One dork move I’ve done repeatedly is forget to put in my level 100 talent when I hit 100: the greater sin, however, is forgetting to do some actually research and understand what they do, instead just what looks pretty. I confess: I do not get tool tips, and that is a huge handicap. I have not ‘cracked the code’ of what tool tips really mean: for my dumb head, I wish they just said what they did clearly:
Elemental Fusion: makes more lightning, axes sharper, good for “cleave” whatever the hell that is. I mean, I know cleave means cut down the middle…but..,
In PvP, a cleave is any team with 2 similar DPS, aka 2 melee, 2 caster is a wizard cleave, beastcleave is a cleave because of the double pet summon from hunters and enhancement shamans. Another example of a cleave could be HolyPaladin/ArmsWarrior/DeathKnight as a melee cleave (TSG), or Mage/Warlock/Shaman as a wizard cleave (MLS).
In PvE, cleaves are single target abilities that can hit a 2nd target. A cleave fight would be a fight in which classes can hit 2 targets, usually with a shared HP pool, to increase their dps. Cleaves can be things like Warlocks multidotting, rogues bladeflurry, DKs pestilence, etc. A cleave is usually 2 targets, can be 3 but around 4-5+ its just AoE
Storm Elemental Totem: How come the Tauren gets the cool looking one?! WHAT THE HELL?! (See Youtube video link below.) Oh, yea, it does stuff, but takes the place of Fire dude.Wish I could have them ALL out: Fire, Earth, and Air – maybe next time.
I don’t care if the expert says it’s for AOE: it is so much fun to do single target goodness with it.
Go to about 4:55 to see the Liquid Magma talent:
Okay, then –there’s some actual real information for ya. Don’t say I never did anything for you, dear readers.
Now many of you are experiencing a snow day. I pray you have Internet, power, candles, food, blankets, and a good book to read that doesn’t require batteries. Here are your level 100 talents for a snow day:
PS Your snow days mean I can’t log in without being in a server queue.
Just why do some players raise so many alts? I don’t know. I admire those those play one or two classes and thoroughly understand those said classes, including when change happens how to manage and adjust. In my experience, I never quite allow myself to understand and thoroughly study all the classes/specializations I play, but I do all right. (I must confess I get a little miffed when a player tells me things about Mataoka–almost five years and counting, she’s my girl, so back off, Jack.)
This post is for me, all for me, a simple place, where I can click and look up my stats for the girls quickly. If you find it useful, too, great.
Not even going to touch Monk healing, Warrior-ing or Rogues today. Or Death Knights. I miss my monk, Sajja, very much, and Heartichoke is lonesome, as gnomes often are. In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to get what these girls need, save some gems and enchants, and stash away gold for all those repair bills. They’re going to need it.
I am feeling undue guilt over being bored–I think some folks thought I was putting down garrisons or new content. That’s not what I was trying to say–I was contemplating those moments when we are engaged in any activity and find it lacking. The arrogance of allowing oneself to feel bored–the audacity–mea culpa. The entire universe is laid at my hooves and I want variety? Tsk.
The thing is I don’t want more–I want to enjoy and understand what’s there. And in terms of Azeroth, I’m not there yet. But, the developers and designers seem to be preparing for more, so here it is. The same is true in my real life. My real, messy, unorganized, blurry life. Time to understand what’s the task in front of my nose often doesn’t leave room to step around and look at the big picture. But, c’est la guerre.
And honestly: boredom is usually just a mask for loneliness –when we are in our OWN heads and come up short for company.
What’s a girl to do? To the transmogifier, of course!
Mataoka would like to file a police report on harassment in her own garrison. First, the little pod-thingies with teeth (“Beware of plants with eyes indeed…WATCH OUT FOR THE TEETH!”), and next, some creeper named Segumi who got up all in her personal space. Back off, Jack.
Mataoka could feel his hot, fishy panda breath down her shoulder gear, and she was thoroughly creeped out. Disgusting. She moved to the side because he would not budge, giving her some flimsy excuse about helping her with her ‘pole casting.’ She had few options available: move away from him, or move away from him. Which begs the question: not every soul in our garrisons are of our choosing. Sure, a little reverse sexism can be fun–‘Hey Mr. NightElf Stablehand…can you help me um, heal this pet?‘ or trying to manipulate the bankers: ‘Gee, you look swell today Karl, any gold in
that guild bank? No, lost it all on insider trading fraud? Oh well.’ — but some of those NPCs are well, downright strange. If only there was a counselor or mental health services, or gee, even good old-fashioned stocks to have someone cool their jets. I bet Justin Timberland would build some for Mataoka: he has kind of thing for her, in a healthy, lumberjack kind of way.
In any case, most of the garrison members are becoming like family. I am a little concerned that the miners are trying to unionize, and the saws at the lumber mill aren’t properly equipped with safety plexiglass, and the Lumberfall Inn didn’t pass its last health inspection…but other than that, nothing that can’t be solved. And the next time Segumi tries to get a bit too close, Mataoka will put on her spider-dress and poke him right in the face:
And this is kind of embarrassing: someone visited my blog while looking for solid information on tanks versus talbuks, and all I gave them was silliness:
So the proving grounds. All they have proven to me is how pissed off I can get. I was grousing the other day to my practical friend about how frustrated I was when, after Zeptepi reached Level 100, I could not, COULD NOT, get past Bronze healing. My friend listened to me and then linked his Gold Proving Grounds achievement.
The little warlock cookie crumbled, and there were other signs that the scenario was buggy for Zeptepi. Also, I am a terrible shaman healer and had no trouble with DPS/Healing for Mataoka, and in general am a better healer on Zeptepi and Momokawa. I even put in a ticket, and got the usual reply. “Thanks for playing! Come again!’ Pfft.
I finally, through sheer will and nerd-rage, completed Bronze. I’ll get to Silver soon. To be clear: I have no issue with players having to perform this minor gate-keeping to do heroics, but I do have a HUGE issue with Blizzard not ensuring that it’s working right and makes sense. Some of the players I’ve seen in Heroics act like they’ve never played the game before. How about a dialogue tutorial or suggestion voice over for players? Whatever Blizzard. Just make sure it works, mkay?
We were also discussing how cool it would be if instead of all of our followers having all the fun, we could send our characters out on missions with them. This reminded me of when I use a Crock-Pot on the rare occasions I cook. The problem with crock-pots is the smell of whatever you’re cooking lingers in the house all day long, and if you have kind of a picky eaters like I do in the house, they hate to smell what they are going to eat for too long. Even getting them to eat leftovers is a challenge. So, instead of facing this challenge, like I would do in Proving Grounds, I do the smart thing: I don’t cook anymore. This is something I may have to try, though. Wait till everyone is out of the house so they don’t smell it cooking all day. To me, that’s half the fun is the anticipation of something delicious to eat. But–you gotta admit–it would be pretty nice to set a character out there in the world, with her special skills, and team up with followers, wake up to delicious loot and gold…
Don’t Curse the Darkness
Is this what that means?
In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year, or the longest night, depending on your crepuscular nature. Turns out, it’s going to be the LONGEST NIGHT IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET. So for my friends in Australia/New Zealand, enjoy your light. And warmth. But I find no small amount of schadenfreudewhen I realize there are silly people in New Zealand, too. It’s going to be a long night, but at least I’m not stuck in a car. But hey, the car was in New Zealand, so that would have balanced it out.
I worked hard to get Abu’gar — I mistakenly believed a fishing troll would be a great follower for my fishing shack. Nope. Got trolled.
Warning: If you haven’t gotten a character to Level 100 in Warlords of Draenor, stop reading.
By Mataoka the Shaman
-For a paladin-
The Light, and truth, equally burns.
Mataoka’s brother mused, “Ah, women – they never get along,” but she had known plenty of men who engaged in turf wars. This was not a case of simple female pride—something was very off about Yrel. Jealousies tamped down her instincts, however, dismissing simple signs and easy actions. She should have seen all coming, but her vision turned greasy and foul. She kept any further complaints about the new paladin “savior” to herself after his dismissal.
Jealousy—there is the strangest of emotions. It serves no purpose, and causes only damage. It is not the hate that burns villages, nor the love that creates life: jealousy eats and is never satisfied, destroys and leaves facades, loves fiercely but cannot create more.
In the distant past, an ancestry, Yrel’s branch grew on the family tree, a broken line, perhaps a cousin. Mataoka’s mother told tales of a great heroine who fought side by side with the bravest of leaders of Draenor: Velen, Nobundo, and Maraad. Mataoka imagined herself fighting by Maraad’s side, saving the Draenei, changing the course of loss and blood. She had personally met the Prophet many times, and felt his blessing upon her brow, though her heart and shamanistic rituals stood loyal to Nobundo most of all. Mataoka tolerated the Light because it was her people’s way, just as they tolerated her bonds with the elements.
To have a chance to save Draenor, to show herself worthy, to honor her mentor Nobundo—the redemption and glory! And just as in her dreams, here she was as an equal to Maraad, helping him find his way anew.
And when it began, Mataoka was ready.
The smell of burnt oil and sick permeated the air. The ground flowed with fel vomit, waste products, toxic and slow burning.
She attacked with Khadgar, Maraad, and Thrall before dawn, her spirit wolves at her side, more ferocious than ever, as if some ancient prey taunted them – they sought revenge like one and all – the time’s heat melted all boundaries between past and present, and in the razor’s edge of now, reclamation was theirs for the taking.
Everyone sought a second chance, it seemed.
And there in rags, in a cave, standing suspiciously over a dead orc warlock, whimpered Yrel. Her horns were unlike any set Mataoka had ever seen—thick, large, curved around her ears and chin. Through the generations why had no other Draenei received these horns? The singularity, the otherness made her suspicious. Mataoka defiled her true nature, before the past became the now, by changing her skin from lavender to blue to please her mother, to be more of a proper “Draenei.” To show the Prophet her birthright and allegiance. And here was Yrel with skin the color of an Azuremystian field, just as Mataoka once had.
Yrel’s manner seemed coy: “Oh, someone else is here!” Mataoka wondered why she was hovering over the dead orc…was she waiting a rescue? And then to say she was fine on her own, and sent Mataoka on her next mission. She didn’t even recognize a fellow Draenei! Yrel took charge immediately: ordered Mataoka to go with her to find her sister Samaara– including no recognition by any of the Draenei. Yrel kept off-handedly referring to her as “hero,” or “champion.” Yrel’s lack of acknowledgment gnawed on Mataoka. And the bones snapped, and splintered. And stuck.
Trapped in this new time, Mataoka couldn’t easily go back to Stormwind, or Azuremyst, though the songs in the trees and on the wind sounded just like home, it played false. She wondered if others heard the songs too, or did only she hear the songs of the past, clear as cathedral bells?
And the drumbeat of more orcs.
Mataoka’s blades dulled, and her eyes faded. Her heart heavy with envy, and she grew fatigued. But though the world seemed a dream, and its inhabitants all ghosts, they would kill her if she let down her guard. The monsters proved satisfyingly easy to slaughter, but the real monster grew inside.
Every third step, she would see Yrel again: her armor improved, her status growing. She stood next to Maraad and the Prophet as a peer, taller than the others, again, in a swamp acting shy around the Prophet, “Oh, I am not ready to lead soldiers!” and the next moment ordering battle-hardened warriors as if she was born to it.
And those horns.
Yrel never called her by name, though Khadgar did, and sometimes even the Prophet. To Yrel, she was just another ‘hero,’ said with the commonality of Mataoka’s origins: low and common. Or at least that’s how Mataoka heard her.
“Many depend on you,” the Prophet said.
“Many have always depended on me,” she thought, “and I have never let them down. Where was this ‘savior’ at those times?”
Yrel’s accent was Draenei, but off somewhat. Mataoka couldn’t place it. It had a particular pitch that seemed sweet, but the stinger was still in the honey.
She said, “Prophet Velen is a great teacher, but he’s too serious sometimes! I would much rather live out the holy principles than read about them in a book, don’t you agree?”
“No, I don’t agree,” thought Mataoka.
Yrel gossiped about Maraad, too; subtle things, little criticisms, and Mataoka knew no purpose for this ingratiating babble. She was not impressed, it did nothing to placate the hate, nor did it make her feel closer to Yrel. Who the Sargerei did this woman think she was?
And those Sargerei; oh how Mataoka envied them most of all, and felt the most shame for this. The magic and power the netherbinders wielded, consuming all with no mercy. Gul’dan’s black grip held all the power. They were Draenei with the powers of warlocks, the powers of Gul’dan, who surely was their destruction in this world, as he had been in all worlds. Power never lets go, and if the world has shown anything, those with the most get more. And those without simply die faster.
But she kept on.
Ner’zhul took Yrel’s sister, and on an alter of blood and bone, stole her life, her soul, and brought Yrel to her knees. If one of her sisters was on the slab, she knows she could have saved them, of this Mataoka was sure. Prophet, her sisters would never have gotten in that place to begin with! Her sister the priest, or the paladin! Ha! Mataoka would have like to seen Ner’zhul try to tie Luperci to a slab!
But her sisters followed the Light. No one ever spoke of rock and water, or fire and air. Being a shaman she was already behind the shadows, in the dusk of energy.
But the hate sank deep in the final moments, during the Prophet’s final apotheosis, he chose Yrel over her. Chose Yrel without hesitation. He placed the blessing of Light on her forehead, and her screams of protest scratched Mataoka’s scarred heart with their pitchy, fake notes.
She couldn’t respect Yrel, and she hated her, and she must know follow her. This was the only impossible thing she had ever been asked to do.
Nobundo – she would pray to Nobundo! Her father, her mentor, her guide—the one who owned all true wisdom and solace. Nobundo would guide her.
In this new land, she sought the elementals. Like her Dwarf friends in an ale house, there they were, right where they should be in Nagrand. Some things are dependable as the sun. She fought for the elementals, single-focused, determined, and felt powerful again. When Yrel couldn’t save Maraad, but seemed resigned to his fate, Mataoka hate increased. She carried with her the mark of sin from her hatred of Yrel, but she didn’t reflect, she didn’t consider, and she tried to move forward. The mark manifested itself as a dull blessing of Light on her forehead, dimmed and sick. As soon as she was finished settling the elementals, she would find a way back to the Exodar and speak with Nobundo.
In the center of the elemental circle, a young, handsome paladin Draenei stood.
And Mataoka sank.
There stood Nobundo, from the past.
Why hadn’t she considered this? All were ghosts, all were here…all were gone.
She spoke to him.
He answered he felt he was in a dream, and seem befuddled and a little scared.
There was no one now.
She wanted more than anything to go home, but there was no home.
I will tell you, dear readers and players, and all manner of man and woman, I wish I could tell you how Mataoka found her way back. I know she did, however, but as many things in life, there is no one moment where we are over our grief, unburdened by our regrets, or unchanged by love or hate. We never lose those things, hard as we try. Mataoka simply kept doing what was right, even though it was hard. Many times she faltered, and desired to join the Sargerei, or show Yrel for the fraud she may be. But then…
The moment. The moment, inauspicious and embarrassing: Mataoka realized Yrel could no more change her destiny than any mortal. Yrel didn’t see Mataoka because Mataoka was nothing to her, a shadow: the ghost was not Mataoka; the ghost was Yrel. She spoke to one and all like talking in a dream: it held no weight. Like looking at modern day Auchindoun, with the souls wandering, she was witnessing the future souls past.
Then Mataoka felt nothing but pity.
Yrel was beautiful, brave, and a holy warrior: Velen chose her, yes, but without the flesh and blood, the pumping hearts, and the unctuous, nasty part of living, there would be no redemption for any soul, living or dead. The Prophet knew this. Yrel, once and future savior would know no other path.
Mataoka went wolf form and lumbered quietly to the room of the garrison with the floor pillows, off to the side, away from the followers, workers, knights and lieutenants. No one was there. The pillows were made of the finest flaxseed linen, filled with downy feathers, washed in the clearest part of the warm oceans, smelling of salt, air, and water. Mataoka slept well and deep for the first night in weeks, and dreamed of running in the fields of Azuremyst.
 This is actual questing text during Shadow Awakens.
Did you know that in your Systems Folder, under Advanced, there is a little check button that will change your life?
Now, I’ll have to change it when I play Kellda, because I really do love the new Dwarf female models. And, of course, it’s not what the rest of the world sees. I’m trying to start a movement that no one has on the new models (except for the good ones, such as Dwarfs), and Blizzards gets a clue.
I cannot tell you how thrilled I am when Navimie sent me an e-mail telling me Sleepingfox was accepting commissions again for her perfect, adorable, and amazing chibis:
I stared at Momokawa’s for full ten minutes. The details in her shoulders, (the Mantle of the Haunted Forest may be one of my top three most-loved designs in Azeroth) her beautiful, kind face–I love it. Zeptepi’s image is from one of my favorite posts (which of course now I can’t find). It’s about love, redemption, and healing. Mataoka was tough: to show her in her healing gear, sins washed away with the power of the elements, or in her Kor’kron set, fiery and ready for retribution? At her heart, she fights with maces and axes, and will stand hoof-to-toe with anyone who hurts her or her family. Haanta is shown with her first love, Sweater the Bear. Sweater is enjoying his retirement, eating honeycomb and grubs, and getting his belly rubbed.
Now, I realize Sleepingfox has been doing this for awhile. She is incredibly talented, of that there is no doubt. I submit this for consideration: when you are creating art for clients there is another level of professionalism and talent that must be recognized. It’s not easy to please others. To me, she is the consummate artist: using her talents to bring joy to others, too, and understanding their vision while incorporating her own interpretation. Well done, very, very well done.
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.
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.