Working Mom of Three, History Buff, Writer, World of Warcraft Addict. . .My Comments on My Crazy Life.

Rosie getting ready for another wipe

To my druid, Miss RedRosie:  You and I have been constant companions for a little more than a year now.  I have watched you grow from a timid little heifer learning how to use your druidic powers into the strong, well-geared healer that you have become.  We have defeated Cho ’gal, Nefarian, Al’Akar, and the mighty Deathwing together.  We never were able to take down Ragnaros, but we sure did let him know that we were there!  We even went back in time to defeat Illidan and the Lich King, just for the experience of it all. 

We’ve explored Azeroth together on your magical wings.  We’ve picked countless stacks of herbs, visited far off lands, and killed thousands of enemies.  But, you and I have hit a brick wall in our relationship. 

It all started with that bitch, Alysrazor.  Strike that—it started with Nefarion, when you were too slow to climb out of the lava trap that he’d set for us and cause us all to die.  Finally, through sheer luck and a lot of coaching from your friends, you managed to get that big behind out of the lava.  The team defeated Nefarion, and we were able to move on to a more dangerous place:  Firelands.  I forgave you then, Rosie, because you seemed to have overcome your slowness.

That’s when we first met Alysrazor and her fire tornados.  Your guildies were depending on you to keep them alive, Rosie.  A dead healer cannot heal.  Even in cat form. with the two stacks of the “wings of fire” buff and using your dash ability, you just couldn’t manage it for a long time.  Soon, your Raid Leader started recruiting healers, and other guild-mates lovingly teased you about your affinity to fire.  Wowcrendor even lampooned this lack of ability in his film, “How to Tell If Your Guild is Bad.” 

The issues continued to the Ragnaros battle.  Your loving guildies would even call out when Ragnaros’s hammer of flames was headed in your direction.  “Rosie, it’s on our side, move!” 

My frustration comes from the fact that I’m smarter than this.  I am not a noob, I am not an idiot.  But, when I raid with you, there is more going on than I can process.  I am looking at health bars, HoT ticks, and trying to watch the fight so I know when to pump out bigger heals.  All these things combined,something  that so many other people do so well, is something that you and I working together just do not do enough to put out high healing numbers  That is why your Raid Leader was forced to replace you on regular Dragon Soul raids.  They no longer have confidence in you.  Neither do I.

You are a great dungeon healer.  You get compliments for the way that you keep the group up in heroics.  You are able to go into the “Raid Finder” version of Dragon Soul and put out good heals.  But, I just don’t think you’re cut out for a regular raid group.  And I want to take a break from you, until I get over my frustration.  It’s not permanent “putting out to pasture” , so don’t go off to Moonglade or Thunder Bluff and settle down with some nice Bull just yet.  It’s just a rethinking period.  Rosie, I just need to figure out why we just can’t get to the next level.  Because, really, you’re such a nice cow.

 
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I’m up early this morning, downloading the new Public Test Realm patch. I’m a little excited to see some of the changes that WoW 4.3 will bring. Transmoging and Void Storage, not to mention killing that dastardly dragon Deathwing, are all within my sneek-peeking. . . soon as this slow computer loads it up.

Not everyone goes onto the PTR. Some folks worry that it will mess up their game or their computer because it’s not a finished version of the patch. Others simply want to be surprised. These are the same folks who refuse to read articles about movies that say “Spoiler Alert!” Or, they are uncomfortable spending time playing a copy their toon in a test realm when they could be investing the real time in their real toon.

I am a nosey person by nature. I like knowing the inside scoop. It makes me feel included. So, I am tickled to death that I get to hop onto the PTR with my druid.

(Taps foot) Okay, so it is so slow uploading that it is now time for me to get ready for work. This means that I will have to go take my “Sneek-Peek” later this evening when I come home for work. It’s raid night, but I haven’t been included in the Firelands Raids–we have 3 druids and I am the one with the lowest DPS. So, I’m an alternate. It’s okay, It’s my own fault that I’m slow on my buttons, I always have been.

So, I’ll probably be testing out the test realm while the guild does Firelands. That will give me something to look forward to. Come on, work day, hurry up and be over! Oh, how I wish I could get paid for playing World of Warcraft. haha

Kayanna–My Mage/Healer in RIFT

Every MMORPG is similar, but has vast differences as well.  While I decided in the long run that I preferred World of Warcraft to RIFT, there were features in RIFT that I strongly felt were superior.  These features helped lure thousands of players to at least try RIFT.  Blizzard had a documented decrease in subscribers directly after RIFT’s release on March 1, 2011.

 
Okay, this is a short list of obvious and more subtle differences that made RIFT enjoyable to play. 
 
1)  Character Customization and Artwork: Toons do not all look alike.  Not only could skin and hair styles be changed, but facial features, markings, and even height could be altered for the player’s liking.  Dyes could be purchased to color gear in different combinations as well. So if you wanted your rogue to always wear black, no matter what gear dropped, it could be dyed.
 
2)  No more “Cookie Cutter” Specs:  Tanking Rogues?  Priest-Mages?  Mail wearing Druids?  Warriors with pets?  What is this, crazy town?  Nope.  Just a normal day in RIFT. 
 
3)  AOE Looting:  Just killed a mob and have lots of sparklies.  Click on one and watch your bags fill up.  Click, Click, done. 
 
4)  Sense of community:  The RIFTS that the game is based on open up and invaders invade on a frequent basis.  Imagine  it this way–you’re questing through Northern Barrens and suddenly, general chat is filled with calls for help, LFG messages, calls for tanks and heals, etc.  That’s how it works.  The community has to work together to close the rifts–and they get pretty good rewards for doing it.  Imagine also that the Alliance and Horde had to work together. . .and could communicate.  You know how you say derogatory things about a gnome warlock in a battleground ?  What if she understood what you said, and would answer back?  All of this, believe it or not, makes folks more civil and helpful.  Trade Chat Trolls are rare, and people are less likely to yell, “Stupid Noob!” and “Ask a guard” when you ask a question in general chat.
 
Just as important, though, is that the developers actually interact with the players.  The lead developer of Trion actually plays forum games like, “Where in the World” and if you find him and submit a screenshot, you get an in-game title.  I once saw a movie of a RITF in game wedding that turned into a real-life proposal.  The developers were in on it, created a priest and officiated!
 
5)  Easter eggs:  RIFT has in-game puzzles and hidden caches of gear that are just there to be discovered.  When you do them, you can receive achievements and titles. 
 
Of course, there are negatives with RIFT that makes WoW superior–if not, I and thousands of my cohorts would have re-subscribed and be running dungeons and slaying dragons right now.  But, all of these (and many, many more) of the unique features of RIFT could go a long way to improving WoW and making it even more enjoyable. 
 
 
 
 

Rosie at 85

Hello again! I took a little break from WoW and tried RIFT for the summer. I liked RIFT and found it easy to learn because it was so much like WoW, but. . . it just wasn’t the same. After the 6 month subscription ended, Hubby and I went back to WoW.

It was funny how while playing RIFT, we did not have the desire to spend as much time on the computer. We went places. The house was cleaner. We watched television shows and movies again. We had a life outisde of the our computer “virtual world.”

Then, one day I was playing around on Youtube and found a funny World of Warcraft Video. The video had snipits of the game’s soundtrack. . . Orgimmar’s theme music, to be exact. Hubby and I looked at each other expectantly. That theme music re-ignited our love for the game, and much like Pavlov’s Dogs answering that famous bell, we resubscribed to WoW and returned to our beloved toons.

We joined a new guild where we feel like we finally fit in. We have our chosen raiders leveled up, and three week’s time we have them geared fairly well. We’re having fun with the game again. That is the important thing. It’s fun.

Oh, BTW:  the picture to the left is Rosie the day that she hit 85, three weeks ago.  We’ve finished Bastion of Twilight, Blackwing Decent, and the Gawd-Awful Throne of the Four Winds in the past three weeks, and started on Firelands Trash.  So, my favorite cow looks a little different since she posed for this picture.

I will admit it—I am a bad blogger. I do not update my site weekly, much less daily. I apologize. Life gets in the way sometimes, and the desire to sit down and be creative doesn’t always strike me. In fact, when my mind is busy thinking about getting through a day at work, caring for my family, and paying bills, the creative juices just do not have the opportunity to thrive. I don’t mean this as an excuse by any means; just an explanation.
I am still playing World of Warcraft, just not as much. I have a scattered focus right now. I have worked on my Paladin, Rezina, until I am sick of playing her. I am frustrated with my Druid, RedRosie. Since Blizzard keeps changing the way a Druid plays, my favorite toon seems less and less attractive. I finished Outland with her in Balance Spec and quickly found out that Northrend was not a friendly place for her. She cannot take a hit. She has trouble when more than one enemy attacks her. Her casts are slow and unwieldy. For survivability, I went back to Feral Cat Spec—but am not happy with that either. I prefer playing a caster to melee classes. Yes, she can take a hit, even multiple hits, but she still struggles with multiple targets.
Hubby and I also have a caster duo that we are leveling together. I play a warlock, and he plays a mage. He hopes that someday we can raid with them. I do not think I will raid with my ‘lock unless she gets much more interesting before level 85. Right now, at level 65, my rotation is this:
• Send in my Felgaurd
• Start applying DoTs
• Start casting Shadow Bolt. . .which is usually interrupted when Hubby’s Mage casts his one Pyroblast.
• Watch Hubby’s Mage run around to find his second target because he now has a proc—second enemy falls as hubby one-shots him.
• Sigh, loot, look for next target
• Rinse, repeat
I have felt the desire to do something new and different. I rolled a Tauren Hunter, leveled her up to level 9, and abandoned her. I rolled a Gnome Shaman, leveled her to 16, and got frustrated with the chore of managing totems. I keep looking at the Troll Mage and Goblin Priest, both under level 20, that I think about playing but never have the time. I have two Worgen on other servers that I’d also love to level up but, again, no time.
I’ve looked at RIFT in different articles and promotional videos, and been impressed with the character customization aspects of it. Toons look like you want them to. They play with spells the way you want to play them. No more cookie-cutter, “right” spec. But, it’s a new world, new community, and another time sink that I do not have. So, for now, RIFT is on a shelf in the back of my mind, sitting beside several of my World of Warcraft alts.
My Horde guild broke up. I was happy with the raiding opportunities that guild offered, but not happy with the social aspect (or lack thereof). They spoke, they ran dungeons and farmed or crafted, but there wasn’t a sense of family that I had felt with my Alliance guild. We’ve since then joined a social guild—one of the top guilds on our server. I’ve even tanked a few raids for them on Rezina and healed a couple on Rosie. My frustration is that, again, it’s lacking that family, social feel. They don’t know me. When I change alts, they don’t know me. Many of the other people in the guild are much younger than I am, and I get the feeling that I am one of the rare female players in the guild.
I am not giving up World of Warcraft by any means. I am just going through a “down” period, where it just isn’t as fulfilling as it once was. Part of it is the lack of time that I am putting into it, and part of it is my own lack of focus and desire to try something new in the game. I had one character I enjoyed who is now almost unplayable because of “nerfs.” The rest of them, well, I don’t have the emotional attachment to them that I have with her because I have not played them. I also don’t feel the sense of community I once did. When I look around the blogosphere, I see that I’m not the only one feeling this way.
Blizzard, may I make a suggestion? Instead of focusing on adjusting abilities of an entire class to please the few player who complain about arena fairness, focus on making the game more engaging to the majority of the players. Give us more options with talent trees, abilities, and character customization. I think this would help many of us, not just me, enjoy playing WoW a little more.

All this haterade bores me. (Yawn

A direct quote from that sweetheart, Wolfshead.  “It gets worse, it always does. The players through no fault of their own have become virtual slackers addicted to a steady drip feed of rewards. Shooting fish in a barrel would require too much skill for today’s average WoW player. People don’t want to work for anything anymore; they feel entitled. They want achievements for just showing up and Blizzard is only too happy to oblige.”

So, how does it feel to be called the worst gaming community out there? Or, better still, “Entitled, unskilled, and incompetent?” That is what a gaming blogger named Wolfshead has called us WoW players while he reviews Cataclysm as the “Worst Expansion in MMO History.” I wouldn’t even know about this guy and his “holier-than-thou” opinion until I started seeing the reaction from the people in the community who actually PLAY World of Warcraft and CARE about the community. So, I had to go and read it for myself.
I will admit, I had bolstered myself for some negativity. Larissa from the Pink Pig-tailed Inn had already stated that he was a prolific critic of WoW. I also see at the top of his page that he’s claiming to be a MMO Designer. Yeah, Okay. My 20 year old makes his own anime cartoons with Paint Shop and a animation program I paid a whopping $50 for; on an E-Machine Computer I bought him at Wal-Mart, so I guess you can call him a Cartoonist. You can catch his stuff on his MySpace Page. Since he still lives with me, and I keep him in pizza, cereal, and World of Warcraft, I guess I should just wait patiently for the checks to come in, right?
But, I let me come back to what I wanted to respond in my own blog about. I appreciate being called a “slacker” just as much as I like it when someone in a PUG calls me a noob and tries to blame me for their death when they are the idiot who ran ahead and pulled agro! I am not a SLACKER! I am a MOM! With a job, and with bills to pay, and with three children to raise! I do not have 10-12 hours every day to devote to playing a computer game to make sure that I have the “Top Skills.”
I do, however, take great pride in my characters and the achievements that they have accomplished. If I didn’t, I would not be writing about them in a blog. I have much more important things to write about. I have been inspired by the WoW Community, the bloggers, and my in-game friends and guild-mates, to attempt to share my experiences with anyone out there on the internet who would like to read about them.
I do not find getting an achievement as easy as “Shooting Fish in a Barrel” or think I am entitled to being handed Epic gear just for logging on. I think that I have to develop my skills, level my toons, learn professions, and befriend other people on my server who want to work with me. I know that I will never, ever be the greatest Tankadin known to Raiding. I will never top the DPS Chart. When I mention healing, my own husband shudders and says, “Stick to tanking, please?” I know this because I am not an elitist jerk (though I am familiar with their website by the way, ha!) and I do not have hours upon hours of time to make my toons that way. I play for the escape and the enjoyment, and yet, the challenge that the game provides me. When I earn (and yes, I said earn) an achievement, such as completing all the quests in an area or tanking a heroic dungeon successfully, it feels good. That is the payoff for me. When I play with friends to run a raid, and we are all working together as a team to complete a segment, there’s nothing finer in gaming. It means something to me.
I never got to finish ICC with my old guilds on my two Alliance Servers. Good friends ran with me, taught me how to tank and ranged DPS, tried to teach me how to play a Death Knight (LOL!). We got as far as Professor Putricide before my husband and I, burnt out on the stress and the raiding grind, took a break. When Cataclysm came out, we went Horde and switched servers. Don’t get me wrong—we’re very happy on our new server with our new guild. But, I miss the sense of accomplishment I would have gotten from standing toe to toe with the Lich King, a grown up decent raider. I can see it now, with my guildies behind me, and saying, “HeyLich King, we’re here!  You are going down, big guy!”
I still have the “Neverending Winter” Shield in my bank. I will never sell it. It is my souvenir from my raiding days with my old guild. Getting it, in itself, was an achievement for me.
Therefore, Wolfshead, now that your free trial version of Cataclysm has expired, you don’t have to darken my community’s doorstep anymore. You don’t know what you’re talking about. In my opinion, you’re an outsider making judgments on something you have casually observed, but don’t understand. You made a knee-jerk reaction based upon the ease in questing at lower levels; the crappy people you sometimes pick up in PUGS with the dungeon finder; and the funny ways that Worgen act when they idle. (Yeah, well, I’m a Hordie, I can point and laugh at Worgen puppy dogs sniffing around. . . just like I still laugh at Taurens for scratching their butts!)
Worst of all, you made a snap judgment on the entire WoW community based upon the handful of idiots who troll around Trade Chat. Hey, Blizzard gave us another nice feature. . the “Ignore” List! I have those immature jerks and haters on ignore. And, Wolfhead, in my eyes, you’re just another Trade Chat Troll. now that I’m done telling you what I think, I will have you on ignore too.

I have to admit something rather strange that might make you point and laugh at me.  I love Outland!  I love the quests, I love the lore, I love the weird landscape.  We’re off to kill demons–yay!  It’s even more fun when you’re a level 85 protection paladin, and everything drops with a single flick of your avenger’s shield.

When I first started playing WoW, Wrath of the Lich King had just come out.  The goal was to level to 80 as fast as possible and start running heroic dungeons and raiding Nax over and over (Until ICC came along and took raiding up a notch).  Outland was the place to level from 58-68.  When you dinged 68, it was time to make that crucial decision to hop a boat (zepplin) for Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord.  Outland was pretty much just a place to rush through.

I didn’t have the time to get tired of Outland that other people had.  I didn’t have to run Slave Pens and Tempest Keep over and over again waiting for WotLK to be released.  I never got to see Shattrath as a booming metropolis.  When people compare it to Dalaran before Cataclysm, I just shake my head.  I can’t picture it.

Now that I’m 85 I want to take advantage of our Guild’s Reputation Bonus.  In my mind, that means going back to grind rep with factions that I started when I was leveling.  I do my dailies in Uldum and Tol Braad like a good girl, even though I find launching bombs at people on a hill tedious and Tol Braad  a scary, horid nightmare of a place.  But, when I finish those “chores,” I go off to Outland. 

The past two weeks I’ve been working on reaching exalted with the Shatari Skyguard.  The payoff for me was getting a mount, a pet, and their tabard.  I collect all three of these on my toons, so to get three with one exalted reputation was very satisfying. 

There are basically 6 daily quests for Shatari Skyguard Rep.  Two of them are in the Blade’s Edge Mountains, and the other four are in Terokkar Forrest.  In Blade’s Edge, the two quests are simple to accomplish.  The first one involves weakening and then capturing 5 Nether Rays for training.  The second is a bombing run to a nearby demon base, hitting them 15 times.  If you are able to complete this quest within 2 minutes, you can earn another achievement.  However, the cool-down on the bombs, as well as the time it takes to aim and then fire a bomb, made this too difficult for me to accomplish.

In Terokkar, the quests start out simple.  There is a second bombing run–this time to destroy 15 eggs.  This too, has an accomplishment, but I had the same problems completeing it.  You’re then asked to gather Shadow Dust by killing the nearby Arrakola Bird-people.  With pleasure!  These things are nasty and remind me of the bad guys from “The Dark Crystal.”  After you have six Shadow Dusts, one of the Skyguard people makes you Shadow Elixir to help you see the ghosts of “Time Lost” bad bird people.  You’re then given daily quest 3–collect 40 Time-Lost Scrolls from the ghost bird-people, and use them to summon 4 mini-bosses.  Bring back a souvineir from each of them and you’re given a “Time Lost” Offering.  This summons the main boss and completes the 4th quest.  Oh, and something nice that drops from the final boss is bind on equip level 70  epic gear. If you have an alt that you’re leveling and will soon be level 70, this is extra helpful.  If you don’t, then you can sell the item on the auction house.  Someone will at least buy it to disenchant it if nothing else. 

While visiting Outland, I have to admit I’ve been a bully to some Alliance folks.  I don’t mean to be a bully, honest.  I hate bullies!  But, I am a fierce competitor and love to win at, well, anything.  So, I helped some level 60’s complete the “Weaken the Ramparts” quests.  I’d stand beside them and the flagpole and watch a couple of level 80 Alliance Players circle long enough to take a good look before retreating. 

In real life, I am one of the meekest, non-threatening women you’ll ever meet.  I’m short, I’m tiny-boned, and I hate conflict.  Watching those two Alliance folks bug out, mainly because of me, made me bold.  I next went to Zangermarsh and took both of the becons for the Horde, singlehandedly.  Presumably there was no one around interested in stopping me, and they probably did not care one way or the other.  Still, I was a little dissapointed.  What fun is it to be a bully when there’s no one around?  So, my next Outland PVP Adventure was back in Terokkar.

Hubby is questing through there on one of his many alts, and wanted some help taking a Spirit Tower for a quest.  He only had to take one, not all of them.  (I believe there are six total, but I could be wrong.)  The bad thing about the PVP in Terokkar is that it’s only available every 6 hours.  Once the towers have been taken by a side, they cannot be taken again until the 6-hour waiting period is up.  I imagine this is very frustrating to people who are trying to complete this quest.  I honestly did not consider it at all until I met a Draenei Paladin at the top of a tower.

Hubby had a tower, and I went ahead to claim the next one in the circle.  Remember, I’m the big, bad bully chick, no one is messing with me.  I had a chip on my shoulder as big as a brick by this point.  A level 70 gnome rogue flew by the tower.  He slowed down and looked as if he was considering me.  I waved at him to show that he had my full attention.  He then flew away.  I again felt the bully’s rush of scaring off a person smaller and weaker.  Then, the gnome’s questing partner, the Draenei, showed up on the tower beside me.  I gave him a friendly wave, too, as if to say, “I’m not backing down.”  In return, he hit me with a Crusader’s Strike.

We started fighting right there on the top of that tower.  Every time we’d get low on health, we would heal up.  When I ran out of mana I’d use “Word of Glory.”  From the look of his heath and mana bars, he was doing the same thing.  We went back and forth for almost a minute.  Hubby and the gnome were circling, both wanting to help their partner.  Another Blood Elf showed up and started fighting the Draenei too.  He died, and we took the last spirit tower.  For the Horde!

I was full of child-like excitement.  That had been an awesome battle!  I am not good at PvP, so for me to stand toe-to-toe with an equal apponent and not die was an achievement all in itself.  I was happilly chirping to Hubby how great the fight had been when I got the whisper, “You couldn’t just let me have one tower for a quest?”

Evidently, the Draenei has a Horde Alt.  He had switched over to give me greif.  “I just needed that one last daily, and I don’t have six hours to wait around!”

Maybe he thought I would be mean to him, or offended by his complaint?  Instead, I said, “Wow, that was you?  That was a great fight!  That was so much fun, thank you!”

“Yeah, fun until it was 3 on 1.” he pouted.

“Look, I’m sorry about your quest.  I didn’t think anyone would care if we took the spirit towers.  I really did not expect that anyone else was questing here.”

“Well, I have to do my dailies, since the Horde has had TB forever, I’ve been doing them here.”  He explained.

“Well, I’m sorry I ruined your questing.” I apologized, feeling sorry for him.   “But, I really did have fun fighting with you .  I think it would have come down to who ran out of mana first.”

“It would have been me.  I think you have more.  Anyway, see you around.” and he was gone.

So, I guess I’m not the only “bully” in Outland.  And now that my Tauren has hit 58 over the weekend, she’s on her way there.  I will know to steer clear of any Draenei Pallies I see flying around PvP areas. . .

Well, maybe.  I still have that chip on my shoulder.