…such a tank and such a GM

Chapter 30

Sir William stayed only a week visiting the other server, but his visit was long enough to convince him of ex-guild member’s being most comfortably settled, and of her possessing such a tank and such a GM as were not often met with. While Sir William was with them, Mr. Collins devoted his morning to power leveling them, and speaking at length on how they might make their own money on the Auction House; but when he went away, the whole guild returned to their usual employments, and Elizabeth was thankful to find that they saw less of Mr. Collins by the alteration, for the chief of the time in the morning was now passed by him either at work picking herbs or in searching out achievement points, and being always at the ready should his GM log on. The activities in which the others engaged was that of questing in low level areas. Elizabeth had at first rather wondered that Charlotte should prefer spending so much time with them on her main; but she soon saw that her friend had an excellent reason for what she did, for Mr. Collins would undoubtedly have been much less in his own activities, had Charlotte herself been leveling a new character; and she gave Charlotte credit for the arrangement.

Very few days passed in which Mr. Collins did not raid with <Rosings>, and not many in which his healer did not think it necessary to go likewise; and till Elizabeth recollected that there might be other rewards to be disposed of, she could not understand the sacrifice of so many hours. Now and then they were honoured with a bit of conversation from her ladyship, and nothing escaped her observation that was passing in the guild during these visits. She examined into their professions, looked at their skill level, and advised them to do it differently; found fault with the use of the crafted materials; or detected the fishing in negligence.

Elizabeth soon perceived, that though this great lady was not in commission of the peace of the server, she was a most active magistrate in her own guild, the minutest concerns of which were carried to her by Mr. Collins; and whenever any of the members were disposed to be quarrelsome, discontented, or too poor, she sallied forth into the forums to settle their differences, silence their complaints, and scold them into harmony and plenty.

The entertainment of a run through from Lady Catherine was repeated about twice a week; and, allowing for the loss of Sir William, every such entertainment was the counterpart of the first. Their other engagements were few, as the style of being accepted in the guild in general was beyond Mr. Collins’s reach. This, however, was no evil to Elizabeth, and upon the whole she spent her time comfortably enough; there were half-hours of pleasant conversation with Charlotte, and the economy on this server was generally so favorable for those with an excess of lower level materials that she spent much time running between the bank and the auction house.

In this quiet way, the first fortnight of her visit soon passed away. Noblegarden was approaching, and the week preceding it was to bring an addition to the guild <Rosings>, which in so small a circle must be important. Elizabeth had heard soon after her arrival that Mr. Darcy was expected there in the course of a few weeks, and though there were not many of her acquaintances whom she did not prefer, his coming would furnish one comparatively new to look at in their <Rosings> parties, and she might be amused in seeing how hopeless Caroline’s designs on him were, by his behaviour to the GM’s daughter, for whom he was evidently destined by Lady Catherine, who talked of his coming with the greatest satisfaction, spoke of him in terms of the highest admiration, and seemed almost angry to find that he had already been frequently seen by herself.

His arrival was soon known on the server; for Mr. Collins was refreshing his “Who List” every few seconds, in order to have the earliest assurance of it, and after seeing him finally appear online sent immediate word to Lady Catherine. On the following moment he hastened to send a tell to pay his respects. There were two new raiders of Lady Catherine to require them, for Mr. Darcy had brought with him a Colonel Fitzwilliam, the alt of a somewhat famous raider, and, to the great surprise of all the party, the gentlemen instantly greeted everyone in the guild and offered to queue for a random heroic. Charlotte was asked to heal and sent a tell to her friend:

“I may thank you, Eliza, for this piece of civility. Mr. Darcy would never have come so soon to wait upon me.”

Elizabeth had scarcely time to disclaim all right to the compliment, before the party was formed, and shortly afterwards the instance was cleared in record time. Colonel Fitzwilliam, who led the dps charts, was well geared, not arrogant, but in person and address most truly the gentleman. Mr. Darcy tanked just as he had before in perfect silence — and paid his compliments, with his usual reserve, to the whole party after the run had ended.

Colonel Fitzwilliam entered into guild chat conversation directly with the readiness and ease of a well-bred man, and talked very pleasantly; but Mr. Darcy, after having addressed a slight observation on the amount of progression, sat for some time without speaking to anybody. At length, however, his civility was so far awakened as to inquire of Elizabeth after the state of her guild. She answered him in the usual way, and after a moment’s pause, added:

“Jane has been on your home server these three months. Have you never happened to see her there?”

She was perfectly sensible that he never had; but she wished to see whether he would betray any consciousness of what had passed between the Mr. Bingley and Jane, and she thought he looked a little confused as he answered that he had never been so fortunate as to meet Jane. The subject was pursued no farther, and the gentlemen soon afterwards went away.

 

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

Fancy Art Submissions

This piece of fine art comes from Amber, of I Like Bubbles.

Alas 2.0 is now 68 and I have yet to actually meet my namesake in game, but I think this is a beautiful rendition. There’s so much realism in the way a dinosaur bearing my name and owned by Amber would want to bite Kotakh in half.

Posted in Senseless Blah Blah | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

To Alas, with chagrin and self-loathing

Alas is so fail
She should simply quit blogging
No one’s entertained

On haiku Monday
She is posting from the train
Clearly, Alas stinks

Posted in Acts of Lameness | 8 Comments

My RL friends list

I’ve never been a wildly social person. My whole life, I have valued a small handful of close friends and shunned making more than an acquaintance of anyone outside that small circle.

Some people think I’m a standoffish sort of bitch for that. Whatever.

I was thinking about friends today because I called my oldest friend, whom we shall call Mrs. Azzah. I don’t recall exactly how old I was when I met her, but it was around my early teens. I thought she was pretty weird at first. She pronounced certain words in odd ways and thought the Delta Center was a place where airplanes were made. I was such a little jerk and figured we wouldn’t be friends. She was too weird.

Math brought us together. Rather, the fact that neither one of us was particularly good at math brought us together in the form of tutoring sessions from an insanely brilliant guy who was a few years older than us and probably was mystified as to how to get either of us to stop talking about the boys long enough to understand the equations that came as naturally as breathing to him. We would sit at my kitchen table and enumerate our crushes’ good qualities to each other and laugh at some of the more unlikely prospects each had entertained.

Then we drifted apart for several years and she came back into my life during an interesting period in her own. It’s not my story to tell and it’s not important. What is important is that we bonded again, this time over things less definable than math. And this time, we stayed close.

Certain things helped that. We both got engaged the same night and showed each other our rings at a mutual friend’s wedding soon after. We both married in early June, her wedding a full year before mine. We both moved to Missouri. And I, at least, depended on her during the years we both lived there, though she was 100 miles away.

Her husband is the reason I started playing WoW. And we all get along famously, no matter what we’re doing. It’s a great friendship.

It’s been affected by distance a little. She moved away from Missouri several months before I did and I haven’t seen her for about a year now. But I called her today to plot for Operation New Years! and we picked up as though we had never left off.

I asked how she was and she told me of a situation that she is dealing with in regards to another friend of hers. It’s not pretty. And when she finished, she said she felt that something must be wrong with her because of this friend and a few other people who had been complete bitches in ending their friendship with her.

“I’m the common denominator,” she said.

“No,” I told her. “The common denominator is that people are assholes.”

And if you knew Mrs. Azzah, you would agree. She is so effervescent and charming and delightful. She listens so well and gives such good advice. She makes you feel like your life is the most important thing in the world to her.

She’s my oldest and dearest friend, I realized. No one else from that long ago has remained even half so close.

Just talking to her made me feel saner, like I could handle all the crazy shit real life is throwing my way. Friends are awesome like that, picking you up when you are down and reminding you of who you are and what you’re capable of when you are lost in a thicket of despair.

So if you have a friend like my Mrs. Azzah, take a moment to think about them and what they do for you. Tell them you love them. Go visit. Call. A friend like that is more precious than diamonds and they deserve to hear it.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Math and Science

I’m whining through the fine medium of bad MSPaint today.

Deal with it.

I’m all emotional and shit.

This is me. It's a very accurate rendering. No really.

 

This is me and a very accurate rendering of my responsibilities. I keep them in boxes. This is real life math and science. When you take Me and add Responsibilities, I grow hair and then drown. Trufax.

This is me wondering where the hell the third picture is getting off to when I hit publish: ???WTF????

This is real life math and science. When you take Me and add Responsibilities, I grow hair and then drown. Trufax.

Thanks to Amber who reminded me that MSPaint is the best solution to lack of content. Thanks to my bad attitude for not caring if I get caught doing this at the Shitty Temp Job. And thanks to myself for giving myself a goddamn break and killing nearly an hour in this fashion.

Posted in Acts of Lameness, rant, Real Life | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Mon Dieu, je regrette…

An apology for last week’s post, which was apparently only funny to me. Dedicated to my fabulous and apparently spiteful Team Heal.

I learned the hard way
One does not mock the lightwell
Unless one likes death

Don’t do it, kids. It’s just not worth it.

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Another Effing update

I don’t have a whole lot of time this morning before I have to dash out the door the catch my train. So no clever background (or attempts at such) before I delve into today’s list of reasons why I am super enjoying Eff the Ineffable.

The people. With only a few coming with me from the old guild and one of those leaving within the first few weeks, raiding was something for which we had to recruit. I’d recruited only through server forums posts before, so I was unsure how this whole recruiting through a blog thing would turn out. I mean, chances were good that I would be asking people to spend real money to try us out. But we got some absolute gems and have fitted together so nicely. I just hope that this far in no one is thinking: Well, that was a mistake.

The communication. Our forums can get pretty damn heated from time to time because most of us tend to be pretty opinionated. And with a lot of former Guild and Raid Leaders in the ranks, I think most of us are used to eventually being agreed with by the majority. Because we don’t have any effing officers, I’ve found myself treating the discussions as those I would have with a huge, somewhat unwieldy officer group and then either looking for a compromise, making a suggestion or implying strongly everyone should STFU because we’re doing it my way. They tend to ignore me and keep right on going with their points. Most of our decisions are made through consensus and my inner dictator has been trampled. Woe.

The raiding. It’s still herding cats sometimes, but these cats need less brute force and/or tranquilizing shots to get them pointing in the right direction. We may not be 12/12 by the time Firelands hits, but for all our late start to the raiding game as a guild, I am not discontent.

The unity. The amount of pitching in I see whenever we have a goal as a guild is pretty spectacular. Every herbalist I know has been out there yanking flowers out of the ground and sending everything they get to Zel who has somehow become the guild flask maker, despite having several others who are specced into it. We’re very close to getting our cauldrons and everyone is pulling together for the goal. Most people also helped out with fishing (even though it’s boring), though we certainly wouldn’t have come so far, so fast without everyone who attended my lame fishing WoW-Jeopardy contest.

That’s all I have the time for today. I’ve been a little: RAWR! ME SMASH YOU DIE lately, because there are some flies in the ointment. But reflecting on the good you have is always better than stewing over the bad. What things make your guild awesome? What do you have to be thankful for lately?

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

My 29th copout

Chapter 29

Mr. Collins’s triumph, in consequence of the /ginvite, was complete. The power of displaying the grandeur of his GM to his wondering visitors, and of letting them see her civility towards himself and his pocket healer, was exactly what he had wished for; and that an opportunity of doing it should be given so soon, was such an instance of Lady Catherine’s condescension, as he knew not how to admire enough.

“I confess,” said he, “that I should not have been at all surprised by her Guild Master’s asking us on Sunday to drink Honeymint tea and spend the evening at power leveling. I rather expected, from my knowledge of her affability, that it would happen. But who could have foreseen such an attention as this? Who could have imagined that we should receive an invitation to get a run through (an invitation, moreover, including the whole party) so immediately after your arrival!”

“I am the less surprised at what has happened,” replied Sir William, “from that knowledge of what the manners of the great really are, which my situation in game has allowed me to acquire. About the leadership of a good guild, such instances of elegant breeding are not uncommon.”

Scarcely anything was talked of the whole day or next morning but their planned forays to low level dungeons. Mr. Collins was carefully instructing them in what they were to expect, that the sight of such rooms, so many mobs, and so splendid a run through from a GM, might not wholly overpower them.

When the ladies were emptying their bags in preparation for the looting, he said to Elizabeth—

“Do not make yourself uneasy about your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring that superiority of gear in us which becomes herself and her daughter. I would advise you merely to put on whatever of your gear is superior to the rest—there is no occasion for anything more. Lady Catherine will not think the worse of you for being not in epics. She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved.”

While they were preparing, he came two or three times to their vent channel, to recommend their being quick, as Lady Catherine very much objected to be kept waiting for anything. Such formidable accounts of her ladyship, and her manner of living, quite frightened Maria who had been little used to GMs of a raiding guild, and she looked forward to getting a run through with as much apprehension as her GM had done to his first battleground.

As the summoning stones did not yet allow higher level characters to use them (though it was rumored such would come in a future patch), they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across Westfal. Every zone has its beauty and its prospects; and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with, though she could not be in such raptures as Mr. Collins expected the scene to inspire, and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the zone, and his relation of how long it had taken him to quest through it his first time.

When they descended into the Defias hideout Maria’s alarm was every moment increasing, and even Sir William was not perfectly calm. Elizabeth’s courage did not fail her. She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary talents or miraculous virtue, and the mere stateliness of gold or guild rank she thought she could witness without trepidation.

From the entrance, of which Mr. Collins pointed out, with a rapturous air, the fine proportion, they followed through an ante-chamber, to the room where Lady Catherine was waiting. Her GMship, with great condescension, gave them all a buff; and as Charlotte had settled it with Mr. Collins that three lowbies did not need any more than one higher level character to run them through, it was performed in a proper manner, without any of those explanations and pauses which he would have thought necessary.

In spite of being a GM in his own right, Sir William was so completely awed by the grandeur surrounding him, that he had but just courage enough to make an emote of thanks; and Mariah, frightened almost out of her senses, hit her autorun key and pulled the first room of mobs. Elizabeth found herself quite equal to the affair, and merely waited for dead bodies to loot. Lady Catherine was a tall, fat boomkin, with strongly-marked features, which might once have been handsome. Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving them such as to make her visitors forget their inferior rank. She was not rendered formidable by silence; but whatever she said was spoken in so authoritative a tone, as marked her self-importance, and brought Mr. Wickham immediately to Elizabeth’s mind; and from the observation of the day altogether, she believed Lady Catherine to be exactly what he represented.

After pulling a few mobs, they were all sent to gather the loot, Mr. Collins droning on about how beneficial even a few greens would be to them at this level, and Lady Catherine kindly informing them that that her own fortune had been made through her own efforts at level.

The runthrough was exceedingly fast, and there was all the xp and all the articles of loot which Mr. Collins had promised; and he praised his GM’s ability with delighted alacrity; and every thing he said seconded by Sir William, who was now enough recovered to echo Mr Collins, in a manner which Elizabeth wondered Lady Catherine could bear. But Lady Catherine seemed gratified by their excessive admiration, and gave most gracious smiles, especially when anything useful dropped. The party did not supply much conversation. Elizabeth was ready to speak whenever there was an opening, but Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins between them made such things impossible.

When they had finished, there was little to be done but to hear Lady Catherine talk, which she did without any intermission, delivering her opinion on every subject in so decisive a manner, as proved that she was not used to have her judgement controverted. She inquired into Charlotte’s gearing concerns familiarly and minutely, gave her a great deal of advice as to the management of them all; told her how everything ought to be regulated, and instructed her as to the care of her gems and her enchants. Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great lady’s attention, which could furnish her with an occasion of dictating to others. In the intervals of her discourse with Mrs. Collins, she addressed a variety of questions to Maria and Elizabeth, but especially to the latter, of whose connections she knew the least, and who she observed to Charlotte was a very genteel, reserved kind of girl. She asked her, at different times, how many guild members she had, whether they were more or less serious about raiding than herself, whether any of them were likely to run heroic modes, whether they were geared, where they had been educated, what number of bank tabs her GM kept, and what had been her the reason for the guild name? Elizabeth felt all the impertinence of her questions but answered them very composedly. Lady Catherine then observed,

“Your guild is entailed on Mr. Collins, I think. For your sake,” turning to Charlotte, “I am glad of it; but otherwise I see no occasion for entailing guilds away from the people in them. Do you fish and cook, Elizabeth?”

“A little.”

“Oh! then—some time or other we shall be happy to have you ply those skills. First aid is also not to be neglected, though many people will. Do any of your guild mates employ all the secondary tradeskills?”

“One of them does.”

“Why did not you all learn? You ought all to have learned. Everyone in my guild is required to do so, and we do not provide them the means. Do you play the AH for income?”

“No, not at all.”

“What, none of you?”

“Not one.”

“That is very strange. But I suppose you had no opportunity. Your guild cannot be getting many BoE drops.”

“What BoE drops we do get are used within the guild.”

“Has your guild banker left you?”

“We never had any guild banker.”

“No guild banker! How was that possible? I never heard of such a thing. Your other officers must work very hard.”

Elizabeth could hardly help smiling as she assured her that was not the case.

“Then, who cares for the guild? Who attends to you? Without dutiful officers, you must be neglected.”

“Compared with some guilds, I believe we were; but such of us as wished to make gold never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to run dailies, and had all the aid that was necessary. Those who chose to be idle, certainly might.”

“Aye, no doubt; but that is what a good officer will prevent, and if I had known your officers, I should have advised them most strenuously to be more active. I always say that nothing is to be done in game without steady and regular instruction, and nobody but an officer can give it. It is wonderful how many guilds I have been the means of supplying in that way. I am always glad to get another GM on the right track. Are any of your guild mates raiding in non guild groups, Elizabeth?”

“Yes, ma’am, all.”

“All! What, all of them at once? Very odd! And you doing the same and not very geared. The newer 80’s must not be very well geared?”

“Yes, the newest has barely one or two epics. Perhaps she is undergeared to be much raiding. But really, ma’am, I think it would be very hard upon new 80’s, that they should not have their share of experience and loot, because the older may not have the means or inclination to raid seriously. The newest 80 has as good a right to the pleasures of raiding at the first. And to be kept back on such a motive! I think it would not be very likely to promote guild affection or experience in raiding.”

“Upon my word,” said her ladyship, “you give your opinion very decidedly for so untried a raider. Pray, what is your GearScore?”

“With several guildmates undergeared,” replied Elizabeth, smiling, “your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it.”

Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence.

“You cannot be more than 4500, I am sure, therefore you need not conceal your Score.”

“I am not 4400.”

When the power leveling was over, the level 80’s all set to the task of a running heroics. The lower level plays were left to quest or queue for randoms as they liked. Their PUGs were superlatively stupid. Scarcely a syllable was uttered that did not relate to one of them needing to l2play, except when Elizabeth told a rather mouthy hunter to shut up. A great deal more passed in the guild heroic. Lady Catherine was generally speaking—stating the mistakes of the four others, or relating some anecdote of herself. Mr. Collins was employed in agreeing to everything her ladyship said, thanking her for every loot role he won, and apologising if he thought he won too many.

When Lady Catherine had played as long as she chose, the groups were broken up and various people began logging off for the night. Everyone left in the guild chat were able to hear Lady Catherine determine what sort of loot they were to have drop on the morrow. As soon as Lady Catherine had logged off for the night, Elizabeth was called on by Mr. Collins to give her opinion of all that she had seen at <Rosings>, which, for Charlotte’s sake, she made more favourable than it really was. But her commendation, though costing her some trouble, could by no means satisfy Mr. Collins, and he was very soon obliged to take her ladyship’s praise into his own hands.


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

Why I’m not raiding tonight

At and I have been married for eight years today.

We have traditions on our wedding day, as I am sure most married couples do. We usually recite our vows to each other, often in the quiet of the evening. Sometimes we will watch our wedding video, laughing at my youngest brother for going down the wrong aisle with the rings and sighing in amazement that anyone let us get married at all when we were so young. I laugh out loud at the memory of the cardboard signs our best man and maid of honor held up when we kissed. I think we scored a 9.0 and a 6.3.

I remember it all so vividly that I scarcely need the video or the pictures to remind me what it was like.

But as bright as the memories of my wedding are, it’s in the eight years that have passed since then that all the real stuff has been. I’ve been deliriously happy and enraged and so sad I thought I could never get over it. I’ve been content and I’ve felt safe and I have wondered whether getting married was a good thing.

In other words, life has happened in eight years, and At has been the man I’ve shared it all with, good and bad.

Reaching this eight year mark has, to me, the feeling of just barely making it over the finish line. Things have been difficult lately, but we’re working through it all. One foot in front of the other, trusting that neither one of us will drop the other.

Marriage is hard. But mostly it’s wonderful.

This time last year, I wished for 70 more wonderful years. It’s easy to think that what I wanted was 70 more happy years. I do, but you know what they say about needing to know sorrow to fully know joy?

I’ve known both this year and am likely to know both for every year to come.

As long as I have At tanking for me… and throwing some heals my way…. so I can stand in the back and make rude comments about people, I think it’ll all work out.

Posted in Real Life | Tagged , | 29 Comments

Haiku Monday Rides Again!

This goes out to Zel, who taught me lolwells are not just for peeing in.

The lovely lightwell
Sits where it is placed, waiting
Too bad it still sucks

Healers like to say
DPS need to pay heed
Get out of the bad

Bitch, I am busy
Got my pew pew rotation
Heals now, kthxbai

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