Saturday, December 21, 2013

Your Song

Doing it wrong. Or not, depending on your outlook.

So yesterday, I had a bit of an epiphany. I realised the single biggest problem Blizzard (and indeed us) has with it's notion of 'Community': that word that's been thrown about quite a lot since Warlords. You know, the shining example of the people working together to create something wonderful and inspiring that if you scratch or push in certain places will collapse or crumble to reveal a hotbed of sething resentment, unhappiness or self-entitlement? The answer to what the issue has become really is so simple I'm amazed I never worked it out to begin with.

I'm the problem.

Yup, little old me, over here in front of a computer in windy, rainswept South East Essex.

There's a quote for everything. FACT.

Now, the more astute amongst you are now already thinking 'well, if you're the problem Godmother why doesn't Blizzard ban you from the game then?' That's a very good question, actually, because this would have two very useful upshots: it would make me seen to be dealt with, and you'd all then know the problem was solved... ah, but you see, it's not *actually* that easy to make things instantly better, or else Blizzard would have done that years ago. The bigger problem comes with the fact that, at this moment, I'm not actually causing a problem, now am I? I'm just quietly pottering away, bothering nobody. Yesterday however.... oooh, well that's tricky.

The thing about being able to blame someone for something requires stuff called evidence. Blizzard have become smart this year and admitted that they're using algorithms to track player behaviour, which is interesting for two separate reasons: it catches out the players who are clueless to this, but it also allows those that understand they're being watched to react in different ways. That's the problem when you're required to present a measure of fairness in your arbitration: you have to be able to consider both sides of the discussion. Anyway, before I go find a soapbox to stand on, I think you'll find I've detracted slightly from blaming me for all of Blizzard's issues. Sorry about that.

The problem with evidence then becomes accuracy. My husband was able to invalidate a parking notice that he'd got whilst borrowing my car last week (in my name as I'm the car's registered owner) by proving he wasn't illegally parked, despite the Parking Notice stating otherwise. For this he used the technical specs of my car, a tape measure, and Google Earth. His argument was compelling enough that, had the dispute gone to Court, he could have proved the Council was incorrect in its assertion he was parked where he was (Taxi Rank) when in fact he was well away in a designated space. Most people would have paid the fine I suspect, but then principle comes into play: believing you are right is one thing, but proving that can be very difficult indeed without facts. And that's the massive grey area I'm going to go stand in (which is the problem Blizzard often has) where you can't touch me, regardless of what I did either yesterday, today or tomorrow.

This doesn't make me a bad person, it just makes me aware that there are rules you can follow, and those you can bend. The problem then comes how Blizzard choose to deal with it.

Is it too much to ask for a quiet life? With added Dwarves?

This Community is made up of individuals. Each one has their own agenda, their own outlooks and their own motivations. Binding them together with common goals is all well and good until someone disagrees on a point of principle: what is a joke, what is important, whose opinion matters, politics, religion, sexual orientation... and all of that has the ability to fluctuate and adapt on a daily basis. I have opinions on many of those points, and as it happens some of those are in flux right now. I am quite susceptible in at least one of those major groups, and that means I may NOT react in the manner you expect would be 'normal.' Gosh yes, I might react to stuff unexpectedly, without a rational explanation. Or I may have a completely sensible and reasonable explanation and simply choose not to share it with the group. You won't know UNLESS YOU ASK ME or I CHOOSE TO TELL YOU, but this is a game. It doesn't affect reality, right up until it moves out of the Client and suddenly appears to gain a significance all of it's own in the real world. And you see, Blizzard can only police the bit of the game they actually own.

And this is why I'm still the problem, and I won't go away. Blizzard can't ban me from outside the game, coz that's real life, and they have no jurisdiction here. They can chose to ignore me, and not include me, but they can't make me go quiet. They can just hope I get bored and wander off, but the problem is I still love their game, and that means I'm a potential marketing opportunity. I also make them money, you know buying all those Vanity Pets and Mounts and the Collector's Editions of the game, so they don't want to exclude me. The upshot of all this is that I'll always be Blizzard's problem, and the Community's, for as long as I choose to be involved, until I do something so bad that it either gets me banned or arrested in Real Life.

However, being the mean, sly and undoubtedly brilliant criminal mastermind that I am, you won't catch me that easily...

Bollocks. Well, that's torn it.

This is probably the biggest issue the gaming 'community' needs to deal with, as indeed does everyone else who spends time online. Me, you, and every other person who may on any given day, for a quite unique and separate set of reasons decide they're not happy, and react, often in a completely different matter to how you would if standing in front of a real person. Anonymity breeds contempt, confidence, and all points in between. Lines get crossed, sensibilities are squashed, people are offended. Life inevitably goes on, and because most people are capable, rational adults you simply chalk down the issues to experience and move on. However, for our kids, who are growing up in a world where for many the Net is a dangerously large component of their lives... this is a time bomb. That's why I'm the problem in Blizzard's community: I won't let other people get away with treating me like dirt because they don't know me. I will react and police and stand up for my place here, and I will remember those who think that they can act as they please here without consequence. This is a part of not just my future, but my children's, and as a result, it's my business to be involved.

There are always consequences, by the way. Karma's really going to get you. It always does.

I continue to understand I'm a problem because when I stand by a principle, or an understanding I'm confident in, there's a good chance I'm going to upset someone. I'm not a great one with words and immediacy, that's why my Podcast is scripted. In the heat of the moment, this year, people have been offended by me, and on reflection this has often been for a very good reason. I choose to deliberately remember these moments and then, over time I consider if I could have done things better. Often I think I could, but an apology at that point is only really of value if the person cares... and you never know. Not unless you take the time to get to know people first, and for many in this Community, those relationships deliberately only go so far. This narrow-mindedness doesn't extend to younger generations: the world is their oyster, everyone's a potential friend. That's the way it should be too, not restricting yourself to a narrow-minded outlook. Knowing everyone really well also has disadvantages, after all. Being part of an online 'family' is, by it's very definition, going to require some work to maintain harmony. Family has a habit of not behaving too.

Selling the dysfunctional dream since 1987

The only way to ensure no-one gets hurt is, of course, to not play.

To those people I've upset this year: you know who you are, and I doubt you're even here, because that is the nature of life and the worryingly instantaneous nature of current communication. I'm sorry you didn't like what I saw, or concluded by my PC, or decided to talk about or comment on, but I did all of those things for very good reasons. I wasn't deliberately aiming to offend or upset anyone, I certainly wasn't putting words in anyone's mouths, forgetting kindness that had been done or deciding people were worthy of ridicule. The fact I retain all this information is only my problem to deal with, but everyone's to consider. The Community's diversity will only increase in the coming months as more new people buy the game cheap and start playing (yes it is happening) and how you welcome newcomers, if at all, is absolutely vital. The ruling Houses of Power in this Community know who they are, and have an important part to play in maintaining the sanctity of the entire structure. I hope that responsibility continues to be taken seriously for many years to come.

As long as you keep me chained up here in the basement, you're golden.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Alternative Chat :: SEASONAL SPECIAL

It's that time of the year, and as a result we've decided to take a look at the last twelve months of Blogging, and then to stare over the tops of our glasses towards what is officially being trailed as the Year of Faff. We present for your Seasonal Listening pleasure, the Alternative Chat Seasonal Special.

This week, I will be mostly chatting about:
  • The Year in Chat.
  • How I've become a better person thanks to you guys.
  • What posts worked well in context.
  • Where I failed you and myself.
  • Looking forward to what is to come.
  • Thanking you all for being awesome.
  • 2014 is the YEAR OF FAFF.

Any thoughts or comments, or ideas for which cheesy 1980's synth pop standard Mr Alt can destroy for a future Podcast please poke:

alternativegodmother (all one word) AT gmail DOT com



There will be some notes, but not right now.


Alternative Chat will now take a two week break for the Holidays, and will return on January 3rd.  Look out for a special Festive Greeting on the Blog on December 25th :D

Nothing 'bout Me

Some of you will have come here looking for an article that no longer exists. That's because, for the first time today I deleted a Blog Post following a complaint.

When I wrote the post it was for no other reason than observation on a series of events that happened yesterday. The complaint centred around the assertion that I had incorrectly represented a position. I was, and I still am of the opinion I was simply reporting what I saw, and that I made no effort or deliberate intent to represent anything in any way other than the manner in which it was presented to me via Social Media.

However, because I now understand via this complaint the wider context of the situation, I have taken the decision to remove the post.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

American Idiot

For me, it's the fact there's a group of around 40 horde, give or take, literally camping the greench and AoE spamming the treats and metzen preventing any alliance from completing their daily. I don't mind some PvP action on a PvP server, but this is ridiculous.

Holiday events tend to be quite active the first couple days, but this one lasts for 2 1/2 weeks, and you can certainly complete most of these things throughout the event and have plenty of time to grab all the achievements/complete all the quests without needing to do everything the first day.

You know, normally I'd not get involved in this kind of argument, but there are a couple of points that should be made, because despite Blizzard's assertions, you increasingly can't get what you want done during certain Festivals. It's not simply the issue of individual stupid (and because Green Day didn't do a song called European Idiot I apologise to my US bretheren for the title, but I know the NPC camping isn't just going on on this side of the pond.) This is far more to do with the ridiculous nature of the RNG, and the inconsistency of Seasonal 'rewards', because when you design stuff ad hoc over the years there are ultimately shortfalls. This is by far the most compelling reason to completely upgrade Seasonal Festivals, and that it should be applied to The Timeless Isle as a matter of principle.

You see, if you work hard enough, you shouldn't have to rely on the RNG for your Battle Pet drops.

There's an achievement on the Timeless Isle for looting everything the place has to offer: Going to Need a Bigger Bag. Buying Battle Pets for this from the AH won't affect your totals, you'll need to actually win and loot every item, and that requires a number of pets whose drop rate, frankly, is stupidly low, or the mobs you need to kill to obtain them are particularly unfair in their drops. I've read of numerous people wringing their hands trying to obtain these, and I think it's high time they were made a) untradeable so they can't be sold on the AH and b) available for coins on the Island so that people who want to fight with them or collect them can do so. I know a lot of people really don't care about the achievement but simply want the pets.

The same really should be true for the Winter Veil pets. Other Festivals allow us to collect tokens to exchange for them, and frankly this should be the way for EVERY event. I don't have a problem with not making these saleable either, because I find it quite depressing that you'll see a bazillion Sinister Squashlings for sale because they drop far too frequently but people can make a killing selling Lumpy for 10k. In fact, if Blizzard could see their way clear to sorting out drop rates for a lot of pets, especially those that they've decided to have drop from Instances, that would probably be a Good Idea (TM) Yeah, I know, it's very unlikely to happen because these kind of things aren't normally fiddled with or are considered as low priority but really THIS IS STUPID.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going back to bed, and later on I will run eight alts through the same stupid daily quest in the vain hope the RNG will gift me with a Rotten Helper, and I can help supply Guildies with the Lumpy that has, for many of them failed to drop since it's introduction.

There ARE better ways, and the game ALREADY USES THEM. Please introduce more consistency.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Places and Spaces

This, I'm sorry, I really can't help you with... ^^

Right then, as it is the Season Of Festive Doobrey, I am going to make an offer to you good people you might not want to refuse. I cannot at this point offer you an answer to the problems in your head (heck I'm having enough trouble just sorting myself out) or indeed lend you that tenner you need for a Lottery ticket... however, what I can do is offer to help you make your website look a little smarter. For the next 24 hours I am opening my doors to the Alt: ernative Chat Design Department and offering my Legendary Services to anyone who wants them. Yes, there's a bit of spare cash left over in the yearly budget, so you have the chance to get me to design stuff for you.

Let's make sure you know *exactly* what you're letting yourself in for, shall we?

I made this. Go visit his website :D

So, in this graphic, THE LOVELY RED-HATTED ROGUE ARTWORK ISN'T MINE. Let's be very clear about this, what I did was take said Rogue and stuck her with some graphics. I don't draw characters, but I do letters and layouts, this is my speciality, and this is what I can offer to you in the next 24 hours. If you have a character 'picture' you'd like to incorporate into a website header, or you'd like me to take a shot at redesigning your existing site graphics, I am here to help. So, what do you need to do if you want to take advantage of this offer? You need to send an e-mail to the following address:

Use the title 'Make Me Web Graphics' so I know what you're after and get yourself booked in a queue: I'll be taking submissions up until 12pm GMT on Thursday, December 19th. Assuming I don't get utterly inundated, you *may* even get your graphics for Christmas (though I'm not promising anything concrete) and the cost for this is nothing. Zip. NADA.

Consider this as just another way of me saying 'thank you' for sticking with me this year. I look forward to seeing what I'm going to be designing in the next few days... :D

TWIWBM :: I'm Going Slightly Mad

Like I need any more of the stuff ^^

Festival Farming I AM IN YOU.

Yes, Winter Veil is here, and it transpires from my Twitter feed that the Greeeeeench this year drops not only Lumpy, but Santa's Rotten Helper. People are already telling me just how good this pet is, so of course I has to have heeem, and that means dragging anyone over 80 with a pulse to Ironforge for a daily camp and stamp at the daily (26 Valor Points HOOOOOOOOOO.) This is actually quite useful for those who can earn XP because it's more than they were making not being active, so really this ends up as a win/win situation assuming I don't lose the will to live and I can combine it with useful things like transmutes. DE-ing my Mage shoulders however due to a misclick is NOT something I wish to repeat any time soon, so hopefully Blizzard's Item Restore thingy will save too many blushes. Some days, I am afraid of my own Stupid.

The spawn point's pretty feisty for a Tuesday evening in December...

I've seen a massive amount of crap from bags since I began: the Horde got the updated Christmas Tree dagger (which by the looks of it will be an upgrade for the Rogue as it's 480) but pets have been largely non-existent. Part of me can feel a Headless Horseman's Mount Grind (TM) coming along but we'll see what happens tomorrow, half the battle today was moving everyone into place. Now that's done, I can leave people on flights and do other stuff to save time, though the trip from Orgrimmar to Alterac's a right old faff. No matter, if it gets me pets, then that's what I need.

Next time will be interesting...

Talking of pets, I spent Monday afternoon rofflestomping my way from Rank 3 to Rank 5 in the Brawler's Guild, rewarding myself with a Clock'em in the process. Things get increasingly harder from this point on it appears, but I was pretty much able to just blow every Hunter cooldown I had with a Tank pet and emerge unscathed. I'm not sure how long this technique will hold out in response to actual tactical requirement, but I will poke things again soon because MOUNT AT THE END. On that front, killing Ordos' Followers has gotten me to less than 4000 rep away from finally finding something to spend those 200,000 plus coins on. At this rate, that's actually looking like it'll end up as Mount #200: although not the Cloud Serpent I was looking for, it will do.

So there's a good chance if I get an uninterrupted biff at stuff next week I can tick Mount Parade off the yet to be actually formalised Bucket List. Then I can spend the rest of this week actually constructing a proper Bucket List and THEN start ticking things off. After all, as we have established, nothing like having a plan, and currently that exactly where I am. I only managed P with the Valor Cap last week, what I'm likely to do is max someone else this week first and then go back to her. For that, the Mage is really going to need an actual pair of shoulders...


Some days, I really am dangerous :(

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Red Shoes

Original screenie, circa sometime pre-Cataclysm.

This mount has been the subject of some discussion over the last few days. I'm with Mark on this one, these babies really need to have their AQ-only restrictions removed so that everyone can zoom around on them and people like me won't feel the need to waste our life trying to get the Blue One from Archaeology. This shared irkness of Vanilla riding restrictions started me off on a bit of a tangent: which bits of the gaming experience would I like to see changed for Warlords? Not biggies on this list, I should add, I'm not considering massive upheaval here after all. These would form part of my Quality of Life wishlist: the little things that continue to irk me that really can't be THAT difficult to change, right?

So, if we take AQ Mounts as Standard as #1, what else should be on the table?

#2: Sort Fishing Out.

No, we just don't mean the Rep ^^

There is a ridiculous amount of paraphernalia now associated with fishing. Hats, a selection of rods... and all of these take up bag space. Each of these has a different + to skill too, and frankly it's a bit dumb. I suspect this range of items won't get dealt with in the bank storage reorganisation, and I think we need a way of standardising everything in one place, so it could well be time for a Fishing 'interface' that allows you to, amongst other things, not to need to have your +skill rods in your bags when you work. In fact, if this interface listed all the +skill items you had, it would replace the simple twig and twine that appears when you fish without an equipped rod with one of the many you own in your Custom Fishing interface. That means you could own all of the rods in all of the sizes, the game would randomise the ones you used and the hats you wore, and you just got on with it.

This would also reduce instances of people doing entire LFR's with Fishing Hats on. YES IT HAPPENS.

#3: One Central Bank/Stash Per Account.

One Stash to rule them all :D

I waste inordinate amounts of time in-game swapping stuff from character to character. I am sure all this mailing slows the game down to boot, although obviously I can't prove this there is always the chance I'll send something to the wrong person and never see it again. When you've spent 20k on a recipe and you end up sending it to someone who (you think has deliberately) has made a character to almost match your name but they're one letter different... oh, not that's just perfectly normal paranoia talking. Anyway, if I had a central bank 'stash' for my account, none of this would happen. It would have solved the cross-server heirlooms issue at a stroke... infact, if they can do that now, maybe there's hope a per-account stash might not be too far off. The number of ways this would make my life easier... seriously, there's just so many, they're not funny. SORT IT OUT BLIZZARD.

#4: A Better Mogging Solution.

Yet to find a doable purple mog I like in Mail.

I love Mogging, I really do, but the biggest issue now is time, yet again. Having to farm things is great and everything, but having to do it on one character at a time when I already own things is, frankly, a bit depressing. Let's take these black trousers on P, for instance, which no longer exist in game to begin with any more, and I'd like to use them on my other Hunters. I believe the D3 Expansion will have a system which will allow you to mog any item assuming you've found it in the World (I don't mind picking everything up) and really, this ought to happen in Warcraft too: so when one person on an account discovers something, EVERYONE ELSE GETS ACCESS. Think of the bagspace we'd save as well. Oh my Word, THE BANKSPACE :O

#5: Better Item Labelling.

Yeah and more than 20 cloth per stack :P

I know I keep throwing around the 'been here for almost a decade' card with reckless abandon, but it really is becoming an issue. Remembering which raw materials match each Expansion can be hard work, and if like me you like to retain a stack of the old things it would really help if not only stuff stacked in larger piles, but you knew if it was still any use. It used to be that grey was the indicator but there are now so many things that we don't need in the world but still drop because it takes time to clean up loot tables... hey Blizzard, if you need someone to sit with the database and tick off what we don't need I'll do it, for free, because it annoys me that much now that some items exist without being required, or conversely are listed in recipes but are virtually impossible to locate. Yes I KNOW WHY YOU DID THAT INITIALLY but it's now, like six years later, and I wanna mog with these! I am aware Blizzard have flagged the 'stacking shizzle in bigger piles' issue with a slide at Blizzcon (that's progress!) but really, that's not going far enough. There's so much else you could do. Stack Ichor of Undeath to 200 like you do with all the other Elemental shizzle and I WILL love you long time. No, really.

You will no doubt have your own (to the comments with you!) but those are the five that bother me the most. I'm pretty easily pleased, I think... I just wonder how much of what I'd like see changed will come to pass as a feasible reality. I keep hoping I'll not have long to wait to find out...

Must be Santa

Ho, ho, ho. Repeat to fade.

If it's Winter Veil in Azeroth, there is no escaping the obvious. The end of the year is closing in fast, which means it is probably time to do a post of general thanks... and as 2013 has been something rather special indeed, I now ask for a moment of indulgence. It's okay, I won't be long.

This really has been a rather revelatory year all round.

I'd be lying if I said the last twelve months haven't been some of the best I've ever experienced on the planet: I feel as if I have really found myself, and finally grasped that my love of writing covers all the words, and not just the ones associated with blogging. As a result I'm very close to being in the position of having a proper novel ready to share with the World, and I hope next year to 'serialise' what I've done on a website near here before going down the self-publishing route on Amazon. I'll warn you now folks, it is going to raise a few eyebrows. However, I've always liked to play things fast and loose where I can... so don't say I didn't warn you. I'm working on the details now, more when I'm ready to go.

However, I most certainly wouldn't be where I am without you guys, without your continued enthusiasm for my daily input via Twitter or the comments you provide: I would have no idea if I was any good to begin with. When a writer says they take every comment to heart, be they good or bad, they're not joking. Feedback is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER, and you've provided so much this year that I can confidently say that your voice has been of vital importance in my evolution as a writer. the problem comes with singling people out for particular praise, because I really don't want to miss anyone out and I'm absolutely rubbish at making speeches. So, I will simply say the following:

That includes Retweets as well, by the way :D

I read every single comment: I replied to as many as I could, I never deleted one, and every piece of bad or good criticism has been considered. I've had some cracking discussions on Twitter across the year too, and I cannot than enough all of the people who've taken the time to involve me in discussions I often barged into uninvited. The number of retweets on some days has been staggering and although I may lapse in thanks, I'm NEVER not grateful. I have learnt a great deal not only about you guys but myself during all of this, and I will be eternally grateful for all the love that I've seen and been shown as a result. I'd like to make a special thank you to everyone who has had me as a guest on a Podcast this year, and to my double-digit audience for Alternative Chat, who I sincerely hope will stick with me through 2014 where I hope I can keep coming up with the goods on an (almost) weekly basis. There's a Christmas Special coming up on Friday, and I hope I'll see you all there.

Needless to say, I wouldn't be here without any of you. Your continued interest is never, EVER taken for granted, and that's never going to change. I'd like to wish you all, whatever your denomination or persuasion, a very happy and restful Winter 'Festival' and I hope that we'll be doing all this stuff well into 2014 and beyond. May you find happiness, relaxation and as much cake or pie as you desire.

You can have both too. You go right ahead

Monday, December 16, 2013

To Build a Home :: Beware of the Dog

How long will this be going on? ^^

Today's look at Garrisons... well, we have an important question that needs to be answered before we go any futher. How safe is this new feature in the long haul?

The sun goes down on our Tillers Farm. Living it up optional.

Anne Stickney's fondness for Dog and what she'll leave behind made a lot of people think this week, but this is hardly a surprise in the greater scheme of things. This is the fate of the Old Expansion: to be left behind, to be returned to only when we completely outgear it to be plundered for reputation and achievements. Hence it is the way it remains for the ogres of Ogri'la, the giant blue women wrapped up with the Sons of Holdir and the daily PvP Instructions from the Baradin's Wardens. I'd like to put a small pile of gold that thanks to Anne we haven't actually seen the last of Dog, that I reckon there's a better than average chance the mutt will make the trip to Draenor with you and end up as a fixture in your Garrison. The question then becomes whether that'll be the last place you see him, and if the Garrison has the legs to outlast the Tillers Farm and indeed all the other remnants of Expansions Past. Are Blizzard planning for just the Expansion, or will the Garrison look beyond?

Well, there are most certainly possibilities for the long term.

If we assume (and no-one has said otherwise) that we'll have a load of new Battle Pet Adventures to experience in Warlords, then there's definitely hope that the Garrison will live longer than just through our time in Draenor... assuming of course, it becomes successful. That has to be the key to all of this, whether people will actually pick the thing up and play, but looking at the way in which the feature will be built, there is most certainly room for 'expansion' as time goes on. For instance, if we are only to receive a 'default' and generic Horde/Alliance 'look' to the place, a second expansion could add the ability to further customise with maybe Night Elf or Blood Elf architecture (or more likely, a choice of mix and match) If the much-discussed Professions link-in works, then setting that for subsequent expansions may become a necessity and not an option. However, the most significant part of this entire endeavour is the assertion that you'll be able to move your Garrison at will around Draenor, parking it in any zone you please. If you can do it in Draenor, it therefore shouldn't be too much of a stretch to park it outside Stormwing or Orgrimmar either, and that means the feature's already Expansion-proof.

It shouldn't be a stretch to just pick the whole thing up at the end of the Expansion and plonk it down in the next hastily added section of map latest location with the minimum of fuss.

Chances of your Garrison being attacked by Godzilla? /waggles hand

I suspect that success is going to be a key factor in whether we see Garrisons lasting longer than simply the 18 months or so (possibly less if Blizzard have their way) they're going to throw Warlords at us: needless to say part of the speed in which they can turn things around on the Expansion front will exactly depend on having key architectural mechanics that can be reusable across multiple releases. The Pet Battle 'model' ticks most of those boxes: if the Garrison is to join that then this could be something we'll be playing with for quite some time, and I'd like to think that if Blizzard do a professions overhaul in tandem and link the two together, that's exactly what we'll get, with perhaps the possibility of a mini-Garrison, say from L10 in a future Expansion. Anything is possible, after all, it just depends on how many people decide it's a good idea and play along with the idea.

Needless to say if it's as popular as both the Tillers Farm and Pet Battling, Blizzard have already passed the most important test of all.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Marguerita Time

Second post in a day? You mad?

Occasionally, it is a wise idea to take a step back.

Once upon a time, I used to get really rather stressed out at Raid Time. A lot of it had to do with my own personal weight of expectation: would I be good enough, could I contribute, would it matter if I made a mistake. Back in the glorious days of raid alliances when all that mattered was if I had enough DKP for the trousers, it was a different midset. As time went on, the considerations changed and evolved, but the basic lessons I had been taught remained intact, a constant reminder that flasking and pre-potting could make the difference, that turning up with not simply extra arrows was only part of my list of considerations. There is much to be thought of if you are going to do your job properly, and quite high on the list must remain the understanding that you are simply part of a team. You are not indispensable, or indeed irreplaceable.

A lot has changed in nine years. The priorities, the goals, the expectations are all vastly different than they were when I began. However, I remain intact within them: I went out yesterday and picked 100 Pomfruit, so I could have enough food for myself, bought a stack of flasks so  I could keep the agility skill up. I quietly remind myself I need to do the Noodle Cart quest so I can give out food for everyone, and am grateful for the Guildies who do this to keep everyone fed as we continue our slow but steady journey through Flex. I also realise that I remain much the same when met by frustration. last week, we were able to kill the Sha of Pride. This week, we couldn't. Not being able to do something I know we've been capable of before always gets me, every single time, the inability to grasp what is different from one week to the next. This week however there was a change: I know why we failed, what we need to do to improve. I also understand that a few beers the night before a raid, at least for me, is really not a good idea for the powers of concentration and consistency.

However, that's not why the beer's in the header.

I understand myself well enough now to grasp that sometimes, if there's something I don't particularly want to do, distracting myself is quite helpful. However, this is no longer the case with the game: distractions don't work, in fact they cause me more issues than they solve. If there's a puzzle that needs solving, or an achievement I really want, the only sure-fire way to get the job done is to knuckle down and do the business. That why I'll be online shortly to kill my 20 Cows on the Timeless Isle because there are 275 Rep points with my name on and as I'm currently at 15377/21000 the quicker I kill things, the faster what looks like Mount #200 will be mine (oh yes.) In the end, if you want something and you don't need to rely on anyone else, then you just have to get on with it. If I've learnt any lesson at all this year, this is it. Don't expect anyone else to dictate your future: it's your job, and if it matters, make a difference.

It's a t-shirt. YES REALLY.

However, it is easy to forget that this is a game for most people: not a contest or a race, and for those who don't live in my head or ascribe to my mindset... well, I can't make people work as hard as I do. I can't expect them to put in the hours and when they fail, I have to accept that this is what happens. I am no longer the person who is prepared to lay down the law as I did in the past, because I have to hope that after all this time people will learn and grasp the importance of the group dynamic and their place within it... but sometimes it just doesn't happen. That is the moment to go open the fridge and refer myself back to the top image. It's time for a break, and a reminder that there is always next week, and there are lots of other things to consider. I think the fact these things do still frustrate me is no bad thing, but being able to distance myself... I'm glad I found a way to do that, because life is too short to obsess about such things.

As long as I'm true to myself, that is all that really matters. I'll cross my fingers, hope for the best, and maybe next week we'll make progress again.

We Live So Fast

Oh dear :(

Some days, I am really glad people pay more attention than me.

Thanks to @yoco68 I was informed this morning that our 'fantastic idea at the time' Horde Guild made for Hunter Week really has a rather rubbish GM. It's not that I'd forgotten about my L10 Hunter it's just... well, I'd forgotten about my L10 Hunter. THERE I SAID IT. Fortunately other people are better organised than I am at this juncture and as a result, as of about fifteen minutes ago, Yoco is now in charge. There should be at least some movement on that front in the New Year but for now, I'm sorry to say, I'd not expect any Hot Horde Hunter Action for the foreseeable future. I am still an Officer, but for the good of everyone involved I am no longer in charge.

With Christmas coming, things are already looking busy, and I have the unenviable task of trying to salvage a Mac from near death next week in a desperate attempt to get access back to 6 years worth of e-mail and writing (yes I do have backups but that's not the point.) What I'm trying to say and not very well is that this week I reckon if P gets more than a couple of hours of playtime I'll consider it a triumph. Doing anyone or anything else this week is highly unlikely. I also have a couple of side projects on the go (if I wasn't busy enough) but really, you're not here to read about me moaning I don't have enough time, you want Stuff that is Interesting (TM) and you'll get that later, and this week with the Alternative Chat Podcast Christmas Special (BE AFRAID). Once we get to the 20th it's kids school holidays so things will go a bit mad... but we'll work something out. We always do.

For now, I feel I ought to apologise to those of you who were expecting a GM performance from me on the Horde side and have had their dreams cruelly shattered. I'm sorry :(