Category Archives: Mataoka: most beautiful shaman ever


Man-oh-man there is NOTHING like a new weapon to make me excited about Mataoka again! I have four minutes to write this – but just wanted to get this mental sticky note down before I fly out the door — big guild did 25 man again, and yes, my DPS was for sh*t, but you know what – as always, I listen to directions, and do what I can, and listen to tips from others who have more experience than I – (thanks,  Turk!). The thing about any class is they all take a lot of care and practice — I know this, and but sometimes banging one’s head against a wall doesn’t help–only end up with a big bump. I am so grateful for the philosophy and patience of my GM/RL and my big guild–more than I can write here. If not for them, I wouldn’t be able to have the opportunity to go to normal current content, and have the chance to upgrade gear and weapons–this in turn makes me want to practice more, do better, and contribute more. 

I know a dagger isn’t the weapon of choice for enhancement shammies (I do know a few things about my favorite class after all), but still it was quite an upgrade for the time being:
And I have new gear, and I got a new healing shield for restoration!!! Which, when I think about it, if moving/casting is ‘going away’ restoration shammy may be the best bet…
Still have lots of gems, reforging, and enchanting to do – no worries. When I get back from work. 

Series: I am a…shaman

Earlier this week while perusing one of my favorite sites, the National Geographic site, I came across this amazing pictorial of real life shamans.

Shamans are in the unique position of healers, spiritual leaders, and mastering the elements of air, water, fire, and earth in ways no other healer or force of nature can yield. Many have said that enhancement shamans are the class to play now, or at least coming into their own. This news gives me a mixed bag of feelings about my true-blue class: vindication, satisfaction, and yes, even a bit of ‘the blues…’ I feel I should be coming into my own now with this ‘main,’ and yet—yet in some ways I am stalled. Like many life journeys, mastering one’s destiny is a work in progress. We learn lessons repeatedly, no mater how intelligent, no matter our levels of common sense. But one thing I am reminding myself of, because hard-won experience does provide an incredible buff, is the yin/yang of balance. For every minor funk or obstacle, there is the boomerang effect of hope circling back.

I’d love to complete this post by writing the spell rotation for restoration or enhancement specs. I’d love to showcase the talents the lovely Mataoka plays with, but “she’s” in deep meditation now, on top of the mountain, and feels that any advice or guidance she would offer is as dried up as an incense stick burnt to the wooden staff. So no advice on playing here, or what totem to drop when. All in good time, all in good time.

However we players may be feeling or responding to the current state of affairs in Azeorth, consider tying quick prayer rag on a mother tree, and let your prayers and hopes brighten the world.


Unsung Heroes (or the Shaman Blues)

Mataoka surveys the lay of the land…and finds it all uphill.

The patch has been live almost a week now. Most of my writer/blogger cohort have weighed in on the changes, the delights, happy surprises, and the not-so-good ones, and being the Johnny-Come-Lately I am, here are a few of my thoughts, too. I may say what you expect, and I may not.

Working on my new “concrete/sequential” self, try to go in some sort of order.

One’s “Main”:

I never really understood this fully, but now I do, at least a bit more. For those of you who have been playing since the beginning or near beginning of the game, you have a very different sense of avatarial identity. You have “mains.” Being oblivious to this, not only did I level Mataoka as an enhancement shaman blithely and with a heavy dose of “noob-norance,” I started many other characters as I sunk deeper into time in Azeroth. That first real character went from zero to hero (aka Level 80) in four months. And that whole time, I really learned nothing, and the next two years have been spent learning and unlearning what I do or don’t know.

I did not understand the traditional healer/tank dynamic duo. I did not understand the “end game” objectives. I did not understand that battlegrounds can be serious business. I did not understand servers, or sides, or gear scores. It took almost two full years before I really absorbed what Elitist Jerks was trying to tell me, and rotations, and stats. I am no where near a theorycrafter, but now I can at least balance the character’s statistical checking account, and put a few coins of gold in a guild bank for a rainy day.

And for my shaman, it is a rainy day.

I know–the changes are good. I know. I know I will learn to get back on the metaphorical horse again, but I am feeling what so many players have felt in the past over changes, and I realize these emotions are purely that – emotions. The developers at Blizzard were not trying to personally insult me, or anyone else who plays an enhancement shaman (the dedicated few of us — warlocks in trouble? Don’t believe it. They were just lying low until their big debut: The numbers may have been there that the warlock population was low, but damn, enhancement shamans felt more rare than Westfall chicken’s teeth).

I looked over her numbers, and over 3K of agility was wiped out in one fell swoop. The action bar I had carefully memorized like piano keys were wonky- the sharps and the flats ran off with the hammers and strings.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

And while Mataoka is struggling with jealousy over her sisters’ charming and delightful new spells–Murder of Crows for Haanta, and ravens for Zeptepi (see a theme here?), and gorgeous, rich spells for Kellda the Warlock, amazing animal forms for Momokawa the Druid, and oh – mages. Ceniza is laughing all the way to the guild bank in delight over her many options of spells and mischief-making abilities. Rogues can pick-pocket not only loose change, but fun spells, too. Everyone seems to be laughing and rejoicing at the party, except for Mataoka, and…Luperci. To me, the shamans and the paladins are going to be the ones who clean up the mess, throw out the empty beer bottles, sweep up the ashes and cigarette butts and rats-who-look-like cats.

Being a shaman is serious business.

But then again, it always was. Shamans are the go-to class after a raid group has filled the top rogue spot and the top caster spot, the second-class citizens, an afterthought it seems. For those of you who play shamans, you may disagree with me, and howl in indignation, but I only say this from my original perspective: I started a shaman because someone suggested it to me who knows me better than anyone, and it was a perfect fit. And, I have no regrets. But all the other classes, save perhaps protection paladins, got some really fun stuff, and they always do. And dammit, I want some fun, too! I don’t mind the change in the totems, but now I’m so worried about what and where they are, and how much they’re helping or hurting, I can’t seem to focus on much else. Couldn’t the totems still come out in powerful groups? (Guess I have to make a macro now to compensate…) Couldn’t I fight in my ghost wolf form? Couldn’t I hit a spell and draw down the elements from the earth and sky instead of a “plonk/thud” sound? Blizzard: why, why oh why can’t shamans have cool tricks, too? And gear?! Don’t get me started. I’m sorry, but most mail gear is designed well for hunters, and the helms and gear for shamans are sometimes damn dorky. Can’t I haz wings too? 

(Wipes away a tiny, self-pitying tear. Again.)

Well, hell. Now what?

This heartened me this morning: —hey, maybe my missing mojo with a Thor fantasy!

And it reminded me of this:

(And I know I wasn’t the only one who was feeling a bit wonky: )

I feel like I need to make a case for myself, and any readers out there, for why they should still play a shaman, be it elemental, enhancement, or restoration.

I entered Azeroth for light and magic. Perhaps it’s gaming fatigue, and facing the harsh fact that she may not be that much fun for me right now. I’m digging deep, folks, so if you have some offering of hope for this somewhat broken shaman, feel free. I’m going to go log into my priest or mage now, while Matty goes scrub totem toilets.

Postscript: I don’t know who these folks are/were, but I am going to find out. Bet they were paladins or shamans:

Theme Song: The Biggest Lie I Ever Told/The Beautiful Girls

Update: I had this bookmarked for awhile, and though it is for restoration, it makes sense for other specs, too:

Low man on the totem pole…

Oh, man was today a long day, and I’m not sure if it was made longer or not by trying to do Dragonsoul again tonight. We ended up getting three of the nicest players I’ve met in a long time to fill in missing guildmates, and the clear was fast, but…what was not so slick was how wombly I felt the entire time. I can only describe it as going from driving with the steering wheel on the left to the right – everything seemed the same, but I kept running off into the ditch. Between my work schedule hitting the same time as the patch, there was no time for me to really look at what happened to me– and I am not ashamed to admit when young leet druid looked over my shoulder and said “Twenty K?” I felt those hot tears of frustration starting to roll. It was on Ultraxion, one where I have shone like a little superstar, but tonight, it was a implosion. The night was not a total loss, though – I did chuck myself under my chin and tell myself to put my big-girl panties on and chill. Our RL has given us a full week, and I am going to use that time to get it back together, pick up the broken pieces of my totems, and move on.

Remember when I asked what would I be taking with me? I can’t find the screen shot now, but it was a totem relic I made when I first started. It has a little tiny bird icon on it, in oranges and yellows, and if remember correctly is part of the questing chains in order to become a shaman, but maybe my memory is muddled.  But it’s greyed out now, and worthless. But it’s in my bank, and there is shall stay, until the pixel dust fades and the stars burn out.

Oh, and someone reserved the name “Mrswhitworth.”

That is so uncool.

Taking my sad-panda self to bed.

Maybe things will clear up in the morning.

Drinks with Dwarfs, revisited

Navi and JD turned my focus to a blog, Pretty Fly for a Draenei, and I thought to myself, da-ammm, because one of the very first WoW videos I ever watched was this one, and it came across in my search: Pretty Fly. Seemed heavily influenced by arcane magic and Blood Elves, but hey, pretty clever!

Now, I must admit, I looked over their blog-roll, and most of the time it does not bother me that Sugar & Blood is not represented, but Pretty, if you do see fit, you should know that the Draenei girls here in this neck of the galaxy are indeed, quite fly. 

I don’t know what it is about them- I find myself now with a shaman, priest, paladin, mage, hunter, used to have a Death Knight, another shaman, and believe me, if my warlock could turn the other tail-cheek, she would be one, too. But alas—and we all know how I feel about Draenei rogues. Come on, Blizz! I made hoof-mufflers!

In any case, recently I put together something for Mataoka to show her faction pride, but I feel that my tableaus need too much explanation at times.

Matty and the guard share a moment, pondering an uncertain future…

(IC people) Matty loves Dwarfs. She does. And they love her. Their loyalty to kith and kin are familiar to her, and though they seem gruff, it is nothing she is not used to from her grandfather’s rough but kind ways. And they offer her something she never found with the Draenei – true enjoyment in life, and courage. Though her ancestors and family have plenty of courage, and have faced many hardships, sometimes, she hates to admit, this has made them a somewhat melancholy race; Dwarfs, however, just pat her on her backside and give solid, earth-bound advice. Here she is standing with a Dun Morogh guard, with her cub, Ironforge tabard, and Tankard O’Terror, cause, you got to love a girl who can hold her brew. The leggings match the armor of the guard, and her molten niello boots remind her of the fires of Ironforge. Her shaman helm reminds her of the connection in the elemental powers she and the Dwarfs share, that although others understand these powers, too, to her, the Dwarfs understand the powers of a warm hearth, a cold brew, and breath of spoken truth, and keeping one’s feet on the ground is all the fire, water, air, and earth one needs to do magic.

So, Pretty, Draynee, thank you for your fun blog on ‘dressing up Draeneis’ – you know you have a fan in me.

Postscript Not shown with Brewfest Ram

The Best Idea Ever. Oh, and another thing.

So tonight while enjoying a delicious hand-crafted dark brew, was talking with cross-dressing rogue and younger, nicer cub, about villains and lore, and how with Deathwing, it was hard to connect to his “humanity” or empathize with him, but boy oh boy, I sure did have empathy by the truckload for Staghelm and Arthas. Heck, even the Dark Lady brings out the tissue box for me. Cross-dressing rogue said something about his being on some higher-level quest, and didn’t really get what was going on, and then while leveling his hunter, did a quest at the was the prelude to the higher one, and got to follow the rest of the story.

Here is the idea, sparked of conversation and malt:

What if…what if...when you were on a quest, there was a lore guide, like a dungeon guide, where you get click on links in the quest, and see what other lore/quests are connected to that one? There are so many amazing and wonderful stories in Azeroth, but they have no audience, because most players are too busy to take the time to research lore or, heaven forbid, like me, read a novel. Speaking for myself, there is so much to the lore I have no breadth or depth of understanding except at a cursory, shaky framework level. If I could click a link and get a small exposition of the lore and is key players, that would be shokewl! Think of it as a ‘connect-the-lore-link” if you will.

In other news: Matty got her awesomesauce ax on Wednesday night! A big thank you to the guildmates who showed up, pitched in, and helped us quickly clear–I knew that axe was waiting for me that night! Maybe next Wednesday its twin will show up…here’s hoping!

Girls Who Love Gear Club


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)

Just what I needed…

In my character development, (boy, that’s a loaded word, “development,” – sounds like I actually had a plan or something), …

In my character development of Mataoka, there has been something missing. In the role playing conversations, many have left her, and she found herself in that place that all adults do at one point, where since coming of age, her friends, family, and acquaintances splintered off on their own journeys. As the writer, or rather just an observer of this character, and her faithful scribe, I often felt some melancholy for her. It’s a difficult adjustment into maturity to simply like being in one’s own head, and enjoy one’s own company. This Maslow’s hierarchy of self-actualization is a boon for most of us, and Mataoka’s story holds no exception.

In other words — she is alone.

Cyrme posed the question after a terrible vandalizing incident in her virtual world what things would you “take” or be most upset about losing. I have thought about this for many days, and always kept circling back to the same answer, that the intangibles would be the most devastating to replace. Perhaps this is why we fear aging so much, losing our physical and mental acuity. We don’t want to miss what we’re missing.

The tangible objects are just those, what can be held:

There is a letter.

There is a ring.

And there is a dress.

They all have a story, and if they went up in smoke tomorrow, it would only create energy.

But these things I cannot replace:

Around Mataoka’s neck, she wears a silver key, and a tiny charm, a phial, with a few of her own tears inside. These tears were collected from surprise happiness, never sorrow. 

If you want to know why she cried, read this, please: The Shaman’s Horse

Thank you Tome and Navi. With all my heart. You make it bigger, and make me better every day.

Fresh-squeezed mana. With pulp.

Lizzy: is it possible to, well, um…how do I become a better shaman healer? Good elves are dying, and I can’t hit those buttons any faster–I want to make it rain! Rain NOW! (This is best said in an Arnold-voice.) “Mar-reeAH, get me da doilet pappeer, NOW!” Okay. That was inpsired by Amateur’s imitation, and I can’t quite pull it off.

But I need help. And not just with my Austrian accent.

I switched up some talents, moved some things around, and what I want to do it make stuff go faster. I feel like I’m using Coumadin when I should be using a beta-blocker. What’s a doc to do? So, if you have a moment, and want to look me over in the Armory and tell me what’s what, or if there is any way I can cast Healing Rain faster, or other healing spells faster, I’m all horns and ears.

In the meantime, I cleaned out bags, banks, and storage closets, organized, had a yard sale, and came up with this transmog ensemble:

May have found the look that the Kirin Tor tabard can work with…at least for 21,000 more rep points…

 I’m going to Ask Mr. Robot, too, and check you out. Yup. That’s what I do. Imitate.