Monday, May 3, 2021

Here, have some homework, but bring your hardhat

I received the ping over a week ago.

It was after a detailed yet really emotional discussion on the raid guild's Mage channel about Thaddius. Or, more specifically, the Mage team's lack of decent parsing on Thadd. While we consistently down Thadd, the Mage crew has had to lay off of pushing the pedal to the metal because we frequently get an Ignite that either comes close to or actually pulls threat*. If you map out our threat levels, one of us with Ignite's threat looks like we're on a sudden rocket ship to the stars (almost vertical). So, to combat that we frequently start by soaking the first Ignite, use a Rank 9 Fireball to start with, and then switch to Max Rank when things look stable.**

But all of that has an effect on our parsing which, to be fair, sucks. 

One of the crew was arguing about his need to fix his lack of parsing so much and in such a way that it set off alarm bells in my head. I can't describe it, but if you've been a parent for long enough you just learn to recognize where something takes a detour into dangerous emotional territory.

"Dude," I finally responded, "If you're thinking you suck, you don't. Trust me on this one. I don't want you to think you suck, because you kick ass." 

Things calmed down after that, but still it was a pretty raw discussion.

So with that in my mind, I received a ping from one of the raid guild's leadership later that day. "Cardwyn, do you have some time to talk?"

Uh-oh. 

First, she used my full name, Cardwyn, which I only hear in raid when the Raid Caller/Leader says something officially in raid or when the Loot Master says it when I win something. Second, with the rather generic "do you have a second to talk" following so shortly after the Thadd argument, I got that sinking feeling that I'd overstepped my bounds in the parsing discussion, and I guess she drew the short stick to talk to me about it. 

"Well," I said, "might as well get this over with." I responded and said I had time today or tomorrow, but now is fine too. I was alone in the house at the time, so no big deal.

After a couple of hours --and, of course, after my youngest and her boyfriend had dropped by and were up in her room-- she finally responded and I pulled on my headset to chat while I worked on dinner.

"So Card," she began, "You're aware that in BC we're going to have two 25-person raids, right?"***

"Right," I replied, realizing belatedly that Mage parsing was not on her mind.

"I'm going to be leading the Monday raid, along with [a couple of other people]. I'd like to know if you would like to join the raid leadership to be our fourth."

I blinked.

This I was not what I was expecting.

I mean, in the raid surveys that we'd filled out, I had checked a little box that said yes if I wanted to help out in some way. I'd conveniently ignored the entries for Raid Caller, Loot Master, and other official duties of raid leadership, because I figured I could help out by doing a few minor things here and there. After all, I'm not exactly the sweatiest person out on the raid team by a long shot.

Somewhere in the back of my head was a small voice saying "Just how few people offered to volunteer before they got to my name?"

But it was an offer, and I accepted it without hesitation.

We chatted for about 10-15 more minutes, and finished the call.

As I took off the headset I suddenly realized what I'd committed myself to doing: I was going to have to give up on my grand dream of taking my time and exploring Outland. (At least initially.)

And I was gonna have to get sweaty. No way around it.

"Well, crap."

***

Around the same time, with the latest patch came the ability to dethrone a GM if they'd been marked as inactive. Since my guild's GM has been inactive for months, it was kind of a no brainer that I took the opportunity to perform a coup and take over the guild. Sure, it's a guild of (essentially) me at this point, but hey, it's something. And I didn't even have to gather signatures or anything either. 

It had kind of irked me for a while that if the GM wasn't going to even make an effort to come back, he could have given me or someone else the GM job and then left, but oh well. I guess people figure that things will remain unchanging. I once asked him about some of the people who leveled in the guild an then split, and he kind of shrugged. It was his guild, I was informed, and he was fine if people didn't necessarily want to stick around or anything. I thought it weird to not have a vested interest in the people in your guild that you didn't necessarily know that well, but I rolled with it.

And now it wasn't his guild at all anymore.

***

It's kind of weird how my work instincts immediately kicked in when I began analyzing the documentation we already had. Usually I try to separate my work from home life, and in spite of me working from home for a couple of decades I do that fairly well. Unless, of course, something like this comes along and then my lizard brain says "Ooo... Data..." and then the work part of me wakes up. 

Naturally, the next thing I thought of was "I don't have enough info on raiding in TBC --or classes for that matter-- to help out." So I started reading up on raid compositions, goals, and whatnot.

 This sort of thing has been
my diet for the past week.


I quickly discovered that there was going to be a problem.

As part of the raid leadership team, I was guaranteed a spot in the raid. But a lot of the 25 person raid compositions in TBC had only one Mage in them. And with two raids, that meant 2 Mages total.

Our core group of Mages currently totaled four.

I knew that at least 3 of us were planning on playing a Mage in BC Classic, and if --as I assumed-- all four of us would, we'd be hard pressed to find space for all of them.

While I could theoretically switch to Az, the slots for Rogues in 25-person BC raids numbered somewhere between zero and one. And I knew that we had far more talented Rogues out there in the raid than me.

I cursed up a blue streak, realizing what that meant. Unless something happened, we were at risk to lose at least one of the Mages from not only the raid team, but potentially from the guild. And our Mage crew is pretty tight. If we all lived in the same city, we'd likely hang out together, go for beers**** and in general have a good time. We look out for each other and reach out when we think things aren't okay. It may be totally selfish, but I didn't want to lose that friendship.

So I decided to sacrifice Card.

"Listen, Card, it's just a figure of...
Tell you what, go finish farming Demonic
Runes and I'll explain it later."

 

***

I brooded over this decision for a couple of days, because I've grown quite fond of her. It's likely due to my writing attempts, because her fictional personality is a mesh of my two daughters, and I've connected to her in a way that I never did with my other toons.

But I've played a Ret Pally before, and I've played a Warlock before, and both were going to be needed in BC raids. I was fairly certain nobody was clamoring to play Ret --the only person I knew who did had to retire from the raid due to personal reasons-- so I could slip into that role fairly easily. And I already had Card's sister slated in my head for a Ret position, so I could do that.

If I was going to lead, I had to set an example and do what I could for the betterment of the team.

"My time has come!"
Hold yer horses there, kid....


I took my concerns to the Raid Leader, who told me that once the teams (and leadership) were announced there was going to be another survey to see who wanted to go where. So she said we have time, so just wait and see. 

Okay, I could do that.*****

***

A short time later the Raid Leader pinged me in Discord that we had an issue. Since a lot of the raid leader tools (WeakAuras and add-ons) are configured to be guild specific, my presence was going to cause problems. She cast out a feeler about whether there were any real issues about joining the guild. 

I kind of figured that this would happen --and I was surprised that the topic wasn't broached when I initially agreed to join the raid lead team-- so I'd already decided it was going to be okay. I laid out my checkered history with guilds, but I told her that since I'd made a commitment, I'll follow through on it and join. All I asked was that since I hate being the center of attention, can we please do it while hardly anybody is on.#

That went as well as you'd expect.

Oh, it worked out at first, because only a few people were on at the time, and half of them were guild leadership and so were aware of my decision. But once they changed my tags in Discord, well....

This was one of the more tame
memes; you get the idea.

Uh, yeah.

Of course, before all that happened, I wasn't about to give up my newly acquired GM role in my old guild. So I managed to finagle something and move Az into the GM role, freeing up Card to drop Retail Orphans and join Valhalla.

It all blew over after a day, thankfully, so by the time the Friday progression raid was set everybody had gotten the ribbing out of their system. 

But except for a few people in the two raid lead teams and guild leadership, nobody knew what was coming when the raid leadership teams were announced.

***

...and there has been drama. The curse lives.



*And guess who is often the owner of said Ignite. I watch those threat meters, sigh, and say "I'm gonna have to LIP, aren't I?"

**We're one of the few guilds on our server that have cleared Naxx and yet don't have a single Thunderfury on the raid team. Oh, we've tried for that second Binding off of Baron Geddon, for almost a year on a regular basis, and still we haven't gotten one to drop for either of our tanks who have a Garr Binding. If we had even one TF, the additional threat would be enough that we could just go to town on Thadd.

***This is by memory, so it may not be completely accurate. 

****And tequila. I see you, Raike.

*****We worked on an overview statement as well as a proposed raid composition this weekend, and the Raid Leader and I decided to mark me as "TBD", so that if things work out I can play on Card, but if not I'll fill one of the other slots.

#As I've alluded to in the past, I'm extremely shy in real life, but every day I get up and put on a (virtual) mask to get me through the day. When I first went to university, everybody had to take a day's worth of psychological tests. When I received my results back, they included an appointment with a university psychologist, because the psych staff was concerned about my ability to handle day to day life in college. When I finally met with the shrink, she took one look at me and said "You look fine; so why the results?" "I hide it well," I replied.


EtA: Replaced "raid teams" with "raid leadership teams".

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Moar Changes

 I, uh, now have a bit more of an incentive to get to L70 in BC than before. 

And unfortunately, until the official notice drops, I can't really share the reason why yet. I'd been holding on this post for a week now, and I was getting tired of holding it so I'm putting this placeholder out while I'm waiting.

But there was a price to be paid, at least from my perspective. I paid it willingly, but it did not change my personal opinions on anything. Probably the labels will give some of it away, I suppose.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Speaking of Changes

I suppose with BC fast approaching, it was inevitable that the raiding schedule would change. The weekly runs of Molten Core --dubbed the Molten Core Fun Run-- have come to an end.

It was announced in last night's raid that this run was the last, which caused a bit of sadness on my part. MC had turned into a type of raiding 'comfort food', where you can show up and just feel that no matter how shitty of a day you had, things were gonna be okay.* Kind of a "where everybody knows your name" type of raid.

When I was in high school, one of my
nicknames was "Cliffy" because I was
a bit of a know-it-all.

In the back of my head I always knew it was going to happen, but it still felt like a letdown. You never forget your first time, I suppose, and my first real raid was an MC run that this Fun Run was a spinoff from. If you include that original MC raid, 11 months is a pretty decent time for a raid's lifetime, particularly since MC hadn't been on the progression raid schedule since, well, February 2020. Unlike Zul'Gurub, the other raid with a long lifetime, Molten Core won't remain relevant into BC (unless you count farming for recipes). ZG has the benefit of having enchants that remain useful deep into BC, just like Blackrock Depths has the benefits of being the place you farm for the Hand of Justice, which will absolutely remain a BiS item deep into BC.

Still, I'm going to miss that place.




*For the record, my comfort food is beef stroganoff, at least the way I make it. A good Cincinnati style chili 3-way is a close second.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Date Creeps Closer

The currently rumored date for the BC Classic pre-patch drop is May 18th (or thereabouts), which means for the Alliance there will be Shamans as far as the eye can see, and a similar number of Paladins on the Horde side. 

Which probably explains why I'm not going to tinker with being a Shaman. 

I remember when Mists dropped I very frequently found myself as a minority as a non-Pandaren in Battlegrounds. There was one notable Warsong Gulch game in which I was the only non-Pandaren participant on the Alliance side, and while I want to say that included the Horde side too I can't recall for certain. Those were strange days, no doubt. 

But still, reading all of the posts on the various Discords about BC has been akin to listening to a bunch of Pathfinder fans talking about min-maxing their characters. And if you have an hour to lose, you too can listen in on how to create a truly overpowered PC*.

I've pretty much tuned out discussions about BC at this point. From what I've seen so far, BC discussions devolve into such minutae about BiS items, raid compositions, the best way to get raid ready, and grinding out attunements that the interest in BC as a place to explore and experience has gotten lost. I can't help but think that I'm seeing some of the same factors that led to Retail's current state** being played out before my eyes.

At this point I'm wondering exactly where I'll fit in, because while I'd like to experience end game raiding in BC, I steadfastly refuse to power level my way there. I want to immerse myself in Outland and experience the expac when it was new and wondrous. I remember going through the Dark Portal for the first time back in 2009/2010, but back then there were so few players in Outland --everybody and their grandmother was already in Northrend by then-- that the impact was kind of muted. This time, things are going to be different.

Kind of like this, but in Hellfire Peninsula.
 

I certainly hope that my path won't take me away from the friends I've made in the game, but as friends have come and gone within Classic I shouldn't be surprised that things will change. I suppose you could say that change is the only constant in an MMO; after all, look at the names of all the newly created Night Elves on the first minutes of Classic's opening and think of just how many of them remain, playing the game. I know that I don't recognize any of them, and by now I've gotten to know quite a few names around the capital cities and the major guilds.

Anyway, we'll find out in at least a month or so how things stand.



*That min-maxing culture, along with the success of D&D 5e, are likely the drivers for the creation of Pathfinder 2e. The amount of crunch in Pathfinder had gotten so large that you were pretty much required to use a computerized database system such as Lone Wolf's Hero Lab Online to keep track of your characters.

**Well, outside of the Cataclysm rewrite and the direction the overall story of Azeroth went, that is.

Friday, April 16, 2021

I'm Your Handyman

For the past week I've been perusing peripheral options for my gaming activities. Oh, yes, I've been playing games too*, but my mind has been on other things

Perhaps it's the weather, but I've turned my attention to such projects as what it would take to repair the deck --likely replacing about 10-15 deckboards-- as well as finish the paint job that was so rudely interrupted by my knee injury. Once the decking is repaired, then I can focus on making some stands for the plant containers on the deck as well as getting a replacement gas grill.** 

All of this means spending some money.

Some of it is obvious --wood for the deckboards, etc.-- and some not so obvious: if I want to get a quicker result in replacing the decking, I have to purchase a power miter saw. I have a manual miter box, but it takes much longer to cut. I looked into power miter box rentals last year, and the price of the rental was enough that if I use the saw for more than one trip it is more economical for me to just buy a decent quality inexpensive power miter box.***

There are other projects that require spending some money too, such as getting the carpet cleaned. Last year in late Summer, I discovered that rental places were refusing to rent carpet washers, so if I wanted a carpet cleaner I have to buy one myself. And believe me, our carpets could use a good cleaning.

So yeah, there's a lot of stuff like that on my mind. And that has been creeping into my game playing, too.

***

Before you even think about it, let me make one thing clear: I'm not gonna turn into a streamer. 

Sorry, that's not my thing. And while I'd love to have a nice studio setup, likely combining it with a music practice room in the house, that ain't happening. We don't have the money for it, and if we did we'd get other repairs done first. 

So while the concept of getting an A/V setup going is very tempting, if for nothing else to indulge any music recording I'd like to perform****, that's not possible at this time.

Instead, I've been focusing on what I can do to improve my in-game interactions. 

Yes, I've got a wireless headset that I use. 

The Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum.
Pic is from PC Magazine, likely
originating from Logitech.

 

And especially when I have to get up and move around a bit from time to time, yeah, it's a lifesaver. Not the greatest sound quality for music, but it'll do for both work and gaming. Build quality is good, and while it doesn't do noise cancelling, I've only had to crack it open to put tuner cleaner in spots once.

However, if people in the house try to talk to me, I'm not likely to hear them. When working, that's not an issue, but if I'm gaming I'd like to hear them. Because for some reason as soon as I put that sucker on in the evening to go play, somebody in the house just has to have a conversation about something. It's like magic, I swear.

So while the oldest mini-Red was around, I borrowed her Blue Snowball Ice microphone to use while I raided. It solved the isolation issue, and in a bizarre way it solved the "hey, I need to ask you something" issue. Apparently when I started using it, people did NOT want to be heard talking to me while the mic was up and running, so they saved their discussions until later.

(Genius!)

The Snowball is a pretty unassuming microphone, but it's not mine, as it follows the oldest mini-Red back and forth from college. So, I thought, I could just buy my own microphone and just do what I need to do without relying upon pestering my daughter for hers.

It's never as easy as it sounds, right?

I have since gone down the rabbit hole of USB microphones.

Indeed. This is just a small portion of
the available microphones. And the article
this is from only highlighted one (!) of
these mics. From Techstunt.

I can honestly state that I have no idea just how much time I've spent researching USB microphones, but I now know enough to realize that the most popular mics out there, the Blue Yetis and Snowballs, may not be the one for me. 

There's a time and a place for tweaking a microphone's gain and whatnot to make things just perfect, but when I want to just get going quickly that can suck. Especially when the software that comes with the mic (like the Blue Yeti Nano or X) deliberately has the gain set too high by default. And while I'd love to take advantage of extra mic patterns, the reality is that I won't need them any time soon. So it kind of boils down to the sound for the get up and go.

I'm not going to pass on the Blue Yeti's just yet, because the main competition in my mind is the Elgato Wave 3, and I cant seem to effing FIND one out in the wild to make a physical comparison. I hate going in blind like that, but if I want to buy a Wave 3, that's likely what I'll end up having to do.

And even then, there are some others out there, such as the Rode NT-USB Mini that's caught my attention as well.

Geez, I hate making a decision here.

***

The mic aside, I've been hoping to fix up our PC desk. The sliding keyboard + mouse part has a laminated fake wood look, and that cheap laminate has been fading away. I figured that now was as good a time as any to get it replaced with a nicer laminate so I didn't have to use a mouse pad when gaming. 

But boy is that going to be annoying to find. 

Kind of like this but without the
wood/MDF. From Cabinetmaker Warehouse.

 

I've already been to a couple of hardware stores and struck out, so I think I may have to go to a woodworking specialty store, such as Woodcraft, to find what I need. 

***

My old backup solution has bit the dust. It was a Seagate Go system, long out of date, and now the hard drive died, and a replacement didn't work at all. Which sucks. 

So.... I might have to invest in a real backup system, like a Synology NAS, because my internet connection isn't good enough for me to consider backing up everything to the cloud. And I scouted the costs of 2-bay and 4-bay NAS devices, and yi-yi-yi.....

Very nice, but the price....
From Synology.

 

***

And, at long last, there's the speakers.

 

   
Back in the day, this was da bomb.
Pic from Amazon.
 

The speakers I'm currently using are the now ancient Altec Lansing ADA-305 woofer and satellite pair. Back in their heyday (circa 1999) they were considered the best speakers for the PC, but 22 years later their age has been showing, particularly in the crispness of the the highs and the overall sound. I've been contemplating making my own pair of speakers with a subwoofer, but I've also been considering just replacing the drivers for the satellites and see how that works. Either way, this is the one area that I refuse to skimp on, because I love listening to my ripped CDs when I sit nearby, working.*****

***

So, there's a lot of other things to consider moving forward, and by comparison my gaming is actually a nice diversion from all this.



*After a week of regressing and not being able to kill K'T, we one shot him this past Monday. And to while away the time, I started yet another game of Stardew Valley. For the record, I always think I'm going to choose someone else, but I typically end up picking between Penny and Leah to romance and marry. Probably because both remind me of my wife.

**While I love using my Weber kettle grill, using charcoal grills on wooden decks is typically not a smart move. And since my primary location for using the charcoal grill is on the driveway (for safety reasons), with the mini-Reds now sharing a third car we don't have as much space as we used to. Hence my interest in gas grills. This time, I'm getting a Weber gas grill; I've had Coleman and Sears/Kenmore gas grills, and I've learned my lesson. If you want a grill that lasts, get a Weber.

***And yes, those exist. Ryobi and Kobalt are two brands that make decent inexpensive models, but you have to check them out to see if they'll work for your situation. Seriously, it's worth it to do some hands on testing.

****I was a radio DJ back in college, and for a span of 5-6 years in the late 90s-early 00s I helped to run the sound at the Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival.

*****My work laptop can't access anything in my home network, from printers on down, because of the VPN that the laptop uses. Oh well.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Enriching a Life Well Lived

The arts are what makes life worth living. You’ve got food, you’ve got shelter, yeah. But the things that make you laugh, make you cry, make you connect – make you love are communicated through the arts. They aren’t extras. 

--Barack Obama

The idea of taking up art as a calling, a profession, is a mirage. Art enriches life. It makes life worth living. But to make a living at it—that idea is incompatible with making art.

--John Sloan (Yes, he was an artist. Go figure.)

 

As part of the Vanilla/Classic WoW quest chain for Tirion Fordring, he sends you into Stratholme to find a painting his family sat for years ago. The reason is to remind Tirion's son, who has effectively been turned into a cultist by the Scarlet Crusade, of his family's past life and what honor truly stands for. The questline is a tragic one, but for me it's notable because the focus of one particular quest is on an object of art. 

There are a few quests that require you to fetch and retrieve a book, and there's a notable quest that involves a flute in Felwood, but far and away the arts aren't found in the Azeroth a player interacts with. Sure, there's the background music at inns and other locations, paintings on the walls, and other reference pieces, but almost literally nothing interactive. Unlike LOTRO, a player can't learn a musical instrument --or play a class that uses music as its magic-- and unlike Elder Scrolls Online or SWTOR (or many other MMOs) you can't purchase a house and decorate it as you please. The most you can do is transmog (in Retail) or take up some of your precious bag space for a roleplaying or hangout outfit.*

It is not a controversial statement to say that when WoW was designed, the arts weren't exactly high on everybody's mind.

I completely understand the whys of that, because when you're creating a game of epic fantasy you're more concerned about a lot of other things (like making sure mechanics actually work) than how the arts impact the denizens of the game world. That being said, given the dedicated art department that Blizz has for WoW and its other games, especially for the look and feel of a specific class, race, zone, or whatnot, you'd think that there would be advocates for the art that a player has input on.

***

I hear their passionate music
Read the words that touch my heart
I gaze at their feverish pictures
The secrets that set them apart

When I feel the powerful visions
Their fire has made alive
I wish I had that instinct
I wish I had that drive

--"Mission" by Rush, from Hold Your Fire


The reason why I'm so passionate about the arts and MMOs is because art inspires me. I love to read RPG materials, not just for the game rules/settings/adventures, but because the art inside the books stirs a desire in me to do more and be more than just a character playing a game. I'm one of those people who has to have music on at all times, no matter the genre**, because music is the backdrop of my narrative life. About the only times I don't have music on at work are when things get so serious that I have to devote all of my resources to something. Or, as one of the mini-Reds once told me, "Dad, when you turn off your music, put in earplugs, and hunch over your laptop, that's when we know shit has just hit the fan."

But the arts are what I truly enjoy in life.*** Sure, I love sports, especially college basketball, and I enjoy building things,

I built these last Fall for my wife's old
80's era all-in-one stereo. Replacing the crappy
old speakers that came with the system was
like night and day.

but I don't have the talent or time to devote to the arts. I can wander museums and look at the art, but I can't paint or sculpt. I can immerse myself in music, but I can't play worth a damn. Acting? No thanks; I listen to voice actors and watch plays/shows/movies and think "I can't do that. I can't fake emotions like that. Hell, I get embarrassed role playing in pencil-and-paper RPGs." 

And the Great American Novel this blog ain't. (Just sayin'. Doesn't hurt my feelings any, because I recognize my limitations and work within them.)

***

Art also provides a starting point for a player as well. It presents a new player --who may be uncertain about wanting to play-- with the ability to say "You're welcome at the table; you can play someone who looks like you."

If I'm in a fight, I want this guy on my side.
From the D&D 5e Players Handbook.

Or they can give you a sense of what a player can do.

I never realized it before, but the female
Halfling here bears a vague resemblance to
Anna Kendrick. Or maybe I need more sleep.
From D&D 5e Players Handbook.

And yes, there's the eye candy art as well.

What, you thought I was going to
use Seoni? Geralt works fine, you know.
Besides, Geralt is one of those people who
I think of when I say "I'm not gay, but...."
From The Witcher trilogy.

People draw fan art of their favorite characters, their toons, or even scenes from a gaming session all the time. And if I tried posting some here, I'd have a real problem picking a representative sample from the tons of fan art available. Perusing Deviantart alone can suck hours of your time. But if you ever watch Critical Role, you'll note during their breaks the fan art they post... Oh the fan art.

***

Because of all that, the overall lack of an artistic outlet in some MMOs can be a bit jarring at times. Some work within the limitations and create fantastic work, such as Kamalia of Kamalia et Alia and her fashion sense. Her Sunday on the Promenade series on transmog outfits alone are worth a perusal, even though I play Classic and don't have access to transmog. (Me? I'm happy when I don't select blue shirts and a blue jacket to go with my blue jeans.)

Others work with what they have, saving a set specifically for hanging around an MMO city.****

But there are times when I wish a WoW toon could make music all on their own in the same way that you can in LOTRO. The 5 PM EST band on the Gladden server still plays regularly just inside the western entrance to Bree, and it would be nice if something such as that were available on other MMOs. Or have a space of your own to decorate, like you can find in LOTRO, SWTOR, or ESO (oh boy, the options you have in ESO). 

Such as it is, we have to make do with our own efforts outside of MMOs.

Maybe I should try my hand at painting. I already had a couple of discussions with one of my fellow Mages about watercolors, and he positively geeked out on me and provided me with a ton of info to get started. I know going in I'm going to suck, but if I work at it maybe I can finally draw/paint an image I've had in my head for a while, of Card wearing regular clothing, with her nieces and nephews, heading to the pond close to the farm to go fish. Her face is relaxed; she's grinning at the nephew she has perched on her shoulders, while Carys and the others are cavorting around because they're all excited that Aunt Cardwyn is taking them on "an adventure". And perhaps in the distance, Kit and Kerisa are already there, sitting and fishing, glancing over their shoulders with amused expressions at the ruckus. It's not a "go slay the dragons" image at all, but a simple picture that reflects the humanity of a toon.



*That's not counting the pirate and other costumes people can transform into, courtesy of holiday events.

**Well, I'm not a fan of most country music, and hip hop commands my attention in a way that distracts from anything I'm working on, so I rarely listen to either. Although I will say that Cardwyn's nickname in raids is now primarily "Cardy B". And because of that I now point out that the "B" stands for "battle rez".

***Oh, for pete's sake, I do love my wife and family, so don't go there.

****I have two now: the "Vixen Set" which features the Spider-mage robe, and an "Out Dating" set, which has Card wearing an evening gown. I should make one with a full Tier set, even having helm and cloak on, just so I can look like a Mage and drum up some consumables and/or portals business. I can't remember who said it, but a friend in Classic mentioned to me about a month ago that when they wear a full T2 set they get a lot more business.


Friday, April 2, 2021

So That's How We Looked

Okay, I still haven't figured out how to post the video like you can with YouTube --and I blame poor tools by Blogger here-- but here's a link to our K'T kill, as streamed by Mirsh. 

It's also nice to know I'm not the only one who curses while raiding. Good thing the kids are much older, or I'd go crazy trying to censor myself. But somewhere, I think my Grandfather would be proud of me for cursing as much as I do.*

I've always wondered how I sound in raids in Discord, and now I know. You can hear me at the tail end just before the kill saying "We've got him!! We've got him!!"

I can't help but confess that I was focusing on where I was on the screen, hoping that I don't look too much like an idiot. I can't stream, because if I did you'd see my head was on a swivel, constantly looking for those banshees as they bore down on us. And it's not a lot of fun once you hit Phase 2 and you're trying desperately to conserve as much mana as you can for sheeping while wanding and pacing out your potion consumption. 



*A quick story about my Grandfather. During WW2, he and several other people in his division were promoted to Corporal. As they all stood in line, a Captain marched up and down saying "I made you, and I can break you." My Grandfather, never one for tact, piped up and cracked, "If that's the way you feel about it, you can shove it up your ass!!"

My Grandfather was busted back down to Private quicker than you can say WTF...


EtA: Fixed the link. Whoops.