Archive for the “Humor” Category

I follow blogs and listen to a few podcasts related to WoW, and it’s occurred to me I’ve really been blessed.

It took me forever to get my Sha-touched Weapon.

Months of pain, of striving, of crying in the night, cold and alone without my bang-bang.

Running week after week with a rare 463 bow, I began to take extraordinary measures to try and up the chances of a drop, multiple runs a week, chanting and burning incense, rolling my D20’s over and over until they all showed 1’s before a run just to use up all my bad luck and up the chance my next bonus roll would be a natural 20, you name it.

What reading other blogs, listening to podcasts and talking with other guild members in raids has made clear is I am not alone.

Oh no, far from it. And those of us who are sharing the troubles of our times, we carry with us scars that will last a lifetime.

What I’m realizing is, this strife, the struggle, the quest for the Sha-touched weapon for all classes has taken on a larger than life meaning.

The item itself? For Hunters, the Sha-touched weapon is ultimately meaningless. Like every other combat item in the game, it’s as relevant and enduring as navel lint. It’s as ugly as the north end of a south-bound rhino, too.

Looks aside, a year from now, will I still be using my Sha-touched weapon?

Not only won’t I be using the Sha-touched weapon, I might not even be playing the same character anymore.

You never know what the future holds, but one thing is certain; there will be content upgrades with more powerful gear, ALWAYS.

Whatever we are using now will someday soon be taken off, examined for transmog opportunities, and dumped accordingly.

In the end, it’s not the drop that matters.

The true value of the Sha-touched weapon is the community that has grown up around it.

Those of us who have sought the Sha-touched weapon in vain for months at a time are digital adventurers, striving against the fates and an unfeeling Content Programmer on the trail of a myth, a legend, a tantalizing glimpse of life-changing treasure.

We endure extremes of playing and queue times, blow extra rolls and run dailies to earn tokens, all to feed our passionate quest for the ultimate prize.

We are Allan Quatermain, searching for King Solomon’s mines, only when we get the gold his team craved to us it is as ashes in our mouth compared to the wondrous glory we seek and never find.

You who walk into an LFR or raid and have Sha-touched weapons fall easy or early are the ones who are left out.

You will never have had that experience that we few, we few, we band of unfortunates have shared that will bond us into a community for years to come.

We are the ones who won’t be able to tell you what  upgrades we picked up and tossed aside along the way, but our memories of striving for the Sha-touched weapon and failing over and over will last a lifetime.

When we sit in vent waiting for raid to start, we will be the blessed few with tales to share with each other of failed extra rolls and pity-gold by the thousands.

We will feel that bond that only comes from sharing a common pain  as we look back on all the times we queued up hesitant and hopeful, only to suffer through the fail pugs and utter idiots to hold gold in our hands once again.

You, with your easy Sha-touched drops will not be one of us. You will be an outsider, and we will shake our head in sadness to your stories of running Attumen the Horseman for three years, or all the runs into Tempest Keep for a phoenix, but inside it won’t be the same.

There are mounts and other vanity items, but for those of us who sought a best in slot raiding weapon tied to our Legendary questline and came up with nothing, it’s just not the same.

We know what it is to seek in vain, to hope and be crushed, to strive and fail, week after week after FUCKING WEEK without getting that one damn drop while our raid team moves up the charts without us, and worse yet, without truly appreciating how lucky they are to have it, those bastards.

Oh yes, we know how it feels to earn thousands of valor, to have a legendary gem and gem socket just sitting in our bags, waiting for that day that one goddamn weapon we want drops for us, only to get nothing.

We know. We’ve been there.

That gives us an experience that will last long past the point the gear itself is meaningless.

Just like any adventure… it sucks while you’re doing it, omigod it sucks, but someday in the future, these memories will be priceless.

Either that, or just one more thing to bitch about, I honestly can’t tell you which.

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What is a teachable moment?

It’s something that happens in your life that teaches you a lesson, a lesson you will never, ever forget.

Can you come up with a teachable moment in your life? If something leaps to your mind, it probably counts.

I can share one of mine with you, if you promise not to laugh.

Promise?

Okay.

Years back when I was young, dumb and full of Marine Corps life, when I wasn’t drinking, reading or playing role playing games I’d get a wild hair up my ass and want to get out and move.

The walls would close in with the same old scenes, surrounded by the same old faces, smelling the same old farts from the Jarhead on the next bunk over.

What I’d do is grab my portable cassette player (which was called a Walkman in the same way all tissues get called Kleenex), and hit the road running.

Didn’t matter what time it was, or what the weather was like. I had to get away from shit, and running while listening to music blaring into my ears got me out of the barracks and out of my head.

This particular tale of the tape took place when I was stationed at MCAS Beaufort, in South Carolina, where I got the wild hair late at night when the sky was dumping chilly rain in a dense sheet outside.

I put on layers of spandex, a hoodie, stuck my cassette player in a ziplock baggie and headed out.

For whatever reason, the wild hair didn’t take me to the normal backwoods snake trails on base that would come out near the Enlisted Mens Club.

Instead, I took a hard left out of the barracks, and headed out on the road that led out towards the Officers transient barracks… and the flight line.

There was a road that headed out that way, a road with no real destination. Just two lanes of black asphalt, a tree-lined tunnel bordered by runoff ditches.

That road would make a loop around the perimeter of the flight line, and running that road committed me to doing four or five miles in the icy rain, late at night. I could tell before I set out that I wouldn’t see another soul for the entire run. No cars, no runners, just me and the rain and the night.

As I ran, there was a part of me that thought about how far I was going, how cold the rain was, and how early I’d have to get up to go running with the platoon in the morning. The half way point loomed in my mind, that point of no return where it would be shorter to keep on going and finish then to turn back the way I came.

But most of me just ran, and listened to the tape on auto-reverse, and tried to clear my head of whatever bullshit was making everything complicated at the time.

By the time I returned to the barracks, I was steaming and sore. Muscles were knotting up, and I still had regularly scheduled physical training the next morning.

One of the unwritten rules of a Marine in barracks duty is that whatever hell you got up to the night before, even if you come rolling in dead drunk 5 minutes before PT, you damn well don’t miss formation. Aww, did you go running all night? Well then, you should have had more sense you dumbass, now get in formation, we’re going on a little light 5 mile run. Double time, harch!

Just saying. Whatever soreness I felt I had to get rid of and get as much sleep as I could so I could be ready for PT the next morning.

I hit the showers, got warmed back up, and grabbed the jar of IcyHot-style menthol/camphor crap to rub into my sore calf muscles.

I worked the blue gel into my leg muscles, and felt the first rush of cold kicking in.

Then I hit the head, took a leak and got ready to go to sleep.

Thus began the teachable moment.

After using IcyHot, or any other topical product with menthol and especially camphor as an active ingredient, WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS.

About a minute after taking a leak, my thought process went something like this; “JUST WHAT THE OMIGOD MY DICK IS ON FIRE WHAT THE HELL OMIGOD I NEED FIRE SUPPORT WTF AH SHIT AAAARRRGGHHHHHHHHH!”

Wow, that was a bad night.

Even now, more than two decades since that day, I can tell you with utter sincerity I cannot look at a container of IcyHot without thinking that there needs to be a much larger warning label on those goddamn jars.

So… did I help The Godmother find her smile today? Hmmm?

Since this story is from a Hunter to help a Hunter smile, I thought it appropriate to use a little Misdirection to reach the punchline. :)

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This was another idea that was inspired by a Twitter conversation.

I was chatting with @chicknlil, @tedthethird, @anafielle and @tishtoshtesh, when I was hit by another vision. A bold vision.

If you don’t know who those tags represent… you should!

The vision didn’t need to be nurtured, developed or refined. I saw it, all at once, exactly how I knew it must be, and resolved at once to make that vision a reality.

You know…. if Tesh went along with it. :)

HE DID!!!

I proudly present to you something I am truly proud of. It works on so many levels. It’s artsy, cause it’s got subtext!

Behold…

THE BUMPER STICKER OF EPIC AWESOME!!!

Okay, so it’s just a bumper sticker.

That is exactly how I imagined it. In every possible details… except, you know, I love what Tesh did with the rocks. That might have been a bit better than I imagined. Especially the way the sizes of the rocks imply that you’d be welcome to walk up, plop your butt down on one of the small flat wide ones and warm yourself.

Alex just walked up behind me, saw the picture, and announced “That basic campfire is so cute!”

See, our candidate is more photogenic, too!

LOL. OMG Alex just went off on Garrosh. “Even a slug would make a better Warchief. Thrall had everything working perfectly, and Garrosh had to come along and ruin the entire setup.”

That was a direct quote.

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I’ve been asked before, “Where do you get your ideas?”

Today, I do something different.

Today, I take you through the entire process of where it all started, and where it eventually went.

In the end, you’ll see that you don’t have to be crazy to write here… but it helps!

All this took place in about three minutes in my car.

I was cruising along on the way home from work, and thinking about the design that Tesh did for me just this last week.

Tesh has really been great for no reason other than that he’s a great guy, he’s done these designs just from fun and a love of creating cool stuff, and I wanted to show him how much I appreciated the work he does making this stuff just because “I thought it would be cool, would it be hard to draw?”

So, I asked him if I could send him a shirt from the store, and he’d said yes… the awesome one he’d done a while back based on my son’s idea for a Fish Tanking Pet.

I got shipping notification today, so that got me thinking about the shirt, and that led to me thinking about the original design Tesh did, and where it came from.

Thinking about that design reminded me of how cool it was that Blizzard introduced the Companion Pets that are fish floating in bubbles of water. When we’d originally talked about Alex’s idea, the open-topped fishbowl with the attachments just rocked, but there was nothing in-game to link it to.

Shirt design… floating bubble fish.

Hmmm.

So, we’ve got pet fish in the game now, something that didn’t exist when the shirt design was made.

What if… what if we took the design, and the bubble fish…

The original goal was a mechanical Engineer-crafted combat pet for Hunters.

We’ve got a fish pet now. It’s in a bubble of water. So, all that is missing is the mechanical stuff for the fish to ride inside.

Like a mount.

Like the Engineer would craft a vehicle, like a tank chassis, and you’d let your fish pet enter the vehicle, and then THAT would be your Hunter combat pet.

So a Gnomish Engineer could make, in effect, a reverse submarine! The water goes on the INSIDE, and all you do is let your fish get inside, and then it takes control of the mechanical chassis. A little fish-driven turbo tank with drill arm attacks and turtle-style shields. And portholes showing the blue water inside.

Heck, maybe even the fish occasionally opens the top hatch and sticks his head up, wearing WWI biplane goggles, to take a peek around as an idle animation!

That would be so freaking cool.

The purity of the vision, a land shark with a goldfish inside, overcompensating for NOT being born the king of the sea.

Almost like a short Gnome surrounded by giant idiot humans, overcompensating by building giant destructive devices… would there be some kinship there? Some sense of “You and me against the world, we’ll show ‘em what we’re really capable of. The fools. For science! Muahahahahahaaaaaa.”

Okay, but we’ve got the Gnomes, but Engineers are traditionally Gnome and Goblin.

Gnomish Engineers already have one style of Engineering crafted pet, while Goblins have another. Why not Gnomish and Goblin-specific mechanical tank chassis that goes with your Mists of Pandaria Fishy pet?

On both the Horde and Alliance side, every player that completes the quests for the Pearlfin Jinyu or the Forest Hozen are rewarded with Fishy, a fish in a bubble. They don’t have to get it by fishing. So it’s a pet that you as a designer could reasonably expect every level 85 either would or could have.

So, since every character that does the quests will automatically get the Fishy, and it’s Bind on Account, and limited to those players at level 85 qualified to do Jade Forest… why not build around that?

Goblins and Gnome Engineers could have their own inspired design for the Fishy Tank.

Yes, that’s right.

THE FISHY TANK.

You don’t like it, deal with it. I said it, it’s done.

Fishy Tank.

And come on, you know that the Gnome Engineers would be the first to think of something that crazy. A tank designed for a Fishy to drive, with gear-styled wheels (of varying sizes, probably), and drill arms like Tesh designed, and a big engine on the back with pipes puffing out smoke.

But the Goblins, seeing that… you just know that they’d have to design their own, more impressive counter to this.

Something that has that crazy shark-grin painted on the front cowling.

Oh, how insidious that design would be. A goldfish piloting a vehicle with a sharktooth grin painted on the outside. Oh, lord.

I could even see it occasionally going off on it’s own to pounce on Seagulls and other fisher-style birds, like you see the coyotes and wolves in the wild do in-game. Like… getting revenge. You’re just strolling along on the beach, and your goldfish goes tearing fin across to pounce on and destroy a seagull.

Oh, hell yes.

I can see it. Oh lord, it’s like a shining light, coming down from the heavens.

Goblins. Gnomes. And a design war on who can build the deadliest, most over-the-top Fishy Tank.

That would let Blizzard have fun designing two different approaches to a Fishy Tank, and it would give Hunters a new mechanical-based combat pet they could craft themselves towards end game…

What if this was the alst thing that finally opened the door to allowing Gnome Hunters? We’ve already got Goblin Hunters, why not Gnomes, especially if they could eventually have a mechanical combat pet?

Good lord… Gnomes. Pets. What if the formerly Gnomish Engineer-only companion pet Lil’ Smoky became the design foundation for the starting Gnome Hunter pet?

Gnomes, wielding complex guns, with fancy goggles, sending their programmed combat machine out to destroy the enemy… tossing Big Daddys and smoke bombs here and there…

The horror… the sheer, beautiful horror….

There. You see? That is exactly how we went from a starter idea, to whatever the heck we have now. Pure stream of my wandering crazy.

Look, I tell you these things, I tell you exactly how deep the hole is, and if you keep coming back here to read them, don’t blame me when we all ascend into madness together.

I warned you!

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Sorry about the title, we were talking about alliteration in guild last night.

In case you were ever in doubt, I’m for it.

Todays topic is:

Tell me the one thing you ever did in a raid, ever, that was so boneheaded you still look back on it and think, “I can’t believe I did that. What was I thinking?!?”

I started this raid week down exactly one Sigil of Wisdom from completing that part of Wrathion’s quest chain.

That left me eager to run Heart of Fear to try and get it, before queueing for Terrace to down the Sha of Anger.

Thus began my night of comedy.

I did get my Sigil, but the groups I were with were… sloppy. Felt half awake, going through the motions. Perhaps just hitting that wall.

We downed trash and bosses, but we usually had multiple people die per trash pull, half the group dead by the end of a boss pull, and we flirted with enrage timers and sometimes even went over them.

Elegon… let’s just not talk about Elegon.

My boneheaded, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment came during Will of the Emperor in Mogu’shan Vaults.

You know, the dude what can drop the weapon upgrade for me.

We played as sloppy as I’d come to expect on the trash right in front of the control panel, and over half the raid died before the trash finally went down.

Some folks released to run back, others were waiting for a ressurection, and some moron decided to start the encounter.

Oh, joy.

This has no bearing on my mistake.

I did my best. I know the fight, I have plenty of tools to work on the adds, and all I wanted was to get the fight over with, see if the bow would drop, blow an extra roll when it didn’t, and then move on with my week.

So, I’m running around doing the add killing dance as fast as I’m able, when halfway into the fight most of my buttons go dark.

Like, ‘out of range’ dark. Or, ‘you’ve been stunned/silenced’ dark.

I could still use my Kill Command, Glaives, all that extra cooldown and pet stuff, but I’ve got no shots at all. 

What, I ran out of arrows? WTF? I know I got tagged by that one Emperor’s Strength, but that stun only lasts like, what, 3 seconds? 

It took me over 30 seconds of trying to figure out what happened to finally get it.

My weapon was broken.

I opened up my equipment list, and sure as hell. All my epics were fine, durability 100 out of 180, or whatever.

The only thing I had broken at 0 durability was my 463 blue Tempestuous Longbow.

Apparently, it’s weaker and more susceptible to breakage than epics? And hey, guess what… I died a lot in that raid.

So… halfway through the last boss fight I intended to do for the evening, I ended up with no weapon, reduced to telling my pet to attack that target, now that target, okay Bestial Wrath and go Kill Command that one. And after that… well, i still had my fists.

Paws. Whatever.

I was reduced to punching the adds.

For over half of the fight, I’m running around punching bad guys and waiting for pet attack cooldowns to wear off.

That’s a long time to feel embarassed.

One of the healers locked out of the raid by the early start began telling us all how much we sucked.

Specifically, how bad us DPS sucked.

In fact, he began talking about the worthless sack of shit Hunter that was so bad he should get out of the raid and kill himself for being so bad.

For over five minutes, and then past when we did finally wipe, he kept up the stream of venom, directed at sucky DPS in general, and the one horribad sack of shit hunter in specific.

I was embarassed because, yes I can’t believe I was in a boss fight with broken equipment, total fail move, but even worse, getting called out for it by someone that really, with that language and hostility, I’d have liked to kick square in the nuts for being an asshole.

Worst part? The feeling that, even though the way he went off was nasty bullshit, I felt he had a point. I was terrible, and I did feel embarassed. I won’t go so far as to say I was ashamed, but yeah, that was pretty fail. There was no good excuse for my not knowing what my durability was going into a boss fight. 

The healer’s tirade increased, and he started linking meters to the raid channel, and calling person such and such with blank DPS out, and such and such did blank…

I suddenly realized something even more horrifying.

He wasn’t talking about me.

As bad as I was in that raid, spending most of it with a broken weapon, punching adds and controlling my pet as best I could, little though it was… I still ended that one fight with a little over 22k DPS.

I wasn’t the worst DPS on the fight.

I wasn’t even close.

It turns out I wasn’t the Hunter he was swearing at like a deranged beast. I thought I was, but he’d never called anyone out by name before. I just assumed I had to have been, by far, the worst in the run.

Nope.

The Hunter he was talking about had 12k DPS.

I still feel a little light headed thinking about it.

The healer, seriously, he could go die in a fire. Whatever moron started that run was the person to blame for our overall failure, not one DPS in the group. There is never any call to rant and rave and swear at someone else. You don’t like how someone else is performing, and if you truly think they are doing it on purpose, then you say what, and why, and who, and ask people to vote kick them. If enough people agree, then fine, you kick them and move on. If not, and you feel that strongly? Leave. Or shut the hell up and soldier on.

The swearing and venom? Shove a cork in your ass, I don’t want to hear it.

I feel okay about saying that now, seeing as how he wasn’t talking specifically about me. :)

I am still trying to wrap my head around that. With a minimum iLevel of 460, a Hunter (a Beastmaster hunter at that, same as me) did 12k DPS on a  boss fight.

I did almost twice that with a broken weapon, punching the adds. Yes, my pet does reasonable damage on his own so long as I am using all of my Kill Command oand other attack cooldowns, but still. The other person is a Hunter too!  

In other words, as bad as I sucked, how could there have been someone even worse?

I feel like I entered in a “who can suck the worst on this fight” contest, and came in second place.

This did not make me feel better about myself. I mean, if you’re gonna lose, at least lose BIG. If you screw up big enough, spectacularly enough, there is a story in that.

Did I wonder what that Hunter was doing? Yes, briefly. Then I moved on. it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

It’s not relevant in any way. What he did is what HE did, not what I did.

I’m the one that fought a boss with a Broken Arrow.

About that Hunter… here’s a hypothetical for you.

You sit down, queue for a raid, and it takes 45 minutes to get one, which is what it took me. You expected 20 minutes, that is what you’re used to, and that’s what your addon told you was the current average wait time, so that worked for you. You’ve got limited time to play before you have to get your kids tucked into bed, but this is workable.

For 25 minutes after that 20 minute ‘average’, the duration kept getting extended by a minute at a time.  You thought, ‘okay, what is one more minute”, but that was 25 minutes ago.

Now, 45 minutes in, and the hour and a half you budgeted for the run is half gone before the first pull.

You’re running out of time. There are things you have to do with your family. But you can take it to the wire. Maybe this group will get it done fast and smooth. 

But no. The group sucks. Wipes on trash, AFK people, early pulls, all sorts of things that serve to drag this out.

Finally, you get to the last boss, the boss you came for because you’re a Hunter and you need a weapon and he could drop your weapon. You really don’t want to have to do all of this over again later, you don’t have much time during the week to play.

But it’s time to tuck your kids into bed, past time really, so you’re up against it, and when game and famliy go head to head, family wins. Of course.

So, as soon as this trash pull is done, you’re going to tell everyone you need to be afk for a few minutes, so you can at least go tuck your kids into bed.

Then some asshole pulls early, before people have even run all the way back or been rezzed. There are healers locked out of the instance, five people still dead…

Well, that’s an obvious wipe, so you say to hell with it, set your character to auto-attack the boss, sic your pet on it, and go get your children tucked into bed, tell your spouse you’re sorry that the run went so long, and get back to your desk to recover after the wipe.

Sound reasonable? Sound like an outside possibility?

Yeah… I’m not going to judge, and I’m not going to assume anything. It does not matter why someone else had issues, what matters is what I did, what I have control over, and what I can do better next time.

Our second run? Everyone was there, healed, buffed and ready.

We killed the Will of the Emperor easy as could be, and everyone, including that Hunter, did a great job.

After our wipe, I teleported out, repaired, and ran back. I had to, not a single person there would drop a repair bot for me. Fortunately, I got back in time before the pull.

Oh, and the healer that spent all that time swearing and frothing at the mouth?

Didn’t heal a single person the entire fight. Just stood there, metaphorically with arms crossed, watching as everyone around them did their jobs while just afked through the fight.

Isn’t that just special. So apparently, he was so offended at how people didn’t do anything the last run (while he was safely on the other side of the doors, doing nothing), that it gave him the right to do nothing himself to, what? Get back at us? Prove he can intentionally suck worse?

Whatever.

Doesn’t matter. We won without him, easily, so the only thing that got proved was how nobody needed him around in the first place. he was not a value add. :)

What matters is, I have furthered the legend of the Huntard.

I haven’t felt so embarassed in a long, long time.

I’m in ur raids, punching ur mobs. 

/cry.

So tell me, make me feel better. What is your “I cannot believe I just did that” moment?

Comments 37 Comments »

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