Going Without

I’m just a touch early with this, but I’m gonna be busy and/or hungover the rest of the weekend, so I’m posting it now.

 

Nim over at Ankh=Life posted a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic that works rather well for me, so I just had to respond to it. She asked what other people do when WoW is unavailable. Over the summer, after introducing Sharon’s mom to, and subsequently addicting her to WoW, we started having latency problems. Just one of us on would sometimes see lag near 1k ms, with all three of us on it would sometimes spike to 2-3k ms. This pretty much made WoW completely unplayable, and lasted for 3-4 months. Those months sucked, however we found ways to fill our massive amounts of newfound free time.

 

For starters, my Xbox 360 stopped filing missing persons reports on me. Found myself playing a fair amount of World at War, Modern Warfare 2, and Dragon Age. It also sparked an interest in finding 360 games that Sharon and I could play together with local multiplayer. Soul Caliber 4, Forza Motorsport 3, Left 4 Dead 2,  and Guitar Hero have all been tried, haven’t found one yet we can agree on, besides GH.

 

Netflix watch Instantly. Our lag issues were problems with response times and timeouts, not bandwidth, so we were still able to watch movies and TV on Netflix and other streaming video. Let’s see, there was just about all of the new Dr. Who, Penn and Teller’s Bullsh*t, all of Battlestar Galactica, various stand-up and documentaries, various zombie movies, Behind the Mask(awesome, awesome movie), all of Whitest Kids U Know, and all of Weeds. Finishing an entire tv series(or at least up to what had currently been aired) and going “So, now what?” was not an uncommon problem.

 

Learning to play the guitar. My in-laws are both guitar players, and have a fair few kicking around. With all of that extra free time on my hands, I decided to try picking up guitar. Used a website called guitartricks.com, and it worked fairly well, although I’ve stalled out on it recently due entirely to my lack of finding time to practice. I’m likely going to pick up an electric from a pawn shop and see about taking some actual lessons in the near future.

 

Develop a social life. This one has actually had long-term effects, aka friends. Before the Dark Time of no WoW, going out with friends and whatnot tended to be scheduled around raid nights. Sad, I know. Now, playing WoW is happening around hanging out with friends, and it’s definitely a change for the better. I’m even having a party tomorrow night, and there will be people there who…wait for it….aren’t in my guild! Craziness! As a side note, screw turning 30.

 

And, finally, doing all of the above spending time together, facing each other. This one more or less speaks for itself. Playing WoW together was kind of “our thing” that we did together. However, sitting across from each other, talking on vent with guildmates, probably not the healthiest together activity in the world. Don’t get me wrong, we still do it, but it’s not primary anymore.

 

Jesus, this almost seems to have come across as a WoW Anonymous type of deal. We do still play, and I enjoy it very much, it’s just that a break from the game seems to have given a bit of perspective on it, and a bit more moderation.

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Gamer Girls

Who cares if you’re a female or a male, right? It’s a moot topic nowadays when so many girls play that we just go unnoticed. It’s actually a topic I never really think about anymore, until I happened across this post on Big Bear Butt Blogger .

Now, I’m not a “serious gamer” and I never have been and most likely won’t be. I have dug into WoW with a serious enthusiasm, sometimes bothering Malfean to play more than he’d like to. I don’t know if it’s the game itself or a Pandora’s box it unlocked in me, but I really have embraced it. Prior to WoW, though, I didn’t play video games, but I did play an online version of the tabletop games of White Wolf. Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocolypse, Mage: the Ascension. You name that dorky stuff, I did it. It was chat-based, with Storytellers to hold the reigns and game mechanics mostly followed through. It also had its share of skeezbags always on the lookout for a girl playing the game and ready to glom onto her with all of their greasy “charm”. It was annoying, yes, when all you wanted to do was play the game and all they wanted to do was get into your virtual-panties, but you also got used to it and became adept at turning them away. (We won’t mention that this game is how I met Malfean. His charm, thankfully, isn’t all that greasy.)

Understandably, then, when Malfean wanted me to try WoW out for the first time, I was apprehensive. He had jokingly told me that being a girl in the game could be profitable and that didn’t really allay my fears any. Once the game got hold of me, though, the thought came and went. I didn’t notice any real problems with boys or men pestering me, except for the somewhat annoying, though easily ignored, comment regarding my real-life gender behind my character. What do I care if they think I’m sporting extra jiggly bits?

I think, too, that I got really, really lucky in my guild. My guild has a large number of female players, usually wives or girlfriends of the male players, but some aren’t. Some are just single girls that like the game and like that our guild offers a very female-friendly area to play it in. Sometimes I think the estrogen in Vent actually gets too thick for the male players and you can hear them making choking noises as they starve for testosterone fueled conversation. Of course, it takes a special kind of woman to enjoy gaming and our ladies hold their own, dishing out scathing or ribald commentary when they feel the need and taking it themselves with aplomb. I have never felt uncomfortable or nervous around our players in Vent and, in fact, am probably one of the most talkative people on during raids.

Getting back to the BBBB topic at hand, I don’t know if the gamer girls (women! but that’s not as cutely alliterative) that came before me blazed a trail to open up the gaming world to women so that they could be free of male harrassment, or if things have remained entirely unchanged and I am just one lucky woman. Obviously this particular blog bears no title stating the gender of either author, or even alluding to our relationship status, but one of us is a woman and, I dare to assert, a gamer and I find the topic intriguing. I would be interested to hear about other women and their experiences. Are they still having problems with their male counterparts in gaming that would indicate that I, and those that claim gender is moot, are simply lucky or has the tide has turned?

Also, on a side note, being a girl in WoW totally didn’t turn out to be profitable. But I think that has something to do with my lack of willingness to strip naked and dance. The only time the rest of the players see me strip naked is when I’m preparing to do a death-jump of some kind. And then there’s just not much time to throw money at me. Darnit.

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If I Could Have A Class Flying Mount…

This is a response to the Blog Azeroth shared topic posted by Rakhman. Check it out here.

Well, my main is a druid, so I’ve already got a cool as hell flying mount that’s all mine and you can’t have it! Actually, to be perfectly honest, the function of swift flight form is pretty awesome, but the form…meh. Particularly for tauren, we’re an ugly brown bird with some armor. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome to have our own special flying mount type, but I’m not really enamored of it. Warlock epic land mounts and Blood Elf pally epic land mounts are a bajillion times cooler than swift flight form, though. Sadly, I can’t think of anything particularly cooler. So I will be looking at this from the POV of my latest alt, the shaman.

Shaman are masters of the elements, sage elders and wild warriors who channel the powers and spirits of the raw elements. So, it would be only fitting for the shaman to call upon the spirits of air to carry him through use of the spell Windwalking. I envision two possible graphical effects for this. One would be swirling gusts of air whirling around the feet of the shaman as he ran around if the air. The other, possibly cooler one, would be like the whirlwind proc, having the shaman tearing across the sky as a whirling cyclone.

I’ve also, in the past, had a warlock, and I definitely think they should get their own flying mounts. A winged dreadsteed would be pretty cool, but you know what would be even cooler? Saddling up one of those massive tentacled beholders and riding it all over creation, raining beams of death, decay and destruction down upon all of the unwitting peons below! Muahaha! …er. Sorry, I’m better now.

And one last idea. This isn’t so much a class-specific flying mount as another profession flying mount. Blacksmithing. Zeppelin. That is all.

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Well I Never…

So, the most recent shared topic from Blog Azeroth is content/goals met that you never thought you’d achieve, and where you see yourself in six months, after the launch of Wrath. This topic, by the way, comes from the awesome Breana, author of Gun Loving Dwarf Chick and co-host of the blogcast The Twisted Nether.

So, let’s see. Currently, my guild has most of Kara done, and we are 2/6 in ZA, and have downed Mags and Gruul with our allied guild, War Machine. The Champion of the Naaru title is a few heroics away, and it’s pretty cool. Certainly didn’t think I’d ever be getting that.

I’ve also been nominated to become an officer/raid leader for the guild, and that’s pretty cool. We have a Vent meeting coming up to discuss where we want to see the guild go, what we want our focus to be, etc., and I’m guessing the promotions of those chosen will happen then. To be perfectly honest, I was a little surprised when it was brought up to me by the GM. Not the leadership position, because, well, it’s something I tend towards in things like this. More the way he put it to me(and Sharon as well, who is also up for officership/recruiter). It’s one thign to think you’re giving back to the guild, it’s another to be told by the GM just how much you are appreciated. All in all, that conversation was one of my top 10 WoW moments(oops, that’s a different shared topic).

Really, another big surprise for me is being back in Wow at all. This time last year, Sharon and her son moved in with me, halfway cross-country, and I pretty much stopped playing WoW. Combination of work schedule, burnout, and wanting to spend time with my premade family(no pugs!).

And, lastly, and my favorite…I cannot say that I ever expected to be playing WoW with my favorite person in the world. Having gotten her playing, and being able to share our time in game with each other is a lot of fun, and I highly doubt I’d still be playing, or back to playing, if she hadn’t expressed interest. It’s just so much more fun when you can level up together, and always have at least 2/5 for a heroic, and just the idle banter while we farm, or do dailies. Her being the woman I love is just icing on the cake.

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