RTMT, Part III: The Rules


Told you to stop me. You didn’t.

I haven’t watched this yet, but looks intriguing: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

This quote jumped out at me:

On learning the rules of prison

“When you get to prison, if you’ve never been locked up before, there’s this incredibly steep learning curve. First of all, you have to learn and understand all of the rules of the institution, all of the rules that are enforced by all of the guards and all of the wardens. Those include all the daily counts, when every single person within a unit is counted, and there’s a host of rules, both reasonable and unreasonable. And what’s confusing about that is that they’re selectively enforced and frequently broken by the prison staff themselves.

“The other set of rules that you have to learn very, very quickly are the unofficial rules, and those are the rules that the community of women, the society of prisoners, set for themselves. That could be anything from not taking someone’s habitual seat at the movie night — you don’t want to sit in the wrong place because you’ll be pretty quickly corrected on that — to not asking someone directly what their offense is, because that’s considered very, very rude. You have to figure all of those things out. What you really have to figure out is where you fit in in the social ecology of the prison.”

There are so many official and unofficial rules in Azeroth, it boggles the mind. The parallels between her insights in prison and WoW…well, maybe I’m reading too much into it. I would be interested to hear your conclusions, moreover, what “unofficial” rule has influenced your time in Azeroth the most, for better or worse?
This might be a good BlogAzeroth topic…

RTMT, Part II: Banned.

Ceniza found a hidden entrance to a private park…

Three things:

1. Can’t stop thinking about feminist posts.
2. Must rerain from listening to the news again.
3. Figure out a way to put humanity on ice for a bit.

Damn, I really hate saying “I told you so’s.” I do. Skeptical? I know you are, cause I seem to love it. The other day CD Rogue said he was taking a break from listening to political news, he had just got burnt out. Really? REALLY?! And all those times I said I just couldn’t have one more conversation, one more debate, over national policy blunders, missteps, and misdirection, and you accused me of apathy? Now you want to shut down for a bit? Hmm… I said good day, sir! 

But as Godmother said in her last post, [sic] “Hey, I have a blog! I can write what I want!”

Working backwards, let’s start with ice block:

I am trying to recoup my boundaries. As Amy Shumer joked, she took her mother to a soccer game to show her what boundaries look like. I took a screenshot this past week from a run in LFR where a player, the tank, (so I presume that gave him some ‘job security’) yelled, in red, KICK THE N*****.

I said to the group, I don’t run with racists, reported him (for all the good that does) and left.

Now– I am not going to change wholesale racism. Nope. Free country, free speech and all that. Even the African-American community wrangles with this issue of racial slurs.  But nothing is solely the problem of any one race, ethnicity, or nation: it is truly, all of our problem. And for those of us who want to just play, and we are penalized for this, it’s frustrating to say the least.

What bothers me greatly is – and this is big– why do I have to get the dungeon deserter debuff when I make a moral stand? I don’t expect Blizzard to ‘nanny state’ its players. I reported him for language, and nothing will probably happen. I get that.

But why do the assholes win in this case? Why do they get to stay, use their time well, finish, and move on, when if I choose to leave it costs me time? I know life isn’t fair, but there has got to be a way to “fix” this. A ‘law to serve the people,” not present more obstacles. Can’t there be an option where I can “kick” myself and write a reason why? There is a mature language blocker, why can’t there be a racist blocker?

But…here is where it gets dicey. I don’t really want that. The rabbit-hole of unintended consequences is bottomless: let’s propose Blizzard screens any text for key words, like the NSA, the U.K., China, etc. Someone types a derogatory term and some bot gets a bing or ping or something and some robotic action is taken. No, thank you.

Which leads me to this: Feminism. 

Men and women, I totally, completely understand, and am on your side. I’m on my own side, so I get it.  When I reposted this video on Facebook, the comments and anecdotes it received from many of my friends saddened me. One of my best buddies, who’s a long-time Anime fan, wrote she recently went into a local comic book store and the proprietor told her he didn’t have any “graphic novels for girls.” She’s thirty. I can’t even begin to unpack all that’s wrong with that asshat’s statement.

This topic of fairness and gender equality is never far from my thoughts. When Apple Cider Mage posted “I Can’t Quite Grasp This” about an aggressive image on a WoW card, it ensnared my thinking too. There is an interesting series of Youtube videos on the feminist frequency channel.

Damsel in Distress, Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6p5AZp7r_Q
Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toa_vH6xGqs
Part III: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjImnqH_KwM

One thing that struck me for all the examples presented is most of the games seem…stupid. And I wish we could all say, “Oh, silly game designers, missing out on 50% market share!

We may never stop grappling with these issues of humanity.

May I suggest that we don’t want to? We want freedom to explore our natures, our identities, and not be told to be generic, the same, the borg? In one way, it is more important perhaps to ask the “what if?” questions: What if we got rid of all potentially sexually-charged imagery? What if we made all fantasy characters the same? When solving a problem, it is important to offer the “Okay, this is wrong, but how about we do this instead?” In Apple Cider’s post, she does – she shows an orc, a male, who’s trapped by the vines. But what if someone enjoys a friendly game of vine-wrap? Safe word: hedgeclipper.

Spit it out, Matty: are you asking does this make it wrong for women to fantasize about either being rescued or doing the rescuing?

I’m not sure.

And now for the news…

This is the thing: we have so many examples of the pendulum swinging and then serving as an ax to chop off heads left in its wake. The newest conversation uses the term “breeders” and how young women are justifying their desire not to have children. I don’t like the term “breeder,” but it sounds hip and edgy I suppose. So while young women are making a stand on not having children, I am left with a few feelings: so women who do want children are somehow dumb breeders? What about women who want nothing more than to have a baby but can’t, and are devastated by this?

Maybe it just comes down to this: we are all very busy about telling others what to do, or how to think. Like living with CD Rogue’s righteous indignation buff, it spins me out sometimes. I am guilty of this, too. My apologies.

My questions only lead to more questions. Welcome to my brain.

In any case, no matter what, no matter where, I do fully support dialogue, exchanges of ideas, and opinions. I am so grateful to the blogging community for this.


Postcript: And sweet baby murlocs, get that game back on line before I post again!

RTMT: Day 13: Harder, Better, Faster

Waiting patiently…

Hooray for mash-up posts, where I can ramble about anything, everything, and nothing all at the same time!

Faster: Go, go, Ghostrider!

However, I promise some coherency: today’s overarching theme is “fast” – I meant to take a screenshot of Kellda going fast with flames, the most wonderful of warlock glyphs, Glyph of Nightmare. The Nightmare should be more aptly named “Ghostrider Glyph” as it makes you feel all Nick-Cage whenever you’re riding across water, as if leaking jet fuel behind you. I had forgotten I put this glyph in the other day, and was streaking across the murky, oily waters around the Isle of Thunder, when the flames erupted, as if by movie magic…

So, Tycertank, this one does not count because I cheated and borrowed a screenshot from MMO Champion. Why did I have to borrow one? Because I procrastined, got distracted, went searching for bears, stepped on a rock, dog ate my homework, and forgot to get my beautiful Kellda image:

From MMO Champion

So I wasn’t fast enough in my clickings, runnings, and doings. No screenshot today.

Note to self: can dogs sense when one is getting into the flow of something? I swear, like pot-sniffing drug dogs or dogs who can sniff out peanut allergens, my dog senses the second I am actually getting into the groove, and does his yip/squeak thing…argh! How can I train him to NOT DO THIS? Where is that mage to turn him into a cat?

Now, thinking about Kellda makes me think about her green fire quest line. A hearty congratulations to Tyledres for accomplishing this very difficult challenge. I have put this one on the back-green-fire-burner, so to speak, for now. Most players I speak with say it’s one of the most challenging things they’ve ever done, and somehow I have managed to put two on my plate. I worked hard to gear her up, but she’s still kind of scruffy in some spots. Well, I say I worked hard, but we all know that hard work does not necessarily equate to success in Azeroth, just like real life.

Harder: The Dragon and I

The other challenge for Mataoka is her “it’s complicated” relationship with Wrathion. I have gotten good advice from my friend Turk, have tried to get a few more pieces of good healer gear (the Xuen challenge may be too difficult for my fat, old fingers and character movement) but alas, once again the RNGs have decided I must be patient and earn Valor for a new helm. Turk has been raiding on his shaman, and does have good gear, but moreover is a really, really good shaman.

Let me just get this on the table right now: I know these are supposed to be hard. I know they are meant to be challenging and make a player feel as if they’ve ‘done’ something. They should. No question. But heroes and champions do not come in one-size-fits-all. Consider Harry Potter: if he didn’t have Hermione’s smarts or Ron’s unflappable energy, he could not have done it alone. As it stands, the advice I’ve gotten is to get buffs from the NPCs and use the Celestial Coin. I bring food and flasks, and just when it seems I’ve got it handled, Wrathion’s health bar is damn near full, something happens and boom, done. Now, if this were the “real world” and Deathwing was beating up on his son, I’d call the authorities and other helpers to come and save him. But alas, I am alone. It is unrealistic of me to wish that Blizzard offered another option for the legendary: I do much better on written tests than oral exams. This is silly of me to even think it, I know.

This is not a ‘Schadenfreude’ thing either, in fact, it relieved me that even Vidyala struggled, but overcame, obstacles in the mage portion of the quest.

What is it exactly, though?

Well…perhaps it’s kind of a sourgrapes thing: if this is meant for players who don’t raid, as kind of a “me too” thing, shouldn’t it have been designed for players with 476-502 gear? Just in case there’s not enough gear, rep, or lucky drops for a player whose time is spent, gee, I don’t know, doing other things? I got SO excited when I read on WoW Insider this morning changes were coming to the questline, and then promptly deflated when I read it was just the frequency of drops for the admission tickets.  I just…I guess…I hoped…I would just finish this before the 5.4 patch. I just, for once, FOR ONCE, wanted to do something current, something in real game-time.

It’s not meant to be.

A little sad, yes.

And yes, I read the comments in Vidyala’s post about folks completing it in LFR gear, and trying repeatedly, but at that point, to me it smacks me closer to besting Major Payne. Yes, this is a HUGE “Know Thy Class” quest: you’d better know your spells, buffs, all good things, all tricks, intimately and expertly: so yes, I’ll be glad when it’s done, but again, not sure how “accomplished” I’ll feel. We’ll see.

From Wow Insider, August 7th Patch Notes:
Wrathion’s Legendary Questline

  • The first eight bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar have a chance to drop a Sigil of Power, Sigil of Wisdom, Secrets of the Empire, or Titan Runestone in addition to their normal loot for players on the appropriate step in the legendary questline.

Better: My baby, she wrote me a letter…

One thing that’s kind of making me cloudy are the troubles with the US Post Office. I love real letters. Everyone does. But do I send them? No. I used to, but haven’t lately. Shame on me. Better use it or lose it. Some of that excitement over getting a ‘real’ letter was supplanted by in-game letters. I have to thank Blizzard for unbinding these, so I can save some of my sweet, funny ones in banks. Heck, I’ve even seen some for sale on the Auction House…now why would anyone buy old mail? I don’t know. Salacious secrets? Redacted national security plans? Who knows? In any case, I get my connection fix when I see little dots on ClustrMaps, in-game letters, and guild messages. But now with our faster technology, our more stealthy approaches, if folks check the site with cell phones, etc. I don’t see dots anymore. I have to go on faith they check in with me; fortunately I have a lot of faith. I never expect comments, and am always humbled and grateful when folks stop by. So thanks. But like Charlie Brown waiting for his Valentine’s, I’ll keep checking my mail box. Some things don’t get better when they’re faster:
Craig Ferguson/Why Everything Sucks

Theme Song: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger/Daft Punk (being fast is just as annoying as this song)

Postscript: Word of the Day: Fomenting (thanks, Godmother!)

fomenting  present participle of fo·ment

Instigate or stir up (an undesirable or violent sentiment or course of action): “they accused him of fomenting political unrest”.

Hurts so good…

Cute things are especially evil…that’s how they getcha…

Time to read: The Nature of Villainy by Anne Stickney


Actually Mr. Snerguls pointed out she misspelled “villainy,’ spelling it villany in her title, but that’s okay. She has 5,000 Twitter followers, and she’s awesome. Mr. Snerguls can go poke his eye out with a sharp red pencil. 

Okay, Matty, what’s all this then? What grouping of random silliness have you conjured up this time? 


You all know I’m a big fan of Garrosh: nothing like a little psychopathology mixed with lore to keep things interesting. He certainly is clear on who he is, and I admire that in an Orc. I read a question/comment from an esteemed colleague noticing the dearth of true villains: most conflicts within cartoon characters “these days” come from inner/intrinsic conflict — a personal dilemma of right and wrong. Think Davey and Goliath versus Bugs and Elmer. Better yet: Moral Orel. (Man, I miss that show…) There is an abundance of characters with inner conflicts: man versus self, as it were. But Garrosh, now there’s a villain! And a helluva writer, too.

Now Tome allowed in her post today that her loving title of “Mimi” was in grave danger of being forever altered to “Dreambreaker.” Dahhha-ammmm, Tome! That is one sharp little cookie ya got there! This led me to think what vicious titles of viscous vixenish villainy could I come up with?

Well to my co-workers:
The Meeting Slammer

CD Rogue: The Interrupter, the Sulker, the Mood-Swing Shifter

Baby cubs: The Driver

Also, let’s not forget: The Weeper, the Nagger, the Sultan of Slacker, the Queen of Unmade Banana Bread, the Recycler, the Caffeinator, the Crumbler (yes, I leave crumbs. Ants gotta eat too!)

What grim title of infamy would you take on if you could?

In the meantime: I’m a hero in Azeroth: