of four syllables. Do not you, Darcy?”

“My style of writing is very different from yours.”

“Oh!” cried Caroline, “Bingley writes in the most careless way imaginable. He leaves out half his words, and misspells the rest.”

“My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them—by which means my posts sometimes convey no ideas at all to anyone who reads them.”

“Your humility, Mr. Bingley,” said Elizabeth, “must disarm reproof.”

“Nothing is more deceitful,” said Darcy, “than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”

“And which of the two do you call my little recent piece of modesty?”

“The indirect boast; for you are really proud of your defects in writing, because you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness of execution, which, if not estimable, you think at least highly interesting. The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance. When you told Mrs. Bennet this morning that if you ever resolved upon quitting the server you should be gone in five minutes, you meant it to be a sort of panegyric, of compliment to yourself—and yet what is there so very laudable in a precipitance which must leave very necessary business undone, and can be of no real advantage to yourself or anyone else?”

“Nay,” cried Bingley, “this is too much, to remember at night all the foolish things that were said in the morning. And yet, upon my honour, I believe what I said of myself to be true, and I believe it at this moment. At least, therefore, I did not assume the character of needless precipitance merely to show off before the ladies.”

“I dare say you believed it; but I am by no means convinced that you would be gone with such celerity. Your conduct would be quite as dependent on chance as that of any man I know; and if, as you were entering your credit card information, a friend were to say, ‘Bingley, you had better stay till next week,’ you would probably do it, you would probably not go—and at another word, might stay a month.”

“You have only proved by this,” cried Elizabeth, “that Mr. Bingley did not do justice to his own disposition. You have shown him off now much more than he did himself.”

“I am exceedingly gratified,” said Bingley, “by your converting what my friend says into a compliment on the sweetness of my temper. But I am afraid you are giving it a turn which that gentleman did by no means intend; for he would certainly think better of me, if under such a circumstance I were to give a flat denial, and transfer as fast as I could.”

“Would Mr. Darcy then consider the rashness of your original intentions as atoned for by your obstinacy in adhering to it?”

“Upon my word, I cannot exactly explain the matter; Darcy must speak for himself.”

“You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged. Allowing the case, however, to stand according to your representation, you must remember, Elizabeth, that the friend who is supposed to desire his staying on the server, and the delay of his plan, has merely desired it, asked it without offering one argument in favour of its propriety.”

“To yield readily—easily—to the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you.”

“To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either.”

“You appear to me, Mr. Darcy, to allow nothing for the influence of friendship and affection. A regard for the requester would often make one readily yield to a request, without waiting for arguments to reason one into it. I am not particularly speaking of such a case as you have supposed about Mr. Bingley. We may as well wait, perhaps, till the circumstance occurs before we discuss the discretion of his behaviour thereupon. But in general and ordinary cases between friend and friend, where one of them is desired by the other to change a resolution of no very great moment, should you think ill of that person for complying with the desire, without waiting to be argued into it?”

“Will it not be advisable, before we proceed on this subject, to arrange with rather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain to this request, as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between the parties?”

“By all means,” cried Bingley; “let us hear all the particulars, not forgetting their comparative height and size; for that will have more weight in the argument, Elizabeth, than you may be aware of. I assure you, that if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow, in comparison with myself, I should not pay him half so much deference. I declare I do not know a more awful object than Darcy, on particular occasions, and in particular places; at a raid especially, and of a Sunday evening, when he has nothing else to do.”

Mr. Darcy did not argue further; but Elizabeth thought she could perceive that he was rather offended, and therefore checked her laugh. Caroline warmly resented the indignity he had received, in an expostulation with her brother for talking such nonsense.

“I see your design, Bingley,” said his friend. “You dislike an argument, and want to silence this.”

“Perhaps I do. Arguments are too much like disputes. If you and Elizabeth will defer yours till I am out of Vent, I shall be very thankful; and then you may say whatever you like of me.”

“What you ask,” said Elizabeth, “is no sacrifice on my side; and Mr. Darcy had much better finish his post.”

Mr. Darcy took her advice, and did finish his post.

When that business was over, he applied to Caroline and Elizabeth for an indulgence of running a random heroic. Caroline moved with some alacrity to select DPS on the LFD screen; and, after a polite request that Elizabeth would lead the way which the other as politely and more earnestly negatived, she marked herself as leader.

Louisa dps’ed with Caroline, and while they were thus employed, Elizabeth could not help observing, as she healed the party, how frequently Mr. Darcy had her character selected. She hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great a tank; and that he should look at her because he disliked her, was still more strange. She could only imagine, however, at last that she drew his notice because there was something more wrong and reprehensible, according to his ideas of right, than in any other person’s gear present. The supposition did not pain her. She liked him too little to care for his approbation.

After running Old Kingdom, Caroline varied the charm by queuing for Pit of Saron; and soon afterwards Mr. Darcy sent Elizabeth a tell:

“Do not you feel a great inclination, Elizabeth, to seize such an opportunity of going back to DPS?”

She smiled, but made no answer. He repeated the question, with some surprise at her silence.

“Oh!” typed she, “I saw your question before, but I could not immediately determine what to say in reply. You wanted me, I know, to say ‘Yes,’ that you might have the pleasure of despising my taste; but I always delight in overthrowing those kind of schemes, and cheating a person of their premeditated contempt. I have, therefore, made up my mind to tell you, that I do not want to DPS at all—and now despise me if you dare.”

“Indeed I do not dare.”

Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger.

Caroline suspected enough to be jealous; and her great anxiety for the recovery of her dear friend Jane received some assistance from her desire of getting rid of Elizabeth.

She often tried to provoke Darcy into disliking her guest, by talking of their supposed future of raiding together, and planning his happiness in such an alliance.

“I hope,” whispered she, as they were waiting for the final boss to get done with his scripted speech, “you will give your new Recruitment Officer a few hints, when this desirable event takes place, as to the advantage of holding her tongue; and if you can compass it, do cure the other DPS of running after the <Meryton Militia>. And, if I may mention so delicate a subject, endeavour to check that little something, bordering on conceit and impertinence, which your lady possesses.”

“Have you anything else to propose for my felicity?”

Before Caroline could make a reply, Scourgelord Tyrannus at last ceased talking and all focus shifted to the encounter at hand. When the boss had died and the loot been rolled on, Caroline immediately proposed continuing on to Halls of Reflection.

Elizabeth had had some small difficulties in healing through Pit of Saron; even now, she was sitting down to regenerate some mana. Mr. Darcy felt the rudeness of asking her to heal so difficult an encounter, and immediately said:

“This instance is not suitable enough for our party. We had better go to a different dungeon.”

But Elizabeth, who had not the least inclination to remain with them, laughingly answered:

“No, no; go on without me. You are charmingly grouped, and appear to uncommon advantage. I am certain you can acquire a different healer even though it is through pugging. Good-bye.”

She then gaily dropped the party, rejoicing as she logged out of vent, in the hope of never feeling the need to assist them with healing again. Jane was already so much recovered as to intend logging back on for a couple of hours that evening.

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Pre-Cata planning (spoiler free)

All the recent chatter about Cataclysm has me thinking and planning a bit more than I have really bothered to up to this point. The details that recently got leaked don’t interest me much, because everything is subject to change and while the few screenshots I’ve seen are lovely, they’re also completely without any context that is meaningful to me.

The official information releases about the changes they’re planning for raiding is of great interest to me, but that has more to do with being GM than it does anything else.

That information is already shaping some ideas that were half-formed at best and giving them more substance. Since we are a guild that runs primarily 10-mans with a solid raiding core, it’s never been an issue for anyone to PUG to a 25-man run, no matter what the content was. Now, however, it’s going to matter a great deal more that raid ID lockouts are reserved for the guild.

However, we are also still a fairly casual guild and it seems a little over the top for us to say someone cannot PUG any content that we are working on, ever. There are obvious exceptions – someone wants to raid but their work schedule is weird for a week here or there and they can’t make our normal times? It would be unreasonable to say they shouldn’t raid at all. I do see some potential for human error to bork someone over for a raid, but as long as people can pay even a moderate amount of attention there shouldn’t be problems.

Of course, people should also know to stay out of the bad and run away from the goddamn orange oozes, so I have my doubts that all will be flawless.

Coinciding with these thoughts is the simple fact that this will be the first expansion where we’ve managed to establish our raiding identity as a distinct and serious part of our guild’s culture. At the start of BC, we were a casual guild. At the start of WotLK, we were a casual guild that happened to raid. Our transitions have always happened mid-expansion and often have been aborted and then retried once enough people got over the shell-shock to want to make another effort. As we stand now, we are a still a casual guild, yes, but we have our core group of people who are serious about raiding and who have been working their asses off to make our first real attempt to keep up with progression.

We’re not cutting edge, of course. Hell, we have yet to finish up Ulduar because no one wants to go where there isn’t loot (and I don’t blame them, but I would like to say I’ve done all the raiding content at least once) and we’re only 6.97/12 in ICC. But we’ve done well considering the setbacks we’ve had, both major and minor, and I have hopes that we’ll see Arthas down before Cata drops.

Random segue into adjacent topic before I get back to the other part of the point of this post

I think that the goal of seeing Arthas down before the expansion is a big reason behind my apathy regarding Cataclysm. Yes, I look forward to getting to 85 and yes, it will be lovely to have new goals to work towards that don’t involve a massive team effort. But… but… I never got to see Illidan in BC. I started playing Vanilla scant months before BC came out. This Wrath expansion has been my first real shot at getting through raid content with my guild and it just isn’t going to happen within the next few weeks with the way we approach raiding. And that’s great. I don’t want it to. I just want to be able to close the book cover on Wrath knowing that I saw the final boss more as he was meant to be seen rather than coming back as a geared 85 to kick his ass. That’s even cheaper than the pity buff.

The problem, of course, is that I have one major goal that gets a minimum amount of time invested in it every week. I’ve tried to come up with other goals of things I would like to do before Cataclysm, but the list seems pathetic.

  • Get my three characters who are not 80 (being 73, 72 and 54) to 80. One is a warrior, one is DK and one is a hunter. The hunter has the best shot (despite being 54) because melee and tanking, I fail and loath (for all of this I would grant myself the title of Alastriona the Ridonkulous) (for this post I get Alastriona the Parenthetical)
  • Get the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth on Alas – I could do this now a few times over if I scraped my money together
  • Work more on getting 100 mounts – PvPeeeeEEE and jousting. Ugh!
  • Make conscious effort to have a second well-geared toon, prolly the priesty for healing
  • Perhaps get one horde-side character to 80 – closest is low 60’s and suffering through Hellfire although not a DK, thank God
  • I just thought of one to add – don’t get depressed enough to quit playing. I mean, damn.

Look as I meander back to the place I was going originally

Despite all my not being wildly excited to seize upon every scrap of Cataclysm information I can, I find that something that does galvanize me somewhat these days is to plan ahead for raiding in the new expansion. I dropped a subtle bomb on the guild forums recently that so far hasn’t attracted too much comment. I plan on paving the way gently, gradually to my overall plan.

In fact, I was mentioning this to Zelmaru the other day and when I revealed what my little bomb was, she was unimpressed. That’s just common sense, was the basic gist of her reply. Perhaps for most guilds it would be common sense, but with ours, well, we’re something a bit different I think (although I am less and and less convinced of our special snowflake status the more and more I read about other guilds). My bomb?

I’m telling people they have to pick a main and level it first and no, they cannot play musical mains as soon as they get the character they really wanted to raid with up to 85.

I am not playing that game any more – which should tell you all that we have been playing that game. And it sucks. And I am sick of gearing up other people’s characters only to see them abandoned for months once they think they can get away with not being a healer anymore and bring their tank or dps instead. For my core raiding team, I’m going to to put extra weight on them to bring in the same role to the new content even if they decide they want a different class. We’ve worked too hard at achieving the balance we have in our progression team for me want to see it all crumble just because someone gets a wild notion that they want to hang up their tanking shield and stand in the back in their sissy robes.

So I am starting with the gentle approach now while my raiders are still heavily invested in the idea of their mains being their mains. As we get closer, I’ll get more blatant. And if worst comes to worst, well, I always have this speech from Zelmaru:

You will pick a main. Anyone not picking a main, hemming, hawing, or asking ME what their main should be will be exterminated by Daleks. It is expected that you will level your main before your alts and get raid-ready as soon as possible. Anyone not doing so will be thrown in the pit of despair and/or left behind in raiding content. No alts will be allowed in guild raids. Anyone who requests this will be thrown into a nest of bees.

It scares me. I’ve never been stung and with my luck, I’d totally be allergic.

Posted in Leadership, Leveling, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

We’ll butcher anything here

Today’s post poem is a work of love from Noxy. He would like me to note that he tenders his deepest apologies to Mr. Kipling, and doesn’t mean to destroy his work. (I think this is a lie, because why else would he make a parody of it?) Without further ado, I give you the Wowified version of Gunga Din.

Muradin

YOU may talk o’ gin an’ beer
When you’re quartered safe out ‘ere,
An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Kharanos it;
But if it comes to a real fight
You will do your work on Might,
An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ‘im that has it.
Now in Ice Crown’s frozen clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin’ of ‘Is Majesty the King,
Of all them short-legged crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental brawler, Muradin.

It was “Din! Din! Din!
Come kick this guy’s ass, Muradin!
Over here! Get ‘im now!
Fighting! Teach me how?
You spinning warrior, Muradin!”

The uniform ‘ad he
Was quite th’ sight to see,
An fit ‘is body perfectly,
For a shining piece o’ plate
An’ a bloody mace of fate
Was all the field-equipment ‘e could need.
When the freezin’ troop-train lay
In a sidin’ through the day,
Where the cold would make your bloomin’ eyebrows crawl,
We shouted “Ironforge’s Son!”
Till the battle was but won,
Then ‘e wopped us ’cause we dinna kill ‘em all.

It was “Din! Din! Din!
You ‘eathen, where the mischief ‘ave you been?
You put some whoopass in it,
I fight beside you this minute,
You cleave master, Muradin!”

‘E would dot an’ carry on
Till the longest day was done,
An’ ‘e didn’t seem to know the use o’ fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin’ nut,
‘E’d be leadin’ th’ charge and kickin’ somone’s rear.
With ‘is war axe on ‘is back,
‘E would skip with our attack,
An’ send the Scourge to meet their maker
An’ for all ‘is dirty ‘ide,
‘E was white, clear white, inside
When ‘e went to fly the gunship Skybreaker!

It was “Din! Din! Din!”
With the rockets kickin’ dust-spots on the deck.
When the Reavers ran out,
And the sergeant’s pointed snouts,
“Get offa mah ship!!” shouted Muradin.

I sha’n’t forgit the night
When I dropped be’ind the fight
With a axe where my belt-plate should ‘a’ been.
Th’ bleedin’ was the worst,
An’ the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin’, gruntin’ Muradin.

‘E lifted up my ‘ead,
An’ ‘e plugged me where I bled.
Dead an’ gone I shoulda been
I was crawlin’ an’ I cried,
But he came to my side.
“I tho’t I’d taught ya better” sez Muradin.

It was “Din! Din! Din!
‘Ere’s a beggar with an axe through ‘is spleen;
‘E’s chawin’ up the ground an’ ‘e’s kickin’ all around:
For Gawd’s sake, kill that Reaver, Muradin!”

‘E carried me away
To where a stretcher lay,
An’ a rocket come an’ drilled the Warrior clean.
‘E put me safe inside,
An’ just before ‘e died:
“Next time learn to duck,” sez Muradin.
So I’ll meet ‘im later on
In the place where ‘e is gone—
Where it’s always double drill and no canteen;
‘E’ll be squattin’ on the coals
Givin’ hell to poor damned souls,
An’ I’ll have a round or two with Muradin!

Din! Din! Din!
You Plate and mail Muradin!
Tho’ they belted you an’ flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
You’re a better man than I am, Muradin!

Posted in Guest posts, Writing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Screenshots and Lyrics

Anea suggested on Twitter that we take screenshots and caption them with lyrics. This is my highly juvenile contribution. Because I’m immature.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

My first wedding

The leveling of my RAF-linked healadin (see also: every picture of her in unfortunate garb I’ve posted over the past several weeks) with At’s warrior (the black-hearted villain) has nearly come to an end. They are level 52 and we didn’t bother buying anything past Vanilla for At’s secondary account. I assume we’ll mop up most of Un’Goro and then part of Winterspring, whereupon At may transfer the warrior to his main account and server and my healadin will be left to… sit around looking tragic in her hobo suit of cloth, leather, mail and plate, never able to realize the dream of wearing properly itemized plate gear.

In between bits of leveling them and attending to a bunch of real life obligations yesterday, I hopped on my original <SAN> character, who was a level 21 mage. She and At met up in the inn in Stormwind, and well, he dinged her. A lot. The whole room was bathed in a sort of golden glow of ecstasy for some time and the end result was a blissfully dazed level 45 mage who suddenly found that all her gear was complete and utter crap.

While (almost typed ‘whilst’ there) the mage dithered in the AH looking for new clothes and realizing that everything is way too overpriced in that server’s economy, At found a wedding. It was being held in the SW Cathedral, of course, and it was the first bit of roleplay we’d seen since coming to the RP server, other than a few disjointed snatches of conversations we’d caught bits of in the street.

We decided to crash it. You know, in a respectful way. We took seats in the audience and prepared ourselves for the show. I don’t think either of us could have anticipated it to be quite the source of entertainment that it was.

As soon as the bride made her first typo, I knew I had to screenshot it and share (all names removed to protect the guilty – although I did attempt to retain the same level of respect they have for the English language).

Teats. Out of her eyes. That’s just some imagery you don’t get every day.

In my head, the priest/officiator sounded like the guy from Princess Bride. Then came the very personal ‘vowes.’

I admit I wasn’t sure what ‘vowes’ were, but from the above, I deduced it had something to do with delicately pointing out the true meaning of the wedding. ALL EYES ON THE BRIDE. NOW!

The groom was a well-trained little monkey and didn’t get in the way of the ceremony with any personal ‘vowes’ of his own. He did, however, accept the weight of taking care of the bride. And then disaster struck! After the groom made his assent, the priest got this vacant look in his eyes. He seemed – not quite distracted, but more like he wasn’t even there at all. The bride became impatient, taping her foot and giving gentle, wordless glares of death. From my place in the audience, I could sense that she was seconds away from threatening him with the wrath of DOOM.

Despite the groom’s wishes, nothing was hurrayed up. I thought about cheering, but the bride was clearly on edge. Where was her chance to say ‘I do’? Why was the spotlight taken off her at this most crucial minute? The tension built and swelled as a minutes ticked by without the priest saying a word.

Just as I was beginning to believe that the bride would indeed explode in a bloodthirsty fury, the priest disappeared into thin air! I heard later that he may have been kidnapped by aliens. Or, at least, there was something about a disc. In any event, this being Azeroth, a replacement was soon found and things moved forward once again.

It was right around this point that I knew I was indeed witnessing the marriage of two lovers, who knew each other’s hearts and minds so well that she didn’t even need to fully articulate a thought – he would be there to finish it for her. And indeed, the bridesmaid was happy to step in and conclude the ceremony.

The bits of the audience that weren’t comprised of hecklers (who truthfully did make up most of those assembled) clapped wildly and there was a segue into the reception. The bride took to the dance floor, demanding “effects” in a strident voice. A train was dropped and everyone dancing was showered with fire, ice and volleys of arrows.

And while the wedding might have been overrun with hecklers and random yahoos, I think the bride and groom can take comfort in the one very illustrious personage who did attend. He stood quietly in the back, unobtrusive but bearing witness to the blessed event.

And I, at least, lived happily ever after, until the next day when I had to get up and go to work and it was raining.

The End.

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

The saga continues

I have no words. Well, none but these.

Oh my god and what the fuck?

See what happens when you laugh at train wrecks instead of trying to help them?

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