Monday, April 30, 2007

How to Melt...

How to Melt Your Woman:

- Cut 1/4-1/3 cup of cookie dough into a circular shape. Place in the center of a plate.
- Place two scoops of French Vanilla ice cream on top of the cookie dough.
- Top with streaks of melted caramel and hot fudge. Place a cherry on top if you'd like.

WARNING: May create unrealistic expectations of future desserts, which may lead to a level of biatchness previously unseen in your woman.

How to Melt a Mage:

- Roll a warlock.
- Cast Curse of Tongues (or cast Deathcoil if the mage starts with casting polymorph).
- Cast Fear.
- Cast Corruption, Immolate, and Siphon Life where applicable
- /Point
- /Laugh
- Rinse and repeat.

How to Melt Chocolate:

- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Place a smaller pot in the pot of boiling water.
- Place chocolate in the smaller pot and stir until it is the consistency you desire.

How to Melt a Rogue:

- Make sure the Rogue is made of chocolate.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Place a smaller pot in the pot of boiling water.
- Place the rogue into the smaller pot and stir until it is the consistency you desire.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The "Goodbye" Post, Part 2

When I quit WoW a few days ago, deleted my account, and canceled my subscription, I had no idea what to expect. Well, that's not entirely true. I knew that I would have lots of extra time and that, if I was to have a chance at remaining WoW-free, I would have to fill that time with other activities that would reliably keep me occupied. I have been doing that, already spending lots of extra time working on my house, enjoying playtime with my puppies, and beating-up on my friends and family in the Nike Plus running challenges we take part in. What I didn't know, however, was how many activities I would actually need to fill the void that WoW once occupied in my schedule. I mean, I sat idle at my computer today for hours trying to figure out how else I could use that "free" time to be more productive. I exhausted all potentials, and that said something very clear to me. It wasn't that I was playing WoW that was the problem, it was HOW MUCH I CHOSE to play WoW.

Before I had the "revelation" (inside joke) that I experienced the other day, I chose to login at work, to rush home to get into raids, to stay logged in after the raid was complete, and to disregard the obvious issues that kind of behavior would and did have on my life. Unhealthy sure, but so was the fact that I completely missed the true issues behind my behavior and instead believed that WoW was the main problem. You'd think someone in tune with behavior wouldn't make that mistake, but I did, even when I had Jade barking at me in another post about getting my priorities in check. I should listen to her more often - she's a smart girl.

So, after much thought, I've decided not to completely abandon the game, but will instead make better decisions with regards to how I spend my time. WoW will become an option instead of a priority, and as long as I correctly prioritize the other important responsibilities I have, everything should be fine.

Hmm. I guess this isn't really a goodbye post at all. Eh, whatever. See you all in-game... after the 8 hours it'll take me to reinstall the freakin' thing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The "Goodbye" Post, Part 1

I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye before logging off and deleting the game from my comp. My urgency to drop everything before I changed my mind about quitting left me with much to say to many people, and that fact has been haunting me ever since I canceled my account. I guess the healthy, right thing to do would be to say what feel like I need to say to the people who impacted me most. You guys deserve at least that much, so, here it goes...

Bixxie: Second-life totally scared the hell out of me, but I'll thank you for the good times anyway. =P
Blawle: Thanks for teaching me humility. You definitely were the best rogue I've ever come across, and you're definitely most lucky that I'm leaving before that PvP trinket gets updated. ;)
Demordrah: The closest thing to a brother in WoW. We PvP'd with the best and never forgot to have a good laugh. Good times man.
Ferraro: /kiss
Gamble: I always knew you'd make it far, and it's good to see the other guildies agree. Always a pleasure man, and I'm sorry about bailing just after signing up for the 3v3 arena team. That is totally my bad.
Ixithra: Man we go back a long way. It was a pleasure playing with you both in your guild and Prom Kings. Thanks for the awesome memories.
Jaderosen: Whenever anyone asked me who the best raiding 'lock on Alex is, I never hesitated to answer "The Jade." Seeing you raid was amazing; you like totally opened my eyes to many new things and I am thrilled to have had the chance to be your partner in crime. Thank you for the many laughs, the good times, and for making me a better warlock. CoEx... who would have ever thought?
Jezzastipsy: Man, I won't be able to play "wth is that sound" anymore, and I'm totally bummed about it. =) It was always fun chatting it up with you man. Those were always fun times.
Krarr: I blame you.
Lycanno: The most mature 17-year-old I've ever met. We had good times even through the roughest of times. From Onyx to AoS to Prom Kings, thanks for enjoying the ride with me.
McKenna: You're freaking me out with those balls, Mc.
Measty: Thanks for your sense of humor, and always providing comedy during your many raiding deaths. =P
Nikto: You were always the most helpful player, whether you were a guildie or not, and I'll never forget that about you. Thanks for everything. Take good care of Six, kay?
Oort: "Click click click click click... always a pleasure." Always fun. =)
Sixis: I was grateful as a lowbie looking for someone to open a lockbox and you always came through. I was grateful to play alongside you in Onyx. Thanks for the memories. Lay off the booze, btw. ;)
Xaytanic (Nahtia): You taught me how to play a 'lock well (thank you for getting me out of that freakin' Mooncloth Robe), and the best part was playing one better than you did. Stop /afking on the server only to ninja-return, noob. /finger
Zyphre: Engineering-ftl. It sucked when you left the server, but it has always been fun chatting it up with you and I know it will continue to be so. ;)

There are so many more people to list. I'll have to get on that later though -- it's bedtime... AT 9:00 P.M.!!!!! /omgloveit

A Ton of Bricks...

Do you ever have those moments after you've just woken up where you're asking yourself what you have to do that day? Do most of the things that come to mind include farming herbs, making pots or performing transmutes, selling items on the AH, completing quests, prepping for a raid, and downing a few bosses? Then have you ever asked yourself why on earth you're thinking about the things you were planning on doing in WoW BEFORE the things you should be doing IRL? I just had one of those moments, and it really, and I mean REALLY put things in perspective for me.

The simple fact of the matter is that I pay way too much attention to this game and not enough attention to my real life responsibilities, and it has taken it's toll. Sure, I'm living a good life. I have a wonderful wife and family, fantastic friends, a great job, and my own home, all of which I sometimes neglect when I'm racing home from work, trying to make a scheduled raid on-time. And all for what? The satisfaction or disappointment of a boss encounter? Socializing with people on vent? The thrill of seeing a new, amazing item drop? All the while, I could be exercising, spending time with my wife and puppies, and actually being productive in the real life sense of the term.

It's a question of priority, and for me, this game has taken center stage for over a year now. As a result, I've gained a few pounds, I'm having some potentially serious health issues, my relationship with my wife has had it's low points, my puppies fall asleep in my office from utter boredom, I don't get the amount of sleep I should, my dinner consists of whatever I can bring to my desk, my social life generally consists of chatting with people on vent, and you know what? I'm totally not okay with that.

It's a harsh reality that most people who play this game often make a life out of it. For me, it went from being something I did just for fun to a responsibility, or at least, that's how I justified spending so much time logged in. It's an unhealthy addiction, and I'm definitely not the first nor will I be the last to admit that to myself. Hell, there was even a University of Pennsylvania professor who documented the addictive nature of World of Warcraft in a research article. Yeah, the game is doing everything it was designed to do, and the question now is, do I continue to let it.

I came across this blog snippet as I was searching for that research article, and what struck me about it was it's universalness among players who have complained to me about in-game issues. Reading it struck a chord in me, as I'm sure it will in you, if you are also a "victim," so to speak.

60 levels, 30+ epics, a few really good "real life" friends, a seat on the oldest and largest guild on our server's council, 70+ days "/played," and one "real" year later...

Mr. Yeager asked me to write this "guest blog" for him. I figured I should oblige him this request - it was none other than Mr. Yeager who first introduced me to (begged for me to buy, actually :-p) the World of Warcraft. It was the "perfect storm" for me; a time in my life when I was unemployed, living at my family's house far from my friends, and had just finished my engineering degree and was taking a little time to find a job. I had a lot of free time on my hands and WoW gave me a place to spend it.

This could be a many page epic tale, but I figure I'd give you the brief history and pertinent information. The guild Mr. Yeager got me into and with which I became an officer is the oldest and largest on the server I played on. It is around 18 months old and extremely well-versed in endgame instances. I was both the "mage class lead" and an officer. I have many very good friends I met through WoW (in real life - no kidding) and even have been "involved" with another councilor in real life (yes, I know, I'm weird for meeting girls through an online video game but honestly, ask Mr. Yeager, she's head and shoulders better than all the girls I met DJing, waiting tables, in college, and bartending at clubs in Philly). But I digress...

I just left WoW permanently. I was a leader in one of the largest and most respected guilds in the world, a well-equipped and well-versed mage, and considered myself to have many close friends in my guild. Why did I leave? Simple: Blizzard has created an alternate universe where we don't have to be ourselves when we don't want to be. From my vantage point as a guild decision maker, I've seen it destroy more families and friendships and take a huge toll on individuals than any drug on the market today, and that means a lot coming from an ex-club DJ.

It took a huge personal toll on me. To illustrate the impact it had, let's look at me one year later. When I started playing, I was working towards getting into the best shape of my life (and making good progress, too). Now a year later, I'm about 30 pounds heavier that I was back then, and it is not muscle. I had a lot of hobbies including DJing (which I was pretty accomplished at) and music as well as writing and martial arts. I haven't touched a record or my guitar for over a year and I think if I tried any Kung Fu my gut would throw my back out. Finally, and most significantly, I had a very satisfying social life before. My friends and I would go out and there were things to do every night of the week. Now a year later, I realize my true friends are the greatest people in the world because the fact I came out of my room, turned the lights on, and watched a movie with them still means something. They still are having a great time teasing me at my expense, however, which shows they still love me and they haven't changed.

These changes are miniscule, however, compared to what has happened in quite a few other people's lives. Some background... Blizzard created a game that you simply can not win. Not only that, the only way to "get better" is to play more and more. In order to progress, you have to farm your little heart out in one way or another: either weeks at a time PvPing to make your rank or weeks at a time getting materials for and "conquering" raid instances, or dungeons where you get "epic loot" (pixilated things that increase your abilities, therefore making you "better"). And what do you do after these mighty dungeons fall before you and your friend's wrath? Go back the next week (not sooner, Blizzard made sure you can only raid the best instances once a week) and do it again (imagine if Alexander the Great had to push across the Middle East every damn week).

What does this mean? Well, to our average "serious" player this equates to anywhere between 12 hours (for the casual and usually "useless" player) to honestly 10 hours a day, seven days a week for those "hardcore" gamers. During my stint, I was playing about 30 hours a week (and still finding it hard to keep up with my farming) and logging on during my work day in order to keep up with all the guild happenings and to do my scheduling and tracking for the raids. A lot of time went into the development of new policies which took our friendly and family-oriented guild further and further away from its roots but closer to the end goal. Honestly, what that end goal is I'm not totally sure - there is truly no end to the game and every time you feel like you're satisfied with your progress, another aspect of the game is revealed and, well, you just aren't as cool as you can be again.

There are three problems that arise from WoW: the time it requires to do anything "important" is astounding, it gives people a false sense of accomplishment, and when you're a leader, and get wrapped up in it, no matter how much you care or want people to care, you're doing the wrong thing.

First off, let's go back to the time it takes to accomplish anything in the game. To really be successful, you need to at least invest 12 hours a week, and that is bare minimum. From a leadership perspective, that 12 hours would be laughed at. That's the guy who comes unprepared to raid and has to leave half way through because he has work in the morning or is going out or some other thing that shows "lack of commitment". To the extreme there is the guildie who is always on and ready to help. The "good guildie" who plays about 10 hours a day and seven days a week. Yes, that's almost two full-time jobs. Funny, no one ever asks any questions, though.

The worst though are the people you know have time commitments. People with families and significant others. I am not one to judge a person's situation, but when a father/husband plays a video game all night long, seven days a week, after getting home from work, very involved instances that soak up hours and require concentration, it makes me queasy that I encouraged that. Others include the kids you know aren't doing their homework and confide in you they are failing out of high school or college but don't want to miss their chance at loot, the long-term girl/boyfriend who is skipping out on a date (or their anniversary - I've seen it) to play (and in some cases flirt constantly), the professional taking yet another day off from work to farm mats or grind their reputations up with in-game factions to get "valuable" quest rewards, etc... I'm not one to tell people how to spend their time, but it gets ridiculous when you take a step back.

The game also provides people with a false sense of security, accomplishment, and purpose. Anyone can be a superhero here if they have the time to put in. Not only that, a few times I've seen this breed the "rockstar" personality in people who have no confidence at all in real life. Don't get me wrong, building confidence is a good thing and something, if honed appropriately, the game can do very right. But in more than a few cases, very immature people with bad attitudes are catered to (even after insulting or degrading others "in public") because they are "better" than the rest. Usually this means they played a lot more and have better gear. I'd really hate to see how this "I'm better than you attitude" plays out in real life where it means jack how epic your loot is - when you say the wrong thing to the wrong person it's going to have repercussions and you can't just log out to avoid the effects of your actions.

And people put everything on the line for these accomplishments with which they associate much value. I know of children and spouses being forced to play and grind for their parents, threats of divorce, rampant neglect, failing grades in school, and thousands of dollars spent on "outsourcing" foreign help. For what, you ask? Honor. The desire to be the best for at least one week. To get the best loot in the game. What do these "heroes" receive? Why, cheers and accolades of course as they parade along in their new shiny gear... which is obsolete the first time they step into one of the premier instances. The accomplishment and sacrifice itself are meaningless a few days later. Then it's usually off to the races again.

Finally, when you're a leader there is a call (or more appropriately a demand) for success. Usually those you represent want to keep progressing. They want to keep improving. They want more access to the best things. It is on you to provide it. In my experience, when you fail to progress fast enough, waves ripple throughout the guild and people become dissatisfied. It's your fault, no matter what. Everything you've done to keep things fair and provide for everyone does not mean a damn thing. A few will stand up for you, but when you have 150 people who all want 150 different things, you end up listening to 150 voices complaining about the job you're doing. This volunteer job usually takes at least 10 extra hours a week (on top of regular playing). Towards the end of my year of service, I apparently couldn't do anything right with my class. I had to rotate people to make sure everyone was getting a fair shot. I wrote actual mathematical proofs the allowed for fair and effective (yes, both) raid distribution according to efficiency, speed, and guild class population. I even rotated myself more than any other class member. People still took it upon themselves to tell me what I was doing wrong (constantly) and how their way was more fair (usually for them).

The thing that kicked me in the ass more than anything else was I really cared if my guildies were getting what they wanted out of the experience. I truly thought my efforts would make them happy. I wanted to make a difference to them. The greedy and socially phobic high school kid I thought I could help through the game, all of the couples (both married and not) who were falling apart because of the game I thought I could rescue, the girl who was deeply wounded by a guy who left her for the game but was herself addicted I thought I could save, not to mention a host of others, I thought my efforts were helping. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: I was providing them with an escape from their problems and nurturing the very thing that was holding them back. Oh yeah, it hit me like a ton of bricks after I had changed so much and lost enough of myself that the most wonderful girl I ever met broke up with me.

I remember clearly after fumbling around life for a few weeks that I dragged myself into the bathroom to get ready for work. I was tired because I was up until close to 2 AM raiding. Every week I read though email or I would run into one of my "real" friends and I'd hear "Andy, what's up, I haven't seen you in a while." I looked in the mirror and in a cinemaesque turn of events and a biblical moment of clarity, told myself "I haven't seen me in a while either."

That did it. I wanted to do the things I wanted to do again and be with the people who appreciated me even if I abandoned them for a year and sucked to high heaven as a friend. The prodigal son returned and my friends were happy. The best advice I got was from the girl who dumped me for being a jackass (and after I decided to really quit and be "myself again" became one of, if not my best friend in the entire world), who said "your real friends like you even when you screw up." It's true.

Funny side note was the reaction I got from the guild that I spent a year pouring my heart and soul into. I made my post in the guild forums saying I was leaving (half of it RPing - something that doesn't happen after you start raiding) and that it was time for me to move on. Three days later I didn't exist any more. The machine kept on moving without this gear. A few people asked me over email (and when I logged on to clean out the old bank) when I was coming back (I'm not going to). There are a few others I keep in contact with and am planning on going to visit sooner or later so I can hang out in person and they can finally meet me. But in the end being forgotten about so soon after still left a bittersweet taste. But one that was a lot easier to swallow than the one I chugged down every day for the better part of a year.

Don't get me wrong, WoW did a lot of things right. At times it was a fun game that allowed me to keep in contact with friends who lived far away. More importantly it introduced me to some of the best real life friends I've ever met. However, it did take an undeniable toll on me and is taking a far greater one on many, many people when taken too far.

So there it is. The realization I came to this morning. Although I'm certain that these thoughts are accurate, what I wasn't so sure about is what I should do about them. I knew there was a NEED to stop playing WoW as much as I do, but did I also NEED to stop playing the game altogether? Sadly, after some very serious thought, I think that's the case, and there's no way around it. Me, continuing to play, at this point on, makes zero sense.

My warlock has almost 140 days /played since starting Jan. 30 of 2006. That's almost 1/3rd of my life spent logged in during that time span, but much more would be required of me if I am to progress. I achieved Rank 14 in PvP, which was a difficult and respected task, until Blizzard decided to axe rankings and make my gear obsolete without compensation. I met some good people, good people that hopefully won't forget about me 3 days from now, but lets be realistic... most probably will. I did quite a bit in terms of end-game, but there will always, ALWAYS be more to do. It's a never-ending cycle. In theory, this game can go on forever if you want it to. We all have that choice to make. My choice, is now.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's a Pretty Good Day

Wow, there is so much that I want to talk about, to write about, to expand upon and let my mind whine about. But since it has been suggested, and agreed upon, to limit the potential drama that can result from all stories Alexstrasza, I'll only be covering the anti-dramatical stuff, just to keep from giving the dramatical types another opportunity for outlet. Yeah, yeah, censorship kinda sucks, but trust me, it's better than the alternative, so this post will be much shorter than it should have been. Lucky you. =P

So anyway, it's been a totally eventful day to say the least. We had another successful run in Karazhan, but this time it was with Xana at the helm, and I must say, she kicked some serious booty. She's picking up the pace rather nicely on our way to boss encounters, and she held much better aggro as we one-shotted the Prince without an issue at all. Good times, and on a related note, we're well on our way to having two SUCCESSFUL groups running Karazhan, which is why we've been incredibly careful over the past few weeks with recruitment and getting new blood some learning experience. Sure, it has taken a little bit longer to get the numbers we're looking for this way, but better to be safe than sorry, and this lengthy process has worked well for us overall. I so can't wait to hit much more intense end-game content with a group I'm confident in, and can't imagine going in with the constant worry that drama will occur and not taking steps to make sure that doesn't happen. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that here. =)

By the way, let me give you fair warning. If you ever find yourself in an arena, you may experience Groin Pains. They will hurt, and you will be injured. Injured bad.

Gnite all.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Quick Tip

As a warlock, my combat log was always a mess to sort through. I would have to search between the ticks of every DoT that I had cast in order to find the information on other specific spells that I was looking for. As you can imagine, it was a tedious task, especially for long boss fights, where I could potentially lose a portion of the encounter due to the volume of DoT data pushing the rest out of the window. Fortunately, I came upon a pretty easy solution to this problem.

I created a new window and named it "Dots," and configured it to only log periodic damage data cast on enemy targets. I then removed this selection from my combat log. The result are two separate logs, one which deals with direct, burst damage, and the other that deals with periodic, DoT spells. All of the original data is retained, but now, it's just much easier for me to sort through -- kinda nice.

I went a step further and created a dedicated window for whispers and officer chat as well. This way, personal messages and officer-related information don't get lost in the crit-worthy general, trade, and sometimes guild-centered walls of text. The information is saved in a different window, and therefore is available to me for a longer period of time.

This simple yet effective tweak to my windows helped me to get much more organized with the constant flow of data we receive. There's lots of possible applications, so mess around with it a little and let me know if you come up with anything useful. =)

Friday, April 20, 2007


At the water cooler...

Marty: Heya Bob.
Bob: Oh hey Marty.
Marty: I hate drama.
Bob: Me too.


That is all. =)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

This is More Like It...

I promise, once I get this set, I'm never changing out of it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Drop Engineering ASAP

After leveling my warlock as an Alchemist and Herbalist, I dropped Herbalism for Engineering shortly after I had completed the grind to High Warlord. I know, it was brilliant that I put effort into making all of those PvP trinkets AFTER I was done with PvP, but that's beside the point. So yeah, anyway, after the ridiculously expensive process of leveling engineering to 300, there I was, broke, an engineer with PvP trinkets that failed half the time (and sat unused in my bags the other half), and other items that no one else wanted or could use because they weren't foolish enough to pick up such a broken profession.

I thought about dropping engineering for a very long time, but never mustered the courage to drop it for fear that Bliz would decide to completely overhaul the profession the next day and actually make it worthwhile. There was a hoaxed list that was making the rounds on the WoW forums at the time, and while some of the items seemed nice ("Flying Machine" anyone?) but they just didn't have the wow-factor (no pun intended) that engineering desperately needed to keep me interested. I finally gave up hope and dropped the profession for herbalism, and I hoped to goodness that I wouldn't regret it. Now I hate myself for waiting so long.

With the alchemy and herbalism combo, I'm actively using my professions again and doing quite well with them. I discovered the recipe for Flask of Mighty Restoration shortly after dropping engineering, which has sold quite well. I also sell transmutations and/or their products regularly (xmute spec) and that results in a good chunk of change. So I went from making 0g per day from my professions to about 150-200g per day after dropping engineering. Lesson learned? I didn't drop it soon enough.

If any of you are still holding on to engineering, consider this. When April 1 came around, the Tin Foil Hat (a totally useless engineering item) joke appeared on the WoW website. Now, when Bliz directly makes fun of a profession, you know it HAS to be garbage. So, get to dropping it asap and move on to something else. You definitely won't regret it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Warlock T6


Friday, April 13, 2007

Bad Luck? Whatever!

So today is Friday the 13th. Totally supposed to be an unlucky and spooky day with the whole hockey mask and "omg Jason rawr!" horror movies and such. I'm not even exactly sure why the superstition exists or how it came to be, really; I think it might have a historical religious origin or something like that. But whatever be the case, today's WoW time totally hasn't played along with the superstition.

This morning, I logged in to check my auctions, and to my surprise, all of my auctions sold for the buyout price, netting me about 300g. Not bad right?. It doesn't stop there. Shortly after picking up that little chunk of change, I performed a Primal Might transmutation, and my xmute specialty FINALLY procced for the first time ever, after over 3 weeks of nothingness! Not bad at all. But that still isn't all. I arrived at the DM Arena to take on Skarr, and a little over 2 mins (2 Dooms) later, I had an Orb of Deception that's now in the Horde AH. So much for bad luck!

So the day went fairly well despite the date having such a bad rap. Who knows, maybe Jason is just misunderstood and is actually a nice guy. Or, more likely, he's as afraid of warlocks as others are of him and feels he must appease us. Whatever it is, I'm definitely not complaining.

More days like this ftw!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Get Your Music On

Diirty baabe, you know you love listening to music when you're getting your WoW on (20g to the first person who gets the reference). I often hear tunes in the background on vent when guildies are chatting away, and of course, when we're not playing the "What's in Jezza's Background Now?" game. Hell, I'll never hesitate to put on some music from time to time, even during raids, when I should be listening to directions and what not (I'm sure that will explain a lot to Jade and Blawle, hehe). I even have an iTunes playlist entitled "WoW" that I put on almost every time I'm logged in. It has made for some very interesting times on vent, lemme tell ya. XD

Most of the songs I listen to while playing I associate with WoW in one way or another. Since you're totally asking yourself what songs these are, I'll give ya a short list of what I usually have playing:

- Bowling for Soup - Girl All the Bad Guys Want (Jade's Ironforge video)
- Captain Jack - Dream a Dream (some random Affliction Warlock's grinding video)
- The Chemical Brothers - Hey Boy, Hey Girl
- Chumbawumba - Tubthumping
- Coldplay - Yellow
- Cranberries - Dreams
- The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love
- DJ Tiesto - Love Comes Again (Nightmare Asylum's Lethon video)
- E-type - Paradise
- Eve6 - On the Roof Again
- Garbage - Dumb, Push It, and just about all of their songs ever released
- Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons (Jade's vid, again)
- Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
- Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Happened to be on when I left Onyx)
- Guns N' Roses - Estranged
- Hoobastank - Escape, The Reason
- Jamiroquai - Feels Just Like it Should
- Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
- Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back (Hey, I'm metro, remember?)
- Linkin Park - Pushing Me Away, Numb
- Luce - Good Day
- Madonna - Jump (Yeah, that metro thing again)
- Mandi Perkins - What About, Who I Am, Why Pretend
- Mindless Self Indulgence - Straight to Video ("How Powerful is a GM?" Video)
- Moby - Bodyrock, We Are All Made of Stars
- Nelly Furtado - Turn Off the Lights
- No Doubt - It's My Life
- Orgy - Blue Monday, Fiction
- The Offspring - She's Got Issues
- OK Go - Here It Goes Again
- Pearl Jam - Evolution
- Pink - God is a DJ
- Puddle of Mudd - Control
- Roxette - The Look
- Savage Garden - I Want You
- Sean Paul - We Be Burnin' (GM video again)
- Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground
- Splender - Happier This Way
- Stone Temple Pilots - Sour Girl
- Sum41 - No Reason
- U2 - Vertigo
- Zebrahead - Falling Apart, Over the Edge, Someday, Strength

Yeah, I pretty much listen to anything and everything except country music (just not into twang, sorry), and I'm always looking for something new to listen to. So, if you've got something you could recommend that's on your own playlist, do tell!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Just Another Day on Alex...

Some days, the drama on Alex can be dealt with in a swift and mature manner. Other days, it can be one of the most frustrating things you'll ever encounter.

Pretty late last night, we approached a guildmate regarding an important headache of ours, of sorts, that needed attention. Instead of working with us to obtain closure to the situation, the player denied all allegations and totally played idiot in every way to statements we made and questions we asked. What was beyond taxing was the fact that we knew, 100%, that our thoughts on the experiences in question were correct.

In the end, the player still denied all of our accusations, and even got a younger sibling involved in the lie. It was rather disgusting, to say the least.

Finally, the guild has washed its hands of the problem and is moving forward independent of the player in question. I must say that in spite of the fact that our night was made a little more difficult than it ought to have been, I think it resulted in a much more satisfying ending to the problem. Now, thankfully, we can all focus on more important matters without worry. PK > Drama, always and ftw.


Monday, April 9, 2007

A Very Good Read

Okay, if you haven't been reading Jade's blog, you totally need to start with her latest entry like right now. Yeah, it's a crit-worthy wall of text, but it's a damn good read that gives you insight into the frustration of WoW gaming and Guild Mastery from a girl's perspective.

Seriously, wth are you still reading this for? Read that post now. It's totally epic.

Account Sharing FTL

Recently, it came to light that one of our members was trading account information with another player on Alexstrasza. They were PvPing together and wanted to check out each other's toons or something like that. No big deal, right? No, it's totally wrong, actually, but I'll get into that in a sec.

Our GMs decided to keep the unguilded player out of guild chat by downgrading the account's guild rank while he was playing it. The player reacted in a manner that was beyond immature, totally insulting the officers and making sexually explicit and disgusting comments about our female GM. That resulted in a totally warranted /gkick of the account he was borrowing (to let the owner know just how bad the behavior was), which led to even more ridiculous and explicit statements, justifying the decisions of our GMs completely. That went on for a while, and we really couldn't do anything about it (I'll get into that in a sec as well) when we were finally able to get in touch with the toon's owner and got everything taken care of. It was a minor but important situation, which I think warrants a discussion on the topic.

So why is it such a big deal to be sharing your account information, and why would any respectable guild react in the way ours did?

1) Terms of Service - It'll get you banned, permanently. Good knowing ya.

2) Privacy - Your account information is now out in the open. Grats. Also, how do you know the other player doesn't have a key logger installed on his computer? Do you really want to login to a naked toon and an empty bank to find out for sure?

3) Reputation - If you're not perm-banned and your account gets hacked at some point or another, you will not have your items returned to you. Yes, Bliz keeps track, and you only have rep to lose. Also, if you're a nice guy and the person that you are sharing your account with is a douche bag, guess what? You are now a douche bag. And, we all know how non-respect-worthy players are treated in-game, don't we.

4) Accountability - You are held responsible for whatever action the other player takes. The other player gets reported, you get in-trouble and quite possibly perm-banned if Bliz notices the account sharing (this is why we couldn't report the retarded behavior we were seeing). It's not worth the risk, especially if you don't personally know and trust the person completely.

5) Dependability - if you are known to be sharing your account, you will be less likely to be depended on. How are we to know who's playing your toon at any given time?

6) It Can Affect your Guild and it's Rep - If you do get caught account-sharing or the person playing your account gets reported and you get banned, your guild is out a member (and whatever class, professions, and other uses you provide). Horde-side on Alexstrasza, that's a pretty serious issue. Also, any single member holds a great amount of weight in determining his/her guild's rep. If the player is abusing your toon and giving you and your guild a poor name, it can affect recruitment and the treatment other guild members receive by other players on the realm. Again, any self-respecting guild frowns upon account sharing for just that reason, so don't expect it to be taken lightly (given these reasons and the behaviors we were witnessing, it should be perfectly understandable why our member's guild tag was removed when none of us could be held responsible for the ridiculous behavior of the person playing his toon).

I'm sure there are many other reasons why you shouldn't be account sharing that I didn't go over. If you feel like something should have been covered, please feel free to comment and let me know what else you believe should be on the list. If you disagree with any reasons listed or feel that account sharing is perfectly acceptable, let me know as well. I promise you that I'll argue about it. ;)

/salute Dagdog

Last night, Alex said goodbye to Dagdog. He was an old guildmate of mine and a stand-up guy and player. You'll be missed, bro. Good luck with everything you do. =)


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Karazhan Clear, Better than Pepsi

Some of you are way too young to remember this (this includes our baby GM, Jade XD), but a while back, The Pepsi Company came out with a soda product called "Crystal Pepsi." It was pretty much a clear version of Pepsi Cola, except that it didn't taste anything like Pepsi at all and was actually very disgusting. It was so ill-conceived and putrid that the product was pulled from production not long after it was released. It was just that nasty.

You know what's better than a clear Pepsi Cola and actually does the word "clear" justice? A clear Karazhan, and our guild was the first to introduce it to Alexstrasza's Horde earlier tonight. We came off of our break (if you wanna call grinding rep and mats for pots a break =P) with only Netherspite standing between us and a full clear. Things started off a little rusty, which was somewhat frustrating, but after making a few adjustments to mainly our healing, and Jade telling us repeatedly to suck a little less, we downed Netherspite in almost flawless fashion. Totally hawt. And what's best? We scored a free day off from raiding by downing all of the bosses with one day left before reset. And by "day off," I mean "more rep and mats grinding!" Good times.

So, if you're on Alex Horde-side and want a peek into a completely cleared Karazhan, give me a holla. Hmm, it wouldn't be a bad idea to charge for tours like that. Afterall, I have to fund my epic flying mount somehow. =P

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Illhoof Down, Goat Cheese for Everyone!

Last night, we finished up more of Karazhan before going into our very welcomed weekend break from raiding. We took down the giant tranny we all know and love, Maiden, that badass Shade of Aran, and for the first time, Terestian Illhoof. It was totally meant to be that we put the spank down on him last night too; my niece was in the room watching me play (I know, such a good uncle setting exceptional standards, right?), and when we entered Illhoof's room, she screams "Kill that goat!" We totally did.

I swear though, that encounter is one of, if not THE cheesiest I have yet to see in Karazhan. It's not that it's even all that difficult or anything, it's just annoying as hell to be constantly bombarded with imp-fire, especially for a caster. Like, imagine you're writing a research paper for a class or something, and a midget is slapping you in the face every two seconds. Annoying, yes? Or maybe you're ordering at a restaurant but some little kid keeps hitting the menu out of your hands every few seconds. Totally annoying, right? That's Illhoof. And I promise, once we get the good loot that he drops, we won't be dealing with that goat's cheese ever again.

Anyway, Netherspite is all that's left between Prom Kings and a full clear of Karazhan, and we have two more raiding days ahead of us before reset. Good times ahead. Wish us luck. =)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nightbane Down! The Good and the Bad

What a recovery! The guild went from having one of our most uneventful weeks in a very long time to downing Nightbane on the 2nd day of raiding since reset! How amazing is that? It just goes to show that when we need to step it up, we totally can, and that weeks like last are totally not the norm. I'm psyched! Totally!

Okay, I'll stop talking like a 16-year-old Cali girl and actually tell you about the good that came out of today's raid. We downed Prince, so there's another guildie with his T4 helm, and our dps got hooked up with a nice melee ring (grats JJ) and that super sweet bow Mal has never dropped for us before and that we've been waiting on (grats Cald).

Our Nightbane kill was the first for the Horde on Alexstraza, and that fact alone was totally worth owning the encounter. He did drop loots, though, and we weren't about to turn them away. A leather dps chest piece went to Blawle because he TOTALLY needs the extra dps (-_-), and a tanking shield went to none-other than our meat-shield extraordinaire, Krarr. The shield is a pretty big deal, so, naturally, we had to give it center-stage in our progression screenie. =)

With all major events, unfortunately, there is almost always a down-side, and our experience tonight is no different. For one, the Prince didn't drop the Mindblade for me. Yes, I'm stilling QQing over that thing. >.<

The other, more important issue is what an amazingly successful night like this does to people who were on backup. I've already had a guildie voice his/her discontent about not being able to directly experience what we accomplished tonight. I can imagine how frustrating it is to be on backup while listening to ecstatic guildies on vent who are taking part in the raid (mostly because I have been there PLENTY of times myself). What I can't understand is why someone, who has a very active raiding and loot history with us, would put that kind of drama-laden burden on the guild on a night that should be totally fun and exciting. It was an isolated incident, sure, but it was still a downer, and even more-so, it was a disappointment.

Anyways, tomorrow is another day of raiding, and although we have a total and complete sense of accomplishment atm, there is still much left for us to complete this week. We'll be paying Maiden, Aran, and Illhoof a little visit, and looking at doing our (and Alex's Horde's) first complete clear of Karazhan.

And to think, we're just getting started...

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Nightbane Sees Reset, My PvPness Sees Action

So it's Tuesday morning and man am I glad to see Karazhan reset. It signifies a fresh start, and really, after last week's performances, it's definitely what this guild needs.

Our final Nightbane attempts didn't happen due to our guild's healers deciding they didn't need to sign in for some reason. I know a few had good reasons for their absences, but when we usually have upwards of 8 healers online during raid hours throughout the week, I can't explain why the others didn't show, especially when some were online 30 mins before raid start and then decided it was time to log. It's very, very frustrating, to say the least.

One great decision that was made was to do some guild PvP Battlegrounds while we waited for healers to login. And even though it was disappointing to see the hours go by with no hope of attempting Nightbane before reset, it was exciting to get my PvPness some action. It reminded me of my Onyx days, BEFORE the x-realms made things much more difficult. It was a good time for sure, and I totally hope we do it again.

Well, later tonight we start all over again. Here's to the new week, new motivation, and a total clear of Karazhan come week's end. Wish us luck. =)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Glitz Stops Traffic with Her Hawtness

So, this is Glitz. She started out as a joke between a few old guildmates on the server who wanted to make Night Elf females feel fat and inadequate, not to mention con lonely men out of their gold (evil, and I totally love it). Then my wife fell in love with the toon during character creation and took her on as her own. Unfortunately, like my many other attempts to get my wife to be with another woman, the idea was very short-lived, and Glitz began finding herself with far too much rested-xp. I began to play with her a bit, specced her shadow, naturally, and after receiving an epic Robes of Insight in her mailbox from an unknown sender, completely fell in love. =)

To this day, I have no idea who sent the chest piece and had often wondered why someone would so such a thing. But then, I started paying attention to what was happening around me. Wherever I went, no matter what I was doing, other players would come to a screeching halt in-front of Glitz and just stand there for a while, staring, whistling, etc. Sometimes I'd receive random tells trying to strike up a conversation. And hell, once Oort tried to dry-hump me. Creepy, a little, am I right?

It happens all the time, every time I login with the toon these days, and even if it's just for a short moment, it never fails. SOMEONE will stop and stare, completely disregarding where they were headed or what they were doing. I mean, I know the Blood Elves are supposed to be fabulously hawt and all and that they make other races look like beached whales (which need love too, btw), but you'd swear I was walking around town in the buff holding up a sign that said "Stop and Stare, 5g" or something.



Sunday, April 1, 2007

When Night Falls...

Night-time is totally my favorite time of day. In the hours leading up to it, I'm usually finishing up with work, and looking forward to letting my inner-child out with a little bit of WoW. The game is totally an escape like that, and I embrace it because lets face it, IRL, we can't simply cast fear and make all of our problems go away. I've been especially enjoying the game after joining Prom Kings, and am having the most amazing time socializing with the guild's great and anti-dramatical players. That says quite a bit about the guild too, because I've had the pleasure of playing with good people in the past, but even then, the game wasn't nearly as enjoyable to me as it is now. And really, what's a night-life without great people to enjoy it with? Martinis anyone? /toast

So, tonight we attempted to down Nightbane, the "final" boss in Karazhan, and even though we didn't do as well as we had hoped to do, we had a good time trying and learned quite a bit about the encounter. It's kinda been a frustrating week for the guild in the sense that we've been getting new members involved, and as a result, we've progressed through Kara a little slower than we would have liked. A little unpleasant, sure, but not unexpected considering the new blood.
I've been dealing with my own personal frustration after having to leave a raid early for RL issues and missing out on what would have been my Mindblade. I know, I know, QQ more pls, am I right? =P Also, we just came off of our two non-raiding days, so it took a little while for us to get back into the groove of things. Not a big deal; we have one more day of attempts ahead of us, and after seeing our progress tonight, I'm pretty certain that we'll drop him tomorrow without too much of a fuss. Good times ahead, for sure.

When Night falls, we'll be the first Horde guild to drop him on Alexstrasza, which is a pretty exciting thing. Sadly, it's also just a tad pathetic, considering other guilds had a huge head-start on us in terms of their existence, group chemistry, and progression. But, I guess it's understandable though -- the BC kinda turned guilds on their heads and Alex has had it's fair share of guild-busting dramatics (just ask anyone in "RA" and you'll soon understand). Again, I can't say enough about this group of players. We've done very well for ourselves, and it's an amazing time.

Well, it's off to farming consumables for our final Nightbane attempts before reset on Tuesday.
I should also probably start working on the progression post, because this one HAS to be epic, and I'd hate to disappoint. Check back tomorrow for the good news. When night falls tomorrow night, /Apple martinis for everyone. =)

Still to come: "Infatuated," "Imma kill you, Phoibe," "Krarr is SLTMLFLIATWP," "GTFA Blawle," and "Glitz Stops Traffic with Hawtness."