This is a tale of two cloaks, closing in on the end of an expansion, neglected and beloved characters who, hats and helms in hand, requested of their human to just see…just try…and it turns into a tale of OCD, annoyance, and losing zen.
Haanta, dutifully, and sans complaint, scoured the Timeless Isle, picking up whatever scraps of leather, like some bloodthirsty park keeper, and getting pretty decent gear from Ordos. Why not get a cloak? WHY NOT?! She was lagging behind the others, and she needed to get the 3000 Valor Points for Wrathion. What he’s doing with all this stuff: might as well be collecting ears and toe nail clippings, the little creep. Turns out, and I had forgotten this, the good and bad news: you can purchase valor with Timeless Isle coins: valor cap is 1000 per week.
Okay, okay, so she’ll wait, no big whoop. And then week three:
All right, all right, deep cleansing breaths: Ceniza, how are you doing? You’re further along the process, and how she got further along I have no idea. Mages. Must have been moonlighting for arcane power and sheep herding late at night when no one was looking. Anyway, all she needs now are the Secrets. Then the thing. Then the other
thing. And the trillium, mustn’t forget that. And the other stones and stuff, and then the other stuff and things. But Ceniza still, (and I’ll slip into third-person voice to repress this) is a terrible fire mage. She is. I did some cursory reading of Icy Veins, and some things are starting to make sense. But some things—aren’t. Her gear’s not great, but it’s not bad, and she’s always playing blink-catch up, and it’s on cool down.
She always looks fantastic though, because that’s what matters:
But after much thought, I realized if “they” don’t fix this thing with the Area 51 Alien bug eyes, every character will be a Dwarf:
Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by the letter P and the feeling of O, as in, “Oh, I am really anxious about this.”
“Personification” is one of my favorite figurative language terms. So simple in definition, yet provides so much richness to our imaginations. Whenever illustrating personification one of the most accessible ways is to think about the characters in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Each tea pot and candlestick has its own personality, every feather duster and door knob. It’s magical.
Even Carmen from Art of Carmen puts her own spin on Azerothian characters. They tend to be salaciously sexualized and entertainingly sinful: note the little “devil’s tail” in the smile of the Draenei below:
My dear friend Plaid Elf much more kindly pointed out some of her disappointment, too.
We were all so excited, but what we got was Low Budget Beasts. Scratch that. Low Budget Beasts have character and grit, even if ofttimes poorly executed cosplay. At least they try!
When many of us saw the ‘sketchbook’ if you will of our new characters we were delighted. All except me, who immediately saw the dead-eyes, too narrow of jaw, and sexless, plastic lips– to me, the new Draenei female models look like they’ve been on a three-day bender of Botox and Velen sold their souls to Illidan. Am I that unhappy? Yes. When I showed the Beta model of the female Dwarf, with richness and vibrance to the art, that is what I was pointing to, what I wanted. I feel that this is somehow Blizzard’s passive-aggressive means to take two of the most beautiful female races (Draenei and Night Elf) in Azeroth, and instead of making ALL races rich, vibrant and…looking for a word here...they did what they always do: break the good in an effort to level some imaginary playing field. Now – I’m going to try to say this next thing as carefully as I can, but I’ll probably get misunderstood: Tauren, Troll, and Dwarf females were often thought of as not the “beautiful” races. First, I disagree. Big time. But Blizzard did give them a richness and nuances that served to enhance their natural beauty. (We haven’t seen Troll yet, but I am betting the farm they are ‘new and improved: even the Forsaken has left us feeling forsaken.) Careful framing, shading, and line work that only added to their beauty. I wish the good and talented artists at Blizzard would take a step back and go study the artists of Disney,Hayao Miyazaki, and Pixar. Heck, even Tim Burton would add some grit. Let him redesign the Forsaken! And second, shame on Blizzard if that is their plan, to somehow make the “pretty” girls “ugly” as a way of compensating for something that didn’t need to be paid.
Now maybe I can get the word to Blizzard. I know they keep saying it’s just the Beta, and not providing me any mental relief as far as what the future holds for my Draenei and Night Elf clan. I will say I’ve been delighted with the addition of a Dwarf shaman named Mollei. Remember Mollie MacBallbuster? She is all kinds of delightful. Sometimes I have error speech on, and when she says in her little Scottish accent, “I’m oot of mann-ah!” I crack up, as her braids twirl with every spell. At least I can count on her to stay beautiful, inside and out.
Remember the dead mole I found on our walk? Well, yeah. We’ve established I’m weird, but we’ve also established a modicum of creativity. For months, whenever I find one, I take pix of feathers. CD Rogue, while I snapped another feather shot he said my found objects scavenger hunt (life is one big scavenger hunt) remind him of his favorite photographer, Irving Penn. I promised I would look him up as soon as we got home and
Azeroth is beautiful, of this we know.
And when I say “but” please do not think I am negating that Azeroth is indeed, beautiful. This is an additive statement, not a replacement one.
When I look up Irving Penn, I found what Mataoka would look like in my mind’s eye:
and then I saw his nudes (you’ll have to look them up yourself)
and then I found his flower photographs:
Irving Penn’s work is beyond words I have. Words I know. As art should be. If you want to believe again, want to refresh your eyes –please peruse through his work.
So Blizzard artists can take their inspiration from whatever sources they wish, but in my mind’s eye, Mataoka will always and forever be, who she is.
Not sure what I find funnier: this clip from one of my favorite movies, Nacho Libre, or the fact that the person who posted it is heard giggling. It’s obviously a very low-tech post, but it tickles me that someone found this scene funny too. The beans coming out of the nose? Yup. ‘Bout sums it up.
Okay – here’s been the week:
Helke nicely told me I should have put a warning on my spider nightmare anecdote because some folks are so scared of spiders, so paralyzingly arachnophobic, that post would have stopped them in their tracks. I’m paraphrasing. Helke, you’re right in that I could use some sensitivity training. But if I keep second guessing myself on every thing I write, I swear, this mental, um…blockage to say it delicately…is going to get worse. I’m not a nice person. I have a dark side. I am weird. Today CD Rogue and I went on a walk and I saw a little dead mole on the ground, and wanted to take a picture of it, and thought about Wednesday Addams and how on her “nature” walks she would take pictures of dead things. Actually, I thought this is something she would post on her Facebook page as an antidote to the cute animals phenomenon. It was a darling little mole, taking his little mole nap on the little mole sidewalk. I thought it might not be full grown, but CD Rogue said they don’t get much bigger than the one we saw. That one isn’t going to get any bigger, that’s for sure.
What sick twisted mind stops and looks at moles who have passed on? Shuffled off their mortal coils? Walked to the light? Well, one who has played hours of Hearthstone, and checked in compulsively to Facebook only to find both have left her soulless and devastated. See? Dammit, made me talk about myself in third person. Streams of misogynistic “comedy” and passages of faith posted by people who I know for a fact are prideful, hypocritical, and relentless in their ambitions. I’m done. And that much Hearthstone would give anyone mild PTSD: every time a player hits your “hero” it makes this skull-cracking sound. I couldn’t take it. And murlocs help me if I forgot to hit the ‘squelch’ button before a loss and heard that smarmy “Well played” bullshit.
So enough. Off they go.
When I was a smoker, I would do this trick where I’d crumple up the pack of cigarettes, and in grand flourishes or piques of drama announce to no one but myself and the cat that I was quitting. Let’s all hope the Hearthstone and Facebook stay off the devices a bit longer. I don’t have cats as witnesses anymore. Just Druids.
Did have a blast on Saturday with the Old Ladies. No staff. No pony for me. But at least some one I like got it. (Be kind of tough, because I like everyone!) But I am a little weary of trying to get something and then it becoming a joke: starting to feel like being skull-cracked by Fandral. So – a little break may be in order. If there is something someone wants to do, I’m open to suggestions. I’ll probably have to wait to level 100 and go do Firelands solo!
Dahahka posted an interesting question on his blog: Are you anti-Virtual World? Read it and give it some thought. It captured a lot of what I have been muddling over this summer. What is my place in Azeroth, the real world, and in front of my screen? What am I willing to lose for both? Nothing, as it turns out. But I feel I’ve lost something, and time is no small part.
On the Drunken Fish news, the guild broke through to Level 22, and I’ve been working on my gnomes to help with Classy Gnomes:
Breige and others have been helping with Dwarfs: (I don’t think Worgen or Pandaren are going to make it in DF: /sigh)
And you see that Fun with Friends thing? That’s what I was talking about. Enough with the forced fun. The guild recruitment spamming is all about gold farming – -and I think Blizzard tends to see every problem as a nail and all they have are hammers. They fix one thing by breaking another — for example Turk told me they are making melee more fun by making casting classes less fun.
Old Ladies Raiding Guild: time to put up or shut up. Tome – it doesn’t matter if you don’t play Hearthstone. It’s as addictive as nicotine and twice as dangerous. Like my dad says, nothing good happens after midnight, and no good can come of playing this stupid, stupid game. But I will say one thing you’ve got going on baby girl is a way to go to the end of the world in style! I knew I forgot to post a rule on the contest, and that is to not post anything on a blog beforehand. This does not disqualify anyone who has though. Our psychic friendship and bond of the HOTFB includes me waking up and the first thing I think about is – “Gee, I wonder if I should write another post about the contest?” and booyah! There it is! You rock, Tome. I also thought how obnoxious it is for me to give people little contests which I’m sure by now feel more like chores than fun. Like I asked everyone, “Hey, let’s go to the carnival!” while they’re barfing up cotton candy in the parking lot trashcans.
So–sorry for this OLRG post being late, too. Again, if ya’ll are around I’d love to go hang out. I’ll stop playing Hearthstone long enough to focus on what matters -my friends. Because it certainly isn’t anything else around here! (Glances over at cobwebs and breadcrumbs…)
And instead of buying another cloak for Zeptepi, I decided a Fox Kit was in order. Damn, those things are cute!! Well what else is there to do when it’s a long ways to payday, and days are lazy and long but to treat oneself to a dancing fox kit? Oh, go and pick up a green porcupine, naturally! Except Haanta couldn’t do it alone. A friend from her former guild came to her rescue and Hutia was hers!
Let’s see, let’s see, what else? It’s a new moon this weekend and folks at the Matty-shack will be doing some astronomy, which is a GOOD THING because CD Rogue has been having continuing medical issues and neither of us are getting a lot of good sleep lately. So, while star gazing happens I plan on sleeping. It seems to work better if I leave my Hearthstone game far, far away. The thing is, there are still many things to do in Azeroth before the world ends. Again. And we have to save it. Again.
If there is ANYTHING you want to do to help you get something done or obtained please let me know –I’m at your service!
Oh and see, it’s not just women who suffer from BRF, but rock stars too:
How, you ask? What amazing strategies do you have? Well, Jaina may be a terrible mage in Azeroth but she’s a helluva card player. And it took many, many, attempts, a lot of luck, more luck, and add a dash of luck.
I planned to meet a girlfriend for coffee this morning, however between playing hours of Naxxramas Hearthstone, CD Rogue’s usual restlessness, and an atypical thunder storm, sleep took precedence. All those spiders…all those….spiders…gave me a weird nightmare. I see it so clearly in my mind’s eye, (I’m typing this in between bites of organic cocoa crisps and sipping black coffee, the only cure to dispel this type of dream): we were at some grand log cabin somewhere, and on a window just outside of where the living room would be was a collection of huge arachnids. There was one especially large black widow, who had found a doll’s head and wrapped it in her web, and its face (the doll’s) was staring outward. The black widow seemed to know she couldn’t eat the doll’s head, but having it for a trophy gave her an aura of triumph. A stinkbug the size of my hand crawled up the window, and various little grey spiders scuttled about. But that doll’s head…I took pictures with my i-phone, and when I showed them to CD Rogue (this is all still in the dream) every shot was in HD and so clear, so large in details, that it seem the black widow leered back. If you’re sufficiently creeped out remember; this all was in my subconscious. Like eating bad pepperoni pizza late at night, I shall not be playing Hearthstone so close to bedtime again.
Remember: that was in MY head. Dispel! Dispel! Curse you doll’s head: be gone with another bite of cocoa crispies! I’m not sure Tome is going to get the image of her warlock out of her head as easily, however: Sasche looks like she’s retaining embalming fluid (yes, I’ll keep telling that joke – I think I’m hilarious). And our dear Dwarf friend Briege is shaking things up, too. I must admit I admire and am envious of my friends who know how to create a safe community, are diplomatic, funny, and kind. The struggle is real, Matty.
We still want to incentivize guild membership, aside from the social benefits, so we’re keeping conveniences like faster mount speed, instant guild mail, Mass Resurrection, etc., as exclusive benefits to all guilded players. The guild achievement system, and unlocked items and other benefits through completion of guild achievements, will remain as-is. We’d like to emphasize that system a bit more as a yardstick for collective accomplishment, rather than guild level which primarily just reflects individual effort.
The rest of the article discusses how Guild Challenges are the things that make gold. Making gold for Drunken Fish was never a priority — we never had that many members. So what this statement from Blizzard seems to be suggesting (remember: I am still working on my inner demons) is that we still have to work to get to Level 25 we just don’t get a few of the rewards that would actually have helped a cottage guild. I don’t give a damn about the guild membership spams – that was never an issue. And where is the reward for the little cottage guilds that have two members for a long time and leveled a guild at all? It just seems that Blizzard once again caters and encourages the guild spam, and gives no viable options for the small-town girl. In other words: f-u individual effort. Subtext: you are a big loser if you only have a few friends in Azeroth.
Like most strong economies, its strength derives from entrepreneurial efforts. If I’ve had to be creative to level a tiny guild it’s been fun, but please don’t punish me for it – you should be rewarding guilds that have less then ten actual accounts — not members — accounts. Look, I would love if I had three players on at any point in time who could run instances together. It just doesn’t work like that in the real world anymore, and I’m a bit resentful that Blizzard still thinks it does.
Okay – there’s my rant. I’m done.
In any case, Hawtpocket, one of the best tanks and players I have had the pleasure, created the Rubber Ducky Society guild, and we’ll be doing some things together. I counted up all my level 90s, and um…yeah. But she wants Momokawa to come along tonight and tomorrow for some Flex raiding, so that’s something I’m looking forward to doing.
So, to more black coffee and the cocoa crispies seem to be doing the trick. I feel better. It’s still raining heavily, and the thunderstorm for this area is unusual: normally the western side of the Northwest doesn’t generate enough heat. But once in awhile, there’s a flash and boom, and then the air gets clear again.
Puns somehow soothe my passive-aggressive side. Not sure why. A sweet little bird took pity on my beta-less soul and helped me out. Turns out CD Rogue has had the Beta all along, but told me he never, ever plays betas for some pretty solid reasons: primarily it can only end in tears. Things you like will not make the final cut, and things you don’t will. I know I made such a stink about not playing the Beta; I make big stinks about a lot of things. I get my panties in a knot and put hissy fits on full throttle. Not to mention mixing metaphors. But – please Blizzard, please — I won’t mess with Garrisons yet, and I won’t do anything else. I might ride around on Invincible because like a garage parking attendant, you gave me the keys and while you’re having dinner at your fancy restaurant I’m just going to take it around the block a few times, okay? You’ll never know. Won’t get a scratch on it.
But here’s what my vain self did focus on– outward appearances. All surface, no substance. So here is my quick snap judgment on some of my favorite ladies:
The Night Elf female hands are larger, the ears more rubbery, and feathery unibrow in need of a waxing more than ever before:
Bitchy resting face in full swing:
Kellda forgot her meds:
Please tell me my warlock has not turned into Patricia Heaton (who is batshit crazy):
And Hair, Now!
And in all seriousness, this Dwarf shaman is beautiful:
But my poor little warlock has a bad case of Scythenititis:
I’m sure there are many more surprises in store. I know you’re all thinking I’m a big fat hypocrite right now, and I am. Let me go find a pipe wrench to get these panties untwisted, and I’ll go gaze upon my pretty Draenei faces a bit longer.
You ask, “Matty, what is the inspiration for this contest?” So many places – where to start? The anticipation levels for WoD are reaching fever pitch. Even in OLRG I was reminded that one woman’s definition of spoiler may not be mine. When I say ‘spoiler’ I mean NOTHING – I don’t even watch movie trailers sometimes because I want it to be a fresh experience. Perhaps, though, I am too constricted in my thinking. Just because I didn’t get a Beta Invite doesn’t mean I have to be all crabby about it. NooOOOoooooo. Look, I went to last year’s Blizzcon and got to take a peak behind the curtains, and WoD is going to be awesome. I get that. But meanwhile, Rome is burning, baby, and it’s time to start fiddling! The real world is in some serious trouble, people. And when even Mt. Fuji is about to blow up her skirt, what else can Azerothians do but a Mogging Contest? So, while we’re waiting for the rivers to rise and the plastic in the oceans to just all disappear, let’s mog!
1. Outfit must be suitable to end-of-the-world survival. Justify every piece of gear on this scale:
Survivability: can this character survive – now be creative in this. A warlock dressed as a priest? Sure. A rogue tricking others? Sounds fine.
Flexibility: must be able to go from land to sea with no muss, no fuss
Recycled – no new or latest gear; can mix and match mail with cloth, etc.
In other words, a brief explanation on why you chose each piece of gear.
2. Have pet, will travel: you must choose one of your pets (in addition to a hunter, mage, warlock, etc. normal pet) as your traveling companion a la Will Smith I Am Legend style. Give a brief explanation on why this is your pet of choice, and how you two plan on surviving the upcoming apocalypse.
3. Format: Screenshot (Mogit is fine) and small text explaining the above. A secret judge will make the final decision. Send this to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 31. Decision will be made by August 9.
First place: $25 gift card for Blizzard
Second place: $15 gift card
Third place: I don’t know. Whatever I have lying around. You might get nothing and like it.
If you have any questions, post them here or send me an e-mail. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll answer them. For those of you concrete-sequential types this may be frustrating, because my vague and open-ended (lack of) explanations drive folks nuts. It’s the end of the world, after all, and many rules don’t apply.