Determination – Do U Haz It?

When everything is going great, it’s easy to be positive and keep going.

But how are you at staying focused and positive when things get difficult? When it takes effort?

Do you have the determination to keep going, to recognize that it’s go time, and to push ever harder?

When the raid wipes for the 157th time on Heroic Ragnaros, do you pull the plug and fake a power outage, or do you repair, refresh, swear and then step up to go again, determined to damn well put your very best effort in this time. Yes, you thought you did that last time, but you can do better.

You WILL do better.

Bacon. The power to get things done.

Do you have the bacon in YOU?

Even Bear Butts Get The Blues

You ever just write something, and you’re pretty happy about it, and cheerful, and walk away smiling, only to come back and find out that what you wrote, and the feeling you had when you wrote it, and your entire attitude and mental state that allowed you to hold the world view when you wrote it, were all read by other people who interpreted what you said in a completely unexpected way that takes you completely by surprise…

And makes you feel like maybe you just came off like the biggest, most arrogant, egotistical asshole in the world?

Doesn’t matter what was in your head at the time. That’s what came across. As the meme says, offense is in the eye of the beholder, and the internet has no tone of voice.

If that is what people read into what I said… then hell, maybe I AM the most arrogant, egotistical asshole in the world. I know for a fact I’ve got some former guildies that would so aver.

Or at the very least, I am king of the asshats of my own little corner of it, population me.

I’m gonna take a little break, get some down time, relax and wait for my attitude to bounce back. I’m a bouncy bear, and NOTHING can take my butt down and keep it down except me. Just takes a bit of attitude adjusting, that’s all.

I’ll eat some M&Ms, have a bacon sandwich, hug my son, listen to March of Cambreadth, read some Terry Pratchett, play alts with my wife and generally do some of the things that recharge my battery back to POWERING THIS GALACTIC-SIZED TESTAMENT TO WHINY POUTINESS, DAMNIT.

I’ll be back to the blog in a few days.

In the meantime… let’s revisit my first ever Raid Song of the Week. It bears repeating. And it’ll kick my good feeling into overdrive NOW.

[audio:https://thebigbearbutt.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/March-of-Cambreadth.mp3|titles=March of Cambreadth]

I’m so glad we have this time… Together!

Thank you all for continuing to read and visit me here. I hope that when you stop by to visit, you feel welcome. This isn’t the Pink Pigtail Inn, but you can be certain that whenever you stop by, you’ll find a metaphorical Guinness, Captain and Coke, and bacon sandwich all ready and waiting for you. Pull up a chair, enjoy your drink, and if you finish your bacon early in your stay… there is ALWAYS more. Always. 

I joke around that nobody comes by to read this stuff, Gnomer just sits there in between slaughtering Horde in BGs hitting ‘refresh’ on every post that mentions him 1,000 times a day. 

The truth is, though, while I am the one that keeps on writing, it’s not all me. Not even slightly. When you comment, even just when I see you’ve come around, it is part of the conversation here. You teach me, encourage me and give me the inspiration to continue to feel that we are all having fun together, and I guess that means, in a very large, real way, the continued existence of this blog is your fault.

Bears may not be able to parry, but clearly we can deflect. 🙂 

As much as I thank you all, I also want to give a huge thank you to my wife Cassie, who has been with me every step of the way as we danced this waltz of blogging craziness together, even as she thought I was a blithering idiot, and I did my best every day to prove her right.

As I mentioned to Lier the other day, my blogging goal every time I sit down is to write a post that will amuse and distract someone for 5 minutes during a lunch break.

I like to think I achieve that goal at least a few times a week, and if that’s so, then world peace and a united earth government can’t be far behind. Right?

In conclusion…

You will believe that a Bear and his love can dance!

Inspiration and Transformation

The meme has come, the meme has gone… let’s move on.

Gnomer may have unleashed the latest iteration of 6 of 6 upon us, but he isn’t just a cute little hairy gnome with a mighty awesome (if familiar) butt. He also writes inspirational posts.

In Gnomers latest article, he challenges us as bloggers to write posts that get our meaning across, and along the way link to those who may have inspired us to think about it.

For good or bad, he says, if someone inspired you with love or hate by the ideas they shared, they made you think, and there is little enough of that in the world today. Let’s link to those inspirational people and share them with our readers.

I like the idea of taking the time, while writing a post, to think back to the people who have helped influence me in my opinions and link to them.

I also like the idea of searching through my own archives looking for things to torture Gnomer with.

I started skimming through my archive of posts, looking at titles, starting from the very earliest.

I’ve got over 1500 posts in my archive. What shocks me is how some of them are still very much in my mind, as if I wrote them just last week. Like the Storytime posts on the sidebar, I remember writing them and know they are there.

Like the post I wrote when Cassie first made the decision WoW was a game that was worth spending a little money on. That was a huge leap. What a vivid memory, and the post captured my feelings perfectly.

Speaking of my strongest source of inspiration, here is a post about my thoughts on playing WoW that sounds eerily familiar, a post that was inspired by discussions Cassie and I had back in 2008. The biggest laugh in that old post is my somehow thinking that the longer WoW was out, the fewer Tradechat asshats there would be because they’d jump ship to troll other games! Ahh, I crack myself up. /wipestear

In going over those earliest archived posts, there were two inspirations that really jumped out at me.

The first was when I struck out on my own to create a guild website… way back in April of 2008, Pugnacious Priest put a guide on her website where she taught me how to make a truly awesome guild banner image.

Think about that, Pugnacious Priest has been influencing me and inspiring me from the very beginning. From insight into Shadow Priests, a class I think is awesome, to being the one that helped me create a guild banner, to being a great writer year after year… my how the time flies, right?

The other post I found was directly inspired by, surprise ANOTHER gifted author who liked writing about priests.

Kirk was the long time author of a blog called Priestly Endeavors. Kirk stopped actively playing World of Warcraft in October of 2008, a long, long time ago, but his influence during his tenure was profound. Some of the best writing I did in the early days was usually inspired by him.

This other post from my archive was directly inspired by a comment that was left on his blog, and his reaction to it, and… well, I’ll let you read it, since his website is still very much alive for history to enjoy.

When I read what had happened with Kirk, and right around the same time something similar happened with Big Red Kitty (who still writes about WoW as well as life and craziness on Brain Needs Space), I was inflamed with outrage! Inflamed!

I do that sometimes.

What Kirk and BRK inspired me to write, I just read over, and I’m still very happy with it. I am delighted to find that even four years later, I can read what I said about why I do this thing I do, and it is still true. I could post that on the sidebar permanently as my first post for new readers, and consider it a job well done. It still says how I feel.

Isn’t that the best kind of inspiration? When someone helps you realize how YOU really think or feel about something, and brings it out of you?

I want to thank the Pugnacious Priest, Kirk, and Dan Howell for being such strong inspirations on me, and for still being there inspiring others. While Kirk doesn’t continue to blog the way the others do, he still to this day comments and emails me and helps guide me, even to the point of helping us with our Walt Disney World planning!

For those of you who blog, I really do encourage you to take the time to look at your past archives, or think about who has influenced you or inspired you, and take a moment to give them the best sign of appreciation a writer can have… a damn good post of your own for all of us to enjoy. 🙂

Oh, and Gnomer, buddy… remember how you said to mention how people inspire you? Yeah. Hey, do you remember that time you asked me to let people on the blog know about those awesome mage forums at Mana Obscura? Yeah, you are a true inspiration to me, and that’s a fact. Love ya, bud. 🙂

WoW is like a….

Heads up new readers…. it’s that time again.

I feel like starting some shit.

If you’re new, buckle up, you’re probably going to see a side to the Bear that only comes out to play when I’ve had good coffee instead of the cheap crap.

Notice I didn’t apologize. You’ve been warned.

There are a lot of great MMOs out these days, and many of them are going free to play, for a given value of what is “free” for you to actually “play”.

There are lots of new ones coming soon that look great.

Excited? I know I am! I love to see new ideas conceptualized and made real for our gaming enjoyment.

We are living in exciting times. DAMN! Isn’t this great?

Every time someone sells an idea and brings it out, we win. Maybe some don’t reach their hype, maybe some blow past all expectations. We still win either way, because our dollar is a force to be reckoned with and pandered to.

People want our money. And to get it, they are trying to figure out what we like, and they make us shiny things.

Take movies.

Do you know what we would have done if someone dropped one of these modern Marvel superhero movies on us in the eighties?

Just look at this. I am actually having minor difficulty in tracing back all the damn good movies that will feed directly into this summers The Avengers, so I can have the entire range of them ready to watch. And how many of them are just so damn good? Captain America, Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor (god, I love the Thor movie), The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), and we’re not even including any of the Spider-Man films, X-Men (I love the Wolverine movie), the new Fantastic Four films, etc, etc.

Maybe you loved some, maybe you hated some, but holy shit.

We live in strange days when someone can make a film as kick ass as The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), and it vanishes without notice. My generation had Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk for five minutes in an episode and 55 with Bill Bixby looking depressed, and we convinced ourselves we were happy with that, it was all good. Secretly, we cried ourselves to sleep with dreams of a giant green monster smashing combat gunships out of the sky and smashing the shit out of an Abrahms.

New things are great, and what we pay our money on paves the way for the next awesome thing they make for us to spend our money on, and bless them for it.

I dreamed of a tricorder when I was a kid, and did YOU see smartphones the way they are now even five years ago? Yeah, you who dropped $400 on one of those flip phones 5 years ago, I’m talking to you. Sucker.

About ten years ago, I was excited because I had a two way text pager with keyboard, and my wife could login to a website on her computer to send a text page directly to my pager. And I could type a reply back. From my pager. This was awesome technology… for about 6 months.

I welcome all the new MMOs coming our way.

I welcome the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, I welcome the upcoming Guild Wars 2 MMO, and I wish we could have serious Babylon 5 and Buffyverse MMOs. Bring them on.

The more the merrier, damn it.

But here’s the thing.

I play World of Warcraft. That’s what I do.

I try other games, I even buy other games, I bought Kingdoms of Amalur and I love it.

But World of Warcraft, I always come back to you. You are my one true gaming love. I have played you for almost the entire life of my son. I have written about you with enthusiasm, I have had highs, and I have had some incredible lows. I have had my guts torn apart by people I have met in this game that I trusted, and I have had my life enriched by the relationships and friends I have been fortunate enough to make.

This is the game I play. I played it yesterday, I played it today, and you know what? Forecasted chance of WoW tomorrow approaches about 100%.

Death, taxes, I play WoW.

Now, we all joke about this, it’s a concept as old as time, but here it is.

Playing World of Warcraft is just like being in a relationship.

People used to talk all the time about “WoW widows”, and how a persons obsession with WoW could consume their lives and cause their real life marriages to break up, and other things, and I’m sure they are all true.

That some of us, myself among them, feel that an addictive personality that is trying to retreat from a reality (or a real life relationship) they don’t want to face might have chosen any vehicle for escape, be it World of Warcraft, alcohol, rock music, an affair, knitting or spending all their time in sports bars with the buds is besides the point.

The concept of World of Warcraft as a relationship has been around for a long time.

But here is where it gets tricky.

I am married to WoW.

So why the FUCK is it that some people can’t seem to grasp that I can still find WoW interesting, exciting and enjoyable?

I’m married to a wonderful woman in real life. She is simply amazing. No, really, you have no idea. She IS that good. She’s a freaking badass killer angel and you do not deserve to have her DPS in your raid, she is so awesome. Plus, she does taxes, raises children, works five jobs all hours of the day and still manages to kick my ass in You Don’t Know Jack.

Now, I have to ask you.

I’ve been married to this amazing woman for over ten years. I have come to know her very well. She still has the capacity to surprise me, and she is still endlessly exciting to me, and yet we fit together so well. I know her moods, her attitudes, her outlook on life. We are a team, and she is my best friend.

So, do you people come by the blog and wonder why I haven’t gotten bored with her and dumped her for something more interesting because by now we must have run out of things to say to each other?

And yet, I’ve played WoW for fewer years than I’ve been married to my wife. It has grown as we have, expanded (my wife, let me point out, has not expanded over the years in any way except emotionally. My butt has, but she most emphatically has not. )

So, can you please finally grasp the simple concept that some of us HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BE HAPPY IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP AND DON’T NEED TO DUMP OUR CURRENT LOVE WHEN A HOT NEW MODEL COMES ALONG BECAUSE ITS SHINY AND NEW.

I love my wife, can’t imagine a world without her. Just cannot do it.

I also love WoW. I love that, as long as I’ve been playing it, and as incredibly comfortable the knowledge I have of the game, it’s rules, the underpinnings of the gameplay and the vast world of lore gives me, I STILL find something new and fresh or changed and rediscovered all the time.

It’s the wonderful video game hobby that I know so well that still manages to surprise and delight me.

I love my wife far, far more than I will ever love a video game, even WoW. Let me make that clear. This is a comparison to make a point, not a comparison like they are emotionally equal in my life.

The point being, I have the capacity to enjoy being in a relationship.

I get asked, and I see comments all the time from people wondering “How is it that you’re not bored yet? Everyone else is bored, your creating that new alt is another sign that you’re bored, you’re supposed to be sick of WoW by now, how can you continue to play that tired old boring game?”

And I keep wondering to myself, “How is it that you can’t grasp the concept that someone may actually ENJOY playing a game that they have known for many years, have grown very familiar with, have developed years of wonderful memories with, have explored and grown so used to that logging in is like returning to visit an old friend that is still your best friend?”

And I still get to make new characters and discover NEW ways of playing this game! Un-be-lievable.

If you can’t conceive of how someone else can play the same game for years and years, if the very idea somehow offends you…

In the immortal words of Jeff Foxworthy, MAYBE THE PROBLEM IS YOU.

Please, play your other games. Have fun. I know you will like them, because they are damn good, and getting better all the time.

But please, stop acting as though I am the crazy one for still enjoying the game I’m playing.

Let’s just agree that we do not understand each other and leave it at that, okay? I won’t ram my game down your throat like it’s the one true game to tie and bind all the rest, and you don’t come here and act like every time I mention something irritating me in WoW that day that this is one more sign why the entire game sucks and only stupid people play it.

Deal?

I like trying other games myself, I’m always keeping an open mind, maybe the next great video game love of my life is out there waiting to be found. Maybe Cassie will try one, love it, and tempt me to come along and keep her company.

Maybe.

I really don’t think so, though.

Just like my relationship with my wife, I cannot imagine playing another video game in the same way that I have loved and still love playing WoW.

Someday, WoW will be shut down. Maybe even when Blizzards new MMO comes out.

And when that day comes, I will be one of those people you read about, 12,000 people left on one consolidated server on a 15 year MMO running an operating system that isn’t supported by Microsoft anymore, and you’re saying to yourself, “Wow, people still play that tired old game when all these new ones are out? Geez, what is wrong with them?”

And I’m good with that.

Jumping on the IMWC bandwagon

I didn’t do it when it was the cool, in thing to do. All the really cool people leaped into it, and gushed about it, and made it sound very neat. Fun. Mahvelous. Challenging.

The Iron Man WoW Challenge.

I was really tempted, it sounded pretty fun to set those kinds of limits on myself, see how crafty I could be for the love of the game, and of arbitrary self-imposed limits to fight off ennui.

Then Blizzard themselves came out and did all but endorse the IMWC as an official game mode.

That is a lot of “ooh, that sounds so awesome but is overhyped so I must avoid it like the plague” to overcome.

Well, I pushed past it. I was strong!

I am going to do it… but at my own pace. Kinda have to, so much to do, so many characters to play, so little time.

The rules, as I understand them from this thread and upon which I shall abide, are;

Get from level 1-85 using the rules below.

Ironman Challenge Rules

1. All gear employed must be White or Grey. Also, no Heirlooms of any sort.
2. No transfer of gear, items or money from any other character (yours or others)
3. No gear enhancement(s), thus no Socket Gems, Enchanting or Reforging. Exceptions exist for class abilities. (example: Rogue poisons)
4. No specializations, talent points, or glyphs. This restriction also applies to talent points for pets.
5. No professions or secondary skills. An exception is made for First Aid.
6. No potions/flasks/elixirs (except those labeled as Quest Items)
7. No food buffs or other external buffs (this includes buffs from items and other players).
8. No grouping or assistance from other characters, even if not grouped.
9. No dungeons/raids. No battlegrounds/arenas.
10. No guilds. An exception is made for Ironman guilds (no perks)
11. No Refer-A- Friend activities. The intention of the challenge is that it be done without assistance.
12. No add-ons that assist in combat (try to challenge yourself and do the most with the least).
13. THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any reason disqualifies the character.

Permitted:
– All mounts
– All bags/containers
– All quests (including holiday and daily quests)
– You may train and use all your class skills (including your own buffs)

The one thing that I have to admit I don’t like is that I can’t specialize or use talent points. I like talent points, and getting more abilities. When I asked for suggestions on race/class on Twitter, Tish Tosh Tesh suggested Draenei Frost Mage, and I said great… not remembering you’re not allowed to spec frost, or anything else.

I will try. I will see how well I can do. Bigironbutt is live, somewhere, and we shall see if I make it to level 10 and am qualified to join the WoW Ironman Challenge website roster.

If you are taking part in this as well, I hope I’ll see you alive and still kicking!

Not Quite a Guest Post

I have here some alternative lyrics for the classic song, “The Gambler”, and I’m going to share them here with you. Right now. Any second now. No really, look down there. Those are lyrics. Stop reading this and look, damnit!

This was written by Sidhebane, and I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was just the thing to kick off the week with a smile.

The Death Knight (by Sidhebane, inspired by Kenny Rogers and BBB)

On a cold winter’s evening, on a tram bound for Stormwind,
I met up with a Death Knight, we were both too tired to queue.
So we took turns a-staring through the portals at the lake-bed
Until his head turned to me, said “I’d like to talk to you”

He said “Son, I’ve made a living out of reading monsters’ stances,
And knowing what their tricks were by the way they held their swords.
And if you don’t mind me saying, I can see you’re low on chances.
If you lend me some hitpoints, I might lend you some words.”

So I handed him my potion, and he swigged it in one motion,
Then he bummed a Healthstone, and chowed down on that too
And the night seemed frozen solid, as his armor frosted over
Said “If you’re going to be the tank, boy, the mobs will look to you.

You gotta know how to fight ’em, know when to kite ’em,
Know when to pop your shields, know when to run.
You don’t loot no corpses if there’s bad guys up and able,
There’ll be time enough for looting when the fight is done.”

Every tank should know, that the secret to survivin’,
is knowin’ what to blow away and knowin’ what to sheep.
‘Cause each PUG has a whiner, and each PUG has a bruiser,
And the best that you can hope for’s that your healer’s not asleep.

And as he finished talking, his armor came defrosted.
His shoulders seemed to slump and his ghoul keeled over dead,
And right there in the darkness, the Death Knight he cast Deathgate,
And still his final words, they seemed to echo in my head

“You gotta know how to fight ’em, know when to kite ’em,
Know when to pop your shields, know when to run.
You don’t loot no corpses if there’s bad guys up and able,
There’ll be time enough for looting when the fight is done.”

Motivation

I was doing an LFR Dragon Soul with Redfyre last night, and we were talking a bit about our DPS, what we hoped to get from the LFR, why we were doing it, and what kept us trying to perform on things like the trash.

Thinking about it, it all comes down to motivation.

Why are we there? Once we are there, what spurs us on to perform at our best? If we do try to do our best, are we always going full bore, or do we slack on the trash?

This isn’t a theater class, but still, what is our motivation?

We’ve all seen people in incredible, god-like gear who nevertheless do barely auto-attack levels of DPS on the trash, and if we’re lucky wake up long enough to use a rotation and pop out 33k DPS on the boss before going back to sleep… or trying to get the raid to boot anyone under 20k DPS.

Motivation.

What is there to spur us on to join, and then to do our best.

There can be positive motivation.

For joining at all, and contributing once you are there, if you complete the run you get 250 valor points. If a boss dies, there is a possibility of loot.

For negative motivation, if the group fails, then you wipe and pay some gold out of your pocket for repairs. You have to spend more of your time in the group to get to the positive motivators.

What keeps you from simply coasting, and if the rest of the group doesn’t make it while carrying you, leaving for another group?

Long queue times, and a deserter timer, basically.

Plus, if you coast, you run the risk of being booted, but that is mostly reserved for the blatantly afk… until the boss fight starts, and it is too late to remove you for stopping what you are doing and getting carried.

Motivation.

For many of us, especially for those people I consider my friends, the lure of shinies and valor and participating in grand battles may be enough to get us in there, but self-respect keeps us trying our hardest, even on the trash.

Self-respect. Not epeen, showing off to others, but to earn the satisfaction of trying your best and knowing you did everything you reasonably could to contribute to the win.

Motivation.

There is something else that is also a fun motivator. Pride, pride and peer pressure.

Who wants to be the one that does something stupid, and not only do YOU know you did something stupid, but now everyone else is looking at you and pointing and laughing?

Fear of ridicule can be a powerful motivator, and I think most of us recognize that, which is why when asshats ridicule people unjustly, we want to punch them in the snout or defend the one being persecuted.

Motivation.

I was thinking about motivation, and game mechanics, and how I see people talk about how Blizzard failed with boring iterations of boss fights that have all been done before, nothing new, nothing challenging.

And I was also thinking, “Boy, I’d love to see people auto-attacking or AFKing their way to boss kills have some motivation to step up their game, since they clearly don’t have any self-respect.”

Redfyre and I were on Hagara when this train of thought was going through my head, and as we fought the powerful Shaman boss, it occured to me, I knew of one way we could see some motivation in a fun fashion.

Now, Hagara is a Shaman, and clearly has a mix of enhancement and elemental abilities. Most of her abilities could be placed solidly in the elemental theme, but she still dual wields her axes, which gives her an enhancement-specific touch.

In LFR mode, she does not Ice Tomb a player, but I think something else… unique… could be added in it’s place.

Instead of casting Ice Tomb, why not have her summon a pair of Spirit Wolves, which she then sics on whichever player queued as DPS actually has the lowest DPS?

I’m talking the same kind of mechanic as we see in Firelands on the Shannox fight, when Rageface picks out a target and then starts chewing on them until someone else lands a big honkin’ crit.

Just, you know… in this case, instead of being a random target, it’s more refined.

Suddenly, there is a motivator to getting you off your ass and doing some DPS, isn’t there?

All you have to do is follow the strategy employed when chased by a bear. You don’t have to outrun the bear… you just have to outrun anyone else with you who is ALSO being chased by the bear.

And if you’re afk and doing no DPS?

Wolf lunch. Doggie snack. Pup kibble. Wear your bacon suit and have a nice day.

Would it make any difference? No, no it absolutely would not.

But, come on, I would SO look forward to the Hagara fight JUST to see who is going to get nibbled on, and if anyone is going to step up and crit the wolves, or if they’d be left to get chomped on.

We know the answer to that. The only person stepping up to save them is anyone they queued with. And, really, aren’t they the MOST likely to laugh when seeing a friend munched on?

I won’t even talk about the possibility of changing it from a flat DPS ranking to something more organic like checking for effort/rotations/active use of multiple abilities so that an AFKer doing more damage than someone in entry level gear trying all out gets preferential eating privileges.

More complex, probably infinitely more complex, but also more satisfying.

Come on, can’t you see it with me?

You know you would see people actually put our more DPS if they knew they would be eaten if they were at the bottom, and if the criteria on how hard each person was trying to do their best was judged by an impartial Blizzard software algorithm that was not fully understood…

Let’s be honest. If Blizzard tried it once, we’d want to see some similar mechanic on every damn LFR fight, including trash. Try your best or get eaten.

I’m not a cruel bear, though. If everyone was trying, at a certain minimum rate, then I could see defusing the mechanic for that fight.

I’m not cruel. No, really.

Harsh enough to make slackers actually TRY once they step up and volunteer to be in a group raid or get eaten? That I am, my friends, that I am.

Motivation. If you don’t bring your own with you, I WILL dream of ways of imposing some on you, or making it not worth your while to join.

The Fine Art of Boss Kill Videos

I’ve mentioned before that, while I myself am NOT (oh dear lord not) a progression raider, I find myself somehow IN a progression raiding guild, the Band of Misfits on Azuremyst.

It’s strange as hell because you know all those stereotypes of hardcore progression raiders? Yeah, I don’t see any of that around here. Just nice folks. Friendly. Personable. Mature (well, mostly).

Certainly don’t see any asshats, and I mean ANY. Freaking weird, now that I consider it. I wonder if they’re actually pod people?

I wonder how many of you are old enough to get that reference? Soylent Green is people, damnit! /backoffthelawn, bear.

Truth is, most of the time I forget that I’m in a guild with three raid teams. People are too busy talking excitedly about achievement hunting. 

In fact, two guildies, Random and Red, spent over an hour talking about food additives, allergies and healthy eating, and I swear it almost put me off my McNuggets.

There is one thing that does serve to remind me that I am in a guild that has some serious progression raiders.

Kill videos.

Band of Misfits may quietly go about their pursuit of excellence, but internal to the guild they are very proud of their successes, and they capture that success in the creation of kill videos.

I had previously thought that boss kill videos were mostly the province of bleeding edge raiding guilds sponsored by companies with too damn much money and pretensions of formula one or Nascar racing equivalence. Something you see on MMO Champion when a world first kill happens, and other than that, not so much.

Not so!

Team Wanda has as their videographer the esteemed Lierthes, who spends hour upon hour hand-crafting each video, and then putting them up on YouTube for the personal enjoyment of the team.

I’ve been thinking a little about this, and to me they represent the new breed of digital hunter, and their boss kill videos are a modern equivalent of the stuffed and mounted heads of their kills, proudly displayed in a virtual den, fueling fond memories over brandy and cigars while chatting in vent.

A stretch? I don’t think so. Can anyone honestly say that a big game hunter spends more time planning the tools and trip for a safari than a progression guild spends working on getting a heroic boss kill down? 

Here is one of the videos Team Wanda and Lierthes has put forward on YouTube, and while it is long, keep in mind this isn’t supposed to be for the public – this is for their own fun and to capture that moment, to have a chance to relive the excitement again.

Watching these videos and admiring their high standards of excellence, one of the things that impresses me the most is the amount of fun spent on introducing the characters. I can watch those character intros and get a definite feel for the personalities involved, and isn’t that one of the hallmarks of fine film making?

This makes me wonder… how many other guilds out there do this sort of thing, and to this degree of quality and care?

It was partially meant in jest before, but there is a lot of truth to the idea that, for our modern gaming society, a finely crafted boss kill video takes the place of a stuffed and mounted head, showcasing the thrill of the hunt, the battle royale and the final victory in a lasting and meaningful way.

Plus, it’s got a beat you can dance to. 

I think it’s a marvelous idea, that we as gamers DO have our own way of taking and displaying our hunting trophies using the high technology that fuels our joy. 

You know me, though.

Taking this to the next logical step… at what point will someone become a virtual taxidermist, taking your raw boss kill footage and vent recordings, and make your finished, polished video for you to claim as your own?

For every demand, there will be a supplier.

I bet you could find someone that already advertises their services in this regard, if you looked hard enough.

My congratulations go to Team Wanda and to Lierthes for having the spirit to take their time in a raid and turn it into something fun to look back on and laugh. 

Blizzard and other gaming companies make a point in their terms of service to tell us that nothing we do or have in an MMO is our property except our memories. How much more, than, should we treasure something meant to make those memories last.

Does your guild also craft boss kill videos, or better yet event videos, just for the enjoyment of you and your guildies? 

If so, and if you’re not embarassed at sharing, why not link to one? I’d love to see it.

I know that I’ll never forget the pure amazement that came from seeing the video Herzrah made of the Raid for the Cure run from years back. Even though I was there, seeing the video brought back the whole event so vividly I couldn’t believe it.

Meme for me? Gnome way!

Gnomeaggedon the chilled-out mage has returned from his blogging hiatus with a bang, recently dropping a devilish duo of posts.

The first of these is about his earning the title Battlemaster, and after seeing what really went into earning that title, all I can say is, “Holy crap, dude. Grats.”

The second of his posts was, of course, to make more work for his friends by expecting us to post too.

Can I just say, “Really? Gnomer, we know you’re a frosty mage, but you take screenshots of huge snowflakes? I think we can all see who the real ‘flake’ is in this picture, right?”

Anyway, he’s revived some meme of six where you’re supposed to, like, go through your screenshots folder, and then go into your sixth sub-folder, and pick your sixth screenshot in that folder and then publish it, and make six other suckers do the same.

He was kind enough to name me as one of the six people he’d most like to make go do some work, so I went into my screenshots folder, and, lo and behold I don’t have sub-folders. I have a million folders with screenshots in them scattered amongst my document areas, but I don’t keep those in the WoW Screenshots directory.

Not that I don’t trust Blizzard to leave my screenshots  folder alone when they patch the game, but… I don’t trust Blizzard to leave my screenshots folder alone.

I subscribe to the dual theory that, first, shit happens, and second, my screenshots are only of value to me, so if Blizzard deletes them in a random drive-by patching accident, well, no skin off their nose, why should THEY care?

Anyway…

To pick a screenshot, I tried to stay in the spirit of the meme, to pick something as randomly as possible. Therefore I opened my screenshots folder, started at the upper left-hand corner, and went diagonally six pictures down-right to grab this gem;

I have to say, I’m mighty pleased that out of all the screenshots I could have grabbed, I got one that I was intentionally trying to frame as an action shot – my Worgen warrior Bigfurrybutt surfing on an alligator while leveling in Sholozar.

Nice looking ‘gator there, too. I think that might make for a pretty sexy mount.

Part of this meme is that I now have to tag six other suckers…

So, that being the case, who do I choose to ask to take part? There are LOTS of people I’d love to see offer up screenshots. Some because they are talented artists with an eye for framing attractive scenes and seeing what is in their folder would be entertaining.

Others because there is a high likelihood they’d have WoW Porn in there.

I’ll let you decide which is which.

The six folks I will ask to take part in carrying on this meme are;

Magritte of Precious and Soft
Mataoka of Sugar and Blood
The Pugnacious Priest 🙂
Rades. I mean, come on. It’s Rades. You know you want to know whats in that folder.
Hello Tauren. This one is kinda a wish, since I can only hope Su-Li will offer up a screenshot. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed!
Nibs. I really, really want more Mystic Chicanery to read. 🙂

How many degrees of seperation are there before every WoW blogger has been asked? Only time will tell. Thank you Gnomer for the opportunity to remember how cool surfing on an alligator is.

Good times, good times.