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What You See Is (Almost) What You Get?

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As a follow up to my recent post about social interactions in real life versus in game, a few more people got to see what I mean!

I’m pretty much a WYSIWYG person. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not either online or in real life. The way I see it, I’d rather you see who I really am and make your impressions/judgments that way rather than me make a fool out of myself trying to impress you. With that said, I like to think that the people I socialize with online are just the same and as much fun in person, with no real surprises. And for the most part, that’s pretty much what I’ve seen!

Back on New Year’s weekend in 2011 heading into 2012, I met someone that I had been playing the game with for years. His first impression of me was “you know you talk a lot of shit in game but you’re so quiet and shy here! WTF?” That was the first time I actually gave that a lot of thought. And I heard it again last weekend, when Cali and Brul came down to Boston, and Mavros was in town as well. We had a great time Friday night, 5 of us turned into 8 of us at one of the local bars. In addition to myself, Cali, Brul and Mav, we had 2 former WoW players among us (including Yanni) from our first guild (Dead Gnomes Float) and Bloodrooted (Taki) made the hour drive to rekindle his bromance with Mav in the flesh.

(they were like giggling schoolgirls going to the bathroom together and…..taking a very long time…..ahem)

So I’m nursing my mudslide, Yanni and Taki are being loud as usual and Mav yells across the table “Kimmy you’re so quiet!” And I’m thinking, where have I heard this before?? Whenever I’m around Yanni, he’s usually the one yapping and I just listen. It turned into a habit. I’m a pretty good listener! I was still having a blast. And I’m glad everyone else was too. It was nice to see the small WoW/MT meetup, and it’s definitely something we need to have more guildies involved in! One of these days we’ll plan a real guild meetup. (Blizzcon, anyone?)

I’ve always been this way. I get uncomfortable around large groups of people. It could be a form of social anxiety, I don’t know.  But I do know it has some kind of tie-in with my self-loathing. I can’t stand looking at myself, so my mind thinks that nobody else can stand looking at me either. So I just stay quiet and try not to be noticed. When I’m online, hiding behind my laptop, nobody is looking at me. They’re listening to me instead, and that’s where I’ve felt more comfortable letting my personality out. I’ve also been MUCH better at written communication than oral communication. And that’s why I’m so comfortable typing stuff out and being a forum ho.

(I may need professional help, but that’s another story!)

I like to think of this whole dynamic as two sides of the same person. What you see from me in game is me. My east coast personality, my attitude, my bossiness, that’s me. In the flesh, the shy introverted weirdo all dressed in black trying not to be noticed, that’s me too!

Playing both sides

I’m not really one of those players that claims a side and stays there no matter what. A lot of people say they bleed horde/alliance. I bleed MT. I stay on the horde side mostly because the people I like are on this side, and you can’t talk to the other faction. 10 of my Uldaman toons are horde.

The last is a tiny gnome priest.

I’ve always liked gnomes. They’re tiny. I like small things! (Minds out of the gutter, please.) They can have hot pink pigtails. (Favorite color! Woo!) And, with the added bonus of Yakk informing me of exactly how cute gnomes look wearing the T5 wings (Wings of the Avatar, if you want to give it a Google), that cemented it for me. I need a gnome priest. I need to get her to 70. She needs to have those wings.

So I rolled a baby gnome, outfitted her in every heirloom I could find, and started on my leveling journey! I found a guild that was accepting lowbies, had some levels to it, and didn’t have a horrible name. I quested my way to 15, and then I started my dungeon crawl as a holy priest.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve run the lowbie dungeons. I must have willfully forgotten how… taxing they can be.

– Getting Gnomer again… and again… and again… and again. Multiple times in a row.

– Monk tanks that roll two or three times, leaving me behind in the dust while they pull half a room. By the time I catch up, 3/4 of their health is gone. Hey genius, I have short legs. Mind waiting up a bit?

– Tanks in general that don’t build aggro on everything that’s attacking us. I heal, and suddenly I have things eating my face.

– DPS that decide the tank isn’t pulling fast enough. I heal the DPS, and again… I have things eating my face. If I let the DPS die, I get chewed out for being a terrible healer who isn’t doing her job.

I could go on forever. The worst part, though, is not having access to any of my horde stuff. Unlike a horde lowbie, my little gnome has no access to my bank alt stuff. Or my gold. Oh sure, I could play the Neutral AH game and try to transfer stuff that way, but Star is LAZY. It’s easier to just wait until 60, grab the cheapest flight training possible, and fly my slow self around to gather what I need.

This is also why Star loots ALL the things. A lot of tanks don’t pause and give you time to… gee, I don’t know… loot the mobs, get your mana back, find that new spell you just got from dinging in your spellbook. Nope! The tank says: ONWARD! I have a 90 main. I know what I’m doing. I’m going to ignore the fact that I’m level 32 and have the health of a slightly inebriated hedgehog. PULL ALL THE THINGS!

Le sigh.

The wings will be mine. This has been my mantra since I rolled Starblessed. I’m going to hit 70 and then I’m going to start collecting T5 pieces. And all of this will be worth it.

The Endorphin Rush

The Endorphin Rush

Certain things in life give you that hard to achieve endorphin rush.  That moment where your body tenses up, you get nervous, perhaps sweaty, nervously awaiting to feel the rush, and either the moment happens or it doesn’t.  The achieved or lost feeling has now past, but you continue to try and find more of those elusive endorphin rush moments in life wherever they may be.  For me, in WoW, it’s the thrill of a new boss kill, but not any boss kill, the right circumstances must fall in line for it to be a true rush.  Some kills feel better than others.  Here are a few I can remember:

LK 10 man

I was in the guild Broken at the time and we had 2-3 ICC 10 groups and 1 ICC 25 man group.  We raided Tues/Wed as ICC 25 and then broke into 10 man groups.  4 days of raiding was fine I guess for most back then and now people get scared at 3, but I digress.  No group could get to or down LK.  Pretty sure all grps were stuck at or near Sindragosa except one group which was stuck on LK.  Just needed a little more.  As a guild we decided to form a super grp, grab the best 10 and best makeup to make it happen.  We formed up and got in there.  For those that don’t remember it was a 3 phase fight with 2 intermediate transition phases, dare I saw, intermissions.  (sound familiar…)  Anyway, we get through P1, P1.5, P2, P2.5 pretty easily then P3.  We never got this far so cleanly, all raiders are still  up.  I start to get that excited feeling, almost like the first taste of beer or an alcoholic drink after a long hard days work or perhaps even when single when the first ‘touch’ happened or if you finally got a bathroom after holding it in for 3 hours, ok, maybe not so much the bathroom part.  Anyway, I remember being on my disco priest even though my main was a holy pally, but you needed the bubbles for that one effect in P1 which I cannot remember the name now.  The rotation of defile then Valkyrie, defile,then Valkyrie was all we had to do plus deal with the person targeted by the sword.  Someone gets swept in and they die.  Oh boy, here we go.  Valkyrie gets another.  As RL, I knew the fight ends at 10%, but some forgot or were too razor focused and too ingrained that 0% is the end.  We were close, 15%, I say 5% more, some are confused, a few more die.  I am still up as is another healer.  Then 11% and 10% and bang, fight “over”.  We don’t all immediately get excited because some are confused, I knew we got it and my endorphin level was an 8.  That last cut scene crap for last 10% was/is pretty stupid.  Still, we got it, and it felt fing good.  Arthas had it coming for a long time.

Nefarion v2

Pretty sure I got Nef in vanilla as BWL was around the time I quit or maybe it was around AQ, maybe both, I don’t really remember.  Anyway, again, 2×10 man grps, we started T11 with a 25 man, lost a few and went to 2×10 and split the talent.  It worked to an extent, but we again formed the super grp for first kills on Chogall, Alakir, and Nef.  Besides the platform jump thing, the fight wasn’t too bad.  We got it relatively easily, but p3 we were bad and the adrenaline started pumping.  People dying all over the place.  We got the kill with 3 people up and again, it felt good, some cheers, not as much as LK though.  This was the first tier Broken every got a regulation kill.  A full clear of normal content while it was current and not nerfed by some percentage.  So, it was truly a milestone and Broken had finally matured out of noobdom.

H Chimy

We had some time before FL came out so we dabbled in some heroics.  We only got 2, but H Chimy was the last one and only memorable one.  With over 50 wipes we worked hard on this one with the gimmick were you just need to keep people at 10K health and 1 tank at near full.  Of course, in heroic it was harder and we pooled a lot of CDs and random shit to get one down.  The only detail I really remember is that we did cheer when we got it, it felt good after all that work, but also burnt some folks out not used to that type of grind on one boss kill.

 

Ragnaros v2

I have played since vanilla and you would think my Rag kill in vanilla was memorable, but it was my first time raiding and I wasn’t RLing plus I was a noob.  I sort of just went with the flow.  Refreshed dots when it made sense as the 7 other locks had dots rolling too and dots used to get pushed off on bosses if I remember correctly.  There was a max!  My vanilla days are hazy at best, too much staying up until 2-3am raiding and barely awake for some kills.

So, fast forward to Cataclysm and Firelands.  We dropped to 1 group as the splitting talent thing wasn’t working and we were losing people to lack of progression.  So, we had talent pooled now, but if someone was out a week, we didn’t raid.  There was no pugging early on in FL.  So, we get through most of FL, slower than we wanted, but we were facing Rag in the last week before nerf.  This was it, we missed a lot of raids, but we had the group to do it.  We go in that week and learn it piece by piece.  3 phases and 2 intermediate phases again.  This fight was no joke, to date, the hardest normal difficulty boss I have faced.  2.5 hours are quickly dying down on our last raid day of the week before next week’s nerf.  1 shot left, 5 attempts ago we got to 10%.  Since then, too many mistakes, probably fatigue.  1 last one, let’s do EET.  All goes near perfect until the last tranny phase and we lose 1 or 2.  Then phase 3, blood lust and go.  Watch the fing meteors!  One by one the phase 3 is too much, but he is at 5%, 4%, 3% come on, all are dead, tanks, heals, everyone, except one Enhancement Shaman Jadeail.  The legend of Jade started in T11 when he was only one left on Alakir kill, but that fight was so stupid, most didn’t care.  Could Jade do it again?  This was Rag though, smacking tanks around, tossing multiple meteors. 4%,  2%, 1%, 0%.  COME ON JADE is what we were all thinking as everyone was dead silent.  Then, achievements fly through guild chat…VENT ERUPTED IN CHEERS, EVERYONE WAS SCREAMING, YELLING HOLY SHIT, and other obscenities.   My body was full of endorphins, at that very moment, I could have punched Mike Tyson and probably knocked him out. Somehow Jade did it, we don’t know how, they were at least 4 meteors, somehow he survived and finished Rag off.  The most epic kill to date for me.

 

Other memorable kills

After the Rag story all others pale in comparison, but I have had other great kills that gave me the rush.  Deathwing pre-nerf, H DS clear at 20% nerf, T14 full clear though Sha of Fear was anti-climactic, and t15 Lei Shen kill.  All were great in their own right, but none compared to Rag at the time, in the guild I was in, and the way it happened.

 

Dude, you only get endorphin rush from WoW kills?!

No, but this is a wow blog and internet porn has made sex less sexy and exciting.

 

 

The MM in MMORPG

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Today’s Breakfast Topic on WoWinsider was a pretty interesting one. It asks the readers about how players socialize in WoW. I generally don’t give much thought to the Breakfast Topics but I gave this one a bit of thought. Players in WoW and other MMOs go about playing their games their own way. Some are happy solo’ers, others thrive on the social aspect.

My guild (at least the ones that haven’t met me), may not believe that I’m actually a big introvert irl. I have a very small circle of friends, and I’m very shy around new people, probably due to a very low self esteem. Every time I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, I’ve always come up as an INFP. The online world allows me to let out a personality that tends to hide in real life. The biggest draw of WoW to me really is the social aspect. I play for my guild first and foremost, because it’s the people I play with that really make the game enjoyable. I can’t just poke fun at Giz anywhere you know!

I’ve actually been told that I’m not the same person in life as I am in game. I was actually offended because I’ve never really compared my online persona to my real life persona. I’ve always been a “what you see is what you get” person. But after thinking about it, I realized that yes, being able to hide behind a screen actually does make me more sociable and dare I say it, extroverted. I wonder why that is?

For starters, I’m usually in the comfort of my own home, nobody (besides Yanni) is there to judge how I live, what I do in my spare time, etc. Second, people can’t actually *see* me. This ties in with my low self esteem. I have a self-loathing that nobody can even begin to understand the depths of. It’s literally at the point where I’m sick of it and am finally doing something about it (and that’s another blog entirely). I wouldn’t exactly call myself paranoid, but lately I’ve felt that everywhere I go, people are looking at me with the same disgust that I feel for myself. Because of this, I’ve felt an irrational need to be accepted somewhere, and rejection and criticism is difficult for me to recover from.

Anyway, a game like this allows introverts like me to really come out of their shell. I’ve never been a leader in anything before. I’ve always been a follower, and that’s where my comfort zone is. Being able to lead a guild from my comfort zone has given me more life experience than actually going out and socializing in the flesh. MT supports this wholeheartedly. My guildies are pretty supportive of each other, and since we’re very active, we’re a social raider’s dream guild. Solo players really don’t know what they’re missing!

/cheers

WoW Withdraws

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Tuesday, June 25th, a night I remember well. Roller-skating for a bachelorette party. I’ll leave out most of the story, but I will say I did break my right arm. I am right handed so you can see how this might be an issue. The first thought that came into my mind when I found out I broke it, “Shit! I can’t raid with a broken right arm!” However, my stubborn ass was going to try and play anyway.

The setup:
Crix moved my computer, mouse, keyboard, and Nostromo to the 65″ HD TV in the living room. I was excited to say the least. That was until I turned on the computer. Everything was messed up, visually speaking. I opened the game and hoped something would be different but alas, resolution, addons, everything, it was all messed up. I can’t play without my addons. This was even before I figured out that my hand couldn’t fit around the mouse with the makeshift cast that was currently on my arm locking my elbow in an L shape and my hand looking like it’s holding an invisible can of soda. I think I actually cried when I realized I couldn’t raid that night.

The diagnosis:
Heading to the Orthopedic doctor, I had my plan figured out. I would tell them I needed my right arm for work on a computer. I am not really lying, I am an IT Technician. However, my ulterior motive was to raid. I was prepared to get a cast for 6 weeks. I was going to plead with the doctor to make my hand fit around a mouse… for “work” reasons of course. My first bit of bad news arrived moments later. The doc did verify there was a radial head fracture that extended about 2″-3″ down the bone. (Damn!) Here comes some false hope, the doc tells me no cast for this type of fracture. (OH YEA!!) Wait, but I can’t use my arm at all. He even threatens that if I can’t be good he will put me in a cast just to be sure I don’t move my arm. (Damn!) So, I tell an almost truth, “Yep, I’ll be good! I promise!” Then Crix speaks up! (Damn I knew I shouldn’t have brought him!) “She won’t. You might as well put the cast on her.” (Damn damn damn!) “Ok ok ok! I promise, I will be good for the entire 2 weeks until my PT appointment!” (Ok, I can do this! It’s only 2 weeks of no raiding.)

The Withdraws:
I miss Sunday’s raids (June 30th). No too big of a deal; I keep telling myself it’s only 2 weeks. I’ll catch up on some TV. I can hear Crix in the background, it bugs me a little.
Monday night (July 1): I’ll just watch over Crix’s shoulder. Well, that doesn’t go well. He gets annoyed when I ask when people are saying and what’s going on. Mage POV is rather annoying to watch.
Tuesday comes around (July 2): TM raids tonight. I miss my friends. I haven’t talked to anyone really since I went to the doctor. I did log into the forums but not in game. I need to talk to them. I hover around Crix again. He gets annoyed again. Ugh, I’ll watch TV. Damn, this is a long 2 weeks.
Friday (July 5): I see Crix getting ready for raid. I look at what’s going on. In my mind I am thinking, “Gosh, I hope my replacement tank isn’t better than me. I hope they miss me!” I know, bad thoughts, especially since my replacement tank is Crix >.<
Tuesday (July 9): I can't take this anymore. I log into vent. Gosh it's nice to hear their voices! I missed them all! Hey, they noticed I was missing and said HI to me! Yes, they miss me!
Wednesday (July 10): 9:36 rolls around. TM should be raiding, but they aren't. What? I ask Crix, "What's going on? Who you missing?" Crix, "a few people." I light up a little. This feels somewhat wrong but I am secretly hoping that whoever it is doesn't log in so that maybe I can have a chance at raiding. I don't care what toon I'm on or what position, I just want to firggin' raid already!!! I tell Crix, "Well, you know, maybe I can log in and try to raid… if you guys need me of course…" Small evil smile flashes across my face. Crix, "nah, they are coming." FUCKFUCKFUCK!!! DAMN IT ALL! I walk away in a huff and sit down on the couch and watch boring TV again. All the time yelling at myself for how stupid I was to go roller-skating for a bachelorette party!

Friday is finally here! I have PT at 2:20. I do not care what the doc says. The withdraws are too strong. I… must… play!!!

What’s in a Name?

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The guild groups have gone through some changes over the years. When we first started raiding as a guild, we had one group. That’s it. No team name, just “the group”. As the guild expanded, so did our teams. At the end of Wrath, we had 2 teams. At the time we just called them “The Progression Team” and “The Signup Team”. Where one team was a solid core of raiders, and the other team raiders just signed up to raid, and players rotated in and out. The funny thing is,  both teams were making the exact same progress. The “signup” team was even slightly ahead of the “progression” team at one point.

So in Cataclysm, we decided to just create multiple groups and give them names. There was no “A” Team and “B” Team. There was “Team Bite Me” and “Team Kiss My Ass”. Rodin led one team, Giz led the other (which Yakk then took over when we hit Firelands). When DS hit, we formed a 3rd team. My suggestion of “Blame Giz” didn’t pan out unfortunately, and the group was named “Team Pwn Stars”.

At the start of MOP we tried going with 4 groups off the bat. Let’s just say that didn’t end well. But expansions are a big team reset, and so we changed team names as well. We started with Team Moist (led by Mavros), Team Yakk, Team Zal and Team Rodin. Yeah, totally original ha. After wiping repeatedly to the attendance boss, and with Zal out and Rodin no longer Raid Leading, the two teams reformed into Team Reborn under Mavros leadership. At 5.2 we felt that we had enough players to resurrect a 4th team again, and Team Toasties was born with Fuzzytoast raid leading.

TT has been wiping on the attendance boss too, especially with summer upon us and everyone out on vacation and enjoying the sunshine. We also had some performance issues, and a leadership mismatch. Which brings me to the title of this post. TT is undergoing some changes. A new Raid Leader has emerged, the core has changed a bit, and the team has started making progress again. With this, the team needs a new identity. And after asking for suggestions on a new team name, all I can say is you guys are a bunch of pervs!

(yes, the name Masochistic Tendencies was my idea, and yes I am a perv too, but that’s beside the point)

No, Mav we are not renaming TT to Team Taint. Shoo. Go play with your own teams! No Crix, unless you can come up with DP to mean something else, we’re not naming it Team DP. Funny enough.. despite the innuendo, that particular ahm… position, wasn’t mentioned. DP: Derp Pudding, Dungeon Pirates, Dr. Pepper… you guys are still a bunch of pervs. Or maybe that’s just me…

/smh

How to play WoW like a Star

It’s funny how differently people enjoy this game. Some people see it as a way to make friends. Some are in it for the lore. Some want their character decked out with the best gear/mounts/pets in the game. And some want to KILL ALL THE THINGS! Most of us want a combination of the above.

But how does Star play WoW?

First and foremost, Star plays WoW to have fun. If something’s not fun, the chances of my actually doing it are slim. Dailies? Meh. LFR grinding? Meeeeh! PVP? No thank you! I’ll do these things reluctantly… sometimes… (and PVP only when dragged in by guildies, and I’ll probably cry most of the time), but what I enjoy doing most of all is hanging out with my guildies.

I’m a people person, okay? I love people. Chances are, if you’re not a giant douche, that I already adore you. And my people are more important to me than the pretty shinies in the game. Why VP cap when I can roll a baby alliance to hang out with a friend on the other side? Why keep a mount when I know someone else wants it so much more? Why not give a pet to someone who loves pet battling as a simple “Welcome to our raid group” gift?

This is who I am. I’m not a great player, actually. If you want a *good* monk healer, look at Hulegan. It’s a good thing we have Erdless in our raid to make up for my scrub heals, because I think Yakk would string me up by my paws every week I didn’t LFR/VP cap otherwise. It’s not unheard of for the following to happen…

Sonne: Star, why don’t you use (suchandsuch) spell?
Me: The whosit?
Me: *checks talent book*
Me: Oh hey, I didn’t realize I had that.
Yakk: *facepalm*

Yeaaaah. So okay, I’m not fantastic. But I’m okay with that. And I do try my hardest when we’re raiding. I have a habit of telling the tanks they’re not allowed to die. If I didn’t have a push-to-talk option on Vent, my poor raid group would be treated to squeaking, whining, frantic cursing, shrieking at people to hold on, and screaming at MYSELF to move when I’m standing in bad.

And this is what happens when Star has a healer as her main. But I digress.

Thankfully for me, there’s a part that shines brighter than my terrible WoW performance. And that’s my personality. Yakk has already admitted that he keeps me around because I make him laugh. I adore my raid team and my guild as a whole. Behind the pixels are real people, people that are paying money to play this game. These people picked our guild as a place to call home, and I for one think that’s fantastic. These are people that are choosing to spend their paid-for time with us. I think that deserves recognition.

So how does Star play WoW? She sees the people behind the pixels. She asks about other’s families. She talks in private chat with people about their medical problems, relationships, children, jobs, excitements and worries. When something drops, she inspects the other healers to see how big of a upgrade it’d be for them before taking it for herself. She listens when people show excitement for something that might drop, and is very likely to pass the item over to that person if she wins it instead.

In short, Star plays WoW with one real goal in mind: have fun and be a good person while doing so. Remember to keep others in mind. Try not to focus so much on yourself, and instead broaden your gaze. Is there something you could be doing to brighten someone else’s day a little bit? It could be something as small as saying hi when someone logs in, or something as big as passing on a piece of loot you could use, because someone else needs it more.

Our guild will never force people to do these things. Our rules are very simple, and they’re not hard to follow. But I encourage every member of MT to keep one thing in mind: kindness is priceless, and you might be surprised at how that kindness makes its way back around to you. A little selflessness, a little love, and a lot of laughter can mean the difference between a faceless guildy and a friend.

And to me, that’s worth so much more than a shiny purple.

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