Minipost: Stealing from Rades

So I was out pet battling today and was in Moonglade trying to capture a Silky Moth when I saw something sparkling in the distance.

Sparkles may have been added to this shot.

Not being a gatherer of anything other than cloth on Alas, I decided to investigate.

And what did I see, but a bunch of fish out of water. Fish who think they are flying fish.

With love and apologies to Rades

 

This post is hella lame, especially as it is a blatant ripoff of a genuinely amusing post that made a much better go at story-telling. But I couldn’t resist. And, you know, imitation. Sincere flattery. All that.

Happy New Year, everyone! Don’t drive drunk unless it is on a Kodo. In Azeroth.

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

Dear Blizzard Santa

Dear Blizzard Santa,

I just wanted to write and “thank” you for the lovely animal carcass balls I received from you this year in Ironforge. I’ll be sure to have a good time pretending to play soccer in game, especially since I already pretend to play it with my nephews in real life. Well, I’m playing it just fine. Those two either haven’t figured out the no-hands rule or they’re in training to be goalies.

I digress.

The main thing I wanted to point out to you, Blizzard Santa, is that the only thing I actually asked for this year was a weapon upgrade. I’m not trying to be greedy, but that weapon is the only thing that stands between me and having a full complement of epics, the better to kill the bad guys with. It it also the only thing I need in order to make good use of the present Wrathion gave to me.

I feel as though I have been a fairly good girl this year, Blizzard Santa. I have done my dailies and won the admiration of every faction available to me in this new land of Pandaria. I keep up with my gemming and enchanting and do everything I can to be an asset to my guild. I even make flasks and feasts for my guild to use in raids and sometimes will drop a feast and then go ahead and eat from my own personal store of Mogu Fish Stew just so that I can say I am giving myself every possible edge.

In addition, I have been charitable with both my gold and my crafting materials and have given much to those who are more lazy less fortunate in their ability to get these things for themselves.

To go on for much longer would, I think, start to sound less like a case for my good behavior and more like bragging. But I have been good, Blizzard Santa, and I know Christmas is over, but I was hoping that you could find it in your heart, this Winter Veil Season, to arrange for a weapon for me. This will require some sort of New Year’s miracle intervention, but I believe you are able to make it happen.

Sincerely,

Alas the Beloved

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quotable quotes

I quote WoW a lot. It seeps into my daily conversation and I often find myself using a line on a coworker or a family member who knows nothing about the game and invariably end up getting funny looks. Especially since, well… here are some of my favorites:

1. Come closer! Come closer and BURN!

2. Time for fun! (You’ll be sorry!) (Time for fun!)1

3. Your pathetic [whatever] betraaaaays you!

4. Run away little girl! Run away…

5. Alas SMASH! You die!

Am I alone in this? Do you guys quote WoW? Which lines are your favorites?2

 

  1. Anyone else remember the way that guy would glitch sometimes and just keep yelling his phrases back to back?
  2. And why are mine mostly violent?
Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

post is unrelated

If I were smart and more patient, I’d probably do several smaller posts over a greater span of time rather than dish up another disjointed collection of the topics rattling around in my head. But patience has never been my strong suit.

And I like to pretend that randomness is an endearing quirk of mine.

I like to pretend a lot of things.

We won’t get into it now.

Since my last post

Self-indulgent QQ posts are useful, it seems. Admitting to you guys that I’ve been sucking somehow made the road to eventual pwning less daunting. I’ll be working intensively with Arcane this week and have already made decent amounts of progress in UI tweaking and action bar modifying. Throwing everything out and starting over isn’t something I like to do more than once or twice an expansion if I can help it, but apparently there is sometimes no use but to do so again and again until things feel right.

I’m nowhere near there, but I’m feeling like actual progress is being made. I’m seeing better results in stage one of spec testing than I did last time.

Also on the WoW front

After writing my last post, I had a really good chat with a guild mate last night and while a lot of it doesn’t need to be gone over here, she did confirm to me a thought I’ve been having lately. Like that I should get over myself and quit hiding out in semi-secrecy.

Okay, she didn’t put it quite like that. It doesn’t even matter how it was put. The point is, it’s been months and the batshit crazy people seem to have lost interest in me.

I bet no one cares, but my main’s name is Liosliath and I’m in Production Company on Moonrunner. (And now you can all armory me to lol at my half-assed attempt at mogging. I’m okay with it.)

I’d still like to change my name to Alas-something, but despite finding good Alas-based names for some of my alts, nothing has seemed quite right for my main. So it’s Liosliath until something better happens along and isn’t already taken. (If you have an idea, hit me with it. I will make you mana pudding.)

Also? My BattleTag is Alexx#1204. It’s entirely possible that I will accept friend requests from anyone deranged enough to send it my way.

Moving on is important and I’mma do it. Bluntly and randomly, as is my wont when I finally make up my mind about something.

A real life thing

Speaking of moving on. This morning, as I debated what to wear, I grabbed a pair of pants from my closet thinking I would try them on just to see how I was doing. I have several items like this in my closet that serve as goal posts on my path back to a healthy weight.

This particular pair of pants has been a major goal of mine ever since I started losing. If I could fit into them, I would be back to where I was before I started working in IT, got horribly depressed and started drinking way too much.

I don’t mind talking numbers for a minute, so let me explain that in the 2.5 years I worked that IT job, I went from a size 12 to a size 20 and most of that came within a span of only about 9 months. Talk about getting stretch marks without even getting a baby to show for it. The most I weighed in my life was when I quit that job and moved back home and I was tipping the scales at 210 pounds.

I’m still overweight, but dammit1, I made it back into those pants.

It’s a goddamn2 personal triumph. And I am proud of myself for having made it this far, which is good, because it’s been discouraging lately to see how far I still have to go.

But today, I see more clearly how far I have come. I see how I have undone that time of depression. I see how I have clawed myself at least partway out of the pit.

And maybe this post isn’t as unrelated as I initially supposed. Because everywhere I look, I see that hard work will eventually pay off. And being open isn’t that fucking3 hard.

  1. I don’t know why I’m swearing so much in this section.
  2. There I go again. I’m happy. Honest!
  3. It’s like a sickness with me.
Posted in Acts of Lameness, Real Life, Senseless Blah Blah, Weight Loss Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

and believe me I am still alive

I’m not doing much in the way of science, but I am still alive.

I’ve been in a weird place with WoW lately, in that I am playing and enjoying the hell out of the time I have spent playing, but I haven’t felt like I have anything to say about it. I’d normally talk about even my small achievements, like that my reputation grinds have been finished (just in time for a new one) and I even managed to snag the new “Beloved” title, which I am wearing like a boss all the time.

Alas, the Beloved. Oh yeah.

But I’m not feeling very beloved, truth be told. Not that I’m feeling hated or anything, but I do feel like an abject failure as I try week in and week out to improve my gear and my dps and end up short no matter what I do. I’ve read guides and tweaked my spec and talked shop with the other mage in my guild (who is kicking my ass while raid leading, humph!). I’ve spent time on dummies and out in the real world. I’ve put myself through my paces in LFR and scenarios – and in scenarios where I usually get to “tank” and dps at the same time because I always end up in a group with a priest who won’t heal anyone despite being Disc and a mage who is worse than I am by at least 10k dps.

While I’ve mentioned before that the New Guild is very good and I knew I would have to work hard to keep up, I am frustrated that all the hard work (and gold) I’ve put into my main doesn’t seem to be showing at all.

Although my GM insisted early on that I would be doing them a favor by being available to raid (me being better than a pug, more likely than not), I end each raid of each week feeling like I’m letting them down. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out I’m one of the weakest links. But worse than that, is that although I see the problem and do whatever I can think of to fix it, I’m not improving.

And I’ve never seriously thought that I could only do so well and no better, but now I am starting to wonder if this is as good a player as I will ever be. If it is, I would be the first to admit that it won’t be good enough for this guild. And that would leave me in a strange place because I like the people and I wouldn’t want to leave, but my raiding options would be shot all to hell if I stayed.

That might be looking too far down the road – especially as I haven’t actually talked to anyone about any of this – but I find myself seriously wondering if this is a situation that I can make work. I wonder if I can have a breakthrough in performance.

There’s another spec for me to try; I moved away from fire and gave frost a go over the past week. The other mage went arcane with superior results. I have a little hope that if arcane has become viable that it might be what I’ve been needing to see some improvement in my throughput. After all, I played it for the past three years. If I can regain some muscle memory in the next week or two, it might make a difference.

I’m not giving up yet. I don’t know what it would take to make me throw in the towel. But I have been having a hard time talking about WoW with this issue lingering in the back of my mind. I’ve put off talking about it because I kept hoping I would get better and I could talk about it in past tense. I was doing poorly but now I am doing better.

No such luck for me. I am doing poorly, but I hope to do better. And if I’m quiet in the coming weeks, it’s probably because I’m still trying to work things out. Or possibly because for the first time in forever my novel writing is coming easily and I’ve been able to sustain excitement and interest in fiction writing.

So that’s me. I’ll just keep on trying until I run out of cake (which, as a mage, is never).

Posted in Mage Related, Raiding | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

things I carry with me, always

I was cleaning out my bags the other day, as is my wont to do every day because I cannot abide even virtual clutter, and I had to smirk at the things that have been perpetually in my first two bag slots since… Vanilla. The first is my hearthstone and the second is another stone:

Clearly, a hunter trinket

 

The only other things I’ve held onto that long are my hearthstone and the first gold I ever made (hey, I figure if I’ve never since been down below 1g that’s a legitimate statement).

What have you held onto the longest?

Posted in Acts of Lameness, Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

the disharmony of spirits of harmony

Welp. It looks like At and I are headed for divorce.

Okay, not really. I just figured if I could get away with wailing about my in-laws planning a visit as though it were the end of the world, I could probably also get away with sensationalist blogging. This is probably untrue, but it seemed like a good way to let you guys know that At and I are having a ridiculously overwrought1 discussion about the merits of Spirits of Harmony as a crafting item.

Our arguments break down like this:

At

1. They are soulboooound. Whyyyyy are they soulbound? If you want any good weapons crafted, you need to pay someone else to use theirs because you can’t traaaaade them.

2. More QQ I didn’t listen to.

3. It’s toooo haaaard!

4. And, I dunno. More QQ I didn’t listen to.

5. Killing things takes too long for those of us who aren’t ridiculously awesome mages.2

Alas

1. They are so easy to obtain! You can plant them in the ground! You can kill things that are easy to kill and get an average of one a day just by doing dailies!

2. They are not like Chaos Orbs from the last xpac, where you had to not only finish a heroic, but also hope that your 20% odds of winning actually netted you one of the damn things. Those were soulbound, too, for most of the xpac.

3. I’m always right.

4. I said in this household I’m always right. Which makes you wrong.

5. Quit talking and fetch me a glass of wine.

You Guys

So what do you guys think? Who is right about this?

  1. We’ve talked about this more this once. So, you know, clearly a hot topic!
  2. I may be paraphrasing. Slightly.
Posted in Acts of Lameness, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

To Done Lists

I adore a good list. I don’t think that this information would come as a surprise to anyone with more than a passing familiarity with me. I make lists for everything, it seems, from packing for an overnight stay to what’s on the menu for Thanksgiving dinner to how many of what sort of thing I need to finish up my Master of the Ways cooking stuff.

To me, lists aren’t just about having a central location of information, although that is certainly handy. More often, a list is about the progress I’m currently making towards a goal. It’s like I can trick myself into performing a distasteful task (I’m looking at you, fishing) because there’s already a light at the end of the tunnel.

Hannah Hart calls this a ‘To Done’ list. It strikes me that I’m really not actually terribly good at self-motivating most of the time, but I’ve been using lists to give off the impression that I am both extremely organized and good at getting my goals set and accomplished. I guess if the end result is that I do accomplish my goals – even the silly in-game ones like “collect 30 more crocomeats” – then maybe I am that person. Sort of.

Anyhow, I’ve been steadily closing the gap on the cooking front and am looking forward to getting all the random meats and vegetables out of my bank. This is not because I have more important things to put in there, but rather that I enjoy having a mostly empty bank just in case I ever do have something more important to put in there.

When At looked over and saw the splendor of my Google WoW Food To Done list, he got jealous. So while I was waiting for him to do…. something, I created him his own sheet and filled in most of the information.

It then occurred to me that something like that could actually be useful for the community at large, especially if formulas were added to automatically tally how many of which recipe you would need to cook in order to get up to 600 and complete the achievement.

But I’m not that motivated to help other people right now. After all, I have 30 more crocomeats to farm up just for myself and then I’ll probably spend some time and effort in helping At get the things that are on his To Done list. He’s already got the run of my farm since I don’t need to grow any more vegetables for myself, so I feel like I’m giving enough.

But hey, maybe one of you guys already knows of a similar spreadsheet1 to facilitate cooking. Maybe one of you would want to make it yourselves. I’d let you. I’m hella magnanimous that way.

  1. I know there are guides out there that will tell you how many you need of what, but that format doesn’t work for me as well as it does to be able to strikethrough some cells on my own spreadsheet to indicate THIS PART IS DONE.
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Grisly Trophies and you in MoP

I have found my spot for current and future Grisly Trophy farming. It went quickly and smoothly enough, so I thought I would share it with everyone else and ask whether anyone else has their own spot all figured out.

I stumbled across mine accidentally. I only wanted to finish skilling up the Way of the Steamer, so I was after Wildfowl Breasts.

A good place for breasts

 

While there, I noticed that there were a lot of Emperor Terns around and that they both die and respawn very quickly. So in the course of killing the cranes for their breast meat (about a 50% drop rate), I also made sure to steer as many of my AoE attacks at the Terns.

Angry birds!

 

Within about a quarter hour, I had all my trophies and more than enough Wildfowl Breast to finish out all of the feasts I still needed to make to max out my leveling. I’m torn between giving my extras to At and using them to get more Ironpaw tokens.

But unless someone out there has a more time efficient spot, I think this is where I’ll be in the future for the Darkmoon quest. After all, I do so adore being able to multitask and eventually that flippable table will be mine.

Posted in Screenshots, Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

disconnect

As many of you will know, I used to be the GM of a little guild called Eff the Ineffable (and before that War Within a Breath). When I burned out on WoW in general and Cataclysm in particular, I ended up co-GMing a SWTOR guild in the interim. Then I left SWTOR to return to WoW and obviously gave up any claim to leading the SWTOR guild. Now, it’s been several months since I’ve been involved in the leadership of any guild and I’m still trying to come to grips with what that means.

I don’t know if it’s just me being unable to fully let go, or if this is something that many people experience, but I’m finding the process of transitioning from “leader” to “peon” to be oddly difficult. There’s a lot of aspects that keep coming up and they honestly never occurred to me before.1

Finding the other side of the coin

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you may recall some of my more colorful rants about several of the difficulties inherent in being a GM. There’s a lot of shit that I’m relieved to not have to deal with any longer. What I didn’t anticipate is how there’s a flip side to the things I hated and it’s that flip side that I feel a bit bereft without.

I once complained that I couldn’t log on without having a half dozen tells from people who urgently needed to tell me something. I don’t miss that. But I do miss feeling connected. I do miss the flowchart I had in my head that could map all the relationships between not only myself and each individual in the guild, but also between the individuals themselves. When I was a GM, I knew who respected me, who hated me, who was best friends with whom and which members were most likely to get into the occasional heated squabble with each other. I knew who was central and who was an outlier; which people would remain loyal to the guild despite setbacks and difficulties and who might cut and run at the earliest signs of trouble.

Part of that was being a GM and part of that was spending several years with a somewhat stable group of the same people. Now I am neither in leadership nor do I have a long history with anyone in the new guild, except the few people who followed me there to hang out. So I’ve been struggling with feeling completely disconnected with my guild as a whole and that’s a strange feeling when I’ve spent the past four or five years being central by virtue of being in charge.

The reasons I feel disconnected

I’m the biggest part of the problem when it comes to this only reason for this disconnected feeling I have in regards to my place in the New Guild. I convinced myself before I even started that the best thing I could do would be to keep my head down and my mouth shut and just try like hell to do my best in any guild group situations.

It’s kind of a lot of stress and while I know that I have only myself to blame for it, I find I have a difficult time relaxing. I wouldn’t say that I’m not being myself with the New Guild. I’m just being the painfully reserved version of myself, unable to contribute to any discussions without over-thinking my words for so long that by the time I feel I have them in the right order and with the proper tone, everyone else has already moved on.

And… you guys know how I’m neurotic, right (cue sounds of feigned surprise: WHAT? Really? YOU?!)? Yeah, that hasn’t changed at all over the past several months. It’s one thing to say I’m going to try to learn to not give a fuck about what people think and it’s another thing to make a good pretense at not giving a fuck. But actually not giving a fuck? I think that will always be out of my grasp.

It was different when I was a GM. Because there wasn’t any pressure to be just me and hope that people liked me well enough. I wasn’t just Alas. I was Alas the GM and wearing that hat was like slipping into yet another different version of myself – one that could be as brash and rude and derpy and sarcastic as I was capable of being and totally get away with it.

Alas the Peon is another story altogether. Alas the Peon is much closer to who I actually am behind the avatar and even the writer of these words on the blog. Alas the blogger or Alas on Twitter can and do say pretty much anything that comes to mind without worrying too much about what people think. That Alas can trust that if people are reading the blog or following on Twitter that it was choice they made to do so. Alas the Peon in a new guild is besieged with doubts that anyone other than the GM wants her there at all.

Isn’t it funny how all those versions of me are true to me but all it takes is a situation change to throw me completely off my stride? I envy people like At who are just always themselves and are never tripped up by fears of who might be watching.

On timing and structure

But there’s been another contributing factor to the disconnect and while it’s also entirely my own doing, I didn’t realize until a few days ago that it was getting in the way. As previously mentioned, I do my dailies in the morning while I am at work. You know who else is on during the day? Not very many people. And from all I can tell, those few who are on are also engaged in trying to get their dailies done.

By the time I get home at night, I’m done with WoW for the day. So I make dinner and eat and then park my ass on the couch and work on my frightfully enormous cross stitch project with the television on in the background. All of which is to say that during the potential peak times of guild activity, I am nowhere to be found.

Between that and raids getting cancelled the past two weekends, I’ve had virtually no interaction with anyone in my guild for nearly three weeks. At least until yesterday when my GM was also on during the day and organized some Scenario runs. I was so awash in a flood of positive emotions from having that interaction that I even queued in LFR later that afternoon after also taking Vidyala up on a general invitation to come kill Galleon.

While LFR totally killed my desire to be around other people for a while, it was a far more interesting day in WoW than any I can remember having in recent history.

The plan to connect

So I guess that I like that my guild is mostly pretty quiet, but even though I’m the most seriously introverted person I know, it seems that I do still need to get some interaction out of my time spent in game.

Exposure is going to be key, because I’ll never stop being painfully reserved if I never get comfortable enough around these people to carry on a normal conversation. With that in mind, I’m letting go of my decided preference to do dailies in the morning with less competition (it helps that I’m down to only needing Shado Pan and August Celestials) and will be getting online in the evenings instead.

This should also please poor At, who tries to do a handful of dailies with me in the mornings before we go to work, but who is horribly behind because he chooses to spend time with me in the evenings and doesn’t have the luxury of being able to play at work. No wonder I’ve felt a lingering guilt regarding his lack of progress in reputation grinding.

I don’t know whether or when I might get over over-thinking everything I say in the context of the guild. I’m sure I’ll always carry with me some great or small concern about how others are perceiving me. But that’s always going to be the case because I can’t fathom a version of me that could ever be so carefree. But if could relax a bit and figure out how to just be less uptight in this situation and this guild and this context? Well, that would be excellent indeed.

Wish me luck?

  1. Not going to get into it in this post, but one of the changes in being a peon that has really thrown me is in relation to this blog. I’m not in leadership any more and it’s difficult to write about leadership when you’re not actively doing it. I have an irrational fear that it would either come across as pompous or as a criticism of my current GM
Posted in Leadership, Raiding, Real Life, Thoughts and Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments