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Making new friends

So I’ve developed a bit of a banter with some of the bloggers I follow, both on twitter and on our respective blogs. Now, this is (I gather) pretty normal in the blogosphere (which my spell check says is actually a word, what kind of crazy shit is that), but it feels… kind of cool, to be honest. I wouldn’t say any of them are, y’know, friends with me… not yet. But it feels like maybe we could be, eventually.

Today was fun – today I hung out with Vidyala and Rades while Vid livestreamed drawing the picture for the winner of her Best Dressed Paladin contest. We chatted, and commented on Vid’s art, and helped her find the proper arrangement for ghoul parts, and I was dubbed an honorary Canadian. It was really fun, and something that I wish I had a chance to do more with my fellow bloggers.

So, uh, consider this a shout-out to all of you. You guys rock, and I always enjoy talking with you, even if it’s just a couple comments back and forth. I’m really honoured to be a part of such an awesome collection of people, writers, WoW players.

I’m going to go head to bed, now. Work in the morning. Have a good one, guys. :)

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The Warm Fuzzies

So Jaedia over at The Lazy Sniper had her 1-year blogiversary recently, and in celebration, was giving blogging prompts to those that asked. Which led to Vidyala over at The Pugging Pally making an awesome post about moments that gave her the warm fuzzies. And Vid, in turn asked for our own stories, in comments or our own posts.

And, well, how can I turn down a perfect opportunity to make a post when I so rarely remember to finish them? :D

For the Horde!

Once upon a time, believe it or not, I was a prot warrior. My first toon was a ret paladin named Kaadri who I never really got into. It didn’t help that I was new to the game and sick of running and couldn’t get my mount until level 30 at the time. She got to level 24, I believe, before I stopped playing for a while, let my account lapse, and abandoned her for good. When I came back, I rolled a Draenei warrior, Katyachka. That’s her at about level 30, I think.

Anyway, when Katy was levelling in Arathi, I was having some trouble with… one of the quests. I can’t remember which one. And as I was eating after a ghost run for what seemed like the hundredth time, a troll and a blood elf ran up.

Now, I have never played on PvP servers, so I wasn’t really worried about them killing me. What I was worried was that they’d kill all the mobs I needed, and that would be a pain. Instead, however, what happened was that the troll stopped, saw me eating and the couple of dead mobs (and skeleton) nearby (I assume, anyway) and… waved. And then ran in a little ways, and beckoned me to follow. I wasn’t really sure what to make of it, but I was going in anyway, so I trotted along after him. He pointed at a mob and shrugged. It took me a moment to figure out he was trying to ask if I needed to kill that, so I nodded and then pulled it. The troll then proceeded to help me finish my quest, and then I helped him finish his.

After that, I was going to just thank him and take my leave, but he kept beckoning me, so we actually ended up questing together for more than an hour, helping each other not die as best we could, waiting when one of us had to make a ghost run, and basically… having fun. It made me so sad that I couldn’t talk to him, or have any idea who he was.

Goldseller

And then there was the guy who randomly came up to my level 7 shaman as she was questing in Durotar. She was on an RP server I’d never played on before, so I had no friends and no higher-level character to send me bags and gold.

“Hey,” he said. “You new on this server?”

“Yeah, actually,” I said. “How come?”

He opened a trade window and put 100g in it. Now, I’d been playing for a while, so it wasn’t like I’d never seen 100g in my life. I had more than 20 times that in Ais’ bags. But it was so random and unexpected that I didn’t know what to do.

“Uh,” I said, so very coherently. “What’s this for?”

“I got hacked by gold sellers,” he told me. “When I got my account back, there was still thousands of gold in my inbox. I didn’t really feel like it was MINE, but I figure the thing the gold sellers would hate most would be me giving it away, so I am!”

We had a good laugh about that, I accepted the trade, and he went on his way. If I saw him again, I wouldn’t know it, as I don’t remember his name, but that was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me in the game.

All Elves Together

The most recent, though, happened on the babyDruid I rolled on Moonguard in order to stalk chat with Icedragon. She was running around in Darkshore doing quests, like you do. Killing crabs on the beach, more specifically. When up runs this Blood Elf. Level 80, going by his gear. He runs up on his mount and dismounts next to me. I wave, because that’s what I do when I see members of the opposite faction in a place they’re not usually found. He waves back, and bows. I salute him, and then grab another crab.

He waits until I have aggro, then one-shots it. I’m a bit taken aback, but hey, more help is good! I thank him and smile, and go to loot my crab. I figure he was just a little bored and will run off now, but no, he follows me all up and down the beach while I kill crabs, until I’ve gotten all the drops I need. At which point we /flirt a little, wave goodbye, and go our separate ways.

It was a tiny thing, and not really needed – I could’ve done the quest without any problems on my own. But it was really neat that he’d do that, and really made me happy. I like it when people from different factions help each other out like that. It makes me feel… warm and fuzzy. ^_^

With a little help from my friends

That’s not even getting into all the times my friends and guildies have helped me. Oreo will drop practically anything if I so much as display interest in doing something she can help me with, which makes me a happycow. (We’ve decided I’m really a Tauren at heart. Probably a druid. This amuses me for some reason.) Hano was the one who first got me into the game, and has always gone out of his way to help me out and give me advice. Luther and Spooky have both been good company, good levelling buddies, and Luther’s cut down my heroic queue time significantly from time to time by going healer. The number of people who have helped me just because they could, and because I needed it… it staggers me. And it makes me happy.

Pay it forward

One day, I know I’m going to come across a newbie player. Someone who’s been struggling along to level, or someone I’ve convinced to join. And I’m going to get the chance to pass along all this goodwill and wisdom and help that I’ve gotten over the past couple of years. I’ll have the chance to give them advice, run them through dungeons when they’re too tired to deal with LFD or want a little free gold and XP. I’ll get to give them gifts as they level (bags, gold, gems, enchants…), and I’ll hopefully be instilling a desire for them to do the same, when they’re in a position to do so.

I think that’s the most important part about those “warm fuzzy” moments. Those moments when people give you good advice, or help, or just a bit of their own windfall. You have to keep the goodwill going. It’s like the spice – it must flow. ;) Pass it along. Make someone else smile, give a newbie something to look forward to, remind those pesky Alliance that Horde doesn’t equal Evil And Bad. Give someone else a “warm fuzzy” moment.

PvE · Roleplay

You gotta get a gimmick…

Do something special
Anything special
And you’ll get better because…
You’re more than just a mimic
When you gotta gimmick
Take a look how different we are!

~Gypsy

In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something “stand out” from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use. Thus, a gimmick is a special feature for the sake of having a special feature.
~Wikipedia

Today, I want to talk to you all about Gimmick Characters.

“What the hell, Apple?” you ask. “What is a gimmick character and why should we care about them?”

Well, I’ll tell you – a gimmick character is any character in World of Warcraft (or any game, really, but we’re obviously focusing on WoW in this blog) who is played in a distinctive way, or has a distinctive trait setting them apart from every other character of the same race and class combination on their server. It’s a character whose player takes time to instil with a sense of originality or uniqueness. And I’m not really talking about RP here, to be honest, though obviously you can have gimmicky RP characters. It’s playing the game in a relatively unique way that wasn’t intended by the designers, a weird quirk you give a character to make them stand out. Some people do it for attention, some people do it to change things up or challenge themselves, some people do it because… well, hell, why not? It can be as simple as always wearing a pimp hat or always speaking in-character (on a non-RP server), to as difficult as levelling 1-80 naked, or without dying. Reinisch levelled from 1-80 without intentionally killing anything, and I know that he’s not the only one, and I know there was a hunter somewhere levelling as melee-only a while back.

Now, obviously these aren’t (generally) the kinds of characters you raid with or anything, but they can be challenging, interesting, and a lot of fun. Sometimes, a person creates a gimmick incidentally, because of something RP-related; I read a blog post somewhere about a year ago of a guy who’d gone on a raid with a holy priest someone had invited, and when he asked her to psychic scream or something along those lines, she said, “Oh, I don’t have that, I never trained any shadow spells. My character wouldn’t do that.” I had a priest myself I took to level 12, RPing regularly amidst questing, who didn’t learn any shadow spells or talents until then. Her character had grown into someone who WOULD take the spells, by that point, but it was definitely an interesting experiment while it lasted.

I’ve got a couple of gimmick characters that I adore. Kaeleigh, my gnomeish DK on Proudmoore, is my only DK specced Unholy. This is entirely so I can have the hilarious image of a tiny, smiling, pink-haired gnome girl running around with a perma-ghoul and an attack penguin (also known as Mr. Chilly). She also emotes and speaks (in all channels) in-character. And she’s a bloodthirsty little psychopath. :D So much fun to play, though – she makes me wish I liked PvP, because the free-for-all of, say a PvA area like the Gurubashi Arena would make her positively gleeful. Mellie also fits this, to an extent – she’s on my main server, which is PvE, but I have PetEmote enabled on her, so her minions will randomly emote. She often reacts ICly to this, chattering at her minion or whoever happens to be around at the time.

One thing that I’ve always wanted to do would be to level a DK to 80 without turning in the last Acheron quest. This would mean silenced and pacified in Durotar or Elwynn (depending on faction), no runeforge, and no respeccing. It would be an amazing RP opportunity, and one that I’ve started and abandoned at least three times. But think about it: You hit level 80, and your character decides that yeah, maybe they don’t like this race or that leader, but that doesn’t mean they can’t align with the faction in order to better get revenge on the Lich King, or better atone for their past deeds, or just… help people. However you want to play it. You spend those 25 levels forging relationships and building character, and then when the moment comes, you mount up and walk slowly through the city, your friends and comrades walking with you, as you finally deliver that letter.

My point is, really, that we all do quirky things with our characters, sometimes long-term, like levelling pacifistic or undying, and sometimes temporary, like when I briefly had a druid who didn’t like wearing the skin of other animals and levelled up in cloth armour, before I realised she was a pansy and should be a priestess instead of a druid and deleted her. XD It’s fun and it’s a way to shake up the daily grind of Azeroth.

Have any of you had a gimmick, short-term or long-term?

Roleplay

Of fresh downloads and race changes

So my laptop, in the hour and a half I was away from her during my nap this afternoon, decided to implode or something. I couldn’t get her to open ANYTHING but Finder. No applications, nothing. Even after two virus scans and three reboots.

So I had to transfer all the important stuff to my external (including my WoW Interface and WTF folders, because I’ll be damned if I’m setting up my UI all over again) so I could just… do a fresh instal of my OS. And, of course, I forgot that I’d switched from Firefox to Chrome and didn’t have my bookmark synchronizer addon anymore, and lost… somewhere between 100 and 200 bookmarks, probably. *sigh* I have changed my bookmarking habits to have an online backup, after this.

And, of course, this has happened at the end of the expansion. Which means not only do I get the LOVELY over-and-hour installation time of the base Wrath game, I get to deal with downloading and installing all the patches. Every patches. I’ll be doing this well into tomorrow. *sigh* And I was planning on actually levelling Lisan, something that I haven’t really cracked down and done for a couple of weeks.

In other, unrelated news, I splurged last week and got Aislinn a race change. She is now Ápple the Gnomish Death Knight. I just… really have never felt like much of a NElf, and being a Gnome is so FUN! Not to mention I’m really looking forward to Operation Gnomeregan, and getting to do that as a Gnome, from an RPer’s perspective (even if I don’t RP on her), is just… thrilling.

I know some people (I’m looking at you, Oreo) will throw up their hands and go “AUGH, GNOMES!”, but I could care less. I have such love for those little suckers. ^_^

So now I’m going to go back to trying to re-create at least part of my bookmarks folder, and wait for WoW to instal. Have a nice night, you guys.

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“Does this post have a point?”

So, I’m really bad at links. Like… I read lots of posts that make me go “Ooo, I should help spread that around”, but then I forget and then it never happens. I really should find a Chrome extension that’ll let me collect links without having to have stupid TextEdit open.

I have, however, updated my list o’blogs over on yon sidebar. The Pugging Pally isn’t a new blog, nor is Vidyala new on my radar – I’ve read her blog every so often for a while now, but never remembered to add her to my feed reader (which is how I update my links). Druid Main is similarly not new, but again, I just realised that Ice was not, in fact, on either my reader or my links. Which makes more sense than there having been no posts in the past three months, I suppose. >.>

I do want to put in a special plug for Lara over at Root and Branch, though, since she’s only been blogging for a month, and I know from recent experience how tough it is to get a blog off the ground. She kicked off with a hilarious and pithy Pugging Code of Ethics that had my sides aching, and followed with a simple and easy-to-understand pictorial guide to not standing in fire, a Shakespearian retelling of your quintessential Occulus run, a Dungeon Finder quick reference how-to, and a handful of other amusing and insightful posts. Honestly, guys, they are much more informative and thought provoking than my ramblings, why are you still here? READ LARA’S BLOG!

Ahem. That out of the way, I just had a little Twitter conversation with Ice from the aforementioned Druid Main blog. Apparently she has got some people asking about macros, and is going to make a macro post. Now, she did a series of five macro posts about a year ago: Macros for the Leveling Druid, and then an informative general set about how a macro is constructed, some more basics, targeting, and mouseovers and helping.

Now, to be fair, these are proving somewhat enlightening to me. I have never used macros until very recently, because I… never really understood what they were for or how to create them. The two I use most are just copypastas from Elitist Jerks, on Aislinn, and the only others are dorky macros that make me shout things when I cast a spell.

But the other night a few guildies and I pugged Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Hyjal, and Black Temple. Which was fun, as I got three new achievements and got to see some of the last expansion’s endgame. (Ashes of Alar actually dropped, by the way. I desperately wanted to win it. I did not. One of my guildie’s alts won it, but he gave it to Hano’s lv 77 mage who was on the run, since the mage is his new main. I went all starry-eyed and drooly when I saw it. SO PINK!) Anyway, diversion aside, when we were getting ready to start Vashj, Hano mentions we might want to macro /use Tainted Core in case we end up looting it, to save time. I did, and ended up using it once, and was… pleasantly surprised at how much pointless clicking and bag shuffling I had avoided.

So the next day, when my Tournament daily (the damn sword, stupid quest) was the “kiss frogs to get the sword oh and don’t forget to use this lip balm!” quest, I decided to try something. I made a very simple macro entitled “Kissy!”

/use Warts-B-Gone Lip Balm
/target Lake Frog
/kiss

I honestly didn’t think it would work. I mean, there was no way it COULD, right? I don’t know how to make macros, so this was probably missing some deeply important bit of code and it wouldn’t do shit. Except… it did work. It actually worked. As long as I didn’t press it too fast (letting the lip balm’s cooldown to finish), I didn’t get warts, and all I had to do was spam it until one of the frogs turned into a pretty girl with a sword!

Now, obviously macros aren’t good for EVERYTHING. The problem is, I’m not entirely sure what they ARE good for. I’m not entirely sure what their limitations are. So when Ice mentioned on Twitter that she wasn’t sure what people didn’t know about macros, I told her that. When are they actually useful? What are their limitations? What seems like it should work but doesn’t? I also mentioned that the syntax and logic doesn’t always make sense to me, and not being any sort of coder or programmer, even an amateur one, I’m not entirely sure what I should expect from the program logic. She has decided to make me a flowchart (with COLOUR!), apparently. I have to admit to not being at ALL displeased by this. The better I understand WHY it works the way it does, the easier it’ll be to understand how to bend it to my will get the results I want.

So, in summary, Lara’s blog is awesome; macros are confusing but I had an epiphany that involved a Naga, some lip balm, and a lot of frog-kissing; and Ice is pretty much awesomesauce.

Now, I think I wanna level my proto-Boomkin tonight…

PvE · Roleplay

Focus vs. OMGSHINY

No, this is not about the Cata changes to Hunters. Though I am pleased by that – it always felt silly to me that my hunter used mana. But whatever.

I have been slacking on my “levelling Lisan” pledge. The poor thing has only reached 56. Nor can I seem to concentrate on any of the OTHER various “lesser goals” that I’d decided to set for myself – Mellie has reached 20 and not budged since, I still suck at healing on Kili and haven’t levelled him further than what two randoms could do for him, Kass has been be-heirloomed and respecced balance, but I haven’t done more than a couple dungeon runs on her since. And Aislinn, who I swore I’d rep grind and do the Tournament dailies (and a few other dailies) on for money and who I’m trying to get tabards and mounts for (for, y’know, achievements)… Aislinn did enough randoms to buy the heirloom leather caster chest-and-shoulders and the heirloom staff, and has done nine dailies (combined three-day total) and no rep grinding.

So I go “okay, clearly I just need a break from them!” and I log onto Klarah or Kaeleigh (my two “gimmick” characters – that’s a whole other post that I should really write up), or Summer, Nait, Jae, Tai, Iestyn, Bei, any of my various RP characters that could stand to be levelled/played more. And then I feel guilty that I’m not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing, and log off entirely.

To poke at the internet and do absolutely nothing productive in other areas of my life.

/sigh

The problem with trying to focus on anything like this, for me, is that I am easily distracted by shiny things, and if I’m not running through randoms with a friend I can chat with, I can’t keep my attention and dedication going. It’s just a game, after all, so I don’t apply myself with quite the same dedication I’d give to things like… a career, or getting a degree. But I still feel, in the back of my head, like I should be able to. I managed it when I was levelling Ais to 80 – she made it from the starting zone to the level cap in a month and a half, and considering I’d been playing the game for about a year and a half at that point and never reached the level cap, that was a pretty big accomplishment.

I’m sure part of it is the fact that the people I spent so much time with levelling Ais (and getting Lis from 1 to 45) are… not really around, these days. Real life has gotten in the way, or they’ve gotten bored for the time being, and it all adds up to no Lizbet or Spooky to run things with when Andy’s busy.

The bright side of all this is Andy, my new friend that I sort of accidentally acquired through my guild. She was talking to Hano (who, as I’ve said, I’ve been friends with for nearly a decade) and he said something about me that prompted her to send me a whisper next time she saw me on. And as I’ve never actually gotten to connect with any of the girls we’ve had in the guild before, I was psyched! Since then, we’ve really bonded, and I log on almost every day even if I’m not planning to play, just so I can talk to her for a while. Her only fault is that she, like so many other WoW players, hates gnomes. She also thinks Boomkin are ugly. However, she plays with Mellie with a minimal of Gnome-punting talk, and has assured me that once Kass actually GETS Moonkin form, I will be the only pretty Boomkin in existence. We flirt a lot, if you couldn’t guess, and damn if I know if either of us are actually serious, but it’s loads of fun.

She is, truly, the best part about WoW for me right now.

So it all ends with my WoW experience being very spastic and frustrating, yet fun and relaxing. Cata cannot come too soon, imo, even if it WILL lead to me having even MORE characters to ADD on. Because really, like I’m not going to roll like, three Worgen, two Gnomes, a Tauren, and maybe another Troll.

All that said and out of my system, I am going to go log onto Lis and dedicate at least enough time for three dungeon runs. Even if I do get BRD every time. /cry

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I promise I’m still here…

I’ve just gotten a bit distracted by a bunch of things:

-Lack of sleep
-Levelling Lisan (she’s 51 now!)
-Reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series
-Levelling Melusine. She’s my new Gnomish Warlock
-Bonfires
-Really ridiculous crack-RP with a couple of friends.
-Less ridiculous RP with my D&D group

I’ve downloaded JumpCounter and it’s kind of crazy seeing my jumping patterns. Lisan hardly jumps at all, Ais jumps a moderate amount, Kass jumps a lot, and Melusine had over 100 jumps before she even hit lvl 5! I’ve decided that jumping as a Druid is addictive and jumping as a Gnome is the most bouncy fun you can have. And also compulsive. Is there anyone out there who seriously plays a gnome who doesn’t spam the spacebar? I find myself bouncing without realising it sometimes.

Kurn has gotten a beta key, for which I am insanely jealous, and has been having Cataclysmic Adventures ™. Very enlightening and a little amusing – if you don’t read her now, I suggest you start.

Also, newish blogger Lara over at Root and Branch has posted a Shakespearian retelling of your average Oculus PUG that is absolutely hilarious.

And now I scoot off, so as not to be late to work! I hate working the opening shift.