Archive for the “Blogstuff” Category

It’s over. No Challenge Modes for me! Or for the grand folks who tried to help when we ran into troubles, either.

When we lost our tank unexpectedly yesterday, Wren was good enough to help us out with his Paladin, and he did a great job working our way through Stormstout Brewery, but in the end having five people who had not attempted Challenge Modes before, or at least played as though they had never done Challenge Modes before proved to be too high of a handicap.

To be blunt, none of us acted like we knew where to go or what to do, and everyone looked to someone else to tell us what to do. No excuses, just poor preparation and no time left to overcome it.

I found out we were done the hard way… I logged in tonight, asked the person who had started this run what the plan was for the evening, and was told she had found friends to do it with her.

As in, not you Bear and your tank and healer. Other people than you friends.

As in, we’re not doing them with you and I wasn’t going to bother to email, tweet or in-game message you because you’ll find out when you log in and I’m already in there with my friends right now so kind of get the point?

As a friend of mine said, ouch.

Fair enough.

I can walk away from this experience with the satisfaction that, for one night, I ran with a tank who was exceptional in his skill, who led from the front, and who helped me to see success in two of the Challenge Modes in Silver, the Gates of the Setting Sun and the Temple of the Jade Dragon. Doing those as a team that came together and getting those silvers was a very rewarding feeling, and I am grateful to have had that experience at least once before the pre-expansion patch came.

I also feel the satisfaction that came from playing well in the Tuesday night runs, of performing all of my tasks as a Warlock with skill, and being well prepared for what was to come. I can look back on that night without a single regret. It was as challenging as I expected, and felt incredibly rewarding when we eventually succeeded.

What those Tuesday runs had was intensity.

Do I have any regrets about not completing the Silvers and having any of the mounts?

Yes, I do. But not about the Challenge Modes themselves, more about why I never got them done in the first place.

The truth is, I never attempted to go for Challenge Modes because I don’t know other people in game well enough to have friends to do them with. That is the reality. In game, I don’t have friends that I play with that would consider me as someone to ask when CM time came around.

I don’t really have many close friends in game. Just one or two people I really enjoy spending time with, and I often feel that I hang on them too much as it is, since, y’know, being my only good friends means I’m always there like a puppy when they log in, “How ya doing, huh? Huh? Wanna play? Huh? Huh?” Nobody likes that shit. Even I know that at the very time I’m doing it.

For folks that only know me from my blog, it may be surprising, or maybe not. I really am all the time how I am on here, and while a small dose of me in written form may be entertaining or endurable, in person all the time I’m told by those who would know it’s tiresome.

I have acquaintances, people I know to nod to, say hi when they log on, enjoy their company and wish I did things with and hung around with, but I lack something to make and keep those kinds of friends. I’m not the guy people call up when they want to go do something. I don’t really know why, over the years I’ve just come to assume I’m too abrasive, too big of an asshole to maintain friendships. I lack social graces. :)

Or maybe, as was said in ‘Hackers’, “I don’t play well with others.”

That is what I regret.

I regret that, in the last two years of Mists of Pandaria, I haven’t made the kind of friends, the connections with other people that would have led to going off and doing some crazy shit like Challenge Modes. Of being the guy asked to come tilt at windmills, to slam our faces into a brick wall and scream in shared frustration and hard-earned triumph.

Phoenix Mounts would have only been a token of a larger and grander thing, something that you can’t achieve in a single week of frantic last minute cramming for the CM exam. Of friendship and shared experiences.

For all of you that, in my attempts this week to help someone forge a CM group, who offered your time, your efforts and your partnership in my endeavors, I want to say to you all, thank you.

Thank you all, truly, for being there for me when I asked for help.

I know I do not know all of you or any of you as well as I would like to, but just to know that there are folks that I talk with here who were willing to come forward and try this insanity with me, that really does mean a lot to me.

It gives me hope that maybe if I pull my head out of my ass, I can get out there and make some friends.

And yes, I know that phoenix mounts were a hell of an incentive to run with me. Bribing people to get together, it’s so WARCRAFT that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

God bless you and keep you safe, but not so safe you don’t get to live in interesting times or have your own wild adventures.

In my guild, I would especially like to thank Monster and Tom for being there for me as my friends, from the very first day that I joined the guild right up until today, despite my being a colossal ass. I will endeavor to provide buttflame amusement and dancing Baloo bear bollocks as long as you’ll continue to have me around.

Good night everyone, and have a wonderful final weekend before the curtain finally draws on the Mists.

Comments 10 Comments »

If you’re ever looking for some great World of Warcraft or Druid-related items, I strongly recommend you check out the Etsy store that blogger Euphyley has for her crafts at Warcrafts By Euphyley.

Euphyley writes great guides about rare spawns and Hunter pets in Warcraft at WoW Rare Spawns (go figure) but she’s also an incredibly gifted artist, and these are simply wonderful.

A lot of the items are related to Druids, so this is right in our wheelhouse, but there are also some Warlock, Shaman and Mage themed pets and even items from other games (like 1 UP mushroom earrings) and lots of Hearthstone and Pet Battling jewelry.

Here are a few pictures of some of the amazing things in her store, so you can see I’m not kidding, these handcrafted items are truly unique and quite beautiful.

DruidMalorne minimoonkin VoidwalkerNecklace

There are many more, and they are all just as lovely as these, so why not check them out?

Still not convinced?

One word.

MURLOCS.

Warcrafts by Euphyley

Comments 4 Comments »

I have something special to show you, something really neat.

I’ll show you pictures, I’ll do a big reveal.

When you see it, you will laugh, you’ll cry. It’s not a hoax, not an imaginary tale.

It’s real!

But… you’ll have to wait.

For now, all I will say is…

Whatever it is, it’s in the box.

Closed carton, marked this side up.

It’s a Mystery. Ooh, spooky!

Comments 17 Comments »

A few different things.

First, and most important. The blog is hosted on GoDaddy, and it’s been unstable a lot lately. It’s been fine for years, but all of a sudden the thing is acting like a yoyo, and of course GoDaddy says the solution is for us to change servers, upgrade to different technology and blah de blah blah.

Cassie has done all the work researching what GoDaddy is asking us to do (and their how to manuals? Not only not helpful, but actively wrong in places.) and she is going to begin the process, like, now. GoDaddy says the blog may be down for up to 72 hours while it’s happening, so if we go dark, don’t worry. We’ll be back.

Maybe.

Because I know all websites are shut down for two or three days when things are updated or upgraded, amiright?

Anyway, there is that.

Second, don’t forget that we are doing the finishing run in Ulduar 25 this Sunday night. We only have the last two fights of achieves left for the mounts, so don’t forget, please. I DID push the Raid ID, so we’re all set.

If the last two bosses die fairly quickly, I’m thinking it might be fun to clear the TOC raid as well, just because, well, a lot of people hated that place, and it might be fun to get revenge.

Third, I know a lot of people are loving the new Grand Commendations that give you faction rep boosts of 100% for everyone on your account.

Ghostcrawler is saying they are considering doing this for old pre-Pandaria factions too, AND right now it applies to reputation from quests.

So, for example, if you did Shado-Pan and got your Grand Commendation on your main, your alt will get way past Honored just by questing in Townlong Steppes. This is a good thing.

Finally, you all have a great weekend. Okay? I will be wishing for good health and happy loots for all of you!

Comments 3 Comments »

I need your help, my friends.

I have gone past 1500 posts.

Now, that is not in itself a cause for celebration, it’s simply a testament to the fact I can’t seem to shut the hell up. I’ve got an opinion on EVERYTHING. I ain’t bashful about sharing it, either.

On a side note, did you know Lewis Black is on Twitter @thelewisblack ? Not sure why that suddenly occured to me.

I’ve gone past 1500 posts.

That may seem cool, until you try to find something buried in that mess.

I tried to find one particular post in my archives the other day, and I came to a stunning realization.

I can’t find SHIT.

I even have a search function on my blog. Nope, really can’t find shit.

Now, you can’t help me find what I was looking for, I forgot what the heck it was already.

There is something you COULD do that I would be truly grateful for. Please?

You could let me know in the comments to this post what posts I may have written over the years that stand out to you as ones that would be worth having links to on the sidebar.

If the answer is none, then that’s fine with me. :)

I’m not looking to fulfill any particular criteria. It’s enough to me that, if I wrote something that for whatever reason stuck with you and you think would be a good one to have linked on the sidebar, that you let me know.

If I actually get some suggestions, I’m going to add a section on the sidebar for reader recommendations, and it will bring some stuff back to life from a dead and gone archive.

I’m not joking, by the way. If you think nothing I’ve written deserves to be on the sidebar of the blog, that’s cool. Hey, if you think it’s all fishwrap… there is absolutely NOTHING wrong in my mind with aspiring to write words that last for a single day before fading away into the past.

There are a few things driving this today, besides my not being able to find shit in my archives, that is.

The first thing is, every once in a while I get the thought that maybe I should have links to some of the stuff in my archives on the sidebar for new readers to check out. I do not, in any way, expect anyone to read through 1500 freaking posts. With the size of my bearwalls? Really?

Not a chance.

But buried in that mess there might be posts people enjoyed, and think new readers would enjoy too. Or at least would give people fair warning over the kind of crap I’m known for spewing.

I do have some posts on the sidebar. I’ve tried to keep the Storytime posts I like doing and the Tales from the Truckstop, and Druid Tanking posts from back when what I thought was, for a brief millisecond, relevant. A wonderful reader also recently asked me to add the Alex the Bunnyslayer posts there, and if someone asks you to do that, how the hell can you resist?

Those posts on the sidebar already, some of those are very old, and yet they still seem recent and fresh to me. I think part of that is because they are on the sidebar, where I am reminded of them and the good times we had writing and talking about them. If you think I don’t like to remember good times I’ve shared with you, you’re nucking futs.

The thing is, I’m not capable of judging what someone might think was worth linking to or not. For this kind of thing, it doesn’t matter what I thought about it, what matters is your opinion.

There is yet another reason for this, too.

If my pagehit post caused some people to wince in irritation at my bragging and to liken me to being the kind of person that would tell a crowd of people how many conquests I’ve had, then the whole concept of my pandering to my massive ego by begging readers for suggestions on what posts of mine were most awesome ought to cause ‘em to blow a fucking gasket.

Cherish that visual with me for a moment. The beginning of reading the post, the dawning realization of just what it was I was asking for, the gradual darkening of the cheeks as blood pressure soars, the sudden pop…

Nirvana.

I kid, I kid. I do that. It’s all in good fun.

There is an even further point to all this.

If you are a blog writer, or any kind of writer at all, and you sometimes feel discouraged at not finding an audience or recognition, take a good, long look at me for a moment.

I’m not a great writer, I’m probably not even a good writer. But I do put myself into my writing, and I keep writing. I’m the energizer bear of blogging, I keep writing and writing and writing. It may suck, people may want me to shut the hell up, but here I am.

If I’m not actively writing, I’m thinking about writing, thinking about story structure, thinking about characters and concepts and shit, and I want to write it all down.

It’s not about pagehits. It’s not about recognition. It’s about writing for the love of writing. If you’re doing it for a reward other than doing what you love, then it’s a means to get you something else you want, and you’re not likely to keep going unless you get that thing that is your true goal.

I was writing long before there was an internet, and I sucked then, too. I’ve got notebooks full of story ideas, role playing game scenarios, poetry, character backgrounds, you name it. I’ll be the first to say, none of it is any good.

Every few years I come across one of those notebooks, flip through one, and think, “Holy shit, I was a complete IDIOT. This is crap! Oh my god, I can’t believe how immature my worldview was, how lacking my understanding of history, the inter-connectedness of events, how shit works together, geopolitical views and just wow what a bloody idiot I was.”

Then a few years pass, I pick something up, and read what I’d written just a few years prior, and think the same damn thing.

Every year I look back on the person I was a year before and think, “Wow, what an ignorant idiot.”

The lesson here is… I know, based on past experience, not think but KNOW, that I am an idiot NOW. In five years, I will look back on the person I am today and truthfully think, “Wow, what an idiot I was.”

That doesn’t stop me from writing. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. I keep writing. I wrote in notebooks, I write here, and who knows where I’ll be a decade from now. Dead in a ditch, victim of the zombie apocalypse everyone tried to warn me of, or writing something completely different on a new venue I can’t imagine? No idea.

If you love writing, sharing your ideas, playing with words and cleansing yourself of the ideas in your skull that threaten to drive you nuts unless you get them out where you can twist them around to get a better look at them… DO IT.

1500 posts don’t all happen at once. They happen because you wrote something today, and tomorrow, and every other time you were fired with enthusiasm to get the shit out of your head someplace where you could see it, and you did it by typing or scribbling or scrawling.

Honestly. Look at this place. Look at it, and be sure of one thing.

You can do better.

So do it. Be yourself, let your love for writing explode on the screen, and if you are honest with yourself and what you’re saying, it may take time, but people WILL find you, they WILL link to you, and you WILL be part of the community whether you want to be or not.

For every writer pouring their heart out, there are people who will find those words resonate within them. It may take time, but it will happen.

But start with the writing.

Comments 28 Comments »

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