I love you all. Now go away.

This is not the Brann Bronzebeard post. It’s not a Yetimus post. It has nothing to do with healing. This is a post about why I’m not writing those other posts.

There are too many people reading this blog. There are too many people following me on Twitter. More importantly, I am following too many people on Twitter. We’re spending too much time together.

I need to blog when I have something to say. I don’t need to blog because I feel like it’s expected of me. I don’t get paid to do this. It’s a hobby. I don’t want to be asked repeatedly when the next Yetimus post will happen. Every time I’m asked I feel less like writing one.

I don’t enjoy discussing lore with people anymore. I love the lore. I don’t enjoy discussing it. I don’t enjoy reminding people that the story has been updated and they should go do the new quests to understand how something being discussed has changed.

Hell… I don’t enjoy reminding people over and over that things have changed even when it’s not in a lore conversation! I’m going to be blunt… if you haven’t quested through a zone in Cataclysm and it’s one that’s been updated, stop saying you don’t like questing there. You didn’t like it the way it was before. If you haven’t seen how it’s been redone, you don’t know if you like it now or not. These places are pretty much the same: Dustwallow Marsh, Arathi Highlands if you’re Alliance (quest text seems to have been updated for the current timeline, but it’s not as well done as Duskwood), Sillithus, the draenei and blood elf starting zones, Outland, Northrend. Not only are other zones different now, but there are several zones where you have to play through as both Horde and Alliance to really know what’s going on there. Stonetalon Mountains and Southern Barrens immediately come to mind because it’s almost necessary for making sense of it all, but even seeing a zone like Ashenvale from both sides now paints a more complete picture.

GO DO THE QUESTS!

If you have no intention of leveling a character by questing and don’t care about lore, by all means, skip them. I probably haven’t had any of those conversations with you, anyway.

I’m not writing healing posts because I’m not healing. I started the WoW Ironman Challenge with a druid and very quickly ended up rolling another druid to play regularly. It turns out I like feral. I’ve always gone with balance before and never made it above level 48. My feral druid (NOT the one for the challenge… you don’t even get to choose a spec for that) is now level 67. I took resto as her off-spec, but I’ve only done healing a couple of times and it wasn’t in a dungeon group. I healed my husband’s druid when he went in to do the quest for his antlers at 50 and didn’t want to do it with a group. I also healed him when he snuck through LBRS with me to kill the spider and quartermaster so I could get the pet spider and worg. That’s all my resto healing.

My brain needs space. Quiet time. I’m not getting it. My Twitter has never been WoW specific. I’ve had that Twitter account longer than I’ve been playing WoW. I’m getting to where I don’t want to log in to Twitter because there’s just too much WoW. I used to not follow so many players, and I wasn’t in a guild when I logged in at night. I had the mental space I needed. Now I’ve got tons of WoW-related stuff on Twitter all day, WoW on Google+, and guildies at night. This is not my only hobby. And I don’t have a job that I hate. I want to talk about my art. I want to talk about other hobbies and interests. I want to feel like I can say something about current events or politics without fearing that someone I regularly talk to about the game will immediately slap an inaccurate label on me just because that’s easier than trying to understand why someone thinks what they do. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Twitter, it’s that people who claim to be about tolerance, understanding, empathy, and civilized discussion will call names, point fingers, and make assumptions about other people and state those assumptions as fact just as quickly as anybody else. They talk the talk, but they only walk the walk with people who wear the same shoes as them.

I need to get away from that kind of thing. I need to spend less time with everyone.

I’m going to cut a lot of people off my Twitter list. I didn’t cut enough before. This has nothing to do with anything you’ve said or done. It’s just that there are too many of you. Honestly, if you’re a guildie you’re probably getting unfollowed. I already spend time in the game with you. If 75% of the tweets I see from you are about some aspect of the game that I have nothing to do with… like raiding… then I’m probably going to unfollow you. The idea is that I should be left with very few WoW people on my Twitter.

I will probably be taking a few of you out of my circles on Google+. I think I can handle more WoW people there than on Twitter, and it’s certainly a way that I can still keep in touch with some of you that I’ll be unfollowing on Twitter. It’s not about getting rid of people… it’s about limiting how much of my day is spent with voices on the internet chattering about the game.

If I don’t figure out how to turn comments off on this post, please don’t expect a response if you leave one. Or even that I’ll approve it for a while if you’ve never commented before. Keeping up with that is something else I don’t want to have to do. I’m sure someone will wonder why I started a blog if I didn’t want a lot of readers, don’t want to keep up with comments, etc. I never expected so many people to consistently read it. I wrote a RP blog for over a year and, as far as I know, had very few consistent readers. It wasn’t a problem for me to keep up with. I never expected to have so many WoW players on Twitter. I never expected to end up spending so much of the day with people around me (if you think of the internet as a place) talking about WoW. I just wanted a way to separate commentary on my experiences with trying out healing from Twitter. So that I didn’t spend all my time on Twitter talking about WoW.

That plan seems to have failed. This is my plan B. I’ll post again when I feel like it, and not a day before. Please susbscribe if you want to know when it happens, because I doubt I’ll post it to Twitter.

Posted in Real Life

Game Priorities – Please Mind Your Business, Not Mine

I’m feeling a lot of frustration lately with some of “the WoW community”. (Let’s face it… there is no “WoW community”. There are many smaller communities within the enormous chunk of people who play WoW.) I think some of this comes from being on Twitter. I love having WoW players to talk to on Twitter! But it also means I see discussions about and links to things I would have remained happily oblivious to before. I am much more aware now of things that get said outside of the circle of people I directly interact with. Here’s what I’ve learned:

WoW is really about raiding.

Hardcore end-game raiding is the only kind that counts.

WoW has been nerfed so hard that anyone who can install it can master every aspect of it within five minutes.

Anyone who cares about the story is a closet RP-er.

RP-ers are “casuals” who hate their real lives and think they live in Azeroth.

“Casuals” are too stupid to care about their performance in the game.

Blizzard nerfs the previous tier of content when a new one comes out because they are caving to the “casuals”.

If you aren’t doing it exactly the way X player, Y blogger, or Z guild is, you’re doing it wrong.

When did so many people not employed by Blizzard become the ultimate authorities on what the point of WoW is and how to go about playing it correctly? I’m not talking about things like “Don’t stand in the fire” or “The warrior should not roll need on cloth gear”. Yes, there are things that are “the right way” to do things. Especially when you’re doing things in groups. (If that warrior really wants that cloth gear, they should get together some friends who understand this run is so the warrior can get those pretty robes, or whatever.) I’m talking about judging another person’s priorities when it has NOTHING to do with you!

You can set standards for what you expect out of people you group with. When it’s a random dungeon, you have the choice of intitiating a vote kick or dropping out of the group yourself. I understand people don’t want to take the debuff because two or three people in a group are being abusive assholes, or keep rolling need on gear they don’t really need, or whatever. Sometimes, though, you have to ask yourself what’s going to ruin your enjoyment of the game more… waiting a while before you can re-queue, or putting up with this group’s crap just because it’s not fair for you to be the one who gets penalized?

When it comes to raids, you don’t have to raid with people who don’t hold themselves to the same standards you do. You can find a guild full of people who have similar priorities to yours. What raiders and guilds do outside of your group IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

If Horde Raider A on Server A doesn’t make it a priority to be Valor capped, or their guild doesn’t do the raids until the next tier comes out so they can do it when it’s easier, that is not the business of Alliance Raider B on Server B.

I’m tired of hearing that anyone who wants to raid can, that Blizzard has made it that easy. And I’m going to get rude here for a second… The next person who wants to say that needs to shut their mouth about it until after they’ve spent a day with my husband. I can accept that, no matter how much I want to see raid content, it’s just not likely for me. (Not completely impossible, but not likely.) I want to see the story. That story will still be in there later. I want to farm for pets. Those pets will still be there later, and the drop chances might have even been increased by then. My desire isn’t really the challenge of raiding as much as experiencing the whole game. So I can wait.

What REALLY bothers me is that my husband can’t raid. He does want the challenge of raiding. And he would be a GOOD raider! He’s a dps addict, but he makes a fine tank, too. He knows his stuff, he works well in groups. He would be a pleasure to raid with! But he also has physical issues from his service in the Marine Corps. Just sitting in his chair and playing the game for long enough starts to put a real strain on him, and that happens a lot faster when he’s doing dungeons. He has to limit the number of dungeons he can run in a night because of it, and some nights he can’t run any. When he was raiding at the end of Wrath, I saw two or three hours of raiding leave him crawling to the bedroom afterward. He was in SO much pain, and it sometimes meant he actually had to leave the raid early.

It hurts me to see him not be able to do something he would really enjoy, and that he would be good at. Please, come spend a day with him and then tell me to my face that he just needs to invest the time in it if he really wants to raid.

Speaking of investing time… The argument that because Raider A can find time for things that means Raider B can, too, is ridiculous. Unless Raider A is Bruce Wayne/Clark Kent/Stephen King and Raider B is Batman/Superman/Richard Bachman, Raider A does not get to decide what Raider B can handle based on Raider A’s schedule and priorities. This is like those stupid diet product commercials claiming that, if the bubbly skinny chick on the screen could do it, ANYONE can! Yeah… go talk to your doctor about that. Preexisting conditions, metabolism, and a bunch of other things might make some other weight-loss plan a much better idea for you.

Not everyone can juggle the same things within the same 24 hour period and be affected the same way. Not every raider has the same raiding priorities. Some people live for raiding (as far as their time spent in game goes). Some people really enjoy it, but it’s not quite that important to them.

It’s a big game. It has 85 levels, not just level 85. It has professions, which some people enjoy a lot more than I do. The leveling experience has changed and it’s a good time to level alts. So some people enjoy leveling multiple characters. It has a TON of story, and most zones have had the stories updated and quests revamped so that they are worth seeing again… assuming someone enjoys the story.

There’s a quest in Un’Goro crater where Karna Remtravel sends you to check on her robotic gorrila, A-Me 01. It’s an easier, revamped version of an old quest. And there’s a big red gorilla in the gorilla cave you get a quest to kill. The interesting part comes later… when a Titan watcher sends you around to do some tests for her. In one of them, she disguises you as a gorilla and wants you to talk to a regular gorilla, a stomper, and a thunderer. That’s all you have to do. Just one each of those three types.

Of course, I wanted to see what happens if you try to talk to gorillas that aren’t required for the quest.

If you talk to A-Me 01, you get this:

CRASH REPORT XX1-017.

CHECKSUM ERROR 0081.

FLUID LEVELS DANGEROUSLY LOW.

MISSION FAILURE.

NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO SEE OUTLANDS.

And if you go into the cave and talk ot the big red gorilla, he tells you a joke. (I’m writing this from memory, so I’m sure I’m a word or two off somewhere. And I was playing a night elf druid. He probably just fills in your race and class.)

“Hey, did you hear the one about the night elf druid that started attacking gorillas? A gorilla asked the night elf druid, ‘Why are you attacking us?’ and the night elf druid said, ‘A gobline told me to.’ So the gorilla asked the night elf druid, ‘Do you always do what goblins tell you to?’ and the night elf druid said, ‘Yes. Because I am smelly and dumb and walk on two legs.’

Pretty funny, huh? Maybe it needs some work…”

That’s what I like doing. I like finding the things that Blizzard put in but didn’t lead you right up to. The things that only someone who wanders off the paved road with all the signs pointing where you should go will find. I am not a failure because I’m not raiding. I am a success because I’m not restricted to one thing that makes the game worth it for me. I can enjoy a number of aspects of the game and not feel like I either have to find a group that will let me drag them down with my poor performance or just unsubscribe.

I struggle every day with things that other people find so simple, and it’s not because I’m stupid. I’m living with a condition that mimics a brain tumor. Would you tell someone who has a brain tumor that the reason they have trouble with [insert common, everyday thing here] is because they’re stupid? I have enough to deal with already. I keep working my ass off to make myself see the doors that have shut for me as opportunites instead of limitations. I can’t sew anymore. Okay… I’ll spend that time drawing. I’m limited on the driving I can handle. I can get lost and have a panic attack just going across the town I’ve lived in all my life. Okay… well, my husband can’t really handle going out a lot, anyway, so we have plenty of time to stay home with each other and it saves us money. Numbers are difficult for me to process because I have dyscalculia, not because I’m stupid. I get mathematical concepts, and I rather enjoy calculus. I just have some serious problems when actual numbers start getting plugged into things. So no, I can’t always make sense of what would be the best upgrade for me, or choosing gems and enchants.

I have to deal with myself about those things all the time. Some days, I shut down and cry for an hour or two because I just can’t take it anymore. I get fed up with seeing other people be able to do something so quickly and easily when it’ll take me hours or days to accomplish the same thing. I get angry when my brain knows what to do and my hands just aren’t getting the message and cooperating in time. I hate myself when I can’t even string the words together to clearly explain the issue so that people will stop patting me on the head and saying, “It just takes practice. You’ll get used to it.” I’m tired of feeling like I’m somehow a failure because I have to do one thing at a time and pay attention to it… I can’t be alt-tabbing out of the game to read something while still questing, playing music, and tweeting on Twitter. I can do ONE of those! Only one.

So, really, I don’t give a shit what you can do. I’m not you, and you’re not me. You have no right to judge me or how I play the game. Especially since I don’t go into heroics with crappy gear and start making excuses. I don’t impose my limitations on you. I don’t insist that you have to make up for what I’m lacking because I pay my $15 a month, too, and it’s not my fault I have trouble with this.

And you may think you aren’t judging me. Many of you may sit there and say to yourselves, “Wow… I can’t believe someone would treat Glorwynn like that! There are some real assholes in this game!” But how many times have you passed judgement on someone else who wasn’t doing it your way? How many times have you decided what guilds other than your own should and should not be doing? How many times have you said something like, “Anyone who wants to can raid” or, “There’s no excuse for not understanding something so simple” after listing off a string of numbers and calculations?

Mind your own business. I think it’s fair to include deciding whether or not to work with someone else when you don’t agree with their way of doing things. That’s still “your own business”. But passing blanket judgements on large groups of people when all you see is the end result, not the causes, and making assumptions about what other people can and cannot do just makes you an asshole. If it’s not getting in the way of your gameplay, it’s just not your business.

Posted in Catering to the Casuals, Dungeons, Real Life | 32 Comments

A Small Arc in the Circle of Healing

(Note: I have changed things so that questions will stop smushing up against the previous answer several times. It keeps changing back. I gave up. If you see things listed that way, that’s why.)

Fannon, of Dwarven Battle Medic, has said on Twitter that he’d like to see my answers to the Webring of Healings questionnaire. I’m not sure if this is in spite of the fact that all I have is a lower level point of view, or because of it.

Before I start giving lowbie answers to questions I may not really be qualified to answer, I want to apologize for the lack of posts lately. Real Life is throwing fires out left and right, and I am working really hard not to stand in them. I thought we had beat a RL Raid Boss, but it turned out that was just one phase of the fight we made it through. Then it started spawning adds. Some of this has affected my desire to heal lately, and it’s definitely been eating up time I could spend on writing about Brann Bronzebeard or YETIMUS! Those posts aren’t forgotten… they’re tucked away in the “I’m Going to Write This, I Swear!” file. But the next thing you’ll see from me is probably going to be about the WoW Ironman Chellenge. I’m going to give that a shot just as soon as I decide between a hunter or druid. I know it’s a worgen, either way. (Effers, I’ll still be an Azuremyst. I will miss the gchat. :( I’ll pop in and pickpocket all of you play my rogue a while when I miss you too much.)

Okay! On to the healing questions…

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

I really think of both Glorwynn and Muchao as my “main healers”. Both are Holy Paladins. Glorwynn is a dwarf, and Muchao is a Tauren… so it’s a faction thing.
What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

Low level dungeons. The highest level instance I’ve healed is either Scholomance or Zul’Farrak. I’m not really sure which of those you can queue for first.
What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

Of the abilities I have, my favorite would be Holy Light. When I get a feel for how the tank takes damage, it’s kind of peaceful to keep casting it and have the cast finish just as the tank has lost enough health for it to be the perfect heal. And it’s mana efficient.

 

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Word of Glory. I get my three charges of Holy Power, but by that point it’s just not the best heal for me to use. I end up keeping it as an emergency button in case I go OOM, and then it usually ends up being used at the end to top off a dps or a warlock’s imp.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

We aren’t squishy. I’ve been in plenty of dungeons as dps where the healer dies and then it’s just a matter of time before everyone is dead. If something goes wrong in there, I’m not so afraid of having a mob on me for a few seconds as a paladin. I know what to do when it happens, and I have time to get the mob back to the tank while I keep them alive.
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?

My hope is to do a raid someday as a tank healer. I see a lot of people lament the lack of AoE healing for Holy Paladins, but I see it as being designed for a job that doesn’t require AoE healing. I’m not good at keeping up with a lot of things going on at one time, but I could use my single-target healing to make sure tanks are taken care of.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

Definitely Holy Paladins! The abilities feel very natural for me. I have to pay attention to what’s going on, but I don’t feel like I’m fretting over which heal to use. I feel very comfortable with the abilities and find the role to be very peaceful. I’m not very good at handling a shaman or a druid. My fear of squishyness makes it seem like a disc priest would be good for me, but I tried that before I tried a paladin and felt like I handled the abilities in a really clumsy way. I’m also more of a mindset for healing damage that has been done, rather than preventing damage that might be done. My priest respecced herself to Shadow when I wasn’t looking.
What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

That probably would have been shaman if I’d made it to the point of doing any real healing. I just don’t handle the class well, and I don’t see how it could have been anything other than painful and frustrating for me.
What is your worst habit as a healer?

Throwing out a Holy Shock too early to start getting charges of Holy Power. I end up having more threat than necessary that early in a fight.
Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

I think Holy Paladins aren’t really meant to do the same type of healing that shaman, druids, or disc priests do. I don’t know enough about Holy Priests to compare the two. From what I have seen, I don’t really feel like there’s a problem with how Holy Paladins are designed or balanced. I think they don’t match up very well when people expect them to be capable of doing what other classes do, though. If you choose a hammer as a tool, it doesn’t make much sense to complain about it not being a screwdriver. If you want a screwdriver, choose that.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

I look at what happened. Did anyone die? Who was it, and why did they die? Even if no one died, how difficult was it for me to keep everyone alive? Was I struggling against what they did, or against the mechanics of the fight? Why was I struggling? Did I choose the wrong heals? Was I overhealing people when there was no reason to? Was I not healing enough and then having to spam Flash of Light?
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

That it’s impossibly slow to quest as a Holy Paladin. The changes to the talent trees and the way questing works have done a LOT to improve that, and having the guild benefits for XP and professions like mining and herbalism giving XP also helps. A Holy Paladin will kill mobs a little slower than a ret pally, but they are also practically immortal even when there’s a string of mobs piling on them. (Corin’s Crossing in the Plaguelands can still be a problem with a bad pull, but a Holy Pally can take it!)
What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

Where in the Twisting Nether their intellect mail/plate/shields/maces are supposed to come from!
If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

I’m really not sure. I used skada when I was doing dungeons in Wrath as a hunter, and the numbers really became a problem for me. I let it get to me when everyone I came across seemed to think only the numbers mattered, and it was frustrating for me to know I was doing perfectly viable damage but also playing my class well, yet seen as a failure for not having higher numbers. The only way I could have gotten my numbers higher would have been to take a spec I was not comfortable with and start doing stupid things to pad the meters. As  healer, I haven’t gotten to a point yet where seeing the numbers matters. I can still evaluate my performance with common-sense observations of what happened and why. So I have no idea what something like that would show because I’m not looking anymore.
Haste or Crit and why?

At the levels my Paladins are at, I take crit when I can. I have ways of increasing my haste temporarily if I need to, and I’m always throwing out my Judgement to get the haste buff from that. I don’t have so many options for crit, though.
What healing class do you feel you understand least?

I have such a poor grasp of shaman, but at least I’ve tried that. Holy Priests… how do they work?
What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

VuhDo and Fannon’s Judgement macro.
Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

Where I am, Intellect is what matters most. We’ll see how that does or does not change in time.

Since Fannon said something about how we can’t all keep tagging Oestrus for this, I said I would just to show that we CAN! But I’d also like to see what Apple has to say about Holy Paladin healing, and the rules say to tag someone who heals with a different class… so Rhii is it!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I’ve been doing some really obscure quests. You probably haven’t heard of them.

I’ve been mistaken for a new player several times in the past few months. Obviously, this is because I level by questing. It’s so mainstream to hit 15 with an alt, queue in LFD, and race to 85 so you can rot your brain on end-game content. Personally, I hated random dungeon groups long before it was popular to hat random dungeon groups. I also hated dungeon groups that were made of people I knew who had all gotten together on purpose. I only did them ironically.

So while everyone is mindlessly grinding away at higher-level content so they can wear the mainstream uniform of T-whatever gear, I’ve wearing quest greens and blues and the occaisional green drop. I ironically wore a vendor grey cloak for a couple of days. I just like the vintage gear. It’s usually given by really obscure NPCs and dropped by mobs you’ve probably never seen.

I used to love the quests from the Nesingwary Expedition in Stranglethorn, but then they sold out in Outland and were too mainstream by the time they got to Northrend. It’s so sad, because the quests from S. J. Erlgadin were my favorite. He sent me to find panthers that no one could see until they were pretty much right on top of you. Those panthers were very obscure! And then he gave me Panther Hunter Leggings, which I wore ironically because I’m a rogue… not a hunter.

I was doing the questline with the baby raptor before it was cool. I was doing it while Zul’Gurub was still closed after the Cataclysm. Now that everybody knows you can get the raptor back, they all want to do that quest. I did it in its most pure form. When I get my raptor back, I’ll be getting her back ironically.

I was telling my one level 85 friend that I’ll probably do the level 85 content once everyone else has moved on. It’s important to me to have an appreciation for history, and to make sure the abandoned instances and bosses know they haven’t been forgotten by everyone. While everyone else is taking on Ragnaros in the Firelands, I’ll go visit him in Molten Core.

Also… your “dungeon notebook”? I was writing things down in notebooks before it was popular. Notebooks are so mainstream now.

And no, I am not spending gold on poisons to feed the selfish masses who have given themselves over to the greed of the Azerothian economy. I’m using reclaimed poisons from junkboxes on my daggers. I’m very into recycled goods, and the humanoid mobs have been very willing to help. After they’ve been sapped.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Thoughts on CDev Q&A – Canon, or Non-Canon?

The Creative Devlopment team disappointed me a few days ago. Overall, I liked the Q&A. It’s just one answer that felt like a letdown. You might be thinking I’m disappointed that they said the RPG books are non-canon. If so, you are… well… not quite right. I mean that in a “close but not quite correct” sort of way. Not a “something a little crazy about you” sort of way.

Don’t tell people I said you aren’t crazy. I simply said that’s not how I meant “not quite right” this time.

Here’s the Q, as well as the A from Bashiok:

Q: Are the Warcraft and World of Warcraft RPG books considered canon?

A: No. The RPG books were created to provide an engaging table-top role-playing experience, which sometimes required diverging from the established video game canon. Blizzard helped generate a great deal of the content within the RPG books, so there will be times when ideas from the RPG will make their way into the game and official lore, but you are much better off considering the RPG books non-canonical unless otherwise stated.

A lot of folks read that and get, “No, the RPG books are not canon.” I read it and get, “No, the RPG books are not canon… except for when they are.”

That’s my problem with the answer. It sounds to me like we’ve been told some of it is canon, some of it’s non-canon, and it’s best to just assume it’s non-canon unless you’re specifically told it is. This isn’t really an answer on what’s canon and what’s not; it’s a piece of advice. Like, “Hmm… I don’t know what to tell you. Just make sure you take an umbrella with you, I guess.”

A Sensible Way to Apply the Advice

The answer to the question says you’re better off considering the information non-canon “unless otherwise stated”. I’m not looking for Blizzard to start slapping stickers on things anytime soon that say, “RPG books are CANON on this subject! :) ” A sensible way to apply this would be to discount the RPG books in cases where they conflict with other canon sources, but accept the RPG books as a source of specific information (such as the population of a city) when it doesn’t conflict with anything else.

That’s been my biggest use of information from the RPG books… details that don’t exist anywhere else. Especially about the world. Azeroth is bigger than it looks in game. In Christie Golden’s Arthas, Arthas and Jaina set out with a group traveling from his home to Dalaran. (Think : Undercity to Dalaran Crater.) They have to stop and make camp for the night after several hours of traveling. Does it take YOU that long to make that trip? In The Last Guardian, Khadgar and Medivh fly all night on gryphons… Khadgar even falling asleep during the flight… to make it from Medivh’s tower to Stormwind as soon as possible. (Why didn’t Medivh just open a portal? I don’t know.) Have YOU ever taken that long to fly from Stormwind to Karazhan?

The RPG books have been handy for giving approximate population numbers and descriptions of parts of cities we don’t see in the game. In my opinion, this is a situation where it would be sensible to assume the information is valid unless it’s explicitly stated that it is not. The reverse of the advice the CDev Q&A gave us.

Lorenerd rage is Not Sensible

You might be a lorenerd if…

You have written blog posts to respond to a lore point on someone else’s blog because your comment was just getting too damn long.

New lore debates spawn within the comments on lore posts.

You get paid to write about lore when you were already doing it for free.

If you had to describe Vrykerion in one word, it would be “lorenerd”… and you mean it as a great compliment.

You’ve let cookies burn because you were following a lore debate on Twitter. (I can’t find the tweet about it now, but trust me… it happened!)

Most a of the folks I consider my “fellow lorenerds” are very reasonable people. We love discussing the story, and when we disagree it gives us a chance to look at why we see it differently… which gives us a chance to look at an old detail in a new way. I probably should make a “You Might Be a Lorenerd If…” post one day, because this was really just a teeny, tiny sample. It doesn’t even count as a crumb from the Delicious Chocolate Cake of Lorenerdom.

There are lorenerds I’d rather not discuss lore with, though. You know them. If you haven’t come across them in WoW, you’ve probably come across them somewhere else. The “rules lawyer” in a D&D group, for example. That one guy who has memorized every freakin’ detail of every freakin’ EVERYTHING that even remotely seems to be a valid source, just so he can insist that ignoring the spirit of the rule in order to follow the letter of the rule makes it perfectly acceptable for him to do something he shouldn’t, or for someone else to be forbidden to do something they should.

Unless Blizzard did start slapping that, “RPG books are CANON here! :)” sticker on things, this breed of lorenerd will argue until the death that RPG books are not a valid source no matter how reasonable it is in a particular case to see it as such.

Likewise, others would find a way to argue almost ANYTHING is reasonable if they want it to be true. They would find some way to say two sources “don’t really contridict each other when you look at them THIS way”, even if they had to make half of it up on their own. Which could be exactly why the advice was to assume it’s non-canon unless stated otherwise.

The REALLY Important Issue With This Answer!

I was going to do a post on Brann Bronzebeard soon. Of all the fictional characters in all the books, movies, games, etc I’ve seen in my life, Brann Bronzebeard is my fictional hero. I want to be more like him. If he were a real person, I would LOVE to meet him! I think the world needs more Brann Bronzebeards. I would love to tell you why.

But I have very little in the way of canon sources for that now. I don’t know anymore what Blizzard agrees Brann has or hasn’t done in a lot of cases.

I could argue that the letter he supposedly wrote to King Magni about the fighting in Alterac Valley isn’t outside of his character, nor would it be outside of King Magni’s character to feel it wasn’t the best thing to follow his little brother’s advice in that case. I can’t see that it does any harm, or becomes “game changing”, to believe Brann Bronzebeard wrote that letter. But it comes from the RPG books.

Much of what we know about Nerubians (>8<) comes from what Brann supposedly learned when he supposedly got safe passage and supposedly got the ones who weren’t undead to agree to work with us against the Lich King. But… that comes from the RPG books.

What makes Brann Bronzebeard so wonderful in my opinion can only be explained if I can tell you the whole story. I can no longer promise that what I see as “the whole story” really is part of the story at all.

A Line in the Sand

The Battle of the Alamo was, in many ways, the Thermopylae of Texas, as the Wrathgate was the Thermopylae of Azeroth.

(I know, I know… the Battle for Light’s Hope CHapel actually references it, but the defenders WON at Light’s Hope Chapel. Wrathgate was more like Thermopylae. DO NOT MAKE ME LORENERDRAGE ON YOU!)

There is a plaque on the ground at the Alamo where a line is permanently drawn in the dirt. The story is that one of the defenders drew a line with his sword and informed the men there that they would, almost certainly, die at the Alamo if they stayed to fight. He then called for any who were willing to fight anyway to cross the line with him. Some legends tell that one of them so was too sick to get up from his cot, but had a couple of other men carry him across the line. Most of the stories say only one man didn’t cross the line, ad I forget exactly how his story ends but it is something to the effect of, “So he left, but then bad things happened because that’s what you get when you run from a righteous cause.”

I remember reading something many years ago where someone said there is no way of knowing for certain whether that line was draw or not. It likely didn’t happen, but it could have. And they said it does no harm to believe it. The fight happens the same way, and the end result is the same, whether the line was drawn or not. The men fought and died for the same reason, whether they crossed a line first or not. So why argue that an absence of proof means it shouldn’t be believed? Why not just point out there’s no proof either way, then let people believe it happened if they want to?

That is, at times, the approach it seems necessary to take with the lore in WoW. Blizzard has woven a tale that has multiple dead ends in places, multiple versions of one event that what you believe depends on which race you are, and they don’t always come along and clear things up for us. Exploring the lore is like exploring history. It often seems one thing happened, and there’s the documents to back it up. Then you get further down the road, new documents show up, someone who was supposed to be dead is alive, and you have to consider that your first source was biased. And maybe this source is biased, too. So you have to decide what you believe happened.

Some things can be proven. Look at your map. Ironforge is not in the middle of Mulgore. This is not up for debate. But maybe we need to give each other some wiggle room and make it acceptable to say, “This is how I see it…” and agree to disagree more often. Because, really, Blizzard’s answer wasn’t much of an answer. They just told us to take an umbrella with us.

Posted in Lore | 8 Comments

Recommended Reading – Tanks, Being Nice, and Social Anxiety Revisited

Blizzard has blessed (and cursed) us with answers to some lore questions in the latest round of Ask Creative Development Q&A. There are a couple of answers in there that really jump out at me and stir up some thought, and I intend to address them soon in a post. Maybe two posts. While you wait for that, though, there are some excellent posts on other blogs that I really want folks to read.

It’ll make me happy. I’ll do a /dance. Not quite the same as Flashdance, but you get what you pay for and I’m not getting paid to write this blog.

Paladin Pants is a blog that doesn’t get updated often, but it’s quality reading when updates do happen. The Tanking Classes and You: What’s Your Sign? was written at the end of March, before 4.1, but I didn’t see it until a few nights ago. I think the information is still very good, especially since the author was taking the (then) upcoming release of 4.1 into account. The post is really about the flavor of the tanking classes/specs, and how these may or may not appeal to certain types of players. It made me think about why I find paladin tanks to be so squishy when I’m healing, and how there could be a fair number of “bad tanks” who just aren’t playing the type of tank that would fit them best.

Rhee’s tale of  random acts of MMO kindness continues on Oh My, Kurenai! with Paying it Forward, Part 2, in which she gets the chance to pay some kindness forward. I was in gchat when this happened and got to hear about it at the time, and it gave me warm fuzzies of joy!

This last one is near and dear to my heart. WoWInsider featured Thriftee, leveling without spending any money, and it turned out the player is the same person who became Döra the level 1 Explorer.

I remember seeing the video of Döra getting her Explorer title. It’s my favorite title in the game. Once I get it on a character, I display it proudly and wear the tabard Brann Bronzebeard sends to me. I finish the achievement in Northrend, so I get the title and tabard at the same time. (Brann Bronzebeard writes a letter to me! How cool is that?!) You may kill all the dragons, but I go all the places! Seeing the video of Döra with her guildies gathered around her for the last stretch of the journey, then celebrating with her, made me want to be in a guild. I’ve written before about why that’s so hard for me. I love being able to share things with my husband like the raids we’ve two-manned, or when we’ve two-manned dungeons at the level for them. But if getting Tricks and Treats of Azeroth at level 40 was fun with the two of us, how much more fun might it have been if there had been some level 40 guildies to go along? Dodging a Fel Reaver when you aren’t even the proper level to be in Outland yet does get pretty exciting!

I’ve finally stepped outside of a guild full of mine and my husband’s characters. I’ve joined Celtic Siege on the Horde side of Drenden (US), and I recently joined Eff the Ineffable on the Alliance side of Azuremyst (US). It’s still not always easy, but I’ve made a big step and can’t imagine not being in either one of those guilds. I have guildies! I AM a guildie!

And then I learned something yesterday about Döra, who had inspired me to stop hiding in a guild by myself and try joining one with other people. She has severe social anxiety. She’s rolled an alt in a new guild, and become an officer of that guild, for people who have social anxiety. People who want to see the content, but can become paralyzed by being in a group. People who may be a bit undergeared because they just can’t make themselves as in Trade if the gems they need aren’t up on the Auction House. People who not only fear poor performance, but would rather go unnoticed than be praised in front of others for good performance because that still means being singled out. The guild is called Paranoid, and it’s on Emerald Dream (EU).

I don’t do well with commenting on other blogs, so I don’t do it often. I had to work up a little courage to leave a comment on Döra’s post because, well… you know… “OMG! Strangers! I don’t know them and they don’t know me!” But it turns out, from reading the comments, that it was partially the Bossy Pally’s post about her own social troubles and my social anxiety post that inspired the GM of Paranoid to go ahead and post to the official forums about her social anxiety and the guild she wanted to create. And that’s how she found Döra!

You may think you aren’t important. You may think no one notices what you do, and you may even prefer to go unnoticed. But, as Clarence said to George Bailey, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives.” If you’re one of those who simulataneously craves a fears that connection, consider giving Paranoid a try.

Posted in Real Life, WoW Blogs | 4 Comments

Chillin’ With Yetimus – Yetimus Facts

Chillin’ With Yetimus will be a regular feature here at Heavy Wool Bandage. By “regular” I mean that it will happen from time to time, with no plans to cut it off after a certain point, but no… there’s no set schedule for it. A big part of it (hopefully) will be the interviews! I’d like to interview characters (not the players who play them) about their experiences with Yetimus, or any thought they’ve given to strategies for dealing with him should their paths ever cross.

What’s a Yetimus?

The Horde gets a quest in Tarren Mill in Hillsbrad – Yetimus the Yeti Lord. The Forsaken who gives the quest says, “Our complacency in dealing with the yeti menace has resulted in an aberration!” It’s just kind of left there as if he grew so big because they’ve had the run of the place, no one killed them all off, and this one got huge. No big deal. Or…um… well, you know what I mean! But I have to wonder if all that plague-spreading in Hillsbrad didn’t have something to do with it. There’s a bit of a difference between, “Nobody killed off all the yeti and that one got HUGE!” and, “No one killed off all the yetis after they were exposed to all these dandy plague ingredients, and that one got HUGE!”

What’s Tarren Mill so worried about? How big can a yeti get?

You don't really have to LOOK for Yetimus. You'll know when he's coming.

People often seem to be taken by surprise when it turns out this “group quest” is, in fact, pretty much necessary to do in a group unless you wait until you’ve almost outleveled it. Even then, some classes might have to wait until they’ve completely outleveled it to solo Yetimus.

Yetimus left my level 60 death knight with about 300 health. Several times. I finally figured out how to prevent that. I’ll let the death knight explain it when it’s her turn for an interview.

He has a ferocious knockback effect! You feel like you’re flying around and bouncing off mountains because… well… you’re flying around and bouncing off mountains. My hunter has been thrown back from him so far, so fast that her pet despawned.

In spite of being bigger than the opening of the yeti cave, Yetimus can be pulled inside it. The idea was to fight him from the opening of the cave so he can’t throw you back. (I saw someone on wowhead say they’d handled him that way.) But it turns out he’ll squeeze through there, throw you down to the bottom of the cave, then come down the ramp to get you!

Not much room left in the cave for other yetis now.

Sunflake is standing on the floor at the bottom of the yeti cave. The little white spot at her feet is Kitten’thazad, her frostsaber cub. The grey stuff is the walls of the cave. Everything else is YETIMUS!

#YetimusFacts

Twitter can, at times, be a treasure chest of… Okay, it’s a grab bag of… You know, I think Twitter just has to be experienced to be understood.

@Druidis4fite

Chuck Norris insulted Yetimus’s mom. Have YOU seen Chuck Norris recently?

Illidan only said “You are not prepared” because he was expecting Yetimus.

You’ve never met a “Young God” because Yetimus eats them.

Yetimus decided to go swimming one day and filled in Thousand Needles. Yetimus hates needles.

Yetimus is camera shy. He was very big boned as a youngster and it made him selfconscious

@DSatt57

Yetimus saw Nancy Vishas by the lake & decided he needed a snack, Grandpa was dessert.

Arthas had to become the Lich King when he heard Yetimus became a Lord.

Yetimus is actually Hagrid’s third cousin.

Sylvanas turned into a banshee after Yetimus proposed. He’s never forgiven her.

@Rhoelyn

When Deathwing flies over Hillsbrad, he holds his breath for fear Yetimus will disapprove.

It wasn’t the undead Scourge that turned Lordeaeron into a graveyard. It was proximity to Yetimus’ extremely contagious charm.

@Vrykerion (Someone should give you an award for these!)

Yetimus once told the Lich King that he didn’t care his brand of dry humor. The next day, the LK built ICC for protection.

Tirion Fordring stops talking when Yetimus enters the room.

The Forsaken used the New Plague on Yetimus once. It gave him a rash.

The Titans don’t want to come back to Azeroth because they heard Yetimus woke up.

Yetimus heard that Santa didn’t exist, so he vowed to go north to find him. The Result? The Dragonblight.

Yetimus needs no pockets. He stores his belongings in a pocket dimension he willed into existence with his mind!

Yetimus wanted a pet, so he broke reality to let Deathwing out of Deepholm. He got bored with him soon after.

Yetimus was having trouble sleeping at night, so he ate Blue Child.

Yetimus wanted a bigger back yard so he merged Hillsbrad Foothills and Alterac Mountains.

The reason Majordomo Executus was ‘Too Soon’ is because Ragnaros knew Yetimus was coming.

Ozumat, Fiend of the Deep Below, is Yetimus’ bath toy.

Some people call Medan a mary sue, but that’s just because they don’t know who his real father is: Yetmius.

Alterac Valley is a several year long war being waged to decide which faction has to tell Yetimus that his rent is overdue.

The Greymane Wall was built to stall Yetimus a few seconds longer so the Gilneans could get to a ship.

The Violet Eye chose to move their entire city to Northrend and fight Malygos and the Lich King instead of facing Yetimus.

@_Rades

Southshore is destroyed because Yetimus was trying to spit into the lake. He missed.

Escape from Durnholde starts at Yetimus’ cave because Yetimus is actually a time-traveling wizard.

@rosaamarilla (Of course I offered some of my own!)

The real reason they moved Dalaran was to protect it from Yetimus.

Goblin engineers specialize in bombs because they’re trying to invent one that will kill Yetimus.

When wizards don’t understand why something works the way it does, they say, “Yetimus did it.

King Magni turned into diamond because Stoneform wouldn’t be enough for a fight against Yetimus.

In the next Chillin’ With Yetimus, I’ll interview Sunflake (my death knight) so you can get her take on Yetimus and see how the character interviews will work. Until then, remember…  whenyou see Yetimus out there, JUST RUN!!!

Posted in Chillin' With Yetimus | 7 Comments