Chapter Seven

I’m afraid I had to get rather off the normal course for this one, but here it is and hopefully not too much the worse for wear. Enjoy!

Chapter 7

Mr. Bennet’s guild consisted almost entirely in a list of nearly 200 names, which, unfortunately for his raiders, was alts and noobs; and Mrs. Bennet, though ample for her situation in the guild, could but ill supply the deficiency of his. She was the recruitment officer and as like to scare potential recruits away as snare them.

She had a sister married to a Mr. Phillips, who had been a clerk to their father – they were both casual players, and a brother settled on another server in a respectable guild.

The Auction House in Ironforge was frequently visited; it was the most convenient city for the raiders, who were usually tempted thither three or four times a day, to pay their duty to the auctioneers and mailboxes. The two least geared of the raiders, Catherine and Lydia, were particularly frequent in these attentions; their minds were more vacant than the other raider’s, and when nothing better offered, a port to Ironforge was necessary to amuse their morning hours and furnish conversation for the evening; and however bare of good deals the economy in general might be, they always contrived to pretend they had gotten one. At present, indeed, they were well supplied both with news and happiness by the recent arrival of a raiding guild – <The Meryon Militia> by name – in the server; it was to run hard modes and 25 man content and there might be opportunities for pugging from them.

Their visits to Mrs. Phillips were now productive of the most interesting intelligence. Every day added something to their knowledge of the officers’ names and connections. Their best tanks were not long a secret, and at length they began to know the officers themselves. Mr. Phillips visited them all, and this opened to his guild mates a store of felicity unknown before. They could talk of nothing but officers; and Mr. Bingley’s large GearScore, the mention of which gave animation to Mrs. Bennet, was worthless in their eyes when opposed to the power of a raiding guild’s officer.

After listening one morning to their effusions on this subject, Mr. Bennet coolly observed:

“From all that I can collect by your manner of talking, you must be two of the silliest girls in the guild. I have suspected it some time, but I am now convinced.”

Catherine was disconcerted, and made no answer; but Lydia, with perfect indifference, continued to express her admiration of Officer Carter, and her hope of seeing him in the course of the day, as he was going to be offline the next day.

“I am astonished, my dear,” said Mrs. Bennet, “that you should be so ready to think your own guildies silly. If I wished to think slightingly of anybody’s guildies, it should not be of my own, however.”

“If my guildies are silly, I must hope to be always sensible of it.”

“Yes—but as it happens, they are all of them very clever.”

“This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree. I had hoped that our sentiments coincided in every particular, but I must so far differ from you as to think our two least geared raiders uncommonly foolish.”

“My dear Mr. Bennet, you must not expect such girls to have the sense of their GM and Recruitment Officer. When they have played as long as we have, I dare say they will not think about officers any more than we do. I remember the time when I liked an officer myself very well—and, indeed, so I do still at my heart; and if a smart young officer, with five or six thousand GearScore, should want one of my DPS I shall not say nay to him; and I thought Officer Forster looked very becoming the other night at Strand of the Ancients in his PvP gear.”

“Mamma,” cried Lydia (for that was Mrs. Bennet’s character name), “Mrs. Phillips says that the officers do not go so often to ToC as they did when they first came; she sees them now very often standing at the ICC summoning stone.”

Mrs. Bennet was prevented replying by the inadvertent misstell from Jane, telling Elizabeth of an in-game mail she had just received from Caroline. Mrs. Bennet’s eyes sparkled with pleasure, and she was eagerly calling out, while Jane blushed at having shared the information more widely than she meant to.

“Well, Jane, what is it about? What does he say? Well, Jane, make haste and tell us; make haste.”

“It is from Caroline,” said Jane, and then read it aloud over vent.

“MY DEAR FRIEND,—

“If you are not so compassionate as to run heroics with Louisa and me, we shall be in danger of hating each other for the rest of our lives, for a whole day’s badge farming between two women can never end without a quarrel. Come as soon as you can on receipt of this. Mr. Bingley and the other tanks are to raid with the <Meryton Militia>.—Yours ever,

“CAROLINE”

“With the <Meryton Militia>!” cried Lydia. “I wonder my aunt did not tell us of that.”

“Raiding without us,” said Mrs. Bennet, “that is very unlucky.”

“I am tired of running the same heroics,” said Jane.

“You had better go anyhow,” said Mrs. Bennet.

“That would be a good scheme,” said Elizabeth, “if Jane had any desire to go.”

“Oh! but the tanks will be raiding and perhaps Caroline might mention they are all available to step in if needed.”

“I had much rather not run heroics tonight.”

“But, my dear, your GM cannot spare you making good contacts for the guild, I am sure. They are wanted for our raids, Mr. Bennet, are they not?”

“They are wanted for raids much oftener than I can get them.”

“But running heroics with them to-day,” said Elizabeth, “won’t get them into our raids any sooner.”

She did at last extort from her GM an acknowledgment that it could be of benefit for Jane to make herself available as requested. Jane was therefore obliged to go without more than a few potions, and Mrs. Bennet attended her in guild chat with many cheerful prognostics of a bad day. Her hopes were answered; Jane had not been gone long before she admitted the others had asked for Heroic Hall of Reflection. Her fellow raiders were uneasy for her, but Mrs. Bennet was unconcerned. The random heroics continued the whole evening without intermission; Jane certainly must be needed.

“This was a lucky idea of mine, indeed!” said Mrs. Bennet more than once, as if the credit of badge farming were all her own. Till the next morning, however, she was not aware of all the felicity of her contrivance. Dailies had scarcely been run when Elizabeth received an in-game mail from Jane:

“MY DEAREST LIZZY,—

“I find myself very unwell this morning, which, I suppose, is to be imputed to my running far too many heroics yesterday. My kind friends will not hear of my returning to the game till I am better. They insist also on my seeing a doctor—but, excepting a sore throat and headache, there is not much the matter with me.—Yours, etc.”

“Well, my dear,” said Mr. Bennet, when Elizabeth had read the note aloud over Vent, “if your best healer should have a dangerous fit of being unable to raid—if she should get burned out, it would be a comfort to know that it was all in pursuit of Mr. Bingley, and under your orders.”

“Oh! I am not afraid of her burning out. People do not burn out of running a few heroics. She will be taken good care of. As long as she heals for them, it is all very well. I imagine she will log on shortly.”

Indeed, Jane did log on shortly and protested that she was well enough although rather tired from the night’s previous exertions. She also confided in Elizabeth through tells that it had been made clear to her that she should be prepared to heal more heroics that day as Caroline still needed several badges.

Elizabeth, feeling really anxious, was determined to go in Jane’s place, though she was a hybrid and typically did not heal; and as she was no disc priest, holy AoE healing was her only alternative. She declared her resolution.

“How can you be so silly,” cried Mrs. Bennet, “as to think of such a thing, with your off spec gear being such a shambles! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there.”

“I shall be very fit to aid Jane—which is all I want.”

“Is this a hint to me, Lizzy,” said her GM, “to send for another healer?”

“No, indeed, I do not wish to avoid the heroics. The distance is nothing when one has LFD; only waiting for a tank. I shall be finished by raid time.”

“I admire the activity of your benevolence,” observed Mary, “but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and, in my opinion, exertion should always be in proportion to what is required.”

Soon after, Elizabeth sent a tell to Caroline, explaining that Jane was not available for healing that day, but that she could heal in Jane’s place if the others wished it.

She was invited into a party, where all were assembled, and where her appearance created a great deal of surprise. That she should have an incomplete set of Tier 9 healing gear, with such poor gems, and only partially enchanted, was almost incredible to Louisa and Caroline; and Elizabeth was convinced that they held her in contempt for it. She was received, however, very politely by them; and in Mr. Bingley’s manners there was something better than politeness; there was good humour and kindness. Mr. Darcy said very little. He was divided between admiration of the gearing she had achieved for her off spec, and doubt as to the occasion’s justifying her coming to heal at all.

Elizabeth’s inquiries after Jane’s healing were not very favourably answered. Jane had managed her mana ill, and though she kept the tank up, was very slow to regen, and had allowed the dps to die once or twice.

When the LFD had put them all in a dungeon Caroline and Louisa began relaying a tale of a rather heroic pull from the previous day; and Elizabeth almost began to like them herself, when she saw how much affection and solicitude they showed for Jane.

When the clock struck three, Elizabeth felt that she must go, and said so. Caroline offered her a portal, and she only wanted a little pressing to accept it, when an announcement came out over their shared channel that the night’s raid had been canceled. Elizabeth was pressed to heal another heroic and consented, and they all made brief stops in Dalaran to repair their gear before queueing again.

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

Random post is, er… random

Some things.

Firstly, my comments system seems to be selectively hateful. I am trying to figure out what is going on (or rather, and more accurately, I have asked At to please figure out what is going on). I know that there are 10’s and 10’s of people who just cannot wait to comment on my wit and very deep thoughtful thoughts, so I am trying to get that fixed as soon as possible. It does seem as though being logged into IntenseDebate helps.

Secondly, today is the final day for submitting a chapter for my contest.

Thirdly, it might take slightly longer than previously anticipated to judge the winners. I have giggled like a fool through each entry and I cannot wait to share them all with you guys.

Fourthly, in lieu of writing about the big buzz going around since yesterday, I am going to get the next chapter of P&P + WoW posted some time today. Maybe. I’m pretty busy trying to recover from having my desktop rebuilt and am in a state of “AMGWHEREISMYEVERYTHINGIALWAYSHAVEUPICANNOTFUNCTIONLIKETHIS!!!!” And, you know, I should probably make sure all the stuff I need for work purposes is available and working also.

Fifthly, in order to facilitate more not working, if you have gchat feel free to add me and hit me up with random any time. You’ll get a bonus picture of me with a Yaarrr! buff. I know, I know. Hold you back.

Sixthly, I do want to say just one thing about the whole raiding in Cata 10/25 thing. I am in favor of it, so so much. I’m sick of my raiders thinking “but I have to have the best gear!” and burning themselves out on pugging 25’s. Sorta sinks our raiding ship. I’ve also felt for a long time that I shouldn’t be penalized for being more choosy about who I want to raid with. Anyone can round up a bunch of douchenuggets and have a terrible 25-man raiding experience; not everyone is willing to enjoy the journey and the companions they have with them at the cost of a bigger epeen.

Seventhly, I am thinking of introducing some cooking IRL with At posts because, well, my man can cook! And it’s awesome and the food is awesome and I assume most people like food to some extent.

Eighthly, that is all.

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

Refer a noob

I’ve never, until recently, been able to enjoy the delights of the RAF program. I’ve seen nearly everyone else in my guild refer friend after friend after friend, usually leaving the guild to take part in educating and de-noobing whatever fresh and wide-eyed person recently hit 80 and reckoned that they were raiders now, had to be, they’re 80. But with that glorious new mount becoming available only through the RAF system, I knew it was finally my turn.

Prospects were beyond dim. Most of the people I know that I actually like well enough to want to invite into my virtual world are already playing. The rest are bored by WoW, although I don’t see how, given that they’ve never played for more than a few minutes at a time. My co-workers, despite also working in IT, would rather work all hours of the night from their home offices than play a game.

But I just have to have that mount.

In the end, I did what any girl would do and found the single most attractive man I know and told him he could see my boobs if he would get an account. Okay, that’s not entirely truthful. I told At I was referring him.

Yes, I know that’s pretty ridiculous and yes, I know that I just shelled out other actual money for a pretty vampire pony, but dammit, it looks so useful. Take questing about with At for example. Since he’s a paladin and I’m not and the game is still pretty buggy from time to time, we are constantly losing each other while in flight because he’ll be the only one of us benefiting from Crusader Aura. And he’s terrible about paying attention to anything in the game while we’re trying to get from point A to point B and routinely drives me up the wall when I’ve arrived ready to go and he got stuck in some tree branches somewhere and didn’t notice until I said, “Where are you?”

The rocket should also give me the potential to be either very nice or very rude to noobs, and you guys know I like that sort of power.

So, while I could go claim my RAF mount now, I’m waiting for that rocket to be available. Any time now, pocket rocket. Any time.

A beef, I has one with RAF

Posts here rarely feel complete without a rant, or so I hear. And now that I am finally using RAF for the first time, I have a pretty big problem with it. Before, it’s been my problem with it in theory, but I had no solid evidence that my theory was true. Now I can absolutely say that triple XP is too much and it’s too fast. Granted, At and I know what we’re doing. We know how to get from zone to zone and how to best group our quests so that we’re doing a minimum of back and forth. We know how to use all the tools available to us and getting through dungeons is frankly not a problem, aside from dealing with PUGs, so we have some advantage over a leveling pair that is made up of one veteran of the game and one new guy.

In the bits of time we’ve put into our pair, we’ve already hit level 31. It’s been such a whirlwind of killing things and turning quests in (and turning in three or four quests will generate enough XP to rocket us through another level) that I am more than often feeling like a Death Knight in the starting area. Not only does everything fall down dead at the sight of us, I am gaining talent points more quickly than I can remember to spend them. At one time I had six unspent points and, boy wasn’t that odd because I could have sworn I just spent two or three.

No wonder these people are getting to 80 and having no idea of the basics of how to play their class. They moved through their early toolboxes so quickly, they scarcely have any idea what a hammer or a handsaw are for but (and this is especially true for DPS) they sure know how to use the heck out of their wood chippers – they can’t do anything fine-tuned or precise but hot damn can they make some spectacular messes!

In addition to this, the leveling goes so swiftly that unless you have any idea how to make money, you’ll never have enough to learn your basic training spells. I’m sure this could very well be unique to the situation At and I find ourselves in, but we’re not leveling on a server where one or both of us has a main. That server is full up, other than a reserve slot for our future Worgen toons. But since neither of us have thousands of gold just lying about, waiting to be spent, we find we cannot even dream of leveling our crafting professions as all our gathered mats end up on the AH block looking to fetch a fair enough price for us to be able to afford learning how to be more judgmental or hone our protective talents.

In short, the RAF system is absolutely primed to create players who have no notion of what they’re doing, no valuable professions to bring to the table and who expect that their moneybag friends or guild mates should help them at every step of the way so they can acquire flying and epic flying and cold weather flying and the gear that will make their wood chippers able to rape whole forests of resto druids in less than two minutes.

OMG Disclaimers!

Does this mean that I think that everyone who came into the game through RAF is a flaming noob who hits the keyboard with their face to level? No. Many of our guild mates who have brought their friends in have done their best to give their friends a solid grasp on game mechanics and then, when it comes to raiding, there’s just some sanding rough edges off. That’s true of anyone who is new to raiding, so I cannot complain there.

However, with as much as Blizzard has already accelerated leveling, I think they could easily have afforded to perhaps somehow scale XP gain, so that people only got double for the first 20 or so levels and then, as they enter the levels that actually take more than 5 minutes to get through, introduced the triple XP gain from 21-60. Even at that, I think it would be easy to miss some foundational spell or other on the way up, but there might be more of a chance that more players would better understand that there’s a time to use a hammer and a time to use a battering ram.

In adjacent news

I was right. Being a holy paladin is pretty darn boring so far, except for when the whole party is taking massive AoE damage and I can’t do much to help that. Then it just gets frantic.Will bacon make this better?

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

Enters a black-hearted villain!

Hard times have befallen my poorly dressed alt. We’ll call her Iseabeal (cos that’s what I named her), or maybe just Isea. Not long after I sent out a plea for help for the poor girl, what with her horrible wardrobe and all, it became apparent to me that things had gotten out of hand more swiftly than I could have guessed they might. Sometime between last Thursday and today, I have been able to capture the following photos.

As you can see, while she might have traded in her hideously patched pants, it was to pick up and wear the ever-loving snot out of some chain mail skinny shorts which appear to have some odd sort of metal bikini showing on the outside. She still has not given up wearing her bras (which were apparently loving knitted by her [or my, I'm not sure] Grandmother) outside her shirt. I attempted to speak with her about both these things, but her sense – and she does have a rather small intellect – was already subverted by a black-hearted and -haired villain!

Isea claims they have much in common with each other, and indeed, as time goes on they seem to grow to look more and more alike.

I am very concerned. Please won’t someone help?

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Capture the BS ffs!

And here is Chapter 6 of Pride and Prejudice and World of Warcraft. Please don’t forget that I am holding a contest with prizes and accepting entries until April 27! Details can be found here. Hopefully my nearly total lack of knowledge of PvP won’t make this chapter too unbearable.

Chapter 6

The raiders of <Longbourn> soon waited on those of <Netherfield>. The visit was soon returned in due form. Jane’s pleasing ability to keep them all alive through the worst of chain pulls grew on the goodwill of Mrs. Hurst and Caroline; and though the GM’s wife was found to be intolerable, and the newer DPS not worth speaking to, a wish of being better acquainted with them was expressed towards the two best geared. By Jane, this attention was received with the greatest pleasure, but Elizabeth still saw superciliousness in their treatment of everybody, hardly excepting even Jane, and could not like them; though their kindness to Jane, such as it was, had a value as arising in all probability from the influence of their main tank’s admiration. It was generally evident whenever they instanced, that he did admire her and to her it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much desirous of healing only him; but she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the server in general, since Jane united, with great strength of healing, a composure of temper and a uniform mana management ability which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent. She mentioned this to her friend Charlotte.

“It may perhaps be pleasant,” replied Charlotte, “to be able to impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a healer conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of healing only him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the server equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely—a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really dedicated to a tank without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a healer had better show more willingness to heal than she feels. Bingley likes Jane undoubtedly; but he may never do more than run heroics with her, if she does not help him on.”

“But she does help him on, as much as her nature and mana pool will allow. If I can perceive her preference for healing him, he must be a simpleton, indeed, not to discover it too.”

“Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane’s disposition as you do.”

“But if a healer is partial to a tank, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out.”

“Perhaps he must, if he raids enough with her. But, though Bingley and Jane meet tolerably often, it is never for many hours together; and, as they always see each other in large mixed raids, it is impossible that every moment should be employed in Bingley watching his Recount to see who has healed him the most. Jane should therefore make the most of every boss fight in which she can command his attention. When she is secure of healing him through progression content, there will be more leisure for speaking of joining guilds as much as she chooses.”

“Your plan is a good one,” replied Elizabeth, “where nothing is in question but the desire of progression raiding, and if I were determined to get a geared tank, or any tank, I dare say I should adopt it. But these are not Jane’s feelings; she is not acting by design. As yet, she cannot even be certain of the degree of her own regard nor of its reasonableness. She has known him only a fortnight. She healed four boss fights with him at Naxx; she saw him one morning in the bank at Dalaran, and has since healed him in random heroics four times. This is not quite enough to make her understand his tanking ability.”

“Not as you represent it. Had she merely healed him, she might only have discovered whether he had a good block rating; but you must remember that four heroics have also been spent together—and four heroics may do a great deal.”

“Yes; these four heroics have enabled them to ascertain that they both like HoS better than Occulus; but with respect to any other leading characteristic, I do not imagine that much has been unfolded.”

“Well,” said Charlotte, “I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were recruited to his guild to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his gear and be.imba ratings for a twelvemonth. Happiness in raiding is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation and guild drama; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the persons with whom you are to raid.”

“You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself.”

Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to Jane, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be geared; he had looked at her without admiration at the raid; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her gearing choices, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the throughput of her DPS. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her gemming choices, he was forced to acknowledge her enchants to be thought out and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her DPS numbers were not those of the leet raiding world, he was caught by their steadiness – she did not fluctuate as wildly as many DPS he had seen. Of this she was perfectly unaware; to her he was only the tank who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her geared enough to raid with.

He began to wish to know more of her, and as a step towards conversing with her himself, attended to her conversation with others. His doing so drew her notice. It was at Sir William Lucas’s, where a large raid were assembled for a pre-made.

“What does Mr. Darcy mean,” said she to Charlotte, “by listening to my conversation with Colonel Forster?”

“That is a question which Mr. Darcy only can answer.”

“But if he does it any more I shall certainly let him know that I see what he is about. He has a very satirical eye, and if I do not begin by being impertinent myself, I shall soon grow afraid of him.”

On his approaching them soon afterwards, though without seeming to have any intention of speaking, Charlotte defied her friend to mention such a subject to him; which immediately provoking Elizabeth to do it, she turned to him and said:

“Did you not think, Mr. Darcy, that I expressed myself uncommonly well just now, when I was teasing Colonel Forster to capture the Blacksmith?”

“With great energy; but it is always a subject which makes a DPS energetic.”

“You are severe on us.”

“It will be her turn soon to be teased,” said Charlotte. “I am going to head for the mine, Eliza, and you know what follows.”

“You are a very strange creature by way of a friend!—always wanting me to capture objectives no one cares for! If my vanity had taken a turn for odd achievements, you would have been invaluable; but as it is, I would really rather not get ganked trying to capture an objective nearly alone.” On Charlotte’s persevering, however, she added, “Very well, if it must be so, it must.” And gravely glancing at Mr. Darcy, “There is a fine old saying, which everybody here is of course familiar with: ‘Get the blacksmith or lumber mill, ffs!’ But I shall do as Lucas Pwnage commands.”

Her performance was pleasing, though by no means capital. After a death or two, and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she would help with the farm, she was eagerly succeeded at the mine by her guild mate Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only one in the guild who enjoyed PvP, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, was always impatient for display.

Mary had neither genius nor much resilience; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached. Elizabeth, easy and unaffected, had been encouraged with much more pleasure, though not performing half so well; and Mary, at the end of a long duel, was glad to purchase praise and gratitude by throwing a few heals, at the request of the DPS in her party, who, with some of the Lucases, and two or three PUGs, joined eagerly in defending the stables at one end of the battleground.

Mr. Darcy stood near them in silent indignation at such a mode of passing the evening, to the exclusion of all attempts at winning any of the battlegrounds, and was too much engrossed by his thoughts to perceive that Sir William Lucas was sending him tells, till Sir William thus began:

“What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like PvP after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished guilds.”

“Certainly, sir; and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the less polished guilds of the world. Every noob can queue for it.”

Sir William only used a smile emote. “Your friend performs delightfully,” he continued after a pause, on seeing Bingley charge into the fray; “and I doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself, Mr. Darcy.”

“You saw me raid at Naxx, I believe, sir.”

“Yes, indeed, and received no inconsiderable pleasure from the sight. Do you often raid at Ulduar?”

“Not any more, sir.”

“Do you not think it would be a proper compliment to the place?”

“It is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can avoid it.”

“You have done all the hard modes, I conclude?”

Mr. Darcy said he had.

“I had once had some thought of doing hard modes myself—for I am fond of superior raids; but I did not feel quite certain that the focus required would agree with Lady Lucas.”

He paused in hopes of an answer; but his companion was not disposed to make any; and Elizabeth at that instant moving towards them, he was struck with the action of doing a very gallant thing, and called out to her over Vent:

“My dear Miss Eliza, why are you not attacking? Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. You cannot refuse to attack, I am sure when so much capable off-healing is before you.” And he would have sent her and Mr. Darcy who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive Elizabeth’s healing, when she instantly veered her mount away, and said with some discomposure to Sir William:

“Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of attacking. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”

Mr. Darcy, with grave propriety, requested to be allowed the honour of assaulting the lumber mill with her, but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his attempt at persuasion.

“You excel so much in PvP, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half-hour.”

“Mr. Darcy is all politeness,” said Elizabeth, smiling.

“He is, indeed; but, considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance—for who would object to such a partner?”

Elizabeth laughed over Vent, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman, and he was thinking of her with some complacency, when thus accosted by Caroline in tells:

“I can guess the subject of your reverie.”

“I should imagine not.”

“You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner—in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noise—the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all those people! What would I give to hear your strictures on them!”

“Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which raiding with capable hybrids can bestow.”

Caroline immediately desired he would tell her what hybrid had the credit of inspiring such reflections. Mr. Darcy replied with great intrepidity:

“Miss Elizabeth.”

“Miss Elizabeth!” repeated Caroline. “I am all astonishment. How long has she been such a favourite?—and pray, when am I to wish you joy?”

“That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A dps’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to dependency, from dependency to core raiding spots, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy.”

“Nay, if you are serious about it, I shall consider the matter is absolutely settled. You will be having a charming alliance, indeed; and, of course, she will always be at every raid with you.”

He listened to her with perfect indifference while she chose to entertain herself in this manner; and as his composure convinced her that all was safe, her wit flowed long.

Posted in Pride and Prejudice | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s not easy being green

Hat tip and apologies to Zelmaru, who suggested that we recycle a post for Earth Day. I spent quite a bit of time trying on and discarding ideas of what I might want to recycle or revamp and although I have several ideas that I think are not altogether bad, none of them seemed right to post about just yet for various reasons.

So I thought that I would, instead, put my own twist on the idea of recycling and reference my very first post (please don’t read that) and then springboard into what I want to write about today. There’s the reference, here’s the springboarding.

Looking back to, goodness, late October of last year when I started, it’s very clear to me that I had no notion of what I wanted this space to be. Here’s what I do know:

Quite some time before this ever came into being, I was done and ready to walk away from my first blog entirely. After about three years of splashing my life onto its pages, I had been traumatized by an invasion that felt so personal and, at the same time, so callous, that I had lost my taste for wanting to write about my life in a place that people knew who I was. I wanted to be anonymous.

In parallel with that, I was tired of my life, or at least of trying to write about the things that were huge issues in my mind at the time. One can only bemoan their horrible job and their infertility for so long before they start to feel like a broken record that only played shitty songs anyway. (Did I mention I was going to get a bit personal today? No? Oops.) I think there’s about a year’s worth of posts that are a lot of QQ and angst about “I can’t get pregnant and oh, look, everyone around me is, life is so unfair, waaaa!”

I don’t want to throw around words like “depression” lightly, but I was depressed and going through a really rough patch. I stopped writing anything other than the very occasional, “Why, yes, I am still alive and my life is still boring,” post. I gave up on my fan fictions, my blog, my attempts at a novel, everything. Since I first realized when I was, oh, really young, that there was nothing stopping me from writing and that it was possible that I could perhaps have my name on the spine of a book someday, I had never been away from words for so long. I still read as voraciously as ever, but there was no spark in me to write or to create my own worlds.

Between September and October, I started to read new things online during my work days. Among these were some WoW blogs, which were funny and insightful and stirred something in me that had been dormant for well over a year. There were other posts from other places that impacted my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined, which shook the weakened foundations of my marriage and forced both At and I to start anew with each other. In the middle of things coming together and things falling apart, I realized how much I needed some sort of outlet. Pretty much completely on a lark, I started this blog up. It was so exciting to me, to have a place where I could be anonymous, could write about whatever I wanted. Perhaps people would find me, perhaps they wouldn’t. I didn’t care.

I was all over the map for the first few posts until I hit the 6th one and a rant about a failed EoE run appeared. This has been about WoW ever since, nearly exclusively. And while I love talking about WoW and while I adore having a place to let off steam or relate experiences that others who play WoW might appreciate, I’m realizing more and more that I don’t want to be hemmed into one topic and one point of reference, no matter how big and weird and wonderful it is.

I want to write about things that matter to me as they occur to me. So, while WoW will still be a main focus of this blog and my posts, I’m not going to hold myself back any more from writing about real life things as well. For instance, I’ve not had anyone to tell that I realized the other day that the thought of never being able to have my own babies doesn’t devastate me the way it used to, and how glad I am to feel that I’ve grown and matured. I haven’t had anyone to virtually hold my hands and jump up and down with me in delight that At is going to graduate here in a few short weeks, after being in school for the last ten or so years. I haven’t rambled on about writing and whether or not the idea of a magic system based off of mathematical concepts is interesting or even sensible. (Is it?) I want to write about things like that.

Perhaps no one will care enough about non-WoW related things to want to read those posts when they come up. I don’t care. I’m re-purposing this blog a bit and it will be a little more about me from here on out.

And to the people who do read and who do comment here, I want to say a huge thank you. I bet you all had no idea you’ve been the bright spots that helped to get me from October to now, who have, perhaps inadvertently, encouraged me to write and who make these days at work less tedious and more awesome. You mean more to me than you can know.

Posted in Real Life, Writing | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

What not to wear

Oh, honey. I wouldn’t be caught dead looking like this and I have pretty low standards:

It’s always the low-level toons (plus the recently arrived in Outlands toons) that look so tragic. Send help.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Contest with prizes

Okay, for something a bit less lol’sy than a bunch of stupid questions that, as far as I know, did not somehow include the ultimate one about life, the universe and everything, I am having a contest.

Yes, a real contest with real ‘virtual’ prizes.

The Contest

It’s probably no surprise since I’ve been threatening to do this for some time, but the contest is for the Pride and Prejudice with World of Warcraft rewrite. In order to get some variety, anyone who wants to enter the contest can rewrite any chapter they please. Yes, any chapter.

The easiest way to rewrite is to get an e-version of the book. I like Project Gutenberg and you can find a variety of free downloads here.

Entry Details

To enter, please write up whichever chapter takes your fancy and email it to me. Please make the subject line of the email something like “Pride and Prejudice Contest” – especially if you have a document attached. I’ll accept and consider submissions through April 27. I’ll hope to have winners selected by Friday, April 30.

Prizes

Prizes for the top three entries will include the vampire pony, any of the vanity pets for sale at the Blizzard store and, of course, I will post all winning submissions with credit and links back to any website the author might have. Since some people might already have all the pets and the pony, you’ll have to let me know if such a prize is applicable or if you perhaps have a friend or a GM to whom you would like to gift the prize in an effort to butter them up for something. Or maybe you think I can take the sparkle pony and shove it up my the prizes all suck, in which case, you probably shouldn’t enter.

May the funniest rewrites win!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Pop Quiz!

I’m taking a page from the Great Titan here because imitation is the highest form of flattery or something like that, and I like to wait ’til someone’s not around before I flatter them too much. Also, I ran back across the now-defunct Titan’s blog and got half a dozen good chuckles just from the first page and warm memories of >8< Spider Pride! In case anyone somehow managed to miss Sargy while he was in action, you should go read everything. NAO!!!11!!!!!eleventyone

And then come back and take my quiz.

1. What light is light, if Sylvia be not seen?

2. What color are your eyes?

3. Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?

4. Where are the giblets located?

5. What is the square root of 489653.973?

6. Is chicklets the best gum ever?

7. The role of the Na’vi as a metaphor of the Native Americans pitted against the metaphor of the modern US military. Discuss.

8. What’s your favorite adult beverage and why?

9. What the heck is your favorite class/race?

10. What is your least favorite?

11. But WHY?

12. Have you ever eaten dirt? Like, actual dirt. Was it on a dare? You can tell me.

13. Do you believe in luck?

14. What do you reckon about Henry VIII? Sort of a savage, eh?

15. If you could change any event in history, what would it be?

16. What is your quest? What is your favorite color?

17. Any food allergies?

18. Are you happy just at this moment?

19. What’s your best WoW memory?

20. Do you want me ever ask so many questions again?

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The two sides of self-improvement

Not all that terribly long ago -just last week in fact – I asked the general populace of Twitter whether anyone who played a mage could please tell me what sort of dps they generally got in a 10-man raid and what spec they were. It was a simple enough question and I was soon getting answers that pretty well staggered me, mainly because I was performing so poorly compared to players with the same basic spec as me. I mean, sure, I get the sort of numbers they got on single target dps, but the problem was that I was getting those on the AoE trash pulls.

I try not to take myself too seriously, so I sent out a plea for help. I must be doing something terribly wrong, I said. Boy, was I.

I received so much help from several different sources that I simply had to post the whole of what I learned here in one semi-concise area.

The advice

The Pugging Pally kindly and gently checked to make sure that I could take some criticism before sending me a very thorough email mainly regarding gemming. Seems that although some mages do stack haste as I was doing, she found that stacking spell power had better results. Also, I was going for socket bonuses too much (for which I blame my OCD) and needed to ignore those in favor of MOAR spellpower.

She also advised me to switch up my trinkets, ditching some hit from Shard of the Crystal Heart for the Abyssal Rune if I could get it. I still need to convince some friendly people to run ToC with me. Maybe I can get the same ones who are kindly running H PoS with my fail tank to get a weapon upgrade to help with that?

Psynister gave lots of helpful advice via Twitter regarding rotation and addon advice. On his advice, I mostly dropped Slow and Arcane Barrage out of my rotation. I haven’t quite gotten out of the habit of not using Slow and I want to keep it handy for soloing. Arcane Barrage is only used when I am moving from point A to B or just need some instant bursty damage (think freeing healers from web wraps). I’ve also moved away from the school of thought where Missile Barrage should be used whenever it’s up and am making more of an effort to always wait for four stacks of Arcane Blast, barring cases where a single mob is almost dead. I found Power Auras to be enough of a pain in the ass to set up that I ditched it in favor of keeping a better eye on my buff bar and so far that’s been an easy and smooth enough way to do it that I likely won’t bother with the addon. (I think I need a nice picture-heavy tutorial from Murloc Parliament since Zelmaru always does such a great job of talking about addons and, unlike that video tutorial I watched, there won’t be a sexy accent to distract me… Or I could stop being a lazy whore and figure it out since it looks like it should be useful other classes that I am not so good at managing things on.)

My last big chunk of advice came from Arcane Tinker Tank of Murloc Parliament fame. He also advised me to lose the hit trinket and suggested the Talisman of Resurgence as a possible stand-in until I could get something better. It was difficult to bid more haste farewell, but I did have that trinket kicking about so I swapped it in. He also suggested a different boot enchant, so I went from Icewalker to Tuskarr’s Vitality. The last bit of advice I got that hadn’t already been touched on by either of the other two was a tweak to my spec. I dropped two points out of Magic Attunement and placed them in  Student of the Mind. The loss of range still gets me (what do you mean I’m too far away?) from time to time.

A few things I decided to change on my own were getting the Black Magic enchant on my weapon and I swapped out to get Glyph of Arcane Missiles rather than keep Glyph of Arcane Power.

The results

It was a lot of changes made over the course of a few days but surprisingly little cost. The biggest challenge I could have seen was that I was going to be replacing 13 gems overall. Fortunately, between my jewelcrafting alt and At’s jewelcrafting alt, we had all the cuts I needed and since I have no other use for any badgers that aren’t frosty, I was able to easily obtain the gems I didn’t have in stock from my transmuting activities.

My dps went up by about 1000 the first night after swapping out gems. I made more changes Wednesday and Thursday and spent a good chunk of Friday standing in front of a target dummy. I was concerned about mana regen and wondered how much throughput I would actually get on a real boss fight where I would have to switch targets and move, but when raid night came around, I effortlessly topped the Recount meters and only had slight problems with mana on chain pulls, inadvertent or otherwise, on the trash leading up to Marrowgar, and then a few more problems on Saurfang but mana gems and evoc got me through in both cases. My damage and dps both pretty much doubled from my usual spot down in 4th place, so I was leading by a decent margin for most of the night.

Saturday night was more of the same, only I demanded a lot more single target focus from the raid in general and so of course did the same on my end. When I noticed that I was over 9000 dps on a single target pull, my jaw about hit the floor. I’m still not sure I’ve scooped it up, to be honest.

A tangential bit

I think that something that came out of this attempt to better myself was an increased sense of competition among the other dps in the raid. For most of them, the competition has been strictly offline when it comes to raids. Just because I am noting my numbers here and just because I noted them aloud to At, doesn’t mean that I spent the whole raid night spamming recount or excitedly sharing my numbers over Vent. I already know everyone has Recount and most of them know the greater focus is about getting things done right.

However, there were a few cases during trash pulls and even on the boss fights that had me fuming as a raid leader and I think it was over Recount numbers more than anything else.

One major difference about this weekend from any other night, though, was that due to other events and other conversations I’ve had recently, I went into the raid with my big girl panties on and ready to completely own the fact that I am the raid leader. I kicked things off by reminding everyone that this was progression and I didn’t want to see a bunch of random AFK’s or have people joking around to the point that all focus was completely destroyed. We rolled into the first Val’kyr and nearly right away I noticed someone AoEing.

I called for single target focus, got it and we downed it, no problem. Pulled the second one and again, AoE damage. I called for single target focus but we simply weren’t burning through faster than the adds were healing. So I asked for heavy AoE, we wiped out the adds and went back to single target. I was annoyed at having to already call for single target dps twice in a row on the same damn trash, so before we even pulled the uglies that throw the blight bombs, I reminded everyone to single target them and wait to AoE the rest of the trash until after they were dead. So I was highly unamused to catch AoE going out and barked for single target dps on the marked target and put up a skull.

The rest of the trash was a breeze and we all hit Putricide’s room for the first time as a guild.

Splat. Splat. Splat.

Each splat came a little later than the first one, but our first wipes happened so quickly it was difficult to tell what exactly had gone wrong. In fairly short order, we had established a good rhythm on dealing with the adds and tank positioning and were getting through to the second phase consistently and without problems. Then came an attempt where I got chased by an orange add for a really. Long. Time. It simply wasn’t going down very quickly and all the other dps were still up.

I died and took advantage of my spot on the floor to eyeball the room and call out instructions that made a little more sense than my normal hurried, “Green, gray, brown, FUCK, I mean orange add is up!” (Colors apparently are too difficult for me to think of or call accurately.) We wiped again and I perused Recount. My suspicions were confirmed. Taking a deep breath, I hit my PTT button:

“Guys, I’m looking at Recount for that last attempt and there was at least one DPS who did not switch off to the orange ooze at all. Those adds should be your top priority whenever they are up. I don’t care what your numbers are like; if you can’t do your job correctly, you don’t get to be here.”

Remember, I’m usually about as forceful as a drifting snowflake, so even that, mildly worded as it was, brought a full and complete silence to vent.

In game, a healer gave me a hug. I’m still not sure if that was meant to be a “Woah, calm down, here’s a hug,” sort of thing or a “I love you for giving them what for!” sort of thing. Either way, I didn’t notice any further problems with dps not being on the adds when they were supposed to be and when we had to fight through trash again, there was no AoE until the single targets were down.

And you know what? I know I did well from various standpoints that night, as far as positioning, most of my calling, keeping things moving briskly, granting short breaks once an hour and, yes, my overall damage done. What I don’t know is who ended up topping the Recount meters because, really, it doesn’t even matter that much.

So I’m left wondering why people who say they want to progress focus on such a tiny sliver of being an overall good and skilled player and don’t seem to understand that raiding is about working together as a team over “omg, look at my leet dps.” No one cares about your numbers more than you do, I promise.

It looks like I’m going to be reinstating after-raid critiques at the forums, though. If that and direct statements during the raid fails to create changes, I’ll be thinking very seriously about removing people from their core positions to give people who have a teamwork mentality pride of place. Yes, that’s a good way to make people quit the guild, but you know, if you can’t work together as a team, you should be fired.

Posted in Leadership, Mage Related, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments