Tag Archives: forums

Thursday Thoughts

7 Jun

Over the last few weeks I have really struggled with coming up with cohesive, relevant blogs that I can publish.  For the first time ever I have more than one draft sitting in my Drafts folder and I regularly add more, only to delete them a short time later.  I haven’t encountered a feeling of writer’s block this strong in quite a while and it only makes me feel worse when I see how other bloggers are constantly posting and how they seem to have no such shortage of things to write about.

To be honest, it makes me feel jaded.  Washed up.  I see myself losing Followers because I’m not talking about things that people initially followed me to hear me talk about.  I see myself not being able to relate to conversations that other people are having, because I either don’t agree with them and can’t find a way to word it eloquently enough or because I do agree with them and they have already worded things better than I ever could.  I just feel like I’m watching people, like I’m watching the community pass me by.  I’m suddenly overcome with ennui and I don’t know what to do about it.

Instead of talking about what I haven’t been able to do or haven’t been doing lately, let’s talk about what I have been up to.

World of Warcraft

I haven’t raided in two weeks.  Last week I posted out because I had just broken up with my boyfriend and I was really in no mood to raid or do anything that felt competitive or like I would have to really push myself to do.  This week I had the chance to go out and do something to take my mind off said breakup and so I took the opportunity to do that and volunteered to sit on the bench for the night.

I don’t miss it.  Let me be more specific – I don’t miss Dragon Soul.  I’m excited about raid testing being made available in the Beta.  I’m excited at the thought of grinding the 5 man dungeons to gear up for new raid content in Mists of Pandaria and then doing said content.

The Beta, as it stands right now, doesn’t have much appeal to me, either.  I have no desire to level a toon from 85-90 and then have to do it all over again when the expansion hits.  I would much rather wait until the premade characters are made available and then go from there.  That’s really where things in the Beta will start getting interesting to me.

Diablo 3

I have an Annual Pass, so I didn’t actually have to “pay” for or go seriously out of my way to get my hands on a copy of Diablo 3.  It’s fun.  I haven’t played it as much as most people have.  My witch doctor hasn’t even cracked level 20 yet and I’m not in much of a hurry to change that.

I enjoy the slow pace.  I enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of the map and breaking every barrel, urn, and spider egg that I see.  I don’t feel like there is a clock ticking that tells me I have to be this level or I have to be this geared in order to do this instance within this timeframe.  It’s nice to just say to myself “I want to kill shit,” and then I log on and do it.  It’s very simple and very mindless, which I really appreciate at this point in time.

Magic the Gathering

I have been playing quite a bit of Magic the Gathering lately and it has brought me the most enjoyment these past few weeks.  I find Magic to be very refreshing and so different from World of Warcraft in many ways.  Here are just some of those reasons:

The community.  Since I started playing Magic again, I have been trying to get a feel for what websites are the best resources for me to go to and which forums seem to have the most decent people posting on them.  I have started to Follow certain writers that I enjoy reading the most on Twitter, striking up conversations with them when I can.  I’m slowly trying to get involved in a community that is unlike what I’m used to and it’s intimidating and yet strangely exciting, at the same time.

One thing that really stands out to me about the Magic community is the sense of meritocracy or the feeling that people who are seen as authorities or who are the most respected have genuinely done something to deserve that.  Something that has really frustrated me about the WoW community lately has been the recent surge in people who have obtained this bizarre form of celebrity for seemingly doing nothing at all.

They don’t play the game.  They don’t raid.  But yet they’re in a position where people look to them to tell them what to do or for advice.  They exist solely for entertainment value and while I can see the immediate benefits of such a thing, it still feels sort of wrong to me.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask that someone actually plays the game that they write or podcast about.  I don’t think it’s wrong to ask someone to share their level of experience with you when they try to give you advice on how to do something.

This doesn’t seem to be the case in the Magic community.  The people who are writing for these websites and that you see out and about can genuinely prove that they have been there, that they are successful, and that they have a reason to be doing what they are doing.  They are there to entertain you, but that comes second to the fact that they have some amount of credibility going for them and I really respect that and I miss that.

The social interactions.  I knew that I was starting to experience some burnout once we had downed Heroic Madness for the first time.  I knew that I wanted to take a break from WoW before Mists of Pandaria came out, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with all that free time.  The possibilities were endless.  I could go back to Rift.  I could try out Star Wars or TERA.  I could throw myself into Diablo 3.

But then I realized that I really missed social interaction with people and I mean face to face conversations.  I started to feel like everything I was doing involved hiding behind a computer screen and like I was becoming very isolated and possibly even socially awkward because of it.  It seemed really obvious to me, maybe even too obvious to choose another computer game to keep me occupied until the next expansion comes out.  That’s when I decided to start playing Magic more and to relish those moments when I’m not tied to a headset or to a keyboard and mouse.

To my surprise, I had become really awkward around groups of people.  I found that I had a hard time remembering the names of the people I had started to play with regularly at my local Friday Night Magic events.  I noticed that I had a hard time looking people in the eye when I was talking to them.  I had to remind myself that I don’t have a push to talk key in real life and that I have to keep some things to myself if I don’t want someone across the table from me to hear them.

I’m getting better at communicating and I’m still not perfect.  I do still rage when people stand over my shoulder and make comments about the game I’m playing or someone plays a card over and over again that I don’t like.  I have to get better at being a good sport, for both when I win and for win I lose.  I need to be able to say that I did a good job, even when I don’t feel like I did or when I feel like I could have done better.  Coming back to Magic has helped me identify all of these things (and more) about myself that I don’t think I would have done if I had just moved on to yet another computer game to pass the time.  I’m really grateful for that.

The freedom.  I don’t feel like I’m bound to a set schedule with Magic, the way that I am with WoW.  It’s not the end of the world if I don’t make it to Friday Night Magic, or if I have to leave early.  I can go to a tournament at this store on Tuesday, or that store on Thursday, or do both tournaments and even a third on Sunday.

I find being able to say what I want to do and what I don’t want to do, without any negative repercussions very exciting.  I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down if I don’t make it to an event or like I am lagging behind, like I would if I missed a raid.  I don’t feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again, like when you farm the same instance for several months at a time.  It all feels fresh and new and dare I say it – like a game *should* feel.  It kind of makes me wonder why I have been settling for something else this whole time.

Reading

I got used to bringing a book with me when I used to ride the Amtrak to go visit my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend).  One of the books that I had picked up was the first book in the “Pretty Little Liars” series.  Needless to say I was hooked.  I’m currently on the third book and I just started watching the television show that goes along with it.  It’s been much easier to avoid spoilers of the books than it has been the television show, but it seems like the show is radically different from the books, so it’s not really hurting anything.

Like I said, I’m hooked.  I squeal like a teenage girl when the cute boy takes his shirt off or he says something close to romantic.  I gasp when something sort of scary happens.  I panic when one episode ends and I have to get up to turn the next one on from my computer.   Completely hooked.

I know this post kind of went all over the place, but I’m okay with that.  Life is good – even if it’s not giving me a lot of things to write about.  I still felt like I should say *something,* so hopefully I’ve accomplished that today.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Shameless

27 Feb

Somewhere down the line I developed a reputation as being someone who will say and do nearly anything.  While this is true, there is one thing that I won’t do.

I don’t kiss and tell.

No, I don’t mean when you immediately run to your girlfriends and dish about that fantastic date that you just came back from, or when you write on your Facebook wall about just how much fun the conception of your first child was.  I mean the practice of bragging about or being fairly candid about the number of page views that your blog attracts or the number of Followers that you have acquired on Twitter.

Recently, a couple of posts sprang up in the blogosphere, which admittedly were very gracious and not immediately harmless.  I just want to stress that I have no personal issue with the people who decided to write these posts and so I’m not going to name names or anything.  What I do take issue with is the principle behind it, which whether they meant it or not, does reinforce the idea that on some level your page views matter.

I have met a number of people who have a very strong interest in starting a blog, but won’t, because they are afraid that nobody will be interested in what they have to say, or that nobody will read what they write.  I have also seen a number of bloggers who made a solid attempt at blogging, but gave up when they didn’t get the traffic that they were hoping for, or when they felt like nobody was listening.

Now you could argue that these people were blogging for all of the wrong reasons and so they were doomed to fail anyway.  I have gone on record a number of times to say that if you are looking for a reason to blog and you are doing it for the page views that you are doing it wrong.  That is not the reason to start a blog.  It is not worth getting wrapped up over and it really can turn into an endless spiral of shame and self-loathing if you let it.  But one could also say that you can’t blame people for being concerned about their numbers when they see posts celebrating these near impossible landmarks and the amount of admiration and praise that is showered upon people who do reach these heights.  You can’t blame someone for wanting to be a part of that and for wanting to feel that way, too.

I compare advertising your page views or how many Followers you have to boasting about the number of people that you slept with.  You may have slept with 25 people, but that doesn’t make you better in bed than the person who only slept with 2 people.  We should be judging ourselves and each other on the quality of our work rather than the number of people that it attracts.  I know quite a few up and coming bloggers that I have seen mentioned on Blog Azeroth that have written some truly riveting posts within weeks of starting their blog, which I can’t always say for people who may be more well established and who have been going at this for a while.  That blogger may have only gotten 100 page views or so, but I would much rather read what they have to say than that powerhouse blogger who gets thousands of views a day.

It really is not about that.  I have been blogging for a long time and I can honestly say that I was never happier than when I was blogging away on Livejournal, when nobody knew who I was, and when I was talking about how excited I was that the first season of “The Golden Girls” was coming out on DVD.  I wasn’t writing for anyone but me and it showed.  I didn’t obsess over who was going to take something the wrong way, or whether or not my facts were straight.  I wrote because I loved to do it and because it helped me clear my head and get a lot of things out of in the open that I didn’t think I could say to anyone else directly.

Somewhere down the line it gets muddled and you do feel obligated to keep going.  It’s hard not to feel that way when you realize that people are looking forward to your next post or when they do get emotionally invested in the things that you write about.  Blogging starts to feel less carefree, less effortless once you develop some semblance of a following.  I can take a look at the posts that I wrote when I had no Followers and nobody subscribed to my blog and see a huge difference in the tone or the quality of the posts from where I am now.  It really does change everything.

On a similar note, we say that we like Looking For Raid because it gets people interested in raiding, but then we criticize other players when they don’t perform to the standards that we are used to in our everyday raiding guilds.  We wonder how people could be so incompetent or how they could have gotten this far without asking for help.  I see elements of this in the blogosphere, too.  We make comments on Twitter that we have nothing new to read and that there are no blogs out there that pertain to a certain topic, but then we hesitate to click on a Retweet from a friend that just may have an article from a new and interesting voice that has yet to be heard.  Or we don’t think to write back to someone who sends us a Tweet or leaves us a comment to tell us that we did a good job on our most recent post, simply because we have never heard of them, or because they may have less of a following than we do.

Whether you mean it or not, that new blogger is going to read a post like the one mentioned above and it may deter from them even getting started, or it may convince them that they aren’t cut out to maintain a blog because they can never pull in numbers like that.  I think we should be doing everything we can to remove any sort of “Why bother?” element from people interested in getting involved in the community and be more inclusive, overall.  We all remember what it was like when we were first starting out and I think it’s important that we never forget that, no matter how successful we might become.  There really is enough room for everyone at the table, regardless of the amount of page views that you generate.  Let’s do a better job of communicating that, shall we?

Why It’s A Good Time To Be Guildless

27 Jun

I look at guilds the way that I look at relationships.  You see a lot of people who stay in relationships they know they’re not happy being in because they are afraid to be alone.  They don’t know what to do with themselves when they’re single or they have nobody to call their own.  So they stay, they take bad treatment and they take being ignored.  They settle for people who don’t understand them.  These people try and try, but nothing ever changes.

Those who aren’t afraid of being alone don’t fear such things.  They won’t stick around and settle for being treated badly,  They know their worth.  They don’t have that threat hanging over their heads of waking up to an empty bed or having nobody to walk side by side with them when they walk down the street.  When you don’t fear that, you will put up with less.  You will know what you deserve and you won’t hesitate to look for it.

The same goes with guilds.  You hear stories all the time of “My guild doesn’t want to take an enhancement shaman, so they made me go resto.”  Or “This person is really bothering me and the officers just won’t do anything about it.”  And finally, “We have hit a wall, regarding our progression and I don’t see my guild ever recovering from it.”

You might stay for any number of any reasons.  Maybe you have a long history with these people and you have been through thick and thin with them.  Maybe personal loyalty is a factor, either because these are real life friends of yours or you have been gaming for a long time together.  Or you’re staying out of guilt, because you know if you left they may not be able to replace you and they may hate you for leaving.

None of those reasons are worth sticking around and being miserable.

So you have reached the point where you know what you need to do, but you just don’t know how to do it or what is waiting for you on the other side.  You may be thinking to yourself, “Oh God.  Who is going to want a ____ that is only ____ in progression and who is wearing ___ iLevel gear?”  Lots of people!  Let me give you a few reasons why this is a great time to be on the hunt for a new guild.

It’s A Buyer’s Market Out There
Many well known bloggers have written about their troubles, with regards to recruitment and how tough it is to find people to help fill their ranks.  Guilds are pursuing people more aggressively than ever before.  With just one post on the Guild Recruitment boards, I had recruitment officers sending me whispers from level 1 alts to express interest in me.  I had people throwing their contact information at me and even inviting me into their Vent channels, to sit in on their raids to get a taste of how their guilds do things.

Some of the various resources you can use to find a new guild are:

PlusHeal
Looking For Guild
Elitist Jerks
Official Guild Recruitment Boards
MMO Champion

All of the links above are working links that you can click on right now and see who is looking for what and where.  In terms of healers, I have noticed a huge demand for holy paladins and resto shaman.  Those two classes and specs have been pretty consistently in demand, since Cataclysm debuted.  I would like to say that you would have even more of a chance of getting picked up, if you were one of those two things.  Which brings me to my next point.

Everybody’s Got Their Something
One common concern that I hear from people who are thinking about leaving their guild is that they’re not sure if anybody would want them, for their particular class and spec.  While most guilds will have specific needs and they may say, “We would like two fire mages,” you may also see guilds that write something on their recruitment threads like “All exceptional applications will be considered,” or “Looking for solid ranged DPS.”  I would certainly keep an eye out for guilds like that.  Most recruitment officers will agree that they will take talent over a certain class.  The first guild that I raided with started off with three warlocks, no moonkin and one rogue.  Then I joined a guild that had one mage, no warlocks and one shaman.  Both guilds did incredibly well with what they had, because they were flexible with their needs and had people who filled general niches (melee DPS, ranged DPS, heals) and performed well.

If all else fails, keep looking.  This brings me to my next selling point.

It’s Called “World” Of Warcraft For A Reason
Whatever you want in a guild, someone can provide that for you.  If you want to be part of a third shift guild that happens to speak French, there is one out there for you.  If you want to be in a 10 man guild that only raids on weekends, they have that, too.  There are hundreds of servers out there, with thousands of guilds looking for people just like you.  Whereas you may have settled for raiding four days a week before and you know you were sleep deprived and not doing well in your personal life because of it, take a second to think about whether you are really cut out to raid on that kind of a schedule or not.  You may not have to do that again.  Think about what you want, what you’re looking for and don’t settle until you find it.  It’s a big world out there.  Don’t be afraid to step outside and take a look around.

Gear Can’t Fix Stupid
I love hearing people that are looking for new guilds say “But I’m not geared enough for that!”  My response to that would be, “Is anyone in this game ever geared enough?”  I’m kidding.  What I mean by that is that gear can be fixed.  If you’re using the wrong gems or enchants, we can work on that.  If you aren’t sure what to reforge the stats on your gear into, someone can tell you.  Odds are your new guild has had a certain shortage of a class or spec that they have been disenchanting certain kinds of loot for a while now and they may welcome the chance for someone to use it.  But guilds can’t fix stupid.  They can’t make people stop standing in bad.  They can’t make people stop pulling threat.  They can’t teach you how to use your cooldowns properly.  That’s where you come in.

Let’s say you’re a few boss kills below where the guild you’re applying to is at and your gear is in the same place, but the potential is there.  The talent is there.  The logs are there to show that you weren’t dying to avoidable things or that you were otherwise doing your job; most guilds will still consider your application if all you need is some upgrades.  Everything else you bring to the table can trump that.  If you were playing your character well, wearing the gear you already have, it’s safe to say that they can expect that same level of performance from you if they throw a couple of upgrades at you.

Everyone Starts Off With A Clean Slate
The time right before a new tier of content is released is the perfect time to join a new guild, because you’re all going to be learning the fights together.  One of the things that makes joining a new guild difficult is having to forget the previous strategies that you learned before and having to adapt to the way that your new guild does things.  When you’re stepping foot into a new raid zone together, nobody knows what they’re doing.  Your guild most likely will not have found what works yet and when they do, you will be there to learn the strategy along with everyone else.  You won’t be that odd person out saying “But in my last guild, we did it like this.”  Instead, you will be able to proudly say to your friends in other guilds “In my guild, we do it like this.”  See how much better that sounds?

Also, most guilds will be resetting their DKP and EPGP numbers for the new tier.  So you shouldn’t have to worry about being at the bottom of the totem pole, when it comes to loot for too long.  Of course, you will still have a shot in hell at getting the new legendary, if you’re a caster.  But there should still be a number of other upgrades for you to look forward to that will seem as attainable for you as they would for more seasoned veterans of your new guild.

Hopefully, if you’re reading this and you are thinking about leaving your guild, then I have given you something to think about and made things seem a little less bleak than you may be imagining them to be.  If you are already guildless and unsure of what to do next, I would like to think that I have given you some suggestions or some tips on how to start your journey.

In any event, good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Supply

24 Mar

After giving it a lot of thought and careful consideration, I have decided which guild I am going to join, following my recent departure from my previous guildThe last few days have been nothing short of a blur.  I was very fortunate to have met a number of wonderful people who were kind enough to invite me into their Vent servers and their guild forums, answered my questions and asked me some great ones in return, and who were not put off by an anonymous forum troll trying to embarass me or make me look bad. 

I wanted to do something to show my thanks and I certainly don’t have the time to thank them all individually.  So what I have decided to do is to use my blog to advertise these guilds in return for their people either responding to my thread on the Guild Recruitment boards or for going the extra mile to reach out to me personally (either in game or with a one on one conversation in Vent).

Each of these guilds are incredible finds and they are all on the lookout for some great new talent.  Some are in desperate need of healers.  Others have a greater need for tanks and DPS, but would not turn down a strong healer applicant.  I encourage anyone who is curious to see what else is out there to check out any of the guilds listed below and see if they could be a good fit for you.

The full list of guilds that I would like to thank and support, after the jump.

Continue reading

Demand

22 Mar

In the last 30 days, I went from being one of the people in my guild who was responsible for looking for new talent in search of a home to being the new talent in search of a good home. 

I left my guild yesterday.

Suffice it to say I will not be disclosing the reasons why publicly or for the sake of page views.  However, if you ask the forum trolls they of course seem to know more about it than I do.  Funny how that works!  What I will say is that I continue to love and be proud of Apotheosis and I will continue to support their progression and their folks in the blogosphere that helped get me where I am today.  I really would not be here without them. 

Things have changed quite a bit since the last time that I found myself on either side of the recruitment coin and I was pretty surprised at the current state of things.  Let’s take a peek at some of the things that stood out to me during my first day of being a priest without a guild.

One of the things that really struck me in my time spent on the Guild Recruitment forums was how much the balance of power has shifted.  In the past, a guild would throw up a post and eager, impressionable raiders would throw themselves at the feet of recruitment officers and beg for a chance to be taken on board and given a shot.  Now it’s the other way around.  Players post what they are looking for in a guild and recruitment officers or assistants fling themselves at prospective applicants, usually in the form of lengthy cut and paste advertisements about what their guilds have to offer.

The whole thing seems to lack any kind of human interaction or personal touch.  It’s all numbers, hours and time zones.  Tier numbers, years active and bosses downed.  Server rankings and World of Logs statistics.  Most of the time that a guild responds to someone they don’t even include the applicants name.  It’s just copy and paste.  It all happens so fast, too.  I had at least a half dozen responses within the first half hour of my posting.  Either I had really underestimated my value as a player or these people were in desperate need of a healing priest.

By the time I got through the walls of text left on my thread and the humorous attempt by a forum troll to derail my thread my brain hurt and I decided to log on for a bit and make sure my gear was in order, because I knew all eyes were going to be on my Armory profile over the next week or so.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any stray gems or enchants that were standing out or anything like that.

Shortly after logging in, I received five whispers from various people who had seen my thread and were very interested in discussing it with me.  Some of them were people who had already left a response on the Guild Recruitment boards and others just cut out the middleman and made low level alts to come talk to me directly.  Up until this point, I never had a use for the chat feature where you can create separate windows for your whispers.  Some of these people were incredibly friendly and didn’t mind answering my questions.  Others seemed pushy and acted as if they had a quota to fill or like they were going to receive some kind of commission by recruiting me and they had to push to make that big sale.

One or two guilds really stuck out it in mind and I submitted applications with them.  I tend to app really well and received a half dozen replies by the time I went to sleep.  I really like this guild, from what I have seen of them so far.  They have a nice website, they seem friendly and still focused on serious progression.  Their questions for me were well thought out and very valid inquiries.  I decided that I would spend the week apping to various guilds that caught my eye and doing interviews, with the goal of deciding where I will go by Monday.  I think not raiding for anything longer than a week would give me withdrawal symptoms and I don’t want that.  I truly love what I do and I can’t wait to get back to that routine again.

Even though I never thought I would be back in this position again, I’m determined to make the most of it and to find the right fit for me.  I did it once before and I believe I can do it again.  I have learned a lot in my travels and I’m still learning.  I wholeheartedly believe that a guild can be everything you want it to be and you just have to look around to find that right one.  I’m not perfect and I certainly don’t expect my guild to be. 

But you can’t blame a girl or a guild for trying.

Responsible

16 Feb

This morning, a new blue post debuted that highlighted some incoming changes to healers and immediately sent players into a frenzy of discussion.  Regarding priests:

The cost of Power Word: Shield is being increased by 33%. While we wanted Discipline priests to be able to utilize this spell more often and with better results, we also did not want it to be the main spell (and often the only spell) used while in groups. We don’t find this to be a particularly compelling playstyle and have found that it encourages players to avoid using other spells such as Penance. We believe that using a shield in a tight moment is totally appropriate, but we don’t want it to be incredibly efficient to do so with more frequency than that.

We realize that by making Power Word: Shield slightly more expensive for Discipline priests to cast that it might cause Holy priests to avoid using it. To that end, we are adding mana savings into the Body and Soul talent. The tooltip will not reflect this change until a future patch, however. Ideally, Holy priests should not notice much of a change to the Power Word: Shield costs.

The second paragraph was the portion that really pertained to holy priests and even then not so much.  Currently, I find myself using PW:S more for the utility of it than the absorption qualities behind it.  I use it because I do have points in Body & Soul and I have found a number of situations where the temporary burst of speed comes in handy.  I wasn’t using it often enough where I found the mana cost to be that high and I can’t say that reducing the mana cost would make me use it more.  I was fine either way.

Most of the discussion that I was witnessing seemed to revolve around the hint of new cooldowns on the horizon for resto druids and shaman and just what those things might be.  Beruthiel was quick to release a brief post about this and I’m sure many other healers will follow.

Meanwhile, I was excited to learn that Kurn had chosen myself and a very dear friend of mine in the guild to help out with guild recruitment.  This was something we had unofficially been helping out with for a while and we both had expressed interest in doing a bit more, if Kurn ever needed it and it turns out that she does.  I do have a background in recruitment, from experience with a previous guild and it’s something I really enjoying helping out with and being a part of.  I find that I’m less likely to complain about someone’s personality or performance if I have a say in them even getting into the guild.  To be clear, we are not becoming officers or anything  like that.  It’s purely voluntary, I’m under the impression we could back out at any time and we get no specific perks or benefits for doing it.

Kurn delegated certain responsibilities between the two of us and created special e-mail addresses that we can use in correspondence with potential applicants.  She and I will be required to spend a small portion of our days perusing various forums and spreading the word about our guild and what we are looking for, finding people that are looking for guilds and trying to sell them on joining us.  I would like to think that we may have a bit more weight, in terms of interviews and things of that nature.  Kurn seems pretty open to our suggestions and those of our fellow guildies, so we’ll see how far our reach can extend with this endeavor.

I have a couple of blog post ideas that I’m sitting on right now and I’m in talks with one of our guildies who does web design for a living , to see about giving this page an overhaul.  He has a lot of great ideas and I have really liked the couple of samples he has sent me, so far.  I really feel like he understands what I want and my vision for the site and could be what I’m looking for to make that happen.  Did I just say my vision?  God, that sounded pretentious.  I really didn’t mean it that way, I swear.  Hopefully I should have another entry ready to go by Friday.  I just have to decide which of the many ideas I want to flesh out and make a post about.

In closing, here is the new recruitment template that Kurn created, which we will be using on various forums near you:

Apotheosis is…

– an Alliance raiding guild (Level 16) on a PVE/EST server (Eldre’Thalas)
– focused on 25-man progression
– 9/12 (Magmaw, Omnotron, Maloriak, Chimaeron, Atramedes, Bastion of Twilight cleared)
– a 3 night a week guild, raiding on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday
– a guild that starts invites at 8:45pm ET (server time), pulls at 9pm and goes ’till 12am
– requiring 9/12 raids per month (75%)
– using the EPGP loot system
– a guild with strong players and a fun guild atmosphere

http://www.apotheosis-now.com/main/

We are primarily seeking:

1 Balance Druid
1 Elemental Shaman

But would also consider a restoration druid and possibly a restoration shaman. Exceptional applicants of most classes will be considered, although we are full on warlocks, hunters, priests and death knights.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask:

Email: obscene@apotheosis-now.com
Twitter:  @OriginalOestrus

Or, you can get in touch with our GM, Kurn:

Email: kurn@apotheosis-now.com
Twitter: @kurnmogh

Best of luck to you in your search for a new home. I hope you’ll consider us!

Obscene
obscene@apotheosis-now.com
Headhunter, Apotheosis (A)
Eldre’Thalas (US), PVE/EST
http://www.apotheosis-now.com/main/


It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s Azeroth

7 Aug

Feminism seemed to be a popular topic on two blogs that I have recently begun to enjoy, at Righteous Orbs and at the Mental Shaman.  Being a female gamer myself, I felt extremely compelled to speak up on some of the things that were being brought up, more so on the Mental Shaman blog.  I spent a good while really pondering what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it.  Feminism is such a broad topic and such a gray area topic, that could be taken in so many contexts and could be debated to quite an extent.  To me, that’s one of the joys of it.  My idea of being a woman and a feminist may be different than someone else’s.  It’s our right and our choice to interpret things how we will and to base our own decisions and feelings off of those interpretations.  I would never attempt to deny anyone the right to feel a certain way about something they read or experience, nor would I hope they do not deny me that privelege, too.

Now, I’ve been around – I’m not even going to lie.  I have been on six realms during this expansion and they have run the gamut from PVE to RPPVP.  I have been in everything from casual leveling Alliance guilds (alts, I swear) to hardcore realm first Horde guilds.  I have been an Initiate, with having to pay for my own repairs and knowing nobody on a realm to being a Recruitment Assistant and being the sole voice of recruitment and making sure my applicants all had something to do.  

I have occassionally formed bonds with those that I game with – friends, lovers and serious meaningful relationships.  I have been the quiet girl on Vent, who does her job and says nothing and only logs on to raid and I have been the loudmouth girl who will cut you into pieces if you cross me.  I have seen my share of drama, both that I have caused and that I have been the target of, unintentionally.  I have learned a lot in my years of playing this game and I have seen a lot of things.  I acknowledge the things I have done wrong or could have done better and I am proud of the positive things I have taken away from this game and I try my best to be a better player and a better person, everytime I log in.

I feel there are a number of things that are being critiqued or read into and I wanted to give my opinion on each of them. 

No female soldier in the victory statue.

From my understanding, when a server experiences their realm first kill of the Lich King, there is a fountain in Dalaran that becomes a Victory statue.  The statue is comprised of five figures, who all happen to be male.  These figures are comprised of Tirion Fordring, two Orcish males and two Human males.  One player decided to take their grievance about this to Blizzard and received an apathetic and sadly typical response from them, stating they were limited in their abilities to deal with this via e-mail.  The original poster took their complaint to the realm forums and was subsequently berated and bashed by their peers, for their feelings.

First off, I agree that the responses were harsh.  I don’t think the original poster voiced their concern in an uneducated or negative light.  They had a concern and wanted to know if anyone else shared their concern and they didn’t deserve to be talked to the way that they were.  That was absolutely out of line.

But I do think the focus was in the wrong place here.  I don’t need women to be in the Victory statue – because I’m in my own Victory statue.  I was there for the Lich King kill – I’m a Kingslayer.  I was there for the screenshots of my guild killing the bosses in ICC to get there.  I don’t need a statue to tell me that I’m victorious – I have the titles, the loot and the achievements (and soon Val’anyr) to speak for me.  That should be fulfilling enough.  Why do we need an NPC, not even with a player behind the character to validate what we do?  I don’t need a statue in a city to look up to.  I look up to myself.  I look up to female gamers in more successful guilds than I am in, who are attempting and even slaying Lich King on hard modes.  Those are the women I should be looking up to – not an inanimate statue in Dalaran.

And if we really wanted to take it further, notice the lack of other races represented in the statue.  It contains just Humans and Orcs.  Weren’t other races important in the defeat of the Lich King?  The Tauren, Blood Elves, Gnomes, Night Elves, etc.  Why aren’t they featured in the statue?  Why isn’t anyone complaining about that? 

Next, we have the two major female characters being excised from the Lich King defeat story.

There were a LOT of people excised from the Lich King defeat story.  Seriously, who didn’t want to be there?  I can think of a number of NPCs or well known characters from the lore that could have been there, should have been there, etc.  Instead of focusing on what Jaina, Sylvanas and a few other NPCs were not able to be a part of, let’s focus on what they WERE chosen to be a part of – the Icecrown Citadel heroics.  Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and the Halls of Reflection were three extremely well done instances.  Visually, they were well done, they were thematically outstanding and who was chosen to lead us through this exciting new quest line and these vivid new instances for us to enjoy –  Jaina and Sylvanas.  Two female NPCs.  That had never been done before and they didn’t just walk us through one instance – they were there for all three of them.  That’s pretty big. 

Not to mention the noteworthy presence of the female bosses in ICC.  Lady Deathwhisper is the Supreme Overseer of the Cult of the Damned, Blood Queen Lana’thel is the head of the San’layn and Sindragosa was the most fearsome servant of Arthas.  I feel those three represent women fairly well.  You have the Twin Val’kyr in Trial of the Champion, the modestly dressed Auriaya and Freya from Ulduar and Grand Widow Faerlina from Naxxramas.  They even let a woman into the Four Horsemen.  Horse-men.  Sounds like a pretty exclusive group, but we managed to get one of us in there and she put up just as much of a fight as the guys did.  Why isn’t that celebrated?  Why are we focusing on where we didn’t make it and instead praising where we did?

Numerous ‘jokes’ in the beta that play off gendered insults and stereotypes

“I’m a free spirit. I don’t like to be tied down.  What?  You mean literally?  Oh no… totally into that.”  &  “She told me to tie her up and do whatever I wanted to her… so I took her stereo!”

In both instances, the Goblin jokes appear to indicate that the act of bondage is consensual and that the female participants are willing and would enjoy the process.  What – women aren’t supposed to like bondage?  Are we really opening up that can of worms?  I could see if the male Goblin in question was indicating that there was no consent there or there was the use of force or intoxicants or something like that.  But what happens between two willing parties is something that I don’t feel should be deemed offensive.  Going through the listing of currently released jokes and flirts from the game and the Beta files, I also happened upon these statements, by the Dwarven and Gnome males, respectively, that seem to indicate that they’re all for a healthier shape of woman than what other races may be into:

“I like large posteriors and I cannot prevaricate.”  &  “I like my beer like I like my women – stout and bitter.”

In terms of the Worgen joke in question (“Being bitchy is in my blood.  Don’t pretend you don’t like it.”), they are female werewolves or dogs.  A bitch is a female dog.  I don’t feel that drawing the parallels between the two is so out there or strange.  If that statement came from a Night Elf or a Tauren, I could maybe see where some of the concern was coming from.  Speaking of Tauren, I find it interesting that women have not spoke up about the consistent “cow” references that are used, when discussing Tauren females or the numerous ways in which Orc females are seen as butch or unattractive, compared to their possibly more feminine counterparts.  Orc females are also the lowest represented class of female toons in the game.  You could delve into that quite deeply and discuss the fact that a subsection of women in the game are referred to as large bovine animals (complete with milking jokes) and another race of women are considered to be not very ladylike or physically attractive and that could possibly account for their low representation in the game – regardless of the fact that their racials are some of the more desired on the Horde side.

A questline in the Goblin starter zone where the player character has to murder their cheating ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, and rip out their still-beating hearts

You mean, like that quest line in Hellfire Peninsula that ends with you punishing the dead Blood Elf’s mistress by turning her into a mouse and feeding her to a cat?  Where you ally with his vengeful wife to right the unacceptable wrong that was done to her?  Where you beat up the man’s friend, as he mindlessly wanders on his hawkstrider, for information that leads to you identifying the mistress in question?  Yeah – that one.  What did doing that solve, exactly? 

Or that questline where you get turned into a Vrykul female and you’re asked to go through a questline that involves caning disobedient male slaves and then chasing down your sisters, who dared stray from the pack and went out into the world to try new things.  Not to mention that a quest in the middle of this expansive quest chain is called “Going Bearback” a pop-culture reference to “barebacking,” or having sex without a condom – a quest which involves you, still morphed into a big, blue Vrykul woman and riding atop a massive white polar bear.  No hidden meanings there!  We could take it one step further and ask, why not a brown bear or a black bear?  Why did it have to be a white bear?

Many women in the geek industries will adopt the mainstream geek culture in order to fit in – just as in mainstream society we accept that showing cellulite is inappropriate, and that women should wear bras because otherwise men might be distracted by nipples.

This is an argument or a statement that I feel isn’t really helping.  If women are choosing to remain silent and choosing to fall in line – how does that help us?  Or more importantly, why are women doing things they really don’t want to do?  Yes, there is peer pressure to do things that could allow you to fit in well or better “with the boys” and there is pressure from our media and our culture to “cover up” if you’re not of a certain body type (but then you get chastised for showing too much skin or not being covered enough – even if you have the form for it).  The choice is still there to reject those influences and do what you, as a woman in the geek industry or just as a female gamer geek, want to do.  You choose to give in to those pressures and that need to conform or “behave.”  You can make the choice to say “I look good and I’m gonna wear what I want and I don’t think this is okay and I’m going to let you know that and you’re going to listen to me.”  Fitting in isn’t helping. 

I can honestly say that in my years of playing this game, I have never felt “less than” or like I would have had an easier time if I were a male gamer.  I feel that I have been given just as much privelege and right and have shown that I can perform as well as or better than my male counteparts and that has never been a factor in my not being chosen for raids or my decision to part ways with a guild.  I work hard, sometimes harder than others, because that is something ingrained into who I am.  I am an overachiever and I am never satisfied with my performance and I want to be better than myself and better than others.  I never want to settle.  Sure, I have had disagreements in this game and I have encountered situations that I just couldn’t win.  But I can’t say that me being female caused those things to happen or that they would have turned out any differently.  I see male players that have just as difficult a time with certain things (i.e. their performance, their social interactions, etc.) and on a case by case basis, they have been through worse than I have. 

I enjoy being a girl in this game and I don’t stick around in circles where I am told to shut up or I have to feel like I can’t be myself or speak my opinions.  I choose to take myself out of those equations and be in situations where I can prosper and where my voice can be heard.  Are there guilds where women are second class and the harsh terms we get uncomfortable hearing run rampant?  Absolutely.  But I choose not to be part of them.  I choose not to run with those people.  I ask those questions when I am about to join a guild.  I do not support people that feel that way about myself or other woman or homosexuals or anything like that.  If they want to succeed in this game, they will do so without me.  That is how I voice my discontent with people who keep those stereotypes or those hurtful activities going.  I fight the good fight in my own way – just as other female gamers chip away at things on their terms.  We’re all right, here.  There is no wrong way to represent.  We’re in this together.

Which brings me to my last point – women who oppress other women.  I find this to be outright sad and disappointing.  Chris Rock once said “Women could run the world – if only they didn’t hate each other.”  I don’t want to say I expect to receive judgment or to be looked down upon from men, but I find it much more surprising and dare I say hurtful, when I see women standing in the way of other women in this game.  Because a girl likes to have a good time and likes to flirt does not mean she is a drama magnet and that you have to lock up your husband in the closet during raids.  Because a girl applies to your guild and her gem choices may not be what you would expect, it does not give you the right to make her feel less than or for you to take an opportunity to one up her.  Show her the way – ride to the top with her.  Don’t feel like she’s bringing down our gender – show her how to better represent us.  Don’t take the obvious road and go all “Mean Girls,”  just because you think it might make you feel more secure in what you’re doing or because you feel you can gain something, from stepping on another girl’s hands, on the rise to the top.

In closing, I found this amazing post from Wolfshead Online, that could be seen as a TL:DR of what I just typed.  Love it! 

I’m a feminist. I’m a gamer. And I’m offended …

…offended by people who are claiming to be offended on my behalf. I never gave them the right to speak for me, and they don’t.

To anyone who was offended by the bunny ears: When you’ve been told you can’t even apply for a job you’re highly qualified for because you’re female, get offended. When you’ve been told you have to have a man co-sign to open a bank account, get offended. When your college academic adviser tells you that women shouldn’t be in college, and especially not in the sciences, get offended. When you’re denied housing because you’re a single woman, get offended. When you’ve been told you have to clean a filthy bathroom because you’re the only woman working there, get offended. When someone at your new employer’s home office demands that you put the real manager on the phone or you’ll be fired, get offended. And especially, when you’ve been told that your chances of getting a promotion from your boss are directly related to your boss’s chances of getting a blow job from you, get offended.

If the WORST thing that ever happens to you because you’re female is that someone zaps your game character with silly bunny ears, thank your deity of choice every day that you were not born into my generation, that you did grow up in the world we we grew up in, and that you did not have to fight the struggle we fought to have the opportunities that you take for granted. The women of my generation, and the generations who came before us, fought for the right to equal and fair treatment under the law. We fought for the chance to prove we could do a job, and do it. We fought for the opportunity to be everything we could be, do everything we could do. We did not fight for the right to never be offended. Anyone who thinks that such a right exists is trivializing every woman’s struggle to be treated as a human being, as an adult, as an equal.

Go ride your pink pony to the land of nicey-nice, you weak sisters. Find yourself some politically correct game where nobody is allowed to say any words, think any thoughts, that you personally do not like. You might want to get yourself a fainting couch while you’re at it, and make sure you have a man standing by to open doors for you and help you into cars. Or woman up, deal with it, and stop looking for things to get offended by, because you’re giving all the real feminists of the world a bad name.