Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Oh, for Pete's Sake, 2020....

One of the few guildies left in my current guild actually put in an appearance today. He'd been consumed with binge watching a television series or two, so he'd been away from WoW Classic during that time. But what really pushed him into logging back in was that he is kind of in "rest mode" due to injury.

He broke his pelvis skydiving.

As he put it, there was a malfunction in the skydiving equipment, so he took the landing harder than it should have. When he landed, the force of the landing drove his femur up and into his pelvis, blasting through it to the other side. So he had to have the pelvis repaired and the joint reconstructed.

By the miracle of modern medicine, he was up and walking with a walker 3 days later. 

He still has a 3+ month road back to health, however, but at least he's moving in the right direction. It could have been worse --much worse-- but at least he's expected to make a full recovery.

I blame 2020 for this, as he'd skydived tons of times over the years, so this should have been a no-brainer.

And as an ironic aside, if I'd have left the guild, I'd have missed this story. So go figure; 2020 is conspiring to keep things exactly the same as they are.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Ghosts of the Past

For all of the highs I've experienced as a gamer this year, 2020 has massively sucked in general.

And Friday brought more bad news in that one of my wife's friends died of breast cancer.

It wasn't unexpected, as she'd taken one last trip this Autumn to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to say farewell to a part of the country she loved, and you could tell from the photos she posted that the disease had ravaged her. But people still held out hope that she'd live to see one last Christmas.

Needless to say, thoughts of mortality dominated my weekend.*

This was taken on Monday, but it also
exemplifies what I was up to last weekend.


I decided early on to not dwell on her suffering, because there wasn't anything I personally could have done. The only people who could have done something were her caregivers, and I had to assume that they did the best they could with the cards they were dealt. I also thought of what her family went through, and watching her decline reminded me so much of what happened to my father in May/June 2017.** He fell and was admitted to the hospital on Derby Day (First Saturday in May), and was gone before Father's Day (Third Sunday in June). When the oncologist told my Dad in early June there was nothing he could do, he asked what my Dad wanted. "That I go quickly," Dad replied.

But what I kept coming back to was the concept of "a life well lived".  

I've heard people describe it as "working to live rather than living to work", but A Life Well Lived is more than that. It's about finding and keeping meaningful relationships, exploring and doing new things, and doing things because you want to do them rather than having to do them. If a lot of that sounds like you'd have to have a lot of money to basically thumb your nose at American Corporate Culture, you're right. You would have to be independently wealthy to do that. 

Or poor and have no attachments. A modern day hobo, if you will.

Okay, it's not really that bad, because exploring and doing new things doesn't require you to have a lot of money to accomplish. After all, there's libraries, parks, free concerts, etc. to be explored. Still, telling your boss to get bent and going off and doing your own thing, ala American Beauty, is a dream that very few get a chance to fulfill until retirement.

Ah yes, Homer Simpson did live that out.
From The Simpsons' Treehouse
of Horror. I think fourth season.


It's one thing to experience death in a pandemic from members of our extended family, whom we may talk to once every year (if that), and then quite another from someone that the family regularly converses with. The stench of death that surrounded 2020 can depress even the hardiest of optimists, but it can also force a re-evaluation of your own life, leading you to ask whether your life has truly been a Life Well Lived.


And that it has.

My wife has issues playing around on the computer when it's nice outside and there's places you can go. So did my father, who was a certified golf nut.*** If it wasn't raining, he was golfing. If he wasn't golfing, he'd be at a driving range. If he wasn't there, he was outside in the front yard or back yard, practicing with a pitching wedge. And if he wasn't doing that, he'd be watching golf on television.

He loved golf even more than his beloved Xavier Musketeers basketball team, and if you knew my dad, that's saying quite a lot.

But at the same time, Dad subscribed to the Puritan work ethic, which I liked to sum up by using the H.L. Mencken quip that Puritans had "the haunting fear that someone somewhere might be happy." He worked long hours, was a perfectionist, and was never satisfied that something he worked on was "good enough". 

If you know me, either in MMOs or in real life, then this meme has probably popped into your head:

Yeah yeah yeah... I get it.

I have tried very hard not to burden my kids with my faults, and I think I've largely succeeded. They study, they play, and they work hard, but they don't overdo it. The girls are obsessive and perfectionists at music, but as long as it's limited to just that localized area, I consider that a success.

But still, my dad didn't have a father figure growing up, and his uncle (who never had kids) was the closest one he had. So he basically imprinted himself upon me, and as time has gone on I've had to fight that Puritan ethic that tells me that playing games without any real focus other than pure fun is a waste of time.**** 

My wife hasn't exactly helped either, as I can't tell you the number of times we've had a lazy day off and sometime at the end of the day she gets upset that we didn't do anything. She's so used to her parents always doing things outside, visiting places, and simply doing things that the concept of just screwing around and decompressing frequently has the opposite of its intended effect. If we go on vacation, if we're not where we are supposed to be bright and early so that we can maximize "fun" she gets really upset.*****

And if you think you know where this is going, yeah....

I spent the weekend alternating between two wildly contrasting views: that I should stop being an ass and join the guild I raid with (and have Az join another guild comprised of friends I group with on a regular basis); or that I should stop playing MMOs entirely and focus on "better things to do with the life I have left."

There was absolutely no fucking middle ground here.

Both have compelling arguments to them, and when you're listening to sad music from Simon and Garfunkel, the Carpenters, and other staples of my parents' record collection, both feel equally valid. 

Or this song from Fannigan's Isle,
A local Irish band.


One one side, it only makes sense that I'd finally join the guild I raid with, and at the same time place Az in a guild that has several other friends I run with. After all, they're acquaintances and friends that I enjoy hanging with, and it only makes sense to finally join the club.

However, there's also the risk of burnout.

I've seen some of the guilds currently raiding Naxxramas out there raiding Naxx 5 or 6 nights a week. The sheer number of mats and potions to keep that grind up is absolutely insane, and I don't see how guilds can keep that pace up without cracking soon. 

And likewise, I do raid a ton myself. That's because I want to see a lot of the smaller raids put on succeed, such as ZG twice a week and AQ20 on Sundays. Then there's Molten Core Thursday Fun Runs, which I also know need regular raiders to succeed. So I show up because that's what friends do, they support each other. And to be fair, I don't buff myself much for those runs because I'm geared well enough to not require it. Yet I can see where I can't simply keep this going week in and week out. 

There's also the push to get "sweatier", as in working harder and harder to get to the top of my raiding game for the progression raids. Other Mages in the guild diligently farmed Necrotic Runes in the Scourge Invasion event and ended up with 6 to 8 stacks (or more) of Blessed Wizard Oil, so they'll have BiS oils for Naxx raids practically going into BC. Me? I had real life to deal with, and managed 3 stacks, which should get me to February. I say to myself that should be good enough, but is it really? Do I really know if I'm measuring up if I'm constantly 6/6?

And there's the perpetual gear grind, and I'm sitting here wondering when I'll ever catch up to the rest of the Mages. I've been assured repeatedly that I'm doing fine, but as I pointed out above, I'm my Dad's son, and that "I'm not good enough" mantra is alive and well within my psyche.


For the other side, it kind of goes without saying. Save some dollars, free up some time to do other things, such as read or fix things around the house, and maybe go out and get back in shape. Without my MMO habit, I'd not be seriously considering building my own PC. That's saving quite a few dollars right there, that could be better spent on "more important stuff". 

Like studying my work more, I suppose. I've been told I need to brush up on this or that, or pick up a new skill to keep myself relevant. Dropping MMOs would free up the time for me to do that, and to take the certification exams that do keep me relevant.

And yet, do I want to become my father? Do I want to be dead at age 69? I spent my life running from having "He Did a Good Job at Work" chiseled on my tombstone, so why should I change now?

Do I want to become sweaty at work instead of in a game?


What will I do? 


Fuck all if I know.

I don't have any answers, which is why I wrote this all down. 

I am my father's son, for better or worse, and because of that I have my own demons to overcome. And there are plenty of times when that inner voice shouts louder than any voice of reason, whether it comes from myself or my friends or my family. And no matter what I do that voice will still be with me, sowing doubt.

Like I told some of my fellow Mages when I tried to explain what's going on right now, "I need to get my head screwed on straight first, and then maybe I'll be able to do something."

(But it wouldn't surprise me if I just remain in purgatory, in this wandering between the two ends. Because my inner voice would like it like that.)



*At times like this, I pour gasoline onto my internal fire by playing this piece from the Ken Burns' documentary The Civil War. I first heard it about 30 years ago, and every time I listen it feels sadder and sadder, so be warned. And for pete's sake, don't listen to this if you've a couple of drinks in you.


**If you wondered why the blog output declined during that time, now you know.

***When he was growing up, he'd even play golf in the snow; his uncle would take him out to the golf course near old Lunken Airport and they'd play there. My dad was very very good at golf; he could have been a local PGA pro at one of the courses around the county if he wanted to, but he never considered himself good enough to be able to do that. Hell, I'd have liked to have seen him try out for the US Open on the amateur side. As a measure of how good a player he was, he's played at both Pebble Beach (California) and Valhalla (in Louisville, KY), both places on the PGA Tour, and he's either made par or gotten under par. No handicap, just skill.

****How he reconciled his golf obsession (and college basketball obsession) with that work ethic is beyond me, so don't ask.

*****Yeah, vacations are anything but relaxing.

EtA: Added an extra pic.
EtA: Corrected some grammar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

A Proud Day

The Scourge Invasion continues, with tons of (re) dead Scourge in our wake...

Shouldn't we be burning these piles?

And yesterday was the first day of The Feast of Winter Veil, so I got into the holiday spirit in Ironforge:

Take that, Ao!
(Yes, we do know each other in game.)

Another acquaintance decided to continue
the fight while his toon was wearing a fancy dress.

But for me, the highlight of the day was this:

It sure looked better before I took
the screenshot. Now it looks like Card
is hiding her face.

Yes, that is the oldest mini-Red with her first WoW/WoW Classic toon, a baby Hunter.

Her finals are over*, and we obtained a replacement laptop, so here we are.

She was amused that her Night Elf is taller than Card, and made certain to let me know. But she also thought it awesome to actually meet Card in game.

I deliberately laid off a bit so that she could explore on her own. Having played LOTRO for years, she's familiar with more of the Old School MMOs than most people her age, but Classic was even more Old School than that. 

You know, with the lack of pointers telling you where to go for a quest. 

I did suggest Questie, the add-on that takes care of that, but she said she was fine with learning it the old fashioned way. She was really impressed that even though it's a very old game she felt it was so well put together, which even after all these years I remain impressed by with Vanilla/Classic.

So if I'm on a low level toon in some low level place, you'll know what I'm up to.

And boy, if she thinks she'll be anonymous for long, there are some friends of mine in-game who want to meet her...

*Yes, she's a senior at college. Not so mini anymore.


EtA: added an extra line for clarification.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Well, That was Weird

Early this past Sunday morning, after my wife had left for work, I was catching up on some work* when Discord pinged and I saw that Azuregos had spawned. I've been involved in raids that killed two of the Dragons of Nightmare, but I hadn't had the chance to kill Azuregos yet. So, I quickly responded with an "I'm getting online" and hopped on Cardwyn. I received the raid invite almost as soon as the loading screen finished, and I headed out for Azshara for a morning breakfast with a blue dragon.

Sunday mornings EST on a PST server aren't a great time for a pug, much less a raid for a World Boss, and we made an attempt after temporarily stalling out at 9-10 people. Without any true healers the raid wiped, so as we bandaged our wounded pride we waited for more people to join up. We eventually got about 17 - 18 people, and our decision to wait for 20 was made for us when a couple of scouts for the top guilds on the server began to appear. 

We pulled, and once everything settled down, we were able to grind out a kill.

About midway through the fight, someone from the top guild on the server dropped in and asked if we needed a healer. I didn't notice any response --and I wasn't the raid leader either-- so I focused on doing my part to down Azuregos.

Afterward, however, said player struck up a conversation with me. 

On the surface of it, the chat was pretty general in nature: how'd we do, any decent drops, how's your guild doing on Naxx, etc. etc. But at the same time, the toon was chatting me up in that he'd seen me around, have I run with his guild before**, what do I think of several different bosses, etc. etc.

At some point the lightbulb went off in my head*** and I thought to myself "Am I being recruited?"

I almost immediately followed that with: "WTF, has he even seen what my DPS is? He's hitting on the wrong player in my raid."

I kept the conversation aboveboard and polite, and eventually it ended and we went our separate ways, but the entire thing was so surreal that I still can't quite wrap my head around it. (Hence this post.) On the one hand, it was entirely likely it was completely innocent conversation. But on the other, after having described it to a friend on the server, he said "Oh yeah, Card, you were definitely being recruited. They just don't want to come out and say it, as some guilds take poaching seriously."

So maybe that was my "brush with greatness" on the server. But I could also say that "There, but for the love of God, go I." That guild is also known as being the sweatiest of the sweaty guilds, and the amount of prep and training and practice that'd take to appear semi-competent in that guild would burn me out faster than you'd believe.

It was flattering, but I vastly prefer the raid team I currently run with. I know my role, I know the people, and the raid suits me well.

And really, nobody wants to be near me if I'm sweaty.

*Don't judge me. I'm not a workaholic, and I knew going into the weekend it had to get done.

**Yes, I've been in some 5-man runs with his guild. Never had a problem there. But at the same time, this was the same guild that the tank from THAT AQ20 run was from. so make of that what you will.

***No, I hadn't had coffee yet. Does it show?

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

"Hey, I'm Dead but I'm Early!"*

You won't break me
You won't make me
You won't take me
Under blood red skies

You won't break me
You won't take me
I'll fight you under
Blood red skies

--Judas Priest, "Blood Red Skies"**


Okay, I can breathe again.

Our first night in Naxxramas is over, and it only took an hour for me to shake off the adrenaline and finally get some sleep. 

Ironically enough, the couple of hours of sleep that I got turned out to be pretty good sleep, because when I woke up and got some coffee in me, I was able to keep plugging along all day without any need for rest.


Where to start?

How about 5 days before, on December 3rd, when the Scourge Invasion began.

The view a minute before it started.

Just a normal day in Azeroth, I suppose. Obviously we players all knew what was coming, but the NPCs were blissfully ignorant.

Of course, all that changed.

The skies darkened and the Argent Dawn
began the call to arms.

I joined up with a group of my fellow raiders, and our first order of business was to fly up to Light's Hope Chapel to check in and discover what needed to be done to beat the Scourge back.

We arrived to find people across Azeroth
answering the call.

We scanned our maps and found that our best bet was to go to Burning Steppes where the region close to Morgan's Vigil was swarming with Scourge. But first, a side trip to Ironforge for a few of us to get some gear, trinkets, and extra potions.

Flying out of Ironforge, we were confronted
with a floating necropolis. That's when you
realize this is a big deal.

When we landed and rode out to the first invasion site, it was chaos. Just like that first battleground I ever found myself in, I just said "go out there and hit somebody."

Blood Red Skies indeed.

This continued for about 45 minutes until I had to drop for other things, but you kind of get the idea.


The next day, while Az was farming herbs in Eastern Plaguelands, she came across our goal:

"Young Mage, I have seen Hell. Elune
be with you in that seat of vile darkness."


I spent the weekend doing some of the Scourge Invasion, but ironically enough I wasn't able to get online very much as I had other errands to run around town. Even in a pandemic, stuff needs to get done.

But come Monday night, I was nervous. Were we going to be okay? Was I going to be okay? Was I going to look like an idiot in there? Did I have enough gold to cover all the potions I needed?

That last one was bothering me all the way up until an hour before invites went out, and I had to sell some Large Brilliant Shards I'd been stockpiling in order to squeeze all of my requirements in, leaving barely enough gold to cover two or three hefty repair bills. Between all of my toons, I think I had about 25 gold total.

And that 15 gold Card was carrying (Clothies don't need nearly as much gold as Plate wearers for repairs) vanished pretty quickly when I did need to repair my almost completely broken gear twice.

I'm pretty sure I drove my wife nuts by wandering back and forth around the house, sitting down to read up on the strategies, and then getting up again to pace aimlessly. Normally I take a nap to get some rest in, but I simply couldn't do it. So when I zoned in, I was nervous as hell.

Before we buffed and pulled, however, our raid leader had a surprise for us.

Like the Songs from the Raid CD (coming soon, honest!), our raid leader added an extra Discord mic, pulled out a guitar, and sang a Naxxramas and guild themed riff on "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's entitled "Hey There Valhalla". I hope someone captured the performance, because it was really good. Even the oldest mini-Red approved of Lojze's performance, especially given that Discord isn't the greatest platform for musicality.

"Freebird!" one of my fellow raiders called out after the song was over. If I could have held up a lighter in game, I'd have done it.

After that performance, I calmed down. It was going to be okay. We were gonna do this.

I'm in there somewhere.

We pulled our first piece of trash, and I lived to tell the tale.

That didn't last long, however.

After 3.5 hours, we downed four bosses but were stymied on Heigan the Unclean, wiping 4 times before throwing in the towel as we hit our raid endpoint. In between, we learned that yes, we were ready for this raid, and yes, we are going to die a lot.

I did not win the Turkey Award, much to my surprise. I finished 4th. Ahead of me were three of my fellow Mages, with 17, 15, and 15 deaths each.

Sure, I had to spend almost all of my gold to repair, but it was worth it.

We are going to get better, and we'll figure this out. During my time raiding in AQ40, that's been a staple of this raid team: we wipe, we get back up, we figure things out, and we improve.

We've got this. 

*From Dennis Miller's "The Off-White Album", circa 1987. Back in the 80s and 90s, comic Dennis Miller was well known for his encyclopedic knowledge of trivia, and put it to use in his stand-up. This line comes from his commentary about how you live your life following the traffic rules, but in a cruel irony they let your funeral procession run the red lights on the way to the cemetery. "Hey, I'm dead but I'm early!"

**Trust Judas Priest to come up with a piece of music appropriate for the occasion.

Monday, December 7, 2020

A Bit of Raiding Pride

I'll have other posts on the last couple of days later, but in the time (currently 1:20 before first pull) before our first try at Naxx I wanted to point out this little post on Wowhead Classic:

Comparing Kel'Thuzad Strategies from 2006 to Classic WoW's Modern Approach

The reason why I'm pointing this out is that Redditor Marmotzero is also the co-GM of Valhalla (Myzrael-US) and the Raid Leader for the progression raid team. Yes, it's our beloved Lojze*, who keeps the raid going in a smooth and practiced hand. (And if he finds this post, I'd like for him to explain the origin of the "beer pack", which is the tradition of him drinking a beer (his choice) if we complete a tough pull without any deaths.)

And I should mention that the Wowhead article itself does have one glaring error, that Atiesh was not crafted prior to the fight, but the guild in question had all of the components assembled so they could craft Atiesh right after the kill. (See Lojze's comment in the comments section.)

And for those curious about the original Reddit post, here it is.

So let's have a good first run, and maybe we'll see that beer pack tonight!


*Who is also the guy who finally convinced me to join as the sixth Mage in their AQ40 runs on Labor Day.


Saturday, December 5, 2020

Partway There

Before you ask, no, the blog hasn't been hacked.

And no, I don't believe this is the end point either.

I tried to put a background together, but Blogger just did not like the dimensions of my uploaded graphics, so I've got to come up with something that works.

But yes, after 2012 (roughly) I'm starting to make major changes to the blog design.

Back when black was edgy, the blog looked roughly current. But now, in the Age of Covid, it just looks like a funeral. And I've been to enough funerals this year.

So this is what I've got so far. 

It's.... okay. Serviceable, brighter than before, and something I can work with for the time being while I clean stuff up. I've never been able to get a GIF that I liked for the title graphic because it costs money to buy a product that allows me longer frame times, so I'm going to have to pick something out of my screenshots and run with it.

And, truth be told, I need to clean up the sheer size of the sidebars and make it a bit more PC friendly rather than it looking like a MySpace page.

But hey, the black is gone, and that's fine with me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


I don't often write about failpugs these days for two reasons: I've found them pretty rare in WoW Classic, and a lot of the runs I go on these days are with friends online.*

That doesn't mean those failpugs don't exist, however.

I was reminded of that in AQ20 last night. It was a sponsored run by said guild, and I attend regularly because I want to see these runs --Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraq-- to succeed. And for them to succeed, they need a core of people that the raid leader can depend upon to show up week in and week out. Plus, I really like the raid leader's work ethic and how she runs the raid, and this is my way of showing support.

I've done over 15 or so AQ20 runs, so I know the ebb and flow of these raids fairly well. I've even been both a runner and a clicker for Ossirian**, so you know I've been around a bit. We get about roughly half pugs in the AQ20 run, although about 4 or so puggers are regulars, so the number of "true" puggers number about 6. 

Last night, that included a tank pugger from one of the top guilds on the server. 

I realize that other people's experience may vary, but in my case I've frequently had good experiences with this particular guild, so my first impression was pretty good. And the first few boss events went well too. But by the time we got done with Buru, I began to notice some troubling signs. 

Even though this tank was technically the off tank, he'd kind of muscled his way into the main tanking role. Consequently he marked up Buru's eggs the way he wanted it rather than how the raid leader wanted it. After we cleared the two slimes that tend to wander back to Buru's area, the raid leader found the markings and rearranged them. No extra commentary other than "huh, someone already marked these".

I should have realized this was the opening salvo, but I figured it was a basic faux pas.

After Buru, the road to Moam has Obsidian Destroyers and packs of bugs. The strat is simple: burn down the Destroyers --and let the 305 level miners harvest the mining nodes that drop-- and AOE the bugs (standing in the middle so the bugs don't attack people at distance).

Simple, right?

Well, the pug tank decided to do some chain pulls --because we weren't pulling fast enough, I guess?-- with both bugs and Destroyers in the same pull. Of course, that upset the strategy a bit with some of us AOE-ing and others single targeting the Destroyer. For me, the biggest deal was to AOE the bugs because we weren't stacked in the middle, so to avoid their knockback we needed to eliminate them first. The melee could focus on the Destroyer, but of course with that additional time spent in AOE it meant the Destroyer came closer to getting a full mana bar that it ordinarily would. Still, we managed just fine.

Moam came and went without much incident, and the Anubisaths weren't that much of an issue either, except the tank did do some chain pulls without letting the healers breathe.

Oh, and BTW did I mention that we had at least 2 people who'd never been in AQ20 before? No? Well, neither did the tank, who expected everybody to follow his lead and ignore the raid leader's instructions.

Things came to a head against Ossirian, where the first wipe was caused because one of the runners was new to AQ20 and didn't understand that he was to click on the devices on the outer edge of the room, not closer to the middle. No worries, because it happens, but boy did the tank disapprove. He kind of blew up, saying the dude was an idiot and "let me do all the clicking." The second pull we proceeded to wipe because we didn't get the coordination down quite well enough, particularly because the tank expected to be able to do things his way rather than what was expected of him, and the guy started ripping on the main tank, the clicker, the raid leader, and "you don't know how to handle this boss, don't you!"

Well, enough was enough, and the raid leader kicked him from the raid and got the co-GM to kick him from the Discord. The co-GM joined the raid, and after he shook off his rust from not having tanked Ossirian in quite a while we got the boss down. The rest of the raid proceeded without incident.


At times like this, I am reminded of what I used to tell the (no longer) mini-Reds back when they were in elementary school: People will judge you by your actions, but if you are wearing clothing with a logo on it they will also judge that logo based on your behavior. Doesn't matter if it's a school or a sports team or even something you like (such as Star Wars): if you're wearing a hoodie with your school on it and you behave like an ass, people will judge that school based on your behavior. It's not fair, but that's how it goes. 

From AZ Quotes. Doesn't have quite the zing
as in the movie "Miracle". To spare people
from seeing it again, go watch the trailer for the
2004 movie if you're interested. Bonus points for
Disney using Blue Oyster Cult in the trailer.

I've seen this play out time and again in games and in real life.

If you act like a dick, everybody will associate your dickish behavior with whatever you're wearing or representing. And on the flip side, if you act well toward others people will remember that too.

Hell, Blizz has a version of that on loading screens: "Being polite while in a group with others will get you invited back!"

So why do some people continue to act like jerks?

Hell if I know. I try to always follow the Golden Rule***, so the concept of being a jerk is kind of foreign to me. And when it happens to me directly, I'm more shocked than anything else.

Like the time a week ago while I was farming herbs in Eastern Plaguelands, I stopped to pick up some herbs (want to say Dreamfoil but I'm not sure) and a nearby hound aggroed on me. While I was standing on the node killing the hound, another Alliance toon just rode up, took the herbs, and rode off. 

I even said "REALLY?" out loud in game, but that guy didn't give two shits and just rode off to the next node. I knew the person wasn't a bot because I saw him talking in the LFG channel, and I was tempted to call him out there for being a ninja looter. But the reality is that he didn't ninja it at all, because he brazenly rode up and did it.

What gets me the most about that sort of behavior are the taunts if you do call them out, showing that they really don't care: "Oh, look at the baby who can't handle real life" was once response I saw to a person being called out in Trade chat. "Go back to Retail" is another common refrain when being asked to not be an ass in game. 


I suppose you could say that this is a bit of an improvement from the old days, but when I'm referring to people being overtly racist and sexist in Trade Chat in Wrath, that's kind of a really low bar to jump over.

Still, there's only so much that I personally can do. And most of that is to behave the way I expect others to behave.

And for pete's sake, if you're in a pug or another guild's raid, remember that you're a freaking guest and behave accordingly. Just because you're from a "top guild" doesn't give you carte blanche to be an ass. And I'd hope that if you behaved like that in your own guild's raid/group that guild leadership would do something about that, because if they don't they're basically saying "we're a bunch of assholes and we don't care what you think". In Retail you can get away with that because of cross server grouping, but in Classic? You try that on a server you'll quickly find that you're ostracized.

At least I'd hope so.

Nevertheless, in the words of Bill and Ted:


*Yes, that includes the guild I raid with.

**Definitely prefer being the clicker, because if you end up with a Mage as a runner, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

***And no, it's not "he who has the gold makes the rules", even if that is true in real life.