It has been one hell of a year here at The Stories Of O, and I figured now would be the perfect time to take a look back at the previous year’s worth of entries and single out the 10 which I am the most proud of. Some of these posts were funny and perhaps even heartwarming. Others were surprisingly candid and unflinching. Let’s take a look at my choices for the top 10 posts of 2011, in no particular order:
Nothing like finding out your screen name for the past three years is actually something offensive that is worthy of a ban by Blizzard Entertainment. I was feeling so many things when I was going through that whole debacle. I was frustrated and bitter, seeing people with worse names than mine running around major cities, while I was being punished. I was upset that the people at Blizzard wouldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt and that they didn’t even try to see things from another angle, with regards to how offensive my name truly was. Lastly, I was sad at the thought of giving up a name that I had developed a very personal attachment to. This post showed exactly what happened, as it went down, and really showcased my anger at the final outcome.
This post was inspired by the heated discussions that I witnessed going on around me, on Twitter, and in the blogging world, regarding how various guilds were handling the decision making process when it came to who was going to be awarded the legendary staff from Firelands. I felt like a lot of emphasis was being placed on those who just make the decisions and not necessarily those who get chosen to wield such an incredible piece of equipment. I wanted to show the other side of what it’s like to win a legendary – the anxiety, the stress, the isolation. I think this post did a good job of illustrating that and hopefully some other people were able to relate to what I went through and did their best to not treat others in a similar fashion.
I wrote this post when I was really at my lowest point, in terms of my feelings of burnout with World of Warcraft and at a point when I was desperately clinging to my identity as a priest and as a blogger. Firelands was a dark time for me, for a number of reasons, and this post really encompassed everything I was feeling around that period. I feel like I have come a long way since then, in that I understand how important it is to be a versatile healing priest and how you are kind of selling yourself short if you don’t stay open to that possibility. With that said, I don’t take back anything I wrote here or that I felt at the time. I do still resent guilds that sat holy priests or put unfair demands on them to be something they’re not. It was never the idea of being discipline that I was against. It was the idea that many priests, including myself, were forced into it. We didn’t have a say. We were told to do it, or else. That’s where the emotion behind this post came from.
I tend to have a better attitude towards Random dungeons than most do. I leveled my resto shaman alt entirely through the Dungeon Finder. I don’t mind doing Randoms to score my last few Valor Points for the week. The things that would upset or annoy most people tend to roll right off of me in a Random 5 man. I use a few of the tips featured in this post to get me through the experience and I genuinely think that they could work for other people, too. When I wrote this post, I wanted to show my support for the Dungeon Finder and the Call to Arms system and I still stand behind them, to this day.
This post was my first foray into number crunching and I received a lot of link love for writing it. Writing this post inspired me to want to know more about my spells and abilities – how they really work, the numbers behind the way that I heal, etc. I would like to think that this post got people to take me more seriously as a priest blogger and not just as a storyteller who happens to be a priest.
One thing I have never been afraid to do, as a blogger is cast myself in a negative light. I’m not afraid to paint myself as the villain or the bad guy in a certain scenario and I think this post really showed that. I have a very nasty competitive nature that I have toned down quite a bit, but that still rears its ugly head from time to time. I was really surprised by the response that I received from this entry, mostly from people who had felt the same way that I did, at one point or another. Overall, I think it’s natural and healthy to feel competitive towards others, if you channel it properly. I didn’t always do that and that’s what this story was really about. The best part about this post was that I actually got back in touch with the person that I wrote about, who inspired me to write this, and he and I made amends. How cool is that?!
2011 was a year of firsts for me. This article talked about the first (and hopefully the last) time that I rage quit a guild. This was easily one of the most divisive posts that I have ever written. I think this changed quite a few people’s opinion of me and not necessarily for the better. I own that and at the same time, I also had people who agreed with what I did and said they would have done the same thing. I would say that I was just starting to feel the burnout that led me to take a four month break from World of Warcraft and that this was sort of a preview of things to come.
Cataclysm changed the game, in many ways. One of those ways was how we look at raiding and how accessible raiding has become for most players. Blizzard expressed the desire to have more people be able to see and experience the content that they work so hard on and while I agree with that idea, I do think that the overall work ethic of raiding has sort of gone down the tubes. I think that some people feel like because it has gotten easier to see content that less effort is involved and that you don’t have to try as hard. I don’t agree with that at all. This post was my response to people who felt like doing certain things was too much to ask and why I felt like this was a sign of things to come. This was another hot button issue and I was really glad to see how the topic really took off.
This was a more recent post of mine, written after I had come back from my break from the game. I was dealing with some things in my personal life that I also happened to be facing in my gaming life and it felt right to combine the two and write about what I was feeling about all of it. I have always been eager to defy and shed labels and I think this post really summed that up nicely. To this day, we as women players and as personalities still have to fight to overcome stigmas and barriers that keep us from being seen the way that we would like to. While I have never really considered myself too much of a feminist, I definitely think this post kind of sparked something in me that made me want to do more in that arena and to learn more about others who may feel the same.
Last but not least, the post that changed it all. To this day, I still get comments about this post. I cannot even begin to tell you what I was feeling or thinking when I wrote this. I think I spit it out in less than an hour, with very few edits or changes needed. I think that I had secretly already had the post written in my head and I was just waiting for the right time to get it out on the screen. I remember thinking that my time as a blogger was over. I thought I would become a social pariah and that nothing good was going to come from this. I had nothing but doomsday scenarios playing over and over in my mind. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I received so much support and love that I absolutely did not anticipate. I would like to think that maybe I inspired others to come out, too. Even now, I still have to take a moment when I think about this post and let everything just sink in. Like, “Did that just happen?” It did.
I said that I would not witness another Al’akir attempt, so long as I live, and I have kept that promise! I don’t care if I’m wearing Tier 15 and someone wants to drag me back there. I was happy to see that so many others felt the same about this encounter, an encounter which I feel is absolute bullshit and easily one of the worst designed fights in the history of World of Warcraft. This fight serves absolutely no purpose to me. I do not mind explaining to each and every person who looks at my Armory profile why there is a gaping hole right there, where an Al’akir or even a Conclave kill should be. You would think I would have downed one of them by now, but no. I won’t go. You cannot make me.
Thanks for taking this stroll down memory lane with me! I look forward to seeing what other people have in store for the upcoming year and what kind of trouble I can get myself into, as well. Please be safe and have a wonderful New Year’s weekend.