Blog Azeroth: Meeting Bastian

[This is in response to this week’s Shared Topic over at Blog Azeroth – RP meeting your mount.]

Lisan looked dubiously at the white destrier in front of her as Thomas tried to convince her to take the beast.

“You’ll need a more battle-ready mount now that you’re going into more dangerous territories,” he insisted. “He’s trained for battle, to trample your enemies, use his hooves as weapons. He is as necessary as your mace, or your connection to the Light!”

“Drika is a good courser, and has seen me through plenty of battles,” Lisan said firmly, as the destrier pranced a bit, clearly (to Lisan’s mind) wishing to run or kick something. Lisan could understand the use of larger stallions, and why it was common among warriors and paladins alike, for their aggressive nature and their strength in carrying warriors in heavy plate armour, but she’d much rather have her good-tempered and just as combat-ready mare than this brute. “I have no need for another. Do you remember what happened last time the Church tried to give me a mount?”

Thomas sighed. “You walked, as slowly as possible, to the border of the Redridge region, and you bought a pony.”

“That pony served me well,” Lisan said stoutly. “But then I met Shalan and he agreed to lower the price on one of his mares if I traded him the pony. And Drika is perfect for me.”

“Some take more than one mount, you know,” Thomas pointed out.

“Yes, and some can afford to feed and stable more than one mount when they’re not in the bounds of the Church’s hospitality,” Lisan countered. “Give him to some poor sod who doesn’t know any better than to take an ill-tempered nag–”

Lisan cut off with a start as the destrier stepped forward to bump his nose good-naturedly against her shoulder, lipping the edges of her tunic. All his pent-up energy seemed to have siphoned away, and it occurred to her that perhaps he just had very much wanted to smell this new person that Thomas had been presenting him to.

She cautiously placed a hand on his nose, and then slowly moved to run her hands down his neck and flanks, examining him. He watched her as she inspected him, but made no move to kick or bite or even shy away. He was a rather handsome animal, when it came down to it, and she could think of a few situations where having a heavier-built mount than Drika would be beneficial…

“His name is Bastian,” Thomas said, a smug note in his voice. “He’s really the best I’ve seen in a while, I was saving him for you.”

“And he is altogether too pleased with himself,” Lisan muttered to Bastian under her breath. “Don’t suppose you could nip a little humility into him…”

To her surprise, Bastian immediately turned and gently nipped at the other paladin’s hand, giving him a reproachful-sounding whinny and putting one ear back. The startled and confused look on Thomas’ face was enough to make Lisan burst out laughing, and she rested her cheek against Bastian’s neck.

“I think I might keep him after all,” she told Thomas. “He seems to have good taste.”


Brief thoughts on 25-man raids

Important thoughts? Not really – I’ve run one (count ’em) 25-man raid in my life, when a guildie got me into a PUG for ToC25. That’s where I got my oh-so-gorgeous Greaves of the 7th Legion, which replaced whatever wannabe Ugg boots I’d been wearing before.

I like to look good, what do you want from me?

Anyway, part of me is… nervous, at the thought of running 25-mans, and the realisation that come Cata, I’m going to be. My computer isn’t the worst out there, but sometimes my lag gets NUTS. Now, part of my problems tend to be that when I’m running randoms, people don’t actually wait for me to phase in fully before aggroing the nearest trash. Which doesn’t bother me much when I’m DPSing, but when I’m HEALING, it can mean a wipe before I’ve even had a chance to see what’s going on. Which I then get blamed for. I hate it.

Of course, if they wait, I zone in, start buffing, by the time I’m done, the lag tends to have evened out. And if I start lagging again, if I can warn the others in time and they LISTEN, it clears up pretty quick. It’s not a CONSTANT problem. Which, I suppose, is why I shouldn’t be worried – a random 5-man is not the same as a guild-run 25-man. There will most likely be vent. There will be ready checks. If I’m lagging, or not zoned in, I can say, “Man, it’s taking a long time to zone me in, hang tight,” and I can rest easy knowing that if they decide to start pulling trash anyway, they’re doing it consciously without my help. Which means if somehow we wipe, no one in their right minds will be blaming me.

Still. It makes me wring my hands and fret. What if my lag’s too bad? What if I just can’t get 25-man raids to work properly for me? What if I lag a bit and they get annoyed with me while I’m figuring out how to compensate for it? WHAT THEN?

I’ve got a plan, though. It’s a good plan. If, when I finally start raiding, I have bad lag, I will make sure my graphics are turned down and I will turn off ALL non-essential addons. Considering that, at the moment, anyway, the only essential addons out of the many I use are Vuhdo, Bartender, and Omen, I think that’ll probably help a lot. If I’m still lagging, I’ll just have to learn to compensate. And if I can’t do that, I’ll get a Ret offspec and just raid in that, dammit.

And now that I’m done freaking myself out over nothing… I’m going to go see if I can’t get Lis to level 45 tonight. Shouldn’t be too hard, if I can stomach Maraudon, Maraudon, and more Maraudon. Followed by Sunken Temple. Ugh. Can has BC 5-mans? Pls?


Loremaster and Aiming for 80

So I have two goals before Cataclysm hits. See, I know a lot of people are trying to finish off a bunch of achievements before the expansion – some because they might be gone or changed forever (Loremaster, The Explorer), and some… so they can say that they had it before Cata, I guess.

Because she’s my only level 80 character at the moment, Aislinn has been the one I’ve tried for most of my achieves on. I’m probably going to finish my “do all the old-world 5-mans” at some point on her, but that’s not really what I’m trying to do. What I’m trying to do is get her Loremaster. The problem, of course, being that she’s a Death Knight, and never actually did more than about 70 quests total in old world. She needs 1400. Plus finishing Outland and Northrend, which will be no small feat, either. On the way I’m hoping to also finish Master of Arms and Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich, as well as getting some work done on <a href=

However, all of that has been put on the backburner, because my favourite holy pally is planning on starting up her old raiding guild in Cata. And, as we were discussing on twitter yesterday, I would really be down with putting an app in. Which requires me to get Lisan to 85 (and Heroic gear) as quickly as possible once Cata hits. And the best way to do that is to get her levelled and geared in Wrath, pre-Cata. A bonus is I’m finally levelling her fishing while she’s waiting in the queue. Step 2: level herbalism. Step 3: ??? Step 4: PROFIT!

She’s sittin’ pretty halfway through 42 right now. I am fucking sick of Mauradon. I miss Uldaman. Seriously. I never thought I’d say that. She’s levelling entirely through healing instances (which sucks when the queues are 15+ minutes, even for healers), and most of her levelling is being done with a friend of mine who rolled and levelled a shadow priest specifically to run things with me. :) As he has his own guild and his own raids already, I doubt he’ll be following me to Kurn’s guild (provided I’ve got the stuff to get in *crosses fingers*), but that’s okay. :) For the time being, it’s just nice to have someone to complain with over vent when the tank’s being a dumbass. Also someone that I trust to pop a bubble on the tank if something happens and I can’t heal briefly. Like being LoS’d (happens all the time) or the tank ignoring that I declare my intentions to drink and pulling while I’m filling up my mana bar (also happens all the time).

I’m pretty excited about working on both my goals, to be honest. It’s kind of nice to be working towards things a bit more concrete than “oh, I’d like to reach 80 eventually, I guess…” which is my normal course of action.

And now I go to work obscenely early. Have a good day, my darlings!

PvE · Roleplay

Name changes ftw!

Briefly before this post: I AM still planning to finish that srs biznss post. It’s just awkwardly worded still, and I’d like to make sure it’s polished before I put it up, and as this blog is a hobby, when I get worn down from work, this is one of the first things to get ignored. /sheepish


I put in a name change for Lizzy today! :D She is now Lisan, which fits her so much better. I rolled her on a whim after being on a Pirates of the Caribbean kick, and named her after the lovely Elizabeth Swann – but once I ended up speccing her into holy, she didn’t really seem like a Lizzy anymore. I couldn’t tell what name did fit her, though.

And then a friend of mine started off a DnD campaign that he dragged me into (I say, as if I didn’t jump at the chance), and I developed a combat-healer cleric (who is also a werewolf, incidentally – if only Worgen were getting paladins in Cata!) based on my feel for Lizzy… but I named her Lisan instead.

And that clicked. As I’ve been playing the campaign, I’ve been grasping Lisan more and more, and as I do that, I’ve found it harder to play Lizzy with the same enthusiasm. Names have a lot of power, in my opinion, and the wrong name can make a character impossible to play or write correctly. Part of this is from personal experience – I have never felt so comfortable with and sure of myself as I did the day I decided on the name I would use to replace the one on my birth certificate – that name was wrong, it wasn’t who I was. My new name is, and I’ve been able to be myself with so much more confidence since I owned it and declared that that was who I am.

“But Apple,” sayeth you, “it’s just a WoW character, and you’re not even RPing with her! Why is her name so important? Can’t you just name her
‘sparklemotion’ or something and play her just as well?” No, I can’t. The thing is that I don’t just play games, or read books, or watch TV shows. I immerse myself in them. Media that keeps throwing me out of the story and the world, for whatever reason, is the stuff I can least enjoy, even if the premise is amazing and the characters intriguing. And in a medium like WoW, where I literally create my avatar, my conduit to immersing myself in the world, I have to have some idea of who they are. They aren’t just a costume that I put on – they are their own people, in a way. They have stories, personalities, hopes, and dreams. Does that mean I’m constantly playing as if I WAS them? No. But the fact is that if I roll a character and never give them any personality, any sense of existence, I won’t be able to play them for more than a few hours. Trust me, there are plenty of deleted and abandoned characters on my account who have been proof of that.

So now Lizzy has become Lisan (I’ve changed her tag to match), and I feel like everything is right in healerland. And as I close this blog, I’ve a question for you – readers, fellow bloggers, whoever cares to answer, wherever they care to answer it:

What do character names mean to you? Are they important, or do you just name them whatever you think of off the top of your head?


Blizzard actually BACKED DOWN?

Wow. Uh… to be honest, I didn’t think they’d do it.

There are still things I’m not really pleased with (like the apparent Facebook integration that’ll be happening), and I still disagree with a lot of how the in-game optional Real ID is currently working, but we don’t really know anything about the Facebook thing yet, and the in-game optional Real ID is just that– optional. I’m still gonna be opinionated, and I still want certain features implemented for my own peace of mind when using it, but it’s not the same sort of outrageously invasive thing that the forum change was going to be.

I still have that srs biznss post in the works – it’s a very hard topic for me to get my thoughts together on, it would seem. I apologise to the couple of you I know are waiting on it, but I’m sure you can appreciate the difficulties in getting a post like this done to my satisfaction. :)

Anyway, we got Blizzard to back down. This makes us Big Damn Heroes right now, in my opinion – every single person who spoke out against this change, anywhere. We should have an INTERNET DRAGONS party (as I saw someone suggest on twitter) and take a day to forget all the things that are still problematic – they’ll still be there tomorrow. Tonight, let’s just enjoy our world. :)


Brief Update

Okay, two things!

Thing One: I’ve got a pretty serious post in the works, sparked by some things Kurn brought up in regards to being a woman in the gaming community, much less an openly gay woman in the gaming community. It’s going to be thinky, and I’m going to be pretty honest about some things, so I just want to give you all a heads-up. Hopefully, it’ll be ready for posting within the next couple of days.

Thing Two: In much less srs bizns news, I HAS A TWITTER! …Yeah, I don’t know why, but I guess those of you who don’t do feeds but do do twitter can follow me and know when I update and shiz like that. Poll: twitter widget in the sidebar, yes/no?

That’s all for tonight, folks. Have a good one.


RealID Forums

EDIT: So, Blizzard has backed down, as I will probably touch on briefly in a new post. HUZZAH! Still have some misgivings, but for now, I’m celebrating this one victory.

Hooboy. So apparently Blizzard decided privacy invasion was cool and will, with the release of Cataclysm, be displaying everyone’s real name on all forum posts, based on their Real ID account.

Miss Medicina gives an example of how this could be horrific (using her own past stupidity and LJ to demonstrate) on her blog, but I want to talk about why I don’t like it.

Some of the reasons are the same – I don’t want my real name attached to my gaming blog and related comments, and that includes any posts I make in the forums. I’m hopefully going to be headed to university in January, to get my teaching degree, and while I’m sure my future employers wouldn’t hold it against me if I played video games in college, I don’t particularly want them to be able to see what I’d say on the forums, or here on this blog, and connect it to me. Trust me when I say my personal blog (and all shootoffs of that) is getting a serious lockdown the MOMENT I start looking for a post. At this moment, searching my name (which is apparently pretty much unique) in Google, the entire first page is all things that are actually by and about me. Most of it, right now, is pretty embarrassing, but thankfully it’s either old, or I’ll be locking things down from Google long enough beforehand that it won’t be a problem. But with the WoW forums, if my name were attached to those posts, I’d have no way of making sure they didn’t come up in a Google search. In fact, they probably would. And with no way to opt out, those would probably be some of the big things that come up Googling my name.

Thus, I won’t be posting on the forums.

The other problem I have with it, though, is that the name on my account is, as you might remember, not the name I identify with. I don’t want to be posting things under a name that is in every way not me.

I don’t make much use of the forums as it is, except for looking at guild recruitments and so forth on my RP forums, but I think especially on the RP realms, people are not going to want their real names associated with things, thus leading me to decide that I will have absolutely no use for the forums come Cata.

But seriously, Blizzard, what’s next? Having our Real ID name show up next to our characters in the armory? Showing our Real ID name over our toons’ heads below their guild? Cut the crap, stop forcing us to abandon you in order to maintain some privacy.


ETA: Chastity over at Righteous Orbs has some very well-put thoughts on the subject, that I agree with completely.