Category Archives: Manalicious

A Decollage of Draenei, a Dazzle of Draenei, a Drive of Draenei?

Draenei already look like demons, so….

Vidyala at Manalicious gave me an idea the other day – a complete set of Draenei: http://manalicious.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/draenei-a-complete-set/

I realized I am well on my way! Draenei can be:
1. Shamans
2. Priests
3. Mages
4. Warriors
5. Paladins
6. Monks
7. Hunters
8. Death Knights (limited per realm, though)

Notice anything? Glaring hoofism!!! No rogues? No warlocks? And the fel powers belong solely to those who would drink of the blood? Draeneis are like dolphins, I think–oh sure folks think they’re all nice and “higher beings,” but no, they are capable of anthropomorphic mischief, too. Draeneis would drink blood, wouldn’t they? No? No warlocks? Fine. Whatever.

Inner beauty

Today I’m up again at the crack of dawn to meet with my writing group. I was furiously writing a thesis paper last night (where did all this procrastination come from? I will figure that out tomorrow…) and trying to figure out transportation, so today will be spent in the big city, and I don’t mean Dalaran.

I found this image a while ago, and thought it almost, but not quite, suited how I see Mataoka:

It’s by an artist named Colindrina from Deviantart. Mataoka, at heart, loves to drink with Dwarfs and hang out in rowdy inns: this may be her before responsibilities and world fatigue begins to trip up her mojo. And look–her mug’s empty. No wonder.

I will always treasure Vidyala’s commissioned piece, however, as this is how she really is:

The thing about our characters is we are in (delusional) control over something that never ages, as we ourselves grow a little older. I’ve played Mataoka about 148 hours. Titan Panel tells me so every time I log on. My Titan Mirror, the one on my bathroom wall, tells me I’ve played my life a bit more than that. The scales tell me when I should have said no to that second glass of wine, or when I should have gone for a walk instead of farmed some ore. My blue jeans tell me the same thing in their silent refusal to snap buttons or zip up.

A good friend told me yesterday that when she hit this magical age number, she realized that she was getting happier and happier each day. Somehow psychologically the things that she cared about, namely, worrying about what others thought of her, suddenly didn’t seem so important. Maybe it was her father’s passing, and the concept of “don’t sweat the small stuff” resonated with her deeply, and fundamentally. One can’t “make” these epiphanies happen, but we can lay the groundwork for them.

Mataoka will never age, as I am. Does this mean as a character she’ll never get to experience epiphanies of simply not giving a damn at a certain age? Well, she will if I write her narration that way, but otherwise, no. All those epiphanies belong to me.

Disc Priest-world

I did it again. Yesterday I had an eye doctor appointment, and I had so many things piled on my desk calendar I didn’t see it. Kind of ironic, no? Yes? Whatever. But NO MORE! I am getting it under control, people! I made another promise to myself today I would do these things:

1. Operation Shieldwall dailies on Mataoka

2. Molten Front dailies on Zep (82/125 Filling the Moonwell)

3. Molten Core on Momokawa for fluffy green shoulders (nope)


4. Botanica on Momokawa for fluffy yellow shoulders (nope)


5. Make another piece of Imperial Silk to work towards the 12 needed for a bag –


6. Work on Kaajinn the Conflicted’s reputation with Horde guild (she is darling, that one)

But the promise wasn’t the doing, the promise was the STOPPING. Navi’s post on Raid Exhaustion hit home, not because I’m in her same hooves, er, shoes, but we all do too damn much. She and I do have a lot in common, but I look back and can’t imagine trying to work full-time, keep a marriage, small children, school, etc., all going. I can’t even get myself to the eye doctor, for God’s sake. I take care of legions of other folks, but for myself, my job, etc.? Eek. I was talking with CD Rogue the other night, about that cross-over moment when game times ceases to become a game, a hobby, and becomes an addictive, compulsory act. This blog is not a journal of my play time, but a glimpse into a player’s descent into madness. But I gotta say, spending time in Azeroth is a helluva lot more fun than having one’s pupils dilated.

But this post isn’t about not being able to balance real and virtual worlds. I did stop, and my stubborn side is not going to log on anymore today. But I did want to crow about a few fun things:

So, some of you noticed I made Zep a Disc/Shadow Priestess. I went into LFR and look at these numbers (yes, I know it’s vast buckets of overhealing, but couldn’t help myself!)

In my sparse research on discipline priests, I came across this phenomenal site:

I still love my Holy specialization, and feel a twinge of disloyalty. But learning knew things and skills trumps ruts any old day, so I still contend it’s better to try something new than to not. So far the worst part of giving up Holy is losing my Valkryie death form. Fortunately with Disc priest, I don’t die as often.

But today, the rest of the day, and it’s not noon yet, I have a full stretch of time to devote to the mundane, the uncreative, the unimaginative: taxes, bill paying, letters, laundry, and lunch. I used to be able to find the zen in those tasks, but it’s becoming more difficult. Fortunately, I have some intelligent heroes out there, ready with book recommendations, and Goodreads feeds. I just finished A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, and I laughted out loud at the dentist’s office yesterday (yes, I made it there, but apparently…nevermind). It mentions The Morrigan, a terrifying trio I had never heard of until this novel. If it’s not a guild name already I call it! Badb, Macha, and Nemain would be wonderful names for Forsaken Shadow Priests, don’t you think?

Ravens and Crows – my current motif

Found this other image, too:

The Morrigan by Alexandra Feehery

Oh, damn, now I’m tripping down the art lane – anything to stay away from tax forms!

Look what Vidyala just posted – breathtaking!

That damn fist weapon still won’t drop for Mataoka. The fact that that is depressing me depresses me. So again, except for some easy dailies, time to stop for a while. The RNGs have turned their backs on that shaman. Not sure what she did to incur their ire. Eff them if they can’t take a joke anyway.

*The title, for those who don’t know, is an allusion to Terry Pratchett.

PS Damn, I did log on. Just a little bit.

Debut…

With all due respect to the very sexy Aisha Tyler, the real star of today’s posts is the completion of a commissioned piece by Vidyala of Manalicious of Mataoka:

I really tried not to pester her –you can’t just turn on a faucet and have creativity pour out, and in my estimation, she created this beautiful piece in quick time. But…

…as impatient as I can be….

…and as much as I needed this…

…do you see what she added? The necklace…with the phial added?

…do you know what it’s like to be really seen? To be heard?

And to me, she captured something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, that the character of Mataoka is both sweet, but knowing. Innocence lost and found, I guess. Maybe I’m just projecting, but I see it.

Theme song: Something/George Harrison (my favorite Beatle, by the way)

Omniscient narrator comes out…

Really — many players rock my world. Uppsala was gracious to send me a clarifying e-mail with this information:


Hehe, thank you for the notoriety but I am a mere addon writer. The story was “My Little Dashie” by ROBCakeran53 ( http://www.fimfiction.net/story/1888/My-Little-Dashie ).


I haven’t posted the Addon to Curse yet, I’m waiting for permission to distribute this story and maybe Cupcakes by Sergeant Sprinkles (http://dreckerjones.deviantart.com/)

Thank you though, and I hope you enjoyed the experience. It certainly made my LFR much more enjoyable having people to share this story with.

Still: weather ponies?! Daddy, I want a weather pony! How cool would it be to ride around on  “partly cloudy with a chance of showers” pony? The Seattle one would be all mushroom-colored misty grey and threaten precipitation constantly, but rarely have lightning or thunder. 


Anyway, thank you to Uppsala for this clarification and fun feature. 


Speaking of players who rock — Vidyala’s post on achieving her legendary weapon is like an Oscar’s speech, and I am not saying that in a snarky way – it is fantastic! I think…I think that is truly why we mortals play–the experiences with friends, family, and those we love superseded the pixels–this is why folks get so upset when some say “it’s only a game.” It is a game–but it can be so much more. I never wrote about Monopoly wins, I’ll just say that. Congratulations Vidyala–well deserved, and just goes to show, the more love we put out there, the more we get back. It’s a simple formula. And the screenshot she uses is one I have for my characters, too, and I love it. We all get to share in the glory.

Ain’t got time for that now.

This ain’t no party. This ain’t no disco.

My big, old-fashioned clock on the wall said 8:45 AM. The big hand was on the nine, and the little one scooching close to the nine, too. Just enough to finish Halls of Reflection with Ceniza and my esteemed guildmate, in our army of two. Ceniza is hovering close to level 80, and I went back on all my promises to myself, and I have been dungeon-diving, and not questing, like I thought I would/should.

My friend sent me a text, and it said: “Did you forget about Spring Forward?”

SH*T!

Yes, yes I did. We had planned to meet for coffee and catch up. I am still making her birthday present, wasn’t dressed yet, have a pile of bills and laundry to do (maybe I should pay the jeans and wash the electric bill?) and people flying in and out, circling, landing, flocking all around me. I made a promise to another friend to help her with a big project* The birthday-present friend and I rescheduled (damn, she is understanding!) and I will get it all done. I will. I will. I will.

This issue has been on my mind for a while, even before Vidyala on Manalicious posted some thoughts.

Sometimes, once in a while, I am green with viscous envy over guilds who function as fun friends/families. I am just going to use the term “tribe.”

One post:
http://manalicious.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/the-new-guild-order-why-your-guild-still-matters/
Two posts:
http://manalicious.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/the-new-guild-order-why-your-guild-tag-matters-less-all-the-time/

The thing is, as far as guild groups go, my tribes have been defined by numbers. Running With Scissors had/has some friendly, fun players. And–this is a big digression–I have been drafting a post about Apple Cider Mage’s recent blog postings,  how this serious issue effects my professional life, and her amazing articulation and power behind her story. It belongs to her –her power, her voice, her courage–when considering and drafting my response, the one refrain I kept thinking of time and again is (thought out of my head): “We give each other our hearts every day, every hour, every minute. We trust. We trust again. We trust. No matter which dimension we are giving our love, friendship, most intimate selves, we hand over our hearts and say, ‘take care of this, please.’ And our hearts are broken. Again. And again. Again. And that is essentially our human condition. Do we take care of each other, or do we spiral down into the shit, blood, and filth and break each other?

so back to my reflections on RWS. I am not brave when I say this, or have any courage at all. If anything, I was a coward. I quit because of a gang of three who behaved (to me), poorly. Time and again I would hear, “Gee whiz, Matty, don’t know why they are being so mean to you!?” Really? Uh. (Excuse me while I go spit out some blood from biting my tongue.) Mean spiritedness, small-scale bullying and harassment are the tiny pin pricks of greater evils (see Apple Cider’s posts). What is one person’s friendly ribbing or teasing is another’s “cut that shit out.”

But here is the thing: for small moments, I did have what Vidyala has in her guild–I still adore and respect my old guildmaster–fun, intelligent, and patient with me even during my most derpiest moments. If I could, sometimes I wish I could put together my perfect ten-main team – he would lead it, but it would be more inclusive, easy, and no nihilistic tendencies, and a little more class would be welcome. But, it’s not my guild, it’s not up to me, and the culture it presented more often than not left me feeling left out and beat up.

Not healthy.

So, onto Post Mortem.

We all know how that ended. Again, some very nice people, with some very nice gestures, but those little stabs of nerd rage don’t work for me.

So, I am left with an enhancment/resto shaman, a protection paladin, a holy priest, and a pvp hunter– all dressed up and no where to raid. Nobody’s fault but my own.

I work with a woman who admittedly has mental health issues. (No, it’s not snakes and tea.) I have a high tolerance for this, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t last five minutes in my chosen profession. I have to navigate around her personality, steer clear of the sharp rocks, and engulfing sea monsters that lay in wait in her murky seas of thoughts. My point is- I would wager that most of us deal with a whole lot of issues and personalities in our waking worlds so that when we are in game, we simply do not, and cannot, deal with it. For months now, I have stopped listening to the news because I was feeling overwhelmingly helpless and ineffectual. My sense of ‘fighting back’ however is blossoming again, regrowing. I am feeling stronger in general about the things I need to do in real life, and that I have the strength and know-how to effect change.

But that’s the real world, in real time.

Keep in mind, ye captains of guild-ships and leaders of tribes, you help set the tone and culture of your guilds. Recently at a work meeting, a wonderful speaker reminded me of the obvious: those who are successful know exactly how they got there, and can retrace their steps. Those who are not tend to point to luck or other’s being at fault. Perhaps, if I really want this (and I am not sure I do), if I want that ten-man casual raid team, I’m going to have to step up, study the fights, and start one. Not sure I have time for that now, though. (Smirks to self!)

I love seeing who has visited this blog from all over the world, who’s peeked in or stayed for snakes and tea. I imagine that there are potential guildmates out there with whom I could have a great guild tribe, like Vidyala’s. And gods know there are reams of trade chat advertisements for guilds on my own server, promising mature, sociable, guilds. (I discount the ones who use “ur” in their advertisements- probably not the demographic I am seeking.) But the world of 24/7 must march to the drums of the sun and moon, we all must eat, sleep, work, etc. Perhaps, if I am patient, I will find that ten-man team again with the Battle ID and changing up guild structures. I adore my little “tribes of two” guilds, but they don’t run raids. All of us don’t have the blessings that Vidyala has, but I will say this: I am glad she does, because that gives me hope. For every moment of hurt and bruising, I see twenty** of kindness and giving, fun and sweetness.

We hold each other’s hearts, and trust me: we take care of them. 


All the time.

*I am going to straight-up bitch: this project is like walking back into a fire when I have come out on the other side, and need to assist her journey. Going back feels like going in reverse over spiky tire treadles. But a promise is a promise is a promise. I can’t break this one, like I did for Ceniza leveling her way through dungeons.








**this is not scientific data, but purely anecdotal, qualitative study.

Powerful mojo.

Thanks, to the blog Manalicious for her post on Friday, which led me to this blog: http://jadedalt.wordpress.com/

Now, if I can only figure out how she got those wonderful cookie cutters:


Maybe there’s a tinsmith in Goldshire who can help me out.

http://www.instructables.com/id/make-your-own-cookie-cutters/
http://www.frankencutters.com/fc/
http://www.kitchengifts.com/custom.html (look at the octopus one)

Yes: apparently I have some time on my hands this morning. Elves are sleeping, bear cubs laid out, and the ogres snoring away. But before I get my next cup of coffee, just wanted to say: To my friends in the waking world and in Azeroth – peace to you and yours, be light of heart, full of hope, and thank you for the love and kindness of your friendships.

And please tell me where to get those cookie cutters.

Style.

Few things on my mind lately, and I’m not sure how to quilt them together. It seems that most things in life are uncontainable: I get one aspect under control (regular exercise/diet) and another falls apart (battery dies, unexpected bill). Life is a lot like whack-a-mole for me.

One thing I thought I had under semi-control was that damn shaman.

Trust me – I am under no illusions that Blizzard is out to keep a steady stream of income flowing–they are a business, and a breathtaking business model at that, and for all that is right and ingenious of making bank, hats off to them. No sarcasm, no anything. Sell entertainment at a moderate cost and keep it going. Crack dealers could learn a thing or two. No one gets hurt, and there is no rehab necessary. The worst that may happen is the beds don’t get made and dinner is late, but hey…what else are microwaves for?

In other words, I know that “she” would not be contained for long, and with the next patch, there will be new content to seek out.I know that there will be all kinds of new instances, new ways to learn something, new content, gear, and quests. Fantastic!

My issue is this: right before Ragnaros the other night, my GM asked me to change my mouse style. I have had training from an elite young druid, who in fact has downed heroic Ragnaros (I say this to add some professional clout to my comment or situation), and he helped me reconfigure the key bindings to be spells and quick movements predominately on my left hand, and use the mouse for adjustments/movement on my right as needed. Now, I grew up in a time when being taught to type the QWERTY method- I know exactly where each of my ten digits should go, and am a fast typist. If I do fail, or don’t get out of fire fast enough, it has more to do with a bad habit of mashing, or spazzing. Nothing more. These are the typos of the game, and there is no spell or grammar check to get me out of the fire. I am pretty sure, but wouldn’t bet gold on it, that in fact, NO, I did NOT get hit by the hammer in phase two, but someone did, and what wipes one in that fight wipes all. I’m not saying I didn’t stand in the fire once, but I did run. Did you? Or you? Or, hey you in the robes, you?

My real-life job constantly involves looking at what is working, what is not, and how to change it. And here’s what I’ve learned in seven years: it just doesn’t matter.

Now, I don’t mean that apathetically. I mean it philosophically – there are failures and successes, and it only matters in terms of our own tiny narratives.

As my cross-dressing rogue said the other day, and I quote him: “No one knows what they’re doing, and no one is in charge.” This is his impression after reading the Steve Jobs biography.

Most of life is just that: plain dumb luck. Period.

Now, as far as applying this to game play, here are three things that affect my style:

  1. Practice does help. I fail when I fall back on my bad habit of mashing spells. This is my worst habit by far, and one (until this post) is invisible to my GM. Mashing comes from being fatigued, spazzing out, and panicking. My other really bad habit is yes, movement. The fire tornado things have killed me on Alysrazor the three or four times I’ve been in that fight. I wish there was a practice run I could take that simulated the real instance. (Oh, wait, is that what PTRs are for?) I survived for one fight, but because of real life stuff, could not go into raids on a consistent basis every week. Which leads me to my next point:
  2. Consistency: The more I play, the better I get. When I have to skip a raid night, perhaps it’s exponentially detrimental. But I think that’s true for the whole raid team. I cannot remember many nights when everyone was “there,” the same players, the same slots filled. This cannot be ignored. I’m not sure what’s to be done about it, but I will offer my GM this sacrificial goat: if I am not the shaman you need, let me know in a conversation outside of the raid. I understand your frustration with all of us. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar, so if you need to replace me, let’s talk. 
  3. Life and Game distractions. There is an inherent guilt associated with playing and not meeting other responsibilities. Everyone in life has responsibilities, duties, and other callings. Work, school, children, spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc., all want our attention, too, but those little pixels sing quite a seductive siren song. My friends know that I love movies. I haven’t been ‘keeping up’ on new releases and obscure films as I have in the past simply because Azeroth is like making a movie on the go–the story unfolds as I play. I plan on finishing A Paladin’s Tale this weekend (no…not writer’s block exactly, just need to make some tough choices). 

Looking forward to:
Bible of Dreams added her Friday Five – a list of things she is most looking forward to in 4.3. It’s a succinct and articulate list. Manalicious added her research on mage gear and wardrobe changes. A mage is one higher level character I do not have, although it’s been on my mind, because for our Classy Draenei achievement for the guild, I’ve given them a hunter, and am currently working on a warrior. Perhaps our GO human mage will go draenei mage just for a day, twenty bucks be damned. Doubtful, so I guess I’d better roll another draenei mage because little gnome-chica mage Heartychoke with the green hair may have to go in for some plastic surgery.

Or, just wait for transmog. Patience, little shaman, patience.

Theme Song: Golden Years/David Bowie (back when there was no shame in lip syncing)